By | April 12, 2009 359 Comments

Recovering from the psychopath: A New Life

By Ox Drover

Many of us here remember the pain of laboring in childbirth; we thought it was so painful we couldn’t endure any more without dying. Yet, even in that all-encompassing pain that wracked our bodies and our minds, in the back of our minds we knew we were giving birth to a New Life, and we were hopeful. We knew, too, that though we were giving birth to New Life, that it would not be an independent soul. We knew that New Life would require our tender nurturing to help it grow for many years.

I see our pain in recovering from the devastation of our experiences with a psychopath in a similar light to the pain of labor and childbirth, and caring for that New Life. I see that we are giving birth to a New Life, but this time, the New Life is within us, not separate from us.

Just as we had to labor with giving birth to our child, and just as that child was not capable at birth of caring for itself, we have the pain of the labor, and after the labor is over, even though we are still sore, we must nurture and care for New Life, which at first needs our total attention.

As the New Life, so fragile and delicate at first, requires us to completely care for her, and sometimes cries in a colic of her own that we don’t know how to comfort, nevertheless, we must continue to care for that infant New Life within ourselves. We must nurture this New Life and teach her as she grows to care for herself, to watch out for her own safety. In the mean time, we must watch out for the safety of New Life, keeping it away from the psychopath with No Contact. Even if she cries for contact, we must protect her from herself and her desires for things that are not good for her.

We must nurture and feed the New Life, and reassure her that she will grow and accomplish the things that she would like to do. So she can learn to walk upright in dignity and self-esteem, we teach her that when she falls and bumps her knee, she can still get up. We must teach her how to set boundaries and require respectful treatment from those around her. We also teach her how to love and trust others, but with reasonable caution about whom to love and trust. We must teach New Life not to trust blindly, because there are those in this world who will try to use and abuse her, but in spite of that, there are those who will love her tenderly. New Life must learn to spot the red flags of abuse and to avoid them, even in those people that she loves.

Teaching New Life so many things that she needs to know to keep herself safe from danger, and yet experience the wondrous joy of this world, will require much of our time for a while. Because at first New Life is so fragile, so inclined to hurt herself by approaching danger, we must monitor her continually, but as New Life continues to grow stronger and wiser each day, she accomplishes new heights in learning and growth.

New Life moves from anger and fear into reasonable trust and caution. New Life learns to smile and then to laugh and experience joy. New Life learns to love with total abandon, but not to let go of her healthy boundaries. New Life learns that she is worthy of love and respect. New Life learns discrimination and learns to reject those that would hurt her from within her circle of trust.

Then one day we realize that New Life, within us, is us. We learn that the fragile creature of New Life becomes out life! Becomes us. We are free from the pain and the trauma of the old us and have become the New Us, the wiser, the stronger, with confidence in ourselves to keep ourselves safe, and pointed to the future with a New Life.

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Ox as usual this is what I needed. I’ve been muddling around wondering how/where/when I’m going to start my “new life”. Many of my friends and family have said to me “enough already, move on”. I’m still grieving the dream; afterall it was ten years of my life with this guy. BUT, I am trying to look within and see what kind of life I can piece together without him in it.

Thank you for your words of wisdom.


Thank you, OxD. I have never given birth physically, but I do think emotionally, this process has to hurt just as much. This past year has been such a learning experience for me of how to like myself, appreciate myself, and take care of myself.

Just today, I was swimming laps in the public pool. A young woman wanted to share my lane. I saw her approaching me to ask. I am fine with this, as we often have to share lanes when doing laps when the pool is busy. She asked me very nicely if she and her friend could both share my lane so they could do some sort of exercise routine together. I surprised myself by firmly responding that I’m fine sharing a lane with one person, but that I think 2 others would be too much. She tried to assure me that they wouldn’t take up much space because one would follow the other. And after all, she said, she works as a lifeguard there and knows that 3 can fit in a lane. I said point blank to her, “Are you giving me a choice or are you telling me there will be two of you in this lane? Cause if you’re giving me the choice, I would prefer that I share with only one person.” She said that they would wait for someone to leave and they did.

The old me would have taken pity and said, “you know, it’s okay, it won’t be so bad….” But the new “bitchy” me takes care of herself. I was very assertive and I’m proud of myself. This came on the heels of making a big mistake loaning someone money that I shouldn’t have loaned money to. I’m still learning some of the big lessons here that I didn’t learn from the Sociopath.


I’m new to this site but not new to the destructive force of a sociopath and the challange of recovery.

I can appreciate this new life and re birth sentiment all too well. I know the pain of giving birth and I have had to nurture a colicky baby, and boy does this ever ring a bell. The new life in me has finally found the voice, the cry, to say no! no more! and face the solo alternatives. Just 3 weeks ago the new me simply said no! no to counceling together, no to going on a far away trip together to forget about the past and start all over and no to “we are meant to be”. The new life in me is learning to be in my own therapy, go on my own trips alone, and learning to be me, myself and I one day at a time, with no one manipulating me, using and abusing me…. as I am meant to be.

Thank you all for your wisdom and caring thoughts….these have been helping me tremendously to validate my experience and deal with the pain and trauma, as I have been in the painful process of extricating myself of a 3 year relationship with a sociopath for the past 3 months.

Jim in Indiana USA

Aeylah-welcome. I hope this site helps you as it has helped me. May your new life bring you peace…and joy.


Unfortunately, when you have children with a sociopath, I have found the insanity never ends. The children will be used, the courts used, false accusations made, and because the sociopath is so cunning, manipulative and slick, the sociopath is very convincing. I thought I would never be shocked again I have been through so much, but I continue to be shocked. I am meeting with a Delegate this week to see if the laws can be changed to protect the abused victims. It is too late for me and my children, the damage is done. However, if what I have gone through which I have completely documented can make a difference in someone else, then it will not be in vain. When the child abuse laws are thrown out the window when a battered wife finally divorces the batterer, the laws must be changed.

Jim in Indiana USA

kathy…I wish you well, and hope you have some success. As we often discuss, “justice” has been blind for a long time in dealing with these predators. I salute your courage. We each must do what we can…and feel we must.

Ox Drover

Dear Kathy,

I hear your concern and your pain, and I applaud your spirit of trying to get the laws changed (Read the blog about “amy’s law”)

But as long as you are ALIVE it is not “too late” for you to have a NEW LIFE, it isn’t any more (at least in my case and many others here) about THEM any more, it is ABOUT US.

Even if we are forced by circumstances to “give birth” to OUR NEW LIFE in hostile, “war torn” circumstances, we know that we can’t necessarily change the environment but we CAN change the way we perceive it. The thing that helped me to see this is Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” Star has recently gotten this bookk and read it.

Dr. Frankl wrote this book after years in a Nazi prison camp where he lost his ENTIRE world including his relatives, his wife, his friends, his medical practice, his home, EVERYTHING but his life and he still found MEANING even IN the prison camp. We can too!

Many of us here have lost EVERYTHING that was important to us, and there are people here who have lost their homes, and are literally almost to the point financially that they are WITHOUT ANY RESOURCES, yet, we are all on the road to healing ourselves. OUR SELVES.

I know your situation is PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT because you have children with this monster….and there are others here who have children with their monsters as well and have to let the monster have them for visitation….there are also peoople here (I am one, Rune is another) who have psychopathic children, who have had to grieve for the loss of our wonderful babies morphing into MONSTEROUS ADULTS. I think there is one of the BEST cross sections of victims of psychopaths here that could be assembled anywhere, because we come from ALL Walks of life, all situations that you could imagine, and from multiple countries, cultures, sexes, sexual orientations, religions, regions, and different ages and situations all together.

Kathy, it is NEVER (imho) TOO LATE for you! You are NOT a P so you can recover, can heal. ((((hugs)))) and my prayers for you!!!!


This post of yours is very good. Now that it has been a little over a year, I honestly feel a new life within myself. It can be a little scary, cause she is different than the old me in many ways.

Great analogy comparing the new me (you) to a new baby. I felt so fragile at first, (last year) it compares to nothing else I had ever experienced. You are so right-on about boundaries. That has been the HUGE lesson I am going forward with here.


That is so true; this is a site where you can feel your voice is validated. I have told almost no one the details of what my experiences were! Even my therapist said my story sounded like a fictional drama.
I wouldn’t have believed it myself if it hadn’t happened to me. I read these posts for a year before I felt safe enough to jump in. It’s good to see the different levels of recovery of everyone, based on time passed, etc.


I had a similar experience with the me after the P. I was on the beach just a month later, and felt a big blob of spit land on my cheek. ( I dunno how I knew what it was) But, I sat up, looked around, and said loud enough, “someone spit on me” A group of men, maybe late 20’s, and big, had sat nearby. One said, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there” I stood up and walked over to him and pointed to the sidewalk and said in a loud voice “get off the beach” He laughed, and his friends were like, “he wouldn’t have done that on purpose”
I repeated the point “get off the beach now, or I’m calling this an assault” Those guys said sorry mam, grabbed their towels and walked away fast. They guy who spit never apologized, and he had that sort of smirk in his eyes when he admitted spitting. Felt dam good. A year later I still ask myself, “where did that come from?” I never would have done that before! I would have sat there and fumed and been embarassed. So good for the new me.

Ox Drover

Dear guys,

I’m glad you like this analogy—as those of you who “know me” know I think in analogies most of the time.

The NEW LIFE in me is not the same as the old one either. I admit that I had been pretty unprotecting and nurturing of the OLD ME, because I had never learned, until now, that I needed to “parent” her with nurturing and love and protect her. I spent all my time and effort protecting OTHERS and not myself. Now I am being kind of my NEW LIFE and protecting and nurturing HER above all others.

My NEW LIFE is still a “toddler” now, but she is walking and talking some now, and though she still needs me to teach her some things, she is GROWING every day. Just as I really enjoyed seeing my young children growing, stretching new challenges, and accomplishing things, I am also enjoying this NEW LIFE within me, and enjoy seeing her expand her universe to new things. Sure, she falls down once in a while and skins her knee or gets a “boo boo” but I am there to comfort her, put a psychic “band aid” on it and send her out to learn new things again. She is learning to TRUST ME to look out for her and I am careful to see that she doesn’t “run out into traffic” and get hurt badly in her exploring her world.


Too bad I can’t write coherently. In the above incident at the beach, I meant, that It felt dam good to throw that guy off the beach. I don’t know if I imagine it or not, but it seems like sometimes I can just zero in on a meanie now. Mean is not ever ok again.


Great article OxD –

I’ve been off for a week reading “Without Conscience” and now “Women who Love Psychopaths”, but I still get sad a lot. In spite of everything I miss his calls, his texts, and feel bad that when he finally came to see me I turned him away. Even though my smart self knows that he was only here to take from me, not to love me.

Your article helped a lot. It’s like you said, a little baby crying out for contact with the P and I have to calm her down and comfort her and show her that we’re better off alone. Hard but doing it.

Thank you.


hey guys, blogging on tonight as im feeling very heartsick. Went to a funeral for a cousin today and feeling pretty melancholy but i know it’s grief, missing the s and what i wanted him to be. This just sucks so much. What a price i have paid for all this i still can’t beleive it, off work, trauma program, therapy her e , therapy there, it’s been like one long nightmare that never seems to end. Im trying very hard to just sit and feel the pain, grief, whatever this yucky feeling is so i can get beyond it as i’ve sacrificed so much i deserve to be happy but it just isn’t coming fast enough. Wish i would have gotten out when i felt apprehensive 6months in and 5 and a half years ago. So much stress and aggravation for what? I keep wanting to move but know that isn’t the answer , looking for a quick fix to such wasted energy. No retribution. I hope this is just grief and i hope it passes as i feel so low and like im a tiny speck that has been forever changed, damaged badly. I want so much to be happy but i don’t know how to change it. love kindheart


OxDrover: I’m trying, but I feel that I am in the infant stage! I think this is worse than childbirth, I’m trying to make a whole new me and I don’t know how, but your article really helps! Thank you very much.


kindheart: I am feeling heartsick also, I’m trying hard to think good thoughts about myself, that I am ok, that this will pass. I feel like the article Oxy wrote above… and I feel like I am kicking and screaming through the entire ordeal! I have to change, or maybe I already changed and that is the New Life. I’m hanging in there with you!


shabby, this sucks big time. I hate to give him any more energy for free but i have no choice at this point or at least i don’t think i do. Have to go through it. I keep thinking i must have done something to deserve this but don’t know what. Do any of you feel that way. karma thing maybe but i’ve given so much it still doesn’t seem fair at all. I can’t wait to have it all behind me for good. love kindheart.


kindheart: I soooooooooo wanted everything to work out with this guy, when I realized I was acting crazy and he was using me… well the disappointment was overwhelming. I can’t wait to have it all behind me too!! I can’t wait until I feel good being alone!


Thanks Jim and Bin-a-year…as a “newbee” I’ve been reading everyone’s posts and it’s amazing to me to realize how many people have had such similar painful stories….what still bewilders me the most is the unbelivable stealthy seductive power S/N have to ruthlessly manipulate and destroy good hearted and well meaning people over and over again and How much we suffer as a result.
My recovery story is similar…good days, miserable days and days where I just want to jump off a bridge. I yearn contact as a relief to the stress, but I force myself to do kind things for myself to get out of the funk. Keep a journal, go do some physical activity this really relieves the stress, go outside and feel the fresh air, treat yourself good, pamper your self, do the things you used to enjoy doing for your S for yourself instead. I know how hard it is to do, but making the effort feels better. This is taking those baby steps into a new life.


Kindheart, I just wanted to say I am sorry about your cousin. And I also wanted to tell you that although you feel progress is slow, you actually sound much stronger to me than you did a coupla weeks ago. I’ve been pulling for you to stay in no contact with not only the ex but the other problematic people you were dealing with and from your posts it seems like you are getting much better at that. So that is a really big improvement and step in your recovery too that you are doing. So just keep on keeping on and gradually things will improve in your life. –Jen


I’m finally standing up for myself and am absolutely done with him. I’ve forgiven him over and over and have not required him to respect me or any boundaries for over 30 years (how wrong). Unfortunately he forced me into this present position — I wish I’d been able to do this on my own. I don’t think I could be this firm without some terrible things that happened recently. It felt like it could’ve been the end of my life he attacked me so violently, first verbally for hours then physically. To top it all off he then accused me of violence (I did threaten to kill myself) and brought a civil suit charging me with domestic abuse. Unbelievable! These three things were the absolute death nell of the relationship.

I apologize for not sharing this well. I feel so bottled up inside that I can’t even express my pain. It’s even worse than that — it’s so overwhelming that I don’t even know what to do with it internally. When I try to write about it I can’t explain myself and my emotions and I just come out sounding detatched and clinical. I’ve pretty much given up trying to write on forums (not this one obviously) because I know I don’t relate well to people. But it has gotten so much worse. I’m sure I’m not making much sense and thank-you for bearing with me.

I am now facing losing everything by divorcing him — 32 years in which I put all my eggs into one basket. I didn’t finish college so as not to take away from my family/ children (married young), I”ve barely ever worked outside the home, I did teach my children at home and have helped my husband in his various endeavors — from church work to starting a business. I’m now older and chronically ill and can’t work and he is my only means of support. I’m in utter shock at how quickly he turned so against me after spending the last year begging me for reconciliation. I’ve been resisting reconciling because I know he’s still lying about so many things (how I got the STD, how his work computer hard drive went out and disappeared within hours of the computer forensic man getting the home computer, a secret email account and bank account, denying chatting when evidence of archived chats, and on and on).

It got so bad wrangling with him about his lies that I felt compelled for the sake of my own sanity to have to prove the truth incontrovertibly so I started having him followed. This has been the worst torment of all — how well he lies and feeling like I’m the nutcase. I felt I had to prove the truth (even though for any outside observer not manipulated by him, the truth had already been proven many times over). That’s when I discovered he had a girlfriend. Even though we have been separated we both beleive — well I believe and he expressed belief, that we are still married and anything like dating would be sin. He presents himself as a practicing Christian so this is not ok even for his persona.

I gave him many days and asked many questions to give him a chance to confess the girlfriend voluntarily but he kept lying through his teeth while proclaiming his “love” for me and desire to reconcile. This led to the terrible night a few weeks ago when I asked him point blank, “Who’s Louise?”. Come to find out he said he knew I knew and had a little prepared script about her. This was still in the context of his wanting reconciliation. And he had the gall to tell me how much he enjoyed kissing her all night long but doing no more. I know for a fact he was in her condo long hours on end and don’t believe for a minute that nothing happened.

Anyway, what really set him off, I think, was finding out I’d done some investigation to find out who the girlfriend was. This was after I had endured days of his harrassment trying to make me take him back. He turned on a dime and went into one of his raging verbal attacks in which he told me in every imaginable way what a worthless person I am in every aspect of my being. This lasted for hours. More happened that I won’t get into but there was something about his verbal abuse and rage that night that seemed entirely different than all the other times. It wasn’t different in content but was such a culmination of all the evil that he thinks of me and all the hatred that he has for me that it showed to me the complete and utter futility of trying to reconcile with that, to say nothing of the continual lies, cheating, immorality, manipulations. Even I have a limit! Then he tops the whole thing off with a public suit claiming domestic abuse against me (which he later dropped for some unknown reason — I don’t know his motive but I believe God answered prayer and had mercy on me). When he had me pinned on the floor he screamed, “You are not my wife!”. So, even if my heart feels like giving him perpetual passes (and it does, believe it or not) there is no way. I feel as if with this last crowning verbal and physical assult, and his public lies in the suit, and this final proclamation the ties are formally and totally cut by his doing in every way from start to finish.

When I write this and in light of the last incident (in which I was very foolish by threatening to kill myself) the relationship looks very sick indeed. I stayed for the right reasons, I think, but……

Thank-you for bearing with this. There’s more that could be said but will hold off for now.

Ox Drover

Dear NO More,

Thanks for sharing your story, believe it or not, it helps to share it, and to know that you are BELIEVED…I am so sorry that you chose to marry this man and to give him chance after chance, most of us here did the same thing…because we ARE good people, caring and loving people.

It is so difficult to get your head around the TRUTH when you are being told over and over that YOU are the crazy one. Believe me you are NOT crazy, but I too have wondered if I was losing my mind.

I am glad that you are starting to disconnect from him. I know it will be a bumpy road and there may be times you wish he was back (in spite of knowing the truth) but it will get better. The emotional “rape” we feel from these people who have NO MORAL COMPASS but oh, do they like to pretend they do! Your husband (if you want to call him that!) has none of the qualities that go with the “name” husband. It is so disheartening to know that he isn’t capable of feeling the concern for others that it takes to have a relationship. It is all about appearances, but not substance.

The “smear campaign” that is likely he will do by painting you as the “crazy” one, and he is of course, the “saint” —will be difficult to take, but it is part and parcel of the things they will do when they are “outed” as the monsters that they are!

I’m glad that you discovered Love Fraud, because this is a wonderful place with people who DO undertand taht you have been traumatized in ways that cannot be “seen” but are very REAL and the PAIN IS REAL. I suggest that you keep on reading and go back through the archived articles and read the there is some good information there. Don’t worry about sounding “clinical” or anything else, we have all been discomboobilated here and there isn’t anyting wrong with feeling like tht after all you have been through! ((((hugs)))) and my prayers for your strength and peace. Oxy

Jim in Indiana USA

nomore_discomBobulat: Thanks for being here and telling your story. I see you spent over 30 years doing your part for what you thought was real…until, like many here, you discovered the truth. Well, looking back, I did it twice…6 or 7 years the first time and 25 the next, with about 3 years alone between.

Another three years out now, and still processing it, without the chaos. The journey continues. Looking back, I can see the good and the bad. I’m 58, and will face difficulties and challenges, but I’m finally figuring out who I am and what I want…and recognize what I’m not willing to do. I can’t do anything over, but I can choose with whom I spend my time and what we will accept from each other. I’m finally getting there.

You will, too.


Jen, yes i’ve been staying away from the sick people that i get sucked into helping and things are much calmer. I’ve got enough to deal with my youngest is coming home for a month to visit from Banff and my oldest is still unemployed and waiting to go to military in August > i have a case worker of sorts coming tom to help get me back on my feet at work also. In time i may look to transfer somewhere but for now i have to get myself stronger. Feel a tad guilty not calling about some of these people who i’ve helped or tried to help in the past but i now it’s best for me. I can’t help them, im too screwed up myself at this point. Im eating a tad better too and can’t wait to get out an d exercise when the weather gets nicer and drive my convertible. I know im far from out of the woods but i thank god for all of you and this site as i don’t feel that any therapy that i’ve had so far has been as benefical as this site has. It’s like an AA meeting for victims of socipaths instead. Going to have to push myself to do things though as i can tell im still a litlle leary of seeing anyone associated with the s but it’s inevevitable in this small town. love kh


No More, welcome to the site and i hope you can get away from your abuser even if you have been with him for all those years. You deserve a good life without all the lies and manipulation. Reading your story is a wake up call for me as mine was not physical only because he’s a cowar.d. Recently i mentioned to him that he had no moral compass and ithe moron pointed to the compass on his harley. See what he thinks of morality and they are all the same, don’t care how they preach differently. Lost causes and i get madder with each word i type as they should seriously be branded. Let him go and make some other person s life hell, you have suffered enough and i know it is going to be hard but your children have grown and you can do it. It’s never too late to start over. If there were a pill to forget these idiots someone would be rich but they do such devastation and ruin that you have to write them off completely which goes against the grain for us kindhearteed souls. Im so grateful i never had any children with my s. One of his daughers(very smart) cut off all contact 4 years ago and the other is a meth addict who gave up both of her sons so he has no contact with any of his children . They will never see their part in anything their defences are so ingrained to project onto us. I wish you all the best and keep posting and get all the crap out that’s what we are here for. Dont’ worry about how you put it into words you sound perfectly normal to me for someone who has endoured decades of abuse . love kindheart


Thanks you guys for writing. I’ve spent a year in the turmoil of: Am I supposed to reconcile? and How to get TRUTH out of him (an impossibility, I think, and NOT my responsibility anymore, if it ever was). There really is RELIEF now that that is over, but the future is very uncertain. Not only because of the divorce but there’s a possibility he could be arrested due to pornography on his computer (the police are involved). If the latter happens this is going to be a whole new thing to deal with. I’m bracing myself for that. (God is my refuge and strenghth, a very present help in trouble!)

And, Oxy, the smear campaign is something I dread but know he’s very capable of doing. I got the first glimpse of it in the context of this divorce, with the no contact order. It looks like he’s been doing it against me though, mostly unbeknownst to me, in a drip drip fashion for a long time. I’ve had people now tell me that he used to take them aside to run me down, albeit in the guise of compassion for his “crazy” wife. And I know he did this with my children, and overheard him telling my 5 year old grandaughter a few years ago, “Your’e Grandma is not a good woman”. He did this after a very mild, insignificant disagreement with me.

As to staying with him I now question it, but I didn’t know for certain of the immoralities until last year and that has been to me the only legitimate reason for divorce. Still, the line should’ve been drawn by me as to his behavior and treatment. Knowing him, he wouldn’t have stood for that so I don’t know how it would have worked out — perhaps divorce anyway. I wonder if there’s a little softer view on abuse in marriage for the Christian woman? I can’t say for sure but I regret being the good soldier to the extreme. Well, guess I’m ramblimg…

I appreciate you all and hope I haven’t squelched any discussion by focusing on my situation. Thanks too Jim for sharing your experience and age. I think there’s hope for us older ones to start the new life Oxy spoke of or we wouldn’t be here attempting to go on. At the beginning of all this I really felt my life was totally over, but then I realized if I’m still alive God has a reason for it and I have to do the best I can with what’s left — and it may be more than what it has seemed, if God wills.


Thank you kindheart as well! I posted before I read your post. Your words are very kind. I have thought, when I’ve read younger women’s stories — in similar situations and forgiving horrible husbands, that I’d like to tell them THEY WILL NOT CHANGE, get out for your life! ( there are exceptions, but if it is a pattern of continued selfishness, abuse, affairs, etc. then quit while your’e ahead)

Just read a Scripture yesterday that reminded me of my husband’s reaction when I told him what I knew about the type of pornography that had been discovered on his computer. It fits equally with what you said about a moral compass and the Harley reaction. “Fools make a mock at sin”. My husband pretty much laughed at me and invited me for dinner right after I revealed that I knew about the horrible younger teen stuff. Not so called “normal” pornography.

Anyway, I am determined to avoid him from here on out like the plague to keep my own sanity. God bless you and thanks for your kindness.



“…if it is a pattern of continued selfishness, abuse, affailrs, etc. then quit while your’e ahead.”

Gay or straight, the same rule applies. My S partner exhibited the same behavior. cI wish to God I had run at the first red flags. Instead I wasted 15 months on him. Everybody he has been involved with, from his former partners, to his friends and family all pay because of his behavior. I continue to pay in the form of wrecked health from all the stress.

You’re right. They will not change.

Thanks so much to all of you who cared enough to encourage and share with me. I have realized that I am through trying to make sense out of insanity, and that I want my focus to be on me and my healing. I spent 42 years being more addicted to him than any drug could feel – Although I’ve never used drugs, the withdrawal was beyond description, really feeling that I would die without him. I was only 19 when I met him on the beach at Waikiki in 1967. I was a nanny and had a 3 year old little boy with me. We went down to look at the beach for one last time two hours before our plane left (I was there 2 weeks). I know I am past the rage and blaming myself. I feel so much stronger already, even though I ended it only a few days ago. I feel on the other side, raw and fragile, but definitely “finished”. How could a nice Christian woman like me get hooked? I now know what red flags are, and how to listen to them. The few months prior to breaking it off, I began to notice the reality of who he was in my heart and not just my head. It became more uncomfortable to be around him. I was actually repulsed by him, until I became so uncomfortable I could no longer pretend. It feels amazingly freeing and like I’ve been dumped back into where I left off 42 years ago. It is so healing to write and know that I am not alone with my pain. My feelings are not facts, and I believe God is taking me to a better place.


No More, i’ve been reading a book alot of the other members have mentioned over the last year called the Betrayal Bond as i know with my s i’ve had this insane loyalty that i could never figure out. He would say to his friend ” this girls morals are too good” imagine saying something so stupid like that could be possible. He will never understand me in this regard but i couldn’t understand why i would be so loyal until i read about the bond that exists between them and us. We get confused thinking they are our Saviours when in reality they are our Captors. It’s all confusing but it is exactly on the money in my case. Imet him at the lowest point in my life, i was coming out of a 17 year marriage to a very decent man and i was also dealing with alcoholism and i felt saf e and in danger with this man all along. Im sure there are some loyalty issues as you have been with this man for so many years and we are loyal people to a fault and i just hope you don’t feel guilty at all as it’s pretty explainable. I would go back to the trauma program and pull the nurses aside after i had contact on a weekend pass and say “i don’t get it why can’t i see him the way others do ” or the way i know he really is and they all said “Stockholm Syndrome” they do a good number on our physe like putting blinders on us. I would tell the doc in charge of program that i was in concious denial and he said, no Shelly you are not in denial at all it’s the Stockholm and i researced it and it’s the only thing that makes sense. My s pretended to be as normal as they come with me but im a perceptive person and i know i wouldn’t put anything past him when it comes to morality he’s just a coward and would be afraid of getting caught. They have a saying i n AA that goes a little like this. We ” can’t not Know what we Know” and that’s the hard part we all know deep down inside our hearts what they are and what they are capable of but it’s just beyond our comprehension and our minds try to rewrite a script so to speak to explain it away. We cannot wrap a sane mind around their twisted one. I like you ended up acting crazy , last time with contact over lies , other women etc. i was absolutely hysterical and just like you wanted to let him have it and he kept picking up the phone, only because he really wanted to hear what i haad to say, not because he cared but in an amused sort of way. It took the lifeblood right out of me . He prob slept like a lamb even after his ex mother in law accused him of molesting the girls when younger. Calm as a cucumber. My point in all this is it did nothing to deter him, i on the other hand became very sick and exhausted for what. He stands for nothing, changes his mind like the wind. NO INTEGRITY. i PREached all these things over the years to him and it got me nowhere. Like talking to a bafoon and yes in all my efforts to help him, his daughter, myself going as far as trauma prog for 2 months did nothing. It’s all in the no contact and time as i ‘ve tried everything else and every way around it and i made myself sicker . Sometimes letting go makes you stronger and my rational side knows this but there is the other side that doesn’t ever give up on people but in this case i have no option. It’s him or I . I am worth it , he isn’t. I know you have a hard long road ahead of you ,just like me but we can do it and there are lots ahead on the road to help us along. Im still going to be the kind person i was raised to be but will be careful and trust my own instincts in the future. Mine told me the first time i met him that he was a predator(and i really didn’t know what one was as i was very insulated my whole life) but something inside me knew and i should have listened and saved myself 6 years of torture. Today i have to let it all go and look to the future, he can only take what i let him take and i’ve given more than enough. Keep posting and get all the crap out . anything that comes to your mind, no matter how simple and sill it may sound, we’ve all been there . love kindheart


No more,

I second Kindhearts post to you… It is spot on…and if anyone can prove no contact is the way and can accomplish letting go and looking to the future…its Kindheart. Her journey is as raw and real as it gets. Her honesty and openness in her posts have helped so many see their S/P/N’s truth through her pain and confusion.

Kindheart — well said!!

After I ended it with the P in my life, he called our daughter and asked for my address, saying he wanted to send me some money. I don’t want ANYTHING from him. There are some ways he will do this. Since he is living with a woman in her home, I doubt he will want me to have her return address on the envelope since I may contact her – (her therapist told her he was a Sociopath), or he may send a check, which I WILL NOT cash, or he may send cash, which I doubt, since there would be no hook in that. If he sends a check with no return address, I will tear it up. If there is a return address I will put on the envelope “Return to Sender”. It helps to use this writing tool to process my thoughts. Oh groan!


I dreamt one night that I was chased by a vampire in a long cape……though he had plenty women friends it was important to have me.

I ran until i was out of breath i went into the light as i was in the dark when i encountered him in my dream. To my shock horror he crossed over into the light and held on to my chain with a cross and told me to take it off.

couple days after i met this handsome man who looked like the man in my dream he told me to take off my chain with the cross on so i said wow!

i told him about the dream with the man that looked like him who chased…. me like a fool i gave this man a chance in my life he did everything to me a psychopaths would i was so torn i was ashamed!

I felt used abused chewed up spit out… now im almost three months free from him…now and again i have nightmares about him chasing me.

I witnessed him looking up his 17 yr old daughter’s skirt and to my horror she likes it…both of them teamed up in the end and did the most cruelsome things to me…i almost thought they were planing to kill me….but thank god i survived.



If you can get money out of a sociopath, I say grab it. But, don’t give him your address — open a post office box and let him send it there. Doing that may very well drive him bonkers, since you’re controlling the situation.


Thank you so much learn for the vote of confidence. Im certainly not out of the woods so to speak as im still hurt and obsessing a bit but i know what is real and it’s hard to admit but the fantasy or illusion is so strong that it is going to take a while for it to fade and i know the only way to get REAL is to stay in the no contact. I read somewhere that we are prone to malignant optimism and that has been the case with me for sure, giving the s bottomless credit for nothing her deserved. Hard pill to swallow is the pride. Admitting that he never loved me when i did acrobatics to please him , more than i ever gave my deserving ex husband. This has definately been a hard lesson in life one that i hope never to repeat. I have a young girl coming by tomorrow morning , a sort of go between from my insurance company and my job. Im hoping to get back to work a bit as i have way too much time on my hand and i want to feel productive. I’ve been through alot of adversities in my life losing my mother to alcoholism at age 50 , divorce, i will get through this as well . Im not sure what to tell this girl tomorrow, why im off from work, it’s all so complicated and i know she wouldn’t understand, so thank god for this site as it’ s the only place where i get the validation and support i need on a day to day basis. I had a nightmare recently where the s was throwing money at his meth addicted daugher and i was livid as he was wasting it and i was picking some of it up. I was furious as he had been so cheap with me. It’s int how our dreams come out and i can sure see what bothers my subconcious in my dreams. I had nightmares when i first quit drinking that i was drunk and couldn’t get sober and wake up so i know it’s all normal in the early phase. This truly is guys an addiction in every sense and i hope someday i will look at him the same way i look at alcohol with a healthy fear of ever even taking a drop. love kindheart.



Malignant optimism. Good term.

Today I was discussing the S, yet again, with my therapist. He asked me if I thought S loved me a “little bit.” For a moment the “malignant optimist” in me wanted so desperately to glom onto that thought.

Then I realized that if I bought into that fiction and engaged in that emotional dishonesty, I would be setting myself back to square one. So, I told him “no”. My therapist then said “even at the start of your relationship with S?” And I told him “the answer is still no. I now realize that S wasn’t capable of love and the only reason he told me he loved me was to get his hook into me.”

Malignant optimism, indeed.


Kindheart 48:

I feel you pain and relate to the history of a 17 year merriage to a decent man, followed by a horrible relationship to a N/S. I often ask, how could I have been so blind to the manipulation, the lyes and the abuse? it was Malignant Optimism…as the Dr. Jekil Mr. Hyde would give me little morsels of reward for every loving, giving and trusting thing I did, only to be followed by cruel devaluation and discarding. It is horrible to think that I “traded” my husband that I loved at one time and was decent person for the malignant parasite that the S is.

When he told me he was diagonsed with prostate cancer and came begging, for me to take him back, I experienced what I think now is malignant optmism…I actually thought that since he was facing a dreaded dis-ease he would miraculously change….oh how I missed him and wanted to be there for him, but I held back. The hovering and surprise apperances continued even as I held no contact. I was doing so good until today….I responded, and what did I get? “I love you”, “you are the only one for me, I want to work things out”..blha, blah blah….to when I didn’t capitulate ….”I am seing another w who is taking care of my cancer needs and makes herself available whenever I need her…I have to talk to you tonight, after my dance lesson with (another w), oh and by the way, I want to be honest with you and tell you that (woman # 3) is arriving on the 1st from out of town to go to a doctors appt. with me since she’s a health care professional, and dont worry I might have her sleep in the spare room, and by the way….I need to know right now if you really love me, because if you do, will you take care of me while I go through a chemical castration during my radiation therapy. Hurry up and tell me now….I love you”! puke!!!!! and more puke!!!
this was ther result of my malignant optimism, and my breaking the No contact rule. The only comfort I feel is in knowing that he will be “punished” with the chemical castration that he is facing to cure his cancer, however temporary…and I had nothing to do with this. this is the Karmic law serving him what he deserves because he is the biggest lier, cheater and user of women I have ever encountered in my life.
thanks for letting me vent all.


Aeyleh, reading your posts i was wondering , did you leave your husband for the s. My husband left me before i met the s and i had no idea men like this existed, i was so naive i thought , i’ll just find another one like my husband. Fast forward 6 years of pure misery. I had a guy call who just got back from Florida tonight , he has been calling while in Florida over the last 4 months and seems like a decent guy but here s the thing, im so not in a good place as i have not been in the no contact for long and to be perfectly honest how can anyone live up to the illusion i bought into. I still have not completely smashed that illusion and im not interested at all in anyone at the moment. In fact im so dam worn out from all the abuse i’ve taken that i can’t beleive it myself. If for no other reason these parasites are bad all around for our health. I’ve put myself through pur e hell over time with breaking the no contact rule etc. and now im paying the price only the damage has gotten more significant the older i’ve gotten. Im mad at myself for putting myself through all this torture over and over again and it scares the hell out of me to see the toll it’s taken. I just hope i haven’t done permanent damage and it can’t be understated how toxic these people are to caring , loving, feeling people. I hope mine gets what he deserves as well but without any feelings he seems to be spared the health problems. I wish i could find some enthusiasm to even want to meet with this gentleman but i have to be honest and say im too burnt to be bothered. What is that saying with the narcissist, they get to take the last bow or final curtain as they have acheived what they wanted all along and that is to drain us dry. My s eats only crap, not a veggie or fruit in the 6 yers i’ve known him. Thinks he can orchestrate his own death, wants to die of a heart attack quickly and not suffer as yours . Coward through and through. I don’t know how he’s existed this long with the chain smoking , eating habits etc. but they are not human so they don’t stress like we do. I don’t think my exhusband would have on his worst day treated me like this loser did on his best. But like you they know how to keep you baited , they’ve played the game their whole life and know all the tricks. We have been with genuine men that didn’t play games . I hope they get theirs back ten fold in time. They turn on a dime and it goes against humanity . The pain they cause is neverending and the only way to avoid it is to ignore them. Not much consolation for all that we’ve given but a waste on them. Im the most forgiving person i know and that made me so suseptible but if there was one person i would not save in this world, it would be him. love kh



Are you sure your S really has cancer? If it were my ex-S, unless I personally spoke to his oncologist, I wouldn’t believe it if he told me that he had cancer. And even if he did, the first question I would be asking myself is what is he looking for from me? These creatures aren’t above using a disease like cancer to run their pity plays.


Matt, rereading your post earlier . Wonder if you ever have the crazy thoughts of why wasn’t i enough an dwhy did he need these other women, crazy thinking like that. Truth is i know the answer, we are just sources of supply, interchaneable and they will use us whenever we give them the chance. I keep thinking that he must love this new woman and never loved me , insane thought s but i have to be honest. I guess i just want some reassurance that it’s not me from you guys. Funny but it never ever crossed my mind with my ex husband that his new wife he loved more. Isn’t that strange. I know he loved me at one time and that is all that matters and i wish him no ill will at all. Such a difference between these two men it’s almost hard to phathom. I literally did a 180. mayb e in time it will not matter when im feeling happy. His last exwife told me he could fall in love as quckly as out of love. I don’t think he loves at all. kh.


Thank you again Kindheart for your words that really hit the spot. I have the book, Betrayal Bond but haven’t read much in it yet, but will have to get it out.

You are so right that we can’t wrap a sane mind around a twisted one. I keep trying but am realizing it just cannot be possible.

Part of me, until recently, kept viewing him as the person I thought he was rather than what his deeds have shown him to really be. These deeds are what I must keep in the forefront of my mind to move entirely on without him. Normal people not bambuzzled by the sociopath would know immediately, Hey you can’t treat someone like this. (well, by normal I mean someone not in a relationship with one of these persons) But as I gain distance from him this is becoming clearer, Hey you can’t treat someone like this! And that includes me. Got to keep that distance to gain reality about him and the relationship with him.

Isn’t it something like you said, we’re the ones suffering and ill and sleepless while they haven’t a concern in the world. But I guess it is because we care.

I appreciate your encouragement to keep posting and “get all the crap out”. Thanks for listening.



Wanted to thank you for your wonderful article!

I haven’t been posting for a couple weeks as I’ve been focusing on learning to “take care of my New Life, that true self that began to emerge when I posted at LF (

Divorce, followed by having my life entirely disrupted by an n/p (even in a non-romantic context) was shattering, but I’ve learned that getting over someone else was actually easier than getting over myself, because that involves absolutely fearlessly facing who and where I am. That meant letting go of all those comforting assumptions and long-held beliefs. It meant waking up and discovering my own truths.

You guys as a group, and especially in posting and threads like this one, have helped me face the things in my life that made me a good victim for creatures like sociopaths and narcissists. These things, learned in the home of my alcoholic father and reinforced in two abusive marriages, also kept me frozen and unhappy, emotionally dependent, and attracted to emotionally distant people.

I’m at the point that Oxy has written about so well: I’m learning to care for and treasure myself, this bit of life that has been given into my care. It is amazing to focus on positives, like honesty, creativity, passion, humor, and being present in this n/p-free moment! I can’t find the words to express adequately what this place has come to mean to me, or the peace that has come into my life because of it.

Thank you again for the article, Oxy, and thank you everyone at LF for making this a place to heal.

Lots of Love,

Ox Drover

Dear Betty,

I am going to print off your above post and put it on my refrigerator as a reminder of just how wonderful the people on this blog are, and how we are all on the journey together, holding hands and encouraging each other.

You write so eloquently about how you are doing and I am so happy for you that you are nurturing that NEW LIFE inside yourself. I realize too that the “NEW” life in there has ALWAYS been there but I have neglected her and she hasn’t grown, but she was always there, waiting to be nurtured so she could grow and learn. That wonderful spark of love and wonder that is inside each of us that deserves to be loved and cared for.

So glad you are here, Betty!!! And thank you for the compliment on this article. Love, Oxy



It’s not just you — I still wonder why he felt the need to cheat on me with other guys. Not only cheat, but to do it so publicly that he knew I would find out. Then, irony of ironies, he would deny it and claim the friends who told me what he was up to were lying. Hell, I caught him IN THE ACT at a friend’s party and he still lied. And, stupid me, bought it.

Like you, I don’t really think about my previous bfs and whom they are with. I think it has something to do with the quality of our relationships. They were normal, loving HONEST relationships. And then, for whatever reasons, the relationships fell apart and the love died. While I was hurt at the time the relationships ended, I had good memories to look back on, and no reason to doubt the HONESTY in the relationship.

Not so with the S. I now realize that I never TRUSTED him — right from the get-go my gut was telling me that. I ignored a whole parade of waving red flags and kept getting in deeper and deeper and going further and further into denial.

Problem is, on some level we never can completely deny what we know, deep down, what they are — lying, deceitful, manipulative, thieving, abusive, etc. Then we get honest with ourselves and say BASTA!

So, we find ourselves sitting there, with completely distorted senses or reality and selves courtesy of their lying, manipulation and abuse. And because we are feeling people we keep obsessing about them and their new victims to see if maybe it really is us and they really are the wonderful person we thought them to be.

Of course, it isn’t us. But, the dissonance between our rational and emotional states is really severe by the time a sociopath gets done with you.

I have so enjoyed your sensitivity and encouragement, as well as your ability to articulate your experience. The dissonance “between our rational and emotional states is really severe by the time a sociopath gets done with you”, or I should say “by the time I got done with him”, resonated deep within me. Your whole last blog was like having you read my mail. It’s so nice to know that what I felt all of these years was reality and that I was not distorting the truth. He still has friends in high places, and I’ve thought at times I must be crazy, because, surely if there was a problem, they must have sensed it, thereby making ME the crazy one. The most healthy thing I can do for myself is move forward with my life. I am struggling with what to tell my grown children, or if I should just leave it alone. Wisdom says to let go and let this evolve in its own time and way.

Ox Drover

Dear Housie,

“I am struggling with what to tell my grown children, or if I should just leave it alone.”

I hae a darling little friend, who left her psychopath after nearly 50 years. He bankrupted her, swore revenge, etc. and 3 of her 4 children have nothing to do with her because he smeared her so terribly (actually, I think at least 3 of her children are like their father!) but in any case this lady is living her life in a town far away from all her family and her x even turned her sisters against her.

During the marriage she was physically assaulted on a regular basis but she hid this from her kids the entire time. It was only when he almost killed her that she finally was able to leave him. Her health is horrible and she is rapidly approaching the time when she will not be able to live alone any longer (I am not sure it is not already here as she is frequently falling and breaking bones and is at home right now with a broken hip) This wonderful, Christian woman, endured decades of abuse and her family is not supportive at all. Only one of her children even calls her on a regular basis here recently. It makes my heart cry that such a good person with such a good heart has suffered so much and her children have not supported her at all. It is tearing her heart up I am sure.

Her family is convinced that SHE is the “crazy” one because of her X’s smear campaign of lies—accusing her (the victim) of the very things HE is guilty of. How disenheartening to have her entire family turned against her…I fortunately, recovered a relationship with my one son who was distanced from me by his P-wife (now X wife) but not everyone is able to. sometimes we have to accept that the P’s smear campaign will alienate our nearest and dearest. I wish I had an answer for you, but I don’t. You will just have to decide based on your intuition and what kind of people your children are. Good luck and God bless.



Thank you. After the S’s convincig me that I was a stupid, insensitive, illiterate clod, it is nice to hear that I’m not.

Regarding what to tell your grown children, I have a hunch you know which of your children probably suspected what your S was doing to you. If I were a kid in that position, I would probably welcome having my experience validated. As for the kids who completely shut out the reality or let the S warp their reality, I don’t think you’ll ever accomplish anything telling them what really happened. They won’t accept it.

I was watching WE 20/20 last week and it had an episode about Stephen Fagan. If ever there was a sociopathic conman on this planet, it is him. Anyhow, he kidnapped his 2 kids 20 years earlier, changed his and the kids identity, told the kids their mother was dead, and moved down to Florida. Down there he married a very successful woman who is a Palm Beach multi-millionaire.

After 20 years the children’s mother tracked them down. The judge in Massachusetts, where the kidnapping took place, essentially gave this piece of work a slap on the wrist.

And the 2 daughters? They blame the mother for the father having to go to trial. They claim she could have found them earlier if she wanted to. These 2 little rocket scientists seem to deny the fact that HELLO – their identities were changed, and it’s only fairly recently that you can actually track people down via the internet.

My point is — their reality has been so warped by their father that they can’t accept or acknowledge what the reality of the situation really is. Only you can decide what, if anything, particular children of your’s can or will accept.

Ox Drover

Dear Matt,

I hadn’t seen the recent telecast about that one, but isn’t that a WARPED situation? Kidnap your kids (or, I guess, anyone else) and if you don’t get caught for 20 years, it’s okay? I didn’t realize there was a statute of limitations on kidnapping. TWISTED. But they have been told from childhood that their mother didn’t care about them…she is the “outsider” and they rallied to their “parent’s” defense….I guess you have seen enough in court though to not be too shocked by it all.

Maybe you should have posted this one on the “psychopaths get out of jail quicker than normal people” thread! LOL


Kindheart and Matt,

Thanks for the thoughts, and I’m sory for your ongoing pain.

My therapist reminds me the powerful pain and anguish we suffer as a result from the deception of love from the S’s is like that of an addict trying to recover from any substance addiciton that is no longer there. They, the S become our addiciton, they made us feel so good, so loved, so needed, so beautiful, so validated….they took up sooooo much of our energy, when they leave us we are left with the void of time, space, energy and money. We are the same as an addict not having a fix. It’s just like any substance addiction, it changes the chemistry in your brain so much, that is why it’s sooo difficult to get over them. When you break the NC rule, it’s like an alcoholic going into a bar just to have 1 sip of a drink and try to walk away. I think of my S this way and my challange is to break the addiciton.

I did not leave my X-husband for the S. Our marriage fizzled out from frost bite, non emotional availability, and it was a mutual, amical parting. I met S a few years later and he swept me off my feet….he was passionate, charming, suave, took a tremendous amount of interest in me and gave me all the attention I never got from my X hubby…. At the beginning of course. Once he had me hooked it all changed.

I doubted his cancer for a long time, and still do at times since I know that the simpathy card is part of their mo…but at one point he sent me a copy of the doctors pathology report and I had a RN friend confirm it. He is a consumate narcissist in that he is now milking every one …all the women he comes in contact with for simpathy, attention and adoration. How do I know all this? because unfortunatly we travel in the same circle of the ball room dancing community in our town. and since the ballroom dance community is very small, I see him and hear about his exploits through the common people we know. I’ve avoided the scene on and off for a while, but I dont want to stop doing something I love because of him, this is giving him too much power….and this makes it so much more difficult to get over.

Keep fighting the addiction!


Hi everyone,
I was trying to take a break from my computer because there are so many minor traumas occurring though emails and websites I belong to that I needed a break. However, this is a safe and healing place so I braved all the anxieties and made my way here for a short time this evening.

I am currently reading “The Betrayal Bond”. I would like to encourage everyone here to read this book. It explains why it’s so hard to leave people who abuse us and why we got in those relationships in the first place. I realized immediately the pattern my sociopath tried to drag me into (which I did for a short while). The pattern of betrayal and then the “love bomb” where he tried to draw me back in. For example after the “no show, no call”, 3 days he started being nice and trying to get back with me again. I’m so glad I broke this pattern after the second “no show” and walked away. The book even used the phrase….”going back even when the person has gone too far” (or something like that). My ex used that exact phrase, “I know I went too far.” I believe now he was testing me to see if I would stay with him even through his betrayal. I thought he was breaking up with me by doing that. Now I realize he was trying to get control over me by betraying me and then being nice to me again. In a way, he was trying to break me. It didn’t work, thank God! I guess I wasn’t that desperate for love, which is a small consolation considering the pain I’ve been going through. When you keep going back to someone who hurts you repeatedly like this, it is a betrayal bond, also known as a trauma bond.

But there were other, more disturbing things I read in this book. Often people who have betrayal (trauma) bonds also have other compulsions and addictions. I don’t really have any addictions to substances but I can get addicted to the internet. But one particular compulsion jumped out at me: COMPULSIVE SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Bingo! This is it for me. Another thing mentioned was chronically being underemployed and neglecting my own needs (though I’ve gotten much better at taking care of myself). With few or no people in my life that I can call real friends, I’m thinking about trying to join a low-cost support group for people recovering from abuse. I hate that I am in this position at 48 years old.

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