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About Stolen Lives

Over the years, hearing many victim stories, I often felt the pain and loss of “stolen lives.” Note that having one’s life stolen is not the same process as giving one’s life away. There are some who spend 30 or more years in a relationship with a sociopath/psychopath and it is important people understand that there is always coercion involved in the process of making and maintaining these relationships.

Consider that the coercive behavior that begins and maintains relationships occurs on a continuum from persuasion, to lying/manipulation to taking someone physically by force. The point is that there was never informed, freely given consent. If the victim had known the truth of what they were dealing with, they never would have been in the relationship. The person they thought they were with and the life they thought they had, did not exist. As this website points out, the perpetrator was a fraud.

This kind of fraud should be a crime, especially when it results in pregnancy, but that is a discussion for another day.

As you are recovering and living what is left of your stolen life, you might gain inspiration from someone who experienced extreme relationship coercion, Jaycee Dugard, a woman who was kidnapped at age 11 and held 18 years. I highly recommend her book, A Stolen Life.

In the book, Jaycee tells the story of her: abduction, the birth of her two daughters when she was 14 and 16, her daily life and eventual rescue. The book is so well written, I felt close to her as I read it and so grateful she had the bravery to tell her story. This is one of the best descriptions of life with a psychopath that has ever been written. If you lived with a psychopath you will relate to the twisted reality she endured. Also consider that she presses on, making the best of the life she has left and so can you!

This quote gives you a taste of the twisted reality, you may relate to:

“I gave my power to my abductor. I was the one to comfort him when he was the one in the wrong. Where was my comfort? Where was my freedom? Why did I feel the need to comfort my tormentor? Violating my body was not enough? He had to violate my mind as well? He had the ability to turn every situation to suit his needs.”

If you like Jaycee, were coerced into giving up your power, you can also decide today to take it back.

For more on this story, watch Jaycee Dugard interview: Diane Sawyer speaks candidly with survivor.


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41 Comments on "About Stolen Lives"

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Liane, thank you for this timely article. Seriously, it’s timely for me in that I really need to keep my own situation in perspective. And, as I always type, I read what I need to on this site, precisely when I need to read it.

I agree that the coercion should be defined as an actual crime.

Brightest blessings, and thank you for this on-time article.

I need to get this book. My situation is a struggle, and I am so angry and resentful lately, but as Truthy said above, “I really need to keep my own situation in perspective.” Boy, isn’t that the truth! I didn’t have 18 years of my life stolen by a psychopathic pedophile. Jaycee is inspirational. She is resiliant!

I just saw a great movie about the madness of it all, and yet how humans have the capability to live as if everything is normal, day to day business, depsite the shocking madness going on.

Have any of you ever seen “Festen”? It’s a Danish movie of a father celebrating his 60th birthday and the family and friends joining at the giant mansion to celebrate his birthday. He has two sons, one showing the typical signs of a spath the other a kind mediating and enabling soul, and two daughters. But one of the daughters, twin sister of the mediating son, committed suicide a few months before that. The other sister finds a suicide note but you don’t get to know the content until nearly the end of the movie. The celebration starts and it’s obvious at least with the youngest son some disfunctioning is present in the family. The oldest son gives a celebration speech where he drops the bomb of him and his twin sisters (who committed suicide) being raped by their father when they were children. But at first nobody responds to it much, the dinner party keeps on going, speeches to honor the father keep on going. Everybody pretty ignores the exposing act of the eldest son. The sole sister who still lives is the first to tell everyone else her brother is a liar, the father threatens his eldest son of revealing what a nutcase he is, the mother gives a speech about how he was always a kid with a lot of fantasy and who had a made-up invisible friend (but who once witnessed the act and was ordered to leave the room and did)… The eldest son wants to leave the party after his first reveal and go home (Paris where he has two restaurants), but he finds friends in the staff who serve the meal and drinks as well as his sister’s boyfriend. They ensure that nobody can leave (by taking the car keys and hiding them) and has to sit through the party. It eventually becomes a powerplay of truth versus denial (portrayed by continuing the party), who supports who.

It’s filmed in a realistic way. The camera shots are grainy and kindof wobbly, and the actors behave in an everyday way (even the spathic brother), which gives it a very realistic feel, as if you’re one of the guests at the dinner table.

Darwins,
That sound’s like a great movie. One of those family’s that pretend like nothing wrong happened. How familiar it sound’s to my life..The abuser’s walk upright and have the respect of everybody, the victim’s walk with their head’s down and are called the crazy ones.

Exactly, Hens! People keep pretending like nothing wrong happened, and at the same time it makes this ‘business as usual’ attitude totally surreal. All of us have experienced this surreal behaviour by people we counted on to love us, to support us and care about s.

It’s a surreal movie because of that attitude, and yet beautifully performed, and it has a purging sense. It becomes pretty nasty with the accusing son being cast and denial having the upperhand, but some people remain in support of the son and in their own small ways help break the denial into acceptance.

The ending is pure justice, again in a non-dramatic, small way. By the time it’s breakfast, and everyone is pretending as if nothing happened the previous night, the spathic son whispers to his father (who just gave an apologetic speech for what he did to his children) to leave the table so they can actually finally enjoy their meal.

sweet justice..

Thanks for this post Liane. I do sometimes feel like my life has been stolen from me. I have thought a lot about Jaycee Dugard and I am certainly going to put her book on my list of “to reads” next. The thing that is tough about what psychopaths do to most of us is that it appears as though its court sanctioned abuse. Everyone looks at the Jaycee Dugard situation and is appropriately appalled. Jaycee never had to even think about sharing custody with that man (of course once he was finally caught). Does it make me a bad person to sort of envy her ability at this point to recover in peace? Of course I understand that my situation is on many levels not as bad as her. I wasn’t 11 when I met the psycho and I certainly wasn’t “raped” in that way or held captive in that way.

That being said, I was very afraid to leave and during the times I wasn’t afraid to leave…I was being mentally tortured into thinking that I somehow deserved the kind of emotional abuse that I was enduring. To top it all off, I had no idea to what level I was being manipulated and conned until I was hit in the head with a horrible situation.

Even after all my ex has done (which our judge even admitted was foul), the judge still turned to me and told me that there was also something wrong with me for “choosing” this man. I didn’t choose to have my life stolen from me! I didn’t choose the man he really is! Despite that, however, the court has completely sanctioned the abuse that I endured and are going as far as saying that because he is the biological father he has a RIGHT to continue doing what he has been doing to my family.

So as terrible as it makes me…part of me envys Jaycee’s current situation. I don’t envy her for going through what she did because it is more horrible than my situation by a long shot (as I was not a child and not captive)…but I envy the fact that she is now protected by the law from that mad man and she is allowed to recover in peace.

I hope that one day the law will see these people for who they really are and hold them accountable even when their actions are not as obvious as holding an 11 year old girl captive and raping her for years. 🙁

I read somewhere, quite a while back, someone saying:

‘Please don’t sentence me to co-parenting!’

It almost feels like a long jail sentence because you cannot get away from the exspaths. You are entangled in their abuse and tactics and have to voluntarily (and with much fear) turn your children over to them for visitation. Then you end up spending years trying to figure out how to ‘escape’.

Jamie’s story reminds me of the song “killing ground” that is sung by a heavy metal group. However, she did survive!

The (English) lyrics talk about a war where those who surrender are killed by their enemies who show a total lack of mercy. In fact the killers seem to enjoy their killing spree. Unfortunately, the lyrics remind me of my relationshit with my husband and his grown children.

The words serve as a reminder that, regardless of what I do or do not do, I will be treated as an enemy by the uncaring slags (Caroleans) in my life.

Ett Slag Fargat Rott lyrics

Killing Ground

At Fraustadt the Swedish forces faced
An army almost twice its size.
And on that day we showed the world not only
Our superiority in battle but also
How cruel man can be.

Frozen ground,
Ride with the wind
Emerge from the gunsmoke like demons
Rehnskiöld’s men
Charging their flanks
The enemy trembles with fear

One by one the Saxons disband
Or die where they stand

Killing ground
Even though you surrender
Turn around
You will never survive
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/s/sabaton-lyrics/ett-slag-fargat-rott-lyrics.html ]
Killing ground
At the battle of Fraustadt

Fall in line
Battle formations
Show no fear
Riding them down
Break their will
Show them no mercy
Caroleans attack

Round them up, look into their eyes
They beg for their lives

See the Caroleans standing tall
All for one and one for all
Enemies fall at their feet
Begging for their mercy
See the Caroleans standing tall
Conquer lands and slaughter all
Enemies fall at their feet
Victory and great defeat

I am about halfway through Jaycee’s book. What a chilling journey into the mind of a sociopath and a life of survival. In many ways it reminds me of the 9 years I spent feeling like a captive in my stepfather’s home, learning how to walk on eggshells around him to avoid his bouts of abuse. Like Jaycee, I felt like I was in prison.

I am most amazed at this young woman’s attitude and her forward-thinking attitude, love of her children, and love of life. She harbors no anger and animosity because she feels it will kill the years she has left. Coming from someone whose life and innocence were stolen from her for 18 years, it is one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever read.

Wow, I am really feeling impacted by this book. It is triggering a lot of my old memories of being young and feeling imprisoned in a bleak life with my abusive stepfather and enabling mother who was more jealous of me than protective. I’m thinking I may have to write my own story pretty soon. I am glad Jaycee spoke out in a big way. I never spoke out, and even now I don’t speak of my abuse very often. I didn’t realize until reading her story that I still hide behind a veil of silence in some ways, even though a lot of people know parts of my story.

Star,
Just reading the little bit that I did, has ruined my whole day.
I’m not kidding, I have a sick feeling in my gut. It brought back all the evil of my spath and it hit me like a tidal wave.

The way she writes, I think, is part of it. There is no extraneous information. She writes her experience, the experience of an 11 year old. We all remember being that vulnerable and fearful. Yet she actually experienced what we all feared.

Now in our knowledge of how these evil people really think, we fill in the holes and her book is almost too much to bear.

Yeah, you should write your story but only when you’re ready. It will probably bring out a lot of pain.

I found her story to be very ‘triggering’ to me as well.
I had to take it in little ‘doses’ because it hit too close.

Like MONTHS in between doses.
I can so relate to her.
Completely.

Yes, Star, you should write your story!
My story is too ugly to go through again.
I will just take it with me to my grave and
hopefully it will just all stop there.

Not even my children know all the ugly parts.

Dupey

one/joy_step_at_a_time

‘stolen life’. i told a friend a few months ago that i felt the spath had stolen my future. she interpreted that to mean that the spath stole my confidence. i appreciate her interpretation. i do feel completely unsure of myself most of the time – and by that i mean: i can be doing something i think is correct, seems right, or the thing to do, but i am so disconnected from myself that i feel little confidence.

at this time i think it comes down to needing more time to myself, more time away from working. i did so well the first month i had off, between jobs. it’s been a hard month. i do realize that i may have to quit one of my jobs, and have decided this weekend that i will take a day off from one of them this week – to be able to work on the other. ergh. to go on as i have would not be the best thing to do. i just can’t do both of these very demanding jobs at the same time.

i am in a position right now, where i deal with impassioned opposition to what the company i am working for is doing. and i am writing contingency plans for possible situations of agression and violence escalation at public meetings – oh yah, that’s a lot of fun. not. PTD is very tirggered. i gotta get real about this stuff. i am taking it waaaay too seriously, and at the same time not seriously enough…..as in where does taking care of ME fit into this picture?

but this weekend i kept running from it all – instead of dealing with it head on. rats. grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can….

A word to the wise: Do NOT go salsa dancing after reading Jaycee Dugard’s book. I attempted this tonight. It wasn’t pretty. I was not in the mood. I danced with both Mark and Jacques, my two teachers, and they had to constantly correct me because I was very off balance. I felt depressed, but I wanted to make an appearance and see my classmates who all go to this club on Sundays. (Also, I looked really really good, and wanted to make an impression on the guys I like). I’ve had such a crush on Jacques that when he finally asked me to dance, I blushed 3 shades of purple and got very flustered. Stupid crushes. lol

The guy from the more advanced beginner class that I like was there. He was so happy to see me and told me how my smile lit up the room. Of course, I was smiling because I was happy to see him. But when I was practicing some of the new moves with him, I just felt a loss of confidence. It didn’t help that my 4″ heels were very uncomfortable and I could barely walk in them. I hadn’t eaten much, and I was sweating because it was so hot with so many people there. I felt like I was gonna pass out. Finally, the guy I like (same guy I just mentioned) came over and asked me to dance. I told him I would be leaving soon because I just wasn’t feeling it tonight. He sat down and put an arm around my waist in that friendship kind of way, and it really made me feel so cared for. He said, “What if we just do some basic turns and cross body leads?” I said, “okay”. As I was dancing with him, the smile returned to my face. I just like his energy so much and enjoy the connection. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not an exciting sexual energy. It’s a warm “home” kind of feeling. I don’t remember when I’ve felt like that with a man. I can just tell that he likes me too. It’s a nice feeling. No love bombing, not even an exchange of phone numbers. We’re just always happy to see each other. I made it a point to tell him I had such a big smile because he was there. I think you need to give men a little encouragement – even the confident ones. I feel this kind of emotional safety with him. I don’t feel it with my dance teachers, but then I hardly know any of them.

Anyway, I ended up leaving just feeling depressed, I think, because of being triggered by the book today. It made me realize how much I’ve kept inside my whole life and still keep inside. I so wish I had someone to tell these things to. Maybe that’s why I want to write the book. A hispanic guy that I’d danced with very briefly followed me out and asked for my phone number. We spoke a little in Spanish, and I gave him my number so we could maybe meet up tomorrow night at another salsa club to practice.

Dupey I’m sorry your past is too painful to even write about. It’s good that you know your limits and that you take care of yourself. My pain isn’t so much about what happened to me, but more about keeping my voice locked up inside. I actually feel a band of tension in my throat. I especially feel it now. It’s just the wanting to share about my life with someone so they can really know me. Many people know bits and pieces, but it’s not the same as having a really close friend to talk to. I really felt like if I get to know the salsa guy a little better, he might become a good friend. But I don’t want to scare him away with my issues at this early stage in the friendship. I will see him again for our classes on Thursday (he’s in the more advanced class but in the same room, so we still get to dance together). I hope to have it pulled together a little by then.

Sky, I can see why that book ruined your day. It didn’t exactly enliven mine. The way she describes her Stockholm’s syndrome type feelings is very much the way I remember my feelings with my stepfather and the prison I felt I lived in for 9 years with the enabling mother. I suppose that little girl inside is still waiting to be rescued.

BTW, in case anyone is interested, I found a video of Mark and Jacques, my salsa teachers, doing a “salsa steal” move. Mark is the tall thin one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsM7-CpXP00

The woman they are dancing with is Edie the Salsa Freak. She is the one who did the salsa boot camp I went to last year where I first met Mark and Jacques. She is their teacher and probably one of the top salsa teachers in the world.

onesteppers. I think our spath experience revealed so many ugly truths about our live’s before they ever came along. the spath’s knocked us flat on our faces. not only did we have to pull ourselves up and learn to breathe again, we had to examine everything about us..maybe our confidence was built on lie’s, we are product’s of our parant’s and all their crap as well..we are learning things we never knew before. and realizing how truly very alone we are..scarey.

Star,
yeah, I’m not as strong as I pretend to be, I guess. Or maybe it’s just certain days. The accumulation matters too. Funny thing about Salsa. When I first left the spath, I spent a few evenings video taping Salsa dancers on the beach. It was therapeutic and I uploaded to youtube. I’ll send them to you if you like. email me if you want to see them.

Hens,
all human beings’ confidence is built on a lie. We are nothing in the grand scale but we have to believe otherwise in order to continue moving. That’s the key. We have to have cog/dis and use it in our favor. How? By knowing what it feels like. I guess.

It’s been hard these last couple days. I’ve been focused on staying grounded in reality. All I see is spaths, when I do that.

Sky, my friend, there are good people out there. And if you need to write to me you are always welcome, if it helps. Yes, you can send me the salsa video. I love watching salsa dancers. I can only hope to be half as good as the good ones are some day. Sky, the pain will come out as you are ready to feel it and when you feel emotionally safe. It’s okay not to feel strong, and it’s okay to fall apart. I am a miserable mess today, but still I feel okay on some level. Like I know I will survive this too. I have a very happy and confident side. I am drawing on this to help me get through the tough times.

Yeah, it’s a tough book to read – I didn’t realize how hard it would be to read it. It’s not too much for me. I don’t mind being triggered. I consider it a good thing at this point. I only need an outlet for some of these feelings. I’m so used to bottling them up. I don’t feel like I have enough resources, and this is what I need to have in my life now. Trust is my big issue, so finding someone I can trust to open up with is key.

I’m thinking about calling my officemate whom I’ve gotten pretty close with. I know she cares and would be there for me. But I also know how busy she is with her family and career. Reaching out is hard. But I know I really have to.

Oh Sky Oh My. all humanity is built on a lie? We are nothing in the grand scale of things? No wonder we feel disconnected. Maybe the spath’s are on to something…eat or be eaten…
oh well at least we have humming birds…off to work..

It was a rough night for me last night, staying up trying to finish the Jaycee Dugard story – almost finished – and then not being able to get to sleep for a few hours. I have a massage scheduled this morning (for me) and am very tired and underslept. I don’t really know how to integrate all of the bottled up feeling I have right now that makes me want to run away from my life. I will be damned if I sabotage the salsa lessons because of all this crap I go through over my past. I will find a way to deal with it. I’m too healthy to turn back. I will just write if I have to – anything to get the feelings out. Even blogging helps lift the lid that sits over my throat that’s been there since long before my stepfather even came into the picture when I was 7. It’s what happened growing up with narcissistic parents who didn’t care how I felt about anything, who never asked me any questions, who ony needed me to take care of their needs. This is the carnage. Because words are powerful, I won’t say it sucks because so much of the time I am feeling happy and light. I will say it’s very challenging. I compartmentalize this and it doesn’t seem fair. My inability to verbalize my feelings has cost me many friendships over the years. I intend to stop doing it, even if I have to write a book like Jaycee.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

(((((((((STAR)))))))))))

Thanks one joy. Back atcha. i needed that hug. Rough morning for me, but I’m doing okay. How are you doing?

Stargazer, if there are things in your life, right now, that give you a sense of “good” emotional and physical healing, those things are priceless.

I’m not where you are, yet, and I can’t even claim “post” traumatic stress, yet. I’m still in the midst of the damages.

You’ve got determination, Stargazer, and you also have a clear grasp on your experiences, even if it’s uncomfortable. I believe that you’ll work through all of this in very good order.

Brightest blessings

one/joy_step_at_a_time

not great star – i have that wild feeling where i want to do harm to myself. this usually plays out in not taking care of myself. not taking time with myself. it’s coming up a lot lately. it’s a response to being in situations where i sacrifice myself/ feel i need to/ can’t figure out how to say no. makes me kind of crazed.

One joy,
I relate to your post so much. Been there so many times. It’s gotten better for me. Don’t give up on yourself. It’s okay to nurture yourself and pamper yourself. You deserve it. You deserve to be first in your life. It’s amazing how other people will manipulate us with their agendas when we cannot take a strong stand for ourselves. You have such a service-oriented attitude, which is a great thing. But it’s okay to take some time and just pull your energy back and not do anything for anyone beyond what is required by your job. You may not want to do that, but at least know it is your right if you want to exercise it.

Truthspeak, thanks for your words of encouragement. Yes, there are positive things in my life, and I refuse to let my past destroy those things. I will write a book if I have to and make my tragedy into something that can maybe help someone else, like Jaycee did. Like Donna did. I won’t let the bad guys win this one. I won’t.

I just treated myself to a 2-hour massage and plan to go back every month. Because I deserve it.

WHAT DID THE SPATH GIVE ME AND WHY IS IT SO HARD TO LET IT GO?

I had a small ephipany today while driving back from the grocery store. What, exactly,

did the spath give me that I find so difficult to let go? I have been married twice before

and when those marriages were over, I was sad and wished that they hadn’t ended the

way that they had. But neither one of them was like this 8 year relationship! I was still

the same person, what was so different this time? Why couldn’t I release it and move on

with my life?

Neither one of my ex-husbands were like the spath. In fact, NO ONE had ever made me

feel like he did. And by that I mean, no one had ever made me as physically sick, scared,

confused, bewildered, ashamed, lost, financially devastated…well, you get the picture.

Most of us on here have been decimated, humiliated and degraded by this sub-human

species. What is wrong with us that we cannot LET THEM GO? We shouldn’t just be glad

to kiss them good-bye, we should be kicking them goodbye! And instead, many of us

would take them back in a heartbeat.

Why? Because they gave us something we so deeply needed, that the world ended the

same time that the relationship did. I don’t know what everyone else received from their

spath, but I do know what I got from mine. He made me feel loved and accepted in a way I

had never been before. He made me feel beautiful on my worst days. He shrugged off my

bad moods and laughed me out of them. He ignored any insults I hurled his way and

didn’t hold them against me. I could be my most terrible self and he still called me “His

Queen”. Since he couldn’t possibly make a mistake in his choice of romantic partner (in

his mind, anyway) I was the perfect woman for him. In a way, he did create the world we

lived in and so much of it was wonderful, fun, interesting and never, never boring. But.

The price I paid was tremendous and I will have to pay it for a while yet. I know that this

relationship, this world of his, wasn’t ever real, but you know, it sure felt real. More real

than anything I had ever experienced in my life. Those are pretty special feelings and he

doesn’t them own, unless I let him.

My spath must of said “I don’t care” at least a thousand times over the course of our time

together. And he meant it. What would bother a normal person, he was able to simply

shrug off. It was a lesson to me to lighten up my very serious view of the world.

Sometimes, things really don’t matter. (Another of his sayings). When I would get upset

because something had broken and I would now have to spend the money to replace it,

he said, “Things break, they wear out. Why are you getting so upset?” So I would stop

and reevaluate what was important. I appreciated that viewpoint and still remember to tell

myself that when yet again, something breaks.

I loved his sense of fun, it was so child-like. And although his version of fun would wear

thin sometimes when it was inappropriate conduct, I tolerated it because I was thrilled by

it. He really lived like somebody left the gate open! I couldn’t have been less like him if I

had tried and his way of approaching life helped swing me more to the middle of the road

than constantly riding the bumpy shoulder. How sad, for him, for us, that he had no idea

when to stop pushing the envelope. Not realizing that what he was doing was hurting so

many people. And it caused so much legal trouble in his life. How I wish that he could

have kept that sense of joie de vivre without spinning out of control. Sigh! And one day,

he didn’t care and I didn’t matter. My heart was broken.

I loved him very much. I still do. But the point is, I have the capacity to love someone

and he doesn’t. He never will. Good for me! That means even if I don’t quite know how

yet, I will be able to move on. It’s so very, very hard.

So what did he give me? He gave me complete acceptance and what I believed was love,

in a way no one had before. And I had an opportunity to explode with genuine love for

another person. He made me feel beautiful, no matter what and I am grateful for that.

And even if it was all an illusion, who here wouldn’t go back just for a day when we were

first being love-bombed by our spath? Unfortunately, we can’t go back. The good news

is, we can find a way to give deep love and acceptance to ourselves! This IS good news!

The spath uncovered our deepest needs and showed us how we can feel about

ourselves, through their eyes. Who says we can’t feel that way again? Now this is my

goal which I will reach for every single day for the rest of my life. And I have him to

thank for that. I didn’t know before I met him that I could be wholly acceptable in

someone’s eyes. Only now it’s my eyes. I can love-bomb myself.

If you are old enough, you may remember the poem, “Desiderata”. The best line was:

“For all its pain, drudgery and broken dreams, it’s still a beautiful world. Strive to be

happy”. Because if I give happiness to myself, then no one can ever take it away from

me again. And it can’t be that hard to help myself feel that way again. If the spath can do

it, then ANYONE can! What I finally understood is that it’s not him I miss or want back (he

comes packaged with too much pain), it’s those amazing feelings. You know they’re

already in you. He (or she) doesn’t have a copyright on them. Go get them, everyone!

Ah yes Newlife, the heady days of lovebombing by the spath. Unfortunately, or fortunately I no longer see this ridiculous flattery as anything but a way for him to get what he wants. What he always wanted….control. Oh yeh, I was, still am as he continues to intrude, the most beautiful woman …….yada yada bla bla. He wanted my money, my house, my family, my joie de vivre, I think you called it. Would I give anything to relive those early days with him……Yeh, sure. Knowing what I know now …..all the lies, all the bs, all the scheming, …..yeh let me at him

Newlife,

You wrote: When I would get upset because something had broken and I would now have to spend the money to replace it, he said, “Things break, they wear out. Why are you getting so upset?” So I would stop and reevaluate what was important.

Sounds reasonable, but maybe there’s more to this than what it appears to be. Perhaps it’s a pattern.

Mine also says things similiar to that. While he makes a good point, comments like these could also describe how he responds when he determines that I am “broken”.

No need for him to be upset…just make the “object” feel shamed and walk away…because the “object” is replaceable. (Oh, and it’s his actions, not his words, that scream that possibility.

You can never make my SP feel shame because he’s always right…except for those times when he acknowledges that he did or said something wrong, but only because of the information that he had at the time.

If he admits he did or stated something wrong, his information source is responsible for giving him the wrong information! He acted or reacted based upon bad information…if he had just been informed correctly…well he doesn’t need to accept any blame for what the other guy stated!

IMconfused, I never experienced a sincere apology, at any time during my marriage to either exspath. Any apology was followed by, “…but, if….” It was never, ever, “What I did was wrong, and I’m sorry that this made you feel _____.”

Spaths do not (and, can not) apologize because they aren’t doing anything wrong, in their Universe, even if what they’re doing is clearly illegal and criminal. There is always someone or someTHING to blame.

As for replacing things that are “broken,” it’s just an indication that nothing has value – everything can be replaced. There is no sentimental attachment or “family” attachment, even if it’s something of market value.

ick…..pond scum is offended to be lumped in the same category as socipaths….

I continue to work on my healing however wanted to pass along a book that helped me tremendously: Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz. It helped me overcome feeling like a victim (most of the time, not completely there yet) as well as coping with the feeling that I need to “save” everyone who is exposed to the P/S.

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Souls-Plan-Discovering-Meaning/dp/1583942726

At the very least it provides food for thought while we are on our journey.

Only we, who have experienced stolen lives, can come close to identifying what Jaycee went through. What a beautiful brave child and woman she is to share her story and help educate the world about these creatures, Thankfully she has been freed to get her life back and he will never be able to tough her children.

I lost ten years to a psychopath…from age 18 to 28. He got me right after my mother died when I was 18. He was so wonderful and changed into a monster on our wedding night. No question then, he owned me. We had two children before I got away. I got out and protected my children as much as I could. but he lured my son away at age 14. Blessedly I got him back when he went to college but he is still damaged. Now for the last 15 years he has targeted my daughter and now my grandchildren. He has my daughter so pulled in that she thinks I am the sick one. And I have been acting crazy with my PTSD reactivated…I was pulled into the triangle and he took another 15 years of trying to save my daughter. She has now estranged herself from me and taken away my grandchildren because I answered my 9 year old granddaughter’s questions about why I do not like him in a very mild and age appropriate manner. I did not tell her I do not like him, that was either obvious to her or her parents told her that but I am the guilty one for telling the truth and trying to give her a little warning to protect herself.

So he has taken 25 years and counting now. Not to mention the years of visitation rights and child support when he was not actively targeting us. I guess I just have to let my daughter and grandchildren go because there is nothing I can do. You cannot win against a psychopath and they go free most of the time. He abused three wives and three stepchildren before he decided to take my daughter.

I will probably never be free of him because of my children so it is a life sentence for me…so far from age 18 to age 65.

I’ve found the more I try to intervene (however gently) with anyone/anything who even has a loose association with the P, it makes things worse. So I’ve taken a similar approach as you Betsy and just decided to let go. Thankfully so far I do still have regular contact with my young adult son but FAR less than he has with his P father. I am concerned that my son inherited P traits (rampant in my ex’s family) but in my mind the jury is still out on that one. Perhaps your daughter has inherited some of those traits as well which would explain her behavior towards you.

Ex husband was spath. Also a pathological liar who truly believed his own lies, which is why he was so convincing.

He got in big trouble at work, but passed a lie detector test and the charges were dropped. (I’m embarrassed to say that I checked out several books for him on lie detectors at the local public library. But only after he coerced me through rage and threatened to physically harm me.)

He convinced authorities that the woman who wanted to press charges was an alcoholic and a nymphomaniac. It didn’t help her case at all since she was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous at the time.

He manipulated the male authorities into dismissing the woman’s written complaint by saying that it was something she had copied straight from a romance novel!!!

Spath was very smug and highly amused that he totally manipulated the whole situation. Of course, it fueled his warped perception that he had superior intelligence and power. Truly dangerous combination in the mind of a Spath!!!

Part 1 – I was married to a Sociopath/Emotional Terrorist!!!

Now it all makes perfect sense! I was married to a narcissistic sociopath. He was extremely handsome, very intelligent and well-educated. He was really charming and believed that he was perfect. Unfortunately, he also had a Jekyll/Hyde personality and a violent temper. Dangerous combination!!!

After suffering 11 long years of abuse, I finally realized that I was married to an emotional terrorist!!! I finally KNEW that the man was crazy and would never change because he thought he was perfect. So, I divorced ‘Satan’. Even though he had a mistress/finance while we were married and no longer wanted me, he launched a total war against me when I left him because he was no longer in control.

He truly believed that he was perfect. Whenever something went wrong—as determined by him—it was always everybody else’s fault; especially mine. He never took responsibility for anything. He would go into a total rage over anything little thing. This was extremely confusing because it was random. I spent 11 years trying to figure out the pattern and avoid his rages. But there wasn’t one. The only pattern was that he always found something to blame on me and then go into a rage.

He even had regular fantasies and truly believed that he was going to be President of the United States some day!!! He did run for public office, but that abruptly ended when the local newspaper reported during his campaign that I had gotten a restraining order, gone to a domestic violence shelter and filed for divorce. Just before I left him, he was choking me, threatening to snap my neck and kill me—and he knew how to do it from military training. I was terrified and just couldn’t take the abuse anymore. If I hadn’t left when I did, he would have killed me.

Also, during the marriage he would physically over-power me and spank my bottom until it was black and blue. Then he would blame it on me saying, ’you know how easily you bruise’. It was very humiliating!!! Oftentimes, he would grab my arm and leave bruises. There were many times that he pushed me and/or grabbed me and threw me across the room.

Most of the torture from him was emotional/mental and verbal abuse. My character was constantly assaulted and assassinated for the slightest things. I walked on egg shells and tried so hard to be perfect. But there was no way to avoid his violent temper. Almost daily, he’d go off about something insignificant. But the next time, he’d find something totally different and unrelated to have a fit about. I lived in a constant state of fear and extreme upset. I was a complete wreck!!!

Also, I was terribly lonely, isolated and heartbroken. He did not allow me to have any friends and we moved often (military). He also did not allow us to have any couple friends, because he said that HE didn’t need them. Of course, he couldn’t have cared less about my needs.
He managed to convince me that my family was stupid and an embarrassment. (They weren’t, they were/are really nice normal people.) Of course, we never went to visit them because he had absolutely no use for them. I felt so ashamed and was afraid of how he would act. Sadly, it was just easier to give in and do what he demanded. He would never let me have what I wanted anyway. He also threatened to kill me if anyone ever found out what was really going on (e.g., that he was abusive to me).

While I was at the domestic violence shelter with our daughter, he hired a PI to follow me from work. When he found out the location, he parked his car directly across the street from the shelter. Then he called the main number to the shelter and announced to them that he knew exactly where the shelter was located. One of the counselors thought she was calling his bluff and challenged that he couldn’t know since it was unlisted and undisclosed. He loudly told them that he was parked outside and could see their office window. This totally freaked out the shelter staff members!! He then demanded to speak to ’his child’ immediately. To appease him, the staff put our daughter on the phone. Of course, Spath took great delight in creating tremendous trauma and panic at the domestic violence shelter!!!

Part 2 – I was married to a Sociopath/Emotional Terrorist!!!

There was also his constant cheating and multiple affairs. During our marriage, I suffered greatly wondering where he was, who he was with, and when he would finally be coming home. After we divorced, one of his military buddies told me that Spath had a secret 2nd life with a mistress in another state that went on for several years during our marriage!!! BTW, this was not the same woman that he married immediately after our divorce.

Being married to Spath was extremely difficult. I did 100% of the cooking, cleaning, shopping, ironing, child care, errands, bill payment, etc. He did keep the yard mowed during the marriage. Except for one summer when we lived in the hot South and he demanded that I perform the chore. The actual temps were 100 to 105 degrees. He was mad at me for months and punishing me because I found out about the affair he had shortly after we had gotten married. This makes no sense!!!

Anyway, it was also difficult being married to him because he would suddenly, unexpectedly show up with the expectation that I should have had a piping hot home cooked meal magically ready and waiting for him—even though I had no idea that he would be coming home that day/night. This is just more evidence of the craziness and control that go along with being in a relationship with a Spath.

The court battle for divorce ended up being a 2+ year bloodbath. He was awarded the marital residence. I gave up my half the 4 rental properties because he kept badgering me and threatening to bankrupt me with them (for example, if there was an unexpected repair bill). I knew there would be no reasoning with him on anything, so had them legally signed over to him. That way, they were legally no longer my responsibility and I didn’t have to ever deal with him again. He also was awarded the small airplane. The only thing that he allowed to be divided fairly was the furniture. He didn’t really want any of it because his mistress/finance already had all the designer stuff after divorce from her wealthy husband.

Spath worked at a large investment brokerage and had already hidden all of the marital investments but lied and claimed that everything had been lost in failed investments. I was advised by a federal investigator that because of his occupation I would never find the money, so let it go and move on with my life. So, that’s what I did. But Spath had another trick up his sleeve and forced me to declare bankruptcy.

Spath also deliberately forced me into bankruptcy. He slept with the District Court Judge’s assistant, trying to influence the outcome of the trial. He also tried to control the court dates because he found out I had moved to another state (location unknown to him–which really enraged him, even though he had married one of the other women with whom he was screwing around while we were married and while she was also married). He admitted to my attorney that he was deliberately cancelling at the last minute saying that he couldn’t leave work just so that I would get stuck with the extra air fare expense. My attorney was great and able to make sure that did not happen.

Spath even showed up at my bankruptcy court hearing, demanding things and tried to tell the judge how to rule. Fortunately, it was a very experienced judge who saw through Spath’s tricks immediately. He ordered Spath to shut up and sit down, saying that he (the judge) was in charge of the court proceeding, not Spath!!!

Part 3 ”“ I was Married to a Sociopath/Emotional Terrorist!!!

The long-term stress and trauma almost killed me. I thought I was going crazy. I dared not talk to anyone because he had threatened to kill me if I did.

Of course, he told all his family and our friends that I had ‘mental problems’ and that nothing I said about him was true. Since he was so totally charming, they all believed him!!! This was after I went to the shelter, received a restraining order and started divorce proceedings. It was also after he went to jail for violating the restraining order. 100% of our supposed friends severed all contact with ME!!

There were a few times during the marriage when Spath actually cried. Now I know that it was all a game to him. He had no conscience or remorse about anything that he had done. He only did it to get what he wanted and ’win’!!!

All I can say is, Thank God I got out alive!!! After I left him, I felt like I had been released from a concentration camp. I realized how totally toxic this man was to me and severed all contact. In fact, I moved halfway across the country to an undisclosed state to get away from him completely. It took me several years to rebuild my life. Now, I have joy and peace in my life.

Thank you for reading about my unfortunate experience with a sociopath. There is something healing about finally being able to tell the truth about what really happened.

My heart goes out to all of you who have had to deal with the ravages of being in a relationship with a sociopath. There IS life and healing on the other side!!!

Charm4u, welcome to LoveFraud, and I’m so sorry to read of your experiences.

I’m so glad that you’re recovering. Your recovery provides hope for those of us who are fighting our ways out.

Brightest blessings to you

Somewhere on the LoveFraud Blog,I have seen the term ‘firestorm’ applied to the early part of our recovery period from our spath.That would define where I’m at.Although this has nothing to do with the book that was being discussed in earlier comments,I thought it worthy of being mentioned because I realized that some of the anger & sadness within was able to be released when I watched Alex Haley’s “Queen” today.When I was younger I had seen earlier episodes of “Roots”.Some or many of you may know that Halle Berry portrayed Queen.She was Alex’s grandmother.Anyway,she suffered greatly,not only herself,but by the things she saw.The affects it had on her mind would not show up for years.Strong person,she was.When she “lost it” and then when her husband had to take her to the insane asylum(thankfully it was only temporary),I was reminded of how CLOSE I came to that situation myself!!!Then later today,I read a comment posted back in Aug,from a reader dying of cancer who felt she has learned to be so forgiving.I cried then,too.Because those were my feelings all those 28 yrs that I stayed with my spath!But I finally realized that I was in a LOSING battle as long as I stayed with him,and begged my dr for help.I was fortunate.She helped me realize there was ONLY ONE solution-eventually leave.Two days later,without mentally having to draw up any courage,I walked out the door,never to return.What happened?!After fixing his breakfast and finally settling down to eat mine;after getting the first spoonful of rice in my mouth,my throat started closing up-I couldn’t breathe!My husband called me a drama queen repeatedly-I calmly put the bowl down on the counter and walked out the door!Guess what?!!My throat opened up and I was breathing just fine!

Blossom4th,

I’m not sure where you saw the term “firestorm” but believe me many if not all of us understand the term “crazymaking” here because that is what they do, they make us CRAZZZZY!

Your insightful experience with your breakfast and your courage to get up and walk out are wonderful and I applaud you loudly!!!! (Sound of BOTH hands clapping!)

Accepting the truth about our situations is difficult for most if not all of us again. We see what is wrong but we can’t accept it, or we think we must be mistaken, or that somehow the problem is our fault and if we just try harder, work harder, it will all come together and be fixed. Well, we can’t fix them, and they won’t fix themselves. We can only fix ourselves. BTW Wise doctor you have.

Glad you are here at LF. When I first came here I was living in hiding from the man my son sent to murder me, crying uncontrollably, and “crazy as a sheet house rat” (that’s a technical medical term, if you don’t understand it I’ll get you a definition. LOL 🙂 )

Ox,
Oh yeah,Crazzzzy works just fine too….I felt that way on a daily basis!And that’s what woke me up.My body and mind had sustained all the damage thru the years that they could!I had maintained strong composure thru it all(actually I was just scared stiff!);many people commenting on “what a strong person you are!”Believe you me-it wasn’t my strength!I was always sickly and am an epileptic (the spath just about finished off the brain!).Now,I can add fibromyalgia to the list of diagnosis’…more than likely another ‘gift’ from the spath!
Oh yes-please do explain”crazy as a sheet house rat”!From what I’ve been reading,you’ve certainly been through alot,and I can understand why you choose to call your mom an ‘egg donor’ and why you have trouble trusting.

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