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The Phoenix Spirit: Finding Wholeness and Balance After Abuse Paperback – May 27, 2012
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"The Phoenix". The title implies that victims of psychopaths and
narcissists, much like the mythical bird, must rise from the ashes
after the social predators (metaphorically) set them and their entire
lives on fire, by deceiving them, cheating on them, isolating them from
loved ones, undermining their confidence and professional lives and/or
taking their money. As Dr. George Simon, author of "In Sheep's
Clothing" and "Character Disturbance" explains in a chapter in this
book as well, pathological individuals seek control over others. They are highly
manipulative and may occasionally simulate guilt for what they've done
wrong. But their show of remorse is phony and strategic rather than
So what can their victims do in the aftermath of the psychopathic bond?
Unlike the proverbial phoenix bird, human beings are not
immortal, so we must learn from our bad experiences with pathological
individuals to move on and lead the best (one) life we have. This is
what "The Phoenix" is all about: now that we learned how to identify
social predators, how do we recover from those very painful and damaging
relationships? One of the most important things that Sarah Strudwick
emphasizes is having no contact with the psychopath as well as his
family and friends, if at all possible. Any contact risks keeping you
trapped in a cycle of communication and potential abuse. Finding a
therapist, she explains, is also very important since hardly anyone can recover from a
pathological bond without some professional help.
Most importantly, identifying our vulnerabilities and share of responsibility is
important to our recovery as well. We only learn life lessons when we
can see lucidly both the bad choices we made--namely, being with the
psychopaths, who give out plenty of red flags--and understand why we
made those choices. Focusing only on the psychopath's bad behavior,
Strudwick emphasizes, risks keep us stuck in obsessive rumination
rather than helping us move forward. "The Phoenix" will help countless
victims of pathologicals soar to wellness, to lead happier and healthier lives.
Claudia Moscovici, author of "Dangerous Liaisons" and "The Seducer"