By | November 24, 2009 209 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Hyper vigilance and PTSD

Editor’s Note: Lovefraud received this story from the member who writes as “Duped.”

In hindsight, I remember questioning the little green things on the dinosaur nuggets he prepared for dinner. I was surprised he’d made the effort, in response to much nagging about not pitching in. It was late and I’d just returned from teaching an evening class. An overload to pay the bills since he quit his job. We had been arguing a lot, or rather me complaining; him not working, cleaning, taking care of the kids or pets and not making so much of an effort as to prepare a meal or help me. I had been working my full-time job teaching, overloaded for extra pay, consulting work for a publisher to generate more income, plus trying to finish my graduate degree in time to make tenure. All this and two children, one his and only a year old. And he never lifted a finger.

Until those dinosaur nuggets with the odd parsley flakes”¦.

Less than two weeks later, he filed a false Protection From Abuse (PFA) order and attempted to have me and my eldest son thrown out of our house (the one I had built from the ground up before I met him) take me for full custody of our one year old son who’d never spent a night without me, and soak me for child support, alimony and half the marital assets (we had been married 11 months) to which he had contributed nothing!

Fortunately, he was unsuccessful. Mostly because of who I am and the life I’ve created for me and my children. In part due to some due diligence. In part, despite my hyper vigilance.

It is hyper vigilance I’d like to address. It’s a nasty side effect of PTSD. I was able to get his PFA turned around and file one against him. I was believable, he was not. I was credible, he was not. I HAD cared for my children, he HAD not. I had NOT been abusive, he HAD. This was relatively easy to demonstrate, although it didn’t feel so at the time. So, while I had him right where I needed him, I still felt panic and fear. I still believed he would be believed. Why not? I had believed him and I’m no sucker!

So, I made an urgent appointment with my doctor to have a drug test. He WAS using drugs. I was NOT. He had accused me of being a drug dealer, when in fact it was his mother who was his supplier, and I felt this burning NEED to prove myself. I got that drug test and believe it or not, they lost the sample. Right then I should have taken a breath and allowed the Universe to work its divine intervention. But NO, I couldn’t do that. I was in the throes of battle. I NEEDED every little piece that would set things right. I HAD to have that drug result to PROVE HIM WRONG. I was DRIVEN and consumed.

I had a second test run right before court and asked the doctor to fax the results to the attorney. I didn’t need to hear the results first. I knew what I had and had not done. It would be negative. And my attorney believed that too, which is why she handed over the results to his attorney without reading them herself. And that’s how I lost the battle.

The results were positive for THC, the intoxicating chemical found in Marijuana. Not possible, until I remembered those parsley flakes in the damn dinosaur chicken nuggets he had served up with a pleased little grin.

And that was when I had to face being my own worst enemy. Hyper vigilance, while once my comrade in a childhood filled with craziness, had become the enemy. No one asked for the drug test and it certainly wasn’t court ordered. I had gone full blown into trying to work every little piece and angle to save me and my children, that I’d opened a cans of worms HE HAD ANTICIPATED! He played my vigilance to his advantage and had won”¦the battle.

I won the war. Because I am who I am and he is who he is and I didn’t have to make that case. He made it himself, once I tuned down from hyper vigilance to due diligence. I shifted from histrionic to matriarch. My change in posture elicited a change in his. He wasn’t pulling my strings any more. He wasn’t in control any more. I was in control of myself, which gave me far more of a positive influence over the situation. And his facade was shaken, revealing his true colors.

My point is, if you have been the victim of a sociopath, it is most likely you will be and maybe still are suffering from PTSD. With that comes the nasty black cloud of hyper vigilance. It’s exhausting, unproductive and ultimately leaves one angry and disappointed with themselves and actions. If you’re in the throws of situating your life in the wake of a sick or evil person, stop and take a deep breath. Ask yourself if what you’re doing is for the right reasons, makes sense and will take you in a direction that will raise you up, not bring you down.

Are you reacting because the situation REQUIRES it? Or are you reacting because you’re DRIVEN to? I ask myself these questions with regularity and find I’m a happier, more relaxed and better focused person, mother and professional.



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Ox Drover

Dear Duped,

You are an excellent writer, and your points are also right on as well as expressed very well.

Thanks for this excellent contribution to the LF articles and archives!

Twice Betrayed

Wow—I did not know that on pot….that is interesting. You can eat/digest that w/o knowing you got any of it….I mean no effects? And it would still show up weeks later? Looks like there would be some type of effect or reaction.
That is something else……
that someone would feed you that stuff too…is scary. Being the ‘paranoid’ person I am….I would never have eating those ‘nuggets’. I move on those red flags in my mind now. I no longer override them.


Is that what wakes me up at 4 in the morning ? I feel more anxious than usual

Ox Drover

Dear spirit,

Anxiety is a part of PTSD, the feeling that you are “not safe” even when you sleep is there. there is always a part of your brain that stays ‘awake” even when you are asleep.
That is why when you have a (say for example) a young baby, at first when you are anxious about that baby you may actually wake if if the babyl’s breathing rate changes during the night, but after a while, when you are no longer so anxious about your baby, unless they are screaming in a “I’m in pain mommie” scream, you may sleep right through a crying episode.

The same with our dog, if it is just barking at the cat, you may sleep through it but if it is barking the “Mom, there is an intruder” bark, you will wake up. Your mind stays on alert to some extent all the time even asleep.

When you are “hyper alert” though and anxious, your sleep may never reach the deep restful sleep that you need. Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing, and we all to some extent suffer from that when we are under stress. Sleep deprivation is used as a torture for prisoners of war, etc. When you are not mentally rested from sleep, your brain doesn’t think well either, and it makes it difficult to focus and to prioritize things.

Trouble going to sleep and trouble staying sleep is typical stress or PTSD or anxiety reaction. that is one reason it is so important for us to take care of ourselves when we are under extreme stress….we need all the help we can get. sleep, good food, rest, calm, peace, etc are very important to the immune system in keeping us physically, emotionally and mentally healthy.

That is one reason NC is SO important to us, it keeps the drama and the stress down because they are not able to re-injure us so easily. TAKE CARE OFYOURSELF, rest, eat right, cut down on alcohol and caffine and anything else that interfeers with sleep, rest or good health. ((((hugs))))


Thank you, always Oxy…. yeah I have amazingly not even had a glass of wine… maybe on turkey day gobble gobble.. its the caffeine and nicotine… Hugs
I want to sleep now but then will wake up at 4 am …. I am happy I start a new job next week…thanks again

Ox Drover

Dear Spirit,

After all this, I started to smoke again and got up to doing huge amounts of caffine–which in excess causes not only insomnia but depression–so I am finally quitting the cigarettes and cutting down to two cups of caffine coffee per day. IN the AM only—none after noon.

Trying to eat right (and less) sleep regularly and well, cut out any over use of anything, and up the use of things that are good for me, like exercise, etc. But the main thing is MODERATION in everything with a focus on MY OWN WELL BEING. Good luck with your new job! A new job is a stress in itself, so be EXTRA GOOD to yourself! BTW–calories consumed on Thanksgiving and Christmas are neutral, they do not make us gain weight! I SWEAR THAT IS TRUE!!! Oh, I have some great ocean front property in Arizona for sale? Interested? LOL ((((hugs))))


I am having this problem with waking up multiple times through the night. It is almost over now and he is nearly gone so the pain has been very up and down. Sometimes I manage to be detached from it, sometimes I am very angry, sometimes I feel the familiar despair. I managed to give up the nicotine a month ago (amazingly at the most stressful part of life) but am now regularly waking four or five times a night and am absolutely exhausted every day – feel like I might fall asleep standing up sometimes. I have no problems getting to sleep – it is staying asleep that is the problem. I know it is stress linked and just hope it settles down when things are settled. I am on hyper alert and it certainly doesn’t make you effective or efficient at dealing with practical things – I am too upset. Thank goodness the lawyer is thinking straight because I am not.

Congrats Spirit on the new job – that will be a huge boost to you – well done 🙂 I know it is so hard to present ourselves well after an experience like this.

Excellent writing Duped – good to see your mind feels more intact now you are out of the craziness. I am looking forward to that for me!

Twice Betrayed

I am not a nicotine or caffeine user but I still wake up and/or have difficulty sleeping all night. Funny thing is: I sleep worse now that I have left him for almost two years. If I get stressed in the least….I get anxious and cannot sleep well. It’s so weird why I get all this now….instead of when we were together. I wake up hearing his voice, dream about him in situations that are stressful, etc. Yesterday a friend of mine walked up behind me and it sounded just like my x’s footsteps. I am over all the crying over him….past all that. I don’t even care that he is married again. I can laugh at all this…I don’t think openly about him….yet I am tormented at night with anxiety and dreams. Make it this far and cannot get it all out of my subconscious mind…..*sigh


I have never posted here before although I have been reading this blog for a few months now. I most definitely have PTSD after everything I have gone through. Can someone say how long it takes for this to subside. I’m a wreck.

Ox Drover


It takes time and work to get through it all. I think the first part of it is becoming AWARE of where we are showing stress responses. those are “symptoms” of the stress responses still going on in your body.

Stress is not an all or none response, there are degrees of it and RESIDUAL EFFECTS in our organs, our brain, our muscles, etc. I realized accidentally once that I thought I was doing okay, and accidently ran into my egg donor in the store and I got a BIG IMMEDIATE SHOT OF STRESS HORMONES and it literally made me SICK to my stomach for about 18 hours. What it did do for me though that was positive, was that I realized I had lived like that 24/7 for so long, and that the stress had wound down SLOWLY so slowly in fact, I hadn’t even noticed it was pretty well gone. After that, I made a big effort and still am, to DECREASE my stress in any way possible.

First is to LIMIT CHANGES of any kind so that they don’t all take place at once. Spread them out if at all possible.

One of the big bad things about disengaging from the Ps is that so many different changes take place all at once, maybe you have to move house, change jobs, change this, change that, and so on.

EVEN ALITTLE “upset” can set your stress recovery back weeks. So stay away from anyone or anything that it is possible to avoid that upsets you emotionally.

Exercise is a stress burner—get out and walk and exercise regularly to burn up those stress hormones.

Back to the basics of be good to yourself. Get a massage, and don’t think it is a luxuary. If you can’t afford it, trade massages with a friend. Don’t watch exciting/violent movies that get your heart rate up. Don’t listen to music that upsets you or makes you feel down. If staying home alone upsets you, go for a walk and listen to soothing music. Call a friend who is understanding, or anything that calms you down, soothes you or makes you feel at peace.

Meditate or pray. Relax, learn relaxation therapy, bio feed back, anything that will center you, focus you and make you feel at peace. the last thing you need is more chit about anything. Then, give yourself TIME and don’t try to rush this process.

Ox Drover

Dear velveeta,

I was writing and we posted over each other. Welcome to LF and I am glad tha tyou are here reading.

“Time”? “How long?” As long as it takes is all I can say, but don’t expect it to be over in a couple of weeks , or a couple of months. the effects of the cumulative stress you have been under takes tiem to resolve and as I said to the poster above, BE GOOD TO YOURSELF. Keep on reading, learn and the more you learn the better equipped you are to help yourself heal.

Knowledge is power and we have to take back our power. Knowing that we are NOT alone in this, not isolated floating on an iceberg in the northern sea, that there are people who have experienced much what we have helps. Keep on reading. I am sorry that you “qualify’ to be in our “club” but it is a great group of supportive people in all stages of healing and each of us will extend a hand to you. God bless.


Velveeta – Cheese always get my attention. PTSD is not something that goes away.. on a certain day or time frame. You have ptsd because something has happened to you that will change you forever. Please read and learn. Knowledge is power. I recommend ‘Meaning from Madness’ by Richard Skerritt – welcome..the simple fact that you found this place and know that something has to change is a big step towards your healing – you have to learn it away, if that makes any sense.



“Are you reacting because the situation REQUIRES it? Or are you reacting because you’re DRIVEN to? I ask myself these questions with regularity and find I’m a happier, more relaxed and better focused person, mother and professional.”

So true. Like you, I grew up in a madhouse. I know understand that I was suffering from PTSD from a fairly early age. But, the hyper-vigilence kept me from being murdered at the hands of two volatile parents (S father and malignant N mother). Unfortunately, living with the throttle open all the way became the norm. And like you, living like that at times has worked to my detriment.

Mix that in with my putting everybody’s needs ahead of my own, and it is a miracle I managed to keep the show going as long as I did.

Like you, I now ask if I am reacting to a situation because it is required or because I am driven to. IN addition, rather than being the perpetual motion machine that hyper-vigilence forced me into at such an early age, I can, if I don’t know the answer to something, say “I don’t know” and take a wait-and-see position. I’m a lot happier because, bottom line, I am finally taking care of myself.

Excellent article. Thanks for the contribution.


Question, I dont want to give his family my new address, I feel they are cold cruel people especially to me, but they seem to think since they have a grandchild I owe them that, they have seen my child a total of 3 times because I did try but they refuse to acknowledge the P and keep up the facade that he the P is just an alcoholic, as far as I am concerned I do not owe them anything, as far back as I can remember I did not want the P or his family in my life and they pursued me???? ugggghghghghhghgh keep your dam christmas presents…



Legally speaking, grandparents have no rights vis-a-vis a grandchild as long as both parents are alive. Generally, where courts acknowledge grandparent rights arises where a parent is dead and the surviving parent refuses to permit the deceased spouse’s parents to have contact with the child.

Without knowing the facts of your situation, would there be a tactical reason for you to maintain some kind of contact with your child’s grandparents? I’m thinking along the lines that since they have no relationship with their son, could you leverage this to your advantage so that if he starts something in the future, you could use them as allies, or if not as allies, a source of information so you can keep tabs on the S? Just a thought.


I am still figuring out how to blog. Can’t say I have ever done this before. Thanks OxDrover for responding and I have read innumerable posts by you throughout this site. Thank you also Henry for your “cheesy” comment. That made me smile.

So what I am figuring is that if you post a comment on here, and not necessarily in a blog from a few months ago which has been helpful to you, that people follow that thread and respond. Is there a way to find recent posts without clicking through to all the different categories? Please excuse my lack of savvy in this regard.

I am not without resolve. I only became completely aware of what was wrong with the person that brought me to this site until this past summer. I knew something was egrigiously wrong with him, but of course he explained it away with “PTSD” and crocidile tears. He is ex-military and brandishes and threatens people with weapons. Always behind closed doors. Unfortunately, my natural essence of caring, forgiving and nurturing — the kindred spirit that I am is what made me his target. I have never seen the face of evil like this before. That is not to say that I have not experienced things that most don’t comprehend. Being molested as a child, raped as a young woman, probably (with hindsight which is always 20/20) parented by an NPD. As I understand it, these things will set you up for a fall for this type of personality. This person of whom I speak is worse that my molester, rapist and parent, rolled up into one. It shook me to my core. Like the devil incarnate.


Velveeta mine is ex military as well and I am wondering if this is something to do with the ability to turn emotions off – it becomes a chicken and egg situation though – did they join the military because they were attracted to power and scary things or did the military bring out the cold and detached tendencies in them?

I know he spoke of training as rather traumatic and he said he had multiple ‘vaccinations’ that he didn’t know what they were. Is it possible a drug could obliterate empathy? It brings to mind Jacobs Ladder I think where military personnell were given a drug to make them more violent but it turned them into animals who turned on their platoon mates – not sure if Jacob’s ladder is the right reference. Does anyone else know of this????

Yes you are dead right Velveeta that we are set up from childhood for the fall with the S or P. Like you I was emotionally abused through a self centred parent (with no mediating influence around as Dad left early on), was raped and went through numerous other trials before meeting him. I was ripe for believing his fairytale of happiness.

And yes like you he was the worst of all abusers – he was the most evil thing I ever experienced and took me on a trip to my own personal hell. I am sorry you are here but glad you found this group = it gives so much validation just to have other people say “The same thing happened to me”. The abusers would have us believe we are alone in the world and it is all in our imagination. I BELIEVE YOU!!!! I KNOW YOU”RE TELLING THE TRUTH!!

Newer posts are up on the left hand side of the page or you can go to the home page to see the most recent posts and yes then you just comment. There are guidelines for commenting midway on the left side menu – keep yourself safe 🙂


First I want to thank everyone who’s contributed to this thread. Writing the posted letter was cathartic. Getting even a small piece of my nightmare out in print and acknowledged is a great relief. Thanks for appreciating the craftsmanship and participating!

Having said that…and prefacing that I am but a layman in the science and art of psychology”I’d like to address some content.

PTSD is a disorder that can have a myriad of symptoms; none which should be overlooked and all having the best outlook when recovery includes the partnership with a trained professional. My letter was to bring to light “hyper vigilance”, which is but one. It spawns from anxiety, which is AFFECTIVE in that we feel it.

Anxiety is what makes us feel that lump in our chest, mind racing, heart rate out the roof, sweaty palms, sweaty everything, difficulty breathing, difficulty sleeping, intense dreams or some milder or stronger biological reaction to stress. It is often the precursor to “hyper vigilance” which is behavioral in that it is marked by our reactions and/or actions as a result of intense fear and/or helplessness.

During peak PTSD episodes, we are not in control of what we feel. We can moderate with exercise, diet, yoga, meditation, biofeedback and the like. All extremely useful tools for coping and moderating our intense feelings. However, if we could control them, we’d all be healed instantly with a thought and this site wouldn’t exist. Hyper vigilance, since it is BEHAVIORAL in nature, is something we can control. It’s about our actions”and ACTIONS ARE SOMETHING WE CAN AND MUST OWN UP TO.

So, while the S or N has created an environment responsible for our PTSD, the root cause of many cases of anxiety, they are not responsible for how we act. WHEN WE GIVE UP TAKING CONTROL OF OUR ACTIONS AND REACTIONS, WE EMPOWER THE S OR N.

It is not easy to separate the two; feelings of anxiety and how we act upon them. The incident I shared in my letter (one of many) will be three years old on December 8th (but who’s counting 😉 )and I still have to exert considerable effort to separate the two. I do believe, however, it’s this ability that has given me the greatest sense of freedom from the captivity of PTSD. AWARENESS that these are two different things (anxiety ”“ feelings, hyper vigilance – actions) IS EMPOWERING . We cope with one and have the power to control the other.

Pauses and discipline better influence outcomes. Namaste



Yes velveeta – I had similar childhood experinces as you. Very toxic mother, molesters, all of it, a life time of it and nothing, nothing was like the three year relationship from hell with the evil one.


Thank you pollyannanomore for the affirmation — you belive me. Trust me I needed that.

I don’t think for a minute that (in my own experience) it had to do with training or vaccinations or what happened to him in my case. I believe our men and women now in Iraq and Afghanistan could say that. My heart bleeds for all of them. If we could only stop all this insanity. I listened to my particular guy’s stories about peacekeeping in Bosnia and believed his PTSD stories, tried to help him, yet there was an underlying personality disorder that became so evident that it could not be denied. He is the type that would torture something and actually get off on seeing them squirm. It was scary. I felt like I was looking into a void. The mask would fall and I would see that I was loving and caring for an absolute animal. The type that would do inhuman things. Can this be trained into people. I hope not. If that is what the military does then God help us all.


Well Henry. Just as a general reference because I have not followed your posts, your are a man? And a woman did these horrible things to you? Or just your parents?


velveeta and pollyannanomore,

My ex, although not really ex military (as he was thrown out for mental health reasons 4 months into his tour of duty) was recently diagnosed with Complex PTSD. After thorough research into the subject, it appears that C-PTSD patients have nearly identical symptoms and traits as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), with the exception that C-PTSD patience have a documentable trauma that caused the disorder where as the BPDs just turn out that way with no known origin.

BPD has historically been considered a female disorder while the male counter is Sociopath. Since it is hard to accept someone who hasn’t chopped people into pieces and distributed them across country as a Sociopath, it appears there is this nice new label for men with BPD, Complex PTSD.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how hard you work to figure out why they are what they are, it won’t change who they are and what they did to you and will most likely do to others, given the chance. Most constructively, the emphasis on why you were attracted and how you can prevent being attracted (or for some stop being attracted to the existing problem person) would be your best effort.

Being incredibly nice and easy going is a survival mechanism that’s easy to bolster and justify. Who could possibly find something wrong with THAT?

Growing up with mentally or morally unstable people causes codependencies. As with living with an alcoholic or drug addict, one learns to adapt their own behaviors and expectations accordingly to survive and attempt to thrive. Inappropriate behaviors can seem normal when it’s all you know. Radars don’t fire and alarms don’t go off. Love has bizarre boundaries, if any.

Sound familiar?



Ahhhh”. ““I don’t know” and take a wait-and-see position”….so incredibly challenging but what a relief! It’s amazing how the Universe provides when you don’t force your own will all the time.

The real challenge, knowing when and when not too!

A kindred spirit

Ox Drover

Dear Duped,

You are one savy lady! I applaud your knowledge and your willingness to share what you have learned! TOWANDA for you!!!!

Velveeta, yes my X-BF-P blamed his problems on PTSD from viet nam and boy could he cry and say how horrible it was, but you know, I have NO confidence that any of his stories were true. I know several men (him and a couple of others) who admit they faked their PTSD to get pensions for their “disabilities”—funny thing though, unless they are using it for an excuse for something nasty they have done, there doesn’t seem to be any “disability’ from their PTSD or other symptoms of it. LOL Can we say CON JOB? Stargazer’s x bf military creep was faking a physical disability, but fortunately she got the army on to him. GOOD JOB STAR!

It chaps my cookies that soldiers who do come back with genuine PTSD are not treated as well as they should be because of all the quack jobs that FAKE it and use up mjilitary medical for their phony disabilities.

Velveeta, sweetie, you have looked into the face of SATAN, as have most of us, and it is a scary thing to realize and to SEE the TRUE EVIL that can be contained within a human body. Unless you have seen it, it is very difficult to comprehend. Who would NOT be traumatized by seeing into that depth of evil? I’m glad you found your way here, there are some awesome folks here who know what you saw, and the whole group stands together like a group of one legged people all holding on so that together we can stand upright! God bless.


Oh My – Velveeta – I am a gay man. My mother is the narcissist. My life would read like a stephen king novel. The sociopath in my life was a male. I had been single twenty + years when he tripped and fell in my lap. I unknowingly volunteered to be his victim. I lost over twenty pounds from the experience. My two son’s (yes I was married at a very young age) almost did an intervention because of my physical and mental state caused by the sociopath. I am not good with words, can’t express myself like so many eloquent people here, but the sociopath was like the last straw on the camels back, my back. I had no choice but to look deep into my past, I had pull out all that trash I had kept swept under the rug. I had to examine it, deal with it, acknowledge it. So in a way the spath did me a favor…The Truth Will Set You Free – But First it Will PISS You Off – This has been a Life Lesson – velveeta please listen to me – The PTSD you are experiencing is not all about your X – it is about you…that does not mean he is not to blame for bringing you to a fetal position on the floor, YES he is Evil – but the work you have to do is on you – dont waste another minute on him……..


And to you, OxDrover 🙂


Dear Duped:

The question is: with a true sociopath/NPD/psychopath whatever you want to call it (and until you have read some of the material on this site and others and with true introspect and hindsight), can anyone really tell? Do you distrust everyone and everything because you have had some bad experiiences in life? You believe you have picked yourself up and dusted yourself off and are willing and able to trust and believe in people. The reality is that we think we are safe here in North America because people are “civilized” but perhaps that is not true. It is the bleed-over effect, it permeates everything and everyone. None of us is immune to this. What our military people saw and experienced “over there” is in reality what we are experiencing here. It comes down to a “frame of reference.” When he talked about what he saw and experienced, I knew that I had seen and felt the same. I could relate. But I am not evil. Maybe it is that simple?


Oh Henry!

I had to say that.

I understand what you are saying. I am a wreck but not in the fetal position (yet). The problem is that this man has threatened to shoot me and my entire family in the head and when he (by happenstance???) is at the gas station when I am filling my car up with gas — he is lurking over to the side — I see this with my peripheral vision – I feel it — I look away knowing that he is watching me and continue with my gas — and then he drives directly in front of me and snears and grins at me — I am afraid that he will shoot all of us. I don’t react or acknowledge I just know what he is capable of and that I could be the next headline in the newspaper.



It’s not about trusting others, it’s about trusting yourself. It’s allowing belief to be a byproduct of direct experience not the stories of others and taking the time to discern between the two. That helps with detecting evil and not becoming prey…and building a past that enables you to trust yourself…for the first time or again.

No one is condemning or judging you because you went where you did. We’re just trying to help you sort out the junk so you can move forward. If you oversimplify your experience, you MAY find yourself stuck in a rut.

We’ve all been there, or somewhere near, once…or twice…or more…or we wouldn’t be on this site. The question is, how do you get off?

I’m still here…


Your post is what I have failed to be able to put into words….
We do become hyper vigilant and we do lose balance or our perifrial vision. We become so focused on the whats/whys that there is so much that we miss or over work in our battles.
We think we can control ALL aspects of everything. We can not! We must remain in control…..but know when to fold em, or walk away.
This is a lesson I learned through being sick, divorcing a S and fighting for my kids when they were kidnapped.
We can live well, do our due dilegence and be certain we are making the best decisions…….then BAM…..a cancer diagnosis, filing for divorce and kids disappear… what do ya do with that?
Well……you DON”T crumble! You sit in the recliner and ponder…..WTF do I do now…..ask yourself…..can I change any of this……and start putting one foot in front of the other…..and HAVE FAITH!
I really do believe, and it has been proven in my own life to me…… just CAN”T fit a square peg in a round hole. You gotta listen to your gut, your brain AND your heart…….move in the right direction and then…..let it go…..let it float into the universe……it’ll come back in the form it will, the way it should and the way it needs to.
It all works out the way it should.
This was my lesson on life….sometimes it doesn’t work out the way we want…..but it always works out the way it should.

Like your drug test……sometimes we push too hard and make mistakes (not checking results, even though you KNEW YOU didn’t do drugs) You didn’t look outside the ‘box’ at the possible.

It is the balance, the gut, the knowing the situation and having faith in the whatever happens will happen faith that we lose sight of.
It’s very hard to fight, be in the negative and keep faith in our own abilities to keep going in the right direction.
Sometimes we get derailed…..
BUT…’s imperative we keep focused on the ‘prize’….and WHAT we are doing to get there. Each step….DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS…

Thanks for the article Duped……Oh, the lessons we learn~


Velveeta – My X made threats. But nothing like you describe. I don’t have the words to express my sorrow for what you are dealing with. Please be careful. I think I was dealing with the devil, you are dealing with satan incarnate endeed..

Ox Drover

Dear Velveeta,

I think o ne of the things we lose that is the most important thing is we lose the ability to TRUST OURSELVES to keep us safe. We think we can distinguish bad guys from good guys, but obviously we made a mistake and let a bad guy get close enough to hurt us.

So, we made a mistake. Yep, we did. But we have to quit beating ourselves up and feeling stupid and afraid of shadows, and start to EDUCATE OURSELVES to what the bad guys really “look like” and they don’t have horns or forked tails and they look just like everyone else—BUT they do have “symptoms” (we call them RED FLAGS) and when we see a RED FLAG we RUN away from that person.

What is a RED FLAG? A red flag is ANY sign of dishonesty.

The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. So though there are a FEW people who stop being criminals and really “find Jesus” the majority don’t. So if someone has a history of bad behavior, drugs, alcohol, wife beating, cheating, theft, etc. GET AWAY FROM THEM.

Also if they are trying to get you to PITY THEM, feel sorry for them, for the hard life they have had, FORGET THEM. If someone is trying for the PITY PLOY, YOU ARE DEALING WITH A PSYCHOPATH.

Okay, I was a “victim” I was abused, I need to NOT use that as an excuse to abuse others. Okay, Henry was abused as a child, Poor Henry—that does NOT excuse him abusing someone else. It does not excuse either of us for being a mooch and living off someone else’s sweat, or throwing pity me parties, and asking all my friends/victims to contribute to my rent, car payment or anything else.

Sure, I have empathy for every former victim on this board, but at the same time, that does not give ANYONE a pass to be an ASS themselves. It doesn’t excuse me calling someone names, flaming them, or anyting else.

So a HUGE RED FLAG is someone who wants your pity because they have been victimized.

THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER RED FLAGS—read here, learn, and remember that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, and we have to take back our power to distinguuish the good guys from the bad. We have to learn to trust ourselves again to keep us safe in an unsafe world.

I have PTSD, I watched my husband burn to death—but it didn’t mean I had a pass to go do mean things to others. Sure, it made me cranky, it did a lot of not nice things to me, but it NEVER EVER GAVE ME A PASS TO ABUSE OTHERS. One of my sons was in the plane crash and he was also burned badly, he didn’t become a psychopath—but my other son who had NO traumatic abuse when he was a kid or any kind of major trauma, he is a psychopathic murderer.

Anyone who is abusive to anyone and “blames” it on their drug problem, or their PTSD or any other excuse is a FAKER. Pure and simple. As long as someone is not “out of touch with reality” (legally insane and cannot tell right from wrong) they are RESPONSIBLE for what they do. PTSD does not make you immune to responsibility.

Velveeta, you have been abused and conned, and tricked and hoodwinked just like most of us here by someone who led us to believe they loved us or cared for us, but it wasn’t because they had an “exucse” or because they were abused as a child, it was because they DECIDED TO ABUSE US and DID NOT CARE if it hurt us, or in some cases, ENJOYED hurting us.

But you have made th eFIRST big step to recovery, you are HERE and you are learning about them, and also about yourself, Why you were vulnerable to them. It starts out about learning about them (so we can keep ourselves safe in the future) but ends up about being about, as Henry said, about US, healing ourselves.

I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t trust myself, and in order to trust others, I have to trust myself to decide who is trustworthy. All people who are mean and abusive are not trustworthy. Liars are not trustworthy. So start off by stickign with people who are responsible, kind, caring, do what they say they will do and are not users or abusers, and you have made a real good start in seeing who you can trust. Trust your instincts too, if it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right. YOU CAN DO IT!!!! We all can! We all ARE! One step at a time.


Dear Ms. Duped:

I never knew I stil had to detect evil — bottom line. After everthing and everyone I knew and experienced in life, I didn’t realize I had to detect evil and not become prey. Not at this juncture in my life. I do not feel condemned or judged. I just feel frightened by the profound and alarming nature of all of this. I thought I had this “licked” back in my twenties.

Your quote:

“The question is, how do you get off?

I’m not sure what this means. How do I get off of the crazy making histrionics of a complete nut? I’m not sure. Someone will arrest him? I can move away?

I’m still here


Dear OxDrover: By the way what does that mean? Please excuse my ignorance.

I believe in myself. I believe in all that is good. I have a great capacity for truth.

I am an athlete, a runner, a cyclist, a dancer. I eat well and take care of myself. I take care of my parents and my son or any of his friends. I do everything that one believes they should do to live a stellar life.

I am just confused — why and how can these horrible things happen to good people. Can someone explain. You do the work, your create and facilitate and something like this comes into your life. Is it karma? Do you deserve this? But Why?


I meant, how do you get off of this site? How do you find a path that doesn’t include suffering and trying to figure all this out? I’m still here, because I don’t have all the answers and I’m not out of the woods entirely.

It does sound as if you’re in a dire situation that may require more assistance than you’ll find on this site. If this man is truly still a significant and eminent threat to you, I suggest documenting everything and going to the authorities.

In my letter, I did distinguish between hyper vigilance and due diligence. If you are in danger, you must protect yourself. Getting and gathering as much information as you can may be the best way to start. It’s to your credit if you are methodical about how you approach and deliver your facts.


Oh Henry!

Thanks, but don’t be sorry. Just talk to me. You had a narcisstic mother and your life reads like a Stephen King novel. Tell me why? I think my mother was/is the same. Is she dead now?

I used to read Stephen King like a fanatic when i was young (er). 🙂


Dear Duped:

Thank you. I have done all of that. The problem is that I live in a small community where he “knows” all of the military police and regular city police. He has told me that any of them could shoot me and discard my body — no body no crime. His exact words “you could be shot cycling in the park” It made me afraid to cycle. This is all so very sad. He said: My buddy “””””””” could shoot you from three miles away, he is a sniper. I have tried but failed to make people understand.

The reality of the danger is clear. It has been for about two years. If I could leave I would.

Twice Betrayed

velveeta: Why?: Ahhhh, the million dollar question we all ask and all want an answer to. But, it’s also the one that each of us must answer on our own. For me the answer is spiritual….because there is a war going on here between good and evil. And these people are evil and take every advantage they can over us [and others].

Ox Drover

Dear Velveeta,

“Hopw do you get off? that I think can mean different things to different people.

If we try to “figure them out” and “act nice” to them, we never get off it is like a “Merry go round” where you just go around and around without end.

When we start to heal, to trust ourselves again, we make choices to keep ourselves safe.

At one point, my own son and one of his “friends” was trying to kill me, and I had to make a decision to stay in my house or to run and hide, leave essentially everything behind and go into hiding to be safe. I am not a “fearful” or shy individual and my first reaction was to “stand and fight” but I realized eventually that living in my house with a gun, hiding behind the shades and waiting for the Ps to come to kill me was not a reasonable way to live.

They eventually got arrested, but not every time does that happen with every one.

Have you been to the police? have you told them he has threatened you?

Where do you live? In the US?

Bad things DO happen to good people, we get conned by evil people, and they threaten or hurt us. It does happen. It does NOT mean we deserve this though.

First order is to KEEP YOURSELF SAFE. If that means going to the police (does he have a criminal record? has he hurt others in the past?) I chose to run and it was difficult, I did not know at the time if I would ever be able to return home, and I am to some extent in danger now, if my son had the opportunity or resources he woujld continue to try to kill me. But I also chose to be CAUTIOUS and at the same time, to NOT live in TERROR. I don’t want to live in TERROR and I refuse to. It is simply a matter of how I think. I use caution, I lock my door, I actually carry a gun (but I am also trained and familiar with them and using them and I have made up my mind if I have to I will USE it to defend myself) It is legal for me to have a gun. I do not violate laws.

It might also be that you might also have to leave at least for a while. That might not be easily possible, but whatever it takes KEEP YOURSELF SAFE. You can’t heal if you are not safe. You are in my prayers! God bless you. (((hugs))))


Dear Twice Betrayed:

I believe you are right. A wage between good and evil. I have known the difference since I was very young.

It all sounds very Hollywood — even crazy — rantings from evangelical types, but I am now convinced that it is true. I know I am good, I just didn’t know I had to be hypervigilant against evil — at least not in my geographical location AND NOT AT THIS STAGE IN LIFE. Did I do something to deserve this? I don’t think so.


velveeta – Before my X came into my life I didnt know squat about narcissist, sociopaths, pyycopaths, borderlines. I had been in one way or anoter affected by people with personality disorders my whole life. I had heard the terms, but never thot I would be affected by them. During my relationship with my x a good friend was enduring the chaos and drama through me. She witnessed my decent into hell but said nothing, just listened. Then one day she pointed her finger at me and said ___is a Sociopath, Well I had heard the term but never really knew exactly what it meant. So that day I googled SOCIOPATH and the trait’s fit him to a T. I can not diagnose anybody. He mite just be a TURD but from what I have read, shared here on LF, talked to a few therapist and a physciatrist I think he is one. So I found loveFraud. I bought a book “Meaning from Madness’ by Richard Skerritt and so began my education about personality disorders. And in the process learned so much about me and my learned disorders. And yes right there in black and white the truth was apparent about my mother who I had gone no contact with years before this..


Do do you have contact with your mother now?

And “meaning from madness” suggested by two people from this site now, will it tell me why people are evil?

Twice Betrayed

Oxy: Thank you so much for your[ as always] helpful response to my post! I see what you are saying…I am still working thru the rest of the stress. Ok. Got it. When my brother was tragically killed in a car accident….I dreamed of him for months and months-because I never got closure with many things he did to me…I kept telling him in my dreams what I never could in life —and then the dreams gradually tapered off-as I forgave him and I told him so in my dreams….. I do walk and exercise much. I also find music that expresses my feelings helps me greatly. Plus: classical music really heals my mind. I do like to hear some loud classic rock/blues too….but you are right….I avoid violent films but then I always disliked those. My adrenals are burnt from too many stress hormones so I can get an overload fast if triggered -which will make me sick and take me days to overcome. What these people do to us is like being in a war zone-living daily in the fight or flight mode=survival.


So many elements here to relate to … and I think I have finally found the time of day in my part of the world when you all post!

I am struggling to keep everything together. My sense of the world as I knew it is shattered and I don’t know who to trust. I know I have made some bad calls on character in the past – the worst one with this man who hurt me so bad. So I can’t trust my own ability to keep myself safe.

I feel cut adrift as though I don’t know what the hell my next step is. I lost all sense of self efficacy with him – my ability to change things in my life and make my dreams come true. I am tired and struggling with fibro (brought on by the stress) and PTSD that wakes me through the night and makes me tired every day. I don’t know which problem to deal to first and am running around like a scalded chicken trying to hold everything together and stop the dam from bursting. I have a pet that has high special needs and needs treatments four times a day – that is costing me a fortune and I have to see a specialist myself. I am depressed, unhealthy, emotionally overwrought and generally not coping.

And yet I have not totally lost my capacity to hope. I take on projects and think perhaps this experience could provoke finding the very best in myself and healing all those long time hurts that caused me to fall into the arms of the bad man – Henry I totally get you on that. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a favour – to be frank it was a ‘learning’ I could have done without! But I understand the brokenness that allowed me to accept such dreadful treatment of my soul for so long.

Trouble is I don’t know how to restore my soul. I don’t have endless time or money or energy and am struggling to manage with everything happening at the moment. I don’t know where the path leads from here but I sure want to get better. I want to get to a place of strength. I don’t like what I have become – have lost my self respect.

You are all right that it does us no good to contemplate why they are the way they are – the hurt they inflict is all that matters and they need to sort out their own brokenness as we need to sort out our’s. I do think there are consequences to being trained to kill – certainly it is a form of brainwashing. Mine was never in active service on duty but trained for it and felt cheated at not having had war experience. Very strange. The whole family was military of one type or another. Even the training to kill teaches young men to devalue the enemy.

Duped – thankyou for your honesty about not having found the path out of the woods yet. That both depresses me and gives me hope.

Henry – never let me see you say you are not eloquent – you have intelligence, articulation, emotion and sensibility that is expressed so beautifully – no university can impart that into a person no matter how many degrees they have.

Oxy – your warmth, empathy and wisdom is most welcome for me today – today is hard and the road feels long. I feel cheated of my family, my safety, my joy and I am so sad and angry about it.

Velveeta I don’t know the reason they came. I try to live my life through that frame too – what learning does this bring me that I needed? Why did this happen to me? what is the meaning>? I am sorry to say I feel I was wrong – this has blown all my beautiful framework out of the water, perhaps there is no meaning. Or perhaps we will see it in time to come. Or perhaps there is nothing. I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore – I just thought I did.


my mother is in a rest home – she is almost eighty and looks like a barbie doll because of all the plastic surgery – she holds a mirror and looks at herself constantly. When she first went into the nursing home she shared a room with a sweet blind lady that I really liked. I asked my mother if she liked Bonnie and she said “No I hate that bitch” I asked why? and mom said “Because she cant see how beautiful I am” that was the way my mom was my whole life. She stood by and did nothing when my father molested my sister – she would beat my sister for this” my sister lived a tormented life, she klilled her self at 45. Read that book Velveeta order it online it is only 10 bucks or so – then read other books and then listen to my favorite song “GOD ID GREAT. BEER IS GOOD. PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.

Twice Betrayed

velveeta: I can tell you where I found my answer on why people are evil. In the Bible.


OOPS GOD (IS) GREAT…POLLYANA THAT WAS A BEAUTIFUL POST.. You will get patient, take a deep breath and know that I care and think of you…


Oh Henry:

I can’t seem to stop saying that — your nickname — the chocolate bar.

My parents are still both alive and still tormenting me and each other — well my mother is tormenting us. She is 82 and sharp as a tack. Her tongue is as sharp a ever and she brutlizes my father who suffers from Alzheimer’s. I will get the book you speak of. But will it tell me anything I don’t already know but I just cannot comprehend is true. Weren’t we all taught to believe in the good, the righteous?

I am very sorry about your sister . . . from what I have read this happens to those of us who are “true spirits” who cannot and will not accept evil in our lives.


Twice Betrayed

Polly: “And yet I have not totally lost my capacity to hope”
And there is your answer.
Everything you said….I’ve felt and still feel in varying degrees [I think most of us do]. Just hang in there from day to day….and each day gets better and your way gets easier. I don’t know many of those answers yet….and may never….but some of them I am no longer worrying about. I was numb this time a year ago…something I’d never experienced before. I was terrified I was not going to feel again like I did …..[I’d always enjoyed life in spite of the p’s]….yet I made it thru that swamp too. One day at a time….sometimes one hour at a time…each step easier and easier. Your head is on straight….you are saying the words of grief…it will pass and you will find restoration…hang in there….it’s a journey. Cannot rush it….let it flow. Very good introspection….questions we all need to ask=the meaning of life!



I don’t think you were wrong. I don’t think I was wrong. I know he was wrong. I know whoever did this to you was wrong — really really fundamentally wrong. On some instinctive level I realized that he was wrong after the fact. No one thinks there is anything wrong with him to this day.

But then i said to myself: I have lived what I believed and honored — what my rudimentary religious upbrining brought me –to love trust be reverent, to honor – I don’t want your beautiful framework do be blown out of the water. I want this to not happen to you too! I don’t want you to have to learn this horrible lesson.


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