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Running your life like a business

By Ox Drover

Most victims and former victims of sociopaths are extremely capable and smart people, so why exactly did these really smart people go “bankrupt” in their personal lives by letting a sociopath take over? That’s a question that has plagued me since I started on the road to healing.

I’ve always been a pretty astute businessperson and an excellent manager of both personnel and resources in my professional life. Why did I do so well in my professional life and go so wrong in my personal life?

I finally came to the conclusion that I ran my business like a business and I let my personal life be run in a very ”un-businesslike” manner.

I’ll use my farm as an example. I had a herd of cattle that I raised to provide meat, which I sold. So my product was meat, but my means of production was my cows having healthy calves, nursing those calves with plenty of milk, and being good mothers to the calves. If a cow did not have a calf because she had a fertility problem, she was an “unproductive” worker, so I had to fire her. Even if I was attached to her, and she was otherwise a nice cow, if she did not give birth to a calf every year, I could not afford to feed her (or “pay her salary”). If a cow was not having a calf, I noticed her lack of “production” and terminated her without too many tears, because I realized if I had a pasture full of cows that did not have calves, my farm would go “bankrupt.”

Suppose old “Bessie” hadn’t had a calf in five years, but she is so very sweet, and never kicks at me, so how could I in good conscience get rid of her, when she looks at me with those big brown eyes and nuzzles my hand when I go to feed her? Or how about old “Bell”? She has a calf every year, but she has a bad udder and doesn’t give any milk, so the calf always dies, but it really isn’t her fault, she just had an infection that caused her udder not to produce any more milk, and she really is so sweet, so what’s a little more feed anyway?

Or how about that old bull? I really do hate to get rid of him, he is so pretty, but he does tear down fences and go walkabout a couple of times a week.

How long before I would have nothing but a bunch of very decorative live pasture-art? My farm would go bankrupt because I let my emotions and excuses for why those animals were not “carrying their weight” influence me to keep on feeding unproductive stock.

I had little if any problem getting rid of unproductive or disruptive cows on my farm, because I knew that if I kept cows in my herd that cost more than they produced, or caused trouble for me or the rest of the herd by tearing down fences, trying to hurt me, or just in general causing problems, my farm would start to cost more than it brought in and I would go “bankrupt.”

So why didn’t I apply these same principles to my life that I did to my business? Well, first of all I let emotional attachment to “friends” and “family” who were “costing” me more than they produced to stay on my “emotional payroll.”

I had “friends” who only seemed to come around when they needed something, but after all, they really were in a bind, and maybe it wasn’t entirely their fault. I also had friends who seemed to think it was my responsibility to take care of them for the rest of their lives. I had friends and family who seemed to think that I owed them “unconditional love” because I gave birth to them, and no matter what they did, how badly they treated me, or used and abused me, I had to “play nice” with them.

How come if a cow even shook her head threateningly at me she was immediately hamburger, no matter how many calves she had or how fat she nursed them, and I had no problem at all sending her off to the butcher, but I couldn’t stand up to a “friend” or a family member and say, “Don’t treat me like that!”

I knew how to run a business, and I knew what made a business profitable or bankrupt. Why did I not know how to run a life and how to make it profitable and good? I let my life go bankrupt emotionally. Why did I think that things were going to change or get better if I simply allowed more output than there was income to continue? I kept giving to those in my life, but never receiving.

In our lives there are always times we give more than we get in supporting our friends and family, but if this is a continual occurrence, over time we become physically, financially and emotionally “bankrupt.” We must receive as well as give to friends and family.

Now, while I don’t literally run my “life” like I do the farm, figuratively I do. When a person is disruptive to the peace of my life, just like a cow with a dangerous attitude, I terminate them from my “pasture” so that I am not in danger of being hurt. If a person is always taking and never giving, that person is also removed from my “pasture” as unproductive. If a person is always breaking the rules and “jumping the fences” and causing trouble, what do I need that person in my life for? To get me out of bed at 2 a.m. to post their bail? To pay their rent because they can never seem to keep a job?

The people who are now in my life give as much as they receive, show respect for me and for the fences (boundaries) in my life. They don’t stand around waiting for me to bring them a bucket of “feed,” but they get out and hustle up their own, and take responsibility for themselves. I can count on these people to do what they say they will do, and to be trustworthy individuals.

My life is now more “profitable” than it has ever been and that “profit” is laid up as a big “bank account” filled to the brim with PEACE, LOVE and JOY! I am the richest woman in the world.


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I think the heart is like a wound, i.e. to be able to LOVE you must be able to stay vulnerable. The heart then, is like a wound that never heals. That is why it is so painful..this love. Each time you are wounded you are more vulnerable through the loving. Yet you are stronger through the experience. My heart has become a gangrenous wound from being hurt so many times by my loving psychopaths. Still. I love them. I have to, because loving is what I am on earth to do. Psychopaths “KNOW” of this loving. You can see it in their eyes in some instances. Just because they are incapable of loving doesn’t mean we can’t teach them some things.
I remember when I first found out about the ex P husband’s murder of an innocent woman. I was still married to him back then. I looked him straight in the eye, and I said to him, “you have stolen my peace of mind and destroyed our family”. I could see in his gaze he knew exactly what I meant. EXACTLY. I left him shortly after that when he tried to murder me. For the same reason that he tried to murder her, ( I knew too much).
When I said I lost in court. I lost the case. Now he is in a much better position to kill me. The reason I said but I also” won” is, not only because I am still breathing but I know that on SOME LEVEL the psychopaths know. He KNOWS that it was true that he stole my peace of mind . He knows what it is like to have NO PEACE OF MIND. We can teach them some things.
Now I love them from a distance. A no contact distance. But if they attack, I attack back like, when a tiger attacks. I will not “go gentle into that good night”, and ” I will rage at the burning of the light”.
I can’t afford to hate. I have turned the corner there. I am incapable of running my life like a business. Thats just me. Thats why I am not rich in material things. I don’t OWN any THING. Yet I am rich in LOVE. MY heart remains VULNERABLE. And I speak out against abuse. I attack it or run from it (fight or flight). But I am nothing without the love of my true friends, my friends that know my LOVING HEART, my vulnerable wound that never heals. I AM NOTHING WITHOUT THEM. And that is just how it is for me.
I use my vulnerability and love and my heart to paint and sing with. But it is also what I use to fight with. I will not go “gentle into that GOOD NIGHT”. And my friends and I will fight to stay loving in our vulnerable hearts.
Loving, is the only difference between animals and humans and psychopaths and humans. But I have seen sometimes that a psychopath KNOWS what it is to lose their peace of mind . On some level they KNOW the absence of love and what that means. I sense it.

I think some of us were not born to be farmers. I could never kill Bell the cow, or Any cow or Bull or dog or horse. I have trouble standing on a cockroach. But the ex p murdering husband had no trouble drowning kittens. I don’t know where he go the kittens from when we lived in the bush (an environmental living zone, no pets or foreign flora or fauna), He would take great delight in timing how long it took for each one to drown in the river. Later I realised he was practising for one of the woman he drowned.

Interesting analogy… but where is the line? I walk on eggshells around my sister, is that ok? She is a snorting bull if I p*ss her off, if I point out she is wrong about something or disagree… she is a b*tch. I feel bankrupt, I have friends I call, they never call me… extended family… only see them once a year at Chritsmas, and I am thinking I won’t even go this year. This is not the life that I imagined for myself. Without my sister I have no one.

Well, I’m an ethical vegetarian, and if I weren’t I’d be one for health reasons, and in fact vegan most my adult life, and I DO think animals are capable of great love, and emotions,( Amazons with their white skin even blush in embarrassment at the right times) so I have to totally stay out of this one! TOTALLY!

What I meant about running your life like a business and my business happened to be cattle, but the analogy is to ELIMINATE people from your life that are UN-“profitable” that take and never give.

If you have a factory full of “employees” that show up for work when they feel like it, do no work, and expect to draw a “paycheck” from you and you keep on “paying” these people—all outgo and no income, you go financially bankrupt, it is the same EMOTIONALLY. If people take, take and take and never give back, WHATDDA YA NEED EM FOR?

That’s what the psychopaths do, is to take and take and give back nothing but lies and empty promises. I made a decision to eliminate anyone in my life that was a mooch, leech or “emotional vampire”—-you would be suprised how that lowered my own stress level not having these people in my life. I NO LONGER HAVE TO WALK ON EGG SHELLS. That was a decision I MADE for me. Each of us must make our own decisions on each relationship in our lives.

Dear Chic,

So waht does your sister “contribute” in a positive way to your life? How does a relationship with her improve your morale and your life? Does “having someone” even if they are hateful to you, make your life better?

This is the question we all have to ask ourselves about our relationships. Each of us must make our own decisions on whether or not to continue a “relationship” that doesn’t “pay.”

Now that I am out of BUSINESs of trying to make money with the cattle, I only have a few special “pet” animals and so I don’t give a flip if they have a calf or not, in fact, one just got an udder infection that will render her probably incapable of raising the calf she will have in January or February, but she is my “baby” and if she can’t raise her calf, I will give it away and see that she is never bred again. I am at a place where I don’t have to eliminate an animal that doesn’t “pay their way” but when you have 50+ head of cows, you can’t keep a herd full of them that don’t “pay their way.”

JAH, I respect people who are vegans or otherwise don’t eat meat or animal products. The “commercial” meat production of chicken, pork or cattle, is to my way of thinking inhumane to the animals and produces poor quality food. One reason that I raised and sold (for high dollar) meat was that my cattle were raised in a humane manner, low lstress and not fed supplemental grain so that their meat was from stress-free cattle on a natural diet, and were slaughtered in a humane way in a small plant, where they were not stressed, scared, or mistreated. I stayed with them so that they would not be scared.

My cows had “family” groups and you could see the attachment between them. Primiarily the male offspring were the ones harvested for meat, and the females were bonded in family groups. Only if a cow was old or injuired was she put down, and when i sold out my herd, I “placed them for adoption” with good humane breeders rather than ran them through the local auction barn.

If there was a disruptive or aggressive animal in the herd that either abused other animals or was a danger to me, that animal was eliminated in a humane way with the meat harvested. That also decreased the stress level of the remaining animals.

I didn’ t mean to start an argument here about eating meat or how meat was raised, the point of the whole thing was that many times we keep people in our lives who give us stress and suck the life out of us just because we don’t think about the “bottom line.”

OxDrover:

Good analogy. I also wondered how I could be so successful professionally and yet be so chaotic professionally. I remember one of my friends saying to me “You always amaze me. You are so cool and organized in the middle of situations that would cause me to either become paralyzed with fear or break from the stress. How do you do it?”

Good question. Because I sure didn’t have the answer then.

Now I think I do. I have had to draw a very hard line between business and personal life. Kathy Hawke brought up a point which I realized I have adopted in my personal life. Ss are goal oriented. And that is the way I have more or less run my professional life. When I’ve let my personal life overlap with my work life or become too close to professional colleagues is when I’ve run into trouble.

But, when I came to m personal life, I was always the reverse — driven purely by emotion. No sacrifice was too great, no abuse to bad, if it meant people “liked” me. Or it kept the peace. Or any of the other ridiculous excuses I made for people in my life whose treatment of me was pretty bad.

After S I finally began to “quantify” the relationships in my life. I looked at each one in terms of what I gave and what I got using a scale that started with the worst case — the S (100% investment, 0% return) and then on various places on the scale.

While OxDrover has culled her herd, I have culled my rolodex. I finally realized I can no longer afford — either financially or emotionally — to have people in my life who are bankrupting me.

Tilly and shabbychic — I think where you are coming from is where I used to come from — we have suffered so much loss that we are are afraid to let go of someone in our life — no matter how badly they treat us — out of fear that we will be left alone and nobody will come into our lives to take the place of our abusers. That is a tough one to get over. However, that entails a certain amount of risk. I urge you to take the risk. After culling my rolodex, I went out and started making some new friends. I got into a relationship with a healthy man. Of the friends who I have chosen to keep, I can appreciate the balance in the relationships. EVen with family members I have drawn far healthier boundaries — to the extent I allow them in my life, they are on very short leashes. I just don’t have the energy to put up with the crap my conman brother, S father or N mother hand out. And I’ve actually learned that by keeping them at arm’s length and not giving them ammunition or getting sucked into the drama, our relationships are actually somewhat better.

So, while my personal balance sheet sure isn’t in the black, it sure as hell is out of the red.

Yes, I appreciate the article very much, it has made me think more about my sister. Lately I have kind of been avoiding her, which isn’t a good thing. I guess she gives me stress, but does not suck the life out of me, so I’m stuck somewhere in the middle, and I guess I’m stuck with her! LOL!

Matt, good idea, I’ll keep her on a short leash!!

Thanks for the validation, Matt, I was beginning to feel like Simon LeGree! But, at the same time, I know that most people who are so “kind hearted” that they couldn’t kill a wolf if it was attacking them, DO eat meat, take medications tested on animals, take vaccines produced from animals, and wear leather, it is the RARE individual who totally does not use any products made from or by animals. I don’t have a problem with those who do, and in fact I know people who will not allow their children to be vaccinated because the vaccines are developed and/or have animal products in them.

I DO have a problem with commercial meat production that raises animals under factory (unnatural) conditions and high stress, and in fact, I no longer eat meat away from home for that reason among others, among which are the “prion” diseases (“mad cow” among others).

Thinning down “your roledex” is essentially what I have done too, several years ago I had done that just as a factor of TIME to spend with the people I held most dear, if you spread yourself too thin with TOO many “friends” you don’t have QUALITY time with anyone as you are always in a rush.

Now that I have “thinned the herd” of all the stressful individuals, I have room for some newer friendships and continue to have time and energy for others as well.

This weekend is my oldest son’s 40th birthday! Gosh how time flies! Just “yesterday” he was a squirming little bald guy and now he is a BIG BALD GUY! LOL Ah, yes! So tomorrow is a house full of people and the RAIN IS SUPPOSED TO STOP!!!!

I guess I’ve been hanging on to some “friends” in fear that I won’t meet any new ones! I like the idea of thinning out the “rolodex”. I mean, if they never take the initiative to call me… how long can I keep thinking of them as friends?

Oh… I wish I had some “home grown” beef here!!!!!

Matt,
I agree. I went through all of my life believing that people were the same as me, (i.e. underneath well intentioned and loving), and I didn’t “get it” until the last P partner.
Ever since then I have made true friends in my life. I take a long time to suss them out. Like a year ! If they stick by me no matter what, then I know I can trust them and I am loyal forever. If they don’t then they are dish water. i.e. I don’t value their friendship for a minute longer. I can’t stand “friends” who “turn” (on you). I have the best friends in my life right now. I know i can count on them no matter what and vice versa. There are not many. But they are real.
I am lagging behind you in the “intimate partner relationship” Matt. I can’t trust enough yet, in that area, but I am confident that one day I will. NO hurry.
I can certainly get rid of people in my life that abuse me or turn on me or are obviously not there for me and never will be. I have just ditched my only daughter after 30 years of hard- labour -loving. She is a psychopath and I didn’t realise it until now. Its over. I have almost ditched my middle son as he abuses me by omission. So I doubt very much if I can be there for him, when and if he ever turns up. I don’t chase after him at all anymore.
I ditched the psychopath parents and they are ready to die….the guilt kills me. I still don’t know if it is the right thing to do as my mother is a paraplegic and 85 years old and my father near death and they will both die very soon. But I am no contact. So I got the message and i do it everyday. I fight back when i am abused and make sure that they know why. Then after sussing them out, if I believe they are psychopathic I go no contact. Strictly.
I believe every word that Robert Hare has ever written in regard to psychopaths. And I am on the war path with him to help society find the answer to the “deadly mystery of the psychopath”. I agree that society will have staggering and irrepairable damage and implications if this disorder isnt made a priority very soon.
In my personal life, my life depends on the psychopath being recognised in a court of law.
In my private life, until I can wholly trust again in an intimate relationship, there is no hope of ever having a companion to grow old with and share and witness the joys of each other.
I am dedicated to getting the psychopaths and the cluster B’s (especially the borderlines) out of my life once and for all.
When I say that I love them from afar, what I mean is matt, I have stopped wanting to kill them. Especially the last one. I don’t want to be anywhere near him or his world and so i don’t want to revenge him. I know he is in pain by being incapable of love. So I don’t care about him anymore. Its awesome Matt. And its not just for a few days. Its been like this for weeks!
Matt, it is about 16 days until NC for one YEAR with the ex boyfriend pyschopath….and I REALLY don’t want him any where near me anymore! And we will both be celebrating in the same week our escape and the biggest lesson of our lives !! And in our own way we have both turned the corner!! Life is about to get GREAT MATT!! TOWANDA!

justabouthealed:
I have been vegetarian most of my life and only eat white meat occasionally, for celebrations. Its much cheaper too! I know that animals have lots of emotions. But I too suffer from (can’t remember the name) something like “anomophroism”, what it means is we project our love onto the animal as if it loves as back the same. But in fact, the animal will “love” whoever has the food or whoever makes a fuss of it! lol!

Dear Oxy. Thank you so much for your timely blog. What a great analogy! This blog and the blog by Kathy led to the big AHA-Moment I had this week. That I am allowed to see people for what outcome we have together, and do check and balances, and when there is no equilibrium to end it at least emotionally. Use people for a good cause with consent of both parties is completely OK.

So far I even eliminated the thought of “using” people from my consciousness. I had to be emotionally attached to ALL the people I work with, be at least in a neutral relationship, and I was very good in “explaining away” transgressions or awful behaviour towards me, as I am an expert in “blame catching”.

The bigot colleague is the very first overt passive aggressive person I have ever worked with and to whom I set firm boundaries myself (potted plant treatment from my side) as it became unbearable after the X was out of my life and after I started to notice emotionally her aggressiveness that came through as “silent treatment” not noticable for all the others at first.

We will be just the two of us next week as everybody else is in holidays.

But I also “use” my patients, I make a living and would be unemployed if there were no sickness (gosh how I whish THAT!). To ABuse them with ill intent (being nice to them because they are interesting to do research on them or get out MORE money than necessary for example) is something completely different. They have the right and obligation in my opinion to change the doctor, as we have the obligation towards our self respect to go away from bad relationships, be they personal or professional.

Also cattle treated nicely give more milk than badly treated ones. The IG-noble prize went this year to a group which discovered that cows with names give more milk than cows with numbers. Everybody laughed at it but I think that there is some truth in it. After all they are creatures with feelings as well, and deserve respect we ought to give towards every creature (even X, I respect him but I am VERY glad I have him out of my life. I must however also admit that without him I would have not made the HUGE emotional leap, I would not have found LF and you and Kathy and Louise and Matt and Skylar and JillSmith and Wini and Shabbychic and Steven and all the others)

Thank you so much for clarifying, that the ILL INTENT behind the using is key, and that I am able and allowed to “run my life” on my own conditions.

I wish you all a pleasant weekend!

Dear Tilly, Shabby, Matt, JAH, Oxy, I just read all your entries (I responded to the entry article first), and I am most humbled by what you all have endured. The worst thing that happened to me was a son of a patient who said “when father dies other people will die as well” looking at me. It was just prior to my holidays three weeks ago. It was so scary and I can’t fathom your pain Tilly you must feel when you LOVER was saying things like that to you. Unimaginable!

I invited me myself and I to Berlin, and we (pluralis majestatis!) had a great time. I once shortly reminded me of my family surely being grumbling and protesting in the third museum in a row, not doing big shopping and heavy cake eating, and me paying for it out of guilt for being responsible for their ill temper tantrums…. It made me even feel better! I really did not miss any of them, and had great conversations with the museum people and waiters and theater critics and the like. It was wonderful experiencing that I can have a great time with myself and be able to entertain myself and knowing EXACTLY what I want and not having to pay attention to grumbling people with sore feet and bad moods.

I can so relate to you, Shabby, I am avoiding my sister as well because out of a feeling of being used and not well respected. I am just busy, no explanation. I am not doing any more slave’s work in her garden. I also did not go to spend the actual holidays with her and my niece although she invited me to join them. During my last holidays in February this year she constantly kept us waiting for days. We had planned a week of skiing in the alps, we have a little cottage in the alps near our home base, and she was still busy in her office and wanted to join us every noon, (the office is 30 minutes drive away), but she did not show up until late in the evening, every day, and once she did not come at all, and my niece (6 years old!) was desperately seeking for her mum. It broke my heart seeing my sister treating us like our parents did treat us. So it was not me having a great time with my godchild but trying to play over my VERY bad feelings of being betrayed for my very precious spare time I was intended to have fun, and not to make my niece unhappy.

Next week will be the next disaster, as the parents (N/P) have their golden wedding, and my obligation to organize a small lunch for the inner circle of the family is obstructed by my brother and his awful wife. He is the Golden child, and they both have been very heavily profiting from our parents, and just because my mother said no to a very hefty financial burden he asked from them recently makes him very unthankful and rude! It makes me so angry but maybe it is better when they are not coming anyway.

So I do not have a family really, but I have myself, and some good friends (as Shabby, sometimes I ask myself why they do not call me). I think every relationship has its pace, and when I call and it is like I just have interrupted the conversation even after a long time then it feels right then it is wonderful. When I have to think of conversation themes and end with the weather then I let fade it out.

I will now venture out to the “Dairy fair”- exhibition, although it is raining, and wish you all a peaceful weekend!

sorry Tilly for the typo: “youR lover” and not “you lover”! Arrrrgh!

Libelle, my dear,

Interactions with your patients would be another analogy and since I too was in (family) medicine it can be looked at from both the side of the practitioner and the patient.

If your patient came to you for treatment and you did not treat them with respect, the patient should NOT continue to come to you, but by the same token, if you did not get cooperation from the patient, and they would lnot follow even a bit of your directions, you should tell them, “sir (or madam) I cannot have a productive relationship with you because you do not even try to treat me with respect or my prescriptions, so I suggest you find another physicician. Our relationship doesn’t work for either of us.”

I have “fired” patients, and I iam sure patients have “fired” me (by not coming back) and I believe it is important in ANY relationship that it WORKS by each party doing what is their responsibility.

A physician works for the patient, but the patient must do THEIR part to cooperate in their own health care, otherwise it will NOT work.

Once I was teaching a diabetic patient (severe diabetes too) about her diet and exercise and how important it was to control of the blood sugar, and she screamed at me “Don’t give me that crap about diet, just give me more insulin so I can eat what I want to eat!!!”

I was not able to treat that patient because nothing I said would motivate her to take responsibility for HER part of her health care. I tried to teach her, tried to MOTIVATE her, but she was NOT INTERESTED in learning or in hearing, so I was not successful with her and I terminated her as a patient. Why waste my time, effort etc. on a patient who was not going to get better because they would not do their part. The entire relationship was a “failure” because ONE party wasn’t keeping up their end of it.

All relationships to one degree or another are TWO way, and we get to choose how we will do our part of these relationships and sometimes we decide the “good” is NOT outweighed by the bad or the effort doesn’t produce a good result.

Sometimes we have relationships that we tolerate a situation where we give and th eother party takes—-like the cows I have now (only 3 of them) and they are no longer REQUIRED to “pay their ways” financially because I keep them because they are gentle and pretty and I lilke to look at them. They are like my dogs, they are my PETS and what I GET is not measured in dollars, but in ENJOYMENT—but there were 4 cows—-and one of them tried to hurt me (long story why) but I now ENJOY her as MEAT! Because there is a limit to what I will tolerate, there are boundaries across which NO one and nothing (animal or human) will be allowed to try to hurt me, even once.

In the past, though, I would have made excuses for PEOPLE who tried to hurt me, and would have given WAY more than I took out of the relationship so that I would end up “bankrupt” from the interaction with them. NO MORE. People who take and take, and never give even enjoyment by their presence are out of my life!

great post Oxy.
That was another much needed reminder. I run business like I run my life, no wonder I’ve never succeeded! In business, I just let the P do manage all the clients. Of course he lied to everyone… but they all kept paying!

Its time for me to learn boundaries in both settings: business and personal

I think this was attributed to Einstein, but “insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.”

If you are a “salesperson” and your product is not selling, it is either your sales pitch OR the product. so YOU need to change one or the other, or BOTH.

Unfortunately, I for one, just kept trying to sell the same old product in the same old way, no matter how bad the results were in my personal life.

I could see the financial bottom line in business, but not in my private life WITH MY FAMILY. With people I had no “close” relationship with I didn’t have a problem either, but not with “family and close friends.”

But now I see, that ANYONE who does not bring GOOD into my life, but instead pain, I don’t need them. Got a THIN rolodex now, but VERY HIGH QUALITY!

Dear Libelle,
Thankyou so much for your much needed support. I haven’t felt that here very much lately. I still believe that your pain and others pain is equal to mine. Its just different type of pain with a lot more fear in there now. But it is equal to yours in its depth.
I understand how awful it is to be waiting for your nieces mum, (your sister) all day and to be let down over and over. And you are right. She is just repeating the pattern. But YOU have broken the chain. So it won’t be repeated by YOU and that is the main thing.
My brother is also the “golden child”. But once your N/P parents die Libelle, then he will lose everything. Simply because he hasn’t been taught how to be responsible for himself by having to survive out there in the big wide world. It may take time. But you can count on it.
When I had to have contact with my dysfunctional family I used to decide a time (e.g. two hours or an hour if it was too bad there), before i left home and then I would stick to it. That way you don'[t get as toxified or as abused. And I would arrange for my son or a friend to come with me if it looked like it might get heavy. That way, I had an excuse to leave early without trouble.
Main thing is to try and remember that psychopaths are born that way mostly. Its largely genetic, and you have broken the chain in your behaviour by witnessing it and not repeating it. So if you know that they are incapable of loving you then you can protect yourself, attend to the business of it and get out fast!
I have just been through the fight of my life. But out of it I found out who is a real friend and who is not. Its like every time God gives us a hurdle its a purification. Some people fall away from us and some get stronger in their love for us and vice versa. And its important to get the lesson so that you can move on and up.
xo

Shabbychic,

I can FEEL you. In my early adult life I remember my BF telling me I allowed my “friends” to abuse me. When I shared our “good times” with him he was always aghast at how I allowed her to treat me.
Well she left for a study abroad one year and i never heard from her again….
Now I see I am a co-dependant. Many of us are post-P/S/N even if we weren’t when we met the P/S/N.
I wonder if you are showing signs of this co-dependency and there fore people are keeping you at arms length. I could be wrong, but I have experienced what you experience ie: I call my friends and arrange all the get-togethers, if I am invited to mommy and me gatherings I think/feel it’s just because I have a son and we used to be co-workers..they have to include me, I am not a REAL friend.
I am trying to heal and recognize my CO-Dep behaviors that are pushing people away from me, but even I with the small circle of friends, need to be careful in choosing new friends and weed-out the bad.

If anyone has followed my story, the woman who took me in to protect me from my S turned out to be a little S herself. Borrowed 1,700 dollars, posted MY dog on craigslist without telling me, then cried when I had to give her up, and “evicted” me while I was on vacation and never paid back the $200 for the 2 weeks she wouldn’t let me live there or the $1,700!!!!!

THEY ARE EVERYWHERE

Dear Banana,

Sometiems lwhen we are “floating in a river” and feel like we are drowning, the first “log” we see we GRAB ON TO to try to pull outselves out of the water, and unfortunately ALLIGATORS sometimes pose as logs to catch PREY. So when you are in distress, they seem somehow to find you and present themselves as your “savior” and then proceed to EAT YOU.

I still don’t quite understand how my professional live flourished while my personal life was in tatters. I think you’ve provided a great analogy, Oxy. I just don’t quite “get” how I became 2 parts of myself- night and day. I don’t know that I will ever figure out the answer, but I’m guessing the realizing that’s what I did is good enough to stop me from doing it again.

I’m bringing the 2 halves closer together. While I don’t expect “something” from everyone, I don’t put up with parasites. Anyone who is a drain gets the flush 🙂 Toxic people should get “mr yuk” style tattoos so the rest of us know they’re poison.

Glinda:
“Anyone who is a drain gets the flush”.. I like it!

libelle and banana, thanks, I guess I am hanging on to people because I feel so isolated and would like people to go do things with, even if their not friends anymore.

I think I acted just like an animal when the S came around, he had “food” and made a “fuss” over me, so I loved him, me, the cow, projected my love on to him!! Mooooooooo!

shabbychic,
It is to bad that we all have “distances” between us and can’t just get together and do stuff as girlfriends do.
That would be SOME get together, I think.
I think many of us here could use to have some friends to do things with!

witsend, really, I think we would all have a blast together!!!

Shabby:
I think we go through a period of great loss and change in our lives that we do hold on to people we shoulnt and for the wrong reasons.
We do want some sort of normalcy, additionally validation of see….it’s not me…..
But unfortunately, these folks provide neither and we become hamsters running on treadmills…..
Eventually, we realize we do not need these persons.
I also think we try to minimize the loss by wanting to replace one friend with another….but we only wait to discard the ‘bad’ friend until we find the replacement….to avoid the gap, the nights at home, the phone not ringing…..
This is the time when we can work on ourselves and become a ‘better’ person to be able to offer ourselves as a better friend to the next person we can qualify to be in our lives.
It’s like women who go from one relationship to another….
It’s not healthy to not give ourselves a break and be alone and reconnect with ourselves.

We all need to clean house occasionally.
Some people just don’t deserve to ride in the front seat of our car…..and they don’t want to be there anyways!
Again….it’s our fantasy!

It’s OKAY to be alone….it sucks….but It’s OKAY!

YOU are the best friend YOU can have!

Dear Erin,

You said it “sucks” to be alone, I DISAGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY—it is ONLY, I think, when we ARE ALONE that we can be introspective and hear our own “voices” and our own feelings. when someone else is around, we DISTRACT ourselves and we DON’T listen to that still small voice inside. I think that is WHY a lot of people (men and women) go from one relationship to the next, as the still small voice is scary to them. I know after my husband died, I got hooked up with the BF-P because I didn’t WANT to listen to myself, I didn’t WANT to experience all the pain and grief of the loss, I wanted something to DISTRACT me from those negative and painful feelings—-to “save” me!

It is BEING alone, without someone to talk to that I started LISTENING TO MYSELF. I think it is amazing what we can learn when we listen to the person INSIDE. That inside voice won’t scream over outside distractions most of the time, so I think we need solitude (which is not lonliness really) or maybe, even lonliness) to learn to listen, talk and converse with that wonderful person inside our heads!

Erin, yes, friends are hard to come by. I’m not looking for a relationshit, just some friends.

Oxy;
Your are right on…..
Sorry…I didn’t express myself clearly.
What sucks is the fact we choose friends that really are not ‘who’ we thought and must ‘clean house’ at some point.
I agree….being alone has huge benefits and is essential to our own self growth.

Shabby…..If we have one good friend in our lives…we have been blessed!
It’s best to be alone rather than surrounded by a bunch of shallow aquantences we can’t depend on through ‘thick and thin’.
Those people are called party bud’s.
🙂
XXOO to you both!

Glinda:
When I was in the midst of ‘realizing’ and I was still with the s….My professional life was humming right along…..
From the outside, I am sure people would have traded places with me in a heartbeat….
I think we throw ourselves into one aspect of our lives as a security measure….as a way to have some sort of control over our lives…..and we can keep up the appearances as ‘all is okay’……(counter productive)…..but I think its great that you were able to maintain an upward rise professionally…..think of how much that must have helped you in your ‘get away’…..
It sure beats going fetal in the corner and letting everything crumble around you huh?
I think you gave yourself a ‘leg up’…..and I commend you for that!
I give you a big WAYTOGO girl!!!

Thanks Erin. I think you make a good point. I had zero control in my personal life…but my work life was MINE. He couldn’t touch it- heck, there’s security at the front doors; he couldn’t have gotten in if he tried! (That came in handy later too!)

I’m known as a company “success story”- they had no idea what my home life was like. I began in a pre-entry level position and managed to get to a place with decent money (5 promotions in the first 2 years) while either being married to or divorcing S’s. Not bad….lol. I’ve been “resting on my laurels” for awhile- I’m comfortable and satisfied for now. Being able to breathe AND pay the bills is all the excitement I need these days.

And yes, the income helped pay for my escape…ironically, that’s the type of car I drive now- bought it right after he went to prison. A Ford Escape. Hadn’t thought about that til just now. hahaha- now that’s funny. Heaven knows, if I didn’t make decent money for the area I live in, the xs wouldn’t be chipping in for the care of the children.

It’s weird- that fetal position in the corner. It never occurred to me that I “could” have done that until AFTER the crisis was over…which was about 2 yrs after the FOG lifted….lol.

Erin, I DID get what you meant, I was simply adding to your concept, I am the one who didn’t express myself well, my word “disagreement” was too harsh a word for a “written” rather than spoken forum… you are right too, we choose “friends” who are simply “time users.”

Just like most everything in life there is a continuiuum of levels of relationships of people we call a “friend.” Your term “party buds” is a good example of what many people call “my friends,” when in reality they have NO “friends” by MY definition of “friend.”

The word “acquaintence” covers my association with most people. I know their faces when I see them and have an occasional socially prescribed excahnge of pleasentries when we interact. I don’t entertain them in my home, or they me in theirs, though for one reason or another we might actually go to the other’s house. I would not expect them to ask me for a loan of any amount of money, nor would I ask them for a loan of any amount of money. If I had a flat on the side of the road and my spare tire was flat and they drove by, I would expect them to stop, but I would lnot call them to come rescue me from that flat tire.

I think though, that many people who get HOOKED by psychopaths do so because they are SEEKING friends and a way of SEEKING a friend is to hve an acquaintence that appears a likely prospect for a “friend” and so you make the FIRST move—do something NICE for them. SAY something NICE to them. (actually that is also the way the Ps target us) Then if they respond positively the friend seeker goes on doing nice things for the “new friend” hoping that they will reciprocate and that the relationship will grow and the two will become friends.

Unfortunately, I have found that too many times I would do something nice, and they would NOT reciprocate, and I would do something nice again, and so on, so it was more me pushing the friendship and them sucking the supply, rather than a MUTUAL give and take. Not just “favors” but the intimacy of a true and loving relationship between FRIENDS.

Other times I would meet people and they would what I laughingly called “put in an application” for a friendship by asking me to go places, asking to do me favors, etc.

I also noticed several years ago that people who were BPDs would usually “make application” for BEST friend almost before you told them your name! LOL After a time or two of that drama I caught on and so when people came on tooooo strong in an “application” for friendship, I suspected a BPD and usually I was right as things turned out later.

If we are LONELY it is too easy to be a sitting duck for a BPD or a PPD because they “come on” as making application for freindship (or more) in such a great way, just the way they would if they were applying for a job they weren’t qualified to do, PUT ON A GOOD SHOW.

If we are comfortable with our ALONE-NESS (rather than lonliness) AND TAKE ADVANTAGE of that time alone to introspect, I think it is a very beneficial time for us.

Erin, I laughed with the “fetal” position in the corner, I usually kept going during an acute emergency and THEN took the fetal position in the corner, but I HID IT so no one knew I ever did the fetal position except maybe one close close friend. ha ha Ah, yes, that fetal position! How well I remember it! LOL (((hugs))))

Application for friendship……I LIKE THAT!
I agree with everything you said…..
Including the application for usually BEST FRIEND by BPDs…this was one comment the sushi bar guy made to me…..he found this odd that the day he met him, he was just too friendly…..the s did this…..always wanting to be in the nucleus of everyones thoughts and world.

Interesting!

I have a lady I have known for 15 years, pursuing me currently. She has invited me to do many things, included me and kids etc….Long story….but she is genuinly interested and appreciative to me for something I did for her. I was pleased to do it……I have always liked her….but she was blown away with the ‘love I showed’ doing it……
She has called me and stopped by, acknowledging my gestures and telling me just how much the have meant to her and her new husband.
They were targeted by the s too…..as supply and to split me off…….they pulled away…..but when she heard he left, she called me and did my hair twice….
She was in tears appologinzing about how she was not a good friend to me and she is ashamed of not being a better friend and she would like to change that. She now sees how hard life has been with my illness, additionally the s…(she had an ex very similar)….and how hard I work.
I touched her in some way…
She really is a golden heart……and it was very nice of her to express her feelings towards me…..so we will see, she really would make a top applicant, I think the timing of the s was poor and she fell with the rest of those that ‘never came back’…..I am gun shy of friendships….over aquantences…..My trust needs to be earned……

RE: fetal in the corner……I, at times,was ‘fused to the recliner’, we became one……(when the kids were kidnapped)

Friendships are like plants, they should GROW and they do not spring from the ground into a fully mature plant. Plus, they need to be watered and fed and pruned as time goes on to form the “perfect” plant. They should be somewhat drouth resistent, because there will be times that you won’t have the strength to water or feed them, and they may be attacked by pests of various sorts from the outside, or even sometimes CHOPPED down by the smear campaign of a psychopath who tries to destroy your garden.

Planting seeds for friendship with others is a good thing, and like Jesus says in the Bible about the “sower” sometimes they will fall on stony ground, sometimes, on thin soil, and sometimes on good, fertile soil. If we don’t sow seeds, we will never have friendships, but we must know that without work and cultivation, no friendship will grow, no matter how good the seed is. But at the same time, even good seed won’t grow well in bad soil. We need to pick and choose where we plant our seeds for friendship, as well as “weed” out the sickly plants or the diseased plants as we go about our lives.

Entertaining the “drama queen” yesterday makes me think about how she put in “application” for friendship with me years ago when I first met her in our living history group, and she tends to only have ONE FRIEND AT A TIME, which is a good clue to me when soemone makes application for friendship, DO THEY HAVE OTHER FRIENDS? If not, WHY not?

Her husband is a darling guy about my age and my sons simply adore him, as I do. However, as our acquaintence with the two of them grew into friendship with HIM, the three of us realized she is a drama queen of no small proportions! We spent as much time with him as possible and as little time with her as possible. Since until recently when his health went down hill with heart trouble, she was a traveling nurse that was easy (She can’t keep a job longer than 3 months and has been fired several times, so the travel nursing was one way to just have short term jobs and move on before people became FED UP with you and your drama) LOL However, she is “home” now, so it is difficult for the guys to see the husband without encountering HER, plus, if we invite him HERE she has to drive him. So there is going to be a certain amount of contact with her required in order to see HIM.

The OTHER connections with Ps or dysfunctional people cause us a lot of collateral damage in our friendships, especially when the other person is closely connected to a P, AND to us, the P targets us, smears us, and the other person is CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE.

When my “X-friends” that were a couple, who were CLOSELY connected to not only my late husband and my son D started to abuse me (steal from me etc.) and I realized what was going on (at that time it was simply the woman of the couple that was stealing from me) it caused a BIG family flap as my son D and my husband couldn’t SEE and they were trapped between me and the P thief who was quite good at her MASK.

My husband was supportive of me and distanced himself from them, but I honestly don’t think he totally believed what I was saying, I think he thought I was MISTAKEN. I know my son D had a big problem with believing me too (again, thinking I was MISTAKEN, not lying) but since they ended up leaving that huge amount of junk in our warehouse and as we sorted through some of it, just to see if there was anything worth having in there before we burned it, he discovered a GREAT DEAL of HIS STUFF THAT THEY HAD STOLEN! So he has NO doubt at all now that they are thieves. As I have elarned more about Ps as well, and discussed this, and he has also learned about Ps, it has been a GRIEF to realize the people he has loved since he was a little kid, and looked up to a pseudo parents and mentors, are TOTALLY FALSE.

As time has gone on though, not only he, but others, who looked up to these people, have seen their REAL FACES and their “entitlement” to TAKE TAKE TAKE from others, so they are essentially alone now, having about run out of people to mooch off of.

AFTER the situation with “the” P (or Ps as the case may be) is RESOLVED, we start to look around, I think, if we are WISE, and to re-evaluate all of our relationships. At least I have. I TREASURE the good ones even more, and LET GO of the ones that don’t “pay off” in terms of TRUST and MUTALITY of RESPECT and CONCERN. Friendship is, after all a TWO-WAY STREET.

Ox Drover often posts with great insight and wisdom, but in this case I must respectfully disagree.

I can’t treat my family and friends like a business. They are my family and friends. Certainly if they were totally sociopathic/narcissistic and damaging to me, I would distance myself from them. But all of us have our faults. I certainly have mine.

Having been married to a sociopath, I am very sensitive to getting involved with another, but if I put everyone I knew under a microscope and was constantly on the alert for any behavior that could be an indicator of sociopathy, I would spend all my time in a sort of paranoia, looking over my shoulder (with a chip on it) and just waiting for someone to make a false move.

I think the key is a pervasive pattern of behavior. The occasional faults that we all have, I have to overlook. A friend can do or say something hurtful in a thoughtless moment or a moment of anger. I think there are several differences between a friend with normal faults and a sociopath who is abusive.

The first is that the bad behavior of a non-sociopath is not planned or intentional, nor is it so ingrained that it is habitual. Bad behavior in a normal person is very infrequent, probably triggered by an unusual set of circumstances. Third, a normal person feels remorse, genuine remorse, not just irritation at having been caught. A normal person who hurts me feels bad that he/she has hurt me and is not faking that remorse. And finally, a normal person with whom I have a healthy relationship cares about me and makes an effort to be nice on a regular basis, not just as a last-ditch effort to “keep me in the game” the way a sociopath does.

that is really interesting Easy, thanks.
it talked about a way to decrease moral judgement but not how to INCREASE it.

Dear Nottaking it any more,

I don’t think you got my point, my point was that “relationships” that are CONTINUALLY “losing propositions” are just like a business that keeps on trying to make someting positive (in a business it would be a profit) out of something that is never PRODUCTIVE. It isn’t the once in a while thing that is the problem but a PERVASIVE PATTERN OF BAD BEHAVIOR.

Some bad behavior is a ONE TIME THING, like murder, you don’t keep on having a relationship with someone who just “once in a while” kills someone, but at the same time, a person who is CONTINUALLY AND FOREVER stealing small things from you, or lying, or a husband that cheats over and over….well that is a different proposition.

My FAMILY were the biggest Ps in my life, and there was no “profit” in any way by my continuuing to allow them to abuse me in both large and small ways.

In my BUSINESS and PROFESSIONAL LIFE, I did things logically and distanced myself from bad employers or bad employees (on the farm that was my cows) but in my PERSONAL LIFE I kept giving people “second chances” even though they had NEVER DONE ANYTHING BUT ABUSE ME, LIE TO ME AND EVENTUALLY TRY TO KILL ME.

I don’t expect “perfection” in an employee, or a family member, but I DO expect HONESTY, DEPENDABILITY and to be treated well as a WAY OF LIFE.

I am learning to set boundaries with my friends and family as well as with people outside of that circle. One of the things I did is to “kick to the curb” the fairly large group of “friends” who were sucking me dry, emotionally and financiallly, lying to me, stealing (literally) from me, etc. Now my PERSONAL LIFE is free of both psychopaths AND of dysfunctional and/or dishonest people. My personal life is “profitable” in that I have PEACE, LITTLE OR NO DRAMA, and DON’T have to be paranoid because I CAN TRUST the people around me.

This is depressing.
I did my horoscope on the website that Stargazer recommended and it basically says I’m N-supply and always will be. 🙁 Keeping secrets and being compassionate is a perfect N-supply.

You seek integrity of self. You make a good friend and confidant, for you never reveal a secret that has been told to you. But you don’t allow friends and associates to penetrate beneath your outermost mask. You deal well with people in unfortunate positions, because they arouse the compassion inherent in your Moon influence….

People with Libra Ascendant are basically motivated by feeling and emotion rather than intellectuality.
… You are a sympathetic person who seeks the approval of others and is also very adaptable.
If you do not control this tendency to be so involved in human relationships, you may become too attached and over dependent.

Dear Skylar,

A horoscope is not an UNCHANGEABLE THING….you still have CHOICES to make and you, like everyone here, can become what you want to be, no matter what your “tendencies” are. If there was no point in our changing ourselves, because everything was “pre-determined” by when you were born, or anything else for that matter, why would we be here trying?

We have CHOICES, so you can make those choices, just like the rest of us….we don’t give up!!!!

QUOTE: “If you do not control this tendency to be so involved in human relationships, you may become too attached and over dependent. ”

So right there is your push to CONTROL THIS TENDENCY! (((hugs))))

OMG, this website is soooo accurate. I did my xP’s horoscope and it says that he IS A P. :

This astrological combination indicates that love occupies an important place in your life. But you will be quite selective, for your self-esteem is such that only someone who is worthy of your affections will satisfy this desire. (this is how P’s view their N-supplies)

Cancer is the fourth sign of the zodiacal belt and its natives are under the rulership of the Moon. Your life will be full of changes and intermittent periods of activity and relaxation. Your vulnerability to external influences makes you subconsciously imitate the manners and ways of those with whom you relate.

In many instances, circumstances will require that you play the role of worldliness and sophistication but under the mask there will exist a very sensitive human being who is easily offended, and also very perceptive of the more subtle influences and impressions, as well as of psychic vibrations. (that refers to how easily he gets a narcissistic injury)

Cancer gives the tendency to completely retreat when hurt or frightened of a situation. This happens to you often because you tend to interfere in the affairs of others when you are not needed or wanted. Throughout your life, your responses will be emotional rather than rational.

…Another tendency that you have is to flatter and to criticize carelessly, without regard for the other person’s feelings.

Yes, I know you’re right Oxy. But the sad thing, is that years and years ago, I did a horoscope at a different site and it said my destiny was to lose my faith in humanity. I never “got” it until this year, when I learned that there were P’s everywhere – right under my nose.

The bonus is that now I “get” things a lot faster than before.

Hi Sky. Could you post a link to the asrology web site? I’m curious.

OMG, I keep reading more of his horoscope and it’s all THERE.

Saturn in the Fifth House

Saturn was found in the fifth house at the time of your birth. Circumstances may oblige you to appear humble and patient in connection with love affairs and as a response to obstacles that will come between you and the object of your love. (that would be my money)

It is possible that unless you can exert good control of your temperament, the obstacles can create a response from you that is harsh and severe. You must view these matters in light of the spiritual cause and effect.

We advise you to be very careful in business speculations and not to become involved in operations that have a risky element.

You should make an effort to become involved with the various human experiences of love so that your communicative power is increased. You must be sincere with yourself. Secretly you nourish the desire to be involved in human situations, but you apparently have lost the ability to relate to other people. A little more openness and confidence in your loved ones could be a good course to follow.

http://www.astro.com/horoscopes

Kim, from here I chose “short horoscopes” and then “personal portraits”

Thanks, Sky, I.’m gonna check it out, now

Sorry, folks. Curiosity got the best of me and I checked out my S’s horoscope. When I saw the personality traits “just” and “responsible” I knew this site was soooooooooooo not happening. And no, I didn’t get the information wrong. I’m of the school of Ms Brock — I have all kinds of documentation — including a copy of his Phillipines birth certificate.

Kim,
I was reading on a different horoscope blog and people were complaining about guys born under the sign of Cancer. They apparently act just like a P. They show up at your door and then, when love enters the picture, they run away -sideways- into a shell and don’t come out again until they feel safe. Many people were discussing staying away from lovers with June birthdays. well my XP was not a Cancer but apparently had a cancer ascendant! So, there’s another RED FLAG. Cancer’s and Cancer Ascendant.
I’d be curious if people would do their xP’s horoscopes to see how much Cancer pops up.

Matt, my xP’s horoscope also said stuff about caring for the future of humanity blah blah blah – all aquarians are supposedly that way. It was the little stuff about masks, appearing humble, losing the ability to relate to other people, that got me. Did your S have any Cancer influences?

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