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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I guess something good came out of this story

Editor’s note: The following essay was written by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Ms_Snowhite.”

I want to share with the readers at Lovefraud something that happened to me tonight, when I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t fall back to sleep.

You know, it was one of those moments when you suddenly wake up, your mind is clear of everything and you start thinking.

So I was lying on the bed thinking about the spath again and how there would probably never be justice for the things he has done to me, and then, I had started to think about other people that had hurt me a lot by intention in the past too. You know, friends that had betrayed me, co-workers that were unethical, etc., etc. Of course, what they have done can’t compare to the damage that the spath has done to my soul, but I was also hurt and devastated back then and I cried.

Well, it’s funny, I don’t know if that has happened to you too, but I realized that somehow, in one way or another, life has brought all those people back into my life, even many years after they hurt me. Some of them were feeling sorry about treating me unfairly, all of them were leading unhappy lives. It made me think that if I knew back then that those people would be unhappy in the future, then I wouldn’t feel so much pain and hurt. I was always thinking that after they hurt me, they would continue living happy lives like if nothing had happened. I could never imagine, in my pain, that they could lead miserable and unhappy lives.

Of course, I didn’t felt happy for that, I never feel glad about someone’s misfortune. But I somehow felt that the Universe has brought them back to my life to show me that Justice was placed, even if it was not important to me anymore.

I won’t lie, that made me think that maybe in the future, years after, life would bring the spath on my way again. Then he would be living alone in his misery and I would feel nothing but pity for him”¦ but that’s only a dream.

As I was still lying in the darkness, I started to think of people that I might hurt in the past too”¦ I have to say here, that I never had the intention to hurt anyone. I’m always careful with other people’s feelings, always trying to help when someone needs my help, etc”¦ So, except for a couple of boyfriends that didn’t work out, I thought that there were no other people that I might have hurt in the past. Stupid me…

As I was lying on the bed, names started coming on my mind, and I realized that in one way or another, I might have hurt many people’s feelings. I mean not in a way that the spath did to me”¦ I never had the intention to hurt anyone, but it’s still a hurt. As I was thinking, the list of the names grew bigger and bigger”¦ A sick aunt that I was ignoring her calls, a guy that was in love with me and I treated with cruelty, being rude to my mother and making her cry, pets that I had treated with cruelty when I was a child”¦ and the list goes on and on”¦

In the end I started asking for forgiveness of all those people”¦ I started asking for forgiveness even from those who had hurt me. I asked for forgiveness even from the spath for all the times that I lost control, even if it was him and his insane behavior that made me react that way”¦

By doing that I felt a relief. I guess it is something temporary, it was just some minutes of “light” and I would probably get back to my dark reality during the day – hating the spath, having the feeling of Injustice”¦ I just got up from the bed and I wanted to share it with you before the “magic” went away”¦

So, I guess that something good came out of this story—to understand my errors and question my behavior towards other people.

Blessings and love,

Ms_Snowhite


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Louise

Truthspeak:

Sorry, I should have clarified myself more. First of all, don’t ever feel bad about attacking your husband! That does not make you a bad person!

I know you or we are not spaths and of course you had a feeling of remorse for things you did…that is because you are not a spath…spaths don’t have remorse.

I guess I was just thinking how we have a lot of anger towards these people for what they did to us, but why do we not think that the people we hurt didn’t have anger towards us? That’s all. It just makes me wonder.

Ms_Snowhite

Serenity12,
I was blaming myself for almost 3 years about the spaths behavior towards me. I always felt that I did something wrong, that I somehow deserved to be treated that way. Now I know that it was my own low self esteem making me feel that way. I was never good enough for someone to love me and I tried to be good because I wanted to be loved.
Finally, I realized that I don’t deserve being treated that way and i took the decision to leave.

Serenity12,
You ask if I really feel bad about losing control…
Yes, I feel bad, not about him, but because I allowed that to happen to me.
I am a calm person and I don’t like arguments but with the spath I felt like I was someone else, like I was going crazy. Sometimes I lost control, I yelled and I did things I’m not proud of. In the end I always felt embarrassed and humiliated. My spath – just like yours, always made me feel like it was all my fault. He always acted so cool and calm, it made me think that I was going insane!
Just like you, I always apologized to him, even when I didn’t knew what I did wrong…

Now I feel sorry, because I should have had more strength and leave him from the first month he started treating me that way. I should had stand up for myself. I feel hurt and embarrassed that I didn’t.

Serenity12, the way to recovery is difficult and until that day comes that we are completely healed we would always have those upside downs, but one thing I know for sure! I am more wiser now and I won’t allow anyone to treat me that way in the future. We were innocent and naive but now we know about spaths, we can recognize the traits and stop them before they damage us. This is power and we have it in our hands.
We can’t change the past, but we can change ourselves now, we can learn from this story and be more stronger in the future.

Much love.

Truthspeak

Louise, I’m sure that people still harbor anger towards me. There are some that I’ve been able to reach out to and apologize for my rotten behaviors. Others have disappeared into the Void Of Life. Still others wouldn’t benefit from contact by me.

I get what you’re wondering, but my belief is that those who have empathy recognize that other people might harbor anger or resentment against us. Knowing this, it is a personal endeavor to avoid repeating hurtful actions. That’s all that I can really do.

So, HUGS to you, Louise! 😀

Serenity12, Ms_Snowhite is spot-on. The journey on our individual Healing Paths and the recovery from our experiences isn’t typically pleasant, simple, easy, or some sort of feel-good personal epiphany with windchimes and monks chanting in the background. Recovery is grueling, painful, and one heck of a challenge. I don’t believe that I will ever be completely healed, but that’s not my primary goal. I can’t look that far down my own path because my eyes will be distracted from where I need to place my next step.

In counseling (and, on this site), I learned a great deal that explained how I was such a perfect target and why I reacted the way that I did over my lifetime. I have always wanted to be “liked” and appreciated – I was desperate for acceptance and approval because I had been virtually abandoned to the dysfunction of an alcoholic family dynamic. I don’t hold my parents “responsible” for my damaged “inner child” because they did what they did with the tools that they had available. But, meeting that “inner child” and dispelling my mistaken beliefs that it was some joyous little girl instead of a frightened, lonely, and humiliated being that I truly was provided me with something concrete to work on.

It’s hard work, Serenity12, and it isn’t easy. But, it’s a freedom like no other. My fears are based upon a number of upcoming events that I’m trying to predict, but I don’t have to ever “fear” that I won’t be accepted or approved of, ever again. I am a valid human being. And, you are a valid human being that is priceless and irreplacable in this vast Universe. This is a fact, Serenity12. At some point, that fact will become a “feeling” and core belief for you. On that day, you’ll be able to extend your left arm out in front of you with your palm facing upward, and extend your middle finger in the general direction of the spath and say, “Spath? Just fark you, okay? I’m so much more than what you imagined, and your sins and crimes WILL NOT define who I am. Good day to you!”

Brightest, brightest blessings

rochelle

I am glad this letter was written. I had felt that somehow, my spath ex husband would go on with his life and be happy. I know that isn’t true. I was his 4th wife. That is NEVER a good sign. He will never be happy in his ‘relationships’ and I use the term loosely. I believe it’s called….karma. What goes around, comes around.
Bless you all!

Truthspeak

Girlfromnowhere, yeah…..”relationshits” is probably the best term to describe what spaths experience. And, I forget who first coined that on LoveFraud, but it never ceases to crack me up.

At some point, there will come a time when I don’t care whether or not the exspath has gone on to live ANY kind of life – happy, unhappy, successful, ruined, whatever. There will come a point when it’s a simple “Mind Over Matter” where I no longer mind because HE no longer matters. It’s my wish for karma to knock on his door and slap him in the face with a rotten salmon that I’m currently trying to manage! 😀

Brightest blessings

Mincheff Joyce

My experience has changed my focus in what I look for and value in people I meet. I’ve recognized that all of us have a differing level of empathy and being alert to the level of empathy I see in people is a good barometer for the interaction I can expect from them.

I’ve learned to place less value on how people present- their humor, their charisma, and I rely more on what I see of their inate ability to care for others.

Louise

Fraud Survivor:

Perfect observation! I am going to follow that also!

Ms_Snowhite, I like your post very much. I’ve started to be aware that there are certain times of day (late afternoon when I’m tired and before dinner, in particular) when the same kind of memories start popping up. Things I’ve done to people; things they’ve done to me.

It’s not the rotten ex-boyfriend anymore. More memories of things I had forgotten. Things that I really hadn’t processed at the time. Maybe I was just pushing it out of mind, because it didn’t seem worth suffering over. Or maybe I felt responsible for being too stupid to protect myself. Or maybe I just felt like it was all too complicated to understand.

Now, in these memories, it’s different than it was. I can really see how I was mistreated or exploited. And I can see how I caused pain and loss to another person, usually unintentionally or self-protectively or sometimes in denial because I was trying to get something else I really wanted. Most of these memories are about people I loved, or friends, or people I worked closely with. And suddenly all that pain we caused to each other is very clear, in a way it wasn’t before.

I think this clarity is because of the changes I’ve gone through in recovery from the terrible relationship from the biggest, cruelest exploiter I’ve ever known. That relationship caused me to stop avoiding the issue, and face the fact that his behavior caused me to be in profound pain. I couldn’t push it aside or minimize the sense of betrayal by blaming myself or claim that it didn’t matter. It did. There were real losses. And getting better after this relationship involved taking my own pain and losses seriously.

Well, the flip side of that, I think, is that I’m ready to be more aware of the pain around me. And to revisit these memories. I’m kind of shocked at how cold I was before, though I understand that it was defensive, and came from the fact that I had a lot of old pain from a dreadful childhood that I refused to deal with. I don’t hate myself for being so insensitive, but I do feel regretful about the waste involved. If I were the person I am now, a lot of this pain wouldn’t have happened — not on my side or on theirs.

One of the first stages of trauma management is denial. It doesn’t matter. I can deal with it. I’m not going to let it affect me. And if that’s as far as we’ve gotten in dealing with old pain, it creates a life with so many lies and confusion that it’s almost impossible not to create circumstances where we and other people get betrayed and hurt.

Like you, I deal with these memories by sending energy back into the past. I don’t ask for forgiveness, because I don’t want that. I want to change my influence on the situation and how it evolved for me and these people. So I send back love and affection and good wishes to them. I think both they and I deserved better, and I send back that idea as though it really could heal things.

I don’t know if that changes anything for anyone else, but it does change the quality of the memory for me. For the first time, I feel like I’m dealing with the emotional reality of these situations and reacting from a loving and healthy place. It settles me with them and myself. And more than that, it gives me some perspective on the needs and vulnerabilities that cause these situations to happen.

It also matches my belief that almost everyone, even my terrible ex, isn’t really focused on causing pain to other people. It’s collateral damage of trying to get their needs met, and most of us are somewhat damaged in ways that make our dealings with people more complicated and hidden than they need to be. In my new life, a key aspect of taking care of myself is telling the truth — about how I feel, what I want, how I hope things come out. That doesn’t always give other people exactly what they want, but it gets reality between us so we can sort things out with less sense of betrayal and loss.

Not everything works out to happily ever after. But the quality of the journey is actually more important. Treating ourselves with compassion and respect leads to treating other people that way too. Throwing that tender energy back to clear up the messier moments of the past really seems to help.

Divorced from Gaslighter

My ex was living the dream life with his third wife in a beautiful overseas location when he had a massive heart attack while walking down the street. If he had been in the USA, he might have gotten to the hospital fast enough to have been saved, but he was DOA at the hospital in his foreign location. The whole time we were married, he never stopped trying to figure out a way to move overseas. About five years after our divorce, he finally made it happen. Kind of ironic that his disdain for America led him to live in a country with less emphasis on emergency medicine.

When we were married, I always envied his ability to eat five potato chips or two cookies and then STOP. He never gained an ounce from what he weighed in college. He ate very healthy meals, was a light drinker (wine with dinner, or an occasional gourmet beer), he went to the doctor whenever he had a problem, which was rarely, got regular dental check-ups and flossed his teeth every day. He also did some moderate exercise almost every single day.

The attorney who handled my divorce over twenty years ago told me that he had encountered many people like my ex over the years, and NONE of them ever ended up truly happy. For my ex, his “perfectionism” which he was so proud of made it impossible for him to appreciate anything or anybody for any length of time. No matter what he had, there was always “something better” that he felt he couldn’t live without. I did talk to his second wife on a couple of occasions, and she, too, was filled with despair while married to him. His selfishness knew no bounds — he used everybody he met.

Massive sense of entitlement followed by massive heart attack. Dead at 55.

Louise

Divorced from Gaslighter:

Did this just happen? It was probably a hereditary condition.

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