You cannot know what it’s like to be in love with a psychopath, sociopath or narcissist - not unless you have been there or you know someone who has.
The aftermath of life with an abuser can be very lonely, dark and indeed frightening. No-one seems to understand what you’ve been through. Those that don’t understand often victim shame, either through ignorance (that they cannot comprehend how clever or manipulative people can be) or fear (that they don’t want to believe it could ever happen to them). A lot of victims are so humiliated that they don’t speak up about it at all. They don’t express the spaghetti-like thoughts that have kept them silent and abused for so long. They lock themselves away and emotionally hide. I know because I get letters from these people every week.
I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse and for a long time I didn’t speak up because I felt judged by others and myself for having somehow been complicit in the abuse – simply because I didn’t know to fight him off and scream ‘NO’ in his face. I didn’t know it was wrong. I was 4-years-old. He made it a game of hide'n'seek, something I willingly participated in and in-part enjoyed. It was THAT fact that did the most damage. Although the abuse had stopped when I was 6 years old, the shame I felt lasted for two decades. It was only when I accepted and forgave myself that I could truly stop being a victim to him.
As an adult, I was led cautiously but also willingly in the psychopath’s den because he did a very good job of looking like the most caring, gentle, vulnerable, loving man I’d ever met. I had long since learnt to trust again and this man proved himself to really care about me. The descent into abuse was insipid and painstakingly gradual – like boiling a frog. I discovered 6 years later that he was a psychopath who had lied to me from the very first. Our marriage was simply a game of psychological torture to extort money from me and my family by threatening our children.
I refused to blame myself again. I refused to be humiliated or frightened, or to continue being a victim to it more than I had already been. Whether a child or an adult, it is NEVER the victims fault, and they never asked to be lied to, abused, terrorised, touched or assaulted. Instead, I found out all I could about psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists and why it had happened. They are devoid of empathy, conscience and remorse, seeing themselves as hunting predators and all others in terms of their prey. I researched how they love-bomb their victims to draw them in, and how they then systematically erode their self-esteem to ‘gaslight’ them – it is a process of brainwashing and alienation from normality - which entraps the abused just like a child in a dark cupboard. When I was done I wrote it all down to share with others and that book ('The Bigamist') is now an international best selling book).
I got out of the clutches of my predator and refuse to spend my days licking my wounds and bemoaning the fact that I was caught. I rejoice that I got away and am now aware and wise to these people – which allows me to trust others again. I’m glad that I went through that experience because it allows me to help free others from their abusive relationships, and to help them recover afterwards too. You are never alone. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. A new brighter world after trauma, abuse, betrayal, and psychological torture - you just have to know how to look for it and the first step is to open that door and talk to someone.
"A good book will change how you see the world,
a GREAT book will change how you see YOURSELF."
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