By | June 28, 2012 40 Comments

Our pasts matter: looking back, moving forward

By:  Linda Hartoonian Almas, M.S. Ed

Recently, I’ve spent a fair amount of time reflecting on my life, especially my childhood.  I’ve also spent some time writing about these reflections.  I can’t say exactly what caused me to embark on this mental “roots” journey, but I can say that I identified some remarkable realities, along the way.  These realizations helped me understand my vulnerabilities.

This, in turn, brought clarity regarding what may have made me so attractive to an individual with psychopathic features.  It helped me understand what it was about my past that encouraged me to allow a large portion of my adult life to be swallowed whole by disorder and dysfunction.  It matters less what form it took or what type of relationship occurred.  What matters more is the growth we can achieve from viewing our lives in retrospect.

Why now?    

Perhaps this sudden reflection has to do with my vast amount of experience measuring life by way of the middle.  Now officially in my 40’s, not just 40, mid-life often brings reflections and reassessments.  Good or bad, we tend to examine where we are and where we are going, in relation to where we have been.

It could also have something to do with the 4th of July holiday approaching.  For me, it signifies another mid-point in time.   As a teacher, my mother gauged the summer’s progression in terms of this holiday.  July 4th signified the middle; so many wonderful days still ahead, yet so many that had vanished into memories.  Summer fun still ruled, but its finality lurked somewhere in the not too distant future.  Now, I see things as she did then.

As a member of a mid-western farm family, my father often discussed crop expectations by this date, as well.  He always said that the corn should be at least “knee high by the 4th of July.”  Half-way there (more or less.)

Regardless, one shouldn’t think I’d need to start writing a memoir for this epiphany to occur, but putting pen to paper caused me to realize just how much the pieces of our pasts influence our futures.  Whether good or bad, our histories, core values, and experiences matter.  They significantly influence our choices and impact our decisions.  It is a phenomenon most of us do not give a second thought, but probably should.

The early 70's, July 4th. Every bit of where we have been, influences every bit of where we go. Our pasts matter.


Why us? 

By the time we make it to Lovefraud, we are usually, at least, in the beginning phases of understanding psychopathy.  We may even have fairly good handles on our situations.  Nonetheless, we ponder.  What was it about us that placed the targets on our heads?  What allowed anyone to believe that we would be responsive to potentially fatal doses of abuse and manipulation, like puppets on strings?

Perhaps we were convenient, they gave it a shot, and we responded.  It could be that simple. We could have been sitting at dinner with friends in a crowded restaurant.  Overhearing even portions of our words could have clued them in to our availability, or lack thereof.  They often “troll” for victims, possibly making many attempts, prior to finding us.  We could have been at work.  The likely scenarios are virtually endless.

Maybe we looked lost, desperate, or were exhausted from earlier unhealthy relationships.  Maybe we gave off tremendous vibes of happiness or intense positive energy.  The more we have to give, the more there is to take.

Why are we, so often, such strong individuals?  Why do others tend to view us as “least likely candidates?”  Why do we commit to those who harm us, remaining attached to their drama for so long?  To a large degree, I believe it has to do with our beginnings.

I truly believe that our values, beliefs, and early life experiences factor into the selection process.  We don’t escape our pasts; good, bad, or otherwise.

So much of my history made me vulnerable.  Retrospectively, I had several strikes against me.  At the same time, that very history afforded me a solid foundation that nothing can permanently damage.  For that, I am thankful.

I never saw it coming

Early on, I formed a life plan and worked hard to bring that plan to fruition.  Over time, it changed and took various forms, but I always worked hard at whatever task was in front of me.  Regardless of the specifics, I was certain that if I did everything “right,” I could accomplish whatever I chose.  A little simplistic, but not a bad approach.

Just as I began to execute my plan, I would experience the proverbial “shot from behind.”  I was hit with a bullet of destruction that I never saw coming.  Who I was began to die, and would keep dying for many years.

I began living a life that was a lie, but I was not consciously aware of what was happening because it wasn’t my lie.  I knew that much was wrong, but did not know how to change it.

I gave freely and was completely forthcoming.  That’s not to say that I handled everything perfectly.  I did not.  However, until I understood the trappings,
the force working against me was impenetrable.

At the time, I failed to understand that disorder lurks in places we often don’t recognize.  It found me and I unknowingly welcomed it into my world, allowing it to deceive me, attempt to thwart my plans, and try to destroy me.

I was exhausted, as bits and pieces of me disintegrated.  Still, I was unable to stop it, simply because I did not understand that the disorder was incapable of
seeing anyone else’s reality.  Once I did, its hold disintegrated.  Even in the thick of serious conflict, its strength was gone.

Cleared for take off

It was the fall of my 23rd year.  I was excited to finally be leaving the flight instructing scene for bigger and better, but did not know that I was about to be stopped dead in my tracks.  I finally landed the coveted “multi” job.

All aspiring young airline pilots needed “multi” time, or time in multi-engine aircraft, in order to get airline interviews.  It was the mid-nineties, and the airlines wouldn’t even look at pilots without at least 250 hours in this type of equipment.  That was the magic number.  Someone, somewhere, decided that with that and about 2000 hours of total time, we were in.  I was on my way.

Being a young woman, it was fabled that all l had to do was not completely blow the ILS (instrument landing) approach in the simulator, and properly answer a few fuel burn, rate of descent, and “people” questions.  Obviously, this was an oversimplification, as airlines really do want to hire safe pilots.  However, rumor had it that I’d be in the left seat (captain position) at a “major” in no time.  I certainly didn’t want to waste any time.  I wanted to find out first hand.  However, for me, something else was in the cards.

The beginning of the end

At the age of 20, I decided to pursue aviation, one of my life-long interests.  Likely still in rebellion over not having been given free access to the family car, I decided that I would fly airplanes.  I was a good kid who kept out of trouble, but I was about to declare my independence.  I was about to take a risk; a concept that was completely foreign to me.

In my young mind, I was done playing it safe (sort of.)  I was going to explore uncharted territory.  Who needed the law degree my parents suggested I pursue?  Who wanted to teach school, as they encouraged?  Not me.  I would fly.  I was rebelling, with a slight delay.  For the most part, it was the first time.  Yet, even at that, I tried to do so somewhat productively.  I hoped my rebellion would lead to a lucrative career.

It was either that or become a police officer, another life-long interest that raised eyebrows.  Ever since Cagney and Lacey hit prime time television, I knew I wanted to do that job.  My plan became more exciting when I announced that I’d eventually like to try to fly for a police agency.  Double whammy.  I longed for the adventure that I felt I lacked.

What I did not know was that this “hole,” this temporary, post adolescent quest for adventure, excitement, and novelty, even if it was “productive,” made me perfect fodder for an individual with psychopathic features.

Strike one.  I was restless and seeking adventure.

Early life   

I grew up in middle class suburbia, on the outskirts of one of our nation’s largest cities.  My mom was a teacher and my father a school administrator and social services director.  We had a nice house, in a somewhat prestigious community.  Each of my parents took great pride in their work, family, and home.  To me, life seemed perfect.

Everyone got along.  We handled any conflicts head on, with words, love, and understanding.  My sister and I were both active in sports and the arts.  My
parents emphasized being well rounded, and valued education.  We both graduated from the same all girls, private college preparatory high school.
We were given all of the opportunities they could afford.

Although we worked to gain an understanding of and appreciation for money, my parents paid for our undergraduate degrees, as well as my sister’s law degree.  However, we were, in turn, expected to  succeed.  They also taught us to live within our means, and expected that we demonstrate that understanding.  While they were firm, they were also our greatest supporters.  We always had their time, attention, and emotional support.

We were taught to value life, respect ourselves and others, to be honest, and to consider the feelings of others.  Coming of age in the 60’s, they were also very open minded and encouraged us to be tolerant and empathetic.

Things were good and we were happy.  Our models were healthy ones.

Strike two.  I didn’t know or understand dysfunction.

Location, location, location   

There were some in my hometown’s surrounding suburbs who thought that the kids in my neighborhood were “rich,” simply because we lived there.  Although all of our needs and many of our wants were met, my family was not wealthy.  It was happenstance that my parents chose the neighborhood while it was still affordable, as was the case for a large percentage of the families there.

Admittedly, most of us probably didn’t do much to terminate the stereotype.  Perhaps, some even behaved in manners that perpetuated it.  I remember my friends and I claiming to hate it, acting offended by their suggestions.  However, I’m not really sure anyone was truly bothered.  It was the 80’s.  We were growing up in times of excess, as members of reasonably successful, hard working families.

This attitude, however, influenced what we wanted for our futures.  It influenced what I wanted for my future.  We had it good and we knew it.  We liked things as they were and wanted the same for ourselves when we came of age.

We were also the first generation to see most of our mothers enter the professions and pursue advanced degrees.  Whether they stayed in their chosen fields or ultimately stayed home to care for their families varied, but either seemed acceptable.  Regardless, it appeared to be a choice.  Collectively, our adults placed high expectations on us.  As a group, we were expected to thrive.

Strike three.  I was ambitious and expected a lot from myself and those around me.  I assumed all others wanted the same.  I was wrong.


Every day, I am thankful for how and where I grew up.  The combination encouraged me to set the bar high, and in spite of any amount of adversity, to keep it there.  That does not mean that every day feels successful.  That does not mean that every day is successful.  However, I try to keep the tools I need to succeed handy, in order to deal with whatever comes my way.

Sometimes, I think different circumstances would have better prepared me for the dysfunction that walks among us.  That, however,  is not anything I can change.  Each of our circumstances are highly individual and most of us had no control over them.  Whether we created our own adult experiences as the result of our exposure to dysfunction, lack thereof, or any of the many other hundreds of reasons, really does not matter.  What matters is what we take away from them and how we choose for ourselves in our futures.

I enjoyed my mental journey back in time.  It was energizing to recall the neighborhood pool, the town’s  July 4th celebrations, family holidays, friends, and all that I held as gospel from an innocent time.  I needed to revisit pre-school, a time when I was afraid to leave my mom’s side.  I needed to hear Dad’s guitar playing Simon and Garfunkel music again, even if only in my mind.  I laughed, remembering my ability to recite all of the major bones of the body at the age of four (Dad taught high school biology at the time and thought it was pretty neat that I could start with the cranium, advance to the scapula,  clavicle, and eventually end with my tiniest lower phalange, five minutes later.  Anyone who enjoyed that also got to listen to me explain photosynthesis.)  Somewhere, my tiny little voice is on tape reciting and “teaching.”

Symbolically, I traveled to a place I needed to visit; one that is probably healthy for each of us to check in with every now and then, regardless of what we find when we get there.  Why?  Because our pasts matter.  If we understand them, we will be better equipped to steer our own futures.  No strings attached.  No puppet masters directing.



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Ox Drover

Linda, your ambition to be an airline pilot really hit home with me. As a female of an earlier generation (my oldest son is about your age) I wanted to be the FIRST female airline pilot and had the opportunity when I lived with my P sperm donor to learn to fly airplanes and get a reasonable number of hours in 2 and even 4 engine planes, small planes and larger cargo planes.

But that opportunity was lost to me when after my sperm donor raped and beat me I had to escape that with my life and one small suitcase of personal items….and a LOT OF BAGGAGE. So my desire to be the first airline pilot fell to the way side. I am glad though that some few women later took that aspiration and went with it and became airline pilots and anything else they wanted to be.

Some of the psychopaths I have known I chose to be in their life, to allow them into mine. Others of the psychopaths I have known have been in my family and extricating them from my life has been a large and painful procedure similar to cutting off your own leg with a rusty butcher knife without anesthetic.

When one is engage in fighting for one’s life and sanity, it is difficult to focus on advancements in career or anything else, so it was later in my life than the traditional student in their early 20s I completed my degree and went into the career that I had focused on when I was in high school before I went to live with the P sperm donor…nursing, and decided to go into advanced practice nursing, then in its infancy. I don’t regret that in any way. It allowed me an interesting career and a livelyhood that was at least above average.

My childhood also had some good and nurturing people in it that gave me a set of moral tools which though at times I may not have used to best advantage, at least gave me a focus that has been a good foundation that has been able to counter some of the less than stellar individuals I’ve had to deal with.

We all, regardless of what kind of childhood we had, good or bad or a mixture of both, are still responsible for the choices we make…even the Ones we make without full knowledge of what we are encountering in some such as a psychopath.

When we do learn better though, we can accomplish better decisions and better choices and learn to see the RED FLAGS of dysfunction that will cause consequences we don’t want.

Thank you for a wonderful article and I think all of us, what ever our ages are, should look back at the paths we have chosen and the paths we decided not to choose and to reconcile our lives and our choices and move forward with better and safer choices to a better and safer life!


Linda, thank you for this article. What an amazing person you are! Airline pilot….wow…..

Yeah, I put my aspirations and goals on “hold” for the first exspath. I met one of my goals with the second, and it was no small effort to finish what I had started.

But, I think it’s something that we all do – look back and see where were heading when we were derailed.

Thanks, again, for such a honest and forthright article.

Brightest blessings



That was an awesome article…I enjoyed reading it!

I must say though that I came from a very dysfunctional family and it didn’t help me identify spaths before they could hurt me. I just don’t want you to worry that you may have been better equipped to steer clear of an spath if you would have had some dysfunction in your life. I think most if not all the rest of us on here came from dysfunctional families and it didn’t prepare us at all unfortunately.

Also, if we are to look at our pasts and see how they molded us, we must also look at the spaths pasts and see how it affected them. Most people downplay that and get upset and say there is no excuse for what they have done to us, but I think childhoods and what happened there have a tremendous impact on us and certainly can influence the way we act. I’m not excusing their behavior, but whatever they went through molded them just like it molded us.

kim frederick

I have an interesting, if a little creepy, story to tell:
I was at work on Tuesday late afternoon….very, very slow,,,when a man walked in the door carrying a bunch of loose leaf binders and headed to the back of the diner,
I asked him what he would like to drink, and he said, “can I have a Coke?” I said, “no, because we have Pepsi products, but…” He said, fine. Pepsi is fine.” I said, “well, you can’t have Pepsi either because our machine has been down, and even though it has been surviced, we’ve been advised not to serve any until 8 or 9 tonight. It’s probably only because it isn’t cold, yet. You can try a Pepsi if you like.” He said, “no. Sweet tea is fine.”
I brought him the tea, and asked if he was ready to order. He was working on his books and said that he hadn’t even looked at the menu. “Okay, I said. I’ll come back in a few minutes. When I did, he still hadn’t looked at the menu.
Okay….I’ll come back. Keeping an eye on him from the dish pit, he raised his head from his books, and our eyes met. “You ready”? I asked. He shook his head, No.
Not wanting to keep bothering him, I said, “.You just hollar when you’re ready.”
After about twenty minutes, I asked if he’d like a re-fill, and he said no, he didn’t think he liked it. Then he said, ” have to be somewhere in ten minutes, I’m ready to order, is that enough time? At first I said yes, then hesitated, and said, ohhhh, I don’t know, ten minutes? He laughed and said, “I’m just kidding,” I have to leave at 7:30, can you come back at 7. Sure, I said. 7 it is. In the mean time, I got some of my work done, but every once in a while he’d interject in some light and casual conversation. He asked, “If you were eating dinner here, what would you order?” I said i would order breakfast, that we make really good breakfasts. Later, he asked, “What are rents like here?” I answered that it just depends on what you want.” Then, I found myself telling him about my little house that was built in 1754, and is located down-town, which I really like. Then I told him how much I pay a month to live there. He answered, “That living down-town is pretty cool, when you want to stagger home out of the bar.” I laughed, and answere, “yeah, I suppose it is, but I haven’t done that in years.” He asked, “What’s your favorite bar”? I thought for a minute and said, “Well, it used to be mid-town. Wow, he said, that closed about 5 years ago.” At this point it occured to me that he had asked me about rents, but knew enough about the island, to know the mid-town had closed 5 years ago. Then he asked if we served liver and onions, and I said, “No, why? Do you have a hankering for liver and onions?” “No,” he says. Later, I thought it was kind of a snipey insult concerning drinking too much.
He eventually ordered a bowl of chili, ate it and made his way to the register. He played some stupid game about standing back, and letting others cash out first, just so he could watch my reaction when he handed me a quarter and said,”thank-you sooo much for your service.” I reacted appropriately, as per the cat and mouse game, and he laughed, then went back and left a pretty good tip on the table.
The point of this long narritive is this:
I found this man attractive, and was kind of enjoying our banter. I felt he was “interested” in some mild way. It wasn’t until he handed me a quarter that I was a little turned off by him.
Later that night I realized that I had given him a lot of information about myself without even thinking about it. He was sizing me up, and I played right into it.
Then, I found myself wondering if he was an insurance agent, or a detective, or a Doctor. Because I wanted there to be a legitimate reason why he was exhibiting his skill at doing such…..
Lord. How very deeply our trauma bonding personalitys are rooted.
It made me realize that I am attracted to men like this. That I have No boudrys and that I enjoy the cat and mouse game as a form of court-ship. No damn wonder I’ve been married to one spath, one narcissist and then in a relationship with a second spath that lasted 7 years.
I’m very proud to say, though, that I have been spath free for 5 years in September. Yay.


Hmm very interesting..You and I both like the mysterious men with an edge. I hope he doesnt show up unanounced, keep your door’s locked, it sounds to me like he was checking you out a little to much. The quarter was a low class attempt at humor. Yes you were both playin a little cat and mouse but that’s OK, your a grown woman. Let us know if he comes back…
Your little house sounds devine, so old, full of good karma, I can tell… thanks for sharing this….:)

kim frederick

(((((Hens)))) Yeah, my house is really cute. It looks a lot like a cabin in the appalaichian mountains, with the original fire-place right smack in the middle of the house. Lace curtains on the windows, and a ginger-bread porch. I have bright colorful flowers going down the steps. 🙂
I’m thinking about buying a loft bed and putting it over my dresser, so that I can open up a little living space….maybe find a really nice area rug and two comfortable chairs….just in case…..someday I might want to have company…LOL.
I bought a compact washer and dryer set from Walmart and will pick them up tomorrow. I’m sooooo excited.
I just wish I was a better house-keeper. Never have been very good at it. I keep the dishes up, and take care of the “stuff” that has a place, but my house is so small, I smoke, and I like to cook. It gets dirty quick. I need to scrub my floors, take down my shades and clean them, wash my throw rugs and curtains…and it;s time for a paint job.
My land-lord did say he’d get me a storm door. 🙂
Life is good, Hen’s. I LOVE living alone and being independant. This is bliss. I wish I had more of a social life, but I’m gonna work on that.
How are You? When’s the next moon dance?


I think living alone is a luxury, just think of how many people dont have the option of living alone. Your place sounds so charming, I can tell you are a nester just like me, I have to have my home and things just right just for me, but always with the thot that it looks good if somebody comes over. In the summer my house get’s dusty and dirty because I spend all my free time outside playing in the dirt. I own my things they do not own me so let the dust settle. I have a walmart stack washer and dryer, have had it 15 years and it’s my bestest friend.

Moondance? Oh it always moondance time for me…hugs


Kim, it occurred to me that that mysterious and attractive stranger did you a favor by tipping you off with his quarter “joke,” and you also clearly recognized it for the red flag it is. Even though you gave him a lot of personal info.

That is a great (creepy) story, and it reminded me a lot of myself and some of the situations I used to “get myself” into (being drawn to cat and mouse games as a form of flirting)…. I appreciate your sharing it because it made me reflect back on some things I haven’t thought about for a long time, to get some more insights. 🙂


Kim…..aaaahhhhhh……it goes back to the title of this article, in a sense.

Working so closely with the public, waitressing tends to open up a lot of doors to information that would normally remain closed. IMHO, I feel that you had absolute cause to feel creeped-out. He asked some REALLY probing questions.

Lately, when people begin asking probing questions, I try my level best to shift the topic of conversation. I’m not always successful, but it’s a start.

That quality of being open is what spaths put their crosshairs on – they fish for information, and we give it to them because we are not of their ilk! And, don’t they know it? My gosh, it’s the most uncanny thing I know of.

Well, it was a good experience to tuck under your belt, Kim.

Brightest blessings!

ash phoenix

Hello all

I don’t know whether this is the right thread to share this, but I needed to post it somewhere! For the past few days I have been waking up with such a feeling of lightness and joy. My very first thought on waking has been: ‘I am going to be alright. I am really going to be alright’. Those of you who have read my posts will know that I was briefly involved with a path – around 5 months – but that the spathiness etc. took its toll. After I voluntarily chose to exit the relationship (thank goodness I did) I was stonewalled completely. It was this, and the discovery that I had been involved with a Spath all that time, that made me feel I was going crazy. I had never experienced anything so cruel as being completely ignored. ‘If’ Spath ever tries to contact me again, it will be complete NC. Nada, nothing, ever again.

For at least 3 months afterwards, I felt as ‘though my brain was made of cotton wool and that I was sleepwalking through existence, or living in some sort of underwater world. Since finding this blog, reading the resources & a whole lot of books, listening and learning & eventually plucking up the courage to post, I have started feeling that I can ‘breathe’ again. I didn’t realise that I had been holding my breath for months. As every day has passed, I have felt my spirits lift a fraction more. Today marked a personal turning point. I know in the depths of my heart, as well as in my head, that I am on the road to healing.

A big thank you to all of you who have encouraged me over these past weeks. I am going to be OK. And all of you will be too. Hugs xx


Ash……….I’m so glad to hear that you’re self-affirming that you’re going to be okay!!!! You always WERE on your healing path, but it was kinda difficult to recognize the landmarks.

You are valuable, you are sharp, and you are so unique in this Universe – take that back from that jagoff and flip him off, forever.

HUGS and brightest blessings!

New Beginning

Great article, Linda!

I’ve reached the same conclusion that my near-perfect upbringing made me a target. Dysfunction – didn’t have a clue about that but at the tender age of 21 married into a famiy which was the complete opposite of mine……but you couldn’t see it on the surface.

There is much truth to P’s/S’s being attracted to someone who ranks high on the happiness scale. When my ex’s mask finally broke into a million pieces, I asked why he married me to begin with. This question perplexed him……and most surprisingly he didn’t KNOW the right answer was because he loved me. A week later he runs over to my all excited because he figured out the answer. He wanted to be in a family like mine. Interestingly, he was accepted into the family but found out decades later he never felt like he fit. Go figure.


Hello Linda,

Wanted to add my appreciation of your article. I agree with Louise ….dysfunction or the exp of it in childhood did nothing to prepare me. I didn’t begin to recognise or acknowledge our family dynamic until I was an adult. Even then I spent another 20 years blaming myself, blaming my genes, …..not getting anywhere fast! I can tell you I still don’t have the answers and it’s not really a solution i want anyway.

I’ve made some bad choices in my life. Your words have strengthened my resolve. It’s a wonderful world out there…..after a lifetime of living with someone, I am for the first time on my own. It’s lonely…..sometimes. Yeh I miss the companionship ….even though it was one sided. But boy o boy it’s peaceful. It’s mine to make. My future is being decided by me from now on. Moving forward, but never forgetting my past.
Great article, thanks so much


Strongawoman, you mentioned how “peaceful” it is without the spath. Yes… is. And, as far as the “companionship” that I experienced with the exspath, it was all an illusion.

Linda’s article was something that I needed to read right when it was posted. I know how I got here, and I am finally taking the reigns of this mad-horse I’ve been on for the whole of my lifetime. We’re going to become friends, this horse and me. It’s been running its entire life out of fear, and it may take some time, but it’ll gentle-down enough to be a better ride.


Hi everyone, new here and not sure how to post a new thread! Hope everyone is doing as ok as can be after a traumatic run in with a psychopath\narcissist.

I’m 23 and just left a four month intense relationship with a horrible person who put me through hell and made me feel as though I’ve been going crazy!

Luckily I read a blog by Claudia on psychopathyawareness and it all clicked! I realised what he was and why hed been acting so strangely. I then stopped responding to his constant texts and emails and have been feeling slightly more stable since. Every day is a struggle and I’m left feeling like the whole relationship was a lie. How will I ever trust again?!

The worst part is I literally can’t stop thinking about him, and the whole situation. It seems to be completely consuming my life. I was wondering if anyone else felt like this during the early stages of no contact?

I’ve been prescribed some anti depressants and was wondering if you all think it’s a good idea under the circumstances?!



Our pasts…
Yes! I awoke at 445 this morning for no reason in particular. I checked my Facebook only to find a message from my ex spaths aunt. The message went ‘I have been requested by my family member to unfriendly you as it is making this person uncomfortable that we are friends. This person feels in order to move on fully he would appreciate this. I guess it’s for the best but if u want to have contact still , you can email me at…’

This defriending is ridiculous. The ex is setting this up too…you see, I blocked him from all communication! He can’t even see she and I are friends on facebook!!! Not to mention this aunt he’s only known for 2 years and I INTRIDUCED THEM AFTER FINDING HIS BIO FAMILY!!!

God…it’s so clear to me! I think he tried contacting me only to get his message blocked or sent back. This feels like one more way to stick it to me EXCEPT… His aunt gave me her email address to stay on contact!!!!

Lololololol…that one didn’t quite work out for him I guess. Sad thing is that she DID defriending me, at his request! He’s reinforced once again by using the pity ploy!


Onelukygurl, it’s not a loss for you, and I’d lose the aunt’s contact information, by accident (of course), like……right now. ANY connection with the spath is still a connection, and if I were to maintain communication with this aunt, she would turn around and provide the spath with information about me. Apparently, she’s easily manipulated and this is always a bad scenario for all non-spaths involved.

I cut off all contact with ANYONE that I knew through the exspath. “Unfriend,” blocked, and forgotten. They’ll support his version of events because they don’t know any different – they only “know” the lies that they’ve been told, and I refuse to get into a pissing contest with a skunk.

Brightest blessings


OMG!!! It’s a one upsmanship! My ex knows full well how badly my feelings were hurt when his bio mom defriended me. His aunt tho hadn’t. It’s been a year and a half of us being ‘friends’ on fb and he’s not requested this! Why would he, right?
I have a sneaky suspicion this is payback, again, for not sending the video! How sad and sick is this!!! He has literally no leverage with me EXCEPT for THIS avenue?
His aunt respectfully listened although I have a feeling also that she sees what’s goin on. Why give me the email if not. This, like the video is not about how ‘ uncomfortable’ HE is w us being cyber friends as he can’t even see me in Facebook! It’s about control.


‘I habeen requested by family that i defriend you so that ‘they’ can fully move on’
Yes!!! How manipulative! Removing me from her friends list isn’t going to impact his ability to move on! HAAAA!!! That even SOUNDS stupid!
His aunt lives 2 hours away from him… It’s not about the Facebook!!! He is sooooo manipulative-I’m half tickled and half pissed !


Onelukygurl………sieze the RELIEF of cutting every tie from that piece of stinking baggage!!!! Yeah, at first, it’s hurtful because we don’t understand the dynamics, but it’s a godsend in the long run.

With regard to the FB association, “online” relationships are not necessarily based upon quality, especially Facebook and other social networking sites. I can say, without shame, that I really don’t care if someone just had their coffee without milk because they didn’t get to the store, the previous evening. I really don’t. I don’t like seeing my page full of stupid sayings, and social/political observations. I do not care HOW boring someone’s vacation is! It’s all claptrap and blathering.

So…you can walk away from that closed door and never look back.




Hi, sorry about your spath relationship, but glad you are doing research.

I read Claudia’s site as well, but this site is interactive which allows for a lot more healing.

Have you been reading about trauma bonds? Betrayal bonds? Reading about those types of bonds may help you a bit – understanding why it is so hard to stop obsessing.

Hope you feel better soon, things do get better with time. And antidepressants can be helpful I’ve found.


I also got an email from him… Could be spam. Same email he went about a month ago from a different email address except this time I’m the only one who it was sent to. Again, it was an article for working at home. Coincidental? Knowing his games, probably not.

kim frederick

I. agree with Karma, Mouse. Read as much as you can. You say you thought you were going crazy-read about “gas-lighting.” Read about projection. Read about PTSD and it’s symptoms. Google Narcissists victim syndrome. And, as Karma said, learn about trauma bonding.
I took antidepressants after discovering my marriage was a sham, and they were a miracle for me.
Some others here, will tell you that antidepressants didn’t work for them. All you can do is give it a shot.
I hope you stick around.

kim frederick

Lucky, that was one of those unfortunate last right “digs” that your spath was able to administer by proxy. You have cut-him off, and he was able (in his mind) to have the last word via his aunt. Just accept it for what it is…the last vestage of his way in, and let it go.
It was the crack in the armour and he found it. Close it up, spackle and move on.


YES!!! That’s exactly how it feels too! Another ‘dig’…by proxy. His aunts no dummy though.
I emailed her n told her I felt conflicted although was pleased she gave me the respect to tell me ‘why’. I told her i didnt think the request was ‘actually’ to help that person ‘move on fully’ and that things aren’t always as they appear.
She emailed me saying shes ‘old enough to know things arent always as they appear’ and apologized and asked that I not be upset with her. She said she ‘hates that I’ve been dragged into this drama’ and said she is ‘so sorry’. She hopes I have moved on from this a long time ago. She told me she thought I was gorgeous n smart and apologized… Again.
I replied n thanked her, again. I told her I didn’t regret all of the time except that I wasn’t smarter sooner. I told her I HAVE moved in and an writing a book about the experience quoting ‘they don’t even know what they don’t know’… Saying it applies nicely here.

I don’t understand still the whole point. Having his aunt defriend me is REAKKY gonna be the missing piece to his healing? Oh sweet Jesus! Gimme a break. She’s smarter than he gives her credit for… She gave me her email instead!

kim frederick

Lucky, I so agree with truthspeak. Lose the E-mail address. I urge you to be painfully honest with yourself, here. These “by proxy” relationships can be evidence of a lingering trauma bomd. All three of you are points in a covert triangle. By communicating with her, you leave the crack open, and you are attempting to enter into his crack.
You will not have any peace until you close the crack.

I am intimately familiar with these dynamics, because I am a trauma bonding fool from way back. I have done these things, too, all the time, lying to myself, and the cycle just continued, on and on, ad infinitum.
The only way to stop it, is to stop it.


I agree…There IS a trauma bond!
I’m done. This is MY way of being in charge of ME!

kim frederick

I thought I’d post this link to excerpts from Dr. Carnes book, “The Betrayal Bond.”


Thank you Kim! I actually have that book and read it after we initially broke up. I’ll have to look through and see what I highlighted to remind myself of where Ive come from.


“Our pasts matter” – it never ceases to amaze me how this site always has an article or comment that goes right to the heart of my issue.

I went to see the counselor yesterday. After taking some basic info and listening to me for about 20 minutes she has come to the conclusion that my “problem” stems from severe abandonment issues from my childhood. It is not about my spath at all, it’s all about abandonment.

This assessment confused me, since I didn’t feel abandonded at all. My parents worked but we had an extended family and one of my grandparents were always there.

In order to get some other input on this I called my sister last night and we had a long conversation on our childhood. She had already told me she believed our father was emotionally distant and I had conveyed that to the counselor. Is that what she meant? In our recollections I did have to agree with her that my father was there physically when he was not at work but was somewhere else mentally. I also knew he did not like small children but only learned this after I had had a child. Were there some traumas when I was much younger that I didn’t remember?

Most of the HAPPY moments in my life come from my childhood. If they are taken away from me by some deep delving into my past I would rather die.

If I knew how to start a new thread I would. I would like to know if anyone out there has seen a “professional” and what they did to help them. Mine does not see any “addiction” issues with my spath, only abandonment. Now I am more confused then when I went and again need your help. Any advice would be appreciated.

I do plan on seeing her one more time so I can get clarification on a few things she said but the appointment is not for two weeks. Thanks again for all your help.

your therapist sounds like she is giving you canned advice.

Yes, your upbringing is very much involved but the spath is also the current cause of your current symptoms.

Your upbringing is the cause of your choice to have a relationshit with a spath.

I would be hesitant to go to a therapist that doesn’t understand abuse, narcissism, psychopathology, cluster b pd’s, etc… You need someone to help you tie together your childhood in your past to your current choices today. That connection is the key.

When I first left the spath someone asked me if there was anyone I could trust. I said, “my parents, I know I can trust them.” HA! It took a while to realize that they were the cause of my vulnerability to spaths. My mother was a stay at home mom, for most of my childhood but it made no difference. She wasn’t “there” for me.



I don’t know your details, such as whether there are any constraints on whom you are able to see for therapy, but I would be loath to embark with anyone who is not only drawing such big conclusions but articulating them to me after 20 minutes of intake.

I also wonder about the fact that your next appointment is weeks away. You should be able to call your therapist and ask him/her to explain this more rather than have to wonder for weeks. Through the years, I have had a number of therapists and all of them have offered to be available by phone in between appointments.

I say all this believing that our pasts do matter and exploring these themes with a therapist is a great way to understand more. I just don’t think I could respect or trust someone who has my whole case boxed up in 20 minutes.

I hope this works out well for you!



My first therapist fell asleep. Still tried to charge me for the session. The second one insisted that I go on drugs or he wouldn’t see me. About halfway into the session. Third one was honest and said he didn’t understand what I was talking about. I quit looking after that.

Make sure you stay proactive like your doing here.

Here are 7 common traits of people that get caught up in relationships with bad people. See how many of these fit you.

Wound #1 The wound of not believing in yourself ”“ you’ll believe the lies an abuser tells you over and above your own heart and mind
Wound #2 The wound of not trusting your own perceptions ”“ so you end up seeing your world through his eyes
Wound #3 The wound of not feeling lovable just as you are
Wound #4 The wound of self-sacrifice ”“ much as you know it doesn’t work, you can’t stop doing it
Wound #5 The wound of invisibility ”“ you’re programmed to be unseen, and unheard
Wound #6 The wound of not being your adult self ”“ you’re still that unsupported little girl, frozen in time
Wound #7 The wound of shame ”“ somehow you carry the blame, and the shame, for everything that happens.


Stormy, I’m in total agreement with everyone else: RED FLAGS OF THERAPY!!!!

Instant assessment.
WEEKS before next appointment

No, dear one, this one doesn’t “get it.” Yeah, there may be mild abandonment issues that the spath was able to hone in on, but that is an impossible assessment to make in 20 minutes, or the first session.

Did you try calling your local domestic violence/abuse hotline? Yeah, yeah….I know it’s kind of drastic, but drastic times call for drastic measures. It might take a couple of days for them to get back to you, but they sure will point you in the general direction of Good Choices For Counselors.

Brightest blessings, dear one


The first time “I” went to therapy, I was told that I was a masochist and he was a sadist and that the therapist thought we deserved one another….

Here, try these little pills and see me in two weeks…
I DONT THINK SO. And, it didn’t happen either.

First off, I am NOT a masochist although I might have to add that I think “IT” is a sadist…

however, the point of the matter is: I am not going to, at no time, ever, be spathanized by a therapist. NO WAY.

Shop carefully, especially if you have medical insurance covering your treatment. You want it to HELP not pull you down and look for one who ‘gets it’ about the relationship or you are just spinning your wheels. Your insurance provider is a good place to start researching for another referral.

It’s not about ‘abandonment issues’; it’s not about anything but THE SPATH EXPERIENCE.
If you get a counselor who does not understand that, keep looking.

It took me a while but I finally have someone who is VERY understanding because THEY have had it happen to them.
Most counselors don’t or can’t understand all this, at least according to my searches for a therapist. And, of course, for me, that seemed to only add to and intensify the difficulties I was originally having, by having to work through the maze of the psychological world. Don’t give up though; keep trying…it works when you get the right one.

Blessings to you Stormy…



Spoon, thank you for the 7 indications…..those were my “symptoms,” each and every one.

For everyone……turn up your volume and SING the words if you know them, EVEN if the tears come on:



It’s from Annie Kaszina. Follow that link she puts out an email about once to twice a week. And your welcome.

A lot of it can be tied to the abandonment issue. Even if both parents are there it doesn’t mean that they where there emotionally for the child.

But the spath issues do need to be addressed. PTSD, trauma bonding and the like. It’s all tied together.


Yesterday while I was on my daily walk along a dirt road, it dawned on me that it could really help us let it off our chest if we could just bring back all our past trauma memories (relations with psychopathic authority figures, bullying, verbal, physical abuse, manipulation, and anything psychopathic we may have been subjected to). I felt it could help us make a mental cleanse in order to externalize all the feelings, that lie dormant in our subconcious minds so that we can begin our healing from our present trauma on a clean slate.
I’ve had the misfortune of growing up with some psychopathic authority figures. One of them was an aunt whose goal in life was to pursue money. She met a rich landowner, a millionaire and she cast a spell on him in such a way that there was no better woman for him in the whole world. She had a lover on the side for many years until the death of her husband (she married him while he was dying to inherit as much as possible from him). He had three sons and she feared a legal encounter with them so her lover helped her with the bureaucracy to keep their money safe. She was even keepting money under the tiles of her house. Well waited until I had come of age to invite me to spend some time with her on the summer of 1987. She made sure I was over 18 years of age to avoid any troubles with the law. She made it all appear as if she was interested in seeing me and taking care of me and offer me a nice and sweet vacation. She cooks quite well so she would say that she would feed me such good food that I would look like a queen, as she would literally put it. I accepted her invitation and went to Marbella (Spain) and stayed one month with her. At the time I didn’t know anything about her machinations, but today I’m aware of what her intention was. She wanted me to keep company with her ‘rich’ partner so that she would have plenty of time to spend with her lover. She would make me stay with her partner until late at the hottest hours of the day, from 12 to 3pm and she would leave at 11:30 or so to prepare lunch as she said. In actual fact, what she wanted is to have her lover come to the house and stay with him, and feed him (that explains why shopping early in the morning at the food market meant buying large amounts of food, boxes of fruit and vegetables of all kinds and a lot of fish and meat, etc which left me wondering). Her lover apparently had family of his own, he was a divorcee and had a few nephews and brothers, etc. I’m not aware if he had offspring of his own). Anyway, I got a heatstroke as a result of spending the long evening hours at the beach at her request and fell ill for three days with a high fever, I felt so bad I thought I was going to die. She even told me that I could die and cited a case of some other woman dying from the same condition as mine. Fortunately I got better and I think the thought of leaving in just a few days probably played a role in my healing (you know what I mean, part of my bad condition was due to the evil psychopathic energy going all around me). That first visit was followed by many other visits through to the year 1992. During those years, she tried to teach me shoplifting being the experienced shoplifter that she was, I don’t know about today (I have been no contact since that year). On another occasion she planned a car accident so that her partner would die with me and my sister in the car to make it appear as if her partner had two young lovers with whom he had spent his money (all to save face before the eyes of her partner’s offspring should they decide to question her inheritance as he had a lot of money and she feared they could ask her for proof of his existing capital). In other words, she wanted to have an excuse and proof of how her partner was a womanizer and was hanging around with young girls spending his money so that she could not be found accountable for any money that his sons might request. In the end they didn’t ask her for any proof. She gave him part of the money because she cannot get around that but she kept most of the capital owned by him. To cut a long story short, she gave them just a quarter of the pie and she kept the rest of the pie which amounts to many millions. She got away with it. On the same day of her partner’s burial, her lover moved into her house. I was flabbergasted and appalled. The guy was repulsive. He treated her disrespectfully and once he told her: ‘if you leave your assets to your family, I’ll cut your cunt open). I think the were planning to fatten me like poultry because one day, she would insist I eat a soup that she had made which I remember had a fatty look to it and it had a smell I found disgusting. I threw it away when she was not looking, but she kept asking me whether I had eaten it and even stated with a pathetic smirk that I had thrown it away. How did she know? she didn’t see me. or is it that she knew I knew? Do psychopaths know when you are on to their game.


Thank you Truthspeak for this beautiful song. I didn’t cry but I felt an internal shift that filled me with hope.


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