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By | November 6, 2008

The getting in is easy, why’s the getting out so hard?

If it’s easy getting into a relationship with an exploiter, getting out isn’t always so simple. What makes the getting out so difficult?

In retrospect (if we’re lucky enough to say “in retrospect”) it seems like it should have been a no-brainer. In truth there are many reasons it can be hard to leave a destructive relationship and destructive person. I’ve addressed several of them in previous posts, and the LoveFraud community in general has addressed this theme comprehensively.

But here I’d like to consider a less-appreciated factor.

I regard it as the factor of habituation. Optimally the best time to end a relationship with an exploiter is the very first signal you get that something is amiss. The next best time to leave the relationship would the second signal that something is amiss.

When we don’t act on these early signals, increasingly we are less likely to act on subsequent ones. One of many reasons for this is the process of habituation.

Habituation is basically how, through repeated exposure to something initially uncomfortable, even highly disturbing, we adjust to it. We are built, it seems, to habituate to unsettling situations and experiences.

And the key to successful habituation is exposure. Sustained exposure to almost anything increases our tolerance of, and comfort with, it.

Consider what happens when we’re willing to endure the initial shock of cold water in a lake, or pool. Our sustained exposure (non-flight) gradually results in our bodies’ adjusting, or habituating, to the cold water, which begins to feel less cold, maybe even warm.

This is great news for someone with a social phobia. We just have to be willing to intentionally expose ourselves, repeatedly and sustainedly, to disturbing social situations, and quite likely we’ll experience a gradual reduction of anxiety.

Unfortunately the same thing can be said of abusive, exploitative relationships. The longer you expose yourself to, and repeatedly tolerate, the abuse, the more habituated you become to it.

Alarming behaviors that initially signaled our self-protective response (like flight) gradually lose their activating properties as we habituate to them. The avoidance-flight signal particularly—in the face of repeated, sustained exposure—dulls and/or we become less responsive to it.

Heeding the avoidant-flight response, in other words, can be critical to our safety and self-interest. It is great to confront and conquer avoidance when the avoidance hinders our personal growth; but it is dangerous to do so in the face of real, violating circumstances.

When I work with partners of sociopaths and other abusers, I find that habituation to the exploiter’s abuse often has occurred over time and contributes to the inertia that keeps the exploited partner in the relationship.

Of course there are often many other (and sometimes more compelling) reasons that one stays in a relationship with an exploitative partner.

But habituation to the abuse, I believe, is not only real, but sometimes helps explain why an otherwise dignified individual would tolerate behaviors that, from the outside—that is, from the unhabituated’s perspective—should be (or should have been) no-brainer deal-breakers.

When relevant I encourage clients to examine this factor in their analysis of the indignities they’ve sustained sometimes for years in relationships with disturbed, violating partners.

Paradoxically (and precisely to my point) their suffering was often highest early in the relationship before, through habituation, they grew slowly more numb and inured to—more tolerant of—the abuse, and thereby less motivated to do what was advisable at the outset—flee.

(This article is copyrighted (c) 2008 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)


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Elizabeth Conley

Habituation is a good explanation. When I was a Marine I never went on leave when things were really nasty in my unit. I knew that sustained stress had numbed me, but if I took leave the numbness would fade. As the leave period drew to a close, it would be that much harder to return to the unit and get accustomed to the unpleasant conditions again. Since I knew going UA was a really bad idea, I only went on leave when I knew I would be looking forward to reasonable conditions when I returned to the unit.

I’ve never had a serious problem with a family member, but I’ve worked with and for a few abusive people. They charm most of the people, most of the time. They only get nasty with people they consider to be subordinates or patsies. They cover for their bad behaviors by a combination of concealing the abuse and convincing observers that the recipiants of the abuse deserve it.

They try to convince the recipiants of the abuse they deserve to be abused. It’s hard to say to what extent they succeed, at least in the workplace. Most workers put up with the abuse simply because the pros of remaining still outweigh the cons. That’s not to say it’s not unpleasant, but everyone has their threshold. I know a few workers who pride themselves in being able to work for nasty bosses. They believe the draw down higher saleries and better benefits due to being able to work with these unpopular people. (At least one woman seems to get a charge out of being around the drama of a sociopath. She seems fairly decent, but her comfort level around an abusive person goes beyond tollerance to actual enjoyment.)

From what I’ve seen, some people are able to avoid the “devalue and discard” phenomenon most victims experience near the end of a relationship with the abusive person. I’d love to know how they accomplish this. It seems like a potentially useful skill.

I had at one time surmised that it might be intimimate involvement with the narcissist/sociopath. In many really unpleasant units, certain women enjoyed better conditions because of their relationship with an unpleasant supervisor. Longer and closer observation however, revealed the exact opposite. Intimate relationships with narcissists/sociopaths can coincide closely with the onset of the devalue and discard phenomenon. Whatever slows or stalls the devalue and discard pattern of behavior, it’s independent of intimacy.

At one time I wondered if the devalue and discard phenomenom coincided with the abuser having gotten all s/he wanted from the victim, but now I don’t think so. I’ve seen abusers devalue and discard at a point when doing so is “cutting off their nose to spite their face”. If the abuser had been able to behave him/herself a little longer, s/he could have avoided charges, kept a roof over his/her head, made more money off the victim, retained a highly skilled and very accomodating worker, etc. Evidently the abuse and discard part of an abusive person’s MO is independent of personal benefit.

I know, I know. Mr. Becker is writing about why people allow themselves to become accustomed to abuse in voluntary social relationships. That’s an important question that needs to be answered. If in the process of exploring Mr. Becker’s question, perhaps a few of mine will get answered.

I’d also like to know how some people manage to deal with Abusive Coworkers and Supervisors more successfully than others. It would be helpful to know if there is a set of skills anyone could acquire. I am interested because if an abusive person has a personality disorder, then they probably can’t change their behavior. Only reasonably well people can do that. In an ideal world abusive people wouldn’t have power in the workplace or in churches and civic groups. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, I’d like to acquire skills to deal with abusive people more effectively.

James

Elizabeth Conley

Some very good questions and hope most if not all get some kind of answer. I think that I do know that if anyone “was” involved in a toxic relationship and understood acknowledged and accepted that they were indeed abused and used. Will have a negative reaction to the next “toxic relationship” very early on after meeting this person albeit a emotional relationship or a supervisor unless they have somehow found a way to because immune to these toxicities. In short nether you will have a negative reaction to it or a type of immunity to it. People of course are different in many ways possible and some may in fact get some type of satisfaction from these dysfunctional relationships which is something that I will never understand. Or will I?

Ox Drover

Having grown up almost from birth around animals and training animals, habituating the animals to various things that are not natural to them was one of those things that I instinctivly understood even from a young age, but just didn’t have a “name” for it until I went to college and started studying psychology and human and animal behavior.

Of course different species habituate differently in some things but over all humans are more like other mammals than different.

Also having grown up around the fall “hog killing” where the neighbors would come to my grandparents’ farm and bring their hogs for a “community hog killing” I was never squeemish around “blood and guts.” It was just part of everyday life.

But also, growing up around a family that “kept secrets” about family member abuse, I also habituated to that. It is only now as I move into “old age” that I have become aware of how I was habituated to allow abuse from family members “and pretend it didn’t happen” that I am truly aware of my own habituation—I no longer accept this abuse as “normal.”

Elizabeth, yes, there is a “set of skills” that can be developed for dealing with the abusive co worker, the abusive boss, and the abusive customer. I developed a program for the University of Texas at Arlington nurisng program which I called “Dealing with families (of patients) in difficulty, and difficult families” which is basicly tuning into the emotional needs of the family of the patient. When a patient has had such a thing as a terminal illness or a grave permanent disability, the family tends to be come “difficult” and demanding of the nursing staff. The staff then becomes defensive and “trouble starts.” By tuning into the diffcult person’s fears and needs, and being willing to act NON DEFENSIVELY the person becomes less aggressive and the situation “calms down” quickly. By making the nursing staff aware of why the patient’s family is being aggressive, it makes them feel less defensive.

This will work with normal people under stress, but will also at times work with even disordered people.

As far as a BOSS that is abusive. QUIT. As far as a co-worker that is abusive secretly or openly, sometimes there is no option but to MOVE ON TO ANOTHER JOB. Sometimes you can handle those people, but many times, depending on the situation, you have no choice but to endure or leave. I usually chose to leave if I couldn’t handle it. Probably about 50-50 if they were really bad. I’ve seen them destroy whole departments, whole insittutions, and whole corporations. Sometimes you just have to PUNT or cut your losses and move on.

Churches and “Politically correct” institutions I think are the worst at allowing abuse because if the abuser is caught and they “say sorry” everyone else is supposed to “forget it happened” and that is just SO WRONG, cause when they do it again and again and again, the victim is accused of “not forgiving”–DUH! Double whammy.

neveragain

Yes, you become habituated. Or normalize it and don’t see it for what it is anymore. There was a moment of shock. But being so nice, we normalize it, we excuse it, we overlook it, we forgive it, we understand, we give a second chance. We have to learn to say WTF without shame and WALK OUT.

It is like a smell in a room. After awhile you can’t smell it anymore, but anyone who just walks in can!

As far as abusers devaluing “too soon” when there was more to get still, I think that they ALWAYS do the devaluing when it is in their best interests, it is just hard to keep in mind how they define their best interests. Mine told me to go home at the start of what was to be a fun, sex filled vacation that we had planned for months. He got off more on the power of the shock on my face at being suddenly devalued at such an unexpected time, and then my hurt, then he would have gotten off on the sex! Plus I think my total feelings of love for him at the start of that vacation were interpretted in his twisted mind as me being in control, and he couldn’t have that! If I could relive that day, I would spit in his face and laugh, tell him he is an idiot and WALK. The sad thing is, he is an idiot, retarded, permamently, when it comes to love, intimacy, emotions. But still I could and would say “NO MORE” to his face without shame now! I was even polite to a rapist once! No more!

It is a shock to think you are giving gifts from your heart (like sex), only to discover the other person was congratulating himself on having stolen them from you. Besides habitutation, it takes awhile to wrap your mind around the fact that you were both on the same stage, but in different plays! Or as I said to my therapist, it was like I thought we were playing one game, when he was playing another and suddenly he shouted “I WON! Game is over!!!” and I’m left going “HUH?!!!” and wondering how in the heck he won, when the prize I thought we were both after (love, commitment, life long friendship and support) is sitting right there, within reach I thought, and he just left. Then I looked around and realize he has stolen my heart, my values, my time, my self-confidence, my joy…and that was the prize he wanted.

For awhile I beat myself for becoming habituated, for having ignored all the red flags. But then I compared it to a rape. Sure I can look back and say I should have not been walking in a dark alley. I should have studied karate. I should have had a police escort. Whatever. But none of that changes the fact that HE did the attack! Without his attack, my carelessness with my safety would not have mattered! And sure, NOW I will do more to keep myself safe. To enable me to go forward without fear. But none of that means it was MY FAULT. The shame belongs to HIM not to me.

Well, guess I just needed to say that, a little off topic!

Elizabeth Conley

“I developed a program for the University of Texas at Arlington nurisng program which I called “Dealing with families (of patients) in difficulty, and difficult families” which is basicly tuning into the emotional needs of the family of the patient. When a patient has had such a thing as a terminal illness or a grave permanent disability, the family tends to be come “difficult” and demanding of the nursing staff. The staff then becomes defensive and “trouble starts.””

This is fascinating to me because we are on the opposite side of that situation. One of our children is quite ill with an unusual hearing and balance disorder. The child is facing years of painful and frightening medical procedures, plus a great deal of uncertainty. We are trying to be reasonable toward our child’s excellent surgeon and his very competent and gracious staff. I’m not sure to what extent we’re succeeding.

Will you please give me insights into what family/patient behaviors are most stressful for caregivers? We’d like to avoid these behaviors and maintain good relationships with these important people in our lives. I sense that the degree to which they see us as cooperative may well influence our child’s care.

daisy123

It’s easy to get in because they fool you by being so nice at first and then hard to get out, because they make you feel so bad about yourself you can’t imagine ever having another relationship with a normal person. Because maybe YOU are the one that’s really crazy…(or too sensitive).

Ox Drover

Dear Elizabeth,

First off I am so sorry to hear about your child’s problems. Yes, a family’s relationship with a caregive can really mean life or death.

I started off observing families of patients in nursing homes making UNREASONABLE requrests and attacks on the nurse’s aids, who are of course not highly trained professionals, but usually are competent caring caregivers.

The family would say something like “I”ve been ringing this bell for 30 minutes (not true) and you are just now responding” The aid would KNOW tht they had just left the room 5 minutes before and that “Mama” was dry, but the dtr who felt guilty that mama was in the Nhursing home in the first place had found mama wet. So she would attack the nurses aid. The aid became defensive and said soething like “Well, I can’t stay in here with mama all the time I have 12 outher patients” etc. So Dtr would feel that unless she raised hell, mama would be neglected, so she would complain to the state agency and so on.

So what I did was call the staff together and explain this to them, and give them a “set phrase” to say to Dtr instead of arguing (J A D E: Justify argue defend or explain) and they would say “I’m sorry I took so long to get here” Not saying HOW LONG “LONG” WAS, as it was obviously more than Dtr wanted, then listen to DTR and again no JADE, just “What can I do for you now that I am here” REPEAT TWICE if necessary. This finds out what DTR wants. without arguing.

If Dtr keeps complaining then staff is to say “I can see that you are very upset Ms. Dtr, let me get thenurse for you” Then the nurse comes in and listens and NO JADE, then says—you guessed it—“What can I do for you now that I am here?” Repeat twice if necessary, if that doesn’t work, the nurse is to say “I can see you are very upset Ms. Dtr, let me get the director of nurses for you.”

THE PERCEPTION THAT THEY ARE LISTENED TO makes the family feel that their loved one is being taken care of. sOME OF THE WORST PHYSICIANS I KNOW are the ones with the best bedside manners and the patients love them. Some of the best physicians have horrible bed side manners and get sued all the time. LOL

So, I suggest that if at all possible you “get along with” the staff, take them cookies, praise them to their faces, THANK them for everything and limit any complaints to VERY serious matters.

I’ve had professional and non professional staff work under my supervision who were wonderful and I have had the same that were WORTHLESS, and in situations where I had the authority, I have fired my share of both professional and non professional staff for both overt and covert abuse and neglect of patient welfare. It happens.

Good luck and God bless you and your child, I hope all goes well with his treatment.

ps. I also suggest that you keep a log of your son’s treatments and medications and all conversations with the physician just to keep yourself up to date with the changes etc. As well as keep a copy of his medical file ( each time he goes for a physician visit, along with labs) so that coordination of care can be done between different care givers.

Beverly

This article opened my eyes to my own propensity of staying in an uncomfortable situations, not only relationships, but other situations. Looking back, I realise there have been many instances, where I have ‘endured’ situations far too long. In the case of my relationship with the N, at the end, friends were saying that they could see how bizarre things were and couldnt understand why I was still tolerating it. This article helps me to understand that, much more deeply. This explanation coupled with earlier experiences in my life, have also helped me to understand what made me vulnerable to this kind of relationship.

The big factor for me, was that I was aware of the red flags – that something was amiss, but unless I had proof I didnt want to be seen as being unreasonable, and so I didnt withdraw, even from an incomfortable point of reference.

God Bless to all my friends at LoveFraud.

Beverly

Dear Justabouthealed. So well put and I so agree with you – in fact, I said the very same thing over and over “I thought I was putting my all into a particular kind of relationship (which he was leading me to believe) and the big shock, was realising that not only was that wrong, and that I was being exploited, but the relationship was the very opposite from what he was pretending it to be. For people who have never been through this experience – it is difficult to get across to people.

hens

hey Beverly – would you want to exchange emails? just wanting to say hello – good too see ya here..

Beverly

Yes Justabouthealed, and he got the same ‘hit’ off me too, by giving me his old mobile phone (he had bought a new one), watching me turn it on, and watching my reaction (as he had left all his ‘floozies’ phone numbers in the contacts). The next big prank was to suggest we go to a market and when we got there, he went off on his own for 2 hours, when we met up, he was sitting next to a woman (who walked off in a huff) whom I was sure he had arranged to meet there. What a bizarre situation that was. From that, I then realised what he was ‘showing’ me, that I would have to endure. I finished with him two days later – threw him out – that was the last straw. At the end, all the pieces came together, why he used to disappear – how he played with my feelings – bombarding me with text messages when he was coming back from holiday, how he missed me and then when I met him at the station – I realised he just wanted a lift! Yes, it was all about control – but because I am a kind hearted person, he really took me for a ride.

Beverly

Hiya Henry, really good to hear from you. Yes, great, contact Donna to ask her for my email. How you doing? Are you keeping well – and good???!!

Beverly

I love these articles by Steve Becker – he has the knack of capturing really important elements of these kinds of relationships – and he explains it, so it makes complete sense. Thank you. Steve Becker

Beverly

When I read this article and use it as a mirror to myself. Although I have had relationships with cheaters, this is the second relationship I have had with someone with personality disorder. The first one, was when I was 30. I only went out with the guy for 6 months and he virtually disappeared, but I can remember feeling very ‘punctured’. When I met the N, I kept saying to him that he reminded me of someone I went out with when I was 30 – and of course, I have now come to understand that they were both similar because they were both Narcissists, eventually leading me to the realisation that my father was also an N (none of my father’s 3 wives realised it) and my mother developed a mental illness when she was with him – I think he helped to send her round the bend.

Beverly

The getting out is also hard, because of the mind control and manipulation they carry out – they literally weaken their prey, until they cant think straight – and if they bleed their partner financially – that is an extra channel to bleed energy from – cos money is a form of energy. I can see a friend of mine, feeling very bowled over from just having met a guy – and I am asking her to hold back, until she gets to know him better, to find out who he really is – a run in with a PDisordered person really changes your perception.

hens

beverly your post are always so right on the spot – [they literally weaken their prey, until they can’t think straight] I made so many dumb decision’s when he was here – I knew they were dumb when I did it but did it anyway – and finally I was just a mess – money – health – sanity were all gone – and he said [ I have to go be me] well he left and overtime I can see where he was deliberatly doing thing’s to make me crazy – blame shifting – gas lighting – threat’s – it was just madness – I am me again – back to the normal crazy screwed up me and it is wonderful!!!!

James

“Yes, you become habituated. Or normalize it and don’t see it for what it is anymore”

No doubt this is true but only if you only know that type of reality. Being raised in a dysfunctional family then marrying someone who also shares these type of qualities. The person never see a life any different then what has been presented as “normal” behavior but in fact isn’t. Which brings me to my personal experience because I knew something was wrong with our (my ex and I) relationship. I knew it and felt it like sharp glass pieces cutting into my mind and soul. But then I was lucky enough to have lived in both type of families as I was growing up. I seen and experience a comparison between a loving and caring family and one that was in every possible way dysfunctional.

Having now grew up I now also see not only what that type of family environment will do to the parents and the out come of their many “bad” choices but also their offspring’s and the long term effect it had on them. Being a child of four siblings saw how most of them never could stop this cycle of abuse. Like me they to had the same chances as I insomuch that we when under the care of the children’s home we lived at and had counseling and some good role models. The two that indeed spend a lot of time around my sociopathic mother fair the worst in life and in short suffered the most both physically and psychologically from her abuse. Living with this person (sociopathic mother) was a decision that the state of Illinois gave them (my brother and sister) and in fact they gave me to same “deal” but I refused it at the age of thirteen. My choice was one stay in that state and lived with Mommy dearest or two go back to Chicago were no one was there waiting for me other then a group home. My alcoholic father at this time period wasn’t in the picture. I knew he still lived in Chicago but his whereabouts were unknown to me at this time. What did I do? I took my butt back to Chicago! So I am still asking myself the same questions! Why didn’t my siblings learn anything in therapy?

Why didn’t they too make a comparison between good role models and those that was bend on destroying themselves and anyone they could take with them? Was I just luckily? Did I win some type of lottery? Or did I just see something they didn’t? Why? Why? Why?…

This doesn’t mean I walk away without scars. Oh no I have more then plenty of them but each day I try to understand them. Heal those that I can and accept those I can’t. But I also can see how much worst my life would have turn out if I didn’t accept the fact that I was abused as a child and that it wasn’t my fault. But also I didn’t waste my time hating and blaming my abuser(s) no in fact I feel sorry for them in short had showed empathy for them and I still do today. What I do now is my responsibility but back then I didn’t have the control I have now for my personal life! I was a just a child being lead by people who all told me that they care for me! Some really did but still others didn’t. I just learned early to see the different!

Ox Drover

Hello, Beverly, glad to see you back on the blog. This is a good thread isn’t it? Yes, I see myself there, “habituated” to the abuse, not even realizing it is abuse most of the time with most of the Ps. Thinking I am giving my “all” for my family, when in fact, I am/was the “patsy” and don’t/didn’t even know it. LOL

At least, now, I can look back and see these things more clearly and I’m far enough out from it all that I no longer cringe or hurt from the realization of what a “patsy” I was. LOL It is amazing how “we” (victims and former victims) have as much in common with each other as “they” (the psychopaths) do. It is like they play with the Psychopathic Rule book and we play with the Victims Rule Book. But the game is certainally not “fair” as their rules change all the time and no matter what we do as long as we stay in the game, we LOSE.

None of us like to “lose” so we just keep “trying harder” and STILL LOSE, but it never occured to me that I even COULD QUIT THE GAME. I didn’t even want to quit the game for so long, not until the pain got so terrible I had to. Even then I felt bad/guilty for abandoning the game, abandoning my “family” members—-talk about “brainwashed”–whew! I am glad I finally “read the label” and got “dry cleaned” instead. Keeps your gray matter from shrinking!

Keep well, Bevie! Hugs and more hugs!

Beverly

Hello Oxy, Yes, great article – it explains yet another puzzling piece, helping us to connect it altogether, seeing how these patterns are formed and how in a sense we are in the dark. My eyesight is getting duller as I get older, but my clarity is getting better! The strange thing is Oxy, that whilst I was going through it all, I kept phoning a friend of mine, telling her that he was doing odd things, and she kept saying well that is the way he is, so I was constantly over riding my intuition. But now, we know the pattern and the crazy making behaviour, we know that we will never repeat those horrendous times again. I know what you mean about the pain becoming so terrible and of course there is that family loyalty responsibility thing that alot of us have learned to dump along with the abuse!! You take care Oxy, you sound as though you are doing real well. Love and hugs to you too.

Dear Henry, yes, they are masters of chaos and I was looking at a men’s magazine which had articles about the ‘dark knight’ – the Riddler and I think now that this archetype is beginning to surface.

Beverly

Dear James, I think the answer to your question, is that although we may have siblings, we are each on our own individual path. My brother and I share the same parents but we are very different. I believe that the aim of life’s journey is to learn and grow and each person has their own individual mix of experiences. If you learnt something that your siblings did not learn so readily, be thankful that you were given the gift of insight which helped you to make the right choice at the right time. My brother and I are different, he has done very well for himself and I have spent alot of my life feeling downtrodden for having had to struggle for much of my life – but now I realise that because we are each unique, that in fact we cannot make a comparison. When I give up the tendency to make a comparison, I realise that my daughter and myself have so much depth that I have to feel thanks that all the difficulties I have endured have made me who I am.

But, once the trauma of these relationships has passed, to get the hidden treasure from the experience, because where there is pain, there IS gain, I found myself looking back – like you – to my childhood – and so many questions I had, have now come to light and been answered.

Beverly

James, the problem I have had in my life, was not recognising, that although neither of my parents ever laid a finger on me, that I was abused by being neglected and abandoned – and this has been an ongoing theme in some of my most important relationships, including work based ones. So, there is obviously an area that needs unravelling, which will give me back the power base, that was taken from me (and not nurtured) by the chief caretakers in my life. When I was young, and my father left, there was only me, my brother and mother – so I had no option – because I had no other family. I have since learnt to handpick my own ‘family’, who are not blood family, but very good friends and I now avoid people who are not genuinely on my side. Nevertheless, it is all a learning curve

Beverly

Many people still think that abuse is obvious – hitting, shouting – that is one form of abuse. But what i learnt from the relationship with the N, is that there are MANY strategies and forms of silent abuse – Henry called it gaslighting. I remember at the beginning of the relationship with the N, he bombarded me with text messages and I remember sitting in my kitchen waiting for the phone to vibrate with a message – BUT then, I started thinking that I was acting like ‘Pavlov’s Dogs’ – how right I turned out to be!!

Beverly

Dear Oxy, you are such a warm maternal person on this site. I think that when people wander into this sanctuary, full of trauma and confusion into your warm arms – that is such a wonderful thing that you do. I admire you for the warm loving energy that you lay here. Love to you Oxy.

hens

i agree with you Beverly Oxy rocks~~~!!

peacefulnow

James,

Maybe you will never know why you made the choices you did that brought you to where you are today. Most of us never will! But you sound like you are grateful and thankful that something led you in the direction it did. I think we all have experienced those moments of grace that we might not recognize at the time, but which push us toward the light. It’s too bad that it takes so much experience to begin recognizing them when they happen. Shit happens, yes. But, thank the Universe, or whatever we choose to call it, Grace Happens too. I’m glad it happened to you when it did.

Ox Drover

Bevie and Henry, (hanging head in pseudo modesty) Ahhhhh, you guys are tooo kind! LOL We’ve all been in a canoe in “the River DeNile” but by paddling together, bailing together, and hanging on to our friends’ hands, we are all making it back to solid ground! That’s what it’s all about! ((((hugs)))) to you all!

peacefulnow

Regarding playing the “victim” role: Isn’t it amazing what happens when we finally decide not to do it anymore? It just throws everything out of whack for the “poor, pitiful” manipulators. Of course, it does make all HELL break loose when you’ve been playing with a disordered Perpetrator and you refuse to be the Victim any longer. It brings us freedom if we remove ourselves – but chaos and danger if we don’t. If you stop playing the victim and it feels dangerous – get out of there now.

peacefulnow

Oxy,

I love it!! “The River deNile!” So I was paddling there instead of just living in “the State of Denial” all those years! LOL!

Ox Drover

Dear Peacefulnow,

The RIVER DeNile runs through the STATE of DeNile! LOL I think there was a long time when I should have had my MAIL SENT THERE, it was my “legal residence” and I seldom left “home.” I’m just glad that things are much different now!REALITY ROCKS!

pearl

Beverly–“they are masters of chaos and I was looking at a men’s magazine which had articles about the ’dark knight’ – the Riddler and I think now that this archetype is beginning to surface”

Oooooooo-You are absolutely right! What an inspired comment. Caroline Myss teaches about archetypes and how they impact our behavior. Archetypes that are becoming more prevalent find a way to manifest in the media and in the consciousness of the masses, such as when vampires became popular a few years ago.

This dark Riddler archetype is easier to carry out now due, in part, to our transient culture, to computers and other technology. Con artists can use these to their benefit.

And look what playing the Riddler did to Heath Ledger–it did him in. I think that is what will happen to our Riddlers, eventually. Not necessarily death of the body, but death of being human.

Good point Beverly.

Indigoblue

Well Good Henry I was starting to get cocerned and You are in MY prayers LOVE jere

hens

indi go blue jere – thanks but do not worry Henry is always here – keeping up with my friend’s and reading and learing and busy being re-born – I dont need to blog much – i just read other’s comment of now and in the past and they say it better than I can – and they give me strength – as do you mr.blue

Indigoblue

Henry then I take it you have read Aftermath :surviving Psycopathy Robert D HARE and Forgiving Yourself for being huma tue 9 sept 2008 OxD ??? LOVE jere

Wini

Hey Henry, I need your insights to get my mind jump started … I find that I naturally work well with you … you ignite my imagination on some deep thoughts… as do others … I’m not ignoring anyone on here … cause we have all gotten into some deep conversations which ended up resolving some issues.

Soooooooo, don’t be a stranger.

Buddy Hugs!.

PEACE.

Wini

Beverly: I think that the people who function (us) in life, don’t have or need an ulterior motive when we are in a relationship.

Our EXs need that ulterior motive when dealing with anyone in society, personal relationships or other relationships.

I believe they have NO coping skills what so ever, that’s why they do what they do.

Peace.

Beverly

Dear Pearl, I have a book by Caroline Myss too. For me, I see it, that I was subjected to a grand illusion. When I first met him, I asked him to take off his mask, because he made some very disturbing comments – and he did it, just as he was going home (he often did that) – he would drop inuendoes just as we were parting, so that I would stew on them. When I tried to expose him at this stage (6 weeks in) he went absolutely ballistic.

The great thing about LoveFraud, is that with the support of the wonderful people here, we learn HOW they carried out their illusion – GAME OVER!!

Beverly

Dear Wini, Yes, I agree – people of pure mind, pure motive dont need to mind bend anyone. This is something I see in my work – I work with a team of women and there is a certain amount of veneering going on, which I just cant buy into. The problem with that behaviour, is that new people coming into the team, are indoctrinated subtely by the majority to take on this behaviour.

Wini, those with PDs, have learnt to survive by manipulation.

Beverly

Dear Pearl, I watch what society produces in its media, because it provides a mirror to mass consciousness. I was quite disturbed when I flicked through this men’s magazine, because it exhalted the archetype of the chaos man – it is like society is moving away from the old fashioned warrior types and onto the slick, evil, secretive and chaos making archetype – the one who gets one over everyone else – very disturbing. If you cant see what you are up against, you are at a disadvantage straight away.

Beverly

I want to add to my last comment, to get it right. Although the media reflects aspects of consciousness, the streak of the sadistic, secretive, smug satisfaction and one upmanship of the riddler, is an undercurrent of a minority. With more and more surveillance in society, this pushes the ‘riddlers’ of society into the shadows. Dangerous, because they are working and cultivating their evil magic in the dark. The good thing about this site, is that we all wise up and protect ourselves – and spread the word.

Stargazer

I don’t think I became habituated to my sociopath’s ways. I only hung out with him for 2-1/2 months. During this time, his bizarre inconsistencies never seemed normal to me. I knew I would not be able to tolerate them for the longterm (not calling when he said he would was the biggest one). I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he was defrauding me on a much larger level. He told me he had a head injury and was going through a rough time trying to get a divorce and medical discharge from the army all at the same time. I attributed his “forgetfulness” to these things. But I knew in the back of my mind that they were behaviors I would not be able to tolerate. I told my friends, and they encouraged me to give him time to deal with his issues. They thought he was a good guy and felt from seeing us together that he really cared for me.

The reason it was so hard for me to get out was that I had pinned my hopes and dreams on him. I thought he was the love of my life. Sometimes love doesn’t come in neat packages. I figured the malingering soon-to-be ex wife and the head injury were just part of a package deal. I don’t bond easily with people. I grew up with parents who were narcissistic and neglectful (and an abusive stepfather who was sociopathic). I knew I had issues when I met him. And I knew I’d have to deal with them with or without the breakup. Though I initiated the breakup, it was very rough on me. I felt like I’d lost the closest person in my life, even though I’d only known him for a few months. This has really made me realize how much I need to start letting people into my life more and sharing my pain with others. I don’t want to set myself up for this again…..a handsome charming man riding in to my life promising to take care of me……… It was a nice fairy tale. And it would have been great if it had been real. It would have been like going to the ball with the handsome prince after my Cinderella upbringing. But sadly, it was all a pack of lies, and I’m left to deal with reality, which is kind of sucking at the moment. I am now dealing with the pain of parental neglect. It’s so overwhelming, I can’t even cry, though I need to. I came down with a cold this weekend. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do, there is usually a reason. It’s some sort of healing crisis. It sucks. The fairly tale was so much better, I have to say. I can certainly understand how people stay in denial for such a long time.

Beverly

Yes Henry, Oxy is like a wonderful caring maternal gatekeeper. Those that objected to ‘my dear’ are missing the wisdom and warm loving arms of the grandmother.

Beverly

Just to connect some thinking between the archetypes and ego satisfaction. We all carry elements of the archetypes and they change through different periods of life. Part of the path is to keep refining oneself and to relinquish the short term satisfaction of the ego reward. True divinity is humble.

Stargazer

Somebody objected to “my dear”? I missed that.

Wini

Well said Beverly, well said.

Remember though, our egos are in check as we get along in harmony with society … whereas, “their” egos are out of check… aka out of control.

Peace.

Wini

StarG: We all felt the same way you did … that they were the love of our lives.

That’s how they hook you … you have to remember, our reasons to be involved with them was positive and loving and we wanted to SHARE our lives with them.

They on the other hand had ulterior motives for being involved with us, just disguised as loving and caring and the perfect partner for us …they purposely do not allow us (or their next victims) to know their hidden agenda … that’s until it’s too late and we are forced to unravel the horror and damage they’ve dumped in our lives.

Hang in there StarG, we are all in this together. It’s not you that has a problem, it’s them. Well, you have the problem of getting what he did to your heart, soul and mind out of your thinking …

Peace.

Stargazer

Thank you Wini, dear. I have forgiven myself for the P experience. I realized right from the breakup that it wasn’t my fault. If he had been for real, it would have been such a positive thing in my life to have a man like that. But I probably wouldn’t have trusted him anyway. I would have tested him and tested him. I already doubted how a handsome younger man could fall for me anyway. Either way, falling into the well of pain I’m in now was unavoidable. It would have happened either way. My life has been a testament for the saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I was in so much pain tonight that I was wishing I could die. But I will survive, and I will be a better person because of it. And I will use my experience to help others. To me this is really all there is to do.

Beverly

Dear Stargazer, you WILL survive this and you have survived the burden and legacy of your childhood. When you hit the bottom of the well of the pain, it is a devastating experience, but we do come back up from it – remember that. Often these experiences are brought to us, to trigger healings on other levels. What is so optimistic about you, though, is that when you were going out with the P, a little voice inside you was telling you that the way he was treating you was not right – keep listening to that voice, let it have space, nurture it, for that is your child within – the real you. You have so much hope Stargazer.

Beverly

It is no mistake, that many of us here are in caring professions. Yes, Wini, we are all in this together and of course any transformations that are made individually, go into the collective consciousness of that group – how wonderful is that.

Wini

Good morning Beverly!

Peace.

Wini

Beverly, you know how this site gets the creative juices flowing … so many breakthroughs … it’s great.

Besides, that’s what it’s all about, community, people, helping people.

Peace.

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