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By | December 15, 2007 30 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: My journal entry about susceptibility to the sociopath

Editor’s note: A Lovefraud reader sent the following entry from her journal. “About 2 1/2 months since the sociopath revealed himself for what he was, I’m now assessing how I made myself so vulnerable in the first place,” she wrote. “Shockingly I realize I likely still am… still am as vulnerable… until I do my next needed self-work: truly healing my relationship with myself. Deeply.” The following piece represents a step in her healing.

I was thinking about whether I’d ever be able to reclaim my memories, once sweet, once preciously loving, of the past two years”¦ ever since the sociopath revealed himself for the liar and deceiver that he is via his cruel departure.

I am grateful for his departure, don’t get me wrong. But I am still in the midst of my ongoing process to try to make Meaning and sense. (I have kind of surrendered to the hopelessness of “making sense” of it all. But I will ever strive to find, make, imagine Meaning!!)

I have found a volume of meaning so far. No doubt.

However”¦. A few days ago I was thinking about what made me vulnerable in the first place. What was the “hook” that hooked me so completely, so effectively, so surely from the earliest of moments?

(I have found some journal entries from those very early moments. If I ever thought I didn’t inquire, didn’t challenge my experience, didn’t wonder about the rightness of my next steps”¦ Well I found the proof. I DID do all the questioning I’ve come to expect of myself. I DID do all the challenging of the validity of the experience — not presuming it was True just because it was Good.)

NOW

The question: What made me vulnerable? What was the hook that got me (so) hooked?

It was those aspects about me that I could not / would not accept (and note to self: still have not accepted) as “acceptable.” The things about me that I KNEW eliminated me from the hope of being truly loved, the things that were wholly unacceptable”¦ these were the juiciest of bait. (Shit. Who was catching whom?? Is the metaphor wrong, or Freudianly perfect?)

  • I was becoming quite and utterly convinced that I may not have the ability, the capacity to let someone love me, to trust someone when they claimed to love me, to be able to love someone wholeheartedly. Convinced that I may be so unacceptable that there is no one who could love me.
  • I knew that I was inherently unlovable ”¦ and the outward picture of that was: my (then) smoking; my housekeeping; my weight. But these were the reasons my logical mind needed as proof in order to say “see, not loveable.” Truth is ”¦ this belief exists first. Not the other way around. Note to Self: Come back to this point”¦
  • When he loved me IN SPITE OF”¦ amazingly UNDIMISHED BY… these very things that I hated about myself; when he consistently stated, and effectively convinced me that these things had nothing to do with what he loved about me, that these things did NOT DIMINISH his love for me”¦
  • I suddenly see that it was this that allowed the walls of resistance, of fear and of negation to fall from around my heart. This acceptance allowed me to allow Love IN! I could suddenly for the first time let someone all the way in to Who I AM!! I let him in to the most intimate places in me because he proved to me that I WAS worthy!! To self: Who did I need convincing about!?? Who do I need convincing about today?
  • I let him in because he jumped over the hurdles of what I hated about myself. No need to mention that all of this “undiminished love” turned out to be merely the tool, not the truth.

MY JOB NOW:

To remove the currently, unfortunately still potent possibility of being hooked by another sociopath.

To remove these hurdles to ME LOVING MYSELF.

To accept every last ornery cranky nasty grimy part of myself as the whole loving loveable being that I am.

To finally learn what it is to LOVE MYSELF UNCONDITIONALLY. Because it is only this act, this change, that will remove the BAIT from the public square. To remove the possibility of being hooked again. To be able to BELIEVE the next person that offers me love, but not have to hand over my soul in the process!

I don’t know intellectually how I will accomplish this”¦ the resistances in me can even now be heard along the fringes of my thoughts. But my desire for my life, my safety, and my desire to know love again, and truly this time, is strong enough that I think THIS will make it possible. THIS will motivate me to do the work I need to do.


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alohatraveler

This is a beautiful entry. Once again, it is more of my story and I suspect OUR STORIES collectively. There is a common thread.

These stories are for all the women whom have been told “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.” I had been told that many times in my life before my encounter with the Bad Man. Like your Sociopath, the first thing he did was to build me up and speak words to me that I had longed for but never thought I would hear. That is the hook. After that, I would put up with anything.

It’s sad looking back at myself. I had no idea I was that lost and that empty on the inside that I would let someone else fill me up with their garbage. But that is exactly what I did. After he finished telling me how great I was for 2 weeks, he terrorized me for most of the next 13 months. With the last bit of self preservation I had in me, I finally got on an airplane and left the island.

The more I read other people’s stories, the more I understand moment by moment what happened to me and the more I feel the healing inside of me. I think the new challenge is to balance the wisdom with the mistrust. In other words, take what I know now and find a way for that knowledge to serve me without being fearful or suspicious of everyone new I meet. I have noticed that even one word can set me off. Anytime a man says he doesn’t want “drama” in his life, I feel triggered. Labeling everyone elses actions with the word “DRAMA” was the Bad Man’s way of deflecting blame for what was happening around him due to his actions and terrorizing of women and employers. If someone kicks you in the shin and you start to cry and they call it “drama”… well, I think we know now that that is not a good sign.

Anyway, thanks to the author of this essay. Another healing moment traveling around the world via LoveFraud readers and contributors. I don’t know where I would be now if I didn’t find this site. I might still be circling in my head endlessly.

Aloha… E.R.

I

littlebird

thank you for posting this. i am just one week out from learning the truth about my so-called partner, and this whole site has been very helpful to me. however, for 20 months, my predator was never anything but apparently loving toward me, right up until the end. i truly thought i had found the healthiest, most loving relationship of my life.

i can honestly say that he never degraded me verbally or physically, and though i now believe much, if not all, of the “good stuff” was feigned, it makes it harder for me to let go of what i thought was my love for him. today’s blog entry really speaks to me, because it seems as though this woman also had one of the “beneficent sociopaths” – the ones who, on the surface, do nothing but build you up.

d.

amr

alohatraveler,

How odd. My psycho used the expression “no drama” prolifically in the beginning. (And I have not known anyone else to do so.)

I also had no idea that I was that empty before either. I really believed I was happy. Maybe lacking a relationship, but otherwise happy. I too was lavished with praise and adoration for about two weeks, then more or less terrorised for the rest (only about a further 4 or 5 months or so in my case, not counting the “stalking” that followed).

And I must say I read Lovefraud most days but don’t often post. I do very much like your writing aloha, and agree with you wholeheartedly that this website is an amazing resource.

After over 18 months I think I am just about at a critical turning point where the “endless circling” has substantially diminished to a point where it no longer dominates daily life.

I am so pleased to know that my experience above resonates with others.

This is my ‘journal entry’, and actually it ended up on my blog. My blog started off in September to be my way of railing loudly as I tried to make any sense of what had happened. I am now trying to continue on with the focus of just how we, as human beings, heal. How we make meaning and wholeness… from the very holes that were once ripped open in the souls of our being.

@aloha – I too have appreciated your postings here!! And I so agree with your challenge regarding “balanc(ing) the wisdom with the mistrust.” Its kind of like new training wheels on our heart.. the new boundaries we’ve learned. I do like to think of the new experience as adding to our DISCERNMENT not so much as mistrust.

I have to tell you all that I had to change my login name here before posting again… because it was originally “2yearburn”. That is what I had just come out of and was scorched from… but that scorched self it isn’t who I am now.

If I’m allowed to mention it here, I would love to have anyone visit my blog (terraflora.wordpress.com). I am SO very grateful for the SANITY that Lovefraud.com has brought into my life, and I hope to continue the ripples of hope and healing!!

Grace63

This is such an important question, but, since I am in the depths of grieving my sense of growing safety and security in this world, its difficult to truly look at myself and this question, but, I will”because I know how important it is.

What made me vulnerable? What was the hook that got me (so) hooked?

Well I was incested and raped several times as a child, and several times as an adult. Although I had completed some great healing of my past, I still have great issues with shame, trust, and self-esteem. When I met the ex, the sociopath that WAS in my life, he was sweet, kind, and poured on the attention. The relationship moved from a friendship into a romance fairly quickly. But, within six months, the man had moved into my home, had stolen one of my credit cards and my social security number. By the time I’d discovered anything, there was quite a bit of damage done, and he played on my sympathies, saying how sick he was and would get help if I did not press charges on him, etc. I actually went a long with him, as I could not believe HOW BAD he was, was unwilling to see the truth in him. I’d contacted the police on a number of occasions. But, I was unwilling to press charges. He’d convinced me that he had money anyway coming to him from a personal injury case (he does in fact have personal injury case filed in Maryland against a couple corporations) and from his father who had some of his money in investments. So, he successfully distracted me from how evil he was; and, I went along with him as I said.

Eventually he would give me sob story after sob story–Mom’s cancer came back, he got hurt on the job, etc.–how he needed money for this, money for that, and of course he would pay me back every bit of it and more! The man helped me with my daughter as I was in the Air Force at the time, and a single mother. Thus he always played on this as well, how much he helped me with my daughter, and would eventually help in my retirement , send me to school, let me stay home and not work. Gosh, I would have believed anything I suppose.

I tried to break it off dozens of times, but, eventually he would slither his way back in, and, I would let him back in. Also, I often felt trapped somewhat, unable to move on”In looking back, I don’t completely understand why I CHOSE to stay in the relationship”except for the fact that I was so used to be treated so abusively, with such disrespect ”that I hadn’t completely dealt with the earlier abuses in my life. A part of me could not SEE the truth, the complete truth. As a child I had to be able to turn off the truth of what sick, horrible, evil things my father did to my sister and me. And, this is what I did the sociopath.

I had trained myself not to see the truth. And, in another sense, I felt immobile, unable to do anything about the ex-sociopath. Because inside, I was very very afraid of him”like I was of my father. And, he knew this. He knew how much shame and pain I carried inside, and he used this to his advantage. I had several ’bottoms” at the end—before I finally kicked him out of my life.

The first one was when I went to an attorney to find out how to pursuit obtaining the money I loaned him, and that he had stole. The attorney pulled his rap sheet; he had 5 OPEN WARRANTS, and 24 prior arrests for fraud, bad checks, theft, drugs, drunk driving and others. It became apparent to me, he was a FRAUD, and a con man. I COULD NO LONGER LIE TO MYSELF.

Also, prior to going to the police, he’d made a comment about me and my father, and alluded to how I must have enjoyed it. In final communications with us, he blamed me for being unfaithful, giving him herpes, being “sick” and “crazy,” a liar, a meth girl, enjoying sex with my father. He was so cruel, he even mentioned the abortion I had at 13 (I was raped by a childhood friend at age 12), and how it was probably my father’s. Oh my Lord, in one sense, I AM SO GLAD he said these things, because I FINALLY HAD HAD ENOUGH!!!! And, this was partially the reason for my bottom!

So, I say, it had to be unresolved shame, unresolved trauma. Confusion, lack of love for myself, loneliness”and, RETRAUMATIZATION. Also, part of the hook was the money, and wanting to get at least some of it back. The man constantly used this as a way to get back in…

TODAY I am relatively FREE from the web of lies, deceit, humiliation, crazy making, cruelty! I filed a lawsuit against him, and truly only believe I will force him into bankruptcy, but, that IS OK BY ME!

I sometimes get angry at myself for “allowing this to happen” but, my therapist continues to encourage me to have love and compassion for the little girl that was abused and traumatized. That indeed, the Sociopath retraumatized me. The thing is, I am in training to be a therapist, and I somehow believe in the long run, this may actually help me to help others…because this was not the kind of education I COULD EVER GET IN A BOOK! An expensive education, yes, but, helll it is OVER!!!

Eventually I will learn to forgive myself, love myself more fully and more wholesomely, hell I have great strides in the last 6 months already! I failed to tell you that once I found out that about his 5 warrants, and realized he was a complete fraud…I went to my local 12-Step meeting house THAT SAME DAY and ran into him there…I left, and within minutes I drove down the road, and called the police and told them where they could find him!

I didn’t make any friends because of the anonymity aspect of the Anonymous groups but, I did what I thought was right! The cops showed up and dragged him out the meeting, in front of God and everyone!

That was a good feeling!

Ok, enough of me…good question!

Grace63

GUYS…I am so sorry for the length of the previous post! I am so grateful for this place! Very few people understand what we have been through as you all know…
Thanks again!

southernman429

I discovered this site almost a year ago… at that point, I was 9 months out of a year long relationship with a woman that turned my world upside down….. I posted my story here back last January, so I’ll spare everyone here the details…. As a continuous reader here, I have seen myself in many of these blogs, at the various stages of recovery…… starting with denial, extreme pain… a pain that is almost indescribable… I am a widower, lost my wife some 2 1/2 years before my relationship with my socio… I can honestly say that the pain from the socio was so much worse… much, much worse……can you imagine????….. some of the other adjectives that could describe me during this process would include …..confusion, anger, bitterness, self hate, self pity, mistrust of myself and others, fear of letting anyone get close to me in a emotional way, and the biggest and the worst was hopelessness……….. spending almost every waking hour thinking about it, obsessed, consumed……broken…… I have written here before about the transformation of my spirit, from brokenness to light and love…… I see that in many who regularly write here…… and I love it when someone writes something here and it just “clicks” with how I felt, or feel…..This site has been instrumental in my recovery…. the insights, the stories, the feelings of those here who are brave enough to share….. I thank all of you for being transparent… The journey we all have traveled sure is a hard one, but look how far we have come, and there is still so much further we can go….. I believe that coming here, reading, writing, sharing is part of the healing process, and we all here are lucky to have this forum…. But… I know that one day, I will move completely on from this healing chapter of my life…..I am still amazed at the transformation from the dark, to the light and healing….. I guess the best part of it all is that in the end, we get to have the last word….. we are the ones who were tossed aside like yesterday’s garbage… left for dead….. at first, we laid in our fetal positions, broken…… but slowly… yes.. slowly we sat up… then got to our knees… then took those first steps towards healing….. figuring out the how’s and the why’s of our experience……. working on those things we can change.. letting go of the ones we cannot change…..becoming wiser, stronger, and yes.. capable of giving and receiving love once again…..We are better then before our experience with darkness….. never under estimate the human spirit…..Our socio’s intent was to slowly destroy our spirit for fun and for kicks….. today… many of us have risen above it all, and others are still working on it….. I for one, would never wish such a experience on anyone… but it happened to me, I suffered for it, I learned, I grew, and now I have peace with it… gone is the bitterness…..I learned to forgive her and yes,,,,me… that was the harder of the two….. Wishing peace to all here for this holiday season, and may 2008 be a year of growth, self discovery, hope, joy and most importantly of all……Peace

Agape,

~Rick
Southernman429

apt/mgr

As I read the suffering of those here, I re-feel my own pain. I kept waiting for it to end. I believe God’s words and the ones that kept coming to me was Psalm 30:5 that says weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning. I didn’t think the sun would ever shine for me.

What amazes me still is how they can do what they do and not feel bad for the hurt they cause? I guess they don’t have consciences and it doesn’t bother them to cause the havoc. There was a part of me that kept feeling like the ones in my life were secretly giving themselves high fives each time they did a number on me.

They do what they do under the guise of love. Love doesn’t cause pain. I had so many “duh” moments after the fact and just wish that I would have followed my gut instinct at the time. But I didn’t want to think that I could be so shallow as to think this person had no feeling for me and it was all about them. Surely I had some place for me. It saddens me for all who write here and to know we gave our love so freely thinking it would be returned, only to have it torn to shreds. They walk away unscathed, because they knew what they were doing and their heart was locked away. We gave of ourselves freely and I realize now, that was my biggest mistake. We don’t have to give all of us away. It’s okay to guard our hearts. If we don’t, no one will and that just lets us wide open for them to do what they do. I just didn’t know. I thought I was wanted for me. Now I’m too old to try again. I’ve lost the part of me that trusts. Maybe that’s a good defense mechanism. No more surprises. If I would want to try again, I will definitely look behind the scenes and if someone casts some doubt on the one in question, I will follow it up. When I mentioned to this friend of mine who got money out of me, that someone had told me to watch out for him. I asked him what they might have meant. He said, don’t you think they are just jealous that I’m your friend and not theirs? I couldn’t see that he was flattering himself and not me. He’s so full of himself there wasn’t any room for me. I didn’t know that at the time. Now I do, and I, too, am so much wiser and now that I’m on the other side, I’m glad for the experience. It gave me strength and showed me my weaknesses.

To whomever wrote:

:::When he loved me IN SPITE OF” amazingly UNDIMISHED BY” these very things that I hated about myself; when he consistently stated, and effectively convinced me that these things had nothing to do with what he loved about me, that these things did NOT DIMINISH his love for me”
I suddenly see that it was this that allowed the walls of resistance, of fear and of negation to fall from around my heart. This acceptance allowed me to allow Love IN! I could suddenly for the first time let someone all the way in to Who I AM!! I let him in to the most intimate places in me because he proved to me that I WAS worthy!! To self: Who did I need convincing about!?? Who do I need convincing about today? ::::

This is what I have been grappling with over the past few months. When I look at myself I say… “It had to be a lie… look at me, I am old, hanging, mean, miserable, my eyes droop down, I am not loveable in anyway shape or form…” It had to be a fruad, a con a lie…

He could not possibly have truly loved me… because I am not loveable and I am hideous. His “love” made me believe I was pretty, cute, sexy funny, loveable. When he looked at me I felt loved and pretty. Now that he is gone and looking at some younger cuter person, I am saying to myself I truly am ugly. It was all a lie.

Although I was mean to him because he kept being irresponsible, getting fired from jobs for accusations of stealing, crashing all his cars…generally not being a “man.” I still needed him to love me although I found it harder and harder to show my love for him in the midst of all of that.

I too lost jobs due to my anger, my ego, my belief that I was better, prettier, smarter than everyone else.

It was all a LIE. On my part too. I lied to myself that someone so good looking could love me even though he was not all “together.” He seemed to be trying, thinking of ways to make my life “easier.” Always there when I needed something, giving me gifts, playing with my hair… generally showing me what I thought was love. Or was it? I can’t tell anymore.

When I was younger and had boyfriends and broke up — it was never like this. Never questioned their love or mine. It was what it was and then it was over and on to the next great love. Always searching for “true love.” I thought I found it in him. Love takes work. Love is a challange. How do you love someone who is self-destructive? And why do we help them self-destruct in the name of love with cruel words, actions and generally ignoring the issues?

As I get older, I wonder what’s the point? Where am I going? Why am I working? What am I heading toward but old age, sickness and death? All the things I have tried to avoid by looking at him and his deeds and doings.

I used to love getting up every morning, knowing he would be around to love me no matter what I did. I would do my work, work my studio, teach, promote my studio with great emails and fliers, I generally loved life even though it was hard and I was always worrying about his next car accident, next job fiasco.

I still love him though. Still wish he were here. Still want him to look at me the way he used to.

I saw him the other day. Says he still loves me and to not give up the faith of being together. Still I think he is just stringing me along to hurt me more in the end.

My ex too had a “rap sheet.” But I knew about it before I hooked up with him. Said he wanted to change, lead a normal life, that he made mistakes when he was younger and spent 4 years in prison. To look at him… you would never think he was in prison though he walks tough and talks the tough talk. He can also be sweet and childlike.

It’s so strange. Can’t tell who is the real him and who is the con. I have to believe that the sweet person is the real him and the other guy is a product of his upbringing, his life in the streets. I was there. I am from the streets of the Bronx, but I thought I brough myself out of it. Got an education, made something of myself. Truth is… it’s still with me too. I hate that part of myself.

I look in the mirror and I see the face of my father made haggard by drugs and sickness. Though my face it a bit prettier, his features are there and I made sick looking by stress and anger and fatigue and the drug that is my ex.

I want to rip my face off I hate my father so much. I don’t think he ever abused me though there was emotional incest there. He was a dissappointment and embarrassment. I was happy when he died so I didn’t have to deal with him anymore.

He wasn’t a bad person, just a junkie who nodded out and drooled on himself and lost his teeth at like 42. That is my worst fear to lose my teeth.

Anyway, I look in the mirror and I am starting to see his face and I want to throw up. No matter how much makeup I put on or how I do my hair.

This is where the ex has brought me to. Or maybe it was always there – because when I looked at HIM I saw my father too. In his crooked teeth – his lack of taking care of himself, in his irresponsibility and never having any money. His nose looks like my fathers. I had a nose job so I wouldn’t look too much like him anymore, but I still have his high forehead.

Does this ever end? Say I should forgive my father and maybe my eyes will change and I won’t see him in my face or anyone else’s anymore? Is it that simple?

notquitebroken

I know precisely what got me hooked. PRIDE! Don’t they say pride goeth before a fall? So true with me. He came on very smoothly, much too smoothly, in fact. He was too good to be true and I was well aware of it. I thought to myself that I could handle his charm and his bullsh** because I was 100% aware of them. I also thought I was a NICE person and could convince him he didn’t need to put on that sort of act with me. I wanted to find the sweet guy who simply HAD to be lurking beneath that ultra-slick player’s veneer. He even told me himself he’d never been faithful to anyone in his life, but I knew I was different and special and just might be the one woman to change him. That’s when the profound disconnection of my conscious mind kicked in: I knowingly and willingly agreed to play his game, thinking I could beat him at it out of sheer niceness. I’d play along so that he could see that not all women were heartless and thoughtless! I’d nurture him and heal his wounds and he would love me forever just like the puppy from the pound I’d rescued! Why, I was a veritable saint for taking this guy in!

Needless to say, the whole game got out of hand very, very quickly and I found myself reeling in a world of lies I had participated in and perpetuated. I was going to fix his abandonment issues by sticking around even after he moved on to other women! Because that would prove to him that I was the one worth coming back to, of course. And he came back time and again. To each and every one of us. He had a very nice little system going on there, and still does. He sleeps with women, borrows a little bit of money from each of us, convinces us that we might be The One, and keeps doing it until the accounts are overdrawn. I’m pretty sure he was borrowing money from one woman to make miniscule payments to me, so that he could keep me thinking he had good intentions.

Yeah, I know what happened. I submitted willingly and knowingly to his domination, his power trips, and his illness. And I knew better. Pride goeth before a fall indeed. I’m just grateful I didn’t fall even harder.

apt/mgr

notquitebroken,
Are you sure you aren’t me? You told my story. I figured I was the one to make the difference. He told me I was the only one who ever believed in him. What a crock! But I too wanted to show him I wasn’t like all the others. Now I know why they all divorced him. He led me to believe that I was the one. I fell for it because I never thought I was deserving of anything. Here this man was getting money from me to take care of his family. Talk about naive. But I had to learn and learn I did. I saw the flags, but I didn’t know they were red flags. They could have been green for go get him. Only he got me or so he thought. I ended up actually being the one who got away. He got money which I got the most of it back, but he didn’t get me.

notquitebroken

I saw every last freaking one of those redflags, apt/mgr. They were all shades of crimson and scarlet and they were just so lovely! So decorative! They added a certain ambience, and I was so certain I could deal with it. I think that’s the thing that bothers me the most about all this. I DID THIS TO MYSELF! I was the perfect willing victim and it makes me sick.

Every time I read someone else’s story here, I’m just certain we must all be talking about the exact same guy. It’s downright creepy. He may be physically different, but this is the same evil incarnate our mothers warned us about as children. No such thing as the boogeyman? Oh, I beg to differ.

Pride does go before the fall. There is EXACTLY what happened with me too.

Also, the Yogi’s say “Your own ego will destroy you.”

I always wondered — how?

Now I know. All too well I know how.

Still I call him to say I love you.. Like it makes a difference.

apt/mgr

I don’t think it’s pride as much as wanting to be loved as we love. I felt like the most unlovable, middle aged, dumpy housewife and the man made me feel like a woman. Now I see, he just saw an easy target, but because he looked at me like he saw a real woman, I changed. But he didn’t get me. I got me. He just didn’t play his cards right. Oh sure, he used me, but I still got the better end of the deal. He has to live with himself and I don’t. He took my love and folded, stapled it, mutilated it, and threw it back in my face with his actions. So now, my heart no longer races when I see him and my mind is clear. I’ve learned to capture my thoughts before they consume me. I’ve learned about obsessive thinking. I used to think, that I had to keep thinking about him in order to keep in all fresh in my mind. Like if I quit thinking, he would just go away. That was really nutty on my part, but that shows the depths he went to to mess with my everything, only because I was so broken and needy. I’ve learned to process the hurts and actions. If he did it, he owns it and I refuse to take ownership. I find out truth about him, I confront him with it. It’s important for him to know that I know. He no longer pulls the wool. It’s taken me time and lots of soul searching to realize that I don’t need him to make my days. If I’m not happy with myself, how can I expect someone else to provide that? I no longer have expectations of people. I only ever wanted them to do what they said they would. If they don’t keep their word to begin with, it will go downhill after that, and I won’t give them the satisfaction of getting anything over on me. Now I say, anything he can do, I can do better. I’ve learned to think like he does and apply it to him. He doesn’t like it. I say , oh well. How do you like me now? I refuse to relinquish control to anyone anymore, unless I’m incapacitated, then I won’t care.

Beverly

Like Notquitebroken. I saw all the red flags too, I commented my concern about them, tried to get him to break his cycle of behaviour. I kind of knew I was participating in a dangerous game – its just that I didnt know what the game was in its totality and what all the red flags added up to – what was supposed to be the end result. The very thing he blamed me for, my indignance and my refusal to accept things as set by him – were in the end my saving grace. At times it felt like a struggle between good and evil and I thought I could win through. The only way I won through was by sending him on his way. I knew the relationship wasnt real love but I had settled for someone less than myself, who could provide me with the basics. I sent him a txt once asking him if he was available on ANY level. I used to look at his shoes in the hall and think ‘these shoes can walk out as quickly as they walked in’. His behaviour has taught me alot about the value of my own presence. Why have I squandered my energy on jobs and people who have given me nothing in return. In each of my relationships, I have tried to self correct each time and the men have all been different personalities but each one has never been there for me. I learnt why my father’s unavailability seems so familiar in my ex. I learnt that I was drawn to unavailable men, because that it what I knew. I saw my ex today, and to me he just looked like a loser, but why did I embelish him with so much. I was in two places in myself – in seeing the red flags I was aware but somehow I didnt act firmly enough – that is the bit that frightens me, that somewhere in me I am frozen. People over the years have told me I am too soft. I am learning to strike the right balance.

catherine

It has been five years since my ex-husband walked out on me. My relationship with my ex-husband began with flattery in the workplace with a promotion, an increase in salary and a great bonus. He did all the right things to boost my confidence. All of that quickly led to a romantic relationship and he continued the flattery. He was always very supportive and said all the rights things. I am not alone in falling for the flattery – the woman before me was from the workplace as is his current wife.

My experience was a gift, truly a blessing in disguise. I have grown in so many ways and know so much more about myself than I did prior to my relationship with my ex-husband. It was painful but I wouldn’t trade it (nor would I sign up for it again!)

I hear so much pain in the voices on this site. I felt the same kind of pain as I was recovering but now I know that I had to go through the pain to understand what I needed to know.

Peace and happiness to all who still feel the pain.

apt/mgr

I, too, am glad it all happened. It showed me my weaknesses and what I needed to do to really guard myself. It allowed me to see the signs before I take too many steps. I have learned that what I thought was, really was. I’ve learned that my gut instinct didn’t let me down. I put my trust in the wrong place. I placed it on a mere human being instead of me. If I’m not strong for me, how can I expect someone else to be that. I end up being controlled and have no say in my own life. I’ve learned not to lose myself in another person. I have mothered my children and I don’t have to mother a man who wants to use me for sex. In fact it’s okay to say no to sex. Contrary to what society tells us, having sex won’t make you a better person, unless it’s for the sake of love. Once the libido slows down, the sex sometimes diminishes and that’s okay. We should have a back up plan. That back up plan is being happy within ourselves and not allowing our emotions to dictate. We are all different and we all approach life in a different way. It’s not right for someone to come into our life and reorder it all. We can’t be everything to one person and shouldn’t expect the same in return. Through all the pain and what seemed like constant disappointment, I’ve grown. I actually thrived on neglect! The man in question hasn’t. He is still like he was 12 years ago. He’s grown old, but not up. He hasn’t learned a thing and he is back out preying on other victims. Pity them. Not me. Or us. We have survived. We went through the dark days of wondering what was happening only to find out that nothing happened. We invested ourselves into a vacuum. The least we can do is pass along what we learned and how we overcame the intense disappointment. But this, too, shall pass. And it really does. No more tears, no more pain. Just a distant memory that doesn’t linger anymore.

kov56

Looking back on how the sociopath kept me for so long?
Wow I realize this was a long process.
My parents were divorced when I was 13, both parents after that becoming absent parents. Needless to say I felt abandoned and unloved.
The sociopath bought me gifts. Showered me with effection.
Treated me very lovingly in front of other people.
Of course nobody saw our real marriage. Nobody would believe me if I told them at that time. I was ashamed.
I lost myself in trying harder and harder.
Now, 2 1/2 years after the divorce I have a lot of healing to do.
What finally led me to divorce him? I found out he stole money from our son while he was in the Navy serving in Iraq.
My ex was our sons power of attorney.
My adult children and I need love and support from family and friends.

kathryann

I am a recovering alcoholic/addict, I have been sober in AA for 25 years. I met my sociopathic ex-husband through a friend from AA. Being in recovery for 25 years has given me plenty of time to accept myself with all my character defects and flaws, and I was beginning to really “like myself” when he came into my life, so I don’t think it was a case of hating myself, I think it was a case of thinking that I had finally arrived, and was going to begin to get some of the good things in life. The very first date, however, I could NOT believe that a man as good looking as he was would ask me out. Now I have to be honest and admit, I have gone out with other good looking guys in my lifetime, but for some reason I never though I lived up to how good looking they were, and somehow or another always sabotaged the relationships. He totally and completely knocked me off of my feet. He was not overly wonderful, just fun to be with, and very good looking. We had a great time, even at our wedding, but shortly afterward was when things changed. I have been away from him for 3 years now, and have seen him occasionally until I found this site, and realized I was dealing with a sociopath, I now have No Contact with him, because how I feel about him, and what he does to me will eventually kill me, and that’s serious business. I loved him because I grew up in a family where everyone screamed at each other, he never screamed, never outwardly criticized me, and now I see it’s because he really just didn’t care, I was a means to an end, and when he found someone better, he was gone, and then he was back, and then he was gone, without a bit of remorse or guilt. I lost EVERYTHING, my home, my job and my money, because although he spoke kindly, he was stealing my money and ruining my life. I don’t think I will ever be right again, but I’m trying. He broke my heart and my kids hearts without batting an eyelash.

apt/mgr

I am continually amazed at the damage that is being done under the guise of love. I, too, was a slave of “love” for so many years. I got hooked with my husband at age 20 and am now 57. So basically for 37 years of my life, I lived without experiencing total freedom. But I am blessed because I finally got out. I’m one of those unfortunate woman who chooses to be kind. Not boasting, but I’ve lived in such a way, that I wanted what I did to count for something. I always wanted truth and real. I had no idea what was going to happen after the “I Do”. Had I known, I would have said maybe. I tell my girls had they known the man I met, they would have been deliriously happy with their life.

What really gets me is how ensnared we become, in trying to do it right. It’s a very subtle snare, little by little they erode our esteem and worth until they have us, enslaved. For me, I didn’t know I had any options. I truly believed I had to live this way for all of my life or till he died or I did.
Had he been a real husband to me, I never would have been so vulnerable to the man I met on the job. Some would call our friendship an affair of the heart, but I called it someone to confide in, because he was so there.

Little did I know what would happen to the information I shared with him. I had no idea that men did this kind of thing to an innocent victim. He took my broken heart and smashed it. But he didn’t totally achieve his complete agenda and I believe that was for me to divorce my husband and take care of him. He knew I was attracted to him, but through many disasters on his part, I learned. I do a lot of deep thinking and comparisons and looking behind the scenes. I want to know if what I am feeling based on his actions is right. I’ve found out more and then some. This man who proclaimed us “best buds” is a cunning, manipulative, womanizer. I’ve been told he is a drug user. Nothing worse than a 60 year old, immature man, who is an abuser of woman, drugs and goes around deceiving others for personal gain.

I am learning to forgive and actually it’s easier to forgive them than me. I feel like such a fool for falling for flattery. I had no idea so many don’t mean what they say. Cheap words. I no longer take the flattery. Even the Scriptures tells us about flattering words and I knew that. My husband treated me in such a way that I felt unlovable and this man, who is 6’4″ and very nice to look at, saw me. How could he be wrong? Proves that all that glitters isn’t gold. It’s fool’s gold. And we really can’t judge a book by the cover.

He told so many lies that I never knew when or if he was telling the truth. I think the only real truth he told me, was after the devastation of his work and him exploiting me for money, I told him he should feel guilty for what he did. He looked me right in the eye, and said he’s never done anything he needs to feel guilty for. I knew that was the truth. Everything else was a crock of bull pucky!! I invested so much emotion on them and got nothing in return. Well, I do have my beautiful daughters and if I had to pay a price to keep them safe, it was a small price to pay and I’m healing and almost there. I kind of feel like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll worry about that tomorrow but today I’ll take care of me. I’ve learned that if someone wants something from me they have to ask, and I will decide if they are worthy. I guess I’ve become much wiser, but somewhat of a cynic. But this too shall pass.

alohatraveler

To AshesRising,

It is so funny that you chose that name. I said I felt like a Phoenix, Rising from the ashes after I left the Bad Man. Later, I found the Bad Man’s ex-wife on the Internet and she had been a recipient of a home through Habitat for Humanity and in the pictures of the completed project, she had scrawled in the wet cement, “Phoenix, Rising from the Ashes” and the Bible verse. It really struck me… and that’s when I knew that I did know her story… in my bones.
Aloha…..E.R.

alohatraveler

Dear Holehearted,

Please don’t call that man and tell him you love him anymore.
Say, “Buh-bye Bad Man.” (maybe just say it in your head)

When you think of calling him to say you love him, do something loving for yourself instead. You will get much more out of it. :o)

Love from your friends at LoveFraud.

These men do see in us an easy target. They look for our weakness, and they also look at what is best about us. Mine saw that I am very caring and loving. He crafted a story about how abused he had been in his marriage to make me feel sorry for him. Where he saw my weakness is that I am shy and that I need to be loved. He knew exactly what buttons to push to make me respond emotionally and to trust him. Before I knew it I was hanging on every word he said. He became everything to me. I was completely in love.

The hurt began to creep in. As someone said kicks to the shin. He would hurt me, then when I was sad and upset, deny it as my drama. He would also give me these “whatever” responses and walk off. He was incapable of feeling bad about the pain he caused. He would promise to talk to me, then get busy and forget. His ignoring me was very hurtful and I know he did it to be mean.

There is no way to get through to these men. It is a waste of our time to keep going back and trying to make them feel things they are incapable of. They will only continue to hurt us. As Alohatraveler said, don’t call them and tell them you love them. Do something for yourself instead. I know any reaching out to my guy will only make me fall back into the hole he created. I want out of the hole for good.
Sun

findingmyselfagain

Hi to you all,
I am 1 week out of my sociopathic relationship and I cant tell you what therapy it is to read others experiences and know I’m not crazy! I have been in and out for 2 years now and I hope and pray I am out for good this time. So many things to describe what goes on in 2 yrs time but after having run into his exgirlfriend and hearing he’d been sleeping with her the 1st six months of our “wonderful and so different relationship than he’d ever had”.. and then speaking with his exwife of 22 yrs and her tragic stories, pain and long healing process —- have I begun to believe what he still so expertly covers up. One of you was right – they become a man in ways that no other man can live up to. Generous, kind, expert at making you feel so special and important, intense sex, fun, laughter. Yet all the while your gut aches and you know things arent right, truth or probably what they seem. Well without going int to details… its been 2 years of all you have described here and I partly write this as a statement to myself to Keep Out. Now I just hope he leaves me be. Or will he stalk and chase again in his charming and convincing manner. Or will he sense the finality and do vengeful things or dangerous things. I’ve never seen violence in him but nothing surprises me. Thanks for a listening ear to all of you and I hope we can all gather strength and wisdom from each other and our experiences.

mylife3point0

I am six months out — in a new relationship — and, yet not healed. This site is so terrific. It proves that I am not crazy to have loved someone so false, so consuming.

I still miss him — and hate him — and fear him.

Therapist says trauma takes a long time to heal. I wonder if that’s what is happening or is it the fear that I’ll never be that happy again that haunts me?

Please, all, keep sharing. It helps so much.

Beverly

I have been out for good over 4 months. Apart from his betrayal and infidelity during our one and a bit years together. We broke up so many times, sometimes during those short break ups he was betraying me. He put up the ultimate barrier by getting a message to me that he had met someone else. I feel sorry for her, but I am relieved that someone else is occupying him. All those times he came back after we split (and I never once asked him to come back) I thought he missed me – but I misunderstood that taking them back just increases the addictive component of the relationship. 25 years ago I had a short 6 month relationship with a bloke who left me thinking ‘what was that about???’ very sore – and I now believe he was a narcissist.

jules

what is a beneficent sociopath i have never heard of this before but i now think that is the type of sociopath i was involved with. i read it in one of the above blogs. my s path made me feel unreal confident beautiful and extremely loved by him in the begining especially. i think as stupid as it sounds thats why i miss him still not the bad stuff but all that amazing stuff he gave out. and i am curious and would be jelous i think if he was like that with someone else in a way even though i know he will hurt her too in the end. i think that is why i wonder what he is up to now if hes with someone else ect.

alohatraveler

Jules,

He probably is with someone else and if he is, he is doing all that same stuff. The key is to recognize that you ARE all those things he said, even if you never met a guy who said all that before. (You know how guys can be doofs!) But the dangerous part is to think that when he was being “nice”… that was who he really is. And when he was being “mean” that was just the sociopath at work. All of it is part of the sociopathic mind. ALL OF IT.

Tell YOURSELF all the nice things you want to hear and affirm yourself. When you find yourself thinking about him saying all the nice things we ladies like to hear, shut it off… go to the mirror and say those things to yourself. Or find some male friends, family, uncles, Dad, any good man that you know and ask them for an affirmation. You would be surprised what people are willing to do. This works well in a retreat environment, by the way.

I did something like this a long time ago when I was going through a “there are no good men” phase. I called all the men in my life that I thought were good and gave them affirmation. One of them even cried.

Anyway, what the sociopath said about you is true… you are beautiful, wonderful, clever, blah blah blah but I think what they have is a sense of what we are unsure of in ourselves and then they feed it to us like a feast. And we get hooked. That is why you were so hungry for those words and why it hooked you so bad and why you put up with whatever it is that you put up with. I did it too.

Aloha, E.R.

Ox Drover

I am not sure how I missed this wonderful essay from Donna. I am working on just this right now. Looking at MY part in all the allowing myself to be victimized by all the Ps in my life. Allowing myself to be maintained in the FOG that obscured the REALITY of what was happening.

Why I allowed “walk on me” to be tattooed on my back, and why I was the one to “apologize” when they complained that my bones were hurting their feet as they stepped on my back!

Why I CHOSE to be so blind? Why I chose to allow the abuse that I KNEW was not what I deserved.

I am applying these things to my life now, not just to dealing with the Ps in my life, but applying them to all aspects of my life and relationships…why I would feel “guilty” if I didn’t “please” everyone else in my life, why I would not set appropriate boundaries with everyone in my life.

Now, I am lookiing at myself and seeing where I need to amend my boundaries and I am doing just that WITHOUT (for the first time in my life I think) feeling guilty.

What a wonderful feeling to be able to do that! I’m still a bit “wobbly” on my new legs, but growing more steady each day. Almost ready to take off the “training wheels” to my new power. Still questioning some of the boundaries, but once I “see” each one for what it is, (not colored by the “old me”) then moving forward more confidently.

Making decisions more confidently, with less “anxiety” about each one—realizing I don’t have to be “perfect” or “always make the right decison” to be OK.

Being responsible for myself, and requiring that others be responsible for themselves—not jumping in to volunteer to be responsible for others problems. No enabling, no wanting to be enabled. Being INTER-dependent with those I love and that love me.

A year ago I never even realized how good life could be—and I haven’t changed anyone except myself. The Ps are still Ps, and the enablers are still enablers, but by changing ONLY my reactions, and my way of looking at them, I have changed my entire life. LIFE IS GOOD. PEACE is GREAT!

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