Recovering Without Validation

Last week we talked about the difficulties, and yet the real possibilities of having to recover without justice. Many of you wrote me because you have indeed had the experience of facing getting over the aftermath of a pathological with very little legal justice. It doesn’t mean that you don’t pursue your own rights. You should always stand up for what you believe in. It’s just that if the universe tilts in his favor yet again, or the courts continue to not support you, you still have to heal–for your own recovery and your own future—you must still heal.

It is the same as today’s message–Healing Without Validation. Sometimes NO ONE believes he was pathological, a monster, did the things we said he did. He continues on in his job looking normal and even successful while
the women looks hysterical, unstable, and out of her mind. Mr. Pathological schmoozes with your friends, family,or bosses convincing all those around us he never did what you said he did, doesn’t have the traits you accuse him of, and is just trying to get a good guy to a freaked out woman.

Mr. Pathological turns friends against you. Your attorney starts to believe HIS version of the story. Cops withhold restraining orders because ‘he seems like such a nice guy’ and even your children take his side.

This is the ‘conning’ side of his personality. Most pathologicals are octagon–they have eight sides! His charming side, intellectual side, friendly side, professional side, rageful side, addiction side, mentally ill side and lying/conning side.  But many other people don’t see the negative side of rage, addiction, mental illness,lying and conning. His positive side that faces outward to the general public is charming, intellectual, friendly, and professional. It is no wonder that women have to go through the recovery process with very little validation.

It is pathology websites, books and programs that help women heal when they find their validation in other stories, research, books, forums, and organizations designed to respond to pathological love relationships.  The validation you are seeking comes from others who have been through it not from the pathologicals who are hard wired to have no insight about their disorder. And validation often does not come from those who have not personally seen the dichotomies of his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sides. That could include not receiving the much needed validation from your family or friends. Examine where it is you are trying to receive validation and adjust it to a realistic group who has experienced what you have. THAT’S where your validation will come from.

The Institute’s phone coaching, tele-support groups, and retreats are created to give the pathological education and validation for what you have experienced. Let us know if we can help bring healing to your pathological love relationship trauma.

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Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is a mental health issue applicable to both genders.
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Recovery With Out Justice

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

At the heart of the victims rights movement I was involved in during the 1980’s after my father’s murder, was the concept of judicial justice that would lead to psychological justice.  It’s a great concept and in a perfect world it would work in all situations.  If the pathological person wronged you (physically hurt you, conned you out of money, screwed up your custody situation, bouts of infidelity, or spiritually abused you, etc.), he would be held accountable in the courts for his behavior, and more importantly, would be forced into victim restitution in which he would have to repay or do something as a sign of his guilt and your pain.

Of course, restitution in and of itself really doesn’t heal anything.  It’s just the victim or person who was harmed feels like the scales of justice, that were so grossly leaning in his direction, got balanced into their direction.  For a moment in court, and however long it takes him to pay or do the restitution, he is officially ‘guilty’ and everyone knows he was charged as such.  He is ‘paying his price to his victim’ for his actions.  For a moment in court, a judge believes you!  He believes the monster really did what you say he did.  That in and of itself is often the psychological justice that victims really look for and it helps them to heal.

In murder trials that I often attended, obviously the family cannot be compensated in any true way that relieves their pain and suffering.  Their loved one was murdered.  No amount of restitution touches a human life.  The best the family can hope for is physical payment, prison, the death sentence, or some other act that the court assigns for the monster to the victim’s family.

The judicial system acts as the conscience of this country.  Victims seek solace in the courtroom and chambers hoping that justice will alleviate the pain, horror, and stigmatization of being a victim of the monster.  But we know that in many cases, and I dare say, in most cases, that is not what happens.  Restraining orders are not granted, arrests are not performed for stalking or violence, children are given over to the pathological who is overtly violent, sick, drug addicted, or otherwise an inept parent.  When the pathological doesn’t pay child support, nothing is done and the child is still sent to him. The thousands of dollars he conned out of you or stole from you is not returned.  When alimony isn’t paid, he gets away with it.  Repeated visits to the courts do nothing to convince them, or to open their eyes to the true nature of his behaviors. Anything that is court ordered he defies and laughs at.  You stand, mouth gapping and wondering, “Where is the justice?  HOW does he get away with this?”

I have repeatedly said that the universe is strangely tilted to the benefit of the pathological.  If ANYONE will get away with a con or a criminal act, it will be the pathological.  The universal scales of justice are tilted in their favor and ironically, somehow influence the judicial scales of justice.  In the 20 years of doing this work, I have seen them literally get away with murder, rape, embezzlement, breaking and entering, stalking, domestic violence, child abuse, and more.  This ranks as the Eighth Wonder of the World—how pathological people can con their way out of the most vicious deeds and often never pay in any way for their behavior.

In these cases, women’s hopes for justice are dashed and it negatively impacts their psychological healing.  The scales of justice will never be balanced—she is not vindicated in the way that helps her to heal.  Even if he is found guilty of something, he is rarely ever held to the standard of the law it’s connected to.  If he is supposed to pay a fine, he doesn’t.  If he is supposed to go to jail or prison, it’s postponed or overturned.  If custody is denied, he receives it by another judge. If he embezzled, it’s forgiven in exchange for an admission of guilt.

Victim’s rights and its connection to judicial and psychological justice will not get played out often in pathological relationships.  The psychological justice that the victim is counting on in order to validate her—her moment in which the conscience of this country believes her– doesn’t happen.  Since we understand that psychological justice is what is most likely to help victim’s heal, now what?

Sternly, I tell victims of pathological relationships that they sometimes must recover without justice.  We are not discussing ‘what is fair’, because the pathological has already skirted the issue of ‘fairness.’  He doesn’t live with the concept of fairness and the law doesn’t use it as a concept with him.  If you desire to recover, heal and move forward with your life, it will require that you might just have to recover without judicial justice, without victim restitution, and without the conscience of this country validating your story.

You have to recover without a second of judicial support.  Women who hinge recovery on judicial justice, waiting for her day in court or ‘when he gets what’s coming to him’, will never recover.  The universe is tilted in his favor and your own recovery must be a daring adventure in the face of a lack of victim’s rights.  Sometimes the only personal justice is recovering and living a great life.  What he had done to you doesn’t define you, hold you down, or stop you from succeeding in your own spiritual outlook.

In the end, the only thing you really have control over is how you choose to see your situation.  If you see it as a victim and are unable to move past that view, you won’t recover.  If you see it as horrible things that happened to you but don’t define or restrain you, you will move forward—with or without justice.

The unfair situation is what you have lived through and the ‘aftermath’ of the effects of the pathological relationship.  In the face of this grossly dehumanizing experience is the indomitable ability to recover that can guide you not only to survive, but also to thrive in the face of great pain.  I have every confidence you can heal, even without justice.  Let us know if we can help you do that.

(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know.  The Institute is the largest provider of recovery-based services for survivors of pathological love relationships.  Information about pathological love relationships is in our award-winning book, Women Who Love Psychopaths, and is also available in our retreats, or phone sessions.  See the website for more information.)

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Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is a mental health issue applicable to both genders.
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Am I Under His Spell? Part III

My past two columns, I have been talking about trance states, dissociation, hypnotic suggestion, mind control…all ways the pathological controls your mind, thoughts, feelings, and ultimately your behavior.

This is not hocus pocus stuff. Trance states, dissociation and hypnosis are all normal parts of the way our body and minds respond to certain conditions. The only argument is if these pathologicals KNOW they are doing it to others! My answer would be yes: they are masters at noticing what works on other people. So to that degree, they tweak what works.

Additionally, many of you may be aware of the seminars, books, websites and now TV shows about ‘seduction’ and the techniques that are taught men about coming in under the radar to seduce women through hypnotic methods. My guess is that the pathologicals are teaching their findings to thers…passing on the horrid knowledge of their own disorders and how to covertly attract women subconsciously into sexual relationships. Appaulling? You bet. Just one more big WAKE UP CALL to women—pay attention and guard your minds.

Trance, mind control and hypnotic suggestion also are based on one’s own level of ‘suggestibility’.  This is related to how responsive you are to the suggestions and opinions of others. The more responsive you are, the more suggestible and more easily you are mind controlled or hypnotizible.

A women’s suggestibility is often influenced by her own biology. Women who are highly cooperative and value how others perceive them are likely to be more suggestible. Also, women’s fatiguability highly influences her suggestibility.

Almost all women report high levels of emotional, physical, sexual, financial, and spiritual fatigue with pathological relationships. They take a toll on her–wearing her down until her emotional reserves that would normally not give in, are repressed. At that time when her fatigue level is high, her suggestibility is also high. Tired and spaced out, it’s easy to get controlled by him.

Messages that are told to her during tired and spaced out times are recorded deeply and yet often subconsciously. “Can’t get him out of your head?” is very real.

The women who participated in our research survey on ‘women who love psychopaths’ showed us just how susceptible women can be to suggestibility, fatiguibilty, and the resulting mind control. Almost all of the women experienced some form of trance, hypnosis, mind control of ‘spell bound’ symptoms.

Women must understand that ‘staying in the relationship to figure it out’ or ‘see what happens’ or ‘wait til he works on himself and gets better’ is absolutely risky for you. Your ability to be controlled covertly by him is significantly higher than other females.

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Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is a mental health issue applicable to both genders.

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Am I Under His Spell Part II

In my previous column, we started talking about the very REAL issue of trance in relationship with pathologicals.

Women have described this as feeling ‘under his spell,’ ‘spell bound,’ ‘ mesmerized,’ ‘hypnotized,’ ‘spaced out,’ ‘not in control of their own thoughts….’  All of these are ways of saying that various levels of covert and subtle mind-control have been happening with the pathological.  And why wouldn’t it be happening? These are power-hungry people who live to exert their dominance over others.

That includes your body, mind or spirit. Mind Control techniques are used on prisoners of war, in cults, and in hostage taking, either physical or mental. It obviously works or there wouldn’t be ‘techniques’ and bad people wouldn’t use it.

Mind control, brain washing, coercion…are all words for the same principles that are used to produce the results of reducing your own effectiveness and being emotionally overtaken by someone intent on doing so. The result is the victim’s intense attachment to her perpetrator. This is often referred to as Betrayal Bonding or Trauma Bonding.

This is created by:

•Perceived threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and the belief that the captor/perpetrator would carry out the threat.

•Perceived small kindness from the captor/perpetrator to the captive.

•Isolation from perspectives other than  those of the captor/perpetrator.

•Perceived inability to escape.

Mind control then produces dissociation which is a form of trance states. Dissociation is when your mind becomes overloaded and you need to ‘step outside of yourself’ to relieve the stress. Dissociation and trance are common reactions to trauma. For instance dissociation happens during abuse in childhood as well as adult traumas like rape. Prolonged mind control in adults will even produce trance states where adults begin to feel like they are being controlled. And they are…

If you have experienced mind control in your relationships, treatment and recovery for it includes:

* Breaking the Isolation – Helping you identify sources of supportive intervention; Self-help groups or group therapy also hot lines, crisis centers, shelters and friends.

* Identifiying Violence – As a victim in an abusive relationship, minimization of the abuse can occur, or denial about the different types of violent behavior that you encountered. Confusion about what is acceptable male (parental / authority) behavior is often common. Journal keeping, autobiographical writing, reading of first hand accounts or seeing films that deal with abuse may be helpful for you to understand the types of abuse you experienced.

* Renaming Perceived Kindness – Since abuse confuses the boundaries between kindness and manipulation, you may need to develop alternative sources of nurturance and caring other than the captor/perpetrator.

* Your Ability to Validate both Love and Terror – Because pathological often are dichotomous or have polar opposite behaviors such as kind and sadistic, there is often a split by the victim in
how they see the abuser. Treatment may need to help you integrate both disassociated ‘sides’ of the abuser, and will assist you in moving through the dream-like state in how you view and remember him.

In my next column, we’ll continue our discussion on other forms of trance states and spell bound conditions.

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Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is a mental health issue applicable to both genders.
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Am I Under His Spell?

Time and again women allude to the mystical  aspects of the pathological they are involved with. They describe it as “being under his spell,” “en-tranced with him” or “hypnotized by him” even “spell bound” or “mind controlled.”

Women aren’t exactly able to define what they are ‘experiencing’ or even accurately describe what they think is occurring but they do unanimously conclude that ‘something’ is happening that feels like it’s hypnotic’.

Beyond the ‘hokus pokus’ of hypnosis lies real truth about what IS probably happening in those relationships.

Trance happens to every person every day. It is a natural lull in the body when many of the systems are resting or a state we enter when tired. Blood sugar, metabolism and other natural body functions can effect the sleepy states of trance that we enter all day long.

You’ve probably heard of ‘Highway Hypnosis.’ This occurs when you have been driving and are so concentrated on the driving (or when you are getting sleepy while driving and watching those yellow lines) that you forgot about the last few miles and all of a sudden you’re aware you’re almost at your destination. Highway Hypnosis is trance or lite forms of self hypnosis. No one put you in that state of hypnosis — you went in it on your own.

Check in with most people around 2 p.m. in the afternoon and you’ll see lots of people in sleepy trances.

But pathology can cause people to enter trance states frequently. Pathological love relationships are exhausting and take their toll on your body through stress, diet, loss of sleep, and worry. While you are worn down and fatigued you are more suggestible to the kinds of things that are said to you in that state of mind. These words, feelings and concepts sink in at a deeper level than other ideas and statements that are said to you when you are not in a trance state.

If he is telling you that you are crazy, or gas lighting you by telling you that you really didn’t see him do what you think he did, or that the problems of the relationship are because of you…those statements said to you when you are suggestible stay filed in your subconscious and are replayed over and over again creating intrusive thoughts and obsessional thinking.

If he tells you positives when you are in trance states such as “He needs you and please don’t ever leave him” — those phrases too are stored in a subconscious location working you over without your knowledge. When it’s time to redirect your beliefs about him, disengage, or break up women feel like ‘old tapes’ are running in their heads.  It’s very hard for them to get these messages to stop activating their thinking, feeling, and behavior.

Women who are have strong personality traits in suggestibility and fatiguability are more at risk of trance-like states in which words, meanings, and symbols are more concretely stored in the subconscious.

Women feel relieved to find out that they really aren’t crazy—it really DOES feel like she is under his spell because in many ways, she is.

More information on trance states in pathological love relationships is covered in detail in our book Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm with Psychopaths, Sociopaths & Narcissists.

www.saferelationshipsmagazine.com

In my next column, we’ll talk about other ways that trance states can be effected in the pathological relationship.

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Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is a mental health issue applicable to both genders.
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What We Believe About Pathology and Relational Health

“Some of the most disturbing realities are not that pathology exists, but that so little public pathology education for the general public exists.”
                  -Sandra L. Brown, M.A., The Institute

The Problem of the Unrecognized Face of Pathology

We live in an age where ‘Positive Psychology’ has ingrained a mantra into society’s psyche – which is:

If you think it

(i.e., the narcissist/psychopath needs to change his behavior)

Then you can make it happen

(i.e., your relationship will be successful when he changes)

That may be true when you are with a person who has normal psychology.  But it’s a long way from being true for those who have pathology.

For many years, people have thought that if they focused hard enough, loved long enough, tolerated more, and carried a positive attitude, their partner would somehow become unaffected by the personality disorder – even the psychopathy they bore. People believed this because they were often told this by professionals – all under the guises of different therapy approaches and theories.

For years, people who had gone through traditional forms of couples counseling came to us bearing the scars from not only the pathology in their partner who abused them, but by the wrong application of couples counseling therapy.  When there was the pathology of having no conscience, no lack of remorse, impaired insight, or low impulse control in a partner – traditional forms of counseling proved unsuccessful.  What occurred were often techniques in Mirroring, Love Languages, Communication Building, Intimacy, or Spiritual Reflecting for a partner who had no insight and lacked empathy for what his partner had experienced.  Equally prevalent, were ideologies that ‘the pathological came into my life to heal me,’ or ‘this is a spiritual manifestation for me to grow by,’ or ‘he is in my life to heal my issues from early childhood.’

Equally damaging, lack of public information often occurs through women’s organizations that lumps problem behavior in one category (abuser) and leave the impairment of pathology out of the equation.  People are then forced to conform to theories that do not fit their dynamics in order to get help, and miss the crucial ability to understand which disorders hold hope for change, and which do not.

There is emotional, physical, and relational danger in applying pop psychology principles to something as aberrant as pathology.  Trying to ‘attract’ the ‘positive’ to the relationship so the pathology is transformed leaves people ignoring the traits of pathology that can seriously harm them.  It is no wonder we are not further ahead in being able to spot abnormal psychology in others and avoid it.

The truth is, nothing impacts non-pathological people as much as being in a relationship with someone who is pathological.  Add to that the lack of understanding of how pathology manifests in relationships, and the manipulative behavior of those with pathology – and  you have partners, families, and children who are devastated almost as much by the lack of information, as by the destruction that happens at the hands of the pathological.  Without the education of ‘what’ the disorder is, ‘how’ it came to be, ‘whom’ it effects, and ‘why’ it harms others – partners, families, and children live in the shadows of unspoken confusion and pain.  This also bleeds over to family court, mediators, social workers, and judges who also do not recognize pathology, or care to understand it, leaving cases in limbo and in danger labeled as ‘contentious’ or ‘high conflict.’

Many who have found The Institute’s programs and products have said, ‘This is the first time anyone has ever explained this to me in a way I could understand.’  I have seen that when people finally found information that described their partner’s pathology, the awareness often gave way to crying, and then to anger.  It was the information they wanted that was out there all along, but was not easy to find, or was sometimes not easy to understand or explained in layman’s terms.  Equally as frustrating is such poor and inaccurate training generated out of generic approaches to pathology in graduate schools which leaves professionals with the inability to spot pathology in others, and a total loss about how to treat the survivors.  Consequently, the mental health field has done little to train the public about what pathology is, the limitation of wellness it implies, and what it looks and acts like in relationships, because they themselves do not know.

The efforts of The Institute are to bridge the gap in public pathology education to both survivors and treatment providers.  One of our bridges in public pathology education is for survivors and is achieved by providing the best and most up-to-date recovery options for their unique aftermath symptoms.  The second bridge is our approaches for victim service providers in the fields of mental health, criminal justice, nursing/medical, pastoral, addiction, and law enforcement.  Our products for service providers, as well as our face-to-face trainings, have equipped professionals in many fields from many countries with the tools they need to help heal the aftermath of pathological love relationships.

An M.D. said to me recently, ‘I consider pathology and it’s untaught concepts to be the number one health crisis in this country.’

We couldn’t agree more.  We hope that the work of the many professionals who are involved with The Institute will be the part of the solution to the unrecognized face of pathology and it’s victims.

Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness

Happy 4th of July! With all that flag waving and potato salad,
I couldn’t help but think about ‘Independence Day’ — the day that women
cut the cords of dependency and exit dangerous and pathological relationships.

Your emotional and physical ‘Independence Day’ is the beginning of recovery.  It’s the day that you ‘come to’ and say:

* How did I get here?
* Is this REALLY my life?
* Where did the real me go?
* Look how much this has cost me to be with him
* Look what it’s done to my friends/family/children
* You know what? I’m not CRAZY!
* I don’t believe his lies any more
* I’m sick of feeling this way
* I am tired of hearing about how everything is my fault
* I am sickened by my own staying

Your ‘Independence Day’ is the day you pick up and read some insight-oriented material that makes you snap out of the trance you have been in within
the relationship. It’s the day you read a book, listen to an audio, call a counselor, or pack your bags. It’s the day you pray ‘God help me get out,’ change the locks on your door, or leave his bags at the curb. It’s the day you book a retreat, go back to church/temple, confess your sick relationship to others.

Independence Day symbolizes freedom…not only in this country but in ourselves. The freedom to heal. The freedom to choose differently. The freedom to gain insight from someone other than a pathological individual we have been involved with. The freedom to end what is unhealthy.

Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness are aspects of a healthy life that
can’t occur within pathological and dangerous relationships. There is no life in that! It has all been sucked out of you by the pathological personality that is needy, defiant, deviant, or insatiable.

There is no Liberty–he runs the show, your thoughts, your needs, your dreams. There is no Pursuit of Happiness–only his. All pathologicals have an agenda that include their own perverted entitlement. Your happiness is only an accident if it happens while he is pursuing his own.

People fight to keep us free. Shouldn’t you fight to keep yourself free? Independence isn’t the opposite of dependency. It’s the absence of self negation where you respect your own uniqueness, self, and life path and that you live first for these values.

Independence isn’t selfishness. It isn’t some prescription for alone-ness. It’s the foundation of boundaries, self care, emotional and relational health.
Independence allows and builds inter-dependence–the structure that allows us to mutually care for one another without pathological suffocation. Independence is most assuredly, your recovery.

If we can help you out of your dangerous relationship, please avail yourself to our book, ebooks, other products, phone sessions, and retreat programs. Your success out is our success.

Default Settings in Patterns of Partner Selection

If you use a computer you are probably aware of the ‘default settings’ that come on your computer or in various software programs on your machine.  A default settings is

“The controls of a computer hardware, software, device, equipment or machine which was preset by its manufacturer.”

Items on your computer that are preset are often the country you are in, the time zone, etc. There are also types of ‘presets’ you can choose yourself such as what company ISP is your home page, which printer you assign to your computer, and so on.  These selections become ‘default’ settings once you have selected them.  Your machine is now set to automatically defer to those choices every time the machine needs to.

But our computers are not the only things that are set on default. Just like a computer ‘hardware’ or ‘software’ can come ‘preset’ by its manufacturer, so can our own internal computer—our body and psyche.

Our hardware is our genetics that come hardwired into the development of our brain (and body for that matter). This can include propensities and proclivities to certain traits such as high or low serotonin in our brains, high or low empathy, and other genetic DNA that ‘presets’ our internalized computer.  Just as we have seen the impact of the pathologicals own hardwired symptoms, we too come hardwired with our defaults that want to ‘lean’ us to these preset settings. Our default settings could be set to attraction to stocky dark haired men, or blonde and blue eyed, or black men or maybe your physical default is not all that particular about the physicality of your partners. Maybe your default is set to other parameters such as humor, charisma, or spirituality.

While we don’t ask why we have blue eyes or why we are attracted to tall dark and handsome, we often ask ‘why’ we have too much empathy or too much relationship investment not understanding that these settings come hardwired with us when we are born. A fact not often understood is that some emotional traits are as hardwired as other genetic DNA.

Our software is the programs that have been added into and onto our machine that tell the machine what to do. These software programs also impact our default settings but in a different way.  Software are the messages you learned growing up as a child. These messages about relationships, men and women’s roles in relationships, what power you do or do not have, the impact of choices, violence in the home, addictions in parents are all data and information that is stored on your computer in the software ‘programs’ that run your computer.  From your software the machine (your body, your external life) is run from the programs of your software.  So messages about how ‘all relationships are’ or about what you ‘can and cannot succeed in’, tell your machine what choices to make from the software you have.

Software programs other than childhood messages can also come from religious impact, education, and your own experience within relationships—each compounding the existing software message or conflicting with existing software messages. These messages are also loaded onto your software as programs that impact choices which impact your life.

Hardware (hardwiring) preset defaults such as hyper empathy combined with software loaded defaults such as super trust or high tolerance messages (such as ‘don’t get divorced no matter what’) combine in unique yet entrapping ways that cause some people to be more ‘at risk’ of Pathological Love Relationships than others.

We have had heard the arguments of ‘nature versus nurture’ especially regarding pathology. We know some of the Cluster Bs are born that way, some are made that way from their social environments and some are both—born that way and then bent that way further.  The same is true for you, the Super-Traited partner of Cluster Bs.

You come into the world with a proclivity towards certain hardwired traits within your temperament that are so strong as to make your ‘bent’ towards attraction to, and tolerance of, pathology extremely high.  Into your world with your ‘bent’ you are exposed to lifelong messages that either encourage your bent or try to bend you away from your existing proclivities.

Families with healthy boundaries and healthy relationships model the exact programming that sets a child’s default on a different setting for partner selection. But families who themselves have selected pathological partners, who have the same hardwiring propensity for tolerating pathology, flip the child’s software default switch to tolerance, minimizing, renaming, and accepting pathological behavior.  This is largely done through role modeling these behaviors or what we call learned conditioning.

A genetic hard-wired proclivity with a software default program that supports pathological partner selection starts the process of the continued pattern of having pathological partners well into adulthood.

In computers, default settings serve the purpose of ‘minimal user interaction required’ which puts the setting defaults to the most commonly selected options. This is exactly what it does for you as well. “Why do I keep picking these kinds of guys over and over again?”  Your default was set early in life and has not been changed. When left to your own programming, your default will automatically select the most pathological partner. Your hard-wiring is already ‘bent’ in that direction and is supported by your software programs to do so.  It is so automatic, so autonomic, that just like the computer ‘minimal user interaction is required.’

By the time women contact The Institute, they are so exhausted by the lifetime of the pathological energy-sucking relationships that they are ready to do what it takes to stop this.  Simply stating “I am NEVER going to do this again. I am going to pick differently in the future” doesn’t register to your software program. It’s still set on the default pattern of selection it has been set on for years.  If you could look at the software settings internally it would look like this:

x  Narcissistic
x  Cheater
x  Pathological Lying
x  Charming and deceitful
x  Helps me ignore my red flags
x  Induces fantasy thinking of how my future MIGHT be
x  Honeymoon cycle followed by D&D (Devalue & Discard)
x Intense, intensely pursued
x Hypnotic, I can’t think or choose differently while with them

These might be some of the traits you are repeatedly selecting through your software default program.

In software programs, it’s noted that ‘Using defaults will tend to increase errors, as users may leave incorrect default settings selected.’

Hmmmmm… yeah. Can we agree that’s true? The difficulty in Pathological Love Relationship recovery is that women read a book or go to a counselor and talk about the pain of the relationship but never get down to the reprogramming of the software.  Hardware comes as it is and will always be there and you will always be ‘bent’ in a direction or proclivity for these relationships. BUT you can put in different software programming that will let you pick from a NEWSET of default choices and not automatically ‘defaulting back’ to what you have always chosen. You have to choose differently in order to get a different outcome.

Only a few times a year do we offer these ‘software reprogramming’ events that we call retreats.  By popular demand we have added one more for all of 2012 which is Sept 2-7 in beautiful Brevard, NC – The Land of Waterfalls.  2013 retreats (if offered) have not been set yet.  Please avail yourself to this opportunity. We have filled the first house and had so many other requests we have added a second house and only have ONE slot remaining in it.  Information about the retreat is on the website and an application. Fill it out and email it to us at saferelationships (at) yahoo. We will review and contact you to let you know if it was accepted into the program. We cannot comment on your placement without an application. Cost is $625 for accommodations, group sessions, and nature outings.

Controls of a computer hardware or software (or of a device, equipment, or machine) as preset by its manufacturer. Some types of default settings may be altered or customized by the user.
Ads by Google

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/default-setting.html#ixzz1y96c3FZm

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Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They

are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we

often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we

write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims

and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues

we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is

a mental health issue applicable to both genders.
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What Will You Do?

In May 2012, Vicki Bolling lay dying in her front yard, shot three times by her husband.  The local news reports say that the death of Ms. Bolling was no surprise to her sons.  According to news accounts, her sons report that she suffered years of physical and emotional abuse that included threats, manipulation and intimidation.  She was married for 30 years.  Her son, John Stevenson, is quoted as saying “She is the only one in the world who could love a monster.” (Tampa Bay Times, May 10, 2012)
We know that she is not the only one…we know that loving a “monster” is possible.  For women that love psychopaths, love and monster often exist in the same thought.  The problem is, someone who has never been in the midst of this level of psychological trauma may not understand…they don’t understand why women stay…why women don’t see how bad he is.  This lack of understanding of the power of pathology is killing women.

Domestic homicide is preventable.  The mission of the Fatality Review Committee in Pinellas County, Florida is to convey that message.  It is the responsibility of the Pinellas County Fatality Review Committee to bring to the table members of the community who share a vested interest in uncovering patterns related to local domestic homicides.  In the last twelve years, the team has reviewed 103 cases.  Cases are reviewed only after they have been finalized in the criminal justice system.
Domestic homicide, both locally and nationally, does not occur in a vacuum…there are warning signs and in a community, there are trends.  Our report, published in May 2012, outlines the seven trends in our community for domestic homicides.

1-In 89% of cases there had been no contact with the local domestic violence center.  Domestic homicide is preventable when victims reach out to domestic violence centers for safety and resources.
2-In 89% of the cases there had been no referral to a batterer’s intervention program.  Domestic homicide is preventable when perpetrators connect with batterer’s intervention programs and their underlying behaviors and beliefs are addressed.

3-In 88% of cases there was a male perpetrator and female victim.  Domestic homicide is preventable when our society shifts to the belief that all people are of equal value and control over others is no longer the standard.

4-In 85% of cases there was no injunction for protection filed.  Domestic homicide is preventable when victims are encouraged to file injunctions for protection and have access to information and safety planning to assist in the process of leaving.

5-In 76% of cases substance abuse was a contributing factor.  Domestic homicide is preventable when those who have a substance abuse problem are assessed for issues related to violence, both perpetrators and victims.

6-In 68% of the cases the perpetrator had a prior criminal history.  Domestic homicide is preventable when criminal history is identified as a pattern of behavior and the information is made openly available to victims and during domestic violence court hearings.

7-In 69% of the cases friends, family, coworkers and/or neighbors were aware of previous violence. Domestic homicide is preventable when everyone in the community takes a stand against violence; stop asking why she doesn’t leave and start asking what you can do to help her leave.

These trends mean something.  A “trend” refers to the idea or awareness of repeated, connected events.  It’s not a black and white predictor but rather a clue to a potential.  Trends are used in many areas of our lives.  Many follow financial trends or housing market trends; some look at trends related to medical issues and even trends in our environment.  Those that use trends take advantage of facts and information found in the reality of our lives…trends don’t rely on the maybe’s of the past, but rather the truth that exists in the past.
What is powerful about trends is their ability to provide safeguards as well as hope.  Trends help us connect missing pieces to prevent poor choices, and they help us highlight information that will lead to improved choices.  If we are open to it, they translate into the framework for prevention.

Prevention in the area of domestic homicide is risky.  The risk comes because of the severity of getting it right or getting it wrong…human life is at stake.  But I believe we must move through the risk.  By “move through” I mean acknowledge it…learn from it, and then see what follows.  So, beyond acknowledging the risk exists a focus on prevention.
The trends that have come from our local review of domestic homicide highlight many areas that need more focus.  The realities of these trends are not unlike acknowledging the realities of pathology.  Identifying patterns of behavior in one person and accepting the reality of who they are can help prevent continued pain.  We have to begin to call it as it is…we have to pay attention to the facts and the patterns of behavior.

So, what will you do?  I invite you to be an observer – begin to pay attention to the people around you.  As you observe the behavior of others, do so without judgment…without including your “opinion” about who they are…leave out the morals that might have been handed to you or the input of society that doesn’t fit for you.  Observe the behavior as it is…look for patterns… and when you uncover a pattern that violates who you are…or violates the boundaries of someone you love….do something.

As part of the mission of The Institute we ask you to spread the word about the power and impact of pathology. Share this report with those in your community that are invested in saving lives.  Talk to them about the trends and patterns, and about pathology.  Domestic Homicide Fatality Review Teams are active in many states and communities…what can you contribute to the conversation?  If your community is not talking about dangerous relationships, then you can be the start…do something.

Finally, if you are experiencing physical and psychological abuse, please consider creating an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit.  To learn more, visit www.documenttheabuse.com
To read the full report “Preventable: A Review of Domestic Fatalities in Pinellas County, Florida”, click here:   http://www.largo.com/egov/docs/1337974149_814671.pdf

———————————————————————————-
Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is a mental health issue applicable to both genders.
———————————————————————————

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/crime/2012/06/21/an-american-tragedy-a-serious-diagnosis-and-no-health-insurance/

Determination in the Life of the Survivor

I’ve seen the look many times – hundreds of times over the past 20 years, working with (mostly) women who are surviving a pathological love relationship.  There is a ‘look.’  Initially it’s a timid look – before she grasps that she really CAN survive and thrive. The look then begins to change, morphing into real belief and real power.

Ironically, I saw the look this past week in an unlikely, but stunning face.  I saw her gentleness – as did the pathological that was in her life.  Your ‘super traits’ of empathy, tolerance, caring and compassion are what make you the wonderful girl you are.  It has also been target traits for pathological individuals.  You can just see the gentleness in the face.

Then I saw her powerlessness.

The look like you don’t know if you will ever get out, ever survive, ever find your power again.  It feels as if you are being held against your will – when you remember once that you were so different – so self-assured, confident, and capable.

Many people have seen the face of unbelievable stress and worry – when you no longer trust your own judgment, ping-pong back and forth between loving and loathing him.  When you can’t concentrate, focus, sleep, or even want to get up each day.

But, the greatest thing about doing this work is when women really ‘get it’ about pathology.  When they understand that what’s wrong with him has nothing to do with her, and what she did or didn’t do.  When she gets that ‘wild-eyed look’ that says her reality has shifted, and she realizes that what has happened to her is simply that she’s been knee-deep in pathology, and she is powerful enough to walk away.

I love that part – the paradigm shift – when women turn the corner in understanding, and her whole future opens up like a flower blooming.

Over the years, I have watched hundreds of women storm off into their future having recaptured their lives, their dignity, their ability to function well, and their self-belief.  It’s a beautiful and strong presence when you get to witness that happen.

Why all of the horse photos?  This is Rachel Alexandra – I love her expressive face.  She is a reminder to me of all the women I have worked with.  She was the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness.  It awed me to see her many faces of gentleness, powerlessness, worry, thriving, and power.  It reminded me that even though so much is often against you in your race to recovery from pathology, that you too like Rachel Alexandra, can defy the odds even when they have been stacked that way for 85 years!  There really is something to be said for the power of belief, destiny, and desire.  I believe in you!

A few times a year we offer those face-to-face events through retreats.  In 2012 we reduced them to two a year which were in February and March. We have gotten a number of requests for one more retreat this year which we have organized and in which there is ONE remaining slot. The Healing the Aftermath of Pathological Love Relationships Retreat is Sept 2-7, 2012 in beautiful Brevard, NC the Land of the Waterfalls, 20+ hours of soul-healing group sessions, plus the restorational value of hiking, beauty, the forests, and waterfalls.  Application downloads are on the magazine website.

If you feel the recovery approaches you have been utilizing are not effective, do consider the retreats which have been used by dozens and dozens of women to bring rapid results to their cognitive dissonance, anxiety, and stress disordered symptoms.  I hope you will join us for the soul restoration you are craving.

 

The Spiritual Damage in the Aftermath

There is no doubt that the wreckage from the pathological impacts you emotionally, physically, financially, sexually, and also spiritually. Everyone has a spirit—that God-shaped place in your soul that is touched and filled by beauty, awe, and stillness.  It’s the most authentic part of you so it’s also the most vulnerable and the most wounded from pathology.  Our souls were not created to be in the presence of pathology. They were created to be in the presence of love.

We were created for the touch of authentic love and for the connection to what is sacred. Pathology is not sacred. Whether you are ‘religious’ or not you were still created by the Sacred, for the Sacred, and to express the Sacred.  You were not created to express the aftermath of pathology. Aftermath symptoms should not feel ‘at home’ in your soul. They aren’t ‘at home.’

Midway through the aftermath carnage you are probably feeling anything BUT a spiritual connection to anything. It’s no accident that pathology wounds at the soul level—that evil targets those with the most beautiful souls once full of infinite giving and over flowing grace.  Pathology/The Dark Side/Evil knows to dismantle your spirit is to unplug you from what made you the amazing gift you are. And to deflate the once full soul that was sharing love with others—the ultimate power on the planet—is to spiritually deflate our world.

But survivors often lament that recovery feels like a stand-still where you wait for restoration ‘to arrive,’ ‘to ascend or descend,’ ‘to overtake you,’ ‘to fall gently’ upon you.  The death blow to your soul by “The Soul Slayer” is by far the worst damage. An inability to feel that God-shaped part is the worst numbness that a soul can experience. You look Heaven-ward praying for one flicker of a sense that your soul has survived the scourge of pathology.

Why isn’t God restoring me? Why do I still have the ‘monkey-mind’ of cognitive dissonance (He’s Good/He’s Bad)? Why is there no mental stillness—just a rush of adrenaline, the exhaustion of a mind running like an engine?

Sometimes our concept of recovery is replacement. That our feelings of loss will be replaced with joy, our lost pathological partner will be replaced with a healthier partner, our lost income that he stole will be replaced with a provision to get us through, our depression will be replaced with neurotransmitters. ‘Replacement’ recovery concepts are like a McDonald’s drive through. You read a book on pathology and try to simply replace mental concepts that got you in the relationship. You join a chat forum and try to replace loneliness with internet distraction.  It’s no wonder people are often confused about what recovery ‘is’ and when and how they will ‘get there.’

But true authentic recovery that would touch the deepest part of you at a soul level is not about replacement. It’s about restoration—the restoring of the soul that guides your emotions, your choices, your capacity for joy, love and beauty. You can’t ‘replace’ a soul which is ultimately what has been damaged by the soul-less attack of pathology. But you can restore the ‘seat’ or the ‘soul’ of you from the carnage of darkness. In 25 years, we have seen the restoration over and over again.

I want to leave with hope that recovery IS possible. It just may not be how you have been thinking it will be, or how you have approached it, or as quick as you would like. It might not be just about reshaping your belief systems, or working through grief. The work may be deeper after all it’s your soul we are talking about.  The Institute exists to meet you where you are in your own recovery to offer restoration emotionally and spiritually where you need it through our online, tele-support, and face-to-face events. (As a reminder these products and services are listed on the magazine website.)

A few times a year we offer those face-to-face events through retreats.  In 2012 we reduced them to two a year which were in February and March. We have gotten a number of requests for one more retreat this year which we have organized and in which there is ONE remaining slot. The Healing the Aftermath of Pathological Love Relationships Retreat is Sept 2-7, 2012 in beautiful Brevard, NC the Land of the Waterfalls, 20+ hours of soul-healing group sessions, plus the restorational value of hiking, beauty, the forests, and waterfalls.  Application downloads are on the magazine website.

If you feel the recovery approaches you have been utilizing are not effective, do consider the retreats which have been used by dozens and dozens of women to bring rapid results to their cognitive dissonance, anxiety, and stress disordered symptoms.  I hope you will join us for the soul restoration you are craving.

Let Go or Be Dragged

‘Let Go or Be Dragged’ – I don’t know who wrote that slogan, but I loved it so much I bought it on a magnet.  My first thought was, ‘Oh, I LOVE that saying for the women!’  But in a flash, I realized it’s a slogan for everyone.  A friend of mine in recovery said she loved it for her ‘A.A.’ recovery slogan.  Another person told me she loved it as a spiritual theme – to hold with an open hand – OR – face the consequences.  But, I do love it for all of you, here’s why….

Pathological attachments are gorilla glue.  The pathological partners have a vibe, a come-hither, bonding vortex that sucks you in and holds you there in a hypnotic-like trance.  It’s a powerful, seductive, subconscious attachment that mirrors the worst addictive feeling you could ever have.  It vibrates throughout your body with a message and sensation that you will literally ‘die’ if you are disconnected from the source.  Letting go never feels like an ‘option,’ it feels like sure death, death by disconnection, death by umbilical severing, death by life-force loss.

Its trance-like hold of your mind, body, and spirit leaves you stupor-fied with an inability to enact your own will or your ability to choose sane-fully the option of getting away from this catatonia.  The same trance-hold that held you in rapture, reverie, and ecstasy, now holds you in a cataleptic coma.  Alive, with your eyes open, but your mind dead and unable to move – you look mildly functional to the world.  They don’t see the transfixion that is keeping you paralyzed beneath your eyes.

You hold on because you are glued.  You hold on because there was rapture, reverie, and ecstasy.  You hold on because to not hold on, is to release your grip on the emotional life support system you think he has been.  You hold on because you believe if you hold on long enough, the dazed and glazed existence you have been living will reverse to rapture.  The nightmare will then become the dream.  The stupor will become the high of the intensity.  You hold on because you believe you can’t let go.

WAIT!  HOLD UP!  Let’s ask, ‘Where are you?’  How did your clothes get torn?  Where is the life you use to have?  Where are the relationships with others you held dear?  Why are your knees skinned?  Why do you have those dark circles under your eyes?  Why are you on antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication?  Where is the career you built?  Why are your nails dug into your hands?  Why is your stomach in your throat?  Why are you now somewhere you never wanted to go?  How did you get here?  Why are you bleeding from your soul?  It’s because your belief about letting go kept you being dragged.

Drag: verb.  Related to:  haul, lug, move, pull, schlep, tug, yank, crawl, creep, shuffle.  Your soul is bleeding – it’s your courtesy warning system from your spirit that is telling you to let go.  Even being dragged can be a gift.  It can be the first scraped knee that crosses you over to recovery.  You’ve held on for lots of reasons including your own version of ‘pathological hope’ that he will change, and it will be different.  History has taught you otherwise.  It’s time to accept the wisdom that ‘no change’ brings us.  Your skinned knee is a metaphor for the beginning of your recovery because the word dragged means ‘to haul something to a new place.’

Let go or be dragged.

If you are ready to let go, we have scheduled one more retreat for September 2-7 2012 in the Asheville/Brevard area.  Information about it is in the newsletter and magazine.

My Anniversary of the Plunge into Pathology

The month of May marks my fairly ‘official’ date (at least in my mind) in which I was thrust into the field of pathology – totally without consent, without warning, and without return to the normal life I knew before May 13, 1983.  Twenty-nine years ago, my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati after a psychopath plunged a knife into his aorta outside of his jazz club.  I was initiated into a victim-hood that would turn my life and career in a direction I hadn’t much interest in before that particular day.

Much like pathology in anyone else’s life, you don’t get to pick how it plays out in your life.  The best you can do is to learn how to ride the rollercoaster that goes along with the serious group of disorders in pathology – as I have done.  Twenty-nine years later I still feel like I am just skimming the surface of what can, and should be done in education, awareness, survivor services, and advocacy in dealing with pathology. Thousands of pages of writing books, newsletters, websites, workbooks, e-books, quizzes, hours and hours of lectures ad nauseam, over a thousand hours in broadcasts, both radio and television, stacks of CDs and DVDs created – and still we are in the infancy of a new understanding about pathology.  It is the virtual edge of just beginning what someday will be a momentum marker that shows ‘when’ the world turned a corner for a better and very public understanding of pathology.

We’re not there yet, but the day IS coming.  Every new blog that goes up, every newsletter, every website, every talk, every social networking post, every private moment of your knowledge shared with another victim, every coaching session, every class taught, every therapy hour, every group gathering, every prayer muttered, every radio show aired, every celebrity living it and bringing it to notice, every TV show featuring it, every newspaper or women’s magazine article taunting it – is another message to another ear that has heard the message.  You learned it because someone cared enough to make sure you learned it.

Every May 13th, for the past 29 years, I have halted my existence to remember that life-altering second when my life went from being a normal everyday life – to a life of being a homicide survivor.  This is when my reality was ripped through by pathology – a disorder so conscienceless that altering history is just another day in the lives of the pathological.  While my pathology story includes a brutal ending, yours no less, includes something similar – all the things lost in a moment of deep betrayal – the kind of betrayal that only pathology can bring.

If I don’t brighten up this newsletter, I’ll get complaints about ‘too much reality’ or ‘too much negativity’ so, I will say this – while none of us ‘choose’ to become survivors at the hands of very disordered pathological individuals, what we ‘do’ with what we were dealt is up to us.  Every so often I like to send a message to you that encourages you to ‘pass it forward.’  Whatever you have learned from the magazine, the newsletters, or the books, is probably more than the woman who is sitting next to you knows.  You don’t need to wait until you ‘understand’ it more by taking a class, getting a degree, reading another one of our books, or taking our coach training – that doesn’t help the women you sit next to at work.  The knowledge in your head is life- saving to her.  Next year ‘when you are better trained’ isn’t the year to share what you know – today is!

If we want to move from living on the virtual edge of changing pathology education in the world, we have to open our mouths and tell what we know.  Every pathological hopes you DON’T do this – they hope you keep what you know to yourself.  So many women that have shed so many tears had said, “If I had only known… I would have left earlier, I wouldn’t have left my children with him, I wouldn’t have _______.”

Every May is a time I renew my commitment to what changed me.  Every May I bother people with my message and prod them and push them to make victim’s rights and survivor education important in the world.  If I don’t, the image of my dad laying in that gutter haunts me.  His death should never have been for nothing – and as long as people have been helped, it hasn’t.   Frankie Brown has touched so many lives with his death through the message of psychopathy.  You’re one of them!  Help me celebrate my father’s death anniversary in a way that brings meaning and hope to many.  Tomorrow, share what you know with just ONE person – someone that you have felt in your gut needs to know about the permanence and the pain of pathological relationships.  Then email me and say ‘I passed it forward’ so I can count up how many people celebrated Frankie!  If this email offended you, I’m sorry.  Pathology offended my entire life.

Thank you for growing in the knowledge of pathology so you are prepared for the day when you can give someone the life-changing information that you’ve come to know!

My sister Linda, my father Frankie Brown, myself a few years before his murder

Is This The New Normal?

The ‘new’ normal (whatever that is) is code jargon for ‘something in your life that changed and for which you just have to suck it up and get use to’.  This clicky kind of phrase has crept in the world of pathology too, and even the recovery movement. So let’s answer some of those questions about ‘the NEW normal.’

‘Is How Crappy I Feel My New Normal?’

In other words, ‘will I ever feel like my old self again?’

Let’s say your girlfriend was driving home late one night, off in thought, and after a glass or two of wine. She was blasting her favorite Adelle song on her ear buds. This condition left her not in her most focused self–tired, distracted, a little buzzed, and drifting off to the groove of a good song when she didn’t even realize the slight bump her car made as she drove over the railroad tracks. Since she had no reason to believe something that could really hurt her was barreling down the tracks towards her, she didn’t even glance to see the oncoming train.  Once she realized, too late, she was going to be harmed–wide eyed and gasping–she wondered what she could do to save herself.  The answer by then, was ‘too late.’ In a nano-second she went from being her old self to being someone entirely new–she became a seriously injured person.

You too were run over by an oncoming train with a big ‘P’ on the front. You too might have been tired, distracted, or out having a good time when you encountered the train that was going to run over you, destroy the framework of your life, and nearly fatally wound your soul.

The oncoming psychopath does not brake for anything on the tracks of his life. Your mangled psyche, broken heart, and your sideswiped joy are the natural conditions of having been run over by a run away psychopath or narcissist.

As your girlfriend lay home recovering from having been in a ‘train wreck’ — her broken bones held together with casts, her head bandaged from a whiplash concussion, and being relegated to resting for the next unforseeable future, she does not yet realize she is lucky to escape with the gift to heal.  Her family and friends recognizing her extensive injuries are not likely to say to her “Very shortly, this will be like it never happened. You’ll be back to your old self in no time at all.’  It’s easy to see the girl was seriously injured and it was a gift from God she’s alive.

While psychological injuries are not as evident to the bystanding eye, they are noteably experienced by the victim.  You were hit by a train! You were injured–emotionally, psychologically, mentally, spiritually, financially and maybe even physically.  If someone has erroneously said to you “Very shortly, this will be like it never happened. You’ll be back to your old self in no time at all’ — they have never been hit by an oncoming pathology train. In fact, the worse thing that probably ever happened to them is they won a Spa Day at a less than luxorious hotel or their highlights in their hair weren’t quite right.  Are you going to measure your recovery from someone who’s only experience of tragedy is a spa-day-gone-wrong?

Other survivors who have been hit by the same-train-different-tracks will tell you that “No, it will not be like it never happened.  No, you will not be back to your old self in no time at all.” I don’t know if you want the truth or you want that girl’s story whose name is Pollyanna.  It is not that you will never heal. It’s that your injuries were serious. You are in the critical care unit of the recovery center.  You WILL heal. But it will not be in ‘no time at all.’  If your girlfriend didn’t rise up off the bed in a few days like Lazarus being raised from the dead, you too should not expect that type of ‘miraclous’ healing.  Train wrecks mangle bodies, minds, and spirits.  Give yourself the gift of recognition that what you have been through is traumatic and life changing. And that you need the time anyone would need that has been run over by a train in which to heal.

The impatient family member who thinks you should be ‘over it’ by now, was not run over by the train.  The girlfriends that want you to go on a cruise and meet someone new were not run over by the train.  The psychopath train that hit you that thinks you should be through the body-repair shop of what he did to you–was not run over by a train his size.

The problem that exists is your level of expectation is not equal to your level of harm.

You are expecting to walk away limping but not seriously injured from a psychopath.  That doesn’t happen often. So infrequently that I don’t even know if I can give one example of that happening with the women I have worked with for 20+ years.

Learning to live with the ‘new normal’ of aftermath symptoms is really a self nurturing act. It means you have taken the time to really access your damage and give yourself the things you need in order to heal.  Time, space, therapy–whatever it takes.  The ‘new normal’ following pathological love relationships is called ‘aftermath damage.’  There is a cure for it. But the first step in curing it is to say it outloud “I was run over by an oncoming train. I was critically wounded.”  Now, healing can begin.

How Pathological Is ‘Too’ Pathological?

Another words, ‘How sick is TOO sick?’

One of the charactersistics of women who have been in pathological relationships is that they are very ‘forgiving’ and ‘tolerant’ of less than stellar mental health qualities in their intimate relationships. That’s because the women have very elevated traits of compassion, empathy, tolerance, and acceptance according to our research and to name but a few. These are excellent and humanitarian traits to have….except in a relationship with a pathological person in which these traits create ‘super glue’ that keeps you in  a relationship you should NOT be toleranting, accepting, or being empathetic about. The problem is women often don’t realize that someone can simply have ‘narcissistic traits’ or ‘psychopathic traits’ and still be a danger to her in a relationship.

That’s because it doesn’t take much pathology to dramatically and negatively effect her and the relationship. It only takes a ‘drop’ of abnormal psychology to really screw up the relationship and the others around him. This is why even ‘just traits’ are important to identify. ‘Just traits’ means he has SOME of the criteria for, lets say narcissism or psychopathy, but not enough to fully qualify for the full diagnosis. But let’s not split hairs here…a few traits are enough to qualify for ‘too’ pathological. It DOES matter that he is a ‘tad bit’ pathological because any of the traits of pathology are negative and harmful.

Would it matter that he had a little or a lot of ‘low empathy?’ No–the end result is the same–low empathy and the pain he causes others. ‘Liitle-to-None’ is almost none–it doesn’t matter if he is a little unempathetic or a lot. Not being able to have empathy is the bottom line.

Would it matter if he had a little or a lot of poor impulse control? I doubt it if his poor impulse control effected his sexual acting out, his drug use, or his wild spending habits.
A little goes a long way in poor impulse control.

Would it matter if he had a little or a lot of rebellion against laws, rules, or authority? Probably not…even just a little bit of rebellion has the propensity of getting him arrested or fired, ignoring a restraining order or refusing to pay child support. How about ‘just pathological enough’ to really screw up your children with his distorted and warped world view, his chronic inconsistency, his wavering devotion to you or them, his role modeling of his addictions, or his display of ‘the rules aren’t for me’ attitude?

I watch women ‘look’ for loopholes to minimize the pathology he DOES have instead of looking for ways he does meet criteria for the pathology he does have and find reasons to get out. Instead, they find reasons ‘it’s not THAT bad.’ But just a little bit of a ‘bad boy’ is probably too pathological…too sick for a normal relationship. Since pathology is the ‘inability to sustain positive change, grow to any meaningful depth, or develop insight about how one’s behavior effects others’ even just ‘some’ pathology is too much. Because if he can’t sustain change (you know…all those things he promises to change about himself) or grow or have insight about how and why he hurts you…he’s TOO pathological–TOO sick–TOO disordered to have anything that resembles a normal relationship. Why would you ‘want’ a relationship that has NO capacity to grow, change, or meet your needs?

Bad boy enticement is very real…that edginess he has makes many women highly attracted to him. But beyond the edginess can be anything from ‘just traits’ to ‘full blown pathology.’ Nonetheless, women must learn to draw a line in the sand that even ‘just’ traits is enough to guarantee their unhappiness and harm in the hands of a guy who is ‘too pathological’ for her!

(**Information about pathology and your recovery is in the award winning Women Who Love Psychopaths.)