Inactivity to calm the suffering

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

By Shocknawe

As a fellow victim of a spath, I’ve been both heartened and heartbroken by the stories told on Lovefraud. Also, like many of us here, I have a natural inclination to feel for others and to do what I can to support and assist in whatever way I can to help ease others’ difficulties that’s a key reason we were targeted in the first place, isn’t it? My experience has caused me to try to understand the nature of suffering and what can be done about it. So if the members will indulge me, I’d like to share some thoughts that have come to me as I continue to process, and perhaps help those on a similar path.

In the immediate aftermath of the trauma of victimization, there is a palpable shock, a disorientation and confusion a feeling of suddenly being lost, without direction or meaning in our life. Combined with the actual physical trauma to our bodies, this period can be at turns, agonizing and terrifying. It is completely natural to seek relief from such pain and torment as quickly as possible in whatever way we think will work, and so we often become consumed by the urge to escape our misery; we may spend our entire lives in this search. We try to escape the pain in countless ways through analysis, trying to make sense of the senseless, or through some authority, or conversation with those close to us who may impart some perspective or rationale that will ease our minds, or simply through distractions of every sort to just help us get through our days and nights. (Hopefully, this does not include harmful alcohol or drugs.)

What these and other forms of relief-seeking share, and which we all understandably engage in, is a common thread: a belief that if we do something, we will bring about the end of our suffering, even if only temporarily, and restore to ourselves a sense of normalcy, before the storm. We in the West have a cultural bias towards self-determinacy in the face of adversity, and we are heavily conditioned by that culture to act.

I’d like to suggest a contrary approach for consideration to those currently dealing with our particular brand of anguish and misery.

The constant searching for escape from our pain is like digging in the earth again and again, in the hope we’ll harvest the fruit that offers the nourishment we yearn for. Maybe in a time of profound distress, what we really need is just the opposite: to cultivate receptivity and stillness, to simply provide the rich soil in order for peace to take root.

Rather than actively seeking escape, perhaps, as unnatural as it may feel to us, we need to be inactive to become inwardly quiet and allow the opportunity to focus on the purification of our hearts and minds. Instead of filling every moment with outward activity, chatter and escape, we could benefit from the solitude our situation forces upon us to create a space inside in which to heal. Through subsequent acceptance and openness, we become receptive to assistance from those aspects of our nature that have our best interests at heart, for some a Higher Power, which brings peace. In short, we don’t find it by actively searching, the relief we seek finds us when we create the space through stillness to allow it to happen. Not the space of a “time out,” but the eternal space we cover up and which is inside us all the time underneath our “lives.”

It may be that the infinite forms our searches for solutions to our suffering take, are in fact no more than escapes dressed in productive activity. Paradoxically, perhaps by dropping our active urge to find peace, and becoming quiet and receptive, we consent to allowing peace to find us.

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311 Comments on "Inactivity to calm the suffering"

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Great Article and great concept, Shocknawe!!!! Actually, I got lucky, while my inclination is to DO something to fix the situation, or the pain, because for my own safety I had to “flee to the wilderness” (literally!) I was forced into isolation, inactivity and a peaceful and calm atmosphere….it had an excellent effect on me as well, but it was not something I would have chosen for myself or thought would have helped. Now, I know that the solitude of being alone with myself gives me a time to interact with myself, to get to know myself better, to become my own best friend and learn to enjoy my own company. To learn to validate my own feelings and my own thoughts, opinions, and ideas. To quiet the environment enough that I can even HEAR myself.

Great article and thanks for reminding me that we can’t “catch” peace and happiness. It is like a fearful puppy, but if we sit quietly, it will sneak up on us, and climb into our laps and curl up to stay!

This was one of my phases, not a good one either. I was in shock, numb, did NOTHING for approx two years. There was no relief no matter what I did, so I stopped. I could not make a decision even whether to live or die. It was like computer overload and my hard drive locked up. Fortunately I found an antivirus and eventually came back online.

Oh yes, absolutely. Almost five years worth of it over here.
I don’t know how many of you like rock, but this is one of my favorite songs and I wanted to share it with you guys.

It sort of goes along with this post and article. Thank you Shocknawe for putting it all into words so accurately.


Dupers and KatyD,

The “doing nothing” for years (literally) I did after the plane crash….actually almost a year, and what brought me out of it was starting to date the P-BF—-son D and I sat down and did NOTHING literally except feed the dogs, then we would SIT and STARE at the walls…couldn’t read (didn’t have enough memory) couldn’t even watch TV, couldn’t keep up with the plots….it is one of the early stages of PTSD, that SHOCK N AWE, that deer in the headlights stance, but it isn’t “solitude” even if you are alone, it is STUNNED like a poll-axed steer, just standing there unconscious.

Yes Ox: it is early stage PTSD: that deer in the headlights stage. I was a drooling idiot for almost five solid years. It was emotional and mental/psychological what he was manipulating me through. Oh, yes, never find solitude. Not even when alone. That monster is always with me unless I make it go away. I have all kinds of nice little tricks: breathing; eft tapping; emdr exercises; meditation, yoga, diet – and they all have their place in my life and all provide me with some degree of relief, however, I could do almost nothing for five solid years except sob. I didn’t eat; lost over 75 lbs; could not talk; could not see anyone; go anywhere – I didn’t care if I lived or died because of it and all the horrid things it did to me. It murdered my soul and my heart and did so without even caring. And, yet, I loved it and tried to remain unconditional. Once my affection reached that level, it, from that point on, tried to decimate me.

For five solid years I was held in captivity inside my own mind, almost 24/7 by not only my thoughts but by him, physically and mentally. And while there, I was abused over and over again and I accepted it because I thought I was struggling with someone to find themselves. It didn’t work out that way. It was trying to harm me because of it’s jealousy.

There ARE ways to ‘battle’ what we are coming through and I have been searching for a long time now. Although I find my ‘understanding’ increasing, and the bouts of mania, decreasing, it is still a daily struggle because of my PTSD and MDD. It took FULL ADVANTAGE OF IT TOO. Make no mistake about it. However, I don’t think it has PTSD quite near as bad as me, because I used to be able to SCARE IT AWAY from me just by growling. hahahaha Imagine that: “Hannibal” afraid of a pissed off woman! ahahahaha Good. He should never forget that.

I can so relate. NOTHING HELPED; NOTHING WOULD MAKE IT STOP – the sobbing. I sobbed so much I broke my heart, literally. He always laughed at my misgivings to hurt me. And he did such a good job at it, I almost allowed him to suck my life away from me.

Until I got rid of it, 3 months ago, I had a difficult time forming thoughts and sentences. I was definitely a very ill person. I didn’t want to live but never thought of suicide because I am not a quitter. I had become just a walking nothing. No thoughts, no heart, no nothing…IT was controlling me…even my thoughts.

I am attempting to break that cycle. We all are and that is why we are here. We can do this – it’s an addiction. We must treat it like we would any other addiction.

Time for lunch and moving on with the day over here.
I have medical appointments every day for the next week.

How wonderful is that?
I have the rest of this afternoon to complete any thing needing to be done before my next non stop schedule begins.

Thank you all for being here.

LOUISE: I will wait to hear from you.

*Hugs to you all….

Duped NO MORE!

shocknawe, this was very well written, I could feel the emotion brimming with each word. I agree that sometimes we just drive ourselves nuts following the emotional, physical, soul-level ASSAULT- and it may be hard for some of us to find an inner peace scrounging through all of that dark, dingy, crap that we have to sort through ( we DO have to sort through it, sometimes it’s just overwhelming to do it day-in, day-out) I agree, that we need to take some time off for ourselves, in stillness, in peace- in fact that’s what they say what PTSD survivors need in their environment… low stress, low drama… just a peaceful place in which we can bask in the quiet of our beating hearts- God knows our nervous system has been put through hell with the involvement.. Good post. I hope everyone is “healing good” ( as kathy krajco might say 😉 )

Ox Drover said :

“it is one of the early stages of PTSD, that SHOCK N AWE, that deer in the headlights stance, but it isn’t “solitude” even if you are alone, it is STUNNED like a poll-axed steer, just standing there unconscious.”

Aptly put. It’s so, so true. It’s like your body is in a constant state of shock, nervous system shot throughout, amygdala on constant “alert” mode.. almost as if you can’t turn your body off, even if you wanted to. That is trauma.

shocknawe –

thank you for a very provocative post – definately something to reiterate when we do have the surreal inclination to numb ourselves from facing the pain or reasons behind the trauma.
sometimes i think that’s where dependency or co-dependency blossoms from.
it is hard to remember to love ourselves and stop and take deep breaths and just be.
let the river flow and just float along with it.
sorry if that sounds stupid – but that’s how i’m living through it – and finding that there are more calm areas in my life now than before.
there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I truly like the people I have in my life right now – and I know that they like me too.

thanks again!


What a wonderful and thought provoking article. Thank you..


You bring up a valid point in your article to which I’d like to add a little personal gloss.

After I finally drove off my S-ex (I use this term for sociopathic ex, rather than ex-S since no sociopath can be cured and become an ex-sociopath), my self-esteem was lower than whale sh*t on the ocean floor. After all, why wouldn’t it be? For 15 months th S-ex catalogued, on a daily basis my every single, fault, imperfection, crimes against humanity, etc etc ad nauseum. And considering I grew up with a malignant N mother and S father that really took some doing on his part. When I fnally got rid of him, I told him that he should send my parents a thank you card for preparing me so well for him. Of course, the reality was far better than how he portrayed me to myself. I’m told I’m a good looking man. I’m a successful professional, and while not rich have enough bucks in the bank to see me through a rough patch.

In any case, after S-ex was gone, I realized I deserved better, and then I did what so many on this site do – I promptly went out seeking a new relationship because I was so desperate for an outside ego fix and for somebody who found me sexually desirable – because yes, like so many of you, my S-ex, after 3 months of good sex up front, then began the withholding game.

Long story short, I met a really handsome guy who thought I was hotter than hell in July. The sex was amazing. The attention was flattering. Within 6 weeks we went to Puerto Rico on vacation – and that was when I realized that I was repeating my old pattern. After the vacation from hell, I arrived home and texted him one word – “arrived”. And I never spoke to him again.

At that point a friend of mine told me point blank – “I am sick and tired of watching you waste your time on these “remodelling projects”. If you want to remodel something, buy a house – at least it will pay off in the end.” Before I could buy the house, a few weeks later I lost my job and my health gave out.

The blessing in that was now I finally had plenty of time to sit there and start thinking and processing. I read “Without Conscience”. I read “The Sociopath Next Door”. I read “Betrayal Bond.”

I now had somewhat of a grasp on WHAT happened to me. I still didn’t have a handle on WHY this happened to me. Then I came across “If You Had Controlling Parents” by Dan Neuharth. That book changed my life because I finally understood how my parents conditioned me to tolerate unacceptable behavior, and now I could understand exactly how the betrayal bond was formed.

I used the next 6 months focusing on me. It was the first time in my life that I put myself number 1. I didn’t give a damn about anyone else’s needs – I needed to sit quietly and do nothing so I could focus on healing myself.

Six months later I finally had a grasp on the how, when, what and why the relationship with the S-ex, and so many other abusive personalities had happened to me. I also had a really clear idea on not only what I was entitled to expect and demand from others, but what I wanted in a relationship and why I had never gotten it.

And when I was ready to back into the dating world I got lucky. Ditto finding a new job after a year out of work. I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted and what I was and wasn’t willing to tolerate.

So, Shocknawe – I agree with you wholeheartedly. I’m not big on the concept of higher powers, to be honest, because in my experience people often turn in that direction rather than taking self-directed action to change their circumstance. But, I do agree with you that a person needs to cut out all the external noise and be quiet and turn the focus within. Because, in my experience, until you do that and tune into yourself, you are doomed to keep doing the same thing over and over – the definition of insanity.

Dear Matt,

“Spirituality” is that turning inward—regardless of what your “religion” is or even if you have a “higher power” or not—and I find that there is no way we CAN heal without that SPIRITUAL part of us being contacted and healed as well.

I have frequently told and will continue to tell people how the book by Dr. Viktor Frankl “man’s Search for Meaning” which he wrote after he had been in the Nazi death/slave camps changed my way of looking at pain and trauma. He was not a religious man but he found that the SPIRITUAL aspect of people around him in that camp determined if they died, lived and became bitter, or lived and HEALED. It was that small volume that made me see that the spiritual aspect of our healing, that turning inward and FINDING MEANING no matter how terrible our conditions, or how hard our wounding has been. BELIEVING in something, believing in ourselves…believing in a moral compass, all that is part of our healing.

BTW Matt, I want to say I have missed you a LOT here lately, glad to see you back. I hope you continue to stop by and don’t stay away so long! Your above post is quite on the mark. ((hugs)))

“For five solid years I was held in captivity inside my own mind, almost 24/7 by not only my thoughts but by him, physically and mentally. And while there, I was abused over and over again and I accepted it because I thought I was struggling with someone to find themselves. It didn’t work out that way. It was trying to harm me because of it’s jealousy.”

I’ve been reading this blog for hours, processing, trying to slog through all the sludge in my head. This thread — and in particular, the above passage — resonated with me the most. Stillness would be a welcome respite right now! I’m not ready to post my story just yet… still processing and not entirely unconvinced that I’M the sociopath, as he tells me. Wow. What have I become, and where did the “old me” go?

I’m very grateful to have found this resource. I hope to be able to contribute soon.

Dear Sarahsmile,

Welcome to LoveFraud, and I’m glad that you have found this site. If he is trying to convince you that YOU are the socioipath, that is called PROJECTION and almost guarantees that HE is the S, and not you. If you were a Sociopath, you would not even WONDER if you were. Or care. So almost by definition you are NOT guilty.

Anyway, keep on reading. Knowledge is power and there is a great deal of knowledge here archived in the old articles. And lots of current support.

Again, welcome and God bless.

Shocknawe – Your description ( palpable shock, disorientation and confusion – a feeling of suddenly being lost, without direction or meaning in our life ) oh wow, you described that so true. I have healed, but never will I ever forget that horrible feeling of loss, even to this very day I feel a loss, nothing compared to the way it was the first year or so but still it was a loss of who I was.
Your analogy of digging in the soil – well digging in the dirt has always brought me peace ( avid gardener ) when I plant things or make a new fish pond with a stream and water fall, I just imagine what things will look like a year from now or 5 years from now, digging in the dirt is my therapy and connection to the universe…
I suppose all this happened for a reason, I have always been a lover of solotude and peace and quite , in touch with nature…yes quite with myself is a good place..I have finally been able to turn down the volume of the past, enuff so to enjoy the present and look forward to tomorrow…
Thank you for this very very touching article……

sarahsmile- that’s a classic spath maneuver ( Right out of the Psychopath’s Handbook, as we like to say here. ). we can call it projection, turning the tables, whatever… they’re trying to put all their slime on you. Don’t have it. You are not a sociopath. If you decide to indeed contribute, I am looking forward to hearing your story. ((hugs)) and welcome. Hope you feel safe and understood here.

Welcome Sarahsmile – What a lovely username or handle, you have found a great place here..

Dear Ox Drover,

Your post made me laugh. Thanks for that, and thanks for the warm welcome! I am no shrinking violet, nor am I a stranger to from-the-hip armchair psych analysis; and cannot tell you how many times I have yelled at him, “You’re projecting!!!” This is met with either a blank stare, or if I’m lucky, a shrug of his shoulders. Any crumb of a reaction, you know…

Jeez Louise, what a mindf**k I’m emerging from. I’ve lost so much time, so much money, so many friends. I’ve wasted years. I’m really pissed. I’m hoping this site will arm me with the tools I need to keep him from drawing me back in. His is a most insidious form of manipulation. The thing that pisses me off the most? He would say the same about me.

My mom (who is no stranger to dysfunctional relationships) says there will come the AHA! moment when I won’t care about his sob stories. I won’t care who wins. I won’t care who he moves onto next. Intellectually, I know she’s right; but as I stated before, I’m too angry to not care right now.

AND, I feel really guilty for writing any of this. What if I’m the bad person? What if it IS all my fault? Is that normal? Did you all go through a phase where you comb over everything and try to cop to your complicity? I don’t feel like a victim. I come from “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” people. I just can’t believe that this man I put all my faith and hopes and dreams and beliefs about love and life and teamwork and forever togetherness into is in all actuality a not very good person. After all, *I* wouldn’t choose a bad person. But I think he is.

Two recent examples. I just have to put them in writing.

Him (after a few days without sex, due to schedules and extenuating circumstances): If I wanted to live a life where I wasn’t getting laid, I’d go back to my ex. She hasn’t been laid in years. I bet that sh*t is so tight.


Him (after I questioned why he showed up three hours late): You’re pretty, but you’re not pretty enough to put up with this bullsh*t.

And I just stare and shake my head, incredulous. I’m an educated, attractive woman. How did I get involved with such a crass, disrespectful CHILD? How was I not smart enough to see all of this from the beginning? The rampant racism, the entitlement, the sex addiction, the misogyny, the total disregard for rules and societal norms. How did I think all of this was okay?

Blech. Off topic… Inactivity. I like it. I was heavily involved in energy work and deep into yoga and meditation when he came along. He ridiculed all of it, and I let him steal all of my beliefs and joy. I threatened him. I threatened him because I was so strong. That’s what I have to keep believing. Right?


(My head is shaking here) TOTAL PROJECTION, total slime bucket! Totally trying to place blame on you for “not being good enough” so that you will try harder. BULLOCKS!!!!!! Who died and made him God or king?

NO CONTACT….is the only known method of keeping them at bay long enough for us to start to heal. NO contact, zip, zero, zilch, nil, no phone calls no texts, no reading his face book….and you are doing yourself a favor it is like cutting out a boil or a cancer, you are not going to be able to heal until you do it. But you can do it because being away from him will let the lies and the projections he has thrown your way start to quiet down in your mind. Keep on reading! Post your story when you feel the urge, we’re pretty laid back here.

sarahsmiles said :

Him (after a few days without sex, due to schedules and extenuating circumstances): If I wanted to live a life where I wasn’t getting laid, I’d go back to my ex. She hasn’t been laid in years. I bet that sh*t is so tight.

You’re feeling doubtful at the moment, right? Well I can tell you, right off the bat after reading that statement there is NO doubt in my mind the guy you were involved with is a psychopath ( Not that I doubted it even for a second earlier, but this just puts the icing on the cake ). That is so classic spath- it’s really mind-blogging… they ARE really all the same!

(I don’t know how to quote directly: I’m fairly new to commenting.)

Dancingnancies, you asked if I was feeling doubtful. Nope, I’m pretty resolute. But he has stuff here at my house, I have kids, it’s his birthday in a few days, and I am trying to figure out how to extract myself from this situation in the most graceful way possible. I am calling him on all of his crap right now, so he is staying away. I just want him to come get his stuff and go away.

To add fuel to my paranoid fire, he has said things over the last few months that lead me to believe that he can read my emails, texts, hear my conversations, etc. True or not, I can’t believe I’m in this position.

sarahsmile: hello and welcome. you have found a wealth of resource and information here. you know how when you need something directly from the source? well, this is the place! After much searching and contacting resources, I have found there are not many places we can go just yet that completely understands us and our situations. We have Love Fraud. Thank you Donna for all you have shared.

You will find, as you read more, that we are all from the same situation and that all of our situations closely resemble one another. Maybe not in detail but certainly in scenario and in trait.

sarahsmile: the first reaction is shock and disbelief and if you don’t grab a hold of that right in the beginning, it only grows worse. It is like a time bomb that was attached to us even though perhaps we are away from it. The time bomb was planted inside our minds. That was part of the conditioning and the control.

If you think you are in danger of any sort, do contact your local authorities. If you are in the United States, and feel your are in anyway being stalked or are at risk from harm, contact your authorities and seek assistance.

I say this because my situation was and still is somewhat volatile. But I refuse to let that time bomb go off inside of me. I refuse to let it win. So, I have been actively reprocessing myself and my thoughts since 1JAN and have been in complete NC with it for a little over three months.

The words you quoted as my saying were absolutely the truth in every sense of the word. I only say what I mean and I mean what I say. How could I…an educated, aware woman, fall for such deceit? THAT in itself tells you what you are dealing with. BECAUSE I WAS DUPED. That’s why. Very cunning and stunning; is it not? I know it’s difficult to believe at first. These upsets we are experiencing are because we are trying to level off after being pushed off an emotional cliff!

The adrenalin rush…suddenly that 24/7 supply of adrenaline isn’t there anymore…so we slowly come back down to normal. Like drug withdrawal. But it IS possible to make ourselves comfortable enough that although we shall remember it, we will eventually come to remember it differently than the way we are feeling right now. But we have to want it and we have to work at it. It’s like trying to rehab after a horrible car accident…
Yah, just like that. 🙂

Stay and walk with us a while, sarahsmile. Take care of yourself and be good to yourself on this journey.



Hens — On Monday, I planted the first seeds I’ve planted in years. Pumpkins. Little green already emerging this evening when I watered. 🙂

Duped No More — I’m not in physical danger. Very few real ties to the man, other than lost time and his GD playstation 3 and some shirts and sex toys at my house… Just emerging from a fog of duplicity, deceit and denial. I have nothing to hide, and if he wants to read/hear anything I’m saying about him, then so be it. I’m not scared. He’s a coward who will shrink back to the entitled hole from which he crawled.

And thanks for the throwing those lyrics back at me! I chose the name because (a) it’s what my mom wanted to name me when I was born, but my psycho/spath/sick father talked her out of it, and (b) it’s a really pretty song!

welcome to LF. You are very strong and intuitive.
I love everything you wrote, it is so dead on accurate. One thing I love most is you said, “After all, *I* wouldn’t choose a bad person. But I think he is.”
So spot on. You’ve absolutely NAILED the technique they use to hook us. We have high self-esteem, that’s why they target us. They want to knock us off our perceived pedestal. What better way to do that than to use our own self-esteem against us? When they mirror us, they know that we love them for being so much like us. Once we are convinced that this is our soulmate, they know that we cannot accept the possibility that they are anything less than we are. So if our soulmate does things that are lower than our standards, then, WE JUST LOWER OUR STANDARDS. That was the plan all along. FOR US TO LOWER OUR STANDARDS UNTIL WE ARE ON THE SAME PLAIN AS THEY ARE.

It’s a slick trick and a mindfuck. That is what I did for 25 years. No more. My standards are just that and they won’t be lowered anymore. Time for them to go up.

Hey, LF….how the heck are ya?

It looks like I’ll be back with ya for at least a month or two. I am back in toddlerville, and my daughter has gone back to her job as an elemntary school teacher. Her twins are due the first of October, but because they are twins, they are expected sometime in September. She does not plan to return to school after they are born.

I have missed you all so much and thought about you often.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something, or had an epiphany, or an experience, and thought, “I’ll have to bounce that off my friends at LF.

I’m glad to see that Oxy, Hens and Skylar are still here….lots of others, too. I’m wondering about EB and LL and Stargazer, as well as some others who seem to be missing.

It’s good to see so many newbies, too.

Well, lots of new articles to catch up on!!! Just wanted to let you know I’m back.


What a great post.

Your story is soooo familiar to me.

I gained wisdom and understanding through those books, and I now undersand the sociopath, and I don’t think I’ll ever forgive my mother for shaping me this way. I just need to focus on fixing ME, being happy with ME, treating myself WELL.

For many of us, that is unfamiliar territory. It’s so hard.


sarahsmile, I didn’t mean to imply you were doubtful necessarily about his being a sociopath- but my response was to when you said :

AND, I feel really guilty for writing any of this. What if I’m the bad person? What if it IS all my fault? Is that normal? Did you all go through a phase where you comb over everything and try to cop to your complicity?

Anyway, what you said about your situation sounds tough. I’m sorry. As always with a P- the most minimal contact should be sought for.. and they’ll say all sorts of things to make you believe that they’re some “powerful” force but guess what? It’s all pretend. It’s like in the Wizard of Oz… its just some poor schmuck pretending behind the curtains in the background. Given- you should be careful about safeguarding your personal information, but I have an inkling he is just trying to scare you. Nonetheless, take your precautions. ( Like… DON’T put yourself in a vulnerable position. Be boring and cold during your interactions- no emotion. )


Sarahsmile – Welcome. Your mum is right. You are getting your first ‘aha’ moments now.

His façade has cracked, you can see the cracks in his make-up, you are well on your way. His mask has slipped and you can see him for what he is, a shallow fake.

It’s a bit like a counterfeit bank note – once you see it for what it is, it becomes obvious, and you will wonder how you ever missed noticing in the first place.

Hey Kimmer’s :)..congrats on the twins ~! It’s good to see you Darlin…


You make some excellent points in this article. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the need to cultivate “quietness and receptivity,” rather than seeking oblivion from pain in frenetic activity or “chatter.” Indeed, the great enemy of introspection and self-awareness is oftentimes nothing other than excessive “business,” and the inability to withdraw from the crowd into our own interior space. (Our culture has many not-so-subtle ways of punishing people who so much as attempt this.)

At the same time, I think there is a complement to this, which is the idea that ABSOLUTE physical immobility is never a good thing. In that respect, I agree with those who stress the necessity of keeping up with one’s exercise regimen, particularly in the wake of a great trauma. I know all too well that state which Oxy describes, where one is just lying around all day hiding under the covers, and attempting to sleep away the next forty or so years! My own experience, however, has shown me unequivocally that there is actually NOTHING WORSE than passively indulging oneself in this behavior!

To be sure, there is an important “middle ground” here, and it is basically this: when you’ve lost the desire to move, to eat, to live, etc., and you want nothing so much as to fall asleep and never wake up – well: it’s PRECISELY AT THAT MOMENT (no matter how daunting or unpleasant it sounds at the time) that we need get up off our asses and run three to five miles, chop wood, or paint the family room! (The older folks here can adjust these activities to their physical condition.)

Endorphins (literally, “endogenous morphine”) are one of Nature’s great “anodynes,” and I think it’s an inexcusable mistake on our part not to make use of them on a daily basis. Unfortunately, we are not given a free supply of these “feel good chemicals,” and have to make an effort before they are released into the sysem. (Studies suggest that we need to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day in order to get the endorphins flowing, and there is a marked increase in their production after forty to fifty minutes – which is so much the better if one can hold out that long!) In short, I think we don’t even have a right to “ownership” of our depressed and pessimistic thoughts until we’ve gone for a five mile walk/run, cleaned out the gutters, or raked those leaves that have been piling up for the past three weeks!

No, sitting on one’s ass is NEVER a good thing – no matter how bad one is hurting. Contrariwise, there is a great magic and healing power in simple physical movement, though, admittedly, it takes a bit of work to harness and channel it. Which means, practically speaking, that when one is lying on the couch for however long, unable to move or talk, it is right at that moment that we need to make a decisive effort in the opposite direction (i.e., against the debilitating effects of inertia).

What I’ve said about exercise is such common knowledge as to be almost “cliche.” (And for some people, physically impossible, as perhaps in the case of “Madame Duperella”!) But even in the cases where one is unable to exercise, there is a similar benefit to be had from the performance of even the simplest of everyday tasks. One thing that has helped me out of many a bad spot, is simply willing myself to get up and cook soup for two hours. (heh heh – one of the “gifts” that my spath inadvertently gave to me, is transforming me into a pretty first-rate cook!) It sounds funny, and maybe it is, but there is no doubt that a simple act like chopping carrots and onions for a few hours, can work wonders on a depressed system.

Speaking of which, I actually bought the “How to Cook Everything” cookbook right after I discovered that my fiancee was screwing a platoon of other guys, and I made it one of my goals to learn 100 new recipes. (I’m still a bit below that number, but I did learn nearly fifty!) Well, even though I walked around for two years not caring whether I lived or died (with a slight preference for the latter!), I made that the one certaintly in my life: come hell or high water, I was not going to sleep until I cooked that g*dda*m broccoli soup! Yes, it was often a huge pain, but I can honestly say that almost every time, after a few hours of this sort of “contemplatively” mechanical activity, I almost always ended up feeling significantly better.

Gardening would be a very similar type of thing. But again, I don’t think this should be confused with a mindless “jumping back in” – because it isn’t. What it is, is a small act of defiance against a world that is always happy to roll over us if we let it. The Zen Buddhists clearly understand this, and there are many stories of monks who would refuse to eat on days when they were prevented from working (i.e., because of sickness, old age, etc.) Now, no one is going to say that THEY don’t get it, or that their activities are the result of unthinking restlessness. No, it’s more about work being “the healing prayer of the body” – and for what it’s worth, I’ve found this confirmed time and again by my own experience.

So what are you guys waiting for?! There are cars to be washed, dogs to be walked, kids to be fed, bills to be paid, etc., no? Alas, even the sixteen million or so psychopaths in this country can’t prevent the world from spinning!

Hens? are you still about? As an aside, I’m glad you liked Cowboys and Aliens as much as I did. When I saw Daniel Craig in his chaps and he turned around, I did INSTANTLY imagined you liking that look…. now back to the real world. – Katy

THanks Constantine for the loving boot in the backside! Yep: time to get moving. Good advice for all of us. xxoo

I had a stalking this morning but nothing to worry about. It was from far away. I did not and have not and WILL NOT respond. I am doing just what you said: ‘moving on’ in as much activity as I can handle these days.

I am happy to report that further heart surgery has been postponed for another 3 months. 🙂 This next Monday, I go in for a battery of tests. I am steadily making progress towards leaving this nightmare behind me. I haven’t been around much anymore because I have been trying to do just what you have so beautiful defined. xxoo

I hope and pray you are well and doing fine. I think of you often, always with a smile and a hug in my heart, Constantine.

Always ~ Duped No More~!!!

Dear constantine,

GREAT ARTICLE and very much the right thing for us to do, MOVE.

Back when I was born 60+ years ago women were encouraged to stay in bed for two weeks before getting up…which was the WORST thing that they could have done. When I had my kids 40 years ago, they threw me out of bed in a matter of hours and that is what should happen.

Studies have shown that heart attack victims who are lying around are STRESSING THEIR HEARTS more by inactivity than they would by getting up and moving. Actually, your heart has to work HARDER when you are lying down than when you are sitting up or standing. USE IT OR LOSE IT is totally true.

I have seen many people who got out of a bad relationship jump back into another relationship to “cure” the heart break of the first one. I did that after my husband died, and boy was that a MISTAKE! I went from the “deer in the headlight freeze” directly into another relationship without any effective time between the aircraft crash and the new boy friend to process my grief. But I had instead spent my time “busy” with other people’s problems (primarily my egg donor) or spaced out, but NO time working on my internal needs or processing. Society also expects us to “bounce back” and “get over it” all too fast, or “keep busy” which is just as bad…we need that time with ourselves more than anything, and getting MOVING physically while we heal emotionally is a great way to accomplish that. If your mind/spirit is in pain, work the body, and if your body is in pain, work the mind.

Dear Definitely Duped No More,

I think of you often as well, and it always makes me happy to picture you out there in SoCal bravely “fighting the good fight.” I love your courage and resilient spirit!

Don’t give in, though. You didn’t specify the nature of the “stalking,” but you already know the answer: NO CONTACT! If you feel even slightly tempted, write about it here and don’t do anything until someone has talked you. In fact, I’m not a big believer in “vows” but that might be a helpful one for you to make. Really, you know how important this is.

In the meantime, I bet you’re a pretty good cook yourself. So maybe it’s time to get out one of your Metallica albums (I was surprised to see from an earlier post that a retired grandma knows so much about heavy metal!) and begin baking!

Dear Oxy,

Thanks a lot. When you talk about your farm I often feel a pang of envy for precisely that sort of “out of the way” pastoral life. Jefferson was right that most of the indispensable virtures are associated with the agrarian lifestyle, and most of the vices originate from the big cities (Alexander Hamilton be damned!).

I once stayed at a monastery (I’d better not say where, though it was essentially a farm plus a church) for almost two years, and ever since I’ve felt great nostalgia for the “sane and simple” rhythms of that existence. Yes, Oxy, I think you have it good out there in Arkansas, and I’d trade my Internet, TV and daily paper at the drop of a hat to join you in milking cows and collecting eggs!

🙂 Happy my ‘warrior-ism’ leaves you with a smile, Constantine.
THanks for loving my courage and my resiliency. Sometimes I wonder how much resiliency I truly have. I think it’s more ‘staying power’ – I AM going to get through this and this garbage is going to be OUT of my life, once and for all.

Heavens, NO! I am not about to give in.
Right: no contact and it is going to stay that way.
Thanks for making the offer of someone being here to talk to….

Hmm…’vow’…I think I made that ‘vow’ when I stopped at St. Catherine’s, the other day, about took a bath in Holy Water and knelt at the altar and just ‘let go inside’. As I left, I doused myself, once again, with Holy Water.

I don’t want to brag, but yes, I am a good cook. Ha: surprsied to see a retired grandma knows metal; hmm? I grew up on Rock and Roll, Mr. Constantine… 😉 The more in depth, the more I like it. I especially like guitars. I have two top favorite guitar players: Jimmy Paige from Led Zepplin and Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue. I don’t know where these ‘music angels’ get their natural abilities from but it always leaves my ears happy.

Ha: baking???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With my ever increasing waistline and my newly acquired heart condition, I need to stay away from the sweets. 🙁 I do indulge, once in a while (shhh: dont tell my doctor). 😉

Oh, the stalking: it was just the once a month ‘try to trick me’ into speaking because it is worried I may be dead. That is the only reason it does this. It anonymously tries to contact me online to attempt a confirmation of yes or no. But, it won’t stop there; it never does. Next will be a phone call from YET another OW and once I block that wildfire, “IT” will present itself at my door. Live and in person. YAY! I can’t wait!!! 😉

How wicked am “I”??? I told it that the next time it comes to make sure to bring some clean underwear because I really do think it is going to be staying in my locale a while. End of story.

Just ‘detoxing’ in SoCali, My Friend…

mwahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Constantine…

Duped No More! (Definitely)

Katydid —-the chap’s looked great – uh what side you talkin about?

when looking at chaps, i am partial to the rear view.

and he has a pretty rear to view ~!

he was classic. sigh. 🙂

Dear Constantine,

Well the agrarian life style is hard WORK…..that’s for sure. I actually love to milk. I used to go milk our family cow with my grandmother and there are good memories associated with squatting under a cow (or goat) that are imprinted on my mind. I’m having to get real about how much I can still DO though, and my gardening is limited to raised beds now instead of 10 acres of “truck” (vegetables) and my milk comes from the store, though I do keep a few ducks for eggs, I could realistically buy eggs for 1/10th of what I invest in money, much less time, in raising my own. LOL

We still do raise our own meat and butcher it ourselves.When I get to where I cant produce my own meat I will probably quit eating meat unless I can buy “home grown” meat from someone I personally know and trust.

The days of the small farmers who produced all or most of what they used or needed are long gone, and even making a living on a “small” farm these days is very difficult, and the joke is “the way you tell a REAL farmer is by what kind of job he has in town.” I am fortunate that I inherited the land to live on, and had a good job to support my habit of cows and my husband’s habit of airplanes…like the doctor that I worked with for so many years, he said he “made a SMALL fortune in farming, but he started with a LARGE ONE!” LOL I always told him I wished I had gone to medical school instead of RNP school so I could have more money to farm on a larger scale! LOL

Katydid – You should check out Craigs movie ‘ Love is the Devil ‘…the searing portrait of the english painter Frances Bacon at the height of his fame in the 1960’s is one of the nastiest and most truthful portraits of the artist – as – monster ever filmed…..Craig play’s a gay character (Frances Bacon’s lover/ boy toy) and leaves nothing to the imagination (hint)…Frances Bacon was in real life a twisted, perverted Physcopath……

We used to have people visit the ranch on their summer vacations and they fell in love with small town life. Green flowing pastures, happy cows dancing in the lane to go get milked, cool weather (obviously not in TEXAS). I’d tell them if they wanted my life, to come back in FEB when the rains from Alaska pelted sideways like tiny shards of glass, and all was bitter cold mud, cows were KICKING not dancing, and the cute little stores were boarded up, deserted by shopkeepers desperate for tourist dollars. Yes, I lived some days in paradise but other days… the cows still needed to be milked, twice a day, in flood or freeze. (still, secret? wouldn’t have traded it for city life in a million years. I am now in the city B/C of spath and NO OTHER REASON.)


There’s another good Daniel Craig film you should check out…”Flashbacks of a Fool.”


Sarahsmiles: soliciting my compassion and empathy was how the spath conned me. she conned me in the depths of my joy and most treasured values and desires, and cut my spirit open. And when I realized that ’he’ probably hadn’t died, and that meant he wasn’t who he said he was (internet/ phone con, woman pretending to be a male), I could not speak against ’him’. Someone else who she ensnared in the same con, called me and said, ’I think this isn’t real’ ”“ and all I could say was, “I can’t talk about it”. I didn’t say, ’yes, I think the same.’ I didn’t say, ’I have been doing a lot of research and this is what I think’, and I didn’t say, ’this person is a spath.’ I agreed with EVERYTHING she said, and could not say that aloud. My skin burned with anxiety, my mind raced with fear, my heart ached with the reality I was confronting. The depth of my loyalty (and fear at that point ”“ WTH WAS I dealing with???) to him was larger, deeper and wider than I felt * I* was. I know now, that this was false. And I knew it before the spath. My heart is still broken, my spirit is healing, and I hope that I can mend my relationship with my values, desires and joy.

Please let go of him. He is of no value.

Sounds like the name of my spath’s life…lol

(((One Joy Step)))
I feel for you girl.

One Joy Step,
I saw it today and meant to ask you. What about Medicine Buddha? Have you tried it? I’m sure you have!

Ana I have flashbacks of a fool,,,,and love was the devil…oh my

1steprs 🙂

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