Too often, survivors come to the very disconcerting conclusion that they might be a psychopath. After months of studying the topic and thinking about the experience, I think it’s only natural that you begin to question yourself and your own good nature. It’s a nasty topic, even addictive at times. Like any part of the body, the brain learns habits—when your mind constantly bounces back to psychopathy, it’s normal that you apply your knowledge to nearly everyone in your life, including yourself.
I’ve come up with several reasons that you are probably not a psychopath, because the last thing you need during the healing process is some nagging doubt that you’re evil. You don’t need this worry—and that’s the key word here: worry. A psychopath would never worry about this. And moreover, they just don’t care. You’re scared because you see psychopathy as the root of all evil. But they don’t see their disorder as the terrible sickness that it is. They see it as a strength. They believe their lack of conscience makes them superior. Do you think like that? I’m going to guess not. So here are the main reasons you’re probably asking the question:
1. The psychopath made you feel this way
Throughout the relationship, the psychopath projects their flaws onto you. They call you needy, jealous, clingy, controlling, evil, and crazy. This is all projection. Have you ever felt that way in any normal relationship or friendship? Do you feel that way around your Constant? No. So what is the common denominator here? Those are all characteristics of psychopathy, and it’s no coincidence that they slowly disappear as you spend more time away from them.
Victims tend to absorb all of the problems in a relationship, believing that they can forgive and understand everything in order to save the perfect idealize phase. But in doing so, you end up absorbing many of their most horrible flaws, causing you to believe that you actually have those traits. After the identity erosion and grand finale, it is only natural to feel disgusted with yourself and your behavior—because you haven’t been yourself. You became a receptacle for the psychopath’s poison. But with time and No Contact, you begin to see that you don’t display any of those characteristics when you’re not around them. In fact, you seem to become more gentle, empathetic, and compassionate—closer to your most genuine self. That is the real you. The pseudo-psychopathic you was nothing more than a dumping ground for their most terrible traits. That’s why you don’t ever repeat these patterns in future relationships—while they most certainly do, every single time. Again, you must ask yourself who is the common denominator?
2. Your personality type
There’s this old saying that goes: “Don’t believe everything you think.” This is extremely important to remember in the aftermath of the grand finale. Most survivors tend to share a variety of common personality traits, two of them being open-mindedness and susceptibility to suggestions. These two qualities are actually great strengths, but they can also cause problems if you don’t introspect a bit and learn to control them. The issue is, when you ask “am I a psychopath”, your open mind will automatically entertain the idea. That’s not because there’s any rational reason to believe you’re a psychopath, it’s just because you have an open mind. That’s it. When your mind suggests something to you, you listen. And sometimes, you just need to teach yourself to laugh it off as the ridiculous notion that it is.
Unfortunately, many survivors also tend to be very open to suggestions that they themselves are awful—and closed off to suggestions that someone else might be awful. As you recover and begin to reach your equilibrium again, you stop seeing things through such a selfless eye. That’s not to say you become selfish, it just means you adopt more of an “I’m okay, you’re okay” mentality. Instead of the toxic “I’m not okay, you’re okay” that dominated most of your relationship. So just remember that you have an open mind and are likely to be much more susceptible to hypnosis and suggestions than other personality types. Be aware of this, and learn how to channel it.
Along these lines, depression is a crippling disease, but it’s also strangely logical. During depression, negative thoughts find a way to stay in your mind by convincing your brain that they are more important than the positive thoughts. Just like a virus, depression develops survival mechanisms. It convinces you that your positive thoughts are just delusions and ignorance. This is especially difficult for any survivor high in the guilt area, because depression can take an entirely ridiculous idea and make you think it’s real. But it’s not. You are not a psychopath. Those negative thoughts running crazy in your mind are not real. Your brain is playing tricks on you.
3. You have boundaries
You are probably not accustomed to having boundaries. In fact, many survivors never had boundaries to begin with. A strange gift from the psychopathic experience is that you begin to find these boundaries. Some call it healthy narcissism, but I think self-respect is a better term. The problem is, boundaries and self-respect are completely foreign to you at this point. So when you begin to express these things, you feel like a selfish, abrasive jerk. When in reality, you’ve just stopped playing the role of a selfless doormat.
You may begin to find that old friendships and toxic dynamics fall apart as you become stronger. It almost feels as if you’re being punished for healing. But that’s not the case. You’re not psychopathic or narcissistic for having boundaries and expecting a decent level of respect in return. You’re just a regular human being with feelings. But you may be surrounded by people who don’t want you to be regular— they prefer the person who caters to their every need. So they make you feel bad for taking on healthier habits. This kind of conditioning can make you feel psychopathic and unempathetic, but again, that is not the case. That’s what happens when selfish people stop getting their way. They fight for the status quo, because the existing dynamic suits them. But it doesn’t suit you, and that’s what boundaries help you realize. Just because you have to tell someone off or demand a bit of respect does not make you psychopathic. It makes you stronger. Every time you stand up for yourself, a part of your spirit comes back to life.
4. You experienced the relationship cycle for yourself
The manufactured soul mate is not human. It is demented, twisted, and evil. Idealize, devalue, discard—every single time. But they’re not the only one who feels those things throughout the relationship. You experience them too. The difference is in the order. You idealize them, more than you have idealized anyone in your life. Then, you are discarded, left broken and alone to pick up pieces. And finally, you begin to devalue them as you learn about psychopathy. You deconstruct the person from the grooming phase, just like they deconstructed you during the identity erosion.
This is not a natural cycle for any person to go through after a breakup. Sure, plenty of exes end up disliking each other. But no normal exes go through such a roller coaster of highs and lows, deconstructing personality traits they once idealized. In normal relationships, flaws are flaws and strengths are strengths. In a psychopathic relationship, their strengths are fake and your flaws are manufactured.
Unfortunately, the only way to heal is to go through this toxic cycle yourself. Only then will you finally manage to see that it was all false. An illusion. A perverted mirror. In order to do so, you must begin the unnatural process of undoing everything you once loved. Not just some of it. All of it. Because none of it was ever real. Only then can you find self-respect and reclaim your dreams.
Additionally, you will go through many other devaluing processes that you don’t experience in normal relationships. Many survivors cyberstalk for a while, mainly because they have absolutely no idea what just happened. Social networking provides an opportunity to gain some more insight into the truth and their next target, but eventually you must realize that it is not helpful in your healing process. The bottom line is, cyberstalking counts as Contact, and it doesn’t do you any good. You probably got addicted to cyberstalking during the idealize phase, when you isolated yourself and waited desperately by the computer for their every update. They knew this and loved the power it gave them. But they were doing the same thing as you, although they were probably much better at hiding it. For instance, they might have claimed that they barely ever checked your Facebook feed anymore, and then accidentally referenced something you posted a few days ago. Or they might have said they weren’t expecting your call, when they were actually wondering what took you so long. So don’t beat yourself up for getting caught up in the mind games. Just understand that this addiction is unhealthy, and that self-control can finally put an end to it.
During and after the psychopathic relationship, you’ve probably done things you’re not proud of—you’ve lied, sought attention, and sent off angry emails. That doesn’t make you a psychopath. At some point, you need to forgive yourself and make the conscious effort to start making better choices. You are not that nasty, stalking, mirroring, vengeful ex. It takes a lot of time and effort to purge your system of the toxic relationship cycle, but you can get there, and you can seek out normal, loving relationships.
5. Your empathy is completely destabilized
You will feel empty and numb for long periods of time. That is the nature of psychopathic recovery. But numbness does not equal psychopathy. It means your emotions were raped and it’s going to take a long time for them to come back again. Yes, a psychopath is emotionally numb, but they are that way for life. They would never spend months mourning the loss of their own innocence or ruminating about their broken heart.
Your emotions and empathy are just in hibernation. And one day, the sleeping bear will wake up stronger than ever. When all is said and done, you will find yourself more perceptive and compassionate than ever before. So don’t worry about feeling numb right now. It goes away, and it’s replaced by something much better.
Remember my recommendation that you wait several months before forming new friendships and relationships? The reason is that you’ll feel frustrated and depressed because you can’t seem to reach the same love or high that you had with the psychopath. You’ll feel like a bad person for getting annoyed that your partner doesn’t seem to be as attentive and sensual. You can’t keep getting caught up in these post-psychopathic relationships, because they only harm you and the people around you. You will be overwhelmed with guilt, on top of your already damaged empathy.
So instead of beating yourself up for being unable to accomplish the impossible, spend some time introspecting and becoming your own best friend. Even introspection has its limits—at some point you must stop thinking and start living. This might take years, but you will know in your heart when you’re ready. Too much introspection can drive a person mad. But just the right amount can bring about all sorts of wisdom and creativity
6. You have a heightened understanding of human nature
A lot of survivors once walked through this world believing that all people had some amount of good in them. The psychopath served as a nasty wakeup call from that blissful ignorance. As you learn more about psychopathy, you also learn more about human nature. You understand how and why the psychopath tricked you—how they played on your greatest insecurities. How they love-bombed you. How they set off a chemical addiction.
And then suddenly, you might feel a little bit dark inside. It’s like you’ve come too close to evil. And now you know how human beings think—how you could flatter someone into doing anything for you. Or how you could make someone feel suicidal. It’s some really nasty knowledge that you’d probably prefer not to have. But think about it, would you ever act on it? Of course not. Your conscience would stop you in a heartbeat. That’s what separates you from the psychopaths. Not the knowledge, but your conscience and resulting actions. So no, you are not evil for having this new understanding of people and the world.
J.K. Rowling wrote: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” Keep that in mind during your healing process. Every person has their own demons—what defines us is how we choose to handle them.
Recall the blissful days when you knew nothing about psychopathy. Life was good. Did you ever feel evil for enjoying a compliment? Manipulative for being kind? Ill-intentioned for doing a good deed? My guess is no. It’s only when you encountered something so sinister that you began to question yourself. Well, enough already. You are not a psychopath, and you never were. Like everything else, the brain heals and you will find your equilibrium again as your empathy and emotions come back to life.
You’ve been conditioned to see compliments and attention as some sort of weapon, but they’re not. Appreciating a compliment or enjoying some attention every now and then does not make you a psychopath. You need to feel comfortable accepting these things from normal, healthy people. Don’t let your understanding of how you were manipulated stop you from enjoying one of the nicest things in life: positive energy.
You are not a psychopath. You’re the polar opposite. And that’s the only reason you’re asking this question in the first place.
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No, You're Not A Psychopath
Too often, survivors come to the horrifying (and incorrect) realization that they might be a psychopath. Don't worry, you're not alone!
Article Author: Peace