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Sociopaths and their smear campaigns

Lovefraud received the following letter from a woman who was married to a sociopath for 16 years.

I was a stay-at-home mom until my son entered kindergarten, then I got a job. This was the end of any peace I would have for 10 years. The worst possible thing happened to my husband—the woman he could make fun of for being stupid or having no goals (whatever he would say to hurt my self-esteem) became a huge success. In fact, I made three times as much as Mr. Wonderful. The abuse escalated. He was so obsessed with destroying me that even on a business trip where I was getting an award for being the top sales rep in my company, he was pulling my boss aside and insinuating I was committing fraud and that was why I was #1.

For the last year of my marriage, he had convinced me to hand over all extra money so he could invest for “our” future. I did it thinking it was his ego that was hurt from my success. I didn’t know what he was then.

He spent a year hiding every dime, transferring every debt into my name, making up horrible stories about me to my friends and family. He would go talk to them in tears and say I was stealing all of our money and cheating on him. He would say how much he loved me and ask for advice, then have them swear not to say anything to me because he wanted our marriage to work. He even went so far to pull cousins, aunts and uncles aside during my grandmother’s funeral to say these things.

At the end of the year, while I was packing for a very large business meeting that was to announce a promotion for me, he told me he had cancer.

I believed him. Who besides a sociopath would say such a lie to their wife? That whole evening was spent crying and upset that my husband had cancer. Then I asked him a simple question, “Who is your doctor?” He couldn’t answer. Who would forget their cancer doctor? Then I realized, if he had been going to the doctor for such a serious illness, where were all the insurance bills? I have been to the doctor for a cold and gotten a bill from a lab, the doctor, then a follow-up from the insurance company to pay more, etc. I kicked him out.

I went to my business meeting and the onslaught of horrible screaming calls to the receptionist began from him. An entire week of this, while I was supposed to be there receiving a promotion. I left without the promotion and was basically fired”¦ “maybe you need to take some time to attend to personal problems.”

When I came home, I filed for divorce, cried for weeks and then looked around to find our money to pay bills. It was hidden; not a trace of paperwork was left. Every bill was in my name only. My friends, my family, my neighbors, even customers, no longer spoke to me. I deserved this, in their eyes.

Three years later, I still have nobody who fully believes me. I have one friend. My parents and I speak, but I don’t trust them not talk to my husband. If he has any information on me, he does whatever he can to destroy me. He abandoned our son, moved to another state to live with the next victim. My own sister sends him cards and letters and won’t speak to me.

The smear campaign

This woman was subjected to a smear campaign from her husband, the sociopath.

Abusers often use this tactic to cover up their own behavior and convince others that they are the ones being victimized. In fact, abusers frequently start the campaign as a pre-emptive strike, long before the relationship with the true victim collapses.

That’s what happened to the woman who wrote the letter. As the sociopath was getting ready to move on—he probably had his next victim already lined up—he laid the groundwork to destroy his wife. With his tears and skill as a liar, he convinced the woman’s friends and family of his story. They became unwitting co-conspirators.

What can you do?

Fighting the smear campaign is difficult. Most honest people can’t imagine that someone would be lying when making the outrageous charges that the sociopath claims, so they believe the lies. When the true victim finds out what has been said, everyone has already turned against her.

MSN Psychopath, a forum for victims, has a page about the smear campaign with suggestions on how to handle it. For example:

If anyone tries to talk to you about him, hold up your hand (like a stop sign) and say something like, “I don’t want to hear anything about him. He’s lying.” Say no more. If it continues, say, “My lawyer recommends I warn people they will have to testify where they heard that, should this turn into a libel or slander lawsuit.” Watch them scatter quickly when hearing this. This can cause people to stop cold and have another look at what they’ve been told.

Some more ideas: Say nothing but burst out with raucous laughter, slap your knee and laugh like crazy. “You should have heard what he said about his ex-girlfriend (ex-wife, you, his sister).” You get the idea.

Your own pre-emptive action

Once your relationship falls apart and you realize you’re dealing with a sociopath, or once you start to hear the lies, you may want to take your own pre-emptive action. Warn your family, friends, co-workers and the Human Resources Department at your job that the sociopath may start saying terrible things about you. This may work if their perceptions haven’t already been poisoned by the sociopath.

It may help to be able to explain why a person would say such terrible things. The reason, of course, is that the person is a sociopath. But as we all know, very few people understand what that means. To help others comprehend what you are dealing with, send them a link to Lovefraud.


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192 Comments on "Sociopaths and their smear campaigns"

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I am so glad I stumbled across this site. My life has been torn upside down by the sociopath. We met on the internet and I was going thru a very nasty divorce at the time and she was there with me thru it all. At the time she seemed normal enough but of course I was blind and all the signs were there. When we met she was drawing disabilty for a mental disorder no sure what it was I think ADHD. She had just obtained her BS in Social Work and wanted to get her masters. Well when I went to her house to meet her she was living with a roommate. Well come to find out the roommate was her ex. At the time we lived about 3 hours apart and I helped her find a job closer to me and helped her get an apartment. We were about an hour apart at the time.

Well one day I hadn’t heard from her and went to her apartment that I was helping her pay the rent on and she was there with her ex and anothe rof her friends. Well to say the least I was rather upset. I pulled her out of there and we went for a ride and I asked her what in the world was going on. She said that she was homesick and she wanted them to come and spend some time with her. Well after a few days they left and things again seemed somewhat normal.

Then she quit her job and moved three states away with her ex. We talked every day for about 3 months then I decided to take a weekend road trip. Well we hooked up and things were great. I stupidly talked her into coming back and living with me. Things were good for about 2 years and then all of a sudden she decides to move out and get an apartment.

Well I found out she had met someone at work and they were seeing each other and this person was 17 years older than her. After about 6 months she moved back in and things were OK for a brief period of time then she decides to go in the Army.

Well that lasted about 6 weeks and then she calls me out of the blue and tells me she misses me dearly and that she is getting out and to meet her at the airport. Well things were really good for awhile and everything seemed to be going great she was working and helping out and then all of a sudden she just walks away I mean literally walks to the homeless shelter here. She stayed there about a month a then just disappeared.

Needless to say about three months later she calls from out of the blue and says she misses me to wire her some money she wants to come back home and has enrolled in the Masters of Social Work Program at a University about an hour away. Well she came back home worked and went to school. She conned me out of one semesters tuition and and a car that I bought her. Things were going great or so I thought.

About 9 months before graduating from the Masters Program she said we needed time apart but that we would still see each other. Well she never called or came by, or returned my phone calls. Well I took her to court over the tuition and car and was awarded a garnishment. Well she decides to move to a city about an hour away and hooks up with someone 18 years older than her. I had the garnishment and really needed the money so I called her and told her I knew where she was living and that I wanted my car and the money. She sent a few nasty emails and that was it.
Right before Christmas I found out where she was working and called and left her a message that said happy New Year.

Well she immediately freaked and called and sent emails that she would give me all the money she owed me to meet her at a local restaurant that we would talk and she was looking forward to seeing me.

Well I met her and told her if we were going to talk
to lets do it that I had things to do. She told me that sometimes you try to hurt the person you love the most is why she treated me the way she did. I am not even going to mention all the lies because I could not possible type them all.

I said who wants to go first. So I did and I poured my heart and soul out to her. She said that she had written me a letter and she would go to her car and get it. She never returned left me sitting right there in the restaurant waiting on the letter.

Then she calls and asked me to send her a letter saying that I will forget about the debt and things will be different. I asked what do you mean different and hse said that I knew her and I knew what she meant by different. She hung up on me and Ihaven’t heard from her in about a week but my lawyer has her employers address and is going to begin the garnishemnt again so pray for me.

Part of me thinks I am as crazy as she is for wanting her back in my life but I really do. For some odd reason I love the girl and would do anthing to try to make her a more stable person. All of my friends and family dilike her and I duppose everyone cannot be wrong it is just me. Part of me really loves her but part od me hates her for all she has put me thru. This is just a brief overview the lies and mental abuse are to much to write about.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not miss her or think about her.

To burntbutnotdn.. Soooo many of us have said & felt the same thing… That even though you see them for what they are, still you miss them and a part of you wants them back… Thats part of their power and their trickery!! When it’s good, it’s VERY good! In my case it was the sex and he made me feel so special. Then I remember the end of the relationship when he was already seeing another, the sex changed and so did the incredible attentiveness.. He was no longer trying as hard, he no longer cared as much.. But heres the thing.. HE NEVER CARED!! It was all just an act!! So we all know what you’re feeling, we have all felt it, too. Read through the blogs, you will see it mentioned many times.

The trick is to constantly remind yourself that the person you loved.. NEVER REALLY EXISTED!! It was always a lie to manipulate you, get what she wanted, and just have fun playing games.. At your expense. That realization in itself is very hard, but you must always remind yourself. For me it has been almost 5 months and it’s getting alot easier, every time you start to think about her, actively, consciously make yourself stop. Turn on the tv, read a book.. something. And always remember she is evil and WILL NEVER CHANGE!! You are a good person who deserves SO much better!! and it will get better & easier with time.

In response to the blog. Whoa, I thought the smear campaign against me was bad. My heart absolutely goes out to this woman, this is the type of nightmare most people will never even come close to in their lifetimes, and to have to go through it with virtually no support from friends & family.. is just heartbreaking. There are alot of support groups that can help. Good luck to you.

Thank you for sharing your story of his smear campaign. This also happened to me, he tried to get me fired from a job that supported us! He was jealous of someone I worked with, and accused me of having an affair with him. Unfortunately, psychopath’s can do a great deal of damage to our careers, our financial stability, our relationships with family and friends.

As for your sister who believes him and not you? This must hurt like crazy. She has no sense of loyalty.

As for all the others who still don’t believe you? Maybe in the end they’re not worth having relationships with, if they’re not willing to face the truth. For what it’s worth, I believe every word you said.

Defamation was the straw that broke my too trusting back…I totally identify with you and wish I had been as pre-emptive.
I bought the lies and degradation and became ill with it…when I tried to fight and emerge triumphant, I was w/o most support, alienated by ‘heavy hitters’ he networked into, and blamed for what he was actually doing himself. I was left homeless and with death all around me. Take this woman’s advice. She has been there…….and you don’t have to be in a long relationship to have this happen. Check your state laws. You better know HE HAS. In my case the lawyer came before the marriage! Be cautious–they don’t want to be wrong, caught, or even seem guilty. Outside you see an angel; inside a devil waiting for the best time to take the money and run…….with devastation behind him and likely unproveable. You will never prove your honor to all who heard the tale, but many will come to see, and tell you—-they just will not want to be involved in any way, even if it is to undo what role they took in helping the conartist.

To burntbutnotdn:

I visit this site most every day, when I have a spare moment, to see what new posts there are. I am also recovering from who I now refer to as “the messed up little creep.” However, I still think about him every day, and the part of him that I wanted and loved is what I think about. I always stop myself as soon as possible from devoting much time to thinking of him.

You must get away from this woman!! It’s VERY hard to believe, but she doesn’t really love you. You can’t change her. She is using you.

Took me a long time to believe that I was treated that way, but I was, and the less time of your life you waste on these people the better. Turn to your close friends and reach out to them for platonic intimacy right away, to replace the feelings of friendship you have for this evil woman. As for romance, there is someone else out there for you that will be the right woman, and you are wasting time every day you don’t see that.

Pardon me for being blunt like this – and I am an absolute stranger, but I feel for your situation. You don’t deserve to be treated like that and it’s up to you to stop it from happening any further! That woman has wasted more than enough of your precious time!

That’s how I view my “little creep psycho.” I can’t even allow myself to waste time thinking about him because it is a WASTE of my time. Writing here on this blog keeps me on the right path and focused on moving on and …it works!

You can do it.

Well if she would just leave me alone I could cut my loses and move on. Everytime I think she is gone for good she calls or e-mails me out of the blue and I get my hopes up that maybe things could work out this time. I have learned more about her personality in the past week by reading information here than I did in the whole 5 years we were on again off again.

In that regard, I am lucky. I have not been ‘re-contacted.’
I must admit, I worry that the creep will pop up again in the future. I’m not worried that I will get my hopes up again (although, I’ll still have to watch myself), as much as I want to make sure I wouldn’t trigger malicious behavior from him. He, after all, did spend time in prison for fraud. I imagine if I ever were ‘re-contacted’ I would simply ignore the communication completely (as much as I want to tell the creep off). He’s ignored me, so fair is fair. From what I read, they do abandon you.

If it ever happens, this is the first place I will go with the info…but I choose to believe I’ll be left alone (always want to keep that stress level low!) 🙂

Hey, and about the “learning more about the person in the past week by reading here…” I can agree! It’s completely freaky and takes awhile to accept. But hey, one advantage…I feel much better about myself knowing that I didn’t mess up and I wasn’t the villain…the creep was. I didn’t lose out on the love of my life because I messed up…the whole thing was just a fantasy that I had with a person with a PERSONALITY DISORDER. So now, 5 months later — I don’t feel the same devastation I would feel with a broken heart. Once you learn the truth about the psycho, you discover you didn’t miss out on love at all…you saved yourself!

It is horrible to have your name and reputation smeared. My ex husband did that to me (and continues to do that to me). The sad part is…people believe in their source of information. Initially it is my ex telling a co-worker, a father at baseball, etc. These people believe my ex because he is so convincing and seemingly sincere. They then tell people close to them who believe their source, and on it goes. This has been very, very painful for me to deal with in my life because I really try to be a good person, so to be slandered and believed to be something I am not is really hurtful. This has been going on for me for about eight years now, and even though I feel the pain every time it happens, I think I have become a much better person because of it. I think before this experience, I would have been one of those people who believe their source of gossip. I think I was probably one of those people who even passed on the gossip…to my sister, closest friend, etc. (believing it to be true because I trusted my source). Now, I never gossip and I do not judge people based on what I hear. I know from my own experience that I can’t possibly know for sure what happened and my source of information could be wrong. My own experience has made me a better person.
This may seem crazy, but when I hear of a death in my ex husband’s family or circle of friends, I always think that maybe when people die, they learn the absolute truth of all things. So, when they die they learn the truth that really I was a good person and my ex was a liar and a bad person. As time goes on and more people we know pass on, more people will know the truth of the situation. Then the pain and rejection I feel during my life time will be felt by my ex when he passes on and realizes that everyone knows him for what he truly is. This is probably a crazy thought, but it is hard to make sense of it all.

The woman in the blog is me.
I felt a powerful emotion reading the responses! Thank you!To change the world, we must change ourselves..I like, 421dmb2, never gossip or even want to be in the same room as someone who does.
There is a book called ‘after the locusts’… it helped me imagine a life beyond this nightmare.
My marriage didnt exist, I, our son, friends, family…meant NOTHING to him..just pawns…a means to an end. The hardest thing my heart will ever have to accept.

I have recently been dumped by the sociopath I was with, I feel better everyday that goes by and this site has helped me no end, I do not feel so alone, I still love him and even have a restraining order against him and still wish he call or suddenly realize the good person he had in me, I am trying to stay strong, but I wonder do they ever leave you alone? or do they once they fall down or run into a problem do they perceive you as weak? because we opened our hearts, wallets and everything else to them. The sociopath I was involved with would tell me he no longer wanted to be with me yet try to run my household from his mother’s house, yes 46 years old and still living with his mother! I am wrestling with my feelings Why do I still love this man? why can I not erase him from my mind? Is there something wrong with me? My sociopath is one of the worst kind he has taken a life and has a history of violence towards women, on Monday I am to go to court to extend the restraining order, why am l reluctant to do so, what is wrong with me? knowing all I know yet still love him.

We are coming back to this post because this is the lament we hear the most on our site. The smear campaign.

The one thing we advise – is not to directly confront the psychopath about their lies and smear. Just stand up for yourself and the truth.

Here’s a great example from a sister site of ours about a cyberpaths and his smear campaign – and how just telling the truth continues to make him look like complete fool: HERE

Another of our victims made her own site about her cyberpath. He keeps attempting to do damage control but isn’t making much ground.

The worst is a current predator – who actually manipulated some data online (he’s a programmer) to make his victim look like a stalker and then he went to the FBI to complain about her!! The police went to her home to confront her!! This same guy stole a few thousand dollars from her.

The smear campaign is just further evidence of how completely out of reality these people operate.

Fighter:

I am so glad you have re-opened this very good post! There are so many great articles and blogs here; and unless someone is here 24/7, it’s hard to keep up with them all.

It’s so crazy with the S’s. Even though WE are telling the truth, everything that comes out if their mouths is a lie, and they are so convincing that even our very closest friends and family members sometimes believe the lies! This is sooo discombobulating for the victim. First they are abused, and then the smear campaign! The “he said, she said” game is a very difficult one to win…hopefully the best defense is one’s history, and patterns, of honesty and integrity.

Peggy raises a great point. While I was reading through your site, Fighter, I realized that the “smear campaign” finger can be pointed at us when we tell other people what actually happened. Find that I don’t want to tell people about some of it, in real life, because it sounds vindictive in the telling. Yet, I refuse to cover-up for him anymore.

What it eventually boils down to is who trusts you and who has experienced some of the P’s weirdness themselves. Both these groups feel the truth behind the stories, because they experienced firsthand some sort of bad vibe from the P or they just know you well enough to know you don’t carry tales out of school about anyone else.

By the way, I love your site, too. Posted links to it, and lovefraud, at my own tiny corner of the Internet. These are two valuable resources.

It is amazing to me the things that “people will believe” about what the P says, but wouldn’t believe the truth if it was made out of solid gold.

Yes, Orphan, some of our stories are so outrageously crazy as to make BAD FICTION–but the TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION.

When I told my story to the new therapist I had to take back documentation and a witness the next week to prove to him that I wasn’t some kind of paranoid delusional NUT CASE. LOL ROTFL When you think about it, it does sound like a paranoid delusional nut case! If a therapist won’t believe it, why would anyone else!

You are also right when you say sometimes it is only the other people who KNOW this person who will believe. It is frustrating to be telling the truth and not be believed. But I have come to the point that I don’t need anyone else to validate my reality with the truth any more. I know it is the truth, it doesn’t matter to me if someone else believes me or not. At the beginning it did matter, but not now.

Like the old question about a tree falling in the woods, if no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Truth is truth whether or not there is anyone to believe it. There was a time when everyone thought the world was flat, but the truth was still the truth, it didn’t change the shape of the world.

The problem comes when others believing that lie, and not believing the truth impacts upon your job, life, other relationships, reputation, etc. Then it matters a lot.

For me, there is no economic impact, no other impacts either. But for some people the smear campaign can wreck their lives.

Figher:

Peggy, I agree with you. Also gives me a chance to say many thanks again to Fighter, Lovefraud, and Theexposer.

In addition to all the invaluable information and support they provide on their sites, they are also there for support even beyond. I believe in their wisdom and as such also in exposure in warning to others if it’s “right” for you. They give selflessly to throw you the life preserver at a time when you think you are going under the dark waters for the last time.

I too was smeared and decided I’d had enough. I wanted to post a blog but a computer wiz, I am not. Again I found nothing but more support, questions anwered, advice given, so my blog is not only posted but thanks to them was refined and is now searchable by his name and even linked to their sites. I now have my closure and “He” has been quiet though my attitude is “bring it on, I’m ready for anything.”

Sophia: Please know that the person you are in love with does not love you back. Hear this: Take this to your soul:
Your Sociopath thinks about you the SAME WAY we all think about toilet paper. Its aTOOL we USE to wipe our ass…..
That is what any human being is (sorry to be so blunt) to a sociopath. Do not hesitate to extend the restraining order. You are your only protection!!! He does not care for your safety or well being…. You are in love with the idea that you thought he was. He was an actor and you love his performance. The only thing REAL about him is his act. He is really ACTING. Please Sophia love yourself more. I am only saying this so you save yourself more hurt. God forbid something happen that you cannot heal from.

Affliction.. Sophia’s post was in March 2007… :o) Darn it! Hopefully she found here way through all this without all of our hard earned wisdom.

LilOrphan,

You bring up a good point. Telling the “story” is often too much for people… and for me. And so far I have noticed that people don’t get out of it what I want them to get. The only place I feel any satisfaction in telling what happened is here at LF.

I have wanted to educate people more and more on this subject but whenever I talk about it to the wrong audience, I feel like I am losing some power… like I am slipping into that abused woman stereo-type and I don’t like it one bit.

I am still trying to figure out how to best use this experience to benefit others.

People don’t get lying… not at this level. I weathered a lot of distorting of facts and smear tactics. At least I think I did. He was always telling me that his co-workers thought this and that about me and it was always awful. That’s when I learned about spin… it’s all how you tell the story… and he did spin himself into the victim of me.

Anyway, I am so tired. Beach day tomorrow. I have ben working like a maniac but I am getting close to my goal…. of paying off all the debt I acrued due to the Bad Man and bad decisions related to the aftermath when I was a basket case and total PTSD case. I am working too much but I am getting so close and I keep telling myself I can get through anything… and this is nothing compared to what happened to get me to this spot.

:o)

Aloha,

Good for you–you GO GIRL! My Ps cost me plenty of $$$ too, besides the grief, but am putting my own life back togehter and that is a satisfying feeling too.

Living a GOOD LIFE is the BEST REVENGE!

What Dr. Leedom is doing with her college classes is educating these young people to the psychopaths, unfortunately, that doesn’t reach a lot of young people who really need that information. I too would like to see people educated to what psychopathic behavior is, I think it is a huge need. Just educating people that “domestic abuse” is not to be tolerated would be a good start.

Some progress has been made over the last couple of decades, it wasn’t all that long ago that cops wouldn’t get involved unless someone was near death from abuse. Now in our area at least, we have a judge who listens and abusers are taken to task by the law. That helps SOME, but of course is not enough.

Glad things are coming together for you!

Aloha:

Wow, do I get the feeling of loss of personal power you mention…telling the story does make a person sound like some crazed scorned woman, in the wrong situation to the wrong ears.

When I sense the “wrong ears” I usually stop. That’s how it became apparent the right ears belonged to people who interacted with the P in the past, who had an inkling – some larger than others – that the P was just not quite right. He’d either done weird things to them or around them, or they’d heard other stories.

Word does get around. I’m not on the warpath to get that word around, but when and if his name arises amongst those who knew him, I no longer fear telling the tale. Still struggle with feelings of guilt from (probably misguided) loyalty to the good him, but I refuse to sit silently on what I know. If just one person had warned me before this time around, I would have listened.

It’s the time I regret most of all, the times I let other opportunities pass because I loved him and thought we were meant to be together. The years you can’t get back, you know?

I’m glad you’re taking steps to turn the ship around and get where you need to be financially, emotionally. It really is all we can do – that, and not refuse to let the past shape our respective futures.

Much affection to you for all the many ways your official posts and comments here help everyone along our paths. Sometimes what helps most is reading and recognizing the truth in others’ stories matches what I’ve experienced. It has a way of cutting all the good fantasies right back out of the picture.

I went to a wedding yesterday of close friends who met the P the last night I saw him and whose relationship used to remind me of ours in some ways (good, not bad). While I was happy for them, I was sad for how things turned out. But then I realized that it takes two real people to really invest in having a good life together; not one real “bride” and a mirage for a groom.

Aloha ….oops… I missed that…thank you lol

Orphan,

I hear the power in your words. You are no longer a victim, but an advocate! I also hear the righteous anger in your voice!

You are so right though, WE (victims) feel the shame for the behavior of others! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE!?!!!

The Ps feel no shame for their behavior to us, but WE do? It is difficult to break out of that shame—but apparently it is almost a UNIVERSAL thing. In the books I am reading on child molesters, it is the extremely RARE child that will “tell” and THEY all feel shame, as if it is their bad act.

Awareness of spousal abuse and child molestation (which have ALWAYS been with us) is climbing, and I am glad to see that there are people like you, who stand up and verbally and loudly take a stance. Yes, the “monster” that abuses your children LIVES NEXT DOOR TO YOU, teaches your Sunday School Class, Works at the cleaners, teaches piano, is principal of the school–he may even be the one that his his wife so that there are no visible bruises–but he doesn’t have a red forked tail or horns on his head or 666 tattooed on his forehead so you can distinguish him from the “nice” people. He looks just like your brother, maybe he IS your brother.

Dr. Meloy in his book used a phrase that I thought was very good, he said “denial is the immune system of the mind.” That struck me as pretty “profound” and I see how right it is. Denial keeps us from acknowledging TRUTHS that we perceive as overwhelming and virulent to our way of thinking. But, just like sometimes the human immune system turns on itself and attacks the very body it is trying to protect and kills it, DENIAL if it is long-term can do the same thing to our mental and emotional health.

With the feeling of shame, I don’t understand this–the why of it—children do it, adults do it–the shame for something done TO us, not by us. I have felt shame for other’s behaviors, share when I told and people (especially ones I would have hoped would have believed me and comforted me) looked at me like I had the Scarlet Letter on my chest. Having them NOT validate my pain was even more painful. I can’t even imagine how a child who “told” and was not validated, or was punished for “lying” would feel.

Yes, sometimes I too, feel some envy of committed couples and wish I had that again—but like you, I know it does take TWO, not one person and an evil hologram.

Orphan, you are a strong woman, and I have seen in your posts, some of that growth in strength! I hope that you will stay around here for the others that come here. I notice that it seems that people who come here for healing and start to “get better” just seem to disappear…maybe some are healed, or solidly on the road to healing, and I am sure that some probably go back to the misery. It is almost like reading a book of short stories, all with the last page or two torn out for each one. But you have so many good things to share and I do hope that you will stay around for the new ones that come here and need that wisdom, honesty and strength that you display. God bless (((hug))))

Oh, I’m not all that strong, Ox-D, but thank you for saying you can see I’ve made some headway since first arriving at lovefraud. Mentally, I’m clear. Which is saying something, considering how screwed-on backwards he had my head by the time I first ran….and then went back to let him attempt to destroy my soul with cruelty.

BUT…I am so depressed as of yesterday, or Saturday, my friends’ wedding. The shit-covered carrot, as Aloha would say, is all I kept thinking about. How to wipe it off and make it shine, again. How to remove the poison from all the hopes I have to love and get married again.

I am 100 percent certain he is already on to the next victim. And that his words of love and forever were just the same lies he’s gearing up to tell her. And that if I ever meant anything to him at all, he wouldn’t have let the past four months go by without trying to mend fences. So, he is in fact the lie.

Yet while time is proving all these things, I felt on Saturday like maybe it was my fault he and I would never work things out, we’d never be standing their before our respective friends and families. Like maybe he’s just a man like any other and I didn’t try hard enough to understand him.

Why am I feeling like this? It’s not as frequent as it used to be, but I despise my ability to forget the bad things and minimize them. It’s like the cruel things he said and did never happened or were my fault sometimes, in my heart, even though my brain knows better. It’s like this piece of me will keep loving him no matter what he did or does, and I can’t seem to really want to see anyone else, no matter who asks me out.

The reality is that while I pined away the years between 2001 and his return in 2006, he went on to have numerous relationships, many much more serious than ours ever was. And after he came back, even after saying he wanted to get married to me, he was still involved with other women. Then he started to get worse and worse with me, pushing boundaries and saying terrible things, being mean to me, acting like I was chasing him and a burden rather than the fact that he returned and still wasn’t acting in a manner consistent with someone who wanted to really be in my life in any meaningful, respectful way.

And he freaking TOLD ME he didn’t love me. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Regardless of how many times he said he did love me before that, he negated all of that in the final evening.

If that isn’t enough for me to see that he lied, is bad for me and was just toying with me, what is?? How long will I have these rare days when I feel like I’ll never really move on?

Orpahn,

Of course it is enough to see that he lied and he is bad for you, LOGICALLY, but EMOTIONALLY you still want the dream, and that is NORMAL.

Your strength is like BRAVERY—Bravery is not being UNAFRAID, bravery is being scared shitless and STILL ACTING RIGHT.

To me, a person who is afraid and still does what is right is so much more heroic than the person who is unafraid and does the same thing. You, my dear are DOING THE RIGHT THING even though a part of you is still hooked into the FOG.

Don’t you EVER put down your strength and bravery WOMAN! Like I used to say to my kids “Don’t make me stop this car!” LOL

So I say to you, strong woman, ‘DON’T MAKE ME HAVE TO COME THROUGH THIS COMPUTER SCREEN!”

We all survived because we were strong and brave, otherwise we would still be in the FOG…((((GREAT BIG HUGS)))))))

Thanks, OxD, you said everything I need to hear right now. And boy, do I need to hear it.

Right after the last horrible night, I had this intuitive inkling his path with me was not being directed by him as a way towards a happy, enlightened, co-joined future but rather a path towards my own destruction at his hands (and even typing that, I realize it sounds loony but there were this prescient moments where I could literally feel that he did NOT wish me well, did not have good intentions at heart).

Me being me, that thought kept me from falling apart. Was not going to give him the pleasure of seeing me detonate and self-destruct. No way.

So now, four months after that, I am safely mentally and physically away, and it appears….finally actually feeling the pain he’d hoped to inflict. Not as bad as it could’ve been, because I wouldn’t fully open-up when we were together, because of his track-record with me. But pain, nevertheless.

Thank you so much for honing in on the fact that even though it hurts, I never once thought seriously about running back and trying to get him to feel what I’m feeling. Trying to get him to care. Probably because even in my grief I know he CANNOT care about me.

Orphan,

“Feeling the pain” is what we must go through to grieve over our losses (even if the thing we grieved about doens’t really exist except as fantasy)—you cannot go around, over, under the pain, you must GO THROUGH the pain to finally reach resolution and acceptence.

The “grief process” (google that and read about it) is not a straight line, but back and forth, like a sail boat tacking in the wind in order to progress. You may have to sometimes go “east” to get “west” or you may back track for a few days or a while, but the process is reaching resolution nonetheless.

There will come a day when you will wake up and realize that you are happy. Have been happy, and you didn’t even notice it it just came on so slowly, but you will start to sing and dance and celebrate and even the thoughts of him will no longer make you sad.l

You ARE a brave and strong woman, and you will over come this, but it dose take TIME and WORK.

It is like having a baby, you can’t “speed up the process” by getting 9 women pregnant and get a baby in a month—and with grief, it takes as long as it takes. There are all kinds of factors in it, from how you have reacted to grief in the past, to other problems going on in your life at the same time….changes of any kind slow it down. Moving house, new jobs, financial difficulties, etc all add to the “stress load” and make the grief harder and longer to deal with.

My world started to fall apart July 14, 2004 when my husband and one son, and two others took off and then crashed in a small aircraft here at our farm/airport—killing my husband and burning my son and the two others. My step dad was terminally ill, and then died 6 months later, and on and on and on, my stress level was over the MOON–and then the Trojan-Horse P showed up and it went well past JUPITER. I HAVEN’T BEEN OUT OF HORRIBLE STRESS is 4 years until the last three months, but I’m now making PROGRESS—rapid progress when you consider where I was (at one point literally lying on the floor crying uncontrollably for days) and I am still a long way off from where I want to be, but I am so much better off than I have been that I feel like a NEW HUMAN BEING—I trust ME AGAIN. Not even AGAIN I think, I trust me, maybe for the first time in my life, COMPLETELY.

I can honestly say I am HAPPY. I haven’t shed a tear since January over anything. I find stuff funny again! Life is GOOD, and it is going to get BETTER. (((hugs))))

You are the strongest person of all, to me, OxD, because you’ve been through so much with so many people who you trusted and believed in, who turned out to do you harm. And you are here trying to help others get better, too.

I’m terrible with loss. Guess everyone is. Relationships ending, even if they weren’t what we thought they were, are just another form of death and I guess yesterday was part of that feeling. But frankly I prefer anything but sorrow – rage, a philosophical approach, laughter, beating a pillow, creating something…

I’m sick of sorrow. It’s been the theme in so many relationships since 2006 that it feels pervasive. Think what really is bothering me is this inability to just move forward: I want to, but then when it comes time to date someone new I can’t seem to care enough to just do it. It’s the crossroads and time to go forward, but I’m feeling on ice and don’t want to slip backwards.

Glad life is good for you again!! You are inspiring, although your story is just so shocking.

Orphan,

You have made so much progress that I have NO doubt that you are a survivor, that you are at heart a “warrior woman” AND THAT YOU WILL PROSPER. It takes TIME as well as work, and you can’t RUSH it…I’ve been at this “healing” thing for off and on for 40 years since my P-bio father hit me like a train. two steps forward, and sometimes TEN steps backwards, but it seems that it is FINALLY coming together in a way that makes sense to me.

I don’t think I really ever internalized my OWN PART in allowing the abuse before—I was SO IN DENIAL, even though I would VERBALIZE it, I didn’t really believe it. If THAT makes any sense.

This morning my son D and I were talking, about a friend who has gone back to counseling and we were so glad. I looked up to thank my son for all his support (he was the ONLY member of my family to be fully supportive of me through the chaos) and I said “I hope you know how much I appreciate you when every one else thought I was as crazy as an out-house-rat”

He laughed and said “YOU WERE CRAZY AS AN OUT-HOUSE-RAT, but YOU WERE RIGHT”

And he is right about that, I was “insane” with worry, grief, and frustration that no one but ME (and him) could see how dangerous the Ps were, or that they were actually HOMICIDAL. Of course it did turn out that the P’s behavior was VALIDATED by them trying to kill my son C, who also didn’t listen to my warnings—but I felt like Henny-Penny going around telling everyone the sky was falling, and it was, and no one would listen. At the point I realized that they WOULD NOT listen, would NOT believe, I realized that unless I took action, I WOULD DIE as well. Leaving my other family members to the mercy of the Ps was devastating to me, but I COULD NOT SAVE THEM. I could ONLY SAVE MYSELF.

It did turn out to have a more-or-less “happy ending”—I got rid of the P-DIL and the Trojan-Horse-P is in prison, my son C is safe, my mom is safe, though I am essentially NC with her (a big help in my own healing!)

I am NO MORE or LESS strong than any of the rest of the people here on the board–it is just that I HAVE COME ALONG, and everyone here–every HUMAN who is NOT a P has the same strength—I felt so weak, so useless because I was trying to do THE IMPOSSIBLE, save someone against their will.

YOU CAN ONLY SAVE YOURSELF, and EACH OF US has that strength if we will recognize and USE IT.

Read M L. Gallager’s posts, that woman discovered her strength, and she used it. DISCOVER YOUR OWN STRENGTH, Orphan, I can guarantee you that IT IS THERE, AS STRONG AS MINE, AS STRONG AS M. L.’s. I PROMISE YOU!!!

Your pain is no less intense than mine, just because I fought more than one P—I fought them serially because I didn’t get the lesson the first time with my P.-Bio father. Now I have the LESSON, and I am much less likely to ever be taken in again, or if I am, to allow it to continue or drive me “crazy as an out-house rat” (that’s a “technical term” LOL) ((((hugs)))))

Free:

So much to learn, isn’t there? I used to really think I had a handle on myself…but am learning as new life events happen that this is a nebulous and very limiting idea. I have no real handle on what I will do under certain extreme circumstances, and I’m ok with that. The core foundation of who I am remains unalterable, even in the face of a P. They can twist us like Gumby, but they can’t permanently alter us.

I am having trouble though, with moving on. Part of it is this series of articles I’ve been sent out to write about the dating scene in my city. Just left a guy who is a personal matchmaker and he said he can’t believe how young I look (I’m 41) and that I’m not already seriously involved.

It took everything to keep myself from telling him a. my story, and b. that I’m somewhat “faking it to make it.” When he asked what I was looking for in a match, I said “someone genuine, down to earth, not seeking perfection, not prone to magical thinking, someone who knows relationships take work, who knows that lies erode trust, whose heart is so solid he couldn’t imagine deliberately trying to hurt another person, someone with high self-esteem, not an alcoholic, well over his last relationship, who is open.

When really, all I was thinking was — someone who doesn’t treat me like the P did.

Think I saw his car, too, on my way to the meeting, with some chick in his car – she looked like the chick I saw leaving his apartment building last time I went to pick him up. Wasn’t sure, though.

I really got sad after profiling this matchmaker. My heart isn’t into moving on, but if I don’t, history tells me I’ll soon settle into being a hermit and not dating anyone for a long time, and then being scared to.

Orphan,

The thing about being “ready” for another relationship or afraid that if you take time out that you may never be “ready” I think is NOT based on fact—It does take TIME to work through the grief, pain, gorwth, self doubt, etc etc of any failed relationship or loss of a relationship by death.

I think too many people get involved “too quickly” before they have fully worked through it all. I know for sure I did. My husband will have been dead 4 years in July, and with all the P-chaos and the X-BF etc. I know that I am not ready yet to invest the time and energy I know that ANY relationship takes until I think that I have done all I need to do to be WHOLE by myself. To be really content by myself.

I am not even taking “applications” for new FRIENDS at this point, not bcause I am afraid I would make a bad choice and possibly get another P in my life, but I want to focus on ME and the closer friends of mine, and not spread myself too thin.

While I don’t have an 8-5 job to take up my time, I do have things I am working very hard to accomplish in my life, just like a “job”—devoting X number of hours per day to working on these things and trying to find time for enjoyment, friends, recreation, relaxation, in a BALANCE. I made a decision 7-8 years ago to spend more time with FEWER people so I could have more QUALITY time with the SPECIAL people in my life. I felt that I was spreading myself too thin ovver too many projects and too many people and didn’t have the QUALITY relationships I wanted. I still enjoy meeting new people at various events, but focus more on myself and my closest relationships, my two sons C and D, and other very close friends. I am very hungry to spend time (mostly by phone) with my son C, as while he was married to the P, she isolated him from us.

I’m learning new things, starting to be able to FOCUS more on reading, and intellectuall things that before I didn’t have the focus to stay on track enough to get anything out of.

The chaos from the Ps invades every part of your being and keeps you from being able to concentrate on much of anything else.

But you still have to have time to “chew over” what has happened to you and why—why did you allow it? Changing your own ideas, thoughts, feelings and outlooks is a big job. It takes quiet and reflective time. Actually, being here and posting is one of the ways I “meditate” and “think” about me, as well as se how others are feeling (which validates that my feelings when I was (am) feeling like that myself. So it is a two-way learning process, I get as much or more from you guys that I give back.

LilOrphan,

Weddings and birthdays and dating… these are things that have been triggers for me. So, I totally understand a wedding would set you off.

Just a few days ago, I started to feel some old frustrations with a man I am dating. This is the s-l-o-w-e-s-t dating process I have ever been through. At first, I felt agitated but now, I actually feel comfortable about it. But that’s another story. The point is, these frustrations brought back some thoughts about BM. For the first time in a VERY long time, I started thinking about BM and going soft on him like I used to. This is when I start to feel sorry for him and I kind of forget what a psycho he was… I think about a few very select moments that might have been… *might*.. have been authentic. After big meltdowns, he would sometimes go through a phase where he would say something like… “be careful with me right now. I am in a very tender state.” or “my heart is very tender right now.” I took these times to mean that maybe he was feeling some shame about losing control of himself and he was “processing” as he used to say. During these times, I might be permitted to say very very carefully how I was hurt by his words and actions but he could so easily FLIP right back to psycho man so I learned quickly that I would not be permitted to process MY feelings through.

Anyway, what I am saying is that dating has been a trigger for me to think about him so that might be why I have not been too into dating. Everytime I have man treat me with some indifference… it makes me long for those early days of BM and me when he acted like he was really happy to have found a woman like me.

I was a mess a few days ago too because I just turned 39. I made it through. I am okay… didn’t see any new wrinkles this morning but I do have grey hair sprouting and that really pissed me off! Because I still have yet to pass so many milestones in life that I am realizing.. I may never cross. FRUSTRATION!

Oh well.

On Smear campaigns… whenever I said the truth about BM to anyone… he acted like I was damaging HIS reputation. SPIN SPIN SPIN.

Aloha,

I laughed and laughed at your “thing” over your 39th birthday. LOL I remember when I hit 35—at that time I was divorced, going back to college, and was in DEEP DARK DEPRESSION EXCESSIVE MIS-ER-EEEEEEE over being so OLD. Now, 25 (actually 26) years later, I can look back at that very REAL depression over getting “old” back then.

To top it off, I had a lab partner that was 21 and without a doubt the prettiest gal in the huge class. This really cute PhD lab assistant came over and was spending all t his time with us “helping” us and I just knew he was going to ask her out. All the rest of the class was teasing her about him, cause he really WAS A HOTTIE. Anyway, one day we (the 3 of us) were working on someting and HE ASKED ME—ME—- OUT. I was so shocked I actually said, “Aren’t you asking HER out?” He said, “No, I’m asking YOU, (he was more my age), she’s too young for me!”

After that, I got over the depression and the feeling old and all that jazz. I got snapped out of my own backwards thinking pattern and depression. After my husband died, I did the same thing again, felt old, unwanted, etc. and that was why I let the P-BF hold up my “dream” of another “soul mate”—and when I kicked the SOB to the curb, I felt like losing that dream was the end of my world…but it wasn’t. I won’t let it be. I know this sounds “trite” but go down to your local mal and people watch for a while—then go home and look in the mirror and tell yourself just how young and beautiful you REALLY ARE! Heck even I can do that! LOL

OxDover,

I know it’s funny to you but we had this conversation before. You have had your problems AND you have had your babies and a nice husband.

My eggs are drying up and I will never get to be someone’s young wife. Maybe I will get to be someone’s grey haired childless wife and nurse their aches and pains as they get old. I don’t think this is hilarious. It is VERY painful and disappointing not to have the ONLY thing you have dreamed about since you can remember to not come true and I have to pretend to be fullfilled by having a cat. By the way.. I can’t afford a cat.

I know you are not trying to hurt my feelings and I appreciate your wisdom and YESSSSSS… I know that being married and having a family is not going to make my life perfect but I would at least like to have a chance to screw it up like everyone else!!!

I am sort of dating someone but he has two daughters (14 and 18) so I highly doubt he would want to start back at square one. Perhaps I need to reframe my dreams to be with someone as they approach 50 and maybe I can travel around with him like a retired person or something. *sigh*

I am either mad as hell that my dreams didn’t come true… or I cry my heart out because I feel ripped off and mad at God… or I have the “I don’t give a crap” mode where I go around like a robot, paying my bills, living my life and feeling nothing. Or the feeling sorry for myself mode which I suppose I am indulging in now.

I am able to laugh at myself and how caught up I was in all my dreams when I met BM. I think there are a lot of women in my age group who meet a psycho… just like grieving widows, we are vulnerable to these men because we are grieving a loss too… a loss of dreams. I don’t want to be a whiney baby about this but imagine just 10 years with your husband… now imagine he wasn’t there and you didn’t have children and you feel like an orphan on holidays and people keeping asking you at BBQ’s “which children are yours” and you have to say, “I don’t have any.” Oh. And then we get to hear from people how great we are and why are we single.. this from our girlfriend;s husbands and our best friends.. or some dumb ass guy you meet on Match.com who is looking for your big FLAW to explain it all..

Please.. no more laughing at ladies like me who have never had a soul mate or a family. We don’t think it is funny at all.

Hi Aloha-

I had to sign on and commiserate with you. I spent my youth waiting for the S lies to become my “reality”. I was so hung up on him, that, I wasn’t able to bond with another man….

Even though I had a child…I only got to have one…and he is doing the rebellious 17, and each day I am hoping it is only a phase, and not the beginning of a sinister genetic flaw. Some days his logic sound just like his dads. I am trying to write it off to adolescent narcissism, which will pass. I had it. I knew lots of people that did.

But, back to feeling old….blach…I will be 39 in a few months. In this order I got high blood pressure, medication that affected my adrenaline levels, so I didn’t have energy to exercise, (I used to hike mountains after work, and go to the gym on the days I didn’t, the medication just drained all of my energy) gained 60 pounds, developed diabetes…and now diabetes is storing my fat for me. I used to be the girl that got approached by my male neighbors, guys in the grocery store, and single dads at my sons school events. I remember her and miss her. She is still inside me, but my self esteem got such a beating (a recent beating), that it is very hard to get out of the funk. Every once in a while, I have a flash of feeling of what I felt like even 10-years-ago, and I want to keep that feeling all day. But, todays life pushes it out.

I never got to be someones young wife either, I never got to have more kids, my sons childhood was chaotic because of his father. I got robbed, and my son got robbed, he just doesn’t know it yet (when kids are young, they can’t miss what they never had, or so they say, when it is all that they knew).

What you and I are thinking about is envious in its nature. Everyday I work at just loving me, and all my faults…and I am not waiting for someone to take notice of me. I will live and strive to be as content as possible with myself…and despite all of the seeds of self hatred that my S planted….walk past them. I am in exactly the situation I am supposed to be in, and when it is meant to be different it will be.

I commiserate with you, someone else’s good fortune is not funny that it worked out for them so we shouldn’t give up hope. I feel like I suffered endlessly from hope for years. So I am right there with ya. It will come when it comes. Your destiny may be down the road….but,for now, forget hope, lets just believe that it is what it is and what it is meant to be, and when it is meant to be something else, it will be.

I put on my makeup everyday, do my hair, and put on my nicest clothes, and I am as nice to everybody as I can possibly be…I never know who I might run into. Everyday, I am the best me I can be, and I love myself. Someone of quality will eventually see it too…..and I will start on a new road.

I wish i had read this before i broke up with my ex!

He used the smear campaign tactic against me just before we broke up. After I asked him not to contact me anymore, he told the minister and my therapist that I was psychotic and not taking my medications.

He also told his friends at the Unitarian church that I was spreading rumors about him.

I have had to leave the church and change my phone number even though he has moved and is married. He tells people that he had to leave town because of me. The real reason he left town was because he was afraid of getting into legal trouble. In addition to stalking me, he also had comitted fraud by giving out fake info at the hospital to avoid having to pay a bill.

At any rate, he’s gone but the effects of a smear campaign can last a long time. I’m glad i was able to get away from him and his church friends.

He smeared another ex girlfriend by claiming that she had cheated on him and alleged that she had phsycially abused him.

I believed him. The moral of this story is beware of anyone who tells you how awful his ex girlfriend is. You just may be the next awful ex girlfriend!

My friend Aloha, I was NOT laughing AT you, but more at myself because I FELT THE SAME WAY—THAT MY DREAMS WOULD NEVER COME TRUE—doesn’t matter WHAT the dream is. Your dream is yours, mine is mine,—each dream is precious to the one who dreams it—unique–what I was trying to illustrate (not put YOU down) is that my dreams didn’t come true, but LIFE IS STILL GOOD, my dream of having a grand child was more than I ever dreamed of having children, I hoped to spend some wonderful years with a grandchild, being the kind of grandparent that maybe I wasn’t a parent —a second chance to do it right—the land I live on has been in the family since 1833—I wanted so much for that to continue, another generation—but it won’t. But, you know what, as much as I LOVE THIS LAND, it is ONLY land—it doesn’t love me back, and SO WHAT if there isn’t an 11th generation of THIS family to live here?

Aloha, I would NEVER LAUGH AT YOU! PLEASE BELIEVE ME ON THAT, I might laugh WITH YOU but never AT. It is just that my own “thing” with the AGE (mine was 35) I thought was similar to yours, but then I suddenly realized mine wasn’t such a big deal, I was only hoping that you could see the humor in that! I would never mean to step on anyone’s toes, or make fun of anyone’s dreams, my only point is that we ALL have dreams, and some of them don’t come true—BUT THERE IS STILL LIFE and good things. Other dreams we can accomplish. I’ve had my share of lost dreams—the dream of my P-son doing all kinds of great things for himself and humanity—shattered, and there was a time I didn’t think I could LIVE if he was the monster I know he is–I think that’s why I stayed in denial so darned long. It was all about MY DREAM FOR MY SON.

Losing my son to him becoming a monster is I think at least for me worse than if he had died. We all lose dreams my dear, but I want my life to go on, even without THAT dream. My dreams now are for ME–the only thing I CAN CONTROL and there is NO end to what I can be–even if I can’t fulfill the others. Peace and love.

Aloha:

Happy Belated – I waited around to see you yesterday and wish you a HB, but didn’t see you come on. And then I thought of how awful I felt on my birthday, because the last one was spent with the P and I was still believing in the SC Carrot. I felt like 40 was ok and 41 would be ok, because he was back and we were going to eventually be married.

While I do have kids and was married, my ex husband was a terrible father and an absent, sometimes abusive, alcoholic man. It was a sham, particularly to someone like me, who wanted a Lennon/Ono partnership style relationship.

I dreamed of two things when growing-up: being a writer and marrying my soulmate. Was raised on Rhett and Scarlett, the Brownings, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, even the modern-day stories had writer couples or artistic couples whose relationships were far more deep and profound than what I had – a marriage in name only with an absentee spouse who hated everything I believed in.

So I totally GET some of what you’re feeling, though not all and certainly not exactly or perfectly.

But I feel like I’m transiting this world with kids moving on and parents moving towards death and I’ve still yet to meet a man with whom I can deeply engage mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Who “gets” me and loves that person. Thought the P was this person. In some ways, years ago, it really seemed he was. Sometimes, even this last time I saw flashes of it.

Now, between the failure of that relationship or whatever it was, the low self-esteem from ambient abuse and the fact I still haven’t found it, well, going out on new dates doesn’t seem promising….

The dream feels more elusive than ever, and I hear a clock ticking for me that I never heard in my early 30’s.

So yeah. Weddings, birthdays, dating: all are symbols of things that have been dangled before us as promises of someone to share life with, and then snatched away.

Ugh.

Thanks for understanding.

PS, Aloha: Just read that and my friend was talking in my ear as i was typing, so it made no sense:

What I was trying to say is that you weren’t around much yesterday and I got to wondering if your birthday bothered you. Then reading the posts you made today I understood what you were saying about some of these milestones and why they seem so much more problematic than other days for you, too. So I wondered how your birthday went, overall.

Somehow I think the experience of just not ever finding the right guy would be a whole lot less damaging and soul-impairing than finding the dangerously wrong guy.

I’m going to give it up to God or Yaweh or Buddha or the ghost of Kurt Cobain and assume, like so many other times in the past, that when what I want does not equal what I’ve currently been given it was not what was planned, for me, right now.

Table the item. Revisit it later, maybe in hindsight, and maybe see some clear reasons why God or whomever felt compelled to create me as this wildly romantic, giving, emotional, nurturing, passionate creature, then stick every potentially good partner behind barbed wire and watch as I cut myself trying to make the most of who I am – for the rest of my life.

Maybe God is a P? 😛 Or maybe He’s just in need of some good high comedy and drama.

Take care.

I got this little parable from my P-son, of all places, but I think about it often.

The title is “Good luck? Bad luck?”

There once was a very poor old farmer in China named Woo. He had only one son, and one horse. One day Woo’s horse ran away. His neighbors knew this was a terrible piece of luck so they went to Woo’s hut to tell him how sorry they were that he had such bad luck. They told him, “Oh, Woo, such terrible bad luck, your horse ran away and now you can”t plant your fields and you and your son will starve, such BAD luck”

Woo shook his head and said “Bad luck? Good luck? Who can tell?”

The neighbors were very worried about Woo as he could obviously not see what a terrible piece of luck he had. They returned home thinking that the old man must be getting senile.

The next day Woo’s horse came back, and it brought a wild horse with it. The neighbors ran over to Woo’s to congratulate him on such good luck. They told him “Oh, woo, how wonderful such good luck, now you will have two strong horses to plow your field and you and your son will be come wealthy”

Woo, shook his had and said “Good luck, bad luck? Who can say?” The neighbors were all very concerned about Woo’s sanity this time and went away sorry for the old man who couldn’t see what good luck he had.

The third day, the new horse kicked Woo’s son and broke his leg. The neighbors were very worried about the old man now and went to his house to commiserate with his bad luck. They said “On Woo, we are so sorry your son’s injured, now you will both starve, Such BAD luck”

This time woo became very angry and said “Good luck? Bad luck? Who are YOU to say?” The neighbors went to their homes with hurt feelings because the old man had been rude to them. It was obvious to them that THEY could tell good luck from bad luck.

The next day, The emperor’s army marched through the village and took all the sons of woo’s neighbors off to the war, but they left woo’s son, because he had a broken leg.

In looking back over my life and the things that I “prayed for” that I thought I really wanted, or the things I rejoiced over sometimes it turned out that I really didn’t know what was “good luck or bad luck”—sometimes I think that the powers of the Universe don’t always give us what we think we want out of benevolence not malice.

When I was 8 years old I wanted a German Shepherd dog more than anything in the world, and my mother said I couldn’t have one. Then I read a story about a boy who was blind called “Follow My Leader” and because he was blind he got a German Shepherd guide dog. So for the entire year I prayed fervently for God to make me blind so I could have a German Shepherd dog. LOL Of course I can look back now, at my child-self praying to go blind, and laugh, but at the same time, my adult-self has wished for things just about as bad for me., and grieved over the many things I cannot control—and my faith that God will give me what I need, rather than what I think I want…and I thank God that the X-BF-P is out of my life, along with the rest of [email protected]

LilOrphan,

I did celebrate my birthday with a small dinner party. I wanted to sign on but I have been working like a maniac. I did an over night shift the day before my birthday which meant on my b’day, I came home and slept. Now I am doing another overnight shift following my regular PM shift at my other job.

I am juggling 2 jobs right now and working ridiculous hours because my policy is if they ask me to work, I will say yes, no matter what. I am striving for an impossible goal… to wipe my Maui debt clean by August just in case I get accepted to Grad School which starts late mid Aug. I would like to start out with a clean slate if at all possible. It’s not realistic but I want to get as close as possible. Still, I need to think about my mental health with how much I am working… I keep telling myself, I can get through anything.

So… I did take my birthday off and I did celebrate it with a small group of people. That’s just what I like.. food and small intimate groups.. and my I-am-not-sure-if-I-am-dating-him-guy was my guest. He did FINALLY give me a kiss but it was a peck and then I got really embarrassed and ran away. I am a BIG DORK. Oh well. He gave me some flowers, a parking pass (don’t ask.. this is something I asked for) and a bottle of massage oil.. he said a masage comes with it. Hmmmm. I don’t know about that buddy! Honestly, I think he is too shy to give me one and since I have my massage license, I am sure he will get stage fright. HAHA! Then again… maybe he won’t. I have been complaining a lot about back pain which is a new thing for me.. so his intentions are to help me out with that.

Anyway, I saw you asking to speak with Peggy the other night needing support and I wanted to offer my ear but I was too busy sleeping and having my b’day and I am also not connected at work on my weekend job anymore. So, I am on less now.

Oxdover,

I know you weren’t laughing at me. I don’t know what to say. I suppose there is some reason that this is the path my life is going but I do not understand it at all. Mostly, I just feel like it’s because of all the mistakes I have made.

I spend a lot of time now trying to avert disaster for others. That’s probably not a good use of time because we all have to fall on our own faces.

I still want a baby. I will always want that… but I want the package deal.. one that comes with a caring husband. :o( I know those are hard to come by.

Dreams… we all have dreams.

XO Aloha

Dreams” we all have dreams.

Yes, except P’s. They really don’t, not the kind that expand our universe, rather than contract it and bring pain. Imagine inside their heads it looks a great deal like it did in the head of Brain from Pinky and the Brain. If you’re not familiar, he spends nearly every episode trying to take over the world, imagining scenarios where he has everything and rules everyone!

So, dreams are good and normal. Maybe that is enough for us to head off on paths away from those who promise to share in our dreams but are incapable of delivering.

Am so glad you had the kind of birthday celebration you like, Aloha. Shy massage man could be part of life’s surprise party, the life Lennon says happens while we’re busy making other plans.

I want very much in the coming years to embrace that life simply for what it is and not what I wished it to become. For me, it feels like it’s passing by while I’m staring down the field at the goal posts instead of playing the ball where it’s laying, because that’s the only ball I have.

Peggy and I did manage to exchange emails and she has been wonderfully wise and supportive, like you and others. You guys get it because you’ve lived it. Thank you, though, for thinking of me.

Your life sounds very challenging right now, and full. Most of all it sounds quite authentic and headed somewhere good – the complete opposite of what your Bad Man’s life likely is.

Hugs…and here’s to having dreams.

Dear Aloha,

“dreams, dreams, we all have dreams” and YES WE SHOULD.

Looking back through my life prior to now, I can see the various dreams I had, some came true, some not. My biggest dream was for my family and my kids. I also realize it was FOR ME more than for them. It was MY DREAM FOR THEM…and I think that is never a good idea to dream for OTHERS, but we should only dream for OURSELVES.

Of course when my P-son didn’t SHARE MY DREAMS FOR HIM, it devastated me. I think maybe that was why I kept on trying and grieving for the loss of of MY dream.

I wanted this “happy family” with grandchildren, successful sons, nice spouses for them, etc. Instead son C married the P-DIL who hated me from the start and didn’t become part of our family, but isolated him instead. Only at Christmas did we for one day PRETEND WE WERE A FAMILY…and P-son was in prison, but PRETENDING to want to come home. The one time he got a chance to come home when he was 20, he purposely didn’t, and rubbed my nose in it that he didn’t want to (I guess instinctively he was punishing me by depriving me of his presence LOL)

There was nothing wrong with my dream except that it was a dream that I COULD NOT ACCOMPLISH ALONE. I looked around at the families where the adult kids were close to the parents, had good spouses, grandchildren that the GPS could interact with on a regular basis, etc. and I ENVIED THEM. I felt sad and deprived because they had the DREAM I WANTED and couldn’t get. After my husband died, my disappointment in my own dream for this “family” was really screwed…no way it could come true…that left me open to the P BF, and when that fell apart—it was a down hill spiral.

I’m not sure how much my grief, sadness, insanity, etc. was a reaction to what really WAS happening and how much was the LOSS OF MY DREAM…my grief over the loss of theDREAM of what I wanted and knew I could never have. Going NC with my mother, the P-by-Proxy enabler was the KEY that let me start to heal though. I don’t think I had made a significant step toward healing until I FINALLY GOT THE COURAGE to go NC with her. She also, I think, shared my DREAM, but was not willing to let go of hers EVEN IN THE FACE OF REALITY.

But the turning point for me, was that I realized that EVEN WITHOUT THE DREAM BECOMING REALITY (which in my case was a definite IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN) I finally realized that there are other good things in this world to enjoy and if I spent all my time GRIEVING OVER WHAT I DIDN’T HAVE, that I would MISS OUT on the things I COULD have.

I hope and pray that you, and everyone else on this board achieve their DREAMS, and that we all “live happily ever after.” But I am determined for the “happily ever after” even if I never achieve ANY of my dreams…just living happily is my BEST DREAM and I CAN ACCOMPLISH THAT–I have the power and control over ME. The things I have NO POWER OVER, those I will put into the hands of God…if it is meant to be for my good, it will happen, if not, I will accept what happens as what is meant to be.

Not long after my husband died in July 04, a medical student at UAMS in Little Rock, AR failed to make the Olympic team and was so upset that he stabbed his physician wife to death and then jumped to his own death from a tall building. WHAT A WASTE. I don’t know what else was going on with that couple, but supposedly because ONE dream didn’t come true, the man not only took his own life, but the life of his wife who was a gifted surgeon on her way to the top in her chosen profession. Both of them had sooooooo many other dreams I am sure, so much to offer not only to themselves but to their professions. Sure, his dream was real, and his dream was important to him, but in the larger scheme of things, he had so much to live for and he apparently let the loss of only ONE dream ruin his life, and ultimately take his and his wife’s lives.

I’ve thought about this couple a great deal because only two weeks before she died, she had operated on a friend of ours in a very very complex spinal cord surgery that was “leading edge” therapy and surgery for his terribly crushed spine (he fell off a mountain and crushed 6 vertebrae so badly two had to be removed. She replaced them with a titanium block. He is now mobile, walking and living a life relatively free of pain.

It is also sort of ironic that that very man, who can now WALK is in deep depression that because of his spinal injury he will never again be able to fly airplanes –HIS LIFE TIME DREAM, and one he was accomplishing before the surgery. NOW HIS LIFE IS DEVOID OF HAPPINESS because he can’t fly planes—yet he has so many other talents and things he CAN do, but he has focused on what he CANNOT DO, what he cannot control, and is letting that ruin the rest of his life. Fortunately, he is in therapy for this and I have great hopes that he will resolve this issue positively.

To me it is important to resolve our issues with DREAMS vs REALITY, and those that don’t come true, or that we can’t make come true, we must resolve and move on.

YOU STILL HAVE HOPE THAT YOUR DREAMS MAY COME TRUE, and I would never never want you to give up that hope as long as there IS HOPE, but I think when our hope is not reasonable, it becomes “Malignant hope” when we let it ruin the rest of our lives. I did that with my P-son, and my MALIGNANT HOPE, that he would “repent” and change and become the son I wanted, the son I DREAMED ABOUT, kept me in thrall to the DREAM when there was NO HOPE that it would ever come to pass.

Like Orphan, I am trying now to play the “ball where it lays” instead of saying “what if…?” or “Oh, how I wish…” I can make my life NOW a new starting point for NEW DREAMS, dreams that ARE POSSIBLE, and quit grieving over the dreams that ARE NO MORE. I hope all that makes some sense to someone besides me. LOL Healing, Peace and love, to all.

Oxdrover:

I love what you said, “just living happily is my BEST DREAM and I CAN ACCOMPLISH THAT”.

Aloha and others who have the happily married with children dream: I was married, but not happy. I have three beautiful children, but for all intensive purposes I have always been a single Mom, although I was married for 16 years. My ex never took them to a doctor/dentist, nor got up with them in the night. He was a potted plant. These children are MINE; he rarely even sees them (and lives 10 minutes away0. I have only technically been a “single Mom” for 5-1/2 years (since the separation and subsequent divorce), but I have always been a single Mom.

If you strongly desire children, you do not need a man to help you raise them. And of course there are either natural (or in-vitro) methods of insemination. Or there is adoption. I told myself at age 30 that if I didn’t get married (I did) that I would have a child on my own…20 years ago that was unconventional, but today it is widely accepted. There are sometimes alternative ways of achieving your dreams.

Everyone here is great. Why don’t we go on a Lovefraud cruise?

Oh, Peggy, I agreee with you that some of our dreams CAN be accomplished in alternative ways. We are all very CREATIVE, I do not doubt that for one moment. In one way my “happy family” has been acheived even with the loss of my P-son, in that I have a WONDERFUL adopted son, that I am so proud of. He is a godsend to me and it doesn’t matter to me that he is not my blood. I love him as much as if I had given birth to him and I PROUDLY tell people, “THIS IS MY SON, D.” If he ever does marry and have chldren, they will be MY grandchildren. Though I had hoped to hae grandchildren (biologically) I am glad now that it didn’t happen, I can’t imagine if one of them was a P how I would survive the grief, so maybe not having them is a blessing, and I realize too, that BLOOD DOES NOT MATTER in LOVE.

Blood relatives are who we are INFLICTED WITH, for better or worse, but our FAMILY is CHOSEN. I was given by the grace of God, a wonderful step father, and a wonderful husband (finally) and two wonderful young men as my sons, but I have no loving mother (she’s a P-by-proxy to the P-son) so my FAMILY are my close friends, including one first cousin. That’s it. No big wonderful family celebrations at Christmas with the “whole big extended family” there—but only a FEW PEOPLE but EVERY ONE OF THEM LOVES AND RESPECTS ME.

No hassle when “Uncle Monster” shows up and I am forced to pretend he isn’t a P of the worst sort. No hassle when DIL’s kids are so rude a normal person would crawl under the table, dig a hole in the floor and crawl out of the house, and she doesn’t even notice. No problem for Son D when DIL’s daughter makes sexually inappropriate moves on him IN PUBLIC–practically groping his crotch at the table. WOW! I’m gonna miss all that FAMILY FUN! N-O-T!!!!!!!!!!!!

Smear campaigns…. I’m waiting for my S to start one against me. I filed a court case against him this week, and he is really not happy about it. I wouldn’t put it past him to smear my name with the people we both know, but at this point I really can’t do anything to prevent it.

I’m pretty proud of myself this week – I went with a friend and got the last of my stuff from the S’s house on the weekend. It went way better than I thought it would, not because of anything he did or didn’t do, but because of how I reacted. I was expecting that I would be upset and crying afterwards, but I wasn’t at all. Instead I was just so relieved, thinking “My god, this could have been my life. I could have been stuck with this man, and I’m not – yahoo!”

He did try a few things to upset me (glaring at me, standing close and looming over me, making comments about how much happier he is now that he’s single), but I just didn’t react. It’s funny, because I didn’t go to his house thinking “I’ll show him, I just won’t react, ha!” I simply played it by ear, and didn’t react because I am very close to honestly not giving a crap about him anymore. I see him for what he is and his games for what they are, and I choose not to play. It was quite funny, you could see on his face that he wasn’t getting to me and by the end he didn’t quite know what to do, as his normal tricks weren’t working. Oh, and I’m sure we’ve all read about the “sociopathic gaze” – that cold, intense, intimidating, kind of predatory look? And how some women mistake it for a sexual thing? Well, he was doing it to me, and I realized for the first time what that look actually meant. Quite eye-opening, really.

I also filed a court case against him this week for the money he owes me, and had him served with court documents. I knew it needed to be done, and I had no other recourse. He’s been telling me sob stories for months about how broke he is and he had to borrow money to buy food for his kid. Well, ladies, when I got to his house, I saw that he had bought himself some very fancy new toys and done some nice re-decorating. I knew he was probably lying, but I saw the evidence with my own eyes.

So, I was very nervous after I’d sent the papers, waiting to see how he would react. He did something I didn’t expect. He went whining to his ex-wife’s family about how I’m suing him. His (get this) ex-mother in law emailed me the same afternoon he got his papers, asking me to drop the lawsuit. She said she thinks I am only doing this for revenge and because I’m hurt, and that he is planning to pay me soon, so don’t I think I should just drop the lawsuit and spare myself the hassle? Unbelievable how this man can con people. Seriously, he cheated on their daughter and is divorcing their daughter, and they are sticking up for him. Unreal.

I was really upset after I got the email from his ex-MIL, but had calmed down enough by last night to find the whole thing sort of amusing. I am trying really hard to stay detached from this whole thing, and maintain “mental NC” as much as possible. I had some bad dreams about him last night for the first time in a long time, I’m sure they were brought on by me stressing about this lawsuit.

I was thinking of emailing the ex-MIL back and telling her that, since this is now a legal matter, I don’t want to communicate with third parties, and that the S can contact me directly. But, honestly, I think I will just not answer the email. Why dignify this nonsense with a response? If any of them have a brain in their head, they will understand that the lawsuit is solely against the S, not against them, and so it really is not their business to be contacting me about it. He is an adult, I shouldn’t have to instruct him on how to communicate with me about a legal matter.

I realized yesterday that I still, in some small ways, taking responsibility for his actions. Just the fact that I would consider answering that email is kinda crazy on my part. Also, I felt a bit bad for a little while that I am hurting his feelings and upsetting him by taking him to court – crazy, I know. I also was feeling a bit of mourning again – that’s it, I took him to court, we really are never getting back together. Ah well.

But, overall I am doing quite well. I really am moving past this – not all the way there yet, but a substantial portion of the way there. I am trying hard to just take the court case one step at a time and not think about it constantly (easier said than done.) And I am very proud of myself for standing up for myself, finally, after all this time.

Any of you who are newly split up with an S, or still struggling – hang in there, it gets better, I promise. I didn’t think it would either, but it does.

LOL OxD. Your last two sentences remind me of how I felt after every family function!

Some days are best spent analyzing, reflecting, figuring out what we have to do to make ourselves better people. And some days, you just have to laugh at the absurdity of IT ALL.

WEll, laughing sure beats the heck out of crying about it, and I’ve done enough crying to last ten lifetimes! You are right, it is absurd, and in the grand scheme of things what we have REALLY lost is an illusion–and that’s all. It all this misery hadnn’t happened I would have been stuck PRETENDING every holiday for the rest of my life. At least now I don’t have that burden—I AM FREE!

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