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Peace at Christmas

Another Christmas is here. Again. Already. Some galactic entity must have revved up the planetary clock, because Christmases seem to be coming faster and faster. Even though we didn’t all evaporate on December 21, 2012 with the end of the Mayan calendar, we seem to be hurtling into the future at breakneck speed.

I’ve been dealing with holiday stress, such as running late while making hors d’oeuvres for a family party, and trying to figure out what gifts to buy for my teenage nephews. But that’s easy stress.

I am no longer pining for someone to spend the holidays with—an emotional void that made me vulnerable to the sociopath. And I am no longer going to family parties and pretending that life is wonderful, when in truth I was terrified that my whole world would soon collapse, as I felt during the Christmases I spent with my sociopathic ex-husband.

Compared to the emotional upheaval of those years, normal holiday stress is a piece of fruitcake.

The deep emotional wounds of the past are healed. Today, my non-sociopathic husband and I share a love that’s real, not a mirage. Now, during the holidays, all I really have to do is slow down and appreciate my good fortune.

I can feel peace at Christmas.

That’s what I wish for all Lovefraud readers—peace at Christmas. If you’re already there, I’m thrilled for you. If you’re still working towards it, please keep going. Give yourself the gift of letting go.

Peace on Earth begins with peace within our own hearts.


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95 Comments on "Peace at Christmas"

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Echoing the wise words of Donna. This Christmas “Give yourself the gift of letting go.”

As a solo woman, Christmas is hard for me. I have no family, in a strange town, no friends here. And I don’t want anyone to know. I am NOBODY’s Xmas charity case. So I have a little Christmas for myself, to connect to God, and appreciate his blessings on Me.

On Christmas Day, after Christmas music, special coffee in special mug, croissants and tangerine, opening my present, I watch movies.

One that I like for my LF MOVIE is Bridget Jones. Esp for that part near the end, where Hugh Grant is saying You and ME Bridget, we should be together b/c we understand each other. And that moment DAWNS on her, “That’s Not Good Enough for me” she says. Those moments are MY SURROGATE AWAKENING.

Yup Yup Yup. Even IF my spath chose to attach to me (luckily he didn’t), It’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. Isn’t that why we disagreed with our spaths? B/c what they did, how they treated us, what they thought of us…. was NOT good enough.

All my BEST, TRULLY! I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST (which means I wish you FREE from whom would diminish/harm you) Katy

Donna, I’m so happy you found peace in your life. I hope I will be there one day too. Thanks again for starting this site to help people like me to know that we’re not alone.

KatyDid,

I know what it’s like to be solo. It’s hard, but it was harder being married to a sociopath. I’m also away from family, but I do have friends. I hope you will have some good friends in your life soon. Friends can really help to fill that void without making you feel like an Xmas charity case, but I do know what you mean by that. Enjoy your coffee, croissants, and movies. I just got a $50 check in the mail today. Maybe I should buy myself a present. Hmmm.. or maybe I should put it away for my next trip to the grocery store. In any case, I am thankful. It’s Christmas and Christmas is about love, Jesus’ love for us. Yes, a time to connect with our God and reflect upon His love and blessings.

one of my favorite poems is “Listen” by Ogden Nash who I thought wrote “funny” poems til I read this.

Ultimately we are ALONE inside our skulls….no matter how much we love and are attached to others outside ourselves. It is GOOD to bond to others, to love others, but it is also good to appreciate our own solitary state.

Listen…

There is a knocking in the skull,
An endless silent shout
Of something beating on a wall,
And crying, “Let me out!”

That solitary prisoner
Will never hear reply.
No comrade in eternity
Can hear the frantic cry.

No heart can share the terror
That haunts his monstrous dark.
The light that filters through the chinks
No other eye can mark.

When flesh is linked with eager flesh,
And words run warm and full,
I think that he is loneliest then,
The captive in the skull.

Caught in a mesh of living veins,
In cell of padded bone,
He loneliest is when he pretends
That he is not alone.

We’d free the incarcerate race of man
That such a doom endures
Could only you unlock my skull,
Or I creep into yours.
Ogden Nash

lovingthem
I am a practical person and I am not stupid, groceries are DELISH to have!

BUT…. I hope you buy yourself a gift with your $50. Seems to me it arrived on a special day, like a blessing and you must not ignore it for the blessing it is. I’d like to think of you honoring yourself by buying Something special, that every time you see it or use it or wear it (whichever fits what it is), that you feel FILLED with awareness of WHO YOU WERE – A wonderful Special Person – this Christmas 2012.

Best, Katy

Merry Xmas to everyone here. After many lonely Xmases, I’m glad to be spending it with a few good friends. It’s been a wonderful holiday season filled with salsa parties, dancing, good friends (who are becoming more like family), and my newest passion – karaoke. Because I haven’t much money, I didn’t get into all the spending this year. I played the Jewish card (I’m Jewish by birth), and just opted out of all the stress and hoopla. Just spending quality time with friends. It’s been very peaceful. I am becoming the quintessential Libra social butterfly I was always meant to be, and I’m really enjoying it. This is who I am. I am not the recluse who hid in my room for so many years.

Katy, I LOVE the part you said about a man’s behavior not being good enough. I recently said that to a man about his behaviors, and it felt really good to take my power back. This man has been giving me mixed messages because he is not over his divorce. It felt SO good to tell him I am NOT that woman who will just be his friend as he talks about the other women he is dating or will wait around for him to be ready. I deserve a man who really wants to be with me and who is ready to give his heart. I was so proud of myself for not sitting around waiting for him to come around, and for not letting him jerk me around. This is really new for me.

I have become so much stronger since I’ve started dealing with the men in the salsa scene and have defined my self-worth and what I will not settle for. The best part is that I have come to love myself more, even with my flaws and insecurities. I have a different attitude toward myself. Instead of feeling like I am “not ready” or “not healed enough” or having so much work to do on myself, I have shifted mental states completely. I have come to embrace my insecurities and weaknesses and to love myself in spite of them. I feel I have great value as a woman and as a human being in spite of the issues I have. And I’m projecting that feeling of self-worth out into the atmosphere, especially with men. I say to them (mostly in my head but occasionally out loud)….I may not be the most confident, the most successful, the greatest dancer, or the most fascinating woman, but I am pretty great the way I am. I am lovable and valuable, even with my jealousy, insecurity, all my numerous wardrobe malfunctions, and lack of common sense sometimes. I am learning to accept all of these things, and I am now attracting people who see my good qualities and also accept my flaws.

I have also learned how to be vulnerable with a man, and this is the biggest lesson I’ve learned. I’m always trying to guard myself and protect myself, often playing games, which served me well in my earlier life, especially during the spath days. But it now feels good to share my genuine feelings with men. It’s scary but it feels really good. It’s had the surprising effect of bringing them closer. And yet, I’m not chasing after any men. I’m letting them come to me. For instance, I recently met a man at the salsa club who called me the next weekend and asked me to meet him at a salsa party across town. It felt good to say, “I’ve already made several trips across town, and Friday (tonight) is my date night. I’d prefer for a man to pick me up and take me out.” To my great surprise, he told me that he would love to do that! I think a strong man really appreciates a strong woman who knows what she wants. And I am becoming that woman.

So yay for strong women (and men)!!! I wish you all peace, joy, and good health this holiday season and for the new year.

Happy Holidays to all of you. I want to thank Donna for giving us this avenue of support and sharing. Thank you to all of you for sharing your different and sometimes same experiences and most of all your wisdom.

We have all been through some very trying times and are fighting hard to come out the other side however we may get there.

This Christmas, I found I could think to wrap a gift! My imagination and creativity are waiting to be released again. I am broke and dealing with the wreckage of my plight and financially, physically and emotionally I see the damage BUT I see the progress too. I can taste food and want to eat! I want to give when for the past few years I was so depleated I had nothing left. I wondered if those feelings were gone for good and time has proven to be the great healer, yet again. Thank God!

I hope no matter where you all are this season that whatever crumbs of happiness and/or joy is around you, you are able to grab it tightly and let it grow.

I wish everyone healing and love all around you.

Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

((((hugs)))) With All Of My Heart, Eralyn.

Oxy:

Wow, I love that poem. Thanks for that. It is so true, isn’t it? We can have so many family and friends, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, whatever, but when it comes down to it and we are in bed at night with our quiet selves, it’s all about what is in our heads. Powerful.

Thanks Katy. I really could use a dvd player. Mine has bitten the dust! We don’t have cable (can’t afford it and are probably better off without it). The kids and I would really enjoy some movies once in a while, so maybe…..

Stargazer, You were so wise to tell that man that you will not just be his friend and wait around for him to be ready because all that does is allow them to string you along and have his cake and eat it too. Good for you! You deserve someone who will cherish you, flaws and all!! Thanks for your post. It has reminded me that I need to not be so hard on myself.

Eralyn, powerful points!

Hello All,

This is my first time blogging (ever).

I’m currently going through a divorce with a spath. This is the first Christmas I have got to spend the holidays with my family and friends since entering into the relationship with the spath. I am so thankful to my family and friends that have remained by my side and supported me through this crazy relationship.

Today, I got a letter from the spath’s attorney. Who I think is a spath also!:o/ (jk) – The hashness and cruilty of the letter made me feel like my spath had wrote it himself. The worst thing is that when I start feeling better, my spath seems to still be able to envoke anxiety. One week he sends me a text at 1am on a Sunday morning (He knows I leave my phone on at night because of my elderly parents); the next week I see where he is looking up my linkedin profile; the next week I see him drive by my apartment. THe restraining order is not working.

I feel like I have been touched by an evil that I am not going to be able to completely get rid of.

Tonya

Donna and All,

Happy Christmas and the brightest and most healing New Year to all here at Lovefraud.

I participate in a radio query, where they send me a question every day, and if they like the answer they ask you to call and record it. They actually played one of my responses a few weeks back about whether I believed empathy was something that could be learned, or if it was inherited.

The other day the question was what was the one gift I had ever received that I was MOST thankful for. Well, right away I thought ‘I understand psychopathology…and I am not with a spath’.

I didn’t send this in. Too hard to fit the whole thing into a tiny text…much too complex.

I am so totally grateful to be in a life I love living. And it would not have happened if I had not learned, finally, who and what I was letting into my life, and why.

Thank-you, every one here at Lovefraud….to the ‘oldies’ and the newbies.

Deepest healing and peace to each of you,

Slim

Peace on this day to all of us.

STARGAZER, I used to be a recluse, too…until I went out dancing!

I found a whole new world…but little did I know that it was chock-full of psychopaths. THE DANCE FLOOR IS ONE OF THEIR FAVORITE HUNTING GROUNDS.

That’s where I met the psychopath and endured several months of absolute hell. Now he’s still dancing (and trolling and doing what he does) and I’m back home alone.

Please know that the social dance scene is a place you need to have your guard way up. I had no idea at the time. Their numbers are way up in the dance world. Please be CAREFUL.

Hear Hear Arianna,

The guy I knew TAUGHT a kind of dancey exercise, and was out in the social dance scene every weekend. I also have a strong association of dance and psychopaths/narcissists….they LOVE to perform for the crowd, and dancing is very seductive.

That said, they hide in plain sight EVERYWHERE. They are dancers, doctors, singers, gurus, priests, mothers, sons, chefs, writers, runners, construction workers, business owners….you get my drift.

Anywhere you look you can find them.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and I must say that every single holiday I had with my ex spath was HORRIBLE, including my birthday. He managed to ruin every single part of those days —

So this year, it feels so good to be with my family and friends & not have to be walking on egg shells and worrying about him or making sure I am doing and saying what I should, just to not invoke an argument that will somehow end up being my fault…namely each holiday I seemed to find out he had been cheating on me!

Anyhow, Merry Christmas to all of you! Peace & Love!

Thank you for your words Donna. They are a very subtle but honest reminder of the most important thing we can learn from our experiences with sociopaths. “Letting Go” I have learned many things this year. One is that a man I loved for twelve years is a sociopath…. Which brought me shockingly and painfully into the reality that he never loved me. And with an excruciatingly painful, heartbreaking, gut wrenching, hopeless sigh that lasted several months, I learned more. The second thing is I have to let go.
The best thing about this journey is I’m learning to be very patient with myself. Can’t let to of someone you loved for twelve years in a few short months especially when I never let go of all my pain from the past before I met him. Fortunately I am learning how to let go and it is a gradual release that makes me feel at ease. And my painful sighs are shorter, with less tears and less anger. And my me time has become a lot less invasive with thoughts of him and his family and more of me and how I can love myself more. And my smile is where it should be most of the time. My daughter is happy although she never missed a beat. And I am so grateful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. And the thing that gives me the most comfort is that God is right where He said He would be. He never left and this time I’m not leaving Him.
To Donna and all the wonderfully, emotionally, honest, loving, and strong survivors at LF, have a blessed and happy holiday.

Happy Christmas and Merry Everything to the LF gang, oldies and newbies.
Like so many I am alone and feel an emptyness, but I am at peace.

MoonDancer
Just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you. Merry Christmas to you. And when I sleep tonight, my spirit will come into your dreams and give you the biggest hug. I just know that if you lived near me, you would be the best adopted brother a gal ever had and I would make you eat my baking.

All my best, Katy

Arianna, I’m so sorry about your dancing experience! I hope it doesn’t put you off of going out dancing in general. There are many forms of dance where it’s all about the dancing. I’ve never met a psychopath in all my years of dancing, even back at the normal clubs. But a spath wouldn’t last long in the salsa community because everyone knows everyone and looks out for everyone. If a man is anything less than a gentleman, word gets around fast. There are quite a few players, though. Some are unintentional players. They are just ordinary guys who get to be very good dancers. Then all the women want them, and they just turn into players because they can. This is why I’m pretty guarded with these guys. There is the one from my class whom I have a very special relationship with. But he’s the one who isn’t over his divorce, so I keep it at the level of dancing. The dancing can be very sensual and romantic, so I have to be careful. He is too much of a man to ever take advantage of me, and I would never let him anyway. It is a new experience for me to be so close to a man, to be romantically, spiritually, and intellectually attracted to him, and for it to be mutual. And yet we have not slept together or even kissed. We are just dance partners. I have learned so much from this situation – about what I want in a man, and also about the virtues of not getting involved too soon. But I still have fun and get that male energy fix that I crave, the creative expression of the dance, and a great aerobic workout. It’s been very positive for me so far. I’m so addicted to salsa. I can’t imagine my life without it.

Arianna
Yep. You are prolly on to something. My spath X!Husband joined lots of dance groups (without my knowledge of course… b/c I LOVE TO DANCE, but he refused to join a class with me). Dance classes/events were his favorite trolling ground. Little competion (always need more male partners, many times he and one other Player were the only two men in the class), and the women were needy. If there’s a place that newly single women congregate, it’s dance classes. The women in those dance classes were very happy to keep secrets. My husband made LOTS of liasons while telling women that in order to keep others from getting jealous, they needed to be platonic while in class.

Stargazer. In spite of the heartbreak of my husband using dance classes as his hunting ground, I am glad for you to have a different experience in your dance classes. I confess I’ve never heard of the phrase, a man being “too much of a man to take advantage” but… I think as long as it’s the dancing that fulfills you, then snakes like my now X!husband won’t be a problem for you.

katy – what a warm christmas gift you just gave me…hugz and good nite from Hens and the wieners three~!

MoonD. My pleasure. Truly. I enjoy what a gentleman you are. It’s fun. and I like intelligent men so I enjoy that pleasure from you as well. Happy New Year too. Night.

I wish you all a peaceful christmas

A merry and peaceful Christmas to us all.

STARGAZER, I’m glad you’re having a wonderful experience dancing. I will probably return to dancing (just not where he is) when I feel strong.

My ex-psychopath has been in the dance community here for 18 years. He is deeply undercover. Like many p-paths, he has surrounded himself with many “friends” and a good reputation. He’s a pro who offers his targets fee private lessons. He targets new dancers who are vulnerable and who no one there knows, and when they disappear no one misses them; it was just another gal who tried it out and decided it wasn’t for her. Or maybe they just don’t want to upset the apple cart, you know?

He said it best himself: “People who come to dance are lonely and don’t have much of a social life. Some are very vulnerable, and others have defenses it takes longer to break down. You were completely vulnerable; that’s why I was able to bond with you so quickly and easily.”

This man and I danced together for 2 months and were romantically, spiritually, physically and intellectually attracted without ever having kissed. That’s how he became my “soul mate,” and how it all went straight to hell. By the time we went on our first date, I was so in love with him that the groundwork was done. He was willing to take the time to establish a strong bond in the idealization phase. The dance floor is the perfect place to fall in love.

Please understand I’m NOT saying this is what’s happening to you; I’m just saying please be careful. I was totally blindsided.

Katy,

“My husband made LOTS of liasons while telling women that in order to keep others from getting jealous, they needed to be platonic while in class.”

Yep. They’ve got it MADE if they’re married. Mine didn’t wear a ring or tell me he was married until I asked, and it was too late by then; I was hooked. But it was the perfect racket for him! We couldn’t act like a couple…which made it easy for him to pick up whomever he wanted.

When he was ready to move on to his next target, he simply told me we were dancing too much and he didn’t want people to get suspicious, ’cause suddenly he did care about what people thought, and did care about his marriage. So then I sat there on the sidelines watching him dance non-stop with his next victim. He told me the problem was my “insecurity,” (not his switch to a new dancer/lover, which of course he denied with gaslighting).

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to the LF community! +j (message from the Peanut!)

Sending thanks and warm wishes for peace to all, Merry Christmas and may this next year bring peace to all.
Still working towards recovery and restoration from the evil spaths who damaged with attempts to destroy our family.

Arianna, I can’t speak for others but I have never personally met a spath in the 25 years I’ve been dancing at various venues. However, I have gotten hurt a few times – mostly in my younger days – there.

Based on my own experiences, I don’t worry about meeting spaths in the salsa community. I’m sure there are some there, just like they are everywhere. I think if you are genuinely afraid of attracting a spath, it’s best not to be out dating and flirting – you may not be ready. Fear attracts predators. There are forms of dance – like Zumba – where you can get your dance fix without all the drama with men. I mostly do Zumba throughout the week, and just go dancing two nights as a rule. I have not dated anyone from the salsa community yet. I’m open to it though if someone really special comes along. My dance partner really gets my attention. I love the man he is. But he’s not ready to date, so I just pull back emotionally and let him know I’m not available to “practice” on. I’m too good for that. Salsa does seem to attract a lot of divorced people who use the dancing relationships as a substitute for dating. This is a good enough reason for me to have my guard up. For me, all of these politics with men have really helped me build my self-confidence and self-esteem. It’s been very positive for me, though very challenging at times. Once I realized where my boundaries were, it became much easier. In the end, I can never drop out because I love the dancing so much. That’s what it’s really about for me. I’m in a class that goes for 15 months. I’ve been in it for almost 6 months now, so I’m a solid intermediate salsa dancer. I feel committed to stay the course, no matter what, because I want to be a competent salsa dancer. I won’t let any dramas with men scare me off my course. That way I can go anywhere in the world and walk into a salsa club and dance well enough to get by.

I think it is really up to us as women to set our own boundaries with the men in our lives. Otherwise, most men will just carry out their own agendas. It doesn’t necessarily make them spaths; they are just mostly clueless about what women want or need. I do think a real man respects a strong woman who sets limits and puts him in his place. This is one of the ways you can tell a man is not a spath – when you set a limit and he respects it, rather than trying to tear it down. But even the best of men will behave opportunistically at times, if they can. It’s best to know what you will and will not tolerate, what you want and don’t want.

Tonya,

Welcome to LF. I just survived my divorce battle with my ex spath. It truly was an exercise in survival. And yes, many of these lawyers are spaths too. I’m not sure about my ex’s attorney (he may be) but the first attorney I hired was a spath too. He ripped me off to the tune of $25,000 while doing nothing to protect my interests. I had to fire him 6 weeks before the trial and find someone else. It was a horrendous experience. I was trying to divorce the devil and I ended up hiring a demon to represent me. That’s what it felt like. I still feel traumatized by the evil that I allowed into my life. But I escaped, by the skin of my teeth, but I feel like my divorce was in fact a “rescue operation.” It went all wrong in so many ways, but I am free. I never thought I would be.

And yes, your soon to be ex-spath will find ways to continue to control, intimidate, and terrify you during the proceedings. Mine sure did, and it ended up costing me everything I had financially, but I got out and I got my kids.

I hope you have a very good lawyer. There’s a book on amazon which may help you. I wish I would have known about it when I was going through my divorce. It’s called, “Splitting, Protecting Yourself While Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist.” The author is Randy Kreger. I didn’t get to read it but I read the reviews and it looks like it could really be helpful in divorcing a spath.

Make sure your lawyer understands spaths and is working for YOU! How did you find this lawyer? Have you checked him or her out to make sure he or she is reputable? Are there children involved? If not, THANK GOD!. If so, all the more reason you need an excellent lawyer who understands what you are dealing with.

Keep coming back here to read. It will really help you learn how to cope and how to deal with him. I’ve learned so much here about how to deal with my ex spath. The most important thing I learned was NO CONTACT. Change your cell phone number and don’t answer when he calls. You do not need to talk to him or read his texts ever. As long as I was taking his calls I was subjecting myself to his continuing threats, intimidation, and control tactics. Once I cut off contact, things got a lot better.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to the Wonderful Lovefraud Community! Thanks for your advice, insight, & time!!! I have come to learn so much, grow, and cope because of your support.

On a more personal note: May this Holiday Season bring the best for you Donna, Skylar, Truthspeaks, Oxy!!!

Peace and joy to you this Christmas, CaringAunt.

As for dancing venues being P-trolling haunts… it seems logical that certain dancing areas, depending on the dance, are so.

My parents have salsa danced for many years. Plenty of people there were indeed on the look-out there for a possible partner, and regarded it in the same sense as internet dating sites are the hope of singles to meet “the one”. If my parents happened to mention me (a single woman in her 30s) they were sure to have men inquire or suggest to bring me along sometime. This would be something my parents would inform me about with a smile, but plainly expecting me to avoid ever joining them to a dance evening on that account alone already.

Just like a great deal of people on dating sites are just normal people hoping to find a partner, it is so for dancing venues. But exactly because it is a hoped-for venue to meet “the one”, it would be a preferred hunting ground for predators.

It is for that reason that I have always intuitively preferred African Dancing. It’s great exercise and workout, superb bodily expression, good grounding tactic, but void of either women or men dancing in the hope of meeting their partner. Personally, when I dance there is just the rhythm and music and movement where I prefer to lose myself in, kinda like someone doing a marathon gets into a zen state after pain treshholds have been reached and still continues. I can not think of men, attraction and flirting when dancing. I’m just oblivious to it, and prefer it like that.

African dancing is so much fun and a really great workout! I used to do it and I loved it. Zumba combines different ethnic dances and doesn’t involve men or romance. Salsa was a natural offshoot of that for me because I wanted the partner type dancing. Yes, it makes sense that players are trolling dance clubs looking for easy prey. There are a lot of players in the salsa world. But I don’t know what percentage of them are spaths – I’m pretty good at spotting the players, but I’ve never met a spath in these venues. I dance with some gorgeous men – some are in my class. I enjoy the dance but I know they are players, so I would never date them. Just like normal people are corrupted by power, normal men can turn into players just be becoming really good dancers. They end up having this power over women, and it changes them. For the immature types, there is always a woman out there who is prettier, sexier, and a better dancer. So they continually move from woman to woman, breaking hearts along the way, just because they can. Many of these men are nothing to look at and were shy retiring nerds before they learned to dance. But they become corrupted by the power they have over women when they become strong male leads. It is a recognized phenomenon in the salsa world, sadly. It is a catch 22, too, because women want to dance with strong male leads, and these are the men who make us feel feminine and who turn us on. So it’s true, we have to be very careful and see it for what it is. My dance partner is one of these strong male leads. I started falling for him, until I felt like I was leaning too far forward. Then I just pulled back. I know he really likes me, and I know I’m very special to him. We’ve had a lot of romance together – he accompanied me to my company holiday party. We held hands and slow danced all night. Everyone there and everyone in our class thinks we are a couple. That was one of the most romantic nights in my life. But I recognize that he can’t give me everything I want from a man. And he is possibly on the path of becoming a player because of his huge dedication to the dancing and all the women he must dance with to become really good. So I have made it very clear that I’m not available to him in any way besides a dance partner, unless he steps up his game with me. Period. Fortunately, he cares enough not to want to take advantage of me. We have never even kissed. I have learned to compartmentalize the romantic part with him. In some way, I have learned to be like a man. But I don’t have any expectation of him that anything more will come of it.

I think there are some true relationships in the salsa world. According to my mentor (Edie the Salsa Freak), it IS possible to have a good relationship with a salsero if three conditions are met. 1. Both people need to be emotionally mature. 2. Both people have to put their partner first always. And 3. The two of you have to dance together a LOT.

It’s especially a catch 22 for me because dancing has become such a huge part of my life. I don’t know if I could be with a man who doesn’t dance. And yet I don’t want to get played. Ugh….an ongoing challenge. I just keep going back and learning how to set boundaries and guard my heart and also how to communicate and ask for what I want. It’s not been easy but I’ve really grown a lot.

My gf, fresh out of divorce and having little experience with dating, met a player in the first month of salsa dancing. But she was able to shake him off pretty quickly and move on. They mostly prey on the younger women who are very naive. But even someone my age is still vulnerable to getting played. Salsa is so sexy and romantic. The flirting and playing is part of the dance. So we have to learn to separate that out and shake it off at the end of the night when we go home.

I love dance, but I also love men. I love having that male energy in my life. I enjoy the flirting and teasing – it makes me feel feminine, and it builds my confidence in certain ways. If I didn’t get it through salsa, I’d seek it out elsewhere. But like Lillian said in another thread, it’s not good to iinvest your heart and soul into them. This is where I used to get in trouble.

When you get ready to start dating (I’m saying “you” in the general sense), there are going to be spaths at book clubs, spaths in Mensa, spaths at church, spaths in self-help groups, spaths in Buddhist communities, spath dancers…….they are everywhere. I don’t know if there is any one place to meet a man where you are guaranteed not to meet a spath. IMO, having solid boundaries, knowing who you are and what you want, is the best way to spath-proof yourself in the dating world. And the boundaries help with ALL men, because men are going to have their own agendas, even if they are decent men. I think if the fear of getting hurt overwhelms the joy and excitement of meeting new men, they you are probably not ready to date.

Have a jolly Christmas, Donna. And to all LoveFraud readers… may you find true healing in the New Year.

Love, AlohaTraveler

And to you Aloha, woman extraordinaire!

I love to disco dance, dis go here and dis go there – and I can do it all by myself…

This was my first Christmas in 6 years without the spath. It was kind of lonely, even though I was with my family, but no stress, no walking on eggshells, no drama, no knots in my stomach, and no $25 Barnes & Noble gift cards in place of the diamond earrings he’d promised me every birthday and Christmas (and which I never got)!

And the day after tomorrow, the 27th, will also be one year since I officially got out for good (despite a few brief NC breaks since that time), so New Year’s Eve will also be a celebration of that as well. Bless you all!

HA! MoonDaer. I am one of the disco era. I LOVED colored floor lights and mirrored balls. Macho Macho man. I want to be. a Macho man. HEY HEY HEY HEY! Took me years before I discovered the Village People weren’t interested in woman. But they were SO SEXY! It’s fun to stay at the YWCA (well, I stayed there! fun living for those first months when I left home. at that time, it was great housing for young single office workers.) Ohh…. great memories. I sure have had some good times in life. Thanks for taking me on that lane tonite.

katy, i like going down memory lane occasionally.

I dance with the moon these day’s, I dance like nobody’s lookin..because they aint.

Dear Abbri,

CONGRATULATIONS on a P-FRee Christmas and a P-FREE happy new year!

Think about it this way, alone is a fact, lonely is a choice. I was here at the house today as the sleet and snow started to fall for the FIRST “White Christmas” in 80 years, just me and the critters and you know….I WAS NOT THE LEAST BIT LONELY. Alone but not lonely. (Son D was visiting his bio family) and I didn’t even “look back” in “fond memories” of those crying jags with my egg donor crying because I didn’t want to have my christmas dinner up chucked by spending it with her brother my Uncle Monster. So what if the arsehole was “alone” and his kids all hated him for the abuse they had suffered at his hands and the memories of him beating their mother. Or my memory of him beating my grandmother. Oh, yea, I dont’ miss those FOND MEMORIES of Christmas past. So after all the crying on the part of both me and the egg donor I would pack up my kids and/or husband and go somewhere else for holidays…

I got calls from friends and my step son and his wife and I enjoyed a long nap this afternoon….couldn’t have been a better day in my estimation.

Happiest greetings of the Season, to ALL!

As I sit in front of this woodstove burning scavenged fuel to heat this space, warm water for sink-bathing, and to “cook” available food, it is a fact that I have never been so cold, hungry, or financially depserate in my entire life.

Yeah, it’s awful. But, guess what? I’m not experiencing the crazymaking, the dismissal, the lies, and the machinations. I’m no longer wondering about where my finances went, because I know the truth. I no longer wonder about why the spouse was so distant and discouraging because I know the truth. I no longer wonder whether the spouse cares about my health and well-being because I know the truth. I finally know the truths about that whole association, and now I can focus on myself, my recovery, my healing, and my own health and well-being. I no longer have to “nag” someone to conduct maintenance, pay bills, account for joint finances, etc.

It’s been a long, ugly, nasty journey and it’s not over, yet. But, it’s a journey that I needed to take, complete with the humbling living conditions and expired food bank donations. It is a lesson in fortitude, survival, boundaries, and resolve. Without this site and the help of my former counseling therapist, I would not be typing this warm wish for recovery and healing to all who are suffering.

Brightest, brightest blessings to one, and all

Well, I got thru Christmas day with NC. That is a tremendous blessing for me. Being able to write my thoughts and feelings here is a blessing as well because I notice it brings down my blood pressure when I get to feeling that surge of pain that comes and goes. Tears are in my eyes continually but I feel numb with no real awareness that I am crying. I kept going back because I did not realize that I was dealing with a monster. I really thought that we just were not communicating well or that something just wasn’t clicking for him as it should. I also believed with all my heart that this man loved me. To find the truth to be so opposite of what I believed has taught me the meaning of the term “cognitive dissonance”. Things just don’t line up and now I know that they don’t in this kind of a situation. I sometimes feel like I am being skinned alive and I sometimes think that he knows what his behavior is doing and that he is dancing with glee like an imp from hell at the thought of bringing my destruction. I may be grieving what I thought was our truth but moreso I am pained that anyone would want to hurt me. I know about it not being about me because I just happened to be handy for abuse but I am taking this a lot more personally since it happened to me. I am going to ask the counselor for a stress leave and go to visit my grandbaby in Texas for a few weeks. I need to be in the presence of her sweet innocence. In that place, my only priority is how to help her cook in her little kitchen or watch her wonder at the snow in her backyard.

Thank you all for sharing your inspiring and heart felt stories. I so identify with each step on the continuum of recovery you have. Here, there is more understanding of this specific loneliness than anywhere I have found.

Oxy, I loved the poem. I feel a spiritual note to in in spite of the “no comrade in eternity”. It is so true that here in our physical bodies we are ultimately alone but I think the one doing the knocking is our spiritual being. I am reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, THE POWER OF NOW.

I am learning to watch the ego mind and move to and stay in my being more and more. I become one with the Universe and the knocking goes away.

Of course, it keeps coming back and I feel that is the nature of humanity. Heaven and Hell are right here on Earth. I suppose that the psychopath is missing the inner-self that makes us human. They are pure ego and pure evil. They find peace and power through destroying others instead of going within, knowing empathy, caring and loving…they have no within to go to. They are empty pitiful shells and would merely be pathetic if they were not capable of such harm to others.

I survived Christmas. That is good.

Dear Revelation, glad that you made it through Christmas, and you will heal, give yourself time, and let the tears flow for now. I can coompletely identify with your pain. I felt the same way when I first came to LF. (((hhugs))))

Truthy, yep, you nailed it! And you know, even with your scrounged wood for heat, you are still better off than 90% of the people in the world. You aren’t dodging bombs AND scrounging for wood, and you aren’t having to haul your water from two miles away in a bucket on your head. Yep, we need to count our blessings.

Betsy, yep, the staying in the NOW. Glad you liked the poem it is one of my favorite ones.

Moon Dancer are you Hens?
You made me laugh. I have this image in my mind of you dancing & now I’m doing it too! “D_I_S_C_O” “D_I_S_C_O” Here’s a smile for you 🙂
Love & laughter from Disco Diva x

We all have to count our blessings that we have survived the Holiday without the spath. We must remember, we do not need the torment, manipulation, and the pathological
lies that we all thought that it was us. Remember, the spath is a personality disorder, and people do catch on, and when they do, they run. We are smarter, more knowledgeable as to what damage they can do to a person.
Just remember, NO CONTACT! The holidays may seem different,but along with everyting we have endured,that will pass with time. Our time will shine bright, while the spath is still trying to destroy himself. Keep strong!

I’ve been a silent participant of Love Fraud for over a year, reading your blogs with utter gratitude. I just completed Donna’s book today. Many questions have finally been answered concerning my husband of 33 years. I am among those people who met their spath young and endured for years. We had nine children together. I was fortunate enough to (almost) escape. Although we’ve been separated for nearly seven years, I haven’t been able to utterly end contact with him because of the shared family. “The Family” is a formidable and credible stage-front for a religious sociopath. The children, now mostly young adults, realize that their father lies and is irresponsible, but they don’t comprehend the depth of the problem or the emotional pain he has caused. They also want the illusion of an intact family. And so he appears weekly at my mother’s house for family dinners. He sits at the head of the table and prays lengthy prayers before the meal. I must also share holidays with him. Any attempt to shun him, or, God forbid, divorce him, is met by swift disapproval among the children. I can’t understate how credible he looks and how subtly manipulative he is. He elicits sympathy. It’s with the greatest difficulty that I hold onto reality. Meanwhile I have created my own circle of sanity. I support myself, as I always have. And I no longer support him. I don’t believe I will ever know the freedom of NO CONTACT. Instead my life has been about damage control. Again, I appreciate your contributions to this blog. As we enter 2013, I expect that all of us will continue to grow.

Cherish,
Perhaps books are the answer.
9 copies of “Why Is It Always About You? The seven deadly sins of narcissism.” might help.

That book is my all time favorite. It’s the book that opened my eyes after the spath’s mask came off. Since then, there have been other really good books: “Why Does He Do That? Inside the minds of angry men.” is another great book.
“Fear of Life” is another one that gave me answers.

Start educating your kids. You know, growing up with spath parents makes them vulnerable to spath attacks in life. It is never too early (or too late) to start teaching them what they need to know to protect themselves.

((hugs to you)), I can so relate to having spent over a quarter century with a monster. I hope you won’t have to spend a minute more.

anam cara,
Yep i am hens, always will be. and I am happy I made you laugh..xox

Yup…..you will ALWAYS be Hens to me!!!
XXOO

Happy Holidays to all my fellow LF warriors.

Life changes, it’s an evolution…..one day is never the same as the next. It doesn’t mean it’s better than the previos……just not the same.
Eventually though…..it does get better. the pain subsides, the stalking slows down…..and the daily thoughts of them dwindle…..and we are allowed to move on with life.
It’s a process……and we must go through the pain in order to find a healthy life we are seeking.
For those who are healing…….it will come.
For those who have ‘arrived’……Keep offering the hand up to others.
For those wondering how long it takes……just plan on years.
BUT…..it does happen.

This Christmas our home was filled with celebration, lights, decor and the smells of holiday baking.
Unlike Christmases of years gone by.
This year was special. It just was. We all felt the spirit…..and we are all in a much better place.

As we sat on Christmas morning, opening our presents that filled our tree…..with beautiful wrapping and bows…..we relished in how far we’ve come.
The kids handed me a gift……it was wonderful.
It was a bear carved in stone with her cubs. The back of the bear was uncarved stone, vaguely showing the bears hind legs…..and the cubs were right there next to mamma. Shiny and brightly polished. It was so cool. ……and then Jr announces……Mom…..it’s ‘you and us’. We have come out of the stone, we were hard when we needed to be…..and we will always stick together.
UGH!!!!!!! Let the tears flow. These are MY kids!!!
My kids learned from having a spath father. My kids also learned from me how to handle adversity. My kids are not affraid to talk about Sociopaths and teach others.
After all the heartache I endured and worry for my children…..THIS is where we are today!
I’ts OKAY…..it’s good!!!

Allow the evolution of growth through pain…..it truely is a gift at the end of the journey.
We become much wiser and better people……even though we thought we were wise and did good before.
It’ll change us…..it does.
It’s OKAY……it’s good!!!!

May 2013 open many passages for you all……whatever road you are on, keep in mind….YOU are the driver of your own vehicle!!!

XXOO
EB

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