Defining Moment.

Fullscreen capture 2172016 20814 PMDoes the psychopath define me or do I define myself? I’ve talked about re-defining myself, creating a new persona and re-building my life. Thinking about the last few years and how far I’ve come through my own abyss, I’ve come to realize that altho some may believe that when a person comes into contact with a psychopath, that person defines the future of them, I do believe that only a person themselves are responsible for what occurs in their life.

Many people sit in their chairs and blame their parents/caregivers for who they are today. They take issue for the way they were raised, the abuses they may have incurred and how they were held back in their childhoods.

I recently read a review on a perfume from a woman where she stated that her mother always spent money on herself and never on her children, so as a child, this woman loved spending overnights at other children’s homes so that her own laundry would smell “fresh and clean” with laundry sheets. The perfume she was reviewing reminded her of that smell and she was delighted to own it because of the memory of going to others’ homes.

Somehow, it bothered me that the reviewer had to include her mother in the review. Maybe her mother was allergic to laundry sheets. Maybe her mother couldn’t stand the scent. Personally, I never used laundry sheets in the dryer because I couldn’t stand the scent it left on clothing. And I didn’t like the chemicals. But the point is, why blame someone else for something totally irrelevant? Just go forward. Buy the perfume, but don’t blame your mother for buying it. There may be other issues in your life concerning your parent, dig deeper and grow.

I never want other Survivors to just wallow in self-pity and blame others for what happened to them for their current situation. What happened to them is horrible. What happened to them is not their fault. What happened to them wreaked havoc on their memories and will continue to do so forever. But it does not define them unless they allow it to. 

Here’s the catch that some Survivors might believe keeps them in a vicious cycle. When you meet someone new in your life, generally you want to trust that person. You begin talking with them, they share insights about their past and hopefully, you’d like to share insights about your past, too. So you start to talk about some things, carefully leaving out the bad stuff. But, eventually, you know you have to talk about it.

And when that time comes, you have a 50-50 chance of the other person’s reaction. Honestly, it’s probably an 80-20 chance. So you tell them some horrific stories, they’re amazed/horrified/don’t know whether to pity you/act sympathetic/walk away. Now they’re the one walking on those eggshells. Not that you wanted them to, but you had to tell them at some point. Because if you didn’t, then you just might be accused of holding back on them. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’ve never kept anything back from anyone. If I meet someone who seems worthwhile, I gradually tell them my story. If they can’t take it, that’s on them.

I’ve learned that in re-defining myself, I am who I am. I am not going to change myself. I have a past that’s not so neat and tidy. It doesn’t have a white picket fence. It’s scary to some. If they’re frightened by it, they shouldn’t let the door hit them on they’re way out.

Because if anyone should be frightened, that person should be me, not them. That’s the amusing part to me. When I am asked if the psychopath could hurt  them, I could scream. If that’s their first question after I explain it all, instead of their asking if am still at risk, then I know they are a weak person who looks out for themselves first.

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And this is how I am re-defining myself. I am strong. I am not vulnerable. I can take care of myself. I watch how people react. This is me and frankly, if you don’t like it, I’m not going to change for you. I’ve lost too much in my past and I’m not going to lose any more.

I realize what issues I have and what events in my past cause me to behave the way I do. That’s my current choice because it’s my personal way of dealing with life. If anyone has any questions, all they have to do is ask. No one is perfect, I certainly am not. But I sure as hell will never change for anyone. Today and each day forward is my defining moment.



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No Means No.

I’m still here. Still defining myself. Still with nightmares. Still wondering if I’m broken. Or am I picking up the pieces and repairing them? Repairing them accurately? Or just putting them back together?

Some people sing the same old song and don’t realize what year it is. Others go on to new music and pretend the classics don’t exist. What feels right isn’t always right. Sometimes, what feels odd is just growth. And that’s where the scary part comes in.

It’s not just children that feel fear. Adults feel it, too. Only their fear manifests itself in different ways. Humans show fear in different forms. Anger, pompous attitudes, shyness, elitist attitudes…know any of these types?

I know I’ve grown. Grown immeasurably. I can feel it. I can see it in my eyes. But, most importantly, I can hear it in my voice when I say no. When I say no to ideas and to acts that others think are appropriate. When others tell me I am at fault for something I know I didn’t do, when I am blamed or accused for a situation that someone else has manipulated, I will not walk away. I will stand for myself and calmly explain what has happened. I will also always tell the truth, I always have.

The experiences I have endured in my life could have been major obstacles to experiencing future pleasures and truly enjoying what life has to offer. Having a narcissistic mother, the psychopath and his mother were indeed traumatic events. There were others, and at times, I wondered, and I honestly still do, why I’m that chosen one. I just keep getting stronger and stronger.

Recently, I visited a friend who I’d known for about five years. He’d visited me in my new home when I’d moved and I’d shown him my new town. We had a great time as friends, hiking, visiting the local shops, etc., and we’d always kept in touch. I’d decided to go visit him many months later and also, visit a few other friends up in my old area where I used to live.

On the second day of the visit, this friend had other plans for me, apparently. He decided he was going to rape me. My reaction? I began to fight him and asked him, “What the f*ck are you doing?” angrily. He persisted, telling me, he deserved it, which only made me angrier. Now, we are only friends, there was no hidden agenda on my part and he knew how I felt. I kept fighting him, telling him absolutely not, no means no.

At this part, I will tell you he had been drinking.  That should not excuse him at all. He knew what he was doing. When he realized that I would not give in to his demands, he then told me to leave his home. It was 3 a.m. and he told me to leave. I had a one and a half-hour drive home and had not slept yet.

I took my things, packed my car and left as quickly as I could. By then it was 3:30 a.m. I was exhausted from battling him and no sleep. I knew I had a long drive ahead and was not looking forward to it.

The next morning he texted me. He threatened me. I ignored his text and didn’t respond. That’s why I say he knew what he was doing. If he knew enough to text me the next day, he certainly remembered what he did the previous evening.

The second day, he texted me again. I ignored his text again. He never texted again.

What did this experience do to me? I felt let down about people. Knowing someone for five years, thinking I knew someone for five years and having them turn on me in this way made me wonder if you ever really know anyone. Who can you trust?

What I did learn is that I can trust myself. I fought this man and said no. He probably thought I would give in, but I didn’t. He probably thought because it was the middle of the night, I wouldn’t leave. I didn’t care what time it was, I didn’t want to spend another minute around a person that is that soul-less.  I spent about two weeks dealing with what happened. He turned into garbage that should rot in hell but that’s not my call. I’m sure he will get his in the end.

I mentioned fear and how it rears its ugly head in different forms. This man has prostate cancer but refuses to take the appropriate medication for his condition. Why? Because he told me that he wouldn’t be able to function as a male could if he did take the meds his doctor wanted him to have. I told him he was shortening his life if he didn’t take them. He said that his virility was more important. I told him that was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard. That was a conversation we’d had over a year ago. I suppose his fear of not being a real man became juxtaposed into an attempted rape that night. I feel sorry for him. He’s not a real man anymore.  Maybe he never was.  And his prostate cancer has nothing to do with it.

Update: The Soul-Less Sexual Predator dared to text me recently. I did not respond. This is what he said. “Hey. Let’s be adults and start communicating again. It’s in the past already and I have no hard feelings and I miss talking with you. I think we can still have good times together. I know you were upset. Oh well, lmk one way or the other.”

Really? I told you he had no soul. He also has no brain cells. Let’s break it down.

I’m the adult, you’re not. No, I don’t want to communicate with an as*hole. It’s in your past because your mind doesn’t realize attacking a woman is a violent crime punishable by law. There’s something seriously f*cked up here.

I wonder how many other women he’s attacked. He has no hard feelings? For what? Apparently you don’t realize what you did. Recidivism rates vary and I won’t discuss them here because of the immense variables.

I can tell you that after talking with close friends about this ordeal, another woman admitted to me that 5 years ago he had sexually stalk-texted her after she had met him. I wish she had shared that information but she was so disgusted but it/him she hadn’t wanted to talk about it. A prime reason why the recidivism rate for sexual offenders can vary so greatly. Women don’t always talk.

I certainly don’t miss this unfortunate excuse for a human being. More than upset, I was disappointed in him and disgusted. I was angry at his behavior. I’ll never speak to him again.

If ever called to court, I’d be happy to speak at him, there’s a difference. Women need to be protected from this type of predator, the sheep in wolve’s clothing.



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Are you being “gaslighted”?

Gaslighting. Maybe you’ve heard the term, maybe not. But the people that do it to you do it so well. And so efficiently until you don’t know which end is up. Read on from this excellent article.

Lucky Otters Haven

I found an interesting article on A Healthy Place about the emotional abuse practice of gaslighting. I never knew the various types of gaslighting actually had names!

Here’s everything you need to know about this sinister manipulation tactic used by narcissistic abusers, and how to tell if you’re a victim.


Gaslighting Definition, Techniques and Being Gaslighted
Written by Natasha Tracy

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser manipulates situations repeatedly to trick the victim into distrusting his or her own memory and perceptions. Gaslighting is an insidious form of abuse. It makes victims question the very instincts that they have counted on their whole lives, making them unsure of anything. Gaslighting makes it very likely that victims will believe whatever their abusers tell them regardless as to their own experience of the situation. Gaslighting often precedes other types of emotional and physical abuse because the victim of…

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Revealing Your Past To Others.

So as Survivors there is an age-old question we must ask of ourselves: Do we tell new friends/boyfriends/girlfriends of our troubling pasts? And if we do, just how much do we tell them? And how early in a relationship do we reveal how another person shaped who we are today?

If we do tell, then we are opening ourselves to criticism and feedback. Which isn’t something we necessarily want or need. The point of explaining that we are a Survivor of a Psychopath or a Narcissist or (fill in your own blank) is to explain that that particular person has caused some pretty extensive emotional damage to you, perhaps some physical damage, you might be suffering PTSD, you might be hyper-vigilant, you might have some quirks and hey-let’s face it-you know yourself better than anyone else and although you think you’re drowning in a sea of emotions, really, you’re swimming in the lake with dolphins. Why do I say that? Because you understand more about where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going than those dolphins ever will.

When I explain my story of the psychopath to someone, so very often their response is, “Why didn’t you have him killed?” “He needs to die.” Such a flippant response people let roll off their tongues. But it’s not their position to “kill” someone, I guess, so they say it. I just calmly look at them, and explain that murder is not an answer to a psychopathic stalker and explain the law to them. Words are easy to say, actions are harder, and people talk sh*t all the time. I shouldn’t have to defend myself as to why I have behaved as a victim all these years within the confines of the law. So I don’t tell my story that often to others. Unless it’s necessary. Because most people don’t really think their thoughts through realistically. Because they have lived normal, happy, cookie-cutter lives.

Now as a Narcissist Survivor, my story will garner pity. And I don’t want that either. Growing up the way I did gave me strength. It was hell back then. I couldn’t wait to get out. And the way I got out was the wrong way and it set me up to fail. I know that now but I didn’t know that back then. I was naive, young and biting at the bits to get the hell out. Simple as that. I thought I was ready to face the world but in reality, I really wasn’t. I didn’t have the skills needed because I hadn’t been given the skills I should have been given by proper parenting.

It felt good to be away from the object of my horrors yet she was still very much an integral part of my life. The day after I was married and I had left my home, I received an emergency phone call from my mother early that morning. Yes, an emergency phone call from my narcissistic mother calling me on the first day of my honeymoon. I had left my cat in her care while I would be away until I returned, and would be leaving later that day. She was calling to tell me that she could not “find” my cat.

Now, mind you, we had lived in a two-family home, with my aunt downstairs, my parents upstairs. A full attic and a full basement in this large home. My cat never ventured outdoors. Somehow, this woman had “lost” her and had to call me to tell me this on the first day of my honeymoon, begging me to come back to the home to find her.

Of course I was beside myself, so my new husband and I went back to my old house to look for her. When we arrived, there was my mother, sitting on the couch in the living room, laughing and joking with a group of people. She had invited family and friends to an “after the wedding party”, unbeknownst to me. So I arrive to this party, they look at me as if I’m crazy and why am I there, I look at them wondering why are they there because she never told me about a party. She’s sitting there, Queen of the party, cigarette and drink in hand, laughing away. What a manipulative move on her part.

I calmly ask her if she had found my cat. She tells everyone how worried I am about “Sherman”, and look how “she can’t stay away”. (She doesn’t tell them how she called me hours earlier begging me to come find her.) I turned around, walked out of the apartment, into the hallway, opened the attic door, and out walked my cat. Somehow I knew she would be in there. The attic door remains locked at all times, by the way. I picked her up, brought her back into the house, and told everyone I found her locked in the attic. I then announced that my husband and I were leaving and hoped that Sherman would survive the next two weeks.

Sherman did, as did I. And I’m not sure how my narcissistic mother survived without her scapegoat under her domain. She just had to throw in one last jab before I was finally out of the house, I guess. Twisting words to others, attempting to belittle me and have an audience for her last show. Maybe she didn’t count on my finding my cat in the locked attic so easily. She probably didn’t realize the bond between an animal and its’ owner. At the least, when I left so quickly, all anyone really knew was that I had received a call, was concerned, and loved my pet enough to make sure she was safe. To some, maybe that seemed crazy, to others, it was not. To me, it was normal love for a pet.

That wasn’t the last time she reached out her claws to strike at me. Somehow, she managed to many other times before she died 7 years later. I still shake my head at her behavior. Yes, it still haunts me. But I’ll tell it to others so they know they aren’t alone. And to those who are my friends so they understand when I am silent, looking into nothing, when deep wells become my eyes.



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How To Survive Narcissists.

I detest poinsettias. Those red flowers that pop up in Christmas and holiday decorations this time of year that so many people love. Why? My mother used to hang these poinsettia decorations from the front windows. Maybe. If she was in the mood. I used to sit and wonder if any decorations would be put up with that ball in my stomach each year

You see, whether or not the poinsettias went up was blamed on me.  Christmas decorations had to be hung up for children, I would be told, and the neighbors had been asking her about my excitement about the impending holiday. So, she was forced to decorate all because of me. It was my fault that she had to go through this decorating and un-decorating.

She’d look at me with those ice eyes of hers, complaining about the tree and how regardless of whether it was a real one or a fake one, it was still trouble. A real one dropped needles on her carpeting and a fake one was a pain to put together. Forget decorating the tree. No matter where I attempted to hang an ornament, it didn’t work. And those silver icicles? I always put them on wrong. They were fronds of silver icicles that you threw on a tree, how could you put them on wrong? The Ice Woman found a way you could. Oh Lordie, how half of me hated Christmas and the other half didn’t because I wondered if I would get any presents.

For her, the tree had to be perfect. Her definition of beauty was not seen through a child’s eyes. You know how a child decorates with lopsided ways? And their favorite home-made (which I never did) or school-made ornaments were always front and center because they should be? To the narcissitic Mother, that doesn’t happen. She wants perfection in her eyes that will bring accolades to her. But if they don’t, well, hell hath no fury like her.

Once you come to the realization that you are a child of a Narcisstic parent, it opens a world of doors for you. The Universe suddenly looms larger than life. Doors open and shut. The realization that I had a narcissistic Mother has taken me decades. The fact that I was being raised in a dysfunctional household I realized somewhere in my middle school years. The dawn of awakening of the full impact of all the damage did not come until my 40’s. Until that time, I was living in a world as another person that had been shaped by the tyrannical escapades of her.

She had died years earlier, but her legacy lived on. It had lasting effects on me. The one place it did not claw through to was my children. I am not sure why or how, but I have not raised my own in the manner she raised me. I was very careful not to behave in the manner she did when I was raising my children even to the extent of going overboard in the opposite direction. When they were very young, she would visit with my father, and she would make snarky comments about my oldest. He was a toddler at the time and my daughter was a baby. Then she would laugh at her comments. I’d turn to her and tell her to be quiet about her grandson, he’s perfectly normal and if she didn’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all. She would continue, saying I didn’t have a sense of humor. I would tell her if that’s all she had to say, then I didn’t want to listen to her, and walk away. And I would. I wanted to protect my children from her. She would ignore my infant daughter, which was fine by me.

But at family parties, she never made these comments about my children. Instead, the accolades were made. The compliments would be told. The smiles and loving hugs given. All bs. Because behind closed doors no one received smiles and hugs or even an “I Love You” from her.

But, that’s life with a narcissistic person. So, how do you go on? How do you break away? How do you compartmentalize the pain they have caused you for so many years? Is there guilt and if there is, what do you do? How do you survive a narcissist?

Only you can make a decision to walk away. Walking away can be forever, can be for the day’s conversation or can be for a few hours. Regardless, it can give you strength over their words. It can lay the foundation for your future survival in this type of relationship. If you feel guilty over walking away from your parent, don’t. Do they feel guilty over making you feel like a twisted ball of twine? You shouldn’t feel guilty being a victim of someone with an illness.

The most difficult part of dealing with the realization of admitting you have been a victim of a narcissist is now dealing with the pain and attempting to put it away (for the most part). You must compartmentalize it. No one will help you to do that because only you were the one that was originally hurt. There are some that won’t believe you because they didn’t see it happening in the family. But, you know the damage that occurred, and that’s what’s important. As you deal with those issues that you remember, put them up on an imaginary shelf, mark them closed and take a deep breath. Remember that you were the victim and it’s you that is now receiving compensation in the form of new-found happiness, relief and the ability to breathe easier.

Each little task you do for yourself brings you one step closer to being a full-fledged Survivor and that’s a wonderful feeling. You can do it. You’ve survived this long under them, you can survive over them. It’s time for you now.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

The Narcissistic Mother That Destroys.

As the holiday season approaches, many people begin to celebrate with glee and joy. They look forward with anticipation to their special holiday traditions and opening gifts. This is a special time of wonder for children and for adults that still have their inner child within them.

But for those that have had dysfunctional childhoods, for those who have been in abusive relationships and for those whose parent(s) or significant others trashed that Christmas tree (if you even had one), the holiday season is most definitely not a time of wonderment and joy. It is a period of a few weeks where people would just like the calendar to skip the month of December, television commercials would stop focusing on how many special gifts we could buy for our loved ones and haven’t we all seen just one too many happy family sitting in their living room enjoying their absolutely beautifully decorated christmas tree enjoying their baked Christmas cookies?

No, I’m not a descendant of Scrooge. I’m just a graduate of The School of The Dysfunctional Family. A school dedicated to preserve  life-long triggers of memories of unhappiness, feelings of yearning for an All-American family that does smile and really does open Christmas presents that were waiting for them on Christmas morning.

The mission statement for The School of The Dysfunctional Family clearly states a graduate must a) Not enjoy holidays due to past familial stress; b) Wonder why they were the “Chosen Child” of the family to be denigrated; c) Be familiar with the knotted ball stomach syndrome; d) Be fully aware of the ramifications of the term “self-medicate”; and d) Have attended therapy sessions for a variety of reasons never realizing they were a Victim (until their own Day of Reckoning).  Attaining Cum Laude status or higher upon graduation is attainable with documentable proof of childhood amnesia.

Those of us who deal with a dysfunctional family or who have dealt with a dysfunctional family setting know exactly what my words mean. They know the cruelties of a Narcissistic parent, an alcoholic significant other/parent, or an abusive parent/partner. I do not make light of the atrocities these situations play on a child’s development, a human being’s self-esteem and self-worth. These are very serious situations that simply put, put someone’s thoughts in another universe so far away that they believe they will never connect with today’s world. They are made to feel alone, to be alone, to be traumatized. The stronger ones will become Survivors, the lesser ones will suffer more pain, more atrocities in their lives.

I have childhood amnesia. There is very little I do remember, and what I do remember is from photos that I look at. Photos that I keep locked away in a box that I almost never take out to look at.

When people talk about the games they played with as children and ask me if I remember them, I look at them blankly. I don’t remember my childhood toys. I do remember one doll that I had as a little girl that had to stay in her box. I was not allowed to remove her from the box. I could look at her, touch her in her box, but never take her out. When I was finished looking at her, back to the attic she went. That’s where my toy doll lived. In the attic. To this day, I think dolls are creepy. Easy to figure that one out.

One of my aunts bought me a Barbie and Ken fashion case for Christmas. I remember opening it up and being so disappointed. My aunt, who I loved dearly, was staring at my face, very kindly. All of a sudden, she whispered to me, “You don’t have a Barbie or Ken, do you?” I shook my head no, and tried to hide my tears. She winked at me, and whispered that she would take care of that for me. I was literally so frightened at that moment that my mother would find out that I was going to get another present, another doll that she would hide from me. I was petrified. My aunt saw that look in my eyes, too. She told me everything would be ok and she announced that the store had made a mistake. She said that she had told the store to surprise me and put Barbie and Ken inside the dollcase along with some clothing but they hadn’t, so she was going to have to go back and take care of it herself. I was so relieved at her quick thinking.

Growing up, I was surrounded by loving aunts, loving uncles and a beautiful, loving, warm Gramma who adored me. It was the short straw in mothers that I had. She did everything in her power to make my life miserable, and she succeeded for far too long. She blamed me for her life, used me for her accolades and constantly threatened suicide when she was at her lowest.

Christmas at our home was always a questionable affair. We never knew if it would happen. Would she want a tree? Maybe. Maybe not. I couldn’t talk to her, for fear of reprisals. My brother could, because he was her shining light. My father could try and reason, but usually, to no avail. The trees we would have ranged from real 6 or 7 foot trees, to 1 foot ceramic trees, depending on what she wanted up that year. Decorations? Maybe. If she was in the mood. Christmas dinner? My Gramma prepared that and I was fortunate to be able to eat at her table if my mother was so inclined that year.

Gifts for my brother were always spot on for a boy his age. He loved his gifts. I don’t blame him at all. He was just caught in the middle. Gifts for me were non-existent or something she bought that she knew I would dislike. Because my brother was my Protector, he would always ask me to play with his new toys every Christmas, and she would say to him, “Why are you asking her to play with your toys? She’s a girl, they’re for boys only!” But he would tell her that he needed my help in putting something together or make some excuse to have me there with him. Because he sensed something was wrong. And, he loved me and wanted to help me.

But, those words and actions from her only happened in the sanctity of our home away from the prying eyes and ears of others. Out in public, she behaved like another woman. The smiling, perfect mother. Only I knew better. I knew who she really was. The Narcissistic Mother That Destroys. The Narcissistic Mother that destroys families, holidays, self-worth, self-esteem, emotions and anything else that might come her way in the child she wishes to crush, demolish and pulverize.

She is a force to be reckoned with and one that hides herself from the world with great manipulation. The child knows but cannot tell for fear. Unfortunately, by the time the child realizes they are an adult and the damage has been done. Damage that pervades so many areas of their life. The one most important realization the child of The Narcissistic Mother must come to terms with is that they are the Victim, it was never their fault. From there, they can build a foundation for a successful life after. That is when they become Survivors.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Survival Of A Psychopath(With Borderline Tendencies…Surviving The Master Manipulator/Narcissist.

Rose Kennedy, 1890-1885.

Rose Kennedy, 1890-1995.

It could be your demise if you don’t realize how the master manipulator is controlling your life. When the psychopath isolates you, and you realize you are alone, truly alone without any support, a coldness should envelop your very existence. But in many cases, if you are living with one, this doesn’t happen.

It doesn’t happen because the psychopath has created a false reality for you of a happy life together. He has parroted back to you your dreams, your desires, your wants and even your morals in his desires to acquire you. Once this cycle is complete, and for some, it doesn’t take very long, your horrific journey with a psychopath’s mind will start. What you thought of as your reality soon becomes a horrible nightmare concocted by a twisted mind. Your life as you once knew it, no longer exists. You are now alone at the mercy of a psychopath, a narcissist, or one of many destructive personalities that thrive on and through their victims until they no longer need their prey.

Sound harsh? It is. Sick and twisted? Most definitely. Can you escape? Perhaps. If you keep a network somewhere, somehow of people, friends, acquaintances that you trust in your life and who also trust you and know you explicitly. These people must know you better than the perpetrator of the wrongs being committed against you. Most people don’t want to get involved. Most people will walk away from you in these situations. That’s what our society has created. The “I don’t really want to get involved” attitude. And that’s partly understandable.

Why? Because most people are uneducated or under-educated about what true psychopaths, etc., can do to their victims. Most victims and Survivors do not and will not speak out about their trials and tribulations of their pasts. It’s too difficult bringing up past horrors. They say they want to move on, but the reality of the situation is that remembering what has happened to them is too painful. It is a hurt that goes deep into a dark place where no one should exist or ever have to visit or re-visit. A very select few have chosen to speak up about their experiences with men of these character/personality flaws. You’ll find these people in women’s shelters, usually as volunteers.

When I was a child, my father used to give me his sage advice. Sometimes, it sounded more like street sage advice. He was a sheriff’s officer, who also did work for the F.B.I., and I know he saw the dregs of society. He used to talk about the people who were institutionalized as if it was a dinner topic at home with my mother. That was his form of release. As a child, his stories were very difficult to listen to, imagining what these men had done to be put away.

One piece of advice my dad gave me as a little girl was “to always keep a card in your back pocket”. That advice has always stuck with me.

In the beginning of my relationship with this family, I had a particular hair stylist. I had used this stylist before for about 7 years before meeting them. Sandra, in her irrational imitations of me, decided to go to this stylist and have him copy my hair cut and hair color. When she came home to show me, I was aghast. She looked like a duplicate of me, at least from the head up. It was very eery. I went to my stylist and changed my hair cut and we discussed what had happened. He told me how she had made an appointment, gone in and requested to look like me. Well, money’s money, he said, and did what was requested. After all those years of my business, I would have thought he would have had better sense. About a month later, I made my usual appointment. I walk into his upscale salon, tell them my name, and sit down. Normally, he would take one customer at a time upstairs in his renovated townhome now salon. He usually would walk downstairs to greet his customer. When the receptionist called him to announce my arrival, he yelled down the stairs, “Tell her she’s late. Tell her I won’t be seeing her.” I wasn’t late. I was on time, which I told the receptionist. Something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. She called back to him. She tells me that he said not to bother making another appointment, as he was cutting his client list. Now this didn’t make any sense to me. After seven years of camaraderie, beautiful haircuts, a wonderful relationship with my stylist, he won’t even talk to me? What’s going on?

So I begin to look for another. I find a wonderful woman in another town. She and I hit it off immediately. She is the owner of a salon that she herself has renovated, my age, and we have a lot in common. I don’t tell Sandra where I am going to cut my hair now, even tho she is aware of what happened at the Easton stylist. She wants to know, but I tell her she has her hair cut there, no need to go to another stylist.

Eventually, she finds out. Through snooping, through Daniel telling her, I have no idea how she found out, but she did after about a year and a half. Now I’ve been going to visit this other stylist throughout this time period, very happy with my cuts, very happy with the service, and we’ve become friends. Sandra isn’t aware of our friendship. I haven’t told anyone of the friendship. This was my card in my back pocket. It was no one’s business but my own.

One day I walk in to get my hair done, and this stylist tells me she has some very interesting news for me, but, I’d better sit down first. She takes me to another room where others aren’t present. She proceeds to tell me that Sandra Smith had been in for a haircut. I’m surprised. I tell her that I had not given Sandra her name. She knew this. She then goes on to explain that when Sandra was in for the haircut, Sandra was very talkative about me. As my friend is explaining this, she has a mysterious smile on her face. “Know what she claims you said about me?” she inquires. “I have no idea.” I tell her. “Sandra told me that you tell everyone what a horrible haircut I give. That I shouldn’t be running a business like this. And as far as coloring hair, I couldn’t color paper with crayons if I tried.” Then she started laughing. I was horrified. She quickly told me she didn’t believe a word Sandra said, so not to worry. After all, if I really did say those things, why would I keep returning to her for haircuts and put my head at her mercy?

“What did you say to her?” I asked. “Oh, I gave her holy hell. I told her she was a narcissistic liar that needed front and center and she wasn’t getting it. That she ruined your first stylist, so you came to me and now she’s trying to start stories with me. I told her it won’t work. When she tried to appease me with a huge tip, I threw it back at her and told her never to make an appointment here again. And I told her she needed to get back with her psychiatrist.” I began smiling at my friend who had defended me. One of a very few select people that weren’t afraid of the Smiths or who weren’t greedy and lured by their money. I had a new-found respect for this woman, a woman who had traveled across the US when she acquired the beauty salon, a woman who changed careers mid-life to start again. She was a former psychologist. That’s why Sandra Smith couldn’t pull the wool over her eyes.

But people like her were few and far in-between. She had the knowledge to understand what was going on. She didn’t know all of what was going on behind the scenes. But in the case of Sandra’s lying, she didn’t believe. And as far as Sandra’s many other lies, I would find out later that many people did believe her.

Sandra even went so far, (remember she worked in a flea market selling Avon), to tell people that I had died as a result of my motor vehicle accident. I found this out by chance. I was walking alone years after, in a flea market near that area where she had worked, when I met a former vendor. The look on their face was of a person that had just seen a ghost. Again, confusion on my face. They sputtered, “I thought you were dead.” Make a long story short, Sandra had been telling people in that area of that flea market that I had passed away from my injuries.

These two manipulators did a lot of damage for me. I’m still cleaning it up years later. And as difficult as it is for me to tell this story, when I repeat it to some so-called friends of mine, it is dismissed as  “Well, you can’t go on thinking about it. You have to forget about it. I’ve had stuff happen to me and I don’t think about it anymore.” “Stuff” happening to someone isn’t the same as abusive atrocities inflicted that are designed to isolate and deliberately hurt someone’s psyche. When traumas are inflicted upon someone, they don’t forget. The pain remains, whether they choose to remember or not.

Kahlil Gibran, 1883-1931.

Kahlil Gibran, 1883-1931.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Kahlil Gibran. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” It’s the scars that create the people we are today. We are born a blank canvas and each trauma creates a color, a dot on that canvas throughout our life. How we observe that canvas is up to us. How we perceive it is our decision. There are many ways to look at a picture. There are many ways to rotate it to view it. If it doesn’t work one way, turn it around. Just remember how strong your soul and character is. You have that quality. No one can take that away from you. That’s impressive. You have an indeterminable amount of strength to work with. Use it.



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