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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: His most lethal weapon was disarming ‘innocence’

Editor’s note: The following story was sent by a Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call “Beatrice.” The name of the perpetrator has been changed.

Its now four months since I’ve found out the cold, hard truth about my ex, and I really want to move on, but would also find it cathartic to share my horrific experience with as many people as possible also if I can help one other person to avoid the pain and trauma of the past two years I will not have wasted my time. Please feel free to share this with as many people as possible, the more people know about these dangerous predators, the less their power to destroy others lives will be.

Four months ago on 15 May 2012 I had a phone call which changed my life. Prior to this I had NO idea I had been the victim of a very cruel and devious fraud, which has all but destroyed my health and wellbeing.

In January 2010 I met a very special man I truly believed was my soul mate and the ‘one,’ after several years of online dating. I was in my late 40’s, a twice-divorced mother of four, a mature woman with a huge experience of human relationships. I considered myself to be smart and a good judge of human nature. I prided myself on being able to sense dishonesty, mental health disorders and fake personas from a mile away. At the time when I met Axel, I was in a happy and successful period of my life, was certainly not feeling desperate or lonely (in fact he had to wait weeks to get a date with me because I was so busy), but within a month I was swept off my feet by this seemingly shy, caring and romantic middle aged man who seemed so sweet and disarming.

That was his most lethal weapon: his disarming ‘innocence’ and the way he could make me feel so precious and adored. The art of clever flattery. I had no idea I was so susceptible. Oh, when I look back now…

Arrived from Germany

Axel had moved to Auckland from a small town a year earlier, and prior to that he had emigrated to New Zealand from Germany with his wife and son. Over the following weeks of deliciously romantic dates and deep ‘bonding’ sessions, he explained how his wife had callously abandoned him and his son, and had gone back to Germany, leaving him feeling confused and alone. Knowing what I know now about the typical ‘modus operandi,’ I can pinpoint almost exactly when the love bombing, flattering phase morphed into the ‘pity-play’ phase, as his hard luck stories slowly emerged and became the dominant topic of conversation.

Later, at strategic points, he dropped in tales about his ‘abused childhood,’ time spent in ‘the military’ and even stories about him being mistreated in jail as a political prisoner (apparently helping dissidents escaping through the Berlin wall) in the former DDR. When I put it all together I could write a book about his exploits and sufferings from the tales he has told me full of intrigue and injustice.

Being the very caring and deeply empathetic person I am, he was able to take me in completely, and I allowed him to push my tolerance and personal boundaries way beyond anyone else had ever done before.

One of the first things I did when we met was to check out his background, but I could find nothing unusual. He invited me to spend sailing weekends away with the couple who employed him, and they spoke of him in glowing terms as a lovely and reliable man (later, much later, I found out they too had been victims of his fraud). I was careful, cautious and did all the ‘right things.’ I had green lights all the way and allowed myself to fall more deeply in love than I can ever remember. I turned into a jittery, lovesick teenager in a matter of weeks once I came under his spell.

Trip to Europe

In the ‘honeymoon’ phase of our relationship, we carefully planned a trip back to Europe together to see friends and family. A prime reason for me to return was to spend the last weeks with a much-loved family member who was dying of cancer; I had faithfully promised to be there with her at the end. Axel offered to take care of all the logistics of this trip, promising me he would buy the plane tickets for us and my teenage daughter and I was to trust him to take care of travel arrangements. It was hard to hand over that trust to someone else, but he convinced me he would never let me down. We spoke of this many times and he swore I could trust him. He promised he would buy the tickets from Germany to the UK for us, and he would be there to support me through the difficult time of coping with an impending death.

My daughter and I left for Europe six weeks before Axel because he ‘couldn’t get away from work’ until early July. We stayed with my daughter’s host family near Berlin (my teen was also going on a student exchange).

Axel was brilliant: he called, emailed and bombarded me with love messages daily, saying how much he loved me, how much he missed me and couldn’t wait to fly out to join us in Europe for the first week in July.

Those six weeks were deliriously happy and I was bursting with joy as he built up the anticipation of his arrival: how we would fly down to his friend’s holiday villa in Spain, how he couldn’t wait to introduce me to his family, the places he would take us and the food we would eat, the magical adventures we would have. Axel told me not to hire a car or go anywhere, to stay put with the host family in Berlin until he arrived. All was taken care of. My eldest son took time off work and flew over from Scotland for the week when Axel was due to arrive and other family friends flew into Berlin to join us and meet my wonderful new partner. I felt confused and embarrassed when Axel failed to arrive on the date expected.

Didn’t arrive

I should have become suspicious when Axel would not tell me his flight number or the actual date he was due to fly in to Germany. Every time I asked him he would fudge the question and say he wanted to ‘surprise’ me and not to worry, it was all under control. Then, as the weeks went by and he still didn’t arrive, the excuses for his delay changed: the sale of his marital home fell through; he had health problems; there was a hold up with his flight ticket. I was getting stressed as we were due to leave the host family by the end of July and there were complicated logistics depending on Axel fulfilling his offer to provide us with accommodation and to pay for the second six weeks of our time in Europe. We were running out of money and places to stay. I was beginning to feel that all was not as it seemed, but it was too late now.

By early August I had word that my relative had suffered severe kidney failure and had been admitted to a hospice. I was informed there wasn’t much time and I should fly over to the UK as soon as possible.

My mother finally got hold of Axel (still in New Zealand!) and he insisted that he was packed and about to leave for Europe. He kept telling me to ‘stay put’ in Berlin until he arrived, then gave the impression he was in transit in Hong Kong and on his way over. Then he stopped answering his mobile and his emails, and I became frantic with worry and utterly confused as to what to do. I had not purchased the flight tickets from Berlin to UK as he had told me not to waste my money and he that had found a ‘special deal.’ Finally, I had to make a tough decision and spend a lot of extra money buying last minute tickets for my teen and myself; there was no time left. Axel finally messaged me saying ‘go my love’ and he would be joining me soon. In the end, by the time I got to the hospital my relative had closed her eyes for the last time and I try to believe she knew I was with her in those last hours.

Another woman

On the 8 August, the day my dearly beloved aunt (who had been more like a sister to me) finally gave up her battle with cancer and I was numb with grief, I got the most disturbing email from my sister and her husband back in New Zealand. It was a Sunday (I will never forget that day) and they had been out for lunch to a country cafe. To their amazement they realised that the couple sitting at the next table was Axel and a German woman. They were deep in intimate conversation and staring into each other’s eyes. They had not even noticed my sister watching on in horror.

My sister and brother-in-law decided to confront him: What the heck was going on? He was supposed to be on a plane to Europe—the situation was urgent, I was waiting for him and going out of my mind with worry. To their total confusion, Axel denied all knowledge of me in front of this mysterious woman! Then he explained me to the woman as ‘someone from his past.’ When my sister confronted him directly he said, ‘There must be some mistake. I have no plans to go to Germany; I am going to South America.’

Later that evening Axel called me in the UK and made up a completely different story that the woman was just an old family friend, that my sister had been confused and that he was still on his way to Europe and would be there any day now. Lies, lies and more lies. I felt so vulnerable, abandoned and so completely confused and frightened waiting there week after week on the other side of the world. I tried to change my flight ticket but it was impossible, I had to wait another four weeks to return to NZ, it was stressful and scary finding places to stay with no money. I was lucky to have friends and family there, but their patience was wearing thin I had to accept that Axel was never going to arrive and it was time to give up and go home. It felt like a huge disappointment after the magical summer I had been promised.

Trust again

Axel made a great pity plea when I returned to NZ, by that time numb not knowing what to think after all the crazy behaviour and the ‘gaslighting’ techniques ”¦ trying to be a ‘strong’ mum to my teen ”¦ but feeling like an abandoned child inside. I started getting anxiety attacks. I felt like I was losing my mind. I didn’t know what was real any more.

During September 2010, Axel love bombed me continually and did all he could to convince me trust him again. He flattered my family, treated me like a princess and made grand promises he would take me back to Europe for Christmas. He made a thousand excuses why he let me down, but he loved me so deeply and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I tried to forgive him, and allowed myself to believe we would be getting married within a few months. Looking back, I was so utterly in love with him, I would have believed anything he told me. He was a supreme actor who made deep and prolonged eye contact the hypnotic stare.

Then in late September, with no warning whatsoever, Axel just completely disappeared. He stopped answering his text messages or emails. There were no indications, no hints of what had happened. I sent him begging messages and pleas to let me know he was safe, but nothing. I paid expensive psychics to help me find him. I felt desperate. It felt like I was having a breakdown and had to take drugs to sleep. Eventually I contacted his employer. I was informed in a matte- of-fact manner that Axel was on holiday in South America.

Tried to end it

I tried to end the relationship and go ‘no contact’ after that grand and impressive insult. I was so shocked I was speechless. Family and friends were horrified. To this day I can never ever understand why he even thought it acceptable to disappear like this with no warning after the trauma he had just put me through, and why he didn’t just make up some story or lie to fudge his sudden disappearance and keep me on a string. His arrogance was breathtaking.

Eventually, he only had to pull at the string slightly and he was able to reel me back in. One of the biggest mistakes I have ever made in my life. He wrote me begging and pleading messages saying he had made a huge mistake, and couldn’t bear to lose me. There was no one else like me; I was the love of his life. He had some mental health problems but with my help he would recover and we would be happy again.

After he had groveled for some time I agreed to give him one more chance if he got therapy, and he reluctantly consented. He took all the blame for his bad behaviour and blamed it on being sexually abused by his mother. I felt so sorry for him I agreed to walk along side him on his ‘healing journey.’ What a fool I was ”¦ how stupid that I believed his elaborate pity pleas and manipulating stories.

Nothing made any sense

I won’t itemise the further atrocities he committed over the following year: It makes me shudder with disbelief that anyone could be so callous and manipulating, or that I could be so helpless and trusting. 2011 was a sorry web of lies, betrayals, let downs, outrageous broken promises and yet more instances where Axel placed me in difficult situations after planning a trip together and going ‘missing’ at the last minute, leaving me to foot the bill. Another failed trip to Europe ”¦ more bizarre behaviour and me left wearing the consequences.

I hardly recognised the worn down, anxious shadow of a person I had become. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia; I lost my job. I started getting chronic fatigue, memory blanks and lost all my confidence. I was going out of my mind trying to think of reasons why anyone would behave like this man was behaving ”¦ if he loved me so much. Nothing made any sense.

I used up all my savings on therapy and any amount of New Age healers who tried to ‘help us.’ One healer even tried to tell us Axel had ‘alien implants’ which needed to be removed ”¦ Axel played along with all these therapies and pretended he was a pitiful victim. Pretended he was doing all this for ‘us’ and that we would have a wonderful life together once he was healed.

I blamed myself for not ‘being enough’ and pushed myself harder to do the ‘right thing.’ I tried again and again to ‘figure him out,’ but nothing worked.

Elaborate fraud

Later, during that phone call on 15 May 2012, I learnt that soon after my daughter and I had left for Europe, Axel had met a German woman and had been in a relationship with her since mid 2010. We both knew nothing about each other. He cleverly managed to feed us enough clever lies to cover his erratic and confusing behaviour, and had us both behaving like puppets. He swore blind love to both of us; he was our faithful partner. I still don’t know if she knows about me, but she was only one of multiple infidelities ”¦ indeed there never had been a relationship to grieve the loss of ”¦ all had been an elaborate fraud from day one. That is the hardest thing to accept.

There were so many horrible, nasty, repulsive things I learnt about Axel from the couple he had worked for: How he had defrauded them of their life savings ”¦ I learnt of good people whose lives and businesses had been wrecked by this cunning creature. Through all the awful, lonely nights when I prayed to God for strength and understanding about Axel, I always believed that at heart he was a good man who genuinely loved me and just needed time and patience. All the psychics and healers I saw during this time told me so! He was so clever— at every point at which I found some strength to almost walk away he had a ‘hidden card’ of supreme pity play to pull at my heartstrings and soften all my resolve against him. He always blamed himself and flattered me that I was the ‘good woman’ whose love he needed to give him hope to do better and learn to be a ‘good man’ for me.

Having that phone call in May felt like turning over a stone and discovering the sordid underworld in which Axel really existed ”¦ how could I have been so naive? There were so many distasteful and shady parts to his life I knew nothing about. It seems he had put his poor wife through hell until she finally had the strength to leave him. Even his own son called him a ‘Man Whore,’ as he spent his whole life conducting multiple relationships with unsuspecting women who he enjoyed lying to and manipulating in ever increasingly elaborate ways to cause them maximum stress and humiliation. I was just a piece player in his impressive cast of thousands.

The ending

How it all ended? After stranding me in Europe again (yes he found some even more convincing lies to manipulate me with) I returned to NZ in September 2011 to yet more pity plea stories and excuses on why he let me down. (He even managed to have a spectacular accident at work so I would feel sorry for him.) He asked me to take him to the airport as he was going home to Germany to confront his abusive mother, to find God and heal his life. He never turned up on that Friday night, and turned off his phone. I heard nothing for months and he ignored all my emails and messages. I spent months living in limbo ”¦ not knowing what country he was in or if he would suddenly turn up on my doorstep again. I felt like an empty, worn out shell existing in a grey, empty time warp ”¦ just waiting and waiting and waiting ”¦

Recently I discovered he had actually gone back to Germany with the other woman. Before I discovered this, he started love bombing me out of the blue in March this year after months of no contact. Pretending he had gone to Germany alone, pretending he was sad and lonely without me and had now healed his life. He had finally had time to think ”¦ to realise how much he had hurt me ”¦ how much I really meant to him ”¦ was ready to start a new life with me for real this time and begged me to trust him again. We talked online again every evening ”¦ he promised to by me a ticket to bring me over ”¦ he got my hopes up again.

By this time I was punch-drunk with broken promises, but had the insight to contact his former employers to find out the real story behind Axel suddenly fleeing NZ. I wish I had done this a lot earlier ”¦ it might have saved me months of heartache and wasted time and energy. The employers called me back on 15 May this year and told me the whole story ”¦ The many women who had turned up at their workplace confused at his sudden disappearance ”¦ for each one he had designed a different persona and elaborate web of lies to explain his frequent absences.

How an over-weight middle-aged man with erectile dysfunction and health problems ever found the energy to run this complex operation on such a scale I will never know ”¦ but he pulled it off long enough to make a lot of money and destroy a lot of people’s lives, until he had to leave the country in a hurry when police were called and the web of lies threatened to implode around him.

New unsuspecting innocents

So Axel has started the whole sorry cycle off again in a new city Hamburg this time. I feel sorry for the hapless unsuspecting innocents who will no doubt be drawn into his web of lies and fraud, both in business and in love. There is not much I can do to help anyone ”¦ but if someone could have warned me in time ”¦ it would have saved so much heartbreak.

I am a very different person to the happy, social, outgoing and optimistic person I was back in 2010 ”¦ and I wonder if I will ever find that person again? ”¦ or if is too late, she is gone forever. I have been unable to work much of the last year ”¦ have constant viruses, chronic fatigue and have developed some kind of anxiety disorder where I find it difficult to leave the house. I don’t have the energy to put into social relationships; I can’t afford to pay any more therapists as I’ve used up all my savings and now just survive on a disability allowance. I’ve hit menopause and feel grey, numb, sex-less and unattractive compared to the lively woman I was two years ago. How do I ever find the energy to heal my life? And what is the answer when life throws you an experience like this?


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61 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: His most lethal weapon was disarming ‘innocence’"

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Dear Beatrice,
You ask “How do I ever find the energy to heal my life? And what is the answer when life throws you an experience like this?”

The answer to that I think is just doing what you are doing. Posting your story here, writing it all out in black and white will help to validate the horror you have experienced.

It IS REAL…

Thank you for sharing this story, and I hope you will continue to read, learn and share here at LF and to gain back your power with the knowledge that you gain here as well. God bless.

Your story is very helpful to those of us here who have also been conned and left for broke. It’s unfortunate we can’t put a mark on these creatures who go around destroying others lives.
I went through much of the same physical ailments you describe here and I want you to know after a while, my health slowly came back. Unfortunately I have some permanent damage but my life did heal and slowly my health got better. I had a child without knowing what I was dealing with or how the courts worked which gave him the ability to target me AGAIN probably 6 or 7 years later. The cycle of destruction has happened again.
When I was well, I was taking vitamin supplements daily and stuck with this. I attribute some of the healing to this.

There is hope and you can’t see the future from your brokenness but telling your story is very helpful to us and for you. I truley thought I was dying more than once.
One of my true friends with a warped sense of humor said “no such luck, you’re here for the long haul”…..
Be kind to yourself and give yourself all the grace you gave to the con as you deserve it more than he ever did.

Why, oh why, oh why do we fall for this crap? Reading your story just made me sick and made me realize how gullible we ALL have been. Of course he was with the woman from Germany…after all, your own relatives saw him with their own eyes. Why would you still believe him?? I am not putting you down (love blinds us), but he gave you many, many, many signs. It’s sad. It happened to me also, but not to the extent of you so I was just as gullible. But one thing I have to say and I have said it so many times before I can barely count yet no one seems to listen…listen loudly and clearly…WHEN A MAN DISAPPEARS LIKE THAT, IT IS ALWAYS DUE TO ANOTHER WOMAN. I have seen it over and over and over and NOW I know. Also, when they blatantly ignore emails, phone calls and texts, it’s ANOTHER WOMAN. Don’t ever, ever be fooled by that. I learned my lesson!

Dear Beatrice, many thanks to you for sharing your story! I appreciate your pain and anguish. As I read your plight, being caught in his “web” of lies, my heart writhed in anguish for you! Oh, the depths of depravity these evil monsters go to! Like a moth to a flame…this evil is “attracted” to the goodness and kindness in others. Like a poisonous spider, going after it’s prey, caught in their web…ready to suck the life blood out of it’s victim! I, as well as others here, can…and do know your pain! My best wishes to you, Beatrice! He took enough from you…..do not allow yourself to “let go” of anymore of yourself, than he has already stolen from you!!! Glad you shared your story! You have a wonderful “family” here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We get suckered into a betrayal/trauma bond that has complex psychological cause, and that cause is seduction, and it works like a charm. It is nothing more than a promise, that is not delivered, and then, a reframing of the promise, and still it isn’t delivered. These are betrayals, and we are flooded with cog-dis and in denial. We are confused and in emotional pain…we can’t handle the truth, we hold out hope and we buy the seduction, again.
There is a cyclic quality to all this, that is the same as any addictive cycle. Intermittant reinforcement…the most powerful form of reinforcement, temporary pain relief, and then more betrayal, and even more shame and psychological pain.
The only way out is through.

“The only way out is through. ”

Well said Kim, well said!

Dear Beatrice, you stated: “I am a very different person to the happy, social, outgoing and optimistic person I was back in 2010 ” and I wonder if I will ever find that person again? ” or if is too late, she is gone forever.” This resonates how I (as well as others have felt here) have felt, and at times I still feel like that! It is a battle WE MUST WAGE, in order to regain ourselves, to get ourselves back! However the person that can EMERGE VICTORIOUS in these situations, we can be BETTER, MORE WISE people than we were before! I am still in the battle! This S.O.B, that created an evil carnage in my life, still goes about his business as if he does no wrong. My resolve to WASTE NO MORE of my precious heart and emotions on this piece of human garbage, remains firm! Here is a website that I have found helpful..hope you find it helpful as well. 🙂 Best Wishes to you! 🙂

You guys, I have a question. It has been almost 2 years now for me and I still have not processed what happened. In therpy, I have gone through most of my childhood which I know was a great starting point. Ive been struggling daily with learning how to have a day and be in the present since I was terrorized every day as a kid.

Lately I feeel a sense of urgency in processing what happened with the S but I am TERRIFIED to feel those feelings. Every time I try to talk about it, read other peoples stories to get support, I cant stay in the present AT ALL. I start to feel the anxiety and fear rise up and Im literally back in his 911 world living it again. I dissociate for days and go down into an emotional rut. The only way Ive found to cope is to not deal with it at all and not read anything about it. But that doesnt help me heal and made me prey to someone I thought was the greatest new friend but it turned out, she was another predator. At least I recognized it quickly after 6 months and ended the friendship, but its awful.

Anyway, do you just keep reading and sharing and fighting through the emotions that come with it? Does it get easier to read?

Not a day goes by that something doesnt remind me. Its exhausting sometimes.

stronger2011

Sounds like PTSD. You need to see someone that deals in it.

What I used to deal with mine is right here,
http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2012/08/30/what-did-the-sociopath-give-me-and-why-is-it-so-hard-to-let-it-go/comment-page-1/#comment-168977
There are other methods.

Your desire to deal with these issues are a good sign.

Hang in there. You’ll get it.

T

Ive been in psychotherapy for a year and more but I havent been able to talk about it. I did in only one session last summer. The feeling on my face when I was reliving was one of grave stress, my story was so fragmented and it put me down for weeks. Im so afraid of it. Street names remind me of him, hearing his name thats someone elses name, facial expressions, mannerisms, things he wore, words he said….its so ridiculously hard. Im afraid to trust my therapist to help me with it.

Wow. Some people would read this and not believe it. I do because I know what these people are like and how they prey on the most idealistic people. We are very compasionate, caring people. That is why we get targeted. Do not feel bad about that. Anyone can get taken by these predators. It is like going through a death but with a huge amount of betrayal and the feeling of being so gullible. I repeat…anyone can get into this situation if they don’t know about common sociopaths. They are very good at what they do. They have been practicing all their lives. I’m four months out and it is just beginning to get a bit easier and I didn’t go through nearly as much as you. It’s hard but, time is the best healer.

Stronger, I did EMDR (rapid eye movement therapy) which is a recognized therapy (not some alternate type of thing) I am a retired registered nurse practitioner who has spent considerable time on the INWARD SIDE of the Clipboard and it was difficult for me to put myself on the “wrong side” opf the clipboard but it did me a WORLD OF GOOD…with the PTSD. It let me start to think about the pain without the emotions that go with it, to “see” the trauma but not BE IN IT.

The best way I can explain it is when I saw the movie “Jaws” the first time I was IN THAT MOVIE…I was scared as I could be.

Now, I can remember those same scenes but am not IN them any more. They are just memories not emotions. Same with the trauma after the EMDR. It helped much more than “talk therapy” alone.

Good luck. Keep on til you find a therapist that does get it.

Radar on…that site FOG is a good site from what I read on there, I didn’t get to read it all (lots of stuff) but KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and we must educate ourselves about psychopaths in order to heal.

Thanks for the link, I will read more on there.

Im already spending 100 bucks on therapy every month. Shold I stop talk therapy short term to afford the other for a little while? How do I find a good EMDR?

I also developed fibromyalgia. I was also going through a very nasty divorce at the same time I was involved with the sociopath. One of the theories is it can be brought on by excessive stress.

Stronger, I just “happened upon” a person who did the EMDR, by sheer grace of God…I would check with your state license agency for therapists and find out which one does EMDR. In the meantime, read up on it on the net.

I am a trained therapist myself (talk) and I do not know how this works, but I trusted it would be worth a try and it was definitely. It was very short term, only about 2 months. So the cost wasn’t all that bad over all. My insurance paid for it though so maybe if you have insurance it will pay some or all of it.

Fibromyalgia and many other problems are brought on by STRESS and stress relief through meditation, self hypnosis or hypnosis all will contribute to relief of stress. Keeping change to a minimum is also a help.

Google Holmes and Rahe Stress scale and give yourself a score, anything over 300 in a 2 or 3 year period is over load. I scored in the 1500 range at one point. You must let TIME of calm help your body recover and the effects of the stress hormones go away naturally.

stronger2011

This is the only one I know of that you can do without having to relive the event.

Anchor the feeling. What feeling any one that comes up about him.

Follow the feeling back. You’ll feel a bubble when you get to it. With this one you’ll butt it up against your temple and then move your head until it is passed the other temple. For most left to right. And you will feel it as it passes from temple to temple. Do this repeatedly. Then when you can push it out and let it slide out just like the movie exercise.

When it has disappeared then just step into the the time line and follow it back to the present. Then watch it go out into the future.

The turning it through the eye’s became my main technique of doing this. It’s simpler. And you don’t have to see the movie. i.e. relive the event. Sometimes if I’m having trouble moving the bubble I turn my head through it. For most the movement is from left to right. But if your one whose past is off to the right then it would be right to left.

There is also
Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT)
And they even use Hypnotherapy

But please take action to clear this up. The effects it has on you is devastating on many levels.

T

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I think that it is one of the best steps to start your healing process. Be honest and frank about what happened, and it will help you move on.

I send my best wishes and hugs from Canada. From another woman who has survived a sociopath. We will get through this. It may be dark today but tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning.

Welcome Lady A, thanks for your positive contribution to LF.

Ok I found an Emdr therpist today. I only talked with her through email but she seemed really nice. She seemed more than willing to respect the fact that I didn’t want to talk on the phone just yet but I wanted to know her prices etc. I also put in a call to my therapist today and asked her what she thought of emdr. She didn’t say anything bad about it. But she did say that she didn’t think it was good if I saw two therapists at the same time. She said the brain needs the ability to process things slowly as the brain can handle it and that trauma it’s not a good idea to Push it. She said if I can’t come in once a week right now that we can go ahead and start talking about the things I need to talk about during our sessions. Right now, I am seeing her every other week.

She said that right now her professional opinion Is that I might not be able to handle processing quickly Emotionally right now with I have got going on.

What are your thoughts on this? Sounded mostly like she was just saying that with all I have going on right now, that it wouldn’t be a good idea to open a can of worms with emdr.

Stronger, you will have to make the decision on changing therapists yourself and I don’t see any problem in giving EMDR a chance.

Look it up on line and read about it and then YOU make your decision. I can only say that it HELPED ME A GREAT DEAL.

I have had talk therapy and have been the therapist for talk therapy and in its place it is good. For PTSD my PERSONAL OPINION is that the EMDR worked better for me. That is all I can say.

Oh I got ya. So if talk therapy is working right now for other things, give it a shot with the other stuff. If I feel I need more, try the other?

Stronger, If you decide to try EMDR, go to the website and you will find therapists in your area that specialize in it. You will not have to pay extra to have talk therapy and EMDR at same time, and if you do proceed with it, it is very important that you have both. NO EMDR without talk therapy. It is important to continue working through any additional things, and that your therapist is as clear as you can allow her/him to be, on your past, childhood, additional past traumas, etc. The woman who started EMDR is Francine Shapiro, and here is a link to the website where there is a wealth of info, as well as lists of practitioners/therapists. My therapist specializes in Trauma and does EMDR. I found her on the website.

stronger2011

Would have been quicker but net went down this morning.

No one can give you a definitive answer. Few have tried all the ways there are. I’ve listed a few in my last post. And there are even more then those. So all anyone can do is to tell you from their experience what has worked for them. The most important thing is you have to be proactive in your healing. Your the only one that can do it. You know the problem better then anyone. You are the only one that knows what you want. And your the only one that can walk the path.

On this blog one of the problems that arises is the search for a good Therapist. There are many out there. All with diplomas and certificates. But few know how to help. The problem with therapists is they’re human. And have the same frailties as everyone else. Ego – their own agenda. To only in it for the money. And everything in between. With that said, there are good ones out there. Only you can say if the one your seeing is helping.

So no matter what is said on this blog or anywhere else always check it out and decide for yourself.

The link to the technique I’ve given you works. Know of many people that are using it. Know psychologist that use it. Taught it to a few of them. But it is not for everyone. That’s why there are many different techniques that have been developed. You want hurt my feelings if you use something else. Just as long as your getting help and it is working for you. That is what is important. Most every problem can be transcended. Can’t say all. I haven’t dealt with them all.

I on the other hand know ‘how’ this works.

The technique that I use. Dissociates the memory. Dissociate state is seeing one’s self in the memory and not having access to the full emotional state of the memory. Associate state is where we are in the memory i.e. seeing with our own eyes and have access to the full emotional state of the memory. Both have there benefits and limitations.

The running it backwards destroys the framework of the memory. The framework is how we construct the memory. It’s how we code the memory. And the code tells us what the memory means. The fancy word for the framework is submodalities. There is a whole list of them having to do with the 5 senses. Visual, sound, smell, taste, touch.

The running it backwards deals with removing the construct of the memory. Not the content of the memory. This might seem strange. But think about a computer when we delete something it removes not the file but the code to where the file is. So the running it backwards removes the code and in that code is the emotional feelings that we have hooked to the memory. The emotional hook is the meaning we gave the memory. When it is removed we can remember the event but it has little or no meaning. It becomes as if your now reading about someone else. The big thing is it no longer effects us. In other words there is nothing to deal with. So if his name triggers a panic. Follow it back – do the technique – his name no longer triggers a panic. Same goes for all those things.

Here is another technique called the Exploding Smurf. A few on this blog have used it.

This is used to rid oneself of any picture in our heads. If your having problems getting the picture of someone out of your head. Here’s how to do it.

Let the picture of the spath or whoever you want out, form in your head. Now turn it blue or any bright color(s) will work. Now start shrinking the picture of the blue smurf until it is very small-tiny and if it talks make the voice squeaky where you can’t even hear or understand it. Now grin and push the button that makes the spath smurf explode, very very violently massive explosion. The blue covers your whole field of vision. Open your eyes. Now try and see the picture.

http://healmyptsd.com/

PTSD is very devastating. Effects the whole person in a bad way. But it is a natural defense mechanism. So your not broken. But yes it needs to be dealt with. But not knowing the other problems you speak of can’t say yea or nay. It’s your call. If you feel ready to deal with it. Then jump in with both feet. If not then wait until you are.

To a quick and complete healing.

T

Spoon, I always enjoy reading your posts. You are so generous with your knowledge, and so positive, encouraging and kind to all. : )

Beatrice,

I haven’t posted on here for a very long time, but I went through a similar situation with a sociopath, forgiving him again and again and taking him back even in the face of bold lies, arrogance, abandonment and abusive behavior.

The lure of pity is powerful. Sometimes it feels like love, and it is love in our minds (because our intention is high), and it brings you back time and again.

I didn’t work, except for freelance, for almost two years, as I met him after I got laid off. Now that I’ve gone No Contact, my business is thriving and I have more work/clients than I could ever imagine. I also have ptsd.

What I realized was that returning to work, and the real world, even though I was a psychological and emotional mess, healed me. I was back in grounded reality again, I regained my power, I was surrounded by semi-normal people;) (I work in advertising so I have to say that;). Every day that goes by is a struggle to maintain my focus because I have ptsd and I get flashbacks, particularly from the violent aspects of the relationship (which were just veiled threats).

It feels like a soul rape because it is, but you will emerge stronger than before, although we were all strong before this happened or else we wouldn’t have been targeted.

The thing that helped me was to stop wondering “why?”–why did he do this, why did he do that, what did I do wrong? What is wrong with me that I was treated this poorly? But it’s not about us–at all. Their nature is simply different–this is what they do, like the story of the woman who invites the snake into her home to keep it warm and save it, and of course the snake bites her, and she asks, “How could you do this after everything I did for you?” And he answers, “You knew I was a snake when you took me in.”

EXCEPT we didn’t know our sociopaths were snakes. They hid it well. So we can’t blame ourselves. He won’t be different with any other woman–he will never change. I felt like tossed-away garbage after mine discarded me for someone else, even though we weren’t even officially “together” then, but then I realized that I was taking on his feelings–he feels like tossed-away garbage and does the same to everyone.

His reality is not more real than yours, it is less real. So take back your power from him, and you reality, knowing that you were the sane one here. Don’t worry about saving him, because he’ll kick you to the curb as soon as a “brand shiny new” savior comes into the picture. He’s addicted to novelty and his story and his own manipulation–it’s just a game he’ll use on every woman until he dies.

You just became part of his story/movie/reality for a time. But it was not yours. Forgive yourself for missed oppportunities along the way, like the chance to be with your aunt before she died–you did everything in your power to make that happen and it could never have been any other way, given that you trusted him at the time. Remember who you were before all this started–be with old friends and family. Don’t own stuff that’s not yours, and everything he made you feel was his stuff. Who you were before this happened is who you really are, just stronger, 5 times your former self;).

Wishing you much healing.

Another thought: It may be easier to think of it this way. You kept doing everything you did because you assumed you were dealing with a human with the same “operating system” as yours. But you were really dealing with someone who was like an alien, with a completely different operating system and set of rules that was completely arbitrary and there was no way to “connect” with that. It’s like trying to connect to the weather. Any sense of a stable core was feigned and was an illusion.

I am currently in EMDR therapy and luckily my counselor who does cognitive therapy (talk) has been doing EMDR for years. It really is supposed to help with trauma and I believe it was studied and shown to be affective with military people who suffer PTSD from the affects of trauma and deployment.

OxD, did an great job of explaining and giving an analogy using Jaws and being in the movie. My therapist told me it’s speeds up recovery and he basically has nothing to do with it other than going through his steps and your brain replaces the trauma in a way that is less traumatic thus making recovery faster and those emotional take downs hopefully will stop happening. He asked me to give him a short list of some very traumatic (repeatedly playing in my head) events about the court case so he could target them.

I am actually being triggered right now. Ugh.

I really hope it helps for you.

moonwave: YES! To your above post.
Feigned, all of it.

The intent and purpose is only known to them,
I suppose.

The intent really doesn’t matter anymore.
Not when you put it away from you and keep it away.

EMDR therapy put me on the path to recovery.
All the after effects from the therapy has lasted me
this long and is still very much helping.

I guess everyone reacts differently to it;
the same with medication therapy.

I take lexapro to help with my PTSD and anxiety.
I also take four different heart medications that
keep me alive. Every one reacts differently to things.

Eralyn: good luck and best wishes with your therapy.
I have nothing but good experiences with EMDR.

Dupey

Thanks for the kind words shane!

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/28/14128747-a-country-song-about-ptsd-all-youve-got-left-are-these-pieces?lite
A country song about PTSD: ‘All you’ve got left are these pieces’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFb61y8pMGM

T

Dear Eralyn,

The therapist worked on the trauma of the aircraft crash that killed my husband (I was first on the scene) and the anger I felt at the doctors who were not straight with me that he was terminal. I KNEW but they didn’t know I knew, and they were oh so “caring” and told me they were going to “do everything” (NOTHING could have saved him) and send him to the best burn center in the south, ya da ya da, blah blah blah. I asked them “WHY?” They only had the answer “but it is the best burn center.” My reply was to the effect that “NOTHING can make him recover, he has burns over 95% of his body” Then I told them that I had been on site at the crash and that I worked at that very hospital and was a registered nurse practitioner and that I wanted them to remove the tubes and let him pass in peace. (Docs that are not honest with patients who are terminal or their families are my SORE POINT, one I have fought physicians on my entire career.)

We worked ONLY on the crash and the anger with the docs, etc. but yet, it helped me with the other traumas too, ones that were NOT addressed in the EMDR sessions.

I still have NO idea how it works, it is like magic to me, but it WORKED and I am so grateful for it. In just a few sessions my emotions about things and my memories started to disconnect, so now I still have the vivid memories, but the emotions that were so painful are not there any more. If that makes any sense.

Eralyn and Back from the edge,

Wishing you both more healing–I tried EMDR for an early-life trauma a few years ago. The quality of the therapist is everything, someone who has a lot of experience.

Energy work helps me, assuming the practitioner is the real deal, not some airy-fairy ungrounded person who took a weekend course;). Particularly qui gong, and accupuncture can also be used to heal trauma. In my experience, releasing it from the body is critical. Veterans have been using accupuncture to heal ptsd–it’s very balancing.

Good luck on this crazy journey;).

moonwave,

your ‘airy-fairy ungrounded’ reference made me laugh. A friend of mine (one of the best friends of my best mate) is a reiki practionar and has a hollistic healing, meditation center. He is more grounded than he used to be, but a decade ago when we started to circle meditate as we did for several years, there was a session with just my best mate, his good friend and myself. It was a meditation focused on the first chakra: our own root chakra. My best mate was digging in the earth like a mole, I was like a mother-figure statueette (first in a museum, later taken out into the city), etc… And he was a piece of paper carried in the wind. During the meditation both my best mate and I giggled about him being a paper flying around. He himself was giddy and describing it with enthusiasm, not ever realizing how opposite it was of the intent of the meditation. He was supposed to ground himself and discover that part of hmself. Instead he was flying in the wind. LOL. Even after the meditation and we explained to him that this was something he needed to work on, he looked at us as if he didn’t comprehend what was the matter. He naturally sought air, while he needed to learn to seek earth. His family expansion and move and housebuilding helped him with that though eventually. He can giggle about that now too.

Wow. Just wow. It never ceases to amaze me the great lengths they will go to to scam and con people – for love, for money, for whatever they think they can get. And they are so successful at it, leaving a trail of broken people behind. It’s so senseless. Another classic story.

I only dated the ex-spath for less than three months. But his M.O. was exactly the same. He failed to show up for a date, and failed to call several times when he said he would. He always had an excuse, blaming his allegedly “ex” wife for his troubles. Fortunately for me, I snapped out of it when the second no-show happened. I knew in my heart that whatever was wrong with him was sinister and not something I wanted to deal with. And he continued to be – right up to the end – the sweetest guy in the world. I will never know how many women he was stringing along during that time. I had experienced a lot of different games from men up to that point. But nothing like that, with lying and excuses. I knew something was very wrong, but I didn’t know there was a label for it until I came here. I am one of the lucky ones – I got out pretty early. There was still a lot of collateral damage that took a year to get over.

Oh God, I just have to get this off my chest.
I’m cleaning the cabin and found a bunch of old pill bottles that the exspath left behind, mostly empty prescriptions.
One is an almost empty bottle of rophenol, the date rape drug.
I wonder who he used it on.

I already knew what he is and I knew that he had tried to get his friend to buy it for him on his trip to Mexico but this is just another nail in the coffin of reality. I guess I must still have some cog/diss for it to affect me like this.
*sigh*

skylar:

Wow, what a confirmation, huh? How horrible. You are in my thoughts tonight.

Ox:

I am glad EMDR was magic for you. It was not for me and I was extremely disappointed.

moonwave:

I am going to try acupunture. I have heard so much about it and I feel like it’s something that may really help me.

sky,

I totally believe that could shock you. Not sure whether it’s cognitive dissonance. I mean you already accept he tried to kill you, that he has murdered other people for their helicopter, and sexually abused and raped people. That doesn’t mean it still can’t shock you when coming across leftover evidence of it.

I believe the ex-spath possibly raped a woman towards the end of our relationshit while he was in Nicaragua. He and his cousin (who dislikes him severely) separately mentioned a woman who rented a room at his part of the home he inherited after his father had died. Both claimed she was raped that morning and that he went to the police to help catch the rapist. (yeah, like he had the police catch robberers who never robbed me). I wondered though how the guy had been able to enter the house and room. Supposedly he was out partying or walking around that early morning (madrogada) and had the key to the main and back door. She didn’t have that key, but she had her room’s key. And the cousin told me there hadn’t been a breaking and entering. So, I then supposed it must have been a guy she brought home with her, who then raped her as she slept off her hangover or something. But this ex-spath denied. He only gave me very vague answers to my puzzlement how this rapist could have gotten inside, and he steered away the conversation each time again.

Perhaps the whole rape story was a lie to cover up somethign else, but if it did happen, I’m very sure that ex-spath was somehow involved if not the rapist himself. Mind you he never raped me. Never hit me either. But I know he was behind my robber assault, and part of his reason was to punish me for him believing I was walking out on him.

That said, if a woman would ever approach me of having been raped by him, or uncovering evidence about it by chance… I’d be shocked b the horridness of it anyway.

I think it has mostly to do with not wanting to be confronted with such evidence of their violence and maliciousness anymore. I’ve always been sensitive to witness any type of violence in my immediate surroundings. I totally despise it and do not want to be touched by it in any way. Even more so now, than before even. Violence of this kind just shakes the whole of my system up, in my otherwise very peaceful life. So, while I accept the possibility of him having been so violent to someone, I do not wish to dwell on it much, and would avoid having to dwell on it.

Thank you Louise and Darwinsmom,
It made me sick to see it.
I can’t help wondering what innocent person or persons it was used on. The whole bottle is almost gone so he used it several times at least. I feel so guilty that I never knew, never suspected and that he is still out there being evil and destroying people. innocent, trusting people. Probably children. argh. My imagination is making me feel worse.

You’re right Darwinsmom, your spath is really evil too. The Green River murderer, who is possibly the most prolific serial murderer in US history, also would help the police look for bodies near the Green River. Of course he liked to play cat and mouse with the cops, just like my spath did. They are all alike. I think your spath was as evil as mine and I’m so glad you escaped him. I would be surprised if he HASN’T committed murder. All of the signs point to a person who fits the profile of a serial killer.

Sky,

It is quite possible he may have killed someone by beating him up. He does fit some requirements:

night prowling, even when everything was long closed.

Moving often to Costa Rica or to other cities within Nicaragua.

He was violent. He could come back with bruises from those night prowls (supposedly from a fight, or his mates who supposedly beat him up after I ousted them for being my true robberers to the whole of the village). He was vicious when I witnessed him attack someone once, and all giddy about it (even though he lost the fight). I was so disgusted by it, I had my bags packed and ready to leave the town on a bus in the morning, until the crocodile tears came of course. I know he knocked out someone’s front teeth (a mate of mine there) years ago.

He switched those night prowls with nights of staying at home and renting a dvd and be very very peaceful.

He had a fascination for murder news. Yuck the news there was very visual: a murder victim or corpse in the street was shown without reserve there. He loved watching that, fascinated by it. And then that wes craven movie about a criminal who escapes his transportation, rapes two young girls and kilss one of them and ends up seeking shelter with the parents of the girl who has survived beyond his knowledge. I truly hated that movie, and he couldn’t understand why I didn’t even want to watch it.

And I know he has been convicted to prison once, supposedly for stealing. He never stole for huge sums. Often rather small sums of money and small electronic stuff (Ipods, cellphones). Pretty petty stealing. It seemed to me that he stole more out of fun than out of necessity.

I still have people from Nicaragua who ask me when I will come back to visit, and I give them usual excuses why I can’t come (the move, studies, work) but also simply hint that I do not consider that town a safe place for me to visit anymore. Foreigners might argue sometimes that if he isn’t there I’d be safe, but Nica villagers usually say “Say no more, I understand.” Initially I thought I might visit again in some years, if I was sure he was out of town, and perhaps within the company of others. But the more time passes, the more I came to realize I can’t visit there anymore. I think it very likely he has minions there and people he would have incited to harm me. And since I know what he is, and he knows I know, and he has vengeful thoughts about me, and he realizes there is no chance he can ever fool me again, he would have nothing to lose by having some drug addicts on crack kill me off ‘by accident’ during a set up robbery, whether he is there or not.

He likes to play the police, act like a snitch to them.

That man is indeed very very dangerous. He would kill or have people do it for him if he thinks he can get away with it and if someone has no further use for him anymore, and he would have pleasure in it.

And then there’s actually someone who warned me against him very very early on, with a hightened expression of fear. This someone who was fearful of me starting to get involved with the spath was a Nica guy who allegedly was involved in the murder of a local young woman (the town is San Juan Del Sur) who had been in a relationship for several years with an expat from the US. The man from the US ended up being convicted for murder, though he lived and worked in Managua and his cellphone records proved his alibi. He eventually got out, and suspicion were some young men on crack or coke who raped that woman and then killed her (she even had bitemarks), including this young man who was fearful of me getting involved with the spath. If someone who is in general suspected and known to have been involved in that type of murder is fearful of the spath, then I’m pretty sure he has very good reasons to fear him.

I hadn’t considered yet whether he has killed in the past, and didn’t consider his behaviour i the light of serial murders. But when I think of it in a sober way, he has some signs of it, yes.

I’m glad I’ve moved from the old address, that I have a camera to see who rings my doorbell, and that I have a safety front door to my appartment now (plated with steel and extra steel lock pins to the side, like a vault, and protected from getting to the side with a screwdriver or unhinge it).

Darwinsmom
I’m glad you’ve got some security. From what you’ve said about your ex-spath, he really is dangerous and unpredictable.

I hope that you take some extra security measures by filing some reports with your police. Anything that will make the spath think that he would be the NUMBER 1 SUSPECT if anything should happen to you, is insurance. Even if you don’t actually file these reports, drop hints that you did, in such a way that it gets back to the ex-spath.

Spaths are bullies and cowards, ultimately. They acquiesce to authority. they are brown nosers. This is a fact. Use everything you know about spaths to protect yourself. They are all alike and predictable. In fact, the more evil they are, the more predictable they are. This PD is nothing if not predictable. You already know the common denominators of spaths. Use this information to protect yourself.

OxD,

I have read before your husband died in a plane crash but I didn’t know you were first on the scene. That had to be horrifying and I thank God you were there and knew they were going to make your husband endure more pain. If you didn’t have your knowledge I can’t imagine.

I am curious if you know how long it took with EMDR. My guy has been doing it for quite some time. I am hoping for success as I do need to unload the debilitating anger I am carrying. I am also having agoraphobic (sp?) type anxiety and that’s not helping anything. I suffer from chronic ocular migraines which last a long time when they hit. This made me fearful of EMDR but right now I’ll take the vision loss.

I will give a shout out for it too when I can say it helped so it can give another some hope. PTSD seems to be prevalent in these court cases with protective parents who feel they’re failing to protect their children.

Here’s to hoping for no airy fairy underground EMDR. :O

Eralyn,

I went to the EMDR therapist for about 2 months and it really did help me. I worked on the crash feelings, and it was almost 3 years after the crash and I was still experiencing Bade PTSD symptoms, plus at that time I was in the “summer of chaos” hiding out from the man my son sent to kill me.

The EMDR helped not only te crash feelings and so on but the other as well. Now, I’m not going to tell you that I got 100% better over night, I didn’t but it made MAJOR BREAKTHREWS for me. I hope it helps you.

I know what you mean about not wanting to leave your house. Even after I brought my RV trailer back to the farm, I couldn’t move back i nto my house for almost 6 months. I know that sounds crazy and maybe it is, but I didn’t feel safe in the house, but I did in the smaller space of the RV trailer. I lived in it parked beside my lovely home for 6 months before I moved back into the house.

OxD,

I am very familiar with small space and comfort going with trauma. I used to have to move around in my house changing where I slept. Sometimes just the couch would secure me enough to fall asleep.

I went to a job fair and didn’t make it past the lobby Thursday and I gave myself credit points for that. Major anxiety attempting to get there. Getting a resume together seemed to boost my confidence but suddenly while I was there, I felt my resume belonged at the job fair but I didn’t……..I left. It was too small and quaint for my first job fair. I drove home wondering when I would feel like I went with my resume. That’s all new for me. There isn’t an embellishment on it. I actually left off some second jobs I did in editting and such. I was also the only woman that I saw.

Maybe this week……

Beatrice, I finally took the time to read your horrific story and most of the responses. I am so, so sorry that you were so damaged by that parasite.

As for who you were, before? I don’t believe that we will ever be the person that we were, prior to spath carnages. The Life’s Spark is the only thing that isn’t destroyed, and (for me) that is what carries me further and further from my own experiences. Who I was doesn’t exist, anymore. Who I AM is something that I’m discovering, daily.

Of all the “therapy” that I’ve experienced, the one counselor that I had the absolute dumb luck to connect with and THIS site have been the two that have actually promoted my recovery and healing. Nobody “gets it” about predators unless they have experienced it, themselves.

With regard to your health issues, it may be supportive for you to note that people (women, in particular) who have suffered extreme physical and/or emotional traumas often develop auto-immune disorders. Our emotional health is directly reflected by our physical health – if I am suffering, emotionally, that pain is manifested through physical symptoms and conditions. I hope that Donna puts together a reader poll, someday, that specifically addresses chronic health issues in survivors of socipathic entanglements. But, I digress…..back to your health. It may take time, but the further you move away from the spath and down your personal Healing Path, the more control you will have over your own physical health. It may not be that you’re ever “cured” of fibromyalgia, but you will certainly notice a change in your overall condition. This isn’t going to happen, overnight. Healing from spath carnages doesn’t happen, overnight. It’s not quick or without anguish – healing is painful and requires patience and a whole lot of self-love. You’ve taken the first wobbly steps, Beatrice, because you are speaking about your experiences and excising the poison by sharing.

You’re a courageous woman. It takes enormous courage to stare down the truths and snarl at them when there’s always the option to roll over and give up. You spoke to his former employers, and that took tremendous fortitude. Strictly aside, is there any possibility of presenting a class-action lawsuit against this predator? I mean, gathering up his victims to take him to Court? Just asking….

In the meantime, please…..keep posting and sharing and healing. Welcome to LoveFraud. Here, we “get it” and you are “safe.” Sometimes, you may read strong, hard truths that could easily be interpreted as harsh, but those are the times when we need to read those truths the most. You have support and encouragement, here, along with some incredible survivors to walk beside you on your Healing Path.

Brightest blessings

Skylar, big hugs to you. Yeah….after they’ve gone and we’re “cleaing up” and pitching the things that they’ve left behind, ugly discoveries are bound to occur. They only serve to reiterate that they are, as Darwinsmom aptly mentioned, “evil.”

The exspath’s interest in veiled necrophilia still makes me queasy – literally. That anyone would find necrophilia appealing (even in fantasy) is repulsive. To know that I lay next to someone and loved that person for almost 15 years litearlly causes my gorge to rise in my throat.

You didn’t commit the spath’s crimes, Skylar. You’re not responsible for his choices and actions – not EVER. You’re out, you’re away, and you’re safe to the best degree that you can be. There’s no room for allowing Guilt to rear his ugly head, here. He’s not allowed to enter.

Brightest blessings

Eralyn, I can identify with trying to manage the employment issue. I’m a trained artist. I’m very good at what I do. I’m an extraordinary instructor. And, all of that is out the window, now, because there is no market for the arts where I now live.

I was (and, sometimes, AM) nearly paralyzed with anxiety when I’m applying for jobs. I also have the same reactions to many “social” situations, as well. My belief is that these reactions are symptomatic of PSTD. I have ahd to develop a number of coping techniques along with ones that my counselor provided just to leave the my room, sometimes.

For now, what I find helpful is to get control over my breathing and practice “being in the now.” When I feel that my level of anxiety is beginning to escalate, it goes like this:
* I visually recognize that I am holding a key in my hand
* I recognize that the key has serrated edges on one side
* I acknowledge the serrations and feel the difference between the warmth of the metal where I’m touching it and the cold metal that’s exposed to the chilled air
* I acknowledge that there is a slight breeze and that the breeze brushes the left side of my face
* I acknowledge that I can smell the scent of evergreen trees and woodsmoke
* I acknowledge that my feet are placed over stones or grass and recognize the sound of the stones crunching beneath my feet as I walk

This goes on, and on, until my breathing has ramped back down to “normal,” and the panic has passed. Sometimes, I’ve had to actually speak the words out loud, “Okay, my hands are on the steering wheel and they are pulling the wheel to the right to make the required turn…” And, I do this as many times as necessary to push through the anxiety attack. Sometimes, I’ve done this as often as 30 seconds apart – literally. When my counselor told me about this technique, I thought, “What kind of New Age hocus-pocus-bullshirt is THIS?!” It took a number of times for me to do this to actually begin seeing results – I believed that she just wanted me to shut up and get out of her office and was telling me some silly stuff to accomplish this. But, after a time, this technique actually worked for me, and I couldn’t even believe it!

Hugs to you, Eralyn. You’ll sort this out – it just takes time and patience. We weren’t damaged all in one day, so we can’t possibly be expected to sort out our healing overnight, right?

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak, you stated: “It takes enormous courage to stare down the truths and snarl at them when there’s always the option to roll over and give up.” Very well said! Haven’t we all had to do that? Face the horrible truths we have endured? To rise up, from the carnage that these parasites have made of our lives? Yes! Our “victories”, lie in our survival! You have an excellent idea when you said: ” I hope that Donna puts together a reader poll, someday, that specifically addresses chronic health issues in survivors of sociopathic entanglements.” I concur!!! Great idea! 🙂 I do hope Donna does that in the near future, as well!

Radar_On, you asked, “Haven’t we all had to do that?” Well, in a sense, we made a CHOICE to survive.

There are only 2 things in this lifetime that we “have” to do: a) pay taxes, and b) die. Everything else boils down to a matter of choices, regardless of whether the available options all stink.

Indeed, the “WIN” is hard-won and, for some, it’s hardly a “WIN,” at all if they stare too long at what they’ve lost. But, the fact that we’re upright and breathing is, in itself, a triumph. Fark the exspath! I still have my Life’s Spark, and there’s no lien on that (to my knowledge!) LOL

Brightest blessings

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