July 20, 2016
Once you learn the behaviors of the Narcissist, Psychopathic Liar and Sociopath their behavioral patterns become easy to predict and much easier to understand.
It typically takes being away from a situation, and an abusive person, to grasp how they operate. When one is in their “control” or under their “spell”, it’s much harder to see the reality of what’s happening.
But what’s generally happening is a series of patterns in their behavior…a formula of sorts that they operate by on a routine basis.
I had no way of knowing, and no reason to suspect, what was going on. I was trusting and loving. Those are good things, actually great things, though they led to enormous hurt on my part.
As I look back I can see clues of who he really was and what he was doing to me and to my life — if only I had known to pick up on them.
In the trade of psychology the clues and patterns are so well known they have names, like “love-bombing” (to entrap you), “gaslighting” (to cause you to doubt yourself and even think you’re going crazy) and “hoovering” (to dish out more pain when it suits the person, such as if by chance you start to free yourself from them).
Other patterns include “selecting” you as a target based on a keen observation of your traits (like kindness and compassion, things that suggest you’ll be sensitive, empathic, trusting – and vulnerable). Even researching and “interviewing” you to make sure they’re correct before they invest in their ultimate moves.
On the gaslighting, just like in the movie (Gaslight), when I did wonder and ask about things that seemed strange and that didn’t add up, he skillfully maneuvered me into believing him and doubting myself. Never before had I been an insecure or self-doubting person. Just the opposite in fact. But, in this and other ways, he turned me into someone I didn’t even recognize.
I’ve since been asked if I’m embarrassed about having fallen for his lies. In part, I am because I can now see that they were indeed lies, and that many of them were outrageous lies. But I didn’t know it at the time. I was an innocent and he was a diabolical perpetrator.
I have much more to worry about at this stage of the game than being embarrassed about such things – even though I do feel a little stupid and gullible. But I Know better that I am NOT stupid. I simply and completely loved him.
Of course, I would give anything to have not been so utterly decimated by him. But I also am proud of myself for having learned to trust and love to such depth, so much more than I’ve ever done in my life.
That, of course, made the hurt so much worse. But a crucial part of what life is all about is growing into the better person who we each CAN become. And, though I must say so with reservation because I’m still hurting so badly, I have become so much more of a person as a result of this experience.
I so wish I could have learned and grown in another way. But there’s no turning back the clock. All there is – is what lies ahead. And I’m preparing myself for whatever that may be.
We are all “creatures of habit” and live by our own behavioral habits and patterns. My own patterns will remain founded in love, trust and gratitude.