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After the sociopath, make the decision to recover

Finally, you realize what is wrong with your romantic partner: He or she is a sociopath.

Finally, the behavior that was so confusing makes sense. The person you loved, and who you thought loved you, has a personality disorder. Now you realize that anything your partner told you could have been a lie. Now you know why your partner could be so cruel, then tell you how much he or she loved you, practically in the same breath. Now you realize that there never was any love, that your entire relationship was exploitation, and nothing more.

Now what do you do? How do you move forward? How do you recover?

Many of your friends and family tell you, “Just put it behind you. Get over it. Move on.” You are particularly likely to hear this advice if you were “only” dating the person, not married.

The friends and family dispensing this pithy advice probably were never involved with a sociopath. They don’t understand the depth of the betrayal. When you split from a sociopath, it is not a normal breakup. The intensity of these relationships makes the end incredibly painful.

Relationship and addiction

The sociopath initiated this intensity in the beginning of the relationship by showering you with attention, wanting to be with you all the time, claiming that you were soul mates, and painting a glimmering picture of your future together. You, never having experienced such adoration, believed that he or she was head over heels in love with you. Even if you felt misgivings, you suppressed them and focused on the promise of happily ever after.

Then, sooner or later, the sociopath did something to make you feel fear or anxiety. Perhaps you caught your partner lying or cheating. Perhaps he or she suddenly became enraged—you weren’t sure why—and threatened to end your relationship.

Whatever it was, the bliss that you felt in the beginning was shattered, and you wanted it back. You asked what was wrong, tried to work things out, perhaps even apologized for something that you didn’t do. Eventually the sociopath relented, and you kissed and made up.

Then, the whole cycle started again: Intense attraction. An incident causing fear and anxiety. Relief. Around and around it went.

This process has a profound psychological effect—it actually makes you addicted to the relationship. That’s why it’s so hard to break up with a sociopath. You’re not breaking off a relationship—you’re breaking an addiction.

Choose yourself

Addictions don’t just go away. Anyone who has quit smoking, drinking, drugs or any other addiction knows that it’s hard work. You must choose yourself, your health and wellbeing, over the addiction. Then you must work on your recovery, day in and day out.

A relationship with a sociopath is the same. You cannot simply “put it behind you.” You cannot fully recover by locking your internal devastation into a closet, never to be opened, while attempting to go through the motions of living. If you try to do this, you simply end up with an emotional cancer within you, eating away at your life force.

The solution is to choose yourself. Make a commitment to yourself that you will recover, and then work it, day by day.

Steps of recovery

The first step is No Contact. Get the person out of your life. Stop seeing and talking to him or her. Block emails and text messages. Don’t visit his or her Facebook page.

This will be difficult in the beginning, because, remember, you are breaking an addiction. You’ll feel a compulsion to contact your former romantic partner. But if you do, it’s just like an alcoholic falling off the wagon. You’ll be back at square one, and you’ll have to start the recovery process all over again.

The secret to breaking the addiction, as they say in 12-step programs, is to take it one day at a time. So commit to yourself that you will not contact the sociopath today. Then you make the same commitment tomorrow, and then the next day.

The longer you stay away from the sociopath, the stronger you become.

Deeper healing

Getting the sociopath out of your life is only the first part of your recovery. The second, and most important, part, is healing whatever made you vulnerable to the sociopath in the first place.

We all have vulnerabilities—it’s part of being human. We have internal fears, doubts and injuries from our past. Or we have dreams and ambitions—these, too, in the practiced hands of a sociopath, can become vulnerabilities, when he or she promises to make them come true. But generally, the sociopaths target our weaknesses, because that’s the easiest and most effective way to hook us.

Usually the weaknesses boil down to a subconscious belief, deep within us, that we are not good enough.

We rationalize that our mother ignored us, or our father abused us, because we were not good enough. We assume that an earlier romantic involvement failed because we were not good enough. These ideas may have been deeply buried, but they still caused pain, and pain created vulnerability. Sociopaths can sense vulnerability like a shark senses blood in the water.

Releasing the pain

How do you recover from these deep wounds? You acknowledge that they exist. You look at them and allow yourself to feel the associated emotions—pain, disappointment, fear, anger, rage, numbness—and then you let the emotions go.

This is a process, and is best done in private, or with the help of a competent therapist. You’ll find that you have layers and layers of pain, and as you release one, another rises to take its place. You may find yourself crying, wailing or stomping to release anger. You work your way through the layers of emotions, acknowledging, feeling and releasing.

You can’t do this all at once—it’s too draining, and you still have to live your life. In fact, you should intersperse these sessions of releasing with times of treating yourself well, and feeling joy at whatever goodness you experience, no matter how small.

True recovery isn’t easy, fun or instant—it takes work and a commitment to yourself. But the rewards are so wonderful: Release from old traumas. Life lived with peace and lightness. The opportunity for true love and happiness.

It all begins with making a decision to recover.



Comment on this article

658 Comments on "After the sociopath, make the decision to recover"

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Truthspeak

Donna, thank you for this superb article.

A sociopathic relationship is, truly, an addiction. I see it in my own history, and I’ve watched it cultivate with others. There is very, very much validity in this, and the drama/trauma even becomes an addiction.

I knew that I was going to be ignored, stonewalled, invalidated, and the rest of the passive garbage that goes along with it. When the exspath would “reward” me with attention (this includes human interaction), things “had to be okay.” Then, for whatever reason, the passive abuse would recycle, and the emotional merry-go-round would start back up.

Without strong counseling therapy, I would never have uncovered what was broken within myself – never. Yes, I could have read all of the books and articles, drinking in the information, until I could hold no more, but I could not apply what I was absorbing to myself. Only on an academic level could I “see” this, and I very sorely miss my sessions.

Healing from this has not been, in any manner, “easy” or “enlightening.” Yes, there are moments of clarity when I am able to connect the dots to my personal history and my current situations, but it’s painful. It hurts. It rages. And, it creates an emotional cacophany that is very difficult to filter down to the true melody. I don’t like it. Not one bit.

But, there is one thing that spurs me on: being alive. As long as there is a breath in my body, it is my personal mandate to survive, recover, and heal from my history and experiences. I don’t HAVE to like it – caps are for emphasis, of course. Some things that have healing virtues are bitter. But, once that medicine is down the throat, it can begin to work. The benefit outweighs the momentary bitterness, and healing takes place.

Once again, Donna, I read what I need to read, when I need to read it. Thank you, so much.

Brightest blessings

ccg

Donna,
Thank you for this article. I continue to work minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day on my recovery. It has been a long tough road with much more road ahead of me but I am committed to my recovery and healing from a narcissistic, sociopathic, con-man, stalker. He chose me for a reason, maybe I was vulnerable, caring and had abandonment issues but also because I am strong, independent, educated, loving and attractive. It was all a game from the start to him but guess what? I beat him at him own game! I won! I saw him for what he was, went no contact, will continue to heal and have a life that is better than ever while he serves his time in state prison then in his own personal prison forever. Your site continues to be a daily place of inspiration and healing for me. Thank you.

Ox Drover

Donna, Great article and SUMMS UP every other article on LoveFRaud in a concise and precise way. This one needs to be on a special header at the top of the first page! GREAT ARticle

alivetoday

When I read LF, I remember the reality of being at death’s door and the intensity of the addiction. I get to checkin with myself to stop any illusions and reel back into reality. My heart pains when I read these articles. All of the victims seem to be “givers”. I now know that there are individuals that are COMPELLED to give (Givers)(love him to a healthy state of mind/loyalty..haha) , those that are COMPELLED to take/destroy (Takers)(entitled to take advantage of the naive etc) and then there are Healthy individuals with strong boundaries. …
Although, I have no contact (with the exception of viewing one of his present girlfriends YT diary), I wonder why I saw this man as an adonis (nice looking but in retrospect, not all that) (guess it was the lies that made the added touch) ..i do still at times fantasize and remember the high of the feeding of my own narcisissm with all those lies..
This experience helped me to get closer emotionally/mentally to my own age of 51 instead of 18…It helped me see the that there are many people in pain including the NP (not making excuses for their choices). It helped me to understand that I count. … I do wish that I could wave a wand and save all the victims and that is an area that I need to take a deeper look within myself as to why do I still want to be the savior..continuing the behavior of “giver”…
The articles on LF and the comments help me to keep going forward with healing and life. They remind me of where I once was, what I have overcome and what I get to look forward to…I cant wait to be totally mentally free of the P..(so many times, I thought I was) I know it is nothing but addiction and a Decision is the way to recover..

panther

Hi Everyone, it’s panther!!!!

I haven’t been around in so long. I wanted to drop in and say hello, tell you all that I’m doing great (meaning my C-PTSD is still there but I’m on the healing road still), and I’ve had some recent experiences/eureka moments that have been major breakthroughs in healing.

I also wanted to ask a quick question in here. I don’t know how else to find this out yet so I thought I’d start with LF because you guys seem to be the best place to get help for situations involving psychopaths/sociopaths.

–I just befriended a woman who left her husband of 15 years in December. We met at a group therapy center here in Germany. After talking to her in detail about her past relationship, her ex is without doubt a psychopath or sociopath, but she has no idea and this whole concept is brand new for her. Normally I would hand her my copy of Women Who Love Sociopaths and the 2 Lovefraud books BUT she doesn’t speak English! She only speaks German.

Anyone in here know where I can find translated copies of some good books on this topic? I’m having a hard time explaining this stuff to her in German, cause it’s not my first language, so I would like to just find her a good book to get her started. She’s being stalked heavily at the moment, and the man has the police convinced that he’s just trying to “rescue” her because she has “problems” bla bla bla we know the story in here I don’t need to explain it all.

I really want to help her….so…any ideas? Psychopath resources as good as the ones we had….but in German?

Hope everyone in here is doing okay. I’ll check in from time to time today and tomorrow in hopes that someone knows something.

ciao for now

libelle

Hello panther! Nice to see you. I am so glad you are alive and kicking! 🙂

http://www.amazon.de/product-reviews/342336288X/ref=cm_cr_pr_btm_link_3?ie=utf8mb4&pageNumber=3&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Maybe this is a start for your friend to browse the internet/go to a library/bookshop to see for herself which suits her best.

panther

Hi libelle,

Thanks for the recommendation. I did find a couple of options on amazon but hadn’t seen that one yet. I was hoping to find something aimed at people who were in a relationship with a sociopath/psychopath, but I haven’t been able to find anything that specific yet. I did find The Sociopath Next Door in German this morning, so that one would be a good start in the right direction. Usually if someone really is dealing with a spath/P they will have the lights go off DING DING DING the moment they read the profile of these people, so that could be a good place to start.

Thanks for the help. 🙂

Yeah, I’m alive and kicking.

How are you these days?

Medea2

It’s good to be reminded again of these processes – theirs, and yours, mine…. with such simple clarity.
Thanks.
M2

Mrs Grimm

Recovery is such a long, hard process and sometimes I feel I never shall. I have to remind myself of my achievements – to celebrate them with myself. I have to keep telling myself that I deserve better than the surroundings I allow myself. It is step by tiny step, and articles like these are hugely helpful, thank you.

gathersnomoss

Hi, Panther

Thomas Sheridan’s website (out of Ireland) Psychopathfree.com has a section for non-English support. The link is:
http://psychopathfree.com/forumdisplay.php?7-Non-English-Support
German is one of the languages listed. Hope this helps.

panther

Thank you gathersnomoss!!! None of the threads posted so far are in German, but maybe if I poke around a bit or contact the site owner I can find out more for that is available in German. I keep wishing I could find this whole site (Lovefraud.com) in German…comment section and all 😉 That’s really what I wish….if I had a magic wand. This was where my HOLY CRAP HE’S A SOCIOPATH moment light went on and my healing began. This community was the lifesaver. Maybe she could translate it all with google, but then that gets pretty tedious for her.

Thanks again for the link!

Aeylah

Great article Donna!

So true…I’ve been walking the walk of recovery and everything you say is true. It takes time, alot of time, and patients with your self. Most people don’t have that patients or tenacity that’s why they don’t heal or fully recover and wind up in another exploitive, abusive relationship. I’ve learned so much here on LF and it has been the integral part of my recovery.

Thank you!

the sisterhood

Oh, Donna, thank you, thank you! This is so timely and perfect. I am being gentle with myself knowing that it does take a long time to work through everything. It isn’t instant and I’m accepting that now.
Thank you for Lovefraud.

4now

No contact sounds great – it’s definitely what I was seeking when I applied for a divorce. However, when you have had a child, that option goes out the window. I have been struggling with the courts and their penchant for “children need both parents” since 2003. My child is now at risk – believe it or not, narcissism is “contagious”. Just real “Malignant Self-Love”. How to deal with a borderline in your life? I’m still searching and hoping that ultimately I will prevail. The courts are lagging behind their constituents – far, far behind, and the repercussions will be felt for generations.

stormy

I haven’t been posting in a few days because I found things too painful. If anyone remembers, I had my first session with a therapist two weeks ago and whithin the space of 20 minutes she had diagonised one of my problems as abandonment issues from my childhood. I thought she was crazy. My spath was my problem, and I had a wonderful childhood. I even called my sister to get her feedback on this abandonment issue, and, she didn’t see any great issues.

She also told me a few more things in that session that I thought were a lot of BS but had made an appointment for two weeks later. Had to be that far out because I’m on SS and could not afford to go more often.

Yesterday was my second session and I went into it with a lot of questions. In my first session I was a wreck and couldn’t comprehend a lot, much less ask questions. And I thought she was a quack. My issue was my spath not my abandonment. I was absolutely possitive. Boy was I wrong.

In the space of 45 minutes we covered my abandonment (there was some) my self image (I was a heavy child) my self worth (I was lacking) and the need to address my inner child where all this pain and misery dwelt.

Then I asked her to tie all of this to the way I felt about my spath since I was POSSITIVE that my addiction was my issue and not all that other crap.

She then said that most people that have addictions normally have abondonment issues and, yes, it is possible to feel addicted to a person. He picked me at my most vunerable moment. Told me all the things I needed to hear and continued to pursue me until he had me. And boy did he have me. He put me through so much emotional abuse in the 20 years we were together that I felt so attached to him it was like part of my own body. She asked me why I had let him do all those things to me. I sat for a moment and thought. I really could not put my finger on it. Then she said because deep down I didn’t feel I deserved any better.

I was not intending to post today, but I received an email from LF listing a few topics. I chose to read Donna’s article “After the sociopath, make the decision to recover”. And while reading I discovered the sentence “Usually the weaknesses boil down to a subconscious belief, deep within us, that we are not good enough.” My therapist had hit in on the head in two sessions.

Donna’s article was amazing and insitefull, as always. It just went to reinforce everything the therapist said. I have even made a third appointment. It is two weeks away.

Thank you Donna and LF members. This site has been my only link to sanity as I go through this process of ridding myself of this albatross around my neck. To anyone who is thinking of therapy, my advice, if you can afford it, is go for at least two sessions before giving up. I almost did just that but am glad I didn’t. I have a lot of personal work to do on myself to be free, but I am confident that I will be. I will keep reading LF blogs even if I don’t post often, and think of Donna and her “angels” as helping me along on my journey.

darwinsmom

4now,

For those who cannot go full no contact, there is ‘grey rock’. It essentially means going no contact on an emotional level. You either talk about boring everyday stuff (like the weather, the dishes/cleaningwashing you’ve done and some awesome cleaning product you discovered) when non-business communication is required and you keep that to a minimum. Everything else is business.

People recommended a particular log site here to use as a communication tool specifically for cases like yours, because it can be used in court. That then would be the sole comunication tool allowed to talk about the childen: not the phone, not texts, not emails, no fb, etc…

darwinsmom

stormy,

Yes, the spath is definitely an issue and they do cause their own typical mental damage to you for which you need to recover. But it’s also true that we were all vulnerable for the spaths in our lives because of older issues.

So, your therapist is right to make you deal with the underlying vulnerabilities. But it’s also important that your therapist recognizes that the spath caused trauma and cognitive dissonance on top of the old, and that these also need to be addressed. Both the pre-spath and spath damage must be healed.

honestkindgiver

Great article Donna. I spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with my husband. I wanted to help him in the worst way. I thought I could fix the marriage, the relationship, any problem. I thought it all could be fixed just like a broken down car taken to a great mechanic. In fact That was one of the things that disturbed me greatly. …. If his clothes were torn he would want them patched or get new, if the roof leaked we would’ve called the roofer, or the irrigation system was broken we’d have called a very knowledgeable gardener…. but our marriage he didn’t care if it was so so broken down half in disrepair.

Back_from_the_edge

darwinsmom: yes, both the pre spath and spath damage must be healed simultaneously.
I found this true in my own journey.

When this began, (the earth shaking shock), I attended EMDR therapy sessions which helped me (confusingly) deal with older issues I had buried in my (I call them) PTSD files. All those ugly things you don’t want to think about that you have put aside somewhere and don’t even realize they are creating the basis of who you are to shatter and crumble. Not being able to find the strength to move past all this is absolutely tied to the traumas we have had in our lives before. That isn’t to say anything is or isn’t our fault: it IS saying that all of the ugly things we don’t want to think about are still there, even though we choose to not think about them. They need to be dealt with just as equally as dealing with the ‘spath attack’.

THAT is a very hard thing to do.
Especially if you have been physically and emotionally abused to the point where you just LOST YOURSELF and YOUR LIFE for such a long period of time. The healing journey takes time. But the rewards are equally as astounding as the hardships.

I feel, since my ‘release from captivity’, like a child looking at some things for the first time. It’s amazing that events have just passed me by and here I am years down the road and realizing these things just whooshed right by me because of my ‘entanglement’ with a psychopath.

YOU HAVE TO MAKE THAT CONSCIOUS DECISION
TO WIN THIS BATTLE BEFORE YOU CAN BE HEALED.

It’s just like any other addiction.
It will eventually wear off and you will replace it with new
habits; new realizations and a new way of life. You will
be stronger and more aware and more focused on you.
You will find yourself again but it will take time and effort.

Thank you Donna, for more than I can ever say….

Dopey Doopey

honestkindgiver

whoops, posted before I was done.

Finally, an elder women friend of mine noticed what was going on and took me aside. She said, “Stop trying to analyze him, the marriage, the situation and accept it for what it is.”
JUST look at WHAT IS.
Later she told me that he probably has a personality disorder. One of the counselors he went to told me separately he was narcissistic. I asked if it could be cured, changed, fixed. He said, “prepare for a long battle.” (um….. like the rest of my life?)
Another counselor told me, he has a great need to feel in control. (Ya think?)
He was masterful at manipulating the counselors. This is where the glib and superficial charm comes in.

I had two big problems, my own ego thought I could change him and secondly I was addicted to him. I had a version of Stockholm Syndrome. I really was in love with my captor. All the dance of him sort of making me think I wasn’t good enough made me work harder and harder to win his “love” and affection. He did take advantage of the most vulnerable times – having 3 kids was a turning point in our lives, especially after the 3rd one.
I wondered myself how can I be loving to someone who can be so cruel to me? I was hellbent to make it work. That same determination also caused me to lose my boundary lines. As the relationship really was on a ventilator, I sat there and had an AHa moment, He can’t feel my love and I have come to a point where I have no boundary lines.

In the beginning, so true… he dominated my time, but I was flattered by it. but what he was really doing was isolating me until eventually all my friends kind of “went away.”
He eventually started having rage attacks. I tried so hard to make sense of them. Hey, let’s talk about this. I used to look up all kinds of literature on conflict resolution, solving problems with love and respect…. and he exploited all of my good intentions. saying things like let’s just forget about it and pretty soon I’d find myself having sex (yes sex, not making love) and that was another sickness in how we “made up.” It bothered me greatly, but inherently I knew it was wrong. It just had a bad feel solving problems by hopping into bed without any discussion, apologies, taking responsibility and accountability, etc. But you can’t make someone talk about something they refuse to talk about. Finally when I refused to go along with that, we became business partners for the sake of the kids and I lived a very lonely life in a dead marriage that wasn’t even on life support any more.
One thing that was kind of weird… toward the end (last few years) he would say things like, “You’re too intense for me.” Wow, is that projection or what? He said, “I couldn’t be romantic enough for you.” Yes, because it’s mostly (or all) phoney and what you do have, you’re giving away to someone else, hoping to win their affection and sexual partnering. He also said, “Your dad never loved you, so now matter how much I love you, it will never be enough.”
What he did was basically spin 180 degrees the things I felt, and turn them back on me. (That would be the blame game.)

I was most definitely caught up in the addiction merry-go-round, rollercoaster cycle. I wanted off, but I didn’t know how to get off. It was when I discovered lovefraud website and the concept of NO CONTACT that my healing began

I am gentler with myself now. I used to be so hard on myself. I hardly ever bought myself anything. I treat myself to massages, little food treats I otherwise would’ve denied myself, or an article of clothing on occassion.

And yes, it’s a process, little by little I’m finding the ME back. Wonderful, beautiful, sweet ‘ol me.

honestkindgiver

back from the edge,

did you used to be “Dupey”?

spoon

The big difference between the EMDR therapy and this one is you can do this one all by yourself.

To remove the emotions from a remembered event.

The reason to do this is, it is not the event but the meaning we gave the event that we keeps us reliving the event. And what is causing it is the emotion(s) that we have attached to the event.

The higher the emotional state the harder it is to over come it intellectually. So in most cases the emotional state will always trump our rational thought process.

The simple explanation of the removal process is you are going to play the memory in reverse. This can also be used on the crap we say to ourselves. And any emotional state that is causing problems.

The steps.

1) Sit down and replay the event in your head. When you feel the emotions from the event reach over and pinch yourself, doesn’t matter where and hold it. It doesn’t have to be hard, just so that you feel it. What this does is anchor the emotional state.

2) Now let your mind go back in time to where the event happened. Now go past the event if the emotional state drops off then go back to the event and go to the next step.. If it doesn’t then continue going back in time till you hit the next event and check passed it. What we are looking for is where this emotion first started. But if you don’t get the first one it’s no big deal. If the emotional state shows back up just go kill it again.

Now that we have the problem event we want to Killing the emotions hooked it.

Pretend your setting in the projection room of a movie theater. There is a thick glass window and nothing can get to you. [you can let go of pinching yourself.] Now play the movie of the event backwards about double speed. When it ends, the screen goes blank. Play it again. Screen goes blank. Play it again faster. Each time it ends the screen goes blank. Now around the fourth time let the movie screen start sliding out and keep running the movie and just let it keep sliding until it disappears.

When it has disappeared step back into the event right before it happened and follow it back to the present then watch it continue on into the future. This will clear out any other events that use this emotional state in the past and in the future.

If you have trouble seeing the movie not a big deal. You know it is there. The effects will be the same.

If you have trouble finding the seed event. This is where you have followed it all through your past but you can still feel it out there beyond you. Simply turn your head toward the feeling. This one you will kill by turning your head through the feeling. You will feel the pressure of it like a bubble. With this one you’ll butt it up against your temple and then move your head until it is passed the other temple. For most left to right. And you will feel it as it passes from temple to temple. Do this repeatedly. Then when you can push it out and let it slide out just like the movie exercise.

The effects is you can still remember the event but you will not have the emotions. So no more need to relive it. Plus you’ll have a hole in your head. You may be more emotional, cry, angry etc.. Sleep can be messed up for a few nights. The bigger the emotional state that was killed the greater the effects, will be. And it can open up other things you have suppressed or forgotten about. This is a good thing. If it is in you then it will effect you until it is dealt with.

And each time you kill something. Smile, that crap is no longer going to bother you. Tell yourself good job, way to go etc. Then bring on the next one. Because the sooner they are killed the sooner you can have your revenge. And that is to have a happy life.

The steps will shorten as you do this a few times to the point that you will no longer need to do the projector room you will just play the move backwards, letting it slide out of sight and follow it back to the present and let it move on out to the future.

Another pointer is any time you find one that you want to kill but you can’t do the exercise at that moment. Just anchor it with the pinch and with this one pinch a little harder but don’t bruise yourself. Now when you have the time pinch the same place and the emotional state will pop up and you can follow it back and kill it. Make sure that you pinch a place you will remember. Like squeeze the middle finger. In a sense your flipping off the emotional state.

There is another if your having problems getting the picture of someone out of your head.

For Dopey who is a sweetheart: The exploding smurf.

Let the picture of the psycho or who ever you want out, form in your head. Now turn it blue or any bright color(s) will work. Now start shrinking the picture of the blue psycho until it is very small-tiny and if it talks make the voice squeaky where you can’t even hear or understand it. Now grin and push the button that makes the psycho smurf explode, very very violently, a massive explosion. The blue covers your whole field of vision. Open your eyes. Now try and see the picture of the psycho.

I’ll post some more about what to look for to erase.

MyGodIsGood

Donna,

Thank you for this great article. I can definitely relate to all that you wrote and knew when the realization of what I had been dealing with, was a serious matter for my mental and emotional health. If not for your website, the education, the stories, the healing, I can’t say where I’d be. Thank you and all the contributor’s, this is one life you have definitely saved. May God continue to bless and grow you all.
-Tracye

darwinsmom

Donna,

I found this article so good and concise. It kinda needs to be stickied 🙂 In any case I have also posted the link to it on a site where people stumble upon the first realization that their partner isn’t just lying all the time, but shows the signs of a spath.

Spoon,

Interesting read on the technique to remove emotions glued onto memories of events. I’m indeed learning how giving emotional meaning to actions, behaviour and events involving other people is not a healthy way to look at things. That is, I stopped doing that. I witness an event and label it cognitively in a factual manner,, and I still make note of my emotions at the time, but in the sense of “How do I feel right now?” rather than “How does the event make me feel?” And I’ve become aware that the answer to the first question about my emotions is entirely different than the ‘make me feel’ question. As a consequence, I’ve noticed that my emotions are more purely my own, and that I respond less emotional to events, since I don’t connect them anymore as cause and effect. Less drama, less trauma, less being upset.

somebodysdream

to all: When I came to the LF blog I was in the midst of PTS from the ex/terrorist. We were married (together) for 3 months, while the divorce drama was finalized 8 years later. I still have nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks when his name comes up. HOWEVER…. since the no-contact, thanks to LF bogs, I am morphing back into the person I used to be when he targeted me. The cruel, humiliating smear massacres that were aimed to destroy my name, credibility and my business are now laughable because my self esteem is coming back. Some bridges need to be burned to the ground so that you’ll never be able to cross them again. Y’all hang in there it WILL get better.
One more thing. Mental illness/DNA was also exhibited by his grandparents, aunt, mother and his sister. You may have to deal with a whole pit of snakes. I survived, you can to. It is also true that when you let something go, you are open to receive something better.

Back_from_the_edge

somebodysdream: I am sorry about your experience.
Your experience sounds especially traumatic and controlling as mine was. I can read it in your post and in the choice of words you are using. I am so so sorry for your nightmare. You aren’t alone, though. There are more of us ‘survivors’ than you might think.

Oh yes, NC absolutely puts an end to it all.
No more drama, no more abuse. And, that’s just what it is.

I can completely relate to the ‘whole pit of snakes’ you mention. I survived too. I am happy you have as well.

When you let something go, yes, you become open to receive something much better. Absolutely.

Thanks for sharing and have a nice night.
A night full of peace and inner joy.

Dupey

MoonDancer

Honest, Yes back from the edge is the one and the only Dupey ~!

Back_from_the_edge

spoon says:

“For Dopey who is a sweetheart: The exploding smurf.

Let the picture of the psycho or who ever you want out, form in your head. Now turn it blue or any bright color(s) will work. Now start shrinking the picture of the blue psycho until it is very small-tiny and if it talks make the voice squeaky where you can’t even hear or understand it. Now grin and push the button that makes the psycho smurf explode, very very violently, a massive explosion. The blue covers your whole field of vision. Open your eyes. Now try and see the picture of the psycho.”

hahahahahahaha
If you only knew how many times a day I do this!!!!

love to spoon from Dopey:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7emiua3X4p4

Back_from_the_edge

ahahahaha @ you hens….

The one and the ONLY Dupey Dope-ster….
That’s my name…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul-faQQvUiU&feature=relmfu

MOMMADEBBA

Great posting ….. my one question is how the heck do you heal when the damage keeps occuring over and over because you have a child with that person? It is like a jail sentence ……LIFE.

If you try to get legal help, the s-path lies so well that the lawyers suck you dry & leave you hanging, the courts don’t have time to care and you are left broke to deal with a child who is an emotional wreck all while you try to keep treading in deep waters…..MD

Truthspeak

Mommadebba, there are techniques and methods to co-parenting with a sociopath. Yes, it is very much like a sentence of lifelong torture.

First of all, I would strongly urge you to consider counseling therapy to help you – that is YOU – to process the carnages and assist you in rebuilding your boundaries, etc.

Then, there is the “grey rock” approach. The ex is there, but has no more substance than a piece of rock. It simply makes noises, but it has no power. There’s a great article, here, about that very technique.

Having gone through this, myself, I can say that it isn’t easy to practice the “grey rock” technique. I wanted the first exspath to “know” what he had done to me and our children, and I took every opportunity to lash out at him. Well, that simply doesn’t work because a sociopath simply doesn’t care. This is the hardest truth for us to come to terms with: they DO NOT CARE. They NEVER DID CARE. And, they NEVER WILL CARE.

Please, note that I use CAPS for emphasis, and they are not to be interpreted as online yelling.

Additionally, I would seek out the services of counseling therapy for my children. Children experience the same carnages that we adults do, but they do not have the emotional maturity or Life’s Experiences to process what has been done to them. As a result, they develop a multitude of emotional (and, physical) issues that can leave them open to be perfect victims, or evolve into abusers, themselves.

It’s not so much as the Courts “don’t have time to care,” as much as the Courts do not become emotionally involved in each case. They hear cases, sometimes 100 in a day, that all have the same complaints, issues, accusations, game-playing, and so forth, and they do not address the true issues (at this present time) that it is not always in the best interests of children to have BOTH parents involved, as well as viewing “equitable distribution of assets” as a reasonable solution to marital misconduct.

Do whatever you have to do to get assistance, Mommadebba. I’ve applied for every available public assistance program within the last 48 hours, and it’s grueling, humiliating, and desperate, but taking proactive steps is a healthy thing to do.

Brightest blessings to you and your child

spoon

darwinsmom

Hard to do this without writing a book.

We think in two modes emotional and intellectual. The way it works is, an event happens and the information goes through our emotional part of our brain before the intellectual part gets a hold of it. If the event triggers a very strong emotional response the intellect can not over ride it. Then the emotional response is off to the races and has to run it’s course. When one calms down enough the intellect can engage. It basically works this way, the higher emotional response the harder it is to intellectualize the event.

As we grow up we create beliefs and assign certain emotional responses to these beliefs. We now have all these things already decided on what events mean. An event happens and our mind picks the closes meaning that we have and the emotional response that is hooked to the belief is triggered. “We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.” Anais Nin — We are the one’s that supplies the meaning to events. So there is the event we supply the meaning and this gives us the experience.

We code the meaning in three ways. Emotionally. Self talk – a short phrase or sentence that is hooked to a belief. I’m bad, no one can love me, I’m unlovable these are all limiting beliefs. [note music is another form of self talk where a tune can be hooked to a memory.] Then there is the physical touch, smell, taste, sound and sight.

The technique will strip the emotions from the memory we have stored. If one still has the feelings of being in love with the spath. Anchor that feeling and run it through the technique and no more feeling in love with the spath.

PTSD run it through and it’s gone. Well for PTSD since it is a multi-part experience the different parts have to be killed.The simplest way I know to explain this is every time the PTSD comes up anchor it and run it through the technique. If there is self talk then just run it backwards repeatedly. Just like listening to a recording backwards. “A trauma is not an experience. It is an emotional response to an event. Which creates the experience.

This can be used on any childhood memories. Say your mother kept calling you stupid. And now you freeze up. Anchor that feeling, follow it back and run it through the technique. And check for any self talk and kill that.

And what your finding out is our emotions are not always correct. And if not correct then they can give us loads of problems in dealing with life. Emotional IQ is more important then the just the normally hyped IQ.

My 2 Cents

rgc112063

Ok girls, she is finally showing some interest in LF as she asked for the link the other day after I showed her a particularly familiar post from the author. and she has been asking questions pertaining to her fears and specifically, “so what do I do with the memories once i have dug them up?” I said that we dig them up, dust them off so we get a really clear picture, and then examine and discover how little guilt we actually have and find peace in knowing that much of the blame is not ours, that we didnt choose to be fooled, that we bargained for something else. then we can bury them again and not be burdoned by them. too simplistic?

Truthspeak

Rgc, for myself, it’s not that simple. And, for your wife, it may simply be that easy.

Perhaps, your wife would be better off if she were asking her questions to a counseling therapist that “gets it.” Although we can share on this site, and many of us have some strong insight into terminology, definitions, and techniques, a good, strong trained professional has the ability to detach themselves from their clients, emotionally, and can, therefore, give them the strong (and, sometimes, painful) truths that open the door to personal recovery and healing.

Brightest blessings

spoon

MOMMADEBBA

Hi, Sorry that it is an on going problem. But Truthspeak is right. I’ll put it in my words. You are holding on to expectations that you’ll never get from the spath. This is what keeps you tied up in knots. Grey rock says it very well.

That is except for what he is doing to your child. Counseling and any kind of good support you can get for your child. And be there to explain, love and support. Help your child see that it isn’t them. Hate this part of it.

spoon

Dopey

Thanks for the clip. 🙂

And love right back at you

T

rgc112063

Yup, she has a good therapist, i’m just trying to reassure her that there is a reason to dig up the past. I always try to gently leave the tough stuff to the therapist cause being her husband makes me biased and too emotionally invested to be impartial. besides, a lot of this stuff she isnt cozy with sharing with me yet and may never be.

stormy

Spoon – I need your help.

I must not have my thinking cap on today because I’m confused about a great post you made.

In your post about “almost having to write a book” you explained things almost exactly the way my counselor did. If you were in AZ I would think you were her.

I did not understand the part about “technique will strip the emotions from the memory”. Because even though I am intellectually sure my partner was an spath and that I don’t love him, I do find myself missing and wanting him at times. Maybe it is because I just have a hard time seeing the facts for what they are not the way I want them to be.

If you could elaborate about this “technique” again I sure would appreciate it.

Thanks, Stormy

spoon

stormy

Hi, I’ll gladly help. Sometimes it takes a few times before we get it. Sometimes it seemed that the only way I got it was by hitting my head against a telephone pole. I’ll keep explaining as many times as it takes.

The technique is at the link below. It goes by many names. I’m headed out the door. But when I get back I’ll try to explain it again. Read it and ask whatever questions you have. There are only good questions.

http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2012/07/30/after-the-sociopath-make-a-decision-to-recover/comment-page-1/#comment-166961

stormy

Spoon,

Thanks for the link. I did get the part about the exploding smurf but was confused by the pinching. I guess I just don’t know what “event” I am supposed to go back to. Would it be one when I was a child that caused the abandonment issue, and I’m sure there were more than one, or is it one(s) from my 20 years with the spath?

Thanks for your help, and I’ll keep reading.

miranda

A guy I’m sort-of friends with (I see him very occasionally) was involved with a sociopath six years ago. He still refers to it today, in great depth (specifically, that she abused him emotionally). I’m not negating what he went through at all, as I have had my own experiences with spaths and those experiences were horrible and I’m aware my comment here may be seen as such. But I am wondering, having read this article, when enough is enough for those who were targeted by/involved with spaths.
What’s also worth mentioning is that not one person in his wide group of very nice and supportive friends has ever taken her side, he has full support from all of his friends. So it’s like he refuses to get over it, particularly as she does not contact him (hasn’t done for 2 years), he has no interaction with her at all whether at social events or anything else. His friends know never to invite them both to the same event so she’s pretty much out of his life. It genuinely feels like he’s choosing to live in the past and not try and feel better and I don’t know what to do to help.

spoon

Stormy

The exploding smurf is a separate technique from the emotional remover or decision destroyer. Different names for the same technique. There may be even more names for it.

The abandonment issue is a separate issue from the “missing and wanting him” even though they may be linked.

The simple explanation of the removal process is you are going to play the memory in reverse. This can also be used on the crap we say to ourselves. And any emotional state that is causing problems.

The steps.

1) Sit down and replay the event in your head. When you feel the emotions from the event reach over and pinch yourself, doesn’t matter where and hold it. It doesn’t have to be hard, just so that you feel it. What this does is anchor the emotional state so you can hold on to this state and do step 2. As long as you hold this anchor you will stay in this emotional state.

2) Now let your mind go back in time to where the event happened. Now go past the event if the emotional state drops off then go back to the event and go to the next step.. If it doesn’t then continue going back in time till you hit the next event and check passed it. What we are looking for is where this emotion first started. But if you don’t get the first one it’s no big deal. If the emotional state shows back up just go kill it again.

Now that we have the problem event we want to Killing the emotions hooked it.

Pretend your setting in the projection room of a movie theater. There is a thick glass window and nothing can get to you. [you can let go of pinching yourself.] Now play the movie of the event backwards about double speed. When it ends, the screen goes blank. Play it again. Screen goes blank. Play it again faster. Each time it ends the screen goes blank. Now around the fourth time let the movie screen start sliding out and keep running the movie and just let it keep sliding until it disappears.

When it has disappeared. Step back into the event right before it happened and follow it back to the present then watch it continue on into the future. This will clear out any other events that use this emotional state in the past and in the future.

If you have trouble seeing the movie not a big deal. You know it is there. The effects will be the same.

If you have trouble finding the seed event. This is where you have followed it all through your past but you can still feel it out there beyond you. Simply turn your head toward the feeling. This one you will kill by turning your head through the feeling. You will feel the pressure of it like a bubble. With this one you’ll butt it up against your temple and then move your head until it is passed the other temple. For most left to right. And you will feel it as it passes from temple to temple. Do this repeatedly. Then when you can push it out and let it slide out just like the movie exercise.

The effects is you can still remember the event but there will not be the emotional state hooked to it. So it becomes a non-experience event. The event will have no meaning to you. The other effectss you’ll have a hole in your head. You may be more emotional, cry, angry etc.. Sleep can be messed up for a few nights. All short term. The bigger the emotional state that was killed the greater the effects, will be. And it can open up other things you have suppressed or forgotten about. This is a good thing. If it is in you then it will effect you until it is dealt with.

The steps will shorten as you do this a few times to the point that you will no longer need to do the projector room you will just play the move backwards, letting it slide out of sight and follow it back to the present and let it move on out to the future.

Another pointer is any time you find one that you want to kill an emotional state but you can’t do immediately. Just anchor it with the pinch and with this one pinch a little harder but don’t bruise yourself. Now when you have the time pinch the same place with the same two fingers and the emotional state will pop up and you can follow it back and kill it. Make sure that you pinch a place you will remember. Like squeeze the middle finger. In a sense your flipping off the emotional state.

Next I’ll explain anchoring. Then how to take out the “missing and wanting him.” Then different ways to use this. Then the abandonment issue.

spoon

Anchoring. Then how to take out the “missing and wanting him.”

Lots of stuff can be done with anchoring but I’m sticking to the emotional destroyer. Think I can kill two birds here.

This will take 15 to 30 minutes to do. Sit in a comfortable chair but don’t lay down.

What you want to do is to bring up the feeling of what you want to remove the emotions from. I’ll use “missing and wanting him.” What you do is let the feels you have for this guy build up. The higher the emotions the better. Now when you get those feelings take your index finger and thumb of one hand say your left and hold on to your right thumb joint. Doesn’t have to be hard just enough so you feel it. What this does is to anchor the feelings you have for him so you can go back in time to where they first appeared.

So you have the feelings and you have anchored them. Now holding the anchor. Close your eyes and follow this feeling back in time. When you get there it will feel like a bubble. This is where you decided you had these feeling for him.

Now do the theater part and run the movie of this event backwards.

Pretend your setting in the projection room of a movie theater. There is a thick glass window and nothing can get to you. [you can let go of pinching yourself.] Now play the movie of the event backwards about double speed. When it ends, the screen goes blank. Play it again. Screen goes blank. Play it again faster. Each time it ends the screen goes blank. Now around the fourth time let the movie screen start sliding out and keep running the movie as it slides out. Until it disappears.

When it has disappeared out of sight. Step back into the event right before it happened and follow it back to the present then watch it continue on into the future. This will clear out any other events that use this emotional state in the past and in the future.

Ok about the following it back to now. Think of the timeline as a tunnel and your flying back through to the present. You may hit some parts that slow you down just push through and keep going. What this is, is other bubbles that are tied to, in this case the “missing and wanting him.” And we want all of them to be removed.

Now your back into the present and you want to watch this force slide out into the future. See it as a ball of light and it is going through your timeline into the future. This will take out any future events that may have been planned.

I’ll stop here until you let me know that you understand it.

sisterseven

Hello Everyone,

First time blogger. I am three months out of my 18mth (off & on) relationship with a psychopath. When I saw “the monster” I told her I wanted her, “Out of my house and out of my life.” The first eight weeks she mercifully left me alone. Then it began. First an inappropriate sexual text on my cell. Then she left a few of my personal belongings on my deck (she stole a lot from me.) I was not home at the time. Then a message on my home phone, two more text messages on my cell, one more item left by my front door, and $40 of the money she owes me (r u kidding me?!) left on my deck under a statue. All at different days/times. When she left the money I was home. No, I did not answer her knocks. Just like I have ignored every text and phone call. She hung around outside for almost 20 minutes. I’m certain she was very unhappy about the fact that I now have curtains up and drawn on every window. I live far out from town. I never worried about anyone peering in my windows, until now. And I know this is only the beginning.

I am perturbed about getting involved with “crazy”, however, what really annoys me now is that I cannot go to my AA meetings and committee meetings (25 years clean and sober), and I cannot move freely about my small community or favorite haunts. I have it on good authority that she is now going to every AA meeting here locally (she told me she was 27 years sober..but didn’t like any of the meetings here or the people in them) and my friends and family have run into her everywhere. She is creepin’, no doubt about it. She hates to lose. And she thinks I am her chattel. She feels entitled to come on my property at will.

If I speak about her folks want to make logic, and of course there is none. I try not to speak about her because I believe it just gives her power in some way. But sometimes I just feel the need. I have two friends that I do talk to now when the need arises. They know her firsthand and know she is a true spath.

I have been reading both of Donna’s books and workbook. It has really helped me a lot to have found Donna, her books, this website and all of you.

Thanks, Sisterseven

strongawoman

Hello Sisterseven,

Cunning as an old fox aren’t they? As you have found It pays to be one step ahead of the spath. Looking over your shoulder is exhausting. Welcome to the club…..stalking, mind games, declarations of “love” despite their actions contradicting them. Yes I identify. Unfortunately you are recovering from an encounter with the dark side of humanity. On a positive note, this is a great site full of wonderful people who have been where you are. All united by this experience.
Welcome, keep reading and stay strong. All the best to you.

the sisterhood

This article really set things into perspective for me. But along with that, I am now aware of every instance where my ex-spath was showing his true feelings. I chose to ignore or dismiss all of the signs. I mean, right now every single one of them is flooding back into my conciousness and I feel like a total fool for ever believing he loved me. I feel like a fool for now knowing how much I was exploited and used by him.

For example, I am remembering every time he said he wasn’t sure about the future with me. Or when I was going through a really traumatic event, he barely hugged me; He just kind of patted my shoulder. I remember how he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship. I also remember how disgusted he always was with me and how he always complained about me to his friends and family. And how he never wanted to be alone with me. Not to mention all of the sadistic things he did to hurt me.

So how do I reconcile all of these blatant reveals with all of what I thought was true. All of the romatic love letters and declarations of love. Or when I tried to break up with him, he said that’s not what he wanted. All of the years he “stalked” me to let me know I was still the love of his life. Or even when after we broke up, I confronted him about a girl I thought he might leave me for and he kept saying, “I’m not seeing her”…He later married her.

My question is, why on earth do I still feel like I was the one who lost a good catch? I mean, WTF!?! Why am I still so devasted that he went on to marry the girl right after me.

I’m confused, still, because he did let me know in so many ways that I wasn’t the one for him. And yet I still fell so hard for him and continue to feel jealousy and anger that he went on to love and marry another. What was it about me that he thought was alright to exploit. Why wasn’t I looked at as a good girl worthy to be cherished and to marry.

I know it seems like I’m back at square one, but believe it or not I am so relieved that I can really see the truth. But I am left with a very low self-esteem because I am still thinking it was me who wasn’t good enough.

It is crazy that I would want a spath to look at me as the one worthy to marry. I have to remind myself that I am SOOOO lucky that I never married him. I just still feel so rejected. How to I heal that feeling? How do I build my confidence when he emotionally raped that part of me?

skylar

((sisterhood))
it’s cog/dis.
He planned for you to feel this way. They like to seed envy because envy is what they feel 24/7. They can never escape it and they want everyone to feel what they feel. It’s the only way that they can feel they’ve “won”.

Even though you know now, all those seeds he planted in your mind have taken root. You’ll have to work hard to extricate them from your mind. You need to use a root-killer.

First of all, realize that he used APPEARANCES exclusively to deceive you. Why? Because APPEARANCES are all that spaths have. There is nothing behind the appearances. No substance. That said, since they have no substance, they are EXPERTS at appearances. He used appearances to create those seeds of self-doubt, over and over again.

Secondly, know that he used a sequence of events in a certain order to take you down the slippery slope of low self-esteem. At first he was kind and loving so that you would reciprocate. Spaths realize, intuitively, that once we love them, we believe that they ARE WORTHY OF LOVE. Otherwise, why would we love them? So now we have placed them in high esteem and when they treat us badly, we believe that WE are the ones who deserve to be treated badly. Logically, it makes sense if you believe the first premise (that they are worthy of love).

Well, all this logic does nothing for how you FEEL now, right?
True. But it does give you a map for reversing the crazy logic that brought you to your erroneous beliefs and the subsequent erroneous low self image.

Remember, even if he were the King of England, he would not be half the human being that you are, because you can feel and he cannot. You are kind and he is shallow and evil.

Keep that foremost in your mind. Always. Plant your own seeds by treating yourself well and with kindness. Soon, your self-kindness sprouts will choke out the weeds of self-doubt he planted.

Stargazer

Sisterhood, it takes time. The most important thing right now is to stay out of denial and not to forget what he is and that he is not capable of real love. If he could treat any woman (you) that badly, then he cannot truly love or respect another woman. That is just the truth, no matter if you believe it or not. Remember what we were talking about on the other thread about really feeling the pain of the betrayal? It takes time for these feelings to completely surface. When they do, you will be on your way to healing. You can help the process along by going inside and seeing if you can feel what is going on in your physical and emotional body without numbing it out with alcohol, sugar, or whatever is your addiction of choice. See if you can locate your emotions in your body and stay in contact with them. They may come up into your throat and you may need to scream or cry or just talk it out. Listen to your body and heart and let them tell you what you need in order to get to the next step. If you feel numb, you can even try lying on your bed and kicking and hitting on the bed, imagining you are looking directly at your ex. Sometimes this brings up feelings. Sometimes just a determined will to overcome this will help you get through it faster.

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