lf2

When our strengths become our downfall

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (Retired)

I’ve been reading some interesting books lately by some very interesting researchers in the field of psychology—Dr. Barbara Oakley dealing with the themes of altruism, Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen on empathy, and others who are trying to discover what makes people altruistic and how empathy (or lack of it) affects how we behave toward our fellow men. I’ve come to some interesting conclusions concerning my own part in my abuse by multiple people who were/are high in psychopathic traits, and very low in empathy, compassion and altruistic behavior. I have wondered about my own ability to repeatedly “explain away” the abusive behavior that I experienced from family members and “friends,” and to expect that they would change their abusive behavior. What made me think that I could somehow, by appeasing them, forgiving them, and being kind and caring to these people, make them realize just how much they had hurt me, how much I had suffered at their hands? What made me think that I could effect a change in someone else’s character, or instill character into someone who so obviously had no conscience, empathy or remorse?

In my studying about psychopathic behavior in former associates and in family members who have actually repeatedly done horrific violence to others as well as toward me, including battery, rape and actual murders, I have finally come to the conclusion, like many researchers, Dr. Robert Hare, Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen and Dr. Barbara Oakley, that there is little if any chance that a person who is very high in psychopathic traits and very low in empathy, without conscience or the ability to feel remorse for their behavior, is going to effectively change, either in their thinking or their behavior. That much finally got through to me. There are some things that are impossible to do no matter how capable you are.

When a person has had a life-long pattern of bad and/or violent behavior, does not have effective empathy, which is necessary for a person to have a conscience (a personality disorder), the likelihood of change is minimal. “The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior” is a truism that is not likely to change, no matter how “politically correct” it is to wish otherwise.

There are some instances when a person has a medical condition (either genetic or acquired) that keeps them from having empathy—autism or brain damage from a stroke or head injury, for example. But not all people who are without “normal” levels of empathy are violent or seem to enjoy hurting others. For those people lacking empathy and conscience, who do seem to enjoy control over others, or simply seem to enjoy hurting others, there is no “hope.”

Helper’s high

What about those of us on the other hand, though, who seem to have a desire to help others? It has been shown by medical and psychological research that “helping” others gives a chemical “atta boy” to the brains of those who are the helpers. This chemical “reward” for doing good reinforces the desire to “help” others. We are genetically programmed as a species to “do good.” It is rewarding to us and has helped keep the human race alive because we cooperate, help each other, and are to some extent altruistic.

The “pleasure” centers in the human brain respond to chemical stimuli from various sources—from orgasm, from doing good, from various drugs, and from various activities, such as “the runner’s high” that come from physical exertion. It has even been shown that working with your hands to produce something useful gives a chemical reward to the brain. That may be why people like to knit, crochet, build things, fix food, etc. But why, when the reward for “doing good” to someone, especially someone you love, is also accompanied by such intense emotional and/or physical pain, do we keep on doing what causes us pain as well as the “reward” for doing good? Why are we willing to endure the pain in addition to receiving the “reward” for “doing good?”

Narcissism

Some people high in psychopathic traits seem to be extremely high in narcissism, to the point that it is very obvious that they value themselves so far above others as to absolutely have no idea that anyone else has any value at all. They view others as lower than an object, but to the point that the very existence of other people is an insult to the highly narcissistic person. It seems as if the chemical reward for them for “doing good” is replaced by the desire for control.

If the narcissism is very apparent, people around the narcissist may notice this to the point that they don’t want to be around such a person. He is considered “stuck up” and we have probably been told from grade school on up that we should not “brag on ourselves” because it isn’t polite and others won’t like us. So the narcissism that is very apparent may be “off putting” to others around the person. Many people who are very narcissistic, though, have trained themselves not to appear as narcissistic as they actually feel. In other words, they have learned “good manners,” or to mask their true emotions. Those that don’t learn to conceal high levels of narcissism may not be very “popular.” A healthy level of narcissism, though, is an accurate self-assessment of your own abilities. The person who is very narcissistic may not be actually as smart or as competent as he thinks he is, however.

Self-assessment

I’m smart. I know that. I am capable and very able in learning how to do complex tasks such as fly an aircraft, knit, crochet, built things, train animals. I have led a life based on being a “can do” person. I’m somewhat justifiably proud of what I have accomplished in my life. That narcissism is a healthy level of self-assessment of my talents and abilities—yet my narcissism went further than that, I think, into making me think that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish. Because I could do so many things, and do them well, I overestimated my ability to cope with the people in my life who were high in psychopathic traits and dysfunctional in relationships. I was too narcissistic in thinking I was able to accomplish the impossible—fixing dysfunctional relationships and dysfunctional people.

I think in part, my narcissism was because there were so few things I couldn’t accomplish if I set my mind to it and worked hard at acquiring the knowledge and skills to learn a new task, and perform it well. It never occurred to me that I could not also be “successful” in fixing a bad relationship with a person who had no conscience. Just as my psychopathic son, Patrick, who is extremely bright and also extremely narcissistic, never had any trouble in school, decided there was no one on earth as smart as he was, and that because he was smart, he could “get away with” anything. It never occurred to him that there were cops that were “smart enough” to catch him. Even when he was caught in his most violent crimes, crimes he didn’t even try to cover up, it never occurred to him that he would not be successful next time. When he was caught again, his narcissistic idea that he was the smartest, most capable person on Earth didn’t let him realize that he was wrong. His narcissism precluded him having an accurate self-assessment, or assessment of the capabilities of others.

I too was very narcissistic in my appraisal of my own abilities to effect change in these people, no matter how many times I failed in effecting change in them. No matter how many times I failed, or how bad the pain was because of my failure, it never dawned on me that I wasn’t capable of success if I just tried harder in this endeavor. If I just gave more of myself, if I was just more selfless, more giving, surely next time I would succeed. My own narcissism kept me in the game. My own desire to effect change in someone else’s behavior was fueled by my narcissism, by my poor self-assessment of my abilities.

Ignoring the danger

If a horse or a steer was aggressive and I was not able to effect change in the animal’s behavior, I would eventually give up when the animal continued to try to hurt me. I could at some point come to the conclusion that the potential harm to myself was not worth the effort of trying to control the animal’s violent tendencies. Though I am an excellent animal trainer, I know that not even the best animal trainer in the world can make some animals safe to work with, and the danger of trying to continue to do so foolish. Why could I not see that where it concerned dangerous humans?

Why was I willing to put myself, my life and my health, to say nothing of my happiness and peace, at risk in order to maintain a “relationship” with dangerous people for extended periods of time, decades in some cases? Why did I focus on the potential reward of changing their abusive behavior instead of on the pain they caused?

Family secrets

Part of the answer, I believe, lies in the way I was conditioned in my family, that the family “secrets” must be kept at all costs so that the “neighbors didn’t know.” This culture of shame, and covering up the general knowledge in the larger community that our family was not a “nice normal family” was handed down for generations by abusers and enablers working together to hide the family dysfunction. I participated in this “cover up” by keeping information about my son Patrick’s crimes from general knowledge of my extended family and “the neighbors” for years. I participated in the family myth that he had “found Jesus” when I knew otherwise. I participated in “family Christmas” celebrations that were a travesty and were anything except a “Norman Rockwell Christmas.” I think partly because I was so narcissistic that I thought if I just kept up the pretense long enough it would become real ”¦ especially if the “neighbors didn’t know.”

My coming out of this FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) was traumatic for me as well as for my family members who were as invested in this fantasy family as I was. That change from the status quo on my part released the “hounds of hell” within the family dynamics and resulted in my psychopathic son, Patrick, sending one of his ex-convict buddies to try to regain control of the family, since he couldn’t do this by emotional manipulation from inside his prison cell. He would kill me, if that is what it took in order for him to regain control. Several members of my family co-conspired with him, or at least knew what was going on and did nothing to stop the attack on me. Maintaining the status quo within the dysfunctional family was of paramount importance for everyone involved. Maintaining the FOG without change felt secure to them. Life was predictable. Change was scary.

Seeing the light

It was only the fear of actually losing my life that made me “see the light,” and see just how dangerously I had been behaving in trying to convince myself that I could effect change in these people. They had no conscience, no empathy, and enjoyed a high level of narcissism that made them believe themselves invincible. I too had felt invincible, and was way too narcissistic in my own self-assessment of what my capabilities were. I could not control these people, I could not change them, and they were too dangerous to deal with.

Now I try to look at myself more realistically, and to see that while I am a smart, capable person, there are some things that I am not capable of, and I need to be aware of these things. While I was realistic and humble enough to realize that there are some animals I can’t safely train, I am now humble enough to admit there are some dangerous people I can’t afford to associate with either, no matter how altruistic I feel or how much reward I get from helping others. The rewards I get from being “helpful” to others must also be tempered with the humility that I am not all-powerful in my abilities with people, any more than I am with animals. Just as I must assess the potential benefit of helping a person or training an animal, I must also assess the potential “costs” in terms I can afford to pay. While I still feel good when I am able to help someone else, I am no longer willing to overlook the repeated bad behavior of others and convince myself that if I am just “helpful enough” that I can change them.

I must take responsibility for my own life, my own behavior, and set my boundaries in such a way that I eliminate those dangerous relationships, no matter how smart or capable I am in other aspects of my life. There are just some things we can’t accomplish no matter how hard we work, and changing someone else is one of those things.


Comment on this article

167 Comments on "When our strengths become our downfall"

Notify of

Oxy,

Thank you so much sharing for this wonderful article. Your wisdom helps us all.

Donna, you and Liane, Kathy, M.L., Steve, and the many other authors and bloggers here have been the source of my “wisdom” and learning…both about my relationships with the psychopaths and my relationship with myself.

I came to this blog just a little over four years ago a total emotional wreck, living in an RV on a friend’s lot near a lake because it wasn’t physically safe to live in my own home because of the psychopaths in and around my family.

The first thing that impressed me about LoveFraud was the intelligence and kindness of the authors and articulate comments from the bloggers.

The second thing that impressed me about LoveFraud was the fact that flaming was not tolerated or encouraged.

The third thing was that you recognized that our healing journey is not without a spiritual aspect as well as an emotional one and provided an atmosphere in which that spirituality could be expressed and fostered…no matter what the beliefs of each blogger were/are.

Over the four years I have been here as a blogger/author on Love Fraud, I have seen many people come and go as bloggers and authors, but I am still here because I still gain new insights about myself and healing every day from LoveFraud and the people here. Thank you Donna for all the hard work you and Terry do to maintain the LoveFraud site.

Oxy,

Aw, shucks, you warm my heart. I’m just glad that all of our negative experiences are helping others heal and move on.

Oxy,

What a wonderful article! Thank-you….

My therapist was the one who initially pointed out to me that my own ‘narcissism’ was partly to blame for why I kept trying to fix the unfixable. After my inital shame over hearing that we dug into the reasons why my healthy narcissism had gotten warped.

Poor early parenting/mirroring, and then a highly dysfunctional family…with lots of secrets.

It’s funny, I write on this blog every once in a while and nearly every time I think about what I am writing and realize I’ve learned what I’ve learned, in large part, right here. From you, Ms. Hawk, Steve, Donna, etc…..

My gratitude for this learning grows and grows, along with my healing.

Thanks again for mirroring that learning and being an example of what happens when we ‘See the Light’…..

xo, Slim

What a great article. It really gets to the heart of how we become victims of spaths. They go after strong, competent, responsible people because they envy us. And then they use our own strengths to suck us in by asking us to bear the burden of helping them become better people or achieve their goals.

Because we know we ARE strong, we think it won’t be much work to assist a fellow human being, but they have other plans. They sabotage all our efforts to help them, laughing all the while, as we redouble our efforts, because that goal seems just within reach. Then, they pull the carrot away at the last second. By this time we’ve invested so much time and energy into them, that we’ve lost focus of anything else we were doing. We’ve forgotten all of our other goals, friends, family. It becomes all about them. Which is what they wanted in the first place.

They’ve successfully isolated us and make us feel like failures, at the same time. We begin to doubt our abilities, we see our lives in shambles, we wonder how we got here. That’s when they discard us like used toilet tissue. They’ve sucked the life out of us, there is nothing left to use, we aren’t as shiny and desirable as we were before.

All this because we were narcissistic enough to think that we should bear someone else’s burden.

To me the road to healing started in trying to figure them out, find out what they were —-with the purpose of course, of knowing more so I could more easily FIX THEM! LOL ROTFLMAO Got to learn about horses before you can train one, got to learn about dogs before you can train one,, got to learn about psychopaths before you can FIX ONE!

I remember back when My son Patrick was first starting his life of crime and I keep thinking if I COULD FIND JUST THE RIGHT WORDS to get through to him, I could get him to see he was wrecking his life. LOL JUST THE RIGHT WORDS. I knew there were some “right words” out there somewhere because I could fix almost everything, and if I couldn’t it was because I just couldn’t find the RIGHT WORDS for that situation, but I knew there HAD TO BE “RIGHT WORDS” FOR EVERY SITUATION.

It was so frustrating “knowing” (I thought) that there WERE “right words” but I just couldn’t find them YET—but I’d keep on trying before it was too late and my beloved son Patrick ended up with a —GASP— “Criminal record”—that just didn’t happen in “our family!” When he proved me wrong on that one and did get his first ADULT felony crime, I kept thinking about how if I just kept people in Arkansas from knowing, he could still come back up here and get a college degree and still have a life in spite of the felony record…all he had to do was keep his nose clean from here on in, and though it precluded him from having some jobs because of the felony record, he would still be able to do a lot of good things in spite of that….and if people up here didn’t know, they wouldn’t “hold it against him.” I had to keep those secrets. Keep the neighbors and extended family from finding out…no matter what it cost me in terms of emotional “coin.”

And hey, I’m not for airing every tiff you have have with your spouse, or every argument you have with you kid to the whole world, but keeping the “family secrets” by covering up serious drinking, drugging, crime, cheating, thefts and other felonies, etc. doesn’t do you or THEM any good at all. Covering up for you kid when YOU (but not the store owner) catching him shoplifting isn’t the way to handle it either. We have to set examples for our kids, but expect them to follow those examples by making them responsible for their own behavior to the extent that it is possible to “make” anyone do anything.

When my husband and I discovered my Son Patrick had robbed our friend’s business during the night (stealing our car out of the yard to haul the loot) we called the cops. If it had been YOUR son I would have called the cops, and just because it was MY son didn’t give me a pass to do what was right….besides, I was narcissistic enough to think that some day he would thank me for it as he was only 17 and that “juvy” record would be sealed and maybe this would “snap him out of” his crime spree.

Dealing with a psychopath, however, they don’t EVER thank you for a narcissistic injury or for “besting” them in any kind of contest of wills and control. He hates me to this day for calling the police….and the girl he killed in 1992 was murdered because she “ratted him out” to the cops…therefore deserved to die, in his mind.

Getting into a “leg hiking” contest like two dogs trying to claim dominance and territory with a psychopath can be fatal, they are the human equivalent of a pit bull dog and if you challenge them, they may very well turn on you and eat your lunch. I no longer believe I can win a contest of wills in hand to hand combat with a psychopath. When you can’t fight harder, fight smarter.

Fantastic article! I needed to read this right now. I’m struggling so much with my complicity, trying to focus NOT on the things he did, but how and why I allowed it to happen, what I did to foster and nurture his behavior. The first paragraph under “Self Assessment”… wow. Yes!

Early on, when I thought I was “simply” dealing with a Narcissist, I read something along the lines of “Only a Narcissist would think they could fix a Narcissist…” It really helped me to see my own tendencies that went beyond the norm. But I think by then I was so caught up in the cycle, and the high — as the author says, “endure the pain in addition to receiving the “reward” for “doing good…”

I am on a roller coaster of emotions. Relieved, little bursts of joy, followed by sadness, anger, awe at the destruction this relationship caused in both of our lives. His life is in shambles right now. It’s hard for me not to feel responsible for that. I could’ve walked away at any time. He keeps saying that he kept trying to forget about me, and I kept drawing him back in. It makes me feel like *I’m* the sociopath. I know I keep repeating myself on this. I’m sorry. It’s hard for me not to feel responsible. He told me that he was the weak and vulnerable one, and I saw the opportunity and pounced. It’s so hard for me to see what the truth is here. I read what Ox has posted about dual Spath relationships, co-abusive relationships, etc., and it triggers an “oh shit” response. Is that what this was? Did I f*ck with him just as much as he f*cked with me? That scares me.

But then I think about things like all the times I said to him, “I am a HUMAN BEING. I have FEELINGS.” And last week, he was hovering over me, boxing me in, intimidating me under the guise of affection and sweetness, and said, “You know what I think? You are a human being, and you have feelings,” with this sick drunk smile on his face. He was mocking me. I never, ever, ever treated him like that. If I ever thought I’d hurt his feelings or bruised his ego, it crushed me. I never heard an apology from him. He would get mad at me when I would show emotion over anything he said or did.

I’m rambling. I’m sorry. This is the first day after I told him not to contact me any more. I’m all over the board.

Oxy –

Such a wonderful post – very good self-assesment.
I have a real bad migraine here at work today, otherwise I’d try to come up with some other words… but today the simplest is the best for me..

so… Thank You! I’m so glad you have spoken out and up.

Dear Sarahsmile,

Glad you liked my article….and yes, I think all of us who were so “narcissistic” to think we can fix them are capable and competent people….we just gave ourselves credit for being able to do the IMPOSSIBLE….and we can’t. That doesn’t mean though that we aren’t able to do the POSSIBLE!

Yes, you have feelings, and yes, you have compassion and can feel remorse and guilt….things that are very difficult for the person high in psychopathic traits, some of them have zero empathy, zero compassion and zero guilt or remorse….that’s what makes them high in psychopathic traits and us high in altruistic feelings. That’s why we get “high” on doing good and they don’t.

He is PROJECTING on to you….he is accusing you of being what he IS….HOLD ON TO NO CONTACT LIKE IT IS YOUR LIFE! Because it IS your life….your NEW, GOOD, WONDERFUL LIFE….and you can only get there by CLINGING TO NO CONTACT! (((hugs)))) You can do it. God bless.

Inspiring – That’s the word I was waiting for.

You are definitely an inspiration to all of us here at LF – with your story and your frying pan…

Thank you so much

sarahsmiles….

ramble all you want here..
and congrats on the NC! sometimes you have to let all the poison seep out (by rambiling, venting…) before you can let the wound heal.
It will get better..

Thanks, Backintothelight, the inspiration here at LF is that we all pull together on the same end of the rope! Reaching out a hand to those that are deep into the “abyss of despair” and working together we can all get out of that dark cavern! We can all move together BACK into the light! (((hugs))) and Thanks!

Dear Ox Drover, THANK YOU!!! I do need some encouragement right now. Nothing to drink since Monday, by the way. Got past that dreaded third day when my yeast monster screams FEED ME! My kids come back from vacation today, which will bring some much-needed normalcy and love back to my life.

backintothelight, I told my mom, my brother, and my ex-husband everything. This holds me accountable. If I let him back him, I would lose everything I have left. My kids are the most important thing in the world to me, and I know my ex wouldn’t let them come back to an unsafe environment. I have a lot of repair to do with them and the rest of my family. I’ve been pretty unplugged and unavailable for over two years now.

I hope your migraine lifts! Sending healing thoughts to you!

Ox – this is brilliant. Thank you. What you have posted makes SO MUCH SENSE.

Sarahsmile,

Just popping in from work, but I saw your post. This is a real crucial time and decision. Going no contact is KEY. If you don’t absolutely, positively, HAVE to have contact (you have kids together), then really let it go. IT. Even negotiating belongings is an opportunity for It to project onto you, and try to keep you off center.

Projection can be SO confusing. Any decent human being will search themselves for a grain of truth to someone else’s projection, and usually find it. That means they are able to identify little places where they find weaknesses, or need for improvement. It’s called ‘insight’ and ‘self-assessment’.

It does NOT mean, however, that a sociopath’s projections are TRUE. A sociopath uses projection to DISOWN their own behaviors. They NEVER take real responsibility. Even if they pay lip service to it and make it sound completely authentic. They use it to avoid insight and self-assessment, and therefore GROWTH. Part of the reason they can not change.

I hear you say you have ‘outed’ yourself to your family. Congratulations! This is huge! I did the same. Once I told my peeps what had gone on it really helped me hold myself accountable for my own truth and my path to healing. Kinda like AA maybe?

Sarah I don’t always post. So I haven’t connected, as online friends, with many folks here. So if you respond to me and don’t hear from me it is because I check in and out, but not regularly. But I wanted to offer you some support. And I don’t want you to feel hurt if you post back to me and hear nothing for a few hours or days.

I wish you strength and courage with NO CONTACT!!!

xo, Slim

Thank you so much for this article, and also for the comments below it, which were just as helpful.

I am in a similar position to Sarahsmile. I have just embarked on “no contact” again for perhaps the third time now, because it had got to a point again where every time he spoke to me, it would upset me and make me cry. His angry demeanor frightened me and I felt like he was constantly putting me down or minimalize anything I try to say when I was upset. It is so subtle.

He has written to me from jail, saying I have over-reacted and we have got past bigger things than this (bigger things he has done.) Really though, I just feel like I have less ability to deal with it, and whereas when I was less “clued-in” to the way he was, I could put up with the misery between us for a long time, with the hope he’d see the light and change- now, the second I sense something bad in my gut, it is almost unbearable.

He is in a situation where he is either going to be in prison for life or will be set free completely, after rejecting earlier plea deals. He tells me he took this gamble “for us” as he says he knows he would have lost me had he got a few yrs in prison, so he took the risk for the possibility of getting free again. This is what he is holding me to now that I have initiated no contact. “You are walking away and leaving me as I am facing a life sentence that I chose to face because of you.”

I never told him to take that gamble. I always told him that he was the only one who could make such a decision, and to take the best advice from his lawyer, and proceed as he thought best. In fact much of the advice around him, was to take the original plea deal.

My main questions to those with the experience gathered on this blog is:

1) How do you deal with the conflict of feelings when someone keeps telling you that you have overacted over arguments or these type of situations. I feel it is bigger than what he says, but I know I am an emotional person, so it makes me constantly question myself- is he right?

2) In his letters he doesn’t refer to any of the things specifically I told him that cause me problems, but focuses on the fact that anything he does wrong is because he is under so much pressure being up against a life sentence and I just don’t understand. I feel awful guilt for leaving him at this time, 2 months ahead of his trial, but the other side of me is conflicted and I’m asking myself, how can I keep putting myself out there as I cushion for his anger, life sentence or not?

3) How do you deal with his truth being the one that friends and others believe? He already making people believe I am the worst person on the face of the Earth by ignoring his calls as he is facing a life sentence and walking away from him at this time. And that he loves me so much, so if I loved him any, why would I walk away?

This is me now. But it is a situation that has spanned around 3.5 yrs now, with him in prison and out of prison. There have been times when he has been good, and we can communicate, but whenever he is ever the least bit stressed, he gets aggressive and angry and I feel manipulated and controlled. I have a 12 page letter in front of me asking me how I could do such a thing and not be understanding of his situation and if I had only told him sooner that I was upset we could have fixed things. I feel like I did tell him sooner, as I have given love and forgiveness constantly over this time, even if he says I haven’t. Or he says I didn’t care about him nearly as much as he did me etc.

It is so confusing… I’m so sorry all, my mind is full of it and I don’t know which way is UP?

Thank you so much all. I have very very few people, perhaps just one (who doesn’t even really understand) that I can even tell about this, so I appreciate every word given.

And Dear Sarahsmile, I wish you the best of luck with your own No Contact also xoxo

Dearest SnowSettled,

Change “prison” to “leaving my wife,” and I could write your letter VERBATIM. There’s just too many similarities in behavior… I can’t even choose one to quote and respond to. It’s the same story, over and over. I’m sure others will echo this and you can read it in their stories.

One thing that’s so confusing to me is how someone can be SO ANGRY at someone who loves them, someone who is trying to help them. It’s like the vampire who recoils at the sight of a cross. Dude, I’ve got my hand stretched out to you! I’m strong enough to pull you out of this, and we can go forward together! I don’t know how many times I said this. And my hand was either bitten, or I was dragged down with him. In my case, I can’t yet let go of thinking that he DOES feel remorse. He doesn’t know why he acts this way. But it doesn’t stop the behavior.

I feel for you, SnowSettled. Thank you for the kind words, and best of luck with your No Contact. There’s a wealth of knowledge and support here.

P.S. slimone: Thank you so much! Right now I am pretty much glued to these boards, but I understand that not everyone is! 🙂

I also wanted to add that in my darkest times, it has always helped me tremendously to think in terms of numbers. Out of 6 billion people on this planet, odds are that there are hundreds and maybe thousands of people going through EXACTLY the same thing that I am at that exact second. Same situation, same miniscule details, same context. Immediately, I don’t feel so alone. I feel a sense of oneness that is immediately soothing — I can actually feel a shift in the energy around me — and then I say a little prayer that we all find our way back to the light.

Snowsettled – welcome. Now, let’s back-peddle…..how has he come to be in prison so many times? (do not divulge anything which may identify you) Did YOU make HIM do those things? No? Well he did (whatever it was) and now he’s paying the price. Is that your fault? NO.

Will he change? NO

Will he end up in prison again? YES

Are you going to waste your life? Only you can answer this question.

Spaths always want to shift the blame onto us. The ‘you made me do it’ or ‘I did it for us’

This is your chance to break free of him for good.

Stay and learn. This site is excellent. There are lots of people here who will help you.

Snow,
it’s a game. He doesn’t even CARE that he is in prison. But he knows that YOU care, so he’ll work that angle.

He feels nothing, but he wants you to feel everything.

My spath did a similar thing. He would fly off the handle and act ridiculous and then say it was because of the “stress” of having so much pressure to earn a living because we were always broke.

NO, we were not broke until HE CREATED that situation, IN ORDER TO THEN HAVE DRAMA REVOLVING AROUND BEING BROKE.

They LIKE the drama. They know it is stressful for us and not for them. They don’t care about the actual situation revolving around them, they only care that it creates drama for US. That’s what they are getting off on. They want to see us react. That’s all it is.

Excellent article, Oxy!! I think many of us can relate to all of it — and this question in particular resonates with me:
“What made me think that I could effect a change in someone else’s character, or instill character into someone who so obviously had no conscience, empathy or remorse?”
Good luck to all of us who are just starting out on the No Contact path. It’s hard at times. But it comes down to one question, I think: Do we want to be happy and healthier, or would we rather continue to self-destruct? It’s up to us.
I have another question that’s been weighing on me. Do sex addicts ever lose their drive (or testosterone levels), thereby “curing themselves” simply because of biology or age? My spath has repeatedly told me that he has a high sex drive, so it made me wonder if he’ll be a better person (and no longer a cheater) if and when that sex drive lessens. Not that I want to go back to him! Just curious to hear what you guys think. Thanks!

Thank you Oxy! You and other authors here have helped me finally get it through my thick skull there is no changing a spath. I have only been on here within the last few months reading and sharing my story about my step-daughter who nearly put my wife in jail for child abuse. And within this time, you and others have taught me to move on whether it is through NC or just a mental switch to not take the contact with the spath with any seriousness. Your artical puts it all in perspective and will help me keep my expectations in check.

SnowSettled,

I came back here to see if anyone has posted answers/suggestions to your three questions, as I have those, too. But then I remembered an article here about making a list of his behaviors that are hurtful to you, or that you would think were deal breakers with someone else. Keep the list with you, make copies, read often, especially when you are doubting yourself. I haven’t done it yet, haven’t wanted to face it. (Actually, I made one about a year ago. It had 20 points. And that was before the horrible times of the last two months. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah…)

Then take that list and look at those irrefutable facts, and think about whether or not numbers 1, 2 and 3 really matter. I’ve wondered so many times why I let him talk to and treat me the way he did. Nobody has ever DARED to talk to me like that. Why could he get away with it? Is this what LOVE really is?

Dear Snowsettled,

Just to let you know, I have a psychopathic son in prison for murder and he used all those arguments your psychopath used to you for you to keep on “supporting” him….it doesn’t matter if it is a son, husband, wife, daughter, friend, or whatever….the point is that after years of studying behavior….FINALLY I realized there is NO SUCH THING AS AN EX CONVICT, OR AN EX RAPIST, OR AN EX CHILD MOLESTER…..one person MIGHT have one crime and reform but NOT EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD.

Studies have shown that most convicts are VERY HIGH in the traits of psychopaths, and that 25 % of them are “card carrying” psychopaths and with your psychopath having 1) multiple arrests for crimes, and 2) being arrested for what I assume is a serious crime, probably murder, there is ZERO CHANCE he will “reform” he is pulling the wool over your eyes.

Get away from him, stay away from him….YOU DO NOT OWE HIM ANYTHING. Even if you two were married, you owe him nothing. Do not read any more letters and don’t take any more phone calls. You have a chance to get away from him between now and the trial. USE IT FOR ALL IT IS WORTH. God bless.

Thank you one step joy, and sky, for your comments on another thread,{which Ive lost.}Yes, Im gradually emerging into the light! Funny how our unconscious gives us clues.
Last night, i dreamed that Deb,{my spath daughter,}was just born, and placed in my arms. I was so thrilled, and proud. Immediatly, she latched onto one of my breasts,-nothing wrong with that, she was a new baby an
d hungry!Except she was sucking thru my clothes. Sucking sucking. As she sucked, I felt all my life force draining out of me, leaving me an empty husk.
“Get her off of me!” I cried. “Shes sucking me dry!”
This a reference to her sucking me dry financially and emotionally since the age of 16 to 45.I knew I had to tear this “thing” off of me, for my very survival. I woke up wrung out, in a cold sweat.
Shaking all over in fear.
love,
Mama GemXX

Dear Gem,

It IS AMAZING how our dreams tell us things about them isn’t it? I know the dream must have been unpleasant, but at the same time, even your subconscious is starting to realize that she is an emotional as well as financial vampire. Good fo ryou!

I recently had a dream that I was covering the Oscars, and George Clooney walked up to ask if I’d like to be his date for the ceremony. (LOL) Of course I said yes. Suddenly we were at another location, waiting on a table at a restaurant, and I glance over to see that the dude had grown about a foot and a half. He was gigantic. “Hmm,” I thought. “This isn’t George Clooney.”
As he signed autographs and posed for pictures, I slowly started to notice that his face wasn’t even that cute — he was morphing into the imposter that he really was. And then the real George walked up behind us, tapped me on the shoulder and told me he just wanted me to see the truth.
All sorts of meaning there, huh?!

Thank you so much all for the replies so far. I was having an extremely dark day, and it made my heart feel so much lighter to come back and see the insightful words.

Sarahsmile: It’s amazing that even though we find these behaviors so subtle and hard to explain to others, it only takes a few words, and then someone who knows exactly what you mean immediately identifies.
‘The way he talks to me’ has recently become one of those irrefutable facts for me too. When I begin to question myself in the way that he can lead me into- about whether I am overreacting or too emotional, I wonder if I am this way and act it around everyone. Then I realize that no one else would even talk to me that way if they truly had any respect for me. I’m not the crazy one, even if I may feel it so much recently!
I honestly don’t even think he sees anything wrong with it, and I’ve told him as much, which perhaps makes it even more frightening. How can we be under the illusion we can change a person, when they can’t see something/don’t want to that is so blindingly obvious to others. Unfortunately now, most of our interactions occur with no one else present, but when he was out of prison there were occasions that people observed the way he spoke to me and were shocked. He didn’t pay attention to them either.

I am definitely going to take your advice on writing that list. I have been trying to do a lot of writing recently so that I can order it all in my mind. I also like to write down things that I know would occur if I break No Contact. For example, the way the conversation would go if I picked up the phone, and how I know I would feel afterwards.

You are right, we get so focused in on the details instead of the big picture, and my questions are a part of that I guess. I think it’s because we are trying to figure something out that is just not logical, so being living, breathing, feeling humans we struggle and struggle to make sense of it.

I really hope that going through this same thing at the same time will help us both remain strong with our No Contact!

Candy: Yes, you’re right. The reason he is in prison, it’s all him. In fact, this last time he was out, he couldn’t have had a better shot at a good life, it was all on the table for him, and he threw it away. This gave him a third felony and since he’s in a “three-strikes” law state, that’s why he’s now facing the life sentence.
He always says he wasn’t in his right mind when he committed that last crime. I’m beginning to realize this is one example of many where he doesn’t take responsibility. Shifting the blame as you said, that’s perfectly it. I read back through letters I have sent him because I almost thought I hadn’t been clear enough with him due to his response that seemed completely mismatched to my feelings.
But my letter and my explanations were right on.

Skylar: Yes, I do feel that if he cared enough about not being in prison, he wouldn’t have committed another felony 1.5 months after being out again, in front of video cameras no less. So I’m thinking you are right, he doesn’t care. Well up to the point that being in prison limits his opportunities anyway.
He loves to tell me that I don’t care about it or him, probably because he knows that’s something I will fight and it gets a reaction out of me. You are most definitely right about the drama.

Ox Drover: Yes, I have begun to understand this time before the trial the same way. I will now have a couple of months to distance myself if the worst occurs and he is let go. Although, it wasn’t murder, one of his crimes was violent and he gets into numerous problems in prison, which is one of the key things that has led me over the months to realize who he is when he’s not talking to me.

Again, thank you all so far, it has been so helpful, especially since it’s evening time now and that means my phone will keep ringing over and over from him for the next couple of hours- The strength to keep up the No Contact must come first and foremost. I feel like the first few days of it are the hardest and most stressful, being pulled in different directions, between what you believe, what you have been manipulated into, and what you are beginning to see as the truth and the light.

Dear Snow,

NO CONTACT allows us to “decompress” from the pressure of their lies and manipulations.

I highly support the 3 STRIKES laws and putting habitual criminals in prison for NATURAL LIFE. By the time someone has committed 3 felonies, they have shown that they are NOT going to reform.

My psychopathic son has been out only less than a year total since he was 17, he is 40 now, he went from crime to bigger crime in a matter of months. They do NOT FEAR prison the way you or I would, and they do NOT learn from their consequences of their behavior because they put the BLAME on someone else. They do not accept responsibility…it is always someone else’s fault that they did x, y or z.

aliciad:

I’m not sure about the high sex drive waning as men get older. I think it does a bit, but not enough for them to stop completely doing what they are doing. Look at all the men in their 60s and even 70s who are still predators.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Oxy – what you have dubbed narcissism (in yourself) would be called co-dependence, the dark side of ‘people pleasing’, part of the karpman drama triangle or egotism by others. I don’t know that it matters what it is called, but that we know what it does to us and our lives, that it usually comes from living with dysfunctional and disordered people, and how to effectively change it within ourselves and save our own lives.

i know that I can get to what I call codependency via many paths. living with my family….through my religion, through working with dysfunctional bosses….and trying to warn the the dupes of the the spath who spathed me. I think it has a lot to do with control and being in intolerable circumstances – we either hang on harder and harder until it twists and kills us or we let go.

you have learned to let go. it’s a huge learning, and one that most of us who have these tendencies have had to learn over and over again to change our behaviours.

i had an interesting experience with a fellow i have talked about here before. he is a business colleague and someone i work with from time to time. i have known him for 4 years or so. i have very high respect for this fellow – he is an amazing connector who is spectacular at his job. we have never been friends – we don’t do things outside of business dealings. but we are very friendly business colleagues.

it turns out his marriage is unraveling. I sensed this about a year ago and it just freaked me out on principle – in general i was pretty easy to freak out at that point, but i also knew that i absolutely didn’t want to know about it. a few weeks ago we met to discuss my ‘reformed n’ executuve director (now ex exec director, yay!) , and my colleague starts to talk about about his home situation. i was very guarded and circumspect. i am so wary of others drama after the spath – it flat out scares me.

i talked with a mutual friend who asked how he was doing. i thought about how there has been a big big silence (energetically) around him for the last 2 weeks, and just called to say i am thinking of you – because i figure he is really struggling. he called back and was very grateful for the call. this time i did not hold back my thoughts, i was not circumspect – i was clear and forthright with him about what i saw of his situation….now, comes the hard part: my reaction to being open and forthright, and saying something to someone who is in a big drama (the spath WAS ALWAYS IN A BIG DRAMA AND I AM DRAMA-ED OUT!). I was pretty shakey for most of the day. BUT I REBOUNDED! I AM OKAY TODAY. i had a similar experience last week with being forthright. scared/ shaky/ rebound (with mom and n sire). I think i am making some progress.

I know i will not get heavy into supporting this colleague. just won’t, just can’t, just don’t want to. I don’t want to fix him, but am not completely sure why i reached out to him given my aversion to drama and my inability to deal with it (right down to a physical inability). i like him very very much – he is good guy. i did have something that needed saying. i know in my heart that what makes him brilliant at his work, is part of what has messed up his marriage. and maybe i will talk about that with him someday and maybe i won’t, but it was so important for me to be honest with him – even if doing so was an emotional risk. i think i need to grow a skin again, and i think it will involve taking some risks and NOT reacting to every drama around me as if it were under my skin. (Insert PTSD jingle here.)

i have been thinking about this the last few days – how do i apply what i have learned post spath and apply it in my day to day? How do i start living and engaging and NOT BE STOOPID?! I am such a sensual impulsive creature, and i have done without so much for so long – i am more deprived than i was when the spath came along (one of the reasons she could snare me). i mean, i just ache and yearn for life…..i am at risk all the time if i open up to people.

i think i need to look at what is going well in my work relationships. and how i am doing okay. i feel lots of anger in my gut and it’s about a lack of love in my life. it’s a really strong strong anger. i have had to go into my workplace several times in the last 2 weeks and i am sick for it, so i also have to recognize that this is not the best time to try to understand my feelings…i have to just let them be. tonight, instead of ruminating i started cleaning.

i will have a rommie in a couple of weeks. seems SHE is real and will be here soon. (she is coming from overseas) i sure hope it goes okay….!!! i made the decision slowly with much trepidation (I checked her out, but you never know). i have to admit that she comes from the country that the fake boy supposedly did, and this caught my attention when i saw the email asking if anyone had a room for her. silly one step. (one laugh i get is – if the spath ever calls she will get someone with the REAL accent. snort)

i have a LOT to do to get the place ready (find, buy and hang a door, move all the computer tech (involves drilling holes in walls) major cleaning in the room she will be in and a whole lot of cleaning and organizing. I have been tossing stuff out for weeks – i don’t work so fast! but i have been making progress. i now have to reach out to some folks and get some help to get things done. and i think that’s if for this post.

onestep – I am butting in here, and this is just my opinion..I think all people have times of drama and chaos and need support or a shoulder or an ear, we need to vent, get different opinions etc…kinda like having a good cry and feeling better afterwards…
It’s people who live in a constant state of drama and chaos, people who feed on it that I avoid, it may take me a few times to realize I need to back off cause this person needs rescued over and over, but if someone is having a bad day or breakup of a relationship and they need to share the burden for a wee bit, shouldnt we of all people offer an ear or a hug and some encouragement?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hey there butt in hens! 🙂

yes, what you say is about NORMAL. normal is pretty screy these days – after evil, it is hard for me to gauge what is ‘normal’. with some people it’s not so hard, especially if i don’t know them well. i kinda go with my instincts. there is a guy who i know thorugh work who just moved out of town. i had a talk with him one day and thought he was really interesting. told him to give me a shout when he was in town. he did and we went for a walk last weekend. i am trying, but it freaked me out a bit – wondering what HIS motivations are (i don;t mean sexaul blah blah, just as a person). I obviously want to let people in again, just freaked out by it when i do. so, i guess i need to go slow, try to keep it real, back off when i get freaked, and realize that i will undoubtedly make some mistakes. it’s like the whole world is full of vampires now. and i am out in the day wondering which of the bats will try to suck my guts out….but my guess is that if i start to feel played I will go into fuck this mode pretty quickly. OMG i am so afraid of being played again. she almost destroyed me hens. between her and the chemicals i was almost destroyed.

i have to realize that i can learn to trust others and myself again.

this guys marriage is going south if HE doesn’t make some big changes, and i don’t think he will. i told him that he has being doing the same thing harder and harder, and it’s not working – that he’s going to have to try a radically different paradigm. that he should go to a marriage counselor alone and try to sort it out. i don’t know why but she’s going to leave.

it’s weird i feel like i have some sort of preternatural pwers since the spath – but that could just be the PTSD talking – but I see things SO differently. I see the wrack and ruin coming. I expect wrack and ruin. I feel the tiny intimations of it (hmm, does sound like PTSD – everything is SO big). I look at this guy and go, that marriage is already over – based on only a couple of conversations. nope, there isn’t good in everyone, and neither is their hope in every situation.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

just realized that ‘butt in’ sounds dirty. hehe

One Joy Step,
Hanging a door aint so easy ya know! Puulleezze I live with a carpenter..lol.

Glad to hear you are cleaning out stuff (I luv that). Did you get a secretary yet?

It sounds like you are doing well, happy for you 🙂

one/joy_step_at_a_time

haha Ana – nooo, but I REALLY need one!

yes, i don’t suppose it will be – the part of the frame that houses the hinges has to be chiseled out again as they were partially filled and painted over. So, send over the carpenter, k? 😉

One Joy Step,
Yep, if you have any questions, just ask and I’ll put ’em to work! He LOVES door hanging for some reason lolool.

I think you are very smart and careful of you interact with and why. And for a very good reason! You have great introspection of youself…prolly from all the vajrayogini meditation….

Take care of you anyway you can! You are a great role model here One Joy Step. I always look forward to your posts.

I’m serious if you need help hanging that door..let me know.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Thank you Ana, for the perspective (here i am feeling like an alien, with cause for being careful, but an alien none the less, because i am feeling so cautious) and for the offer of help. I am sure i am going to need it.

and for yet again, reminding me of practice, and that i contribute here even if i don’t feel i can or want to contribute much other places except at work.

one/joy,
I feel exactly the same way as you right now. As you so perfectly put it, “I see the wreck and ruin coming. I expect wreck and ruin.” It’s making me very wary of meeting ANYONE new. Which sucks, because like you, I’ve always been very open and trusting of people. I enjoy people.
Tonight my 12-year-old son and I had an interesting talk. (I feel like I’ve been halfway here for my kids for the past 15 months, thanks to the horrible spath relationship.) I told him that I regret wasting a year of my life on a person who was really bad news.
His reply (I wrote it down when we got home because I think it’s profound): “Here’s the way I look at it. These days, unless something really bad happens, people live to be like 100. That means you have about 60 more years to get it right. It’s like a video game, when you get killed but have more lives waiting. You have 60 MORE LIVES.”
And then my science-loving kid added this: “It’s like a virus. Once your body has it, it will fight it off harder the next time.”
I feel kinda bad about getting relationship advice from my 12-year-old son, but the kid is smart. 🙂 We will ALL know better next time!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

aliciad456 = my fear is that i won’t. and as i was writing the above posts i realize that i might not see the crap right away, but I suspect i will sooner than later.

i met a woman a while ago, and we had some things in common. I suggested we go out for a tea. so we did, and i ran like fuck away from THAT one. she has a booth i a local market and i actually avoid that isle. i felt violated by her intrusiveness and very uncomfortable with what she told me about herself a this first tea and i guess , her desperation about a couple of things.

god, just thinking about 60 more lives makes me tired! out of the mouths of babes!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

gem – doesn’t your dream just say it all! – the joy of new birth, the unnatural way she tried to be nourished, and your own understanding of what you need to do to save yourself from her violence. xo one joy

onestep – I trust myself to be a better judge of character, more so now than ever before…and I think you can too…..just be.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

you are right hens, ‘just be’….but it is the goal, not so much the path yet…i am still too raw an excitable for it to be the path …yet.

just be…and on that note, peace out. xo

Alicia,
I like your kid. Send him over my way, he can be my therapist.

It seems like kids really do have a clear insight into what’s what. They aren’t as confuddled because they haven’t had years of people lying to them. They are still working with the truth that comes from the subconcious.

what if i fall for another IT?

I saw a television show yesterday on people just like him: people with multiple personality disorders and wow, it fit him right to a “T”! It was a combination of ADHD, BIPOLAR, and a couple other things. It makes them NEVER sit down and sit still; they are always in a
panic and paranoid and anxious and they lie and manipulate to get whatever they want. They have learned through all their actions, that bullying gets them what they want. They said that NOBODY can stand to be around them very long because they are so taxing.
Have you ever met that kind? Where they are so smart but yet soooo ADHD??? Can’t sit still for five minutes and there is nothing you can do to make them any different than what they are. I was always a ‘calming’ effect for him but he used to say I was boring.
We never did anything exciting. He didn’t like crowds, always wanting to stay away from them because he KNEW how he acted. I am talking just a very sick person. I don’t know how a person can function, long, in this life, acting that way. He sucks off people
because he don’t know how to do these things for himself. Constant ticks: with the hands and the blinking eyes and shouting instead of talking in a normal voice. Yikes. I noticed it when I first met him. It stuck out like a sore thumb and I should have listened to my instincts – I somehow KNEW this relationship was going to be trouble but I went ahead with it anyways because I bought into all his lies and manipulation and FELT SORRY FOR IT. For the next five years, it wrecked havoc on me and my life, almost taking it away from me in more ways than one.

I am not going to live this way anymore. I made a conscious decision on 1JAN, speaking to the ex wife, TELLING HER that this was going to get all behind me in this new year and that I was not going to entertain any of this anymore, no matter how I felt. She agreed. She was going to try doing the exact same thing.

In fact, I think she was doing better than ME! Then, again, she never had the same kind of ‘bond’ with it that I had gotten involved in. What an ugly person “IT” is. I tried to ‘help’ it and there is no helping it. The only help there is IS: THEM helping YOU into an insane asylum OR a coffin.

I am NOT wasting my life, nor thoughts, on ANYONE so foul and he SAYS he ‘can’t help himself’ but yet he will get no help. He LIKES being the way he is. WHY WOULD HE WANT TO CHANGE ANYTHING??? He likes being a sex addict, picking up woman after woman, off the internet. He LIKES always creating the drama and chaos and playing all the cards “IT’s” way. They find that amusing, you know. And, it’s absolutely HILARIOUS that they make you so upset and feel so bad. That is a difficult concept to grasp, I know, but every time we show them our ‘down’ feelings, they ‘get off’ on it and find it very amusing. No, I want it no where near me anymore. It has taken me just about four years to wake up to this little ‘roadshow’ and it’s not going to continue. Sick or not, we all must be responsible for our actions. Our choices. If we can’t be responsible then we have the responsibility to find a way to prevent ourselves from doing these nasty, vile, mean things to others, that are so totally unacceptable, but also everything A-MORAL, they do, causing harm to others. And, if this, what we have been coming through is NOT considered ‘harming a person intentionally’, what is? Just because they haven’t physically HARMED US ON THE OUTSIDE and left bruises and cuts….just because they haven’t left us murdered somewhere in the middle of no where, buried in a dirt hole, in the middle of the desert, some place – does that mean that our INJURIES and OUR VICTIMIZATION is not equally as important nor urgent? Everyone waits until the bodies start showing up and THEN they do something about it. It’s always the same.
You hear about it in the news constantly. I know at least you have heard SOME of the stories. I am in the L.A. area, and you know how the stories go….I have been many places in the world and there is no disregard like there is in L.A. and in the poorer areas. I wonder if they did a survey on the amount of spaths in L.A. it would probably be off the hook. Hmmmm? Such horrid, ugly, miserable things I have heard in the news’.

I tend to gauge (however assumptive this may be) other peoples behavior and ability to change bad behavior on the way my life has gone. I was raised by my maternal Grandfather, my mother being a heroin addict my entire life, until she died an empty, pointless life over some 25 years ago now. She died alone. She was never a “MOM” – always in trouble with the law. She Deserted ME at the hospital at birth, born addicted to the poison that snuffed her whole life. She was like that too…that same personality. I grew up seeing my ‘real mom’ in the midst of her addiction. She had made me prey, even as a child, by her addiction and her illness.

I have seen ugly, horrid, horrible things from the age of 3 years old. I have been sexually abused by a family member; I have been beaten by an abusive Grandmother….kidnapped and held for drug debts “mom” owed. And, yet, if I can say that “I” do not do these mean and ugly things to people, if “I” don’t allow MY CHILDHOOD and MY UPBRINGING to enter into play as a ‘reason’ that enables me to do all these horrid things, WITH THAT EXCUSE – in my own conscious and mind, WHAT IS THEIR EXCUSE???? I don’t have needle marks in my arms nor locked up in jail, hooking for drug money or in a hospital. Aren’t we all suppose to be responsible for ourselves and our actions? I would think that YES. However, THEY manipulate and twist things so they have YOU FEELING GUILTY FOR YOUR OWN COMPASSIONS AND CARING. HELLOOO!!!!! Twisted logic and we just buy right into it!

No; I am sorry that things are like they are for these people. Truly. It must be a world of hurt to be so ugly. But, that does NOT mean “I” have to continue being the prey. And I am not. I intend to walk away from this stronger and more wise and more ‘complete’ a human being than I ever have before and although I am sure “IT” is probably taking a great deal of credit for the ‘alteration’, in his own, sick, little mind, he deserves none. It has been “ME” fighting for my life over here. It has been “HIM” miles and miles away…throwing excuses in the wind. This is so finished.

I am not going to allow one more moment of my life to be absorbed by this and as I step out of this ring of fire,
I am attempting to ‘calm’ my extreme hatred for the person that used to call himself MY BEST FRIEND. In my book, FRIENDS don’t treat FRIENDS the way I have been treated and although I am close to stepping out of that ring of fire, I am also stepping into a future that has no time frame.

Every day and every moment is priceless to me and they are flitting by me quicker than I can keep track of. It seems that 9 years ago was just yesterday. I look at the calendar and it shocks me some more that I actually sat here for five years, loving someone, so un-
conditionally, and almost have lost my life over it. I look at the calendar and I can’t believe that time has passed me by like this. I was a hostage. In every sense of the world except the bindings and the locks. It is horrid people can get away with these kind of things. We have a responsibility, I believe… making people aware everywhere we go.

I am going to start volunteering my legal services pro bono to the local senior center and have plans on making them aware. I am going to print out some of Donna’s flyers on the site and delivering them to older’, ‘vulnerable’, ladies, such as myself. People need to be aware, especially with the age of high technology.

Just sharing and my thoughts…
Sorry about the long post ~

Love ~ Dupey

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Super chic – what’s with all the one liners? I don’t know if you responded to the people’s questions the other day, as I find it difficult to find the posts some times.

what’s going on girl?

and what will happen is: you will write about ti here and find the strenght and have our support to kick it to the curb FAST. Same with me. LF=safety net.

superchic – onestep is right. personally i will never fall for another it. I will never fall,,,,I am just not that gullible anymore..nobody but nobody is worth fallin for,,,I am just not the same person after the last it,,,I dont need to fall,,,I am just gonna be me and if somebody comes along I will proceed with caution and if things become uncomfortable then I still have me to count on….sounds like you have met someone, nothin wrong with that,,just remember your life lesson and have fun,,trust yourself and you will be ok….

So I took the collective advice and decided to concentrate on bettering myself. I decided to pick up reading and to get my mental health together. I’m trying to get depression, anxiety and ADHD off the ground. I was having trouble trying to get it sorted out because my insurance is only covered locally. The lady I stayed with insisted in I get parental consent because I’m dealing with medication. I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to get on the right track. On the other hand, my dad keeps fabricating “issues” with me. It’s so annoying. Yesterday, for example, he basically told me I dont care about your eye surgery cause I have more important things to do. So I was like okay I will find a way to go myself. So I found what buses I needed to take and the metro stops. So I successfully got there by God’s grace and my eye’s doing great. Apparently, he told everybody I didn’t need his help and that I basically told him he has no role in this process. So again a lecture on how I treat my dad from girlfriend to best friend. He keeps fabricating stuff like there’s drama with me. His gf is like going along with it. Oh, I stopped talking to her by the way. It’s decreased the level of unnecessary crap by a lot. I feel bad cause she used to say she took me as a sister. But I had to cut her off. My dad wants me to go his company picnic with him but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea. He gets angry when you aren’t making him look good. I just want peace like now!

Interesting concepts, One/Joy—and the conversations afterward. Yes, I know that my “narcissism” is pretty much like “enabling” or “co-dependent” (I actually don’t like the term co-dependent, but I’ll “go with” the “enabling”) But I think the NARCISSISM is WHY I enabled him. If I had not been quite so narcissistic, so self assured that I could ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING then I might have quit enabling him. (them) My own lack of a realistic self assessment was what I think brought me down….made me continue on the same track (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity)

I’ve said before too….that learning to TRUST MYSELF to KEEP MYSELF SAFE is the most important thing we lose….I think what you and Henry were discussing is your loss of trust in yourselves to get close to someone else…because the last time you did get really close to someone else you got HURT BADLY! But I have seen so much growth in both of you over the years that I think you are both approaching the wisdom to enable you to be safe in getting close, you are just maybe a bit scared yet….and that’s okay.l (*I realize here I am reading your minds, but I am just making observations of what you are thinking by what I “see” in your posts and changes in attitude in the last year +) Both of you sound “sane” now, and are starting to show good judgment in many ways, as well as wisdom and neither of you seem even 1/10th as raw as you were.

All of us want and need “love” in our lives, “connectedness” in our lives….and you know that simply means we are HUMAN! WOW!!!! But our “connectedness” may not be in the form of another romantic partner (at least not right now) but we still want CONNECTION and we can have that….but we just have to use our KNOWLEDGE of the signs of predators and keep ourselves safe.

One, that man reaching out to you….and you being scared….I can understand HIS NEED to reach out to someone….I can understand your FEAR of “drama” but at the same time, WHO should know better what to say to someone who was reaching out because of their internal pain caused by drama than YOU?

Being honest with someone involved in DRAMA is difficult and scary, but at the same time, If my honesty can help someone overcome that drama, to get out of it, or help someone break out of a bad situation….more power to it! I try not to be “hateful” in my “honesty”—my step father used to say “You can tell a girl her face would stop TIME, or you can tell her it would STOP A CLOCK so just be a bit tactful” my husband used to tell people that I was so TACTFUL I could “tell people to go to hell and make them HAPPY TO BE ON THEIR WAY.” LOL But there is something in both of those sayings….and I realize that if I do give someone advice and they DO NOT TAKE IT and get back into trouble or stay in trouble, I can’t be upset because “they didn’t listen to me.” Even if they ASK me for my advice or opinion and I give it and they “discount or devalue it” and don’t take it….and it turns out that I was right because they get into deeper trouble, still…IT IS THEIR LIFE, AND THEIR CONSEQUENCE. That is what I have had to learn, where I have had to stop the desire to “fix” and the arrogance that I am ABLE TO FIX…

My friend’s wife, the “Drama Queen” that I talk about all the time is gonna stay in financial trouble all the time by the way she spends and makes excuses for how she does it and why, and be embroiled in drama all the time. In order to be in the life of my friend, my sons and I have to put up with at least a small ration of her…it used to make me GRIND MY TEETH to even be around her…..she has not changed and is NOT GOING to change….but what HAS CHANGED is the way I RELATE TO HER. By no longer expecting her to change I can ACCEPT HER the way she is.

By setting boundaries about what I will discuss with her and sticking to them, I keep her from irritating me so that I can tolerate her company. Her PREFERRED CONVERSATION is to talk about her husband being unreasonable about X, Y or Z and how she is ENTITLED to feel A, B or C because of his unreasonable attitude.

When she and I are together, and she starts her “preferred conversation” I simply say, “Susie, I prefer to discuss ANYTHING except your and John’s constant bickering, so let’s discuss the weather, or your constipation of the bowels, but we will NOT discuss your bickering with John.”

It took a while to get it through to her, but with only a few reminders here and there, I can stand to spend a half day or a day with her without feeling like I want to “kill something” afterward. LOL

If someone asks me my opinion, I will give it to them….if they don’t take it and things turn out badly…once…and they ask again, I may give it to them again….but if this becomes a PATTERN of asking for advice, ignoring advice, then when it turns out badly asking for advice again and again and again…then I see a pattern of DRAMA there.

Sometimes we see it here on LoveFraud. I tend to be a bit more tolerant here because people who have been severely traumatized by a psychopathic encounter may need a bit more support, but after they have had that support and have “gotten sane” again, I expect them to ACT sane at least most of the time. If they don’t, then I stop giving them direct advice because I am not going to waste my time and fingers…unless it is something I think someone else might profit from.

Different forms of DRAMA can be addicting as well….and I just read a really good quote from a book I have been reading written by a woman who told about her horrible childhood of abuse by her alcoholic father and her narcissistic and irresponsible mother, at her father’s funeral they asked for a toast, something good to say about her father and living with him, finally her N mother came up with one that was “true” and “nice” it was “it was never boring living with him.” Yea, my life has NEVER BEEN BORING….plenty of drama that I either tolerated from others or created myself by tolerating drama from others. But now, I WANT BORING, I want CALM, PEACE, and TRANQUILITY.

Send this to a friend