By | March 2, 2012 164 Comments

When hope becomes malignant

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

What is hope? The word “hope” means a kind of “expectation of obtainment” and an emotional state of optimism, a trusting that what we want is going to come true. Here is how Wikipedia defines hope:

Hope is the emotional state, the opposite of which is despair, which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. It is the “feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or the act of “look[ing] forward to with desire and reasonable confidence” or “feel[ing] that something desired may happen”. Other definitions are “to cherish a desire with anticipation”; “to desire with expectation of obtainment”; or “to expect with confidence”. In the English language the word can be used as either a noun or a verb, although hope as a concept has a similar meaning in either use.

And here is how Webster’s dictionary defines hope:

intransitive verb:
1: to cherish a desire with anticipation <hopes for a promotion>
2 archaic : trust

transitive verb
1: to desire with expectation of obtainment
2: to expect with confidence : trust

So we work because we hope and trust that we will get paid on Friday. We work hard in school to get good grades because we hope our work will pay off with a degree that we trust will allow us to get a better job and make more money. We are nice to others and we hope they will be nice back to us. We teach our children honesty and kindness because we hope they will grow up to be happy successful adults. We do lots of things because we hope and trust that those actions will result in good results.

However, there are times we hope and trust and work hard, but those good results do not materialize. Sometimes no matter what we do, or how much we hope, there is no possibility that what we want to happen is actually going to happen. It is at that point that we must accept the reality that our hopes are in vain. The doctor gives you or a loved one a diagnosis that there a limited time to live. What are the choices? To accept the diagnosis and get affairs in order, or do like Steve McQueen did and look all over the world for some quack who promises a “cure” to your terminal disease.

Webster defines another, less hopeful aspect of “hope” as:

hope against hope
: to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment

Malignant hope

Many times it seems that in our relationships with psychopaths we seem to hold on to that “hope against hope” that the relationship will improve. We try first one thing and then another and the relationship does not improve, but we hold on tenaciously to that “hope against hope,” which I call “malignant hope.”

Why “malignant hope”? Well, being a former medical professional, I like those 50 cent words that medicine uses, but this particular 50 cent word is pretty well understood by the general public. “Malignant” means “toxic” or “cancerous,” and that is exactly what “hope against hope” is—it is malignant like a cancer, and it metastasizes to every part of the body and soul. It spreads like a cancer and it destroys like a cancer because it forever keeps our expectations from being met, yet we “keep on trying” because of that malignant hope.

Each time we “hope for” something and it fails to materialize we are disappointed in proportion to how much “hope” we had, and how important the result is.

When I buy a lotto ticket I know the odds are above 13 million to one that I will win. Of course I “hope” to win, but I don’t really “expect” to win ”¦ so I don’t base my payment of next month’s rent on me winning. If I don’t win, I am not devastated. I really didn’t have MUCH hope that I would win.

However, let’s take a ridiculous example, and say I bought a lotto and had a great deal of false hope, malignant hope, that I would win, even with the odds being against me. I just KNEW FOR SURE that my hope against hope was going to come true.  I knew I would have enough money to buy a house, a new car, a boat, and to live the life I wanted to live. I had never won before, but I knew I would win this time because I wanted it so badly. I needed it. When I watched the lotto drawing I just knew I would win. What happens when I fail to win? My hopes and my dreams are shattered, my entire life shatters before me, because I based everything I wanted on something that had little if any chance of happening. My hope of winning the lotto had become a malignant hope.

Psychopaths and malignant hope

Unfortunately, there are times when our hopes do become malignant hopes. When we hope against hope that a psychopath will change, will stop lying to us, stop cheating on us, bring their paycheck home. It never happens, yet we keep hoping it will.

People said to me concerning my son, Patrick, “he’s your son, you can’t give up hope,” or “where there is life, there is hope.” Those people were well meaning I am sure, but what they were telling me to do was to hold on to that malignant hope. I held on to it long enough, I saw over and over that he was not going to change, yet I kept hoping that he would. I saw proof that he had not changed over and over. Yet I continued to hope. Each time I was shown evidence that he had not changed in how he behaved, I was wounded again.

Someone gave me a sign once and I hung it on my wall, little realizing just how prophetic it would become. The sign said, “I feel so much better since I gave up hope.”

Actually I DO feel better since I gave up the malignant hope that my son would repent of his crimes, that he would change his attitude of entitlement.

It was only when I gave up that malignant hope that I ceased to be wounded and re-wounded by my son and the other people I had hoped would reciprocate my love and caring for them. I quit hoping they would change. It didn’t happen. It isn’t going to happen. I no longer hope or anticipate it will happen. I gave up the malignant hopes that I would win the “psychopathic lotto,” and the 13 million to one odds are not likely to be overcome just because I hope so much that they would be. People buy tickets and say, “Well, someone has to win, it could be me.” Well, I am no longer wasting my money or my hope on either the state lotto or the psychopathic lotto of malignant hope.

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donna dixon

Oxy~ A fantastic article!! I held on to that malignant hope that things would get better. Held on to it for 3 years, actually. And like your sign reads….”I feel so much better since I gave up hope”.



Thank YOU! You so get it!!!!

I first heard the phrase ‘abandon hope’ when reading Pema Chodron’s book “When Things Fall Apart”. She talks about all the concepts you mention, from a Buddhist model. But it is identical wisdom.

She talks about the ‘egos’ hope. Which is the same as the malignant hope you write about. The hope that sets us up for suffering and despair, that drains our hearts of happiness.

What I found in having malignant hope in regards to my relationshit with the spath was that I became, ulitmately, hopeless. What I mean is that I lost my connection to REAL hope: that once I saved the money I would go to Hawaii, that my friends might have a birthday party for me, that the new man I was being introduced to might be really nice and healthy.

Instead I became caught in my experience of malignant hope, where the payoff was BIG. I was going to get love from, through my unhealthy desire and fortitude, a monster. Everything else, by comparison, felt flat and dull. Who cared for ‘simple’ and attainable hopes and dreams. My ego wanted the Big Enchilada!

In Buddhist tradition (I am not one, but have read a bunch of stuff) the ‘ego’ is not our healthy Freudian ego that we need to have to be solid in the world.

They use the term to describe the undeveloped, grandiose, unrealistic, demanding, confused, wounded, and impatient ‘consciousness’ that resides in us all. We ALL were, in more Freudian terms, ‘narcissistically’ wounded as children. Child rearing being what it is we all suffered some kind of wounding at the hands of our parents/others’, during our formative years.

So we all internalized this twisted ego to a degree- “Who” did not get its needs adequately met.

When I read this a light bulb went on. THAT was the part of me that was hooked by the Bad People. That sorta spathy woundedness in me, that wanted a BIG exciting, larger than life event/person to change everything.

It was like the spathiness in my caregivers was lodged inside of me, and a battle for ‘real’ life was going on inside there (lucky for me, cause if there is no battle it means you ARE a spath!).

Of course I understand not everyone here can relate to this. My story, my realization about myself. I had always had issue with life being so…lacking. I wanted magik. I wanted to win the love of someone who couldn’t give it (found out that was my mother, grandmother, and grandfather….not to mention the dad I never knew).

I was a sitting duck for Baddies. I would muster all the malignant hope I could for these folks, and work my butt off to keep them around, in the event I was going to get my big payoff.

This kept me, always, at a distance from what life REALLY had to offer me: the simple acts of real cause and effect that can be so sweet and peaceful. The act of hoping for something with a loose ‘grip’, and letting it go without angst if it doesn’t happen. The process of working hard and ‘making’ something happen, and feeling the success of my labors.

I was raised by those who developed in me a taste for unrequited love. I think that is very tied into malignant hope and co-dependency (over compensating for anothers’ dysfunction). It teaches us to waste our time and talents on unrealistic and illusory activities and people.

Once I understood this more I was able to feel real anticipation and gratitude for things I could likely count on…..

Likely I would go on vacation when I had the money saved. And my friends, who love and cherish me, might have a party, or would call and send cards. That being introduced to someone by people I trusted could result in me meeting a life partner (and this did happen).

Thanks Oxy for all the gifts you bring to LF


Ox Drover

Dear Slim & Donna Dixon, thank you I am glad that the concepts resonated with you….

I finally figured out that I had hung on to this CANCEROUS HOPE for so long. I had a therapist tell me once that I had the THICKEST PAIR OF ROSE COLORED GLASSES SHE’D EVER SEEN…in other words, I was looking at dog poo through these glasses and believing it was candy! LOL I never forgot what she said, but at the same time, I NEVER APPLIED IT TO MY LIFE AND MADE CHANGES.

I remember meeting a person some years past that was spending all of the money she could muster to buy lotto tickets because she was CONVINCED she would win, she BELIEVED she would win, and each time she lost she was DEVASTATED because her MALIGNANT HOPE, her expectation, of winning was dashed. Now she was without funds for food, rent etc and she had COUNTED ON the lotto to rescue her.

At the time I met this woman I laughed at her, but later, as I look back, I realize I had no cause to laugh at her because I WAS HER…ONLY MY “LOTTO” WAS MY SON PATRICK, or my P Boy friend who was going to stop my grief for my husband’s loss and make me happy forever….or my egg donor who was going to finally approve of me…

That’s the thing I think, is that we have to realize that that woman who BELIEVED she would win, HOPED AGAINST HOPE SHE’D WIN THE LOTTO, she is no more “foolish” or “misguided” than We are when we believe the psychopath is gonna change. In fact, I think she probably has BETTER ODDS!

Abandoning hope is a fairly new concept to me and I WISH I had come across it years and years ago. I might have made a proactive choice then, rather than waiting for hope to be worn out of me, much like the sea repeatedly hitting a rock.

We are taught that Keeping Faith Unconditionally is a good thing, in much the same way we learn that Love Conquers All and Don’t Stop Believing and so on. But it’s not for nothing that G F Watts painted his iconic depiction of Hope wearing a blindfold and plucking at a one-stringed harp!

I hope this blog reaches many people still clinging to the notion that if they can only make themselves loveable enough, their partner will love them in return.

Slimone, I know it’s almost certainly a typo, but ‘relationshit’ so perfectly describes our entanglements with the conscience-free that I am going to pilfer it and use it from now on!


Ox: Wow: this really came at a time that I needed to hear this. Me and my sand pail and scooper have been just hanging out, HOPING that some day I will be able to fill up the Grand Canyon with the little bit of sand I have in my pail…for far too long…

I am so sorry about your son. I can’t even try to imagine what that must feel like for you. My heart and thoughts are with you.

Such an ‘addiction’ we have been inflicted with…trying to ‘hope’ and knowing, in reality, there is no hope that things will ever change. I guess I have known that about 5 years now…just wrestling with the ‘devil’ himself….things with ppaths don’t ever change and I can attest to that. Sometimes all we have is to ‘let go’ and allow ourselves to blend in with the miraculous threads of life itself. Sometimes hiding in that life until we feel confident enough to step outside of our fears, our disappointments and our disillusionment.

Thank you for this Ox…you have given me something very serious to think about this morning and I am going to try concentrating on your words, all day today…xxoo

Ox Drover

Mrs Grimm, nah “relation-shit” is not a typo, it is one of our UNIQUE LoveFraud WORDS, I think Hens started that. It has just become part of the LoveFraud culture around here! LOL there are other words that you will come across I’m still too sleep addled this morning to remember many of them to make you a list. LOL

Yea, giving up “hope” (actually FALSE or PSEUDO hope) is the only way we can extract ourselves from the relationships we are entangled in.

What you quoted about Love Conquers All, Don’t stop believing, and so on, go along with a lot of FALSE “truths” we are taught, such as “there are two (valid) sides to every story” or “it takes two to fight”

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me “you can’t give up hope, he’s your sonnnnnn” I would be wealthy beyond Bill Gates. Blood is NOT “thicker than water.”

Hope against hope is malignant when we HOLD ON TO IT and won’t let go, when we “hope” instead of wish. We can WISH we might win the lotto, but we don’t EXPECT to, big difference in wishes and hopes. There is a reasonable expectation of a hope coming true, but wishes are just that WISHES but little expectation that they will actually materialize.

I wrote another article on the fact that “unconditional love” is really unrealistic. My son Patrick after the family found out he had sent the Trojan Horse Psychopath to kill me (and probably also other family members) and take over our family’s assets, for about a year no one in the family including my egg donor communicated with him….he wrote people and had them call my egg donor to see “if she was okay” and he wrote a 10 page letter to a minister we know telling him how UNChristian we were because we were not giving him UNCONDITIONAL LOVE —meaning we were withdrawing communication (NC) because he tried to have me killed. LOL ROTFLMAO and that was UN-Christian of us.

Well,eventually he got to my egg donor and she started writing him and sending him money, etc. and lying to us about it and my sons and I went NC with her as well…but the point I’m trying to make is that she started with the malignant hope again and she CLINGS to it even though it threatens my life in a literal sense.

Thanks for pointing out about the painting of Hope….good illustration.


Mrs Grimm:

“Relationshit” was not a typo. That is a word that was started on this blog that everyone tends to use now 🙂



Thank you so much for this. It really hit me.

Ox Drover

You’re welcome Louise, glad it hit you!

Ox Drover

This morning a friend who is a FB friend now, but we were close when our kids were growing up and her son Dusty is in prison (again) and she just can’t “give up hope” She asked for prayers this morning as she and her mother drive three hours to see him…. I feel for her such compassion because I know she is holding on to hope against hope, malignant hope. Her son sounds to me like a psychopath for sure….and I have other friends whose son is due out of prison AGAIN in August and they too have the malignant hope that THIS TIME he will change. Another “last chance” that he will blow and then they will give him ANOTHER “last chance” and then another and another.

I’ve been there…but I can’t do it any more.


Thank you Oxy.

I will be printing this out and giving it to a client next week.

Just what I needed.



Your wisdom is priceless, dear Oxy.

Ox Drover

High praise indeed coming from you Aloha! You held my hand through the worst of my pain and I will always be thankful for the comfort you provided to me in my craziness and pain.

Glad that you can use this to help one of your clients. I wish my two friends would give up their malignant hope for their psychopathic convict sons, but it is difficult I know. I’ve tried to talk to both of them but the reception is nil so I just said “well, God bless you, I hope your confidence in his repentance is realized.”

I KNOW how hard and how demeaning it is to go into the prison as a visitor, some of the staff who are as psychopathic as the prisoners get their rocks off treating the visitors like criminals. Hearing and seeing the bars and barbed and razor wire is also very demeaning.

I know both of these young men, have known them since they were 4-5 years old, though one I haven’t seen since he was 13 or 14, but the other one I have kept up with seeing him go down the chute into drugs, theft, stealing from family and friends and if he comes to my place after he gets out, I will escort him off the place, he won’t find a welcome here.

The “system” encourages the families to take them back which helps the system but doesn’t help the families of course, they are again hurt and traumatized by Junior violating his parole and the cycle continues.

“Statistics” show of course that those that have “family support” do better than those that don’t—but that does not prove that “family support” is the CAUSE that these people do better on release, it just means I think that those who have screwed over their families until they don’t have any support left don’t do well when they are released—but you know “statistics” can prove anything you want them to…like ON AVERAGE A MAN WITH ONE FOOT ON A RED HOT STOVE AND ONE ON AN ICE BLOCK IS ***COMFORTABLE***!!!! LOL ROTFLMAO HEE HEE


Good article. I held on to that hope for 3 years with a very selfish man I lived with. And then again for 3 short months (that seemed like 3 years) with a sociopath. Not to mention the years I hoped for a loving relationship with my mother and sister.

The hardest thing for me has been to let go of the malignant hope of having love from toxic people without letting go of the hope for love in general. I don’t want to give up on love just because of those bad experiences. I try to keep it alive if only in my dreams sometimes.

Ox Drover

Star, the desire to love and be loved is WHAT MAKES YOU PART OF THE HUMAN RACE…DUH????? Giving up on that would be to DIE emotionally and I have never ever EVER advocated giving up that hope for loving relationships with lots of people…maybe a “romantic one” but if not we still have friends and others that we can have relationships with, having a romantic love is not the end-all-be-all of life, but having LOVE is very important. Having relationships with others that are caring and mutually engaging, that is very important!

Don’t ever EVER EVERRRRR give up that desire for connections!~


Oh, I know you didn’t say that, Oxy. 🙂 I just see a lot of people do that. They become bitter and cynical and say they will never date again. I’ve been there. I don’t even kid around about it anymore because I know how powerful words are.


Thanks for the article, Oxy.
I needed it right now. After speaking with my parents, I get these malignant hopes sometimes.

My dad holds out his tears and his money: See I’m crying and I want you to have all this money.


My mother and I spoke on the phone at length and I told her some things about spaths. She told me some things about her feelings regarding my dad – which I had already figured out. I didn’t even let her finish, I told her I already knew. I do have a lot of compassion for her and I treat her with respect. But that isn’t forgiveness. I wouldn’t forgive her, even if she were sorry, because she hasn’t changed and she’s going to keep doing what she does.

The PD’s make people PREDICTABLE. That’s why she didn’t have to tell me about her feelings of anger and vengeance at being betrayed. I knew. And once I knew that, then I also knew why her kids turned out screwed up. We lived with that as children and we sensed it. She KNOWS that she is the cause of all of our PD’s and it stems from her being betrayed and bottling up her rage for 50 years. It’s still bottled up.


What did she say about your dad? That he’s selfish?


OMG, Oxy, that is a great quote.


It might have been meant to be a joke, but it is very meaningful.





Perhaps your article might help them. Sometimes people shut down in a conversation but in reading this through, without anyone to “yes, but”.. it might sink in a tiny bit.

The learning process about personality disorders can be slow.

First we have to shift our brain to realize that some people are not wired like us. and some people will say “yes, I want to change!” but do not mean it at all. This simple bit of lieing is hard for people to get their head around.

I just read the introduction to Donna’s new book. Maybe that will be helpful to your friends.

Still, I know that it can be draining to try to help people in person sometimes… people we know well… like we are too close to the situation.

I think that is what makes LF great. We only have words here. Without all the other stuff that gets in the way of our brain.. just words.

Anyway, I might have something exciting to tell you but I am going to wait a bit. But I can’t wait to tell you… so don’t ask me what it is because I WON’T TELL!

Thanks again for all of your contributions to LF community. You are a treasure to the people here.

Back to the BOOKS!



She told me that she was betrayed by him. But I already knew that because she told my brother when he was only 3 or 4 years old. He remembered and told me a few times over the years. And when I had asked her, she admitted it and acted like it was funny.

But I know my mother. it wasn’t funny. Her pride was wounded and so was everything else in her life. It colored her view of life. She was even more innocent and naive than I was, when she married him.

I just found out about another person whose parents divorced because the husband cheated. I can see how that affected those kids (though they are adults now and the parents dead).

It’s too bad that people can’t keep their pants on outside of marriage. They don’t realize the reverberations of their actions.

Ox Drover

Aloha, yes it is difficult to help people “in person” because there are things that “get into the way” (emotions mostly) and I am friends with these people, not their therapists….so I can only say what has happened to me, share with them what pain I’ve had with Patrick, but they have to come to their own conclusions about how to handle their pain, their sons….and I can SEE the malignant hope they have for these young men, but I don’t need a crystal ball to figure out that both these young men are full blown out laws and the likelyhood of them changing is from nill to none.

They both came from loving homes and parents who while maybe not the brightest bulbs in the lamp are good, caring hard working honest folks, who did the best they could to raisre their kids “right.” They also have kids who are “okay” so it isn’t like they abused these boys any more than I did Patrick.

It’s funny though, I see people who have great relationships with their kids and I am envious….jealous. I want that. I’m not going to have it, but I still want it anyway. I am thankful for my adopted son D because we have the kind of relationship that is awesome…we are FRIENDS, there’s nothing I couldn’t tell him or I feel like vice versa. Sometimes I accuse him of reading my mind because he seems to know what I am thinking as soon as I do….even if I don’t say it. LOL

Skylar I am assuming your dad cheated on your mother is the betrayal she is speaking about…telling your brother when he was a toddler about something like that? That is totally inappropriate…in fact, I think talking about that to your kids about that until they are fully adults is not at all. Then, if you stayed with him, probably not appropriate at all.

As sharky as this comment sounds, it isn’t meant that way, Skylar, practice GRAY ROCK with your folks…don’t get into emotionally charged conversations with them….either of them.

If he says I want to give you money, say something like, “that’s sweet, dad, but I’m fine.” Or the old “thank you for sharing that”

Don’t let them drag you into an emotionally charged conversation you will only end up feeling badly. I know it is difficult, because even just e mailing the egg donor sometimes gets me ramped up. ((hugs)))


Oxy, What a great perspective. I’m sure every person that reads this article can so relate to that “malignant hope”. Hoping & praying that “they’ll see the light” , “wake up & realize what they have is so good & blessed”. But they never do…and it’s then that WE REALIZE we can’t have them in our lives. We can’t have their crazy making, dysfunctional, toxic relationship in our lives anymore. The after affects of dealing with a sociopath can be devastating. But in the same regard it’s a blessing because after we sort through all of our hurt feelings & deep pain, we become even better & stronger individuals. I’m still working on my recovery, but every day gets better & better!! It would break my heart to let my precious baby daughter be exposed & eventually hurt & betrayed by her father, but I know I’m being a good, protective mom by not letting her father in our lives. I don’t get to post on here often because of my busy schedule, but I still try to read the articles on here every chance I can. I hope & pray that people on here who are still stuck in these relationships find the courage & strength to leave their sociopaths. It truly is a blessing after we get out of the “fog” – and this article I truely HOPE will help open people’s eyes to what they are dealing with if they are still in the “fog” as we say here on Love Fraud. 🙂



My mother has also confided in me over the years all her issues, fears, and problems with all of her husbands. She very openly talks about her feelings, her decisions, her life lessons. But when it is time for me to talk about mine, she somehow finds a way to make it about her – she either doesn’t listen, changes the subject back, or becomes angry, jealous, or judgmental. Once in a great while she listens, if the problem does not threaten her – like if it’s about a guy.

I looked for emotionally “safe” topics to discuss with her, like our pets or the weather. But even the pet topic is unsafe because I hear little tidbits about how she is abusing or neglecting her animals, and I cannot handle it. She almost invariably brings up my estranged sister, a topic that always upsets me. After a while, it just seemed there was no safe topic, except to just listen to her talk about herself. As I grew up being her mother and her therapist, I have no more interest in a one-sided relationship. So unless there is some reason I need to talk to her, I just don’t. The last thing I said to her was by phone two years ago, after a conversation over some flowers I sent her for mothers’ day. I ended the call with “I love you” and I meant it. So if we never spoke to each other again, I would feel complete.

She has asked me that if I ever moved to Costa Rica, I send her my address, which I will. Not sure why she wants it unless she truly does plan to will me some money, which I don’t count on. But if she wanted to, I have given her the avenue – she has my contact information. I love my mother very much, but with a narcissist, they only permit intimacy if it has to do with their feelings. Not an acceptable relationship for me.


Aerin: I enjoyed reading your post. You sound so ‘grounded’ and I am so happy to hear that in you. Every single word you said was absolutely true.

Sure, this torment we have and are still coming through is very hard to understand. Sometimes there is no understanding it. All we have is acceptance and must find the resolution to move forward, each of us in our own way. But when we come out of that ‘fog’, we find ourselves stronger and more sure of who we are and we leave that pain and that suffering not totally behind, because it will be that sorrow that will lead us forward into becoming an even stronger and more aware person.

I am still working on my recovery as well. But every day gets better and better. Hope you pop in from time to time and let us know how you are doing.

Love, brightest of blessings and smiles to you and your daughter.


Ox Drover


I too am so glad that you are doing well and keeping that monster out of your daughter’s life. There will come a time when you must talk to her about him, and educate her about toxic people….so that she can keep herself safe from the ones out there in the world.

I’m glad she has a mother who can do that.

Glad you are still lurking around too…I learn new things every day! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and we have to keep on getting stronger! (((hugs))) and God bless.


Thanks Dupey for your kind comments. I don’t feel so grounded sometimes, but I know my strong belief & convictions are going to set me free of the pain & anguish. You are so right about working through the pain but not forgetting it. I don’t think you can ever forget the pain. It makes you the person you are – stronger & wiser. It’s almost character building, lol. But I am always so thankful & grateful for my daughter & family & friends that love me so much. Being a single mom can be such a struggle – emotionally, physically, financially. But I know God has a plan for the both of us. Sadly, not having my daughter’s father in our lives is part of the plan. I should say sad for HIM, not for us!!! Good comes into our lives after we get rid of the bad. It sometimes takes awhile, but it comes!! Blessings to you & everyone on here!!! I’m writing this from my Blackberry, sorry for any misspellings or bad grammar.


Thank you Oxy, believe me, I have every intention of educating my daughter about “these bad people”. And trust me, I will keep a watchful eye over her and the people she has in her lives when she is older. In a very, nice subtle way too, not overbearing. Lol…of course she will have her own life to live and yes be hurt by people occasionally. But I know I’m giving her a strong foundation, plus she has the love & support of my family & friends. And trust me, they will be as watchful & protective as I am. I pray every day for her- her life, her health, her beauty, and intellligence, her sweet ways. I know my parents, who are both deceased are guardian angels watching over her. The brightness in her eyes I know comes directly from parents’ love for from Heaven!! XOXO


Aerin: I don’t think there was one misspelled word nor incident of bad grammar in your post at all, my Dear.

My youngest daughter is coming through what you are and I am so proud of her. I am sure you are just an amazing “Mom”!!!! You go girl!!!!
I am sorry for what has happened to you.

Absolutely ‘character building’~!!!
May the Angels watch over you Aerin and your Daughter.




Great handle. I love it.



Aloha, Aloha!

hens gave me that handle: ‘dupey’…
it’s in the urban dictionary too. you can google urban dictionary and under the word dupey, you will find me. hehehehe

Happy weekend Aloha.

Dupey Doo Duh




I really don’t know what to do. My uncle came down today to meet up with my D and go look for a car for her. I told him I didn’t want him to do this since she is not living with me and I have no control or supervision of her. She still won’t come home and is living with the neighbor.
He told her to come to my home and talk so she came over. She was crying to him how I don’t take care of her..refused to buy her contacts…(I told her to wear her glasses) She said she needs a new appt and script for glasses. (when I took her before she moved wasn’t a year yet, so we were supposed to reschedule so insurance covers it. ) I told her that I didn’t realize that she needs new script, since she never told me , since she left home.
She said that she wants to get “emancipated” so that the social security I get for her goes directly to her and that she wants to be independent. ( I read that its not so easy to do when you are only a junior in high school and not able to work and support yourself 100%)
She was crying and said she is taking her clothes and leaving and she packed some more of her things.
My uncle was trying to talk to her but she was so fresh. She was angry that I wouldn’t give her a room of her own, and accused the dogs of having fleas and bringing them to the neighbors. ( HER dogs…which do NOT have fleas..I treated them months ago and haven’t had any since)
She said..”Why would I want to live HERE??? The neighbors house is newer and cleaner and less cramped?” (she has only one child)

She said all of the things she texted me and said that the guidance counselor said that I am “unfit”…she didn’t. I told her that the counselor should have contacted CPS if she felt that…by what YOU told her!

When my uncle asked her if she has any feelings for her dog..she cried and hugged the dog. Yet, she said she wants to get rid of both the dogs still!

She was putting on a good pity party for my uncle to convince him that she is better off not living here.

So, he took her to see a car.

When he came back, I told him that I do not want him to buy her the car…because I am liable for her actions until she is 18, in Nov. or gets “emancipated” which won’t happen overnight, if at all.

She wants HIM to sign the insurance, since she cannot on her own because she is under 18.

So, he told me that he is going to tell her that his lawyer said not to buy her the car until she is 18 or emancipated.

UGH! I am so numb! She said that if I gave her MY room and a phone and a car, she would come home. She said that if I gave her the rented room, she would pay me 100dollars a week.

She is cold and hostile and wants to be “independent”…yet she wants HIM to buy her the car and insure it.

She accused me of not knowing the law because I told her that she cannot register a car on her 17, but …evidently she could IF she gets someone to cosign insurance for her.

I told her that the neighbor must report that she is living in her house to HER car insurance company. I will place an exclusion on mine, since she isn’t living here.

She doesn’t realize that IF she does get emancipated, I won’t get the money for her each month.(250 dollars) and neither will SHE!!!

Its a mess. I am numb and shocked at how hostile she is toward me and her sisters. She even had a little dispute with them while she was here….over a shirt.

Sure, she would move back IF I give her my room, a phone, a car and put her on my insurance.


I am so numb, confused, angry and sad.

My gut feeling says to just let her go.

I COULD go to the police again and say that I want her home..and she will refuse and then I could place charges on the neighbor for harboring her. But, I feel its useless. She doesn’t show any feelings for me or my other girls…and after all she’s done to slander my name to the neighbor and other people in town…and guidance counselor at school…

I am just disgusted.

I feel like my life has become a nightmare.

Her father divorced me and did the same thing. Slandered my name…lied and tried to make me look like the “crazy” one…(hasn’t paid child support or helped me in any way for ten years) and yet she even called him crying the blues about me not taking care of her!

I’m so burnt out of life.


OMG! What a nightmare. Maybe her uncle wants custody of her? I hope you don’t give into her demands. I would just stay calm and say something like, “Oh you want your room back. I understand that” (in calm voice). “But the renter signed a lease, so sorry. The couch is what is available. Sorry if that doesn’t suit you, but that is what we have.” Just don’t buy into her drama. Stay calm and rational. “Yes, I understand. It’s very frustrating and upsetting not to get what you want. That happens to me sometimes too.” Then offer her the couch again. Just because she is in hysterics doesn’t mean you have to be. You are really letting her throw you off center. She is just a spoiled princess throwing a fit. You can stay calm and continue to set limits. You are really letting her control you.

At least the uncle is listening to you.


Oh, she told my uncle that she has been walking to work and its so cold out! ( she’s been getting rides from my brother, nieces, b/f, neighbor).
She told him that she doesn’t see her b/f or talk to him anymore..(LIE…she was with him the other night..I know for sure)
She told him that he moved away…(which is why she wants the car!) about 45 miles!
She played the pity game on him and tried on me too.

Its so hard to see her cry with her glasses crooked and falling off of her face….

I am so mixed up.

I did go to my therapist this week. She said that she sounds like she is either on drugs or mentally ill…(suicide threats last year and her hostility).
She told me to stay angry and not sad.

THis is so difficult….


Tobe, You have to ask yourself what you have control over in this situation. You do have control over whether she gets a car. You exercised that control. You cannot control what she tells your uncle. So you have to let it go.

You can control where she sleeps in your home and what amenities she has or doesn’t have. You can’t control her outbursts and temper tantrums. But you can control how you respond to them. You can even have consequences for her name calling and abuse, like she will lose various other privileges for doing it, like your attention. Just stand your ground, woman!

It occurred to me that you could do some role playing with your therapist. There is an exercise I learned somewhere called “bullbaiting”. Your therapist would pretend to be your daughter and just say all the things your daughter would say and push all of your buttons, especially the “I’m a bad mother” button. Your job would be to practice staying centered and responding from a centered place. I imagine it’s hard. But I think you can do it. If you can’t stay centered, then staying angry would work. Anything is better than buying into her pity play.


Where are you at with your therapist? You should not be in such a state anymore. Yes, it’s a lot to deal with but the therapist should have helped you process like an adult. You are in the hurt child state. It’s a very powerless state. If your therapist is not helping you IMMEDIATELY, you need a different one. You don’t have time for weeks of interspection, you need a supportive coach NOW.

Another person who can help you to gain power is an attorney. What did your attorney say?

You already know about boundries. I know it’s hard but one thing that I think can help is for you to accept your daughter will not submit to control. She’s not going to let you tell her what to do. That helps you to know your best option are those very important boundries. Boundries keep her from sabotaging you AND it keeps YOU from sabotaging YOU (for ex, when you reestablished her cell phone was very harmful for YOU.). It lowers the drama, it lowers your stress. And less is better for you.

Stick with those professionals who help you to be the person/mom you NEED to be. After all, your other children as just as important. When you fall apart, who is going to be there for them? They NEED you. It’s sad but sometimes as parents, we don’t get the luxury of a breakdown, we can’t think about us. We HAVE to be there for other dependents. Just that can help us get through the hard times, and the therapists office is our time to process the terrible carp and carve out a plan to self support ourselves until the next therapist appointment.

We will be here to cheer you on, but you MUST access your own professional help. Otherwise, what we say will never be enough.


I am just so angry at the neighbor for encouraging her not to go home. She has wanted my D to live there since she moved in five years ago! She wants her to live there because she works nights and now her mother doesn’t have to stay there to watch her daughter. She is young and immature and shallow and believes everything my D tells her. My D even sided with her when I had a huge problem with her a few years back about cutting my trees down and using my property for trucks to come into my yard for her in ground pool.
My therapist recommended that I see someone else because she is a domestic violence counselor. She said that she can’t handle my case because it isn’t really domestic violence. So, I have to search for someone else…not easy to get around here with my insurance.

I really can’t see D living back here with her attitude toward me and her sisters. It would be living hell.

All of my friends and family cannot believe what she is doing and without regard for anyone but herself. She really does despise me and her sisters too.

I am planning to go to talk to the police tomorrow again and report that she is refusing to come home and moving her clothes out slowly against my will.

She told me that the police cannot force her to come home. I don’t know…but I want it on record that she is incorrigible.

A cop from town said that they will bring her home and if she goes back..I can bring the neighbor to court for harboring her.

I just don’t know if I even trust her in this house. She said that SHE is afraid that her sisters might kill her in her sleep! Her sisters and I are afraid SHE might do that!

UGH…what a mess.


I agree with Katy about how you are processing this. You are getting triggered into your own emotional response. This is causing you to add to the drama. You need to be able to process these emotions away from your daughter so you can respond calmly and with wisdom. She may be too far gone to be helped, but you don’t know that yet because she acting out to manipulate you. From the looks of it, it’s working. If she can’t get what she wants, at least she can keep you off guard and make your life miserable. And you are participating!

Again, knowledge is power. You need to talk with a knowledgeable person – maybe some kind of family advocate or an attorney. There are prepaid legal services for $17 a month. You could hire them for one month – just long enough to find out what your rights and responsibilities are. Once you know exactly what is expected of you, execute your plan CALMLY. All of this excitement and hysteria is not helping. She is not grounded, and she is causing you to be ungrounded. You need to get grounded and settled apart from her and then STAY grounded while you are dealing with her. A grounded, centered person is like a mirror, neither bending forward nor backward when a strong wind blows. You don’t need to attack her or cave when she starts acting out. There is a third way, and that is to just stand your ground. Literally – just stand in front of her and say (calmly) something like….”yes, I understand how upsetting it is when you don’t get what you want.” You can empathize with her. But don’t give in!

Tobe if you can’t find a good therapist who can help you, then you can sit down and process your own feelings. You need to ask yourself where you are triggered and do the inner child work on your own. Let those feelings out that are triggered – the hurt, the rejection, the abandonment. Ultimately, reacting from those things will NOT help you be effective in this situation. This is your wake-up call to do your own healing, Tobe. Your daughter is the catalyst.


Star, thank you. I appreciate your advice and wisdom.
Yes, she is playing the pity ploy…lied to my uncle and made us feel sorry for her. She walked in with crooked glasses…and afterwards, my daughter said…”Those were her OLD glasses, she has newer ones.” Thats when I realized that she was doing all of this to get my uncle to feel sorry for her so he buys her a car. She also did it to me…cried and said that I’m not taking care of her medical needs….to threaten me.
It was all threats to scare me…threaten to emancipate and take money away from me…threaten that she has a record of crying to the guidance counselor at school…threaten that I am renting an “illegal” room..(but it was OK for HER to sleep there for two years!)

She is all about control and power over me. She even texted me several weeks ago…”I can’t control you. So leave me alone”.

Yes, I do need to process this. Its exactly what her father did to me. Instead of separating peacefully, he had to leave slandering my name…accusing me of not being a “competent” mother and wife….etc. Same shit ..different body.

Thats why I am just numbing out….

I am going down to the courthouse tomorrow to see what I can do to file that she is incorrigible. I want it on record. I cannot trust her and I want to cover my butt. I hope they file a court date and she can explain to the judge why she is not listening to her mother and leaving home without permission…etc.

I think this will put closure on all my worries of being responsible for her while she isn’t living in my house.

This is just unbelievable. Its not fair to my other girls. They were very upset watching her lie.

I just want to protect myself and my girls from this monster.


I think that sounds like an excellent plan, Tobe. Obviously, if there is some way you can avoid having to deal with her at all, that is the best thing. But if you do, you can use the interactions for your own healing – keeping it about you and how you are getting triggered. Your outward response to her should always be the same – same tone – staying calm. I am just picturing this situation in my head where she is like a strong wind blowing, almost like a hurricane. But you are a very strong tree with roots that go deep into the earth. And no matter how strong the wind blows, it cannot blow the tree over.

Spiritually speaking, this is a test for you to see if you have really truly processed and released your ex. If not, you have the opportunity to do it now, because she is triggering you into all of those memories.




Its crazy, Star…I AM calm when she is here or texting me things. I don’t go crazy and yell or anything. I get ‘numb’ just like I did with him. I am in a state of shock, actually, as she is crying and accusing me and threatening me and putting me down.
Its after she leaves and I just get this horrible numb feeling..I don’t know how else to explain it. I just want to close my eyes and sleep.
I don’t even know what to think anymore. My mind circles.

Its like having someone stand in front of you and stab you in the back at the same time.

I just wish she would move away to Florida and live with her father and totally leave me alone. I can’t even think of trying to resolve this with her attitude.

That is how I felt with her father…a sense of relief that he left the home..yet, the shock of how he was haunting and harassing me too.

You are right…same thing…same feeling.

She looked at me with disgust in her face…and a coldness I can’t describe.

My uncle was trying to mediate things as she cried on how unhappy she was living here …how I’m neglecting her she just wants to emancipate and never look back..

All she was trying to do with him and get him to feel sorry for her to buy her the car.

I explained to him how dangerous this would be since she has no supervision. He claims he won’t buy her the car. I hope he sticks to his guns. He is concerned about how she changed. She hasn’t come with us to visit him in months. So, he didn’t see for himself until now.

Everyone is just floored by what she is doing. Noone thought she would go this far.

Her dad was out of control too and the court even signed him out of school at age 15….unheard of. He was sick of seeing him and no one could force him to go…and his single mom was going to lose her job over his delinquency.

Same shit..different body.

I have to face it. She is a clone of him.


I’m truly sorry for your pain. Especially when you talked about the look of disgust on your daughter’s face, I can only imagine how hurtful that must be. You have to realize that in the larger sense, this is not personal. This is either a teenager acting out or psychopathy taking over a young girl’s brain. It is not really about you. But I’m sure that isn’t any consolation right now.

If you can get a break from it (I’d be GRATEFUL the neighbor wants her there) you can start to process your grief over both of these relationships.

I cannot relate to exactly what you are going through. But I’ve been in some situations where my rage and pain seemed unworkable, and I’ve come through them. I believe that you WILL get through this and you WILL be stronger for it. You may not feel like that strong tree right now, but you will one day.

Big hugs,

P.S. Sounds like at least others are seeing what is going on, and they are not thinking you are crazy.

Ox Drover

Okay 2B, let me give you some advice, and it is just for what it cost you… is free so take it or leave it.

1. Pull yourself together and STOP THE DRAMA, the he said she said crap, it keeps you in the spin cycle where you cannot think and right now YOU NEED TO THINK, like Katy said, you are in the “hurt child mode” and you need to be in the ADULT MODE.

2. Get a new therapist

3. SEE A LAWYER before you do anything else

4. CALL your uncle and SET A BOUNDARY FOR HIM, “get out of the middle of my parenting MY child. THIS IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS UNCLE, BUTT OUT COMPLETELY. If she calls you, do not talk to her about all this or try to “mediate” I know your “intentions are good” but you are making things harder for me.”

5. FORGET what she is saying to others, you have NO CONTROL OVER THIS. If others approach you about what she has said, tell them “I’m having difficulty with her right now, but I’d really rather not talk about it right now if you don’t mind.” (a nice way of saying “it’s none of your business”)

6.Realize that she is doing her best to manipulate you, that she is demanding and OUT OF CONTROL. Realize that she does NOT give a rat’s behind about you or her sisters, it is ALL ABOUT HER and what SHE FEELS ENTITLED TO. She doesn’t get it that she is not the owner of your home, and that YOU are the parent. I know that you are not going to give in to her, but if you did, she would find something else to demand and on and on. (((hugs)))


Dear 2B,

For what it’s worth, I agree with Oxy & Katy.

I am a profesional in the legal field & I advise that you NOT FILE ANYTHING IN THE COURTHOUSE yourself. ANY court filings or legal actions should be done by your lawyer. Please do not represent yourself as “Pro Se”. Additionally, you need to find a lawyer who specializes in “Family Law”. You mentioned the state where you live & I know there are many “Family Law” attorneys there. Please go find one asap. Please do NOT represent yourself in court or in any legal action regarding your daughter because it’s too dangerous, it’s a mine field. Additionally, imo, it would be best if your Family Law lawyer contacts & deals with the police, not you. So, you need a “Family Law” lawyer asap.

Sorry if I sound tuff, but, filling legal papers w/o professional legal advise is dangerous & could hurt you, your daughter & your family.

Wishing you all the best.


What a great post
I had never seen that giving up hope was a positive outcome. But I too recognise the malignant hope, trying to make myself loveable, trying and waiting for my partner to commit to me and our relationship, waiting for his words of love to be translated into reality, for him to demonstrate his love.
I had not appreciated that when I left him a few months ago I was ‘giving up hope’ and moving on. And had finally stopped wasting hope on a lost cause. It was only after I left him that he tried to show his commitment, but by then I realised that it was empty, a desperate act, and that he still was not really committed to me.
My hope is now positive, less specific but for a good future with love and tranquility of soul and happiness.

posts like this one give a great new perspective on over used words.

Ox Drover

LOSTLOVE, they take what is GOOD and NOBLE in us and turn it into something malignant….in this case, “giving up hope” is a step forward because it is recognizing when there is NO hope that they will change. Good fo ryou!


I think this is one of the most valuable threads on LF. I am one of those who held onto hope. I thought as long as there is hope, I should not give up, that giving up was what quitters do. I was wrong.

Know when to hold them and know when to fold them, know when to walk away and

know WHEN TO RUN!!!!

Thank You VERY much Oxy. Your article goes into my gem file. ps Can you give me your lotto numbers? WAY more likely to win the lottery than to “win” with my spath x!husband.

Ox Drover

KatyDear, my lotto numbers are 666, 666, 666 LOL Thank you, glad that you enjoyed the article. I can only write about what I have DONE myself and the malignant hope was something I think I INVENTED. LOL If I didn’t “invent” it I sure DID IT REALLY WELL!


In this area, those numbers work for a LOT of people… or was that 999 numbers? I forget.

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