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Another reason to discuss psychopathy: Jane’s story

It is cleansing for people to discuss their experiences with psychopathy.  Some stories are unbelievable, mimicking the material that should only appear in movies. Others pack a less dramatic punch, but are, perhaps, even more devastating.  That’s the nature of most brushes with psychopathy.  When the stories are ours, however, it is not until we start to learn about the disorder, that we are able to begin making sense of the non-sense and heal.  Without a working knowledge, success is rare.  Our desire to identify and overcome is often how we end up here.  Since I began sharing what I know, many have begun telling me of their struggles.  Often, they have few words for the relief this brings.  I am retelling one of those stories.  The person who shared it hopes that her story will help others, by either facilitating prevention or lending validation.

One day, a women with whom I am acquainted, but do not know well, approached me at a function.  She was from out of town, but through friends and family, had heard about the cause I hold dear, and the passion that I have for psychopathy education.  When a mutual friend mentioned that I had begun contributing to a blog, she decided to check it out.  Something within told her she should investigate.  Unexpectedly, she learned something that had the potential to change her life.

She came up to me and quietly said, “You know, I have read everything you have written.  I have read many of the other things that others have written.  I think I know someone who is a psychopath and I think he kind of negatively impacted my life.  I’m serious.”  She went on to say that her story was slightly different than most she read about, but was, nonetheless, just as difficult.  We sat and talked in our own little world for hours.

As the afternoon drew to a close and we had to part ways, she told me I could write her story.  I asked if she was sure about that and she nodded in the affirmative, telling me that others had to know what she lived with for all those years.  She went on to say that had she understood sooner, things may have been very different for her.  She admitted that she did not think anything like this existed in seemingly “normal” people and added that she still might not have ever known.  Luckily, the information she stumbled upon will hopefully help.

Innocence

Most of us have probably been there.  Young and in love.  Perhaps we had a crush on the boy who sat across from us in Algebra or someone famous and unattainable.  Regardless, the teenage years can be filled with new feelings, some of which we know what to do with, and others with which we do not.  Jane fell head over heels for a local boy from town. He was good looking and always had something nice to say.  They dated for a time.  She loved him dearly, but always felt like something was “off.”  After a few abusive incidents, at the age of 17, she chose to end the relationship.  As high school drew to a close, so did they.

Life goes on

As kids do, they went their separate ways.  Each met and married other people, but Jane says that her feelings for him really never died.  She couldn’t quite put her finger on why she felt unable to release him.  She now acknowledges that she experienced the “psychopathic addiction.”  This is the same phenomenon that causes the victims of psychopaths to sometimes “stalk” the psychopath.  It is difficult to go cold turkey from any addiction.  The psychopathic bond, or betrayal bond, can be one of the hardest to break.

She did not stalk him, but rather, she tried to forget about him.  Jane met the man who would eventually become her husband.  She was committed to him, never wavering, but she could not help feeling this deep, emptiness that told her heart was elsewhere.  As the years passed, she and her husband had two children, a boy and a girl.  They did everything  young couples were supposed to do.  They worked, bought a home, vacationed, and had many close friends with which they shared many good times.

However, Jane lived in a close knit community.  She encountered her first love from time to time.  They had many mutual friends and were cordial with one another.  In fact, her first love ended up marrying one of her close friends.  She and herhusband were both in the wedding.  Jane recalls choking back the tears that day, since she was filled with bits and pieces of sadness and envy.  As relationships with psychopaths tend to go, that marriage did not last.  In fact, between the ages of 20 and 60, three more of his marriages failed.  Hers remained in tact…for a time.

“Lifespan psychology” 

But over the years, Jane and her husband grew apart.  She said that they came to hate each other, but that no one had really done anything wrong, worthy of such loathing.  There had not been any cheating or abuse on either of their parts.  She explained that she felt as though a part of her was unavailable to give what a wife needed to, but did not know why.  They watched their children grow and went about their daily activities, but clearly, both felt something was missing that could not be recovered.

As fate sometimes goes, Jane’s path crossed with her first love’s.  She wondered if the stars and planets had finally aligned.  Energetic and positive, she always saw the glass as half full.  Both were single and decided to rekindle what once was.  She thought that maybe maturity had changed him.  He had been single for a time, and in recent years had held the same job.  In fact, he became quite successful.  After all, she felt that he really was a good guy.  Most importantly, she had not been able to shake him from her thoughts for over forty years.  It had to be right.

It was not.  The relationship was fun, filled with excursions and tastes of the good life.  Jane was showered with the attention that she remembered.  It was the type of attention that her psychologically normal husband was never able to match, but that she measured his love by.  Her husband had loved her, but he loved her normally.  With her first love, she was in the process of being “lovebombed,” just as she had been as a young girl.  Everything seemed perfect, at least until his mask cracked again.  And crack it did, leaving her stranded, far from home.

Even prior to witnessing his failing facade, Jane felt inexplicably uncomfortable.  Things were strange.  Minor words or incidents left her uncomfortable or even slightly afraid of him.  She minimized her feelings and told herself she was being ridiculous, but somehow, her gut knew better.

Unable to make sense of things, but longing for answers, she tried talking to him, but met with the silent treatment.  He was done and he made that clear.  It seemed that when the relationship began to turn “real,” he chose to run.  She felt alone and longed for the man she “knew” and had so many good times with.  In reality, however, that person never existed.

New Beginnings

By happenstance, Jane came to realize that her first love was probably a psychopath.  Shortly thereafter, she considered the possibility that her brush with psychopathy may have ruined her marriage.  She feels that she never recovered from the stronghold of the psychopathic bond and somehow had created her idea of a normal relationship based on her dysfunctional one.  Nothing normal could ever measure up.  “I had no idea what I was dealing with,” she told me.  “It wasn’t until I started reading, when I looked at the traits and behaviors, I realized that I had been trapped by a psychopath since childhood.”

Upon coming to terms with this, she began counseling.  Her counselor agrees that her first love is a indeed a troubled soul.  Although she asked me several times if I thought it really could be.  She still questions herself and her experiences and fights the urges to seek understanding from him.  I explained that it is, quite possibly, one of the toughest pills to swallow and to look to those who understand and care for answers and strength.  No one wants this to be.  But, sometimes, it just is.

So much work comes with recovery.  One must soul search, come to terms with the things that we cannot change, and work to manage those we can.  I have every confidence that Jane will fully recover and appropriately take on the demons she must face.  None of us here thought this would be part of our futures or have consumed so much of our pasts.  We can, however, control what comes next, at least to some degree.  Thank you, Jane, for your bravery.  Thank you for wanting to share your story.  Once touched by psychopathy, our lives may never look as they would have otherwise.  Sometimes, that’s not a bad thing.  It can be especially rewarding if it allows us to come to terms with events that touched us profoundly and allow us to move forward happily.

Jane is a pseudonym.  Some minor facts were altered to protect identity.

 

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72 Comments on "Another reason to discuss psychopathy: Jane’s story"

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  1. Truthspeak says:

    OxD, thanks so much. My hair isn’t that long, anymore.

    There’s an online Merck Manual that has a section on every known type of poison, the effects, and the treatment. I was trying to find something that covered rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, ocular migraines, insomnia. I didn’t experience many gastric issues, but all I can say is that I had never been as sick as I was when I was still living with the exspath.

    Thanks, again!

  2. Ox Drover says:

    Truthy,

    STRESS will cause all kinds of symptoms….and as for RA symptoms, there are tests for RA that can be done, so you may have had arthritis symptoms and it not have been RA, it could even have been or be gout….your symptoms are too “general” to be a guide to if you were being poisoned or not…but sound to me more llike stress (keep in mind I am not making a diagnosis here) and I always ALWAYS suggest that if you are having any kind of symptoms tat you go see your health care provider and get a check up.

    My extreme stress over a period of years caused my immune system to crap out and I got 4 life threatening infections…that chances are if I had a healthy immune system I would not have gotten. I have SEEN clinically the effects of stress on the body and mind, and I have been the POSTER CHILD for stress reactions as well myself.

    A psychopath doesn’t have to poison you with a heavy metal to cause your body’s immune systems to shut down and you get sick…and some kinds of cancer even are related to immune systems so I guess could be caused by stress dampening the immune system. I have no doubt that stress kills.

    I also know that it takes TIME to recover from long term or high stress. Check out the HOLMES AND RAHE stress scale. See how you rate on that. They were some of the great researchers into effects of stress and developed this scale. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmes_and_Rahe_stress_scale

  3. Truthspeak says:

    OxD…..I have to actually laugh out loud! I scored a 498 without including Christmas as a stress factor!

    LMAOLMAOLMAOLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, my golly……

    Spaths do murder whether they wield an axe, gun, poison, or simply sit back and watch their handiwork unfold….

    Brightest blessings

  4. Ox Drover says:

    Truthy, there was a point in time when my score was over 1500!!!!

    And actually the score should be for 3 years, not one….but you get the point and that is what I wanted you to see. STRESS KILLS!

    It can make our thinking skewed, or fuzzy, our judgment poor, make us prone to accidents or illness of all kinds….and in general bad health mentally and physically.

    Once the stress is there all we can do is KEEP IT DOWN, by keeping CHANGES of any kind to a minimum AND meditation or other way of “calming” ourselves. There is some recent research showing that meditation helps relieve the hormones that stress causes…so I would suggest you find some form of meditation, self relaxation therapy, or whatever makes you calmer and practice it on a daily basis.

    TIME also helps with the stress effects so the longer you are calmer, the more the effects of previous stress wear off.

    Stress effects different people in different ways…that was one of the GREAT things I learned from Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Searc for Meaning” which he wrote after he got out of the Nazi prison camp, after LOSING EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IN HIS LIFE…he still found meaning while others went insane, became bitter, or turned their faces to the wall and died.

    I just read an article about a woman who’s husband burned her with lye over 80% of her body, she survived and has very limited sight in one eye, no lips, no face, and has to have continued surgery to rerlease the horrible burn scars she has over her body…and yet she FEELS BLESSED, more blessed than before he did it. WTF???DUH??? More blessed? MORE blessed????

    But you see, Truthy, feeling BLESSED comes from within not without. and I will bet you the farm that that woman survived BECAUSE of her attitude. That she can feel blessed is amazing to me. She is putting out a book she wrote too. AMAZING!!!! So we always have someone we can look to who is in much worse shape than we are.

  5. Truthspeak says:

    OxD, thanks so much for the encouragement. I’m going to be okay – I know that I am. I’m sort of “okay,” today. At least I’m not feeling like some kind of mommy dealing with a petulant child! LOL

    Brightest blessings!

  6. abbri says:

    The exact thing happened to me, but it took 2 spaths in my life before I realized it.

    My first relationship with my college boyfriend was 4 tumultuous years filled with his cheating, verbal abuse, lying, etc. When I finally was able to break away (and I couldn’t understand why it took SO LONG to get over him), I met a nice man and we later married. After 5 years and one child, I couldn’t understand why I was so bored and unhappy with him.

    We NEVER fought, he never said a harsh word to me, was the nicest guy, but I thought I’d die of boredom if I stayed with him the rest of my life, so I divorced him when our son was 3. A few years later I married an abusive man, but he wasn’t a spath (didn’t lie, no cheating, not charming or manipulative; he was bipolar I think). After 10 years and 2 kids I finally was able to leave him and, if we didn’t have our kids, I wouldn’t have given him a second thought again (I was traumatized but not addicted I guess).

    A few years later I had a 1 1/2-year relationship with a nice guy but, again, I became inexplicably bored.

    Then came the 6-year relationship with the guy who I finally realized is a spath but not before he almost ruined me (actually, I’m not sure yet that he hasn’t).

    So looking back on my life, I realized, just as Jane had, that the first spath relationship at the age of 20 set the stage for the rest of my life, negatively affecting so many people, including my 3 children.

    I was 52 years old before I finally learned about sociopaths. How different my life would have been if I’d learned that lesson 30 years ago.

    Reaching out to teenagers, like Donna has been doing, and continuing to try and spread the word to the public so that EVERYONE understands about them will save untold lives and misery.

    I try and talk to people about it, but I find it very difficult to convince them about what I know unless they’ve lived through it as well. Very frustrating.

  7. Ox Drover says:

    Abbri,

    Unfortunately you can preach about the evils of “alcohol, drugs, psychopaths” or whatever the problem is, but unless people experience it for themselves, it is difficult for them to comprehend the real danger.

    Some few people who hear donna’s message will believe it and apply it to their lives but many won’t “get it” until after they have experienced it.

  8. abbri says:

    Oh yeah, the first sociopath, after not seeing each other for awhile, popped up out of the blue and tried to get me to cancel my wedding to my first husband and go back to him–and I almost did. I know now, of course, that that would have been playing into his hands and he most likely would have D&D’d me again afterwards.

    Also, he found me on Facebook a few years ago and we started talking on the phone occasionally–just catching up I thought–but then he asked me out (he’s on his 2nd marriage and has two young children). Thank goodness I’d just started learning about spaths and recognized it for what it was and blocked him online and on my phone. He could have easily sucked me back in again without my newfound knowledge.

  9. Truthspeak says:

    Abbri, yeah…..this article put things into perspective, absolutely. “First love” is always the most intense because it’s new and a 100% learning experience. I can probably count the successful relationships on one hand that began as “first love.” And, most of those were much older couples. Today, “first love” translates into “first lust.” LOL

    Brightest blessings

    EDIT ADD: And, even if I had been armed with knowledge about spaths, I cannot EVER say with any amount of certainty that I wouldn’t have made the same choices that I did. My experiences with spaths weren’t so much about THEM as they were about ME and my own vulnerabilities. Perhaps, if I had engaged in strong counseling therapy as a teenager, I may have learned more about myself and how to construct and maintain boundaries.

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