A peculiar aspect of this psychopath/victim relationship is how we acknowledge their behavior is cruel and intentional. We aren't stupid or unaware to how they are treating us. Even so, we somehow deny the impact, or the severity, or are able to compartmentalize the abuse. As if, our brain splits off the emotional and intellectual parts. Similar to how the psychopath's brain works. Intellectually we know the treatment is wrong. Instinctively we understand "normal" people don't treat one another this way. Conversely, emotionally we dismiss it. We just choose to ignore, suppress and sweep it away. We make excuses or convince our minds that we just aren't seeing the situation through the psycho's eyes.
At some point, however, the evidence of a highly disturbed personality shows through, especially once the psychopath is no longer invested in a given victim and thus no longer makes a significant effort to keep his mask on. Then total denial is no longer possible. The floodgates of reality suddenly burst open and a whole slew of inconsistencies, downright lies, manipulations, criticism and emotional abuse flows through to the surface of our consciousness.
As time moves on I am used to a bit of abnormality from him. During this phase which is called the "devalue" phase, the psychopath's goal is to break you down and destroy you, so they can then move and discard you. Before you know it, your psychopath has downgraded you to nothing and you never saw it coming. Wipe their hands. Pat themselves on the back. Job well done, they say to themselves. Now onto the next!
This brings me to the "discard" phase. When a psychopath leads you to the discard phase it means he/she has gotten bored with the dance they've created. You've guessed all their moves and are just sort of limply cruising along in your lifeless tired shell of your former self. The challenge has diminished. Discard. But, keep this one in the Rolodex file. That way when they need to a good boost they get the challenge of coming back into your life and working their way into your heart again. Oh goody, another thrill at our expense.
While I was experiencing the devalue phase I became clearly aware of his tactics. Unfortunately by then that symbiotic relationship has been developed. I had accepted the victim and he was the dominate. My sense of reality and what was "OK" had been altered. I had become accustomed to the roller coaster, the to adrenaline rushed days spent working on ways to deescalate him, while he was finding new ways to wind me up. Daily he would intentionally go where he knew it would cause maximum emotional pain. I saw him literally working his mind to come up with what he thought would hurt me the most. I hate that even in those moments I think to myself “oh you poor soul you are so demented, cruel and miserable. What a broken man you are. I feel such sadness for your pain & misery.” What I SHOULD be thinking is how dare you hurt me and be so intentionally and incredibly hurtful. Then turn my thoughts to protecting myself and thinking about ME and my pain instead of his. Unfortunately when this is happening it's already been my conditioning with all the years with him to always put his needs above my own. More so to NOT have any needs of my own because I am inconsequential. The world is about his world alone. At least that is how I begin feeling most times while I was w/him. The mind is a curious complex but oh so simple place isn’t it? In healing I need to continually retreat my thoughts back to where they need to be. On myself, not him.
The mind just can't comprehend another person is as evil as that. I want to grant him sympathy, empathy for him being internally tortured. He wants to continue torturing me for his life's blood.
I was reading this morning on another blog that psychopaths seems to have this powerful sense of knowing what another is thinking. I use to often tell my girlfriends it’s as if he would be reading my mind. Just as I was deciding I’d had enough, thinking I hadn’t let on to this yet, he would turn around and do something seemingly kind. Then when I would decide I could let my guard down and let him in, then he’d do/say something awful.
I also figured out early on that whatever it is I really wanted was the one thing he absolutely wouldn’t want and visa versa. This made me try to out smart him a lot of the time and pretend I didn’t like something I did and visa versa. I hated this because I felt like I was then becoming like him. I started to become the person he was always accusing me of being (which I wasn’t previously), angry, bitter, and spiteful right back to him. I hated that!!! At the time it felt like survival. Simultaneously I was angry w/myself for choosing to “survive” w/him rather then get rid of him. I could never understand how he could tolerate living in his own mind because it was torturing me living in that roller coaster chaotic world. Misery just became a way of life w/him. Well, now I know how he lived in his world w/out going insane himself – he was feeding on my misery and thriving, while I was dying.
However, even then it’s difficult to absorb such painful information all at once. Our heart still yearns for what we have been persuaded, during the luring phase, was our one true love. Our minds are still filled with memories of the so-called good times with the psychopath. Yet, the truth about the infidelities, the constant deception, the manipulation and the backstabbing can no longer be denied. We can’t undo everything we learned about the psychopath; we cannot return to the point of original innocence, of total blindness. The result is a contradictory experience: a kind of internal battle between clinging to denial and accepting the truth.
For the full article click here:http://psychopathyawareness.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/a-painful-incredulity-psychopathy-and-cognitive-dissonance/