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Your reality is what you see

By Ox Drover

My best friend has been visiting me and, as usual, when we get together we re-share “old stories” of “remember the time when so-and-so did such-and-such and how we laughed?”

One of those stories was a funny one about a small quarrel I had with my late husband. After relating the story, I had one of those “ah ha!” moments that applies to a lot of things in life.

My husband had a partial plate that was almost impossible for the dentist to get seated so that it did not “flop” and my husband used some of that pink goop that you put under a dental plate to keep it glued down. Every evening when he would get ready for bed, he would go into our bathroom, take the plate out, scrape the goop off, clean it, re-goop it, and then replace it into his mouth.

The pink goop, while wet, was the consistency of chewing gum, but when it dried on the sink, it became the consistency of concrete and I had to practically chisel it out to clean the sink. I offhandedly asked him if he would be sure he cleaned it out well before he went to bed and he assured me he would do so. I saw absolutely no improvement when I went to clean the sink the next time and I became irritated.

I asked him again to please make sure he got it ALL when he cleaned the sink and he assured me he would. Again, when I noticed that there was still no improvement, and now quite irritated, I started to nag him about how inconsiderate he was to make me have to chisel this stuff out of the sink, when it would be so simple for him to wipe it out when it was still moist.

He patiently listened to my tirade then said, “Honey, I am trying, but because it is pink, and I am color blind I can’t see it!”

Well, you can only imagine how small and awful I felt. About one inch high! Of course I knew he was partly color blind, so I should have known he couldn’t see it! His “reality” was not the same as “my reality” because we looked at the same sink and saw different things.

Blind to emotion

After thinking about this story in more detail and more depth, I think that the psychopath is maybe not “color” blind, but they are “blind to emotions” that we can see. Because we can see those things so clearly, we try to explain to them what we think is obvious, and “right before your eyes.” However, just as my husband could look at the sink and only see the “clean white” sink, and I could see the pink globs turning to concrete “right before my eyes,” our misunderstanding was because of the “different reality” that each of us saw.

A psychopath, who is unable to comprehend the “emotions” that go with words like “love” and “caring,” might think. “We are having sex, sex feels good, therefore, I love her. But because sex feels good with others as well, I don’t know why she gets so upset when I have sex with someone else. ”

We would think, though, because our “vision” is different, “we are having sex and the sex is good because we love and care about each other. Because we love each other, we will treat each other well. Treating each other well means we will not purposely do things that hurt the other one.”

My irritation with my husband was because I could see the pink blobs plainly, and I assumed that he could see them as well, and thought he was refusing to wipe them out. In fact, he was making an effort to wipe out the sink, but because he could not perceive them, he had no idea when they were gone, and his only “reality” was that the sink looked clean to him.

Family and friends

I also think this same “reality is what you see” can be applied to our friends and family members who “don’t see” what we see in the psychopath. There is a common thread among victims that “my friends don’t understand what I have been through” and “my friends don’t believe me that he is evil.”

Our friends and family members who “don’t get it” don’t see the same “reality” that we see. They are unable to draw the same conclusions that we draw, and therefore it is difficult for them to believe the same things about the psychopath that we believe. We can see things about the psychopath that they can’t see, just as I could see the pink globs and my husband couldn’t. Our realities were not the same. We didn’t see the same thing, even though we looked at the same thing.

Sometimes though we can see clearly the toxicity of the psychopath, our friends may not. They are sometimes “color blind” to the ability of a psychopath to be the way they can be. They are unable to see, to perceive, what we so clearly see as truth. These people cannot validate our vision, and they didn’t even have a way to know that their vision is defective, like my husband did. He knew he was color blind and couldn’t see certain colors, and because he believed I was honest and had good color vision, he took my word for the fact that the pink goop was there. Unfortunately, most of our friends and family are not aware that their vision is “blind” in this sort of situation. Just as the person who is color blind doesn’t know what color looks like, the person who has never personally experienced the true vision of a psychopath, has difficulty seeing this vision, even when it is before their very face.

We aren’t crazy (though sometimes others think we are!) our vision is REAL and our vision is VALID, and so is theirs, as far as they are concerned. I know it frustrated me for people about whom I cared and thought cared about me, could not “see” what I so clearly saw where my egg donor or my psychopathic son were concerned. I now realize these people cannot see what I see, cannot accept what I have finally so painfully accepted. Realizing that these people are blind in this sphere makes it easier for me to accept that they can’t “see” and can’t “get it.” Just as I had to accept that my husband was doing the best he could to clean the pink goop off the sink, but his vision prohibited him seeing it, I have to accept that those people who have a “blind spot” where psychopaths are concerned are doing the best they can with the somewhat “limited” vision that they are capable of. I also realize that my own vision was somewhat “limited” before the “scales fell from my eyes” and I could truly see the psychopaths.

My vision is my reality. The vision of others is their reality. Maybe those things will never be the same, but it doesn’t mean my reality is not valid. It also doesn’t mean that they are purposely doubting me, it just means that their vision is not the same as mine.

Just like the mythical “vampire” doesn’t show up in a mirror, psychopaths, don’t always appear in their true form in the vision of those who behold them. Just like the soiled sink with its pink globs appeared perfectly clean to my husband, with his limited color vision, psychopaths appear “perfectly normal” to those who do not have the sphere of vision capable of “seeing” them for what they truly are.



158 Comments on "Your reality is what you see"

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  1. TooLate says:

    EB,

    He kidnapped the kids??? I can’t begin to imagine the pain that must have caused you. To have my kids kidnapped is one of my biggest fears.

    I still have contact with my Spath’s biological son … my step-son. My boys still think very highly of him ….. they miss him.

    I have encouraged my stepson to visit the boys, and he answered that he would love to visit and take them to a movie … but I am worried too. I don’t think that my Spath’s son believes me about the abuse and that my husband is sexually active with my daughter … even though I let him know that it was his brother, and not me, who made the allegations.

    If I want to be NC with my Spath, should I tust my Spath’s (adult) son with my information(address, phone number, etc.)? … Especially since I know that he is not convinced of all the facts? Should I let him take the boys to a local movie … or does my Spath have enough influence over his son to talk him into nabbing them, using the movie as a ploy?

    Should I insist on going to the movie with them and NOT leave them alone with my stepson … or should I trust him?

    I’m not sure.



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  2. ErinBrock says:

    TL:
    Only YOU can decide these things….
    I would certainly enter the ring with major caution and closed lips…..
    I wouldn’t share ANYTHING with this St.son.
    You already told him things…..NOW….it’s up to him to ‘see the light’.
    I would keep him at arms length….and just request to your boys that NOTHING personal about YOUR family is shared outside your home. Your all vulnerable, and you’d appreciate privacy during this divorce.

    The more we try to control ‘others’ and their relationships…..the more harm it causes US in the end…..ALL of these people involved….have to decide WHO to have relationships with and who NOT to.
    It’s a tough balance……
    It’s easier to ‘avoid’ or ‘detour’ young children away from potentially or harmful relationships…..
    But as teens…..they will resent us greatly if we don’t allow them to experience it for themselves.
    YES….it’s scary……but we will always be there to dust them off.

    I guess……ask yourself….WHY is it that you continue to have a relationship with the St. son????
    Sounds like you had/have a nice relationship with him……
    If so…..just keep your eyes open for any potential betrayal…..
    Try to keep it a son/mother relationship…..healthy and not involved in the divorce…..
    Bake cookies and allow the kids to enjoy each other…..doing whatever….
    Maybe take all theboys out to lunch or something YOU can all do together…..in a light setting….

    Ya know…..yes….Iwouldn’t wish that period in time when he took the kids on anyone……
    But ya know what……I coulnd’t have prevented it…..I did all I couldn…..and the bottom line is…..as long as we have our eyes wide open……that’s all we can do.
    There is so much we can worry about…..in life….but we can’t paralyze ourselves …..waiting for the worst to happen.

    So…..LIVE….love and ENJOY YOUR KIDS!
    Thats’ what I say!



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  3. OxDrover says:

    Dear TL,

    I am paranoid, believe me I am, about sharing information with people who are even “friendly” with the Ps, because every time I have done so, it has bitten me in the arse rather severely.

    Ps will utilize these “common threads” for information and INFORMATION is GOLD. I know you are for this young man, and you kids do, but what can really be innocence on the step son’s part, can be TURNED against you by your X.

    Since this is all such a bitter story, if your step son doesn’t truly BELIEVE the story, he might accidently convey some information the kids had said. OR, maybe he is a PLANT sent to get information like a Trojan Horse?

    My suggestion is BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY in this case. The boy may be an UNwitting accompliace,, or he may be a KNOWING accomplice, or it may be totally innocent and he cares for the boys and you—-but look at the RISK vs BENEFIT ratio and make your decisions. Maybe if he is anxious to see the boys and they him, you could ALL meet at a mall theater with you along as well.



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  4. Zen says:

    this clears up a lot of confusion for me. I could not understand why my b/f could not see how he is being manipulated. He sees the person who is exploiting him as incapable, unable to fend for herself, a Pollyanna who perpetually sees the good in people and is trying to be a business woman/entrepreneur who actually is very dependent not the independent woman she thinks she is. He sees her as child-like. What I see is a conniving exploitive fraud. She has no real plans other than finding the next ‘angel’ to fund her till she ‘makes it’. She has no business plan, no clue how she’s going to get her next meal or a place to live other than to exploit others.

    Recently she said she had no place to stay, my b/f gave her $ to stay at a hotel for the night. The next day, she told him she slept in the hotel restroom and that she used the $ for bills. He was so upset that she had to sleep in the restroom, so so sad. I told him that she CHOSE to do it and that the only reason she told him was to evoke his sympathy. I’ve seen it over and over again, this play for his pity. IMO it’s despicable.



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  5. learnthelesson says:

    TL,

    I would focus on the here and now… not the past.

    Have your boys expressed an interest in seeing him. Or was it all initiated by him?

    Sometimes when ending certain relationships – the most difficult realization that it trickles down into some other relationships that were mutual people in both of your lives.

    Weigh the risks vs the benefits. They can talk on phone or videochat on the computer – if you feel things are just too sensitive and hectic right now. If he is a good healthy decent guy – he will totally understand that you just want to get your boys settled in a routine and get back on track for now, rather than bringing up uncomfortable memories with your ex – which unfortunately his son has a strong connection to.

    Theres no hurry. Good strong solid relationships last – over time – and distance. If youre uncomfortable all you have to say is this is a hectic busy time for you – maybe when school is out in the summer you can all get together for dinner one night…

    Seems maybe a bit counterproductive to be going there right now.. Maybe potential unnecessary added stress… give it some thought as to the pros and cons.. .you will make the best decision for you and your boys!! Trust how you feel about it.



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