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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I lied to myself as I became close to him again

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a reader who posts as “Ravenless Tower.”

I’m going to be as concise as I can here – but like most of you the story is long ”¦ I wanted to tell it so there is a frame of reference to my posts for anyone who cares. I also wanted to get it down in writing, and out of my head. My intent is not to complain or to place blame, so much as to identify the issues that have helped to shape my choices and brought my ultimately to this board for support. The point of being here, for me, is not to hate, not to blame, but to accept responsibility and own the things in my life that need to be addressed and to move on to a healthier place so that I can encourage others to do the same. I will refer to him as I always do in my mind, as “Tower Raven.

My family life as a child was not perfect. We lived in a nice home, had enough food and clothes, good schools. My father adored my mother and my mother never wanted to have children – especially not girls. After five of us her tubes were tied and that was that. My Dad was a staunch Catholic in law enforcement and my mother was a homemaker but not happy in her job. I remember anger, yelling, belittling and chores, church without socializing and community, and punishment. I do not remember positive reinforcement, encouragement, hugs. Emotions were not shared openly and were discouraged ”¦ to capture my father’s attention, he had to be in a good mood – and you had to like watching the news and law enforcement shows. To capture my mother’s, you had to do something for her – a chore, make dinner, buy her or bring her something ”¦  and then the attention was short lived.

I haven’t seen my parents in 11 ½ years. My father and I talk a few times a month when I call him. He is retired now, but worked long hard hours and was promoted throughout his career. He is well respected by his peers and while his outlook on life is much milder than in his younger days, there is still an unspoken mandate to hide emotion, in fact I am labeled more or less histrionic when I try to bring up anything that is even remotely emotional. My mother and I rarely speak – on the odd occasion when she answers the phone she is always busy and quick to end the conversation. They do not know my children, have only seen them once or twice and speak to them maybe once or twice a year by phone.

Meeting Tower Raven

I did not go to college, but instead into the Navy when I graduated high school. There was no money for college, but the Navy offered tuition assistance and a chance to leave home, to travel. While at my first duty station I met Tower Raven ”¦ it was the penetrating and magnetic stare that caught my attention. I now know from reading Hare and Cleckley that this is often referred to as a “reptilian stare” and is actually predatory in nature. I thought it was exciting – I didn’t realize how foreboding a warning it actually was ”¦ I completely missed it. I thought it was sexy! Silly girl.

After we met the first time, our interactions wove a pattern ”¦ intense and exciting, followed by periods of his absence and disinterest. Then more intensity followed by the same. He was six years older and seemed intelligent and focused with great strength of character. I was in love with him. The dynamic was not unlike the one I had with my father ”¦  when I had his attention I felt valued ”¦  even though it came and went. I just worked harder to keep it, and I would have done anything get and keep him and to “make him happy.”

Eventually, I found myself pregnant and had the difficult task of telling him. That day, I entered his open barracks room and sat, waiting for him to return. I knew he was nearby; after all, he’d left his door wide open. When he returned he fixed his gaze on me in the most disconcerting manner. His anger was barely controlled as he questioned why I would walk into his room when he wasn’t there – uninvited. I was stunned. I never told him about the baby – we walked together to the commissary, had ice cream, and I went back home. About ten days later I miscarried. I requested orders away from the base and was transferred shortly after, though I remained in the same area.

The next man I dated I met in a similar manner ”¦  he was charming, intense ”¦  after a few months I learned that he was married and had four children. He was stationed where I was and they lived down south in his hometown. Again I asked for a transfer – this time I went half way around the world, where I stayed for a year until a sexual assault while I lay dozing on a deserted stretch of beach sent me home, resulting in two separate back surgeries.

When I healed, I went to see Tower Raven. I had decided to tell him what I’d been through. Instead, I learned he was going to be married. I remember standing there that day, in pain, swallowing my emotions – and walking away. That was 24 years ago.

Made contact

Eighteen months ago we made contact on Facebook. He has done well for himself; he is in law enforcement in the nation’s capitol and knowing what I know now I am stunned at the level he has attained. His first communications with me were as intense as I remembered him. I told him about my ex, his alcoholism, how I left and have been raising my children on my own for the past nine years. We shared histories, he saw the pictures on my page of my daughter going through cancer treatment – a malignant brain tumor diagnosed a year after my divorce. He, too, was divorced – horrible stories of the woman she was, how she’d hurt him, taken his child from him, leaving home one day while he was at work. Taking everything. He said the first person she was involved with after their divorce committed suicide. (It haunts me now, because I believe he was projecting ”¦  could he have driven a woman to suicide? I believe he could.)

He was remarried now, but not happily, they “didn’t have sex” because he lost interest after they were married. Poor him, I thought. He deserved to be happy! I could make him happy, but he was off limits. I told him I reminded myself of that every day. He successfully avoided discussing her, talked about his work and his kids ”¦  effectively, due to the distance, allowing her to seem not so much part of the picture. I lied to myself as I became close to him again, told myself we were going to be “friends” and that was all.

He was full of admiration for what I’d been through and accomplished ”¦  I could go on and on but so many of you know the story. He knew what to say – what I’d never heard. That I was a good person that I’d made good choices, that I was beautiful and warm and intelligent and loving and so wonderful. He held my full attention. And I told him I was amazed at the man he’d become  ”¦ and when I read back through the emails and the texts I can see where the focus shifted from me to us to him. And stayed on him. His job, his home situation, his family, his past. He wanted to know how I remembered him, when he’d been like, was he really so jaded back then? Classic “enough about me, now tell me more about me.” When I spent time with friends, he sent me text messages constantly – the busier I was, the more I heard from him. The more available I was, the less he was in contact. Twice, when out with my friends, he sent me a text saying, in essence, “I should have asked you to marry me back then ”¦ ” (I now know these were strategic attempts to keep the focus on him and off of my friends.)

It is amazing to me that in the three short months that passed – really only in a few weeks – I was mesmerized. In love again. What I wanted to do was to see him, one more time, to tell him about the baby, to finally have closure. He asked me, at first, to have dinner with him the next time I was in town. The first time I was in town, I didn’t tell him. He was after all married, and I am not a cheater. But I continued to let him draw me in ”¦  I was the perfect target ”¦  a lonely single mom. I don’t date, because to do so would be to take time away from my responsibilities raising my children. Here, after all these years, the man I’d always been in love with was paying attention to me and I was mesmerized. I could not look away. I should have looked away. I should have run away – I was good at that by now.

Come to me

From the time he left for work in the morning until he went to bed at night he was emailing or texting me. He kept the calls to a minimum, which was fine with me because though I loved hearing his voice, I didn’t want to spend time on the phone when I was with my children. He started sending me government job postings from his area, and I told him I would never even consider relocating my family unless and until his current situation was resolved and he had been on his own for a while. After a while, he would simply text “Come to me” ”¦  and it would thrill me that he wanted me. Eventually, he built enough confidence in me for him that I told him about the baby. He was so sweet, so wonderful. Telling me that if he’d known, then we could have tried again – as a couple. If he’d only realized how much he’d cared for me back then. His first wife, he said, effectively “supplanted” my position in his life after I left with no explanation.

“Come to me.” In the end, I did go. I should have gone two weeks earlier than I did, but I his wife “found out” that I was going to visit. He had left his email open, “by accident.” (Now, knowing what I know, if she really did see his email at all, I think he did it on purpose.) I encouraged him to seek counseling with her. He said she wanted to work on the marriage and though I was emotionally entangled I knew this was right. I told him that I would rearrange my trip, that I wanted closure, but that after he would have to focus on repairing his home life if he could. I told him ten years was nothing to throw away. He told me that it wasn’t as though anything had happened with us. It wasn’t as though I was some 20-something airhead blond. We had a history, we were in love. He told me he refused to tell her or his counselor that he wasn’t in love with me. He took pride in our “love.” After all, it wasn’t really “counseling” — it was for her.

“Come to me. I need you.” I had already by then begun to see some things I hadn’t noticed before ”¦  the way he spoke about other people, his lack of focus at work. It didn’t feel right, but it was HIM! Tower Raven was paying attention to me ”¦  I couldn’t refuse him anything! I remember saying to him one day, when I had to get to work one morning and could not talk to him “I don’t know why, but I hate saying no to you.” He would text me constantly after work until bedtime, and I thought — how bad is their relationship that he has the TIME to do this?

There was one episode of anger at a brother who’d fallen short on a promise to him. It caused me to leave my cell phone at home for the day – something I never do. He sent me desperate texts all afternoon, wondering where I’d gone, was I ok? I told him simply, “I’d forgotten how your anger sounds.” And I remembered that day in the barracks – and quickly pushed the thoughts away.

Whirlwind

When I finally went, it was a whirlwind. I got there early afternoon, and he met me, held my face in his hands, and kissed me sweetly “it’s so good, so right to hold you in my arms again.” My common sense was gone. He looked old to me, though, older than his 50 years would have warranted. His Facebook page picture was at least 15 years old. It didn’t matter, it was HIM – and I still loved him. I succumbed to temptation that night.

The second day he showed up in the morning, and we talked all day. He told me about him. More about him. About the people he’d stepped on and showed up and about his shift from career to career and what a good interview he was, how he’d always gotten the jobs he wanted. His major shift was from the medical field in government to the law enforcement field. It was administrative — no real skill needed — just the ability to appear capable and confident and to interview well.

He never asked me about my life, about our baby I’d carried, about anything. It didn’t matter – it was not relevant to HIM. The third day was much the same, except he was pulling back. The fourth day we met for lunch. He did not come into the hotel. He drove me around the area, even past his house, wanting to show me what he’d been working on in the back yard. I looked at him in horror. I didn’t want to go to his house! He looked back at me, as I began to cry, with a look that can only be defined as “the mask slipping.” He was evaluating my emotions with satisfaction. He realized that my heart was breaking, that I knew I would need to go back to my life and leave him to his. And I realized then that his full intention was for him to go back to his — without hesitation. He had done what he’d set out to do — he’d gotten me to fall in love with him, and he was breaking my heart.

He dropped me off at my hotel and kissed and hugged me one more time as I cried – numb. He took my face in his hands, again, and told me “This is not the last time we will see each other. We will ALWAYS have each other.” I told him I had to go, and I walked away.

Does she know?

That night someone called my hotel room three times, hanging up. I ended up calling a friend I’d been spending the evenings with and checking out a night early to stay with her. I let him know about the calls and his reaction was amazing to witness. He was in a PANIC — was it her? Did she know? What was he going to do?! Finally she called (she was away from home that week) and she told him that she’d talk to him when he “hadn’t had a couple of beers.” He was drunk”¦ and he was alone with his children. I was appalled. “Are you still there, because I’m a going down fast?” Then silence.

The next day, I didn’t hear one word from him. Not “have a safe trip” or “did you get home ok?” Until after I was back home with my children, who’d been visiting their father. “It’s ok,” he texted. “She doesn’t know. We had a good talk and everything is fine.”

That night, I called him and I asked him, in tears, not to contact me for a while. I told him I had to get used to NOT hearing from him and he needed to fix his life. I did not hear from him again — until about two weeks later on Thanksgiving. A text”¦ “Happy Thanksgiving Baybee.”

But by then, I’d been to my counselor, and to this website and to others and I had read Hare and Cleckley and “Betrayal Bonds.” I was stunned, and in disbelief and amazement over what I”˜d learned. I was sickened and full of shame and remorse and regret and horror.

Letter

I sent him the following letter. In doing so, I began No Contact.

Tower Raven

I’ve had time to reflect on all that has happened in the past months since we began corresponding again after so many long years. I realize now that the words that last time I was in your arms were full of lies:

“This won’t be the last time we’ll see each other. We will ALWAYS have each other.”

The truth is, it was the last time we will see each other, I’ve NEVER had you, and you no longer have me. My love for the man I thought you were ended the moment I realized that you idealized, exploited, devalued, discarded and abandoned me without a second thought. But you missed one thing”¦ one tiny thing you didn’t count on”¦ in your abuse of my feelings for you, you made me STRONGER.

You read me so well, made it so easy to forget my morals and to believe instead in you. When we began communicating in August, I was surprised and, in a way, enchanted with the scenario you laid out. You were penitent for having hurt me, expressed feelings of remorse for not recognizing that you were ”˜in love’ with me all those years ago”¦ you told me that you still had feelings for me — mirroring my own sentiments — and drawing me into your world. I have held you for so long in my memory as this amazing man who I loved, whose child I conceived, and miscarried. How could I forget that I requested a transfer away from you? It was for good reasons that I chose to forget — and to avoid the pain of the loss, I idolized you, buried your faults, and remembered only what I assessed as strength of character.

You asked me so many times, despite my protests, to “come to you.” And I did – how could I not? I’ve been in love with you my entire adult life. I opened my heart up to you fully and in doing so I allowed you to see my every weakness, my every strength, and every piece of my soul. In turn you used that information to ingratiate yourself to me. You appeared to give me unconditional love and acceptance — and honestly, I believe you thought that’s what it was too. For a while, at least, you imagined that I could be that ”˜perfect love’ that would make you feel complete. Except you aren’t capable of love, because true love means putting someone else and their needs ahead of you and your own wants and desires. It was just a game to you — one that made you feel powerful, for a time.

I suspect, sadly, that you have never felt or known pure unconditional love. The last day I was with you I told you that you reminded me of a six year old boy — that I saw so much damage. I wonder now if you are aware of how broken you are, and if you are angry with whoever is responsible for crippling you emotionally? I believe you equate love with weakness. You hate being weak and you hate and despise weak people. It only goes to follow that because I made the mistake of loving you, I was weak. Because I made the mistake of sleeping with you – again – I became a whore in your eyes. Either way, in your mind I was not loveable or capable of filling the void you’ve expressed feeling in your soul and saving you from your lonely self. Though in truth, no one is capable – the void is too vast.

When you were done with me there in [town] – realized I was no longer of any value to you and in fact uncomfortable with my presence – you went into action. Managing my departure while securing an alibi for yourself, disposing of me, in a sense, without a second thought. You are not capable of empathy, could not see, understand or care about the pain you caused me. Or, perhaps I misjudge you, it’s entirely possible you do SEE it, and if that’s the case, it probably pleases you. How powerful a man you are to be able to inflict such pain on a foolish, adoring woman! You spent months reading me, giving me verbally everything I wanted to hear — and then you took it away — ostracizing me, breaking off all communication so that I knew just how devalued I was in your eyes”¦ that I had meant nothing to you after all – not “worthy” of your “love.” But your love was a façade ”¦ I saw the signs before traveling to see you, but I knew I had to see you to understand what was happening.

The only reason you allowed communication the night I traveled home was because you weren’t entirely certain I wouldn’t rail against you, make a scene or worse a phone call that could ruin your carefully laid disaster recovery plan. Of course, I wouldn’t – I could never intentionally cause you the harm you continue to inflict on yourself and those around you. How relieved you must have been for me to ask you not to contact me! How perfectly off the hook and free of THAT burden you must feel! Still, you contacted me on Thanksgiving and that is something I simply won’t allow — understand me when I tell you there will be no contact going forward.

Now I know all too well what transpired — and who you are”¦. and have always been”¦ incapable of developing any measure of intimacy save what you emulate in others as a means of controlling their emotions and response to you. Because you lack empathy, you are incapable of offering any emotional sustenance to a partner.

You told me you realized your sexual life with your wife was not fulfilling soon after marriage ”¦  that makes sense. She isn’t a whore and became a Madonna to you in her attempts to become pregnant, to bear children, and to build a home. She loved you and took care of you and therefore was no longer attractive to you. You prefer to make love to yourself – the only perfect and acceptable partner you know. In November, even with me, the promise of a passionate reunion never availed itself — you used my body to masturbate your own.

Still, you speak well of your wife, which tells me you fear her – what she could do to bring your make-believe semblance of a world crashing down around you. When I watched you terrified, scrambling, trying to ensure she did not find out about our tryst, I realize what a lonely, sad, and also a very angry man you are. Angry not because you never experienced love and probably never will ”¦ Instead, you are angry because you are not as powerful, admired and successful as you had planned to be and as you feel you deserve to be. Your daydreams refuse to come true no matter how you wish them so. Losing your wife could mean the loss of your clearances – career suicide.

You are a warrior – a Spartan, as you put it – able to start again with nothing because the attachment you have to your current life is not real ”¦  and a shaky foundation on which to base a family or future plans. This is no secret, you know as much. You cannot conceive of a life in one place with one set of people, doing the same thing, in the same field with one goal within a decades-old game plan. To you, this is death. You are most terrified of growing old, of boredom and whenever faced with its haunting prospect, you inject drama into your life (your cat and mouse game with me) or even danger (the job “A” is offering you.) This is the only way you feel alive.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to you”¦ I can’t care anymore — though I have to tell you, the man I thought you were is an amazing man — someone I wish you could know”¦ had somehow aspired to be. I LOVED that man with all my heart, and much to my detriment. Whoever damaged you as a child should be damned for leaving you this way — crippled with fear of being called an impostor and self-loathing to the extent you display the antithesis in every effort to make yourself feel alive and to fill the void that may never be satisfied because the things you seek to fill it with don’t exist — like you, they are a mirage.

For me, knowing all I know now, the man of my memory is dead to me; he was make-believe anyway, a product of the imagination of a young girl perpetuated by hurt and maternal loss. What remains is truly, poetically, tragically a ”˜Beautiful Disaster.’ When I asked you why you loved me, you couldn’t tell me, but I know now it was because you were enthralled with the way you saw yourself reflected in my eyes – like Narcissus staring into the pool at his own reflection. Such a pity it took 24 years after meeting you for me to break the cycle — I will no longer be your Echo.

When I met you, I felt as though I’d known you my entire life — because I have — you and people like you who use people up and discard them without a thought. My parents, my ex-husband”¦ as hurtful as letting go of my illusion of the wonderful Tower Raven is — the truth is I CAN finally let you go, and for that I am grateful. I told you on the bench that last day that I could see your pain – your damage – but I also know I can’t help you. If I thought I could ”¦  if you could be put back together ”¦  I’d do my best to try, but all you would do is hurt me – again.

You will not acknowledge and likely deny everything I have written — but even as I know this I know you’ve read every last word — after all, it’s about you. I realize that I can’t even hate you — but I pity you. And now you will blame me for all that has happened, but I have accepted my responsibility and made peace with myself for the faults that are mine. As a woman, regardless of our history, I knew better than to become involved with a married man.

You said to me, the last time you touched me, that we would “always have each other—¦ what you meant to say, was that YOU would always have ME — to provide you with the things you need when you are lonely — when no other source exists to feed your emptiness. I can’t be there for you though, because I know in my heart you will never be good for me. This is the last correspondence I will send to you, and I ask you to respect my wishes by not contacting me again.

You are in counseling, with your wife, and I’m sure you’ve made me the scapegoat in all of this. I wonder how much of what you told me was actually truth. But it doesn’t matter anymore than the truths or lies you are sharing in counseling, because I doubt you’ll take advantage of it. It would be too much for you – scared little boy of a man that you are – to let the walls down and to be seen — to see yourself — as you are. I’m not sure you could stand it — for your sake, I hope your advancing age will lead you to seek solace and to heal — eventually you will burnout and I hope someone is left who you haven’t damaged so much they too leave you. The choices you make going forward are none of my business. I sincerely hope that somehow you — and at the very least the people you’ve hurt and continue to hurt – find peace. I know I intend to — again.

RavenlessTower

Heartbreak music

About two weeks after the above was sent, I found it. His online music account. During the time period I was initially supposed to have visited he created a station of 80’s music – from the time that we knew each other. There were 27 songs all together – each one about breaking someone’s heart. “I’m Not the One” ”¦  “Promises, Promises” ”¦  “Dream On” ”¦  “Heartbreak Beat” ”¦  “Pictures of You” ”¦  “Strangelove” ”¦  that’s when I knew for certain that he was more than a narcissist – he is a sociopath. All of it, intentional, a game to hurt me – specifically me. Like a cat playing with a mouse until the mouse was no longer interesting.

Strangelove lyrics (Depeche Mode)

There’ll be times
When my crimes
Will seem almost unforgivable
I give in to sin
Because you have to make this life liveable
But when you think I’ve had enough
From your sea of love
I’ll take more than another river full
And I’ll make it all worthwhile
I’ll make your heart smile

Strangelove
Strange highs and strange lows
Strangelove
That’s how my love goes
Strangelove
Will you give it to me
Will you take the pain
I will give it to you
Again and again
And will you return it

There’ll be days
When I’ll stray
I may appear to be
Constantly out of reach
I give in to sin
Because I like to practice what I preach
I’m not trying to say
I’ll have it all my way
I’m always willing to learn
When you’ve got something to teach
And I’ll make it all worthwhile
I’ll make your heart smile

Strangelove
Strange highs and strange lows
Strangelove
That’s how my love goes
Strangelove
Will you give it to me
Will you take the pain
I will give it to you
Again and again
And will you return it

May be a gift

Sociopath, Narcissist, Psychopath”¦ does it matter?

What I have learned from all of this? It may be a gift – his passing back through my life. No matter how rocked to the core, no matter how hurt and wounded and lonely I feel now. I am lucky, in a sense, that his abuse was emotional – never verbal or physical. Financially, I lost only what I spent on the trip as he didn’t pay a penny, of course. I am aware of how many women (and some men) on this site have been further down the path than I found myself and been forced to deal with those issues.

That being said, emotional/psychological manipulation was extremely earth shattering for me ”¦  I let him in; because of old feelings I trusted and should not have, because of his position in law enforcement – a trusted position like my father ”¦  I don’t believe anyone else could have done this to me because there is no one else that I either trusted or had a history with in this way. Still ”¦  for him it was the perfect opportunity ”¦  Assessment, Manipulation, Abandonment ”¦

“The abandonment phase begins when the psychopath decides that their victim is no longer useful. They abandon their victim and move on to someone else. In the case of romantic relationships, a psychopath will usually seal a relationship with their next target before abandoning their current victim. Abandonment can happen quickly and can occur without the current victim knowing that the psychopath was looking for someone new. There will be no apologies for the hurt and pain they cause because psychopaths do not appreciate these emotions.”

When I learned what I was seeing, I walked away – but it has changed me and forced me to deal with things I did not understand about myself and my life – for the first time I am doing some honest soul-searching with the knowledge my research on this subject has given me. I may be victimized, but I refuse to have a ‘victim mentality!’ I made choices too.

All the reading I have done trying to understand has helped me to learn why I’ve let people like him into my life – gravitated toward them in fact! I can see now that I have in the past had boundary issues stemming from my childhood that need to be addressed. It doesn’t mean blaming anyone, and I realize I can’t change the people in my family – but I can take responsibility for my inner child and my critical parent selves and learn to draw clearer boundaries that are clear to me and to those I let into my life, or even come into contact with at work or church or the community. It doesn’t matter what anyone else’s perception of the facts are – I need to deal with my perceptions and my future reactions to the challenges I encounter.

Early last year, after seven years in remission, my daughter was again diagnosed with cancer. She is in hospice now, and I will tell you from my heart — I believe this all happened for a reason. I was taken on a spiritual journey that has allowed me, however painfully, to know myself better than I ever could have imagined.

Where I come from, why I’ve made certain choices – and how I want to live my life going forward. I know how to set boundaries and feel perfectly justified — unapologetic — about keeping them in place. If I had not been on this journey, dealt with my past and reconciled it all — I would not have had the strength and determination to get myself, and my children, through this very difficult last year, awaiting the inevitable. Knowledge, understanding, and faith — all key for me.

The serenity prayer is my mantra now – and every challenge I face I ask myself: Can I DO anything about this? If I can, what is the best way to go about it? If I can’t, what is the healthiest way to move past it and on with my life?

Peace!

RavenlessTower STANDING!


Comment on this article

90 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I lied to myself as I became close to him again"

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Dear RavenlessTower,

Yes, you ARE STANDING! Thank you for sharing this part of yourself. Two parts of the conclusion of your story stand out as absolute GEMS to me. Short, but SO VERY IMPORTANT. The “take home lesson” that is precise and concise and oh, so true.

QUOTE: All the reading I have done trying to understand has helped me to learn why I’ve let people like him into my life ”“ gravitated toward them in fact! I can see now that I have in the past had boundary issues stemming from my childhood that need to be addressed. It doesn’t mean blaming anyone, and I realize I can’t change the people in my family ”“ but I can take responsibility for my inner child and my critical parent selves and learn to draw clearer boundaries that are clear to me and to those I let into my life, or even come into contact with at work or church or the community. It doesn’t matter what anyone else’s perception of the facts are ”“ I need to deal with my perceptions and my future reactions to the challenges I encounter.

To me, that is the bottom line in learning to live a good life and you articulated it so well. Thank you.

QUOTE: Where I come from, why I’ve made certain choices ”“ and how I want to live my life going forward. I know how to set boundaries and feel perfectly justified ”“ unapologetic ”“ about keeping them in place.

Again, concise and precise summation of learning to be WHOLE and HEALTHY.

I salute you on your journey and your matriculation from the University of Hard Knocks. Your strength, and especially in light of your daughter’s illness, is amazing. You and your daughter are in my prayers. ((((Hugs))))

Ravenless Tower, it’s amazing how similar all our stories are and how our families of origin have molded us and like you i started to repeat patterns with the s exactly the same way i did with my father years ago, right down to buying the same things for both of them.. Glad to hear you are doing so much better and my heart goes out to you with your daughter . I especially like the part in your letter where you make it clear that you are no longer the victim with your comment about making you stronger, love it. We are the stronger ones for having endured what we have and sometimes i forget how valuable a lesson this has been. Thanks so much for telling your story and reminding me again how we can be so vulnerable even after knowing all we know about them. I am finally getting how the s is truly poison and that no contact means nothing , not a single word . love kindheart

Dear Kindheart,

Glad to see you again. Hope you are doing well, and getting that NC means really NOOOOOOO CONTACT, not a single word, or even looking at their face book page—is a big step and an important one.

Ravenless,
Thanks for giving us the background to your story. After all those years, he came back to haunt you. Thank God you were able to shake off the delusion each time. You have good self-protective instincts. You really do. You know when to run. I wish I was like you.

Ravenless,

I really do “get”your story. There are situations in my life that are similar including a married man I seem to run into after each of my divorces. I don’t think he is a spath but I do see the selfishness now.

You are right in the fact that we need to look at our selves, keep in touch with our inner child and work on boundaries. You know what, you are a hero in your life and those of your children. You went back revisited your past and know the truth.

I am crying as I write because of your daughter. I am so sorry. I have an autistic daughter as you may have read in my posts. She has been through two marriages with me as the first one resulted in her birth. Both husbands left her as well as me and never looked back. There are times I have been used and I am starting to see why. I didn’t value myself enough. You are an inspiration in that you are not going to be a victim.

We are here for you. You know that. Really I am so sorry about your daughter. I guess I have empathy because I am crying for her and you now, and like the others I will pray for you. You are a strong woman but not so strong that you do not need your spirituality whatever your beliefs are. Mine is God. I run to him like a child and He never turns me away.

((((Hugs))))
TTS

Ravenless~

Your post is so wonderful and so close to home and so helpful that I do not know what to say.
Thank You.

Dear Ravenless,
God Bless You. Your story has touched me in so many ways. You can not imagine how much this means to me. It is a message from God speaking loudly and directly to me. Thank you so much. Thank you so verry very much, you have probably saved me a lot of grieve and pain. I don’t understand how it happens, but every time I need guidance or clarity, I come here and there’s the answer. I need this place and I needed this post today. You and your entire family will remain in my prayers. God sends blessings when we least expect them. He doesn’t send what we want but what we need. He sent you here today because I needed you. Thank you again for your sharing. I hope your burden is lighter in the telling of your story. It is a brave thing to do. Peace to you my friend.

Ravenless Tower, your writing is beautifully done!!
I admire your talent for being able to put your feelings on a page.
I can relate to so much of what you wrote,
thank you for helping me sort out some of my confusion.

You and your daughter are in my prayers.
My mother had brain cancer…
it took her away from me.
To happen to such a young girl as your daughter,
I am so sorry. I remember last year you said she has
a very strong faith in God, I am so glad for that.

Thank you for being here! Thank you for sharing yourself!
God Bless you. xoxoxo

SC,
you’re up late tonight – again.
why do you and I have insomnia so much?

I’m sorry about your mother. I’m glad you had a good mom that you loved and loved you. I want that so badly.

I need to grow up.

skylar, I’ve got to take my ativan soon, so I can go to sleep!
I’ve got to get off that stuff one of these days.
My mom was a good mom, I think she suffered from depression
when I was little and she was stuck with 3 kids,
then dad left… she went to work and supported all of us!
Later she married a really good man and lived quite a comfortable life.
I seemed to have missed out on the self confidence lessons…
wish she had hammered that into my head.

SC,

That is so nice to hear that someone had a normal life.
I don’t know what normal is. I wish someone would tell me, so I could know what to aspire to.

Your mom did something right…you know? You have so much compassion. There aren’t many people like you. You’re a role model.

Try taking melatonin. It didn’t use to work for me but now I take THREE and it does help. I’m off the lunesta and the ambian.

I got my BF to take 2 for a while. He started sleeping better and was full of energy. He seemed almost manic. No more afternoon naps. I think it changed the serotonin in his brain. It happened concurrently witth the light cycle change, (after the winter equinox) so I think he got “spring fever”. Then he stopped taking it. Got to get him to try it again because he’s tired again.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

sky – ya need to mother yourself. you might not have the role model, but i know you can think your way through what a good mom does. i live in a bit of a vacuum – no peeps and not enough self care – i am working on the self care. the peeps part will have to wait.

this week i have done a couple of things to extend more care to myself: made some appts to help with my healthcare, reached out to a pastoral care counselor, and have started going for walks again (after having H3N2), even though it is bloody cold outside.

i live virtually unloved and untouched. and i have to get those things by being with the wind and the sky and the trees. i wish i had a cat or dog – but i don’t and can’t have at this time. i do have lots of pillows to surround myself with, and warmed bean bags and this can give me some comfort, too. I take some joy in cooking – although that is double edged as i tend to eat for comfort.

I am very slowly getting my place in order. i had hoped to have a room ready to rent in march, but i don’t think i will make it. my energy level is really low, but i do have more enthusiasm for it. (i am going to go see the doc and make sure i don’t have pneumonia, ’cause i have that flat no oxygen feeling.)

so, good moms take care of the health and comforting of their children. and although good mom’s also make sure kids have opportunities for friends and fun – those a re a bit more challenging to deliver at the moment for me. the things i know i find fun, that i can handle right now, require transportation. don’t have it. and there is nothing i can do about that yet. but what i can do is start to think about what else i might find fun now, that doesn’t require being with a bunch of people. I’d like to go do some volunteer work with kids – but i am too weird and too time strapped to approach that one yet. I am happy when i am producing something or engaged with peeps, don’t enjoy passive much, unless i am sitting someplace in nature. lots of things i would enjoy that my body won’t put up with. it’s going to take some more thinking!

have a good day sky!

Ravenless Tower,

Your story was nicely written, reminding me that the parenting that we receive in our childhoods (plus our own personalities) does make a difference in how we maneuver in life. You sound like a beautiful person inside and out. I remember some of your past posts where you spoke about your daughter. My daughter had to go through a biopsy a couple of years ago (she was having bone pain) – I could barely breathe (agonizing time period), but thankfully, the results to all the testing that was done turned out all right (not the worst case scenario), being diagnosed with a rare condition, CRMO. Anyway, you and your daughter are in my prayers, deserving to having much love and peace.

Ravenless Tower,
Your post is a precious gift that will keep giving to all that come here in pain. No matter what their actual experience may have been or is, they will find something that speaks directly to them in your post. After 3 1/2 years here at LF I have crawled out of the nightmare that was my life and am now upright and able to live in the light of reality.

Shalom, glad you came out of the “shadows” here at LF—I wonder how many people read here on a daily basis and (almost) never post…sometimes it seems like we are just a few people posting to ourselves (singing to the choir, so to speak) but every once in a while someone pokes their head out and says “I’ve been here for x months or years” and it has helped me.

Thanks for showing yourself. I’m so glad that you have crawled out of the darkness and are standing upright in the sun light of reality and self care! Glad you are here.

Raven,

Your story was very painful to read, yet liberating, as a lot of them here are.

But what got me the most, is the strength you have in what is going on with your daughter, while pulling yourself up out of the rubble after contact with a spath.

I’ve worked in hospice and absolutely loved it. I’m so glad to hear that is an option for your daughter, yet so very, VERY sorry that you’re going through this. I can’t imagine what it would be to lose a child. I’ll keep you and your daughter in my prayers and think positive thoughts for you.

Please keep in touch here when you are able and let us know how you’re doing.

God Bless.

LL

One Joy,
I’m working on my place too. I actually went up to the cabin and covered the roof on a storage shed. and mopped up all the water that had gotten in and left a heater in there to dry it out. Now I’m going to put loads of crap in there so I can rent the place to the guy who wants it. It’s been really hard because going up there is so stressful. Everything reminds me of how badly I allowed a spath to treat me for so many years. And the neighbors make me sick. The had so much hate and envy seeded in them toward me. They hated me before they ever met me. It’s amazing. How rational is that? How can you hate someone to the point of wanting them dead, if you’ve never met them? That’s how convincing a spath is.

hey Ox, yes i’ve been doing great but i got thrown a curveball again last night. My cousin works in town at a fast food place and this is the second time the s went out of his way while she was on break to bring me up first time saying im crazy in so many words. Yes who the heck wouldn’t be dealing with all the toxics and my dad’s estate etc. and that triggered me a few months back now last night he breached me again saying im bad but not expending on what he meant. I was having such a nice night watching Criminal Minds(im in love with all the characters) and my cousin called to tell me such and im completely unnerved about it. I do know from experience that all the women before me he managed to keep tabs on and it was all negative noting positive going on in their lives etc. He would keep tabs on the woman from years back even. Im sitting here pretty depressed about it and it’s strange i feel like it’s bordering on stalking which was pretty much my domain when i was in the obsession. He tortured me when i was around him and hates me more now that i won’t let him so i can’t win. It’s a small town and people gossip and he knows it bothers me to have people not like me or talk negatively about me. If i move im giving him control again, i just wish he’d forget i existed but i witnessed so much slander when i was with him how could i not be treated the same. Can’t wait for the day when i meet someone special . I’ve been in no contact but i have had contact with the daugher who is about to be committed in a mental facility (meth and possible personality disorder ) as i bonded with her but i have decided to cut contact with her as i know i wil lget burned. I felt guilty she had no one to attend court as she called so i went knowing deep down it was not my business and that stupid codependency shit took over and i rationalized it by putting myself in her shoes knowing she lost her mom like i did mine. Im rambling on but at least i didn’t feel the least bit tempted to tell her father what was happening which is not m y usual reaction. The smear campaign is probably just beginning and i don’t know if i can take much more, im getting almost paranoid in my old age. love kindheart ps. the paranoia is from meeting too many toxic people i feel, they are capable of such damage im constantly waiting for the axe to fall.

Ravenless Tower, i like your narration, it’s very revealing.
I don’t know if every why have a because, but in your case your why had a because and you finally found it out. That’s very good.
I’ve come to the conclussion i’ve gravitated around psychopaths too and why and also know the because. And i know for sure that from now on i’ll avoid them with all my strengths.
Peace 🙂

Dear Kindheart,

First thing I can say is YOU CANNOT KEEP HIM FROM TALKING BAD ABOUT YOU TO OTHERS. That is NOT in your control, BUT_____you do not have to listen to it.

Tell your cousin: 1) DO NOT TALK TO ME ABOUT WHAT HE SAYS 2) I would appreciate it if you would tell him that you do not want to discuss me then DO NOT DISCUSS ME AT ALL WITH HIM. 3) do not tell this cousin ANYTHING that you do not want told to the P —

If you do not KNOW what he is saying to others then you won’t be upset by it. THAT IS COMPLETE AND TOTAL NO CONTACT.

You can’t control what he says, you can only control YOUR REACTION TO IT. As long as you listen to it 2nd hand and react, HE WINS.

Thanks Ox and yes my cousin was on to him already, thought he was fishing and im over it but it sure does get my feathers in ruffle and then i realize that is exactly what he wants. Worse part is i know how they never forget the past major sources not ever . Im just grateful to have come this far and i didn’t think it was possible. I hate even looking back i wasted so many years but im finally in the No Contact and im hanging on for dear life. Here is a great quote for all of us single gals and guys for Valentines Day . “I THINK, THEREFORE I’M SINGLE” have a great Valentines Day everyone. love kindheart

Kindheart – Ox is right, what you don’t hear won’t hurt you. Stay strong. Love the quote, it symbolises where I am right now and it’s a good place to be = SINGLE. Nite

Kindheart, I like the quote too, maybe I will get a Tee shirt made with that on it! LOL

I am so glad that the emotional release I found in writing all of this down helped even one of you!

I’ve been here on this site for over a year now and so many of your stories are similar… stories that could have been prevented with education and awareness at a younger age, and proper validation from strong role models in our lives.

I am so happy to hear that education at the High School level will be instituted! My oldest daughter has already run into one of these personality disordered types and she keeps circling back to him, prompting conversation and soul searching, followed by a concerted effort to avoid him.

The apple does not fall far from the tree! I look at her absent father and know that her situation could be worse – she could be one of “them” – but instead she is one of us… but she gravitates to “them” and it is one of my life’s goals to help her to see that and to avoid it in favor of healthy relationships. She deserves that, we ALL do!

Tempering that as a parent is no easy task, especially when she faces losing a sister and the need for validation by her father, which she is not receiving. But that’s ok… validation from the wrong place = INVALIDATION in my book.

Happy Valentine’s Day ladies (and gents!) – those of you who have found happiness and those of us on the road to discovering it lie within ourselves!

Peace…

Ravenless Tower

Ravenless Tower:

Quite awhile ago I used to post here, Erin B. and Oxy and others have been my mentors though they may not realize it. And like Oxy said, there are so many of us who just
read…perhaps daily, perhaps every two or three weeks or months – which is what I have been doing. But finally you get it. I tuned in the other day when you first posted and
it was such a powerful passage from you to read – I’m glad for the length and depth of what you related to all of us, thank you so much. And I’m glad you made your move…

Yesterday was my birthday and I spent it alone, though my kids took me to a wonderful dinner the night before. I finally broke up with the person I’ve struggled with for
what would have been 9 years in March -it’s been an on-again, off-again journey with him but two weeks ago, when i announced I’d made a decision about saving my house
and finances by remodelling and renting a room out from my house, he went pretty ballistic on me over the phone late at night – I do believe it was alcohol-induced as he is usually not so verbally abusive, but I just laid in bed, it was almost midnight and I finally just listened and listened…and knew it was time to get away – I was DONE with being treated that way – I knew it wasn’t even really about ME…

So I just wanted to check in, I feel like my own being pushed to the wall with my health and finances lately has forced me to have the focus I’ve needed to be my own
best friend. After the New Year and some other situations with him, I just started making MY OWN PLANS without consulting him or making time for him on my days off.
I started inviting old friends (women artists I’d known for years) over for lunch – we all would get busy and would never make the time – once we did, we gave each other
the spark we all need to feel alive and connected. I went ahead this past weekend and did a festival with another friend and we both had good sales and I made some very
good contacts for future jobs as an artist.

I’ve said it before, but thank you to Donna and everyone here, I’m older and stronger and feel like my whole world has opened up again. And my kids are so glad to have
me reach this decision and choose to be back in their lives more. To anyone struggling out there who is confused or in pain, just know that IT IS A PROCESS and whether you know it or not, you are growing and can make changes to recover your life as you want it.

Hi everyone. Checking in from Texas, y’all. Where I’m visiting my friend-turned-lover and just going with the flow.

Two issues with me.

*My uncle, the spath: I visited a cousin in Oklahoma and once again it came up that we ought to have some kind of a reunion, introduce the next generation to each other, and get reacquainted, all six of us cousins, the kids, and our two moms. I come from a pretty good family overall. Even so, my “Uncle A-hole” stole from my mother about 35 years ago and steadfastly refuses to remember it at all. His wife/my aunt died of cancer in 2008, carrying on the “normal” charade until the end.

We’d have to invite Uncle A. It’s just what we do. Our own little pocket of dysfunctionality and we-don’t-talk-about-it in an otherwise not-so-screwed-up family. Or maybe he’s just not worth getting worked up about.

How soon one forgets his crimes when in his presence! Spaths like him are not just pretending to be nice — they ARE nice, sincere, feeling people at times — and then completely forget themselves at other times. It’s chilling, and doubly dangerous for being so “real.” . . . So let’s please not feel like idiots for getting taken in.

*Secondly, a happy personal realization: I am not, myself, wired for monogamy. And I am honest and innocent to a fault, all the time, definitely not a spath. A complete patsy. I mean, I make Bambi look like a smooth operator, LOL. I’m helping my lover out today, picking him up at the hospital after what he’s calling a “minor surgery.” (Ahem, is there such a thing? He’ll have Florence Nightingale on duty this week, and I make a mean chicken soup!)

I read these stories and I see our mistake — my mistake, all these years. Trying to fit my fantasies and desires into the “normal” mold, and seeing love as a scarce, rare, precious commodity provided only by My Ultimate Prince Charming (a role our spaths are good at playing!). As women, we are taught that our value increases as we hold ourselves back as Precious Princesses. I can think of no better strategy for attracting snakes. Instead, I’m opening myself up like a cheap slut to my Mr. Just OK.

I’m still susceptible to spaths. But what if one of these drugstore cowboys comes along and realizes right away that he can’t totally own me? What then? I suspect he’d just move on down the road, looking for a better victim.

The sexual propaganda teaches us that people like me have “intimacy issues,” are “shallow,” and “can’t commit.” And here I am, feeling more open and committed than I’ve ever been. The world doesn’t suddenly have better men in it; it has a better me in it. The only people we can change are ourselves. These stories we tell are about really bad villains, but it’s up to us to take responsibility for creating our own disasters.

What if all people are beautiful, and love is plentiful? Everything is erotically charged and, strangely, safe. There is no need to recycle old lovers who confess they’re sorry for what they did. Is anyone, ever, sorry for what they did? Sincerely? Really?

Dear Persephone,

What wonderful news! Thank you for sharing with us! I am so happy for you! What a wonderful “birth announcement” of the NEWLY BORN YOU!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS AND TOWANDA!!!!

I watched Cathy Bates last night in “Harry’s law” her new series on broadcast television–I want to be her when I grow up! LOL She is awesome and I love her character “Harry” Korn an attorney!

Glad you are Here persephone and keep on taking care of that new wonderful “baby girl” you just gave birth to! She is an awesome woman! (((hugs))))

Ravenless Tower

Thank you for writing. I saw my story in what you wrote. I fear for the years that lie ahead, and I only hope I have the strength that you have.

I just wanted to say that I am one of those who have been here for a couple of years and have only recently posted.

This site has helped me TREMENDOUSLY!! I read the posts and relate to sooo many stories that sometimes I think we are all talking about the same people and it appears that it all starts by the upbring that we and (they) have had ..the early years that formulate who we become later in life.

Thanks to all for your posts, Im sure that there are very many who are readinmg the posts who wish to remain behind the computer screen but are helped by words of experience and wisdom.

I have sent the Lovefraud link to at least a dozen people who dealt /dealing with their Hell.

Gem,

So glad that Lovefraud is helping you – and everyone.

Ravenless Tower,

Thank you for sharing your story. You are a strong woman. Hopefully your story will encourage/help other people to overcome their own issues and build their confidence. I used to say I was alive and kicking when the nightmare ended, I’m glad to say I still am today. I have learned to adapt and overcome.

sister sister–
I really appreciate what you just posted. You have got me thinking.

You know- if I had not let my ex spaths know how important sex was and how selective I was and how I hadn’t been with a lot of people– dang it– I may not have been such a challenge — making them morphe themselves into something they were not– just to have a sexual relationship with me.

Just to clear things up, I am not Gem. I am geminigirl or Mama gem from now on. Whod have thought thered be 2 gems? LOL!
Mama gemxx

Will the real Gem please stand up – oh there you are Mamma Wiener……~!

Meg backwards?

GEM. 🙂

sneh ?

Oxy…

What DOES “TOWANDA” mean?

I’ve been watching you post that for over a year and I am tired if guessing!

*grin*

Ravenless Tower
“Please don’t feed the Sociopaths!”

I am not oxy but Towanda is what Kathy Bate’s character in the move Fried Green Tomatoes said as she crashed her car into the back of the vollswagen bug that the three young rude blondes had just gotten out of .

I stand corrected – two young biatches – one blonde one not. shabby shabby 🙂 how do u do that shab?

Oh, I wasn’t even paying attention to that!!!!!!!! 😀

Roses are red, violets are blue…
I’m a schizophrenic, so am I.

soimnotcrazee,
where are you??????????????

roses are yellow
violets are green
you aint no schitsafrenic
you are my freend.

Hens, youll love this blonde joke. Blonde young lady goes to the Doctor.
“Doc, she say, I hurt everywhere!
When I press my tummy, it hurts, when I press my Boob, it hurts, when I press my leg, it hurts,when I press my other arm it hurts.!”
Doc examines her.
“Miss, he says,
You have a broken finger, so quit pressing with it.!”
Love, Mama Gem, or backwards Meg.{hell I aint backward in comin forward!}XX

crackin up as I drag my tired arse to bed huggles gemmers…

By the way, hens darlin, you aint no poet!
That there poem didnt even rhyme!
Bottom of the class!
And thats tellin ya in Okey from Pinokey talk!
Ya caint spell for shit neither!!Aint that the truth dang blast it!!
MamagemXX

this old man goes to doc and say I cant pee – doc says ‘how old are you? 98 he says – doc say ‘ you have peed enuff…..

Miss GeminiGirl – I can spell like a bee and speaks the kings english when I want too – I jus donut want ta….

shitzo, lol. isn’t that a dog?

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