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By | January 22, 2008 30 Comments

Will you help others by recommending a professional resource?

The woman on the phone desperately wanted someone to believe her. She was being emotionally abused by both her husband of 21 years and her 19-year-old son. Yes, she’d had an affair, but the husband thought it was a good idea. Then he abandoned her. Then he returned, but refused her any access to the family financial assets. Then he embarked on a smear campaign—telling her relatives how concerned he was about his wife. In his opinion, she was bipolar.

The son, in the meantime, threatened to slit her throat.

To me, the woman sounded like she was being manipulated by sociopaths and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. She needed a therapist and a lawyer in California, where she lives.

Do you know someone who can help her?

Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide

Lovefraud gets requests for professional referrals all the time. Do we know a shrink in New York City? Do we know a lawyer in Chicago? Do we know someone who won’t be fooled by a sociopath?

In response to this dire need, we are launching the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide. This will be a national—and perhaps international—online directory of professionals who understand the machinations of a sociopath. It will be part of Lovefraud.com.

The Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide will include listings for:

  • Therapists (psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers)
  • Lawyers
  • Child advocates (guardians ad litem, child and family investigators)
  • Private investigators
  • Forensic accountants
  • Expert witnesses
  • Social service organizations

Here’s what will make our directory different and important: Every professional will come with a recommendation that he or she was effective in dealing with a situation caused by a sociopath.

Many professionals are competent and caring, but unknowledgeable about sociopaths. They may not realize how calmly and convincingly sociopaths lie, how they recruit others to lie for them, and how they disregard the rules, even court orders.

Those are not the professionals who will make it in our directory. When it comes to sociopaths, the service providers in the Lovefraud Professionals Resources Guide will get it.

Built on your recommendations

How will we build this directory? With your help.

If you’ve dealt with a therapist, lawyer or other service provider who was able to help you, let us know. Please send the following information about the professional to [email protected]:

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • A brief description—one or two sentences—of how the professional helped you.

Lovefraud will then contact the service provider and ask him or her to participate in the directory.

It doesn’t matter where you are located and where the service provider is located. Sociopaths are everywhere, and professional help is needed everywhere. In time, we hope to have listings from all over the United States and the world.

Having been through the meat grinder of sociopathic deception, you know how devastating it is, and how important the right assistance is. Please help Lovefraud help other victims. If you know of an effective service provider, send the information to [email protected]

Posted in: Donna Andersen

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Please don’t forget the clergy.
In many cases, victims of psychopaths need
spiritual help.

I have also started a new site dedicated to the study and discussion of the role of evil in sociopaths and their related “relatives.”

http://holywatersalt.googlepages.com/home

alohatraveler

holywatersalt,

I looked at your site. Just the idea alone gave me a wave of anxiety. It’s lovely to pray for healing and if you want to include a sociopath in your prayers at night, go right ahead… but it is very dangerous for people to think that they can handle this with prayer. They can not.

I understand your thinking. I do believe in God and therefore I accept that miracles can happen. But if a Sociopath can be healed by God then I am sure that the ex-wife of my Sociopath prayed for him for most of her 16 years with him before she escaped. He was a Minister and naturally, she was the Minister’s wife and they used to be Missionaries.

For the for sanity and safety of the readers here, I think it is unwise and unsafe to think that God is going to heal a sociopath if you just pray hard enough. DANGEROUS! One need only consider the very likelihood that a sociopath would be the first person to claim to be “healed” of their behaviors so they could squeeze just a little more life, money, self esteem, anguish.. etc… out of their victim. I can’t tell you the number of times my sociopath told me that he “learned fast” and could change his behavior. He only “changed” for as long as he could fake it which was not long.

The miracle for me is that I got wise and I saved myself. And I normally don’t mention this but there has been only one time in my life that I thought I heard God’s voice and it was when I was with the sociopath… I heard, “Run. Save you spirit.” Perhaps it was my own inner voice, I don’t know but I heard it and I ran. Thank God I did.

Aloha… E.R.

apt/mgr

I agree with you, Aloha. I, too prayed for more years than I can remember that God would somehow open my husband’s eyes to what he was doing and to let him see that I and our children had worth. Instead of God dealing with him, God made me strong enough to fight against the problem and orchestrated events to lead me out. It’s too detailed to go into here, but my understanding is that God will do what that person will let him. Unless that person acknowledges his need for a change and requests that you go with him for a change with God’s help, we can’t pray for God to change a man’s heart. That would be taking away a man’s free will and that is what God gave to all of us. It’s up to each of us to seek God and change ourselves with His help. Because I kept petitioning God for change, He changed me to be able to get out. He made a way of escape for me. My husband lives in his past and in denial. He did say he was sorry, but he refuses to acknowledge his part. If there is genuine contrition, there will be major change. I didn’t see that for me. While I forgive him, I don’t excuse him, because I believe he knew all along what he was doing. I think some part of him still blames me. He can blame away. I cleared my part with him and God. I did nothing with guile and deceit. God knows that. My husband and many more have the excess baggage to deal with. I choose to process my past and move onward. I don’t want my past following me. And now that God has stopped the abuse, I am free to make a new past for me, while my husband recreated his old past, prior to me. It must be lonely, because everyone who was there, are dead. I don’t know what might be going on in his head, but I know I’m not part of it, in a good way.

God’s word says we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. To me that means, we are each responsible for our own hearts and it’s up to us to do a self analysis and to allow God to change what needs to be changed.

http://members.aol.com/dswgriff/chardisorder.html. I found this web site about character disorders and it really hits so many nails on their heads. People’s character and disorders are similar, but this writer adds many more characteristics and it says a lot. I still think sin plays a big part in a person’s character. God, to me, is the real in reality and until we submit to Him, and know we do have someone to answer to, we just run around in total chaos. I’m someone who has to have peace and no drama and that is what I prayed for, too. I’m so amazed how God brought it all about and we are all finally living truth.

But I believe, until people finally come to terms with life, they will continue to run amok, but God says a time is coming when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is truly Lord of all, and if people don’t humble themselves and confess the sin in their lives, God will humble them. I’d much rather do it myself. When God does the humbling, it’s not always pleasant. But He also says He won’t strive forever with man. And if God says that, how can we possibly make things work with these deficient people. His word also says as is possible live peaceably with one another. If there is no peace and unity, there’s not much sense in continuing. I know I have to be strong for me and for my children, but my husband and many like him, have to figure it out for themselves. I did and so did everyone here.

Thanks for stopping by- I do not, for the record, think it is up to victims in anyway to heal or aid a psychopath. I do know God can help all involved.

I pray for mine and myself. I am in complete NO CONTACT.

I hope to find likeminded people to discuss the reality of evil in everyday life, the psychopath being an obvious manifestation.

alohatraveler

holywatersalt,

Sounds like I might have offended you. Yes, evil is a reality and it is biblical. I just wanted to make sure that anyone that read your post would not get the mistaken idea that they should have hope of changing a sociopathic abuser via prayer.

Some people that land on this site, just figured out yesterday that their mate is a sociopath… or they struggling with the question.. “are they or are they not.” Or they want to know if there is a way they can help their mate. I struggled with whether or not I could have helped or done something different and it has helped me personally to realize that I couldn’t… and it has accelerated my healing process.

I guess I am overstating the point… I just didn’t want anyone to be confused and struggle further with those questions. The answer here is NO CONTACT… and GET AWAY FROM THAT PERSON. :o) It sounds like you already have and that is good to hear.

I wish you well… Aloha…. E.R.

I was taken aback, but thought I had misrepresented myself inadvertently.
For me, evil is the only explanation. As psychology states: it’s a deliberate choice, they aren’t crazy.

So why would anyone purposefully torture me? I ask myself that over and over. I plan on discussing on my site how I came to realize the role evil played in my relationship with the psychopath. It’s stunning- I don’t expect anyone to believe me, but perhaps if they have experienced the same they will share.

justme

If it wasn’t for prayer I think I might have jumped off a bridge by now. It was the sense that someone was listening and the hope that they were trying to help me that kept me doing it day after day after day. I would pray that the Lord would send someone to help me and I chose to believe that my prayers were answered because in the past 2 years this person is no longer livng in my house and while there is a big story of the inbetween she is now living with her incredibly gullible, patient and made for her boyfriend and 1 year old son.

The pain of what she has done to my life is irreparable but I have spent the last 2 years working really hard on trying to save myself. I have done all this by myself with a sort of made up therapist in my head …I felt too out of control to actually go to a real person and because I was concerned that I would have a hard time finding someone to believe me.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is praying can make you feel better and can sometimes save your life. Although might type of prayer might offend some, it’s really more me screaming at the top of my lungs to “Do something now, I can’t take this anymore…send someone to take care of her…PLEASE”.. Hey it seemed to work for me..I felt like someone was listening and understood.

justme-

I screamed at God a lot. : )

Life is not senseless, or random, BUT being around a psychopath makes one feel that way. That’s why they are referred to as psychophagic ( spelling?) …soul eaters.

Best therapy I have had is reading, writing and witnessing.

lesley

Bravo, lovefraud! This is a great idea. I, for one, am looking for a smart shrink in New York City. I was seeing one I actually liked a lot, but she was totally conned by my S. She was a goner from the moment she learned he’d lost his mother young: the tragedy! The poor thing was trying. “It’s brave that he’s even reaching out to you,” she said. Once, after I’d seen him and was telling her about the weekend, she threw her hands over her heart and said, “Oh! He’s met the woman he should be married to.” That would have been a neat trick given that, unbeknownst to either one of us, he’s been living with a woman for thirty years and isn’t looking like he’s going anywhere soon. I kept having flashing doubts about this guy, but every time I expressed them, she’d insist they were symptoms of my “trust issues.” She had this vision of us as two damaged people tremblingly reaching out to each other. When, on my final weekend with the rotter, I phoned her hysterical from my hotel room long distance and said, “I”m almost positive he’s living with a woman”–when I laid out the nearly irrefutable evidence I had–she said, flat out, “He’s not living with anyone, he has problems.” It was only when I was back and had come up with an obscure newspaper article about him that spelled it out–he was–that she agreed to believe me. I think she ended up almost as freaked out by the whole thing as I was, but still: the fact she kept dismissing my observations ended up being really damaging. In therapy, this man became a test of how well I was doing for her: since she only perceived him as charming, devoted, sensitive, etc–all the things he was in the emails I showed her–she became convinced I was trying neurotically to get away from a good man. Toward the end of my relationship with him, I was curled up in a fetal position for several days on my bed, consumed with a sense of dread. On some level, I knew what I was about to find out, but when I tried to explain this in therapy, she’d say, “But where’s the proof? He hasn’t said anything like this. He’s not withdrawing. But didn’t he tell you he wanted to move in with you?” Of course he had. He said lots of things. At the same time, it turns out, he was pulling incredibly shady professional maneuvers that involved me behind my back, screwing around, living with a woman, lying every time was spoke, about everything.

The minute I found out the truth about this guy, I parted ways with this shrink. Another shrink told me to reconsider, said sociopaths are famous for conning even the shrinks. And sometimes I regret my decision; as I said, I (otherwise) liked the woman.

Still, I can’t get over the fact that my reservations about this guy kept getting tamped down. I think if she hadn’t been in the picture, I’d have gotten out a lot sooner.

alohatraveler

lesley,

What a classic story.. being conned by a con man. DUH! (I am saying “duh” to your therapist)

This is exactly why I haven’t gotten any therapy yet. I would like to talk to someone but I will be sure to let them know that the Sociopath thing is already figured out.

I have a friend that went through something similiar as you but with friends. She kept trying to explain what was happening to her to some friends and they kept telling her, “Well, relationships are hard… you have to work it out.” They weren’t getting it and she was already being told it was all her but the Sociopath (or which ever kind of torturer he was) and the friends that were “helping” only prolonged her pain and confusion.

Anyway, you story is interesting. I am looking for a therapist now and I have a referral from someone but I told my friend to ask her if she has worked with a sociopath or a victim of a sociopath before.

By the way, the Bad Man (as I call mine) told me early on in our relationship that during his divorce, his ex-wife tried to prove in court that he was crazy but she wasn’t able to. It all makes sense now… he was evaluated and he knew exactly how to get around this… I am sure he charmed their socks off, meanwhile, he represented himself in court, as every good sociopath would.

Unless you know you are dealing with a Sociopath, you don’t know what to look for… we typically believe what people who appear reasonable say… and if something looks good, we trust what our eyes tell us.

I was wondering… did you use the word “Sociopath” with your therapist or had you not gotten that far yet in your conclusions?

:o)

lesley

Alohatraveler,

Jeez; your poor friend. No I didn’t use the word “sociopath” at the time because until the very end, I didn’t know what I was dealing with. I only learned after I sat down and wrote a letter to the live in lover I’d just discovered–I’d decided I was going to bust him– and a friend said, “You know, I just don’t think you should send that. Why don’t you ask my psychopharmacologist (a man we both knew to be very shrewd) and see what he says? The psychopharmacologist listened to the story and said, “This man is a sociopath. Do not send that letter. Sociopaths are insanely vindictive. Change your email. Get far far away from him. My parting words to you are: Remember: you don’t know who this man is.” This guy’s so smart, I wish he saw patients; he only prescribes drugs.

He’s the one who told me that my shrink wasn’t at fault, that psychopaths are hard for everyone to detect.

During the time I was in therapy, I just kept getting flashes that something was wrong. We met through an ad, the man and I, and started corresponding and he was totally charming (of course) but way way early on, he said something that made me momentarily uncomfortable. He wrote thought he thought he was in love with me. When he did that, I thought, for just a second: wait–that is way way too fast and besides he hasn’t met me. I felt buzzed and uncomfortable, knew his declaration was fishy–and have since learned it’s a classic psychopath dater move: to move in too fast, to make premature declarations of love. But then his charm got the better of me and I forgot I’d thought that, decided not long after: well maybe we are falling in love. Yikes. Really scary.

alohatraveler

Donna,

The person that helped me just by saying the right words “read about borderline” was a LCSW, (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). She works for the County. She just gave me a clue that set me on the trail to figure things out myself and it took me over a year before I found LoveFraud.
But she doesn’t have a private practice. She works in Mental Health for the County.

If and when I find the right someone, I will be sure to set up the referral.

findingmyselfagain

The best book – for finding yourself again in my opinion: Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It teaches you things about yourself, your intuition, your gut feeling, your reliance on others, all that is talked about on this blog site… in tales and folklore form and then it analyzes each. Its kind of long, I took my time reading only pieces at a time, but it gave me incredible self worth and strength.

Basically this is what its about:
“Folklore, fairy tales and dream symbols are called on to help restore women’s neglected intuitive and instinctive abilities in this earthy first book by a Jungian analyst. This comparison defines the archetype of the Wild Woman, a female in touch with her primitive side and able to rely on gut feelings to make choices. The tales here, from various cultures, are not necessarily about wolves; instead, they illuminate fresh perspectives on relationships, self-image, even addiction.

goodgirl0716

I think women can recognize their best resources as people who do not ask “how could you not know?” or say “I never really liked him” or “he didn’t seem that bad”. I have found a private psychologist who met my ex and wasn’t taken in by him as well as 2 who were. One of the nurses on the psych ward where he spent a night for claiming he would commit suicide was also kind enough to call me and tell me that she believed he was sociopathic and dangerous while the residents on duty were busy buying into his victim stories and charm.
And I also think if you can find things that celebrate the qualities that likely made you a target that can be helpful as well. Let’s face it, we already feel badly enough and those are great qualities!

sstiles54

I, too am in desperate need of any professional resource who can help me. My lawyer is no help, & I have called all the city & county agencies in my town, & can find no one to assist me. I have a personal protection order in place, yet live in constant fear, anyway. I even called the battered women’s shelter, & they suggested I call my lawyer. Since he hasn’t done anything to help, I guess I’m back at zero help.

knowbetternow

Great idea, Lovefraud. Thank you for developing such a valuable service. To not have to flounder around with professionals who don’t “get it” would certainly save a lot of time, money, energy and pain for targets of Ps or Ns.

I really hope you get a big response covering a lot of geography.

Lesley,
Interesting (but somehow not surprising) story about your therapist. Had a kind of similar situation myself.
I’m curious if you know how your psychopharmacologist friend was so aware, as just being a smart professional (the whole point of this post) does not guarantee understanding. Personal experience on his part perhaps? Just wondering if
that is pretty much the only way or not.

lesley

Knowbetternow,

I think the guy was a smart clinician. I got the sense he’d had some professional training with sociopaths. Though come to think of it, his face went so genuinely dark when I told him the bombshell ending to the story, maybe he did have personal knowledge of one. When I left, he said, with real empathy, “It’s good to see you, but I am really really sorry to have to see you under these circumstances.” His voice sounded charged. I remember thinking, puzzled, at that time that he was addressing me as I’d suffered a terrible blow. I was still too numb to know that I had.

However he knew, the guy totally got it–both the diagnosis, and what I’d just been through. Maybe he’s just the opposite of a sociopath: highly empathetic. Maybe now that all of us have paid our dues in the one direction, we’ll find men in this other one. I wish that for everyone on the board.

southernman429

Refering to the posts above concerning praying for a sociopath… I have prayed to God about the woman who was my sociopath many, many times…. Those prayers are a positive thing for me for a couple of reasons….

I am most likely the only person praying for her……
It is something I do out of love and kindness.. those things rest in my heart, and they always will despite what she really is………and what she did to me and my son……
It is something personal between God and me, for I find comfort in praying for her soul…..
We are supposed to pray for those who have forsaken us, or hurt us… it is the perverbial “turing the other cheek”…
I do believe in miracles, and just as Jesus blinded Saul on the road to Damascus, Saul being a evil man, hunting down Christians and throwing them in prisons, or having them killed, and Jesus changed him, changed his name to Paul,and Paul went on to be a great man of God…. I know that God is capable of changing a wicked person into a good person, if that is HIS (God’s) will…. I want that for “her”

I’m not sitting around, waiting on God to do this for my socio, I have moved on…but I have petitioned it in my prayers….

I have asked Him to protect her, to bless her, and to place His loving light into her heart, to refine her by His methods, and most importantly, to bring her to Him, so that her soul might be eternally saved.
I know that it sounds crazy to pray for someone who hurt you so deeply, so horrifically…. but it is a act of kindness on my part, that she will never know of….. I think on some very deep level… I pray for her, because it helps me ….I still want to take this bad expirence in my life and make it a better one….I want to make bad into good… and I know that on a human level, I cannot do that.. but… with God.. all is possible. He may never place His light in her heart, for I agree that it will have to be of her will to allow it..and maybe one day, He’ll give it to her real good… enough to break her of her selfishness… I’m not holding my breath about this….it’s got nothing to do with me.. it will be between her and God….. In the meantime, I will pray for her, and ask God to do His will in her life.

Beverly

Like you Southernman, I feel deeply sad for my ex. Putting aside what he did to me. I feel sad that he is a lost soul, who has endured alot of abuse as a child, and he will be unable to have a normal loving relationship. Thus he pays twice. I can go someway to transform myself, but he is stuck in a loop within himself that causes the hatred to be perpetuated and will sour all relationships he tries.

To some degree as a product of a dysfunctional upbringing myself, I understand the essence of where he is coming from and I tried so hard to be a supportive person to him, which he has never had outside of his family. But the chaos was too much for me to bear and I think I lasted much the longest out of all his women, but I put myself through the mill because of it. When I used to talk to him, he seemed to have a ‘blindspot’. In the end it was either him or me – and it had to be me.

apt/mgr

I am with you southernman429. Someone asked me if I hated my husband for the life we lived and I said, most definitely not. I love God and God says if we say we love Him but hate our fellowman, we are a liar. I love God and because of that I don’t know how to hate. I, too, pray all the time for those who have done a number on me. I pray that God will send someone into their lives to show them what I couldn’t. For whatever reason, I make a lot of people uncomfortable with my declarations concerning my walk with God.

God wants us to abide with Him and I do. I’m a “literalist” and I choose to take God’s words literally. I try to practice that always. Christ has been my first love and I want to live to honor Him by my life. I find not many understand that. But He does say in Matthew 5:44 to pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. That has always been my way. That’s why it was so difficult being married and trying to live a Christian life with someone who used me and constantly hurt me. He has lived within the confines of the church all his life and heard the same words and even taught them, but yet he didn’t live them behind closed doors. We lived such a duplicitous life and I know it was my petitioning God daily for truth, that we finally had most everything revealed. I still pray for him, though. Through his talk one can hear some unresolved issues. But that’s between God and him. He has to work out his salvation like I have. For some reason something about me brought out all his anger. He has a character of a woman hater, but yet he always acted like he wanted a mother. Very convoluted thinking and living. He is living in his past and that’s all he wants to talk about. But not our past. His before me. I actually don’t know where he’s at, but as long as he’s happy and lets me alone. I have forgiven him, but I don’t think he thinks so, because he can no longer use me. I won’t allow that anymore. But I do pray for him and it’s because of my wanting truth in my life, that my marriage fell apart. I could have continued living the pretend life we had, but something had to give. I didn’t want him to go to his grave with so much anger in him. I also didn’t want to die first and have him pretend grief, because grief, I think, has to be earned. I don’t want someone grieving me, when they didn’t want me around while I was alive. But that still doesn’t stop me from praying for light in their life.

We still only get out of life what we put into it. Some people just don’t know what real is and choose to carry that past baggage with them. I don’t understand the why of it. I don’t understand how people perceive others and what they hope to attain from a relationship. I can’t understand why a man would marry a woman to have a replacement for his mother. My mother died when I was 7 and my dad was pretty much out of the picture by then, because he had his agenda that didn’t include his younger daughters, but I never once was out looking for a mother figure for me, or wanted to marry a man to be a replacement for my dad. I wanted a man who knew how to be a man and husband.

Reading all these posts helps me see that there are a lot of messed up minds out here. No wonder there is so much chaos in our world. We see a small part. Imagine what God is seeing looking down on His creation. He didn’t create us to run amok. There is a day of reckoning coming. I want to be ready for that time. I don’t want to be dealing with the drama of a mixed up mind that has a life centered on him or herself, doesn’t know how to share, be or do. There is peace alone. I’d much rather have that than to be with someone who is using me as a substitute for someone else. And I can keep on praying for God’s light and healing. And I do.

I found in praying for my husband and others who used me, actually brought me closer to God and helped me with my own weaknesses. So it all wasn’t a bad thing. The hurt from others drove me to Christ’s side for nurturing and healing. He used my pain, to help me help others. He says we can comfort others like we’ve been comforted. That’s what everyone here is doing. Talking and sharing is a great panacea and finding that we aren’t alone in our hurts, starts the healing process. We can be gain strength through our hurting and eventual healing.

southernman429

Beverly and apt/mgr……..

Thank you for responding to my post about prayer. I know that in being a Christian, we are set free by our willingness forgive. It is written time and time again throughout the bible. Just when I think or feel that I have forgiven her.. a thought, or a reminder will come up, and I find myself once again doubting that I actually did forgive her. My sadness about her and her soul is one thing.. but there is also sadness for me and what should have been…and of course what she did to me…..I wonder if that sadness could also be bitterness…. I have prayed to Jesus to help me forgive her, for I truely want to be set free. Do the both of you have these doubts? My wife died five years ago, and there was a lot of unhealthy things with her and I that I did eventually for give her, and I know that I did because those hurts didn’t affect me anymore. So.. I sometimes wonder if because I’m still affected by my socio, that forgiving her has not come into fullness. I do think it was easier to forgive my wife because she died and does not exist anymore here on this earth. My socio lives 5 minutes away, and that too has made a difference to me…. I have pretended in my mind that she died as well to help me try to forget…. and in most ways.. it does feel like she did die.

apt/mgr

southernman429
I’ve struggled with the concept of total forgiveness, too. I couldn’t understand why the old feelings wouldn’t return. I’ve come to realize that he really did kill the desire in me. I asked a pastor friend if love dies and he said, most definitely. There are many kinds of love. The love between a man and woman can consist of all five. I think it’s the eros kind of love that dies, but the agape love can continue. If we can love someone’s soul, then I think we have forgiven. Love is an emotion that is to be nurtured and returned. If someone takes our love and abuses it, they abuse the most tender part of our heart, especially if they only pretend to love. I love with my heart and that’s why I end up getting hurt. And I think that’s why it’s so much more difficult to completely forgive and move on. Forgiveness, of this nature, takes time. I guess that’s because we gave our hearts and I know, in my case, I didn’t guard my heart. I didn’t think I had to, to someone who said they loved me. They didn’t allow their heart to take me in, but I did them. I’m the one who ends up being dumped and having to forgive them for their treatment of me.

After all the years of love me/hate me from my husband, I met the man who I thought was truly a God send. I realize now that God wouldn’t do that to me. I didn’t know if this man was my test or reward, but he has been my test. I fell so hard for him, and trusted him completely and that was my biggest mistake. He took that and ran with it. I’m still dealing with closure on that part. He manipulated me for money and tried for the sex. And he used my feelings for him, to coerce me. I was so incredibly weak and naive, but through all his miserable treatment of me, I became stronger and more independent. So it all wasn’t bad. Actually I’ve thanked him and my husband for doing to me what they did. At the time I didn’t. I had a lot of doubts as to whether I had forgiven them. I believe I have, but I need to purge my heart of the disease of loving them, when all they gave me was lip service.

I’ve told this friend that he gave me so much to forgive that I have to do it in segments. Same with my husband. To be used for sex and money, but get nothing in return, but abuse, leaves one with such messed up emotions. It wasn’t until I finally reached that point where I was able to say, I can do this with God’s help and not their’s, that I finally felt free. Through all the abuse, I’ve learned to rely on me, along with a stronger desire for God’s direction. So what they did was push me closer in my walk with God. My incredible hurt caused me to cry out to Him, and He did hear me. So all these happenings have been character building tools. I’ve felt like I’ve faced Satan and with God’s help, won. I know I’ve lost some battles, but I’m winning the war. I’ve learned too, that’s it’s not the end of the world. Just an end to a relationship.

I’m so glad that God intervened and created a barrier between this friend and I. Had I gotten with him on a permanent one on one basis, I would have had one horrible experience. It was bad enough as a friendship, and being married would have been awful. I tried to explain to him that a lot of my emotional stress was as a result of a moral dilemma. He said, are you saying you have no morals? He just doesn’t get it. His thinking, too, is so messed up, that we would never have been able to communicate. There had been an attraction there, but he has killed that through his treatment of me, but he can’t or won’t see that. He, like my husband, lives in constant denial. It’s okay to put me down, but if I reverse the subject and show him his part, he denies it. There’s no reasoning, unless I totally agree. If I disagree, he says I’m arguing with him. It’s a lose/lose situation. Through all those arguments, I have questioned whether I have fully forgiven him. I feel that I have, because I have a sense of peace.

In my search on forgiveness, I read an item by a minister, that says there’s no where in scripture where it tells us to forget. Our minds can’t just forget. We haven’t attained that ability. Forgiveness means not seeking vengeance. I think the ones who caused me the most angst, think I haven’t forgiven them, because I won’t let them use me for sex. Sex has nothing to do with forgiveness. It has nothing to do with love either. Society tries to tell us we aren’t a whole person unless we have this incredibly active sex life. We will live longer if we have lots of sex. That’s so untrue. Lots of people have died because of a sex act gone bad. Diseases are a result of sex. How can that be a good thing. Sex is an emotional appetite. But practicing self control brings strength. We don’t have to assuage every appetite we have, constantly. We won’t starve to death if we don’t eat the moment our stomach growls. The same works with sex. It won’t just quit if don’t give in to the urge. We are living in a society that is doing everything out of God’s order.

I think of their souls and the life they have lived. This is the life they take back to God. That’s why a lot of the happenings have caused me to think about true forgiveness. I think it’s easier to forgive them than myself. I get more upset with me for falling for their lines. That’s been my greatest regret. But I can’t live with regrets. So I’ve learned to process those hurts and am learning to move forward. I don’t want to be like them, and cause the hurt to others. I guess I wanted to know what God’s purpose was in allowing our paths to cross, to only result in pain. But I’m still better off than lots because I still have life. And they didn’t kill me. I’ve been disillusioned, but have learned life’s lessons. It was easier for me to process their hurts to me than my doing it to them. I think they feel hatred and I don’t feel that emotion. I can hate what they do, but not who they are. I actually feel sorry for these kinds of people who only feel with their minds and not their hearts. I think they will do to someone before that person has a chance to do them first. Such twisted reactions. I still think, too, that all of those reactions are a result of sin. They haven’t committed their hearts to Christ and allow Him to be Lord, so how can they commit their heart to a mere human being, who they think will use them like they use everyone else. So I guess as long as we can feel hurt, we can feel love. That’s not a bad thing. We just have to be more discerning who we give our love to.

Beverly

Southernman. For me, forgiveness and the art of giving are a huge learning curve to me. Forgiveness and giving come in many different formats and are attached to different types of thoughts and intentions and situations. I am constantly refining my understanding of these two and I always go with my instinct. If I dont feel I want to forgive, I dont, if I want to be bitter – I stay with bitterness – for me that is part of honoring the duality of my feelings. I tend to be a thorough person and I dont take short cuts, because I know that spiritually any unresolved ‘business’ always reappears. People call me challenging and confrontational, but I like to get to the bottom of things. Yes, of course, forgiving can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, but it has links to many other facets of us as humans – dont you think? Only when I have worked through and released my negatives can I embrace the velvet side of the cloud, the positive. Apparently, negative is a temporary situation and positive when replacing it are permanent. Good news then. The problem for many of us is staying with the negatives and not hurrying past them to get them out of the way in order to seek immediate comfort. These things work on so many levels, as you say, only God’s help can be the true source.

southernman429

After doing some research… I found something that really convicted me, and it answered the questions that I posed above. I think everyone here who is a believer should watch this. Dr. Charles Stanley talks about unforgiveness.. it’s very powerful.. There are so many ramifacations to our unwillingness to forgive. He explains what unforgiveness is, why it sets us apart from God. How to forgive someone, and how to make sure that you have forgiven….. simply go to http://www.intouch.org then go to video archives and click on the 2005 messages. The title of the message is Landmines in the path of the believer:unforgiveness. It is from Febuary 20th of 2005. You will have to have RealPlayer on your computer to watch it. I think that after watching this, it may change your heart about forgiving… check it out and let me know what are your thoughts. I for one, am so tired of carrying this around in my heart.. it has poisoned all the other aspects of my life.. and I have truely become sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am ready to forgive and be done with it, and be done with examining the past with my socio. To be honest.. I have been not comming to this site as often as I used to because it is a reminder for me of what I’m dealing with. I do think it is a positve thing to get it out and this site has truely hekped in my journey to understand and to heal.. but there comes a point when rehashing it doesn’t do anything positive…. Check out Dr. Stanley… I hope that his words convict those here to forgive those who trespassed against us NO MATTER WHAT THEY HAVE DONE… it is the Jesus thing to do.

I agree very much with you. I want to forgive him for exposing me to HIV. But how do you forgivce someone that will not even admit he did anything wrong? I know what you’ll say: Forgiveness is for me, not him. It really is hard to process forgiving him without his acknowledging some responsiblity. And especially when he continues to do the same thing to others.

apt/mgr

southernman429
I know of which you speak. Forgiveness is for us. It’s the letting go of the hurt and forgiveness is to live like it never happened. I read somewhere that forgiveness means giving up the hope of having a better past. When we forgive we start a new past and know that we aren’t at the mercy of another person. These are life’s lessons. I’ve read, too, that when we can think of the happening and it no longer bothers us or hurts us, then we have healed. I, too, find that the more it’s talked about, the fresher it stays. Kind of like picking a scab and all it does is bleed and forms a new scab.

I found at the beginning of the process, that I needed to talk it out and I don’t want to totally forget, because as the adage says, we who don’t remember the past are inclined to repeat it. It’s a very difficult procedure as we remember the good feeling this person evoked in us, but along with that comes the hurt just as well. I know for me, that I can’t go back, because there is nothing there for me. I could have, had my husband acknowledged his part, but he denies it and lets the burden fall strictly on me. My fault was waiting so long to speak up. I stuffed the hurt for so long, and then it took so long to purge me of that hurt. I just don’t know where he was. So unless the party involved chooses to reveal the why, there’s not much left to do but to forgive them and move on. When they are full of self, there’s not much room for anyone else. I’m tired of fighting for a place in someone’s life who won’t make room for me, but says they want me around. In my case it was for sex and money. I want to be wanted for me. So alone it is. I have learned to love myself and finally realize that if no one else thinks I’m deserving, I know God does and He wants the best. So I have to give Him my best too. Besides He says, how can He forgive us, if we don’t forgive others? That’s a requirement. Not always easy, but necessary for freedom.

Like you, too, I’m tired of rehashing it. I use to reread my journals, to remind me what happened. But I think of the scriptures, that says love keeps no records of wrongs. So one of these days, I will destroy my journals and live strictly in the present and not go there. I will remember what these ones did to me, so I’m prepared for them, but I refuse to let any of them treat me that way again. Now it’s my choice to not accept what they would dish out. I know what to look for and what to avoid. I know now to guard my heart and money. And to use the discernment, gut feeling, that God gave me through the Holy Spirit and not be fooled again.

apt/mgr

To Free,
Thank you. Your title says it all. There is freedom in truth. I know that I should have spoken up many years ago to my husband, but truth be told, I was terrified of him, for the sake of my kids. Due to circumstances, I wasn’t working outside the home, but I baby sat to earn some extra. He was the one working, but he didn’t want to even do that. My marriage has been such a mixed up arrangement, that I am so soured on the idea that I doubt whether I can ever go there again.

But through all that debacle, God was there. I thought at the time that He had forsaken me, but He was waiting for just the right time to move. And He did. I’m still in awe how He brought about the transformation in stopping the abuse of power. My only concern at that time of my life was my children. I had so many hopes and dreams for us as a family and truly thought my husband shared them. He did to begin with, but I realize now the most was lip service. He married me for all the wrong reasons and when responsibility hit, he couldn’t handle it. I went all those years feeling like I was his mother, too. I used to observe how other people did it, and I knew there was something radically wrong with us, but couldn’t label it. Bottom line, we were living a lie. I wanted to live in such a way, that it was the same in public as in private. That to my was truth. What God could see when no one else did. I thought everyone lived that way, especially the ones who proclaim Him.

I had the hopes of living each day and processing it, the good and bad, and moving on. I wanted us to make memories along the way and put them into our archives for a rainy day. We have to be somewhere in life, so why not make the most of where we are. He didn’t see that. He was the most miserable man I’d ever been around. He had all the creature comforts, but hated his existence. How does one bridge a gulf like that? I didn’t know. I just prayed for truth. God allowed it and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. My husband pretty much told me I ruined his life and turned his kids against him. I was appalled. God knows my heart but He also knows his. I tried so desperately to get my husband to be the man and father he was to begin with. He quit, I didn’t. I have given up as far as that is concerned. I’ve learned, through others and those here, that you can’t force someone to care or love. It’s a choice. He chose to not want what he had.

He used to say quite often over the course of the marriage, especially if he heard of trouble in someone else’s marriage, that it’s better to go through life wanting what you don’t have than having what you don’t want. That was engraved in my heart. I felt from his treatment of me, that was a subliminal message to me. That was just one thing. There were a multitude of others. He’s given me so much to forgive him for, and I have. I could have gone on pretending marriage, but I wanted truth. I wanted to know when I came before God, I wasn’t hiding anything. I’ve learned along the way that I’m not responsible for his soul. I was told that. No. He was created a long time before me. He’s responsible for finding his way to God, just like me. I was responsible for my children, until they reached the age of accountability, then it was up to them. They have secured their souls with God. That amazes me too, that I was able to impart truth to them. They are living proof that God does exist. And the fact that I’m no longer in that miserable existence.

Now I’m so cautious, that I question everyone’s motive where I’m concerned. I don’t trust and I doubt whether I’d be a good candidate for marriage or even any man/woman relationship. I just know that God knows. It’s only through Him that I have been able to forgive. It’s not something that instantaneous. It comes in stages. At least for me. I feel with all my heart and all my heart gets hurt. I have to process the hurts and turn them over to God and remember to leave them there. It’s not an easy way, but it’s the only way, especially if we want to be free.

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in resentment and bitterness. Most of the members of my husband’s family, including himself, have lived like this. But God does set us free from the bondage of slavery. We don’t need to be in a physical prison to be imprisoned. Our minds, hearts, emotions, can keep us bound. I want to be free to choose, just like the ones who chose to not want me. I, too, have that freedom. I thank God for that.

tryingtorecover

Everything I’ve read says no contact. If you have kids-as little as possible and by e-mail if possible. My therapist says she doesn’t want me to talk to my ex right now, but in the future she wants me to be able to talk to him and if he starts getting off subject (visitation, payments, etc.) to tell him to stay on topic and if he doesn’t hang up. She knows he’s a N/P. She diagnosed the N and I told her I thought he was a sociopath(with examples). She agreed.

Is this something that I should be striving for? I just started refusing to talk to him on the phone and it felt good. I understand she wants me to get strong – to the point where he can’t get to me, but why go back to dealing with him?

Ox Drover

tryingtorecoveer, and others–

My NM abused me religiously with a “definition” of “forgiveness” that was NOT Biblical–her definition was that you “pretended it did not happen.” My entire life I knew in my soul this was not “right” but when the pain got too much to “pretend” any more, I read the Bible with NEW eyes, and realized that God’s definition of Forgiveness is not to pretend it never happened, but to GET THE BITTERNESS OUT OF YOUR OWN HEART–it has nothing to do with staying a victim, or “pretending it never happened” or letting these predators back into your “circle of trust.”

If you look at the story of Joseph in the old Testament, he was victimized by his brothers, and though he forgave them and overcame their treatment and rose to power, when he saw them again he did not open his arms and yell “Hi, guys, it is me!” He tested them to see if they had changed in their attitudes or if they were the same men who had thrown him to the slavers.

There is nothing Biblicaly wrong with “testing” a person’s repentence to see if by their actions it is really sincere.

My spirituality and my life have I think been saved by my belief in a LOVING God not the one that was presented to me by my disordered mother to justify her dysfunctional behavior of enabling the psychopaths in our family.

I think, whatever your religious beliefs, that spirituality is part of the healing process along with emotional growth, mental growth and healing as well. We have to some how see that something positive came out of the experience, if it is only our own healing and growth.

The professional resources in my area are quite “thin” to be sure. Most domestic violence shelters have social workers that might be tapped but I am not sure that they help people who are not housed there. I have yet to find a lawyer who isn’t either ignorant of personality disorders, or who isn’t one themselves.

I was fortunate that my local sheriff did listen to me and helped me. When the Ps did violate the law overtly, they went to jail and by knowing the evil nature of these people, the sheriff was very cooperative with our family in quelling the dangers to our lives.

I was allowed by the district attorney to present a victim statement at their bail hearing so that their bail was raised to where the could not make bail with the money they had stolen from my mother.

I strongly suggest to anyone whose P is in any way stalking or violent or you even think they might be planning something to speak to your local law enforcement and file a report. That way when they do something that the law can sanction, you already have something on file and on record.

Whatever you do, do not give up in seeking validation and support–no matter how many times you try and fail, keep seeking help.

Tryingtorecover–as much NC as possible will help you to grow and become strong. Setting boundaries, like “I will only speak to you about the children” and STICKING to it, no matter how he tries to cross that boundary will help to give you some sanity and restore your strength. Be aware though that when you set a boundary, he will INCREASE his attempts to break it until he sees that you are NOT GOING TO LET HIM CROSS IT, NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES. So at first, it will make him “worse” but then when you stick to it, it WILL get better, and partly because that boundary will give YOU strength and a feelilng of control over your own life, your own emotions, etc. God bless.

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