I pontificate a lot about a ‘genuine’ recovery. I’ve gone into what that means. So I’m going into this a little more because I experienced an attempt by a disordered one trying to infiltrate with their little tentacles out, ready to claw into my soul. NOPE. Not going there.
The reason that a psychopath, sociopath or narcissist is able to get into your life and down your pants so fast to seal the deal is ego inflation. Who doesn’t like to be told that they’re wonderful, right?
I think we make ‘nice’ of the reasons our disordered ones were allowed into our lives and I see this when page admins ‘lure’ survivors, when describing what happened: “He exploited all of your GOOD qualities! Bastard! He saw all the GOOD in you and that’s why you were targeted! Yes, he took all of those GOOD things about you, your POOR THING and exploited them for his OWN benefit!” I’m exaggerating this of course, but it’s irritating when I see it. It’s also questionable because it doesn’t feel honest to me.
Recovery is the greatest opportunity you will ever have in getting to know yourself, warts and all.
Well, what they say is only half true. He took your ‘good’ qualities and elevated it to rock star status. Healthy people do not need this kind of ego stroking and healthy people do not need to ego stroke in this way either.
Any abuser, whether it’s a disordered one or not, knows that you’re probably not going to date him if he’s throwing you up against walls and down stairs, or twisting your arm, or devaluing you and calling you names, right?
That’s only logical, but with a disordered one, they study you, they do it through Google searches, your face book page, and they will even create fake profiles and message your friends, claiming to be an old friend of the past and that they want to surprise you but need a little more info, and of course, friends willingly do this without exercising any caution on your behalf with privacy. They are really good at getting information on you, your friends and out of you, with all of that ego boosting, you fill in all the blanks.
So he takes all of this and gets out his ego inflating machine and turns on the air attached to your ego…pump, pump. pump. . . and soon enough, there is enough air in that ego that you’re literally swooning. This is how the disordered creates the mirroring that you’re experiencing, that intense high. It is unrealistic and it is dangerous because NO ONE is that special.
But this is also something that you need to be mindful of in recovery. It’s been really interesting talking to women who are emotionally healthy in ego. What I’ve found consistently with all of them, is that not only do they have a healthy self esteem (ego) but they are also highly aware of their darker sides, their vulnerabilities, so when they’ve experienced targeting in their dating lives, they are able to see the disordered one readily because the over the top flattery and ego inflation looks completely ridiculous to them. They recognize it for what it is,extreme manipulation through ego boosting. It is incredibly distorted and that’s because IT IS.
Survivors can become very defensive about this and it’s frustrating to me when working with them too. I give clear examples of what it means to look at yourself completely, with a great deal of humility and transparency in recovery. It is UNPLEASANT, but ironically, looking at the behaviors, attitudes, poor self esteem, low/no boundaries, mistakes, choices, SETS YOU FREE TO EMBRACE YOUR HUMANITY, and this will be the very thing that will protect you against targeting from anyone in the future. It keeps your feet on the ground and centered securely in reality, because the psychopath’s love bombing is anything but that, it is fantasy.
The individual love bombing me, was of course, appealing to my ‘great writing’! It’s always nice to be appreciated for the work I do. Sometimes I feel down because it doesn’t feel appreciated so much, but that’s an area of LOW self esteem and not valuing myself.
We all have a human desire to be appreciated for our gifts and who we are. This IS natural and it’s perfectly okay too. I let my friends know often, that they are special to me, and that their friendships or personal gifts mean a lot to me. A compliment or appreciation given when taken in context and combining the WHOLE person, someone you know well, can really make someone’s day brighter, especially if they’re having a rough time. This is the good stuff.
But when someone is ego inflating me, putting me into ‘rock star’ status with my writing, and continuing on with what a great person I am, I know I’m being fed bullshit. There are times when I’m asked questions, where the questions in and of themselves are an attempt to inflate my ego with my knowledge about the disorders. At other times, I’m offered other ‘gifts’ that are clearly an attempt to exploit.
I know that my writing is ‘okay’, but I’m no Ernest Hemingway, or Claudia Moscovici! I’m realistic about it, with a level of humility when it comes to my work, where I strive for balance and this helps me to recognize ‘rock star’ status immediately and to ignore it.
At the same time, there are survivors who write to me and tell me that the blog has literally saved their lives with the information they’ve read here. I don’t see that as ‘love bombing’. When someone is grateful to you for your giving to others,it is not the same as the disordered one holding the ego inflater pump. As with everything else when discussing pathological people, it is in the EXTREME. There is a balance. Again, compliments are really nice, but flattery is a major red flag.
I think this part of recovery in acknowledging that the psychopath was allowed into our lives is hard, not because we felt good about ourselves or that our good qualities were exploited, but because we didn’t feel good about ourselves, we didn’t have healthy boundaries and we weren’t aware of our darker sides or vulnerabilities. I know this stuff is incredibly difficult to come to terms with because it already feels like such an injustice with all the pain we are feeling and with what the psychopath appeared to have ‘gotten away with’. It’s hard to admit that in reality, we were duped.
I’m not responsible for any of my psychopaths abuse. But I am responsible now for working on myself genuinely and deeply, so that this never, ever happens to me again and I know how to respond when I’m targeted.
The most dangerous phase of any relationship with a psychopath is the love bombing stage. It is the stage filled with the most deceit, the most ego inflation. This stage is critical to any disordered one approaching you, and the idea is to completely destroy you. Your future destruction by a disordered one is not going to happen without your willing participation. And THAT is not going to happen unless the psychopath can successfully exploit your low self esteem, boundaries and vulnerabilities and the tendency to FANTASY through ego inflation.
Change in recovery, includes rebuilding from a foundation of authenticity about ourselves. Positive and negative behaviors. Building self esteem, boundaries and most especially self awareness of yourself and your humanity, is what a genuine recovery entails. There is nothing more devastating to create a rock bottom than a strategically destructive psychopath.
The psychopath shows us all the wounds we need to heal.
Ego inflation, in my opinion, is the number one way to spot disorder. If you see this, don’t doubt. RUN.
Onward and upward.