Be wild at heart after the sociopath is gone

Finding what we lost after coming out from the turmoil of a relationship with a sociopath can be daunting. Healing from these encounters takes time. Yet, we have a tendency to believe we should be able to get over it, be done, and finished with the hurting within a pre-determined schedule carefully marked on the calendar page. As if healing from an emotional rape has a timeline and can be accomplished by following the direct line from A to Z.

There is no alphabet encoded path to healing from these encounters. No step by step process that states do this and in 23 days you will be healed.

I used to hate the word, ‘organic’. As in, the process is organic. Since getting free from his abuse, I’ve learned to love it. Healing from abuse, any kind of abuse, is an organic process. It begins within me. It moves within me. It changes within me so that outside I can live the life I’ve always dreamed. The life I deserve.

One of the most difficult aspects of healing that I have encountered with many many people is embracing the belief, I deserve to heal.

So often, abuse leaves a trail of shame and self-blame. Like Hansel and Gretel looking for a way back through the forest, the abused drop grains of self-respect along the path leading to their abuser. Caught amidst the deceitful web the abuser must weave to keep the victim trapped within their embrace, the seeds marking the path back to self lie like fallow fields of grain, never to be reseeded as they get picked over by the carrion hovering above the dark cloud of the victim’s existence.

To heal, I had to believe I was worthy, deserving, able to heal. I had to choose to believe I could heal.

That’s hard.

The wounds inflicted by an abuser run deep. They run wide. They run wild within our psyches. Choosing to believe I could heal was the first step to healing.

Taking action that supported me in healing was the next step. That included writing, therapy, exercise, healthy eating, loving self-care. I had to take positive actions that affirmed my belief I could heal. It was up to me.

One of my mantras in healing became, “Never say never.”

It is often instinctual to say, “I will never …. Heal. I will never trust another human being. I will never love again,” after an encounter with an abuser.

Truth is, we have no idea what the future holds in store. All we can do is our very best today. All we can do is be true to ourselves in this moment so that the next is a continuation of our very best.

When I say, “I will never trust again,” I am saying, “I choose to set myself up today so that I will not be trusting, or trustworthy in the future.”

When I say, “I will never love again,” I am saying, “I am terrified the past will repeat itself. I will avoid at all costs loving anyone — and that includes myself, because love hurts and I don’t want to hurt like this again.”

Saying ‘never’ is lethal in healing. Never is the dam holding us back from claiming our right to live the life of our dreams.

There is no straight line in healing. There is only the choice to do what is loving, caring, healing — or not. The path to well-being is winding and circuitous. Four+ years after that encounter, I still find corners of unease — not because of him, but rather because the tapes in my head fire off messages that undermine me, disturb my peace of mind, unsettle my well-being.

Those tapes were there before I met him. Some things haven’t changed! What has changed however is my awareness of them and my ability to navigate rough waters, to walk through rocky terrain, to be determined and convinced of my right to live my most beautiful life today.

I can’t unwind the tapes from the past. I can limit their playing continuously in my head today by living free of the belief I don’t deserve to heal, I don’t deserve a life of joy.

Truth is, I absolutely do deserve a life of joy and wonder. We all do.

It’s up to me to live it up and be magnificent! This is my one wild precious life. To live on purpose. With purpose. This is my one wild precious moment be be the star of my creation, shining light on the path of my healing. To map the wild and unexplored territory of my heart. To discover the hidden treasures within me as I explore life beyond the boundaires of my imagination. Passionate and free, I become the wild one, the fearless inspiration of my own design to become all that I am meant to be.

For each of us, this is our one and only life. May we all live it with fearless abandon, being the awesome human beings we saw ourselves to be when first we touched the fiery breath of their assertions that we are magnificent. We are. It was they who were blind. In healing, do not let the burning pain of his abuse destroy the truth — You are magnificent. An awesome human being on the journey of her lifetime. Life it up!

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

Comment on this article

47 Comments on "Be wild at heart after the sociopath is gone"

Notify of

I guess we both agree…they’re joy suckers!
Why did we fall for joy robbers? I knew mine had problems having fun…but he said that he was going through cancer treatment at the time…and I guess I felt sorry for him!

Poor baby…I was willing to accept less than I would have if I would have under “normal” circumstances…how incredible that I fell for his pathetic stories.

I settled for a life without fun…a relationship that really wasn’t about sharing anything other than catering to his sick persona…however, WE BOTH LOVED HIM! We always have had that going for “us”.

Arrrgh!…it’s 2012…my resolution…it’s time to make having fun a priority!

I awoke this morning with a certain kind of flickering of anticipation that I haven’t felt in a long time. Today is so very important to me for so many reasons.

TODAY (this very day) earmarks 8 months that I have spoken a word to it at all – it is also the very first day of a brand new year and a brand new opportunity to completely heal.

A year ago today, I promised myself and the ex wife, out of respect, that there would NEVER be another New Year that comes that I will continue living in the deceptions, lies and manipulations. When it comes down to death threats and a person trying to intentionally do dreadful things to you, it is impossible to continue allowing that person to be a part of your ‘landscape’ because you never know when making love would turn into you being gutted and left for dead and actually being told these things. Imagine this.

My experiences as I have relayed to all of you merely skims the surface of the ugliness my eyes have witnessed. When I had that last heart attack (first one) that almost took my life, I was given a new chance and a new beginning. I have had to fight for my life and I am not throwing it in the trash for trash itself. Not anymore.

I think that today is a wonderful breath of fresh air and I am becoming inspired in personal strength and finding some direction. For once MY LIFE is becoming about “ME” and not about “IT”.

Oh yes, their negativity can suck the air out of a room.
I can’t imagine actually LIVING WITH IT 24/7 on a daily basis. I think that is why I always seemed to keep “IT” at arms length…when “IT” walked into the room, a dark cloud always came with “IT” and I could suddenly not breathe. To feel like that in your own home and own environment: so muddled and stifled and used and abused, it’s not human, I tell you….

Well, I seem to be ranting again. Dog gone it.
Just wanted to stop by and tell you what a tremendous rock has been lifted off my head this morning…time for breakfast, I would say…sure wish I had a mamosa this morning. 😉

Happy New Day and New Year Everyone…


was that real cancer or pretend cancer?

My exspath had me crying for days because he told me he thought he had stomach cancer, but wouldn’t see the doctor.

He actually did have stomach pain and severe heartburn but he milked it for all the sympathy he could get from me. It didn’t matter to him that I was in emotional pain from his pity ploy, it only mattered that he got the maximum attention and sympathy.

This brings up an interesting dichotomy which could be called an exercise in semantics – except that it’s at the crux of how spaths think: Some people say they do what they do because they don’t care if they hurt us. Others have noted that they care very much about hurting us – the more, the better. So which is it? Ironically, it’s both at the same time.

They revel in the power trip that they get from manipulating our emotions, so that causing us pain is a power trip and the more we express pain, the happier it makes them. So they really do care that they cause us the maximum pain possible. At the same time, they feel no empathy for us, because it’s ALL ABOUT THEM. So they don’t care or feel badly about our pain, anymore than we feel badly for burning wood in the fireplace – the hotter, the better because we get the heat we wanted. We are like objects to them, to be used for their pleasure and their greatest pleasure is the greatest expression of our pain.

Dear Dupey,

Great to hear you woke all refreshed to a new year and a new beginning.
You are an inspiration to me. Your words stopped me from replying to my ex. Without those words I would have been tempted to break NC. You gave me that strength that I needed to say no!

All that evil and you turn that into kindness and compassion for a fellow sufferer/sufferers. Thanks friend.

Ps….whats a mamosa?

Imconfused and skylar,

I remember singing in the kitchen and he told me to shut up and what did I have to be so happy for?

Ha! On reflection not a lot. You know this idiot was younger than me but he was a joyless old git. It was very bizarre…. Very patriarchal, disapproving. OLD and miserable.

I’m getting back to my former self and I’m not apologising or changing for anyone again!

Sky, I seriously doubt that the cancer was real, but don’t know. The main thing is that I can not find any evidence. By evidence I mean that I see no tax information on past IRS tax forms to indicate that there were any medical deductions. He would have taken every deduction available, but 24 years ago the deductions were not as clearly indicated as they are today.

One thing though, he likes to keep information (trophies?) about everything he does…sort of a history of his conquests and achievements. I think battling cancer…and winning…should have produced papers for him to save, but I haven’t seen any.

I know that he said the cancer returned in 1997, but after catching him cheating, he never did go to another state for treatment (I was not supposed to go with him because Sloan Kettering was in a bad area where I could be mugged, or worse…lol!)…God must have caused a miracle because he hasn’t mentioned or gone for cancer treatment since then.

Cancer is an awesome excuse…he was not responsible for his behavior and could go away with only 1-2 days notice for special treatments whenever he was told that the disease seemed to be getting worse. Plus…I’d have to be a really nasty spouse to question his trips after I had been informed that he was fighting for his life! With cancer he established the ability to do as he pleased while making me feel badly for him! Wow! Was I ever duped!

I’m still married, but my brain is elsewhere.

(((strongawoman))) Thank you for saying I am an inspiration to you.

Hearing that somehow makes all the torment seem to be a ‘little’ worth it somehow. 🙂

Actually, the correct spelling is mimosa. It is a drink that is made with champagne and orange juice. Delightful! Yummy too!

I am so happy my words gave you pause in contacting your ex. Once you go back (and I had done so sooooo many times) all you are doing is weakening your self worth and giving in to them. The only way to break free is to stop participating. I know it’s difficult but it’s necessary. You have to mean what you say and say only that which you mean and then be prepared to stand behind it.

They use our caring and our conscious against us to have their way and they find it amusing. Truly.

Yes, I have seen a lot of evil and if one word I say can help or prevent another person from living through what I have been through, it is so worth it. I think the one thing that most of us want is to be heard, understood and validated. That is so important, just to be heard and understood.

I DO understand…people here on LF have listened to me before and validated me – helped ‘ground’ me with truth and reality. It isn’t easy accepting the fact that the person we once loved is not the person we thought they were. They were pretending and faking because we had something they wanted and no other reason. Sure, we want to believe it is love and care on their behalf…it is only an illusion and a lie and the sooner we wrestle with that truth, the better off we will be in the long run.

Thanks (strongawoman) I wish you joy and hugs in your life.
Thank YOU for hugging back…

Happy New Year Dear…


1 3 4 5

Send this to a friend