By | November 22, 2011 19 Comments

Reclaiming Who We Are

I’m so glad that so many of you found Fishead useful. It’s yet one more resource, one more educational tool that can only help to highlight the cause about sociopaths. This week I am on a training course run by Dr Robert Hare, so next week I’m sure I will be writing about my experiences.

Today, though, I felt it appropriate to share something of my own experiences following the aftermath of my relationship. It’s a post that was written on the 19th June 2010, fourteen months after I discovered the truth. It was a time when I’d really begun to make progress. I had survived (probably the most important thing at the time!), I knew exactly what I was dealing with (in terms of the personality and the issues he’d left behind) and I knew who my friends were. I had re-started my business and I was determined that life was only heading one way — better and brighter.

I talk a lot about the importance of reclaiming ourselves. About the healing qualities of accepting who we are in our totality. For me, it hasn’t been an easy journey. It’s taken focus and a stubbornly held belief that I deserved a better life to push me through the fear and uncertainty and allow me to embrace who I am to the full.  But boy it’s been worth it!

Just last night I was with a fellow delegate, who asked me on a scale of one to ten how happy I was with my life at the moment. I thought about it — not for long — before answering with a confident “nine and three quarters!”

At the time of writing this post, I had no real ”˜proof’ of how my life was going to turn out. I had no ”˜guarantees’ that things would work out well. But I DID have a deep down feeling (cultivated over months of telling myself that all is well despite the external circumstances) that there was something much better waiting for me. At the same time, I was terrified. I was heading in to unchartered territories, and the feelings of fear were sometimes overwhelming. But I did it — and I’m so very glad. Because now, less than 18 months since that post, my life has changed beyond recognition.

Yes it took courage. Yes I had to stand strong. Yes I had times of doubt. But you know what? In hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing. I hope this piece is helpful.


The Mouse That Squeaked

…because I sure don’t feel like roaring. I’m scared, you see. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not scared of what’s happened – nor of the battles I know are ahead of me or the constant waves of challenges that face me on a daily basis.

No – I’m not afraid of those, because I’ve faced things like that before. You see I know how to deal with them. I know how to be. I know how to act. I know what’s expected. I know how to get through. So no, I’m not afraid of those.

But there is something else that is building. Something else that is gathering strength. Becoming real. Demanding attention. Developing an identity. Something I have ignored – or perhaps been all too acutely aware of – for longer than I care to remember.

And now this thing. This energy. This entity (is it any wonder I was so terrified at the film Poltergeist for goodness sake?) seems now to be demanding space. It’s gathering form. Sound. Expression. And suddenly, those around me are echoing its very essence. Which frightens me. Because it tells me that this internal fear… this hidden doppelganger… this hideous nightmare that lives within me is about to be exposed and exorcised.

Bloody hell. I am about to be in the position where I HAVE to face my fears – whatever they might be. And you know what? Deep down I already KNOW what they are. Perhaps we all do. I can’t know that for sure. I DO know, however, that with each passing experience, each month, each year, each day, each living moment… I know I’m moving closer to freedom I’ve craved for so long. And I also know that this particular fear is the one that’s most debilitating.

Because I’ve discovered through this long journey, that the one thing that I have allowed to hold me back, the one fear that I’ve so far failed to overcome, the one thing that I’m actually afraid of…. is…. me!

I’ve realised I’ve spent so many years protecting myself – starting with the first time my world shattered when I was just four years old and gaining more and more strength with each additional body-blow, that I’ve forgotten who the real Melanie is. And over the past year or so as each of my barriers have been falling down (well, annihilated would be a more accurate description – with a full demolition gang and explosives in actual fact) well then the real me has been getting closer and closer to the surface. And I’m now at the point of no return, because the little vulnerable me that has been buried away for so long will no longer be ignored. It’s her time now. She’s gaining strength and is demanding to be noticed.

And I’m scared. Because I don’t know who she is. I don’t even know whether I’ll like her. I don’t know whether she’ll like ME either. And I don’t know how she’s going to impact on my life, and what new changes it will mean. Because surely this is indeed the herald of yet more change.

I had built her a castle you see. A fortress. To keep her safe and protect her from harm. I trained the best soldiers to fight for her, and dug the deepest widest moat to keep harm away. And it worked very well. People admired the strength and beauty of the castle I’d built – it’s served me well and I’ve been perfecting it for over 40 years. But now it’s crumbling, and now the princess, my precious little girl who lives inside, wants to come out and live in the real world. And I cannot stop her – and I’m scared.

I’m scared in case she’s not ready. In case it’s too soon. In case she gets hurt – or worse. How will she survive?

I’m scared because I think she may feel I’ve abandoned her. That I’ve betrayed her trust. I worry that although I locked her away so long ago for her own safety, she might be very angry with me. She might be furious in fact! Do you think she’ll ever forgive me? I don’t know…

And I don’t know how to welcome her either. I don’t know how to let her in – or let her out. And I don’t know where to turn. I just know that the increasing restlessness within my soul, the physical churning in my stomach and the constant electrical fizzing in my mind means that the time is near when I can no longer put off the inevitable.

My friends know what’s happening – I can sense it in the way they’re responding to me. The little nudges forward, the reassurances that I’m on the right track, together with the exploration of new connections – deepening of existing friendships and the influx of new ones. They are all guiding me forwards. For they are now my army of soldiers.

So now I must give up my castle. I must walk forwards, move free from the rubble and trust that this new world is ready for me.

I’m scared. But I’m doing it. Please catch me if I fall.


(With love and blessings to everyone here on Lovefraud – Mel xx)


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Ox Drover

Dear Mel,

Great article, and so many times our “fortress” or our “castle” becomes our PRISON….it may keep us safe, but it sure does limit our experiences and our lives.

Life is not fair.

Life is not safe. No one gets out alive.

But dog-gone it, living in terror behind locked gates, high walls, machine gun turrets, sure is a grim existence and not a lot of fun.

I also refuse to live in terror, or behind a high wall of distrust that lets no one else inside my “solitary cell” but I will also not be indescriminate about who I let inside either. I will live cautiously and with a rational way of looking at people and the world, but I will no longer be afraid of myself, or for myself, and I won’t live in terror!

Happy holidays Mel! Thanks for this great article affirming our lives, our parole outside of the “solitary cell” of fear and terror!


Dear Mel, what an eloquent piece and one which I can so identify with. I think that not only am I on the new path you speak of but for the first time in my life I’m truly single…I met my spath after escaping a very unhappy marriage of 18 years. So scared of myself and being on my own was I that joined an Internet dating site and the quest began to find my soul mate. Horrendous period followed and although I am lucky in so many ways,… kids and never married him, I bear deep scars and damage from my experience. Like so many here. Your words of wisdom and strength have spurred me on and given me hope that I too will recover and find I can trust myself. Thanks again


wonderful way to describe it. Thank you.

Living an authentic life is for brave people.

Hiding behind a mask is for cowardly spaths.


As usual… great sharing and how eloquently put!( as stronga put it) I see you have not lost your finese, class or intelligence.
Breaking the “ties”that bind us and tapping into who we really are. Yes, we all have a little girl inside of us that needs to be kept happy. I tap into her via this song.
Here is a link to song a that I feel is my “break free” up beat song and “she” is very happy to sing with this song.
Dr. Hare’s experience should be so interesting…. I wish I could be there.


I used to beg my husband to BE the person he pretended to be. I tried logic on him, told him how much easier it is when you don’t have to remember lies and who you told them to.


spaths wobble but they don’t fall down. Can’t change The Prime Directive: WINNING.


Actually Katy,
they don’t even care if they win as long as YOU LOSE.


EXACTLY Skylar. That’s how they know they’re WINNING.

They don’t care about ANYTHING as long as the opponent loses. not money losses, not disease, not losing their home, not going hungry, not loss of retirement, not loss of vacation, not loss of teeth, not loss of friends… am stopping now b/c with this train of thought, I could be here all night listing the ANYTHINGS that they’d sacrifice in order to make sure WE LOSE, THEY WIN.


Maybe I could move up near HEns and he would let me be his old lady “aunt”. I could plump him up and he could pluck my chin hairs. He could call me granny Katy. But I know better than to fall for his pepper joke. And he’s too old to spank. Besides, he might like it.


my spath loved to see people lose at the casinos. He would tell me, “I’ve seen people lose EVERYTHING, even their retirement. Then, I know they go out and kill themselves.”

He didn’t even need to be in the game. It was just watching people lose that he loved. But I’ll bet he was right there at the gaming table, with his voice in their ear, encouraging them to keep betting.

It is the look on their face that he wants.


Another excellent point. My spath didn’t want to BE part of the drama, he wanted a close up audience seat. He LOVED car accidents. His favorite look on a face was the moment it dawned on the victim that they had been duped, he was the one who did it, esp exceptional pleasure when they HELPED him orchestrate their own demise. Oh he loved that look. Pure Heroin for him that was.


Kinda makes ya think demons can possess people doesn’t it. I picture your spath sitting on the gambler’s shoulder, egging them on to bet and lose. My spath did the same, he’d come upon an opportunity and egg someone into doing that which common sense would have normally stopped them. With him, people set aside their common sense.

I am trying to get divorce. He came in the day he was to sign papers and revealed hidden assets but my attorney was supposed to keep secret. Yes she did report them to me but she’s ALSO worried about being FAIR TO HIM. The man MS ATTORNEY KNOWS has defrauded me, abandoned my daughter when she was deployed at war, had me BEATEN and then lied to the police, sabotaged me so I could not earn a living in my town, and cheated on me so bad I have a uncurable std and went through NINE miscarriages b/c of his cheating std sharing, and SHE is worried about being FAIR TO HIM, this after his conversation with her about his hidden assets. What happened to her common sense???? I told her from the getgo he was manipulative and she didn’t respect the insight. She thought he couldn’t snow her. Well, he did.




Thanks, Mel, for the article!

I had my last therapy session today. My therapist told me that I was engaging into my life again and back on track. She did say that if I felt I needed her I was always welcome, but she saw no need to make an appointment anymore. On the one hand it’s a verification of what I already had felt the past 3 weeks. On the other hand I feel like a kid who’s going on their first day of school and has to let go of her mommy’s hand. Or the day I first moved to my own plance away from home, and at the end of all the moving and my parents were off to their home sat down in my couch realizing I was living all by myself, and didn’t have anyone there to chat with if I felt like it.

I tell myself that I did all the therapy work and walking by myself already anyway, but it still feels awkward not to have a guide there. I know I can do it. But it’s still a little bit scary, nonetheless.


Thanks Mel for the article. Again, another validation from you. xxoo This week marks five years ago that the ‘spath assault’ actually leeched onto my being. Imagine that. “TODAY”. Oh yes, there was a lot about today…it was today I was told after a few years of romancing, that he had been married the past four years and that just somehow ‘slipped his mind’? THAT was the first betrayal. For the next several years after that, we were held together in a bond of complete madness. Madness beyond what most minds can contain. To the fringes of insanity and back again. It is like recovering from a major accident or surgery…weak and just out of it…having to slowly and methodically make yourself stronger and stronger. Their conditioning took a long time…it takes a long time to un do it.

Yes, Thanksgiving week, this week, is an ‘anniversary’ and if I can squeak through the remainder of this week without intrusion, perhaps I will find that peace I am searching for in my life. It will be six months NC on 1DEC despite the ‘intrusions’ and stalkings. There is no returning to that insanity. No more.

Thanks Mel ~ your article was most appropriate for me today.
Happy Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be grateful for:


Dear Mel,
thank you for this very uplifting article, to which I can so relate! I am looking forward to hearing from you about your experience with Prof. Hare. 🙂 ! Have you all a great weekend!

Ox Drover

Dear Dupey,

Thanksgiving week is also an anniversary to me as welll when the madness started to end with my P-X BF…a year later, he called me in the middle of the night and I woke up and answered the phone before I realized who was calling (couldn’t have seen to read the number without my glasses anyway) I was asleep in the covered wagon at the state park where my living history group congregates every Thanksgiving week. The camp was quiet, the fires burning down and it was 2-3 O’clock in the morning, when I answered the phone….it took me a second to realize WHO was calling…and I could tell he was DRUNK and just trying to pull my chain—I went from ZERO to RAGE in about 10 seconds and I screamed at the top of my lungs GET FARKED!!!!

I’m not sure how many of my friends I woke up with my scream, but a few asked me the next morning “what happened?” I told them HE had called (I had last been with him that weekend at the park the year before and they pretty well all knew about what he had done not only to me but to the previous GF who is also an active member of our group! (he had burned down her house!) Though of course there was no “legal proof” he burned it, there was no doubt in any of our minds that HE was responsible….and what a SMIRK he had in his voice about her house burning, and to me that night on the phone!

He had managed to do me some “dirt” after I kicked him to the curb, but it wasn’t my house burning at least. The word got around about what he had done to me and what he had done to the X GF, so he is not welcome in our group any more. With some of the psychopaths their “face” or “reputation” is very important to them, and they don’t like to be “outed” for what they are.

Sometimes, just surviving is enough of a WIN! You have done that Dupey! So TOWANDA for you! Enjoy the victory! (((hugs))


I used to beg my husband to BE the person he pretended to be. I tried logic on him, told him how much easier it is when you don’t have to remember lies and who you told them to.
I would tell mine, the truth will set you free, as I could see visible anxiety on his personal being. It was so weird. I would also notice that he spent FAR more energy fighting, sabotaging, being angry, picking fights, making fun of people, just being negative, than it would take to just be, just be in the moment, just be happy in the moment. Where he ever got all that darned negative energy is a mystery to me.
Katy, do you mind my asking what state you live in?

Ox Drover

Well, I’ll see you guys another time…it is time for me to rearrange the potted plants…



I watched the Fishead movie and I was disappointed. I felt that it started out well when they attempted to explain and illustrate the sociopath and psychopath. After that, it just went all over the place for me. Prozac?

What are they trying to say? Are they saying that Prozac will turn all of into psychopaths? Or that Prozac will make all of us vulnerable to psychopaths?

They are saying that if we just care about our friend and friends of friends, and their friends too… that we will all be able to defend ourselves or win against the psychopaths of the world?

I could go on but I felt that the movie was all over the place and didn’t really bring it all together for me.

Also, why did they have those little black and read people icons killing eachother while explaining that a sociopath/psychopath is not necessarily a killer. Very confusing message!

I was disappointed in the movie because I was thinking at the beginning “Wow! a full hour (and some change) educating people about 2 exploitive personality disorders!” I was very hopeful.. but then it just went all over the place and made no real sense in the end.


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