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By September 26, 2011 101 Comments Read More →

Beginning the journey to wholeness

Last week, I posted Letters to Lovefraud: Who we used to be, written by the reader who posts as “Panther.” She called herself a “new survivor,” having just left the sociopath and gone “No Contact” less than a month ago. She wrote:

Through reading various Lovefraud articles, I’ve realized that the veterans have so much invaluable advice to offer. However, at times I wonder how the voice of a survivor sounded right after the break. The reason this matters to me is because the veterans seem so much stronger than I feel right now. I cannot help but wonder, as I read through their wise words, if they have something I don’t have, which enabled them to get over this.

To Panther and other Lovefraud newbies: The only difference between you and the veterans is time. We’ve been on the healing journey longer than you have.

I left my sociopathic ex-husband in February of 1999. That was more than 12 years ago! I’ll tell you what I was like when the wounds were raw. Here’s what I wrote on page 287 of my book, Love Fraud How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan. In this part, I’m describing my state of mind, and state of being, when I discovered the treachery of my ex-husband:

James Montgomery proclaimed his love to me—just as he had proclaimed his love to 20 or 30 other women who had discretionary income and access to credit. I was just another pawn in a long line of women who heard the words “I love you” and believed them.

Why had this happened to me? All I ever wanted was what everyone wants—companionship, happiness, love. I was a good, considerate person. I worked hard. I treated people fairly. I did not deserve to be so exploited.

I paced up and down the hallway, my thoughts tumbling over each other, building into a mountain of pain and confusion. I leaned my back against the wall and slid to the floor, talking to myself. I felt like I should cry, but I could not. My dog, Beau, worriedly licked my face.

I was angry. I was outraged. Yet all I felt was numbness. I decided to call my therapist, Elaine Anderson. Luckily, she was available to do a session with me right then, over the phone.

I lay on the bed in my spare room, the meditation room, and told Elaine what I had found in James’ papers: Correspondence to his business associates that was full of lies. Letters from women asking for their money back. Stock certificates made out to many of these women. Proof that the corporation issuing the stock certificates was defunct.

The dam within me began to crack, and then it burst. I cried. I groaned. I choked. Emotional pain rose from deep within me to the surface of my awareness, like pus rising from a deep infection. Painful energy traveled to various parts of my body—my hands, my eyes, my heart. My hands clenched. I struggled to breathe.

I don’t know how long it went on. But slowly, the pain dissipated.

That was the beginning of my journey to recovery. I spent many, many hours curled up on the floor, crying. I also spent many hours envisioning my ex-husband’s face on a pillow and pounding it with my fists, pounding until I collapsed. I spent many hours with my therapist, coaxing the anger and bitterness out of my emotions and out of my soul.

The betrayal of the sociopath creates deep, deep pools of pain and disappointment within us. To recover and regain ourselves, we have to drain those pools. It takes time.

And then, as we drain them, we find more pain and disappointment in the pools, left over from injuries that we experienced before the sociopath. In fact, it was those injuries that made us vulnerable to the sociopath in the first place. Those emotions must also be drained.

Healing doesn’t just happen—we have to make a conscious decision to face all of the negativity head on. If we don’t make the decision to heal, if we just try to put the experience of the sociopath behind us without dealing with the pain—well, then it was all a waste, we didn’t learn anything, and we’re likely to repeat it by finding another sociopath.

Recovery is possible, but it takes time and commitment. Here the words I said to myself time and time again: “Just keep going.”

So to all of you who are just starting out, just keep going. I promise you, you can overcome, you can recover, and you can find peace.



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101 Comments on "Beginning the journey to wholeness"

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GREAT QUOTE DONNA:

“Healing doesn’t just happen—we have to make a conscious decision to face all of the negativity head on. If we don’t make the decision to heal, if we just try to put the experience of the sociopath behind us without dealing with the pain—well, then it was all a waste, we didn’t learn anything, and we’re likely to repeat it by finding another sociopath.”

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!!!!!

That conscious decision and the work to go with it is I think like quitting smoking or any other major change or addiction, it is a continually necessary to be strong, and if we fall off the wagon, we must get up and GET BACK ON! As long as it takes! Great article!

Donna,

Oh gosh, me too. Hours and hours of crying and processing and obsessing, and just crippling emotional pain.

The realization I had spaths in my family, and that I’d been in relationships with multiples of them….it wasn’t until I dug into that emotional graveyard and faced the truth of them, and of me, that I started to really feel like my life was going in an entirely new direction.

The journey continues, and educating people about personality disorders, and danger signs is still a part of my journey. But the pain isn’t ‘really’ there anymore. The memory and a sense of outrage is still there. I will never forget.

But I no longer have that feeling that I am an unnecessary. I no longer feel disposable. I feel connected again and can feel an exchange of love with others’.

For those of you who are holding on by your teeth. Keep holding on and really LOOK at what they are, and apply yourself to your own self-exploration and ‘house keeping’.

There is a real possibility I would not be where I am today, had it not been for LoveFraud. This site opened my eyes. And gave me strength.

xo to all of you..Slim

Donna,

Thank you so much for writing this. I find so much of what you say to be true. I also agree that this experience has made me realize that I cannot just “stuff it down” anymore, because all those old hurts ended up leading me to the straw that broke my back, which was the most recent sociopath (although he was no straw…more like a falling pine tree)

In fact, I didn’t even remember what my father had put me though until this most recent experience. I hadn’t ever faced how much he damaged me when I was very young. It wasn’t until I had no choice but to deal with the pain that I finally made up my mind to do it. It’s like that Anaïs Nin quote:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Your words there about how you felt right after the break….ring so true. I have come here to LF and from the first moment, I have decided to trust people here. When they said, “Don’t answer that email,” I didn’t answer. When they said, “Delete those mails,” I deleted them. When Ox said, “Label the file ‘toilet’ if you must keep some as evidence,” I labelled the file “toilet” (seriously). So far, following the advice of people on here has been the best placement of my trust in so long I cannot remember….and the reason I knew I should do this is because in here, on LF, I read story after story after story that I myself could have written. I KNOW these people get it and are possibly the only people who do (within my contact range at the moment).

So, if you all tell me: time. I will trust in this and do what is prescribed. Face the pain? Okay….one chip at a time, I will. The only thing I can imagine being worse than facing the pain of my past….is knowing that if I DON’T do that, I could end up with another sociopath…and the next one might kill me. Heck, the last one almost did. I cannot afford to “oops, he’s CRAAAZYYY” anymore.

Just keep going….so simple….but so daunting. Some days, I might have to modify this phrase to: Just keep breathing.

Thank you again for this post. I really would like to read your book one day. This won’t come as a shock to people in here, but I have actually been rendered so broke (I gave that guy, some freaking how, more of my salary than I kept for myself) that I can barely afford food right now, let alone a book. In about 1-2 months, this should improve. Now that there isn’t a sociopath to screw up every single plan I put in place, I can start cleaning up this huge mess!!!

Thanks Donna!!!!!!!

To Ox and Slimone:

Amen to your both.

Slimone: hanging on by your teeth…yup, but at least I’m still hanging on….grrrr….with a Pit Bull lock jaw!!!! Rawr!

Donna

Thank you for this. You’ve changed my life.

It’s not enough to read some books. It’another thing all together to tell my story, to have it validated, to get help from others who have been there. This is a unique experience of grief and recovery.

I just want to get my life back. I’ve said that over and over again. I want to be my normal, happy self.

Thanks to you, and One/Joy and Oxy and Skylar and Hens and Louise and Panther and everybody else I’ve interacted with or have read from in the past, I’m getting there.

I’m grateful. And I’m going to just keep going till I get there.

Superkid

Hi Panther, have any of his other victims come looking for you yet? I know or know of more than 12 and they are all lovely women. You were selected based on your good qualities and exploited with lies, just like these women who I know were victimised.

Donna thinks that we need to work on ourselves spiritually to avoid another psycho. I think there need not have been anything wrong with someone spiritually for them to be exploited by a predator, sometimes an ordinary person is just in the wrong place at the wrong time Animals in the wild are not always weak sometimes they are just in the wrong place at the wrong time and get taken by predators. I do think such an experience makes you weak and isolated. If a lion tries to grab a victim and wounds it then the victim gets weaker and is more likely to be taken by another lion. There is nobody who would say there is some original spiritual deficiency with that gnu zebra or whatever. I don’t like it when people claim there is some original victim mentality which people who attract psychopaths have, I resist tha thought like I resist the concept of original sin. It might be true for some people but that does not mean it is true for all.

What you need is a safe place to heal, sometimes your friends and family are not that safe place you need, sometimes they are just like the primitive herd who smell the weakness and reject your needs in a very primitive way, and this is because like animals they sense that WEAKNESS ATTRACTS PREDATORS and they instinctively act to protect themselves first. Find safe places where you can heal and believe me you are not to blame for the weakness you now have because of the injury this predator caused you. Congratulations on your escape and keep running like the perfect zebra that you are!

Thanks Donna..

I have been apart from my ex-husband sociopath now for 3 years. Divorced for one of those.

I so relate to the letters, lies, women and more lies and infidelity. My x-path has seen around 450 women during his life. I was as far as I know the only one he married..I too sometimes wonder why me? I had two children with the x-path and have tried to have very minimal contact with him and between him and the children but courts here in Australia are very pro both parents needing to be in the children’s lives. Even though I have had counsellors/psychiatrists tell me that the children are better off without him in their lives.
And I really notice the difference in them from when they have no contact for 6 months and then are in contact only via telephone. They turn into feral animals almost..lol

I asked my daughter why after she speaks with her daddy is she really naughty for me etc and her answer actually surprised me- although I know it shouldn’t. She said “Daddy is mean to you so I will be mean to you”. Out of the mouth of a 4 year old that just breaks my heart.

Some days I struggle to stay on top of my emotions but I find if I listen to music especially this song

http://youtu.be/eVLJ4HOzi1c

Set fire to the rain by Adele

It carries me forward. I think she may be singing about a sociopath….lol
Hope you all enjoy the song as much as I do.

On my way to recovery I have suppressed all of what happened too long and now it’s biting me. So I start with a right counselor and I will recover thanks for your article Donna.

Hi, all.

For the last year, I have been recovering from the abuses of my ex-path. By virtue of our professional association, I was forced to be in her presence until I decided that saving my life and my sanity was more imporant to me than saving my career. Early in our relationship, before we became romantically involved, I was having some emotional difficulties due to another situation in my life. I mentioned to her (the ex-path) that I was going to seek out a mental health counselor to deal with it. She said to me, “you don’t need a shrink”. (Just one of the countless invalidations I received while I was with her.)

After she was through with me and discarded me, I hired a therapist. I had to. The pain, disappointment, anger, bewilderment and all the torture she so subtly inflicted on me were too much for me to bear alone. She learned “through the grapevine” that I was getting some help and she became even more vindictive toward and contemptuous of me and her rationalizations, manipulations, and abuses became even more intense.

I had one semester let to go before I graduated with a master’s degree. I had to get away from her. Because of our association with our subject of study, (Oriental Medicine. Condsider: a psychopathic physician), my interest in and study of the medicine is now tainted by pain, anxiety and association with deception and betrayal. I’m finding it very difficult to reclaim my place as a healer and student of medicine.

Not only am I dealing with the loss of what I believed to be a great romantic love, I am dealing with the loss of my love for learning and studying my chosen profession AND, I get to deal in therapy with some very deep old wounds. I’m embarassed and feel ashamed and anxious in the associations with my peers. (I transferred to a different campus to finish my degree, but her minions, for G_d knows what reasons, just had to show up there, too.)

I saw the red flags, knew I was going to hurt when we began the romantic phase of our relationship. What was it that made me want to be with her int he first place? Why did I stay with her? Those are (some of) the issues I’m dealing with. There are very large, deep wounds that I received in my childhood that shaped the way I’ve lived my life all of my life. I didn’t choose her behavior, but I chose to stay with her long after I realized (and denied) the toxic nature of the relationship. It’s so easy to vilify her and ignore my own responsibity in the r’ship. But I try really hard not to do that.

There may very well be “light at the end of the tunnel”, but right now, in the darkness is where I am. It’s hard, lonely, scary, but, (I read once), an explorer must be comfortable being lost.

“A murder of one” by counting crows.

Well, are you happy where you’re sleepin’?
Does he keep you safe and warm?
Does he tell you when you’re sorry?
Does he tell you when you’re wrong?

I’ve been watching you for hours.
Its been years since we were born.
We were perfect when we started…
I’ve been wondering where we’ve gone.

All your life is such a shame, shame, shame.
All your love is just a dream, dream, dream.

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/counting+crows/a+murder+of+one_20033480.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR8Sot4SWeU
Even before I knew what the spath was, this song spoke volumes to me.

Stopcalvin,

She said “Daddy is mean to you so I will be mean to you”. Out of the mouth of a 4 year old that just breaks my heart.

OMG, STop, that is so heart breaking to hear from the mouth of your child. My prayers for you and my heart goes out to you.

Sky, Great lyrics, and they DO seem to point to a psychopath, don’t they?

Welcome HappyJack! Glad you found your way here, there is knowledge and healing here.

Skylar..

good song..agreed..a song to understand what they are. Two healing songs for me are:

Annie Lennox:
Pavement Cracks, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib83r8KACcs

Kim Richey:
I’m Alright, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FceBnspGZzU

Zim

OK.

This is why NO CONTACT is so important.

It’s important not to talk or engage with them, more important to get them out of our HEADS.

My spath slept with his bartender, and others. Within a week of that he remarried his ex wife. Kept pinging me in the mean time, telling me he loves me. And now, I snooped on line, and he’s hitting on a young girl of about 27 years old. He’s 47.

Christ.

Does it ever end?

What’s wrong with me in that I feel bad about him hitting on yet another young woman? It HURTS me. It really does.

I’ve had “no contact” with my ex for close to 11 years now. He tried to contact me about three years ago (a phone call..his voice was shaking) and did so because I had made a phone call to his next victim’s [who possibly is his THIRD FRAUDULENT MARRIAGE by now..his THIRD WIFE..a backstabber] father or brother [not sure which but I’d left a message for him to look my ex’s name up on a web site where he is profiled, the message included that I’d heard from his first ex wife..which confirmed much of what he had also done to me] .. anyway, his voice was shaking [like a coward’s, but with apparent anger/anxiety, too..I guess he was terrified of being exposed]..I hung up on him AS SOON AS I HEARD HIS VOICE. Boy, did that feel great! Only now, I think he is STILL having 3rd party SPAM emails sent to me, just about every day. I just save them in a folder that I re-labeled today [thanks to a lovefraud bogger] “TOILET” .. HA HA. I know it’s him. Who else could it be? On some of those marketing spams, it’s as if he hits the “send” button three or four times [I can almost see him frantically punching, much too hard, the “send” button, again and again], because sometimes the SPAM arrives, one right after the other with the SAME content, sent [time line indicates such] SECONDS apart. Actually, sometimes it DELIGHTS me that he is so FRUSTRATED at being exposed that his poor little self must resort to such pitiful attempts at harassing [or is it stalking?] me. No. Can’t prove it’s him, but I more than suspect it is. I just laugh anymore.

Zim

Now, he is no more to me than a speck on a chrome-plated donkey’s fart in the cosmos..getting smaller and smaller as it reels through the depths of the constellations..and him..realizing HE IS NO SHINING STAR!

Zim

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Happy Jack,

Whenever they get between us and our truest, closest path, it is spiritually abusive. The affect on your relationship to your vocation is the result of spiritual abuse.

You are in the phase we call ‘shock and awe’ around here. I know it is very very painful. I think it is the worst phase i have experienced so far (2 years out). Please start reading. Kathleen Hawk’s series is a very good place to start.

We understand, and many folks in our day to day lives don’t. Many counselors don’t. It is a very difficult thing to have been conned by a spath. Recovery from it is nothing like recovery from other relationships. It takes longer and goes deeper. But it is possible.

Happy Jack

I’m with you. I keep thinking I’m moving forward, but then I take one step back and I’m right where you are again, in that same phase of pain that you’re in.

It does get better with time. I hope you stick around and stay with your therapist. Mine has been a godsend, if imperfect.

Superkid

“I keep thinking I’m moving forward, but then I take one step back”

My very thoughts. Plus I am my own worst enemy.

Thank you LF for posting the right article at just the right time. It has been 3 1/2 yrs since my marriage ended. I have spend a lot of time feeling like I got kicked in the gut. I have not had professional therapy but I’m thinking at this point I need it. I can’t move forward. I can’t stop feeling angry and ashamed and victimized.

I am trying to do everything I can to raise my son right & don’t spend any time on myself. I will be forever guilty for giving my son a father with no emotions. Just allowing him to know his father exposes him to being a pawn in the big game of lies as I used to be.

I do not see loving and trusting someone again in my future at all. The thought scares me terribly. I was recently told that I will never be happy. Those words made me cry because I’m afraid they’re true. How do I find the courage to step out of the darkness and take the steps toward healing?

HI Ox Drover

I think I know that (now) about the police not pursuing me,,,but I believed SO many of his lies that this was just one more that I believed…and truth be told, I wasn’t willing to find out the hard way that it was just a lie. Packing him up- stolen goods and all, was the safest way to acheive getting it and him out of the house. I was so scared of the “what if’s” cause he was right about ONE thing…he had nothing to lose and I had everything to lose.

YES…AMAZING that the cake didn’t work out because of having what he lacks – A CONSCIENCE! I love having a conscience and I pity the fact that he will never feel the love, joy, sorrow, empathy and all the wonderful emotions that God gave us!

Thanks for your words – on my post and on others!!! I get SO much for your wisdom!
Many many blessings to you!

Jeannie,

ANYTIME you make “contact” with them, it is always a LOSE/LOSE situation for YOU….please believe me on that.

You may think you have nothing to lose by going to the party while he is there, but I can almost guarantee you (without a crystal ball) that it will NOT be a good evening. That is why we here at LF STRESS NO CONTACT at all. But each of us have to learn our own path to healing.

Jeannie,
Your neighbor cannot be trusted. I’ve suspected this before but now I’m sure of it. She is one of his minions.

A normal person would not invite a spath to her home after what you have told her. But she keeps doing it. And now she is inviting both of you to the same party… THEY ARE SETTING YOU UP.

Don’t go and GREY ROCK YOUR NEIGHBOR. She is feeding off your emotions.

Jeannie:

Skylar is so right…listen to her.

And Oxy is also right…if you go, you will end up only deeply upset…trust me; it happened to me. I know. Please don’t go and object yourself to all that drama. It will only end up badly. Hugs to you.

Here is something which resonated with me and perhaps it will make others here feel better about themselves:

Easily Embarrassed? Study Finds People Will Trust You More:

“If tripping in public or mistaking an overweight woman for a mother-to-be leaves you red-faced, don’t feel bad. A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that people who are easily embarrassed are also more trustworthy, and more generous…”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928180418.htm

BBE, I think it is because people who are “easily embarassed” have a conscience, a moral compass and they CARE what others think. The psychopath cares not a whit about what others think except to keep up their mask, but it isn’t “embarassment” they feel if it slips, it is rage. LOL

BTW the link does not work.

Here is the full text:

If tripping in public or mistaking an overweight woman for a mother-to-be leaves you red-faced, don’t feel bad. A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that people who are easily embarrassed are also more trustworthy, and more generous.

In short, embarrassment can be a good thing.

“Embarrassment is one emotional signature of a person to whom you can entrust valuable resources. It’s part of the social glue that fosters trust and cooperation in everyday life,” said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a coauthor of the study published in this month’s online issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Not only are the UC Berkeley findings useful for people seeking cooperative and reliable team members and business partners, but they also make for helpful dating advice. Subjects who were more easily embarrassed reported higher levels of monogamy, according to the study.
“Moderate levels of embarrassment are signs of virtue,” said Matthew Feinberg, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley and lead author of the paper. “Our data suggests embarrassment is a good thing, not something you should fight.” The paper’s third author is UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner, an expert on pro-social emotions.

Researchers point out that the moderate type of embarrassment they examined should not be confused with debilitating social anxiety or with “shame,” which is associated in the psychology literature with such moral transgressions as being caught cheating.
While the most typical gesture of embarrassment is a downward gaze to one side while partially covering the face and either smirking or grimacing, a person who feels shame, as distinguished from embarrassment, will typically cover the whole face, Feinberg said.
The results were gleaned from a series of experiments that used video testimonials, economic trust games and surveys to gauge the relationship between embarrassment and pro-sociality.

In the first experiment, 60 college students were videotaped recounting embarrassing moments such as public flatulence or making incorrect assumptions based on appearances. Typical sources of embarrassment included mistaking an overweight woman for being pregnant or a disheveled person for being a panhandler. Research assistants coded each video testimonial based on the level of embarrassment the subjects showed.

The college students also participated in the “Dictator Game,” which is used in economics research to measure altruism. For example, each was given 10 raffle tickets and asked to keep a share of the tickets and give the remainder to a partner. Results showed that those who showed greater levels of embarrassment tended to give away more of their raffle tickets, indicating greater generosity.

Researchers also surveyed 38 Americans whom they recruited through Craigslist. Survey participants were asked how often they feel embarrassed. They were also gauged for their general cooperativeness and generosity through such exercises as the aforementioned dictator game.

In another experiment, participants watched a trained actor being told he received a perfect score on a test. The actor responded with either embarrassment or pride. They then played games with the actor that measured their trust in him based on whether he had shown pride or embarrassment.

Time and again, the results showed that embarrassment signals people’s tendency to be pro-social, Feinberg said. “You want to affiliate with them more,” he said, “you feel comfortable trusting them.”

So, can one infer from the results that overly confident people aren’t trustworthy? While the study didn’t delve into that question, researchers say they may look into that in the future.

University of California – Berkeley (2011, September 28). Easily embarrassed? Study finds people will trust you more.

That’s an interesting article BBE, and I would think it would make sense as well (from what we already know about psychopaths).

The mention of the thinking a woman is preg when she is not is something that happened to me once….and I have now decided that UNLESS I SEE A BABY’S HEAD EMERGING FROM BETWEEN THEIR LEGS I WILL **ALWAYS** ASSUME A WOMAN IS **NOT** EXPECTING– unless SHE says something about being preg.

The public flatulence is also something I think many if not all of us have experienced at one time or another. I could also name some other instances of being very embarrassed. I do think that it is difficult for me to distinguish between “embarrassment” and “shame” though, where does one stop and the other begin? I sort of always thought of “embarrassment” as sort of “mini-shame.”

Ox;

I had the opposite thing once happen and I was mortified. I sat down in the lunch room at work and joined a conversation late. This one woman was talking about how this was her last day and she was going to be out for a couple of months.

I politely asked if everything was OK and she told me it was maternity leave. She was a very, very large woman and I had no idea she was pregnant…

Zim- thanks for sharing. I had never heard of Kim rickey before but loved it!! Just what was needed tonight. Couldn’t open first link but will u tube pavement cracks! Thank you honey!

Bbe- very interesting article! Thank you!!

Zim and others,
I know this sounds silly but I believe music can be a wonderful healing tool.
I want to create a cd of “healing songs”. There are of course the basics”I will survive” ect., but as we all come from different places and are of all ages I would love any suggestions to songs that have affected or touched you… As they may not only touch me but others as well. Techno, country, Latin.. It’s all good.
If anything hits you as powerful please share… If not today, tomorrow or next week. Sometimes the right song on the right day can be so powerful, and enlightening if it’s something you’re not used to or have never heard before.
Lol… Inspiration and healing can take place in the strangest ways…even if it sounds like an angel is singing your song. 🙂
Good night all… And god bless.. May tomorrow be better. One day at a time..this shit can’t last forever.

Dear Coping,
I agree that music helps to heal the soul. This cracks me up: this shit can’t last forever. LOL Let’s celebrate it’s demise shall we?

Coping one year for Christmas son D and I made a “leaving your lover” CD for my son C after his wife went to jail for trying to kill him. We started out with “50 ways to leave your lover” and “thank God and Greyhound she’s gone” and “these boots are made for walking” and I can’t remember all the others, but we played it for him and I thought he never would stop laughing. He was HOWLING with laughter! So you can have several different CDs with THEMES.

Distressed Grandmother

Panther
I was where you are not long ago. It is a process we have to go through to get as strong as oxy and the others. We go through many different feelings and emotions at first. Some of these emotions you did not think you had them in you.You feel angry hurt disappointed confused empty just for starters. You can not believe you were so blind for so many years you think you can fix things but you can not. Sociopaths do not communicate or reason they just control. You love these people and realize there love for you never excited you were used. It is very hard to comes to terms with this easily because admitting that you were that far wrong about some one you loved. You know and realize how quickly you would have forgiven then and did forgive them over and over again,yet the spath is not even willing to compromise or communicate with you unless you completely let them have there way and control you and everyone around you. They are all right about no contact it is the best.I think there will always be some involvement with me because of my grandchildren but do intend not to say anymore than I have to. It took me a long well to get this far and still I am not as strong as some of the people on this site.

Distressed Grandmother,
I haven’t seen you much lately, but I think of you sometimes.

You have one of the most heartbreaking situations, because you are watching your grandkids suffer and your hands are tied. Anything you do will just aggravate the situation, at this point. So it’s good to hear that you are understanding what you can and cannot control. If you take really, really good care of yourself and focus on your own growth, you can be there for your gkids when the time is right.

I had to deal with my parents today. It’s a bit better than it was. Not because they have changed but because I have accepted what they are. It is so apparent now.

My N-dad had gone outside. My psychopath mother says, “Now that I know what psychopaths are, I see that they are everywhere!” So then we start to have a conversation about spaths. I’m explaining to her that they feel nothing, no emotions or empathy and she starts projecting about my dad. She often does this if he’s not around when I start describing spath-traits (most of which she has). She said, “I’m worried about your father. I’m noticing that he really likes to watch the violence on the news. I will watch the news, but not the violence. But he seems to really ENJOY the most violent news….blah, blah, blah.” Basically accusing my father of being a spath.

The psychopath mask includes pointing fingers and scapegoating the nearest narcissist. Poor dad, he is her favorite supply. He crys and hugs me when I leave, even though I don’t hug him back. Mother just says, “God be with you.”

Distressed Grandmother

Skyler
It is great that you can do that and I hope one day I will be able to do that with my daughter. I have excepted that my daughter is who she is and I can not change that. I still have a hard time excepting that a mother can not protect there children yet thinks she is the best mother in the world. I always thought no matter what she would protect her children but instead goes along with it all. I can except who she is but still have not been able to except what she does. I am learning just to keep my big mouth shut that if I haven’t taught her anything by now it is time to give up. I am tired of hurting ,crying and trying to get her to understand. All I accomplished is more drama. No more drama for me because I have seen the light and will avoid it like the plague. I do understand how you feel about your mom and dad but I also know we can pick and chose our friends but our family is ours no matter what.It is also OK to love your family but it is also OK not to like what they do but except it and move on. I am sure God is with you, But one must pray God is with them because they may not realize it but they are the ones that need all the help and forgiveness they can get.

Distressed Grandmother,
It is a situation that is hard to describe but I can tell you that once I accepted what they are, I got my power back.

I won’t deny that the tears come to my eyes, but I don’t let them see them. I gray rock like there’s no tomorrow. I express ZERO EMOTION. Not even when my cats died at their house.

Accepting what they are comes AFTER you accept what they did. It is only by accepting the fact that they are capable of evil and that they have perpetrated evil and that they will continue to perpetrate evil in the future, then you are free to label them and feel no fear.

With my parents, it is so difficult because they are model citizens. Perfect facade. The pinnacle of success, hard working, long suffering, praying catholics.

It’s like being the daughter of a couple of saints who are actually filled with evil. cog/dis is so hard, until you finally let go of the illusions.

Hello everyone!

I’ve been struggling for 2 years to recover from my marriage to a sociopath. I wanted recovery so badly but couldn’t find the way past all of the destruction. I would have brief moments of optimism, but they were short-lived. As a self-proclaimed queen of ineffective coping, I stumbled around in a pit of bad choices … drinking, smoking, avoiding responsibility … just making circles in the mud pit of despair.

I really don’t know what happened this week. Suddenly I was tired of feeling tired. I was tired of feeling hopeless. I was tired of feeling overwhelmed. I was tired of being in the pit.

I started reading the posts about recovery on LoveFraud again. I started listening to music that has optimistic and empowering lyrics … like “Firework” by Katy Perry. Here are the lyrics. Can you relate?

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin, like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?
Do you ever feel already buried deep, six feet under, scream but no one seems to hear a thing?

Do you know that there’s still a chance for you? Cause there’s a spark in you!
You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine! Just own the night, like the Fourth of July!

Cause baby you’re a firework! Come on show ’em what your worth!
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”, as you shoot across the sky-y-y!

Baby you’re a firework! Come on let your colors burst!
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down-own-own

You don’t have to feel like a waste of space. You’re original, cannot be replaced!
If you only knew what the future holds, after a hurricane comes a rainbow!

Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed, so you could open one that leads you to the perfect road.

Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow, and when it’s time, you’ll know you just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine! Just own the night, like the Fourth of July!

Cause baby you’re a firework! Come on show ’em what your worth!
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” as you shoot across the sky-y-y!

Baby you’re a firework! Come on let your colors burst!
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down-own-own!

Boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon!
It’s always been inside of you, you, you! And now it’s time to let it through!

Cause baby you’re a firework! Come on show ’em what your worth!
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” As you shoot across the sky-y-y!

Baby you’re a firework! Come on let your colors burst!
Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” You’re gonna leave ’em goin “Oh, oh, oh!”

Boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon!
Boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon!”

Anyway … I am listening to this song over and over again, trying to focus on recovery and remembering who/what I was before the sociopath came into my life.

Cross your fingers that I make it out this time! Thanks for listening.

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” G. K. Chesterton

Thanks for sharing. Those lyrics represent exactly how I feel. I still have a spark in me. Not only to make my life better but that of others as well.

Too Late: Thank you. Love listening to the song but reading the lyrics brings it home.

Hi Donna,

It has been more than 1 year of living expath for good, and 5 months since divorce. I used ot come on this site a lot and it has helped me a lot, but then stopped, because thought I need to get away from negativity and try to live a normal life.

But today I am here again, because, though I am living a normal life, I have sleep full of dreams, disturbing dreams, and I wake up cranky, doc is testing me for sleep apnea, but I think it is obssesive thoughts I have about exspath in my unconcious mind, and I try very hard not to think about him, but every thing goes on in life takes my mind there, I try to pull my mind back, it is very tiring job.

An I damage forever?? It scares me, people who see me, think I have moved on and am happy, people convince me, I am better without him, I know I am, but this intense sick attachement I have with his memory is killing me. He put his add in online metromonial site and calling himself a “widower”, showing his big salary, the money he didn’t want to share with his wife and wanted divorce to protect his money.

What kind of person I was married to, and why am I alone even though I was a good wife??? All these things go through my mind, even now, people say learn not to think about it…. But betrayal is so big that wound seem to be very raw still……

Any suggestion will be highly appreciated.

Dear Myheart,

The key to your dilemma lies in your own words, “He put his add in an online matrimonial site and calling himself a “widower”, showing his big salary, the money he didn’t want to share with his wife and wanted to divorce and protect his money.” – In short, Myheart, you violated rule number one of healing from a sociopath: NO CONTACT!!!!

You probably don’t need me to tell you that – but then again, maybe you do! At all events, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t spoken to him for ten years, fifteen years – or even forty years: So long as you are keeping this (not so) subtle contact with him by observing his movements online, you will never be able to purge your soul of his influence. Indeed, however much you might have healed up to that point, the moment that you turn on the computer and click onto his website, you are pretty much back to square one.

Well, perhaps not exactly square one. But it is a very palpable setback – don’t fool yourself about that. That being the so, my suggestion is that you write a diary entry describing exactly how reading about him made you feel. Because in one year, or maybe it will be in fifteen years – you will most likely forget. And then some night when you are bored and feeling overly confident, you will end up doing the same thing again. However, if you write down the negative feelings that this experience has left you with (and reread it from time to time), I think it will make it less likely that you will mess up again in the future.

My guess is that the bad dreams will stop if you stick to this for a couple of months. But if not, it will always be a matter of reopening an old wound. So you already know the answer, Myheart, it’s just a matter of putting that knowledge into practice.

Best of luck to you.

Thanks Constantine

You are right, and I didn’t look for his ad, one of girlfriend and she send me the email asking, is this your ex, since he put all hsi creadital correctly. Otherwise I would nto have found out about it.

Yes it made me feel worse, but it was ntounexpected, he has done similar stuff before….

It is just a confrimation and what a big fool I was to fall in trap of a professional.

My delima includes everything, feeling sorry for myself, not being able to share my feeling with friends and family.

But on the other side there are many good things are happening in my life, which were not there before.

My mind compares these differences as well, I want to stop comparing then verses now, Now is my reality. I need to have more patience. I need try to change things, instead of thinking about past, it is easier said then done, but only I can make a change, nobody else can for me. Thanks again

I am glad I came back here, after a while we always need a new dose of reality check. I know being here, many times feel like we are disecting the person, whom we should just forget and move on, but in the process of analysis, we end up remembering the pain they cuased us more.

Thanks for this site.

My comments keep disappearing. :O0

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Aloha, let donna know. there have been ongoing issues with the blog, and she needs our feedback when things go awry.

Dear My heart,

I”m glad you are back too….and if people try to give you information about him, just politely say “I’d really rather not know anything about him.”

You CAN come here and talk about your feelings and anything you have to process because we DO UNDERSTAND what it is like to have been betrayed.

It take TIME and work to truly “move on” that is more than just an ordinary “break up” but not everyone understands what it is like, that it is a DIFFERENT kind of “break up” when you are BETRAYED.

The journey to healing starts out about THEM, but becomes about US. So learn about yourself. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Welcome HOME!

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