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By | February 2, 2012 93 Comments

The Confusion of a Child of A Sociopath

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

My father appeared to be a very successful business man. Our family lived in a home on Biscayne Bay, had money and was very well known. He served as a pilot in the Air Force, was very good looking and extremely charming. From the outside, our life looked almost perfect.

Like any young boy, I idolized my dad. When in his presence, I was almost hypnotized by him. I was extremely attracted to the way he approached life. I guess it’s normal for a boy to want to be just like his father. I wanted to believe everything that he told me. As best I could tell, he treated me pretty well. He took care of me, gave me money, taught me to hunt and spent time teaching me lessons about life.

Unfortunately, these lessons were coming from a different perspective on life than most children are exposed to, from that of a sociopath. For the most part, sociopaths treat their children like possessions, and I was my father’s favorite. He treated me special and I liked it. All of this only added to my confusion as a kid, because much of the time he seemed like a great dad. Still, something wasn’t right. There were conditions attached to his love, and I knew it. This underlying uneasiness was causing me problems, too.

From as far back as I can remember I would have terrifying recurring nightmares. I didn’t understand why and didn’t talk about it because I thought it was a sign of weakness. I would wake up in the middle of the night, gasping for breath and feel as if the weight of the world was crushing down on me. I couldn’t breathe, and would feel a serious and frightening threat that I didn’t understand. This threat was extremely elusive and I couldn’t identify what it was. I didn’t know where the threat was coming from, only that it was close. It was always close, surrounding me on all sides. The dreams felt real. I tried to dismiss them as just “kid stuff”, but I was really scared. I hated myself for this.

I always felt unsettled and frightened. Something just wasn’t right, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It might have been just a small detail, but it felt really important. My mind would tell me that it just didn’t add up or make sense. With no point of reference, the only thing I knew to do was to let it go. Whatever the conflict, I was not able to reconcile the problem or rationalize what it meant to me. Consequently, I would bury it. What I was seeing was so frightening that I didn’t want to know the truth. A lie was more acceptable. I lived in this confusing space.

On the outside I probably appeared to be like any other kid my age. I made good grades, was fairly outgoing, had friends and tried my best to fit in. It helped that I always had nice things and could afford to do most anything that my friends did. My dad taught me to be respectful and to say yes sir and no sir when addressing adults. They liked that, and I was typically a favorite of my friends’ parents.

The problem was that while my father was teaching me some of the right ideas his behavior was offering a different point of view. This was my experience with my father, and it happened often. His behavior was raising questions that I could not answer. I can see them now, but at the time, I didn’t want to believe what I was seeing or feeling.

Being raised by a sociopath creates its’ own set of issues that must be dealt with in order to break free from the suffering caused by these experiences.  Forgiveness is the ultimate goal, but awareness of  my own altered view of life also needs to be recognized and addressed to really have any success with recovery.

The result is seeing the world through this distorted filter, virtually altering all of my relationships and life’s experiences.  Simply blaming my dad was not going to set me free from the damage done.  I needed to acknowledge how and why I behaved the way I behaved.

For me, as many of you know, The Process of Forgiving is what set me Free.  But, I had to take responsibility for how I used this experience to harm myself and others before I could stop doing it.

If we continue to harm ourselves with the past, we are, in essence, repeating the behavior that we so despise.  At least, that was my experience.  As a result, I am very forgiving of myself, and others.  I do not interact with sociopaths or harmful people, nor condone the behavior, but I do forgive it.  When I do that, I feel peace, and I like that better than nightmares.

The funny part and most rewarding is that when I forgive and let live I stop attracting sociopaths and start attracting people who are kind, loving and forgiving.  That, in itself, is a very valuable spiritual lesson.  Now, that’s A Miracle!

Thanks for reading this.  Hope you experience a Miracle today.  Peace.


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Ox Drover

Thanks for sharing this Travis, but I would like a bit of clarification….you say “forgive and let live” and I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “let live”—I know that with your father, you got him to confess to the other murders he had committed, so you are not just “letting it pass” or “let living” as it were, you took action when there was evil, and I think that is a point that we should stress is that when there is EVIL going on or has gone on, we TAKE ACTION to stop it. If we know someone is abusing their child we don’t just “live and let live” in the sense that people think of it today, but we TAKE ACTION to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We call the cops, or we call CPS, we don’t just sit by while there is anything we can do to help the helpless.

You testified against your father and wore a wire to get him to confess to the other murders.

Donna fought to expose her abuser so that he would not be able to so easily abuse others.

Liane testified truthfully even though it hurt her so that her husband would go to prison.

I’m working hard to keep my murderous son in prison, both for my own sake, but for the sake of others, because he will kill again if he gets the chance. I worked hard to get the convicted child molester out of our living history group.

ErinBrock fought hard to get her kidnapped children back from her drug dealing X, and to help the law bring him to justice and expose him publicly for the drug dealer that he was.

MANY other LF bloggers like MiLo here have spent their last dime to protect a child from an abusive parent, have met a psychopathic co parent in court to keep the child safe even at the HIGH emotional and financial cost that they must pay.

I agree that we must in our hearts get the bitterness out (forgiveness) so that it does not poison us, but we also, I think, must WORK to protect those who are helpless, and to do what we can to bring justice to the psychopaths if we can.

Then, we must SPEAK UP which we are doing here via LoveFraud to educate others, to support others, who have been victims, or are likely to become vicitms. TOWANDA TRAVIS!!!!!

Ox Drover

Travis, I wasn’t speaking so much as taking responsibility for your father’s punishment as for protection of others and of allowing closure for the families of those victims of his. He really isn’t being “punished’ more than he was before I think….I am thinking he will probably never actually be executed in actual fact (I may be wrong about that!) But you standing up to right wrongs is what I am talking about. You didn’t JUST “forgive” him and go on about your life, you took a STAND and that is what I am talking about.

Sometimes, though, “taking a stand” means to run away to safety, or maybe to stand and fight…it is different in different situations, but it is still “taking a stand” and “doing what is right” for the situation and the person, not just being a “fence straddler” or watching while someone else gets hurt and doing nothing.

I’m proud of your stand Travis…and I wish I had taken a stand more when I had the opportunities with my own sperm donor. In my case, getting away alive was the best I could do. At least with my son, I’ve kept him in prison for another 3 years and hope to keep him there for more.

I found out something in the local newspaper yesterday that I did not know. The Arkansas parole board does NOT have the authority to DENY parole except in the cases of RAPE and Murder….and they released a man on parole who was a sexual offender, but he had plead down to below “rape” so they could NOT keep him in prison though he was a minister that had molested many children over a several year period. The best they could do was to make him go out of state (if there was a state who would take him) wear a leg monitor GPS, forbid him from dating a woman with minor children or being around children, but could NOT deny him parole.

I went WTF??? when I read the article, and did not realize that the parole board in my own state had NO POWER TO KEEP SOMEONE OFF PAROLE unless they were convicted of murder or rape! I hope that is going to change! I am going to contact my representatives about [email protected] But it does answer a question for me about why the Trojan Horse Psychopath was granted parole the first time he came up…they did not have the power to stop it. The ONLY reason he was stopped was it was illegal to put him in a half way house as a sex offender, which I pointed out, but as soon as he got a “place to go” he was released.

Sarah999

I believe the ONLY person a victim should forgive is her/himself!
I don’t believe in this forgiveness B/S (for myself). .
On the other hand I believe if forgiving the psychopath makes the victim feel better, go for it.
In my case it would make me feel MUCH MUCH MUCH worse,
I don’t forgive EVIL!!!!!!!! EVER!

woundlicker

Travis, I don’t know your story. All I have seen is that your father was a murderer. He killed more than one person? Can you tell me where I can find the background of your experience?

Woundlicker,

Travis’ story is in his old articles on the Lovefraud Blog:

http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/category/authors/travis-vining/

Read the stories from 2008.

skylar

Travis,
It seems to me that your need to forgive your father is tied up with your need to forgive yourself for your actions.

You have logically deduced that you are not entitled to special treatment, so if you deserve forgiveness for what you did, then your father does too. Am I right about that?

Catholics are taught that there is a difference between a fault and a sin. A fault is something like a failing in your personality that causes you to not meet your potential. That’s why Catholics , in the Catholic mass, ask forgiveness “for what we have done and what we have FAILED TO DO”.

Sins are different from faults. They are choices. These choices are direct acts of disobedience against God. In other words it is when we decide that our will is more important than God’s will, that we commit a sin. It is not the act, but the reasoning behind the act, which is sinful. We place ourselves above God, “because I can”. Even if you don’t believe in God, you can take a page from “People of the Lie” where Dr. Scott explains that spaths usurp even the authority of REALITY when they lie. They refuse to bow even to the truth. So in essence a sin is a disconnect from God or from reality. A sin is basically rooted in pride or hubris that your will usurps reality.

So, my point is that when we ask for forgiveness, because we are truly sorry, we come back to God, (or reality) and we recognize our true place in the universe is NOT the center. To ask for forgiveness is humility and it AUTOMATICALLY grounds us. So we are automatically forgiven or reconnected to God and reality.

A spath is never sorry. So a spath cannot be forgiven. Forgiveness can only be granted to those who repent.

When Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” He was saying, “these people have not chosen this sin, they just don’t understand what they are doing is wrong.

Rene Girard has a lot to say about that but I won’t go into it here. It was 500 plus pages in “Violence and the Sacred”.

Ox Drover

Sky and Travis, I think that the SPIRITUAL aspect of what we view as “forgiveness” is important to each of us as we INTERPRET what “forgiveness” means to us.

Some people think if they “forgive” someone for something when that person is not sorry that they are showing weakness or that they are granting ABSOLUTION to that person for what they did.

I personally do not believe that “forgiveness” is the same as granting absolution, I think it is simply getting the bitterness toward that person out of MY heart for MY benefit, not that the person is not still responsible for what they ahve done, or that I want to have a relationship with that person.

For my whole life my egg donor DEMANDED that I “forgive” (grant absolution) to Uncle Monster and others who did horrible things, while she, herself, held on to every grudge she ever had against me or anyone else.

One time when I was in California when I was 19, in Los Angeles I actually ran into a guy who was from our little “town” of 300 and I was amazed that would happen, and when I called her to tell her this amazement, her first words were (REALLY!) “WELL! His first cousin had an illegitimate baby in the same room with me the day you were born!” (so that DAMNED him and his whole family! LOL

I KNEW that Uncle Monster was not repentant and that he would continue to drink and abuse women but egg donor DEMANDED that I pretend he was Uncle Sweetie and that our Christmas party was “a nice nor4mal family” and if I was not willing to PRETEND that then I was DAMNED to hell forever by this nasty God of hers.

YOu know by the time I was 5-7 maybe (at least very early) I was scared to death of this mind reading hateful old god that was just looking for a chance to damn me to hell in a hand basket. I could not see how a “loving” God could be that demanding of me…but now I see that FORGIVENESS does NOT have to include absolution or a relationship with that unrepentant person. It just takes the bitterness out of my soul and allows me to be at peace.

I understand that not everyone will share my spiritual journey, or Travis’s or Skylars, or John Doe’s but by sharing our healing and our spiritual journeys maybe we can help each other heal even if we don’t always hare the exact same path. ((((hugs))) and God bless you all.

woundlicker

Donna, thank you for the link. Now I can better understand what Travis has had to deal with.

Skylar, I agree with you. Why should I forgive someone who doesn’t think they need it, hasn’t asked for it and in no way believes they have done anything wrong to require forgiveness? I think the word ‘forgiveness’ takes on many definitions depending on the user.

For me, forgiveness of someone who couldn’t care less if I forgave them for hurting me (and doesn’t care if they did) is about ME and moving on past the pain and getting that person completely out of my mind, heart, and soul. Forgiving someone who wronged me but is truly sorry and repentant is about THEM and keeping them in my life because we were mutually hurt and want to mend things. To me, that is true forgiveness, when the wrongful want forgiveness and are sorry.
I honestly don’t know what the proper term could be for ‘forgiving’ someone who wronged you but is not sorry nor asks for forgiveness. I know better what it’s not- pity, acceptance…? No, those terms don’t fit either. When someone is unredeemable, I see that as the same as unforgivable. Maybe it’s just semantics, but one word can be extremely powerful. Forgiveness.

skylar

Travis,
are you saying that you don’t resent what your father did to you? How do you feel about what he did to you and how he tried to make you complicit in his crimes? I’m asking not how you feel about your dad, but how you feel about what he did.

Ox Drover

Well said, Travis!!!! The sincerity of your beliefs comes across loud and clear and very well spoken. Thank you so much for sharing this.

While I might agree (somewhat) with what Socrates says about men doing ONLY what they think is good….I also realize that I have done things that I did NOT think were good, I KNEW WERE NOT GOOD, but I chose to do them anyway…

There’s an old story about some statistics experts on a train ride through scotland. One looked out the window of the train and saw some WHITE sheep. He said “ALL the sheep in Scotland are WHITE.”

The next guy said, “well that statement can’t be true ALL the time, there might be a black sheep sometimes, we just didn’t see it. So let’s say SOME of the sheep in Scotland are white.”

The third guy said, “Hummmm, well this is Thursday so how about if we say “SOME THE SHEEP IN SCOTLAND ON THURSDAYS ARE WHITE.”

The fourth guys said, “well your statement is still not completely true ALL the time, how about SOME OF THE SHEEP IN SCOTLAND ARE WHITE ON THURSDAYS ***(are you ready?)***ON ONE SIDE!!!! LOL ROTFLMAO

anam cara

There is a clarity coming with each day which is overwhelming. Mentally and physically exhausted. My hair has thinned, lost 15lbs (was 115lbs) skin rash (was silky before) blinding headaches, flashing lights in front of my eyes, my whole immune system is down. Direct result of my spath sister’s behaviour and our enabler brother. During legal due process, she emailed our solicitor and instructed him on my behalf and without my knowlege! We were both executors but she self-appoints herself to speak for others! When I challenged her about this she changed the subject (I fell into that trap). I know better now! She cut contact with me and used my brother who phoned me for info then relayed it back to her every week. I did not find this out until much later.

Ox Drover

Anam Cara,

They use others against us all the time, that is SOP, standard operating procedure.

Don’t fully trust anyone who is in contact with them not to purposefully or accidentally give information to them that will be an injury to you. Keep your cards close to your chest….trust no one until proven other wise.

Even if someone doesn’t mean to convey information that is harmful to you, they might not understand that they are doing so.

Take care and Keep on reading and learning. Knowledge is power. Now that you know what she is, be careful around her,, she is like a poison snake.

Ox Drover

Travis, life is a school for us I think, a place for us to learn and grow. The lesson comes when we need it and the teacher as well, I think. I don’t think that God promises us a smooth sail, just a safe landing. Sometimes He calms the storm and sometimes he calms the child…but if we trust, we will get through things pretty well.

I believe that God could have kept king Saul from trying to kill the future king David…but I also believe that there was a lesson for David in hiding in the wilderness….I found a lesson myself when I had to flee my own home. I didn’t realize it at the time, but later I saw the lesson for me. I put too much trust in material things to provide for my needs. In fact, I learned that I need VERY little in the way of material things to be happy and secure.

I learned that my comfortable home can be taken from me in a flash, and like Viktor Frankl I can lose it all, but Even with nothing, I can be complete.

Hopeforjoy

Dear Travis,

My son is also the favored son, of a possible sociopath (definitely narcissist). He has a hard time believing that his father is anything but a loving, caring, dad. I know my son has a tough road ahead because he will have to realize this sooner or later and it will be very painful. My son thinks he’s his dads best buddy, he doesn’t know that dad is incapable of love.

My question to you is, do you have any thoughts about telling son about the things his father has done? My son is 16 years old, he has a hard time believing his sister when she shared that dad was sexually inappropriate with her. He just puts it out of his mind because it doesn’t fit his image of his wonderful father.

Our garage door broke yesterday and I couldn’t get it repaired until today, so I had to leave it open all night. I asked son to please don’t tell dad that the garage door was broken, (I didn’t want dear old dad to do damage to our vehicles, like he has before). Son said to me, “I don’t want to insult your intelligence mom, but I think you’re wrong about dad”. He then had tears in his eyes.

I’m not sure what made him sad, the fact that I don’t trust his dad or that he is confused about his dad.

I set the alarm and left the outside lights on. My daughter was going to put a note on our cars saying, “Hey, douch bag, if you touch our cars I’m calling the cops”. She’s got some spirit!

Any adivice you have for how to deal with this issue with my son, would be appreciated. p.s. I want to tell my son everything, but I’m afraid that it will be too much for him. Even with proof of dad’s evil ways, son may not believe me.

skylar

Travis,
I understand what you are saying. You have gained so much wisdom from your trials and you have grown spiritually, so you don’t resent what you went through. Most of the time, I feel the same way about my spath. I’m grateful for the lessons and what I call my “vaccination” against other spaths. I’m not blind anymore and although I miss my innocence and joie de vivre, I’m glad that I’m not so vulnerable anymore.

There is something about forgiveness though, that just doesn’t “fit” right when applied to what the spaths do. Maybe it is your assertion that he was doing what he thought was best for him at the time.

When I left my spath, I went and talked to a married couple who are good friends of his. The woman said, “yes, we’ve always known that Spath abused you. He’s the most selfish person I’ve ever known.” My brain fell out. WTF?
Selfish? You call someone who poisoned me for 20 years, plotted to kill me but not until he had destroyed every ounce of dignity and desire to live, someone who has killed many others SPECIFICALLY THROUGH BETRAYAL, someone who plots and plans for decades to ensnare others to do evil, to commit rape and to commit murder… You call that SELFISH?

That’s not the word I would use. but since then I’ve come to understand that this woman is a spath herself, albeit a “fence sitting” type, who was seeded with envy toward me and actually was waiting for my demise just for the satisfaction. I don’t think she would have been as envious as she was if spath hadn’t planted that seed 25 years ago, but the point is, she was targeted for that specific seed because the Spath could see that her heart was fertile soil for it. Spath can size up peoples’ weaknesses, rather quickly.

So, when you say he was doing what he thought was most beneficial for him at the time, it seems as if you are painting him as selfish. But he was NOT selfish. He would gladly give up anything just to see you suffer more. He did not hope to benefit, he only hoped to bring others down with him.

As Oxy pointed out to Anam Cara, they delight in using others against us. It isn’t just a power trip, they want to slime others with guilt. They get immense satisfaction in seeing one person hurt another. I believe they enjoy that more than doing it themselves. Your father was grooming you to become a murderer. That was his ultimate goal and he was leading you down the slippery slope.

Jesus didn’t just say “Father forgive them.” He added, “for they know not what they do.” Leaving that out, I believe, is taking his words out of context.

Spaths DO know what they are doing and they aren’t just being selfish. Their malice is the intent to destroy human souls.

Ox Drover

Dear hope4joy,

I know you addressed this to Travis, but I didn’t believe the things that were said about my P sperm donor either….and I’d heard them mostly from his father…I was too immature to realize what responsible parenting was, all I saw was the glamorous adventurous life he was holding out before me….and I was all starry eyed. I imagine your son is too immature to realize what you are saying is valid…..just give him time is my suggestion. Travis may have other advice from a male point of view.

Hopeforjoy

Thanks Oxy, I want my son to wake up now but I realize I can’t force it. I had dinner with a friend of mine whose father is a sociopath of the worst order! She said she wished she knew about her dad when she was younger. So I thought about telling some things to my son so in the future, he won’t question why I didn’t tell him.

My friend who has the spath dad is trying to get him arrested because he was bringing in underage girls from out of state, for prostitution. He is the grand pooba when it comes to spathy deeds. Bilking grandkids out of their inheritance, many wives, sex addiction, threatening suicide if he can’t see grandkids, sexual harassment charges, beaten up by prostitutes, (he’s an old man), hiding money offshore, etc. He also makes like he’s the victim.

It’s good to have a friend who gets it! Really gets it! Anyway, she wished her mom would have told her about her dad. Unfortunately her mom was an alcoholic and it seemed like she was the unhealthy one. My friends dad was so horrible to her mom, so abusive, but had the kids convinced that the mom was awful. Sound familiar? It’s the usual way spaths operate.

skylar

Hope4joy,
wow, it’s severe denial. How to get through it, is the question of the century. I’m reading “Gift of Fear” right now. It does address denial. Maybe he could read that book and others. Maybe reading about DENIAL itself will change how he looks at everything.

I can tell you that my reading “People of the Lie” when I was 17 did NO good. I went straight into denial for 2 reasons:
1. The spath seemed sooo nice.
2. the truth was toooo horrible.

Maybe by understanding that these 2 points are the MODUS OPERANDIS of the spath, we can escape the black hole of denial?

My escape only came from seeing that my spath was NOT so nice, and in fact was faking being nice.

If you could set up a scenario where the spath exposes his own evil in front of your son, the scales would fall from his eyes..

Edit:
we posted over each other.
I hadn’t ever thought of spaths doing it that way: marrying an alcoholic so that they look like the good guy. My spath slandered me by telling everyone that I was a pill popping alcoholic so I just assumed all spaths lie. But actually marrying an alcoholic for the purpose of having a built in scapegoat… that takes the cake!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

sky –
1. The spath seemed sooo nice.
2. the truth was toooo horrible’

This is this paradigm that we pinball around in it, and when we are deeply bruised, we stop. and we get out.

skylar

Hi one joy,
yes, for some of us die-hards who don’t mind a few bruises, it is only when we see our lives flash before our eyes that we understand. Just because the truth is too horrible, doesn’t mean it’s not the truth.

Ox Drover

It is so difficult for a child to see the parent for what they really are….either good or bad. I didn’t really appreciate how good my step father was, nor now uncaring my egg donor is until way WAY late in the game. Neither did I get how bad my P sperm donor was until he hurt me so badly it was get out or die. Even once I did realize how evil he was, I still was too immature to know how to handle it, and too wounded to figure it out. Again, it took me years and decades to get it.

Hope4 I hope your son can get it before his father wounds him deeply, but we each have to “get it” in our own time, no one can convince us or rush us, until WE are ready.

Hopeforjoy

Skylar,
Darn those scales! The two reasons you went into denial are exactly right. Spath wears the mask very well, he is the best manipulator I have ever met, almost made me belive I was nuts. The truth is too horrible. It took me along time to believe, my son will have to go through a process too.

My therapist said that my son will blame himself first, before he sees the other side to spath. I have had to let go my trapping spath because he is so slippery. I would love to get him on tape doing damage to my property!

Spath owes me a pretty good sum of money and has until Feb. 16th to pay it. I have a lien on his house until he does. It will absolutely kill him to write me out that check! Too bad, so sad. I do think if he wants to retaliate it would be now. I’m not going to live in fear though, just call the cops if he does anything. Calmly.

skylar

Yep Oxy,
I’m sure you remember that it took me 2 years before I could bring myself to see my parents for what they are. And I was TRYING to see it. But the pain is horrific and I cried and cried each time I attempted to face it. I think hypnotherapy helped.

Hopeforjoy

Oxy,

My son will be deeply wounded. I know it will happen because he is bonded to spath dad. My daughter has it so much easier because she called daddy dearest on his crap and got him out of her life.

Things come out after we have left, complaints about the spath. He coached hockey, apparently another coach complained to the head coach about his inappropriate behavior. I wish I knew the nature of what he did, he coached boys hockey. Writing to about this to you now, I know I need to go to that head coach and ask him if it was directed toward the boys. Damn.

anam cara

Thank-you Oxy. Your wisdom and good council is so healing and very much appreciated.

Hopeforjoy

Travis,
It does help, thank you for sharing. This helps me a great deal, especially this information: As a young man myself, I would not have been able to “hear” any direct references to my dad being a sociopath and “bad” person. Had I known all the things he did to my mom (like trying to have her raped to help with the divorce) and others”I believe it would have been different. They kept the secrets and that helped enable me to stay in the dark.

This is very true for my son, he would not believe his father is a bad man. The things the sociopath did to me were awful, when I started realizing that he wasn’t the man I thought he was, he called my mom for an intervention for me (because I was acting “weird”), and tried to find a way to institutionalize me, against my will.

The sociopath is an extremely compelling force and it seems like going against the tide if you go against them.

Thank you

Iamstrong

Thank you Travis….

This article/blog really hits home for me right now. I have been battling for over 2 years to free my children and I from my spath husband. My two younger children are 12 and 13 and my oldest is 18. My two younger children live with their father (he filed a motion claiming I was abusive and the children testified against me. The allegations were ludicrous). I am facing the younger two being allowed to stay with their father. Watching them morph into his little puppets, as he parades around as super dad, has been excruciating, knowing how much he is damaging them. My older child knows her dad is wrong, yet she repeats the abuse cycle with him over and over again. She lives with me, but is away at college now. Dad is ALL good, Mom is ALL bad. What do I do? It sounds like telling them the truth is not advised. My children are exactly who you described yourself to be. Their dad is not a murderer, so their will be no legal justice served. Rather he is a highly successful corporate who lies and cheats his way into getting any and everything he wants. from the outside is the perfect father and my children are perfectly normal kids. However, he defines the word evil for me. Help me….what can I do for my kids?

As a side note….I didn’t realize who my mother was until about a year ago, I am in my 40’s. She has passed already, so I have been able to just accept the past for what it was. The thought of my children going through their life dealing with the fallout of living with their father, let alone without me, is just too painful to bear.

Help me help my kids…..

MiLo

Travis ~ Thank you, know that I am really understanding what you are saying now and it is helping.

I don’t know if you would want to comment on this but – We are raising (and have custody) of our 11 year old grandson. We have been the only constant in his life since he was 2 months old. Our adopted daughter has abused and neglected him since birth. She constantly rejected him by dropping him off places and never returning to pick him up, never showing up for visits and disappearing from his life from age 5 to 9.

She is now back in his life with visitation, that she almost never keeps. He knows and understands that mom does not keep her promises, she wasn’t “good at mothering” and that she doesn’t always tell the truth. We have told him she doesn’t always tell us the truth and has also “disappointed” us. That is all we have told him, we have not told him about her addictions (alcohol & drugs), lifestyle and long arrest record or even the abuse that he suffered at a very young age. Then there is his father – lives in another state, corresponds basically through cards, and a rare phone call. We have told Grand nothing about him, which would include an 8 year prison sentence for robbery and kidnapping. In other words, we are lying by omission.

At what age ??? We have always felt to tell him things like this would make him feel bad about himself. Also, he has behavioral problems, some neurological problems and I am concerned that he may take the information about his parents and stop trying – say, well, maybe I’m just like them.

Any thoughts. He has been in therapy since age 3.

anam cara

What does ROTFMAO mean?

skylar

Hi Anam,
it is ROTFLMAO,
and it means:
rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.

ROTFLMAO

Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off

woundlicker

Hope4joy,
A sex addict is a sex addict. The ex spath in my life didn’t discriminate. If it had a pulse, man, woman, or child, it was fair game. Of course, outwardly he claimed he was so moral and hated pedophiles.
These are not normal humans. You cannot believe a word they say, and there is NOTHING they won’t do (well, as long as it’s bad).

one/joy_step_at_a_time

about forgiveness – i wondered if i might have to forgive the spath. I had held to my belief that there was another way. I have believed in the power of forgiveness for a very long time, and that belief IS PART OF WHAT GOT ME INTO THIS FUCKING TROUBLE TO BEGIN WITH!

I know now, that I do not have to forgive her, I just need to let go of the experience, the damage, the pain and the heartbreak…and move on.

Stargazer

One joy,
Forgiveness of certain people has been so hard for me, but I think it’s because I haven’t gotten to the bottom of the pain yet. But there are role models for people like me. I think of David Pelzer and what he went through with his mother. He forgave her. I also remember reading about a woman who was abducted, repeatedly raped over a period of 24? hours, then stabbed repeatedly and left in a ditch for dead. She survived, though with a lot of physical problems and a half of her body that she couldn’t move. But when she was interviewed later on, she was laughing and smiling. Her philosophy was “He took 24 hours of my life. Why should I give him one more minute of it?” I always remembered reading this and it had such a great impact. I think we cannot really be happy unless we truly forgive – and yet this resentment is the last piece we want to hang onto, as if it gives us some sort of leverage against the other person. Sadly, the other person doesn’t care. Hating the other person doesn’t affect them and it doesn’t restore any kind of justice in the world. It only gives them the power to continue hurting us.

Sarah999

I think the reason we do not forgive (and hold on to the hate) is to prevent us from repeating the experience. (However, in some cases, that reason does not apply.) For example if you have an abusive husband, and you forgive him, you are more likely to enter into an abusive relationship again. However if you don’t forgive him . . . it acts as a preventative to accepting abuse in your life again. Just a though!!! To me, it feels natural NOT TO FORGIVE…So I don’t!

Back_from_the_edge

As many of you know, I have been in my situation for just about 6 years now. Just a few weeks ago, I broke 8-1/2 months of NC to ‘deliver a message’ and it reopened a communication with someone who has not only threatened my life on several occasions but has also made several reckless attempts at taking my life.

I have been on this ‘healing journey’ for just about 6 years now and it has been a nightmare. Why? Because I allowed someone into my life that is a psychopath.

At first, on my journey, I thought that forgiving “IT” was the only way I could heal and that’s just not true. I don’t have to forgive “IT” and I doubt I ever really will. But, since “IT” is at least 1,000 miles away from me and we only communicate by IM, now, or email, and because I AM STEALTHED in the knowledge and the resolution, nothing he says bothers me anymore. It just rolls off me and away from me.

FORGIVENESS IS NOT A NECESSARY COMPONENT to HEAL!!!
Changing YOUR perspective is.

I have gone from wanting to commit suicide over all this, to a place in my life, where I AM strong enough to withstand the force of the ppath winds as they blow! I have ventured back into the storm and am coming out of it un phased. Seriously.

After having spent almost 9 months NC with “IT”, educating myself, reading, learning, listening, watching, I can see now, that everything I thought and learned is true. There is no more doubt. It isn’t a prevention to healing NOT forgiving them.

I will never forgive him for the things he has done to me yet, I am not allowing that unforgiveness and that spite and that disdain I have, eat me alive. Does that make any sense? You can stealth yourself and not hate to the point that it self destructs you. I have found that place. And, I think that this is as good as it’s going to get.

I continue to make chat with him because that is what is right for me to do. In order to enable me to ‘live with myself’. I don’t have to be in love with him (and I am not anymore); I don’t have to feel sorry for him (I don’t; he made his own choices); I don’t have to be joined at the hip nor set myself aside any longer. NONE of that. And, if the communication gets out of line, it can just as easily be UNDONE and it was DONE. That’s all there is to it.

They don’t change. I am telling you: I have gone back 3 times now to check and they just don’t change. I think 3 times over a period of five or six years is quite enough; don’t you? I mean, if a person was sincerely contrite of heart, you would know and I see NOTHING like this at all. NOTHING. Only more of the same.

You will know you are healed when it just doesn’t matter anymore inside your heart and your head and life. THAT is how you know you are healed. My ppath is neutralized from the knowledge I have gained. As long as I keep him away from me, physically, I will be just fine and intend on being just fine.

Right, Stargazer – we need to learn to navigate that hate and resentment so that it is not a continuum of the torture they like to inflict. Hating and extreme bouts of it is one of those intertwined time bombs that is left in our life afterwards.

Stay strong; remember your value and your worth.
I am so good now. SO VERY GOOD. Getting better all the time.

Happy Sunday you all.
Remember all the :::red flags:::

Dupey

Ox Drover

I think Sarah’s perspective about LACK OF “forgiveness” being a way to hold on to the resentment and hate so that we do not slip and get back involved with them is a good point.

There comes a point though,, when we are “safe enough” and secure enough that we will NOT resume the relationship or let them close again when I think we CAN let go of that hate and resentment, that bitterness of soul, and to me that is “forgiveness” and it is safe to do it. To me, that point is the only point I can truly have PEACE of soul and spirit and mind. When I nurture that hate, or retain it, it eats at ME and destroys my peace.

When the neighbor “Crazy Bob” sued me for $50,000 after the aircraft crash when the plane my husband was in crashed in his pasture and Bob needed “$50,000” for HIS MENTAL ANGUISH….I was so outraged I literally wanted to kill him. I lay in my bed at night trying to figure out a way to kill him and not go to jail. I was as revengeful as my psychopathic son, I wanted to take Bob’s life. I truly did want to murder him. I even came up with the “perfect” way to kill him by actually provoking someone else to do it by making them so angry at him that they would kill him. I have no doubt that my plan had a good chance of working.

But you know, one evening when I was lying there in my bed with my plan going through my head, I realized “I’m just like Patrick, I am letting this eat me alive AND I DO NOT WANT TO BE THAT WAY, THINK THAT WAY.” My conscience kicked in and stopped me from thinking that way. Now I am not going to tell you that over night I “forgave” or got the bitterness out of my heart…it took some time and some prayer and some working hard at getting the bitterness at Bob out of my heart, but now I realize just how EMPTY Bob is, how pitiful he is and how devoid of real caring or love he has. He is pathetic, empty, and he isn’t worthy of my bitterness or hate. I won’t waste one second of my life hating that pitiful pathetic creature.

I never “loved” Bob to start with…so in a way that made it easier to hate him I think, but at the same time, it made what he did to me less of a “betrayal” than if it had been someone that I loved and trusted. I think it was just the outrageousness of HIM needing money to make HIS “anguish” at my husband’s death in his pasture better. No one except a psychopath would think that was reasonable. Sort of like the cowardly captain of the ship saying he “fell into a life boat by accident.” LOL

Letting go of the bitterness, the angst, the rancor allows me peace though.

Back_from_the_edge

Good Day Ox: I agree. There does come a point, where we are ‘safe enough’ and ‘secure enough’ in ourselves that we will NOT allow the relationship to continue on and get involved with them. Further involvement only leads to deeper ugliness. I can so see it.

I do not accept nor condone his behaviors.
Those behaviors has left me prior to 8-1/2 months NC, so very hateful and resentful, I was like a time bomb about to explode. The hate was eating me alive. INSIDE that 8-1/2 silent months, I found myself again and ‘who’ I am and what “I” believe and stand for. And I have learned that has nothing to do with “IT” but everything to do with ME and what I find acceptable and not acceptable. INSIDE that 8-1/2 months NC, I educated myself, with the help of all of you, here, at LF, and through counseling and therapy, I have educated myself enough that I have acquired a completely different perspective which allows me to put that ‘hate’ into the proper perspective. It has become something I can ‘live with’ now that isn’t destroying me any longer and the most important part, “I” think, is that it is making me stronger by doing as close to all the ‘right’ things as humanly possible.

I believe that when we opt for doing the right things, our name is remembered some where, some how – I never thought I would find this UNHATEFUL spot in me. Truly. I have it now. I still have a ways to go to get rid of the ‘addiction habits’ that like to spring up once in a while…PTSD issues, mostly, remembering things; like flashbacks; hurtful memories; but, I am so stealthed now. It’s amazing. And, I found that by ‘letting go’…by standing up for “ME” and claiming MY LIFE. MINE.

I am never going back into that madness and I can say now that I am strong enough to stand up to it and not be swayed anymore. I am so blown away that I find myself here. Truly.
There may be hope for me yet, Travis. 🙂

Blessings and love to you Ox…

Dupey

Ox Drover

Dear dear Dupey,

Letting go of that hate, that bitterness is I think the ultimate release for us….they are no longer even worth the energy to hate them. The NIRVANA OF INDIFFERENCE.

The opposite of love is not hate, but it is indifference. Literally wouldn’t cross the street to pee on them if they were on fire. LOL

I’m glad that you are finding peace, Dupey, because that is the ultimate freedom from them, to be at peace with ourselves. To be happy within ourselves. To be content and satisfied with ourselves. (((hugs))) and blessings and prayers.

Stargazer

I don’t think it is forgiveness that causes us to go back to an abusive person. I think it is having unresolved wounds from the past that makes us repeat the pattern. It’s the addiction to them that makes us go back. It causes us to make excuses for them and stay in denial. This is not real forgiveness (making excuses) because it is not seeing things clearly as they are. When you truly see an evil person for what they are, why would you go back unless you were addicted?

But I really believe that before you can forgive, you first need to really feel the hurt and get to the bottom of it. If you haven’t gotten there, trying to forgive IMO is putting the cart before the horse. For me, whenever I get to the bottom of an issue and no longer have the “hook” or addiction, forgiveness just seems to happen naturally. At that point, they can’t hurt me anymore.

Back_from_the_edge

Ox: I have found that ‘indifference’ is exactly how I feel about it all anymore. You know it’s really ‘finished’ when the indifference sets in. There is no coming back from that ‘indifference’. It IS the ultimate release. No, they are then no longer even worth the energy to hate them. You are absolutely correct. It all kind of folds in on itself and you can nicely tuck it away on a shelf somewhere….

Beautiful NIRVANA of INDIFFERENCE.
What makes it all the sweeter is knowing that now it wants another chance and it isn’t getting that chance anymore. Never again. I get to see karma at it’s finest. All the cards have been played, all the bets laid….I am reaping my justifications now. I never thought I would ever see this day. Truly.

Oh yes, absolute self peace, Ox, I am finding now. I am almost completely there now. Almost. I just have one more door to shut and I will be finished. Completely.

To be content and satisfied with ourselves is all we really and truly have in this life anyways, when it comes right down to it; hm?

I am definitely:

DUPED NO MORE!

Back_from_the_edge

Star: I went back to see it for myself now and it is all true. Everything I have learned is true about him. Everything. I spent a long time denying it but it’s true. And, it’s also true that I was very much addicted and mind controlled for quite a few years, addiction is a great way to describe it. I was in NC for 8-1/2 months…while he continued to stalk me. I spent that time replenishing myself. Inside and out…I didn’t go back to feed the addiction, I went back to make peace with myself. I used “IT” to do it. I went back for myself this time. There is nothing more I have to offer that relationship. All I have left now is trying to piece back together something of myself so he doesn’t suck the rest of it away through my conscious nor my heart. And, that is so sweet to finally be there in that spot. I never thought it would come…

I NEEDED to see it one more time to settle myself.
But, it was only conversation over a computer…not in person or even on the phone. I went back to see it and hear it again. I had to know, once and for all. And, lo and behold, when I got there….I found a part of me I hadn’t noticed before!!!!!!

THAT INDIFFERENCE. I found the part of me that IS in control. I found the part of me that HAS choices and decisions too….
That sweet, peace giving, soul releasing INDIFFERENCE.
I have found that I can chat with him and it spurs NOTHING but INDIFFERENCE. He does not live with me, nor I with him. We have no children nor have we ever been married. Nothing normal or bonding us…so, this is so easy for me to do now.
I have seen it all for myself and I believe what my eyes have seen.

I am good with this. Truly.
There are no mistaken boundaries.
Trust me. Never will be again.

Right, Star, it is OUR DECISION to let this go. I used to counsel juvenile felons a long time ago and all I ever heard was “well, because of my parents, this or parents that…” Excuse me: We all have choice in our lives. Whatever our parents are or might have been has no effect on our choices. My biological mother was a heroin addict her whole life and I was born addicted to heroin because of her addiction, that doesn’t mean “I” had to choose to accept or be a part of that lifestyle. We will all eventually heal….We will get around to it in our own time, in our own way. We will find our way and we will succeed. It is inherent inside us. These people have no right to make us feel this way so all we have to do is rebuke it. Not like the ppath or spath rebukes, but the way we do in our own caring ways that got us into this in the first place. It all makes perfect sense now: the way out…

There was once a wise man who said to give unto others as you would want given unto yourself. It takes nothing from me to see, understand, be knowledgeable, more ‘above’ what has been given to me. I am fortunate that I was able to have this chance. This chance to really make it right inside myself before the door slams shut once and for all.

xxoo

myheart

Travis,

I see this is story of my step daughter, who is only child of ex-spath. I didn’t realized it before, I always said she is his master piece, he wants her to be perfect, which is sick. He even told me one day when she was 13 years old, that she needs to lose 5 lbs from her butt to look better, when her doctor gave her perfect weight and hight.

He was so obssesed with her looks behaviour, clothing, grades, that this girl truly didn’t have normal childhood. Again all this was just my observation of 4 years. He would stare at her if sitting on dinign table, which was so inhuman, I asked her one day do you like him staring at you, it is so scary, she shrugged her shoulder and said I don’t care. Then I realized she liked it, because it puts his 100% focus on her, even though it was a sick attention, it was his attnetion, and she was like hypnotised by him.

I used to feel I am not part of this circle, I talked some of friends, who are married second time and have daughters, they all told me based on the description, this is very sick thing happening in his mind and he may leave this girl for not having a normal relaiotnhip with any other man in her life….

When we split, my boys one day said, we feel sorry her her, and I asked why, my boys said at least we have normal life, she got that lunatic in her life.

anam cara

I am beginning to understand where my low self-esteem comes from. Past experiences, especially from childhood when I was too young to understand, have left me feeling worthless. Selfish, toxic family members have crushed the child. If I made a mistake, I felt I had failed completely. Because I blamed myself I had no boundaries. Painful to admit but I would have done almost anything for anyone/slept with anyone who paid me the slightest attention, so desperate for love was I. I could see people who seemed to have friends and I was lonely. Prime target for a spathy!

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