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Lessons after the sociopath: Real love is easy

In posts to this blog, and in e-mails that I receive, many Lovefraud readers wonder, after the devastation of a sociopath, if they can love again.

Yes, you can.

I am living proof. In February 2000, I was divorced from James Montgomery, who took a quarter of a million dollars from me, cheated throughout our brief two-and-a-half year relationship, had a child with another woman while married to me, and then married that woman 10 days after I left him, committing bigamy. I was devastated.

After I left Montgomery, I had one nice relationship with a man, although it didn’t turn out to be permanent. He was normal, not disordered, and supportive of me. I was sad when the relationship ended, but it was a step along my path towards healing.

Then, in April 2001, I met Terry Kelly. We married in 2005. We are totally happy and in love. Here is something that I’ve learned from my new marriage: Real love is easy.

Signs of real love

In real love, there are no mind games. There is no manipulation. There are no guilt-producing accusations like, “Don’t you trust me?” or “Who are you sleeping with?” There is no pleading to be forgiven, no promises to never do it again, because there are no violations of trust that require forgiveness.

I do not wonder if my husband really loves me, because I know he does. I can feel it.

Here’s what you get in a true, loving relationship: Enjoyment of each other’s company. Honest caring for each other. Consideration of each other’s feelings. Real partnership—not a one-sided deal, with you as the giver and the other as the taker.

Sure, there problems that need to be solved. Guess what? Issues are resolved and life goes on. There is no drama.

I will say this—after the disaster of a marriage to a sociopath, I am highly appreciative of my new husband. He, too, was previously married, and although his ex wasn’t malicious, the relationship had become empty. So we both appreciate each other. In fact, we find joy in each other.

Making the transition

So how does this happen? How do you make the transition from wounded victim to a whole person ready for love?

As I’ve written before, I believe your emotional pain needs to be processed. When my heart was broken, it allowed all the trauma from my bad marriage, and all the pent-up pain from other disappointments in my life, to be released. Slowly, over time, it came flowing out, through tears, yelling, screaming and punching pillows.

You don’t want to inflict this display on other people—my releases were witnessed only by my therapist and my dog. And they really upset the dog.

The emotional release takes time, because we all have many layers of pain. But as the negative energy dissipates, there is room in your being for something else. That something else is love.

So if you’re in recovery after a run-in with a sociopath, give yourself time and permission to heal. Trust that you’ve learned the red flags of personality disorders, and by listening to your instincts, you won’t be deceived again. Believe that love is possible, and someday, it will find you.


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78 Comments on "Lessons after the sociopath: Real love is easy"

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Awww…..you look so beautiful and happy in that picture as does your husband.

I believe that as I am a caring, loving woman that the possibility of finding a man who is also caring & loving is more than likely. As long as I rely on my beloved intuition, my renewed self-respect, my erected boundaries and my valuable knowledge regarding predators and their nasty machinations I can and will find a good, decent, normal man who truly cares for me. The law of probability is in my favor. And one thing I am is stubborn. I absolutely refuse to allow bitterness and fear to take permanent residence in my heart. Uh-Uh…No way, jose!

Thank you for sharing your lovely wedding picture and your inspiring thoughts with LoveFraud. Greatly appreciated!

Nothing to say apart from to second that – you both look great. Beautiful photo. Lovely, elegant dress too!

A picture’s worth a thousand words. This picture really gives me hope. Thanks!

Dear Donna,

Yea, you are so right! REAL love isn’t painful.

My husband was not handsome like yours is, but he was so charming that women from 6 to 96 fell “in love” with him almost instantly, but never did I ever wonder when he was traveling on business who he was with–because if he wasn’t working he was on the phone with me. There was never a night that we spent apart that we didn’t talk on the phone for an hour or more, usually more, because each detail of our day was important to the other, and we discussed almost anything from politics to mechanics.

We each had our interests the other didn’t share, but even then we talked about them to each other.

We disagreed, but like you said “there was no drama” and no “meanness.”

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photo, and congratulations on finding the “real thing”—if anyone in the world deserves it, YOU and your handsome man DO!

Beautiful…..simply beautful…

Donna,

Thanks so much for sharing this. I need a little hope.

I was dating someone but it didn’t work out. In retrospect, we just weren’t clicking at all and I was being very paranoid. He was keeping things so casual and he didn’t understand all the things that were getting stirred up in me.

I really would like to meet someone. It has been almost 3 years since I left the Bad Man. I am still working on stablinzing the details of my life. And I am closing in on the debts I accrued in Hawaii. I can’t wait to put that behind me forever.

Anyway, thanks so much for sharing. I love the happy look on your face and the way your husband is looking at you. How sweet! I hope this happens for me sooner than later. I have waited a long time.

:o)
Aloha

alohatraveler….

I believe that as long as you keep your dream alive.. and be expectant, it will come to pass. If you are spiritual, then by all means give this to God above and let him work those details out as far as finding someone. He picks much better then us…. smiles… Be easy on yourself, get your ducks in order, and when it’s the right time….it will happen. You have worked so hard and have come so far….be patient, be expectant, be discerning, and most of all.. take God’s love and forgiveness…and give yourself the gift of your own love….Others will be able to see that in you…Confidence, self assurance, wisdom, and love…. those are the things that will bring to you the man who is befitting of your beautiful, wonderful love.

~Rick

Thanks Southernman… I needed that. :o)

Dear Donna,

Good luck and the best to both you and your husband. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

I know for myself, the next relationship I should get involved with I will insist both of us will be reading God’s word via the Bible daily for about a half hour per day. God will ensure that we are on the right track through God’s love, not man made ego and man made illusions of what man/women thinks is right or wrong. I will also ensure the new man in my life reads Tolle’s “A New Earth” just to understand how the ego takes on a life of it’s own.

God Bless you Both

I, too, after a 32-year marriage to someone with a narcissistic personality disorder, have remarried. So I, also, know it is possible to have a REAL relationship after the devastation of living with a liar and a manipulator.

It took a couple of years of really intense therapy to work through what my ex had done to me but I determined that I would come out on the other side of that trauma without bitterness and without believing that all men were pigs, LOL. I, also, wept a LOT of tears and had to delve into a lot of my own issues, but it was well worth the pain of those months and months of therapy. When I met my husband, I was standing on my own two feet and in my own truth.

I cannot even begin to explain the difference between this marriage and the 32 years of living with the jerk. It is a marriage based on mutual love and acceptance. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect, he doesn’t expect me to make him happy, he doesn’t expect me to always be supportive and accepting. And I have no such expectations of him. We are two imperfect people who still find each other loveable and that was an amazing discovery for me. Living with a psychopath, you are not allowed to ever show any kind of imperfection so you live your life twisting and turning yourself into a pretzel in order to please and you NEVER achieve your goal – being loved just for yourself. That is because the issues are NOT in your unloveableness, but in the other person’s inability to love.

Honey

I needed that. I have been craving to hear a victory story. That we go through this and we can still live they cannot take that from us. I have gone through so much over the past 9 1/2 years in dealing with this man. We were divorced 41/2 years ago and that didn’t heal me right away. I needed the time and it is taking some doing on my end. But I am willing to do what needs to be done for me. My children and I are worth it today. Always were. I am so happy for you that you found true love. You are a ray of hope for us all and you were very responsible, noble in sharing thank you.

beauty, i have left her in december, my inside is more full, now im with another woman, yes..we all will be happy:)

you haveno idea how much your story is saving me. I got out fast and I know I am a lucky girl. the fact that he wanted to marry me so quickly was such a tip off. The only reason I didnt marry “the evil one” was the fact that the warrent out for his arrest got him before I walked down the isle. He is not the first sociopath ive loved. Your site is teaching me so much about real love and how I got trapped in the first place. Im so happy for you that you have good love now. I hope to heal and get healthy enough to have that someday. I seriously love all of us. We are beautiful souls who have been shown the truth. Thank you for the hope after the tears and anger.

1Co 13:13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love (NLT). Thank you for your inspiration, God’s blessings to you both!

Benz

Wow Free! You made me cry with just a few lines.

It was better for me to just let this man go and I had been thinking of asking him to not contact me anymore but he beat me to the punch. He sent an email that said, “Please don’t contact me. I am sorry things worked out this way.” Well, that did not feel good at all especially in the context of what “no contact” means to us here.. It means the person on the other end is nuts. I had to sit with that for a few days.

I started wondering, am I disordered? My lifelong friends assured me I am not.

But this man, right from the first time I met him, was akward. WE were akward together. Almost every interaction left me feeling somehow kind of rejected. Like he sounded bored on the phone so I would wait until he called me… then he would STILL sound bored and cut conversations short. He kept our dates really short too. I started to think “to hell with it” and just when I was forgetting about him, the late night text message would come “just checking in.” Checking in on what? I would classify this as the most non-relationship relationship I have ever had. His delight in me was underwhelming to say the least. Like there was nothing to bounce off of… Try flirting with a manequin. Not much coming back at you and you feel kind of silly, right?

So, in the context of Donna’s premise above… it was not easy being around this person. It wasn’t all that difficult either. It was just nothing. There was no energy there. Nothing at all. And I kept wondering constantly, “Is he boring? Or am I?” I certainly didn’t feel loved. I wasn’t even sure if he liked me.

Why didn’t I tell him that it wasn’t working out? It really wasn’t.

I don’t think there was anything disordered about him. I just think we weren’t a match but neither of us would say so.

I need to be willing to say “this isn’t working out for me” even when there is nothing new on the horizon. I need to have faith that someone will come along when I am ready.

That is probably my biggest struggle right now… having hope for that.

Anyway, thanks for the pep talk. I do appreaciate it!

Dear AloaT, I remember when you mentioned him before that you felt out of sync with him. You said he acted bored. Well, my ex Narcissist wasnt like that at first, he lovebombed me then he was exactly like that – putting no energy into the relationship and being bored with anything to do with me, that is narcissistic behaviour. I know that the ending of any relationship can be uncomfortable, but look at it Aloa that you gave clear NO GO signals to someone who was not right for you. Sometimes, when we say NO to what is unsuitable, this opens the door for our YES. You know in your heart of hearts that you deserve at the very least, someone who is interested in you for you.

im just wondering if anyone has ever felt like this?

after i dicovered another lie by my sociopath, it just felt like oh im used to this, same shit again. it doest even hurt anymore bc im so used to the lies and the cycle. i think im hurt under all this pain, but i cant find it. once i found out the truth it all made since. and all the lies finally added up in my head, like ever thing i suspected came to light. since i finally said i had enought of you lying to me and cheating on me and left him, i really havent cryed. i feel sad, but also feel like im just used to him hurting me like this.

Blondie,

I have felt:
Anger
RAge
confusion
sadness
alone
lonely
betrayed
afraid
terrorized
depression’
resigned
acceptence
rebellion
vengeful
contrite
repentent
duped
dumb
stupid
embarassed
shameful
unloved
unloveable

and probably some more that I can’t even remember right now, but it sounds like you just feel numb—and maybe that’s part of it. I guess just “resigned” and “numb”—maybe those are the feelings—it really IS hard to describe feelings isn’t it?

But, maybe after a while, you do “get used to” being hurt, but I don’t think that makes it hurt any less.

For now, don’t worry about what you feel, just take care of yourself, you’ll get to “try out” all the other feelings in the world as you bounce around through the healing, but they are all toward getting better, getting back on your feet and LOVING YOURSELF AGAIN. (((HUGS))))

Aloha T,
Another reason why this site is great. Everybody mentions something I can relate too, and it helps each other knowing that we aren’t alone. I thought it was strange that I always did all the talking. He would call – I’d tell about my day – there was silence on his part – it was like pulling teeth to find out anything from him – and then the conversation was over. I would get off the phone and wonder what just happened. Same thing when we were together. I thought how strange to be with someone who claims to love you, but never wants to touch you. I too felt like a manaquin. At the end I told him I felt like one of those women in a porno movie – just a body being used. Little did I know then, how right I really was. All the mysteries have been solved and it is a great feeling to know that I was NOT off my rocker, and yes something very strange, and wrong, was going on. It now has a name, Sociopath! I am still a healing work in progress. We will get through this!!

I, too, felt like I was having a conversation with a window dummy. It was. Minus the window. The man I met who I truly believed was going to provide a real life for me and my children, turned out to be just what you describe. I wondered what is wrong with this picture? I would ask him about something, and all I’d get for my effort was a vague answer or just a shrug. This man paid so much attention to me at first that I knew it had to be real.

Then his mask kept slipping and I was avoiding facing the truth, because I was so afraid I was right. And I was. “To thine own self be true”. I realize now the reason he focused so intently on me at that time, is because I was so enamored by him and he ate that up, and spent the time away, figuring a way to get money out of me, which he did. There was no sex, but he knew I was attracted to him. When I told him I wanted my money back, he suggested we exchange sex for the money. I was floored. I’ve since found out that that is his modus operandi. I was just a chump he could use to play out his sick mind games, because I was so naive and vulnerable I didn’t see through. I would end up apologizing for something he did. Because we only saw each other as friends, I didn’t see the real him. I only saw him in one setting, but soon looked behind the scenes and found what I wished I had to begin with. I was spared the whole routine of going with him, marrying him, to only divorce him, like all the others. Boy I was a chump. But I lived and learned, and found out he’s the one with the problem. He has to live with himself. His looks are leaving, but I think with men like that, some women don’t care. He still has the gift of charm to manipulate.

Apt/Mgr

What is it about charm that is so magical? I can’t put my finger on it and, indeed, it may be indefinable. I would just love to unlock that mystery.

Any guesses anybody?

Look at some of the big stars. Hugh Hefner comes to mind. They grow old, still have money and charm, and the girls swarm around them. I wish I knew too. Is it their stature, voice, the way they dress? I don’t know. I know that it’s been harder to break away from a measly friendship with this knight-mare, than from my marriage, that lasted the most of my life, so far. The use their assets for all the wrong reasons and really don’t care if they get rejected, because they know there’s another around the corner just waiting for someone like him. They couldn’t care less if they were loved, because they know they can get that anywhere. They know how to make a woman fall in love, but they, themselves don’t need it. They just need the thrill of knowing another bit the dust.

What makes me sick inside, is that I was so weak and vulnerable. This man could never have even formed a friendship with me, had my husband wanted me. In my work, since ’91, I’ve met hundreds of men looking for an apartment and he was the only one who turned my head. I want to rant and rave at God and say why me? Why couldn’t I have had someone who knew how to do life and didn’t play such stupid games. It’s like to them the only way to prevent boredom was to play mind games. Once the woman caught on, they grew bored and had to find their next victim. The older ones seek out the younger thinking they haven’t been around and learned the ways yet. I wish the word could get out. But these men have such a way about them, they could convince anyone they are sincere.

As bad as my marriage was, I think I could say this friendship is one thing I regret. I regret that I was so blind-sided and allowed him free reign with my feelings and money. I think that’s what frustrates me most days. I want to take it all back and redo and know, of course I can’t. There’s just that evil in me that would like to see him humbled somehow.

All in all, it just disappoints me there are so few real men that I’ve met. Maybe some are, but they just don’t appeal to me. I still have my standards and teeth are one of them! But life keeps on keeping on.

Yes, I think teeth are good 🙂

eyesopened,

The charm is… charming. Like Shirley Temple. You just can’t help but like her.

A friend once told me, “The way we feel about someone is directly related to the way they make us feel about ourselves.”

When someone is doing their charm act, they make you feel like you are the most delightful, interesting, adorable, sexy, blah blah blah, person that ever lived. Once they get you batting your eye lashes and believing it.. even if it is just for a moment, they don’t have to charm you anymore. Then… they pull the rug out from under you and you will do anything to feel that way… ABOUT YOURSELF… again.

That is why being with a Sociopath or any pathological partner of these sorts leads us back to ourselves. How they made us feel, points exactly at the sore spot in our being.

I know this and yet I STILL look for a man that will make me feel better about myself. This last man made me feel like a pile of crap every time we interacted because he seemed SO UNINTERESTED IN ME. I kept trying to be my sweet, interesting, kind hearted, blah blah self but no matter what… it was flat line city.

I don’t want to write a bunch about this man but he is not disordered. I am sure of this. And I know he felt confused about my questioning his motives and wondering out loud if I was being toyed with. I think that is why he called it quits. The problem for me was the silence.. the more silence the more I start filling in the gaps with crap. And my thoughts were running amuck. He said, “Whether I call you or don’t call you, I just can’t win.” If he didn’t call, I felt abandond and if he did call and sound bored out his mind, I felt rejected. But I continued to try and bounce off of nothing. We made a mistake. We should have just met for coffee once and admitted there was nothing there for either of us and left it at that.

But, I didn’t and he didn’t and so we dragged out the most boring “relationship” until we were both pondering saying something like.. let’s just pretend this never happened. As I said before, he said it before I did.

This was just more of my lesson until I get it….

I am nice , kind hearted, a good gal, fun, a “quality woman” and blah blah… even if everyone doesn’t think so.

Back to the salt mines for me… I still have work to do.

Somehow, I think there must be something more intoxicating, more ethereal to charm than just making us feel special…sort of like fairy dust that they sprinkle on us. I wish I knew what the mysterious ingredients are.

There are lots of people who make me feel special and interesting, but the one who bewitched me, captivated …and captured….me.

All of a sudden, the Prince Charming of fairy tales, doesn’t seem so innocent.

I don’t think there is anything magical about it once you understand it.

The Bad Man used to be a Minister. When we would go to a religious event, he explained that there was a formula to getting people to come down to the alter… the alter call. Some people call it the holy spirit.. the Bad Man told me you learn it in school to be a Minister.

Think about it. It’s like an infomercial. Don’t they make us want that thing so bad?! No fairy dust involved.

That, of course, is just my opinion.

Aloha, I have been reading through a book that’s kind of interesting.”Smart women, Foolish Choices, Finding the Right men and avoiding the worng ones” Dr. Cowan and Dr. Kinder,

It doesn’t specifically “name” psychopaths and Narcissists, but it does describe them, and how the SUCK US IN with their “plays” that are “by the book” on how to hook us, just like you said your Bad Man would suck in people in the audience with his “sales pitch” for Jesus.

All salesmen have ways to make us WANT the product they are selling. They play to our wants, needs, emotions, desires, etc. The Dale Carnigae course “How to Win Friends and Influence People” which is an OLD sales technique is a great tool to use to learn how to persuade people to do what YOU want them to—buy their product or climb into bed with them.

The book also talks about how we find the “bad boy” image more alluring because we get a “thrill” out of the WANTING and persuing love, more than the HAVING love. So the Ps play to this aspect of our own psyche and use it against us. They play the “you’re wonderful” card along with the “slightly distant card” and we are off chasing them like a Greyhound after the rabbit–then THEY CATCH US and the game changes!

There are so many aspects to our personalities, our lack of boundaries, our gullibility, our kindness and our caring natures, and factor in their predatory natures and it is just another case of PREDATOR and PREY. We are their natural prey and they are our natural predators unless we get lucky and just happen to miss them as we skip along in life.

Of course some of them are “slicker” at it than others, and some more ruthless than others, but the bottom line is that they are ALL predators, and because we are NOT predators, not killers, WE ARE PREY. True, we may fight back, a cow is a prey animal, but she may fight like hades when she is cornered, and sometime she may get lucky and gore or kick the predator and injure or kill him, but she will never be a predator, she will always be only on the DEFENSIVE to defend herself, her calf and her herd from the predator.

I won’t say that given the right circumstances I wouldn’t kill to protect myself, I am 99.9% sure I would, but I am NOT a predator any more than the cow is. I won’t go out stalking the Ps, I won’t seek them out to kill them any more than the cow would stalk the wolf. The rabbit isn’t capable of killing the fox or the wolf, or even the cat, it’s only defense is to run and hide from the predator. Some people aren’t capable of defending themselves, or wouldn’t defend themselves with deadly force even if they were cornered.

We have all been in a “fight” with the predators and we have been wounded to one degree or another, but we are healing, and one of the very best things about the encounters is that we will NEVER forget the lessons we have learned. We will be wary and cautious and more aware, we will not negate our own gut senses that there is a predator in the area, and we will disengage with them before they have a chance to snare us again. We are MUCH WISER NOW, and we know that we don’t ever want to be in the clutches of a predator again!

i love this blog. this is exactly what i was just asking to hear. thank you very much, donna.

Dear OxDrover,
It’s funny you should mention the Dale Carnegie course. The ex-friend I’ve mentioned, wanted me to read those courses. He thought I was approaching life in a negative manner. I realize now that he uses other people’s ways to approach life and not something within him. I told him I’m a very positive person who’s been slapped with so much negative and I’ve spent the most of my life trying to turn a negative into a positive. He likes to think and will expound on his virtues of positiveness, when he’s the one who plays mind games, is rude, arrogant, obnoxious, curt, abrupt, etc. He thinks he’s right all the time. At one time he accused me of always wanting to be right. I said I’d just like to be right once.

I don’t know what all he learned from those courses, but I handed him back his books. If they taught me what they taught him, no thanks. I’ve always believed God is the purveyor of the positive and if I would follow his precepts for living, I could do the norm. That works for me, but not as far as relating to others. I’ve been handed a truck load of negative actions. I told this friend for every action there is a reaction and if he doesn’t like the way I react, then he needed to change his action. You don’t treat another person like a non-entity to get anywhere. But he is a classic manipulator and he knows all the moves. They worked on me for a spell, but suddenly the light dawned and I saw first hand what I suspected.

As sad as it is, we really do need to constantly be on the alert. There is someone out here who wants to rob us of our joy. I see a common thread of all who write here and that is a keen sense of humor. Proverbs talks of a merry heart as good medicine. Once we get past the initial hurt, to survive, I think we need to laugh in the face of this evil that pervaded our space. I see that here. Once the dust settled, we can see how we’ve been taken, and we turn it around and use it as an object lesson. I’ve been asked if I hate the ones who tried to break me. I said no way. I don’t hate them. I can hate what they did to me, but maybe they are the ones who are counted in the crowd when Christ asked God to forgive them since they didn’t know what they were doing. They still walk in darkness, doing the deeds of the dark. Someday, hopefully, they will be exposed and finally realize the extent of the damage they caused to lots of hearts. And then again, maybe not.

Aloha,

Humans are gregarious (herd) animals. I have noticed that even with my cows, each one has a “favorite” friend, and prefers her own offspring, even her adult offspring, to others.

If a cow is deprived of her favorites or her offspring she will “become friends” with just ANY cow (as long as that cow is not abusive and they generally aren’t)

I notice with myself sometimes if I am feeling the need for human interaction, I will start down a list of preferred people, and if they are not available I may get down to the “bottom” of the list of people that are “Okay” but not my “preferred” company, just to be with another human.

I am needing that less and less, though, as I am becoming more comfortable in my OWN SKIN and my own company. I’m not as needy for “just any human”—and of course there are those Ps that I would rather be in solitary confinement for the rest of my life than even see their ugly faces. LOL Looking back at them now it is so difficult for me to remember why I CRAVED their company, felt I could’t live without it, that they FILLED my life–yea, with pain!

I look back at the cow, long gone, named Gina that was a dominant cow, larger than the others, and she was ABUSIVE with her dominance, which cows usually aren’t. She would take her long horns and painfully hook another cow just for the heck of it, just to hurt it for no “reason” that any one could see, it wasn’t about dominance for feed or space, she would go out of her way to hook another cow just because she couldl.

Eventually 3 of the other cows ganged up on her and whipped her to a fair-thee-well, I thought they might kill her, but after that she was the OUTCAST of the herd, having no friends to groom her, and the only other animal in the herd that would associate with her (except the bull of course and then only when she was in heat) were her own offspring. It was actually pitiful to see her play with her calf like a “friend”—to watch her lie out to the side of the herd when everyone else was contentedly lying in the shade chewing their cuds and doing whatever cows do when they congregate like that in contentment.

All but one of her calves was aggressive with humans, and I still have that beautiful sweet baby who is now a beautiful magnificant cow that is very social to other cows and to people as well.

I think the Ps will eventually do the same thing with their lives, they will abuse others until some day, some way, they lose it ALL and they are alone not only with no one to love them but no one that they can abuse either. How pitiful is a P without a victim! LOL They are LOST and don’t know what to do with themselves.

Oxy, it’s instinct. And I gotta say, when you throw in the ability to reason that humans have, sometimes the animals have the advantage (pointing the finger at myself too). My dog didn’t even like him, I should have taken her cue.

They’ll find someone to feed off of, they’re just like buzzards.

Benz

Dear Donna, Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful photo. I would like to express my appreciation for your great work, creating this site, educating the public, and giving us a hope for the future.

HoneyBearII, your story is so inspiring. My mother has been married to my narcissistic father for 40+ years, but she has no clue about this disorder. When I told her about it, she accused me of labeling my own father as a disordered person. I do not think she would admit it. I wish she had courage to leave my father at some point of her life.

When we had courage to face the reality and we are determined to heal and grow, a miracle happen, I think.

As for love, now I have a different kind of love. A puppy came to my place two months ago. Since then, I am in love with her. This is not a fake. She helped my recovery tremendously. I just did not have time to think about my ex p at all. She somehow liked to pee and poop (sorry!) on an expensive wool rug my ex p left in my place. I could not throw it away, because it was too nice. But she completely trashed it!! So it is gone now, out of my sight, thanks to my puppy!!

I have been having bad days lately because I realized that I now have some health problems due to emotional distress.

However, for the first time in my life, I feel content. I do not need anyone to make me happy.

Dear Chaos,

YOur puppy KNOWS! GOOD FOR HER! She knows instinctively where to put the stuff! Right on anything that belonged to HIM! Good dog, give her a bone for me!!! LOL

Yea, Benz, I think sometimes animals do have the advantage over our “superior” minds! LOL It is interesting to me though to see the generational interactions between the animals and their offspring-2-3-4 generations down the road and to see the “family traits” that are passed on from mother to baby. Even if the babies are half sibs (as they usually are since I only kept one bull) you can see the mother’s influence on the calf and when you go to halter break them, they are very much like their mother’s were at that age, some very gentle and some that will kick at you for what seems like “forever”–some you “kickk back” and some you just ignore the kick and pretend it didn’t happen.

When I moved back here after being gone for years and years, I could see a kid that Iknew I couldn’t possibly know, but I could tell by how he acted, and his facial features which local “family” he belonged to. The actions and face might not be the same as the last name because it was his mother’s family he resembled, but I could pick out the different “families” by the offspring even though I had been gone for 30 plus years and maybe I didn’t even know the parents, just the grandparents.

The families we called “trash” then are still pretty much the same today, drinking, drugging, beating their wives, stealing, etc. or “solid citizens”—the funny thing though is that many of the people you would EXPECT to be trash are not–they are poor, uneducated, not really bright, but they are the rock solid people that are GOOD people and some of the more well-to-do people are the ones that are still TRASH, and unfortunately there are those like my family that APPEAR on the surface to be “upstanding folks” and in actual fact, are anything BUT “upstanding.” They just MASK IT.

Most of the time in a community like this you can know who is who witout a score card, but there are those folks that are TOXIC like my mother, who reserve their venom for the SELECT FEW closest to them…deliberately hiding their fangs behind the benign face they show to the public.

I had no problem finally in acccepting that my P-son is a monster, just like my P-bio-father, but I bought the MASK as the person of my mother even though I had SEEN the fangs. Now I know that the FANGS are the REAL person and the benign “saintly woman” is the MASK. That was really hard to accept about one’s mother, more so than about one’s child even. Acknowledging just how twisted and dysfunctional my upbringing was (though I did have a wonderful step father) is almost like denying my entire life’s ideas of “truth” and starting over from scratch.

Yet, at the same time, my whole life I have somehow felt inside my gut that “something wasn’t right”—and then my mother would tell me that I had the wrong “truth” and I would try again to twist my own reality to fit hers, without a lot of success. Now that I am out of the FOG, though, I can SEE that I was “right all along” there was something very “rotten in Denmark.” (EnnLondon, I don’t know where that phrase came from either. LOL)

Now all I have to do is clean up the mess and move on. I’m getting there, but there are still a few emotional pot holes on the road. LOL

OXY THAT IS A VERY GOOD POST. I have been living with and surrounded by predator’s my whole life. It took this latest bout with evil, to open my eye’s and become aware that they are what they are. They feed off of our soul’s because they don’t have one. They break your spirit, they turn off the bright light. They do this for a reason. They take and take and take and never give anything back, when you are broken down and of no use to even yourself, they flee…Yes I realize I am a target, but thanks to this website (thank you Donna) and me educating myself on personality disorder’s will save me from ever doing this again. I am finding my spirit, I am looking forward to tomorrow again.

Dear Henry, When we piece the PsNsSs in the context of our lives, and hold that up as a barometer against our other relationships, we realise where we were in the dark, so to speak. I realise how naieve I really was. I was telling a friend last night, about some of his childish antics, before I finished the sentence she gave the diagnosis ‘he was rubbing your nose in it and getting off on it’. True, but at the time I did not see that at all, because I dont play mind games. The one great thing the experience taught me, is how much I have been manipulated by other people in the most subtle ways. Like you, Henry, I am much more switched on these days. Thanks you for your words of support.

Dear OxyD. I have lived in lots of different places, and wealth and status do not guarantee the quality of the persona. I lived in a well to do area, where when people get angry, they do it so politely, usually throw the weight of their connections behind their threats. Im going off camping for a few days on ‘no mans land’ – and thank you so much OxyD for your support. (((hugs))) and God bless.

Oxy,

Not to sound like a literary snob, cause I’m not, but the quote..”Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”..is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Kathy, (rest in peace, love. We miss you so much) was constantly quoting Hamlet in her posts. Hamlet was dealing with some troubling situations in his life, as his stepfather murdered his beloved father and was now sleeping with his mother, the Queen. His stepfather was the classic manipulative, cunning, covetous psychopath and Hamlet was torn between whether to kill the man outright or to wait until he acquired evidence to oust him to the kingdom, hence…”to be or not to be”…

I’m a big time lover of Shakespeare. Not only are his beautiful plays and sonnets timeless and can be continually performed even to suit “modern” times, but his birthday is the day before mine!…haha. How cool is that!

Bev, sweets, I so agree with you about rich people. Yeah, I’m not going to generalize, but the one’s I’ve met had this annoying, irritating sense of entitlement that drove me bonkers! So true that money can’t by class, honor, dignity, ethics, and all the other admirable qualities that make us exceptional human beings.

Have a blast hangin in nature, celebrating your serenity, peace, and love for yourself. You deserve it, you lovely woman! ****hug****

Dear JaneSmith. Well Ive packed up my car and will set off tomorrow morning. I will miss you JS, I will miss reading your posts and I will miss all the ‘gang’ here. When I read your posts JS, I have this ‘sense’ that you have a noble and articulate way of expression. (((Hugs and Love)))

Dear JaneSmith,

Thank you for reminding me where that came from! I love Hamlet! It is a great play! But with my CRS (Can’t remember Chit!) I have trouble remembering quotes from the Bible, quotes from many other places too.

I even have word finding difficulties, and almost stutter if I am under the least bit of stress with a conversation. My psychiatrist says it is from the PTSD from when my husband was killed here at our airport in an accident, and that the stress of all the other “events” over the past 4 years on top of that has added to it. I got so worried I had my therapist administer an IQ test cause I felt like I was really not able to depend on my brain any more. I scored where I always score, actually 1 point higher than I’ve ever scored—so my brain is working, it just doesn’t seem to be hooked up to my mouth—DUH! Boy that is a true one! ha ha Or, in this case, to my fingers.

Hey, Oxy, I forgot who said the phrase. I had to google the answer. It was a guard who saw the ghost of Hamlet’s father.

And I can be a right space cadet sometimes….haha. I’ll be chatting with someone, then deviate from my original thought, moving on to a newer, shinier thought, THEN ask the person..”umm..what was I talking about before?”. My mom’s the only one who can really understand my transient, mercurial speech as she does the same thing! I’m sure that we probably give others headaches trying to ascertain the twists and turns of our conversation.

Oh..and the stuttering? Ha! When I’m super angry that’s exactly what happens to me too! I’m like…”you….grrrr…just go away!” This is the time when I seriously need to distance myself from the offending party unless they wish to deal with the little tornado I become. Until I calm down I’m useless for a rational/logical discourse. All flailing arms and spitting like a cat…haha.

Bev,

You’re last post to me was so very thoughtful, so very kind a thing to say. Yes, I melted. Into a liquid puddle of gratitude. I sincerely treasure such high praise from a woman of your superb caliber, your phenomenal strength and perseverance, your loving and gentle heart. If you ever wish to visit the NorthWest US, you can stay at my pad as long as you’d like. Anytime. That’s a promise. **cheek smooch**

When I was studying the effects of stress when I was in college for my BS in nursing, I became very interested in this, and continued to read and learn more about the subject on my own. I became aware of the effects of stress in my life at various times under various circumstances—sometimes under my control, sometimes not.

Of course medical science has advanced a long way in the years since I first became aware of stress effects, so I have tried to keep up some with the advancements—someone said once though that “trying to learn and keep up with medical knowledge is like trying to drink from a fire hose, no matter how thirsty you are or how fast you swallow, most of it gets by you” and that is quite true.

After the trauma of my husband’s death, the effects of stress were more than I had ever EVER experienced. I couldn’t READ. I couldn’t write down a telephone number—It was so bad I had to write down numbers one number at a time, with each one told me separately, then I would write it, then the next number in the phone number.

Even 2 years later I could only do 5 or 6 forward and NONE backwards—this was a huge change, as a “parlor” trick I used to do was recite 100 numbers in a row read to me, and do them backwards, forwards or any combination there of, skipping numbers, or whatever was asked. I became so worried about my mental competency that I actually stressed myself more worrying!

I’ve always had a terrible time remembering names of people I knew a long time ago, My facial memory was perfect, but my name memory was terrible. Always was. My husband used to purposely and jokingly embarrass me when I would be talking to someone he knew I knew but knew I would NOT remember their name so he would approach and then say to me, “Oxy, introduce me to your friend.” After me threatening to cut off his toes if he ever did that to me again, knowing I didn’t know their name, he stopped his joking! ha ha but my lack of memory of names was the “family joke”–in fact once I forgot my mom’s name when I went to introduce her to someone whose name I DID remember.

But my total lack of recall –even episodes of amnesia for short periods of time–scared the heck out of me, but of course was the effects of the PTSD from the airplane crash. But yet, I expected to pull my husband out of that awful accident and keep my composure the same way I would have expected me to keep my composure if it had been a stranger that I was pulling out of a fiery crash.

My expectations of myself to “be logical” and to be “professional” and to be “Mr. Spock” and not have emotions, and for sure as heck NOT ADMIT IT IF I DID, even under the most traumatic of circumstances, I think made it all worse than it even had to be.

In the four years since my husband’s death, there have been further traumas, and then there was the X-BF-P episode and then the year long “P-experience” with my P-son and the Trojan Horse P trying to kill me, so all in all, though I still have some short-term and some longer-term memory problems, I am aware of these, more accepting of them being there, but at the same time, realizing that I am not A NUT CASE per se, and that I won’t let people use that memory deficit as a way to GASLIGHT ME. After I had mentioned that to my P-son in one of my letters to him, and told him how it bothered and concerned me, he used that “But mom, you just don’t remember such and such…” to gaslight me. He used it as “proof” to others that I had a BRAIN TUMOR…I’m soooo glad they let him attend medical school while he has been in prison, lo these many years! Talk about rehabilitation! LOL Reading that letter he wrote to my Mom and the ones he wrote to the Trojan Horse-P “Diagnosing” my BRAIN TUMOR as the ONLY possible explanation of why I had “suddenly turned on him” actually made me LAUGH OUT LOUD!

The Ps use our NORMAL stress-related deficits of good judgment and KEEP US STRESSED as a tactic in their MANIPULATION. We, on the other hand, may NOT be AWARE of our reactions being so “far out” because we ARE stressed. Knowing that you are stressed and reacting in a stressed way is not something that you can “self diagnose” easily UNDER STRESS. I KNEW I wasn’t “acting right” and my “memory” was poor, and YET I couldn’t DO the things I needed to do to GET AWAY from the very thing that was stressing me.

It was only in EXTREMIS of FEAR, when they pushed me to the point I did realize my VERY LIFE was in danger, that I actually did the REASONABLE thing and FLED. Even then it took several months for me to come to the conclusion that I NEEDED and MUST RUN or DIE.

I have always considered myself a “can do” person who can still function under trying conditions and do well, who is “tough” and doesn’t give up easily when confronted with obstacles, and those very qualities that make me a GREAT PERSON were the ones that were turned against me by their manipulations. My own expectations of “super human” strength and competency were part of my own down fall into the pits the Ps dug for me.

I see so much of myself in each of you, with your strengths and kindness which is twisted by the psychopaths to enable them to USE you more effectively, and for longer times. I could make a list of the good qualities I see in each of you that were TWISTED and molded into something to use AGAINST you.

This thread is SO RIGHT ON, because REAL LOVE is NOT PAINFUL. Looking back over my 40 years of friendship and 20 years of marriage to my husband–we had our differences in personality, ways of looking at some things, etc etc and we had some “lively debates” over these things, but I NEVER ONCE in all those 40 years thought for one moment that he didn’t have my best interests at heart, or that he was being deceptive, or mean. I KNEW HE LOVED ME. The highest compliment that I guess was ever paid to me was one of his employees who worked for him the last 3-4 years of his life said to me one time, “Do you have ANY IDEA how much that man loves you?” Considering that my husband was not one to bare his emotions to his employees or male friends, or even most female friends, I can sit here today and say totally and completely, that “Yes, I DID KNOW and DO KNOW how very much he loved me” because it was NEVER EVER PAINFUL, even in the midst of our most “lively debate” or when he, like most engineers, was being his most insensitive or obtuse, I still KNEW he loved me, and in the end even the most “lively of our debates” never came between us, we came to a consensus at some point. LOL

Help!!!

I want to go back soo bad to him. its killing me. im trying with ever ounce of my body to keep moving foward. this is so freaking hard. he knows exactly what to say to me, to keep me hook, i hate this shit. He sends me a message last night saying, i miss you here, the cats and i miss you here at night with us. GOOOOODDDDDD. I’m so sad today 🙁 I need to do something or talk to somebody before i make a bad choice. i just miss that feeling, i miss laying there next to him, but i know that it was never real. AHHHHHHH!!

Hi blondie

Just don’t. It’s so hard, but just don’t. This is the part of the journey where you know better now and you’ve come to a fork in the road where one path leads back to him and the other to freedom, sanity and peace.

It’s a test of your strength. You know what you need to do – are you going to cave in to someone who will use and reject you again or are you going to protect yourself?

Save yourself.

Hi Blondie,

We have all been there. You must go complete NO CONTACT for exactly the reasons you stated above:

“he knows exactly what to say to me, to keep me hook, i hate this shit. He sends me a message last night saying, i miss you here, the cats and i miss you here at night with us.”

How adorable… the cats miss you. I bet you love those cats. Don’t worry. The cats will be okay without you and so will he.

It has been close to three years since I left the Bad Man and it does get better.

I used to miss lying next to the Bad Man but what it means to me is not what it was. You know what I mean? At least in his sleep he wasn’t abusing and mentally torturing me. At night was when I could pretend everything was okay. But it wasn’t and it never would have been. I had enough evidence to know that was true.

These kinds of relationships lead to SELF DESTRUCTION.

Look at it this way… leaving this man behind is the only way you may ever make your dreams come true.

He is a fake.

Goo luck Blondie. Hang in there.

Good Morning Gang, It is raining here in oklahoma today. I was reading the old post about OPTICAL ILLUSIONS; AUTOSTEREOGRAMS and SOCIOPATH’s. Blondie I dont know how to tell you to get that post but man it has helped me so much this morning. The most profound senctence was this ( This is the purpose of frequent pity-ploy’s. It is emotionally impossibe to simultaneously PITY yet suspect deceit. Your mind can only do one or the other.) Read that it will help you understand your confusion. What I want to know is do sociopath’s do this knowing what they are doing and planning it out or do they do it instinctively like an animal?

Eyes opened let’s go to the movie this afternoon, my time is 4:30 can you make that time frame? I am going with you not anyone else so check your times and let me know…..When I went out to feed the cat this morning, I called her Miss PUSS……..she is as home here…..

she is (at) home here

The sadness and anxiousness is maddening. Counteract his seductiveness. Pray. Journal. Write a letter to him and never send. Write a letter to self. Write a letter to friend, sister about you and him, never send. Column what love is/ what love isn’t. Column what you want/don’t want in a relationship. Read love fraud entries–pay attention to NO CONTACT advice of entries. Read books, “Women Who Love Too Much”, “The Verbal Abuser”, “From Panic to Power” cry. Read spiritual books, “The 2nd Half of Life”, “Path to the Heart”, The Bible. Physically: get on your knees–speak to yourself/God kindly and imploringly, ask questions, cry out the questions. Listen carefully to the answers, you will hear them. They could be muddled w/ what you want to hear…listen & to the “…wisdom to know the difference”. Go for a walk, go to a class, a group, exercise. Drink water for cleansing & it does help “clear” the mind & body. Stay away from coffee, even though going for a latte is a good diversion–have something else instead, clear & cool (as you want your body & mind to feel. Align. Your sexual energies can entrap, as it sounds from your comment. They are strong, yet deceiving, short-lived, and further emesh you in a negative energy bind. The feelings of “laying next to him” are so dear, so filling of our need not to be lonely, alone, unwanted. My heart actually aches when I write these words. Detach. Pray. Don’t give your energy to your own lust. I found this the hardest as I’m so sexual–I thought of myself as professional, creative, healing, strong –not instead of sexual but in addition [& at this time, more important than]. These temptations could be your hardest struggle. Don’t resist, go THROUGH the struggle, your integrity, character, and spirituality will be stronger and blessed. I found myself often prostrate on the floor–it seemed to buy me some time, moments where I could stay on my path of NC and the right choice. Well, I’ll just write him an e-mail explaining my love for him, or no, I’ll text him something short & sweet, no, I’ll visit him, no, I’ll text him, what about: “Doesn’t commitment trump crisis?”, no, how about, “I’ll always love you”, no, let’s see, how about, “Love you still.” NO, DON’T! Give him the space & time. NO–give yourself the space and the time to sort, to think, to love yourself, to be yourself. Although, I hate reading about loving oneself; I am so imperfect. If you’re able to divert your attention to levity channels, do–I was never successful at this but it might work for you. For example, anything that can make you laugh–a movie, a funny book, a sit-com, etc. Remember love is spelled l-o-v-e not s-e-x. “Never real” doesn’t feel good as you’re experiencing, do you want to feel that way? A resounding “NO!” Should you feel that way? You deserve better, blondie. I am, truly praying & thinking about you. Be strong, be true to your TRUE feelings. Best of…everything and what works for you. You can be with yourself today and reap the comforts your struggle will uphold. To thine own self be true.

Henry

Great…I can go..and it’ll be close to that time. I’m thinking of getting a popcorn and coke. I’ll be thinking about you.

I liked your suggestion to Blondie above. It was so helpful because our feelings can cloud our thoughts and separating pity from suspicion.

It reminds me of a concept that Apt/Mgr or Bev once synthesized so clearly for me: “Never feel sorry for a man.” Once you “get” that, you keep your balance.

Henry – thanks for the update on Miss Puss. I hope she keeps that name…it’s sweet. See ya at the movies! Glad we’re going.

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