Parasitic Ex’s Trail of Destruction

Pathological people leave the same trail of destruction. Nearly all of the survivors I’ve talked to exhibit the following symptoms and behaviors:

  • Questioning their own sanity (“Maybe it’s all in my head?”).
  • Questioning their own behaviors (“Maybe I am too angry or controlling?”)
  • Questioning their negative perception of the perpetrator (“Maybe it’s not as bad as I imagined?”)
  • Rationalizing their perpetrator’s poor behavior (“His/her parents were terrible. He/she can’t help how they turned out.”).
  • Fear of provoking or upsetting the pathological person.
  • Misplaced anger.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Feeling like they’re “in a fog”.
  • Loss of interest in interacting with others.
  • Anxiety attacks.
  • Insomnia and depression – can’t fall asleep but can’t wake up, either.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Sudden fits of crying.
  • Guilt for not making the relationship work or for leaving the pathological person.
  • Promiscuity or quick pursuit of a new relationship (fear of being alone).
  • Isolation, mistrust, and extreme fear of intimate relationships.

And the list goes on.

The upsetting thing is that several of these victims are being wrongly diagnosed with bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia. I’m a psychology student so I can attest that many of our textbooks rarely cover abuse. Psychologists need to start being trained on abuse and its symptoms. It’s scary to think about how many people have been misdiagnosed because of this.

If you’re questioning whether you’re a bad person, then you’re not a narcissist/sociopath… and you’re likely not a bad person, either. Sociopaths have no conscience and, therefore, they don’t need to question if they’re “bad” because they don’t care. The world is their theater. They might act like they care to all that watch them, but their actions won’t match their words.


A sociopath’s words are like a hypnotic drug. Five years down the road, you’ll have yourself wondering how you could have fallen for such a blatant or absurd lie. They’re experts at deceit.

If your gut is telling you something isn’t quite right, listen to it. Don’t make excuses or think you’re just being paranoid. Our instincts are primal. They were given to us for a reason. We’ve survived as a species because of them. Use them!

Are you still feeling sorry for that sociopath in your life? These are some of the heartless things the N/S people in my life have said about the men or women they used (they love bragging about their conquests, entitlement, and “superiority”):

  • “She’s a bunny-boiler. She sent letters to my family saying I cheated on her and that’s why the wedding was canceled so I showed them some pictures I took of her when she was passed out. Now they all think she’s nuts.” (P.S. he did cheat)
  • “She said she kept having dreams I was cheating on her so I told her she was my soul-mate. I can’t believe that worked.” (P.S. another cheater)
  • “She’s really insecure about ____ so when she pisses me off, I tease her about it so she’ll shut up.”
  • “If you look close in the mirror, you can see her naked in the background. I put it up on Facebook and blocked her from the album so she doesn’t even know it’s posted.”
  • “Yeah, out of all of my bangs, she was my favorite. She had no self-respect so I could do whatever I wanted to her. Crazy sex. She’s so pathetic.”
  • “I framed her by sticking drugs in her purse and then calling the police.”
  • “I don’t think there is such thing as love. I just married his fat-ass because his family has money.”
  • “I don’t want to lose everything in a divorce but I think a woman needs an affair to feel alive.”
  • “I called her a c*** and she started crying. It was hilarious.”
  • “We still have sex when her husband’s gone. Sometimes I’ll even wear her husband’s robe and rub my d*** on it – like marking my territory, ha ha!”
  • “She’s an idiot. I keep cheating on her and she keeps taking me back. And she wonders why I don’t love her?!” (comment made directly in front of his wife)
  • “Yeah, I don’t know what it is. All the women I date seem perfect in the beginning and then they become crazy.” (comment made by a friend diagnosed with ASPD/NPD)
  • “Women are raised to serve men in their culture. They know how to treat a man the way he should be treated.” (after a confrontation about clapping his hands at his Chinese wife like a trained dog to fetch him butter)


I had five male roommates so I’ve personally witnessed guys cheat or use multiple girls and then turn them against each other. Some of my more unrefined roommates did it for sport:

BAIT: Empathy.
They’d first talk about how mean or crazy their girlfriend was; how they bent over backwards and she still treated them like crap… or whatever sad story they could come up with that slightly smeared their partner in the process. Then the guy would share the blame in a very shallow way as to not seem too accusatory and look like he was the reasonable one:
“I take part of the blame, though. We just can’t communicate.”

HOOK: Flattery.
“You’re so sexy and beautiful. I can’t help it. You just turn me on.”
“I feel like I’ve known you forever. You totally get me.”
“It’s amazing. I’ve never had so much in common with anyone else.”
“You’re not like any woman I’ve met before. You’re the total package.”

If the girl was a one-night stand, she’d be kicked out and then they’d brag about how easy she was.
If the girl was a long-term mistress, the cycle would repeat. They’d swear to leave their girlfriend “at the right time” or say they couldn’t right now because they didn’t want to hurt their girlfriend’s feelings… some excuse or another.  They’d pit the two girls against each other. Call them both crazy behind their backs. Swear the other girl was the one who was lying. Then repeat the empathy, flattery, and sex cycle all over again.
Then laugh about it.

They’d brag to me and our buddies, but then act like Mr. Sensitive when other girls or their mutual friends were around.

Some of my male N/S “friends” even used me as their bait. They’d lead these girls to believe that we were more than roommates or friends, so when the girl would get jealous and start verbally attacking me, I was left wondering what the hell just happened. The sudden onslaught would only confirm his accusations of “See! I told you. She’s crazy!”.

Now I realize those girls were only “crazy” because they were being fed false stories to make them act “crazy”.


Sociopaths are sick people who relish in controlling and manipulating others.


  1. Mary

    OMG This is sooo true.

  2. Stacy W

    It’s been almost 2 years since I left my Narc/BPD relationship. One of the most painful parts was having to physically leave the place that I loved, my home because I knew after many years that if I stayed physically in the same place as him I would always be manipulated back into the same bullshit. I’m reading and writing because though I am in a healthy relationship with a wonderful, kind person now I still feel haunted and often have dreams that make me relive the pain over and over again. I have been perplexed because it’s been so long. I should be over it, right? Well, I’m not and I feel guilty and weak that I’m not over it. Right after I left Brett Gyllenskog swooped up one of my good friends, she was moved in with him within a month of me leaving. I thought that she was one of my best friends. I just have to remind myself that I also fell victim to his manipulation so many times. I thought it was my fault that I wasn’t good enough and that perhaps she is but I know now, from lots of therapy, that there is NO good match for a narcissist!! She is now in the same pain I was and although my hurt and anger are still here ultimately I feel pity on her.
    I just wanted to thank all of you that have commented and to those who wrote the article. Especially all the parts about, sleep, reactive depression, nightmares, etc.. I thought I was crazy and totally lame that I still carry the pain around and dream of him and her so often still.
    All of this has helped me feel okay about where I’m at and helped me to see how damaging these people and relationships can really be. I don’t have to feel so crazy and weak anymore about still reeling from this experience.

    Research characteristics of “REAL” Narcissistic/Borderline/Anti-social… Personality Disorder!!! It’s not just someone who think’s they’re pretty awesome and likes to look at themselves in the mirror. It’s so much more.

    Our society’s casual idea of what Narcissism is NOT the reality! They will manipulate you every time you try to leave. You feel like you can’t go on without them because they have groomed you to feel that way. That’s not real! – even though you feel physically ill and overly fearful at the thought of leaving. I promise that It will never end! It is impossible for them to change because of the type disorder they have does not allow them to look at themselves the way that we can and they NEVER will be able to.

    So ultimately please hear my advice…(I do realize that kids and marriage make this even more complex and difficult)…

    BUY YOURSELF A PLANE TICKET TO SOMEWHERE SAFE AND AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT….BECAUSE IT DOES!!!….even if it means leaving everything you love and where you want to be.


    IT’S A LIE!


    REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT WELL – THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL….you can expect “normal” behavior from them. So STOP TRYING!

    Love yourself and don’t look back.

    Lots of love and kind regards to all of you xoxo

  3. Atf

    I can’t believe I finally have answers to all my questions! You helped me tremendously through these postings. My question is two-fold. Do they eventually get bored and give up? Going through divorce right now and sure enough a constant barrage of incredibly mean text! I have never responded and make “no contact” a must! Everything you’ve stated is completely my situation! Except the sex. He has no idea what intimacy is. Married for 1 year and sex about 5 times! He was diagnosed as bi-polar during his last marriage over 10 years ago. Takes meds but I do not believe that is what is wrong. He’s a straight up sociopath. I’d love to sue him for fraud. No empathy, Liar, blamer, etcetera… It all makes sense now! Thank you more than you know!

    • You are most welcome, although I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner. As you can see, I’m 5 years into this mess and I’m not sure the drama will ever end. I’m really surprised it’s gone on for this long. It’s not always the narcissist that hangs on — they can actually let go quite easily (and angrily) but they use & manipulate others to continue where they left off. New, insecure partners are just as horrible to deal with and often NEVER let go as long as they’re with the narc. I really hope your divorce goes smoothly and be extra leery when you start dating again! Let them do most of the talking and they’ll drop clues as to who they really are. The key is to really listen. **Big hugs!

      • Chris

        I just want to say thank you for writing your experiences out for all us ex’s/victims to take in and reflect on. I am also not able to have 100% no contact with my ex, as we have three children, but I have yet to come across someone who is living the same predicament and writing about it. THANK YOU for that.

        Their manipulation is amazing, but it is flippin’ scary when I read one of your ex’s texts and I swear I had recieved EXACT texts from my ex…it is like they are clones/possessed by the same being o_o. Thanks again and all the best to you and your family!!

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