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.
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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