By | April 20, 2016 14 Comments

The sociopath threw her sobbing into the front yard, but now she’s recovered and performing on stage

Spath TalesEditor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader whom we’ll call “Avril.” Names are changed.

It’s not possible for me to tell my entire story in a short blog, it’d need a whole book, but let me give you a bite-sized round up.

This year marks 20 years since the blight entered our lives. I was a 32-year-old divorced mother of two small children, I was on holiday with my mother, my terminally ill father and my little sons. He was a brown-eyed handsome man who was running the bar at the resort. He was utterly charming and his eyes twinkled when he smiled. I had no chance.

When I met him, though I was vulnerable I did have my own home, a secure part-time job and a reasonable income. He had nothing, due to, as he told me, his generosity in giving his ex-wife everything when they separated. The poor man had been through a terrible time with his first wife apparently and referred to her as ‘the psycho bitch’.

Anyway, during the course of the next 15 years I was isolated from all family and friends, was persuaded to leave my job in a busy office and work alone as a cleaner, was beaten up and throttled on many occasions, became a nervous wreck, developed a stammer, became the second Mrs Gardner and subsequently the newly crowned ‘psycho bitch’, fell pregnant with his child after he raped me on holiday, lost all sense of myself, any trace of self esteem and finally lost my home.

I eventually managed to extricate myself from him to some degree and he proceeded to move around England wreaking havoc with one employer and then the next as he conned a number of property lettings agents into taking him on only to have all of them dismiss him when they discovered the various frauds he was committing in their name.

Naturally, he abandoned the son that he created although his side of the story is very, very different of course. Whilst it has been exceedingly difficult to be a single mother with no financial support, I am deeply grateful for my beautiful, talented, loving son and thankful beyond words that he has not been exposed to the poison of the other parent — I cannot bring myself to refer to him as a father.

And so to today.

Today I sit writing this at my laptop in the beautiful little home that I rent in a gorgeous part of northern England. It’s 5 years since I’ve set eyes on David Gardner. He’s remarried and divorced again and I dare say that ex-wife number 3 now wears the psycho bitch crown that has sat atop so many heads. My happy, handsome, gifted son is now 14 years old. This morning he kissed me goodbye and told me he loves me as he does every time I drop him off at school and my heart was filled with joy and gratitude for his very existence in my life.

Tonight I shall drive to the theatre again to perform in front of another full house.

The long road to recovery started in 2010 when I, with enormous trepidation, joined a community theatre group with the goal of conquering my fear of public speaking. I found my true path at that theatre and today I work as a professional actress and television presenter.

One night in May 2002, I lay sobbing on the ground in the front yard of my house. My body was beaten, my was hair ripped out in chunks from being dragged down the hallway and thrown out into the black, rain sodden night and I just wanted to die. If anyone had have told me then that one day I would stand on stage and receive the applause of an appreciative audience I would have thought them mad.

Do whatever it takes is to get away from the sociopath in your life. The whole world is waiting to embrace you when you do.


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Hope Springs

What a wonderful ending! Thank goodness for you.

Thank you for this snippet.


Thank you Bev.


Oh dear one, this is beautiful. And I needed to hear it. I often feel like at my age I have wasted too much time to do anything meaningful, and I’m still relatively young! Mourning lost time is so difficult. Thank you for this. It is so hopeful.


Thank you seekeroflight.

I completely recognise that sentiment and have thought it often too, but it’s just an illusion. It’s not too late.


I too, am grateful to read your short version of your story today! I am struggling with the return to my life after only eighteen months in the grip of a Narcopath. I’m sixteen months NO CONTACT and have healed enormously. Reading your words will spur me on! Thank you!


No contact is absolutely the key, 100%.


Thank you Donna for posting my letter.

I found Lovefraud via a Google search in 2008. By that time I had worked out that he had a personality disorder but it wasn’t until I found Lovefraud that I realised I was not alone. I spent about a year, on and off, speaking to other people on here and it was this site that was instrumental in beginning my journey to recovery.

I have just searched back to the conversations I was having then and I’m amazed at the difference between the person I was then and the one I am now. The advice given by so many about NO CONTACT was absolutely correct and I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of making that decision and sticking to it. It freed me. It freed my child.

Eight years on from those original posts and I’m finally able to talk about him without shaking, to see his name written down without my heart pounding in my chest with fear. The freedom that came with NO CONTACT allowed me to discover creative talents that I never knew I possessed, one of which is writing. So many people in recent years have said to me ‘you should write a book’ when they hear even a snippet of my story but I couldn’t justify to myself why I would do that. I needed a positive reason for doing it, something other than a desire for revenge because that seemed like a perpetuation of the negativity. Eventually the answer came when I realised that the telling of my story may be the thing that helps someone else to escape their time in hell with the sociopath that bit sooner.

This site helped me so much at a time when I was in desperate need and it is this site to which I have submitted my first public article.

Now to step out into the wider world. Watch this space.

Thank you Lovefraud community xxx

Avril – I am so glad that Lovefraud helped you, and so glad that you have traveled so far on your healing path. Your story is an inspiration that life after the sociopath can be good and fulfilling.


So glad for this great outcome. Reading your story I had a few “flashbacks”. Psycho bitch, this was my ex husband most favorite label for me. Besides calling insane ,mentally , stupid,old, boring etc. like you I was “thrown ” in the front yard sobbing. I still remember sitting in my “crying closet “, sitting by the side of my house in a pile of mulch not caring what insects were in there. Him, raging inside the house ,enjoying every tear I cried. Him , waiting fur be to come inside to apologize for my “crazy ” behavior. Him, smirking and calling me “crazy psycho bitch”. Me,beggibg him not to leave me, not to abondon me, beggibg him to love me. Well, fast forward to the now. 3 years later. I divorced this liar, this Cheated and abuser. Yes. I also am renting a house now. Still in a beautiful place. Yes, I lost my marital home ,my dream house. I lost my favorite car , I lost my ability to be stay at home wife and mother. But I have gained so much. Yes, I have to work full time now. But I can come home to my serene, peaceful house. No more drama , no more craziness. I was not crazy , I was not mentally ill. I was a recipient of his abuse . The day I filed for divorce I went no contact. To this day I have not spoken a word to him. I have not replied to any of his insults. I am finally free and I am in control. My life is wonderful. In fact I really did not lose anything. I gained everything. As for him, I am sue he is busy with his little minions. But that’s none of my concern anymore. They all deserve him, their Cpt America. The cop who cowardly abused his family behind closed doors. The one who was having affairs with his female cop I workers. Please , who wants him?i sure don’t.
Yes, there is a light at the end of darkness. And this light will set you free. For ever.


It never ceases to amaze me, the similarities between one sociopath and another. It’s like there is a blueprint that they’re all made from.


Thank you for sharing your experience, and the ‘happy ending’ which is inspiring to me. I’m on the other side of the Atlantic, but my ex psychopath operated similar to your ex spath. He also told me he had nothing because he gave it all to the ex. And he blamed and criticized me for exactly the same things he claimed was wrong with his first ex wife.

I’m about 4 years or so out (I don’t even bother to count the time, too busy living my life now), and happy hosting a radio show, clogging, shape note singing, and enjoying my friends and family. I can attest to your account, that recovery is possible, and it’s wonderful.


I’m in the process of writing my story out in full. I’m still writing about the early days, the days before I realised what was going on. Now, 20 years on, I can see that all the signs were there from the very first week of knowing him so to write in the voice of the woman I was then is very difficult. It’s hard to remember that woman, but I need to write in her voice in order for people to understand why I was fooled so easily. Nowadays, people like him would not get within 100 yards of me before my spath alarm started ringing. The change in me has been dramatic and very, very welcome.


I truly believe recovery is possible. Is it an easy task ? No, I think the first few months were the worst for me. Detaching from him and fighting “my addiction” to him were painful for me , very dramatic and very draining. I don’t remember much going though that period but I am glad I stuck to my decision of no contact. I am glad I went through with the divorce and I am glad that I survived this entire nightmare. Like Annette I am out over 3 years now. I find myself not thinking about the past much anymore. I find myself to be happy again. And it feels good not having to cry on a daily basis. I don’t miss anything about my “marriage “. I guess because it was never a marriage. It was a daily struggle not to die emotionally. It was exhausting and not healthy. It was tiring and draining and it was just plain wrong.


I agree absolutely with everything you say here. Recovery is not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight but it is possible and it is worth fighting for. I’m very glad to read your post.

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