By | February 26, 2011 275 Comments

Becoming aware of our strengths

By Ox Drover

I got to thinking today about being stronger now than I was prior to the last experience with the psychopaths in my life ”¦ but when I really got to thinking about it, I realized I have actually always been as strong as I am now, I just didn’t know it or take advantage of it.

One of the reasons that humans are able to work horses, mules and oxen to pull heavy loads is because the beasts we use for our labor do not realize their strength. They don’t realize the absolute brute force power they have over us. We “control” them because they allow it.

Why do they allow it? The answer is because they are not aware of the strength and power that they have, so they allow us to take it from them and use it for our own benefit. We may “give back” something to them, like food and care for what they give us in the form of their obedience and labors, but the bottom line is that any time they realize that they have the power and strength to break away they could do it. Even if we were to abuse them, not feed them, they would still allow us to use their labor until they dropped over dead of starvation, because they don’t know any better. They don’t recognize that they don’t really “need” us to furnish feed, they could run away and find grass to fill their bellies and not labor for us. They just don’t know it. Even the fences I have around my farm are not strong enough to hold them if they really want through them, but merely “suggestions” for them to stay on this side of it. If they wanted through, the wire and posts would topple.

When we start training oxen, which are really nothing but baby calves (no special breed of animal just cattle), we are stronger than they are, and if necessary, we could wrestle them to the ground, and we also teach them that we are the “food gods” and that ALL GOOD things come from us, as well as some pretty painful ones if they do not conform to our alpha position in the “herd.” When you get right down to it, in many ways we (humans) control animals the way that psychopaths control their victims. The only difference is that I actually care about my animal’s welfare and am emotionally attached to them, whereas a psychopath really doesn’t care much about their victim’s welfare or health.

Intermittent reinforcement

In training animals, trainers use “intermittent reinforcement.” The psychologist B. F. Skinner wrote that this brings on a stronger “bond” with a given behavior than if you rewarded them every time they did the behavior. That’s why a “slot machine” will keep someone stuffing money into it, because gamblers are just sure that “NEXT time” it will give them the jackpot. Psychopaths also use the intermittent reward system with us, and we keep hoping that by doing what they want, the NEXT TIME we will get the “jackpot” reward from them.

We could rebel and tell them to take their intermittent rewards and shove them, that we are not going to knuckle down and be their victims, to “pull their plows” by going to work and giving them our money, but we don’t rebel against them. We are unaware that we have the strength and power to rebel, to stand up on our own. If we are earning the living and giving them the money, why do we need them? If s/he is earning the living and we are staying home taking care of the kids all the time, still, what do we need them for?

Power and strength

We have the power and strength to take care of ourselves if we will just recognize it, acknowledge it and then use it. One working parent, taking care of the children and still making a living and a home, is still a “better deal” for children than one good, nurturing parent who is stressed and depressed most or all of the time because of the drama and abuse from a psychopathic partner.

I really am no stronger today than I was back in the midst of the psychopathic chaos, when I was literally huddled on the floor in the fetal position, emotionally “sucking my thumb,” fearing I would be killed by my psychopathic stalkers any minute.

My psychopathic son doesn’t hate me any less, most of my other relatives are no more supportive than they were back then, but I feel stronger. I feel safer. I feel better, because I recognize that I am strong enough to protect myself as much as anyone can. I can live a good life, a happy life, a healthy life, and take control of my own life. I don’t have to give that control and strength and power to anyone.

I can reward and reinforce my own good behavior, I can exercise my power, my strength and my autonomy to be what I want to be, to be the best that I can make myself.

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Ox Drover, I agree with what you say. Our power and strength is often tested by adverse circumstances, and by becoming conscious of our limits. So many posts on lovefraud explain how psychopaths test our limits and push them gradually, so that we won’t realize it and assert ourselves. If a psychopath humiliates his target from the first date, she’s not likely to give him another chance. But their overt abuse usually begins after they hook us emotionally and it occurs gradually, interspersed with small rewards, so that we’ll be conditioned to behave like obedient animals rather than assert our independent will and affirm our human dignity. When we become aware of our boundaries, as you state, we also become aware of our strength and autonomy and rebel against the cumulative mistreatment.


Ahhhh…on the subject of gaslighting…
My exbf’s son was doing poorly in school which was very odd for him. Many changes had taken place like his mother getting married and having to share time/space with others. As an incentive for the child to brign up his grades, I suggested we plan a trip to the city and let the child know that we are going and as a reward for honor roll grades, he is invited too…
“so, we want to help you get motivated to earn better grades. We are goin to the city. We would like you to come with us, provided you pull your grades up.”

His son made the honor roll!!! We were planning a trip to the city!!! The weekend we were to go, I ask my ex (who was having money troubles) if he was gonna have money to go to the city. We typically BOTH contributed to trips like this and I knew he was low on funds. His reply…

“really? YOU are taking (his son) to the city and you’re asking if I have any money?”

“What do you mean, IM taking him to the city. Aren’t we all going…wasn’t that the deal?”

“NOOOOOO, you said YOU would be taking him to the city for a reward for good grades. Now hes earned them and you dont want to go?”

“I dont remember saying I was taking him anywhere. That doesnt even sound like something Id say.”

“Well, I told him YOU said YOU were taking him. I guess Ill have to tell him you said no.”

We have NEVER gone anywhere alone in the 4.5 years Ive known him and his dad. The problem I realized was the issue of money. You see, my ex had no money and he knew it. He couldnt really afford to pay for any portion of a trip to the city so he put it on ME. Interestingly, though, we ended up going to Michigan instead, to stay with his biological mother and aunt on a farm which costed us nothing. How’s that for skirting out on having to PAY for shit!


From about the beginning of December until he moved out, it was just so DAMNED obvious (to a degree) what his intentions were…to use me.
It was like he ‘stopped caring’ and rather than say he wanted to end the relationship, he somehow gave himself permission to act like a fool with NO limits on what he would say. A part of me thinks he wanted ME to throw him out although another part of me thinks he didnt want to leave BUT he didnt want me to live here either…he wanted ME to pay for HIM to live in MY house…


I struggle with feeling as though Im not accepting the fact that I got dumped…by him…again…
In my mind I know the words, in my heart I feel them. I THINK Im ok with accepting them, however there seems to be something I still need to hear, know, understand, whatever…
I am searching to understand somethign like a time line. HE sought me out after no contact for 5 months…6 months later he wasnt feeling really connected to me? We were in counseling and this wasn’t addressed. He moves in with me, reluctantly accordign to him, in December but asks me if I “realize what me buying this dog for you means?” That gave me the indication that HE was making a commitment…

January was a rough month for me with adjusting to all the newcomers moving in and my grandma dying. I was difficult to be around…I know.

By February he’s not attracted to, interestd in or feelign me anymore? He’s not in love with me? WHAT!


Awesome article, Oxy.
Thank you so much. This is where I’m at now. I was a baby cow and now I’m a yoked oxen that just needs to realize how strong I am.

Ironically, when I first realized that I had been the victim of a predatory creature, before I knew that it had a name, a picture came into my mind. It was a picture of me, as a cow, lackadaisically chewing grass for 25 years while my spath sharpened his butcher knives. Then the picture of the cow changed as her eyes opened wide in terror. Her brain had been switched to a human brain and it was ME stuck in a cow’s BODY. The idea just popped into my head just like that. I was a cow – still am if I don’t take back my power.

super chic

Thank you for this article Oxy.
I never took care of myself, not so sure I’m doing it now.
I have to concentrate on the good things I’m doing
and make it a habit to reward myself, even if it’s just with
good thoughts about myself.
Thank you for your continued encouragement,
I’ve learned a lot from you… about me.


Robxsykobabe (that’s quite a penname!) I think the behavior you’re describing is related to several patterns of psychopaths: 1) to juggle several women at the same time, and as they get bored of some girlfriends they periodically return to others (only to grow tired of them again); 2) the cruel catch-and-release games psychopaths play (they reel you in, then push you away, to feel in control); and 3) the fact his emotional abuse and sense of entitlement became increasingly flagrant has to do with the fact he was, once again, ready to leave you for awhile. When psychopaths want or need you, they betray you mostly behind your back. When they don’t need you anymore, they do it more to your face. Either way, however, they act against your interest and for theirs. The only way to end this painful cycle is to end the relationship for good.

lesson learned


Such a good article! A lot of it for me, unfortunately with regards to my spaths is merely hindsight. The rest can be applied to the present and the future. Now it’s about about the “What if” I have the strength, it’s about “now I do have it….so what to do now WITH IT to increase it and embrace it”.

Strength is another word for personal empowerment. Not giving your power away. Lots to chew on here.

Claudia, your site is so interesting. It’s taking awhile to get through it, but it’s really quite good. I’m also in agreement with you and your above post. You have a great way of putting this into laymen’s terms so that I can understand the machinations and dynamics much better from the perspective of someone in the early recovery stages.

Thanks again, Ox, for the article.


Ox Drover

Thank you guys, glad you enjoyed the article. You know I am learning more about my own strengths each day as well. Practicing makes it easier to do….just like my addiction to salt and nicotine is a day by day struggle…and for some reason lately I have been much more tempted by cigarettes than I was for quite some time. not sure why. I have not had my smoker friends stay away or not smoke around me either….because I am NOT going to pick one up and smoke it, I know that, just like I am NOT going to open my arms to P-son, I am not going to pick up a cigarette either, no matter how tempted I am and life is going to go on, there will be people smoking around me unless I live in a hole in the ground deeper than the one I live in now. LOL So it is up to ME to control MY BEHAVIOR.

Oh, just interesting thing happened today. Got an e mail from egg donor telling me that she had been going through a closet at her house and found a portrait drawing she thought had been DONE BY P-son (actually it was DONE by one of his friends) that he had sent of my step dad and one of my husband and she wanted to know if I wanted the one of my husband. The drawings were post marked in Dec 2007 which was during the time that my egg donor was not talking to P son, which was in Dec after the Trojan Horse Psychopath and my DIL had been arrested in AUGUST 2007 for trying to kill son C. I was having little contact with egg donor at that time as well and NO contact with P son. I am sure he commissioned these drawings from some of his buddies in an effort to gain favor with egg donor.

One of son D’s friends was here and I asked him to go by her house and get the picture (I am going to send it to one of my hubby’s grandsons) and to Just tell her that I had asked him to get the picture and take it to my house (therefore not even indicating if I was here or not) and to NOT answer ANY thing about me if she asked. He said she did ask if my son C was still living here and he said “I’m not really sure.” LOL


Strength- The word brings to mind the illustration of Atlas holding up the world on his shoulders.

I think of us all and I think we have great strength to hold up burden. Our own and those of people around us. And while upholding those whatever else we were handed.

We have strength.

And what if, we decide to lay the burdens down? To shrug as it were, what have we then? Less?

I met a woman of such fortitude as I have never met not long ago. And, if it had not been for her dogged persistence, I might not be alive today. I am thinking about that. She was the Guardian Angel whose persistence pushed the Marshals into action. And the action took the insult from my house.

And gave me the opportunity to discover what was true. And that what he said and did, was not. I am inspired by her.

It is one thing to be strong. It is another to be able to act with the strength of conviction and resolve.

I will not forget ever the voice that greeted me here and led me to understanding no contact. Not Any, Not Ever.

Ox, your strength is that ability to reach out to others. If you were the Coast Guard, we’d all know you as the one with all the donuts – the life saving orange and white circles that when tossed to someone who is drowning become lifesavers.

Well Done.

Ox Drover


Thank you. I sit here with tears streaming down my face at your post. All the “livesavers” and “donuts” in the world tossed to a person will not save them though, unless they are willing to grasp those aids.

I have always been fascinated by stories of survival under horrible hardship. The stories of survival in the Nazi camps, the Japanese prisoner of war camps, and I knew a man who was on the Batan Death March. Stories of Andersonville and Devil’s Island. I just finished reading a book about the men who survived the wreck of the Nantuckett whaler Essex in 1819, who got to the point they drew straws to see which of them would kill one of the 4 survivors in one of the whale boats after a sperm whale had wrecked their ship (Moby Dick was based on part of this story) and the man who drew the straw to be the sacrifice so that the other three could live, and the man who had to pull the trigger on his friend’s life in order to live both submitted to what had to be done in order for any of them to survive.

While I know that the physical trauma that most of us have suffered here is not as intense as that these men suffered or that Dr. Viktor Frankly suffered in the Nazi prison camps of WWII, but the emotional horror and trauma that many of us here have been through I think has been as Dr. Frankl said, like a “gas” and FILLS US ENTIRELY whether the trauma was little or much, the pain is ENTIRE.

I think about how I felt during child birth, the pain though it was in only one portion of my body was TOTAL PAIN, and if I mash my thumb with a hammer while driving a nail, my pain, while confined to ONLY my thumb is TOTAL pain. Our strength and our survival in spite of the trauma, in spite of the fear, anxiety, etc. is a marvel and we do what we have to do. The men from the Essex made a critically bad decision to sail east instead of west to try to reach land, and several people paid for this decision with their lives, because if they had sailed west, probably they would have all lived. We sometimes make some poor decisions based on the information we have at the time which is incorrect. The consequences of those decisions are sometimes extreme but we face them and go on.

I am so happy for you Siver that you have grasped that strength to stay NC and to pull yourself up by your own boot straps and not only to survive but to prosper! TOWANDA for you and my hearty congratulations! (((hugs)))))


robxsykobabe, i think the best and most accurate way to view your situation, or “the” situation if you will… is that you weren’t dumped at all. For you to be “dumped” on relationship terms, this would have had to be a REAL relationship- which it was not. It was a predatory involvement, in nature. A vampire seeks out his prey, sucks its lifeforce/blood out of it, takes what he needs, and disappears. An involvement with a psychopath is NEVER a true relationship, it always consists of a predator and a victim. Granted, the predator masquerades himself as a Knight In Shining Armor for however long he possibly can while attempting to undermine you in any way… but nonetheless, he always remains a predator. You don’t know when he will be back “for more.”

That’s why they compare the behavior of a psychopath and a victim with a cat and a mouse. The cat catches a mouse- doesn’t kill it, but toys around with it, purely for enjoyment. He claws, bites, tosses it up in the air and bruises it up a good deal. Then the cat gets bored… leaves the mouse there, bruised up, bloody and broken for a bit. Ah-ha, and then the cat returns just a bit later as boredom strikes him again, and he jostles the mouse up some more. ( of course, as someone who has two cats, i mean no offense to kitties… who are carnivorous by nature and have big big hearts. But the analogy serves a good purpose, it’s very succinct. To the mouse, the cat is by all means- a predator. )

The Psychopath put up a shoddy masquerade ( a cardboard cut out of Johnny Depp, let’s say ) and manipulated you to see THAT, whilst he PREYED and took ADVANTAGE of you– the sole purpose of that masquerade being to have you put your guard down and expose vulnerabilities– so he could FEED in his perversity.

He cranks his behavior up or down depending on what he WANTS at the time. Think about the cat and rat analogy. With a twist.

I *see* the disgusting self-centered M.O. behind every thing you mentioned about him- especially the blame-shifting ( making YOUR word the issue and not HIS lack of responsibility. Acting clueless as a means to an end ) . You were not dumped, you were preyed on. End of story.


Hi robx,
you said the reply from ex was :
His reply”

“really? YOU are taking (his son) to the city and you’re asking if I have any money?”

“What do you mean, IM taking him to the city. Aren’t we all going”wasn’t that the deal?”

“NOOOOOO, you said YOU would be taking him to the city for a reward for good grades. Now hes earned them and you dont want to go?”

“I dont remember saying I was taking him anywhere. That doesnt even sound like something Id say.”

“Well, I told him YOU said YOU were taking him. I guess Ill have to tell him you said no.”

were all these statements made by him or is it a conversation between you and him meaning some of the above statements were made by you to him.
the reason I am asking is I got an alarm bell ringing as my jerk would also deny what he said and his common phrase “I don’t remember having said that”.
selective loss of memory always to benefit him and the end result would be, no discussion, topic would never come to a close or get resolved.
you are getting very good advice her robx.
I was in a mess 3 months ago and the caring posters here were so so so helpful in getting me out of the fog.

lesson learned


I found that “game” to be one of my spaths most painful. It happened constantly. Diversion tactics, outright lying, changing the subject and “I never said that” right out of a spath book.

Who the hell is going to question THAT?

I’m seeing how I got USE to those kinds of exchanges to where they were normal, even though I was MISERABLE.

Glad to see you Petitie, you’re DEFINITELY sounding a lot stronger!!!




They will lie by every possible means available to them. By commission, omission, mixing in truthful statements with the lies, the old faulty memory lie, and many others. It’s second nature to them and somehow leaves the conversation at an end because we can’t call The spath would turn it around so we are doubting facts that would them on it. If we were to say, “That’s a lie, I know you said so and so”. hold up in a court of law. I don’t know how the spaths can do this so well, I’m just so glad I don’t have to deal with it daily anymore.

I liked this article about strength. I used to be so afraid to speak up. Spath would tell me to be careful what I said and I became a mute. During counseling I would write out things that were a problem and hand it to the counselor. My strength was hidden. Why was I afraid to speak my truth? I’m not sure, but so blessed to be out of that hell.

Even spending a few minutes with him is draining. It’s like he sucks the life out of the room. Spath said he knows we’ll get back together and could he go on vacation with us. I told my lawyer and he got a chuckle out of that. He said he knows now what I’ve had to put up with all those years.

The strength to see the truth was in me all along. I feel so much better in my body and my mind, I wake up happy and feel so blessed.

Spath is probably living his life in debauchery, now that he doesn’t have to hide it from me. Hope that he catches something incurable or gets arrested. A girl can dream.


Hi Hpe4joy.
thnaks for reminding me the various forms in which their lies are told to us.
I could not understand this – did you miss some words – and somehow leaves the conversation at an end because we can’t call The spath would turn it around so we are doubting facts that would them on it.


Hi LL,
thanks to you and all of you here I am getting the strength to see thru the whole fake string of emotions which he showered me with at all times.
LL< I can tell you, that your posts are simply amazing and such a help to me, the way you said – ;;flip what they say ; and the way you analysed word by word the email for DW from her jerk, I am so impressed by you.
I think you are ready for your next semester and put all your energy there, get your credits and do not even look in the direction of the exPOS at all.
I did send you a post to that effect – saying it does not matter who the next woman is, they will be on the same merry go around – just going round and round, and they will finally fall. Unless they are disordered as Katy said and think that going round in circles is a happy life.
LL – thank you so much. I do go into the phases of him with the next woman and giving her my dream and then I think of the merry go round analogy and what others here like Katy and Oxy have said and touch base with reality. It is not easy but WE BOTH are getting there.
thanks my friend

Ox Drover

Dear Hope4joy,

Darling, you sound WONDERFUL! Yes, you ARE STRONG and I’m glad you have found that strength and are using it! ((((hugs))))

Sweet Petite,

I’m glad you have found your strength as well, my dear! You are also strong and I am so glad to see and hear you exercising that strength to see through his lies. (((hugs)))))


Hi hope4joy,
thanks for telling me about his various forms of lies, I think I have got the gut feeling of the same.
you said : It’s second nature to them and somehow leaves the conversation at an end because we can’t call The spath would turn it around so we are doubting facts that would them on it.
cannot understand, did you miss out some words. not sure.

lesson learned


Thank you, but ya know what brings everyone here? The strength they already possess and don’t know yet, that they have…

I was thinking about this today too….surviving a relationshit with a spath is strength on its own. We put up with a lot of SHIAT out of these people, some longer than others, but I’ll tell ya what, if you can walk out of it, you’re strong. 🙂

I think what LF does is just build on what you already have but don’t know you have yet. These people help you in clearing the fog the spath’s create. From there, well, you take off 🙂

And that’s just what you’re doing petitie

Love, LL

lesson learned


hehehehehe………….I love your last sentence 🙂

Good for you!!!



Hi Strong LL,
yes, I agree, we need many voices telling us at all times of the day that our excuses and reasons to stay on with the jerk do not make sense, they are seeing it from the outside, while we are viewing the mirage and still enmeshed in the fog. we get glimpses of reality and soft sounds from the gut alarm but we ignore it as we are so drawn into getting the dream to come true.
we ignore it all, until the gut feeling gets stronger and stronger and the ones who are lucky can find this God sent site and people to show us the path of sense and reality.
he cheated 6 times on the wife and I thought he would change, looking back I think – how foolish I was to believe his lies. he can sleep with whoever he wants and pretend to give the dream to her, I don’t care, I don’t want that dream, I want Me Me me, the wholesome, good ME.
your thoughts.

lesson learned


The only thing I can do here, is just agree with you! Completely!



Hi Petite,
I’ve been reading your posts and feeling so glad that you were able to benefit from LF. I don’t know if you read some of my posts BEFORE you joined, but Oxy had mentioned you and your experiences. I had told her that I thought you were a sociopath because you had dated a married man! (or two?)

I’m so glad to know that I was wrong and I’m glad that you have benefited from LF. It’s great to see people saved from a sociopath. I wish someone could have saved me from 25 years of hell, but the next best thing is saving someone else.

Things aren’t always what they seem, (as you have learned). the sociopath creates situations where it seems like they are the innocent victim. It’s part of their MO. If there is one thing you can count on, it is that they will destroy lives and slither away unseen and blameless. Your story has helped me learn how easy it is to get confused and blame the victim. Thank you.


HI sky,
yes, you, LL< Oxy and others did save me.
million thanks to you.
just like LL my jerk told me all the same lies, how his marriage was comatose, divorce was to be filed soon and I believed it all. He has since separated and going thru mediation, however, what troubled me by the time I came to LF was his inconsisitencies, selective memory loss when I asked him to explain or go back to his own words and above all his having cheated on the wife 6 times.
I have posted you on another thread – Spaths and charade.
please reply.


So, this morning as I lay in bed with my Boxer puppy HE gave me for Christmas last year…and thinking about how I am left to care for this animal alone…which was why I hadnt gotten a dog before now-BECAUSE I DONT HAVE TIME TO CARE FOR A DOG ALONE…
I am sad.
I think back to a week ago when he came home and played with teh dog like always as he told me “Im just not in love with you.” As I heard the words, I thought to myself “…and you’re playing with her like NORMAL” Normal smile at her, normal play with her, normal kissing of her!
I thought “someone distraught over ending a 4.5 relationship would be in NO mood to play with a dog…especially in that way.” You might pet the animal, but your focus would be on the conversation.

Maybe it was this….maybe he was pleased with himself knowing he was trying to call my bluff or his decision to leave was THAT much of a relief. Maybe he was pleased with himself for beign able to PUNISH me one more time by telling me the mean things he said.

Speaking of mean things said…I want to confess, acknowledge, take responsibility for something. I TOO said mean things…but not to or about him directly. You see, he allowed his 11 year old son to be in the middle of adult interactions ALL THE TIME. I mean, his son was NEVER encouraged to ‘go play’ or ‘get out of my hair’, ect., and this was justified by him as “I only get to see him every other weekend so OF COURSE I want him around me.”

Being around us was one thing…but to have NO interactions with other kids is something else. So, one day, as I had come to my breaking point with the son running through my 900 foot condo chasing the dog, my boyfriend in the livign room watchign his son do this while watching a movie and me ISOLATING myself to my room because I was SO fed up, I said somethign to my ex.

What I said was this…”Your son is drving me crazy. He does NOTHING but sit in front of the tv. There is NO motivation or expectation taht he will do ANYTHING other than nothing. Hes lazy…and Im sooooooooo tired of this. There are toys for him to play with in his room, yet he takes NO initiative EVER to go and play. He is perfectly content sitting on the couch doing NOTHING!”

I shouldnt have said all that…my ex decided to take his son to his parents for the rest of the weekend ‘to be around people who WANT him there.” Now, this was never asked by me…what I wanted was for MY requests (past and present) to be heard, considered, and respected. THEY WEREN’T AND WE WERE IN MY HOUSE!!!

He took his son (which he historically did when things got rough…he packed his shit and left), packed him up and told his son to say ‘thank you for everything youve let me do here” as he left. My ex packed two days worth of clothes and didnt return back to my place until Monday night…with boxes in his car telling me “you know, the past two nights sleep have been the best that Ive gotten in a LONG time.” He was planning on moving out…a month after moving in!

We had a conversation in which he said “we both want different things from each other” and it was left at that.

I cant help but to wonder if he REALLY did move in out of feeling obligated. If hes wanting to move out THAT SOON after a fight…

Could I ahve ‘pushed’ him to that point?


This was an instant message he sent me yesterday regardign the phone situation…

“The phone is yours now. I got a new phone and number so the number and everything that goes with it is yours. I mailed out the bill from last month that I forgot in my bag but the rest is yours”you can just cancel it. I tried to work with you but you still want to do everything on your terms”I will call Comcast later and if you haven’t switched it out I am going to cancel it”Its been 5 days now. I wish you the best. ”

Comcast is still on at my house this morning. I did NOT respond to this at all…

What do you think?


robx – Firstly the dog. Typical spath, instant ‘present’ for you with no after thought of HOW it was going to be cared for. Let’s think for a moment….if you or I were living in someone’s house would we go out and buy a dog? NO. We would sit down discuss it, plan it, work out how we were going to pay vet bills etc.

‘he’s not in love with you’ – hey ho he probably has a better offer on the cards from his next victim – so just thank your lucky stars he’s gone. Be prepared for the boomerang effect if it does not work out with her.

He will use the dog to ‘give affection’ to make you jealous. Mine used to do that, stroke/pet my dog BUT he never fed her, walked her, gave her water etc.

Secondly his son…..spath wanted him there but at the same time he did not. Having his son stay was a trophy to him. It did not matter that his son did nothing, had no one to play with etc just a trophy.

Thirdly TV….yep they do that a lot and for ‘us’ who like to do somehing with a bit more interaction TV is boring after a while. They seem to get some stimulation from it.

He was ignoring your requests because he saw you as a statue, again not a real thing, he was viewing you as an object, so your feelings would never count for anything in his book.

You are NOT to blame. Just thank your lucky stars that he’s gone.

I talk to my spaths ex and she said she’d mentioned my name to him recently and he said ‘isn’t she dead yet?’ I gave this guy EVERYTHING and that’s what he thinks of me 3 months down the road. We are NOTHING to them.

Stay NO CONTACT – it’s bliss once you get over the initial mind fcuk. Good luck.



It sounds like you’ve had a rough time. I second Candy’s advice, the more distance you have, the better.

In a relationship with someone who isn’t honest about or capable even of having reciprocal feelings, you get left with all the emotional residue.

Resist the inclination toward self doubt. Whatever else is true, you need to get on with your life. And again, to second Candy, its a better situation for you with him gone.

Keep your focus on the emergent future for you which has unlimited potential.

You are going to be ok.

Ox Drover


Okay, sit down and listen (that’s my “mama” tone of voice/typing)LOL

1. It was YOUR house.
2. YOU deserved some consideration in how things went.
3. It was HIS kid and HE was responsible for seeing that HIS kid had companionship and supervision and proper manners in YOUR house.
4. NO ONE should buy someone else (or even themselves) a living thing without consideration for who is going to be financially and physically responsible for meeting the needs of that living thing. Remember the story of what a “white elephant” is? In India a white elephant was sacred and could not be worked, but must be fed and groomed and cared for. It was WORTHLESS but costly, so if someone wanted to RUIN a neighbor financially etc. they gave them a GIFT OF A SACRED WHITE ELEPHANT. They could not sell it, or give it away, but must keep this “gift” which was very costly to maintain and also must pretend that they thought it was an honor when they (and everyone else4) knew was actually a CURSE!

So, though you knew you couldn’t afford to care for a dog, and therefore had made a wise decision NOT to get a dog, he “gave” you the WHITE ELEPHANT DOG (a Boxer in a small house/apartment is definitely a white elephant!) Then he took the credit for a “gift” that was in fact, a curse because YOU got the care and the expense and he got to look like a “GOOD GUY” for buying you a puppppppie! (excuse me while I puke)

EVERYTHING he has done has shown that he is not committed to his own KID, much less you or the dog——so, what YOU are going to do is to write 500 times and turn in by the end of the day.


Then, you will no longer have any kind of contact with him. You will not read his texts, you will place blocks on any way he has of contacting you, even if it means changing all your numbers and e mail, text and messenger addys.

THEN once you are NC you will start to heal.

Okay, now that you have had “mama lecture #47” get to writing your 500 times and realize that you are in the right place, that people here DO understand what you have been through cause we have been there too! and take my word for it, you will heal! HE IS A HEEL. ((((hugs))))

Ox Drover

I REALIZE I GOT CONNED! I had an unusual dream last night and when I woke up this morning, I realized I had been conned yesterday by the egg donor! I wrote yesterday about her having e mailed me that she had found a hand drawn portrait of my step father and one of my husband that P-son had mailed to her a while back (she thought P-son had drawn these but I am sure he had not done the actual drawings) and she wanted to know if I wanted the one of my late husband. The post mark on the large envelope was December of 2007, which is right after the Trojan Horse P and my DIL had been arrested in August, and during the time that NONE of us, even the egg donor were corresponding with P-son at all.

OF COURSE I WANTED IT. I had several of the fairly well done drawings that some of P-sons friends had done in the past and I LUNGED for the keyboard to tell her (smugly) that I would be “sending someone to pick it up.” I wasn’t going to go myself of course or ask son D to go, but since D’s friend G was here, I asked him to go get the picture. I warned him before he went to just say “I’m here to pick up the picture and take it to Oxy’s house.” I also went on to tell him NOT to answer ANY questions about me, if I was here, if I was living or dead, or anything…..NADA…well egg donor didn’t ask anything about me, she asked about son C still living here and the young man was surprised and said “well, I’m not sure” but in such a way that egg donor really DID get her answer, which was the POINT OF THE WHOLE THING—-I WAS OUTFOXED FOLKS! I BIT the well baited HOOK she held out to me and I shouldn’t have even answered the e mail, much less set someone to pick up the drawing.

Well, I will send the drawing of my husband standing in front of an aircraft he rebuilt to his grandson who will appreciate the portrait of his grandfather and not be turned off by where it came from or through whom.

I’ve been bashing myself on the head this morning with the cast iron skillet. The egg donor is still pretty subtle and sly like a serpent, knowing the BEST BAIT to bait her informational hooks with.

The dream was very representative of and symbolic of how I felt—-attacked. In the dream I was in a building with a large opening and I was trying to block this opening with pieces of wood and old doors to keep a large bull which was on the outside trying to jump through this opening….son D was there and neither of us could find our cell phones to call the neighbor and tell him his bull was outside trying to break in to where we were. Previous to the bull dream I had been trying to keep a pack of wolves from coming into a building through open doorways where I was trying to protect myself and my small livestock. It’s odd that the symbolism of this type of dream seems to “warn” me when I am making myself vulnerable to attack from the psychopaths….and it was like the dream came again to clarify my mixed feelings about sending someone for the picture….and now I realize that “I’ve been HAD”—-BUT it won’t be so easy the next time she tries to lure me in. I may be still curious, but I’ll curb that curiosity better next time. LIVE and LEARN.

lesson learned


I’m confused? I thought son C wasn’t living with you and wasn’t speaking to egg donor? Why would she ask about him? I’m sorry I see the baiting, but not the connection as to WHY?

I’m lost???



Oxy, she is DIABOLICAL! What a manipulator! What do you think she is going to do with the information? Good lord, I so wish you could live a thousand miles away from her.

Ox Drover

LL, I live over behind her house a half mile in theh woods, and she really doesn’t know if I am here or not and she can see from her back door if cars are going in or out, but not necessarily whose car it is unless she is using field glasses to peep (she does sometimes) but anyway, Unless one of the neighbors or someone she knows tells her “Oh, I saw oxy in town the other day” or something along that line she KNOWS NADA and she is CURIOUS. I kicked son C out over a year ago and he moved and when he did he had to resign from the local fire department volunteers, so I imagine she heard from someone that “I heard C resigned from the fire department and moved to town a while back.” Since she has NO other way to get information about C or about me she would want to confirm it if she could.

Actually, when I moved back to the farm with the RV I moved in this huge 33 ft 5th-wheel RV and parked it next to my aircraft hangar and it was there for 3 months before she heard about it being there. It is only visible from a county road that runs beside the farm, not the highway. Someone must have said to her “Oh, I saw Oxy got an RV and parked it over by the hangar.” So egg donor (curious too!) got her driver to drive her over on the PRETEXT that she had seen a “strange horse” in the pasture and needed to check on it. That was of course just a PRETEXT because I rent the farm to a woman who raises horses and she is continually CHANGING the number of and the kinds and individuals of horses she keeps here, almost on a daily basis. LOL so there was NO way egg donor could have noticed a “different” much less a “strange” horse here. LOL

Actually, my RV had been here for over 3 months before she knew it and I had moved back from the lake when I brought it back, but since she only had contact with me via e mail, she didn’t know WHERE I WAS LIVING. So it is important to me to keep P son from having ANY access to information about WHERE I AM, when I am here or not, etc. and keeping her from knowing is the best way to keep information from him. I also send him DIS-information, in fact, I had one of his buddies who spies for him thinking I was in Australia for the winter. LOL

But, she HOOKED me because I was curious about the drawing of my husband. DAMN! She isssssssss ssssssneaky like a sssssssnake.

lesson learned


ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh okay, gotcha. Wow. These people will stop at nothing.

Absolutely unbelievable. Well kudos to you Ox for being so “stealth” in your whereabouts lol!! I bet it drives her NUTS!!!!


I see how the hook would work too.



What a great article! So many things to ponder as a result. Seems to me that the more strength we have that we don’t realize, the more of a threat we are to spaths and the more they need to attack or undermine us. In a way, the stronger the attack the more it’s a testament (in a very twisted way almost a compliment) to our strength.

@dancingnannies: “i think the best and most accurate way to view your situation, or “the” situation if you will” is that you weren’t dumped at all. For you to be “dumped” on relationship terms, this would have had to be a REAL relationship- which it was not. It was a predatory involvement, in nature. A vampire seeks out his prey, sucks its lifeforce/blood out of it, takes what he needs, and disappears. An involvement with a psychopath is NEVER a true relationship, it always consists of a predator and a victim.”

Thank you for that comment. It’s helped me immensely. I’ve been NC with my entire family for 20 years now – long before it was “fashionable”, and long before there was even an expression for it. For years I asked myself, and my therapists: “Did I jump, or was I pushed?” No-one could give me the answer, and were usually uncomfortable with the question and tried hard to avoid it. One said to me “Does it really matter?” No-one would ever talk about psychopaths or sociopaths or human predators because, particularly in those days, women were viewed as victims (instead of as fully autonomous human beings responsible for their own behaviours) and I got a never-ending chorus of “She did the best she could”. I got nowhere at the time, so pushed any consideration about this way down where I ceased thinking about it. But it always troubled me nonetheless. And then your comment brought it all back in a new light, and the answer is apparent. Did I jump or was I pushed? The answer is, neither. I escaped a predatory situation.

Well, of course that question was important – vitally so – but I couldn’t make heads or tails of the situation so eventually stopped thinking about it. I now realize that, had I been allowed and assisted to think that question through to its logical conclusion which you so accurately described, my life path would have been very different.

So thanks to both of you, Oxy and DN. Honest logical thinking about hard truths, and then reaching out to help others the way you have, sets the world a little truer on its axis – for the betterment of everyone.

Ox Drover

Well, it is some consolation that she will be CURIOUS as heck about WHO the young man I sent to pick up the picture is….LOL and there is no way she can find out who he is. LOL

Well, I can tell it is time for me to start another DIS-information campaign about my “travels.” LOL

Like Star says I wish I did live 1,000 miles away from her, but at this point in time I have limited options….and as long as it is an option to live over here in the woods safely I will continue to do so, but at the same time, if I need to pack up and go I can do that too.

lesson learned


Other than her obvious little antics, are you aware of whether or not she still has contact with P son? It’s a good thing he sits in prison another three years, I did read about that, however, I wondered if you’ve ever thought of just selling and packin it up?

I hate thinking that you’d have to run eventually if P son gets out.

UGH! What a siteeeeation!


lesson learned


Wow, what a beautiful post! Your sharing helps me too. I”ve been given crap about NCing my ENTIRE bio fam before, but didn’t care what people thought, really. I knew it was better for me. Why try to be a member of a club that doesn’t want you around?

Escape is CORRECT! I love the way this blog takes my negative perceptions of what I’m thinking or believing and turns it on its ear with a positive newer, more enlightened perspective.

Great post!



Ox Drover:

I am almost in tears over here listening to you. It feels as though you GET IT. It IS my house, and it WAS his responsibility to share with his son consideration and boundaries. It WAS fine for me to expect that I have some say so in what happens! Trying to explain this to my ex was SO frustrating because he didnt like for me to refer to the condo as “MINE”…although it is and as he was expected to pay the bills, he’d say “…because Im paying YOUR bills.”

Christmas Day when I received the dog, his first words to me were…’isnt this the BEST gift you’ve EVER gotten?” He had been telling me for weeks before that I was gonna have ‘the best’ Christmas ever. Yeah, he bought the dog because he knew he could have a dog at my condo and NOT at mommy and daddys house. The dog wasnt bought for ME…I just happen to like that breed of dog so it was convenient for HIM. It was almost like a ‘compromise’ in his mind…”I really want a Mastiff, but know thats TOTALLY unrealistic, but still want a dog so Ill buy HER one that SHE likes and ILL benifit from it.” He paid for NOTHING after buying the dog…not even one fucking bone!

So it sounds to you like hes unable to make a commitment, eh? I know he and his family have said that about him…he’s never been committed to ANYTHING. But I was ‘different’. His parents had never seen him so ‘smitten’, and I mean, we were TOGETHER (intermittently 🙂 for 4.5 years. Doesn’t THAT mean commitment?

And the dog…he asked ME if I ‘understood what having this dog actually means”. That was a commitment, right? FUCK HIM. I had the means for him to have things he really wants but will NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVVVVVVVER have on his own. And he took advantage of that…knowing that MY intentions were to have a committed, REAL relationship. And then HE looks like the victim when its over…”I tried workign with you” “(marriage) is up to you” “all you have to do is be ‘nice’.” There was always a ‘catch’ for what I wanted…but NEVER for what he wanted.

Where HE was concerned, what he WANTED he was SUPPOSED to get…no matter if it placed a burdon or inconvenience on ME. I asked him OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER to ‘ask me’ if he needed to do something, go somewhere, whatever. JUST ASK ME! But he wouldn’t. He tried disguising his DEMANDS as ‘requests’ by changing a word or two to make it SEEM like he was “asking” versus TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!

For example:
He had one Friday off and was going to get a hair cut. He didnt ‘want’ to because it would cost him too much at the place he was gonna go. He didnt do it. We had plans the followign day to go to the city. He still needed a hair cut. On our way to the gym Saturday morning, he says to me “I still need to get a haircut.” I say “when are you gonna go?” He says “after the gym” I say “how are you gonna get there?” He says in THE MOST presumptious way…a way I will NEVER forget…”well, YOUUUUU”RE gonna take me.” UGH…it makes me cringe…

He went on to say “I told you I needed to get a haircut and now because its gonna inconvenience you (I wasnt planning on leaving the gym to take him to get a hair cut. I didnt know I was supposed to), you’re not gonna do it?”

Do you see what went on there?

lesson learned


I do. That’s not rocket science, it’s GASLIGHTING. My spath did the exact same thing, almost word for word. Uncanny really.

My ex also has a son. He’s turning HIM into a spath. What is it about the tv? Mine had like three or four in his house and his son is always right there, watching movies or whatever. no incentive to do more but sit on his ass and play video games, get on the computer or play his guitar in his room. Son is ex’s TROPHY!!! Sounds like your ex’s son is a bit younger than mine. WATCH OUT, because my ex’s son is now thirteen and is a NIGHTMARE!!!! He has the same empty expression in his eyes. He is COLD and SPOILED. Ex LOOOOOOOOVES priming him to be JUST LIKE HIM. There are so many oddities in similarity, it’s UNREAL. I would have KILLED that kid had I ever had to live with BOTH of them. ex was ALWAYS defending his son, no matter what. NEVER made him responsible for shit. He’s a diabetic and ex would sabotage OTHERS about how to properly maintenance his son. A week into this school year, son joined choir. Son was also responsible for making sure he got his insulin from school at the end of the day, EXCEPT for when ex had him for HIS week. So son “Misses” choir because he didn’t get on the bus. He also forgot his insulin to take home that day from school. Ex was pissed off, not at pretty boy, but AT THE SCHOOL STAFF……….so what does he do? He marches his ass down there and bitches out the principle for not getting his son on the RIGHT bus to get to choir, as well as his son FORGETTING to bring his insulin home. POINT? NOT THE SON’S RESPONSIBILITY BUT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SCHOOL!! WTF?

Thank God you’re out babe, because what you saw was nothing compared to what you’d put yourself through if he had stayed. He’s grooming his son to be just as rotten and nasty as he is and that’s sad, but not YOUR responsibility. He could give a rats ass about encouraging his child’s growth because then it’s NOT JUST LIKE HIM.

As they get older, they treat them worse to if the child dares to defy the spath parent. NOT pleasant!!!

OMG, I feel so sorry for new gf! The games my ex will surely play, pitting new gf with perfect trophy spathy son and his ex wife will surely bring about LOTS of drama!

Thank God you’re out!!

This guy is a loser Babe and he’s GROOMING HIS SON TO BE THE SAME!



Oxy – they can only get us where there is desire and attachment in our hearts, but to lose these qualities would be to lose some of our humanity.

This is why i think we will always be susceptible to spaths. doesn’t mean we don’t learn more and more about their traits and our Achilles’s heals, and therefore learn to end run their cons – but i think, thank god, we will always have things we reach out to.

for you, it is obvious, that your love for your husband and step dad will always be with you, and that’s a good thing. your egg donor manipulating that, is bad thing.

super chic

Oxy, she is certainly a sly one.
If you ever do have to move, you’ll have to come back to your old stomping grounds
out here in CA!!! Then we can go bug EB!!


Chic – when are you going to drop that shabby?


you gotta one-up that old spath by using the gift he gave you to meet a new guy.

Take the dog walking or jogging at a local beach or park. You’d be surprised what an ice breaker a puppy can be for meeting people. My spath used to use his dog for that – that’s how I know. Later, he just used pictures of my cat on his laptop.

But you know, we can take a play from their play book if we do it in good conscience and be CAREFUL not to meet ANOTHER spath!

super chic

one/joy, yeah!!! I’ve been thinking about it!!!
Funny you should mention that.
Originally it stood for “slightly used, but still beatuiful”
hahahaha. But I am sick of it at this point.

I read the other night about the conference you are putting together,
it sounds fabulous!! Congratulations!

I seem to get to this site most of the time…
late in the evening, after most are asleep!


and i have been getting here at odd hours – usually while everyone is still asleep.

Thanks about the conference, it’s in a caouple of weeks, and much left to do. I am not well – got pneumonia last week, whoopie. i lost a couple of days work and will just have to take it really easy – which means prioritizing and delegating and letting go of whatever others won’t pick up. my body is determined that i not over do it.

they put me on an antibiotic that is making me dizzy as sin – i wonder what it messes with in the system to cause that? i am really glad that i seem to be tolerating this one (only 2 pills in, but usually by second i will have reacted.)

one of my away from here friends sent me an ipod. i can’t tell you how much this small device is making me feel rich – it’s beautiful #1 (RED!) and it’s so nice to listen to music on it when i walk. There are not many things i need to make me feel rich, what i have heard termed,’ an elegant sufficiency’.

super chic

I am so sorry to hear you are not feeling well…
what a terrible time to feel this way… .with the
conference in a couple of weeks. I know some of the people
you work with are half crazy, so that doesn’t help much!!!!

Can you get a different type of medication?

I had an ipod, I put it somewhere for safe-keeping,
and never saw it again, that was about 3 years ago!

Hope you get well fast and that the dizzy feeling goes away NOW!!!


Hi everyone. I read your comments above. I felt better that I was not the only one here. I have been tramatized by deaf spath for 3 years. I am deaf too. I have talked to friends. Bad decisions because friends did not understand at all. I talked to my therapist. She is wonderful but she learned a lot from me. I told her about etc in case if next client came to her with similar problem. I felt stronger little by little each day. Some day I fell through blaming myself, angry and all. I am sure it is normal. I am sure you felt the same way too. One of reasons why it becoming difficult for me is because deaf spath’s deaf son is still going to my deaf school where I am teaching right now. Thank god different departments whew.
Anyway yesterday and today I find myself being very angry with myself and at my good friend who was with him (deaf spath). She gave him a lot of money. OUCH. Same with me I gave him a lot of money OUCH too. She used to be furious with him about not giving back the money as promised. She talked about filing small claim court against him. But but but then few weeks she met a wonderful man. She completely forgot about the stupid court like nothing has happened. I asked her how was the process of filing the small claim court. She said, “hmmm maybe March or April because I am too busy.” That was few months ago. Yesterday we went out to eat lunch. I asked her if she heard anything from deaf spath. She quickly said, no” then busily herself with food on her plate. I was not satisfied with her answer. I asked her again as I changed the question, ” did you ask him about money?” She said, “well he not actually aimed me. I was the one who aimed him. I asked him about the money. He asked for address. I gave him my office address instead of my home address. That was it nothing more.” Deep inside me I felt boiling mad. Am I overreacting? I feel that she was a lucky bitch who was in a mess then met a nice guy few days later. I was the one who kept suffering ups and downs. I just joined zumba class. I bought a book, “Idiots guide to Buddhism”. I contacted yoga class to join for the first time. I contacted few mediums (spiritual healers) so I can improve my self esteem, emotionally and health. I like to hear from you if you have similar experiences.
One more thing I learned that deaf spath has blocked me on aim I know you said that is good good good good but i am surprised that my friend and deaf spath can see each others on aim. Am i being childish?
Thank you for listening to my steamy vent.


hi chic – i am thrilled to have an intibiotic that i can take at all. so my remedy is to not stand up! 🙂

yah, the timing sucks – but if this is my worst problem…..

and yah, some of my workmates are half baked, but i have A LOT of power right now, so i say no, and it’s gonna be ‘no.’ (I called a moratorium on ‘good ideas’ last week. No one has another good idea, unless they want to carry it out themselves…i love me some boundaries. :))

haha about the ipod – i can sooo see doing that, they are so small. Weird, the ipod holds as much music as i have on my computer right now….and i can barely lug my laptop to the bus, the damn thing is heavy.

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