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The first step in recovering from a sociopath: Staying alive

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader who we’ll call “Lillian.”

Yes. It happened to me. It took him six years but he left. He left me holding two mortgages in both our names. He left me once I ran out of cash. He left me when I got laid off. I am almost 50 years old and I have nothing. I haven’t heard from him in over a year. He encouraged me to buy a bigger, more expensive house than I would have on my own and came up with half the down. He moved in. Wouldn’t pay anything. Got us a joint account and credit card. I worked. He didn’t even buy groceries. He bought himself a boat after three years of hell as I got angrier and angrier because he just lay on the couch. Then he sailed to Mexico and didn’t come back. His rich widow of a prominent heart surgeon called me one day. He had told her he owned property up here and that he had ended a relationship—which he hadn’t. He got really angry then and cleaned out the joint account of my funds, of course, since there was never any joint about it. He lives in Mexico on his boat and has a house in Oakland. She feels like Cinderella right now and thinks I am the evil stepsister.

I had $400K in cash. No revolving debt. Two retirement accounts and supported my husband and kids. Well fast forward. I have no cash. No retirement accounts. $70K in revolving debt and no job. I am ruined. I am so traumatized and messed up that I can’t function. I just cry. I reach out and no one is there. I am extremely isolated. I want to die. He is living in Mexico and suing me for half the house. He isn’t done with me yet. And I am just two months away from living in a tent. No one cares. No one understands. Everyone thinks that somehow I either deserve this and or it’s my fault. I am done for. I don’t know that I can be helped even if I knew someone who could help me. That’s the story. Sad but true. I wish I were dead.

After a devastating encounter with a sociopath, the most important thing we have to do is stay alive.

We may have lost our money, our homes, our jobs, our health, our self-esteem, our hopes and our dreams, but we cannot lose our selves.

This is basic, but crucial. We cannot die.

Not everyone succeeds at this essential task. Not everyone is able to continue living in the face of monstrous personal betrayal. In these cases, the sociopath truly wins. Dr. Leedom calls it “murder by suicide.”

There is an old adage, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” When dealing with the aftermath of a sociopath, this is the truth. A sociopath’s goal is always to win, and sometimes to destroy us in the process. When we stay alive, we deny the sociopath’s victory.

We can also start a process that, over time, will enable us to claim victory for ourselves.

It doesn’t seem that way in the blackness of despair as we survey the wreckage of our lives. But as many of us have learned, amid the wreckage we may discover that our broken ideas and beliefs actually needed to be broken and thrown away. We were operating under false conceptions of ourselves, conceptions that made us vulnerable to the predators.

We learn that if we stay alive, we can begin to rebuild our lives, and when we do, we will be living our own truth.

So how do we do it? We keep putting one foot in front of the other. We cry when we need to, then we pick ourselves up and push on. We keep going forward, even though we don’t believe we can.

The road to recovery takes time and patience. It takes recognizing that we may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). It takes caring about ourselves and being kind to ourselves.

The first step is staying alive.

Please, Lillian, we know your situation is very, very bad. But don’t let him win.


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128 Comments on "The first step in recovering from a sociopath: Staying alive"

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Oh, Gemini, Thank you for the welcoming! There was one long-standing family drama that was settled!

I am so glad I felt good enough to go — and my nephews and niece treated me VERY well. Evan Sister #2 was very pleasant.

BUT, I may sound more confident — and I am — but I came home to another weekend of new health issues. Terrible pain in my side but I have a couple of gastro procedures on Sept 10th so a mystery will be solved, I hope.

Then, on Monday — was that just yesterday?? — my mail was delivered to my door and the gorgeous pictures and the packet came! Thank you. However, the past two days have been filled with troublesome financial issues that needed attention so I have had no time – nor energy — to write an email to you. I will soon, though.

Have you figured out why you can receive my email but I can’t receive yours? Is it on your end or mine, i wonder.

On my way to bed already. Am exhausted!

The Conference with the Reverend about the egg donor was last night from 6:30 to almost 10:00 p.m. and went fairly well. The Rev and the Mrs. have an adopted son who is a full fledged psychopath (in and out of prison) so they have some idea of the problems with this type of offspring. He has 3 kids which they have raised for various periods of time–several years– (but are now living with their mothers)

I left a stack of the P-son’s letters with the Rev to read over and see what is going on. I know it is difficult for anyone who hasn’t literally had some one out to kill them to realize the seriousness of this kind of situation. Son D and a childhood friend who also knows the Rev went with me (Son C just couldn’t do it–too emotionally charged an issue for him right now.) It was one of those instances where my “story” sounded less “believeable” than the I HAVE BEEN ABDUCTED BY ALIENS AND THEY ARE OUT TO GET ME story. LOL

It may be a couple of weeks before the Rev said he would find time to read through all the stuff I left and digerst it and decide how he wants to proceed—which kind of sounds like he doesn’t put a great deal of “emergency” feeling into any of this or think it is “serious” enough to take rapid action. While this is not UNEXPECTED thinking/behavior, it does reinforce that most people really do NOT get it at all. It is a struggle for him to believe such things happen.

Well, you guys have a good day, I’m off the computer to go on my outing today with my “date” to a state park and sight see.

Oxy – Im glad you have the conference over and behind you…to your benefit the fact they have a P son, may really turn out to be in your favor. Between the two of them (The Rev and Mrs.) – hopefully they will “get” the seriousness of it all and take immediate action!!!!!!

Have a great and funtastic day! ENJOY!!! Try NOT to smile TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH! :)))))))))))))

Oxy, I’m glad you had the conference, like LTL said, since they have a P son they must “get it”… read, digest, ponder… hopefully he will see the urgency once he reads the letters and TAKE ACTION!!

Dear OxDrover, How glad I am that the conference has taken place. That must give you some relief at least that’s it’s over.

As for the result of “non-emergency reaction” from the pastor, I feel enormous empathy for you. Of course, it will take time for him and wife to digest it but “a couple of weeks?!”

From personal experience, I hope you incorporate the WAITING for action by another person (who doesn’t “get” it) into your real life much better than I did.

But then, there is a life lesson in that, too, isn’t there?! #1 – we do not have any power over others’ choices or senses of urgency.

I’m thinking of two incidences from the first two years “out” when I waited for two different people to act on what they said they would. One of them had dire consequences for my adult children by their inaction and reneging on their promise to act on their behalf.

I fight bitterness about both incidences but all it is doing is hurting me! The opportunities are GONE and the consequences are now irreversible!

Oh, well, I’m still alive — and so are you and sons.

Eager to hear about your hiking date today!!

Guys, thanks, and Thanks Lily, yep the waiting is the worst part usually, but in this instance, I am really NOT expecting much in the way of results. If he does decide to go him and the Mrs. to the egg donor by themselves, it will totally RUIN any chance of her being CONFRONTED with witnesses there (son D and Me and my friend) who KNOW THE TRUTH and she will “wiggle out of it” and convince the Rev and mrs that she is the abused one.

So LOW expectations on that score is what I feel and think, so if it does turn out not to do any good, I have NOT LOST anything but a bit of time, but BOY O BOY, will the egg donor be pithed, and I mean PITHED OFF! that I outed her to the Rev and the mrs.

Anyway, the hiking date was fine, we went to the state park, went to the lodge and ate brunch with a beautiful view and then walked around some on the various high points, then came back to town. I came home and he went to run an errand, but then he will be out here later this afternoon. Had an enjoyable time though so was nice.

Guerss we will just kick around here at the house and on the farm. I can take him for a tour of the back part of the farm. Also son D has not met him yet though, son C met him Sunday after our lunch date.

Will see how it all turns out, I actually feel “odd” going on a date after so long! LOL you guys have a great day!

Muldoon……..how are you doing??????????????

Matt, since you are a criminal lawyer, I thought you might have some thoughts on this story:
My P decided to up the gas-lighting while simultaneously removing me from our business as owner last January. He placed a GPS tracking device on his truck and told me he had found it. He said he suspected homeland security is following him because he flies a helicopter without a license. I told him to remove the device and disconnect it because it was probably a joke being played by my BIL, the cop (who is an S and I believe also a Trojan Horse). Lots of whispering and paranoid behavior followed for 2 months. In March he brought home a warrant and a business card from a Homeland security agent. The warrant was dated Feb 3 and indicated that the tracking device was to be placed on his helicopter from Feb 3rd to March 15. The card had all the phone numbers scratched off except the cell phone number and the words “call me” were scrawled on it.

Looking at the warrant, the numbers on it begin with GJ indicating Grand Jury so that the record is sealed and no info can be gathered about it. It is a real warrant signed by a real judge, but obviously doctored with the P’s helicopter information and name. I told the P that since we found (and I took pictures of) the tracking device on January 26th, and it was placed on the truck rather than the helicopter that the warrant is illegal. At this point I still thought my evil BIL was behind it all.

The P went through all kinds of drama and then announced that the agent had threatened him if he didn’t give it back. So he supposedly gave it back after they surrounded him with drawn weapons.

I know that the P likes to hang around cops and gets great pleasure in manipulating them into doing evil deeds by invoking their misogynist mentality. So, likely/possibly the HLS agent is involved, but I can’t see the judge being party to all this. I tried emailing the judge, but a US marshall emailed me back with a phone number to call. At that point I called it and left a message with my number. It has been almost 2 months and he did not reply. I have copies and pics of the device as well as the warrant. Whom do you think I should contact next? BTW, I traced the HLS agent’s cell phone number to a “Dan” no last name. Dan Gleckman is the name of the agent and there is a real agent Dan Gleckman living near here.

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