Have you ever felt like you attract a certain type of person?
I have, and I do. It seems that ever since I escaped my childhood home and ran smack bang into my next abuser, I have been a magnet for the worst scum of the earth. Somehow they seem to sense that I’m a vulnerable, hurting soul, and they home in on me. Do they have some sort of radar? Is there something about me that gives it away? My walk? My talk? My body language?
Googling this question landed me in a forum for Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) sufferers themselves. From the initial warning -
“Given the unique propensities of those who are faced with the issues of ASPD, topics at times may be uncomfortable for non ASPD readers. Discussions related to violent urges are permitted here, within the context of deeper understanding of the commonalties shared by members. Indulging these urges is not what regular users here are attempting to do.
Conversations here can be triggering for those who have suffered abuse or violent encounters. Respectful questioning is welcome from non ASPD members.”
I do not know anything, really, about the personality disorders that are ASPD and Narcissistic PD (NPD). What I do know, is that in the support groups, and in the books that I’ve joined and read in order to understand what my own abusers were driven by, ‘Socipaths’, ‘Psychopaths’, and ‘Malignant Narcissists’ were labelled as ‘abusers’ and even ‘evil’ and were said to have these personality disorders.
I do not know if I agree with this. Every single abuser in my life (and potential abuser, those I have gotten away from) has fit the descriptions in these groups and books to a T. Reading them has given me so many “Aha” moments and helped me to come to a shaky level of peace about ‘why’ it happened – probably the closest to answering that I will ever have. But people suffering from true personality disorders are not evil, are they? They are sick. I doubt they are all abusers either. So how do we tell the difference? I do not know, and I’m loathe to label everyone under one label. So I just want to say for this post – I’m talking about people who abuse, and enjoy abusing, others. So someone could argue that their friend with one of these personality disorders is sick and that it’s not nice to lump them in with the evil people – but if they actually enjoy hurting people I am sure as hell going to call them evil!!
Back to my question – why do they zoom in on me? The first answer in the forum said “sexual attraction”. I didn’t really think that is the whole answer – we are human beings, and when one person is strongly drawn to another person sexually, it does NOT necessarily make them a psychopath! The next answer I read however, chilled me to the bone:
“This subject is interesting to me because I am attracted strangely towards certain things. I mean I maybe attracted to someone or grow curious about someone purely because they stand out in a peculiar way. I mean if I meet someone who is completely naive it baffles me so it attracts me. I do experiments on them to see how they would react. I rationalize it in my mind that I am helping them as much as I am learning about the human race. Or suppose I meet a completely moral and upright person, like a virgin. I find this fascinating. Especially, if they are like a senior in high school or older. It attracts me to them. It makes me want to preserve them as if they are a species going extinct…”(source)(emphasis mine)
Can you imagine talking about another human being, one who you were initiating a relationship with, this way? The commenter goes on to state that he “want[s] to completely devour my prey in every aspect of their life…. LOL I think the biggest thing is categorizing people, some are in the “attractive” file and some are in different files for different things.”(source)
“Devour my prey”. Charming, right? Remember this is a potential girlfriend or boyfriend we are talking about here. Not ‘prey’. Other members of the forum go on to agree on sexual attraction being key. But they talk about human beings like they are objects of curiosity.
I will call my first abuser out of home, Wanker. A very fitting name indeed. Wanker was a very sexual man. He was about 35 to my just-seventeen. He saw me first on campus at the university I was beginning my dance/performance degree in, and I guess, decided that he ‘wanted’ me. I wanted nothing to do with him! One day I was walking back to the place where I was staying at this stage, a flat, and he drove up alongside me, leaned out of the window of his car and said, “Get in”. I did not get in. I kept walking.
So Wanker got out of his car, bodily picked me up, forced me in his car, and drove away. From that day, I was effectively ‘his’.
He had caught his prey, claimed it as his, taken it away to ‘play’ with.
So why did he choose me? I was a very young seventeen despite all that I had already been through, and I certainly was not a sexual person. If anything, I was A-sexual. I didn’t feel turned on, I didn’t think about it, I didn’t want anything to do with it actually – it repulsed me. Maybe he saw that as a challenge. I was also a dancer – small. I had gained a lot of weight, but looking back, I still wasn’t a sexually attractive woman – more like a young girl who had just started filling out.
I think that my previous abuse in my home set me up somehow to attract him. I don’t know for sure, because I cannot read minds, and I’m not going to ever seek Wanker out to ask him – but I’m pretty sure that after leaving home I had an air of ‘beaten and dejected’ about me. I was exhausted. I’d been through a lifetime of abuse already, a life time of being on edge – that walking-on-eggshells feeling of when is the next blow going to come, when is this person going to crack up again. You never relax. Even sleeping is dangerous – I used to feel I had to keep my back to a wall, in case I was stabbed or hit from behind. Would someone use my doona to smother me? Or would the funnel web spiders drop from their infested curtain above me? There were dangers all around, all hours of the day. And I was exhausted and almost broken – almost but not quite – when I got out of there. I was strong and determined enough to make sure I found myself a roof over my head and fought to get some money to keep me fed and clothed, but it was all an overwhelming time for me. And in walked Wanker, saw me vulnerable, and he swooped.
I don’t know how these people know when someone is vulnerable. I could have put it down to ‘luck’ on Wanker’s part. But later on, when free of him, I was targeted, and keep being targeted, by the same sort of person. And not just men, either. Women too. The women have come in the form of ‘so called friends’ who turn around and stab me in the back and keep on stabbing. Ingratiate themselves into my life then try to tear it to shreds.
What is it? Personally, I think it’s my body language first up. I somehow have to put up stronger boundaries – a real “F*ck off” message as one counsellor described it. My body language is too open and too accepting. I tend to be a kind heart who cares too much, and these predators grab that with both hands, exploit it. The hard part is learning how to ‘send that message’ with my body language all the time. I’m getting there, but obviously I still am not doing it ‘right’ because I have just this past weekend attracted yet another ‘hanger on’, would be stalkerish guy, who is now popping up in ‘convenient’ places that I happen to be and has given me a love letter. Yes you read that right. He gave me a love letter.
“Dear stranger, I love you!” Get lost! No way.
I have noticed a lot of regularities in what these people do and say.
They LIE. They cannot tell the truth to save their lives. Their backstories will be elaborate and full of twists and turns. If they have obviously seen hard times, like obviously had drug/alcohol addiction, homelessness, joblessness, or are broke, the explanation will always be that it wasn’t their fault. It was always someone else’s fault. They are always the innocent party. It reminds me of that saying “everyone in jail is innocent”. And yes, a couple of my personal predators have turned out to be frequent jail flyers. And yes, they were innocent. Surprise, surprise.
When it comes to talking about ‘you and me’, they always say “It’s your choice. I will not force you into anything. I’m a kind hearted person. I’m gentle.” and other statements along those lines – to me anyway – because I have always said firmly from the beginning that I do not want a relationship. Not with them. Not with anyone at this stage. Their come back is always “It’s your choice, I will not force you” which is ironically exactly what they are intending to try and do.
Another lie they always trot out is how it was ‘meant to be’. “I saw you across a crowded room and just could not look away”. “Our eyes met and we clicked” (even though I didn’t feel it – these people speak for us both). “It was meant to be. We were two lonely souls looking for our soul mate.” *gag* Okay, I know this happens in real life, true dovey love happens – but with these people it’s so patently fake – at least in hindsight – that you just feel sickened.
They are also highly manipulative. When you turn them down, they will make YOU feel like YOU are the one who is out of line. “What, you wouldn’t spare half an hour to have coffee with me?” “Am I that much of a loser?” “Oh, you make me want to cry..” – all said with a wounded, puppy dog expression. Later on, if you let them get in – they will turn everything round on you, and the puppy dog will turn into a vicious dangerous dog. Everything will be your fault. You talk too much. You breathe too much. Violence will accompany the slightest thing. If you are with a real winner, this will translate into homicide. Especially after you begin to unravel their webs of lies. Even when the truth is staring them in the face, they will lie, and they will protect their lies. Every single time.
M Scott Peck called them them true human evil, calls them “People Of The Lie” – which is also the title of his popular book. He was before his time, before the terms of sociopath and narcissist were bandied around in abuse groups with sighs and “You too?” I do reccomend that you check his book out, along with Martha Stout’s The Psychopath Next Door, and Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test.
Interestingly, these people aren’t all ‘bad’ to the uninitiated. In all books, there are examples of seemingly ‘nice’ people. Pillars of society. Peck illustrates this with a scenario where his patient, a teenage boy, was given the gun that his older brother, his parent’s favourite child, used to commit suicide. The parents were both ‘evil’. Their message, unspoken, was that they wished that the boy had killed himself instead of his brother and that it would be so convenient if he took this gift and used it. Stout gave us a case study involving a woman who posed as a psychologist, saw patients in a big hospital, came across to her co-workers as a lovely, kind woman who loved her dog and cared perhaps too much about her patients – and yet was manipulating and sabotaging both patients and colleages. The dog was no better than a prop to her, discarded the moment it got in the way.
My own older sister is a good example of this. She is the scariest person I have ever met. A true viper in the body of a woman. Men flock to her like bees to honey because she is so very attractive. She works now as a naturopath (which I always saw as a ‘PC’ alternative to her first love, black magic) and is a Justice of the Peace – an upstanding pillar of society. But she spits pure venom, has killed animals, and I believe she is capable of cold blooded murder. My mother, although she put on her ‘lovely friendly lady’ mask out in public, wasn’t so good at fooling people, even my school friends used to whisper that there was something really weird and ‘off’ about my mother, and ‘poor Fiona’. If only they knew.
I feel like I was ‘marked’ in some way from the beginning. I started out as a play toy for my family predators, and was passed along to predators ‘out there’. Somehow they can tell, and I have turned into a pied piper of sorts for them, whereever I go, they will find me.
I intend to change that.
Okay this is getting to be a long and pointless post – more a rant of mine. I’ll finish it with a site that lists the characteristics of a sociopath for you to read. You might just recognise someone in your own life. Most probably you will – there are many people in our lives like this – more than we can possibly imagine. Truly wolves in sheeps clothing. Beware!
Do you seem to continually attract dangerous people?