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By January 10, 2011 Read More →

Getting over that amazing ‘chemistry’

Sooner or later, those of us who are romantically involved, or have been romantically involved, with sociopaths and other exploiters recognize that the relationship is bad for us and must end. Although we know this intellectually, often we still feel incredible attraction, even love, for the individual. How do we break the emotional attachment?

For example, Lovefraud recently received the following letter:

I am single, and I think I was with someone very narcissistic, if not outright sociopathic. The thing is, even though I am no longer with him (and he did not get to my finances), he broke my heart.

My question is, how do you get over him? I have tried to date others, but no man has compared with the chemistry and (you know, all the rest) that I had with the narcissist. I have a man now who truly loves me, and we are soul mates. I just don’t have that “sizzle” with him that I did with the one who was bad for me. Do you think I should “settle” for the good, honest man? I mean, I am attracted to him; it’s just not the mad passion like the narcissist brought out.

Many, many readers have told Lovefraud that getting over relationships with sociopaths (narcissists, etc.) is much more difficult than getting over other relationships that they’ve had. The reasons for this are complicated, and are rooted in both normal human psychology and the sociopath’s pathology.

The seduction

The first thing to understand is that sociopaths engage in seduction. This is significantly different from a normal dating relationship.

When two relatively healthy people begin dating, they are both testing the waters. They are spending time with each other to see if they like each other enough, or have enough in common, or get along well enough, to keep going. Yes, one party may be more interested than the other, but neither of them has made a decision.

In contrast, sociopaths purposely and consciously seduce their targets. They lavish the person with attention. They want to know everything about the target, they call and text constantly, they shower the person with gifts large and small. Sociopaths move fast, and quickly begin talking about love, commitment and marriage. This is called love bombing.

For most of us, the only experience we’ve ever had with this level of attention is in a fairytale. We are swept off our feet, caught up in the intensity, the magic, of Prince or Princess Charming. We’ve heard all those stories of “love at first sight,” and hope that it’s finally happened to us. We think it’s real.

Here’s what you need to understand: The sociopath’s extraordinary pursuit is never about love. It is about predation. You are or have something that the sociopath wants—at least for the moment. Despite what the sociopath says, his or her interest in you is not about building a relationship or future together. It’s about acquiring a possession.

The sex adventure

Sociopaths, both men and women, are hard-wired for sex. They have high levels of testosterone, and a strong appetite for stimulation. These two facts are probably responsible for the “animal magnetism” that we sense with them.

But that’s only the beginning. Sociopaths are often extraordinarily energetic and proficient lovers—at least technically. Because of their tremendous sexual appetite, they start young and have a lot of partners, so they quickly become experienced. And, because they have no shame, they feel no inhibitions. In fact, they frequently want to push their partners’ boundaries.

Is this passion? No—it’s boredom. Sociopaths quickly tire of the same old thing, and want new sexual adventures. Getting the target to go along with their desires offers two types of rewards: They enjoy new modes of stimulation. And, they manipulate the partners. This is especially fun if the partner initially resists the demands.

The sex connection

From Nature’s point of view, of course, the purpose of sex is propagation—the continuation of the human species. Nature wants children to survive, and the best chance of that happening is when parents stay together to care for them.

Therefore, sexual intimacy causes changes in the brain that contribute to bonding between the partners. One agent for doing this is oxytocin, a neurotransmitter sometimes called the “love hormone.”

Oxytocin is released during sexual orgasm, and, in women, in childbirth and nursing. According to Wikipedia, here’s what the hormone does:

Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around the mate. In order to reach full orgasm, it is necessary that brain regions associated with behavioral control, fear and anxiety are deactivated; which allows individuals to let go of fear and anxiety during sexual arousal. Many studies have already shown a correlation of oxytocin with human bonding, increases in trust, and decreases in fear.

So during sex, your brain is being flooded with calmness, trust and contentment, and fear and anxiety are alleviated. If you’re involved in a true loving and committed relationship, this contributes to bonding, which is fine and healthy.

Sociopaths, however, do not bond in the same way that healthy people do. Although we don’t know if oxytocin works differently in sociopaths, or perhaps doesn’t work at all, we do know that sociopaths are deficient in their ability to love. So while the healthy partner develops a love bond; the sociopath does not.

The addiction

A love bond is created by pleasure, and during the seduction phase of the relationship, the sociopath generates extreme pleasure for the target. However, addiction research has discovered that although pleasure is required to form a bond, pleasure is not required to maintain it. Even when a relationship starts to get rocky, normal people still feel bonded. Again, this is Nature’s way of keeping people together. If parents split up at the first sign of trouble, the survival of children would be in doubt.

Sooner or later, of course, relationships with sociopaths get rocky. Perhaps the sociopath engages in cheating, stealing or abuse. The sociopath’s actions create fear and anxiety in the target. But instead of driving the target away from the sociopath, anxiety and fear actually strengthen the psychological love bond.

So what do the targets do? They turn to the sociopaths for relief. The sociopaths may apologize profusely and promise to change their hurtful ways, reassuring the targets. The targets, feeling bonded to the sociopaths, want to believe the reassurances, so they do. Then the two people have sex, which reinforces the bond again.

From the target’s point of view, the relationship becomes a vicious circle of bonding, anxiety, fear, relief, sex and further bonding. The longer it goes on, the harder it is for the target to escape.

The result: For the target, the love bond becomes an addiction.

Vulnerability

How is this possible? How do targets get into this predicament?

Often, targets are primed for sociopathic relationships due to trauma that they have already experienced in their lives. As children, they may have suffered physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse from family members, authority figures or others. Or, the targets may have already experienced exploitative relationships, such as domestic violence, from which they have not recovered.

These abusive experiences create “trauma bonds.” As a result, abuse and exploitation feel normal to a target.

For healing to occur, targets need to look honestly into themselves and into their histories, finding the root of the issue. Was there a prior relationship that made you vulnerable to a sociopath?

Recovery

So, to answer the original question in the letter, how do you get over the sociopath?

First of all, you need to understand that what you are feeling is not chemistry or love. You are feeling addiction and a pathological love bond—the trauma bond.

Healing requires conscious effort. The book called The Betrayal Bond, by Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., is an excellent resource for doing this. Carnes writes:

Once a person has been part of our lives, the ripples remain, even though we have no further contact. In that sense a relationship continues even though we may consciously exorcise it from our conscious contact. Once you understand that principle, a shift will occur in all of your contact with others.

If the relationship was toxic, as in a traumatic bond, the relationship must go through a transformation, since it will always be with you. You do not need to be in contact with th person to change the nature of the relationship. You can change how you perceive it. You can change how it impacts you.

How do you do this? You commit to facing the reality of the relationship—all of it. Trauma tends to distort perception—you want to focus the good memories and forget about the bad ones. You must force yourself to deal with the truth of the experience—including the betrayal.

If you’re still feeling the tug of the pathological relationship, The Betrayal Bond includes information and exercises that can help you break free. The book is available in the Lovefraud Store. (My book, Love Fraud, describes an alternative path to recovery.)

And to the Lovefraud letter-writer: Do not confuse drama with love. Accepting a good, honest man is not “settling.” It is the foundation of a healthy relationship.

You can move forward.

 


Excellent post Donna.
so well written. you have touched upon every question that keeps circling in our minds.
thank you for this very useful article.
petite

Donna,

I don’t know if you’ve been reading the posts here, but there is ALOT of this going around, and something in particular that I’m dealing with right now. This article is excellent and timely.

I’ll be reading it over and over.

Thank you for writing it.

LL

Excellant, Donna. Thanks so much.

I have a question for everyone here.

In thinking about your relationship with your Spaths, how long after the love bombing did it take for you to see or experience the first signs of abuse? What were they? HOw long did it take for him/her to want a “commitment” with you?

I think for me, it also may have taken longer to see because I did not live with my ex POS and was in an affair relationship with him, much different than the love bombing overwhelming initial contact.

Your feedback would very much be appreciated.

LL….I fell asleep early last night..I am on the east coast..lol

This article really says it all. It explains everything that all of us have experienced. I read The Betrayal Bond, and did the exercises….which really was the “aha” moment that helped me to recover from the hurt and pain I was in. I thank God for this site for recommending it. I realized that A. I didn’t really love him…I was addicted to him…and B. He didn’t really love me…he needed me in his life for his own selfish reasons. In my heart….this was the TRUTH…that, proverbially, set me free.

LL…I saw it immediately. My gut feeling wasn’t good from the start. I didn’t trust him. He “lovebombed” me immediately with how much he loved me and didn’t expect to feel so strongly ….(huh..yet he wanted sex all of the time!)…but, I thought it was because we worked together for 2 years prior to getting “involved”…

He always wanted to see me when he wanted to..and if I couldn’t….he would manipulate me into dropping everything to see him. At the time…I wanted to make the r/s work, since I had been alone for so long….so I was really trying to show him that I cared for him. He would joke and say…”Oh, you don’t love me…” if I refused to see him because I was busy. Now….deep down, I thought he really “loved” me so much…so I wanted to keep him “loving ” me.

He hid his calls from day one, when we were together. He would tell me he has “something” to do, and I dare not ask…or he would get mad and say..”don’t worry about what I have to do”.

At the beginning, I felt that , because we were just starting to see each other…maybe it wasn’t my business. (stupid). We were sleeping together…so it WAS my business!

About commitment…after two weeks of lovebombing…I was so confused so I confronted him about “US”. Thats when I told him I felt like we were “friends with benefits” and he said..”Oh, we are more than that..you are my girl”….(Yet…he wasn’t my “boy”!!!)lol….He constantly called me and said…”Are any men looking at you?” etc…….or “Whose “kittykat” is that?” …you know what he was referring to.

Because of this, I really thought we had a “commitment”…but, he continued to keep secrets and call me his “best friend”…yet, he said…”best friends don’t tell each other everything!” OMG…..he was a true sociopath.

Whenever I went NC…I really thought that he still “LOVED” me…cared about me….because he constantly texted me and called me…..But, I couldn’t trust him….so I wouldn’t answer. I couldn’t go on living with the constant mistrust that he was sneaking around behind my back.

Now I feel that I never really knew him…and still don’t. I even thought that he was married at one time…the way he disappeared and stuttered when I asked him where he was. I even told him this when we got back together that last time.
He laughed. But, basically, I finally called a spade a spade and woke up to REALITY and the TRUTH. I decided to stop make believing that I had a boyfriend that truly loved me and cared about me.

Let’s face it..you can not tell one lie. Because then you lie about the lie…then you lie about lying about the lie.

I will never again trust a soul on this earth that I catch in a lie. I will avoid them like the plague!!!!

Thank you, Donna, for this article!!!
I’ve really got to read this book.

I just ordered it….

I have something to share and I don’t know how to verbalize it. I’m stuck again. Always on the same thing and it’s causing me a lot of pain. I hope the book helps because the place that I’m stuck throws me into the pits of despair.

LL

My X hub was the perfect partner when we first met. He was crazy about me. we met in October, and he was being transferred out of state in March. He asked me to go with him. I never saw anything negative in him til I left my home and my friends and my family, then almost immediatly he became hyper critical and demanding.
I was called, “bitch” the first time on my honey-moon.
I think the love-bomb ends when they really know they have you….the more dependant you are on them the better.

Where are you stuck, Lesson learned? If I can help, I will.

Chemistry? Hah! I know you don’t really mean chemistry as in between two normal people per se ( rather their MIRRORING/lovebombing us which we mistake as “chemistry” though we are absolutely wrong ) but i remember being cognizant of the fact i didn’t like him. But guess what kept me reeled in… I felt sorry for him. Yeah. Blegh.

lesson learned,

What book did you order and what are you stuck on (what issues)? If we can help, then let us know. Peace to you.

kim frederick,

I’m sorry that your husband called you b_tch – you definitely didn’t deserve being called that or anything else (it bothered me reading that fact of your’s). Fortunately, my husband wasn’t verbally abusive (emotionally, yes), just secretive and doing things on the sly. Peace to you.

Thanks, bluejay. That happened 25 years ago. It doesn’t hurt anymore, but I did think of it today in regard to the question.
I don’t think he was a spath, but definately a N. He had utter contempt for me.

kim frederick,

I just remember how it was in the beginning, that my husband came across as a good, decent, caring man and then over the years, bam, finding out things that were disturbing. I’ve always expected people to pretty much be who they are on a day-to-day basis, not having to learn any heavy-duty things about an individual. Anyway, if someone doesn’t treat us right, stay clear of such a person, period.

P.S. By the way, when you use the Search feature of this
website, does it work right for you (like taking you
to your most recent posts)? It doesn’t on my end.

Donna said, “So what do the targets do? They turn to the sociopaths for relief”
This one sentence says so much. It describes the core of what they do to hook us. My exP used this angle in all of it’s variations. He creates the problem and then provides the solution. The problem is so dramatic that you only feel gratitude and relief when he solves it. You forget that he caused it to begin with.
Emotional abuse followed by pretend remorse, it’s called the whipsaw action. That is one example. He also used the same MO when he sabotaged my car and other peoples’ aircraft. He would “find” a fatal flaw and then “save” you by fixing it.
But then, he was also a drug dealer. and isn’t this what drug dealers do. create an addiction and then provide the solution?

This is so personal for me…it’s really hard to write it out…but it hurts just the same..it’s the same picture over and over…I’m working REALLY hard with the images that come to mind….

I’ll see if I can verbalize what I’m feeling….

I was the mistress. A lot of you already know that. I’m dealing with a lot of guilt about it. A lot. Aside from the guilt, is what I’m feeling about the relationship itself and why I’m so stuck right now.

Being the mistress, I didn’t get what most of you experienced that married or lived with in your spaths. When I talked to love bomb, all the things she told me, were things I never experienced with him. ALL of the women he love bombed, he got, exception, THAT love bomb. He annoyed her and she was already in love with someone else, but he tried nonetheless.

This causes me deep sorrow and pain. I didn’t experience with him anything like that after the divorce either. I was just “leftovers” until he could land someone else. I was used during the marriage. When the marriage was over, it was time to move on for him, he was already so abusive to me, was use to me. And I took it.
Now, he’s love bombed and caught someone else. What I wished had happened with him, never did. I was just the mistress. I was old news. I was a source of shame and embarrassment for him. Was not helpful to his image, did not have money.

I don’t know if new gf has money, but I knew he wanted more sexually that I wasn’t willing to give. Had the circumstances been different when we started our relationship, I’m sure that I would have been.

THis has ripped a deep hole, not only into my heart, but my sexuality. I feel deeply betrayed and wounded. Used. I gave him the best of myself sexually in the beginning. Did everything to him I could possibly imagine to do. He wouldn’t have intercourse with me the first year, but you can damned well bet he’s jumped in right away with new gf…..because there it’s new and it’s acceptable because now he’s a “divorced, single man”…I imagine the wild sex he’s having and getting with her. Everything I would not do. He appeared faithful to his wife until we became sexual, and that was seven years into his marriage. He use to tell me he wasn’t having sex with her. The only time he told me any “truth” about that was when he told her about us and was trying to reconcile. At that point, he said they were having sex. It was devastating then, but it’s more devastating now.

He use to tell me everytime after sex “you’re the bomb babe, the best I’ve ever had”. I LIVED to please him. He didn’t live to please me. He wanted to do all of these things with me, after his divorce, we showered together and he tried to perform oral sex on me. Twice. That I could remember, he had only done that once before. Now I imagine him doing it to her constantly. The first time he tried, I pushed him away. But he kept up. Had the relationship been new, I wouldn’t have. I would have thought he wanted me. I didn’t feel that way. What I remember about both of those experiences, clearly, was how much he had to drink those nights. The first night, after sex was over, he vomited all night from the amount of alcohol he’d had. It ruined everything. That didn’t happen all of the time, there were times he wouldn’t drink as heavily as I did to deal with him. I wouldn’t say he was sober, but he was more so than I was.

Ijust keep thinking if I was “fresh meat” I would have been treated better, would have been more sexually appealing to him. More worth the time and trouble. Of all the women he’s been with, I was the only one he didn’t want to marry or live with. So everyone else got treated differently.

This is a great source of intense despair to me. Thoughts of suicide and wanting to die float through my head when I get into these states. I’m not saying I would do it, so please don’t misinterpret, but that’s how deep the pain goes for me. It is intense, it is real and increases my fear of seeing him around. I don’t know that if I didn’t see them together I wouldn’t have a nervous breakdown. This is why it’s safer for me to be at home for now.

These feelings make me want to beg him back just to prove I can be better in bed. These are crazy, insane,frustrating thoughts for me because my intellect knows the truth. He took from me everything I had to give that way,to the point whereI don’t know that even if I could have another relationship, thatI would be able to have sex again.

Apart of me knows I deserved what i got. Which makes what I’m feeling all the more difficult, the pain more, the guilt and shame more for even feeling the way that I do at all.

And that’s all I have to say about this for now….

Thank you for letting me vent.

Lesson Learned, I am so sorry you are experiencing all this pain. My X hubs affair with a 17 year old girl had a similar effect on me. I feel sexually wounded as well. Anytime I feel lonely, and think it might be nice to have a man in my life, I remember sex and cringe.
I am just so tired of feeling used by men, I feel used up. The thought of sex disgusts me.
I wish there was something I could say to take away your pain. Just remember that he’s a cheater and a liar, and he’ll probably be cheating on her one day soon.
Please try to be gentle with yourself. Quit beating yourself up, and have a little compassion for yourself. Your relationship didn’t break up because you weren’t good enough at sex…it didn’t break up because you didn’t come running every time he called…it broke up because he wasn’t good enough for you…you knew it when you didn’t go to his house because you didn’t feel safe.
You deserve so much more than a lying cheating user. You deserve to have all the goodies with an honest and faithful partner. Now is the time to look at why you got involved with someone so unavailable.
I hope you start to feel better soon. Take it one day at a time.

lesson learned,

All of us are walking wounded. Your posts have spoken to me, being helpful in navigating along the road. I feel very badly for you, not wanting you to be in such pain. Since he is a spath, he wouldn’t make a good partner to anyone (ex-wife, you, and the new gf, all of you being equal). You cared for him and about him, that’s evident…the way that he treated you was not right, not a stand-up guy. If and when you date, you’d want the man to have eyes only for you – that can happen, but it’ll take time. A spath is not worth all the agonizing that we often go through. You are worth (it may not feel this way) more than the crumbs that the ex-boyfriend offered you, deserving to have a relationship down the road that is fulfilling, that meets your wants and needs. I really hope that you can feel better about yourself. Peace to you.

LL….I don’t know your whole story…of how you met…etc. Maybe you can give me a timeline of how you got involved with this guy…who was married still. Was he separated when you began seeing him?
Please don’t feel that its the end of the world for you.
You seem to be feeling rejected by him, when really YOU rejected him!
Write back so that I can understand and help you out.
We are here for you…and THIS TOO SHALL PASS

Yeah, Skylar, mine was very good at creating my pain and desperation, and then relieving it. Even though I knew he was causing it, I felt unable to end the relationship, and I knew he held the key to taking my pain away.
He would go MIA for days at a time and I would be so hurt and furious and hate the way I felt and yet I would feel relief when he’d show back up.
That’s the way an addiction works, and you have to hit bottom. Thank God I finally hit my bottom with him.

I read a book along time ago entitled, “Obsessive love”, and the tenant of that book is that obsessive love is fuelled by rejection. Why, I don’t know, unless it’s because it triggers our emotional wounds from childhood.
It was a really good book, though and helped.

Hi Kim,
Yes, they instinctively know that addiction is the key to controlling…

LL,
YOU ARE WRONG!!!WRONG WRONG!
YOU DID NOT DESERVE THIS AT ALL.
He wanted you to think that you did. That is what he SLIMED you with.

Dear Lesson learned,

Sugar, I hear the despair in your posts. I strongly suggest that you get some real world counseling to go along with lovefraud. The depth of your despair is of concern to me. You seen also to be bouncing up and down pretty regularly as well but I think more so than to be expected.

Get yourself evaluated by a mental health professional, not just your family doctor for medications for depression. Please don’t try to handle something this overwhelming by yourself. If your leg was broken (instead of your heart) you wouldn’/t say “well, I’ll just tough through this and it will heal on its own, I can set it myself” so don’t try to do that with serious depression and emotional pain either. GET HELP!!!! ((((hugs)))) and stay around here too!!!

You seen also to be bouncing up and down pretty regularly as well but I think more so than to be expected.

Ox, it’s not normal to be so up and down like this? That scares me. Am I sick too? This isn’t normal? One minute I feel okay,the next I’m a mess. One minute I feel absolutely clear, the next I’m not…

With what you’re seeing of me…..with and down regularly as well but you think more so than to be expected…
Am I sick too?

Lessonlearned… Don’t kid yourself, that just because he’s living with a woman he’s going to be treating them any better. In fact i think it’d just make them more privy to being brainwashed and get them deeper into stockholm syndrome. Knowing what you know now about the P, ask yourself why that is even significant. Is a shark going to be any different with their prey if they live within the same habitat or not? Would a lion sink his teeth into a sheep any more softly if he’d donned a sheep’s skin and pretended to live in harmony with them in their environment? You have nothing to prove to a sociopath!

You absolutely did NOTHING to deserve what you got. You are not at fault AT ALL. Remember you were preyed on… it really upsets me when people go around stuffing these ideas around the throats of targets of Spaths/Ns/Psychopaths.. that they somehow did something to deserve it… that if they did WHATEVER they would have been able to escape the P’s grasp. As Robert Hare has said, if one is targeted by a P NO ONE IS IMMUNE. Remember that! You could have been the most responsible self-assured person… it wasn’t your fault.

I do have faith in your healing LL, because I’ve been down this road twice ( not with two male Ps but a female and male ) and I have been down in the pits of despair before, not knowing when I’d ever see light again… feeling that I was ruined. I understand where you are and all i can say is that Know that it will Pass and Know that it is NOT your fault that this happened to you. You are innocent and he attempted to steal that from you. You have something good in your heart and he wanted to destroy it.

They’re perverse and sick, and use women like masturbatory toys and it really repulses me on just about every level. But let me tell you.. that’s THEIR disgust, that’s THEIR perversity. You didn’t know any better.. getting involved. I hope and am confident that you will realize one day that he will never be able to touch that part of you. You may have offered him your best but he’s never seen it because there’s nothing inside of him. I truly hope that you are able to tangle his projections out of your self-image… you are a beautiful person inside and out and he wanted to destroy THAT with his perversions. But he can’t.. he won’t, he never will. And you will heal.

(((Hugs)))

LL you are normal. This is normal… guess what- healing from something ABNORMAL is going to seem pretty damn ABNORMAL at times. THAT is natural. Also, I think you would benefit from reading this bit on “Healing” ( from http://narcissism-support.blogspot.com/2009/01/healing-facts.html )

The following “Healing Facts” were written by Dee Ann Miller, RN, BS

Common Misconceptions About Healing

Before leaving psychiatric nursing to devote more time to advocacy work, I wrote some hand-outs for my patients. No matter what the trauma, no matter what the diagnosis, no matter if the patient was suffering from a chronic or an acute condition, I found that many profited from one that helped clarify some of the common myths about healing. Hopefully, these myths can help you, as well:

MYTH #1. Emotional healing is a process that’s needed only occasionally, when one has been deeply hurt.
NO! Healing is a constant on-going part of daily living. For everyone! It is required whenever we face a change or crisis. Much of it takes place without us being consciously aware that it is going on. Survivors often feel “different” or permanently “damaged” when, in reality, they are waging an internal war because of cognitive distortions that constitute unwelcome changes in the way things are perceived. Healing requires the adjustment to new understandings, new ideas, new skills, new behaviors, and a new self-concept that, in time, has the potential to produce a healthier person than ever before.

MYTH #2. There is a magic formula that I have to find if I’m going to recover.
Sorry, there are no magic formulas! When I worked with children, I frequently sang a little song to them: “Look all the world over. There’s no one like me.” It’s true for adults, just as much as children. In fact, life’s circumstances can make adult processes even more complex. The way you heal and how fast you do it can depend on your personality, past experiences with trauma, how you perceive your present situation, your support system, and many other factors. There is absolutely no right or wrong way to heal. There is no normal timetable, no measuring stick. You are not in competition with anyone else.

MYTH #3. Professionals are the most important people on the healthcare team.
NO! You are! Professionals have a lot of knowledge, but they are not God. They alone cannot bring healing, no matter how much they try. Their work, and yours, can be undermined by circumstances beyond their control. All of us have our limitations. The most important thing a professional can do for you is to provide a listening ear and an accepting, empathetic spirit.

MYTH #4. Healing is an event with a definite beginning and ending. Unfortunately, problems tend to recycle periodically, requiring one to face new issues related to the trauma, years after saying: “I think I’m over that.” This can be scary, especially if one is not warned of the possibility. The stages of grieving may have to be repeated when reminders or other traumatic events trigger old garbage. This is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of normality. Our losses often involve sub-losses that may not be recognized until years after the initial trauma.

MYTH #5. Time heals all things. No, again! Ignoring pneumonia usually brings a slow, painful death. So does ignoring emotional or spiritual pain. While healing is an individual process, finding well-informed professionals, friends and other survivors who are able to support you can go a long ways. So can reading material. You DO need time, but time alone isn’t the answer. Healing involves a lot of grieving over changes and losses. And grieving is very hard work. It’s exhausting. So set realistic goals. Take vacations away from the active process, from time to time. Be kind to yourself. Expect things to get better slowly as you are able to take time for the pain.

Invicta’s commentary on the article which I thought was also important to add :

I’ve discovered that the path of healing is singular for everyone. This article fits my experience and what I have observed in others; it also strengthens that conviction, that we all do what we need to do in order to heal and, yeah, we make mistakes, but without them, we’d be robots. Healing is an ongoing creative process, imo, and so, we stumble and fall….. and rise up again and again. ~Invicta, MA, July/02

Lesson learned

You are over reacting to various posts on here, and I think you are over reacting to the one I just posted, that is what I mean by more than to be expected in the up and down part.. SOME is to be expected, but I am saying that I think you might need to be evaluated by a mental health professional to see if you need medication for Depression or other problems and/or some therapy.

IT does not mean you are “sick” in terms of “oh, my God, she’s mentally ill!” It means that PROFESSIONAL services might help you over come what could be depression, anxiety, etc. and I am suggesting that you get some diagnosis from someone who is qualified and available to treat you. I am a retired mental health professional myself, but I went for evaluation and treatment from a person qualified to do so, I didn’t try to treat myself. I know my symptoms were over the top, I have PTSD and medication and therapy and time have helped me learn to cope and the symptoms decline. It was difficult for me to seek help and to be on the “wrong side” of the clipboard and to be the patient instead of the professional. (that’s a professional hazard for health care workers) LOL But it helped me greatly, so I suggest that you might also want to seek some professional help as well as lovefraud. An evaluation might give you some guidance. ((((hugs))))

to be.

I was a client of his. I met him 20 years ago. Just before he started seeing wife #2. I was still married, but separated.

It was a casual business relationship until six years later, when we became friends.

The friendship we had (I was back with exP and he was by then married to wife 2) “grew” (I thought) to a close friendship starting in 97. It did not become intimate until 2001. At that point, I was separated from my exP and he was still married, telling me he was going to separate from wife 2. Kept promising me that, that he loved me, and to “wait” for him. Part of what is so painful is that initially, I genuinely believed all the stuff he said about his wife. We were friends sharing horror stories. I wanted to “Save” him so I pursued him mostly at first. I genuinely felt sorry for him. I was deeply in love and wanted to take his pain away. There were many times during the relationship that I tried to extricate emotionally, but I would allow myself to get sucked in again. Over and over again. It wasn’t until he was put on AL about our relationship that I was getting some ideas about what he really was. We weren’t allowed to speak for three months during the investigation. I was still head over heels and even while his wife had started divorce proceedings he was telling me to be patient and wait. Then someone from work outted our relationship, thus all communication was cut off between us. When we were allowed to speak again, I contacted him first. He was pissed at me tellingme, “Why did you do this?” I didn’t do anything and told him so. Then he said, “You should have waited, I told you to be patient, you should have waited”…

Then he invited me out to his house and it was on again. But what I did not know nor understand was that he was setting me up because the hearing had not happened yet, as he was fighting being fired from his job. He was so kind to me leading up to the month of the hearing and I felt so guilty about what had happened, Ididn’t want him to lose his job…but there was nothing I could do about it. He provoked and hurt me the last week prior to the hearing, thus prompting text after angry text and IM from me. What I didn’t know is that he had printed out every single text and every single IM I had sent. And there was a stack of papers at the hearing to which he gave his attorney and to which I was questioned about. It was completely humiliating. After the hearing, I texted and called profusely wanting to know what was going on, apologizing profusely for what had happened……even though it was clear that he used communication to exploit me and further his agenda in keeping his job. And it worked. He kept it, even though they so badly wanted to fire him. They simply did not have enough evidence, other than his relationship with me, to remove him from his job. It was astounding because they knew he was intoxicated while he was at work. I allowed this treatment of me. But with that exploitation, I became more desperate for him. I was still overlooking the obvious for the promises he had made to me. After that day, we still saw one another and he used me to pit against his children as well. I bought concert tickets to his daughter’s favorite CHristian rock band for her. I wasn’t allowed to see them, but I did it anyway. I loved the children. So he provoked me with those tickets too. I told him that I wanted her to have them, then he told me she couldn’t go as she had other plans, then he told me he wanted to take me…then he said I was not good enough for him to go with him, so he told me to come get the Effing tickets. I was so angry,I went and got them. His daughter was there. I hugged her, told her I loved her, that I was so sorry about what happened. He was across the street drinking at the neighbors house. I got into the car (a friend of mine had come with me), and waited for him to show up to give the tickets back. He did give them to my friend and sat slyly smiling at me as I left the house. When I got home there was an email in my inbox that said, “FUCK YOU BITCH!! DON”T YOU EVER GET NEAR MY FAMILY AGAIN!! MY DAUGHTER IS IN HER CLOSET CRYING ABOUT THIS, YOU FUCKING BITCH, NEVER COME HERE AGAIN, YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY FAMILY, YOU SICK BITCH, FUCK YOU!!”

I forgot about that bitch story until now…

And still……….when he threw bait after that……….I went back and he acted as if it never happened……..

bits and pieces helped me to extricate even though I was doing crazy things and putting up with crazy, insane behavior. But it wasn’t until I stopped drinking alcohol, that things really started to shift in wanting out, but not wanting out…..

So little by little, it was ending…and each time I keep thinking…that because I was the mistress is the reason he treated me this way. Even with all the garbage he said about his ex wife, he treated her “better”.

And so here I am now….

trying to figure out why I put up with all of this in the first place….

Ox,

I’ll do that today. There is someone I think who might be able to help, if not, can lead me in the right direction.

I agree, I am very depressed. And suffering from PTSD.

While I’m still functioning, I’m not doing it well right now.

Thanks for being so honest with me.

While some up and down is normal and to be expected in emotional healing, I do think that educated people (even ones who are medically and mentally health educated) seek PROFESSIONAL DIAGNOSIS. The old saying about an “attorney who has him self as a client, has a FOOL for a client.” The same can be said about doctors and mental health professionals.

It amazes me when lay people read the DSM IV and try to “diagnose” someone’s mental or emotional problems by the listings, or get a Merck’s Manual and look up their symptoms and try to diagnose their own physical illness.

I do absolutely agree that an educated patient is a GOOD PATIENT, but at the same time, that does not mean that even a physician does not NEED A PHSYCIAN BESIDES THEMSELVES.

I have a great young doc and she LISTENS TO ME, but she’s the doc, and I’m the PATIENT. (I admit I argue with her sometimes, like about the sodium I was eating being what made my feet swell! and she was RIGHT! but she listened, and then I COMPLIED! I am also a good patient too! Compliant. Thus the diet to lose weight____ I’m down 28 pounds now_____ guys, and still on the LOW SODIUM DIET AS WELL!

Dear Lesson Learned,

While I think that Lovefraud is the greatest place on the internet for helping people heal from relation-SHIT issues, at the same time, there are times that it is NOT THE ONLY THING WE NEED, and so I definitely think that we need evaluated for other things that might be treatable with either/or/and therapy or medication.

While family doctors can prescribe medications for depression and so on (legally) not many of them are really qualified to do so or to address your mental health issues, so I suggest a professional mental health evaluation to start with by someone who IS QUALIFIED, and then go from there.

Ox,

I called. This guy is a psychiatrist and specializes in trauma. We shall see what happens. I’ve seen him before, with my son, prior to a clarification with my other son. Long story.

He offered to see me alone if I wanted too.

So here we go. I also ordered The Betrayal Bond on Amazon today. The rest of the books I’m ordering on Wednesday.

Thanks a bunch.

Dancing.

Thank you for saying that. I feel very discouraged right now. I appreciate that you have faith in my healing. I think I do too.

It means so much to me that you said that.

Ox,

I was just reading the symptoms of PTSD. It describes what I’m feeling and dealing with to a T.

While that makes me very sad, it’s also somewhat a relief. I feel hypervigilant to everything.

My daughter and I were just talking about this too. She said, “Mom, I don’t think you’re mentally ill at all, but I do think that your relationship with POS has caused some serious emotional problems for you and who wouldn’t be dealing with all of that given what this shithead did to you???”

She’s right.

LL, just got home from my chaueffer job..lol…after school activities. I am going to read your last post to me.
Hang in there. When the xhusb and I split up, I went to see my therapist 3times a week and even tried meds…which never work on me…they put me into a coma!
I wish I had the 24 hr support of this group…omg..I would have healed so much quicker.
Forget the sex thing…thats what made me feel disgusted and dirty for giving him my all…after the xbf and I broke up the first time. Then, I just accepted the fact, that it was filling a need of mine at the time…to be wanted and craved for sexually, after being out of any r/s for 5 years!!! So, he filled a NEED “I” had ….and its over ..done…the past. Nothing to erase it. But, I stopped feeling dirty and like a stupid blind woman…..and learned to love myself…good and bad.
I’m going to read your post now…DEEP CLEANSING BREATHS…in through the nose out of the mouth!! Stay calm.

tobe,

I’m trying. Working on my school work. Thank GOD it’s all online right now! Waiting for my potential therapist to call me back. UGH!
I’m looking FORWARD to going!!! I SO want to get past all of this garbage.

I just got an email too that said my book (The Betrayal Bond) was just shipped out!! YAY! I went ahead and spent the money for overnight shipping. It’s well worth the thirty spent out of my child support lol! Thank you exP!

tobe,

trying to forget that is really hard. I think there is a link there to my sexual abuse, or something having to do with a sexual bonding, perhaps what it is with a sociopath as well as tied into childhood. I’m having nightmares and intrusive thoughts. I do notice that when I’m doing my schoolwork, it’s not as bad. Thinking about something else I guess.

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my stuff. Alot of what I hear on this blog is hard for me to hear….but I’m listening 🙂

I want to heal.

dancingnancies,

Your posts to lesson learned were good, especially when you told her that she is a beautiful person inside and out, bringing tears to my eyes.

(((((((( Bluejay ))))))))))))))))))

I apologize if I worried you. Thank you for caring. This is going in cycles for me right now. I’ll figure this out and get the help I need to overcome. If anything, I’m a pretty feisty,strong spirit.

Even though this is very painful, I know, somewhere in my heart, it WILL be okay. You’re very sweet to have said that and have a kind heart and I very much appreciate it.

LL

Lesson
Why don’t you get a dildo and anxiety problem solved?
I’m joking, of course 😀
The sicko gave me one. A pink one, very nice. But it kept in his apartment. I do not want to think what he’s doing with it…I suppose i probably know it.

Eva,

LOL!!!! How twisted is THAT?

Wow. I’m definitely seeing an addiction to exPOS through sex for sure. I always felt so “connected”. Just a guess, but I’m thinking he knew that too.

I don’t think a pinky is gonna cut my anxiety Eva LOL!

That makes me feel even slimier. YUCK!!!

Lesson
I was joking. Can not be compared the dick of an addictive psychopath with a latex dildo.
But I guess the asshole is using the pinky dildo.
They’re like infants ¿no? Surely he has been trying out with it…

Eva

I KNOW you were joking!

LOL! Trying OUT with it? Oh…….eeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!

A pretty picture that does not make. Yuck! Mine was obsessed with them. Sure glad I didn’t use that with him. SO glad!!!

LL…NOW i am going to read your post about how you met him…etc..I had to run out again..Sorry!
Oh..I didn’t mean “forget the sex part”…the way it sounded…I just know that I was a wreck about feeling “USED” by him…when I realized that he didn’t really love me or care about me. And, finally, I realized that “I” was also getting something …a need filled …at the time too.
Funny, but I NEVER ever remembered about a “rape” that happenned to me when I was 13, until the night I had a breakdown and this board saved me. Somehow…as I was sobbing…it came up from the back of my brain!! I tell my sister and my 2 g/f’s everything…..and they NEVER heard that before…..So, these r/s’s trigger alot of old hurts!!!
So, it took me awhile to come to terms with THAT!!!
I’m going to read your post now…taxi service down for the evening….ugh!

Lesson
Is trying it out i suppose? I’m a grammar destructor, i know it. Trying it out in his ass, yes. 😀
I’m sure, sure, sure. They like so much to try new experiments.
Changing subjects, i have one curiosity: is it good being a psychopath? It doesn’t seem so bad from outside. Could be they’re happier than non psychopathic people?

LL…just read your post…not sure I understand the dynamics of it totally. How long were you seeing him? When did his divorce go through?

tobe

Eight years. Separation happened last October, divorce was final in April.

tobe

I’m amazed at the crap that’s coming up for me too. The intensity of it all. My whole LIFE has been a MESS of sexual/emotional/physical abuse by P/N/S’…no wonder all of this is so familiar…the other night it really hit me. 1. Other than my children and my friends, I was never loved by my bio fam and 2. Never loved by any man I was with. Pretty sad…no wonder….

I’m going to sleep because i think it’s enough “low-life” English torture for today.
I love that compound word!
Hasta luego, chicas

LL…So you were seeing him for eight years? While he was still married and living with her? I’m confused…sorry!

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