No matter how much you know, sometimes you just fall apart anyway

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

I’ve recognized that my son is a psychopath since 2006, and have cut contact with him. Unfortunately, he has not forgotten me, and sent one of his friends to kill me, and probably intended to, one by one, kill the rest of the family, so he could have everything we collectively own.

Every so often Patrick comes up for parole. I have been working with an attorney who “gets it” about psychopaths, and with others, to protest his parole. I have had wonderful support here from the Lovefraud community, many of whom have sent letters to my attorney in support of my parole protest. Many family members and friends have written some wonderful letters as well. Some of the strongest, most meaningful letters are written by hand on lined notebook paper. I have wept when I read some of them, wept tears because it made me feel so loved to read what the person wrote.

But going to people and asking them to write the letters has also been very stressful. It has been embarrassing as well. I had to explain the situation to some people who didn’t know about all this ”¦ “I have a son in prison for murder and he tried to have me killed and I’m protesting his parole. Will you write a letter for me to the parole board?”

Other people have known me for decades, know the situation with Patrick, know he is in prison for murder, know I went into hiding because he sent a former cell mate to kill me.  I had no doubt these people would freely write letters ”¦ and some of them told me a resounding “No, I won’t write a letter.” Even though I told these people there was no way he could find out they wrote the letter, since parole hearings are secret, like grand jury hearings, still, they would not write the letter.

Betrayed and belittled

I felt betrayed and belittled ”¦ that they did not take my safety as a priority. I began to feel somewhat like I felt when my son, D, and I ran for our lives, leaving our home and most of our possessions to go live in a trailer parked in a friend’s front yard. At that time, my son, C, my daughter-in-law, and my mother “pooh-poohed” my fear of a convicted pedophile that was living in my mother’s home as her “live-in caregiver,” was a “friend” to my son, C, and a former cellmate of Patrick’s.

During that fateful summer when I first discovered LoveFraud, I spent days crouched over my computer compulsively crying. I haven’t felt that bad since then. But this parole hearing, and being turned down by people I considered close friends for decades, has sent me into a tailspin of emotional turmoil and physical symptoms brought on by the anxiety and stress.

Last time when he came up for parole, we had a large packet of documents and evidence against my son and the Trojan Horse friend of his. We had letters and cell phone pictures from inside his prison cell that he had e-mailed out to his friend, before he got caught with the cell phone. This time I don’t have that evidence to present to the parole board. And 20 years, plus or minus one or two years, is about all the time “life” for murder means in Texas. (Unless it is a cop or multiple murders.)

This chaotic mess sounds like a plot from a bad soap opera. It was so unbelievable that my new therapist that summer actually thought I was a paranoid schizophrenic, and asked me to bring in witnesses to my bizarre story. Frankly, I wasn’t offended, because my story did sound like a nut job.

Re-experiencing the trauma of the past

Over all I have done pretty well. Even still, I still get stressed!

No contact is so important in allowing us to heal and to stay healed. But just like a physical wound that heals and leaves a scar, and is never the same as undamaged tissue, neither is our psyche. When we have contact, even “back door” contact, when we have to dredge up all the old feelings and the old emotional responses in order to deal with a current problem with the psychopath, it re-injures us.

I publish articles here all the time on how to deal with psychopaths, how to stay strong, and yet, sometimes I feel that anxiety, I feel that stress, and I feel that pain again. So just knowing about psychopaths, just knowing the things to do, doesn’t always keep us from feeling the painful emotions.

It doesn’t mean I am a failure; it simply means I am human. I, too, have feelings, and I, too, have needs for safety and peace. Sometimes, just thinking about the situation with my son takes away that feeling of safety. The disappointment I feel when friends I loved devalue and belittle me by refusing to help me with my parole protest, by even writing a letter—well, it hurts. The ones who have written powerful validations of my situation, though, have made me realize I do have some wonderful caring friends.

So I am not alone. Most of the time I do okay. Most of the time I count my blessings, and I have many blessings. But sometimes, I just cry into my pillow for those people I wish had loved me as much as I loved them.

What I’m trying to say by this article is that no matter how well you do, how healed you are, there may come times in your life when you feel like you are re-experiencing the trauma from the past, and falling apart again. It’s okay. It happens, even to the strongest of us, even to the ones who “know” all about psychopaths, because we are human. We do have emotions, and sometimes those emotions are triggered.

When it happens, accept it. Be good to yourself, let yourself feel your feelings, but rest, eat right, and reach out to those who love you. And above all, count your blessings. God bless.

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51 Comments on "No matter how much you know, sometimes you just fall apart anyway"

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OxD, one of the things that goes all over me is when someone responds to my situation by saying, “I know what you mean,” or, “I know how you feel,” and go on to discuss their botched salon visit. How can anyone who has not lived without a good heat source in the dead of winter, no cookstove, and no hot water “know” what I mean or how I might feel?

That’s precisely what the woman that I mentioned above did – she compared my enduring 15 years of domestic violence and abuse to one experience where she took on 2 truck drivers after she and her friend were picked up hitchhiking. She claimed that she had taken on both of these truck drivers, sexually, to “preserve (her friend’s) virginity.” REALLY?!?! Her conscious choice to hitchike with her friend and engage in sex with random people compares to being repeatedly raped by a spouse in what way?

Right – she lovebombed every female that she encountered who was in dire straights so that she could belittle them and cause them shame. And, she’s STILL alone, STILL unmarried, and will forever remain so, and not by her own choice, but because she is not a nice person, whatsoever.

It’s not always a romantic sociopath that causes damage – and, that’s what is vital for everyone in recovery to understand. When we are vulnerable, ANYONE with a nefarious agenda can scent that out and cut us apart with surgical precision.

Brightest blessings


Your article brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine the pain of what you have been through and are still going through but I can identify with the feelings. They say adults cannot be betrayed but our wounded child can sure still feel the pain. Anyway, I think that is technical misrepresented jargon. We can all be betrayed. We trust and our trust is violated. We give and the recipient takes that and more. We share ourselves and get fake replies or worse, we get shunned.

Your family is torn apart like mine is over a psychopath. Why do we see it so clearly and others refuse to believe or just think it is none of their business or not care what a person has done to someone else? I guess it is the legal mentality of punishment for murder instead of protecting society from murders…and the concept of rehabilitation for those who cannot be cured.

I wonder sometimes why I was chosen to understand this evil phenomenon that no one else wants to see. God knows I did not want to see it or know it. But no one wanted to believe the world was round either. Knowing is better than not knowing but it sure sucks swamp water. What are we going to do with it?

There is a small movement of recognition but I fear it is too little too late. Capitol Hill is a nest of them. Lawyers, police and ministers are and they attract more into positions of power over children, students, innocents. The inmates are running the asylum. It seems the small percentage of them can do more harm than the majority they victimize can count. One or two psychopath per hundred and yet each of them victimizes multiple people. I count at least 15 that the one in my life has victimized and I know that cannot even be the half of it.

The denial is rampant. I have a husband a daughter-in-law, a friend and a therapist who believe and support me besides those of you here on LF. I guess in that I have more than many. Everyone else is out to lunch and playing bridge or golf with them. It makes me so tired. When I was young I thought I had conquered it, saved my children, survived. Now it is about to conquer me.

I saw it in my daughter’s eyes. There is no going back. I wish I could put all of them in prison with your son and keep them there forever.

Bless you and I sent my letter.

Thanks, Betsy, the letters are all I can do this time. Last time I had a ton of EVIDENCE that he was involved in a stock scam, had tried to have me killed and they still gave him 1 year less than they previously had, 3 instead of 4 before he could come back. I am scared shiatless he will get 1 yr or get out this time. The only thing I know to do is to bombard the board with LETTERS OF PROTEST.

My egg donor and I am sure everyone in her church of Satan (these are the people who call themselves “Christians” but they and their pedophile minister turned their backs on me in favor of a pedophile exconvict) are all writing letters of support to get him out. If I sound bitter about that I guess I am, but I work hard to NOT be bitter, but at times it overtakes me.

Being bitter about all this is letting them “win” because it takes away my peace, so I do try too NOT let them take my peace. When we allow someone else to determine our happiness and peace, we are giving them CONTROL over us. I don’t want that. I am human, though, and sometimes I don’t do as well as I know HOW TO DO.

Thanks for your letter for the parole protest and your understanding. I know you DO know how I feel at the “loss” of a beloved child. The betrayal aspect makes it worse too. A while back my son D said “You know if dad or granddad was either one still here none of this would be happening” (my egg donor supporting my son Patrick) But they aren’t here so I just have to accept what IS and do the best I can.

I came from extremely abusive and selfish parents. One of my brothers tried to kill my father…and wanted to kill himself. He was protesting the lack of caring/love these two individuals were unable to give. They could only consider themselves.

Narcissism has become a huge problem. But some are just psychotic narcissists…no therapist, neighbor, counselor, or priest could help my parents. They were too far gone.

Thanks Oxy,

Yes I come time to time to LF to get support. Being a expath’s victim one has to keep up with the material all the time to keep our head straight.

Always good to see you here.

I am constantly thinking about my reaction to different happenings of life, which has taught me a lot.

I went to attend a workshop which was how Trauma effects you and how to get over a trauma.

Expath created trauma in my life and he left leaving me in trauma as well. Workshop indicated at cellular level, even when we continue with our life in most normal way, we sometimes feel in the same rut by something reminds us about them.

Doctor who was giving the workshop said something very important, which was though our mind seems to moved on, trauma leaves its mark on our each cells, and cells hold this traumatic effect in its memory. So then there are triggers which wake up these cellular memory. This is why we always feel the effect of trauma if something reminds us anything about the expath good or bad.

NC is very important, but go easy on yourself if you find yourself in a rut again, it is the process our body goes through it. Remind yourself expath can’t do anything to you anymore, your feeling is what your body is feeling and it will forget tomorrow….

Babs, holy cow – I’m so sorry to read of your childhood and the subsequent business with your brother.

If I remember, you’re involved in counseling therapy with someone that “gets it?” There are distinct visceral core-beliefs that are developed as a result of childhood traumas that leave us wide open to predatory human beings, regardless of how well we may think we have conquered our personal issues. I’m a prime example of that.

Brightest blessings

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