Gloria Steinem, the famous Women’s Rights activist, once said “The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.” Nothing applies better to the women (or family members) who love psychopaths. It’s tough to accept the sad truth about a person in whom you have invested so much of your time, energy and emotions. It’s tough to accept that you were never loved by the psychopath because psychopaths can’t love anyone. It’s tough to accept that what you believed was a real relationship, based on mutual caring, is nothing but a fraud built upon a mountain of self-serving lies, which you may never uncover in its entirety. Finally, it’s tough to accept that pure evil exists, because we want to believe that all human beings are capable of remorse, caring, bonding, self-improvement and redemption.
Unfortunately, everything that is difficult to accept about a psychopath is nonetheless true. Only when you confront this reality can you recover from the damage and pick up the pieces of your life. All of the psychological defense mechanisms that enable us to adapt to an abnormal life with a psychopath–denial, self-deception, double-think, guilt, repression, wishful thinking, idealism, fear, loneliness, vanity and fantasy–need to be faced courageously, head-on. Most of these social predators take cooperating victims. This doesn’t mean that you deserved the bad treatment you got. But it does mean that you have the power to end it. The battle against a psychopath is above all the battle against everything in you that is–or ever was–invested in a life with him.
Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness
Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction