Stop Asking Yourself Why and What

Patricia Jackson V3By Patricia Jackson

When you live with a sociopath or psychopath (the difference will be the subject of a future article) you find yourself analyzing everything he (or she if you were unfortunate enough to be targeted by the fifteen per cent that are estimated to be female) says can be a source of endless analysis.

The questions go something like this:

1) Why did he suddenly change? (Meaning why did he just go from being pleasant/kind/good/nice/reasonable to mean?)

2) What happened in his past that makes him act like this?

3) What did I say, do, fail to say, fail to do, that provoked him?

4) What if I do X. Y. Z? Or for that matter A. B. C. D. E. F. G. through W? (Maybe that will reach him.)

Sound familiar? How many hours have you spent trying to figure him out? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? How long have you felt like a small animal trapped in a hamster wheel? These questions do not lead to the doorway out. Do everything you can to stop. Stop driving yourself crazy. (He’s already done enough of that.)

The more time you can spend not thinking about him (not easy) the better. Inside, in the midst of the madness, a small, still voice tells you that life should not have to hurt this much, that you did nothing to deserve this level of suffering and that there is a way out. That small and courageous voice is right.


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How crazy he sent you a picture of his “new” woman. It’s unbelievable how vein and “entitled” they feel. My soon to be ex loved mirrors. He would take hours to make himself look good. He constantly said “I should be grateful he married me because he is so good looking”. At the end of our 20 years to together I found him so ugly and arrogant. And you are so right about the co worker. She probably only knew him with his “mask” on. He will take it of soon especially when something doesn’t go his way. I am so glad that don’t have to talk or see him anymore. He really did a good job trying to destroy me but he did not succeed. Thanks for all your great encouragement. I know life is good now. My son and I talk less about him and it seems like this monster never existed.

It has been so helpful to be able to read these posts…It is a crazy-making world that is so hard to ever explain to anyone….My story is so crazy …i can’t believe it is my life….I finally got the courage last night, to be clear about ending relationship!!…have been trying to make sense of it all for 6 years… I have tried the no contact before…so we will see….Something is just not right….. We have never actually been ‘together’….he was supposed to move to where I live…we were friends….could talk and talk for hours …unless it was about anything on a personal level…then he would snap and get strange and mean….He was super witty and funny…charming….I really liked those things about him….It is so hard to have someone all of a sudden turn on you …I see his seduction now…. I know I have been afraid to clearly end…for fear of what he might do…I was married previously(my children’s father) for 25 years…he was abusive to all of us emotionally and verbally….then he hit my middle son in the face….he went to jail and I called a time out…then, in trying to seek divorce and start new life…he killed himself!!!….my fear is what controlling men might do …they say they love you …it could be killing himself or me or someone….I pray God will use this mess for good…!!!

It is an absolute crazy making experience. At the end of my 20 years with him he tried everything to make me think I was mentally sick. He told me to go to my internal medicine doctor and ask for anti depressants. He told me to go to a psychiatrist for evaluation. He told me I should check myself into a mental hospital. I did not follow his advise. He left with his young co worker and it saved my life. I almost ignored all these red flags but was very concerned when he said I should get life insurance in case something happens to me. He is a police officer after all. I am so glad he did not succeed in destroying me. I was terribly hurt at first but I am fine now. The no contact gave me my life back. I know good things will happen. Even though he demonizes me in the divorce proceedings I know it was all his fault. None of this had anything to do with me. And when you realize all this then you can truly start to recover.

I can no longer afford a lawyer. But my ex has filed a contempt charge against me over thanksgiving. The divorce decree states the noncustodial parent (my ex) is to have the children for this holiday in EVEN numbered years from Wednesday to Sunday. Well this year is an ODD year, which I read means I was to have them for the whole weekend. It was his weekend to have the kids for the regular rotation. He believed this meant he got them from Friday- Sunday. I said that was not correct that holiday time preempts regular visits. I was willing to let him have them during that time, but he had to admit that I was letting him have them, so that it would not set president. He refused, so I kept the kids the entire weekend. And now he has filed his complaint in court.

I feel he is setting me up for our daughter’s birthday this week. I offered him from 4-6 more than a month ago and last week he finally asked for 6-8. I countered with 5-7, but he has yet to respond back. So I do not know when to have the kids at the police station for the exchange. And I do not want to ruin her day, by spending an hour or more sitting at a police station on her 10th birthday only for him not to show.

Any advice on whether or not I am really in contempt or not. I am just frustrated that at very least I am going to have to spend a day figuring out how to draft a rubuttal and then another day driving 200 miles to the court that handled our divorce to file it!


One of the books in Donna’s arsenal of defense against sociopathic mates includes “Legal Abuse Syndrome”, by Dr. Karin Huffer. It indicates that people who suffer from PTSD can be considered “disabled” by the court. That could mean that a court appointed attorney would be appointed to handle your case, if you are unable to afford representation. It also means that your soon-to-be ex can’t bad-mouth you in court.

All of us who have lived through the emotional dynamics of predatory relationships have encountered either rape by fraud, or emotional rape, or both. From my book, “Carnal Abuse by Deceit,” you would be able to see how this applies to your situation and that you may very well be suffering from PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,) or PTRS, (Post Traumatic Rape Syndrome.) Neither are your fault, YOU were the victim.

Recognizing the serious consequences abuse had on you will enable you to secure the support you need for your divorce and recovery. While “no contact” helps give you back the emotional balance you lost, it cannot protect you from what that, pardon me, degenerate, can do to you in a court of law.

Since you’re unable to afford an attorney, you are likely to be unable to afford therapy as well, so I recommend that you seek therapy through a low cost or no cost source. Take a look at the resources on the list at, it is the website for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. If you don’t see such a source in your area, call your local hospital and ask where there are psychiatric services for people who can’t afford them.

We have all suffered damage at the hands of abusers. Particularly in situations where children are involved, they need the best protection money can, or can’t buy. It is best to seek help to insure that you and your children will not be further abused through your ex’s ability to manipulate the court.


Thankfully I have had a counselor willing to see me for free throughout this whole time. The fact that this person is male has also kept me from judging the whole gender! HA!
I can’t file for disability. I am employed full time as clergy. I am serving in a mission parish, though, and the pay is the pits. My Church officials felt I needed time to heal, and did not want to place me in a big church. Now I am stuck, because if I move custody of the kids will go back on the table. I love the parish I am serving and somehow the kids and I have been able to squeak by financially. But we are on Medicaid and getting a small amount of food stamps.
I have already filed my rebuttal to my ex’s contempt motion. I hope i filed it correctly, because the magistrate has not ruled on my last two motions that I filed in August (to have the kids SS cards and Birth Certificates returned, because the Guardian ad litem who has not been on the case for two years still has them. My oldest will graduate in May and needs these documents as she enters adulthood! And a motion to have child support increased, but right after I filed it my ex became unemployed AGAIN!).

I feel stronger every day. But my ex is still trying hard to intimidate me. And even my counselor often dismisses my fears even though he has been a huge help. When I told him a couple of weeks ago about my ex’s threat of contempt about Thanksgiving he stated that my ex was often full of hot air. I replied that while that was usually the case he followed through on enough threats to make me believe them all. And he followed through this time!
I am 99% certain that I have nothing to worry about. But the courts gave my ex custody of the kids for the first 1 1/2 years after I left and it was a real miracle I regained custody, because my ex was actually homeless for a short period of time. I remain in fear they are going to buy his spiel again at some point. PTSD is a given for what I have experienced and continue to be in fear of. My friends tell me I should write a book, but if I did no one would believe all the twists and turns could happen to one person.

Dear RevJanice-

Regarding your court action, it’s never a good idea, particularly when your children’s lives are affected, to go into a court room without representation. Courts work in very peculiar ways, and having someone at your side who understands the system will give you the best advantage. Since you have a therapist who can vouch for your having PTSD, it could be the solution to getting the judge to assign you a lawyer. You have nothing to lose by it, and everything to gain.

My heart truly goes out to you in your struggle!


Wow. This sounds so bad how he is demanding and aggravating you in court. I feel so sorry when on top of other things you have to deal with the minor children issue. I am thankful that my son is 19 but my soon to be ex throws anything in my path to scare and intimate me. I was so naive thinking that it would be a “civil divorce”. It truly is like going to war against your worst enemy. I do have my weapons in form of my attorney and even if it takes my entire paycheck every week to retain him. I cannot go to court representing myself. My soon to be ex would destroy me because he had 20 years of practice doing it.

The behaviors I observed with the one I was with defied any kind of explanation. I had dated lots of men and seen all kinds of games being played – the push-pull game, trying to make me jealous, etc. I’ve even played a lot of games myself with men, due to my own insecurities. But the games the spath played were not even in my realm of comprehension – especially the pathological lying. I stopped trying to figure it out because no normal person would ever do these things, never mind have sympathy or compassion for someone else doing them. When I finally grasped the enormity of the game, my first thought was how very sinister and evil it was. I knew I had to get away immediately.

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