Fear-based thinking no longer runs my life

Editor’s note: The following post was written by the Lovefraud reader “Adelade.”

According to my counseling therapist, I became involved with sociopaths as a result of their motivations and their abilities to note my strengths and vulnerabilities. My vulnerabilities were formed during my childhood and manifested as a crippling condition termed, “shame core.”

This core was based upon my experiences in a dysfunctional family environment of alcoholism. For whatever reasons, I believed that I was responsible for the happiness and well-being of everyone, and I mean everyone. This false sense of responsibility prepared me for a lifetime of fear-based decisions and choices that included marrying two sociopaths in a row.

Fear is a visceral response to threat or danger. When a child feels that they are “in danger” of being cold, unloved, hungry, and dirty, the response is to do whatever they can to avoid being cold, unloved, hungry, or dirty. If a child feels “threatened” with abandonment, dismissal, humiliation, abuse, molestation, hunger, or any other negative situation, that child will do whatever they can to avoid the threats.

Childhood threats real or imagined

For me, these fears were based upon experiences that were, at the time, facts. I was neglected, dismissed, unfed, unwashed, verbally and emotionally abused, abandoned, and humiliated on a constant basis. The humiliation of being neglected fed the Abandonment Monkey. The Abandonment Monkey would then pull the tail of the Un-Love-Able Monkey who would, in turn, scream at the Humiliation Monkey. Once this cycle begins for a child, it becomes a living, breathing part of their persona unless strong steps are taken to alter the child’s core beliefs of themselves.

How that fear translated into my core beliefs of myself were that I was abandoned, humiliated, unfed, and dismissed because something that I had done (or, failed to do). That meant that I was unworthy of love, undeserving of nutrition, and that I was, in essence, a waste of human tissue.

Adult threats real or imagined

As I moved into adulthood, these core issues and beliefs became the driving force behind nearly every decision and choice that I made. From partners to college courses, my fears of abandonment and feeling unworthy caused me to make some very tragic choices. In the case of the first abusive spath spouse, I was targeted and responded to the typical spath love bombing and empty promises because the sociopath was himself a tragic figure. His childhood story was appallingly sad and he was always beneath some mystical black cloud that I believed that I could help him to escape. If I demonstrated how much I loved and believed in this tragic man, he would, in turn, love me back and never leave me because I had proven my value to him by sacrificing for him. Well, of course, this course of decision-making was catastrophic on every level for me, and the children produced from this union.

The Self Destruction Exhibit

My fears of abandonment, ridicule, and the rest are what fueled all of the monkeys in the Self Destruction Exhibit, and I remained in an environment of violent abuse because of those fears. I wasn’t worthy of a strong and healthy relationship, nor was I deserving of educating myself and discovering my own independence. The monkeys kept me tied to a co-dependency that nearly drove me to suicide.

There seemed no other way out for me. I couldn’t take care of myself because I had been caring for everyone else throughout my lifetime. Whether it was a violent husband or sick children, I took my own needs entirely off of the stove and honestly believed that this was how it was supposed to be. I honestly believed that martyring myself would, someday, result in a Supreme Reward, and it never happened.

The second marriage was fear-based, as well. I hadn’t recovered from my first disaster and I was targeted by a non-violent sociopath and bought the illusion completely.

Perceived and true threats

What I have learned about my fear-based thinking is that it can truly be rewired. I don’t have to be afraid of things that are not true threats or actual dangers. What are the present threats that I’m facing today? What identifiable dangers must I avoid today? What I might “feel” is a threat, typically isn’t, and the same is true with perceived danger.

Perceived threats / dangers:

  • Being alone means that I do not meet anyone else’s approval
  • If I don’t tolerate bad behaviors, people won’t like me
  • If I don’t give someone the benefit of the doubt, then I’m a bad person and unworthy of love
  • If I don’t give someone a second chance, then I will be abandoned and alone

True threats / dangers

  • Drunk drivers colliding with my vehicle
  • Lightning strikes nearby
  • Floods and acts of Nature
  • Random acts of human violence

The point is that what my mind created is what disabled me to the point where I refused to construct and maintain strong boundaries. I was afraid to call a spade what it was because, if someone didn’t like the truth, then they wouldn’t like me. If they didn’t like me, then I wasn’t worthy or deserving of approval toss the monkeys some more bananas and the cycle would continue. The point is that, today, it’s not so much that I no longer “care” about acceptance, approval, love, or worthiness, but that I can provide those things to myself under my own power.

If someone violates my boundaries and says or does something that is unacceptable, am I really going to continue tolerating being treated poorly out of fear that this person isn’t going to like me? Why would I even seek the approval of someone who doesn’t really care about how their actions or words make me feel? That doesn’t mean that I’m impervious to the attempts of others to force their agendas upon me that will be a constant for the rest of my life because I finally accept that there are simply bad people out there who have an agenda with everyone, not just me. But, in order for me to avoid being exploited by another sociopath, I am mandated to draw that line in the sand and, regardless of who it might be, if that line is crossed, then the association is finished.

Rewired fear-based thinking

Fear-based thinking was rewired when I finally accepted facts as they are. “Acceptance” does not mean that I am obligated to “like” the facts, by any stretch of the imagination. I often do not like the facts, one iota. It is dreadful and grievous that some things are true. It’s dreadful that there are individuals who do not have a conscience and are incapable of feeling remorse for harming others. I don’t “like” this fact, but it’s undeniable. It is appalling that people produce offspring and have no intention of raising and caring for those offspring with love, nurturing, and boundaries. I don’t “like” this fact, either, but it is indisputable.

Acceptance, approval and love — for me

Accepting facts allows for me to approach any given situation with an objective eye. Rather than running on fear, I’m beginning to experience the liberation and supremely positive benefits that boundaries provide. I finally realize and “feel” that I am not responsible for the happiness, well-being, or success of any other human being on this planet. And, I won’t accept that responsibility ever again because I like myself, I accept myself, I approve of myself, and I love myself.

Of course, the previous statement does not mean that I travel with this backpack of healthy “Self-isms” on a continuous basis. To be sure, I have set that bagful of power down, from time to time, and experienced the reanimation of fear-based thinking. But, when I recognize that I’ve done this, I look back on my Healing Path to see where I left it and go right back and pick it back up.

Grateful for everything — including my sociopathic experiences

There are too many authentic fears and threats in life without my core issues creating ones that are not based upon facts. My perceptions are constantly evolving and becoming based more and more upon facts. So, the monkeys in the Self-Destruction Exhibit are starving, and they want to scream for sustenance, but they’re slowly beginning to lose their energy. For this, I am grateful and, as odd as it may sound, that gratitude extends to my spath experiences.

Had I not experienced the painful betrayals and subsequent carnages, I would not be at this point today. I would still be making fear-based choices and decisions, and I would still be the whipping post of every disordered individual that I came into contact with. Today, my sense of gratitude is colossal and I am understanding that all things happen for “A Reason.”

Comment on this article

179 Comments on "Fear-based thinking no longer runs my life"

Notify of

Gm to all,

I had a good nights sleep last night and oh, what a difference it makes! My sleep disturbances started with my living with spath, sometimes from his actions, sometimes the emo/spiritual turmoil I was stuffing within. The disordered sleep is still with me, 6 months post my leaving, however, this a.m. I awoke with a feeling of gratefulness that he is not in my life anymore. I am still having days where I am angry or sad, but it is so refreshing to not wake up next to him. Who will I face today?….Dr. Jeckl or Mr. Hyde… no longer a question in my mind. The certainty that I will not be emotionally assaulted on a daily basis brings some peace. I am free to be kind to myself today and do something nurturing for myself…spend time with freinds who are supportive of who I am….instead of a man who drained the joy out of me everyday. Yeah….acceptance and peace are on the horizon…I feel their rays warming my soul : )

Peace to all,

Blue…or not so blue today LOL

Bluemosaic, so glad to read that you’re feeling empowered and sensing that tickle of gratitude.

Acceptance truly does bring a semblance of peace – we’re no longer compelled to believe that we are obligated or able to change anything other than our own selves.

Brightest blessings

Louise, just take care of yourself, sweetie. You know on a cognizant level that all of this stuff has an impact upon our physical health. Also, yogurt with the antibiotics!

Brightest healing blessings


Yes, thank you! Thank you so much for the well wishes!! HUGS.

Louise and MoonDancer, get a “nettie pot” for your sinuses, it REALLY helps rinse out the infection and makes them feel better. If you have a sinus head ache use a pack of green peas as an ice pack (put a thin towel between the peas and your skin) I keep two packs of them in my freezer and can use and reuse, if they get hard or clumped I just slam them down n the counter and they break apart.

Drink LOTS OF WATER as that helps thin the mucus. And ONLY BLOW with both nostrils open, if you block off one nostril and really blow hard, you can force the mucus and infection up behind your ears and get an EAR INFECTION.

This is Oxy’s unsolicited medical advice for today. Hope you guys feel better.


I already do the saline wash every single day of my life…honestly. I’ve been doing it for years. I think that’s why I hardly ever get sick. Something just got me this time. I had heard the bug that is circulating this season is particularly nasty so I guess it finally got me. I am on antibiotics now so I should feel better. I don’t like taking them, but sometimes you have to. Thanks for the well wishes!

Yea, Louise, for those of us with allergies to pollen etc it helps by washing out the allergen and “bugs” too. Sometimes our immune system is slowed down by stress, and I usually get sick if I am stressed out. You’ve had a lot of stress lately Louise with your mom and everything else and I bet that is why it was able to over come your immune response. Hope the antibiotics knock it out quickly. (((hugs))))


Yeah, I think that’s what happened…the stress with my mom and everything else. It finally got me. I feel a bit better already and I only have taken two pills. Gotta finish the whole ten days though! 🙂

Hey everyone…thought I d recommend acidopholus if your taking antibiotics…I m a believer.I had 3 sided stress coming at me from a sick parent…a job I was sick of(after 34 years)and my sociopath “girlfriend”.Moved in with my mom to help her out with a stroke and depression.All of it ate me alive internally—my moms a really good person and it was tough to get her health to improve…but it happened.Of course mine went downhill…even wound up getting some kind of gastroenteritis that cause me to pass out and nearly fall down my stairs.Work wasn t fun for many reasons and the s/path was absolutely no help as far as a sympathetic ear.She had a crisis every day(mostly made up).
So my guts were at war with me and I found out that acidopholus was the cure.Then I dumped the s/path—retired from my job (with a buyout)…and as they say 2 out of 3 stressful things removed AINT BAD…lol.
You can get it at Walgreens—I think its called Natures Way acidopholus with lots of good bacteria for your body.Good luck.

1 16 17 18

Send this to a friend