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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: The Old Me and the New Me

Editor’s note: The following was sent by a long-time Lovefraud reader who posts as “Aloha Traveler.”

February 16, 2012

Dear LF Readers,

I found this article below as I was cleaning up my computer files and thought I would submit it.

I wonder if anyone else has the experience of the “Old Me and New Me.” I hope you enjoy. See below.

Aloha

P.S. I left the Bad Man on July 3, 2005. So the below article has been hiding in the Aloha archives. :O)

* * * * *

Dear LoveFraud Readers,

A little over 4 years ago, I was a post Bad Man train wreck. My life was a shambles on the outside and my insides matched. Today, though I am in a much better place, I am still struggling with some aspects of healing. I decided recently to find a therapist to talk to about my experiences. After several sessions, she suggested that I need to integrate the Old Me with the New Me.  Apparently, I have abandoned the Old Me for a new and wiser model. But when I tossed out Old Me, I also tossed out my hopes and dreams. I decided that hope was a dirty word but after living like this for a few years, I realized that maybe this coping strategy is not fully healthy. I do need to have some room in my life for hopes and dreams. You see, I fell on my face so hard when I thought my dreams were coming true with Bad Man”¦ that I just decided I couldn’t handle the possibility of hoping for anything ever again.

So I live like a robot. I plan things and I do things, but I spend no time on hoping and dreaming. I hope for nothing. I can barely tolerate big displays of “love.” I hate love songs (I think it’s a bunch of hooey!) I hate weddings because I cry worse than the parents of the Bride, but not for the same reason.

Yeah… I need therapy.

The problem is, I can talk about the Bad Man in an oh-so-intellectual way these days, but if I talk about my dreams, the things I had always wanted in life, and the way Bad Man, for a brief time, appeared to be the embodiment of my dreams, I quickly crumble into a crying, whimpering mess with a tiny voice that can barely speak.

The letters below are my attempt to communicate with a part of me I left on a Maui beach. I left the Old Me behind in order to feel safe in the world. I am sharing my dialogue with all of you in the hope that perhaps there is another reader that might benefit from doing an exercise like this.

Healing from an abusive or pathologically exploitive relationship of any kind is a slow and painful process. It takes time.  Here’s to taking another step forward. Come with me if you like.  Aloha

* * * * *

Dear Old Me,

It’s been over 4 years since you left the Bad Man and I haven’t heard from you. I know you and I don’t talk much these days. I wanted to let you know some things that I miss about you.

Old Me, you were so loving and I really admire that about you. You were willing to walk through fire for the one you love and you surely did. I know you got burned. How are those wounds healing? Remember that it’s important when you are healing to keep moving. Be gentle and take it slow but don’t let your wounds freeze up with scarring.

I know we don’t talk about it, but I miss so many things about you. I miss your open heart and your trust of people. I miss your innocence. I am very sad that you didn’t get what you wanted, and I know you are hurting. You know, Old Me, when you truly loved, there was nothing sweeter than that. Remember when you didn’t question people’s motives? Remember when “I love you” meant “I love you?” Remember when you had no real consciousness about pathological abusers? You sure got in over your head, didn’t you? Well, you didn’t know that you didn’t know. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You were just trying to keep to your word. You said you loved and you meant it and so you did the natural thing. You tried to help, but you didn’t understand what you were dealing with”¦ a personality disorder.

I want to acknowledge you for the way you tried to help the Bad Man and for the true and tender concern you showed him. If he had been helpable, surely, your compassion and patience would have made a difference. You tried so hard to understand his wounds and his perspective. There was no rhyme or reason to it. I want you to know that none of it was your fault.

Love, New Me

* * * * *

Dear New Me,

Thanks for your kind words. I want to acknowledge you as well. Ever since the Bad Man, you have overcome so much. You pulled things together against the odds, and the people who know you really admire you for the way you have turned things around. You have been a work horse with a singular focus. You have been a woman on a mission to save herself”¦ I guess you had to do a lot of cleanup work from me (Old Me) and my mistakes. Sorry about that.

By the way, New Me, I have noticed that you are beginning to stand up for yourself in a way I never could. I was so unsure of myself. That was part of the problem. I let Bad Man tell me who I was, because I didn’t know. I know you, New Me, would never let a man like the Bad Man sneak into your life. I know you are selective now about whom you allow to “coach” you. All of Bad Man’s attacks on me were truly his projections of his own flaws. There were MANY, weren’t there?! I am glad your wisdom allows you to have better discernment than I did.

New Me, I am proud of you for helping so many others. You didn’t let this experience go to waste. Your advice has helped many that were trapped in a situation like I was. For many people, you were a rope, a strong hold, and a shaft of light. Good for you. It’s healing to help others, isn’t it? And New Me, your life is going forward now and you are using your knowledge to help others in your career too. You have found meaning in your Bad Man disaster and you are doing something with it.

One last thing, New Me”¦  you (New Me) and I (Old Me) both have good qualities and we need each other. I am still you, and you are still me. Maybe we can work something out?

Love, Old Me



Comment on this article

55 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: The Old Me and the New Me"

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Great post, Aloha! I can relate, as I expect most of us on here can. I’m still in the robot phase and I really do miss the “old” me. This “new” me is still awkwardly unfamiliar without the “core” of what made me who I was for over 50 years. I know I must still “be there”……..somewhere.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

~New

Aloha,
what a bittersweet post. It’s ironic that now, with our eyes wide open we have the most potential and the most reason for hope, but it’s harder too.

Naivete made everything seem so easy.

Hon, Still keep your dreams albeit wiser. When my spath did a number on me I was 24 years old and devastated. I mourned but not in the way I should have. I couldn’t get the help I needed because I was working two jobs and had two small kids to support. Yes, my spath took financial advantage of a single mother (dog that he was) by promising me a future.
All he wanted was a quick marriage, me to help him pay off a long-standing debt and a quickie divorce. I couldn’t see through the mask of manipulation and lies because I was young, innocent and naive and blinded by what I thought was love.
In the end when I found out the truth, I almost took my life over it. How could I have been so stupid. The counselor’s back then were just as blindsided as the one’s today. They just didn’t get it.
They never told me my ex was a “sociopath.”
What they did tell me was something along the lines of this:
“what did you do to attract this type of person in your life?”
“Why was this type of person singling you out?”
I met him through normal means. I went looking for love and companionship through a dating service. I never in my wildest dreams knew that there were folks cable of such deceit by pulling the rug out from under you.
I knew something wasn’t quite right but I couldn’t put a name it.
Yes, I could have gone date hunting by going to clubs and outings like other women but I had a couple of issues.
I had two young kids and I couldn’t get relatives to babysit for me so I could go out and meet potential suitors. So I joined a dating service hoping to find an eligible single.
Big mistake. From my experience only a select few get lucky this way. But for the most part you run into a lot of predator’s looking for fresh victims and they in turn feel you deserved what you got because you sought them out.
By the time I met my current husband I had given up on men. I believe I even told him to get lost. LOL! But he didn’t. When I told him what my ex did to me he told me, “He’s crazy. Your gorgeous and petite like a Barbie doll.” “What did the guy want?” I then went on to tell him the woman he left me for was rich. Very rich. Maybe I did get lucky after all. Maybe it was a blessing she came along to free me. Our relationship would have probably ended further down the road but by her appearance I was put in the right place at the right time to meet “Prince Charming” so maybe her appearance was a blessing in disguise.
I always believe I turned out the winner in the game and when all is said and done and karma catches up with my spath (and it’s going to be a whammy) I’ll have the last laugh.
So yes, keep hoping and dreaming because Mr. Right is right around the corner. He’ll come looking for you when you least expect it.
He’s there, he exists. He just has to find you.
Joanie123

Joanie,

So glad you were able to get out early on! Mine went on for thirty years…..not sure I can ever let another man into my life at that level. I know first and foremost I have to be reach the point where I feel whole again on my own, without a signficant other in my life. Who ever knew this type of thing was possible? It’s the stuff they make movies out of but no one in our lives (including most therapists) believe it can be “real”. We know differently.

Be well.

~New

Off topic, BUT I came here to recommend:

“We Need to Talk About Kevin”

New movie with Tilda Swanson, and her son, from day one, is a psychopath.

I think Ox might find this film comforting especially. I was thinking of you Ox when I was watching it. The mother puts up with waaaayyy more, I think, than you did. You finally wised up and stopped playing his games. The mom in this film never fully gets it. She even visits him in prison and hugs him after….well…you have to watch.

Anyways, just wanted to recommend that, although the last scene ruined it. He supposedly “gets it” at the very end. The rest was perfect, but the last part just makes me think Hollywood came in and said that no one will want to see such a sad movie about an evil person.

Aloha, thank you for this letter. I want to be in a place where I am a ‘new’ me and I can write the old me a letter.

It’s really refreshing and reassuring to see healing like this, growth, and renewed wisdom. I look forward to writing myself one day. 🙂

Dear sweet Aloha, both of you!

You were one of the first here to welcome me when I came here wounded and bleeding that summer of chaos in 2007….and how much your support and comforting me meant there are not words to describe.

I admired your tenacity to work hard and pay off your debts, then keep on working and putting yourself through school. Those are the qualities I admire in “can do” people and you are sure one of those CAN DO folks.

Thanks for bringing this article out of cold storage! It is a wonderful one and gives me things to think about, about the Old Oxy and the STILL OLDER Oxy! Sometimes I think I have become too cynical etc. and you gave me a lot of food for thought! ((((hugs)))

Aloha Traveler,
I LOVE your article. It is SO timely. Or perhaps it’s TIMELY ALL the time! I have a bunch of little sayings. One is : “always steal a good idea.”

So I am going to do just that. Steal your idea. My new me is going to write a letter to the old me. It’s about time I held her accountable, and forgave her. The spath was NOT her fault. Nor was the learning curve. WHO lives their life as if evil personified lurked in the Seemingly kindest man! But some stuff was her doing, wasting time trying to fix what she knew was NOT her baggage, and trying to bargain with the devil ends badly EVERY time. (yep, an absolute that fits.)

Time for a glass of wine and some fresh paper.

Thank you and ALoha!!
Katy

.

Panther, I have seen that movie advertised and I’ll probably watch it at some point…well, believe me I put up with a LOT and visited jails and prisons, and drove hundreds of miles to get there, wrote daily for decades! sent money! Kept hope alive….it was a FANTASY world of how wonderful life would be when my baby came home….welll……nah, that ain’t gonna happen. BABY needs to stay locked up where others can be safe, including me! I get it now, but took me til my late 50s to do so.

Oxy, at least you got it and now your experience is helping people like me more than you’ll ever know. I hate that you have had to suffer so in your life, but please believe it was not in vain. You are an inspiration.

Hello All,

Thanks for your kind comments.

I am profoundly thankful for what I have learned here from all the readers and stories. The healing here is real.

Getting it is a huge part of the puzzle.

I have a new friend who is one of us. I have sent her to LF and handed her a pile of books and she is starting to get it quite fast.

One bit of advice I gave her was to let go of the idea that everyone in her life needs to understand what happened to her…. (my favorite saying follows) they don’t know that they don’t know.

That is why we get so much bad advice about healing from a pathologically exploitive and/or abusive relationship. It’s different than things just not working out between two people.

Once upon a time, we didn’t know about these kind of people and now we do. There’s no going back to the old you that didn’t know.

Though I wrote this piece a few years ago in therapy, I still struggle with hope. I put my hope (and pain) on a shelf. I AM TOO BUSY! But when I finish grad school, I guess I will take that stuff down and take a look at it.

Anyway, I am a big fan of all of you. We all have something to contribute to others with what we now know. I think this community is so knowledgeable about this subject. We may be the future educators on this topic.

AND (for anyone listening) Guess WHAT?! Next week, I will begin giving presentations at my internship (a community college) to classrooms of college students about “Warning Signs of Dating Abuse.” While my presentation is not directly about Sociopaths, the information is in there a bit. Mainly, it is my opinion (and I am sure all of us here) that Domestic Violence is mostly perpetrated by people that have a personality disorder… or two.

So, I will imagine all of you with me when I do this presentation.

And, my field supervisor calls me “my healthy relationships counselor.” I think that is kinda cool since once upon a time, I was in a very unhealthy relationship that nearly ruined my life.

So, I guess I have grown.

Aloha

Katy and all….

I hope you will do this exercise and honor all the good in the old you. We were/are loving kind people which is what made us a target.

Now, we are loving, kind, WISE people!

What a catch we are!!

I would love to hear from anyone that decides to do this exercise. Let us know what you discovered!

I will try to stop by when I can. (I’m at work right now.) But I have a pile of assignments looming. I DON”T WANNA!!!! But I am almost there! I MUST!!!

My wish, always, is to contribute to the healing of others as this has been the most healing for me.

Aloha

Hi Oxy!

Aloha

nice to see your name here Aloha…..it makes me smile

Hens,
😀

Thanks Hens…. :O)

Aloha:

I loved your letter! Thank you so much for this. A lot of it sounds so much like me. Do you know the song by the Who, “Behind Blue Eyes?” Some of the lyrics are “No one knows what it’s like to be the Bad Man, to be the Sad Man, behind blue eyes.” That song really resonates with me…reminds me so much for so many reasons of my X spath. So everytime I hear you say the Bad Man, I think of my own situation.

So sorry that you were miserable in paradise. It’s sad that you were living in one of the most beautiful places on earth and you were so unhappy. I just spent an entire month in Maui. I love it there so much. Are you a native?

Aloha wrote:
“My wish, always, is to contribute to the healing of others as this has been the most healing for me. ”

YES, THIS!

Sometimes suffering enters our lives so that we can be used as an instrument to guide others through the very same fire we have crossed. We can give our anguish meaning and purpose when we use the tools of survival we forged along our very rocky journey, and pass those tools along to someone else.

I really love these letters and I could see myself in almost every word–Old Me and (future-almost-there-but-not-quite) New Me.

Hi Aloha, I haven’t been on the site in quite some time. Just wanted to thank you for the insightful post. Gives me a lot to consider. I am in the process of ridding my spath from my life completely. I have come a long way over the past months. thank you again for the post.

Woundlicker, thank you so much, Aloha said it well I think

Aloha wrote:
“My wish, always, is to contribute to the healing of others as this has been the most healing for me. ”

Louise,

No. I am not a native of Maui but I have always felt drawn to the islands. I moved to Maui to “start over” after a heartbreak from a good man. I met the Bad Man just 10 days after I arrived.

Ultimately, I had to pack up and leave because Bad Man was such a psycho and the island was too small for both of us. When ever we would break up, he would kinda stalk me…. leave hateful notes on my car even if he had to search a 10 story parking garage to find my car, or drive across the island to find it. He always found me and I would get his “slut” notes on my car when I left work… or sometimes it would be apologies or flowers. I got a lot of leis. :O(

I remember the feeling now of wearing a huge lei over my shoulders and saying how much I loved it but inside I was thinking about the Hell I went through to get it… one of his abusive cycles. Bleh.

He was such a nightmare. If you have seen my other stories here or my comments, I call it “My Tropical Debacle.”

Anyway, I know the song. I will look it up and listen carefully. The Bad MAn did have amazing blue eyes. Again… bleh.

I have been BAD MAN free for I think for about 5.5 years. I did hear from him once in 2009, I think… an attack because he saw an ad I placed warning others about him on “Don’t Date Him Girl.” That site is now defunct, I think. However, I wonder what made him look on there for himself. HAHAHA!

Aloha

Hi Patti,

Keep working on it. Get rid of him, completely… a detox. They are toxic.

And keep coming back. This is absolutely the best healing community ever!

Aloha

Ox, yes that movie I think is really something you can relate to. I was amazed at how this woman put up with the kid. I don’t know if I could have put up with him like she did. I’d have had to get a specialist asap. He is a little monster and he gets everyone else to think she’s crazy starting when he is just a baby.

After he does…what he does (no spoilers)….the community gets angry with her. People vandalize her house, she gets slapped by a total stranger, etc.

The movie is great, however, because the main character is the mother of a monster, and it REALLY shows how bad the parent has it in this situation, which hopefully can shine light onto the situation for people who have turned their backs on parents of monsters.

Aloha, thank you for the encouragement. And yes, I am getting him out of my life. He has a new victim in the state that he hails from. I hope this doesn’t sound wrong, but I am praying that he goes and soon. I guess it’s like some of the people on here said when I was on before. I have to save myself. Thank you again. ((hugs to you!))

Aloha,

Bless you for lecturing on “Warning Signs of Dating Abuse” & playing it forward. The wiser New You is a “healthy relationships counselor”.

Patti,

Yes… no malicious intent but his new victim has her own lessons to learn.

The universe provided me a way to help a few of the Bad Man’s victims and his ex-wife a little.. but it was provided purely by the universe…. and it was after I had some time to heal myself.

Look at this way (about the next victim).. she will learn something and then, maybe she will be here, or somewhere else.. and maybe she will help someone down the line.

In the meantime, be all about you! It is nice to be all about me these days after being all about the Bad Man while I was trying to live my dream on Maui.

Me time!

Aloha

“Me time!”
this is the good self-ishness. Gotta put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help others.

Thanks Clair!

I find it empowering to understand my role in all of this. In the past, we have had readers who have thrown a fit, insisting all of this just happened to them and it’s not fair.

For me, I don’t find that to be very comforting because if the Bad Man just “happened to me” and I had nothing to do with it, then it all could happen again.

I did have to take a long look at me. Before the Bad Man, I did not have personal boundaries and it was hurting my life (and me) in many ways before I even met the Bad Man. Also, and I have said this many times here in the BLOGS, I didn’t know that I didn’t have boundaries because I seriously just didn’t know what emotional boundaries were. Imagine?

Now I got some shiny new boundaries and I’m learning how to use them.

As a kid, my emotions were invalidated regularly at home. Your emotions, I think sometimes are an expression of your boundaries… I think. Perhaps if I thought about this more, I might not say the same thing but at the moment, I am thinking about the emotions expressed and invalidated when I was a kid. I was always told it was me but I was being emotionally neglected and hurt by one of my parents.

So, I did leave home believing that all troubles in relationships were me… I owned everything. Which is why when the Bad Man attacked and attacked my spirits… “It’s-you-all-you-all-the-time!!!!”

I bought that, for sure, back then.

But the Bad Man took this to a new extreme… until I finally had to say, “No. This is not me.”

I had to be pushed very far before I reclaimed myself and my boundaries.

Anyway, just some things to think about.

I have to go to work…. :O)

Aloha

Aloha:

Yes, it is a small island. Big and small at the same time, but because you have to fly to get off it, I can see why you had to leave. So sad. I’ve thought about moving there also to escape my thoughts, but I don’t think it would work in the long run. Yes, listen to the lyrics of “Behind Blue Eyes” carefully. He also talks about his conscience and his anger. Love that song.

Take care.

Clair, Amen to you. I support you in what you are saying because I have been there and I am slowly pulling myself out. I do my best to take responsiblity for my actions and reactions but I do my best not to blame myself for what I did not know and did not understand. And Aloha, I feel empathy for his new victim but no longer guilt or the need to warn her. She will have to make her own way at this point. I marveled at him the other night. (Came to see the granddaughter that was at my place) We went on the balcony to smoke and he stood there watching his reflection in the window, telling me how his daughter had told him he is a player and how he could not be with just one woman. He looked to me as if he was strutting as he said these things. And as for me, as he made these statements of how he has no friends where we live now and he does want to go back home….encouraged him to go home and be with the people that miss him. Not the old Patti that would have cried and tried to make him feel guilty and stay. I looked him right in the eyes (he used to do that stare down thing to me that scared me sooo bad) I told him he should go. And I had a good feeling for him, that going home is the wise thing to do. And after he had gone I got ready for bed and slept better than I have in a long time. Boundries, I finally am starting to understand, finally setting them again, small for right now but definitely stronger than they have been in a long time. I understand that it is going to be a lot of work to feel whole again…..but the journey is worth the struggle. Thank you to all of you for sharing and loving me for who I am.

Aloha,

I think a key to healing is to recognize that someone is not healthy for us. Then, we see that we cannot help them to fix themselves and then we learn that it is best for us to disengage as much as we can.

Thank you, Patti.

Aloha,

Someone recommended that I read your article. As I read it, I thought about how spaths literally crush your spirit. Unfortunately, I can never be who and how I was before the spath – I’m no longer naive to their existence. My life feels like rubble, trying to build something solid, and not enjoying the process. Spaths plow through our lives, leaving a wake of damage.

Hello BlueJay…

I hope it helped you.

Yes, there is a lot to clean up after this kind of “relationship.”

You will uncover that you are strong underneath it all.. and you can go on, smarter, wiser, and safer in the world.

:O)
Aloha

Clair… perhaps it’s not a manifesto but my first little boundaries sprouting.

Aloha,

I love the simplicity of that post.
Bad people are bad for us because they treat us badly & “make” us feel bad for ourselves.

I recently read this quote from George Washington, think I’ll use it as a life strategy from now on:
“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

Oxy, off topic, but do you have Scottish roots, as your surname suggests?

Most of my roots are Scottish, though like most Americans I am a mongrel of various pedigrees. Most of my ancestors are actually Scots Irish which are genetically almost identical to the English as they come from the Low Land Scots. My original surname was Jones, from a family that traced back to the Welch. I also raised Scottish Highland cattle for a couple of decades, and took me wee beasties to the Scottish festivals which are held in my state, as well as demonstrated Border Collies working sheep and goats. I still have 4 head of the Highland coos to raise meat for our family. They say that Queen Elizabeth will eat no other beef, and I figure if it is good enough for Liz, it’s good enough for me! LOL

Aloha said

“I recently read this quote from George Washington, think I’ll use it as a life strategy from now on:
“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

I have heard this before and always thought it wise advice….in fact wise enough to base your life’s plan upon it.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Aloha, you describe that sense of inner duality very very well. I am going to try to do this exercise. Thank you for sharing it. best, one joy

Oxy… Clair quoted George. :O)… But it is a good one. :O)

Louise…

I just listened to the song you suggested… creeepy as heck! HAHA…

No one knows what it’s like to be the baaaad maaan… to be the saaaad maan… behind blue eyes. (I wish I could post his picture here, blue eyes and freakish stare)

Check out this one…. It makes me laugh every time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE

Aloha:

Yeah, I love that song by the Who. One of my all time favorite classics. It’s my X spath.

Hahaha! That Wizard of Oz video is so funny…thanks for sharing!

from your post at
http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2009/02/15/why-i-say-%E2%80%9Cbad-man%E2%80%9D/

“I argued with him in my head all the time, because I never won any arguments in person. I was exhausted from constantly defending my choice of words, my past, my present, my future, myself. ALL THE TIME! I was just so tired.”

I have lived this exactly. I would give speeches to him in my car, alone, saying all the things he never let me say about what was bothering me (because in reality there would come a point where he would not let me finish, turn my grievances with him around to point back at me and at the end of the conversation I was left wondering, “what the hell just happened??”)

I am currently reading the most amazing book called, “Why Does He Do That? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men” by Lundy Bancroft. It has been so illuminating and has helped me to see I was NOT responsible for the way things turned out with my verbally abusive, manipulative ex. At times I have laughed out loud because my ex was a textbook case! The author has worked with abusive men (verbally and/or physically abusive) for over 15 years (most of whom are there under court order). He also takes the time to speak to the partners of the abuser to get her side.

In one chapter he lists characteristics of abusive men. One of the items on the list is:

“He tells you that your objections to his mistreatment are your own problem.”

“The abuser can try to persuade you that: you have unreasonable expectations for his behavior, and you should be willing to live with the things he does…

His tactics are forms of DISCREDITING your complaints of mistreatment, which is abusive. His discrediting maneuvers reveal a core attitude, which he never explicitly states and may not even be aware of consciously himself: You have no right to object to how I treat you.
And if you can’t be in a fair and healthy relationship if you can’t raise grievances.”

Another item on the list:

“It’s never the right time, or the right way, to bring things up”

“…with an abuser, no way to bring up a complaint is the right way. You can wait until the calmest, most relaxed evening, prepare you partner with plenty of verbal stroking, express your grievance in mild language, but he still won’t be willing to take it in….He doesn’t spend the intervening period digesting your comments and struggling to face what he did, the way a nonabusive person might. In fact he does the opposite, appearing to mentally build up a case against your complaint as if he were preparing to go before a judge.”

“The abuser’s problem is not that he responds inappropriately to conflict. His abusiveness is operating PRIOR to the conflict: it usually CREATES the conflict and it determines the SHAPE the conflict takes.”

Get this book. It has been a godsend.

Hi Vidya,

Sounds like a great book. I will add it to my collection. This letter above and post are OLD. I have been at this for quite awhile now. :O)

But, I still have stuff to learn. I will be going to a training on thursday called “Emotional Manipulators.”

I liked what you pointed out from the reading… that the abuse was present before the conflict. This is a great line. I will definately use this when working with clients. It’s a great way to frame it. When I was going through all this with the Bad Man, I kept trying to figure out what I was doing to cause his behavior but I know now that it had nothing to do with me.

Here’s another two of my old posts here at LF.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse
http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2009/03/05/emotional-and-psychological-abusers-coping-with-chaos-and-losing-your-balance/

Psychological Head Games
http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2008/04/10/on-psychological-head-games-and-%e2%80%9cnookie%e2%80%9d-the-turtle/

I also really really enjoyed this one that recently popped back up because of how it explains trauma bonding..

http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2009/06/08/a-classic-story-of-sociopathic-manipulation/

Aloha

Aloha,
it IS a really good book, I highly recommend it.

I can’t fix anyone else, I can only fix myself. It set me free.

Aloha, It is so good to have you back posting. I know your time is limited in the last semester of your Masters Degree program, but I have missed you and your wonderful hard won wisdom so much.

Thank you for sharing! I always enjoy your posts!

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