This brings me around to my point. Those of us who have accepted, tolerated, remained in and become a part of a loveless relationship, most likely have experienced the LACK of it(love) before. More often than not, that experience came from our childhood, but maybe not. Perhaps it came afterwards. However, I have not a doubt in the world that if I were to research the backgrounds of victims of abusive relationships I would find a high majority came from difficult childhoods. I myself did. I had wonderful loving parents. But, I also had parents trapped in their own sorrow and pain of some kind. Parents who weren't able to model true love for me. In particular, love from my father. My father was not a loving, kind, or thoughtful husband. He could be quite cruel and unfeeling as a husband to my mother. I saw him having multiple affairs during his marriage to my mother. I witnessed him verbally abuse her on a regular basis. I witnessed her accepting that behavior and shriveling under it's pressure during my childhood. The lack of love was so evident in my household that on the rare occasions that my parents did express love, or affection towards one another, it made me uncomfortable.
Given this example and modeling of behavior I experienced growing up it, isn't any wonder how, or why I became involved in a relationship with a psychopath and accepted virtually w/out question his abhorable behavior towards me. I didn't know any different. This was the sample of love set before me at a very young age. So, how do we know what love even is? What does it look like? Let me tell you.
It was one of the first steps, of many more steps to come, that helped nudge me along my journey to recovery. If you are in a relationship with a disordered personality, or currently recovering from one than get into the frame of mind that healing will take many many steps, each one beginning with putting one foot in front of the other and choosing to keep walking in a different direction no matter how painful, tiresome, or difficult. You have no idea what glorious pastures lay ahead for you when you do.
The fourth element of true love is freedom. In true love you attain freedom. You must love in such a way that the person feels freedom in your love. Although I think freedom comes from within oneself. I don't know that freedom can completely come from another person if you don't already feel freedom within yourself. Even so, if the relationship you are in, or were in brought you feelings of entrapment believing there was no way out, almost as if your feet were frozen, than it isn't/wasn't love. A person who loves you rejoices in your freedom, not in your imprisonment.
If a psychopath can truly love, then they would be able to offer joy. Joy works the same. I can experience joy on a deep level. A pathological personality can not. They haven't witnessed it, nor experienced it. If they saw joy, they were not able to recognize what it was, it was never intrinsically a part of their fiber the way we know it. This brings me to freedom.
Is a psychopath free? My answer is a resound NO! I think they are the most imprisoned of all. They are in a world that joy, compassion, and loving-kindness can not enter. They see it all around them. But they do not know it, or feel it. Therefor they can not offer it. They can pretend to offer it because they know it's what we want and need. But, when the reality of what those attributes mean, they'll fall short in meeting them. They are in a perpetual search on an unending journey to emptiness. That does not sound free to me in the least. An imprisoned person can not offer me freedom.
My ex would often express to me his confusion over what love "should" feel like. He'd ask me how would a person know when they have it? How do they know when they are feeling it? As a matter of fact, the song at the start of this is one of his favorite songs. "I Want to Know What Love is." When we would argue over his inability to love me the way I understood love to be, he would always say "somethings missing. I don't know maybe it's missing in me." His search to find true love is unattainable. My search on the other hand is very valid and very attainable.