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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Things people say

Last week, Lovefraud posted a letter from “Cybil,” I did not choose this guy. Here’s more of her experience.

I’ll call this, “Things people say, part II.” This is the other one that bugs me: “You’re paranoid.” I always have a good 24 hours of self-doubt before I realize they’re the ones that are nuts, not me. I know a lot more about what crazy stuff is out there in the world than your average, never-tangled-with-a-sociopath human does.

I just went to a seminar of a national expert on how domestic violence leads to murder, especially for women. Over and over he said, “Trust your instinct.” He told the audience to take women seriously when they have these stories (like those on this blog) and that if she is a co-worker you should elevate these stories to security for everyone’s safety because it could easily become a workplace shooting.

But continually I have had people in my life say I am paranoid since my ex came into my life. HE used to tell me I was paranoid. Crazy. Hysterical. Depressed. I wasn’t. I was living in a psychological and physical war zone. People who survive sociopaths have survived wars. The people on the blog are war-buddies.

The funny part is watching how the people who told me I was paranoid act when their blinders fall off. Like my parents, every few weeks another blinder falls off. When the death threats came in, they were in shock and they never said, “You told us so,” but they started taking things a bit more seriously and realized that when they told me I was paranoid that he was going to kill me (Well, yes, he hit you, he lied to you, he had an arrest record, but he’d never kill you. He’d get in trouble. He’s not that stupid ”¦), they were wrong. The sad part is watching them go back into denial as the “living with death threats” thing starts to become routine.

A strange event happened the other day. I called the police. My parents say: You know that was just a random thing that happened. You’re paranoid.

Really?

I am going to start telling people in my life, you are not allowed to tell me I’m paranoid or that I chose this guy. Not only is it horribly deflating, it goes to the heart of what I am healing from and getting stronger by. When people tell me “You chose him,” they are telling me I have to take more responsibility, but taking more than my share of responsibility for what happened is what kept me in the bad relationship longer than I should have been. Because I started to believe it was my fault, because he told me it was my fault. If I could just fix me, then maybe he wouldn’t have to get so crazy and mean. It took me several years of dangerous experimenting with every “me” I could be, to realize it wasn’t ME. Yeah, I don’t have a problem taking responsibility and I don’t need help taking more.

When people tell me “You’re paranoid,” they are really questioning my instinct and telling me not to listen to it. I am a year and a half out from living with an abuser and a gaslighter; I am largely over the hyper-alert period. I know what I feel. Doubting that was also what kept me in the bad place: Maybe he is telling the truth, maybe he did do that for my own good, maybe I am being too judgmental, maybe I should give him another chance. Not doubting my instinct to walk out that last time was what let me walk out!!!!

I’m not going back there. Not even in a mental sense.


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256 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Things people say"

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Thank you, Cybil, for writing this blog. I’m sure most of us went through the ‘you’re paranoid’ put downs. I went to a behavioral health clinic while my ex spath hole was still stalking and slandering me, the intake therapists thought I may be ‘paranoid’.

Of course I’m freaking paranoid! This monster-stranger I thought I knew threatened me, stole from me, slandered me, and is stalking me! Duh…Idiots!

I did NOT go for therapy at that clinic. Very happy with the therapist I have now.

First of all…. speaking for myself Ignoring the gut instincts… that was bad. Calling me paranoid because I did not listen to my instincts telling me I knew the RISKS BS….. no one knows what crazy BS I have been through hind sight is 20/20. Paranoid… nope we just didnt listen to what our instincts told us RUN!

Ok so if we survived a war what do we tell people who tell us but that is his ‘Father’ when children are involved what do you say to the IGNORNAT A holes out there that tell you how to raise your children when the other parent is a sociopath? answers appreciated for once from people who know what they are talking about!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

cybil – this is really clear: ‘I am going to start telling people in my life, you are not allowed to tell me I’m paranoid or that I chose this guy. Not only is it horribly deflating, it goes to the heart of what I am healing from and getting stronger by. When people tell me “You chose him,” they are telling me I have to take more responsibility, but taking more than my share of responsibility for what happened is what kept me in the bad relationship longer than I should have been.’

Good for you!. Draw that line, and hold the border.
Are you living with your folks? If you are, I hope that that changes for you soon.

Dear WAR BUDDY Cybil,

Even my therapist was not sure I was not some kind of paranoid delusional nut job after the first two-hour intake when I told him in detail how “everyone including my mother is out to kill me”—of course, he ASKED NICELY and truly, I was by that time not even offended, but rather AMUSED that my story sounded so PARANOID, but just took in court documents and my son D as a witness. After that he did not question my paranoia again…he realized it was GUT INSTINCT and FACTS!

The local sheriff didn’t question…just ran a rap sheet on the Trojan Horse Psychopath and HE BELIEVED.

The attorney I hired to keep my psychopathic son in prison when his next parole (in january) comes up didn’t believe either I suspect from the tone of his voice, and I sent him a 4 inch stack of letters outlining how to kill me after winning my confidence written to and from my P son and the Trojan Horse Psychopath he had sent into our family—AND HE BELIEVED!!!! REALLY BELIEVED!!! Kept cautioning me to BE CAREFUL!

So yes, I have experienced the “you’re paranoid” and the “you’re crazy” with my P son and the DIL and the Trojan Horse Psychopath, and my egg donor (the person formerly called “mother”) still DOES NOT BELIEVE though at one time she said she did, but now she sends money to the P son and has tens of thousands of dollars in CDs made “payable on death” to him so that he will not be without funds (which he WILL use I am sure to try to hire someone to kill me after her death if he can get his hands on these funds—I’ll do my best to see he does NOT get his hands on them)

Yes, I am still in the trenches of PARANOIA—and JUST CAUSE YOU ARE PARANOID DOES NOT MEAN SOMEONE IS NOT OUT TO GET YOU.

I no longer JUMP in a hyper alert state when a car pulls up, but I do keep a pistol either on me or handy, and I am prepared to use it to defend myself. I am no longer welcoming of strangers on my farm and I no longer reach out to shake their hand or welcome them in for a cup of coffee.

Spirit, I suggest that you go over to Dr. Leedom’s blog “Raising the At risk child” for information. She is in the process of raising a son sired by her psychopathic X-husband, and she is I think, one of the premier resources for people with children who have to co-parent with or raise the offspring of the psychopath. Good luck and God bless. There are several of us here that can give you advice on dealing with the offspring if they turn out “just like their father” or in my case, “just like grandpa” but I hope and pray to God that you don’t need my advice on that subject.

Cybil, thanks for sharing your frustration at the insensitivity and lack of understanding of our paranoia (which is VERY justified!) and how that lack of understanding invalidates our feelings.

It is sort of like a dear friend of mine said to me after the death of my husband (she had never been married) and she said “I know how you feel!”

I screamed at her “NO! you do NOT know how it is to see the man you loved and were married to burned over 95% of his body!” It took me almost a year to get over the emotional insult she delivered to me that day, though I KNEW she did not intend to do so.

Some people are condescending when they tell us to “get over it” or that we are “being paranoid” but others actually have GOOD INTENTIONS, but the thing is, they do actual emotional damage to us by invalidating our feelings and our KNOWN REALITY even if they do not intend to. The road to hell is PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.

I think partly that because these well meaning people do not want to ADMIT that such an evil deed could penetrate into their world that they are in DENIAL and it is to protect their own psyches that they feel and express these sentiments.

It is difficult for me not to become angry at these people, for me to have empathy for their self servinig and self protecting denial. But–it is MY LIFE AND I MUST PROTECT IT even if it makes me look, in their eyes as a nut job. MY REALITY DOES NOT DEPEND ON THEIR ASSESSMENT OF MY REALITY. That took me a long time to come to that spot on the healing road.

Cybil:
You are dead right that we have been in a war zone.

Most of us – particularly if the situation has gone on for a long period of time – have suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I personally am mostly recovered although the court appearance with my spath last month once more brought me to my knees – even though he was convicted! So – I won, yet I collapsed and went “gaga” for several days afterward.

Soldiers returning from combat suffered from what used to be called “shell-shock” (and not just from the bombings…) but is now known to be PTSD. Rape victims (of which I was also one, 15 years back) end up with PTSD.

We are all warriors, only none of us signed up for the draft.

Distressed Grandmother

I have been threatened also by both my daughter and her boyfriend.I to feel that my life could be in danger if I do not stay home and keep my mouth shut. Any little thing they here I said or heard me say they turn into something evil. I do not think I have to fear the path directly. I think he is the ring leader or cult leader as Ox Drover said. I think he likes to stay with in the lines of the Law and would get my daughter to do his dirty work. Is there any links to where I could learn more on how the path is able to turn there spouse against there family. I would like to read more on this. I need to learn and understand before I can move on. I can not turn my back until I am totally convinced that it is the right thing to do, because of my grand children. It is hard to turn your back on children and I keep trying for there sake they deserve a better child hood.

Hi Distressed Grandmother. There are a lot of articles on LF, if you look on the left hand side of the page… under “Categories”… there is a link you can click on called “Sociopaths and family”… many articles to read. I noticed one called: How Do You Help Someone Snared By A Sociopath? Hope this helps. God Bless you.

Dear grandmother
It sounds as if you hope to turn your daughter back towards you. I understand why but it may not be possible. The spath hooks different people in different ways. he looks for weaknesses and if your daughters weakness is a propensity towards doing evil then that is what he will use. my own little sister is in danger for her life because her husband is a trojan horse sent by my exP to infiltrate my family. everyone knows this now except for her. but no 1 can tell her because it turned out that she is also evil. She plotted with her husband,the cop/homeland security spath to have my brother sent to prison years ago. I thwarted their plans easily, they aren’t very smart. (Now i realize that my brother is a sociopath too) But they both did manage to get his brother to commit suicide. I was next. My exP contrived a plan to get me to commit suicide and my sister was in on it. Along with several neighbors.
The plan was to sabotage every aspect of my life until I was overwhelmed and couldn’t cope. Furthermore I was to be isolated and have nowhere to turn. XPs motivation was hate and malice but he tempted my evil sister and the trojan with the idea of removing all competitors for their parents inheritance. Sure, they are also filled with hate but my sister doesn’t realise this. She just thinks she should have all the money. So, my point is that your daughter’s weakness was probably her own narcissism and that is virtually impossible to eradicate. Let go, Let God.

Dear Grandmother,

While Skylar’s story sounds like the ranting of a paranoid nut job, my story is as “Crazy” as her’s and just as paranoid and TRUE! I have NO doubt that skylar’s story is true, or yours or any of the rest of the folks here….WE end up sounding like the nut-jobs even while our stories are TRUE…because people do not want to believe that people can just “BE THAT EVIL for NO REASON” that they can see.

It is like we are wearing aluminum foil on our heads to keep people from reading our thoughts! We appear totally outside of reality, but that doesn’t mean we are not right spot on. THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT EVIL and yes, we are paranoid, but that does not mean that people are not “out to get us.”

I find that if I told people I had been abducted by an alien space ship more people would be prone to Believe me than will believe me when I say “my Psychopathic son sent a friend of his from prison to infiltrate my family and murder me, and probably the rest of the family after that, to inherit everything we have.”

There are lots of articles here over 700 and each article may not be about exactly your SITUATION but learning about psychopaths in general will help you with learning about the particular one you are dealing with. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a lover, friend, boss, co-worker, child, in-law, out-law or what the relationship to the psychopath is they all 1) have NO conscience 2) are pathological liars 3)are unable to love and 4)have no empathy for others 5) don’t “bond” to others but DO 6) “own” other humans like their children 7) experience rage at being thwarted for any of their plans etc etc. SO learn about psychopaths and how they behave, how they think, how they dupe others to do their bidding.

Sky points out that your daughter may also be personality disordered in one way or another (there are several varieties of personality disorders, but ALL ARE TOXIC) and it is not unusual for two psychopathicly disordered people to hook up together, sometimes they feed on each other, with what I call a “gasoline and fire” relationship of mutual abuse and counter abuse…kids in the middle of these relationships also get abused.

I understand you not wanting to give up on your daughter or the kids–I didn’t want to give up on either of my biological sons (fortunately no grandkids) one bio son is just an asshole-jerk, the other is a full blown psychopath in prison now for murder! But the thing is, I can’t “heal” either one of them and I REFUSE to put up with their crap so even the one who is just the jerk, I don’t need that in my life. Period. I won’t tolerate him lying to me. He isn’t out robbing liquor stores or killing people but he is TOXIC and dishonest so I need him why? NOT!

I understand that you want to help your grandkids but the point I’m trying to make is that YOU ARE HELPLESS IN THIS SITUATION….your daughter and her husband CONTROL 100% of your access to those kids until they are grown. Unless it is something you can call department of human or child services (such as gross abuse) and get the kids taken away from your daughter and her husband, YOU HAVE NO CONTROL. That isn’t being hateful to you, it is just being BLUNT. Admitting that to yourself is I imagine painful too…I know it was painful to me to admit that there was NOTHING I COULD DO for my sons, they were determined to destroy their own lives and our relationship. One just doesn’t care much about me, the other hates me. I don’t need either one. If they did have children, I couldn’t have a relationship with the kids either. I couldn’t help the grandkids (if I had any) if they needed me unless it was to turn the parents into CPS because of overt gross abuse.

I’m not sure how much contact your daughter and her husband allow you with the kids or what kind of relationship you have if any with the kids, but just realize that “you can only do what you can only do.” Sometimes SOME relationship with the kids is worth a price of some crap, and sometimes it isn’t worth it because it costs you way more than you can “afford to pay” in grief and doesn’t really help the kids either. ONLY YOU can make the decision when the “price” vs “benefit” ratio is not enough or is enough. Good luck and God bless you grandmother! (((hugs))))

Oxy
you had me ROTFLOL!
And I was trying to drive!
Thanks for bringing me back down to earth, I forget that my story sounds like the ranting of a nutjob because it doesn’t sound crazy to me. It’s simply what happened. If I ever need to prove that I’m telling the truth, I will simply describe the Trojan horse’s very unusual penis. How else would I know what it looks like, if he hadn’t been one of the rapists recruited by my exP?

Distressed Grandmother

So Skylar are you saying what saved you from your xps was that you were not evil minded because some of you are saved in the end from these xps. What makes my situation bad is that my daughter is not afraid to live on the line.

Distressed Grandmother

oxy
The boys spent most of there time with me the last two years after her divorce and now I am not allowed to see them at all My husband is once in a while but very controlled. He is warned that if he brings them near me it will be the last time. I am in this mess because I refused to let them controll me and did turn them into cps. for abuse. they gave them parenting courses and let him back in the home. Now he mentally abuses the kids more than fisiacle abuse which makes it harder to prove. I do bump into my grandchildren once in a while at school. The oldest boy I practically raised and this is very hard on him to. He wants out but do not know how to get him out. I am sure by the time he is 12 he will be a runner because he knows what a good normal life is because he had it once. The other two boys might just grow up thinking what life they have is normal. Will he start fisacally abuseing them again is another fear I have.

SKYLAR,

DRIVING and posting on LF???WTF??? Put that phone down girl!

Honk if you love Jesus, TEXT if you want to go meet him today!!!

Yea, it is crazeeee that we are telling the truth and NO ONE BELIEVES US BUT they believe every lying word out of the mouths of the psychopaths! ROTFLMAO ain’t it the chits?!

Yea, I tell the “story” very seldom now because I know how it makes me sound so I just blog about it here and only on a need-to-know basis for anyone else. For the rest of the world I just (if they ask why I carry a gun or something like that) I just say, “well, there was a crazy x-convict who was stalking our family and he’s out of prison now” Ii don’t go into it all any more…there’s no need to. As for why I don’t see my mother, I just say something like “Well, she still sends money to my son who’s in prison for murder and I think her judgment is very poor.” or something like that. I don’t go into the whole story. Sometimes I don’t even say that, if someone says “how’s your mom?” and I figure they haven’t seen her in a while or don’t know, I just say “Oh, she’s fine the last time I saw her.”

I felt WRONG about that last answer but I’ve decided it is better in THAT situation. With others, I don’t bring her up and most that know I don’t talk to her don’t bring it up.

The woman who drove for egg donor got killed in a car wreck a couple of months ago…she was like 40 and had 2 teenaged daughters…her mother was a friend of the egg donors. I didn’t realize it was egg donor’s “maid” for a while (the photo didn’t look like her, one of those “glamor shots”) anyway, I sent a belated card to her mother and a nice sweet note and a check for $100 and told the maid’s mom to use the money however the family or the daughters needed to. I actually sent more than I normally would have because I figured that the maid’s mom would say something to my egg donor like “oh, I got a nice card from Oxy with a nice check in it” and I don’t know if she did or not, but I have not even received an acknowledgment much less a THANK YOU for the check, and I KNOW that woman has more couth than that and knows that you should send a thank you for every $10 pot of flowers received, so I’m not sure what is going on. She DID cash the check though.

Grandmother, NO ONE “saves” anyone from a psychopath, we have to save OURSELVES. We have to realize that we are “living on the edge” or as you said “live on the line.” If we stay we are putting ourselves at continual risk, even of death! If your daughter doesn’t want to be saved, no one can save her.

My oldest bio son was married to a psychopath and I knew she was what she was from the day I first met her…he lived with her for 7 almost 8 years and during that time he did not have much contact with us, his credit was ruined, and so on…and I blamed HER for the problems he had, but now that she is GONE I realize that the problems were NOT ALL HER….HE does not manage his finances well at all, and though for a while he made a pretense to, and I also know he is a liar—and it hurt to realize that HE was as much or more responsible for the couple “distancing” themselves from the family. It wasn’t just that his wife hated me is why he didn’t come around, it was because he didn’t WANT to come around. She is gone now, and I actually haven’t seen him in almost a year and he lives close by…but I CALLED him out on a lie he told me and he DOES NOT LIKE THAT. I realized finally that he CHOSE to behave like he did and he CHOSE to “blame” it on her. I chose to believe it was “her fault”—but now I see what is really going on with him….but I can’t fix it and he doesn’t see a need to.

Dear Grandmother,

We posted over each other. I have a dear friend who is 82 y/o now but in good mental and physical health. She has 11 kids, and 5 of her kids are psychopaths like her x husband. Her youngest son married a borderline personality disordered woman and had a daughter and then divorced and got custody of the daughter. He is a fireman and moved in with his mother (my friend) and he and the daughter lived there for 8 years with my friend the primary caretaker. He remarried then and REFUSED to let his mother see the daughter she had raised. My friend volunteered in the girl’s school so she could “wave at” the girl across the school cafeteria, she went to the ice rink to watch the girl skate on saturdays and wave from the stands.

The girll is 15 now and my friend I think LIVES FOR that girl, and to see that she has a person to turn to. My friend even made friends with the girl’.s disordered mother so she could see the girl on visits to the mother’s weekend. The mother is a nut job herself but the girl is turning out well.

I understand your pain and reluctance to give up on seeing your grandkids. The one you “raised” for a while I am sure is bonded to you as well as you to him, the others may not even really “know” ‘who you are.

I udnerstand your fear for your grandkids as well and unfortunately EMOTIONAL ABUSE is as bad or worse than physical abuse.

There is a book I recommend to you called “Stalking the Soul” you can find it on Amazon or B&N USED it is not in print at the current time. I have actually purchased 7 copies of this book for my friend (the girl’s grandmother) and she gave a copy to the girl and the girl’s half brother (same mother) and others who have been involved with emotional abusers. The cost of the book is about $15-20 used and they are not always available but keep checking back on amazon or barnes and noble–B&N had a couple of copies last time I ordered for my friend (she doesn’t have internet) but they wanted like $50 each so I ended up buying from Amazon though I boycott amazon as much as I can.

If your daughter has this kind of hatred for you, I doubt that she is going to come around any time soon (just my opinion) and my suggestion would be for you to volunteer at the school or have your husband visit as often as possible and whisper to the boy that you love him and think about him.

He may indeed run, and if he does, maybe you can intervene at that time. I have no confidence in CPS really protecting the kids, I’m sorry that you’ve had such a horrible time trying to take care of your grandkids. (((hugs))))and my prayers!

Oxy
I don’t post while I drive. Only read. I post when parked. I’m no good at texting I am no good at texting. but I speak to my droid and it types what I say. it is fairly accurate but my car is noisy and interferes with the accuracy.

Grandmother
I recommend you give your grandson books to read on narcissism.
Why is it always about you? By sandy hotchkiss is a fairly easy to read book even for a 12 year old.

This is important because 12 is a critical age when the brain is going through a growth spurt and your grandson will decide whether to grow up normal or not.

Dear Sky,

Glad you don’t drive and post or text! LOL BE CAREFUL on the road!!! I’m with oprah about using cell phones and texting while you drive— too risky!

Good recommendation to the Grandmother, maybe she can get him some Books for Christmas and have grandpa give them to the kids and sort of “sneak” that one in the pile and the mom won’t notice!

Dear Grandmother:
I was mother to a child for 4 years, then never saw him again (it’s been over 3 years).

My xspath’s son (my step-son at the time) was sent by his bio mum to live with us because she was having a breakdown (I now know why – she probably had PTSD post-spath and didn’t get it diagnosed) and she couldn’t control the son. He was just 8 1/2 but lying, stealing, vandalising. He was a holy terror to live with and very messed up – and of course, I was caught so deep inside the spath’s web at the time that I couldn’t see that much of the dysfunction and anxiety was actually being caused by the the spath to his own son.

Anyhow – I loved him as if he were mine, always tried to ensure he had contact with his mum (even when the spath opposed it and got mad at me), taught him to read (he had never learned to in the 4 years of schooling he had already had and had learning difficulties), showed him how to be a decent person.

By the time the spath left (kicked out by me with the help of 4 police officers) the boy had already started to become violent and abusive like the father (spath). I still don’t know whether he has the DNA that will set him on the same course, or whether it was the abuse and neglect that made him act the dreadful way that he did at times. My hope is that I did enough to show him what is possible – how to be kind and moral and how to live peacefully – and that he will have the capacity to choose a different life to his father – and that he will do so.

I will likely never see him again. It hurt for a very long time. Now I just accept that our time together might one day be his saving grace.

Distressed Grandmother

I hope I am strong enough to never let her completely stop me from seeing my grandsons so when they grow up I will have a chance to get to know them again and pray every night these three good boys do not get brain washed like there mother. I pray they keep there strong spirit and be able in the end to learn that they do not have to lie anymore to protect them selves and realize when they are grown up that it was just a game they had to play now it is over and it is alright to be honest because they were happy honest little boys until that man came in there life. They had no reason to lie.

Distressed Grandmother

Thank you for all your advice. I will purchase the books and give them to my grandson. His mother doesn’t read so I am pretty safe. I will give it to him at school though as I opened a day home so I can see my grandchildren when we get together as a group and also get to bump into them when I go to the school to pick up the kindergarten children. The baby I only get to see at day home functions once every two months. I do feel that if I did not do this the boys would feel I betrayed them.

Dear Grandmother,

I pray that you and your grandchildren survive and thrive even with the black cloud that hangs over them and therefore you. It hurts to not be able to help those innocent children—the psychopaths spread their evil influence not only over the adults in their sphere but over everyone in the path of their pain.

I hope and pray that your daughter sees the “light” and wises up, but some people never do—for whatever reason.

There are so many good articles here about trauma bonding, like that little girl Elizabeth Smart that was kidnapped at age 13 by that self-styled preacher and his wife, or that Jaycee Dugard who was held captive for 19 years, even when they could they didn’t try to break free, it is called Stockholm Syndrome and it basically means that the person identifies with their abuser and they will fight to the death to protect the very person who abuses them. It is a survival defense mechanism and allows the abuse victim to mentally “survive” the abuse, it leaves them in pain, but they get used to it–sometimes it takes something traumatic for someone to break free of this strong “bonding.”

Keep on praying, and keep on loving, you can even do that from a distance. (((hugs)))) I think that book that Skylar recommended might be a good idea, buy the older boy several books for christmas and maybe your husband can take them to him and sort of “hide” that one in the middle of the stack. Have your husband whisper to him that you love him.

All you can do my love, is to pray and hope. Try to keep your cool. As someone (can’t see who right now) said above – have your husband tell the kids how much you love and miss them. Have him let them know that any time they need a safe place, you are always there for them.

It’s hard to watch kids under a rotten influence and hope they will turn out okay. Environment is a big factor, but remember that there are many people – including people who post on this website – who grow into good and decent adults, depite having had a spath parent or similar. I really think my own father may be a Narcissist (haven’t thought too deeply on it yet) but I don’t think I am and my brothers certainly are not. My father hit us and none of us have ever hit children. He was cruel and domineering and I don’t see that having been passed on either – and I was under his roof until I first married at 21!

Take comfort in the fact that although it is a worry, it is NOT a given. x

Thanks OXY.. not sure if its a blessing or a curse but my son is like his mama me… very sensitive and kind and caring hope he does not take any poop from people I should be training him well and he is very smart …..I do tell him that he needs to trust his gut in situations no one ever told me that the most I heard was your friends wont be there but your family will

Well, my friends have been here for me, my family were the ones they had to protect me from! Fortunately, I do have some GOOD friends who know the truth and are supportive of me. That number is small but the ones I have are GOOD as GOLD! That’s all I need.

I don’t know how old your son is Spirit, but you can tell him there is only ONE rule for life—It is the “do right” rule. If you do RIGHTLY then the rest of life will mostly take care of itself. Doesn’t mean that you won’t have problems, but if you do the RIGHT thing, it is the best you can (or anyone can) do. It is when we put the do right rule on hold that we get into trouble
We nave to follow the “treat ourselves right rule and treat others right” rule. If it means that we use kindness to people who treat us right as well, that is wonderful, or it may be that it is RIGHT for us to treat someone with NO CONTACT…so the “do right” rules is not always SIMPLE but if you get down to basics, and just follow that principle, life will be as good as it can get.

Fortunately many times our GUT does know what the right move is and we have to learn to listen to it. Teenagers have a time sometimes though in distinguishing between what the temptation-voice says and what the GUT SAYS-0–LOL yea, like 50 year old teenagers, and 63 year old teenagers, LOL

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Spirt40 – trusting my gut is important, but i do know that my understanding of some of my gut signals is off base. I think we need to learn/ teach some new cardinal rules and processes:

1) there isn’t good in everyone

2) learn about and recognize drug/sex/alcohol/ gambling addictions in others; learn about N/S/P, and other personality disorders and mental illnesses. Learn to tell them apart, and immediately remove yourself form the lives of active addicts and people with personality disorders.

3) know that ‘it doesn’t feel good’ is the bottom line, ALWAYS.

2) we need an established, effective series of ‘trust gates’. If someone messes up at #1, they don’t get to #2, and gain exit from our lives.

3) when we recognize falsehood in a person, we need to boot them FAST.

4) and for those of us who are very sensitive and compassionate, we must always use those traits to protect ourselves, first.

Sounds great advice! like the 3 strikes rule and the education, habitation, vocation , oh and transportation! most important!

The day opens with a general feeling of malaise.
Yes, People say idiotic things after one of these encounters.
Refer to WHY WE DON”T KNOW ABOUT the disordered….

And to the need that people in general, especially men seem to have to “One up” and justify themselves at the expense of whoever they are talking to. And I think when it comes to this, there is a bit of that that reassures the people who say the silly things that they are ok and not potentially vulnerable to the same because they are smarter and make better choices…etc.

I wonder about that. I think there are more perpetrators than the uninitiated realize. Can bad people do good things, yes, they can. See the article. Their motivations may be less than altruistic and it may in fact be accidental, but they can.

It comes down to gut. And once you know, you know. And that is all there is.

It ain’t easy, but it ain’t all bad either because there are others than the disordered who are at least mean and insulting if not dangerous. regardless of what you call them.

Place trust carefully be loving and kind and polite, but don’t over invest too fast and take time to do the homework that tells you who someone REALLY is.

Whatever that takes…

Dear Sprit and Onesy,

I agree, I keep forgetting the “vocation” one when I try to remember the 4-tions Matt uses. I just remember it means JOB. LOL CRS! Yes to all of those!

Spirit, I don’t do the 3-strikes rule, I do the ONE strike rule for adults. LIE TO ME ONE TIME—As Lady McBeth said, “OUT, damn spot!” Why do I need anyone who will lie to me once in my life to get another chance to lie to me twice. And I’m not talking about the “social lies” of “Oh, this pie you worked so hard on is so ‘interesting” tasting.” (NO! it is NOT interesting, it tastes like boiled cat carp, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings!) I’m talking about real honest to gosh LIES….things meant to keep you from knowing the ugly truth. Or as Bill Clinton said “NO! I did not have sex with THAT WOMAN!” LOL

It only takes me ONE TIME of someone LYING to me to realize I can’t trust them. Now, depending on the situation I may confront them about it…if they acknowledge their lie, try to make amends etc. I might give them another chance but it will take a LONG TIME before they ever get through “gate number 2” as Onesy said. I have pushed people OUT OF THE INNER SANCTUM of my circle trust but those people will never get back in. They have BETRAYED me because I let them in the first place without checking them out and so I made excuses of why I let them stay and use and abuse me for so long.

NO MORE! Sorry about that bye bye! Have a nice life! So long, don’t bother to call or write! Don’t expect a Christmas card or a mention in my will, the jig is up, I’ve seen the light, I’ve seen the truth! NC!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

silver – i only have a moment, but i wanted to check that you got my skype phone message.

I’ll be back later. sending you a big hug.

best, one step

Cybil, thanks for posting this important observation and congratulations to you for your growing sensitivity to disrespect.

Whenever anyone offers a disparaging comment on your feelings or conclusions, they are being disrespectful. They don’t walk in your shoes or live with your history or your inner wisdom. In fact, what they are saying really has very little to do with you.

They are actually communicating their own fear of trusting themselves. Why they fear self-trust is a big, complicated issue related to socialization to adapt to external controls. But when someone like you finally breaks out of that socialization and realizes that you are your own best authority, you intimidate them. And they will try to bust you down to size by disparaging your comments.

(Sociopaths do this too. Their reasons are to separate us from our centers, so that we are more vulnerable to their demands on us. But really, it doesn’t matter whether it’s our “caring” family and friends, or a predator trying to con us. The technique is the same. The disrespect is the same. And it’s equally important to step back and try to figure out what’s going on with this person, and what they get out of breaking us down.)

That doesn’t mean that we know everything, or that even our inner instincts are always 100 percent correct. They are the best source of guidance we have. But sometimes, we do get some feedback that is useful or enlightening. The issue is whether it’s respectful feedback or denigration.

How can you tell the difference? It’s actually pretty easy. Respectful feedback is offered, and you get the opportunity to agree to listen. An example: you say, “This person makes me uncomfortable and I don’t want to have anything to do with him.” The other person may say to you something like this: “I understand why you feel that way about him, but I think you’re wrong. Can I tell you why?” Or “When you talk like that, it makes me concerned about you. Is it all right if I tell you why?”

I know this all sounds like therapist-speak, and maybe too formal for everyday chat. But you get the idea. People who make unsolicited comments about your feelings and thought processes are violating your boundaries.

However if they offer to give you feedback on what you said, and they give you the choice of hearing it or not hearing it, that’s different. The choice is totally up to you.

If you’re not willing to hear it, you can just say, “I understand you have issues about what I said, but it’s not open for discussion. I’m comfortable with what I said, and I’m not looking for reasons to change my mind.” Or, “You have your opinions. I have mine. Let’s agree to disagree.” Or just, “Back off.” And of course, all those things also work for people who offer unsolicited comments too, like “you’re paranoid.”

However, the difficult truth is that the more comfortable you become with being your own source — of wisdom, self-validation, objective logic, sense of right and wrong, etc. — the more distance you will discover from about 90 percent of the population. If you look around you, you will see two basic types of people who cannot think like you are now. One are the people who are dependent on the approval of their families or family-like groups. The others are people who have internalized rule-punishment constructs so thoroughly that they regard anyone who doesn’t conform as dangerous or bad.

This is what you are dealing with. And the more that you grow up, intellectually and emotionally, the more independent you become, the more you are going to face resistance to your unique perspectives and feelings. And then, you face a whole new level of learning. Which is how to be kind to people to are not ready to think like you, and recognize that leadership requires some deftness and discretion. You can’t just dump on them, and expect them to understand you. In fact, you can’t expect understanding at all, except from the relatively rare person who is also emotionally and intellectually independent. What you can hope for, instead, is that you communicate effectively in ways that they understand, giving them little peeks into the way you think that may encourage them to have a few new thoughts of their own.

So rather than saying, “He makes me uncomfortable and I don’t want have anything to do with him,” it might be more effective to say, “You know, when he said that he’s got a Ph.D. in computer sciences and then said he has no money and is between jobs, it made me wonder about him. I may change my mind, but right now I don’t think I trust him.”

That kind of communication is really friendly to other people. You’re sharing your thought process. You’re not judging anyone. You’re not asking anyone to agree with you. Rather, you are contributing facts to the conversation that lift it to the logical level, rather than pure feelings. If someone comes back with “but I really like him” or “you’re just being paranoid” or “he’s new here and I think we should be willing to help him,” it’s just their opinions.

But, by sharing your logic and your feelings (including the fact that you are not vulnerable to their opinions), you have done something important. You’ve shown them a different way to think and feel. Your behavior is challenging their “rules.” Even if you find disrespect and resistance initially, you may be surprised how this works out over time.

And if you need any external validation, here’s some from me. You’re doing great. Your post is all about how well you’re doing. You’re far down the path of turning a disaster into triumph. Congratulations!

Kathy

Hey, KAthy, Welcome back! Missed you! Great post BTW and some good suggestions on effective communication! ((hugs)))

Hi everyone,
Well, from a young age i had been in severely abusive situations that had left me as an adult very paranoid, especially after i started to have flash backs and lapses in time and memory. I have no memory from 0-12 yrs old, only a few flashbacks as i have mentioned above. But the paranoia was so extreme for a while that i was really scared most of the time but i had worked hard and became aware of my triggers and also the crippling paranoia. When my X-bf was acting like a spath i would question his behavior and share my thoughts with the 2 people who know me the best, my other X and my oldest son. These 2 people walked with me through my breakdown and witnessed my extreme paranoia so when i spoke of me being fearful of my x-bf they nicely said ” you know that you can be alittle paranoid?!!!” i agreed that i had indeed been paranoid in the past and maybe i was being paranoid. TRUTH, all the while i knew in my gut that i wasn’t being paranoid but it was a good excuse not to have to take responsibility for my staying with the man. Truth hurts! So after he beat me half to death (shattered cheek bone, fractures in upper and lower jaw bones and strangliture marks from a cord or similar object around my neck) I told them that they tried to say i was PARANOID. Well since this happened last month (x-bf) is still in jail but he had someone run a car into my garage door and yesterday my tires were slashed on my car. Follow your gut and as someone mentioned earlier “just because you’re paranoid dose not mean they are not out to get you!!!!!!!” Be safe, RUN away from anyone who would allow anyone to grope or mollest you, period!!!! Trust your gut!!!!! Light and love to you. Caylin

Dear Caylin, Good to see you darlin’ and what you said in your post is RIGHT ON!!! I hope that it goes from your post to the eyes and ears and minds and hearts of others out there who may not escape ALIVE. I am sorry you are still having threats and problems with this stalker–DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE SAFE!

I am NOT paranoid either, but that does not mean I don’t KNOW THAT SOMEONE WOULD KILL ME IF HE COULD—I think you KNOW your own situation too! Be CAREFUL and you are in my prayers for your safety. Go to a shelter if you have to or a friend’s house! But put your safety first! (((Hugs))))

Kathy
I Love your post. It’s very helpful to have examples Like the ones you wrote . As someone with no boundaries I can sometimes miss when I’m being denigrated. Everything you explained makes perfect sense and it helps me to internalize the ideas.
Thanks

Dear Caylin, I am so sorry you are going through this. There is a National resource that helped me immensely when i was terrorized by by ex boyfriend. They are on call…24 hours a day 7 days a week.

google The National Domestic Violence Hotline (I don’t know if I should put the phone # here?)

From the website…”Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”

Before I knew about sociopaths, THIS was the help I needed right after I kicked the ex out and he stalked me.

God Bless and big hugs. Stay safe. Make the call.

Dear Caylin, I also meant to say that they can direct you how to stay safe, and what resources are in your area.

Thanks Oxy and Skylar,

I wrote it in a rush. I’m afraid it sounded preachy. But I think it’s so important that we recognize when people are being anti-supportive because they have their own issues.

I have to share something that is making me crazy. My ex now has a wife who just gave birth to a baby. On his FaceBook page he announced that “he” is celebrating the birth of “his” child. And there’s a picture of the baby, announcing that she was “created” on the day she was born. Naturally he’s never mentioned the fact that his wife exists (much less carried that child for nine months). And he also announced that he emptied his bank account to go to a six-week seminar in the Caribbean next month.

I want to punch him. Or drive to where they live and rescue her. I know. You don’t have to chastise me. That’s what I get for keeping track of him at all.

But if I didn’t, I might forget how it felt to be “disappeared” by him. Or treated as though any personal needs I had were just tedious drags on him.

The good news is that his wife comes from a very large extended family who all live fairly close to one another. Including a lot of big, brawny guys who are her friends on her FaceBook page. At minimum, she’s not going to be alone and unsupported. Maybe it will turn out even better, and they actually realize what he’s doing to her and deliver a little karma to the stone-hearted creep.

Okay, now I have to go meditate and let go of this stuff that is no longer any of my business. He’s gone. I kicked him out. And life is much, much better.

Whew.

Namaste.

Kathy

Kathy
you don’t understand.
He did actually give birth to the child because his wife is just an extension of him.
did he name the baby mini me?
Of course mini me will cease to exist while he is in the caribbean. Only me and the extensions of me exist. and the extensions exist only while me is using them.
When he leaves for his vacation That might be an excellent time to send his wife a little anonymous gift. a copy of the book why is it always about you?

Sky, You said,
“As someone with no boundaries, I can sometimes miss when Im being denigrated.”
Sky, WHY do you have no boundaries????
You have been on LF long enough to know we MUST have boundaries.!! how can you possibly function without boundaries, esp. as you are living with someone with {you said} Aspergers at least, and poss. he is a spath.
How can you possibly presume to help newbies on LF if you admit yourself, to Having NO BOUNDARIES?Without NC and boundaries, how can any of us heal, and move on?Just asking!
MamaGem.

Oh, Skylar, you are so funny and so right.

And that’s a really good idea.

Kathy

Hi Gem, how are you doing?

Boundaries are a ongoing creation. Like Skylar, I would say that I have crappy boundaries too. But they’re getting better all the time.

Kathy

Dear Kathy, I won’t boink you for that one, but “go ye and sin no more” and keep your chin up….I’m sorry for that child and sorry for the woman who was his surrogate womb. I hope that she wises up soon and kicks the creep out of her life!

I’m starting to relax a bit about the upcoming parole hearing now that I’ve done all I can possibly do, and the rest is up to God and the parole board, but I do feel confident that he won’t be getting out THIS time—but nothing is over til the “fat lady sings!” So I’ve been concentrating on myself and my new “life plan” of nutrition (weight loss) and low sodium nutritional changes! Feeling better already with the 21 pounds lost (but more to go).

Had a good day today and rode to town with the hired hand to take some cattle to the live stock auction and see a few faces besides mine in the mirror!

The dog no longer smells like skunk!!!! That was a bad one, but son D found the skunk’s burrow just outside the “yard” in the woods, and set the live trap near it—if that doesn’t work will pick up some stuff to put in the burrow to kill it next time we go to town in a day or two! Worst part is there are quite a few RABID skunks in this area, and they can actually carry the disease and not immediately die from it so don’t need the critter in my yard where the dog is. I’m on “kill mode” where the skunk is invading my territory!

At LEAST THIS SKUNK HAS 4 FEET NOT TWO AND IT’S NOT ILLEGAL TO KILL IT! LOL Right now the score is SKUNK-1–Oxy & dog-ZERO, but I won’t give up til I win!

The poor dog thinks I was punishing him though with all the baths (did find a recipe to get the stink off him that worked and wasn’t too bad for me but the poor dog thinks I was being mean to him, so he is slithering around here looking pitiful with his tail between his legs if I look at him!) LOL

Silly thing is, that having the dog sprayed by the skunk (which is bad enough) and other “life events” are just things to laugh about now! In the past with the stress load so heavy that type of thing would have been the LAST STRAW to send me over the edge into gloom. It is amazing just how little there is that is a “big deal” any more—even when things go wrong, flat tires, or whatever happens it is just so much easier to cope with when your mind is not messed up with all the gloom and doom of dealing with the UNNECESSARY CARP that the psychopaths dish out!

There’s no one here to tell me how stupid I am or how they don’t like this or that about me, or how worthless I am, or to just be “tacky” to me—and the best part is that I’m not beating up on myself! I can just go about my day enjoying whatever happens and taking it in stride. Wish I had realized how great life is without the psychopaths a long time ago! But I didn’t realize it back then, but I DO NOW! I know you do too!

So meditate and breathe—air free of other people’s drama-rama! Just peace and calm and LIFE! (((hugs))) Even if it smells a bit like skunk at times, that’s okay cause soap and water and peroxide will wash it off! NOTHING washes off the stink of the psychopaths except DISTANCE AND TIME!

Gem,
I know I should feel offended when people touch me inappropriately. Strangers will hug me, sometimes men I don’t know, will put their hands on my thigh and pretend they are being friendly. I know I should be offended. but I don’t FEEL offended. That’s why I know I have no boundaries.
Even here on LF, Adams Rib noticed when people were giving me the potted plant treatment, but I didn’t notice it, until she pointed it out.
If you’ve ever seen the film, “I, psychopath” with Sam Vaknin, apparantly, he is very offensive. My BF, was shocked at how he treated the filmmaker. Personally, it didn’t really offend me at all.
I think I’m this way because my parents were subtle narcissists who made me think that I had no rights. I’m not a human being only my little sister is. I have never been able to ask for anything from them or anyone else.
It sucks, I think, I would like to have boundaries, so instead of feeling boundaries I try to learn when I should have them because it doesn’t come naturally to me.
In some ways, it is helpful because I don’t react emotionally to this type of offense. But on the other hand, it’s why I was able to stay with a RAGING Psychopath and not notice a thing.
There is one place where my parents did teach me boundaries: MONEY.
OMG, I have HUGE boundaries with my MONEY. My parents don’t have any other values to teach, but they taught that well. It took a long time for my exP to leach my money out of me and he had to do it really slowly. It was only when he turned up the heat too fast, that I noticed, “HEY! He’s after my money!”
Do you know how to boil a frog? Slowly, they won’t even notice that the water is getting hotter.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

kathy – you said: ‘But if I didn’t, I might forget how it felt to be “disappeared” by him. Or treated as though any personal needs I had were just tedious drags on him.’

i remember, many years ago, the first time i realized i didn’t need anger to set boundaries, or fear to keep them.

Might be very nice to forget these things, and not need those memories to protect your well being.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

sky – what you said about your boundaries makes sense to me. and it this lack of boundaries that is probably the other side of the coin of your research interest in spaths/ n.

can you find a professional to help you make some boundaries? even if you don’t ‘feel’ them, you can make a list of what’s appropriate and just stick to it and see how that goes. seems like you are good at feedback loops – so you would know over time if it was working for you.

do you notice when other’s boundaries are being transgressed in front of you? you see it here – but do you notice it in daily life?

Dear Sky,

That above post about your “no boundaries” is one of the best posts I think you ever made! Good for you. I think many of us, not just you, have had trouble setting boundaries because we were not allowed to have any as youngsters, or opinions or feelings, or needs.

I too have good monetary boundaries (my egg donor was a CPA) and my grandparents were very poor during the depression, even my physician grandfather was broke during the depression because his patients couldn’t pay. I watch my money like a hawk! Actually, that is why I have anything at all today. BUT, I was always able to spend money on OTHERS but felt guilty if I spent money for me, even for necessary things.

Now I am getting better about spending money for MYSELF but not throwing it away but just buying things I NEED that formerly I would have done without. I bought some hearing aids not too long ago. I am profoundly deaf and have been for years, and Hearing aids are VERY expensive, but I broke down and bought them and didn’t look back. Sure, I could have gone without them, I am actually quite good at lip reading and use the captions on the TV when I watch it, but I’m taking care of MYSELF now.

I think One’s idea about maybe seeing if you can get some professional help about learning to set boundaries. I remember when I first started to try to set them with egg donor and she REBELLED at the very Idea I would SET A BOUNDARY for her! LOL Then my “friend” who stole from me and I CAUGHT HER IN THE ACT, and I was so afraid I would UPSET HER!!! DUH!!! Why should I be afraid to upset a THIEF!?!!!! But after a 2-day crying jag, I set a boundary! Then before long she crossed it again, and I set it higher, then quickly after that, went NC with her! Now, am so glad I learned that I HAVE BOUNDARIES TO PROTECT ME from those who would abuse me. I don’t need to worry about offending people who are THIEVES for goodness sakes.

I try not to “take offense” at everyone who may be impolite in some way or other, or are insensitive, but at the same time, when people come out and OPENLY DISRESPECT ME, or abuse me. I care about their opinion WHY? I either confront them if it is important, or ignore them if it isn’t. Most of the time it isn’t worth it to confront them, just avoid them in the future. Or as a friend once told me “give them a good case of leaving them alone”

Learning about boundaries and that we have a RIGHT to them is a process, but it is one that I think is WELL WORTH the effort! (((hugs))))

One,
it’s hard to say. I sometimes notice it, but if I miss it, how would I know that I didn’t notice it.
I also might offend people because I’m very straight forward. But, don’t misunderstand, it’s not like I don’t have social skills or empathy for others, it’s just the opposite, my parents taught me to only care about others, but not myself.
So like, when I saw a woman being beaten on the street by her husband and my brother in law the cop with a gun and my sister who also packs, wouldn’t even call the police, I was getting ready to step in and stop him myself. Damn the consequences. But it shamed my BIL enough to say, “Oh, oookkayy, I’ll do it.”
and I fall for the pity ploy all the time…and go into rescuer mode.
But the examples that Kathy posted are perfect examples of stuff that would have gone over my head. Actually, I’ll have to print out that bit and study it because I’m having a hard time internalizing it.
But you hit it right on the head, One, that is a big part of the reason I have to immerse myself in this, because I know that I’m vulnerable.

Oxy,
thanks for your kind words.
I don’t think I even learned what boundaries were until I got to LF. I might have also read about them on another site about narcissists. If I recall, it said, “you know you are dealing with a narcissist if they don’t respect boundaries.” But touching is the only obvious boundary that I can see. Emotional ones go over my head sometimes. I can tell when someone is being mean, if they are obvious about it, but the subtle stuff…well I’m getting better at seeing it, but not really feeling it.
What happened when you caught your friend in the act stealing? I mean, what did she say? Was her hand literally “in the cookie jar?” Stuff like that I have boundaries on because it’s like money.

Dear Sky,

We are ALL vulnerable, and the pity ploy is a big one that abusers use to “HOOK US IN” and I tend to fall for it as well….always have.

Have you ever gone to a al anon or co-dependents meeting? I hate the term “co-dependent” I prefer “enabler” but it is pretty much the same thing—falling for the pity ploy (read what I wrote to Renewed hope) and then doing for the other person (what they should be doing for themselves) and then becoming angry at them for not learning or profiting from our work/giving, and them becoming angry at us because we didn’t do for them the way they wanted us to etc. and always 100% of the time, both parties get angry at each other.

I THOUGHT I was not enabling others by trying to “help” them (big example is my son C) but I should never have tried to “help” him. I had expectations of him—be 100% honest with me and follow the rules, respect my boundaries—and he lied, which is a crossing of my boundary about lies. I kicked him out of my house. I no longer trust him, and won’t trust him again.

Of course HIS TAKE on the whole thing is that his mother was a controlling witch by making such rules…well, my house, my rules. But he is 40 years old so he is responsible for the consequences of his poor financial decisions and when the time comes he is in a hole, without a vehicle, or a place to live, he is not welcome back here. He is responsible for his own support, and though I wanted to “help” my son, I wasn’t doing him any favors by making it easier for him to save money so he could then go throw it into his video game addiction. He chose the video game addiction to being truthful with me, and with keeping the agreement he made in order to come back here to live. If I had “forgiven” his lie, or excused it or overlooked it, I would not have done anything but ENABLE HIM to continue to make bad decisions and NOT have the consequences of them.

It’s sort of like housebreaking a dog, if you let the dog chit in the floor and never show it your displeasure, then you have no right to get mad at the dog for not going out side to do its business. As long as you clean up the dog crap off the floor without saying anything to the dog it isn’t going to learn…but what happens most of the time was I would clean it up and clean it up and clean it up and then one day I would explode and rage on the dog…that doesn’t work either. But, that is what enabling or “co-dependence” leads to. I’m unhappy and so is the dog and the floor is still covered with dog poo. Doesn’t work, never will.

People are just as “trainable” as dogs, and they will behave however you expect them to behave and allow them to behave. I now have rules for how people behave toward me. That is having boundaires.

If people touch you and you don’t appreciate this, just step back or reach and remove their hands and look them square in the eye, and say “I really don’t appreciate it when you_____ me” Or even just stiffen up and look them in the eye with what I call my “Sister superior” look that says “I don’t like to be hugged” (or what ever) If that doesn’t work, say it in clear and calm but FIRM words.

Some people have to be TOLD “in no uncertain terms” that you don’t like their behavior.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

sky – you have read the betrayal bond, right?

Also, Codependent No More by melody Beattie, might help a lot.

and of course you are right – if you didn’t know you wouldn’t know. 😉

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