A Survivor’s story ~ In love with a psychopath
© 2013 NeuroInstincts | All Rights Reserved
[Abrianna was not our patient. She provided permission to post her journal entries. All editing and content are her own.]
I’m Abrianna. I was 34 years old when my relationship ended. When we first met, I thought I was the luckiest woman in the world. I loved him so much. I felt safe with him and proud of him. I knew this was a man I would have done anything for. He was handsome and extremely successful. He really seemed to care about me and love me … in the beginning. I had no idea I’d fallen in love with a psychopath.
We were together for nearly a year. On our ninth month anniversary, he asked me to marry him and I said yes. This was a man I thought I would share the rest of my life with. We talked about immediately starting a family and building a future together. But soon after we were engaged our relationship morphed into my worst nightmare.
I’m no doctor, but I’m convinced he is a psychopath. I suppose the diagnosis doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he was abusive. He psychologically tormented me and I truly believe he enjoyed it. Even more important than diagnosis – if someone gets involved with people who behave like this, it’s important to get help. Take steps to safely get out of the situation.
Don’t listen to them, because they are always going to blame you. Don’t look to them for your closure because they will offer none. As soon as you can, put your focus on yourself and your mental health. Once you ‘get it‘ that they are disordered, then move on from that and focus on you. Otherwise, you’re going to feel stuck.
I’m sharing my story through journal entries I wrote about 6 months after the breakup, so please excuse any poor grammar or naughty words. My focus was on venting pain and trying to understand my state of mind. I wrote daily, but only included a few dates here. At the point of these journal entries I had devoured material online and just discovered psychopathy and narcissistic personality disorder. I was shocked to find out that there were actually groups of people who are built like this!
I need to start healing MORE. I need to start moving on. Why can’t I do that? What’s wrong with me! Will I be like this for years? This dull ache in my heart won’t go away. My chest feels like a hundred pound weight is on it. I feel like my unhappiness could erupt in a breakdown of tears at any moment like I did the other night!
Why didn’t he even try to talk to me about what he did??? Why didn’t he make sure I was alright? To leave like that means he couldn’t have loved me! How could he just walk away as if he never knew me? WHO DOES THAT? Who could hurt someone like that and not only not care about the pain, but blame them for it?!!! Is it possible that he never really loved me?
I hate the nighttime. What I wouldn’t do for sleep! I’m just miserable. Why did he do this to me! He didn’t have to hurt me like this. There was no reason to spend all that time telling me he was different from my ex and that he would never hurt me. He MADE me believe in him, despite my concerns. He MADE me turn my back on myself. Convinced me that I could trust him. He lied and ****** with my head so much. Why didn’t he just leave me alone? I was right all along and he could’ve just accepted that and left me alone!
It seems everyday I write about the same thing! I know he has some kind of personality disorder. These websites talk about it being some kind of devalue and discard cycle. I get that and I understand it.
But why? Why am I STUCK? Just spinning my wheels in place! For some reason on a very deep emotional level I bought into the con. I believed that that guy who listened to me for hours, dried my tears, told me he loved me, held me in the beginning was REAL.
THAT is what I need to have my heart understand. IT WAS ALL FAKE!
This new girl might be able to take it better than me. Maybe he’ll behave himself with her? But who could possibly take that treatment? I DO know that part of his package deal is controlling her. Not respecting her. Yelling. Changing what he wants. Times of disappearing. Panicking when/if there is abandonment for him. Arrogance. Insensitivity to any needs that she might have after he has her. She will probably also get the idealize/devalue process just like I got.
With that comes his lack of interest in giving affection. So no more hugs, no kisses, no cuddles, no caresses, and a near zero ability to ‘perform’ without something kinky or demeaning involved. She will have to listen to his creepy sexual requests or desires. She’ll have to tolerate being called dirty names each time they have sex. She’ll probably get her hair pulled so hard she’ll feel frightened, helpless and want to cry but he won’t stop even if she pleads. She’ll have to accept that he will go elsewhere and use escorts and prostitutes that he thinks she doesn’t know about. She’ll find recent nude pics of his privates that were never sent to her. Of course I can’t leave out the frequent abrupt ending of sex because he can’t perform (possibly because he already did it earlier with someone else or he no longer finds her attractive).
He will probably also make her feel that she isn’t pretty anymore. He will bore her with his empty shallow conversations. She will have to deal with going out to restaurants and have the wait staff look at her funny- as though they are thinking ‘is that the same girl that was here last time?” Getting raged at. Dealing with his fragile ego. Dealing with a person who is operating at the maturity level of a toddler!
What woman can take that?!
I think my primary fault in all of this was not seeing him or accepting him for who he really was and realizing that I was no match up against someone made like this.
Whether intentional or not, people like this hurt people and drive them crazy with their behavior and then turn around and suddenly have someone new! THEN they completely check out of the relationship, while LYING to your face and telling you that everything is great and that it is YOU who’s being insecure, negative, annoying, sensitive, and simply unfit to be with!
Abrianna… I have to ask myself – what am I missing about that man? What is the hold? The appeal?!
I didn’t stand a chance at having a happy life with him. It was temporary. All the long emails I sent explaining my emotions to him. The cries for him to understand me. Asking HIM to give me some compassion; love. Telling him about my loneliness because he had pulled away from me completely only a week after he had begged me to stay. All of the hurt I went through. The complete shock that I could go from the woman he loved to not even being worthy of seeing me once a week. From wanting to marry me to never wanting to see me again. From wanting us to have a baby as soon as possible to not even taking my phone call.
What am I missing about him. All that misery?!
Why am I not getting over this?!! I THINK it could be because I know that he is happy and that HE has someone else and is infatuated right now. My life is the complete opposite. I am reading psychopath and narcissistic personality books and websites everyday just to maintain my sanity. I have to remember I was emotionally dying with him.
This is a man who changed his mind hourly about a situation. He actually begged, cried, emailed, and texted to get me back when I said I couldn’t take it anymore. Only to turn around two days later and have no interest in me at all! Who does that?!
He didn’t even want me to come over anymore. I was always getting texted or emailed that he was too busy. How is that a relationship! I was trying so hard to make it right. Make HIM right! I hate I got mixed up with a person like that. I really really do.
One of the things that has been torturing me so much is my replacement. Who is she? When did he meet her? Where? Was it before the proposal or after? WHY?
I went through so much s*** with that man… the abuse, talking to him, explaining to him, trying to make him feel better. All his pouting… telling me I have problems. Being confused by his sudden shift from the best man I have known to the worst. I’m devastated that all it took was one little email … an offhanded- “I don’t want this in my life anymore” and I am replaced. All over. Gone. It hurts so much.
I don’t necessarily envy her because pathology doesn’t stop just because you meet a certain person. But, maybe she will be better at handling him than me and live a happy life? I wonder can that happen.
I NEED to focus on me and the fact that I cannot live happily with a person who is so nasty and hateful.
True, he is happy right now with her, with no pain regarding me. True, I am in pain right now and lonely. But the fact is. He’s probably not going to change. He will keep on his search for the next girl, because whoever my replacement is, she will eventually bore him, annoy him, or love him and he will do his thing of devaluing and discarding her.
As for me – hopefully I will heal and then open my heart up to meet a decent person. Hopefully I will and then settle down and have a normal relationship. I have to have hope, right?
HE is like a parasite in my head. I have been trying to read online in order to get a better understanding of these people so that SOMETHING can pull the switch in my mind and I can move forward. I really wrapped my life around him. But he was my fiance!! I loved him and had hopes that he would improve… get better. How could I think such a thing of someone who is so sick?
People like him make me feel like the world is a very unsafe place, because there are many people in this world out there just like HIM. Thing that bothers me SO much is that I knew this was, at the very least, a rigid, disrespectful, confused, perfectionist man. Abrianna why didn’t you trust yourself?
I feel like I am moving in centimeters down a 100 yard football field. So many things trigger me. What the heck?! I still can’t watch t.v because of certain commercials or love scenes hurt me. When I go shopping I am in shock that I am shopping for myself and not for what I think he would like to see me in or what he would find attractive so that I can keep his interest.
I’m up and down. Some days I can say, “Yay, I feel better” then on others days I am in the fetal position crying in bed. I still can’t believe I fell for it. I actually accepted a proposal from this man and thought he meant it when he said he loved me. I feel like such a fool. He never looked back to see if I was ok. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the idea that he didn’t really care about me.
This is a very confusing breakup to get over. Why am I still hurting? I have absolutely no desire for reconciliation. That can never never be. He stepped on my kindness and heart. He didn’t care that I loved him so much. Never acknowledged any of my pain and even ignored me and lied continuously.
What a disgusting human being! Then have the audacity to send me a text asking me how am I doing after he has kicked, stepped on and spit at me! I hate that I responded to him.
I feel so disasppointed in myself that he can just send a text months after what he did and I just jump to respond. Shows me I have some kind of hope that he can help me get through this. I have to try to be stronger. I should’ve just ignored it. It meant nothing to me. I mean nothing to him. So it was pointless. Next time I will not respond—not as a tactic, but because I’m not going to be used by him anymore. He just sees me as something to stroke his ego or entertain him. I am not going to be his backup!!
I guess I stopped loving me somewhere along the way. I put down my values. It’s like I’m smart and dumb at the same time. XXXX (friend’s name removed) keeps telling me she never liked him and the way he treated me. She was shocked that I put up with it and told me she thought I was stronger than that. IDK if I will ever earn her respect back. She doesn’t understand why I’m not back to the woman she knew a year and a half ago. Hell, I don’t either!!
I am really upset with myself for that.
I feel ashamed for begging him to come back to me. I feel ashamed for constantly crying to XXXX. This is all so hard for me to swallow. I fed myself to him that week… Sending him two emails asking him to please call me and let’s work this out.
I feel so pathetic for doing that. How can I forgive myself for calling him?? I stroked his ego and gave away my power. I HAVE to forgive myself for all of it. I have to be easier on myself and see that I did it only because that was the stage of pain I was in. I was hurting and I wanted any kind of relief from it… just anything. Even HIM.
I didn’t do it out of love for him. I was still in shock and I was still hurting so intensely. I have to forgive myself for it.
This is where I see that I have SO much healing to do of my self esteem. How can someone else tear away at someone’s self esteem? Does that mean I never really had it to begin with???
Knowing that I was nothing more than a thing to the man I loved – whew that hurts! I have to accept that the way I behaved in that relationship shows me that I had very little love for myself. I was willing to be used. I definitely have to work on that. But no matter what, I think he is a despicable person and I know I didn’t deserve any of the abuse. I didn’t! Not one single bit of it.
I remember one day when we were on our way to dinner and I was walking to the car, I thought to myself, “being here is going to kill my soul!” I recall that thought so vividly bc everything felt so empty with him. I…ME… I felt intellectually and emotionally understimulated. I felt that being there with that type of person was bad for me. I thought to myself – this is it? There is no more to our relationship? We just go out to eat on Saturdays. Have sex. And I listen to his ‘all about me’ conversations. There is nothing in between. He bores me. He is not affectionate. He is not loving. He is not fun. We don’t laugh. We don’t even enjoy a movie at home together – nothing. It was like dating a ‘cut out’ of a man, who was a hateful pathological liar. I was emotionally starved and abused!
I want to be in a partnership. I love to laugh. I LOVE to talk, but being with him was very lonely for a woman like me. He couldn’t see my worth. He was completely impossible.
For months I have wanted nothing more than to hear from him… to talk to him. But, the logical side of me sees that that is my way of staying connected to him. It will give me hope, while simultaneously infuriating me that he is contacting me without any shame of his AWFUL behavior. So, the best thing is that he stays away forever.
How do I squash this part of me that hopes I get a text or an email from him? I have to stop checking my inbox a thousand times a day hoping to see a message. I have to give myself more time.
I read some of his old emails and one thing that hit me is that at every point in the relationship he was deceptive. He lied even BEFORE the relationship began. He lied about having a child. He lied about the relationship with his ex being over. Turns out they were still together! What a coward! What a manipulator!
Even in the final email I got blamed for the relationship going badly. I think he actually believes that it all fell apart because of MY negativity. It was my fault for not accepting his personality and his way of life. WHO the **** could accept a life where they were going to have a husband who disrespects them, lies to them, cheats on them, and ignores them. HOW was that MY FAULT for feeling negative about a relationship like that! How could I possibly feel positive!
So all those times I was in pain thinking I had done something wrong, all his hostility toward me and accusing me of insecurity was really a ‘cover’ for his bad behavior. He has to blame it on something because HE is never at fault. All the blame I took.
Ridiculous that I started therapy for low self esteem because he convinced me that I needed help. He kept telling me I needed to work on my low self esteem because he was tired of it. When all along it was actually my intuition telling me that this guy wasn’t trustworthy. THAT was the conflict I was feeling! It wasn’t low self esteem! Turns out it was instincts!
I WANT to move on with my life. Put my focus on my career and try to have some fun. But how can I when there is a part of me that is missing. My soul hasn’t been recovered yet. I am so ANGRY AND JEALOUS regarding HIM and HER. He is laughing, happy, having sex, traveling, expanding his business, and I am sitting here missing the essence that makes me Abrianna. That woman is missing! It’s as if he stole my light!
No matter what I have to accept that he has a serious condition. He might not know it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. He’ll live this same pattern throughout his life. It’s illogical to want to tie myself to somebody so nasty and filled with hate.
I had a few pretty good days. Today is not one of them. Last night I had a dream so disturbing I’m still shaken by it. Can’t I at least get a break in my dreams?? Enough of this!! I am so tired of dreaming about him!
I’m not in the mood to write anymore today 🙁
I am doing a little better. I feel like I am on the 30 yrd line of the football field…. 70 more yards to go. The obsessive thoughts and poor sleep are STILL driving me nuts. The thought of, “why did he do this to me?!?!? is stuck on replay in my mind.
He really opened up my eyes. I will pay attention to any sign of crap from a guy in the future and I wont take it! Not because I am arrogant or think I’m hot stuff, but because if I don’t pay attention and have self respect and value myself, I’ll wind up in this same position again with someone new. I’d rather be ALONE than deal with this again! I just can’t!
I cried myself to sleep the other night at the injustice of it all. At feeling so lonely and surrounded by shallow people. It has not been easy. He’s the one that’s sick, but I’m the one recovering! Now how does that make any sense?! I have not found peace. I still think about him everyday. I am still so angry with him. What is going to happen to my future if I can’t break free of this?
Those entries reflected a dark and lonely period of my life several years ago.
I didn’t know I was being set free from an invisible tormenting prison. I didn’t realize I was fighting for the very thing that was going to destroy me.
Eventually I made it down that 100 yd football field (figuratively speaking). I did it!
When I look back on that time there are some things I wish I had done differently. For one, I wish I had not assumed that ‘time heals all wounds.’ I sat around with an aching heart for nearly a year waiting to feel like myself again. It took more time than I would have liked for me to realize that that approach doesn’t apply to these relationships. Healing is an active not passive process.
I wish I would have known that I was actually depressed and anxious … diagnosable! I needed help from a professional, but instead of realizing that I mistakenly assumed it was just a broken heart and felt ashamed for feeling that way. For me, depression and anxiety were intense and I wasn’t functioning well. I thought time was all I needed. But for me healing was going to require more than time. It was going to require action and hard work. I wish I would not have waited eight months before I did anything beyond reading books and blogs.
Once I realized there were professionals with different specialties that could really help me with this issue, I indulged!
I consulted with different types and I made sure they understood what I needed from them. I found a nutritionist and a physician who was very skilled with natural remedies to help my brain. I found a licensed clinical psychologist with a background with personality disorder abuse victims. She was able to help me not only with understanding personality, but deal with the trauma I suffered from my exposure to him.
For me, a licensed professional was the safest fit over a coach or fellow survivor. I needed the experience, training, and security of a regulated license. I felt I needed to be in professional ‘hands.’ I also found a couple of great trustworthy resources for psychopathy education. Collectively – those things made a world of difference for me.
As for HIM, even years later I still get the occasional “Hi, how are you?” text from him. I shake my head and immediately delete them. I never thought I would be at a place where I actually felt pity for him. But to my surprise, I do.
It is sad that he and others like him will never know or feel what I have. I have loves of different kinds in my life – my friends, family, pets, new husband, and our unborn son. HE will never be able to feel that. He might have those relationships – but he won’t feel what I can feel or value it. And that’s sad.
With that said, I still hold him 100% accountable for his vile and callous behavior and I will never allow him near my life again. My heart goes out to his future victims.
To everyone just starting this healing journey – get your team of specialists if you feel you need it. Get support and education. I will not delude you. The aftermath of these relationships are not easy. But from my experience, life can be even better than before once you make it through this!
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