Red Flags

Posted by: Anonymous

Red Flags - 10/22/02 09:08 AM

When engaging with a psychopath in an intimate relationship, there is so much "wonderful" that it is hard to spot the "red flags", and when we do, we tend to overlook and misinterpret them because of all the wonderful. I think it would be a good exercise to talk about the red flags, and I hope others will add to them. They are probably different than the red flags in relationships with less deadly undesirables. I only have a few in mind, right now, and will probably think of more.

Too Nice. This doesn't LOOK like a red flag. Once I started living with the psychopath, four months after beginning our relationship, I would go around wondering why he never, ever got mad, or even voiced any issues with me. When you live with someone, issues always present themselves. I had some...his slovenliness, the nesses I had to clean up, the way he flirted with other women, the never knowing where he was when he didn't come home, but Psychopath NEVER voiced any complaints with me (actually, neither did I voice complaints, I was afraid to lose this wonderful man), but Psychopath was perpetually sunny and pleased with me, never even a cloud on his brow. I thought I'd won the lottery. The real truth was he took his negative feelings and stabbed me in the back with them (lying, cheating, leaving me alone and wondering where he was, etc.) A psychopath is never direct with his feelings.

Too Passionate. Self-explanatory. I was only 20 when I met Psychopath, but I'd had a few relationships. Nothing that ever came close to this. Wow.

Passion Dies Quickly. From the pinnacle, to the ditch, in a period of months. This was accompanied by a shift from spending much time alone to being out socially almost every night, and the psychopath flirting outrageously with other women.

From Princess To Scullery Maid. A reverse Cinderella story. At first, the psychopath puts his victim on a pedestal. Then, very subtly, he shows her how to please him by doing things for him, that make him happy, while gradually withdrawing the enthusiasm of his approval, so that she finds herself working harder and harder to get the kudos. In my case, I was soon a servant, working around the clock to provide him the "back to nature" (doing everything from scratch) life he favored.

Distances. Soon after I set up housekeeping with Psychopath, he moved away from me, sexually, emotionally and physically. He said, "I spent alot of pursuing you. Now, I have to work on other things." Other things were socializing to a crazy degree, watching sunsets by himself, sleeping alot, and being away "at meetings" until 2 AM. Suddenly, he had almost no time for me. When we went out socially, he left me at the door, never sat with me, or talked to me.

Drops Hints As To The Truth. Early in our relationship, in the shifting phase, I once reached for him under the sheets, and he said, "Sex rears its ugly head." A few days before our marriage, he told me he was worried about what he would do to me. I should have taken these comments seriously.

Words and Behavior Don't Match. Even before I married him, his flirting was making me feel un-special to him. I would ask him, in private, how he felt about me, and he would rave about how I was the light of his life, I was his whole heart. It sure didn't seem that way.

Keeps You In The Dark About Where He Is Much Of The Time. You only see this once you become very close, or live together. I didn't know this wasn't normal (had never lived with a man before) and I accepted it, to the point that, ten years later, I still never knew where he was, ever. I never knew when or if he would be home for dinner. Then, I had a friend who was incredulous when I told her this, and at least then, I knew this wasn't normal.

I am sure I will think of more.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 09:56 AM

I have experienced all the red flags you describe with the exception of cheating, and carousing until the wee hours of the morning. My P is an isolationist. He hides his disease beneath the guise of spirituality, and runs to his blue bus in the desert to escape the world. We had a deal that he would not stay out at the bus for more than 3 days time. He has always honored that agreement. He did start flirting some before he moved out, but always got caught and rectified the situation at my insistance. One time, I discovered that he left a note on an X-girlfriend's door. I demanded that he take me to her home to meet her, and introduce me as his fiance (which I was). When I arrived, and saw her, I almost burst out laughing. She looked like my grandmother, and I am considered to be drop-dead gorgeous. In fact, all of my P's "Xs" are plain or borderline homely women. Despite the fact that I become co-dependant when in relationship, I am also a beautiful, independant, self-reliant woman. I guess he wants a shot at bringing those good qualities in me down. I think the biggest red flag waved by the P, any P, is the fact that they turn emotions, plans, convictions, goals - you name it - on and off like a light switch. They have rules - THEIR RULES - yet those rules are subject to change on a whim on a daily, or even momentary, basis. And, WE are expected to turn on or shut down along with them.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 10:33 AM

My psychopath did a number with spirituality, too, a real twisting thing. I will say more about that, later, but I wanted to say something about this ex-girlfriend. Another red flag is the interweaving of other women into the picture, no matter how they do it. It can look quite innocent ("Oh, she's just a friend!"), but he will be putting her in your face in such a way that you will feel hurt. Consider that you played into his hand when you met the ex. My psychopath changed our wedding date, at the last minute, because he had written in his schedule book that we were visiting frends out of town that weekend (another one of your red flags, changing the rules, plans, etc. on a whim). That weekend, I caught him on top of the wife at 2 AM, in front of the fireplace (I had gone to bed). She remains, to this day, the ugliest woman I have ever seen. Four-foor-something, 250 pounds of jelly, including her chinless face. I was a beautiful 21-year-old girl, in a model's body. And his bride-to-be. This was on my 21st brithday, by the way. Anyway, I just wanted to say that maybe the ex looked like your daughter before he got hold of her. Psychopaths see good things, and they are driven by envy and greed. They wanted to capture those good things. Then they want to destroy them. Don't ask me why I married the [censored] after this weekend. It's a long story and it has something to do with my mother. I just want to say, look deep for the meaning to what the psychopath does. The truth, turned out for me to be deeper than I was looking.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 12:56 PM

Subtly Twists The Truth. The psychopath subtly twists universal truths so that they are no longer the real truth, but false truths which serve his diabolical purposes. These truths can be spiritual or psychological truths; he will use whatever form of truth speaks to the victim. One of the best twists my psychopath pulled on me, in our early relationship was taking the truths, "You can't build a fence around love" and "Possessiveness destroys love" and mutating these into "Loving more than one person (sexually) is a sign of spiritual development". Even when I refused to continue the meange-a-trois he sucked me into, I did so, feeling I was an inferior, unloving soul.

Uses Other Women To Diminish The Victim's Worth. This started within a few months of my relationship with Psychopath. It took the form of ignoring me, at social gatherings, and flirting outrageously with other women in my presence. Also, confessions of sexual escapades. Then keeping those women in my face by arranging social engagements with them. But it could be as seemingly innocent as receiving many phone calls from a female "friend", or continuously mentioning the new girl at work.

Constantly Plays Switcharoo With Commitments And Plans. Few people would notice this in the beginning because life requires a certain ammount of switching, and flexibility is a virtue in a relationship. Most of us "go along" alot, early in a relationship. But the psychopath does this, constantly. If you are paying attention, you will notice that almost no plan he ever makes with you comes to fruition. It is replaced with another plan, at the last minute. The reason is because the psychopath lives in a world of ever-shifting selfish plans and moving targets. He is always in predator mode. He has to move with the prey. Anyone within his sphere is subjected to his wily shifts of movement.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 01:31 PM

Kris:
It doesn't have to be an intimate relationship for these red flags. I feel like I am reading about my own experience with the P which was a friendship basis. Boy oh boy, how many times did our family get the "switcharoo with commitments and plans". After a while one begins to wonder if maybe they did or said something to cause all these switches, until you finally catch on, "I did nothing, I am fine, he is the problem". Boy they sure can mess up your mind!!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 02:16 PM

Pat, Yes, alot of the red flags will apply to other kinds of relationships.

They sure do mess up your mind. As the insanity speeds up, and you begin to question, and then to complain, the real mind-messing begins. It is a wonder the victims don't all end up in straitjackets.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 02:55 PM

Superhumanly Supportive Empathic Good Listener. No one ever listened to me the way my psychopath husband did, in the beginning. No one understood so deeply, and cared so much. Then, later, as I questioned things he did, which hurt me, those things I had told him were reflected back to me as the real source of the problem. Example: When I questioned why he would want to sleep with other women when he loved me so much, he looked at me with limitless compassion, and said, "I could never love anyone else the way I love YOU. Don't you know by now how much I love you? Please don't let those messages from your childhood make you feel unlovable. I...LOVE...YOU. It hurts me that you don't know that. That's what your mother did to you." What a pro!
Posted by: Boo

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 03:46 PM

Hi kris,

Your post reminds me of a scene from the 1976 movie "Taxi Driver" between the child prostitute Iris (played by Jodie Foster) and her pimp Matthew "Sport" (played by Harvey Keitel). It goes something like this:

Iris: Sport, I don't like what I'm doing (working as a child prostitute)
Matthew: Honey, if you liked what you were doing, you wouldn't be my woman (hugs her affectionately and does a slow dance with her to the music playing in the background).

This is a movie, a fantasy, not real life like your post is, which I don't want to make light of. It just reminded me of this scene which seemed like a good example of how the psychopath can twist words any way he wants as long as he uses a sympathetic tone.

Boo
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 04:03 PM

Yes, Boo, meaning and logic are jointly abandoned as the psychopath strikes the right empathic chords with his victim. Then, as her inner strength and intellectual powers grow, she begins to work at pinning him down on his illogic, and then, she is dead meat.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/02 10:48 PM

Here's one I have had a few abuser types do to me lately. This was just to show they were interested in me. I turned them down. The P did it to me, too. I call it the courtship of an abuser. What they do is "accidently" step on your toes, not once but a few times. Apparently it is a control and power tactic.

Another one is they will block a doorway while talking to you. Just lean their arm across the doorway. Sounds innocent? It's not. It escalates.

Another famous one that the P did was ( I also am an antique dealer, so I deal in a lot of furniture ), when we were moving furniture around in the store, he would give a little shove on his end, and I would fall down. At the time I thought it was just an accident, and I would laugh, but looking back I remember the shove. It happened too many times to be a coincidence. It's never happened to me ever before or since, only with him.

More later.

Betrayed
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/23/02 02:29 PM

betrayed, Boy do I relate to this one. I don't think of it as a red flag because it did not appear in my relationship with Psychopath until about a decade in. But maybe it is a red flag. I hope others will share whether or not they saw this behvior early on.

My psychopath husband did this to such a level it was eye-popping. He stepped on my feet constantly. Once he went to the grocery with me, and slammed the back door of the minivan down on my head as I was placing groceries in the back. When we worked outside together, I could count on a day full of "accidents", at least one an hour. In the worst one, we were planting bulbs on a hillside. He was uphill from me. He threw his shovel down the hill in such a way that I was hit in the head with the metal scoop, knocked down, and almost knocked out. About 20 years in, I could not get anywhere near him without being "accidentally" bumped, hit, elbowed, stepped on.

This always hurt my feelings. I saw it as him being oblivious to me in the sense of where my actual physical body was (to me, a metaphor for his deeper oblivion). But now, I think it was even worse than that.

He also mowed over my flowers and young plantings, even the lawn chairs, "spilled" pesticide on my roses, and basically broke and damaged everything that was mine. It was so constant, I struggled to not say anything, but I couldn't always hold my disappointment in. I tried hard because, if I said anything, the dynamic was, here I was destroying the poor man's self-esteem, again. After all, nobody's perfect, but I didn't have to keep rubbing his face in it, did I? He always said, "I can't do anything right. But I can always serve as a bad exmaple."

And I would feel like Attila The Hun.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/23/02 09:09 PM

I am really glad this thread is here. On my second visit to my therapist I told her I wanted to talk about all the Red Flags I ran through. I want to see where I ignored my "gut" instincts and just kept going.

Also, I had a (friend?) who validated nothing I was feeling. Pretty much blamed it all on me and my inexperience and insecurity. Well that part was true. So new rule #1, I'll be very careful who I let speak into my life. This is the (friend?) the only person besides my brother and tharapist I told about the assault. Gave her all the gory details. Know what she said. . .refering to herself.. .I'm a romatic. I believe he really cares about you. She made excuses for every part of his henious behavior. Told me my mind probably flipped out on the way home because I had to much wine. (Not even one whole glass). Totally invalidated my experience and has only called me three times since to see how I am doing. I said what about this lie, this lie and that lie. How do you see that adds up to caring? I was definite. . .I told her this does NOT add up to caring no matter how you slice it. No call from her since either. Good! I do not need friends like that.

MINI MINI FLAG
The first time I ever saw P#2 was at a trade show about 13 years ago. We are in the same industry and were representing competing companies. I never saw him before, He was in a booth with his cool Porshe. Very nice looking, quiet kind of guy. Seemed nice enough. His booth was almost right next to ours and I stopped by and said "I love your car, I think it's everybodys dream car" He was pleasant, just said thanks in an unasuming way. A coworker was walking with me and said. . .stay away from him finished, he is bad news. I remember thinking. . .so.. . .I just said hi! He seemed really nice.

Fast Forward five years:
Mini Flag 1
I was managing a channel for a company that has independant dealers. It was my job to add quality dealers to increase volume for our company. P#2 contacts me. He is no longer working for the competitor. He wants to sign on with us. When word got around we were talking, two of our other dealers called me, personally took me to lunch. One said. . ."that guy is BAD NEWS, finished. I don't want to tell you what to do but he is bad news". The other dealer said pretty much the same thing and made a gesture indicating he P#2 might be snorting cocaine. This is a very competitive business and so I took it with a grain of salt. If I added P#2 to our dealer base, he would become their competitior as well.

I consider myself a discerning person. I remember checking all my internal "stuff" to see if I was picking anything up and I wasn't. Absolutly nothing. I remember him telling me he graduated from a college that I esteem very highly. Something I'm sure he knew.

Red Flag
Another dealer called and said he had stole the name he had picked for his company. Apparently P#2 had heard about this new competitor and driven out to "chat". But didn't identify himself. Got the information and dealers new name, called the State registered it before the other guy. He denied it said it was his for years. I thought they were picking on him because they were jealous.

Red Flag
Did turnovers. Basicly had people turn off service and turn on in another name, like a husband or wife or business name. Cheating. Justified because the company did not have an upgrade program. Wasn't it better to keep a customer than lose them? He got by with that for a long time. The company actually looked the other way because it looked like they were making their numbers.

Red Flag
Turned in fraudulent expenses (hate to be to obvious here) I'm sort of afraid someone could recognize this it is so obvious. Everyone knew he was doing it including the company. He however, was doing such outstanding numbers that they just let it slide.

Red Flag
Found out about a HUGE account one of the inside sales reps was doing. (he had an inside source, NOT ME). Because he could offer better pricing because he was independant, he got the account. I heard through the grapevine he actually paid the guy alot of money for that "lead".

Red Flag
Raged on the customer service reps. Had to field the calls of the customer service supervisior MANY times because he would call and rip them to shreds. I NEVER saw this behavior. He was ALWAYS so nice to me.
(see this snake likes me. . . I can see the snake batting his eyelashes. . .see how nice he is?) Hello. . .

Red Flag
Started "coaching" me on how to talk to upper management. He was very helpful, after all he had more experience than me. Flattered me alot about what a good job I was doing. That felt very good. >the unrecognized heart<

Called lots. Morning, noon, night. Sometimes business, sometimes just to say hi.

Red Flag
Business lunches. This was really fun and I enjoyed his company. Now that I'm remembering, we never talked about anything personal. it was always about other people, places or things. He was good at answering my questions, but I remember thinking. . . he didn't answer any of my questions. I got answers but not anything of substance.

Was SO supportive when the company went through a re-org. Wrote a letter to the highest level in our district complimenting me on my performance.

Encouraged me to set out on my own. told me I could do it

Wanted to go into business with me. I was really uneasy about that one. I knew about his shady business practices. I really have a good reputation. I knew it would be my a-- on the line and not his if I got caught. It didn't bother him to cheat. He would just shrug and say that's business. It WOULD bother me to cheat. I actually took a job with someone else in the industry. A competitor. He said it didn't bother him, but I think that's when his rage toward me might have started. I could fill a page of all the things he did to back stab me after that. . .whew! I was also worried that he would eventually try to dominate and control me. Something inside of me knew he was that way.

People always asked me - do you REALLY trust that guy? (you guys. . .this snake likes me. . .see how he has wrapped himself around me. . .he loves me. . .you be nice to this snake. . .don't talk bad about him. . .)

I almost always had a very anxious feeling when I was with him. I could never pinpoint it. After I was with him about fifiteen or twenty minutes, I would settle, but I ALWAYS felt some uneasiness. I had the sense he was "pulling" on me but he never acted out of line in any way. It was just friendship. When my job was finially terminated through re-org, I started looking for employment out of state. He kept after me to stay in town and pursue opportunities here.

Red Flag
I already knew, if he ever "asked me" , I would. Something inside of me also knew I needed to put distance between us. I KNEW I couldn't sustain it, and I KNEW he couldn't either. I just knew that. I knew I was totally different from him. But. . by now. . .I was really in love with him. I was hooked. But I KNEW before it started, if I ever went there with him, it would be over. I knew it in my mind but I couldn't resist. I didn't want to resist. And (no blame here) I had my friend above encouraging me to "just relax and enjoy it". What a crypic remark that seems now. . .

There's more.
Thanks for letting me share. . .
finished
p.s. talked to the counselor this evening. I need to think before I can comment. She is definitely not in touch with P behavior.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/02 12:54 AM

Hey Kris, the cruelty that that man did you is so horrible. He was a monster. How you survived is beyond me. It's amazing what the human spirit can survive.


The first time the P was INVITED into my home, about six months after I first met him. he was doing some work on my car. It was starting to get dark out so he needed a light, he came in and I gave him a lamp ( that's all I had ) out of the living room and an extention cord. He took the shade off the lamp, I had a lovely little delicate porcelain finial holding the shade on. He took the finial off and just threw it on a table. Of course it broke. Smashed to smithereens. They all start off so slowly. Apparently, the books say, that's the way they establish dominance. and a sure sign of escalating violence.

Got lots more red flags. Later.

Betrayed.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/02 07:33 AM

Kris-

I am with betrayed. I think of you so often and your posts. Even right now waves just rush over me with compassion for you. I read on a post somewhere you wandered into this forum eighteen months ago (i think). What I consider pheonomal is how responsive you are to others pain. With all you have been for you read with your heart and respond with such clear insight. I think it was this morning I had that thought. I thought I had been through alot (which I have) but nothing to the degree you have. And your courage to put together a book, put yourself out on the line again, plus take the time to provide feedback to those (me) who are struggling to understand this evilness. . .Betrayed put it well. The human spirit is amazing when it refuses to be dimished by evil. Thank you and betrayed for being with me last night. I consciously thought of that :-). The counselor was an intern working for her Masters Degree. I could tell she was clueless about P dynamics. Thank God for the forum. If I hadn't learned this is a subject most tharapists aren't familiar with, I don't think I would have known how "to eat the hay and spit out the sticks' so to speak. I'm still trying to digest some of the stuff. One thing she provided insight to was how the cycle of abuse had started before "it bagan". I post later when I can get my thoughts together.

Reg Flag
I was married. I remember a conversation where we were discussing an acquantaince and his affair. Acquaintance was having an affair with a VERY young girl, teenager 19 I think, had got her pregnant. I said,"gosh why would anyone do that? Who needs that kind of trouble?" Reply. . indicated it was no big deal in a soft voice. My antenna went up on that one too. Just thought it was an odd reaction. . .

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/02 08:42 AM

betrayed, That's really interesting. If I really think about it, I think if I had been more observant, I would have seen this destructiveness, early on, too.

Early on, it took a different form, mainly him destroying my time with apparently unrelated destructiveness. Psychopath always started a million projects, and then insisted upon letting them rot. I wasn't allowed to touch anything he started until there was a rotted mess to clean up. I wasn't allowed to throw anything out, not so much as a jar. He always clothed his faults as virtues. Save the earth. Save everything. Recycle.

The first time we moved, a year after our marriage, I was 8 months pregnant. Part of my job in the move was to clean rot out of dozens of jars and bottles, his abandoned bean sprouting, yeast raising, wine making, beer making projects. A year's worth.

Of course, from the beginning, I was kept busy cleaning up his general day to day messes. Always lots of surprises when I moved furniture to clean: Plates of half-eaten food, spilled drinks, stains to work on. There was the muddy camping equipment and tarps. And the junk he picked up aong the road for me to clean and repair.

Also, from the beginning, he rolled sofa cushions up and sat on them cross-legged, wiped the oil level checker on new shirts, etc. This didn't strike me so much then as later because nothing we had was really nice in those days. I also saw his stuff as his stuff, and none of my business. Later, when I had worked so hard on a joint financial life, I felt differently.

Defintely, destroying things, and gathering destroyed things, is a red flag.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/02 09:03 AM

betrayed and finished, Thank you both so much for such sweet validation.

finished, What you say about me, that I read with my heart, that I am responsive to others' pain, is a pearl of no small price. If that is true, I have my reward for everything I have suffered.

But I have a confession to make: I didn't offer my support to you, on the forum, yesterday...that was betrayed. It was there, in my heart, though.

"Betrayed put it well. The human spirit is amazing when it refuses to be dimished by evil." That is so true. And it has come through in the words of many, many here, not just me. I think that is the crux of what we are doing here. Nurturing out human spirits back to health, working hard to turn spiritual defeat into spiritual strengthening and overcoming.

Good for you, making it to that appointment! I am not surprised to hear it was of limited use. That was my experience with the org, too. I have summed it up, saying it was better than nothing. They can help with practical advice, pertinent to general abuse, keeping yourself safe, etc. But as far as understanding what has happened to you, mentally and emotionally, as a result of psychopathic abuse...at this point in time, finding that in the helping professions is a rare, rare gem.

Here's the hug I didn't give you, yesterday ((((finished)))).

kris
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/02 09:11 AM

"Also, I had a (friend?) who validated nothing I was feeling. Pretty much blamed it all on me and my inexperience and insecurity. Well that part was true. So new rule #1, I'll be very careful who I let speak into my life. This is the (friend?) the only person besides my brother and tharapist I told about the assault. Gave her all the gory details. Know what she said. . .refering to herself.. .I'm a romatic. I believe he really cares about you. She made excuses for every part of his henious behavior. Told me my mind probably flipped out on the way home because I had to much wine. (Not even one whole glass). Totally invalidated my experience and has only called me three times since to see how I am doing. I said what about this lie, this lie and that lie. How do you see that adds up to caring? I was definite. . .I told her this does NOT add up to caring no matter how you slice it. No call from her since either. Good! I do not need friends like that."





I had too many friends that invalidated, every little thing I said about the P. One is a sexual abuse counselor for children. He is also a part time book dealer. Anyways, he came into my store, just after the police had left and the psycho was packing up all his stuff. I am sitting there in shock, and my friend? is telling me I have to look at my part in all this. My friend had never said a word about the P before, but after he said, " I never ever trusted that guy." With friends like these, who needs enemies.

A staff member, who is and was at the store where I am back at now, told me when I first moved my stuff back in, that she was going to still talk to P if she ran into him on the street. She knows all about the money he stole off of me, she knows about the stalking, she knows about the fact he tried to get my kid, that he's a sex offender. Hello, is anyone in there?
I begged her please please don't talk to him, because he uses other people to pass messages etc. on to me, that thats how stalkers operate. She finally agreed to not talk to him if she saw him. I have tried to get out of her all the weird things she saw and heard from the P while we were in that store, but she doesn't want to talk about it, says she doen't want to implicate him. All she says is that she never trusted him. This is one of the people who was encouraging me to leave the store and for me to take the P with me. This woman has her own agendas, which is another whole story. I sometimes feel I had been in a whole nest of P's.

I came to realize I don't need these kind of people in my life either. They are gone. I would rather be alone than have friends like these. And it isn't about people having to understand about P's or abusers, its about being invalidated for our experience that hurts the most. I am very cautious about who I let into my life now.

Betrayed.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/02 09:51 AM

betrayed, I so relate to how people reacted to all the psychopath's evil acts against you. This was one of the most surprising and disheartening experiences throughout my life with Psychopath. It seemed that no matter what heinous thing he did, all of our friends and associates wanted to be neutral, and not judge him, in fact, be supportive of him. Most of the time, I was treated as less than him because I was being negative by focusing on evil, at all. There is a warped condition, a sort of lie, that pervades our culture, that being neutral and nonjudgmental is the highest virtue.

When people align themselves with this "virtue", they feel superior to those who speak of evil. They feel superior to us, and we have experienced that condescension, sometimes subtle, sometimes not, always heartbreaking, invalidating, hurtful. I know that part of what kept me enmeshed with the Psychopath for so many years was me taking in this invalidation, and feeling like the bad person, instead of him. It supports the psychopathic dynamic, which is that the evil acts are not the problem, the problem is the victim's negative reaction to them. Our culture very much supports this psychopathic illusion. It is an evil lie which holds most in sway, at this time.

It's true it doesn't have to involve psychopathy. This principle operates, in general, where good and evil are concerned, in lesser situations of evil, too. But it operates most glaringly in the psychopathic dynamic. Almost everyone in my environment. who I tried to turn to, in the worst, most horrible time, the end, pointed to Psychopath's wonderful personality, his extraordinay emapthy, how good he made others feel, and said that, for them, these things were just as important (actually more) and that they considered his faults as only a small part of who he was. And they weren't going to judge. After all, we all have faults. Yes, we all do, I thought. But doesn't beating a wife nearly to death, and molesting children disturb something deep inside you? Nope, it didn't. Wouldn't want to judge.

This is a terrible thing, entrenched. Evil has our culture under a hypnotic spell so that most cannot recognize evil, unless it is embodied by "other", other cultures, other countries, other belief systems. It is not us. It is "them".
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/02 01:46 PM

Hi,
Destruction has been a MAJOR hallmark of how the psychopath has wreaked havoc with my and my children's life. Thanks betrayed and kris for bringing this up. I used to feel so guilty for even thinking that he would break things of mine that I cared about (like my heart). He used to say that nothing was mine. He actually told me that I really had no personal belongings. That he believed everything I owned was really his. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And I internalized this also as part of his brainwashing, crazymaking technique. So if he took something that I believed was mine and I got upset...that I was in the wrong for being hurt or angy or insulted, etc. All in all, the way I NOW see it is that he (the psychopath) is all about destruction. It gives him reason to live. And if I have nothing and I'm his too, then he believes he has the right to destroy me.

Cherie
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/02 04:27 PM

Cherie, That is exactly true. They are all about destruction. This is a trait you will not find on any offical list, but it is one I think we victims will find among our experiences. This is an example of how much we (targets and victims) can add to the body of knowledge. You would never get this from an interview or a rap sheet. Only someone close to the psychopath would know this. We create. They destroy. When there comes a day, all this information is available (what we have to add to that which already exists), the unsuspecting out there, will have better tools with which to protect themselves.

He may believe he has the right to destroy you, but he will not. He does not own you anymore.

kris
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/25/02 12:35 PM

Uses Language That Conveys Power and Ownership. This was something I picked up on from the beginning of my relationship with the psychopath. It struck me between the eyeballs because J had such an unassuming, laid back persona, in most ways. It was a piece that didn't go with the image. He would always say, "A guy who works for me..." Not "a guy I work with". He would refer to his family's farm in which he had no ownership, at that time, as "my farm". The parks in the district he worked for were "my parks". His co-workers were "my employees" (I mean these were people whose primary relationship to him was friend, but if he referred to them in conversation, to someone who didn't know them, they became "employees". It was so jarring, I would jerk my head around and stare at him when he did it.

Cruel To Animals. The summer I moved in with Psychopath, an old friend of his also came and stayed with us for several months. His dog had puppies while staying with us. One morning I watched Psychopath go out through the garage to his truck in the driveway. As he walked, he kicked the puppies into the air with his steel-toed boots. I was shocked, utterly, flabbergasted. This was a man whose gentleness was (at that time) greater than that of anyone I had ever known. After that day, I saw him kick the puppies many more times. He went out of his way to do it. Big, big red flag. I just didn't know what to make of it. So I put it in the big black hole where I kept everything that didn't make sense.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/25/02 01:18 PM

Loves Trash. I do not know how universal this is among psychopaths, but I have tripped across this information in a number of cases. I have never seen it documented as a psychopathic trait, but I believe it is one. From the time I began visiting Psychopath's home, I was aware of this. He picked up trash alongside the road, and brought it home. When I moved in with him, he had every bag of trash he had filled in the six months he had occupied the home. One would think he just hadn't gotten around to dumping it, but in later years, when he rented a barn to store products, I actually discovered bags of other people's trash in the barn. He had apparently rescued it from collection. Before he had the barn, he broughr home trash and hid it from me in the weeds. He was terrified of me throwing out his trash. He also created trash. Soon after moving in with him, I attempted to clean the garage. I discovered things, like a jar with thick, sticky oil in it, with a little troll doll stuck in it by its hair. Or filthy pennies in sticky oil. He had dozens of jars with filthy mixtures in them. He got very upset when I tried to throw any of it out. And he didn't even want me to clean the things up. Over the years, he spent thousands of hours in the garage creating these mixtures, often ruining usable things, like stuff he swiped out of the kitchen. I see this as being in line with the psychopathic mind and spirit which revels in worthlessness and ruination.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/25/02 04:41 PM

Lies And Embellishes. We all embellish occasionally, but a psychopath does it habitually. This also struck me from our very beginning. Psychopath loved to tell stories. I'll give an example. The first time he told a story, perhaps someone was so frightened by a bear in the woods, she nearly fell in the creek. The second time, she fell in the creek. The third time, she fell in the creek, came up running from the other side, and didn't stop running until she got back to the car. The fourth time, he never saw her, again, and she might STILL be running away from that bear. Initially, while I was struck by the weirdness of him doing this, I chalked it up to the art of story telling. That the entertainment value was what was important to him. But very early on, I began to notice that he lied about other things, too, the size of his family's farm, his job title, his background. Even inconsequential things like whether or not he had fed the cat, locked the door, returned a phone call. Over the years, I came to see that he said was ever most expedient, and best served his interests, no matter how minimally. But in the beginning, it left me scratching my head.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/01/02 05:56 PM

I am in a post-p experience which was friendship or I thought it was. and of course i have discussed it more than enough with my friends and friends who are psychologists. at first my friends thought i was exagerating and now they seem they have understood what i have been through. i began to be friend with a highly intelligent academic after i graduated from a master degree. although i was hesitating to his advances like everybody else i fell in the trap. i could write for days without moving from my computer but i have to move on and therefore the redflags become imperative to know. i have to say that for me now i would say that my redflags don t differ from the one i have seen posted but i define them differently. the first one is
I would say that the very first one is MOODINESS. they are moody, they are so nice and flattering one time and then the next they are moody, so you work harder to have in a good mood again..



MIRRORING, that is, the p mirror what you are. in my case, he had seen my work, new with whom i had affinities. and that was the one that kept me going for a long time because i kept telling myself that i got along so well with him and there were very man that was like that.

MOB like behavior: creating allies and putting them against the one that he competes with. his talk were always about the others and how unproductive they were and untrustworthy there were. when you realize he is the #1 not to be trusted, he start quite scarry although i imagine there are more than a few p where he teaches. that said i remember that often while dining the conservation would start by him saying that he didn't trust some people I had said before I didn't trust. to mirror by thinking and to create a gang.he admitted having in gangs when young and now an academic his arm is his head. he kills with it, and i would say that i am sure that not too many people perceive it. he hangs always with young one still naive .

Hate their parents: for months I was trying to find what in the world he had but when i told my friend psychologist that the man had said he hated his parents and therefore he hates children, she said that is very revelent. I should have known better because i had noted that he had commented on how unpleasant it was to be with his parents.

unable to finish his task or follow-up with work. when there is more than one complain around him, it is a sign and it was always someone fault. so it ends up being just promises and nothing else.

lying: i remember having the impression that he was not telling the truth, but i was just telling myself he is so intelligent how could even think of lying to me.i remember he ditch me with my client and certainly came up with at least 10 reasons within an hour, pitying himself and he ask him to lie to the client. that is when of course he started to trash me slowly because i had refused to so.

isolation: if a friend doesn't present you to any of his friends. you are bound for trouble.if i wasn't isolated i would heard of his misbehaviors. i never did until after i told him i never wanted to hear from him again. so according to them they don t see many people, they are always all alone, which is probably true but possibly not i am sure he was seeing and " hooking" others.

Mobile: have moved from one city to another, and have changed jobs quite often. no attachement to anyone. with alot of marriages and failed relationships.

Come back: this is a scary one. they return indeed. even you tell them you are cutting the relationship, they come back from one way or another. a normal person if they see it doesn't work out they move on. but they strike back and the way they did before.

I have to say that at the same time I was enjoying some of it I was also feeling tense and stressed, surely by being constantly dupped and deceived, but probably because deep insidei knew it was all wrong. and now i am scared that i am a magnet for those type of man.

I could write more and much more, i just know that it has been quite devasting experience. i had so much hope in an intellectual exchange and for two years i was trapped in that.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/01/02 07:10 PM

I justed posted some redflags but forgot some pretty important.
at first i was hesitant to engage in any relatinship was because the p was way too SLICK. he was always dressed with utterly expensive clothes, way too perfect for a professor. most of the people was commenting on that.

COMPULSIVE. i had never seen someone drink so much coffee in a day, one after the other. that is a sign of addiction. probably he was taking drugs and that day he was complementing. i have seen coffee addict but never as bad.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/01/02 08:43 PM

Hi Hopefull -

>> i kept telling myself that i got along so well with him and there were very man that was like that.<<

So glad for your post. I need a daily reminder, that the P. is a P. And your post describes the P. I know pretty well. The P. and I were such great business partners, work was so much fun that I too, held on for a long time. I ignored signs that he was a P.

>>MOB like behavior: creating allies and putting them against the one that he competes with. his talk were always about the others and how unproductive they were and untrustworthy there were. <<

I was mobbed, once I confronted the P., once he knew that I knew what he was about, I became the target. I can't believe I stayed at my job for so long, once the mobbing started (1 1/2 yrs). I kept trying to make things right. Kept trying to make the P. know I was not his enemy, that he didn't need to treat me the way he was. I tried to get back on his side. Can you believe that? He had me right where he wanted me, and I told him so. I believed in communciation, I thought I could reason with him, I thought if I shared my pain with him, he would quit, that he wouldn't want to hurt me so bad. ha!

>>Hate their parents<< I do know the P. hasn't spoke to his mother for who knows how long. He told me a long time ago, that his family didn't like his lifestyle, and he wasn't changing for anybody. That was a redflag long long time ago, but I didn't pay attention. I knew he had a history of blowing people off in the business we are in. I thought I would be different. Thought we had such a good freindship/business partnership, that he wouldn't do that to me. When he did start blowing me off, what made it worst is I knew his sick thinking patterns, I had seen him target others at the office, but not friends. So when I became his target to eliminate, he really dumped it on me, and just about destroyed me. I had never seen such evilness come out of him. I couldn't believe that his current targets of charm, etc, would side up with him against me. One day they will know the truth, and they will pay the price. Now they are getting a daily doze of everything they could possibly want, emotionally.

>>unable to finish his task or follow-up with work. lying, Come back<<
the P. also fit these to a T. He was so busy planning his next move in the game he plays, that he had a hard time finishing any task. He is very intelligent, and could really make some good money, if his P. behaviors didn't get in the way. Lying - so sneaky, underhanded. Comeback - I am always amazed that the P. still wants to talk to me, after everything I have said to him. I think it was Tim Fields book "Bullying Insight" that said that they will try to stay your friend, or at least make it look like they are your friend, so that others won't know the extent of the bullying, and won't think he is the reason I am no longer at the office. I am still caught up in the games, but on a limited basis. One day, as I get stronger, I will break off all contact with the P. I have tried to go cold turkey and can't, he is my drug. And I am addicted.

Thanks for posting!
Betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/01/02 09:01 PM

Hopeful!

>>I have to say that at the same time I was enjoying some of it I was also feeling tense and stressed, surely by being constantly dupped and deceived, but probably because deep insidei knew it was all wrong. and now i am scared that i am a magnet for those type of man. <<

The "feeling tense and stressed". . .I think above all this is the biggest tattletell sign you are in the presense of a P. It is VERY DIFFICULT if not impossible to RELAX. Tension is always high. Even if they are projecting an "unpreturbed" cool personna, it does not "feel" comfortable. It always took me 15 minutes to a half hour to relax around P (no one else like that) just P.

Yes. . .it is enjoyable. . .but only for a short while (but we didn't know that then). :-)

We are learning. We won't always be P magnets, hopeful!
finished
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/02/02 10:13 AM

Finished,
I was reading back through the "red flag" posts. I read your post dated 10/23 and of course you describe the P. I know. Most of the red flags were the same for me. The warnings from others, the business luncheons, the coaching, etc. etc. He coached me on how to talk to clients, office management, how to dress, how to get my hair cut, etc. Trying to make me out to be the person he wanted me to be. He did teach me alot about business, he was very smart. But also I know what you mean about shady business pratices. I was such the opposite. I really like your postings. Gotta run, got some work to do. bye for now, betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/02/02 03:13 PM

I forgot but the same day that he said that he hated his parents he also said that he had some history of juvenile delinquency and he was not qualified for all the jobs he had ever gotten. all that info on one day made me realize that he was without doubts a sociopath.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 12/02/02 04:27 PM

Hello hopefull, welcome to the forum.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/03/02 06:01 AM

and constant victimization
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/13/02 07:22 AM

Umlike normal emotional being, Ps always comes back. Unpleasures,disagrements, conflicts, uninterest on a closer relationship from their part or termination of a relationship from either party is not enough to make them take distance. They come back, whether immediatly or after many, many years without facing the issues, as nothing as ever happened. ( if someone can formulate it better please do so.)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/20/02 07:20 PM

Hopeful. . .

>>They come back, whether immediatly or after many, many years without facing the issues, as
nothing as ever happened. ( if someone can formulate it better please do so.) <<

Well put hopeful. . .after the incident in P#2's store the other day, he called and acted as though nothing had happened. . .

i need him (sorta) for a reference. . .i'm looking for another position. . .so i just passed it off. But the words and the actions stung me and i felt it for about three or four hours. i'm making progress. . .but. . .i have to keep away from him. he is "hard" on me. . .

finished
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/21/03 02:39 PM

I just thought of something the P. said to me not at first but right after the hook phase. He said "Nothing is as it seems, is it". That tells you right there he was on top of it all, he knew exactly what he was doing. So evil.

betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/21/03 02:56 PM

The P. use to think everybody was jealous of him. If they made a comment, he took it and twisted it around in his sick mind to get an ego trip.

He told me once towards the end, "that what goes around, comes around". He was directing it to me as if I was getting my fair share (punishment)now. He may be right, as I look back one of his current targets use to go in her office and shut her door and sometimes was crying. Then we had an office manager that had done that a couple times in the past(she is no longer at the office). After quite some time (I guess once he felt they suffered enough) the P. would go and talk to them and make it all okay, and brag to me about how they were upset about him and he didn't realize it (yeah right). Sometimes they would shut their door when he came into the office, he would tell me "they think their special". In the end I use to go to my office and shut my door and cry. His current target helped the P. mobb me. I think in away I use to be the P's accomplice because I did nothing about his abuse to them. By doing nothing, I wasn't condoning it. When he had a problem with someone he made it very clear to them in sneaky emotional abuse kind of way. He sometimes even convinced me to feel or think about them in a certain way. Talk about brainwashing. They may have had little irritating things that I can just accept and go on. But he would take them way out of proportion because they deserved to be punished. Like finished said something like "willing to sacrafice our minds/morals for them".

Ive been hurting today, so I tend to ramble on. I know I will be okay, one little step at time.

betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/21/03 04:07 PM

the Betterway,


>>>He sometimes even convinced me to feel or think about them in a certain way. Talk about brainwashing. They may have had little irritating things that I can just accept and go on<<<

Same here! Scary! The P I knew use to do that, he would make life quite terrible to some and then go back to arrange things so at the end it is all alright. He once told me that he was not very good at getting what people where up to or had in mind, meaning when they were mad at him or simply in love or I don't what paradoxically he sounded extremely vindictive as he will never forget his whole life what people had done to him. Well, actually it is clear, the one that did something to him will never be forgotten but the one that dislike him because he had been terrible to them will be forgiven in order to hook them again, it is easy he know s how to manipulate them.

It must be be difficult to re-live those scenario again and again. Tomorrow will be better.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/21/03 08:10 PM

(((Betterway))))

>>I think in away I use to be the P's accomplice because I did nothing about his abuse to them. By doing nothing, I wasn't condoning it. When he had a problem with someone he made it very clear to them in sneaky emotional abuse kind of way. He sometimes even convinced me to feel or think about them in a certain way. Talk about brainwashing.<<

I've learned from DVIS that we are not responsible for the abusers behavior. That we didn't cause it, can't control it and can't cure it. There is nothing you could have done to stop him. (it was a red flag) :-)

I also allowed myself to agree with P#2's assessment and opinions of people.

>>They may have had little irritating things that I can just accept and go on<<

I (like you) I could take in stride their imperfections. But even then, deep inside there was a part or me that would "think". . ."wow, he is really hard on people".

I know he also has also made members of his staff cry (female)and even had male employees confused and feeling betrayed.

It is part and parcel of the P deal isn't it? All the posts here have that familiar ring. . .P's are mean and cruel spirited. Evil in many, many ways.

>>But he would take them way out of proportion because they deserved to be punished. <<
Projection maybe??? Offloading his own stuff (guilt,fear, shame)?

Sometimes, I think. . .I don't want to understand this anymore. It's so sick and twisted. But understanding, education and awareness plus support is the only way out. So I can spot P's miles away.

I've also come to understand the bad and painful days are just part of the healing process. . .I sure have them too.
:-)
finished
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/21/03 08:58 PM

Betterway and finished,

I completely understand what you are talking about; the line between being a witness of atrocities and actually participating the those is very slim. That is what's making us question and requestion, the first time that the P approached me was to ask me what the people thought of him, he used to asked that again and again, at first I was a little confused but after I would say more and more. He would use those comments to bully others. If I would have known that before.
And Finished,
I feel the same, that all that is sickening but more I think more I remember every single moment at least, the only good, is that 100% sure of diagnostic and that keeps away.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/22/03 07:42 PM

<
Finished,
what is DVIS, I think you said before, but I can't remember.
betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/23/03 06:38 AM

Betterway
It is Domestic Violence Intervention Support.
It is a service for women who have been abused. Betrayed encouraged me to go and I made the appointment and went but bolted out the front door before i talked to anyone. My thought was, I am not bruised, battered, beat up and felt totally out of place. When I came back here and posted she encouraged me to go back. I remember she said, we may look different from or come from different backgrounds but inside we are all the same. So I did. I went back and went through the evaluation and am now part of the support group. And yes, I do look different and come from a different socio/economic background and yes, inside, we are all the same. We talk about what abuse is, the abuser, and how not to be a victim. For me, it is the hardest because I didn't realize how abused I was because of course, the abusers always told me it was my fault. It confirms there are many types of abuse. As we know it is not all physical. It's more educational than anything. For those severely battered they offer shelter and any type of help to keep those women and their families safe. So. . .that's where I go every Tuesday night. And it has been hard but I'm learning. I also go the open AA meetings, applying the principles to P#2 as my drug of choice. . .it along with the forum is my thread to sanity. :-).
I have my son living with me right now so gotta go take him to work. ..be back later.
I'm praying for you (((betterway))) especially for that new job. . .
finished
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/23/03 06:52 PM

I caught the last 15 minutes of Oprah today. It was about Domestic violence. They will have part 2 tomorrow(friday).

finished,
I looked up Domestic Violence Intervention in the phone book today. There is an abuse hotline to call. It also showed a group at the YMCA. Just so happens the P. hangs out at the YMCA and I am sure he has charmed his way into the lifes of some of the people there (the P. has lots of contacts, lots of targets). I have a job where I deal with alot of the general public. I think I would be afraid to go. I guess I feel like if someone knew me and knew the P. they would not believe me. Since the P. abuses me pyschologically and emotionally, I guess I feel like I don't belong there. After all the mobbing at my office this last year I guess I don't have much trust in anybody.

Today I have been doing alot of positive talk. I am trying to unlearn some of the thinking patterns the P. has taught me. I had a better day today. Talked to another company today about working for them. I guess it makes me feel like I am doing something about the problem when I start looking for another job (I have done this before but kept on staying where the P is because of the pain). I almost have all the details worked out, and hope I have the courage to take the new job. It will be a pay cut, but everything in my life is not about money. My health is more important.

betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/23/03 11:21 PM

Betterway,

>>>Today I have been doing alot of positive talk. I am trying to unlearn some of the thinking patterns the P. has taught me. I had a better day today.<<<

I can understand very well that people would believe that your P is a problem. I have heard the stories. I have read before that abusers just act it out in private and that they appear under control in public.
But what you have said, "trying to unlearn the thinking patterns of the P" is well said. It is actually what I should be doing as well. I have the impression that it is what I learned from that P is conflicting with my world. I thought I had learned but it doesn't seem to serve me any longer now that I am operating in his realm.

I hope you will find a job, I am sure you can find something great.
Posted by: recovery

Re: Red Flags - 01/24/03 07:06 AM

Hi

I keep wanting to load lots of my story onto the site then hope for some help/feedback. But there is never time, soon I hope. But I did that - gave up my job and home and moved away to keep my daughter safe from her father the P. My new job has less than half the money, and I still fight the system who don't want to know or admit they made mistakes. But we are safe and happy and free to 'deprogramme' from the chaos and mess of the life that is controlled by the P.

Good luck to all of you who are still so close to the P
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/24/03 07:16 AM

nice to meet you, recovery,
I am looking forward to hearing your story.
betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/24/03 09:22 AM

Recovery,
Welcome to the forum. One of the most important parts
of my (continuing) recovery has been to write it all
down and post my experience on this site. When we organize
our thoughts in this fashion we are working from a different
side of our brain than when we are just listening to our
internal chatter. This, in itself, can be extremely helpful
in establishing a higher degree of clarity and understanding of the situation. So, I encourage you to do this (even if you decide not to post it).Like I have said before, you
are in good, safe hands here.
Rick
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 01/24/03 04:58 PM

Hi recovery, welcome to the forum. When you are ready, I will look forward to hearing your story and how you escaped.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 12:49 AM

"I almost have all the details worked out, and hope I have the courage to take the new job. It will be a pay cut, but everything in my life is not about money. My health is more important."

Betterway,

You are so right. Money is not the most important thing.
I believe that you will find the courage to do whatever you need to in order to regain health and peace of mind.

The hardest part for me is usually working out the details, then the big picture seems to almost fall into place. Sometimes my parent( being vague on purpose here) would pressure me to, "finish the 'divorce', sell the house, move out of state, find anew job, and start a new life". I couldn't move to their pace. It had to be accomplished part by part, as I was able to do each step. I used to think that it was like reading a book. One chapter was my education, another chapter was legaly finalizing the end of my marriage, another was relocating, another chapter was getting a different job. And I could only handle one chapter at a time. Each chapter I finished DID help, but they had to be finished at MY pace, not anyone elses.
People who did not go through this didn't realize how the emotional battering immobilized me, and just how long it took to recover a sense of dignity, capability, trust in myself... every positive emotion or aspect of self-concept that was neutralized or reversed by the P.
Take Care,
Leti
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 04:11 PM

Betterway

>>I looked up Domestic Violence Intervention in the phone book today. There is an abuse hotline to call. It also showed a group at the YMCA. . .<<

>>(the P. has lots of contacts, lots of targets). <<

P#2 is also VERY well known in my community. Although I live in a fairly large city it is "small" in regards to the rumor-mill. In my groups I am very careful about what I share, anonimity is stressed and I don't give clues. I have found the information and support great. I have also learned being a victim is a learned behavior and with education it can be unlearned.

I'm not implying that would be the case with you, but I personally grew up in an abusive home and married an alcholic who was at one time physically abusive as well as emotionally, verbally and phycologically abusive. His abuse was NOTHING compared to P#2. Nothing. So for me, I developed a very high tolerance for abuse. Trust me Betterway. . .being in that group was one of the hardest thing for me to do. I also got into a group a the Y but it is over now. Again. . .I was very careful not to give details that would indicate who I was talking about. I was one desperate person. At the open AA meetings (which are open to Alanons), I just introduce myself. . ."Hi I'm finished, Alanon. . .just here to listen a learn". I only comment if I want.

I know we all have to find our own paths to recovery and I'm just sharing what is working for me. My "style" is to usually isolate myself and get into "my head". I have done that for years (since the betrayal of P#2). The groups help pull me out of myself. I have found there are many ways my story has given others hope. So now when I go, I really try to look for ways to be an encouragement to others as well as listening and learning for ways to heal for myself. Does that make sense?

I'm still in the job market myself. I have been really keeping myself busy doing little projects helping my friends. I also got a new little dog. I adopted her Monday and she has been such a blessing to me.

Okay. . .don't laugh, I've heard and seen books on "what I've learned from my dog".

Here's one thing (I relate to. . .my dog that is). She is about five years old. Very friendly. Stands off wagging her tail not to sure she is welcome in my space. It has taken a little coaxing to get her to come to me and relax. I think maybe she was abused because she lays her ears back when I go to pet her.

How I relate. I was the same way. Very friendly but life had beat me around alot so I staying in the outer circle waiting to be invited in. P#2 was very patient and a super good hunter. He spent many years coaxing me out of myself. Calling, showing interest, encouraging,sticking up for me, supporting me. Gradually, he won my trust. I began to love him. Then when he asked me how I felt about him and I told him he withdrew. . . .began to isolate himself from me. Quit calling and all the above. After all the other abuse in my life. . .i really truly went over the edge. I know why the NO CONTACT thing would be hard. . .I couldn't have done it then. I thought for years. . it was me. . .betrayal. . .oh the pain.

At DVIS we talked about the trauma bonding. I will get that info out this weekend and share. It makes so much sense.

>>and hope I have the courage to take the new job. It will be a pay cut, but everything in my life is not about money.<<

Girl. . .if you have had the courage to get this far in the P process. . .you can take it all the way. After you have changed jobs, I really believe it will become easier. You'll have a whole other stuff going on and there is always the learning curve regardless of your experience. I know it's hard (((Betterway))). Your heart has been broken.

But. . .Betterway, our hearts can heal :-)

I'm so glad Oprah is giving attention to this issue. It is huge.

finished
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 04:14 PM

Recovery
Glad you are here!
This is a great place to be. It saved my life as well as providing a santucary for me.
Hope to hear your story. . .when you are ready. :-)
Finished
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 04:18 PM

Leti wrote: << I used to think that it was like reading a book. One chapter was my education, another chapter was legaly finalizing the end of my marriage, another was relocating, another chapter was getting a different job.<<

That is a good way to look at it. The getting a different job is a whole book in itself. LOL. I worry to much about what others think. I know the totally clueless people at my office will wonder why did I do that. I have been successful with this company, why would I leave. And then there are those that will deep down inside really know, and out of ignorance, wonder why I don't just ignore the guy. And then there are those that will have pleasure from the fact that they succeeded in the illimination process. I was planning today what to say to the owner when I tell him I am leaving. You know what, after reading "stalking the soul" again today I have decided no explanation is necessary. By explaining my reasons I might be adding fuel to the fire. I already done that plenty of times.

I'm not sure what the P. will do or say My fear is he will go back to the destroy mode. Which has kinda been on hold for awhile, to suck me back in. I have been feeling a little bit of the evilness coming back as he is preoccupied lately and the fact that I told him basicly I wouldn't play the game. I know he has alot of influence, all I can do is leave and hope for the best and not let him win by occupying my mind even though he is nowhere in sight. Now that will be a hard one.

Leti, I am reading the book, making plans, moving in a positive direction.

>>People who did not go through this didn't realize how the emotional battering immobilized me, and just how long it took to recover a sense of dignity, capability, trust in myself... every positive emotion or aspect of self-concept that was neutralized or reversed by the P.<<

so true


>>Each chapter I finished DID help, but they had to be finished at MY pace, not anyone elses.<<

I know what you mean. I will make my break. I will go "No Contact" at my pace. I get closer everytime I try to make a break. Changing jobs will be a very big step.
Hard but the right choice. thanks for your support!

betterway





Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 04:20 PM

Rick!

>>When we organize our thoughts in this fashion we are working from a different side of our brain than when we are just listening to our internal chatter. This, in itself, can be extremely helpful in establishing a higher degree of clarity and understanding of the situation<<

Thanks for sharing that!!! I didn't know that (about the brain). I only knew that it became more clear the more I posted. And you are right. . .it takes the "chatterbox" out of our head.

Thanks again!
finished :-)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 04:36 PM

finished,

I continue to be a victim as I let the cycle of abuse continue. My father was physically intimidating and verbally abusive when I was growing up. My mom was emotionally unavailable. When I think about it my father played games. One of my boyfriends was alcoholic and in the end started to become physically abusive, that is when I hit my bottom and went to alanon. My very first boyfriend and I really liked each other but couldn't get along because we were both control freaks. Both of these guys have some of the narsacistic characteristics. As I grow and heal over the P. I am sure it will be beneficial for me to look at those past relationships and see the patterns. I use to go to open AA meetings, about 10 years ago. That is probably something I should do again.

I have a wonderful cute little dog. I think it is great you got one. They can be very therapuetic. There have been times where I would lay around depressed and in isolation and my dog was always right there by my side. He truly loves me unconditionally. Somewhere around here I have a real cute reading about dogs. I will find it and post it sometime.

>>Very friendly but life had beat me around alot so I staying in the outer circle waiting to be invited in. P#2 was very patient and a super good hunter. He spent many years coaxing me out of myself. Calling, showing interest, encouraging,sticking up for me, supporting me. Gradually, he won my trust.<<

DITTO!!!

betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 05:04 PM

Betterway

>>My father was physically intimidating and verbally abusive when I was growing up.<<

What I have discovered in my life (as I look back over my relationships) all the meaningful men in my life were intimidating, serial bullies. They would win my trust then bully and intimidate me. I have been very scared of men. In this way I relate to my dog. I like men, but all the ones I've been drawn to become mean and abusive once they "have" me. I NEVER IN A THOUSAND YEARS EVERY BELIEVED P#2 WAS LIKE THAT OR EVEN HAD THE POTENTIAL. Yes, I saw red flags but thought "nobody is perfect". . .

One of the most encouraging things for me in regards to the cycle of abuse is that it is learned and can be unlearned. That gave me so much hope. My fear was that the pattern was so ingrained in me that I possibly could never change. It will/has taken work plus "biting the bullet" and going to those meetings. It is very educational. We talk alot about the information that is in the books that are recommended on the forum. "Stalking the Soul" "Betrayal Bonds" "Why is it always about you" "The Verbally Abusive Relationship". In NO WAY easy stuff to hear or deal with. After the first couple of times I went I was toast the following day. It is getting better now. I've accepted that I have been a (victim) target of abuse. Not an easy thing for me to accept about myself. I have been an independant, competitive woman out in the work force for years. This would definitely not have been a way I would have described myself. Now it just dosn't matter. . .I want to "get well" and OVER P.

So glad you are here with us Betterway. We all are able to give and receive so much hope and encouragement.

Always wishing you the best. . .
finished
Posted by: freedom

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 06:00 PM

i am reading everything
and i love you'all
2 ladies were here a little while ago
visiting
one was married 25 years to a p
and her girlfriend was married 5 times
to the strangest guys
when she was 17
she shot her first husband
he told her if i hit you again shoot me with this gun
in my arm
well she listened to him and shot him
where it made him paralized from chest down
he died six years later
she said everyone in the small town was glad she did it
because he had been so abusive to his parents and others
and the rest would be too long to tell the stories

i keep meeting people that have p in their life
my sister-in-law is a nurse practitioner
and she does the work of the psychiatrist
because it is cheaper for her boss
so anyway she sees young children
who wants to kill or burn people
just for the hell of it
it is getting kind of crazy out there
but really it has always been crazy out there
we just did not know it until NoW!
again i say
i love you'all
and i am glad that Oprah is bringing the subject up
the world needs to know about what is really going on
with some people on this earth
under heaven

the other day, in a group i joined a long time ago
there was a guy describing what was happening to him
what this other fellow was doing to him
and it sounded like a p thing
so i send him the description of a p
and he (i do not know this guy at all) writes back
that the description of a p sounded exactly like him

freedom
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 07:08 PM

>>I like men, but all the ones I've been drawn to become mean and abusive once they "have" me. I NEVER IN A THOUSAND YEARS EVERY BELIEVED P#2 WAS LIKE THAT OR EVEN HAD THE POTENTIAL. Yes, I saw red flags but thought "nobody is perfect"

Wow, the more I learn about N's and P's the more I see my ex boyfriends having those characteristics. My ex boyfriend (in 1990, the alcoholic)held me hostage while in a black out and threaten to throw me off a balcony. He use to threaten if I leave his house, never come back, so I stayed. He use to sit there and yell at me, while I sat across from him crying not saying a word (all about alcoholism). I have been through alot of abuse, known alot of bullies. I've mentioned before that I was bullied in grade school. That experience has left a big hole in me, and I will never forget the hurt and the loneliness I felt. I to this day get tears in my eyes if I even mention it to my therapists. I never imagined that the P. would become the worst bully I have ever known. When I met this P. he was like a dream come true, never ever (even with the ex boyfriends)did I have such a best friend. The abuse of the P. was psychological/emotional and I didn't realize I was being abused for along time. I probably had a big tolorance level. The good was so good, that I went through alot of bad to try to get the good back. Didn't want to give up on something so "wonderful". I didn't realize the level of abuse I was caught up in until I read "stalking the soul". That is my favorite book.

>>My fear was that the pattern was so ingrained in me that I possibly could never change.<<

I know the feeling.

That acceptance stuff when I'm able to do it does give me some peace of mind. Acceptance doesn't mean that we have to like it, just that we accept that what is - is.

So glad you are here too, finished.

Take care everybody,
betterway
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/25/03 11:45 PM

Freedom,
It has been almost two months since I found out and broke it off with my P. This has been an agonizing, soul searching,
enlightening journey for me. Within that time I have spoken
with two friends that are also involved with P's.... but, of course, I wouldn't have recognized it before. Their stories are different, one hasn't fully consciously realized
that is what he is dealing with and the second friend just ended the relationship. Anyhow, I won't go into detail other than to say that in both cases the P's fit all of the criteria. I refuse to be paranoid though.... there are far
more people in the world that are able to have healthy, loving, caring, honest relationships than there are P's.
We all just need to ask the right questions, be more observant, trust our intuition and know our weaknesses.
Rick
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/26/03 09:23 AM

Betterway and Finished,

It is very helpful to read your posts. We do have similar past: past boyfriends, past Ps. My mother wasn't there emotionally, my father was a control freak,was getting furious easily and both of them criticized a lot, too much.They are now angels but the damage has been done.
Although I was popular and outgoing at school, it ended with my first relationship with a P, long and tedious. I had to escape. It took a while to come back to live and then I had change life, and was meeting other kind of men, more sophiscated, more educated, but not any better. I couldn't see. This last one was very patient to hook me, just like you. I was rejecting him at first, my gut feeling was telling me that something was wrong with him. He looked perfect with a perfect girlfriend and was hitting on me. I never thought for a moment that he was a P. I thought he had some pathologies but not the P one. I even remember commenting to my sibblings that he was the opposite of my previous Ps. So different! At that time, I was very sure of myself, professionally, I had accomplished quite a lot and had clear objectives and path ahead. However with a P around,things become always convoluted, they loved to pervert others. This last P, was the worst. Just like you have said, the first one was disfunctional; alcoholic, drug addict, verbally, emotionally and psychologically abusive but the second one by far the worst, functional and successful using his wit to calculate the spread of his malignancy on others and all that just for a selfish pleasure and reward. Devastating and harrowing experience! I, as you, must be highly tolerant to pain but I think now, that what I was looking in those Ps was that they don't ever criticize you, the opposite of my parents and that alone I guess was comfort for me.I have to confess when I realized that the P wasn't perfect that is exactly when i started to flex, I knew that he would accept me the way I am, not perfect. I was getting alone so well with him, I was so surprised that someone would think so much like me, that I was lucky that he who is sucessfull has chosen to work with me.

After some years of friendship, or what we think was frienship and through a very nightmarish experience that as left me traumatized, I realized the P was a P. I realized as well, although they had nothing to do with the P, the men with whom I was working were bullies, and the boss a definite P, lying and conning all his clients begging us help to re-inforce those pratices. I was in panick. It has never happenned to me to be bullied at work. I had never really care about my work since I was doing much more important work on my own aside from that office, giving a lot of my time to some of my own work but giving time to the P trying to build up something with him. helping out of some of his "plans" which of course were just talks and dream. I read that website from Tim Field and put an end to that bullying at work and put limits to all and lost my job really fast, my boss wasn't paying me. I was so relieved and exhausted. I have been since then without work, but have managed to operate from home. That time alone has helped him re-assess my life, alhtough I haven't come up with real answers on how to re-build my life, I am confident that I will find them slowly. I thought I was a total idiot that I hadn't realize that the P was a P, and that how come my first P#1 did suffice in my learning experience but now that I see that you had similar experiences and lifepath, it is by far a deeply ingrained pattern stronger than my lucidity. I have never been to a therapist, group therapy or any support group. Probably I should do that , but I wouldn't know where to start, although all of you have done it, and have said it. What one of my sibling told me is that we were told to take care of our problems on our own, but it is ok to use the help of others to through problems. I am lucky, my siblings are very close to me and they have been supportive. But I want to get rid as much as I can of that little tedious pattern.
Thanks for your post, it is a great help for understanding and for mostly opening up to others but also to myself!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/26/03 11:23 AM

Hi all just a quick post for now.

>>there are far more people in the world that are able to have healthy, loving, caring, honest relationships than there are P's. We all just need to ask the right questions, be more observant, trust our intuition and know our weaknesses<<

. . .trusting our instincts and knowing ourselves. . .something that was completely foreign to me. I had been beaten down so far I didn't even know who I was must less trust myself. I allowed others to override my own judgement and it got to be a habit to second guess myself.

But I'm learning. To care less about "pleasing" others and think about what is right for me.

Be back later. (son peering over my shoulder) :-)
finished
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 01/26/03 11:41 AM

Hi Betterway
I wanted to comment on your post but I'm sharing my computer with my son right now (his turn).
Have a GREAT day Betterway. . .catch you later!
finished
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 10/20/04 05:37 PM

rick b
(member)
01/11/03 07:55 AM

It's funny how when we continue to conciously process the P experience our memory is still jogged by events that now "make sense."

I realized that in the four months that I was with my P he
never picked up on any subtle hints or nuances about me. Whenever I would go over to his house he never had anything in his kitchen that he would have known I liked..... something special that I like to drink, a flavor of ice cream, etc... I don't think that P's can really figure out what another person likes....we know that they have no idea what another person (truly) needs.

Another example of this occured when we had taken a weekend trip together, out of town. We were shopping and my P wanted to buy a present for his mother. I was shocked. He looked around the store for 1/2 hour without finding anything. I just assumed he wanted to pick something out himself. Finally, he asked me to help him find something that would suit his mother. It took me all of 5 minutes. I now realize that he couldn't do it.... his brain is not wired that way.

I was always helping my P with small projects and errands,
so I didn't think it was odd to ask him to help me to move
a sofa from a friend's house over to mine. My P had a truck and was working on a job in the same neighborhood that my friend lived. I asked him several times to meet me there when he was finished for the day...but he never called me
to do so. Finally, one evening I asked him to go out with me to dinner and, after he agreed, told him that on the way back we'd pick up the sofa. He didn't seem too happy about it but he did it anyway.

I mention these red flags because, moving forward in our own lives, I think they will help us to weed out any P's that cross our paths in the future.

Rick

Pat
(member)
01/11/03 02:56 PM

Rick:
Ps care about no one but themselves. Your P was not going to take the time or trouble to make sure that he had items in his household that you would have enjoyed. But boy, you better make sure to know what he would like to have or what would be important to him. They also cant bother themselves with others. Helping to move the couch would have meant that he was a compassionate caring person, one who thought of others. Doesn't work that way with a P. You or I probably wouldn't think twice about helping someone who needed help, but Ps aren't capable of that process. My daughter dated a P for about 4 months before we caught on. Since he didn't have a car, she always had to drive him every where. Some nights she would get home late from a date and he was not even concerned enough about her safety to call and see if she got home okay or even tell her to call and let him know when she got in. THEY JUST DON'T CARE!! As far as his gift for his mother, he knew he should do that out of obligation, but really wasn't doing it from the heart, therefore, he had no clue what would be of interest to her. If you really stopped to think about a Ps lifestyle you could begin to feel "sorry" for them thinking that they are leading lonely, sad lives. In actuality, I believe their life style is okay with them for they dont know any different. I even asked the P that I know if his life style bothered him and he confirmed my thoughts that it did not, for he didn't know anything different. When you have never truly experienced love or any other emotion, how can you feel at a loss for not living a normal life. Last Oct. the P sent me an email after not hearing from him for over three months. His first line was "I have gone through a lot of low points in my life but I have managed to survive them all". How comforting! Now ask all the people who he has conned, deceived, lied to and raped of their emotions if they have survived. With time hopefully they have or will, but I can be certain they can't make that statement in such a flippant manner like he did. Hang in there Rick, sounds like you are on the right track.

Pat

hopefull
(member)
01/11/03 06:51 PM

Pat and Rick:
That is absolutely right what you just said: I once said to the P that my car was making really weird noise and that my lights on the dashboard were flashing and on top of that, I had to drive home for a while through really scary and unfavorable neighborhoods. The P sounded annoyed that I mentionned fearing that I would call him back for help and I am sure that my car would have broken down and he wouldn't have answered the phone. I came back home safe by miracle, my car was out the next day. Now I know, I should have taken that as a undeniable red flag. As for obligations toward parents, I remember hearing the P saying that it had spent the Holidays with his parents because he had to, not because he felt like it and that really he should have shorten it because after one day with his family he had it.

betterway
(member)
01/14/03 05:03 PM

The P I know is outwardly kind, considerate, willing to do anything for anybody (that is in his group). However, it is part of his set up, the game he has to play to be in control. I still in my heart want to believe that how he acted towards me was from his heart, that he really was my friend. He even tells me that the friendship he had with me was real, that he was not using me. Even if it was, that does not take away the pain out of it all. The reality is that I suffered greatly at the hand of this person and rather or not he is a P or not, I have to save myself, and quit reliving the scenarios of this persons making. I like what one of the narrasictic web sites said about the N. sees everybody either as a competitor or a supplier (negative/positive). That helps me to understand it better.

>>I even asked the P that I know if his life style bothered him and he confirmed my thoughts that it did not. <<

The P. told me he loves his lifestyle and I am just jeaolous of him and his personality. He does not see any problem with what he does.

betterway

P-PROOF
(member)
01/15/03 11:35 AM

My P always thought he was living life the best way, that he knew the secrets to a good life. One thing he always kept saying and now rings so true to a P - out of the blue every now and then he'd animatedly ask "Know what I'm worried about?". He'd hook you in with that - and you'd answer, with concern - "What?". Then he'd slap his knee and proclaim "NOT A DAMN THING". Turns out he was right on - he just always seemed to roll with everything that came his way and never lost his cool. Normality for them is not thinking beyond their own nose. And not thinking at all about what they do or say affecting other people. They seem to go around in their own little self-contained "bubble show".

freedom
(member)
01/15/03 06:11 PM

i like what you said
i could not have said it better
but if i keep this up
i shall call myself freedumb again

freedom

rick b
(member)
01/16/03 08:14 AM

I mentioned in a previous post that I was always helping my P with small projects and errands. I went over to his house on a day that he had been doing the laundry. His dryer was broken and I noticed that there were several plastic bags filled with wet clothing that had been washed. I offered to bring the clothes to my own home and dry them for him. The next day he called me on the phone and asked if it had taken me a long time. "No" I said, "but it's amazing what you find out about someone when you do their laundry." There was dead silence on the other end of the phone. "What do you mean by that?" he asked in a very stern voice. I told him that I was only joking...which I was at that time... and to lighten up. Now knowing the P personality... how much they lie and how disorganized they can be... he absolutely panicked trying to think about what I could have found and how he was going to get out of it.
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 10/21/04 02:38 AM

Hi All,

Re-reading the Red Flag thread I remember the many subtle ways the P initially undermined my thoughts, feelings and actions. It was rarely something I could grab a hold on, it was only when it escalated that I started thinking that something was wrong - I just did not know what.

I think that we can all add other Red Flag stories that could help readers and posters alike.

Red Flag:

Alienating the victim from close friends and family in order to maintain control, thus depriving the victim of care, understanding, love and support.

P wanted to know all about my close friends and family. I thought it lovely that he showed such interest and I readily told him what he wanted to know.

Slowly, as I told about this or that positive experience with friends and family, he started observing negative traits in them all, none of whom he had met. (He initially lived 5000miles away). It was VERY subtle!

My son made dispararing comments!

My adult son had jokingly mentioned that aside from his mother breaking all his china, it was a lovely visit(I had broken a plate). I know my son to have a very dry, almost deadpan, delivery when telling jokes and related the joke to P, who replied that a son should be more protective, i.e., not say such things about his mother. He also said that my son mentioned this because he was secretly annoyed with me. P was careful though. When I defended my son, P always agreed with my defense aside from some small item that showed a flaw in my son's personality or showed a lack of TRUE consideration. P was, of course, unbelievably solitious about it all. I started thinking that P must be right about my son = alienation.

When P finally came to visit me, he insisted on meeting my close friends, each of whom I have known for decades and people who would instantly drop what they were doing if I asked them for help.

The same subtle, dispararing comments, but here with a twist. I was used to meeting my women friends for lunch or a movie or just for 'girl' talk, but suddenly P insisted on coming along. I did not understand this, but P softly brushed me off saying that he merely wanted to get to know these dear friends of mine.

I now know, that what he really wanted was to assess whether any of my women friends were capable of seeing through him and blowing his cover. One of them could and tried very softly, carefully to warn me, but I did not hear her. I told P about it. He successfully managed to stop me from seeing this friend. He would get sick as a dog, and I had to tend him. He would create an emergency and I had to help him. He would do anything to stop me, but I never caught on. I always felt that he, who had done so much for me, helped and supported me, should not be without help and support when he needed me so much.

When finally, I caught on, I was left without the support and understanding that my close friends and family would normally have given me without hesitation.

They now understand, but for a long time I was left trying to cope with the terrible alienation that I, at the P's behest, had unknowing created.

Does this type of experience ring true with you as well?

Regards,

Nan




Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/21/04 03:18 AM

Yes!

I have experienced all of this and currently have it going on with my brother and his girlfriend (who I suspect is a P), but I think the thing that does the most damage to our friendships is us getting totally preoccupyed with our relationship with them. We don't notice it happening but we are so there for them, we start to be less there for everyone else. Our friends who are not preoccupied with Ps notice that we have become very P and self-focused. Which is not usually seen as a positive development in a friendship, and our friends take solace in other less self-centered friends.

Indeed I think they take over our lives like this until they have our undivided attention (which alleviates them from jealousy).

I think this behaviour is very common in the stories on this board, but actually I think the psychodynamics involved are to do with issues with self-boundaries and narcissism, not psychopathy.

I think its healthy to recognise that if someone is sucking us in into supporting them and mirroring their oppinions that they have little regard for our integrity and that we are at risk of getting stuck in isolated co-dependence with them.

Conclusion: avoid people who demand your undivided attention.

I for one, don't ever want to go back there again!

Kind regards

KT
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 10/21/04 10:18 AM

Hi KT,

“I have experienced all of this and currently have it going on with my brother and his girlfriend (who I suspect is a P)…”

I am so sorry. If you are close to your brother, it must make you feel sad.

”… but I think the thing that does the most damage to our friendships is us getting totally preoccupyed with our relationship with them.”

The P? Once caught, I don’t believe you are given a great deal of choice about whether you want to be preoccupied with the P. Of course, you are not consciously aware that your choices are extremely limited. It happens so slowly and over such a long period of time.

“Our friends who are not preoccupied with Ps notice that we have become very P and self-focused.”

Are you saying that as we become P victims, we become P-like and therefore self-focused?

If so…I do not agree. I have never been less self-aware and more un-focused than when I was with the P.

“…and our friends take solace in other less self-centered friends”.

Friendships of more than two decade’s standing do not occur in a vacuum. To maintain such long standing friendships requires that you are a friend in kind, that is, not self-centred. My friends simply did not understand, but I never got the feeling that they thought that I had suddenly become self-centred. Rather, I think they thought that the P was a very demanding man, who used fear of who-knows-what to make me stay at home with him. I became increasingly busy trying to pacify both my friends and the P.

”Indeed I think they take over our lives like this until they have our undivided attention (which alleviates them from jealousy). “

Some P’s may well be the jealous type, the P I knew was not. I believe that yes, they want our undivided attention but that the main reason is control. Fear makes you submissive and easy to handle.

“….actually I think the psychodynamics involved are to do with issues with self-boundaries and narcissism, not psychopathy. “

Could you explain this? I honestly don’t know what you mean. That the P is not a P? Or that his behaviour concerning jealousy has to do with issues of self-boundaries and narcissism? Or are you discussing the victims’ state of mind?

”I think its healthy to recognise that if someone is sucking us in into supporting them and mirroring their oppinions that they have little regard for our integrity and that we are at risk of getting stuck in isolated co-dependence with them.”

You’re right! Of course, it is healthy to recognise these things. But it seems to me that here we have a ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ type of dichotomy.

”I for one, don't ever want to go back there again! “

Me neither! Never.

Kind regards

Nan

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/21/04 05:41 PM

Hi Nan,

there are 3 men in my family: Grandfather, Father and Brother, they are all now with callous women - I don't expect too much and I think I'm desensitised to it all.

"The P? Once caught, I don’t believe you are given a great deal of choice about whether you want to be preoccupied with the P. Of course, you are not consciously aware that your choices are extremely limited. It happens so slowly and over such a long period of time. "

I do think there is a choice. If we decided once a month to step aside and think about how much time we are spending with and thinking about the P and our (deteriorating) relationship with the P, and by substitution what our loved ones are missing out on in terms of our time and emotional energy... it should be pretty clear cut when things are getting out of hand. At some point we should realise that the relationship is taking over too much of our lives and make a call.

“Our friends who are not preoccupied with Ps notice that we have become very P and self-focused.”

should read "...very P-focused and self-focused."

I think we get very self-focused (pre-occupyed with things relating to our-self and not occupyed with things relating to others) because all we talk about is P and our relationship with the P, friends usually can't get a word in when things are going wrong.

I mean relatively self-centered, not absolutely self-centered.

My best friend's marriage broke down 5 years ago and she left her husband last year... she drove me nuts in the 4 years before she left him. Now she's back to talking about life again - phew! If she hadn't left him and continued only talking about her failing marriage, I think it would have stressed our friendship because it was not pleasant being around such enduring misery and negativity.

"Some P’s may well be the jealous type, the P I knew was not. I believe that yes, they want our undivided attention but that the main reason is control. Fear makes you submissive and easy to handle."

Indeed that supports my understanding that some Ps are not narcissists.

“….actually I think the psychodynamics involved are to do with issues with self-boundaries and narcissism, not psychopathy. “

I think you can have no control issues (have healthy self-boundaries) and not be jealous or possessive ( be a narcissist) and still be a P.

P's don't care if they are at fault so nothing changes even when they are, so I think it matters not who is at fault.

If I find myself in another abusive relationship, the last thing I will be concerned about is whether the P initiated isolating me from my loved ones or I am responsible for isolating myself from my loved ones... the important thing is to be able to spot it happening early on and get out.

We know that Ps will abuse us, it is up to us if we submit to the abuse past suspecting they are a P or other type of abusive individual.

Kind regards

KT
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 10/22/04 04:35 AM

Hi KT.

As I read you post to me, it seems as though you are working out from the assumption that I am still involved with the P.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I have not seen him for two years and I broke off ALL contact just before Christmas. I would not dream of contacting him. I don't like him, I don't miss him and aside from sometimes posting about my own experiences, I don't think about him. Like Sylvie said about the P she knew, "He is history and that's where he belongs."

That there are still issues arising from the relationship with the P is another matter.

I wrote:

"Some P’s may well be the jealous type, the P I knew was not. I believe that yes, they want our undivided attention but that the main reason is control. Fear makes you submissive and easy to handle."

You replied:

"Indeed that supports my understanding that some Ps are not narcissists. "

OK. I do not want to suggest that you are wrong, I simply do not agree with you.

The P I knew was no longer a young man. He was past fifty. He was mentally controlling and emotionally possessive but he was not sexually possessive.

Without a doubt he is also a narcissist. I have never known anyone so self congratulatory - so certain that he deserved kudos for everything he did. Never known anyone, so focused on his own self and his comforts - so demananding that the rest of the world observe and bow down to his needs and wants as though he was the king of all.

You write:

“….actually I think the psychodynamics involved are to do with issues with self-boundaries and narcissism, not psychopathy. “

Hmn...A narcissist is not necessarily a psychopath. The two are not the same. There are some major differences; among others, a narcissist can feel empathy and can also feel joy and happiness.

A psychopath is not capable of feeling empathy, nor joy and happiness.

I believe that the postulate: A narcissist is not a psychopath, but a psychopath is always a narcissist, should be understood to mean that the qualities that make up a narcissist are enlarged and exaggerated to such a degree that the positive traits like the ability to feel empathy, joy and happiness that are known to exist in the narcissist, are completely overshadowed, i.e., they do not exist, in the psychopathic mind.

I also don't think that a narcissist is evil incarnate. A narcissist can be a something of trial to be around but they can also be sweet and empathic people, able to see beyond their own nose. You cannot say that about a psychopath.

You write:

"I think you can have no control issues (have healthy self-boundaries) and not be jealous or possessive ( be a narcissist) and still be a P. "

I am not convinced that healthy self boundaries are synonymous with being jealous and possessive.

You write:

"We know that Ps will abuse us, it is up to us if we submit to the abuse past suspecting they are a P or other type of abusive individual."

We NOW know that a P will abuse us, but if you do not know about P's, I do not believe that you would have a clue. If you do not know about P's you will, just like all of us here, be blinded by their initial charm, intelligence, persuasiveness and good looks.

If if was so easy to get out from under an abusive relationship (of any kind) there would be no need for the many Domestic Abuse trained police officers, and certainly no need for the many Women Centres for abused women. Many of these women are aware that they are being abused, for the abuse is so up front, still they are caught in an endless cycle of needs versus wants - of needing to be loved and wanting to be be free of the man. Financial security is also a huge issue especially if there are children involved.

A woman who is "merely" psychologicaly abused is by virtue of the cleverness of the abuser, not able to see the abuse as up front - it is slow and insidious - for it damages the woman's ability to see and understand the dynamics that are at play.

After the fact we are wiser and much more careful - maybe even too careful. Certainly, I have learned a lesson that will stay with me the rest of my life.

Regards,

Nan

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 10/24/04 04:37 AM

Nan,

“As I read you post to me, it seems as though you are working out from the assumption that I am still involved with the P.”

Nan, I am still involved with the P, and with many Ps, and I do not think that you are still involved with your P. I think there is a difference between some of us posting, in that very broadly speaking, when you realised your P was a P it seems you cut him off pretty quickly. Some of us, realise their Ps are Ps and stay with them, sometimes physically, but certainly emotionally. Others do wean themselves off the P (eventually over years), yet we know deep down that if they turned up on our doorsteps with a bunch of flowers promising to whisk us of our feet, that we probably would not be able to bear in mind what happened previously, and go back with them.

Therefore I am writing in the present & future tense making assumptions about my experience(s). How you get from that that I could be working from the assumption that you are still with your P, I find a little concerning.

Back to the topic, my P taught me that I had a choice. He didn’t accept that I would stay with him if he was abusing me. He took my staying and trying to work things out (through being unfeasibly good and therefore eliciting him to treat me better – which never happened) as evidence that the way he was treating me was fine. The last night we spent together, I think he was testing his own premise, that I wouldn’t stay with him if he was abusing me, but I took it that he was taunting me, “If it’s a nightmare [my life with him in it], then there is nothing stopping you from ending it [the nightmare].”

Whatever else you can say about this, everything he said was rational. Staying with him was not rational AND would confirm to him that the way he was treating me was just fine. Things deteriorated very quickly after this. He became increasingly spiteful. So all in all I think it was a very good job I had been on this forum long enough to know that things were not going to improve, and I had my head together enough to be able to see it rationally, and got out via saying we shouldn’t contact each other for a year. I first left him in August 2001, I went "No Contact" for the first time in August last year, he turned up over here by Thanksgiving begging. The problem for me is that its such a relief to have them in begging mode than it is to have them stalking you and offensive.

I’m still a little obsessed, and posting about P-obsession to Sadwiser really was cathartic. I think I talked myself out of one of the daft things I was doing that was keeping me emotionally involved with the P. It wasn’t something I planned, it was just that the compulsion disappeared after writing that post. I think that maybe it’s the introspection that goes into providing such insights that actually makes me reflect on my own progress, and as a result the urge behind that compulsive behaviour seems to have diminished.

This would all be positive, but I have found that at least the last remnants of emotional connection keeps the P on your mind and therefore on guard. When you move on mentally, you are more vulnerable. I think that Ps actually sense this, that you have moved on and are totally off guard. I think this is another big reason why you never respond to the Ps again… as when you really are over them, you tend to treat them friendlily like everyone else, and that resets the entire dynamic and it starts off again. So even as I’m no longer indulging in compulsive behaviours I ambivalent to them waning, because at least they keep me alert.

One of the things that does irk me about the effect a P has on you: when you split your personality trying so hard to mirror their splits and with the loss of integrity comes ambivalence. I hate ambivalence, it is so nice to know with integrity how you feel about something, and I really want to get back to that again.

Well aren’t I just rambling today(?)… I have a cold and its affecting me.

Right:

" A psychopath is not capable of feeling empathy, nor joy and happiness.”

Empathy aside, I don’t think there is anything in Hare or in the DSM IV that says that they do not have these emotions, other than they are frequently blunted. Albeit my P did have a habit of saying “happiness is overrated”. All the Ps I know show joy and happiness, albeit sometimes immorally. For example, P introduced me to a friend of his who I am quite sure is another P. They started indulging themselves in Essex jokes implying that her fiancé was from from Essex. As an aside she told me it was OK that they all found this so funny because he was brought up in Essex, but born outside the county. I replied, "There are a lot of nice people in Essex." Whereupon she continued to make derogatory jokes about people from Essex, so I repeated myself, and told her that I was lived and was born in Essex.

I think she was gob-smacked because P was sitting next to me, and he was laughing along with them totally oblivious to the faux-pas that they were all committing. The only thing he had to say to me about this was when I brought up I was aggrieved about this incident when we were going to meet up with them again. He didn’t validate me at all, he was furious at me for making his friend feel awkward, and spoiling the atmosphere, and we didn’t meet up with them – which was just fine with me as I found this woman repulsive. He just could not see that the remarks were offensive to me.

“I am not convinced that healthy self boundaries are synonymous with being jealous and possessive.”

I don't think I said they were, but I think that's a very interesting thing to consider, I don't know what side of that one I would come down on.

“I believe that the postulate: A narcissist is not a psychopath, but a psychopath is always a narcissist, should be understood to mean that the qualities that make up a narcissist are enlarged and exaggerated to such a degree that the positive traits like the ability to feel empathy, joy and happiness that are known to exist in the narcissist, are completely overshadowed, i.e., they do not exist, in the psychopathic mind. "

I see. Its an interesting theory of how Narcissism and Psychopathy relate to each other. It differs with point 7 of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the DSM IV TR which you can find here: http://behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/narcissisticpd.htm

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

All my assumptions of Narcissism and other personality disorders are consistent with the DSM IV TR, and all my assumptions of Psychopathy are consistent with Hare. Unless we are comparing like with like I don't expect we will ever see eye to eye on it. So I really do not think it will be constructive to continue to discuss this. I have directed Mati to the published work that supports my assumptions and I believe she understands why I do not think that assumption "all Ps are Narcissists" is safe, so I won't repeat it all again.

I’m going to post the comments you made regarding leaving Ps to a new thread.

Anyhow take care Nan,

KT
Posted by: JustAMan

Re: Red Flags - 10/26/04 08:46 AM

In reply to:

When engaging with a psychopath in an intimate relationship, there is so much "wonderful" that it is hard to spot the "red flags", and when we do, we tend to overlook and misinterpret them because of all the wonderful. I think it would be a good exercise to talk about the red flags, and I hope others will add to them.




This is doubling up on another recent post.. but in case anybody misses that...

No personal mementoes

Ps do not keep personal mementoes, from previous relationships or family. If, for example, a P has children from a prior relationship you will likely find no photographs of them or hand made gifts from them on display in its home...

As a general point, Ps do not personalise their living spaces in the same way that normal people do,

If you are ever invited to somebodies home and it has the atmosphere of an operating theatre or a show home - i.e it feels clinical or impersonal - Beware! A Red Flag!

This told to me by a friend currently separating from her P and confirmed from other sources.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 11/10/04 03:53 AM

dear friends

Driving through town the other day I realised something profound, an indication that my p. did not ever experience the frequency or intensity of emotion normal people experience - he had no laugh lines, around his eyes or mouth. This despite fair, freckly celtic skin vulnerable to wrinkling, and all for a 31 year old man! Have others found this to be the case?

To engage in some levity, being a p. really could be considered the ultimate form of botox!! No emotion, so no expressions, and hence a wrinkle free face!!

To be serious, I think physical signs of a p., should they exist, are most useful in identifying these people before we are involved, and hence vulnerable.

sadwiser
Posted by: JustAMan

Re: Red Flags - 11/10/04 06:45 AM

In reply to:

To engage in some levity, being a p. really could be considered the ultimate form of botox!! No emotion, so no expressions, and hence a wrinkle free face!!


This rings a big bell with me, sadwiser.

My friends P, she describes as having a 'Dorian Grey' syndrome. Looks a lot younger than his age. As you say, a largely unlined face. This P does also seem to have hefty dollop of somatic narcissism in his character, whch probably adds to this - he really does look after himself. Into sport and takes good care of his fitness / appearance. Spends a lot of money on shoes, clothes, accessories (watches etc..) and male grooming products. Currently buying a complete new wardrobe as he is changing his persona to fit his new victim and her parents - a more conservative look mainly to win over her father!

Have to be careful with this. I think this also applies to normal people. Emotional extroverts do exhibit more laughter and wrinkle lines than unemotional introverts.

Useful to know though. If this effect turns up with other red flags when considering the personality traits/behaviours of an individual, it obviously would add weight and put you more on guard.
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 11/10/04 10:42 AM

Sadwiser,

Thanks for the smile.

"To engage in some levity, being a p. really could be considered the ultimate form of botox!! No emotion, so no expressions, and hence a wrinkle free face!! "

Said one P to another, " Have you tried Botox yet? It really adds to the worry-free look."

Nan
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 11/10/04 10:57 AM

JustAMan,

"...Spends a lot of money on shoes, clothes, accessories (watches etc..) and male grooming products. Currently buying a complete new wardrobe as he is changing his persona to fit his new victim and her parents - a more conservative look mainly to win over her father!

Have to be careful with this."

Yes! Those are only generalities.

"I think this also applies to normal people..."

Yes!I would rather spend a small fortune on a good cashmier coat that I will wear for years, than own five cheap coats that will fray the first time at the dry cleaners. In fact, I prefer well-made conservative clothing that never goes out of style. At the most, it tells other people that I am a boring dresser.

Nan





Posted by: sylvie25

Re: Red Flags - 11/10/04 01:43 PM

The P I went out with threw away every gift I gave him one of the first times we had a fight. Obviously this really upset me because I put a lot of thought into the gifts I gave him. He never valued those kinds of gifts anyway, it's only the expensive ones that seemed to garner a positive reaction from him.

To save face, he claimed that he thought we were breaking up which was a bunch of hooey. Anyhow, after a while we started exchanging gifts again and he actually did that once more, threw everything away, including pictures that belonged to me that I had no way of reproducing.

Several red flags here:

Lack of sentimentality

Narcissism (only cared to get expensive gifts which ties into maintaining a certain affluent public image)

Viciousness (knew it would be upsetting)

Perhaps more that I can't think of right now.

Another BIG red flag:

Referred to every woman related to him as a witch (with a b), a hussy (toned down version from what he used) and/or a psycho. Basketcase was another favorite.



Posted by: sylvie25

Re: Red Flags - 11/10/04 02:02 PM

Maybe this belongs in a weird coincidences thread but I think it's a red flag of sorts if considered together with other observations.

I started a new job (and career) just days after breaking up with the P. In the first couple of weeks I noticed my boss exhibited some of the same traits as the P (shifty eyes, contempt towards many people, grandiosity, etc). So here's the coincidence. P boss drives up in the EXACT same flashy European import that P ex drove, exact same color and model and everything!!! Couldn't believe it. It turned out P boss got it as a gift for his wife complete with cheesy personalized license plate. P ex also claimed that he got his flashy car for me (I broke up with him a few months later).

Both often drove recklessly. Once when we were late getting from one meeting to another, P boss floored the gas pedal and raced down a busy city street. Couldn't tell you if he almost ran over anyone because my eyes were closed. Seemed to take great pleasure in this. Freaky!

And a bit of trivia. One of the first times that P boss grinned at me, I almost had to take a step back because it looked like he had morphed into Lucifer himself. Most evil smile, replete with terrible teeth.
Posted by: JustAMan

Re: Red Flags - 11/10/04 02:34 PM

In reply to:

"I think this also applies to normal people..."

Yes!I would rather spend a small fortune on a good cashmier coat that I will wear for years, than own five cheap coats that will fray the first time at the dry cleaners. In fact, I prefer well-made conservative clothing that never goes out of style. At the most, it tells other people that I am a boring dresser.



ah... yes...right... Can see I must have been ambiguous. "I think this also applies to normal people..." was only refering to the 'botox' effect.

Heres another one. P's love gadgets. They waste a lot of money on them. Get very enthusiatic for the latest thing which they dont really need. Bore everybody to bits about it, then rapdily lose interest. Its ends up on the shelf or in the closet then never gets used again.
Posted by: JustAMan

Re: Red Flags - 11/19/04 03:09 PM

Quoted from Heartless Bitches International (link to full article) Not specifically red flags for a P, but an awful lot seems to fit...
-------------------------------


The RED FLAG List - Warning signs that He (or She) is BAD NEWS...



1. He demands sex on the first date, and when you repeatedly refuse it, he replies that he won't take no for an answer, and asks repeatedly what he has to do to make you change your mind.

2. His favorite subject is how oppressed he is by the world, and how all these feminists and liberated women who always turn him down have damaged his self-concept and made life so hard for him.

3. Despite his obvious mental angst [or perhaps because of it...] he completely rejects the idea of professional therapy as a sham, preferring to confide in YOU, because, well, YOU are so much better at understanding him and his troubled life than some overpaid professional "quack."

4. He/she has an elevated tension level consistently. Tries to paint the inability to relax as a positive character trait.


5. He/she always has an "agenda". Does not sincerely listen to anything that diverts attention from the agenda, and quickly shifts conversation back to his/her goal(s), without addressing the other person's concerns.

6. He says things like "I see in you the woman you can be (/become)", in combination with his love declarations. (This sounds very romantic in the beginning, as if he wants to help you grow, or develop, or god knows what you make of it, but in fact it means: I see flaws in how you are now and I am going to do something about "fixing" you)

7. He immediately starts sucking up to your friends and trying to become buddies with them. I am not saying being nice to them, I mean trying to establish his OWN close relationship with them. (In the beginning easily taken for 'nice': he wants to be a part of my life, but in fact a means to have better control -e.g. make you start doubting them later if he wants to alienate you from them, to make you more dependent on him, and to prevent you from having someone to talk to about problems with him (friends don't want to get "caught in the middle"). Manipulators try to get close to YOUR friends in order to feed misinformation behind the scenes, so that they come off looking like martyrs when they pull the rug out.

8. They have had a chemical dependency problem in the past. Addicts usually replace one addiction with another, if they ever leave on addiction behind at all. Alcohol today, porn tomorrow.

9. Men who have juvenile hobbies such as comic book or action figure collections. This is a huge sign that they're not all the way grown up.

10. Men who take a casual touch football or video game and turn it into a major competitive event complete with "psych-out" insults and verbal baiting. Later, when feelings are hurt, he will say that the object of this fierce competitiveness was "hypersensitive" or just a sore loser crybaby.

11. You assert some perfectly normal, basic right of yours, for example to not lend him your car for a week or something, and he acts very shocked and hurt, and tells you that YOU ARE VERY SELFISH. 99.9% of the time, when a person tells you YOU are selfish, it is because you are refusing to give in to some unreasonable, selfish demand of theirs. They will try this with any aspect of life where you assert yourself as a separate independent person - such things as going back to school, having your own bank account, going out with your friends without him, etc. are "selfish" since they are not about him or his "needs."

12. He/she tries to enlist your help in getting revenge on or publicly embarrassing his/her ex.

13. He/she enlists your friends and family to get you back after a fight or break up.

14. The answer to any relationship problem you have is resolved in bed.

15. He and you grew up differently- him from a traditional "old world" style family- and you a "Americanized" family- and he wants you to behave/dress/talk more conservative (like his mother- a lifelong homemaker).

16. He breaks up with you "for your own good", using excuses like "you will be miserable with me" or "you need to be free" or "you aren't ready for sex", then he begs for you to come back.

17. He does something REALLY inconsiderate and/or discourteous, and no matter how calmly you try to talk to him about it, he JUST DOESN'T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND why you are hurt or upset. You find yourself having to explain concepts of basic courtesy to him. He insists that you are overreacting, being too sensitive, or uses some other implication that there must be something wrong with you. Even if he DOES apologize, you leave the conversation never really feeling like things were actually resolved. Never feeling like he really understood or accepted that his actions were inappropriate or hurtful.

18. He says things like "I just want to be good for someone. I just want to be good for YOU." Don't let it tug at your heart-strings. Don't think it means he's REALLY working on his stuff - it means he's so filled with self-hate that he's been an ass to everyone else in his past, and he thinks that he can feel good about himself if he finds the "right" woman. He's searching for salvation through YOU instead of working on his [censored] himself, and it won't work. It didn't work in the past with all the other women and you are just another kick at the can for him.

19. He says things like, "If I can't make it work with you, I don't think I can make it work with anyone...", trying to emotionally manipulate you into feeling sorry for him, so you'll stay around when he is clearly behaving like an ass.

20. He sits in the car, honking the horn, or starts to drive away, while you are still in the house/apartment, trying to get ready to go out. He knows you aren't ready yet, but he goes out to the car anyway. He gets angry and frustrated if you aren't ready the instant HE is. Your life is expected to run on HIS schedule.

21. On the subject of running your life on HIS schedule, You are expected to wake up when HE does, and go to bed when HE does. If you stay up late or sleep in, he sulks or takes off without leaving any indication of where he has gone. He may "forget" the two of you made plans for that day, or go do the activity you planned to do together, with someone else.

22. Something about him "creeps out" or unnerves other friends or family members.

23. He just *leaves* a party or function you went to with him, without telling you (or anyone else) he is leaving, or where he is going.

24. He drops subtle or not-so-subtle hints about how "perfect" he thinks he is, or what a great catch others have said he is, and how "lucky" you are to have him. Unfortunately, with this guy, you will never be able to live up to his impossible standards.

25. He tells you how his previous girlfriend (the one he dumped for you) says the two of you won't last (attempting to hook you into trying to prove her wrong).

26. He sulks or acts like a sullen jerk if you ask him to attend function with you that he doesn't want to attend, or if you don't want to leave early, when HE does. He is incapable of being mature about it and just figuring out how to have fun.

27. He goes to a movie or play or concert that YOU expressed an interest in seeing, with someone else - deliberately timing it so that you were unavailable to attend.

28. He makes joking insults about you in front of others and/or in front of you.

29. He blames all his previous relationship failures on the women he was with. He complains how they were unstable, insensitive or just didn't understand him. If he DOES admit that he [censored] things up, he is quick to point out that if SHE had been the *right* person for him, she wouldn't have allowed him to [censored] it up.

30. Even though he will denigrate them on the one hand, on the other hand, he holds his previous girlfriend(s) up as impossible standards for you to live up to.

31. He seems like "a challenge", or a "diamond in the rough".

32. He/she talks about looking for a "soul mate" or "someone to complete me".

33. He warns you about his previous bad behavior, and indicates that he is "working" on it, but is not "healed" yet. He implies that maybe only YOU can really understand and help him overcome his past, but he's not sure. This leaves him an "out" (an "I WARNED you" option) when he DOES act out again.

34. He never apologizes, or he apologizes, but in an oily way that implies that he won't make a committment to not do it again, or in some way implies that YOU were the cause of the bad behavior - that you "triggered" him or "pushed his dysfunctional buttons".

35. He has no friends of the opposite sex.

36. He has no friends period.

37. He has people he calls "friends" but he very rarely, (or *never* calls) them, goes out with them or does anything with them.

38. His "friends" are total flakes, crackpots and emotionally disturbed people. (Healthy people attract Healthy friends. Unhealthy people attract UNhealthy friends.)

39. He/She abandons his/her current "friends" at the start of your relationship, and practically never sees them, never does anything with them anymore - he/she is completely focussed on YOU.

40. He has no spine- lets you do whatever you want, never says NO. Says things like, "Whatever you do." or "It's up to you."

41. He/She doesn't take responsibility for his/her behavior- everything is someone else's fault. Or blames all adult mistakes on parents.

42. He thinks WWF wrestling is culture.

43. He/She gets annoyed if you want to spend time with anyone else but him/her. Won't let you have your own friends and starts gradually cutting you off from them. Or insists she/he doesn't need any friends except for you.

44. He does something REALLY hurtful or inconsiderate and when you get upset, makes a comment like, "I'm not responsible for your feelings". He refuses to do anything in the way of reparation, and invalidates your feelings. He acts cold and callous, or condescending implying that you are overreacting or being irrational by being upset.

45. He apologizes, but keeps repeating the same hurtful "mistakes". When you question him on this he accuses you of "laying blame".

46. He remembers EVERY mistake you ever made, and brings them up long after you apologized (and made reparation), in order to justify HIS bad behavior ("Well YOU did X... and I'm still hurting from it..."). OR he uses those old hurts as excuses for his "depression".

47. He has a completely different recollection of "events" than you have, and insists that YOU are the one that has the faulty memory. Especially events where HE acted inappropriately.

48. He is a pig in his own place, but expects that the "right woman" will help him fix it up and keep it clean.

49. (if you are living together). He complains about the mess in the house, and criticizes the lack of kitchen cleanliness as if it is YOUR fault, but his own room or office is a STY. (Remember, it's easier to criticize the way a woman keeps a kitchen than it is to admit you are a misogynist.)

50. (for guys in their 30's and 40's) He has NO relationship with his ex-partners, in fact, they want NOTHING to do with him. If he isn't friends with at least a couple of his ex-partners (especially the long-term significant ones), and talks with them socially periodically (over more than issues with their kids), then watch out.

51. He is uncomfortable with you talking to his former girlfriends/partners/spouses.

52. (According to him) all or many of his former girlfriends are "nuts" or emotionally unbalanced. Watch out for the "I did this bad thing, BUT... SHE brought it out in me.... and I won't be that way with you..." or worse... the "I'm not sure if I won't do this again, but with the RIGHT woman to BELIEVE in me..."

53. He seems like a "lost puppy" in need of care. (Get help for yourself for even being attracted.)

54. He has ANY history of childhood abuse (abusive parents or siblings), ESPECIALLY (but not limited to) sexual abuse, and he hasn't been in YEARS of therapy (and I mean YEARS - like a decade or more, depending on his age), working through his issues. Men who were abused have a very strong tendency to become abusers. It takes many many years of therapy to overcome this, if they can at all. And when they start therapy, they often get worse before they get better. Manipulative men who have been in therapy for only a year or so or are probably at the WORST stage to get involved with.

55. He/She is on the rebound - i.e. less than 1.5 years after a major breakup from a long-term relationship.

56. He's seeing someone else (and he is intimate with them) and he falls for you. It may seem very flattering, but he'll only do the same thing to you later. It's a sick pattern and it ISN'T going to stop with YOU.

57. He tells you all the ways you are alike and seems to find more similarities with each passing day - he's setting you up. He's "mirroring" you to be more attractive. It's another abuser/controller pattern.

58. He/She wants to get married before you have known each other for more than 1-2 years and haven't even lived together yet. It takes at least 1.5yrs for the "hormone rush" of infatuation to wear off, and the true colours to start to emerge, depending on how quickly you individuate away from the "joined at the hip" phase.

59. He starts doing things incongruent with the person you THOUGHT you first got to know. People are always on their best behavior during the "courtship" phase. If that behavior starts to degrade and change into little nasty digs, or lies, or other forms of abuse, DITCH him before it gets worse. Don't wait around hoping the the guy you first fell in love with is going to resurface - that was obviously a False Image designed to hook you.

60. He/She takes pride in how he/she "screwed over" the ex financially in the divorce.

61. He reneges on or "forgets" any financial agreement the two of you had - such as to share the rent on a basement apartment you both worked on to fix up.

62. He insists that you remain financially independent and then complains when you can't afford the same level of entertainment and travel that HE can.

63. He seems "too good to be true" - he probably IS (not TRUE, that is).

64. He is constantly "down" and has a variety of excuses - his back hurts, he doesn't get enough light, you are keeping him awake at night so he doesn't get enough sleep, he hasn't had enough to eat that day, etc.

65. He suffers from some kind of chronic pain, such as back pain, but refuses to get any treatment for it, and then uses it as an excuse for why he is irritable, inconsiderate and even nasty.

66. He continually rejects your ideas for things to do, (dates) places to go, etc.

67. He "forgets" critical things that he has KNOWN for years, like the fact that you are allergic to feathers (and buys a feather comforter for the bed, or a feather pillow).

68. You *clearly* and openly state your expectations and needs, in a calm and caring fashion, you are told that you are being "controlling" or "manipulative" or "too sensitive".

69. He tells snide joking insults about you in front of others. If you complain, he says it was all in fun and you are just being too sensitive.


70. You are moving out of the infatuation phase and find yourself having to constantly reassure him that you love him and will be there, simply because you are no longer spending every waking minute (outside of work) with him. He continually complains about the lack of "intensity" in your relationship and implies that YOU are the one responsible for not keeping it up.

71. He used to be completely interested in anything you had to say, and now starts showing disinterest in topics that interest you, to the point of rudeness. He won't even listen out of politeness or courtesy. Complains that you don't talk about HIM enough, or listen to HIM enough, and that what you are interested in, isn't interesting to HIM. Expects YOU, however to be interested in ANYTHING *he* is interested in.

72. You have to keep proving yourself worthy of his attention or love. You get attention withdrawn if you ask for responsible behavior or in any way indicate that you were not happy with something he did.

73. He tells you many or all of his deep dark secrets, early on. It seems like he is really sensitive and opening up to you. This is often a tactic that manipulators use to get you to think that YOU are so special that they can only open up like that to YOU. It's just a technique. They do it with EVERYONE. They also do it to "cover" for their previous bad behavior, - if they TELL you about it, it MUST mean they are working on it and won't do it again... (though they NEVER ACTUALLY SAY THAT... they imply it heavily). The goal is to cover their tracks in case you happen to hear something from anyone else - this ensures that they have good cover story well in hand, as well as giving them the advantage of already convincing you of THEIR version before anyone else can get you. And the act of telling you about their bad behavior in the past will become a great caveat/excuse in future if they enact it on you - "well I TOLD you I was a manipulator, and that I was TRYING to change..." the implication being that you just weren't SPECIAL enough, after all... or that you aren't trying hard enough... Watch what they DO, not what they say.

74. He/she continually wants to discuss "the relationship", and is always finding problems or faults with it, and/or starts insisting/implying that all the relationship problems are YOUR fault.

75. He/She puts on a *very* different demeanor, a different personna, when at work or with another group of people. He/she seems to be a chameleon depending on who they are with - instead of being one *real* person. If questioned, gets defensive and insists that they just have many "facets" to their personality, implying that you just don't fully "accept" them as they are.

76. He uses money to win influence and/or get attention, not because he is genuinely altruistic or generous in nature - for example, he drops hundreds or thousands of dollars on "donations" to charitable organizations (so he can get VIP status at their functions), but won't loan you his $5 beat-up old backpack.

77. She doesn't eat.

78. He's in a real hurry to get married, right now, right away!

79. He's an ex-con. For some women, this still isn't enough, for some reason.

80. Over 30 and still living at home.

81. His/her whole social life revolves around his/her parents.

82. On the first date, already talks about marriage or kids. (This is even out on the 2nd or 3rd date)

83. After only one or two dates, gets overly possessive. Calls constantly, sends gifts, shows up at work.

84. His entire wardrobe consists of clothes from trade shows like Comdex, bearing the logos of software and gaming companies.

85. He stockpiles weapons.

86. He has kids with various women and never sees them.

87. He/She has long history of getting involved with losers, deadbeats, drug addicts.

88. She still calls her mother every time she has to make a major life decision.

89. He/she says things like "you're everything to me. I can't live without you."

90. Everyone hates him- your friends, your parents, even your dog.

91. He/she is under 23 and has already been married and divorced and has kids.

92. He/she can't hold a job for more than three months.

93. He shows signs of pennypinching. For example, a guy who only goes to the rep theatre because he has a special card, and then won't even buy a popcorn but eats out of your container all night and shares your soda. Then won't even go out for a beer after, even if it's a weekend. His clothes are ten years old or more.

94. He uses "[censored]" as a term of endearment.

95. He supports his driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol with the phrase, "I'm a professional!" (The fact that drugs are present should be red flag anyway, but not everyone feels that way.)

96. He goes out of his way to be rude and condescending to waitstaff and gets a kick out of their discomfort.

97. He supports his argument against condoms by saying, "I never wear them."

98. He tells you not to get "illusions of grandeur" in regard to marrying him.

99. Sports programs preempt visits with his children on a regular basis.

100. This is a big one: HE DOWNPLAYS AND DEGRADES ALL OF THE "RULES" PEOPLE FOLLOW WHEN DATING. HE COMPLAINS THAT WOMEN ALWAYS MAKE MEN JUMP THROUGH HOOPS. HE FOCUSES ON THESE TWO IN MOST CONVERSATIONS FROM THE FIRST DATE ON. His way of getting around the rules is to repeat, "Ours isn't a conventional relationship. We're not like all of those other people out there who have to have boundaries."

Copyright© Heartless Bitches International (heartless-bitches.com) 2000, All Rights Reserved

--------------------------------------------------

(This is a text clipping I saved a while ago from another forum -unfortunately no link to the original - Justaman)

Taken from the book, The Gift of Fear (Survival Signals), by Gavin de Becker

Though this book isn't about Ps specifically, (in fact, under "psychopath" and "sociopath" in the index, Ps are only mentioned once, along with Dr. Hare's 8 traits ("glib" "impulsive" etc.), there are a lot of really good points mentioned that we can take into consideration when wondering if we're dealing with the psychopath or narcissist:

FORCED TEAMING Forced teaming is not about coincidence; it is intentional and directed, and it is one of the most sophisticated manipulations. The detectable signal of forced teaming is the projection of a shared purpose or experience when none exists: "Both of us" ; "We're some team!"; "How are we going to handle this?"; "Now we've done it!" etc.

CHARM AND NICENESS Charm is another overrated ability...Charm is almost always a directed instrument which...has motive... Most often, when you see what's behind charm, it won't be sinister, but other times, you'll be glad you looked.

TOO MANY DETAILS When people are telling the truth they don't feel doubted, so they don't feel the need for additional support in the form of details...Each detail may be only a small tack he throws on the road, but together they can stop a truck...The defense is to remain consciously aware of the context in which details are offered.

TYPECASTING A man labels a woman in a slightly critical way, hoping she'll feel compelled to prove that his opinion is not accurate. ("You're probably too snobbish to talk to the likes of me")

DISCOUNTING THE WORD "NO" ...With a stranger, his or her refusal to hear "no" can be an important signal..."No" is a word that can never be negotiated, because the person who chooses not to hear it (after it's already been said) is trying to control you...If you let someone talk you out of the word "no" you might just as well wear a sign that reads, "You are in charge."
--
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 11/20/04 01:57 AM

Hi JustAMan,

This is a very good list that gets down to the nitty gritty. I can nod affirmatively to many of the points.

Nan
Posted by: freedom

Re: Red Flags - 11/24/04 10:59 AM

p's will go for women who wants to help him with money or place to stay no matter how they look

freedom
Posted by: recovery

Re: Red Flags - 11/24/04 02:39 PM

Hi Freedom

Hope you have been able to keep strong and safe. Nice to hear from you again. And i agree with your posts - this one, and about Dr Sam V too.

Good luck

Recovery
Posted by: freedom

Re: Red Flags - 11/25/04 08:25 AM

well i was doing good but when he would come around the club where i dance he would wait for me in the parking lot because he was banned from the club so when he would do that he would be forceful and i would give in and give him a ride home to his mother i did not want to cause trouble
a few time i was able to trick him and leave before he could get to my car
then 2 months ago he asked the owner to let him get back in the club to play music at this blues jam session where it is the best night to go so he can watch me better and the owner let him back in so it has been more contact with him and telling me why i want to talk to these people they are evil they are against him so now quite a few people do not want to dance with me or talk to me because they know he is jealous of me
the people who knows how he is (trouble maker)
do not understand why the owner let him in it is a weird feeling for all of us when he is around
my body gets all cold as ice and i tremble when he comes around
so i stopped going about one month now except last weekend there was a great blues man i wanted to treat me after doing so much work in the house (renovation) and he showed up at the end of the night ended up driving him home and argued the whole time that i had to go home because the next morning i was working he would not let me go i gave him what he wants and after, he would not give me my dress i was in my undergarment and was trying to open the door where he had blocked the door i was going to leave like that i did not care so he was pulling my body all the bla bla bla and he does not want to go back to jail so he finally let me go
he was asking me why i do not come see him i told him i am busy with my family trying to fix the house good before i die so my handicap children would have a decent place to stay and i was mentioning that i have to find a trustee for my children and draw a will and he was demanding that i leave him something too very serious his demand was
i owe more than i own
so anyway he does this little drama that he will kill himself if i refuse to see him he loves me so much
and he wanted me to give him money to fix his bike
wants me to buy him motorcycle
cannot drive 1 dwi did not pay the fine
when he says he loves me
i remind him that when we first met
he did tell me that he was in love with money and was very selfish and egotistic

but i am doing good i don't feel so attracted to him like i use to i keep saying that next time he try to force himself in my car i will tell the doorman which he did tell me that they would help me with that but then i just give in and let him in i don't want to make a scene

i feel that it is over it is just a last effort from him trying to see if i am still dumb to wanna be with him
i do not feel all those intense magnetic vibes anymore
i am getting old getting my life in order before i leave this earth
i found a club here where i am trying to get musicians that i like from where i go, to come play here so i would not have to drive all that far to go dancing and would not have to deal with p

love you'all
freedom


Posted by: freedom

Re: Red Flags - 11/25/04 08:51 AM

i love this list
it sounds true to the p i know
this one i share before and do it again
since there are new people here
when he was with this woman and trying to convince me that she was just a friend he was begging me to go see him play at this club i finally did and he was acting strange like he did not know me then he does come talk to me during break time begging me to marry him and telling me at the same time that he was going to Italy with this woman
she was looking at us talking with smile i was really confuse not how can you marry me and go to Italy with another woman
for the whole month he lived with her he would call me 20 times a day and i would pick up and hang up it was long distance so the woman will see her phone bill
when she did see the phone bill i get a call from her apologizing to me
p was telling her that the night i came by to see him play he told her that I Was Harassing Him and when she saw how many time he was calling me she realized that it was him who was harassing me she had to call the police to get him out of her house
he would tell me that he was in the mafia and i would play his bluff i said yes and they called me to tell me to leave you alone or they would kill me and he believed me and call the lady and told her not to call me and harass me
the poor lady did not know what was going on but we talk and told her the situation
this other lady he was with he was telling her that i was so jealous that i wanted to have her kill now that was pretty scary she would leave frightening messages on my phone
and he would tell me how much he loves me and want me to marry him

he did tell me off and on that he would hurt me when i won't expect it
and i remind him of what he said and he aggrees that it will be so
i am not afraid anymore i have so much going on with my children my mind is on getting my house in order before the big day of departure from this earth
i talk like that because it is reality my husband's good aunt is on the breathing machine right now she is 94 and i know that our time will come and i want to be ready for it

i have been begging God to help me with the situatio with p and He is

yep this list is fitting to the t

freedom
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 12/04/04 04:01 PM

Hi everyone
Im new to this site so bear with me. I beleive I met a P 11 years ago. He became my husband and as so many of you have said he appeared to be the perfect man. And I have to say that he was for 6 years. He did have p tendencies during that time - controlling, low boredom threshhold, a need for constant attention, liked flash cars, flirtatios, a wicked tongue, prone to exaggeration.
Then the bombshell hit. We had (Ithought) an almost perfect marriage. Then out of the blue he told me he didnt feel the same way about me anymore (whatever that was suppossed to mean. when we first met he would tell me constantly that he was enchanted by me!
He decided to leave to sort himself out. I found out 3 weeks later that he had beem having an affair with another woman and had moved in with her.
That was 5 years ago. In all that time he has never left me alone. He has constantly told me that he made a big mistake (even though he has married this other woman)
Because of his charm and his knowledge of my huge love for him he has used me to boost his ego and kept me dangling for all this time. And I have fallen for it.
So here I am having lost out on the chance of meeting anyone else because I believed him everytime. He is a liar, a cheat, a manipulator, a crack cocaine addict (this started after our split), and recently he stole my credit card and used it to the tune of £1000 before i realised and put a stop on it. He also became a wife beater (with the new wife not me) and has recently lost his driving licence through drink driving.
I have finally made the decision to cut him out of my life and wish I had done so 5 years ago.
My story is much longer than what I have written here but it would take me the rest of the weekend to complete.
I agree with many others on this site who cannot quite really believe that this wonderful person that you loved with all your heart could do the things they do. The only explanation is to accept that they are P
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 12/05/04 06:09 AM

Hi tapperfaith, welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear about your pain. It is lucky you are away from him and have made your decision.

When you are ready we have a "thread" to tell more of your story if it would help you. Every time someone tells their story it helps many others who only read.

My Story - Part Two
Posted by: recovery

Re: Red Flags - 12/05/04 12:47 PM

Hi Tapperfaith

Hi and welcome. You are begining to make the break. It takes time with a P as they want to decide not you. They want to know they can still control. At least you are not the current wife - she has a stormy passage to come. You can just move right on and leave him behind heading to a gutter of his making.

Keep strong, and I hope we can help some.

Best of luck

Recovery
Posted by: Freedom&laughter

Re: Red Flags - 02/12/06 03:31 PM

Hi

I would be interested to know if red flags were present very early with your dealings with Ps. I am new here.

I noticed with my P early red flags, he would be charming, cultured and well mannered in the evening at dinner, but in the morning at breakfast he would eat like a wild animal, I nearly fininshed with him there and then. It just seemed like 2 different people. It was almost as if he had to adjust from sleeping to wear the mask again.

Anyone else noticed lack of sense of humour,he read books with such exclusion when you are present, again like an escape.

Would be interested to hear peoples comments
Posted by: neverthesame

Re: Red Flags - 02/12/06 07:23 PM

Hi, Freedom&laughter, Welcome.

Hmmm...red flags....yes! This was the first time in my life I had met someone and knew something wasn't quite right, but couldn't put my finger on it. I was even warned by others that my P's (couple) were crazy. I thought I was doing a good thing by giving my P's the benefit of the doubt. Boy was I wrong....for such a short-termed friendship (a few months) and almost two years later they still are stalking and harrassing me...P's definately cannot be reasoned with. When you leave a P, run and NEVER look back. Don't try to be nice, don't feel sorry for them, don't have any type of communication with them, it will become twisted and used against you. P's are very obsessive and vengeful people who lead a very pathetic existence.
Posted by: Diane1969

Re: Red Flags - 02/17/06 07:58 AM

Here are some of the big red flags my P gave me early on and throughout our relationship.

Emotional immaturity, need for instant gratification, petulance - these things are striking in an older adult. Mix that with overwhelming charm and it is a recipe for disaster.

A deadbolt on the front door that needs a key to open from inside the house - locked and key pocketed the first time you visit. "Danger, Will Robinson!"

Porn addiction and the need to act out pornographic sex rather than real but simple intimacy.

When you push just a little for depth you hit what feels like an impenetrable wall, either no response or immediate and over-board negative response. This is a good sign for any personality disorders. In a P it feels like their total lack of depth is like interacting with a small child.

All communication about others you find early on is always turned somehow to him/her. "But what about ME?" Total manipulation for attention.

Talk about ethics, morals, or common decency leave you feeling sad or forlorn, because he/she is slippery or just doesn't get the need for rules for social welfare and sees nothing wrong with this.

Indicators of petty thievery, or behaviors that show total and complete disregard for other's welfare. This can be confusing because as long as they are getting their needs for attention and gratification met, they can seem to be caring individuals - but only in that person's presence. When the other person is not around they are targeted for hatred, put-downs and derogatory back-biting. P's are two faced and can't deal with personal conflict.

Gross inability to form logical thoughts or follow arguments through to logical conclusions - I saw a lot of magical thinking in my P.

Pathologic lying that they don't even attempt to justify. Crocodile tears. Blatant attempts to manipulate you emotionally. Philandering.

Anxiety and impatience and sense that when they are not getting their needs met that they are extremely uncomfortable in their own bodies.

Trophy collecting and maintaining "friendships" with past lovers, but only those who are emotionally vulnerable people that they can continue to manipulate.

Inability or unwillingness to follow through on promises where they do not reap immediate benefit from it. They have difficulty or the inability to bank good will.

A sense of emotional retardation that is all pervasive and rigid.

Betrayal after betrayal after betrayal and never any remorse for YOUR pain and NO indicators before hand that it is coming.

Unexpected and swift emotional change from normal to extremely cold and hostile - this is extremely frightening because there is no exterior cause for it.

Personal revelations that strike you as somehow "false", somehow don't make sense, or that you intuitively sense are lies, because they are designed to elicit emotional response in you but he/she shows no emotions around it; or they are designed to stop or control your current behavior; or are designed to make whatever abusive treatment you are undergoing have an excuse that you can't argue with... "that is just the way I am."

Anything that causes your intuition to go off, even if you don't understand it at the time. Anything that makes you feel like your energy level is dropping through the floor. I had a lot of this early on... I should have listened.

There's much more, but this is a start.

Diane1969






Posted by: tiasa1234

Re: Red Flags - 02/17/06 03:39 PM

Diane1969... I just read your "red flags" and it's utterly amazing how much you have described the P I was "involved" with (that I recently ran into after many months of no contact).... Thank you again for your wonderful way with putting to words the ways I feel! Tiasa XOXO
Posted by: Diane1969

Re: Red Flags - 02/17/06 08:18 PM

Dear Tiasa,

You are so welcome! I am glad my words helped you.

But you know, we are all either graduates or students of these hard lessons. I just hope I never forget such hard learned material so that I won't fall victim to it again. And I wish for the same for all of us.

Diane1969
Posted by: ekko

Re: Red Flags - 02/18/06 02:39 AM

Hi Diane1969
I agree with Tiasa, your description of the red flags is superb.

But how do you use the information? I find myself being very suspicious when I meet new people looking for exactly those flags, they are everywhere.

How do you talk about them? I have tried to explain to two therapists what happened, the first one told me off for getting so involved with somebody who was plain crazy. The second one, who I am still seeing, told me to send the P a letter telling him, I want nothing more to do with him and is treating me like a middle aged woman who couldn´t let go.

How can I tell anybody how he saw all my secret hopes and dreams even before I talked about them, how he played on all my strengths and weaknesses?

Ekko
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 02/18/06 04:38 AM

Hi Ekko, just an observation for whatever its worth:
In reply to:

The second one, who I am still seeing, told me to send the P a letter telling him, I want nothing more to do with him and is treating me like a middle aged woman who couldn´t let go.



I would tread with caution before giving him something in writing.

Di
Posted by: ekko

Re: Red Flags - 02/18/06 06:36 AM

Hi Dianne E.
Don´t worry I have had no contact with him since May, and I intend to carry on that way. Whenever I have any doubts I read on this site.
Ekko
Posted by: tiasa1234

Re: Red Flags - 02/18/06 08:48 AM

Hi Diane, I totally agree... but for the grace of God go I (again!)... It CAN happen again, but as long as we stay strong by checking in here and remembering, learning and staying in touch with those who understand... we have a much better chance of staying P-free! (PREEDOM!!!) Love, Tiasa xoxoxox
Posted by: Vanessa715

Re: Red Flags - 02/18/06 10:58 AM

When I think about the red flags with this man...I cringe! What the heck was wrong with me.

I had one good relationship about 8 years ago.....with a good guy....we were together for 6 years...and things just ended up not working out...but no drama...no trauma...just the usual break up pain and hurt which u get over with no scars. However, I was single for the next several years until I met my ex (the possible P). I dated on and off but nothing serious. I didnt need a man...and wasn't willing to go through the compromise and effort with someone unless they were TOTALLY worth it. So, I dated...had fun...but didnt take anything too seriously. Was involved with some 'moochers' who i probably gave to more than I should have but they definitely werent P's...and I never felt 'conned' or anything...no trauma....etc.

Then...I meet my ex...and it was like NO MATTER HOW RED AND BIG that flag was...I just looked right past it and kept moving forward with him. I'm still dumbfounded as to why.

He had told me early on about his PAST drug addiction (little did i know that it was PRESENT as well)...I noticed him to be a bit of a 'freak' in bed...but I didn't mind...it was just for fun after all...not taking it too seriously (supposedly) so I experimented and went along with things willingly at first. But regardless of the fact that these should have been absolute DEAL BREAKERS....we had so much fun...and he was soooo charming....and he made me feel sooooooooooo good...and laugh so much...that I very easily overlooked everything I shouldnt have. And I remember thinking to myself "you shouldnt be getting involved in this"...and then responding to myself with "but...no big deal...its just for fun...if/when it gets complicated...walk away"

Then little by little I noticed those flags popping up all over the place - the attempts to alienate u from others, the turning everything on u, the finding the most minute flaw in u and blowing it up to make it seem enormous, creating insecurities in urself that u never had, and the list goes on...In no time I felt ugly (and not to toot my own horn but I'm 20 times better looking than he is)...I felt worthless...I felt smaller than him. Yet...when you look at the facts he offered NOTHING...had nothing...I had EVERYTHING...including an amazing network of friends and ultra supportive family of which he has neither...and somehow I felt less than him....go figure.

But again...in no time he got me to question, doubt, and feel bad about everything about me...and then I got pregnant...and it just got worse after that. Then when I finally started to put my foot down...he walked away. He's incapable of being close or intimite with someone. I see that now. But there were so many things I saw back then...from day one...that I just overlooked...and overlooked...and overlooked....until I was a shell of a person...and it has taken me a lot of time and work and relapses to get to the place I am now...and I still struggle...but I am strong again...and convinced that I will be fine...and convinced that he probably never will be.

Anyway...I know now that I need to stay away from men 'that need'...its my weakness...I want to fix...I want to help...because I feel blessed to have so much in my life and want to share that...but the reality is that those in most need...usually...NOT ALWAYS...are in that position...still because they dont know how to do for themselves...and arent interested in learning...but rather in manipulating and conning it out of others. So...lesson learned. I'm sure there are a million other type of guys i should stay away from...but if I start with steering clear of anyone who doesnt have their lives TOGETHER...OR anyone who SWEEPS ME OFF MY FEET AND GIVES ME THAT HIGH FEELING FROM THE START...I think I'm in a better position than I was when I met this guy.

I'm lucky to still be standing.

I'm lucky to have found you guys.

Best of luck to ALL of us.

Vanessa
Posted by: Diane1969

Re: Red Flags - 02/18/06 04:11 PM

Wow, Ekko,

Those are all really good questions, and things we all struggle with. I just came to understand that the "candy" the P offered was not normal nor really desireable. It is just another face of manipulation.

Normal people don't get inside you that fast and offer you your dreams on a silver platter. Normal people take time to get to know, and to get to know you.

So, charm is a huge red flag and that makes me put on the brakes right away. With just a little bit of time, those cracks become very evident because P's can't handle frustration. Remember that impulse control problems and emotional immaturity are very much core problems with P's. So, if they think you are one of their easy targets, and you don't jump through their emotional hoops right away, they often become very nasty very early.

So far, with me, when someone tries the over the top charm on me (always a guy looking for easy date material), when I don't fall for the lines, and resist giving them ammunition to manipulate me with, what I find really quickly is that the manipulation becomes very blatant right away.

Underlying all of this is their need to control you, and if charm fails, they then try to guilt trip you and manipulate you with that, and when that fails they go straight to abuse.

I've laughed at how predictable this is.

So, for me at least the key has been, to not fall for the charm, remembering that charm is a "nice" form of manipulation.

Another stop sign for me is a guy that can't take "No," for an answer early on, like within the first minute of meeting. If you say no and they keep pushing until you say yes, even in small things, they will keep pushing until they totally control you.

If you have trouble saying "No," then that is something to work on. It is the best way to keep not only P's out of your life forever, but other abusive and controling people. It is my mantra now. Most of the time I say something like, "No, but thank you for asking." And when I have said no, I don't ever let anyone push me, no matter how "nice" they are about it, into changing it to a "Yes." P's will keep pushing until they understand that your boundaries are solid and good. If they come to understand that they will move on to easier prey. If they control you in small ways, they will later control you in all things.

Practice "No." I do. The other day an adult man made a bee-line for me as I was leaving the grocery store. He was a muscular, good looking young man with a huge smile on his face, but my intuition went off. He said, "Excuse me! Can I ask you for a favor?" I just said, "No," and kept right on walking. I didn't let him engage me at all. Now maybe he was going to ask me for a ride, or for money, and maybe he was completely harmless, but I really don't care. Why would a widely smiling, healthy looking, well dressed young man be asking ME for a FAVOR with my hands full of grocery bags? That one little word might have kept me out of a whole lot of trouble. And it did no harm to anyone.

I know that learning to say no is a tall order for some of us who were taught that we have to be there for everybody and put our own needs last; that we have to be nice; that nice girls always say "Yes" to everyone else's needs. But it is a lie. Healthy people are not there for everyone else. Nice girls do say "No."

I'll give you another example that happened just a few months ago. I attended a party that a girlfriend of mine was holding. While there I met a man who stuck up a conversation with me. He gave me one of his business cards, and asked me to call him. I didn't call him and didn't offer him my phone number. This was just one week after I broke up with my P, and truthfully, I wasn't interested at all in dating at that time, but I was feeling a little emotionally vulnerable, and I'm assuming this guy zeroed in on that.

Two days later I got an email from this guy and in it he didn't tell me where he got my email address, but he did ask me a lot of very personal questions. In the email he told me that he wanted to see me socially, but that he wanted me to answer these questions. Okay, so I was a little flattered by his interest, but I didn't answer his questions, finding the nature of them to be somewhat off-putting. Instead I emailed him back and asked him how he knew my friend.

He emailed me again asking the same questions and telling me that he had told me a lot about himself the night of the party, (none of which I remembered) and that he expected some reciprocity from me. I once again responded by asking him how he knew my friend.

His next reply was a demand that I answer his questions if I expected him to see me socially, and he stated, "If you are looking for a door mat, you need to look somewhere else!" Once again, he didn't answer my question. So, I politely reminded him that he was the one seeking social contact, not me, that I had no obligation to answer any of his questions, that his unwillingness to answer one simple question from me was problematic, and that I had no desire to see him socially. And that was an easy end to what could have otherwise ended up being a very abusive relationship and lots of wasted time.

So, what were the early warning signs, here?

First of all I didn't give him my number, therefore there was no invitation for further contact explicit or otherwise. Yet, he talked my girlfriend into giving him my private email address... So, here is an inability to hear "no," manipulation of a third party to gain information rather than asking me straight out for it face to face, and an emerging pattern of disregard for my wishes and basic disrespect for me as an autonomous human being.

Second, were the intrusive personal questions, with no social preamble or attempt to find out and meet my needs.

Third, was his attempt to coerce me through guilt into answering his questions.

Fourth, was his unwillingness to give me one piece of information that I could easily check the verasity of.

Fifth was his verbally abusive accusation of me treating him as a door mat.

Through it all was his more and more blatant attempts to control me.

Okay, so most P's are more slick than this and can at least pretend to be interested in your needs for a short time, but you will find that even with the most charming P's, if their desires are frustrated they melt down into who they really are.

Diane1969








Posted by: tiasa1234

Re: Red Flags - 02/20/06 05:04 AM

Hi Vanessa, Great post! You put it VERY well and you sound well on the road to "recovery" from this horrendous experience of being "In LUV" with a P!!! You described almost exactly my experience (except for the fact that I was married when I was "swept off my feet" by a pure, 100% LOSER (drug addict, user (lives with "fat cow" (his words... red flag right there!) that pays for everything, had (has!) no job, no car, no money (unless his "friend" (or someone else he swindled...) gave it to him for doing "chores"...boy did he fly in a RAGE when I called him "chore boy" (before I knew he was a P... and possibly/potentially DANGEROUS!!!) He constantly lied to me (and others!!!)through his crooked, coffee-stained teeth (but somehow I found him irresistably charming, attractive, my "soulmate" and downright gorgeous!!!) I almost lost everything I have worked for and valued my entire life!!!!) ME? Like you said "20 times more attractive" ;-), Have worked full time in very responsible, respectable position(s) for 30 years, married (though that has had it's problems, of course) for 23 years, 2 beautiful children, brand new car, lovely home in great town, friends, family, coworkers who love me, etc.... WHAT WAS I THINKING!?! ONLY those (us) who have been "addicted" to a P can possibly understand. THANK GOD I found these boards and you amazing women (and men!) who have "been there, done that"... I swear I wouldn't have believed it unless I went through it! I am so incredibly grateful to have survived this ordeal... and, yes, it was the lesson of a lifetime! Thank God there is hope for us-- we will survive and thrive... I truly feel sorry for all P's - they are lost souls and can't get better. Stay strong and wise my dear, and KEEP POSTING... we learn from each other! Love, Tiasa XOXOXO
Posted by: Jacq

Re: Red Flags - 02/21/06 02:35 PM

Wow, Diane, you sure spelled out alot of the characteristics of my P. The porn obsession (which I found out about later..I found out he put a hidden camera in the bedroom and put it on a porn website he had...I told him if I find this site I will prosecute him), the pornographic-type mechanical sex, the pathological lying, betrayal after betrayal (bringing other women into my bed when he would housesit for me)with NO remorse. The no remorse, that is what still gets me . I still see this "kind, gentle, sweet" person that he portrayed and to think it was all a facade is mindboggling. How he could keep looking me in the face knowing what he was doing to me! He would actually have tears run down his face when I would confront him with something that wasn't adding up right and he'd say "how could you ever think that of me?" The charm, the compliments, unbelieveable. Even after we broke up and he was confronted with all the lies he told me (by me and others), he continues to lie to cover up those lies. I don't think there is a word of truth that comes out of his mouth. I want to go to another woman I know he is conning and tell her all about what he did to me and for her to be careful, but I don't know if I should. She may go to him and tell him what I said and he'll do something revengeful to me. He is pure evil in an angel's costume.
Posted by: tiasa1234

Re: Red Flags - 02/22/06 05:18 AM

Dear Jacq: This has been like reading about the JERK I was involved with... almost word for word... He actually had porno videos in the trunk of his car and was "proud" to show me his "collection"... WHA????? But, of course, I saw it as "sexy" and overlooked all the values and self-respect I had my whole life! For what? Charm, compliments, lies, robbery, deceipt, lies, bull, aggrivation, lies, lies, lies. Actually held my head and had me look DIRECTLY in his soul-less eyes and LIED to my face.... Lie, after lie after lie after lie. A devil in an angel's costume? Absolutely. RUN... DON'T WALK away from these creatures from hell. Save your own soul!!! ;-) Keep posting! Love, Tiasa
Posted by: Kathy

Re: Red Flags - 02/22/06 04:10 PM

Tiasa,

I wrote a reply to your last post, but don't see it... I was wondering how you were finally able to stop having feelings for him... I can't seem to do that, even though there are times I feel repulsed by him... and even feel like I hate him... that's a feeling I realized I never really felt before...hate. But part of me feels hate... all the lies... the horrible betrayals... the deliberate pain... the pleasure he derived from causing the pain. But the feelings of hate only last a short time, and then I sink into the despair... that someone I loved turned out to be.. .inhuman. I just find it so hard to accept.

Kathy
Posted by: tiasa1234

Re: Red Flags - 02/23/06 06:08 AM

My dear (((((((((((((((Kathy)))))))))))) -- (that is a "cyber-hug")... I just read your post to me, and then read a few more you have written. My heart goes out to you because, believe me, I have had the same feelings about "my" P, and I want to answer your question the best I can. I have been sitting at my computer for a while now but the best answer I can come up with is that I have just finally faced that I couldn't possibly "love" someone who has no conscience, no values, no "real" ambition, no respect for good, honest, hard-working human beings, no "true" compassion, no remorse, no honesty... I could go on and on... I REALLY would love to read your story, so when you have the time and strength to post it, I will be able to understand a little better what "stage" you are in your "recovery"... What I've gathered thus far is that he is 50 years old (and you asked if "P's" ever "grow out of it"... My guess would be a flat out NO) I have heard (read) that many P's either end up in jail for a crime they've committed, or, once they lose their looks in old age they become homeless creatures of the night... I'm being a bit dramatic, but I truly could picture "my" P someday walking the streets, unshaven, in big dirty overcoat, pan-handling. Right now he is still very handsome, in good physical shape, well dressed, a wallet full of money... but that is ONLY because he bamboozled his way into some poor woman's bank account, home and heart (especially the heart!...) BUT, someday his looks will fade, the women will see him for what the lying, parasitic, poor excuse for a human he TRULY is and kick his butt to the dark, dank, slimy place he belongs! The other day when I "bumped" into him (was it really a "coincidence"... I think not) was I still physically drawn to him? Yes. Did he still compliment me, praise me, tell me all those sweet things women love to hear? Yes. Did I believe one word that came out of his mouth? No. (except for the few times he told the truth and couldn't look me in the eye). I have found with P's when they are lying they look you straight in the eye, when they are (RARELY!) telling the truth, they look away. (the opposite of Non-P's!!!) My dear, I know it hurts VERY deeply... you felt you FINALLY found the "man of your dreams" your "soul mate" the one who you would grow old with and share life with... I did too. I thank GOD, though, that I found out what he truly was (thanks so much to Di and this board and all the amazing posters on this board!... including YOU!)

I want to respond to your post "Also, I find I just can't hurt him back... my thoughts always go back to his terrible childhood, and I feel so much pain and sorrow for the boy he once was, I cannot hurt the monster he has become. He KNOWS this, and uses it to repeatedly destroy me." PLEASE know this is just a tactic (his TERRIBLE CHILDHOOD!)-- mine used the same one... and, yes, maybe some of it was true (alcoholic parents, neglect, abuse,etc..) think of the millions of wonderful, successful, amazing people who suffered horrendous childhoods and turned it around (Oprah, for one... there are MANY others)... I actually had a "tough" childhood by some comparisons (alcholic father, poverty, etc...) but I think I turned out pretty good (except for my low self-esteem which I am working on!!!... P's tune into women with low self-esteem... they "LOVE" it!... easy targets... they tell us JUST what we want to hear!) ALSO, the way these creeps LIE about everything, how do you KNOW he had a terrible childhood? Where you there? Did you talk to people who witnessed it? I think it's just ONE MORE way to bring out our motherly instincts to "save" these "poor babies"... YUCK! Please, my dear, keep posting and RUN from this P... he will destroy you. I PROMISE there is a warm, supportive, loving, deserving REAL man out there for you someday. Something Diane1969 wrote that really stuck with me about P's being "more addicting than heroin...etc..." (I will find it and post it when I do). It's VERY hard to FACE and BELIEVE that they are not what they seem... but when you do, you will end up being stronger, more self-assured and GRATEFUL that you survived and have a chance at "real love"... Stay strong. Love, Tiasa XOXOX

Posted by: Kathy

Re: Red Flags - 02/23/06 01:43 PM

Tiasa,

Thank you, thank you, for your loving, kind words of support and understanding. (((((((Tiasa))))))))))). You have no idea (well, yes, I suppose you really do) how much they mean to me right now. I read as many of your posts as time allowed today at work (I can only read them...not reply when working). Your true compassion for the others and myself touched me greatly today - My experiences with him the past 3 years have left me in a pit so dark and cold, your empathy was a ray of light and warmth... and hope.

Will post as much as my time and energy permit... for now, just know how much your words and thoughts are appreciated ... :0).

Kathy
Posted by: maria

Re: Red Flags - 02/24/06 06:11 AM

Hi Vanessa,

Just read your post and read something that I've seen a lot on this site (and that happened to me as well) -- women who got pregnant with their P. I got pregnant 3 months after we started dating, I know it was partly my fault because I trusted him and his *stupid ridiculous* manipulations.

I wonder how many of the posters on this site have had similar experiences?

Maria
Posted by: Vanessa715

Re: Red Flags - 02/24/06 08:18 AM

Hi Maria.

It definitely adds a whole level of complication to the issue....because obviously NO CONTACT is not completely possible when you have to deal with them as the other parent of your child. So then you have to figure out the closest thing to NO CONTACT and ur bound to mess that up a few million times before u get it right.

I would love to hear more about ur experiences dealing with that situation when you have time.

Thanks!

Vanessa
Posted by: tiasa1234

Re: Red Flags - 02/24/06 08:50 AM

Dearest Kathy... You are very welcome, my dear. I DO understand and know how much kind words mean at this time... I am just giving back what was given to me the past year... we can help each other through this horrendous time. Trying to explain these feelings to "others" (those who never went through experience with a P) is like trying to nail jello to a wall!!! People just don't get it unless they've been through it. I would love to hear your story when you have the time and energy. Take your time. We'll be here. I am going to post my "love letters" that I wrote to "my P" soon (leaving out tell-tale names, locations, etc...) so you'll see how incredibly captivated and "brain-washed" I was. You'll also see that there IS light at the end of the tunnel... and not only will you survive, but you WILL THRIVE! Just try your best to break away (NO CONTACT) because as long as he is involved your life you can't break free. He wants more than anything to CONTROL you... even after 8 months of NO CONTACT when I ran into "my P" he TRIED to gain control back (even if it was just for me to "confess" what is going on in my marraige ("Are you being romantic together?"). He looked directly in my eyes and told me he's still "madly in love" with me. If that was REALLY the truth, why the hell would'nt he try to contact me (cards, letters, etc...???) Does he REALLY think I believe his CRAP???? I just laughed at him and said "How could you stare into someone's eyes and blantenly lie - it's unbelievable???!" His reply? "I am not lying... I could NEVER lie!" (ANOTHER LIE!!!) He has NO RESPECT for my (or anyones) boundaries and never will - they DON'T (and CAN'T) change... They may PROMISE to change, etc...but PLEASE know they LIE, LIE, LIE!!! He's like a very bad joke.
Keep posting. Love and ((((((((HUGS)))))))) Tiasa xo
Posted by: Kathy

Re: Red Flags - 02/24/06 09:10 PM

Oh Tiasa,

Can't wait to be where you are now... actually being able to laugh again and mean it...

I wonder so about some of the original posters on here... so hoping they have gone on to wonderful things, you know?

Want that for you too, but am glad you here right now...know that's selfish, but there it is... besides can't wait to read those love letters...lol.

Exhausted, must try to sleep.

Thanks you again, so much.

Kathy


Posted by: tiasa1234

Re: Red Flags - 02/25/06 06:39 AM

Hi Kathy... You WILL be there - laughing and meaning it... one step at a time. I have found it to be very helpful to write about it (and read about it!)... Please keep writing and reading... you'll be glad you did. I will post my "love letters" very soon... I just have to "fine tune" them first. It's amazing to me how incredibly OPEN and TRUSTING I was to this Psycho who I knew for such a short part of my many years (I'm almost 50!!!)... I had NEVER done that before meeting him, but that's how good these creeps are at what they do! They are PROS! Please tell us more about your experience -- it really will help. Love, Tiasa xo
Posted by: maria

Re: Red Flags - 02/25/06 09:13 AM

Hi Vanessa,

The red flags for my P started becoming really clear when I told him I was pregnant. I was in shock, felt lost, and needed support, and he became a wall. He disappeared for the first few days, then started telling people that I was pregnant (his parents, friends and despite the fact that this was something that was causing me huge distress), and it really seemed as though this had been his ultimate plan to trap me into marrying him (we had met 3 months before, and from day 1 he was talking marriage). He was not supportive, he never asked me how I was feeling or what I wanted. After I went to the doctor who confirmed the pregnancy, I told my P. that the pregnancy test had been wrong and that I wasn't really pregnant, I remember the way he looked at me - as though I was less than human - and left me standing alone in the street.
There were so many other things that he did during this difficult time that rather than support me, us, our relationship, worked only to confuse me, wear me out even further. I didn't keep the baby. It is something I think about all the time and wonder about, but I wasn't strong enough to raise it on my own at the time or to spend my life fighting him (or with him). My friends and family were so supportive and P. left me alone for a month or so after that...
But, one day at work, the 2 dozen roses arrived. A note that said "for the spring that's coming". He waited outside my office to pick me up that day, said he "forgave" me for what I had done! Expensive gifts, promises, the gaze, the words I wanted to hear, and the relationship continued for another 2 years, spiralling into a deeper, darker abyss.
There were times when he actually said things like "if you don't make a decision for us to get married, I will disappear, and get the first girl I sleep with pregnant just to marry her and you'll never see me again"... YES, he said things like this, and I stayed, but thank God, could never make the decision to move forward with him.

-Maria




Posted by: Diane1969

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 02:51 AM

I just remembered a couple more BIG red flags that really bothered me very early on.

One was that he claimed he was a complete and pure hedonist. I even tried to get him to recant this since pure hedonism equals pure evil in my book because it is "self" before, instead of, and in spite of, all others - not to mention that pure hedonists are total pigs. He called me a prude... haha.

The second was that he gave me a copy of the book, "Conversations with God," and told me it was the ABSOLUTE BEST book he had ever read. When I opened it up and read the first chapter, I thought, "OMG! This is the most selfish, self-serving pap I have ever laid my hands on. I couldn't read the darned thing because it was so very psychopathic and narcissistic in its viewpoint, and totally without moral conscience. Its central message seemed to be that there is no wrong that can be committed because you are God, which totally abdicates all responsibilty for one's actions with regard to others. I still have the book, and I will slog through it some day to the bitter end.

Yikes!!!

Diane1969
Posted by: Vanessa715

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 05:35 AM

thats creepy diane...

it is amazing how much they divulged to us in the beginning mixed in with convincing us they were the best thing since sliced bread...and for some reason we ignored the true things they said and believed the lies...wishful thinking i presumed...

i have a LOT of red flags that i noticed...gonna sit down at some point and compile them to share...

but i'll leave u with a thought that one of my friends who is a therapist shared with me...she said 'if ur dealing with someone that makes u feel like ur crazy its usually because they are crazy and u need to get away'...

i felt like i was NUTS the entire time...everything i had always believed to be true...about myself and the world and relationships...he made me feel was completely off and i was so mistaken...and when i tried to have conversations with him to discuss our difference of opinions...i was always left feeling as though i was insane and flawed...bc ofcourse...i realize now...i was trying to have a logical conversation with someone who has no concept of logic...so the conversations went in circles...until u cant keep up and just give in...

and the projection thing...omg...i mean...i ahve always been a person who is introspective...and tries to constantly improve myself and move forward in life...and i cant tell u how many times this many told me that 'the problem with me was that i wasnt willing to take an honest look at myself and make changes'....and that i was 'controlling'...

now...in my right mind i look back on all of that and think....WHAT THE HECK WAS WRONG WITH ME!!! how crazy...thank goodness its over...

but like i said...i'll compile my list and post it when i get a chance...:D

take care all...

Vanessa
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 10:25 AM

I'm new on this site....my first post...anyway...I am going thru a divorce...and I truely believe my future ex is either a P or a Narcissist. When I first met her we exchanged numbers....we did a ton of talking over the phone...and than one day she just stopped calling...a month later she called me and wanted to go on a date...I agreed....and we hit it off instantly....she appeared to be my soulmate....her thinking and the way she acted was indentical to my personality.....we agreed to marry after 6 months of dating......one thing I never understood during the dating time she was always complaining about stress...and she always had a great excuse for every incident of what was stressing her out...she also complained about not sleeping enough but slept for long hours...we were only engaged for 6 months prior to marrying.....my ex told me a few shocking things about her past..... things which made me feel really sorry for her...she has had a real rough childhood...after we married everything she appeared to be, started to disapear....it was like each day I was finding out who i didn't marry...she verbally put me down constantly....was always in a position of a no win situation (e.g complain I didn't vacuum and when I would, she would claim I did it wrong for me not to do it anymore...but then after a while complain again that I never helped out with vacuuming)....she complained about me to everyone ...and it seemed no matter what i did it was never good enough for her. Her moods were up and down..she is very controling(and at the same time demanded freedom...could not question her or she would get upset)...I've seen her lie to others with a straight face and chuckle afterwards while braggin "what a sucker".....and she takes pride into manipulating others...very jealous but would flirt with whomever.....its just seemed it got crazier as our relationship grew and each new day I had to pinch myself wondering if this is really happening to me. We have a child together...and we are in the middle of a divorce and child custody...not sure what is going to happen but I decided to get a eval done so a state psychiatrist can examine the both of us and determine everything is okay. After we separated, she got a boyfriend instantly (I think she was having a marital affair) we never talked after the split up....I got the impression she was trying to punish me for leaving her ( I just wanted her to realize our relationship needed serious help which was the reason why I left)..it also seems she was just using me for a certain time and spit me out after she was done with me. I guess the big question i have...how can I determine if she truely is a psychopath?

I can give examples of some really strange stuff....she would only tell me she loved me and would express her feelings just during fights/arguments. After she would freak out she would than ask me "if I still loved her" she would never apologize...she would only say sorry if I reminded her and than she would say it sarcastically....she claimed I was too sensitive..she claims to be the best at everything(even subjects she has no idea what she is talking about)...would find my personal belongings in the trash can at times during our marriage...it was like a game to see if she could throw things away without me noticing (maybe it was her way for me to remember to take out the trash...I have no idea!!!!)....If i was sick I were to get over it...if she was sick I was to wait on her hand and foot....if she was relaxing it was because she was overworked...If I was relaxing she claimed I was a lazy. I felt like her personal slave 24/7...and her constant mind games were mind boggling......and nothing was ever good enough.....I really can't get into detail about most of our problems and her past childhood.....she does have access to a pc and I fear she might find this post some how ...but i thank anyone with feedback who might see any redflags
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 11:00 AM

Hi Stempysong, welcome to the forum. If I may ask what got you started thinking she might be a Psychopath? It is always interesting to see what different paths members take to get them to realize they might be dealing with a Psychopath.

I have a question, did she ask you/and or accuse you of you hating her?

Di
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 11:47 AM

I knew she had issues from her past and how she handled situations within our relationship. But after we split up I was accusing myself for what went wrong within our relationship. I never talked to anyone about our problems during our marriage,(never knew of a narcissist and always thought a psychopath was a person who goes around shooting up a workplace or something) I just tried to ignore her issues while hoping things would get better between us. After I knew we were no longer going to reconcile our marriage, I started talking to friends and family about our problems. A friend of mine pointed out she may have a mental disorder (Narcissism PD).My friend also said she might be a psychopath. So I did some research over the subject. Tons of similarities with how my ex acts. Scary Stuff!!!

She would say something hurtful. I would defend myself and point out to her, her behavior was inappropriate. She would fight with me until I agreed I was wrong for quesitoning her, or either she or I would walk away from one another after the arguement staying upset. If she wanted to make up with me she would than come to me and say "do you still love me?" or she would say "you dont love me do you?" or she would say "you hate me don't you?" in a innocent pleasant voice. I took it as if it was her way of saying I'm sorry. If I said of course I do (I love you)or (of course I don't hate you) than she would proceed how I was wrong or try to blame me for her inappropriate behavior. For instance, she would yell at me or freak out about something minor and claim the real reason she said what she said was because of being stressed out for the lack of money I make. She makes more money than I and always used the money thing against me. Without disclosing my salary, I make something between 39k and 52k. But if it wasn't the salary it was something else. Just a ton of excuses while blaming me at the same time for her outrages.

I'm not sure if that makes any sense. Honestly, I was always confused. thank you for the responce
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 02:43 PM

Hi Stempysong!

I recognised one thing in your post with my ex-boyfriend. He would stop calling me for months and then come back to me like nothin happened. He never had a proper excuse, although sometimes he blamed his suspicions of me. When I think about I felt like a jacket that could be put on and off whenever the wearer felt like it.

He made me feel inadequate and unappreciated. And I kept forcing myself to be some sort of an unemptiable fountain of love, patience and care. But it was never good enough. Another thing your and mine have in common.

Mine also had a rough childhood. Got beaten by his father, got teased and beat up classmates, ran away from home constantly, couldn't really settle down anywhere. Wonder if he wanted sympathy. Does yours seek attention?

Bestest, warmest wishes of health and prosperity!
UpLate
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 04:49 PM

thanks for the response UpLate,
my ex also ran away from home, she never knew her real father. My ex told me she was raped by a family member and that's just the half of it, unfortunately it's worse than what I've just revealed about her.
My ex and I did everything together prior to marrying. After we married she became more independant while going off not telling me time to time of her plans (leaving me in the dark). I would ask her where she was or what she was doing and she would tell me that she told me about her plans prior. That I never listened to her and that I needed to do a better job listening (she would get real upset verbally attacking me calling me nasty names). The crazy thing was I would catch her in lies which I knew for a fact she never told me prior to leaving or doing something. I gave her the respect and told her of everything I was doing hoping she would also give me that same respect. I'm a firm believer that trust and respect is very important within any relationship. I personally thought her biggest problem was not being able to trust loved ones. But I was wrong, it was about control. She needs to have total control and it's not about controlling herself in a situation. It's all about controlling everyone around her while she is allowed to be out of control. Her family avoids her during these rages.

some other stuff which I found weird. Our child, when she would ask someone to watch our child she would ask in a way as if she was doing that person a favor for allowing them to watch over our child. She would tell that person they were on top of her list this time. She did not like others taking our child to the park or other places without her so she would drop off our child off without shoes, just socks.
When my ex would get drunk she would flirt with every guy at the bars in front of me, friends and family. She even told me once while she was drunk, I was stupid and a sucker for marrying her because she treats me like S*** and I do nothing about it. She was telling me this while laughing in my face. I tried to have a conversation about what she said the next morning but she called me a liar saying I was making it up. She would call me a P***y if I drove safe and did not run a yellow or red light(child in car). To me, she has warped thinking. I feel as if I have enough information to write a book about my marriage and we were only married for a short time.

The crazy thing is now. She is very cool and calm when I go to pickup my child although she has had a few outbursts time to time. anyway, thank you for posting your reply. It's good to know I'm not alone.

Posted by: Deb

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 08:42 PM

Hello Stempysong,

You said in your earlier post that your ex never apologized unless you prompted her to and then only with sarcasm. Lack of sincerity.

Also you said "I tried to have a conversation about what she said the next morning but she called me a liar saying I was making it up." Lack of accountability.

Throw in the old double standard ~~ OK for her, but not for you "If I was sick I were to get over it...if she was sick I was to wait on her hand and foot....if she was relaxing it was because she was overworked...If I was relaxing she claimed I was a lazy." All this would indicate that you definitely have a psychopath on your hands.

It is amazing the way they will not take responsibility for their own actions and blame everything they do on someone else. It is important for them to portray themselves as victims from the beginning so YOU make excuses for their bizarre behaviors.

My ex also told me that he was victimized by his family. (Not true, tho I believed it for years). Do you have ANY other evidence to back up the story of her being raped? I have noticed that P's LOVE to play the sexual abuse card. It really lets them off the hook for being crappy people. Keep in mind that everything she has told you about her past may very well be a lie unless you have additional verification.

Trust your instincts. I don't personally believe that anyone ends up on a website like this one by accident.

You said "The crazy thing is now. She is very cool and calm when I go to pickup my child..." I can tell you exactly why she is cool and calm. She has switched gears to cover her tracks. The typical "Who, me? I didn't do anything." All feigned innocence, once again to avoid taking resposibility for anything. This act is also designed to make you doubt yourself and what you both KNOW she has done to you. If she can throw you into doubt about how nasty she really is, then once again it is YOUR problem and not hers. If all goes well, maybe she will be able to convince you that you imagined everything and YOU are the one with the problem.

Remember in the beginning of your relationship when she acted identical to your personality? P's mirror us like that to manipulate us better. Try to take a step back from the situation and look at her NOW when she is acting all cool and calm. I will bet you a donut that she is acting LIKE YOU. She needs to look like the calm level-headed one in the relationship (you) while she tries to portray you as the one with the problems in the relationship (her). My ex has been doing his imitation of me for a couple of years now ~~ apparently everyone is buying it but me. Ha ha

I worked for a P several years ago. Of course, I didn't see it at first but began to after awhile. One day I was watching her and everything she was doing was eerily familiar, including her posture. It took a couple of minutes to realize that I was watching her imitating me. It was surreal, I will never forget it. Take a look at your ex next time and see if you notice anything like that.

Best wishes,
Deb
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/18/06 09:52 PM

thank you for responding Deb,
actually she does pick up on how others act and mirrors them. I've seen her in action numerous time for instance, she will claim she goes to church (which she doesn't) when she meets someone who actually is a church goer and so on with other topics of interest when meeting someone new for the first time. My bestfriend told me the first time he met my ex he noticed she laughed the same way as my mother. He told me he remembered thinking it was very spooky. She has a knack for picking up another persons lingo and can fit in with perfection. I should know, she did the same thing to me when we first met. And in all honesty, her family considered me the savior. They had me pegged as the perfect nice guy, the total opposite of who she usually attracts or goes out with.

I dont have any proof about her being raped. But everyone within her family knows how much she dislikes her step-brother. So I just assumed it was reality. I do know for a fact her mother committed suicide. Ironically, each year we broke up right around the date (month and day) of the suicide and it was me who was leaving her each time. I had no idea what date her mother committed suicide until after we were separated. I decided to look it up so I could reveal this info to the psychiatrist. But each time I left it was due to her behavior and the way she treated me. Her behavior would drastically intensify during this time each year.

I do know what you are talking about how she turns everything around to make it appear I'm the one who has the problems while she sits back and plays the victim. She is very good at that. Although I think a few of her family members know how she actually is and have heard this same song and dance from her in the past.

She has told me so many lies and her stories never made much sense. But I do have to admit, I was gulible and always wanted to believe her and trust her.

You were saying how you worked with someone who is a P. Crazy thing, when my ex and I first met she told me how she got along with everyone and how much she is liked at her job. I went to a christmas party and her coworkers actually went out of there way to be nasty to me and to her. I could not understand it to save my life at the time. When I asked her about it, she told me they were just jealous because she makes so much more money than they do. She told me since she has a college education with a degree they are all jealous. I also found out she does not have a degree of any kind. But now looking back at everything, it's becoming clearer now.

As for her being controlling, it was real bad. She purchased our home while we were engaged. I asked her if my name was going to be added and she told me that it would be best not to, that I would be able to qualify as a first time home buyer during our next home purchase. So I paid her each month a personal check in her name. Now that we are going thru a divorce she is claiming I was never a husband to her (that i was more like a room mate) and I was paying her rent each month(my Lawyer said she never heard of such a thing, husband paying "rent"). She would also come home during her lunch break to get the mail. I very rarely ever saw any of our bills. She would hide them from me and if I asked her where they were she would get real upset telling me I needed to trust her.

Like I said, I feel as if I could write a book and I could keep going on and on with more screwy messed up stuff. So you think she is a psychopath?

Anyway, thank you for listening and giving feedback. It is really helping me cope knowing I'm not alone.
Posted by: Vanessa715

Re: Red Flags - 03/19/06 06:02 AM

Hi Stempy...and everyone else...:D

Stempy...u might never CONFIRM that ur ex is a P...unless they do so in the psych eval ur having done (but even if they dont diagnose her as one...that dsnt mean she ISNT...but i can definitely tell u from what u've written so far she definitely seems to fit the bill...classic P stuff...AND...as i've said in one of my posts...even if they arent a TEXTBOOK...OFFICIAL P...there are enough issues, problems, etc for u to at least determine that SOMETHING is wrong with them....they are toxic for u...and u need to get away...and ur safety and peace of mind will come in behaving as though they are a P...

my suggestion wld be to keep reading...keep learning...embrace the P concept...and accept that even if they arent a P...they behave like them enough for u to behave and act when dealing with them...as if they were...

many of the things in ur posts are so like my situation...

-when we first met....he presented himself to be EVERYTHING I HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR BUT HAD GIVEN UP THINKING I COULD GET...I HAD FOUND MY SOULMATE

- also had a rough childhood and told me several shocking things that made my heart go out to him...and whenever i got mad or upset and DID try to stand up for myself or question..or whatever....or the times i tried to throw him out (later in the relationship) he pulled the sympathy/guilt card...saying things like "ur just like the others...everyone says they are gonna be different but they're not...i wld never do that to someone else...blah blah blah"...and of course always got me to give in...

-over time the person u fell in love with begins to disapppear before ur eyes...and the real person emerges...but the mask still makes an appearance every so often just to keep u hooked....waiting for the next cookie...and the more the persons mask begins to crack and the real person begins to emerge....u begin to get confused...about what u believed to be true...

-EVERYTHING was a double standard...although it wasnt so blatant...he would use different wording...to throw me off and try to make me think it wasnt a double standard...that the situation was different...but it wasnt...but again...i wld give in...more out of confusion than anything else...

- very defensive if i questioned him about ANYTHING...

- blames me for the failure of his relationship and when i try to point out his mistakes...he says 'thats the problem w/ u...ur always focusing on everyone else instead of urself (THATS WHAT HE DOES)...or he wld say 'two wrongs dont make a right

- he had trouble being affectionate unless he was high....if i said i love u he wldnt say it back...and then he wld get mad saying i was saying it to get him to say it and he wldnt be controlled lik ethat...that he wld say it when he wanted to say it...and not because i was making him

- if i expressed my feleings about anything he wld attribute the fact that i felt that way to some flaw in my thinking...

- contradictory complaints...one day oen thing is wrong...when i fix it...then thats wrong too...ur confusion is their feeding ground....

- ppl he worked with supposedly loved him when he started working at a new place....within a few months they hated him and he wld quit...of course it was their fault...same with his landlords...girlfriends...etc...

- i wld often ask him how he cld just turn off his feelings....when he professed to love me so much...he wld say 'its not that im not upset or i dont have feelings about it...its just that i deal with it and express it differently from u'....which i now know...its not that he turned them off...its that they were never there to begin with...

anyway....all of this is just to say...ur not the only one..its highly likely she's a P...regardless this person is harmful...no contact is the way to go...to the extent possible b/c of the child in the middle (good luck with that)...and as far as sorting it all out in ur head and trying to feel better post this ordeal...just keep coming here...vent...read...share...understand...find the good...the lessons learned...mourn...then do ur best to move forward....

best of luck...feel better...stay strong...

Vanessa



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Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/19/06 07:47 AM

thank you Vanessa, it is real crazy. Reading your post as well as others, I read the same patterns. It's as if you are speaking for me at times about my ex. So many things you and others have said and I'm like yea, exactly, she does do that all the time.

you said:
"he pulled the sympathy/guilt card...saying things like "ur just like the others...everyone says they are gonna be different but they're not...i wld never do that to someone else...blah blah blah"...and of course always got me to give in..."

"very defensive if i questioned him about ANYTHING..."

"-over time the person u fell in love with begins to disapppear before ur eyes...and the real person emerges...but the mask still makes an appearance every so often just to keep u hooked.."

"blames me for the failure of his relationship and when i try to point out his mistakes...he says 'thats the problem w/ u...ur always focusing on everyone else instead of urself"

"he had trouble being affectionate unless he was high....if i said i love u he wldnt say it back..."

" contradictory complaints...one day oen thing is wrong...when i fix it...then thats wrong too...ur confusion is their feeding ground...."

if you changed each one of those statments to a "her" instead of a "he", I would ask you, how do you know my ex? So much in common it's crazy!! When my ex would get drunk or get high she would get in the mood to have sex too. She would usually end up getting so trashed that she would end up passing out and I would have to take care of her. But she would let me know early on in the night as well as others around "you are gonna get it tonight". (she always pointed out to friends and family how she took care of me and at the same time this was the only time she was extremely nice saying good things about me) She wouldn't do this all the time that is say nice things in front of others. But she would say nice things about me and at the same time building her image of being a great wife.

After our child was born, she used sex as my reward system. After she got pregnant she told me she didn't like sex all that much. But when I did something good she would say "man oh man you are gonna get it tonight" most of the tonights ended up her sleeping in early forgetting what she said earlier. And 100% of the time when we actually did have sex, she would complain from start to finish. In all honesty I hated sex eventually too, it was getting old hearing her always complain.

"very defensive if i questioned him about ANYTHING..."

she would tell me I had issues of not being able to trust others. Or she would lash out at me. She would also twist my words. This sounds crazy, but the less I spoke the better we got along. I love to talk but learned in time to be more of a listener.

" contradictory complaints...one day oen thing is wrong...when i fix it...then thats wrong too...ur confusion is their feeding ground...."

It got so bad she would yell at me for not thinking about it first before her!!! (she wanted me to read her mind type of deal) For four months straight I was buying her flowers every Friday on my home from work (I'm serious too, not eggagerating). Buying her ciggs on my way home became a norm. Always trying to fix us was my goal. I admit, I was never perfect in past relationships. But this relationship was different. I had no room for error and all the good things I tried to do for her, eventually ended up being wrong as well.

This is the problem I am faced now. If it was between her and just I. I would have no problems moving on and eat my mistake. But I have a child involved. Does anyone have any good advice who has a child with a P, how they are able to cope? My child is what is important to me now. I lived this hell life. I really feel guilty knowing as our child grows how our child will be treated by her. Is our child going to be confused about mommy? or will she try to brainwash our child into hating me? Or will she eventually push our child away due to her selfish "me" ways? Our child is only two years of age. And it seems now the more I try to get involved with our child's life, the more she becomes controlling of what I can and can't do. She also has a new boyfriend but wont admit that she is seeing anyone. She made claims to my lawyer I'm making up lies. The new boyfriends car is parked in front of the house 3 to 4 days out of the week. This new boyfriend also spends the night. Trust me, I'm not jealous. I actually feel bad for the guy knowing what he is up against. But my ex would put our child in the same bed as her during our marriage.(something I never agreed with) Our child does not sleep on his own. My Ex's stepfather also slept with our child when he came over to visit or when we visited her stepfather. Also, something we fought about but she got her way. Ironically, I did not sleep with my wife. She kicked me out of our bed early on. She would get real upset over my snoaring. To make a long story short. I am pretty sure this new boyfriend is sharing a bed with my child.

Anyway...and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for listening





Posted by: Diane1969

Re: Red Flags - 03/21/06 07:30 PM

Too nice: Seems like a very gregarious “nice guy”, meek and easygoing, very charming, and controlled, very unassuming when you first meet, but that very quickly gives way to aggression and verbal abuse once you are “hooked” on the “nice guy” image.

Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer who brutally murdered over 50 women while having sex with them, was described as nice, actually too nice.

Ted Bundy, while on death row spoke of another notorious psychopathic killer who shared death row with him, Gerald Stano, as "...one of the nicest, pleasantest individuals I've ever run across..." Stano confessed to the brutal murder of 41 women. I've seen a photo of Stano and he looked like a total sweetheart with soft eyes and a gentle smile.

When I met my ex-P, I thought I had never met anyone so nice in my life. I held onto that image through hell and back until I was forced to give it up by the incredible and intense emotional pain he caused in me.

Too Passionate: I'd quantify this as oversexed, with sexual obsessions, especially porn addiction (usually deviant porn), philandering and promiscuity, the need for ritualized sex or acting out sex fantasies consistently with no real intimacy or actual interaction with YOU as a real person. At first this might be very exhilarating and new and exciting but it soon grows burdensome when you realize that he CAN'T relate to you as a real person and it is all just masturbation for him. He is not very good in bed because it is all about HIM. BIG warning sign if he chokes you AT ALL during passionate arousal.

Extreme competitiveness with YOU: Not exactly comforting on first dates. And this gets worse as his comfort level increases and he feels more and more free to express his underlying sadism with you.

Consistent evidence of pathologic envy for his friends: He is always badmouthing them to get you to think less of them and more of HIM.

Trophies: You find Trophies of a multitude of other women: Especially underwear, but also sex toys (I found many that were still dirty after play...ewww).

Pathologic lying: He tells you multiple stories that conflict and he never fesses up to the REAL truth. You feel consistently disoriented and confused because nothing makes sense.

Mind Games: Begins early on to play mind games with you that hurt you emotionally and cause you to feel bad about yourself. Yes, this is his essential sadism and misogynism peeking through.

Appearance: Very picky and particular about his appearance and the appearance of his house, making you feel somehow, that you can never let your hair down with him. When he is more comfortable with you this will crumble from time to time and you will wonder who this PIG is that you don't know.

Thievery: Signs or direct evidence of petty thievery. You also find things of yours mysteriously disappearing.

Absolutely no remorse or conscience: When he hurts you and you tell him, he just doesn't get it, and you never get an apology that feels sincere.

The mask drops: You turn around to find him with his eyes hideously dilated and his veins bulging, chin jutted out and his whole body dripping with hatred... oops! You just "saw" the REAL him for the first time.

Shallowness: He is all talk and no depth. It becomes apparent really early on that this guy is SHALLOW as a mud puddle and has no ability to think or feel deeply about anything.

Grandiosity: He thinks he is totally off the chain, but there is NOTHING you can find in him to support his high opinion of himself.

Double standards in all things: He has low standards of behavior for himself and how he treats you, but you must NEVER treat him the same way or else.

TALK, TALK, TALK: He will tell you what will keep you under his control. Show any signs of disapproval early on and he will change his TALK, not his behavior, never his behavior. But he will hide that behavior from you if he can and continue to TALK, TALK, TALK.

Narcissism: It is NEVER about you in any way, big or small, and if you push for equality in the relationship he denies you categorically and without exception. On several ocassions I said something like, "It has to be about me once in a while..." and his response was always, "I'm not going to do that, Diane!" This was one of the few TRUTHS I ever got out of him in well over a decade of knowing and dating him.

Diane1969



Posted by: Diane1969

Re: Red Flags - 03/21/06 07:58 PM

OMG! Vanessa! I was so chuckling while reading your post... oh, my gawd, how very much the same they are. Yes...

One of the thing that drove me absolutely batty was the lack of ability that he had to be logical... there was so much magical thinking on his part and something psychologists call "reference of ideation". That is where they make some wild comment and then build logical arguments based on that baseless assumption as though it were fact. It is very schitzophrenic. I spent so much time trying to teach him the concept of "Occam's Razor" and scientific method. This guy was supposed to be well educated, but that was another lie. And every time I blew his crazy assumptions out of the water with FACTS, he would get so angry and tell me I HAD to validate him... LOL! I always came back with "I will not support your delusions. Sorry!" After a while I just started tuning him out when he started with his crazy talk. That was very effective and he stopped trying to get me to buy into his distorted world views.

And Yes!, they are very good, masters really, at turning you inward towards your own stuff so you will stop looking at them. They seem to be very good at recognizing and seizing those few things and places where you are the most vunerable. My P's attempts at this backfired in the end, because I started recognizing his mind games and made conscious, but internal decisions that I wouldn't allow him to hurt me with "those" things any more. It was a real eye opener to consciously suppress any reaction and watch him continue to try to hurt me with the stuff that worked before and watch his puzzlement when I didn't react as he expected me to. When you can do this their underlying hatred for you becomes real apparent as they search for new ways to hurt you that also don't work.

In the end there was nothing left, no feelings for him at all because the games became all he was in the relationship for. I was left with no love for him, only anger and total hatred for this guy who chose to make himself my enemy. After all it is only your enemies who set out to purposefully torment you and who gain pleasure from your pain, and who search for new weapons to use against you.

And the one thing that is canny is that they are very specific at choosing what will hurt you. One of his old girlfriends, who has become a rather good friend of mine told me once that when she told him he broke her heart (by cheating on her with ME, during the time I dumped him for cheating on me with HER), he asked her if she wasn't sure it wasn't that she had a broken EGO. That turned her inward and she was still thinking about that 5 years after she broke up with him. If he had said the same thing to me I would have told him to go F@%& himself. That would have infuriated me. He had other ways, specific ways to turn me inward that were specifically effective with me.

BTW, this is the same woman that he drugged and undressed and had sex with while she was unconscious. This event happened after they had been dating off and on approximately six years. She continued to date him for three more years. Now, tell me he isn't a charmer after THAT!

Compile that list! One of the things that enabled me to get out of the craziness is that I journalled everything! And then I went back and read it all from time to time.

Diane1969
Posted by: Diane1969

Re: Red Flags - 03/21/06 08:13 PM

Once again you prove a point that Dianne made... that people like this consistently choose very nice people to victimize. I'm sorry you went through this and hope that you continue to read and post on the board.

Welcome to the forum.

Diane1969
Posted by: Vanessa715

Re: Red Flags - 03/22/06 06:19 AM

Diane...

im definitely gonna work on compiling that list...

so many things...so similiar....

the two that are MOST glaring are the sex issues which i would love to delve into more....that whole thing was EXTREMELY confusing and demeaning for me...but ive managed to pull out of even that funk...lucky for me...

and the other thing was the focus on appearance....especially the house...he drove me CRAZY with that...and i kept thinking to myself (ur so concerned with how the house looks but u dont care about what ur life looks like...i dont understand)...

anyway...they are just nuts...luckily i see the whole relationship through different eyes...and see things so differently...now his actions...and words are almost laughable...and i cant believe i fell for ANY of it bc it seems so transparent now...but i dont come down on myself for it now...it was what it was...i realize my vulnerability was my humanity...and my ability to empathize...and my having a conscience...and i am happy i have those things...but now know to use them more carefully in the future...

thank u all so much...

i feel like a new woman...i almost feel like he never even happen...i feel no residue from the pain...i feel awesome...really...and i wouldnt have EVER gotten to this point this fast...without all of u...u have been amazing...really!!!

THANKS!

Vanessa
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/22/06 10:07 AM

Thank you for the kind words, I'm sorry to everyone as well, because it seems everyone else who comes to this site has similar problems as I. I wish I could interact more, I am usually good at listening and giving advice to friends and family with personal problems. But in all honesty, the more I learn about this subject, the more questions I have about this mental illness. I never thought in a million years prior to marrying, I would be afraid of my wife to be. As reality set in during our marriage and now being separated, I am very scared of this person who I promised to love and cherish for the rest of my life. She is so unpredictable and so controlling I know her goal now will be to try and get under my skin. She is the type of person who will do everything in her power to make my life difficult.
I know this because I witnessed this behavoir as she destroyed whoever got in her way while we were married. Each time she demonstrated this behavior towards others I became more fearful to disagree with her. I am still afraid of her knowing what she is capable of doing and I wish I knew how to comunicate with her so we could have a civil conversation. As of now I only try to comunicate with her when only needed. I only provide facts and mostly listen. Only speak to her when it is a must.

When we speak now I pick up on all her bait and sympathy stories as she blames others for some problems our son is having at this time. She also manages to email me periodically, with a statement only to respond back upset of why I never replied to her question. anyway, thank you all for the kind words. stempysong
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/22/06 11:32 AM

(ur so concerned with how the house looks but u dont care about what ur life looks like...i dont understand)...


that is so strange..my ex was the same way...our house had to be spotless. She would freak out if someone just so happened to drop by without notice. She would never get upset with that visitor. She would wait until after the person would leave to lash out at me on how the house was such a mess. In the begining of our relationship we purchashed our dog/puppy. It seemed after the newness or novelty wore off over the dog (she no longer got attention from her family for having a dog) It was now time to put the dog in the classify's because it was dirty and sheded hair. My Ex was a clean freak and took pride in it....so much it was nothing to throw away my belongings she considered junk. She chose while I was not home yet, what I could keep and what got thrown away.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 03/22/06 01:16 PM

Stempysong, I pray that God will bless you with a peaceful future and peace of heart.
I am still young and don't know much about marriage-breakups, especially not with P's -- FORTUNATELY!

I become very humble as I read more of people's experiences here. I have been fortunate not to have lived through a tough marriage or other long relations with P's. My ex-boyfriend and I were quite distant. Thanks to him smuggling in a cell-phone into his prison cell and calling me at night, I have learned a great deal about him. More than I did during the two years prior to three weeks ago. His mask came off so easily, like butter. Because he allready had quite a good control of me by then, so it was just a question of time before he would really reveal himself. Before that he wouldn't tell much about himself because of the censors that taped the calls made from the prison phone. He was afraid that they might analyze him, make a profile of him.

Anyhow, I feel humble because I haven't been through and stuck in all the dirt that others here have. I bet your fight for freedom is harder but even more gratifying when bearing fruits than what I feel now that I'm shaking off my ragged garments -- so to speak.

I wanted to share some more of my story here -- some red flags!

When I visited my P, he had a scrutinizing almost prying look on his face. He watched my moves, my face, as if he was searching for something. It made me feel painfully watched and uncomfortable so I slammed my eyes down quite a great deal of the first couple of minutes. At first I convinced myself that he had only been welcoming and sincerely interested in me: I subconsciously denied the initial awkwardness and discomfort that I felt!

He later explained that he had to watch me because he had to make sure I was honest. It was only part of his precautiousness as a member of this illegal organization. In my opinion he showed no modesty or deference of me at all by doing that. My idea is that that could be a way of absorbing my mimicks and behaviour to try to imitate me. I sensed that he continued to watch me during that whole one hour or so – needlessly!

He explained later on the phone that he was “shaking all over”, that he was "sooo nervous". But I did not notice a flicker of insecurity or that his body shook. He was overtly self-confident, his voice did not shiver, nor did his hands. His stern, wide and vigilant gaze was unwavering. As if he was looking at an object through a microscope. I really felt watched, guarded. And at that time I supressed that feeling, I undermined it.

“It doesn’t mean anything,” I thought in the quiet recesses of my mind that were so overwhelmed and shaded by the “good qualities”, the loveliness of what was going on, my... “soulmate”.
Posted by: Jacq

Re: Red Flags - 03/22/06 02:23 PM

Vanessa, I'm so happy for you. In fact, your attitude is really helping me to get through this, too. Reading your words helps me to realize I feel the same way, that his lies and actions were laughable and I too, am seeing all this through different eyes (and the Wellbutrin and Lexapro is helping, too...ha). Feeling like it almost didn't happen like it was just a bad dream...yes..I'm getting there and it feels SO much better. What goes around comes around and he'll get his someday.
Posted by: sarah

Re: Red Flags - 03/27/06 12:12 PM

Deb,

I've been too Depressed to get on here and post much. But I need to talk to you. You replied to my psychopath/demonic post and I've not forgotten it. You are further along than me! I've had a major set back, but we do have much in common, being raised by a Psychopathic mother. Mine is still alive and I've added a little more, to "My Mother" thread today, till it brought back too much and I almost had a Panic Attack remembering... Have to bury it again for now, cause it's just the tip of the ice berg and I'm not ready to go further, yet!

*************************************

What you were saying here about Red Flags! {which is how I found this message board in the first place}

Oh my! They do mirror you, that is so true!... P1 and P2 became everything that I was! At first anyway.

P1 was shy, at almost 20 and I was shy at almost 13. When he took my virginity that summer, I thought it was love, after all we had so much in common, both of us were shy and quiet, Yeah right :-\ Now he's a Bandido, with all that that implies, and I'm Agoraphobic with Major Depression, PTSD and Panic Attacks! So who's shy?

And P2 loved Rock-n-Roll, like me! He was bragging about all the bands he's seen! How he saw all of the big name bands in Miami! Sure they had concerts in Miami, it's an International City, but how many 'Great' Rock bands came from Miami? Jimmy Buffet was from the Keys, but he did Country Rock, like "Hello Texas".. After Elvis, Rock-n-Roll was being perfected in Louisiana & Texas, and in South Texas we were booing Tom Jones off of the stage at the height of his career. Miami had a Jim Morrison concert where he was peeing on his Miami fans. P2 stole the truth about Rock, but he had me thinking we had something in common, Rock music. He bragged about it, as if Rock itself was born in Miami. But where the Stones and the Beatles got their inspiration for Rock music, wasn't in Miami. They got it from "The Real South" where I grew up. Miami is not the South, though it's in the South, it's really a big city where the big bands make money, not music...

Later, P2 almost had me thinking that Rock was inspired by P2 himself, lol!

Deb, I need to talk to you, you give me hope that I might be able to drag myself up out of this latest "black hole" that I find myself sinking farther and farther down into.

God help us ALL!

Posted by: maria

Re: Red Flags - 03/28/06 06:23 AM

hi sarah,

I felt myself falling into a black hole a few days ago and Deb replied to my post - it might be helpful for you to read it - it's the most recent post in "Coping Suggestions".

Hang in there! You found the strength to break from your P, getting out of this black hole will be much easier than that.

-maria
Posted by: DetroitMan

Re: Red Flags - 03/28/06 10:22 AM

I decided to write out a list of some of the red flags I have seen with my ex. I am wondering if anyone else has seen or dealt with some of the same issues as I.

1)Mirors on the walls (in place of pictures)
2)Will not watch romance movies.(prefers horror movies, laughs while watching)
3)Blames everyone for everything which has gone wrong within the P's past life
4)Grew up in a dysfunctional family
5)been sexually abused as a child
6)tons of pictures of P and family all over the house.(with the P in just about every picture)Shrine like
7)P nasty towards others but nice to you (beginning of relationship)
8)sleeps often and complains about never getting enough sleep.
9)P ran away from home when a child.
10) P claims you were a savior in the beginning of your relationship
11) very controlling and will even use an authoritative figures against you to get her way.
12) asks for your opinions but if the p does not like what your opinions are they argue with you.
13) drives like a maniac and gets mad at slow drivers.
14)can cry on the fly and wipe tears within minutes as if it never happened.
15) will never admit they are wrong
16) neat freak
17) P has at least one aquantiance they can rely on who will be there personal "yes" at everything person
18) P claims to do it all and gives you no credit
19) P has to be in the center of attention.
20) says shocking things
21) hides bills
22) opens up your mail but will freak out if you open up the P's mail
23) P wants to know at all times what you are doing
24) P does and goes as they please and gets upset if you ask
25)P gets upset if you are tardy, but P can be tardy due to excuses
26) P has an excuse for everything
27) P will lie even if they don't have to
28) P will keep arguing until they get there way
29) P will call you selfish if they don't get there way
30) P uses it's own child as an attention getter
31) P does not like anyone getting close it's own child
32) P laughs when child demonstrates bad behavior and says something on the lines of (acts just like me in a proud way)
33) P claims to have tons of friends in the beginning but after meeting these so called close friends you get the impression they only like the P because they have to. (relative...work with the P)
34) P talks you into buying stuff (new car) boosting your confidence of what you need.
35) P calls people they just fooled "sucker, idiot or dumba$$" after giving sob story.
36) P Claims to be the best or an expert with everything and will tell everyone.
37) P discards people they consider being close with, who they no longer have a use for
38) never talks about dreams or nightmares (you have witnessed them having a nightmare)
39) P cussing while asleep in a chant fasion.
40)P never says "I'm sorry" taking responsibilty. Instead they quesion if you still love them when they do something mean or hateful
41)P throws away your belongings because it's in the way of the P's collection of stuff.
42)P is infatuated with money so they can control you and others
43) P walks around the house in heavy steps
44) P enters house searching for reasons to get mad and yell at you
45) P invites herself over to others homes but tells you we were invited.
46) you once talked all the time but since you have been with your P you now find yourself listening more vs talking
47)P is more like a boss rather than a loving spouse
48) P never talks about world issues or about others feelings.
49) P never feels sorry for others unless that person has nothing to do with the P's life.
50) when someone else has problems the P will often turn the whole conversation around and talk about her problems instead.
51) P uses sex as a reward system
52) P is very jealous of others when they get attention vs the P
53) no matter how hard you try to please your P it is never good enough
54) P is very jealous but flirts with everyone
55) P brags about all the sexual encounters they had in the past with you and whoever in front of you
56) P has temper tantrums when they dont get there way.
57) P starts fights with everyone who gets in there way
58) P told you they were fired from previous job for either alcohol or drug abuse.
60) P inspects work you do around the house after you finish.
61) you get caught up in the middle of the P's chaos.
62) P gets others to hate one another after the P spread rumors to each
63) P has demonstrated physical abuse or is abusive physically.
64) P will threaten you to get what she wants
65) P will twist your words in front of others to make you feel embarassed.
66) P will tell you lies about what friends and family say, so you stop trusting these close friends, family members.
67) P expects respect from others but does not respect anyone unless they want something in return
68) P claims to try new things but stays within a strict routine.
69) P is more concerned with image vs happiness
70) When P talks with others everything is about her
71) P always complains about you not doing anything but wont remember all the stuff you have done in the past.
72) P down plays your importance in life or your achievments or accomplishments
73) P tells you, you are getting fat as the P tips the scale.
74) If you tell the P you think they were being insensitive towards someone, instead of the P changing or thinking about what they said, the P will instead confront that person trying to embarrass or them for talking about the P
75) P will always claim you are too sensitive
76) P will also say they were only joking and you dont have a sense of humor after they insluted you.
77) P will tell you to keep certain things as secrets, but at the same time the P will tell everyone infront of you.
78) P tells everyone they do it all while putting you down as being lazy. (they do this in a joking way)
79) P claims to be fearless, but is fearful of most things in reality. (Rollercoaster ride) (horseback riding)
80) P gets upset when your friends or family call on the phone and your P has to answer.
81) P screams but expects others to talk calmly after P initiates argument
82) P brags they should of been an actor or an actress/superstar





Posted by: JustAMan

Re: Red Flags - 03/29/06 04:43 AM

In reply to:

"I decided to write out a list of some of the red flags I have seen with my ex. I am wondering if anyone else has seen or dealt with some of the same issues as I."




Hi DetroitMan,

A little background – I’m a good friend and former partner of a woman who was suddenly abandoned by her P husband for another woman almost 2 years ago. She contacted me via email out of the blue at a point when she was feeling very 'down'shortly after her P husband had left the family home. We'd been out of touch for over a decade. Since then we have exchanged several thousand pages of email (We dont live physically close to each other) – during the course of which it became apparent to me that her (now X) husband was abnormal to say the least!

I came to the conclusion after extensive research and questioning her about his character and life history (which she was quite happy - even keen - to supply me) that he is a Psychopath according to the definition devloped by Robert Hare.

This P is in his early fifties now, and it always amazes me when I read posts like yours how much they all have in common – even with the female P you describe.

For the purpose of this exercise I will refer to my friend as W (woman ) and her psychopathic ex husband, as is customary, P.

What I will do is annotate your list….

1) Mirors on the walls (in place of pictures)
No. P had almost no influence on the ‘character’ of their house, which W had filled with pictures. Having visited the house I get no sense of his character from it at all. He is though the sort of guy who cannot pass by a mirror without taking a peek.. and most likely whipping a comb out to put those stray hairs back in place. His favourite possessions are his clothes, shoes, car, haircare products, colognes, CD's and guitar. Everthing needed to present the 'right' imgage...

2) Will not watch romance movies. (prefers horror movies, laughs while watching)
P liked all sorts of movies including romance, horror and comedy, especially comedy and violent war movies. I think he was studying human emotional reactions.

3) Blames everyone for everything which has gone wrong within the P's past life
Yes

4) Grew up in a dysfunctional family
Yes – violent father.

5) been sexually abused as a child
Yes – but, only on Ps evidence. Claims abuse by an employee of his father. W is unsure whether this is real or a pity play.

6) tons of pictures of P and family all over the house.(with the P in just about every picture)Shrine like
Normal amount taken by W. Hardly any of W and kids taken by P – he had to be almost forced into it. P had no interest in taking family photos. When he left, he took no photos of his children with him, which I find highly indicative. When there is a relationship breakdown between normal people and the father is either required or decides to leave the family home, the one thing he always wants is some mementoes of his children – presents they have made for him and photos. P took neither which really upset his children at the time.

7) P nasty towards others but nice to you (beginning of relationship)
Depended largely on their social status. Would be fawning towards those he perceived as his social superiors in order to butter them up, nasty toward those perceived as socil inferiors. He’s a real snob! In the beginning he perceived W as a social superior. Referred to her as ‘aristocratic’

8) sleeps often and complains about never getting enough sleep.
P is hypochondiac and uses any excuse to stay in bed.

9) P ran away from home when a child.
Yes. Only to reappear in the middle of the night making a huge noise, Thus precipitating a violent family argument. Perfect, no?

10) P claims you were a savior in the beginning of your relationship
Yes. P claims W saved him from anxiety attacks ( I have one piece of evidence that these were a phoney pity play) W also saved P from going to court by paying back the money he had embezzled from the company he had just left (been fired from?) when they first met.

11) very controlling and will even use an authoritative figures against you to get her way.
Yes. Ps with a High narcissistic component in their characters tend to be boot lickers.

12) asks for your opinions but if the p does not like what your opinions are they argue with you.
Yes

13) drives like a maniac and gets mad at slow drivers.
Yes. This is highly symptomatic and relevant to a point about Ps fear you make in an item below.
Psychopaths fear response is depressed like all their emotions, and this tends to encourage fast reckless driving. I think it’s the high sensory input – ‘the rush’ which fast driving produces which they enjoy. Normal people also enjoy the rush and enjoy being scared when they know that they are in reality 'safe'. E.g. on a roller coaster. Reckless driving to a normal person is just really scary and not at all enjoyable as we know we could at any minute get killed or injured - the emotional response this produces is very unpleasant. Ps don’t feel this.

4) can cry on the fly and wipe tears within minutes as if it never happened.
No. Has only ever cried twice (as far as I know), and then very briefly. Did not cry at his mothers funeral.

15) will never admit they are wrong
Yes

16) neat freak
Yes – both in personal appearance and in immediate environment. Would scream at children if they made any ‘mess’ would scream at W if cooker top and kitchen work surfaces were not perfect and spotless. WOuld kick the cat because it was 'messy' - a longhair which shed hair on the sofa, which would then get on Ps clothes, which enraged him.

17) P has at least one aquantiance they can rely on who will be there personal "yes" at everything person
Yes. Apart from his new woman he has one male business aquaintance who he appears to have under his thumb and is milking for money.

18) P claims to do it all and gives you no credit
Yes

19) P has to be in the center of attention.
Yes

20) says shocking things
Yes. Several mutual friends noted that P said some crude & lewd things at P and Ws
wedding.

21) hides bills
Ignores bills

22) opens up your mail but will freak out if you open up the P's mail
No info

23) P wants to know at all times what you are doing
Yes, He did. Not so interested now he has a new victim.

24) P does and goes as they please and gets upset if you ask
Yes

25)P gets upset if you are tardy, but P can be tardy due to excuses
Yes – excuses which are often lies.

26) P has an excuse for everything
Yes- excuses which are often lies.

27) P will lie even if they don't have to
Yes! Pathological lying is a weird isn’t it? It took me a long time to understand that one!
Even lies in situations where it is uneccessary AND will cause him problems. A habitual pathological s**t stirrer

28) P will keep arguing until they get there way
Yes

29) P will call you selfish if they don't get there way
Yes

30) P uses it's own child as an attention getter
To an extent he used to when his and W’s first child was involved in a particular sport at a national level. Now he does not.

31) P does not like anyone getting close it's own child
No info. Certainly he gets angry when W’s youngest child wants to skip their fortnightly visitation to be with somebody else.

32) P laughs when child demonstrates bad behavior and says something on the lines of (acts just like me in a proud way)
P couldnt care less so long as the children were not disturbing him… all boundary setting and disipline was left to W

33) P claims to have tons of friends in the beginning but after meeting these so called close friends you get the impression they only like the P because they have to. (relative...work with the P)
No info.

34) P talks you into buying stuff (new car) boosting your confidence of what you need.
P is a shopaholic gadget freek. He’s bought thousands of pounds worth of usless s**t that he didn’t need over the years. After five minutes he gets bored with it and it ends up in the closet or garage never to be seen again. . Expensive new cars he cannot afford a speciality. The repo man is on his ass for the Saab at this very moment!

35) P calls people they just fooled "sucker, idiot or dumba$$" after giving sob story.
Yes

36) P Claims to be the best or an expert with everything and will tell everyone.
Yes

37) P discards people they consider being close with, who they no longer have a use for
Yes

38) never talks about dreams or nightmares (you have witnessed them having a nightmare)
No info

39) P cussing while asleep in a chant fasion.
No info. I don’t think so , this is something W , I’m sure, would have mentioned to me. Shes’s layed out everything which is out of the ordinary.

40) P never says "I'm sorry" taking responsibilty. Instead they quesion if you still love them
when they do something mean or hateful
Yes!

41)P throws away your belongings because it's in the way of the P's collection of stuff.
No info.

42)P is infatuated with money so they can control you and others
Yes. Preferably somebody elses money which he doesn't have to work for! A 'loan' or an 'investment'

43) P walks around the house in heavy steps
No info

44) P enters house searching for reasons to get mad and yell at you
This was true a while ago. I persuaded W not to let him in to stop this happening. He’s not allowed beyond the front step now and if he starts to rant gets the door shut in his face. When he comes to collect his daughter, he rings then gets back in the car. Initially he would ring, come in the house and then engage W in conversation which would often degenerate into an argument.

45) P invites herself over to others homes but tells you we were invited.
No info

46) you once talked all the time but since you have been with your P you now find yourself listening more vs talking
During the last few years of their relationship, W was starting to break the spell and argue back. This does appear to have been the case in earlier years- W was intimdated and dominated by P

47)P is more like a boss rather than a loving spouse
Yes – and towards children who were afraid of him. They are no longer afraid of him. Mainly just angry with him. Youngest now has a love-hate relationship with her father. I think it will break completely over the next year or so as she comes to the realisation that P will never change, will never be the ‘good daddy’ she wants him to be. Her brother has already come to this conclusion and has broken off all contact with his father.

48) P never talks about world issues or about others feelings.
Yes

49) P never feels sorry for others unless that person has nothing to do with the P's life.
Doesn’t feel sorry for the misfortunes of others full stop.

50) when someone else has problems the P will often turn the whole conversation around and talk about her problems instead.
Yes

51) P uses sex as a reward system
As an expression of his ‘love’ - subtext in a womans head ‘ If he wants me this much he must love me’ Most women seem to get sexual response and emotions mixed up. A situation which Ps exploit.

52) P is very jealous of others when they get attention vs the P
Yes. Would storm out of parties if this got too much for him.

53) no matter how hard you try to please your P it is never good enough
yes

54) P is very jealous but flirts with everyone
Yes

55) P brags about all the sexual encounters they had in the past with you and whoever in front of you
Yes. The first time this happened to W she said she couldn’t bare it and ran out of the restaurant they were in.

56) P has temper tantrums when they dont get there way.
YES. The essence of the P. Toddler tantrum which they’ve never grown out of. The normal process of socialisation which occurs in young children does not ‘take’ in a P as the required emotional resonses for it to latch onto do not exist.

57) P starts fights with everyone who gets in there way
Not always. P just avoids a lot of people. Especially those who have him ‘sussed’

58) P told you they were fired from previous job for either alcohol or drug abuse.
P WAS fired form job just before W met him for fraudulent expenses claims / credit card fraud.

60) P inspects work you do around the house after you finish.
Yes

61) you get caught up in the middle of the P's chaos.
Yes. All Ps are tar babies. Done deliberately (instinctively?) to keep you in a highly arroused, highly strung, worn out, worn down and MANIPULABLE emotional state.

62) P gets others to hate one another after the P spread rumors to each
Yes

63) P has demonstrated physical abuse or is abusive physically.
Only once. P is slim and not tall. He hit W once, then she knocked him down! He never tried it again. She’s very muscular for a woman. His abuse was almost entirely emotional / verbal.

64) P will threaten you to get what she wants
Yes

65) P will twist your words in front of others to make you feel embarassed.
Yes

66) P will tell you lies about what friends and family say, so you stop trusting these close friends, family members.
Yes P temporarily turned W against her own sister – who she had been close with. W figured out what P had done after he left her and is now reconciled with her sister.

67) P expects respect from others but does not respect anyone unless they want something in return
P is a snob

68) P claims to try new things but stays within a strict routine.
P has a core set of interests, but no routine. He will abandon a project unexpectedly and start something else. His life is a huge list of temporary short term enthusiasms and unfinished work and projects.

69) P is more concerned with image vs happiness
Very concerned with image Ive no idea about what his internal emotional states ‘feel’ like. I suspect that psychopaths are not capable of experiencing what you and I would label ‘happiness’ I think what they mainly feel is a sort of low level dissatisfaction and anxiety.

70) When P talks with others everything is about her
P thy name is egotist. Of course. The P is the centere of its own universe in a way that normal mature adults realise they are not. Q: “How many Ps does it take to change a light bulb?” A: One. The P just holds up the bulb and waits for the universe to revolve around it.

71) P always complains about you not doing anything but wont remember all the stuff you have done in the past.
Yes. Ps have defective memory as normal memory relies on emotional tagging which they lack. We remebr stuff which is important to use because the important stuff gets a large emotional tag. As everything 'feels' equally important the P finds it difficult to remember anything... Like trying to remember the layout of a group of objects where the only difference is a subtle variation of grey. Ths stuff it does remember usually relates to short term personal gain.

72) P down plays your importance in life or your achievments or accomplishments
Yes . All part of the domination game

73) P tells you, you are getting fat as the P tips the scale.
Yes

74) If you tell the P you think they were being insensitive towards someone, instead of the P changing or thinking about what they said, the P will instead confront that person trying to embarrass or them for talking about the P
Yes. Ps always wan control over the channels of communication around ‘their’ people, who they see as possessions.

75) P will always claim you are too sensitive
Yes

76) P will also say they were only joking and you dont have a sense of humor after they insluted you.
Yes

77) P will tell you to keep certain things as secrets, but at the same time the P will tell everyone in front of you.
Yes

78) P tells everyone they do it all while putting you down as being lazy. (they do this in a joking way)
Yes

79) P claims to be fearless, but is fearful of most things in reality. (Rollercoaster ride) (horseback riding)
If you think about it, this is not consistent with the ‘crazy driving’ commonly exhibited by Ps. The fear emotion in Ps is as depressed as all others. Ps are in reality pretty fearless. The ‘fearful’ behaviour is, I think, a con.

80) P gets upset when your friends or family call on the phone and your P has to answer.
Yes

81) P screams but expects others to talk calmly after P initiates argument
Yes

82) P brags they should of been an actor or an actress/superstar
Yes. P has always seen himself as a rock and roll star, specifically, John Lennon. He plays the guitar and occasionally gets it together enough to give public performances in small venues. More recently I think he sees himself as Phil Spector. A pure fantasy as although he bought lots of recording kit he never produced anything.
Posted by: DetroitMan

Re: Red Flags - 03/29/06 08:46 AM

Thank you for the reply Justaman, during my entire marriage I was very confused while being giving, always reasoning and making excuses for my P. I often tried to ignore her behavior for my sanity. I thought if I could lead by example her behavior would improve but as our relationship grew each day, each day became more and more of a mad frenzy.

I found your feedback very interesting

"5) been sexually abused as a child
Yes – but, only on Ps evidence. Claims abuse by an employee of his father. W is unsure whether this is real or a pity play."


My P told me her family never believed her when she told them about her brother sexually abusing her, and I too wondered if this was just made up for me to feel sorry for her. I never heard any of her family members mention of this abuse. I have no solid proof other than what she told me, which wasn't much.

"13) drives like a maniac and gets mad at slow drivers.
Yes. This is highly symptomatic and relevant to a point about Ps fear you make in an item below.
Psychopaths fear response is depressed like all their emotions, and this tends to encourage fast reckless driving. I think it’s the high sensory input – ‘the rush’ which fast driving produces which they enjoy. Normal people also enjoy the rush and enjoy being scared when they ‘know’ that they are in reality safe. E.g. on a roller coaster. Reckless driving to a normal person is just really scary as we know we could get killed or injured - the emotional response this produces is very unpleasant. Ps don’t feel this."


and

"79) P claims to be fearless, but is fearful of most things in reality. (Rollercoaster ride) (horseback riding)
If you think about it, this is not consistent with the ‘crazy driving’ commonly exhibited by Ps. The fear emotion in Ps is as depressed as all others. Ps are in reality pretty fearless. The ‘fearful’ behaviour is, I think, a con."


wow...you nailed it. This never made any sense to me until I read your post. My ex (P) would be fearless when confronting a sales clerk while she would tell that salesman off while getting something for free because of her "out of control" behavior. (which I could never do, and after each time she would do this I would conclude afterwards she was crazy!!!) But my ex P is afraid of something like a rollercoaster ride (which is perfectly safe but is a thrill for the norm)
P would also tell me stories of her fearless past in the form of a superman tale. Knowing how fearless she was with most things, I believed her. But at times, I would find her stories contradicting from the real truth the more I got to know her.

34) P talks you into buying stuff (new car) boosting your confidence of what you need.
P is a shopaholic gadget freek. He’s bought thousands of pounds worth of usless s**t that he didn’t need over the years. After five minutes he gets bored with it and it ends up in the closet or garage never to be seen again. . Expensive new cars he cannot afford a speciality. The repo man is on his ass for the Saab at this very moment!


my ex P would buy stuff out of the blue and I would find it in the trash the next day or within a few weeks. She would go back out just to buy something new to replace the item she just bought and threw away. Half of her clothes still had tags on them.

After our child was born she told me not to buy clothing for our child because of the bills I owed (credit) status. She would than complain to people within my family that I never bought clothing for our child. After talking to my family members, they would tell me that my P was complaining about me, she would tell them that I never buy clothing for our child that I didn't care about our child like her. So I would than buy clothing for our child which is what I wanted to do from the get go. This clothing I would buy would disapear. My guess is that she threw this clothing away in the trash.

7) P nasty towards others but nice to you (beginning of relationship)
Depended largely on their social status. Would be fawning towards those he perceived as his social superiors in order to butter them up, nasty toward those perceived as socil inferiors. He’s a real snob! In the beginning he perceived W as a social superior. Referred to her as ‘aristocratic’


sorry about that, she was nasty towards the people (her family) she considered being close to at that time. And very nice to me. She was also very nice to my family at first.

16) neat freak
Yes – both in personal appearance and in immediate environment. Would scream at children if they made any ‘mess’ would scream at W if cooker top and kitchen work surfaces were not perfect and spotless. WOuld kick the cat because it was 'messy' - a longhair which shed hair on the sofa, which would then get on Ps clothes, which enraged him.


We owned a dog at one point. She appeared to love this dog until she became pregnant. After she got pregnant she came up with more reasons why we should get rid of the dog as each day grew. to the point where she put the dog in the classify's to any free home. The Dog hair drove her nuts. She also kicked our dog often.

A habitual pathological s**t stirrer

exactly!!!!

46) you once talked all the time but since you have been with your P you now find yourself listening more vs talking
During the last few years of their relationship, W was starting to break the spell and argue back. This does appear to have been the case in earlier years- W was intimdated and dominated by P


I did the same thing. I listened until I heard enough. I too was argueing back with my ex (P) for the last few months of our marriage and thought I was getting somewhere until she discarded me for someone new.



Posted by: sylvie25

Re: Red Flags - 03/29/06 10:14 AM

So much of your list is bang on Detroitman that it's startling. In fact, oddly enough, some of them apply to Ps Mum too. Or maybe it's not so odd...

73) .... as the P tips the scale.
LOL. Hilarious, especially because it's SO true.

P-ex tried to create the impression that I had an eating disorder (bulimia or something)probably to mess with my mind. Even suggested someone else asked that which was baloney. I don't, just have a fast metabolism. P was the one with an eating disorder, one called gluttony. If I baked a pie or something that P liked, he would wolf down the whole thing until he felt sick. Every time, lol.

Too bad we can't send all Ps on a slow boat to nowhere.

Sylvie
Posted by: Diane1969

Re: Red Flags - 03/29/06 10:36 AM

Oh, I have to add my own to this list

1) Mirors on the walls (in place of pictures)
yes. Lots of mirrors in almost every room.

2) Will not watch romance movies. (prefers horror movies, laughs while watching)
Only watched romance movies when he wanted to use them in his mind games. He would have me watch movies with him where he would cry his little quiet tears for me to witness. It was always used to illustrate some point I was discussing with him that was lacking in our relationship, something I needed from him, and the setup of watching the movie was always completely contrived, and something he had no intention of giving me. It was all so that I would pity him. He knew those kinds of movies made me cry because of what was lacking in our relationship.

One of his ex-girlfriends that I have become friends with tells me that when she and he were dating he always loved to watch movies with extreme violence towards women and would make her sit through them with him. He knew she had a violent childhood and those movies horrified her.

His favorite movies are anal sex porn. I found over two hundred of them in his house.

3) Blames everyone for everything which has gone wrong within the P's past life
Yes - and present life too.

4) Grew up in a dysfunctional family
Yes – violent psychopathic father, and alcoholic mother. There is some indication that his father murdered his mother when he was 12 - and got away with it.

5) been sexually abused as a child
Yes – but, only on Ps say so... Used for coercive purposes with me. Claims he was sexually abused by his mother, but his stories here were always clipped, shallow, and without any details at all. I believe this was a lie.

6) tons of pictures of P and family all over the house.(with the P in just about every picture)Shrine like
Yes. But only of one brother who is his main supporter. Tons of pictures of him with me and other women that he keeps as trophies, but these are all stuffed in a drawer.

7) P nasty towards others but nice to you (beginning of relationship)
Yes. Agree here totally, except that he was also nice to anyone in his social circle - to their face - but always salting the earth behind their backs. I found out just before I broke up with him that he was also doing this to me and had been since we first met. P's are totally two faced.

8) sleeps often and complains about never getting enough sleep.
Yes. Total hypochondriac and always popping tons of vitamins and running off to the doctor.

9) P ran away from home when a child.
No.

10) P claims you were a savior in the beginning of your relationship
No. But he did make claims of being soul mates.

11) very controlling and will even use an authoritative figures against you to get her way.
Yes.

12) asks for your opinions but if the p does not like what your opinions are they argue with you.
Yes and no. He would ask my opinion but only to get enough information to manipulate me. My opinions meant nothing to him and he never argued points, except to tell me how he wanted me to answer his questions. (I'm not kidding!)

13) drives like a maniac and gets mad at slow drivers.
No.

4) can cry on the fly and wipe tears within minutes as if it never happened.
Oh, yes. Those crocodile tears were so fake and short lived, and he always was watching for my reaction out of the corner of his eye. When I didn't respond, he'd just turn them off as though they never happened.

15) will never admit they are wrong
Yes. Absolutely.

16) neat freak
Yes – both in personal appearance and in immediate environment.

17) P has at least one aquantiance they can rely on who will be there personal "yes" at everything person
Yes. He has his Renfield who worships him. Of course he uses him to make money and talks about him like he is a total train wreck behind his back.

18) P claims to do it all and gives you no credit
Yes. He even took credit for things I accomplished and told me he did them. Totally delusional and not capable of giving anyone else their due.

19) P has to be in the center of attention.
Yes. Always.

20) says shocking things
Yes. Always saying things that were shocking and totally inappropriate. He often misjudged the people he was with and often these seemed to be geared towards ingratiating himself with someone new - but he totally misjudged. When he was with people he knew well, he never made these kinds of mistakes. Sometimes he said shocking things to purposefully embarrass "friends" at social gatherings and had a very mean sense of humor. He never got embarassed at these things, but just went on as though nothing had happened. Sometimes the things he would say were total conversation stoppers and everyone would just sit there shocked and embarassed, but not him. I just don't think he understands the whole concept of embarassemnt.

21) hides bills
no. He never had access to my bills.

22) opens up your mail but will freak out if you open up the P's mail
no... I never gave him access to my mail.

23) P wants to know at all times what you are doing
Yes. Called several times every day to check in and keep tabs. He would also drive by my house daily to see if I was home or out. He questioned my housekeeper about my activities and whether I was having friends over or not. After our break up he stalked me for months, including sneaking around my house in the middle of the night.

24) P does and goes as they please and gets upset if you ask
Yes.

25)P gets upset if you are tardy, but P can be tardy due to excuses
No.

26) P has an excuse for everything
Yes- excuses which are always lies.

27) P will lie even if they don't have to
Yes! All the time. He would tell conflicting and mutually exclusive stories and when confronted would claim they were both true or that he never said anything of the sort.

28) P will keep arguing until they get there way
No. He would withdraw and isolate if he didn't get his way, not pick up phone calls or return calls and sometimes just disappear.

29) P will call you selfish if they don't get there way
Not exactly, but he would start questioning me in a really gentle way that would get me turned inward and manipulate my emotions until somehow he always got his way. But then again, he knew me well enough to know I would never fall for that line of reasoning and that I know I am not a selfish person.

30) P uses it's own child as an attention getter
He has no children.

31) P does not like anyone getting close it's own child
N/A

32) P laughs when child demonstrates bad behavior and says something on the lines of (acts just like me in a proud way)
No children. But he did this with mine. When my youngest was having some behavioral issues and being angry and unruly (normal temper tantrums for his age, btw), he told me that the child scared him (at 4) because he reminded him of himself when he was little. When I questioned him about this he admitted that he often had extreme rage problems as a child and would completely destroy his room over and over again. He later told me that he thought my son had no core. He was talking about himself. This is interesting. I got this child into counseling at 8, and he was diagnosed as having PTSD from a couple of traumatic events that we had gone through in the recent past. When I relayed this information to the P, he said, "Well, I am no child psychology expert." When his behavior improved tremendously from ptsd treatment and lots of structuring that I provided for him, the P tried to take credit for it.

33) P claims to have tons of friends in the beginning but after meeting these so called close friends you get the impression they only like the P because they have to. (relative...work with the P)
Yes. Supposedly had tons of friends, but after meeting all these friends, I discover he really only had two, me and one guy who is his total yes-man.

34) P talks you into buying stuff (new car) boosting your confidence of what you need.
Yes. P was always taking me shopping and encouraging me to buy stuff. My ex-P is also shopaholic gadget freek. And he also, rapidly gets bored with it and it ends up in the closet. He also liked expensive cars but he is cheap. He buys late model used cars - and owns two jaguars. He lives above his means and has gone through his inheritance in short order, which is now gone. He also is enamored of kitche stuff. He loves gold paint, gold trim. His home when I met him looked like a bordello. I did talk him into toning it down.

35) P calls people they just fooled "sucker, idiot or dumba$$" after giving sob story.
Not quite. His game is more covert and emotional. He does act like he is enthralled with people and then howls with laughter at them afterwards. He is very mean spirited. He suckers people into trusting him so he can tear them down behind their back, and he purposefully grooms mentally ill or emotionally vulnerable people to do this with.

36) P Claims to be the best or an expert with everything and will tell everyone.
Yes

37) P discards people they consider being close with, who they no longer have a use for
Yes. My ex P uses everyone, and discards them in the most emotionally devastating way possible.

38) never talks about dreams or nightmares (you have witnessed them having a nightmare)
Never saw him have a nightmare.

39) P cussing while asleep in a chant fasion.
No.

40) P never says "I'm sorry" taking responsibilty. Instead they quesion if you still love them
when they do something mean or hateful
Yes. P always claimed that he was trying to be nice to me when he did something particularly devastating or hateful, or he denied it happened at all, or he claimed it was just a joke and he doesn't understand why I responded the way I did. He always denied he had any responsibility for my feelings at all.

41)P throws away your belongings because it's in the way of the P's collection of stuff.
He stole my things.

42)P is infatuated with money so they can control you and others
Yes. "Preferably somebody elses money which he doesn't have to work for!" Oh, yes! And he would never lend a dime to anyone. One of his games is grooming the elderly so that they will leave him in charge of their money if they become incapacitated or die. He doesn't always get direct control of their money, but he has garnered a pretty nice position in the college he works for by talking an elderly man into leaving his money in a fund for the college that he has had control of since the man's death. He joined a group that is similar to the masonic temple, but much less well known, because it gives him constant access to a fairly wealthy group of very elderly people, and he is now the leader of that group - in less than a year.

43) P walks around the house in heavy steps
No. He is as quiet as a mouse.

44) P enters house searching for reasons to get mad and yell at you
No. He's phobic around most direct confrontation.

45) P invites herself over to others homes but tells you we were invited.
No.

46) you once talked all the time but since you have been with your P you now find yourself listening more vs talking
no.

47)P is more like a boss rather than a loving spouse
Yes and no – total control freak but phobic around confrontations.

48) P never talks about world issues or about others feelings.
Yes. Very shallow understanding of world issues and events.

49) P never feels sorry for others unless that person has nothing to do with the P's life.
Doesn’t feel sorry for the misfortunes of others ever, but takes extreme pleasure in the misfortunes of others - but never to their face.

50) when someone else has problems the P will often turn the whole conversation around and talk about her problems instead.
No. P mined people's problems for ways to control them.

51) P uses sex as a reward system
no. P was oversexed and would have sex at any time at the drop of a pin with anyone, and would never turn down the offer of sex for any reason. But he would become verbally abusive and controlling during sex if he was upset with you.

52) P is very jealous of others when they get attention vs the P
Yes. This is the only time I ever saw him confront others, but he always did it in a weasely way by putting the other person down in a very cruel and cold way. I didn't see this often because the P usually arranged his life so that only people that would give him center stage was part of his life. He broke up the relationship that his yes man friend was in because she competed with him for this guy's attention.

53) no matter how hard you try to please your P it is never good enough
yes and no... it would please him but he never remembered. You couldn't ever bank goodwill with him, and nothing meant anything foundational. You could lay down you life for him and he'd say, "Yes, but what have you done for me lately?"

54) P is very jealous but flirts with everyone
Yes

55) P brags about all the sexual encounters they had in the past with you and whoever in front of you
Yes and no. He talked with everyone about me and our sex life, but I only found out about it after the fact. Only one time did he talk about our sex life in front of others and that was to embarass me.

56) P has temper tantrums when they dont get there way.
No. He would isolate and withdraw if he didn't get his way.

57) P starts fights with everyone who gets in there way
No. But he does what he can behind the scenes to sabotage anyone that stands in his way.

58) P told you they were fired from previous job for either alcohol or drug abuse.
No. My ex-P does not do drugs and only drinks socially.

60) P inspects work you do around the house after you finish.
N/A. We never lived together. BUT he would come in my house and check to see if my refrigerator was clean, and he would complain if things were out of order, and become verbally abusive in a back handed and snide way. I absolutely hated this and for this reason I limited severely the amount of time I allowed him in my home.

61) you get caught up in the middle of the P's chaos.
No. My ex-P is very compartmentalized and controlled. There seemed to be NO chaos in his life, but always in everyone's lives around him.

62) P gets others to hate one another after the P spread rumors to each
Yes. All the time. He was always salting the earth for everyone. His social get-togethers were always very strained for everyone there except him. He enjoyed it.

63) P has demonstrated physical abuse or is abusive physically.
Yes. But only towards my children. With me his abuse was almost entirely emotional / verbal.

64) P will threaten you to get what she wants
No. He never threatened me. He manipulated to get what he wanted.

65) P will twist your words in front of others to make you feel embarassed.
Yes. All the time, and he would do it in a mock-hurt/accusatory way.

66) P will tell you lies about what friends and family say, so you stop trusting these close friends, family members.
Yes. P lies all the time, and is always stirring up stuff so he can sit back and watch. He always mixed up partial truths in his lies so they were that much harder to confront.

67) P expects respect from others but does not respect anyone unless they want something in return
Yes. He respects no one but he is a total suck up, until he finds out he doesn't need you for some use.

68) P claims to try new things but stays within a strict routine.
Yes. He is compulsive about everything he does, and had huge anxiety attacks when anything new was introduce that he didn't have complete control over.

69) P is more concerned with image vs happiness
Image was everything. My ex-P had no substance, no emotional common sense. Image was all he was capable of.

70) When P talks with others everything is about her
Yes and no. In the beginning everything was about me. He only talked about me. Later it was only about him. I've seen this with others also, when he is grooming them. He is very good at it.

71) P always complains about you not doing anything but wont remember all the stuff you have done in the past.
Yes. Anything that they do remember that you did, they take credit for it.

72) P down plays your importance in life or your achievments or accomplishments
Yes. Totally. I got the feeling after so much of this that I didn't exist for him as a real person, so how could I accomplish anything apart from him? Anything that was solid and real and undeniable, he took credit for either because he showed me how, or he said he was the one who did it. My areas of expertise he always argued about that he knew more than I do. I am highly educated in the scientific field, and business, and I've run my own company very successfully for years. He has a social work degree (which he lied to me and told me was an Applied Clinical Psychology degree, btw). He was always trying to tell how to run my business with half-cocked and far-fetched ideas. Any time I tried to tell him why those things would be bad for my business or for my future outlook, or for my client relationships, or for my employees, he would get very upset and accuse me of not being able to "partner" with him. Gah!

73) P tells you, you are getting fat as the P tips the scale.
Yes. Sort of... he would do things like this, like take you out for a waffle breakfast and then complain about your weight. Most of the time he was slicker than this because I always confronted it then and there, or I'd turn it back to him, like saying, "Yes, I guess we BOTH need to join a gym." Then I'd suggest we do that together. It wasn't in his routine, so he would drop that line like a hot potato.

74) If you tell the P you think they were being insensitive towards someone, instead of the P changing or thinking about what they said, the P will instead confront that person trying to embarrass or them for talking about the P
No. P was phobic for direct conflict. But he would go on the warpath with a smear campaign behind the scenes. My ex-P is a real weasel.

75) P will always claim you are too sensitive
Yes. Or delusional.

76) P will also say they were only joking and you dont have a sense of humor after they insulted you.
Yes. Always.

77) P will tell you to keep certain things as secrets, but at the same time the P will tell everyone in front of you.
Yes. And he expected me to keep all his secrets while he forced me to live my life "in the window." He shared all my confidences and secrets with everyone without my foreknowledge or permission. When I shared something unimportant of his with his closest friend in front of him he acted totally shocked and he punished me for weeks for it.

78) P tells everyone they do it all while putting you down as being lazy. (they do this in a joking way)
Yes amongst other things. I felt I was always having to prove something to him. What a waste of energy.

79) P claims to be fearless, but is fearful of most things in reality. (Rollercoaster ride) (horseback riding)
Yes. But his was with social situations. He seemed fearless when he was on the hunt and grooming someone, but he was always afraid that these "new" people would get out of his control, and he would obsess about it in very weird ways. Even with his known paper dolls, if they did something he didn't understand he would always assume the worst, that he had been betrayed by them, and he would obsess about it with me. Once I pointed out the other alternatives, he would calm down. He could never just come out and ask the person what was going on. The funny thing is he could point out this kind of behavior in others as manipulative and dysfunctional but he could never see it in himself.

80) P gets upset when your friends or family call on the phone and your P has to answer.
N/A. He never answered my phone.

81) P screams but expects others to talk calmly after P initiates argument
No. But he would get very upset if I used an emphatic or frustrated tone of voice, as he always misinterpreted that as yelling at him.

82) P brags they should of been an actor or an actress/superstar
No.

Diane1969
Posted by: Vanessa715

Re: Red Flags - 03/31/06 01:33 PM

i still have to compose my list of red flags (thank u all so much for all of urs...so mny of them hit so close to home)...

but something i had not paid much attention to came to mind the other day and i wanted to share it with u...

i remembered that one day when my P and I were still together...we were laying in bed watching GOOD WILL HUNTING...and i dont know if u've seen it but there is the part where the psychiatrist is talking to Will and telling him that the abuse that he experienced as a child was not his fault and he keeps repeating that until Will breaks down crying and its all emotional and everything...

so...I start crying during this part of the movie (I was also pregnant so i cried at everything...lol)

but anyway...point is...he turns to me and says "u never experienced abuse or anything like that...so why does seeing that affect u that way...why does it upset u"...and i...not taking special note of that at all...said 'because i understand how it must have felt...

and its only now..just the other day that i remembered that...and realized...he told me everything in that one question...

he cld not comprehend how i could empathize..because he cannot...

interesting...

just wanted to share!

Vanessa
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 06/27/06 12:19 AM

Hi All,



I have been thinking! I have made, a by no means, exhaustive list of things that were odd about the P I knew.

Does any of this sound familiar?



Nan



1. Had a thing about toilets and toilet seats. They have to be cleaner than clean

2. Flushed before and after

3. Got up immediately after sex to go and wash.

4. Didn’t like handling flowers. Didn’t want plants in the house

5. Wouldn’t have anything to do with babies. If I handled a baby or a very young child, he refused to touch me till I had a bath.

6. Made his wife give their newborn child away. She complied!

7. Didn’t know how to cuddle or touch affectionately. Said that he had never done this or had it done to him.

8. Thought the military has the right approach about discipline.

9. Demanded absolute loyalty.

10. Was very dominant. Demanded sexual submission

11. Demanded logic explanations for complaints about his behaviour. Yet, no matter how logically an argument was expressed, he refused my logic. Turned the tables – it was entirety my fault.

12. Abhorred emotional outbursts from others.

13. Spoke of himself in the third person. “ The XXXX has to work.”

14. When gainsaid he could become very erratic; like a young child. Would glower and act inappropriately.

15. Could also turn threatening when gainsaid. Would get the hard look and do he piercing eyes bit.

16. Never remembered his outbursts. Or refused having had them when I mentioned it.

17. Would unexpectedly say very hurtful things:

18. Confessed to loving animals, especially cats. Has two cats. In a rage, he left the front door open and my indoor cat ran out. When I stopped paying attention to his fit, “ because I have to get the cat inside”, he said, “ F*&£ the stupid cat!”

19. Became so angry and erratic once when I refused agreement that he said that he would leave right now. He ran around like a demented person getting his things together and I just let him do it. I just sat still – said or did nothing to stop him from leaving. He must have sensed that his blackmail didn’t work, for he soon calmed down.

20. Said that he worked for several Intelligence Agencies. Backed his assertions up with long, incredible stories.
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 06/27/06 12:22 AM

1. Had a thing about toilets and toilet seats. They have to be cleaner than clean



P was fastidious in the bathroom, it was spotless. The rest of his apartment was usually a disaster area.



4. Didn’t like handling flowers. Didn’t want plants in the house



P loved plants (had been a landscaper in his early years).



6. Made his wife give their newborn child away. She complied!



Eeek! That must have been a red flag for you! P had three kids, though I never saw him with an infant.



7. Didn’t know how to cuddle or touch affectionately. Said that he had never done this or had it done to him.



P was affectionate at the beginning (mirroring my needs). After that I either got bear hugs that nearly crushed me, or not very much at all unless sex was involved.



9. Demanded absolute loyalty.



Ditto, but there was a complete double standard - he could be completely disloyal and it was supposed to be no big deal.



10. Was very dominant. Demanded sexual submission



True, also. Wanted me to do things I was uncomfortable with. He was good in this area, but often very selfish.



11. Demanded logic explanations for complaints about his behaviour. Yet, no matter how logically an argument was expressed, he refused my logic. Turned the tables – it was entirety my fault.



P overwhelmed me when he had an opinion, he wouldn't allow me to express myself. And everything eventually became my fault. And I was called every nasty female name he could think of (slut, whore, etc - when he was the promiscuous one who had betrayed me).



12. Abhorred emotional outbursts from others.



He loved emotional outbursts from others. It made him feel alive (and I think loved) when someone was screaming at him. I think his wife had taken over where his mother had left off.



14. When gainsaid he could become very erratic; like a young child. Would glower and act inappropriately.



P was often erratic and emotionally immature in his responses.



15. Could also turn threatening when gainsaid. Would get the hard look and do he piercing eyes bit.



Saw this a few times, though rarely directed at me.



16. Never remembered his outbursts. Or refused having had them when I mentioned it.



So true. Didn't know if he was faking or had actual "episodes" of some sort.



17. Would unexpectedly say very hurtful things:



Often - and would be surprised that I would be so upset.



19. Became so angry and erratic once when I refused agreement that he said that he would leave right now.



That happened several times. Though he always panicked when I wouldn't return his calls after these episodes, and he would pursue me relentlessly (email, phone calls, stalking) until I gave in.



20. Said that he worked for several Intelligence Agencies. Backed his assertions up with long, incredible stories.



Had lots of great stories and dropped names all the time. Then I realized he started incorporating some of my stories into his life when he talked to others. I'm not sure if he knew what was real after awhile.



P.S. I don't know how to do spell checking from here, but you seem to do quite well...
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 06/27/06 12:30 AM

From lynnie

Thought it might be interesting to continue the comparison, so I've copied Lynnie's reply but marked her responses with a ** and mine with a ##:

1. Had a thing about toilets and toilet seats. They have to be cleaner than clean

** P was fastidious in the bathroom, it was spotless. The rest of his apartment was usually a disaster area.
##Don't remember anything about toilets but although a complete slob in other areas, P was very fastidious about food hygiene and would not eat at some people's houses.

4. Didn’t like handling flowers. Didn’t want plants in the house

**P loved plants (had been a landscaper in his early years).
##P was pretty indifferent either way on flowers

6. Made his wife give their newborn child away. She complied!

**Eeek! That must have been a red flag for you! P had three kids, though I never saw him with an infant.
##Our first serious fight was when he insisted that if I fell pregnant I would have to have an abortion. He was absolutely adamant about it.

7. Didn’t know how to cuddle or touch affectionately. Said that he had never done this or had it done to him.

**P was affectionate at the beginning (mirroring my needs). After that I either got bear hugs that nearly crushed me, or not very much at all unless sex was involved.
##P was very uncomfortable with me showing any affection or trying to hug him.

9. Demanded absolute loyalty.

**Ditto, but there was a complete double standard - he could be completely disloyal and it was supposed to be no big deal.
##My answer would be exactly the same as Lynnie's

10. Was very dominant. Demanded sexual submission
**True, also. Wanted me to do things I was uncomfortable with. He was good in this area, but often very selfish.
##Very dominant in all areas

11. Demanded logic explanations for complaints about his behaviour. Yet, no matter how logically an argument was expressed, he refused my logic. Turned the tables – it was entirety my fault.
**P overwhelmed me when he had an opinion, he wouldn't allow me to express myself. And everything eventually became my fault. And I was called every nasty female name he could think of (slut, whore, etc - when he was the promiscuous one who had betrayed me).
##P would either pretend extreme contrition - and go off and do the same thing again and again - or confuse me with a stream of pseudo logic, lies and of course any number of reasons why it was my fault.

12. Abhorred emotional outbursts from others.
**He loved emotional outbursts from others. It made him feel alive (and I think loved) when someone was screaming at him. I think his wife had taken over where his mother had left off.
##Mine also seemed to thrive on scenes and dramas

14. When gainsaid he could become very erratic; like a young child. Would glower and act inappropriately.

**P was often erratic and emotionally immature in his responses.
##Yes, very childish responses.

15. Could also turn threatening when gainsaid. Would get the hard look and do he piercing eyes bit.
**Saw this a few times, though rarely directed at me.
##Very threatening, and often violent. To the point where it was easier to just let things pass and not say anything.

16. Never remembered his outbursts. Or refused having had them when I mentioned it.
**So true. Didn't know if he was faking or had actual "episodes" of some sort.
##Mine was a heavy drinker, and we always attributed this kind of memory loss to drink. But maybe it wasn't the drink?

17. Would unexpectedly say very hurtful things:
**Often - and would be surprised that I would be so upset.
##Yes, and likewise could not see that what he had said was hurtful in any way.

19. Became so angry and erratic once when I refused agreement that he said that he would leave right now.
**That happened several times. Though he always panicked when I wouldn't return his calls after these episodes, and he would pursue me relentlessly (email, phone calls, stalking) until I gave in.
##Would never leave himself, but would rather tend to tell me to get out. Or do the pretend suicide thing and, I suspect, enjoy every moment of me trying to stop him.

20. Said that he worked for several Intelligence Agencies. Backed his assertions up with long, incredible stories.
**Had lots of great stories and dropped names all the time. Then I realized he started incorporating some of my stories into his life when he talked to others. I'm not sure if he knew what was real after awhile.
##Had loads of great stories, and said he had done all sorts of things in the army, - some of which I found later had happened to somebody else. And would incorporate stories which I'd heard other people tell him into his own for the benefit of the next listener. I don't think he had any idea of what was and wasn't real.
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 06/27/06 12:42 AM

Thought it might be interesting to continue the comparison, so I've copied Lynnie's reply but marked her responses with a ** and mine with a ##:

1. Had a thing about toilets and toilet seats. They have to be cleaner than clean

** P was fastidious in the bathroom, it was spotless. The rest of his apartment was usually a disaster area.
##Don't remember anything about toilets but although a complete slob in other areas, P was very fastidious about food hygiene and would not eat at some people's houses.

4. Didn’t like handling flowers. Didn’t want plants in the house

**P loved plants (had been a landscaper in his early years).
##P was pretty indifferent either way on flowers

6. Made his wife give their newborn child away. She complied!

**Eeek! That must have been a red flag for you! P had three kids, though I never saw him with an infant.
##Our first serious fight was when he insisted that if I fell pregnant I would have to have an abortion. He was absolutely adamant about it.

7. Didn’t know how to cuddle or touch affectionately. Said that he had never done this or had it done to him.

**P was affectionate at the beginning (mirroring my needs). After that I either got bear hugs that nearly crushed me, or not very much at all unless sex was involved.
##P was very uncomfortable with me showing any affection or trying to hug him.

9. Demanded absolute loyalty.

**Ditto, but there was a complete double standard - he could be completely disloyal and it was supposed to be no big deal.
##My answer would be exactly the same as Lynnie's

10. Was very dominant. Demanded sexual submission
**True, also. Wanted me to do things I was uncomfortable with. He was good in this area, but often very selfish.
##Very dominant in all areas

11. Demanded logic explanations for complaints about his behaviour. Yet, no matter how logically an argument was expressed, he refused my logic. Turned the tables – it was entirety my fault.
**P overwhelmed me when he had an opinion, he wouldn't allow me to express myself. And everything eventually became my fault. And I was called every nasty female name he could think of (slut, whore, etc - when he was the promiscuous one who had betrayed me).
##P would either pretend extreme contrition - and go off and do the same thing again and again - or confuse me with a stream of pseudo logic, lies and of course any number of reasons why it was my fault.

12. Abhorred emotional outbursts from others.
**He loved emotional outbursts from others. It made him feel alive (and I think loved) when someone was screaming at him. I think his wife had taken over where his mother had left off.
##Mine also seemed to thrive on scenes and dramas

14. When gainsaid he could become very erratic; like a young child. Would glower and act inappropriately.

**P was often erratic and emotionally immature in his responses.
##Yes, very childish responses.

15. Could also turn threatening when gainsaid. Would get the hard look and do he piercing eyes bit.
**Saw this a few times, though rarely directed at me.
##Very threatening, and often violent. To the point where it was easier to just let things pass and not say anything.

16. Never remembered his outbursts. Or refused having had them when I mentioned it.
**So true. Didn't know if he was faking or had actual "episodes" of some sort.
##Mine was a heavy drinker, and we always attributed this kind of memory loss to drink. But maybe it wasn't the drink?

17. Would unexpectedly say very hurtful things:
**Often - and would be surprised that I would be so upset.
##Yes, and likewise could not see that what he had said was hurtful in any way.

19. Became so angry and erratic once when I refused agreement that he said that he would leave right now.
**That happened several times. Though he always panicked when I wouldn't return his calls after these episodes, and he would pursue me relentlessly (email, phone calls, stalking) until I gave in.
##Would never leave himself, but would rather tend to tell me to get out. Or do the pretend suicide thing and, I suspect, enjoy every moment of me trying to stop him.

20. Said that he worked for several Intelligence Agencies. Backed his assertions up with long, incredible stories.
**Had lots of great stories and dropped names all the time. Then I realized he started incorporating some of my stories into his life when he talked to others. I'm not sure if he knew what was real after awhile.
##Had loads of great stories, and said he had done all sorts of things in the army, - some of which I found later had happened to somebody else. And would incorporate stories which I'd heard other people tell him into his own for the benefit of the next listener. I don't think he had any idea of what was and wasn't real.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 06/27/06 12:48 AM

Author unknown

Hi! I can't belive that i fell for the act that, he is desperately in love with me, and I thought that explained many odd manipulations and trying to get rid of him being so hard. Belive it or not he did manipulate and pressure me into marrying him, I tried to run and all. He didn't want to have a prenupt(, now that would have been just perfect for him,) because of the total love. He kept me all along in some kind of a state of hysteria, confusing and confusing me. That way it's also, not just 'fun' for him, but it defenetly made me a better target for manipulations. All the way usefull as also fun...
The thing he said about people how he saw them and had seen them all his life, was in the quite beginning of our so called relationship, and we were still travelling then so he didn't show many signs of this hygienie behaviour, If he did see always people as such, it just makes me wonder, if other psycopaths might experience the same, since they seem to have so many traces in common all along and it would also a bit explain why this man or any other psychopath who experiences this, see others as obstacles or targets for abuse. I'm really at the moment also an armchair pychologist, in anything that what is about psychopaths, but I am student of psychology, and I'm heading for a reseacher as an occupation and I have succesfull reseacher in my family and I know many
academics in high positions as friends. I make often theories about many subjects that other academics find plausible, but psychopaths are really a mystery to me and I avoid making any conclusions about them, because I really know that I don't understand them and I don't know enough to see anything real, I'm not being scientifically analytic, I'm just speculating and for me it seems to be a necesity at the moment in healing.
One odd thing I spotted about his family was that he's mom seemed to be the most amazing person, charismatic, she didn't seem to have any flaws ( I didn't know her all that well ) allthough other members of the kin ( fathers side )
didn't seem to like her at all, and I really wondered why,
his husband was from a very wealthy family, but now all his money was in ' some investements ', that the mother controlled, because the father was a schitzophrenic and as the story went, when they had met, he had madly fallen in love with this woman, and after they got married he just ,nobody knows why, lost his sanity. A psychopathic trace in the family ?? Thank you, Nan ,for the reply.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 06/27/06 12:56 AM

Author unknown

11. Demanded logic explanations for complaints about his behaviour. Yet, no matter how logically an argument was expressed, he refused my logic. Turned the tables – it was entirety my fault.

was always my fault


12. Abhorred emotional outbursts from others.
especially hated tears felt they were used to emit pity or sympathy.
14. When gainsaid he could become very erratic; like a young child. Would glower and act inappropriately.

liked to point really up in your face and stand real close
5. Could also turn threatening when gainsaid. Would get the hard look and do he piercing eyes bit.
oh yes "the look" me and my kids know it well it goes with the "bullnosed" nostril flare thing then there is the jaw twitch

16. Never remembered his outbursts. Or refused having had them when I mentioned it.

yes i have been told i confuse him with someother guy i f******. he has no recollection

17. Would unexpectedly say very hurtful things:
hmmm.... yes this is true too
18. Confessed to loving animals. we are both "dog" people

19. Became so angry and erratic once when I refused agreement that he said that he would leave right now. He ran around like a demented person getting his things together and I just let him do it. I just sat still – said or did nothing to stop him from leaving. He must have sensed that his blackmail didn’t work, for he soon calmed down.
yes we all can relate to this one i am sure
20. Said that he worked for several Intelligence Agencies. Backed his assertions up with long, incredible stories.

mine is in the Army and weaves some pretty wild tales


extras: mine hates feet, weird huh?
ok house rules
1.there must never ever be dishwashing liquid, or small applianed on counters or sink when not being used. must be hidden in shelf
2. Only "scumbags" don't have towels hanging in their bathrooms at all times
3. canned goods must face the front and never be upside down or unorganized according to type..

there is too much if i think about it. i have a headache
Posted by: enough911

Re: Red Flags - 12/02/06 05:21 AM

Early Red flags... he targeted me before I even knew he existed, mutual friends and my own family members telling me how much he liked me when I'd barely said hello while working and he was having lunch with them all. Of course they discussed my fragility after recent past tragedy, and my resilience was amply on show. Them all telling me I should go out with him, he's so nice and he thinks the world of me. --------- Who is this guy?

Early Red flag 2 - Abiltity to polish off almost entire food offerings on a table and not notice that he's not sharing.
Query - do they all love buffet/smorgasbord so they can stuff themselves silly and feel like they're getting away with something?

Early Red flag 3 - ex-girlfriend who didn't know she was an ex turning up at my door. In tears, screaming as he led her away from my earshot. He came back and told me he couldn't imagine why she was making such a fuss, she knew it was over. I told him that was the last lie he was ever allowed to tell me. What a joke!

Early Red flag 4 - It's only fair that they have what you have, even if they can't afford it, you should provide it, or it's not fair. Don't know how he did it, but I paid for him to enjoy the same as I had, because otherwise it wouldn't be fair.

EArly Red flag 5 - inappropriate response to possible fatal pregnancy with complications - he went overboard rejoicing in the pregnancy (now I've got you where I want you?)and ignoring the risk to life.

Early Red flag 6 - on a card on our engagement attached to a single red rose 'Expect it when you least expect it' with no explanation but an evil smirk when I asked what that meant. I learnt what that meant, and I learned when to expect it.


Red flag to undo all red flags - Our vows - to love, honour, cherish and respect - were just idealistic things to say, not things that he actually had to keep, just idealistic things he said to get me to marry him, and yes he admits he has broken them, but what did I expect? He always knew i would keep them, that's what he liked about me, but that didn't mean he had to.

I think that's the most honest thing he had said in 22 years, and everything, everything I had been trying to puzzle out fell into place - devastating place, but place.


Edited to make it less specific (sorry early days - paranoia)
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 12/02/06 10:14 AM

Hi enough911, welcome to the forum. In case you haven't seen this thread it might clear up the issue if he is a NPD.

Difference between NPD and Psychopath

In reply to:

I couldn't even go there - he's a psychologist he helped set up that program and he knows how non-judgemental it is. I cannot begin to comprehend what it was he was thinking.




Is your x a psychologist or maybe I am misreading this.

There is also a thread here about Therapy and it's effects, please let me know if you haven't seen it and I would be glad to post the link.

You ask if you are in the right place, my first guess would be yes. All the members here have had first hand experience with Psychopaths and I hope you will receive the support and validation you will need to move forward with your life.

Di
Posted by: In Denial

Re: Red Flags - 08/28/09 05:12 PM

I'm scared, I'm new here !!I'm in denial, I think. I'm ever grateful for the people on here and exposing their experiences so that I can learn how stupid I might be in being with someone I cannot seem to know. All I know right now is that he manipulates conversations and makes me feel guilty for bringing up my concerns about our relationship. Saying he loves me and that I have absolutely nothing to worry about. I may be in denial about everything. I'm even in denial about saying it. I have that gut feeling that something is not right. Thank you for hearing me out
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 08/28/09 07:07 PM

Hi In Denial,

Welcome to the forum. How does your partner rate on the checklist for Psychopaths?

Is he living with you?

If you could tell us more of your story we can help you the best way possible.

Trust your instincts, and no you are not stupid, you just are in a situation that needs to be resolved to best protect yourself. I would venture to guess that none of our members are stupid. You are smart for trying to put the pieces together.

Till we hear more from you,

Di
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 08/29/09 01:46 AM

Hello In Denial

I would presume you have been reading here at the forum for a while so have a good idea in your mind you think your partner has some sort of disorder. I think most people are in denial about many things in their lives, it's normal and understandable especially when you are with a person who provokes reactions in you that make you question yourself. It's only stupid when you don't even accept you are in denial....you are not stupid!

Hopefully you can tell us more about what is going on and we can help you decide how to deal with your problems. Firstly you need to be clear in your mind what outcome you want but I would say very strongly that you need to put yourself first to make that decision. You can then go forward with a goal in mind. Some people stay in an unsatisfactory relationship because they don't value themselves as they should. That is what I mean about putting yourself first.

If you are a 'valuable' person you will expect others to treat you as such ....just as you treat others.

If you can step outside the problem and look at it as though it was your best friend going through what you are ...what would you advise them to do? The goal has to be realistic and if it involves trying to change someone then that is not realistic, the only person you can change is yourself.

There are some good resources here and if you want any help locating them please let us know.

Regards
Jan
Posted by: survivor322

Re: Red Flags - 09/17/09 06:35 PM

WATCH FOR TOTAL LACK OF REMORSE FOR YOUR FEELINGS OF BEING HURT! I think this is the big one. We who feel can identify and feel empathy for others. If your mate shows no regret/remorse for hurting you deeply once, twice, three times...RUN! That's not normal.He may destroy your finances, you could lose your home, and still no remorse. He doesnt care how big or small he's not going to show concern cause he is not affected and will leave you with all of the pain and nothingness.
Posted by: On My Own Again

Re: Red Flags - 10/20/09 10:13 AM

 Originally Posted By: Anonymous
That is exactly true. They are all about destruction. ... We create. They destroy.






kris


Well said.
Posted by: hellandback

Re: Red Flags - 11/10/09 02:36 PM

Red flags:

- Career victim. Always in a terrible state and it's everyone else's fault
- Owes large amounts of money, mainly through poor judgement/impulse buying
- More attractive than a date you usually get. You think "wow", why me?
- Aggressive tattoos: tigers, lions, birds of prey etc
- Has to be right and always knows best. Visibly irritated when contradicted.
- Unusual ambiguous speech
- Distorts what you say and repeats it back to you
- Likes power - fast cars, bikes, self-defence, boxing, has to have all the best gadgets
- Boasts about physically attacking previous partners
- Boasts about job skills and competence
- Poor/non-existant relations with his/her family
- Has no contact with and describes all ex-partners and most family as paedophiles/rapists/abusers/alcoholics
- Short/dismissive with waiters and anyone "menial"
- Wants to marry/move in immediately
- Offers rampant sex anytime anyplace, anywhere
- Gives you an STD the first time you have sex (and blames you for giving it to them)
- Inexplicably has no friends
- Inexplicably avoids certain local towns because he/she "doesn't like them"
(ie avoids previous victims)
- Strenuously pretends to be inverse of everything it is not: generous, thoughtful, selfless etc.
- Cruel to animals and generally indifferent to offspring
- Work superiors and colleagues generally terrified of him/her

Dude
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 11/11/09 05:19 AM

Hai,
Can I ask where you got this list from, seriously...I don't recognise most of them....
Posted by: Murray

Re: Red Flags - 11/11/09 11:16 PM

hellandback~

If you are talking about a "specific" person who you know is psychopathic your post makes sense.

Could you be more specific? Have you seen these qualities several psychopaths????

Psychopaths are all different (beside Dr. Hare's checklist).

I recognize some of them.
Posted by: hellandback

Re: Red Flags - 11/12/09 08:09 AM

hi both

They're all from my own personal experience/initial impressions of a female psychopath. I'm sure they're not typical of all Ps. Just my own observations.

It's an interesting question about whether there are differences between male and female psychopaths. Perhaps that's a topic for another thread? \:\)

Cheers
Dude
Posted by: GiftOfFear

Re: Red Flags - 11/21/09 02:32 PM

My red flags:

1. while we were dating he told me that he didn't know anyone smarter than him. I laughed it off and figured he was trying to impress me.
2. before marrying him, his roommate actually gave me a warning - said that 'john is not the angel he wants everyone to believe'. I thought perhaps the roommate was jealous.
3. we took a questionnaire before getting married and I was actually warned against what he said: "I argue to win". I couldn't see the implication of that statement then.
4. gave me the silent treatment often
5. said I was imagining things when I'd ask him about something
6. also told me to 'get over it'
7. never apologized for anything, nor said please. I guess to do so was to show weakness.
8. soon after we were married I overheard him tell his brother "what she doesn't know won't hurt her" referring to me
9. he'd display a large wad of cash in front of people when paying for things
10. he perpetrated a con against a customer, and said if they were stupid enough to fall for it then they deserved it
11. liked to teach people lessons
12. also liked to tell people how to do their jobs (e.g. post office personnel, teachers, etc.)
13. very much into porn; even purchased a rubber doll and I found out. How is that for ultimate control?
14. considers himself a great leader. He confuses 'leadership' with 'abusive controller'.
15. obssessed with money
16. always talked about how 'poor' he was
17. he changed careers and became a high school teacher. My gut feeling is this is because he can lord over the classroom and secondarily puts him in contact with the high school girls. He also joined the NEA (teacher's union) because they would pay for a lawyer if he ever got accused of sexual molestation. Now why would he be afraid of that? He's always HATED unions.
18. he is a misogynist (one who hates women), homophobe, and anti-semite
19. many more!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Red Flags - 11/21/09 04:02 PM

Hello GiftofFear

Reading through your list I can see you have a very troubled relationship, do you think your husband has psychopathic tendencies? Are you still together?

Would you like to tell us a bit more about this man and why you have visited the forum? If there is anything you would like to discuss we would be happy to talk to you. There is a lot of information in the resources section if you are looking for information. If there is anything we can help you find please let us know.

Sometimes it's just good to write about how you are feeling and know someone is listening.

Regards
Jan
Posted by: On My Own Again

Re: Red Flags - 12/10/09 10:38 AM

hey, hellandback:

From my ex-husband, I recognize a number of the red flags on your list ... I've grouped them in a way that makes sense to me and compared your comment's to Dr. Hare's Checklist (in italics). The pattern is clear.

CHARM. Unusually attractive and charming on the first couple of dates. Wants to marry/move in immediately.

Here's what Dr. Hare says about this.
1. GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM—the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Their charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything.


POWER/SEX (same thing in his mind). Likes power. Has to have all the best gadgets (a $15,000?! exercise machine!!!) Has to be right and always knows best. Wants rampant sex all the time anyplace, anywhere. Wants to control your sexual response. Gives you an STD the first time you have sex, denies being the carrier and then blames you for giving it to him! No friends (no male ones, at any rate, and the female "friends" are just sex partners).

Here's what Dr. Hare says.
9. NEED FOR STIMULATION, PRONE TO BOREDOM—an excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation. Take chances, do things that are risky. Get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.
12. PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR—a variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners. Maintenance of several relationships at the same time. Taking great pride in discussing sexual exploits or conquests.
19. MANY SHORT-TERM MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS—a lack of commitment to a long-term relationship. Inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital.


FAMILY. Poor/non-existent relations with his/her family. Describes family as pedophiles (brother), abusers/alcoholics (all the cousins). Cruel/indifferent to animals and generally indifferent to offspring, except when he can boast on them to "make points" with a new target.

Here's what Dr. Hare says.
5. LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT—a lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims. Tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate and coldhearted. Usually demonstrated by a disdain for one's victims.
6. SHALLOW AFFECT—emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings. Interpersonal coldness, despite open gregariousness (superficial charm).
7. CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY—a lack of feelings toward people in general. Cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.


JOB. Career victim (and it's everyone else's fault). Owes large amounts of money--including to the IRS!!! Boasts/lies about his job skills, and his competence-listening to him. you'd think he's Mr. Megabucks, but he's broke broke broke.

Here's what Dr. Hare says.
2. GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH—a grossly inflated view of one's abilities and self-worth. Self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart.
10. PARASITIC LIFESTYLE—an intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.
13. LACK OF REALISTIC, LONG-TERM GOALS—an inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals. Nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.
14. IMPULSIVITY—the occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning. Inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges. Doesn’t consider the consequences of his/her decisions. Foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, reckless.
15. IRRESPONSIBILITY—repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements.

8. FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS—a failure to accept responsibility for one's actions. Low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.

COMMUNICATION. Unusually ambiguous speech. Distorts what you say and repeats it back to you. At times, imitates "real" people and goes through the motions of being "generous" or "thoughtful" but doesn't really get how to do it because he has no conscience, no heart, no remorse, no understanding of other people's feelings.

Here's what Dr. Hare says.
3. PATHOLOGICAL LYING—can be moderate or high. In moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever. In extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.
4. CONNING AND MANIPULATIVE—the use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain. Distinguished from pathological lying by the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present. Lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one's victims.
11. POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS—expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse. Inadequate control of anger and temper.


Hope this is of some help.
Posted by: On My Own Again

Re: Red Flags - 04/05/10 03:09 PM

Hi, Weakness:

Try this: say "No."

Try it on your own first, just to see how it feels. In your car with the windows rolled up, or in your house alone: "No. No!! No!!!" Say it over and over again until you learn how to do it.

Then try it on your ex-boyfriend. "No." That's all you need to say - you don't need to talk on and on and make explanations. Just say "No" and walk away into your new life.

You can do it. I know you can. Let us know how it goes.

PS: think about changing your name to "Strength." or, "Wonder Woman" or, "Woman with the Strength and Power to Say NO!"
Posted by: ghdfans2010

Re: Red Flags - 07/15/10 03:40 AM

I feel like I am reading about my own experience with the Psychopath which was a friendship basis. Boy oh boy, how many times did our family get the "switcharoo with commitments and plans".
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 07/15/10 01:50 PM

Hi ghdfans2010, welcome to the forum.

If you are up to and it won't cause you any distress would you be comfortable listing some of the red flags you have encountered. It always helps others not feel alone and maybe you might have a flag that hasn't been posted.

Di
Posted by: He_won't_go_away

Re: Red Flags - 08/13/10 12:51 AM

Red Flags oh were there a lot.

First I suppose I should give a brief background summary. I was with my ex(who I thouroghly believe but without him being diagnosed is a Psychopath) for 6 years. During that time we fought non stop. When I got with him I was very independent in fact I had sworn off having boyfriends all together, I had a strict friends with benefits attitude and I told him that right from the git. Surprise surprise I ended up in a serious relationship with him. In fact the longest relationship I've ever been in. See I was never one to settle if I didn't like something that was going on in a relationship I didn't waste time seeing how it played out. But for some reason it was different with him. He had so much charisma.

Granted we were like polar opposites, and at first he thought that was awesome. He said he loved my independence, loved how bullheaded and full of life I was, that I was my own person and didn't take crap from anyone. After oh probably a month and a half of seeing each other he move me in. Of course the way he did this was by saying your always here anyway you may as well admit you live here. Of course the reason I was there so much was because I gave him rides to and from work, it just seemed like the right thing to do since we worked together anyway. It seemed to make sense at the time even though I had my own place and it was bigger than his studio apartment. It was all down hill from there.

We fought constantly mainly because I wouldn't back down. Back then I just attributed it to the fact that we were both just two stubborn people. Well I lost that job and so did he because we were dating and don't you know the bosses daughter wanted him oh so bad. We lost the apartment, and ended up moving in with his aunt. Now by this time he was always ranting about how much he hated my family and every time I would talk to any of them let alone go see one I would here about it for days and get attitude. Not to mention he had began throwing things I had told him about my past in my fast constantly. Now the changes that were taking place were really starting to make me mad at that by this time, but for some reason I didn't leave like I normally would have.

I ended up not associating with anyone after a while that I had known before I met him cause if I did he would talk crap about how bad my previous life was even though I didn't see anything wrong with it. It got where his family were the only people I could talk to with out catching crap and they were just as bad as him. So I would not only have to defend myself against him but against his family also and the things he'd twisted and said to them about me. Cause don't ya know he was always the victim. Every girl he had ever been with had done him wrong, everyone he ever new had done him wrong, including his family which he manipulated to a tee also, especially his mom. Every time I would try to leave him which was a quite often the first few years something would happen and I'd be the bad guy. He even kidnapped my cat one time when I tried to leave him and ran off with her, knowing how much I loved her because I had had her for years before I met him. Later he would joke about that like it was a sign of affection.

Eventually he started sending his family after me when I would leave and they would tear me down until I went back. Eventually I quit hanging up on his mom and quit trying to leave. Inside I hated everything about him but I just couldn't seem to get away. Well the last time I tried to leave I managed to stay gone for 3 days and also forgot to bring my birth control with me, so when I went back after days of him calling my grandmothers house constantly crying, we made up in the normal way and I ended up pregnant. I cried right in the doctors office when I found out. Well he treated me way worse after I was pregnant, he new he had more control. at 22 weeks we found out that the baby had no internal organs except for under developed lungs and almost no amniotic fluid.

The doctors said that I could carry the baby until 9 months but that once it was out of the womb it would die so they said I should have labor induced. After 4 days in the hospital I finally delivered our son. My ex was great during this time so supportive and right by my side. We bonded or so I thought after this but really he just preyed on my weakness. about 6 months after this happened I was so depressed I new I needed to seek help. I went to a doctor that was within walking distance from our apartment and he ended up saying I was bi-polar and prescribing me depacote and celexa. The ex loved this now I was labeled crazy he started telling me how crazy I was every chance he got any time I had a problem with anything I was crazy.

I stopped taking the drugs a few months later because they made me feel like crap and I was angry because I new I wasn't crazy, I had never had any problems before this instance. That infuriated my ex he was so mad that I had stopped taking the medication. He started belittling me way more than before and throwing things in my face. He started or at least I started noticing that he would say I had said things that didn't even sound like my line of thinknig, things that went completly against my value systems and when I would say there was no way he would get angry and start ranting and downing me until

I would get mad enough to loose my temper. Now I forgot to tell you guys that during that about year after we got together my liscense got suspended because of a .09 BAC while driving that i had recieved shortly before I met him. I was unable to pay my drivers responsibility fee because my money became his money and if I neeed anything whether it be blue jeans or makeup or whatnot he through temperfits. So because of not paying the fines I lost my liscense and he started using my car. We ended up having to put it in his moms name even though I had bought and paid for it so that it would be legal and I told him just because your driving it it's still my car I'm the one that paid on it for 3 years before I met you. Well that idea went out the window and even his mom started getting in on it saying that it was in her name so it wasn't my car anymore. And this whole time I couldn't get my license back because I couldn't pay the fines. not to mention any job I got he made me loose shortly after one way or another.

But getting back on track. A year almost to the day of loosing our baby I got pregnant again, I was so happy because I felt the need to have a living baby. as soon as we got pregnant he got super mean again. This time when I delivered a healthy live baby he was horrible in the hospital, even telling me to shut up while I was in labor. He had a bunch of his friends in the hospital room while I was in labor and they were trying to watch tv. His friends were there for me more than him..he just kept yelling at me. It didn't get any better after that.

I was seriously starting to think i was insane by the fourth year of our relationship and he didn't let me forget that I was messed up. He told everyone we met that I was a loon..like he was trying to get sympathy votes. Finally I went to a therapist because I new something was wrong but at the same time I really felt crazy. She said that she thought he was gas lighting me..that it seemed to her like he was trying to make me think I was crazy. my dumb but confronted him on it and after that I wasn't allowed to see her anymore. But he still wanted me to get back on medication. about a month later I ended up going to another doctor when I told him that I thought that he was trying to make me think I was crazy this doctor diagnosed me as bipolar with a psychotic disorder because I thought the person closest to me was trying to harm me.

He loaded me up on a bunch of drugs. an anti-psychotic, a mood stabilizer, and an anti-depressant, and then something to counteract the side effects of the anti-psychotic. Well these ended up giving me involuntary muscle spasms, my arm and fingers and eye would move on there own. I told the ex that something was wrong and he got mad every time, not caring one bit about my well being. He insisted I keep taking them and threw massive fits every time I wanted to stop. One day I was in the kitchen and my arm started going in and out at the elbow, then my leg started shaking and I fell to the floor, shaking I could feel the my body moving but I couldn't stop it.

When it ended I crawled to the living room and cried telling him what happened although it seems like he would have seen it because it was an open doorway and the couch was right in view of the sink. He told me I was imagining things. I said there is no way I am taking these anymore. I went back to the doctor that prescribed them and he tried giving me something else to ad to it and didn't really even acknowledge what I said had happened. I haven't taken a pill since. Shortly after this I finally gave in he had been trying to get me to move to Florida where he grew up and his dad's side of the family lived since we had met but I never would because there as no way I was moving out of state with a man. I figured things were so bad here and maybe if I just did what he wanted it would get better.

Well that was dumb..it only got worse once he got me completely away from everything I new. 6 months after moving there I packed up my daughter and got on an airplane while he was at work and came home. Now things are great I have an awesome supportive old man, a great job, and I go to college. But he still won't go away. He calls all the time threatening this or that and trying to get in my head. I don't answer is calls but just the voice mails make me physically sick, just hearing his voice makes my head get all confused and my insides shake and I start questioning what I'm thinking and whether he is right. It's funny how that works because even though I know what is going on I can't completely stop it.

I haven't filed for custody because I don't want him to get visitation, I can't take the chance of him doing this to my daughter. Every lawyer I have talked to has acted like I was a bad person for not wanting him to see her. And even though it's hard I can't bring myself to change the phone # because then I won't have anyway of seeing an attack coming..it's been a year now and I almost feel normal again except when he calls it throws me back into the weirdness. but I've gotten where can pick out the manipulation in his messages.

I just can't seem to stop the way they make me feel. It's weird and scary all at the same time that someone can be so damaging to another human. I hope that I've summarized this to the point that you can all see the basics. I've omitted a lot yet it's still a super long post. sorry all
Posted by: bluebird

Re: Red Flags - 08/13/10 06:20 AM

Wow, HeWon'tGoAway,

You are incredibly strong to have survived this. And you are clearly not crazy. You told your story so coherently, with so much clarity, much more so than I've been able to do. No, they don't seem to go away, sigh. Fortunately for you, you're no longer in his state. In my situation he lives a few miles away, so I'm working on ways to keep him out of my head in spite of all he does to maintain contact and control. It's unbelievable how so many professionals either don't care, don't get it, or are psychopaths themselves. It's amazing that you found the courage to take your child and run in spite of all that this person did to diminish you.

Please take good care of yourself and stay safe. You have survived. Now it's time to reclaim your birthright for a happy, healthy life. No one can ever take that away from you again.

bluebird
Posted by: He_won't_go_away

Re: Red Flags - 08/13/10 11:19 AM

Thank you bluebird,

I'm sorry for what your going through and the close proximity is aweful..glad to here your standing your ground though.

He keeps threatening to come back here and try to take her away from me, but I know he can't do it because I'm not a bad mother. I think it's just threats to try and get inside my head again..but still leaves the question of will he stop threatening and really act one of these times. right now I am trying to get together as good of a case as possible just in case he does. I do not want him to get any form of visitation because he is so harmful and manipulative. I figure if I save up enough to get a good size retainer for a qualified lawyer, and get a list of psychologist that are credible in diagnosing psychopathy put together, then if he does try to take it to court then maybe I can request that he be given the Hare test. It doesn't seem like a bad request, I just hope the courts will see it that way. And hopefully if the doctor does his job correctly and does diagnose him with psychopathy then he will never be able to get his hands on my daughter. It may be wishful thinking but at this moment it's all I've got.
Posted by: Violet

Re: Red Flags - 08/13/10 12:32 PM

HeWontGoAway,

I feel your pain. Having a child with a Psychopath is so complicated. I also ask myself that same question, " will he stop threatening and act one of these times"? How much assertion can you practice to keep yourself safe, without pushing him over the edge?

Unfortunately, the courts are so saturated with scum. There are so many lying, vindictive parents when it comes to custody and visitation, that it is really hard to explain to them what you are dealing with. So many parents are going to court calling each other crazy, that our situation with a real Psychopath is not taken seriously. I know this from experience, it really sucks how the system is set up.

You are doing the right thing by saving up for a lawyer. There are so many cards to be played when dealing with a Psychopath that it takes an expert to put it all together in language that a judge can understand. Start consulting now. Do not give a second thought to any attorney that doubts your decision to keep your daughter away from him. A good attorney will not only agree with your decision that he is unsafe, but will be willing to confidently defend you as well.

Legal representation is a dime a dozen. You may need to go through many consultations before you find your advocate. Bring up the term psychopath in your initial consulatations. Any attorney that is familiar with defending against this dangerous personality disorder will immediately have a look of understanding and concern when you mention it. If there is no familiarity (or expertise if possible) with pyschopathy, then it is not the right attorney for you. Psychopathy is hard enough to understand, even harder to explain to a judge. The right attorney can do this for you.

My advice is do not attempt to defend yourself in any legal matters. The court system is simply not familiar with psychopathy in relation to custody matters. Plus these Psychopath's are master manipulaters well qualified to run their BS with the judge as well. While you are saving up for an attorney, start a log. Write down as many details and dates that you can recall about your relationship with him, and his relationship with your daughter. You will need to present this to your attorney who will sort through and decide what is most relevant to present to the court.

Keep a log of the threats and dates that you can remember. A rough idea of the dates is good enough. Then change your number as soon as possible. You are putting yourself in more danger by maintaining contact with him. Even an opportunity to leave you a voicemail is too much. You can not allow him to keep contacting you and threatening you. The NO Contact thing is soooo important. It is key to your safety, and your sanity.

You mentioned that you don't want to change your number because then you will have no idea when an attack is coming. If he was planning some sort of an attack, I am sure he was not going to give you the heads up before hand anyway. You can not live your life in fear, living states away, wondering if or when he is going to snap. A life of fear is no life at all. Change your phone number. NO contact is the best choice, always. Read some of the other posts, and you will see the trend. Those who have survived have cut all contact.

You do have an advantage that there is not currently any sort of a child support or custody order. Legally he has no rights to see your child. He would have to take you to court to establish that he is in fact the parent. That would require him traveling across states, filing court papers, and going through a DNA test. You would of course deny that you think he is the father, and use that opportunity to explain how abusive he was and that is why you have avoided any of his contact.

The process of establishing paternity would have to take at least a few weeks to a few months. Once paternity is established, you would have to wait for another court date for a judgment on support and parenting time. At this point you need to realize that if he legally persues custody or visitation with your daughter, he will also be setting himself up for __years of child support arrearages.

They set up support and visitation all at the same time, so I am sure that he realizes the financial obligation which would come with it. I would think most Psychopath dirt bags would shy away from responsibility like that, so I don't think you have anything to worry about. I think if he was enraged about not seeing his daughter, he would not be able to sit tight for over a year. But then again, we are dealing with a Psychopath. The only thing that is predictable with them is devastation for anyone they become close to.

My point is don't be fearful. People say the best revenge against a Psychopath is to live your life fully. Living in fear is not living fully. It sounds like you have got your plan together, I hope a few of my suggestions help as well. It is great that you are a good distance away from him. Many of us wish we were so lucky!

I explained the custody process to you to reassure you, that even if he does decide to act on one of his threats to come for your daughter, you are not at risk of losing her. The paperwork process alone through court would buy you enough time to get a good gameplan together with your lawyer. Even if he did decide to show up in all of his horrific glory, the court process would buy you enough time to relocate if necessary. I don't think it will come to this. My point is change your number, break off any way he can contact you, and don't waste one more minute being scared of him.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 08/13/10 02:32 PM

Hi, HeWontGoAway welcome to the forum.

It never hurts to start calling attorneys in your area and asking if they have handled any cases involving a Psychopath, when you hit on one, most all attorneys will give you a free 15 minute consultation. If the attorney feels right, just ask if perhaps he/she could help you on a pro bono case. The worse they can say is no.

I agree with Violet, I would have to say the most common situation facing a victim/survivor and the court system is that by the time an attorney is retained or in court, the victim can come across as the crazy one while the Psychopath is as cool as can be. It is only a natural response from the pain and torture but it does give the cool calm, lying Psychopath an advantage point.

How did you come to the point that you knew what you were dealing with?, was there a moment in time you spotted the first red flag?

Di
Posted by: bluebird

Re: Red Flags - 08/16/10 02:07 PM

Hi HeWon'tGoAway,

I had written a long post to you a few days ago, but unfortunately it vanished into the ether. I'll try to write more later, but I just wanted to check in and see how you're doing. Hope all is well.

bluebird
Posted by: Violet

Re: Red Flags - 10/01/10 08:45 AM

Red Flag:

Heard a story about a man on the news recently: 23 children by 14 different women, owes over $500,000 in back child support! Something about this story seems to be screaming PSYCHOPATH!
Posted by: ghdfans2010

Re: Red Flags - 10/20/10 02:14 AM

We fought constantly mainly because I wouldn't back down. Back then I just attributed it to the fact that we were both just two stubborn people. Well I lost that job and so did he because we were dating and don't you know the bosses daughter wanted him oh so bad. We lost the apartment, and ended up moving in with his aunt. Now by this time he was always ranting about how much he hated my family and every time I would talk to any of them let alone go see one I would here about it for days and get attitude. Not to mention he had began throwing things I had told him about my past in my fast constantly. Now the changes that were taking place were really starting to make me mad at that by this time, but for some reason I didn't leave like I normally would have.GHD

I ended up not associating with anyone after a while that I had known before I met him cause if I did he would talk crap about how bad my previous life was even though I didn't see anything wrong with it. It got where his family were the only people I could talk to with out catching crap and they were just as bad as him. So I would not only have to defend myself against him but against his family also and the things he'd twisted and said to them about me. Cause don't ya know he was always the victim. Every girl he had ever been with had done him wrong, everyone he ever new had done him wrong, including his family which he manipulated to a tee also, especially his mom. Every time I would try to leave him which was a quite often the first few years something would happen and I'd be the bad guy. He even kidnapped my cat one time when I tried to leave him and ran off with her, knowing how much I loved her because I had had her for years before I met him. Later he would joke about that like it was a sign of affection.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 10/20/10 09:33 AM

Hi ghdfans2010, welcome to the forum. I am sad to hear your story. It sure fits the pattern of isolation and gathering information to use against a person later. Not backing down must have made for some very tense moments. Did he ever strike you or just come close or act like he was?

I hope you are starting to rebuild your life. Did your family know what was going on and tried to speak with you or did they just stay silent to protect you?

I am glad you found us here, there are many posts here and when you are ready to tell more of your story we are here to listen and validate. If you don't find a thread that suits your situation please start a new one.

I can only envision being a pet person myself having someone evil person run off with one of my own, not to minimize your personal time of extreme fear and isolation. Not knowing single person to turn to must be a horror beyond horrors.

Di
Posted by: gullablegull

Re: Red Flags - 05/15/11 10:10 AM

I just wonder how all of you are overcoming your experiences with your Psychopaths? I've been in therapy for a year now, and it's not helping really. All it has done for me, is validate me, and I now understand that I was a married to a bipolar narcissist Psychopath 2nd time, a n Psychopath 1st time, and that my own father was a narcissist Psychopath. Admittedly, it has put pieces together of a long and complicated puzzle I call my life. However, I've seen three drs. One made a dx of cptsd the first time we met. Another is for meds, and one that I started seeing upon separation on 2nd husband. I seriously need help with the CPTSD, and have found no one that does psychotherapy and EMDR, or neurobiofeedback anywhere. I'm not the same person I was, and am now a single mother for the first time too. I want so badly to be my old self, have back my confidence, for I have been a stay at home mom/wife for over 24 years. I just can't seem to get it together....I shake and tremble, even my voice quivers, and sometimes i tremble so badly my teeth chatter. My med dr says I'm addicted to xanax, but I don't do much at all, and she's forgotten that this is how I was before I started xanax. How long does it take you guys, or is this what I am for the rest of my life? I have focus/concentration problems, memory problems big time, don't trust anyone I meet, and yet I still have to battle the Psychopath in court over the divorce, the fraudulent mortgages, fraudulent prenup, and everything else I was totally unaware of, including the affair. I'm now estranged from family, for they did more harm than good. Any advice would be so appreciated...........I'm Christian, but my intrusive thoughts often interfere with my prayers. Has anyone else had these kind of symptoms from the psychopath aftermath?
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 05/16/11 09:14 AM

Hi, welcome to our community.

I will be back in the next couple of hours so will be sure to answer some of your questions. Some of the other members may be along in the meantime.

Di
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 05/17/11 04:11 PM

Hi, sorry it took so long to get back to you. It is hard to be very specific without some more detail, your path does indeed sound unfortunately familiar. Since you are in court issues etc. now is a very critical time for you to not be taken to the cleaners so to speak. Remember he has no conscience and your "outside" and "inside" appearance has to be intact to take on these challenge

Would you be willing to discuss in more detail so that we can assist with more specific suggestions? I would be glad to open a thread for you or you are more than encouraged to also, the more specific the title the better responses.

Knowing more about your stages will help others walking in your shoes speak from their own experience. I am glad you have been validated but getting information from others who have had first hand experiene can make all the difference in the world.

I will be checking back often to see which way you choose to proceed.

Di

I am always available by email if you need help with a title or any other ideas how we can proceed.

dianne@psychopath-research.com
dianne77@msn.com
Posted by: cjp1

Re: Red Flags - 05/18/11 02:38 PM

Hi gullablegull,
I am also new here on the forum and learning a lot. I was just reading your post and something you said about shaking violently struck home. Far too long a story to recount again (some of it's in a thread called 'Psychopath Stepfather') but I was brought up by a psychopath, though my mother was and is a wonderful woman. Unfortunately I still have to deal with him, as I am in an ongoing legal battle with him over a portion of a property. He is suing this battle to drain my psychologically and meddle with the relationship I have with my brother. The other evening I had to mail him with a letter from my lawyer, and though I had done 20 mins yoga to be calm and collected before I sat down, as soon as I sat down and opened my mail to write to him I started to shake violently, and suddenly went ice cold. (This is May, and I live in Madrid...!) Every time over the last couple of years when I have had to deal with him, or open an abusive mail from him, I start to shake, my teeth chattering and my heart racing. So yes, I can associate with that. I also sometimes get an instant migraine when I know I am about to receive another of his rage episodes, though I must say, fighting back bit by bit, and getting stronger and less of a victim is quelling these symptoms a little. I have even been able, a couple of years ago, to 'front up to him' and look him in the eye defiantly, and not feel afraid of him any more. In fact, he is now more intimidated by me, in a way, than I am by him, although I am always wary that he is a dangerous, poisonous, slippery character and not to be trusted.

I also have focus and concentration problems, would say that I have relied on non-prescription substances for years, 'recreationally', have been a heavy drinker, a smoker, and use food to calm myself, so the fact you are taking a lot of medication doesn't surprise me. It seems to be common among survivors of this type of abuse. I wouldn't know how to advise you, I am also here looking for advice, but I don't think the way you feel is for ever. The only example i can give you is of my mother, who was married to him, and though she has gone through eating disorders, instability, depression, a suicide attempt, and addictive behaviour, is now a glowing, healthy, calm, strong person. So it can be done. And she suffered years of abuse from him.

Unfortunately I recently befriended (or was selected by) another psychopathic character. He was a friend for a few years, and recently I worked him out, and began to draw parallels with my step father's behaviour. By this time he had started stalking me, had interfered in a close relationship, and several friendships, and was leading me to have panic attacks until I got a handle on what was going on and why he was making me so stressed. I terminated the friendship pretty quickly! Consequently I have withdrawn a lot, I used to be a really sociable person with a massive crowd of people around me, in and out of my house, and the last few months have been very isolated and untrusting, apart from with close friends. I can see where you're coming from with the not trusting anyone, as I am having a phase like that as well. However, I think you learn, and learn, and learn, and yes, we may make the same mistake again, but not necessarily. This time as soon as the scales fell from my eyes I got rid of this person from my life and closed the door firmly. I hope I will see the next one coming. I am certainly learning about 'red flags' for example.

All I can say is, hang in there, and keep coming on here and asking/talking/reading, as you'll find it really helpful. Everyone here seems extremely supportive and can give you good advice. If you want to chat/mail, just post me. I check every few days at the moment.
Good luck, and don't lose heart. The change in me over the past few years is incredible, as it is in my mother, so there's hope for everyone.
Cjp
Posted by: cjp1

Re: Red Flags - 05/18/11 03:24 PM

Dear Cherie and Kris, and all others who have posted here about red flags,

I am just reading some of your comments, and am struck by how many common traits one can recognise when dealing with a psychopath. I particularly picked up on the theme of destruction, possession and attempted erasure of identity.

My stepfather was/is an expert at this. Let me give you an example. I barely know what I looked like as a child, because I have no childhood pictures. When he and my mother divorced he took all the family albums, probably because she wanted them and he knew it would hurt her, and then carelessly lost them all during a move - he was always extremely dismissive of other people's possessions. (this was in the days before digital!) This may seem a small thing but it made me feel diminished, as if he was trying to erase all traces of who I was. My mum has one or two photos of me as a kid, and there is nothing else to remind me of who I was when little. He also took childhood objects with sentimental value, for example a cuckoo clock I loved as a child, that also got lost in one of the frequent moves, when he didn't pay storage fees for personal things.

He once borrowed my mother's sports car which had been a gift from her parents for her 21st birthday. It had her portfolio of art work from college in it, obviously precious to her. He borrowed it to go to work, and when he came back he had sold it, with her things inside. When challenged he brushed it off.

On a more weird note, as he is a gay man, and has, since my mother, been with male partners, it seems he also saw my boyfriends, when I was an adolescent and young woman, as possessions to take from me. Even though they may not have been gay, he was extremely competitive with me, and would always try to 'take' them from me. Even if nothing happened, he tried to convince me they were gay really. It seems pathetic and laughable now, but as a confused young woman with plenty of issues about self-confidence and need for love/approval and so on, it was really bewildering.

He knew my biological father before he died,, and when I asked him about him once, he even tried to stake a claim on him, remarking (probably falsely anyway) that he too was gay, and that my stepfather liked his boyfriend. I am currently in a legal battle with him, and sadly my brother (his biological son) is still totally controlled by him and defends him hysterically - going along with the argument I read here earlier about others not sticking up for you as a victim, belittling you, telling you that you are 'negative, hysterical, unforgiving' and so on, but that's another discussion. What I am trying to say is that he is now also trying to take my brother from me. My other brother died young a few years ago, tragically, and as I now have only one sibling left, my stepfather is hard at work finishing his master plan which seems to be alienating my brother from me and my mother.

I don't want this to sound like self-pity, but I believe on one level my decision not to have children is probably linked to him as well, not trusting any man enough to have long-term or close relationships, and not wanting to pass on this legacy of neurosis and confusion to anyone else. So you could say in a way he has also taken that from me.

So it seems like possession and destruction are very potent themes.

I totally agree that as this is a topic that is little understood, it is very important to share these observations and encourage research and open-ness, and above all, support for victims, so that others in future won't have to go through what any of us have. I wouldn't wish this on anyone but I would love to be able to help someone else who is going through something similar. When I was at the worst of it there was no-one to help my mother or myself.

And I love your comment that he may feel he has a right to destroy you but he can't, because he doesn't own you any more. This is my greatest triumph. I see him very rarely, and only once since opening my eyes to his nature. And he was extremely uncomfortable that I was defiant but cool, stood tall and eyeballed him, in fact he had to look away and back down. So they may destroy and take, but we can re-create and take it back. And the best revenge is to move on and prosper, to be happy and strong, out of their reach, and not even caring what happens to them or what they think, because they hate that, and they can't take it away from you once you have broken their spell.
Thanks for your insights and strength,
cjp
Posted by: gullablegull

Re: Red Flags - 05/28/11 05:23 PM

These psychos are all the same. You have a learned an important lesson at an early age. That is the good side of it, if there is a good side.
Mine is/was a predator. He began by endearing himself to my young children. In my opinion, everyone whom loved children was a good person! NOT!
My white knight in shining armor, that saved me and my children from verbal and physical abuse from the first husband..........
whom had no children of his own, and loved us so much??? We gave him purpose?? NOT! His purpose was to take and covet what someone else had,
marry me, then begin the emotional abuse, the financial humiliation, the sexual withholdings, the serious mood swings, the silent punishments when I had disappointed him (like ordering pizza once a week for the kids?)
Once he left me for another married woman of 25 yrs with 2 kids, broke up her marriage, encouraged her also to take no settlement for "he wanted to take care of her and protect her",(rerun) then he dumped her four months later.
I now fight multiple counts of fraud, (including a fraudulent prenup),massive joint debts, CPTSD, his lack of complying with the law and divorce, and helplessly wondering how I can take care of my children since I stayed home as insisted by both husband 1 and 2? I'm 53 yrs old with no higher education.......................have been abused my whole life.......am magnetic to maniacs I have resolved. My prince is a frog. If it's "too good to be true", trust me , it's not true.
The whole time he's being "nice" to you, he's trashing you behind your back, screwing around, and waiting with great anticipation the look on your face when he tells you it's over, that "you're not his problem ". That's their jolly. That my dear, is evil. Leviathan, Baal, Beezlebub..........and there are tons of them out there! What surprises me most, is their enablers..........a man with money and power can get away with anything, and does......................
for he's surrounded by greedy enablers. I too was only a servant, worn and tired from all the "man" work I did to try to make him happy..........
never seeing the TRUTH until months after he was gone. Now that we've been abandoned, we are treated like lepers...all very sad, for people do not want to see or hear the truth. Psychopath, is a word that is politically incorrect.............until it happens to you.
Posted by: gullablegull

Re: Red Flags - 06/21/11 10:57 AM

Thank you Diane. At this time, I am unable to begin my own thread, but would like to in the near future. Ex has taken me off our email account and changed the password. I can't access the email address I've had since 1996. Long before I knew him.
It is predictable really, these little things. He knows what will cause me suffering, and you can expect him to do it, whatever it is, no matter how large or small. He knew I had son's college account on there with urgent info, that I was arranging for movers, and he is now getting MY emails!
He just keeps picking at bones like an ole buzzard. That's what he loves........birds of prey.

I saw a neuropsych last week. Though I kept forgetting vital parts of the story and going back to it, she seemed to think I would be fine.
Everyone says that. "You will be fine. You're so strong.".....but I'm not fine, and I'm not strong. This marriage has taken everything I liked about me away.
I was genuine, trusting, loyal, hardworking, tolerant..........for I thought it was true love. I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes.....how he was borrowing money, lying to me about everything and everyone........and the worst part of all, is he's gotten away with it. Totally gotten away with it.

Once you get that close to evil, it changes you. It robs you of your purity, your innocence, your values and yes, even your identity.
I feel as hollow as can be. Afraid to "feel" anything, but still shedding tears on a daily basis. In many ways, he did kill me...I'm still breathing is all.
Posted by: newlife

Re: Red Flags - 06/21/11 01:11 PM

Hi dear,
You will be allright. Your tears are healing you. Through your tears, your body and your soul is being cleansed from the poison of the psychopath. Soon, you will be happy and vibrant and renewed. I've been in your shoes, I know.
Romans 8:31
"What can we say about all of this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"
Posted by: anonymousone

Re: Red Flags - 08/06/11 05:37 PM

I went through some old emails. Once he shared this random story about how he "dealt" with a friend of his who was distracting him as he was "helping" 2 of his female room mates with preparing for a job interview. He described to me how he knew exactly how to humiliate and shut his friend up. I can tell you, he intimidated the hell out of this other guy and did humiliate him in front of the others. I didn't realise at the time, but I question now whether his friend was actually being distracting, or rather that he was "hogging" the limelight.

He said to me that telling me this story was a way to take down his defenses and be completely transparent with me. He told me he had told nobody else about his insight into people and the way he may use that to his advantage sometimes, and that I shouldn't be worried he has an advantage because he can see through people. And wouldn't hurt me. The eeriest thing was that I never noticed until now, but he ended the email joking "I fully realise you may think i'm a crazy psychopath".

Red flags were how he talked to his "friend", using humiliation and intimidation. That he believes he has great insight into peoples weaknesses because he's very watchful (he's observant and smart in a predatory way) and stores them to use at a future point when necessary. He's ruthless when he wants to get his own way. He knows exactly how to use tone of voice and gestures to silence somebody else. He always has to be seen as a hero to somebody (those two girls) and doesn't mind if he comes off as a devil to his target, and uses that as an excuse. That he never mentioned feeling any remorse for how he treated his friend, didn't bother to mention his reaction to his friend walking away and shutting himself in his room, because I assume he felt completely justified. That he will feign transparency and honesty to see how I would react to intimidating behaviour. That he joked about being a psychopath, I assume it was a joke, there was no :Psychopath at the end of his comment about me thinking he was a psychopath. That he wanted to tell me about his justified and "protective" behaviour (he claimed to be protecting those two girls) as covert threat "this is what I could do to a person" i.e. you're next. And he indeed has used those skills against me.
Posted by: anonymousone

Re: Red Flags - 08/06/11 05:55 PM

Before he knew of me, he had strong beliefs about environmental and animal rights.

He couldn't understand vegetarianism or environmentalism and was very against these causes. He couldn't understand why animals could have rights (lacks empathy). And found it rediculous anyone should concentrate on helping animals when there were plenty of people who need help. He felt that being vegan was hypocritical and essentially silly. Not a bad attitude in itself, but for someone who went to great lengths to assure me he was caring, he really could not exercise any empathy for people who saw things differently to him, and couldn't seem to apply that empathy understanding the other. Oh but he was very very good at watching people and figuring out what makes them tick. Very very good at this.

However, when he met me, he of course already knew that I was sensitive to these issues and had very liberal values. Suddenly he started being very passionate about different causes. I knew at the time it seemed like a bit of an act, but I ignored that feeling in my gut when I saw his original attitudes to such causes. It was funny that he'd often make light of the people around him who were supposedly insensitive.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 08/06/11 07:48 PM

Hi, I have a couple of observations, I am guessing when you were first in contact with him that he showed interest and "listened" to your views, then he adapted them for awhile then started to poke fun at you for them, ie. cruelty to animals and your views?

I would venture to guess his "friend" was probably him, if there was a bully in the room it was more than likely him.

Yes they are very skilled at observing and soaking up information in the beginning to turn like a knife later, they have an uncanny way of those skills. I suspect when he is older he will be quite a piece of work as he starts through life learning and modeling the behavior of "real" people. With predators, everyone is fair game in their minds. They have to suck you in by being nice and attentive in the beginning, the more sophisticated they become the slicker the act.

Count your blessings you are young and will now have psychodar. It is wonderful you are taking the time to explore what hit you and be able to reflect and write about it, writing helps to see things more clearly many times.

If you are involved in an online group that involves him, I would leave the group, anything you say or do will get back to him, not that the others would do it in a bad way but they are good at getting information out of innocent people. You also have no reason to try to explain to people because likely they won't get it since they see the other side of him and he will make you out to be the crazy one in the room, safest bet is to exist stage left;)

Di
Posted by: anonymousone

Re: Red Flags - 08/07/11 06:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Dianne E.
Hi, I have a couple of observations, I am guessing when you were first in contact with him that he showed interest and "listened" to your views, then he adapted them for awhile then started to poke fun at you for them, ie. cruelty to animals and your views?

I would venture to guess his "friend" was probably him, if there was a bully in the room it was more than likely him.

Yes they are very skilled at observing and soaking up information in the beginning to turn like a knife later, they have an uncanny way of those skills. I suspect when he is older he will be quite a piece of work as he starts through life learning and modeling the behavior of "real" people. With predators, everyone is fair game in their minds. They have to suck you in by being nice and attentive in the beginning, the more sophisticated they become the slicker the act.

Count your blessings you are young and will now have psychodar. It is wonderful you are taking the time to explore what hit you and be able to reflect and write about it, writing helps to see things more clearly many times.

If you are involved in an online group that involves him, I would leave the group, anything you say or do will get back to him, not that the others would do it in a bad way but they are good at getting information out of innocent people. You also have no reason to try to explain to people because likely they won't get it since they see the other side of him and he will make you out to be the crazy one in the room, safest bet is to exist stage left;)

Di


Thank you Di.

I actually went through some of his older posts on the forum before he knew of me recently, and that's where I saw his real attitudes. He changed a lot at the time when I started coming into his focus. I can even pin point roughly the month in which he made the switch between 'cool, suave, highly confident guy' to 'guy who amazingly starts mirroring me more and more' before he even contacted me. I know he was watching me for a good few months before he contacted me. The good thing about the internet, is you can track how much people change and when. I was incredibly lucky to have that to gauge how much he altered himself to become "perfect" for me. There were a few times were he openly made provocative comments to me about things he knew I valued though.

I never even thought about "his friend" being him... but you are probably right. This guy has the capacity to talk your ear off on any subject for any length of time. He used to use stories about the 'bad behaviour' of others to show how he handled them and was in turn, the "good guy". Other times he told stories about being really mean to other people (being violent during basketball games without care, or tricking people into believing things).

I had to retire all of my accounts online he knew of, because he was reading every single word I wrote, and using it to mount an attack. He knew my privacy was important and that stalking would make me scared (but a victim of him, ppsh no way!). I grew suspicious he was going to attempt to turn a few people against me as he was making public statements about me (without referencing me of course, but people knew who he was talking about).

The good thing about meeting these people online is that you have some degree of protection. Bad thing is, they can watch you and get much more information out of you without even talking to you and it's much harder to consult your gut feelings.

I hope some of my experiences can help someone in the future who stumbles across this site, who have come across a psychopath online, and the unique process they have of finding and hooking in, a target. It's much easier to come off as a good person, when the person on the other side can't see you acting with other people, or can't read your body language in a natural setting. I would advise anyone to not indulge in vulnerabilities online (especially on online forums unless the forum has special protections and staunch moderation), and to never let romantic feelings cloud your sense of judgment (fantasies occur much more online). It is very very easy to trick a person online, and the dis-inhibition effect probably amplifies the psychopaths tendency to not feel a sense of guilt. A psychopath + the internet = total disinhibition.

It's also easier to engage in fooling with multiple people at a time. Also, I think long distance relationships can foster a sense of loyalty much more because there's more of an expectation of faithfulness when both of you are far away. The distance creates immense vulnerabilities, and people share much more of themselves online than offline early on (the key thing). If you move locations to be in a relationship with a psychopath, it's much easier to isolate you too.

There are unique things you need to be aware of when coming across dangerous people online. Especially if you are naive and trusting. I have learned that there is absolutely no harm in not trusting anyone online until they absolutely prove theirself to you. The guy I knew did try to prove himself, but what you need to do is to ignore all their words, and just look at their actions as best you can. And if you have any doubt at all, don't -ever- ignore it.

Thank you so much for the advice Di.
Posted by: anonymousone

Re: Red Flags - 08/07/11 06:04 AM

Here is an article from psychologicalharresment.com about the tactics of psychological manipulation. It is the most comprehensive list I have seen and it may not just be useful for spotting and labeling the tactics of psychopaths, but spotting tactics of emotionally unhealthy people in general:

psychological manipulation
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 08/07/11 12:57 PM

Thanks so much for sharing with such openness your online experience. It has been on my mind for many years and actually I see the Internet as a double edged sword if one doesn't carefully tread their way through life. It takes away our visual and voice clues from who we are truly dealing with and wipes out much of the red flag portion of how to evaluate who we are in contact with, by reading your story, you did have that instinct there which is a great thing. Not everyone gets it in the perspective that you did and can get too far down the road before turning back.

As a society I have concerns over all the social networking, when did it stop being okay to just sit and read a book, or walk your dog without having to be on your cell phone or constantly checking for messages from really a group of strangers via text etc. My concern is the predatory aspect of what the Internet has allowed to blossom. You used to know the guy down the street was a nut case because you saw him in person and your parents told you to stay away.

Now that the visual and audio aspect is away people can be whoever they dream to be in their own private world. No one really knows who they are and now that the "in person" aspect has been pushing people behind their computers we as a society seem to be disconnecting while we think we are "connecting", people wear their followings on twitter as some badge of honor or award. Do we really care to know that someone got their nails done that day? Is it that important that we can't remove that clutter from our minds and go have a cup of coffee and sit and think? Does all this information help our minds or keep it clear so we can spot the predators out there. Is all of it bad, of course not, see the wars around the world and you can see the good side how people in very compromised violent dictator ruled countries can get the message out to the rest of us, that is a very good thing.

The Internet is a powerful tool, the key in how we use it. If I don't want to be in contact with the whacko down the street who everyone knows is a predator, why do people trust and bond online with the very same type of person, simple answer because you don't have a visual idea or knowledge from your neighbors the person is a nutcase or worse a Psychopath. It is indeed the predator highway, imo. I think it is good if you find a discussion forum that interests you that is great, I am interested in a variety of topics and am always searching for answers, but if our lives are so empty that we can only rely on the Internet for friends then we are treading into that area of disconnect and becoming vulnerable to the predators out there. Over the years I have been amazed at the wide variety of members who have crossed though our doors and the types of places they have met Psychopaths. They are predators, they know where to troll, they know how to be skilled at getting people to think they can be trusted in real life and the Internet really can give them a huge lift in the lives they can destroy and never having to see them in person.

You walked away very wisely but the predatory process is the same online, our best and our only defense when all the visuals etc. are taken away and that is our instincts. Without time and space and instead being in a constant state of a disconnected world we many times will brush off our instincts. Our instincts are the one thing I can say is the biggest turn in the road that keeps us on that path with a predator is when that first red flag, our instinct gets brushed to the side. Nice people want to see the best so it is a natural thing to think we really probably didn't understand something or the other person didn't really mean that and if questioned just accept their explanation.
Following our instincts and catching those red flags is a tough process.

No one from what I can tell who has ever been a victim did anything wrong, they aren't stupid, they are quite the opposite, the kind people who care a lot and want to help others that is the type of person who predators/Psychopaths target.

By listening to our instincts and tuning out the clutter we can hear our instincts and spend the time reflecting on them and not lead our lives in a constant spin. Psychopaths when they are after a victim want you to be in a spin so that ah-ha moment doesn't get your attention. Go for a drive and turn your cell phone off, find a quiet place to sit and read or just sit and think.

You don't have to take out a calculator but I am much older than you are;) and was around and had a cell phone when they first came out when they cost 3K and a PC the minute they were available at the time because my career was doing consulting in Silicon Valley. I see a very troubling issue with the predatory nature side of the Internet. It can be a bumpy road or a very good tool to find out interesting things, but finding friends etc. can be a bit tricky with all these "social" networking avenues. Instincts and boundaries are the best way we can protect ourselves. We just need to listen to that small voice because it is there telling us something we need to pay attention to.

Thanks for the link, it is very informative and I'll make sure and put it in the Resource Section.

Di
Posted by: skybluepaint

Re: Red Flags - 08/08/11 02:28 AM

"By listening to our instincts and tuning out the clutter we can hear our instincts and spend the time reflecting on them and not lead our lives in a constant spin. Psychopaths when they are after a victim want you to be in a spin so that ah-ha moment doesn't get your attention."

I agree, but I don't know how one avoids getting spun by a psychopath unless you are aware what a psychopath is prior to meeting one. Most people don't know, until it is too late. I think of that first month with the psychopath, being her new "friend" and "counselor". If any friend had told me the things she did, I probably would've objectively told them that I thought they were kind of messed up. But, with her performance, the forlorn lost child help me look, that intense gaze of predatorial need, I ate up everything she said and spat it back at her, never fully digesting it. In other words, I told her everything she wanted to hear. She told me her professor was mean, I resounded that ten fold. Yet, if I'd been objective and had digested what she had said, I would've agreed with the professor's advice. She acted heartbroken that a high school teacher hadn't liked her back. I felt sorry for her and comforted her. And she is a teacher now!! I should've been saying, "Well, as a teacher, do you think it is ok for teachers to have sex with students?" Then, why would you think your teacher should have had sex with you?! I think most people who fall for psychopaths get caught up in wanting to help save them. In other words, as you said, they are good people. But they aren't objective people. The reason I think they can't be objective is because there is some vulnerability in them that makes them vulnerable to the advances of the psychopath. So, while I think that listening to your instincts is important, instincts alone can't always be trusted. Empathy is an instinct. I did feel a big conflict between fear, that there was something wrong with this person and I needed to run away, and empathy, wanting to help, stop her tears and cries for help. Therefore, I think the real solution is examining and knowing your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities and how those might be used by someone else.
Posted by: anonymousone

Re: Red Flags - 08/09/11 01:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Dianne E.
Thanks so much for sharing with such openness your online experience. It has been on my mind for many years and actually I see the Internet as a double edged sword if one doesn't carefully tread their way through life. It takes away our visual and voice clues from who we are truly dealing with and wipes out much of the red flag portion of how to evaluate who we are in contact with, by reading your story, you did have that instinct there which is a great thing. Not everyone gets it in the perspective that you did and can get too far down the road before turning back.

As a society I have concerns over all the social networking, when did it stop being okay to just sit and read a book, or walk your dog without having to be on your cell phone or constantly checking for messages from really a group of strangers via text etc. My concern is the predatory aspect of what the Internet has allowed to blossom. You used to know the guy down the street was a nut case because you saw him in person and your parents told you to stay away.

Now that the visual and audio aspect is away people can be whoever they dream to be in their own private world. No one really knows who they are and now that the "in person" aspect has been pushing people behind their computers we as a society seem to be disconnecting while we think we are "connecting", people wear their followings on twitter as some badge of honor or award. Do we really care to know that someone got their nails done that day? Is it that important that we can't remove that clutter from our minds and go have a cup of coffee and sit and think? Does all this information help our minds or keep it clear so we can spot the predators out there. Is all of it bad, of course not, see the wars around the world and you can see the good side how people in very compromised violent dictator ruled countries can get the message out to the rest of us, that is a very good thing.

The Internet is a powerful tool, the key in how we use it. If I don't want to be in contact with the whacko down the street who everyone knows is a predator, why do people trust and bond online with the very same type of person, simple answer because you don't have a visual idea or knowledge from your neighbors the person is a nutcase or worse a Psychopath. It is indeed the predator highway, imo. I think it is good if you find a discussion forum that interests you that is great, I am interested in a variety of topics and am always searching for answers, but if our lives are so empty that we can only rely on the Internet for friends then we are treading into that area of disconnect and becoming vulnerable to the predators out there. Over the years I have been amazed at the wide variety of members who have crossed though our doors and the types of places they have met Psychopaths. They are predators, they know where to troll, they know how to be skilled at getting people to think they can be trusted in real life and the Internet really can give them a huge lift in the lives they can destroy and never having to see them in person.

You walked away very wisely but the predatory process is the same online, our best and our only defense when all the visuals etc. are taken away and that is our instincts. Without time and space and instead being in a constant state of a disconnected world we many times will brush off our instincts. Our instincts are the one thing I can say is the biggest turn in the road that keeps us on that path with a predator is when that first red flag, our instinct gets brushed to the side. Nice people want to see the best so it is a natural thing to think we really probably didn't understand something or the other person didn't really mean that and if questioned just accept their explanation.
Following our instincts and catching those red flags is a tough process.

No one from what I can tell who has ever been a victim did anything wrong, they aren't stupid, they are quite the opposite, the kind people who care a lot and want to help others that is the type of person who predators/Psychopaths target.

By listening to our instincts and tuning out the clutter we can hear our instincts and spend the time reflecting on them and not lead our lives in a constant spin. Psychopaths when they are after a victim want you to be in a spin so that ah-ha moment doesn't get your attention. Go for a drive and turn your cell phone off, find a quiet place to sit and read or just sit and think.

You don't have to take out a calculator but I am much older than you are;) and was around and had a cell phone when they first came out when they cost 3K and a PC the minute they were available at the time because my career was doing consulting in Silicon Valley. I see a very troubling issue with the predatory nature side of the Internet. It can be a bumpy road or a very good tool to find out interesting things, but finding friends etc. can be a bit tricky with all these "social" networking avenues. Instincts and boundaries are the best way we can protect ourselves. We just need to listen to that small voice because it is there telling us something we need to pay attention to.

Thanks for the link, it is very informative and I'll make sure and put it in the Resource Section.

Di


Di, this needs to be an article somewhere! every person around my age and younger (typically the most naive and lacking in life experience) need to read it and fully comprehend it. We aren't taught much internet literacy and safety, because as a tool it is developing faster than our laws and knowledge! words like these can truly be life savers. I worry for my younger sisters who spend much more time online than I ever did, at such a young age. Never before did these people have access into the intimate lives of young people, bypassing parental and social protections (i.e. the creep-dar like you mentioned!). "simple answer because you don't have a visual idea or knowledge from your neighbors the person is a nutcase" - this is an incredibly poignant point- there is not safety in numbers online and secondly, you have no access to who other people know so you can't glean information on that person from them (sometimes crucial in avoiding abusers). Unhealthy people online can constantly burn their bridges without anyone knowing! they can keep up that perfect image and rebuild their reputation effortlessly. The guy I knew was very intelligent- absolutely knew how to be a charmeleon and how to tap into the social conscious.

I think it's not unfair to say that a lot of lonely, -neurotic- (easy to manipulate and guilt trip and vulnerable people end up online; and people tend to be open about their troubles too. Psychopaths and N's have prime viewing to pick out the target of their choice.

I wish I could respond to everything you said, but alas it would end up being too long. So awesome job. Good to hear it from your perspective. I've talked to my father about this, who is much older than I am, and he can't understand where younger generations come from, being so trusting online. He sees online and offline as two separate things, whereas a lot of people my age can't seem to separate the two. Everything that happens online is just as painful as offline. He doesn't agree, and that's clearly because he didn't grow up with the internet and wasn't entrenched in it (I really think this is a good thing).
Posted by: anonymousone

Re: Red Flags - 08/09/11 02:22 AM

Originally Posted By: skybluepaint
"By listening to our instincts and tuning out the clutter we can hear our instincts and spend the time reflecting on them and not lead our lives in a constant spin. Psychopaths when they are after a victim want you to be in a spin so that ah-ha moment doesn't get your attention."

I agree, but I don't know how one avoids getting spun by a psychopath unless you are aware what a psychopath is prior to meeting one. Most people don't know, until it is too late. I think of that first month with the psychopath, being her new "friend" and "counselor". If any friend had told me the things she did, I probably would've objectively told them that I thought they were kind of messed up. But, with her performance, the forlorn lost child help me look, that intense gaze of predatorial need, I ate up everything she said and spat it back at her, never fully digesting it. In other words, I told her everything she wanted to hear. She told me her professor was mean, I resounded that ten fold. Yet, if I'd been objective and had digested what she had said, I would've agreed with the professor's advice. She acted heartbroken that a high school teacher hadn't liked her back. I felt sorry for her and comforted her. And she is a teacher now!! I should've been saying, "Well, as a teacher, do you think it is ok for teachers to have sex with students?" Then, why would you think your teacher should have had sex with you?! I think most people who fall for psychopaths get caught up in wanting to help save them. In other words, as you said, they are good people. But they aren't objective people. The reason I think they can't be objective is because there is some vulnerability in them that makes them vulnerable to the advances of the psychopath. So, while I think that listening to your instincts is important, instincts alone can't always be trusted. Empathy is an instinct. I did feel a big conflict between fear, that there was something wrong with this person and I needed to run away, and empathy, wanting to help, stop her tears and cries for help. Therefore, I think the real solution is examining and knowing your own weaknesses and vulnerabilities and how those might be used by someone else.


I definitely had some very similar experiences to you! it's eerie. I sucked up to the guy as well, and confirmed all of his troubles, gave him what I knew he needed from me (my affections, my continual support, control). I was very submissive with him. I was also very enabling with him. And i'm not sure if you can relate, but it makes the pain at the end worse. The guy said to me that "he didn't know my boundaries" adding to the guilt I already felt. I gave him what he wanted but it was my fault because I couldn't say no. Most people don't understand that they maneuver you in a way so that you say yes and do things for them. I take responsibility for my choices, but I don't take responsibility for the fact that he used it against me, y'know? that's how i'd console any survivor of abuse.

I definitely think it's true that you have no idea about psychopaths until you come across one and then you have to do a whole lot of research to see where they are coming across (i.e. they oeperate differently to say the least). But I also think that most of us do get those gut feelings, though we can't name them, or sometimes don't trust them (because healthy people, or those who haven't had too many negative experiences with people, tend to give others the benefit of the doubt) even before we know of the 'psychopath' construct. The unconscious mind operates a lot quicker than the rational mind, and it's really been very healing for me to read all about the reliability of "gut feelings" (google "gut feelings", "unconscious mind+neuroscience" "unconscious+what makes them click". Of course, following things blindly is not very effective. Checking intuitions against reality is a good way to have a solid interpretation of reality.

Here's a video too



Yes, I do think it's extremely important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Especially afterwards. I think that there might be some instincts you might have to override (empathy, sympathy... and I know what that's like, and it's extremely hard and caused a lot of shame and hurt in me too). I spent a lot of time questioning whether I was wrong about the guy, and I felt terrible even when he was trying to convince me that he wasn't trying to hurt me, and that he wasn't malicious. I felt bad when he was using guilt against me. I couldn't rely on certain emotions because I was too unsure; I didn't know what to believe. The manipulation was too covert and his tactics worked on me. The only way I could cut through that, was to believe my gut feelings. If I didn't believe them, I wouldn't be on this site right now, and I would have believed his fake apology, and I wouldn't have even confronted him.
Posted by: anonymousone

Re: Red Flags - 08/09/11 02:30 AM

It seems to me that the only way to cut through all their trickery, smoke and mirrors, lying, delusions, covert manipulation, and your own confusion is to listen to your feelings. Your feelings -deep down-. Going as far into your feelings as you can. You need to be incredibly in touch with your real emotions. Write a lot, and keep writing and writing until you get all the crap out of your thoughts to get to the real you. Unfortunately if you grew up with the psychopath, breaking through all the BS is going to be much much harder because of that unique situation. And I have admiration for anyone who recovers from such a situation. If you're meeting someone as an adult, for the first time, you have more of an advantage to consult the -real- and deep instincts buried deep down. Those real instincts you use when you're walking around a neighbourhood and something tells you to get out of there. Or those instincts and emotions that tell you that you're body is tired and you need to rest. Or the instincts that tell you the doctor is wrong about the diagnosis of your child and you know they are sicker than the doctor believes.

I knew there was something up with the guy I knew because of how tired, apathetic, and fatigued I felt around him. It took several months to start acknowledging it though.
Posted by: anonymousone

Re: Red Flags - 08/09/11 02:38 AM

In regards to writing until you get to your real feelings- how do you know when you've cut through to the real instincts or emotions?

I don't know about other people, but usually it feels different. It feels profound. I -feel- it rather than think it. It's strong enough to compel me to take action. Sometimes I might cry, tear up, or get choked up. Usually a true instinct hits me and I feel it in my body.

You know that feeling you get when somebody takes advantage of you blatantly? how the feeling surges through your body and your face feels hot? that's the little voice of integrity... the voice telling you to say; NO! STOP! my boundaries are being crossed too far!
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 08/09/11 09:07 AM

Hi anonymousone, thanks for your feedback, I am writing a piece, well actually a couple for the Resource Section. The Internet is a very serious issue, even when people think they are doing all the right things. I saw a very heartbreaking show. The man was a police officer and he thought he was doing everything right, he had the computer for his daughter in the living room etc. Well, a predator got hold of her and was able to worm his way into her and her friends lives by passing as a "cool" surfer their age. As it turns out he was a 40 something deadbeat, who when he got her address he drove cross country and murdered her. I think the end of the story was he killed himself, was he a true Psychopath? We'll never know, he sure can be put in the class as a super Internet predator.

We all that that instinct, most of the members here can recall their first red flag and brushing it off, red flag, instincts they are all the same, it is that little voice in our gut. Cops have it, customs inspectors have that if they are good at their job. Sometimes they use profiling, i.e. many times when I was traveling to China on a airline that carried mostly Chinese passengers, I was pulled aside by customs when I was returning to the US and questioned about every time I was waiting for my luggage, in a crowd of a couple hundred people, it wasn't me being suspicious because I could watch and see they weren't talking to everyone else, one time they even pulled me out of the line getting off the plane and sent me directly to a search. That was probably just profiling, I got questioned often enough that I could tell by their questions that they were eliminating the profile aspect and moving toward their instincts. They would do a pop quiz and be watching for my expressions while asking in a casual manner, like who is your freight shipper etc. Things that a smuggler might not have or know. They used that as a basis I can only assume for their own instinct check to see if I was telling the truth and should be put through further inspection.

We can learn a lot about people by "profiling" them and doing a gut check, the tiny thin line is to remain in the neutral zone during the profiling part. The BIG catch is that when they find a friendly ear on the Internet they are likely to say about anything and miss the red flags because in the beginning it is usually the prey who is doing all the talking while the predator is doing the profiling. Nice, caring people like our members don't think the person may be a problem until it is too late in real life, the Internet just further complicates the issue of profiling and instincts.

Di
Posted by: bea harris

Re: Red Flags - 10/12/11 11:10 AM

Hi,

I'm new to the community and I'm already finding much validation for my feelings and comfort in what I have read from others, so thank you everyone. Its such a relief to know I am not the only one to suffer in this way.

I identify with many of the red flags you list, and really got an 'aha' moment reading them. I didn't consider my very recent ex to be psychopathic, but rather as one suffering from undiagnosed aspergers, due to his lack of empathy. I am now convinced that he is a Psychopath. since he has shown a complete lack of conscience and any semblance of remorse for the hurt he has caused and he answers a positive to 90% of the red flags.

The red flag I would like to add to this, and one that I overlooked at the time, is a total feeling of oppression and feeling drained of energy, but not knowing why. I then became forgetful and scatter brained, which is not my usual mode of functioning, and then stressed and very slowly depressed. It was the mind games that did it, the switching plans and changing mind at short notice, the blaming me for all the problems in the relationship, the push me pull me tactics, the withdrawing, the sudden mood swings, the moods because I would spend time with friends and family, and the total control which gradually eroded my sense of self. It only took 6 months for him to do this to me! Although in this 6 months he would not let me out of his sight.

Thanks for reading

Bea
Posted by: FriedaB

Red Flags - 11/06/11 05:00 AM

Yippeee!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets see

1) Self injures for attention (i.e: cuts/burns/head bangs/breaks bones/pulls hair out ect ect)

2) Addictive Personality (first alcohol, later leading to drug/compulsive spending problem)

3) Couldnt complete anything she started.

4) No college degree despite having a high IQ (attended/flunked out of 5 colleges)

5) No direction, purpose or meaning in life...seemed to drift aimlessly from one crisis to next

6) Eating disorder (alternates between being anorexic and bulimic)

7) Always the victim...talked incessantly about everyone who "gave up on her"

8) Zero impulse control leading to criminal record (well ok, the felon thing came later)

9) Told people off often (i.e: employers) but mostly just passive aggressive. The "silent
treatment" was her speciality.

10) Always in competition with me, particularly when it came to food issues (i.e: if I ate 2 pieces of
pizza then she only had one...kind of a "I win/you lose" type thing)

11) Hyper, hyper sensitive.

12) Needed to feel "in control" at all times. Everything with her she made into a power struggle

13) Lets see...oh yes, loved you "like family" one month, then treated you like satan the next

14) Lied a lot.

15) Manipulative

16) "Empty" eyes definately

17) Since leaving home, she had never lived anywhere for more than 6 months.

18) Changed "BFFs" as often as she changed clothes.

19) Multiple tattoos and piercings she got "to feel the pain"

20) at least 10 inpatient drug rehabs/psychiatric hospital stays

21) Favorite movie: Girl Interrupted (need I say more?)

22) Kept every single email/msg she sent or received

23) Perfectionist with everything and knocked herself for not doing a good job. Yep

24) Mirrored me CONSTANTLY during "idealization" phase.

25) Suddenly moving out of roommate's apartment

26) Constant illness

27) Made me think we were "best friends" then would ignore any contact from me for weeks, then
pop back up again. haha

28) Projection, projection, projection

29) Putting me down, subtly then directly

30) Got Hepatitis C from IV drug use.
Posted by: 1Healing

Re: Red Flags - 11/06/11 02:05 PM

Reading your list reminds me why I am suffering... ugh yep.
Not sure what BFF is though.. but most all fits ex h Psychopath too.

They say most Psychopaths have very high book smart IQ but their emotional IQ is equivalent to a 5 yr old which also fits the Psychopath, I knew.

It does help me posting at a place like this that I can discuss, as I've said I write it here then can let go. The recovery from being in his whirlwind (& spat out) I think will take a long time.
Posted by: coping

Re: Red Flags - 03/23/12 09:51 AM

Can anyone give me examples of the excuses they were given when their psychopaths temporarily disappeared. I'm keen to know but don't know how to start a new thread :0 xx
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 03/23/12 10:47 AM

Hi coping, great idea, at the top of the forum you will see a button for "New Topic".

You will see it when you are in the discussion area.

Di
Posted by: coping

Re: Red Flags - 03/23/12 11:25 AM

Thank you Diane, I'll start a new topic xx
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 03/23/12 12:53 PM

You are welcome, I noticed in the FAQ they answer some of the questions but will send the suggestion to our software consultant to add what the buttons at the top mean like adding quotes etc.

Di
Posted by: Smokey

Re: Red Flags - 03/25/12 07:04 PM

One of my red flags was when we were living together. I was going out to work ( he was an alcoholic, which I didn't realise then, and didn't work of course)and he was watching TV.

I thought he could at least say goodbye quickly, as I went off to earn the money for both of us, so I playfully, gently, prodded him slightly with my finger while smiling as you do when playful, to get his attention.

Instantly, and in a single fluid move (he used to have a job in security) he grabbed my hand and bent it back painfully.

Bad enough but the real red flag was the expression on his face when he did it - cold, mean and spiteful, with that stare we all know, and he said coldly "Ask me if you want my attention" -conveniently disregarding that he had already ignored my spoken request for his attention before I left, and my goodbye.

I was too shocked to say anything at the time, I just left for work, feeling confused and shocked.

I had SIRENS ringing in my head, never mind red flags, but still I wondered if I was over reacting to what happened. But I felt this is NOT how you behave or react to someone you care about, or respect, or honour??

I kept going over it in my mind and decided I really needed to say something, if only to let him reassure me (this was within the first couple of weeks of him moving into my house).

I didn't want to make too much of it so later, after I was home, I "jokingly", as casually as I could, said something along the lines of "<laugh> I'd better remember not to startle you (I built in a get-out clause/excuse for him), you nearly broke my hand before <laugh>"

He very coldly replied, with absolutely no humour, warmth, jokyiness or smile "If I had meant to break your hand I would have" and turned his back on me.

Boy did that give me chills! The menace and subtext present, even without any real injury or major aggression present, seemed to be a very clear warning to tread very carefully and not "intrude" on his time, space or attention.

On another occasion he told me how his ex wife (whose name he would never tell me, just his derogatory nickname for her) had "shut up" when they were arguing after he put his fist through the door next to her. That he would do that was worrying, that he was telling me seems another clear warning not to push him, but maybe the biggest red flag was the pride in his voice when he told me about it.

Shortly after that, despite constantly saying he was only there for me, to be with me because he loves me, he insisted I needed to formally ask him whenever I wanted to touch him.

He did nothing in terms of housework after the first few days, he was there about two months, and he contributed nothing financially, and never worked a single day, but he accused me of only being interested in money, not him.

Another red flag was when he told me that relationships started out perfect and then gradually "had bits broken off them" - surely they should get better and stronger as they grow and develop?

But then this same man told me that sex with anyone got boring after a couple of months, not a good starting point for monogamy. Some of this stuff I think my mind refused to register at the time because I was too confused by it and because I couldn't accept what it must mean, so I would think I must have misheard somehow. Maybe I also fell for the self-delusion of thinking he would be different with me?


Rapidly the only times he was nice or affectionate was when he wanted me to buy him alcohol, cigarettes or take away meals. "Sweetheart can you get me ....on your way home ?" He went from showering me with affection and attention to walking around for days at a time as if I really, really literally wasn't there.

Not even acknowledging me by pointedly ignoring me, not even that degree of effort or negative attention. No, totally calm and relaxed himself, but as if I were a ghost in the house that he genuinely didn't see, it's hard to describe.

It got so if he even made me a cup of tea and handed me a biscuit I took it as proof that he did love me.He did so little that anything seemed a lot.

He would mock me for example, when I was at home discussing work with someone on the phone, he would be in the room repeating everything I said as I said it, like when children are trying to annoy each other?

I got home early from work once to be greeted with "What are you doing here?" in an accusatory tone.

I always wondered if that was a guilty concious, or paranoia, and he thought I had deliberately come home unexpectedly early to catch him out in something.

He hated people he knew talking to each other. I later found out it was because his lies would become apparent as different people compared conflicting stories he had told them.

Lots of the red flags became apparent afterwards, as I slowly found out what had really been happening. He told everyone else I had lost him his job when I threw him out.

How could he have lost his non-existent job when he never worked a single day?!(While I did one full time and two part time jobs!)

Of course he was playing the pity card with them, and making me out to be the villain, and borrowing money from them on that basis.

It was also a red flag when I realised he was stealing small amounts from my purse while he was here, while trying to get me to buy him a car: "If I had a car I could get a job and then we would be fine, I hate not working"

Had A bought him a car I have no doubt that would have gone when he did, which was basically when he saw I was beginning to see through him, so I became a target requiring more effort that someone who was totally unaware about him, although my heart would not accept what my head and my reasoning were screaming, and the gaslighting made me very much doubt my own judgement.

He tried to isolate me from family and friends, so I couldn't validate or sound out my feelings of unease or red flags to them. Originally it was male friends he objected to, then also female family and friends.

It got so that seeing them wasn't worth the awful atmosphere with him afterwards. Even if they phoned I would try to get them off the phone as fast as possible, so as not to rock the boat.

I remember there were times I would ask him about something that we had done, or try to discuss something with him and he would just insist whatever it was had never happened, but I knew it was something we had done or a conversation we had had!!

How can you discuss anything with someone who insisted black is white and that what you know really did happen never occured?! Another good way to mess with your sanity.

At the time I didn't recognise him as a Psychopath, I didn't know about Psychopaths then (nor did I know that not all alcoholics were homeless tramps who drank all day every day and lived rough) but I was starting to see that his actions never matched his words and his protestations of being in my house because he wanted to be with me, insisting he had passed up on the chance to move in elsewhere, with a good job, to be with me.

Of course with several years to puzzle it out since I last saw him (yes it can be done but something has recently brought him back onto my radar again, fortunately I don't think I am back on his), and putting it all down neatly here it seems unbelievable that anyone would ever put up with it but of course it is far from so clear at the time, with your emotions all over the place and with all your focus on trying to make it right, as he tells you it is you that is making the relationship lurch from one disaster to another (you fail to notice you are giving everything, he is giving next to nothing, just enough to keep you hanging on in hope, or to reel you back in), always so near yet so far from that initial bliss, delirium and ecstasy.

I am sure there were other red flags, I will post some more another time.

In an odd way it is reassuring to see so much I recognise in other people's posts. It lets me know I was not alone.

I don't think I will ever fall out of love with who I thought he was, and how I envisaged our future would be but I hope I can hang on the knowledge of who he actually is.



Posted by: the_maenad

Re: Red Flags - 04/14/12 04:21 PM

When he said one of his exes said he looked like a "demon", and how much it bothered him.

When in almost every relationship, he calls his ex-girlfriends psychos and that he 'attracts psychos' but they all seem to be violently struck by him, and run away from him.

The fact he can't hold a job to save his life, and ONLY ever wants FEMALE roommates, because he 'doesn't get along with men'.

How he told me he masturbated to autopsy reports when he was little.

His atrocious relationship with his mother, who was apparently a horrible woman, but also followed by his philosophy that 'all women are c*nts'.

The delusional manipulation and beliefs in astrology, palmistry, reincarnation (he's convinced this new girl he's the incarnation of a famous occultist) and mysticism, only he uses it in a Charles Manson way.

When he told me his favorite serial killer was Zodiac and he admired his work.

When he told me straight-out he 'tries to repress' his psychopathy and 'be a good person' when he was very angry at me, because he worried he was going to 'unravel'.

His complete disregard and lack of empathy for animals.

When he told me hanging out with friends is stupid, only if they help you with something or you provide something for them. (lack of compassion)

Yeah, I am pretty sure he has the makings of a serial killer.
Posted by: 007Girl

Re: Red Flags - 12/29/12 09:35 AM

Good morning all,

Needless to say it was a sleepless night as I was so engrossed in the reading of the posts. I am new so forgive me if I still am in the baffled, "stupid me" stage. I really need some words of comfort. I am frightened of his capabilities of revenge on me now, I didn't think it could get a whole bunch worse! My divorce has become very imminent to me after reading this site and gaining validation that he truly has the characteristics of a psychopath.

I was thinking about this as reading all the signs... I had all of them that were mentioned! I think the biggest one for me, was I am a recovering alcoholic (which he used very wisely to keep my self respect at bay) and I had relapse when meeting him. I was forthcoming from the start of our "trip to hell" about being in recovery and that I had relapsed and that is where my focus needed to be, on myself. He was off and running from the start with getting serious with me. He continued to persistently pursue knowing I was not healthy at that point in my life! It was as if it was the green light to GO for the kill. I can't help but be angry with myself for allowing it to bring me to such a condition I currently have become. The severe depression and anxiety I daily struggle with and working my recovery plan as well!!!!

Also, another flag for me is the little detail he gives me on EVERYTHING. Its like pulling teeth to get a complete direct answer on simple things. He always seems to forget all details. Now, reflecting back, I am certain it is because he couldn't keep up with all his lies! Over the years of our marriage and two kids later I have noticed him getting sloppier in his ability to hide everything... porn addiction, STDs, affairs, chatting, adult sites, his whereabouts, putting spyware on my phone, GPS on the underside of my car and trackware on my computer!!!! But hes thoroughly equipped with rationalization of any situation that he may encounter, even if it doesn't sound plausible.

Our marriage has been literal hell for the last 4 years if not longer. I am not sure whether to be relieved I have found the start of some closure and can cease his ritual of beating me over the head with guilt and shame of MY character defects. Or to be livid that I am in this predicament with two children ages 4 and 3, looking at the possibility of being homeless. I quit my job at a large well paying corporation to follow him around in the military to be basically unemployable after 4 yrs out of the computer workforce. I am so grateful that I found this site. I pray that I can find a local type of support group as well. I have a feeling this run down pinto just got dropped off at the Indy race track. I have questions for people, but I probably should have posted another thread as I am babbling, I am just so flabbergasted.

-007Girl (Chryss)
Posted by: funkyinanna

Re: Red Flags - 03/21/13 01:24 PM

Here's my list which is incomplete for sure (i keep remembering more and more)

1) fascination with porn
2) secretive activities in online social networks
3) considers himself 'an expert on women' (whatever that means)
4) considers himself 'an expert on sex' (whatever that means)
5) inability to control intake of drugs and alcohol (he keeps using until he runs out of stuff or can't afford to but anymore for a while)
6) bragging about the number of 'relationships' he's been in
7) lagging way behind in education system/applied work results etc.
8) periods of time which are unaccounted for (didn't appear to be working and having no obvious source of income)
9) spends 99% of time talking about himself
10) when he wants something he wants it NOW!
11) bizarre thinking process/ crazy-making
12) thoughts do not match words do not match actions
13) is always interested in 'influencing' people
14) believes all his (male) friends are jealous of him
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 03/21/13 02:22 PM

Inanna, yes, I remember many Red Flags.

Here are a few that can still make me blush for having been so gullible.

He told me the most vivid stories from Berlin. Horrific stories of people attempting to scale the Berlin Wall and ending up in No-Man's-Land, where they were shot and left to die amidst screams. He had been there as one of the good guys.

I saw no reason to disbelieve the stories.

Then, I started reading a few of Len Deighton's novels and came across several chapters that were almost verbatim accounts of Mr. Who's account.

So I asked him about it and here's the part that still makes me red on the tip of my ears: He said:

"Well, you know, I was his personal researcher and assistant and he (Len Deighton) used many of my stories in his books."

Yes, sirriieee! I believed that too!

Yes, he had hit his wife and broken her nose, but in fact, she was not too mad, for although she was wrong, she had always wanted a nicer nose… This had scared me and I had asked quite a few questions after I heard that story.

He had been visiting and had, I discovered, spent quite a lot of time sharpening my heavy duty kitchen knives.

He had also left them in the regular drawer, edge up, so I had cut several fingers when I reached for a butter knife. These knives were always left in a special drawer and with cardboard covers so I would not cut myself on them.

He never had his wallet on him when we were out, so could I…? When I softly asked about the money, I would be told, "Oh, yes, as soon as I am finished with…" I would continue to softly remind him, but he ignored me.

When leaving for home, he would have a huge list of things to bring home and would send me, sans his money, to the store to get them-

These and other stories are just the regular run of the mill psychopath stuff that most people wouldn't believe. I see why it's hard to credit, don't you?

Why we believed them and why we allowed ourselves to be taken so far down the rabbit hole is anybody's guess and so is why we suddenly wake up…but wake up we do and thank be to all the gods….

Nan


Posted by: 1962

Re: Red Flags - 03/21/13 08:00 PM

007 girl,

Welcome, sorry you have to meet us like this. I've had a rough day and am so tired. Please continue to read and post. I'll (and the others here) will provide you with support and validation and perhaps a little advice on how to get through this nightmare. We've all been there.
Posted by: funkyinanna

Re: Red Flags - 03/22/13 06:10 AM

Nan,

thanks for sharing some of your red flags...there always seems to be more of them lurking around

I still can't understand why someone would tell stories about UGLY things that he did unless he does actually believe that it makes him seem 'special'

I don't feel embarrased any more just angry with myself

I could have walked away I did in fact walk away several times and allowed him to reel me back in
WHY did he reel me back in? I assumed it was coz he had feelings for me! It was just so he could use me as a victim.

That thing with the knives is way too crazy! I wonder how long it would have taken him to do something like that to me? Maybe never if he could keep up the mental abuse successfully

he did hint about the money thing a few times but i pretended not to get it! I only 'lent' him small amounts,, partly coz when he broke with his ex he said that she demanded her money back and when I asked how much it was he told me a relatively insignificant sum. Later on I realized it couldn't have been and he was almost always broke after he finished with her
Posted by: 1962

Re: Red Flags - 03/22/13 08:06 AM

Nan,

It's amazing the things we will believe when we are in oxycotin induced love smile!
Posted by: 1962

Re: Red Flags - 03/22/13 08:25 AM

007 Girl,

I hope you are taking steps to keep yourself safe. Believe me when I say that they are capable of ANYTHING!
Posted by: funkyinanna

Re: Red Flags - 03/25/13 03:08 AM

Nan,

i remembered some more stuff along the same lines as 'len deighton used me as his researcher'! i can't include them here it would be too obvious to identify me...but i did cross-check that story with another friend who knows more than me in that field. He said when he had asked him for clarification on some points (where? when? etc) he never got a straight answer...just waffle
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 03/25/13 03:46 AM

Originally Posted By: funkyinanna


i remembered some more stuff along the same lines as 'len deighton used me as his researcher'! ...

...but i did cross-check that story with another friend.... He said when he had asked him for clarification on some points (where? when? etc) he never got a straight answer...just waffle


You were smarter than I was. I swallowed the whole thing hook, line and sinker. It was only later that I recalled a tiny shred of doubt that I had ignored at the time.

Yes, waffle and pander. It's almost as though they enjoy making up wilder and wilder stories just to see how far they can go before we start making inquiries.

Then when we do ask, we get more lies, more stories.

Funny enough, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence, Mr. Who would not back down, but demanded that I do.

Nan
Posted by: funkyinanna

Re: Red Flags - 03/25/13 06:31 AM

Nan

I didn't actually confront him with my discovery...the story he told was a sort of alibi for what he had been doing for 2 years when he didn't seem to be around much. This was before I met him ofcourse but the friend had known ages ago.

I guess it sounds more mysterious than 'i didn't have a job and wasn't going to college much at the time'

the reason it stumped me when i remembered it yesterday is coz it means he is capable of constructing huge lies enormous lies to make himself seem special

but surely he knew he was lying? what is the point of pretending to be special through a lie?
he's so crazy!

confronting him about even 'small contradictions' made him angry but again he didn't show his anger in a direct way always passive agressive
Posted by: Shayna

Re: Red Flags - 03/26/13 11:52 AM

So many red flags here are what I experienced too. The porn addiction, the missing time- and when I asked about it just to ask (this is when I still trusted him) I got a vague answer at first, then angry, accusatory answers later. He yelled at me once asking me if I needed to know where he was every second of the day.

There are so many more, but most have all been documented here.

One of the saddest things I remember was when things were still good between us. This actually happened twice. He was sitting on my couch as I was making dinner after work one evening, and he had this really sad look on his face. I asked him what was wrong and he started to cry, and said he was so afraid of me leaving him when I found out what he was. I had NO idea what he meant and he never explained any further than he 'wasn't a good person'. I wonder if they have moments of clarity and they realize for a few minutes what they're actually about?
Posted by: funkyinanna

Re: Red Flags - 03/27/13 04:59 AM

Shayna

I don't know if it's moments of clarity, most probably he doesn't view himself as a Psychopath but he knows he's a liar a fake a pretender
I think the crying thing happens when it becomes too much effort to keep wearing the mask and so they feign sadness and depression in the hope that any following bad behaviour would be lodged under that...

You're more likely to forgive and make allowances if you 'believe' that he is sad or if you think that he feels 'bad about himself'

I fell for it many many times over a very short period

Now in hindsight, even though I'm still in the fog, but cause I'm emotionally detached I can remember how he changed his mask and his voice when he was pretending to be sad and misunderstood...it was deliberate and it worked
Posted by: Shayna

Re: Red Flags - 03/27/13 06:51 AM

Yeah, I think you're right. I still seem hooked on the idea there's some compassion within him and we all know there just isn't. And it could have been simply a moment where he needed attention.

Thank you for the reminder. smile
Posted by: getaway

Re: Red Flags - 04/06/13 08:30 AM

Isn't it amazing how we need the reminders about their behaviour!? it has been 5 months now & at times I find myself wondering whether or not at certain times did he actually feel anything! Then my rational brain kicks in & reminds me about all his other victims etc

How on earth do they have such a hold on part of your emotional mind when they were so creepy! ...is it just the fact that they played so wel to your emotional needs during the courting phase?
Posted by: 1962

Re: Red Flags - 04/06/13 06:18 PM

I worked with a counselor who also worked with criminal psychopaths. He said that they do feel things, but that they had no conscience. It's possible that the "Psychopath" felt sad, or "loved" you in his own way, I know they feel depressed, anxious ect.

I know this because I have learned that my youngest son is also a "Psychopath". He and I were very close and when I fled the house, he took it really personally (guess I was a source of supply for him) When I finally got a chance to speak with him about his father's cheating and poisoning he believed me and told me to divorce him as his father would never confess the truth.

He didn't come right out and say it, but he said to me" you don't think I understand exactly what dad is, but I do." Realized right then that he has had a lot of the same behaviors as what you ladies are going through. He is a young and immature "Psychopath", but I can see now that he has 2 sides to him. I don't think the other side is evil like his father, but seems to be more needy in the attention from females issue.

At one time we got him medication for depression and the whole family thought that he did really well on it. He didn't like the way it made him feel. Brain chemistry and functioning is a lot of what is behind these PDs.

Sadly, I know what his fiancee is up against if he turns out like his dad.
Posted by: Shayna

Re: Red Flags - 04/08/13 07:52 AM

1962, that's so heartbreaking. frown I can only say that I tried antidepressants for a while too and hated the way they made me feel. I was a shell of a person. Yeah, they took the sadness away but they also took everything else away too.

That said I know it takes a while to find the right type and dosage for each person. I gave up my ADs because I didn't want to go through not being me for as long as it might've taken to find the right combo, if that was even possible. I'm glad I did too.
Posted by: 1962

Re: Red Flags - 04/08/13 02:11 PM

Shayna,

I know that antidepressants work for some people. I have been prescribed something, and found I slept the night and most of the next day was so groggy. If I ever need to sleep I can try a 1/2 dose, but seriously I don't like to feel foggy like that- reminds me too much of being with the "Psychopath".

I think right now, my mind is only letting me feel some things. As a friend said to me, if I thought about everything that I went through all at once, my head would explode frown
gross visual there.

I have been reading your posts and you sound strong!!! Nice to see. smile
Posted by: Shayna

Re: Red Flags - 04/09/13 06:15 AM

Ah, I don't like the groggy fog the next day with some sleep/anxiety meds either. I don't blame you for not wanting to take them. I don't even like some allergy meds because they change the way I feel.

I read something a while back about people that go through something so awful that their brains really do filter a lot of the details out. One example was someone experiencing something horrific that when they flash back to that experience, everything is either in black and white or there's just one colour present. To me what you're saying makes complete sense, and I'm so sorry you're going through something like this.

Strong? Maybe. I had an off night last night but I definitely didn't contact him. I realize my X is fairly harmless compared to the other stories I've been reading so in that way I feel very fortunate. I just want him gone at this point. I still have a lot of physical symptoms, the anxiety, the tight shoulders, the hives, but it's getting better. Last night sucked but today's a new day!
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 04/26/13 01:16 PM

My personal list of red flags:
- heinous things about you/other people or outward threats (he once said plainly he can destroy me at will) said in a disguise of a joke or in some confusing context - normal people usually don't say things like that even if they sometimes have evil thoughts because they are aware of the wrongness of them
- total calm and lack of strong reactions to even most terrible situations other than irritability/anger
- little fear and/or disgust
- denying the lies even if caught red handed - normal people also will deny a lie when afraid of consequences but usually not when there is hard evidence: then they usually apologise, are ashamed and so on - psychopath will immediately, without blinking either subtly change the story to fit the facts or deny ever lying to you (typical gaslighting strategy)
- no sensitivity to emotional value of art, even if he claims that he adores certain works/artists - the way he describes art (my personal Psychopath always liked art that he considered logical and even if I was seeing emotional value in it he simply couldn't grasp my perspective and was totally immune to metaphors)
- changing opinions about things and people and constant inconsistencies in told stories, especially if other people deny them (a psychopath tells you lies that suit him at the moment and later forgets what he said - if he constantly breaks promises and then tells you he's never said anything like that or you clearly misunderstood him like a 10th time in a week - that's a red flag)
- apparent fast changes of mood: one moment his poor/sick/tired and just wants to go home and a moment later he decides to go to the party (especially if he was sick when he needed to do something for you), he can also talk differently to different people: he is angry at you but smiling and polite to everyone else and shows no signs of distress (normal people often try to avoid putting others into uncomfortable situations when quarreling with a spouse but if somebody can completely turn a switch on his mood that suggests he may not be concerned that much in the first place)
- rare weird responses to your emotional states (sometimes he would completely misinterpret what I said about my feelings and when I reacted surprised he pretended he didn't hear well what I was saying) - I guess that is because a psychopath can only interpret and appropriately respond to emotional situations he has already had a chance to explore in the past - he has no empathy and feelings himself so he has no inner knowledge (he is probably going to learn fast and respond properly next time though)
- if he's clever (from what I learned many psychopaths are not concerned but my personal Psychopath was super careful not to get detected and was stressed when things were getting out of control) he will avoid leaving any evidence of his misconduct like he will only tell you things in private, not write e-mails or messages or discuss things in front of others, especially if they are people loyal to you
- if he has delayed or weird responses to emotional reactions or stressful events of others (e.g. when I was feeling bad and I cut myself his primary concern was not what was going on with me but rather his irritation that I stained his sweater with blood and now he has to wash it, smiling when he sees somebody crying, etc.)
- stories about other women (either on how attractive he is, or how other women all are sluts and want to cheat on their partners with him, or how bad his ex was) without ever showing the perspective of the other side or remorse
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 04/26/13 03:02 PM

That sounds to me less like a psychopath and more like a BPD (borderline personality disorder), not everything but most of it. The problem is that some behaviours of a psychopath overlap with BPD and/or a narcissistic personality disorder and also can make your life hell- the difference is that BPD do it because of their constant inside suffering and paranoia and narcissts often lack understanding and/or empathy but they are still able to feel normal human emotions and have conscience. Psychopaths just don't care. I think the important thing is that psychopaths usually don't hurt themselves or try to commit suicide as BPDs often do - they will maybe occasionally stage it for a show but most do even do that. BPDs are people who themselves need help (whether they are able to take it is another thing) and narcisst can be reformed if they actually feel the pain. Psychopath is irreparable. I think it is important not to label anyone who behaves in a horrible way a psychopath - a lot of people who do horrible things do it because of a mental illness and/or extreme emotional suffering, rather the opposite of the psychopath and confusing the two is actually bad for the former and good for the latter. That's why it's so frustrating that even psychiatrists and psychologists have little awareness about it. In general - a psychopath will never be consciously self-destructive.
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 04/26/13 06:13 PM

Quote:
...How long does it take you guys, or is this what I am for the rest of my life? I have focus/concentration problems, memory problems big time, don't trust anyone I meet, and yet I still have to battle the Psychopath in court over the divorce, the fraudulent mortgages, fraudulent prenup, and everything else I was totally unaware of, including the affair. I'm now estranged from family, for they did more harm than good. Any advice would be so appreciated...........I'm Christian, but my intrusive thoughts often interfere with my prayers. Has anyone else had these kind of symptoms from the psychopath aftermath?

It depends on a lot of things: how long you've been in it, how often if at all are you forced to interact with him, is he trying to interact with you and mess you up, your personality and such. I got rid of him just 3 months ago and was getting better daily even though I didn't at first realise what he really was. Luckily, he has a new toy and is moving to another city in the next month so not likely I'll have to see him again and we have no common things/kids and such. I still have nightmares and occasional panic attacks and sometimes I still go back and try to analyse things he was telling me (a lot of them sounded like he really knew deep things about me but then I assume he has just heard it from another woman before and re-used it on me without even understanding) but it is getting better. I'm far from OK though and I guess I'll decide to try some psychologist if I can find a reasonable one. Mostly I feel angry at my own stupidity but it is comforting to read that I'm not the only one and it's not even the stupidity rather the fact that nobody expects a psychopath in their life until they meet one (up until last week I still thought he's like a normal person just with issues and blamed myself for a lot of it.
Posted by: warrioress

Re: Red Flags - 04/27/13 01:45 AM

Quote:
In general - a psychopath will never be consciously self-destructive.


This is not true. Because they have no fear, they are often self destructive. They may not 'actually' commit suicide but threaten it, the impulsive behaviors like drinking/driving, breaking things, openly threatening people, domestic abuse, are all self destructive. The problem is, they are so manipulative they rarely get 'caught out'. This makes them even worse. They turn tears on and off, schmooze judges and cops, and generally get away with actual murder.

IE: I had mine arrested at my house for domestic assault, breaking my home and walls apart, pouring red wine all over my home and clothes, interfering with a 911 call by pushing me down in fear of MY LIFE in my BACK Field when I ran away, not even at the house, thinking he might snap my neck right then. He was arrested completely Drunk, with no shoes. The Judge dismissed the case, WITH Prejudice in three days ( which meant the DA could not bring the case again, they were livid) but to make it worse, the Sheriff transported him to my home to pick up his car, which I had been trying to get towed off the property , to no avail because I RENT.

Ok understand this: The Sheriffs DEPT transported a known abuser, to the abused property. I guess they felt sorry for him. I guess that fuckwit judge did too, when a few moths later they were called in again for 'blacked out drunk stalking', with an infant child next door.

The 'no fear' aspect of a psychopath is very important to understand. It makes them better than most at manipulations, because no one can 'Actually Believe' anyone would be so Blatant and self destructive. Mine even punched out a guy in jail and got away with that and everything he did to me too.
Theyre just good at it. It's unexplainable the hypnotic nature of it on mostly EVERYONE, judges and cops alike.
Posted by: Shayna

Re: Red Flags - 04/27/13 08:36 AM

Sorry Crocodile... I'm dealing with a narcissist and I believe you're wrong on a couple points (mostly right though):
One, they have no conscience or empathy. Two, they cannot be "reformed". I think the second point is very important since they can be so manipulative and they can convince you that they really can change when they can't. They just keep fooling people to returning to the relationship, and eventually it'll end the same way over and over, getting worse and worse each time. I don't want to give anyone reading this any false hope that their narc can change- they need to know the best scenario is to leave their narc and go no contact.

Also- it's true, narcissists do feel the same feelings we do but they often don't feel them the same way we do. They don't have the 'normal' reactions to things people with empathy and a conscience do. Often their feelings are centered around rage, anger and humiliation, and are often exaggerated and explosive.
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 04/28/13 10:43 AM

Quote:
This is not true. Because they have no fear, they are often self destructive.

Well, I probably did not formulate this right - they won't do anything with an intension to harm themselves or they won't sacrifice anything for somebody (like I can't picture a psychopath going into a flaming house to save a baby unless he sees some thrill in it for himself). That they will do things which ultimately prove self destructive because they did not think about/feared the consequences - this I do believe. Problem is, sometimes it can be difficult to tell what their intensions were. In general when I think back at my experiences -everything what he did can be explained away, it's only the full pattern that makes sense (I guess that's why it is so difficult for anyone who is not "close" to the guy to believe it - they only see some pieces of the puzzle). I guess the best to recognise the guy is when he loses control over his tongue and starts bragging - then they say really horrendous things (but then usually you have no witnesses and the guy will later say it was a joke or sth like that). I sometimes feel there is no way to fight them in real life...
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 04/28/13 10:57 AM

Quote:
I'm dealing with a narcissist and I believe you're wrong on a couple points (mostly right though):
One, they have no conscience or empathy. Two, they cannot be "reformed".

Well, then your narcisst is also a psychopath - as I said, they can overlap. I know a person who is a narcisst but he also has normal feelings and if treated properly can reform. You can also have a psychopath who does not (on the outside at least) behave like a narcisst - my Psychopath was like that, he would play humble and occasionally express self-doubt, at least when there were others around to listen. I guess it is all a matter of definition, you can never entirely understand what's going on in somebody else's mind (and sometimes this person may not understand either), so the question is where to draw a line... I don't know what the psychopaths can and cannot feel, I guess they do feel some stuff (frustration and anger for sure judging from mine). I feel all confused with it because I'd love to know (I guess those who had their psychopath actually say who they are are the lucky ones) but I guess it's best for me to accept this guy is just a toxic a... and move on, whether he has some remnants of humanity or not. I guess if he has they will bite him back sometime and if not, well you can't win boxing with an android...
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 04/28/13 11:11 AM

One more red flag I remembered - I had once a situation when a friend of mine had a respiratory problem - she couldn't breath properly, was pale and afraid she will collapse and stop breathing at all. She came to me when I was sitting with the Psychopath and asked for help. I was totally frightened and a bit panicked and wondered if I should call the ambulance or just take her out to fresh air or sth else. Psychopath was just sitting there calmly and gave some BS advice like he knew exactly what is wrong but did not move to even try to help her. I had to ask him to call the taxi for us to take her to the hospital and when he did it he simply turned around and got back to his work (I don't remember if he somehow half heartedly asked if he should go with us but if so it was not very convincing). He also didn't call later to ask how she was (he obviously didn't go with us), he just asked me on the next day if she was fine. All that time he showed not emotion or real concern, it felt more like he was just asking because he knew he should or like it was some sensational event that happened rather than a real threat to somebody's life. At the time I attributed it to a different reaction to stress (freeze rather than fight/run) but now when I think about it he was really cool all the time and showed little concern even after the immediate stress should have been long gone.
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/08/13 02:32 PM

Quote:
From the book: http://www.amazon.com/Psychopath-Fre...+relationships

There are a lot of phenomenal studies on the traits and characteristics of psychopaths. For professional research, check out Cleckley’s criteria or Hare’s psychopathy checklist. A quick Google search ought to do the trick. The red flags in this book are intended to supplement those resources.

So what’s different about this list? Well, for one, it’s specifically about relationships. But it’s also about you. Each point requires introspection and self-awareness. Because if you want to spot toxic people, you cannot focus entirely on their behavior—that’s only half the battle. You must also come to recognize the looming red flags in your own heart. Then, you will be ready for anything.

1. You feel on-edge around this person, but you still want him to like you. You find yourself writing off most of his questionable behavior as accidental or insensitive, because you’re in constant competition with others for his attention and praise. He doesn’t seem to care when you leave his side—he can just as easily move on to the next source of energy.

2. Uses sex as a tool for control. After first hooking you with sexual praise and flattery, he suddenly becomes reclusive and uninterested. He makes you feel desperate, ensuring that you are always the one to initiate physical intimacy. He uses insulting names like “whore” and “slut” to drive this point home. He might also openly comment on his diminishing sex drive.

3. Plasters your Facebook page with compliments, flattery, songs, and poems. He texts you dozens, if not hundreds of times per day. You come to rely on this over-communication as a source of confidence.

4. Quickly declares you his soul mate. And for some reason, you don’t find it creepy. He tells you how much he has in common with you. On the first few dates, you do most of the talking and he just can’t believe how perfect you are for him.

5. Compares you to everyone else in his life. Ex-lovers, friends, family members, and your eventual replacement. When idealizing, he makes you feel special by telling you how much better you are than these people. When devaluing, he uses these comparisons to hurt you.

6. Lies & excuses. There is always an excuse for everything, even things that don’t require excusing. He makes up lies faster than you can question them. He will always blame others—it is never his fault. He spends more time rationalizing his behavior than improving it.

7. No startle response. Total absence of anxiety, fear, and worry where there otherwise should be. He is also very easily bored by the familiar. You write this off as calm and cool, often feeling inferior and over-sensitive because you have normal human emotions.

8. Insults you with a condescending, joking sort of attitude. Smirks when you try to express yourself. Teasing becomes the primary mode of communication in your relationship. He subtly belittles your intelligence and achievements. If you point this out, he calls you hypersensitive and crazy.

9. Uses social networking to provoke jealousy and rivalries while maintaining his cover of innocence. He once focused all of his attention on you, but now he posts ambiguous videos and statuses to make you doubt your place in his heart. He baits previously denounced exes with old songs and inside jokes. He attends to their activity and ignores yours.

10. You find yourself playing detective. It’s never happened in any other relationship, but suddenly you’re scrolling back years on his Facebook page and albums. Same with his ex. You’re seeking answers to a feeling you can’t quite explain.

11. Surrounds himself with former lovers and potential mates. Brags that they want to sleep with him, but assures you there is nothing to worry about. These people make you feel jealous and give off the perception that he is in high-demand.

12. Hyperbolizes emotions while displaying none of them. He makes passionate statements like “I’ve never felt so happy in my life” in a completely robotic voice. It sounds like an alien trying to explain how he imagines human emotions might feel.

13. You are the only one who sees his true colors. Others will think he’s the nicest person in the world, even though he uses them for money, resources, and attention. They won’t care because he strategically distracts them with shallow praise (often done over social networking). Psychopaths are able to maintain superficial friendships far longer than their relationships.

14. Accuses you of emotions that he is intentionally provoking. He will call you jealous after blatantly flirting with his ex over social networking for the world to see. He will call you needy after intentionally ignoring you for three days straight.

15. Cannot put himself in your shoes, or anyone else’s for that matter. You find yourself desperately trying to explain how he might feel if you were treating him this way, and he just stares at you blankly.

16. You are engaged in constant conversations about his ex. You know her by name, and you know everything about their relationship—at least, his version of events. She becomes one of the most frequent topics of discussion in your relationship.

17. You find yourself explaining the basic elements of human respect to a full-grown man. Normal people understand the fundamental concepts of honesty and kindness. No adult should need to be told how they are making other people feel.

18. Focuses on your mistakes and ignores his own. If he’s two hours late, don’t forget that you were once five minutes late to your first date. If you point out his mistakes, he will always be quick to turn the conversation back on you.

19. Suddenly and completely bored by you. Gives you the silent treatment and becomes very annoyed that you seem to be interested in continuing the passionate relationship that he created. You are now a chore to him.

20. The ultimate hypocrite. He has extremely high expectations for fidelity, respect, and adoration. After the idealization phase, he will give none of this back to you. He will cheat, lie, insult, and degrade. But you are expected to remain perfect.

21. Sometimes it seems as though he’s forgotten who he’s supposed to be around you. He adopts different personas for different people—transforming his entire personality to match various audiences. It’s always very eerie when he slips and accidentally uses the wrong mask for you. You will start to feel that his personality just doesn’t seem to add up.

22. An unusual amount of “crazy” people in his past. Any ex-partner or friend who did not come crawling back to him will likely be labeled jealous, bipolar, an alcoholic, or some other nasty smear. He will speak about you the same way to his next target.

23. Flatters your deepest insecurities. If you’re self-conscious about your looks, he’ll call you the sexiest woman in the world. If you’ve got a need to entertain, he’ll say you’re the funniest person he’s ever known. He will also mirror your greatest fantasies, playing whatever role is necessary to win your heart.

24. Frequently comments about what you’re wearing and how you look. He tries to arrange you. You become obsessed with your appearance, noticing flaws that likely don’t even exist. During and after the relationship, you will spend significantly more time in front of the mirror. (Thank you to our member, ckwanderlust, for these valuable insights).

25. You fear that any fight could be your last. Normal couples argue to resolve issues, but psychopaths make it clear that negative conversations will jeopardize the relationship, especially ones regarding his behavior. You apologize and forgive quickly, otherwise you know he’ll lose interest in you.

26. Obsessed with humiliating successful, kind & cheerful people. Delighted by the idea of breaking up friendships and marriages. If you work hard to maintain interpersonal peace in your life, he will make it his mission to uproot all of it.

27. Gaslighting. Blatantly denies his own manipulative behavior and ignores evidence when confronted with it. He will become angry if you attempt to disprove his delusions with facts.

28. He expects you to read his mind. If he stops communicating with you for several days, it’s your fault for not knowing about the plans he never told you about. There will always be a self-victimizing excuse to go along with this.

29. Selfishness and a crippling thirst for attention. He drains the energy from you and consumes your entire life. His demand for adoration is insatiable. You thought you were the only one who could make him happy, but now you feel that anyone with a beating pulse could fit the role. However, the truth is: no one can fill the void of a psychopath’s soul.

30. Your feelings. After a run-in with a psychopath, you will feel insane, exhausted, drained, shocked, suicidal, and empty. You will tear apart your entire life—spending money, ending friendships, and searching for some sort of reason behind it all.

You will find that normal, loving people do not raise any of these flags. After an encounter with a psychopath, most survivors face the struggle of hypervigilance: who can really be trusted? Your gauge will swing back and forth for a while, like a volatile pendulum. You will wonder if you’ve gone absolutely mad—wanting to believe the best in an old friend or a new date, but feeling sick to the stomach when you actually spend time with them.

Developing your intuition is a personal process, but I would leave you with this: the world is mostly full of good people, and you don’t want to miss out on that because you’ve been hurt. Spend some time getting in touch with your feelings. Keep tweaking until you find a comfortable balance of awareness and trust. Look within and understand why you felt the way you did. You will discover that many old relationships may need revisiting. And as you begin to abandon toxic patterns, healthier ones will inevitably appear in their place.

To quote a longtime member & friend, Phoenix, you will stop asking “Do they like me?” and start asking “Do I like them?”


The best list I've seen so far...
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/20/13 09:35 PM

One more: although this one is not a rule as I've heard if the guy treats animals badly, with cruelty or simply completely without emotions - that's a red, red flag. My Psychopath was the only person who shoved off my cat when she jumped on his knees - not even my friends who claim are not fond of cats ever did that, she's such a sweet thing, can win anyone over. I remember it kind of really moved me and was clearly a red flag (he did it in such a way that I immediately had to take her and hold the poor thing, I felt so bad for her).
I guess Psychopaths should hate cats in general - they still the attention from them;).
Posted by: threetimesstunned

Re: Red Flags - 05/21/13 03:57 PM

Question: Have people had the experience of the "mask slipping" and a totally shocking rage emerging in a way it has never emerged before-- raw, naked, and pure death-drive-rage? Is there anything out there to read on psychopathy and rage? I never experienced any physical violence from this one, but only this, something so utterly awful and destructive coming out from way under all of those elaborate "civilizing" personality constructs... It happened in response to my making it clear, for one last time, expressed so convincingly, that I absolutely refuse to take the blame for the relationship having gone down the tubes...
Posted by: Nan

Re: Red Flags - 05/21/13 04:25 PM

Originally Posted By: threetimesstunned
Question: Have people had the experience of the "mask slipping" and a totally shocking rage emerging in a way it has never emerged before-- raw, naked, and pure death-drive-rage? Is there anything out there to read on psychopathy and rage? I never experienced any physical violence from this one, but only this, something so utterly awful and destructive coming out from way under all of those elaborate "civilizing" personality constructs... It happened in response to my making it clear, for one last time, expressed so convincingly, that I absolutely refuse to take the blame for the relationship having gone down the tubes...


Yes, I have seen that. Incomprehensible. What happened is just about the same thing with me saying that I knew with 100% certainty that X was correct, and Mr. Who demanding that I retract that statement. The first few times I saw this kind of thing, I backed off, partly out of surprise but also there was fear. The last time I leaned across the kitchen table (I am tall), wagged a finger in his face and told him that I was finished taking any more of his nonsense.

Wellllll, he actually said that he would kill me and he tried - stupid F*****. He knew that I would and could defend myself and when he saw in in my eyes, he deflated and backed off.

Still, you should not count on that. Mr. Who was not a spring chicken and he had a bad leg at the time, so I could have done him if he had pursued the ill-considered course of action.

Nan
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/21/13 04:42 PM

Rage... yeah, sort of, but to be honest it was like all the so-called emotions displayed by the Psychopath - it was cold. I don't know how they manage to express this kind of anger/rage thing that you feel the hate emanating from them and in the same time be so cold in it. I somehow don't think it is the same feeling as a normal person has when they are angry.
But it was certainly a mask slipping - so much naked viciousness and blatant cruelty I was stunned and didn't even realise what hit me. I felt like I'm talking to a different person.
I think there is just two ways the mask slips from them - either they feel to assured they have you and start to brag not realising/caring what you will think about them or they encounter some opposition and feeling they can't manipulate you anymore they go into berserk. Else they make that thing stick to their faces pretty well unfortunately.
Posted by: threetimesstunned

Re: Red Flags - 05/21/13 04:48 PM

Ha! that's great. More power to you!
Posted by: threetimesstunned

Re: Red Flags - 05/21/13 04:49 PM

Crocodile, i think you're right on. You expressed it exactly. the coldness, but yes also infinite hatred. bit the coldness, you're right. No heat, just glacial-- but terrifying!
Posted by: threetimesstunned

Re: Red Flags - 05/21/13 04:52 PM

What comes to mind in talking about this abyss that opens up and the draft of glacial hatred emerging are, in literature, representations of the devil. And I'm so uncomfortable with that! I've never believed in "evil," still less in "the devil" and somehow still don't... but ... IS this "evil"?
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/21/13 05:26 PM

I guess they are as close to evil as possible. Though the actual biblical devil sounds like a nice chap in comparison to a Psychopath, he had his weak moments;Psychopath.
I was also terrified to discover that it may be that evil is actually a bit more real than I've ever imagined and yeah, it gives me chills. But also I think that it maybe better to think of them what they really are - a mental disability with horrible consequences. I think calling them evil romanticises them in a way and makes them somehow interesting/mysterious. Calling them products of brain underdevelopment makes it somehow more understandable. Evil I guess was a useful category in times when we couldn't take brain scans.
But, yeah, seeing the "real face" wakes up some ancient fear centre deep in your brain. It feels like there is one specific for psychopaths since this is a completely different feeling from a normal fear (it's not even really a fear, it is literally staring like into the abyss - I've never felt this way in my life before).
Posted by: threetimesstunned

Re: Red Flags - 05/21/13 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: crocodile
I guess they are as close to evil as possible. Though the actual biblical devil sounds like a nice chap in comparison to a Psychopath, he had his weak moments;Psychopath.
I was also terrified to discover that it may be that evil is actually a bit more real than I've ever imagined and yeah, it gives me chills. But also I think that it maybe better to think of them what they really are - a mental disability with horrible consequences. I think calling them evil romanticises them in a way and makes them somehow interesting/mysterious. Calling them products of brain underdevelopment makes it somehow more understandable. Evil I guess was a useful category in times when we couldn't take brain scans.
But, yeah, seeing the "real face" wakes up some ancient fear centre deep in your brain. It feels like there is one specific for psychopaths since this is a completely different feeling from a normal fear (it's not even really a fear, it is literally staring like into the abyss - I've never felt this way in my life before).


Interestingly, my Psychopath., a woman, has gone, as she puts it, into a "religieuse" phase (by which she certainly doesn't mean anything like born again... just directing her thoughts toward religious things and God in whom, she says, she believes). That makes it even spookier.

I think you're right about cautioning against romanticizing them by calling them "evil"; silently, I think she enjoys that, and she enjoys it far less when I refer to simple but utter every day lacunae in her sentimental life as I've observed them.

Re fear: I was wondering about that, whether or not I'm afraid of her, and I'm pretty sure I'm not, not in the everyday sense. I'm profoundly bothered, shocked, by her as a phenomenon, though, by the coldness. It's an abyss inside of which everything breaks down.

How long, if I may ask, has it taken you to re-collect the pieces after your experience?
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/22/13 04:00 AM

Well, it's been 2 months no contact but it was really really bad before and I was contemplating a solution of half a year or more, I just wanted us to part in a civilised way but that's not what the Psychopath wanted.

I'm actually doing pretty well but I must admit I have it easy - I was not married to him, no kids, "only" 4 years together and he is not really going after me, he's really preoccupied with his new victim so I can put myself together. He's also kind of more sophisticated - almost no physical abuse (he only hit me a few times before but was never "into" it fortunately - I think he just wanted to see how far he can go) and the psychological abuse was very subtle, he rarely called me names, it was only manipulation, lying and such and it's easier to deal with when you know what's coming.

I also got a lot of support from friends, family and co-workers, who apparently despise this guy which I find really surprising - turns out I was the one with the best opinion about him to begin with.

So I had it relatively easy compared to most people here.
Posted by: threetimesstunned

Re: Red Flags - 05/22/13 07:23 AM

Originally Posted By: crocodile
Well, it's been 2 months no contact but it was really really bad before and I was contemplating a solution of half a year or more, I just wanted us to part in a civilised way but that's not what the Psychopath wanted.
I'm actually doing pretty well but I must admit I have it easy - I was not married to him, no kids, "only" 4 years together and he is not really going after me, he's really preoccupied with his new victim so I can put myself together. He's also kind of more sophisticated - almost no physical abuse (he only hit me a few times before but was never "into" it fortunately - I think he just wanted to see how far he can go) and the psychological abuse was very subtle, he rarely called me names, it was only manipulation, lying and such and it's easier to deal with when you know what's coming.
I also got a lot of support from friends, family and co-workers, who apparently despise this guy which I find really surprising - turns out I was the one with the best opinion about him to begin with.
So I had it relatively easy compared to most people here.


That's interesting about your friends not having liked him. I had the same experience: really no one who met her liked her; one of my friends could not bear even to LOOK at her, and I could not figure out what was going on with him. I was so enchanted I could NOT figure out why this was the case.Other friends said the same thing about her: she doesn't care about your life, your friends. I had to remind myself that I had not liked her myself, 1.5 years ago. We met online, and the first two times we met she actually creeped me out as I noticed how she watched me, with beady eyes. I don't know why I agreed to meet again. But once I was hooked, that was that, I felt really seriously attached; I never thought to wonder about what was happening. That was the early honeymoon phase; she absolutely swamped me with all the good stuff, and I became like putty in her hands. With hindsight I now remember the red flags: attempts to destabilize me sexually; weird lies; sudden blasts of aggressiveness; all mitigated by the "love bombing" via text and email. I've never gotten so much attention in my life; way too much. I think now that--with my compliance--there was maybe even some sort of hypnotizing going on. My body knew something, though: I developed all sorts of psychosomatic disturbances plus panic attacks.
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/22/13 08:08 AM

Quote:
My body knew something, though: I developed all sorts of psychosomatic disturbances plus panic attacks.

Same with me. I felt constant anxiety from the start. When it comes to not liking him - I was attracted to him from the start but also felt that he's not "my kind of person" - I usually know pretty fast the people I'll get along with well and those who I'll never be real friends with (not necessarily because they're bad people, just not "my kind") and never go out of my way to please them. I remember I found it surprising that he got interested in me and how easy it was to be close with him in spite of my initial feelings. I thought that maybe I was just wrong in the beginning... well, I wasn't.
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/22/13 08:09 AM

I guess if he was not sexually super attractive for me I'd have not liked him as well, I usually have a good intuition for people. I was just so much into this guy and so happy he seemed to be interested that I gave in immediately and let him do whatever he wanted ignoring all the red flags.
Posted by: threetimesstunned

Re: Red Flags - 05/22/13 08:20 AM

Yeah, in hindsight so many red flags in the beginning; I did note them (I remember individual moments so well) but thought I was just being "paranoid," self-destructive.
In my case, too, God forbid, no physical violence (though she's not a stranger to it), really no offensive language except for these rare moments, when suddenly everything was torn to shreds (the abyss opening up), just for a split second. Language is highly fetishized in her hands, so precious, so self-conscious, so--artificial. And so... weirdly, full of hate in its intention, NOT in her superficial use of it.
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/22/13 08:23 AM

Now I think about it - I met him when we started working together and I was bullied by people at the workplace, all his acquaintances, as I was a new employee and I'm rather shy by nature. The way he got to me was that he after some time of this bulling in which he never took part (at least when I was looking), he talked to me that he sees what's going on and he wants to help me and is always defending me in front of these people and so on. Now, I'm wondering if he did not actually manipulate others into not liking me and mobbing just to be able to pose as this nice guy who's totally on my side. This sounds like a typical strategy - isolate you from the environment and set up the we against the world scenario. I have no proof of course, but I know at the same time I made friends in the same company at another department via a colleague and somehow they all seemed to like me from the start so maybe it was really him setting me u for trouble:/.

It was all so cliche: first he's trying to help you against all the bad people around you, then he tells you his sad story so you feel bad for him and then when you're totally into this guy he changes into his real self...
Posted by: threetimesstunned

Re: Red Flags - 05/22/13 12:37 PM

Originally Posted By: crocodile

It was all so cliche: first he's trying to help you against all the bad people around you, then he tells you his sad story so you feel bad for him and then when you're totally into this guy he changes into his real self...


That's what I'm finding, too, that she is a textbook case-- every single cliche confirmed. The very terrible event (the details of which didn't add up). The worst things for me: the gaslighting and the sense of betrayal. We shared so much (intellectually and emotionally) and nothing ever meant anything to her. That's hard to take. Also that I let her play the same game with me twice! But I had to be sure.
Posted by: tigerlilyj

Re: Red Flags - 05/24/13 11:19 AM

Originally Posted By: crocodile
Now I think about it - I met him when we started working together and I was bullied by people at the workplace, all his acquaintances, as I was a new employee and I'm rather shy by nature. The way he got to me was that he after some time of this bulling in which he never took part (at least when I was looking), he talked to me that he sees what's going on and he wants to help me and is always defending me in front of these people and so on. Now, I'm wondering if he did not actually manipulate others into not liking me and mobbing just to be able to pose as this nice guy who's totally on my side. This sounds like a typical strategy - isolate you from the environment and set up the we against the world scenario. I have no proof of course, but I know at the same time I made friends in the same company at another department via a colleague and somehow they all seemed to like me from the start so maybe it was really him setting me u for trouble:/.

It was all so cliche: first he's trying to help you against all the bad people around you, then he tells you his sad story so you feel bad for him and then when you're totally into this guy he changes into his real self...


Wow... what I'm so amazed at after so much research is how psychopaths are like a "species," they all share traits - identical ones - like the way all zebras share stripes.

Mine did the exact same. 2 years ago when we first met, he caught me that way: us against the world, like you said. Told me that i was "not following the good path" and to be aware and strong against all the cruel people in this world: isn't it ironic that I believed I was being saved by the cruelest one of them all?

It worked like a charm on me, he is 8 years older so I naively thought he was wiser and knew what was good for me, I swallowed all of his [censored] for months really believing he was helping me. I have to admit that he did help me for a lot of things, he took care of me, got me back on track from my depression, and was so good to me in the beginning of our relationship. I was in a low point of my life when we met (of course: if I hadn't been weak, he wouldn't have fooled me to become his girl...)

He always told me his story of how hard his childhood was and this made me justify his abusive behavior for a long time, normalized it thinking "its okay, he is the one, we will get through this together."

Never accept excuses from someone for their mistreatment and abuse of you, and even if it is so hard, just walk away... Respect yourself.


Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/24/13 07:50 PM

Yeah, the worst part is that in the beginning he also really took care of me. Or at least it appeared so since now I'm realising that:
- some of it is only what he said (like his "defending me" in front of others - it may well be he was the one who spread stories in the first place but I believed him since he was the only one to talk to me)
- some of it was real favours but usually small ones which he made look like he's saving my life though in reality they required no or close to no effort from him (and then I realised he either bragged about it in front of the whole world to see how good he is and/or went on to remind me about them on every occasion)
- whenever I needed substantial help which would take a lot of his time, effort or god forbid any money he had an excuse (or he would promise to do it and then never remembered the conversation/changed his mind because of some horrible offense on my side/couldn't make it because of some sudden family emergency)

In the same time I constantly offered my help and never heard thank you (except when he used his overly expressed gratitude to manipulate my behaviour).
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/24/13 08:05 PM

Quote:
got me back on track from my depression


Well, mine used my mild depression to manipulate me into even worse problems - he basically drove me crazy (with a help of the so called "professionals") and of course he was doing it all to help me. What started off as a low level depression (and that was even mostly driven by him since it was 2 years into the relationship) ended up as panic attacks, severe depression and anxiety and borderline-like symptoms. Plus some others. Funny how all of this disappeared completely without any drugs/psychologists (I won't ever trust any one of them after this I think, the are a bunch of incompetent people with own issues and an unfounded believe that they understand others perfectly because they finished some studies - I'm still waiting to meet one who's not like that) 2 months after NC.

I actually realised that he was actively putting things into my head and I was replicating them in real life (somebody here wrote something about Psychopaths and hypnosis...). I only resisted his attempts to drag my family to this [censored] - he was implying I was abused as a child and tried to make me believe there was something wrong with my family (which of course was what the "professionals" also believed even though I told them again and again I have NO childhood issues and had a normal loving family). Now I think about it these were the only moments I resisted his BS - when he tried to set me up against my close friends and family. I fear to think how bad it would be for anyone who had less support and hard faith in people close to them. I guess that's his next victim (she's the one who actually was abused by her family and had a history of suicide - an easy catch for him...).
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/24/13 09:42 PM

Back to red flags: he was also almost never concerned with my safety. Whenever we would go out until late in the night and I had to come back home on my own, he never cared to check on me (like ask me to txt him or so) and was always very disturbed when I asked him for that when I was worried. Actually whenever I was caring for him and therefore wanted him to let me know if he's safely home or stuff like that he would be irritated and later on told me I was trying to control him.
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/25/13 03:21 AM

And a few more:
- He tries to take you on as some sort of "project" and attempt to "improve" you, as if you need to be "fixed" and he/she's doing you some sort of favor.
My Psychopath told me once that I'm a challenge to him and was really surprised I got upset and angry - the way he talked about it was as of an object, something one does to satisfy his own vanity and not a relationship with a person. He was also constantly trying to "help" me to be a happier person and said that the only thing he wanted in future is me telling him that I'm so grateful for his help, the way it changed my life. That should have been a huge red flag, I have no idea how I could have taken it as something positive. Also he is trying to arrange your appearance - what you wear, how you cut you hair and so on making you insecure and also taking credit for your attractiveness (like you were a poodle to be taken to trimming). This can also extend to other things outside of cloths like the equipment you buy and so on -it's a mixture of him being an expert in everything (he's so proud he always knows what's the best and brags about his expertise) and his controlling nature. In the same time you may notice that he has no problem conning people (he always bragged how he buys used stuff really cheap when people have no idea what is the value of what they sell - somehow he did not see it as exploitive).

- Instead of being honest with you about how he feels, you find out that he ridicules you behind your back, even when you have expressed a preference for honesty
Yeah, except I was so isolated that I had no idea he went around and vented all his issues with me in front of others (not only his friends but just anyone, including MY friends). And I have repeatedly asked him to be honest with me and tell me all the bad things - he was always somewhat elusive in his answer to it.

- His place is impersonal - no pictures of friends/family, no souvenirs, no personal items. If there is something there it's only because you or some other woman placed it there and he did not throw it away yet. Same with his workplace and wallet - a lot of people keep pictures of their family/spouses/kids in their wallet together with the documents. Never puts up any personal screensaver/desktop image either. Whenever I gave him something it just disappeared without a trace. When I asked him how he liked the present he would ridicule me for it like I was such a small-minded woman who cared about little gifts of no value or openly laughed at my emotional connection to them (I kept everything he ever gave me). He also said it's so easy to please women - just buy them cheap jewelry and they're happy. He seemed to miss the whole point (it's not about the monetary value is about the thought and love you put into presents) but in the same time knew that he could use his carelessness with it to upset you. Probably being a Psychopath he really did not understand what's the whole fuss about but learnt that it can be used to hook up/upset the victim with presents both given and received.

- Playing hate/trust card - often asks you if you hate him or whether you trust him. If you say you don't hate him he knows he has a clear way and can switch to nasty mode. I you tell him you trust him be sure he'll betray you in a course of weeks. My Psychopath used to ask me to trust him a lot (which is weird in itself - you don't go to your friends and tell them - hey, it's time you trusted me, we know each other for so long - it should be their decision to trust someone) and I usually told him I was always cautious with people (he later on made me believe I have issues with trusting people). When I finally gave in and told him I trust him he immediately turned around to stab me in the back. And then when I was unhappy and told him I don't trust him anymore he said he didn't care about my trust anyway. When it comes to the hate thing - he often complained that people don't like him/hate him in the same time saying that he doesn't care. He often complained to me people hate him because of me (they did because they saw how he treated me) and I had to be sorry for him and basically take the blame for other people hating him because of him being nasty to me. If that does not sound crazy I don't know what does. And in the same time he tells you he hates you with utter vehemency when he is angry and the next day when you're all broken he will say "I was angry, that's why I said that" like being angry excuses the whole thing without the need for additional remorse - it's your fault you made him angry after all.

- He dumped his ex in an incredibly mean way - in front of her friends, for example. And he has no shame to tell the tale.
He did that with me (he brought his current GF to witness) and he also bragged about leaving his ex. Also having no friends of the opposite sex is a warning sign (well, sometimes he will pretend that this or other girl is just his friend but it will always involve sex). Mine had only male friends (and a number of them were gay - he also bragged about how he was attractive for them although he was not homosexual himself)

- He makes it clear that he doesn't want you talking about him to anyone else.
That's a way to make sure you're isolated and the others only know his version of events (be sure, he will talk about you even if he promises that the secrecy and intimacy of your relationship is mutual - later on you'll find out not only that he talked but also WHAT)

- He is domineering and selfish in bed. Gives you orders. "Touch me" "Look at me" "Tell me how much you want me." He won't get off unless you are doing these things. Sex is NOT a sensual experience for him. He doesn't understand that you are a human, have feelings, need to be treated gently, etc. Sex is just another method of him proving his greatness. And if you don't get off, he'll be upset (and possibly make it you fault - how cold you are). Not because he genuinly cares about you; but because he didn't live up to his false sexual alter ego. And moves on to fetishised sex early on - it's OK to have some play after you've been in a relationship for a while and things get less intense but if he needs additional stimulation after you've been together for a few months is a red flag.

- he can't express real joy and happiness - mine never really laughed, he only smiled or smirked and only when the conversation was about making fun of others in a mean sort of way. His sense of humour was reduced to meanness (making fun of others for their looks, personal problems and so on) or making you feel uncomfortable (jokes that seemed like normal friendly exchanges that over time turned to him making fun of you - in these exchanges he always had to have a final say, the moment you hit his soft spot he would immediately change his mood and explain how wrong you are). You could recognise his good humour by how nasty he was - the meaner the comments the more glaring he was. And then he would also go into more playful, predatory mode. I've never seen him being happy in a pure sort of way which makes people shine from the inside and be kind to others - his "joy" was always in making others suffer or watching their downfall. When asked if he was ever truly happy he did not seem to understand the concept. He also was never satisfied (even after achieving a real goal he was like - "well, I don't dwell on it and move on to something new, that's just my way". In a sense he seemed to be just as shallow in his positive emotions as in the negative.
Posted by: tigerlilyj

Re: Red Flags - 05/25/13 05:23 PM

Originally Posted By: crocodile
And a few more:
- He tries to take you on as some sort of "project" and attempt to "improve" you, as if you need to be "fixed" and he/she's doing you some sort of favor.
My Psychopath told me once that I'm a challenge to him and was really surprised I got upset and angry - the way he talked about it was as of an object, something one does to satisfy his own vanity and not a relationship with a person. He was also constantly trying to "help" me to be a happier person and said that the only thing he wanted in future is me telling him that I'm so grateful for his help, the way it changed my life. That should have been a huge red flag, I have no idea how I could have taken it as something positive. Also he is trying to arrange your appearance - what you wear, how you cut you hair and so on making you insecure and also taking credit for your attractiveness (like you were a poodle to be taken to trimming). This can also extend to other things outside of cloths like the equipment you buy and so on -it's a mixture of him being an expert in everything (he's so proud he always knows what's the best and brags about his expertise) and his controlling nature. In the same time you may notice that he has no problem conning people (he always bragged how he buys used stuff really cheap when people have no idea what is the value of what they sell - somehow he did not see it as exploitive).


Jesus... My constant words on repeat: "I'm not a broken object that you need to fix!! I'm a whole person goddamnit, and I don't need you to help me get 'better'!" to try to reason with him, but people like him never learn. He never criticized or tried to change my appearance (if he had done that it would've been bye-bye immediately because he would have lost me, and he knows that everyone tells me that I am beautiful). He would tell me that I'm gorgeous in the beginning but then it stopped, like for Valentine's day I wore this really nice dress and everyone at the party told me how great I looked except for him, he barely even looked at me. And like earrings that I had been wearing for months that he didn't even remember when I mentioned them!!! When I got upset about these things he told me "you're beautiful i don't need to tell you anyway," and would call me "superficial".. I cant believe I accepted that as normal. Red flag was there already though...

Originally Posted By: crocodile

- His place is impersonal - no pictures of friends/family, no souvenirs, no personal items. If there is something there it's only because you or some other woman placed it there and he did not throw it away yet. Same with his workplace and wallet - a lot of people keep pictures of their family/spouses/kids in their wallet together with the documents. Never puts up any personal screensaver/desktop image either. Whenever I gave him something it just disappeared without a trace. When I asked him how he liked the present he would ridicule me for it like I was such a small-minded woman who cared about little gifts of no value or openly laughed at my emotional connection to them (I kept everything he ever gave me). He also said it's so easy to please women - just buy them cheap jewelry and they're happy. He seemed to miss the whole point (it's not about the monetary value is about the thought and love you put into presents) but in the same time knew that he could use his carelessness with it to upset you. Probably being a Psychopath he really did not understand what's the whole fuss about but learnt that it can be used to hook up/upset the victim with presents both given and received.


Totally, there are no photos at all, just his little gizmos and a wall decor or two from IKEA. HAHA. He hides all his photo albums on Facebook, he just showed me a couple of photos from him as a little kid, he NEVER expressed interest in seeing photos of my childhood or my past, goes to prove what a narcissist he is. All of his photos on his desktop or profiles are art or photography that he either copied or stole from somebody else. He has a CHEST full of his memories. Like a cave of dark secrets, creepy isn't it? What is he trying to hide? There he puts his photos and ex-girlfriend's presents, including my letters and gifts.. The bastard got a lot of gifts from me, but whenever he would 'get' me something he would either conveniently say he lost it before he could give it to me (he even made up a [censored] story that his mom 'stole' my birthday bracelet because she was jealous!! I cannot believe I bought that) For christmas he didn't get me anything, he 'pretended' that the stuff was at his mom's house, then finally days later he gives me these 2 hideous coats (what kind of christmas gift is THAT to your 2-year girlfriend????), that I could tell he just took from his mom's shopping bulk but didn't actually pick out for me.. I was crying and he told me 'sorry, I'm just not good at buying presents for people.' whereas he had just bought himself a load of new shoes .... He thought I was a materialist to expect presents from someone who is supposed to love me. He totally missed the point, thought it was about money ALWAYS. Money and sex is all that seems to be on his mind, the poor bastard.

Originally Posted By: crocodile
And in the same time he tells you he hates you with utter vehemency when he is angry and the next day when you're all broken he will say "I was angry, that's why I said that" like being angry excuses the whole thing without the need for additional remorse - it's your fault you made him angry after all.


Yes... he would hit me, rip my clothes, emotionally torture me and neglect me, go out without telling me where he's going and turn off his phone. The next day "It's your fault, you make me so angry sometimes..." And by the way, there's never an apology. Never. Whenever I squeezed out a sorry so that I wouldn't go insane, he would look away and sigh as he said it. Monster...

Originally Posted By: crocodile

- He dumped his ex in an incredibly mean way - in front of her friends, for example. And he has no shame to tell the tale.
He did that with me (he brought his current GF to witness) and he also bragged about leaving his ex. Also having no friends of the opposite sex is a warning sign (well, sometimes he will pretend that this or other girl is just his friend but it will always involve sex). Mine had only male friends (and a number of them were gay - he also bragged about how he was attractive for them although he was not homosexual himself) [quote=crocodile]


He had a reasonably serious relationship before me (so he says) where they lived together and she "pressured him" to get married and that he said no and so they split. His EX is married now, she married very soon after leaving him. He always made it sound like she was the crazy one, (I mean hey, that's what he's doing with me right now!) but I highly doubt that knowing him. She must have been so tired of his crap, and probably wounded so she found a partner soon after to ease the pain. I know that rebounding is not recommended, but right now finding a loving partner sounds like just what I need too...
What's the opposite about my psycho is that his friends were ONLY women. NO guys. When I asked him why that was, he always said that he never got along with other guys because he prefers topics of conversation from women and that it's more interesting (sexually too, of course). He always bragged about his virility and that other guys are intimidated by him and that's why women are his friends. He would always add random girls and start talking to them while we were together (very much to make me jealous on purpose to push my limits, which is what he admitted when we broke up) but of course out of the question for ME to talk to any guy! Talk about sick insecurity issues...

Originally Posted By: crocodile

You could recognise his good humour by how nasty he was - the meaner the comments the more glaring he was. And then he would also go into more playful, predatory mode. I've never seen him being happy in a pure sort of way which makes people shine from the inside and be kind to others - his "joy" was always in making others suffer or watching their downfall. When asked if he was ever truly happy he did not seem to understand the concept. He also was never satisfied (even after achieving a real goal he was like - "well, I don't dwell on it and move on to something new, that's just my way". In a sense he seemed to be just as shallow in his positive emotions as in the negative.


Well, his humour was definitely nasty, he loved anything perverted and sick to talk about, would go on and on about rape and gang killings on a regular basis (he would always sound more fascinated than disgusted) pretending that he was appalled and wanted it to stop... His lack of education did not help this at all though; intellectual topics did not interest him, they would always veer towards the world of porn or vile 'fun facts'. Worst conversationalist ever, loud booming voice to impose his presence onto to other people (to compensate his low self-worth), would never listen to me or other and just wait for his turn to talk. And overall lazy, unambitious, a leech! YUK YUK YUK
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/26/13 01:55 AM

Quote:
What's the opposite about my psycho is that his friends were ONLY women. NO guys. When I asked him why that was, he always said that he never got along with other guys because he prefers topics of conversation from women and that it's more interesting (sexually too, of course). He always bragged about his virility and that other guys are intimidated by him and that's why women are his friends.

Well, that paradoxically proves the point - his female "friends" were merely sexual objects (either ex or future or potential or maybe even current that you did not know about). Mine also had a problem with males (they hated him more than women on average, probably because some women were attracted to him and therefore not immediately disgusted), he often said that they hated him because they were jealous of his attractiveness (I somehow bought it although this guy is not really very handsome, yes, there are girls who are super attracted to him like me but his perceived attractiveness comes mostly from being indiscriminate - if I slept with every guy who wanted to go to bed with me I'd have beat him in numbers for sure). But he did have one or two male friends with whom he had a pretty stable relationship (his relationships with women were merely acquaintances, short lived and usually centered around sex).
On an interesting note, for the psychopaths even the sex is not what it is for us. They are often using the withdrawal as means of control, simply because they are not really so much interested in it. Sure, it gives them physical pleasure same as for us but they cannot be really passionate about it (I guess because it requires again some sort of emotional connection). Hence, they need all the weirdness and fetishes and constantly do it with someone new as it is not exciting enough. The best sex is always with someone you love after all...
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 05/26/13 02:09 AM

Quote:
intellectual topics did not interest him

Well, mine was a smart guy (I'd have never fallen for him if he wasn't, I've realised early on there's nothing that turns me down as much as stupidity). And in this respect he was ok, he could even display some degree of being humble, listening to others opinions and so on. I guess if he sticked to his professional career only and gave up on relationships he could be actually more tolerable. Although his psychopathy has taken toll on his achievements as well - he has severe problems managing people and absolutely no idea about it (I saw him many times overseeing a new employee and always felt super frustrated because he sucked at being able to motivate people or tune to their way of thinking). He actually thinks he's getting better at it because of his observation skills but in fact he's not improving at all and I've times again heard people complain that they asked him for explanations and help and he was so useless. It's not that he doesn't want to do it - he has an urge to help and educate others professionally (interesting in a psychopath but actually makes perfect sense) but is really poorly equipped to do it and it may bite him in the ass in future when he has more responsibility as a leader. I don't think he is completely useless though but it will be super difficult for him to learn because he has to a) accept other people's opinions, even if he sees them as inferior and b) tune in to his social environment. Plus his personality is so off putting for others that some people refuse to cooperate with him solely on this basis.
Posted by: idiot

Re: Red Flags - 07/09/13 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: threetimesstunned
Question: Have people had the experience of the "mask slipping" and a totally shocking rage emerging in a way it has never emerged before-- raw, naked, and pure death-drive-rage? Is there anything out there to read on psychopathy and rage? I never experienced any physical violence from this one, but only this, something so utterly awful and destructive coming out from way under all of those elaborate "civilizing" personality constructs... It happened in response to my making it clear, for one last time, expressed so convincingly, that I absolutely refuse to take the blame for the relationship having gone down the tubes...


Oh yes! Always in response to some percieved ego-injury. When he couldn't reconcile the feedback he was getting with his grandiose self image he would go into one of those primal rage states, laying on the floor, screaming, breaking stuff - and most eerily - making no sense. His sense of self literally dissolved when he had to face that he wasn't perfect and the centre of the universe and he had to work through it with this deep, mad rage. Often it was delayed a day or two from the actual trigger. I think his subconscious took time to process it. I would see the signs he was working up to one of these mask-slippages in the end.

Worst thing was I ended up feeling like the cold, emotionless one because eventually I had no sympathy left for him and so I found myself just observing his rages with detachment.

ETA:
On the topic of red flags...I eventually noticed the female Psychopath I knew had an uncanny ability to appear when there was any discord or conflict. She never seemed to start it directly but it was like she was feeding off it. She'd stir up trouble under the guise of concern then watch the show with a barely concealed glee. It was much more than just taking an interest in gossip and other peoples lives, she just loved to see people distressed or falling out. Always there to feed off it but never quite at the centre of things.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 07/09/13 06:36 PM

Hi Idiot,

Quote:
She never seemed to start it directly but it was like she was feeding off it. She'd stir up trouble under the guise of concern then watch the show with a barely concealed glee. It was much more than just taking an interest in gossip and other peoples lives, she just loved to see people distressed or falling out. Always there to feed off it but never quite at the centre of things.


You expressed this very well, they have this really great "skill" of stirring up things and sitting there and smirking while it all blows up. That is what makes them so horrible and sketchy to deal with. The Psychopath in my life was a Corporate one and boy she was really good, she was new to the Department but she got people who knew me for over 15 years at that time to believe all kinds of things, either that or she made the ones who didn't believe it too afraid to speak the truth.

Di
Posted by: idiot

Re: Red Flags - 07/13/13 03:22 PM

Well, thanks!
My female Psychopath was a very toxic person who could prey on most peoples' good nature. Once she knew I wasn't a threat she boasted to me about the two different men she was seeing, who each thought she was loyal. And all the money she had on credit - a lot of it in their names. She seemed to have a new boy every week and move house often, always seemed to live beyond her means. I think most people would have been a nervous wreck living on the edge like she did but she was always calm looking for the next opportunity. Last I heard she moved to another continent on a whim - a very scary person, I'm glad I never made a close friendship with her like I thought I could when we first met.

I think the smart ones are better than us 'normal' folks at reading people and social situations and spotting the angles to exploit. Its like they live entirely or mostly in the social world and have very little going on in their internal world. Well, that's my experience.
Posted by: crocodile

Re: Red Flags - 07/13/13 03:39 PM

I don't know if better or rather indiscriminate and exploitive. I mean they don't really care of they hook up with the right kind of person, anyone can do as long as they can exploit them. That's why the more attractive ones do better and are so dangerous - they have more prey to choose from. Imagine you would treat every woman who you know is interested in you as a source of whatever you want and not a human being. It's easy to do when you have no conscience but normal people care about others and don't exploit someone's good nature or love. When a normal person sees someone they don't love fall into them they usually do everything to help this person to understand they can't be with you and try not to hurt this person in the same time. A Psychopath will just jump on an occasion.
Posted by: toomuchstuff

Re: Red Flags - 09/30/13 12:32 PM

Mine did the shove thing too then laugh when I fell "oh honey..." He held me on the edge of a cliff once, while instructing me to look down, telling me he would hold me keep me from falling as soon as I was safely in the car he asked me if I felt fear and what I was afraid would happen I told him I was afraid he would push me off. He agreed it would have been the perfect crime....I had lots of little accidents in the end he started head banging and biting me. I tried to get an RO. Psychopath turned the hearing into a circus.... I left terrified It's been a week, no revenge YET.
Posted by: toomuchstuff

Re: Red Flags - 12/06/13 09:49 PM

I woke up to this a few days ago and it is still bothering me. It really sums up the term prey and addresses the issue of them planning /premeditating the Psychopaths acts. My Psychopath was very religious and homophobic... Before we split he shared with me he told me that he used to go to bars and get Hispanic illegal men drunk then take the out and beat them up and steal their money and jewelry. My Psychopath chose Hispanic illegal men because we are a community that is close to the Mexican border. He assumed that the victims would be afraid to go to the police for fear of being deported.... When My Psychopath shared this with me it was in the context of how this had happened before he got saved. Now it makes my flesh crawl. It woke me like a nightmare... it isn't what he said it what he didn't say... The man who sexually assaulted me also assaulted those men.... I am very lucky I got out when I did.
Posted by: Nathaniel

Re: Red Flags - 10/02/15 06:20 PM

Red flag: My ex-girlfriend said she does not know what love is. After an intimate moment I told her I loved her and she said that she would shock me, that she was unsettled.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 10/02/15 06:53 PM

Hi Nathanie,

Welcome to our community.

I found while interviewing some Psychopaths for my book that they many times would tell the truth but their partner would not listen. I am glad you listened.

If you would like to tell more of your story, please open a thread or join a conversation if one fits with what you have to say.

Di
Posted by: Hegin

Re: Red Flags - 02/14/16 05:13 PM

I never reached any level of abuse in the relationship. Actually, I was a very important trophy and an item for this strategy, so:

1. RED FLAG 1 - "too good to be true" - Like the person who created this flag wrote, no conflict, total connection is something to be suspicious of

2. RED FLAG 1 - Fake history is described with rich detail. There's research on that: false statements are richer in detail that true ones. If (s)he is a good writer, like this one who caused me to be here was, it is literary material (I'll tell you later my very machiavelic plan of using his e-mail essays as part of my book: he has ZERO legal chances of challenging it and his narcissism will be hurt to the bone)

3. RED FLAG 3 - Extreme bad luck. If you have a quantitative educational background, you know there's something fishy there. But, as the recent mastermind con artist said, "people need to trust, so they overlook the red flags"

4. RED FLAG 4 - Incoherence. But you need to be paranoid to demand coherence from all your acquaintances, so they sail by
Posted by: Pinetrail

Re: Red Flags - 12/31/16 01:27 PM

I met my Psychopath when I was a easy on the eyes blonde kick ass bodybuilder working in public safety so I became the prize - everything he said to me that he found positive soon after meeting became a negative - He had a sob story and still does today for me - I don't care but what ever says about the EX he will be saying that to the next target. I talked to the first wife and Psychopath never really bothered to change the script.

Always a sob story and an excuse.

A Red Flag- any jail or prison time no matter how sincere they make you think they have changed and you can make them happy-
bull [censored]

They steal from you - get rid of them.

A Psychopath will isolate you from your friends and family and you won't meet his until he has firmly claimed his target - usually by non stop sex because "he is so starved" in fact sex will become his reward for him and punishment for you.

May even appear intelligent but can't make the jump to logic will regurgitate info with no ability for application.

Trouble keeping work - jumps from job to job as most employers catch on and get rid of them but it is never their (Psychopath) fault but can become your fault.

BTW everything is your fault.

For a man, has poor spacial abilities - any diagram or work plans for repair or building is nonsense and the result (if finished) is poor.

Facial expression may be and often is wrong for the subject - Example as stated I worked Public safety and a man jumped off the top floor and killed himself - I was upset by this, but Psychopath started to laugh and said and "he didn't eve had cancer so he killed himself for nothing HaHaHaHa"

Your friends have funny looks on their faces when he talks or you are talking about him- since they have not gone thru indoctrination they are going to respond differently

Neighbor and Friends ask you about comments , info or statements as a way to question the validity of the Psychopath. They are suspicious why aren't you?

I came to wonder why he targeted me as I thought I wasn't all that special - he just wants to have power and control - he basically wants your soul as he is the Fallen Angel.

But instead of looking for the bad man concentrate on having wonderful people in your life and they will have your back as they don't lie, steal or work you for money or sympathy - these are the honest peeps in your life. As the Psychopath isolates you and does not have friends or groups or a loving family because his first sob story will be about his abusive parents. How sad and damaged.

Having that instinctive feeling that something is off and you ignore it - you will enter Hell - no woman needs to be me.

Take nothing personnel after he is gone - it was just business for him - all done except for creepy stalking you can't do much about.

Peace for you in the coming New Year!!!!
Posted by: Pinetrail

Re: Red Flags - 12/31/16 01:35 PM

Likes to sit with his back to a wall while in public as he is constantly scanning for new "prey" They have a reptilian approach that is not attached to the frontal lobes so this happened to me and I did ask "why are you looking at other women all the time while I'm with you - it is rude" His response was " I look at everyone even men" he told me a truth I just didn't get it.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: Red Flags - 01/06/17 08:36 AM

Hi Pinetrail, thanks for joining our community, sorry for the late welcome have been away. What you are saying is exactly correct, I used to be under the strong impression that when their lips moved they were more than likely lying. Found it not to be true because after interviewing them. They actually use the truth to keep pushing the boundaries of what the victims will accept in behaviors. Over the years the victims haave reported that they brushed aside those comments as jokes etc. Like they say when someone shows you what they are pay attention.

D
Posted by: Pinetrail

Re: Red Flags - 01/06/17 07:05 PM

I suppose that you all have guessed that I had recent contact with my Special Psychopath so thank you in particular to Dianne who set up this site - From November to January it is tough as the Psychopath escalates with the sob stories WTF but this angle has worked for so long he keeps it up - I did get more verbose than usual and basically kept very flat used, my big words ( he likes to do that too) and told him this is a business transaction - keep it that way ( owes me a tremendous amount of money) so is it worth it? I require the bucks to live and take care of two disabled sons in my home plus myself. So that's the tune of this dance but done strictly thru email as keeping everything documented is important.

They are lying if their lips are moving and if there is any truth at all involved it is used to support the bigger lie mostly all about "what a nice guy or girl" they are." and "you just don't appreciate them" or what ever.

When asked about any truth ( "I was impugning his moral character" and "I'm not being careful of his feelings"

Interesting my Psychopath has always threatened me with the cops, court, sheriff and yup the FBI. I couldn't figure out why he would threaten me with stuff he was frightened of, but then I am wary of anyone that would even attempt to believe him for any reason.

So this round went better i asked "Let's go back to court, that is a good idea ;contact my lawyer send your W-2 in and let's get the ball rolling" So anyone at this point feel free to enter your favorite excuse from your Psychopath.


My Psychopath is a convicted EX felon that when arrested for another felony in a town my Uncle was a politician in and then had to go to court in the town my father resided in (Retired cop) called in a favor to have Psychopath record expunged - the verbal, emotional and physical abuse; let's throw in some financial ruin; which was his way of saying "Thank You"

Does anyone have a good idea of how to handle the creepy stalking of someone who has stated they have "no regrets?" of past behavior?

I have ignored, but it is getting to me as he is doing it to catch his sons out so he can talk to them "man to man" and tell them what really happened AGAIN Oh and wants accountability and answers from them also.

Is there posts here from anyone that had their life Put in Jeopardy? Hmm this request has a strange name of the game tone to it.

Jeez I'm tired
Posted by: DadofRad

Re: Red Flags - 01/14/17 10:52 AM

My psychopath is a minor so it is different, but the same principals hold. Get him out of your life as much as you can. Things to consider: surveillance cameras, restraining orders, moving, guard dogs. And make it very clear he is not welcome and not permitted on your property.