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    • #40561
      SunshineRainflower
      Participant

      I hope this post doesn’t sound really self pitying, it’s just something I’m struggling with at the moment. When I met my ex I had been single for years after ending a very brief relationship with a man who showed scary controlling behaviour very early on, and to heal from ongoing depression and anxiety. I was on a dating site for a year and had a series of disappointment after disappointment including finding out on one date that the man was already married. But what hurt the most was that most men seemed indifferent to me. After lots of (usually unwanted) attention for years I felt that I must be old, past it and men weren’t interested in me anymore like they were when I was younger. My self esteem was super low. I also felt that men weren’t interested because I had to stop working due to my mental health, so they’d see me as weak/unhealthy/a failure etc and prefer happy, healthy, successful young women.

      I took a break, worked on myself and my goals and rejoined another site a few months later and felt much more positive. I got many more messages and narrowed down my selection to a four men. The last was my ex, the abuser. I wasn’t too interested at first because he seemed kind of boring, but he was so patient, seemed interested in me in a respectful way, was gentlemanly and I felt relaxed and (ironically) safe with him. If you told me now that I’d be suffering from ptsd and ringing domestic violence organisations daily for support due to his behaviour I would have found it hilarious, he just seemed a lovely, lovely guy with no red flags at all until about 4-5 dates in which I unfortunately dismissed and rationalised as he otherwise seemed lovely. I didn’t question at all whether he was genuine or not, I felt good about myself at that point after other dates and thought he liked me for who I was.

      I’m not sure whether he is a psychopath or not but I realised by the end that he doesn’t seem to feel empathy or remorse, and that the person I met was a mask, and that he was mirroring me so as to seem like my ideal man.

      I now just feel so, so stupid and embarassed and foolish to think that an attractive, good man would actually want me. This happening feels like it’s confirmed that no good men would want me? It has knocked my already shaky self esteem. I remember feeling so lucky to have met ‘such a lovely guy’ and felt my faith and hope in humanity restored as a result of this relationship at the beginning. But now I just feel even more old, fat, stupid and ugly and like he is laughing at me. I’m so ashamed that I invited him into my life, my home, my body and shared so much of myself with him, when he was just taking notes to later use to abuse, mock and attack me with.

      Sorry for the long post. I’m trying to get this stuff out to move forward. I am thinking that he sensed my insecurity, loneliness and desire for an attractive, good, kind, faithful man and created an illusion of that to exploit me? I really, really want to believe that I am still beautiful and good and worthy and that one day I will meet a good man who will love me. This experience has left me feeling so worthless and so much worse than before I met him. I am suicidal each day with little hope for the future but I ring helplines etc during the worst times and they get me through until my mood becomes more stable.

      Thanks for listening and if you have any advice and thoughts that would be great.

    • #40584
      Savingmyself
      Participant

      Hiya You are a beautiful gentle caring soul and you met a psychopath
      And it leaves us in a state of shock and turmoil
      If you read up about psychopaths it all makes sense
      They target us because we are kind and caring
      Big hugs xx

    • #40587
      SunshineRainflower
      Participant

      Thank you so much Savingmyself. I’ve been reading about psychopaths online and it is terrifying how accurately he fits the description and how our relationship fit their usual pattern of assess-idealize-devalue-discard. The problem is it makes me feel sick and panicky reading about it and I just feel like it retraumatises my brain, like I’m in a constant horror film that my brain cannot comprehend.

      Those websites say they recommend professional help for psychopathic abuse recovery but I’m not sure where to get that. I’ve been telling friends and most agree he’s clearly unhinged and scary but I don’t think they believe he’s an actual psychopath because it seems too scary and ridiculous to imagine they are just out there amongst us leading otherwise normal lives.

      I’m still reeling in shock and trauma from it, didn’t sleep much last night due to a nightmare then couldn’t get back to sleep, when will my brain calm down and get more stable? I feel like I could really do with talking to a psychiatrist about it and getting treatment for trauma/ptsd recovery but it’s not easy to access one unless paying privately which I can’t afford.

    • #40589
      Peaceful Pig
      Participant

      Hi, your response and feelings are entirely normal in the circumstances. You really are beautiful, good and worthy. Psychopaths select us for our good qualities so that fact you were targeted is evidence of your goodness.
      Your description of your ex is exactly like mine, seeming safe and boring initially. He gave me exactly what I needed. My counsellour also told me my ex was a psychopath and I found it so hard to get my head around. I’d always held a stubborn belief and hope that people are good despite my childhood experiences to the contrary. I think this belief was the only thing that kept me alive, so to have those hopes snatched away makes life feel pointless. I think what has saved me from that place has been finding the goodness in myself, discovering a faith that fits my belief system and skilled counselling from women’s aid and rape crisis.
      I would definitely recommend contacting these agencies to see what’s available in your area. I had counselling for two years on a donation only basis. Don’t give up. You were just unlucky, psychopaths are very skilled at duping people. Be extremely kind and patient with yourself and I hope you find the support you deserve xx

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