The Character Disturbance Continuum – Part 3

I’ve been posting on the “phenomenon of our age,” (see also:  Character Disturbance Exists Along A Continuum and The Continuum of Character Disturbance – Part 2) and how character dysfunction ranges in severity from minor “disturbances” of character to a full-blown “disorder.”  Moreover, as I point out in my books In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, and The Judas Syndrome, most folks with character problems also fall somewhere along a continuum that has at its extremes what we have long called “neurosis” and pure character pathology.  And in my books and other writings I make the point that the differences between individuals lying at opposite ends of the spectrum could not possibly be greater on certain essential dimensions, which has great implications for a relationship and the kind of intervention likely to have an impact if you’re seeking professional help.

In last week’s post, I presented an illustrative vignette featuring a man called “Jack.”  Jack’s was an unusual case in that unlike most narcissists of our time, Jack was more the classic “neurotic” kind of narcissist as opposed to a purely character disordered one.  Jack’s “denial” tendencies truly reflected more of an unconscious defense mechanism as opposed to purely a conscious tactic of manipulation and impression management (for more on the two types of denial, see In Sheep’s Clothing, pp. 112-116, Character Disturbance, pp. 44-46, 182-183, and 204-206 and the articles: Denial – What It Is and Isn’t, Traditional Therapy Biases and Denial, and Denial – Manipulation Tactic 4).  And he had enough empathy, conscience, and capacity for shame, guilt, remorse, etc., to be somewhat horrified with himself when his denial mechanisms finally broke down.  Furthermore, the tears he shed, , were only a small part of why you knew Jack was not so character-impaired that it would be possible, (although likely difficult) for him to change. While tears can indeed be an indicator of the kind pain known to prompt truly unconscious denial, I’ve seen plenty of tears shed and for a variety of less than noble reasons. Sometimes when the tears roll, it’s primarily the result of folks feeling sorry for themselves, stewing about their behavior cost them as opposed to the harm it’s inflicted on others.  So tears alone are no reliable indicator someone is really remorseful (for an illustrative example see the vignette in Character Disturbance, pp. 81-82).  What really helps you judge the nature and level of Jack’s character disturbance was his willingness to not only make amends but also to do all the other things he had to do to help ensure that he didn’t allow himself to slip back into the bad habits that led him to so easily inflict the injuries he had inflicted in the past.  It was his commitment to changing, and for all the right reasons – not just “for show” –   that not only demonstrated Jack’s contrition was real (for more on contrition, remorse, etc. see the articles:  Shame, Guilt, Regret, Remorse, and Contrition, Contrition, Behavior, and Therapy, Contrition Revisited, and What Real Contrition Looks Like) but also that despite his flaws, he had a sufficient degree of character to profit from treatment (Jack utilized the worksheets I gave him, never missed a session, and demonstrated a clear change in his pattern of relating to others that held up over time).

“Mark,” was a much different character than Jack. He was a pretty narcissistic guy, too but not only was his narcissism of the more “malignant” or malevolent variety (for more on malignant narcissism see the articles: Malignant Narcissism and Malignant Narcissism: At The Core Of Psychopathy) but it was also more of a pure reflection of who he was at the core as a person as opposed to any “neurotic” compensation.  Mark had always thought a lot of himself.  In fact, he couldn’t remember a time when he didn’t hold a deep conviction that he was truly superior to most other people in a whole host of ways.  He just knew  he was smarter, more clever, and most especially less foolishly “hung-up” about the things most of the “peons” he’d met in his life let hold themselves back.  He was a winner, purely and simply, and those with compunctions – well, in the end they were just “losers.”  That’s how he saw it.  And he had nothing but disdain for losers.  The way he figured it, people get exactly what they deserve in life, and if they’re stupid enough to get taken advantage of it’s strictly their own fault. After all, it’s “survival of the fittest,” that’s the way the world works. And if you wanted proof of the legitimacy of what he thought about himself, you only had to look at the money, power and prestige he’d already managed to secure.  After all, as he frequently boasted: “if you can back it up, it ain’t braggin’.”

After living with Mark for 7 years, “Evelyn” had become more than a little weary.  She’d done her best to forgive him for his episodes of infidelity.  After all, as he insisted many times, it was “just sex” and he was a man with strong drives and needs. But lately he’d been showing so little interest in her and in their relationship that she was beginning to feel invisible, so she cajoled him into coming to at least one therapy session so they could work on “communication issues.”  Only once had she thought about leaving, but she’d already put her career on hold to provide Mark with the support he needed for his business ventures.  Plus, the lifestyle they enjoyed was more comfortable than she’d ever dreamed possible for such a young couple and she wasn’t keen on giving that up.  But she hated feeling as empty and unfulfilled in her relationship, and finding it difficult to believe that there wasn’t something much more between them in the early days, she was determined to get “the magic back” and hoped therapy could help.

“I guess you could say I’m here because I told her I’d come,” Mark announced as our meeting began.  “I don’t really see the need for it, but if it will make her happy, I guess I can deal with it, ” he proclaimed.  Evelyn stated that her main concern was that he didn’t seem to show much care for her anymore and this was making her feel emotionally abandoned and alone.  Mark’s retort was for a person who “had been given everything,” especially in the way of material comforts – and by the way, thanks only to him – Evelyn could certainly be seen as “one ungrateful bitch.”  How the comment stung Evelyn was obvious from her nonverbal response and the tears that instantly welled up in her eyes.  But then she began musing out loud (mentioning to me all the possibilities she’d considered). Maybe Mark had a “fear of intimacy.”  Maybe he’d been deeply hurt in the past and this was his way of dealing with it.  Maybe he had “issues with women” because of something a woman did to him.  He must be wounded, right?  Maybe he even had a sexual “addiction” (she’d read about this in a book). Why else would he act like that?

What would unfold before that fateful session was over was that even though the things Evelyn speculated about can indeed sometimes account for the kind of behavior Mark displayed, in his case, this was certainly not the case.  Mark didn’t really need anyone else, so he never felt the need to take anyone else or their feelings into consideration.  Mark had all he needed in himself.  His narcissism was the very definition of pathological self-love. And it was not a “neurotic” compensation for anything, it was just what it was.  Mark loved himself and no one else.  True, he had desires that from time to time required others to play a role in fulfilling – like for sex and for image-enhancement (and he’d already proven his ample ability to secure “arm candy” when necessity dictated) – but he didn’t really need anyone, nor did he particularly care about anyone – that is, anyone other than himself.  And he just didn’t understand why someone who had all he’d given Evelyn simply wouldn’t show their gratitude by just not placing demands on him and gratefully attending to his needs when necessary. Mark’s narcissism was truly of the malignant variety, and because malignant narcissism is at the heart of psychopathy (again, see: Malignant Narcissism: At the Core of Psychopathy), despite the absence of other typical features of psychopathy, he would prove to be one of the more psychopathic individuals I’ve come across.  He was heartless (i.e. devoid of empathy capacity) and as a result had no remorse.  And he had used Evelyn, even from the beginning, although it would take awhile before she realized just how badly.

Evelyn would learn all too quickly how expendable she was, and would also learn how utterly useless (some would even say inappropriate or perhaps even harmful) “therapy” is when someone is as lacking in empathy capacity and as pathologically self-centered as Mark is.  She would also learn the hard way just what her real value had been to him all along.  She would pay for being so “demanding” by being left pretty much high and dry (Mark had the moxie shield his ample assets very well) and it would take Mark no time at all to find her replacement.  And for a while she would unfortunately beat herself up over the fool she knew she’d been played for.  Mark always said that everyone gets just what they deserve, and just as she had done on so many other occasions, she believed him.

I’ll have more to say on this case in the wrap-up article next week.

Character Matters on Sunday at 7 pm EDT (6 pm Central and 4 pm Pacific) was scheduled to be a live program but due to some unforeseen circumstances, it will instead be a rebroadcast of an earlier program, so I won’t be able to take your calls.  We’ll be back live on the 21st.

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66 thoughts on “The Character Disturbance Continuum – Part 3

  1. Dr. Simon — thank you for an excellent article! You can’t imagine how much these continuum articles have helped me. My narsiblings are more of the neurotic variety. I guess you could say there is anxiety where their hearts should be, of one form of another. Their first instinct is to advance and protect self while projecting an image of care and concern. Their often convivial and charming facades mask this central disturbance. But.. they don’t brag, aren’t deceptive, just cool to cold in spite of the apparent warmth.

    It’s sad. It is so fantastic that you were there to help this woman. The worst thing people can do to themselves is feel guilty for anything where a P is concerned. And that includes, particularly, beating themselves up for being ‘gullible’ after the fact. They are true chameleons who can fool anyone, in the initial stages of a relationship.

      1. Good question! Would a P even try to get involved with another one? I’m thinking that for a “relationship” the CD (character disordered) seeks us kind, caring souls who can be bamboozled (love that word!) into being/doing what they want.

        1. character disordered do pair off with other character disordered … my ex CD did so with another CD .. and I base the judgement that the other is a CD by the other’s behavior toward their own child as told to me by my children. In this particular case it seems to be almost a feeding frenzy when the two are together.

    1. This is oh, so true. It just baffles me as to the extent they will go to in order to connive, control and manipulate situations and everyone they come in contact with. By the time you realize what happened half of your life is gone because they make sure everything is focused on them while you lose yourself trying to maintain the sanity you had, have or completely lost. I wonder if this is genetic or is it a learned behavior or both. The amount of thinking it takes to manipulate people is absolutely incredible, my brain would probably explode. I cannot imagine someone being so determined to destroy the lives of others, I wonder how they can sleep at night. I’ve been married to one for almost 30 years and I cringe at how much time and energy I put into the relationship just to get absolutely nothing back but misery. There are so many things I saw and should have seen in the beginning, but his threats on top of the manipulation is what made me stay in the relationship. About six months ago I googled how to stop someone from screaming at you constantly and I stumbled upon the word manipulation, wow, that put everything into perspective. I am as everyone in this type of relationship feels angry, hurt betrayed and stupid for allowing this to happen to me and my kids. It’s a horrifying experience especially when they have mastered this technique and they also have other issues related to this category as well which makes it feel like you are living in Hell. If anyone wants to know where Satan is, I found him. I’ve been living with him for the past 20+ years. I never thought anyone would be able to figure him out even if they were well versed. I always said that if he ever went to a psychiatrist, the psychiatrist would need a psychiatrist. I am so thankful for your information Dr. George Simon and I am so thankful there are people who understand the depth of this type of behavior. My husband has no boundaries and does not care about anyone but himself. It’s heartbreaking to see the damage this has caused. Thank you for your time.

      1. Hello Chris, welcome to the forum! I’m so sorry for what you are and have been through. Almost everyone here will be nodding their heads and going “yup, I get that”; you will find all the support and advice and understanding you’ll need here. These people are awesome, and without Dr. Simon’s books we’d probably all be thinking WE’RE the crazy, insane ones in need of help! There are unfortunately so many of us in the situation of either living with or being related to covert aggressives and character disordered humans.

        Are you still with your husband? There are many sites that give advice on how to prepare for leaving a spouse, what to do, not to do, etc., just in case you’re in that decision-making process.

        Try and find time for yourself, even if it’s a few minutes – somewhere you can just breathe deeply and try to quiet the racing thoughts running through your head. (I’ve used EFT – emotional freedom technique, tapping on various meridian points and it has helped me tremendously. Maybe it won’t work for you, but try and find something that will help calm you even just for a tiny bit of time.)

        Come back and visit the forum as often as you can.

  2. My brother is plenty self-involved and continually talks about how smart he is; according to him, his university professors told him they had never met another student so young and so brilliant!

    1. Perhaps, if his PARENTS would have validated him when he was young, he would Not have this need Now to prove Himself.

      1. GG, key phrase: “according to him”. I’ve learned how much credence to give to what a CD says, ZERO. Paris, his parents may or may not have validated him, It’s the empty places in him that are what matters. I spent 35 years trying to help CD overcome the scars of his childhood. So focused on that, I missed all the empty places, lack of a conscience, NOT interested in my day, mega victim, blah, blah.

  3. Hi all, looking at Mark he would have the hallmark of the successful psychopath in that he has used his vile character traits to take care of himself in the way he desires in monetary terms…and to hell with who gets hurt! Then there’s the unsuccessful ones, those who share those exact same traits who are LOSERS of their own making but again don’t care who gets hurt in the process. They have the same M.O but have no empathy, still think they’re all that and play the manipulation game to a tee. Everyone is expendable, friends, family and their own children. They realise they have no one to turn to but still can’t fathom the reality that it’s their own doing. Is it possible some just don’t know that’s what they are?

    1. Hi Tori.
      I’m so glad you brought up the similarities in CDs on either end of this country’s socio-economic strata. When I look at my extended family tree, I can see where CD all started in it’s modern expression (severely abused maternal grandmother-extreme MN), branching out to encompass some real characters with varying levels of disturbance. Many of whom, cannot seem to get out of their own way, whether they are financially well-off, stable or nearly destitute. The level of rage or so-called “narcissistic injury” broiling beneath the surface is obvious and can be nearly impossible to sit through.

      I haven’t been in a partner relationship with anyone who is so disturbed, but I was definitely trained-up to accept abuse by a severely personality disordered mother and an intolerant NPD father. I have always been very sensitive to the cues and signals of agitation from these types, which maybe helped save me years of heartache with bad personal relationships. I ended up with a good husband, but I haven’t been spared from some pretty extreme difficulties within my extended family.

      The rich ones need to steal your capacity to measure-up as a human-being and the poor ones just steal anything that’s not nailed down. Both blame you for their snotty outlook, as though you deserve their mistreatment. It’s pretty amazing how they both look down their noses at each other too when they actually have so much in common: Using others for personal gain without regard or compassion. They will all also talk about you behind your back, getting others to have a negative image of you, revealing they are ultimately ungrateful for your presence in the world, least of all, their lives.

      They all also accuse people, who are trying to make good choices and do the best they can, of self-aggrandizement rather than recognizing that caring people are simply more thoughtful and act accordingly. Don’t even get me started on the impossibility of choosing the “right” gift for any occasion… LOL! They will NEVER give a caring person credit for anything. It’s like they have a string they pull out from their chins and everyone (except for those they choose to protect) is always falling on one side or the other, deserving of negative criticism; never properly toeing this imaginary line.

      I’ve become much less available over the years which is painful because I’ve always enjoyed going to family events and visiting. Well I had to learn, certainly the hard way, that this character disturbance stuff is much more pervasive than I ever realized. I’m just too internally sensitive and anxious to deal with the slings and arrows anymore. With all the low and no contact and being ostracized over the years, I really have a very small family now. It’s pretty sad.

      Whew! It felt good to write here. Thanks for the inspiration today, Tori. Dr. Simon has really helped me see these disorders differently as they pertain to my life. I have all the books! 🙂

      1. L’Annie, when did you meet my sister? Said it so many times, but it still blows me away when someone posts my experiences, thoughts. Even the GIFTS! She had kept our dog when we went on a two week trip, a very generous thing to do. I am not a shopper, but spent time picking out things for her family that I thought they would really like. When she opened hers, silence, just continued to look down, the faintest sneer slipped across her face. So impolite at the very least. Never thought I’d hear about someone who had the same ill-mannered story.
        Talk about you behind your back. She is the Ringleader of the Gossip-o-Rama, whoever has just left the room is the target. How can you not figure out what happens when you leave the room? When she isn’t there, these same people can be kind, thoughtful and a pleasure to be with. It is sickening, acesspool.
        Oh, the Queen of getting others to see me in a negative way. That’s the most crushing. Sibs, in-law sibs, and their kids all had years to decades of interactions with me, and no one has stood up to her, challenged her ludicrous caricature of Horrible Me. I am so ostracized, at times cruelly, yup, it’s my fault.
        If Queen has labeled you as Outsider, it’s impossible to toe the line, it always moves, stories get told that are shall we say creative. No one considers there might be another side, the side of me they’ve seen.
        L’Annie, I, too struggle with the being part of a family thing. I don’t like the people they’ve become. We had a 15 year run when it was terrific, then the Queen (PD) didn’t need me any more. Let the nastiness begin and the sheep fell into line. I am not connected to them, but I so long to be part of a family.

        1. Hi LuLu. Thanks for welcoming me to the comment section here. Your sister sounds like a real gem, uh hem. She probably actually liked the gift, just not coming from YOU. Sorry you’ve had to alter yourself too in your need for self-preservation. I wonder if we are even really able to preserve who we are, when we can’t be who we are, if we’re around people who are more like predator-creatures.
          I used to just forge ahead with my best attempts to be decent and kind and have a good time, while knowing I’d have to quickly whirl around to keep the inevitable “misinterpretations” and less appreciative comments out of my face. I grew up that way, creating back-up plans with back-up plans for everything I asked of my parents because I knew beyond my very, and I mean very, basic needs, my requests would almost certainly be met with, “NO.” I had to learn to be hyper-vigilant and read people in order to avoid their unsolicited negativity. I finally had to realize, way too late in life, that the way these types of people undermine can’t be outdone, truly. They decide who they’ll get along with and it’s not the one chosen for scapegoating, period. In fact, familiarity fosters some sort of super-permission causing them to escalate their maliciousness and dark agendas, the more you ‘try’ to get along.
          It’s awful that you were labeled an outsider and treated as such. There’s nothing worse for a child, but an adult is, it would seem, half-expected to argue for their permission to be on the inside. Forget that! Who wants to really belong to their world?!! Except that it’s family! Nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome at family gatherings. Do you still subject yourself to this stuff, LuLu, or have you moved on? I’ve moved on for the most part. Many don’t know I have pretty much given up, but I live so far away that it’s easy to get by with minimal effort toward the less abusive ones. It’s still all an unfortunate mess.
          Anyway, LuLu, thanks again for the welcome and the connection; it’s very much appreciated. 🙂

          1. You are so very welcome, and thanks to you for being here. I did the same trying thing with my sister for such a long time. We had gotten along really well for 15 years after our parents died. Then it started drifting apart. I stopped being agreeable, supportive of everything she said, no longer the yes woman. I tried so hard repeatedly, to talk with her, she’d blow me off, twist my words, blame me, never took even a tiny bit of responsibility for her actions. Now I would know better than to even try. She has always made a big show of favoring one of my sons over the other. She did the one more mean thing and I called her out. We used to send emails around the family, so I got on one, said I’m not going to talk behind someone’s back, and told everyone what she had done. OMG, I told everyone, what an awful thing I did. Believed her ridiculous reason for why it happened. That was the beginning of the end for me.
            “Forge ahead with my best attempts to be decent and kind and have a good time.” Oh, yes! Rather astounding how no one else sees that, off into oblivion Used to think that there may be a time that it could work out with other 2 sibs, have maintained somewhat of a relationship with her. Story for another time, but I think today was The Finale. For me anyway.

  4. Dr Simon,
    My ex-wife was much like Mark, not in a monetary way but her cold and callousness with me towards the end was eerily similar. When she suddenly discarded me for an ex-boyfriend after 2 years, I felt much like Evelyn – expendable. I am wondering what her “real value” was to Mark all along. Why did he stay with her for 7 years if she was of such little value to him? (I’m also trying to figure out why my ex-wife stayed with me for as long as she did if I was worthless to her)

    I’ve been reading allot about psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists in the past few months which lead me to your work.

    1. Michael, I wondered, too, why my husband stayed with me all those years when he had such contempt for me that he didn’t hide at the end of the marriage. As I reflected on the marriage I realized that he tolerated me because I benefited him. Dr. Simon references this mindset. As sickening as it was to realize, I was no more than a refrigerator to my husband. He came to me when he needed something- praise, physical needs, etc. He would open the door to see what he might find inside that he could like at the moment and then close the door. I was useful to him as a bookkeeper, cook and live in maid. The ways I was involved in the community reflected well on him- he didn’t have to do the work but was given credit as an extension of me. People would say, “Its nice you guys are involved in ____” when in reality he did nothing with these projects but piggy-backed on my involvement because he liked the way it reflected on him.

      The fact that the narcissist doesn’t develop an emotional connection with a person isn’t a reflection on the target but on the narcissist. He didn’t treat me like a fridge because I was a fridge but because he had no capacity or desire to know me beyond being a fridge to him. People tend to see others like themselves in many respects so as people with empathy we assume others are driven by the same goals. When someone is as detached as the narcissist I think we would do well to realize this isn’t a “struggle” for the narcissist to be in such an empty arrangement. On the contrary, this seems to work quite well for them as they see it. It isn’t that we are worthless to them (although we are seen that way at the discard phase); its that our worth is measured on a completely foreign narcissistic scale.

      1. Valerie, it is absolutely not funny, I am very visual and can picture a guy standing in front of the fridge. Loved what you said, just because someone treats you like a fridge doesn’t mean you are one.
        I kept everything running at home, that was my purpose. He is ADHD so I had to follow him around like you would a toddler, because something could go haywire at any moment. Real damage. No help with the kids. Fought with the insurance company, ironed his clothes, home cooked meal most every night, and it could have been any body (Hazel on the Jetsons?). all that it takes to run a home. Fell right in line with his vile need for power and control. He sure had it. What’s not to like?
        After we separated, 4 years ago after 35 years, I began to discover some whopper lies he had told me. Then something a little further back in time would pop up. Back and back, the times he said rather odd things to me, made sense in the context of knowing how twisted up fact and fiction were for him. Then I went all the way back to the beginning—-it was all a sham. That was a gut puncher.
        He is so evil he doesn’t care about his own kids. Told them hateful things about me, pages of ranting emails of how awful I was. The best: 2 years ago, I was hit head on, got busted up, 2 weeks in ICU, nearly died halfway through. My sons were 24 and 28, I had been their rock, always there for them, and they are seeing me in the ICU, tubes, vents, machines, IVs. Their dad did not do one single thing for them. None! They are scared, freaked out, wonderful friends helped them, but no steady force. Talk about no empathy. I recovered well, feel lucky and grateful every day, the could have beens were bad!

        1. Lulu,
          How horrendous. And how so very typical. I’m so glad you pulled through, but what a strain on your sons. It’s almost impossible to comprehend the depths of selfishness and callousness these CDs display. And just as hard to describe it to others who have no experience with these types of a&&holes. That’s why this forum is such a lifesaver!

          1. GG: YES a thousand times calling this forum a lifesaver! No one gets it, or maybe even wants to, I was really struggling yet so many dismissive belittling comments. Absolutely it gets old to hear about it. I could not grasp what was going on until this forum. Some people are meaner than mean, cruel. Sure, that fits with a serial killer, but for that to describe the “person” I was married to for 35 years, beyond my scope. When his real self, the CD, just erupted after the separation, I could not begin to predict what he would do next. Mega Anxiety. My DNA packet sister, although we haven’t spoken since April, 2008 even at a couple of family weddings we attended since, is absolutely predictable.

          2. Thank you GG for the validation and support. It is divine that you, and others here, get it, live (d) it, no explanations necessary, it truly is a beautiful thing.

    2. Michael, it might be that she needs to recycle her relationships, having one and other three on the back burner.
      This is because they are unable to form intimate relationships and the emptiness and boredom forces them to seek fulfilment for attention from many sources.
      They go through the same phases with everyone, always ending in discarding the love object, its like following a script. Lucky you that it was only two year marriage, I hope that you don’t have any kids with her.
      I divorced a man whose girlfriend I am pretty sure is borderline and it cost me several thousand pounds to get the custody, three years in international courts, lost 20 kilos and I am a very different person now.
      Once you open your eyes thanks to amazing work of Dr Simon you will never see things through fog of naivety and believe that we all have something good in us.

  5. When my sister in law(married to my brother) was a young girl she was molested and raped by her step father. She however thought that her step father was her boyfriend and she thought she was in love, in her happy ever after. She believed that when she turned 18 the step father would divorce her mother to marry her. Fortunately it did not go that far. Her mother divorced the man and he left the state (mom did not know about the daughter being molested other issues brought on the divorce).
    My older brother married her first cousin who she had grown up next door to.
    I cultivated relationships with them and grew to love them for the sake of family ties on which I was raised to place value.
    I noticed that even though each sister in law had different personalities both were marked by competitiveness envy/jealousy and shame. They in turn have passed much of this onto their own daughters.
    I after many decades I have cut off contact with them as they used a situation in my life (that usually cause family to band together)to feel bigger and the cruelty that was unleashed was just to great.
    I would much prefer to look at them as sick and twisted than as sociopaths.
    Thanks for the article

  6. Good morning to all you beautiful butterflies. Sitting outside, sunny, cool breeze, so many kinds of birds singing….a glorious day. HUGE {{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}} and gratitude to each of you for sharing your stories, encouraging and supporting me, enabling me to put the pieces of my lunacy journey together so I was able to make sense of it. That’s a good trick…chaotic craziness into clarity.

    Now my safe place, so kind and caring, feeling understood and all my stuff is okay.

    Oh, yes, LisaO, CDs are so good at picking their prey. If someone won’t be their prey, move on until they snag a victim. There plenty of us kind hearted, helpful folks who (at least I) in general, see people as good, meaning well. Someone who is always unkind is easy, that is who they are at their core, I go away. But someone who can be so loving, and really nasty…I used to see the cruelty as the aberration, not his true self.

    My mother verbally and emotionally tormented me, got my 3 sibs in on ” the game” so they ridiculed me. My warm, caring, affectionate self was just weird in that “family” of robots.
 Now I am thankful every day to be so unlike them.
    It wasn’t until I got on here that the puzzle pieces came together and I saw the big picture.
The CD has zero empathy, even for his own children, for me that sinks down past 0 into negative numbers. I know now that nothing was ever his fault, despite the sobbing apologies and “I never want to hurt you” (never occurred to me to ask, then why do you keep doing the same thing over and over?) the flowers, the hugs, so sweet. No one had ever apologized, so easy to be swept away by all this.

    Oh! ! I just realized that CD stole a letter my dad sent to me about 27 years ago, not long before he died. I know now although my dad was far from what I needed, his doing things with just me (like make a kite) was his “love language”. I have a great deal of respect for his perseverance and success when there were so many cards in the deck stacked against him. CD knew what Dad meant to me. I was pregnant with my( no our w/ the kids)second son, Dad sent me a letter with name suggestions, including some Finnish ones (his mom was Finnish immigrant). A doing thing.
    Early on, I let CD be in the house alone, he ransacked my keepsake drawer, leaving it open and a mess so I would be sure to know. Wow, ripped open a new deep wound. So un-effing–believably cruel. I gotta go right now.
    Want to respond to Mark, have a couple of questions about the article.

  7. what i find most interesting is that the areas of living that need to understand CDs actually know very little … courts, schools, therapists.

    there seems to be always a sense of giving the benefit of the doubt to a CD by any and all of the above and a CD on the end of the spectrum just feeds off that …

    Dr Simon is eloquent in his ability to describe the specific behaviors of CD and the vignettes are great to read.

    After reading In Sheep’s Clothing, I saw unequivocally the CD behavior in my ex. Now the hard part is surviving and thriving to the finish line – when children are emancipated. In the meanwhile the level of hoops and obstacles the CD constantly puts in place is exhausting.

    Dr Simon, my CD would put all of your skills to the test.

    Time for me to re-read the books. And maybe make a small “cheat sheet” of what to watch for and how best to deal with the various manipulative moves of a CD. I am better at dealing with my CD. It is the relentlessness of it that is beyond exhausting.

    thanks for listening. And Dr Simon, I was serious. My CD would give you a run for the money. I am pretty sure every example you have written, I have a similar story and more to relate. Thanks for writing the books and keep promoting this throughout the mental illness community of professionals.

    1. Okay, this is starting to get freak-y, my stories coming from other people.
      Elsbeth, I am here with you & for you, every step of this crazy making journey with a CD. The Courts? Ha! Part of the problem, I think, is that we are being pummeled emotionally so the scars aren’t visible. It was all so unpredictable, who knew what would happen next? How could anyone think up these bizarre schemes. Debilitating to near-debilitating anxiety, from the random, mean things he did non-stop for 3 years. I was often emotional, I was looked at as the crazy one. Never a consequence for him.
      And how do you share your pain with anyone, no one can really understand anxiety, much less this “web” as Puddle calls it. The Butterflies on this site can, they got me to the finish line. Forever Grateful. Relentless, exhausting , hoops, obstacles…oh yes..how can they keep up the pace?
      In the 4th year, he got tired, I guess,much less intense. Until I had to be involved in legal jazz. Meds, pls.
      Elsbeth, I am completely impressed by you, your strength and determination. To have the presence of mind to know that you are dealing with a CD is so impressive.
      You are doing more than surviving in my opinion, every day, every hour that you can get up off the mat, is cause to be proud of yourself. My son tells me: they can knock us down, but they can’t knock us out.

  8. A thank you to the threads and comments made on this blog, and the intent to not ‘expose’ these CD’s in order to change them, but to seek better things. More so, the way it has shown me that I am waking up to the fact that it is me with these particular emotional problems, not everyone else. I have long adopted a very paradoxical view that although I can ‘see’ the ‘good’ in other people, I also equally and invariably see the bad, attributing unethical qualities and gross defects of character to everyone else, and often — very often — have found myself attacking or responding in overtly and quite ridiculous and delirious ‘defensive’ ways, with bizarre assumptions about myself and other people, that that contradictory belief pattern and mode of thinking has become almost all that I know. I consider myself intelligent, and have used that to wield a mastery of ‘understanding’ other people and educating myself about various subjects and current events, but because of my innate inability to connect with almost anyone in a proactive way, resorting to either completely passive or absolutely inane and ineffectual social techniques, do not know how to nurture and sustain almost any kind of relationship. Being ‘intelligent’ has nothing to do with behavior. I have identified several people, recently, continually questioning my intentions and priorities — though not directly — and am starting to realize certain issues of privacy that I can’t go into detail here. I have been under what I can only describe as a very painful and numbing ‘spell’ that has not only drained my energy entirely, but has affected every single person I have come into contact with these past 10 years. I am truly only beginning to put this into light now. There were A LOT of bad, completely unwise, destructive, shameful experiences and acting-out behaviors that occurred during the beginning of those ten years, and I, and others, have suffered not because of it, but because I have refused to come to terms with or realize what those decisions and behaviors have done. Because I have been pretending that all those things never happened, because I have put a psychic barrier between what is now and what was then, I no longer feel emotionally authentic, and everyone around me seems only to take the things I say at face value (though those close to me are willing to want to listen and ‘help’ and try to ‘fix’ me) when I infrequently attempt to validate the pain and numbness those behaviors have brought me. AND I HATE IT. It has been a mind job simply trying to be myself again. The primal emotions of anger towards myself (which manifested into a profound depression), and later, others, were all never resolved — instead ‘stuffed’ — and I never ‘got over it’. That build up of emotion was like allowing something foreign and fake invade my body. Instead it has turned into an almost complete emotional/social detachment. I have sought therapy and psychiatric treatment, repeatedly, but none of it has seemed to ameliorate the void. I have been operating poorly occupationally. I am a chronic insomniac. I find myself revealing boatloads of personal information to complete strangers in an attempt to make sense of the dead end I feel that I cannot escape. I have used writing to ‘cope’ … and I have turned into what is being described here as a covert aggressive. All the discussions in these threads have made me realize that, even if I can’t admit to it with my mouth to myself or anyone else. My question is: how does one do that? Or truly change and recover from this behavior. I don’t think one can simply say to the string of people they have negatively impacted, “I’m sorry”. Manipulation, though in my case I see it as lessened in intensity in recent past after finally leaving a bizarre codependent situation with a family member, is a survival tactic that can be ‘learned’ from others (in my case, a few emotionally disturbed or at least neurotic characters in my immediate and extended family, including one from this past experience) — i.e. communicating ‘in code’, leaving written notes hoping others will see them, using books and the internet and television to communicate hidden feelings and current situations, etc., and stems from an almost grandiose undervaluation of self-worth and, in my case, the extreme hollowness created by the corrosive guilt of my chronic behaviors. That ‘hollowness’ wasn’t always there. That is what being hollow means, something joyful and content and courageous once occupied that space. I genuinely do still feel love and empathy for others, but the void inside of me, and my lack of desire to want anything true from myself, or even know what that is, has almost completely blocked me from having any kind of ability of acting on it FOR others, because I can’t seem to do it for myself, and I am understanding now that the long spaces between me and the people I love, though have wronged, is only a space inside of me. I have become utterly paranoid because of it, lost any true sense of independence, and find myself literally unable to leave the indoors. I am an internet addict, at best, at this point, but am going to continue looking into what is being said here, and in Dr. Simon’s writings to identify if there is any path that may lead to ‘change’. Because change is slow, and grueling, not instantaneous, which is why it is so incredibly difficult, if one even attempts to take it on … thank you again to all involved here in this discussion on the role of genuine beliefs and emotions in the self-assessment of character. The one indication of hope that I have for myself is that I am becoming more and more receptive to criticism concerning this issue.

    1. Alan P,

      Appreciate what appears to be a completely frank disclosure of your state of being. Admitting being a manipulator (liar?) can create a paradox for those you disclose to, though — because you could be using disclosure to manipulate. So, I guess the most logical response and one you are sure to appreciate is to say, if you are being honest, you deserve a tremendous amount of credit. Your insight and desire to change are admirable. And I so wish you luck with it.

      If you are manipulating the blog members, Dr. Simon will probably be able to spot it.

      A big but tentative hug to you!

    2. Allen P. Don’t know for sure how this all works, but just read your comments. I an much in the same position as you. I feel sad that there is little information on how one who may consider himself a CD can over come the problem. I my case I am in my late 70’s and married 54 years. I suspect that I would be evaluated as CD for most of my life. My wife recently discovered Dr, Simon and can point out my CD behavior. Her examples of my behavior over all of these years seem to verify her beliefs about me. I also have concerns that once a victim of a CD personality become aware of the trait that much of what we do will be interpreted as CD behavior. Is it possible that the victim cannot ever see us as other than a Cd personality? It also seems to be a predominantly male characteristic. (A genetic component?) Lots of questions with few answers.

      1. JS,

        Of course I can’t tell from here where you are on the continuum. You seem open to reflecting, though, which is a good thing.

        “I also have concerns that once a victim of a CD personality become aware of the trait that much of what we do will be interpreted as CD behavior. Is it possible that the victim cannot ever see us as other than a Cd personality?”

        We come to the trust thing. When trust is broken, it’s natural to start wondering what kind of trick is going to come up next. It’s justified for a victim to suspect what a DC could plan to use next as a part of an elaborate game. Also important to remember, manipulators can use such a tactic as playing a servant to further their agendas or claim to have changed while just going through the motions.

        There would have to be solid, consistent, longtime proof that the new honest, open pattern has actually replaced the old dishonest one.

        1. Timothy.
          Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I suppose that after 54 years and being near 78 that the necessary time to establish believable sustained non manipulative patterns of behavior might be difficult. And it is difficult to have many interactions be suspected. So I might just have to just accept the mistrust. I know that defending and even agreeing can be taken as defense mechanisms. Doesn’t leave a recovering CD too many options other than to suck it up and accept the consequences of his history.

      2. JS,

        Timothy has put it very well.

        Once trust is broken, then it is justifiable for victim to interpret a behavior in certain way. But, not all is lost. A truthful and honest behavior over a period of time can repair the damage.

        It is true that blog as well as book are written from victim perspective. Usually they are the one who are running around seeking answers. 🙂

        You may want to look for a blog containing “commandments of character building”. It mentions several points, following few points can help you a lot. Having utmost respect for truth will be one thing that will help in case trust is already broken.

        In case you still feel that you indulge in tactics, then make a list of tactics (refer to book In Sheeps Clothing) and check yourself when you get impulse to employ one of the tactic. There is another blog post about worksheets for CD.

        Read around here, and go through older posts. I am sure you will find several things that will be helpful.

  9. I’ve said this before: it is all so eerily familiar what others post here! I could have written many of the same things.

    L’Annie wrote: “Don’t even get me started on the impossibility of choosing the “right” gift for any occasion… LOL! They will NEVER give a caring person credit for anything.” – Wow! That is a perfect description of one of my brother’s behaviors. The character disordered always need to keep others on edge, believing that what they’re doing is not good enough, and yet when the CD merely THINKS of doing something, they want credit for it!

    And they’re expert at excusing or justifying their own behavior, and convincing others also. As Dr. Simon has written, these characters come from every imaginable situation: nurturing, neglectful, rich, poor and in between. That’s not the deciding factor – they’ve learned various means to get their way and exert power and influence over others, and They Love It. Someone said they’re legends in their own minds. And when they can get others to believe that myth also, it’s icing on their cakes

    1. Well put, Sister. The connection I feel with all of you is amazingly strong. Hmmmm……the people in my so called family, have no idea nor do they care about who I really am. Folks on this site, we’ve never met, yet I feel a Super Glue bond. No kidding about you cant choose you family because I sure wouldn’t choose any of them.

    2. I don’t know if I told this story before but it involves gifts, too. I have a chronic illness, so rarely shop for anything but necessities because it is just too draining. I dressed like a bag lady for years partly because if this. Nevertheless, while my nephew was young I managed, with great effort to buy gifts for everyone at Christmas. I put SO much time and energy into choosing just the right thing for my young nephew. Christmas always left me so drained, I could barely travel but managed somehow to get my often achey feverish self over to my sib’s homes a few hours away. I’d arrive in full relapse with gifts, not having had the spare energy to wrap them, so just presented them to family in bags.

      My sister threw a sh** fit everytime I did this. Would throw back her head and roar with mildly contemptuous laughter. Statements like, “oh, there she is with THE BAGS again. Eye roll. It blows my mind. She had a very obviously ill sister struggling to keep up and instead if focussing on that and appreciating I had suffered to get there with the gifts in tow, she scorned the lack of a pretty package. This is so perfectly symbolic. She concentrated on surface appearance and ignored everything else.

      Not throwing myself a pity party — am just wondering why on Earth I allowed this to go on for so many years!

      1. LisaO, it is horrifying what you went through. And these pieces of sh*t get away with so much, it sickens me. Your kindness and generosity were thrown in your face. It’s absolutely awful. But know that in your core, You are the one with integrity, warmth and compassion. I’m finding that it takes time to process the hurt, come to grips with the fact that the sibling relationship I wanted was just an illusion in my head, and accepting that I can let this all go and come through the other side intact and still able to enjoy life. Friends, animals, nature – we can find peace and happiness in many other ways and we can form our own type of family unit that has nothing to do with shared bloodlines.

    3. GG, you nailed it here. I’m seeing this in someone I’m dealing with right now. I see how he stacks the deck in his favor and in my disfavor. It’s a set up, they set you up to fail so they can feel superior and self justified. This guy is a piece of work and does not appreciate the fact that 1) I don’t bow down to his position of all knowing superiority (attorney) and b) call him out when I see something that just ain’t right.
      The sad thing is that I WANT to have a good “relationship” with this guy but he is setting the stage for that to be almost impossible. It’s a very awkward and tenuous situation. I see so much and I’m concerned but he has the upper hand because he is good at it. Like how do you handle dealing with a person who is not like you? It’s like trying to win a knife fight with someone who has a sub machine gun. So he withholds information which leaves the door wide open for me to make mistakes that he then uses to make me look ……..fill in the blank. I keep finding myself thinking, ” well if you would have just told me _______”
      It’s agtivating and exhausting and stressful and so oddly familiar!!
      The good news is, I have support and people to validate my experience but also, I do feel those familiar frustrations of trying to explain something to some people who just don’t get it.

      1. Puddle, “The sad thing is that I WANT to have a good “relationship” with this guy but he is setting the stage for that to be almost impossible. It’s a very awkward and tenuous situation. I see so much and I’m concerned but he has the upper hand because he is good at it.”

        Is this in a professional matter? Or is he someone you know and want to be friends with? We know how well these a&&holes can read us – you WANT to have a good relationship with him; if it’s because he’s your attorney, nothing legally obliges you to continue retaining his services (although it is a major hassle, but not worth your peace of mind) (I work for lawyers, not in litigation, but I can understand how litigators and covert aggressive personalities would be a match made in heaven!)

        If it’s something else then ignore everything I wrote 🙂

        1. GG, the problem is he is our family attorney more or less but technically my Dad’s attorney. My Dad is slipping I’m sad to say so adjustments need to be made. BUT, I’m not feeling supported in my soon to be new position. Half the time I think things are really bad but then he says or does something to make it seem like it could very well be ok! Hmmmmm……so familiar!

          1. Oh man, caught between a rock and a hard place. I feel for you, not that it helps you figure things out, but at least you know you have supportive people here, just as you have been for so many of us. Hugs from afar!

          2. GG, I just can’t call it. It’s so easy to see what happened with Spathtard and how. Gut feeling do not always get you out of trouble, that’s for sure. If you can not back them up or the other person is skilled at manipulating you and or the situation, you are putty! I have nothing but mixed feeling with this guy. I know I’m being toyed with to some degree. I don’t know that he truly has bad bad motives but something does not add up and I’m not having these problems with other people who are part of this transition. Everything come hard with him. And he has done some professionally inappropriate things in the past, things that pretty much dropped my jaw and I confronted him about. So with someone who is the covetous, envious type , the self righteous type….. who loathes people who they perceive as less than them in whatever way yet at the same time also hate them because they have something they will never have, you can imagine how any form of criticism is taken. They expect to be exonerated by you and seen only as someone you are fortunate to have in your life. A lot of Doctors have this holier than thou/ why don’t you let ME be the Doctor/ how dare you question or challenge me attitude.
            But, back to the covetous envy thing, in Martha Stout’s book, The Sociopath Nextdoor, one of the first vignettes in the book is a chilling example, people who hate you passionately for who you are, what you have, how you look, etc, etc, etc and because they can NOT have what they envy, they want to destroy it for you. Just sick. How about Tanya(sp) Harding? I just can not fathom this mentality but at the same time I acknowledge it exists. And you never know what it is that they loath, covet, envy, loath.

          3. Yeah…….remember that game, Operation where you had to take things out of the body with metal tweezers without them touching the edge of the “hole”? If they did,?this loud buzzer would go off and your turn was over. That’s how I feel with this dude or like I’m stumbling around a china shop in the dark, but he doesn’t want to switch on the light for me, yet takes great delight when I crash into something and break it. Just like Spathtard used to stage fights do he had the perfect excuse to stomp out the door, run home to mommy and party it up in her basement! LOL….. I laugh now! I can’t believe I can finally laugh at all of his childish crap! The truth of who/ what he is, that I see so clearly now, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was manipulated by that POS!!

  10. Someone commented on another thread (sorry, can’t remember who) that CAs and CDs are so very predictable in their behavior. As Dr. Simon points out, they all use a variety of tactics, but after awhile they need to recycle the same things over and over. And as we learn and educate ourselves about their tactics, we can see that however much they try and whitewash their behavior, they’ll never come clean, no matter how many loads of crap they spin through the cycle.

    And we realize it has Nothing To Do With Us. Absolutely nothing. We are okay. The character disordered are so identical to each other it makes me almost laugh, ‘cause each one thinks how unique and special they are – yet in fact they just clones of one another. We could replace the faces and the same stuff would come out. Like one of those puzzles where you can move heads and legs around on the different torsos 

    1. They really are predictable. I remember when I finally ‘got it’, understood how he thought and what made him tick, I could predict – to a T – how he would act in a given situation. The tactics he would use, the behaviors he would display.

      After years of total confusion, it was so liberating to finally be clear about who and what he was. The truth does set you free.

      1. Aha! It was you Einstein that said it, right? It is remarkable and liberating. But I was floundering and banging my head against a wall trying to figure him out; of course, our mistake is in thinking that these disturbed characters are acting with a developed conscience and feelings of caring and not wanting to be hurtful to others, just as we are.

        1. Bingo! The cruelty was incomprehsive, confusing, until I got here and read “my” story over and over. People can have no kindness or caring inside.

          1. Lulu,

            I have only experienced intentional and extreme cruelty, where the perp relished the pain he was causing once. Like you with your ex and getting some answers here, I couldn’t really fathom it until I told a couple of close friends what had happened. On friend, in particular, who has a masters in education and psychology, plus worked in group homes, asked me a series of questions about his childhood. I told her I could only tell her what he had told me. Key to her ‘diagnosis’ was that he had been involved in a break and enter and started a fire when he was eight years old.

            He also recounted a story to me about mistreating his dog, after which he asked me why I thought he had done that. My friend told me that, based on these conversations, psychopathy was a strong possibility. She included that his oft repeated request, on many experiences, “why do you think I did that?” were probably not poised for curiosity but to gauge my degree of alarm and whether I had any knowledge of his pathology. Thank God for my buddy! My other friend, a man, paused for just a moment and said, “psychopath!” It took him all of 5 seconds.

            So I understand your relief, joy and gratitude at finding people who ‘get it.’ And also know how wise you are that you have chosen a blog created and presided over by the best mind out there, where manipulative people are concerned.

            I appreciate YOUR input so much. You have helped so many by highlighting and underlining the fact, through description of your own ex, that he had what amounted to two personalities. And when positive traits, (whether part of a facade or actual constituents of their personality) balance almost perfectly with profoundly negative traits, we tend to see the negative as the result of a wound that can be healed.

            Either that or we are so whip-sawed or confused by it all, we are slowly drained over time. When we are in that low energy state it impacts our critical capacity. I am SO lucky that I wasn’t drawn further in by the P. He asked me to compromise my ethics, in a huge way. When I flat out refused, he vanished. There was no warning, no consideration…nada.

            Some day, if I have the strength I will tell my full story, in book form. It will be partly fictionalized to protect the identities of all involved. It isn’t a retaliatory vendetta. His actions backfired so badly on him.. Some sadists get off Scott free but most end up in a very pitiful state. It may take some time but justice often prevails, one way or another. The Universe has a way of extracting justice from the most tangled webs of deceit and chaos.

  11. I was thinking today if someone described a relationship like I have had with callous siblings, with their own siblings I would think they had rocks in their head for having the slightest desire to continue any kind of relationship with them.

    They’re not going to change. They will never sincerely apologize. I don’t know what it is about me that ever allowed these twerps to define me, for me.

    I hate to sound like Stuart Smalley, but goldarnit, I deserve better. I will not put up with their abuse for one more minute, let alone an entire weekend. My brother will not set foot in my house. He’s coming across as if he has ‘grave concerns’ and has some degree of feeling and consideration for me, but it’s bogus. He’s out for blood because I DARED question his ‘moral integrity’, his authenticity. I dared. I’m not exaggerating, questioning this pill’s ethics brings out a killing rage. A bit of a contradiction there, methinks.

    1. OH.MY.GOODNESS. Here you are describing my situation LisaO!!! Good on you – do not allow him in your house. As you said, it is bogus. Utter bull&&&.

      You can’t accept anything that comes out of their mouthes. I find it hard to believe that I share any kind of DNA with the malignant human who calls himself my brother. But I believe that it is our goodness, our innate kindness, that enabled them to get away with their nastiness and verbal and emotional abuse. We tried to “understand” them. And yes, you and I and their other victims do deserve better. A whole lot better.

  12. Narbro is about to receive an honorary doctorate and international award for humanitarianism!! You couldn’t possibly make this up. This dude is so indifferent to the immediate suffering of people in his own social sphere and family but he’s getting this award. It’s LOL funny, in a cinematic moment kind of way. G.G, thanks SO much for your kindness. Your brother just sounds like a total #*!!**# too! I am so sorry you have had to suffer through the death of a sibling through their indifference, cruelty. It’s a huge betrayal. If it wasn’t for the close friendships I’ve cultivated in the last few years, discovering what my brother is would have reduced me to a barely animated corpse. It would have been the last straw after husband’s death.

    1. You know, at some point you just have to shake your head in disbelief. Dr. Simon calls it “managing people’s impressions” of themselves – these CDs sure have it down to an art, don’t they? But it has made me remove the rose-tinted glasses and when I read of or hear of someone doing supposedly wonderful things, I think to myself: “hmmm, I wonder … ??”

      Not sure if I ever posted this quote here, but I read once: “Friends are God’s apology for your relatives.” That is absolutely true!

      1. GG, You know if a rock star is courting politicians, conferencing with the pope, for the sake of the needy that they are probably a raving narcissist. But…it is still great that someone does it, even if they are in it mainly for the self glory and ego gratification. But, for sure, I do the same thing you do. “Change we can believe in?” Really?? You know who I mean.

        1. Speaking of rock stars!!!LOL. How are you doing today, Puddle?? I have missed your level headed and always on target analysis of the twerp brigade lately!

          1. LisaO,,,,,,,,;) you got it! Rock Star! That is my life in a nut shell! Live’n large!
            Hi GG! I’m “ok” but just barely. I guess I’m in the “it could be worse, but I’m glad it’s not” catagory?
            It seems that post Spathtard and post alcohol, things just are not lining up for me but I’m persevering..
            I just had an impulse to check in today and was happy to see all of you still supporting each other.
            Hi LuLu!
            No matter if I’m here or not, I wish all of the best always.
            (((((HUGEST HUGS)))))) to each and everyone!
            Puddle

    2. A Quote by Samuel Butler: I believe that more unhappiness comes for this source than from any other – I mean from the attempt to prolong family connections unduly and to make people hang together artificially who would never naturally do so.

      1. BTOV: So true, and yet we believed the myth for so long – that family ties need to take precedence over all others. I would include in that marriage contracts. I don’t believe for a second that anyone should be held to a promise made without knowing all the facts, i.e. the partner’s true personality traits.

  13. Oh GG,

    “Friends are God’s way of apologizing for your relatives!” LOL

    . The humanitarianism part of his personality is a real part of his personality — up to a point. He does care about injustice on a grand scale; the big issues, the major political problems This is the crazy mind bending part. This impression of himself, fully supported by those not having to endure close contact has become a big part of his self image. And he does have the capacity for sympathy. So, not a total blankety blank person. And this is what has made it so difficult for me. Very easy for me to deal with a complete ass, but much harder when the ass has great redeeming qualities.

    Still, he has been way way too insensitive on too many occasions to ignore now. And when he is called on it he goes into pompous arrogant overdrive. It’s always a problem when he gets super ‘smooth.’ That’s a red flag for me that he is going to use every trick in the book to ‘fix’ me. I must be broken, mentally deranged, and or a rage-a-holic.

    Why did it take me so long to accept that I was being treated pretty much like he treated everybody else; poorly!? I know how you feel and am so saddened for you. My brother was my best friend for so many years. I glossed over so much. Darn, huh?

    1. Lisa, I read the above, a very touching sentiment. I am so sorry about about your brother. You love/loved your brother that is a beautiful healthy thing. You can still love him but with all the healthy boundaries that you need in order to stay healthy. This is only if your constitution can tolerate him.

      I get sick physically and my health issues are exacebated from the ones in my life so I have no choice but to cut them out.

      This is a sad scenario but I have also come into contact and know many people who had MNCD have their proverbial “Come to Jesus” moment when they were diagnosed with a terminal illness or death. Perhaps, that may be what it takes for your brother? My father was one of them! I have to save the story for another post. It will require more time than I have now.

      I hope you are well and not hurting to much. Mine has been chaotic with the winds and the up and down temperatures. I always think of you when I see your posts and say a little prayer for you. Take very good care and have lots of good days.

      Hugs

  14. I lived with a devil for twenty five years. He is a horrible human being. A monster. Now I’m happy but I need my psychologist and psychiatrist to survive, of course I’m taking medicine and I fear he can nanipulate my ten-year old daughter. She adores him. He used to abuse me and our children. My life was just hell. Now I hate him so much, I had never thought I could hate a person in this obsessive way.

    1. Hello Maria Belan Amor,

      Welcome, I am glad you found your way to Dr. Simons site. I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It is so very difficult dealing with these individuals and they cause immense difficulties and grief.

      Please take the time to read through the all the Topics on the site and read the posts. You will find so many others that have been in your shoes. On Dr. Simons site he educates us about the CD. Dr. Simon has also written 3 books which I would highly recommend you purchase and read.

      You will find a lot of support on this site. If you are in the states another possibility is that in your area they may have a Woman’s Resource Center. They usually provide group support meetings and many times a one on one counselor. They in turn offer support groups for the children. If you are having difficulty with your daughter this would be a healthy tool for you to utilize for both yourself and your daughter.

      Just a thought, the twisted, sick charactered disordered individuals are full of hate. Hate, envy, pride, etc…., are their energy fuel, that is their being. Don’t hate him, God hates the sin but not the sinner. Hate can skew your thinking and carry over to your daughter. I don’t doubt for a minute how disgusting he is, in hating we can become like them.

      Learn to turn things around on him, believe me love will win over hate. You may not always see the results in others but you can change yourself and grow with work. Love yourself and love your daughter, try to ignore him as much as you can, your love, genuine love will carry over to your daughter. He wants to see you angry and hurt, rise up and take yourself back.

      Please feel free to post there are many good people here that will respond!

      Blessings

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