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The gift of forgiveness

By Peggy Whoever

Today I had an epiphany, certainly my first, and perhaps the only one I shall receive in this lifetime. I consider myself blessed.

I equate this epiphany, an almost supernatural experience, as being akin to what someone on LSD may have experienced, whereby every nerve ending, and the synapses within every cell is felt at a deep sensory level, where there is a oneness and synchronicity within me and outside of me, a oneness with the universe. (No, I have never experimented with drugs!)

I equate this feeling with Abraham Maslow’s study of “peak experiences”. This is a rare moment, sometimes a once-in-a lifetime vision, comprehension, and/or deep level of spirituality. I have the chills although I am not cold, a shivering awareness of truth. This moment left me utterly speechless. (A rare moment!)

I want to make it perfectly clear that this state of forgiveness has been a raging battle within me, an anguishing war that has lasted 1 year, 3 months and 23 days. But today, truly, I have forgiven the sociopath—and consequently I have set myself free.

I wrote him one last letter, below, (which will never be sent). Thousand(s) of hours of study, the help of my friends and family, and finding Lovefraud, has contributed greatly to my comprehension, hence the forgiveness. Today I read about serpents and scorpions, and how “they are what they are” and cannot be otherwise. Likewise, sociopaths “are whom they are” and they predictably do what sociopaths do”¦which is to bleed us dry emotionally, physically, financially, and perhaps most harmfully, spiritually and/or soulfully. The result of forgiving him is that the pain and anger has disappeared within in my own being”¦and subsequently I have regained the strength within ME. In forgiving the sociopath, I have reclaimed my joy and my ability to function normally, fully, and potentially at a much higher level than before.

Dear _ _ _ :

You are forgiven.

Yes, as of this day, this moment in time, I forgive you.

In no way do I condone the choices you have made nor the behaviors you have exhibited.
I deplore the things you have done that have caused extreme emotional pain to many innocent victims.

A snake can only be a snake and strike without warning at a moment’s notice. A scorpion will sting. A sociopath is, and always will be, a sociopath.

YOU are missing the essential elements of humanity: love, joy, peace, kindness, compassion, and a conscience. You will never find fulfillment in the materialism and power-mongering that consumes you. You may become the “richest” person or most powerful person on earth, yet you will forever have only emptiness within you.

I feel great sorrow and pity beyond measure for your inability to feel and be fully human. The greatest treasures in life are not measured in gold, nor possessions, but are held within one’s heart. You are very poor indeed.

Your departure, and the resulting obsessing, ruminating, distress, research and investigation has led me on an ultimate journey to the center of my own soul. Forgiving you has brought me to a place of comprehension, great joy, and”¦peace.

Sincere Regards,
Me

I have come to believe that forgiveness is a state of higher consciousness, a higher vibration and an escalated plane in the realm of human existence. Indeed, the sociopaths dastardly deeds of lying, promiscuity, stealing, aggression, embezzling, and a range of unethical and illegal activities—as well as tromping on people’s hearts—has ultimately given me an incredible, life-altering gift that I wish for you, dear Lovefraud friends”¦

The gift of forgiveness.

Blessings and Peace,
Peggywhoever

P.S. I want to thank AlohaTraveler for her friendship, insights and wit during this healing process.


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I too remember (it was just last year) when my time came to “forgive”…..

On a sunny warm day I stopped cold in my tracks walking thru my hallway….

Feeling all this hate within me…

Knowing at that moment I HAD to forgive the person who hurt me and many times betrayed me. Who lied to my children and I many many times. The person who verbally abuse my oldest son and I many times. The one that I fear for her immortal soul. The one I loved with all my heart…

Standing but also leaning against the wall in my hall way with my children sleeping. Seize my heart and then I cried out to her and God with deep tears in my eyes and heart. Giving her this one last thing. The only thing I had left too give to both of us…..

Begging God to allow her to found some way to get help and then maybe become a complete person and loving person no matter who she may be with and maybe then not have to pay that price which will surly come someday….

I felt a weight lift from from within me and a peace I seldom feel…

Like a small white dove coming out of me then I released my hand laying on my bear chest and allowed my arms to fall to my side. Then allowed this request and forgiveness to go into the hands of my heavily Father….

I knew by forgiving her I can now also forgive me and allowed God to forgive us both…..

Knowing that only now can I once again join the human race…

Dear Peggy,

Your post is of course very timely, since we have been discussing forgiveness a lot lately on the blog.

Your letter to the P was wonderful!!! It’s a shame he can never read or comprehend it if he could read it.

I too struggled with the “forgiveness” of the psychopaths and their enablers….I still do. I’m not sure mine came as a “peak experience” or so suddenly, but I do know that it lifted a great weight off my shoulders. It has also reinforced that I must maintain NC if at all possible to keep new injuries from cropping up and bringing back the pain.

I also know, because new injuries are possible, I am still vulnerable to being hurt, so there is still some work to be done.

In addition, like James said, I must also FORGIVE MYSELF. I think it is easier to forgive them for being “them” than to forgive myself for being “human” (less than perfect).

I’m Happy for You Peggy.

I’ve got the opposite issue. Forgiving is practically a reflex with me. The S I went minimal contact with is still in contact from time to time. We work in associated ministries, sometimes we see each other in passing.

Yesterday he addressed a question to me, using a nickname for me that I had repeatedly asked him not to use. Turning my head and walking away was hard. I bear him no malice, and I’d love to see his ministry succeed. If only he was capable of being respectful. All his life he’s allienated people with his atrocious behavior. I’m just the last in a long string of frustrated family members, partners, employers, friends and coworkers.

It would be easier if I was angry. I wouldn’t feel so anxious every time he acts out and I walk away in silence. It totally goes against the grain to be unkind to anyone, ever.

I know that he hasn’t accepted responsibility for his previous bad behavior. He’s an expert at rationalizations. It’s clear he plans to go back to the same offensive behavior, just as soon as I’m “over it”. Since there’s no anger to get over, I could easily fall into the trap of being polite and kind. This would expose me to another round of slowly escalating abuse and exploitation.

If I didn’t both understand and feel the danger this man’s personality disorder poses I would continue to indulge him. I can’t afford to. He’s hit women and even beaten them up before. Being around him on a regular basis made me miserable, and made my kids equally miserable. I’ve got to stay tough, but I’m afraid I may not know how.

We are the lucky ones, because we heal and learn in the terms that are important to us. We become better at loving. Better at managing life in a social world. More aware of the risks, but also more aware of who we are and what we need to do to improve our social world.

They get none of that. They are like addicts stuck in their hamster wheels of need and fix. And the nature of their deficiency virtually ensures that they’ll never get out of that rut. If we ever loved them, or if we even imagine that their partial humanity entitles them our social feelings of compassion, it’s almost impossible not to feel sorry for them, while never forgetting how dangerous they are.

That is what I see in Peggy’s letter, and it really touches the same feelings in me. We write these letters for ourselves. There is nothing we can say to them that isn’t interpreted in terms of whether it offers an opportunity for a win or a fix, how they can use it. If there’s anything in the letter that could be interpreted by a third party as evidence against the sociopath, it will probably be thrown away immediately.

But we do it for ourselves. This letter is a record of understanding. Of giving up the struggle to fix what can’t be fixed. Of handing it over to God or the Karma police. Of freedom from the need to try to balance it all ourselves, whether in vengeance or attempts to recover what is well and truly lost. Of letting go.

When I got to this insight, like Oxy, I found it hard to maintain. There are still times I revert to anger and the desire to right the balance. This insight is one that our egos don’t like. It really stops the internal drama. But when I got to this, I was looking to clear my mind from this negativity, from the suffering behind the anger. This insight enabled me to begin practicing thoughts that not only put the sociopath in perspective, but my own role in the relationship as well.

I was vulnerable for my own reasons. I missed the signs, because I wasn’t looking for them. I was dazzled by my own dreams, dished up to me by someone who saw them as a way to use me. So what? I was being being human. Now I know more about the risks of life, and more about surviving and maybe even more about compassion. (Compassion is also the ability to recognize what someone needs, but that I cannot provide it.)

I know I once felt huge relief in finding this insight. But after the process of forgiveness, I am left with a residue of sadness. Love does heal a lot of things. But not for these people. That’s their tragedy, and it’s a tragedy that all of us live with.

EC: I grew up in a deeply religious environment, living and breathing the belief of forgiveness, service, higher power, and so on. This religion permeated every part of my daily life. My divorce, at age 24, from the sociopath I married at 18 (my father, minister, performed the ceremony) propelled me into a questioning of every aspect of my “religious life.” A divorced woman had no place in that church. I left my husband, however, because of the inexplicable emotional abuse, punctuated by his threats to me with his loaded gun (along with countless other small and large power plays). When I divorced, I was so profoundly depressed, I knew I was suicidal, and I “rationalized” my divorce because in my heart I didn’t believe God expected me to exercise the “’til death do us part” exit clause in my marriage contract by either letting him kill me or killing myself.

When I meet someone who is in a religious environment, I can definitely relate, and I know the comfort the society gives to the individual and the benefit of the “ministries,” as you put it. I support you using your compassionate heart to engage in God’s work.

However . . . I caught a serious red flag, because of what I know of sociopaths, both inside and outside of the church. You said, “I bear him no malice, and I’d love to see his ministry succeed.” Elizabeth, he’s a predator — a wolf leading the sheep. From what you’ve described, he’s in that environment precisely because he can gather the vulnerable, and then pick and choose, all “in the name of God.” That’s obscene.

First of all, save yourself and your children. Knowing his true nature — a “Cluster B personality disorder” — you should be aware that he will NEVER learn respect, learn from his mistakes, etc., etc. And he is not a safe person for anyone to be around.

Forgiveness is not the first order of business in your situation. Safety and health are far more important.

Rune,

“he’s a predator a wolf leading the sheep. From what you’ve described, he’s in that environment precisely because he can gather the vulnerable, and then pick and choose, all “in the name of God.”

That’s my analysis, but everyone around me is far more idealistic. I hate to break it to you, but his kind are pretty thick on the ground in ministry. They use our general reverence for the position as cover.

Fortunately, my peers respect my right to keep my distance from him. I’ve been gentle and polite, but firm.

I just know that I’m shooting myself in the foot if I ever waver in my resolve. I’ll be seen as flighty and capricious if I seem to go back and forth on the issue. If I let things slip back into “business as usual” with him, then cry foul when his behavior gets awful again, I’ll look like a twit. That, and I’m not kidding about the real danger he presents. Really and truly, he is a loose cannon.

In order to keep the respect and trust of my peers, I have to walk a fine line. For me, it’s really awkward. I got mad at him briefly (an hour or two), but mostly I’ve been deeply apprehensive. It’s totally un-natural for me to give anyone the cold shoulder.

Back to Peggy’s topic –

There was someone from my youth whom I really resented. He lied in order to get me in trouble. Boy did I hold a grudge. Just thinking about him made my blood boil.

Forgiving him took a very long time, probably about 5 years. I started to try when I realized hating him was only hurting me. His impact on my life really hadn’t been all that severe. I’d simply gotten in the habit of being furious with him. It took a long, long time to break that habit.

PS – the fact that getting out of the habit of hating this individual was so time consuming is one of the factors that has made me more restrained over the past 20 years.

Most of the rest of you have had far more horrific experiences with the cluster Bs. Hatred and resentment are more understandable under your circumstances than mine. I’ve had it easy.

EC: So we agree on his nature. The question is, How can you redefine your life so that you can thrive and not be in this debilitating situation of “playing nice” in order to survive?

I do understand. And it’s part of how “they” coopt us, getting our implicit cooperation through their coercion and noxious influence on others.

Well Rune,

I have the same concerns. Last year he and I went to the same church. The church had a lot of unhealthy interpersonal dynamics. I left. Last year we worked in the same ministry at our church. I withdrew at around Thanksgiving time, citing various family issues.

The only time I have to deal with this issue is in passing at the home school cooperative I work at on Wednesday afternoons, he works at on Wednesday mornings and my kids attend all day. My kids don’t take his classes. He’s the only fly in the ointment.

He’s struggling to manage the ministry I used to pretty much run for him. No one who knows him or caught even a glimmer of what he put me through would take my old job. Every once in a while he asks for help. As long as he’s polite, and understands I don’t own his problem, I’ll give him useful information.

I’m reluctant to give up the home school cooperative just to avoid him. I didn’t give up my church just to avoid him. I gave up the church because it was shrinking fast due to constant dysfunctional drama at the top. Most of the sane people had already left, and I didn’t see much hope for improvement. The kids and I deserved better. Whenever possible, I try to run toward good things, rather than just away from the bad. Our current church is a good fit for us.

In general, I recognize that there are a lot of cluster Bs in the world. I’m not looking to stay away from every organization that tolerates them. I just want to be permitted a reasonable amount of personal space from their worst antics.

To me, there’s a balance to be struck here. Anywhere I go, I will discredit myself if I spend all my time whining about cluster Bs. I’ve gotta figure out how to keep my distance and my dignity.

Elizabeth,

What to do when we can’t get them out of our environment, even when we get them out of our lives, is a major challenge. I had a period when my sociopath was servicing one of my clients when I was trying to keep him away from me and get over the personal aspects of the relationship.

(He had the professional situation because of our relationship. I gave him the client to give him income, in the mistaken hope that it would help him get over some issues and bring us closer together.)

I had to deal with him constantly. He couldn’t work with the client’s internal organizational dynamics. He needed bailing out of one thing after another. He needed to call to “strategize” two or three times a week. This went on for many months, while I was trying to control my feelings and rebuild my life after the damage done from the last round of being his “girlfriend.”

I look back at it now, and think I should have just gotten rid of him, like I should have gotten rid of him hundreds of times in those five years. But I didn’t, because I said I would help him. And he was good at hitting my pity button. And I was still, against all reason and evidence, in love with him.

When I finally told him he had to find another way to make a living, he dragged it out for months. And afterwards, as soon as he ran out of money, he was back in seductive mode and I got sucked into the last big chapter of the story.

I never really healed until I did get him out of my life. I never really detoxed until there was no contact. In the first year or so, I got a card from him and some indirect messages through shared friends. They threw me back into wondering if he really was such a bad guy, if it was only that he had problems communicating, and maybe I could this or that to fix the problem. Yadda yadda. It delayed the time when I totally grokked that it didn’t matter who or what he was, he was bad for me.

I don’t know what you to do “walk the fine line” without letting this person (or fear of this person) continue to control you emotionally. To my mind, the biggest problem is that you can’t get his attention off you. He already knows you as a “source.” When he wants something that you can give, you’re going to be at the top of his go-to list. And then you’re going to have the repercussions of dealing with him, whether it’s the way he screws things up or the way your nervous system reacts.

I think this is why I’ve set my own boundaries with him so far. I do not want him reappearing in my industry, as well as my county, as well as my phone or e-mail or front door This is an “iron curtain” I dropped, not only to protect myself, but to communicate to him as clearly as I could that this was no longer his hunting ground.

I’ve “forgiven” him to the extent of recognizing his dangerous incompetence as a human being, and genuinely feeling bad about it. But that doesn’t reduce my intention to keep him out of my world. Because everything he brings to my world is bad news.

If I couldn’t keep him out of my world, if it came down to a choice between continuing in this business or putting up with him, I’d have to have a conversation with my nervous system and see how immune I really feel. But if I felt the slightest vulnerability to upset, I would come to the conclusion that I was still vulnerable him at some level, and start planning whatever changes I’d have to make to get out of his range.

This, to me, is protecting myself. Not just from him, but from any residual feeling I may have for him. As long as I’m scared, as long as I’m angry, as long as I have any emotional reaction to him at all, there’s something he can leverage for pleasure or profit. He’s already got all the information about me that he needs, and I’m not going to live my life worrying about it.

That’s how I feel now. I may evolve beyond this point in the future. But right now, I can’t imagine where I’d evolve to.

You have all my sympathy, and I hope you can find a way to extricate yourself or get rid of him.

Kathy

EC: Keeping distance and dignity. Good point.

I’ve reached a stage where I doubt that I can interact with any, once I recognize them. I’ve seen too many ways that they take my help, words, thoughts, etc., and somehow find a way to turn it against me. Or use it inappropriately to ensnare others.

I agree with you that it is important to run toward good things. Sometimes, though, we may have to run away from the bad in order to save ourselves. I’m thinking now of Lot and his family fleeing the burning city behind them. Am I paralyzed? In jeopardy of being turned to a pillar of salt because I want to look back? I don’t want the ex, but when I walked out in horror, I left behind my home, furniture, personal possessions — and I haven’t had the strength or resources to try to reclaim anything. All this, while he uses the home foundation I built to fleece new souls.

Kathy and Rune,

I’ve got all your concerns, and only two aspects of all this to give me hope.

The S was never a love interest, and my financial well being never depended on dealing with him. Through this whole mess, I’ve had a wonderful husband at my back and a high degree of security.

These two factors make me ridiculously fortunate. I’m hoping this makes my situation slightly easier.

I’m just hoping, mind you. I’m not certain. The kids’ social life is very important to me. We home school. Most of my friends are my age and older. Their kids are grown. I can’t turn to them for help with this. I rely on the greater home school community to enrich my kids’ social life and provide many extra-curricular activities. If I switch home school co-ops on the kids, it will be hard on them. I’m hoping that the S’s involvement in the co-op won’t poison things for the kids and I. They love the co-op. My son is mildly hearing impaired, and yet he has major speaking parts in two plays this month. Where else would someone offer this to a hearing impaired child? My daughter is a pre-teen. I don’t have to tell you what a pret-teen girl’s friendships mean, ’cause we’ve all been there.

I’m doing everything I currently know how to do to hold my own against the S and remain a team player in the home school community. I just ordered 4 books I intend to apply to my interpersonal deficiencies. I hope I can learn to be the kind of person who addresses small sources of conflict appropriately as they occur. In the past I suspect I’ve let little things go until they snowballed. One of the books in particular may help me work on this shortcoming.

Lovefraud has been a huge source of insights for me. I’m grateful. I’m humbly aware that most of you have dealt with much more serious problems than the issues I’m wading through. I’m focusing so much energy on my cluster B issues because I think the problem is going to follow me around until I get better at dealing with it.

Rune,

“I left behind my home, furniture, personal possessions and I haven’t had the strength or resources to try to reclaim anything. All this, while he uses the home foundation I built to fleece new souls.”

Wow! I totally understand about walking away in horror and not going back. You left a lot to get away from him.

I guess it must have seemed like a housefire, only worse. I bet you’re going to rebuild bigger and better. What are your plans?

EC: Thank you for asking.

I forget the source, but one spiritual axiom is, “If you want to make God laugh, say, ‘I have a plan.'” In the almost two years, I have made many plans. I’ve worked hard to fulfill them, and I have watched every one go up in smoke. Some of those plans I’d worked two, three, four years to bring to fruition. Gone. Some plans were short term. One was napalmed by yet another S/P masquerading as a publisher who didn’t pay for hundreds of hours of work. (You take what you can get, and something seemed better than nothing. Was that so I could learn about yet another face of psychopathy?)

I think of Job. I do not curse God, and if that’s laughter I hear, it sounds more like a gentle, sympathetic chuckle from someone who hopes I “get” the big lesson here, and find the doorway out of this maze of frustration.

I do know that I’ve learned things I didn’t think it was possible for me to learn to this depth. Somehow I’m still hanging onto a few resources — the computer, the dogs, most of my wits!

I guess I’ve been spending a lot of time here lately because it’s a place where I can, shall we say, do ministry? Be of some service? Perhaps I’m waiting while the Universe turns so that the next step will be made plain to me. Yes, like a housefire, only no one can see it. All they see is my incomprehensible pain.

Rune,

It’s interesting you mention Job. He didn’t get much sympathy either.

” incomprehensible pain ” pretty much sums up the impact of the N/P/S on his/her victim. Nobody gets it except those who’ve been there. It’s pretty much a waste of time to look to anyone but fellow sufferers for empathy.

My 11 year old daughter has a sweet little pink t-shirt with a charming pastoral graphic and a caption that reads “Build a Bridge and Get Over It”. It’s rather cute, and I heartily approve of the message. Usually I do just that. Why is it so hard after even a minor run in with an N/P/S?

I dunno. It just does. I don’t say much to anyone about it, ’cause I know I’m “supposed” to be long over it by now. While it’s getting easier, I have to say that being confronted with the incontrovertable evidence that someone is N, P or S is like catching an unsolicited, unexpected glimpse of satan. How do you explain that sort of experience to people who’ve never been there? I don’t think we can.

I’ve gotta go sew a raccoon costume for my son to wear in a play about 9 days from now. Wish me luck. Sewing is not my strong suit.

G’night!

I’ll bet he’ll be an adorable “bandit.” Be sure to tell him about washing his food before he eats it!

Yes, when I looked into his eyes when he dropped the mask, I was looking straight into the essence of evil. Part of my struggle is to reconcile this truth with my long-held beliefs about redemption and the precious value of each human soul in God’s eyes.

You are so fortunate to have figured out what you are dealing with. I think of a “friend” of my parents who is always looking for an excuse to get everyone to drop to their knees and pray. Other actions in his life, along with some of the personality traits that Liane Leedom mentions, suggest strongly that he is psychopathic. He takes a little too much pleasure in being around other people’s pain. It’s the absolute opposite of how I’m wired, and I think most of us here on LF. I think that’s why it is so difficult for us to reconcile.

Peggy,

This is a subject near to my heart lately. I feel recently, that I have been obsessing more….over the things that happened and the lies he told. Some of it is anger with myself but mostly anger with him, and angry that I didn’t do the damage I could have when I learned the truth about him.

Your post inspires me though. Recently I have also had some very euphoric feelings of happiness that I vaguely recall happening prior to the breakup with the S/P. I want to believe that maybe this is a sign that I am truly feeling better and moving on to a new phase of healing, despite some of the anger I still feel.

I decided to write my own letter to him. Ox said she prayed for her offenders, even though it was difficult. I will try that too if I can keep from throwing up in my moth a little. I DO WANT TO FORGIVE. But it’s a selfish desire. I want to feel better myself and rid my heart and mind of the painful experience and I want to try to forgive in the hope that these bad feelings disappear. I will tell you that I have been interviewing for jobs in another state. I pray to God that I am offered a new position so that I can leave this place behind, never to run into him again.

Here goes:

Dear D___,

My heart is burdened with the pain of vengefulness. In order to rid myself of this pain, I must rid myself of the memory of what was, was not and will never be with you. You see, I already know the truth. I am smarter than the rest. You didn’t count on that. For that I am proud of my courage to confront you each time.

I am capable of loving and feeling and having relationships with people who care for me too. They love who I am, was and dream of being. I have a soul and a spirit that has been temporarily diminished with your evil being and controlling ways. And my spirit will thrive again. I will be OK.

But before I can move forward, turn off the light and close this door, I must tell you that I forgive you for all you have done to me and my children. I understand and know all that I need to know now. And for the last time I feel REAL pity for you.

I wanted to believe that you were the man you professed to be. The kind of man I want and deserve in my life, who can sustain a passionate and loving life with me, who is truthful, respectful, and shows integrity. I was wrong about you and for that I forgive myself. You are just a small man injected with human growth hormone. Your strength comes from violating others and creating fear through controlling women and children. You are not strong because of the courageous person you are. As we now know, those stories are lies. You did not suffer REAL adversity. But your victims, and your own children have and will because of you. I hope they can forgive you too someday.

Thank you for all that I have learned because of you and for making me even stronger than before. My life will only get better. I’m sorry that yours never will. I pray for those you have hurt and I pray for those you target next.

I won’t look back and waste one more day, hour, second asking why. It doesn’t really matter. But the rest of MY life does matter. For in reality, you have already forgotten. I forgive you but I will not forget.

Sincerely,

Me

OK, so it has a little angry edge to it….. but I feel strong today !! 🙂

I remember my therapist saying that you can’t rush healing and he knows how impatient I can be, particularly with myself. He told me that it’s not over until I decide it’s over. Then I will stop thinking and obsessing about it. He said that when we obsess, we sometimes “haven’t told our story enough”. I believe that’s the need for therapy and that’s what good therapists are for and blogs like this and people like all of you. Thank you for that and all that you write.

I remember one of his friends telling me to stop telling people about the things he lied about and did to me and the kind of woman I found him in bed with. he told me I was embarrassing myself. I told him he should be embarrassed for even saying that to me. I found that I WAS doing the right thing by letting people know who he was and what he had done. Maybe it was more therapeutic for me and maybe they really didn’t care. maybe they even rolled their eyes and laughed. But they too have daughters, sisters, and other significant people in their lives who may be targeted sometime. I hope they remember too.

God only ask of me to forgive. No were in the bible did I ever read that we had to forget…

“I’ve reached a stage where I doubt that I can interact with any, once I recognize them. I’ve seen too many ways that they take my help, words, thoughts, etc., and somehow find a way to turn it against me. Or use it inappropriately to ensnare others.’

Rune on this I too feel that way. I just can’t even be in the same room with someone who shows personality traits of a P or S. Maybe because I was around my ex P/S for so long and saw too much that it left a taste in my mouth that even today is unbearable for me. For me they have a very hard time hiding themselves from me. And sometimes I wonder if they know that themselves for I seen them withdraw from me very quickly. How these “power moves” end quickly when I see them being played on me. Sociopaths prey only on the weak not the strong so if one of them tires and then fail they leave quickly back into the shadows from whence they came. My ex S/P did give me something! She gave me the knowledge and wisdom to know these types of individuals and then know how to avoid them like a heart attack…

Really I wish we had a edit on this site

“Sociopaths prey only on the weak not the strong so if one of them tires and then fail they leave quickly back into the shadows from whence they came.”

Should be tries and then fails…… oh well 🙂

James, Oxy, Elizabeth,

Forgiveness is as much, or more, for us than for the P/S. Carrying the burdens of betrayal, hurt, and anger are like a festering wound. It is a very unhealthy, and unnatural state. Once we recognize the personality traits, and disordered minds of these individuals, we cannot ever expect integrity nor empathy from them. They cannot give what they do not possess.

I have come to believe that only through forgiveness can we move forward. Not that we ever condone, or approve or their deplorable behaviors…never. But we have all had the “aha” moment of recognition. And this causes deep soul searching and introspection; we have consequently traveled places and met people (including our Lovefraud friends) that we would never have otherwise known. An experience with a P/S is very painful, but indeed does open the door for tremendous personal growth.

Even after forgiveness, there is still more processing and soul work to be done. There is still a road ahead to being “complete” or “whole” and healed. Forgiveness is not, in my estimation, like waving a magic wand and wa-la, everything is grand again.

Forgiveness is just one of many steps. There were several steps proceeding forgiveness, and certainly many steps afterwards before we become self-actualized individuals. (See Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs if you are interested in this):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

keeping_faith:

Your letter was inspirational and beautiful.

Blessings and Peace,
Peggy

James: I actually think some of them go after the strong and powerful among us. We’re like trophy game to them. Then there are the hyenas who come around to chew on us after we’re weakened by the “big game hunters.”

What I didn’t have before was the understanding of this level of evil. Would I see it in Bernie Madoff’s eyes if I met him? Maybe. Maybe not. But now I know that this sort of profound pathology exists, and worst of all, it can masquerade as “good.” I am also quicker to spot it. Maybe they back off from us because they sense that we won’t fall into the same steps and do the dance that took us down before.

Can I forgive? Every day has some new wreckage that is the ongoing result of the S/P’s predations. How do I deal with that?

I am pretty raw, but I am pretty sure that I will never forgive him. I am just not going to let anger eat away at me. If I were to write him a letter I am pretty sure it would consist of two words “drop dead” or maybe three “go f— yourself.” Forgiving, eh, it seems like forgiving a sheet of paper for giving you a paper cut, because it is meaningless to them. But I am not trying to be disrespectful to someone more advanced in the processes way of coping, this is just how I personally feel.

Dear “Peggy” (wink wink)

I think you are a great friend full of wisdom and spunk! I can hear in your voice that your zest for life has returned but it is seated in wisdom! Thanks for being my editor, my friend who really gets it and just for being YOU!

XO from Me

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Bad Man,

I have really grown as a person and as a woman as a result of meeting you. It’s not what you did for me.. it’s what I have done for myself since I left your ass!

Here’s how I feel most days now that you are a distant memory…… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMyDJMAlHGI

My life is great now!

Me

P.S. I don’t miss you at all!

eliza,

I am laughing so hard…..thank you for that. I really wanted to say that !!! I know you are hurting and I am not laughing at you but I admire your spunk and spirit and strength. I think you will be fine.

Thank you K_F. It makes me smile to have made you smile, and I mean that!
I meant no disrespect whatsoever though to Peggy, because I think whatever helps you out and is theraputic, because this is crazy hard stuff to deal with.

eliza, I don’t think offense is taken here. There are often differences of opinion but YOU GOTTA LAUGH!! OK my turn, the xS/P cried as he told me a story of being tortured as a Navy SEAL on a mission. he said that he had electrodes hooked to his testicles and he was shocked. he cried HARD. I felt so bad. He said he thinks that’s why his testicles are so small now.

What he didn’t tell me was that he had been abusing steroids for years and THAT’s why he had tiny little balls. I found used and unused needles in his apartment. He also had all the other symptoms of steroid abuse and had a heart attack this past year.

Although it’s a sad thing that he is so physically sick……people laugh when I tell them that story. I ultimately learned that he was in the Navy for four months before he was kicked out!!

OK, now I am rolling!!! You deserve a man with normal balls for sure lady!!!! HAHA!

OMG I can’t stop laughing !!!!!

He has a decal on his vehicle that i noticed when I saw his SUV one day and it says “FEAR THIS”. I just keep thinking that if he really HAD big ones, he wouldn’t pick on women. So I guess his behavior is consistent with the size of his sack. He’s such a little man. Fear what??????

The ratio of real Navy SEALS to play-pretend Navy SEALS is, what, one to ten? One real Navy hero to ten wannabees? If I ever meet a real Navy SEAL, first of all, I’ll be suspicious. It’s unfortunate.

Rune, I was told that you have a better chance of meeting 3 NFL players before you actually meet a REAL SEAL. There are so few.

I really don’t think actual Navy Seals go around talking about it. Probably even to those close to them. I don’t think they really like to recruit blabber mouths into special forces, where they are exposed to MILITARY SECRETS! Plus I hear they don’t take guys with little balls.

Sounds about right. The guy I was involved with was “on a nuclear submarine.” He had a great story about how he saved the ship when it sprang a leak and was going down. But you’ve probably heard that story, too. Different S/P, same story, right?

Rune,

I think we all may have had the same S/P……the lies are different, same personality. The XS/P I wasted a few years masqueraded as a SEAL and NSA agent who also worked as a professional in sales. He then started masquerading as a redneck hanging out with strippers and low lifes in a biker bartelling them he used to be a big time drug addict…..even bought a pick up truck. Now he is masquerading as an old broken down man who had a heart attack and is unemployed……karma happens!

eliza, you are right. Real MEN in REAL combat don’t take body counts or hang SEAL banners above their beds 30 years later. They also don’t wear dog tags that they NEVER earned. What a loser……

My ex S was a nude model. I laughed in his face when he told me that. He would have looked like a naked fraggle.

I remember you telling that story yesterday. WTF? They are all alike. The XS/P kept one of my short nightgowns and wouldn’t give it back to me. I imagine the freak is letting his x stripper girlfriend wear it as he places his seal trident pin on her. EWEEEEEEE

eliza, thank you for the laughs tonight. You are quite funny. I needed that. I did truly have a good day today and I feel stronger. This was my favorite topic today and I am trying to forgive. i really am. I just want to get past it FASTER. Goodnight all.

Rune,

I know several seals. They’re all small, mild mannered guys who live for their brothers and their families. They don’t boast, but sometimes they get hammered and swap lies with their own kind. Seriously, the way to know a seal from the wannabes is the love. They are really tight. If they need something or want to talk over something important, chances are they’ll call on a brother. If he’s a seal, other seals will call on him regularly. That’s the easiest way to tell.

They tend to be low key, but very aware of everyone and everything around them. They can be extroverted or not, they’re all individuals. Regardless, they have a degree of self confidence that lends them a calm “nothing to prove” demeanor.

Wow, are there any REAL navy seals? Does the profession even exist? LOLOL

I think the forgiveness part is really crucial to really getting on with my life. It has been coming for me very naturally. It’s not something I sit down and try to do. I knew him for only 2-1/2 months. I am 48, so he was really a blip on my radar screen time-wise, even though he hurt me very badly. I really don’t feel any bad feelings toward him at this point, except I know if he ever appeared in my life again, such as on my internet forum, I’d need to leave. I talked a lot here for a while about how the things sociopaths do are not really personal, just like a snake’s strike is not personal. I personally believe, based on what I’ve read, that they actually are missing a piece that would make them human. I think if I were missing that piece, I would behave the same way. So would anyone. They are just being what they are. He is not worth wasting any more anger over. I have actually prepared myself for worst case scenarios. What if he is dating one of my forum friends? What if he is talking trash about me to everyone I know? What if? So if that is the case, I have made a decision ahead of time. I choose to live my life in peace. None of these things are worth my time and attention. Anyone who would believe him and befriend him is not someone I want in my life. Period.

I cannot say all of my life problems are solved. I’m dealing with some other things right now, but I actually don’t devote any thinking to the S until I come on this site.

eliza and Keeping_faith,

Your conversation is hilarious!

Keeping-Faith, I loved that you found out the truth…. about his balls. He did it to himself. This kind of reminds me of when the Bad Man took pictures of himself in my undies. I was so grossed out. Now, I just think of this big pathetic perv in my undies. He was a damn mess. HAHA! I think this is a memory I shall cherish!

Eliza, I love that you said the truth. “Drop Dead” is a VERY HONEST sentiment. Short and to the point! I wish I had thought of that. BTW, I believe it’s a healthy step in your healing. Go with it for awhile.

Forgiveness looks different for all of us. For me, forgiveness has been about forgiving myself for not taking care of me, and standing up for me. I needed to forgive myself for allowing someone to treat me in ways there were totally unacceptable and looking back honestly, totally absurd.

I forigve me now. I don’t even really think about forgiving the Bad Man. I don’t care. He is long gone and I am dealing only with me. For some people, finding a way to forgive the disordered partner is important. For me, it wasn’t.

I shifted my focus off of the Bad Man early on in my healing… well, let me restate that. I spent a year circling in my head endlessly about the Bad Man. My real healing began once I abandond him in my mind and scooped myself up in my arms. I had to stop worrying about him and what he was doing and to whom.

I started to look at me. I wrote about this in my first essay… “Once Upon a Time….”

I feel strongly that this is the way to heal the fastest but I remind myself.. this worked for me. It might not work for others.

I am over 3 and a half years out of this train wreck of a time in my life.

I am grateful for the lessons… and when I need a laugh, I can always recall the Bad Man sitting there in my undies and me trying to take him seriously and trying desperately not to laugh and say it straight like I would now… “Bad Man.. WTF? Those aren’t even your size!”

Have an excellent day LoveFraud Friends!

I posted it on another thread, but before I go to sleep I want to verbalize here that I am working on forgiving myself first and foremost. Because I deserve it, my heart was good and loving and giving, and I am not going to punish myself forever for being so human. If I weren’t, I would be him. I will forgive me. Goodnight everyone, and I just want to say I am so thankful that this site exists and am thankful for everyone participating here, many of you have been helping me with your stories and information for months, long before I first logged in a few days ago.

I know this is off topic but I found this today and wanted to share it at LF. One thing about the writer is how often she talks about “him not wanting to be alone and how much he hated it”. This is of course one thing I seen in so many of these dysfunctional relationships with our ex S/P’s. I know this is something I did see in my ex. How very much they fear this aloneness and how little they invest in themselves….

It’s very long but I believe worth the time to read it..

http://www.jamescrenshaw.blogspot.com/

Peggy: Thank you for posting the letter you wrote, I really appreciate it. I too have been through 1000’s of hours of thinking and reading and hopefully one day my journey to myself will be complete. Thanks!! 🙂

Aloha,
LMAO… about “Captain-Whack-a Do” grossing you out in your undies!!!!
“Carnie” (my x-S named by my teen-age daughter in honor of carnival workers) once told me to close my eyes he had a “suprise”…To my disgust he was standing there in my (way-to-small undies)…. YUCK!!!!
I don’t give a sh**t about trying to forgive him… For now I’ll delegate that monumental task to God…..I am just grateful that every day,week and month of “No Contact” has helped me to heal and forgive myself a little more for ever putting up with him….

Thanks guys for the laughs! Aloha, the picture in my mind is ust TOOOOO MUCH! and a good laugh (even gallows humor) is good for us all.

I’m so glad to see so many of you “lurkers” get out here and share with us! This has been a great week on LF.

You know, some of the things that are the UN-funniest (at the time that they happen), later, become some of the FUNNIEST memories…some of the most embarassing, humiliating things that happen to us, become some of the most treasured “family memories.” I’m not sure ALL of my P-memories will ever attain that status, but there are a few of them, siimilar to Aloha’s “undies story” that in retrospect are really QUITE FUNNY.

The thread that talks about how if you pity someone, you can’t distrust them at the same time ought to say also that if you LAUGH AT SOMEONE, you can’t fear them at the same time. And when you get right down to it, if you are ever going to laugh at ANYTHING that is a “mistake of nature” it would be the Psychopath—yea, they are kind of like a poison snake, too, but they are so ugly and empty inside that they are almost pathetic (but no pity for them)!

“You continued to try to manipulate my faith right up to the end when in return to my parting message of Divine forgiveness after you’d again recently contacted me, you not only blamed me for your current fraud predicament, but you also accused me of being religiously hypocritical by responding with, “You say all that then open the can of worms, does not compute.” The Word always computes and as I’ve told you many times, I stand upon the Word. I didn’t open this can of worms, you did. Instead, I am closing it. I am not Pentecostal, but I now know subservience is of universal design and it does not enslave it enhances, and love and forgiveness do not sweep sin under the rug, it is to be duly dealt with in mercy and justice. Give truth the chance it deserves, James. Therein lies your victory.”

This blog just reminded me just how much there might be to forgive….

Indeed each of our stories are the same but very much different…

May God both bless and guide us in our personal journeys….

http://www.jamescrenshaw.blogspot.com/

What is it with these creeps, that they have to make up heroic war hero stories? Mine told me he was in a super secret force that flew into ‘Nam to rescue downed pilots, that me flew all over the world to bring back awol’ers, the list goes on.. His sister told me he was a recruiter for the marines, & he never left the states. He once told me that he & his brother-in-law got trashed one night, & had a who’s got the longest contest. I think my brother-inllaw would have had to have one that is inverted, & he still would have won the contest! LOL

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