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By | May 29, 2008 23 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Listen to the gift of fear

Editor’s note: The following story was submitted by a Lovefraud reader.

There was something odd about his intense gaze. Even though I felt funny about the way he stared at me the first time we met, I ignored my discomfort. I met my former boyfriend after I had been attending services at a Unitarian Universalist Church for several weeks. We engaged in small talk for a few minutes then swapped numbers. Even though I felt somewhat uncomfortable, I ignored my gut feeling and gave him my number anyway. I was very needy and desperate for friendship.

We went out to lunch after the services. Even though he was very charming and funny, something deep inside of me kept warning me to be careful. My date explained that he was breaking up with his wife because she had cheated on him. “Everything was her fault,” he said. Even though I did not believe that the relationship problems were all her fault, I made excuses for his unwillingness to accept any responsibility for his part in the relationship dynamic. After our lunch, we went for a walk. He repeatedly talked about all the places he wanted to go and all the things he wanted to do, but kept reminding me he needed someone to go with him.

When I got home, my answering machine was full of messages from him. Even though I felt uncomfortable being spammed with so many phone calls from a guy I hardly knew, I reasoned that he was probably just lonely and meant no harm. The next day I was spammed with emails full of plans. He wanted to go fishing and he was eager to cook for me. After reading the emails, I felt overwhelmed by all the attention and did not respond. He assumed that I had agreed to go on another date with him even though I did not respond. He later told his friends that I had stood him up. He continued to send emails. I agreed to go to a Doobie Brothers concert after he approached me repeatedly in church. Once again, I ignored my intuition and assumed he was just an overly enthusiastic suitor.

Starting to date

After our first date, I decided I was just being paranoid. I had a wonderful time and agreed to go on more dates with him, even though I still felt somewhat uneasy around him. We continued to attend church services together. We also went on hikes and enjoyed taking long walks together in the afternoon. After we dated for a few weeks, I introduced him to my mother and stepfather, who agreed that he was “strange but nice.”

About a month into dating, he began to buy presents for me. A friend warned me that I should not be so eager to accept expensive gifts. Even though the presents made me feel uncomfortable, I accepted them with gratitude. He obviously did not have a lot of money and did not keep any job for long. I questioned how he could afford to buy me presents. He was very evasive about his financial situation and had a post office address in another state. His utilities were listed in his ex-girlfriend’s name. Even though she had allegedly abused him, I later found out they were still sharing an apartment.

Obsessive behavior

I continued to make excuses for what I perceived to be obsessive behavior. I kept telling myself that he was probably going through a phase. I became more alarmed when he started calling me at four o’clock in the morning to ask if I wanted to go for a walk. He also knocked on my door at four in the morning. The phone calls and visits became more frequent. I finally asked him to call before coming over. He became very angry and defensive and accused me of being paranoid. I was taking mood-stabilizing medications for depression. Whenever I tried to set boundaries with him, he accused me of not taking my medication.

I finally decided it was best for us not to date anymore, but conceded it would be okay for us to “just be friends.” Big mistake. He continued to show up on my back door. I tried to place distance between us by not answering the door. Once I hid my car in the parking lot across the street. He realized that I was home because he peeked in my windows and saw my pocketbook on the table. He immediately called my mother and convinced her something was wrong. I did eventually confess that I hid my car because I needed more space. He assured me that he would respect my wishes if I wanted to be left alone. After we talked, I felt a sense of relief. I thought perhaps his obsessive behavior was just a result of miscommunication. He did seem more than willing to respect my boundaries and even apologized repeatedly. He did back off for a few days. Then I was spammed with emails from friends who said they had received incoherent, obsessive emails from him claiming that I was out of my mind.

Accosted at a traffic light

One day as I was turning into the public parking lot near where I live, a car pulled up behind me and the motorist put on his lights. Initially, I didn’t recognize it was him. He followed me. When we got to the intersection, he jumped out and banged on my door. Bewildered, I pulled over into the Wendy’s parking lot and tried to regain my composure. He jumped out of his car and started talking rapidly about how we were both invited to participate in a New UU Class for new members of the church. Then he explained that he wasn’t following me but just happened to be on my side of town and was excited about the class.

After the traffic light incident, I asked him not to contact me anymore. He sent several angry letters, arguing that I had said we could be friends. Then he contacted the UU minister and some of my friends claiming that I was off my medication again. The minister contacted me and expressed concern that I was suicidal. I had previously been depressed and had experienced some suicidal ideation, but was not experiencing active suicidal thoughts. After talking to me, she seemed convinced that I was not an imminent threat to myself.

Minister intervenes

Several weeks after he chased me in traffic, I got an email from the Unitarian minister stating that she wanted me to postpone taking the New UU class. In her letter she referred to my behavior as odd and strange, and accused me of creating drama at church. She failed to mention that my ex boyfriend had participated in those conversations. She also failed to mention his part in any of the drama. The minister wanted to meet with me and wanted to have some information about my mental health records. I reluctantly met with her and agreed to give her permission to contact the mental health clinic if I was suicidal. The minister also was concerned that I was not taking my prescribed medications.

The minister mentioned that my ex wanted to have a mediation meeting. She explained that he was concerned I was going to accuse him of stalking. After sending me several angry emails, my ex sent an apologetic email, begging me to agree to the mediation meeting. I finally agreed, hoping that the meeting would clarify our issues. I still wanted to be a part of the church, even though I felt that the minister’s treatment of me was intrusive and insensitive.

The mediation meeting did not improve the situation, but it did give the minister an opportunity to listen to both of us and observe the way we interacted. When I explained that I needed my space, my ex kept interrupting. The minister suggested that I use a signal whenever I wanted him to back off. She also firmly told him that he was not listening to me. For the first time, I at least felt somewhat validated. I was relieved that someone understood that I wasn’t just being paranoid, but simply wanted him to respect me and respect my boundaries. The minister also told him that it was okay for me not to want to be friends.

More pursuit

Needless to say, the signal did not work. Once again, I made the mistake of agreeing to be friends. The next Sunday in church he sat right next to me and talked during the whole sermon. I tried to listen to the sermon and hurried out to my car after it was over. I eventually quit attending the services. When I quit going to church, he started leaving presents on my doorstep again. I tried ignoring him for several weeks. Then he sent an angry email delineating every present he had bought me and accusing me of using him. I went ballistic and told him never to contact me again. Even though he quit leaving gifts on my doorstep, he continued to contact my mother and the minister. He also contacted my therapist alleging that I was not being compliant with my medications.

On a positive note, I could tell that people were starting not to believe him. Even the minister advised him to leave me alone and my therapist agreed not to discuss my case with him. But my ex continued to harass me by sending me instant messages. My stepfather’s employee saw him parked across the street from my house writing on a yellow pad. Several of my neighbors expressed concerns about someone parking in my driveway at night.

After my mailbox was vandalized on my birthday, I decided to file a police report. The police were somewhat helpful and advised me to report any attempts he made to contact me. I blocked my driveway with my car to discourage him from parking there at night. I also enlisted the help of my neighbors.

The Gift of Fear

Fortunately, he finally moved away and quickly got fixated on someone else. I have not heard from him since I changed my number. I have also left the church and have terminated contact with everyone who knows him.

After I broke up with him I read The Gift of Fear, by Galvin Debecker. I realized the biggest mistake I made was not trusting my intuition. The second biggest mistake I made was not setting clear boundaries and cutting off all contact. Every time I agreed to have a meeting with him, I made the situation worse.

Sociopathic tendencies

Sometimes I still question whether or not my ex-boyfriend is just a maladjusted individual with poor boundaries, or a sociopath. In the beginning of our relationship, I did not set clear boundaries; however, he did continue to contact me after I made it clear I did not want any further contact with him. In addition to harassing me, he did exhibit other sociopathic tendencies. For example, he had numerous somatic complaints. When he went to the emergency room complaining about stomach pain, the doctors did not find anything wrong with him. On several occasions he gave out a fake social security number to avoid having to pay several emergency room visits. Even though he did not have health insurance, he could have qualified for indigent patient assistance. My ex, however, seemed to revel in deceiving the hospital and insisted that he shouldn’t have to pay for services or apply for assistance.

On many occasions he expressed the opinion that the rules didn’t apply to him. One evening when we were walking at the graveyard across the street, the police stopped us and asked us to leave, as it is against the rules to be there after dark. I was willing to leave, but my ex argued with the police, insisting that he knew the people who owned the cemetery. He did admit to me that he had been arrested once for vandalism.

My ex also had a pattern of dating women who were handicapped in some way. All of his previous girlfriends were deaf, and I’m diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A mutual acquaintance informed me that he married a woman from Indonesia so she could get her green card. It sounds as though he is repeating his pattern of dating a woman who is needy.

He also seemed to revel in hurting people who offended or slighted him in any way. He claimed he wanted to make one of our acquaintances cry simply because he perceived that she had slighted him. I am still baffled by his behavior and have a difficult time accepting that he operates under a different set of rules than do most people. A friend of mine, who is a counselor, said he would probably have to experience psychosis before he can even understand what love is.

I still question the difference between being a pest and a stalker; moreover, stalking behavior, in and of itself, in my view, doesn’t make one a sociopath. I believe my ex clearly stepped over that line when he continued to engage in a pattern of obsessive behavior.

Reading Lovefraud

But after reading the website at Lovefraud, I concluded that I had indeed been in a relationship with a sociopath. I noticed he had a lot of the characteristics of a sociopath. Even though he was indeed very charming, he did not seem to have any regard for the rights of others. Whenever someone complained about my ex’s behavior or would try to hold him accountable, my ex would quickly play the victim role. He threatened suicide after we broke up.

What I have learned from this situation and The Gift of Fear has changed who I am in good and bad ways. I will always have difficulties trusting people. I have not dated again since this incident, but I am confident that what I have learned will help me in the future. I want to share my experience because it will help me to be more empathetic towards others who are healing from similar situations. I also hope that by sharing my story, someone else will learn something from my situation. Most important of all, I’ve learned to listen to the beautiful gift of fear.


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James

Thank you for your story!

Fear, I know it well….

5/26/06: D called me (xxx-xxx-1936) at home on Friday (2:15pm) before the children got home and again ask to get her property. I ask that if she would wait until next weekend. Having a very stressing week with her leaving and dealing with the children. D stated that she could not do it next weekend. I asked her why but she would not explain the reason. D screams at me and said “no I want my stuff”. Her mother was on the line without my knowledge and started screaming and cussing at me. I return the verbal abuse. DC then hung up. I have caller ID and called back that (xxx-xxx-1936) number and inform her mother that D would have her property tomorrow. I then had to rush about the home to gather what property I could find. I told the children what happen and that we would have to go to my sisters (J R) for the weekend so that their mother can get her property. They were not very happy about going. J had plans to see his friends and JA wanted to spend time with his friend. I explained how her mother threatens me and how she said she would bring the whole family. I explain to them how someone had to watch them when I returned D’s property. My sister said that I could spend the weekend there. But Knowing D’s past experiences didn’t want her coming to her home in S H. I explain that I would just drop her (D’s) property at the Spring Hill Mall. Watch it until she came and then leave. J R agreed.

5/27/06: D called me on mothers phones number (xxx-xxx-1936) around 10:am. I explained that I would drop off her property at the Spring Hill Mall by Officemate and ask her to go right on front of the Store Street. To take that to behind Walgreen’s store. I asked her who would be coming with her and asked if she would not bring her mother. D said that her mother wasn’t home and would not be coming. D informed me that her and her sister would be the only people coming. I ask about her cell phone and she (D) inform me that our child threw her phone in the toilet and that it did not work anymore. I asked if her sister had a cell and she said no. I then asked her if she wanted to talk with the boys (J and JA) and she agreed but then changes her mind and would just call the boys after she went back home. I then asked again about the arrangements to make sure she knew were she was going. In our conversation, I believe she made a mistake and told me that there would be two cars. I ask why she thought she needed two cars and she stated that her sister would drive one with the children and her van for her property. This statement raised a few red flags and I didn’t believe her. My sister (J R) helped me unpack her van and that she had to return to her home to give her daughter the car. J R stated that she would pick me up later with her husband’s car. She asked me if I would be all right knowing how D could be and about what I told her about my conversation with D’s mother that day. I reply that I would be fine.

Time: Unknown: Received cell call from unknown number (xxx-xxx-0491?). D screams that she was unable to location property/me. Tried to explain again, but D would not listen. She asks me why I was doing this and that she was in front of Officemate. Look in that direction and saw my green Plymouth Van. D was holding our youngest child. Scream in D direction to get her attention. D saw me and then pointed at me. Got a bad feeling and started to walk away. Heard a loud engine sound, like a truck/car moving at a very fast speed. Turn around and saw a large gray truck heading straight at me. Started to Run. Then heard two-truck door’s opening and saw two men getting out of truck. Two unknown white males started running after me. Ran faster and headed for the 1st store I could find (Kinko’s), ran inside of the store and started screaming for someone to call police. Both White males followed (running) me inside store. I turned around at look at one of the unknown male. He had long gray hair. Walked up to male with my hands up, then holding my cell phone. Unknown male turns away and called me a pussy.

Both the store manager and I called the West Dundee police Department. The store manager asked me to talk with operator on the store phone. Explained to the 911 operator what happen and that she would dispatch a car to location. Few minutes later. A West Dundee police officer walked into the store and I walked over to him. He asked for my name and other information. Asked me what happen. And then ask me to walk outside with him. I stay by the police car. He walked over to the other officer talking with D and the other two while male. Officer asked me how I would get home. Explained that my sister would pick me up. Officer offered to take me back to my sister’s house. I agreed. Later I called the West Dundee. Police department to ask for the police report number: 06-2105. *Update 06-2105 is just a dispatch number. Ask officer what would happen. Officer stated nothing because he didn’t see the truck trying to hit me and nothing could be done. I asked the officer why the two unknown male was chasing me He stated “they saw you running and wanted to know why”.

5/28/06: No call from children’s mother
5/29/06: No call from children’s mother

Fear. This I know very well indeed!

Ox Drover

I’ve always felt I was “strong” and could “stand up for myself” and discounted my own inner fears, but when the threat becomes so real that I couldn’t turn loose of it…I realized that if someone is determined to hurt you, unless you can hire a body guard 24/7 and baracade yourself inside a fortress, they can do it.

“When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”

The police can’t protect you 100% of the time, and only if they see a crime being committed can they even intervene. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that James’ EX brought along two guys to threaten or hurt James, but since they had an “explination” about why they chased him, the police had to accept it.

I do’nt want to live in TERROR, but I will always be grateful for the gift of a reasonable fear. A realistic fear, it saved my life.

LovingAnnie

Listening to your instinct is ALWAYS a good thing.
Glad that you finally got away from that man – he indeed is dangerous, and not just an maladjusted person you should feel sorry for.
Now you know to establish clear boundaries quickly, and to walk away with no further contact if someone makes you uncomfortable / gets in your space like that again.

alohatraveler

Gift of Fear is not about being paralyzed by fear. It’s about that little feeling you get about someone BEFORE they do something bad and learning to obey that intuition. There are some great videos on YouTube of the author of that book being interviewed. He was on Oprah and Dateline, I think. He pretty much says the same thing on both interviews.

Most of us knew something was off about our Disordered Partner. Some of us were in physical danger and others, emotional danger. We knew and we disobeyed that God given self protective inkling, sensation, tickle in the stomach or whatever it is for each of us. Maybe your hair stands on end? We all have one of these alarms.. mine sounds like this: hmmmm?

:o)

James

I may fear a dog but what I really FEAR is a dog that has rabies!

What I mean is when we found out that our dysfunctional partner is capable of anything without conscience or fear itself. Then we began to see the significance of what can happen when we really make them upset. When we see them change almost overnight into someone we don’t even know, that is what horror movie of made of! Knowing that these people have no empathy for anyone, not even their own children. Fear for us becomes the norm. It’s been two years for my children and I with NC and still I fear at times that she might try to contact us.. Sorry but after an encounter with a sociopath, fear is something that we just have to live with for the rest of our lives. And God forgive me, sometimes I wish,,,

alohatraveler

The point of this article is not to live without fear. Read the book. It is about intuition and obeying it.

The “gift” is that we have an internal sensor already there, loaded with information. One of the main premises of the book is that animals DO NOT ignore their fear instincts but humans often do. We ignore or talk ourselves out of the intuition when our intuition was right all along.

Example: We open the door for a stranger when we have a feeling we should not… and then they rob, rape, or assault us.

Fear (intuition) is only a “gift” if we listen to it.

Beverly

Dear Free. I think there is something in many of us that looked for ‘safe harbour’ in another. For those of us who did not have a happy settled childhood, we took on values which we ‘perceived’ to be the norm. Not feeling loved was the norm – I operated on survival instinct most of the time and I thought that this was good self esteem. What I realised in latter years was that this was camoflage for the hurt I was carrying. For some of us, we hear the words ‘love yourself’ but this does not come easily because we did not have the early template – we have to learn this anew, we have to keep digging for it, even if it feels strange.

For example, when my mother constantly made comparisons between myself and my brother, even putting me into care aged 6 (when he was born), I got many messages then and all through my life that I was substandard, not worth anything. As my brother and I grew up and he did exceedingly well in life and I struggled, again that message was reinforced – the universe is rewarding him for being a worthy person – but is not rewarding me – I have to struggle for everything. Even in later years, my mother was still verbally going on about how well my brother was doing – somehow I didnt matter, my struggle was not recognised, and my mother denied this. My mother was the type who thought alot of things, but said nothing. This is a huge message to overcome and leaves us very vulnerable to people who want to exploit us and you are right, ambient abuse is the worst, but when as a child you learnt to put up with turbulence and unease, somehow you sit with the fear. Fear is a very valuable physiological and psychic reaction to a threatening situation, that goes back to primeval times, where if we keep still enough, the predator wont chase, the chase stimulates the killing instinct in animals. Whatever was done to you was wrong, but your reactions have been totally right in the light of what you have been exposed to – trust in your body’s intelligence to protect you – and me! (((hugs)

Beverly

I saw the exNarcissist yesterday whilst out driving, and he looked straight through me as though I never existed, like a complete stranger – what an act of denial. We live in a smallish town and he has kept his current girlfriend out of sight, of local drinking places, presumably so that she does not come into contact with people who will spill the beans on how appaulingly he treated me and the others before me.

If I saw her, I would have no hesitation in filling her in on some of the history that I know he has omitted to tell her. Finding out their history has to be one of the biggest safeguards. When we were having one of our many breaks, he went ballistic when I spoke to his ex girlfriend. She made me realise that he had been quite different with her and that he had adjusted himself somehow, I realised that he wasnt being consistently the ‘real him’ and the bells really starting ringing then. I investigated him with family and acquaintances, and his work, but they are much more clever than that, often constructing a facade of ‘togetherness’.

Beverly

I have so many pivotal points, that sometimes I dont know whether I am coming or going. I just know that sometimes I am aiming at my true nature and I am prepared to stick to it. I met a bully today, a man in a big silver four wheel drive who told me to get out of his way, I got out of my car and said ‘make me’, as I do (cos I am feisty) and he looked and I said, YOU move back, and he did, but he didnt want to, and he threw water over me, and I went into the wholefood shop I was visitingand they told me that they had already called the Police earlier. I just felt tha I wanted to stick to my post – he was talking to someone in the road and I politely waited, then he told me to get out out of his way. My boundary – no-one talks to me like that. Then I had a run in with a woman who wanted to queue jump, stupid i know, but I wanted to stick by what I saw and knew and that was really important to me, so I went the whole hog with the discussion. I just thought -if Iknow what I saw and thought, I need to stick with it, otherwise, I will let any twister bend my mind out out of shape.

James

Would love to read the book.

A very wise man once said

“We have nothing to fear but fear its self”

This I believe with all my heart. That when we come to understand our fears we then come to manage them as well. My fear is a learning tool for me an opportunity lets say. It allows me two possibilities. 1) To face and stand up to my fear, learn from it and then become stronger because of it. Or 2) To allow it to control my actions and thoughts. Now I am not a perfect man, no I am a humble man with many shortcoming and faults so I do have fear control my actions from time to time. So when this does happen I stop and think. NO! I will face my fears and learn to overcome them.

It’s because of “fear” that I have learned to better myself, protect myself and grow. So I say that without some fear, I would learn nothing. Fear is a great tool to become stronger (emotionally) Wiser (mentally) and then older (Physically). Fear allows me to mature.

Now for my sociopathic counterpart. Is fear for them the same? This I don’t know. But for what I see and witness fear is not a learning tool, just something to be denial. And when situations, event and/or people show them “fear” in there own personal power, what do they do? Run away and then live in denial. What does a sociopath fear the most? The trust, the reality of themselves. So for them fear is and never will be a “learning tool”. They in fact fear it then fear its self. Because they (sociopaths) always deny fear and run from its truth. They will never learn and/or mature because of it… They fear it like a child would fear a dark room which they will never venture into.

James

What was the “Gift of fear” that my sociopath gave me?

The answer I know so well and I believe she did too!

Losing my children because of what she could do to them and me!

She thought (because of state law) that our children had no rights and had to go with her.

Sorry, but my children (Thank God) are at a age (14 and 17) that they now can choose who they want to live with….

So her “Gift of fear” that she gave me?

Is over and done with. Why? Because I stay with my children, never leaving or running away from that “fear”. With God’s blessing in patience and sacrifice I stood my ground!

I know that she hated me for that! How do I know? Well, she told me so many times.

“Why don’t you just leave!”

But I never did and I never will!

alohatraveler

I sure wish you would read the book. Boy are you stubborn. Or perhaps, I am.

There is no “gift” from a Sociopath. And being fearful AFTER being with one is not the “gift.”

Maybe the book should be called, “How we ignored the presence of fear in ourselves and ended up in a big fat mess.”

I KNEW something was not right about the Bad Man after the first date. But I ignored this signal because I wanted love. Many of the women that I found and warned about him after my fiasco told me, “I knew something wasn’t right about him right away so I already blew him off but thanks for the warning.”

Why did they listen and I didn’t? My body gave me the same message and I could have saved myself so much trouble but I didn’t.

Have you ever been in the bank when someone strange walked in and you felt like you needed to leave? Here’s one: I drove up to a Gas Station late at night. I didn’t see anyone inside. There was a car sitting near the door with it’s door open, motor running and no one around. It was 11:00pm. My fear sensor told me this doesn’t look right so I left. Or I could have told myself, “Don’t be silly. Nothing bad ever happens in my town” and pumped my gas. Maybe something bad would have happened. Maybe not. But I left. I obeyed my intution.

This is what I didn’t do with the Bad Man and he did show an edgy side on our first few dates. (not a cool edgy side… an easily agitated state)

Okay. I am off my kick now.

bird

I read the book. Wow, I couldn’t put it down, it was a page turner. Too bad I read it AFTER I had kicked the sociopath out. There were so many early warning signs that I overlooked. I guess the gift the sociopath gave me, is that I will never ignore the early warning signs again in another person.

Like this man the other day told me that he found pregnant women attractive. And it really creeped me out, because I had just told him about my tramatic experience. I guess he saw it as, “oh your available!” He also told me about how many times he has cheated on women etc. When he asked me out later on in the week I told him “I was not interested.” I never would have done that before. Because I was just too NICE!

bird

and naive…

swallow

I’ve read the gift of fear and I couldn’t put it down.
To be honest, I thought that I had good intuition before I met the P but it didn’t save me. Somehow he got his claws into me before I could see any red flags, it was as if I was paralised in some way. As I knew him for a long time before he pounced his declaration of undying love seemed so believable. I tried many times to turn him away but he was relentless and I can see now that replying to his messages just drew me in further. Remebering the things he said it seems so clear to me now how he manipulated me.
Swallow

Ox Drover

Free, you talked about the “freezing like a deer in the headlights”–“freezing” is a normal response to a threat. Whether an animal or a human, we freeze for a second, so our mind can take in where the threat is coming from. Sometimes that “freezing” and being still will keep a predator (like a lion) from actually seeing you. Movement draws attention to you in the “wild”—lots of times if I am out in the woods I won’t see an animal that is “frozen” when he sees me until he moves. A copperhead snake can literally “vanish” before your eyes by not moving and even though you are looking right at him, when he freezes he appears to vanish almost like “magic.”

Sometimes, however, the normal “freeze” for a second thing, will as you described, become a thing that fear causes us to be unable to function at all. When I heard my husband’s plane laboring, then heard it go down, then heard the “whoosh” of the fire, my cousin, my hired hand and I ran as fast as we could. I remember doing things like I would have at any car wreck or whatever I had come to that there were injuries, but yet in some ways, I was “frozen”–fear makes us have “tunnel” vision–literally, we can’t see the entire “big picture” but we focus almost like we were looking through a paper towel roller, and there will be other things that we just literally can’t see. Partly because of my medical training for emergencies I partly functioned, and yet, there were parts of me that were “not there” at all because of my involvement with my family and the crash. In the past, where I have had to do CPR on friends I’ve managed much better UNTIL IT WAS OVER and then it really hit me. It was actually weeks after my husband’s death before it really “hit me” completely.

Fear and the hormones and other chemicals that are released into our bodies in an “emergency” or life threatening event are one thing, but “living in terror” where there is never a let up of the fear is another thing entirely. I’ve had both experiences. Functioning in either situation is difficult, and our decisions are not usually great ones. I think the “tunnel vision” keeps us from seeing the big pictures.

Intuition, the “unquiet little voice saying look out” there is something not right–you can’t put your finger on what, but you know something is “off”—that is the GIFT OF FEAR, but I would call it the “gift of intuition” and EVERY time I have not listened to that voice, I have been DEAD WRONG.

Beverly, I am like you I hate to give way to a bully like that guy, but you know, sometimes those bullies are crazy enough to kill you for your standing up for yourself. I too like to stand up for myself and I don’t want to live in fear or terror, but sometimes it is better to CAREFULLY pick your battles especially with strangers like that bully. Just a word to the wise from someone who has lived in LARGE CITIES from time to time and there are some real crazies out there. LOL

Ox Drover

Free,

That “freezing” thing you talked about too, but not just momentarily,, but not being able to make a decision about what to do, in TERROR, that was how I was the months of April and May last year when I knew the Trojan Horse P was stalking me, and after my mother’s money too. I was almost non functional from FEAR, terror, indecision. WHAT TO DO?

I thought of first one thing, then another, and tried several things, but in a panic, not rational, not logical, simply responding to FEAR and TERROR. Finally, somehow I listened to my gut and realized I had to run, there was no way I could safely “stand and fight.” I’m to this day not sure why I finally got logical and realized that running was the ONLY way I could survive. The only way I can explain it is that it was like God himself whispered in my ear, “Run, Baby run!” I was reading the book of Samuel in the old Testement where King David was warned to run and hide from Kiing Saul who was out to kill him and it went to my mind like a “direct warning from God”—somehow my intuition realized that the story was similar to mine and that I needed to get “out of Dodge NOW.”

I have no doubt that listening to that voice inside me, my intuition, saved my life. I will NEVER AGAIN fail to listen to that voice inside me, the part of my brain that maybe can’t “tell me in words” what is wrong, exactly where the danger is, but that it is THERE. I will be CAUTIOUS, but I will not LIVE IN TERROR again. The animal that fails to listen to its instinct is weeded out of the gene pool. Our ancestors obviously listened to their instincts or we wouldn’t have them, because only the ones that DID listen lived to become our ancestors. Because we are no longer in caves, watching for lions and tigers and bears to eat us, and our only predators now are the other humans who are predatory doesn’t mean that we should stop listening to that survival instinct. It is good, and it is smart, and it WILL WARN US, but we have to be willing to be quiet inside ourselves and listen to that voice. We must not tell it to shut up that we don’t want to hear it. It is a good part of ourselves, and we need to listen to ALL the parts of ourselves.

Sorry you have missed me, I haven’t been anywhere, just didn’t get on this morning as had to go to town for supplies.

Beverly

Dear OxDrover. I know that in essence I am better off without the Narcissist, but they have a knack of leaving YOU with the bad taste, they say things to shift the guilt, to make it lodge in your head that if you had been the right kind of person for them, then things would have worked. I can be an over reactor, as you know, and because of that, I tend to verbalise what I see, then somehow the blame shifts to me. This is a tendency that I try hard to overcome, but I have fast energy and I know that the bully I confronted yesterday held me in the same kind of mental grasp as did the Narcissist – nfact he did the same kind of scenario, became unpredictable and I reacted which kind of let him off the hook and he and his mates laughed at me that they could wind me up, which really made me mad. I was going into a shop and the people in the shop said they had already called the police that day.

I am sure my exNarcissist has let himself off the hook in his head by various thoughts that lead him to think that I was too over reactive and that gave him the power to wind me round in circles like a little dog, so that I didnt know whether he was saying things for effect ‘that during one of our breaks – he had the chance to sleep with someone else, if we didnt get back together in a month’, whether he was teaching me a lesson, or whether he really was meeting other women behind my back. Do you see the dilemma I was constantly in.? I felt so naive at the time and at his mercy, that when we got back together I felt relieved ‘that he really did want me’ – how telling is that!

Beverly

I constantly felt like I was trying to keep one step ahead of him and I almost became like a kind of detective, watching him, vetting his actions and words – I was completely zoned in on him, like nothing else existed, even at work, I spent most of my working day analysing and thinking about what he was up to, what he meant etc etc, and of course that obsession doesnt stop when they leave. for a short relationship, it was very intense, it almost became a project, but as much work as I put in, he put in very little, just ‘honouring’ me with his presence now and again, as though he was like the king with the upper hand. I am not very strategic with relationships, what you see is what you get, I dont play games but of course I expect people to react in the same way, which they dont. I think the personal power thing in relationships is really important and much of that is what you are willing to put up with and how you deal with transgressions and how you feel about yourself. In my experience its often the people I know who seem more powerful who are like paper tigers with a front and the poor under dog who does so much but gets so little recognition, that is why I thought I would give him as a disaffected child a chance to make his life good and he made me the underdog.

James

Beverly

“I constantly felt like I was trying to keep one step ahead of him and I almost became like a kind of detective, watching him, vetting his actions and words”

Yes, did the same and does it get draining…

So glad that is over and done with!

Beverly

Dear James, yes it was very draining, he occupied my head all the time, he was the main subject of conversations with friends. I was constantly on a hotline to my friend trying to make sense of it all. I kept sending him txts asking if he was available on ANY level. He was kinda faking interest in the relationship whilst making sure that he did the MINIMUM investment of his time or action, that is why he has probably come out of things with minimal emotional hurt.

Yes, I am very relieved its over and friends and people I have met who havent seen me for a while are ALL saying that I look the best I have in a long time. I was a healthy happy woman before him and he drained me. For a one year relationship (with about 9 breakups) it has taken me nearly that time again to repair and recoup. All the best James.

James

Thanks Beverly,

Yes if you saw the “James” of yesterday and then the “James” of today.. You would have seen two different people.

As far as I am concern. I like/love the James of today and never never miss the James of yesterday…

Ox Drover

Yea, Beverly, I know exactly what you are describing, and my P-son knew just EXACTLY which “buttons” to push in me to get me to “over react” to him.

It was likek there was a panel on my chest with various emotional buttons: PUSH HERE TO MAKE HER MAD, PUSH HERE TO MAKE HER PITY YOU, PUSH HERE TO…..ETC ETC. The knew just what to do to make me react like he wanted, and I FELL INTO THE TRAP. “Accuse her of lying and make her get defensive” “accuse her of not trying and make her….” etc etc. It is a game they play and they get good at it because they learn JUST HOW TO MOTIVATE US TO DO WHAT THEY WANT.

Also, when you are angry or defensive, you don’t focus on what they are doing, but on trying to get them to “believe” that you have not “lied, cheated, been ugly,” or whatever it is that they have accused you of, that they have projected onto you.

If you start trhing to hold them accountable for doing X, then they try to turn the focus and say, “well, yes, BUT you do so-and-so” to get the focus off them and their bad behavior and before you know it you are trying to defend yourself rather than hold THEM ACCOUNTABLE and because we DO try to be “fair” they use it against us. Successful tactic too.

EVen people who are NOT psychopathic have learned this tactic and will use it when they feel defensive too…and I don’t play that game any more, and if someone I am trying to hold accountable starts it and says “Well, yes, but you are not perfect either, because you do such and such” I say “Yes, that is true, I am not perfect, but we are NOT discussing MY behavior last year, we are discussing YOUR behavior NOW, so let’s return to the topic at hand.”

A Psychopath will just NOT do that, they will return to trying to get you to focus on your own “bad behavior” and not on THEIRS.

It is important that we learn these “tactics” so that we can spot them when they come up and rear their ugly heads. In dealing with anyone on any problem at any time, and especially when we are setting boundaries with others. In the workplace, at school, with our family, with anyone we enteract with. It is a good thing to teach children, too.

It isn’t just about “not bringing up the past”—Ps are so “good” at doing a bad behavior as a PATTERN, and if you try to talk to them about this PATTERN of behavior that maybe spans years or decades, it is always “let’s don’t talk about the PAST”—WELL, IF YOU ARE STILL DOING IT, IT ISN’T THE PAST, it is CONTINUOUS. That is another twist that they bring up.

He cheated with Susie, last week, but cheated with Jane a yr ago, and Diane 2 yrs ago, and Lizzie the year before that…so none of these are the PAST, they are a continuation of the same bad behavior, they show a PATTERN of cheating, a pattern of deception that HAS NOT ALTERED OR CHANGED. But NOOOOOOO, they don’t want to talk about the “past” LOL I won’t fall for that one ever again either. LOL

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