By | April 28, 2009 48 Comments

Life is different than I wished, but now I accept what is

By Ox Drover

I’ve been on the “Road to Healing” for a couple of years now, working on getting over the worst of the grief of my losses. According to the author of Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome, Karin Huffer, M.S., M.F.T, the greatest loss known to human kind is loss by deception. I have surely suffered PTSD from the extreme losses by deception that I have suffered.

Ms. Huffer outlines eight steps to recovery for her LAS (Legal Abuse Syndrome), which she shows as caused by the legal abuse that our unfair judicial system heaps upon the heads of those already abused by others. Her eight steps for recovery are basically the recovery from the grief of our losses that we all go through in our attempts to recover.

“Health,” though, according to my education in nursing school, is not a “state of being” that is absolute, but a point on a continuum from Illness to Health. Recovery, I think, too, is a point on a continuum that goes from “Utter Devastation to Recovery.” I have passed the midpoint on that continuum from the point of “utter devastation” from which I found myself after the death of my husband and the coordinated and serial attacks of the psychopaths in my life. I now find myself reaching a point on the Road to Healing/Recovery where I have reached the milestone of Acceptance of WHAT IS, and no longer pine and grieve over WHAT I WISH WAS.

I am no longer feeling the acute pain of grief, I am no longer angry at my abusers, I no longer want to do them harm, in fact, I can actually pray for them with a sincere heart. I don’t trust them at all, of course, nor would I break no contact with them, but the worst of the horrible emotions I felt upon discovering their betrayal are no longer afflicting me. I am closer to Healing and Recovery than I am to the Utter Devastation.

Now what will my life be?

I look in the mirror, and the wrinkles are still there. I get on the scale and the numbers haven’t dropped any. I look at my checkbook, and I’m down a great deal of money from when I started all this journey. I look at the newspapers and the economy is still in the pits. Saturday night comes and there is no one knocking on my door asking me out.

So, how is my life different now than it was when I was feeling the acute grief of the devastation? The facts haven’t changed at all. My attitude about “what is” has changed. I am no longer depressed about the people I have “lost” and I am no longer depressed about the things I have lost. I am accepting of these losses as real. I am accepting that it hurt to lose these things that I thought were mine, or the things that were mine.

I no longer hinge my self respect upon what these formerly significant others think of me. I no longer blame myself. I am able to place the blame where it belongs, on those that hurt me.

I was able to tell my story (debrief) to people who believed IN ME. I processed through the grieving; the denial, the anger, the sadness, the bargaining, and on to acceptance. I worked through my obsession with what had happened in my life. I learned to appropriately place blame where it belonged, and to deshame myself for allowing what happened to happen. I realize that I was conned, in some cases, for a very long time, by people I trusted. I learned that because I am a good and trusting person, I tended to trust others who I thought, wrongly as it turned out, were trustworthy.

I have learned to reframe what happened in light of what I have learned. I have learned that some of the things I “learned” as a child as “truths” are actually untrue.

Because I have gone through these processes in grief and recovery, I am empowered, and realize that I have the new knowledge of new truths that are grounded in reality. I can accept a reality that isn’t what I wish it was, but I can accept it for what it is. The fact that “life is not fair” is a truth. I was treated unfairly, but that no longer defines who I am. I am getting closer and closer each day to Recovery and Healing in spite of what has happened. In fact, because of what has happened to me, I am a stronger, wiser and more knowledgeable person.

Recovery is an exclusive road reserved for the brave who have faced and processed their pain. Debriefing was the first step. Recovery is the last step, which becomes a lifestyle of skilled problem solving. The veteran now meets and solves problems with honed wisdom, courage, and tools. (Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome, Huffer, Karin.)

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Jim in Indiana USA

Thanks, Oxy….good and timely as usual.

Don’t know exactly where I’m going…but I’m going to get there….for myself and my daughter. And with a lot of help from Lovefraud….thanks, again, Donna!


Who would have imagined that in my life I would have made a baby with a sociopath and another with a narcissist, (interchangeable?) but I came up in an era before where women did not get pregnant, like they do now on a whim, especially the sociopaths? Who would have imagined I would have had the chance to raise my oldest for 5 1/2 years to have her taken from me by a confused group, Justice for Children ( oh would I love to sue them out of existence) because of false allegations-parental alienation syndrome, a thing that the group mentioned patently rejects? Who would have imagined that my oldest daughter now 23, would still not be able to even speak with me for the past seventeen years? Who would have imagined that I was not to lay eyes on my younger daughter for all of the 14 years she is? Who would have imagined that my older daughter should have children now and they have never known the sound of their grandfather’s voice? Who would have imagined that my own mother would have joined up with them against me and went to her grave believing I was some how harming my own daughter. Who would have imagined that at the last minute I was restored to being the executor of her estate only to have my own father and my adopted (does that explain it and her?) sister team up against me? Who would have imagined that my father abandoned me once again after he, with her, managed to tie up the money that was owed to me for the bills and the work I had done for an entire year? Who would have imagined that I got cancer right after I finished repairing her house and selling it? Who would have imagined that for all the years getting to some recovery, getting to having an identity for me apart form having two shame based parents I would be riddled with life such as I have described? I should count myself lucky that I am still alive and can still get out of bed in the morning!

The grieving is never done. I sense a lot yet inside and it feels familiar (comforting in a manner) to be the victim. Yet, we must learn to be victors and walk with our handicap, dignified unto ourselves.

Ox Drover

Dear A man who cares,

I hear your pain, and we “sound like siblings”—are you sure we don’t have the SAME family? Lovefraud is a healing place, and I am glad that you have found your way here.

Many of us have had DECADES of pain and loss…loss of SO much in every way imaginable. However, there IS hope that our grief can become acceptance and that we can make peace with it, and with ourselves. Knowledge=power and healing so stay here, and READ and read. I suggest you read the articles in the archives first, just the articles themselves, and take in the immense amount of information here. It will help.

One of the things we have big problems with is being validated, having someone BELIEVE US….and manwhocares, I can tell you one thing, WE HERE AT LF BELIEVE!!!! So the first big hurdle is already crossed here. The next thing is to debrief—in otherwords, tell your story. You have done that, and you have been believed…tell it again if you need to, or more details, whatever you need, we are here. Donna Andersen has put together the best support group and the best information on psychopaths and healing that you can imagine.

QUOTE: “the grieving is never done”—-yes it can be done, and we can become VICTORS! God bless you in your journey toward healing and recovery.


Good Morning Oxy and thank you for your article.
I love it.
I want to be on the “other side” with you.
You are so strong and courageous and loving and giving and empathetic and wonderful. Thank you.

A man who cares–
this is a group that cares and I am glad you are here. I can relate to a lot that you have written. Please hang around.

Everyone– can you please think of me today. After seven months since the discard– I finally have med insurance and I will be going to a doc today at 1:00 DC time. I am scared. B/c of the nature of what has happend, I start thinking that folks think I am nuts. Hmmmm– who put that in my head? I do not trust people now esp when I am hurting as I am with this severe acid reflux and weight loss and depression. I often start crying in the doc’s office now b/c I feel so vulnerable and I can see what this experience has done to my health, my finances, etc. Wel today I will go in there and I will not cry. I will be tough and strong and state my symptoms and get some blood orders and a prescription for Prilosec.

I love you all.


Good luck today at the doctors….. And I hear you when it comes to being emotional. I have spent alot of time with doctors the past few months. And my first visit with my sons counscelor I was a basket case. It taught me early on that I needed to make “sense” and be more articulate. When I was emotional that was difficult to do. And I FELT the counscelor was more focused on me that the PATIENT. Like this mother has gone off the deep end…

It seemed impossible for me to not be emotional at the time, as I DID feel like I was a basket case. I didn’t know how to talk about the “problem” without the “emotion” as the emotion was brought out by the problem!

So this is what helped me. Every time I was going to see these doctors. 2 pieces of paper. First I wrote down everything that was really going on with my son, all the things that brought on the emotion … So naturally I cried, bawled like a baby at times, and got much of it out of my system. Threw that piece of paper out.

Then the next piece of paper was more of a list or jotting down issues that needed to be COVERED at the session. This was to keep me “focused” to stay on course of what needed to be said. And if I did feel really emotional I just handed him the paper. Not the best choice but I have done it when needed.

Elizabeth Conley

Blessings Akitameg,

It’s great you’re getting the care you need.

Ox Drover

Dear Meg,

Even if you “break down and cry” in the doctor’s office, it isn’t the end of the world. “Not crying” does not equal strength! Sometimes it actually equals strength to cry! Don’t berate yourself if you do cry.

Witsend, good advice about the lists.

Both of you, Thanks meg for that compliment, but YOU MUST SEE that I am NOT any “stronger” than you are, I am just a bit further along the road….that is the only difference. There were times that for weeks I literally lay on the floor in the fetal position crying, weeping, sobbing in pain with my emotional thumb in my mouth, feeling overwhelmed and helpless. I wasn’t helpless, but I FELT helpless. This is part of the grief process, part of the healing process, and we must go THROUGH that pain and feeling weak and injured. We can’t go around that or over or under, we must go THROUGH those feelings, must experience them….but not get STUCK forever in them. (though it does seem like forever while you are going through them, just like it does when you are giving birth and in labor pain, it seems like “forever.”)

Don’t let the therapist’s judgment of you or the physician’s judgment of you, or YOUR PERCEPTION of their judgment throw you in to the pits and start bashing yourself on the head. ACCEPT YOURSELF where you are TODAY….wherever that is. Too many times we let others perceptions of us be OUR perceptions of us (like we did with the Ps) and that is NOT A VALID yard stick to use. The ONLY perception of us that is important is OUR OWN PERCEPTIONS, and we must discard the perceptions of others and write our OWN perception of ourselves. Don’t compare yourself to me, or to anyone else, and don’t accept any one else’s perception of you, MAKE YOUR OWN PERCEPTION OF YOUR WORTH.

For me, realizing that I AM WHO I AM and that WHO I AM is NOT dependent on others preception of who I am, or WHAT I have or don’t have in the way of physical possessions, money, or esteem from others, it DEPENDS ONLY ON ME.

It is NICE to have others value us, but when NO ONE IN OUR ENVIRONMENT VALUES US it doesn’t mean we have NO value, it only means that WE MUST VALUE OURSELVES MORE.

Courage is NOT “not being afraid,” courage is being SCARED CHITLESS and doing what is right anyway. ((((hugs)))) and my prayers for you!


Thank-you so much for this post. It is to the heart of what I have been feeling the last few days: Am I drowning or am I learning a new stroke? I often do not know.

It just seems to take its own sweet time, this grieving and healing, and my worry over being stuck, spinning my wheels in the mud, and wondering if my endurance will hold out…….well I am sure everyone here understands.

I am definitely still pissed off at the abuser/s. I just cannot believe he allowed to be alive. So, I have no prayers for him. It will be interesting to see if I get to that place, of compassion.

And it is good to be understood, here, with others who have been through it.

Meg, good luck at the doctor. Enjoy the undivided attention and get everything you can out of your appointment!

Elizabeth Conley

Dear Ox Drover,

Thanks for your post. It’s good to know what’s waiting over the rise we all must climb in order to reach recovery.

This AM the kids twisted my arm and forced me to let them watch “Grumpy Old Men” for their Literature lesson.

OK, so they only had to give my arm a quarter turn, and I made the boy write me an essay about what he considered to be the movie’s highlights.

Boy is that a funny movie! I had forgotten about the adult themes and the wordie-dirds those old goats threw around. If I had remembered, I’d have said no and they’d have missed a great story. I guess it came out for the best.

Life after the S can be really good. If you still struggle from time to time, I suggest physical activity, spending time with friends, good books and the occasional funny movie. Laughter is very good for us.

Ox Drover

Dear EC and Slimone,

I’m not sure I am “recovered” but I do FEEL CLOSER TO RECOVERY than to the DEVESTATION….and for so long I was still mired in the devestation, so mired I could not see the beauty around me, could not see the POSITIVE things I DO have, only yowl in pain from the things that I did NOT have, could NEVER have, and let that be the focus of my life.

My life is NOT any where close to what I wanted it to be, what I THOUGHT would be “good” for everyone in my family, but I finally realized that I was the ONLY one who wanted that. I thought it would be wonderful IF ONLY….but I was unable to impose my desires on them, make them see how “wonderful” it would have been IF ONLY THEY WOULD…….I could SEE HOW WONDERFUL it would have been IF ONLY…..but they could not, did not, did not share my vision.

I built my castles in the air, my fantasy world that WOULD HAVE BEEN SO WONDERFUL and when it didn’t materialize I was devestated….I stayed in devestation for so long before I started the healing journey TOWARD the “recovery” end of the continuum. Just as I know I will never be 100% healthy on the Illness to Perfect Health continuum, I know I will never be “100% Recovered,” but at least I am on the POSITIVE END OF THE CONTINUUM. After being on the “bottom” end of devestation part, what I am feeling NOW is so wonderful. I never thought when I was dwelling in the devestation end, the negative end, that I would EVER get to where I could accept that my FANTASY wouldn’t come true, or that I could LIVE WITH and be happy NOT HAVING IT COME TRUE….but reaching ACCEPTANCE of what IS, not what we WANT, is to me at least, the TURNING POINT where we cross from the devestation end of the continuum into the recovery half, the positive half.

I was talking with a friend this morning, she is also a devestated survivor of a psychopath, in fact, she has also had to take “remedial psychopath 101” multiple times, and we discussed this very subject. She is not yet able to ACCEPT WHAT IS, she is still on the negative end of the continuum, but she has made a great deal of progress from where she started which was at the BOTTOM of the scale. She is still righteously angry at the Ps, and would “cheerfully” do them harm (if she could let herself and I know she can’t do that) but she can still fantasize about it. She is moving the right direction at least for now. Another thing too, I found with my own reaching of “acceptance” is that this is not a STATIC thing. If you don’t continue to work on yourself, you can DRIFT BACK the negative direction. Our journey is also not all in one direction, from time to time, at least with me, I would make progress in the + direction one day, only to backslide the next day into the negative direction. Even those “backslides,” though, are part of the onward process.

I think your homeschoolers will not be “ruined” by hearing a few “worty dirds” and, actually, I think, in the end, they will be better off having heard a few of them where you can discuss them with them, so that they won’t be “shocked” when they get out of a protected environment into the “real world.” LOL


Hi Oxy and all, Great post as always so well put and timely filled with meaning. I’m back from my boat trip which was so delightful even though not a single bite for 5 hours we had FUN! Beautiful day, cool breeze, and great company with a man who can only be defined as stable. He even said to me that he has not changed who he is at all that he is exactly as I knew him to be so many years ago. Wow! What a relief. His daughter was beautiful and sweet and his love for her was so touching to see. Only made me sad a little that my daughter doesn’t have that father love in her life. But I realized that I can be attractive to a man, that I’m not the sexless unappealing blob the ex made me feel myself to be. So hours of innocent flirting as he was a total gentleman as expected and my confidence is so much better than before I left. Having a total Wow maybe I’m wasn’t the problem moment and loving how that feels.



LOVE YOUR ARTICLE!! Love the way you teach and inspire us all to find our individual healing pathes. Love the stories and learning lessons and joys and pains of simply living life…but living life well filled with a lifetime of solving problems as skillfully as humanly possible 🙂 Knowlege = power. Self- love, trust, esteem, value and worth, etc… = powerful healing attitude. Thanks yet again Ox!!!

Meg – Goodluck today! You are doing it girl!!!!! You are heading in the exact right direction to regain Meg again! I hope all of your tests turn out well and that youre journey becomes lighter and brighter with each passing day. Remember, its always ok to cry…sometimes even necessary!

And you are already to the other side with Oxy and all of us… Good luck today! Please let us know how you made out. xoxo

Joy — such a wonderful post to see your happiness and joy between your lines 🙂 So glad it went well… and really enjoyed reading your WOW moment!!

Ox Drover

Dear LTL,

(rubbing toe in dirt, and hanging head in fake humility) Oh, my dear, how you do flatter me! LOL Thank you, sweetie!

Today, real life SUCKS—it is raining out and so it is laundry and house cleaning day! YUK! And with the thunder, I probably ought to unplug my computer so I don’t get a power surge! Catch you guys later if the storm passes over! (((hugs))))


Oxy! (((BIGhugs))) Thanks so much for the solidly good article! It does help me to compare myself to you in that it makes me realize what is possible if I stay on this Path of Healing! It helps me maintain my focus to learn to love and nurture myself. I also know, even though I often feel like it, I’m not alone in facing some very tough aspects of life. People can get really smacked down, and yet somehow — and how great is this? — Life goes on:

Meg is off to the doctor to act on caring for herself; amanwhocares loves and misses his kids, and finds his voice; witsend honors her emotions when others can’t or wouldn’t; Elizabeth is teaching her kids that learning can be filled with laughter and even silliness, as well as focus and discipline. I have to wake up each day and “vote for myself” by doing the things that are nourishing and build strength. So I started today by saying, “There is something that will help coax my courage forward, and the best place to find that is at LoveFraud.” And there was your posting!

I woke up this morning weighed down by despair. Taking the debriefing step and admitting that I’d been hit hard by an n/p saved me. It also ripped the bandaide off my central owie, cause I am examining my life for patterns of dysfunction and abuse. That opened the floodgates to recognizing how well I was prepared to accept destructive and devastating behaviors, pretend “nothing happened, and accept abuse as “normal and healthy.” An alcoholic father, co-dependent mother, and emotionally distant and derisive brother taught me that love is contingent on how well you do what’s demanded, and the people who “love” you have every right to hurt you. No big surprise then that I chose a career that would kick my butt, and had two marriages that reinforced those lessons. When the n/p showed up, I was absolutely great material for emotional abuse, too trusting and too needy for acceptance and affection (posting is

At first, it was impossible for me to see anything good coming out of having my life derailed by another person. Knowing where I was, and how I was avoiding facing myself and my history of accepting abusive behavior, I don’t think I would have entered into this intense self-examination if I hadn’t been devastated. Then I came here to read, read, read! People are incredible: they go through things I can’t imagine and find ways to heal and make themselves stronger! They pass through the fire, and still hold out their hands to encourage somebody else not to give up! They find the compassion and courage to choose to love and care for themselves in the most painful circumstances, and they grieve, heal, and recover!

So the next thing I felt this morning, after reading this thread, was humility, and that living my life is a privilege. I’ve taken some hits, but I haven’t chosen hatred or cultivating bitterness. Instead, I’ve found people to inspire and encourage me by their fine examples. Every good gardener knows what is required: you prepare the soil to fit the plant you hope to grow, you plant the seeds, care for the seedlings as they start to grow, and you give them the water and nutrients they need as they mature. You respect that nature will do its thing, and there are stages that must be passed through to go from a seed to a mature plant. If a plant can rest in that process, then so can I!

It feels like so much sometimes, all the hurt and losses. I also thought, “So if this were my last morning on this earth, what would I do with all this?” I realized that, as heavy and undeniably painful as much of my life is, I would at death’s door be required to LET IT GO! But how? Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist meditation teacher and author, writes that we already know how to do this: we Let Go every time we fall asleep! Be present in this moment, and in this breath, is the advice. Breathe in love and healing, breathe out the rest.

Look in the mirror, get on the scale, look at the equally mournful checkbook balance and newspaper headlines…and just breathe! We survived! — I survived! — and we chose healing and making peace with ourselves and our lives over giving up and being destructive! And when you keep on making those choices day by day, they add up to peace and resilience and strength!

It’s my pleasure to thank you guys for teaching me the positives of what community can do! Heavy things are happening in my world: two relatives are dying, an in-law has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD — and if that’s not enough real drama, alcoholic families excel in creating drama. Isolation, emotional distance, and bullying are on offer, instead of healthy family dynamics. I’m job hunting, I’m broke…But I’m here! I’ve found my path, the Healing Path, and it’s the one with the truest challenge and the best rewards.
Even on “bad days,” I’m beginning to realize that I’m deeply happy to be here. And I have to tell you, I’m amazed.

Ox Drover

Dear Betty,

WOW! Talk about a posting that makes ME FEEL HUMBLE, the one above you posted does just that! YOU ARE SO INSPIRING! You write so well and literally bring tears of JOY to my eyes at your strength and determination.

There are some days I feel so strong and others I don’t, but it does seem that on those days I feel “down” or “weak” I find, DO FIND, strength here on LF. Your contribution to todays blogs is one of those STRENGTHS, thank you from the bottom of my heart! (((Hugs)))))) xoxoxox Oxy


(((BIGhugs))) Thanks, Oxy!

One little mouse click, out of desperation — that’s what brought me here. The notion of healing from the inside out got me hooked. Finding good stuff made me stay.

Life really did send the test first, and then the lesson — but it’s great that the School of Here rocks! This stuff works; how cool is that?


Hey everyone–
I went to the doc!
so they took blood for thyroid and nutrition. they also tested me for H. Pylori– that stomach bug thAT Causes ulcers. She gave me samples of Aciphex for my severe reflux and said– No coffee!!!! Oh my gosh– my one left addiction.
They are also referring me to a upper GI doc so that I can have an endoscopy to see why my reflux is so bad.
I did not cry. I did not talk about an ex psyco.

this was big for me.

I have a bood to recommend to all of the LF FAmily–
“Entering the Castle: Finding THe Inner Path to God and Your Soul’s Purpose
by… Caroline Myss

Okay- question. Oxy– you can probably answer this one.
I am 39! I would like to become a Nurse Practitioner. I have worked in Hospitals and Nursing homes and Assisted Livings long enough that I know it is something I would like to do. Not to mention that my sperm donor (who did not leave m five cents and gave me up for adoption cuz he was married.) was a doctor/anesthesiologist an medical stuff not only interests me, but seems to come naturally.

AM I TOO OLD. I would need like 4 more years of school! Where do I get the money.

Is is possible you guys?


YOU ARE Young!!! You go girl….See about school loans & sometimes when you are low to no income you can get grants and monies that might not have to be paid back.
Trust me, at least give it your best shot….I am so sorry I didn’t go to back school when I was your age because I thought about it…But I had just had a baby (at 39) and I just didn’t know if I could have so much on my plate.
I am pretty sure that you would NOT regret going back to school! You might regret if you don’t though 🙂



I worked and borrowed my way through 3 degrees — and I was an “old” undergraduate when I went back and finished my BA so it is do-able.

Since you’re going back as an old-undergrad, and since you live in a major metro area, you should contact the colleges and see what programs and financial aid they can give a “non-traditional student”. A lot of time they will take your existing credits and give you “life-experience” credit which is related to the field you want to go into.

Also, if you attended nursing school while also working at the related university, often the university pays for some of your credits. I know I had friends who were going for BAs in certain health-care related fields who had Associates and the worked at the hospital while attending school and their tuition was at least partiall covered.


Wow Matt–
I have worked in the medical field– in nursing homes, hands on for 10 years.
thank you for the advice and anymore you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Much love to you Matt,


Oxy –

Your post is wonderful! You give us all something to strive for, so further along in the healing process.

Was afraid you were leaving on your last post, glad you are still with us.


I am new to this sight. I am fresh out of a 5 year relationship with a sociopath. It helps to know that I am not the only one out there. There are times that I feel absolutely crazy for dealing with his craziness for so long. Thank you for doing this. I think this will be a useful tool in my recovery process..


Oxdrover was the first to respond to me about 13 months ago when I was desperate for help. A friend told me my X was a sociopath. I knew the word but not the traits..when I googled SOCIOPATH I found love fraud and Donna Anderson and Oxy. I remember the nite I posted – was twenty pounds too thin and non functional emotionally. Nobody could relate too what was going on. My family was concerened and offered sympathy and said ‘you got burned-let it go’. Oxdrover will never know what she did for me.. And so many other posters who have come and gone, so many screennames forever in my heart. I am on the other side with OXY and it feels so good not to be where I was – a new life await’s us all – but – like Oxy – I will never forget….love ya Ox~~~!!!


Oxy –

13 months (as per Henry) on this site! OK, if that’s what it takes so be it.

I would rather re-enter the world whole and in control than vulnerable to another S (as already happened to me) coming in as a filler for the other.

Thanks, Henry!


OxDrover: Thank you for sharing so much of what you have learned about yourself and others, it really helps, perhaps more than you’ll ever know. I’m so glad you are here on LF and appreciate your loving heart.

Jim in Indiana USA

BabyNyn80 …. welcome. We’ve all put up with the craziness. This is a place to see it, understand it, leave it behind, and try to avoid it in the future. As we say, sorry you have to be here, but glad you found this site. It HAS been a useful source, the major source, in my recovery process…visit when you can, tell your story when and if you’re ready.


Welcome Baby, It is so helpful here and the love and unconditional support are so soul soothing.
Meg, You can do it. Pell Grants, work grants for under served poor areas, scholarships, even Yikes Sallie Mae loans which are straight cash to pocket. I have student loan debt but it was well worth it. I graduated in 07 while dealing with the ex, working 2 jobs, and homeschooling my daughter. There were two ladies in my class in there 50’s and they did great. Life experience can’t be beat and you have a leg up on what it is all about.
Betty your post was beautiful and eloquent. I often have to reread things because the words are like healing medicine for mind and spirit which in turn heals the body which gets devastated from stress and neglect.
And Oxy you are the wise woman greeter who also first responded to me. Such a welcoming committee.
I know that others read long before they post. I know that I did. But it is so good to show them that when they are ready someone is always here to welcome them on the road to healing. And I like the image in my head of us all walking along. One stumbles and we pick them up and dust them off. Some scout the way and show us the pitfalls and the easier path. Always looking back to encourage the others to take a few more steps because the view ahead is amazing and something wonderful awaits if we just keep moving forward. Even if just baby steps. We are getting there.

Ox Drover

My dears, thank you ALL so much! You are very special to me, and I am glad if my words have helped you to cope and have hope—hey, that rhymed! I can’t even remember how long I have been here, I think it is about 2 years come this summer some time, I remember I was still living in my RV on the lake, hiding out from my P-son, when I found LF after being on another blog (one owned by Sam Vankin) for about six months. The other blog turned out to be not a good fit for me (there was a lot of flamming going on there, even from the managers) so I was very happy to find a SAFE and SANE site in which there was PEACE AND REASONABLE HARMONY between management and bloggers and bloggers and bloggers. That is what makes this place SO SPECIAL is that Donna runs a “happy ship” in a loving and caring way.

When I first got on this blog I kept waiting to “get healed” and move on, and then I started (in peace and feeling safe here) learning more about ME….and I realized that “healing” is not a point on a line, it is the DIRECTION you are pointed on that line, and the line NEVER ENDS, but you do reach a point that life again becomes valuable and worthwhile, and has joy and peace in it, and the balls-and-chains that we have been dragging on our “emotional legs” the ball-and-chain of pain, the one of fear, the ones of low self esteem, of loss, grief, anger, etc. those start to drop off and as we drop each one off, we can move more easily and with less effort toward the positive end of the scale. But also, like the addict who has kicked their “habit” we have to be CAUTIOUS with ourselves, and keep ourselves headed in the RIGHT direction.

The “old habits” that made us vulnerable to the Ps in the first place must not creep back into our lives….we must continue to work on ourselves and our lives and our knowledge.

I also think that we owe a debt of gratitude to our Maker, the Universe, and Mankind in general, to assist others in their journey, to encourage and support our fellow travelers on this road to healing and recovery. Donna has done a wonderful job here with this blog and ALL the people who contribute, either articles or comments, are giving back as well.

Usedabused, nah, I’m not going away from LF, this is my version of “AA” to keep me on the right road…believe it or not, I get so much out of this blog and reading the new articles and the comments….I can’t remember who said it, (CRS) I think it was Jane that you people are my FRIENDS, and though I may never meet you face to face, I CARE about you, and I believe you care about me. When people shout “TOWANDA!” LIke Stargazer did when she finally got conformation that her P was “punished” by the Army for his crimes, I CELEBRATE right along with her!

I don’t know who said it but something I heard many many years ago is that “a joy shared is DOUBLED, and a burden shared is HALVED.” That is what LF means to me. Sometimes I’m a sentimental old fool, and sometimes I’m a cranky old bat, but I am VERY attached to each and every one of you!!! Love and prayers xoxox Oxy


Hi all,

It’s been a while again for me since I was here but I’m doing very well and almost a year NC. I wanted to share a poem I wrote tonight….I’m not a poet….but surviving these creatures is an art unto itself.


Don’t know the faces
Evil embraces
Aimed and directed
Sun down infected
Fathers begotten
Apples too rotten
Feathers rejected
Whispers detected

Same is his name
Duplicating his prey
Same is the aim
The arrow, the vein
Same is the gain
Feeding off blame
Same rapes the sane
King of all pain

A pitiful lure, a clinical blur
A clever but selfish sinister cure
Warts on an epilogue
Bully the underdog
Hijack, disarm & rob
Marking a souless job

Same is his name
Mirrors cover his frame
Same is his hollow
Limitless stain
Same is the endless pit
Masking a throne to sit
Adjusting for all to fit
Laughing at all who bit

Breezes can drift
Drifters can roll
Giants have been here
Poets have known

Eager the elephants
Jolly the jokes
Same will outweigh,
Outwit his folks

Time is subjective
Shape of a key
Bosses and chains
Paraphrase me

Sudden the suddenly
Swore in the shouldn’t be’s
Biceps and triceps
Circle the soul in me

Reflections politely
Pardon then bite me
Forgive me abundantly
Release all my empathy

Seven years doomed they say
Cracking a mirror these days
Seven years gladly paid
Escaping out from his blade

Penance is karma
Karma is debt
Debt is the due
You owe onto you

Same will be same
Exposed now his fame
A gift you depart
Always knowing his name

Beauty not stolen within
Just illusion he hopes to win
Repay yourself, your due
You are pure, solid and true


I don’t have time to read the comments–looking forward to doing that–but I just wanted to thank you, Oxy, for the incredible post. So clear and eloquent and heartwarming. It makes me so happy for you that this is the emotional place that you have landed after such heartache and devastation. It is so hopeful for all of us who are in the earlier stages of our grief, obsession, and loss.

Two things I wanted to mention – one, I’m in the middle of reading a pile of books recommended by people on this site – thank you! So I haven’t been online and didn’t want anyone to worry about my sudden disappearance. Even though I haven’t been on this site for very long, I know that the regulars here are very caring people and might notice my absence. I’m doing so much better – this site is just incredible for providing support and helpful strategies, and the books are really helpful as well.

Also, I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this phenomenon, but it’s been months since I told the antisocials in my life that we were no longer friends and that I didn’t want to see them. For the three or four years of the six years that I was “friends” with these people, terrible, unrelated things happened all around me – everything I cared about deeply was threatened. It was just one thing after another after another. Now, everything is going great. Working out better than average. Pleasant surprises instead of horrible shocks. I wonder if these people carry with them an energy field that attracts all kinds of awfulness, not just what they perpetrate themselves. Well, it might not be anything but coincidence and wishful thinking, but I was curious to know if anyone else had experienced the same thing.

Anyway, thanks again for the extremely wonderful and inspiring post, OxDrover. And my thanks and healing wishes to all.


The energy change, I believe, is within ourselves. Once we get rid of the sociopaths, our own energy changes from negative to positive. Then, our own positive energy brings good things to us.

That’s why, when we disentangle from the sociopaths, we can see improvements in our lives in so many dimensions.


Very astute –thanks, Donna. I think you are right. I have been working very hard on treating myself well and thinking well of myself, even when I make mistakes. So, maybe the cosmos is getting that picture, instead of the one where I was constantly picking on myself.

Ox Drover

Dear Skippy,

Yes, we do notice when someone “disappears” or drops off. Most people don’t say “I’m doing well and I’m leaving” they just “vanish” and so we don’t always know the rest of the story. Others who have left and let us know, pop back in to update us once in a while and that is very nice. I do wonder so much about people who “vanish” and sometimes they have “gone back” to the P—-once in a while those people will come back and say “I went bacK” but now I am here again.

Other times, I think people (especially younger people) look for another “significant other” to blot out the pain of the P, thinking that will help—sometimes that may work, but I tend to expect that if I am NOT HEALTHY myself I will be more likely to attract another P. I sure did that after my husband was killed. I was SOOOOO down and soooooo needy that I was the PERFECT VICTIM….with a big “pick me, I’m really needy” sign on my forehead in neon lights! LOL Needless to say the first P along took advantage of me because I WAS wounded and needy, feeling like I would never be happy again….well, now I AM happy again….still “alone” as far as a love interest is concerned, but NOT grieving about that or feeling needy at all. Alone is a bunch better than a bad relationship!!!!!!

Glad you are here, Skippy, and glad you are finding wisdom and knowledge which definitely will increase your POWER!

I sometimes wondered too if I had a P-magnet in my body, and yes, THEY do attract problems like a dog gets fleas! The way they live their lives ATTRACTS EVIL to them, and I think it rubs off on those around them. That is why I am SO DETERMINED to keep away from ANY TOXIC person, P or not. Anyone who is disordered or dysfunctional in their lives is NOT for my circle of intimate friends. Life runs so much smoother if you just distance yourself from these people I think. Some of them you have to set boundaries with, and they will not respect them, so you hve to take a STAND, others, you just “melt quietly away”—-“too busy” or “don’t feel like it” or “just don’t have time to see/talk to you” right now. Etc etc. “I’d love to, but I already have other plans.” All the socially polite excuses that you can pull out of the hat to give them wihtout making a “big deal” out of it, and drift away from them.

Setting these boundaries at first was very very difficult for me, but now that I have almost a year of boundary setting under my belt I am feeling much more sure about doing so, and more solid in what kind of boundaries I want to set and how to do it with as little trauma and DRAMA as I can. (how is THAT for a “run on sentence,” Mrs. Barlow?) LOL

Jim in Indiana USA

wiserandhealing-I disagree with one thing in your post. Not a poet?…you’re wrong. You’re a poet.

Lovely post, Oxysweety…

You never seem to run out of interesting, inspiring, insightful commentary to discuss. How DO you do it?..haha.

You’re a gifted orater, that’s what you are. And LF is a superb avenue for you, allowing you to share your gifts, knowledge, experience to others.

You give unconditionally yet most likely receive in abundance from all the wonderful, beautiful folks of LF.

To me, that is the fundamental definition of reciprocity: to generously give without actually expecting anything back but pleasantly surprised and heartfully touched when you are given so much in return.

That spiritual dynamic creates a wholesome, meaningful, and absolutely necessary balance, harmony and serenity within each of us.

I believe that without reciprocity, whether it is intended or not, we’re sort of crooked. Out of alignment, not only with ourselves but with the Universe as well.

But what is most important is to give to ourselves first and foremost and as we begin to believe in, to trust, to accept, to love the persons we are because the Lord most certainly loves us, we are able to extend our generous natures/spirits to others without even consciously being aware of it.

We share our newly discovered strength, personal power and our beautiful glorious love-lights with folks and it feels so AWESOME!

xxooxx…huggles to you, Oxy and all LF tribe members.

Peace, Love and Joy for all eternally…:):):)

PS….gorgeous poem, Wiserandhealing. Thanks for sharing!!


YOu all are great.
Henry- Oxy– can you attach a rope to me and pull me to your side?


Akitmeg – You grabbed hold of that rope when you found LoveFraud, can’t you feel us pulling?


Thanks so much for the kind words and additional insights, Oxy. I am really, really glad I found you all to help me through this. It is interesting, once you start realizing that SPs literally do not have the same emotional makeup as the other 96% of us, how much easier it is to start letting go (realizing there is just no way to work things out the way you would with someone who possesses empathy and a conscience). Setting boundaries has never been easy at all for me, either, but like you, I’m starting to learn. Whew.

newworld view

hi all

i think that many of those who seem to disappear, are really still here all along, reading and following and caring about each and every poster.

.oxy truly picks up the slack in offerring up the amazing love and support that has helped to guide, redirect and pull so many through this devastation..

.because she has the energy to address each one personally, i and others benefit immensely..(and it relieves my sense of responsibility) ……..she has the patience and tenacity and talent/gift for this stated, this healing place is what i envision AA is for others…i couldnt get by without checking into lt daily….

so im very sure, many of our past “friends” are still here and only a hello away

akita i started a new career late in life and graduated as a nurse practitioner when i was 36……couldnt imagine doing anything i would love more………the same yrs will pass whether you are in school or not…..there is always a nursing shortage and many places will pay for your education if you sign a contract to work for so many yrs in their facility…many times only a one year committment good luck


I have a question for anyone who has moved on to a healthy relationship after the Sp. I like a nice man not in love but really liking this amazing person who has come into my life in a way that was not expected. He is kind, consistent, makes me smile and laugh without having to try too hard. After my boat trip which was so perfect. I was calm, no nerves, no constant trying to be anyone other than me, and being seen as a person of value. What a revelation! Anyway, that night I dreamed of the Sp. I dreamed that I was talking to him with his face grasped in my hands and I was telling him that I like this person maybe could even see myself falling in love if I ever believe in that emotion again and that please just tell me the truth of what we had, what you are, what was real,, was any of it real? So on some deep unconscious level I’m in need of closure. I know that I will never get it, but is it possible to move on and trust again without ever getting the facts of the old relationship settled. Never not had a moment of reckoning with people from my past. The whole now you don’t exist thing is so foreign to my way of being. Just curious as to how to file the Sp away in my psyche.


neworld: Hi. I know what you mean, I care about everyone on the site, I came on tonight to see what’s happening with my friends!!

Joy: Great question, I hope someone can answer it… I wish I could! I went from one unhealthy relationship to another one, so I’m not in a position at this time to give advice, but I am interested in seeing the replies you get! 🙂


Joy You sound so happy and optomistic when speaking about this new guy, healthy, consistant, calm, he makes you smile and laugh, your at ease and comfortable just being you. Then you speak of your X as someone that was so evil and unhealthy. Your dreams of him are reminders of all that he was not. I dont think we get closure, ‘they’ will never grasp what you want them to know, it is futile. I think a new guy like you describe is the best medicine for getting over a toxic relationship, just enjoy being you again, and just think of the life lesson you have been through, live and learn or learn and live……….


Joy – my interactions with SPs have been with “friends,” not partners, so my response might not be as helpful as some others’. I don’t know whether I just lucked out with my sweet husband or whether some self-protective part of me made the right choice. But after getting targeted in an amazingly Machiavellian way by a major SP, and used and discarded (when I finally wised up and refused to play the role of their scapegoat/whipping boy) by an antisocial couple in that toxic circle, I came to the conclusion that the low self-esteem I’ve struggled with since childhood made me vulnerable. Others have mentioned, in other posts and in books, that SPs seem to have some sort of sixth sense in picking up on people’s vulnerabilities. I think I was too willing to let others’ opinions of and feelings about me substitute for my own. Since getting so brutally slammed by these individuals, I’ve made it my primary focus to heal my feelings of poor self-worth and then hopefully, I wouldn’t attract or be attractive to antisocials. It’s probably too soon to say whether it’s working as pervasively as I hope, but as I indicated in my post above, these efforts sure seem to be making a difference in every aspect of my life.

I think it is also very helpful to be well-acquainted with SPs’ MOs, patterns, tricks, and false fronts. I don’t think that would have helped me with the major SP, he was so patient, calculating, and sneaky, but it certainly would have helped me with that toxic couple.

Unfortunately, my ability to trust both other people and my own judgment has been shaken deeply, but on the other hand, maybe that’s not a bad thing, given how naive I’ve been for most of my life. In one of the books I’m reading (I think *Women Who Love Psychopaths*), it talks about how targets are often people who trust blindly and don’t require new people in our lives to earn our trust. I don’t believe I’ll be making that mistake again. I am constantly on the alert for red flags now. Hopefully, that vigilance will relax at some point in my life, but for now, I’m grateful for the knowledge of the red flags.

I think Henry is right, we will never get closure from the people who hurt us in this way. They don’t understand or care that they devastated us. They’ll never apologize, they’ll never say, yes, I was wrong, they’ll never even say, yes, I was half of the equation for things going bad. I think it is very hard for people who are not sociopaths to accept or understand this. Reading about these individuals’ traits, history, and personality structure has helped me to see that the only closure I’m going to get is to not care about them, not care what they think about me, and for me to not even think about them (eventually; not there yet myself).

At any rate, it is my belief that by treating ourselves the way our ex-toxes treated us in the beginning, but with sincerity instead of guile, we can reverse the magnet inside of us that attracts these people to us and us to them – we can repel them and find them equally repellant, see through their phony BS, lies, and manipulations (I was amazed when a therapist I went to see about the major SP, who knows this guy professionally – which made me hesitant about going to him in the first place – stopped me halfway through my story and said, “He’s a sociopath. I could see that right away.” So, some people can perceive this pathology from the get-go.). And as some other insightful people on this site have pointed out, we can then see the charm in people who might initially seem boring – break ourselves of the habit of finding predators exciting and appealing. LearnTheLesson had a wonderful analogy about picking through apples and finding some that are bad. She simply doesn’t select those and doesn’t mourn them. I’ve been extending that analogy in my life in order to strengthen my resolve and healing – e.g., if I step on a piece of gum and it gets on my shoe, when I manage to get it off, I don’t mourn the loss of the gum and wish I had it back. Or hope the gum will admit to having done something foul. I just watch where I step more carefully. But I can still enjoy walking.


Dear Joy..

I gave myself the closure. I answered my questions to him…myself. I was brutally honest with myself. For, I knew all of the answers. I know what it was, what we had and what happend. A toxic relationship. A deceitful story. Stolen money. A bad man for me in my life. For the longest time I thought I needed him to validate me…to “comeclean”…to “apologize”.. to “give me closure” – when in essence I finally realized he would just give me more lies, and say things he thought I wanted to hear. I just gave myself the closure because I can trust myself again that what I felt and believed and found out was the reality of us, was the truth – he was a bad person for me in my life who I chose to love – and ultimately made bad choices for my well being after the red flags flew – that was my closure.

Going forward, trust yourself…dont ever fall into a fantasy of sorts…let the new people in your life earn your trust — dont blindly give it away — react to red flags — know the red flags — never make excuses for them — just make a promise to yourself to trust your instincts , your gut…and walk away when you are treated wrongly or feel you are being taken advantage of.

It really is all about not letting others ever be in the position to have us second guessing ourselves or sweep us off our feet to the extent that they are our prince charming… decisions should be made based on what is best for us — not for others (in terms of their selfishness or neediness) they are responsible for themselves — we are responsible for ourselves and our decisions — we have to learn to make wise decisions based on our own lives – not based on dreams or fantasies! REALITY!!!

Ox Drover

I got (for a while anyway) where I could spot the BPDs by their “love bombing” and I called it “upon MEETING, THEY START “making application” to be your BEST FRIEND.

So when someone says “You are my BEST friend” I stand back and look, especially if it is someone I have just met, or not really interacted much with. In a love relationship it could be a declaration the first week (or at least early in the relationship) of “you are my soul mate.”

I HAVE met one or two people that we just “instantly” clicked and these people are still my friends 20 years later….but it had to do with the fact we liked exactly the same things, were both of about the same educational level, IQ, financial status, and other things we had in common, including a MORAL COMPASS pointed in the same direction. They never made any atttempts to use me, or me them. Even when these people move away or I did, we have maintained the relationships closely over many years and many miles. I am not sure why I “clicked” with these people early on, but we did and it was a mutual thing.

My X-BF (the P) and I had “clicked” when we met 10 yrs before in our living history group, but he was married and I kept the relationship at arm’s length (though looking back now, I think he was looking for an affair then with me) but when I was vulnerable after the death of my husband and he was “foot loose” after his wife caught him cheating and kicked him out—I was the perfect “volunteer” victim to his charm.

Looking now at people, I tend to be very careful and cautious around people who “come on too strong” at first….as a big YELLOW flag! Once I see the yellow flag, I then start to be very cautious that red ones don’t pop up. So far when I have seen yellow flags, probably 50% of the time they change color to Red flags before too long.

I am also, now, seeing RED flags in acquaintences that I had ignored before…I knew they were there but just didn’t interact with these people enough to make it worth while enough to take ACTION, but now I DO take action at the FIRST sign of a red flag, and at the least move away from these people quietly and don’t give them the chance to interact any more closely with me.

Joy, glad things are going well for you.


Thanks guys, I know that I will never get the closure that I seek. That is half the fun for him, but wonder when I will stop longing for it. In waking hours, he is not so much there anymore, but at night when I’m asleep, he creeps in unawares. I guess the greater meaning of the dream is that I might have hopes to love again. Not right now but maybe one day. My boat guy was the only normal friend that I had in childhood. Always solid from a very traditional family. Successful and driven at a young age. Very introspective and at peace with himself. Doesn’t feel the need to fill every silent moment with words. He did make a point of stating that stability is important to him and that he is exactly the same as I remember in every way that is important. He knows that I’m lonely and vulnerable now and he didn’t try to take advantage of that which I appreciated immensely. Maybe someday a romantic gesture would be nice but for now the hugs and flirting will suffice. Thanks for all your responses. I love this place and those who frequent it with their support, understanding, and wisdom. I’m going back in a few weeks to see my friends and boat man again. My daughter wants to move there, and I’m considering being a dual resident. I miss home and my friends. And it would be nice to be totally removed from the Sp’s world. Don’t have an action plan yet but still strongly considering a partial move.


The latest man to woe me didn’t get far! I will never know if he was a p or not ( I am convinced he is), but the truth is NO-ONE has a chance to get anywhere near me at present. I have always had years between each relationship on my own (with just my kids)…(three to six years), only to end up with yet another p. But it has only been6 months since the last p.
Now I have more insight, I was never without a p in my life as both my older two children are! ( They have a different father to the youngest).
So this “poor” psychopath didn’t even get his first chance to humiliate me! Although I think he had a good try in the three weeks i knew him. His last text to me was “der”!
I was rapt to hear that ox-driver is sixty two. Now I don’t feel I have wasted my life so much. If ox driver can feel that way at sixty two, then maybe I am in with a chance too.
Thankyou Jim from Indy…your humour helped soften my hardened heart.


OxDrover….same here. Click with some fast, but both usually don’t say so or proclaim it in the same way a con does. Good advice from you.

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