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Psychopath free : recovering from…

Psychopath free : recovering from emotionally abusive relationships with… (utgåvan 2015)

av Jackson MacKenzie

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
704291,777 (3.88)Ingen/inga
"Have you ever been in a relationship with a psychopath? Chances are, even if you did, you would never know it. Psychopaths are cunning charmers and master manipulators, to the point where you start to accept the most extreme behaviors as normal... Even if it hurts you,"--Amazon.com
Titel:Psychopath free : recovering from emotionally abusive relationships with narcissists, sociopaths, and other toxic people
Författare:Jackson MacKenzie
Info:New York : Berkley Books, 2015.
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


Psychopath Free (Expanded Edition): Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People av Jackson Mackenzie


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Visar 4 av 4
I'm giving it 4 stars more for its powers of personal validation than for the way it's written, which as some have mentioned can be repetitive (although this has is its own affirming power in my opinion. some things ought to be repeated like a mantra). It loosely charts the trajectory of a toxic relationship (although specifically one with a Psychopath as per the personal experience of the author) & the subsequent healing process. I especially appreciated reading about the unbearable multitude of cognitive dissonances one suffers from after breaking away from such a toxic person & trying to rationalize their behaviour as well as your own. For me, this part is truly the most confusing & unbearable, and this book is the first place where I found an elucidation of this twisted experience; how it wrecks your sense of self, almost emptying it.

For me the more touching parts of the book were the parts where the author is almost reaching out to the reader through shared experience, constantly reminding one of the fact that there is an end to this experience & that one would be better for it (I balked at this in the beginning but how true I find it to be by the end of the book!).

Some limitations I find though is that the book presents a rather narrow experience of an intimate relationship with a toxic person, in this case specifically a psychopath. Though a lot of what was written resonated with me, a lot of it did not as well because it seemed so specific. Will all relationships with psychopath be so rote? It would be great if there were some space included in the book to include a wider range of experiences & a wider range of toxic people. (Though a definition of Narcissists and Sociopaths are given, this book doesn't deal with the specifics of dealing with them).

Another thing I was uncomfortable with was the absolute language. Firstly, the book is already rather loose in the sense that it doesn't have citations nor does it bother to substantiate certain claims with data or research (I think personal experience is very valid as substantiation but for certain claims made I think there ought to be data otherwise it's hard for me to accept it). The language could be very strong and though I have had a destructive experience with a toxic person, I would not use the word "evil" to describe them. Nor am I comfortable with the idea that people with Sociopathy, Narcissism, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Psychopathy are beyond redemption and that they can't be cured at all (if 'cured' is the right word). Nor do I think BPD can be grouped together with Sociopathy & Psychopathy, while the latter includes a lack of empathy people with BPD often suffer from too much of it. Perhaps this is my personal discomfort, but despite my experience it pains my heart to think that such a determinist take on such personality disorders could be true. I've read about personal accounts where people who have recognized psychopathy and sociopathy within themselves have 'cured' or at least mitigated their condition through years of sustained treatment or therapy.

While I understand that empathy in victims have been manipulated, and therefore rendering abusers such as psychopaths & sociopaths as evil & beyond redemption is an act of personal liberation, I can't find it in myself to hold such a fatalist view on 15% (as mentioned in the book) of the population. The author says that it isn't his concern, that his concern is with survivors & that is fair enough, I don't take issue with that, I am just bogged down by the idea that we simply write off 15% of the population who are born with such a condition as utterly evil & beyond redemption. I don't know.. I feel like there can be a way where we validate & help those victimized by pathologically abusive behaviour while at the same time extend some empathy (yes i know victims did this with no positive consequence..) to the abusers in a non-intimate sense.

But anyway I'm very very thankful for this book. ( )
  verkur | Jan 8, 2021 |
This book immaculately describes the full idealization, identity erosion, and discarding phases of a romantic encounter with a psychopath.. Ever since I suspected something was not quite right with my ex, I always wondered if I'd ever really ‘put a finger on it’.. Per chance one night, we were watching a movie where he REALLY admired the main character, one who was calculated with a superficial charm to others, but cool.. All of the time.. In that movie, the term "sociopath" was brought to light and I immediately researched it on my phone.. That night, my ex and I both came to the conclusion there was a strong likelihood he was a sociopath.. But after reading this book and unfortunately going through all phases (idealize, devalue, and discard) since then, there is no doubt in my mind my ex is indeed a psychopath, as all psychopaths are sociopaths and suffer from ASPD.. I love this book because it describes to a 'tee' every single thing I went through in each phase.. The constant flattery, phone communication, physical smothering, and seemingly unwavering desire to be in my presence in the idealization phase.. The competitive, “word salad arguments”, blatant disrespect and disregard for my feelings, indiscreet flirting and sexual infidelity with so-called "exes", triangulation, blank stares when I displayed my negative emotions, and forcing me to turn the other cheek when wrongdoing was done just to keep the peace in the devalue phase that ultimately caused my identity erosion.. And finally, the covert action plan he implemented to purposely cause our downfall and finally show off his new girlfriend for all the world to see, without a hint of guilt, in the discarding phase.. It is all too fresh for me, having gotten dumped FOR GOOD only three months ago.. But I am so grateful I found this book.. It so eloquently describes in down-to-earth language the whirlwind of emotions I have gone through (and continue to go through) and essentially puts my mind at ease when cognitive dissonance occurs and makes me feel like I am losing my mind.. This book has given me so much confidence to get up and get the rest of my life started and get back to who I used to be before the psychopath came in and mirrored my personality and twisted it for the bad.. I've concluded the psychopath was my addiction, so No Contact (as this book discusses) will need to be strictly enforced to facilitate my success.. I just absolutely love this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is second-guessing their romantic relationship with a potential psychopath.. ( )
  Elaborate32 | Jun 8, 2017 |
A life changing book that reaches out to those who have suffered under the wrath of the demented, tormented, and twisted; such as narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths. It acts as a guide for people that feel lost or abused and need a light to guide them out of their darkness. The author goes into great detail on the type of abusive personalities that exist and their tactics for abuse. He provides examples of how survivors are lured into the relationship and fooled into believing their abuser loves them. He guides the survivor through the stages of their pretend relationship and shows them what went wrong. Examples of love bombing, gas lighting, and discarding are explained in the book; which describes how the narcissists and many sociopaths treat their victims. The second half of the book guides the reader on a road to recovery. There is a path to wellness and there is a life after a break up. The world does not exist after the monster has left the trauma survivors life. A normal relationship will be found and a new
I really needed to read this book. Coming out of a relationship with a covert narcissist that abandoned our family, I can tell you this has been a lifesaver. Once I started to read this book I saw so many characteristics of my ex I was overwhelmed with both sadness and sickness. I literally became sick to my stomach and nearly vomited. It is a horrible feeling to know that an entire marriage could be fake, a lie, a pretend fairytale, or a joke, but that is reality. This book woke me up. I realized that going gray wall was the only way that I could recover. There was no point in speaking with this person ever again. The emotional pain and suffering that I have endured this past four months is beyond words and this book comes close to describing it for me. I felt like for the first time someone got it. Someone understood what the hell I was going through. Another person felt what my kids were going through. The website is amazing as well. There are so many people on there that are friendly and understand the same issues that I have. This books describes the fact that when you wake up from a toxic relationship you have to restart your life. The other person DOES NOT CARE. They never cared. They never loved you and they never will. That is probably the most difficult thing to realize. This book is amazing. I honestly had a hard time reading parts of it, but that was my struggle with the ex that put me through hell and he still is. If you are struggling with a divorce or a break up than you should just get this book. It just might save your life. ( )
1 rösta Jennifer35k | Mar 13, 2016 |
This is probably a very helpful book for its designated audience: those who have been in romantic relationships with sociopaths, that are either actively miserable or which ended badly (with an emphasis on the latter).

It addresses this particular circumstance with compassion and clarity.

It is far less useful for those of us who were raised by wolves, or who have had a psychopathic sibling, boss, etc., since the advice focuses on romantic/sexual relationships.

Now, the details: MacKenzie cites several things that are supposedly signs of psychopathy, and i really think they are far more common than that. Like, "mansplaining"- when a guy tells a woman, as if in authority, what she SHOULD be feeling or doing in a situation he has never experienced from her side. If all mansplainers are psychopaths- well, I'd guess at least half are- and that makes it far less useful as a diagnostic. OK, I agree the behavior is loathesome! but psychopathic? likely not.

Similarly "splitting" behaviors, whcih he calls "Triangulation": most kids try this with their parents starting around toddlerhood. It is an attempt to game the system to their advantage... but I think it would be unfair to label normal toddler behavior- obnoxious though it is- as psychopathic.

And not listening? It is like unto a miracle to find someone who CAN listen past their preconceptions. It is hard to do, and I try, and I do fail. I think it is unfair to deem that psychopathic.

Also, throw in the pick-up artists' "negging"- again, a popular behavior.

Now, I do believe the psychopaths- and sociopaths, and narcissists et alia- DO these things; it's just that they are not the only ones who do. However, I also know from experience that the psychopaths et alia do a lot MORE of it, and it is far more consistent, especially when one adds in the gaslighting and the public smearing.

So, in conclusion- I think this could be a very helpful book for people who have been recently in a romantic relationship with a psychopath that turned on them. It is probably less useful for anyone else. ( )
1 rösta cissa | Sep 11, 2015 |
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"Have you ever been in a relationship with a psychopath? Chances are, even if you did, you would never know it. Psychopaths are cunning charmers and master manipulators, to the point where you start to accept the most extreme behaviors as normal... Even if it hurts you,"--Amazon.com

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