By | January 8, 2010 244 Comments

After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 16 – The end of recovery

Because there is so much discussion lately about pity, empathy and compassion in the wake of a relationship with a sociopath, I am writing this article to discuss compassion as it fits into the recovery process.

Before I begin, I would like to humbly remind my readers that recovery, by its nature, is a progression through different stages of emotional learning. If the trauma is major, these emotional states will be intense. And they will color our “sight” or view of the world and ourselves. I’m pointing this out as a warning that, unless you are in late-stage recovery, the material in this article may be irritating and you may find me a holier-than-thou pain in the butt.

If the farthest you have gone in trauma processing is denial, bargaining, anger, or grief and letting go, the related emotions will — and should — dominate your view of things until you learn the lessons of that stage and gaduate to the next one. Each graduation changes your world, and it also alters your perspective on how you felt before. For example, anger looks back at denial as a less empowered, less insightful phase. And denial veiws anger as anger as socially unacceptable or scary. This is just the natural progression of maturing consciousness. We look back from a larger perspesctive. We tend to block or demonize information from levels that are too far beyond where we are now.

So if this article doesn’t make sense to you, or it seems “nice but improbable,” or you find it irritating or nutty, it means it’s not useful to your current learning stage. Typically we can see into the next level of healing, even if we’re not fully there. Beyond that, it’s hard for us to intuitively grasp how it’s going to be.

As we observe on LoveFraud, there is a lot of learning in recovery. This article is about the end of the process. It’s an end so complete that, every “next time” we face a trauma, we know how the processing will end. It changes forever the way we approach healing and the speed at which we do it.

Defining compassion

Most of us grew up in the Judeo-Christian tradition where compassion is understood as a “social” feeling. That is, the feeling is about “we,” not just “I.” It’s associated with ideas about welfare as a community goal, not just an individual one. So we tend to define compassion as concern about someone else’s difficulty plus some level of obligation to help.

This definition of compassion is why the sociopath’s pity ploy is so challenging for us. It’s also why there may be resistance to my statements that I feel compassion for my ex, because I am aware of the painful identity damage he lives with. The assumption, I believe, is that it’s dangerous to feel compassion for an anti-social person, because that feeling comes with implied obligation to help. So it may seem inexplicable that I am aware of his pain, but feel no responsibility for alleviating it.

The concept of compassion that I am presenting to you today is somewhat different. It is more like a Buddhist or Eastern idea of compassion. This compassion is simply a state (of mind), not a process of identifying need and acting on it. This state of compassion may inform our actions — quite literally inform, by providing information — but the actions themselves are driven by other commitments or goals.

That’s all very abstract. Why does it matter?

Here’s why. The state of compassion which is open-hearted willingness to understand other people’s states and situations and to feel whatever feelings that produces puts us into full alignment with “what is.” It’s a vibrant awareness that keeps us gathering information, learning, and accepting reality without judgment.

It’s not that we don’t make judgments on other levels of consciousness. In a compassionate state, we may understand what’s driving a person who is dangerous to us. On another level, we may interpret this person as nothing but a threat and be preparing to defend ourselves or flee. But the compassionate level “sees” their state, our state, and many surrounding details. All that information moves “down” the processing ladder to refine what’s going on at the visceral self-defense level, the pleasure-pain level, our community-feelings level, and the cognitive level where we’re doing logical reasoning.

In other words, this compassionate level of awareness feeds all our processes by providing them with information that is detailed, perceptive and based on openness to active states and connections in our environment.

If this sounds like a hierarchy of consciousness, that is exactly what it is. There are lots of models for this hierarchy, which I’m not going to get into now. But I mentioned earlier that this is the end-state of recovery. That means recovery from a specific trauma. It doesn’t mean that we have this compassionate awareness in every area of our lives, but any specific healing process is over when we have processed through to compassion.

Our changing focus in healing

We’ve talked about denial, bargaining, anger, grief and letting go, and finally learning the lesson that changes our perspectives and/or life rules. This follows the Kubler-Ross model of grief processing. But Kubler-Ross was conceived as a model for people facing terminal illness. It described how people come to accept the ending of their lives. The model I’m working with goes farther, because it assumes that recovery is a doorway into a new chapter of life.

To see the whole picture of recovery, it helps to look at the progressive shifts in our focus. Up to anger, and including part of the angry phase, trauma processing is about maintaining personal control the idea that this is something we can change or affect. First we try to control our reactions (denial), then we try to control how our behavior influenced the situation (bargaining), then we try to control the situation by force of will (anger). In anger, we grasp that the problem is external to us. To control the impact of such externalities in the future, we develop defensive skills and perceptions.

In the later stages of anger and this is one of the things that moves us out of anger we become aware that we’re dealing with something that was not in our control at all. While the skills-building makes us feel better about ourselves, we are still reacting to outside threats. This focus on the external continues through the grieving and letting go process.

Turning inward

Grieving what we cannot change leads, eventually, to letting go. We can’t fully let go in anger. Instead, we have to revisit the love or great value we felt toward what we lost. (This may be, and often is, something that we now recognize as an illusion.) Reawakening love, even to say goodbye, relaxes us back into ourselves, and opens us to the “lightbulb” learnings that typically release us from previous attachments or ideas of what we “must” have or do to be happy or whole.

In discovering what we don’t need, we gain freedom — more scope of action, feelings, and even intellect. But to explore the meaning of that freedom, we find ourselves “shaking down” our internal systems to see what makes sense now and what doesn’t. With freedom comes responsibilities, and we have more learning to do about how we will act, what we will expect, and how our feelings work in this new world.

As a simple example, a common learning from our experience with a sociopath is that, although we once needed other poeple to confirm our okay-ness, we realize we don’t need external validation to trust our values and perceptions. So flattery and promises, or outside opinons about our dreams or our guilt, may sometimes make us feel good (or bad) but they’re not ultimately as true for us as our own ideas and feelings. So how does that affect every other relationship in our lives? Working this through takes time and experimentation.

More to the point, perhaps, relationships with sociopaths teach us that we have the inborn entitlement and responsibility to take better care of ourselves. To take ourselves more seriously. To assign higher value to not just our survival, but what we do with our lives. And this imperative eventually brings us to a confrontation with how we really feel about ourselves.

Clearing the obstacles to self-love

This confrontation is usually shocking, something like traumatic. It’s mindbending to discover that we’ve been carrying around damage that has caused us to treat ourselves as badly as we accused the sociopath of doing. In fact, we could almost call the sociopath an agent of our own distrust and disrespect for ourselves.

But now we’re experienced enough to know that we didn’t do this to ourselves. We identify the externaliites and note how little control we had. Even working with memories, we can assert our right to our integrity, our right to thrive, and reject the old influences on our lives that once crippled us with feelings of unlovability, unworthiness, insecurity or despair.

This process of restoring self-love is the end stretch of trauma-processing. Our shakedown of our internal beliefs, rules and processes becomes more pervasive and profound. We are in touch with a need that we may have felt before, often masked in background anxiety or in addictive hungers, but we can’t mistake what it really is. We want to clear away anything that keeps us from being in touch with our true self the bright, good, authentic, perceptive, learning, feeling center that has been the source of our best social impulses and also our self-healing impulses all our lives.

When we understand that this center exists and feel its nature, we come home to something that has always been there. It’s an experience that is impossible to describe, but it is the beginning of making sense of everything in our lives. In particular, we see how much of our life story has been about our attempts to heal traumas and get back to who we are. We become more conscious of how unhealed wounds color our perceptions. Though we cannot resolve everything at once, each resolved trauma illumates more of our authentic self, and helps us tell the differnce between what is authentic in us and what is unfinished trauma-processing. In this knowledge, we become more understanding and able to comfort ourselves, and more accepting of our normal human pains, fears, losses, as well as hungers, attractions, and goals.

We don’t have to be perfect to love ourselves. We can make peace with who we are. We can become more relaxed about new challenges, because we accept that, win or lose, we’re going to learn something great.  We can acquire a sense of humor about where we’re still developing and are not so good at being all we could be.

We gain a new perspective, a kind of distance from ourselves that relieves us from fear and criticism, but encourages us in our progess as evolving  people. That perspective also gradually aligns all the levels of consciousness behind a new “boss,” a new highest, deepest level that is more open and smart, while being more tolerant and supportive of our humanity. All of it our need to physically survive, our genetic attachments to family, our drive to bond and reproduce, our dependence on community, our desire to make our lives meaningful, and all the other needs that come with being human. Compassion is like having an angel in the “top office,” influencing the way the whole company works.

But here’s the thing about compassion. As that open-hearted awareness anchors our internal workings, it also changes the way we see the world. Our perceptions are a reflection of our inner lives. We see from where we are in ourselves.

Compassion and Sociopathy

Compassion is a state of awareness. As I said earlier, this definition of compassion does not require us to act or react. It simply provides a new and more refined set of information to the rest of our systems. In the case of identifying a sociopath or finding reason to react, the identification is made with openness to understanding their state, including the wounded pain of their broken humanity. But compassion feels this pain without becoming involved in it. The information made available to our defensive systems may be simply that this person is wounded, extremely needy for personal support, but is apparently unable to heal or return support to other people. His needs are bottomless and not fixable by us.

Sad for him, and sad for us to know this about him. But it clarifies our response. Compassion tells us there is no potential for a mutual relationship and nothing to be gained by trying to help.

People who have read me here for a while, know that I am committed to changing social systems that, in my belief, create the circumstances in which children develop affective disorders — inadequate nurture, environmental violence and direct abuse. Sociopathy is an affective disorder, which may have genetic factors of predisposition, but is powerfully affected by environmental factors. I can’t change sociopaths, but I want to help reduce future suffering (and all the suffering it causes) at the source, where children are learning despair of trusting anything but themselves.

My way to change those systems is to help individuals stop the cycle of damage for themselves. I believe that we can heal our old damage, so we are no longer perpetuating or supporting the transmission of damage through generations, communities and other human systems. If we don’t get well, we are part of the problem. If we do get well, we become living solutions. Some of us will change the world just by being human beacons, people who inspire other people to learn to love themselves and discover with the powerful rationality that compassion brings. Some of us will use the information compassion brings us to actively work on human systems to create a better world where human potential can flourish.

So that is compassion in my view. I hope this clarifies what I mean when I talk about compassion, and why some of you may find my perspectives and my language so different. I hope that, in my voice, some of you hear the voice of your future.

Namaste. My angel high-fives your angel.


PS. This article is not about what’s wrong with you, being a more loving person so you’re treated better, or accepting or forgiving bad behavior.  If it even seems like that, come back and take another look at it in a year or so. In the meantime, don’t worry, you’re doing fine and exactly where you’re supposed to be on the path.

Posted in: Kathleen Hawk

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Dear Kathy, when I read your title I was kind of shocked. Will there be ever an end to recovery? Are you stopping writing your wonderful articles? Then I read on, and it turned out like in the end of the Film “Casablanca”: The beginning of a wonderful friendship (with oneself)!

“This process of restoring self-love is the end stretch of trauma-processing. Our shakedown of our internal beliefs, rules and processes becomes more pervasive and profound. We are in touch with a need that we may have felt before, often masked in background anxiety or in addictive hungers, but we can’t mistake what it really is. We want to clear away anything that keeps us from being in touch with our true self the bright, good, authentic, perceptive, learning, feeling center that has been the source of our best social impulses and also our self-healing impulses all our lives.

When we understand that this center exists and feel its nature, we come home to something that has always been there. It’s an experience that is impossible to describe, but it is the beginning of making sense of everything in our lives. In particular, we see how much of our life story has been about our attempts to heal traumas and get back to who we are. We become more conscious of how unhealed wounds color our perceptions. Though we cannot resolve everything at once, each resolved trauma illumates more of our authentic self, and helps us tell the differnce between what is authentic in us and what is unfinished trauma-processing. In this knowledge, we become more understanding and able to comfort ourselves, and more accepting of our normal human pains, fears, losses, as well as hungers, attractions, and goals.”

It is just wunderfully said, and although you are immune to flattery I would like to thank you and all the others for being my inner compass in my difficult times for almost two years now. Lots has been processed in the inside of me, connecting dots, studying almost on a daily basis in the LF-Academy, and I finally found courage to go for my dream job that will materialize in May/June this year. By applying your Dolphin-technique I gained lots of insight, power and joy! It really works!

I have still way to go, and every once in a while a trigger popps up or a resurfacing of X or an insult that has to be dealt with accordingly, but the Angst and fear has mostly passed, and I am more confident now than I was ever in my life.

No, it is not the end of my recovery, as I see it more like a journey, but I can now be enjoying tranquil pastures after a very hard steep and burdensome ascent. But the summit is very far away yet. Like it is never “the end of a diet”, but I have to change my eating pattern for not getting fat again. Kind of boundary as well 😉 . I am very curious about my future now!


Thank you for another excellent article Kathleen. I get it 🙂 I am still in the anger phase, but I can see into the compassion place and grasp it.

Moments ago I noticed something about myself while making a phone call to get some of my property back from someone I had loaned it to. I am speaking differently. I have made a conscious effort to not talk in a wimpy, hesitating, apologetic way. I am just straight forward, not in an aggressive way. This to me is owning my right to myself and even things that are important to me.

This may not seem related to your article, but it all comes together for me.

For I have learned something from the sociopath that I tangled with. One of the things that bewildered me, even creeped me out when I first escaped from him, was his blatant mimicking behavior. I questioned publicly, “Who would do this???”

I felt it as a theft because with him it was to the point of theft of elements of myself that he is using. But, here’s the thing that I have learned. In my need to learn some new healthy ways of interacting, I realized that watching people who behave assertively, listening to how they speak and their body language, I can learn from this and model their behavior.

The difference between myself and the personality disordered person is that this is only a tool for me that I am conscious of using can put on like a pair of shoes and then step out of again.
For the sociopath, it’s quite different, he has no other option. He is so empty and cut-off from normal experience that mimicking is his only choice.

The vastness of his psychic emptiness is something I can only imagine, but I can imagine it. I do feel there must be an immense pain to that. I think that’s where the rage comes from. I look at him now as one of those severely neglected, emotionally starved Romanian orphans. How unbelievably terrible it must feel to never become whole within oneself and to go through life like a bottomless pit always looking to be filled up and then raging against every would-be savior because it’s never enough.

I can feel pity, and yes, even compassion for that. And now, I understand that compassion does not mean taking responsibility for him.

Ox Drover

Thanks Kathy,

Like Libelle, I see healing as a journey, maybe along a range of mountains with valleys in between where we can rest and restore our strength for the next climb.

Sometimes I have felt like the CLIMB was never ending to the summit of one mountain before another one loomed through the clouds without the valleys in between, or as my son D said the other day, “Just when you think you have it licked another SHOE falls.” It does seem that way sometimes like swatting mosquitoes or figthing a flock of geese or trying to drain the swamp full of alligators, and while you are fighting them all off, someone comes along and SETS YOUR PANTS ON FIRE! LOL

I do think “healing” is “forever” and a ,”journey” but that doesn’t mean that we cant come to a RESOLUTION with ONE situation or one person, because I think I HAVE reached that point, even if maybe not TOTAL indifference, pretty close.

Now that I have an attorney for my P son’s parole hearing next year, almost a year to the day from now, and I’m having to write the entire story down, then I must go back and CONDENSE this story into a SHORT, EASILY UNDERSTOOD and CONCISE report. I feel somewhat like I am in a freshman English class and my assignment is to condense WAr and Peace into 250 words or less and keep the plot intact.

So much, I feel (notice I said FEEL, not think) depends on me getting this “right” that my anxiety level over it is in HIGH GEAR. So when I sit down to write I start shaking and second guessing myself. I take this in short bursts of writing rather than making myself sit there in high anxiety for long periods.

The crap with my other son C didn’t help any by adding to my stress load, and also seeing how much this has also hurt D as well, increases this, but I’m trying to not take responsibility for D’s pain, but it is difficult to see someone you love hurting from a betrayl as well. So, I’m having to WORK HARD to keep my nose above the water right now.

I’m out of the VALLEY again, starting up a STEEP slope and DREADING it because I was getting pretty comfortable in the valley, but it is time to move on again. I realize too, that I don’t have as much RESERVE strength for the subsequent climbs as I thought I did, either that or I thought the next peak wouldn’t be quite so steep, and I seem to have lost some of my equipment during the night when I wasn’t looking for danger, when I thought I was pretty safe in that valley. I should have taken more precautions I think, hug my food in a higher tree where a passing bear couldn’t find it.

Now, I’m on the upward climb again and I know that eventually I’ll reach the peak and the going will be easier back to the next valley, and then I will be able again to rest in the valley, recover my strength and have learned some NEW AND VALUABLE LESSONS.


Kathy– This is brilliant. I so get this, because it is where I am in my current recovery.

And yet, it humbles me because I’ve had previous growth spurts internally where it seemed I had figured out something major before, only to realize later that there was still more to uncover and learn. So now, I simply like to say that I “know with humility” rather than feeling like I’ve got it all figured out.

It also helps me in understanding why, when someone else is still in denial or anger stages, they cannot really hear or see the end points you describe. It’s like speaking a foreign language to another, to tell them they will be able to get through the pain, embrace the lessons and come out better prepared to deal with life challenges simply from knowing themselves at a deeper level than before.

I used to tell my ex N/S that I can’t possibly know what I don’t know, when he seemed to believe I should be able to read his mind and “get” whatever he was hinting at about himself and issues from his past.

He often spoke in abstract ways rather than “I” statements, did not take ownership of his thinking and behavior, and was not willing to fully explain what he meant and how it applied to him/us, whether it was something about abuse in his past or his words or actions in the present that were confusing or hurtful to me during our 1.5 yr. relationship.

Then when I’d asked for clarification, he would deny whatever meaning I got from something he’d said or say he was kidding (gaslighting), leaving me with uncertainty about what was real — for him and us as a couple. Thus all the confusion, feeling that he was gamey and sending mixed messages intentionally to the point it became overwhelming.

He would do many positive things for me (including loaning me money for my business and helping me with daily errands) and proclaim love and a desire for a future together all the time, yet in the midst of all his contradictions remained oblivious or didn’t have much regard for how all the non-sense affected me/us.

It was similar to what I experienced in my family-of-origin where adults affected by alcoholism and other dysfunction left me to figure it all out without providing me a solid foundation for understanding expectations and unspoken assumptions. Coping skills were compromised by the created chaos, resulting in me personalizing others’ issues and developing co-dependency caretaking patterns of thinking and behaving to feel valued and loved.

The contradictory behaviors of my ex had me on a mental wild goose chase, trying of figuring out what he meant or didn’t mean. It was painful to be treated as if I didn’t matter enough for him to help me sort it out. It was time-consuming and frustrating as hell — all of which was very emotionally abusive in and of itself, created so much anxiety, lack of trust and sense of security in the situation.

Now with my lens of compassion for both myself and him, perhaps it had to do in part with him not wanting to seem vulnerable in any way. But he did not take responsibility for any of this and made it my burden before I figured out he obviously was disordered in some way, even if I didn’t know why.

This behavior on his part certainly was controlling, with this pattern of evasive communication and creating drama so that I could never really know him or where things stood with us. It had a great deal to do with the crazy-making, melt-downs and ultimate need for me to get a new grip on reality, my boundaries and get out of a relationship that was harmful to my own mental health and serenity.

I am filled with appreciation for my healing, and much gratitude for more evidence of the realization that we can indeed become the change we want to see in this world, as Mahatma Ghandi has been quoted as saying.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Kathy. My angel also high-fives your angel.


Fantastic article…so well written for me to read at this point..what REALLY caught my attention was the “bargaining” I cant tell if im in that stage still or the anger stage. As i actually started being the one to say I was sorry that he cheated on me , asked me for money, and cruel beahaviour was all because i didnt give more. I am also getting used to seeing others make the comment “who does that” ive been saying that for a month now…its amazing that we all have such the same thoughts and stories.

Recovery for me is happening I know …but , I am learning the steps of it are like any other recovery…one step at a time.

And that is what I am allowing myself to take…slowly and correctly with no quick fixes..i am going to learn , live , move ahead with the healthy , appropriate and loving life I am meant to have.

GOD Bless


NO QUICK FIXES! awesome – this is how i feel also – no quick fixes. time learning. yah!

one step


This is one of the best articles I’ve read here, and it really speaks to me at a soul level today. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your wisdom, and thank for giving me the opportunity to realize how far I’ve come in the last year and a half.

I was looking at some pictures of myself at 10 years old. I will attempt to post them at the bottom of this post. My eyes teared up (and still do now) because I could see what a beautiful person I was back then. I am starting to reclaim some of the gifts I was born with that are a part of who I am. I have always been a very sensitive and compassionate person. But my compassion was always turned toward others and not toward myself. And this was especially destructive when I turned it toward people who did not deserve it and could not be positively impacted by it, people like my mother and sister who were jealous of me, and people like my judgmental co-workers. I think it is extremely important to have compassion for these people. But my problem is in failing to protect myself from them. That is what I’m finally learning how to do. What a lesson!!!

The Buddhist idea of compassion is very close to my heart, because my real healing started 26 years ago at a 10-day Buddhist retreat. Hearing the “dharma talks” in a state of extreme openness after many days of meditating allowed the concepts to sink in fully to my entire being. Though I don’t consider myself as a “Buddhist” per se, some of the concepts are very meaningful to me.

So in this healing process, what I have learned is that there was never really anyone in my life who loved me, including all of the many boyfriends I’ve had. Granted, I think some of them really wanted to, but I was not in a place where I could allow it and share intimacy with them. And yet, I don’t really believe in a “God” who I can turn to for this love. So where does it come from? I believe that we just know it is possible and can come from within ourselves, and we can just reach for it by BEING it. For myself, I’m learning to just be loving to myself. It’s a huge breakthrough. I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and the endless possibilities for what I can do with my life.

Thanks so much!
Love and hugs,

I am attempting to post the pics of me at 10:


Well, the links didn’t work. Oh well….:)

Reading what I just wrote, I realize my life is like the Cinderella story. I’m still hoping for my happy ending, even though I’m 49. I still have hope that it’s not too late for me!


Angel High 5’s all around…..followed by a Buddha fist-pump. 😉

Stargazer: I am standing with you in solidarity.
It is NOT too late for us, and I believe we will both find our empath (Non-S) life partners when the time is right.

In the meantime, life is BIG. Live it up!
Maybe we won’t find love…….maybe LOVE will find US!!!


You, too, Rosa! I’m living it up well today. I haven’t been able to pry myself away from the internet……***really needs a life*** LOL.


My car was just reposesed……………………how in the hell did I get here??????


kathleen, ty. 🙂

i am tired and trying to get more sleep. i am feeling my tired. my hyper state is cracking, and falling. i have been though, very chemically toxic the last days and i am so sad about this. i don’t know when this whole situation will change – when i will bring the resources in to change it. but as i let the sad up and in, no doubt it will be affected.

i have been very busy in a good way, the last few days. i spent friday working on a resume for a job and getting the app. in. it is a fundrasing and governance job in the area of food justice.
you know, my career counsellor furrowed her brow the other day, when she asked, ‘okay what do you want to do’? (my contract is over soon), and i said, ‘m, it doesn’t matter what i want, this is XXXXXX town and there is no work here and i have to get what i can to get on. and it’s true. and i vlaue her outside the box thinking – that’s where i usually live – but right now i am starting to move back from the edge a bit and i want to keep moivng back from it.

it has been hard to read heredays the last few ….i fly over the posts, catching lines and intensity. and i feel good deep conversation. and am truly grateful that you are all here raising the vibration in the mire.

i want to do some completely different work. and m had a suggestion of someone i can connect with about the sort of stuff i want to do. i don’t wanna do grant writing and blah blah blah – i want to work one on one with people with disabilities. and THOSE skills that i posses inherently and as response to living in dysfucntion and with people who have no language and no way to process states cause they have no awareness -are one of the reasons i was with the spath. the beauty boy character – he was disabled in most ways.

i checked out a b.pysch program here a few weeks ago — the cost – i coudl never do it; i don’t have enough working years left to pay off the loans. that was a rather sobering realization. but i am going to go talk to the director anyway.

i have a stack of debt and no way to pay for school – but i will go anyway, because there IS grace in the world, and onyl by walking will I see it.

i miss him. the beauty boy. my avatar raised her head today, for the first time in two months. she wants to know what exists out in the world. she wants to see the new.

i have constant fantasies about outing the spath – and how to do it anonymously – and so that it has the biggest bang in terms of the MOST exposure on the net. when i walk or bath – any time that my mind is not engaged it wanders there. i tried to write about it today and no luck. maybe tomorrow. or the next day.

but today i also had a little fantasy – ever since someone mentioned a lovefraud convention – have been thinking about live web feeds for it. and showing up for the convention – a tiled screen on the wall – all of us who canna be there in the flesh having a little tile with our screen names printed on the screen over our hearts. it makes me happy to think of this.

going to go have a nice hot epson salt bath and go to sleep. I am going to try to spend some time here in the morning.

one step


Kathy thankyou for this – I don’t know exactly where I am at in the journey of recovery from this but sense rather than a going back to where I was before it is more of a rebirthing of a newer person forged by the fire of experience. I like your idea of compassion as being a state where you can recognise the woundedness in others without compulsion to step in and recognise them – this is kind of where I am learning at the moment. I have a tendency to want to help and relieve suffering and maybe that’s just to take the focus off my own suffering. My job is to fix myself not others and paradoxically I am fine just the way I am.

I have told several people the abridged version of my story with the P and what they seem to hear is ‘you will need loads of time to recover and learn to trust again’ and I say no to that. Yes I will be careful in future with who I trust, but after this ordeal and the subsequent soul searching, I feel healthier than most people who skim the surface of life and never realise their own wounds or capacity to change their lives. So maybe this is one of the blessings of the sociopath – they force us to get real with ourselves and stop perpetuating the myth that everything is fine. The funny thing about sharing the story is it empowers others to share their hurts too – and community is forged in this way – hurt children recognise other hurt children. Maybe my hurt child recognised the hurt child in the sociopath.

I do recognise their vast emptiness and cannot in all honesty contemplate what it would be like to live like that – with no sensory feeling and no appreciation of the beauty in life. But like you say there is nothing to be done with them. I recognise that some people are unfixable and those that do want to be fixed have to do it themselves and engage in a process similar to what we are all going through. There are no short cuts.

I am going to read this a few more times to really let it all sink in. Thankyou 🙂


i have a stack of debt and no way to pay for school ”“ but i will go anyway, because there IS grace in the world, and onyl by walking will I see it. – by this i meant, that i will go to see the director of the program.


Good! And there are scholarships around … what will you study? Life is for the living 🙂


polly – not so much in the way of scholarships as collegeshere are not private, but public. there would be more possibility if this was a university – but there are only a few programs like this in the world. now, having said THAT – it makes me think that there might be some possibility of encouraging a scholarship as it is so specialized.

once again, thankful for your hanging out outside of the box, polly.

one step


and i dig the ‘life is for the living.’

a bit ago someone from the community on the website, where i met the spath’s characters, emailed me and said a bunch of stuff that freaked me out and i blocked her email address.

i know i over reacted. i could have just let it be 24 hours and breathed. it feels more dangerous not to know what she is saying cause SHE is the only one who knows that I am the one who, on the website, suggested one of the dead characters didn’t die and never existed.

and yet – the longer i am away from all of it the more i see life outside of all of it. doesn’t mean that a chunk of my day isn’t spent in revenge fantasies- but i am not hooked into the ongoing story line.

my story line is now: when does the bitch go to court? what is the dance i am having with the other dupe? and how quickly can i get a new job, so that she had no supposed power over me, my fear levels will drop? how will i out her? is it necessary? (i hit a big stone wall about that all the time. i am barely able to have a conversation with myself about it- safety IS important. AND there is something else – some way of self identification or bravery or courage that i need to understand about for myself.)

one step


perhaps we be buddhists? not knowing. such as it is. don’t dwell on what is done. as what is done can not be undone. dwelling on such seems much a choice to suffer mine thinks. as such remembring tomorrowland not the same as remembering yesterdayland. as both not really exist to me though yesterdayland be so settled and thus tomorowland be so unsettled. though both all happens at once. mine sense of time be such warped. but our issue be so mine husband be so Asperger Syndrome and work and must be dealing amongst the everyday people and pretender breeds.

no defense he has for either really though he be the only one amongst us functional enough at present to work and provide monies for us to use to buy our rights to live the life of liberty and pursuit of happiness. generally up untill just some years recent our choices were either an institution or residential home, or group home. whatever everyday peoples best decided to throw us into in the interest of what they decide is best for us of course. mineself not particurley wanting to eliminate the group home option as husband, mineself and our child dolphin makes up a group, mine thinks. but as a child the dolphin not to be living in a group home with us and can be taken from us. and we need to look like we can care for her proper under everday peoples rules. thus mine husbands ability to work and make monies buys our freedom,our rights and our ability to choose our own life; his and mine and the dolphins. it’s interesting see. pretender peoples would be inclined to have the dolphin taken from us by sheer malice to do so. whilst everyday peoples would do same such thing by their good intentions and by deciding that they know what is best for us. the end result is usually the same and as such everyday peoples and pretender peoples are both dangerous to an autistics life.

i have concerns for mine husband as he has no scent defenses. mineself and the dolphin we have sense of scent. we can smell predatory animals, the human kind not immune to us. we are though homebound though and no need or wanting to mix about with everyday peoples or even pretender peoples. live and let live just don’t get in mine space and i won’t bite them. i bit mine sister’s pretender boyfriend when she brings him to mine home to meet me. i growled first see. so i did warn him before i jumped and bit himself. thus he was fended off before any harm to me and mine. mine mother had him checked out when she knew not why i reacted so strongly. i don’t usually bite people. i don’t regard them or look at them or acknowledge them but i don’t usually bite them so that worked well. as some pretender peoples with records not usually inclined to press charges.

our dolphion who be so non verbal and is described as severely autistic be so also has good scent of a person. she still bites if you don’t smell right. we can also tell if you have cancer, diabetes, irregular heart beats, hormonal issues and depression and other such things. so our scents not only just in smelling out pretender breeds our everyday peoples going through their shifts. be so at any time everday peoples can become dangerous.

be so thinking this scenting we have may be compensatory skills we may have. different versions of autism have many differences and different skills. some notable some not. mine husband although the more functional and the one most in contact with the world of everyday peoples and pretender breeds has no such defenses. i think i should go with him to keep him safe and i promise i won’t bite. i don’t usually unless they get in mine space, or invade our saftey refuge. our home be a no no. be so under mine roof a quick okay if i don’t like your smell you are going to get hurt. so we don’t have folks over much and mine sisters boyfriend was safe until he crosssed mine door.

mine husband just recent had car stolen and monies stolen. be so he had not his wife or child to sniff out danger for himself. and perhaps he be so foolishly naive. he be having many skills. but he be not skilled to survive you all everday peoples and your pretender breeds alike. be so i am not sure how long he be able to survive and coexist with everyday peoples and their fickleness much less the pretender breed that dweel amongst you.

be so i know not our options for some will have our dolphin taken from her home and her parents if we be so not equipped and return to states care.


be so how to deal with pretender peoples effectively. this breed so preys on ourselves. not so mineself or the dolphin but asperger husband thus any harm to himself leads to harm upon mineself and the dolphin.

on mine own i be so i tells pretender peoples to keep away from mineself. though be so problemetic when mine everyday sister brought her pretender boyfriend to mine home. his stench most vile to mineself. be so flight/fight response kicked in. hairs raised filled with fear and rage i growled. i paced about searching for order but mine saftey been invaded upon. there be no saftey. just his stench. he done nothing but act like a wagging dog still posed to attack. danger danger danger all this whirls in mine head. i growled and screamed. family surprised. pretender not surprised. he knew what i be. i knew what he be and no place our kind can move in peace. we never meant to live amongst each other, this was mine home. our only refuge from the world. this be an orderly place. not so the chaos of your world. some place we must have for ourselves. our safety, our refuge. a haven for order.

this breed mine sister brings to mine home come to wreak havoc with mine calm. this be so i attacked himself. this not good for me. look bad for mineself. this could have taken me back away behind locked doors. but this breed not allowed in mine space. not now or ever. be so mine sister not know of him. taken in by his lies as everyday peoples do so. found out later what he be. but such breed most common in your world.

i have no defenses for mine husband to deal with these as he is out there in your world be so i am not allowed to bite them and i wont. of course in mine home they must not consider to enter. as i will bite any who enter here uninvited. that be so everyday people and pretender breeds alike. be so the pretender breed will never be allowed or invited. this was an error on mine sisters part as she is everyday peoples with no scents.

be so how can husband protect himself from pretender breeds? with everyday peoples they be some open to understanding. but pretender breeds these wreck havock on husband, be so he be robbed and cheated and lied to. much pain and ulcers husband has in worry. be so he may be found incapable to care for himself be so it be concluded he not be capable to care for us all. and back to guardians we must go.

but pretender breeds can take all under their spell both some autistics and your kind alike. be so not fair mine husband be judged harshly and incapable for something many capable everday peoples have themselves been taken by this breed.

be so if i were with husband the stench i would recognize and alert to. but thus i am homebound and not with husband when he go out into the outside world and be talked to and be pretended too. poor husband not equipped with mine and dolphins scenting. he be so not recognize a pitbull from a pug. danger or safety scents. naught and nothing.

be so husband much capable he can drive cars, tie his shoe laces, dress properly, talk properly, speak in nearly everyday peoples speak. be so he not chase cars like i love to do so. and look near normal amongst everyday peoples with subtleties. but be so out there pretender breeds be so able to prey upon himself. and he has naught no defenses.

be so i used this log as examples of capable intelligent peoples taken in by pretender breeds. if so this sort of taken how so mine Asperger husband, with less defenses and less equipped to defend himself.

but how to prevent abuse of mine husband and protect mine husband as he is out there in your world where pretender breeds love to hunt and play.

this be what i search for. i trust not them nor everyday breeds alike. i interact with none of them and little of your kind. but this be not for mineself but for mine husband who spends ten hours of his day amongst all of you and thus is in their territories.


I am convinced that animals can also smell bad people. My cats growl, hiss, and run away when a bad person comes into my house. This is usually how I know they are a bad person. Even when I was dating that sociopath, my snake must have known, because the snake bit him in the face! Even snakes do not like sociopaths.



I agree with you. One of my uncles had a dog. When daughter #1 brought home her fiancee, the dog liked him and their marriage was good. When daughter #2 brought home her fiancee, the dog liked him and their marriage was good. When daugter #3 brought home her fiancee, the dog went for his throat. Seriously, we had to pull the dog off him and lock it in a bathroom.

Anyhow, the marriage was a disaster, and within 2 years my cousin divorced the SOB. Years went by, and Ginger (the dog) got older and older, and closed in on 20. One day daughter #3 came home with a new fiancee. Ginger painfully hauled herself to her feet, meandered over, studied the guy carefully through her cataract clouded eyes, then licked his hands. The day my cousin came home from her honeymoon, Ginger died. As for my cousin, we just celebrated her 25th anniversary.


Kathleen – I am feeling a bit special about getting TWO big long posts from you – sorry for your sore shoulders for typing all that!

I find when I read your words and thoughts I get a sense of my post graduate year. I had a research supervisor who was eons ahead of me in her understanding of the topic and for some reason thought I was able to handle the highest level concepts. It was the first time I ever struggled in education and found the cliff face. What is the same is that I wouldn’t necessarily understand all she said in the first thinking through of her words. I often had to go away and think about it some more. I have even found that some of the concepts I ‘got’ on an intellectual level but not a visceral lived level, I have ‘gotten’ them a year or more later when some random event in life illuminates what it really meant. I often felt with her that she was at the summit giving me wisdom and I was trying desperately to pull myself up the mountain with my fingertips in order to hear her. Do you know what I mean?

I say this so you will know that although I tend towards thickness at times, what you are saying here and other places will stay in my mind for a long time … and while I may not really get every element of it right now, I will in the future. I’d like to say I ‘get it’ right now, but am thinking that’s just me being an eager student! And maybe related to the wanting to please. Hopefully not.

I don’t exactly know where to start in responding … so I will start with the fact you aren’t editing your thoughts to me and are allowing them to come as they are and trusting that I will understand and not be hurt. I am honored by that. I truly do understand that point because it’s something I have tried to live my whole life. I don’t know where I got it from, but I had the idea that presentness was being authentic as life unfolded moment by moment. So in my personal time and as much as possible at work, I try not to censor myself – well I do censor, but only so I don’t hurt or offend others – it’s more of a rephrasing rather than putting on a totally false front. When I am really present with this practice, life is so energised. And I feel authentic. So I really truly get this point – thankyou for doing that.

I never thought about it as a kind of trust – but you are right. It does mean taking a risk with the other person – most people don’t open up their stream of consciousness for others to see, and many are not truthful. I don’t have a problem about doing this so I never realised I was already trusting. And it really is that simple. I guess when I think of trust, I think of this big built over time dynamic between two people who have gradually let down their guard. I never thought about it as a concrete action before or a behaviour or something we ‘do’ in our physical bodies. I think I had thought about it as more attitudinal before – whether you ‘choose’ to trust or not. Don’t know if that makes sense. It does help to know it is an active word rather than just a decision.

I think this openness was one of the reasons I attracted a sociopath – it was food for him when I recounted my woundedness about what he had done with terrible clarity. So in reflecting all of that I don’t want to lose the openness but I have a big responsibility to myself – so I don’t get unbearably hurt again. I think I have to do as you have done – read the person and start to form some reasonable assumptions as to whether they are ok to be fully open with or partially open with.

I chose the name because that literally used to be me. I trusted indiscriminately – I literally looked for the good in all people – partially the fault of my training to be honest. I applied my professional role to my personal interactions but forgot that adults are not children. Children need unconditional positive regard – adults sometimes need consequences and boundaries to come up against. I don’t know what the right balance is – I may completely change myself to defend against sociopaths and never run into another one in my life and that would be a waste. But what I do know is I did something that didn’t work for me – something in the trusting indiscriminately and hoping and looking for the best in every situation left me in a dangerous dynamic that I couldn’t get out of. So something has to change in me – either I change the openness and therefore change what is authentic in me, or I get my radar going again and be careful about who I am open with.

I realise now the sociopath himself was not the problem. I was. I thought I had ‘done the work’ of attending to the old hurts and clearly I hadn’t. What I had done was stuffed them down deep and created a pseudo character who was as upbeat and chirpy as if there had never been any childhood hurts. He was just a lesson on my path – an alert. And the biggest wake up call I have ever had. Had it not been him, it would have been something else – maybe a different kind of disorder. I got so many lessons during that time.

I haven’t shared much of it yet though I have written extensively here – five yrs into the relationship, I had experience of professional mobbing in a workplace. The people I worked with (all women) must have picked up on my psychic distress about the relationship and seen the vulnerability I displayed that I thought I was hiding so well. I had eight women all engaged in covert warfare against me for a little over a year. And just like the relationship, I denied it was happening and stayed in that place when in reality the only viable option was to move on. It eroded my confidence even more and you can guess that the sociopath was no support through it – a few glib remarks here and there but never encouraging me to take any real action about it. I got to the point that I thought I would never be able to work again – that everyone would know what had happened.

I had seen this dynamic in the past in all female workplaces (it probably happens in others but I have worked with all women all my life) where one person was targeted and everyone joined in whispering about them and critiquing everything they did. I always tried to stay out of it. I have seen women broken down from a campaign of whispers, exclusion and nastiness – unable to work and signed off on sick leave due to psychological distress. At the time though, I didn’t know the name for it – how can you feel upset about someone whispering when they deny it? How can you measure a filthy look or a refusal to make eye contact? How do you describe disrespectful facial expressions? I couldn’t see at the time that this was just another mirror of the situation at home – the lesson I wasn’t getting was being shown to me again and again. I see it now. And I get it now.

I am going through all the horrible stages of getting over this. I am digging deep and consciously remembering and finding correlations from childhood for almost every single hurt. The lessons I didn’t get will continue to be presented to me in alternate forms and I have decided it stops here. I want my life back for the first time ever. I want to live for myself free from guilt and manipulation and all the silent signals I have been controlled by my whole life.

I know this is a long journey – this is a journey to falling in love with myself – and I don’t mean that in a narcissistic selfish way – I mean having a solid sense of value about myself that doesn’t waver when someone hassles me about something or I gain a few pounds. I want to have a sense of myself that doesn’t depend on someone else’s validation of what they see in me. I’ve never had that before so it’s like learning to walk and talk and see with new eyes. Before I was always valuable because of other people’s uses for me or perceptions of me – the ‘good’ daughter, the ‘pretty’ wife, the ‘supportive’ friend, the ‘sexy’ girlfriend, the ‘dependable and creative’ colleague. I want something for me I can live with then I can choose to accept or reject other people’s perceptions and at the very least won’t be hurt by them anymore.
Thankyou Kathy – I think I did ‘get’ most of that, but hidden jewels will bob to the surface over the next wee while 🙂


I really love dogs, and they love me, too.
But, on several occasions, I’ve had big dogs run up to me and smell my crotch.
Obviously very embarrassing. What is up with THAT?
Has this happened to anyone else, or is it just me???
It’s probaby just me……never mind. I don’t think I want to know.
As far as I’m concerned, dogs are like men…just a little more loyal. That’s all.
Not that men run up to me and smell my crotch, but you know what I mean.


polly: was thinking this today myself ‘”“ this is a journey to falling in love with myself ”“ ‘ not sure how to do it. but wouldn’t it be grand.


rosa – you are funny as hell! its what dogs DO! do not be disturbed.


So, it’s a universal thing with dogs. That’s what I wanted to hear.
Thank you SO MUCH, one step.


mine husband wishes to be normal. it is insufficient for him to simply just coexist and move about everyday peoples. he has a need to want to be normal. he needs acceptance from everyday peoples, he has moved from our world into yours thinking yours as reality and not just an uncomfortable place to visit. thus his issues.

like pretender peoples we are outsiders looking in. only we do not pretend and we do not manipulate or control. this be so to a lack of need, or want or desire and inability to do so. our natures be so fundamentaly different.

mine world is rich. mine world is full and whole and complete. i have naught the emptiness pretenders have and will always try to fill. there be no need to prey on others. i am nothing and everything. i am no one and everyone. i live in no time and everytime. i do not know where i begin or end. for i do not begin or end anywhere. this is mine world. there is little self. Such self as many of you describe seems such a finite and imprisoning concept.

mine husband has identified with his body and what happens to it as who he is. in this aspect he is becoming like everyday peoples. and thus has everyday peoples needs. thus pretender breeds can target and maneuvor and control him just like they do others. mine husband is here with me. yet i do not understand what he goes through. i have little interest in your world. i am trying to understand for his sake and perhaps outline some skills for himself.

we have many everyday people protectors. i have a nurse with me and the dolphin evryday. they keeps us safe. we have weekday nurse and weekend nurse. there is no nurse keeping husband safe. he will have to make everyday people friendships out of necassity for him to be kept safe from others. i have all the people i need thus i seek no more. but life is content and our routine is sacred. i must assist mine husband.

there be however some everday peoples much interested in our success. many of them have autistic children. these everyday peoples much interested in our success and safety. they help fight for the dolphin to stay with us. they much protective of us. hiring attorneys and crying to authority peoples. i would invite them in to show mine gratitude but they make so much noise. they talk oh so very much. so i threw thank you cards out the window and told them to go away.

husband much envious of pretender peoples skills. how they make themselves much liked by others. pretender told husband he will teach him how to pretend and move amongst others like normal. he told husband he will teach him “how to play the game..” he preyed on mine husbands need to belong and fit into your world. and thus mine husband be so taken advantage of.

it be so necassary mine husband needs more everyday peoples to be friends with. and some other skills.

we both go to social skills classes. mine husband does very well. i understand much but hold little interest in the lessons. if everyday peoples ask me “Hello, how are you.” they best be ready to wait for a twenty minute response. i will not simply reply a form “fine. thank you.” as it is dishonesty. i will not compromise mineself over such pettiness. and i will go into mine physical and emotional and thoughtful well being everytime anyone asks me “hello. How are you?” they don’t want to know they must learn not to ask then. but they will not receive an automatic “fine thank you.” from me. there be such silliness in these rules. some i am much uninclined to learn.


people give off scents when they are ovulating and when they are menstruating. it is a strong smell blocking out all others many times. hormonal changes does this too.

it’s a sign of saying hello to some of us to sniff things. i sniff nearly everyone i come into contact with. i am face blind. i will not look at your face as this gives me no information. i identify peoples by smells and movements. mine husband does so by sound of voice and movements. he has little eye contact like ourselves.

in autism there be many documentation of autistics being loving to some and withdrawling or attacking others.

scents are a way of idetifiying a person. the crotch and armpit give good scents on a person, i’m being trained not to sniff people as it makes them uncomfortable. i must do so at an distance from themselves. but if they expect me to shake hands as their way of greeting it be so fair i will sniff. if i can’t sniff you i won’t shake your hand. and thus we will not acknowledge each other any longer.

there be an autistic pointing out cancer cells i have heard. so we be of use to society. we be many of us much primal. everyday peoples much domesticated. many of you have an inborn filtering system we are not equipped with. everything comes in to some of us. many things everyday peoples be so blind and deaf to. we take it all in. too many of us have no filter system, or it is inadequate or does not function the same way.

we be much misunderstood.


Hi Guys..I have been so down lately. I miss the sick psycho, my mind plays all the good things he did, and I have a struggle within myself to bring up the bad so I can move on.
My friends tell me what you are missing is the persona not the person, will it ever get better? I cried all day yesterday over what could have been…we go to court on Jan 26 and I don’t want to even look at him, I will get nauseous. Any ideas? How should I handle myself. I have a whole list of things I want to say to him, but I know he won’t care, it won’t hurt him one bit because he is sub human…how do you act in a courtroom when the jack….is in front of you after having hurt me so deeply and profoundly…and yet today I found myself missing him…am I going crazy? I know divorce is necessary, important, crucial, I am asking for my name back before we were married because that is my way of getting my self respect back..any help you can send me, I will use. I just don’t want him to know the hurt he has caused me, but I want to exhibit, strength, character, humaness, does this make sense?


clovis – you make perfect sense. i will let those who have court room expereince weigh in on tactics for the court room, but there may be a few things you can do before hand to get you on the road to exhibiting those qualities in yourself that you most want to bring forward.

first – congratulations on going for getting your name back! that is important and a very good idea.

second – try writing letters that you don’t send. see if you can bring the volume down on the emotional charge. spew it all out – everything. and you don;t have to be controlled and collected – in fact, don’t be, let it rip! do this several times. and write about the thoughts and feelings that come up as they do.

third- do some things that make you relax – move your body and try to spend time with friends focusing on anything you LIKE and NOT him.

fourth – as you bring down the volume on the things you need to say, i’d practice saying things/ not saying things aloud. is there a friend who could help you with a little courtroom role play? can you MAKE it REALLY RIDICULOUS so that it is SO over the top that you laugh? is it possible? YOU should play the part of the spath. I have used this method when dealing with disordered institutional systems – and it has empowered me to see HOW dysfunctional they are, and how inhumane, reaffirming my own humanity.

fifth – i am sorry that you are plaugued with ‘the missing hims’ right now. but from your post it seems that you know it is only a fantasy that you are missing, as you are sure your will vomit when you actually SEE HIM. it is important for you to reach out – cause lonliness and isolation is making it worse.

sixth – it is not unusual for the attachments to become magnified when we are letting go. know that it is part of the process and that it does not mean you are crazy – things are moving and you are being asked to acknowledge that this is so. your internal system needs you to acknowledge this.

all the very best,
one step


Clovis…do you have a supportive friend to go with you to court? I know that with my divorce a couple years ago…i had a good friend of mine who was actually my attorney as well..

Funny thing is my ex didnt show up..and he isnt the one who got me onto this post recently but now i recognize he was another one …

I know all too well this feeling of dread and also the missing him. I am sorry that you are having a bad time right now..just keep posting here and getting all the support you can …especially the days before you go to court..


Dear Kathy take two!Your second post was also interesting to me. My life has turned around so much since the P left I can’t even recognise it now. I am meeting all kinds of people and through talking with them discovering everyone has trauma of some kind in their lives that they have had to work through. That’s what I meant about the commonality and community. I see that though I haven’t met another person who suffered exactly what I have, I have met those who were abused as children, those who were cheated on and lied to, those who lost money, those who were abandoned and left alone, those who were betrayed. That helps me to ‘normalise’ my own experience and feel less weird. I had the sense after he was gone that I would always be a little strange ever after and never as whole as others and talking with people about what they’ve been through makes me realise we all are wounded in some way or another. I am not abnormal – true that pathological relationships are fairly rare, but my wounds are no worse and no better than others I see participating fully in life. I have referred to it before – thinking others could smell the defeat and shame on me – not true!

I don’t approach people as ‘Hi I am Polly and I was abused for yrs by a sociopath’ but with certain people, I can share when the time is right. Not the whole story, but a logline from it. And not in bitterness, but just to let them know I am in the process of healing at the moment. I am not making it part of who I am or a badge to hide behind – it’s difficult to explain but it’s just being real when the topic comes up. Lots of people ask me why I am not dating and sometimes I say ‘But I am dating – I’m dating myself first before anyone else’ lol

What I get out of those conversations isn’t a sense of where I am ranked in my healing progress or even the pleasure of seeing I am above where they are or they’re ahead of me. It’s the very simple pleasure of honest communication about ourselves. I had missed that connection with people for such a long time with the P. I had no friends due to the control and great shame I felt about the dynamic happening at home. We moved away to a new place about two yrs into the relationship and I tried to make friends at first, but when things got really bad I let those friendships go. How do you explain to a friend why your eyes are constantly red and swollen? I should have fought harder for those friends, but I was exhausted in trying to manage what was happening at home. They might have validated me a lot earlier.

I have harbored fantasies about having some kind of relationship trauma group – or holding public meetings about psychological abuse, but I recognise I am not brave enough or strong enough at the moment. My work is to work on myself for now not try to save the world! I pass on information where I am able to and if I see bad patterns I ask cup emptying questions and validate the experience the person is going through. That’s what I would have wished for, so I feel a moral obligation to do it. But I couldn’t imagine people really depending on me for bigtime support. I am not strong enough to provide that. And at the moment that is not the path I am drawn to – it might be in time – who knows? But for now I have other dreams and through my own dreams there will be opportunities to take action. I think that’s the broad thread here – after a victimisation it’s common for people to want to change the conditions that lead to that victimisation in the first place – activism can be a good thing. But you’re absolutely right – nobody should use it as an excuse not to follow their own path.

I am meeting people who are much healthier than me mostly – they give me things to think about in discussion and take my mind away from the pain by making me laugh and diverting my attention back to life. For someone who was isolated for many years it is such a blessing and almost like a fairground. I am appreciating the marvel and diversity of the human race all over again and feel so lucky to have rejoined the human race after all those years living in purgatory.

I hope someday I will be able to help people struggling with these kinds of relationships in some capacity whether through raising awareness or through giving practical support to someone who is ready to change their life.

That’s one thing the P taught me though. You can’t heal people and they have to want to change their life for themselves. My rescuing was a defensive tactic to avoid taking responsibility for the very real flaws in myself. My only responsibility is to fix myself and if everybody did that the world would be a much better place.

I get what you are saying about there being value in peer to peer dialogue – I am finding that here too. I get the most from engaging in meaning making with people who understand the bad relationship was just a cover for what was really wrong. I also get a lot from welcoming new people and reading thoughts from people like you who are waaay waaaay down the healing track. But I find endless giving to those who don’t ‘get it’ exhausting – a never ending hole to be filled with no appreciation, insight or growth. It’s a waste of air, time and life and I don’t want to spend my very short life throwing pearls before the swine (not that I have many pearls you understand!).

I have been to counsellors and psychologists in the past about the bad relationship and about the childhood and personal issues that lead to it and honestly … I didn’t get much from it. I get far more from dialogue with people here who understand the feelings and thoughts these relationships bring up. And who understand the relationship was just a signpost or symptom of the deeper underlying illness. I think we are doing more than just validation of one another – certainly that is a profound aspect of what happens here. I think though the meaning making and friendship and camaraderie are huge.

There’s a big warmth here from people and to me it means so much more than regular warmth from people who haven’t been harmed. WHy? These people were harmed BY and WITH their warmth so if anyone had reason to tuck it away and become Ice Queens (and Kings – just for you Henry and Matt!), it is the posters here. To see the outpouring of support and empathy although we are not in each other’s physical lives is just so …. precious and beautiful. That’s what life should be about – the moments that take your breath away (ah getting a bit choked up about it!) We mirror one another’s experience – we name the things we went through thinking we were alone in the world and then five other people say ‘Me too!’ – that’s the validation aspect. The support comes when we think we’re sliding backwards or struggling with a hard day and the meaning making when we articulate our fledgling theories and dare to share something original with people who understand what we’ve been through. I wonder if Donna ever imagined when she set up this site that it would turn out to be such a wellspring of healing for so many?

As an example of my rescuing … I took in an unfortunate young man we’ll call D. He was being kicked out of my friend’s house as a flatmate but nobody could articulate why clearly. I got statements like ‘Oh he’s just impossible’ ‘I can’t stand him’. So ole Pollyanna says ‘Well you can come and live with us even though you have transient work and few prospects’ So he moved in and true to form he was a nightmare. It became apparent in the first few days he was severely depressed so I took him to my doc, paid for the consult and for the meds he was prescribed. He had raggedy clothes so I bought him some new ones and shoes and underwear and night clothes. I encouraged him to get more stable work and start getting his life together. He had no transport so I gave him a bike that was lying around. I talked endlessly with him about his ‘traumas’ – his family was a strange situation – hadn’t seen mum for yrs and dad was in another part of the country. Initially he seemed to make good progress – he took his meds and said he felt better and seemed to be getting somewhere through talking. Then abruptly he stopped taking the meds saying ‘I don’t like them’ – fell into the depression again and was sleeping through the whole day doing nothing. Bear in mind he wasn’t contributing anything to the household – not financial or anything else. He ruined the clothes I gave him, the bike got left outside and was stolen. He lost things every day, never helped around the house and even stopped showering. He did nothing about work and actually lost the job he had. He picked up a girlfriend and within a couple of weeks she was pregnant. He got into drunken fights in town and came back injured. He became very strange in conversation – was cleaning his fingernails with a knife one day and then joked around about sticking the knife in me!That was enough for me. I found out he had grandparents living nearby (that conveniently he hadn’t told me about) so I told him he needed to leave and suggested he contact them.

That whole episode was the last time I went hardout rescuing. I saw the guy about four yrs later – still exactly the same. DOing casual work because he doesn’t like to commit to fulltime work, unshowered and wearing tattered and unclean clothing. What a waste of my time and effort! People won’t change till they are ready and even then all we can do is be there to support them – we can’t do it for them no matter how hard we’d like to.

So I see what you are saying and I think you’re giving me some good hints here. I recall you said on a previous post to someone else that the man they were looking for would be self interested as well as lots of other things. I could be wrong here, but I took self interested to mean not selfish but rather interested in his own development and insides? Was that the correct interpretation? Because that is one of the delightful things I am finding – I am meeting people who are so unlike the P – they truly are interested in making their insides better. And the P never was – maybe that’s because there is no inner self to heal or it’s so buried down deep that it has been forgotten about. I remember trying to get him excited about his insights about himself, but he didn’t have any and didn’t see what the big deal was about self development. Now I see everyone else is self interested and self aware – they actually analyse their own behaviours and attitudes and the P had me thinkng I was the weird one for doing that!

Thankyou Kathy – you may not see yourself as wise, but I do = sometimes I look at what you write and wonder how you get to be so insightful and clever – and wording and expressing it all in just the right way. I sincerely hope you DO get that book out – I’ll be first in line in my country to buy a copy and I guarantee all the other LFers will be the same 🙂 You’re awesome!


On Step – delighted to see you are planning a new adventure. And why should we not fall in love with ourselves ? I don’t mean that in an arrogant or selfish way to the exclusion of other people, but truly appreciating all the great things inside ourselves – maybe then we won’t be quite so flattered and falling over ourselves when someone else recognises them!


My dog is a whore – he goes to anyone tail wagging for affection lol And both dogs loved the P – he tormented one of the cats though. This cat was wild as a kitten and I spent a lot of time calling him ‘beautiful’ and approaching him at his pace – sometimes one stroke and sometimes three before he let me know he had enough. The P would go beyond that and get into a little smacking game with the cat. I told him not to – the cat was showing he was stressed but he thought it was funny. I thought he was a pig and protected the cat as much as possible – it wasn’t hurtful to the cat but it was very disrespectful. I always respect his cues and back off when he shows me he wants space.

Anyway – the cat has calmed down since he left. He now comes inside the house a lot more and just now climbed on my lap for a cuddle and sit down – I was stroking him for a good ten minutes and no problems – lots of purring. I am so glad to see he’s settled and coming right. It’s only taken four years to see this progress! No doubt the P had something to do with that with his constant violation of the cat’s boundaries though. Looks like me and the cat are both healing lol


polly: i don’t mind if it is arrogant of selfish. 🙂 I could use a little of both!


Clovis, would not a disconnect from oneself be helpful? dissassociate from oneself? like disconnect oneself from who you think you are and what you went through and how you felt for the other person? until you can go into the courtroom and the person you be divorcing from mean naught to you. is it not possible to go to a place where one can tell you you have won the lottery or have terminal cancer and it means naught to you. go to this place and facing the person you divorcing from should not be so painful. choose not to be yourself who is painfully still in love with this person. choose to be something else and this person be most foreign to you. there be no suffering in nothingness. be a table, a sunset, someone or something else or everyone else. chose not to be yourself if that is a painful place to be. we need not dwell in ourselves or our circumstances. it could just be a place to visit or watch from afar.


Aw thanks Kathleen!

I am so grateful for this site and will never forget the message you wrote for me when I was in the depths of despair when I first came here … do you remember it? You write such wonderful stuff for everyone but what you wrote that day about seeing the better future was the doorway to realising this wasn’t about him. I have a great respect for you – you’re a brilliant and insightful woman – now go finish that book so we can all get totally absorbed! I guarantee it will be a bestseller!

I agree with you about people who make you want to cheer – there is such inspiration here and I am humbled to think I am one of those illustrious folks (shucks wiping away a happy tear!)

Please tell me more about what it turned into for you – when you’ve had your sleep and done your writing – see we’re all going to be on your back now we know you’re doing something awesome hahaha.

I am very very lucky – I survived and am not so scarred or scared that I can still see how marvellous life is. So much of the shame was self bred – seeing others getting out there despite their limitations is encouraging in the extreme. And this site and the marvellous people on it – you being a major one of them – gave me the courage to start getting out there myself. I hope others who are isolated give it a go – life is so very beautiful – the spaths try to tell us it isn’t – that humanity doesn’t exist and that everything is dog eat dog – he was a liar. That might be his reality but it’s not the real world – or maybe that’s just the pollyannaish part talking again!

I actually am writing a book – I collected my rants and ravings over the months when he first left. It’s just in note form at the moment and I am unsure of how to structure it but TRUST that will come in time. I’m also writing out my revenge lol -I am giving it life on paper rather than with a knife in the real world.

That’s the better tomorrow you encouraged me to – the creative life I supported him in when I really wanted it for myself. You could see it for me but all I could see was desolation and pain. I’m just that if I’m lucky and get published my words encourage one person out there to give life another shot – free of pathology that drags us down. That’s how I hope to make a difference.

Thankyou for your guidance, belief, faith and love – it has not gone to waste and I am doing good things with it.
Have a delightful sleep!

Ox Drover

Dear Polly,

I too want to “give back” to others who have been wounded, but I also found that I can (if I am not careful) get taken to the cleaners again, like you did with the young man you took in.

Last summer I took in a “victim” of a psychopath, who lived in her car and she was very articulate and very smart, and “so wounded” she came here to my farm where she could have had a safe place to leave her dogs while she went to work, even could have ridden to town with my son when he went to work.

Like your young man she didn’t seem to see a need to “help out” here and for weeks she never even offered to wash a dish, but ate at my table several times per day and a great deal of my time was invested in listening to her whine about how badly she had been treated, how badly she felt, she refused to take medication or to go to the doctor when I offered to get her to a free clinic, she imposed on me and my sons, was inconsiderate etc and I kept making excuses why she was so anxious, so depressed, so….this and so….that and on and on.

Finally she “settled in” and she decided she would be the cook for the household, but it wasn’t long before she started to get VERY angry if I moved anything in the refrigerator or my own kitchen, she still wasn’t doing much in the way of anything except cooking, but would take 6-8 hours to cook “gormet” meals but NOTHING else, not even keeping the bathroom which was reserved for her clean.

When her anger started to overflow her facial expressions I contacted a psychyiatrist friend and talked to her about this situation, and DARNED if I had not taken in a “victim” who was really a CO-ABUSER, who was a psychopath playing the “pity me” ploy and using her “previous abuse” as an excuse to be a mooch.

Of course she didn’t want a job and I have never seen anyone come up with as MANY EXCUSES WHY SHE COULD NOT EVEN LOOK FOR WORK….and of course she was way too educated and smart to take a manual labor job, but actually since I worked my way through college cleaning other people’s homes, that didn’t fly too high with me. LOL

I told her she had to leave and since I didn’t know if she had enough gas to get to the next town, I gave her $150 and she went into a TIRADE about how I had abused her, not taken her to a doctor or dentist and how I had worked her like a slave. LOL I had been fortunate I had NOT let myself get too emotionally involved with her but kept a clinical distance to some extent, though I had bought into her pity play some, but over all I kept my head….and as she went into this terrible crying fit of accusing me of all kinds of abuse of her, I just stood there with my “inner psychopath” clinically looking at the STEREO-TYPICAL PSYCHOPATHIC RANT. I did NOT feel pity for her, and I did not feel that I could “help” her or that anything she said had ANY VALIDITY because it didn’t.

When she drove off, I was not even sorry I had let her come there and wasted a lot of my time on her, because I REALIZED IF I WAS NOT CAREFUL, in the future I would easily fall into the ENABLING MODE and taking on emotional as well as physical oblligation to fix someone else.

I had given her an OPPORTUNITY, which she refused to use to her advantage, instead just loafing here rent free (I did tell her before she came she had to pay her own separate meter electric and any money she spent for her dogs or herself.)

I feel the same way about my son C. I gave him an OPPORTUNITY to use living here as a way for him to save money that he cannot do paying rent, expenses, food etc. and he did reimburse me enough to pay for what I fed him and for the extra utilities etc. so I wasn’t out any MONEY on my son, but he was DIS-honest with me, and DID NOT USE THE OPPORTUNITY I extended to him, or to honor the agreement he made with me about saving money.

I know a couple who took in a P, she lived so far out in the country she couldn’t get a job, so they moved her into their house in town. Then she couldn’t get a job because her car quit, so theyy bought her a car. Then she was so depressed she couldn’t work, so they took her to the doctor and paid for the medicine, and of course she expected to not even help around the house–she did have all these aches and pains, you know! LOL Eventually, she latched on to an enabling and very compassionate man and moved out with him.

“They” are EVERYWHERE and as long as we are gullible and willing to let ourselves support them, they will hang on like a tick on a dog’s ear. We cannot fix them, but we are responsible for OURSELVES and if we are WISE we will not get hooked into thinking we are “helping” when in reality we are enablling. I learned from this particular woman, so I paid my “tuition” by the time I invested in her, and I am going to keep the LESSON.

In the future, I WILL help others and I am volunteering in a DV shelter and in some other groups, but I am NOT being taken for a “ride” by someone, ANYone who wants to use me for a host, like a parasite. I will not let my compassion, caring and empathy make me into a FOOL AGAIN!


Oxy… really come see me when you are in the Dallas area.. we can meet in a restaurant..

What’ca think?


Maybe that is what we were deficient in huh? I don’t want to turn like that though – then he would have won and I would be like him …


OOOps wrong post – that was for one step and referring to arrogance and self interest!

Oxy – you are right – there are leaches everywhere. I remember I was boarding with an older woman years ago and she was like me – would take anyone in. I paid my way and contributed to the household – would cook and clean for her despite her protests! She had a little outbuilding on the property and met a woman who had a big sob story – her children had been taken from her and she was trying to get out of an abusive situation with a violent partner. You can guess the rest … it turned out she was still claiming benefits for her FIVE children to different fathers even though they weren’t in her care. She sat home smoking every day and never got off her backside to look for a job – excuse after excuse. Turned out she was an alcoholic and drank every bit of money she got. She even stole money from this good woman under false pretences and tried to get her son (who’s marriage had recently split and was at home getting his head together) into booze with her.

I came home from work one day exhausted after a huge long day in the hot summer sun and she leered over her bourbon glass
“Why do you bother working? You should just get yourself knocked up and then you get money for free. You’re not very smart at all.”

The woman unseen to her was listening and turfed her out on her ear after that. And yes the tirade of how selfish and horrible she was came out. I couldn’t believe it. This woman had not charged her a penny of board or rent, had fed and clothed her, listened to her tales of woe and put up with her loud and raucous behaviour when drunk for months. She was trying to help but drew the line when it became apparent this woman wasn’t willing to help herself.

It’s a shame there are people like that out there because they make others reluctant to help. I know that in every city there are thousands of people having hard times who would love an opportunity of support like that. Most of us don’t get a chance after we’re grown up – it’s get on with it yourself and stand on your own two feet no matter what goes wrong.

But that’s the lesson isn’t it? You can’t help those who won’t help themselves and some people are too dumb to see the love extended to them in practical forms. I too am thinking about volunteering at a local refuge – I just don’t know if I could cope when the women go back to these bad men. It’s so disillusioning to see people given a hand up and then back they go still under the spell.

I helped a student a long time ago who’s family had disowned her for marrying out of her faith. She found out her husband was cheating on her online and was planning to install a new gf in the house while she was there. When she confronted him he became violent. I comforted her and re-assured her it wasn’t her fault. I also advised her to get out. But I didn’t leave it there. I went with her for appointments while she applied for welfare, I helped her find a flat that was subsidised, wrote references for her, helped her find cheap furniture and appliances and even gave her some of my own things. She was all set up in her own place and doing well on her own despite the grief.

And you can probably guess what happened. He called her and suddenly it’s all on again and she went back. I tried to talk with her – explained that it would all happen again but she wouldn’t listen. She gave up the flat, got rid of all the stuff and went back to being dependent on him again.

And sure enough two weeks later the woman from overseas arrived and when she protested he broke her nose. She came into my office crying the next week and asking for help. I said I will listen but if you want to leave you know what to do now – you need to do it. She left the organisation and last I heard she was pregnant to him and being threatened on a regular basis.

Now had she left him and stayed away I know for a fact her family would have welcomed her back with open arms, but she was too scared and too ashamed to make that first step. She wasn’t ready to believe the marriage was a mistake and he was a bad man, but bad man he was and she cut off all her options. Sad. She had such light in her but it will be beaten down by now.

When are you going to write a book Oxy? 😀


There has been so much written here on LF in the past couple of days. When I visit I get a vibe of so much work and healing going on. We are all traveling the same path, each at our own place on that path, yet it’s so reassuring to know that there is this community of fellow travelers here to come back to whenever the way gets lonely or scary. I know, for myself that the community on LF is helping a great deal with my recovery.

Kathleen, your support is awesome! I take away so much from what you have to share. This line you wrote really stood out for me;

“So if what I was giving these other people didn’t contribute to that building process, then it was just the same-old-same-old of pissing away my time and gifts, imagining some angel was going to show up someday and give me the cosmic Nobel Prize and a lifetime pass to do what I actually really wanted for me.”

ZING!!! I can really identify with this as being my way of thinking before. I’m going to call it BS now. Before the Sociopath 🙂

I’m really tired tonight. I’ve had so much letting out of emotions over the past few days. I’ve been moving into the mourning phase of healing and doing a lot of crying. In a way, I find the mourning phase way more draining than getting angry. Anger, when not expressed can produce so much stress and anxiety, but when it finally comes to the fore it’s energizing. Now going into mourning, I find myself tired. It also brings up some very personal stuff regarding loss and dreams and twisted up feelings with good and bad memories. I think part of the healing with that is keeping what’s good and reclaiming for myself and trash canning the bad. By that I don’t mean forgetting the important lessons. It’s more a matter of expelling all of the evil from what truly belongs to me and bouncing it back to it’s rightful owner.

While going through this, I have become more objective and observant of myself and noted my thought processes and what works for me. One of the things that I’ve realized I’ve been doing for a while now is RECLAIMING MYSELF.

one_step – I am going to quote a line from one of your posts above:

“was thinking this today myself ’”“ this is a journey to falling in love with myself ”“ ’ not sure how to do it. but wouldn’t it be grand.”

This is what I have been doing in a kind of way. I am in the process of writing an article about this, but I’d like to share a bit of what has helped me so far. Maybe it will help.

One of the soul destroying things that sociopaths do to us that really makes our recovery so brutal is their THIEVERY. One could call them the ultimate thieves. For not only do they steal financially from most of us, but really when you look at them they steal EVERYTHING. This goes to their complete lack of respect for boundaries (and our own lack of protection for our boundaries). But, going back to what it means for US, they steal from our personality; they steal our dreams; they steal our creativity; they steal our expressions, they steal our taste, they steal our knowledge; they steal our history; they steal our energy; they steal our sexuality; they steal our space; they steal our possessions; they steal our time; they even steal our like and dislikes…it goes on and on and ……on.

So, for me in my healing, I have started to reclaim bit by bit, in my mind ALL of what is TRULY and RIGHTFULLY MINE.

When something comes up for me that reminds me of a loss, be it of a part of myself or something that I used to love that now makes me sick or sad or triggers me in another way about the exSpath (and these can be very trivial seeming things that have an extremely emotional attachment reaction like for example for me there is a certain type of fabric), I say to myself, “NO. THAT IS MINE. IT DOES NOT BELONG TO HIM. THIS IS A PART OF ME AND I AM TAKING IT BACK!!!! He can’t have it. It’s mine. It belongs to me and I will NOT allow him to STEAL THAT FROM ME!!!!”

It feels really empowering saying this to myself and I do it a lot.

Also, another thing I am doing is recognizing things about myself that are good and giving myself personal kudos about them. This is like self affirmations. I do it in the moment when I recognize it, so the moment does not get lost. For instance, I have a great sense of humor. When I see someone appreciating that, I make a mental note to myself, and say to myself, “See. Remember that about yourself. YOU have an awesome sense of humor!!!” I do this whenever I notice myself feeling good. I stop and become in the moment and notice what’s going on that I am feeling about. If there is anything positive to notice about myself, I tell myself it.



That is some awesome writing Icanseeclearlynow – hope you’re going to post it here. That is so so so so so so so (you get the picture 😀 true about them – they take everything from us and they do it covertly while in the guise of being helpful towards us. It’s almost like they say
“Here let me just help you with that heavy bag of shopping … whoops – how did your love of music get in my pocket? Oh well too bad – all mine now!”

They also take away our hope – this was perhaps one of the most horrible things to lose. But it is inevitable when you are stuck there and blocked at every move by them. Losing hope means you can’t even dream that things could be better. You stop imagining, daydreaming, having visions with music … because what is the point?

I am slowly starting to regain it again but it is tinged with cynicism now – his gift to me. I will start to enjoy the vision of an impossibly happy tomorrow and then a grey cloud overshadows it as I remember something. I can’t even articulate what it is, but it is spoiled and there is no point remaining there after that.

I know this is his influence on me – I was never like that before – the visions just got bigger and brighter and better – no doubts, no fears, no nagging voice saying ‘no won’t happen’. It’s not even as clear as a nagging voice. I have tried to catch what it is several times, but it is impossible – it isn’t a distinct feeling, it’s not a phrase – a grey gelatinous cloud that takes away the sun is the closest I come to describing it and physically there is usually a big sigh and I come back to dreary reality with a crash. I am wondering now how to bottle and grow hope. What makes hope grow? Probably it is some esoteric concept like faith. Or trust. ALways big things – never something simple like eat a slice of orange and lie down for half an hour. Or do a rain dance and then write a song and hope will grow!

Sorry you have been crying – I was there on Friday – we must be cycling through it at almost the same time. It’s horrible and you’re right it is exhausting. But it is also very cleansing and hopefully you have noticed the crying is dying down lately. Mine has and that alone is reason to rejoice. I still cry damned hard when I do, but it’s not every day for fifteen hours now. That’s a huge improvement for me.

I liked that line Kathy wrote too – isn’t it crazy? We thought we might get some kind of kudos for sacrificing our lives for others? It’s so true though – I think I was heading for the Mother Theresa award lol A golden sandal or something – now I am going over the line – God forgive me! Don’t strike me down yet! I am starting to finally get it!

Hey it’s awesome to see you finish on a high – you are starting to recognise and affirm what others see in you for yourself – I think this is the process of falling in love with oneself – it’s gathering up all those snippets and even learning to love the faults and woundedness JUST AS YOU ARE because you are perfect right now and there is nothing you need to make you whole. It’s an often repeated idea through both Buddhism and Christianity. I was listening to a recording of the Dalai Lama translated the other night. He said
“You don’t actually need anything to be happy. You don’t need the perfect car, the perfect house, the perfect body or even the perfect partner. Because right now at this very moment you have a mind and that’s all you need to create your own happiness.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean I can create happiness by myself though – it might mean I use my mind to phone up a friend who makes me laugh. Or I might google some comedy on youtube or go play with the dogs. The fact is it is the mind that can produce those things if we remember it is there and has these amazing functions. I often forget mine 😛 I forget I have the ability to problem solve and make solutions because I got so used to just accepting the status quo with the sociopath and now am unaccustomed to thinking for myself. it’s a habit that develops slowly.

Please be gentle with yourself – we are re learning so many things – not just thinking and reflecting things, but also practical things like how to make new friends, how to problem solve, how to pull ourselves out of various moods, how to accept what happened and forgive ourselves. Sometimes we just want the pain to stop now though – we think we’ve already suffered enough and deserve a reprieve from it. But just like the person who wants to lose weight … look how long it took us to get to this point … it will take time to go back. Your reinforcement will definitely help with this process of remembering and rebuilding. They hated every aspect of us so eventually we hid everything and became bland people who didn’t provoke controversy – the knack now is exactly to reclaim the lost elements once more with new insights and new patterns.
You’re on a good road even though it doesn’t feel like it at times – you have tremendous insight and your body knows what you need.

I hope you are feeling a bit better now 🙂

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