One of the chief complaints of having been with a pathological is the ‘acquiring’ of his view of you. In previous newsletters I discussed the ‘pathological world view which is the ‘lens’ thru which he sees himself, others, and the world. This view of the world is processed through his own pathological disorder which is why his view of the world is not like normal people’s view. His is negative, self focused, grandiose, paranoid, critical, and self promoting. He sees others as always wrong, out to get him, stupid or inept. He sees himself as right, the victim, or the only one that knows anything at all.
He sees you as the ‘revictimizer’ of him, wonderful and yet horrible, needed and yet hated, smart yet dependent on him, in need of his brilliance, faulty without him, as pathological as he is …and the list goes on.
A lot of the work we do with women is for them to understand that what she is feeling is often the result of HIS pathological world view thrust upon her and used to define her.
Pathology is the inability to change and sustain change, grow in any meaningful way, or develop insight about how one’s behavior effects other. If he can’t change he projects his inability on you and makes it YOUR fault or YOUR inability to change that is the problem in the relationship. He acts as if he should not be asked to change or he has changed when he hasn’t. He makes you ‘think’ that you asked for something huge and wrong for him to change OR that what needs changing is only you and nothing in him.
If he can’t grow in any meaningful way, he projects his non-growth onto the relationship and suggests it’s the relationship stagnation you are really experiencing. If you could only GROW to accept him in all his pathology, then the relationship would thrive.
If he can’t develop insight about how his behavior affects others, he projects his undeveloped insight on you and says these are your traits. And you simply
don’t understand ‘what you are doing to him.’ All his anger is yours, all his deviancy is yours, you are just as sick as he is which is why you are a great match, all his lying is yours, all his manipulations are yours. That’s because in pathology they are MASTER PROJECTORS. It is in fact, one of the ‘symptoms’ of pathology. They take all their pathological attributes and say they are YOURS.
Over a period of time of this intense projection, several things happen:
* She begins to believe that these negative and disturbing attributes really are HER personality
* She normalizes these behaviors of his (and what he says are hers) so they are less disturbing to her
* Her self esteem drops and she no longer looks for ways to disbelieve him about these attributes
* And if her self esteem drops low enough, she no longer seeks to leave
Women who seek coaching through our phone support or retreat programs come in ‘programmed’ to believe HIS pathology is actually hers. Some of our treatment is much like the treatment cult survivors or hostages would receive when they have been ‘brainwashed’ to believe they were bad so they were taken hostage.
Coercion techniques, the Stockholm Syndrome and other psychological hostage-taking maneuvers are common with women who have been in severely pathological relationships.
Would you take someone who was held as a prisoner of war and just send them home and tell them they will be fine? Would you tell them they don’t need specialized help in order to reform their thinking to their former patterns of thought? Would you tell them to just go back to work or find someone else or go get on Match.com and all will be well?
In many cases, I have seen women come to our retreat program in the same ‘shape’ as people suffering from Stockholm Syndrome–they are emotionally, physically, financially, and sexually exhausted. They have tapes playing in their heads that he is normal and she is sick. She has been told for so long by a brilliant pathological that she is mentally ill and should seek treatment. She has been told that everything that is black is really white and that everything that is bad is really good.
The Master Projection he uses causes similar symptoms as people who have been held captive, thrust into cults, or held prisoner in other people’s belief systems. These are intensely programmed beliefs that are not ‘removed’ simply because you break up. Lingering effects means that specialized treatment is required.
But the first step is recognizing these symptoms in your self– that HIS pathological attributes have been assigned to you by him and quite possibly none of them are true.Learning to sustain that belief is where help is often needed. Just for today, allow the possibility that none of what he said is really about you. See if all those attributes aren’t really his…….