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Having Hope — 39 Comments

  1. Joyce,
    The Nile was a nice place to visit, but I shouldn’t have lived there for so long. Oh wait, you said DE-nile. 🙂 Same thing applies.

    Only one of the psychopaths in my life, my brother, has done any jail time. It wasn’t much because I — the enabler — wrote a very moving letter to the judge and he got the lightest possible sentence. Then I convinced my enabling parents to take over where I left off.

    But the malignant hope in my life has turned out to be for people who have never gotten caught or even suspected of malice or murder. I hoped that they would be good people but they made it blatantly clear that they had no interest. My own sister even said, “Skylar, it’s okay to be evil, everyone is evil.” WTF? Then she told her suicidal brother in law that she didn’t care WHAT he did with his life. So he killed himself.

    My spath held out hope that he would stop breaking the law and use his helicopter legally. I didn’t know that he had killed a man in order to take possession of it.

    I never actually had any hope for my kitten killing brother, but I never expected betrayal from him, until he accused me of DV.

    Hope finally went down the drain when my parents did nothing to make him feel consequences for that. He is still being coddled in their basement.

  2. Skylar, I definitely understand that “malignant hope” that we all seem to hold on to for those people we love(d) who have no intention of being the kind of loving people that we want them to be.

    It is also painful when others that we love or respect “side with” the abusers against us, and try to make us out to be the “bad guys” in the situation.

    We know we feel pain, and we know where it comes from (the people who are offenders/abusers) and somehow we hold on to denial, and keep on hoping they will change and be the loving people…and of course they just keep on repeating the bad behavior over and over and we get disappointed again and again. Our hope is dashed, and we restore it, then dashed again. It becomes a cancer in our souls, a foul thing that keeps us from moving on. Sometimes it kills us like it did Susan Powell and her sons. There are hundreds of examples in the news of people just like us who held on to malignant hope that they could change their offending loved one.

    I firmly believe that Laci Petersen was abused by Scott behind closed doors but that she kept it secret from her family and eventually he wanted out, so he killed her.

    I hope you will be good to yourself, put yourself and your needs first. Slow down, cut out the excess stress in your life and process the pain and trauma. You got out alive, and that’s more than some do. Take baby steps and don’t beat yourself up for not seeing “sooner” (boy I did that number! LOL). The road to peace and healing comes by one step, and that is acknowledging that we do not have the power to change anyone but ourselves, but that we are strong and can stop hoping that someone else will change when the evidence is that they will NOT change, and that we cannot accept the painful, offending, abusive behavior that they dish out to us. God bless you, Skylar as you make the painful journey to healing.

  3. Joyce, thank you for this article – malignant hope is (IMHO) a disease, but there IS a “cure.”

    I believe that anyone who has a disordered family member has experienced malignant hope, and some still cling to it like a life vest in an ocean of deception. If we just cling long enough, a miracle will happen: an island of safety, or a ship of fools to pluck us out of the water. Certainly, I’ve had my own buoyancy issues with malignant hope, and it is a terrible, terrible sickness.

    The “cure” for malignant hope? I don’t think there’s one single “cure,” but the first inoculation would probably have to be “acceptance.” I think that’s the point where I realized that, regardless of what I wanted or expected, nothing in the world would alter the truths and facts. Just because I got to “acceptance” did not mean, under any circumstances, that I “liked” or approved of the truths and facts. Oh, quite the opposite: I literally HATED the truths and facts. But, I couldn’t renegotiate or bargain truths and facts that were more comfortable.

    Sadly, some people will never reach “acceptance” and continue hanging on to that water-logged life vest of malignant hope until it loses ALL buoyancy and just slips into the depths. At that point, even treading water is just delaying the inevitable.

  4. Truthy, you summed up the “malignant” hope very well, and as much as I wish I could “rescue” everyone who is clinging to that “life vest” of false hope, too many times if you come by with a boat to pluck them out of the horrible ocean of deception, they will fight you, stay in denial and jump back into the ocean.

    Yet, I put this blog up to try to throw a life vest of information to those who WILL grab it and climb out of the waters that are going to drown their lives.

    It is difficult for me (now) to see someone drowning and realize that I cannot reach them, cannot make them see. As Jesus said “they have eyes and see not, have ears and hear not” and I know it must have been frustrating and saddening to Jesus that these people, even his Apostle Judas, would not listen to His message of hope, REAL hope.

    Jesus gave us a message about “offenders” when he said (Paraphrased) “if your brother offend thee, go to him privately, if that doesn’t work, go with witnesses, if that doesn’t work, go to the church (co0mmunity) and if they still will not listen, then treat him as a heathen, not even to eat with him.” That is the perfect description of NO CONTACT…

    Some few religious groups still practice this and it is called “shunning” and the purpose of this is to show the person that their behavior is UNACCEPTABLE, and to hopefully get them to change their ways. If not, then being no contact with this person protects the family and the community from that person.

    When it is your child, as with your son Mike and my son Patrick, it hurts, but it is all we can do, we cannot change their behavior and they are unwilling to.

  5. I got to thinking about my friend’s daughter and how she held on to “hope” for so long that he would change, see the light, stop drinking, stop lying, stop abusing her, stop blaming her for his bad acts…that kind of “hope” is not productive. It really is malignant, just like a cancer in our hearts, it eats us away until we can no longer cope with life and “die” either literally or figuratively.

    We have to find that place where we totally realize that there IS NO REAL HOPE and that as much as it hurts we have to give up that fantasy.

    • Joyce, coming to terms with a situation where the “hope” is false is probably the ugliest challenge to face for anyone. It’s a call to surrender and accept. It’s painful, it’s mean, and it’s very, very sad.

      For me, realizing that I was resting my hopes on fantasies was grievous for me. It meant that everything that I believed in needed to be altered. And, I did not like that prospect, one little bit.

      Once that acceptance has taken place, the true grieving can proceed, and life will be different, of course, but it will absolutely go on. I am a completely different person in this very moment than I once was, and I’m grateful for this, even though a good part of that journey was painful. Now, the potholes are still on my path, but I have a better chance of spotting them and managing them as I continue this amazing journey of recovery and healing.

  6. One of the sayings in my family was “where there is life there is hope”—it was usually said in a religious situation about some abusive alcoholic, wife beating thug (like my mother’s brother my Uncle Monster) This was to convey that no matter how bad someone was that God could reach down and redeem them. Well, the last time I looked, God doesn’t reach down grab us by the neck, open our mouths and FORCE his love down our throat. If people want to believe in God that person must reach FOR God.

    Unfortunately since as a child a psychopath may have some basic form of conscience, by the time the hormones hit in in puberty, whatever conscience they had they seem to push aside. I firmly believe that even born in the bone psychopath who are not mentally deficient have CHOICES about how they behave toward others, either good or bad behaviors.

    But if they choose the “dark side” there comes a point when there is NO WAY BACK…the little bit of early cvonscience is gone and covered up by the desire for adrenaline fixes. They develop what is referred to in the Bible as a “reprobate” mind and you there is at that point NO HOPE for that person, they are proud of what they have become and see themselves as superior to the rest of the world

    When we continue to hang on the MALIGINANT HOPE that that person with the reprobate mind is going to develop a conscience and “find Jezus” WE are the ones living in fantasy land. The Cancer of our false hope will spread to every second of our being both physical and mental causing our lives to become hells on earth. There are just situations we must WASH OUR HANDS of someone and leave that person to God and the Universe.

  7. Joyce- There are two very good points you make in the comments I would like to address and maybe offer up some coping mechanisms to others on.

    >>>Jesus gave us a message about “offenders” when he said (Paraphrased) “if your brother offend thee, go to him privately, if that doesn’t work, go with witnesses, if that doesn’t work, go to the church (co0mmunity) and if they still will not listen, then treat him as a heathen, not even to eat with him.” <<>> There are just situations we must WASH OUR HANDS of someone and leave that person to God and the Universe.<<<

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I have heard a lot of talk about forgiveness. I totally understand when someone cannot forgive something another has done to them. I have yet to reach that point myself. But, while I may not be able to forgive him, I can pray for him instead.

    I can pray for him as if his Spath nature is an illness. It is very similar to a serious illness which may or may not have a cure. I can pray for him as if he were blind, that he may see the light. I can pray for him that if he were deaf, he would hear the call to mend his ways. I prayed that if God had wanted our marriage to work, then He had better step in and do something to fix it.

    I prayed that God was the one to fix him as he is broken. I don't know why I ever thought I could, so here you go God, he's all yours. Do with him what you will. You created him, you know how he got this way and you know what needs to be done. Who better for the job? I still haven't come to the place of forgiveness, but this is pretty close to letting it go. I can pray for him and still do in a way. I know that I won't be atoning for any of his offenses come judgment day. He will be the one to stand alone for that.

    • Phoenix, I had a very hard time reconfiguring my spirituality after the second spath’s reveal. I believe that all encounters with spaths have tested my beliefs and faith. And, I don’t even pray for them, anymore. What I do is to hope that I never encounter that particular spath, again. Whatever happens to that person is what’s going to happen through their choices. Praying for the first exspath led only to disappointments because I couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t cure him of his abusive behaviors. Then, that feeling of disappointment evolved into anger, and then into bitterness. WHY wouldn’t God just fix him?

      I simply will not fervently pray for something that isn’t going to happen. My expectations of God are completely altered after the past 4 years. And, the God that I “know,” today, doesn’t interfere as much as I once believed. Sometimes, the messages are pretty clear – opportunities or people are placed in my path that I am meant to learn from in one way or another.

      I typed the word, “neutral,” because this was a completely new concept that I learned during my counseling therapy. Neutral has no feelings, one way or the other. There is no exuberance and there is no malice. Whatever is simply is. This is where I want to work towards in most things.

      Forgiveness has been the most spiritual event, to date, for me. It occurred when I had reached that point of “letting go” of the bitterness, anger, and the desire to control the people that harmed me. It was that point when I became comfortable (underlined, italic) with “acceptance” that the people that I was so desperately angry at were what they were and that nothing on the planet or in the Universe was going to alter the facts as they were. I became comfortable with acceptance. Then……..it was a huge weight lifted from my shoulder and a poison drawn out of my heart and soul. And, it was absolutely spiritual, beautiful, relieving, and calming.

      Forgiveness is for US, not them. They do not care whether they are ever forgiven, or not, and they never WILL care. It’s about us, our recovery, and our healing that forgiveness is so important. Some people do not get to that point, and I cannot fault them for it. We are all only human and it takes a lot of work, self-examination, and acceptance to get to that point. Some people are afraid to forgive because they don’t know what will be left of them if that tremendous fury against the offender is taken away – will there be a void, or will they no longer have a reason to live without the hatred?

      When that bitterness is excised and removed, there is room for light, love, joy, and calm to enter, and I never understood this concept until I experienced it, personally. And, it is truly breathtaking to NOT even think about the exspaths and their diseased choices, actions, and behaviors.

      • Truthy, you make some good points there! Abuse does effect our spirituality and our beliefs about God. When we pray for something and it does not happen it can bring into question even our belief in a higher power.

        Bad things happen to good people, we all know that, and “it rains on the just and the unjust” as well. Sometimes I felt like Job when in the old Testament story God allowed Satan to afflict him even though Job was a “perfect” man. The story is a good one I think in that it goes into the emotional turmoil and doubts that Job had because of the things that happened to him.

        The spiritual and emotional fall out caused by abuse and adversity is something we may have great difficulty working through. Mine was coupled with the “ministers” turning their back on me….as it turned out though,, the minister Dickie Chance was a pedophile himself and was shortly arrested in an internet sting for trying to solicit what he thought was a 14 year old girl for sex.

        The thing is that no matter what happens to us, we CAN work out our own spiritual pathway in a positive way even if all our prayers are answered “No”–and you know, “No” is an answer as well as “yes” is an answer.

        The apostle Paul had a “thorn in his side” (though the Bible doesn’t tell us WHAT that “thorn” was) and he prayed that God would remove it, but the answer was “No” and so whatever that “thorn” was, Paul had to endure for the rest of his life. He also was imprisoned whipped and had other abuses, eventually being executed, just as Jesus was…and even Jesus prayed that he did not have to be crucified, but the answer was “no” and he was crucified. So no matter just how “holy” we are or how sincere our prayers are, there are hundreds of examples in the Bible where good and sincere people prayed for something that the answer was “No”

        But I DO believe in the power of prayer though the answer is not always going to be “yes” to what WE want.

        • For me, personally, prayer is powerful medicine, on every level.

          From my own experiences, there are three possible answers to prayers in which I “want” something/

          * Yes
          * No
          * We’ll see….

          LOL!!!!!!!!!!! And, I’ve recovered enough to accept all of the answers as they stand. I don’t always get what I think that I “want,” but I always get what I “need,” without fail. Even if I need a strong kick in the backside! 😀

          • Truthy, I totally agree. Some folks say that “God didn’t answer my prayer” because they didn’t get what they asked for…but NO is an answer. LOL

            You know the thing is that sometimes the things that WE think we want/need are really not good for us, we hang on to “hope” that something will happen that we want, but that thing may be the worst thing that we could get. So yea, I think accepting that “no” is an answer to prayer is a VERY important thing.

            Just like if your child cried for something that you knew would harm him, you would not give it to him even though it was his total heart’s desire. And sometimes you have to do things that your child considers terrible, like vaccinations or medical treatment, but you know it is a little pain that might save his life, but HE doesn’t see it that way. So my belief is that a loving “father” is going to give us what we NEED, not what we really want. I prayed for so long that Patrick would “see the light” but I finally came to realize that Patrick has FREE WILL to do what he wants to and God is not going to Zap him a conscience or make him behave. My grandmother prayed that my Uncle Monster, her son would stop drinking but he never did. So I don’t even pray for a specific thing any more, I just pray that I will do what is right and that whatever God gives me is HIS will and for the BEST whether I know why or not. 8o)

  8. Phoenix, it takes a lot of “let it go” and to get the bitterness out of our own hearts. You know bitterness in our hearts is like POISON…In reading through the Bible I do not find a SINGLE thing that is commanded there that is NOT FOR OUR BENEFIT, not just a “hoop” to jump through, but something that is for OUR good. And getting the bitterness out of our hearts against those who have or would hurt us is one of those things. Call it forgiveness or what ever word you will, we just have to LET IT GO and get on with our lives.

    And I can tell you this that once you are able to forgive them and get that bitterness out of your heart, if you let it, IT WILL CREEP BACK IN. that is where NO CONTACT is so good because it doesn’t let them get back under your skin or wound you again, unless YOU let your own thinking about it over and over get you riled up again. LOL

    Jesus also said “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” And if WE think bitterness and hate then we become bitterness and hate and I do not want that to happen to me, so I will fight with everything I can to NOT be that way. I wish I could EASILY be the kind of person i want to be but I have to WORK hard and CONSTANTLY to even approach what I want to be, how I want to think.

    Praying for those who have hurt us isn’t I don’t think for THEM so much as it is for US, because when we pray for them, it softens OUR hearts from the bitterness. Back when I was so angry at my mother and I started praying for her, I DID NOT mean one word of it, I actually had to write it down and read it aloud, but after a while I started to actually MEAN the prayers, and I also quit feeling so angry at her or bitter. Doesn’t change our relationship any, but I feel better about it. Ii can’t change the way things are but I can accept it without bitterness.

    Phoenix, each of us must face our maker for our own sins, not the sins of others. While the consequences of anyone’s sins may impact on others on this earth, in the cosmic tally, each of us must answer for our own and the consequences they have on others.

    You k now Hitler was a miserable excuse for a man, and the consequences of his sins impacted on millions, and HE will have to answer to that. The rest of us who may not have impacted millions of lives and deaths will still have to be responsible and accountable for the things we do do.

  9. You know, Truthy, and Phoenix, your comments about the psychopaths’ parents enabling them, giving them “second chances” over and over and over and never giving up “hope” that Junior will change see the error of his ways and reform.

    I can definitely relate to that myself in my actions with Patrick I gave him tons of “second” chances when he proved OVER AND OVER that he had no desire to change. Funny, if I was watching YOU do what I was doing I would have warned you to let go, but I couldn’t see MYSELF IN A LOGICAL AND RATIONAL WAY, my early training as an enabler, and my encouragement from my mother didn’t even begin to slow me down. My life was one big DRAMA RAMA…until I finally gave up MALIGNANT HOPE, hope that is like a cancer and spreads throughout your life, keeping you living on the edge of your seat filling your heart with anguish, fear, and at times even rage toward the one you are trying to “save”—against their will of course.

    It hurts to let go of that FANTASY that you held on to for so long, and I can see that the parents of your exes have not recognized that there IS NO HOPE for their sons, but they just can’t let go of the musical chairs and the drama rama. They are not unique in that though, there are MANY MANY families like that. I’m just no longer one of them.

  10. Joyce and Truthy, When I said that I haven’t gotten to the point of forgiveness, but instead I can pray for the spath, that is a way for me to have “let it go”. I prayed for him, turned it over to God and let him deal with it. It’s out of my hands and no longer weighing heavy on my heart or thoughts. I prayed for him, let it go and it’s not my problem anymore. “Here ya go Big G. He’s all yours. Not my monkey, not my circus. I’ve got other things to deal with now, as you very well know…. ”

    As for the parents and the spaths, playing the game of enabler, victim and scam artist du jour… Someone told me once that children are master manipulators. They learn early on how to work their parents over, who will give in, who will stand firm and how to get what they want. Obviously the Spaths grew OLDER, but apparently they have yet to GROW UP, because their childish behavior is still getting them everything they want. So why should they essentially “bite the hand that feeds them”?

    • Phoenix, spot-on. And, “forgiveness” is not an obligation. Some people never get to that point, and I completely understand that.

      Yes, children learn very quickly whether or not they will have their needs met and their wants indulged. Depending upon what type of family they’re being raised in, they might be over-indulged, or just trying to survive on a daily basis.

      As for the older spaths biting the hands that feed them, they don’t CARE who feeds them or where the food comes from. In their worlds, they are entitled to whatever they fancy, be it filet mignon or apple dumplings. If the first server doesn’t bring it fast enough, they’ll just find one that will.

  11. VeryZen, you are entirely right…one source of “supply” is as good as another, there is no caring involved on the part of the psychopathic abuser. They feel ENTITLED to whatever they can get and if one supply doesn’t give it to them, they will seek another.

    The bitterness we may feel after they have abandoned us, or if we escaped from them, is like a cancer though, it will spread throughout our psyche and eat us alive if we don’t let that bitterness go. If you call it forgiveness or whatever you call it, it IS important for us to accept what was, and to let go of that bitterness. And I can vouch for the fact that is its NOT EASY to let that bitterness go.

    Even though I have pretty well let the bitterness go, if I dwell on it, I will allow those feelings to return, so I watch my “self talk” and my emotions when I start to feel bitter and catch myself before the “cancer” spreads.

    • Joyce, that’s one of the amazing things that I learned on this journey about “Self-talk.” I did not realize how harsh I was on myself. Descriptions like, “stupid,” “idiot,” etc. were always words that I used to describe myself. “Good” and affirming words were not used because if I was “good” at anything or had any “good” qualities, acknowledging them would be: a) vain and proud, and b) untrue in my mind.

      The bitterness stayed with me because I didn’t believe in my own ability to recover AND my belief that both exspaths had “gotten away with” whatever they perpetrated without experiencing any consequences for their own actions. Well, I can’t “know” this any more than I can “know” anything about anyone else. What I DO “know” is that the Universe requires a balance – this was something that I did not comprehend or literally understand throughout my whole lifetime. For whatever reason, there’s this oddball “balance” in the Universe that takes accounting of everything, whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral.

      The “letting go” only came as I was doing the work to recover and heal. Had I not chosen to engage in counseling, I truly believe that I would have lived out what remains of my life on this earthly realm in a state of perpetual anger, rage, bitterness, and hidden grieving. Seriously. This is something that I believe with every fiber of my being, and it’s no simple task to do the work OR to “let go.” “Acceptance” is the event that stops the merry-go-round of regret, rage, etc.

      A short true story that I experienced a couple of years ago. I had been having dreams of this fellow that I had once dated and almost married in my early 20’s. He was beautiful and passionate and I always believed that I had let a prince go when I broke it off with him. For 34 years, I would have occasional dreams about him and awaken in a state of pining for him, regret, and longing.

      So, thanks to the explosion of technology, we reconnected after 34 years. It was odd because he was traveling on his job and staying in a hotel in NY (and, not far from where I live), and asked me to call him. I had my reservations about this, but I did call him. And, in this one conversation, the regret VANISHED, the longing ended, and I discovered that I had made a very, very wise decision to end my relationship with him. He was STILL arrogant, judgmental, and made a number of very glib comments during the conversation. The one that stuck in my mind was something along the lines of, “There’s nothing wrong with two old friends having a talk.” First of all, how did the concept of “wrong” get brought into a simple phone call? Second, how many times did he use this rationalization while he was away from his wife and children? Third (and, most grievous to me), where did he get the notion that we were “old friends?” We were in-timate partners that nearly eloped to “legitimize” our “love” for one another!!!! OLD FRIENDS?! REALLY?!?!

      So……..this event was one of countless that have occurred in the past 4 years that have taught me that my gut-instincts were spot-on. I am not “broken,” nor was I ever. I simply needed a serious “tune-up,” and I’m living with an attitude of gratitude each day that I’m walking this healing path.

      The “bad” people take what they can from whomever they can take it, but if I look much deeper, they’re also giving me an opportunity to learn about myself, my precious vulnerabilities, and my own boundaries. Kinda cool, when I think about it in that light.

  12. Yea, the technology that lets us “reconnect” with people who are out of our lives can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes not so good….and an interesting thing is that frequently psychopaths will go back through their “little black books” and reconnect with old flames for a “booty call” and so on….my ex BF had a black book of women he had slept with and would occasionally sleep with and wanted to keep this “stable” of women like a harem. Fortunately I discovered this before I married him.

    FB lets me keep up with some folks that ARE friends but live at a distance and even some people I went to HS with and it’s fun but you know those folks are not trying to con me or get something out of me.

    I had a telephone call yesterday from someone who told me that I had won a Publisher’s Clearing house drawing for a new Mercedes and $950,000 and then went on to tell me that 99% of the taxes had been paid but I had to go to a wal mart and get a money order for $350 and when they came to deliver my prize I had to give them the receipt. LOL He even gave me a telephone number to call back….LOL Of course it was a scam and when I called our local attorney general to report it, she told me the area code was from over seas LOL Of course when the man said I had to go get a money order then I knew it was a scam, but I can imagine so many elderly people not being able to “see through” the scam which is one reason the elderly are more vulnerable to scams like this.

    My elderly neighbor fell for one of those scams and none of us could convince him he was being scammed, over and over and over and told his daughter and me that we were just trying to keep him from getting rich.

    Live and learn!!!!

  13. Very Zen & Joyce – I agree that the majority of spaths wouldn’t care less WHERE their “supply” comes from- food, money, sex, drugs…. but in this case, the ex spath relies on his parents the enablers to support him. He lacks the ambition (for lack of a better word) to have any friends, let alone go anywhere to meet people to find someone else to scam. So his is a lonely and bitter existence that he has created all by himself, yet I’m somehow the one to blame for all of it. Pffft! (Insert massive eye rolling here) Whatev’s babe. LMAO!

    On the topic of reconnecting- I too had one I thought had gotten away. We also reconnected several years ago, then again a few months ago. I love him dearly, but know without a doubt, we can never be anything more than friends. If there was anything more, no good could ever come of it. Some things we know in our hearts. It’s our heads that have it all wrong, fantasizing and what if’s? that will never be.

  14. Phoenix, I just looked at the newer revised PCL-R, and it has changed just a BIT…Patrick scored 38 out of 40 and now he scores 40 out of 40 possible points…LOL

    It sounds like your ex would score very high as well….

    Here is the link: http://www.arkancide.com/psychopathy.htm

    The only reason that patrick only scored 38 out of 40 last time was the way it was worded about “multiple relationships”—he has been in prison so long that he hasn’t had a chance to have “multiple” promiscious relationships. LOL But when he was 18 he knocked up a 13 year old girl…he should have been prosecuted but her mother didn’t want her to be put through the wringer that would have entailed…

    When he was in prison he got a cell phone smuggled in and had internet and got on various social media and had “relationships” with various women. I got an e mail from one a while back wanting to know the “real story”–FREAKED me out, but I gave her the REAL story…of course he had sworn he was INNOCENT AS THE DRIVEN SNOW…LOL

    He swore to me for years after he killed Jessica that he was innocent, and his attorney didn’t violate his confidence BUT he did tell me what PROOF the cops had, and it was OPEN AND SHUT, no doubt, and yet, I still fell for his con job. Yep, they tells us what we want to hear and we ignore the rest…until we don’t….and until we come to our senses and go NO contact…sigh….I just wasn’t ready to let go or stop trying to save Patrick from himself.

    So I am sure that your ex’s enabling parents are in the same boat paddling up DE-NILE as hard as they can go…and just like my mother is paddling for all she is worth to get him out of prison so he can come live with her. He has her convinced he will be there to take care of her in her old age. She’s 86 now but she is hanging on for all she is worth to live long enough to see her heart’s desire which is for him to come take care of her and live with her. It is SAD however, and you know I feel sorry for her and all the other parents, spouses, grandparents and friends who keep on keeping on to bail out the psychopaths.

    I do have some compassion for those people, because I WAS ONE, DE QUEEN OF DE-NILE…BUT I was NOT Cleopatra for sure. But– the ASP I was trying to save kept biting me in the neck…but NO MORE.

    • Joyce, thank you for the link and I just did the whole questionnaire with the second exspath in mind – I already knew about the first one. In retrospect, he scored about 36. Now, this is knowing NOW what I did not know heading into the relationsh*t.

      Having hope is the most insidious aspect of having an offender (convicted, or not) in my life because “everyone deserves hope.” Or, “you always have to keep hope alive.” I believed these things because it was required of me – I was obligated to maintain “hope,” at all costs. I was expected to HOPE that my mother would get sober. Hope that there would be food prepared for meals. Hope that I had clean clothes for school. Hope that someone remembered to see that I could eat lunch at school. Hope that I wouldn’t be locked out of the house, again. Hope that my father would stay home and protect me from the abuse / neglect. Hope that I was going to be “okay.” Hope that I WAS “okay.”

      I really don’t know how I feel about the concept of “hope,” today. I don’t know if it’s something that is worthwhile maintaining, or something that is simply wishful thinking. With Victor, it was my “hope” that he would change because he loved me and appreciated my deep “love” for him. Well, that didn’t happen and the continued practicing of false hope did nothing more than keep me under his heel until the NEXT psychopath came along. With the Good Time Charlie, the second exspath, he didn’t hit me – therefore, he didn’t abuse me. He spoke and wrote words that made be feel desirable, wanted, loved, appreciated, approved-of, and so on. Well, words are cheap and he put them to good use for himself.

      I also feel pity for the people who remain in denial. It’s pitiful because I can finally “see” where I would have been if I’d remained in the same state that I had been in, and I can clearly observe how much of a toll this false hope takes on a person’s psyche AND physical health.

      The second exspath’s parents are so dysfunctional that it’s painful to watch them interact. Clearly, the mother had glommed onto her husband the moment she saw him when, during the ’60’s, she was a single-mother of 2 at the age of 16. She saw an attractive man who had a VERY good and stable position in the local factory, and she envisioned a lifetime of income, status, and everything else that she, herself, lacked in spades. So…….she conned him into marrying her. Watching these two, today, is painful because the father is the MOST brow-beaten man I have ever seen in my life. He takes extreme insults and verbal abuse from his wife of over 40 years and I have my sneaking suspicions that he’s also a victim of physical violence. He HOPES that God is going to “fix” her. He’s said it in so many words, and his “religious” beliefs are like a pacifier rather than a set of doctrines that would improve his life, his self-esteem, and self-worth. Somehow, some way, God is going to step in with a text message or something and “show (him) the way.”

      So, I don’t know how I “feel” about hope. It’s a subject that wants in-depth discussion and contemplation.

      • To clarify about observing the parents of the Good Time Charlie: I witnessed the extreme degradation that the father endured from the mother – I haven’t seen them in 4 years, and I have no doubt that the abuse has escalated as all abuse does.

        The verbal insults, dismissal, belittling, and the rest was done in front of people – ANYONE who was nearby was part of the woman’s tirade. But, the husband pitied her because she had “lost her faith” when she struck and killed a child while driving. Interestingly, this was a secret that had been kept from every member of the family and the father felt compelled to tell me about it, one day, in a vain attempt to explain (or, excuse) his wife’s behaviors and deep-seated anger.

        ugh…………..false hope and secrets. A lethal co-cktail if ever there was one.

    • Thank you for the link. However, I think the score of 96, He is a total psychopath, was a bit high, though spot on. ROFLMAO! How did he score a 96 you ask? Well there were a few questions where the score of a ‘2″ was recorded as “22” because he was so high in that trait. Yeah, you could say he’s a bit off the charts. In more ways than one! LMAO

  15. Zen, you bring up some good points…a while back I got a real tongue lashing from the wife of a close friend…IN A VERY PUBLIC VENUE….and I was totally surprised at the outburst as I hardly knew the woman, she doesn’t participate in our group’s activities…but I didn’t let it bother me or respond in kind, because I really don’t know the woman, and I felt very sorry for her husband who loves his wife very much, but I suspect that he was humiliated to say the least…so these public tirades at others, whether the others are relatives or not I think are a sign of some dysfunction in the family.

    The husband of this woman who “went off on” me said, after she finally quit screaming and left, “she’ll come back and apologize” (she didn’t) and I just said to him, “I’m sorry I provoked her” (which was just my way of helping him to not feel so humiliated, because I did NOTHING worthy of “Provoking” her, she was meddling in something that was none of her business….. and he said back to me, “you did the right thing” I really felt the husband’s humiliation at his wife’s very public behavior.

    Interestingly enough, the mother of the husband is IN PUBLIC very “sweet” but behind closed doors she is a Harpy. So my friend, the husband of the woman who went off on me, grew up with a woman who was a Harpy and may have influenced him to expect that kind of behavior from a spouse. It is unfortunately the case that many children who lived in dysfunctional and abusive households grow up to either BE abuser, or be the victims.

    It is quite a shame, really, and the “abuse” can be as “simple” as humiliation and being degraded —in a way I think the emotional degradation is more injurious than the physical abuse. “Hope” that things will improve, if held on to long enough, becomes a TRAUMA BOND from which the victim no longer even tries to escape, but only tries to appease the abuser. Those of us who have “escaped” and started to heal, and have given up that “malignant Hope” are few and far between. Many times the victim of abuse who marries an abuser if they do escape the first one, will, simply go find another abuser, RINSE AND REPEAT

  16. Joyce and Zen- I shake my head at people like that, because if this is how they act in public, I can only imagine what’s going on at home. Many times people put on one ‘face’ to go out in public. They are so sweet, they couldn’t possibly be like that… but when they get home, the other shoe drops and the gates of hell have opened up. They go Jekyll and Hyde all over the place. Talk about two faced! Yikes!

    Those type of people set me on edge. If they are freaking out over this, what’s going to happen when I do that? Being around them is like walking on eggshells. I’m sooOOoo done with that.

  17. Phoenix, I do not walk on egg shells any more either. and frankly I do not care what this woman thinks of me at all, but I did feel sorry for her husband, and knowing his background with his family dynamics and what a witch his mother is behind closed doors, but such a “saint” in public…I can definitely relate to how he must have felt, being powerless to stop her showing her butt, but that’s their monkey and that’s their circus…I’m just not going to let it get to me or cause me to think “what did I do wrong?” cause I KNEW I did the right thing (which was what caused her to go off) but it was NONE OF HER BUSINESS how I handled a very possibly explosive situation and with a visitor to our venue where my living history group was putting on demonstrations. A member of the public who had a shoe size bigger than his IQ had come into the camp with a big dog off leash and there was almost a disaster because the man wouldn’t control his dog. When I asked him to get hold of it’s collar he just looked at me like I was crazy and made no effort to restrain his dog…so after giving him a piece of rope, he was escorted out of the camp because even after he had the rope on its collar he still let the dog be a nuicence As her husband was our group president, I was talking to him about it after things had calmed down a bit when she lit into me about how badly I had behaved toward the man. But you know when the man let his dog “sniff” my pet chickens I did kind of come unglued because if a dog is within sniffing range he is withhin GRABBING range! What an idiot! LOL

    • Phoenix and Joyce, I recently had a similar experience with Bob at a restaurant about a month ago. We were having lunch and the place was packed – cheap buffet and LOTS of people taking advantage of that fact! LOL

      At any rate, this woman was taking a child of about 7-8 to the bathroom and she was speaking in a VERY loud tone to this child – I’ve seen this type, before. They aren’t screaming or shouting, but they’re vocal projection is bellowed in such a way that everyone within ear-shot is made aware of just how “put upon” this woman is by the actions of the child. Well, the child was just being a typical kid and didn’t want to go into the bathroom, alone, and said that he didn’t need to go, anymore, and the woman went on a bellowing tirade so that everyone in the restaurant (had to have been about 75 people in various parts) could HEAR everything that she was bellowing at this poor kid. She began berating this poor kid to such a degree and it was 100% abusive. I turned around as she walked past (still berating this kid) and told her to shut up because she was abusing that child. I said this twice. About 20 other people immediately around us stared at the woman as she continued berating this child – they all had their cell phones sitting on their tables so that they could text-message while they were eating or post their meals to FaceTube. Not ONE of these people worked up the courage to call the police – the woman shoved the kid out of the door, and really began screaming at him, outside. This went on for about 15 minutes and literally RUINED my meal.

      As I stood up to leave, I turned around and said to the remaining customers, “You’ve all got your cell phones out and not one of you had the courage to call the police for this child. I don’t have a cell phone, so who’s going to let me use theirs?” Each, and every one of those idiot people looked away and I will never, ever return to that establishment BECAUSE the management didn’t call, either.

      I no longer care whether or not someone will be upset or “like” me. If’ someone is doing something that is abusive or dangerous, it’s on. I won’t confront them, but I will certainly take steps to get the proper authorities involved.

      • I applaud you for confronting that woman, but unfortunately, I think that abuse will continue unabated —there needs to be some intervention (professional) in that family ….at least those cowards that sat there saw what they should have done in your actions, but I sincerely doubt that they actually will change as a result.

        We do what we can do. I found a baby in a locked car once on a HOT day. It was infront of a strip Mall and I went into several stores before I found the mother and she verbally attacked me when I told her she should get the kid out of the car. NOW I would just take the “center punch” that is on my car key ring and break the window AND call the cops. Recently in my state a JUDGE left his son or grandson can’t remember which in a car and the child DIED…of course the cops are handling it with KID GLOVES…

      • As Joyce said, the abuse will likely go on unabated. The best thing you could have done- FOLLOW her out to the car and get a plate number. Then when you call it in to police, you have a way for them to track her down and at least actually talk to her or if they need to, get DCS involved and get the kid some help.

        I too applaud you for your actions and shame on everyone else who did nothing. I would hope one day it’s not their niece, nephew or grandchild… and if it is, that they have the courage to stand up to their family member and shut it down on the spot.

        But there again, this is what they are doing in public, how much worse is it when they get home??? F’ck eggshells!

        • Good suggestion….I know for sure I would never hunt down the parent of a child locked in a hot car. I have a “center punch” which also has a seat belt knife inside it attached to my key chain and if I were ever to encounter a child in a car, all I have to do is put the center punch up to the window and trip the trigger and the glass will shatter into 1000 non sharp points in an instant…then I will call police.

          I think your suggestion too get the car tag and call the police is a good idea. I’ll keep that in mind next time I see something like this.

          Do you ever watch that TV show of “what would you do?” They put cameras out and watch what people do when they see a bully, or some situation like that and then see who helps and who walks on by. Good show actually

          • I have not watched that show, but seen the commecials on tv. I get the gist of it, but sometimes I wonder how much of it is also staged on some level. I have lived it on a few occasions though. One knowing I could shoot someone 2) having stoped at least one act of abuse, but the woman later ended up right back in the same spot again, not long after… Oy vey.

          • Phoenix, it was a matter of GRABBING the dog away NOW before he got the chicken, and the MAM probably couldn’t have paid $1 restitution if the dog HAD gotten the chicken…and it was my PET TRAINED chicken that I do demos for schools and parks, so it wasn’t just ANY chicken, which would have been bad enough, but one I had spent countless hours training. As for the woman who yelled at me for reacting by yelling at the man, she could have paid for the chicken, but the thing is the chicken was priceless and could nto easily be replaced.

            The dog was less than an inch from the chicken and if he had lunged the rope would have stretched far enough for him to grab it and the dog was a lab cross so the instinct would have been for him to grab it. It all happened in a split second and it actually took me a second to REALIZE what was happening. And when I DID realize what was happening I had to ACT INSTANTLY to avoid disaster.

            As for the woman being upset that I had “yelled” at the guy, well…doesn’t bother me, except I was embarrassed for her family because they ARE my friends.

      • Absolutely, the abuse will continue for that kid, and even reporting the incident wouldn’t have made a difference to the mother. The “tone” of her voice and the words that she was using indicated that she felt that the child was a BURDEN to her. Ugh.

        I’ve called authorities, before, and seen little done. When I lived in military housing, I was at the commissary shopping and saw this woman telling her daughter (about 3) to shut up while the daughter was cowering (quite literally) in the bottom of the shopping cart. The child expressed fear by making a noise, and the mother balled up her fist and punched the child about the head and shoulders. SEVERAL people jumped in – two prevented her from leaving, one grabbed the child out of the shopping cart, and I ran to the checkout to call the MP’s. If that happened, today, and a group of people attempted to intervene, WE would have been arrested, first.

        The world is a crazy place and people have always been, are, and will forever be abusive to their children and one another. The only way to “break the cycle” is for the victim to get out of the situation, get intensive help, and alter their perceptions back into some semblance of balance.

        Sadly, children do not have a voice and people rarely involve themselves because of one excuse or another. It wasn’t so much the woman who was yelling at that child that had me so upset – it was the fact that about 20 people in the immediate vicinity had smart phones on their tables next to their plates, and nobody even considered calling the authorities. Of course, the child’s welfare was in danger, but these people all sat around and actually pretended as if they didn’t hear the woman yelling at that child.

        So………….sometimes, I’m very grateful that I live where I do and that I don’t see this happening as much as it surely must.

        • The first line of this comment, makes me wonder if the woman was doing this to draw attention to herself. We all know what narcissistic arseholes spaths can be. She may have been bellowing so loudly that everyone hears her, so that SHE is the center of attention, which she was.

          Calling her out on her verbal abuse, gave her the attention she sought, only not quite the ‘delivery’ she was seeking. She was hoping for PITY, for being so put upon. Instead she got a healthy dose of a reality check. No tip included… lol

          • Phoenix, absolutely this woman was doing this for attention. Nobody OTHER than a narcissistic spath would behave like that, in public. “Stupid” doesn’t factor in – there are people out there that are completely stupid that would behave badly, but her tone, vocal inflections, and the words that she used were ALL chosen specifically to reflect how put-upon she was and what a BURDEN this child was.

            Yep – a$$hole is appropriate. LMAO!!

  18. Phoenix, I do not walk on egg shells any more either. and frankly I do not care what this woman thinks of me at all, but I did feel sorry for her husband, and knowing his background with his family dynamics and what a witch his mother is behind closed doors, but such a “saint” in public…I can definitely relate to how he must have felt, being powerless to stop her showing her butt, but that’s their monkey and that’s their circus…I’m just not going to let it get to me or cause me to think “what did I do wrong?” cause I KNEW I did the right thing (which was what caused her to go off) but it was NONE OF HER BUSINESS how I handled a very possibly explosive situation and with a visitor to our venue where my living history group was putting on demonstrations. A member of the public who had a shoe size bigger than his IQ had come into the camp with a big dog off leash and there was almost a disaster because the man wouldn’t control his dog. When I asked him to get hold of it’s collar he just looked at me like I was crazy and made no effort to restrain his dog…so after giving him a piece of rope, he was escorted out of the camp because even after he had the rope on its collar he still let the dog be a nuicence As her husband was our group president, I was talking to him about it after things had calmed down a bit when she lit into me about how badly I had behaved toward the man. But you know when the man let his dog “sniff” my pet chickens I did kind of come unglued because if a dog is within sniffing range he is within GRABBING range! What an idiot! LOL

  19. Joyce- When the woman went off, you could have asked her if she was willing to pay for righting the wrong? If the dog had grabbed one (or more) of the chickens and injured or killed it, would she be willing to pay for their replacement? If not, then she has no place saying anything to anyone.

    Same with the guy who had the dog. If he isn’t willing to leash his dog, let alone control it any further, he likely isn’t going to stick around when the dog attacks your chicken (or someone’s kid) let alone take responsibility and cover any resulting medical costs.

    For the woman spouting off- if it had been something of hers that the dog was near and able to destroy, I can only imagine how she would have flipped out then. They usually do.

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