By | October 2, 2009 167 Comments

Experiencing the impact of grief, Part 2

By Ox Drover

In Part I we looked at what grief is and what “stages” we may pass through when we lose something or someone of great importance to us. We saw that grief can be “legitimate,” in which others “support us” by validating that we have a reason to be sad over the loss. Yet, there can be “disenfranchised” grief, grief that others do not view as “legitimate” reasons for grief, or shameful private grief that we cannot share.

In their attempts to “help” us, many people make fumbling attempts to “cheer us up” or to trivialize our pain, or attach “reasonable” time limits to how long we are able to grieve, which disenfranchises our pain.

Since most people view “grief” as equal to “Sadness,” the other stages of grief, which include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Acceptance, are not necessarily seen as parts of “grief processing.” Especially the stages of anger and bargaining may make the grieving person appear to be “crazy” to observers.

The sudden and irrational angry outbursts that we experience are just as much a part of our processing our grief as a crying bout is. Yet, this scares away and shoves away friends and would-be support, because they don’t understand the grieving process or why we would be so angry.

The bargaining stage, in which we may try to stop the pain by making deals with either God or the devil himself, is also another stage not understood by many of our family and friends, or the public in general. I think this is the stage that many victims of psychopaths are in when they go back again to an abusive relationship. “The devil you know is less scary than the devil you don’t know.”

Processing the roller coaster of feelings

Our grief over the losses of our deeply felt relationships with the psychopaths in our lives is just as valid and just as real as any other grief over any other important loss. Accepting that our grief is real to us, and that is all that matters, is our first task. Our pain is real; our pain is valid. We have a right to feel our pain. To experience the grief is our right! To express that pain without being devalued or disenfranchised is also our right.

Sometimes there is no one else who can or will validate that our pain is genuine, real and our right. In fact, many times others in our lives trivialize our pain, or emotions, or try to make us appear “crazy” for feeling as we do, for hurting, or even deny that any loss occurred. We must validate our own loss, our own pain, sometimes without the outside support, without the supportive presence of empathetic others. In a state of acute grief and pain, this is a difficult thing for us to accomplish.

Understanding the “roller coaster” nature of grief, the rapid cycling of one “stage” to another and back again, sometimes in a matter of minutes or hours, can keep us confused, and those in our environment confused, about whether we are “sane” or not! This rapid cycling of emotions, “okay” one moment, wildly crying the next, or angry and striking out, or trying to find some way to stop the pain by healing the relationship we lost, literally making a bargain with the “devil” psychopath, is the “normal” course of processing our grief and pain.

How long will this go on?

Until it is over.

Though there are trends in grief processing, each of us is an individual who will process through the grief at our own rate, in our own time and our own way. There are several things that will affect the “time line” in grief processing. The first thing, of course, is the depth of the loss. How much did this loss mean to you? How big was the loss?

Another thing that will impact the amount of time needed to process grief is having had prior experiences with grief that were positively resolved into acceptance. We learn how to process grief just like we learn to walk, a little bit at a time, and by practice. A child may learn to grieve over a loss of a beloved pet, yet some parents deprive this child of this learning exercise in the mistaken belief that they are “cheering up” the child when the day after the beloved puppy dies, the parents run out and buy Junior another puppy. Depriving a child of valid grief, the valuable learning experience of grieving, is not arming that child for later life which will be filled with losses in one form or another. So, the effects, either positive or negative, you have had with experiencing grief will effect how you process grief in the future.

Knowing what to expect in the grief process, and being able to name it, will affect the length of grieving. Though I professionally “knew” about grief and the processes we go through in resolving this emotional roller coaster, I was not “immune” to the feelings by my knowing. We cannot intellectually go around our pain, under it, or over it, we must go through the pain of the grief. There are no “short cuts.”

Multiple losses

The number of other losses that happen at the same time will affect how long the processing of grief lasts. Sometimes there are so many losses in a relationship with a psychopath that grieving for all of the losses at the same time is impossible. Because of the magnitude of grieving for all the losses at once, sometimes we are forced to put some losses on the back burner, so to speak, to deal with later. In my own experience, I found dealing with them individually for the most part was easier for me to handle than to try to lump them all together into one huge mass of loss which seemed too big and daunting to even tackle.

Because I dealt with them one at a time, it seemed to me the grieving over one thing or another went on for “decades.” As soon as I got one thing resolved, I had to tackle another one. This was very tiring and discouraging for me at times, but the burdens slowly lifted, and it seemed to me that the grief over each succeeding loss was less painful than the previous ones, that my experiences had made it easier for me to process, and quicker.


How much support we getand how we are validated affects the time needed to process the grief of our losses. When we are disenfranchised, or our grief is devalued or trivialized, we spend our time trying to validate the grief rather than resolving it. We try to “prove” to others that our grief is real.

Sometimes even well intentioned people who are trying to support and comfort us say the absolutely wrong thing, such as, “I know how you feel,” or, “It was meant to be,” or, “You will be okay,” at a time when we know they do not know how we feel, and that we feel we will never be okay again, and how could it be “meant” for us to hurt like this!?! We may fly into an emotional rage of pain and anguish.

How long? As long as it takes, without artificial limits from others like, “You should be over this now and move on with your life.” Also without artificial limits and time lines imposed by ourselves. “It’s been over a year now, I should be dating already.” Distracting yourself from the grief of one loss with another “new puppy” is not going to allow complete resolution of the first loss. Reaching the “acceptance” stage at one point, may not be staying there—remember the “roller coaster.” Giving yourself time to reach and remain in the acceptance stage for a time of peace, calm and quiet, is important. Don’t try to rush things!

10 Tips to support yourself in grieving:

  1. Listen—listen to your own pain, thoughts and feelings.
  2. Validate those feelings—yes they are real and I have a right to feel that way.
  3. Be kind to yourself—take time for yourself without guilt, you deserve it.
  4. Don’t put artificial time limits on your grief—it lasts as long as it does.
  5. Do know that though you don’t feel like it this minute—you will be okay.
  6. Reach out for support from others—talk about your pain to others who will listen.
  7. Come to Lovefraud and read and learn and receive support and validation.
  8. Distance yourself from stressful situations (and people) as much as possible.
  9. Decrease and delay voluntary and unnecessary changes in your life, if possible.
  10. Forgive yourself—you deserve it!

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Thankyou Donna for yet another fantastic post. I have been in court all week dealing with my ex p husband and my p daughter. The grief I am going through is being helped by a very dear friend who supports me “no matter what”. Without her I would be back in the nut house for sure! She does everything you listed and it WORKS!! It quickens the grieving immeasurably because that person VALIDATES me. She believes in me and witnesses what I go through and she has integrity so I can trust her.
This case has been a thorn in my side all of my life. And I can’t believe how I have stayed alive and got through it WITHOUT such a friend in the past. I have only ever had my young son to support me which, in retrospect, was unfair on him.
I know there is a lot more to endure in this case before it is resolved. And if we don’t win ultimately I will have to go into the witness protection scheme and I can’t get my head around that.
But with the mutual help from some of my LF friends here I know I can survive anything. And I know that this wave that is crashing down on me now will recede and take my troubles with them. Thankyou for this insightful post!


Oxy, you’ve given me a lot to think about in your two posts on grieving. Grieving is something that I’m uncomfortable with. I now realize that I’ve always avoided discussion of death and grieving. It wasn’t a conscious decision but a visceral one. I would find a way to avoid any thought of it because of the discomfort that comes with it. No wonder I was unprepared and unwilling to face that I had to leave the P.

Since coming to LF I’ve matured about 10 years in just 4 months. thanks everyone.


Sylar, the death of a relationship is just as devastating as the physical death of a loved one. Our lives are never the same. That’s why it’s important to love everyone when you can … because you never know when it will end. At least we have the capacity to love. “They” lost this ability because they are blinded by GREED, ENVY, JEALOUSY and any of the other vices that prevents them from His loving virtues.


Ox Drover

Dear Sky,

You are not alone in being uncomfortable with grief, grieving, and facing loss.

When I was a kid, birth, loss, death were all part of the family, and took place in the home. Children were taken to funerals, to wakes, to body washings (where the dead were prepared for burial, or later, for the undertaker to pick up for embalming.

Grief was openly displayed, community comfort was given and support and validation for grief was there. (at least in the deaths of loved ones and family)

Yet, it was very specific about what was “Okay grief” and what was disenfranchised grief. What was validated and what wasn’t.

The overwhelming grief I felt when my P-son killed that young woman was UN-validated grief, “shameful” grief, and totally private, unsupported grief. Even my loving husband, in his own grief was unable to support my grieving.

Sometimes when a couple are grieving for the loss of a child, because they are in “different stages” of the roller coaster ride, say he in anger, she in sadness, then she in anger and he in bargaining, they are unable to be validating and supporting of each other and THEIR own relationship will break down so each then has a NEW grief to process. Thank goodness we didn’t break down and ruin our relationship with the griefs we suffered from our losses—one son of mine (the P) and one son of his (brain injury, later death).

The “death/loss” of ANYTHING prescious—a person, your position, your health, financial station, a relationship—etc. ANY thing, can be a reason for overwhelming grief. The more important something is, the greater the grief.

Sometimes the anxiety, anticipation and fear of the loss (grief in advance) can be as bad or worse than the actual loss, or in some cases, like with my step-father’s illness and death from cancer, we did our grieving for his death WITH HIM before he actually died. So that when his actual death came, he was “ready to go’ and we were “ready for him to go.”

Processing all the losses, and many times with the psychopaths they cause multiple IMPORTANT losses—Lily’s situation is an example: She lost her “marriage” her children, her sisters, he home, her financial status, her communnity (she had to move away) She lost her feelings of safety, she lost her friends, her place in the community (not the same as the community itself), and so on, her losses were huge in number, and huge in magnitude as well.

Holding on to the “hope” that at some point she would be reunited emotionally with her children was the “straw” that she clung to to keep from “emotionally drowning” from the magnitude of her losses. I think many of us can relate to that “holding on to the straw” as we are swept away in the river of despair–sometimes we reach out to grab at what appears to be a log floating by, but it turns out to be another alligator and we are in worse shape than before. sometimes we hold on to the “dead body’ of “hope” that we can’t bring outselves to let go of even though we know it is “dead.”

I did that, Lily admits to doing that too. Sometimes on the roller coaster of grief, we let go of the “dead body” of hope we cling to, but then swim maddly after it again (going back to the abuser etc.) as our anxiety about letting it go spikes upward.

That roller coaster ride eats up our energy, our life it seems. Yet, it is so important that we face the grief head on, meet the pain and overcome it by feeling it. I have been working on my grief (s) one at a time mostly, and still even roller coaster once in a while, but over all I am getting to acceptance (most of the time) where there is peace. But I definitely know it takes work and time, so don’t try to rush yourself. It takes as long as it takes. Be good to yourself!!! (((Hugs))))


Oxy, my discomfort might be because I have so much buried grief from my childhood from being devalued and abused. It was buried and I didn’t want to take that chance that it would get out.

I didn’t even realize it until I saw the P for what he was. Then I realized that my ENTIRE life, not just the time with the P, had been a living nightmare. There were so many similarities, I had just been refusing to acknowledge it. My facade had been to seem cool, smart and tough-unflappable. Well, now I’m flapping. Actually, I’m all flapped out. but at least I’m forced to start grieving and get it over with.

here’s an interesting story comparing death to the loss of a relationshit.
I was shooting a wedding video and met up with the parents of some old school friends from 30 years ago. One of their kids, T, was recently divorced. I told them that I, also, had just split with my ex. I gave no more information than that. I never said the word P. The woman said to me, “Oh isn’t it awful? It would easier if they had DIED!” I was shocked, but i said, “how did you know?”

Then I told her a small bit about how my P was a con artist. She told me that T’s Ex, had demanded $1600 for a cell phone bill and had been keeping their heirloom family bible for ransom. T caved and gave him the money, but he kept the bible. That’s all I know, but I’m sure he was a P or else T’s mom would not have had such a reaction. Next day, T walked up to me and gave me a hug. Didn’t say much, and walked away. I virtually didn’t even know her in grade school since she was about 5 years younger than I am.

I guess my point is that, death is easier than living with a P. That’s why so many of us get to the point of wanting to die and some commit suicide. And the P’s know this, that is their goal in life, murder by suicide. The grief of having loved a P is a very different, almost unresolvable type of grief. So many try to get closure so that they can get to the acceptance stage. But the P’s don’t allow closure. Lies don’t allow closure.

Only LF allows closure.


Skylar, I believe that the only time situations in life are suppose to be difficult is when natural disasters or other types of disasters that are out of human control come into our space. When anti-socials purposely add to human destruction to do their damage to others is the reason it is beyond surreal and painful at the same time. People naturally, do not expect one of our own harming us.


My firm belief is that they are the ones that loose. We can love. They do not, therefore, they end up not knowing the miracle and depth of love.

A world devoid of emotions is beyond our imagination … per quote from Alexander Lowen, MD … proclaimed narcissist.

Ox Drover

Dear Skylar,

It isn’t unusual for a sudden grief/loss to bring back memories (supressed) or emotions (suppressed) from earlier in our lives that we “buried.”

Looking back, I started to see that my egg donor had devalued me most if not all of my life—-that I had spent so much of my time and effort to “please” her, that she had convinced me she loved me, when what she wanted was “control.” so the early loss was “heaped up” on top of the immediate losses, and that can be a CLEANSING thing, but it is PAINFUL TO GO THROUGH as well.

When we start to heal from one grief, it cleans off our “rosy colored glasses” about a lot of things….but ultimately “the truth will set you free, but first it will pith you off!” (((hugs))))


thanks for the ((((hugs)))),
I know that truth and knowledge is power that’s why I chose the name Skylar, it means (scholar) protection through knowledge. But it would not be as powerful without the support of the empathic and supportive people on LF.

As shocked as I was to find out that such horrible evil existed in my ExP and my family, I was almost as equally shocked that so much good could exist in one place: LF

I guess that’s how things eventually balance out – that’s a law of nature, right?

Ox Drover

Dear Skylar,

I’m not sure if there is a 50-50 “balance” in the world, sometimes it seems like a 1-99 “imbalance” but I do notice that we have to focus on the parts that are good.

I watched 20/20 last night, and it was about albinos around the world and how they suffer because of their “strange” appearance, especially people who are “supposed to” be black. In one country in Africa they are being specifically attacked because some witch doctor started promoting their body parts as “good ju-ju” so babies are stolen, others have their arms and legs cut off, or their dead bodies dug up.

When I went to highschool, we had one young man who was an albino, but because we had a small school, and a small community, as far as I know he was not persecuted, in fact he was quite popular with his classmates (he was a year ahead of me) but apparently that is not the case now with children who ‘look different”

Why am I telling about this on LF? Well, there are traumas of all kinds in this world, and part of the traumas we are exposed to are nothing we can do anything about, and some of the traumas are pretty HORRIBLE….our traumas are ALSO HORRIBLE (not minimizing ours at all) but we ARE ABLE TO RECOVER from ours, and some people have NO CHANCE to recover. So because we have a chance to recover, I think we OWE it to the universe to DO SO! To add to the balance of the GOOD and to spread that GOOD to others to the best of our abilities.

Giving back comfort, compassion and empathy on LF is just one way we can start to reach out to others in that balance. And, I do think that GIVING BACK is a sign that we are recovering.

I dont’ know if you remember but a “control freak” came here once and wanted our help in writing a letter to his ABUSIVE girl friend who dumped him, and as this went on he kept going over and over this letter and presenting himself as a VICTIM, but it eventually came out that this guy was THE ABUSER and his victim had escaped and he wanted help to get her back so he could CONTROL HER. YIKES!!!!

Anyway, I think you can look here at the people who come on LF and to some extent see genuine victims no matter how hurt they are, start to GIVE BACK TO OTHERS VERY QUICKLY, it is not “all about them” taking and demanding support like a “Hoover”—–



‘Because I dealt with them one at a time, it seemed to me the grieving over one thing or another went on for “decades.” As soon as I got one thing resolved, I had to tackle another one.’

It feels a lot like this for me, I call it ‘peeling my onion’…as soon as I get through one layer, it opens up another… but even though it is exhausting and it sometimes feel like it will never end, I am so grateful to be able to do this.:)


OxDrover, what an incredibly helpful, healing, and uplifting article. Thank you so much. Your discussion of private, “disenfranchised” grief really hit home with me; that type of grief really is so much harder to process. The P in my life had done an outstanding job of cultivating an image as a saint; and then he became wildly successful in a glamorous field so, of course, everyone flocked to his side to be associated with him. The handful of people I tried to tell about what he did to me didn’t want to hear it. Really did not. So I stopped trying. For one thing, what he did didn’t make any sense. My attempts to describe it made me sound crazy and paranoid. He didn’t need to do any of these things to be successful, so, the reasoning went, why would he? Exactly! That is one of the things that made it so unexpected, so traumatic, and so bewildering! And of course, all other people saw was his incredibly charming, “saintly” persona. So, I just learned to keep it to myself. It even took a while to get my husband on my side, this guy was so good at seducing people. Very very painful. And this all happened when I was reeling from several incredibly traumatic experiences, which this a**hole KNEW! AND he turned several mutual friends against me, right when I needed support the most. God, it was a hard time. I wish I’d known about LF then.

But I do now. And your sage and pragmatic wisdom, Oxy, is some of the most helpful guidance I’ve received. Everyone on this site whom I’ve interacted with has been kind and supportive and insightful and BELIEVED ME, which is just so . . . huge. Everything that everyone has said about why this betrayal is particularly hard to get over is so true. If a loved one dies, or you get a terminal illness, people will rally to your side. But so often, you get the opposite when you get targeted.

So, yes, it is most definitely a lesson in learning to give ourselves the support we so long for in others. If we can’t get it outside of ourselves, it is essential that we avail ourselves of what we can get inside. Thanks so much for all the good suggestions and advice, Oxy and all the LF community.

Ox Drover

Dear Skippy,

The disenfranchised grief was what I felt when my son killed that girl! It was so much more painful than even my husband’s horrible accidental death. At the time I was feeling the disenfranchised grief with my son, I was aware it was disenfranchised but I had to go through it anyway. But it did make it worse.

Now my grief about my egg donor is also disenfranchised like yours because “no one believes me” (in the community mostly) because she is so “saintly”—sheesh! However, I have learned to ENTITLE myself to feel that grief, to experience it, and to VALIDATE it. Which I have found helps
VERY MUCH with working through it.

Realizing that the public’s disenfranchisement of our grief doesn’t make it NOT TRUE, NOT VALID, OR NOT REAL, or make us weak for not “getting over it” like they think we should or for even feeling it.

OUR GRIEF IS REAL! Our pain is real! WE ARE REAL! We are STRONG. We will survive! We will grow!


My heart goes out to you so deeply, Oxy; I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through and continue to go through. I can only imagine what you went through when your P son killed that girl; and now the egg donor drama. Thank goodness for this site – it’s so comforting to be in a community where we are believed and our grief can be validated and we can talk about what happened. I’m going to keep repeating your last paragraph in your comment above. Makes a very reassuring mantra 🙂


BTW, which thread has updates on Lily? How is she doing?

Ox Drover

Lily had surgery yesterday afternoon, she is (assuming she survived) probably in ICU, or doped up for pain (abdominal surgery is very painful) so I haven’t tried to talk to her, I will try to get some information on her this evening. Will let everyone know ASAP.

Today has kind of been a “strange one” today, I’ve been antsy, actually shaking and feeling anxious, not sure why?????

My sons and two of their friends are out doing repairs on our cattle guard that leads into our yard. son C got a pretty good cut on his hand that required a few sutures, so I got out my suture kit and went to sew him up, and I was shaking like a leaf, made it very difficult to suture the cut, and suturing is something I was always good at and never got “nervous” doing it. Fortunately this cut was shallow and not in a “no suture” zone (which would have required a hand surgeon to do) and no tendons were cut, etc. but it was when I was doing the suturing that I realized just how “antsy” I have been and probably the last 24-48 hours.

Sometimes it is so difficult for US to really be aware of our own “state of mind.” I realized too that I have been cranky feeling, I have controlled it and not acted out on it, but I did realize that I have been cranky feeling and didn’t want anyone to talk to me.

So, I went outside and worked in my raised bed gardens, it was time to plant th e garlic anyway, and in oder to do that I had to harvest my green bean seed and remove the vines and trellesises (plural trelles) ha ha any way, did that, put the seed out to dry, pulled the vines and gave them to the goats to clean off the metal which they do so WELL. Then put the garlic in, went to the mulch pile and got a big load of mulch and then put the mulch over the entire bed (rotten hay) and I think the exercise and the bright sunshine helped as well as the exercise.

A friend dropped by to pick up some butane bottles she had bought from me, so we went up and messed with the donkeys a few minutes before she left, and just being with them is also theraputic.

Today is as beautiful a fall day as there has been since the creation, perfect weather, perfect temperature, and perfect humidity but the rain is due back in tomorrow night so I need to enjoy this while I can.

When we do realize that we are “off” in some way, I think we need to be good to ourselves and do something healthy for ourselves to over come whatever stress hormones are floating around there. I may never knwo the “why” I am feeling antsy but I do feel better now. Just knowing that I can and should and did be “good to myself” is comforting in itself at least to me. Doesn’t have to be anything “big” just even something simple as getting my hands in the dirt! (((hugs))))


Thanks for the update on Lily, Oxy.

I’ve been antsy today too. First thing I did this morning was let my P-mom have it. I usually don’t tell her that she’s a P. but today, she got on my nerves. there was nothing unusual about today, I think it’s me.

Unlike you, when I feel out of sorts, instead of doing something good, I do something that’s bad for me. I had a second cup of coffee. Oh well.

Next to the P, coffee is my nemisis. I only drink about a tablespoon of espresso with a 1/2 cup of milk, but there is a detriment to my health, due to my PTSD, I guess. Still, I’m addicted to that little bit. Guess who bought me my very first espresso? The P.

kim frederick

Oxy and Skylar, me too. It’s a full moon, you know.


oh great! I didn’t know it was a full moon. My xP usually goes out and does P type things on a full moon. I often noticed that on a full moon he would be out all night. I don’t know if he was aware of the moon, but I was. I don’t know what he did, but now I figure it’s whatever P’s do. 🙁

Now I’m worried that he’ll come around here tonight. Thanks for the heads up Kim.

Ox Drover

Dear Sky,

I also drink too much coffee, and you are right about the FULL MOON, when I worked at the psych hospital we could TELL when the moon was full without looking outside—I’m not sure what the deal is with it, but it is TRUE. Crazy folks and convicts and since I am not a convict, I must be CRAZY! LOL

I notice also that on the full moon the coyotes around here “talk” a lot more than on the other nights, even when the moon is very bright but not actually full.

I noticed last night when I let the dog out that it was very bright outside, but back here in the trees I have to go looking for the moon to see it most of the time when the leaves are still on the trees. I guess my body is responding to the moon, and the TIDES sure do so if they do I guess I can too. LOL

Thanks for warning me what was going on! LOL Sigh!


Hi guys:
I too am feeling off…..I am aware of the ‘events’ that triggered this feeling in me and it was a combo of situations.
None I have any control over.
I am fully aware of how I allow others to affect me and how I respond emotionally/within myself.
I have been almost ‘one’ with my office and extremely non productive!
I am self sabotaging by missing ‘deadlines’ etc…
And this just pisses me off further!
I have felt the anxiety flutters and loss of breath……and I have the physical responses.
I DON”T like it , and I have to ‘shake it up’….
I know it won’t last, and it will pass…….
I’m with ya on the weird ‘cycle’ going on…..


And I don’t even drink coffee!


Thanks, Oxy, for the update on Lily. Will be keeping her in my thoughts and prayers.

So, I’ve been feeling anxious lately, and I think part of it is because I still have no idea about the level of the smear campaign being waged against me. But I’ve also been thinking about another theory, which might sound totally wacked, but I figure maybe I can share it here. The most striking thing I’ve noticed about all of the genuine posters who comment on this site is how compassionate, self-reflective, nurturing and giving they are. These are not qualities of the ego. My religious upbringing was very very eclectic, so my beliefs don’t fit into any particular category, but what I think is that we all do have a spirit or soul or whatever you want to call it. And that is where true goodness comes from. Because of our psychic structure as we live and make our way on this planet, in this reality, we have an ego that has a job that is supposed to help the soul figure out what’s going on in physical reality. But when egos get separated from their spirit, they become sociopathic. We live in a world, it seems to me, where a lot of people have become “lost.” Some of us, when we become lost, simply become depressed or self-critical, maybe easy targets or whatever, rather than sociopathic. But an unguided ego, IMHO, is utterly narcissistic and unable to feel empathy inherently. It has to learn these things.

In order to have the best connection with our soul, we have to put our ego in its proper place. It needs to take a back seat. And the ego that’s been in control panics when we try to do this. It’s afraid it needs to be in control for survival. So, as we work through our healing process from being targeted, which, it seems to me, involves a great deal of soul-searching and making a Herculean effort to reach through and connect firmly to our True Selves, we may trigger the ego. And we’ll feel anxious. But if we feel compassion for our ego and at the same time, tell it to calm down, that everything’s going to be okay and we keep on in our quest to be strong and connected, we might be able to have an easier time moving forward.

Just some thoughts. I don’t know if they’ll make any sense to anyone else, but I feel like I can speak my mind in this nonjudgmental environment. And I think one thing we all want to do, which speaks well of us, is help each other in any way we can, with whatever thoughts we might have about what happened to us and why.

Ox Drover

Dear Skippy,

I wouldn’t describe it in exactly those same words, but I think your ideas and mine are somewhat along the same path.

I think yes, we do have a spiritual aspect, and an ego, and OUR egos are NOT protective enough of US, we start protecting or giving TOO much to others, they, on the other hand are TAKING energy from us, and everyone around them and giving nothing back.

One of the FIRST things I sort of spotted about a particular poster here a few months back is that they were ALL about their pain, wanting comfort and advice, etc. and NEVER once, reached out to console anyone else or to comfort anyone else.

My son and I were talking about this same subject the other day and he said to him it was like we are conduits, with positive energy flowing in and then flowing OUT again to others, and that the Ps are more like a FUNNEL with massive amounts flowing IN and little or nothing flowing out.

Sometimes I think also that WE are more like UPSIDE DOWN FUNNELS, and are giving OUT more than we take in, and you know what that means, eventually we RUN DRY!

So inistead of being a P and taking, taking and taking and giving little or none back, OR like an UPSIDE down funnel, giving out and giving out and takign in very little, we should be like a piece of pipe (conduit) that is the same size in and out, with energy flowing THROUGH. I really liked the way he described it as it made perfect sense.

We DO I think also need to feel compassion for ourselves, and I realized that I did NOT feel compassion for me, but only for others, now I am trying to take in energy, give out energy AND have compassion for myself if I am not “perfect”—-and who is?! LOL Well, only the Ns and the Ps are “perfect” of course—in their minds! ha ha


Excellent distinction and description, Oxy! I think your son is very right about the funnel/conduit analogy. I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to say it! Thanks!!

Yes, and the shame for Ps is that, while we are striving to find our balance and become a conduit, they aren’t because they don’t see any problem. So, as more and more of the upside-down funnels start to get their energy protected, as more and more people become educated about Ps and Ns, they’re going to run out of supply!

Ox Drover

Dear Skippy,

I wish that were so! Unfortunately there is a “new sucker born every day” as P T. Barnham said. I wish we could educate each person for ever, but the problem is, each time there is a new child born, you have to start all over, so there isn’t a way to educate everyone and have it “stick for all time”—plus, there are just some people who will NEVER learn no matter what happens to them.

But, “if wishes were horses, beggers would ride…”


Oxy, don’t be so pessimistic!
We will succeed! That is our mission. Just ask Erin.
The internet will be our tool and we will shine a light on all the evil entitiies.

We will start a new organization: The Institute for the Eradication of Evil (IEE)!

Ok, i’m getting carried away, but I still have hope.

Ox Drover


That isn’t pessimism it is REALITY! Evil has been in the world since the get go the moment Satan walked into the garden of eden (whether you belive this as literal or not) and there have been Ps “forever” and will be Ps forever and they will harm others and con others forever, HOWEVER…that said…

We do the best we can, but we will never get rid of them completely. But, doing the best we can with the tools we have is all anyone can do. Mother Teresa didn’t get rid of poverty either, but she did the best she could with what she had, and that is all God or man requires us to do.

I am only one
I cannot do everything,
But I can do what one can do.

That is my mantra and setting a REALISTIC goal of doing all I (one) can do is less frustrating than setting a goal that is too high and never being able to even make a dent in it.

If I set a goal that is realistic I may not meet it every time, but I will make a dent in that reasonable goal.

I can’t save every person from pain, or salve every wound, but I will save those I can and salve the wounds I can. Just because I cant fix the entire world doesn’t mean I won’t accept responsibility for doing what I can for myself and giving back to others.

I’m just more careful who I give to any more, and don’t waste my energies “jousting at windmills” like I did in the past.

When I was 18 I thought I could change the whole world, now I am much less arrogant and much more realistic—FINALLY. LOL


Maybe we are on such a similar wavelength, even our crabby moods coincide! Just checked in after work, and it’s funny to see everyone’s posts about being out of sorts. I woke up remembering strange dream and then just had hardest time going in to work. Have had such a hard time getting over this cold or whatever it is, sure it’s emotional too but just feel totally exhausted! And as I drove to work, tried to practice gratitude but just felt like literally quitting all day, I just wanted to be home doing my art – doing it in a relaxed, happy way, doing what I’m good at. I did notice moon last night though and I do believe it has an influence on our moods, and now is the gradual transition from summer to fall, finally cooling down where I live and some leaves starting to turn. Everyday it’s more transition…last night after work I just made soup and watched movie. Tonight I’m not going out and will just lay low, maybe take a nice bubble bath with a good book. Sometimes I wish my kids would call more just to say hello (no requests for babysitting, etc.) They’re good kids – young working adults and have their own lives now. I realize my life has evolved to this point where it is up to me to make of it what I will or want – more decisions to make on the horizon.

But tonight is for letting the world go by – and watching the bubbles. Will check back to see how Lily is doing.


For being ‘crabby’ you sure have some good thoughts…..
I want to be crabby with YOU!

I too watched the moon last night….didn’t get a howl out……
But I had a familiar moment…..As i went out on my porch and looked up, I got the same feeling I had when I was in Paris looking out at the sky… I closed my eyes and visioned me back in Paris….
Maybe that was what made me sadder…..I knew I had to open my eyes…..HAH….now that’s looking at the glass half full…..NOT!

Enjoy the bubbles and relax, I am glad to hear your dong something for YOU!


Thank you Oxy for two great posts. I have found them very helpful, particularly about disenfranchised grief. The pain we suffer is bad enough but when it is dismissed or has to be covered up makes it so much worse! and is often the thing that drives us to the point of craziness.
I have struggled recently with the discovery that a friend who I thought believed what had happened to me has recently been in touch with the P and the OW. I want to believe that she is trying to be ‘neutral’ but it has shaken me quite a lot. I thought that by him leaving him to join the OW in another country that I could be free but I still keep finding out things that hurt very much. I just do not know whether to trust this friend anymore, especially as there as there is a danger of her finding out I have reported his behaviour to the Immigration Dept of that country.
Am I now paranoid or should I give her the benefit of the doubt?? Personally, I suspect that the OW wanted me to find out to just to hurt me and uses people she can influence and manipulate. I just don’t know anymore. Can anyone give me some advice. The thought of another betrayal makes me shake all over and very depressed.

Ox Drover

Dear Swallow,

This is just my PERSONAL OPINION, so take it for what it is worth.

“Friends” who try to be NEUTRAL are NOT MY FRIENDS. Acquaintences can be “neutral” and I dont’ take any offense, but people who KNOW what the P did to me and still want to be “friends” with THAT person as well knowing what nasty things they have done…..well, I have a PROBLEM with MY friends associating with such trash….so I distance myself from them.

The requirements to be MY friend are that you be HONEST and not “hang with” dishonest and mean people who do mean things to others.

So I am done giving people the “benefit of the doubt” unless I am very very very sure of them….doesn’t sound like you are with this woman.


To Oxy and Skylar – I agree that evil has always been with us. Sounds like, from the history that I’ve read, that sociopaths have always been with us. But I think that partly they’ve been able to commit so much evil and get away with it because people didn’t know what they were looking at or dealing with. I know that, before I started finding about sociopathy and how it presents itself, I was very confused about the disorder. I had a very narrow idea of what a sociopath was like and I believed, without thinking about it, really, that I could spot one coming a mile away. I didn’t know that evil wore a charming, saintly face. I really didn’t. I was naive, I know, but a lot of people are (and a disproportionate number of naive people are targeted). I do think that, as the profile of true sociopaths becomes more common knowledge as more books get published about it and more people speak up and more people find sites like this, Ps won’t be able to do as much damage. There won’t be as many people who will be fooled. There will be more people who recognize red flags.

There is getting to be more awareness and these troglodytes thrive on people’s ignorance. The word is spreading. I found this four-part series while surfing the Web the other day:,,, and The word is getting out.

Yes, we can only do what we can do. Individually we are each just one person. But as one person, we can maybe enlighten a handful of others, and they can go on to enlighten a handful of others, and little by little, at least the machinations of the sociopath will be laid bare. That will take some of their power away.

And Swallow, I am so very sorry for your pain. I think Oxy gives great advice. I had some “friends” who pretended to stay “neutral” after finding out what the P did to me, and surprise, surprise, they turned out not to be friends at all. In fact, just the opposite. I wish I had dumped them the minute they gave me their “we’re not taking sides” bullshit. Would have saved myself a lot of additional pain.


I’m on the same page as Oxy….
Unfortunately, we do find that people want to be ‘liked’ and keep a connection…..even if it is unhealthy and fake.
The only protection we ‘sorta’ have is to trust ourselves and only those around us with proven track records.
I have experieced ths type of betrayal……as I think many of us have…it sucks, devalues us and undermines our trust in anyone.
I got to a point where I didn’t trust ANYONE…..not even my kids. NO ONE…..
I keep information close to my hip now, in ‘real’ life……and no one person knows exactly what I am up to…..I feel I can’t risk the betrayal.
Loose lips sink ships! That is the bottom line I live by!
Don’t worry yoursefl sick…..just realize what is occuring and this seems to be a person you can’t trust….
There is never any benefit of doubt when dealing with a S.
We have only ourselves and our shadow.
Keep your chin up……


BTW….I also have NC with ANYONE who has any regard for the S.
I didn’t go around making people choose,,,,,I didn’t need to…..People will choose on their own…..
I knew who he remained supply with and I eliminated myself from their lives.
One guy has a real problem with this, and letting me go…..and I know…..because of recon I did, it’s because he wanted to play me and report back to the S……this was his value to the S…..I learned this early on…..fed him only what I wanted the S to learn with a bunch of lies (counter control on my part!)….and as soon as we would hang up…..he would call the s and talk for hours….
My policy is now…..with everyone, family, friends, neighbors, business associates, dr’s, whatever…..if your involved with him, your not with me……


first of all, hello everyone. i haven’t been on in a while; doing okay. heard from the s/p/n a month ago, hung up in his face, then he left a rambling message telling me how great he’s doing … blah blah blah … then berating me for hanging up on him. ugh.
i agree with you, erin. ANYONE who has anything to do with the ex has got to go. i even changed dentists! it was the only way i maintained any sanity. went deep underground. NO ONE has heard from me to this day. his friends have tried to befriend me on twitter and FB; and … IGNORE.
it’s hard to be alone (14 months NC now! woohoo and towanda!) but it’s better than being in a constant state of anxiety.
i’m going to do some reading here; catch up on all my FB friends. holding lily in prayer. love you all.


Glad to hear your hanging in there…..sometimes that’s all we can do!
Rid yourself of the toxicity and even potential avenues of attack from others…
I am re reading this link….It’s all familiar info, but it is just reinforcement of all of it in a short article!

I find I need reinforcement here and there from this sort of research.
a ‘top me up’….

14 months GO GIRL! That is great….they just never seem to go away though……we must stay vigilant and keep what we know close.

I swear without NC I would be so back into it! How many times over and over….

I follow my gut, wherever my actions take me….I didn’t even know about NC rule when I did it…..found out later…..BEST THING I EVER DID!
All the I love you’s, the hooks, the catchs that I fell for for 28 years…..
My reaction to all of the above was all part of his claim of mental illness…..
Well, of course I would just drop and beckon to his hooks…..WHEN I DIDN”T, I BECAME MENTALLY ILL!
Funny, it also coincided when I found the drugs……
and I faked the cancer……
S’s have such great attack timing……
it’s inherant!

You have a great day….take care of yourself and keep on with the NC!
Good to see you around!


yep, and 25 years for me. but now, in retrospect, it’s just so amazing to see what a total FRAUD he was all along. everything he did, everyone he engaged with had a tactical purpose for him. makes me shiver inside … truly diabolical.

glad you’re doing well too. so much support and love here.
xoxo to everyone!

Ox Drover

Dear LIG,

Glad to see you back here GF, TOWANDA on how well you are doing!

Freaking rain started today! YUK! So am baking (3 cakes in the oven right now) then “Mexican Skillet cornbread” tonight (with meat and cheese, onions and peppers in it) so might as well make the best of a GRIM DREARY ROTTEN MISERABLE (did I miss any discriptive word?) DAY! If this rain keeps up all winter like it has all summer you guys may be tired of listening to me bitch about it! LOL

Heck it is such a miserable, boring rotten crumby day I’m doing laundry and cleaning house too! NOW THAT’S BORED! LOL

Haven’t been able to get any information on Lily, will let you know when I do. Love Oxy


Wow, Oxy, that skillet has so many uses! LOL That sounds delicious too.


oxy: i LOVE the rain. it’s so cleansing and helps stuff grow and keeps the earth green! and i can smell those cakes … yummy!
glad to see the skillet is at the ready, but i think i’m good for the time being!

kim frederick

Oxy I was born and raised in the Seattle area. Don’t live there now, but I have an intimate understanding of looooong rainy winters. I have webbed feet I think. Get asmuch sunlight as you can, in order to avoid SAD, and your mexi corn bread and cakes sound yummy!


Dear Skippy, As regards to Narcs and Ps being hard to spot because they are sometimes so charming and good looking. Apparently, according to the Bible, Lucifer, or satan , was the most beautiful Arch angel in heaven.He was the anointed cherub, and was in charge of colour, music, and the arts. He walked all day round the throne of God. His over weening fault was PRIDE, he wanted to be higher than God himself, and for this, he was cast out of Heaven. When he fell, he took a quarter of the angels in heaven with him, who then became demons.The bible says he and these demons are responsible for all the eveil that exists in the world today, but they cant operate without the full co-operation of humans. We can see all of Lucifers faults in Sociopaths and narcs. They feel they are special, rare, anointed beings, above the rest of the human race,-they feel entitled to anything they want, money, power, status,sex, and are totally ruthless in their purssuit of these things {which they want ,free , of course!}They have no conscience no true ability to love, no guilt, no shame, no empathy. Love, Gem.XX


Thanks Oxy and everyone for your sound advice. I do agree with everything you say. Deep down I have always felt that anyone who wants to be connected to those kind of people isn’t worth the time butI needed to ask people who really understand and it is comforting to have my instincts validated as it makes me feel sane again!
Cheers everyone!

Ox Drover

Yea, I know that without the april showers, you can’t have may flowers, but we have like 20+ additional inches of rain over normal and so little sunshine we didn’t get a 3rd cutting of hay this year, tomatoes were like YUK and so on, so we need some sunshine! Fortunately I’m on top of a hill, so no flood problems, but I would like a BIT of sunshine for now.

I used to have SAD some esp. when I worked in a windowless clinic and it would be grim in the winter time. But now that I am aware about it, I try to get sunshine on the days I can, or even just outside even if it is just raining.

It seems that the “little” things we can do for ourselves when we feel depressed or down or bored, etc. are very important and I’m taking the time and effort to do those things—and NOT feel guilty about it!

It is amazing to me, Swallow, how much better my lfie is since I “weeded out” those people that stress me–whatever the reason or cause is—they aren’t all Ps, but sometimes just jerks or even unaware, but what do we need that kind of person in our life for [email protected]?


Thanks for the kind words, Gem. Those passages didn’t make sense to me before, but they do now. XOXO to you!


Hi everyone. I haven’t been on in awhile. I am finally divorced from the S!!! It took two long years to do. I have been divorced for almost 3 weeks now. I am struggling tonight.

He hadn’t seen our daughter in 3 weeks. No calls or anything. He finally got her yesterday and today (court order). By the way, he looks awful. His hair is balding, receding hair line, etc. at only 35. He told me he is getting old. But I know it is from leaving his wife and kid and taking up with his mistress and her 4 kids (1 together)!!

So anyway, he asked me to dress our 3 yr. old up for Church this morning. This triggered me. How can he go to Church with our daughter, his mistress (I know we are divorced so she is no longer technically a mistress but she will always be one to me) and all of those kids?

But then I thought about how when I first called his mistresses number she had “have a blessed day” on her message. And she sent me an email quoting Bible scriptures. My ex and I went to Church on Easter 2007 and he left me the next day and had a baby with his mistress. He was so adamant about going to Church that day.

Why do people use God in that way? The Pastor mentioned today a cartoon strip of the Devil sitting outside of the Church listening to everyone sing and praise God. Someone walks up to him and says “aren’t you mad they are praising God?” The Devil replies, “no, they do that every Sunday and I know I will have them tomorrow.” I instantly thought of my ex.

I hate that my daughter has to be around sin and her father who does not love her. 3 weeks with no calls, etc. when he was coming every week is crazy. He blames me for him not coming those weeks. I have to let this go. I thought I was on to acceptance but not quite yet.


welcome back nic,
congrats on your divorce.
Lots of them use religion, because they want something they don’t have: goodness. So instead they take the veneer of goodness in the form of a religious person. Sad. I think his mistress will soon be the next x, once he wears her down.


Thanks Skylar.

super chic

Hi nic, well… skylar really summed it up very well!! He sounds like a real a**hole. The mistress is such a bitch! How can they sit in the church? Hopefully your daughter will have fun in Sunday school, that’s the only good part about the whole thing!!! Everything will work out, you two are going to be fine!! I know it!!!! 🙂


Congrats on your divorce, nic. My exP use to have Bible quotes in his internet profile. Ugh. I think the religious stuff was in one of the chapters of the How to Be a Good Sociopath handbook

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