Category Archives: Psychopathy

Secrets and Lies. Tools to manipulate.

Disordered individuals keep secrets. They tell a lot of lies. My previous post describes some of the different kinds of lies disordered people use against you. In my new book, People Who Hurt, publication January 23rd, I devote a whole chapter to the various tools narcissists, sociopaths and the like use against you to get you to do what they want.

people hurt

People Who Hurt -abusers and codependants – looking for answers

I’ve used examples from my own personal experience to illustrate the kinds of secrets and lies used against partners of such disordered people but I haven’t included every single instance I encountered myself. I want People Who Hurt to show how commonplace these behaviours are to help others be aware. Writing only about what happened to me would turn the book into a memoir and, although I’m happy to include my personal story, my intention is to give the book a wider audience.

A single voice can sound like one outraged, vindictive woman  seeking revenge. I don’t want that. Tens of thousands of voices saying the same things, describing the same patterns of behaviour carry more gravitas. People will be more prepared to listen.  These tens of thousands are only the ones who are able to speak out. There are many more women and men struggling to understand what has happened to them in their relationships with a disordered partner.

Secrets of hidden abuse

Victims of emotional and psychological abuse often stay silent. Sometimes they don’t realise they are being abused. The confusing tactics employed by covert abusers leaves victims unsure of exactly what’s going on.

secrets and lies, staying silent

staying silent when there’s too much to say

Sometimes victims stay silent out of fear, shame or embarrassment. Maybe they’ve tried to explain to a trusted friend or family member only to be disappointed by the response of disbelief. When victims themselves don’t understand what’s happening how can friends and family help? They have only ever witnessed the false persona covert abusers show to everybody else.

But silence is the abuser’s best ally. It frees them to move along into the next relationship and begin the cycle all over again.

An enormous secret

When I was preparing to leave my home abroad I discovered a secret so big it scared me. I didn’t know what to do about it. I didn’t tell anybody at first.

secrets staying silent

staying silent

I worried about how this enormous secret would reflect on me. Could I be accused of being complicit? How could I prove I was unaware of it? Once I realised I had  proof of my innocence I had to decide what to do about it. In People Who Hurt I reveal all. Because I possess a moral conscience I did the right thing. My conscience is clear.

secrets and lies

the truth will out

Exposing secrets and lies

The immediate aftermath of a breakup with disordered individuals isn’t the best time to attempt exposing their secrets and lies, in my opinion. In People Who Hurt I explain my reasons. I hope that by sharing my story I can help others see where I  made mistakes so that they may avoid the same pitfalls.

I want to help raise awareness of covert abuse so I’ve priced People Who Hurt at the lowest full price Amazon will allow. Also, following their promotion regulations, I’ll be able to offer it for free every now and then.

Covert abusers know what they’re doing is wrong. That’s why they cultivate their fake persona to make others believe they are honourable, trustworthy people. It’s a mask they wear to hide who they really are. It’s within their closest, more intimate relationships where the mask slips and their true intentions become clear.

You can contact me here or on my People Who Hurt Facebook page. Pre-order for the book is open now.


Lies. A passive aggressive tool to control you.

Telling lies is one method passive aggressive people use to control you and others. Dysfunctional individuals and those with personality disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder are pathological liars. It’s what they do. Pretty much all the time. It’s part of who they are.

lies can be pathological

from PsychopathFree

As a result of my own experience and from two years’ research for my book People Who Hurt due for publication in January 2018, I’ve identified different kinds of lies used by pathological liars.

Grandiose Lies

'Big' lies


Overt narcissists in particular use the grandiose lie to create the illusion they’re better, more knowledgeable, more wealthy etc. than they really are. They would like to be superior to you and they brag (often) about their accomplishments. Their boastful lies can be easy to detect.

Grandiose lies cover up the painful truth the  narcissist/sociopath is in denial of hiding: the shameful fear of being inferior. This disordered individual creates a false image of self and continues lying to protect his/her fabrication

Pitiful Lies

Often used by those who choose to play the ‘victim’ card, these lies are designed to elicit sympathy from you.

covert lies

sob story lies

In this category of lies the individual may fabricate a whole host of wrongs inflicted on them by a succession of others including parents, siblings, partners. They use a manufactured sob story to attract empathic partners. More difficult to detect than the loud boastful lying of the overt narcissist, these sob stories are designed to make you feel sorry for their predicament. Before you realise what’s happening the covert narcissist has gained your trust and is manipulating you to his own ends.


lies of denial

heads in the sand

In a previous post I wrote about denial in more detail. As healthy individuals we know denial solves nothing. People with personality disorders have learned that denial works for them in the short term. Denying something they said or did serves to put you off your balance. You want to give the benefit of your doubt.  You prefer them to be innocent of what you suspect. They know if they keep on denying you’re likely to give in.

However, what they are really attempting to fend off is their unwillingness to face the truth of their fears. Their continued denial can lead them into the next category of lies:-

Ridiculous Lies

unbelievable lies

unbelievable lies

These utterances from a cornered narcissist/sociopath are so ridiculous they are completely unbelievable. Even when you hold the proof right under their noses they persevere with their denial. I recently read about an instance where an outraged woman confronted her partner about him taking her mobile phone.

“No, I haven’t,” he said.

She said, “You’ve still got it in your hand.”

“No I haven’t,” he said, the phone clearly in his grasp.

You end up pulling a face as in the image above. It beggars belief that anybody could think they could get away with this kind of lie. When it happens you feel as though you’re looking at an adult who has regressed to childhood.

Lies follow lies. They heap one on top of another and after a stream of ridiculous lies as in the phone lie mentioned above, they’ll deny they lied about it. You”ll likely hear, “I never said that.”

Trying to understand what’s really going on is like banging your head against the proverbial brick wall. That’s why I chose a brick wall image for the cover of People Who Hurt publication January 2018.

people hurt

People Who Hurt -abusers and codependants – looking for answers

These are a few examples of the kinds of lies used by pathological liars. All are destructive. Some are more dangerous than others.

People Who Hurt will be free for five days at publication. Leave a comment here or join my People Who Hurt Facebook page for up to date news of when you can get your free copy.

people hurt

Free in January. People Who Hurt – a new book about covert abuse.

Free book for five days

free book

People Who Hurt -abusers and codependants – looking for answers

Sign up for your free copy of People Who Hurt. Publication date is January 2018. To coincide with the launch I’m offering the ebook free of charge on Amazon on all country platforms. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle. You can download the Kindle app free and read on your tablet, laptop or phone.

(P:S: I’m English so I spell codependant with an ‘a’ it being a noun in the sense I’m using it. Codependent with an ‘e’ is an adjective in British English but I understand this last spelling is interchangeable elsewhere.)

Who is the book for?

Grammar police aside, this book is to help people understand the nature of covert abuse. I do not profess to diagnose anybody. I’m not seeking to influence others’ actions. In sharing my story I hope to reach others to let them know they are not alone in their confusion when experts in the field of personality disorders cannot agree on where the boundary lines lie between the differing disorders.

I am not an expert. I have no qualifications in this field. What I am qualified to say is how certain behaviours made me feel. It turns out these behaviours are so commonplace across the spectrum of disorders they have names of their own. You may already be familiar with some of them: gaslighting, projection, triangulation, silent treatment to name but a few.

Part memoir

People Who Hurt is part memoir, part informational. Using my own experience and data gathered from two years’ research into the subject of hidden abuse this new book shows how insidious passive aggressive behaviours can be. Many victims of this kind of treatment don’t know it is abuse. The abuser follows a pattern of behaviour designed to undermine their partner’s self confidence in order to gain control in the relationship. I give examples of the kinds of behaviour that leave victims confused, doubting and wondering whether the faults all lie with themselves.

Silence is one of the abuser’s best allies. I’ve remained silent long enough. I want to do my bit to raise awareness so I’m owning  my story and standing up to tell it.

You can find my People Who Hurt page on Facebook here and follow the page and/or you can subscribe here on my website for up to date news of publication and the free offer.

Please share the Facebook People Who Hurt page with your friends especially those you think may benefit. Thank you.

Your email remains private. Only I can see it here on my website and I will not share it elsewhere.

Narcissists. Do you really know who they are?

Narcissists – not what you might think

The word narcissists gets thrown around willy-nilly. Some people think it describes individuals who are overly vain, boastful and acquisitive. The truth is we all possess some narcissistic traits.

narcissists levels

healthy narcissism exists

Don’t we all enjoy doing well and receiving recognition for it? Isn’t it a good feeling to receive a sincere compliment? It doesn’t make us narcissists. Balanced, healthy people can accept a well-intentioned compliment. They can give one, too. We all look in the mirror from time to time. We take care of our personal hygiene and appearance. Sometimes we might feel a sense of pride at an accomplishment we’re pleased with.

narcissism and pride

healthy pride

But there is a line beyond which self-esteem becomes unhealthy self-interest.  According to the narcissism key above, certain narcissistic traits move an individual out of the healthy category into unhealthy destructive narcissism. At the far end of the spectrum are the pathological behaviours of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and other Cluster B personality disorders.

A spectrum of disorder

The more narcissistic behaviours a person displays the further along the spectrum they may be classified.

But we’re not all experts. We haven’t specialised in the field nor spent years studying the subject. We’re not qualified to call someone a narcissist or a sociopath or even psychopath. He/she might just be incredibly selfish or thoughtless. How can we tell the difference between narcissistic traits which are only a part of someone’s personality and full-blown narcissism which is all of it.

Narcissists often hide

A person who is overtly narcissistic is easy to spot. They are openly boastful and vain. This kind of narcissist shouts his/her demands. They make grand entrances and make sure everybody knows who they are. Most likely they are the first thing people think about if asked to describe how narcissists behave.

But there are people who experts would classify as unhealthy narcissists whose behaviour doesn’t follow this pattern. Known as covert narcissists they at first seem charming and affable, friendly and helpful. They put on a fake front to win your trust. Rather like the wolf in Red Riding Hood (see earlier post), they pretend to be something they are not. The reason they do this is not for your benefit. It’s for theirs. You have something they want from you.

What narcissists want

They always want something from you. They’re not interested in you for your personal qualities. They are interested only in what those qualities will bring to them.

It might be money or a place to stay. Maybe it’s your standing in society or your social circle. They could be looking for someone to take over raising their children or simply a body to impregnate to keep you bound to them. Bound by their own need for validation they look to you for proof they are as special as they want to believe they are. You might say they are as vulnerable as the people they target.

are narcissists vulnerable?

vulnerable narcissist

How did narcissists get that way?

According to experts on the subject of narcissism their unhealthy behaviours are as a result of childhood trauma. Neglect, abandonment, insecure attachment to parent(s) all figure highly in academic studies of this personality disorder. The child looks for ways to prove his/her worthiness. They try to be the perfect child for the parent who is ignoring or abusing them.

narcissists want to be perfect

narcissistic perfectionism

Holding to this pattern the child grows into adulthood still believing he/she can control judgement of him by appearing to be perfect.

This is why they seem so charming at first. They’ve learned how to do that to keep you interested in them.

When their behaviour becomes abuse

One of the problems is narcissists can’t keep up the false image they’ve created. The childhood patterns don’t work when you’re an adult. In close relationships there are always disagreements. The narcissist takes it as an affront when you don’t agree with him/her. Their image is in danger. They will do everything they can to protect their image of themselves and go all out to prove you are the one who is wrong.

Their methods of protecting themselves from exposing the vulnerable child inside involve crushing their opponent. That’s how they see you for questioning their right to be right. They can turn every conversation into a competition which they must win.

By having needs and preferences of your own you have tantamount to offended them. If you can’t continue your one hundred per cent support of the narcissist’s need for validation they believe they have the right to seek it elsewhere.

Recognising abuse

People with empathy care about others’ feelings. They choose not to deliberately hurt others. Narcissists care only about protecting their self image. While we may sympathise with them, that is not to say we must allow them to make us suffer too by the way they seek  control of everything.

Even though we’re not qualified to put an exact name to their behaviour, we are qualified to say how their behaviour makes us feel. Having to be careful about what you say for fear of offending, closing down your own personality to  make yourself smaller is abuse. If you have to account for every penny you spend on the home and family, providing a spreadsheet with receipts for proof, for example, you are being abused. If you are constantly being criticised, belittled, embarrassed, it is abuse.

Not all abuse is physical.


Want to add your thoughts?

Is a fairy tale your life script?

Bedtime Stories

fairy tale

the fairy tale I remember above all others

Have I been living out a fairy tale all these years? It’s possible. There’s more to these old stories than you might imagine.  You think you’re just reading an innocent, traditional tale to your youngsters? Think again. You might be inadvertently setting them on their life’s path.

The fairy tale that made me angry

I wasn’t interested in the princess in the tower, or the downtrodden kitchen girl who went to the ball.

fairy tale

wannabee princess

rapunzel fairy tale

so pretty





I wasn’t motivated by the one with seven little people or three bears or three pigs or magic porridge pots.

snow white fairy tale

someday my prince will come?


goldilocks fairy tale

watch out!



Not for me the fairy tale about a brother and a sister and a nasty witch in the woods, or the one about the sky falling down, or a gingerbread man, a girl only as big as your thumb or magic shoes or spinning straw into gold.

I had no hankering to be a princess. Wasn’t interested in hanging around for some prince to turn up and save me from a life of . . .whatever. Come on, I was a working class girl who had about as much chance of meeting a prince as  a Yorkshire heatwave in January. (Yorkshire girls tell it like it is. January girls know it before it happens. I’m both.)

So, the fairy tale that made me angry was Red Riding Hood.

A lesson in life kind of fairy tale

I mean, what a dirty trick! There she is, with her little basket of goodies for grandma setting off on her own through the wood. This is a good lesson in life, I suppose. After all, when it comes down to it we’re all on our own following our paths. The journey can be a bit dark and scary in places.

There doesn’t seem to be a father present in this story. It’s just the girl and her mother and mother obviously sees nothing wrong in sending the child off to grandma’s house. I can’t remember whether there’s a warning about not going into the woods, but, anyway, little Red Riding Hood is a good girl. She’s doing grandma a good turn by bringing the things in the basket. What a caring little soul she is.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Well, actually in this fairy tale, it’s grandma’s clothing. Now, see, this is a great lesson in life. And don’t I know it. This stuff really happens. The person you are doing your best to help isn’t the person you thought they were.

You get that?

The person you are doing your best to help is a FAKE.

Pretending to be sweet and charming. FAKE. Pretending to be needy and helpless. FAKE. Pretending to be harmless. FAKE.

Pretending to be human.

The wolf has only one thing on his mind and doesn’t care what happens to anybody else in the story. So what is little Red Hiding Hood going to do? She’s in danger. She notices that things are not quite right about grandma and tries to find out. She asks questions. The wolf deflects the child’s doubts by a stream of psychopathic word salad, all the while drawing the victim closer and closer, until . .

The Woodcutter

shows up. OH NO!

woodcutter fairy tale

to the rescue

Not a prince this time. But still, a reliable, strong male figure.

And now I’m really angry. I wanted Little Red Hiding Hood to outwit the wolf herself. Couldn’t she have choked it with the ribbons on grandma’s bonnet? Couldn’t she have smothered it with grandma’s pillow?

No. Because she is a good girl and good girls don’t do things like that. Anyway, she’s a small female and wouldn’t be strong enough. And the wolf knows this. He knows he has an easy target. Little Red Hiding Hood has to be rescued.

woodcutter fairy tale

safe at last

Applying the fairy tale to real life

Fake people exist. There are more of them than you know. Empathetic people care about other’s feelings. Fakes don’t. I believe we need these lessons in life but where do we teach them? Unless you’ve come across one of these people yourself how would you know how to recognise one? Should we have to wait until it happens before we learn what to do about it?

The sad truth is there isn’t a woodcutter out there waiting to rescue you. You have to be your own saviour.


be your own woodcutter

Hand me my axe!


(This post is in response to the WordPress daily challenge)

Which fairy tale is your life story? Don’t be shy. Leave a comment.

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