By | July 19, 2011 83 Comments

“I won’t let you fall” Five Words And The Hand Of Friendship

First of all I would like to say a big hello to all of you here on Lovefraud. This site has been a huge help to me over the past two years. The two years since I discovered that my marriage to a man I had freely referred to as my soul mate had in actual fact been a decade of manipulation and deception at the hands of a man I now believe to be a sociopath. Reading experiences and stories from other people here on this site, I came to recognize that my situation was far from unique. I was both appalled and also relieved to find that I was not alone. That there are thousands of people (mainly women, like me) who have been duped and betrayed in the cruelest of ways.

I have been working on healing myself since I discovered the truth about my own situation, and I recently contacted Donna to offer my voice to the crusade against these abusers. Like so many of us, I have fought hard to make sense of what had happened, to regain my shattered confidence and ultimately to reclaim my life. It has been a difficult journey — and I am still learning and growing through the experience. Not long after my discovery I started writing a blog. Initially it was just for my own healing, but as time went on I made it public and it has gradually attracted readers from around the world, many of whom have told me that my stories have helped them in their own healing. I am delighted to have the opportunity to share some of my stories and musings here on this site — the very place that played such a major role in my own recovery.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I escaped, and I have come out the other side. Wiser, stronger and more determined than ever to help others do the same. I tell myself (and anyone who cares to listen) that if I can do it, then so can other people! I am an ordinary woman who was thrown in to an extraordinary set of circumstances. I will be sharing some of my blog posts on this site, together with specific accounts just for the Lovefraud audience. Thank you for having me here on this site — I am very excited to be part of the team and I hope that my experiences are useful to others.

For my first post I would like to share a little more about my history — starting with excerpts from a blog I wrote just a couple of months after finding out the truth about my husband. It was the start of my self-exploration as to how I had allowed myself to be duped and then betrayed on so many levels. At that time I did not yet know about sociopaths. Thank you again, and I hope you enjoy it.


I am an English woman who has lived in France since 2003. My home is an old stone farmhouse, nestled in the beautiful countryside next to the River Charente. It was June 2009, just a couple of months since ”˜the discovery’ and I was sitting outside working on my laptop when I was visited by one of the village locals who had been kindly looking out for me over recent weeks. A weather-beaten farmer in his late sixties, he speaks no English (fine for me as my French is pretty good) and uses a broad local Charentais dialect. His family has been in the commune for countless generations, and they’ve dedicated their lives to tending the fields, planting and harvesting the crops, and organising the regular communal gatherings. He is well past retirement age and, as with so many of the locals, still works day and night on his beloved land.

Since being left alone with my young son, I had regularly returned home to find a gift on my table just by the kitchen door – a bucketful of freshly cut daffodils, bags of fresh cherries and vegetables picked from neighbouring gardens, and plants for my own garden wrapped in newspaper to keep the roots moist until they can be dug in to the ground.

The locals, of course, knew what had happened, and on this particular day, Berber shuffled up to sit at the table where I was working. He doesn’t speak very much, and often leaves awkward silences between the gruff and clumsy words he uses. It’s clear he struggles to say what he means, and he frequently resorts to grunts, harumphs, and the typical Charantaise shrugging of the shoulders peppered with regular outbursts of “bah, eh oui!” which is a great substitute for many words.

But this particular morning he sat down and asked me how I was getting on. He asked whether I’d found any work and how my son and I were settling in to the changes. I carried on typing and explained that I’d been throwing out new seeds everyday in to the field of employment, and that one day something must surely take root and bring the results I need. I kept the smile on my face, and the strength in my voice that I’d learned to perfect over so many tough times. But he must have noticed something. He stared at me with his deep brown soulful eyes, and wriggled in his seat, pulling himself up taller and clearing his throat. It clearly took a great deal of effort to find the words, but eventually he simply said “Je ne te laisserai pas tomber” which means “I will not let you fall”

I lost my composure at that point, and my mask of courage slipped. Despite myself, I felt my eyes welling up as tears of gratitude started trickling down my cheeks. I had no words. I just became aware of tiny cracks appearing in the brittle shield of strength that had been protecting my heart from pain. Berber said no more, asked me no more questions. He just nodded, got up from his seat, squeezed my shoulder and quietly wished me “bonne journee” or “good day”.

Since then I’ve thought about the power that a hand of friendship can have – and questioned whether, perhaps, on previous occasions I’ve been so concerned about staying strong (typical British ‘stiff upper lip’ and all that) that I’ve overlooked support that could have been available to me all along?

I’ve had to face a number of ‘challenges’ throughout my life (and realised how I’ve come to dislike the glib over-use of that word to describe problems or even traumas – under the ‘keep positive’ mantra of well-meaning but sometimes deluded modern-day motivators) so now is probably a good time to explain a few of them.

For me, it seems, change has been a constant in my life since my earliest memories. Not for me the slow, gentle undulating waves of change to which one can gently acclimatise, but instead a mighty tsunami that arrives without warning and washes away everything in it’s path in just a blink of an eye.

The first was the death of my father when I was just 4 years old.

I absolutely adored and worshipped my ‘Daddy’ in the way, I suppose, that only a daughter can. To me he was my hero, my saviour, and I knew that however much love and adoration I gave him, he returned it ten-fold. My mum was pregnant with my little sister at the time, so dad had taken it upon himself to be the ‘clown’ and ‘entertainer’ to me as mum was understandably less energetic than usual! He would frequently return home from work with special treats for me – small things, sometimes a paper airplane, other times bubble gum that he and I would sneak behind the sofa to eat, pretending to hide from mum because she didn’t approve of any kind of gum (all part of the game, of course!)

He’d often scoop me up above his head and put me on his shoulders, and tell me “Boo” (my nickname) “just look at the world – it’s all there waiting for you!” and I truly believed I could do anything. We were all very excited about my sister’s imminent arrival, and would sit for hours discussing names and what games we were going to share with her. I remember his friendly easy smile, one that spread right across his face and lit up his eyes — a warmth that couldn’t fail to touch anyone else who was around him. I was so very proud of my Daddy.

That fateful day, he’d decided to return to his office in the evening to finish off some work. It was way after I’d gone up to bed, and I remember hearing the door shut behind him, as he shouted out “see you soon!” before the familiar sound of his car engine disappeared off down the lane. I snuggled deeper under my covers and settled down to a comfortable sleep. That was the very last time I’d know that feeling.

He died that evening in his office – a mixture of the prescription drugs he was taking to shake off a cold, together with the glass of wine he’d had at home with my mum had, apparently, left him slightly drowsy. The heater in his office was new and, unbeknown to anyone, was leaking lethal carbon monoxide fumes in to the air. My Daddy’s lifeless body, slumped across his desk with pen still in hand, was discovered by his brother when he arrived for work the next morning.

I wasn’t told about his death until after my sister was born, 10 days later. I can only now begin to imagine the torment my dear mother must have endured through this time – she was only 32 years old, facing life as a widow and about to give birth. All I remember from my point of view was that I was to go and stay with my best friend in the village ‘until after the baby arrives’. And I really don’t remember much else. Until I was home. I’d met my gorgeous new little sister, and then mum sat me gently next to her in her bed to tell me the news.

And from that moment on I knew that life would never be the same. The funeral had been and gone, I had a new sister to ‘look after’ (for that was how I saw my role at that point – because Daddy was no longer there to fulfill it) and a new school to start. We went down to the coast for a few months to stay with Nan and Gand, my mum’s parents, and I remember developing scarletina, eczema, and all manner of other minor ailments for which I was given gallons of potions and mixtures to combat. I remember playing in the park with my Nan, I remember long walks along the seafront, I remember sitting on a huge model elephant on the pier…. but I do not remember crying.

The next tsunami was to hit 12 years later.

Towards the end of 1980, not long before my 16th birthday, I had developed a nasty bout of pneumonia. Weeks and weeks at home meant that I had missed a great deal of schooling for my all important O Levels the following summer. By the beginning of the New Year I had recovered sufficiently to return to school, and we all trotted along to the doctors to get a certificate proving that I had missed a chunk of last term through illness. It was to be sent in to the examining board in the hope they would view my papers with compassion when the time came.

It was a Monday, 12th January 1981, and after the doctor had signed the certificate, mum asked him if he wouldn’t mind just taking a look at something for her? So she laid down on the couch and the doctor bent over her. He touched her and then looked at my sister and me and asked us to go in to the waiting room. He didn’t need to say anything. There was something in his eyes that turned my blood to ice and I felt the familiar feeling of dread rising up through my body.

My heart was pumping as my little sister and I went through to the waiting room, and I just couldn’t keep the words inside me. I turned to her, and said as gently as I could “Mummy’s got cancer”. I didn’t understand where this “knowing” came from, I just knew with every nerve cell and fiber of my being that it was true.

We both waited anxiously, and watched for the doctor’s door to open. Like my dad, mum also had this most incredible energy about her – people have often said that she lit up a room. And as she came out of the surgery, she was still wearing her biggest smile, and gave a jolly laugh and nod to the doctor as she closed the door behind her. But it was no good. I wasn’t fooled. I knew there was something wrong.

We all got to the car, and strapped ourselves in – I was in the front seat next to mum, who was still wearing her famous “come along gals!” sort of smile I was so familiar with. I waited a few moments until we were out of the car park, then I turned to her and asked gently “Are you going to tell us then?” She faced my questioning stare, her smile not quite as convincing as she countered “Tell you what darling?” And I had to say it. “You’ve got cancer, haven’t you?”

And with that, with those five small words, the truth was out and I knew that life, once again, would never be the same.

The three of us spent that evening at our dining room table, talking, crying, hugging and trying to understand what it all meant. It turned out that she had found a lump in her breast a few months earlier, but had been told by her brother that it was nothing she should be worried about, so she had ignored it (and that’s another story for another time). Now it had spread and the doctor had told her that they had to operate immediately to find out just how bad it was.

She went in to hospital just over a week later, cheerily telling people she was going in for a hysterectomy. Why? Well, she explained that she wanted to keep strong within herself, and that this would help her so that she didn’t have to explain the scary truth to others. So we went along with it, and were forbidden to tell friends or family what was really happening.

I realize now that this was just about the worst thing any of us could have done, as we had to keep up the pretense that everything was ok, while struggling with the inner turmoil and fear of the truth. But my sister and I stayed true to mum’s wishes. We stayed strong, and during the first few days I only told one very close friend what was really happening — and felt wracked with guilt in the process. The truth came out pretty quickly, though, as it became clear just how far the cancer had spread, and mum simply couldn’t hide it anymore.

The illness didn’t last very long. My sister and I visited her no more than 4 times in hospital. By Wednesday 4th February, we were told she was too ill for us to see her – and she died at 21.50 on Friday 6th February less than a month after we had first discovered she was ill.

I didn’t go to her funeral. Mum always said she didn’t want a funeral – too much fuss, too much sadness and such a waste of flowers she used to tell me. So, again, I followed her wishes and opted instead to go to school that morning – utter craziness as I look back on those times, but I honestly thought I was doing the best thing, and that she’d have been proud.

We went to live with our guardians, mum’s younger brother, his wife and their two young children. And we did our best to fit in, to be ‘good girls’ and to help out and stay happy – we were conscious to not become a burden, and although our entire existence had changed, we did a pretty good job at keeping up the façade.

The next tsunami happened on Sunday 9th January 1983.

Just a couple of weeks earlier we’d celebrated my 18th birthday with a huge party at the house. I was in my final year of A Levels and things were pretty good. My sister and I had arrived home late from a weekend visit with our paternal grandparents in Lincolnshire. We had made the five-hour coach ride down from Peterborough to Brighton, and then took a taxi home just before midnight. We’d been laughing together the entire journey, and giggling at some of the things our grandparent had been saying and doing over the weekend. The house was in darkness when we got home and everyone was already in bed. So we said good night to each other and crept quietly to our bedrooms. Mine was right at the top of the house, and directly above the bedroom of my guardians. I reached behind the door to turn the light on, and went in to my room.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. There, strewn across the floor and my bed, were my mother’s clothes…! I stared in disbelief as two familiar demons, shock and horror, wrapped their icy arms around me. It could only have been my guardians who would have done this — but I reasoned that there was nothing I could do at that point. So I carefully picked up the clothes, folded them up, and got myself ready for bed. Once again, that well-known feeling of dread was gnawing away at the pit of my stomach. My heart pounded and my head swam with unanswerable questions that seemed to taunt me. I knew for certain that my life was once again about to change forever.

The following morning we got up and went down stairs for breakfast – I don’t remember whether or not I told my sister what had happened, but I do remember than neither of our guardians was at the breakfast table. Our small cousin toddled in, and we busied ourselves with getting him fed and watered, as was our usual routine. My uncle came down just a minute before we were due to leave, and I asked where my aunt was. He just brushed me off saying “she’s too tired this morning” and rushed us in to the car. The car stereo was at full blast, and nothing was said. So I steeled myself to ask that same question I had asked my mother when she came out from the doctor’s surgery “Well, are you going to tell us then?”

My inquiry was met with coldness. Not the love and concern that mum had shown when I had asked her the same question. No, this time it was a sneer. “You’re going to stay with your grandmother. You’re to pack your bags tonight and you’re leaving tomorrow morning. You’re not coming back.” And that was that.

I felt a failure. I hadn’t managed to safeguard our new home, or protect my little sister. Once again I pulled myself up to stay strong and ”˜grown up’ in a situation where I was still not much more than a child myself.

Many years have passed since then, and there are many more stories to tell – but they are for another time.

For now, suffice it to say that the most recent tsunami hit on 21st April 2009 when I discovered the truth about my husband. And it’s been the most devastating shock I have yet had to deal with — it is also the one that has hit me the hardest. Because this time I was an adult. This time I had chosen my situation. And the betrayal crashed down on every single level of my heart, body and soul. Everything that I’d trusted, everything that I’d loved and put my faith in was suddenly swept away in a heartbeat.

Is it a coincidence that it happened on the very day when I officially outlived my mother – and, therefore both my parents? I don’t know – I’m still working on that one.

I’ve decided that I must have been born with a strong soul to endure such things – but I’m beginning to wonder just what lessons I’m meant to be learning. Lessons that perhaps I’ve just been too darned stubborn or stupid to learn!

This time, I decided that perhaps I’d stop being so strong. Perhaps I’ll stop believing that I have to be super human and carry the weight of responsibility on my own.

This time, perhaps I’ll be able to accept the healing waves of unconditional love and support that surround me – often showing themselves in the most unexpected of ways and from the most unexpected of people. Just like the innocent visit from Berber — a local farmer who knows nothing of my earlier past.

This time, perhaps I WILL let myself fall – and learn to trust that I’ll be caught, supported and carried to safety by the hands of friendship that are reaching out to me every day. Perhaps I’ll be the soft human being that I really am, and perhaps in the process I can also heal the little girl who, somewhere deep inside of me is still waiting for her hero to come home.


Since writing that particular post I have come a long way. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing stories with you about the things I learned along the way, together with some of the methods I used that helped me to survive and ultimately reclaim my life. I hope you will find them useful!


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Thank you for your first article. At times, I had tears in my eyes, like when you told the story about your neighbor, Berber, saying to you, “I won’t let you fall” (he comes across as a true gentleman, being sensitive to your plight). Your parents sounded like such wonderful people – having lost them during your childhood had to have been incredibly rough (for you and your sister), absolutely crushing. You have had your ups-and-downs in life, having handled them with grace and dignity (that was my perspective of you). I look forward to reading your future articles.


Dearest Mel,

I wanted you to know that I am reading you but oh so slowly.
I have been kind of ‘hung up’ today, someplace I am not even sure ‘where’. I have been in bed most of the day, with weakness and not feeling well. I am not afraid to go but I AM afraid of going with things left so ‘undone’ in my life.

Your story is important to me and I want to read it when I can give it ‘careful’ thought and consideration because, like you, I think we can learn from others’ experiences. I am sorry to say that I just know you can ‘add unto’ my path and I look forward to the many things you undoubtedly will ‘show’ me along the way. I have finished the first few paragraphs and already I know you are ‘one of us’; one of the survivors; one of the damaged by all of this unexplainable evilness that has befallen our lives.

I wanted to give you my hand of friendship as you have extended it and to tell you that if you don’t get a response from me for a little while, please be patient. I want to read it well. 🙂




Dear Super Dupedster:
Please take care of yourself. Shalom


(((Shalom, My Dear Shalom)))
You too, okay? xxoo


PS: super dupedster; i like it! tee hee hee….
Another monicle! 🙂 That’s how you know you are amongst friends. mwah!


HA—-> How about: super-dooper-duh-dupedster?
Say that ten times. 🙂 That is a good tongue-twister for hens. By the way: where is that hens???

Ox Drover

Dear Mel,

Very moving post, thank you….I think many (most?) of us here at LF who are survivors have felt that we had to “be strong’ and keep that “stiff upper lip” though only a few of us are English, I think that tendency to be “hyper-responsible” and to feel that we are to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders is part of what makes us vulnerable to the psychopaths we come across. I know that hyper-responsiblity was definitely part of my problems that the psychopaths took advantage of. The loyalty and concern for their welfare….yea, right…it is difficult to learn to accept help, probably more difficult than trying to be responsible for the whole world. LOL Admitting I was human and might even NEED help seemed somehow a “failure” to me.


I will join the revolution! Thank you for such a wonderfully honest and insightful post.

I’m still reeling from the after-effects of one woman, Casey Anthony, how her actions could have such devastating effects on so many people, AND STILL all we really hear about her sociopathy is speculation! Even the psychiatrist that examined her and spoke up was fooled. My God, how can these people continually get away with this? If professionals can’t see it, what hope is there?

I have a feeling great changes are in store for us all. I’m looking forward to future posts and further enlightenment!


souljourner: welcome to the revolution.
*wasn’t that a line in some movie??*



Dearest Duped, Its a bit like,
“nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah Batman!!
Except its.
Super duper super duper Dupester!!!
Gald to hear the FOG is lifting for you!
{Ie,Fear Obligation,& Guilt.}
Blessings and love,

super chic

Mel, thank you very much for this article.
I also look forward to reading more about your experiences.

Lone Wolf

Mel Thank you and welcome.

Duped…Super Dupster etc etc. 🙂 So sorry to hear you are not feeling great. I noticed you had posted on another thread to say your heart problems may prevent you from still being with us by the time your full story comes out..i hope not! I was just about to post there but thought i would post here instead.

I know i am new and we have only exchanged, like, one post of greeting, but it is obvious that you are a special and much loved person here…just from the little i have read!

Do take care as much as you can and i am sending you my healing thoughts. xx


Mel Pledger:
Thank you so very much for sharing your story. It touched my heart.

Super Dupedster:
I hope all the love you give and get in this room, is the medicine you need to get well. Your fellow traveler. Shalom


Okay, Mel…I am up; having my decaf and it’s you and me, Lady…
It was a lot like ‘reading myself’, reading your article, Mel.

It kind of hit me the same way the Jaycee Dugard interview did.
Our situations and stories are so very similar that is is rather ‘uncanny’ but I see a common thread between all of us here…
that being that we have had the most HORRID trigger of our lives.

And it shouldn’t be that way. We have all been kind, when it matters most and have not deserved what has befallen us. It is like being trapped in someone elses ‘bad karma’ and that’s really what IT IS! STOP & THINK ABOUT IT.

I don’t know about you guys but I refuse to be trapped in someone elses ‘bad karma’. No; we all have to live with ourselves in this life.

Mel, I am speechless. Thank you for your caring and support. *HUGS* back at ya! We are happy to have you here, Mel.

Thanks Lone Wolf and Sweet Shalom: I am feeling better today. Definitely: YES! You are all the most wonderful of medicines! xxoo

We’ll talk more, Mel…
Just KNOW you are in my thoughts and prayers.

a/k/a Duh-duh-super-dooper-dupedster. 😉


Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to hearing more about your healing process.


Duped and all,

Hello again from NorCal! The revolution comment to Mel was in reference to her first Life’s Little Lettuces blog. She was ready to begin the revolution of change and I wanted to tell her I’m on board, baby!!

The more I read the news (yes, read rather than watch because I like to take my time digesting all that garbage) the more disturbed I am at the state of affairs in our world. Sometimes, as much as I feel recovered, I can tell I’ve been triggered. That reaction is much like someone with mental illness will experience when a photo, thought or music will trigger them to have an episode. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I have PTSD and might never fully recover from that. But, like Ms. LaBelle, I also feel like I have a new attitude and it came hard-fought. I also don’t really care how many acronyms come my way, I’m still going to plow through them and make alphabet soup!

I do worry about this world, though, now that I have a darling grandson. He, too, was a trigger for me. I struggled a bit after the birth of my daughters back in the mid-80’s. That acronym turned out to be PPD but it took some years to realize it. I was worried about the future they would have and now I worry for his. I think giving them the gift of prayers that God watch over them is a good start. He certainly has watched over me. If I hadn’t gone through what I did, how would I know what to avoid now? Aftwarned is forearmed, I say!

Anyway, I digress so before I start to sound like a total loon, let me say once again how grateful I am to have this site and such wonderful sounding boards!


Thank you again for your words. Your voice is so clear in your writing. We are lucky arent we? We did escape, with our lives, and our sanity. It doesn’t make the long row easier to hoe, there will always be life, financial woes, living that gets in the way or doesn’t, yet, somehow coming out the other side and being able to share the experience coherently is so good for others and good for you as well. It tells you that you got this far.

I look forward to reading more.


Hurt terribly – yes, we ARE lucky, we DID escape. And now it makes the long-haul tough but here we ‘get it’. Keep going, one step at a time.


It’s truly amazing how much sharing and reading all your experiences on here have helped me take many steps forward into the realization of my situation and planning my freedom from the 8 years I’ve allowed myself to waste the best years of my life on a man like this. I still have my hopes and dreams in tact and I know with all this sociopathic education you are all giving me, my fight won’t be the battle I once thought it would be. My closest dearest family and friends, as loving and as supportive as they are, can not possibly understand the sort of men/people we are dealing with. I know they all want to understand, but just don’t see what we see through emotionally living with these monsters everyday. My sincere thanks to you all for making me smile and giving me the strength to move forward and most importantly making me realise that it isn’t me who is the crazy one. I only wish I was logged in at the same time as most of you are so I could have a few one on one chats when I’m feeling a little down and out.

Ox Drover

Dear Melly,

Welcome and glad that we are here for you…wish we could be more in your time zone…but LF-ers are all around the world.

Keep on with your SECRET plans to free yourself….hold your cards close to your chest. God bless.


Melly – Not sure what country you are in and you may not wish to disclose if it puts you at risk. As Ox says we are all over the world. I’m in the UK and many here are from Australia and America. Spaths are worldwide!!

If you want one on one chats with anyone specific, you can email Donna with a request, and she will email that person to see if they are willing to chat via email.



I am also trying to get free of this crazy person, yet I still feel I am the crazy one, the one that is obviously not good enough for him or he wouldnt be like this. All through my life I have been kind, caring an a good person. I am not perfect but I am an allways have been a good person, I allways mean the best. But now I feel, so low, shallow, stupid, like its not worth trying anymore. How this happen to such an outgoing confident an sensible girl. I dont know how to do this, I have kids(not to him) an I dont want to uproot them again, I have already moved to a new town to be closer to this spath, if I didnt have kids I could just disapear. But I cant, I dont know how to stop this.

Ox Drover


NO CONTACT is the only way to get free…that means you must keep him away from you and your kids. File a restraining order with the police/courts if you must but keep him away.

Do not give him any drama or emotion if he contacts you. They feed on emotional drama we call that tactic “gray rock” and you don’t scream at them you just calmly say “Please go away” then shut the door. Do not answer the phone or e mails….if there are threats save them for the police. Change numbers, locks, block texts etc. don’t give them rople to hang YOU with.

Tell your children that they are not to talk to him or any of his friends. They do not have to be polite they can just say “I don’t want to talk about John” then leave or hang up.

It will take some time, but you can do it. Keep coming here for knowledge and strength. Knowledge is power! Keep on learning.


Ox drover,
thankyou so much for your quick reply. It might sound silly but you all are already helping so much. Like a big hug from a distance from people I can be truly honest with, that wont judge me for my weakness or when I cry. That understand that at times he makes me physically ill . That is when I started to realise things are not right, I thought I had a bug, went to the docs an completely fine, its the situation that is making me vomit an be so ill. I will keep updating regulary as it is helping me an mayb I can to help someone else one day. I will see him tonight as there are some things I need to pick up from him, his mum is there atm so we wont be alone, she understands how awful he can be an then how beautiful he at times also. She is a beautiful lady that he also screams an does not appreciate. So it is decided, step one, go tonight, stay calm, I wont let him see my sadness. Then Phone will be turned off, my kids are spending easter with family so they are fine. I will pack some clothes an go to a country house my grandparents own but no one goes to anymore, It is 4 hours from me, but 3 from him an he doesnt know of it. At least I can have a good 5 days getting stronger. Thankyou all so much again for reading my crazyness.


Mel, reading of your experiences – particularly the interaction with the wizened farmer – simply brought me to tears right in front of this screen. What IS it about human compassion that causes me to cry? I can’t identify the core of the emotion, but it never fails to bring me to tears when I read or hear of human compassion.

Sorry – I digress. Mel, I’ve been learning so much about how my past has impacted my present. I keep referring to the “inner child” because it’s something that makes absolute sense to me, now that I understand what the “inner child” really is.

Once again, thank you for sharing your experiences – it helped me to reinforce the understanding of my childhood+predictions+bad people=damage.

Brightest blessing to you, Mel.


Dear readers of LF,
You have all been a tremendous help. It’s been so wonderful to talk to people who were so understanding and compassionate. You will forever be in my thoughts and prayers.
I’m very sorry to inform all of you who have helped me that I have lost. I cannot do anything to get my children away from this biatch from hell. She has succeeded in taking everything away from me, and destroyed me to the point that I’ve almost certainly lost my job. I have no one here. no friends, no family. There is no way I can find another job to make enough money. My only option is to move half way across the country, to live with my family. I don’t know if I’ll ever see my children again, and that’s so hard. What makes it even harder is knowing I’m leaving them in the hands of the devil. No one but God can save them now. You well be in my thoughts and prayers always babies.
Love always, daddy.

Ox Drover

Dear w8ing,
I am so sorry that you are facing another crisis, but please do NOT give up….she has only won for TODAY, not forever. Don’t give up, please. I know it is difficult to see anything positive about this, but for now, for only TODAY…take care of yourself, rebuild your strength, emotional and physical health…and call the kids when you can….send cards….write letters even if you don’t mail them, but hold on to them. Those kids are not gone forever..just for today. God bless. You and your children are in my prayers.


W8ting, I echo OxD’s encouragement. DON’T give up! Right now, do whatever you need to do to get yourself together on an emotional, financial, physical, and spiritual level. I’m not suggesting that you run out and join up with Heaven’s Gate, or anything like that, but this situation is beyond your control, right now – hand it over to another and set yourself in order, first.

I say this because your children will need you at some point. They will. As OxD has suggested, even if you don’t send them, write cards, letters, poems, etc. They will seek you out, in due time, W8ting. I know how hard this situation was for me, and it took a lot of time to get myself together.

Brightest healing blessings to you, W8ting.


Thank so much oxy.
I just can’t stop crying! She has finally succeeded in taking everything away from my life. Including my own being, and most importantly, my babies. They are my whole world. I feel awful knowing how many times I promised them I would never leave them. I so want to tell them the real reason why. But I won’t. For their sake. They’ll eventually figure it out.
Oxy, I hate her so much right now. I feel emotions for her I didn’t even know I had in me. When or children get older, she’s going to have alot to answer for.
Thanks again for your concern Oxy. I just don’t know what else I can do!


W8ting, she hasn’t “succeeded.” This is just temporary, and it often goes this way. There’s “what should be,” then there’s “what is.”

It’s okay to cry, rant, rage, and feel hatred, right now. Of course you do! You’re a human being, aren’t you? But, this will simmer down, I promise. Once the dust has settled a bit, you’ll be able to see with clearer eyes.



Truthspeak, thank you.
I just could never imagine myself for any reason abandoning my children. They are my everything! I’d take a bullet for them and not even think about it.
I feel so helpless.


If I do get fired tomorrow, I can’t get a moving truck or anything. I dint have money to stick around. I’ll have to leave with the clothes on my back and nothing else. If I risk staying to try and get another job, I’ll be totally screwed if I don’t find one because then, I won’t even have the funds to get to my parents house. Over 1 k. God forgive me for wanting to punch it in the face!!!

Ox Drover


I am SOOO SORRY that you are in such a spot….I will keep you in my prayers and believe me, God does work some miracles! Maybe not in the time frame that we want, but keep the faith! I have been homeless in my time, and I have had to abandon my home the summer of 2007 and go into hiding, not knowing if I would ever be able to come home.

You are not abandoning the kidlets! Even if you must leave, it is not abandonment if it is not voluntary. Take a deep breath and then take another one…maybe the job won’t end tomorrow, but if it does, just take another deep breath and see what you can sell if anything…then do what you have to do to survive, and take care of yourself. You can’t take care of the kids if you can’t take care of YOU so do that…and keep on doing things one step at a time.

And BTW, keep coming here to read and learn! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!


I most certainly will keep coming back here Oxy. Y’all have been like family to me. I love you all, and admire you all for your accomplishments and wisdom. I have found so much strength and understanding here. More support than I’ve gotten from my own friends and family.
I rent an apartment, so if I leave, I won’t be able to come back. I may be able to sell some of the furniture before I go… I drive a compact car. No rom to take anything with me. Being summer, I could possibly live out of my car for a while, if I decide to stay and try to find another job, but that does not sound very appealing. Not to mention the image I’m putting to my kids. Daddy’s a homeless bum.
I really hope this works out somehow. And my children get taken away from their mom. Even if they can’t contact me right away, they’d be better off in foster care.
My poor babies.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers Oxy.
You’re such a fantastic person.

Ox Drover


I actually lived in the back of my pick up truck with my kids the summer after my divorce…with a metal cover over it…we camped in state parks…the kids saw it as one big adventure. That fall I found a place to live…it wasn’t easy but you do what you have to do. I wasn’t working though, and that would be a big problem for you. Though I do know a guy who lived in a tent in a park and used their bath facilities for about 6 months and who did go to work every day after his divorce. LOL

My advice to you still continues to be “get yourself together” and then go after the kids….she won’t find it half as much fun dis-ing daddy if you are not around for her to bash and play games with.

Send your letters to the kids addressed to them in care of her, with a RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED so that someone has to sign fror the cards and letters….that way you have PROOF THAT YOU WERE SENDING LETTERS TO YOUR KIDS, and if she won’t sign, YOU HAVE PROOF THAT SHE REFUSED THE LETTERS… remember, document, document, document.

I also suggest that you make whatever arrangements to make your child support payments, or contact the court and explain that you can’t due to your unemployment, and then as soon as you get a job start making SOME payments of some kiind to her ASAP…then my other advice is to start a “rainy day” fund from your first pay check…even if it is only one dollar, but put that money back for a “BIG emergency” fund….and only touch it if it is a HORRIBLE, BIG EMERGENCY that there is no other way to cope but use that money. Put some money into that fund every pay day….and increase that sum each time you are able to do so. Hopefully, living with your folks will give you an opportunity to save some significant money to get a new place to live and to fund your “emergency fund” as well. “Watch your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” Even a soda a day or a pack of smokes, added up over a year is a significant amount of money….so cut out all the frills and save those pennies toward the emergency fund. Maybe some day you can hire a cracker-jack attorney and get the kids away from her! Good luck, W8ing, don’t look at this as a loss, but as a time for you to regroup and come back stronger. Call it a “STRATEGIC RETREAT” (((hugs)))


Thank you so much Oxy. Your words mean more than you know. You’re an angel.
God bless.

Tea Light

Dear all
Your posts and comments have helped keep me alive these past weeks. Thank you. I am fighting terrible depression and panic due to my relationship with a man who exhibits psychopathic and narcissistic traits. He is French and Mel’s post touched me and allowed me to cry, thank you Mel. I am dead to myself most of the time and cry only in my therapist’s presence ( it’s too frightening otherwise as I fear losing total control of myself). I have not worked for 4 weeks. He sexually assaulted me and I have admitted that to an angel staffing a sexual abuse helpline on new year’s eve. I can’t even tell my therapist how this man violated my mind my integrity my heart my body. He is married. He was not honest about that fact and when I asked for honesty I was given 7 months of systematic lying grotesque manipulation and I did not defend myself. I didnt have the tools and now I understand but I am broken. My doctor of 10 years is “very disturbed” at my state and has given me citalopram and diazepam. I’m praying. He calls up to 5 times a day although I have restricted his number. He uses a secret phone to call me but keeps it in his jacket in the apartment where his wife and child are. She knows nothing. I have told him I will not be his mistress. My best friend emailed him and said I am clinically depressed and he is a danger to me and she will go to the police if he contacts me again and he replied he would never contact me again then two weeks later he emailed me telling me he loves me and is praying for me. I shook and wept and rang him and said don’t contact me again and he has manipulated me and began emailing up to 7 times a day and the calls including Christmas day. I need help to help myself. Thank you.

Ox Drover

Dear Tea light,

NO CONTACT is the only way to survive this…I’m not sure where you are but contact a domestic violence hot line or shelter.

Contact a rape crisis line as well.

These people WILL understand you and give you IMMEDIATE AND REAL WORLD SUPPORT.

See a MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL not just your family doctor. Diazepam is a good drug SHORT TERM but it is habituating and best not taken long term. citalopram a good medication for depression but may take some time to work.

If in 4 weeks or so you are not less depressed you may want to consult your mental health care professional about a medication change. Do not stop your medication suddenly though.

You have been through some MAJOR TRAUMA and it takes time to even get level enough to start to heal, so don’t push yourself to try to “get over” this “fast.”

This person will do anything to suck you back into his web, it is like a GAME to him. points on your pain and on controlling you.

Hang tough and NO CONTACT. No matter what he says or does, DO NOT RESPOND. Tell your friend not to either. Any attention is food for the shark. Keep readiing here, there are lots of people here to understand. God bless.

Tea Light,
He is feeding on your emotions. This type of evil person is a sadist so he gets pleasure from your pain. The key is to not feed him your emotions. Your actions betray your emotions. Even the act of asking him to stop contacting you, reveals that you care and that he affects you. This makes him feel empowered: to be able to control you by accessing your emotions.

That’s why we go No Contact with these emotional vampires. Well, that’s one reason. Another reason is that they have NO LIMITS and could very well become MORE dangerous if they believe that they can get away with murder.

I would go to the police and file a report about the rape, then get a protection order against him. The reason for this is not for vengeance, but to make sure that HE knows that if you end up hurt or dead, he won’t get away with it.

The way to help yourself, first of all, is to create an impenetrable boundary on your physical and emotional state. Do not let him into any part of your life.

It takes time to heal but we can’t even begin until we go NC.

Tea Light

Dear both
You are so kind to reply so quickly thank you so very much. I know that if I do anything that will result in his wife divorcing him, which would result in him losing his apartment and possibly custody of his son that there will be very serious consequences for me. He lives with them in France. I am in the UK. He knows my address and my places of work. He has many photographs of me. He manipulated me into sadomasochistic activities which during and after felt like mental rape and assault. They were not negotiated and there were no ‘safe words’ which are used I now know by those who practice bdsm consentually. He photographed me with bruises and other marks on me. He is capable of destroying me. I am trapped. I can’t involve the police for fear of his revenge if his wife leaves him. He abandoned his first wife and son they ended up in a hostel for the homeless and neither has spoken to him for years. She called the police after he ‘accidently’ threw her to the ground when they were divorcing. This was ‘her fault’. The economic loss and the loss of face if he loses a second child will provoke rage in him and it will be directed at me. But why did he give me their home address ‘to show me how much he trusts me’ why did he sent me hand written cards and thousands of emails telling me I am the love of his life is he saying I am dirt that he knows I will not fight back is it pleasurable to him to give me the means to possibly cause his wife to leave but know I am too frightened to act to provoke him the helpline have refered me to a sexual abuse counselling service my doctor is kind but I have not told him of the assaults although he suspects as I needed the morning after pill God help me. And God bless ox drover and skylar, thank you.

Tea light, he gave you that information because he is testing you and he has already prepared them to believe you are crazy if you contact them. He would love it if you triangulated with his wife so that he can show you as a scorned woman, then nobody will believe you about the rape.

I would go straight to the police. He is counting on you to be afraid to do that. That’s why you should do it. If you show fear, he will up the attacks. Do not let him isolate you by using shame to keep you quiet. Shame is the ultimate tool that abusers use. They slime us with shame so that we continue to allow the to get away with murder.

Tea Light

Dear skylar
I want no further contact with him. None. Every day I want to wake up and pledge to myself “today, no contact”. He makes me violently ill. I fear him I fear contacting the police but his pursuit of me has been relentless since March I have around 3000 emails from him promising me marriage, that his marriage is over etc photographs of him in bed on the sofa in their apartment he sent me to ‘prove’ to me they slept apart, his latest attempt to control me is a series of emails over Christmas saying I belong to him and that he wants to buy a flat with me in their town in France and for me to live there permanently and be his mistress. I must agree never to have sex with other men but he will share a bed with his wife. He says he thinks a new apartment block being built five minutes walk from his family’s apartment is what he is considering as a suitable ‘small’ apartment for me. He is insane. Completely insane. I have never encountered anyone like this. Thank you for your support and kindness.

Ox Drover

Dear Tea Light, it is all LIES….do not listen. NO CONTACT. Don’t read or listen to anything. BLOCK his phone calls, e mails and texts, etc. STAY AWAY FROM HIM…don’t take messages from anyone else either. That is the only way you can get your head back straight. (((hugs)) and read and read here KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. TAKE BACK YOUR POWER.


I am in agreement with previous advice to you. I believe your spath is the murdering type. His behavior is that manipulative and bizarre. Please take all precautions. Alarm your home, block his access to email you. Make every plan to change your address and name. GET AWAY. You can always eventually recover from a financial loss, you can not recover from the loss of your life. Do not UNDER ESTIMATE the will of your spath. His level of control is how people get murdered. Sorry for what happens to his wife but your priority MUST be YOU.

Best, Katy



I’m so sorry for what you are going through. You are not alone and please listen to the advice you are given. What you are telling about this man is very disturbing and please be careful. Go no contact even with anyone who is connected to him as well and seek out a rape center. They do help. They can help you to deal with this person. The rape center I went to recommended good therapists and laywers. I went there for 6 months just talking about what happened til I found a therapist (recommended by the center) that really got it and she was the one who really got me going in the right direction.

Do not underestimate your own power and strenght, you are going to make it. Take one day at a time. Put your self and your own safety first.


Tealight, I am so sorry to read of your situation and I’m glad that you found LoveFraud. I’m also glad to hear that you are engaged in counseling. I can identify with the depression and anxiety, 100%.

I would strongly encourage you to tell your therapist EVERYthing. A good, strong therapist does not judge, and the “shame” that you’re experiencing with regard to your victimization can actually become crippling if you keep these “secrets” bout what this criminal did to you.

You did not “deserve” what you experienced, Tealight. You didn’t “ask for it,” nor are you resposible for his actions. If he sexually assaulted you, he has no boundaries and is a VERY dangerous person. I would also suggest that you consider seeking a Restraining Order, change your number, and DISALLOW your friends from contacting him on your behalf. Yes, they are concerned about you, but the disclosure that you’re suffering severe depression and anxiety is almost masturbatory information for him, as you’ve previously been advised. It’s an almost sexual gratification for this type of predator to learn that his victim is in tatters.

OxD is SPOT-ON! Do NOT give this man the power to grind you into the dirt! “No Contact” may mean that you will have to consider changing your own phone number so that he cannot contact you. Again, do not allow or encourage friends to “speak” on your behalf. BLOCK emails addresses, cell numbers, online profiles (like FaceBook), etc.

Sunflower (along with everyone else) is also spot-on. NEVER underestimate your strength and courage.

Step 2: Tell therapist everything – you will NOT be judged
Step 3: File a criminal report and apply for a restraining order

KatyDid is spot-on, too. This man is the murerous type and there are several LF members that can speak about the “murderous type” far more eloquently than I can because they survived their experiences – just barely. Please, take action to protect yourself, EVEN if misbegotten “shame” is standing in the way. You have nothing to be ashamed of, Tealight.

You are a very precious component of this vast Universe and you are a victim of a crime. Take control of this situation and get ANGRY. Then, put that angry energy to positive use by talking about this, filing complaints, and taking BACK your very valuable life. Do it. You can. You really can.

My most brightest blessings of empowerment and encouragement to you, this morning

Tea Light

Dear friends
I want to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for your encouragement and kindness. I am living in a dense fog my mind is broken my sense of reality has been distorted my values have been eroded it feels there is little of me left that I am a shell filled with his insanity. Your words are words from the land of the living, the real world. Thank you so much for giving me some real to wake me from this nightmare. Sunflower forgive me if my story has triggered painful memories for you, your courage is a wonderful example. I have not answered any of his calls since saturday I have restricted my incoming calls to a set list and so he is put automatically to my voicemail when he calls (11 times in total since saturday his number appears in my missed calls log) I havent listened to my voicemails or looked at his emails when he is speaking to me all sense of me all my reality evaporates I shake and cry and feel like his puppet he is a very very sick man I am very shaken by what has happened to me. I will be more open with my therapist when I see him tomorrow about the assaults. Bless you all and your strength and kindness.


Tea Light,

you did not trigger me, I’m doing so much better:) Thank you for your concern. So you’re on your 4 day of NC, CONGRATS! You’ve done good! Treat your self well and celebrate each day you manage NC. My advice to you is that each time you start to doubt, get confused, experience feelings of missing him etc take your eyeliner or lipstick and write on your bathroom mirror. Write the truth. Remind your self of what he is and also write: You are strong, you are right about him, I’m not at fault and I deserve better! Read it everytime and take a good look at your self, give your self compliments. After a while you’ll see in the mirror how your beatiful eyes start to shine again and show spark of life.

Also visit LF each time you feel weak,in distress or just want to talk. Hang in there, it is going to get better. One day at a time.

Ox Drover

Tealight, Sunflower’s advice is good….very good. NC gives our mind time to refocus and to start to heal. Each time we listen to them it is like a scab is ripped off the healing wound and we must start over from scratch.

NC is the one thing that YOU control about the relationship. YOu can not control THEM but you can CONTROL yourself. MY X BF told me “well you can’t tell me who I can sleep with, we’re not married.” I said, “that’s true, I can’t tell you who YOU can sleep with, but I can tell you who I WILL SLEEP WITH and it is NOT someone who is sleeping with someone else besides me.”

So NO contact is the way WE take back control of our lives and quit giving them control. They are all about controlling us, and we are NOT GOING TO LET THEM. If we have contact, they have control, even if the contact is only long enough to say “get [email protected]” they still got a reaction out of us and ANY reaction besides NC is a victory for them.

They hate NC because it keep them POWER–LESS., totally without the power to get a reaction out of us.

It is difficult to get them out of our MINDS thoughh even when we are NC but there are some great articles here on healing. Go to the screen on thhe left and look for the articles about healing “recovery from sociopathhs” there are nearly 500 articles just under that heading. Read the articles (go back for the comments later) and digest as much of each one as you can. Some will mean more now, and some later, but that is why I try every so often to go back and reread the articles here on LF…some that maybe didn’t mean much a year ago, now RESONATE with me. Just depends on “where” our mind is at the time.

Healing with come…slower than you wish, but it will come. Hang in there. God bless.

Tea Light

5 and a half days of no contact, he rang again yesterday and left another voicemail. I was holding my phone when I saw his (blocked) number appear and experienced panic that took 2,3 hours to bring myself down from. I haven’t looked at the inbox where he mails me, have not listened to the voicemails. My phone network are sending me a new sim to use until he stops, or if he does not I’ll make that my new number. I’ve been reading Stalking the Soul by Hirigoyen, it’s helped me see how this has taken hold of my life. I cried for nearly the whole hour with my therapist. So now I feel quite calm and purged of some of the tension and anxiety. Your advice is wonderful sunflower and oxd, thank you, your support has helped me hugely get through the past few days. I’ve been refered to a sexual abuse specialist counsellor so awaiting a date, and hanging in there.

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