By | January 15, 2011

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: ‘O like Umbrella,’ and the shut down mechanism

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

As most of us know what its like to be a psychopath victim, I am not going to go into all the details of my relationship with a full-blown psychopathic woman that turned my life into a living hell in just 18 months. What I really want to talk about is the mental effects that this woman was able to inflict upon me without my conscious realisation, gaslighting it’s called.

Just so there is a little background, I am a 55-year-old male and split from my ex psychopath female mate three years ago. We were in a relationship for 18 months. At the time we split up, I knew the relationship was beyond repair, but had very little understanding of what had really happened to make the relationship such a disaster.

Two weeks before I left, I had been on the Internet researching mental disorders and had by chance run into the classification “psychopath.” At the time my real knowledge of the intimate details of the psychopathic condition were pretty limited. Anyway I Googled psychopath and found, and as they say, the rest is history.

What had she done?

Two weeks after leaving I realised that I was now damaged goods. Many times I found myself asking myself, what had this woman done to me and how did she do it??? I read every book I could find on the subject, about 20 in all, but still did not seem to have a satisfactory answer to my question, and certainly no real way of fixing what had been done. Most of the books that seem to have been written about the psychopathic condition tend to deal more with describing the psychopath themselves, which is great, rather than figuring out what exactly has happened to the minds of the victims of these monsters.

So what were my symptoms? Initially it was hard to get a grip of even this concept. On weekends I slept ”˜til noon; on weekdays I had to force myself out of bed to go to work. I was in a state of awareness that I can only describe as being hypervigilant for other psychopaths, or the possibility of them. Basically everyone I met was a potential psychopath until proven otherwise. Paranoia was rampant. I actually feared psychopaths, as I did not understand what this one woman had done to my mental state, or even how she had done it. This left me open and vulnerable to the possibility of running into another psychopath and not knowing how to defend myself. I had no clue as to what I was defending myself against.

As time passed. I learned how to see psychopaths. It was as if a sixth sense had been awakened and I was wired to the symptoms of psychopathy. Any symptom set the alarm bells ringing in my mind. Well, all this knowledge and awareness was great, but I still could not fix the damage. Some days there would be realisations, some days were great, others not so great. Sometimes while in a crowded room I would suddenly be overcome with paranoia and have to leave. What was going on? It was as if my own awareness of myself had somehow been turned off and I did not know where the ON button was.

In the last three years I have talked to many people about psychopathy. Some found it fascinating, some were victims themselves and could recognise what I was talking about. Most did not seem to have a clue as to what I was talking about and basically thought I was nuts.

Spelling error

So ”¦ “O like Umbrella” ”¦ where does that fit in you may ask? Well, one day while at work, I was on the phone talking to an East Indian guy. He was going to buy some products from the company I work for, and we were going to be shipping what he bought to him. Well, the guy’s name was one of those ones that you can’t pronounce or spell. He proceeds to spell his name ”¦ B like Bob, A like Apple, O like Umbrella ”¦”¦”¦ ????????????

He continued to spell but I heard nothing because my mind was stuck on, “O like Umbrella.” What had happened?

Well, while this was happening another part of my awareness had the sudden realisation that I had just been shut down. There was no “O” in “umbrella” and because he had said something that made no sense, my mind had basically shut down. At this point there was a kind of eureka moment, as I realised that that was how psychopaths get into the minds of their victims.

Anyone who has spent any time in an intimate relationship with a psychopath knows that things get very confusing at times. What appears to happen to the victim is a kind of mental shut down that seems to happen at a subconscious level, beyond the normal conscious awareness of the victim. The victim, not realising what is happening, slowly gets lulled into an almost vegetative state where they can hardly recognise themselves. It feels like their very essence or soul has been sucked right out of them, leaving a confused, rudderless entity, almost a zombie.

So what is happening here? Did I just have the ultimate realisation about psychopath victims because I had been able to watch my own mind get shut down by a spelling mistake? The East Indian thought “umbrella” was spelt “ombrella.”


As the days went by, I often thought about and talked about my revelation. How relevant was it? Would it make a difference? What I began to realize was that I now knew what my psychopathic ex had done to me, SHUT ME DOWN, and also I knew how she did it.

Having a conversation with a psychopath is not like having a normal conversation, especially if you are in a relationship with them. Initially in the early days of the relationship, everything seems normal. As time goes on, however, things tend to slowly become confused. Every conversation turns into a never-ending argument that seems to go round in circles, until the victim just gives up. Nothing is resolved and the arguments become more and more frequent, and more and more confusing.

The victim tries to make sense of what is going on around them. What they don’t realise is, nothing is supposed to make sense. The psychopath is in full attack mode on the victim’s sanity. The psychopath is basically talking nonsense, but the victim is not aware that it is nonsense, or that they are under premeditated attack. As the victim’s mind tries to make sense of the babble, not realising that its not supposed to make sense, because it almost does make sense, some part of the persons thinking processes shuts down. How this really works I am not sure, but I feel as if I am getting close to the realisation of it.

Shut down mechanism

One thing about the “O like Umbrella” incident was that I now had knowledge of how the shut down process works. Now, suddenly, I knew what had been done, shut down, and how it had been done. Suddenly the fear was gone, I now knew what I was defending myself against.

If it doesn’t make sense it’s probably nonsense and you are probably dealing with a psychopath. Because a psychopath is so good at hiding nonsense in amongst sense, most people miss the nonsense. Being aware of this puts the power in the hands of the victim or potential victim. If the victim is aware of the nonsense, it can’t shut them down, I hope. At this point, I at least feel more relaxed than I have in a long time.

So gaslighting shuts the victim down mentally. I feel it is important to realise this, because once a victim is shut down, it will take a long time to wake them up again. I guess the revelation here is realising the relationship between gaslighting and the shut down mechanism. It’s all in the nonsense.

If one can listen to the nonsense and realise that it is indeed nonsense, then theoretically, it will not shut the victim down, hopefully. I have yet to prove this concept. I’ll need to find another psychopath to test the theory.

Notify of
Ox Drover

Quest, Thanks for this article! I read your original post on “O for umbrella” and I did an “ah ha” at the time, and I’m glad that you wrote that into an article so that even a long time from now, others can share this “ah ha” moment and help to move along their own healing.

Gaslighting does take a big toll on our sanity, on our grasp of reality and our confidence in ourselves to understand what is going on with our grasp of reality.

I can so well remember wondering if I was “crazy” or if others were “crazy” and what the reality really was….and no way to validate or verify it except through the psychopathic manipulations. (which wasn’t much help!)

Thanks again for a great article! I think “O for umbrella” will go down as a unique “Lovefraud phrase.”

lesson learned


Thanks so much for this article. You put into words my experience.

I read about this in the books I was reading yesterday. Sense vs. nonsense.

Mine was VERY good at this, would insert just a drop of truth, amongst a whole lot of lies. That’s where I was caught. I can’t tell you how many times I would hold onto that morsel of truth and let the lies go. The truth made sense, the lies did not…the nonsense. In pondering this after reading my books, a though occurred to me about how mine spathed me. He would insert a kernel of truth, mixed in with a ton of lies and compartmentalize me from his life so I couldn’t possibly SEE what was going on. They know EXACTLY what they’re doing.

I think this is where I’m having the most trouble too. Making sense of nonsense and forgiving myself for having believed it.

thanks a bunch quest. Great article to start the day.




What a great article. I had experienced so much of this nonsense in my 25 year marriage. I had an aha moment just now realizing maybe why I fell so easily for the spath BF. He was so easy to see through, but I just fell right into line because I was conditioned by my more complicated husband as I had endured years of gaslighting.

My husband worked some variation of the 3 to 11 shift and was not a morning person. I thought that explained a lot of his behavior like wanting to use power tools in our driveway at 2 o’clock in the morning. Of course I was the voice of reason telling him he was going to wake up the neighbors. I wanted to paint the inside of our house and get siding to the outside. He decided that we needed to have it insulated first. We had a demonstration of a foam type insulation which I now know was a variation of Urea Formaldahyde. The salesmen said it was so non toxic that a toddler could play in it. It is a good thing though that they left a dried glob of it for us to live with for a weekend because I started getting an allergic reaction to it. Everytime I walked by my nose would itch turn red and run. We left for a few hours and I felt better. We came back only for me to have the same symptoms again. In writing this now, this seems pretty obvious. I was allergic to it. The reason husband wasn’t was probably because he had worked with a lot of chemicals at a Steel Company years earlier. Instead of his understanding, I got blamed. I was inconveniencing everyone. See, it was my fault. It took many more years before we got the inside painted. We finally did get siding, but the siding salesmen said that the insulation was on the back of siding and that was all we needed. True.

An obvious incident was the lights themselves. I am a migraine sufferer so do not like blinking florescent lights or flashlights shined in my eyes. He got a little pen light gadget as a sample from the hardware store. He just had to play with it and would occasionally shine it right at my eyes even though I repeatedly told him not to. I always had to explain WHY. The florescent lights in our kitchen would start flickering a little as they were starting to go out. I asked him to do something about it. He said “The lights are not blinking.” Hey this reminds me of a movie.

The first thing I did when he left permanently was to ask anyone that came into my house if those lights were flickering. They said “Yes”. I knew that. It went on and on and on. I knew what the truth was. I never doubted the truth, but I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t see it, and because of his blaming combined with years of my mothers blaming me for my problems I still question myself regarding allergies or whether or not I am really sick.



excellent article !!!


Quest, so glad you wrote this here for all to see.. I thought you touched upon something very profound to grasp whilst looking back in retrospect at our involvements with the P. Even as I had already known all of this, and you had already explained O like Umbrella in another post- my mind kind of remained on O like Umbrella when you mentioned it in this post… it’s like the nonsense of it, the lack of computing makes it so that my mind just hovers… there’s that feeling of unease “something doesn’t feel right” but I can’t say what. Wow!

It makes it all the more terrifying, i think. How could something like this slip under our radar? I am so very sorry to anyone that had the misfortune of becoming entangled with a P… clearly there is more to it than just ignoring warning signs at first notice… these sorts of mechanisms after becoming enmeshed make it so that we are consistently put off balance- until we finally shut out all noise ( NC ) and look at the situation for what it really is : blatant exploitation… rape of the body and soul. Remember if you were involved with one of these monsters, it is not your fault.

thanks for your contribution here Quest, it is very much appreciated and I hope you continue to post ! 🙂

May we all be more aware and be P-Free for life.

super chic

Quest, great article, I’m going to read it over and over, I need to remember their tactics.
I was yelled at, like he was trying to convince me there is an O in umbrella.
Made me shut down. I’m not going to let that happen again!


Great article, Quest. That is indeed what it is… shut down. After I threw the S out, I could’t even decide what to make for dinner. I had forgotten how to think for myself. By the way, I now know what’s for dinner a week ahead. 😉

Has anyone else noticed that while you can comprehend and think about some things, maybe not all? My heart button was still stuck in the off position. I wasn’t using it so I didn’t really notice its absence. I’ve rebooted it and am using it again now. I really feel like “all systems go” again. I’m not so afraid anymore.

Thanks for always putting out the right stuff at the right time, Donna.


I envision a book entitled “O Like Umbrella”

You definitely have the skills for it.

Thank you for that post, and btw, this is the first time I have ever actually posted a comment on a blog!

Ox Drover

Welcome, Eurohorse,

Glad you are here~ Yea, I like the idea of the book “O like Umbrella” too, catchy title.

super chic

Hi eurohorse! Glad you made your first post!
Nice to meet you!


I’ve been reading all I can on this site for over a year now and this is my first post! I too thought I was going crazy and trawled the Internet for help and thank God I found this site-it has saved my life and my sanity!

I am posting now because of the excellent article above-it’s so true! My situation is I’ve been married to a psychpath for 14 years-the things he’s done beggar belief! I am filing for divorce but he still refuses to leave the house-I pay ALL bills-he can not keep a job!

I am sick of the site of the empty shell that poses as a human being and I can honestly say I hate him! This is why I now see him so clearly now. He still tries to speak in riddles, punctuated with lies and still tries to blame me for ‘ruining his life’ but I just don’t take anything in the way I used to. I know what he is now-I know he will never change and I know I will be free of him soon. What I still cannot comprehend is how he refuses to leave the house when he knows full well that he is not wanted here-but this is part of his nature-he does not think the way normal people do.

To truly free yourself from one of these monsters you have to hate them. It took me 14 years of blaming myself…even when I knew I was not at fault! Once your love for them dies-you honestly can see them clearly and all the lies they continue to tell sound ridiculous! He still tries to use guilt, begging, anger, any emotion he can pretend to feel but now that I feel nothing for him but hatred….I can see him clearly for what he is-a damaged soul that I can never help.

Thanks for posting the article-it really hit home!


I apologise for all the typos-(I am a teacher!!!) but I am posting from my phone & it’s a bit tricky! 🙂


great article Quest. Yes they enjoy every minute of making us crazy, they know what they are doing and it makes them feel powerful.
Welcome Blue and Euro Horse…

lesson learned


That is the ONE thing I was not able to do prior to getting out of the relationshit. I did not hate him. I still loved and do love him.

And that’s part of the problem. My hate has to be learned.

And that really sucks. It makes healing so much harder to do.

Good Luck!



Quest –

Great article. “Having a conversation with a psychopath is not like having a normal conversation” AMEN I always said it was like sticking my head in a blender ….



thanks for the article. When you first mentioned it, I told my BF about it and actually he agreed that it was a very valid observation. During that conversation, I pointed to a black book and told him it was red. He was confused for a short time and couldn’t even speak, until I explained that I had just lied to him to test the theory (which we were in the middle of discussing).
For that reason and a few others, I don’t think it’s enough to know the O for umbrella theory. I think our brains are hardwired to feel that a “normal seeming” person IS normal, so that even knowing that they lie is not enough. We trust what we see and not necessarily what we know.
For example, I met a man who had twin, 20 year-old sons. But I only met one of the sons, and he was a bachelor so I danced with him at a bar as my exP sat with the dad and had a drink. We had fun and I was fond of the dad, so I felt fondness for the son as well. Soon after, the dad was killed in a plane crash (another crash that I believe my exP engineered). There was a memorial service at the airport and the OTHER son attended, but not the first son. The are IDENTICAL and I mistook him for his brother, but he explained himself to me and introduced me to his wife as well. The strange thing was that I could not help FEELING all the fondness I had for the bachelor twin, for the married twin. As we talked, his wife was giving me dirty looks and I realized that I had been using mannerisms that showed “familiarity” because he felt familiar to me. Spaths know how to elicit our feelings more than our logic. What we know is not as powerful as what we feel, so it takes “Psychological Hygeine” to really study a spath and not get sucked in.

Another example is when you go to a movie – especially a tear-jerker type movie, but it can be any kind that elicits emotion. You KNOW none of it is real, but you still get sucked into the emotions. When you leave, you take all the emotion with you and you feel it long after the movie is over. We are affected even when we know they lie.

And if you need a P to do your study on, I know where you can find my exP, but you’ll have to watch your back! 🙂


Welcome Blue,
Sorry you have to be here. You have found a group of healing people here there are different stages and we are all at different stages. Some more seasoned and others raw and crawling to the keyboard. I’ve only been here a few months but I have learned alot. Read the articles, keep posting and you will start to understand what has happened to you and your life.


[email protected]!!!! great one!

super chic

Hi Blue, glad you found this website! Very, very helpful and healing!!!!


Hi SC!


Quest-as far as testing the concept, once the spath figures out none of their nonsense is having an effect, they get bored and move on to another victim. That’s been my ONE experience, anyway! Thank you for sharing!


Good one 8!!! That’s what we all need to do in the future,,, make their nonsense go away by ignoring them and minimizing them to be nothing but a fly on the wall. “SPLAT”!!! No more fly!!!!
Thank you for sharing 8!!!!

Ox Drover

Welcome Blue and Blended8, Glad you found your way here, but sorry it was necessary, Lots of good stuff here t6o help you understand and to heal, great support here to. Join right in! Again, welcome!!! The Ox Drover


This article is so right on, another piece of the puzzle SOLVED!

My ex: My husband would say 10 things. Nine of them would be exactly true. The ONE untrue sentence NEGATED all nine of the other things he said. AND… he’d sandwich the untrue by first saying five truths, then the lie that changed the meaning of ALL the other statements, and then four more truthful sentences, whose meanings had been changed by the lie.

And I would stand there not wanting to agree with his decision, tell him that something didn’t make sense to me, something I couldn’t put my finger on, and that I’d have to think about it. Then his ridicule started, how stupid I was, asking me “did I need him to tell someone else who was smart enough to understand and then they could explain it to me…. again?” …… which was his final finish, shaming me about me lack of intelligence b/c he knew one of my childhood issues was having my lack of intelligence drilled into me. ((childhood issue b/c I didn’t understand the logic of my retarded sister- using the term from my childhood 50 years ago. It took me until the third grade to figure out while I could truly read, my sister was making up the stories in the books, while for years I was told I was too stupid and being older meant she would always be smarter. pps. I will tell you it messed up her adult life b/c she believed she was smart and that all the rest of us were dumb.))…. Ya see the connection of childhood conditioning and how I doubted confusing logic? And how my husband inserted the lie, then connected it my shame of being too stupid, so with that one-two sucker punch, I ended up agreeing with my husband’s bad decisions – mindf*@%ed me into agreeing with him?

“O like umbrella. ” Short statement that explains the whole manipulative shebang.

Goes in my gem list, same as Hens “I am different. I will NEVER be the same. And I am working on that being a GOOD thing.”


when I originally submitted this experience it was a little longer . Hopefully Donna will not mind if I add the rest of it here . I feel it is important as it gives insight into the nature of the human brain and how it works .

Well I was just rereading what I had just written and it dawned on me that its all about the right brain left brain concept . A right handed person

uses the left hand side of the brain most of the time for their everyday logical intereactions with the world . The other side of the brain is the creative

side , the right side . For most people the right side is dormant . Artistic people seem to be able to access the creative side at will which is why some

people are good at drawing and some people are not . Being a person who cannot draw to save myself , most of my conscious thinking is done with the left side

theoretically . About 20 years ago I read a book called , Drawing on the right side of the brain . In the book there are a number of exercises to get the

dormant side of the brain working . One of these exercises is to take a photo of yourself , place it in front of you and try to copy it on to another piece

of paper free hand . For most of us the task is hopeless . However if you turn the photo upside down and then proceed to copy this upside down photo , as in

drawing yourself upside down you will be surprised to find that when you are done that your drawing will look quite a bit like the photo . So what is the

mechanism here . When the photo is turned upside down it is no longer logical . The logical brain shuts down and the creative side is forced to kick into

gear to deal with the situation . Because the logical is shut down and the creative is now awake you are able to easily draw the portrait . How does this

concept fit into what happens when a normal person gets tangled up with a psychopath . Is the psychopath able to access the creative side by shutting down

the logical side . What are the limits of the creative side .Well for starters its not logical and so maybe more open to psychopathic suggestion .



Hello Quest,
You have given food for thought. Spath access… no doubt the logic side is assaulted. Warning! Warning Will Robinson! What if what they engage is the emotional side which is the creative side? And then I find myself responding emotionally, not with logic or reason. It explains my feelings of strong devastation.

I will ponder your response, b/c I think you are right about being open to psychopathic suggestion. He wouldridicule me for being so gullible, but my natural inclination is toward pragmatism and common sense. That’s why feeling “off”, having the rug pulled out from under me, makes me feel so lost and devastated and I understand this sounds like hyperbole, but I would feel emotionally raped, my soul crushed, just for his entertainment.

It’s not the drama that throws me off, or the confusion. I used to work a cardiac trauma team, I was good at staying focused on the patient and the split second mind reading almost intuitive decisions that the team would coordinate in a kind of dance that saved a LOT of lives (we worked and got our mortality rate down to incredibly low levels, and this with patients who were “down in the field, that is arriving with no pulse and no blood pressure. I was competent with that type of stress, instant life changing decisions, death and aftermath. But after living with my husband, it took years before I felt competent to do ANYTHING, even volunteer shelving books at my library, never mind hold a job with responsibility.

My anxiety with my husbands manipulation affected me in a deeper soul destructive manner. I left him, but I didn’t find relief. I was paranoid, hostile, almost borderline in my responses to people, so thrilled when someone was NOT HOSTILE to me, b/c “not hostile” was so emotionally pleasant. I became very avoidant.

Thus, I feel such empathy; your descriptions about emotional responses sound like they parallel mine and I still seek explanation, even though now I am recovered enough that I feel like myself again and the haunted look has left my eyes. : )

Thank you for this wisdom. I am sorry for your pain but grateful that you shared it to help me heal.


I also quite like your pursuit b/c again, reminding me of myself, I have lots more than 20 self help books, and probably 10 of them are about brain function, cognitive ability, and brain injuries. B/c I was buried in depression, I tried to look at my brain as biology and how to heal it as an organism. That’s when I started doing brain exercises, to interrupt my circular emotional ruminating. My logic was: If I could stop THINKING, then my brain could relax. So I am quite good at Tangoes and Sudoku! And brain vacations worked for me! (not tonight, am having a bout of insomnia but that’s b/c my daughter is moving overseas and as a mom, I am feeling like I am losing her, which I am in a way. She will have a new chapter in her life and I won’t be in it. And that is as it should be.


hi quest – i haven’t read your article year, just your addendum. I am an artist and writer, and a lot of my relationship with the spath was about the stimulation of creativity; which is where the humor and laughter i experienced with her came from. This is one of the most important aspects of my experience with this spath.

I have noticed that there is a fairly high proportion of creative people on lf: artists, writers, communications and PR people, and entrepreneurs. Is there a reason for this? I think so.

I don’t know that she shut down my logical function, but what i know for certain is that she excited my creative and compassionate functions – and i liked it. I want to live ‘there’. On one hand I was greatly challenged (and i realize now, hooked) by the trauma and drama of the whole thing and wanted to leave many times before I did start putting up a lot of boundaries; and on the other hand, I was willing to override that to live in that place of heightened creativity that i occupied with her.

This tells me that i am deficient in creative activity and companionship, and in people to love and be loved by. She offered a promise of community to me. Of course I was suckered.

I mourned hard the loss of that creativity with another. Now, I am pretty much alone. I have lost the other people in my day to day life and have chosen to cut off most of my family since all this happened. And I am left without companionship in general. I am hoping that i find my way back to myself in this fallow time.

lesson learned


These last few posts have been completely fascinating. Thanks again for sharing. Katy, One, very intelligent people on here. Thanks for sharing too.



One steppers with joy,

I like your new name, it is a new place for you and I am happy that your opening up better doors.

I’m sorry that you are feeling alone. It is a hard realization to come to the awareness of being totally alone. I would also love to have companionship of a healthy person, but I will not be very trusting of anyone.

I would love to have some of your creativity, you should see my drawings when we play pictionary, lordy. I did take a drawing class and was shocked at how some of my charcoals turned out, the perspective thing helped out a bunch.

I was also reading a book on how the brain functions and the spath must have some non-functioning areas. Mine could tap into some creativity, could play the guitar really well, piano as well but when my daughter or I would play piano for relatives would say we were showing off. I quit playing because he was a jerk about it.

Now I know better and wouldn’t let him affect me so deeply. Wish I knew then what I know now, I would be better in the self-esteem area.

Keep working with your creative side and release some of that energy. It’s all inside you.

I feel there are so many sides of me that are shut down, I don’t know if this is because I was going through life adrift but I won’t be doing that anymore. I want to be here, in the present, contributing and partcipating. If that makes any sense.


Good morning LL. The things Quest has brought to LF have moved me forward in my healing. (S)he is creative and what she has posited has spoken to both sides of my brain – which provokes real healing for me.

lesson learned


I so relate to feeling totally alone. In some ways, exPOS fueled my intellectual side. Now that’s lost too. I realized that I don’t know who I really am, what I really want to do. I’ve never been someone who draws or paints. I use to do crafts, but I haven’t done them for years now.

I’m traveling on this road trying to figure out who I am now. What I want to do. Given my age and where I’m at with school and such in my life, I don’t feel I really have the opportunity to decide anymore. I don’t know what I want to do what I’m going to school for. What I think I want to do, the opportunity has passed.

I’m very angry at what I gave up for this man. I’m angry that time has been literally wasted in my life. It is very painful to see where I’m at. In thinking about this more, I was raised with lots of money, always lived in a nice home, had nice cars, clothes, etc. I believe those things are just smoke and mirrors, but in some ways, they are painful reminders of accomplishments and successes I was suppose to achieve and never did. My fam was all about that. POS has a beautiful home, a nice car and a great job making good money. The gf he has has money.

I have nothing but me. He looked down on me because of that. And I wound up looking down on myself too.

It was the last thing he made sure of that I knew I couldn’t do for him. That I wasn’t a “success” and had no “money” to offer. He said he was done taking care of women. Pfft!

I lost my drive to do what I was doing in school. What I would really like to do, I don’t feel I can. I’m completely lost.

How do you find yourself again?



hopeforjoy! nice to ‘see’ you.

thanks, am digging the new name.

i am shut down in a lot of ways, too. only once the healing starts will that change. waking up has its own pain. it’s like healing nerve damage: as we wake up, it hurts!

being adrift – without anchor in self? without protection of self? If defined this way, i have been adrift often, and more so in the last couple of years. I have gotten to a time in my life where I sense the burden of a finite life, and deal with greatly reduced health, and that duo causes panic in me. So, I started looking outside of myself more and more, for the things i couldn’t affect myself.

I was in my 40’s before I really put myself on the line in my work life. I have taken many risks (being adventurous) in my life, but I was short on prolonged commitment in the outer world. Not that i didn’t finish things, I did. But, I hadn’t really put myself on the line; i developed the natural talents and skills i had. This is natural. But in some case I feel I never took them to the next level, and I didn’t challenge myself to move outside of my comfort zone. so much of what I was was outside the mainstream and i spent a lot of time trying to carve out my niche – but never quite making it. I had so many interests and was curious about so many things, i would just move on to the next. Then, in 2005 I started a business. something there was no template for, and I did it really really well. And then I injured myself in that work. And since then, losing money, ability, sense of self…..then came the n gf, and then the spath and expansion of health and ability challenges.

I put myself on the line with that business. I joined the mainstream. I loved it. Having been on the outside most of my life, i finally felt i had a place where I could use a lot of my abilities and serve myself and society. But you know, in a way it wasn’t enough. In a way it was a subversion of my creativity. I don’t’ know what would have happened in the long run, if I hadn’t hurt myself. I was working hard toward a long term goal ”“ and it got snapped in two in its infancy. I have been a bit lost ever since. I am not a failure, but I have failed to be myself AND to join the mainstream. I have never had enough drive to get to long term goals (maybe I am a bit ADHD, too. It present differently in women, and does increase as we get older.) I tired, really hard with the mainstream thing, I put myself out there, and it didn’t work out. And it ripped my young (as in, not experienced or mature) heart out. So, I have failed. And I think I have worked it through enough to try again. But, what to try? Mainstream? Doing things that make me an outsider again? Moving to a place large enough that there is a community of outsiders?

This is a bit rambling, but as I write I see that there is a theme: I hit ceilings. I get so far and then I lack the drive to STAND FOR MYSELF; to be my own champion and keep going. I am so afraid that my life will just be full of ceilings ”“ that no matter how hard I try, ’life’ will just not allow me to succeed. I feel almost taunted. I do feel humiliated. I come from a family of perfectionists. Failing was shameful. So one only did what one was good at. Which means I worked hard to be good at (and still do) to be good at the things right in front of me. I think my mom comes from a swill bucket of shame, it’s all she could teach, regardless of how hard she tried to support me, there was always en edge of demeaning me, and controlling me, expecting a lot from me, isolating me and giving me few tools to succeed. I do so much better with some support. I have some missing piece within me, something that doesn’t put me first. (I think that’s changing.) Mom, my poor dear mom ”“ at the bottom of so much for me. She came from an alcoholic abusive family, with much tragedy in her, past she married my n sire, and tired to rise above her background the best she could. But she retreated into books and learning, and stayed there frightened of people, controlling and an emotional mess. God, I wish I knew all this 20, even 10 years ago. I don’t feel like I have enough time. I am so sad about this, so burdened. All for now; thanks for listening.


LL – we were posting at the same time, so i read your post after I wrote mine. my post a slightly longer mirror (full body!) of yours. We are in a similar place – this place of lost opportunities. Jezus, I want to talk to someone about this, a counselor of some sort.

I want to go back to school. I want to try working with young adults with intellectual disabilities. I have done a bit of this work, and i really liked it. it fed ME. it was challenging, but in a good way. I want to use art and writing in working with youth. But i need schooling. I need to make a decent living. I can’t afford school. I did the math. I have big debt because of injury/ poor job market, and i don’t have enough working years left to pay off the loans i would need. i feel stuck and lost, too. In the last year, it’s only been about surviving – and my current contract is over at the end of march – and it will be about surviving again. I have no cushion, but have been trying to pay down my debt in the last few months. I have made a bit of headway in staunching the outflow, but their is no savings.


One steppers with joy,

Find it, you have the ability inside you to find that joy. Sing, work with youth, do what you can. Maybe take small steps toward something rewarding.

Thanks for sharing your history. I understand more of where you are coming from. I know that you are burdened by how your body reacts to the environment at times, so take it slow but reach.

It’s scary, not having a cushion. I know from scraping by when I was a single mom working full time and doing it all. My car was constantly breaking down and I had to move back in with my parents. Hard for all of us. My dad and sister were so mean to me but sister has appologized and is bi-polar so she had other issues. Dad is narcisstic and I was infringing on his space. He didn’t even talk to his grand-daughter.

Spath saved me. Wasn’t I lucky? Looking back, I think he arranged the saving. Told me I was going to get fired (we worked together and he was my manager) and he would make it so I didn’t get fired. I don’t belive any of that was true because they asked later if I would be interested in management. Spath said I shouldn’t take the promotion because it would be too hard with both of us in management. A-hole. I never had one bad review. He was lying to me from the beginning.

I see potential in you and the needing to get out there and find what brings you happiness. How can you make it happen? I would give you a place to live, heck, EB and her gang could come and live here too. Goodness knows, 6000 sq. ft. is going to feel pretty empty if son goes to live with spath.

I had pictured families gathering at our place and wonderful BBQ’s with friends, holiday parties. Great dinners. Too bad I fell into the rabbit hole. I feel tired at times and have a hard time being motivated. Have to get things done and don’t know where to start.

The spath hasn’t left yet but is closing on his house on the 31st. He is putting on the nice face, doing everything for me, offering to make dinner, etc. If I didn’t see the mask slip, I would not have believed this was possible. He is the lie, and he is soooooo good at it.

Anyway, I’m rambling, I really think you need to do just one thing that makes you feel good. One small thing and then build on it. You aren’t defined by your families version of success, your the upgraded version and so much more enlightened.

lesson learned


I totally get where you’re at. I’m a perfectionist too. I’ve been frustrated in the past with nearing a goal and the rug pulled out in some significant way in my life including illness. A degree completed is a major accomplishment all on its own for the years and money I’ve put into school. I have accepted that I will probably never own a home, live and work just to survive and pay down my student loans. My children are almost all grown, so soon enough it will be just about taking care of myself.

I understand what you’re saying. My fam was highly successful too, educationally and monetarily too. Another reason for them to look down upon me. Just really glad I had no contact with them.

But that also puts me in a place that there is nothing and no one to fall back on in case I can’t find employment. I’m screwed which makes the stress to get where I’m going, whether I like it or not, more pressing of an issue and anger provoking for me too.



hopeforjoy – you sound so much more grounded these days; really a transformation.

hmm, he’s back to the lovebomb, eh? silly spath. he says he bought a house, and dare we hope that he actually has and will actually move into it?

6000 sq feet – hell you could have a couple of families living there! My folks have a big house, also. I really miss being there this time of year (when they were on vacation ;)) it’s in a beautiful setting, lovely land and trees. Don’t know when/ if i will ever get to have that experience again.

right now, i am making really small but fairly consistent steps to deal with the present. i still can’t deal with the past – either emotionally or the dozens of things left undone or done poorly in the last 2 years. i realized that yesterday – i am much better with the present than i was a few months ago, and it’s okay to leave the past things, until the present is more stable. i have acted in ways and done things in the last 2 years that I have to forgive myself for. I have been pushed around and bullied by the the spath, the n ex, my n sire and an n or p boss. That is a lot of bad company to recover from. I am becoming more resilent…but to what end? We all die. I don’t get to get good at life and then live another 50 years. LOL. so, it’s got to be more about the present and the journey. and being able to even consider that is a marker that healing has taken place.


One of these days I am going to kidnap a lady on this forum .
Kidnap and Marry


LL – my n sire got really excited about the amount of money his buddy’s daughter was making (as a drug rep. bwahahaahaaa), and i looked at that glint in his eye, and i thought, ‘uh huh.’ the ONLY time he got interested in my business was when i came home with $700 in my pocket one day. until that point, and immediately after that point he dismissed and devalued it. i didn’t understand it at the time. not sure i do now. i think my working hard and starting my own business fucked up his sob story about me – but that’s just a guess in hindsight, given all that i have learned about n on lf. he has always lived vicariously through the things i have done in my life – they become HIS stories. i used to think it was pride in me, now i am not so sure. maybe it was just supply. the way he acts, he seems really pissed withe me. i suspect that has to do with bitterness because i wounded his n self. I don’t know – i don’t really understand the situation – all i know is that he is a shite dad husband and friend, too.

I too have come to realize i may never have a home (not just a house, but a place i feel truly safe and relaxed in), nor be able to care for myself in my late years. It’s a stunner. letting go of thinking i will ever have help from my family has helped. i feel stronger and have developed a sense of independence again. they do not need to be involved in my success or failure – my life is my own, and none of their concern. man, i feel like i am 20 again in this respect. I moved out at 18, and across the country at 20, and the sense of independence was wonderful.

My n sire has proven that he would led his child drown if it meant lifting a finger to help her. his complete and utter lack of true compassion for me is stunning, and the thing that allows me to be nc with him. he doesn’t love me, so he can fuck off. My mom does love me, to the extent that she can (dementia), and would help with $ if she could remember to.


heaven roaming.

is that a compliment? or do we need to ban your predatory self?


compliment lol
i was reading through some of the articles written by kathleen hawk , i really liked what she said in the end
“Dolphin in me salutes the dolphin in you ” . If all psycopaths are relatives by blood then all victims have something in common too
love , empathy , kindness, generosity …. the best human qualities. i havent been out here for long but when i read the stories i have burning desire to hug & Kiss the people over here
i wish you were my neighbour , my gf, my wife my ppl
I think this is safest place to find our kind of ppl
do you feel that way too ?


Its been 1.5 yrs since i have separated from psycopathic ex wife
8 months of marriage turned my life upsidedown . i was in very bad shape , i have been looking for answers i have found quiet a few of them. Marriage was the climax. I had it coming a long time
I was bullied through out my school and college there was this one guy who made my life miserable. At work again i had to deal with psychopathic bosses, coworkers . In the end you start asking why me is there something wrong with me.
Taking a birds view of my life what i realized is that it wasnt just me my entire family has been surrounded and fleeced by P and N’s


heaven roaming – good, because i wouldn’t hesitate to run your butt off.

k hawk is a very good writer. she’s intelligent, analytical with a good dash of creativity.

As societies we are all affected by psychopathic corporations and governments, we’re just in deep denial about it. lf is the only place i know where all the people ‘get’ it’. I have met people who work in corrections/ prisons who also ‘get’ it or WANT to get it. So, i guess it’s another usual case of people only being willing to try to understand if they THINK have been ‘directly affected’.


heavenroaming – have you read the book, ‘The Betrayal Bond.’ It’s available online, and from the lf bookstore. It is a workbook, and gets at the root of ‘trauma bonding’. It might be really helpful.


one – this is true i don’t think i would be on this forum otherwise
but i could have saved a lot of heartache had i known about this.
Unfortunately if you try an explain somebody what a sociopath is they would look at you like – have you taken your medication
I can’t make my parents believe it forget about anyone else.


One JoyStep,
so much of what you say sounds familiar. The ceilings and the perfectionism. I’m just waking and it gave me a jolt. I finally realized what perfectionism is. It’s my parents never being proud of me, so I always thought I must not be good enough. So I had to be better, so I had to be perfect. Of course, being perfect is a long shot, so it’s best not to even try. Can’t stand to fail at the first attempt, would rather do nothing, because failure brings back the trauma of being unloved when I was young.
Very interesting… thanks for that.

we all seem to have a certain lacking in awareness of our own emotional side. Perhaps it was neglected because it was easier or more rewarding/pleasurable to follow intellectual pursuits. When you’re raised by N’s and P’s as I was, there is no positive emotional feedback.

I think that is what the P’s notice about us. How easy it is to mess with our heads and watch the expressions on our faces change. We reveal everything we are thinking through our expressions and it feeds their vampire tendencies.


The new moon, a fresh coat of paint, the passing of time.

Healing does not relieve what is real. It grounds us in the knowledge. And the knowing that there is no law on earth or in heaven that holds us away from real and vibrant relationships and successes.

From this place forward, it is requisite to lead a life not merely to follow a path through it.


sky i experienced hell in 8 months of marriage I cant imagine the horror of being raised by a P . you never had a chance there is no way we should blame ourselves.

Its like a sheep being left alone with wolf and sheep doesnt know what to do she tries to make up and be friendly with a wolf

How are we supposed to know that predatory humans exist and they just look like us. if you know you are meeting a serial killer you would be worried about you safety but what about an attractive, successful and apparently charming woman
would you be careful hell no , same goes for male P’s


one/joy_step_at_a_time says – i havent read the book but i have read about trauma bonding , I never want to see her face again
i was getting stalked even after divorce till this day i dont log into yahoo messenger in visible mode. i dont use social networking i dont answer the ph unless and untill i recognize the no . recently i saw a psychiatrist diagnosed with PTSD on medication now
I was having sleep apnea before i met my p wife so can imagine the level of mind F****


Thanks for the welcome-I’ve been Reading souch that I feel I know you all! 🙂 I went back to school and got my teaching degree a few years ago as I knew I’d be the sole provider for my children. I do hate the man but it took so long and so much abuse to turn the love off! I have to say that for me-it was this site -your stories-that sounded so familiar-that got me to finally see that I was flogging a dead horse! I know that if I’d not found this site when I needed it most, I would still be believing the crap…& believing it was all my fault! The one lie would stop me in my tracks and that was all i could think about. Does anyone think that it is a kind of defense mechanism? We know something is drastically wrong-but dwelling on the one ‘o’ for umbrella stops us from dwelling on the bigger problems, because our minds can’t deal with more.

I still can’t get my mind to stop worrying about things-and am more than a little scared of the parasite, but he no longer has the power to shut me down.

Lovefraud is being upgraded. Comments and forum posts are temporarily disabled. Dismiss

Send this to a friend