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By | September 14, 2009 433 Comments

Attracting a new relationship after the sociopath

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader:

I have a question for you. I’ve been divorced for 3 years now from my ex-husband who had a porn addiction. I’ve tried the Internet dating sites on and off since, and have had nothing but bad experiences. What do you suggest I do/ how do I go about finding someone? I am really lonely and would like to have a man in my life. However, I’m so afraid of attracting the wrong kind still. If you have any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them.

If you’ve had a run-in with a sociopath, before attempting to date again, you must first heal yourself. If you’re feeling lonely and afraid, it is an indication that you are not yet healed.

I believe that circumstances and situations come into our lives as a result of our internal states. The energy and emotions that we have within us are like giant magnets, bringing us more of the same. Perhaps you’ve heard this concept described as “The Law of Attraction.” I think it’s a real phenomenon, because I’ve seen it operate in my own life, whether I liked the results or not.

Negative emotion

When sociopaths come into our lives, they bring emotional betrayal, physical assault, financial ruin, psychological manipulation, family devastation—far more trauma than any of us ever bargained for. As a result, we are crushed, afraid, angry, frightened. Often our lives are on the verge of collapse.

We are overwhelmed by negative emotion and energy, which is totally understandable. So what happens? We get more of the same.

It happened in my life, and I’ve seen it in countless Lovefraud stories. The sociopath cheats on us, and we’re in a car crash. The sociopath takes all our money, and then we lose our jobs. The sociopath ruins our marriage, and then we get cancer or some other major illness.

So what are we to do?

Feel the pain

I believe that we must get the negative emotion and energy out of our systems. And the way to do this is to allow ourselves to feel the pain.

Usually, this means crying. Of course, we’ve all probably spent hours and hours crying, and we’re tired of it. We just want to stop. But the pain caused by the sociopath goes very deep, especially if we’ve had the predator in our lives for many years—years that we stuffed our emotions, afraid to let ourselves feel what we were really feeling. It may take a long time to release the pent-up tears.

Then there’s the anger. Anger is a physical sensation—just because we know why we’re angry doesn’t make it go away. Anger needs to be released appropriately. (It does no good to confront the sociopath, and may make matters worse.) My method of choice for releasing anger is visualizing the sociopath’s face on a pillow, and then pounding the crap out of it. The idea is to do something physical—stomping the floor, twisting towels—until we feel an emotional release.

But what often happens as we work on releasing the pain caused by the sociopath is that we find more pain beneath it. This may be disappointment in previous love relationships, anger at mistreatment during our childhoods, betrayal bonds with other people who abused us.

These are the negative emotions that attracted the sociopath in the first place.

In my case, I was lonely, even desperate, when the sociopath showed up on my doorstep. During all of my 20s and 30s, I couldn’t get a relationship with a man to work. I now know that it was due to my internal state, as described above. But when I turned 40, feeling that biological clock ticking, wanting to make a connection—well, I was primed to be plucked. Attracted by my negative internal energy, the sociopath swooped in.

With the devastation wrought by the sociopath, my pain moved to the focus of my awareness. I processed it. It was all I could do.

This is not pretty, so it is best done alone (unless you’ve got a really good therapist who can be with you through it). And it will take repeated sessions. You’ll release some, and more will bubble to the surface. Just keep releasing, until you drain the well of pain.

Healthy and peaceful

Then an amazing thing happens—when you purge the negative energy, it is replaced by peace, hope and self-love.

I am here to tell you that it works. Changing my internal state, moving from desperate to peaceful, made all the difference in the world. Not long after I began feeling better, I met the man who became my husband—in a bar.

Some people say you can’t meet anyone worthwhile in a bar, but location is not the issue. The issue is your internal state. If you’re feeling positive, healthy and peaceful, an appropriate person will just show up.

My husband and I have been together for eight years. We are happy. Our relationship is comfortable and easy. There are no games, only love. And our love is not a lie—it’s the real thing.


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breckgirl

What a timely post Dona- thak you-

I am still feeling lonely and afraid myself. And I think your advice is exactly right. So I am now going to reapply myself ever more diligently to the healing process.

Not because I want a man so much as i want to be free of the internal yuck that has been rotting in there for years and years.

Hmmmm- that makes me think of a great analogy – the stench of our internal rot based on previous abuse, self doubt, lack of strong boundaries and neediness sends out an unconcious scent to them like carrion to hyenas and they come and feed on us.

I want to scrape myself clean – pull out the rot and grow a healthy garden inside.

breckgirl

Arrrgh typos again! LOL

Stargazer

This is really a great article. I had to cry a lot to get the sociopath out of my system. I turned to a spiritual source for help, and slowly over time felt the negativity draining from my system. I cried more tears than I could ever imagine. It has been over a year and I can honestly say I have purged the sociopath out of my system. The one part of it that has remained is that I feel some responsibility to warn people about sociopaths and to help others who have gotten played by them. I would be lying, though, if I said that I feel wonderful now that the sociopath is out of my life. I am now dealing with the underlying depression that brought him into my life in the first place. It’s not easy, and I am not in a place of being totally happy yet. I recently had my first real romantic date since the sociopath. Though it was really wonderful, it also made me realize the areas in my life where I’m not yet happy and complete. I am doing my best to work on these areas so I can attract a good man who can give me what I need. This latest date was just a little appetizer.

neveragain

Good for you Stargazer!

Ox Drover

Dear Donna,

Thank you for this post, great article!

While we are WOUNDED and in pain (for whatever reason) or LONELY and/or desperate for a relationship to “save” us from our lonliness, we are VULNERABLE to the predators in our midst. they home in on us with their “radar” that tells them we are “easy prey” where a healthier individual would not put up with their tactics for one second, we in our pain, see them as a “salvation”—-bingo! We are HOOKED.

Becoming emotionally healthy is the way to have a healthy relationship and attract a healthy partner. Healthy partners are not going to be attracted to people who are unhealthy.

That was sure the case with my situation after my husband’s death and I attracted a psychopath looking for prey! No MORE!!!!

I’m glad you found your “prince” and that your relationship is stable and good and loving! I wish the same for all of us, but we must “get healthy” to attract that and to hang on to it!

neveragain

I agree with the post in part, in that I think psychopaths tend to hit on people when they are vulnerable. And maybe this post is most true for romantic relationships.

Part of me still rebels. Maybe it was because I raised in a church that states emphatically that like attracts. Maybe so, but that is an awful burden to put on someone who has just been diagnosed with a terrible disease. I remember when one person asked me what kind of thoughts I had been thinking to cause my disease! Another said to embrace what my disease had to teach me. I about told her to embrace my knuckle and see what THAT had to teach HER! LOL! Sometimes *hit happens! Maybe I was thinking WONDERFUL thoughts that turned a killer disease into one that just disabled. GRRR!!!

Also, I’ve seen P’s do amazing damage in the workplace, affecting hundreds of people’s lives, and surely all of them did not attract that to themselves. Some were very happy, positive people! Sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And sometimes it takes awhile to realize that and move out!

Well, random thoughts. I just think there are MANY ways that P’s work into our lives and MANY ways to recover and rebound with joy.

skylar

Donna, it seems a bit confusing because there are so many ways to look at it. None of them completely cover every scenario.

For instance, what about people who are born to P parents?
I was. As a newborn, I do not think I did anything to attract them.

Also, there is the instance of good people attracting evil P’s simply BECAUSE they are good. They are attracted to good people because good people have what they don’t. They are always looking to fill a vaccuum created by pathological envy.

Lastly, there is a theory that good attracts a small amount of evil in order to protect itself from greater evil. Like a vaccine, this small amount opens up the awareness of evil and allows the good person to protect themselves from a greater evil. We have all experienced that here at LF, our innocence was ripped from us like in a psychological rape but we are now less vulnerable to it because we are vigilent. Since we all survived the rape we are less likely to become murder victims.

Maybe it seems like we attract better things by being less desperate and more joyful, but maybe it is not a matter of attraction, maybe it is just that we notice the good things and don’t get drawn to the drama of the bad things anymore. So it seems like we are attracting different things, when in fact we are just being attracted to different things. All the same objects, events and people are still swirling around us, just like before, but now our attention is focused differently. Now we are seeing everything more clearly and we are making better, wiser choices.

Illness, seems to be my body’s attempt to wake me up and broaden my focus.

I posted an interesting video about focus a while back, but can’t find the link now. Does anyone remember the link to the basketball players in white teeshirts?

these thoughts are just random, idle musings on a very interesting topic. Obviously if I really knew what I was talking about I would have a life.

Carmendahling

Dear Skylar et al,

Many times I’ve wondered if the wisdom learned from the agony is worth having gone through it over and over and finally I feel innoculated. Even though it seems I’ve earned a phd in sociaothpaths/psycopaths through experience and reading everything I can find; I know even still I could be fooled again. My prayer is daily and fervrent to recognize even the most sublte predator, manipulator who might be deceiving my loved ones or me. It is amazing now how I’m, quickly spotting major red flags that in the past would have excused and given the benefit of the doubt ad nauseum. Restoring our boundaries is at the core of all this heartache, and it is possible and prayer really strengthens our boundaries and enlightens our wisdom.

God Bless and Protect You All,
Carmendahling

neveragain

Here is my non-metaphysical advice to the person who wrote the question posed at the start of this blog:

1) get very clear about what you will and won’t accept in a relationship. Write it down. Share it with girlfriends you trust, or a therapist. Resolve to stick to it. Have a PLAN of how to exit relationships that aren’t working.

2) get very clear about the “must have’s” in a man. For me it includes emotionally stable, not moody. Honesty. Strong ethics. Strong respect for women. Intelligent. Make your list. No one is perfect, don’t get too detailed. Focus on the “MUST HAVES’ that deal with the character of him. Again, have an exit plan for men that don’t rise to your standards.

3) Get insight into your own vulnerabilities so you can watch out for them. For me, I’m too easily swayed by romantic words. A good book for getting insights into yourself is The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love and Act the Way You Do. http://astore.amazon.com/darwinanddarwini/detail/0553373935 Think ahead of time how you will control your urges that lead you in the wrong direction!

4) It is best to avoid meeting online. You are missing the clues that we pick up in the first 30 seconds when we meet someone . And you get involved, a bit, before you have that vital non-verbal information about the person. Your gut doesn’t have much of a chance to give you feedback.

Instead, try to think if you have any interests that would allow you to meet men, in a natural, non-predatory setting. And if you don’t meet a promising man, at least you will have had a good time pursuing your interest, or new interest. Volunteer for a search and rescue team, go to a bird watching festival (more men than women, suprisingly), a home depot store and take your time picking out stuff :-), join a gym, take up canoeing, go walk your dog around starbucks, in parks, etc. and make eye contact. Take up photography and join a club. Stamp collecting…whatever truly speaks to you. And you might just find you have a wonderful time even if no men show up!

4) Projecting confidence and enthusiasm (as Donna alludes to) is very important. If you have never done so before, try a mixed martial arts class. Or even a class for volunteers to help direct traffic (offered by some sheriffs depts)…..or even a first aid class. In all those situations, you practice being assertive. “YOU….call 911, I’ll start CPR”. Or volunteer to become a docent for some museum or outdoor spot…speaking to groups authoritatively will boost your confidence too. And introduce you to a lot of people! Taking an acting class, singing class, improv class….all can boost your confidence too.

Mainly, find out what you are passionate about in life and go for it. I know women who haven’t had a date in a decade, but have full joyous lives, because they are engaged in passionate nonprofit work. There are some things only a man can give you, but not much that can’t be replaced with a sweet pet to greet you, a girlfriend to call, a sexual toy (to be blunt) and a good book or movie. LOL! REALLY!

Tilly

Now I feel guilty and ashamed that it was my inner state that attracted the psychopath and totally my own fault that i got into so much trouble. Damn.

cutandrun

IDK, I think there are many many factors involved, and this is one explanation of many that helps some with an answer they are looking for. I definitely agree about the pain part though, I think I have primarily healed from my S#2, but am still working on healing from pain created in childhood and buried the rest of my life. So buried, not even sure I really can “feel” it enough to cry, and the cause of that pain still lives next door, (parent), not only do I need to learn how to heal, but also to guard and protect.

I think my HUGE problem was never developing personal boundaries. The “stench from the rotting inside” is an interesting thought, because if you are talking about an actual smell or (I know I know, not really, right), more like an “aura” or an atmosphere, my whole experience with S#2 started online. Not sure how you “smell” on the computer, if so, this guy was very good at it! Rather, I think I desperately wanted what he was offering. Whether he was actually looking for ME online and found me (we have a history from our teen years – met briefly a couple times), or was just trolling the net (FB) for “whoever” turned up, I’ll never know. So did I attract that? I’m not sure.

BUT, my belief in a God who orders the universe causes me to believe that these things do happen for a reason, and ultimately the reason is for my good…..my own sin plays a part, but the upheaval this situation has caused in my emotional life – causing me to dig deep for the reasons this happened, to bring about healing from a painful childhood, and the upheaval in my marriage, that has caused my husband to do what I see as a complete 180 to be the man that I need and desperately wanted, the man who no longer takes me for granted or looks at me as a household appliance, feels just shy of a miracle….

And, though my experience with S#1 8 years ago did NOT bring about that healing, did NOT change my life in any real way (once I caught on to it and ended it), it still played a part in the whole. If I never had that experience, I wouldn’t have gotten the red flag warnings that I gave myself with S#2, and I would have been MUCH more deeply involved, perhaps physically, and it would have lasted SO much longer than the mere 15 weeks it took, I am sure he would have devastated me emotionally and mentally.

Though I perhaps could say that I did “attract” S#1, because of my lack of boundaries and my “giving” nature, my self worth was all wrapped up in what I could give, and give, and give….and he was right there to take and take and take. He actually called me a “provider”, like it was a compliment! Like that was God’s purpose for my life. Provider for the needy. Sounds virtuous, doesn’t it?

Both false relationships were QUITE different from each other, in theory, well, I guess the “supply” for each guy was quite different, the first was interested in stuff, attention, and money (and mind control), the second was interested in sex (and mind control), though the second had to work double hard on the mask he presented as I was always comparing him to the first…, but this is an example of why it is VITAL that we do the healing work from the inside out, because I do NOT want to either “attract” or “accept” anything a potential S#3 might show up with. Whichever explanation might fit….

Still, any thoughts on how you dig out the pain you might not even know is buried inside you, when you don’t feel it or know “how” to feel it, or maybe are numb to it………I didn’t even know I was carrying around all this pain until S#2 cracked open the vault…..then OOOOHHHH, I was suddenly ANGRY with an anger I never felt before, towards my parents, towards my religious community and former church, towards my husband, I was ready to flee the country! How do I know if I haven’t closed the door on that vault too soon?

Stargazer

I think a lot of the worrying over how we attracted the sociopath is fueled by some of the unresolved feelings. I found for myself that when I was able to clear out the majority of the negativity, it was easy to just look and see that he was not quite right in his approach toward me, and that I had many opportunities to walk away but didn’t take them. The realization came without judgment about myself.

Like Justabouthealed says, if you are very clear about your boundaries, it would be very difficult for a sociopath to sneak past them. I was obsessed for nearly a year with what made him a sociopath, what it was about me that attracted him, whether I could trust men again, whether I could trust myself with men again, etc. In retrospect, I can honestly say, I don’t even think much about that any more. I don’t feel so mistrustful of men like I did 6 months ago. I know the majority of men are not sociopaths. I look forward to meeting them with little reservation. But I will say that if a red flag gets set off, I will pay attention immediately!

I talked to some guy on the dating site a few weeks ago who was from the same army base the sociopath was from and in the same transitional unit waiting for a “medical discharge”, just as my sociopath was (what are the chances?) He also did not have money or a car to drive to my town. I was very polite with him and chatted superficially. Then my lunch was burning and I had to go. I wished him good luck, knowing I would never talk to him again. NEXT!

Ox Drover

Dear JAH, I agree with Donna, your information is PRACTICAL.

Guys, this does NOT mean that we are “at fault” for the P-attack, it simply means that in ADULT relationships there is something about us—lack of boundaries or a childhood that makes “abuse normal” or WHATEVER, that makes us VULNERABLE to an attack by a P who holds out this lovely VISION (false vision) that makes us think that they are going to COMPLETE US.

I did not “attract” my P son, I gave birth to the rat, I did not “make him” what he is except I passed on some genetics, and his behavior is NOT my fault or responsibility, it is HIS. But, after my husband died, I was lonely and VULNERABLE, felt old, fat, ugly and lonely, and guess what, some P picked up the “scent” of that and homed in like a lion on the prowl because I was EASY prey. After the “romancing” for the first 3-4 months, any one else would have kicked his sorry butt to the curb THEN, but it took me another 4 months to do so. I’m just glad I wasn’t already married to him at the time I finally kicked away.

I’m just now, a couple of years AFTER that experience learning to set boundaries, appropriate and healthy boundaries. Those boundaries will PROTECT ME, because like JAH I have a “deal breaker” list for ANYone in my life, man, or woman and whatever the relationship. DISHONESTY is a deal breaker.

CutandRun, I can relate to your childhood issues, as I had them too, and didn’t even realize I had them until I started the healing process that uncovered them, uncovered the fact I had problems with boundaries my entire life. Now, I am learning. Better late than never.

skylar

Yep, me too, I didn’t know about P parents until the mask fell from my exP. This revealed my P brother in law and P sister, then it revealed the P -brother. My P parents came next, they are P-lite.
LOL!

I’m sensing another P BIL but he lives far away. My uncle is a vicious P as well. He tortured his wife with affairs under her nose and she died of cancer, a broken hearted woman.

My friend who moved to Canada, turned out to be a P, but that’s ok because we haven’t spoken in years.

I now realize that my deceased best friend from high school had been stalked by a P until she committed suicide.
I remember that her mother was weird, treated her like a slave and now I know: she’s a P.

My friend from grade school toldme that her father molested her, but I didn’t believe her. But I did know that he removed her bedroom door and wouldn’t let her close the bathroom door. I recently learned that P’s have a thing they do called “bathroom barging” they will not allow you privacy, not even in the bathroom. So now I know that her father was a P and that he DID molest her.

My other highschool friend was also molested by her P- step father but nobody believed her. Now she is a meth addict and prostitute. Had 4 children taken away by the state.

All of these things went on in my life and I watched all the classic P behavior in so many people, but had no clue that it was connected. Now I look back and know.

THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!

Hecates path

Wow this is a very interesting thread of comments. JAH, your advice was wonderful and I am sure it will help far more people than you’ll ever know.

Oxy said:
Guys, this does NOT mean that we are “at fault” for the P-attack, it simply means that in ADULT relationships there is something about us—lack of boundaries or a childhood that makes “abuse normal” or WHATEVER, that makes us VULNERABLE to an attack by a P who holds out this lovely VISION (false vision) that makes us think that they are going to COMPLETE US

Oxy, thank you for clarifying that bit about not being “at fault.” I know as well as I know my own name that my ex S was on a mission when he sought me out and found out my heart’s deepest desires and dangled them in front of me. I have never been pursued so intensely by anyone and I fell for it hard. He, like a typical S knows exactly how to “suss out” what he needs to know/do in order to get what he thinks wants/what will make him happy… until it doesn’t of course, but I digress…

That said, though I take full responsibility for the aspects of my personality, shaped by my brain chemistry, my father’s abandonment before I was two, and my borderline mother’s way of raising me that made me accepting of the S’s behaviors and made me think I could pin all my hopes/dreams on one person … and I learned the hard way that if it seems too good to be true that it likely is.

And, like Oxy, I had no idea of what issues I was harboring until the sociopath entered my life and turned it updside down. That is the reason,however, that I can’t say I wish we’d never crossed paths, though — I like the more healthy person I am NOW and I would not have done all that work and healed other wounds that were there long before the S or learned just how unhealthy my mother is, etc, had i not had the encounter with him. He was the catalyst for unraveling my life so that I could stitch it back together in a better way. I am truly better off because of him… or rather what I learned about and changed about myself as a result of his betrayal.

As for LOA, I personally can not wrap my head around the idea that we cause bad things to happen to us, such as getting cancer, being the victim of crime, having a sociopath come in to our lives, by the “vibe” we give to the universe. I will concede that when we are emotionally and physically exhausted, worn out, and, unhealthy we are more likely to experience illness and accidents, etc… the mind and the immune system are linked in ways that science as only begun to understand.

I think we “attract” all kinds of people but we are more *accepting* of some people based on our vulnerabilities, needs, wants, experiences, and most importantly neglecting to be in the moment and see things as they *really are*, ourselves included, and not the way we want people or things to be or how we think they “could, would, should be.” I know that being consciously in the moment is the most significant change I have made in my life…

As for attracting a partner after the sociopath, this is a sensitive subject for me – a conversation i’ve been having with my therapist for several months now. She thinks I *may* be avoiding dating and not sending out a positive vibe for attracting a partner – because by her assessment I am a statistical outlier in the dating department – as in against the good odds I have in my favor, it’s just not happening for me. short version of course.

I, on the other hand feel like I do not have opportunities to meet people given my workplace environment and role as a single mom. That’s why I loved Justabouthealed’s list and suggestions – and believe me I’d love to join a club, volunteer, etc. I just don’t have time at the expense of my kids right now. I have also found that most of the parents I encounter at the age my kids are now are married… I was just ahead of the pack, LOL, in getting divorced earlier rather than satying married (ie. in the dysfunction) for the kids’ “sake”. Trust me I see marriages unraveling all around me… once you get divorced other people’s marriages become more transparent, I guess….

Anyway, I also maintain that I am not avoiding anything and that if somebody caught my interest I woul send out the right vibe gol darnit! 🙂 When I allow myself to feel confident and attractive, it tends to feel like a sham since there isn’t any relationship outlet for that. I can dress up feel & great about myself – but that doesn’t mean I have an evening planned for dinner and a movie on saturday night with someone I love…

Instead the very few people I have met I excise at the first feeling of “you’re not working for me” cuz I have adopted Oxy’s belief of cut and run as needed. I also avoid people who act like they’re in a relationship with me too quickly because I think that if they’ve just met me they can’t know ME well enough to act like a couple that fast! Those are the people I think are just playing a role… I’d love to hear other opinions on this, folks… ???

I struggle with something else, too… so again I’d like to hear opinions…
I am perfectly ok with my life – I have healthy fantastic kids, an ok relationship with my ex now that he’s sober, a great job that I enjoy and allows me to be financially stable, I have an education of which I am proud, my physical appearance is good – not heather locklear of course and I still have those 5lbs that are left from the stress of the S this spring LOL, but I have my assets inthe looks department that make up for what I don’t have, I have some very good friends who I love and trust dearly, I am becoming the diva of boundary setting with my dysfunctional family, I am comfortable with myself an dmy beliefs, and enjoy my alone time as well as more social opportunities, though I’d like a social calendar with more on it… I am a social butterfly at heart… but overall things are going well in my world.

So what’s the problem? well, here goes – I miss being part of a couple and I want companionship, a sex life, a partner to come home to at the end of the day, someone to share the joys in my life. I admit that I am lonely/longing for all those things. That said though, I have a hard time saying/believing that being lonely equates to being emotionally unhealthy… or believing that in wanting a relationship I must still be in a place where I am not ready for one,yada yada. Why is it that wanting a partnership seems to be viewed synonymously with needing someone to complete my life… but at the same time it does feel like I do need a partner to complete my already good life… like I need/want a partner to be the cherry on the ice cream sundae that is my life… Is there a difference in being lonely and feeling lonely perhaps?

I need some help with this, my friends, because the contradictions are not working for me…. thoughts??

Hecate’s Path

hens

HP – You are beautiful butterfly just emerging from your cocoon. It takes 17 years for some cocoons to open up and let the butterfly spreads it’s wing and fly. The bad man in your life was a catylist for change, you are still forming the brilliant wonderful better, wiser person. You must learn patience..your desires for companionship are normal. You must be patient though…

skylar

Hecates, Don’t forget that when you share your life with someone, you are also going to make room for their life to share with you. So if your life is really full and you want someone who has a full life too, it’s gonna get crowded.
You know, we never get what we think we want, we always get the surprise gift instead.
At least that has been my experience.
I think, that when I’m ready, I will just date lots of people like I did before I met my ex. that will get me warmed up for the right person.
Another thing about people in general is that they always want what others have. This is definitely true about P’s but I think it applies to all of us to some extent. If you get out there and date, you will look more appealing to other guys.

I know, it’s a P trick, but it seems to work and as long as you don’t lose your empathy for human beings, it seems ok to try to get your foot in the door that way.
Of course we still have to watch out for P’s in all of our endeavors! THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!

skylar

I have a question that I hope the answers from everyone will help us to identify P’s.
What do they like to watch on TV and what kind of music do they listen to?
My xP seemed very proud to tell me he only watched science and nature shows, like on the discovery channel and PBS. Never wanted to watch comedies or sitcoms, although he seemed to like Seinfeld and SouthPark once I got him started on it.
As for music, he was a musician (but only for the attention) but he always preferred music that showed his intellectual appreciation of the lead guitarist’s skills. (he played lead guitar)

I know a guy that is sort of interested in me but he told me he only watches science and nature programs and will only listen to blues. Now I think it’s a red flag. what does everyone else think?

hens

Skylar – He watched sports and “Lost” both bored me too tears — I preferred PBS and Nature and science shows – he liked stevie nicks and abba – I like country and jazz – ho hum- I think your red flag detector needs some adjustment

skylar

I have something I want to share and would also like your thoughts and opinions – especially if you still happen to be with your P.

There are some homeopathic stress relief tablets that they sell at the check out stands in the natural food stores (PCC in Seattle). I bought some, because I have found some homeopathic formulas very effective. I know that I cannot get my P to take anything I give him for stress relief, but I also know that
1. he loves sugar
2. if I’m eating it he wants to take it away.
so, I put it in my car and we were driving down the road and he was in his usual fowl mood.
I opened the box of “mints” and ate one, then another and another. He noticed and started grabbing them. ate about 5 or 6. Suddenly, he says, “what are those?” I said, “why?”
He says, “they made me feel different”
I said, “they are homeopathic stress pills, that means they’re just sugar with a placebo effect”.
He asks, “what do they do?”
I said, “they reduce feelings of stress, why are they working?”
He said, “yes, I don’t like it. I didn’t want my stress reduced.”

LOL!!
My xp is an idiot. no matter how much of a genious he thought he was. They all are idiots.
I never had to slip anything into his food or drink because I could ENVY him into taking it right out of my hands and shoving it down his throat! This is not the first time I had done this. It’s like taking candy from a baby.
I wonder what would happen if they take ecstasy? It’s supposed to make you feel love and connection to all human beings!! Hmm…..

skylar

Henry, you are right because my xp hates sports and lost. LOL.
Ok, I’m still wanting to hear some more input from you all.

hens

skylar you need to chill – your comparing apples to oranges – one time a blogger here said ” I knew he was a Physcopath when he put a sock on a puppys head” well I have done that when playing with my doxy’s they seemed to love it but some consider that physco – I just stick with the basic traits of physcopath – they come in all flavors, sizes and all have likes and dislikes –

hens

Skylar – Your analyzing everything too much. One thing I know for sure is I will never understand how they think or why. If they exploit you they are bad. At first my X loved everything about me, my home, my hobbies, my music, that is how they win us, by acting like parrot’s, you say the sky is green and they agree..But eventually they hate everything about us, everything we do or stand for, and try to tear us down so they can be in control. In reality my X and I had nothing in common, he just lied to get a roof over his head. I would hate to live like that. I understasnd why your asking questions though, I did the same thing.

skylar

reallly? this is a grieving stage I’m going thru, Henry?

I just thought I was doing this because it’s how I deal with everything. I immerse myself, try to understand and create all the necessary connection in my brain. Then I can let it go on autopilot and not have to be so vigilent.

But it’s only been since May, so maybe you’re right and it’s only a stage of grieving.

I like putting socks on my cats heads, sometimes on their butts instead. LOL.

hens

Have you seen those stop smoking commercials on TV where they say if you can learn how to drive without a ciggerate you can do anything? Or if you can learn how to drink coffee without a cig you can do anything? I had to learn how to live without a sociopath – it takes some doing…addictions are powerful

Tilly

“circumstances and situations come into our lives as a result of our internal states”, crikey I must have one helluva ugly internal state. My insides must have been born ugly the day i came out of the womb, “born bad”, coz my psychopath parents were just waitin to torture me, never wanted me to begin with and like the psychopath Sondra Ray told me when I did my tenth expensive weekend with her “it all my fault”.

witsend

henry,
So what did you think about Kevins perfomance yesterday?
He chose a very hard song to sing…..I love that song, I suppose most women would.

I think the judges love him and you can’t help but admire his humbleness.

Who will America vote for? It likely depends on who WILL take the time to vote the most…Twenty somethings? Thirty somethings? Or us 50 somethings?

I can’t help but like Grandma…she is a hoot!

Easy

Skylar

We Obcess over the P then we do the same in their discovery and Our rediscovery of our selves! It’s OK

Ox Drover

Hey, guys, last night was it!!!! Granny is my HERO!!!! The only thing she needs is a big hat with feathers, an iron skillet and a big jack ass to ride and she would be PERFECT!!!! LOL

Tilly, your P parents didn’t make you BAD they made you VULNERABLE to other Ps, because they did not do their duty as parents and give you love, they left you HUNGRY for love, and willing to accept “fake” love (for a while) until you found out it was just like their “love” FAKE along with a big serving of abuse.

I agree with the people who say we “attract” some things by having a negative attitude, but I don’t agree with everything they say–for example, I don’t think that we can just “think positive” and in 30 days we will be rich and beautiful (I know that is a simplistic example of a more complex belief system, but you get the idea I am trying to convey with a bit of exaggeration, I think)

But, at the same time, I think if we are depressed and down cast, grieving and hostile, we are not likely to attract someone who’s a healthy partner. They just wont’ find us interesting. Who WILL find us “interesting” is a psychopath, because they know in our pain and stress we are VULNERABLE to their lies.

Like on that old TV show from “100 years ago” MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, “here’s your job if you choose to accept it” TO HEAL OURSELVES. To get the psychopath out of our lives and heal ourselves to where we are HEALTHY—at that jpoint, we will either be satisfied and at peace alone, OR we very well may attract a healthy partner. Either case is OK with us, because we do not NEED someone else in our lives to make who WHOLE. We are WHOLE all by ourselves.

changedforever

Donna
I liked your article, but for me I don’t know if I ever will or want to attract another relationship in my life. The relationship with this sociopath left so many deep wounds not only physical (I was diagnosed this year with cancer in my stomach that resulted from a chronic ulcer caused by stress of many years), but also emotionaly I’m so sick and I’m only 47. I think I need at least a couple of long years until I can trust another man, if I will trust them again.

cutandrun

Hi. I need some help. I asked a question a few posts back, and I think I have just answered it myself, but any feedback would be welcome.

I am sitting at work and crying. I should explain that for the most part, I work alone. I manage the office of a commercial electrical contractor, a small family business, the office is in the owner’s home (though it is a real office). The guys are all out in the field and rarely come here, my boss is in his mid-60’s and also re-building a vacation home an hour away, and he would rather not be bothered with anything but the bare details. The business is meant to be handed down to his nephew, current foreman and VP (who I also suspect is a N). That leaves me here steering the ship, me and the computer and phone.

We are having cash flow problems because Captain Fantastic (said nephew) only does his paper work at his convenience, which is sporadic at best. My boss has left for the week on vacation. He had just come into the office to tell me how to come up with the money for this weeks payroll, and told me to withold his check. He asked me how much that was, and when I told him, he questioned me on a raise I supposedly was to give him at the beginning of the year. He was quite upset when I nervously flipped through all my payroll books back to January and into 08 to find that I had no notes regarding that and made no changes. He did not blame me or say anything about it, just left, poof.

So I am left shaking in my boots, and I know it’s not rational, but just realized that due to the abuse I experienced as a child, I am left feeling guilty, and afraid of any abuse that might be coming, loss of my job, and/or humiliation. I have been here over 4 years and that has never happened. In fact, my boss is quite direct, but soft underneath. One electrician had a drinking problem, and lost the company van for 3 days, and didn’t get fired.

But I am afraid of the reaction that I WOULD HAVE gotten from my dad. It is so ingrained in me – and it’s only been my experience this year with S#2 that has picked off this giant scab and helped me to see it.

I would like very much to know how to stop FEELING like a victim….Since I am alone here I felt free to have a good crying spell – but do I have to have triggers like this to get it out, am I dealing with residual pain or just the pain from this incident?

I am also realizing more and more that my dad might actually be a S or N. Also this week, my 18 yr. old son lost a friend in a car accident. He had just started college several states away, and came home for the funeral. My dad did not think he should have disrupted his studies to do this, and made several comments that showed he really didn’t understand anything about this loss. Which also hit me hard even though I didn’t know the friend or the family that well, I almost think I felt TOO MUCH empathy for the family, or maybe it was survivor guilt..

Sometimes I think I should get another job, but there are too many things about this one that are too good, I accept the fact that I am alone most of the time, and also bored. But the pay is great, much more than I’d get someplace else, it is only 10 min. from my home, and so far these have been the nicest people I’ve ever worked for in my life. Except for Captain Fantastic at times, but he keeps his distance.

I know my boss probably feels pretty stupid right now too, I mean, does he NEVER check his pay stub? How could he NOT know he hadn’t gotten a major raise he supposedly asked for?

hens

witsend – I was dissapointed in the song Kevin picked to sing last nite.. I still like him and he get’s my vote, my second choice would be Barbara the opera singer…Oxy grandma Lee is a hoot…she reminds me of you. 🙂

skylar

Henry,
I’m not sure if you know the details of my situation. I don’t have the luxury of just going NC. For now, I get a respite because he has a trojan horse BIL which he thinks I am unaware of. This makes him feel like he will still win. My P is not done with me and he never will be.
You know how vengeful they are when you leave them, well I left mine 3 times before 1991 each time upped the ante. That is when he began to plot how I would never leave him again. Convinced me to buy a house in the woods on an island, convinced the cops on his side, my BIL- the homeland security cop is a trojan horse. He has more plans up his sleeve, of that you can be sure.
Everything he does will be covert: poison, slander, sabotage.

So my “mission” should I choose to accept it, is multi-layered.
I have to re-assess my life, understand how I came to this point and rebuild myself, At the same time I have to find a source of income that he can’t sabotage and I have to be ready when the assault begins again.

Fixing my emotions was the first step because they sabatoge everything else. Since my 2 day cry I have not even missed him or any of our history – I’m feeling better. Really my cry was for him. I’m very sad that he is what he is. I’m really sad that a person of his potential could not have used it in the service of God. But I’m trying to accept that God has a plan and a reason. I don’t think that God has abandoned him, so that faith makes me feel better.

witsend

Henry,
I don’t think the song is really his “style”. The song is a passionate song and he sings very passionately….But country is what he does best!

I think the contenders are really trying to push themselves and think outside of the box….The judges seem to give them that advice sometimes as well. But they can sometimes loose their “magic” trying to be something they are not.

flyspeck

OxDrover, you wrote..
“But, at the same time, I think if we are depressed and down cast, grieving and hostile, we are not likely to attract someone who’s a healthy partner. They just wont’ find us interesting. Who WILL find us “interesting” is a psychopath, because they know in our pain and stress we are VULNERABLE to their lies.”

I have to question that statement. True, when we are in the beaten down state we will not attract a healthy partner and we are more vulnerable to the “Bad People”.
BUT, and I emphasize BUT, when we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and are back to our own beautiful selves we seem to be an EVEN MORE attractive trophy for these “Bad People”.
Sure, when we are in a beaten down state, we are easy prey for a quick notch on their belt. But the real PRIZE is a complete human that they can crush.

Laying blame on the victim is wrong. Just because we are vulnerable does not mean we deserve nor ask to be misused.

As I see it, the only blame we deserve is for giving people the benefit of the doubt when we should look more closely when they do something that sets off our inner alarms.

peggywhoever

cutandrun:

It sounds like you have a good job for the most part; good pay and conveniently located.

It sounds like the nephew is the problem. Of course he knows what his pay is; I believe he was just trying to manipulate you while the owner is gone.

You may be suffering from PTSD as a result of the relationship with your father, you may be correct in your assessment that he is a S or a N.

Good luck to you!

Ox Drover

Dear Flyspeck,

If you got the impression I was “blaming the victim” then you have the wrong idea about my post, and I am sorry I did not explain it better. I DO NOT BLAME THE VICTIM for being vulnerable. It is only that they (psychopaths) find us in an injured state “easy prey”—I also agree with you, they also like to “trophy hunt” as well and to take a healthy victim, who is successful and doing well, and con them, and take them down as well, just like a “big game hunter” wants the “biggest rack or set of horns” on the antelope or deer they hunt.

QUOTE: “As I see it, the only blame we deserve is for giving people the benefit of the doubt when we should look more closely when they do something that sets off our inner alarms. ”

I agree with you entirely here, but it is WHEN we are injured or down that we are MORE LIKELY to NOT “look closely” at the person who is trying to ‘charm” us into being a victim.

.

cutandrun

PeggyW – thanks for your comment…….gosh maybe now I should look into PTSD, hadn’t thought of that…

But should clarify – the nephew wasn’t the problem in this case, it was the owner himself who had no idea what his wages were and should have been. Nephew (Captain Fantastic) is not so much of a direct problem, unless he tries to accuse me of something I did or didn’t do, and when I can produce proof to defend myself, he will back down and occasionally apologize – so not completely sure to what degree a N he may be. The biggest problem with him is that to try and get him to adhere to some sort of schedule or procedure is like trying to nail jello to a tree…. And I only suspect N because of his personal life (he is VERY good looking and could stand in for Tom Cruise), he insists he will never marry and has a steady stream of live – in girlfriends, and is usually stringing one along on the side (and he only dates super model types), and it’s funny how they usually have such a hard time with jealousy…..it doesn’t affect me in the least, however, it’s more like watching a soap opera. But when the business gets handed over to him, I’m really doubting that I could continue to work under HIS authority – I should probably leave before I need to jump off the Titanic….when that happens. He is very moody and can sometimes be very charming and chatty, and at other times, it’s down to name, rank, and serial number, and get off the phone!

Thanks for letting me vent! Been a hard day…

hens

witsend – Wether Kevin win’s or not I think his chicken catchin days are over, he should of sang a Merle Haggard song. And I bet Grandma Lee has a fowl mouth, she has to keep it clean for TV, but turn her loose at Vegas and I bet every other word would four letters..

Stargazer

Cutandrun,
I’m not sure what kind of relationship you have with the owner of the business, but if you are running his business for him, I would think he should be approachable to you when you need to communicate to him. Is there any chance you could try and talk to him about your conversation and ask if he feels you did anything wrong? It’s hard to say if you were being triggered into PTSD or if his poor communication left you feeling manipulated. If you feel it is PTSD, there are some very effective therapies for this. But if there is a pattern of his undercommunicating or you continually feeling guilty, he may have some issues he is taking out on you.

I support the Clinical Director at my office job. She also is extremely busy and doesn’t want to deal with a lot of problems or extraneous information. But if ever I feel bad about something she said, I can always go to her and talk to her.

cutandrun

Wow, Stargazer, right on……lack of communication leaves me feeling manipulated….interesting! Had never thought of that. I always tended to relate feeling manipulated to “something” that WAS BEING “communicated”, not a lack OF it. Cool. In thinking things over yet again, I remembered I was feeling pain/anxiety before this situation even started…..I now think that being left alone so much like that does make me feel I’m being taken advantage of. I had tried to make myself look at it like it’s great that they “trust” me like that, that they have confidence in my abilities, that I can handle whatever comes up. But, right, should it ALL be MY responsibility? I think now perhaps I will have something I can actually verbalize, where my boundaries have been so VAGUE that I didn’t even know what was bothering me or if it SHOULD bother me.

I think his only issue is that he is very close to traditional retirement age, 62, and as the owner of what he considers to be a very successful business, he resents that he cannot simply stop working or worrying about it because he simply cannot trust his nephew, the heir to the throne. He is slippery as an eel and the boss’s own boundaries with this are so soft confronting him never seems to work. So it’s the politics of avoidance.

I KNOW he does not blame me, and is just more upset with the whole situation. Even if he felt he should have had that raise since the beginning of the year, the money simply ISN’T THERE, so the image of a “successful business” is more or a mirage. It’s pure crisis management.

neveragain

Stargazer…have you experienced effective therapy for PTSD? Have others? I really don’t want to invest time and money and emotional energy in something I’m not sure will work. The nearest therapist is two hours away, and then it is two hours drive back. That would be 5 hours for each session, plus what the therapist charges, plus the gas and driving on remote roads alone…which can REALLY trigger my PTSD if I have a breakdown, as I was attacked once in that situation, and had my stuff stolen on another breakdown.

My therapist said the eye movement thing would help, but I startle so easy, I’m on high alert almost all the time, I just don’t see much hope for treatment!

PInow

EMDR is a great treatment for PTSD. I tried it but had to hold back, because I was starting to remember childhood trauma and that would have not helped me stay in control. Justabout, you’d benefit from EMDR, no doubt, but if it involves bad stimuli like driving alone, you may want to ask someone to ride with you, at least in the beginning. Hypnosis is also good. I had that several times and was able to remember my P experiences and also set them free. (not entirely, unfortunately)

Stargazer

JAH, I’ve heard the rapid eye movement is very effective, but I haven’t the funding to try it myself, in addition to which I feel less of the need for it. I did have some trauma work several years ago by a lady who also did cranial sacral work, and I got a lot out of it. It was based on a book–don’t quote me on this, but I think the book was called “Eye of the Tiger” or something like that. It’s a very specific way of having a basis of positive, happy feelings before delving into traumatic memories and a way of handling them. It worked very well for me. If you can find the book, it might be useful to read. I’ve done a lot of trauma work in my 20’s accidentally when I went to some long meditation retreats. If you meditate long enough and get quiet and peaceful enough, all the stuff tends to come up. But it’s much easier to deal with in that context.

Cutandrun,
It does sound like you are experiencing some PTSD. But that’s not terrible. If you can identify what issue he is triggering as an authority figure in your life, you can work on it. Maybe then you can go talk to him to clear the air, and find out where you stand. In my 20’s I had so much PTSD that I couldn’t work for a few years. When I started working again (at menial jobs) I came home in tears every night, processing feelings that got triggered by co-workers. If you can process your feelings, you will be stronger and know more clearly where your boundaries are.

peggywhoever

PInow:

What is EMDR?

Stargazer

That’s what I meant to say–EMDR–and not rapid eye movement. (I’m thinking of REM my favorite band. lol).

PInow

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)1 is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects. These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies.

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