The Urgent need for a psychopath victims helpline

Sarah Strudwick

 

When I first set up a face book group to create awareness for the book I had written I had selectively forgotten how easy it is for people to hide behind the anonymity of their computer screens when making comments about others that they hadn't even met personally.

 

Many years ago I was suffering from depression and had joined a forum for people. One of the women on there whom I now realise had her own issues would make it her mission to personally attack me for every single post I put up on there. If I hadn't been as strong as I was and sought professional help I could have easily seen another person go and commit suicide. She was a classic psychopath.

 

For this reason I decided never to set up a forum as it would almost be a self fulfilling prophecy. Having looked at many of the forums who are supposed to support victims some of them are actually run by the same kind of people that the abuser is running away from. I have also noted that occasionally the odd psychopath will come on the face book group, have a look around and then when they realise no one is engaging with them because no one posts personal stuff on there. Eventually they disappear. The other problem I see with forums is it keeps victims engaged in the victim mentality which is one of the main reasons I have avoided them as much as possible apart from the odd thank you for your comment post on a professional level. In fact I turned the whole psychopath woman thing around because if it wasn't for her perhaps, she did me a favour, because I might have been one of the many people who just spend years and years on these forums getting nowhere fast.

 

The other thing worth considering is that if facebook groups and forums are not being run by or at least have some psychopaths and narcissists on them, then usually there is come kind of hierarchy whereby the moderators of the site feel that they should just only banter between themselves or there is definitely some level of one-upmanship. Sometimes the people who are running them are doing it because the people in charge have such self inflated egos this works like proxy and gives the moderators a sense of false self esteem by being of the “chosen” people who can help run their mini cult. What's worst is when the people who have been abused end up being almost as narcissistic those they were abused by. I once emailed a colleague and said to them “if I ever get so far up my own backside to be that big headed, you have permission to shoot me”.

 

Often people come onto these types of sites because its a last resort searching for some kind of healing or answer. Perhaps they are too shy to reveal who they are and will use a pseudonym. Often they have been so worn down by the abuser they don't even feel like they have any voice. They are traumatised and speak in erratic sentences, perhaps peppered with inconsistencies in their writing and yet underneath they are desperately crying out for help from someone.

 

I recently had an email from one such woman who I noticed had been posting on a number of different forums. Obviously I will keep her anonymous but my gut feeling was she needed help desperately otherwise her life was at risk. It was at this point I completely trusted my intuition, so I reached out to her personally when she emailed me. I am happy to say that she is now in a safe house and would have been killed if she had not had someone hear her voice and be validated. Of course that doesn't mean to say I haven't had the odd few people try and take advantage but I am certainly not a pushover.

 

I hope I don't come across as trying to slag off all forums, because some of them are excellent. But it did raise the question that a colleague and fellow writer bought up the other day called Thomas Sheridan that perhaps there should be some kind of hotline number whereby people can make a call like they did back in the days when there was a gay helpline. A place where people could actually be heard.

 

Until then its up to people to trawl through the internet finding some kind of solace in the hope they might eventually land on a decent forum, of which there are a few, and then hopefully someone out there somewhere will reach out and put them on the path to recovery whereby they can seek help and escape the abusive relationship.

 

If anyone is reading this post who has some funding available and would like to contact us about setting up a hotline. Then please feel free to drop us a line.

 

Sarah Strudwick author of Darks Souls and life coach www.noordinarylife.biz