By December 28, 2011 47 Comments Read More →

Suffering, Agony and The Pathway to Peace

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

There are times when I feel completely lost in all this pain, with no way out.  It is as if I have been completely abandoned in a world full of hurt.  There seems to be no one, or no thing, that I can trust anymore.  All of the things that I used to enjoy only bring me temporary relief, at best.  My mind obsesses about what happened, what could have been, and what misery the future holds.  It feels as though my very life has been taken from me.  Hopelessness has become my home, and fear my constant companion.

If you recognize this state of mind, “you are not alone”.  I found Hope is these simple words, and today, believe that hope is the single greatest gift that one person can provide to another.  The reason these words were so comforting to me is because those that said it, did so from a place that I was seeking.  That place was peace and happiness.  I thought I would never experience peace and happiness again, but there it was in front of me.  It was being offered by people that had been to the Hell that I described above and knew the way out.  The result was Hope.

And what is Hope after all?  Hope is the belief that we can overcome whatever tragedy or suffering that is in our lives at the current moment.

The past few postings here have presented some of the Spiritual concepts that lead to peace, but this week we will talk about the key to freedom and offer a way out, if interested.  The key to Peace, and the invitation for a Miracle, resides in one of the simplest, yet most misunderstood of all spiritual teachings.  This misunderstanding makes this simple step one of the most difficult ever taken, but by far, the most meaningful.  The only way to overcome the past, is to let it go.

Our freedom resides in our willingness and ability to Forgive.

Forgive is one of the most misunderstood words in the English language.  In fact, many people are “put off” by the very idea and recoil from the suggestion because of what they “think” forgiveness means.  The act of forgiveness does not release the perpetrator from responsibility for their crimes, nor condone the behavior. Forgiving the perpetrator does NOT mean we trust them, or like them.  Forgiveness is about Letting Go, a process that releases us from another’s destructive hold over our lives.

Many of us understand why forgiveness is important and the profound affects that it can have on our lives and the lives of those around us, but few know how to do it. Most, however, know very little about the sometimes devastating physical illnesses and damaged relationships that are caused by our inability to let go of the past.

It took me a tremendous amount of suffering before I recognized that my past was poisoning the current moment, all of my relationships, and robbing me of my Peace of mind.  Without knowing it, I was using my past to harm me, and those I loved.  Finally, it became so painful that I decided to stop bludgeoning myself to death and try something different.  It turned out to be just The Miracle that I was looking for.

When I started this series my hope was that I could offer the step by step process of letting go through this blog, but although simple, it is not that easy.  Our culture today promises everything in an instant, as if that is the solution to our problems.  This often creates an expectation that suggests immediate results.  This leads to more discouragement and compounds the original mistake, by adding a feeling of unworthiness and failure.  The process of letting go requires willingness, sharing, and a commitment to get free that most are not yet willing to accept.

I will continue to write weekly here, but for those that are interested and willing to go more deeply into the process of letting go, please join A Course In Forgiving  (begins January 19, 2012).  I did not come here to promote The Course, but to offer it to those that feel moved to do something more about the pain in their lives.

This Course is designed to guide participants through the Step by Step Spiritual Process of Letting Go with weekly lessons, readings and exercises that are intended to open the pathway to healing and Peace.  If you would like to donate up to $25.00 for the six week online course, thank you, but please do not feel obligated to pay for The Course.

If interested, please visit www.victorythroughpeace.com and click the link in the left hand column titled “Six Week Course Online”.  For those that participate, I will be available by phone and email to share experience in addition to this weekly blog on Lovefraud.


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47 Comments on "Suffering, Agony and The Pathway to Peace"

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You are so right about forgiveness – it is misunderstood. As the Lovefraud contributor Joyce Alexander says, It does not mean “pretend it didn’t happen.” It does mean removing the metaphorical hooks from our hearts, the hooks that bind us to the pain.

In my experience, there was a higher purpose for my involvement with the sociopath, and the entire purpose was to break the chains that bound me to him.

I had help through that process. Thank you for your offer to help others.

Yes, Travis, I do totally agree that we cannot truly and completely heal until we “forgive”–forgive both the abuser and forgive OURSELVES as well.

I was raised and taught that “forgiveness” mean we “pretended it hadn’t happened, and wouldn’t happen again.” Forgiveness meant that we had to restore TRUST to the person who had not repented of their actions and would likely repeat them. To do less than this “total amnesia” was to consign one’s soul to a pit of hell fire for the duration of eternity.

Funny, though, how those people who demanded that I have total retrograde amnesia about every bad thing they or any one else did to me, they seemed to be able to recall the most minute details of any thing that I ever did to displease them or any bad act on my part.

Most difficult though, was finding forgiveness for myself for the mistakes I had made throughout my life, and for the things I had done that I knew were wrong and did them anyway. That self forgiveness was very difficult, because I had been taught that complete perfection was the only acceptable success. Since I was not perfect, therefore I was not acceptable.

Allowing myself to be less than perfect and still acceptable, in other words to forgive myself, get the bitterness about myself out of my heart, in addition to getting the bitterness against my abusers out of my heart.

I did discover though that “forgiveness” (i.e. getting the bitterness out of my heart) is an ONGOING process for me, not a “one and done” thing, but something that I must continually work on when bitterness rears its ugly head.

I wish you great participation in your course on forgiveness! I think it is a sadly neglected part of the healing process and one that is necessary for full and complete resolution. Forgive them, but don’t trust them any further than you can throw a cow by the tail! Forgive yourself, and learn to trust yourself again! God bless, Travis! Thanks for this great article and for the class as well!


I am glad that you brought up gratitude as well. Gratitude is also very healing. When we are grateful for anything good that happens – even something as minor as finding a good parking spot – it invites more good things into our lives.

Donna, I grew up with enough food, enough clothing, shelter, education, and reasonable safety as a child….my sojourns in third world countries made me realize that having clean water, enough food, and a safe place to lay your head at night is NOT A UNIVERSAL thing for the people of the world.

When we become used to having these things and the people around us seem to all that that or more, sometimes we lose the “attitude of gratitude” that we should have for even the most mundane of our blessings.

Sometimes it is scary to realize that the very things we take for granted, our health, our loved ones, our job, home, our safety can “disappear” in a moment via no fault of our own. The stories on the news this holiday weekend about the woman in Conn losing her house, her three children and her parents in a house fire and the little girl 9 yr old girl who was killed by the “male baby sitter,” and Santa Claus killing himself and 6 others on Christmas morning! The world is NOT a “safe place” and it also isn’t a “fair” place. The gratitude we have for the things we are blessed with is a huge part of the healing we need to do. We may have lot a lot, but like Dr. Viktor Frankl said, we must FIND MEANING IN LIFE no matter what we have lost—even if it appears to be that we have lost “everything.”

As long as we have gratitude for what we do have, we have meaning in life…we have peace, enjoyment and contentment!

Thanks Travis for sharing your wonderful philosophy!

Travis, thank you for that wonderful gesture of giving!

Thank you Travis.

Hi, I’m completely new to the blog thing. This is my first posted comment on the Internet and not sure if I’m talking to myself at the moment. I am about as green as they come when it comes to anything computer (or technology!) related, but I am inspired to join in on the discussions on this website because I have come farther in my healing process from a psychopathic since reading these comments than in the almost 3 years since shaking off the psychopathic. And I have only “discovered” he was a psychopath /sociopath in the last 6 weeks. Just to sort of fill anyone in.who might be like me and looking for answers, I had no clue what a psychopath truly was. I thought they were crazy institutionalized murderers, the kind who make the news or are the villians in movies. Not until very recently did something urge me to look up the word ‘sociopath’ on the Internet and my shock, my whole world and belief system, my LIFE did a screeching halt and slowly I have been turning a 180 with the articles and blots and comments I have read about this very real entity that plagues our world. I don’t know where to even begin relating what I’he been through. Most of the time my energy is totally drained when my mind tries to wrap around what happened for more than a few minutes. Even after the psychopath has been gone for several years, I have physical problems due to stress, depression for which I take antidepressants, drained energy, confussion and short term memory loss to name a few. I cant seem to cope well enough in my self recovery to function at an acceptable level. I’m a mess, but I try daily, hourly, to get on track with my life and continue the healing process. I have done more healing in the shirt month of reading all of your comments, though, then in 3 long years, so THANK GOD

for sending me here to all of you. See, I posted this too early before finishing (still trying to learn how to use my Kindle that I got for Christmas and my fingers keep slipping). Makes me look like I cant spell, but anyway, thank you all for sharing your experiences and advice. It has helped me so very much and I have been praying for just this type of help and support for a long time. This is actually a big step for me to get on and register and post a comment. I hope others in my shoes discover this website and get as much out of it as I have. Thank you all so much.

Y’know what? I don’t “forgive” in this sense. What that person did was wrong. I’ll even kick their a** to kingdom come if I see them doing it again. But I go on in the present as if I’m still OK. Because I am. That’s the truth. They lost, I won, because I’m still standing. What a waste of time that was, trying to bring me down. Go back to playing with your toys now, little kids, I say. I have a life to live among the adults. Places to go, people to see.

Dear woundlicker,

Welcome to LoveFRaud….don’t worry about where or how you post on any thread…this is a very “friendly” site and you are very welcome here…it is also a healing site, and since knowledge is power, educate yourself by reading the archives.

It is not a “chat” site so you may not get an instant answer if you post a question, so don’t get your feelings hurt if it takes a while. There are USUALLY 1-2 people here from around the world different time zones most of the time, but sometimes not…so just wait until someone comes on to answer your question.

I check in and out several times per day as I am retired so it may look like I am on here 24/7 but actually I just come on when I am between loads of laundry or other things around the house.

Again,. welcome! Glad you found this site! God bless.

Dear Ox Drover, thank you for clueing me in…AND for responding. I was hoping you of all people would comment. Yours have been the most effective words of encouragement and advice (and information) of all I have read thus far. Not that everyone else has not moved me and helped me, but collectively you get the ball rolling, so God bless you.
I’m 41 and still talk to my mom with all my problems. She had told me from the beginning he was evil, she always senses things like that. I’m convinced she has a sixth sense because she has always been right about everyone, whether good or bad. She also told me when I finally wised up about the psychopath that forgiveness was one of the most important steps in healing. I suppose I misunderstood that forgiveness does NOT mean the predator is redeemed, it means that I move past him and let this massive burden go. He has had power over me because I was a willing victim and even though he is long gone, I still give him control of my life because I haven’t forgiven. My desire to see justice served has blinded my progress in healing myself.
I’ve shed gallons of tears to the point I actually had cardiac arrest and had to be shocked with 200 joule’s twice, had heart surgery (I am absolutely convinced the stress and pain and self-hatred I suffered brought on my heart problem), walked hundreds of miles to think and try to make sense of whet happened and why, written hundreds of pages down in my journals to help myself through the bitterness and resentment only to tear up each page in a rage. I’ve even written his name on toilet paper right before a B.M. and nothing has helped much. Yes, wiping with his ugly name (13 letters I might add- just saying) did make me smile for a moment, but for the most part I have been in a very dark place. I pray a lot and stay as far away as I can from the areas he frequents, absolutely no contact or communication, and as of this year I even stopped looking at his arrest record online to see if he has been in jail again. I think trying to keep track.of even.his crimes and convictions brings a negative energy into my house that lingers.
But of all the different types of methods I’ve tried to utilize in my healing process, the single most important personally has been prayer because it lead me to this forum and I see I am not alone, and knowing that has helped tremendously.
Knowing I’m not crazy or evil myself for allowing him in my life, knowing there are others like him out there and others like me has set my wheels in motion to truly move on, to forgive, and to forgive myself for once. I have to realize I will never be whole if I don’t like myself. I believed all of the horrible, demeaning things he called me. I believed I was sick in the head and messed up (I’m putting it nicely), that I needed help, I was worthless and a lot of other things I can’t say here. He completely broke me, sucked out my life, my spirit, my energy, and when I was at bottom he kicked dirt on me. I can only remember only one truth he ever said. Of the countless lies, only one thing he ever said rings true and that was when he said he thought he was unlovable. I look back and realize not only did I never respect him (gave me anSTD, stole from me and everyone, sold drugs, drug and alcohol addict, sexual predator, etc., etc.) But I didn’t even LIKE him!!! So my biggest challenge is understanding why with all the obvious I stuck by him for so long. What’s wrong with ME?! I’m starting to realize I am not those things he had me believing about myself. I see now that others have been in my shoes in different degrees. I feel like there is safety in numbers. Everyone who has experienced a psychopath has had to deal with the destruction. And its possible to get passed it. I see a light at theend of this long dark tunnel.

Wound licker, what’s wrong with you? You fell victim to evil honey bunch. You were duped, gas lighted, abused. I stayed with mine also despite irrefutable evidence that he was/is a total piece of shiat. And yes I have beaten myself over my loyalty to him.

What you gona do? Go outside get a big stick with a nail in the end and beat yourself with that?
No my friend! Keep reading …keep your eye on the light at the end of that tunnel.
“forgive myself for once”

I applaud that. Good for you girl.

Dear Woundlicker,

Your post above brought tears to my eyes, and is the very reason I am still at LoveFraud going on five years now….this place is healing and I felt wrung out, strung out, and wounded past healing.

The healing process starts out, I believe, in us finding out what they are and realizing what they have done, and once that part is well on the way, we start to realize that the process is about US and healing ourselves. Finding out why we were vulnerable to their “love bomb” and their “devalue and discard” and why we “stuck with them” and why we kept on trying/wanting to “fix” them.

Healing is also a grief process (look up Elizabeth Kubler Ross) she was a researcher on grief and how we process through the SENSE OF LOSS we have….denial, bargaining, sadness, etc. until we come to acceptance. Of course it doesn’t go, 1-2-3-4-5 bingo! done! It actually goes 1,4,3,2, 5, 4, 1, etc. and we get to “acceptance” but we don’t get to stay there at first, we go back to the previous stages over and over…until one day we wake up and realize that we are at acceptance and we’ve been there for quite a while.

Knowledge is power! Learn, educate yourself. I had to go back through “psychopath 101” several times before I got the lessons.

“Life is a tough teacher, she gives the test first, then the lesson” and we have to get the lesson or we have to repeat! There is no “passing” the class until we have LEARNED the lesson.

We also must realize that harboring bitterness is not a good way to heal, and in fact, that very bitterness at them or at ourselves, will impede our healing.

Keep your faith, and continue to pray! I believe that God will not give us more to bear than we can bear. Sometimes he calms the storm, and sometimes he calms the frightened child. God bless (((Hugs))) Joyce


Joyce, can I call you that? Amen to your words. You are such a God send you truly are. Bless you, you welcome the battle worn and weary with your big heart. I love reading your posts.

As someone once said, “Never, never,never give up”

God bless you. Towanda wise woman

Lord knows I needed to hear all of that. For years I have been trying to get better by myself. I try not to put too much on my mom because I can see ithurts her that I’m still in turmoil. But talking to myself and having no one to vent to, no one to get advice from, no shoulder to cry on has stagnated my efforts to recover.
I am more motivated now to see that I WILL grow and learn from this, and not just keep SAYING I will.
God does work in mysterious ways. I see things a tad more clearly lately. Thank you. I hope one day I can be the one giving advice and support.

Thanks, Strongwoman! True, NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP!!!
Woundlicker, the ONE thing that truly started me on the road to healing was when I came here and found that I was NOT ALONE, and that I was NOT STUPID…it may sound silly, but the fact that a smart woman like Dr. Liane Leedom and a smart woman like Donna Andersen were conned made me realize that I was NOT just dumb….and also that I was NOT alone.

I had felt so alone….so dumb….you name it, I felt it…but coming here where there was real support and caring from Donna, Liane and other bloggers I started to heal, started to feel stronger. Some days I felt strong, and other days I felt weak, but I never felt ALONE.

Eventually, though, I learned that While it was wonderful to have support from others, ultimately I had to LEARN TO VALIDATE MYSELF. I had to examine myself, my own feelings, my own motives, my own anger, rage, sorrow….(again, name the emotions!) and come to my own peace with myself. It was 2 steps forward one step back, three steps forward, four steps back, etc. and I kept on “seeking the light” even when it was really dark…just keep the faith that you will recover, that you will heal, that you will get better! and as Strong woman said, NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP!!! (((hugs)) and God’s blessings on everyone of us here!

ps, Strongwoman, you can call me Joyce or “Oxy” or whatever you please, just don’t call me late for supper!

woundlicker: you sound like me when I first arrived here.
I have walked many miles since then and still am walking…

right past “IT” and out the door…

Blessings and prayers to you for the New Year…

Dupey Doo

P.S. Like “Joyce” said: NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!


4 years out and I still have symptoms similiar to yours–but it is getting better. If someone had told me this four years ago–I would not have believed them.

I have only recently started posting on LF too. I suffered in silence and burdened my my very understanding mum too although I read without fully understanding of what happened for those four years.

Keep posting. I find it helps–not only in finding yourself again–but in meeting with lovely people who care–also to trust–which is a big issue with me.

You are in the best place.

At first I struggled to find my voice as it had been completely stifled–but now with encouragement from all here I am starting to find it and join in when I can.

Take care and keep posting. You will be fine one day. I am sure of it. Call it hope if you will


Travis-Thank you, again, for your posts. I signed up for your course and am encouraged that I will finally be able to forgive and let go. It is really the one last thing I need to do in this healing process. And like Oxy says, ‘It’s not a once your there, your done. It is constant work to stay there.”

I really love how you express yourself. There is a gentleness and warmth that I find so comforting. I am thankful that your spirit enttered my “online” life. Blessiings to you.

Woundlicker-Welcome to LF. I, like you, have found profound inspiration and help on this site. Like you, I had the same perceptions about Sociopaths before I came onto this site. My eyes have been opened and it hasn’t always been easy facing the truth of my experience. But trust in the journey. It is worth it.

I have suffered and still suffer from many of the symptoms you described. At first, I didn’t understand why. I went through 12 years of suffereing before I was finally diagonosed with CPTSD 3 years ago. It wasn’t until that time that I faced what had happened to me and that I was involved with a disordered person so many years ago. It was only until I had that initial understanding that I began to heal.

I wish you strength and courage on your journey.


I know just HOW HARD it is to “forgive” (get the bitterness out of your heart) for what was done to you, and would be done again if they had the chance. The problem I had with “forgiveness” was my “definition” of the word was wrong!

My egg donor had raised me to believe that “forgiveness” means that we have to PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, even though the person hadn’t repented, and would likely do it again, and then we had to “forgive” them AGAIN and AGAIN, 70 X 7—And if we didn’t accomplish this impossible task, then we would burn in God’s hell forever.

What I FINALLY came to realize was that her DEFINITION WAS WRONG. Forgiveness does NOT mean (to me) that we pretend it didn’t happen, or pretend that you are sorry or pretend that you won’t do it again….DUH!!!!

Well, once I realized that a NEW DEFINITION of “forgiveness” was in order, the one I came up with (and that met my interpretation of what the Bible teaches) is that

Forgiveness means to get the bitterness out of YOUR heart against the person(s) that abused you, but it does NOT mean that you also have to trust them or have a relationship with them, or that you PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

I also realized that once I reached the place of “forgiveness” that if I were to dwell on the bad things people have done to me, the bitterness would creep back into my heart. Now that doesn’t mean I “forget” that the person(s) have abused me, not at all, I just don’t go into a “poor me I got abused” pity mode, I just go NO contact with the person inside my head, I don’t rent them space to live inside my head, to take up my thoughts and my emotions. I reach that nirvana of indifference. I work to stay there by not going over and over all the nasty things they did to me or said to me inside my head. I think on more positive things.

So it is an on-going process…but it does get easier as you go! (((hugs)))

I agree with the definition of forgiveness. I believe knowledge is such an important tool for people who need healing (and who DOESN’T need healing of some sort). I was wrong in my general assumption of what a sociopath/psychopath was and in what forgiveness truly meant. Makes a person very humble when they have to wonder what else they were wrong about.
At least you can learn and grow once you’ve hit bottom because you’re STARVED for knowledge, understanding, support, and help. What better place to come then here, I say.
I can hear strength in the people on this forum, not weakness and confusion, self-loathing, etc. I can see how its a very real possibility that one can recover from a psychopath and come out better for it. It gives me immeasurable hope that I will not feel this low for the rest of my life. The posts have opened my eyes to so many new and wonderful revelations and I have found so much encouragement in the people who care enough to share what they know, I cannot say thank you enough. You are all truly God-sends!

Dear Woundlicker,

I suggest that you go to the archives, they are listed by category and start reading the articles, just for now, JUST the articles (leave the comments on the old articles for later) there are about 700 of them I think at last count, each 1-2 pages long. Read them, and some of them will “hit home” and some won’t mean so much to you right now, but later, that will “kick in” when you are farther along the healing road, and you’ll have an “ah ha” moment! I’ve been here going on 5 years and I still have “ah ha!” moments daily!

Learning is a continuing process not just a “do it and done” thing, and we continue to grow each day! There are some roller coaster moments as well when we hit a new low, or a new high, but over all the journey is upward and onward! This is a wonderful place and a godsend of information and support to help you heal! So just keep on reading and absorbing what fits that day’s need, and as you grow you will be able to absorb more information and help. The journey for healing starts out about them and ends up about US. It is physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual in nature, and is all about “finding meaning” after trauma! So be kind to yourself, forgive yourself and life will get better. I promise you that! (((hugs))) and my prayers as well.

woundlicker: you are doing wonderfully; welcome…
if you ever need someone to talk with, we are here and understand. I am praying for you…

THANK YOU TRAVIS for sharing your ‘gift’.
On the subject of ‘forgiveness’ for “IT”….

I CAN feel and see and hear myself stepping past this in a huge way but I have locked my ‘forgiveness’ away in complacency instead. A typical PTSD symptom, as I am told…and I think that is fine. It is not my job to ‘forgive’ “IT”. Only GOD can ‘forgive’ “IT”. I cannot and never will. But what I CAN do is walk past “IT” with a greater sense of purpose and value and worth.

I am learning how to NOT allow the bitterness to overtake my life nor ruin it, although the “IT” keeps trying to barge in and ruin it for me. It just doesn’t work anymore. “IT” has been completely neutralized. What I see before me now is a life that I have no clue how to put back together at the age of 60! 🙁 But I do know that locking it out from my life was the absolute right thing to do or I would not be here, this moment, writing this. No, I do not believe forgiveness for it is required. I never shall so perhaps I am a challenge. 🙂

To me, ‘forgiveness’ is not required to heal from this.
I am ‘okay’ with that ‘unforgiveness’ for “IT” because of the overwhelming vile and purposely harmful things “IT” has done to me over the years and which I accepted having been conditioned so masterfully…forgiving myself? For what? For loving and for caring and for being kind and STUPID? We should never be ashamed nor feel ‘sorry’ or ‘stupid’ for ‘caring’….THEY are the ones who should be ashamed and feel sorry and stupid. Their lack of awareness of their selves is exactly the problem here, not our lack of forgiveness for them. I shall NEVER forgive it but I SHALL move on and forward with what life I have left. “Forgiveness” is not a requirement to heal from this. I have nothing to forgive myself for other than my stupidity. “IT” knows I shall never speak another word to “IT”, ever and I shall NEVER ‘forgive’ it. That is “ITS” beacon to deal with, not mine.

I do not believe ‘forgiveness’ for “IT” is necessary nor required to ‘heal’ from this. There is no way I CAN ever forgive “IT”. Not and stay true to myself.

I am sooooo eager to join your course Travis and I appreciate you so much for being here, contributing to all of our lives. We are all collectively such an amazingly strong force, you would think the devil would have ran away by now; hm?

Woundlicker: welcome to our understanding group. LoveFraud walked me OUT OF AND PAST a complete state of dysfunction, mentally, emotionally and physically. I have sudden heart failure disease now and was told 95% was due to the stress in my life. So, when the decision came to go NC 8 months ago, it truly was, in more ways than one, necessary for my survival.

LoveFraud is the “HEALING PLACE”. 🙂
Like Donna and Joyce, too – they are the global huggers. 🙂

*Happiest of New Year’s to you all…
May we find the peace and acceptance we need this New Year.



I am so sorry that you’ve suffered such severe health issues. Good for you for recognizing the need to focus on peace and acceptance.

Forgiveness always seemed impossible for me to consider, because I also thought it meant denying that past events never happened. Pretending that everything that happened was “normal” seemed like lying!…and I refused to live in denial…just to make everything and everyone around me seem acceptable. Many things that happened, were said, or were done to me were not even a little bit acceptable to me, so I would not forgive…I would not let anyone off the hook…not even myself!

I’ve learned to forgive myself for obsessing that past could ever have have been any different. I could not have done anything differently that would have changed events that happened. I need to forgive myself for believing that things might have been better…because I was not God…I could not control others behaviors…still can’t.

Accepting that I could not rewrite past history has allowed me to understand that the past can never be changed…only accepted for what it was. I forgave myself for thinking that I could have rewritten history and made things better for myself and others..if only I’d…if only…

To me, forgiveness means accepting that the past could not have been any different that what it was. I accept what was and forgive myself for thinking that I could have been responsible for controlling others actions. I do not deny the past and do not dwell on thoughts that it could have been changed by me.

This is just my perspective of forgiveness.

WWII happened…we can’t deny the war happened…now let’s learn from those terrible events and create a better future (so to speak) for ourselves.

Thanks IM for your condolences. I am surprisingly doing very well and it has somewhat ‘stabilized’ but that’s how it works…

Yah, my whole life, healthier than anything=add one evil spath and almost lost my life THAT time, not to mention a couple of other times along with all the death threats, etc. – it’s been an out of control ride the past 10 years I have known this “THING”….

Every evil thing you could possibly conceive things being, they were. It was only my persistence that has kept me alive. And that is a straight up fact. There is a lot of back up behind me too. I see the ‘paper trail’ and criminal record growing and compiling constantly. The authorities will wait until someone is murdered or GOD FORBID a string and then they will intervene? Yah, right. Sure they will NOT. I mean, they WILL back you up and save your life if necessary but to make “IT” do anything about itself…nope…and that is because WE ALL HAVE CHOICE.
That is something we have to accept: that is their choice to be the way they are. If they are cruel from afar, don’t allow them near and I have never allowed it right up too close and personally involved in my life and for that I was hated and targeted…because I AM STRONGER than “IT” and “IT” knows I am…

I am completely protected and shielded by the law in all ways conceivable and IT knows it. YES: FOCUS. That dawned on me the other day, that I was completely forgetting to FOCUS my thoughts when the need arises. Like keeping a leather shoe polished… 🙂

When you FOCUS you realize how strong you truly are.
There will never be forgiveness for him, from me. I absolutely mean I shall never forgive him. I won’t let hate devour my life but I don’t feel it is my place to forgive him and I am not. I never will as long as I live. THAT has become a virtuous thread now within my being, indiscernible as anything other than an instantaneous reaction on my behalf anymore. I just know myself and I don’t believe my forgiveness of “IT” is holding up any healing in my life. It is not my place to forgive him for being the way he is. IT IS my place to recognize who I am and my value and my worth and to stay away from “IT”. To forsake it and to banish it from my life. THAT is my place. Not forgiveness.

Yes, trying to forgive myself for ruminating the past five years. For allowing this to steal and rob what little life I have left in this world. I so hate him for the things he has stolen from me but not to the point that it chews up what little I have left. Of life, I mean. At least I am starting to taste, feel, breathe and ‘chill’ now for the first time in ten years and only two weeks ago, it threw a ball of fire at me…trying to barge in again…trying to LOVEBOMB only once more, unbelievable!!!!

Yes, the past could have been different. It is different than the way “IT” planned it all to be. “I” made it different by making choices in what I think and believe and value and what I consider acceptable behavior and non acceptable behavior and when a person tries to intentionally harm you and you realize it, that is somehow completely unacceptable to me. There is no understanding that; no reconciling that…that pretty much speaks for itself………When all you have been guilty of is loving and caring. But that is the poison the bite from that scorpion has left inside our veins…it is up to US to treat the wound and to administer the proper medications and care to save ourselves.

I am resilient and strong – more resilient and more strong than “IT” could ever only dream of being. For me, it’s very difficult to see a future, considering my medical condition, but, the NOW in peace and quiet is pretty good, actually. 😉 8 months of complete peace, despite ITS intrusions. And I am still holding strong and am resolved and I feel sort of like I may do a little ‘time warp’- time travel kind of thing at the stroke of midnight; ahahahaha – if I don’t return, I went to find SPOCK. 🙂

What was, was meant to be or it would not have been.
What is, is the way it is for a purpose and reason.
What will come is what we allow it to be.

*Hug to you IMconfused*
Happy New Year.


woundlicker, I think we all are stuck at certain points in our individual healing journeys. I have been in a pretty dark, too.

I see a couple of places that I am stuck; and one of the biggest walls i need to bash through at this time is the one that keeps me from believing in myself and liking myself again. i need to find my way to that soft spot within myself where i am at peace with where i am and where i can dare to envision a different future. futility is still too close an acquaintance (although not hugged. everything is better if we hug it – (‘cept spaths)) and meaning in life is still elusive. BUT, i am bloody well trying.

Greetings and Gratitude to LF and all the wonderful articles and posters.
This post really spoke to me on many levels, in many ways. As I was reading all the posts, I was thinking about my past, and I realized that I have forgiveness in my heart for my spath ex’s (3 of them) abuse, except for one act that I feel in every fibre of my being as UNforgiveable (My kids sperm doner raped them while I was away at my dads death bed) while reading and thinking, I had a “wow” moment, and realized i haven’t given myself the same level of forgiveness as i had to the abusers in my life. Forgiveness isn’t a one off process it’s an ongoing process and i now see I have much work to do on Me for Me. Blessings to all 🙂

Dear Dragonleigh,

Welcome, and I agree with you totally, forgiveness is NOT a one off process, but an ongoing process….and it isn’t how vile the crime is, even the most vile crime can be “forgiven” if you look at forgiveness as “getting the bitterness out of your own heart” it does NOT mean that what they did was in any way OK, but we cannot hold on to that BITTERNESS without it eating US like a cancer, or a tumor, or acid, or poison. Forgiveness FREES US, not the bad guy!

Freeing ourselves from the bitterness against them is important, but also freeing ourselves from the bitterness against OURSELVES is also a difficult and on-going fight! Forgiving MYSELF for “being so stoooopid!” for “going along with them” for “letting them do it over and over again” for “not seeing it sooner” and so on. THAT was difficult, IS DIFFICULT, but I will continually work on it.

Blessings to you too, and God bless. (((Hugs)))

I struggled so much from being pressured to forgive, particulary from people with a Christian background and especially since the P and the S are members of my family, that one day I finally decided to find out what the Bible had to say on the subject.

After a lot of reading, it came down to this – according to the Bible, forgiveness comes AFTER the perpetrator (sinner) has fully recognized how the victim has suffered and expressed genuine regret for his or her actions, i.e., the pain of somebody else. Out of this insight and regret, the perpetrator sincerely resolves not to harm again. The request for forgiveness will be sincere. Under those circumstances, how can somebody not forgive?

That rules out psychopaths.

I now use this information, if somebody suggests that I need to forgive, to make a statement something like this, modifying it, of course, to the circumstances and individual:

…..I cannot forgive if the person has expressed no regret. There is nothing to forgive. Regret has to come first and without any regret, what is any different?

What I can do, and I have done, is accept that people are where they are. Some people enjoy hurting others and there is nothing that I can do to change them.

If by “forgiveness,” you mean that you would like to see me empowered, I think I have done that. I have released them and moved on with my life. I have accepted the incident and the person for being the kind of person he or she has shown themselves to be. I do not try to force them to be somebody that they are not.

I know that I did not deserve the abuse because nobody deserves to be abused, therefore, nobody is entitled to abuse.

I prefer to reserve “forgiveness” for the people who sincerely regret the hurt they have caused and have resolved their best not to do that again. I forgive gladly, quickly, and willingly in those cases. It’s just with this particular person, until there is some demonstration of sincere regret, there is nothing to forgive. I am with you; I would like to see things between us as bettered, but apparently, at least for right now, that wish isn’t shared by the other side.

Actually, what I would be doing, if I were to “forgive” without any sincere regret on the part of the perpetrator, is participating in the abuse cycle. The cycle needs two people, and it continues because the victim repeatedly believes the apologies and takes the abuser back. Studies have shown that the only way that the abuse cycle is broken is when the victim gets out of it because the perpetrator has no incentive to change. Perpetrators like the arrangement; it is a position of power for them to bully and abuse. I cannot envision anyone expecting me to continue to put myself in harms way. For the sake of my welfare and sanity, I had to get out of it…..

I agree with Travis. “Forgiveness” is a much misunderstood and overused word.

G1S, to me “forgiveness” does NOT include restoring TRUST or a RELATIONSHIP. I also read the Bible and looked at the story of Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery…..when he recognized them,, he did NOT immediately open his arms to them and embrace them, restoring a relationship with them. The story indicates that he had realized that he had a purpose in Egypt and had apparently gotten over the bitterness he had held toward what his brothers had done to him.

HE TESTED THEM PRETTY HARSHLY to see what kind of men they had become in the 20-30 years since he had seen them. He saw by his testing that they did REGRET what they had done to cause his father pain, and that they would in fact NOW sacrifice themselves to save Benjamin and save their father more pain for losing the only remaining (that he knew about) son from his beloved wife. So those men were TESTED and shown to have repented and become better men BEFORE he restored a relationship with them.

So I think you and I are talking about the same thing….I do NOT restore a relationship with someone who is not willing to admit what they did was wrong, promise and show that they are not going to do it again, and aware of the hurt they have done. IN other words, they have repented. THEN and only then can or will I restore a relationship. TRUST has to be EARNED and once earned and betrayed, it is difficult to be restored.

G1S – Thank you for your truly eloquent statement. Many sociopaths, and their enablers, use so-called religious teachings to browbeat victims into “forgiving,” and the bad behavior continues. Your explanation and analysis can be very helpful for people who know that something isn’t right, but feel conflicted because of their religious values.

Dear Ox Drover, thank you so much for the warm welcome to this lovely space.

Your words and observations are always so spot on, ‘a difficult and on-going fight!’, this is so true for me. It seems like it’s not only a on-going fight for Forgiveness but a fight for Peace, Safety,joy and recovery as well. Like you and every other here I will continue to work on it as well.

Blessings to all 🙂

Travis: I am sure I speak for us all when I say that we forgive you but that was very ‘smiley’….thanks. 🙂

I cannot see myself ever forgiving this monster.
I do not believe my forgiveness of “IT” is required to heal from this. In fact, it is that ‘steadfastness’ and ‘perseverance’ that I think springs-forth HOPE sometimes.

Let me explain like this: if someone is ‘peeling the skin’ off your body and they are leaving you lay there while you watch them trying it on, do you FORGIVE “THAT”? No. Certainly not. What you DO “DO” is get away from it and educate yourself and train yourself and discipline yourself to STAY AWAY FROM IT.

It does not take MY HEAD ending up in “ITS” freezer to realize where this situation with “IT” was headed. I am straight up SERIOUS about this folks.

I can forgive MYSELF…for allowing my kindnesses to become weaknesses. In fact, “IT” taunted me once:
“You know how difficult a time you have getting over men…you will always love me and want me around you…you are a whore, like all the rest; you will always let me back.” Kind of difficult to forgive all that; isn’t it?

But, yes, I believe we can forgive OURSELVES for a whole lot. I forgive myself for being deceived and for trusting someone I used to think was my best friend in the world. And pretended to be so for a great many years. Someone I used to trust was intentionally trying to harm me. I forgive myself for allowing my life to be raped away from me. Only by the Graces of the Angels, I have another shot at this life and IT is NOT getting it. Do you guys hear me?? 🙂

And I have told it so, many times.

DRAGONLEIGH: yes, ongoing struggle but it does culminate. The Disney World ride that has been spinning within us eventually starts to slow down…then comes that acceptance. It is resounding and it was a rough landing but when you educate yourself, it softens all the blows. When you look and seek and find explanations and answers for the unexplainable…

That is something they aren’t doing – they like how they are or they would change it. Remorse and repentance can be so feigned. Trust me, I became a master at recognizing the ‘mocking’ gestures of “IAM SORRY”. I still am. I wish not to be antisocial to anyone but I am not leaving my life open ever again for this kind of ‘roadshow’. Trust me. WITH SPATHS remorse and repentance does not exist. Because in their minds, they think WE ARE the crazy ones for not being LIKE THEM. Just think about that…it’s true.

I wish you all the very best in this New Year.
Happy Day to Everyone = thanks again Travis.


I do NOT FORGIVE my EX husband. If I think of him or if he were here in front of me, I would tell him to “GET BEHIND ME SATAN.” (I have looked up all the examples in the bible where God or Jesus forgave Satan. Maybe I missed those parts???) I turned over ANY forgiveness of my EX husband to GOD.

What I HAVE done is understood my EX Husband’s EVILNESS, and what was done to me by him and by others because of him, and how I got sucked into giving up my life for that EVIL. My EDUCATION solidified my determination to be FREE of him. That means FREE of his control of me and FREE of emotions towards him. I don’t wish for anything to be different between us. I have what I desire, HE is BEHIND ME.

I have no use for people who judge me and condemn me for not “forgiving” b/c they say I can’t move on unless I do. That’s only true in their world. I turn those kind of people over to God to deal with too.

In MY world, I have moved on. My soul is so FREE, I feel light and joyous and connected to my Lord God. I forgave myself AFTER I understood my wrongdoing, it was IMPOSSIBLE to do when I did NOT UNDERSTAND. And b/c I have “MOVED ON”, I leave behind ALL contempt and condemnation of me. My soul belongs to God, not human oppressors. Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free La lal lala la. Dance Happy Happy Dance. Blessed Blessed Blessed. I am so Blessed and that makes me so happy. Happy. Joy in God. Peace to all.

KatyDid: I love it! Thanks so much for validating me.
Yes, we have moved past that turning point…

Your words so resonate with me…truly…



Hi! Molly here. I have been reading on this site for a while but this is my first post. I was so happy to find this site. When you have been dragged through hell by a spath people just don’t get it. I stopped talking about it to my friends. The vibe I got back was that I was just angry and bitter because, you know, he really is a nice guy. i soon figured out that they don’t understand and just can’t understand. I went to therapy and my therapist didn’t get it either. I read “A dance with the devil” by Barbara Bentley and e-mailed her to thank her for writing her book. For the first time I didn’t feel alone and crazy.

It has been a long healing process and I continue on my healing journey. I have two jobs so life keeps me busy. That helps. I still question the lesson. Why did I need to learn this?? Really God?? and in my angry moments…. why does he get away with this, with no hurt and no consequences?? and if what goes around comes around, when does he get his comes around??
enough said. thank you all for your posts.

Dear Molly, Thanks for your post! Hey, they don’t really “get away” with it, because actually they are UNABLE TO LOVE. How would you like to be DEVOID of the ability to LOVE? I can’t even imagine how miserable that would be….it would be like being blind, deaf, unable to feel touch, without taste or smell….just in an EMPTY world devoid of all the joys and sensations…so I think we are better off, but learning about them is like learning to avoid putting our hands on a hot stove, or learning not to walk on broken glass. There is a lesson there that saves us future pain.

So keep on reading, learning, growing and healing! And again, WELCOME to Love Fraud!

Hi Molly: Welcome to Love Fraud.
Yes, I completely understand, the people around us just ‘don’t get it’, most of the time, including therapists. You must shop around for a therapist who completely ‘gets it’. They are out there, just perhaps too few. Friends, family, NOBODY ‘gets it’. Which further solidifies all of the horrid devaluing the spath has already done. Once you recognize that it is an illness and look at it from a different perspective, it doesn’t matter what other people think. YOU KNOW. That is the only validation we need. We are entitled to that validation.

I have not read “A Dance with the Devil” but have heard it is amazing…I shall have to put that on my ‘fall asleep with a book’ list. Thanks for recalling it to me.

Yes, a very long and grueling healing process. I have been on mine for the past 5 years, steadily, after having known him for 10 years all together. Yes, I am a firm believer in avoidance behaviors, Molly…you will be just fine; keep yourself as busy as you possibly can. FOCUS: REMEMBER YOUR WORTH AND YOUR VALUE.

It does seem like they get away with everything but they aren’t. When they are sleeping at night, those nightmares that wake them?? The one’s where they wake screaming and shivering and feel like they are over the edge…that is their karma; they don’t realize that it is their CONSCIOUS trying to reach them.

Being able to walk away from an abusive relationship like this and mean what you are saying is so empowering. Standing up for yourself and your values and virtues and not being shy about it at all.

They are who they are.
Leopards don’t change their spots.
The weak are killed and eaten in their world.

I wish you blessings and peace and success Molly…


woundlicker –

“Most of the time my energy is totally drained when my mind tries to wrap around what happened for more than a few minutes. Even after the psychopath has been gone for several years, I have physical problems due to stress, depression for which I take antidepressants, drained energy, confussion and short term memory loss to name a few. I cant seem to cope well enough in my self recovery to function at an acceptable level. I’m a mess…”

I do hope you have seen a doctor honey? You have PTSD. Most of us who tangle in any meaningful way with spaths end up with it. Many on the blog have been diagnosed and are being treated for it. You are NOT going nuts – when your body switches that adrenaline on and keeps the pedal down continuously (like what happens when we live in daily fear and confusion and even terror), our cortisol levels end up drained and our other hormones also wind up completely out of whack trying to stabilise the chemical imbalances caused by this. Medical fact.

Generally – in women at least – this will mean several things. Some of your oestrogens will plummet but others will rise, driving up your testosterone level. Until this all gets sorted, you will continue to have the physical problems even after you have the mental and emotional WTF’s sorted in your head.

The physical results are: sleep problems, hyper-vigilance, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, short term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, tearfulness, weakness, often a loss of or alteration in spiritual beliefs, recurring nightmares and even “daymares”, re-experiencing trauma, over active startle reflex, active avoidance of things, people and places that remind us or trigger us….
Many of us have also gone on to develop other, linked illnesses, like Fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivities, CFS etc.

Get thee to a doctor prithee! I have been having counseling (therapy) for 2 years and apart from the odd “trigger” (like when I have to see Superspath in court) I am fine now most of the time. I am almost 4 and a half years out from the relationshit but have only realised over the past 2 that I was spathed. Such a relief to identify and dissect those WTF feelings/moments!!!!

Stay, read, post, learn – but please get some medical attention too. What we have is not low-level stress, it is killer stuff if not addressed as soon as possible.

littlewhitehorse –

You too. PTSD. Get it treated honey. xx

DUPED NO MORE! says: Let me explain like this: if someone is ’peeling the skin’ off your body and they are leaving you lay there while you watch them trying it on, do you FORGIVE “THAT”? No. Certainly not. What you DO “DO” is get away from it and educate yourself and train yourself and discipline yourself to STAY AWAY FROM IT.

Wow and Wow Duped No More, That was the biggest Validation for me, If my ex spath could of literally worn my ‘skin’, mind, heart and soul he would of. Even after all these yrs (8) of NC It still feels a bit “crazy” that another human being wanted to devour the very essence of ‘ME’. Thank you so much for that validation, it has helped me a lot in validating my feelings and thaughts around this.

I am learning, knoweldge and information=power and healing 🙂

Blessings to all.

Dragonleigh: I am sorry you understood and related to what I said.

I am touched that I ‘validated’ you.

You and I understand what that is like: ‘having the skin peeled from your body’ and watching them try it on. You can see it in ‘hindsight’, now, I know you can, just like I see it in my situation. It’s ‘chilling’ but at the same time, very educational.

8 years of NC; I am almost to my 8th MONTH, let alone years, My Dear….Yes, thanks for ‘warning’ me that it still feels a ‘bit crazy’…yes, they tried to devour not only the very essence of US but in my case, “IT” tried to devour “ME”. ALL OF ME.

Dragonleigh…I am so sorry this happened to you and in your lifetime. Cling to your value and your worth. Stand up and be that dynamic person I just know you are. If you do that, and stay true to yourself, you will be just fine. And that is my prayer and my wish for you. Hear me?

You and I appear to have walked the same side of the tracks on this one. We have both seen evil at it’s absolute finest. I can tell because you understood what I said. That is a whole lot of evil. Like a deer being caught in the headlights. That kind of evil. I know how cold and dark and the madness that follows.

I am so happy to know that something I have said has touched you and helped you. You have quite made my day and left it ending on a smile. Thank you for your feedback. It means a lot.

Learning is knowledge and knowledge is the information we need to live and to heal. We will then have that power. We have always had the power but we relinquished it for a while, trusting another’s intentions were as pure of heart as our’s was when we know that is really not the case; don’t we?

Stay true to yourself.

Lifetime hugs Dragonleigh…


Dear Dupey,

Hugs and Blessings to you 🙂 Your words are like a healing balm.
It warms my heart to know I was able to bring a smile to your face and ‘made your day’, so to speak, the validation and the knowledge that I get from your words and the words of others on this amazing site have been very healing for me.

Woohoo!!!! 8months NC, way to go!!!!!

10 yrs ago left abusise marriage ,9rs stalker spath, 8 yrs since my ex-b/f spath(true evil), 4 yrs ex friend/co worker, 2 yrs toxic (for me) mother………..WOW!!!!!……….LOL, No wonder I feel battle weary and tired at only 47, all NC except my mom. Even though I have stumbled many times…..I’m still Standing…..I’m still ME; Kind, Compassionate, Empathic, Loyal, Loving and Ethicial.

Cling to your value and your worth. Stand up and be that dynamic person I just know you are. If you do that, and stay true to yourself, you will be just fine. And that is my prayer and my wish for you. Hear me?

Dupey, I hear you loud and clear 🙂 Lol, Just what I needed to hear, had an operation a month or so ago and was starting to like the hibernation/retreat from life, a little to much I think.
I pray and wish the same prayer for you.((((HUGS))))

NC Rocks!!!!
Spath Free Rules!!!!

Blessings to all.

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