By | July 14, 2008

8 steps to recovery from the betrayal of a sociopath

Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a reader; we’ll call her Lisa. In one short paragraph, Lisa conveyed the betrayal, rage, pain and hopelessness that we’ve all felt:

If a stranger broke into my house and stole all my valuables and then burned the rest. If I was left homeless and broke. I would be angry. I would be damaged. But I would recover. The person who did this slept in my bed and held me tight and told me he loved me every day. He told me that we were moving overseas and that everything should go. Stop paying the mortgage. Sell your furniture for cheap. Burn the rest. I did it. He disappeared with my jewelry and cash. I feel that I cannot recover. I am devastated. I am bitter. I am obsessed with my hatred and can’t smile or laugh. I need a psychiatrist. I dream of stabbing him. I am a loving and forgiving person that can’t find grace. I try to forgive and recognize my own fault. I fail. I need help with this.

Had an unknown criminal ransacked Lisa’s home, she would be justifiably outraged, and perhaps afraid for her safety. But the man who plotted and schemed to crush her was a man that she trusted, a lover who talked about their exciting future together in a faraway land.

It was cruelty beyond belief. It was the shattering of trust.

A few months back I wrote about a book called Legal Abuse Syndrome. The author, Karin Huffer, writes, “the most profound loss is loss of trust.”

That is what makes these experiences so painful. We trusted someone with our hopes, our dreams, our love. That person probably spoke eloquently about trust to us, in words full of shining promise. And it was all a lie.

Now we don’t know whom we can trust. And we’re pretty sure that we cannot trust ourselves.

So how do we recover?

8 steps for recovery

Huffer provides an outline for recovery in her book. Although the steps are geared to helping people recover from the outrages of the legal system, which has a tendency to make our bad situations even worse, I think the steps are useful for anyone recovering from the betrayal of a sociopath.

1. Debriefing. That means telling someone what happened, and that person listening without judgment. This is what we try to do at Lovefraud. We all listen to your stories, and we know what you’re talking about, because we’ve all been there.

2. Grieving. Grief is usually associated with the death of a loved one. But as Huffer points out, it is legitimate to grieve the loss of possessions, or our lifestyle, or our place in the community. Sometimes well-meaning friends or relatives say, “Oh, it’s only money.” This isn’t true. As Huffer writes, “Possessions are the outward manifestations of our inner identity.” We didn’t just lose things. We lost part of ourselves.

3. Obsession. Lisa is obsessed with her hatred of the guy who violated her. Her feelings are certainly justified. The problem with obsession, however, is that it wears you out, and interferes with your ability to regain control in your life. Huffer suggests coping with obsession by compartmentalizing it—only allowing yourself to dwell in it for specific periods of time. “Schedule your way out of it,” she says.

4. Blaming. This means putting blame where it belongs: on the perpetrator. We often feel guilty for allowing the situation to occur in our lives. But we have nothing to be guilty about. We were normal, caring, loving individuals who were deceived. The guilt, anger and rage needs to directed towards the person who deceived us.

5. Deshaming. Before our encounter with the predator, we had certain beliefs, such as “there’s good in everyone,” or “if someone asks me to marry him, he must really love me.” Unfortunately, the dreadful experience has taught us that some beliefs are false and need to be changed. When we do this, we also change our attitude, from “I was a fool” to “I’ve been wronged.”

6. Reframing. The first five steps of the process must be accomplished, Huffer writes, before a person can move on to reframing. At this stage, you can look at your experience, define it differently, and then articulate the wisdom you’ve gained.

7. Empowerment. At this point, you feel focused energy. You take ownership of your problems, determine how you are going to cope with them, and go into action.

8. Recovery. With recovery, you are able to move forward in your life. Sometimes recovery involves forgiveness, but Huffer says it is not necessary. It if far too early for Lisa, who wrote the e-mail quoted above, to attempt forgiveness.

The long journey

There is no expected timetable for moving through the recovery process. We all have different personal histories and face different circumstances. We’ve all had different levels of violation.

Anyone who has been targeted for destruction by a sociopath must understand that it was a profound assault, and it will take time to recover. You may slide back and forth among the stages. So be gentle on yourself, because the journey may be long. If you keep going, in the end you will find peace, built upon new depths of wisdom and understanding.

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i need help today. im so confused on what to do with my ex s. i mean my head knows what to do but my heart keeps hanging on. my ex, he wants to meet for lunch and wants to talk about us, and start trying again. im so worn out from talking about our realtionship. i feel like i put so much into this realtionship and i tryed to make it work for soo long, that im burnt out. i dont want to talk anymore, i just want to be me and do what i want for awhile. another part of me feels like its all control right now. when i want nothing to do with him, he wants to work on us, talk about us. when he feels im hook on him i think he goes back to being his JERK self again. im very afraid of him hurting me again, my heart is scared of him. I dont know what to think anymore. how long will it be till he hurts me emotionally again!!!?

Ox Drover

Dear Blondie,

Listen to your gut, dear! He WILL hurt you again, and again, and again as long as you allow it.

I know this is like a broken record, but NO CONTACT, NONE, ZERO, ZIP, NADA, absolutely NO contact is the only way you can come to peace. At first it will just be “physical” no contact, and you will stillkeep thinking about him, wondering, maybe even doubting your self, but it will evolve into EMOTIONAL NO CONTACT where you will realize that you can NOT be around him without ripping the scab off your wounds.

Each time you listen to his pleas about “working on us” or how much he “really loves you” etc. you will go back to square one with your healing.

I can’t promise you it will be easy to start, but NO CONTACT will get you out of the range of his hooks. He is all about CONTROL, like a fisherman bringing in a “big catch” on a line, he wants to make sure his hook is set, and start reeling you back in. If you don’t take the bait, you can escape, but if you take the bait and let him back into your head, heart, and ears, he will hurt you again. That is just the nature of what they ARE. You can’t change him, he won’t change himself, so it is up to you how long you want to prolong the agony. The only way out with this guy is NO CONTACT.

LF will be here to support you all the way, but you are the one who has to make the choices and act the acts. DON’T DOUBT YOUR GUT, it will protect you if you let it. (hugs))


Dear Blondie, I think you answered your own dilemma. Why dont you take time out for yourself for a while, concentrate on you, get your strength and vitality back, so then you can take the most appropriate action.

It will probably do you good to get out of the push n pull cycle. Best Wishes.


How r u doing Oxy? How are the shingles? Itchy? You poor thing. I thought about you the other evening, there was a programme on tv about tick fever and it is quite dangerous. We all have our low spots, you will be bouncing back, I just know it. (((hugs)))


Hello Gang… would someone tell me the Website of This Kathy Harjo, not sure what her name was but she has been talked about alot in here and quoted. She was talking about Narcisist. Does she have a website where I can look at her writings? Blondie , Our ultimate salvation is this final discard (no contact). We set the limit. We end the dance. They have no limit’s and are unable to do this. The abyss is bridged when we realize that there is no going back in any way. No friendship, no enmity, there can be nothing at all.


When people say that their head says one thing and their heart says another, I think it is because the energy of the heart when loving, is warm, steady and slow burning – like a candle. When that energy is disrupted – blown out – as it were – the energy keeps on smouldering for a while. This is often the phase when people are tempted to go back and also to avoid heart pain. What do others think?


Hiya Henry, I dont know who else is on line at present, but I vaguely think its something like Operation Doubles.

Google “narc attack”
it’s Kathy Krajco, she pased away in April 2008 btw


Yes, Henry, it is, I just checked its operationdoubles. Hope you are keeping yourself well. I was saying to the others, I got myself out and about this last weekend, went to a two day music festival and it was alot better than sitting at home. Have a good day Henry.


Thank you sweetheart. Glad you are gettin out and about. I am planning a trip to Colorado sometime in August. I have a good friend that has a summer home up in the mountains and she want’s me to come spend sometime there, of course it will be a working vacation but I cant wait to go…….thanks Bev


You’re most welcome Henry. But I’ve done a naughty thing, Ive put myself on one of those websites for the over 50s. Fifty already. Gorgeous.


Henry, I shall just sew the odd seed here and there! Nothing too full on. LOL (((hugs)))


Bev. You be careful doing that, I think it is good to mingle and meet new people. But if you get hooked up with another physco, I am gonna come find you and kick you in the head. Be carefull and don’t forget what you have learned. That operationdoubles is about tennis. I want to find her Narcisist website. Maybe I am confused…take care Bev. And look for a guy that has a home, a car, a good job and lot’s of money and if he has a friend send him my way…..


Ha Ha. I know, there’s no hope is there?? Ha not the tennis one, if you google it and look abit down the page HENRY, you will see the one on Narcissism!!! Lol (((Hugs)))


I think its time for me to go back to work. Im starting to get bored at home, and when I have time on my hands, I get into mischief.


why is that i forget what he did to me? we have been apart for a month now, and my feelings have changed back and front. i guess i just want things to be different with us and i dont want to accept that he will hurt me again. i want to trust him, i want to believe he loves me, but i guess its all a dream.


Blondie, What I learnt through my experience, is that, we cannot control how we want others to behave and wanting someone to be a certain way and them being that way is bound to be different. When we hook up with someone, we are always on our best behaviour, that includes our partner. After a while, a person’s negativities and shadow side comes out and that is often why we want the person to be like they were at the beginning. But to look at them realistically, we have to see all their sides and see them with their failings too, then you can make an honest long term decision.


I suppost it’s abit like having a nice new shiny car, which I have high hopes and expectations for – looks good and behaves well for the first few months. Then starts breaking down all over the place!!!.

newworld view

henry…i just typed in her name kathy krajco and found it…………..blondie, since your asking for help, that tell me the smart side of your brain ( as opposed to the emotional side) is already telling you what to do……..what is amazing is the struggle to keep thinkine MAYBE this time its for real…but its not….the pattern is already there….the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior with these guys as the familiar and true saying goes……….anyway, what is amazing is that when you follow NO CONTACT…the first dy you may feel unsure….but thereafter…you realize the POWER you have recovered…now it is YOU in control of YOU….he will never be again….. it is an AWESOME feeling…..stronger most days than the sense of loss……one minute at a time…….i promise……..terri


ok I found it !!!! thanks ladies…..


I have been reading your posts since you first started posting and you seem like a very kind and caring person. If you do come to CO, which is where I live, if you can, make a detour and go to the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver. So pretty.

Ox Drover

Dear Bev, thank you for asking! I’m doing better pretty quickly thanks to modern pharmacology!!! The lesions are drying up and the pain is subsiding. I’m one of those lucky souls who get them repeatedly (and usually under stress) my doctor was convinced it was some other form of herpes and he actually did some kind of test or culture and it confirmed that it IS repeated shingles. It’s rare, but “I”M LUCKY!!” LOL

Today is the anniversary of my husband’s death 4 years ago and I’m doing okay, though the last couple of days of it have been rather mopey–is that a word? Feeling a lot of anger rise up in me about silly stuff, I guess it is a good thing I am here on the farm ALONE so there is no one but the dogs to strike out at and I would never do that! In fact, my little Terrier is actually I think knowing something is different with me and though he is usually by my side, he seems to be comforting me or trying to more the last few days.

I’m glad you are getting out and about Beverly and doing some things you enjoy, that is good for all of us. I went out to eat Saturdaynight with a friend to one of my favorite eaterries, and we made pigs out of ourselves, and also ran into several other friends we visited with, so have had a day out recently.

My chief pleasure now is “building” my art studio out of the old offices behind the hangar, painting and making the sow’s ear look a BIT like a silk purse, at least less like a sow’s ear. I have two room almost finished so I have my loom set up and ready to finish warping for some more rag rugs, and my art supplies, brushes and canvas set up with my easels to paint when the mood strikes me.

My son D will be home to stay in about a week or 10 days now so we can get back to work in earnest completing our projects. They seemed overwhelming at first but are slowly being worked on enough to see some progress in them all. That was a big stress on me, and it kind of kept eating at me, the mess the tools and the working areas were in from us and various hired hands who were not willing to work after my husband died. I can imagine he is smiling at me now and saying “well, you finally get the opportunity to rearrange everything YOUR way!” LOL For a man and a woman who disagreed on so many things, we sure had fun! It’s a very good thing that we were BOTH very tolerant of the other’s peccadilloes or we would have been like the “Bickersons” LOL

When I compare the way my H and I settled differences to the way that the X-BF-P would “show out” and act like an ass it amazes me that I stayed with him 4 months before I really started to “see” and that I then stayed another 4 months after I started to hurt from his verbal assaults.

My husband was a brilliant man, and the X-BF-P was pretty smart himself, but he was, unlike my H, very DEFENSIVE about his “being right about everything”—even things that were in my life of expertise. My husband was proud of my accomplishments and my smarts, and my knowledge, but the X-BF-P was “threatened” by them. Even when it was just a matter of opinion–I like Brussels sprouts and you don’t—big deal, right? Nope, not the X-BF-P, if he didn’t like Brussels sprouts and I did it was because I was stupid or crazy.

Big difference in the way the disagreements, even the most minor, were handled. I think the reason is that my H loved me, respected me, and didn’t disrespect me because my ideas or opinions were different from his. We would vigorously debate them if it was a more objective kind of thing, but we pulled out the science books or whatever to back up our arguments, not “well, you’re just stupid to think that” and we came to an objective conclusion and each learned something and we both went away happy and satisfied that we had found the answer, not matter who was “closer” to right in the beginning. Not so with the X-BF-P, it was all about “being right” and “being superior” to him. Being “in control” and “control” over everything was never an issue with my H and Me. It was shared on some things, and other things he had “control” of how something was done and in others I took the lead because I knew more about the subject than he did. If we were building airplanes, he was the “boss” and if we were handling the cattle, I was the “boss” simply because it worked better that way.

Looking back too, I realize that my X-BF-s’ close friends were fairly “low class” and my H’s were a higher class of people not so much in money as in education and culture, where X-BF seemed to like to be around people he could look DOWN on, people who did manual jobs for a living, and had less money than he did, less education, etc., my H liked to feel more equal to his friends, people who were intelligent, educated, and had common interests like aviation or computers.

When I look back and compare X-BF-P with H it is amazing that I thought AT THE TIME that I had so much in common with the X-BF when in reality I had little except our mutual interest in Living History. Even his interest in that though was all about HIM, having more things that were authentic but that he had BOUGHT instead of made, and lording it over others with less money to buy their accouterments but who learned the skills to make them. I can almost laugh now at how blinded I was by the FOG and my own neediness at missing my wonderful relationship with my husband. Even my psychiatrist said that I was like a “junky looking for a fix”—and I think that is pretty right on, I just couldn’t see for the FOG.


Perk I will be going through Denver on the way to colorado springs, i wrote down butterfly pavillion, hopefully we will get to go see it. Have you ever been to (garden of the Gods) it is awesome. Oxy, I am giving you a big ole bear hug. And yes dog’s do know when we are upset or depressed. My 3 dachshund’s know when I am depressed and I swear Crickit, she is a little minature black and tan, she will get up in my lap and push her self into my chest and rest her head on my shoulder. It is the best hug in the world, and Harley, my little fat man, he will set next to me making sure he is making physcical contant, Posey, well I think she is a Narc, she just want’s food or attention but she is sweet. I try to be in good spirit and play with them and take them places with me. When I was in the bad fog depression they were depressed also. When the Booger man was here and we argued (alot) they would hide under the bed. But the four of us are doing great now. Oxy you are so fortunate to have had your husband, hang in there and focus on the good time’s…


I’m glad you are better Oxy. Yes mopey is a word, and I just sense the flatness. Anniversaries are always sharp reminders and you have so brought us into your world and all the things that have happened to you and your family that I just cant help but feel some connection. I think probably you are thinking about your husband, but that has also brought into light the comparison how wonderful he was, against the behaviour of your exP.

Loss is painful Oxy and you have had your fair share of trials and tribulations. On a positive note – you and I have also ‘gained’ a group of friends here, a ‘cyber collective’. Take it easy Oxy. (((hugs)))

Ox Drover

Thanks, Bev, you are so right. I know the “losses” have been big, but I have also gained a great deal of peace, especially with the “loss” of my Ps. They are OUT of my life and that in itself alone is a BIG GAIN for me. Not having to deal with the constant crises and “drama” is very comforting and reassuring of my safety. I am starting to feel safe here again, and though I AM cautious, I no longer live in terror.

I also have gained a increased perception of how many blessings I have and how many really wonderful friends I have, including the people here at LF. I’m also starting to love myself and to be able to set boundaries which decreases my stress once I have done that. I’m consciously trying to cut things that are stressful and unnecessary stress out of my life. A flat tire is stressful, but it isn’t the KIND of stress that you can predict or that is “aimed at you,” it just is one of those “things that happen to everyone.”

I realize too that healing is a continuum, not a specific spot that you can aim for and say “I’m Healed” It’s like “being healthy” is a continuum, you can be healthy or more healthy or less healthy but still be “healthy” or you can be “sick” or “very sick” or REALLY sick, but you are still on the sick end of the spectrum. I am approaching what I think is the “healthy” end of the healing continuum but I also realize that there are still things I need to work on, will always need to work on, but as long as I can stay in the + end of the journey, I think it will all be fine. I do have a much more positive attitude than I did when I was in such pain I thought it never would stop.

Just being in a place where NC is not a daily fight is much much better! I’m and have been for a while, at a point I don’t WANT to see them or know about them. I’m not even curious any more about them or how they are doing. It just doesn’t matter to me any more what they think about me as long as they leave me the hell alone. I know it is the first really difficult step we have to take in order to heal and with my family members it was really difficult to do, especially with my mother, but I never could have made it without total NC.


Even the strong ones need support sometimes Oxy. I have always fended for myself been independent. I never really realised what support I had, until my friends rallied around during my surgery. Even my estranged brother, contacted me out of the blue a few months before diagnosis – if that wasnt a miracle in waiting. I see that God supports us all the way and when I was sitting in my garden, during my recovery, I was hit by the realisation that the world is such an abundant place, that God has provided a garden of abundance in one form or another – that realisation blew me away, I was then able to see more of a connection in life.

Life for me, Oxy, is Work in Progress, always has, always will be. Love and Hugs to you Oxy – you have come a long way.


Yes, Im with you now Wini. I have read Tolle’s book and my brother lent me the Power of Now, so I am on a steep learning curve. I soak up this knowledge like a sponge. Yes, after we get past the shock, then the realisation, then the hurt, anger and pain kicks in. After the turbulence subsides and we are left nursing emotional and physical wounds, after that – another perspective takes place – doesnt it? Suddenly I realised how the whole scenario linked with my past, what was in the dark was brought into the light. When thinking about whether I should go with the relationship, i remember searching myself deeply and giving myself the green light – I must have done this for a reason, and it wasnt about feeling lonely – I think that this is the deeper intelligence and perspective I was conscious of. The pain gives way to growth, knowledge and self empowerment towards the collective. Right?


Dear Wini, What I now see is a benevolent abundant God – for some of us, this is a spiritual experience as well. Wow.


I would like to share something that my sons grandmother sent to him today that I was fortunate enough to read also.
I do not know the author so I hope I don’t get into any trouble for re-typing this.

The Great Mandala & What I Believe
I believe-That just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
I believe-That we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I believe-That no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
-That true freindship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
-That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
-That it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
-That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
-That you can keep going long after you think you can’t.
-That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
-That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
-That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
-That money is a lousy way of keeping score.
-That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.
-That sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
-That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
-That it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
-That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
-That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
-That two people can look a the exact same thing and see something totally different.
-That your life can be changed in a matter of hours for the good by people who don’t even know you.
-That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
-That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
-That the people you care about most in life are taken from you soo soon.
-That you should send this to all of the people that you believe in. The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.


When I read this today, it really got me to thinking about the person I have become that I don’t really like. I have been hiding out away from everyone, my neighbors came over last week and asked me if I had been on vacation for the past month since they did not see me at all. Nope, no vacation for me, just hiding out in my house, which I told them and just about crapped myself cuz I just couldn’t believe I said that out loud.
I used to be a big people person, now I am afraid, I even send my son out to do my errands quite a bit because I cannot hold my head up in public. I have a very hard time reaching out to people when I need help or just companionship. This is the person that is me now. I just hope that if even one person out there, who is like me, reads the above and it helps them a little bit, that it was worth it to me to step out out my box.


thank you everyone for your comments. im tryin really hard to do this no contact, but he makes me feel like iam making the wrong choice. he told me well in two weeks you will wish you had listen to your heart and followed it. he also said we cant even be friends???? BE FRIENDS? how do u be friends with someone who cheats on you for over a year and have a whole another relationship. you dont just get over it. he acts like this is NORMAL realtionship problems. people who are all about themselves is not a normal realtionship issue! im back at squre one again, i hate this.


Dear Rperk6069. I was thinking about what you posted, just before you posted it. I was thinking, well I have time on my hands, I spend quite abit of time in my home. When I was first devastated, I felt very vulnerable going into town and I kept my head down. But then, that feeling evaporated, it is a temporary phase. I did nothing wrong, I have nothing to hang my head down about – if anything I have come through that and alot more – I can hold my head up. All these moods are temporary cycles, sometimes minimal contact with people helps us to conserve energy for a while, that is the advantage of being a hermit for a while. Look at it, that your life, your field, is fallow at the moment, it is dormant, it is resting.

Dont worry RPerk, you will be out and about when you are good and ready and not when your neighbours or your mind prompts you.


Dear Blondie, The benefit of having no contact, is that we cannot be twisted by their words anymore and thrown off balance, persuaded, enticed. He probably knows what to say which will get to you. Have you agreed No Contact for a set period of time – because it sounds as though he is still speaking to you and giving you a guilt trip on the No Contact? I remember the exNarcissist, said to me that if I gave him up I would regret it, I would never find another decent bloke – its all baloney – despite the pain, I havent regretted giving him up for one millisecond.

Being back at square one is not bad, like snakes and ladders means that next time, you get to go up the board abit higher.


Rperk, We are all in transistion, undergoing transformation and these things work on the underground, silently and powerfully, it is like getting over a trauma. Mind and body needs time to recoup and settle, but although I say the ‘field’ is dormant, it is also very active in preparation for new beginnings. So please see this phase of non activity as productive. My neighbours look through my windows and wonder what on earth I am doing for hours and hours!! I may not have lots of action going on, but their is alot of silent progress going on in my place. Ha.

newworld view

blondie….of course hes going to tell you that…thats why no contact mean even bt phone or email or any way…he is trying to manipulate and hurt you by saying no friends….hes trying to do ANTRHING that will get a response out of you…you finally have a bit of control….it will never stop, until you stop contact…….you are naturally doubting yourself…and if it didnt sound like the same story each of us has shared, i might believe it too….but sociopathic creatures ALL ude the same words…….mine said the same stuff…….. NONONONONO contact wil help you start the new beginning you deserve….you are doint the right thing….and we are here to give you strength as you asked……terri


Beverly, Thank you so much. I never thought of it that way and what you wrote makes perfect sense. I just kept telling myself that there was/is something horribly wrong with me, that I could not pick myself up one more time. That I am in a terminal break down that will some day kill me. Thank you for your insight and thoughfulness. Rita


You are welcome Rperk. Now you can welcome and enjoy the phase you are in and get the most out of it, instead of resisting it. ((hugs))


blondie…I found it helpful to write down all that he did to me. I started doing it to help check my sanity at times during my contact with him. I realized that I kept going back because I wanted so badly to believe he was the person I first met who was loving and kind…but it was a lie and there is no change. What he did to you before he WILL do again. If you haven’t written it all down I encourage you to start now. Read it as often as you need to. The hard part is our belief that people like Ns can change and have something good inside. The only thing inside is a desire to control. You staying in contact gives him control. It justifies what he’s already done and he continues to win the game he’s created. He’s a master manipulator. My S could tell me the sky was green and if I was in his presence I’d have considered it. It’s eerie how powerful they are at persuasion and it feels hypnotic. Take care of yourself and stand up for yourself and say no more! You deserve that!


thank you thank you thank you!!!!

I feel like he does give me a guilt trip for wanting to end it. i tell him no contact and he doest listen. i did write down all the things he did, i just dont seem to look at it everyday, but i think i need to, to remind myself of what he did, and the decison i made for myself.

has anyone ever felt like when you were not around you sociopath or Ns you didt think it was all that bad, but when you saw them again it all came back to you and thats all you could think about?

another thing, i feel like iam never going to get away from him, he will always contact me.


Blondie, Hell yes, that is exactly the way I felt. And he still tries to contact me even after a year and a half saying he misses our friendship! What friendship? I have changed my phone number numerous times and changed it again recently, my family can think what they want, I tell them I was getting alot of other peoples calls cuz this they can handle.



Absolutely! I would forget everything and put things in such a perspective that I’d have hope that could move mountains that things would be different this time. Then we’d talk or I’d see him and it was all right back again. I believe that what they do to us is so harmful that denial sets in rather quickly to protect ourselves. Our minds have a way of trying to establish that equilibrium so we can keep going on. But what we end up doing is walking right back into the fire over and over as if we have a death wish. That’s part of what was crazy making for me. I had to struggle to stay in reality and recognize who I was dealing with.

I was lucky my N/S moved on and had another target he was working on. He wanted to keep me around too but I wouldn’t let go of asking why he did the things he did. It drove him crazy that I wouldn’t let it go. That saved me in the end. His excuses were too irrational and the therapist in me wouldn’t let go of the questioning as his behavior did not match his words. It made it worse in the end as he got homicidal towards me but it is truly what saved me. He ended up admitting that he isn’t capable of love or forgiveness or change. He said he knew what was wrong with him but didn’t want to do anything about it. He said he was probably the one that made me sick thinking I was crazy. He admitted to only giving gifts to make himself look good and to fit in. He also said he could only feel normal at times around others who truly didn’t know him and he had no attachment to. He would always be miserable and always disappoint people. I believe he has been told what he is. I also believe he’s back into denial again and getting enough NS to keep him filled. But I caught him at a low point and got some answers I never expected. He had told me he was depressed for so long I still had a hard time seeing what he was telling me. But it all clicked in when I had distance from him and I saw sooo much more. No Contact is a must to healing and taking yourself back!

If you continue to let him know you’re not interested he may finally figure out he can’t use you. You NEED to be consistent in not responding to him. You are feeding him each time you do. Ignoring him may make him try harder but I hope it will eventually wear him out and he’ll move on to other easier sources of supply.

Be strong and don’t forget what he’s done and the fact that he’ll continue doing it if you let him!



takingmeback, i feel like your story and my story and the same. thank you for the support im going to need it badly.

i also need to know how to deal with him, when we have items together that he is payin me montly on. do i just take the items back and pay for them myself so there is no connection? i just dont know how to deal with these type of guys with business stuff.

Ox Drover

Dear Blondie,

Let me add my 2 cents worth here to this, every time you listen to him, read a text or e mail, it rips your scabs off your wounds.

Do not answer the phone, don’t listen to voice mail, don’t read e mails, don’t answer the door. don’t talk to anyone who will telll him how you are. If he follows you on the street, call the cops, if he knocks at your door, don’t even yell through the door go away, just call the cops.

For a while you will still doubt, you will still second guess, but you will get over that phase and start to not want to hear from him.

He may keep it up a day, a week, a month or a year, or show up 10 years from now and knock on your door. They are like that and yoiu can’t always predict when they will turn back up, but the NO CONTACT give syou time to heal, to listen to yourself instead of him. HE IS THE LIE. EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS A LIE. HE CANNOT LOVE YOU, HE WANTS TO CONTROL YOU.


You have nothing to feel guilty about, this is not a polite cocktail party it is ABUSE and you do not have to “be nice” or “be polite” or “not make a scene”—-he does not deserve polite. He has lied to and abused you. CUT HIM OFF.

Hang in there babe, and before you contact him, come here and post, we will support what you already know is the right thing to do—listen to your gut woman! It will protect you, and right now your heart is confused. (((Big Hugs))))


Takingmeback…wow…this is EXACTLY what my S was like.
Blondie, its weird, but after 3 years with him and 10 days of no contact, its getting easier and things he said, things he did are popping into my head in retrospect. Being away from them makes you see how really sick they are. But I think if he did call me I’d start to get weak again thinking that maybe THIS time it will be different. It won’t and I have to believe that intellectually, not emotionally. My hope in people and changed lives dictates and HAS dictated that I always gave him another chance. Chance after chance after chance, but it always ended up with the bomb dropping when I least expected it. Nothing is going to change if it hasnt by this time.

He too would say, “I want to be friends with you. I cant stand not being in your orbit”. CHEESY!!! now that I think of it and look back on it. Friends??? I said to him. I dont want a “friend” who lies to me and manipulates and hurts me. He will never be a “friend” because he never was. He was always a “frenemy”: an enemy disguised as a friend.

Ox Drover

Indiechick, I heard that word, “Frenemy” for the first time the other day and I htought it was SO appropriate for the Ps—enemy disguised as a friend. What could describe them better!!


Thanks OxDrover so much!


its been a month and we have not talked for like a week, but i have’nt seen him but twice. my life has already changed a little bit, ive been doing what ive been wanting to do. i havent had to worry about him. my life feels somewhat less stressful. ive been spending more time with my mom and family and ive missed them, if feels nice to be around them more, and i dont want to go back to that life with him, bc it was always about him, ive never really spent the time with them, bc he always wanted me to be with him. I to always gave him chance after chance, and then boom i would find some email or a text message or find out some lie about where he was or what he was doing and who is was with.

he just texted me that he is crying bc im doin this to him and im dating someone else. haha i just laugh bc its so far from the truth and he just wants a reaction. the sad truth is when i told him to get out of my life for all these things he did to me he didt cry to me or in front of me. they always make it about them, never what they did to do.


RPerk Thanks for sharing that message. I am like you, I have become a recluse a hermit. Except for going to work and visiting with my son, I pretty much keep a low profile. I avoid my neigbors because I am embarrased by some of the thing’s he did out here. Driving like a mad man when he was in a rage. Screaming at the top of his lung’s. I threatened to call the police and my son and he would say go ahead I will tell them what f–up person you are. I am so was humiliated and embarrassed at being conned> I feel like such a fool sometimes. When we first got together I wanted everyone to meet him. I told them what a good guy he was. (excuse me while I puke) Anyway I am gettin it back, I made a big mistake, but who doesn’t? If you are concerned about what other people think, the truth is most people are busy thinkin about themselve’s. So we got get out there and get busy living. Sometimes we have to be willing to let go of the life we had planned and start living the life that is waiting on us. I just wish I could get him out of my head. He just torment’s me all the time and I havent seen or talked to him in months. He is out of my heart but I keep going over all the lie’s all the deciet.. Maybe it will stop someday but anyway

Ox Drover

Dear Henry,

In my community where my family has lived since 1833, it is ALL about what “the neighbors think” in my family, and you know, I say SCREW WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THINK! Their lives may not be any more “dramatic” than my last year or so has been, but you know, they are NOT focused on me and my life, and if they are, they are leaving some other poor soul alone.

They don’t support me, and you know, I am the one that got out of bed in the middle of saturday night movie to get the fish hook out of their kid’s ear, or the bug out of theirs, or sew up some guy’s hand when he caught it in the milk gate.

I am NOT going to live my life for the neighbors and my dear you better not either! As I used to say to my kids when they would squabble in the car–DON’T MAKE ME STOP THIS CAR! So Henry, my dear dear friend, don’t make me have to come through this screen after you! LOL You get out there and quit giving a flip about what the neighbors think, YOU ARE NOT THE ONE WHO ACTED BADLY. You know, I have felt shame all my life for OTHER’S bad behavior and I think it is time I quit, what about you? It hasn’t done us a bit of good to feel shame for their behavior cause THEY sure DON’T!!!

And, Henry, dear Henry, it will stop someday andyou will get it out of your head. I would drive down the road for what seemed like the longest time “talking” to him out loud in the car alone. Aloha said she did the same thing too. I guess we finally just get it all SAID even if we aren’t really talking to them. We might as well be talking to the air as to them because the air gets it just as well as they do!

I’m not exactly Ms. Social Butterfly either, but I do keep up with my friends and even went out for a while tonight to visit some friends for a couple of hours. I’m actually staying off the road as much as I can with gasoline as high as it is. People out in the country because we drive bigger vehicles and because we travel further use more gas than the townies do, just to get our shopping and errands done.

It’s nice to talk to these folks too because they DO get it about the Ps. This woman had a daughter murdered by her P husband 10 years ago, and she is raising the granddaughter of another one that is in prison, and her own first husband was a P, and the father of the little girl she is raising is one, and her life story makes mine look like a “normal family”—but she and her husband are both super neat people and she has over come a lot of trauma in her life. To be taking on an at-risk 3 year old when you are 60 is a big task, but that is the most beautiful and loving little girl I have ever met and she adores me too.

Henry, dear, no one felt more humiliated and embarassed than I did about this whole thing, and about being on the “wrong side” of the professional clip board, but I got over that and realized that the ONLY person on this earth I have to answer to is ME. The only one off this earth I have to answer to is God. What the rest of the however many billion people on earth think about me doesn’t matter. If you get right down to it, how many people really CARE what goes on in any one person’s life? Really, not very many that you know, and none of those you never met. So kick that guilt and humiliation in the butt pronto, and don’t make me have to come through this screen! LOL (((Big Hugs))))


Dear Blondie,

You asked, “How long will it be till he hurts me emotionally again!!!?”

My guess is… not long.

But answer the question for yourself. How long do you think it will take for him to hurt you again?

When he does hurt you again, will you have enough strength left to pick yourself up and go on?

How much inner strength do you have left?

How tired and beaten up do you feel?

If you took the energy you have left right now and you cut it in half, would it be enough to pick yourself up and go forward when he hurts you the next time?

If you still have a glimmer of hope for something better for yourself.. what if that glimmer of hope was cut in half? and in half again? and again? and again?

How long will it take before you will not have enough of you left to fight for yourself… and by fighting, I mean the fight that we have internally to recover and take back our joy, the spring in our step, our laughter, our peace, our life?

Blondie, the fact that you are saying you need help today tells me that there is a part of you that still has enough energy to put up a fight for yourself.

Good luck Blondie.

Aloha….. :o)

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