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Recovery from a sociopath

To parents who have children with a sociopathic partner: There is hope

Photo by Photostock at Free Digital Images.net

Photo by Photostock at Free Digital Images.net

Editor’s note: This story was contributed by the Lovefraud reader who posts under the name “Getting There.”

I am guessing my story has many similarities to other victims of a sociopath. I fell in love with a façade. Charming, witty, so attentive, madly in love, a whirlwind intense romance followed by a long slow cruel erosion of my personality. By the time I plucked up the courage to finish the relationship some 13 years later, we had 2 children, a daughter and a son. I was convinced that everything was my fault, I was mad and a terrible human being. For months and months, I chanted a mantra, ‘ This is not all my fault. There were 2 people in our relationship. Life will get better!’ This helped.

Getting over the relationship that didn’t exist

Unhappy-couple-breaking-up sizedLovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader:

How do I process a relationship that had so many lies in it that I don’t know really with whom I was involved?

I miss the person I thought I knew so much, but at the same time, he was involved with someone else, and others, since at least last June. I thought he had had one affair—but not anything to the extent that it looks like now.

How do I process a relationship I never had? Was he lying the whole time acting out the “I love you’s”, the romantic comments, and the idea that we should be together? Is it all an act?

How to attract a new relationship after the sociopath

Donna Andersen and Terry Kelly at Longwood Gardens in February, 2017.

Donna Andersen and Terry Kelly at Longwood Gardens in February, 2017.

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader:

I have a question for you. I’ve been divorced for 3 years now from my ex-husband who had a porn addiction. I’ve tried the Internet dating sites on and off since, and have had nothing but bad experiences. What do you suggest I do/ how do I go about finding someone? I am really lonely and would like to have a man in my life. However, I’m so afraid of attracting the wrong kind still. If you have any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them.

Identifying and recovering from psychological abuse

Healing from Hidden_72dpiBook Review: Healing from Hidden Abuse, by Shannon Thomas, LCSW

Review by Donna Andersen

Mind games everyone who has tangled with a sociopath, psychopath, narcissist or other exploiter knows them. The sociopath makes a statement, and then denies ever saying the words. You call out the sociopath’s bad behavior, and it’s all turned around on you. And the lies well, the objective of lies is to poison your perceptions.

The more formal term for this destructive behavior is psychological abuse. And now there’s a book that explains exactly what psychological abuse is, why perpetrators engage in it, and the steps of recovery.

For Valentine’s Day: 8 differences between sociopathic “love” and real love

Terry Kelly and Donna Andersen at the theater.

Terry Kelly and Donna Andersen at the theater.

Yes, there is love after the sociopath.

I divorced my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, in 2000. A little more than a year later, I met Terry Kelly. We dated for a few years, got to know each other, and then married.

Terry and I just celebrated our 12th anniversary. I can honestly say that I am as happy and in love as I was on our wedding day.

What’s different about love with a normal, caring person, and “love” with a sociopath? Just about everything.

1.  Real love is peaceful

Identifying sociopathic behavior is easy; giving advice is hard

sad and stressed womanJust about every day, Lovefraud receives e-mail from readers who are looking for answers about confusing, contradictory and abusive behavior exhibited by people in their lives. The new readers don’t understand what they are dealing with; they just tell, either in a few paragraphs or lengthy compositions, their stories. The e-mails describe some or many of the following behaviors:

  • Pathological lying
  • Pity plays
  • Shallow emotions
  • Devalue and discard
  • Cheating or promiscuity
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • Controlling demands
  • Financial irresponsibility
  • Manipulation of children
  • Broken promises
  • Claims of “you made me do it”

After the sociopath, learning to trust again

Pensive woman

Weheartit

A Lovefraud reader posted the following comment awhile back:

I just have one question for everyone here. Does anyone trust people after these sick people did what they did to us? Unfortunately for me ”¦ I have run across a few of these sickos but NONE like my ex. Whoever I meet now I’m thinking to myself, who is this person really? Do they have a secret life like the Scott Petersons and Ted Bundys of this world? I don’t let my children out of my sight and I’m already training my kids and they all know the signs of a sociopath especially my girls. I feel like I’m in a prison sometimes in my mind as I try so hard but just can’t trust anyone.

If our emotions are triggered, there’s more pain to process

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader—we’ll call her Sally:

It’s been almost four years since I left my ex psychopath. He almost had me take my own life through guilt, when it was him lying, cheating, committing fraud, you name it—a textbook case.

The reason I write to you today, however, is I am so sad and disappointed in myself yet again. Four years and I thought I was over the damage done by the psychopath so I stepped out of my comfort zone to contact an old friend I had not seen since before the psychopath came into my life.

New Year’s Resolutions for Recovering from a Sociopath

free-fireworks-image-11 cropIf you’re in the process of leaving behind a sociopath, or even just contemplating leaving a sociopath, here are New Year’s resolutions to help you accomplish your goal and get on the path to healing in 2017.

Resolution #1: NO CONTACT!!!!

Do not have any contact with the sociopath. Nothing! Nada! Zilch! Zero! This is the most important first step you can take.

No Contact is how you escape the sociopath’s magnetic pull. It enables the fog in your head to dissipate, so you can clearly see this person for what he or she is a predator, parasite, or both. No Contact enables you to find your strength and take back your power.

For the holidays, give yourself the gift of honoring your experience

christmas_gift_300x200How do you get through the season of joy and hope when a lying, destructive, individual has wreaked havoc in your life?

First, be gentle with yourself. You are a normal, caring, person. Perhaps you wanted to love and be loved, as all normal people do. Perhaps you felt sorry for the individual and wanted to help. Your intentions were honorable, but the exploiter took advantage of your humanity.

Second, honor your experience. What does that mean? It means accepting that it happened. Much of the pain and confusion of tangling with a sociopath comes from not wanting to believe that these individuals are what they are, and they do what they do. Accepting that yes, they exist, and yes, you were targeted, sets the stage for moving forward.

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