By | September 11, 2009 103 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Disease to Please

By Ox Drover

When I picked up and started reading The Disease to Please—Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome, by Harriet B. Braiker, Ph.D., not everything resonated with me, though I have always tried to “please people,” especially those close to me. There was a great deal of the book, though, that did resonate and validate the similarities between “women who love psychopaths,” as described in the book by that name by Dr. Liane Leedom and Sandra Brown, and “people-pleasers.”

Dr. Braiker is a practicing clinical psychologist with 25 years experience and is author of several books. This one defines “people-pleasers” as:

not just nice people who go overboard trying to make everyone happy. Those who suffer from the Disease to Please are people who say “Yes” when they really want to say “NO.” For them, the uncontrollable need for the elusive approval of others is an addiction. Their debilitating fears of anger and confrontation force them to use “niceness” and “people-pleasing” as self defense camouflage.

This book is divided into three main parts, as Dr. Braiker sees people pleasers as people who have “People pleasing MINDSETS,” people who have “People-pleasing HABITS,” and people who have “People pleasing FEELINGS.” The fourth part is a 21-day action plan for curing this “disease.”

Though in several instances Dr. Braiker describes a relationship with a sociopath, she labels this person a “controlling” person.

It is imperative that you recognize how dangerous and self-sabotaging your people-pleasing tendencies with men can become so that you can change the unhealthy dynamic of your relationships. Otherwise, the Disease to Please will serve as a veritable mating call to men who have a perverse need and desire to control nearly every aspect of your behavior. Worse yet, you will allow them to do so.

Nothing is out of bounds to a controlling man with a people-pleaser whom he can mold at will—from your appearance to your opinions, your performance in bed to your performance at work, your relationships with friends to your bonds with family. And, in no time, your ego and self-esteem will deteriorate from modeling clay into silly putty.

When he is done playing with you or you are done being played with (whichever comes first), you will have some serious reparative work to do on a self that you may hardly still recognize as your own.

Unless you repair the damage by during the Disease to Please that produced it, you will limp away from the relationship with the brand “damaged goods” on your ego. Then, issuing the familiar mating call, you will continue to present yourself as the people-pleasing victim to the next controlling man that recognizes your vulnerability to his power.

The controlling man will always keep you off-center and feeling anxious. Since he needs to change you to demonstrate his control, you can never feel comfortable or secure with the thought that he cares about the person that you truly are—or used to be before he started chipping away at your identity.

While this book is not about psychopathic relationships per se, the focus on how many people end up sacrificing their own legitimate selves, to try to “please” the one who will never be pleased, does describe the “traditional” relationship with a psychopath.

I think the self-affirming statements at the end of each chapter are excellent guides in changing our thinking, habits and our feelings about ourselves.

An few examples of these are:

If you have to compromise your own values, needs, or identity as a special and unique individual, then the price of nice is just too high.

It’s okay not to be nice.

Saying “yes” when you want to say “no” in order to protect your emotional, physical health or well-being should make you feel guilty—not the other way around.

Your value as a human being does not depend on the things you do for others.

Though I think Dr. Braiker seems to be applying the term “Disease to Please” in place of the older term “enabler,” her descriptions of the thoughts, feelings and habits practiced by the two are pretty much the same. Her description of those who will take advantage of someone else she calls “controlling,” which seems to be the primary motivation of many psychopaths. I personally would have preferred that she “call a spade a spade,” but at the same time, I think her target audience might be more apt to read the book with the labels that she did choose to use.

There were helpful reinforcements for positive changes, and over all, I liked the book very much. It isn’t difficult to understand and her advice is reasonable and realistic.

The Disease to Please—Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome is available on

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super chic

Sounds like an interesting book, thank you!! I’m happy to get a summary before I shell out the $$$$. Yesterday I felt completely absolved of any responsibility when I read “It Wasn’t You”, but that didn’t really feel quite right… now this author seems to be saying “It Was You”. I personally feel a lot of it was me. I’m confused, as usual.


thanks Oxy, I like the confirmations at the end especially:
Your value as a human being does not depend on the things you do for others.
Since I have a savior complex, no boundaries and no self-preservation instinct, that confirmation is really important to remember. I’m a sitting duck!

Both statements are right. It IS us, who have these big red signs on our foreheads that say, “People pleaser, predators welcome here.”
And it is THEM, the predators, who are trolling for people pleasers to eat.
They say there is a perfect match out there for everyone. I guess we have to work at being the perfect match for what we want, not for a predator.

I’m so mentally messed up that I can’t stop thinking about “saving” the xp.
Here is a link to Anna’s blog that explains why it won’t work. It is really very persuasive, but my fiendish “savior complex keeps trying to come up with ways around Anna’s perfect logic.

Ox Drover

Dear skylar and Chic,

I think Skylar is right, it is BOTH us and them…we because we ALLOWED them to abuse us, but THEM for doing it.

Just because we are vulnerable to them and their abuse, does NOT give them the right to do it, or make them any less culpable for doing it, but we do NOT DESERVE to be abused just because we have not protected ourselves. We should NOT have to protect ourselves from another human being, but the FACT IS that in the REAL WORLD there are abusive people.

We need in our healing, to learn to value ourselves above all others, and that does not mean being “selfish” or “narcissistic” or “bad” because we value ourselves, if we do NOT value ourselves, we can’t truly value another human either. It is by loving ourselves that we can truly love another.

No one should have to defend themselves from those they care about, but the fact is, that there is a part of the human race which is UNABLE to love, which is ONLY able to abuse. They learn th ewords to say to make us think that we are loved, but their ACTIONS speak louder than their words. We must learn to look at actions, which speak the TRUTH.

The way they treat is shows that their words are FALSE.

The way we tried to treat them showed that we did love them, but we forgot to love ourselves as well, we forgot to be good to ourselves and to insist that anyone else be good to us as well.

Our healing road starts off recognizing that they are EVIL, and then once we realize that, we have to start on our journey about US, about our healing, about takign care of ourselves and valuing ourselves.

We are not able to save anyone except ourselves. We can support others, like we do here at LF, but in the end, each of us is responsible for saving ourselves, for healing ourselves.

Those of us who tried to “please” others at the EXPENSE of ourselves need to learn to value ourselves and save ourselves.

kim frederick

Unless you repair the damage by during the Disease to Please that produced it, you will limp away from the relationship with the brand “damaged goods” on your ego. Then, issuing the familiar mating call, you will continue to present yourself as the people-pleasing victim to the next controlling man that recognizes your vulnerability to his power.

OMG. This is sooooo true.

If I leave my very expensive covetted car in a crime ridden neighborhod, with the windows down and the keys left in it,
and my car is stolen, am I to blame? Was I wrong, immoral or bad? NO! But perhaps there’s an issue if I continue to park my car in that neighborhood, with the window down and the keys in it.

kim frederick

Sometimes I think instead of becoming wiser, the “damage” makes us weaker. We have to “prove to ourselves” that neighborhood is okay, that humanity is okay, that we were right, and our car won’t get stolen again. But thst, right there, is where our woundedness makes us victims, and why we need tolook at ourselves. There’s something in us that makes us easy targets.


Kim…not always, I don’t think (that something is in us that makes us easy targets.) Except yes, the ability to love! the ability to care! the ability to really commit! Sometimes it is our STRENGTHS that made us “targets” and the problem is really THEM, not us.

but given that they live in this world too, we do need to do things to protect those strengths from being abused.

And after ANY kind of bad thing, if you can learn a lesson on how to better prevent it in the future, you are on your way to getting over it and moving on.

I like your car analogy.

I read on Holy Water’s blog I think…that the P became the Rosetta stone to help understand evil. Or that is my interpretation of it.

Anyway, I love that, and for me it is so true. I really didn’t understand evil until a really horrible p took me for a horrible ride. But now I understand so much about the world that I didn’t before, and I’m reaping the benefits over and over from that. What a cost though! A very expensive lesson.

I also agree that for some of us (me included) there was trauma repetition going on, that sort of thing, that we do need to become really aware of and make different choices in the future. Be aware of our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities.

Everyone has vulnerabilitis that can be exploited. But if we’ve had trauma in our past, I think we are especially fine fodder for a P. But we also have some special strengths. My “graciousness” (which is just a high tolerance for crap, LOL) is very useful in my job, for example.

so we not only need to see how our traits made us targets …very important….but to give ourselves credit too and see how those same traits sometimes serve us well.

Of course I had a few traits I just needed to throw out! Like wishy washy ethics and boundaries. I realize too, though, that stress played a role in those traits coming up, when esp. the ethics always were pretty strong before. I was burned out from Katrina and ….oh, there was a lot going on. Not excuses, but helps reassure me that I’m much stronger now.


Sklyar….thinking about saving the p was a big hook for me too….but then I realized part of the appeal was it was a way of still engaging, of still needing contact. I also realized it was a way of trying to hold back the pain of realizing yes, it was all a waste. All of my time, all of my efforts, all of my love. All a waste. Words were wasted on him. Time was wasted. I might as well have been speaking Chinese to him the entire time. Wanting to save him was a way of not admitting all that to myself.

yup, might as well have been speaking Chinese! or Marsian. Or whatever. He can’t comprehend emotions, having a conscience, none of that.


And part of it is still seeking validation from them….wanting them to realize how right we are, how worthwhile love is, how wrong he was, blah, blah blah.

Barking up the WRONG tree on that one!


you are right JAH, I know that you are.
Perhaps it’s my inner p’s delusions of grandeur:

Maybe it’s laziness again, I just don’t feel like starting over.


Well, as much as the reading helped me, it was Dr. Hare’s book that got me on to the idea of “saving the P”. Although I read that it is highly unlikely that he’d changed, I read also that “Families push them into treatment”. I was a family, right? So, I pushed and pushed. What is amazing is that lay people who had no idea of his diagnosis and even his relatives/ family said to me: “run, no contact, forget him, move on”. That’s when I had to be righteous, that’s when I had to prove to them that My P is a “Good P” of the Changeable Kind. A bit narcissistic on my part to think that I was more deserving than his other victims and that my sense of loyalty and responsibility to him would make a dent. Just got the bull angry and vicious. Yeap, JAH, you are right: “All a waste”


Yeah, but Pinow, I HAD A PLAN! ROTFLAO!
You just have to convince them that they will benefit from being the first malignant narcissist ever cured. They will go down in history as a saint like St. Paul.
Do you think it will work?


My x P’s own mother told me that I should not have anything to do with her son, she said he is nothing but trouble and a “booger” I was determined to love him even more and prove her wrong – should of listened to her..


Hi guys:
I found this website of a couple, I can’t think of the site or the couple……that swears you can have a wonderful relationship with a narcissist… was sickening to read the email cheers from them…..Oh, how we saved our marriage, yada yada….. Yeah, talk to me in 5 years when your so worn out. I could have stayed too if I didn’t get diagnosed with cancer and had 2 strokes and 3 years worth of major illnesses… doubt in my mind!
THAT was my wake up call!
I think we can live with anything if we keep our eyes closed… may end up killing us though……

On another note…..I am thinking this very interesting….the past few days I have been dreaming of cows and bulls… I was trying to control them in my environment. Like in restaurants, parking lots, ski resorts etc…..I was trying to lead them away from other people to save them from getting trampled or stabbed by the bulls horns, and the cow or bull turned on me….me running from the cows, having to jump over them when they came at me, not knowing where to grab the cow because it was so big but looked so docile, or trying to get to know the cows behaviors to predict the next move etc…
There were herds of them…..and the others were all in ‘line’, behaving, but one …..those were the ones (in different dreams) that turned on me…..
It is interesting to me how I ‘translate’ the cow/bulls as the S in my life………the behaviors in my dreams were the same as how he acted. Turning on me, not being able to trust them, needing to protect myself and those around me from him….
Oh how we process through dreams…..
I feel like a big fat- juicy steak right about now!


Ive seen the website too, Erin. theyre called Kim and Steve Cooper. They both sound like narcs to me! gem,XX


I’ve heard of the Coopers too, they are selling a book.$$$$
Good luck to them.

Erin, thanks for posting your dream, the subconscious fascinates me. The words “herd mentality’ popped into my mind when you described your dream.

Ox Drover

Well, here on my farm we have the “bigger AND meaner” rule. If it is bigger AND meaner than me, it gets slaughtered. So any bovine, equine, canine, or caprine that I can’t handle with one hand and tries to hurt me—off with its head! Next time you dream about the bull trying to hurt you—be a matadoor! LOL

Our own ARROGANCE (and I am including me here folks!) of trying to PROVE we can “handle them” or “fix” them gets in our way of accepting the truth.

My husband gave me a wonderful horse once, but he had ONE PROBLEM—-we found out—he bucked like a rodeo horse every once in a while but only with women. He broke my ankle about three months after I had him. I was lying there with my ankle propped up and telling my husband (on the phone) how I was going to break this so-and-so from doing that—I was about 42 at the time, not some young cow girl–and my husband said “Honey, he is YOUR horse, and you can do whatever you want with him, BUT, if you don’t get rid of him, I will KILL HIM before he kills YOU.”

You know, my own arrogance would have made me keep on riding that horse so I could SHOW the sucker I was a better rider than he was a bucker, but HOW FOOLISH WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN? I did NOT need any more broken bones or injuries. There are too many reliable horses in the world to try to “fix” a bucker that is set in his ways. The same thing with the psychopaths, on the OFF CHANCE that 1 in a million will “reform” (I don’t believe the odds are that good) what is the point in getting “bucked off” and “bones broken” every once in a while just to try to beat those odds.

The RISK vs BENEFIT ratio isn’t worth it.

Hecates path

Disclaimer: the link below really doesn’t belong here under Oxy’s thoughtful post – but I can’t help but post this one.

This one is for any of you who have ever dreamed of getting revenge on the Love Fraud who done you wrong but thought better of it:

Gives new meaning to the words “a woman scorned,” LOL! The good sweet side of me wants to say “Now, now, ladies, you can’t go around doing such things for revenge,” while my “other” side can’t help but laugh and want to say “you go girls!” and “if you want to try that again, I know just the guy for you to invite to your next motel rendezvous…”

But alas, I suppose they’ll all be a bit busy with court, jail and/or restitution, and probation for a while. Although, I can’t begin to imagine how one might make restitution for a glued penis…

Wonder if he’ll be able to turn this whole ordeal into some type of career opportunity??!! LMAO!!!

Ok, now I really gotta get to that laundry! HP


Hecates path,
oh, that is such a gooooooood story… I LOVE IT.


Hecates Path,

I loved the glued penis story. I fantasized about some of the women my ex uses for sex getting together and glueing his penis. It’s the only thing he realy cares about, afterall. Ha! I feel kinda guilty and violent for thinking it’s funny, but it’s not everyday you hear about glued penises cheating therapy! 😀


Hecates! I loved that article, specially the mug shot of the woman on the left, she has this smirky smile like OH Well I mite go to Jail but it was worth it…


I saw that in the news a while back…..I thought it was just hilarious! Go girls…..although……they shouldn’t have broken the laws………

The past week, with the date and my hormonal ‘changes’ and the S ducking service, my attorney lagging and life happening…… mind has been down in a funk, so to speak…..I am really pissed off at the S for continuing to play the game……and I have to stay on top of it, at all times…..and I am!
I will need to have him served at his current location…..and give him the choice….sign or come back to my state and be forced to sign by a judge or jailed! It’s already a court order, but I need his signiture…..
ONE THING I LEARNED…..HAVE THEM SIGN WHATEVER IT IS IN FRONT OF A JUDGE RIGHT THEN AND THERE! DON”T LET THEM OUT OF COURT… attorney gave them the courtesy of signing at his leasure… it’s my expense and my attorney is no where to be found! Nor is the S. (At least that’s what he thinks)
My attorneys take……Divorce done, now YOU clean up the loose ends I left!
That seems to be the mindset!
So…..during these times, I entertain myself with what I could do to expose him to others….people he runs to for shelter….pull on my inner sociopath and plant the seeds of doubt in their minds that he can and has confrimed with his own behavior…..a TRUTHFUL splitting of sorts! (WOW IS THAT MY INNER SOCIOPATH COMING OUT HUH)
I went back on Face book……and started doind my research……OMG… much info can be sought after on that site!!!!! It has far reaching tentacles, one thing leads to another….you can literally, put together someones life from the info given out o the net.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NO ONE OFFERS PERSONAL INFO UNDER THEIR OWN NAME ONLINE!!!!! EVER!!!!! Myspace, linkedin, facebook, any Networking site…..for business or personal reasons….OMG……WHAT A TOOL to gather info for a court case…..and I was reading the FBI and IRS are using them also……I SEE WHY!
Even if YOU don’t personally post something, someone else can, and if you are a friend of a freind etc….you can gather any info you need……It just takes being ‘friends’ with ONE person in the group and you are IN!
You don’t even have to ask someone to be yoru ‘friend’….depending on the schools you list and jobs you ahve had……when the site determines you have a connection …..YOU Pop up on their screen that you are NOW ON FACEBOOK! Holy crap! No effort. It radiates out from there!

The immense cross referencing that can be done, the tagging, where they show up, how they show up, OMG….
Our society, (as those of us that have been involved with an S know) is so eager to connect……we will connect with so far removed persons it’s pathetic. No longer do we maintain viable friendships…’s important for us to have 500 ‘friends’ listed on facebook……..and give out all our ‘dirty laundry’ on there……or portray ourselves as having the perfect marriages, kids and lives…’s like a high school reuniion……yikes, we can’t let these people see us heavier than we were in HS, and divorced and jobless……so we make up WHO we wish to portray……loose weight, but that fancy outfit for the night, rent a fancy car to be ‘seen ‘ in…..
OH… much effort….so not worth it to me! FOR NOTHING!
SO I dreamed of putting up my own face book profile with my maiden name that he SO is insisting I take back and USE……..and all the folks from high school and the old town…..who he clings too now, selling his dope and crying poor me…..she has ruined me…..I thought wouldn’t it be interesting for them to just ‘come across’ my name and click on my NON HIDDEN PROFILE facebook and whatever it is I choose to write about MY LIFE!!!!!!!
It would have to be very well written , as to not come across as the jilted spouse……but more of MY story…….OUR story….
This would immediately spread like wildflowers in the spring…..I can hear it now…..It could be strategically placed with just ONE person be my ‘friend’ , within a week, it would reach all of them……hundreds, then thousands…..then HIM!!!!!
I could post the picture of his ass in a hot tub spread open, out of water, when i asked him to smile for a picture, this is what he gave me…..
I could offer info on sociopaths and how to recognize them, narcissism …..
then if they look into my site deeper……they could come across MY STORY!
I know that would be such a riot for them to read and put the peices together on their own…….
He was always an outsider in the groups…….and the only thing that kept him in and ‘well liked’ was his drugs……so it wouldn’t be a secret to any of them……but to read the other side would offer a whole new perspective of WHY he lost everything, and make more sense to them of why he keeps running from state to state, portraying a fabulous life of million dollar homes, yaghts, fantastic this and that…..but HE has nothing!!!!
I could post the letters from the 12 year old girls, referring to the S as their ‘lover’……anyone who reads these is creeped out by them……
So that would be the end of ‘uncle S’ watching the children in the ‘old neighborhood’…..
PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS!!!!!! What they do with it is there problem……
There are huge gaps in his stories….I could fill those gaps in…..
I could offer pictures, videos of court and him making an ass ot of himself, documents/letters and his journals posted….for the world to see, whatever…….all back up…..
NOT LIBEL….it’s all the documented the truth!
I found so much amusement in these thoughts, it brought me right back out of my funk and into a more productive information seeking activities……and I got what I needed!!!!!
Maybe I will, maybe I won’t………who knows, but in my mind, the thoughts of how I would do it, just gave me so much pleasure……and on top of when I have him served in his new life in the new state, at his new multi million dollar home in his new portrayal of himself………..this will SOOOO FREAK HIM OUT, aid his gut rot, and he will always have to think of how he fucked up with messing with me…….and maybe even push him into europe……(sorry my european LF friends). But I can find him there too!
It didn’t HAVE to be this way!
Just sign the farking documents I need, the documents the court ordered you to sign already…..and I will ‘go away’……UNLESS……you continue to try and trap me or our kids down a rat hole….in any way………I will hunt you down and make you wish you never layed eyes on me!
I am in charge now!
Remember Ex S…….YOU were the one who used to say to me….Your the smartest woman I know?!!!!
I will remind you of that!

WOW….what a rant!
Feels good…..sorry! 🙁


Erin your dream about bulls in the china closet means your life is out of control, unorganized and your taking on too much bull chit…I used to describe my dreams on here but I got ignored so I stopped lol



I admire your ability at keeping up with him and being vigilant in making sure people you know know the truth. I want to be more like this, but I just shrink and hide away and don’t defend myself at all. I want to be more like you. I’m impressed by your strength.


Oh, so true…..I am keeping afloat by my balls. I describe myself standing on the edge of the cliff and one false move and I’m a gonner…..I have to be very careful who I invite in to my life…..because another big issue will send me over……I have no room for more trouble….
The biggest issue over the past few years has been trying to gain control of my health, my finances, my divorce and my kids……so I can protect all of the above.
The S has contaminated every inch of my life…..and I can’t jump high enough to ‘run’ from it… I take it head first…..
He rams me……I ram harder back……as long as I am in the right legally……
I look forward to being the organized, together woman I used to be…..for now….I gotta ‘fake’ it…..and keep on movin to avoid the cattle!
I won’t be shoved into a corner…..

You are so sweet…..I think we all have it in us…..You just have to determine…..when enough is enough.
I am 140K in CC debt……I have the house in foreclosure with 300K in equity still……I NEED THIS HOUSE TO GET OUT OF DEBT that I was forced into by the S. I can afford it, I just need to get him to sign the deed over.
If I lose the house…..and equity……I still have the 140cc non dischargable debt to face… health insurance, the kids, college, and yadayada…..
SO…..this is why I am fighting so very hard to protect myself…..or I will be fighting for the rest of my life with bad debts, health care, etc…and NO CREDIT!.
Doing what I have to is not a ‘choice’ as I see it……and I will tell you……grieving my fantasy the past 28 years with a S……it’s empowering to know I CAN DO THIS!
Every step is empowering, even the down times…..
We just gotta stay strong and focused!
There is no cookie cutter way to protect ourselves……in that regard, the s’s are NOT all the same.
Mine is an idiot……
YOU CAN defend yourself…..but you must decide if it’s worth it, and when it’s worth it…….


Henry….sometimes I’ve felt ignored too, but I think it is just that things move along in this format and sometimes things don’t get commented on that others were deeply moved by, or cared about. If you aren’t on here all the time, it is easy to even miss a reply to a post…it may show up MUCH later. So for you, or anyone who is feeling ignored about something, repost it and let us know that you didn’t get any comments, and I bet someone will comment.


yeah Henry,
you know I want to hear your dreams. I love analyzing dreams, it’s so Freudian!


For many many years I had occasional nitemares, I would always wake up from them screaming. My then wife sprinkled salt around my bed and slept on the couch one night. The nitemares were about demons trying to get me, torment me, hurt me, kill me..In one nitemare I was driving a pick up down the road and the windsheild frosted over where I couldnt see and the gas pedal went to the floor and the steering whell came off and the radio came on at full volume and it was demons chanting and laughing. These nitmare’s where hard to wake up from and they were terrifying. I have not had a nitemare in 6 years. I went no contact with my N mother and they stopped. I dream occasionally about my X BF, and he is always trying to make me look bad or feel bad, they are never good dreams. I have had some dreams where I wake up and wish I could go back to dream land, not often though., I dont really feel ignored here, sometimes this is like twittering for me, not that I know what twittering is all about but i like having someplace to go too so here I am…


Any time you feel ignored, I will reply! You have always talked to me when I have been sad, & I know how good the acknowledgement felt. It hurts to be alone & ignored.


You all are so sweet. I do have my down days and I am kinda blah tonite..but I am ok. I took my grandsons 8 and 5 out too pizza and a movie last nite. We went to see UP, it is about this little old man that ties helium filled ballons to his house to escape civilization. The 5 year old whispered in my ear ” peepaw he is old like you” so I got a chuckle out of that. It’s been raining for days and I need to get out of the house, I am gettin cabin fever..I really am 95% over the X bf, I am working hard on the little old man though, I have lot’s of adventure left in me…



Uh oh…I think we are the same age (I’ll be 55in Dec) so you know what that means!! Up up and away…

You should find my post earlier today about sunshine, vitamin D and the blues…sounds like you really CAN blame that rain…feelin that way myself…time for some chocolate and a kitty (and my vitamin of course)


chocolate vitamins – got 2 get me some of them…


those would be Vitamin C….haha


Can anay of you analyse this dream for me? In the dream, I am pushing my toddler, Debbie,{now a 45 year old narcopath} in her push chair over a rickety bridge.We are near the sea. suddenly a huge Tsunami,{wall of water] heads straight for us.
I turn around and run, with the pushchair and debbie, back over the bridge. At the other end is a red house, made of bamboo sticks with what looks like red tar paper pasted over it. As we enter, the door disappears, and there are no windows. I am trying to figure out how to get our of this house, when I wake up, in a panic!
Here is my take on it. The wall of water symbolises the emotions, overwhelming me, of realising my sweet toddler is now a cruel, lying, ruthless narcopath. The red house symbolises bones,{bamboo} and blood,{the red tar paper}
ie, will I eve be able to be free of this flesh and blood relationship, even though it is highly toxic to me? No windows, means, no escape! Im glad I woke up, I truly felt suffocated!
Love, geminigirlXX


hi geminigirl,
Ok, she was a toddler, so you either know or you sense that she has the emotions of a two-year old.
the rickety bridge is the uncertain transition between one stage of her life and another. You are pushing her that means you want her to grow-up from a two-year old into an adult.
The water which the bridge crosses is life and the wall of water is an insurmountable obstacle of emotions? that threaten to overpower you. So you run back to the “house”. Turning around to go back where you came from and where there is a house is symbolic of returning to your origin or her origin. The bamboo is a symbol of strength and resilience (I googled it). The red is passion.
so you find yourself back where you started unable to make the transition and unable to leave the origin – because there are no doors or windows.
You are stuck with your daughter in the “terrible twos” and she is throwing passionate tantrums.
am I right?


Henry, your dreams are pretty literal, so not much to interpret! you were not in control, the demons (bad guys) were in control and you were afraid they might “drive you” , out of control, to crash!


Jah – This is my take on my demon dreams – I was literaly surrounded by them – and they were trying to convert me. I was raised is a chaotic jehovas witness cult, my mom was always talking about demon’s and when I did something ‘wrong’ she would tell me I was demonized. when I told her I was gay she said I was possessed by demons. My mother was/is the demon and when I escaped her control the demons went away and luckily I did not become like her, I saw her for what she was and new I had to run for my life. She was a nut – had elders come to our haunted house to pray for the demons to leave – she was the demon that thrived on attention and sister ended her life because of my mothers insanity….if I could write a story of my life – stephen king could make a movie of all movies


gemini – your dream is – you are overwhelmed with this bad seed child, trying to protect her but at the same time asking why should I, she will grow up to harm me…


I dont believe in demons – just evil flesh and blood people with out conscience or remorse or the capacity to love..


Henry, I thot your dreams were pretty literal too.
You felt out of control because you could not trust what you saw (the icy windshield) Demons to you, are liars. Your P-mom looked one way but sounded different to you. She was putting up a facade so you could not see what she was but you could hear her demon like voice. You knew she was the demon trying to slime you with her demonic evil.
Me too. my whole family is Ps.
I’m glad you escaped.

So sad tonight, I drank some tequila and my emotions got the best of me. I feel so bad for my xP. He seems so tragic to me. Imagine being in love with Ted Bundy and having to watch him get executed. I feel like that.

crying all the time now. my cats feel so sorry for me.


skylar – this comment it just to you.. I never ever want to see my X P BF again – i dont know anything about him now, been 18 months no contact – I detest him but if I found out he had died – I would go to his grave and cry like I have never cried before – cant explain why


I did not realize today was a bad day for you. I am sorry to read that you are suffering. Whatever reality is better than a lie I had lived. By choosing to live that lie, I had betrayed those I cared about with my whole heart and soul. As bad as this reality is, I am in control of it. One thing I did though: no more drinks when the feelings get the best of me. Alcohol is a terrible depressant for me, and for many others. I hope today you find peace, and tomorrow, and the day after.

I still care for the person my X presented. If he ever died, I too would cry and cry. yet, I can’t wait for this day to come and in the darkest of nights, the hope of outliving him gives me fuel to go on. Never did I wish death upon another, and never did I feel so utterly devastated and victimized by someone I had willingly given myself to. I am sad with you today, and I know tomorrow will be a better day.


Dear Skylar,Thats absolutely brilliant!Yours too, henry!
It seems Im still on a “cleft stick’. But Im staying strong, and not giving in to false guilt trips to contact her.{She hasnt phoned me in nearly 3 months since I laid down 2 deadlines, or lines in the sand.I also told her the “MUm bank is now colsed.-permanently.} I still worry about her,however, tho Im sure as hell she doesnt give me a second thought, now she knows she cant touch me for any more cash.Did you read my blog re our new adopted kids? David was so touche dby his fathers day card,{the first hes ever had!} the roses, and chocs. They are so young,and such fun!! They both work so hard, Roya is at Tafe, doing Hairdressing, and Abbas is working very hard doing painting and decorating, to pay the rent and put food on the table.Im sure theyll do well, and become an asset to Australia!!They know they can never go back to Iran. We are their family now! I thank God for them every day!Gem.XX


PInow, good morning, I cried a lot last night and feel better now. – except for the headache. Maybe I needed to cry it out.


Henry, I know why you would cry. It’s because you know where he will go when he dies. and that is sad. it’s such a waste of life.


A few years ago he gave me this CD for valentines day. Sheesh what a huge hint. check out the lyrics, in case you don’t know the song, it’s sung by a woman. He was trying to tell me that I’m a love fool.

OMG, I’ve never seen the video before.
you have to watch it!

The Cardigans

Dear, I fear we’re facing a problem
you love me no longer, I know
and maybe there is nothing
that I can do to make you do
Mama tells me I shouldn’t bother
that I ought to stick to another man
a man that surely deserves me
but I think you do!

So I cry, and I pray and I beg

Love me love me
say that you love me
fool me fool me
go on and fool me
love me love me
pretend that you love me
leave me leave me
just say that you need me

So I cried, and I begged for you to
Love me love me
say that you love me
leave me leave me
just say that you need me
I can’t care about anything but you

Lately I have desperately pondered,
spent my nights awake and I wonder
what I could do have done in another way
to make you stay
Reason will not lead to solution
I will end up lost in confusion
I don’t care if you really care
as long as you don’t go

So I cry, I pray and I beg

Love me love me
say that you love me
fool me fool me
go on and fool me
love me love me
pretend that you love me
leave me leave me
just say that you need me

So I cried, and I begged for you to
Love me love me
say that you love me
leave me leave me
just say that you need me
I can’t care about anything but you

Love me love me
say that you love me
fool me fool me
go on and fool me
Love me love me
I know that you need me
I can’t care about anything but you


God, I remember that stage. that video captures the total lack of pride, belief in self, integrity…been there, done that!

Some point to that stage and say we are co-dependent, insecure, blah, blah, blah. Phooey. That’s how you feel when you’ve really given your heart to someone and they suddenly dump you. It is a state of shock and denial. It can last awhile.

The problem is that we gave our hearts to p/s/n or just plain old sadistic jerks or immature little boys. Or in the case of this video, a bunch of immature, depressed narcissistic little sex addicts who secretly hate women that haven’t a clue what a loving sexual encounter feels like.

The BIG lesson for us is not that we love too much or any of that crap… is that we chose undeserving men (or women) and got in deep and fast.

It is hard to do that final goodbye Henry for a lot of reasons. Death of the love we thought could be, and death of hope, and death of any possible validation where they suddenly realize they were totally screwed up and we aren’t. Death of the ability to make them understand and get confirmation from them. The total reality of yup, they never changed, never could. Evil exists.

Of course, all that is true already. I’m to the point that I will be happy when he dies, because at least then he won’t be emotionally or physically raping anyone else, and maybe his wife and kids can begin to heal. Oh, once in awhile, in my mind, I will try to normalize the relationship again, think that if I just had a good long talk with him, he would see the light….not about me, but about himself, and that he really isn’t a P, etc. and that he could change, and he just has some annoying issues, etc. etc. etc. Then I slap myself upside the head and remember those moments when when I went (as Steve says) HUH?! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM. And I realize he is as screwed up as he seems. Then I think of the various viciously cruel things he has done to other people, all his unethical behavior, and realize I have it right….he is evil.

Like Steve has said in his posts….look back. What red flags did you miss ? What red flags registered but you decided to ignore them? Why? That is what we should ruminate about. Once you get that very clear in your head, beyond a shadow of a doubt, you are home free.

Any longings left after that are just the cravings that come when you are breaking an addiction. When we break up with a bad guy it is called breaking an addiction. When we lose a beloved spouse it is called grieving a major loss. Either way, it is the same hurt and time is the best healer, as well as reaching out to help others and counting your blessings.

Hecates path

Skylar, JAH, & Henry,

Skylar, sorry to hear you had an especially tough day. Crying is therapeutic in the grieving process… let yourself cry when you need to…

Just about healed – thank you for sharing such wise and insightful words in your post at 11:23 9/13. You descibed that lapse into wishful/what if thinking and the ensuing headslap scenario perfectly. I used to get mad at myslef for lapsing that way but now I just accept it and am glad I know enough to do “the head slap thing” and move on from that emotional place rather than living in it. You comment about the red flags is oh, so inmportant, because ruminating on those red flags is what is going to keep us safe in the future by allowing us to see them in other relationships… thank you again for the reminder.

Henry, although you said your comment was just for Skylar, i read it anyway… I read always read your comments. 🙂 May not be able to respond to all of them and sometimes I days late to the conversation but I read them all.

Anyway, I, too, feel the exact same way about the ex S. Unfortuantely I do still hear about him and see him several times a week in our community… in some ways in my case the devil you know is better than the one you don’t so I see it as a way to keep myself safe from him. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. Plus as matt says I find opportunities to undermine him when I can, and by empowering other people to deal with him effectively.

In any case though, at least for now, I can say I would react the exact same way to the news of his death, though. And, I too, could not put into words exactly why. After reading other comments perhaps it would be for the person I thought he was/ who he was when he was with me, the childhood abuse that contributed to his abusive nature, for the tortured person he was, (the chaos in his existance whether he recognizes it or not is unfathomable to me as is his inability to stay connected to people or experience lasting emotional intimacy) the person I wanted to help him be, the hurt & pain he caused his children & other people that I can presently do nothing to stop, the sadness, grief, and more importantly growth, that I experienced because of his initial portrayal of love and his ultimate betrayal… I would be crying for so many people and things besides his death, me included…

So, no, I don’t know exactly *why* but, just like you, I would cry… I understand what you mean.

Thanks, Henry, for validating something I have often thought about…

Ox Drover

The news of my son’s death would be a relief, and I try to tell myself I do not WISH his death, but I’m not sure I don’t (at least at times). I know if he were dead I would feel 100% safer because I know as long as he lives he will conspire to the best of his ability to kill or have me killed. That is just the FACT of the matter.

I know my egg donor will do her best to leave him money so he can “start a new life” when he gets out….or have the money to hire someone to kill me, but she denies THAT part of the truth. I know I will fight against him getting any money from her will or CDs made payable on (her) death to him, and I might succeed in that, who knows. If I don’t succeed, at least I will have stalled for enough time to move some place safe from him. While I don’t want to have to move to another place (what a big JOB) I do know that my “home” is not a particular piece of “dirt” or land, my “home” is between my EARS. It is ME. Where ever I am is “home” if I want it to be “home.” It is PORTABLE, and I can carry it with me ANYWHERE.

Before all this chaos, I was so attached to this particular piece of land that just the thought of going some place else made me feel “lost.” Now, however, I realize that “home” is WHERE THE HEART IS and my heart is with ME now. “Home” is nothing that can be held in your hand, or bought or sold, “home” is PEACE and LOVE and SELF RESPECT. It is a state of MIND not a house or a piece of ground.

I cried a million tears because I felt that I was “losing everything I held dear”—but I have come to the realization that NOW I have total possession of everything important to me and that NO ONE can take it away from me—I am ME, I am important to ME, I love ME, and there is nothing physical or material on this earth that can deprive me of ME.


Thank you all for your input on Why Would I cry? I cant put into words why but as long as he is a living breathing creature, he has the power to harm me and anyone he choses. When he is dead and the evil has left his body, then I can grieve in a natural human way for the love that I do have for him, instead of living with these tortured memories that he was never real.


maybe dying is the closest they will come to being real – there is something very final about it anyway..

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