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By September 13, 2011 115 Comments Read More →

Standing Up To The Bully

This week’s post was inspired by a heartfelt email I received from a Lovefraud reader who has just successfully achieved the final step in her resolute struggle to break free:

“Two years of tears and agony, stress and anxiety. Nevermore!”

As we all know, it takes a huge amount of guts and gritty determination first of all to escape and then to heal — and as I sat reading her words I whooped for joy and punched the air. YES!!! Because it means that one more person is free. One more person has shattered the chains that used to bind. One more person has broken out of the shackles of manipulation and madness — and I am pleased. In fact I am delighted.

Every time I hear stories — or receive emails — from people who have taken another step (large or small, size in this case certainly doesn’t matter for a change!) on the road to freedom I am filled with love and with gratitude. Even though I consider myself to be well and truly free, every new account of escape still boosts my own sense of liberty — and increases my determination to play my part in helping others to awaken from their nightmares.

My part this week, I believe, is to share a message of hope that this particular lady sent me in her email. She would like to reach out to everyone who, like her, has been through or is still in an abusive relationship — people just like all of us here on Lovefraud. “I think about the people out there” she wrote “and what they’re going through. Their anguish”¦” and she gave me permission to use her words although, of course, her identity and circumstances remain protected. This is what she said:

“Tell everyone that’s going down this path to stand up to the “Bully”.  It takes a lot of inner strength and even more prayer to have the courage to fight back.  Each time you do something you didn’t think you could you feel better about yourself and in turn it starts to restore your dignity.  Know, this is the healing process.”

Powerful words, don’t you think?

Fighting back and standing up to the bully, in my opinion, is such an important part of the process. Yes, as this lady says, it takes a lot of inner strength to fight back. Nobody said it would be easy — but boy is it worth it! We can be quiet in our fight or we can be noisy. Make huge gestures or tiny movements. Create a sudden explosion or a continuous trickle of barely perceptible flashes”¦ it doesn’t matter. In my opinion, what we do hardly matters in the grand scheme of things. It’s how we feel about what we do that makes the difference — and in feeling that we’re standing up against the bully well, guess what? It will naturally make our actions stronger.

Dolly Parton

Just last week I was lucky enough to see Dolly Parton performing her show while I was here in London. I went along with a few friends, not really knowing what to expect. But wow — I was blown away! That little lady is a dynamo of energy and talent — and she’s got some pretty powerful stories to tell as well. During the show she spoke a lot about her childhood. The poverty, the number of children, the lack of modern ”˜luxuries’ like running water or electricity. But she spoke even more about the love they shared as a family — and how that love, and her happy memories, have driven her forward and kept her company throughout the good and bad times.

One particular story that touched me, was when she explained the background to one of her favourite songs. “Coat Of Many Colors” tells of how one particularly cold winter, Dolly’s mother made her a coat from small bits of rags and old bits of materials. She freely admits it was an odd looking garment, but in Dolly’s mind it was going to bring her good luck and happiness, just like the biblical story of Joseph and his multicoloured coat.

But when she got to school, the other children teased her and taunted her. They called her names and laughed because she was so poor. Yes, they tried to bully her — but they didn’t succeed.

Why not? Because Dolly refused to take any notice of their mocking ways. She held on to her belief that the coat was something special, and that it had been given to her with love from her mother. In fact, she said, she couldn’t understand how the other children were so blind! Why couldn’t they see that she was rich beyond any of their wildest dreams, because she was rich beyond anything money could buy — she had love.

Free Your Mind

This, I believe, is what standing up to the bully — or the sociopath — is all about. It’s about holding tight to what you believe — or what you choose to believe is true, no matter how someone else is attempting to torment or frighten us. Because we can always choose freedom in our minds.

I remember hearing a story many years ago about survivors from the prison camps. Even those who had been locked away in solitary confinement would say that in their minds they were free. In their imagination they could take themselves travelling to the far off corners of the world. They could be with the people they loved and dream about living any life they cared to choose. This was how they stood up to the people who were trying to break them. This was how they kept their sanity and how they eventually became physically free as well.

On that note, there’s one more story I’d like to share with you. It involves some of my dearest friends, who have three sons — one slightly younger than my son, and the other two slightly older. The four boys, as you can imagine, get on famously together and we are all more like family than friends. One particular evening last year, when I was still facing numerous emotional and financial challenges, the conversation turned to the subject of bullying. It seemed each of the boys, my son included, had all experienced intimidation at some point in their lives. Contrasting experiences, different levels, and of varying durations, none the less each of them knew and understood the sense of shame and fear associated with bullying. They, along with the adults, were sharing their views on how best to combat these people and situations.

The conversations, as you can imagine, became somewhat boisterous and heated. Voices were getting louder, and opinions stronger, as we all put our energy in to debating the entire issue from varying viewpoints.

And then a calm, measured and relatively quiet voice silenced the table. It came from Tom, the eldest of the three brothers — at this time 19 years old.

“You can’t actually be bullied unless you feel it” he said, picking at the tomatoes from his third bruschetta. We all shut up and turned to look at him. Encouraged to explain further he continued

“Bullying’s not a THING. It’s a reaction you choose. It’s nothing to do with what’s happening, it’s to do with how you choose to feel about it”

And that was the light bulb moment. Firstly, Tom had explained so succinctly exactly where, in my opinion, any focus for combating bullying needs to be placed. Secondly, and on a personal level, he’d just reminded me that I was totally in charge of how I choose to react to whatever is, was and will be happening around me. Not a new lesson, but certainly one that needed re-stating. And I suddenly felt both humbled and inspired at the same time.

Wisdom And Inspiration

I listened intently as Tom continued to share his opinions, his wisdom and calm approach seeming to include everyone’s point of view whilst at the same time presenting some workable and well-reasoned alternative solutions to the problem. We may not have solved the whole topic that night, but we certainly left the table feeling more able to deal with the issue. For me, I also came away with a personal commitment to remain calmly focused on where I was heading — no matter what difficulties I may face along the way.

As an aside, I also discovered during the course of the conversation that this incredibly wise, centred and modest young man had been awarded a prize last year for being the person who had given the most contribution to his school. That’s quite some achievement by anyone’s standards, and yet Tom had kept it very quiet. I hope, like me, that you’ll agree he’s a very special person. And for me, he’s one of the biggest inspirations in my life, and he never ceases to amaze me. Because there’s one small thing that I’ve omitted to explain about Tom.

And that is that he was born with a medical condition known as SMA – Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He has never been able to walk, and he needs 24-hour care because he is totally reliant on others. Without them he is unable to do even the simplest of things that you and I take for granted – wash, get dressed, cut up his food. Even turning over in bed is impossible for him to do on his own. He has had countless operations over the years, including one to fuse his spine and insert metal rods either side to prevent the crushing of his internal organs, because he cannot hold himself straight. But he never lets things faze him.

I didn’t explain Tom’s condition earlier, because to Tom, his family and his friends, it doesn’t count. He is just like everyone else, and is treated in exactly the same way. This young man is living with a crippling disability, but he’s discovered a way to take everything in his stride. He grasps life with more energy and determination than I see in most people, and he’s making an absolute success of his life – as well as inspiring others along the way — myself included! And because of that, people see past the large, clunky motorised wheelchair that carries him everywhere – it becomes invisible.

This point was made particularly clear just a couple of years earlier. We had arranged a massive Easter treasure hunt around our French village, with a whole gang of people rushing around chasing clues and finding prizes. One of the younger members, a 6-year-old boy, had taken a particular shine to Tom, and remained stuck by his side for most of the day. He was still filled with excitement when explaining the day to other members of his family. When asked to point him out in the photographs from the day, he replied “Oh, he’s the one with the big smile. He’s got darker hair than the others – can you see him?”

Tom, along with other motivational people and inspirational stories are all part of my internal ”˜army’ of soldiers. They may not be with me in person, but the memories of people who have inspired me — whether or not I know them or have even met them — together with the uplifting situations I have witnessed first hand, all band together and stand strong with me whenever someone tries to threaten me. I hope that my account can in some way help you to find, acknowledge and recruit more ”˜soldiers’ of your own.

With love and blessings to all — and particular thanks to the lady who inspired this post. Thank you for your email — you know who you are, you’re now in my ‘army’ and I salute you!

 


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115 Comments on "Standing Up To The Bully"

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Hello, all…

Great article, Mel. So timely for me. I haven’t posted in awhile, since my initial flurry of “awakening.” In the past few weeks I’ve done a lot of examining of my family of origin — the source of my pain, and the source of my attraction to unhealthy relationships.

Long story short… I stood up to the bully today: my mother. It was easy. I am ready, and I was steady for the response. Maybe yesterday, it would have drawn me back in to a dialogue. But today, I stayed firm. I am a grown ass woman, and she cannot tell me how to run my life. It seems so elementary. I feel as if I am starting over, learning to walk again. This is hard. I haven’t been posting, but I am here and I am reading and learning. Thanks to everyone.

Good morning everyone! I wasn’t here at all yesterday because I was feeling a bit anti-internet (one of those days). I am not surprised to say that I missed LF.

Hi Mel. Another nice article!

I love those stories. The Dolly Parton one made me smile.

When this advice is used for dealing with spaths, I think it’s worth noting that standing up to them can also be dangerous, so we have to be prepared for that as well and have some ideas about how we will deal with it. The reason I say this is because when my ex used to berate me (calling me a whore, etc), I usually didn’t let any of it sink under my skin and I would shoot back some pretty sassy comments, even telling him that he sounded like a misogynist who needed to go work out some issues he clearly has with his mother. Well, I think this frustrated him, so the bullying escalated to violence after a few of these confrontations in which I resisted him. Once he almost strangled me to death, and after that, he had succeeded in quieting me, because at that point, I was terrified for my life. He even told me, “I wasn’t trying to kill you. I was just trying to kill the whore in you.”

So, it might be a good idea to have a follow-up to this article about how to stand-up to a dangerous bully. I carry mace around with me everywhere. I have been to the local police station and filed a pre-report letting them know that I am afraid for my life that this person might stalk me. I’ve let my employer know what is going on.

What I mean is that the threat of an spath is very serious. A simple, “Oh, piss off,” doesn’t work, because they might turn around and slap you for saying that, as mine would.

Maybe we need an article called Anti-Bully Arsenal for Dealing with a Sociopath or something like this. I believe all of us really want to stand up to them, but have learned the hard way that this can be very dangerous for us.

Hi Sarasmile,

Good job standing up for yourself! I can really relate to that “learning to walk again” statement of yours.

Yes, you are a grown ass woman. I like your attitude 🙂

So, I’ve let my employer know obout the weekend assault and the temporary restraining order and they were as supporting as they can be. We have EAP at work that has done nothing, even though HR wanted me to wait for their advise before doing anything else.

Can someone tell me what to expect when I go to court to file the restraining order… I keep hearing that we both have to go before a judge to present both sides to the store….why? he was arrested for assaulting me… what is his side of the story? I am terrified at the idea of having to face him.

Sometimes bullies can be masked in the disguise of sweet and kind. This is often where I let myself get manipulated.

Recently, one of my very sweet neighbors whom I’ve known for many years was returning a small favor I did for him. The deal was that he was going to look at my bike and see what kind of condition it was in and if it could be fixed without a lot of money. It should have taken 5 minutes. Here is what happened……..

I had a flat in the front and needed a new tube. My car was being painted so I couldn’t get the tube. He very kindly drove me down the street to Walmart. He suggested I buy the more expensive no-flat foam tube instead of a regular tube ($20 instead of $10). He convinced me that this would be so much better. He supposedly had all this bike expertise because he had worked in a bike shop once. So on his recommendation I agreed. He picked out the tube and said it would fit my bike, even though the size was clearly larger than what we needed. When he put it on, it was too big. The tire didn’t fit over it, but he couldn’t get it off. So then he drove to some remote bike shop without my knowledge and they tried to wedge it in to no avail. He made it a point to let me know how he had gone above and beyond for me. Never mind that his efforts made the situation go from bad to worse. Eventually I had to take it to the nearby bike shop and pay to have them cut the tire off to remove the tube. Then I had to pay for a new tire. I had already bought a $6 tube from them, which is what I should have just done in the first place. I was very upset. When I got the new tire home, it was a total mismatch with the other one. It was more of a city bike tire, whereas the other was for a mountain bike. And it wasn’t even the same size. But it was the only thing they had that fit my bike. So now I’m out of $32 (with labor) and another $32 to match the rear tire to the new one. Had it not been for the neighbor’s error, the whole thing would have cost me $11 to replace the tube in the front tire. That’s all it needed.

I was very angry, and that’s when he became manipulative. He asked me if I wanted him to pay for it, reminding me of all the extra trouble he had gone through and the gas he used driving to the remote bike shop (WTF?). He seemed so sweet and demure that I actually felt GUILTY for wanting him to pay for his own error that cost me $64!!! I said, no, it’s okay. He was acting like it was no one’s fault. I tried to let go of it. But then I woke up the next day and I was still angry. That’s when I called him back and told him I wanted him to pay for both new tires. He tried to argue with me and tell me I didn’t need the second tire. Though I think he is going to pay for them, he didn’t seem too happy about it.

This directly connected to all of the times I was angry at my mother and stepfather but was manipulated into feeling guilty or like I was selfish. I was afraid to express anger. What a great learning experience this has been.

I was shaking when I talked to my neighbor this time! I was so angry – not even so much about the bike, but about the subtle passive manipulation. Everyone around thinks he is just the sweetest person. He is so gentle and kind. Well, if he was so kind, why didn’t he just pay upfront for the tire instead of making me feel like the bad guy for expecting him to? And reminding me of all he went through for me? Really really manipulative and dark. It took me a day to figure it out, but now I’m livid.

I have such a long way to go standing up against bullies. OMG, I really had no idea until today how easily I am manipulated by people. But it’s always those kind, sweet ones that get me.

Hello Alina,

Nice to hear an update in which you are keeping up your boxing fists 🙂 Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about filing a restraining order…which country are you in?

Anyways, I am sure if you catch Ox or Skylar in here they will know something about that.

About being afraid to face him, just keep in mind that if he does anything sketchy in front of the judge, he will only help your case. Do not be afraid. You are freeing yourself of him. You are getting RID of him, finally. You deserve this. He won’t like it one bit and maybe he will try to stir some drama to intimidate you, but I think he will have to be on his best behavior if for some reason it is true that he must also show up. Be strong. You KNOW what happened, and you have a right to feel safe!

Hi Stargazer,

I have to be honest here, but I think you might be more upset than is needed, and that is due to your parents, as you mentioned. I don’t know this man personally, but he could just be incompetent, not manipulative. He might really feel like he is being punished by you for trying his best and then making a mistake. We all make mistakes. I agree with you that HE made the mistake and then YOU had to pay for it. At the same time, it is your bike and he was just trying to help. You never protested when buying the wrong tire, even though you mentioned that you didn’t think it would fit. I’d say then that part of this is your mistake for going along with this guy, trusting him to know what he’s doing. When we decide to let others make decisions for us that will effect us, we have to also accept that their decisions might not be the best ones. People are fallible.

This is just my take on it. I understand why you are angry, but it seems like he could just be an incompetent guy. Maybe he even feels embarrassed that his incompetence is now out in the open like this. I know you say you’re sick of being made to feel guilty for things that aren’t your fault, but this bike incident is just one incident and this guy isn’t the one who built up that mountain of repressed anger in you. Don’t let him take the blunt of all that frustration. Keep your interactions with him proportionate to the actual size of this problem at hand. Keep in mind he is probably embarrassed. Maybe you guys could split the cost, 50/50. I dunno.

Please don’t take my words as meaning to judge or attack you. That is not my intent at all, and I know how it feels to be upset and then feel like the feedback from those you’ve confided in is more like finger pointing. I would be very very upset if I were in your current situation. I am queen of geting emotionally caught up in a moment and then having a hard time gauging what’s going on clearly. Just take my perspective as someone who hasn’t met the guy and is trying to view this objectively.

I hope you sort it out!

Take care.

I am going to work now.

Bye everyone.

Thanks Panther…. I am in Southern Cal… i called three local shelters and was disappointed at the lack of assistance, I was transferred to voicemails and have yet to hear from anyone. I cannot wait any longer I dont want the emergency order to expire before I file for the other one. — so, I will face the beast.

Alina, I am from So Cali!!!! I am from Thousand Oaks originally. Yes, SoCal is very populated and there is likely a line of women for those shelters, but keep trying. You don’t have friends or family where you could crash for a few days until the order goes through? That was at least you could sleep at night.

I am gonna be late….really dragging my feet out the door today!!! Uhg! I don’t wanna work!!! Pooey!

I will be thinking about you, trying to remember what I can about SoCal. I might be able to help if I recall someone/something down there. I used to have a ton of friends but many of them moved.

Take care!!!

No worries about shelther, I wasnt living with the S — I live with my parents. I needed legal guidence for the restraining order and my company was under the impression that EAP has counseling but all they did was refer me to the shelter …. I am thankful for LF or else I would totally in the dark and crawling back to the beast.

I have called my own therapist but he has not returned my call either… I am glad this is not an emergency…

Thanks Panther… I should expect long lines at the court too then.
Thank you.

Panther,

Thanks for your perspective. This is what I had originally thought before I realized what happened. It’s really difficult to explain exactly how it happened. His negativity in this instance was very subtle. When another neighbor came out to see what was going on, he told her “oh, Sherri blew up a raft for me at the pool, and I am now spending all this time to fix her bike….” in such a sweet, calm way. He was trying to make it look like he was being taken advantage of. It was very passive aggressive and you had to be there because of the sweetness. Never mind that in past years, I’ve done things for him like drive him to the ER in the middle of the night and sit there and wait for 4 hours. Or drive him to the store when he had a DUI (I didn’t realize about the DUI till afterward – I never enable people). Ugh.

I will still ask him for the money for the damages, but then lesson learned. If the tables were turned, I would feel horrible that I damaged someone’s property and I would insist on paying.

And yes I am definitely triggered. I went through years of being made to believe that I didn’t have a right to be angry or that I was overreacting to all kinds of transgressions. I have gotten to a point where I’m afraid to be angry because “I don’t have the right.” Yet the anger is what often points me to the truth of what is going on. Disassociating my anger for so many years has caused me to be depressed.

I’m really lucky to have a very good therapist who pointed out what was going on. I couldn’t understand why I woke up angry the next day. I thought I was overreacting too.

Stargazer,
nice to see you. And wow, you really are learning how to read the subtle manipulations. That’s very impressive.

Without labeling anybody, we can still see toxic behavior and know that it is the tip of the iceberg which comes with a whole set of other toxic behavior. In this case, I think the key being: irresponsibility. The DUI cinched it for me.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

STAR _ Ana and i were talking about words we couldn’t say in front of our cats (and mine was s-n-a-k-e) and figured you would show up!

VERY good catch on the manipulative neighbour. TOWANDA! you it’s scary when you see the subtlety, but girl you SAW it and responded. good job.

Hmm, yeah it’s true that he could be manipulative without being a major threat. Just toxic. His comment, ““oh, Sherri blew up a raft for me at the pool, and I am now spending all this time to fix her bike”.” That made me do a double-take. Something about the TONE does sound fishy to me. I don’t know what it means, but if I had been standing there, this might have ticked me off too. It’s the tone. I dunno. Something there doesn’t sit well to me.

It’s hard to say, since I wasn’t there to witness it all.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

panther – the ‘tone’ is that of a martyr. red flag a waving.

Hello. I am just dropping back in to tell everyone that I am completely “out of it” today. I am reading, wanting to chat, but my brain isn’t working. I had horrible nightmares last night. I was running through a burning city and my exspath was chasing me, screaming that he was going to kill me. Then of course I couldn’t sleep after that. Had to work today. Trying to drag along. PTSD just clipped my wings today. No wit. No charm. No insight. No patience. I’m totally flat and feeling paranoid, even though I’m alone. I just feel like he’s….he’s after me. That dream was too real, so real it woke me up with a pounding heart.

I am gonna try taking a ginger bath. I’ll give up on talking much today. I think my responses to people will end up sounding confusing, because I am a walking state of confusion today.

Take care LF people. You guys are really where I hang my hat and let go of some of the weight that I carry now…well, for now.

aha One.Joy, that’s it! bingo. I knew there was something about the tone…that’s it alright!

Mel,
thank you for this article. It was very inspirational for me.

Stargazer,

Yep, he was manipulating you all right! But lots of people are like that, they pretend to be experts in a field of which they have NO KNOWLEDGE but want to act like the big shot know it all.

Don’t hold your breath about getting your money back for the “favor” he did for you. He will also smear you to the neighbors as well, you can count on that. BUT you did learn for the small sum of $64 that your neighbor is a jerk wad. It cost me $56 for a similar deal with my “friend” from college that I had palled around with. It was worth it though to find out what a FAKE he was. So just mark it down to the cost of TUITION to the SCHOOL of HARD KNOCKS. Cheap at twice the price!~

Sarahsmile,

I hear you on that, standing up to your maternal DNA donor! Yep, it is scary the first time or two we do it, but it gets easier. Especially with NO CONTACT!!!!! Glad you are doing well and making progress. (((hugs)))

Thanks, guys. I have a feeling I will get my money back, but he probably won’t like it, which is fine with me. Extremely manipulative. And with the sweetest exterior. Wow. This is the guy I once wanted to set up hens with. I have changed my mind. Every time I look at the mismatched tires on the bike, I get pissed off. I don’t have an extra $64 to throw away this week. There are a lot of people like this around the neighborhood. My place is under contract, and I’ll be glad to get out one of these days.

I’m new on this site. Reading everyone’s posts is a relief… Not that I am glad for the suffering, but I am truly grateful that you have shared your experiences here and I can relate to them and realize that I am not the crazy one! I’ve been slowly coming out of the fog and the more I read here, the more I am convinced my ex is a sociopath. Unfortunately, not my first experience with a sociopath, and yes, like others here who have dealt with more than one sociopath, I’m kicking myself for not seeing it sooner. I think it was a post by Skylar regarding her German Shepards and the reaction they have when they see another German Shepard, how they are remembering their litter and their mother. It made so much sense and was a very helpful example for me.

Is there a link on this site where people have posted their stories? I’m having some navigation issues on the site, but I would love to read more.

Stargazer:

Sorry, I hate when these types of things happen!!! UGGHH. Keep us posted.

Dear LPMarie,

Welcome to LF and sorry you identify with us. There is no one place that everyone’s story is posted, but you can find lots of them at the link for True LoveFraud Stories, and in the archives by author or subject.

Glad you found us as t his is a wonderful and supportive community of survivors! Dive right in! Again, welcome! God bless.

LPMarie,
Welcome. Sorry about your encounters, but I’m glad he’s your ex and you’ve gotten away.

I think we are like the German Shepards in that we don’t really KNOW they are familiar, but it FEELS right. I’m glad it made sense to you.

Some people here have written to Donna and she has posted their stories. Some of us have just written bits and pieces in our posts. You can tell us about your experience whereever you like.

LP Marie,

Welcome! Glad another survivor wandered into this group and further away from the oppressor.

Our stories are all over the place, mostly in pieces, as parts of comments to other posts. I’m new here too, and I’ve been piecing together everyone’s stories as I go along. I have even thought of making a spreadsheet on my computer with the important facts for each person, because it gets confusing sometimes.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oh if you do, share it with me, i can’t keep things st8t.

Haha okay one/joy 🙂 I will send it to you if I write it up. It would read like a horror story. That’s part of the reason I haven’t started yet. It would be the Chronicles of Madness.

Ack, panther, don’t write my story down. It will be too disgusting.

awrrrr….
I let my guard down. So I have been busy protecting myself, filing a temporary restraining order (he keyed my car yesterday) in the meantime, I had forgotten about the cable account under my name.

I received the invoice via email today and the bastard has been ordering crap left and right… what a fucking bastard. I will call tomorrow morning to cancel the account and maybe go to the police station to have someone escort me to his place to pick up the cable box.

I hate that I was doing the noble thing and not canceling his cable until the end of the cycle since it was paid for… I forget I am not dealing with a normal human being but a scum.

Part of me wants to take him to small claims for all the monies he owes and part of me just wants to be done with the bastard.

What a freaking piece of crap. Lord, I could just punch him.

OMG…. he was just here, right outside my window… I am waiting for the cops to show up… why, why, why…

Alina,
Was it you who was asking about restrining orders?
I am proficient in TPO ‘speak’……unfortunately…..I’ve attained 6 on my ex husband spath…..some stalking and harassment….some domestic violance.
THE NUMBER ONE RULE…..and I emphasize…………ONCE YOU ENTER THE ARENA….DO NOT EVER< EVER< EVER< EVER< EVER drop a restraining order! It will destroy yours and every other harrased and abused womans credibility who enters your court!!!!!!
If your not certain about your ability to follow through…..or you may go back to him, or you ‘may’ be using this as a tool to get his attention…..or whatever…..DO NOT FILE ONE!

What did you need to know.

ErinBrock
I wanted to know what to expect at the hearing, what if ALL of the abuse, domestic violence has happened behind closed doors without any witnesses? I am afraid the judge will believe him (he is a master manipulator and a liar.)

He showed up last night thinking that the emergency restraining order had expired. He waited till midnight. By the time the cops showed up he had already left but was stopped about a block away from my house. He told the officers that I had called him (lie) and that he was just coming to my house to drop off the cable box. So the officer told me that since he did not see him within the 100 years he could not arrest him.

I asked the officer to get the cable box from him. Of course it was not in his car, he instead provided the officer with a bag of items claiming that he was there to return personal property, none of the items in the bag belonged to me.

I showed all documents to the officer, he was kind enough to serve him with the temporary restraining order that became effective a day before the other one expired.

The officers offered to escort me to his place to pick up the cable box, I accepted. Once at his place they had me wait in the parking lot. He provided them with an old cable box, i immediately told the cops that once again he has played us. They went back to his apartment and he refused to let them. Ultimately its a cable box and I will most likely pay for it, however, all of this was documented and I think it will help me show the judge the type of person I am dealing with.

Alina…did you ever figure out why he was outside your house? I am really worried for you! This guy is taking it up a level. He is not liking the fact that you’ve stopped being his doormat. And good for you! I am so glad to hear your angry posts in here. You should be pissed!

Did you ever get the correct cable box? I agree that it’s great you now have this on record. And now do you see how STUPID he is? If he had half a brain, he would have foreseen that this action would end up on paper. But noooo he had to go an be a typical spath-moron jerk and think of himself as beyond reproach. As if you wouldn’t NOTICE the box wasn’t the right one. What is he smoking?

Grrr.

I really hope you’re safe. This guy is freaking me out with his car-keying and standing outside your house, especially since he’s threatened to KILL you. Please keep us updated because I am worried and I want to see this get handled without you getting hurt. We’re here for you in any way we can be.

Oh I just read the rest of the story about him outside your house.

The officer didn’t have a clue what was going on, and I kinda think he SHOULD have. Don’t cops deal with these types of folk more often than not? Did the officer at least tell him to bugger off and never come back?

I cannot believe….wait yes I can….the nerve of this guy. Bit my tongue. Yes, I believe it. He’s a sociopath. Here we go with the absolutely blasphemous behavior.

Get some mace. I’m serious. Keep it by the front door. Or maybe get some mace to put near EVERY door. Do you have a dog? Can you BORROW someone’s dog? Like a nice, big German Shepherd or something.

Next time he is standing outside your house, take a photo with your camera phone to show the cops. You need EVIDENCE EVIDENCE EVIDENCE because he’s already showing that he’ll approach this by constantly lying. You need weapons to fight that with.

EB ~ EXCELLENT advice on restraining orders. I wish Donna would have you write a feature article on just this subject.

So many times I read on here women who do not understand why the courts and police do not do enough to protect them in regards to these orders. Many times their very lives are at stake and I feel so sorry for them. BUT, unfortunately there is a reason for this and you stated it perfectly. “DO NOT DROP A RESTRAINING ORDER.” “It will destroy yours and every other harassed and abused womans credibility who enters your court.!!!!!”

It is now my husband’s job to enter all restraining orders into the police computer system. He tells me that before he can finish typing, MOST of the women who have filed for the orders, are calling begging for them to be dropped. These orders have become so grossly overused by people just trying to seek immediate revenge on their partners that it has so over burdened the whole system, the TRULY abused and harassed women are faced with long response times and burned out officers. It is like the old story of the boy that cried wolf and when the wolf finally came no one listened.

Alina ~ It certainly sounds like you are one who is in desperate need of a restraining order and protection from this man. I am glad you received the help from the officers that responded. I wish you all the best with the courts. Stay safe above all else.

Hey everyone, just wanted to give you an update on the bike situation with my manipulative neighbor. Well, knowledge is power. I called the bike shop to see if there would be any other advantages to replacing the back tire to match the new front tire besides the way it looks. He said that by putting a smooth tire on the back to match the front, the bike will ride nicer around town. This is kind of what I wanted anyway. So the new tires are really an upgrade. I thought about it, and when I removed the my victim thinking from the equation, I didn’t think the neighbor should have to pay for an upgrade to my bike that I might have done eventually anyway. So I asked only for the cost of the tire he damaged. I can live with that and still be able to be neighborly with him and his friends around the complex. But in the future, I will not ever trade favors with him again. I’m sure he will not complain about paying for the one tire. But even if he does, I will just consider it an upgrade, and I will let it go. At least I will be getting something for that money – a bike that is easier to ride around town.

Thanks for letting me vent here and for the supportive responses. It turns out that all the feedback was accurate. The neighbor was being manipulative, and also I overreacted. I definitely got triggered into a very old pattern of feeling like I didn’t have a right to be angry. A page from my childhood with manipulative parents. Once I realized I had a right to be angry and to ask for whatever I wanted, I went a little overboard and got consumed with the anger for a few days. This has all been a learning experience for me. So often when I’m consumed with anger and I feel like a victim, it really compromises my communication skills. I have ALWAYS had better luck communicating when I’m calm and unattached. And this is all a choice. I have learned so much through this experience. Learning to communicate effectively and to handle stress better.

Anger is one of those funny things. It’s really important because it shows you where you have been wronged and where you need to set boundaries. It gives you information. But it can also become a destructive force if you can’t let go of it. It is always easier for me when I can find some benefit in the way things ended up or some meaning in the experience. Then I don’t feel so victimized.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Hey Star – good work. really really good work.

I would add one caution: don’t let finding the meaning and good in the experience lower your expectations to the point that you are being victimized, but just happy not to be angry. it’s a thin edge and I know you are working with thin edges, and don’t want you to sell yourself short in any given situation.

best xo
one joy

That is such good advice, One Joy, especially since I’ve seen some negative patterns in this guy over the years. I tend to be very easy going and let things go. Sometimes it’s because I don’t ever remember what the grievances were about in the first place (gotta love getting old). But as far as injustices, I’ve learned that I don’t always get what I want or feel is fair. And still I don’t want to be an angry person. Feeding this anger is like going into a very dark vortex where there is no way out. I’ve been there and it feels very helpless. There is so much injustice in the world and so much to be angry about. If you are not the type to pick up a cause and fight for it, the anger becomes destructive. I try to pick and choose my battles, and as a general rule, they have become so much fewer these days.

Thank you for your responses, Ox Drover, Skylar,and Panther. My self-confidence has been so crushed at this point, it was encouraging to have somebody respond after putting myself out there. Right now I’m still picking up the pieces. My ex is in jail, thankfully. He will be out in a month. I haven’t had any contact with him in the past three months and his NPD mother in the past two months. In some ways, she was more evil toward me than he was. I have a beautiful 9 month old baby girl who I have vowed to protect from all of this insanity. She truly is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and when I find myself down about all of the suffering I allowed myself to endure with this rotten bastard, I remind myself that I have this beautiful gift in my life as a direct result of enduring that suffering. Sometimes that thought can be comforting. It was one of the few things he ever gave me.

I have processed quite a bit in a relatively short time, mostly because I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to my daughter’s well being. I had already started custody proceedings while attempting to escape the relationship. I allowed him to manipulate me into requesting continuation once, and then when the second court date came he was already in jail, but wrote the judge asking for continuance until his release. He wasn’t present, so it was up to me. Long story short, I have full custody of her, he has 2x monthly supervised visits once she is a year old. I received permission to take her out of state. There is nothing in the order stating that I have to remain in communication with him, only in the child support order. I think I’d rather have the anonymity of disappearing without a trace than the $70/month the court awarded my daughter for support. For the state we live in, it’s a laughable amount, but he’s not employed b/c he’s imprisoned. Not that he’d pay it anyway!

I think he was pressuring me to have a baby from the very start of our 2 1/2 year relationship so he could trap me into taking care of his lazy ass while he surfed and did drugs.

I have a restraining order for one year. I hope to have successfully relocated to another area before it expires. I don’t know if he will try to violate it or not. I’ve been working with Child Protective Services, because while I did not abuse/endanger my daughter, I did add her to the protective order becasue he did endanger her by using drugs while she was in his care and having drug addicts/paraphenila/drugs in my house while she was in his care. I’m in a “healthy relationships” program and receiving counseling. Small price to pay to have the protective order in place, I think.

While he has been in jail, I spoke to him only once. I told him not to contact me anymore. I told him I know they record all of the calls inmates make, so I will let them know I made this request, on this date, and that any future contact with me shows he willfully ignored my request. I think that did the trick. He hates jail and will be on good behavior to get out as soon as he can.

I’ve had a hard time trying to explain to those who care for me what has happened, who this guy really is. I give up and just say he is a drug addict and he abused me and endangered our baby. I’m lucky enough to be seeing a counselor who knows a bit about sociopath’s and has read “The Sociopath Next Door.” I’ve been rereading it with a highlighter and a pen, it’s like a textbook into sociopathy! I bring it to sessions with her and point out the things that really hit home. I also write them down as reminders to myself of who he really is and how easily I was duped. I guess I’m afraid of “falling under the spell” again at some point.

I intend to learn from this pain and hopefully be able to help other people who have been targeted by these monsters. I will not allow this experience to diminish me in anyway, though I almost did a few months back.

Anyway, my thoughts are not very organized and I don’t know where to begin in sorting this out. I’m just grateful to have found this site with all of you folks on similiar ground with me.

LPMarie,
Sounds like you are doing better and have an entire team of support. I think you are doing all the right things. Congratulations on your escape.

Since the court ordered 2xmonthly visits, how can you leave and not tell him where you are going? How does this work out with the restraining order? I don’t get it.

I’m about to stand up to the bully tomorrow and I’m scared about it-the N father. Since I lost my job AGAIN, I have to go over there and bring some stuff back to my stepmom before driving back to NOLA.

She and I had plans for the weekend since my birthday is Monday and now I have to cancel them. I can’t wait to see how he is going to scream and curse me out when he finds out-the claws will come out. And speaking of claws, if it weren’t for my new cat right now, I would be in a puddle on the floor over all this. He HAS some sharp claws too, but he is so sweet and a total momma’s boy. He even chases his tail like a dog. He’s hilarious!

Dear Marie,

It sounds to me like you are doing everything right! Good for you! Or as we say here TOWANDA!!!!!

I do suggest though that you go to Dr. Leedom’s site “parenting the at-risk child.” Since your beautiful daughter has your x’s DNA she is at risk genetically, but there is plenty that you can do to help her learn empathy, impulse control, and love for her to have the healthy inner triangle she needs to grow up to be an emotioonally healthy person.

Keep on learning, there are wonderful books and articles here on LF and suggested in the book reviews here.

GET AWAY, as far away as you possibly can from him legally. Also, when you are healed and start to look for a healthy relationship, look at the DEAL BREAKERS that you will not tolerate in your newly learned BOUNDARIES—no drug users, no dishonest people, no unkind people. Watch out for the “love bombing” and the other RED FLAGS that signal a person high in psychopathic traits, behavior and thinking.

Sounds to me like you are well on your way! Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. We LOVE SUCCESS STORIES HERE! (((hugs))) and my prayers for you and your child!

Hi Marie,

I love the way you talk about your daughter. It sounds like you have found the bright side of this and I can tell from your words how important she is to you. I also know what you mean when you say it’s about the only thing he ever gave you. Isn’t that just the truth with spaths!!!

I am also glad to hear you got out and are doing better. Sounds like you have a whole load of ammunition in your hands: therapy, court orders, he’s in prison, books, and this forum. Good!

Also, you mentioned a fear of falling back to him. I think that will pass. I had that fear for awhile at first. It has passed for me. A few things you said sounded a bit like “anger” and anger is what made me get to a point where I most certainly with NOT fall back to him. I’m too earnestly pissed off to ever love him again. And the more I learn about sociopaths, the more I realize that going back to him is just not an option. So, keep reading.

I agree with Oxy about checking out “Parenting the At-Risk Child.” My father is a psychopath, but I grew up with my mother. She isn’t perfect, but she’s definitely NOT a psychopath or anything even remotely like that. She raised me with the best of intentions and in a very stable environment. I think I came out alright, although it was, unfortunately, the contact I eventually had with my biological father which started to upset the harmony in my life as a child. It’s amazing how quickly and predictably that happens. I actually wish I had never met him in the first place. I wish courts could make a ruling like that. It seems so morally unfair, but I wish my mother had a court order which denied him contact EVER because of his disorder.

Anyways, thanks for checking back in with us and take care!

Elizabeth…..ooooh a kitty!!!

That’s such a sensitive topic for me…..love him and love him and love him.

And keep the spath AWAY from that kitty.

Here’s some ammunition to help you stand up to the bully, which I mentioned before: He could hurt your kitty! I lost my kitty to the sociopath and I will NEVER see my little baby again. I loved that cat so much. He was always there for me.

So, stand up to that bully! You may not have children to protect, but you have a kitty that chases its TAIL awwwww!!!!

Get back, spath! Stay away from da kitteh!

Panther-it’s my narcissistic father with the Jekyll/Hyde personality. I am staying at their house tomorrow night and driving home on my birthday-Monday. How I love losing my job for the second time in 9 months right before my birthday. If it weren’t for my cat I wouldn’t be here. He saved my life and he adopted me.

Dear Elizabeth B,
You & I share the same birthday 🙂 Hope you have a happy one. I’m sure you’re kitty will make your day. He sounds awesome!

Elizabeth: Be safe driving home. Shalom.

Liz,
I second Shalom. Kittys can cause a scene when they travel. Don’t let him distract you. Give him a kiss for me.

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