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Stolen Time

By:  Linda Hartoonian Almas, M.S. Ed

Last year, I re-connected via social media, with a childhood friend who I had not seen in years.  As mothers with children of similar ages, we had a lot to catch up on.  As we did, I learned that she has two children who are suffering from a misunderstood and often misdiagnosed disorder.

She is a wonderfully positive person, who freely discusses her children’s struggles, in hopes of educating others about the issue.  She advocates fiercely for them, yet seems to successfully strike a balance between speaking on their behalf and encouraging their independence.

The same, only different

Over time, as I learned more, I found that I identified with her emotions regarding her family’s concerns.  Her situation is riddled with various highs and lows.  Some days bring serious hurdles to jump, along with grave disappointments, while others bring great pride and immense joy.  She and her family see many great successes, but these successes are punctuated with frequent challenges.

While psychopathy is not on her radar and we are dealing with two very different issues, it occurred to me that we share some very similar feelings regarding the paths we are on.  One day, while beaming with pride regarding her children’s recent achievements, she pointed out how they rose above their health concerns, accomplishing things that many other parents would simply take for granted.

She said that her children were thriving, in spite of the large number of days that their particular illness had “stolen” from them.  I noted that this was not the first time that she had used such terminology.  She realizes that no matter how well things go, she cannot change that her children have been “robbed” of certain normal life experiences.

My revelation

Her simple statement brought about a “light bulb moment” for me and really got me thinking.  Isn’t that how most of us feel about our experiences with psychopathy or the individuals with psychopathic traits who have touched our lives?

They may have literally stolen many things from us, but most importantly, they did, effectively, “steal” portions of our lives.  When we attach a unit of measure to what we endured, even if only in terms of thievery, it helps quantify our experiences.

It allows us to make sense of our lost time and gives us something tangible to take away from our experiences.  It also gives us a reference point from which we are able to spring forward.

Prior to her statement, I had not thought in such terms.  However, she was right.  Again, I identified with what she was saying.

Wasted time

How many days, weeks, months, or years did we spend trying to work with the individuals in our lives with psychopathic features?  The chances are good that now that we know what we were up against, our responses would be, “too many.”  No actions on our parts could have increased our odds.

What I feel I lost from my brush with psychopathy is almost immeasurable.  Yet, at the same time, so is what I gained.

Stolen time

In terms of stolen time, what exactly gets taken from us, as these relationships run their course?  While there are numerous constants, some specifics may depend on the types of relationships we experienced.

A psychopathic parent will affect us differently than a psychopathic romantic partner.  Nonetheless, the behaviors may be similar and just as abusive and devastating.  Also, each carry the potential for long term harm.  However, we tend to lose different pieces of our innocence, depending on the natures of our associations.

Regardless, we must accept that, while some forms of these relationships did exist, they were not the ones we thought we were having.  Our involvements were based on love, caring, and genuine emotion.  Little, if any, of that actually occurred on their ends, even if it appeared to for a time.  For them, the associations were lies.  Because of this, we were unable to take any meaningful actions.  Nothing was real.  Stolen time.

What about significant life events that we were shortchanged on in our experiences with psychopaths?  In life, we encounter many emotionally charged moments, such as the births of children or the deaths of loved ones.  We tend to experience a variety of feelings when something special or significant occurs.

Psychopathic individuals, however, do not experience these emotions in the same ways that we do.  Therefore, their reactions tend to be quite different from ours.  We may feel great joy or pain, they may feel next to nothing out of the ordinary.  We may have tried to share our feelings, victories, or defeats, hoping that they could “feel” along with us.  They could not.  Rather, anger and rage at our attempts ensued.

In spite of our desires, we were forced to walk the emotional experiences alone.  Their muted or non-existent affects left us feeling empty and disappointed.  Their rages left us upset and confused.  Stolen emotions.  Stolen relationships.

Worse yet, often, the experiences we have with these individuals are so damaging that we try to eliminate them from our memories completely.  Unfortunately, along with forgetting the bad they inflicted, we sometimes lose portions of the good we encountered with others who surrounded us.  Stolen memories.

There are numerous other ways they violate us and take from us, as well.  The above are only a few examples.

Truths acknowledged

Unfortunately, if we were involved with psychopathic individuals, the truth is that portions of our lives may have been stolen by the disorder.  While we may be able to recover the financial or material losses psychopaths create, some of our losses are not tangible items that we can take back.  To some extent, we may always have to live with the trappings of these experiences.

As a result, it is important to own the losses.  No one likes feeling robbed of special or irreplaceable pieces of our lives.  We deserved more than mechanical and insincere responses, if we got any at all.

However, again, our knowledge and understanding can set us free.  We must acknowledge any pain, so that we can leave it behind.  It is not worth hanging on to.

Rising and conquering

That is not to say that we can or should try to erase what we lived.  We should, however, work to thrive.  We can do this, not only in spite of our experiences, but because of them.  Sometimes, I feel like it took such an experience for me to reach my potential.  I know what I learned has caused me to push myself to attempt and achieve things I never otherwise would have.

We can find goodness amongst the setbacks, by using the wisdom that our experiences gave us.

We can surround ourselves with loving people, who truly share our values and treat us well, rather than embrace disordered imposters.  In fact, we may come to the point of being able to thank our imposters for showing us what it was like to live “half alive.”  Without that education, we may not have been able  to recognize “full-on” living.  We can come to know calm, regarldess of what they may do.

After taking hits and having pieces of our lives “stolen,” we can recover and have and be more than we ever imagined.

Like my friend, who will never be able to alter the realities surrounding her children’s challenges, we cannot change what was.  We can, however, conquer what will be; each of us, in our own ways.


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Truthspeak

Linda, what a superb article.

The exspath took away and nullified ANY milestone or accomplishment. Honors Cermonies, scholarship awards, juried art show awards, exhibit openings graduation…..all of it was experined without his presence or support.

I can’t relive any of those events, so I have to sort out a way to make every day to be one of importance, even if it’s something as mundane as getting laundry done.

Thank you SO much for this timely insight!

Brightest blessings

alivetoday

Excellent article!! Spot on:=)

Thank you.

Ox Drover

Very VERY good article, Linda. It does reflect what we have lost, or had stolen from us. It comes at a time too, when I was reflecting on the lost love I had for a friend who turned out to be psychopathic, and who had stolen from me…stolen something that if she had asked, I would have freely given her. I loved this woman like a sister and so wanted a relationship with her that was close and loving as well…and I feel robbed that I didn’t have the chance for that.

My own P sperm donor robbed me of the chance for an adult relationship with my half sibs by “poisoning the well” with them about me when they were children. A relationship with my sibs was stolen from me by my P sperm donor. I can’t get that back in this life time.

I so wanted a good relationship with my adult children, and wanted grandchildren…but that has been stolen from me by my P son Patrick and by the unacceptable behavior of my other son C. I feel ROBBED. It is exactly the same feeling I had after my house was robbed years ago.

We can’t get back the stuff that was stolen from us in terms of relationships that we wish we could have had, sometimes we get back the matieral stuff that was stolen but not always….but we must not let the disappointments from having these things, either material or emotional, stolen from us. We must keep on with our lives, and fill them with joy and peace rather than dwell on the irreplaceable loses.

marcyII

wow! so i’m not the only one that tells my friends that my ex robbed me. robbed me of 17 yrs of my life, the best yrs of my life, late 30’s,40’s and 2 yrs of my fifties. he robbed me of ever having my 2 grandchildren come spend the night or a few days over where i live. we moved so much and always unsure of how long we would be where we were. they are all grown now and they have never spent hardly any time to even really get to know them or them me and that really breaks my heart to pieces. he robbed me of learning where everything is in my own state i have lived in all my life. i’ve only been from my town tacoma and as far as seattle. he never took me anywhere and i wasn’t allowed to go places if i didn’t do it with him. now i get super embarrassed when i talk to people and they ask me if i know where different places are around the state and i have to say i don’t know where that is and they know i’ve lived here my entire life. a girlfriend came to visit me last summer that i’ve been friends with since i was 19. we hadn’t seen each other in 30 yrs. as we started to tell each other about our life experiences she says to me , wow, marc you’ve really missed out on life. i told her i knew that and had to keep from crying cause you only have one time to live your life can’t go back and redo. sorry don’t mean to sound like i’m whining i guess i just needed to say all this to vent i guess. anyway i’m trying my best to look forward now and not dwell on what i was robbed of. it’s been a year this last may 8th that i have had no contact. i’m sooo proud of myself because for me that is a huge accomplishment.

strongawoman

Marcy,

Congrats to you on a whole year of NC. That is a strong position to be in. Takes guts and huge determination to maintain that stance.

There’s a common denominator amongst us LFers. We were all duped. No one will call you or judge you here. Good for you. Hope life gets better for you and your loved ones.

One more spath kicked to the kerb.

A most satisfactory outcome.

Linda,
This is such an important topic, thanks for bringing it up.
I think that this is more than a topic actually, it’s a red flag.

The spaths do take our lives. Sometimes with death, sometimes they just steal our lives a minute at a time.

After the exspath, I was targeted by a female spath who pretended to be my friend. What I noticed immediately was her desire to take up all my time. It’s like spaths know what is most valuable: time. Time is all we really have.

She was not the only time stealing spath I’ve encountered. They all do the same things, using the pity ploy, charm and rage to keep your attention focused on them. It is pretty obvious but still, I can’t help giving them rope so I can watch the fiasco. It’s like watching a car-wreck in slow motion and I’ve taken note of how they do it.

Some will ask for your help doing what they could do themselves. Others spend your time just talking about themselves endlessly but as soon as you change the topic to something that makes you happy, they have to leave. Spaths also like to “pick your brain” for information (as my spath used to say). Once you’ve told them all you know, they don’t need you anymore, they are ready to wear your skin.

It’s hard not to get taken in at first because they love bomb you every time you try to escape their time wasting clutches. I think the best defense is to make them think you are benefiting from their time wasting antics. They lose interest very quickly.

Ox Drover

Dear MarcyII,

Congratulations on a year of no contact. BTW it is not too late to go see your state, or to get to know your grandkids. Spend time with them NOW…don’t wait another day!

Today a friend came and booted me in the butt and got me to take a short road trip with her to look at the town I lived in before I moved to the farm…it has grown amazingly since we left there in 1994…and we stopped for some ice cream at a new ice cream parlor there and then hit the flea markets where I blew $40 on odds and ends and books…had a great day! Just four hours out of the house but lots of fun and got to see places I used to live and how they had changed.

Life can be good even if we did lose some time that was stolen from us.

You’ve conquored the biggest hurdle, going NC so get out there and LIVE. the best revenge is a good life! Again, congratulations on your 1 year “sobriety” (((hugs))))

Linda, thank you for this article. For me, it was a reminder to stay real about the story of my life. There are parts of it that were difficult and painful, but it is my story. Or as my sister puts it, “it’s a life.” My life.

And maybe I should add, that I’m gradually working through the things that made me ashamed, including the feelings of being stupid and self-destructive at times. And understanding that I always had my reasons at the time. Even though I later came to understand that the reasons themselves were built on even older faults in my beliefs, based on unresolved old traumas.

I like the concept of “stealing time” with regard to sociopathic relationships. I think that no matter how smart and how successfully self-caring and self-protective we become, the experience of begin targeted by a sociopath is going to force us to pay attention, interrupt whatever else we’re doing, and focus on dealing with it. It’s an irritation and a distraction. But from my perspective, it’s also like stopping whatever else I’m doing to deal with the threat of an oncoming hurricane or blizzard, or even stopping my life to take care of myself if I catch the flu. Kind of the housekeeping of life.

If we are not so good at taking care of ourselves, it is going to take even more time, and emotional energy, and maybe money lost or damage to our children or other enduring losses. Dealing with the emotional pain while it is going on, and then sorting ourselves out emotionally after we tear ourselves out of enmeshment with them is hard. And time-consuming.

When I think today of how “stuck” I became in a miserable and confused mindset, and for how long, I am always stunned. No matter what else I lost, I literally lost 10 years of anything like equanimity or peace with myself. I see the “evidence” in memories of just sitting and staring, the endless little illnesses, the going over and over the facts to try to understand what happened, the social fears, and on and on.

In the end, it all turned out to be a good thing. This, for me, was a learning experience that was so intense and time-consuming, because I had big and deeply embedded issues, caused by unresolved childhood trauma. I had used my wonderful mind and strength of character to twist myself in believing that the traumas weren’t important and I could just bury and ignore them.

I believe this man would never have been attracted to me, and I would never have allowed him into my life, if I hadn’t been so successfully in denial about the damage I was carrying. (In fact, virtually all the women in his life are incest survivors, a group notoriously bad at maintaining healthy boundaries and self-esteem.)

So, in my story as I tell it to myself, he was just the last and biggest opportunity was was sent to help me figure out that I needed to revisit my childhood coping mechanisms. That I needed to grow up in ways that I never could, because I’d buried my history and tried to be a person “it never happened to.” (Can you imagine how false and ungrounded that life was?)

And he was the final opportunity, because by the time that relationship was over, I was suicidal and sick and so distraught that I couldn’t even look anyone else in the eye, because I didn’t want anyone to be able to see how broken I was.

I made a decision to live, and to figure out what was wrong with me. And over a period of years, I did that. And I got more well and more grounded than I’ve ever been in my life. So, in the end, I don’t really think that the time was stolen. (But this is my perspective now, seven years after the end of that relationship. And after a LOT of work on myself.) But if I really wanted to think about stolen time, and lay some blame somewhere, I think that my life story would put it on my parents. Or maybe on their parents, who left them with unresolved damage. And I could throw some blame on larger cultural and economic issues.

I’m not trying to be cute here, by dispersing blame so broadly. But maybe make the point that, for me at least, the decision to get well — to stop this transmission of damage from person to person, to swap thinking about myself as victim for a new kind of thinking about myself as learning and creative person who “did something” with the circumstances I was handed — was more important that who did what to me.

I sometimes think that God put me in that family and handed me those challenges, because I had the capacity to transform them into something else. And that the transformation wasn’t just for me. It also puts me in a kind of army of people who fight the soulless elements in the culture that wound and destroy people. By getting well, I become a kind of activist, even if I only do it by giving witness to the fact that we can get well. Because this is what I believe, that any one of us can grow through our traumas, and become stronger, wiser, more creative and compassionate, more effective at changing the world by changing our own lives.

The downside, if there is one, of all this is that I understand more now about how brutality wounds people, and how much energy and time it takes to heal. This is the true stolen time. When I look back at the lives of the children in my family, and how all of us have struggled, I can hardly bear it. I have to work hard at not getting caught up in anger, or at least, redirecting it to something useful, like political action or local volunteer work. I’m only one person, but I can do my small bit to effect change. I know the small things in my life that made a difference, and it keeps me motivated.

Finally, and as usual, I apologize for this long post, I want to add something more about managing my feelings. A long time ago, I realized that my emotional state actually influenced what I attracted into my life. Or maybe how I recognized it and handled it.

If I was angry and resentful, there were more things to trigger anger, and I was prone to blaming and criticism, and my ability to feel compassion or even connection was compromised. If I felt like a victim, the world was full of threats and I was constantly running away or fighting. Everyone knows how amazing we feel when we’re in love, and the world looks so beautiful and everything seems to conspire to support our elation. But I had also found that there was a similar state, a kind of willing openness to feeling connected and trusting that things were working out as they should, that also brought me into situations and relationships that gave me gifts and allowed me to express myself in ways I felt good about.

I lost all these perspectives in the sociopathic relationship. Maybe remembering them vaguely helped me keep moving through the recovery, and believing in the possibility of getting well. I remember thinking that, even though I had lost so much, people who had been born blind or deaf, or had lost limbs in war, or who had survived other experiences that left them without some important piece of who they were before, got through the grieving process and built happy and productive lives. My own grieving skills had never really progressed beyond denial, so I didn’t know how they did it. But I knew some of these people, and they were amazing people that seemed to much more “advanced” than me in ways I didn’t understand.

Somewhere along the way in my grieving process over this relationship, I decided I was tired of being mad all the time and took a forgiveness class. Which was really about deciding how much energy I was going to give the memories, not about saying anything was okay or restarting the relationship with the person who hurt me. I was long out of denial, probably two or three years into the recovery process, and I was tired of being in the “angry phase.” I wanted to get on to the more positive and satisfying work of rebuilding myself and my life.

Now, I’m revisiting those skills of redirecting my thinking and emotions to be and experience the life I want. I think this is late-recovery work, and I’m not writing this to suggest that anyone should shortcut the important steps of anger, blaming and building better defenses. But now, increasingly I am interested in finding joy in myself and my life, living with compassion and generosity, and being optimistically trusting in a very large sense. I have the idea that eventually things work out well in my life.

It doesn’t mean that I stop taking care of myself if I feel like my health or safety is threatened. But I want those events to be less important than my ongoing pursuit of what is meaningful, beautiful and good. And so, when the old habits and patterns of resentment, fear, blaming, etc. pop up, I look at them and see where they’re coming from, if it’s really that important or if I’m just doing a little PSTD. And then I make a choice about what I’m going to do, and how I’d like to feel about it. And, generally, if I approach things with compassion and respect, and an expectation that I’m going to learn or experience something new and interesting, I find that things do work out.

In particular, I find that threatening situations work out in way that I probably could not have engineered, if I tried. It’s kind of magical. And again, it’s not that l turn off my self-defensive skills. They’re always there, if I need them. But if I’m inclined to love the world as I love myself, I’m simply contributing a different energy to the circumstances around me. I don’t mean that I’ve turned into an angel. I still have pops of PSTD and I sometimes have to completely withdraw to give myself a chance to calm down. But my intentions toward myself, the desires I have for my life, emit from me, just as my anger and shame did before. And it changes things.

So this was a very, very long post. You can see I’m working on myself again, after maybe a long time of cruising on the work I did before. It’s never over. But it keeps getting better.

ElizabethBennett

Linda, great article-right on target! I am struggling right now with a lot of anger-for my N that I couldn’t get over, and the N parents who just raised me totally wrong and manipulated and controlled me into adulthood.

I feel like I have missed out and wasted time and lost time over the constant supply of Ns in my life. I wish I knew what my parents were when I was young and had the tools to empower myself to live my life for me. I wish I had been brave enough at age 18 to flat out defy them and live my life for me and do what I wanted. I have a lot of bitterness over the fact that I haven’t lived my life the way I wanted. I can’t EVER get that time back.

Then I wasted a year on this N thing here and I kept falling for the pity ploy and being unable to see what other people were seeing about her. Then we had the big fight that changed everything and that’s what hit me like a brick wall. That is what made me go as much NC as I can and the whole gray rock thing to. I’m wise to her game now-what she will do to try to lure me back in, and she does try.
I am so disappointed with myself because I was using vices to deal with the highs and lows I was having and the pushing/pulling on me. I stopped and started smoking more times than I can count. I finally added up the amount of money I spent on smoking and other vices in the last 8 months and it was enough to buy every single piece of police equipment and uniforms for my new career-what a big freakin waste, and I came to the realization recently that she was using “the amount of smoking I was doing” to gauge how much she was upsetting me.

It’s not too late now. I put them down and all that money I was wasting each month is going into savings and by the time I apply to the police, I will have all that money that I need. I’m trying to deal with the anger by making up for lost time and it’s not to late to live. I’m in a weight loss competition at work. We are competing in teams like the biggest loser but also for individual titles, and I want to be the woman who has lost the most weight. I started exercising again, even before putting the cigarettes down and I keep looking for new exercises or workouts to do to help me reach my goals faster. There is a chance that I could possibly be at my goal weight by the end of the year or sometime during January. I am enjoying my volunteer work and my pets and trying to stay positive. I had to post because today was one of my negative days. I’ve been feeling bad physically today and I am staying home from work tonight.

darwinsmom

I think the stolen time is the hardest pill to take about the time and energy spent on a spath.

I’ve had relationships that had lasted longer in time, I’ve loved at least one person more, etc… and while it was hurtful to let them go and one could argue that I spent my love and years on the wrong person for me, I never really felt like that about them. Not only did I feel I had gained wisdom from the experience, but they had too, and at least we shared memories with equal good feelings. I wouldn’t exchange those times and memories shared with those men in order not to have been hurt by losing them. But it’s different with the spath, almost the opposite: the good memories were a lie, an illusion, and there was nothing but hurt and betrayal in that relationshit, and happiness could only be gained by losing him.

When asked now whether I’d opt out of the spath experience if I could change the past, a large part of me says no, because I did gain an immeasurable amount of wisdom and a new perception on issues out of it that I would not exchange. And yet I remain with a sense of wasted and lost time, a sense of time being stolen from me.

This article made me ponder why that is: I think it’s because while the experience was not fruitless for me, it was FRUITLESS FOR HIM when weighed by my values of emotional growth; it’s because the ‘good’ memories and times are LIES – something I simply cannot, want not, dare not and should not commemorate; it’s because I could have known very early on it would be a waste of time for the both of us and I would still have gotten the same wisdom out of it; it’s because what I gained from it was gained by MY healing AFTER the relation, NOT DURING.

And so a small part of me I think will always regret the time, resources, emotions and energy I wasted on him. At the same time it’s exactly this sense of having wasted time on someone that helps me nowadays with preserving and installing my boundaries, that helps me by not taking plenty of wrong behaviour from others as personal anymore… The only energy I want to spend on wrong behaviour is pointing out that it’s wrong and they can do with my judgement whatever they like beyond that. I ain’t sticking around either mentally, emotionally and if I can help it physically to see what they do with it or not.

Back_from_the_edge

Thank you for this article, Ms. Linda. It has helped me culminate the end of a very peaceful day. Very well written and so very full of understanding and compassion. Kind of like a ‘long distance hug’ that you didn’t expect.

🙂

The hardest part is that ten years of my life was stolen and raped away from me because of my own caring and compassion.
That is the ultimately SUCKY truth of the matter. And then I was laughed at for my despair and resultant medical conditions.

Somehow that does unthinkable things to you as a person.
But, once again, that free choice is still very much entwined into becoming what we will.

I absolutely believe we can become whatever we choose if we want it bad enough. I argue with my counselor all the time about psychopathy and how I don’t believe because someone is mentally ill, that we should cow tow and give so much understanding that we snuff ourselves out in the process. I believe everyone is capable of change. Including them. Surely, someone so intelligent to use such dark dasterdly deeds is capable of great things in the area of change, it is a choice. I don’t believe that people exist who do not have choice. I do believe people exist that have no care to be anything other than what they are. Selfishly and intentionally. Sick or not. It’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around anything other than that. It’s kind of like ‘you get what you expect’…if you expect THEIR ‘norm’, that is what it becomes…if you reach for something more; something higher and something more honorable, you must forsake their misdirections. To accept them is to bring them into yourself. And, I will never do that. Never.

Yes, ‘wasted time’.
But not wasted because I am finding a stronger sense of self.

Thanks again, Linda…excellent!!
xxoo

one/joy_step_at_a_time

i used to feel loved. and i liked a lot about myself. recently i was talking with someone about body image, and when i started to feel old and tired. She make an astute observation – that these things started to kick up not only as i became sick but as i engaged further with the spath. THAT created lot of insecurity that manifested in compulsive thinking about my self and my body/ age. The spath happens to be 10 years older than me, fat and diabetic. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that i started to feel old, fat and ill (beyond the fact that i was ill).

something happened tonihgt, that finally pushed me out of bed, and brought me here to post: i got an email from a young man who i had befriended last year. He was a student director on the board of the org i worked for, and was a long way from home. We used to have dinner together occasionally and talk for a few hours. he doesn’t have a lot of life experience, is very bright and driven and intensely geeky. this is the email he sent: A moment ago, while brushing my teeth of all things, this thought train went through my head.  I was thinking about jobs when I started but it only took me about 2 seconds to get to the end.

“…Well there’s a lot of possibilities out there, especially out West, X city might be nice, who knows, then there’s females, wonder what’ll happen if I get engaged and married out there, the wedding, that’s a lot of planning but who would I invite, well obviously one joy, she’s delightful”….

i took that in. and then i cried. someone actually likes me. i am so wrapped up in a cocoon of defense, that i can hardly ‘feel’ people; so lied to and manipulated that I don’t ‘feel’ if someone may be trustworthy; so fucked over in business, that i expect to be expendable.

i need some time off, and some ‘gentle’ in my life. to take better care with myself, develop my boundaries further in terms of demands on my time and energy from work.

i miss myself when i don’t have time to be with myself, and i miss my mom, terribly. and that weighs on me more and more. but that means i will have to find a new way to be (within myself) in relation to that prick of a father of mine – ’cause that’s the only way i can see my mom. develop true grey rock? not even feel, let alone react to him? I have just said that i am tired of not feeling/ trusting. and that seems to be the solution with him. if i do that with him – to success, maybe i don’t have to do it with so many others?

ElizabethBennett

Thanks Linda for the article and your comments. I do know it takes awhile-almost 6 month hire process the first time (I had to drop cuz I was way out of shape). It may be shorter for me though, since I was already hired in 2009. They were super short staffed at the time and hadn’t had a PT test since pre-Katrina. They have one now and I’m waiting to apply until I can pass it easily.

We do learn a lot about the experiences and sometimes I can now pick out narcissistic traits in people that I actually like and trust. I have figured out that we all have certain traits here and there but not near enough to be disordered, and I can see some traits in myself on occasion too-I guess I got that from my parents. Sometimes it freaks me out a little, but I know that I am a highly sensitive person and I’m full of empathy.

Darwinsmom-I totally agree that the lost time is the biggest pill to swallow. Everyday now I keep beating myself up and saying “how the hell could I waste my time on someone who isn’t worth my time for so damn long”. It bugs me. One of my friends recently posted something on facebook that said “Ladies find a man who will ruin your lipstick, not your mascara”. I commented on that and said that it applies to women too, and it was a huge message to me. I need to remember that and say “Elizabeth, when the time is right for a relationship, find a woman who will ruin your lipstick, not your mascara.

For now, the theme song for my life is STRONGER, by Kelly Clarkson:

What doesn’t kill you makes you STRONGER. stand a little taller, doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone, what doesn’t kill you makes you fighter, footsteps even lighter, doesn’t mean I’m over cuz your gone!

Onestep-I think that you are very lucky that your mom is actually worth missing. I speak to my father sometimes and we somewhat have a relationship due to the fact that his narcissism has decreased a lot since he’s gotten older, but he still tries to put the guilt trips on me, and he doesn’t support me in anything I do, because he doesn’t think it’s important to me. He’s all about how much money he thinks I should make-not what actually makes me happy. Who cares though-I’m done living for people other than myself and if he doesn’t support it, then he’ll see what happens.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

speaking of a wasted of time and life…i found this tonight. this is an account of an ex of mine – i met him when i was 20 in 1980 – pay attn to the years quoted in the article. this article was written about 6 years ago. I ran from this guy, and he stalked me. he’s the one who the arson detectives helped me with:

Smoky Lake man sentenced to six months for uttering threats and breaching parole

Bad x bf, a Smoky Lake area farmer who can’t seem to get control of his alcohol problems now finds himself serving six months for uttering threats and breaching parole.

Initially he stood facing an additional charge of assaulting a peace officer, but after pleading guilty to the other offenses that charge was dropped.

His first threat occured on Halloween night when he told another bar patron that he would ‘kick his jaw to the back of his throat’.

The other occasion happened days later when on November 6 he was in the Smoky Lake bar drinking.

That was a breach of his probation that began in August.

He was found to be drinking by members of the RCMP and subsequently arrested.

His troubles with the law were not over there.

He started arguing the RCMP members while being escorted from the premises and once inside the police cruiser threatened the officer with ‘taking him down’.

Once at the detachment his then refused to remove his jacket and shirt to be searched.

His irritation once again showed so too did his threats to officers. He turned to one constable at said ‘you should all be dead.’

Once in his cell he threatened the guard by saying that he ‘should be hit in the head with a baseball bat.’

Judge Rae allowed Bad x bf to speak for his actions and it was his defense that he was ‘under an extreme amount of stress’, ‘angry, upset and in extreme pain’.

Crown Prosecutor John Donahoe suggested to Judge Rae that an appropriate sentence range would between six and nine months.

Bad x bf’s lawyer C. Milsap suggested that bad x bf’s sentence should instead be 90 days and that he be allowed to serve the sentence intermittently.

Judge Rae did not buy into any of Bad x bf’s excuses or explanations for his behavior.

‘The problem is that your alcoholism goes back to 1981. Your propensity to assault people also goes back to 1981 and your propensity for drugs goes back to 1983,’ said Judge Rae.

‘At some point I have to protect the public. It rings hollow to me at this point that you now have a plan. I’ve got no confidence that this order I issued today will obeyed.’

Bad X bf’s counsel also must have felt the same way because in his submission he suggested that ‘rehabilitation has been unsuccesful up to now.’

‘It’s pretty clear that without some real help he? He’ll continue to use alcohol as a crutch,’ said Milsap.

‘If we have to bring him back 10 or 12 times so be it. He’s an idiot when he drinks and he says stupid things when he drinks.’

…….he was a fucking idiot sober too. and charming….seems he’s gotten more aggressive over the years…used to be he just picked on girls….seems he’s willing to duke it out with men and cops now. didn’t find anything else about him. kinda hoped i’d find an obit.

MoonDancer

what a turd.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

kinda good to see it in black and white – especially with the timelines; ’cause that’s when he came after me. so, he has gotten worse….after coming to lf, i have wondered what he was…but hadn’t really wanted to go there…not sure what he is besides alcoholic, violent, self destructive (possibly grandiose), wreckless and yes, a turd.

Whereas jsj is a lying SACK of shit. (one joy curtsies and backs out of room).

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oh, and here’s another gem I knew when i was 18. this is an article from 2008. I knew this guy when he was in prison. he stalked me, too. he had women grooming me to be his bitch. i was in love with one of them, and she warned me about what was really going on.

these people always underestimate the size of my balls, as did the spath.

don’t think i will bother to hide his identity – he is a convicted criminal.
—–

Convict deported two years ago arrested in Peel
Peter Edwards Staff Reporter

Peel Police are investigating how a man with two dozen criminal convictions managed to slip back into Canada after being deported.

Sixty-five-year-old Gabor Magasztovics, also known as Joe “Ironman” Dinardo, is in custody after illegally entering Canada under the alias Joseph Simon on April 19, on a flight from Portugal to Montreal.

The one-time professional heavyweight boxer and career criminal had been deported to his native Hungary in August 2006, after being labelled a danger to the Canadian public.

Despite his age, Peel Regional Police used heavily-armed members of the force’s tactical unit to arrest Dinardo on Thursday, as he left a Toronto-area restaurant. (think he was in his 70’s when this was written.)

Police are now probing his Canadian associates over the past two months.

Dinardo made headlines in the sensational 1974 murder trial of millionaire Mississauga developer Peter Demeter, whose wife Christine was bludgeoned to death in the garage of their Dundas Cres. home.

Dinardo shocked the trial when he told court that Christine Demeter, a former model, had offered him $10,000 to break her husband’s legs and arms just a week before her murder.

Peter Demeter, who was also born in Hungary, was ultimately convicted of hiring a hitman to kill his wife.

Dinardo immigrated to Canada at the age of 12 and never obtained citizenship.

Dinardo was in the news again in 2001 when he was a pallbearer at the funeral of Eddie (Hurricane) Melo, a boxer and mob enforcer who was murdered in the parking lot of a strip mall.

Magasztovics’ criminal record began in 1958, and includes prison and jail time for a robbery, arson, thefts, forged documents and counterfeit money, weapons offences and five parole violations.

MoonDancer

gem? or germ?..I hope you keep better company these days Miss 1steprs.
I must live a very sheltered life – the only criminals i know are my mother and xbf, well my bro and dad would fit in there also but they all seem to operate under the law…

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hens – keep better company? BWAHAHAAHA!!

in the first case i was lured in by charm, and in the second by a ‘sweet’ hearted, albeit predatory, older woman (aka the hand maiden/ dupe)….all before i was 21.

if you role those things together you have the spath! charm/ predatory/ older woman. these @$#^% t left me fearing for my life – jsj left me fearing for my sanity. ones life can be sometimes easier to protect.

MoonDancer

Isteprs, I thought you would get a smile out of this…Yesterday was fathers day, my 8 year old grandson gave me a card, on the inside he drew three wieners dogs with their names…..he included Harley with a halo and wings…now how sweet was that ~!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hens, awwwww – the kids are alright!

firewoman1220

Thank you for this article! It’s exactly how I’ve felt – I only lost 4.5 years of my life with this person, but I feel like everything that we did or experienced is null and void. More than the $5,000 in debt he left and the fear and emotional trauma when he disappeared, I’m angriest about my lost time and experiences. Thankfully we were never married or had children, but even just the ordinary life stuff – weekend trips, concerts… it was all a lie on his part and so having him as part of my memory of those events seems to ruin the whole thing for me. I have moved on – and I can genuinely say that I’m happy in my life as it is – plenty of friends and never a lack for anything to do – but I never can recover that lost time or those memories tainted by his presence, but I’m sure making new ones with wonderful, positive people in my life today!

Ox Drover

Welcome Firewoman and glad that you are moving on with your life. Life Lived Well is the BEST REVENGE there is.

I have a foot in both camps. Two of my four children are autistic. Their father, with whom I spent 28 years, from age 18, is a psychopath. And prior to my hellish nightmare of a marriage, I lived at home with my Narcissist father and my terminally repressed mother.

I was 47 when my ex left, 48 when I realised what he is. Whichever way I look at it, he stole what are commonly regarded as the best years of my life from me.

I still struggle daily with the aftermath of what happened to me and my children. But I also believe that I have led the life I was supposed to lead to make me the person I was destined to become. It’s up to me know to find out what my purpose is.

IMconfused

Great article, thanks, Linda.

I’m still with my N, but feeling stronger all the time.

Interestingly, although I new my childhood was ABnormal, It was only 2-3 years ago that, thanks to dealing with my loser, I started to recognize just how obcessively dysfunctional each parent was. it took 60 years, but I finally figured a lot of things out. So now I have some clues regarding just who I have become, and why I’ve not onlt allowed evil people to be a part of my life, I’ve encouraged them to keep me feeling “normal”.

Why don’t I leave? The simple answer is that I’m waiting until i’ve earned my Masters Degree in how to recognize warning signs to avoid involvement with folks who behave in unhealthy ways that were acceptable by “normal” parents.

Good news…I’m starting to really notice when people change their stories. I’ve recently been very mindful of anyone who changes significant details when repeating their personal experiences in my presence. Years ago, althought I noticed my husbands ever changing story details and outcomes, I chalked it up as either my version had missing pieces…that were now being filled in, or perhaps i remembered wrong. I usually held myself (not the story teller…my husband) accountable for mis-hearing …whatever version he was (usually boasting) re-living (duh, more like his look at how wonderful I am fantasy), I believed…or at least stood by without a challenge. That is no longer the case…I now roll my eyes or change how I hold my mouth to show others that I don’t believe a word he’s saying.

A recent member of one of my art groups told me how, in Sewden, premie babies born at 28 weeks are left on the table to die….Huh?…but i reminded her that another member’s 3-year old GD, who lives in Sweden, was given every treatment possible to treat her brain tumor. Well…she positively KNEW it was different for premies. So, I went home and looked up and discovered that a couple of different sources revealed that 82 persent of babies born at 27 weeks survive. So, why would those born at 28 weeks be left on the table to die?…ok, watch out for what she says…likely a convincing liar.

This same gal also (same conversation) stated that her husband had been let go from his job and after a couple of years she got a job solely because they needed health insurance. The following month’s meeting I brought information regarding premies in Sweden, but decided not hand it to her and possibly make an issue in front of anyone else. Later, as the group was making a projest, I overheard her telling others that she had been the bread winner in her family because her husband had neve rreally held a job for very long because he’d become bored and quit!…She was playing to the crowd and I recognized it!
This month’s meeting is at her home. I emailed a reply to all that I would not be attending todays meeting, but hoped everyone would have a good time. (No excuses…no lies…just stated that I would not be attending.)

I’ve decided to no longer dwell on how I’ve been robbed. Although I usually felt uneasy and challenged outlandish lies, he found it easy to shut me down an d put me on the defensive. So, I took to flight rather than fight! Why did I do that?…but I’m changing…slowly.

Why did I give him my money?…Because that was what my parents taught me to do! It was what “normal” married couples did. I blindly trusted that anyone who professed loving me would not wish me harm. However, thinking back, the parents who supposedly loved me also cause me great psycological harm …duh! This was a very expensive lesson to learn, but I think differently today.

The only way for me to move on is to make sense of my past reactions and analyze what should have been my safe responses…what should I do in the future?

So, my quest is to become more aware of my surroundings and to quietly praise myself each time I recognize a stranger (or non-stranger) danger warning. Prior to leaving my current situation, I personally want to feel confident that past errors of judgement will not repeat in my future. I’m slowly earning my Master’s Degree in how to make self-loving, safe, real “normal” choices so that I can create a new and exciting future. So, unless circumstances indicate otherwise, I plan to make an exit once I’m confident that I’ve completed my self awareness education and have new dealing tools.

david

Nice article, I lost ten years my Sociopath, which I did not know till after the entire experience was over. To me the day to day life was real. To the Sociopath, it was just a con. I see you all have been through the same tipe of thing. I wish you all a good recovery.

Hi David,
Congrats on getting out.
As bad as it was, the fact that you got out means you’re a survivor. The loss is tuition for what we learned.

Welcome to LF.

KarmaChameleon

What an insightful article. Energy vampires. Time vampires. Is there anything they don’t try to take? And subsequently throw away?

Don’t know if this link will come through, but I got it this morning from a co worker and the timing couldn’t be better.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/pictures-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity?s=mobile

unwillingspathclubmember

I haven’t posted for over a year No contact for a year
I am successful in that.
I just wanted to comment on Linda’s article and some posts from you all.
They did steal our time whether years or months doesn’t matter.
When you love and commit to someone, if you have any heart at all, it is all encompassing. As it should be. But for a love with a spath you live every moment every day of your time together in drama!
Drama that focuses all your energy on them. You forget about taking care of yourself. You neglect that you are not being cared for.
I had to realize that thinking about myself was not always selfish!
It took a stroke after my exspath left without a trace and all the financial and emotional devastation he left for ME to clean up.

Linda’s words hit home. You do have to erase that part of your life to RID yourself of the venom of the spath.
My question still is how do I get rid of the anger I feel that MY TIME ON THIS EARTH WAS STOLEN and in my case MY HEALTH stolen, for a LIE?

unwilling,
congrats on NC.
I don’t know how to get over being angry about your stolen time, money, health. I do still feel angry 3 years later. Mostly I feel sad because I learned that there are so many of these people walking around continuing to steal and nobody takes this seriously. They leave it up to the victims to try to protect themselves, but how could we have when nobody told us how to spot the con artists? Mine was a 25 year con but before that I was set up by my own parents.

I still don’t know how to get over that. I still don’t understand why parents would want their children to be hurt.

Thanks Karma,
I needed that.

unwillingspathclubmember

I haven’t posted for a while I have watched and listened.
Skylar We are a force!

We can make a difference! We can.
I know you have been a staple here ever since I came aboard.

These time thieves need the supply cut off at the source.
Mine uses AA and Oxford House as an excuse for his problem.
He has no concern for the people around him how try tp help.
AA is a pick up joint for women who are hurting and battling addiction.
Oxford House is a free way to have a roof over your head and to meet other spaths or marks.

I need your help ( and others! ) to make the system see they are infested with these kind of individuals. Infested. And there is no control over AA or Oxford House NONE!!!!!

please let me know if you know someone who has had the same circumstances. I will do it on my own if I have to. They organizations are not set up to hurt people but to help and they are being USED by SPATHS!!!

Thanx

strongawoman

Karmacham!

Thanks …great link. Restores the faith that there are people who do the right thing. Brilliant. Loved the pics

unwilling,
what do you propose to do?

Ox Drover

Unwilling,

I’m with Skylar, what do you propose we do about AA and Oxford house to stop this use of these organizations by spaths? How are we going to educate these people to how they are being used?

KarmaChameleon

Strongawoman,

Isn’t it powerful, the pics I mean. I just about burst into tears when I looked through them all. Who am I kidding, I did cry. I’m a sucker for that stuff. 🙂

unwillingspathclubmember

Oxdrover / Skylar

I started here in PA But anyone can do this in their state.
The state of PA does not monitor these so called half way houses and AA is organized VERY VERY! loosely by chapter.
Neither organization checks for these predators!! Ever.
I would be glad to start from scratch a group that pushes for monitoring these and other groups that may house sociopaths waiting to prey on helpless victims
Please let me know if you are interested I will do the ground work in my state.
As a matter of fact I have already started it.

Thanks

unwilling,
I would have to hear more about the plan to know if there is anything I could do.

How would we monitor for predators? I lived with one for 25 years and couldn’t tell. How do we know that a “victim” is not actually a spath slandering his victim?

They camouflage what they do.

Knowing what I know about abusers, I worry that even teaching everyone the red flags won’t help. Abusers just learn sneakier ways to abuse. They’ve been doing it since the dawn of mankind.

I AM open to hearing your thoughts, though.

unwillingspathclubmember

Your concerns are mine as well I certainly do not want to give these creeps some extra way to hurt.
However, the criminal justice system is set up to have all innocent until proven guilty. The system loves to hear that one who has gotten into the system is willing to go to AA or a place like Oxford House. That’s a good thing. and they know that!
What I want to push for is for a closer look at those that USE the system over and over again. That should be a RED flag for anyone , but trust me it is not at this point. I know now from my own personal experience that my exspath and others like him USE this “GOOD” behavior to find victims and to get out of trouble they create!He is not the only one there are many that are far from sincere in the 12 steps. A joke with my exspath was the 13 steps.
All twelve AA then you hook up . Funny huh?
Please think on this and write back My email is yahoo.com I am OK with anyone that wants to help.
I am set on stopping this at least in my state. Please join me.
And thanks to you all!

kim frederick

Any Alanons out there, tonight?
Unwilling, AA is full of sick people, some of them sincere about recovery and some of them not.
If you are a woman in recovery, who is sincere, you stick with the winners, get a sponser and listen to her. You work the steps. You do not get involved in relationships for at least a year.
My sponser told me really early on, that, “a man will pat your ass, but a woman will save it”.
Honey, you can’t save AA from the spaths. You can’t rescue the sincere women from scoundels. They will save themselves as they get saner.
I know you’re angry and I understand why, but it’s not your job. Take care of YOU.
Alanon is a great place to go to talk about these concerns…have you ever been?

G1S

Hi, Kim. I just celebrated my 25th anniversary in Al-Anon.

Do you need to talk? I’m here.

kim frederick

No, G1S, but thanks. Doing ok, ronight. Had a lucritive day/night at work, and that’s good, but a rush hit at 30 minutes before I was set to go home, so it set me back 2 and a half hours. So frustrating. My relief was 25 minutes late so……
But I’m home now, have the day off tomorrow and need the money, so all and all, a good day.
I was making a call for Al-anon’s because Unwilling seems so dead set on fixing AA. I know AA has a lot of sick pups, but we have to remember the three C’s. I didn’t cause it. I can’t control it. I can’t cure it.
All and all AA is doing pretty well for itself. It helps a lot of people save themselves, and the 12 stepprograms are still the most successful aproach to addiction.
Just thought you might want to throw in your 2 cents.
Congrats on your anniversary. You done good.

G1S

OK. Just caught up on the thread.

First of all, there is no guarantee that a “woman is going to save your butt.” Al-Anon is heavily female. We have controllers, Ps, and people willing to stab you in the back just as much as in AA.

Think of alcoholism as a two-person disease, a two-sided coin if that is easier.

On one side, there is the alcoholic. On the other is the enabler, victim, martyr, controller, fixer, rescuer (some of these traits can be more pronounced than others and can vary in strength depending on the circumstances.) Al-Anon members have been all of these to one degree or another before they got into recovery.

Keep in mind, just because somebody walks into a meeting, they still have these behaviors. In fact, going to a 12-Step meeting can amplify rather than mitigate these behaviors if one is around sick people who are “talking the talk, not walking the walk.”

The alcoholic is addicted to the booze and the other side of the coin is addicted to the alcoholic.

They have a very difficult time surviving without each other for many reasons. Their disease needs their sick dynamic. They are both sick and equally sick, but with different aspects (sides of the coin) of the disease.

Some people sincerely want to break out of this cycle. They are the ones who will do the hard word. Others aren’t so interested. This goes for both Al-Anon and AA.

Some get ordered to go there by the courts, which is stupid and highly annoying to members because the success of both programs is the responsibility of each individual member. Nobody is responsible for another member’s recovery. Nobody get somebody well. The judges might as well tell somebody to go to the library and read a book on the subject.

I digress.

We have an expression, “Some people are sicker than others.” We use that for meetings as well. “Some meetings are sicker than others.”

There are plenty of people who, for all sorts of emotional reasons and because of their personalities, LOVE the sick meetings. They can indulge in the sick aspects of their disease while lying to themselves and others that they are “working on their programs.”

Many, many of these people are adult children of alcoholics who have deep, unmet emotional needs. The attention that they get at meetings may the first that they have ever gotten in their lives and it can become addictive. It doesn’t matter that no real recovery is taking place. Somebody is finally paying attention to them.

You cannot judge AA or Al-Anon by one meeting. People who are sincerely working on their recovery will know enough to move on and get away from the sick meetings. There are health meetings out there. You need to go looking for them.

Healthy members will even tell each other and other members or newcomers, if they ask, which are “the good” meetings to go to. “Good meetings” usually translate into “healthy meetings,” but not always.

If you unfortunately pose that question to somebody who is a P, super controlling, super rescuing, their idea of a “good meeting” might be a meeting where their isms (the harmful, dysfunctional behaviorisms of their disease) have the run of the place and will thrive.

Neither Al-Anon nor AA have leaders. They have “trusted servants who do not govern.” This is because all members are supposed to have an equal voice. All members are supposed to be responsible for the success or failure of a meeting.

Lots of people are used to being govern. Our society is set up that way from families, places of employment, to our governmental bodies.

Other people are real happy to let somebody else do the work. Isn’t usually always the same people who volunteer, because nobody else steps forward to help?

Most members don’t want to be bothered with the administrative side of meetings. They just want to walk in, take what they like, and leave.

Al-Anon and AA do not have presidents, executives, managers, or anybody telling them what to do. They offer literature, provide manuals, and it is the responsibility of the members to study these, ask questions, and abide by the guidelines. But since nobody is in control, lots of people do as they please. It’s not recovery, but they can still call themselves an AA or Al-Anon meeting.

Members assume that somebody else is running the show. Since there are no leaders, this creates a vacuum and opens the door for the rescuers, controllers, Ps, and all the other nasties to step in and take control.

Healthy members will stand up to these people and attempt to stop these takeovers, but because of the issues the members have, people can and do freak out over the confrontations and want to take the path of least resistance. This means that the healthy members are pushed out of the meetings.

The sex of these people is irrelevant. There are decent “good” people of both sexes and there are nasty, ugly, cruel, controlling spaths of both sexes in both programs. Sex does not matter. You cannot determine who the good guys are by their sex.

I have noticed one thing in Al-Anon. A member’s need for recognition and validation often brings out the worst controllers, rescuers, and fixes. These people, usually women, take over and run the meetings, run the Districts, and run the Areas. They finally have the recognition and control that they have been desperately craving. They aren’t about to give it up for anything.

I believe women are more prone to this because of society is patriarchal. Women often defer to men. Men often assume the dominant roles in relationships. Not always, but often. It gets twisted around into men dominating women. These women come into Al-Anon and, given the right circumstances, can suddenly find themselves in positions of authority and control that they do not have in their personal lives. They’ve just been handed tickets to become gods.

This is not going to be fixed. This is not going to change. This is not going to stop.

The only thing a person can do, who is sincere in getting recovery, is to find a healthy meeting either face-to-face or online.

And while that is a cute little expression about a man will pat you on the butt and a woman will save yours, that’s all it is. Cute. It isn’t true, not any more than Santa Claus is going to bring you everything that you want at Christmas if you’re good all year.

In Al-Anon, women can be much worse than men. They feel comfortable. They are in their element. Their worst flourishes.

My Area had a group of lesbians (this is nothing against lesbians – it’s just what happened as an example) who took over. They created a clique (their own meeting for gays and lesbians,) played the “poor us, we’re always discriminated against” card, and took over with a relish.

One got herself voted in as the Area Chairperson. She told me that she didn’t think it was necessary to follow Al-Anon. In other words, she did whatever she pleased, controlled the topics that came up at Area meetings, and ignored any challenges to what she was doing – all with a smile on her face. Any time anyone questioned what they were doing (she wasn’t alone, she stacked the committees with her lieutenants,) it was back to, “You hate us because we’re gay, don’t you?”

It was 100% manipulation and control. One transexual quit entirely because s/he was embarrassed what was being done by these women under the banner of their sexual persuasion.

That is a worst case scenario. Not all of Al-Anon or AA is like that. There are good people. Sex is irrelevant. Sexual persuasion is irrevelant.

Al-Anon’s saving grace is it is the only 12-Step program that is focused entirely on the member. It doesn’t have a double-focus such as overcoming an addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, spending, sex – you name it.

The ONLY thing that Al-Anon deals with is “the member.” It cannot get an alcoholic sober and will tell you that up front. One of its goals is to have the members take their focus off their alcoholics (the other side of the coin) and put it on them. This is what breaks the cycle.

Does this help? Have I explained what goes on and why?

Ox Drover

Unwilling,

PLEASE REMOVE YOUR E MAIL ADDY FROM YOUR ABOVE POST. TROLLS WILL PICK UP ON IT.

The thing is the courts think of someone goes to AA when they are in a jam, that the court will not have to p ut them in jail and therefore cause the tax payer costs…..it is stupid on the part of the courts.

you are right that the psychopaths use this good thing as a way to troll for more victims, but like Skylar said, it is VERY difficult to tell a psychopath from a victim, because they PRETEND TO BE VICTIMS, AND PROJECT THE PROBLEM ONTO THE REAL VICITM. Also there are cases where TWO psychopaths hook up and the “loser” in the fight becomes the “victim” until thye find a new victim to “rescue” them.

Unfortunately, I see NO way to educate the entire world or AA or Alanon or half way houses.

Milo’s daughter is a flamingn psychopath but she uses rehab to get a roof over her head when her drug pusher is after her for money….over and over and over.

I wish you luck, but frankly, I don’t think we will change the courts any time soon or AA either. They keep taking them back and back and back. Sometimes that helps, most times I think not.

kim frederick

G1S, Yes and I agree with most everything you’ve said, but I think you misunderstood my cuteness. I was making a statement about the fact that it is up to each and every woman in AA to protect herself from men who prey on vulnerable women. Women come into AA just as sick as the men do. They are often sexual abuse survivors and trauma victims, and yes, I agree that women can be as fusked up as men, and like I said, there are a lot of sick pups, in AA, and Al-anon, too, my point was that, as we get better, we make better choices, and we don’t really need an interlocutor to fix us.
And I do agree that a lot of Al-anons are super control freaks, that believe, “if the world only behaved better…..”
But, I think we both really agree on thios issue so not sure why we’re splitting hairs. Again, I congratulate you on your anniversary.

Ox Drover

Grace and Kim, good information….and in ANY group there are always going to be those “controllers” and a psychopath there or there. Whether it is Weight Watchers, hospital volunteers, a church, a little league team….whatever the group. There will always be people who are TOXIC.

I think AA and Alanon because of the kind of “self help” group they are, and most of the members are there because there is major dysfunction in their lives, will be higher in victims/rescuers/abusers just because of the nature of the group.

Like you both said though, it is up to the individual member to take care of themselves and make healthy choices.

Kim, glad you had a good day at work and made a little extra money. That is always nice. I ended up spending extra. LOL Spent the day in town. Did come home with a few nice things though at bargain basement prices. Stocking up on reading material in anticipation for my surgery which is scheduled for August first unless there is a cancelation sooner than that so that it can be moved up sooner. (Joy!) actually I would like to have it ASAP and get it over with. Got some great books that I think will help keep me occupied.

The way the grasshoppers are eating everything up I don’t think I will have to be worried about the garden! LOL Or the potted flowers either…or my new fruit trees, they are eating everything!

Well it is the middle of the night here so I am going to say good night and try to get a bit of sleep. You guys have a good night!

Actually with Sandusky and the priest being convicted, it has been a GREAT day I think!

G1S

Thanks, Kim. I don’t think we’re splitting hairs. We posted over each other. I didn’t see your comments until I wrote that long piece.

The cuteness remark – it was for the non-program people.

I hear a lot of cute remarks being slung around, but they’re meaningless. Just people talking the talk. For a newcomer or somebody not familiar with the program, they might think we actually believe those things! 😉

I agree with you. As we get better, we make better choices. We need to do the work though. No magic bullets.

Shades of Sandusky, I know an AA (a Mr. AA) who is so helpful and caring about the real young guys who come into AA. Want to guess why? He was a middle school teacher who told me that he only got involved with male students who were in high school. That made it all right in his mind. They weren’t HIS students.

Thanks for the congratulations. 🙂 I keep going back. Something is working.

kim frederick

Night, Oxy. Glad you found some good bargains. Would love to know the title of your books.
Your fruit trees and garden will take care of themselves.
You just take care of you.

kim frederick

G1S, I hate having to type out what I want to say. I can’t spell. My punctuation is atrocious. And it takes sooooo much time.
I have so much I want to say on this issue, but I’m tired and cantancorious, tonight.
I need to sleep, but would really like to address this tomorrow, ok?
I think there is a gold mine here. So much to be explored.

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