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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Finding sanity after the sociopath (part 2)

Editor’s note: The following essay was submitted by Lovefraud reader “Presseject.” This is part two of his story. Part one was posted yesterday.

By Presseject

About two weeks after I confronted my S, there was a very dark day in which I was cut to pieces. I am okay now recalling it, but at that time, and for many weeks afterwards, it was like a knife in the heart. I would like to share a bit further with you the silver lining to this part of the story and how that relates to the good work you have done with the site. You see, it went like this:

I had my S visit and stay with me for my birthday weekend. He presented me with fun gifts and a card that included the words signed with “tons of love.” We had been dating for over six months at that point. (This included all the fun, spontaneous “impulsive” trips and arrangements including our visits to Miami, Key West, Palm Beach, Washington DC, New York City, Toronto, and London Ont.) But… while he was staying with me that last visit on my birthday, I happened to glance over at his laptop and saw a heading in his email program on a received email from what I thought was a dating website. So naturally I questioned it and I was told it was no one he knew, that sometimes he visited the site but wasn’t meeting anyone. A real nice birthday surprise!

After he went back, I found the site, having memorized the name of it in the email heading. To find his profile, I had to create one for myself. Once I did this, I saw he was very active at the site, logging in each day and the profile was marked as “looking for a relationship and/or one-on-one.” This left a sinking feeling in me. I thought we had a relationship, so again I needed to let him know it didn’t sit well with me. To do this though took even greater strength. I remember turning to God in prayer at that point to ask for that strength to find and face the truth, whatever it might be. And this was actually the beginning of my new relationship with God. Together with God’s help I knew I was going to get to the truth (I am still in this quest and I will continue this prayer) but little did I know it would turn my world inside out and leave me without the dream of love and feeling something others have described as being emotionally raped.

The day I after I spoke with him about my feelings about the site and his profile which he said calmly he’d “take into consideration,” he sent three typical friendly emails, pictures of himself with family, links to fun websites, nothing out of the ordinary. That evening though, he called and said it was over. He was going to try to find someone closer to where he lived possibly. He said he couldn’t explain me to his family although oddly, a few months prior, he had introduced me affectionately to each and every one of them! I was stunned and expressed my shock, especially after all the birthday gifts and words of love shared the week before. That sinking feeling was the Titanic going down then. To be discarded so quickly without much of a sound reason was baffling and horrible all at the same time.

Somehow I had the sense (when all seemed like chaos and NO sense) to google “personality disorder” along with the word “relationship” about a week after that. It led to the various sites on narcissism that seemed to give hints at what had just happened. (I learned to do searches excluding the words “Sam,” “Vaknin” and “Malignant” after a while). A close friend soon suggested the idea of a sociopath to me. (I still very much like the description one visitor has offered at Lovefraud of a “sociopath parading as a narcissist”) and it was the descriptions of a sociopath I found at Lovefraud that fit so well with my experience of the shock I had experienced of being “discarded.” But somehow, unlike many of the stories I had been reading, I hadn’t sensed that I had been completely “devalued.” (Discarded yes, but devalued?) That maybe my S was not such an S after all. (Later on I would read many entries in the site about those of us who are left wanting to still find hope in these kinds of situations, the appropriate and helpful reference to the Stockholm syndrome in particular). So I was, at that point, very hurt, very confused and still hopeful that love might still triumph. After all, I had never met someone so “nice” and fun to be with (at the beginning of course) and even after the hurt, it then still seemed worth “fixing.” (Part of me now thinks that having that kind sweet hope alive probably serves to help to cushion the extreme shock of what is plainly a hurtful and illogical abandonment.)

So I rose to the occasion, and again called on God to help back me up. It was at that two week time period after his “gotta go now” quick ending of our relationship that I sent one very kind and considerate email suggesting that perhaps that there had been a misunderstanding, that it seemed a shame to throw away all the fun and passionate friendship we had been enjoying so intently. In return, the next day, I received the most caustic, illogical, insulting and degrading note I have ever read from anyone. All I can say is THANK GOD I had found the Lovefraud.com site the week prior because as this horrible dark experience took such a sinister turn, I knew from reading your site enough to know that part of the equation, (the part that was missing) was the “devalued” part. I had been discarded the week before with not much of an explanation. And sure enough, I then had it in full force in front of me, the “devaluing” part, seething with vile and cold inequity.

His heartless letter was filled with twisted statements about my body that he thought revolted him (odd, since throughout the entire six months I was told over and over how desirable I was!) The rest of it was illogical too, the reasoning seemed childish, trivial and hurtful. But it set me free actually. I had prayed to God for strength and understanding. I had found this, God had indeed helped me to find the tools of understanding and knowledge through your site from experts and through the words of other survivors you have helped. Through reading your site, I was somewhat “protected” when this insane letter was received having been somewhat warned about how a sociopath might behave. It was the most startling realization, painful of course yet on the other hand, all the “pieces” of the puzzle now fit. I really can’t imagine how much worse the pain would have been without the good information I had found at Lovefruad.com. Thank you again for being there! Although it was one of the most damaging emotional things I have ever experienced, Lovefraud has been a real part of the silver lining in getting through this storm. The other part I guess is me… I did the hard part of walking through this and caring for myself enough to get my sanity back.

I can tell you this much too; as others have noted here, friends, ministers, group therapy and other places I have turned to did not quite provide the kind of human compassionate understanding I needed to help me through this over the last three months. I was going through days in which I was strong with my new understandings. Other days I was left trying to find even a shred of what my heart had been or felt like. I knew “no contact” was the only option even though I would still get urges to write and send things (new feelings of forgiveness, anger, or needing justice still surface from time to time.) Learning these kinds of individuals cannot change was also helpful. Over time, the hurt I experienced was less and less about my personal shortcomings (through his hurtful words that I had mistakenly held up against myself only adding fuel to his fire he started). Lovefraud helped initially for me to learn some basics about the behaviors (how to identify a sociopath, etc) \and then went even further to help me regain myself again, to learn this could be the start of a whole new positive change for me and my approach to relationships (which I also learned has been punctuated by somewhat similar encounters although nothing as awful as this last one). I am resolved now to keep seeking the truth in others and in myself. I won’t be so quick to be attracted to those with effortless charm and fearless impulsiveness or selfish motives, no matter how “successful” they might be in other areas of their lives. I have learned about my old pattern of picking out this kind of “successful” person from a crowd. I have learned about my own impulsiveness and (controlling) need to be a caretaker to someone emotionally unavailable. It can work in the short run but not for anything more substantial… like love.

That is where I am heading now, towards love, a shared love, and with luck I will find this. Lovefraud has helped and this is why I have taken time to write here, to express continued gratefulness for all those who make this site so helpful. My words are here for God too, as a prayer to share with Him my gratefulness during this recovery period, for His help and the strength he has given me to rise above the chaos with new insights and compassion for myself. To experience how I am able to take responsibility too for my own welfare, to be an active and (still) loving part in this process. God answered my prayer and I believe He will also answer others who ask and pray. (A higher power can do this, however you come to see this and whatever names you choose to use for it)…

To go one step further, my words here are also a prayer for those that are also, at this very moment, trying hard through very difficult times to find their own understanding and strength. I hope you find it and I hope you are also able to set yourself free from all that is cruel, careless and hurtful. (Please read all you can about this kind of disorder, it really helps to get past the hurt from being left in the dark.) We each have this power within us, it is up to each of us to find it and put it to good use!


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315 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Finding sanity after the sociopath (part 2)"

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I have been reading this blog for awhile now, and I have related to more than enough of the postings to know that I, very unfortunately, am going through my second sociopath breakup. My birthday was in August, and this posting made me feel like I wrote it but do not remember doing so!

Last year, with the help and love from my family, I moved across the entire country to move away from a sociopathic, steroid & cocaine using, abusive boyfriend. First step. You’d think I was strong and safe for that, right? It’s been 11 months of NC with him! Great for that, BUT…within the FIRST week of moving here, I met my current S, and there the story begins with my second sociopath, back-to-back.
2 weeks, the beginning of this last month. It was the longest time we hadn’t talked or seen each other (yeah, big deal I know!), but I had just moved to a new, beautiful apartment with a friend, and I felt like I was going to be ok. And then it started again. The texts, the emails, pictures of us from last year on vacation-begging to take me places he always promised but never came through with. he always knew how to prey on my weaknesses. But secretly, I loved it. I loved when he would start begging for me back. ALmost like I was just patiently waiting for him to come back. Sure, it was always painful when he would push me out of his life every other week like I was his toy he could fish with, but I would get through it because I always knew he would be sorry and come back. That was the pattern that I put up with, and was good enough for me, for over the past year +. So, eventually I gave in to ignoring him, and we hung out again. Of course it made me feel guilty, but he made me feel so desired.
So, my birthday was that week, and he said how much he wanted to take me out and spoil me. I even told my family (who all live on the East coast) as they called to wish me a great day, that I was hanging with him. I could hear that I was disappointing every one of them. But as usual, when it came to him, I ignored my selfish actions and hurt others as well as myself.
The day was great. (Or so I pretended on the outside but quietly disregarded the inner nagging of my conscience). He told me that he was ‘considering getting back together with me,’ and he said he told his sister about us hanging again. (During the last half of our realtionship I was a secret, since he would run and tell his family about every fight we got in, and make me look like the bad guy, so they disapproved). I thought that he was making the most effort he had in a long time. I thought we were finally going to get back together and etc., etc., etc.
Um, yeah, the very next day I asked him to hang out and I could hear in his voice that he was back to the same guy he always was. I told him nevermind-that I knew it just wasn’t going to change. And he agreed! He said he had been thinking about it all day and he “hopes he never sees or hears from me again, and that it lasted that long because he pitied me!”
He hasn’t come back. He hasn’t called, or written. Yesterday I went by his house because “I would still get urges to write and send things (new feelings of forgiveness, anger, or needing justice still surface from time to time.) ” to drop something off. Nothing important, but of course I wanted to see if that would somehow get him to come back. He was outside on the phone, saw me driving towards him and i could see in his face how mad he was that I was there. I handed him the package and drove away.
No thankyou, no anything. Its different this time. I think this time he has finally, and officially left. I also found out that he has been seeing another girl since April, among plenty others I have been aware of. I feel replaced, forgotten, DISCARDED. He is gone this time,(although i would still not put anything past him). And taken all of my pride, selfworth, and strength with him. Although, my sister who has heard it all, says that I’ve said ‘he’s not coming back this time’ about a dozen times. But I should be thankful, I know. I’m ok when I leave him, which is very rare that I even get the strength for that, but he always comes back and I give in. But then when he leaves me, I feel like i’ve just gotten my life ripped away. Yet I keep doing it to myself. I am part of the problem. NC is the only way. But I still feel like he left & abandoned me, and after all the cheating, lying, manipulating, emotional (and also the little physical) abuse, I still want him back! It’s just awful.
It’s about selfpride, worth, esteem, values, (ego too), maturity, acceptance, and love. I’m tired on worrying if or whether he ever cared for me. His last words to me after my birthday was that “he did care for me, but does not anymore. he has moved on and found peace.” Sure he did, just neverending hurtful and unneeded comments. He didn’t ever care, no matter what he says, and I have to accept that and rely on myself to heal my wounds.
I have realized in the past few weeks that I have placed too much of my life on words instead of actions. On men who are incapable of love, when what I truly need is to love myself. And at the present moment, that would be very hard to say that is true. How sad, I know. I have so much soulsearching and healing to do, and I have only just begun; And that sounds so scary to think about… but I don’t want to do this anymore. And I certainly do not want this pattern to continue. He became a sociopatic rebound from a sociopath. I don’t want it to happen again, and thank God I am too scared to even get near a guy right now. Life is too short and I am throwing it away on someone who doesn’t matter. On someone who has such an empty soul that he is parasiting off of the love I dream of knowing. Unfortunately, it is now just his ghost that is haunting me.
I want to thank everyone on this blog. I currently feel like I have no one else to turn to, as no one understands, or wants to hear any more about it, and this has utterly consumed me. I feel completely alone, and abandoned. At times, I feel in complete despair. I do have God in my life, but I even know myself that I do not involve Him enough. I know what I have to do, I just need to do it. NC! Time will heal. Thanks again….

Dear Presseject – I am so sorry for what you are going through. I can relate with every word you wrote. I am also kinda relieved and happy to see more gay men reaching out to lovefraud. I have been posting here for six months or more. I was involved with a sociopath, borderline personality disorderer guy, well he actually lived with me for 3 years. I t was 3 years of hell, a nightmare I can’t seem to wake up from. When I finally kicked him out the last time, he classically devalued and discarded me. I thought through out the relationship something was not right here and if I could just end this traumatic rollercoster ride i would be ok and go back to being myself. Well i was blindsided by the emotion’s that arose after he left. I fell into a deep depression, had constant anxiety. I lost twenty pounds. I had lost my identity. Donna Anderson – OX Drover and all the kind blogger’s here have helped me recover some of my sanity. I had to seek out therapy and anit depressant meds. I was grasping at straws for help. Never have i been so confused. I could go on and on about my X, but for the respect of my fellow bloggers i will not put them through that again. YOU have found a place to heal. It has been 5 month’s of NC, and it seems like yesterday that i kicked him to the curb. I by no mean’s am happy that you are here – but thank you for opening up and sharing your story, so much more eloquently than I ever could. And watch out for oxdrover’s iron skillit – she uses it very often to knock sense into us here at love fraud…….

You wonderful people have no idea how you are saving my life with your stories.The feelings of wanting to write, or forgive are so strong. I have to have no contact because to me my S is evil. He was the one to make me feel better until things took a turn for the worst. Controlling manipulative, hurtful, and anger was all that he gave in the end. Then he told me that something was wrong with me and that was just him like it or leave. I let my daughter get close to him as well,and now she is hurt too. Im frustrated at myself because I let him in….he was so nice. I am 4 weeks into no contact….everyday I think about him and why he had to change…why couldnt he be the nice guy I thought he was . One day at a time right? It will get better right?

Dear Presseject,

Thanks for the “rest of the story”—and for sharing so much of yourself, and as Henry said, so eloquently—but you don’t have to worry about my Iron Skillet, I reserve that for really “naughty boys”, like Henry! LOL But he’s doing better now and I am so glad, he and I both tend to get down on ourselves too much (in that case, I lend it to him to boink me with)

Selena, Great that you are 4 weeks NO CONTACT, that takes strength to do, but it also increases our strength!! You GO GIRL!

TOWANDA!!!! FOR US ALL!!!!

Presseject,
I was nodding my head while reading your story. I was only with my sociopath for 2 months, but during that time he managed to convince me that he was totally in love with me and wanted to spend his life with me. He discarded me the day after our most passionate encounter where I knew I had fallen in love with him. He had planned to bring his young daughter up for me to meet the next day. They were both going to stay over. He stood me up without a phone call. But the worst was to see him posting on our mutual reptile website (where we met) as if nothing was unusual. When I sent him a private message, he just blew me off. Then I got an email from him stating “I’m sorry; I have no excuse; I will always love you though”. It was his cowardly way of breaking up with me!!

Up until this day, I had never dated a sociopath before and had never seen these kinds of behaviors. I never reached out to him again, thankfully, so I never got to be devalued by him such as you did in that letter. But I felt devalued enough, the way I was discarded just as he had finally “hooked” me.

I belong to a dating site, and it is scary how many stories I read of women getting played like this, finding out their partners are trolling for women on the dating site behind their back.

Anyway, I understand your pain. I was suicidal for about a month after it happened, and I only knew him for 2-1/2 months. Of that time, we were not even dating for the first 3 weeks.

It has been a few months. I feel much stronger, but I think it wouldn’t take much to bring the pain back. So I’ve made a strict no-contact-ever rule with this guy.

StarG

selena = It does get better. I have not seen my X P in 5 month’s. I am not going to be gentle with ya. Get ready for some really tuff time’s. i remember when I had no appetite, i couldn’t eat, sleep, work, I could barely muster the will power to feed my dog’s. All I could do is think of him. Yeah i still let the creep camp in my head too much…But I am going to be ok and so will you. This is a life lesson don’t fail it…….

Selena,
It does get better, though it doesn’t seem like it right now. A month ago (about 3 weeks after the break-up) I went camping by myself. The purpose was to just get him out of my system. I found I could not take a breath without thinking about him. I fought the thoughts all weekend. I finally surrendered to the horrible pain and inadequacy I was feeling. I felt so powerless to change it, and it hurt so bad. I really just wanted to die, and it was hard to admit that to myself. I came home feeling like a train wreck. I can honestly say a month later that I am much much better. I even go through entire work days without the thought of him crossing my mind once. In fact, I think of him more out of habit these days. When I drift off to sleep at night and wake up in the morning, he is the farthest thing from my mind. Used to be just the opposite. Time really is a great healer. You will probably cry a lot and vent a lot. And eventually, it will be less and less.
A big hug,
StarG

letgo: the one thing that stuck from your post was ”no thank you.” i remember when my s/p would ask me…”can you lend me a few bucks?” even when i was unemployed i couldn’t say no because if i did he would say, ”that’s okay, i know where i can get it!” this meant, i will go with another woman if you don’t give it to me and out of fear, i would relent. he NEVER said thank you. toward the end, he would just take the cash and walk out without even acknowledging it. it wasn’t unusual for him to say, ”that’s all!?”
he promised for three years that he would take me to the beach to watch the sunset together. THREE years. and i STILL believed that he would! but because he knew that is what i wanted, he would purposely not do it.
no thank you’s. no apologies. no conscience. no boundaries.
that’s the sickness.
and the longer i stay away and objectify it, the easier it is to say:
TOWANDA!!! (as in: good riddance!)

Presseject:

Our experiences were similar. I am six months removed from my P exboyfriend. He kept telling me loved me, then, he told me he wanted to break up…I asked why…he took a job in NYC…he kept it a secret for 3.5 months…his dream job with a 6 figure salary…he still owes me $800 because I was supporting him. Then I found out about the cheating…6 months…right after my father died and before he asked me to live with him.

What is really creepy is how much he tried to change me and manipulate me. I have to admit, some of the ways he did, I have kept and would not change about myself…but in many ways there is NO WAY he was ever going to change me. I was assertive…articulated feelings…set boundaries (which he violated).

I always got “the look.” It was the “How dare you challenge my magnificence” look. My intuition about people is very strong…and I have to say…I was right.

Things that have helped me cope with the abuse was one, to acknowledge that I was abused. Then, to look for the pattern in my life….so far I have identified 7 N/P/S in my life over the last 10 years. Thirdly, I have chosen to place blame where it belongs–ON HIM/THEM. i did not choose them…they targeted me. Fourth, I read an article that said the love I felt from my P was actully the love I gave him reflected back. They are mirrors since they can’t feel…they don’t experience the love we give them. I realized I must be an amazing person if the love I gave someone felt that good! Then I decided to give it to myself. Afterall, I was feeling my own love for 10 months…why not keep giving it…it felt really good. The greatest lesson though was to trust myself…a new mantra I recite is “You are right….You are right.”

It is a great day when you can look at the devaluation, discard, and abandonment as a blessing. I exhaled a huge sigh of relief after the last time I went to NYC to see him, July 4 weekend. Two days later…I DREW THE BOUNDARY. I discarded him.

The only person I take care of right now is me…I’m pretty good at it…I’ve had so much practice. It is quite amazing to realize if we just refocus the resources we already have on ourselves, we have everything we need to heal. There is no magical cure we have to find…we already possess it. If someone I loved were hurting, I would comfort them. I am hurting…I give that comfort to myself. Etc.

I believe we give the gifts we are given. My P loved that. His appetite was vast. Somehow, I learned I was not allowed to give them to myself. My P showed me…I need to give to myself first and share the excess not give at the expense of myself. No matter what, there is plenty to share because I am not stunted like my P is.

The outlook for them is bleak…lonliness, depression, self-loathing. Mine…is pretty bright. I have insight, courage, power, resilience, a capacity for growth, and I rufuse to settle for less. My P gave me crumbs to sustain me…if you are always hungry you do anything for food.

Letgoletgod: Stop settling for crumbs girlfriend…you deserve a whole meal! WE ALL DO.

I gave my P control over his life. I have taken control of mine. A book I would offer as great comfort was written by the gay author, Oscar Wilde. It’s titled, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY. It will make you feel many things, it’s art after all. But I think Oscar knew something about loving a N.

Powerten ( The Truth Will Set You Free – But First It Will Piss You Off!)

Presseject,
Thanks for a very well constucted and honest account of your painful experience. Your insight and understanding will not only help you recover but others here struggling to comprehend the madness of this kind of relationship.
You are now a member of an exclusive club of honest and good people who have survived!
Swallow

Ah, yes, Dorian Grey! The ultimate Psychopath? Narcissist? What? A great book. The movie was okay too. I always wondered why they never did a remake of that great story! I hadn’t thought of that book in years. Thanks for reminding me.

It’s funny though, I have known several VERY (rich) “successful” psychpaths and they seemed to live their lives like Dorian Grey, only they think somehow that their money and power gives them “the fountain of youth” and as they age they seem to get more and more Narcissistic, wanting younger women, more women, etc. like they are terrified that they are losing it as they age, and frustrated that they “can’t take it to the grave with them.” One of them said to me once “Well, money may not buy love, but it can sure rent you some great babes!”

They want to live the “Hugh Hefner” lifestyle till they are 100. That “lifestyle” is held up by the “media” as “success” when it is, in truth, not even the shallowest of shadows of REAL SUCCESS in life.

A mother starved for her brood,
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
Jesus upon the rod,
And the many humble people
who’ve the stony hard pathway trod,
Some call it consecration
Others call it God.

I have no idea who said that, but I memorized it when I was a kid. To me, a good loving life, lived with dignity and love, kindness and caring is much more a “success” than all the education, money, fame or toys in the world can provide.

Powerten and presseject, I can totally relate to what you have written.
It is really a mirror they put and bring out the best and the worst we can possibly be in the deep grounds of our souls and have them stirred thoroughly so we have to rearrange the whole mess and can get use of the useful and discard the useless. I think I have given my P also some lessons and gifts, so I owe him nothing and he ows me nothing. I discovered a skin cancer he was not aware of, and I showed him that paying the bills for his three children from two differen women is an investment in the future and more valuable than inheritage much later. He is not married to either of them. I learned from him to sort out my mess with being “too nice” and being “used” by all kind of sorts of people and I found out about the whole bunch of P,N, and S in my life, patterns, I was wondering my whole life so far and I am willing to change the pattern as I set my boundaries which were lacking completely. VERY USEFUL, but I would not like to repeat THIS class. He also taught me how to wash my hands with a soap bar. I was too much wasting his soap bar. I am a physician who did 1 year in surgery, I KNOW how to wash hands. This was the first sign red flag I remarked about in the second week of our relationship, and I remarked also his complete lack of humour and finding out my ironic tone. He also suggested me to go to a color and style consultant as I did not dress properly in his opinion. I can very nicely draw my boundaries now with the shop ladies when they want to sell me rubbish. VERY GOOD!
It seems a pattern with the birthday, as my birthday was also the point where I said “Stopp” for myself. The weekend before was incredible, a fireworks of things we did together. He was flying in the Piper and exercising emergencies with his instructor. He did some gruesome engine failure on a lake and managed it very well to land the machine, then we went to a cozy hideaway shopping, went to a very good fish restaurant, then saw a very moving film in the cinema, and the night was just amazing. The next weekend was my birthday, and he did not plan ONE thing, and he said as I recalled his great deed in the plane and how proud I was “I do not care who is sitting in the rear when I am flying”. And he sent me home in a very rude way on sunday noon. This was IT! I went into no contact with him for two weeks, and he did not contact me either. After that I had long ago invited him to a theatre play in another city, and we were talking about relationships over the supper (kind of last supper). He told me that his desire of a relationship would be someone to come with him to theatre plays and concerts, providing sex as well, but with no deeper committment (he was very anxious about commitment, and I had to collect all my belongings after each visit, and I had not to wear perfume). Kind of escort service, I presume. Something I have definitely not to offer, and I drew the line again, this time for good. He wanted to come home with me, but I declined and said at the train “The escort girl goes now, never to come back”, and left him standing in front of his coach without looking back. I felt terribly, but proud, like in the theatre, it was definitely not me (or my new “me”). The weeks to come I exspected at least a phone call with a sorry or a bunch of roses or the like, but nothing happened. I felt very sad and devastated. The only thing that kept me from calling him was my Gym teacher who was in a terrible relationship mess himself, and HE was upset by a SMS by his girlfriend. At this time my sister suggested he might be a psychopath and had me look it up at Google. My P sent me a postcard three weeks later that read that he hoped I feel fine and having a good time, he was busy as usual and he would like to contact me again in the future, to do something (theatre, concert), but at the moment he has no motivation to do so. He knows however that he does not want to resume any “love relationship” again. The whole card was a complete “letter to aunt Rose”, and the “” were very upsetting me as he was MY love of my life (so far). I wrote back two lines that I thanked him for his card and that I was not interested any more in any further contact (knowing now how important NC is). My sister saw him two weeks ago at a fair but did not speak to him. Just mentioning him and his very nice children I am very fond of made me feel very sad again. Today I saw him for the first time since the break up end of April 08 (he did not see me though as he was bending over his trunk), my heart was beating, my mood was sinking, I got a very bad temper, and I had one of my worst shopping attacks ever in my life (retail therapy?). In the night I drove by his house, saw a peaceful light and his old car, and said to me that I have no right to worry as I have given him free, and he is free to do what he likes with his life and I am free to do the same. No worry! I AM FREE!!!!
Among the first words I have learnt when I came to England was the difference between “Shit” and “manure”. I will try to look at it as being manure from now on! I wish you all a very nice evening! And thanks a lot for your help and compassion; you all should get payed accordingly as psychotherapists; mine did not have a clue. It was P and my sister and you all who transformed shit into hopefully fertile manure.

Powerten, The “mirroring” you mention is so true. And I appreciate how you have turned this around to remind us all that WE are the loving ones! Being aware of this powerful mirror effect that the P/S uses (since they have nothing deeper to share) takes real insight. It is this same awareness I try to work on each day, since without it, I sink into self-pity, doubt and remorse. (That was my whole afternoon today… I am still trying hard to overcome the hurt. Good days and bad days…) He mirrored so much of me in hindsight. When I laughed he was intrigued, when I was excited, he became excited, when I had ideas for us, he easily went along. I was a tour guide to the exotic land of emotions for him. But they never entered his heart. (knock knock presseject! WHAT HEART!? No skillets please.) This mirroring also occurred when I questioned him about his online activities. I had become disapproving. So, he mirrored this back to me quickly and assumed I was done with him, (enter “S” logic) he would then be done with me and find a much easier victim to work with. End of relationship. (This happened so fast it is was as disorienting as hitting a brick wall). When I look back and am able to apply this basic equation to the relationship, knowing this is the (low) level he operates on, I can dig myself out of the hurt. It has been a a true struggle to see this though. I will try to use your terrific interpretation, your ability to remind yourself of the goodness that is in you, as it seems so helpful. Interestingly, a priest used a mirror with me one day: There was a day a few months ago I went to see a priest without even mentioning the encounter I had just had. He sense I was low and he wanted to help build me up, so he placed me in front of a mirror and asked me to say 10 things I like about myself. I burst into tears. I just couldn’t do it. That was a couple of weeks after this all happened. (He said “we have a lot of work to do…”) I can do it now (slowly). That is a good sign. We have to find these qualities in ourselves. Otherwise they are stolen from us without us even being aware. God… this has hurt. But, Thank God others have opened up here to help me feel less alone in this. Like you, I’ve also identified those in the past I have been hurt by as being N’s or S’s. I had built up each relationship in my mind as having great qualities but it was only myself misleading myself that they were offering more when in fact it was all basically an illusion. I have read this is simply an addiction to unhealthy people. I will, I must, I can break this chain now. Lovefraud and those that help us to heal here are my witnesses! I wish you luck in this too Powerten and am grateful you have shared with us here.

checking in… Henry, your words are very helpful, here and elsewhere in the site. Thanks for warning me about OxDrover’s mighty skillet. Honestly, I can see how a good bonking could be helpful at times. Not that I am one for punishment. (uh.. that was the OLD me…) Is it possible that we have indeed been punishing ourselves so long with those that can’t love us that we have been numb to this? That this recent painful experience is not so much the doing of the S/P, but of our own growth, a self-induced earthquake from years of hidden building pressure? It has to be something like this, otherwise we are playing the victim card.

Letgoletgod and Selena: You are where I was not too long ago. I shudder when I think of the devastation and shock I was feeling. But you are doing the right thing. This is where I came for help and found it… I was quiet about it for three months and finally shared the two letters you have read with Donna Andersen. I can tell you that sharing your words here is also a step in the right direction. You are less alone than you think, I also know that feeling and it really can overwhelm. Keep working through this, others have done it and you will heal in time.

swallow: Thank you. These words are very affirming and I thank you for thinking of me as honest and good. Honesty comes from being truthful… and fortunately, the truth sets us free. (I know the next line here about being pissed off… and I accept that that is part of this painful rebirth!) I also think without love we are nothing, so I will continue to be a loving individual, this can not be robbed from me. But instead of trying so much to please others, I will finally try to be good to myself as well. I think this is the key to staying out of trouble!

powerten: forgot to thank you for the Oscar Wilde reference. and…

Oxdrover, your comment about them wanting to take as much with them as they can makes a lot of sense to me. I saw a very selfish side that was all about seeking thrills, and now that you mention it, it seems like it was also motivated by time running out. (I think that the impulsive aspect is also hardwired into them though, maybe worsening with age as the hourglass empties). It is a blessing to be aware of this now. What you wrote about success is helpful. I am working hard to separate my sense of self worth from the wealthy men I have been “dazzled” by. I would rather be richer in spirit, close to being perfect in being simply imperfect. That alone takes off some of the stress right there!

libelle: I admire how you have grown through your experience. Please be careful though with the credit card, spending has been my weakness too through some of this. My only justification being that clinical therapy might have actually cost more. A good thing I did was get a bigger plan for my cell phone to cover minutes used with help from friends and family. Again, this choice was going to cost less than a therapist. And yes, you are free… we are all free to grow, live and love in healthier ways.

Lovefraud.com: Thank you again (Donna Andersen) for this special place that helps me to become a better person, more gentle with myself, more caring in all aspects of my life, and, less afraid to simply….breathe.

Dear Libelle,

QUOTE: “the difference between shit and manure” Laugh!!!!

That is so true! They give us shit and we can turn it into manure to fertilize our internal emotional gardens with!

We can use it to help ourselves grow and mature into the kind of people that we should be. Loving, good, kind, confident, self assured without being arrogant, and all the attributes that we thought that they had, that we hoped they had, but they didn’t.

presseject – powerten – gang – I am not sure how long you have been reading the post on LF. My (story) is a bit different than most. My (X) (BPD) was not someone I dated or courted in hopes of a longterm relationship. He was an aquaintance. He lived close by in my rural area. He was in a (abusive) six year relationship with his then (BF). My X had me convinced that he was being abused, controlled and mistreated. I never had any romantic feeling’s for (M). One night (M) knock’s on my door and say’s his bf beat him up and kicked him out. i said “you don’t have to go back to that, you can stay here until you figure something out” So begin’s my decent into HELL. So M was down on his luck and needed help and i would of done that regardless of his (disorder) but he started his (dance) and mirrored me and listened very well and became the man of my dream’s. I was hooked. He cheated, lied, manipulated, threatened me, even attempted suicide when I would kick him out. I knew he was evil, I just didn’t have a label for his kind of evil. Yes I am responsible for being a vulnerable lonely 54 year old gay man. I don’t like to admit that i have codependency issue’s, or a pattern of trying to fix people, because admitting that let’s him off the hook. But he was/is 100% certified Physcopath. And yes after the three year encounter of the worst kind, I have had to step back and take a really long hard deep look at myself and my past. And yes my childhood sucked big time. A narcissist mother – an abusuve dad – incest – all the horrible thing’s that i could not deal with, i just swept them under the rug and blocked them out of my mind. Well the truth will set you free – but first it will piss you off. I have grown from this life lesson. i have forgiven the one’s I can and avoid the one’s i can’t. I have re- connected with the universe. And i count my blessing’s every day. I am sure you understand how hopeless it feel’s to possibly ever meet a good decent guy in a culture that is all about sex and youth. So I work on me and love the one’s that love me. I don’t ever want to go down this path again. He met his new (victim) on my computer. I resent that i let (trash) into my life and thought I was in love with it. I resent that he entered my life homeless and pityiful. He didnt have a vehicle or a driver’s license. I helped him fix that. he had horrible teeth I helped him fix that. So now he has moved on to a more prosperous victim. I wish I had left him in the ditch i found him in. i wish I could get him out of my mind. I wish I could forgive myself for being so stupid. But i am better – you should of read my post 6 months ago!!!!!! we do heal it is a long hard life lesson but one we cannot fail……

Presseject,

Thanks for sharing your story with all of us. It’s amazing how similar so many of our stories are. I had always considered myself a strong, smart, independent woman. Then, without even realizing it, my own sense of self was slowly being taken away from me for years and years. How my own husband could have emotionally abused me for years without me really knowing what was going on (although, we all have that little inkling in the back of our minds, don’t we?) I’ll just never understand.

Although I have had NC with him for months, I still get overwhelming feelings of sadness as well as fear sometimes. Fear that I was sleeping with the enemy for so many years. Sadness as to how any human being could do the things he has done. I know, they are not human.

I told him months ago the reason I married him was because he felt like he could do anything; he has no real fear of anything. He just smiled and laughed at that, as he knows it’s true. I consider him to be pure evil. When I am ever in his presence now I can feel the negative energy from him, and it throws me off for quite a while afterwards.

I think of the woman sleeping with him now… she just moved in with him… 16 years younger than he is. She has no idea she is sleeping with the enemy. She is in the idealization phase. I tried to warn her, but it is useless. As someone mentioned here, unless you’ve come face to face with a sociopath, you just can’t understand. And why would someone listen when they are on top of the world, have never felt such “love” before, and are just so grateful that this person came into their lives??

I have attempted to turn to my higher power, and it was very helpful, but I seem unable to get back to that place where I can truly look to God for help. I do try to find the meaning in suffering, but am struggling with that these days.

I just wish none of this happened. I wish I had followed my intuition years ago about this man that I knew was not quite right. If only we could turn back time, and fix all of the wrong turns we’ve made in our lives. We all have our lessons to learn, I guess.

I know they can’t feel real feelings like we can, can’t truly love, and have no empathy, but they sure do put on a good show. They are able to fool everyone around them. It’s tough for the rest of us that are left by the side of the road with no ride, no idea of which direction to go, and no idea of how we even got there.

As Presseject said, we can only go forward, it doesn’t do us any good to go backwards. It’s just hard to keep that forward momentum going sometimes.

Dear Almost_free,

Growing up on a farm at when I was little still used animal power for plowing and had a lot of livestock, I think I understand in some ways the analogies that were used in the Bible to instruct some of those people. Jesus said that when a man puts his hand to the plow and LOOKS BACK he is unable to plow correctly. HE MUST LOOK FORWARD. It is so true in so many areas of our lives.

We can sit down and look back and see how straight our rows are, but we CAN NOT go forward and look back with that plow in our hands or we will “PLOW CROOKED”—there are times to sit down and look back at our lives, but if we intend to MOVE, we have to look FORWARD.

When you are plowing a row, you pick a point on the distant horizon (a goal, a star, something to guide you toward) and you head for that, and your row will be straight. You head for that goal and you will go the right direction with few bobbles along the way. If you take your eyes off the goal, you will weave and waver.

There is nothing wrong with sitting down from time to time and looking back, or to sit and think, or decide on a goal, but once you are up and moving, NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE GOAL.

“the saddest words of tongue or pen–it might have been”

It is so true that what we thought we had with them was wonderful, but it wasn’t TRUE, it wasn’t GOOD, and it was only HALF OF A LOVE—our half, not theirs.

Yea, we all “slept with the enemy” but at the same time, we are now FREE, and sitting down ALL the time isn’t going to get our “field plowed” and we have our plows sharpened, our goals on the horizon and we’re on our way. I too wish I hadn’t wasted so much of my life trying to fix a problem that couldn’t be fixed, but I don’t have that “problem(s)” in my life any more, THEY ARE GONE–and I am so glad and thankful now. They took with them every nasty dirty thing in my life with them—THEMSELVES.

There isn’t a thing in the world in the way of “problems” that can’t be handled, solved or accepted as long as there isn’t a Psychopath involved with it. Flat tires, floods, broken crockery, bills to pay, —whatever that problem is, it is just LIFE, but without the psychopath to stab you, kick your feet out from under you, hurt you, devalue you, you can focus on fixing LIFE’S PROBLEMS and just move on. Things are so much more easily handled if you aren’t also dealing with a P.

Have a flat tire on the way to work? NO BIG PROBLEM. Change the tire. Spare flat too? Call the AAA–etc. NO BIG DEAL. Inconvenience? Yep! But NO BIG PROBLEM. You no longer have to go home and listen to what an idiot you are for having a flat tire. Bank statement won’t balance? Keep plugging, you can get it…no big deal…they are not there to have written 15 checks that they lied to you about, and they aren’t there to tell you that you are stupid because 2+2 doesn’t equal 5. HEY, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, YOU ARE P-FREE!!!! ((((hugs))))

saw a colleague today i hadn’t seen since june (when my s/p was in the final stages of destroying the last vestiges of my self-esteem and our relationship). she saw me and instantly said, “hey, i didn’t even recognize you … your eyes look so … ALIVE!”
so … not having that leech sucking off my boobs 24/7 has already made an impact in the reawakening of my spirit!
NC is the key. at first i never thought i could do it, but i have. one month now.
hang in there everyone. if i can do it (after a 20 yr relationship with lucifer himself) … so can all y’all!
thank you ALL for helping in the healing!
TOWANDA!!!

lostingrief!!!! Yeah for one month!!! I am on month 5 of NC. I can see so many improvement’s in my health and mental health as well. 20 year’s? bless your heart – hang in there , you are an inspiration too me. thanks for sharing your story. Oxy – Did you know you can get more corn in a crooked row than a straight row? I went to a garage sale here in colorado this morning. This old woman with lot’s of character – i enjoyed talking too her – you could just tell she was full of wisdom and had a good heart – well guess what i bought?

I fell in love with a machine
he had no emotions of love or empathy
he tried to warn me but I laughed
didn’t believe there is no cure for a sociopath

oh don’t take pity on me scorned
he is the one who to society cannot conform
I saw him drowning in distress
only because he chooses to refuse a life vest

I just came across this blog and was a bit fascinated because I’ve also had a strange experience with a person who is most likely a psychopath. It was so strange that I still can’t wrap my head around it even though it’s been about a year and a half since I saw him last or had any contact with him. I was drawn to him because he was anything but boring, and his impulsive and full-of-life behavior gave me lyrical inspiration (I’m a songwriter). Perhaps it is because S/P’s are such unusual characters that he gave me this intense curiosity about him and to this day I still think about him all the time, not because I have any feelings for him anymore but because I am still so fascinated by his character. Also, its just such a tragedy that a person so incredibly intelligent as he was would choose instead to self-destruct, drowning himself in deceit, drugs and alcohol. There was almost something poetic about this self destruction and tragic flaw in character that would allow someone to be so un-self aware.

The strange thing is I was more or less aware of his manipulative and cunning nature, and sometimes even found myself impressed by the sheer amount of creativity he put into his work. At the time I even enjoyed being manipulated by him, I’ll never understand why.

All in all it was a very painful experience for me, but it made me so incredibly thankful that I do have the capacity to love, and have since found a wonderful man and put all of it, except this lingering curiosity, behind me. I hope that if the curiosity continues that someday I could collect enough ideas about these themes to write a short story or novel.

My heart goes out to those of you currently dealing with an S/P!

The only reason these characters (men and women with the condition of living in their big egos) date younger people, is not only due to the physical attractiveness … it’s the naivety of the age bracket that empowers them … not knowing yet, what mature people already found out about them … aka NOT putting up with their lies and manipulations. Knowledge about “them” is threatening their very existence (LOL) … boo, hoo … now they’ll be forced to grow up. Life’s tough … get over it.

Peace.

Dear LIG,

Yep, a lack of continual stress in your life will make you look 10 years younger and a lot more healthy. I can’t even imagine how I looked or must have looked a year ago when I was so stressed and so sick as well.

Henry, what did you buy? Corn?

Of course, silly, a crooked line between two points is LONGER than a straight line between the same two points. DUH! I knew that when I was a kid and could barely see over the plow handles—but a crooked row was all I could plow! LOL By the time I got to where I could plow a straight row, my grandpa sold the mules and got a tractor.

Wish you’d have been here today Henry, I’d have put your butt to work—son D and I got up on the hangar roof and started some minor repairs, tightening the screws, putting in new flashing on the ridge and caulking the seam between the hangar roof and the roof over the studio….then before we hardly got off it started raining, I hope it didn’t ruin our caulking! But this old body is tired tonight, I’m getting too old for all this manual labor up on roofs. As soon as I get the leaks fixed FOR SURE, I can repair the ceiling and lay the carpet in the third room and I will be 3/5ths done with the remodeling job. I’m going to take some “time off” from work for a while and start a stained glass project I am THINKING on, and NOT EVEN FEEL GUILTY!

My friends still have stuff stored in the two bedrooms of the studio, and I sent them an e mail today telling them that they have til October 15th to clear it out—notice that THEY have til Oct 15th to clear it out, if I have to clear it out cause they haven’t I will call Goodwill and have them come pick it all up. See how good I am getting at setting BOUNDARIES and even giving them a reasonable TIME to make arrangements to get the stuff moved, but also a LIMIT on the amount of TIME they have to get it moved. The greatest part too is that I DON’T FEEL THE LEAST BIT GUILTY ABOUT SETTING A REASONABLE BOUNDARY. In fact, if you want to know the truth, I am actually PROUD OF MYSELF!!! Pat pat pat! (that’s the sound of me patting myself soundly on the back) TOWANDA!!!!!

Boy Oxy, I can see that big smile of yours grinning from check to check. Good girl … that’s the way to do it. It’s so good to laugh again … and smiling, one of my favorite past times.

Peace and Harmony, sleep well tonight.

Oh, by the by, we had a drive by shooting tonight at 9:00. Two teenage boys on a white motorcycle … who don’t know a thing yet … shooting a gun at a neighbor’s house … 5 houses from me … I never saw all my neighbors on the entire block all come out of their houses at the same time … nice to know everyone was concerned and everyone dialed 911. The people who live in the house couldn’t get over it … they were all in the back portion of the house getting ready for bed … 6 shots right into the front rooms … unbelievable. Oh, and P.S. the police were there within minutes of the call … any time you mention a weapon … they all come out of the woodwork … many, many, many undercover officer all responded. Nice to know they do care.

Peace.

oxy I bought a cast iron skillit—-now I have 3…..I am so glad to be home from CO. You sure are active for an old lady!!! don’t take that too serious, I admire you.. I can’t do the thing’s I used to do, at 54 my back is worn out. But I still climb up trees with a chainsaw. I just can’t lift heavy thing’s like I used to. So I wait for help, two back’s are better than one. I remember my grandmother cutting firewood with a chainsaw when she was 75. She lived to be 96, I miss her…gnite oxy

Dear Wini,

Just remember:

When SECONDS count, the police are only MINUTES away.!!!!

Yes, that is scary when there are just “random” shots fired like that. Budding Ps for sure! I hope the cops get them.

WE had 3 brothers in this community that were “acting out” by the time the youngest was 10, in and out of juvy for arson and vandalizm. One drove his motorcycle into a pick up truck head on in an accident, but the community thought was “one down, two to go.” The other two went to prison and then got out and “back to business as usual” but the cops finally rearrested one, and the other is laying low at least for now. The oldest one is less than 25 and I doubt if he will make it alive back in this community for very long, he will break into the wrong house at the wrong time, either that or he will go to priosn for murder himself.

The only thing they ever did to me was to open the gate and let my whole large herd of cattle out on the highway just before solid dark one night (they were seen doing it) and could have gotten someone killed if the neighbors hadn’t warned me what had happened, fortunately, my cattle were gentle and came on right back in.

At least before all the oil an gas rig workers came into our community to drill on the FAyetteville Shale area we knew who the neighborhood “bad boys” were–now there are a lot of strangers and people who are nomads in our area, and will be I imagine for the next 30 years. I guess there is no place except a “desert island” that there aren’t a few Ps around looking for “excitement.” Glad you are okay and your neighbors are as well.

Oh, and another boundary I set a few days ago (I am SO proud of myself) the gal who rents my son C’s house from my other brought her two horses here after the torando tore up her mother’s farm. Unfortunately, she is not taking care of them very well (she actually can’t afford to feed them) My pasture renters put a large round bale of hay in their pen the day they picked up hay bales out of the field to store. I had a talk with the girl about not feeding them enough (but she didn’t “get it” that you shouldn’t be able to see a horse’s ribs just because she has some “race horse” in her) anyway, I gave her a date to get the horses off my place and into a permanent place. I felt really bad for the horses actually, because the girl doesn’t know squat about them and one of the horses is viscious—and actually bit the owner on her breast and almost amputated the breast—and I WILL NOT have a dangerous animal on this place. Period. So I “set my foot” down about her keeping the horses here “forever” instead of just a temporary shelter arrangement that I gave her after the storm. They are tearing down the fences in a effort to reach over to grass and sooner or later they will get out and the untamed one would be impossible to get off the highway, which is dangerous as well, so GO they MUST. I can’t say I didn’t have some “guilty” feelings about that, but I didn’t take her or her horses to “raise” and my pastures are rented out to others (except for MY donkeys and a couple of MY pet cows)

Henry, we posted over each other again. LOL

I should have known what you bought!

I had so many cast iron pots etc that I actually thinned them down a while back. It is about all I cook with on the stove. I love them, the ultimate “non-stick” pot if you know how to keep them oiled and rust free. I have about every size from tiny to HUGE plus dutch ovens with feet for cooking at the living history thing, bean pots, a griddle (I want a double griddle but haven’t seen one lately) I won’t buy the new cast irons that are put out now, I like the OLD ones, the older the better, and with a nice smooth bottom.

This fall I will make a camp fire and put all my iron pots and pans in it, let the fire burn off and then take and reseason them. I like lard for seasoning them better than anything else, but olive oil willl do if you can’t get lard. (not that stuff sold in bricks at the grocery that says it’s lard, it is mostly “hydroginated oils” I get real lard in 10 pound buckets at the butcher, pure unsalted, I keep it frozen as I don’t use much of it for anything else.

Makes the iron skillet bounce better off of bone too! ha ha,

G’nite Henry! sleep well. An ice pack on the bump on your head will help! LOL ()hugs)))

Oxy, I wondering if these were the same two morons racing through the neighborhood a few weeks back? I was walking my dog … got to the end of our block … and the two of them came racing by at about 100 mph. I looked across the street where several elderly neighbor’s were were sitting on their front porch. I said “do you know them”. They said “no”. I said “oh, we’ll be reading their obituaries in the paper by the end of the summer”. All the woman said “you’re right … we will be reading about them or them killing some innocent person”.

I’m just shaking my head … this is too crazy. They brought the FBI to our town about a month ago. I saw it on the news … they’ll be here for several months working with our local police … now that’s a sad, sad, sad, state of affairs when your city has to have the aid of the FBI cause the citizen’s are out of control. They did this several years back … due to drug dealers killing innocents along their rampage over their turf wars. Then when they lock up the kingpin, he’s still giving orders from behind bars? You see this in the movies but it’s true. I remember seeing every inner city kid has a aromatic container on the dashboard of his car … style was of a kings crown … “Latin Kings” … even if they weren’t in the gang … they acted the part. I haven’t see that in years … either they are behind bars or just grew up. I know the single mom’s in our city had enough of all the anti-social husbands/father’s of their kids … kicked them all to the curb and cleaned up the neighborhood … Enough is enough and none of them were going to take anything, anymore … not from the Mayor, the Politicians in higher offices, the police (at that time) … no one. I gave them a lot of credit … the last 15 years that I’ve been living in my home … I see children and teenagers again, normal kids … riding their bikes, walking while they bounce a basket ball, kids in the parks … swimming, playing basketball, baseball … kids walking to and from school … it’s nice to see all this. What a turn-around … now I’m wondering if this 2 young teenagers just moved into the area … and have no clue what these mommas are going to do to them … if they catch their butts … I bet a lot of lawns will be raked and snow shoveled the remainder of this year.

Peace.

About knowing they are “not quite right”. I don’t know about all of you, but I think sometimes I purposely (unconsciously though) choose men with problems, that have a hard time in life for one reason or another, because deep in my heart I really like being needed, not just wanted. I want to be valuable in some way to the person I’m with. And I feel that if I choose the dented cans and damaged goods, that they will be less likely to leave me.

I know this is not really the case, they can and do leave, though they never leave to work on themselves or live alone, but just cruise on to someone new. Personally I think they move on just because the natural hurt feelings of the “old” lover, their questions and suspicions and crying jags, are just getting to them, to their egos, making them suspect that “gasp” they aren’t the wonderful people they believe themselves to be.

Also other folks in the social network may start to question the S, hold them accountable.. ask the $20,000 question.. “WHY?”

They not only move on to a new lover, they move on to an entirely new set of “friends” and supporters. They can never keep them, but they always have plenty of short termers.

And, Oxy.. I love animals.. but if a horse almost bit off my boob, he’d be seeing the backside of me in a hurry.

Dear Kat,

I think that MANY of “Us” get part of our “self esteem” from BEING NEEDED. That may be the thing that is the common denominator with us. The common denominator for “Them” is NO CONSCIENCE, and maybe the one for “us” is TO BE NEEDED and APPRECIATED.

I notice there are an “out of proportion” (apparently) number of people here in the “helping professions” and maybe that’s why we choose to work “helping” people.

I do know that “being needed” when I was doing things for my folks made me feel “good” ego wise. I was taking care of my step father when he had cancer and I WANTED to, it wasn’t a burden for me because I loved him, but it DID make me feel good when the would say “Babe, I don’t know what I would do without you.”

In thinking about those 18 months that I cared for him, almost 24/7 the first 4 months while he did a couple of chemo treatments and was SOO sick, then after he stopped the chemo and wasn’t so sick, I was still there daily but not 24/7, then when various complications seemed to set in all at once I was there again. But I have NOTHING but good memories about those 18 months. We had a special bonding time together, and I saw wonderful aspects of his sense of humor that I had never seen before. We even laughed about the fact that a man who had been very “quiet” all his life suddenly became a chatter box the last 18 months of his life.

We got a chance to do our grieving together, BEFORE he died, and had wonderful hospice nurses, etc. His faith in God and his great personality and his caring heart all shone through during that time. Yes, I got a LOT of emotional satisfaction and ego strokes during that time, as well. I WAS needed, and I was GLAD to step up to the plate because I loved him.

Maybe though at least SOME of our satisfaction etc. could be from “helping” people so they will be “grateful” to us and care for and love us because we “helped” them.

Enabling can creep in there too. With enabling, we take over a responsibility for someone’s welfare instead of “helping” them by doing only the things they can’t do for themselves. Sometimes too, people will “take advantage” of your helping out in a crisis, sort of like the girl with the two horses. I didn’t know her but I did casually know her adoptive mother (just from seeing her in the community and she was a former patient at my clinic when I had one here in the community) and since the fences were down on her farm, I agreed, as a “good neighbor” to take her two horses in temporarily.

Then, however, as I became more acquainted with the family and the “girl” who owned the horses, and saw the dynamics of the situation I realized what was going on–and I think that family puts the “FUN” back in family DYS-____CTION. LOL

Plus, the younger of the two horses at age 3 does not even know how to lead, and is vicious because she has always gotten away with scaring people by threats. The girl doesn’t know how to “tame” or “train” a horse either. It’s just a bad situation, and I won’t have ANY animal on this place that is “bigger AND meaner” than I am. It just can’t be BOTH bigger and meaner. LOL A 1000 pounds of any animal that is TRYING to hurt you is not a good idea for anyone.

At first I was going to help her train the animal to stand tied and lead, but then I got t thinking, “I’m 61 years old, and I am going to be breaking horses for someone else just to “be nice” and help out? Wait a minute, this is MY PROBLEM HOW?”

Then I began to think logically. 1) They are not my horses, so what is the benefit to me? 2) what is the RISK of getting seriously hurt? 3) If a person owns an animal they can’t control, doesn’t have the money to feed it (they are NOT cheap) doesn’t have the money to pay the vet bill she has already run up from injuries to the animals from the storm, doesn’t get along with her mother anyway and they fight over the horses, this is MY PROBLEM HOW?

So I FINALLY realized that the horses being here for a short time while she found other facilities was a “nice gesture on my part to help out a neighbor” but that keeping them here because she can’t afford to find and pay for a pasture is ENABLING this girll to hang on to horses that she, by her ignornace and poverty can’t afford, so the horses are actually suffering hunger unless I or my pasture renters feed them.

What had STARTED out as “helping” had TURNED INTO “enabling” if I let the horses stay and the owner was NOT motivated to take care of her horses herself—which is the proper thing for her to do. Getting the horses a new home was (to me) the obvious answer. If you can’t afford to feed an animal and take care of it, pay your vet bills, etc. you “find it a new home” or put it down. What would have been accomplished if I had NOT told her to move the horses? I would have either had to watch them poorly cared for and under fed or I would have had to feed them myself. NOPE. Not in the cards.

I know all that seems a LOT of thinking about a “small” problem, but it is a GIANT STEP for me to actually sit and THINK about the differences between helping and enabling.

It also helped me to see that many times in the past I have gone from a HELPING DEED OR IMPULSE into an ENABLING MODE, sort of IN SMALL STEPS. What started out as my desire to ASSIST or HELP someone in a “bad situation” but before long, I was taking over RESPONSIBILITY for them or their problems—ENABLING them to depend on me, and with all the usual results that come from ENABLING vs being a helpful person. I did “Get” something out of it—I felt good to be so “helpful” but before long the “something” I got from the ENABLING part was frustration that they would NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVES and kept on wanting MORE MORE MORE enabling. At that point, I was frustrated, angry, etc. at being “put in a situation”—actually, it is like with the Ps, at first things are rosy, but then turn nasty and angry—so now, I am IRKED at this girl, and she is probably thinking to herself what a bitch I am for making her move her horses when she really doesn’t have the money to rent some pasture.

I’ve sat and mused, applying this “new knowledge” about my self, my “helping” motivations vs. my “enabling” behaviors and I’ve seen a PATTERN there. It starts off with the motivation to “help” and ends up in “enabling” or somewhere in between and I end up feeling BAD, or even guilty for setting a boundary. EVEN A REASONABLE and nice boundary.

James was talking about (in another thread I think) about a woman he knew with some small children, she stayed with the P father of her children though she was not receiving support for the children or herself, and James was giving her money from time to time for food for the children.

I also see a pattern here. I have children (horses) and I can’t afford to feed them because of ________, and I want to get you to pity me and them and you feed them so I don’t have to. I won’t do what is best for my children (horses) but I want you to take responsibility to feed them so I don’t have to. If you don’t assume this responsibility my kids (horses) will go hungry and YOU WILL FEEL BAD because you didn’t feed them.

Is that BLACKMAIL or what? So, James is caught in the middle, if he doesn’t give her money for the food for the kids, the kids are hungry and James feels guilty. I am caught in the middle cause if the horses are not cared for I feel guilty.

But in both cases, we are “being worked” over by our own guilty feelings and our empathy for the children/horses.

The little Terrier dog I have had since January this year is because it’s previous owner, divorced from a P, was unable to care for it properly and afford shots and vets so she asked me to take the dog because I knew and liked the dog. THAT is a responsible pet owner. She couldn’t afford to feed and care for it, so she found it another home that WOULD take the dog and care for it well.

Unfortunately, due to several factors, the two horses are not worth anything, and even finding them a “rescue” home will be difficult due to their poor quality and dispositions. But, IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM and I won’t assume responsibility for it.

And, I am working on NOT feeling guilty about it either. I do admit if you have empathy for others, and critters as well, it is at least for me, difficult not to want to MAKE IT MY PROBLEM.

PS–I just went on to a “co-dependent” web site and I think I “qualify” to “be there”—I read and read their posts, and it seems for that reading at least that almost everyone there was involved with a P—they were doing the same thing we are “supporting” each other to GET OUT and STAY OUT of that relationship. They didn’t “call” their dysfunctional others “Ps or Ss) but essentially that seems to be what they are.

I know that lots of people who are in abusive relationships don’t like to “label” themselves as “co-dependent” but I think that much of MY THINKING AND BEHAVIOR was based on that, so I am going to take a giant leap here and label myself CO-DEPENDENT. Head nodding here with a sort of “ah ha” moment.

I also think that in order to fully heal I need to keep on focusing on changing myself, but at the same time, I think the KNOWLEDGE OF THE Ps is also essential as well. How to spot them and what they are. I think if I focus only on myself, without knowledge of how “they” are, I will have done only half the job, and also the reverse, if I focus ONLY on “them” and not on myself, I still will have done only half the job. I think it needs to be BOTH focusing on them AND myself. Maybe I have answered my own questions about what “we” have in common. I also realize that just like “P-isms” have levels of dysfunction and some are more violent than others, maybe some of “us” (victims) are more co=dependent than others in our behavior and/or thinking.

Setting boundaries though, helps “us” (victims) stop being available for them (the Ps) and NC is the ultimate boundary. I think I will be doing a lot of reading on Co-dependency. Learning that “fine line” between being a “helper” and an “enabler” is my next “self improvement” project. I think I am off to a “good start” with boundaries, but at the same time, I need to do some more work.

Where’s Henry Tonight? Henry, I just thought of something, while you are blogging … turn your speakers on and download gotradio or another freebie site … then load your favorite music … listening to music that you like – not thinking, just enjoying.

Peace.

Hi everyone,

I am new to this site and am so grateful that it exists. I was with my ex-P (ex-fiancee) for almost 3 years. The last time I spoke to him was 3 weeks ago, so everything is still very much fresh in my mind. After “a huge discovery”), I told him that I never wanted to see or talk to him again. I haven’t heard or seen him since and I’d like to keep it that way. I figured he was already on to the next victim. Before finding “Love Fraud”, I was so confused, depressed and angry. Now I feel like I have a wealth of knowledge about Ps. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from being “over it” but am learning that every day will get better, especially with God, my family and friends. For now, I am just trying to take one day at a time and put one foot in front of the other. I plan to write “my” story on this site when the time is right. Right now, I need to concentrate on ME and heal. Thank you again to everyone on this site, who has shared their stories, feelings and support. God bless all of you.

Wini – A free site is Launchcast Radio – I listen to meditation music or just anything I am in the mood for. I have stopped listening too (the you done me wrong songs) _ for months I cried with Whitney Houston’s It Hurt’s So Bad and waiting to exhale is another tear jerker. And george michael has some good spath song’s…lol Wini I am getting over this – 5 month’s no contact… I still question myself alot [did i love him?] or [not]…It was just the classic sociopath senario – he mirrored me, became my fantasy, abused me, disrespected me..used me up and left me an emotional wreck. And I have moved past the tuffest part of the pain. Yeah I still have time’s that set me back. But just getting on with living and [time] is the best advice to anybody. Mostly I am still humiliated and embarrassed that I put up with him so long. Oxy has been a great source of help as so many of you have. And I did get to meet Perky when I was in Co. that was very special too me. It is difficult for me to leave this website – I have friend’s here. The encounter with the spath has forced me to [deal] with some issue’s. And I do feel connected with the universe again, you call it God – I just know something bigger than all of us is looking down on us – someone or something has a plan – ! I think when we are involved in such a chaotic relationship our brain’s get addicted to the anxiety and drama. It has been so difficult for me to just relax and be calm and by myself. But I am enjoying that again. I have [my] home back (the one I offered to him) I have my space back (hi is not in it anymore) and I have my identity back (the one he tryed to posess) . All in All – Henry is doing well. And when I have a bad day or night or his memory slip’s into my thought’s (too much) I come here – and you all understand—–peace

Hey heartoheart.. stick around and welcome to the site.

Henry, I understand that same strange question (did I love him?) As this whole experience is fading, I feel less and less inclined to answer that one. You see, all it takes is a few moments to also remember how awful I was treated at the end and then the point is lost. Those memories get played around over and over so it’s pretty confusing. (being “in love” and then being spit out. It is clearly and painfully illogical. The human heart is can bear much, but this is truly the limit, it is also the limit for the mind to even try to fully comprehend this too). So, just like you and others here, I come back here for the small dose of reality I need to keep a perspective. Sometimes just a few words is all need, sometimes, like tonight, I need to read many posts and feel lucky I can also express my thoughts here in a post. My hypervigilence has really subsided, a few weeks have passed and I am sleeping better now. I feel I have gained part of myself back too. It is slow and there are set backs here and there. But I keep reminding myself to stay determined. And it is working. Here is to all of us for taking back our lives!

heartoheart,

Welcome to LF. I’m sorry about your experience but so thankful you figured it out now. You are right on in taking care of yourself first. When you feel ready, please share your story. We all learn from each other in such amazing ways here. You’ve got great support from the folks on this site. One thing we all realize coming here is that we’re not alone. We can get through this together.

God Bless

to clarify… a few weeks has passed since the hypervigilence subsided. That lasted nearly two months. (It was awful too, and I hated not sleeping well plus all the nightmares…) I am now four months with NC… and going strong!

Had to fight some bad feelings today. I am now just over 4 months with No Contact with the S. But when I look back, I never really got to tell the S how he hurt me. Instead, I just shriveled from the impact of his abrupt devalue/discard. Then that note he sent with all is hurtful (ill)-logic that cut to the core of my insecurities, the nearly juvenile caustic comments about my body. It was so unreal. Only days before he was talking about how much he enjoyed cuddling in bed with me! It came out of nowhere. So, lately I am fighting a residual surfacing feeling of.. wanting justice! But there can’t be justice with one who doesn’t get it. Like what is the point of trying to show your hurt feelings if they don’t even speak the language of feelings. Then I had the urge (and this bothers me almost as much, if not more, as it is like fighting evil with evil)… the urge to get back at him… through the internet (anonymously) as I know exactly where he lurks. But this is pointless too (I know) as it still doesn’t resolve the hurt. (We are not God, this is not our job… I know… I wish I could get the feelings to go away.) Maybe just sharing this here is all I can do and then try to walk away from these feelings, these urges to set him straight (so to speak) or to mess him up. It is useless to even think about it, but the feelings surface anyway, I am powerless over them but am holding on to NC to somehow get through this… Unfortunately, I think his insanity rubbed off on me (I think of it like being around a sick person and I caught some of his disease. I am trying to heal. It is best to stay away from someone so contagious, huh? Thanks for any advice or support on this. Everyone here has been so helpful.

presseject

presseject…
i just got off the phone with my mom, and i was saying the same thing to her. i want justice. five weeks after my ‘discard’ i’m furious. he also said horrible things about my body, after always telling me i was the ‘best and most beautiful’ he ever had. like a first grader, he went straight for the weakness of every woman. her body. and he was brutal. you’re not alone in this either. it’s sick and hurtful and we all want justice.
of course i want to ‘set him straight’, but we both know they’ll NEVER get it! never. he even had the nerve to ring my bell a few days ago. did i want to let him in? only for a second … so i could SET HIM STRAIGHT! but i didn’t. and i’m SO incredibly glad about that. what would i have gotten? more lies? more b.s.? more drama? more confusion? NO!
yes, the need for justice is always in the back of my mind. i was so good to him, so giving, so loving, so faithful in every way. and what i got for it is the exact opposite of what i gave. where is the justice? in all of us knowing we’re not sick, or depraved, or whores, or without conscience. it is them. i know it’s not always enough, but we can only control ourselves … not them.
hang in there. you are understood. trust your instincts; they are right. no sense in letting him steal your peace of mind even when he’s not there. enjoy your day. it is yours, free from the drama and hell of him.
TOWANDA!!!!!

Dear Press eject,

“Vengence is mine saith the Lord”—though the thoughts of “revenge” and “justice” and “making him hurt like he made me hurt” are very normal, natural feelings that we have, but many times we don’t get them the way we would like to. Sometimes the criminal P doesn’t go to jail for their thefts, or other crimes, and sometimes the P who D & Ds you, skips merrily on to the next victim, seeming not to care that you are lying in a heap on the floor, in the fetal position, sucking your emotional thumb, crying your heart out.

It has even been proven in some research that thoughts of vengence actually give our brains a shot of the “feel good” hormones when we think about taking revenge. But dwelling on these thoughs keeps us trapped in the cycle of pain.

Boy, did I want to tell my P-son off, and boy o boy, did I want to hurt my DIL for trying to kill my son. Even now I still someimtes “gloat” a bit that they went to jail, so I did get a measure of Justice and they did get a measure of consequences for their behavior.

The only consolation I have really had is that NO CONTACT has been really frustrating to me P-son, who can now no longer manipulate the family members against each other, play the ends against the middle etc.

Lostingrief is right on about the justice is us knowing that WE ARE NOT LIKE THEM. How can you know what good is without knowing what EVIL is? He doesn’t CARE what Good is, he is content with the evil. He does’t care how he has hurt you. Telling him would only give him satisfaction or disgust, and hurt you more. He just doesn’t “get it”–that what you have is so much more valuable than anything he has. You have a conscience, are able to love, and care. He is devoid of any of these things that make us really human. God bless.

Dear Oxy and Press eject: Don’t forget, we are to focus on taking the higher ground … turn the other cheek. If you dish out revenge, then we put ourselves at the same playing level as them. We end up worse, for it. How then, do you continue living a life of peace and harmony, if you sink to their level? Do you want to live a hell as miserable as them? Why do you think they turn off their emotions? They don’t want to accept the life they are living! All the sins they committed, one after the other. The first sin of believing in their big egos started the process … then the next sin and the next and the next. After sinning for a while, sinning becomes your nature. That’s what your mind is focused on …. and that’s what your life ends up being. Your ego taking off, not focusing on staying humble anymore. Harmony is then replaced with chaos. Chaos is what they live.

When you get past your pain, you’ll see the bigger picture of what is going on … with jealousy, hand in hand with greed being the Mother of ALL SINS.

It’s anyone calls. Take justice into your own hands … and you end up living a life like there’s.

Peace.

presseject – there is no tangible revenge – no getting even – It’s a terrible loss and there is no where to go with that loss. It’s static. It doesn’t evolve into lost love. It just remains as a loss. Grieving a P is a burden, it’s a hole in one’s life. In the end, the final discard belongs to us. We set the limit. We end the dance. They have no limits and are unable to do this. The abyss between devaluation by our partner and the ultimate discard by our choice is bridged when we realize there is no going back in any way. No friendship. no enmity, there can be nothing at all.

lostingrief: Hey. My ex-soc controlled me so much when I was full from eating and stopped he would comment that I wasn’t eating enough to keep my figure to attract other men. So, i played into his game and overate and got a big butt. He was latino so all the rice and beans went right to my bottom! One night about a month before I caught him with the OW, he made a rude comment how big it was. Huh? He used to tell me not to worry about what i ate or what i looked like so i stopped taking care of myself. I also stopped taking walks because he would comment that i was walking around trying to get men to look at me. As soon as he left, the weight dropped and I started taking care of me again. I look like my pre-soc days. The only revenge i have is thinking how the OW’s but is growing everyday. How frumpy she is starting to look. How many tears are probably rolling down her face, I wonder how much money she has left. (sorry for wishing her bad but she knew he was living with me all along.) LOL!!! so don’t feel bad! He’ll never be happy with anyone.

Henry: Think of what they did to us this way. They took from us because of a void in them that needed to be filled. We find it confusing because that void isn’t in us … and therefore, no need to fill it. There’s the confusion for us … what is it that was lacking in them that they came looking for us? That’s why God says to focus on him … because we as human beings don’t know what kind of cross another is carrying. Hence, turn the other cheek. If they are still missing/lacking something, turn and give them your other cheek.

It hurts us because we assumed they felt as secure and whole as us. They masked their insecurities from us … not wanting to show their hurt. When they hurt us was because they were coming from hurt. Since, none of them have talked to us … ran away … we never got to ask or figure out what is it in them that is lacking. We don’t know their pain.

Peace.

OK Henry: Here it goes. Bottom line … ready for this?

We loved them, as we should love everyone … because everyone has God inside of them. So when we love, we are loving God. That’s why God says to respect and keep harmony with everyone, because it is loving God.

Peace.

I felt that awful wave of emotion yesterday when I take that detour into the past and get trapped thinking about the hurt. This site really makes a difference… you are all helping me to restore my faith.

lostingrief: It really helps knowing that others have had this same shock and abuse. When you wrote “you are understood” I had a tear in my eye from the relief of being validated through this ordeal. Words make a difference, even a small sentence like that one. It helps me, thank you so much. I took more of what you wrote to heart today too… enjoying my day as you suggested: free of the drama and hell he put me through. I found a few moments and remembered that I am safe now. That logic and compassion will prevail in my life now. I have a new way to see the world and there is certainly strength and eventually joy in this.

Oxdrover: your words too help my heart heal. You are right, he “doesn’t care.” That is all I need to know really. (A sharp reminder, this must be the frying pan at work…) I have been through the pain of that realization over much time. But it is still good to face this simple reality again when I am slipping into the past and the hurt. He doesn’t care, He doesn’t get it. He is not equipped to ever get it. I have a warm loving heart. He doesn’t. There is no reason to feel connected to this man, to think about such a warped and sad existence. He can be what he is. I can be what I am. Thank you for reminding me about the value of my caring heart. I am truly lucky to have found this site, to have healing words offered to me. It is a blessing indeed. Bless you too Oxdrover.

Wini: Yes, thank you for helping me to see it is just not worth sinking to their level. That is a trap. We have this moment to create peace and love. It sounds flaky maybe but I’d rather be lost in feelings of love and harmony than lost in frustration, hurt, anger or revenge. But I won’t be totally lost in my new direction, no way… I am learning to take care of myself now. Finally, after so many years of neglect is seems. The S’s, P’s and N’s (and… H’s- histrionics and B’s-borderlines, I think I’ve played the whole deck) can ALL stay on THEIR side. I’ll be waaaaaaaaaay over here!

Henry: I know from reading your posts you gave so much of your heart away and how much you have overcome. You are right… “they have no limits.” We have the opportunity to set the limit. Not just in how we deal with our memories of this but how we set the limit from now on in all our relationships. That is also a blessing really, to know we have a new gift of knowledge and understanding. I also like what you wrote about getting past this: “No friendship. no enmity, there can be nothing at all.” That is about acceptance and about releasing this. I know I am moving in this direction. (It is a slow process.) Helpful words like yours help to get me there faster I think… thank you!

deep breath… no revenge, no longing… NO CONTACT!

presseject

Dear Presseject,

You, Henry, and all of us at one time or another, are on the “see-saw” (teeter-totter) and we go up and down, up and down, but as we heal (and NO contact helps that, it is essential) the ups aren’t as high and the down’s aren’t as low, and eventually it slows down so we can GET OFF if the bumpy ride. We reach a level place, a steady place, and our feet are on the ground–then we CONTROL our destiny. As long as we give them the POWER that is OURS to influence our feelings, our thoughts, our lives, they are in control.

WE CAN take back that control, we gave it to them, but we can take it back. We aren’t powerless–we are POWERFUL, and we are STRONG. We can make choices, we can do what we know is right, even if we don’t want to do that. The Ps do what they know is wrong because they want to. They don’t care what it does to us. We have a choice to do what is right for us, we can “parent” our inner child, tell it “no more candy tonight, sweetie, or you will puke” even if our “inner child” is screaming for the “candy” of contact, or whatever. We owe it to ourselves to do what is RIGHT, what is GOOD and what is BEST for us, and not let that “child” run wild.

If you were “parenting” a young child, you would not “give in” to that child and let it run wild, eat whatever it wanted, bathe or not bathe as it wanted, or other things that were not good for it. You would care for that child. OUr own inner child, the emotional, loving, caring, wonderful part of us, BE AS KIND TO THAT CHILD AS YOU WOULD any child. Discipline the child with love and kindness, but at the same time, don’t let it play in the street, don’t let it eat a diet of nothing but grief. Nurture and care for that child—that inner child that is YOU.

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