By | February 25, 2008 153 Comments

Help for healing from the devastation of a sociopath

Many people have asked Lovefraud to suggest a treatment program to help them overcome the personal devastation of a relationship with a sociopath. A friend of Lovefraud, Sandra L. Brown, M.A., offers a program for women who are recovering from such debilitating encounters.

Sandra Brown is the author of How to Spot a Dangerous Man, which was reviewed in a previous blog post. The book describes eight types of dangerous men—most of them are sociopaths, or partial sociopaths. Brown then explains how women override their internal warning signals and get involved with these men, even when their instincts are shouting, “Run away!”

If you’ve been in a relationship with a sociopath, at some point, of course, you found yourself devalued and discarded. He merrily moved on to a fresh new supply. You’re in a crumpled heap, a shell of the person you once were.

Many of you have asked Lovefraud: How can I heal? Will I ever be able to love again?

The answer is yes, you can recover, and yes, you can love again. Sandra Brown’s program may help you.

Healing retreats

Sandra Brown offers four-day retreats at her facility in the hills of North Carolina. The program is called Healing the Aftermath of Pathological Love Relationships.

First, Brown explains pathology 101—adults with personality disorders are hardwired to behave the way they do. They are not going to change.

Then Brown looks at the dynamics of a relationship with a disordered person. The lies, the manipulation, the crazy-making—this is nothing like a relationship like a normal man. The point is to help you understand that you were not imagining things. Yes, the guy really did lie to you. And no, he never loved you.

But then Brown helps you look at your own life to figure out why you were vulnerable to the sociopath. What did you learn in your family as a young girl? How do you view men? What was going on for you internally throughout your life?

Many women come out of the sociopathic relationship with post-traumatic stress disorder, which can be reactivated by future traumatic events. If this happened to you, Brown teaches self-care techniques and symptom management to help you in the future.

When to participate

The most beneficial time to participate in Brown’s retreat is after you’ve been out of the relationship for four to six months or more. “We are a good program for women who have figured out what he is, have left, and need some psycho-education that they did, in fact, make the right decision,” Brown says. The program then helps you identify internal traits that made you vulnerable, and issues from your family of origin.

The program is not appropriate in some cases:

  • Women in crisis. If you’re recently out of the relationship, or if you’re still trying to decide whether you should leave, it’s too soon to gain benefit from this program.
  • Women using online dating sites. After a relationship with a sociopath, Brown believes you should stop dating for a year or two, until you’re closer to being healed. “If you’re on, don’t call me,” she says.

Adult children of sociopaths

Some Lovefraud readers have realized that their parents were sociopaths. For you, Brown offers another program called Adult Children of a Pathological Parent.

Space in all retreats is limited—only six participants are accepted for each session. For more information, visit

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I recently blogged on how bibliotherapy has helped me.

I read,read, read and reread when I feel weak.
I have a page of free links to articles on psychopaths, narcissist- it’s off of my blog on the right-hand-side.

Reading literally set me free- I just was relieved over and over when I finally figured out what the hell happened.

Me too, holy. Once I had stumbled upon info on sociopaths, a lightbulb lit up over my head and my healing began. I never knew what I was dealing with- but now I know what I escaped from. It’s liberating/empowering/peaceful going through life with just your own voice in your head. The crazy-making bad man has been silenced.

I have to laugh at the comment about… the xs is on a ton of dating sites, I cannot think of a better testimonial for NOT joining singles sites! If all normal folk boycott the dating sites, maybe all the disordered ones can hassle each other instead of us!


I have said here before that many things helped me recover drastically in two months, including this website, after 16 months of an abusive relationship.
One book that really helped me was “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
After two months of a nightmare, ruminating all the time about my own disgrace, feeling sorry for myself and believing my life had been destroyed, I decided to live and I spent the best moments in my life since then.
But the truth is that sometimes that feeling of humiliation and indignation of being cheated, deluded for so long comes back.
I believe the major difficulty in recovering from an evil person such as a sociopath is the fact that people who have feelings can never understand completely what is like not to have feelings for others. I think that is why it still hurts, to find this abysm in other’s minds.
I am not the same person I was before, but now I feel not as lonely as when I loved the sociopath, believing he was a normal and decent person. I just feel sorry for the fact that these people really exist.
I think that having some “paradigms” to live helps, for example, now, when that bad feeling comes back, I substitute it by the certainty that justice will be done and that I don’t have to think about it anymore.
It’s better to take good care of our own lives than feeling sorry for things that had already happened.
All the best for those who have been abused and are still struggling to get rid of the pain.


To all above, yes read. That’s why I am here today, more than a year later. I am sick and feel sorry for myself so I am vulnerable to romanticising the good days with the bad man to coin a phrase. Recently I made the analogy of feeling like a fish thrown back in the water after I was hooked. Now I swim all alone.

Donna always says here that it is the fantasy we mourn not the man. It has taken me a long time to realize this truth and also reading Sandra Brown’s work which says outgoing, personable women who value relationships are prime targets. Funny. But that is who I was and he slowly separated me from all my relationships and now I have very few close friends. It’s too late to go back and try to explain to them who I was in the relationship and what happened. They are gone. But he took my dreams, soul and those close relationships and I spend time trying to get them all back…while yes, he is reinacting with another woman in my place. I want to worry for her but I am envious, how can that be. This is a tough road and thank God for all of you.

There are days when I feel all used up and tell myself I have given up on life. It’s very hard to have your spirit extracted. I hope it returns. Thanks for listening.


You have been through a devastating experience and it takes a long time to recover. After I commenced NC it took me months for the lies and manipulation to actually sink in and then I was in shock at the degree of deceit and at my own behaviour. I felt, as you say, that my spirit had been sucked out of me and reality turned on it’s head.
As an outgoing person and someone who finds it difficult to keep secrets, I did confide in friends. I think they were quite shocked at how candid I was as my encounter with a P was an affair and they all knew me and my husband well. I live in a small place and so I had to weather the storm of gossip but I allowed myself not to worry about it and instead I concentrated on healing my marriage and myself.
My genuine friends have been very supportive even though they find it hard to comprehend. A few have stabbed me in the back and still to this day (2 years on) believe all the lies the P and the other woman put around. That is very painful BUT I do not need to listen to them.
I think you need to find a few trusted friends or a councillor to talk to. You cannot keep all this pain inside of yourself. You may think that as I am back with my husband it is easier to heal. That is true to some extent but a very good lesson that I have learnt is that the only person who can heal me – is me. It’s a long process and I am still dealing with the aftermath but it is possible to come out of this and put it behind you. I wish you all the very best.


Hey Swallow, thanks for writing to me. Yes, get help. I find it even hard, most therapists tell you to stop thinking about him and concentrate on yourself. I do. But then I don’t. Good days bad days I am going to try hypnotherapy as well. Why not. Glad you are back with your husband and sound like you are doing well. Thanks for saying it takes a long time to recover because you can’t really tell anyone it still brings you down over a year later. I tried to tell a good friend and she said “Are you still thinking about him?” So I feel ashamed, that is why I come here and other places because we all understand that after a relationship like this, regular time does not apply. I liked what you said about reality turning on its head! That’s what I kept saying. That nothing feels real. I still, get that way…it’s sunny, it’s a beautiful place, I have a new expensive car…but I can’t feel it anymore. Not as much anyway as I did before I was with him. Just blogging, it sure feels nice to have someone give you their time and advice. I wish you the best too!

I too, was involved in an affair. He was my ‘best friend’ and I was going through abuse at home. My head was ‘turned’ by this beautiful, charming man who had portrayed himself quite brilliantly as a victim in his current relationship. I was a Christian and a good person with a huge heart I don’t know how to explain my behavior except to say that I was – well, the best word that I can find would be intoxicated by this man. Intoxicated. Physically and emotionally, I was drawn to this man like nothing I had ever experienced in my life. Learning about sociopaths has helped me a great deal in understanding what happened to me. I cannot stand before God and make excuses for myself – I am simply saying that it helps to know what I was up against and it was truly evil. He was my best friend for 3 years and oh, the promises and in the end, the shattered dreams. My marriage is over. He went back to his wife, who happens to be worth millions. I am the lucky one. I have been stretched beyond words, regarding my faith. I, also, had had to deal with gossip in a small community and with lies told by he and his wife that he returned to after claiming that I had seduced him, was stalking him (NEVER!), would hurt her, maybe kill her (this after she was doubting him at one point and it got back to him that I would consider talking to her). I am still astonished at how blessed I have been. Almost a year later, most of the people in this small community see him for who he is – I have wonderful friends who have stuck with me the entire time and made many new friends. I have also had many old, mutual friends of ours come around with much support and kind words. I can honestly say that I only have true friends now – the superficial have been weeded out and I would have it no other way. All of those profound words being said… it still hurts like hell. I have come so far. My skin is thicker. My faith is stronger. What I am still struggling most with is the pain of my ‘best friend’ discarding me with no remorse. Vilifying me. Oh, what a professional victim he is. Our wolds are still completely intertwined – location wise, professionally, friends, and yes, even family. I get WAY too much news in regards to his present situation – he’s working the ‘changed man’ card. Most don’t buy it – but some do 🙁 Ah, well… I need to stay focused on what I know to be the truth and not listen to the rest. SMTP – I know your pain. I’m guessing you have already learned as I have that time does heal all wounds, as cliche’ as it is. I am gaining on a year and I have grown like I could never have imagined – last April I was looking for the nearest bridge. Today, I am walking around full of gratitude and I am working towards peace. It will come.

Oops – last post was for SWALLOW – sorry, SMPT 🙂


Dear SMTP901, I wish I can help you somehow. It’s been 4 months I’m free from the sociopath and I learned a lot about how life can be so much better without an abuser to make me feel unimportant.
I believe we get addicted to some feelings and we tend to want more of those feelings even if they are not so good.
If you recognize that you have a problem and you want to find a solution for that, I just want to tell you that there is a way and that life is not that anxiety in which sociopaths put us in, making us believe, with endless lies, that that is love.
You may think you were happy with the sociopath, but that is the poorest happiness one person can get, always waiting for any manifestation of affection (at least with me it was like this) and always believing that one day, when we would get married, everything would be fixed and that he would give me the love I expected so badly.
I think the first step to get out of that cycle of self pity is to look ahead, think of what you want for your future and make this effort of thinking in other things. Your life is much more important than his. Firstly because it’s the only one you have and secondly because you’re worrying about a person who worries only about itself and has no empathy at all for others.
Maybe this is the first thing to accept in the healing process, accept that we cannot understand how can a person lack in feelings for others and leave it aside, substitute those thoughts and feelings for anything else that interests you.
It worked with me, I didn’t think I was going to survive the pain in the first 2 months, but then, I decided to think of myself and not of people who now I consider very destructive.
You must draw a plan and put it in action. It’s your life you are leaving aside, not his. He will never feel sorry for you and come back to fix you up. It’s crazy, literally, but they lack in these feelings, it’s no use trying to achieve any mercy from them.
I’m sorry for my poor English.
All the best.


It is so nice to hear from someone who has been in the same position as me! I have had a great deal of great advice on this site and the MSN site but at times some peole’s attitudes have been a little less sympathetic because I was a maried woman.
Like you, I find it very difficult to explain how this could have happened to me. My marriage was good and even when we had disagreements, I never ever had the idea of looking for someone else. The only way I have been able to describe it was I felt as if I was under a spell. I believed 100% that this man was the ‘one’ and I felt high one minute, despair the next. I knew it was an insane situation but I felt I had no control over it.
Learning all I can about psychopathy has made it easier to solve all the puzzles. My P targeted me for years, very slowly gaining my trust. His OW protected him all that time as he worked for her. When I found out about her I was devastated as she was a friend and a few weeks later devastated again by realising that she was part of the scam. She was not another ‘victim’ as she pretended to be and was happy to profit from my affair. Together they conned me out of $50,000 and nearly destroyed my family.
Luckily for me they did not succeed but I will always regret the fact that I did not see through them and that I hurt my husband and children. I am so sorry to hear what you have been through and that your marriage did not survive. P’s seem to be able to inflict wounds that we could not have imagined before we met them. I’m glad that you have good friends who have supported you. In the end I believe that honesty is the best policy and genuine friendships will survive and the toxic ones become clear.
I still have days when I get terrible panic attacks, especially when I have to hear about the two of them and know that they have got away with it scot free but those horrendous feelings of anger and fear are subsiding.
I wish you peace and happiness in your life. We are all much stonger and wiser now even if we don’t always feel that way.


Dear Enlightened, Swallow, SMTP and others,
I also had an affair with a sociopath. I have been spending much time soul searching to understand how I let that happen to me. I am married to a good man with unmanageable clinical depression. I am also taking care of a disabled family member and I have a child with some special needs. When I think of the stress in my personal life, I can partially understand how this could have happened, but I have a lot of guilt. In 16 years I had never strayed in my marriage nor was I ever tempted. Then I worked for this man with very few boundaries. He was funny and charming. He would confide things in me that made me believe that I was something special to him. As I got more comfortable with him, I admitted that I was having problems in my marriage and that I looked forward to coming in to work to get away from my situation. He started IMing me at work and I admitted to myself that I was definitely having an emotional affair–it wasn’t that difficult for me to take it to the next level and start meeting him after work. He admitted to me that he considered himself a sociopath and a serial adulterer–I tried to talk him out of it! How could someone so self-aware be a sociopath? It didn’t take long for his sociopathic tendencies to start showing in our relationship. He would lie about silly small things, he would ration out his attention and keep me wondering, he would never reciprocate my generosity or thoughtfulness. Just when I would give up on him, he would send an e-mail or meet me and I would again be convinced of his love. He could turn it on and off at will. I was losing my mind trying to understand him. I wanted to believe him, he created a fantasy world for me that I was completely addicted to. I feel stupid for falling for it, and even though I always considered myself someone of high moral character, I have had to come to terms with the fact that my morals are obviously not what they should be. I am trying to be kind to myself and take things one day at a time. I am trying not to let this ruin my faith in humanity. I still fight a battle in my head about maintaining no contact. I know it’s best and that I will never have the closure I need, but still, I keep wondering. That must be the sociopath’s greatest strength–they keep us wondering and ruminating ad nauseum. Be strong! You are all keeping me going.

“getting away with it….”

That’s seems to be a common statement by all of us who have dealt with a P. Although they are unmasked, they still get away with whatever it was that hurt us….whether it be scamming us out of money, exposing us to HIV, or just breaking our hearts, or breaking our hearts in conjuction with all the forementioned, they still ‘get away with it.’


You have a lot to deal with in your life and any normal person would be under stress in yor circumstances. I believe that ANYONE can be ensnared by a psychopath.
I’ve read so many times that they target vulnerable people and I’m sure that is true but it somehow implies that it is the victim that is lacking in something and needs to improve on themselves. All human beings are vulnerable at some time in their lives and the blame should stay firmly where it belongs – with the predator.
Keep up the no contact, it really is the only way to save yourself more heartache and mental torture. Remember to take care of yourself as well as others

Women who have affairs with psychopaths are double victims- because they are tortured by the psycho and vilified by even people who know what psychos do.

I just blogged on this and I want to applaud teh women who have the guts to admit what they did– a psycho would never admit their sin.


VMpatricia and enlightened….both great advice. This sentence stood out too… “What I am still struggling most with is the pain of my ‘best friend’ discarding me with no remorse.” But I know that’s not true. Thanks for the great advice, each day is a better one. But they do still “get away with it” and that bothers me too. But yes, holding on holds you back. Amazing how similar the stories all sound and scarey too. Peace.

Swallow, holywatersalt, and SMTP – thank you for your kind words. Distraught – I worked for my S as well. Everything you said about his being such a package on the outside and, in addition, confiding in you and making you feel special – powerful stuff, especially when you are vulnerable. Mine was SO good looking, charming, smart, funny – and like yours, no boundaries. Made sexual jokes all of the time. Also, he was such a JERK. But after all of his confidences about how mistreated he was, I found myself excusing his behavior as being someone who was wearing all of his anger on his sleeve – poor hurt, misunderstood victim that he was. He was, with me…sweet, loyal, generous – blah, blah. I was special. Mine never said one mean thing to me in 3 years. What I didn’t know was that he was lying to me – that he was playing both sides of the fence the entire time, playing master puppeteer. He had me convinced that his mother had hurt him and every serious girlfriend he had had hurt him – even though he had been a wonderful boyfriend. His wife was just evil, of course. Now he is back home with his millions and this poor woman who is completely convinced that he is…three guesses… my victim. That poor man just couldn’t help himself. He was hurt by her controlling behavior and he fell for my pity stories and felt sorry for me. I seduced him. He even shared all of my confidences (which were not that bad, but he brilliantly took them and played spin doctor with them).
Holywatersalt. I do, indeed feel a double victim sometimes. In the thick of the aftermath, a friend actually said “well, when it comes right down to it – he was never yours…period, so…” So, heartbreak doesn’t count because it was wrong? Betrayal of someone you loved more than life itself, your best friend, should not be that difficult to heal from because the relationship was wrong? Having boldfaced lies told about you, being discarded and devalued, USED, should be easily gotten over because the relationship was wrong??? Oops, do I sound mad 🙂 Anyway, I thank you for that comment. And, Distraught – don’t question your values. You wouldn’t feel guilt if you had questionable values and my guess is, you wouldn’t have compromised those values if you had never come ‘up close and personal’ with a bonafide sociopath. They’re good – period. If you are remorseful and you have asked God for forgiveness, you have already received it – Grace is a wonderful thing – accept it.

Almost forgot.
Swallow – about your statement about keeping the blame on the predator. I recently found a book called ‘Emotional Rape’ – you can find it on Amazon, couldn’t find it in local bookstores. It helped me a great deal. It helped me come to the conclusion that yes, I have to own up to my behavior, my sin, and figure out how I allowed that to happen. I have answered to God. But I have also allowed myself to realize that I WAS a victim of emotional rape. I was used. And I will in no way accept responsibility for the horrible, subhuman things that he did to me. I am guilty of hurting another woman. I am guilty of doing something wrong. But I am NOT to blame for what he did to me and I have every right to feel victimized and to allow myself to lick my wounds and continue with the recovery process – mostly learning to love myself.

Distraught, just posted a comment to Swallow that I meant for you regarding guilt – but my hope is that it would help you both. I probably seem a little nutty today – made a couple of ‘post’ mistakes. Having a crazy day and hopped on here a couple of times in a hurry. My apologies. Ever have one of those days??? Off to get my eyebrows done – maybe that will wake me up – haha.


You made such a good point about being a double victim. To target someone who is married is such a clever ploy as it automatically entraps them into a lie and alienates them from everyone. What he didn’t bank on was the fact that I was so open about it afterwards and now he and the OW know that they have been exposed to many people. Interestingly, the OW is also married and her husband (who I have spoken to at great length) has tried everything to stop the affair but no matter what he does, she will not give him up. I think now that either she is a victim with psychological problems or she is a P too.
Enlightened – I have heard of the book and I will order it. It sounds very helpful. I have gone back through my life looking for answers and I know that having had a ?P mother who physchologically tormented my sister and I all our lives, I was programmed to accept bad behaviour and always saw myself as the one who was wrong. It is horribly clear to me now that I was such a great target but the upside of that is I now understand myself and am a better person for it.
We cannot turn the clock back but we can grow and learn from the experience. I hope in some way I can help anyone who is going through this hell by validating what they say. For me, having what I experienced validated was one of the most helpful things in my recovery.
Hang in there girls, the fact that we are here means we are the lucky ones that got away!


Enlightened and Swallow,
Thanks for your comments–they really helped. Enlightened, it sounds like we met the same guy–almost! It’s very clever the way they set these things up for themselves. I was the perfect target, having never had an affair–not knowing the “rules”. He knew me well enough to know that I would never tell anyone because of the shame I felt. I haven’t told anyone except you folks–there is no one in my life who would understand. I’m sure I would receive similar comments to the one you got, enlightened. Something to the effect of: “if you play with fire, you should expect to get burned”. In some ways, I think maybe I deserve what I got–maybe this is what comes out of being deceitful–but then, because of this forum, I realize this is not an ordinary situation–he is not a typical individual. He too filled my head with his sob stories and made me feel like I was the only one who would accept him for who he is. His poor wife. He told her about a prior affair years ago and he hoped that would end the marriage–but she would not let him go. Silly woman.


Swallow. When my ex N frequently talked about the married women at work and conversations they had and admitted texting them as mates, I was ok/ish with that. Thinking that married women are safe (stupidly). When he told me that one of them (who was on holiday with her husband) had text him from holiday, I began to smell a rat. when he further told me an extremely sexual remark that he had said to one of them – I was beginning to see a game plan.

The phone numbers and intimate texts were all from married women. The penny dropped – not only could he have the satisfaction of using another man’s woman, he could have an affair in secret (she is unlikely to tell) without emotional ties, they wont want children and there is the buzz of the forbidden. Also the married women are unlikely to have other partners, so he has no competition from other males and can call on his prey as and when. I rang one of his married women and despite having his intimate texts to her in my hand, she absolutely denied that they were anything other than workmates. Had she have been willing to talk about it, I could have told her the terrible truth to protect her.

When you translate all of this into the streams of behaviour used by Ns and Ps, it all becomes part of a game plan and strategy (no doubt well thought out and tried out) and becomes so much more understandable. Presumably that is why he had different women at different levels of play.

enlightened – yes I agree – we were led to believe that we were investing in a relationship, when the person was never going to be ‘available’ in the normal sense. Although I didnt need it, he offered me his protection and he abused me, he is no different from all those people who prey on the innocent. As far as I am concerned, they are all members of the same group, just that some have different memberships!


Is anyone in the UK watching ‘The Woman Who Couldn’t Stop Lying’ on the Crime and Investigation Channel? It’s on just now.

I saw this when it was first on terrestrial television, before I discovered what sociopaths were. Now I find i stunning.

If you can, watch it!

Swallow and Distraught – there is another book that was recommended to me by my therapist “Shattered Dreams” – the author is Crabb (Larry, I think). I am still reading it – helps you put all of your pain into perspective in regards to God’s ultimate purpose for your life and the purpose of pain in our spiritual growth.
Distraught, I am so glad that you have managed to avoid the pain of public scorn – and if I had my choice, would have avoided it myself. But I want to tell you what I have learned about friends, and, Swallow, I would be curious to know if you had similar experiences. One of the richest blessings in all of this was learning who my real friends were – and the biggest surprise of all was that those that I feared telling the MOST were the ones who stood by me. I had 3 friends who’s husbands had cheated on them. They are now in my top 5 best friends. The one who is still married was the first one to call me when the word came round to her “Are you okay????” She listened to me, she supported me. Another friend, who was one of those outwardly perfect people – mom, wife, etc. who I thought would NEVER understand my ‘horrible deed’ surprised me the most. We went to lunch one day – of course she had ‘heard bits and pieces here and there’. I got teary eyed and told her I wished so badly that I could talk to her but that I had lost so many friends…She cut me off and said “There is nothing that you can’t tell me. I am your friend and nothing you have done could ever make me turn my back on you”. These were my two friends who came over to my house one day and we had a little ceremony. We de-P’d my house. Removed every trace of him. We laughed and laughed as we went through his things -boxed things up for goodwill. There was a box for trash. Some we saved for one year for me to wait and make sure that I could let go of when I had more clarity because this was very soon after. They took it all away. The point is, I could go on and on with stories of the surprises regarding who stood by me and who stabbed me in the back – and those who just went away, period. I found out how loved I was – truly loved for who I was. Distraught, I do NOT recommend exposing yourself so that you can enjoy this particular blessing as well :-), I am simply saying that there are more people that love you unconditionally than you know – I promise there are.


I still have most of my friends and in their own different ways they have helped and supported me. Like Enlightened I have stronger friendships than before. The few that I have discarded were friends that I always had doubts about anyway or ones that have decided to stay friends with the OW and P. One woman in particular hurt me a great deal as she was the ONE person I confided during the affair and had seen the whole story play out. After I started NC, she became best friends with the OW and when I questioned her one day as to why she seemed so uncomfortable with me when she knew all the pain I and my family had suffered she just waved her hand and said “oh I’d just forget about”. She then wrote me a letter saying there are always two sides to these things. I told her that either she couldn’t see the wood for the trees (completley blinded by the manipulation) or she was OK with her friends being conned and lied to. Since then, she herself has been cheated of money by the OW and yet she STILL remains friends with her. I understand now though that it is her who has the problem with self esteem and does not have any boundries.
To anyone who is at the beginning of recovery ( and feeling very fragile) I would advise them to be careful as to who they confide in. One, because it is so hard to comprehend the weirdness and bizarre behaviour if you have not dealt with a P yourself and two, some people that you think you can trust will turn around and bite you for no reason. Overall though, I do not regret telling my experience to anyone. Most people thank me for being so honest and warning them of what can happen and the others that attack are not worth worrying about. It’s a good way of sorting the sheep from the goats in your life!


Your experience is so similar to mine. A good friend of mine who had an encounter with a P warned me at the very beginning of my recovery “be prepared for the day that people who have stood by you begin to ‘forget’ and you will hear about them socializing with him, making more casual statements in regards to what he did to you, etc.” Well, it is beginning to happen. I only have a few friends left who truly get that he is a bonafide P, see the evil in him, and will not forget what he did to me and they stay clear. I’m hoping that I will never have to deal with that changing as well. I have been praying about this and working on not being angry with these friends. Trying to remind myself that it didn’t happen to them and that makes it easier for them to move on about it. Still smarts, though. I also have to remind myself that I cannot control what others do or think and love them for who they are just as they have so graciously done for me and this whole thing falls under the subject of ‘let go, let god’ and ‘let go, period.’ The other thing I find hard, and I have read this on many other posts – even my best of friends don’t want to hear about it anymore because I should be over it by now. Some of them say this genuinely out of concern for me, but this is the tough part – I am starting to have to keep alot of my feelings to myself because, as I know you know, nobody can understand how these P’s get into our system – it is not a normal breakup scenario and there is no way to make someone understand that who hasn’t been through it. I am grateful for this site – I only wish that it didn’t have to exist. It sounds like you are doing well, Swallow – I am so glad. I have come so far, and some days I am so positive and seeing the future as bright. Then I will get blindsided by a story I will hear or some other trigger and I will go into meltdown mode. Ever feel manic??? 🙂

Ox Drover

Swallow, your friend’s comment, “there are two sides to every story” or “it takes two to fight” is SO wrong! Yet, we are taught in first grade in school when a fight starts that “it takes two to fight”–NO NO!!! It takes one to fight and one to be beaten up!

As far as “two sides to every story” that is a total discount of what happened to you. Ask Charlie Manson what his version of the Tate killings is? Is his “side of the story” equally valid with the side of the murdered people’s.? Of course not, and for her to say that to you is totally RUDE.

Yes, even our friends “get tired” of discussing one subject, and maybe when we reach that stage it is time for us to at least “verbally” move on and not regail them with more information than they can handle. This seems a “common problem” with us (suvivors) and it takes a very very VERY special friend to limit conversations to our pain for months or years. Those friends are very rare.

Fortunately we have friends here that will listen “forever” if we need to talk about it that long. Hopefully, we can come to closure on it to the point that WE are “bored” with the story.

The being “blindsided” or “triggered” I think will slow down as time progresses. I know that I was blindsided several times by “parting shots” that they heaved over the wall even when they knew they couldn’t “win”—and now when a shot comes over the wall (NC) it doesn’t send me into a tail spin, I just handle it if it needs handling, and don’t get emotionally involved in it past doing “what needs done.” Hang in there, it gets better.


It never ceases to amaze me that so many people just cannot see through them even when they are confronted by absolute proof.
I know exactly what you mean about even the best of friends getting tired of hearing the story. I think many of them genuinely believe that it isn’t good for me to keep replaying it. In some ways that is true and it isn’t healthy to dwell on things BUT they also do not realise how long it takes to recover from emotional/ psychological abuse and PTSD. I have a close friend who is a psychiatrist and she has told me to stay on anti-depressants for another 2 years! She also advised me to completley cut out any activities and friends who I associate with the P. That is difficult in small place but I have managed to detach as much as possible. The times I go into the rage/anxiety mode are when I hear anything about the two of them and it makes me almost cry with frustration and anger that they have walked away without anyone standing up to them.
It is so nice to talk to someone who has been in the same position as me. I had a few ups and downs on another board when I tried to defend a husband who became ensnared by a P. His wife was posting and just wanted some sympathy for her and her husband. Instead she got a barrage of replies telling her to dump him. It was quite alarming to read how intolerant some people were of victims who are married – as if we somehow deserved it or our pain is less!!


Thanks for your posts too. You always have such common sense comments to make. I know you have had terrible traumas with your family but you still manage to offer hope and good advice.
Thank God for this board where we can retreat to when no-one else is listening.



I am sorry to deviate from the conversation…but, I figured this thread is an appropriate place to put this request/comment.

I have always found support groups to be so helpful in my healing. In fact, it was through ALANON that I got the strength and courage to leave the relationship with the ex.

But, I have recently been exploring the possibility of starting a support group. I would like it to be based on an already established plan or step program, like the 12-Steps, designed to help survivors of personality disordered individuals.
In fact, we have a local 12-meeting house with plenty of space and timeslots available. I did get the go ahead to conduct an ASCA (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Anonymous) group. However, the more and more I’ve thought about it, I AM MORE INTERESTED in setting up a group for people that have suffered from being in a relationship with a narcissist, borderline personality disordered, or other personality disordered individuals.

I have not been able to find a 12-Step program for this topic. And, I would like to not have to reinvent the wheel, because I fear I would never be interested in doing all the work required to do this.

And, I do have a number of women and one man friend that have survived relationships with personality disordered individuals, and they ARE survivors!!!! Oh my gosh…

What do you all think? Do any of you have any ideas, or suggestions? I suppose I could design a group, but, again, as I said, I truly do not have the time, energy and other resources for this. I can pull together, set it up, get the individuals to support such a group; but will need help coming up with safe content, guidelines, format etc.

Dr. Steve, Donna, ML…do you all have any suggestions?

Thank you so much in advance!!!!

Peace to all…be well.


I think that is a wonderful idea! I had someone suggest my going to a 12-step support group, even al-anon, because the 12 step, in general, applies to all forms of addiction and co-dependency, but for some reason, I still felt isolated because I knew that my situation was so freaking bizarre and didn’t feel comfortable talking about it when everyone else was talking about everything else under the sun BUT what I was going through. I still think it could be helpful, but to have a group that was specifically for people recovering (or still involved with) someone with a PD would be a wonderful thing.

Swallow… This whole thing about friendships is SO timely. Amazingly enough, I still have friendships with a family member and a co-worker of his. It seems that no matter how much I tell them I don’t want to hear anything about his current situation, they can’t seem to help themselves. I have to accept part of the blame for this, because up until now, I have not been assertive enough about it and I do realize that it is partly because I haven’t been ready to cut the only dangling piece of thread that has kept me tied to him. Very unhealthy, but true none-the-less. I have had friends tell me that I am NUTS to keep friendships with people that are so closely connected to him. What has been so hard for me is that I don’t know how to just CUT somebody out of my life because they know him. “Sorry, so and so, I can’t be your friend any more – thanks for all of your support over the last year, but you have to go now”. How would you do that??? Well, this very week, some “s- – t has been flying, with people talking about confidences being betrayed between myself and these friends. They’ve shared things that I said, I’ve shared things they said (my bad) and he came under attack – it was all about his lies being exposed. This must sound SO confusing, but my point is, I am feeling dissention among the ranks, if you will and OH how the P would love this, turning us against eachother. BUT, I am wondering if this is the time for me to drift away – not try to correct everything that I KNOW has been twisted and just let it go. I didn’t have the strength to do what was best for me – maybe God is doing it. Does that make any sense at all??? Thoughts???


Grace, I think you have a wonderful idea. As I live in SE Asia I cannot help you and for me I have to go it alone except for this board and other sites as there are no therapists etc. here. If I had the chance to join a group as you suggest I would jump at it.
It sounds as if the vultures are circling. There is never one victim of a P; their poison permeates through everyone they come in contact with. We have to walk a fine line between talking and confiding in others and exposing ourselves to more pain and a smear capmaign. I indulged in ‘talking’ too and to be honest ( apart from my true good friends who really helped and supported me) I just got more pain and frustration. I did it because I could not really let go and was hoping against hope I would hear of their downfall. It didn’t help me at all as they have just carried on as usual.
You have a good opportunity now to withdraw from anyone who is involved with him. Take the tone that you are going to rise above the gossip and back stabbing. Anyone you think is indulging in this, quietly withdraw from them. If they ask you why, just say you do not wish to discuss that person anymore. If they are rude or press you tell them to mind their own buisness, end of subject. Do not give any further information that can be used against you.
My friend gave me a good tip. When I was trembling at the thought of being questioned or attacked she told me to imagine I was wearing a long grey cloak that I put on before I went out. As long as I was wearing it I was safe. If someone got to me I put the hood up!
Good Luck and try as much as possible to rise above the mud slinging. There are always going to be people who cannot see through the facade or who fuel the fire because of their own disorders or problems.

“I did it because I could not really let go and was hoping against hope I would hear of their downfall.”
Swallow, that is 100% on target. I have spent the last year letting myself be subjected to painful information because it kept the lines open for my hearing those tidbits of his misery. Yes, I’ve had news of misery, but it has been outweighed by information about him being ‘back on top’. The man pulled it off – atleast in every superficial way you can imagine. He’s still stuck being him – and that’s gotta suck 🙂 That helps a little. But yes, it is oh so painful knowing they are ‘carrying on as usual’ and even worse, he BENEFITED by what he did to me – not in public, but at home. Thank you for your advice – I have already come to the conclusion that it is past time that I remove myself from the talking. What I learn (it is inevitable in this small town) I will sit on. I will from here on out be able to have the peace of mind that no one will be able to quote me, and I will not have that anxiety of being questioned or attacked, as you put it. And yes, it is time for me to remove myself from a few people, and where that is not so simple, I will make it clear like I’ve never made it before that I want zero information about him or anything regarding him. The timing feels right. Wish I had done it sooner, but I just wasn’t ready. If I sound confident, I’m not. This involves an unhealthy addiction of sorts, and this ‘cutting the last thread’ thing is scary. Thank you for wishing me luck cuz I’m gonna need it! I will keep my cloak with me at all times 🙂


The encounter with someone with PDs is bad enough, but the aftermath of smearing someone’s good name just adds insult to injury and is their way of finishing off the ‘job’. Since I left him 6 mths ago, I have kept a very low profile. I have avoided all the places we went, the people we knew and I even plan when to go out around the times I know he wont be around. I want him to completely forget about me and not cause any more trouble in my life. Although I am not really scared of him (I can be formidable) he threatened to break all my windows in my home and I wouldnt want my child subject to that. I havent stuck around or asked other people what he has said about me – because I dont really care – I know the truth. Infact I have cut off all ties with people whom we both knew who would talk, so that they dont know what I am doing, so he cant use them as information channels.

I saw him yesterday for the first time since breaking up. I went to a large store and he walked in (didnt see me) and I dumped my shopping and walked out. It still galls me to think he looked so well and has obviously suceeded to some extent in his ploy. Yuuuuck.


Well done!! You sound as if you are doing so well. Once he knows you are off limits he will go hopefully go hunting for a new prey (if he hasn’t already). Just be on your guard for him to try and sneak back into your life when you least expect it.


Thank you swallow. I have good days and bad days. He will definately not be back – he created too much wreckage and he knows I would want explanations and he never reveals what he has done. He told me once that he NEVER goes back with ex gfs. I have no doubt he will not be back, I was too challenging for him, I wouldnt put up with his control and domination and he has written me off as not a pushover and not worth the effort. He found someone else really quickly (as they do) and had women (mainly married) at different levels of play. he had the cheek to put a message to me through a third party to say he had already found a woman alot younger than me and that hurt and still does. But thank you so much for your support – I value that.


When you think of that other younger woman, feel sorry for her – she is dancing with the devil and doesn’t know.
My P used to say to me when he knew things were coming to an end ” You can hate me but don’t forget me”!! Classic Narcissistic comment.


Of course he looks well. Worry lines? Character marks in his face? He has neither, because people without conscience don’t worry about anything but where to get their next fix!

But they are hollow. He has no real happiness, either. It’s all superficial. Was it superficial when he was with you – no depth, no emotional truth or resonance?

It will be exactly the same no matter who he is with. Only the script changes, their actions never do.

Good for you, walking out of the store! Keep walking. He may have seen your vehicle if it’s one he recognizes and may have orchestrated to bump into you in the store. Even if not, don’t be sure he’s forgotten you. They come back years and years later, emotional vampires that they are.

Ox Drover


Many of the Domestic Violence shelters house many of the victims, but of course we know that many people who have been abused by Ps are not in DV shelters.

It was interesting to me though, that when my X-DIL who had tried to kill her husband, my son C, was released from jail after about 8 months, she was put in a DV shelter for about a week as she had NO where else to go, and in our small area, that was the only place the jail could place her.

My son D picked her up and drove her to her new place of residence and returned to h er the few things my son C (her x husband had saved fro her from their home) and she was telling D that the DV people had tried to convince her that she had been abused by my son (her x husband) and she DENIEd that he had ever abused her….a few days later whenwe had to take some few more things to her, she h ad changed her tune and decided that C HAD abused her.

Of course she is back to her “old habits” now and we are NC with her now, unless and if she decided to file joint income tax with my son for their mutual benefit, but it is up to her, we won’t beg her.

I have worked with people in DV shelters, and the major problem i see is that so many of them return to the viper they escaped from or they go find another viper to nest with. It is almost like they SEEK these abusers out.

To me, the only way to stop it is to educate the victims, and a support group for people like us who are not in shelters might be very helpful. Just like this group is helpful. EDUCATION in how to spot the predators, and validation that they are NOT ALONE and that they are NOT CRAZY or bad, that there is healing out there.

Teaching the red flags to look for, all these things are so oimportant to healing.

My son C is still reeling from shock, but because I am here to BELIEVE him first, to validate him and his feelings secondly, I think his healing is progressing more rapidly than would be expected. He has passed the FIRST hurdle, which is to recognize that he CANNOT FIX it, that he did NOT CAUSE it, and that she has no conscience or ability to understand normal emotions or to repent and change her ways.

In many instances society teaches us that “there is good in everyone” which I do not think is true in the case of Ps. Any “good” they do is accidental.

Because our “pain” which is intense, is not “visible” to others who are also not “educated” to the Ps and their abililties to devestate lives, we don’t get the community support and validation that we need to heal.

Many of us (victims) are also enablers or have “toxic and malignant hope” that we can effect change in these peopole, we fixate on the “fantasy” and are addicted to the rush of possibly recovering this feeling. Sort of like a slot machine gives intermittent rewards, we keep pluging our currency of love into the “one armed bandit of humans.”

I would try a modifided version of any 12 step program or an Alonon type program which material is fairly easily available. Many victims actuall over lap with the alonon groups since many Ps are drug/alcohol addicted as well.

Good luck and God bless your plans for helping.



Another reader sent me a link to a seminar about starting a recovery group such as the one you talked about. It is put on by Sandra L. Brown, the author of “How to Spot a Dangerous Man.” Her website is

Send me a note if you are going to go forward with this. I don’t know if I can afford to do this right now, but I would consider it. In fact, I plan to attend a workshop in the future. I am applying to Grad School because of my Bad Man experience and I hope to work with victims of abusive relationships.

If you want to contact me.. [email protected]

Imagine the worldwide network of support and recovery we could create springing from all the conversations here. We could have chapters under our screen names. HAHA! (please note: I am not willing to move back to Hawaii to run the Alohatraveler group… though DANG IT… I do miss my islands!!!!)

I have wanted this forum to end up on Oprah but at the same time, I have been afraid that the community would get too big if we did and we wouldn’t be able to have the “conversations” we have now. That is selfish of me isn’t it? I just love my community here.

Good luck with this venture. I want to do it too but don’t know how to begin and don’t want to get in over my head.. that is why I am headed back to school. :o)


Enlightened, Swallow, Oxdrover and Alohatravler…
Thanks for the responses.

I am very excited about perhaps getting a group started. However, I am almost afraid of how I am going to sell the idea to the Recovery Center, I mean, I would like to come up with a name for the group that will not scare everyone off, if you know what I mean (Surviving and Recovering from Psychological Injuries Caused by Narcissists, and Other Dangerous People….SOMETHING LIKE THAT????)

And, I believe I can gather enough resources, design a sort of revised version of the 12-steps; but, truthfully, even though I am excited, I am starting a new job soon, and believe it will have to go very slowly…I do like the site you suggested Aloha, and the ideas from Oxdrover…they were MUCH appreciated!

The information gathered from this site, and the How to Spot a Dangerous Man site could be the start for the books, pamplets, resources, recovery stories…etc. I would put out some money even to get it started because I know it would help so many people.

Would anyone like to collaborate? Feel up to it?

Hey…I saw the EXPsychopath today…and it was weird…NO EMOTIONAL CHARGE on my part, I was free of all the overwhelming feelings of fear that I might have felt just a few months ago. And, I go see him in court 12 March. I know I have lots of strength as far as support, God, and my own inner resources go! I finally know what it means to well is the best revenge.

I did laugh, and remember what a friend said to me…that lunchmeat is a perfect thing to ruin a car’s paintjob…throw it on the hood…and, it rots right through…I thought about this after he was driving by and laughed…but, I dildn’t feel the deep pain, heartache and fear I had once felt…and I wasn’t really even angry when I thought about the revenge…it just came to my mind…me and my attorney don’t expect to see a dime of the money he owes me; but, I got this GREAT JOB…and for the first time in my life I will be earning in the 6 figures AND IT FEELS so great that I am surviving, have so many terrific friends, love, a great home, God, and so many wonderful wonderful things in my life today! Now…if I can give back…I WANT TO GIVE back, try to help someone else!

I THANK GOD EVERYDAY, even when I am not feeling good…that I survived, have my life energy and sanity back…and, have a fantastic life today!

Again…thanks everyone!



Wow Grace63!

You sound FREE! Isn’t it wonderful?!

I would like to do a group like you. I am just afraid at this point. I feel like I should know something more but I don’t know what it is.

Are you considering doing the workshop with Sandra L. Brown? I think I would start there so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I have thought of attending a battered women’s group just to see what they do. The psychological stuff is the same I think but with bruises. :o( That would be hard to see.

I guess I want to do this but I want to have a Therapist oversee it with me as a sidekick. I don’t know what I would say to these people.

You got me thinking about what I would do. I think I would write a flyer that said something like:

Do you know someone that is in a painful relationship? Are you that someone?

Then I would write something like:

Does your partner do any of the following:

Intimidate you with looks, verball threats of aggressive posturing?

Threaten you?

Did he have a sad story that made you feel sorry for him when you first met him?

Was he your Knight in Shining Armor… but only for a short time and now you are wondering where that man went?

Does he call you names or treat you like a possession?

Do you find that you are always defending your character?

Are you always trying to change to make him happy?

Are you unsure about what it is that he wants you to change but it’s always something?

Is he secretive about his whereabouts?

Does he seem to be addicted to the Internet. Text messages, the phone?

Do you have disagreements that never reach a resolution that is acceptable to you or account for your feelings?

Is it, whatever “It” is, always your fault?

Did you know that you don’t have to be hit to be in an abusive relationship?

and so on.
(I am sure there’s lots more.)

Good luck. Let us know what you are pulling together.


Just to add to the above comments… (my story is under case histories)…

I’m three years out now and have no emotional charge on the past.

At the present time, I look at what happened as an important life-lesson… it seems that I had been spending a great deal of my life (family, romantic and career) putting up with the sociopathic behaviors of first, my mother, then several husbands and boyfriends and numerous people at work.

It wasn’t until the last encounter that I woke up to the fact that these ‘DIFFICULT’ people in my life were sociopaths-psychopaths and that I had spent most of my life tippy-toeing around their quirks and constant demands. What a wake-up call it was when I discovered what they really were! and that I didn’t have to put up with them any longer.

I realize that I had been ‘indoctrinated’ to be submissive to their demanding behaviors and crazy-making from the time that I was a little child – so it was easy for me to graduate to boyfriends, husbands, co-workers and bosses whom I just considered to be ‘difficult’ people.

Healing took a lot of self-searching, recounting and remembering old relationships and how I succumbed in order to co-exist.

I am left with one thought – I wonder what my life would have been like if I had been aware of the behavior patterns of those around me and made appropriate changes…???


HI LouiseRosen,
My childhood was dominated by a domineering and volatile Mother which set me up for future failed relationships with the wrong kind of people. Luckily, I made a very good choice when I married my husband but I failed to recognise that I still carriage ‘baggage’ from the past which led me to fall prey to another P.
Like you, the passage of time is diminishing the trauma and two years on, I feel that it has been a vital wake-up call and an invaluable lesson learned.
I hope that our contributions through these posts can give hope to others that are still struggling with the effects of a disordered personality.

Ox Drover

The aspects of the “people pleasing” and “self-depreciating” personalities that we get from a childhood in which we are expected to “overlook” or “forgive”(read: Pretend it never happened) does in later life tend to make us over look RED FLAGS in these personality disordered individuals.

Dealing with that aspect of why we were “chosen victims” and others weren’t I think is pivotal to our healing PERMANENTLY not just getting away from the “latest” P that has been in our lives.

If a person in AA didn’t realize it was the ALCOHOL and only thought it was the “vodka” and quit drinking that and went to “whiskey” instead, their life would NOT change. I laugh at that when folks who had a big problem with alcohol quit whiskey and go to BEER–as if that makes a difference.

I think we must MUST find out what inside ourselves made us vulnerable to these people. Why we did not leave the FIRST time they “got out of line” or challenge them the FIRST time they lied to us. Would totally “with it” and “healthy” people put up with what we have put up with? I don’t think so.

That was another big hurdle for me to “get” was that I was COMPLACIENT and allowed the second abuses from these people.

The old saying “crap on me once, shame on you, Crap on me TWICE, shame on ME!” I am the first to admit that I ALLOWED the abuse to continue. I didn’t start it, but I didn’t STOP it either.

I am doing my best at setting reasonable boundaries with every person in my life, who is close or not so close. “This is the way I expect to be treated.” If you do not choose to treat me that way–GO AWAY.

When people cross those boundaries it is at their peril. I have a choice in life in how I will deal with or not deal with people. I can choose who I associate with, whom I love, and whom I do not associate with. I do not have to please YOU. If I choose to please you and it i s within reasonable boundaries, that is a choice I make, not something I am compeled to do.

it is okay for you not to like me. Not everyone will like me. Not everyone will agree with me, and that is okay too.

You can have a difference of opinon without it being a differnce in principle. Having differences of opinons, or likes and dislikes though, does not give anyone the right to disrespect you or me. I treat or try to treat each person with respect, and I expect the same courtesy and respect in return.

One of the biggest pains in life has been when I loved A, and A loved B, and I did not like B, and A insisted that if I “loved them” that I had to also love “B”—I now realize that I can love you, and you can love B, but if I don’t like B that is okay, and if you insist that I must love B in order to be your friend, then, too bad—it isn’t going to happen. I don’t make that kind of demands on others and I won’t fall prey to that kind of demand either.


I am sorry to say that when my exN started his (I now know) deviant behaviour, I just didnt consider it to be abuse. Uncomfortable yes. Cancelling arrangements/tired (that’s his right), going on holidays alone (he needs space), 12 mobile phones (he works nights, he needs new playthings), sexy comments to female workers (everyone has office banter), female’s phone numbers on his phone (they are married/no threat), doesnt want sex (thats his choice), he asks me ‘ in our sex life – would you xxxxx’ – (HANG ON A MINUTE – WHAT IS HE SAYING??.

He was abusing me in small ways, over practical matters, then working his way up to more risky ones. He was abusing me to my face, right under my nose and although I didnt like what he was doing, I put up with it…..then tension would mount in me,, I would over react and he would punish me by withdrawal. I kept accepting his excuses. Then as I started to suspect he had/was cheating on me, I started to check up on him – thinking – well I have no proof – I cant accuse him of anything. I thought if I did put my foot down, I would lose him or he would accuse me of being jealous/insecure, which he did accuse me of.

I started looking on websites for how to determine what signs a cheater would give. Then I thought – damn it – I dont need any proof. That is when I came to my senses. He is making me feel uncomfortable and that is all I need to know. Then the day before we finished, I am convinced that he invited me somewhere for me (a) meet one of his women (b) or he met a woman there – and that was the last straw. Even if I was imagining it, I thought the scene is so real that this is what he will end up doing to me – which equals taking a crap on me – and I am not taking it ANY MORE- GOODBYE

After going on the cheating signs websites, I found my way to tears and healing website (the descriptions were so accurate), then I found my way here.

righteous woman

I think we all did rationalizations…Your rationalizations sound just like mine. Now I call it suffering from hope.

Ox Drover

Righteous woman,

Another web site on dealing with Ns and Ps calls it “malignant hope” and I think that sums it up pretty well.

That “hope against all reason” is what sustains us in the relationships. I now that in EVERY P encounter from my P-bio-father, to my P-son, and my P-X BF, it was the malignant HOPE that kept me falling for the “fantasy” of how it COULD be if I COULD JUST SOME HOW FIND THE MAGIC WORDS TO FIX IT ALL. DUH!

There is NO Santa, there is NO tooth fairy, there is NO Easter Bunny and there is NO FIX FOR A PSYCHOPATH except DISTANCE and NO CONTACT.


I have to come here everyday to read all of these reminders… no contact, no fix for a psychopath, no more thinking “if only I read him this letter I wrote him, then he’ll come to his senses”. A friend asked me today how is it that we get sucked in by these people? I wasn’t able to answer her. It’s something about their being master manipulators. It’s frightening, really. All the signs were there for all of us, yet we chose to ignore them, rationalize them. Hindsight is 20-20, they say, and now looking back it all makes perfect sense that I was being completed used and emotionally abused. I wish there was some scientist out there looking for a perfect psychopath to research, because my ex-p would be heaven for them. Perhaps this could go on his license somewhere (“Certified Psychopath”), so that when he dies and his brain gets donated to science, the scientist could really take a look at what makes a psychopath tick.

Clearly, I need a break from all this thinking about this man that has uprooted my life, made me question the genuine goodness in people, and made me realize that true evil does exist in the world, and it’s not always far away or someone else’s problem.

Here’s hoping we all start taking better care of ourselves and thinking about our own lives and values, and put them behind us, as much as is possible.


The first night I spent with my exN, I did something I have never done before – I went into my kitchen and hid all the knives. That tells you something doesnt it?


For days and weeks I have been quietly stewing with a jealous curiosity about his current gfriend. Less ups and downs with her, less over reactions, more calm, no turbulence. I have even thought if only I had been less reactive. Then today, I suddenly realised that she may be less reactive and he will have modified his behaviour off the back of the experiences with me. I am in no doubt that somewhere in him, he must have been hurt when we parted, but he has fast tracked himself past that. There has probably been no ruminating or him, no tears, he has schemed on how he can find a quick replacement for me. I know they are weak inside and all these elaborations are defences.

I am glad I was reactive, it just brought things to a head more quickly and lessened the longer lasting impact, although the impact has been bad enough. She may be more accepting of him, he may not yet be manipulating and getting into his deviant behaviour, because he knows what it did to us. But the bottom line is that all people in his life are narcissistic prey to him, whether he takes the longer route or the shorter route. She is yet unaware of what he did to me and what mental cruelty he subjected me to for being concerned about him and loving him.

I realised that with him, things go very calmly when you play by his rules – he makes it clear what is acceptable and what is not, if you assert your needs or cross him in some way – bang – punishment – all so subtely executed – like Pavlov’s dogs. It can never be a two way relationship with him, he has to be completely in control of all aspects of the relationship, but if at times you are in control, it is only because he is letting you be, to keep you sweet. That is, until you suddenly realise what his game is actually about!!

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