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.
Lillian: I don’t have the answer, I wish I did! I also have repeated patterns my entire life. Reliving old trauma? I don’t know. I just had to fix and rescue everyone. I have taken treatment from an S that other women would not have tolerated for 1 day… let alone years. I drive myself crazy! I feel as if… since I put up with the crap… well my sister says I’m not demanding enough, I’m too nice, I should get rid of the loser, etc etc… and if I’m frozen where I am isn’t it my problem? Am I desperate or crazy? I hope somebody has an answer! 🙂
Lillian: We might act a little bit crazy sometimes, but we’re normal. I have been angry and depressed lately myself… as you have, but we’re not the ones with a personality disorder! We can believe in that for sure. I’m not too clear on everything myself, and I don’t seem to be blessed with the talent of writing my thoughts down very well, but I’m hanging in there with everybody here.
Don’t put down your ability to convey your thoughts! I think you do a great job!
Good morning, Lillian, hope your evening was better. To me, just getting VALIDATEd from others is a great start! Soon you will learn to validate YOURSELF. That was a difficullt hurdle for me. When I started trying to learn to set boundaries, I would worry that I was being “unfair” or “mean” by telling people to quit stomping on my toes! LOL so I would discuss this boundary with my son D, and ask him “Is this boundary unfair?” He would validate me that it was NOT unreasonable or unfair, even with people he also loved. I have now realized, when I set these boundaries and they continued to STOMP ON MY TOES after I asked them to stop, that though I loved them, THEY DID NOT LOVE ME. So, I set stronger and bigger boundaries and essentially pushed these people out of my life.
That is the thing about boundaries, if you set a boundary and they do not respect it, it is a CLEAR INDICATION that they do not care about you. Therefore, if they do NOT care about you, or care about hurting you, WHY IN THE NAME OF HEAVEN, do you want these people in your life?
It gets easier as you learn to validate yourself. In the meantime, use LF as a validation for your thoughts, feelings and actions. there are some really smart people here who will “tell you like it is” in a kind and caring way—and sometimes even use my “cast iron skillet” to LOVINGLY boink you on the head to say “WAKE UP and smell the coffee” This “skillet” has sort of become a LF tradition, but is ALWAYS wielded with love and caring! LOL That is one of the most wonderful things here is the total loving and caring. ((((hugs)))) and my prayers for you!
I tell you now, if it wasn’t for my daughter who needs me, I wouldn’t be here today. Because I cannot leave her… I went to the doctor and I am now taking an anti-depressant, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills to get through this. I never ever pictured myself in this shape and I never-ever thought I’d end up like this. I used to be a very strong and confident man – but now I have lost almost 40 pounds, I look like I have aged 19 years almost overnight, and I have no self-esteem and the indignity and the shame of the betrayal is far more than I would have ever have agreed or been willing to bear, but like I said, my daughter, my precious and innocent daughter needs me and I have to get myself together for her sake.
oops, I meant, “aged 10 years”.
Happy early fathers day! What a bittersweet post … You will get through this…LF is an amazing place to turn to for advice and just venting and reading and reading all of the articles. None of us ever imagined this happening to us, but so many ahead of us on the recovery path are proof that we get back to being stronger and more confident than before.
Im glad you made it, you are being proactive for your sweet childs sake…You are so right, SHE NEEDS YOU, and you will build yourself up again, if not for yourself, than for her…whatever it takes!
We will all help you…we are all on this journey together! Stay strong and focused and fasten your seatbelt too…it quite the ride and gets better with time!
Welcome to Love fraud! We’re kind of like a cancer suvivor’s group, no one would want to join, but since you QUALIFY, this is teh best place to be! It is a healing place and good people. speak your mind, read and learn! No one will put you down here, or not believe you because we have all been through the “surgery” and the pain!
I’m glad you too have a reason to live, it is difficult sometimes to find one, but the fact that you do have, means you are stronger than you know! Don’t give up! Again, welcome to a safe andhealing place. (((hugs)))
Kickback: Days ago you posted a link to “Dr. Robert.” You didn’t get much response. I’m catching up on reading here, and I followed your link.
I feel that “Dr. Robert” may have some clinical experience (by his word) but he has no real sense of the dangerous aspects of the disorder. He’s living in a delusion that non-empathetic people are still somehow capable of operating within normal boundaries and in predictable ways.
The notion that a sociopath/psychopath could even be trusted to be a sniper, a spy, a soldier, or carry out any other job that entailed responsibility and ethical actions toward others is naive at best. I don’t buy it.
Frankly, I share your reservations about the responses that Dr. Robert posted. Is Dr. Robert a “suspect” in our efforts to uncover S/Ps wherever they are? I can’t say that. But I really don’t believe that he “gets it” when it comes to the reality of a sociopath or psychopath operating within society.
Firstthingsfirst: You said, “there is absolutely nothing that I did to deserve his grotesque betrayal, his never-ending deceit, his grand manipulation and his unabashed exploitation and neither have you.”
“Right on!” as we used to say!
In some of my reading, I uncovered a piece of research that showed that battered women tend to take on guilt for things that are completely outside of their control.
Not all of us are battered, in the usual sense of the term. And certainly not all of us are women. Not all of the abusers who batter the women (or men) in their lives are socio/psychopathic.
But so many of us who have been on the receiving end of this type of abuse are ready to guilt-trip ourselves, taking on the responsibility for things that are completely outside of our control.
That crushing sense of guilt — for things that were always out of our control — is perhaps the first, biggest obstacle we have in our recovery.
We did not cause this. We can study, learn, examine ourselves, and grow from this in ways we never thought possible. But we did not cause the rages, the attacks, the devastating insinuations, the thefts, the deceits that these people perpetrated on us.
First, we need to forgive ourselves for any sense that we caused this. Then we can start to move forward.
Speck – Welcome to love fraud and get prepared to regain your identity and your weight. Please hang with the wonderful real people here that know what you are feeling.