By | March 7, 2016 26 Comments

After the trauma, emotional exhaustion

woman-watching-tv_300x200Last week I wrote that my husband and Lovefraud co-founder, Terry Kelly, suffered a heart attack. I am very happy to report that Terry is doing really, really well, all things considered.

After being unconscious for a week, he finally woke up. The next day, the doctors took him off of the breathing machine. He’s now in a regular hospital room, rather than intensive care. He’s eating, drinking fluids and sleeping when he’s not coughing himself awake.

Terry has started taking walks down the hospital corridor, assisted by a walker. His feet don’t quite move the way they should, and he has some balance issues, although each day gets better. We hope he’ll soon be moving to a rehabilitation hospital, where he can build his strength.

I am happy and grateful.

Still, I am emotionally exhausted.

First there was the shock of the heart attack, and the very real possibility that he might not survive it. Then the decisions I had to make, with life-or-death consequences literally. Then days spent with him while he was unconscious, talking to him and holding his hand, to provide sensory stimulation to his brain. Then, once he woke up, staying on top of his medical care there were some glitches, requiring me to be forceful.

So for the past couple of days, when I came home from the hospital, I just wanted to collapse in front of the TV and watch mindless movies.

Obviously, my attention hasn’t been on my work, so that is piling up. But I find that I sit at my computer and I can’t focus. I wander aimlessly around the house. It’s easier for me to do trivial chores, like filling up the birdfeeder, than what really needs to be done, like paying the bills.

And as I said in my article last week, I’m dealing with a normal life crisis, not the betrayal of a sociopath.

I have plenty of support from family and friends. No one is actively trying to undermine my support by portraying me as a mentally unbalanced, vengeful, scorned woman.

No one is taking me to court, trying to pry the kids away. No one is trying to force me into destitution. No one is threatening my life.

So for all of you who are dealing with the machinations of a sociopath, and feel emotionally exhausted, well, you deserve to feel that way.

In this article, I’m not offering advice. I am offering empathy as best I can, because as far as I’m concerned, anyone who is still dealing with a sociopath has far bigger problems than I have.

So if you’re feeling tired, or spacey, or like you just want to curl up in a ball, well, cut yourself some slack, at least for a little while. Yes, you’ll have to pick yourself up and deal with it all, but if you want to watch a stupid movie for awhile, I think you should.

Trauma is exhausting. Recovery will take time.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who offered prayers and kind wishes for Terry’s health. With your support, I hope we’ll be back to living our life again soon.

UPDATE 3/10/16

GREAT NEWS!!! My husband Terry is home. He is well on the road to recovery. Thank you to all Lovefraud readers for your prayers and warm wishes.

Donna and Terry

Posted in: Donna Andersen

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Hope Springs

Lovely post, Donna.

Dealing with SPs is emotionally exhausting, and I dare say, depressing as well.

The news for your husband is excellent. This too, shall pass.

Thank you for all that you on this site for all of us!


Hope Springs


Sorry for the typo…


Thank you for sharing and well wishes to you- Thanks for even taking my call recently- her’s a poem I wrote about trying to have no contact with my soc. but still heartbroken



Great news regarding Terry’s progress.

As someone who suffered from a life threatening illness this year, replete with two major surgeries and chemotherapy, I can attest to what you are saying. Though exhausting and traumatizing, getting through this with people who love and support me has not been nearly as debilitating as the betrayal I suffered at the hands of a sociopath.

While I was sick no one was trying to ruin me, lie to me, degrade my efforts.

Folks who have been harmed by these types REALLY need to be kind to themselves, and respect the level of wounding they have endured. It is so easy to feel like a fool, and feel so ashamed that we fail to be tender with ourselves.

Godspeed for Terry and his healing process….and for you Dear Donna all my love. Without this site I would not be where I am today. Free, happy, sane.



Hi Donna,

Excellent news about your husband Terry. I pray he continues to heal more everyday.

I just registered here for the first time this morning. I’m brand new to this wonderful site and brand new to the whole concept of sociopaths. I left my husband of 22 years in Jan of 2015 and began divorce proceedings in Sept. Only last week did it become clear to me that I was married to a sociopath. After reading 2 books on the subject over the last few days I’m now preparing myself for the road ahead in recovery. The divorce is proving to be ugly but now I know who I’m dealing with.

I’m so grateful and thankful for you and this website. I look forward to reading the inspiring stories and helpful comments that are posted here. I’m blessed with the love and support of family and friends however I believe this journey I’m beginning may be hard for them as they can’t truly appreciate the depth of the psychological (and sometimes physical) pain I’m in. It’s so comforting to know you and everyone here does.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.



Hi Kas, what a blessing that you have pieced the truth of who you were married to together.

For your divorce check out the site:

One moms battle. com

and their Facebook page One moms battle.

ask on their Facebook page how to get a court order mental evaluation on your ex & put in divorce papers after he responds to your first motion that he is a sociopath.

Open a fake email account then a fake Facebook page so that you can chat freely without your ex or his family/friends seeing what you are chatting about.

I equate being married to my ex h a sociopath as HELL the divorce process THE BOTTOM OF HELL.

I would suggest you go to your big box book store & library and read books on Financially divorcing. there are many & you will learn what you have a right to including his social security if you were married for a certain length of time.

Remember your divorce is a business…it’s hard but keep the focus on your future financial well being your lawyer will not look out for your future this is why educating yourself on what you are entitle to is essential.

Wishing you all the best. You have found the most incredible support site here at Lovefraud. so ask question & vent as much as you won’t & need.

Take care.


Wow Jan7, Thank you so much. In just your one comment I received so much valuable information and so much support. I know I need to keep my head as clear as I can of emotions during the divorce proceedings. You’re so right.. it is a business. I will get books on financially divorcing and I will get a fake Facebook page so I can chat with One Moms Battle. It didn’t occur to me to do that. Thank you. I’m a little hesitant about the psych eval though. I am 3000 miles away from him, however should we go to trial (he’s fighting me over the house) I’ll have to fly out there and frankly I’m concerned about my safety. He has an ugly history and me claiming he has a mental disorder would only make things worse. I myself have a history of mental illness though today I saw my doctor and we are now questioning that in light of recent events. Lord, this whole situation is crazy. Anyway, thanks again Jan7. I’m already feeling a little better!


Hi Donna, reading your post I can hear in your words that you are exhausted. You have been thru a lot the past few weeks with Terry’s health issues. Scary to watch your loved one in a health crises. You are so amazingly strong…stronger then you know these past weeks just reinforce that strength.

We are all so proud of you & Terry for lifting up so so many people out of our fetal positions who were searching the net for answers and thanking fully found Lovefraud. It’s clear that you & Terry share an amazing bond & no doubt you holding Terry’s hand & talking to him while he was unconscious helped him recover quicker.

For Terry look into Dr Amen & his top New York Times best selling books. He is a brain expert who has conducted over 80,000 brain scans who works with patients all over the world. You do not have to go to his clinic he can work with Terry’s doctors to facilitate the proper test & treatment. He helps to heal peoples brains that have had trauma issues such as what Terry experienced with his heart attack.

Google “Dr Amen PBS you tube” to watch some of his videos. His site is AmenClinic. com

He might be a good person to bring in via phone to consult with you & Terry on how to improve Terry’s condition much quicker.

Calming your mind & body after a shock to the system like you experienced Donna is not easy but look into magnesium especially Epson Salt baths (check with your doctor first!!) as it settles the body & mind and will allow you to have a good night sleep plus flood your body with magnesium which is needed to keep our bodies calm and settle the anxiety that we feel. You can find epson salt in your local grocery store by the Pharmacy section. Our bodies need magnesium & if it is deficient we suffer just as you say you are now experience by not being able to concentrate. It works quickly.

PLEASE LET US KNOW Donna what help you need we are all here for You & Terry.

Thank you for your continual updates as you & Terry are both on all of our minds. Dont worry about your site we will all still come here we understand that your priority now is with Terry.

HUGE HUGS to you both 💜


So glad to hear of Terry’s recovery, Donna. And isn’t is just like you to think of others while you are going through your own crisis….

Nursing my bf through a knee surgery this weekend was exhausting enough, and it’s minor compared to what you and Terry have been through. How fortunate you are, though, to have someone real and genuine to care for. I tried to remember that myself when I was cooking, cleaning, and organizing the bf’s messy house this weekend – things that I would really rather not have been doing. It is a blessing to do those things for someone I love who can receive that love. Many people on this site have children and other family members. I have never had anyone but my pets really. So in a way, it’s an affront and intrusion to my sense of freedom, but in another sense it’s wonderful to have someone to care for and that sense of belonging. I put my hand on his bad knee this weekend purely by accident, and I could feel Reiki energy pouring out of my hand – it really surprised me! This hasn’t happened in a while. I usually forget that I do Reiki until it comes out accidentally. I wonder if a Reiki session would help Terry in his recovery too?

I hope Terry continues to recover. Hoping too that you get the rest you need after your ordeal. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Rosie Jackson

It’s so great to hear that Terry is doing better!
God answers prayers!
And I thank God that you and Terry have helped so many of us find our way out of the Hell that these sociopaths have put us through.
You both are Heaven sent. 😇


Self care for you when you are not at the hospital with Terry.
My goodness the curve balls that are thrown our way.
If there is anything we as Lovefraud readers and supporters can do as you tend to your husband and yourself, please let us know.


I’m glad that Terry is doing well! I also understand the emotional exhaustion. I have a theory (it seems to be true in my life anyway). I used to bounce back fairly quickly from traumas and problems and life’s curve balls. But since my experience with the s-paths…I don’t anymore. Now, every new trauma seems to put me into shock for a while and wear me out for a long time.

I think when we have experienced an extreme trauma like dealing with someone that changes your entire outlook on life, even if you heal, part of that stays with us and makes it just a little bit more difficult to heal from further traumas, even if they are not due to s-paths.



Stillinshock…I agree with you completely. Wish I knew how to clear the stress from the trauma completely.


Hi Donna,

So glad to hear that Terry is doing so well and that he will be coming home soon!

Take care of yourself too … whatever you need to do for you!



lol. you sound just like my disorganized self!
I know you are there 100% for your husband and that he is lucky to have you there. I know you are being accepting of yourself because you are going through this trauma too.
Go one extra step and recognize that YOU need all the self love you can muster to stay in balance adequately. GIVE yourself mindless rest and pleasures with no other reason than to replenish your waning energy. Hug yourself. Congratulate yourself for what you do each day, even if it seems minimal. Give yourself a hug! Cheer yourself forward! It is the best way for you to maintain the extreme level of outgoing energy caring for your loved one. If you can, delegate some tasks to your support network so things get done.
You wouldn’t expect a marthon runner to do the marathon without all that support so why should you forgo it now?
I’m cheering you on from here, join me and celebrate your capacity to meet adversity… but feed yourself so you can sustain it!! RAH!! RAH!!

Hope Springs




So happy for the two of you, Donna and Terry!!


Fantastic news Donna. So happy for both you & Terry.

God speed Terry with your full recovery! 🔜💜💯


Wow! Great news. Thanks for sharing,Donna. Stay strong and all the best! Let’s count our blessings. Take care, God bless & hugs! 😊


Hi Donna & Terry, you both have been on my mind this week & just wanted to send some hugs your way.

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