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Time and recovery from sociopaths

I can’t believe that it is Labor Day. Here in the U.S., it’s the holiday that marks the end of summer, and all I can wonder is, where did the summer go? Yesterday, my husband, Terry, complained about a “time leak”—he swears that an hour is now only 40 minutes long.

Actually, of course, time keeps moving at the same pace, with the exception of the “leap second” added on June 30, 2012. (This apparently caused software problems all over the Internet.) Yes, time marches on—and we can use this to our advantage in recovering from the sociopath.

Involvements with sociopaths cause serious damage to our emotions, psychology, health, finances, social connections—to our very lives.  We can recover, but it will take time.

How much time? It’s impossible to predict because every case is different. The short answer is that it will take as long as it takes—but there are steps you can take to make it go faster.

No Contact

First, and most important, have No Contact with the sociopath. Cut the person out of your life. No phone calls, text messages, email and certainly no in-person meetings. Why is this so important? Relationships with sociopaths change the structure and chemistry of your brain, much like addictions. In fact, many people experience these relationships as addictions. Therefore, you must break the addiction.

The longer you “stay on the wagon,” and maintain No Contact, the stronger you become. This is using time to your advantage. But as anyone who’s struggled with other types of addictions knows, if you give in to your addiction a little bit, you have to start all over again. The time you previously spent maintaining No Contact is lost.

In situations where you must have some type of contact, such as shared parenting, your goal is to do your best to minimize interactions. More importantly, you want to go for Emotional No Contact. This means you get to the point where the sociopath simply means nothing to you. You know and accept what the sociopath is, and when you see that typical behavior, you just roll your eyes.

Because No Contact is so important, it is one of the issues you need to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue holding the sociopath accountable for his or her actions. I believe sociopaths should be help accountable—they get away with their moral or actual crimes far too often, which emboldens them and harms society. But the truth is that going after the sociopath keeps you in contact with them, which can slow down your recovery. So you need to decide—is it worth it?

Hastening the recovery

The other thing that can make your recovery faster is consciously deciding that you are going to heal, and taking the necessary steps to do it.

First and foremost, take care of yourself—eat right, get exercise, get sleep, don’t smoke, drink or do drugs. Involvement with a sociopath may have left you with anxiety or depression. Healthy habits go a long way towards combating anxiety and depression.

You then need to decide that you’re going to deal with the emotional and psychological effects of the involvement, using whatever method works for you. If you can find a therapist who gets it—great. If you find comfort in church, prayer, meditation or spiritual practice—fabulous. I used both of these approaches—plus my personal favorite, pounding pillows in which I envisioned my ex-husband’s face. However you do it, you must get the toxic emotions and energy out of your system, or they will eat you up.

I also believe it’s important to look deep within ourselves, beyond the experience with the sociopath, to discover why we were susceptible to the sociopath in the first place. These human predators target our vulnerabilities. In fact, they can spot vulnerabilities that we don’t even know we have.

Did we have wounds from our childhood? Did we have mistaken beliefs that we were unworthy or unlovable? Something made us vulnerable. To truly recover, we must find out what it was and heal it.

If we maintain No Contact with the sociopath and focus on our own healing, over time, it will happen. And sooner or later, we’ll discover that our lives are happier than we ever thought they could be.


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102 Comments on "Time and recovery from sociopaths"

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Donna, I believe the sentence below from the article above, sums up the most important part of our healing

“I also believe it’s important to look deep within ourselves, beyond the experience with the sociopath, to discover why we were susceptible to the sociopath in the first place. These human predators target our vulnerabilities. In fact, they can spot vulnerabilities that we don’t even know we have.”

I have long said “the healing starts out about them, but ends up being about ourselves.”

Thanks for a wonderful article!

Wonderful article, Donna! The points you bring up are so important in the healing process.

Thanks for all you do!

Donna, thank you so much for this timely article. It speaks to me, personally, right now, and this very instant.

Going “No Contact” is a life-saving imperative. I absolutely would appreciate an opportunity to describe the levels of damage that the exspath did to his face. Oh, you bet I would! But….I have to consider this fact: did he “hear” me when I was in so much physical pain that I couldn’t get out of a chair without assistance? No. He didn’t. He didn’t “hear” me, simply because he didn’t care. There are no words or combination of words, facial expressions, vocal inflections, or gut-wrenching tears that will cause the exspath to acknowledge the carnage that he has created. There isn’t. And, “checking up” on a FaceBook profile or other networking site is not going to do me any service. On the contrary, any information that I glean about the exspath only pours salt on a raw wound.

Examining why I was so easily targeted and used has been a sad, frightening, and enlightening experience. I have been a prime target throughout my life, and my host of vulnerabilities were created early in my childhood. Throughout my life, I have been “needy,” unworthy, unloveable, and dependent upon others to fill my needs and cause me to feel worthy. These are truths that are ugly, painful, and challenging to address.

In spite of all of these unpleasant truths, I’m going to be okay, in due time. I’m not rushing my healing and recovery as I normally would – it used to be typical for me to “get over it” and move on with my life. I was compelled to present a “strong” facade, which was also a symptom of my dis-eased system of beliefs. I had to be tough, strong, and resilient. Well, dammit, I’m human – and, I’m allowing myself to explore my recovery and healing at a reasonable pace and under my own steam.

Once again, Donna, I read precisely what I need to WHEN I need to read it.

Brightest blessings and deepest gratitude

Donna, and everyone, I have been experiencing recurring bouts of spontaneous crying. Apropos, nothing….I’ll just burst into tears. Sometimes, I’ll suddenly feel such a sense of loss that I’ll burst into tears, and this feeling comes out of the blue.

Just curious about this because I’m trying to find employment and it’s just not going to fly if I’m sitting in an interview and burst into tears!

I woke up this morning, feeling very, very low – I do not want to be where I am. I hate it. I hate that I was forced to make such a desperate choice. And, I burst into a sobbing fit. Then, I reminded myself (I have to do this, consciously) that I should be grateful and to think about where I would be if I had not made the decision that I did.

So, pity-party aside, is this a typical thing?

And, I never thought much of Armstrong, even given his battle against cancer. There was always a swirling undercurrent of thorough arrogance about him.

I feel badly for all of his devoted fans – more collateral damage. Sheeeeeesh

Donna, thank you. I try to keep it very private.

I don’t like it, at all. It is almost physically painful – that kind of crying that hurts right in the middle of one’s torso. But, I guess I have to let it out or go nuts.

Thanks, again.

Dear Truthspeak, appreciate your honesty in your bouts of crying. I have been doing the same thing here for several months now, however the more time I devote to MY PAIN (and its healing), and learning HOW I fell for this, and the more I read and research, and get on here at Lovefraud; it is not so often, in this past week. Thank you Donna, do appreciate this forum and out-let very much! This spath here has robbed me of so much, but I refuse….REFUSE to surrender my dignity! 🙂 hugs 🙂

Truthspeak,

I know exactly what you are talking about. It’ the overwhelming sadness and mess just coming up and out spontaneously.

The one I remember most which was months ago was sitting down to breakfast with my daughter and trying to swallow that first bite of food. I was in a kind of heavy sadness that I was attempting to keep to myself until she got off to school. Well swallowing brought the spontaneous burst of tears and I couldn’t help it. End of breakfast.

I, too, must look for employment after being self employed for 21 years and having 3 plus years isolated from everyone while I fought this terrible battle. I also feared crying in an interview or just them seeing the sadness in my eyes. I can say it has become less and less. It takes time but I really believe I could be in front of someone regarding a job without an outburst.

It is that deep down pain and sadness. Disbelief it all has happened. I still cry once in a while but not the sudden outbursts like before.

Eralyn

After doing some additional reaseach and reading, I happened upon this article, and would like to share it! This one really skewered me! But in a good and PROFITABLE way! http://marriagepartner.com/relationships/6937.php (excerpt of article)…” Abused women make up a significant proportion of any community. And it tends to be their gentler, more feminine qualities that put them at risk. By acquiring self-awareness and learning to ring-fence their frailties with strong boundaries, they can safeguard their specialness. At the same time they can protect themselves from further abuse.” So what are the characteristics that set an abused woman apart?

� She’s a naive romantic. She believes that love, her love will conquer all. It takes her the longest time to learn that love doesn’t excuse her partner from being accountable for his actions.

� She doesn’t know when to give up and walk away.

� She is a natural at guilt, apologies and shouldering the blame for whatever goes wrong.

� She takes responsibility for anything and everything. Hence my concern that writing an article aimed at revealing the specific characteristics of abused women might benefit predatory men.

� She doesn’t believe that she is good enough. Her low self-worth, progressively lowered in an abusive relationship, means that however imperfect her man is, she still feels inferior to him. She sees him as compensating for her own inadequacies.

� Her ‘no’ lacks authority. In other words, she is easily bullied and put upon. She may sound strong-minded, but her wants, needs and reasons never carry the same weight for her as those of her partner.

� She has little or no idea of boundaries. She has little instinct for self-protection or self-preservation. Her best ‘strategy’ is often to hope that others will do right by her. (This strategy causes frequent, painful disappointment.)

� She believes in gender stereotypes. Men are the strong, powerful ones. Women can’t manage on their own. Women need a man to complete them and to manage the challenging areas of life.

� She’s really into rescue. A generous soul, she may well yearn for a rescuer, but she can’t resist running to the rescue of anyone in distress. (This is often part of what attracts her to an abusive partner.) She’s slow to learn that the people she rescues are more likely to turn aggressive than to show gratitude and loyalty in the long term.

� She believes that she is entitled to far less from life than other people. Other people have rights, she only has wishes that she believes are probably unreasonable.

� She’s a generous, long-suffering person. Seeing myself in many of these was/IS a real eye-opener for me! Just OMG!!!!

Radar, this article is right on for sure!!!!! Well said, thanks for sharing it. If we look around, there are lots of places that have information that we can use and share in our recover and in safeguarding ourselves from being abused again.

TOWANDA!!!!

I am in process of finding a balance. Prior to P intrusion, I saw all things through rose colored glasses. Now, I am hyper vigilant on a continuous basis, SIZE PEOPLE UP, CONSTANTLY, all folks are guilty until proven innocent, etc. I am working with my therapist to find a middle ground. I used to be happy-go-lucky, kind, helpful, fun-loving, friendly, sweet, enthusiastic, free-thinking with a smile on my face at all times, etc. Post-P, I am overly cautious, suspicious, dissociative, always on the offense inside my head, unnecessarily accusatory at times, over-protective of self, and others to an unhealthy degree. I can see I have many if not all of the necessary tools to protect myself, and I can vouch for the fact that I am using them, as I am speaking up to others when need be, asking for the things that I need, requiring other’s respect for me/my boundaries. I am fearful of letting go, I think, of the hyper awareness and constantly being on guard… Ugh, it is now getting exhausting. If I let go of the unnecessary parts, and just use the tools that I have acquired, I consciously know that I will be fine, at least well on my way to the balanced way of existence that I am seeking. I believe, I see, just through writing this, that it is purely fear of letting go of the control and keeping creepy behavior of others at bay, that is holding me back from trusting in myself, enough to allow myself to relax and to believe that if I am approached in unhealthy ways by another, my instincts will automatically kick in, and I will kick ass at protecting myself, as needed.

@Truthspeak,

I cried randomly, throughout most of the first 3 months of the aftermath (I have been out of the relationship and have remained “No Contact” for 8 1/2 months, thus far). After about month three, the crying, s l o o o w l y began to taper. I think similar to what Donna mentioned within her comment to you, is that while crying, you are releasing so much, and in turn the more you release, the less you will find that you will need to… it is an incredibly important part of the process I think, in that it cleanses you and frees you of residual venom and other toxins left to you, by the P. I still have random bouts of crying, periodically, however, not nearly as much, and very short lived, compared to several months ago. When this happens, I try to see it as allowing compassion for myself to flow. I learned this from my Mom. XOXO to you!

Thank Donna for another great article. This weekend has been incredibly tough for me. Like Truthspeak, sometimes I am not even sure why the sadness returns in such a strong way. It has been months since I have burst into tears. (though I wanted to note that Truthspeak you are not alone there) For me, I mostly broke into tears out of frustration when my ex would pull another stupid court stunt, tell another lie that went on the record, or even when I would see a man with his child in public (who appeared to actually care about the child).

It’s interesting to think of this “recovery” as a journey of sorts. It does really have to turn into a journey for us to find ourselves. The psychopath is a lost cause. Focusing on that person is a waste of precious years. More important is to focus on how to live well and recover from such a devastating life blow.

Not that this is so important but I will express it out-loud anyway… I think that my healing process has been taking as long as it has, due to the extreme amount of anger I have had. I had never felt anger to any large degree, or even much more than a small amount, and for very short durations of time prior to the P experience. The degree of anger that I have had is literally indescribable. At this point in my recovery, it fluctuates. Sometimes I think it is “finally gone for good”, and then BAM, it has returned. It comes less frequently, and leaves more quickly as I recover more of myself, but the anger is what has been the biggest hardship to overcome, of all of the parts of grieving throughout the aftermath.

Truthy and Shane,

The “grief process” (healing) from ANY loss (death, or anything thing that is important “loss”) is a cycllical thing, not a straight line.

Google Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and the Grief process she studied.

There is denial, bargaining, sadness, anger and acceptance. But they do not go 1-2-3-4-5, but instead go 1,4, 3, 2, 5, 3, 2, 1, etc. and back and forth and back and forth until you reach #5, acceptance, but then you will “lose” that and go back all the way to #1 or #2, but eventually, EVENTUALLY you will reach acceptace and STAY THERE.

The intermittent crying jags are NORMAL….that is the way grief works, and if you KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT, then it isn’t so scary to you when you “back step” into a previous “phase” or stage of that grief.

The HUGE loss we experience when the “love of our life” turns out to be a TRAITOR is much worse than if the love of our life dies! Believe me, I’ve been both places…at least on an intellectual level you know that the love of your life didn’t die on purpose, they died of cancer or whatever (but even that won’t keep you eventually from becoming angry at them for letting cancer win) LOL

We can use the grief journey to also learn about ourselves and our part in becoming a victim….learn why we were vulnerable, and learn to spot the predators in our environment and identify them in the future.

Hang on guys, it will get better!

Thank you VERY much, Ox Drover! I believe you, and this theory you make mention of. I have found myself going forward, backwards and sideways, at any given time within the process. When the anger would return, I think it would make me angrier, because I had previously thought that since it finally subsided, it was finally GONE for good. It has now returned on numerous occasions, which has proven to me that there is in fact no “Gone for good” that exists in this process”. Thank you for the valuable information and encouraging words you have so kindly provided! I have heard the name; Elizabeth Kubler-Ross mentioned in past. I will definitely be Googling her, ASAP. I appreciate it very much!

Ah, I just went to look up Kubler-Ross, and found that I know of 2 of her books. I have not read either, however. I think Truthspeak or another poster brought up “On Death and Dying”, within a different thread. Thanks again for the resource(s). I have been taking full advantage of all of the excellent suggestions and information that I have been coming across, here!

Shane, glad you looked up Kubler-Ross, her work with dying patients and with the GRIEF PROCESS has been very helpful to me. Grief=grief=grief it doesn’t matter WHAT the “loss” is, it all works in the same process.

I do think the BETRAYAL aspect of dealing with loss form a Psychopath makes it worse at times, but still it is the same back and forth up and down, in and out….but, believe me, there will come a time (don’t try to rush it) when it will be pretty well acceptance and the anger even will be less or gone. Don’t give up on healing, just relax and enjoy the ride. LOL

I am new to this board and have just started reading the articles and comments. First, thanks to Donna for setting up this website as I am sure it has helped many people. And second, just in the short time here it has given me a lot of insight on what I was doing wrong. My son is a sociopath and I have suffered over 20 years of emotional damage. However I am making an effort to heal the wounds and although there is a long long way to go, I feel optomistic.

RobertS,
welcome, but sorry you had to be here.

I can’t even imagine how horrible it would be to have a child as a spath. To have to cut them off is like choosing to amputate a limb, I imagine.

My brother and sister are both spaths. She tried to put him in prison and he DID put me in jail for 2 days before dropping charges of DV. My parents know that they are spaths, but they are such good supply that they won’t go NC. My bro lives in their basement, drinking, smoking, online watching porn and gambling. My sister married a full blown spath that MY own spath secretly sent to marry her (she had an insurance settlement). She won’t move very far from them and spends hours at their house each day.

These people literally FEED on your emotions. That’s why you are damaged. NC is the first step and it’s so important.

Next, I would say, learning is critical. Until you really understand what happened and how spaths work, you will always have doubts, always wonder if they are “real” or just acting. This is SO difficult and you will have to really work on it because our brains just don’t function like their do. EVERYTHING they say or do is 180 degrees the opposite of what it appears to be. The word “hypocrite” barely begins to touch the reality of the spath.

Then, sharing your story is really important because being validated is critical to healing. That’s why LF is such an important part of the healing process. We need to be heard, understood and believed.

My heart goes out to you. I’m glad you’re optomistic.

Thank you Ox Drover… In response to your comment, I believe you must be right… about the betrayal by the P, being that of a bigger, more contentious loss of sorts, and I believe the deceit and betrayal are what keeps the anger coming back, presenting itself periodically, throughout the process. What a ride it has been…

Thank you Donna for another inspiring article.
Seems to come always when most needed. xxoo

If you don’t allow yourself to access the anger, you will never find a way of dealing with it. Trust me, I know. NOT DEALING with the anger from all of this put me right where I ended up: in the hospital, with a major heart attack and two heart surgeries to save my life.

It is “healthy” to deal with that anger but not to the point of self destruction. I can so relate about throwing all legalities in the courts, off to the side, because it’s only more attention for them. Be the attention good or bad, it doesn’t matter to them as long as they are getting your attention. Sometimes, depending upon the spath, the uglier the attention, the better. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t live in DramaRamaLand.

I did not ‘forgive’ but I did ‘absolve’ in a gray rock sort of way. Even still, the stalking continued. This has been shadowing my life for the past eleven years now. This is the first ‘holiday’ of any kind, where I have TRULY spent it in complete peace and quiet without intrusions and that’s only because I changed my number. Now “IT” has NO WAY to contact me except for in person. If it persists in person, due to the death threats, etc., there is a good chance “IT” would be staying in my area a while, doing a little time, so I would stay away.

The thing I don’t get is that even after ‘absolution’, “IT” continues on. WHY? What is spurning this? WHAT?! I am glad I absolved and pushed it out of my life. I know he deserves A LOT more than that, but that’s self survival, for me. Having more of this garbage in my world would only shorten what life I DO have left and “ITS” not getting it. It just isn’t.

Happy to hear life is moving forward for a lot of you.
It is me too.

I am finding life again.
Something I never thought I would.
Healing comes slow but it’s not easy sorting through a lifetime of beliefs and being honest with ourselves. It isn’t that we have done anything ‘wrong’ nor ‘bad’, loving and caring for someone, it’s that we were left with a whole lot of leaks springing in our dams. We need to shore them up and move on and upward to more important things in our lives.

I don’t understand WHY IT still persists.
I mean, seriously.
In the past eleven years, the past four days have been absolutely quiet. NO stalking phone calls. I can answer the phone with freedom and knowing someone isn’t going to be on the other end, calling me names, telling me they are going to kill me…imagine that. This past weekend has been the first weekend in just about 6 years, that I was able to just ‘breathe’. FINALLY!

They deserve all the formal legalities they can have thrown at them. However, I am not going to waste any more of my life on this. I just am not. I take away ALL the drama; all the words; all of everything. There is just nothing left to say. Period. Over. Finished.

Have a good week everyone.
Love and prayers ~ Dupey

Oxy, please check your email.
I need your help.
petite

OxD, I read Kubler-Ross way back in the ’70’s as a course requirement. I appreciate your clarifying that the grieving process skips around – I have recognized those “steps” in my process, but I couldn’t understand why I kept going back and forth on some of them.

I’ve posted this, before, but since you mentioned that the exspath was a traitor, it might bear repeating.

About a year ago, I was having a philosophical discussion with my son and we were discussing why “Betrayal” warranted the 9th Circle Of Hell. I was thinking that a child murderer would be the worst of the worst, but what my son said rather sorted that out, a bit. When someone’s life is taken, there is ultimately an “end” to their pain and torment, albeit a final end, but an end nevertheless. When a person experiences Betrayal, they must live with the aftermath for the rest of their lives – trust issues, blame, shame, guilt, anger, rage, despair, longing, etc….every day of their lives they awaken with the reminder that they have been betrayed and that there will be no remedy.

What my son said was so insightful, and this was prior to my discovery about what the exspath truly was. So, knowing that these feelings as a result of the carnages of spath entanglements are “normal,” helps to some degree. I believe that a day will come when I don’t awaken with a feeling of dread, loss, and concern for my future. I just have a whole lot of work to do, yet.

Brightest blessings

Dupey, I’m so grateful that you changed your number, finally. And, any peace is peace-times-ten when one has been stalked and harassed. For me, it was only a year (or, so) and I am still managing triggers from those experiences! I cannot even begin to imagine the level of stress that you experienced – I just can’t.

Okay – off topic and completely aside: WHY isn’t stalking/harassment prosecuted as a “terroristic” act? From my own experiences, being stalked/harassed creates such a state of emotional (and, physical) damage that it can’t be measured – seriously, there can be no amount of money in punitive damages that will make a victim of stalking/harassment “whole,” ever again. WHY aren’t these people held accountable? It’s not a rhetorical question that I’m asking – I am quite seriously perplexed as to why this isn’t treated like the hostile behavior that it is.

Brightest blessings

Thuthspeak and others: woth regards the crying…

I used to create and actually plan physical crying moments for myself. However, I wouldn’t advize this method when you are still totally raw and open, bleeding from the gut. But it can be a helpful tactic when you feel somewhat stronger already, and when the sadness fluctuates with days of being ok or angry or any other feeling.

I’d rent a sure tearjerker movie, have a box of paper handkerchiefs ready, get myself some favourite icecream flavor or a rich chocolate dessert (a mousse, cake, sauce, …). I would also include a bottle of Calvados with that and a glass (I rarely drink alcohol, and never had an issue with habitual drinking. Not advizable for people who have a drinking past). And I’d invite a very intimate, close friend, informing them of the purpose. The tearjerker movie (Terms of Endearment anyone? Or “the Champ”?) and Calvados was to evoke my pain and make it easy for it to come up with tears. The dessert, the friend and the handkerchiefs were the consolation. (Note: the alcohol was not for consolation, but to access the emotions more rapidly and lower the inhibitions against hiding them for myself).

So it was pretty much an organized self-pity fest, but in a protected and planned setting with real care and love surrounding me. Didn’t have to do that often, but it helped me to make sure those feelings did not surface at an inopportune time.

Darwinsmom, what a fantastic idea, seriously. I know that I need to get this venom out, and I am weary of presenting the “strong” facade all of the time. If I get this out of my system, then it’s OUT for a good while.

GREAT suggestion, and thank you so much for throwing that out there to consider.

Brightest blessings

Thank you Donna!

“No Contact” would be the best!!! If I never saw that monster again, I’d be eternally greatful! But sharing 3 young kids with a sociopath makes that extremely difficut–especially since the kids are used as his pawns. Sad.

I’ve come a long way though! Ignoring him does give me satisfaction, makes me stronger and I know it pisses him off 😉 Now that my eyes are open, power & control is very easy to recognize. Will not give in!

Keep up the good work, Donna. Your dedication to the cause has been a blessing as it has helped me in my healing.

Best wishes to you all!

Truthspeak, I do the same thing sometimes. Burst into tears and then ask myself, “why am I crying?”

Let’s not forget that many of us can be suffering from PTSD. I have not found a therapist where I live that even understands psychopathy much less PTSD. I dont know how long you have been NO CONTACT from your pathological, but at some point you might want to talk with a therapist about PTSD.

I finalized my divorce last week, so I am in total NO CONTACT. When I saw him last week I felt NOTHING. I really had not thought about what I would feel – allowing my moment to define the “moment”. I was so proud of me.

I exchanged about 10 words with him about the divorce and that was it. Finally, the last 20 months of agony ended.

I also suggest reading Sandra L Browns’ book “Women who love Psychopaths”. This book has provided me with many insights about the disorder as well as why I was a target and what I do with MYSELF moving forward.

Peace and blessings to all of you in your continuing recovery!

Good Morning All,

This article is so timely. I really appreciate reading the comments. I know I am not alone. I really only have one person near me that truly understands the psycopath, and all I have been through and am recovering from. Tomorrow will be four months since I have seen “crazy.” She continues to stalk me, hunt for me. The only time I breathe easy is in the confines of my home or when I am out of town. I vacilate between purposely not going anywhere that I know she haunts, especially my AA meetings, and being pissed off about the fact that I can’t safely go whereever I want to go. I do believe she is a danger to me. She texted my d-in-law the other day. She asked her if she thought I would ever speak to her again. Fortunately my d-in-law did not respond. Per my request. My d-in-law and I are the best of friends. She is the one person that understands. The NC rule is a Must!

Sisterseven, have you considered getting involved in some counseling therapy for a bit? I’m a strong advocate of counseling, especially when regular safety networks are damaged by spaths (AA, support groups, mutual friends, etc.).

What you described, as I remember it, definitely fell within the parameters of domestic abuse and violence. If you contact your local domestic violence hotline, they can put you in touch with a list of counselors that “get it,” and most of these counselors provide their services at little-or-no-cost. I’m going to call for myself, this morning (as a complete aside).

Also, with the stalking….I wish that I had something helpful to offer. My experiences with reporting stalking/harassment have been that I was viewed as an over-emotional female and ignored. The domestic violence people may be able to assist you with that, as well.

To find your local hotline, you can visit http://www.ndvh.org for regional and local resources. Also, women’s advocacy groups can sometimes be helpful.

No Contact ….. yep, it’s the first and most important step to recovery.

Brightest blessings

Hope52, when I was involved in counseling on a weekly basis, I was taking some serious action and doing some hard work. I still need counseling, and may for a long, long time to come.

Once I’m on my feet, financially, I’ll be getting a number of books. I still have my PSTD workbook from the stalking situation of 4 years ago, so I can get that out and go back over some of this stuff, again. And, once I get involved in some counseling, I believe that I’ll have more tools to use to manage these symptoms.

Brightest blessings

Okay……so……..

I called the county’s “Victim’s Services” number. They provide “peer” counseling and not long-term, therapeudic counseling. There are no therapy counselors available in the entire county. I was given a list of numbers to call in neighboring counties. None of those contacts were able to point me in any direction that was local and/or affordable – one clinic (about an hour away) provides walk-in-crisis services when someone’s about to bleed themselves out in their bathtub, but they don’t accept any other insurances than Medicare and Medicaid.

After being on the phone for an hour, speaking with dozens of voices, I finally contacted a local church. At least, the person answering the phone was going to reach out and see what she could find out. I finally broke down and said that even a support group would be some help – none exists in this entire county, according to “Victim’s Services.”

Dammit, that’s insane! I know on an academic level that this county has a high rate of domestic violence – very rural, isolated, and backwards. Why isn’t there anything available? (snarl, hiss, spit) Yeah, there’s a number to call if there’s immediate danger, but there’s no resources available to assist survivors in the long haul.

I should get my farking degree and start something, myself!

Grrrrrrrrrrrr………it just makes no sense to me to have a number to call and have “Well, here’s how you get out” being the only help available. It’s going to take some legwork, but something’s going to be out there for me, and for others.

Brightest blessings

The best groups I found were Al Anon and Incest survivors Anonymous. A psychopath is very much worse than most alcoholics and most times both. You will fit in there; find a 12 step group if nothing else is available. They saved my life back when no one even recognized a psychopath except as a serial killer.

Truthspeak,

I have had the same experience. When I first went “mental” and realized I needed professional help I naturally went to my insurance carrier for a referral. I am on a Medicare Advantage plan and called several doctors listed on their website and in their published list of approved doctors. Each and every one said they no longer took this insurance because my carrier had subbed out their mental health division to a third party carrier. After about three hours on the phone going back and forth between my insurance and the “third party” I was told I needed to go to my County Mental Health clinic. I called there and was told their first available appointment was in three weeks. I was in a manic state and needed help now, not in three weeks! A nice young man answering the phone must have realized what a critical state I was in and gave me an emergency appointment for that afternoon.

When I showed up at my County Mental Health office I was interviewed by a woman, what her credentials were I have no idea. After telling her my tale of woe she told me I would have to go through an interview process before I could receive any actual counceling. I needed to see their financial department first so they could figure out how I was going to pay. Then I would see their intake specialist who would determine whether I needed to see a “shrink” or a counselor. When I asked the difference I was told that the shrink would be the one to administer drugs should I need them, the counselors could not. I then asked what qualifications the counselors had and was told they were “master” counselors. I asked what that meant. Did they have some kind of degree? The woman I was speaking to did not know. She then left the room to find out about appointments. When she returned she told me the first available appointment with their financial department was three weeks away and the counselor was 5 weeks away. She did give me the number of their “Crisis Line” in case I needed it in the meantime. Since I felt on the edge of harming myself I went home and called a counselor from the phone book and have been seeing her and paying out of pocket.

The professional Mental Health community seems to have no idea of how serious this condition is. It is a documented fact the the highest insidence of depression in the US is in the senior community and this is how they are treated.

Donna, you seem to have many contacts and are becoming quite well known. Can you help us educate this professional community about our situation. Do you have an address or phone number we can call in the government that we can register a complaint with? My last session with my counselor is tomorrow. I cannot afford to go any longer and pay out of pocket because I am on SS.

This website has been a God send. I come here continually and always am helped, but, I too am frustrated at the lack of understanding by the “professionals”.

Well, once again I identify with Donna’s blog topic and so many of the comments. The head shaking, yep, that’s me, yep, that happened. Yep, I cried for 6 months almost steadily, choked on what little food I could get down, lost 30 pounds, hid in my house, cried some more when I realized the depth of betrayal. When I realized it really was all a joke to him. A game he played at my expense.

It’s been 2.5 years since I filed for divorce – and yes I still cry, but rarely now and it can be something weird, like experiencing the tender interaction with a baby or observing a couple holding hands and obviously smitten, etc My thoughts say “I wish that was me”
Well, it is going to be me – just at a later time in my life than I had planned.

Even though my divorce is technically final. It’s not really final. He won’t close out joint credit cards that he is the primary. He won’t agree on how to split the retirement accounts even though a judge already signed off on “How to” he won’t pay up the distributions that have been allocated to me.

We are going back into court in just a couple days and I think I am ready to be in the same room with “him” because otherwise it’ll just be the back and forth BS. I don’t really have to FACE him. I just want to hear his lies first hand, offer my best documentation to prove otherwise and try to get something clear cut to move on.

The only contact we have now are emails related to finalizing the divorce. The divorce that was finalized more than 8 months ago, but he won’t execute the “agreements.”

My friends tell me that is his way of saying he still wants to be married to you. Well, I disagree… it’s a way of keeping contact and feeling in control. That’s all.

Should I not be in the same room for a Settlement Officer Conference? I think I’m ready. I can be objective. I think I can pull off being non-emotional and matter of fact.

Is there any reason this is a bad idea?

Dupey,

So glad you changed your number. It’s not giving in.

It’s taking care of yourself.

Hugs!!

To 2nd Chance: As a 75 year old woman I have a lifetime of experience dealing with psychopaths. First in my 23 year marriage to one, and recently, having to accept the fact that my 5 once-beautiful children have developed the exact same symptoms. Upon graduating high school, I was proud of the children I had raised and “saved” from their father’s abuse. They were intelligent, healthy, happy and conscientious people ready to make a positive contribution to the world. Or so I thought! Over the decades, emotional alienation grew between us until last year when my 39 year old youngest, physically threatened me and stated that he and all his siblings would commit me! Upon advice from my attorney and all psychology experts, I was forced to accept NC with all of them and have had no contact ever since. It has been heartbreaking! I had believed we had miraculously escaped what the experts had always said was an illness which was highly transmissable genetically. So let me warn all Lovefraud readers that they may be faced with the double whammy of not only their “ex’s”, but then their beloved children becomming psychopaths as well. My love and compassion goes out to every victim of this growing affliction in our increasingly mercinary society.

Flicka,
I feel for you.

I read one of your other posts once – and yes… thank you for reminding us all that there are no guarantees. There just aren’t. I am really sorry for your circumstances and yes – it must be heartbreaking. My hope for you is that you have some good friends and neighbors and find contentment

I worry as well about my kids. They see that others “get ahead” when they lie, so they think why shouldn’t I? They see others smoke pot and no obvious or immediate consequences, so why shouldn’t I? I see the habits and patterns and think to myself, can I break the chain? can I influence the seemingly genetic link to some behavior? can I reel it in?

Sometimes I feel like I can have some effect but I do worry that my kids can eventually be bought. .And HE WILL if given the chance try to. He has plenty of inheritance facing him in the eyes and his relationship with his mother is the best it’s ever been since our divorce. Funny that!

I think that if I teach them hard work and honesty will bring the best life that they will understand. More and more I feel like I just need to keep my concerns on myself, keep talking to my kids and lead by example. What will be, will be.

Darwinsmom,

HaHa… Fantastic! Your entire pre planned, “organized pity party” rocks! Thank you for sharing. Will be giving it a go…

Hello folks, — new to this site, but have already found it very helpful to realize that I am NOT ALONE in the hell I’m living through, and there IS hope! I also realize that men are a minority as VICTIMS of sociopaths, but I’m sure there are others.

Reading through the list of characteristics of an “abused woman” (as posted by Radar_On), I recognize 100% of them in myself! Even the point of believing in gender stereotypes — except that in my case, my FAILURE to be the “strong powerful male” just fed my belief that I wasn’t good enough. As with so many things, all of this comes down to individuals, and not gender, or race, or any broad-brush stereotype.

Just a note on crying … I have had a few spontaneous bawling sessions, too — one in the middle of my work day in my office that I couldn’t shut off and had an embarrassing time hiding. Another came listening to Neil Diamond’s “Oh Mary, oh Mary” — I was just lying in bed listening to the CD for the first time and quite literally soaked my pillow!

I believe that I was mourning not so much the death of a relationship, or even the acknowledgement of allowing myself to be abused and marginalized for two decades, but more so the potential death of my entire worldview — that people are innately good; that “happily ever after” is possible; that a soul-mate exists for me; that true love (a la Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in “High Society”) is desirable and happens for people in real life.

Like so many others here, (everyone?) I am now trying to isolate the part of “me” that lies at the heart of my prior overly-romanticized world-view (but which I want to KEEP). Then, I will work on a way to protect that essential “me” and raise it again in the “real world” — which is more hostile than I imagined, but in which I must live.

All the best to everyone here as you move onward and upward!

Dear Flicka,

I am so sorry that at age 75 you have had to go NC with all the children you have put your life and your love into raising. It happens. One child, all your children, it doesn’t matter, IT HURTS LIKE HELL to realize that your kid, the child you loved,, that you thought had ESCAPED the DNA is indeed a user and abuser just like daddy-o.

I am fortunate that I have an adopted child that though he has some psychopathic DNA in his background is one of the most kind, caring,, loving individuals in the UNIVERSE and he is there for me. WOW! I have a “child” (now a wonderful man) who loves me and I am BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE…I feel like Isaac who had the “child of his old age” to love him,, I feel like Job who lost all his children and yet had more later.

It shouldn’t be that our children turn out to be monsters or abusers but sometimes it does. The DNA is there, and is a big influence on some of them, less influence on others.

Only one of my biological sons is a full fledged psychhpath but the other biiological son is not a man I care to have as a friend or intimate in my life. I’m not afraid of him, I just don’t LIKE HIM. I have less pain when I am not around him. So that’s the way it is.

Flicka, just love the friends you do have and make the best of your life without your kids in it. God bless.

Honestkindgiver, I agree with you, all we can do is lead by EXAMPLE and kids as they mature MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES and bad companions DO CORRUPT GOOD MORALS, the Bible tells us so and it is pretty obvious that is true. But we can’t control the choices they make. We just have to accept what happens and take care of OURSELVES. Realize too, that we are not ALONE in this. There are many other parents out there with the same griefs at children “lost” to them that we have. God bless.

@Hope52…if you have an opportunity, please look into two techniques called EFT and TAT. Both of these are available for free on the internet, free to download, free to use. I had PTSD for 18 years, which was caused by something that happened way before I met my spath. EFT worked and if the therapist who originally showed it to me had known what she was doing, I would have been free of it in the first session. However, she had only just learned it herself at a seminar the previous weekend. She uses it all the time, because she told me, she finally has a “tool” that actually works quickly.

I use it when I read the articles and the comments that follow, because it brings up issues sometimes that I had never even considered. The best part about EFT is that if the issue is cleared, it’s gone for good. You can’t even make it come back. I know, I tried at first, because funnily enough, I actually missed it, since I had had it so long. It became a part of my identity. But I soon let that go. It was like cleaning out the garage and now I could finally get my car back in! My real self, my real identity.

My heart just breaks some times when I read the comments. I want to get well and I want everyone else on here (because I know we are nice people and we deserve it) to get well also.

Please check into it when you get a chance

Blessings to everyone here.

Honestkindgiver- Living in the “good ole boy” south, I don’t find attorneys or the courts are much help. We get judges who are thrice divorced and don’t believe in a mother’s importance in childcare etc. Also, psychopaths seem to find ways to circumvent the law. I.E. my “ex” claimed he wasn’t earning any salary when I knew he was being paid in Timeshares instead but I didn’t have the money to take real estate firm AND him to court so I gave up all support and struggled on 2 minimum wage jobs. The childen naturally saw all this circumvention and that may have propelled them to copy their father’s ways as he appeared the winner. Good luck with the legal system…maybe yours is more favorable.

Dear Flicka, I agree with you about the “good old boy” south. We just had a psychopathic guy elected judge in our county and it made me sick! He won by 119 votes. ONLY 119 votes by people who didn’t know him, or didn’t care….it broke my heart.

He will be deciding about families and he is such a piece of carp., In fact, he was the attorney for my egg donor that FOUGHT hard in court to keep the sexual sadist pedophile in my mother’s home as her “live in care giver” ….the judge threw the guy out, but within a month he was back…so I went into hiding until his arrest for trying to kill my son C.

Shane and Thruthspeak,

LOL, yes it rocks! Who ever said that you can’t turn pain of the soul into some enjoyable self-indulgence at least? Just be careful with how often you do it: don’t want my pity-fest advice to cause chocolate and/or alcohol addiction.

The best thing about it though is that it is the only way I know to have a friend present without feeling guilty for pouring my heart out. At the very least, the tearjerker movie is sure to make them wheepy themselves, and you end up bawling your eyes out in each other’s consoling hugs.

And another advantage I experienced whenever I did it was that if I felt close to being onverwhelmed by grief at inappropriate moments, I could tell myself… you hold on now, you’re free to indulge coming Saturday night. And that would help.

newlife43

“If the issue is cleared, it’s gone for good.” Amen
http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2012/08/30/what-did-the-sociopath-give-me-and-why-is-it-so-hard-to-let-it-go/comment-page-1/#comment-168977

When the emotions are removed from the event it no longer has meaning to us. Which means no hooks to trigger. No more knee jerk reactions.

“It became a part of my identity.”

Yes it’s not who you really are as you said below. But who you thought you where. We are not our felling or our thoughts. We are more then the parts.
http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2012/07/30/after-the-sociopath-make-a-decision-to-recover/comment-page-3/#comment-167560

“But I soon let that go. It was like cleaning out the garage and now I could finally get my car back in! My real self, my real identity”

Yes you are more then the feelings. And well said.

“My heart just breaks some times when I read the comments.”

I do know what you mean.

Thanks

spoon

@ Darwinsmom,

I love what you have expressed here, within the following:

“And another advantage I experienced whenever I did it was that if I felt close to being onverwhelmed by grief at inappropriate moments, I could tell myself” you hold on now, you’re free to indulge coming Saturday night. And that would help”.

Beautifully stated and makes much sense.

No worries with regard to creating chocolate addiction. I have been a chocolate addict (and self professed Connoisseur) for a very long time. Especially that of the dark variety!! YUM !!

Thank you for the wise and positive ideas (and advice)!

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