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By | January 27, 2010 259 Comments

Claiming Peace: After the sociopath is gone

At 9:12 am on May 21, 2003, the only peace I knew was the unsettling desire to die, the constant throbbing of the voice screaming at me to let go, give in, give up, give over my life to the darkness that consumed me. I wanted to end it all. To have the turmoil and pain and fear of living with an abuser die with me.

At 9:13 am on May 21, 2003, everything changed. Everything shifted and my world as I knew it ended. A police car drove up and I stood watching as two officers stepped from the car.

At 9:14 am I followed the officers into the room where my abuser lay sleeping and watched them arrest him.

They took him away and I sat in a chair in a room I did not recognize, captive in a body I could not feel. I was catatonic. Frightened. Terrified. I had 72 cents in my pocket, a few clothes and my dog, Ellie, who had journeyed through that four year, nine month voyage through hell beside me. She was my ballast but with his arrest, I was cast adrift. I clung to her fur, cried into her shoulders but still fear eroded my being, clawed at my heart, tore my world apart.

In my fear that this horror that I was enduring would be the rest of my life, I didn’t know where I’d find myself. I didn’t know where I’d come ashore. I only knew, I had run out of options. Run out of running away, of hiding, of being frightened and alone.

I called my sister and she and her husband came to get me. We drove the hour from the small town where I had been hiding out with my abuser for 4 months, into Vancouver. They didn’t ask me questions. They didn’t prod and poke. They didn’t dig into where I’d been nor share their fear and anger. They let me sit in silence in the back seat of their car and I was grateful.

My abuser was gone but still I felt the tendrils of his control lapping at the shores of my consciousness. I felt the fear of his absence from my life ripping at the delicate thought of freedom seeping into my mind. The enticement of peace from his abuse and anger seepped quietly into a tiny corner of my heart and began to take up residence.

It was the first peace I had known for months, years even. The first sense of peace I’d let in since meeting the man who’d promised to love me ’til death do us part, and then set about making the death part come true, sooner rather than later.

And in that moment of peace, sitting in the back seat of my sister’s car, Ellie beside me, I watched the countryside roll by and wondered, where had I gone?

It would be many months before I found an answer I could live with, but in the intervening weeks, I would dig deep into my psyche to uncover the truth about what had happened to me. In my digging, I would discover there was one choice I could make, every moment of every day — to be or not to be filled with peace — peace of mind, a peaceful heart, to claim a piece of calmness within my day.

Peace didn’t come cheap. It came with great effort. With a constant reminder of the question, “What do I want to create? Harmony or discord?” “Is what I am doing creating more harmony in my life? Or less?”

And when the answer was, ‘less’, I would ask myself, “What can I do to restore peace of mind, right now, in this moment? What am I willing to do to have more of what I want in my life?”

He was arrested in May. By July I was working, rebuilding my life. I had one focus and that was to heal myself so that I could help my daughters heal. And constantly I reminded myself, my peace of mind comes when I know that what I am doing creates more of what I want in my life and less of what I don’t.

And peace came. It drifted into my being like fog rising from the ocean shores upon which I walked at night with Ellie. It came. Dressed up in a gossamer gown of morning dew resting upon the delicate petals of the flowers strewn across the garden in a joyful disarray of colour. It seeped in, shrouded in the night falling sweetly upon the end of day. Peace came and I became filled with peace of mind.

And then, the phone call arrived. It was a hot summer’s morning in August. I was getting ready to walk to the Seabus that would carry me across the bay to the downtown core. I was getting ready and peace of mind slept unaware of the moment about to arrive. The phone rang. I answered it and listened to the disturbing words of a police officer.

“Conrad has escaped from jail. We don’t know where he is but we assume he’ll come looking for you… Just thought we should warn you.”

And in one moment, my peace of mind evaporated. My sense of well-being vanished.

I started to shake. To cry. To be consumed with the fiery fringe of fear lapping at my heart, sending its beat into erratic rhythm.

My mind began to race. What if… no way… but then he could…

I shut the windows. Locked the door. And still I feared.

I wanted out. I didn’t want to let go of my peace of mind.

I took a breath. Refused to be scared. I got Ellie’s leash and called her to my side. “Let’s go for a walk,” I said.

The thought of the great outdoors enticed her. She didn’t care about my peace of mind. She just wanted to go for a walk.

And so we walked. Out the front door, through the gate, down the street. A left and then a right, across the avenue, along the trail leading into the woods. My sanctuary. My respite. My peaceful place.

I took a step into the forest’s tranquil embrace. A leaf rustled on the ground. A twig snapped.

Fear erupted. Peace escaped.

Suddenly, behind every branch, he lurked. Every rustle of leaf was his footstep. Every step took me closer to a deadly encounter.

I lasted less than two minutes in the woods before I bolted.

Peace was no longer possible. Terror reigned.

I raced down the street, back towards my sister’s home where I was living. I raced with Ellie loping beside me. It’s a game, her upturned face seemed to say. Can we play?

No, I cried. No time to play. We’ve got to get home. Home to the safety of a locked door, drawn blinds, darkness.

And in the comfort of my room, lying on my bed, Ellie watching me from the floor beside me, I cried and I cried.

How dare he steal my peace of mind. How dare he erode my tranquility.

“He doesn’t have to,” a voice somewhere in the darkness of my mind whispered. “You don’t have to let him in.”

“It’s not my choice,” I cried.

“You always have a choice,” the voice admonished.

I took a breath. A choice? A peaceful choice? The voice was right. I always have a choice.

To live in fear or peace?

Which would I choose?

There is a story of a First Nations elder who tells his grandson about the two wolves that live within each of us. One is black. One is white, he tells his grandson. And always, they are fighting to gain control of our being.

“Which one wins?” the grandson asks.

“Whichever one you feed,” replies the elder.

I fed the black wolf that day. I fed it my hard won peace of mind, my sense of well-being, my comfort. I fed what I had worked so hard to achieve and still it was hungry. It wanted more.

I had so little to give. I could not give it what I cherished most.

I took a breath and let my breath feed oxygen to the white wolf where it sat waiting at the doorway to my mind. With each breath I stoked the fires of my passion to live with peace of mind residing deep within me, a calm, clear lake of tranquility resting at my core.

I took a breath and chose to let go of fear and step into courage. I chose to let courage drive fear out, as I drove clear of the darkness.

I claimed my peace of mind and stepped out into the sunshine of the day, confident in my choice to live fearlessly in the rapture of now. I took a breath and slid effortlessly into the grace of being free to choose more of what I want of my life, letting go of what no longer serves me.

The question is: Which wolf will you feed?

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

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myboysmattermost

“They took him away and I sat in a chair in a room I did not recognize, captive in a body I could not feel. I was catatonic. Frightened. Terrified.”

This was me this past December 7…the police had come twice that day and left him there the first time…the second time they took him away and my sons and I just clung together repeating over and over again that it was finally over.

I am still coming to terms with it all…but he still haunts me…I am still paying his health and car insurance as the laws will not let me remove him until the divorce is final…I am losing my home as the loan was in his name and he will not even give them permission to speak to me…I can’t get a lawyer to represent me for anything I can afford as he also took all the remaining money and credit cards we had left…he had them reported as stolen, canceled and reissued and by the time I got to the banks, it was gone…all of it. I work until 10 pm at night just to keep the electric on and food on the table in addition to the insurance we have to have as my son was diagnosed with a life threatening if not treated chronic condition last year and we have to have his medication.

And at the same time, I wonder how much more “punishment” I have to endure…he assures me it will be forever…but I have gone NC and hopefully that will help him to move on and leave me alone. I do so feel for his next victim though…

BUT he is not here and that leaves me peace…:) I choose the white wolf…

Update not two hours later: Woo hooooo! I just got an attorney who will help me at a discounted rate and without a retainer!!!!!

pollyannanomore

Looks like spam to me Erin – same message on multiple threads with no contextual information.

ML – Fantastic article and so relevant to me right now. Fear can rule us and make us afraid to stand up to them. I have decided I am ready to stand up if I need to – he is not going to ‘win’ anymore from me. He has had all he is getting 🙂
Towanda ladies!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

ML Gallagher – I am SO with you on this one!

Any programmers here????

Dear Donna, We all LOVE the edit feature! Now we would like an interactive feature that lights up the screen with fireworks flashes, and roars ‘towanda’ (done by a girls choir), and the sounds of fireworks. Thank you.

🙂
One step

I’ll see what I can do. Do we have a girls’ choir?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Donna – my child self is more than willing to step up.

I wondered if it shouldn’t be a women’s choir (with a couple of notable male additions), but i think what we are doing is in service to those to come, hence, a girls choir.

Quantum Solace

You’re one of the lucky ones. Count your blessings! Some of us are still on State I after 25 years of misery.

I know the feeling you describe well, I live with it every day and only hang on because I have a kid that depends on me. There are days, like today, when I truly don’t know how I’m going to make it thru in one piece.

myboysmattermost

Peace is so much easier when he is not calling. I received a message last night…”we need to talk, please call me or at least answer your phone” and then more missed calls this morning…not answering to take the bait. A large sigh opens the message but it sounds more like frustration at my silence than any kind of regret, and his words are clipped, I used to believe that was so he wouldn’t cry…now I think it is to hide his anger?

I have to remember he is not the man I thought he was…he is not calling because he realizes what he has lost and is sorry…he is calling because he has lost…and if I fall for it, he will prove this to me and I cannot do that again…and cannot put my boys through that again. The fact that they tell me and my younger son, his counselor, that they don’t want him back speaks volumes to me.

I have a lawyer now to actually represent me!:) I don’t know if I will bring up the fact I believe he is a N/S…I hope I don’t have to, but if I do, what is the best way to go about that without looking like I am crazy myself???

one/joy_step_at_a_time

myboysmattermost: congrats on the lawyer!

maybe use the ‘cluster b’ term, and give examples of how they operate, like shifting blame, gaslighitng, etc. and give lots of documentation if you have it and examples so that it is easy for the lawyer to see it. I am sure many here who have been to court can help you put together an approach.

he is NOT the man you thought he was. you are right. re the clipped language, thin you are right that it is hiding, anger and frustration.

you sound very clear. keep strong!

pollyannanomore

Agree with One Step Myboys – you’ve made huge progress in a short time – great news about the lawyer – you can get through this! And already you are detaching and able to analyse the motives behind the manipulative communication – it all has an ulterior motive … usually to induce guilt, fear or trepidation in us. Don’t fall for it! Yay for you 🙂

myboysmattermost

My progress could not be without LF…I have read and read and read…to gain understanding and to take strength from all of you who have been through this too. It is such a huge help to know that I am not alone in this.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t credit my family and friends…how they have been there for me. I couldn’t ask for better.

But I can ask for a better man and the more I learn, the more I know I will not fall into the same patterns, so I will continue to read and read and read:)

Thanks everyone!!

Quantum Solace

M.L. and the rest of the ladies:

My problem is that I can’t move on because he has my daughter, first. It’s been 13 years since the separation and for me, it’s been like a category 5 hurricane. I can only catch my breadth when I hit the eye of the storm and then, he pulls me in again for another round. The first one (the divorce) was two years. Four years later, he was back at it for another year. He’s back for the third time and we’re at it for the 3rd month. After the second round, which I handled very well, I thought it was over and I had done it but I find myself falling to pieces all over again this time around. For me, it’s been 25 years altogether and psyche is taxed out.

I now have my son and at least I find solace in that. I can see the progress with him everyday and he gives me hope and brings me joy but I’m not there for him 100% and that tears at my heart too. If it weren’t for him right now, I wouldn’t have made it thru this last round. There are days when my chest hurts so much that I think it’s going to split in two.

Sadly, I now know that this is not the last of it. Even if and when this round is over, I’ll be back in the eye of the storm, preparing for the next round which should be in 2 years when my daughter turns 18. I’m at my witt’s end with this guy. I thought that when he got married, it would all end but the new wife seems to be every psychotic as him and now, SHE is the one putting him up to it so now I’m fighting two of them instead of one. I can’t get a break no matter what!

Cat

M.L., GREAT post! I remember the exact moment I was free, free to breathe, come out from under the covers, free to simply BE. It was a profound moment and like you, I can remember the exact time. I als identify with “They took him away and I sat in a chair in a room I did not recognize, captive in a body I could not feel. I was catatonic. Frightened. Terrified.” My realization of freedom was quickly followed by the reality of the messes he had left behind, no money or car, a house totally in chaos (he was an absolute slob) and a child I now had to help ease into the reality that his father would NEVER live with him again. I froze for awhile. Then I found LF and it’s been uphill ever since. Some days are all about nothing but cleaning up his messes and every day is about making ends meet, BUT I choose how my day will go, free of the constant verbal mental and emotional abuse.

2 days ago, he went to court for sentencing, having stolen my debit card months ago for money for drugs. I didn’t go and was advised NOT to go as he might go off in the courtroom. I will admit to fear of him showing up at my doorstep, ready for revenge, his favorite thing in the world. And then it passed. I was free.
I finally took the time to see what sentence he received. 98 days, 90 suspended. Drug classes, theft classes, drug testing, FIVE years probation. The BEST, the very BEST, however, was the last, NC WITH ME PERMANENTLY! So many on here are fighting for this and I have it! To those seeking restraining order, don’t give up! It will happen! I was told before I had this but they had to make it official in court. Will he follow it? That remains to be seen, but I have the police on speed dial on my phones now.

Quantum, I understand your feelings re: your daughter and your son. We had one child and I have permanent custody of him. I did that years ago as we never married. (There was a huge red flag waving that I actually paid attention to!) But it was still a 10 yr. relationship(?). My son gives me joy, solace and on some days a reason to get up in the morning. I, too, have watched him change since his father has been gone. He’s been through some rough times and yet, each day I see the growth in him.
Greeaaat…he married another psycho and your daughter is there? He married one of his “own kind”. I feel for you so much on this! I can’t imagine your emotions when it comes to your daughter.
I always try to remember these are but battles in a huge war and while I won’t win every battle, I WILL win the war. So will you! Hugs, Cat

Quantum Solace

Cat:

My son nearly died 4 years ago because of him. The stories I can tell you from that week in the ICU alone would make your hair stand on edge.

Yep. I always predicted that he would re-marry one of two types: (1) one just like him or (2) someone so physically battered & or down on her luck that he actually seemed like an improvement. Well, with my kind of luck, he found one like him. My son tells me that she even buys the porno for him now which he does in front of her, my daughter and her daughter.

My daughter is completely alienated from me and I fear that she too maybe suffering from the disorder. Him and the female P have told the kids that I’m in mental institutions for years at a time and that’s why she can’t see me and to call the police if I come around because I’m dangerous. My son was able to see thru that but my daughter, not so much. My two children are so different from each other. I always knew I could turn my son around (although we have a long, long road ahead of us) because he’s so docile and eager to please but my daughter is a totally different story. I’m not even sure there’s anything I can do for her at this point. She needed help since she was a baby and now, it’s been 11 years directly under his reign of madness.

I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. I can’t do this for much longer.

Cat

Quantum,
You CAN do this, even if it’s one small step at a time and sometimes the best thing you can do is give yourself pemission for a time-out. There are days when I’ve mentally put it all away in a closet and simply stayed in bed and just rested. My brain, body, heart and soul needed it. And then I felt much better and stronger the next day. It’s just something that’s worked for me.
I’m trying to imagine going through almost losing your son and at the same time putting up with him. I’ve been thu similar situations, though not as drastic and it’s hell.
Porn in front of your daughter and her daughter as well? Can this be reported? I’m concerned for your daughter as well. Telling them you were in an institution is just plain evil. I studied a new disorder(?) they are now talking about called PAS or Parent Alienation Syndrome. It’s quite interesting and might help you. There’s a link below.
http://www.paskids.com/
All of us are here for you. It’s one step, one day at a time.
Hugs,
Cat

Quantum Solace

Cat:

I’ve tried everything and nobody believes me. The police actually made a report saying that I’m bitter because I don’t have custody and was only making the report to gain leverage and blah blah blah – the fact that the cop making the report and the P dude are buddies who exhibit similar traits didn’t help much either. You see, in my case, whatever can go wrong does in fact go wrong. I tried Child Services, they labeled me “a bi-polar (their word not mine) who makes up stories to stir up trouble.” No matter what I do, they turn it against me. The judge in the case has also labeled me as a liar, unreliable and reckless, even threaten to take away from me the children’s college funds for which I had to fight him in court for a year the last time (after he stole not only the marital finances but the other accounts set up for the children). Ha ha!

Researching PAS is, as a matter of fact, what clued me in to Narcissism/Psycho/Sociopathy (I only stumbled upon it about a month or so ago, after 25 years of hitting my head against the wall not understanding). So, yes, I’m familiar with it and have consulted with a lawyer who says that I have a great case against him and her but…(always a but!), he wants $400 an hour to make a go of it. Again, ha ha ha! Nothing like paying someone in an hour what you make in a week.

And, oh, yes, the judge is accusing me also of alienating my son against him but doesn’t think anything of what they are doing to with daughter. My son, after seeing not only what he has done to him but also to me aftering living with me for several months now, has decided of his own accord to sever contact. The wife treats my son rather poorly (she is very abusive) and even kicked him out during the summer which is how he ended up with me.

It’s a long, twisted, tortured saga that never ends – not for me and not for the children either. I can’t do anything to move forward until I get out of this mess with the litigation which is looking worse and worse for me. I can’t even find a lawyer to take the case. The last one I spoke to charged me $125 for telling me that I “should have had a lawyer during the divorce.” Again, ha ha ha! How easy it is for those who haven’t been in that position to issue such advice so freely and easily. I told him to call me when he has been in my situation and we would reassess his advice.

breckgirl

ML – I too only survived due to the love I have for my two children.

I started to write more, so much more, but it has all been said.

I cannot tell you Donna, Dr. Leedom, Steve B, Elizabeth C, MLG, Kathleen Hawk, Oxy, ErinBrock and so many others who write or post here what a blessed relief it is to know there are people who get it and I am not insane. For so so long I thought it was me, I was crazy, there was something wrong with me…

I still remember the first time I laughed – really laughed and was having fun – I was away from the biggest monster, the one who brought me to my knees… I escaped my own home where I felt under seige and went on a trip to see a girlfriend and laughed and had fun and life was good again. It was a shock when I realized how long it had been since I had truly laughed – the taste of that and wanting more – the memory of that – helps me to make choices today…

I cannot tell you what a blessed relief it is to know there are people who get it and I am not insane. I am finding me – digging me out from under the nonsense. YAY for me and YAY for all of you.

Ox Drover

Dear Louise,

Thanks so much for this article . It is one which I can relate to, and trying to find PEACE in the face of possible physical stalking and/or death is a difficult thing to do. It is easy to give in to our terror. Sometimes we let it go for a second or a day, or longer. I can’t recall the date or hour in which I decided to no longer live in TERROR, but to exercise CAUTION instead.

Maybe there are days I stay in the house because there is a possibility there might be someone to hurt me outside, but it is CAUTION not TERROR.

This past week I sort of DID give in to the terror for a few minutes when I realized that my best friend’s sister was in e mail contact with my egg donor, and if she slipped just once and let the egg donor know I was here in Texas, he knows my friend’s address, and I know that the egg donor would “mention” to my P-son that I was visiting here. It took a little while to get my peace back, but I have it back now, and I am still CAUTIOUS, but no longer in FEAR or TERROR.

I will protect myself with good decisions about that–whether it means staying in the house, or keeping my pistol by my side–but I won’t jump at every noise, I won’t let myself be filled with TERROR. The worst thing he can do to me is to kill me, and actually I faced CERTAIN death in an automobile crash once, I saw it coming, faced it, and realized in only an instant that death is NOT the worst thing that can happen to you. I don’t want to die, I want to stay here for now, but living in terror is much worse than death I think, I know for me it is.

Your story about the two wolves is one of my favorite stories and is so true. The one we feed is the one that prospers, grows and “wins.”

Can’t remember who said it but “the coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave man but one” is also a very meaningful statement to me as well. being “brave” doesn’t mean being unafraid, but if we are continually afraid, stressed out, shaking, living in TERROR we “die” each day because our life is taken from us. We must choose each day, each minute, what we feel and embrace.

Thanks again for your article. Love Oxy

myboysmattermost

I was thinking about it last night and I think I started to break away four years ago and it just finally ended this past December…four years.

I joined an exercise class four years ago last week and I started to grow, and make friends and after awhile…I started to “live out loud”. I am sure now that this was quite threatening to my N/S and I remember while he would brag about me outside the home, he was telling me that I was never going to look like what I wanted…WRONG!!

I also remember telling my mother that a husband “treated you better when the world is watching”…how telling that was now that I look back on it.

But I didn’t let him get to me…I think I started to block him out and focused on me. The workout really helps, it relieves the stress and I can’t tell you how much a good sweat helps to get him out of my head.

Not to mention the friends…I avoided getting close in the beginning but as I began to open up, I started realizing that my world was not a normal one. No one else had their stuff smashed when aggravating their husbands, their bank accounts weren’t emptied as “punishment”, they did not have to replace a door every few months…I cannot believe this was my “normal”!!

And once I started talking, I didn’t stop…how crazy that must have made the N/S…here I was getting healthy, making friends and “living out loud”…now I know why the verbal and emotional abuse got worse and I am confident the physical abuse was right around the corner…

I plan to keep “living out loud” in hopes that it will keep him away. He knows he can no longer manipulate my family and my friends simply would not believe him at this point. In this, I feel very, very lucky…

witsend

Quantum,
Your story from the small part I have read of it seems to put you in between a rock and a hard place.

Although our situations are different, I have felt many times that I am between that rock and hard place as well. And have also encountered the closing door rather than a door “opening” when I was looking for resources. It is pretty overwhelming.

I am wondering if you might not be able to get some help from Legal Aide? Although they don’t always “take on” your case, sometimes they will offer you some legal advice. Or at least lay it out to you some of the “grey” areas of the law, and what you might or might not do to proceed. You might also ask them if they can advise you of someone you might be able to hire, that you CAN afford in your area.

I found them to be helpful in at least clarifying for me the laws in my state and what I might be up against. And FRIENDLY as well. The questions that couldn’t be answered during my phone call, they actually followed through and called me back as well.

The problem with talking to lawyers is that you have to take ALL of the emotion out of the situation and stick to facts. And that is so very HARD to do when you are talking about the situation with a cluster B. The very nature of what they do to us to trigger all of those feelings…..It is hard to stay focused on what is important information and what is something an “outsider” can’t POSSIBLY understand.
I found (after alot of trial and error) that the only way to do this was to write things down and “prepare” what I needed to say. I was to “involved” in the emotional aspect to stick to the facts.

There are days where it is hard to even take small steps when you are overwhelmed. I feel for you.

TooLate

I am new here. This is my first post. I lived with my sociopath for 12 years. I have escaped him physically at last, but my experience has left me depleated and raw. He lingers in my life like a pestilence … tormenting me in my dreams at night and my thoughts during the day. I feel like life will never be normal again.

I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t even recognize myself. I am frightened and alone … and failing. I used up all of my strength, hope and optimism on him, and now I have none left when I really need it.

The psychologist, the police, and the social worker all look at me like I am giving them nothing more than a fantastic story … too strange and complex to be believed. My friends and family don’t fully understand the depth of my wounds. The physician that is treating me looks skeptical. It makes me wonder if my husband was right all of those years … that he’s smarter than the rest of the world.

My husband will not have to suffer the consequences of his actions. He is still out there, living his happy life of manipulation, free of conscience and emotion. He will never have to suffer the pain that I am suffering.

He exploited my teenage daughter into a relationship with him. When I ran, I could not rescue her … and she does not want to be rescued. He has effectively isolated her from the world and convinced her that he is supportive and loving her, and that I am selfish and evil. It was a great loss for me and I often feel like it is too great to recover from.

I managed to rescue my two young sons (his sons) … who are old enough to make some connections and to see the conflicts … but not old enough to cope effectively with the emotions that those conflicts have caused. They need help too.

Every day I have to force myself to go through the motions of living … to be a parent to my two boys … to try to recover financially … to attain an independence that still eludes me … to keep myself in one piece. I am barely making it on all counts.

Will it ever improve?

learnthelesson

Dear Too Late,

Welcome to LF. Im sorry for the circumstances in your life that brought you and so many of us here to LF…but Im glad you found LF. If you remember nothing else, remember one thing :

ITS NEVER TOO LATE TO SAVE YOURSELF FROM A SOCIOPATH – UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO STAY.

IT WILL IMPROVE. There is this running theme of advice here at LF, which I received upon my first visit. This is a nurturing safe healing place, which to learn and grow and vent, give advice, listen, and read…
Reading the past articles here is highly recommended. I use to read 2 a day in the beginning. Some I couldnt relate to — others gave me the insight and strength and courage to keep going — some even pissed me off 🙂 but in a good way in the end.

Also, sometimes losing ourself is how we eventually find ourself – you are going to be ok.

Lastly, Sociopaths dont know how to live a “happy” life. Its a facade. Being free of a conscience and emotion is what they are cursed with – but to us we sometimes think they must be floating on the clouds without any remorse or pain. When in fact they are just existing – day to day. Never really experiencing much emotion except what they know – anger, rage, deceit, possibly depression and other disorders too. What they do well is Hide it from the outside world.

Perhaps one day your daughter will see the light too. Thank goodness you were able to rescue your two young sons. You sound like you are further along than you think simply by recognizing they may need help coping too.

IT WILL IMPROVE. You still have strength hope and optimisim within – it will be for you and your children now. Not for a bad man. It will improve, dont give up on YOU!!

myboysmattermost

Too Late,

So sorry…but at the same time glad that you are out.

It will improve…just because he is gone. And you have your beautiful boys to look at every day, he does not.

And hopefully your daughter will eventually see it too. Your escape has probably affected her more than you know and she will likely gain more and more respect for you as you remain away. Perhaps this just might make her realize she does not want to or have to live that way either and with you gone, it may get worse for her.

Read, read, read…I couldn’t stop at two a day ltl:)

Quantum Solace

Witsend:

Between a rock and a hard place just about discribes the past 25 years of my life! I know I have made bad choices but it’s simply because the others available at the moment were actually worse.

During the divorce, I tried Legal Aid, the turned me away in the nastiest of ways because I was a homeowner and shouldn’t have been complaining. That left a very bad taste in my mouth. Then, I tried the Bar Assoc. and after charging me for a useless divorce kit I could have got free at the courthouse, referred me to a lawyer who was more interested in opening an envelope I had in my hand with one of my then husband’s paystub than he had in talking to me. The rest of the conversation with that yo yo was only to answer his curiosity regarding what he did for a living, what he did with all the money he made, etc. before he ushered me out the door without an answer.

I handled the second round myself and was able to do very well but simply because I had a judge that saw right thru him and nailed him every time. I’m back again with an unsympathetic judge who’s already called me a liar, unreliable and reckless. She won’t stop yelling at me and here’s the tragic irony: I present her with all the proof in the world and she chastizes me because I’m giving “too much paper” then turns around, asks his version and denies what I’m asking based on his word. The word of pathological liar! Do you realize what a slap on the face and how wrong that is? Hypothetical question because I know you do.

I thought I had finally found one on Wednesday. He took all my papers to review and said all the right thing, for the first time, I thought someone understood. I haven’t heard from him since. There were papers due in court today and he hasn’t returned any of my calls.

Quantum Solace

TooLate:

If I had any tears left, I would have cried reading your story. Girl, it’s exactly like mine! Read my comments and you’ll see it.

Again, I am so sorry for you, for me, for our children, for all of us. How can one single monster cause so much destruction and dispair?

Myboysmatter:

I hate to say this but it won’t improve for Too Late because she has left one child behind. I know all that too well! The bastards always manage to keep the part of you that matters most. I’m like Too Late, I only have one half of me, my son, the other half, my daughter, is with him and hating me because she believes the lies he’s told her. I will never be whole, I will never be able to move on, I will never be able to reconcile any of this until the day I have my daughter. And, sadly, that day may never come so I may have to spend the rest of my life in limbo.

learnthelesson

Quantum,

I too told Too Late that it will improve. When I said that I was referring specifically to her statement/question

[Every day I have to force myself to go through the motions of living ” to be a parent to my two boys ” to try to recover financially ” to attain an independence that still eludes me ” to keep myself in one piece. I am barely making it on all counts. Will it ever improve?]

There is no question you are right about never feeling whole again or completely moving on until the day you have your daughter. I tried to imagine my life without one of my children and I just kind of shut down the thought – so I cant imagine how one goes on in that regard. But you both are proof that you manage to find a way, albeit in limbo, but you go on for yourself your son and your daughter who isnt with you right now.

The fact that Too Late got out – is an improvement. And now the hardest part is ahead of her – but it does improve — its sheer hell at first — but slowly your strength and hope and optimism wins- over choosing to stay with a sociopath.

I hope the day comes that you get your daughters back in your life. At some point they will be away from him and hopefully they will be able to see the light too.

witsend

Quantum,
I do know how it feels to get that slap in the face and not be believed over the words of a pathalogical liar. Sigh…..I think we all do, those that have found ourselves here. Often the outside world finds it easier to “buy into” their lies than our truth.

This is what manages to create that slippery slope that we climb when we are trying to report the truth or the facts to legal representation, judges, police men, counselors, school personal, family, the list goes on and on depending on the situation. It is soooooo frustrating.

The problem with these cases is that you need GOOD representation. Not just someone that doesn’t know what they are doing in court.

Have you ever looked into getting a mediator for the kids…Something like that ? Someone that could go into the court room with you and present what is in their best interest?

Quantum Solace

Learnthelesson:

She has taken the right step and so did I but at what price! I ache for my children every minute of every day and I cry for what I have missed. I last saw my son when he was a pudgy pre-teen and, today, he’s a tall, handsome young man of almost 20. I don’t even know what my daughter looks like today, when I last saw her she was still losing her baby teeth. I have missed so much of their lives that I’ll never be able to get back and the pain of that never goes away.

However, there hasn’t been one day in almost 13 years since I made the decision to end it that I have had second thoughts or regreted my decision to leave, even if I still mourn the loss of what I was supposed to have had. It simply had to be done even if my timing was less than perfect.

Witsend:

I know we all have gone thru exactly the same – some more than others – and going thru the stories and posts here reminds me that I’m not alone and gives me comfort to have found others that understand. So many of the stories are just like mine, particularly, Too Late’s up above. As I have stated before, I don’t have the best of luck and, when it comes to lawyers and men, it seems to be particularly awful. I did have a lawyer during the divorce but the guy literally blew $8,000 in 3 months and wasn’t even capable of petitioning the court for child support. He did nothing except quickly rack up the fees and managed to divulge a very privileged conversation I had with him which effectively caused the monster to come enforced after me for custody. When he saw that, he asked me for $25,000 more and then dropped me because he knew I didn’t have it. I’ve never been able to trust one of those bastards again.

This time around, I don’t find the process any easier or better than the first time. Follow my posts above and you’ll see what I’m going thru. There are papers due in court in 1 hour and I still don’t have a lawyer, even thou one charged me $125 to tell me that I should have hired a lawyer to handle my divorce and another agreed to take the case on Wednesday. This is when I laugh so I don’t have to cry.

I’m now considering a mediator since I haven’t heard again from the other one who has now effectively blown what needed to be done today. I have a call out to one, my reservation is that the monster is all about winning and there’s nothing for him to win with mediation. He so adores the attention they pay to him in court and how his equally psycho lawyer sensetionalizes and crafts his lies for the low, low price of $275/hour.

learnthelesson

Quantum,

I dont know the answer to your question. I hear you and I feel saddness whenever i have to hear a mother is not with her child. I guess saying you still have your life and the possibilitiy that one day you will be reunited with them.

I was taken as a young child from my mother by my father. There were numerous court battles and hearings. My sister and I still remember being taken into the Judges private chambers and asked questions about our lives. Once, my father took us into seclusion with family friends as he was afraid my mom was going to take us from our elementary school. I feared my mom. The stories. The situation.

But when I became an adult. I had questions…. I had circumstances arise that afforded me the opportunity to reconnect with my mom in ways I never dreamed possible. So many lost years, so much pain along the way. But I did eventually reach out to my mom on my own, unfortunately six months before hear death.

I hope the mediator youre considering proves to be helpful and attempts to move mountains for you.

witsend

Quantum,
I have reread your post (on this thread). Just to make sure that I didn’t have a part of your story mixed up with another part of someone elses story.

There isn’t anything that anyone can possibly say to you, when it concerns the loss of your child. It leaves a hole in your heart….Nothing can fill up that hole. It is as though you have to learn to co-exist with a pain unlike any other you have ever before experienced. TIME does NOT heal all wounds. Not this one.

I am sure that you are exhausted. On all levels. But especially emotionally.

All you can do right at this moment is try and keep your son with you. You NEED someone to help you fight for this and that is why I suggested a mediator. If you have a crappy judge, and a crappy attorney, you need someone in your corner. I am not even certain that this is the answer to your current situation in court….But it is another avenue to try.
It might be better than going in there alone?

Maybe someone on here has had some experience with this and can shed some light into their situation with a mediator?

As I said before, I feel for you.

Quantum Solace

learnthelesson:

What you describe is exactly what the monster has done with my children. My son has broken away (mostly because he was thrown out of the house) but I take what I can get. He’s been with me for several months now and things are going well with him although he doesn’t seem too attached to me yet. He’s such a good boy and I’m so proud of him but I ache every time I look at him and see how much of the wonderful litte boy I’ve lost. He told me himself that he had to detach himself emotionally and I’m hoping that it can come back. I keep hanging in there for him, although he may not know it, he needs me. I’m not sure about my daughter thou, she’s different and I fear she too may be affected with the syndrome.

witsend:

I’m exhausted at all levels. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t breath, I’m nauseous all the time, with the runs for days and still hanging in there for my son.

I don’t have many hopes when it comes to finding a “miracle” worker. Luck has never been on my side. Things will undoubtedly get as bad as they can and then, once again, I’ll have to choose between worse and worst. That’s how it goes with me.

I thank you ladies for your support and understanding. I’m not sure what it is that I’m looking for, really. I feel so despondent and I’m always alone, always. I have no family and the few friends that I do have either don’t understand or have their own lives and their time for me is very limited.

learnthelesson

Quantum,

Im glad things are going well with your son. Thats wonderful that he is with you. With my mom, two things happened..(and my story differs in that she suffered from a diagnosable mental illness) but the loss and separation is still the same…but what happened is when she was forced to be on her medication she really reached out to me wanting to know how I felt about her, was there anything I wanted to say to her…and I did. I told her I felt she abandoned me and didnt care, etc. (even though she was not well at the time – I still FELT all the feelings I did as a child and carried it with me through my adult years – I detached emotionally BIGTIME – to survive. The second thing that happened is she began spending her last few months living in the moment with me, her grandchildren and extended family. Once we talked about what we went through – we just started living in the moment and not bringing up the past or focusing on lost years. Again, we had to go through some tough conversations, but we basically just got to know eachother all over again from scratch. She was an amazing woman.

Remember you need to take care of yourself SO THAT YOU CAN BE THERE FOR YOUR SON. It would be overwhelming for all of us to be dealing with all that you are. You dont have to be looking for anything here, we are just glad you are here. In dealing with the effects of my dysfunctional relationship with the bad man – I also had to address the fact that I was fighting depression – I cant advocate enough all of us taking the time to assess whether we think we are depressed or not – and if the answer is yes to make sure thats dealt with first and foremost. HANG IN THERE!!!

TooLate

Before I met my husband I was a strong person. I had energy, enthusiasm, and a strength that seemed never-ending.

Now I am a shadow of that person. I feel weak, lack enthusiasm, and my inner strength is burried deep somewhere inside. Many days I feel like there is a tiny filament … as fragile as a spiders web … holding me together. I worry that any slight stress will be enough to break that tiny thread and I worry about what will happen if that occurs.

I have always been able to manage my personal problems single-handedly. Now, I recognize that this trauma I have been through is too much for me to recover from alone.

I have reached out for help in so many places. I have looked to my doctor for help with my depression. I have looked to a psychologist … and later to an abuse/crisis counselor and advocate for help with my emotional turmoil. I have looked to social services for direction and referrals. I have looked to the law for help in rescuing my daughter. I have looked to an attorney for ending my marriage and to gain sole permanent custody of my 2 boys. I am also in the process of looking for a qualified and intelligent counselor for my children. … and now I have reached out to LF for support.

With my first post came a flow of understanding and support that I have found in no other place since I woke up and discovered the basic truth behind the misery I was in. Finally, I have found a place where other people truly understand what I have been through, what I am currently going through, and what lies ahead of me. Finally a place where other people don’t look at me like I am crazy and lost my mind.

This IS a healing place. This IS a safe place. I can feel it immediately.

THANK YOU everyone for your kind words, your wise advice, and your honest caring. You have given me a source of hope for healing that no one else has been able to give me. The understanding is what I needed the most right now. The knowing that I am not alone.

I will stay here and participate. At the moment, I am self-involved with my own turmoil … but someday I will be able to focus on others … and hopefully provide them with the warmth and support that I am now receiving.

How did I get so fortunate to find you? Was it luck … or is there a guardian angel that guided me here? Whatever the cause, I am happy and gratful for the tiny spark of hope that this place has given me.

Thank you all … from the bottom of my whithered soul. There is life in there … somewhere deep inside … and you have reached it.

I will be taking your advice to begin reading the archives. I will also be trying to participate in discussions as much as I can. I think it will help.

Kimberly

pollyannanomore

Kimberly – just a quick note. I understand. I have lost my spark as well and am desperate to get it back. I don’t know if we can or not but we can hold one another’s hands while we try.

So sorry for what you went through – please post more of your story when you feel able to. You are right – this is a safe and good place with people who understand and care.

Much love to you 🙂

TooLate

About my daughter:

I can barely describe the pain over her loss. I brought this man into our lives when she was 4 years old. I DID THAT! The guilt weighs very heavily on me.

He raised her.

When she was a pre-teen, he began “grooming behaviors” toward her. While gradually separating her from a normal social life and from me … he began to cater to her wishes, hopes, and dreams. Later, he used this as a way to convince her that HE is the one who is supportive of her and that HE is the only one that loves her (letting her drop out of school, buying her horses and expensive clothes even though we didn’t have the money).

I found out from my son(s) that he has been having sexual relations with her since she was 15 (their earliest discovery). I was working 12-hour night shifts to support the 5 of us.

When I left him, I asked her if she would like to go with me or if she wanted to stay with him. She chose to stay with him. She is now 17 and considered a legal adult in the state where they live. I could not make her go with me, even if I had wanted to.

One day she sent me a “hate-mail” comment about how unsupportive I have been in her life. She told me that her life is only improving since I left. She told me that I had no intentions of offering to take her with me but that I had intended to abandon her. (Those sound like his words). Then she “thanked” me for stealing her little brothers from her.

After reading that mail, I felt as though she had sent a dagger into my heart and began twisting it around inside of me.

I do know that one day she will have to experience a pain similar to that which I am going through. One day she will realize what he has done to her. But unlike me, he has taken MORE from her than he has taken from me. He stole her childhood from her. He has given her a skewed perspective of right and wrong. Her first sexual relationship is abnormal. I fear that HER pain will be far worse than mine. I fear that once she realizes what he has done, it will occur to her that I was the one who brought him into our lives. I fear that she will always blame me and hate me and hate me for it.

Will she be able to reach out for psychological help when she needs to? Will she ever be able to have a normal and happy life?

I wish there was something I could say to her that would reach deep inside of her soul and touch her in a way that will get her to wake up to the reality … to give her a hint that what I say is the truth instead of simply dismissing me. How can I reach her?

There was a time when I was in the happy place that she is in now. She is the “center of his charming universe”. She is disillusioned … captive without realizing it. Back then, I wouldn’t listen either.

I want to save her NOW! I want to take her away from him, but my efforts so far have been ineffective.

To her hate-mail, I had only one response. It was “I love you no matter what you say or do. I will always love you.”

Later, when I began to believe that I had lost her forever, I sent her an email. It was short and simple. It said the 5 things that you should say to the dying. That is what was happening to her and I … our relationship had died before i knew what had happened.

I said:
“Please forgive me
I forgive you
I will never forget you
I love you
goodbye”

I did add a 6th thing. It was “You are always welcome here, no matter what happens”

I cried when I wrote that. It was before I knew that she has been having sexual relations with my husband for several years. Looking back at my letter to her … and knowing what I know about them now … I wouldn’t change a word.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who managed to rescue someone from the grip of a sociopath. Surely all of the victims cannot be written off as losses. What did you say or do that reached them? How did you do it?

Part of me has given up hope of rescuing her … and part of me cannot give up. I do love her, no matter what.

I have to try.

Kimberly

TooLate

midlifecrisis:

I am holding your hand. I hope my grip is not too tight.

Can we do this?

Many hugs and tears …. Kimberly

I escaped from a sociopth. He went to see his Mom in Florida. I finally went through his things and found everything packed and ready to go to his next victim. I was so confused at the time…why was all this stuff packed? Innocence.

He came back, made love to me…then when i was still deep within the relaxation of ‘love’…he started…..what have you done…who were you with…you gave me v.d.’ THAT was it! GET OUT! GET OUT OF MY FUCKING HOUSE YOU BASTARD!

Oh, he did….quickly…it was all planned. His stuff…my stuff that I never thought anyone would steal. I HATE HIM!!!

I need some connection. Why is everyone ignoring me and my pain. Am I hitting too many buttons?

Darn it! I was used! He stole 8 years of scrap gold that I used in my antique restorations…he blamed it on the contractors that I let use my electric for the house that was being revamped next door. I believed him….until I found that the parts I used to restore antique lighting were gone. Damn. Damn. I HATE HIM…the bastard…I loved his Mom….How could she let him do this to me?

nic

Hi everyone! I haven’t been on in awhile. I am feeling a little down tonight. Is it really the best for kids to not have contact with their P-dads? I love the nc but I feel sorry that my daughter does not have a father. It has been almost 4 months now with my ex-h dropping out of our 3 yr.old daughter’s life. And yeah I didn’t like her going with him because he was unfit but I am still on the fence if it is better to have a crazy father than no father at all.

I talked with my mom about it and all she could say was “well, when you get married again one day she will have a good step-father.” That was no help.

I wrote in my journal about this also and started crying for a minute. I just started thinking to myself that he did me so wrong and was so mean to me. No one deserves to go through that type of psychological abuse. I guess I answered my own question.

TooLate

Nomorenomore:

You are not ignored. I suppose that we are up later than most people. You can’t sleep either?

When I posted my first post, I didn’t expect a response right away. People are out there … living their lives … trying to pick up the pieces … raising their children. They do not sit on here all day and night waiting for the next post. I have been on here posting tonight … and reading … while lost in thought and trying to make sense of it all.

I understand your anger. I have it too. When I left my husband, I left everything behind except my 2 boys and my van. I am staying with a friend and have realized that starting over will be very difficult for me because I have to buy everything over again. I have no furniture, no beds for the kids, no dishes, no toaster … not even a microwave. Now I have high attorney fees which have to come before all of that. I lost all of the things I spent years gathering for our family. I even left behind our 5 acre property which I paid for all by myself with lots of hard work and overtime. He gets it all.

Actually, I feel lucky that I got out alive and that I got out with my 2 boys. I can replace the material things eventually. What I took with me were the irreplaceable gems in my life … my children.

It will take time to accept such huge losses that you describe. I can only suggest that you begin to think about what you have managed to save …. yourself! Your future!

I hope this helps.

ErinBrock

Hi NIC:
It is my opinion that YES…..it’s best kids are raised in a healthy environment. One teaching genuine Love, respect and boundaries….Not possesions, manipulations and no respect!
I wrestled with this thought……
I have older kids teens….
I wasn’t sure if I left too early or too late….so to speak….
I see the damage the influence has had from their S father on my children and I’ll tell ya…..If I could write how it went….I’d have him dropped out YEARS AGO!!!!
NOW…I’m dealing with the kids anger of abandoment, hatred towards father and his previous influence on them….exposing them to drugs, lies, stealing, manipulations, pitting/splitting behaviors etc…..
If your ex is dropping out…..I would never encourage him back in 3 year olds life….
Your mom may have been able to say it a bit ‘better’…..but she’s right….
You have your whole life…..ahead of you…..your daughter is very young and you can show her love and how to expect the world to treat her. AND YOU!

It’s like…..saying…..Well….at least you have food…..
But forgetting…..yes…..it’s a rotten apple.

So where does that get you???? still hungry!

As a mother….we want our children to be raised by 2 parents….2 involved, loving….non perfect parents….making mistakes along the way…..BUT NOT ABUSIVE!!!!

Ask yourself this……
How would you feel if you allowed your child visitations with a crazy person…..that just so happened to be harming your child?
Just so she could regularly use the title dada?

No…..you would never choose this…..

If he was interested, he’d be in court fighting for his parental rights and if he was ‘fit’ he would be nurturing your baby girl….

I think you both may be better off……
Don’t second guess your gut! You KNOW what you lived……Do you really want your daughter to be his 2nd victim?

Remain strong girl!!!

TooLate

Nic:

I just read your post: “I am still on the fence if it is better to have a crazy father than no father at all”

I am right there with you at the same time. I have 2 sons with my husband … and he will NEVER see them again.

Why? Because he stole my daughter from me! He manipulated her. He led her to believe that I didn’t love her. She is his next victim … and someday she will realize it … and she will never be the same again.

My boys have told me that he “called you bad names. He said you didn’t love us.” and other negative comments. He was already begining to turn them against me.

I lost one child, I’ll not lose the others!

I love my children! They are the only reason that I am still breathing. When they were with him, he neglected their basic needs (food and clothing), subjected them to pornography, and many other improper things. It’s just like an ASPD to avoid responsibilities and social norms.

Part of me feels guilty about it … since I had a very close relationship with my own father … but I have to remind myself that my father was a normal loving dad, and an ASPD is far from that.

Somehow, I will have to explain this to my children before they are old enough to start looking for him. I don’t want to badmouth their dad to them, but I want to start teaching them what a normal parent does and how a normal parent treats their children. Hopefully, they will see where he was lacking and come to good conclusions on their own.

It would be nice if I could teach them how to spot sociopathic behaviors so that if they ever do meet him when they are young adults, they will be wary enough to avoid the trap.

There is a lot of work … and therapy … ahead of us.

nic

Erin: Excellent point… Ask yourself this—
How would you feel if you allowed your child visitations with a crazy person”..that just so happened to be harming your child?
Just so she could regularly use the title dada?

That is so true and I don’t want my daughter to be a 2nd victim.

TooLate: Sorry about your daughter. You sound like a very strong woman.

TO HELL WITH MY EX-H!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

ErinBrock

Nomore:
Welcome and i read your frustrations and pain.
Allow the process to work.
We are only in control of ourselves….not them, not their mothers…..
It is OUR responsibility to pick up after ourselves….this analogy remains valid for everything in our lives.
It is a terrible realization when we come to it……that we have been used.
So let this be the catapult that sends you into the healing process…………
The more you educate yourself on the cluster B’s……the more you will identify and consequently learn and be able to heal and protect yourself for your future.
Knowledge = Power.
You must be strong and remain strong….
Don’t let him live rent free in your head darling!
Get angry enough to do something for yourself…..
There are many stages of grief……anger is just one of them….
It takes time…..and a lot of work! Painful, emotional draining work…..
But…..if we avoid it…..it’s one of lifes lessons……and it’ll be back around until we do get it!

Let the healing begin…..

XXOO
EB

timeheals

nomorenomore

go ahead and let your anger out…let out some tears while you’re at it..it’s therapeutic …really. Like toolate says, try to focus on what you have intact…not on what he took…and then concentrate on moving forward WITHOUT him. We know you can do it, because we’ve all been there. TIME does heal…but right now it’s bedtime…get some sleep, we’ll check on you tomorrow ….hugs

hens

Tonite’s full moon will be the biggest and brightest fullmoon of the year. It offer’s anyone with clear skies an opportunity to identify easy to see features on the moon. This being the first fullmoon of 2010, it is also known as the wolf moon, a moniker dating back to native culture and the notion that hungry wolves howled at the moon on cold winter nites.
Yesterday it rained ice coating everything with crystal clear glass like icicles. Today it snowed 12 inches, soft and slow and it came straight down and layered itself on the trees with the icicles hangin underneath the thick blankets of snow. I just went out for a walk in this biggest and brightest moonlite nite and breathed in this beautiful experience,, And I wanted to share it with my friends here at LoveFraud….henry

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