Tag Archive | psychopath

Staying present is harder than it looks

Flashbacks have been hurtling me into the past, into this odd blended world where past blends and merges with present in completely confusing ways.

Seeing my sick dog lying there, I suddenly was 8 years old and seeing the dog AF poisoned. The image superimposed, so childhood dog is on top of my real dog like a transparent photoshop layer that at moments is opaque and seems oh so real.

In those moments, I relive the trauma as it happened. Not just like watching a movie, as that would be only sight and sound. This is the entire experience, all of the smells, thoughts, fears, sadness, helplessness. I hear AF laughing, his cruel voice saying the stupid beast got what it deserved. I feel it in my skin and bones. It takes every ounce of energy to remind myself I am an adult, not a child, that I am safe, that this is a different dog, and no one poisoned him, he is sick.

I go through grounding exercises. I look at my hands and breathe and count. I look in the mirror. I tell myself AF is not here, he is gone. I am safe. I can help this dog. I don’t have to watch it die. He can’t make me watch it die. No one will laugh. I can go to the vet. I am in charge. I am okay.

I slip in and out of reality several times as I see my dog struggle. I have not slipped like this since the day I revisited the building of my childhood back surgeon.

Some triggers are just too strong. Some events were just too horrible.

Hubby says maybe I can finally grieve for that dog now, combining with current grief maybe. That I can say goodbye to her also when we have our little funeral. I don’t know if it will help, but I think it is worth a try to get some closure on that.

I don’t have any pictures of that childhood dog, but I started googling and I think she was part border terrier. She was really ugly! All straggly hair, mostly black, some white. But she was awesome, a good friend, and a good frisbee player. She would fetch anything and was always outside with me.

**Next part is graphic, stop reading if you don’t want to know**

It took her three days to die and none of us were allowed to help or comfort her. She climbed onto my brothers bed and stayed there, filling it with blood, as it seemed to leak out of her everywhere. The blood dripped off in a little stream at one point, dripping onto the floor. Her tongue hung out as she gasped for air. Her eyes were gummy and staring at nothing. Once in a while she would convulse, kicking her legs wildly, then nothing but gasping again. We were not allowed to hold her head or give her water. All I could do was stand in the doorway and watch, helpless, as my friend died in the most horrible way and AF laughed.

There were other animals he hurt too, but this was the worst and most difficult to erase from my mind. I don’t know how to put something that devastating into perspective. I can’t help that dog or that little girl and I can’t explain why it happened. So my brain keeps it active, in case one day I may figure it out?

So I am hoping that grief is the answer. There is no why. He was cruel, that is it. There was nothing I could have done. I need to grieve for the loss of the dog and the pain of the little girl. I’ll see if I can, and if it works. Because this is one flashback I would really like to stop seeing, please.

Holiday Greetings from a Psychopath


I have to share the email my abusive father has sent to all of his children. I guess I choose door #2. I am happy he is leaving my brother’s home. I am happy he is leaving the state. I am happy he is going to a senior living community. I am not happy he is going to be alone, but I don’t feel any guilt, as he has done this to himself. We have all given him so many chances to be a part of our lives, and all he has done is hurt us repeatedly. He is done pretending to be charming and shows his true ugly colors now. So this is one more attempt to hurt us and make us feel guilty, and if you’re fluent in psychopath like I am, you will also recognize the attempt to tear us siblings apart again by implying that one or more of us may choose #3. He doesn’t understand that these attempts are futile, and that what worked in the past, on his young children, no longer works on his adult children. We all see him for what he is. We all tried to help him and move past our history. We all see he is incapable of human emotion, feels no remorse, is incapable of change, and is a truly hurtful person. I believe very few of these people actually exist in the world. His brain is not wired to his heart. He is incurably cold. And unlike the Grinch, seeing us all happy and singing does not make his heart grow, it makes him angrier. He used to feed on our pain and sadness – he was happiest when we were all suffering.

Here’s his message to his own children, that I found in my inbox last night cc’d to all my siblings:

Just a quick word to friends, family, and local email folks:

I bought a place to live in central Pennsylvania and will be moving there tomorrow if the weather holds.

 I suppose this is addressed to three categories of persons.

 1.      Those who could care less, and if it is you quit reading now because it just doesn’t matter.

2.      Those who are glad to see me go, and if it is you, then you just got an early Christmas gift. Hooray for you.

3.      Those who will miss me and prefer I stay, and if it is you, I already know it and will see you in the future. 

Here’s hoping celebrating the birth of Christ brings you peace and Joy…


I am sorry for any who may cross his path in central PA, but otherwise I do feel peace and joy as I celebrate Christmas with my beautiful family, that I make sure knows every day that I love them. Even though I have a hole in my heart where parental love and support should be – I have found it in myself to give exactly that to my own children. Their biggest concern today is which flavor of candy cane to eat first, and if the gingerbread cookie they decorate should have a bowtie, buttons, or a hat. They hugged Santa yesterday and believe in the magic of Christmas, even though the oldest knows Santa himself isn’t real, she still had to hug him. Because they also believe in themselves – because they were never told not to.

I kiss them each night and watch them fall quickly asleep, safe and secure. They do not know the fear and pain of neglect and abuse. I pray they never will.

I am hopeful that this will be the last attack from my abusive father, but I am doubtful he will let us all go. It is in his blood to torment us. But these words are just words, and no longer hold power over me. They make me sad, of course, give me that empty feeling of longing, that fleeting wish that things could be different. But it is fleeting, and only exist at all because I am not a psychopath, and not completely immune to the feelings of others. His power is gone, because I am starting to believe in myself, and when I don’t, when I falter, I have so many others right there that do believe me in me now, from my blogger friends to those in my real life.

I am loved, and feel truly blessed.

The Narcissist and the Psychopath; aka My Parents

I read Paula’s post today, and my jaw dropped. I have another piece of the puzzle, a bit of the answer to my “Why?” and “How?” did my parents end up that way? Why did my Mom marry my Dad, and How did she stay married to him? Why was she able to turn her back on us and deny all of the abuse? Because a narcissist married a psychopath.

Here is the link to Paula’s reblog: http://paularenee.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/1832/

Reflection of bridge

Reflections are real to a narcissist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bit that stood out to me, describes my mother so well. “It’s not the reflection which drives
your intent and fires your motivation but rather, You are staring (into the pool) because you see nothing but your own blackness”

My mom feels like nothing without attention. She can’t see herself unless we reflect it back to her. I think she was already like that when she met my Dad. So when a young psychopath, with strong charm, full of flattery, courts a young narcissist, it is an instant and powerful match. He truly did complete her. He supplied the beautiful reflection she had been looking for. Until they got married, and he learned his power over her. She would do ANYTHING to get that lovely reflection from him. And so he withheld it until he got his way. And then only gave her quick glances in his evil mirror, never the long, satisfying gaze she yearned for.

And then, he made sure that all her children would not return that reflection either. And stole the soul of his daughter. So that his daughter would not be a narcissist, would not even know she had a reflection to seek out.

My mother’s goal is and was a perfect image. The extents of this are too far to name here, but gaining more importance to me as I heal. I never questioned why they did not want to be seen with me in my back brace and leg brace after spinal surgery. I was kept inside and alone, like the Hunchback in the bell tower, and only allowed out at night to practice walking. When we only got drive through, not allowed to eat in a restaurant, it was explained as “We wouldn’t want the other diners to stare dear. We wouldn’t want to make them uncomfortable” I accepted that I was hideous and pitiful and that other diners should not have to see me that way. (I was 12)

My father’s goal was power and self-satisfaction. I truly don’t think he has human emotions – a true pyschopath – his inner world is full of calculations and plans. My mother’s inner world tends to be blank and self-pitying and fear of exposing the blankness. My Father has never felt fear, compassion, heartache, tenderness. He has expressed rage, though not sure he actually felt it, as even then he seemed cold and non-spontaneous. Like when my eldest brother called him an a$$hole to his face. My father’s reaction was not instant. He allowed my brother to storm off to his room. My father slowly got up from the chair at the dining room table, carefully slid it back into place, slowly walked after him. I heard the door open and close. And then I heard a dull thud, followed by a huge bang, a few words. I saw my Father calmly return to his place at the table and resume reading like nothing happened. I went back to my brother’s room and saw him sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall, shaking, but not actually crying. On the wall above him, was a huge hole in the wall. He looked at me a moment but said nothing, nothing was in his eyes, like he wasn’t really in his body right then. Then got up and went out the front door. My Father watched him leave with almost a smile. I found out later, many years later, from my brother, that my father had put one hand around my brother’s neck, nearly choking him, then pushed him against the wall while saying “If you ever disrespect me again, this fist will go into your head and not the wall” and then punched clean through the wall right next to his head. (My memory I am about 6, so my brother must have been about 16)

My mother and my other brother had the hole repaired before bed time. Nothing happened. Everything is fine. The next day it was painted, and other than a slight bumpiness there in the wall, it was like it never happened. No one spoke of these events, as it would ruin the reflection of a perfect family. The children in our house were always respectful, and the parents were always nurturing. Threats were acceptable forms of discipline and if we found them to be harsh, it was only because we deserved it and we left them no choice. This reflection served both parents, and so continued for way too many years.

How it all began:



Do you become Abusive, or are you born Abusive?

English: This is the Brother of the set of two...

English: This is the Brother of the set of two “Brother and Sister” carvings by Benjamin Schleifman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The whole Nature/Nurture debate goes on in many realms. After reading the comments on my previous post, I have been thinking about this: Why do some people grow up to be abusive, and some do not? Why do some people endure impossible situations, but come out whole eventually, knowing the value of people and never becoming abusive?

No one knows what happens to make someone cross the line between normal parenting mishap, and actual abuse. I do wonder how many events were carefully planned, calculated, and carried out by my parents to keep us under control, always doubting, fearing, and never loving.

We always look for answers to explain psychopathic behavior, and often I have been asked if my dad was abused as a child. As if that would explain his monstrous behavior. I do know my dad’s dad was alcoholic and unemployed after an injury, but my grandpa died before I was born. My dad’s mother was loud, angry, opinionated, crass, rude, but I don’t know if she was abusive. She worked in a hospital, tending to wounds, so I can’t imagine her as selfish as my dad. My dad’s brothers and sisters are all odd and loud, but as far as I know, they were all decent parents and spouses. My dad was in the air force, but worked as a radio tech, not on the front lines of combat. I don’t think he had PTSD. He seemed to have no conscience, sometimes I think no soul.

Can a child be born without a soul? With no ability to learn right from wrong? Unable to feel guilt or remorse? Or did something happen to make him that way? Was he born the same innocent, precious child as the rest of us, and something terrible happened to mutate his genes and render him incapable of normal emotions? And then, when that happens, is it then inevitable that this person will make hurting others his daily goal? I just don’t understand.

To explain the level of psychosis in my dad I will share a conversation my brother told me he had with him shortly after I told everyone what dad had been doing to me all my life. My brother could not believe it at first, he was still under my dad’s power, still trying to be the good son – no – the best son. He was raised to think of my dad as God, all powerful, perfect. So when he found out his perfect dad was a pedophile, a sexual deviant, that he abused his little girl, it was devastating. My brother confronted my dad, asking if it was true. My dad did not care enough to deny it. In fact, my brother said my dad laughed a bit, and said “Yes of course I touched your sister. I’d have sex with my own sister if given the chance. The world has put these ridiculous rules on who we can or can’t look at, when truthfully every man lusts for every girl and without society in the way, we would all be able to put taboos aside and act on our desires freely.”

Of course this is not the story he told the police, or child services, or whoever else came to question him. They got the charming man, the man who didn’t understand why his ex-wife and daughter could stoop so low and drag his name in the mud. He painted a picture of a money-hungry ex out for revenge that got her daughter to make false claims. Everyone believes charming man, he is so persuasive.

So, he knows what society considers right/wrong, but he does not agree. How does this happen? To most of us, these things are very clearly defined, no question about it. To most of us, it is revolting, horrifying to think of getting sexually aroused and even worse to think of acting on those feelings with a family member, and even worse yet to think of an infant or toddler. So was this man (if you can call him a man) born like this, or created somehow?

I don’t know the answer. All I can say is, being abused does not make you an abusive monster. It may increase the chances, but I think that ability had to be inside to begin with.

When sad memories make good days bad

I’m in a (fairly) good place right now, mentally. Not beating myself up, not assigning fault and blame, not freezing up or melting down. Life is steady and peaceful, mostly.

But certain situations can still trigger memories for me, that still hurt, and I don’t know how to handle this level of hurt and stop the transportation of me back to helpless childhood and re-experiencing those feelings. So I think I need to share a sad story and see if I can grieve for this day in my past too, and then (maybe) it will get out of my head and lose (some of) its power over me.

My current dog is very old, and I love him dearly, he’s sweet and neurotic like me. He has some old age health issues and sometimes has trouble breathing at night, and sometimes I hear him and wake up and just go hold him, in case those are his last breaths I want to be there for him. Mostly I feel strong and calm, and just live in those bittersweet moments as they come, just being there.

Trouble is it brings me right back to a time in sixth grade. If you don’t feel like crying right now, please don’t read this story.

My father, the psychopath that abused his entire family in one way or another, also controlled us with the fear that our pets would be taken away from us. I can’t even recall how many dogs and cats we had growing up – I never knew animals could live so long as my current pets. My dad did not believe in veterinary care at all. Money was not for pets. Dad had let us pick out a puppy finally, years after the last dog died mysteriously. I was quite young, but I recall that old dog fondly, and recall the day it started bleeding. I recall a neighbor saying it looked like it was poisoned, and dad saying something about it being stupid enough to eat poison it deserved to die. I watched that dog die, and watched my dad flop it into a garbage bag and take it to our trash can by the garage. The next day when dad was at work, my brother got the dog from the can, and we went into our back woods and buried the poor thing. We never told dad.

I loved that new puppy, more than anything, and certainly more than my parents. I did my best to train it, but it was very young (and so was I!) and it was not yet potty-trained. I would rush home from school to clean up any messes it made while we were gone all day before dad could discover it. One day dad found a mess that I did not, and though he never yelled, never raised his voice, his silent anger was terrifying. He calmly picked up that puppy and put in a cardboard box. He told us we were not allowed to take him out of there. I slept on the floor next to that box and listened to my puppy cry all night. I knew this was just a punishment, but that if I did take him out, the punishment would likely be much worse.

We were all much more careful, and eventually puppy got potty-trained. But it was still energetic and poorly trained. It chewed up daddy’s shoes one day. A few days later, I came home and couldn’t find my dog. He was gone. Dad said it ran away. We were not permitted to call around or post missing signs.  All us kids combed the neighborhood for weeks, possibly months, calling and looking for that dog. I still don’t know what he did with our dog.

So I took to having secret pets. I would rescue birds, stray cats, even field mice. We would feed them scraps outside. I had one stray cat that year, that was so fluffy and friendly, it was always in our yard. I started to let kitty in the house, sneaking it into my room after school, and putting it back out before dad came home. The nights were getting colder and I was getting worried for kitty. One night the news (11 o’clock news – I was never told to go to bed as a kid) warned about the wind chill and to not leave any pets out that night. I begged to bring kitty in, just for the 1 night. I was told no. I snuck in kitty easily, but never thought it through, and of course we were discovered.

My dad was furious, but again, no yelling. He calmly went to the cupboard and got out the bottle of disinfectant (lysol or pine sol) we used to clean floors. He said I couldn’t have a nasty germy creature in the house, and dumped most of the bottle on the cat. And then told me to clean the floor and anything else the cat had touched – meaning me, so he dumped the rest on me. It burned my skin where it touched me, and burned my lungs to breathe it, and burned my eyes. I started coughing, and my dad started laughing. Said I looked like a drowned rat, and told me to wash up. I did – I had to get that stuff off of me, but I didn’t want to leave kitty, so I did it very quickly.  When I came out of the bathroom, kitty was gone. Dad said it asked to go outside.

I went to the big sliding glass door and looked for kitty. I put on my coat and boots and went out to call for kitty, but the snow and wind chill and my wet hair was too much, I had to go back inside. I sat by the back door and waited.

Kitty did come back, and I sat there watching it through the glass, mewing at me. I was paralyzed, too scared to open the door, but not willing to turn my back on my friend. I lost it. I started crying. Howling. I knew I’d get in trouble, but the sobs were uncontrollable. I don’t remember who opened the door, or how many hours I went on like that. But finally, kitty was permitted inside, just to shut me up so dad could sleep. Kitty’s fur was frozen solid everywhere the disinfectant had it wet. It could not move its back legs at all, ice had encased them. It could not open one eye, and blood was trickling from it. We got towels to wrap it in, and waited for kitty to thaw, and then slowly gave it a warm sponge bath to remove the posionous cleaner, and then blow dried and rubbed it with towels. Usually cats do not like this sort of attention, but kitty was not moving much or fighting us. Once kitty was all clean, I held it, like a swaddled baby, and watched its chest move harder and harder as it gasped for air. I found the yellow pages and called a 24 hour vet. The vet said milk might help dilute the poison, but that we should bring it in immediately. We put a saucer of milk in front of it, but it didn’t want any, so we got a medicine dropper and tried to perk it up with drops of milk.  We lifted its little head and rubbed its throat, it didn’t seem to be swallowing. Eventually brother fell asleep, but I didn’t. I sang and petted my kitty until it had no more strength to lift its head, and then no more strength to breathe.

My dad found me in the morning, holding a dead kitty, and called me a fool. He said I killed that cat by loving it. He said if I had followed his rules and not been feeding the cat secretly, it would not have relied on me to take care of it and would have been safe on its own somewhere.

I’m not sure how, but I got ready for school and got on the bus like usual. I could not concentrate and held back tears all day. Finally, the teacher’s helper asked me why I was sad. I told her my cat died last night. Her answer is permanently etched in my brain, “Oh, is that all? Sweetie, it was just a cat.”

Just a cat. Right.


My mom married a psychopath, part 2

So my mom was far from home, wondering what she was doing wrong as a wife, and at age 20, my oldest brother was born. My mom was delighted and determined to be a good mom. My dad’s job kept them moving, they had 7 different houses in the first 10 years of marriage. He was often away on “business” trips. She was kept far from her family, and never stayed long enough in any town to put down roots or feel like she belonged anywhere, always the outsider.

She was made to believe they were very poor, and he often scolded her for spending money, on things like diapers and formula. Certainly she was not allowed to get things for herself or the house either. Somehow he had enough money to buy himself nice clothes, saying he needed it for work. He did not allow her to have a car, so she was home with the baby and had to walk or rely on friends to drive her to the grocery store or pediatrician.

Mom had a few more baby boys in the next several years, and loved being a mom. She was extremely excited when I was born to finally have a girl, but she was never allowed a chance to get close to me. There were no car seats back then, when I was just a baby, my older brother held me on my lap while my mom drove. One afternoon, she was rushing another brother that had fallen out of a tree to the hospital. My brother had not latched the door, and I tumbled out of the car, and got squeezed by the wheels of our car. By some miracle I was not crushed, but was very hurt. So a panic-stricken mom now drove 2 kids to the hospital. I guess she kind of lost it, crying and screaming, at the thought of what could have happened. My dad finally shows up at the hospital, very angry. But the cold quiet angry that does not yell, the kind of angry that plots revenge. He was embarrassed to the core by her public display of emotions, and for causing the hospital bills. (Mom often “snuck” us to the doctor while he was at work, and later suffered his wrath for the bills)

My brother was fine, but I needed a week or so in the hospital to heal from tires pressing against me. All I know from pieced together stories is my dad was my nightly caregiver for a while, that he basically told my mom she was unfit to care for me. I think she was so belittled and rattled with guilt, that she had no fight in her anymore. She completely believed she was the worst wife and mother ever to exist. My dad, years later,  told me that my mom hated me and had tried to kill me that day. I believed that for most of my young life.  And from as young as I can remember, he would whisper to me that mom never wanted me, and that I should only come to him. I did. I listened to my daddy. I tried to be perfect, good, quiet, and not bother anyone.

Eventually you can believe anything when it is told to you by a crafty psychopath. And that is how I was completely isolated in my own home, and had my mom stolen from me before I ever knew her, even though we lived in the same house (until the divorce – but that is another story for another day). And that is how my dad set the stage to abuse his family with no one ever knowing.  His treatment of all of us, was carefully planned, coldly calculated, like a twisted plot in a horror novel.

My mom married a psychopath, part 1

My mom married a psychopath. It may sound like a new movie release, but this is no joke. Here is how it happened.

My mom grew up in a small town, the youngest child – nearly 20 years younger than her siblings. I never knew my Grandma, but I can only imagine her surprise to find herself pregnant when her other kids were already grown and having kids. My Grandpa died when my mom was only 2 years old. So it was just my mom, and her nearly elderly mother. They struggled for money. Grandpa had not been rich, and did not leave much for them. Grandma was proud, refused food stamps, and even continued to donate heavily to needier families.

My mom was (and still is) quite beautiful, and got lots of attention from boys. That was the time of the weekly sockhop at schools, my mom speaks of those times with great happiness and longing. Grandma encouraged my mom to date and find someone to marry, but no one seemed right. She was in no hurry, but Grandma was in poor health and wanted to see her baby taken care of. Mom accepted a job after high school working as a secretary for the company my dad was working for.

My dad brought my mom gifts every day, stopped in the office at every break to see her, bought her flowers, jewelry, chocolates. He was very charming. Always smiling, joking, and making promises. He told my mom she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen and could not let her get away. He told my Grandma he intended to marry my mom. Grandma encouraged my mom, telling her it was time. So in just a few months of dating, my mom got married at age 19.

After the wedding, everything changed. No more gifts. No more promises. No more kindness. Instead, the woman he cherished became a target of ridicule. He told her daily that she was fat (5 ft 8 and 110 pounds in her wedding picture) that she was stupid, and so lucky he married her or she would have never found anyone else willing to have her. Her cooking was terrible, the house was never clean enough, she did nothing right. Now these things did not come out all in one day as it sounds. A true psychopath knows how to gently warp someone’s world so they never feel the need to run.

My mom never had any male role models. She did not know how a husband should act. She was told by her mom and her church to obey her husband.

Mom did not know what she had done wrong, and worked even harder to please him. She felt like a failure. She prepared him elaborate meals and ate none of it, trying to lose that weight he complained about. She tried to keep their nasty apartment tidy, but was scared of the cockroaches that he would not allow her to spend money on an exterminator. He refused visits to or from her family and friends, cutting her off, making her live in isolation. She quit her job at his insistence, gave up her dreams and lived only to make her man happy, not knowing it was an impossible task.

(to be continued)