Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader:
I have a question for you. I’ve been divorced for 3 years now from my ex-husband who had a porn addiction. I’ve tried the Internet dating sites on and off since, and have had nothing but bad experiences. What do you suggest I do/ how do I go about finding someone? I am really lonely and would like to have a man in my life. However, I’m so afraid of attracting the wrong kind still. If you have any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them.
If you’ve had a run-in with a sociopath, before attempting to date again, you must first heal yourself. If you’re feeling lonely and afraid, it is an indication that you are not yet healed.
I believe that circumstances and situations come into our lives as a result of our internal states. The energy and emotions that we have within us are like giant magnets, bringing us more of the same. Perhaps you’ve heard this concept described as “The Law of Attraction.” I think it’s a real phenomenon, because I’ve seen it operate in my own life, whether I liked the results or not.
When sociopaths come into our lives, they bring emotional betrayal, physical assault, financial ruin, psychological manipulation, family devastation—far more trauma than any of us ever bargained for. As a result, we are crushed, afraid, angry, frightened. Often our lives are on the verge of collapse.
We are overwhelmed by negative emotion and energy, which is totally understandable. So what happens? We get more of the same.
It happened in my life, and I’ve seen it in countless Lovefraud stories. The sociopath cheats on us, and we’re in a car crash. The sociopath takes all our money, and then we lose our jobs. The sociopath ruins our marriage, and then we get cancer or some other major illness.
So what are we to do?
Feel the pain
I believe that we must get the negative emotion and energy out of our systems. And the way to do this is to allow ourselves to feel the pain.
Usually, this means crying. Of course, we’ve all probably spent hours and hours crying, and we’re tired of it. We just want to stop. But the pain caused by the sociopath goes very deep, especially if we’ve had the predator in our lives for many years—years that we stuffed our emotions, afraid to let ourselves feel what we were really feeling. It may take a long time to release the pent-up tears.
Then there’s the anger. Anger is a physical sensation—just because we know why we’re angry doesn’t make it go away. Anger needs to be released appropriately. (It does no good to confront the sociopath, and may make matters worse.) My method of choice for releasing anger is visualizing the sociopath’s face on a pillow, and then pounding the crap out of it. The idea is to do something physical—stomping the floor, twisting towels—until we feel an emotional release.
But what often happens as we work on releasing the pain caused by the sociopath is that we find more pain beneath it. This may be disappointment in previous love relationships, anger at mistreatment during our childhoods, betrayal bonds with other people who abused us.
These are the negative emotions that attracted the sociopath in the first place.
In my case, I was lonely, even desperate, when the sociopath showed up on my doorstep. During all of my 20s and 30s, I couldn’t get a relationship with a man to work. I now know that it was due to my internal state, as described above. But when I turned 40, feeling that biological clock ticking, wanting to make a connection—well, I was primed to be plucked. Attracted by my negative internal energy, the sociopath swooped in.
With the devastation wrought by the sociopath, my pain moved to the focus of my awareness. I processed it. It was all I could do.
This is not pretty, so it is best done alone (unless you’ve got a really good therapist who can be with you through it). And it will take repeated sessions. You’ll release some, and more will bubble to the surface. Just keep releasing, until you drain the well of pain.
Healthy and peaceful
Then an amazing thing happens—when you purge the negative energy, it is replaced by peace, hope and self-love.
I am here to tell you that it works. Changing my internal state, moving from desperate to peaceful, made all the difference in the world. Not long after I began feeling better, I met the man who became my husband—in a bar.
Some people say you can’t meet anyone worthwhile in a bar, but location is not the issue. The issue is your internal state. If you’re feeling positive, healthy and peaceful, an appropriate person will just show up.
My husband and I have been together for almost 16 years. We are happy. Our relationship is comfortable and easy. There are no games, only love. And our love is not a lie—it’s the real thing.
Lovefraud first published this article on Sept. 14, 2009.