Freeing Yourself from the Psychopath

The Psycho Pact (2)The psychopath doesn’t like to lose one of his victims. After a breakup, he will creep back into your life as long as you allow him to, by any means necessary. The constant on and off relationship you have with him doesn’t bother him at all—he has no feelings. What really makes him feel powerful is the fact that you keep taking him back, whatever he does to you.

And you do take him back. Either you cannot get past the fact that you were so perfect for each other in the beginning, not seeing that it was fake, or you’re afraid of what he might do to you if you don’t take him back. There is a large spectrum of reasons he will use to influence you to forgive and come back. He’ll appeal to your nurturing side, by telling lies—illnesses, sudden revelations about a troubled youth or a terrible break up that left him destroyed, and that he trusts only you can heal.

Step one: Recognizing the situation for what it is

You will never be able to leave and stay away from the psychopath unless you’re absolutely clear about who he is and what situation you’re into.

As long as you keep hoping things will get back to the way they were at the beginning of your relationship, you will never be able to move on and make sure you never get caught in his nets again.

For the psychopath, this is a game, and he is a very skilled player. He will play on all your insecurities, your hopes and dreams, and turn your qualities against you to turn the tables on you whenever it suits him. He’ll promise everything you long for in order to get you back, before pulling the rug under your feet.

You need to understand that this is a very flawed, very sociopathic person you’re facing. He is fake from his head to his toes. The man you thought you loved doesn’t exist—he is not dead: he has NEVER existed. And as long as you cling to that psychopath, you will never be able to be happy, or safe.

The psychopath is also dangerous. If he hasn’t beat you up yet, don’t think it won’t come up. My ex-husband waited fifteen years before he laid his hands on me. The night I truly realized I needed to take my two kids and get away, I stayed in the garden with them so that the neighbors could hear me if I called for help. I was afraid that he would kill us—my own husband, the man I dedicated my life to for fifteen years—while we were waiting for my friends to come get us to safety.

If you’re not sure about what you want to do, or you’re still having doubts about whether you want to stay in this relationship or not, don’t try to leave him. Leaving a psychopath is a dangerous thing, you’ll only bring more pain onto you. You need to be certain of your path before you leave.

Step two: Searching the truth about yourself

The psychopath mirrors you. He takes all your amazing qualities and fakes them. And then he uses the list of all his flaws to blame you for them. The liar will accuse you of lying. The cheater will accuse you of cheating. The manipulator will accuse you of trying to manipulate him.

I was accused of all that. I also was accused of being lazy and ungrateful. Every time I tried to get some help, he threw in my face that HE was working all day, whereas I was just doing nothing around the house. After a while, I started to believe him. I was not perfect enough, otherwise that loving, caring man would not accuse me of being lazy. So, adding to my already all-day (and most of the night) care of my two sons, the fact that I ran the whole house by myself (cleaning, bills, administrative stuff, cooking), I was working at home on the side in the evenings to make some money, while he came home and played video games or surfed the net on his computer.

It took me a long time to realize that I was not lazy. That I was not insensitive. That I had the right not to be perfect, to be tired… to be sick. That I had the right to be human and imperfect. And that despite all that, that I was a terrific mom, someone who could be trusted to do her best, someone who cared a lot about her family. I was not as flawed as he made it seem.

You need to find the truth about yourself, and stop seeing yourself with his eyes. The fact that the psychopath chose you of all people as a victim means that you’re a wonderful human being, filled with all the qualities he wanted to mirror. He’s done his best to prevent your ability to see your worth, and to fill you with everything he hates about himself and doesn’t want the world to see.

You need to rekindle with yourself. Look at yourself with kind eyes, find your strength, your amazing qualities. Find what makes you human. Be nice to yourself, stop being hard and demand perfection—the perfection he insists on having. You’re allowed to be flawed: it doesn’t invalidate all the good sides of you he doesn’t want you to see.

Who are you? Who were you before you met him? Once you realize that you don’t need him to complete you, that you’re perfect just how you are, you’re on your way to finding peace and freedom. Once you learn to love yourself, be kind to yourself, respect yourself, and want the best for yourself, the natural path is to leave anyone who doesn’t do the same.

Step three: Breaking up, and meaning it

There is a time in a relationship where there is no turning back. When you get there, you’ll know it’s time. Before that, you’ll cling to how you hope he would change, or you’ll be touched by a gesture he’ll do to get you back. But when you really mean to break up, your resolve is the difference between a long string of on and off relationship, and freedom.

Make sure you’ve got everything covered before letting him know you’re leaving him. You need to be extra careful for him not to realize that you’re preparing your escape, because that’s when the psychopath gets the most dangerous. A lot of women don’t leave their psychopath, because the fear of leaving exceeds the fear of staying.

Make sure you have a place to stay, a support group (even though he’s tried to cut you from your friends and family, rest assured they’ll welcome you with open arms should you leave him and ask for their help). Make sure you have the law on your side. Make sure you have enough money to get by until you get back on your feet.

Don’t let him know too much in advance that you’re leaving—he’ll think of something to screw things up for you, or make your life a living hell. I was stupid enough to tell him I was moving away a week before it happened, and every night I lay on the couch, unable to sleep, wondering if this would be the night he cut our throats in our sleep.

Step four: No contact

No contact is hard, but it’s absolutely crucial to your future happiness and peace of mind. It means not answering his calls, not meeting him for any reason whatsoever, and not opening your door if he comes to your place.

It also means making sure the people in your life don’t have contact with him or one of the people under his thumb, because any information is a weapon in his hands, and he’ll make sure to annoy you, piss you off, or turn people against you with smear campaigns with any information he has.

It means having no contact with the people in both your lives. If you tell people the hell you went through, and they’re not committed to shunning your abuser, they shouldn’t be people you want to be friends with.

It means not taking the bait if he tells you horrible things via e-mail or SMS: not answering, not even reading them (you should however keep them, unread, just in case you’ll need proof of his abuse later on).

No contact is the only way you’re going to walk away from the constant abuse. You might have to get the authorities involved, so be prepared for that. In the end, no contact is worth the trouble, and will allow you to get on with your life.

The Psycho Pact (2)Freeing Yourself from the Psychopath is an article published in the second issue of my series, the Psycho Pact. The Psycho Pact series is aimed at people who are currently in an abusive relationship with a psychopath/narcissist/sociopath, and are trying to survive the break-up.
Understanding how the psychopath behaves, why he acts how he does, and what to expect at any stage of the relationship, is the only way to begin healing and to avoid future problems.
If you have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow it for free on Amazon.

Why It’s Hard to Leave

Psycho Pact (1)I hear tons of people saying, “why didn’t she leave if he abused her?” They boast that if they were in the abused person’s position, they’d have gone through the door and the only things left behind would be the sound of their heels on the floor and the dust they produce as they step out of the relationship.

What I say is, good for them if they’d really do that. They clearly have a sense of self-esteem that I seemed to lack.

I once was in that position—I too made hurtful and stupid comments like that. You never know how life is for someone until you’re in their shoes. I learned a lot, and I will strive to avoid that kind of judgment in the future.

So, why are all those abused women not leaving? More often than not, those are smart, beautiful, amazing women with a lot of personality, great careers, who could be with someone who treated them better. Those women that are reduced to nothing, emotionally, psychologically and even physically abused, why do they stay? It doesn’t make sense, does it?

They’ve been isolated

One of the most destructive things a psychopath can do to harm his victim is to isolate her from the people who care about her.

When I lived with my husband, he chose to make us move to the country (an hour and a half away from my family and friends), and made sure I was stranded there. There was nowhere to go, no one to talk to. I didn’t drive—which he blamed me for, but at the same time he made sure I couldn’t learn by not taking me to driving lessons).

I was dependent on him for everything—I didn’t work since I was taking care of my two special needs kids, so I saw no one and talked to no one about my situation.

When I could have a conversation with my friends, it was in the evenings or week-ends, and he was within earshot.

They don’t have money

The narcissist knows how to keep his victims. He won’t let them use their money, or will make sure they don’t work in order to have power over them. It’s hard to go anywhere and start over without any money.

They’re afraid no one will believe them

There’s a lot of reasons for that, the first one being that the abuse is not always physical, so there is no proof.

It’s hard to go back and change your tune after all the praise you gave at the beginning of the relationship. It’s hard to say things are going crazy, all of a sudden, and risk facing the disbelief of your family and friends. It’s hard to explain how all of those little things he does to you add up to abuse, because no one in a healthy relationship can really understand what is happening to you.

And he’s so believable when he talks, he is so skilled at lying and painting you as the bad guy. He’s been planting seeds of doubt in everyone’s mind, and triangulating you with the people in your life for a long time now. You’ll feel they’re all doubting you—and for some of them, it’s actually the case.

They are ashamed

You don’t want to be that person your family and friends talk about, the one who didn’t have enough self-esteem and stayed in an abusive relationship.

You anticipate the questions about why you’ve stayed all those years if it was that bad. You fear you’re going to be judged by your family, your friends. Of course, not all of them will judge you, and most of them will probably be supportive, but that is not something that victims dare to count on.

You know how good the psychopath is at twisting events and words, and you’re not sure they haven’t got to your support network and poisoned them against you. Some victims are told they’re overreacting, or lying, or even that they’re bringing the abuse on themselves. It’s no wonder you don’t want to tell them.

They still have hope

You still hope the relationship can go back to that wonderful grooming phase at the beginning, when he was so in love with you, treated you like a princess, would have given anything to be with you, and was nothing short of your soul mate. It’s kind of hard, even after leaving, to convince yourself it was never real.

You hope your love will be enough to save that damaged man, your relationship, and yourself in the same fell swoop. You feel you can’t leave him, because that would be abandoning him when he needs you the most. That would be turning your back on your soul mate—and your soul mate he becomes again, for a short moment, to be sure that you won’t really leave, because a psychopath never does let one of his victims go.

They feel worthless, they feel they deserve the abuse

The psychopath has done you so much damage, has brainwashed you for so long, that you actually feel he is right. You are ugly, you are stupid, you are totally dependent on him—just like he’s been repeating you over and over, more and more intensely.

You start thinking that if you were perfect, he would finally love you again, just like he did in the beginning. And you strive to be everything for him, to dedicate yourself to his every wish, though it is never enough.

They’re afraid no one else will ever love them the way he did

The grooming and honeymoon phase I had with my husband was probably the best time I ever had in my life. We were so connected. We were one and the same. We adored each other, would swear we’d grow old together and never leave. We would be each other’s center of the universe.

Little did I know it was only real for me.

What’s left today of my love life? It’s not over, of course—at least, let’s hope!—but I know I will never experience that thrill again, as fake as it was in the end.

It’s hard to fall so hard for someone and realize that you were in love with a person that doesn’t exist. I loved the mask he wore, the one he had carefully chosen to make me believe he was everything I ever wanted in a man.

I don’t believe in soul mates anymore—not that kind. I know I will never love again the way I loved him in the beginning of our relationship. It’s a horrible feeling, when I think about it, but at the same time, I realize now that it’s sane not to idealize someone.

Soul mates do exist, on a smaller scale. You can have soul mates for lovers or friends, people you share something profound with. But they should never be your everything. I learned that the hard way.

They fear for their lives

This is the major point, and one I cannot stress enough. When you live with a psychopath, even if he is not beating you up, you cannot fail to remember all the times he threatened you, hiding it behind a joke.

I remember my then boyfriend telling me, laughingly, that if I ever left him he would kill me. It has always bothered me, but I could never say why so I laughed it off. Why would I ever leave him? He was perfect, and I was totally and unequivocally in love with him. I remembered that fact, aghast, when I began considering divorcing him.

It’s when they know you’re definitely gone that the probability of you getting hurt—really hurt, or even dead—skyrockets.

People asking why we stayed do not know the pressure we live under day to day with our psychopaths. They have no idea how helpless we feel, how vulnerable we’ve become, and how dangerous the simple action of leaving can be.

Psycho Pact (1)Why It’s Hard to Leave is an article published in the first issue of my series, the Psycho Pact.
The Psycho Pact series is aimed at people who are currently in an abusive relationship with a psychopath/narcissist/sociopath, and are trying to survive the break-up.
Understanding how the psychopath behaves, why he acts how he does, and what to expect at any stage of the relationship, is the only way to begin healing and to avoid future problems.
If you have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow it for free on Amazon.

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