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It Must Be Me…

Thank you so much for all the kind comments following my last post”¦ I’m glad that people are able to connect with what I am saying. It brings me great joy to feel part of this community — thank you for welcoming me so warmly.

This week I have decided to write about something that I’ve been discussing over the past couple of days with my great friend Beatrix, who was also married to a charming sociopath. She is, of course, part of the sister and brotherhood who’ve been there seen it and got the T-shirt. We’ve known each other for many years, and our conversations, quite naturally, often focus on our experiences and subsequent education about personality disorders. So last night we were discussing the common response that both of us had (as it seems have so many others) when faced with the petulant and deliberately crippling mood swings of a sociopath.

Like so many of us, she fell in love with a practiced charmer. A man who was the life and soul of the party, good looking, funny, kind and witty. A man who couldn’t do enough for her. A man who made her feel like a princess. Her friends thought he was wonderful, but it was only when she was alone with him that the mask would slip and the cruel tentacles of destruction and abuse wormed their way in to her soul. Again, like me, she just didn’t see it at the time. And, like me, Beatrix’s response whenever her husband did something ”˜out of character’ was always”¦ “It must be me! What am I doing wrong here? How can I make this better?”

From my experience, most targets are by nature caring loving souls who choose to nurture others. When we first meet the sociopath he or she seems to be “just like us” in more ways than we’ve ever experienced before. We feel in-tune with them. We understand them. And they understand us as well — it is like heaven on earth, and we feel more connected, more loved, more special than even our wildest dreams would have allowed us to imagine. How lucky we are to have found such a perfect match! They seem to mirror everything that is important to us — our deepest hopes and our highest values, as well as empathizing with our darkest fears. No wonder we fall in love so completely! No wonder that our in-built response when that same person appears to be suffering is to ask what we can do to help. I, for one, rarely questioned anybody’s motives, least of all the person I called my soul mate — why would anyone be showing me anything but reality?

There is a huge amount of truth in that old saying “we don’t know what we don’t know” – something  I now recognise as a trap that I fell for, hook line and sinker. Believing my eyes and ears to be fully open at the time, I simply could not comprehend or begin to imagine the true devious nature of the beast because that nature didn’t exist within ME – thank goodness.

Planting the seeds of self-doubt

Yet this presents us with a fascinating paradox. Because when the sociopath shows us the mirror — the care, the charm, the understanding, the love that we fall for, we naturally take it as read that this is who they really are — because that is precisely what they want us to believe. Yet on the other hand, when they show us their manipulative, devious, abusive true self, we automatically think “It must be me. I must be doing something wrong. What do I need to change?” because we are deliberately led to accept that we are somehow responsible. Their lies and manipulation, their denial and their blame of others mean it’s never their fault. So, not only are we trapped because we are caring people, we are also trapped by the deliberate cloak of deceit that is systematically and skilfully wrapped around us so that we don’t notice the hug turning in to suffocation. Because that hypnotic ‘hug’ starts causing us to question our self-belief, gradually and deliberately eating away at our confidence so slowly that we don’t realise it’s happening – until it’s too late. And all the time the smiling assassin purposely tells us that it’s never their fault”¦ therefore, it stands to reason that it must be our fault”¦ doesn’t it??

I’d like to make it absolutely clear that their ”˜bad stuff’ is NOT who we are. The bad stuff is who they really are. It’s not a ”˜bad hair day’ or a ”˜hiccup’ or a ”˜minor malfunction’ — no, on the contrary, it’s the true essence of what lies at the core of the facade they present.  They are not suffering from anxiety. They’re not grumpy, nor are they the victim of a deprived childhood. It’s not that you did something wrong, or that you simply don’t understand their pain enough. It’s none of those things.

When they use denial as a weapon, we start to question our sanity —  we’ll say to ourselves “well, perhaps I was wrong, perhaps I DID misunderstand or misread the signs”. When they choose blame we’ll likely respond with acceptance. “Perhaps they’re right” we might think. “How could I not have seen that, it must have been  be so clear. How could I get it so wrong with this person I love so deeply? I should have known better. I’ll try even harder” And so the twisted cycle of methodical asphyxiation continues.

Remember they are masters in their techniques of manipulation — they have had to become that way to appear normal. To live and breathe among us without being detected. But they are only techniques — they are not real emotions. The book “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding And Dealing With Manipulative People,” by George Simon, has been a huge help in helping both Beatrix and I to identify and understand these methods in more detail.

I remember when my ex showed his true colours for the first time a few years ago. When I found him out that time, he convinced me that he was in the middle of a breakdown. He persuaded me that he had felt unloved by me, and that as a result he had done things he bitterly regretted. For me, because his behaviour had been so out of character from the person I knew and loved so well, I decided to believe him. I’m no pushover, but I reasoned that he deserved a second chance — our ”˜ideal’ marriage deserved a second chance. After all, everybody makes mistakes don’t they? Nobody is perfect all the time?

So, yes, the pain and shame ran deep when I found him out the second time. When once again he demonstrated the same sickeningly callous levels of cruelty, and then just disappeared when he knew the game was up. I can assure you that my inner critic went in to full flow at that point! How could I have been so stupid? How could I have believed his lies? How could I not have recognized the truth the first time around? But the fact is, I couldn’t. I couldn’t because that way of being was (and is) alien to me. These days I have learned the hard way that not everyone comes from the same place of loving that I am proud to acknowledge I possess within myself.

Now, of course, I realize that the heartless creature I saw then was actually the real person. Now I understand that the man I loved so dearly was the fake one — but back then I didn’t know the difference. How on earth could I have even begun to understand that I was in the grip of a callous predator who didn’t give a damn about me or about my son? How could I possibly know that the practiced mask of love and kindness he showed so freely was just that — a mask. A skillfully crafted facade designed to fool anyone who crossed his path.

What about recognizing the positives?

Which brought both Beatrix and I to ponder the next question — how come both she and I only interrogated ourselves when our partners were behaving badly? True, we assume that the ”˜bad stuff’ is a passing phase, because after all, that is not the ”˜real’ person we fell in love with. But along with that, surely, comes a peculiar and fascinating wake-up call. How come we didn’t stop and ask ourselves the same set of questions to find out how we might be affecting all the loving behaviours? How was it that at no point did we think to ourselves “It must be me” when they were showing their good (false) side?

Because, the truth is, that WAS and IS us all along. All the sociopath can do is mirror who and what we already are — because we are everything that they are not. Which is what makes us so attractive in the first place. And from my current point of view (granted with the benefit of hindsight and a good deal of distance from the nightmare) I reckon that the person I was, I am, and always have been, must be pretty darned special. I’ve reasoned that if all I was seeing was a skillfully mirrored reflection of who I am, and if what I saw caused me to fall head over heals in love with the man who was reflecting me, then surely it stands to reason that I must be a good person?

If the reflected kindness, love and attention he showered on me was enough to mask his deception and manipulation for more than ten years, then surely it stands to reason that I have to a pretty strong character who has a whole heap of love to offer? Of course I recognise that I’m one of the lucky ones, because I am now coming from the place where I am free – so I understand that what I am saying may be somewhat tricky for anyone who is still feeling trapped to take on board. But I invite you to consider the following point because I believe it could be an important tool to help with escape and healing.

We can ALL heal

My point is this. I now believe that for all of us who are on this journey of recovery – whether or not we’ve yet managed to escape the nightmare in reality – a massive amount of strength can be gained by holding on to the assumption that ALL the good stuff we were/are being shown is indeed who we really are — it’s our soul, our essence, our being. The more we acknowledge that the sociopath doesn’t have these qualities, the more we can remember that they can only achieve them through reflection. I believe that by accepting the idea that “it must be me” whenever the sociopath shows us kindness, appreciation or love (and any number of other  ”˜good things’) the more we can shift our responses and reclaim our power. Even now, I often choose to look back on my own experiences and I think to myself “Yes, he was often really kind, considerate, loving and caring. Oh ho! It must have been me! That’s the kind of person I must be!”

There are countless stories and informative articles on this site that aim to educate all of us about the dangers and real behaviours of sociopaths. So I am confident that, little by little, more people are waking up to the idea that not everyone plays by the same caring rules that come so naturally to the majority of us who are on this planet. Little by little we can begin to recognize that which we are not – and, little by little reduce the need for others to have to experience the pain before they understand.

Of course, I don’t know how easy my recommendation is going to be for anyone who is still having to deal with a sociopath on a daily basis – as I said, this particular realization only came to me after I had broken free. But I believe that every and any thing that helps us to reclaim our power is another step forward in liberty, healing and recovering our lives. I always say to myself and others – if it works, use it. If it doesn’t, don’t. Bit by bit we’ll find out what helps, and bit by bit we’ll re-connect with ourselves.

So here is my message. Every time you notice something ”˜good’ in the sociopath, say to yourself that “It must be me” — because at the end of the day, we must be ourselves in order to become free. I am liking the mantra that is now running around inside my head:

“It must be me, because I MUST BE ME”¦!”

We CAN heal, we ARE healing, and by sharing our experiences with each other here, it means we’re in the right place. Right here, right now, we can become united in our experiences, understanding and support for each other.

I hope this is helpful — I welcome your feedback. With love and blessings to all.

 


Comment on this article

27 Comments on "It Must Be Me…"

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This blog could not have come along at a better time…well, at least a time where I could understand it. I’ve been ever-so-slowly (and painfully) coming to this same conclusion over the past few weeks. I hadn’t really, fully realized WHAT I was working towards, but this blog did just what I needed. It spelled it out for me, word by word. Thanks for this. Your writing is so helpful! Thank you.

Great Article, Mel, and your recommendation of “IN sheep’s Clothing” is so RIGHT ON.

I think the gaslighting is what leads us to ask “is it me?” Did I misunderstand what s/he said? They COULDN’T be lying so I MUST have misunderstood. LOL Or maybe they FORGOT what they said and I actually heard it right, but they misspoke. Ah yes, the self doubt, the striving to find what I can do to FIX the situation.

Thanks again for this great article!

Welcome Blankspot, keep on reading. The lights will come on and illuminate your path! God bless.

Thanks, Ox – I’ve been lurking since January, posting sporadically…this site has helped me in so many ways. I enjoy your contributions, as well. Well, ENJOY may not be the right word, but you get what I mean. ;o)

Blankspot, that’s sort of like the “like” button on FB….there are some articles you want to say “right on” to but “like” is just not quite the right response. LOL

Thank you for your article Mel, it is so similar to my situation that I had to re-read and sigh. Not that I have not understood that my ex was a sociopath, but to read something so similar is always comforting, and brings on the tears. I was married for 20 years, most of them were mirrored to the perfection from my spath. He knew exactly what made me tick, I loved my Mom and Dad, my kids, and I was a giving person. He made sure that he was what I was tenfold….how could I not love him ? I remember I was at a funeral, a little girl had died who was actually part of his family. She was only 10 and I was so saddened by the loss of this innocent little girl, that I could not wait to go home and hug my little girl who was the same age. I verbalized this feeling to him, and when we were home I hugged my little girl and said we were so lucky in many ways…..he also hugged her but cried, and said the same thing. At the time, I remember looking at him wondering ….not sure what I was wondering, now I know. He was mimicking my feelings and adding on a bit of drama to make it real. Years later when I “discovered” him and the mask fell off, I remember telling him to his face how I could be so stupid, that he had married me for money, he had tricked me because if he loved me he would never do this to me…..I waited for his response….there was a quiet lull, he picked up my eye glasses off the floor because they had fell when I was crying, and he passed them to me…quitely no response, no emotion. I knew I had married someone else. It was not the man I had loved. Now I understand exactly why the coldness when he was discovered, he could not bounce back, he was done. And from then on he was. I was determined that he needed to make a move, I could not live under those conditions. I asked so many questions, asked where he was going, what he was doing, what he was up to, life was miserable with me. He gave up and left. I did not know at the time that I was dealing with a spath, and after going to family therapy and finding out my this blog, I came to the realization that he was not real. But it has been 2 1/2 years and my 2 teenagers are with me full time, they want nothing to do with their father, and they have come to the realization that he is not normal. He has revealed himself to them, and they have not had contact with him for 2 1/2 years, my ex spath tried contacting them a few times, but after my kids hung up at him, he moved on and now has a new family. The saddest thing is that for my kids a bomb exploded and I tried to pick up the pieces, we are doing fine, however the courts are slow and we need closure. My kids have been stalked by the new Mrs. who he is living with, and I guess she is his mule. She is on drugs, alcohol, and had 4 young kids, ranging from 4 to 12, I think they are my ex spaths. She is only 30 and he is 54. This article has only made me think how sad it is that these evil people inflict so much pain, but I do know that goodness and love does prevail. My kids are closer to me than they have ever been, hate their father for what he is doing and has done, and intend in changing their name to my maiden name as my family has been a great source of support to them both. We will all heal, however it takes great people and great courage to come of this ordeal….its the good ones that they target.
If I cry it because he has hurt my kids, it was traumatic for them, it was not easy ….they wanted “Daddy” back, but that person never existed….how hard can that be for kids ?
Its all better now….it is getting better, but articles like this only verify that these evil vultures exist but good people always prevail and true honest and love never dies, they are the ones who vanish….they leave destruction, but its funny how we can rebuild realizing that it was never a solid foundation to start off with.
I admire each and every one of you, you are all good people, and this blog is the greatest. God bless you all.

Dear Survivor lady,

Congratulations, I’m glad you and your kids are doing well. Keep on learning, healing and growing and being there for your kids. I’m glad they are wise to what he is. I am sure it is painful for them, but better an unpleasant truth than a false hope that keeps on disappointing over and over. God bless.

Excellent post Mel. Very important and often overlooked topic, I’m glad that you brought this to light.

Mel:
Thank you so much for your article. I so needed it.

The last few days have left me feeling as if I am an old ‘hooptie’ being held together with duct tape and bubblegum. This old hooptie won’t make it on any major highways, I’ll have to stick to the little side roads. (((Love))). Shalom

Shalom

I know how you feel, I feel the same way. Just stick to the side roads for now. I keep the faith that one day people like you and I will find ourselves on the interstate in a brand new cadillac. 🙂

Mel said,
“I’ve reasoned that if all I was seeing was a skillfully mirrored reflection of who I am, and if what I saw caused me to fall head over heals in love with the man who was reflecting me, then surely it stands to reason that I must be a good person?”

Actually I had that revelation a few months ago. I don’t know if I quite believe it yet but I sure do ponder the thought these days.

This was an awesome article, very validating. How often through the years I had the same thoughts.

For years I found it flattering that “it” wouldn’t make a decision without having my input and “approval” first. Then as light began to come on I could hear him when he would say (when a decision is was wrong), “You told me too.” How slick is that. When something went good, it was all because of him. Funny, it was me. Good or bad, it was me. He was only mirroring me but I didn’t see it. To my credit I must say we were quite successful in our ventures until I refused to be his mirror anymore. I couldn’t take the blame anymore without any credit.

Dear Shalom,

Us old Hoopties are stronger than you might think! So just keep putting along, slow and steady wins the race!

Justus and Oxie: Like an old dog, a few well placed pats go a long way. Sorry to sound so pathetic, really feeling better than that. Love. Shalom

Shalom

I am glad to hear you are actually feeling better then that. You don’t sound pathetic to me, you sound strong and going down the road which you able to travel at this moment, at least you are headed somewhere.

Sometimes I am just confused as to how I feel and something on those lines come out of my mouth, then when someone responds I realize I really don’t feel THAT bad. 🙂

Justus: I second that emotion. Shalom

I cried my eyes out when I read this…the main reason being that I have started to see a counsellor because the most recent Spath I was involved with (there have been a few) has renewed his campaign of abuse and stalking against me, and feeling totally unable to cope I decided to go see a counsellor. And the one thing that has kept coming up in our sessions is my belief that everything that happened was because of me – that I had done something to deserve being treated in such a horrendous way, that there was something innately terrible in me that meant all the horrible stuff was MY fault.

And my counsellor has tried to make me see time and again that I hadn’t done anything wrong and I certainly didn’t deserve the emotional and physical abuse and threats etc. And I tried to accept that point of view but it was hard…because it is a pattern that has repeated in my life for years, I have experienced Spaths several times and so I couldn’t help but think I was the weak link in it all and I had done something to deserve the abuse. But reading this has just hit me really hard (in a good way), it is helping me to see that falling for the Spath’s charms is not and was not my fault, nor was all the abuse I encountered.

I think it’ll still take time for me to heal and realise that no none of this terrible stuff was my fault, but by reading this, it has really helped me towards that healing. Thank-you so much for posting this.

(((Miranda))),
It isn’t your fault you are human. It IS your responsibility to do your best to protect your human self. Seeing a counselor and recognizing the pattern you’ve been in, are two good first steps.

So many people on here I want to address. One at a time.

1. Mel: I am pretty pessimistic right because I am fresh away from the spath and he’s heavily stalking me, BUT when you write you are so full of optimism. It almost doesn’t matter what you’re saying sometimes. I just read your words and think, “Wow, this woman was probably feeling like I do now, and look where she ended up. Is that optimism? I forgot what THAT feels like.” But it’s returning ever-so-slighly each day. Thanks for your articles Mel.

2. Blankspot: Welcome! I was lurking for awhile before I started speaking up. Part of the trauma, I think, is this need to fully scope the place out before making ourselves known.

3. Bluejay: I can totally relate. I remember the first time I just looked at him and thought OH MY am I mistaken here? He isn’t superman. I think I might actually being dealing with an immature, selfish, evil, baby. Ewe. Then I tried to shake it off, wipe out that thought, and get back to adoring him aka get back under the spell and denial.

4. Survivorlady: Your kids and you are all able to validate each other, which is a good thing, I think. At least when he does/did something messed up, you could all look at each other and say, “Did you just notice what I just noticed?” The fact that they won’t speak to him tells you right there that you’re not crazy in your feelings about him either. Your story about him hugging your daughter and crying…that just gave me the creeps. Mine did super obvious stuff like that, now that I am looking back. For example, I am a major animal fanatic, like I love them more than people hehe, and he knew this about me, so he would make a huge point about every animal we saw. He’d made sure to make a show out of loving it. It always seemed so overkill, and now I know why. I totally know what you were thinking that day!!! I had the same thought.

5. and MIRANDA: I hope you read this dear. I keep going back and forth from thinking he’s a demon to thinking I caused this too. I came to an understanding today though. I didn’t CAUSE it and it wasn’t my FAULT, but I didn’t STOP it well enough. No, I don’t mean we should beat ourselves up about it. What I mean is that we need to take a look at ourselves and figure out why we were targeted, what it is about us that draws them to us, and then figure out why we let them in. I know it’s a horrible thought to think, hmmm, don’t let anyone in from now on. Well, why not? We don’t have to let anyone in who hasn’t demonstrated that they have the right to be there. I think Mel hits the nail on the head with this part when she explains why we aren’t able to understand their nature: because that nature didn’t exist within ME. <— That's Mel's. So we need to learn what nature DOES exist within us and learn how to protect ourselves. Today and yesterday, I did a review of my exes. I am sure that I dated 4 spaths and all but one of my exes that weren't spaths had a load of spath traits. This revelation shocked me, because it did actually mean there was something ABOUT me, not something wrong or to blame, but there was something about me that either attracted me to them or them to me. I'm determined to get to the bottom of it. I don't think it means I am bad, but there might be a belief system going on in my head that opens me up to attacks. Like, am I PC with no anti-virus program, or what? Yeah, something here is off, but just because they CAN hurt us for whatever reason doesn't mean it is our fault when these people make the decision to act on that opportunity. For example, you could kill a cat pretty easily, right? You're bigger, etc. So, we are the cats in this situation. They basically have the tools to kill us. But if they act on that, that makes them cat-killers and it's not the cats fault that a sadist came along. However, cats, if you notice, have superb stealth skills, they’re a bit skittish, and they don't run up to people like dogs with their tails wagging. They know they are cats. They know there are those out there that could hurt them.

Oh, this comment is getting too long. Lemmie just stop rambling before I write a book.

I'm going back to my movie now 🙂

one/joy_step_at_a_time

panther – there is a good line in an Adele song, ‘ i swam in dirty waters, but you pushed me in.’

We are not to blame, and I will go as far as saying, nor even responsible for getting ourselves in trouble – when you don’t know what a spath is, how to tell?

panther – thanks so much for that. It absolutely fits with what I’ve been saying to my counsellor. I feel I’m in a position now, with the experience of Spaths that I have, where I can spot the signs better and keep my distance and ‘protect myself’ so that I can’t let anyone with those traits into my life and thus get screwed over again.

HOWEVER, what has been upsetting me so much is that I can look back and see that there was a pattern – that I seemed to “attract” these people but I have only ever just been me. I saw ‘good things’ in these people and they were just totally taking me for a ride and screwing me over the entire time and I didn’t see it until it was too late, every time. so I have been haunted by thoughts of ‘what was it about me that attracted not one, but several, horrible people to me and caused them to screw me over?’

From reading this article I think now that I didn’t do anything wrong – at least, I’m starting to move towards that mindset. But like you panther, I am trying to work out what it was that attracted these people to me in the first place. My counsellor has said that from everything I’ve told him, he views me as an inherently good and moral person and that I didn’t do anything wrong and most certainly didn’t deserve everything that happened to me – but I do wonder can Spaths see that ‘good’ in us and know that they can exploit it? And if so, is there any way of protecting ourselves? I don’t want to change who I am, I think I’m a good person, but if it makes me ‘safer’ then maybe it would be helpful?

Panther-I love your comment to Miranda about cats. Wow!!

Miranda-Maybe we don’t have to change who we are, maybe we just have to protect ourselves. Even if we do run up to everyone we meet wagging our tails, maybe we just need to remember we have teeth and it’s ok to nip and back people off if they pull our tail. Does the real you say it’s ok if someone pulls your tail?

Miranda,
I think they look for people who want to help others. Remember Ted Bundy used to work the pity ploy with a cast and crutches, so that girls would carry his books and he would hit them over the head with the crutches.

This is an excellent metaphor for what all spaths do.

raed from top to bottom of this page, Its very hard to come to terms that why, the charmer, the person that was nice to us in everyway, is just a user, abuser, manipulise, and at times dam right dangerous, they are a spath a montster. And we are all left with coming to terms with why? what did I do? how could a person ever treat another person like this. I think we are left with still the love we had in are hearts for them, but maybe its not love, its just you got used to being with a loving lier, and your lonely, with all the hurt to come to trems with, I wasnt to blame, the manipulising was so they could get any thing from you, stay with you because you kept them, they use are love, to screw you everyway possable. get ontop of it all, and tell yourself your proud of yourself, cos if you can get him out your life, your happyness will slowly come back. you will cry now and again, its not love your felling, its the pain of what he did, remember that. I have to, I think it will take along time before Im totally over it all. love to all you beautiful woman, we desarve only the best, if there is ever going to be another man.

Oh, wow, I have to comment on this article.

Going through all of them, I can say Mel Carnegies have been so helpful in my journey to recovery. This one in particular was PROFOUND. I get excited when I read something profound.

….”the good things we saw in the sociopath was a reflection of US”. How insightful and healing! I have been thoroughly confused about that very point, why was he (rarely) good to me, just enough to keep me bound? I couldn’t find a satisfactory explanation until now. I can BELIEVE this reason because it is the truth.

When the ex spath hung around other losers, he was a bastard, a loathsome, cruel subhuman. When he was around me for a while I’d start seeing glimirs of kindness.

Thank you, Mel, for helping me take some big steps forward.

Mel,

Thank you for these comforting thoughts.

Speaking of mirrors, I told numerous friends and family: “it’s as if he’s the male version of me!” referring to how effortlessly we got on and all that we shared in common: interests, values etc.

He felt so familiar, as if I had known him all my life; I thought we were two peas in a pod. His sudden change in behavior was so perplexing — frightening, actually, in hindsight.

A very good article, Mel! Thank you.

I came to this conclusion myself the other day BEFORE I read your article. But I questioned myself. Could it possibly be true, that when he was holding the mirror up to me and hiding his evil self behind it, that what I saw and FELL IN LOVE WITH, was myself? My true self. How conceited was that?! I always had such a problem with self-love and of course, no problem with self-loathing (not a trait he shared with me! He thought he was swell exactly the way he was!!) But was it possible that when he was rarely showing me goodness and kindness, it was simply reflecting me and who I was? And I mistook it as coming from him. Why, that must make me a loveable person! Talk about a new concept!

To finally even consider the fact that I am a loveable person, with attributes and talents that HE wanted, but didn’t have and never could have, well, that is mind-blowing! Was I the good, kind, loving person in that relationship and he, in fact, was evil personified (as I found out later)? I used to call him the most amazing person I had ever met…but what if, I AM the most amazing person I’ve ever met, because he was simply mirroring me, showing me who I really was? And now, what if he’s gone and all that pain, trauma and drama with him, and I am left with only me? I USED to think it was a bad thing, a terrible lonely thing when we ended it, even though I had to get out. I kept thinking about that saying, “no matter where you go, there you are!” And finally I can say, “Thank goodness for that! Thank goodness I still have me, perhaps the most amazing person I have ever met!”

So thank you, Mel, for validating this new & interesting concept for me. It is a novel way of considering my situation. Hopefully, I’ll get used to it. According to Jesus, there are only two great commandments:

Love God with your whole body, mind, soul and heart. AND love your neighbor as yourself. Think I’ll give it a try.

PS He took the mirror with him when he left, but WHAT he was mirroring is still here with me, with all of us. He couldn’t take that and he never will be able to. Those abilities belong to us, they are us, and thank God we’re still here.

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