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By | December 6, 2007 95 Comments

LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: That was horrible, but the worst was yet to come

Editor’s note: How can one woman cope with cheating, abandonment, cruelty and worse? A Lovefraud reader has sent the following letter, and would appreciate your insight and advice.

I was the perfect victim for the man who has fathered two of my children, having just gotten out of a relationship with a previous sociopath (power and control was that guy’s motivation and he was cruel, vicious person behind closed doors). I was insecure, looking for a person with integrity and morals, and I still believed in the general goodness of mankind. The first sociopath hadn’t smashed my general outlook on life, though, and I was rising to the challenges I faced.

The second one has, though. He was the ultimate “Nice Guy” and relished his title. He proclaimed himself to be a “giver” and a “people-pleaser” and he certainly seemed that way. The way he told his story was that he had been victimized, as I had by my ex-hubby, by his ex-wife who was controlling and financially out-of-control. In fact, his life-story seemed to be eerily similar to mine and we seemed to have a lot in common. While I liked him as a friend, I wasn’t impressed by the fact that he had no actual skills, had been working as a food server since entering the workplace (he was in his mid-thirties when we met), didn’t know how to drive a standard vehicle and didn’t even have a driver’s licence, owned nothing of any value except what most college-age boys owned, had no savings, had horrible credit (his ex’s fault, of course) and seemed to have relatively little ambition to improving his lot in life. He never paid his bills on time and he had numerous debts that he ignored. I wasn’t interested in him as a potential partner.

Kind and warm

However, my family and friends loved him because of his nature. He was so kind and so warm to everybody that it had me wondering if maybe I was overlooking something more important than physical attraction and the usual prerequisites of success in a potential mate. He certainly wanted more from me than mere friendship. He worshipped the ground I walked on.

He pursued me for two whole years. It was a relentless pursuit with him shedding many tears at my refusal to become more than a friend. He was immensely kind to my very young son from my first relationship. Eventually I gave in and we were married within six months.

Children and change

We had two children within the two and a half year period we were married (he proclaimed he wanted children, as did I, and since I am no longer young, we needed them sooner as opposed later). Unfortunately, it was after the birth of our first child, a beautiful redheaded girl, that things changed. He was extremely displeased she was a redhead. He suddenly stopped being affectionate to me (previously, he practically smothered me to such a point that it was an annoyance). He made enough derogatory comments about the birthing process that I understood he was completely grossed out by it and me, too, by default. He didn’t want to be intimate more than once every couple of months so it was an absolute miracle our second child was conceived about nine months after the first was born. On the rare occasion we were intimate, it was over in less than thirty seconds. I felt like he had masturbated using my body, even before things with him ended. It was when I was six months pregnant that he began an affair with a co-worker who was married herself with three children of her own.

I didn’t know about the affair right away. All I know is that things got weird. He became hostile towards me and his stepson. He complained so much about all his “pressures” (passive-aggresively pointing to myself and particularly his stepson) that I recall at one point telling him it seemed like he hated his entire family. He suddenly wanted to sell our home (his name was not on the deed because of his abysmal credit rating so he didn’t qualify) and move closer to his workplace. I was three weeks away from giving birth when we moved. Yes, I was moving furniture and everything as well and even then he complained and grumbled the whole time. It was Christmas-time, too. He started making unsettling sexual comments about his then 18-month-old daughter.

With the sale of the house and the assets left over, he wanted to pay off all his sizable debts from before our marriage (student loans, personal debts to get out of his first marriage) rather than paying off debts we had accumulated jointly with home renovations of our first home (which were on my Line of Credit since he didn’t qualify for any). Fortunately, the bank forced my Line of Credit to be paid first before his as condition of getting a mortgage on the second house. Along the way, my good credit helped establish him enough that he was included on the deed for our second house. Not only that, because of the experience I shared with him in turning our basement into a self-contained suite (I taught him because I had been raised with a mother and father contractor), he was able to get a new job paying three times more as a Maintenance Supervisor at his job, instead of being a food server as before.

Name him Andrew

Three weeks after moving into the new home, our baby was born, a boy. We had long since settled on a name for him but a week before his birth, he wanted to change his name to Andrew. I didn’t know why and ultimately didn’t agree. Three weeks later I found out he was having an affair (and had been for the last six months), he moved out and never came back.

That was bad enough, realizing my life had changed dramatically. I was a single, unemployed mother of three children now. The father didn’t want to be bothered with them and had hardly any contact with them. He moved in with his mistress (apparently, her husband found out about two months before I did and as soon as I found out, she moved into an apartment by herself) within two weeks of our separation. I contacted her ex to find out what he knew and together we pieced together the ugly details, and we both concluded we’d chosen very poorly indeed. One of the things I found out about was that his mistress’s child’s name was Andrew. Imagine: he wanted to memorialize his affair by naming his newborn son after his mistress’s child. How sickening.

Refuses support

So my situation was this: I was on maternity leave from a job I couldn’t return to. (Maternity leave pays only 55% of my previous income of $24,000). His $40,000 income left with him. He refused to pay or share the mortgage on the house. He also refused to pay for any of our sizable family debt (his vehicle broke down four weeks before he left, requiring $5000 of repairs). He refused to pay child support consistently. He claimed he “couldn’t afford it” and also claimed to my face that he was “couch-surfing” (so he didn’t have to pay rent). He completely rejected any and all contact with his stepson, whom he’d known since a toddler five years before.

I wanted to keep the house because I could foster from it and also do daycare, keeping me at home with the kids and providing them with stability. At first he seemed to be cooperative although so lost in “new single guy who’s living it up” mode that he really wasn’t that interested in dealing with the loose ends (us) in general. I couldn’t figure out how he could have just dumped his whole entire life like it didn’t even exist, so easily and quickly. It was at this time I was able to get him to agree legally to a limited access schedule, though (by some miracle, in retrospect), and for that I’m eternally grateful.

So he went his way and I worked on going my own way. He was remarkably easy to get over and I did it quickly. I didn’t waste time “mourning” him. And that’s when the real troubles began. When I established “No Contact” (via phone, e-mail, and even going so far as to keeping myself hidden when he came for his limited access to the kids), he just went nuts.

Smear campaign

Suddenly, he refused to fairly negotiate any buyout of his share of the house with me. I had to accept his terms or he’d demand more. With two of his proposals (there were probably six), I did agree, and he STILL turned around, rescinded his previous demand and demanded more. Eventually he told me it benefited him to keep his name on the deed as long as possible. Later still, he told me he didn’t care how much it cost him, he just wanted me out of the house. He contacted my first ex-husband (the other sociopath) and started having pow-wows with him, which completely destroyed the fragile but stable co-parenting relationship I’d established with that guy and completely emotionally derailed my oldest son. He began broadcasting to everybody that I was having a “relationship” with his current girlfriend’s ex. He attempted to separate my own family and support network from me by outrageous bad-mouthing. He worked overtime to redeem himself and get back his “Nice Guy” reputation (which is hard to do considering he had an affair while his wife was pregnant) by accusing me of being cold, overbearing, controlling and unemotional. Lots of people bought this because he comes across as such a victim, and a warm one at that.

All that stuff, horrible as it is, is stuff I could have dealt with. The worst was yet to come.

Sexual molestation

Just days before Christmas last year, my young daughter – two and a half at the time – had a breakdown of sorts and revealed she’d been molested by her father. Since separation from her father, I’d noticed some red flags but nothing I could put my finger on. Certainly nothing I could specifically target her father on. But after a weekend visitation with her father just before Christmas, she had all the classic signs of abuse (although I didn’t know what they meant at the time): withholding bowel movements, complaining of stomach aches, obsessed with a boo-boo in her pee-pee, extremely emotional, sudden extreme nightmares. I didn’t know what to make of her behaviours and I was concerned. The coin dropped when she was told she was going back to visit her dad and she suddenly became terrified and screamed “poke me with a penis!” while viciously jabbing her finger into her crotch. She’s only a toddler but she’s been speaking clearly since she was ten months old (in short sentences, no less), so I had no doubt what she was saying.

I immediately took her to the doctor, visitation was temporarily suspended and the Child Protection Agency was called. When the Social Worker visited her that evening, she told him her dad poked her (and pointed at her crotch). In the weeks that followed, she told me a lot more (spontaneously and without me trying to pry the information from her): he touched her pee-pee in the bathroom, he came into her bedroom when she was sleeping and touched her, he “pee-pooped” on her, it came from his crotch (she pointed) and it was “gray-white” colored. Then she suddenly stopped talking. When I read the safety books to her (bought specifically because I feared she’d been abused and wanted to teach her how to protect herself) and got to the part about telling someone, she told me she couldn’t – and wouldn’t – tell anyone because “Daddy will get in trouble.” She’s had loads of sexual behaviours since then and I don’t know if it’s because she’s still being molested or what.

The investigation by the Agency stopped. The case was dropped for lack of evidence. She still gets to see her father as before. She, as a toddler, has to protect herself more than an older child would (because an older child has more credibility, I suppose). He accused me of “false allegations” and has set the groundwork for her to be disbelieved when (if) the time comes she can point a finger at him and be more “credible.” He has set the groundwork to continue to molest her and get away with it because I’m “vindictive that he had an affair and left” me.

This has almost destroyed me. I was on the edge of madness. I had to fight myself: homicide is wrong, but so is sending my daughter (who was such a bright, bubbly, cheerful person before this happened and isn’t like that anymore) to a predator. I forced the quick sale of the house (by refusing to pay any more for the mortgage), spent massive amounts of money seeking permission from the courts to move from the area (under the guise of going to school again) and have reduced the access to bi-weekly instead of twice weekly as it was before. I’m so hoping the tremendous distance between us becomes so onorous to him that he’ll get bored and go away. But she’s still at risk and I can’t do a damned thing about it.

How to go on?

And now it’s Christmas again. I feel no joy and have no reason to. What happened a year ago is back in my mind again, vivid as if it were yesterday. I’ve lost all faith in the goodness in humanity. I don’t trust anybody. I have no friends in this new place because I’m afraid of people. With every person I meet, my instant thought is, “They want something from me, that’s the only reason they’re talking to me.”

Honestly, I don’t know how to go on. My entire perspective on life has changed. I used to be optimistic, easy-going, giving people the benefit of the doubt. I was a caregiver, too (I’m getting out of that line of work – it seems to attract sociopaths like bees to a hive – my former ex-hubby was a nurse, of all things). How do you do it? How can you pick up the pieces and stop continuing to be victimized by these predators without becoming completely cynical and suspicious of everyone? How can you both protect yourself and open yourself up? How can you see through the mask? Nobody saw it coming with this guy I married. Nobody. How could I possibly expect to see it again when I was on high alert already from my experience with the first sociopath?


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apt/mgr

I, too feel so badly for you and your plight. It’s awful to go through these kinds of situations and all you have is circumstantial evidence, but you know in your knower it’s all true, but no one will believe you, because they don’t see scars or blood. To be with someone who takes sadistic glee out of breaking a woman then turning it around and making it look like you are the sicko.

There was a movie many years ago called, Gaslight, and it shows just what some people will do to another’s mind. They mess with your mind to the point where you start questioning your own actions. Because of the double standards in my life, I became rather obsessive compulsive over many things. I knew there had to be something so wrong with me, even though there was no evidence to prove it. It was all about what couldn’t be seen. The subtle eroding of our self esteem and worth, that we begin to doubt if we are human and are doing this life thing all wrong. No wonder people who get involved in cults sometime never come back.

For me, I’m actually scared to give myself to anyone anymore. I will most likely go to my grave a married old maid. If our boundaries our shaky, we end up losing ourselves in a man and they end up trying to own us and we are helpless to resist. It really is important for a woman to have her own source of income and be as independent as possible. I’m not a man hater, but the men in our society, and women too, just don’t understand what their rightful place in society is and they don’t know how to do the man/woman part. You read about the personality disordered, arrested development, commitment phobes, etc. Then they mask themselves to appear human until they get you sucked in, and you can’t find your way out of the maze.

My heart sure goes out to you and your children. Best of luck, for what little consolation that brings.

alohatraveler

To the Author,

I have a little experience with Child Protective Services because I used to be a Supervising Social Worker. I think you should demand that your ex husband have supervised visits. I don’t know how you would set that up because all the children I know that have that have been removed from their parents and are in Foster Care. However, I am in the process of getting hired to do Supervised Visits for the YWCA and as far as I understand, all those families are in Family Court with one parent retaining guardianship and the other being required to have visits supervised due to issues like Domestic Violence.

In the past, I have had to do supervise visits for children that have been sexually abused and one can always pick up that something isn’t right. If your child is acting out sexualized behavior, plus the things she told you, I think that should be enough for a court to demand that visits be supervised.

Honestly, I am totally disgusted that something like that happened to your child. The perpetrator should be in JAIL. Get a lawyer. That child should not be subjected to visitation with a molester. This is so damaging for her.

I will check with a friend of mine that has WAY MORE experience than me and I will post what she says to do in the next couple of days. I would call her right now but I am sure she is asleep.

Also, I know a lot of the kids that I worked with were in Foster Homes for “failure to protect.” It sounds to me like you feel positive that your child was molested. You need to stop the visits or it might come back on you as “failure to protect.” I hope I am not scaring you or giving you wrong advice.. like I said, I don’t have as much experience as my friend. I have about 10 months and she has about 10 years.

I wish you the best…. Aloha

Beverly

Pitanga, I dont want to prempt what the Dr is going to say. But even if this man behaved perfectly for 7 years and he is an ordinary guy, he has cheated on you, he has betrayed you and abused your trust. He is using all his tricks to keep you as his target, one of which is to manipulate other people into thinking you are the bad one. You can never trust him anyway, after what he has done. Dont believe him – believe yourself.

jofary

Thanks for all your support. It means so much to me.

Alohatraveler, I have already been through the Child Protection Services. They said there wasn’t enough “proof” (even though she told the Social Worker her father “pokes” her while jabbing at her crotch). I have documented everything she has said and submitted it to the Child Protection Agency as she says it (she just told me the other night, when we were reading a book together about safe touches, that her Daddy doesn’t do that anymore – but he used to. I didn’t bring it up, she did).

When I applied to Court for permission to move out of the area over the summer (300km away – wish I could have moved to the other side of the world, frankly), this issue did come up. My lawyer advised I not bring it up myself because judges have a pre-conceived idea that women falsely accuse their ex’s all the time about molesting their children to take the kids away, even though recent extensive and legitimate studies have proven that’s not true.

Regardless, HIS lawyer brought it up in the context that I was smearing him and trying to take his children away from him. Not surprisingly, the judge ruled that I was “falsely accusing” him of molestation, even though he heard NO evidence from me (not even a peep).

I was still given permission to move because of the financial situation I was in (having lost the house and having no supportive career and the area that I was in was very affluent and completely unaffordable to me now) and I guess that was a blessing. But at this point I doubt I can demand supervised access although I definitely think that should happen.

There just isn’t any support for my daughter for this (other than counselling after the damage has been done). I was actually told by the Social Worker that unless I have “proof”, nobody’s going to do anything because HIS rights as a parent matter more than her safety.

So, even though she is a pre-schooler (and when this happened she was a toddler), who isn’t old enough to be “coached”, the onus is on her to protect herself. If she were ten years old, more could be done (she’d have more credibility). It’s absolutely wrong that the younger they are, the more vulnerable they are, but for the young ones there is even less help and the job of protecting these babies lies squarly on their own tiny shoulders.

The law is warped in other ways, too. My ex refused to negotiate about dividing the property, demanding a lion’s share of the assets and basically using the fact that I was vulnerable financially without that house (because I planned to use it as my means of income through fostering since my previous job wouldn’t have paid enough to support me and three children) as extortion. In order to support myself now, I’m having to switch careers, go to school and get a massive student loan to survive.

By our separation, he has increased his net worth by two thirds (his new career thanks to me) whereas I will be $30,000 in debt with student loans when I graduate so I can have a job that pays the same as what he’s already earning.

But the law won’t look at the fact that he deliberately caused me financial harm by refusing to negotiate because “it benefits him to keep his name on the deed as long as possible.” It won’t even look at the fact that he made NO payments to the mortgage after three months of living in the home. It will ONLY look at the fact that his name is on the deed and he’s entitled to half of it. There may be a slight reapportionment in my favour but he’ll be getting WAY more than ethically he is entitled to.

I have decided that I will never get remarried. Even if, on the remote chance I meet someone I “think” is decent (and decent in every way – financially, credit rating, etc because I guess those are clues, in retrospect), if I decide to live with him, he will be paying “rent” and I will never, ever, ever have him on the deed of my future home, if I can afford to ever buy one again. I will never mix my finances with another person again.

Despite everything, I am determined to rise above it and be successful on my own terms so neither of my sociopathic ex’s won’t have any power over me financially.

And while that may sound strong and assertive, it doesn’t change the fact that emotionally I’m broken. My daughter had such an incredibly beautiful spirit before she was molested. Strangers in stores or wherever would comment all the time about her bubbly, happy personality. That’s all changed. And I’ve changed with her. I’ve lost Faith (ironically, that is my daughter’s name, too). I need help getting it back.

apt/mgr

It is so despicable that a man could do what your husband did to his child. He needs to be castrated and never be able to do to anyone what he did. When someone takes away another’s right to say no, they deny them the right to life. To exploit another and to prey on such precious innocence, is the lowest side of evil. Once that innocence is gone, a hard shell is created and the sweetness is gone. But with time and lots of prayer for God’s healing, the sun can shine again. You can’t be expected to just get over it. There’s a process to go through and the mind has to heal. The body can forget but the heart and mind can’t. That takes time and distance.

I was a grown up woman, who had gone through verbal, emotional and mental abuse and I’m finding now that even what I thought was a normal sex life, was abuse at times. Then after being so broken from all the years of that kind of living, to come out in the world to work, feeling like I had no worth of any kind. In that process I met a man who noticed me. He was so handsome and he saw me. He made me feel like a woman and if he thought that, then I must be. I was so terribly naive and unlearned in a lot of ways where men are concerned. But in my innocence, I told this man I was starting to feel something for him, that I shouldn’t and I didn’t want to ruin a friendship that I thought we had. I said I was having feelings of desire for him. Instead of talking about it with me and help me understand the logistics of it, he taunted me and taunted me, and kept asking me what I wanted to do with him. He was doing everything he could to turn me on to take care of him. He went so far as to say that friends have sex and I said no, not if they wanted to stay friends. We didn’t have sex, but he found out that he could turn me on, and instead of apologizing for what he did, he used it against me. I was so dumb and naive, that I couldn’t understand. I was very child like at that time. I had no experience and he exploited that. He used what might have been called a sexual attraction, to get money out of me. It was like he was using that as bait, and he knew I wasn’t going to have some cheap affair. But he took that little moment in time and built a mountain out of it and really did a number on me. I was so blinded by my own despair of my wreaked marriage and other problems, that I didn’t see what he was doing. While I thought he was waiting for me to get the rest of my life in order and just waiting for me, he was out doing other women. What a fool I was. The experts call what he did, emotional rape. He raped my emotions and mind and used it all against me.

Hopefully in time, your precious one will be able to forget what the monster did to her. It should fade in time, as long as he has quit doing it, because little minds don’t hold on to things like we do. But with me, this man did such a number on my mind and emotions that it took me many years to overcome. He used sex as the proverbial carrot. He didn’t want me but he wanted me to want him and he exploited my innocence. I wish I could forget.

I’m with you too about getting remarried. I can’t ever see myself getting into that bind again and sharing a mortgage. I want my own place with just my name on it. That way I don’t have to share anything. It will be my haven.

I do pray for your daughter that her happy spirit will once again emerge and she will forget and you too will find peace with this awful occurence.

Beverly

We did nothing wrong, yes we were naive, but why should we have known if we are kind and not manipulative. As one half of a ‘partnership’, we played decently, we loved the other, we gave, we were kind – we did nothing wrong. We know now, it was the other that was the fault in this dance. We thought we were in the same dance, but they were dancing to a different tune, and because they had danced this before, they knew how to dance two different tunes at the same time. But somewhere deep inside us, we knew the rhythmn was wrong, things were not right (red flags) and if there is a next time – we will be much more alert and we will be more cautious whom we invite to ‘dance’ with us. Our filters will be sharper, we will listen to our bodies and intuition like never before. We will know that if someone leaves us feeling good, then feeling bad, exhausted and drained, then they are setting us up to drain us of something – and will remove ourselves. This is not only true of romance but of all relationships. We have an emotional manipulator – a woman – at work, but we are all wary of her and we are all refusing to dance to her tune. The filters we are learning to protect ourselves from deceitful energy will be much stronger and sharper.

Some of us are saying ‘I dont know how I will trust again’, I will never marry again, that is a decision some may take to keep themselves safe. If that is what we have to do to keep ourselves safe from future predators, but why should we limit our lives in the shadow of their damage. For me, I want to date again, but I shall be much more wily next time. The test of course will be distinguishing between those who are genuinely nice and the manipulators, without sabotaging the displays of affection (and receiving genuine love) with the echo of mistrust set up by our abusers.

Some of us have had to learn from scratch, because even our parents and family could not love us unconditionally, and because of that, we did not have the template to align ourselves with. We have had to suffer and learn some hard lessons because of it. In Buddhist thinking, we want things to be nice to be even and not to have pain in our lives – we reject unease, we think our lives should be different. Some of us learn that we have to develop the courage and wisdom to hang loose whatever the climate, not to get too attached to good feelings or bad ones. If someone buys me a gift, I am appreciative but I do not attach to the thought. I always see myself as the captain of my boat, sometimes the sea is calm, sometimes not. We are not alone on the ocean, we have God behind us also.

Beverly

People with a spiritual take on life, and why we get hooked into particular relationships, may be interested in the information posted on http://www.famousrabbis.com

alohatraveler

Well jofary,

I suspect you are correct. That is so sad.

I guess the best you can do is to teach her what to do if something like that ever happens again… God forbid. I feel so sad for that little girl but she sounds like a strong spirit.

I wonder if there is a way for you to have your child visit at a relatives house like an Aunt or Grandma. I bet these solutions are lame. I mean a sociopath often has a lot of people duped or “under the spell” as I used to say.

I don’t understand the “failure to protect” thing because we had kids in the system because they were being molested and the Mother knew about it and did not stop it (hard to believe, I am sure).

It sounds like you are doing all you can. Document and report. If all else fails, open a new credit card, charge a couple tickets to Mexico and get the heck out of here!

After what you have been through, I think it sounds very wise not to want to be finacially entwined with anyone.

Best wishes for you are your little angel.

Aloha… E.R.

Espressogirl

Are you keeping a journal? It helps later when you need dates and situations described. Seems like you are a good listener for your daughter, that is great!

When the perp knows that you know everything he did, they trip over themselves to “prove” you wrong. Then they make mistakes and do themselves in.

It will come out all right.

peggywhoever

jofary:

After reading through this heart-rendering article, and the warmth and compassion of the posts I wanted to ask: how are you doing? Are you still on Lovefraud?

Ox Drover

Peggy, I also read Jofray’s article and felt I think just like you do.

I hope she has come to some healing, becasue the feelings that she had (and I hope does’t still have) I think many/most/all of us can also relate to.

That is why it was sooooo important to me to work on getting the bitterness out of my heart–not for their sake, but for mine. It isn’t easy, and I’m not 100% there yet, and some days I can easily slide back into that mode. I don’t think it will ever be where I TOTALLY get it all out, but by not dwelling on the bitter thoughts and saying to myself “you are starting to feel bitter again, that is PAST, it cannot be undone” I can help myself ACCEPT the reality of what was, without approving of the action or the person who did it.

There is a nut case who lived across the road from our farm (not from here, he moved in and bought 30 acres) who had irritated the fire out of everyone in the neighborhood and community for miles around. I think the guy was adult ADHD with very poor social skills. He was N-ish in that he would confabulate and make up stories that were so outlandish in order to try to impress others with his military career, his knowledge of EVERYTHING but he was so inept at making up these stories that NO one believed a one of them, and as it turned out, not a one was true.

I actually feel sorry for this guy now. Anyway, tomake a short story long (LOL) my husband’s aircraft crashed in this man’s pasture. NO damage was done to anything in the pasture except 3 very small wild trees were burned when the plane caught fire. As my cousin, my hired hand and I rushed to the scene of the crash, this man shows up and instead of saying “Can I call 911” the FIRST thing out of his mouth was “Oh, wow, look at all this damage, I better go call my insurance agent.”

Needless to say, I was not “polite” when I told him in “NO uncertain terms” to LEAVE THE SITE OF THE CRASH.

A year later, 2 days before the anniversary of my husband’s death, Ii get served with a $50,000 lawsuit for THIS man’s pain and emotional suffering becasue my husband TRESPASSED ON HIS LAND TO DIE! Well, when the sweet little sheriff’s deputy (who knew me) walked up on my porch to “serve” me the papers, I fell apart and the little deputy, bless his heart, looked like a beaten dog. I reassured him (as I fell apart) that I wasn’t upset with him.

Many a night as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I visualized cutting this horrible man into little pieces and feeding him to the hogs. (not literally but I sure did want to hurt him!) It was VERY difficult to let go of the ANGER, the RAGE, the WRATH that this man’s terrible act of revenge against me for telling him to get away from the accident scene…and when we had a deposition with him, he was so inappropriate that his attorney dropped the suit and he got nothing.

Reading the depostion now only makes me laugh that someone is so pitiful that they will do anything to get attention. He ended up moving out of the community because so many people around here verbally attacked him for his law suit against me that he couldn’t even go get gas at the closest store without someone accosting him about it.

How very lonely it must be to have NO friends, and no one who respects you, and NO IDEA ABOUT HOW TO BE A FRIEND OR MAKE ONE. He really wasn’t a bad man, just had no social skills higher than an attention seeking ADHD child. You can tolerate and even understand that kind of behavior in a child, even over look it, but it becomes very irritating in an adult. But how can you hate someone so pitiful? There but for the grace of God go I.

Again, I don’t think this guy was a P by any means.

peggywhoever

OxDrover:

I hope you are keeping copies of all your postings so you can put it into a book! You have such fascinating stories and a wonderful way of portraying the characters, plus the analogies are both insightful and fun. I wish there was a way to categorize all of the blogs by each author so one could see the “whole” story, not just bits and pieces of it.

Oh good heavens, I cannot even fathom the ridiculousless of the lawsuit by your neighbor. Truth is stranger than fiction. I cannot imagine any attorney in the world taking a case like that, with such callous disregard for YOUR pain and suffering. Unbelieveable. I’m glad he moved.

It does make one (almost) feel sorry for him, but not quite (smile). Same with S’s. The other day I was explaining to my daughter that people have different degrees of ‘feelings’. She is a very loving, sensitive and caring young girl and I explained to her that I estimate she has feelings of a 10. I then explained to her that my S boyfriend (whom she loved) has feelings of a 0, he can feel nothing. And further explained that her father (a N) maybe has feelings of a 4. I told her the good thing for her is that she will experience great love, and great joy and happiness in her life, but she will also feel the sting of hurt and disappointment.

I almost feel sorry for the S’s that they never experience true love, and joy, and the heartfelt connectedness and oneness with another, or with mankind. It’s almost sad. If they weren’t so evil and conniving, one could almost pity them.

I think that the anger is a normal part of the healing process…as long as isn’t too consuming, and it is not acted upon.

FinallyFree

jofary,

My heart goes out to you. I am sorry for all that you have had to go through with this awful man. The more you talk to your daughter about everything that is going with her, the better. I am a redhead too. I have recently been doing extensive research on on the ingrained sterotypes that red haired women endure, and it has been shown that they are most often viewed as over-sexualized (to say the least). It was alarming for me to read your then husbands reaction to her, even at birth.

She will get her personality back, don’t worry. You sound like a great mother. Talking through things like that are the best way to work them out. The biggest thing will be assuring her that it is not her fault, and not to be ashamed of herself. These will be the issues that she will face once she gets a little older. Again, I am so sorry to read what you have been through. It is scary to hear how unsympathetic the legal system has been for you.

My prayers are with you.

R.

Ox Drover

Peggy andFinally Free,

I agree with you about the “legal” system re-raping victims–and you can imagine by my story about the lawsuit from the neighbor making me have no more love for most attorneys. His attorney was an N (maybe a P I’m not sure) but as we walked out after the deposition–boy did I have to bite my tongue over that one–BIG HOLES…anyway, as we walked out the door, the lawyer turned to me and said “Oh, Mrs. Ox, I am so sorry about your loss!”

I ALMOST LOST IT right there–but the little angel that sits on one shoulder yelled at me “KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT WOMAN AND LEAVE HERE WITH SOME DIGNITY” I actually did, and gave him one of those stares that our kids say can melt icebergs and walked out though it took all my strength to do so. I am actually right proud of myself for that one.

I had fed my attorney questions to intentionally embarrass the neighbor, like “Mr. X did you tell Mr. Y in January 2001 that you worked for the FBI, CIA, the Navy Seals, and that you had made 5,000 parachute jumps in viet Nam?” The guy almost croaked on the spot. His attorney knew him and his family and knew all these things were confabulation/lies/made up stories. His eyes got as big as saucers and he tired to skirt around the answer and not directly lie, but my attorney made him admit that YES he had said these things. (NO ONE has made that many jumps, 500 is a loooong life time career in jumps)

Then a couple of questions like “did you tell Mr. K that you were faking your disability for PTSD from viet nam so you could get a pension?” Well, of course the answer is yes. And so on. I first thought about taking it to the VA and seeing if I could get his pension revoked, because I had 8 or 10 people that would have testified under oath that he had told them how he was faking his problems so he could get a pension, but I decided in the end that to heck with it, the poor man can’t get a job or hold one so why not let him go on with his life? (such as it is) It wasn’t worth the hassle to me to “get even” with him, though he richly deserved it.

Even the Ps, most of the time it isn’t even worth it to get “justice” if you can–the legal system is such a quagmire it takes up energy that you can and should use for your own healing. You end up more traumatized by “the system” than the original violence traumatized you and you end up re-raped (emotionally or physically) by the system that is supposedly designed to protect you. That is somewhat changing with physical rape cases and I hope it changes some more.

I know how it feels to be re-raped by the system. The xs raped my daughter… but because he “only” raped her, he has access to my other children. I managed to get visitation supervised but only because 1) I told my atty I would be in contempt at the very first unsupervised visitation and my family had strict instructions to hide the children and go to the networks. So he actually had reason to make an effort; 2) The judge agreed with my reasons for supervised (I got lucky with that judge.) Atty’s, by and large, despite dealing with these turds on an regular basis, have no clue what they are really dealing with. His atty was arguing for non-supervised, every other wkend. The xs had no job, no perm address, no income, no crib and no carseat and one child was less than 12mo!

The system is overly concerned with the “rights” of the criminal. If they would have incarcerated him the last time he was facing serious charges, he wouldn’t have been out to latch onto to me and mine.

His trial for child rape has been dragged out for well over a year- he’s committed other crimes and inappropriately touched other teenage girls- but he picks his victims carefully. The ones his mother cannot buy their silence are ones that live on the edge of legal behaviour so they are afraid to involve the cops. His mother has been buying off victims, paying attys, and bailing him out his entire life. He wanders around with zero fear of being caught- because even if he is caught, mommy will take care of it.

Even when they get caught, nothing changes because a sociopath cares nothing for rules- court sanctions mean nothing. And getting the police and the courts to actually enforce the court orders is exhausting, aggravating, time-consuming and most often- pointless. He’s still out, we’re still living in fear. Nothing changes. Well, almost nothing…I’m not as nice as I used to be… haha.

I really feel for jofary. If she shoots the monster, someone will demand SHE be brought to JUSTICE. Makes me nauseous. Only thing I can recommend is to put the child in counseling. 1) The child could probably benefit from it; and 2)If it is still going on, mental health professionals are mandated reporters.

jules

jofary; re lets call him andrew; oh my goodness i nearly felt sick when i read that part of naming your child after his new victims child. my ex who i now know is s p n , one time when we were still to gethr we thought i was pregnant and we were mucking around talking about girls names, he said he really liked …….. and ……… i didnt like either of these names then he said he thought …….. was a really sexy name, i said why would a new born have to have a sexy name what a strange thing to say. then later after we broke up i found out those names where names of girls he knew and probably slept with those girls he has since leaving me had a relationship with one of those girls and i think he possibly was sleeping with one or more of them while we were together. how sick that he wanted to call our baby after his mistresses. i am so glad i turned out not to be pregnant and dont need to be connected to this person anymore. i hope things work out better for you i work with children and know what your talking about. thank you.

banana

Help!!

Okay..everytime i try to stick up for myself my STBXP tells me I’m being uncooperative and tells the law guardian.

I want to stay sane through all this crazy making. Can any of you experienced parents help me. My STBXP is not violent or abusive, and doesn’t use drugs of any kind so I cannot prove him an unfit father. I will not get sole legal custody here in New York State.
So far I have primary custody, but I fear all of his crazy making will cause me to think with my emotions instead of my intellect (I’ve seen this happen already) along with the lies he tells making it look like I don’t let him see his son or call his son!

Someone give me suggestions on how to…
1)Stay sane
2)Enjoy my life with my child with out showing anxiety
3)Not give my P/S and grounds to twist my intentions

PInow

Banana,
Oh, Banana, How I feel for you and for the poor woman who wrote back in December of 2007.
I was tormented today – all day, nonstop, because I still have feelings for the man I thought I knew and shared life with, and the man was never there. I wish he had died instead of evaporated before my very eyes. I too fear of what he’d do to my child. The one positive thing in all this is that they do not care, so whatever the court decides and whatever the arrangement will be, it will likely be temporary, until something more fun comes along.
I know, to us, mothers, this isn’t much consolation, but I’ve tried and tried to think that way so that my anxiety won’t be so limiting. To know that he ruined my life and my family’s well being and is happily going about his business is sickening. Before, I wanted “to win”, to “Show him”; now – I decided he’s not worth the trouble. One thing for sure – whatever the courts decide, I will ensure that every word, every hour, every visit is written out to a T. There won’t be any communication between him and I whatsoever and that alone is a comfort. At first, I wanted to “make him responsible”, but now I see that responsibility is a useless term in his vocabulary. So, whoever he is with will have to take care of my child, and well – when he’s sick, cranky, hungry, etc. – they better take good care of him. I am trying to convince myself that it’d be like babysitting. But, I know what a lie this is and I know how difficult to impossible it is to stay sane. I am lucky in that my son does not look like the P at all. So, he does not remind me of the creep. I hope I don’t give the P any grounds to twist my intentions: they have been clear from the start. He is sick and needs treatment. I fight for sole custody and I have not communicated with him (and he – with me). Maybe, it’s all wrong. Usually, the vision is 20/20 only in the hindsight.

Ox Drover

Dear Banana,

YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU REALIZE!!!! YOU CAN CONTROL HOW YOU APPEAR. You can ACT sane and UNemotional—think of it this way, pretend that your psychopathic soon to be X is a kidnapper and it is dependent up on YOU to keep your kid safe and appear calm and rational or you and your child will DIE! I saw a thing on Dateline tonight where a mother and her 2 year old were kidnapped and the kidnapper held a gun to her head, tied her up, threatened her etc. This man had apparently killed before in this kind of kidnapping (always mothers with kids driving big black SUVs at the same shopping mall) but somehow this woman REMAINED “Calm appearing” I know she was NOT calm, but she kept her head and the man actually let her and her child GO because she APPEAREd CALM.

You are as strong and gutsy as that woman, YOU CAN DO IT! YOU HAVE TO DO IT. I will be praying for your strength!!!!! And I firmly believe that God can give you that strength if you will jjust BELIEVE in YOUR OWN STRENGTH!!! (((hugs))))

PInow

OK, Oxy, pray for me too.and Pray for our abusive, blind court / legal system that doubles our insanity. We are victims of true evil as evil can come. And then – the term alienation syndrome comes to mind.
How can we make “them” understand that our children will pay the price and then – ultimately – the society will – because these monsters will turn our children into “mini-me’s”, if not worse.

PInow

We so need a legal professional on this blog: to post, to educate us on how to behave with the Ps and within the legal system. It isn’t easy – raising a child alone. Yet, it’s a better option for the child to not know the hurt we’ve known. that’s why I think public education is so very important. Somehow, I doubt that our attorneys and our judges make it to this blog. Had they, they’d know how to protect us better. would you agree?

Ox Drover

Dear PInow, Matt is a legal professional, and there are some good books “Legal Abuse syndrome” (I have raed it and it is great, get a copy!)

Yes, the legal system needs education and unfortunately it is slower than we wish it was. The professionals, therapists and psych docs, nurses, etc. all need education about Ps and victims too.

Each of us here by our educations both from reading and experience can go out and educate others, and the word will spread, so slowly, but it IS SPREADING. Google psychopath, sociopath, narcissistic, borderline, etc. and see how many million hits you get for EACH of them.

Look at the LF bloggers we are reaching out to each other and all the people that LURK here reading but not posting. I think there are probably 8 or 10 readers for every poster. WE are educating each other and others who read our words. My sons both read here but neither ever posted. Yet they quote LF all the time and recommend it to others. When the opportunity to talk about psychopaths comes up they take that opportunity to EDUCATE others about it. I have educated my own psychiatrist and several ministers as well. Each one we educate or help or support will i n turn spread the word.

Look at what DONNA ANDERSON has accomplished with LF? How many thousands, tens of thousands of peopple has she educated? How many people have had their lives saved or their sanity saved by LF? Yes, I agree that few lawyers or judges come here to read, but spreading the word is going to be one-on-one for the most part, and each of us can do some part of that.

We can hold someone’s hand in real life or on the web, we can share our comfort and care, we can pray for others and for our legal system, or work actively in a shelter to help others, raise funds, give funds, write articles—be an active participant in that education. Even if we can’t write a book or be ono TV we can still come here and comfort someone who is emotionally bleeding to death and say “I care!” That means more than you can imagine. BTW PInow, I’m glad you are here! (((hugs))))

PInow

heartfelt thank you, Oxy, you are a jewel.
Matt has been hard to catch lately. I do like his advise and have already used at least once

ErinBrock

PInow:
I do believe, like OXy, we can all make a difference……
You have learned and educated yourself……and I am sure numerous others in your ‘circle’. How many of them look at you and tell yu about their sisters husband, neighbor, attorney, mother, teacher ……………
and say…..wow, they acted like that……

We can all approach the judiciary…..We are all voting citizens (in US) and we have a right to meet with them individually and talk to them about this topic. We can all write to our local bar association educational heads and request a meeting.

There is a company in Arizona called the ‘HIGH CONFLICT INSTITUTE’ that deals with educating law enforecment/judiciary/Da’s/therapists and private citizens alone.
They have DVD’s, books, Ebooks etc…..
Bill Eddy is a licenced therapist/prosecuter and attorney…..he’s seen the system from most angles and was not happy about what he saw…..so he did something about it…..and he’s educating and raising awareness on Cluster B’s and Toxic personalities in court.
His info has helped me a ton…….
I don’t hear his work spoken about on LF…..Is anyone familar?
I appreciate his insight and knowledge.
So……we can all do something…..it’s important we do! Only then will anything change for any of us and our children.
Because……it’s not like there are going to stop being toxic people……..
Go get em girl…….you’ve got the balls……it’s a rewarding path.

PInow

Erin, thank you for your beautiful advise. You bet, I have the balls. No man in my life seemed to, so I had to acquire those, lol. I will print out your post and look into each of your suggestions. I am in a position to rock the joint a bit. I just need to get stronger. Does angrier mean stronger? because I am falling into the victim attitude lately and that isn’t serving me well (legal abuse, here I come)

PInow

had anyone been through this training?
http://www.sociopathicstyle.com/about/seminars.htm

BloggerT7165

I would be cautious of that one PI. If you look a little deeper you will find that they say this at the bottom of the one page:

The typical cultural view is that of the medically diagnosable sociopath being a perpetrator on innocent victims. In our research, we have moved beyond this to reveal a larger picture of a relationship style that is engaged by all three characters of the psychopathic phenomena. This means the victims are sciopathic to some degree as well as the identified victimizing sociopath and the rescuers as well.

While it may be true for some it certainly is not true for all victims or even most I would say. There is more about them that makes me uncomfortable with that group beyond just that. Some of what they say seems true but the small % that they get wrong seems to be wrong and possibly dangerous.

neveragain

Just at first glance, there is a lot about the victim’s role. I’d rather see people start with books or workshops that first place the blame right where it belongs….on the abuser.

I love the book Emotional Rape Syndrome for that reason. And I think Sandra Brown’s workshops if she still has them, put the blame squarely on the abuser’s shoulders.

After you are out and shame free, then you can look at ways to better protect yourself in the future. Some of the things that make us vulnerable are GOOD traits. Some, as explained in the betrayal bond, are things we can work to improve in ourselves.

But no bad person, no problem. We are GOOD people.

neveragain

Good catch BloggerT, I missed that. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PInow

I am glad I am not alone feeling this way. When my “problem” surfaced when it did, I blamed myself. His family member then said to me: “Believe me, no matter what you had done and no matter how you’d behaved, he’d do the same, it’s the way he’s always been all along”. I was too Narcissistic (sociopathic, I guess) and continued to 1. blame myself, 2. seek closure, and also 3. demand responsibility for actions the monster had taken. It is only recently that I understood that doing all three of the above put my family and myself at risk.

PInow

Still – we have to own up to the fact that some things in us make us especially vulnerable, especially taken by Ps.. Several of my relatives and friends “knew”, their antennas went up. Mine did not. Most of us are “women who love psychopaths” (men too) and that does make me want to look inside to learn more about why it is that I have chosen the “dangerous type”. I had a revelation just today – there was a time, several times in fact, when I wanted to run. I had no idea why and no understanding of it. It was an impulse, instinct I guess, that I chose not to listen to.

BloggerT7165

There is a difference between responsibility and blame. A person who has been a victim of a robbery may take responsibility for forgetting to lock their front door but they are not to blame for getting robbed nor does it make them like the robber. A person who has been conned by a psychopathic individual may take responsibility (after they are free) for missing some red flags and to ensure they may be safer in the future but they are not to blame for being abused and are not in some ways like their abuser.

With that said, there are some people who are both abused and abuser. Many antisocial folks suffer abuse from other antisocial folks they associate with. Much like a thief stealing from other thieves in his group. Folsk with a personality disorder also have this happen for some of them. Relationships, even “healthy” ones, can be very complex and when you toss in a personality disorder or two it gets even more complex. Just think about what it might look like if someone had both Schizotypal and Borderline (or antisocial) personality disorders.

Ox Drover

Good point, Blogger, and you might call the relationships where there are TWO personality disordered people “GASOLINE AND FIRE” relationshits.

Actually, these Gasoline and Fire relationships where the parties “take turns” being victim and abuser, give the REAL VICTIMS A BAD NAME. Unfortunately, I think, too many people just ASSUME that if there is a PROBLEM that BOTH parties are to blame.

Sort of like we were told in school (which, BTW is NOT TRUE) “it takes TWO to fight” and “there are two (valid) sides to every story.” ALSO NOT TRUE. On the outside, the Gasoline and fire relationshits may appear pretty much like a TRUE VICTIM who is “crazy-made” and hysterical, when in fact, it is only ONE abuser in the relationshit.

PInow

Very good point, Blogger.
To Oxy – Gasoline without a fire is only gasoline. I wonder if there are levels of abuse. the book suggested by Justabout… on Emotional abuse seems to address it. But, then again – I am splitting hairs. Relationshit LOL

BloggerT7165

Quite right Oxdrover. Some of the most horrific cases I have seen have been when there are two disordered folks abusing each other and the ones who are suffering the most end up being the children and relatives.

Ox Drover

PInow,

The thing is about “abuse” —of course there are levels of it, both physical levels and emotional levels as well, plus financial levels.

Physical abuse can lead to broken bones, injuries and even death. these wounds can be SEEN and “verified.”

Emotional abuse can lead to depression, PTSD, Stockholm syndrome, trauma bond, grief, stress and emotional unbalance, and even to death from suicide. Emotional abuse can be “invisible” to the naked eye. It is difficult to SEE what caused it.

Financial abuse can be stealing a few bucks, or it can be leaving the person financially destitute and living on the street. This can also be seen sometimes, but not every time.

Child abuse and neglect is a common side effect of being born into a family with a psychopath.

Sexual abuse can be both physical and emotional abuse and may also be invisible.

Which is the “worst” kind of abuse? ALL of them are the worst! Any of them can be fatal or disabling.

If you are in a relationshit with a psychopathic abuser (gasoline) ANY SPARK will set it ablaze and you are the tender, you are the one burned. You do not have to cause the gasoline to explode, it will do it without you striking a match. You cannnot have a “normal” relationship with a psychopath, it is IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE ONE, but if you are also explosive (Fire) then there is another 9/11 of a relationshit, and you both get burned, and you both set fires. Musical chairs with each of you taking a turn as victim and as abuser.

EVERYONE even near you suffers burns.

PInow

Well, many of you know my “style” by now and some may still (I am almost sure) dislike me, though I feel that others understand where I am coming from and that it isn’t a nasty mean place, but sometimes a challenging, blunt and well – let’s call it even a bit aggressive place. (there, I admit it!) So, OK, I was thinking of my own relationship with the P. His lack of contribution to the family angered me and upset me. I tried asking, I tried screaming. I screamed a lot on occasion. Then, I gave up and resigned to: well, I’ve made my bed… Blah blah blah. So, I was abusive to him on occasion, but my therapist (I pay her to say this) said that it isn’t a wonder that I was, since his behaviors were extremely passive aggressive. My teenager said once: so, let me understand: he did all these things and all you did was scream at him? why didn’t you kick him out right away? (so, Oxy, I was thinking of myself as gasoline here and that goes back to my responsibility and self blame. there is a particle in me still that wonders if I had been all I could be, would things have been different? I now know the answer with my brain, but my heart is continuing to ache for this man that was made up and essentially never existed.

PInow

what is most incredible, is that when I had his letters evaluated, the expert in the field had diagnosed him right off. I could not believe my eyes that the signs have escaped me even during the “courting phase”. I have now multiplied and saved these letters, (and hid them with others, as Oxy suggested in the past) because they are an incredible proof of his dysfunction. When reading them again and again (though it hurts each time), I am forced to see what I chose to ignore. Sometimes, I wish I weren’t so educated, perhaps, it would be easier to give my child over to him for “parenting”, save ton of money and health.

neveragain

PInow….You are awfully self-blaming and rough on yourself. In many ways, in fact MOST WAYS, it is wrong NOT to lash out at abuse. Start looking for all the positives in your actions. I lashed out too, even when I knew it would just give him satisfaction, I needed to lash out for MY sake. But no contact is much better, when it is possible. But good for you for being strong.

The more you can go no contact, the more those cravings will go away. Make lists of all the things he did that were horrible, and any time you start to long for him, read those lists. Come to LF and read past blogs. Stay strong.

And make another list of all the things you are thankful for in your life in the here and now. Even if you start with something like “I saw a butterfly”. The list will grow.

These are the things that helped me, anyway. Good luck to you. And you don’t pay your therapist to say nice things, she is paid to help you see reality. You are doing what I would do, which my therapist called “mind f*cking” myself, and she never used profanity other than in that case. She meant that I kept making sure I couldn’t win in my own mind, always blaming myself. Going round and round to make sure I didn’t miss a single way to blame me. It really slows the healing I think.

ErinBrock

PInow:
Anger sometimes needs to be used to catupult our strength.
Anger is a good emotion to process….unpleasant but necessary to get where we must be.
If we embrace each feeling we are experiencing it will lead us to the ‘next step’ of emotional recovery. We will gain invaluable insight into ‘who’ we are and ‘what’ we are capable of accomplishing……
We must know ourselves to avoid most pitfalls……thats not saying we will always avoid them all……
I found I was so focused on the ex S, it opened me up to others……I had tunnell vision and made poor choices, even against my own ‘policy’……
We must find the balance in life……we must always be aware on all levels.
IE…..if we put all our energy into raising our kids, we do not make a good employee……
If we go to the market thinking only about tonights dinner…..we starve the rest of the week……
We must hone our ‘multi tasking’ thoughts and look at the peripherals also.

On the website you offered…….
I do not like the blame style…..but I do know there is something inside us that the S’s honed in on……if we must avoid others, we must view what it was they saw as weak.
I don’t believe we are to ‘blame’……but I do think we were a contributing factor……unknowingly.
I think they prey on good, helping, loving persons that they can exploit.
Like a lion in the wild……they go for the injured or weakest in the herd……..they don’t care……it’s easy…..and they get fed just the same!

We had some sort of weakness or injury the S’s picked up on…..S’s need to be fed…….

I know in my latest ‘blooper’ with a suspected S……I handed myself right over to him. Looking back….once again……oh, how I see what I did and said……BUT….a normal person would have felt empathy to me and appreciated my kindness towards them…….A S…..sees this as an opportunity for an ‘easy kill’.
From now on……I run in the front of the pack and live with the preface of……’loose lips sink ships’…… SHUT UP ERIN!!!!
Go back to basking in the sun under that rock…..I can enjoy the warmth and shelter……but if I need to strike…..I am positioned!

Do not allow the life experiences to get you down, steal your self esteem, dignity and living experience. Take a breath, get back up and ride that horse!!!

ANewLily

PInow, I so understand your “self-assessment” that you must be guilty somehow because you screamed about the abuse you were experiencing.

I didn’t “scream” but I, too, had anger that I didn’t know how to properly process.

I had some great counselors when I first got out and it was this “self-blame and guilt” that they addressed.

The helpful advise I got was two-fold. First, like Justabouthealed wrote, they convinced me that “. In many ways, in fact MOST WAYS, it is wrong NOT to lash out at abuse.” Second, they convinced me that I didn’t have an anger management problem. They called it “righteous REACTIVE anger” and very normal and appropriate.

Sometimes as I have read articles about “experts” assessing that there are TWO adding gasoline to a fire, I think they just don’t know or understand the survival instinct of an abusee to try to protect themselves.

My counselors’ advise caused a huge paradigm shift in my thinking but when it finally got through to my thick HEAD and my wounded HEART, the shame and guilt melted like a snowball exposed to the sun. It does not take “two to tango.” It only takes one abuser and one abusee, willing or not.

PInow, I believe in your strength and love you for it. You will ride that horse EB mentions and save your child in the process. I know it. I feel it in my bones.

neveragain

Exactly Erin. No bad guy, no problem.

Just like we know there are things that make it more inviting for a mosquito to sting, and things that deter them, we now know to how to protect ourselves better from the nasty bite of a S.

Laughed at the loose lips! Me too! I’m much more cautious about what I say now. Just like covering up when going into a mosquito invested area.

super chic

Very similar to what peterd wrote a couple of weeks ago, I’m not going to reveal myself right away either. In fact, I think what we reveal depends on who we’re talking to, maybe I’m a psycho, but I have a “face” for work, one for my sister, one for my daughter, etc. I don’t show all facets to any one person. Is that crazy?

ErinBrock

Shabbychic:
If I was a Sociopath I would say you were crazy with or without that statment…… 🙂

Having survived a S…..
I say, thats a great approach for anyone to take in lifes journey.
I think we need to ‘censor’ ourselves to avoid being ‘taken down’. Why allow ourselves to be vulnerable to any exploitation? It is different than opening up in the appropriate situations…..but still we should not divulge it all!
It’s just good practice, I believe!
I look back at the times I ‘let it all out’…..
I was~
Looking for sympathy, attention and empathy and an ‘ear’……
did I ever receive it………NO!
SO again…..SHUT UP ERIN!

AN NO BTW…… YOUR NOT CRAZY!!!!!
XXOO

Betty

I have learned some very useful things lately:

The first is that I’m not responsible for anybody’s actions but my own. All that guilt and pain I felt that I might have behaved or chosen badly, and that “caused” the other person to act like a total baddie, that’s gone now. I am of course responsible for how I treat myself and others, but that’s a very different statement. That internal boundary has offered me so much freedom!

Secondly, anger is not my enemy. It’s a useful emotion to tell me when someone is stomping all over my boundaries. What I do with it is totally my responsibility. I’m working with watching it play out like a storm: it builds, reaches its peak, then subsides. It’s not scary to me any longer; it’s just internal weather, and a useful alarm system that I get to decide how to use. I don’t hurt myself with it very often because I’m learning to let it play out. I don’t hold onto it, nor repeatedly rehearsing it until it turns into bitterness, and I don’t usually act until the emotion has subsided. That’s what happens in regular circumstances: abuse isn’t usual. There, anger is trying to rouse you to save your life, sanity, well-being — all of that!

Thirdly, I became a victim by trying to fill the void in my life from the outside, and I no longer believe that works (as in gets positive results). I thought my answers and happiness would come from others, and that rendered me far too vulnerable. When I finally figured out that my sense of who I am and my worth are totally within me, and can only be filled from within, I because far less vulnerable. My trust was fractured, because before, I was waaay too trusting. Now I’m more as Oxy described on another thread: my trust has levels, it’s earned, and it requires maintained because it’s not granted unconditionally. If trust is violated, it’s withdrawn. I never did that before; in fact, I used to blame myself for the other person’s untrustworthy behavior (I must have done something wrong to merit it, etc.).

At present, I don’t have anyone in my life I consider to be in the inner most level of trust, so it’s pretty lonely. I feel safe telling all on this blog, because of the honesty and kindness of people who post here, and because of the anonymity. I’m learning to set limits, decide who I let in and why, and how far in people get. I no longer feel mean doing this: I’m doing it to survive and stay strong. It has in many ways caused me to be a more relaxed person: I’m more authentic in my interactions (not always thinking, “Will this please the other person?”), but I’m also far more selective about what I say and who I say it to.

Overall, I think that’s wisdom creeping in. There’s a poet called Piet Hein who wrote little poems he called “grooks.” My fav is called “Wisdom,” and this is how it goes: “Wisdom is the booby prize/ given when you’ve been unwise.” My encounter with an n/p and facing up to family problems and dysfunction has left me bruised and PTSD-ed, but wiser, open-eyed, and open-hearted. And paying far more attention to what I share with others and how I care for myself daily. It has left me alert and present. I’m working on relaxed, because I think I can be all three.

Last thing: I read again the other day “Compassion that does not include one’s self is incomplete.” I realized how easy it had always been for me to put myself last on the list, or even not on the list at all! That is changing: now it’s “others and me,” equal billing, and sometimes that list reads “me.” Never did that before! I would exhaust myself taking care of others and frequently didn’t have any energy left for me, but I had it wrong in the sense that it was always my job to take care of me. When I started to really get that, I found I had more energy for myself and others. No Contact is a big part of that, too.

ErinBrock

Betty:
Wow….girl…..what a wonderful and insightfully- wise post!!!
What a healthy outlook you have…..
You are doing your work…..your moving in the right direction and that is the best news ever!
Congratulations on your insight into the world and ‘BETTY’!
Good things will come to you…..rest assured.
XXOO

neveragain

Wonderful Betty. Your post helps me!

PInow

Justabout, I cried when I read your post. I realize now that I needed to hear that, and I am thankful to you for saying it. Later today, my therapist sent me a quick e-mail, basically saying the same… This self – doubt has been my own demon, because I know I can come off so strong. I think it was the reason P latched on to me: he just “accepted” so totally. Thank you all for your good caring posts. I am learning that my life is not what I thought it would turn out to be and I am not distraught over it. I am not at peace yet, but once my child is with me, and the P is gone hovering, I know it’ll be better.
I too feel sorry for all the women he’s hurt and continues hurting. I know better than to contact them, but I wish there were a way…

super chic

Betty… thank you so much for sharing what you’ve learned! I’m going to copy and paste it into my journal!!!

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