Victims and Survivors of Psychopaths

from victim to survivor

Verbal Bulimia and the Art of Over Disclosure

with 13 comments

by Sandra L. Brown, M.A.    (re-printed on VOP with permission of the author)

The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction, and author of How to Spot a Dangerous Man and Women Who Love Psychopaths.

I wrote about it in my Dangerous Man book, rediscussed in Women Who Love Psychopaths, and frequently remind everyone in the newsletters and yet I stll see this embarrassing behavior among women that not only sounds GROSS to anyone else listening, but also puts her at tremendous risk amongst pathologicals.

Years ago when I had a few psychopaths in group, I asked them how they picked out their “targets” and from the mouth of babes they said, “I just listen. If you get them talking, they rapidly over disclose. Women tell WAY too much! You pick up everything they just said–what they like, their values. Feed it back to them. Become what they are looking for. And~VOILA~you’re in!”

On my flight back from the Dangerous Man Workshop Cruise to Cozumel, I had one of those embarrassing women sitting in front of me.

Ladies, this is the kind of person that makes you want to switch genders so not to be associated with the behavior! She was purposefully loud so that others would hear her. In fact, she was so loud, the rows around her couldn’t even hear their own private conversations because she was holding ‘court’ in the middle of the plane where it was mostly men.

LOUDLY she announces to a girlfriend (who must have been deaf either before the conversation started which is why she YELLED or afterwards from yelling in her ear) that she was going to THE CLIFFS where she OWNED a CONDO so she COULD GOLF on TIGER WOODS golf course (am annunciating the way she did with her volume on the important parts of her braggidous story). And that she FLEW back-and-forth to her OTHER HOME to THE CIFFS to enjoy THE COUNTRY CLUB and GOLFING.
(Just imagine if you were a psychopath sitting within ear range of this conversation).

Oh, and THANKSGIVING, she was going to have 35 people over AND HER LARGE DINING ROOM could easily accommodate them. She was going to HAVE A COOK COME IN and help her prepare the meal. And ANYONE WHO NEEDED A PLACE TO BE on Thanksgiving was welcome to come (as she offered with a gesture of her hand to those sitting around her)
(The psychopath is totaling up how much her silver and Plasma TV’s are worth about now…).

Then it was onto her OTHER VACATION travels she has recently done…while everyone around her were rolling their eyes and sticking their fingers in thheir ears (except for the psychopaths on board who were checking to make sure they had packed their sun tan lotion–planning a trip WITH her).

Glory to God, the plane landed and it seemed like I could get away from her. She stood up, adjusted her breasts, fluffed her hair, and sucked in her stomach as she noticed the guy in my row had a 3 piece suit on (gag!), a gold chain and to her, I guess, ‘potential’. This highly accomplished multi-home owner who had been loudly touting her own virtues, all of a sudden couldn’t manage to get her bag out of the overhead, turning into Scarlett O’Hara, “Could some big stong man help little ol’ me here?”

She was staring straight at the gold-chain guy, so he felt obliged. Then she inserted something that had nothing to do with her bag being stuck. She stuck her hip out and leaned into his face.
“You know what I HATE?”
“What?” he asks.
“There are 3 lanes on a highway–one for 70 miles per hour, one for 80, the last one for me–which is get out of my way! The thing that drives me MOST crazy in the
whole world…(I’m wondering Poverty? Abuse? World hunger? Obviously not psychopaths–what?)…is people who drive too slow so that I can’t roar my BMW Z4 at 95-100 miles per hour.”

She glances around to see who MIGHT have heard her. I have my therapy gaze on her now–like “Girl, GET a therapist!!” The guy winces at that statement and stares at his shoes. However, several other guys in line shift their position to move closer to her. Instead of heading out of the front of the plane they are turning around and heading DOWN the plane not out! What psychopath doesn’t want to con her out of a BMW Z4?? Or her Country Club membership? Or that dining room table that seats 35? Or those boobs she just pushed up?

Ok, ok…not ALL women who over-disclose do it so garrishly and obnoxious as this woman. But they DO–DO IT! There isn’t a pathological who isn’t wired to ‘hear’ the hints and hone in on it. They don’t have to remember to ‘listen’–it’s as natural as breathing to them.

Maybe your disclose is more subtle like at church, “Pray for me. I’m going through a divorce.” Or in online personal ads, “Recently divorced attractive woman looking for her soul mate.” Or on a chat forum, “Yeah I was really hurt when he ran around on me. I’m just looking for a nice guy to settle down with–someone who likes children and animals, a church-goer–someone who shares my love of art and hiking.”

TM TM! (Too Much Information!!)

It’s hard to remember that all ears and eyes that are exposed to you are not ‘normal’ ones. That pathologicals are listening for ’signs’ that are a green light to them to move on you. That includes any hint of what you’re looking for (Fine, I can be that! he says) or lonliness (I’ll solve that!) or pain (Oh, baby, you’ve gotta let me redeem the male species! We aren’t ALL like that!)

Some are listening for your financial info (many are parasitic so are looking for ways of living with others so they can conveniently lose their jobs while with you) or to just bilk you out of your money quickly and be gone.

Others are listening for your need of a partner, companion, ‘just friends’ status, a step father for your children, a spiritual mentor, or a shoulder to cry on…

Others are listening to your unrealized dreams that they can ’support’ you in your journey to being…a writer, a painter, a therapist, going back to college, starting your own business…

Still others are listening for your needs: Sexually hungry? Emotionally needy? Bored? Unlistened to? Abused? Abandoned? Lonely? Tired? Angry?

Remember the church song when you were little, “Be careful little eyes what you see…Be careful little ears what you hear…Be careful little mouth what you say…” Remember that? It reminds us that our eyes, ears, and MOUTH needed to be careful. The song went on “For the Father up above is looking down with love, so be careful little mouth what you speak.” If we ONLY had the Father to worry about, this wouldn’t be an issue.

1 in 25 or 30 people are pathological. There are ears and eyes watching and listening to you to make you their target.

So you’re probably wondering what I did about the obnoxious, verbally bulimic woman on the plane? I flipped my business card at her with my finger and as ‘coincidence’ would have it, it landed in her clevage and I kept on walking…Imagine her thoughts as she read my card, “The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Psychopathy Education Psychotherapist and Author of How to Spot a Dangerous Man and Women Who Love Psychopaths.”
Too bad the plane was too crowded to turn around and watch!

Written by victimsofpsychopaths

March 22, 2009 at 7:12 pm

13 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Sandra is such a welcome relief! She retains her humour so well and makes me laugh with her take on the subject of psychopathy. Being a subject where all of us unload such pain and suffering, she can still put things into perspective with her humour. I loved reading her Xmas letter whereby she made women aware that being alone at Xmas could make women vulnerable to an ex psycho. I cannot remember the exact words, but it was to the effect of, “All I want for Xmas is a psychopath”!!, if a woman was even contemplating going back rather than have a couple of days alone. I cannot imagine even wishing for a psychopath for Xmas, but that is what it would be if god forbid you did. Once again, Sandra can put some perspective in the extremely frustrating and harmful world of women and psychopaths with her tongue in cheek humour.
    Thank you Sandra!


    January 2, 2010 at 2:17 am

  2. I’m somewhat taken aback. Is this article for real? if so I think it’s the most women-blaming piece I’ve ever read. Whilst there is some scope for women to protect themselves the ultimate responsibility lies with the perpetrator to refrain from violence and abuse. This type of message just feeds in to the hands of perpetrators. I sincerely hope this woman does not work with the survivors of abuse.


    March 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm

  3. Sandra, Awesome. Love how you handled it in the end, with a flipped business card to the cleavage. LOL.

    Kim Frederick

    March 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm

  4. To DVworker – I am a victim of psychopathic abuse. I think Ms. Brown was trying to demonstrate how one can become a targeted victim. You are correct that perpetrators are the ones that need to be held accountable; however, those who haven’t been victimized YET equally need to be aware of how certain behaviors will make them a delicious morsel to the predator. I do thin Ms. Brown’s article was helpful, this was not meant to counsel, but to advise and raise awareness…


    March 28, 2011 at 10:57 am

  5. I agree with the other victim. I have encountered one myself. I do think they are one of the most sick and dangerous out there, but I do know upon reading the psychological profile of a victim, or what a psychopath looks for when finding his target, I will never be her again. I was a target. Although innocent, I was there for the taking. I will never be taken again, for now I could spot that sick bastard from a mile away. I can also spot his next victim. I was young, 25-32, thank god. I will pick up my pieces and build upon this new knowledge and NEVER do that again. You must understand how you got into that position in order to learn how to never, ever, ever let it happen again.


    May 5, 2011 at 2:15 am

  6. I think that tough love does work and its spot on that these sub humans( psychopaths) are indeed fantastic listeners / actors / mimics/ liars /………………….

    But without lows in life there will not be any appreciation for the highs – once recovered from a psychopath life does become so sweet , this I can assure you , perhaps sweeter for all the hell that you have gone through , bottom line is if you have the strength to pull yourself through = Kind of no pain no gain I suppose .
    I wonder if this lady with the big cleavage is not herself a psychopath.

    I had a mother who was certainly one and two sisters who are now reaking hell on every one they can – they are a lot more obvious than what my mother was – she was very skilled, lethal and cleaver .

    I know for a fact that my sisters (identical twins ) are braggers/ liars and highly sexed , they would pull a stunt like this with a captive audience just to hook a new male victim – one of them is even a member of Rotary – this gives her such a high to be surrounded by good people and she gets a platform to talk talk talk and have people listen to her because they have to = part of Rotary is about public speaking .

    My points are with this lady om the place with the loud voice

    Mostly men around who cant get away = perfect scenario / hunting ground
    Showing off with material wealth and big cleavage = over the top / no shame or embarrassment (money and things probably acquired from some poor ex husband )
    Pretending to be – oh will you help me with my bags – the act
    Using the word Hate – they typically hate most things other than themselves

    I think that the women psychopaths are more emotionally lethal, the men appear more clownish in my experience thats what Ive noticed .


    June 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm

  7. auntie pestilence

    August 6, 2011 at 5:35 am

  8. fuck i hate what he did to me i will never be the same againi lost my belif in human goodness i am now weary of every human bieng i encounter maybe in time i will get better is that what he wanted me dead


    December 24, 2011 at 4:50 am

  9. I bought it till you had to.push what YOU did as your ENDING.


    August 29, 2012 at 5:07 am

  10. The bragging woman with the money and boobs does appear disordered too… Narcissistic? I do see Sandra’s point, but from my experience personally as well as in observation of other women with similar experiences with sociopaths/psychopaths, they seem to focus in on very kind, loving, giving, trusting, honest, good, romantic, sensitive women. It seems if they hooked up with this obnoxious wind bag, they would have to move rather quickly. I can’t imagine that they would not tire rapidly at the spotlight being upon this self absorbed, fancy feasting, queen bee… “Look at me, look at me.” This woman would be highly annoying to the most genuine, kind and thoughtful person on the planet. Then after being taken advantage of, she’d possibly be one of those women in the news that chopped his manhood apart… Literally.


    April 27, 2013 at 8:45 am

  11. I understand Sandra’s point in this article and this woman does seem selfish. But there’s another side to this. Some of us raised in psychopathic homes are forced to confess and reveal every thought in our minds. We were constantly accused and constantly defending ourselves and we learned to just “spill” before even being asked. These psychopaths also use our words and thoughts to gain access to others because psychopaths have no internal moral compass and oftentimes are unable to figure it out. They also force us to tell our thoughts while simultaneously acting like they are ignoring us and that we are a burden that they must bear. One woman wrote that she was told by a therapist she met at a random social function that he could tell she’d been abused because she talked so fast and over-explained herself. This was validation for her and after this she started to train herself not to react to others this way. She would sometimes even not respond at all just so that she could show herself that she was able to do this. It’s a gift we who’ve been so abused can give ourselves. The gift of NOT filling in all the blanks for others who are manipulative and also allowing ourselves the chance to just BE.


    June 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

  12. Recently I spent time in jail, prison and a state hospital (15 1/2 months total) after being targeted and used by a psychopath for almost 21 months. I also tried to commit suicide at one point. I have recovered pretty well but am stunned by the extent to which this so called friend was able to seduce me into various programs. I will always have a hard time trusting people again.


    August 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm

  13. Thank you Sandra for this article. I really needed a good laugh after 27 years with a psychopathic man. It was over 2 decades before his mask began to slip and my life as I had believed it to be was over.
    I live in a small town in North Carolina and finding a therapist within a hundred miles familiar with psychopathy was was not possible. I saw 4 and they all pulled out their prescription pads! Had it not been for your book” Women who love Psychopaths” and your videos and the help from others like Robert Hare online I don’t know if I would have survived. I still have along way to go. I finally ended it for good a few months ago. I sincerely want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me. You are one of the reasons I am alive today. Had I not learned about psychopathy , I would never have been able to comprehend what was happening to my life and why. I had no family and no friends. No one to talk to. Only my phone and in the end he saw to it that I no longer had that.
    Only the victims and those who specialize in the field of psychopathy know what these demons are truly capable of.

    Teresa Jones

    August 30, 2018 at 12:19 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: