I read Sista Sertraline’s blog post about the Channel 4 programme “Psychopath Night”, and I instantly went onto 4oD and watched it for myself. I am fascinated by the human mind and always have been, and especially now I have begun to recognise my own mental health problems. I thought at least it would be illuminating for me to watch considering that I have suspected for a long while now that my ex-boyfriend was a genuine psychopath.
I was literally glued from the word go. An FBI profiler (now retired), several psychiatrists and a clinical psychologist or two were the panel of experts, with years of case histories of violent and non-violent psychopaths they had dealt with. Film clips were also used to point out the key traits of psychopathy, from such films as The Dark Knight (the Joker), We Need to Talk about Kevin (Kevin himself, from being a child), and the most obvious one, Psycho itself. Norman Bates, however, was supposedly most likely to be suffering from multiple personality disorder, which I think could be damaging for real MPD sufferers if it became widespread knowledge. I know the DID/MPD sufferers on this blog network are lovely people, as are their alters, who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Personally, I reckon there is a level of psychopathy in Norman Bates: his charm; his lack of empathy; his brutality without remorse.
Anyway, the programme listed many different traits that psychopaths display. Three of them are the ones I’ve listed above. Others include being able to lie fluently, to build truths that even the least gullible and most wise of folk would trust. They are able to switch from being charming and gracious to frightening and demanding within an instant. They have a sense of their own vital importance to the world. They are grandiose, craving to be the centre of attention. They view themselves as ‘a cat in a world of mice’, and see other people as inferior- usually in intelligence and intellectual ability. A psychopath blames others for things going wrong, regardless of whether or not it is their fault. The psychopath can never be wrong. They’re cool-headed in a crisis, mostly because they are fearless. They are narcissistic, intelligent, and determined to step on or over others to get at what they really want.
Notice any similarities, folks, to a certain ex I have written about?
I watched the rest of the programme and thought hard when it had finished. My ex displayed these qualities to their utmost in a lot of cases. He would only use emotion to blackmail me emotionally, or manipulate me into doing something he wanted. I was pressurised into the relationship to begin with because he made an overt declaration of his ‘undying love’ to me, and I replied in kind because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. He had become special to me, but more along the lines of a friend, but his charm ensured that I was captivated by this declaration of love. I was lied to very convincingly- he made me and my friend B believe we were all angels, and it took me two years to shake off that delusion. I was charmed by him into doing things I didn’t want to, and I was emotionally abused if I said no to any of his demands. He would become frightening and violently angry, and would shout and become cruel very quickly if I didn’t do what he said. I couldn’t understand why others found him charming sometimes, but he would only charm those he wanted to get to lose their suspicions about our relationship. In circles he wanted to, he would often be the centre of attention, and a lot of his family saw him as the ‘clever’ one, the one with the high IQ, the one who was a genius and was worth praising a lot. I saw how his mother would ask his advice, as if she was the child, and he would advise her with a huge sense of his own importance.
Of course, no matter what had happened between us, he would ALWAYS blame me, whether or not it was my fault. He was always right.
There is a psychopathy scale- I took the online test out of curiosity, to see where I fell- 21%, an empathic, warm sort of person. I did the test for my ex- 82%.
There you go. I dated a psychopath.
Whilst I must stress the test is only for informative/amusement purposes, the questions asked were the same as those posed to two people who were featured as being high on the psychopathic spectrum in the TV programme. I am aware that they were tested by the psychologist, and he identified them as being high on the spectrum.
Says an awful lot about my ex. He was a psychopath, pure and simple.
This is a weirdly comforting thing for me. It means that when I felt like the world’s worst girl, I was being manipulated by a master liar. When I was being emotionally manipulated, I was collateral damage in his path to getting what he wanted. When I was crying and hurt and feeling so alone, it was because he wanted me there, because that made him the centre of my attention in his threats to leave me.
I was innocent. I am still innocent. I wasn’t myself, because I was in the thrall of a psychopath.
I feel like I’ve reached an important point here in realising that I am not to blame, but now I also know WHY I am not to blame. I have always been the sort of person who wants legitimate answers to my questions, and now I have them.
For anyone else who has read this and found themselves linking the psychopathic traits I have mentioned to someone they know, or are in a relationship with- I would recommend the following:
Get out, because it is not your fault, and you are not to blame. You do not deserve the abuse and manipulation you are receiving. You do not deserve this cruelty, and this agony. I can empathise and I can understand.
Please make a plan to leave. Pack a bag with basic essentials such as money, phone, overnight clothes and underwear. Make sure you make plans to go somewhere safe, even if it has to be the police station or the hospital. Do it when you know the person in question will be out for a while. If you have children with you, it’s doubly important to go as soon as you can, but plan where you can go first of all. There are websites out there for refuge shelters which can teach you to erase your search history so the person abusing you doesn’t know where you’re going, and so you can be safe. DuckDuckGo is a search engine which doesn’t record a history of what you have searched either, so try using that.
I hope this post is illuminating and I hope it helps. I’ll post the link to the psychopathic spectrum test below, and I will post a link to other sites that are connected with this/might be useful.
For me, I feel more at peace with myself, and I realise now that I wasn’t EVER to blame.