A list for leaving the sociopath behind

by AlohaTraveler

How many of us have a list, or know someone who does, of the ideal qualities we are looking for in THE ONE? I think these lists can sometimes cause us to miss out on someone quite wonderful because we get so attached to a check list. But that’s another topic. I have a different kind of list. It could be called the list of EXACTLY what I DO NOT want in a life partner! This list has helped me to heal and come to terms with the reality of the Bad Man.

While going through my things this morning, I found a piece of binder paper with a list I had written about the Bad Man in the early stages of my healing. It was written sometime within the first year after I had left him. The list represents a free flowing string of words and phrases that describe the Bad Man.

Before I found LoveFraud, I was aware that my thoughts of the Bad Man seemed to swing back and forth between never wanting to hear from him again to hoping somehow he would learn, apologize and we would live happily ever after. I didn’t totally understand why this was so and it was perplexing, given my descriptive list.

Bad Man was not the clever sociopath that many of the readers here talk about. Don’t get me wrong. He was very smart and charismatic. But I didn’t get blind sided or robbed behind my back like many readers. He was fairly abusive and inappropriate in the first few weeks though he used all of the customary word games and mind tricks. Still, I find it a little embarrassing to admit that I put up with way too much right from the get-go. Looking back, in what context would name calling ever be okay?

Reality Checks

Bad Man wasn’t all flowers and charming words. I got flowers. I got love notes. But for the most part, the list below describes him best. I wrote this list for myself to use as a means of staying in touch with reality when I felt my heart softening again for him. When I had those moments, I went to my list to remind myself of the destructive, abusive, nightmare that he truly was. Now, I find it amusing how well I was describing a narcissist or a borderline without the understanding I have now of personality disorders.

A second paper I found contained the transcription of his last four text messages to me before I called my cell phone carrier and asked the operator to cut the line. I will never forget the tears of relief as I watched the lights go out on my cell phone. At the top of the page of verbal venom, I wrote, “Words to remember you by.” These messages were hateful, vicious, twisted, and untrue. Every six months or so, I run across these two papers. They don’t really hurt me now. Each time I read them, I see more clearly the pathology driving the Bad Man. For some reason, I save these pages. I haven’t included the text messages in this article because they are very personal attacks on me and no one would benefit from reading them. I certainly didn’t. Still, I save them because reading those hateful messages makes it totally clear that I made the right choice in leaving him and eventually going No Contact.

To Stay on Track, Be Honest with Yourself

I have a gentle suggestion for anyone that is still struggling with that feeling of wanting the pathological abuser/exploiter back. Create your own list using words that describe what happened to you like this:

Bad Man/Woman = constant liar, cheater, infantile, fraudulent, etc.

Use the words that ring most true for you. Then tuck away your list in a place where you can access it whenever you feel yourself getting off track. Or, if you are really struggling, post it on the bathroom mirror or keep it in your purse for instant reality checks! Read it over and over, as often as you need. Use the list to replace those moments of longing.

My list helped me many times in the early days. Whenever I run across the list, I read it through. It reminds me to be thankful for my life for what it is, and what it isn’t, today.

Here is my list.

Introducing… the Bad Man

Attacks me
Judges me
Does not see himself
Isolates me
Name calling
Spin Doctor
Secret Abuser
Advises and “counsels” me on “anger issues” but does not control his own anger
Self Righteous
Inflated Super Ego
Omits the truth
Manipulates people
No boundaries
Uses People
E-mail bombs
Scares Me
Emotional Abuse
Mind F***

Gee, I wonder why I don’t miss him. NOT!

The Truth, a Lesson, and Peace

Imagine if the Bad Man’s personal dating profile was the list above. He doesn’t sound very appealing does he? This, of course, is not how he describes himself. That is why it is important to write down the truth. I wrote my list in one of those raw, painful moments, standing on the edge of “the Fog” as we say. My list is me, speaking to… me. It is the rope I clung to whenever I started to dangle over that black hole again.

The list is the TRUTH.

In the days when I still missed him, it was all about the fantasy of the Bad Man, the great seducer. Today, I am learning to pay more attention to what I see and not so much to what people say. This is fundamental to restoring faith in myself because I let myself down. I need to trust myself to assess a situation and trust what I see (ie.: intimidation, blame shifting, hypocrisy, etc.). I need to stand up for me when life calls for it. No one should be able to talk me out of my instincts to protect myself and my spirit. That was far too easy in the past. This was one of the lessons I needed to learn.

If you chose to do an exercises like my list, it may bring up a lot of pain but ultimately, it is meant to bring you clarity and eventually peace. When I look at this list today, I feel peaceful knowing that I left this man in the dust. There was no other choice.

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Tea Light

Louise, love, come on. Everyone has a personal email address. Everyone. EVERYONE. He told you he did not, but Lou, he did. Come on. And he used his work phone for you and OW and other work based women because his wife has access to his personal phone. She may have the code to listen to his voice mail. Because he is so trustworthy, and so open. Blah blah blah. Come on Lou!! No denial. Sorry I’m being harsh but I can’t read that he didn’t have email or a personal phone without challenging it.

I think it would be great for you to sit down with a professional counselor and talk through whatever you need to, as I have had to. Team Louise!! Am rooting for you my love. x


Tea Light:

No, he really didn’t have a personal cell phone. I think he didn’t want to pay for it…why pay that monthly fee when he had the work phone for free? He’s kind of cheap like that I think. He never told me he didn’t have a personal email…again, I just think he didn’t because he always used his work one…why use a work one and risk getting fired by using their electronic sources? That is why he could have been fired for all I know. Not in denial about it…he may have had a personal email, but not the cell phone. Now he does though…he would have to.

I hate having to go to counseling…I don’t want to do it. God…

Tea Light

Lou counseling is the best thing I could have done, there is NO WAY I could have kept it together and processed the stuff I had to after the assaults without it. No way. We just can’t always do it alone, or with friends. Plus I know, and totally respct, that you are not on AD meds, which some, like me, have found helpful, so I just would urge you to find a really good counselor who can help you with this very very hard and draining work, don’t go it alone anymore Lou, or rather, without a professional to help you along your way to healing. x


Tea Light:

I don’t even know where to start really. I went to a counselor last time who specialized in PTSD as I thought that is what I was suffering from, but it didn’t help. I don’t know if there are counselors who specialize in the displacement activity. It’s overwhelming. I don’t want to spend my money, but I know it’s wrong to think that way. x

Tea Light

Lou any decent counselor will be familiar with the concept of ‘displacement activity’, so the key thing is to find a counselor who understands bereavement / significant loss, and also abusive relationships, if they can deliver on those two fronts, and you respond well to them and feel you can work with them on your healing and self growth then you’re on the right path x


Tea Light:

Thanks. I will make sure that they understand those two issues before I work with them. x

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