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An Invitation for A Miracle

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

An Invitation for A Miracle.

This is the first in a series of 6 postings on spiritual healing that will attempt to Make Sense of these encounters with sociopaths and present the process that literally turns these painful experiences into Miracles of Healing.

Most of us on this site know all about the feelings of shame, guilt, pain and suffering that are associated with an experience with a sociopath.  This is the common bond that brings us together and helps build trust in these new relationships being formed in the Lovefraud community.

The very idea that trust is already being restored on this site is a beginning that brings with it a little light and hope.  The question then becomes, “what do we do with these experiences and how do we overcome them?”  The answer is simple, but oh so very hard to do.  It requires willingness and a desire to get well.  If you have decided (and yes this is a decision) that you want to get well, then you may be ready to take certain steps towards healing.

This process literally changes pain to joy, and darkness to light.

The first and most important step is being willing to accept what cannot be changed.  Makes sense in the written word, but not so much in the heart and mind, and these both need to be changed to get free of the past.

The word “surrender” is most typically associated with giving up to an enemy.  Giving up is not generally perceived as an admirable quality, and that is part of the problem.  Most of our problems begin with perception.

It is the perception of the events in our lives that causes us tremendous suffering, not the events themselves.  Our failure to see these events in their proper perspective not only poisons the current moment, but attracts more of the same suffering to us in the future.  Awareness of this truth and a simple shift in perspective is the gateway to freedom, but it has many blockers that blind us to the incredible peace that surrender offers.

Our culture today constantly bombards us with images of victims and victimizers, suggesting that we do not have a choice in whether good or bad things happen to us.  When tragedy strikes, we are often portrayed as victims of circumstance that do not have the ability to help ourselves.  This is a scary proposition.

In extremely difficult times, this idea that we are wondering aimlessly through some sort of mine field in our lives eventually results in resentment, anger, depression and a feeling of hopelessness.  Most people experience this at some point in their lives.  An experience with a sociopath can bring this upon us suddenly and unexpectedly.  For me, seeing my father for what he was (a sociopath) for the first time was as if I fell through a trap door into the pit of hell.  I felt as though I was lost in total darkness with nothing to hold on to.  Suddenly, fear was the only thing that I recognized.

The good news is”¦there IS a way out.

We are powerless over the past.  This is an absolute fact.  We cannot change it.  We cannot breathe yesterday’s air, but we can deprive ourselves of what we need today by trying to do the impossible, and that is, change the past.  We somehow convince ourselves that by holding on to some mind held position, we will prevent the sociopath or situation from becoming real or happening again in the future.  We are punishing ourselves, all the while believing that we are somehow affecting the perpetrator.  It is as though we have become convinced that if we punish ourselves enough, the situation will change.  This is not the answer, yet we often try to do this over and over again, only to find the same result”¦misery.

There is an answer and it is found in the unlikeliest of places”¦Surrender.  This first step is absolutely necessary to begin the healing process. It is also extremely difficult for most people to do.  It certainly was for me, but it did set me free.

I have no idea why many of us have to experience so much pain before we surrender and try another way, but my experience has shown that it is entirely up to us.  We only need to be willing to see things in a different light.

After all, what exactly are we being asked to surrender other than pain, suffering and misery?  If I am able to acknowledge that I am powerless over an individual, or past events, and recognize that there is a better way, then I am ready to take certain steps.  Simply having the awareness that what I am holding on to is only harming me is a beginning.

This beginning leads to a world full of peace, love and freedom.  Letting go is how we become free from the past.  This is the process that turns our past nightmares into the light that heals the world.  It is A Miracle and it is A Promise.

For those that are interested, next week I’ll write about this Promise and how to begin.  In the mean time, you might want to ask yourself this simple question (prayerfully)”¦

“Can I change what has already happened, or, is surrender the answer?  Am I ready to acknowledge that I am powerless over the past?”


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33 Comments on "An Invitation for A Miracle"

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Thank you Travis. Yes, the first, and often the most difficult step, is accepting what happened. We don’t want to believe and accept that everything we were told was a lie. We don’t want to believe and accept that the person never loved us. We don’t want to believe and accept that it was all a scam, of one sort or another.

And yes, I absolutely agree. The pain and damage is so great that it won’t go away by itself. Time does not necessarily cure us – we can be walking around, damaged, for a very long time. If we really want to recover, we must decide to heal.

Travis,

This is a welcome post, it was the first thing I had to do to not feel like a victim anymore. I think that we can remain stuck in victimhood for a very long time and it’s takes courage to get out. We believed the lie for so long and finally realizing that we can’t change the liar comes at a price, the loss of a love we never really had.

I don’t want to be the “why me” kind of person, it’s self pity and makes me feels gross. I have done it a few times and want to slap myself.

It happened. It (life with the spath) changed my perspective on human nature. Now it’s time to deal with it.

After surrender it’s the damage that takes the longest to process and manage. How do we trust again? How do we not run away from healthy relationships because we have been so damaged from the unhealthy relationship?

One way this experience has helped me is I now recognize someone who is most likely personality disordered. I met a person this weekend and something was sketchy about him. He was a friend of my daughter’s boyfriend and was helping them move. He was glib, charming, very much at ease with managing people and situations, manipulative and pushed my boundaries. Right away I felt protective of my two younger children.

After contemplating the interaction with this man over the course of the day, I know he is not healthy. I would never leave my kids alone with him. He reminded me of my ex. Without going through the hell of being married to a disordered man, I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint my uncomfortable feeling around this person.

So it if I look to it as a life lesson it has been a hard one but I am all the wiser for it.

Travis

QUOTE: “It is the perception of the events in our lives that causes us tremendous suffering, not the events themselves. Our failure to see these events in their proper perspective not only poisons the current moment, but attracts more of the same suffering to us in the future. Awareness of this truth and a simple shift in perspective is the gateway to freedom, but it has many blockers that blind us to the incredible peace that surrender offers.”

Your article was/is wonderful, but the above quote from it I think is the CORNERSTONE TO HEALING…perception of the events.

Thank you so much for sharing so much of your journey and the spiritual recovery that you have and are having. While the physical, mental and emotiional aspects of healing are important, I also know that the spiritual aspect of recovery is an ESSENTIAL part as well, whatever the person’s spiritual views are, they are ESSENTIAL. Thanks again, Travis.

Travis ~You are an amazingly strong person to have found the strength to heal yourself after everything that happened regarding your father.

Accepting the past is truly what has helped me on my road to recovery. I thought I was married to the most wonderful man in the world for 25 years. When the charade fell apart (or the mask fell off as they say on LF) my heart and head was left in a pile of devastation. That was 1 and 1/2 years ago.

I remember my ex saying that I needed to “forgive” him for everything he had done to me; then everything would be good and we could start over. I knew in my heart that NOTHING could make me stay with him after learning the truth. The TRUST was GONE!!

But what I do remember saying is that “I CANNOT FORGIVE YOU, BUT I HAVE ACCEPTED WHAT HAS HAPPENED”. Reading your post was just affirmation to me that I am on the road to recovery. I feel stronger and happier each day.

I am now able to look back at my ex and actually feel a sadness for him. Sadness that he will never know the true meaning of FEELING or GIVING love because he cannot. His mind is his hell and what a sad hell it is.

But I also cannot feel sympathy for him because he knows he is “sick”. He has actually stated that to me in previous emails prior to going N/C. Knowing he is sick and not doing anything about it is either another con or he is too sick to get help.

I would like to know yours or others thoughts on this.

Donna, my ex once stated ..after hearing a radio programme on abuse..that he was an abusive partner. He said he hurt everything that was close to him and that loved him. Me, his son and his animals. It was one of a very few occasions when he, apparently, had insight into his true self. On reflection I am suspicious of what he said. But am I just suspicious now and infind myself not believing anything he ever uttered!
As Oxy said on a previous thread no one can be 100% spath just like we can’t be totally empathic.
I’m not sure. He even once asked me if I thought he was evil. I said no. Sad to say that I was wrong. I now think ….yes, you are

Thanks, Strongawoman. I appreciate your thoughts. This keeps nagging at me. Maybe there was a shred of a decent human caring person in there. I will never know.

Strongawoman, I do feel “sad” for the people who are incapable of knowing love…the same way I would feel “sad” that a child who is mentally retarded can’t know the higher knowledge that a higher IQ would make them capable of…but at the same time, because that retarded child can’t grasp that there are things he is not able to intellectually I think that they don’t “miss” what they don’t know they could have had….sort of like my husband who was color blind wasn’t able to comprehend the bright colors. Intellectually he knew that he was not “like others” and couldn’t see what we did, but he could really not tell WHAT exactly he was missing. Maybe the way a deaf child can’t really appreciate music the way the hearing do…and they know they are different but not EXACTLY how.

The autistic child has little or no empathy, just like the psychopath does, but unlike the psychopath the autistic child doesn’t use his/her lack of understanding of emotional connectedness to enjoy hurting others. Enjoying the pain inflicted on others, enjoying the control the conning…that is a psychopathic trait, not just lack of empathy.

I watched the movie Temple Grandin the other night, about the PhD autistic woman who designed cattle handling facilities because she COULD empathize with CATTLE but not with humans, and I realized just HOW LONELY SHE MUST BE without having a connectedness and an empathetic component with humans. She could not stand the TOUCH of those that loved her, and only with a blind woman could she allow that person to lay a hand on her arm. HOW LONELY that must have been for that woman (or actually IS lonely, as she is not dead) HOW SAD for her.

How sad for my psychopathic son that he can’t appreciate the love I had for him, or the hopes and dreams I held for him. What a “waste” of potential for such an intelligent man to spend his entire adult life in prison—what a “waste” for a human to never have the ability TO LOVE…but Temple Grandin did good with her life, and my son on the other hand used his lack of empathy to empower his ability to do EVIL without regret!

That said, I can’t let my “sadness” or “disappointment” or empathy for him make me vulnerable to him to allow him to hurt me any more. I can empathize with someone without allowing that empathy to make me do things I know are NOT WISE for my own health. I can limit the effect that my empathy has on my own choices.

strongawoman

you must feel like your ex has some insight into his disorder.
I remember when I had been with my ex for only 6 weeks and he was in hospital.
The day after his major op. I went to see him and he was off his head on morphine and he kept drifting off, but at one point when he had his eyes closed he said ” I can’t play this game anymore”. I asked him “what game?”, he opened his eyes and said “space invaders, I keep loosing”, then closed his eyes again.
That preyed on my mind all day and for the next 3 weeks, when he kept playing games right through to the day he dropped me.
It may have been just the morphine, I’m not sure because it was the only thing he said when supposedly asleep.

Thank you Travis for sharing your experience of healing with us. I’ve been away from this site for a time but find myself back, open to learning more from others who have made healthy changes in their lives after surviving their own P, S or N experiences (or whatever abuse or pain, regardless of any labels). Your first suggestion for the key to finding peace, acceptance, corresponds to my own findings over the last few years. Thank you for bringing this forward for us to reflect on.

Indeed, it is our PERCEPTION of life’s events that causes us the most pain, not the actual events themselves. I would have had a hard time understanding this some time ago since for me, SO MANY of my life’s events were painful, starting with the abuse at the hand of a Borderline and alcoholic parent. Later as an adult, the shame and depression I carried meant I was prone to finding abusive, self-centered types so that the pattern of victimhood would continue (mostly unconsciously, it was a role I had assumed without thinking there was a choice). The shame cycle, my addictions I used to “survive” this pattern played out again and again.

My perception of past events remained the same: I was damaged and nothing seemed to ease the pain I carried. But this changed once I met the S and went through the nightmare of complete abandonment and the soul challenging trauma of the S’s “devalue and discard.” At that point, I knew I had been slain, I was ready to finally bleed.

The pain was so great I was either going to lose my sense of identity OR I WAS GOING TO GET IT BACK. I chose the later, I chose to surrender the part of myself that was keeping me a hostage to pain, the part of myself that wanted to be rescued, always hoping the answer would come from something “out there” (a relationship, a good job, my “Glass Menagerie” of beautiful art and antiques that I served as caretaker for, etc.). When I was made so painfully aware that the answers or “the rescue” would not come from the outside world, that is when I learned to finally look INSIDE.

Travis makes the point that the healing starts with accepting we can not change the past. This is where I too began to surrender. It was too much to keep carrying! Too heavy of a load. My talking or crying about this with friends would only go so far too, eventually I would learn to KEEP surrendering, and this process has helped me to feel much lighter over the last few years.

I have begun a conscious effort to not only surrender but to FORGIVE the many parts of my past that had caused me pain. Forgiving and Surrendering seem to go hand in hand I feel. I am surrounded now by a loving church community where the Word of forgiveness is not only talked about but lived. This for me is a personal choice, we each have choices to make. But the key as Travis has pointed out is to begin with the letting go.

The spirit of healing is found in our community here. I am grateful today for this just as I was about three and a half years ago when I first found the site after my painful S encounter and read about others making transformations in their lives. The real difference in my healing finally came from within, the real work and the real effort to make my life happier has come from my choice to surrender and to keep forgiving. By surrendering I also judge myself and others less critically, here in this present moment. It is easier to go forward now.

Would you believe I actually had another encounter with an N/S recently? The good news is that I can tell you again that these tools of awareness and forgiveness have helped me this time to extract myself quickly and truly minimize the toxic effects! I thank God for allowing me to heal enough to get to this point of awareness in my life! I see I am not perfect obviously, I still seem to have a blind spot at times, but I will not allow myself to feel set back any longer!

I hope others will recognize what is being shared at this site, to experience the grace and power of forgiving which leads to healing. I am one who has lived a part of this and plan to continue this path. Thank you to Donna again and to Travis for helping us to find our own peace and encouraging our ability to grow and walk away from what once seemed like endless darkness. There is indeed hope to be found here.

In Peace,

PressEject

Dear Presseject,

I am glad to see you back at LF and glad to know that you are healing. I soo agree with the forgiving not being about THEM, but about ourselves. Getting that bitterness out of our hearts! Hanging on to the bitterness is like us drinking poison and expecting them to die. (don’t know who first said that, but it is so true!)

Travis, your comment “Forgiving does not condone the behavior of another, nor does it tell the world that it is OK. It does, however, allow us to stop harming ourselves with the past” is so true as well!

thank you,
as I am at the start of the process, of freeing myself from a controlling partner, these perspectives on letting go, accepting and forgiveness are such valuable building blocks. I don’t know when (if) I will be free of him but I have to start!

Welcome to the road, Lovelost…the longest journey starts with a step and you are on the right road toward healing. God bless.

Dear Travis, Oxy, thank you! The healing continues, the Miracles that Travis allude to I also feel are within our reach. I continue to deepen my faith and I do this by clearing out my old resentments and hurts. I continue to receive love in return! Surprisingly, it is not found in places I would have thought or expected! Love, the opposite of the fear and darkness I had been wrapping myself in is HERE, close by and it is also within me to give freely, much more freely than I ever would have imagined.

I must also confess, the forgiveness, letting go and surrendering all take time to understand and put into practice. But in time, once one is open to this, the mind and heart are healed more and more. It is about time we give ourselves this gift. For myself, it has been (and continues to be) something that came through faith, nurtured by my church, my loved ones, this site, and quiet meditation.

In leaving the past behind I found I have had to makes amends not just with the abuse, but also deep within myself and even with God as I seek to understand my higher power. Through this shedding of old thought patterns, I can begin to fully honor the gift of my life that I have been given, I can start to uncover my true nature, the loving person that I am and I learn to value this by looking out for myself, something I am still learning how to do! Lovelost: I wish you peace too, you are very much on the right track!

PressEject

Getaway, do I think my ex had some insight into his disorder? I’m not sure. I hope he did because it would be terrible to believe he was truly devoid of all feeling. And I would like to believe he suffers guilt for all the people, especially women that he has used and hurt. But he would proclaim that the problems he had maintaining relationships with women was because he had been unlucky and hadn’t met the right one. He’s 41! Roughly 20 years of searching…..2 kids to his first partner another child with his second and then moved on to his third girlfriend who had 3 children of her own. This was before he met me and we were together four years! Believe me I have tried to get into the mindset of this man. I don’t understand how he couldn’t/wouldn’t believe he had found the right woman. I loved him …I adored him. And so did they. I just think he always believed the grass was greener on the other side. And he got bored too. I think his selfish attitude over rode any insight he had. He was addicted to his constant search for the perfect woman. Well none of us are perfect. I’m not but you no what …..he’s far far far from it either! Pity the poor lass who is next in line for his form of love. No thanks. Not for me anymore. And am not goin to waste my precious ….lol….brain cells wondering why. Because he could as someone posted on a previous thread. It’s taken a looooooong time but I am starting to care less. Letting go?…. I have to, otherwise I make myself vulnerable. Again,

Oxy,

“I can limit the effect that my empathy has on my own choices”

I think I’ve always been a “saver” a “fixer”? If I love someone enough I can love them better? Or if I give them enough then I can make them happy ….and in turn love and cherish me. Oh dear. How self indulgent and rather arrogant in a way. Although I’m no longer beating myself with a big metaphorical stick I still feel shame and guilt for what happened, periodically, so I appreciate your words. It’s hard to let go when ive been this way …..for all my life lol

Dear STrongawoman,

QUOTE YOU: It’s hard to let go when ive been this way ”..for all my life lol

Yeppers! For sure, it is a life and complete thinking change….and we must limit the amount of effect that our empathy, our desire to fix has on our choices.

In the end, the only person we can truly influence is ourselves, and our choices. WE CAN FIX OURSELVES though….but hard work, too. LOL

Hard work Ox!! Sometimes it all seems incoming!! I really appreciate your words of wisdom and though I’ve never met you I like your style. Hope that’s ok to say that without sounding too syrupy. …thank you Oxy wise woman. Hugs

Thanks, Strongawoman, sometimes I like my own style and sometimes I don’t….LOL 🙂 I’m a work in progress and I hope I never quit progressing as long as I live. I’m gonna be 65 in a few days, and I look back and I wonder where my “life” went!

Too soon old, too late smart!

Pretty well sums it up! In a way though, I’m having more fun now than I ever did.

WOW! This is one of THE most incredible articles!

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/truths-i-wish-id-known-sooner-00000000025614/index.html

Goes along with the “too soon old, too late smart!” quip!

Oxy

This Posting on Real Simple is indeed very good.

Written by somebody with great insight.

Thank you

Athena

This is an amazing post. Thank you, Travis. This is exactly the stage I am entering now. When you said, “We somehow convince ourselves that by holding on to some mind held position, we will prevent the sociopath or situation from becoming real or happening again in the future. We are punishing ourselves, all the while believing that we are somehow affecting the perpetrator. It is as though we have become convinced that if we punish ourselves enough, the situation will change.”- Oh, boy have I been doing this for a few years now. Your words make it so clear to me.

I am still struggling a bit with the “letting go”. I’m not sure what my hold up is, but this article has sure helped me see what I need to do.

I am still a bit confused by how our perspective of our experience is different than the actual experience. I’m not too sure what the difference is. If you could clarify this for me, I would appreciate it.

Your article reminds me a lot of the “Texas” character in “Eat, Pray, Love.” He was always saying to acknowledge the past, wish it well, and then drop it. I really like that, just having a hard time with the wishing “it” well part. LOL

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight. I’m still on the spiritual journey and hope to one day soon be where you are.

Blessings!

Travis,

The courage and strength you’ve exhibited with this post in sharing with us your spiritual journey to healing from such such horrid betrail at the trusted hands of your father is truly impresive and remarkable. You are an amazing example of how one CAN BREAK FREE OF “BETRAYAL BONDS”!

You are showing by example that IT IS POSSIBLE to heal and all it really takes in the end is to forgive ourselves from the pain, shame and guilt we feel as a result from such betrayal at the hands of a most loved sociopath!

I look forward to your future post …..and going along on this healing journey with you.

Namastee……
Aeylah

Travis,
that’s a wonderful point you make. I’ve often thought the same thing, but then I think: why do I still feel bad? Why does the realization that SOOOOO much evil exists still hurt me so much?

It hurts much less than it would had I not had my perspective changed, but it still hurts. I think the answer is that the more I DO with my knowledge, the more steps of action I take toward allowing my experience to be an asset to others, the better I feel.

There will always be those who cannot or will not listen. They can’t be helped and it saddens me each time I encounter them. These are the fence sitters, who desperately need to protect the status quo, rather than open up to the possibility that everything they ever believed was true, is not. Not at all.

Sky, I agree with you, it is frustrating when people “sit on the fence” and do not stand up….that Sandusky thing is a complete example of what happens when people “sit on the fence” and do not stand up for what is right….and then try to explain why they did what they did….

We can’t be responsible for those people though Sky, only for ourselves, for what we do. We can’t own THEIR behavior, only OURS and we can’t change the entire world for the better…we can only change our own little corner of it. That has to be enough.

It is a miracle when we can change that one little corner….

Ox,
You know the saying ….. ” better late than NEVER!”

In ref to your reply earlier my friend. Yes!

It takes time, so much time, and soul searching, and an acknowledgement that sometimes we also behaved not in the way we should have. It has taken me 6 years, I’m still going through the courts re:children ..court letters etc. I used to worry about these things, I now simply deal with them, like paying a water bill, the emotions have left, if anything I simply shrug, smirk ..here we go again. I know I have wasted too much energy and emotion at the neglect of more important things.

For everyone still in the early – mid stages, there does come a time, not a ‘moment’, just a case of letting go; they were a lie, they will always live their lives as a lie, that’s it ..who cares ..what happens to them ..they are unimportant, of no value.

I have my children, family and ‘real’ friends, spaths don’t care about such trivia, they never will. Get your head round that (even if they are your own family) and you are on the road to recovery.

I changed my attitude 3 months ago, I work as a business consultant, I have recently started to be ‘me’ again; I have had 2 offers of consultancy work this week, I believe that this is because I am back to me ..harder more cynical, but me again. I was with this spath for 16 years, married for 13, everything he ever told me and ‘our’ children was a lie …my attitude now ..it was a hurtful experience especially for my children, but we can’t change the spath, and it is simply no longer of any relevance …the next victim ..not my problem ..

On a different note, I can now spot a spath or pseudo one within minutes. I still do my sharing, caring stuff (because that is me), but a spath homes in like a missile ..and when you know what to look for ..it is easy.

Hugs to anyone in that horrible stage, and I have felt suicidal on 3 occasions, these ‘people’ are pure evil. Powerless over the past .. absolutely ..the future as ‘damaged goods’ is still ours. The one thing I have learnt is ..I cannot change anyone else’s behaviour ..but I can change mine.

Thanks Travis.

Travis, thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the hardest step and yet until we surrender, we can’t move forward.
I love the saying, “Give in to win.” Surrender isn’t about giving up or accepting the abuse. It’s about understanding we can’t change what has happened. We can’t re-write the past. I’ve also come to see that’s what sociopaths do, they re-write the past to their advantage.
I believe in miracles today. I am one!
Love and Laughter,
Cat

Travis –
This really is an awesome post and very insightful. I am looking forward to your next one.
thanks for the food for thought

Ox, loved the post on Real Simple. Made me chuckle …..and sigh. I hope that I’ve done a better job of teaching my daughters how to see the signs. They’re both so much wiser than me …..don’t seem to take BS as much as their mum! For that I’m truly grateful.

Moveingon, really liked your post. Your words touched me and gave me comfort. “The one thing I have learned. I can’t change any one elses behaviour…..but I can change mine.”

Strong words. To thine own self be true.

Two quotes come to mind:

“Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” — Alexis Carrel

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” — Helen Keller

I have left after 2 years of marriage, yet a huge battle is ahead of me not because of myself ( i have left the past behind and I cannot change who the person is or what took place) . I have accepted the fact I cannot return to the US, I am stuck in Europe with no opportunity for job living of little social welfare and yet I had a high position in department of defense in the US. But to surrender our 15 month old child is another battle I cannot let go, and especially to be only living with a person like this. I was given a choice to go back to the US and continue my life or stay in this hell and fight for this precious life of our child.

So what would you do, and how do you surrender in this situation to win? Family court and foreign law is not on my side.

I say i fight for this cause, and I believe doors will be opened even if there is no evident escape right now. remember there is no win win situation.

I have to take responsibility for having my eyes closed and not seeing who he was from the start. In this case is child’s life in stake

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