Women Who Love Psychopaths

Catori said:
He has had this diagnosis for at least 10 years conducted by a well known and thorough doctor. That is what I was told by him.

Thanks Catori. I guess what I should have asked is, did you know about the diagnosis BEFORE getting involved, or after the fact?
Catori said:
In this most recent relationship, I was totally willing to disregarded myself to the point of almost losing my home by spending all my money on other things, job taking time off without telling anyone and my willing to take my life

I'm not sure what you mean above, Catori. Was it the relationship that caused these money and work problems? If it was self-hatred rooted in childhood problems, then it makes sense if these issues would be a lifelong thing. Is that the case? Or did they just start after being in the relationship? Also, what part did he play in the money and work issues?
Catori said:
Thank you again EmeraldHope, I cannot thank you enough for your explanations. One of the things I am working on with my therapist is self hatred. In this most recent relationship, I was totally willing to disregarded myself to the point of almost losing my home by spending all my money on other things, job taking time off without telling anyone and my willing to take my life because I do not love myself and am always seeking it from someone else like a partner. My therapist feels that these are deep rooted feelings stemming from both parents. I thank you for your gentle explanations that require me to conduct a very honest inventory of my role and the part I play in all my life's dysfunction. Thank you also for your vote of confidence that there is hope, it is much appreciated

Now we are getting somewhere! :clap:

This is the most sincere post you have made about your feelings and situation. Thank you.

If you will really understand what you wrote above, you will understand why Laura brought up your predator. Seeking to fill yourself up with someone else is "feeding". When you do not love yourself, you tend to attract partners that do not or cannot love you. It is a no win situation.

Keep reading the books and explore your real feelings. I think you may find the more real and sincere you become the more you may start to love yourself. I had a hard time with that too. I was scared people would not like the real me since my own mother didn't. Nothing could have been further from the truth. People opened up to me more, the new friends I made were much healthier, and the guys I've dated since then are much better choices. I kept a journal for a while so I could be really honest with myself and get to know me. No one has ever seen it- it was just for me.

When I look back now on who I was before I started this process, it is very easy to see why I kept attracting the men I did. What sane healthy man would subject himself to that? lol.

If you read and understood the main dynamic I gave you that helped create my predator, maybe you can explore what created yours. Once you realize that it is your predator and not you, and take responsibility for yourself- it is very easy to love yourself. The more honest you become the more self respect you gain. Your predator is trying to destroy you. Do not let it. You deserve to live and be happy. The predator lies- do not listen.

I started questioning every single thing I thought. Did I really think that and agree? Where did it come from? Who did it remind me of? What did I really think/feel about it, etc.

You have said your therapist feels your issues are deep rooted in dynamics from your parents. That's great that he feels that way, thank you for sharing that, but where do YOU feel your issues come from? Do you agree?
Good Morning EmeraldHope, Met with my therapist and read my comments as well as the feedback. Excellent session and I do agree. I again thank you for your mentoring, thoughtfullness and compassion. This will be my last post. In order for me to begin the healing process, I have to disconnect myself in everyway possible I may connect with this particular person. Therefore, this is a potential feeding ground for me. Take Care and thank you so very much, the insight you have given me to travel on my journey opened up a path of healing. Catori

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
Mohandas Gandhi
Catori said:
Good Morning EmeraldHope, Met with my therapist and read my comments as well as the feedback. Excellent session and I do agree. I again thank you for your mentoring, thoughtfullness and compassion. This will be my last post. In order for me to begin the healing process, I have to disconnect myself in everyway possible I may connect with this particular person. Therefore, this is a potential feeding ground for me. Take Care and thank you so very much, the insight you have given me to travel on my journey opened up a path of healing. Catori

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
Mohandas Gandhi


I am so glad things went well for you at your therapist's visit. I am very glad to have been able to help in some way. I wish you the best . Don't ever give up.
EmeraldHope said:


It's very common for Narcissistic Mothers to have a Golden Child / Scapegoat dynamic going on.

In short, one child in the family is the Golden Child, and one or more is the Scapegoat.

The Golden Child, as the name suggests, is the best and most wonderful - at least in the eyes of the Narcissistic Mother. It seems to be that the Narcissistic Mother picks the Golden Child to be an extension of herself, onto whom she projects all her own supposed wonderfulness.

The Golden Child can do no wrong. He or she gets given the best of everything - even apartments or houses bought for them. Their most minor achievements are celebrated and held up for admiration.

The Scapegoat on the other hand is, also as the name suggests, the person on whom all the ills of the family are projected. They can do no right. Their major achievements are dismissed. Any money spent on them is the bare minimum and is spent begrudgingly.

Growing up the Scapegoat can understandably feel very jealous of the Golden Child.

This, of course, leads to friction between the children, which suits the Narcissistic Mother. Divide and conquer and all that, and lots of opportunities for Triangulation. Indeed, the Golden Child can be encouraged, either overtly or tacitly, by the Narcissistic Mother, to bully the Scapegoat which adds to the friction.

I'd go so far as to venture that, if you're reading this, you were more likely to have been the Scapegoat than the Golden Child.

This is because, contrary to the way it felt growing up, the Scapegoat is actually the lucky one!

The Golden Child can end up very engulfed by the Narcissistic Mother, and her life can end up being enmeshed in hers too. She may well grow without proper boundaries and proper self-identity. She is likely to remain, either forever or for a long time, as a puppet of the Narcissistic Mother.

The Scapegoat on the other hand, is the independent one. She's the one who's driven to seek answers and who may well realise about NPD. She's the one who can break free from the unhealthy dynamics of the family and create a healthy life.

She really is the lucky one at the end.

Here is a long, but absolutely excellent, essay, which was written for this site (by forum member Light) about the Scapegoat:

The Scapegoat

Narcissists are master projectors. No-one is better at looking directly at a person and seeing not who that person is, but who they wish for them to be. When a narcissistic mother looks at her child, she is capable of seeing many things: a source of narcissistic supply, an impediment to her lust for power, the inconvenience of a child's feelings and needs, a string of intolerable annoyances, unwanted limitations, and a myriad of other possibilities. But never the actual child.

In a narcissist's family, dysfunctional roles are the norm, and narcissistic mothers are always the producers, directors, and casting agents for the entire production. Children are assigned roles to play long before they are old enough to resist them, and grow up within the confines of these limitations, knowing nothing different exists anywhere. It is typical of parents with personality disorders to select at least one “Golden Child”, who can do no wrong, and at least one Scapegoat, who can do no right.

When deciding (unconsciously) what child will play each role, the narcissistic mother weighs her options on a deep, intuitive level. Which child is the most sensitive? Which child reminds her of a hated parent, or the ex-spouse who stood up to her, or something within herself she cannot accept? Which one asks more of her, either intentionally, or by way of circumstance? Which child expresses unhappiness more often about the unbearable situations the narcissistic mother creates? Which one is more vulnerable, or more outspoken? In short, which child bothers her the most?

This child will be made her Scapegoat.

This Scapegoat will ultimately be made to carry the lion’s share of the family’s blame, shame, anger, and rejection so the rest can more easily retain their patterns of dysfunction. This child will always and forever be the one who is not good enough, even when she excels at something – indeed, especially when she excels. This child will endure more put-downs, sideways remarks and behind-the-back betrayals than the rest of the family put together. This child will endure the wear and tear of the family’s dysfunction in a way that will enable the others to continue looking good despite the family’s toxicity.

Because the narcissist cannot accept her faults, she spends her days trying to convince herself that everything she does is perfect. When her personality disorder causes distress within her family, and her children’s issues begin to reflect this, the narcissistic mother is forced to make a choice. She must either acknowledge that she is making mistakes that are affecting her children negatively, or she must try to convince herself and others that the problems are coming not from her, but another source. And the latter is the option the narcissist always and unfailingly selects. In her mind, by blaming another, she absolves herself of any wrongdoing, and she can continue to believe - and strive to convince others - that she is in fact, perfect. But she must first have someone to blame.

Enter the Scapegoat…

The Scapegoat is the one who assuages the narcissistic mother’s (and ultimately, the whole family’s) guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy. The Scapegoat is the shock absorber, the buffer against the harsh reality that there is something wrong with the family picture altogether – the trash bin into which all unwanted matter is cast. The Scapegoat role facilitates the existence of family denial. The narcissistic mother teaches her non-scapegoat children to accept and support the scapegoating of a given child by affirming and rewarding those children’s perceptions that whenever anything is wrong, it is to be the Scapegoat’s fault. Children adapt quickly to these roles, and learn readily that if they do not want to be responsible for something, they need only turn to the Scapegoat, whose case will never be sufficiently or properly heard, and whose “guilt” is so readily welcomed. Once the other family members have mastered this approach, they are much freer to do otherwise objectionable things without suffering negative consequences.

For a defenceless child made to play scapegoat, the burdens of being labeled “bad” no matter what she does are heavy. She soon learns she cannot win; there is no sense struggling to improve her family’s opinion of her, because that simply cannot be allowed to occur. (This is the point of hopelessness at which some Scapegoats begin playing the role of “bad seed”, because her failures will be rewarded, whether consciously or unconsciously.) In fact, commonly, the more the Scapegoat behaves and performs well, the more severely she is oppressed, because doing well threatens the mother’s labelling of the child as bad. This causes the narcissistic mother psychological distress, because it suggests that her belief is wrong, and for a narcissist, the thought of entertaining this possibility is completely intolerable.

In a desperate attempt to reduce her mother’s active oppression and derision, the Scapegoat succumbs to the roles of underachiever, troubled one, loser, black sheep or troublemaker. This presents the mother with exactly what her mental illness is making her feel she must have – an external object upon which to place blame - so that she can continue the reassuring fantasy that there is nothing wrong with her self or her family on the whole.

For the Scapegoat, there will be disregard and/or punishment for doing well and a “reward” of a little less overt abuse or even occasional expressions of support if she fails to thrive and accepts her role. Many Scapegoats have reported that the only time they felt their mother supported them (if at all) was when the supportive act fostered and reinforced the scapegoats’ inferiority, dysfunction or weakness. In an effort to alleviate to some degree the distress of her narcissistic mother’s wrath, the Scapegoat eventually gives in and agrees with the family’s assessment of her as inferior and worthy of blame. She internalises the belief that she is inherently bad, worthless, and defective, and believes that everyone she contacts can clearly see this and will reject her as completely her family does. She will bring the telltale signs of deep inferiority with her to the playground, to school, to the workplace, and into her community and relationships.

Commonly, because the Scapegoat’s psyche is weighed down with the burden of an overwhelming sense of immutable inferiority, her early behaviour, mannerisms, habits, speech, and even her posture will bear the unmistakable mark of a bedraggled victim, crippled with shame and guilt. She is the one who cannot speak up, and this is immediately obvious to everyone with whom she comes into contact. Having plenty of experience in the role of scapegoat, she is the perfect target for abusive behaviour. She is the one others intuitively know will not fight back. She is the easy target – the pushover - the dupe. She will be become the outcast, the bullied one, the marginalised loner, the routinely punished trouble-maker or the laughingstock.

The Scapegoat is accustomed to accepting blame for interpersonal problems, and she has been diligently conditioned to believe that if only SHE could do better, the challenges facing relationships in which she takes part would dissolve. Despite the fact that this is an unattainable state, she has only her family patterns to use as a template for her adult relationships, and she easily tolerates partners who are emotionally irresponsible and expect her to bear too many obligations or who give her the message that any difficulties are inordinately her fault.

It is not uncommon for a Scapegoat to play a similar role in the workplace as well. Just as children can detect who among them is a vulnerable target for blame and ostracism, adults do the same. The Scapegoat may find herself underpaid and overworked more than her co-workers, left out of the picture during office functions, blamed for departmental failures, and overlooked for deserved promotions and commendations. Though the quality of her work may often be far superior to her co-workers’, she is not likely to be chosen to participate in the big presentation or serve as a team leader, and her employee evaluations will reflect supervisors’ willingness to criticize her more harshly than others. She will be overlooked at best, fired at worst.

While children, some Scapegoats respond to the no-win situations they’ve been handed by developing destructive, defiant or offensive behaviour patterns. This can create serious difficulties at school and work, as well as the community overall. Scapegoats trapped in the “bad seed” role may find themselves experiencing repeated reprimands and firings from places of employment. If a Scapegoat has developed a habit of getting herself into trouble, her difficulties with work and relationships are more likely to take the form of conflicts and offences related to issues such as rebelliousness and unproductive or destructive behaviours.

Despite some variations in the way role manifests, the Scapegoat never fits in comfortably, and is largely looked down upon or rejected, no matter the vehicle or reasons given (real or imagined) for such marginalisation.

Scapegoats typically seek far more psychotherapy than any other family member. A Scapegoat is deeply accustomed to thinking that things would be fine if only she weren’t inherently defective and unworthy, and this often leads her to a therapist’s office. (By contrast, narcissists can be defined almost solely by their unwillingness to seek genuine therapy.)

The Scapegoat typically considers her failings to be the central reasons her partner has been insensitive, her boss has cheated her out of a raise, and her siblings talk down to her. She is uncomfortable at school, at work, and in social situations, because she believes she is inferior. Much of this thinking invites scenarios of self-fulfilling prophecies, making it more difficult for her to see that she can reverse the patterns of mistreatment resulting from her observable insecurities and sense of inferiority. She blames herself, as she has been taught to. This often leads her into therapy, where she may discover the real reason for her mistreatment in adulthood. After all, it is not her supposed inferiority that leads her into situations where she is denigrated, reinforcing her feelings of inadequacy, but the palpable bearing of her family’s shame and rejection. She has not been overlooked and mistreated because she truly is inferior to others. This has happened because she has believed the lie that she is lacking, and she has behaved accordingly, which makes her an all-too easy target.

Until the scapegoat is able to extricate herself from the lie that she is inherently bad, guilty and wrong, she will struggle. She will attract the wrong people, she will fail to reach her potential, and she will be her own worst enemy. The degree to which she is able to realize that she is mistreated not because she is inherently inferior, but because she is sending messages of vulnerability, is the degree to which she will determine the quality of her future.


I would like to spontaneously interject here from the sidelines if I may, and say - omg (if that's allowed). Just, OMG. This piece here is ... I cannot articulate. it puts the finger right on what I try to say, and what I am looking for.

It seems to be the case that, when long time trauma and PTSD, (and other), takes a place in a persons life, the things that they know are going on, somehow cannot reach the verbal articulation part of the brain. Or so I have experienced time and again (as well as pondered if it is something to do with being left handed). And, it just makes things worse! The best I can sometimes manage for example is something like: "my upbringing was abusive." "I get fired all the time and it's simply not my doing" "people somehow bully me- they just seem to know" "He rages at me, I don't do anything".

These are my attempts to start the line of query around situations that boggle me, and will hopefully lead to answers. It's all very wrong though when it comes out, and as I hear it. Others immediately assume I am passing blame, not taking responsibility or even lying. To which I find I am defending myself then against that. Something I usually have little energy at that time, as usually, when this kind of "stuff" comes out, it's when I am at crisis point myself, and am just not able.

Thanks for sharing this information that has left me, breathless. I know immediately it is a fundamental missing piece. I am off to find more about this.. thank you, thank you.

Added: I have been in and out of different types of couseling for years, and years. To be short, although a good place to begin, you don't necessarily get relevant and helpful information, which is what I was seeking. In fact, I realised after some years, that it was absolutely running the risk of reinforce my "issues", and a victim position.

Thanks again. (Still a little shaken.)
Well, I must say that I found this thread because a few days ago I started an article for my blog and its about something like that, but with another point of view. Ill post the text without changes and I ask you for help with this idea:
Theory of the frivolous woman

What I am presenting below is a simple idea that has crossed my head and I have it for days around me. My intention is to expose it to help me to decipher how crazy it is or not. Of course I rule out any kind of animosity that might adversely affect the rights of gender equality and women against each other, so dont call me a misogynist because there is nothing further from reality.

I know it can be very difficult to assess, but I ask you to try to study it from outside as if we were third on this observation with a completely different paradigm itself. Especially women (perhaps mainly under 50?) I know they can get to be offended, but understand isnt the idea. I repeat: try to watch from outside as if we were monitoring the Earth for several years like aliens (sic). It isnt a study "on them" but about "us." Im also aware that the generalization is inappropriate, but I also want to introduce the topic, knowing which errors can be incurred.

Crazy concept I call the "Theory of the frivolous woman," and Im limited just to my own vision. The theory arises from the behavior that I observed in general (again, even knowing that is wrong and in fact I know many women who are not like that) in women and give me the feeling that, in the mass, shown as a signal "disconnect" between "spirit" and "mind and body".

We all know roughly what has happened in the past 60 years conserning to family itself (now man and wife must work to support a family, divorces are more frequent, the education of children depends more on institutions, etc.), and when I say family I mean what was we called "base of society." Within this context, the liberation of women occupied a central space, but I won´t to stop on this point because we see around us, enough to compare our ancestors families with our own. I said it only to refresh her memory, so we can move forward.

Is that perception wrong?

Teoría de la mujer superficial

Lo que voy a presentar a continuación es una simple idea que se me ha cruzado por la cabeza y que desde hace días la tengo dando vueltas alrededor mío. Mi intención es simplemente exponerla para que me ayuden a descrifrar cuán alocada resulta ser o no. Desde ya descarto todo tipo de animosidad que pueda atentar contra la igualdad de derechos entre géneros y contra la mujer en sí, por lo que no quieran llamarme misógino porque no hay nada más alejado de la realidad.

Yo sé que puede resultar muy difícil de evaluar, pero les pido que intenten estudiarlo desde afuera, como si fuesen terceros en esta observación, con un paradigma totalmente distinto al propio. En especial a las mujeres (¿quizás principalmente menores de 50?) que sé que puedan llegar a sentirse ofendidas, pero comprendan que no pasa por ahí el tema. Repito: traten de observarlo desde afuera, como si se tratasen de extaterrestres monitoreando a la Tierra desde hace varios años. No es un estudio "sobre ellas", sino sobre "todos nosotros". También soy consciente que la generalización es inapropiada, pero igualmente quiero introducirme en el tema, conociendo de antemano los errores en los que se puede incurrir.

Al alocado concepto lo llamo "Teoría de la mujer superficial", y me baso en un "universo" muy limitado que es el de mi propia visión. La teoría surge a partir del comportamiento que veo observando en general (repito: aún sabiendo que está mal y que de hecho conozco muchas mujeres que no son así) en las mujeres y que me dan la sensación que, en la masa, muestran como una señal de "desconexión" entre espíritu y mente y cuerpo.

Todos sabemos a grandes rasgos que ha pasado en los últimos 60 años con respecto a la familia en sí (hoy hombre y mujer deben trabajar para mantener una familia, los divorcios son más frecuentes, la educación de los chicos depende más de instituciones y/o terceros, etc.), y cuando me refiero a la familia quiero decir a lo que por aquel entonces se llamaba "base de la sociedad". Dentro de este contexto la liberación femenina ocupó un espacio fundamental, pero no voy a detenerme en este punto porque todos lo vemos a nuestro alrededor, alcanza con comparar familias de nuestros abuelos con las nuestras o las que vienen. Sólo sirve para refrescar un poco la memoria y así poder seguir adelante.

¿Es equivocada esta percepción?
Hi Lucas. Since you ask for help, i'll be honest and try to help you with your idea.

lucasraffablog said:
I know it can be very difficult to assess, but I ask you to try to study it from outside as if we were third on this observation with a completely different paradigm itself.

Actually, you are already looking from it (though i am still not sure what "it" is) from outside: you are a male. You do not have a female's experience. And it is one thing to make theories, and another to actually study a subject. If your aim is to truly understand women, or why some might be or appear to be "frivolous/superficial", then you can start by studying the following books, off the top of my head:

Mujeres Que Corren Con los Lobos, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf (not sure if you can find it in Spanish, but if you search El mito de la belleza, you will find people talking about it)
Reviving Ophelia by Mary Bray Pipher (i think there's Spanish edition to it http://www.amazon.com/ayudar-adolescente-Reviving-Ophelia-Adolescent/dp/8497350278)

L said:
Crazy concept I call the "Theory of the frivolous woman," and Im limited just to my own vision. The theory arises from the behavior that I observed in general (again, even knowing that is wrong and in fact I know many women who are not like that) in women and give me the feeling that, in the mass, shown as a signal "disconnect" between "spirit" and "mind and body".

I think that is true for most of the earth's population, not just women under 50. I also find it interesting that you are thinking and theorizing about women. Not that it doesn't have it's place in our trying to understand and make sense of the world around us, and actually the more men are able to put their feet in women shoes, and vice verca, the better for all of us. But isn't it important to start looking at ourselves first, to clear our perception classes before we try to make theories about the world around us?

L said:
We all know roughly what has happened in the past 60 years conserning to family itself (now man and wife must work to support a family, divorces are more frequent, the education of children depends more on institutions, etc.), and when I say family I mean what was we called "base of society." Within this context, the liberation of women occupied a central space, but I won´t to stop on this point because we see around us, enough to compare our ancestors families with our own. I said it only to refresh her memory, so we can move forward.

Is that perception wrong?

To me it reads like a limited, subjective perception. There's so much more wrong in this world than the fact that women went to work. I am not sure if because of the language barrier i don't understand what you are trying to say (English is not my first language, and nor it's Spanish ;) ), i am sure that others will offer their understanding as well.
Thanks for the suggested books. You may be right, and the change is for both, men and women. Perhaps what misled the perspective are these social changes of recent years, but the change is for both.

But I still don't know why I feel this. I keep researching.
I just found an interesting website that could be a little supplement to Sandra's great work. It is here: _http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/

A lot of information about emotionally unavailable [men] although without going quite as in depth about psychological factors like psychopathy. It's a little more in the grey area of those that are not available and have issues [that YOU don't deserve to deal with] but might not be full-fledged nutjobs. Still, MANY brief but good articles that I feel I could send to many peers in an easy-to-read format. FWIW.
I came across this thread yesterday as a link to another. I am astounded, as often happens, by the way I stumble across exactly what I need when I need it. The essay by Light ties in so well with the work I am doing in writing my autobiography and answers so many question and connects lots of dots for me. I’ve read so much helpful information on this forum of people’s experiences with narcissistic wounding and suggestions for healing I can only offer gratitude for the power of networking.
This Work, this discovery of the damage and the road to healing it and coming into the birthright of all that I am, all that I know, all that I can DO, all that I can BE, is my only objective now. The programming is so deep and insidious and I am in wonder that any part of my essence survived it. And I am grateful and in awe of the wonder of the Universal Mind, Divine Cosmic mind and my Higher Self to have kept some parts of me intact and hidden away from the evil.
One interesting thing noted in the article is that the scapegoat is actually the lucky child in this dynamic, because the Golden Child or Chosen Child is so enmeshed with the narcissistic parent that they are incapable of escaping, as my brother aptly demonstrates who, in his 60’s is still trussed up like the Christmas goose by the birth mother’s strings even as she sinks into senility. I left home the day after I finished high school, feeling like I’d had my head held under water my whole life, only allowed to occasionally come up for a breath of air, just enough to keep me alive, but not enough for me to focus on anything but surviving another moment, another day. And I carried all of that brew inside of me. I’ve felt a prisoner of something unknown and unseen my whole life, nothing new to others doing the Work. I seem to grasp things best when I can see a visual and one came to me this morning.
While I was in the sauna blanket thinking about this essay, I saw a clear analogy. The word “brew” works well. I am the hot water into which tea leaves have been poured. Every incident of scapegoating has added tea leaves to my hot water, until I became a dark brew of belief in my inherently being bad, my unworthiness, and my defectiveness. My creative essence has been so hidden in the darkness of this brew that every attempt to express it in any aspect has been thwarted or smothered. It would be easy if there was just one tea bag to extract from my “cup”, but because there is a myriad of leaves it is a step-by-step process of discovering the leaves and fishing them out. Every insight, piece of knowledge applied, every new insight empower me to pluck a few more of the tea leaves from the medium of my essence and doing the work to clear the medium and return it to its native, pristine state. As well as removing the source of the darkness, I can see that EE works in the places I cannot reach with my mind, my thoughts, my physical efforts, to flush out and replace with clear, clean truth.
The narcissistic wounding was freighted with the weight of the sexual abuse. I can see that I was also blamed for the childhood molestation. The birth mother could not take responsibility for inviting a pedophile to have access to her children so she turned that on me as well. This is one of the subtlest infusions of shame because it was never spoken of in words, like everything else growing up. The damage to my very sexual nature, and deeper, to being able to access my creativity and express it cleanly, confidently and fearlessly was damaged. I have felt that the damage was irreparable and this too is changing.
On a very positive note, I experience great hope and intention that as I pluck the leaves from the brew, that I will heal this deepest of soul violations and discover and reclaim all of these parts of my Self. That inquisitive, curious, exuberant child is growing stronger and more insistent.
Without this forum and being able to participate none of this would be possible. So as always, I offer the deepest gratitude. Thank you to Light, whoever you are for posting this excellent essay and thanks to anyone who reads this rather lengthy email.
Laura said:
I have had a number of thoughts about love that I would like to share that are based on personal experience and observation, not to mention years of helping others with their relationship problems.

One thing that kept going around in my mind over the past couple of days was what Gurdjieff said about love:

Gurdjieff said:
"Conscious love evokes the same in response.
Emotional love evokes the opposite.
Physical love depends on type and polarity."

What, exactly, did he mean by these three statements?

When he said "physical love depends on type and polarity" he was probably talking about the type of individuals involved and whether or not there was a good "match" between the individuals' in terms of their type (man 1, 2, 3) and their traits (polarity) etc. In short, he seems to be suggesting that love that begins as a physical attraction MIGHT work in some cases depending on the variables involved. That's really like saying it is a crapshoot for most people, though obviously something could be made of it if the individuals (or someone) at least were able to see their type and polarity and make a "educated choice." In other words, for it to work, it almost has to move into the realm of "conscious love."

Emotional love, as his little aphorism depicts it, seems to be describing projection... we know that one pretty well. One person gets his emotions cranking, projects onto another an image of something that this other cannot (or probably cannot) ever be, and more or less makes emotional demands that cannot be met which then deteriorates into resentment and finally disunion or even hate. This can also describe “love” with a psychopath. The psychopath induces the emotions, generates the projection process, and bingo!

We've certainly had enough examples of that sort of thing to look at (not to mention, many of us experiencing it; it might be the most common type of relation that passes for "love.")

But what about conscious love that evokes the same in response? What exactly is this?

Well, I've been thinking a lot about it over the past few years, thinking about my own experiences, including my relationship with Ark, things the Cs have said, and here is what occurs to me to say:

When two individuals encounter one another there can be reactions from any one or combination, or all three, of the above "centers" - intellectual/consciousnes, emotional, moving/sex center/physical body.

If the first reaction is physical, the sex center energy can make the emotional center begin to move and this emotional and/or sex/moving cener energy can then be usurped by the intellect and the individual begins to dream and to manufacture reasons why what the body/sex center wants is good and "real love" or whatever.

As we know, this is a path full of traps and tricks and can lead to disaster. Yet it is the usual way in the world and the source of incredible misery and suffering. Most of us come from families where this was the mode of interaction between our parents, the reasons they got married. I don't think I need to give all the examples of how this works. We can see that this can create the "emotional love projection" and so on.

That's not to say that once in a while a relationship that starts this way can't work out. But if it does, it is a function of other centers taking over at the appropriate moment and the likelihood of that happening is pretty remote.

Of course, the chances of such an attraction working are greatly increased if the individuals encounter one another in particular situations. For example, if you go to a bar, you generally go to "meet people" and the people who go to bars to meet people are generally interested mainly in meeting them for sexual reasons, not intellectual or spiritual reasons (though they may lie to themselves about their reasons to make it “okay”.) The same can be true for about any venue: if you go to a chess club to meet people (rather than to play chess), you may meet a different kind of person, but you will still be going there for reasons other than chess and if you meet someone who is there to meet people too, then both of you have met for reasons other than chess and probably are lying to the self. If, on the other hand, you are going to play chess and others are going to play chess, and you meet someone and form a relationship based on your mutual interest in chess which then blossoms, there is more hope for such a relationship. That is, you are not being driven by the moving/sex center and/or emotional center which is hungry, to go to the chess club to "meet someone", even if this is veiled in excuses to the self that you are going because you like chess.

What I mean to say is if you go somewhere for a pure and true interest and you HAPPEN to meet someone else in that venue who is also there for similar honest reasons, that is, they have not come there for the express (even if hidden) purpose of "meeting someone", then at least you have the possibility of having something in common.

Hope that's clear.


Two people meet in a particular environment where they have arrived NOT for the purpose of "finding someone," but because they are there for deeper reasons. Already the odds are in their favor a LITTLE bit.

Now, suppose that in this encounter, rather quickly, the moving/sex center feels a physical attraction and kicks the emotional center and the sex and emotional energy suffuses the intellect. Well, that can really complicate things as we have observed, but still, there is a chance that once this sort of energy has burned off that there is something fundamental there to work with in terms of real love. It can take time and it can involve suffering – even a LOT of suffering - but there is that one factor that the two individuals at least encountered one another in a particular context that did NOT include being driven by the moving/sex center.

Of course, it is possible for the moving/sex center to drive a person to do certain things because that energy is being consumed by other centers. If a person joins a chess club because their sex center energy makes them fanatical about chess, a sort of chess revolutionary, then there can be problems. If a person joins a church because their sex center energy is driving them to religious fanaticism, same thing... Gurdjieff talks about this as "the abuse of sex." That really amounts to lying to the self about why you do things.

But anyway, getting back to our theoretical situations: two people meet in a particular context that gives some positive environmental factors to their meeting even if they have some problems with emotional center management. All kinds of pain and lessons can ensue from this even if there is good reason to think that the two individuals are good or right for each other! After all, they met NOT because they were out there "hunting for sex" or hunting to feed their false personality - but because they had a sincere interest in the context which brought them together.

It is also possible that two such people can do irreparable damage to each other even if they are right for each other (indicated by the context in which they met) because the sex center and emotional center energy starts flooding their systems and causing them to lie to each other and to themselves, or at least, to not be completely sincere and externally considerate of one another.

So, how to proceed?

Remember this from Gurdjieff:

"The chief means of happiness in this life is the ability to consider externally always, internally never."

And, generally, when one is considering relationships between people who are wounded, where the centers are not balanced, this is a very difficult objective to attain.

The Knightly ideal seems to be a good model: There are dragons imprisoning the princess in the tower and the knight must slay them, but he needs SOME help from the Princess who must give him certain information to help him. Then, once he has freed her from the tower, she must help him rest and recover or even heal wounds received in the battle with HER dragon.

That's the metaphor for dealing with emotional programs and discombobulated (that's a technical term) relationships of centers.

What does it mean in practical terms?

Well, it will be different for different relationships because of the individual differences in nature and polarities and so on. Here's where Gurdjieff's remark about physical love also comes into play.

In general, we have observed that MOST of the time, the man plays the knightly role (we are talking about people working on themselves, not people “out there” who have no knowledge of The Work) but it does happen that this can shift back and forth depending on the issue at hand. SOMEtimes, the woman can be the symbolic knight and slay a dragon plaguing the man - but that is not very common. Usually, the dynamic follows the metaphor pretty closely.

How does this "dragon slaying" play out in practical terms?

It involves knowledge and elimination of barriers to intimacy. After all, the knight and the princess in the tower actually represent the two soul essences that wish to unite and become one.

Because of our life experiences, our dragons are programs (buffers in Gudjieffspeak) that form in our natures - our false personality, so to say - as a means of dealing with what amounts to crazy-making environments usually created by parents who married for the wrong reasons and live out their lives in dysfunctional situations that turn them into narcissists and vampires in respect of each other, their children, everyone they know to one degree or another.

When, as children, our expectations or trust has been repeatedly damaged in small and not so small ways, we become tense and suspicious and defensive. When we are tense and suspicious and defensive, we stop communicating openly. Our communication becomes "formulaic" - what we believe we can safely say without getting hurt - and narrow, what we think the other person wants to hear. This is a major dragon that must be slain.


Because if there is no true and honest, essence to essence communication, there is NO intimacy.

The most important thing about a relationship is that the two people share CLEAR and HONEST information about each other. And this means not just what the false personality judges to be clear and honest according to the emotional energy that can start running the show, but objectively clear and honest.

If information is shared that is cloudy or mystifying or confusing, intimacy is not possible.

Our wounded emotions will tend to make us hear and see only what we want to see and hear. We cherry pick info from our environment as "evidence" of what we want to be true. And very often, what we want to be true is that we want to replicate the environment in which we grew up where we were trying so desperately to get real love and attention. We want to replicate this old and dysfunctional environment because we want to "fix it." This is generally a function of the physical attraction which seeks to replicate that old dynamic ...

When, in a relationship, a person is blocked by either their own programs, (buffers) or by the behavior of the other person (their programs/buffers), from giving clear information and having that information received and understood, it feels like an invasion of our sanity. That is "crazy-making." It can be as crazy-making as not getting clear information from the other person. And it is particularly bad when it concerns our emotions.

The fear of communicating directly and the fear of receiving direct and honest communication is equally bad... and can destroy a relationship even between two people who are "right" for each other.

The fear of saying what we feel can result in us shutting down our feelings altogether!!! We begin to censor not only externally, but internally. We get caught in a trap of denying to others AND TO OURSELVES, what we really feel.

We all have the right to our feelings. But, as children, the actions begin that shut those feelings down, stunt them, freeze them at an infantile state of development. When our parents try to impose THEIR views on us, to convince us that we do not feel the way we do, that we must feel the way THEY do, we also become angry. And the feeling of anger, not being acceptable, is also suppressed. We may get angry at our parent and they then switch into "victim" or "martyr" mode, and we feel guilty for our feelings of aggression, so we sacrifice our feelings for peace and goodwill.

All of these programs are dragons that must be slain so that the knight and princess can come together.

Good mental health and good physical health requires that we perceive the realities of our lives as clearly and accurately as possible.

A good relationship requires that we can share these perceptions honestly and openly and even find resonance in our partner.

When the other person constantly forces us (by subtle or not-so-subtle means) to constantly deny or suppress reality as we perceive it because THEY have some kind of program running, when we must deny what we see, hear and feel for the sake of "peace and goodwill," life and the relationship is deteriorating and out of control.

In the mind of the individual who is thinking with emotional energy or sexual/moving center energy, the person who is running false personality programs and so on, there is the conviction that what they are doing is being "right" and "good" and "doing their duty as they perceive it" and so on. But essentially, they are only trying to cope with their own lack of inner control (unable to resist the negative introject that runs their life also known as programs/buffers) by trying to control another.

Recognizing these dynamics is "seeing the dragon."

Okay, I'm not going to talk about this so much in terms of pathology in this post because that is not what we are dealing with right here. We are talking about people who at least "see the dragon" and know that they must deal with it.

So, we come back to honest communication, external considering ever and internal considering never.

Isn't that something of a contradiction?

Not really. If BOTH partners are equally sincere in their efforts to see that the dragons are slain, the external considering of one will act FOR the other. It will become a sort of objective internal considering. Get that? It's subtle and tricky, but important.

Okay, so the two people are embarked on engaging intellectually to really get to know one another. If they can go a certain distance and realize that they really want to become more intellectually intimate, this is what leads to emotional engagement and the desire and ability to help one another slay dragons, etc.

So, the minds join (and this may be a function of the context of meeting assuming that both are equally sincere in their reason for being present in the context) and THEN the emotions begin to engage... and here is where the battles with dragons are fought.

The energy goes from the head to the heart, so to say.

It is after the period of engagement with the dragons and bringing the emotional natures together that one can then consider it appropriate to "commit/marry".

Keep in mind that sex is a bonding experience on many levels. It is not always true, but MOST often, problems arise because the proper order is not followed. If sex comes first, you end up bonding in a way that is not healthy. Or you bond with someone that you ought not to bond with, only you don't figure this out for a long time - when the "glue" of the bond wears off by the agitation of the unbonded (and unbondable) emotional and intellectual centers. I’ll have more to say about this in relation to psychopathy in another post.

So, to recap: one soul meets another, the two souls make themselves known to one another via true communication and this creates a REAL emotional bond, and from there, the energy spreads and the body can be properly set on fire for the fusion of true love where the two people grow together day by day until they are no longer two, but one.

Becoming one is not just self-integration... it can be the union of souls where the communication is the means of the completion - communication on ALL levels: intellectual, emotional, physical which then leads to the birth of the spiritual One.

As the Cs described it: "I am become One, Creator of Worlds."

That was a beautiful post, Laura!
After reading this post almost made me cry, at this point in my life where I have living such a dysfunctional relationships, I have lost my hope in find love in this life, I’m recovering and trying to figure it out how to live alone without a person who “love”. since my relationships wasnt nothing healthy :nuts: :whistle:

I could see Laura said :
I’ll have more to say about this in relation to psychopathy in another post,

Is there another post on that specifically?
zim said:
After reading this post almost made me cry, at this point in my life where I have living such a dysfunctional relationships, I have lost my hope in find love in this life, I’m recovering and trying to figure it out how to live alone without a person who “love”. since my relationships wasnt nothing healthy :nuts: :whistle:

I could see Laura said :
I’ll have more to say about this in relation to psychopathy in another post,

Is there another post on that specifically?

Laura addresses it in this article here: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/227222-The-Golden-Age-Psychopathy-and-the-Sixth-Extinction If you will note, some of that article is from one of Laura's posts earlier in this thread. Hope it helps.
zim said:
After reading this post almost made me cry, at this point in my life where I have living such a dysfunctional relationships, I have lost my hope in find love in this life, I’m recovering and trying to figure it out how to live alone without a person who “love”. since my relationships wasnt nothing healthy :nuts: :whistle:

It is hard to be without food, isn't it? :)

If you could take into account that what you have felt with each of your relationships was not real love, but a cascade of chemicals that once they had run their course, there was nothing left of that feel-good rush that those chemicals gave you.

If will take time to get over the withdrawal symptoms, and that is what it is, withdrawal from your food source. But after that has passed, you can begin to heal. You will find that not having someone draining you of your energy is a good thing. You do not need to be dependent on another to get you through this life. Having more energy will allow you to do more Work on yourself. And you have your beautiful children to love.

Laura has said before on this forum, once you stop looking for someone to have a relationship with, and have Worked on yourself to the point where you are ready to meet someone who will be a true partner for you, that person will appear.

I think that for you to get into another relationship too soon will just be another feeding dynamic. It will be someone to have another feeding frenzy with. You need to heal from this, and all other, relationships you have had. Learn about yourself so that you will know when the "right" person comes along.
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