By | April 13, 2008 267 Comments

Why did I stay with the sociopath?

I have wrestled with this question for a long time. While with him, I sometimes wondered, ”˜what on earth am I doing here’? Since gaining my freedom, I have looked back on those 4 years 9 months and wondered, ”˜what on earth was wrong with me that I stayed so long’?

I know there are the physiological/psychological factors that compounded my convoluted thinking causing me to believe that I was incapable of leaving him. I know these factors attributed to my inertia and the resultant trauma bonding that held me pinioned in his unholy embrace. But none of these factors explain why an intelligent, well-educated, articulate woman did what I did — before the trauma bonding, the Stockholm Syndrome, the depression, the pain.

Why did I stay?

I stayed because in the process of burying my truth beneath his lies, I turned off my inner voice of reason. I quit listening to myself telling me I had to leave, I had to get away. I gave into despair, helplessness and confusion and gave up on me. I wanted the rosy sunrise of his promises, the gilded cage of his castle in the air, the perfection of his promises of happily ever after.

I stayed because I didn’t want to take responsibility for what was happening in my life, my daughters’ lives and to me.

I stayed because it was easier to stay than to leave. It was easier to take the coward’s way out by staying locked into his machinations than to take the leap into the unknown by leaving him and his lies behind.

I stayed even though I knew he was lying. I knew he was deceiving me. I knew he was manipulating me. I knew all of this but I refused to look at the truth because to look at the truth meant having to look at me — and I was too frightened to do that.

I stayed because I was a victim and I didn’t want to admit it.

As I write this I think about those who will say — but you can’t blame yourself. You didn’t know who he was when you first met him. You went into that relationship with your arms wide open in love and expected to have your love reciprocated in equal measure.

And all of that is true.

None of it matters though when I look at the reasons for why I stayed.

I could walk into a hundred relationships with my arms wide open and still find them empty — because my arms wide-open were filled with my own empty promises that I would treat myself with love and respect, truth and honesty. My lack of clarity in my beliefs, my values, my principles trapped me in his lies because I didn’t know what I stood for.

I stayed, not because of him, but because of me. My weaknesses brought me to my knees. My weaknesses kept me locked inside the web he wove around me.

On the other side of the relationship, revelling in my freedom today, I am willing and able to stand in the naked light and love myself as I state, unequivocally, I stayed because of me.

He abused me. He lied. He deceived. He used terrifying stories to hold me silent. He manipulated my mind and smothered me with his untruths.

But I am the one who chose to believe him. To let go of reason and accept his unreasonable words and actions. Accept his unacceptable behaviour and compromise on myself — not because of who he was, but because of who I was and who I refused to be — independent, strong, uncompromising in my belief in me and what I deserved from love and life.

In my world, post sociopath, I am 100% accountable for me. Post sociopath I cannot hold him accountable for what happens to me today —Just as he is accountable for what he did, I am accountable for what I did, and what I do today.

I stayed because I did not have the courage and strength of character to stand up for me without fear.

I stayed because I believed he could make up for the past. He could make my life all better.

Today, I let him go in peace. Holding onto resentment, bitterness, anger keeps me from living the beautiful life I deserve. Today, I stay away from holding him accountable for what happened to me because I have the courage to take charge of my life today, to be 100% accountable for me today and to make choices that love and support me today.

In stepping fearlessly into my life today, I leave him behind because I know that the past is gone, today is alive and tomorrow is just a dream away. A dream that will come true as long as I walk my path with dignity, grace and ease, 100% accountable for me.

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Ox Drover

M. L.

Very eloquently put–and I can say “amen” to every word of it.

Peace and God bless.


That’s such a great message. You seem to really be fully on the other side of things, looking back. Getting to that point took me several years, last time.

Did you experience any period of time where, even though you knew better, you still held on to the dream, or mourned the dream, feeling like this person was still somehow the person you were meant to be with, even though you rationally knew better?

Anyone? I truly hate that feeling. Kind of knew going to a specific wedding over the weekend would trigger it, but hate the feeling all the same.

Ox Drover

ML, I think to one extent or another that all of us hang on to that dream even when we realize it is a nightmare of monstorous proportions. I know for sure that I did.

I think, for me at least, that facing that TRUTH that I was ALLOWING the abuse by remaining in the relationships, that I had too OWN THAT TRUTH, that unpleasant truth.

Sure, I didn’t deserve that treatment, they were responsible for treating me badly, but I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALLOWING IT.

Until I assumed my OWN part, my OWN responsibility, and MADE CHANGES IN ME, I could not break free.

Truth is painful, but it is only when we face truth and reality that we can be free.


dear every one; why did i stay. i know i stayed, i was lonley i was fed up with guys who didnt seem to care much and wanted a relationship. the s came along and he was so caring affectionate and into me it was great but after a while i saw thru him just a little and thought something was not right he was too keen almost and really in fact had very little to offer. so i broke it off very early, well he wept and seemed really hurt, he even said thank you for making him happy for the short time we had been together. i felt very bad and guilty for hurting him . anyway after being a part i missed the attention he gave me and felt overwhelming lonely i wasnt meeting any one else and i thought even though he was younger than me he just seemed to love me so much i mistook his affection for real love. so i called him and i took him back much to my detriment, and so the misadventures started. so i know i took him back and stayed with him because i was lonely and wanted to be with someone so much and being with him ended up hurting my self. now he s with a new victim and i am alone and still feel twangs of pain from time to time. i am also sure the new victim is mistaking his affection for real love as i did. so it tricks people the attention and affection they pile on so much makes us think he must really love me so how could i leave him . i feel very bad that this is probably playing out now with his new victim. it must be like a total replay of the realtionship i had with him. now i have the knowledge to see what happened but when your a new victim you have no idea what is playing out in your life. so i am still lonely at the moment but trying to make my life the best i can and be strong. but at least i am not second guessing something he tells me and wondering constantly about his behaviour lik e the new girl will . its sad but a relief for me. i do get jelous that he is with someone else and i am alone but then i think she doesnt know how ugly he can be she probably hasnt seen that side of him yet. thanks what a great blog.


ML, This blog has been extreemly helpful for me. For the past year I kept beating myself up over “Why, why, why did I stay?” For 6 long years no less. Everything you have wrote has touched me, words and thoughts I could not put together myself, for myself to get beyond the why and break the final tie that has held me back from the final stages of healing. Thank you so very much.

“I had to make a choice yearn for make-believe, or step into my truth today. I am an awesome woman of worth.

I chose the latter and yup. Weddings do have the ability to trigger my self-defeating games and all my tapes in my head that undermine me.

One of the things I constantly did, especially in the beginning, was when those thoughts arose, I’d ask myself does this thinking get me more of what I want in my life, or less?

LOL the answer was always LESS. So, I’d let the thought flow free and replace it with something affirming like “I am a wonderful woman of worth. I deserve a wonderful life where I feel worthy 100% of the time.” And then I’d do something that affirmed me.

Thanks for that, ML. Despite feeling like a weepy woman of witlessness, today, I know I’m a wonderful woman of worth, too.

We all are.

Today I was thinking that the reason I have so much trouble just accepting that he wasn’t real, didn’t really mean all those things is because it will result in one of two very horrible ways of thinking:

1. I will lose my faith in humanity in general, and distrust men to the point of never moving forward,


2. I will lose my faith in my ability to discern, my own judgment ability.

Either of those things is untenable. They would mean in the worst possible sense that I’ve lost something profound. My dad asked me a few minutes ago if I think I will ever trust another person again besides he and my kids. I said NO. Honestly, I don’t. If I see my ex as having done all this deliberately and maliciously, baiting me with a future that he never intended to happen just to break my heart, I will never trust.

Maybe that is part of why we struggle so hard to stay and to hold on to the good we think we see in them, and the love?


LilOrphan-I don’t usually put myself out there…but here goes…
You didn’t LOSE something profound, you GAINED something profound. It sucks to have learned a very hard lesson from a psychopath, but we all have and you will find that eventually, maybe not today or tomorrow, you will trust again. For me personally, little by little I am learning to trust but it comes within me, my ability to trust myself. Trust then, flows outword. I don’t know if that makes any sense…but I do know, you will trust again, in time, but it will be different because you will be able to see, from your experience if they are trustworthy or not. Rita

rperk and ML:

You’re both right. Knew I hadn’t lost my trust, but thinking that the reason I can’t give up on him completely had to do with the fear of one of those two outcomes. Many years ago, when we stopped seeing each other, I did lose my faith in myself. Was pretty miserable without him, actually, and blamed it all on me. I also couldn’t seem to really move on then.

Do trust myself. That’s why I had to walk away. He wasn’t treating me right and this time I wasn’t having it, wasn’t going to just sit back and allow myself to be treated that way.

But this final piece – disconnecting from the love I felt and the hope I’d had that we would eventually marry and have a real life together, accepting that he clearly didn’t mean any of it because Elvis has left the building – this is difficult.

The pain I’m feeling feels right somehow. Too much to explain, other than to say that I think I’m working myself through it rather than around it or denying it or all the many ways we use to stay mired in bad things.

Pain is okay. It’s just a sign of change, and change is ok, too.

Thanks, both of you. Helps to know you’ve been there, you’ve felt the same push and pull inside, but ultimately chose to honor yourself first and not be with someone whose actions hurt, even though you did feel love for them and wish for so much more.


ML and rperk,

The person we are learning to trust more than anyone is ourselves because we let ourselves down. We ignored all the signals and gave trust when our bodies told us not to.

My trust issue is with me more than anyone else.

Rperk – you pointed out that what we are learning is to give trust when a person is proven to be trustworthy. I used to trust anyone with my deepest emotions, my everything… thinking they would except my vulnerabilities as me being my authentic self or something like that. I gave people parts of me that didn’t know what to do with, that they had no business having.. and then I felt betrayed when I was attacked or judged or whatever. How embarrassing to admit that.

Dear friends have told me that I can be “transparent.” When I heard this, I wondered, is that good? or not good? I am learning when to be. Being highly selective with my inner being is a learning process for me.


okay…i know you guys know me from going back and forth and here i am at that place where i want to get out again!!!! a few good couple of days then I get a text from the other woman again about him calling her earlier that day telling her things that i said about her (which i did not) and also telling her that i am jealous bc they will always be closer then him and i…but he is wanting to come here in like 3 weeks and get married….married b4 he even moves here. okay i was smart enough to tell him no i cant do that….but now i want to leave again. but every time i try i get the whole speech how i promised not to do this again. not to listen to her…he makes me feel really stupid….for listening to her. i mean she sounds believible when she talks to me…then he sounds believible when he talks to me…..DO I HAVE TO TELL HIM IM DONE THIS TIME OR CAN I JUST BE DONE AND NOT HAVE A GOODBYE TALK????????? he keeps telling me im “the one” for ever….but i cant help but believe her……..!!!



I am SURE I told you before… don’t say goodbye. Just disappear. You DO NOT need to tell him why it’s ending or apologize for hurting him. He’s not really hurt. He’s mad that he’s losing control over you.

Change your number. Block his email or better yet, get a new email address and register it under a false name. One of mine is under Elise NoName. He will never find that if he does a yahoo search.



LET HER HAVE HIM IF SHE WANTS HIM SO BAD! You at least have this website. You KNOW what you are up against. He is a loser and a manipulator.

Here is one thing I learned… you have one life. Don’t waste your time.. your YEARS of time on someone like that! If you keep doing this, you will one day look back and say, OMG… I wasted so much time with a man that was torturing me when I could have been putting my own life together and meeting nice men and maybe even finding someone REAL who loves me. Each day you waste, you don’t get back. And each day you waste is keeping you farther and farther away from finding the relationship you really want. And by the way.. start with a relationship with yourself.

At this point, YOU ARE ABUSING YOU! Put a stop to it.


That is EXACTLY right…I let myself down and I’m still angry about that (working to get over it). After the scum bag piece of s***, I said I hate people, that was not true, I was scared of people, how they could hurt me. Now I look around a bit more and find there are still good people out there and I am very fortunate to have some of those good honest people in my life. Amazing.


Staying connected with this new girl is just as destructive as staying connected with him.
I had to eventually “drop out” without any explanation, he didn’t deserve one anyway, and he knew. For the longest time, I tried to explain to the scub bag piece of s*** why I couldn’t take it anymore, maybe hoping that he would suddenly come around and see how much he was hurting me and do an about face. I am ashamed to say I did this for almost 6 years.
Never happened. Eventually, I got it, changed my numbers, moved and started a new job. It was hard but not nearly as hard as living every day with the terrible drama and stomach aches.
I keep hearing this over and over lately…you can’t change your past, but today will also be your past so what you do today and tomorrow and so on, can become a very good past for you if you change what you do today.
As hard as it has been for me to wrap my mind around that concept some days, it is so very true. I will never again waste 6 days, let alone 6 years with someone as destructive as he is.
I agree with Aloha, let her have him, jump out of their pathetic, hurtful, evil game. It gets better.

Ok, rperk and Aloha, I do get it now.


“Dear friends have told me that I can be “transparent.” When I heard this, I wondered, is that good? or not good? I am learning when to be. Being highly selective with my inner being is a learning process for me.”

Wow, do I get this. I remain, to my detriment, very unguarded. Not quite as bad as, say, ten years ago, but definitely unguarded. Can’t decide if I think that takes tons of courage, loads of fearlessness, or is just ridiculously silly of me.

Call myself “Saran Wrap” and so do other friends. Some day I hoped to find someone who would not abuse that quality, but appreciate my openness and warmth for what they are.

Agree rblue that you have to get away, even if you have to tell yourself it’s temporary in order to do it. If this man really loves you (and I hate to say it, but men juggling women aren’t the poster children for mature love) he will not be gone for long, or forever. He will give up all other women for you, including the rampant emailer.

At the very least, change your email. Don’t let either one of them disturb you!!

Ox Drover


YOU do not–N-O-T— owe him a thing, not even a F#%K-OFF JERK!

He will tell you ANYTHING to make you blame yourself. If a stranger came up on the street and starting urinating on your leg, would you owe him to tell him POLITELY to quit!? Of course not! Neither do you owe this EVIL man anything.

YOU HAVE GIVEN, he has TAKEN. He has NOT given. He is the lie.


Do NOT—N-O-T– talk to him, do NOT e mail him, do NOT read his e mails, do NOT listen to his voice messages, do NOT open the door if he shows up–call the cops–don’t even yell at him through the door. DISAPPEAR if you can. and STAY AWAY FOREVER.

It is the ONLY way you will break free. It is YOUR decision, and YOU must SAVE YOURSELF. But you will also have the concequences if you choose to not save yourself and your child. If you “win” him over the other woman, YOU LOSE.

Take care of yourself RBLUEl–only you can.


I too feel the loss of love and the hope that we might have gotten married and moved to Maine to retire (his promise).

I wasted four years with this man M.L. Gallagher so you are not alone. I saw red flags over and over and ignored them. He was always telling me I was insecure when I suspected his activities and his involvement with at least one other woman.
I believed his lies. He borrowed money from me.

I had many nice men ask me out over the past four years and I turned them down because I thought that I was in a committed relationship. What a fool!

I am currently reading How to Spot a Dangerous Man by Sandra Brown. I should have read this before I got involved with this man. He fits into 2 or 3 of the categories.

1. Emotional Predator: Predators have a natural ability for reading women who are lonely, bored, needy, emotionally wounded or vulnerable. Predators are the most skilled of all dangerous men at seeking and finding women who satisfy their current hunger – whatever it is. Emotional predator’s number one feature is their unbelievable charm.

2. The Man with the Hidden Life: The man with the hidden life leaves women feelin the most “duped” or “fooled”. These men have an uncanny ability to compartmentalize their existences so that their professional lives and their hidden, pathological lives seem to be unrelated – at least in their minds. He has the luxury of living a complete other life beyond your eyes and your knowledge.

All of this almost guarangees that a man with a hidden life is a combo pack. His mental-health issues, addictions, emotional unavailability and predatory instincts combine to make him someone to be feared.

My S. was leading a hidden life with another woman who went to his family functions and vacations. He is an emotional predator and would also fit in as emotionally unavailable. It is indeed a combo pack of psychotic behaviors and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

This website has been a lifesaver for me. I needed somewhere to talk about my experiences with someone who would understand how a seemingly intelligent woman could be caught in this man’s spider web of deceit.

Ox Drover


Boy, did you describe my XBF-P! Emotional predator AND the man with the hidden life.

He had so many separate “lives” in so many places, I am not sure HE knew what he wanted or who he was! LOL When his wife caught him (after 32 yrs of abusive marriage) and kicked him to the curb—the “role” he needed of “respectable wife” was unfilled and he decided to tap me for that role, while hanging on to his “harem” which was scattered across several states. Since he was retired and traveled a great deal he could keep them separate and off his back about marriage–but only if he had a respectable wife at home to keep up his image of “respectable member of the community” and to tell them, “I just couldn’t leave poor Jane” “I couldn’t be that cruel” DUH! LOL

I was in the FOG, but I’m not stupid and there were too many connections, including I knew his x wife as long as I had known him, and I also knew one of his long time GFs (8 yrs) so I ended up putting 2+2=4 togther and kicked him to the curb. It BROKE MY HEART to do so–shattered my illusions and my DREAMS, but at least I did ONE thing right in all the Ps I’ve had in my life. EVEN A BLIND PIG GETS AN ACORN NOW AND THEN. Laugh & roll on the floor.


Aloha, LilOrphan;

I understand your statements regarding “transparancy” or “saran wrap”. Like you both, I have always been extremely open and candid. When friends have asked me a question (other than ‘do I look fat in this?’) I have asked them, “do you really want to know the answer?” Because they know I will be totally open and honest with them. But I believe this “transparency” means we do not have secrets, or a hidden motive or agenda, we wear our hearts on our sleeves, and are who we are. There is a beauty in this…in being true to ourselves and to others, so do not let the S take your beautiful openness and trust in humanity from you.

Happy upcoming birthday Aloha. Thanks for all you contribute to this site with your articles, your good solid advice, and your sense of fun!


I wouldn’t normally ask this, but since you have my email already, do you have time to talk tonight via email? I really need someone to talk to today. For whatever reason, things are not getting better and I’m at work, trying to get my head together. Thanks if you can. If not, I understand.


Thanks for the comments, Orphan. These S. do seem to be a combination of all the characteristics of dangerous men.

I wanted to add another thought from this book:
Women with weak boundaries fail to verbalize and take action on what they need. They stay quiet and hope somehow it will work out. But the message your silence sends to a dangerous man is that you consent to his inappropriate behavior.

I made a major step forward today by e-mailing my ex-husband and telling him the truth about this man’s interference and manipulation of me while we were still married. I took responsibility for what I did since the final decision was mine.

Ox Drover


Good for you! I know your relationship with your ex-husband may not ever be completely healed, but making amends to him, and telling him the truth should lift a burden from your soul. One of the things I think it is important for us to do is to go back to anyone we feel that we have not treated as our own moral code would expect us to do, and making a sincere “clean breast” of it.

A while back my son C and I had a real heart to heart and that is so important. Fortunately our relationship has not only been restored but strengthened—but I lost 8 years of him while he was married to the P-DIL, she isolated him etc. typical stuff. He knew I didn’t approve of her behavior (though I kept my mouth SHUT–big holes iin tongue) LOL

We both had some apologizing to do, and I am glad that we did it.

I also went to several friends of mine that had “let me down” when I tried to talk to them before the “blow up” and they refused to listen to me at the time—my story was “outrageous”—but I didn’t want that to end long term, decades old friendships—in both cases we reaffirmed our relationships.

Unfortunately, a relationship with the Ps, sometimes ruins other relationships we have had for decades. Sometimes they come out better, sometimes, we lose the forever, but at least if we can mend fences enough that neither we nor they have any real “hostility” left, at least we can part friends.

Especially if it is a relative or someone close to our family.

I am so proud OF you and also FOR you! You are a GOOD WOMAN! (((hugs))))


I felt a great relief telling my ex-husband the truth. I owed him an explanation for some of my irrational behavior.
I have to talk to my children as well.

Thanks for all the words of encouragement.
The lies need to be exposed in order to heal and move forward. I was keeping a hidden life as well from my family and unlike the S. I couldn’t deal with it.

Thank you for the hug, Free. I know these times pass and, in my case, are often triggered by hormones. Tend to not dwell on things most of the time and then every so often they jump up and bite at me.

We all respond to childhood abuse in different ways as children and adults. My way was denial and pretending everything was fine. That’s enabled me to be a “great” partner to N’s and P’s because I am already so skilled with sublimating the bad actions of someone else, loving them anyway, and blaming myself. In fact, I’d say I was pre-programmed to love N’s and P’s because of that talent, putting up with the untenable from people I love.

But unless aiming for some sort of twisted sainthood, my being this way earns me very little in life, except shame, sorrow and more self-blame. Sooo….no mas. I didn’t quite go the same direction, although probably I did and still seek validation, not of my personality or being liked because that always came very easily, but that my experiences and perceptions are accurate because my entire family pretended like what was going on was not going on when I was a kid. They still do. So the voicelessness I also understand and share with you – writing does really help that.

Did you light your candle, play your music and write? I was at work last night, utterly useless and weepy, but fortunately alone. Today will be better and so will tomorrow.


The N’s and P’s project their faults onto their partner. By forcing you to lead a “double life” as well, he was creating company for himself, corrupting you with his own failings.

Now that you’re out of the fog and see that life was never really yours, but you somehow participated in in nevertheless, you naturally would feel great relief telling the truth and no longer being a part of it. You didn’t own the desire for the behavior, so now it must seem incredibly foreign to you that you could do that in the first place.

I suspect mine had multiple lives because he was so secretive and able to compartmentalize, and agree that those are a very dangerous breed, because the entire premise requires us to ignore our own eyes and ears. They become more blatant in time with the fact other things are going on behind the scenes but by then we’re hooked and unable to move in other directions.



It is wonderful that you told the truth to your ex husband. Talking to your children will probably make you feel even better. After years of keeping quiet on my S stepmom’s abuse, I finally wrote a letter to my dad this year. I told him that I didn’t blame him, but that his wife caused me more pain than anyone else I’ve ever known. Just telling the truth felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. I haven’t been able to have a heart to heart with him since then, but he has at least acknowledged that he knows what I am talking about. It is a sticky situation because he’s still with her and they have school age kids together. She is scared that I am going to tell him everything so she tries to make sure we talk as little as possible.

You are completely justified to be upset that people act “ashamed” about your abuse. That is ridiculous, but sadly it’s the way a lot of people act because they can’t handle the subject. It might also be due to the fact that they have unresolved issues they’d rather not deal with. I hate that feeling, because if you’re telling them you trust them and expect that they would try to understand and support you. Instead, they just get all uncomfortable and try to change the subject or something. Ugh.

I never tell anyone about my story anymore unless they start talking about the subject of abuse in a way that shows they understand. Otherwise, I don’t waste my breath.

I think what LilOrphan was saying about the “double life” thing can also be applicable to childhood abuse. It is so true that they create company for themselves and trap you in a web of secrecy that, especially as a child, you blame yourself for. The shame of being forced to participate in that double life many times overrides the desire to tell someone you trust that you are being abused. The abusers find a way to make you feel like it is your fault and project their own depravity onto you. I think getting rid of that projection takes a lot of effort because it gets to be ingrained in your head that you are to blame. That is something that I had to work really hard on and am still working on.

Sometimes, especially after a dream about childhood stuff, I get washed over with feelings from the past. When I have those dreams (and they have become rarer as time goes on) I feel like it is a way for my brain to purge those old feelings out. Like if something you ate makes you sick, you have to see it a second time when it’s on the way out. lol but at least then it’s out of your system. It can’t poison you anymore.


I know how you feel about those crappy days where everything just gets to you all over again. A part of being strong is letting yourself break down and feel things sometimes, as much as it sucks. I think we could all use a smelly candle or two. Hope your tomorrow is better. 🙂

Absolutely, Ariadne, this:

“I think what LilOrphan was saying about the “double life” thing can also be applicable to childhood abuse.”

Yes! Think that for better or worse, we were raised to be the perfect foils for such furthered abuses, to “best” participate in the dual life of these types, because we have our own duality since childhood and somehow managed to live, and often thrive, within such dichotomous circumstance.

Most people would walk away from the P immediately, even if love had grown, when they see the P begin to “splinter” into two faces, into Jekyll/Hyde. But we who grew up in a conspiracy of silence, a world of two lives separate: the public face of the family and the very different private face, had to learn how to both love and hate the perpetrators of our abuse.

We had to learn to foster and maintain normalcy in a life that was anything but.

Now, this is their weapon against us getting unhooked, and is also the way of keeping us – we relate to this environment subconsciously as “home” for us. Even while knowing “home” is a dangerous place, there is something familiar and almost comforting about it.

But it is also our way out. It is our way out because we really do have love, empathy, hope, and have learned to keep those things in the face of almost overwhelming odds, ever since childhood.

We have the very things they only obtain for a short period of time through mirroring us, and we have them despite childhoods that might otherwise have caused us to turn those things off. I think sometimes this makes them angry….that the P’s believe we shouldn’t have those qualities they do not have, that we have no reason to be so hopeful or filled with love.

But they come into our lives and stay in on this fault-line that many people don’t have, this ability to carry two opposed feelings at one time.

My feeling, anyway, is that if we can strengthen and integrate our negative childhood abuse memories into our current selves, if we can learn to embrace all of it better, we’re less likely targets for them.

Not sure if any of this makes sense, as I’m just developing some ideas that have been stewing for awhile.

Today is better. Still a little down, but it feels like mourning is real and suitable — for a brief period of time. No hiding from ourselves, because that’s unhealthy.


I only wish I had the courage to let go. He has me in debt so bad I am holding on for a payoff…which may never come. He has a large law suit pending against 2 MV carriers.


Sorry Free,
I meant to address the part about the dreams and others’ reactions to you.By the way, I love that prayer, it is so simple and so full of truth. Hope you have a good night’s sleep.

Ox Drover

The book, “Predators” I am reading by Dr. Anna Salter, who is a sexual abuse specialist talks very much about the way the abuser thinks and how the public thinks.

Up until 1930 the child-victim was BLAMED for seducing the adult male! Yes, official psychiatric circles blamed the child’s “sexually acting out!” Even up to the 1970s this attitude was what prevailed in many circles. It takes GENERATIONS for the attitudes of the general public to change about any given stigma. (especially something sexual)

Even though “sexual” mores have changed in our society, there are still people who have these outdated “ideas” stuck in their minds. Logically, they know that the child is not to blame, yet, they still have the emotions attached that even they dont’ understand where they came from.

If you asked them “is the child to blame?” They would of course say “NO!” yet, underneath it all is this feeling of shame for the family involved, and even for the child.

Though it wasn’t a case of sexual abuse, but with my son in prison I felt shame at telling people where he was. Yesterday someone asked my son D where he got the pair of custom, elephant skin boots that he wears and my usual (in the past) response would have been “we know a boot maker in Texas” but I actually said, “I have a son in prison who learned to make boots and he made them for D.” It really wasn’t any of the person’s business, but I wanted to see how I would feel about saying it, and I DID NOT FEEL GUILTY. I am finally able to not feel a stigma that has nothing to do with ME. I do not feel shame for someone else’s acts. No one is going to project it on to me either.

Of course I am not going to go around, meeting people shaking their hand and saying’ Hi, my name is Oxy, and Oh, by the way, I have a son in prison.” But neither am I going to HIDE THE TRUTH any more. I’m tired of compartmentalizing my own life to “who knows about P son and who doesn’t” or “who do I have to hide the truth from and who don’t I?”

Childhood dysfunction, I think ANY kind of denying of reality, whether it is sexual abuse by a family member, or any covering up of reality that the child knows and is told “it doesn’t exist.” Or that “if it does exist, it is your fault” is abuse that follows us to adulthood and helps make us vulnerable to the Ps—and their denial of reality in the face of evidence to the contrary.

I will no longer deny reality—I don’t think we can heal as long as we try to pretend that something doesn’t exist.

The analogy that I made to conceptualize with this is a big pile of cat crap in the middle of the living room floor (please excuse the analogy being scatological) and when the stink starts to get bad, we lay a piece of carpet over it, but though we can no longer SEE it, it still stinks. The cat comes in and does it again, and more carpet pieces over it until the pile reaches nearly to the ceiling. If someone else says, “Why don’t you clean up the cat crap?” We say “What cat crap?” and they say, “Oh, yea, your cat keeps crapping in the middle of your floor and you keep covering it up” and we say WHAT CAT?

In order to heal we have to throw the cat out the darned door, and then clean up the mess it has made, but we can’t do that until we recognize that WE HAVE A CAT. As long as we try to fix the problem by denying the presence of the cat, it’s continued bad behavior, and covering up the mess, we can never get our house clean. It is only recognizing that we have a cat, that it is not behaving properly, decide we don’t want a cat that isn’t litter trained, throw it out, and gag and clean up the mess. The longer we have been in denial, the bigger the mess is likely to be.


All of your insights are enlightening. I think that I am learning about myself and why I let this S. into my life. I can’t believe now how much control he had over my daily activities.

I spoke to my supervisor today about the mess that I have made of my life only because my S. works in the same office. She was very sympathetic and said to not lend him any money and stay away from him.

I am feeling freer as I open up this festering sore and let in some air. I feel better now that I am opening up to people who I have wronged with my hidden life.

Ox Drover

Hummingbird, I think the progress you are making in talking to the other people that have been impacted by your “hidden life” is so theraputic and shows that you are on the correct path to healing and recovery from all this chos in your life.

I don’t know a single person who has not done things that impacted adversely on others. It is beiing willing to take responsibility for our own acts that are less than what we would like to think about ourselves, and to move forward.

We cannot change the past, we can only change our own reactions to the past, we can only move FORWARD.

If we try to “cover up” the past failures to act as we should have, we DENY and it is like the “stink” hidden under the carpet. I think that most people can recognize true contrition,, and true changes of heart and RESPECT that.

My son C’s X-wife “verbalized” repentence, and contrition, but she CONTINUED HER BLAMING OF OTHERS, and did not accept responsibility for her behaviors. Therefore it was easy to see that she was lying through her teeth.

Actually I think her “fake contrition” was a benefit to my son C in his own healing path in that he could SEE that her words did NOT FIT her actions. If her contrition had been REAL it I think would have made it more difficult for him, but because she was such a FAKE he is more able to see that there was NOTHING HE COULD HAVE DONE to have made it any different.

I have no doubt that he loved her, and because no one is a perfect spouse, those that truly CARE always seem to feel that there just MIGHT HAVE been something they could have done different to have had a different outcome.

Your willingness to own up and accept responsibility for your behavior in all this, bodes well for your own healing, and mending bridges that you may have dynamited by past behavior. I applaud you loudly for your courage to make these amends. I truly KNOW how difficult it is to accept less than perfection in our own behavior, that has been the biggest hurdle for me. ((((hugs))))


Thanks, Oxdrover, I feel more empowered now that I am leaving the secrets behind.

It will take time to heal the scars left from this relationship (if you can call it that). I truly thought that this S. was the one that I would spend the rest of my life with.

I will eventually forgive myself for being so stupid and not seeing him for what he was. I know that I have to accept my human frailties and move on with my life. I have three adult children whom I love. That is where the focus of my attention will go.

Ox Drover


I know that I never felt truly “empowered” myself until I started to feel it recently. If I stood my ground on a boundary of just about any kind, I had to get a “validation” from someone else that my boundary was “reasonable.”

Gosh, when I look back on it I wonder WTF? Why did I feel so powerless that I couldn’t even stand my ground for an OBVIOUS BULLY without feeling guilty about it, or unsure of it.

Why was I so unsure of myself, my own “right” and so afraid to step on someone else’s “feelings” because THEY STOMPED ON MY RIGHTS.????

I have never had a great deal of trouble sincerely apologizing but you know, I have “apologized” so many times for what SOMEONE ELSE DID…and I took the responsibility and the GUILT.

In talking to my X-BF-P’s X wife (that I had known casually for years) she said to me, “You know, I haven’t had to say “I’m sorry” in the last SIX MONTHS, it is wonderful”

She had been doing the same thing, saying “I”m sorry” over and over to him for WHAT HE DID! SHEESH! Why do we do that? Own someone else’s guilt, PLUS OUR OWN?

In addition, when I would apologize I was sincere in my apology, desperately so, but when others would make a Phony apology, Like Eliot Spritzer (LOL) I would “accept” it, even though I KNEW IT WAS BS, A LIE. I felt uncomfortable doing it, but I thiought I was BOUND TO DO SO, no matter HOW phony it was.

Sometimes when you do make a very SINCERE apology, and an appropriate accepting of responsibility, others will not accept your apology. Not just not give you “another chance” to repair the relationship, but maintain their anger and wrath at you. If they choose to NOT accept my apology, it used to devestate me, and I would literally plead with them to BELIEVE me that I was indeed sincere.

During all the chaos last spring and summer, I got really angry with myt mother because she would NOT even look at the evidence against the Trojan Horse P that I had paid the private investigator to complie for me (thinking taht she would believe that) and I became frustrated, and called her a “senile old bat” and stomped out of her house. Before the door closed behind me and I felt badly for saying this and turned around and went back inside the door and SINCERELY apologized for saying that, accepted responsibility for it, etc. She REFUSED To accept my apology because it didn’t “sound sincere enough to her” Later, I re-apologized and again she refused to accept my apology (I think I must have hit a nerve LOL) and I BEGGED her with tears in my eyes to accept my apology, and she still refused.

NOW, however, if I apologize to someone in all sincereity and they don’t accept it, or even don’t acknowledge it, I simply say, “I value our relationship, and My apology is sincere, but if you choose not to accept it, I’ve done all I can.” Then I walk away and don’t look back.

All I can do is to sincerely apologize, make ammends if I can, and it is up to the other person how the relationship goes from there. I used to think that I needed to demean myself by grovelling like a dog before the aggressor dog to try to convince them I was sincere, but now, I realize that is not necessary.

All that said, I no longer accept “socially fake apologies” as valid either.

The friend who helped me wonderfully last summer when I was “crazy” and fleeing my home, has some anger issues. He will spontaneously almost “explode” in an outburst of anger. He was married to a couple of personality dysfunctional people, one who died and the other who was most likely a P. He has NOT resolved these anger issues and gets angry over things that really are none of his business (not things done to him by you) but angryly criticizes you for how you handled a situation. The last time he “went off” on me about how stupid I was about something I had done (which really wasn’t stupid at all) I listened for a few minutes and then turned and walked away from him. He has never apologized for his outburst which was TOTALLY inappropriate and quite ill-informed actually. And, I have never called him since. He has never called me. I am sorry that our relationship ended this way, but at the same time, the ball is in HIS court, not mine. I have a perfect RIGHT to not allow anyone to speak to me in that manner. If he does not handle his OWN problems well, I can’t let them bleed over into my life.

He’s not a bad man, in fact, he is quite a good man, but he is very opinionated and judgmental and projects his own problems. I can’t “fix” him, HE MUST FIX HIMSELF, and until he WANTS to fix himself, until HE SEES the problem is HIS, not mine, we won’t see each other. That may be very well why he has so FEW FRIENDS…because he drives them away. Yet, I will always be very grateful and have a special place in my heart for all that he did for me last summer.

Gratitude for what he has done for me does not mean I must allow him to speak to me in a disrespectful manner.

Our Ps play on the universal “law of reciprosity” among ALL people of ALL cultures. You do me a good turn, I owe you one. It does NOT mean, you do me a good turn and that gives you a right to abuse me. P’s don’t believe in the “Law of Reciprosity” but they KNOW YOU DO, and they use this AGAINST US. Even if a person has done you 1000 “good turns” and you have not had the opportunity to return the favors, that does NOT, NEVER WILL, give them the right to ABUSE you. Yet, we feel guilty if we stand up for ourselves when the Ps start the abuse because we look at what “good things” they have done prior to the abuse.



You have a lot of insight. I am an apoligizer also. I feel horrible if I hurt another person’s feelings, but in the case of a S. they don’t have normal feelings.

Recently said he needed for money to pay for a PET scan of his kidneys. He said that our BC/BS wouldn’t pay for it. I feel bad (if this is true) but I am not going to give him any more money.

You shouldn’t feel bad if people don’t accept a sincere apology. They are the ones who are missing out.

Ox Drover

One of the things that we (people pleasers) must get through our heads, is that EVEN IF he needs the money to pay for a PET scan of his kidnesys (which I don’t believe for one minute) IT IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE IT.

There are children in the US today who go to bed HUNGRY. That is a fact, there are children in this world and the US that are beaten and unhappy, and abused, there are people with NO INSURANCE–you dont know these people so you don’t feel responsible to SAVE each and every one of them (even if you could) IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

JUST BECAUSE YOU KNOW HIM, it is NOT your responsibility to provide money for his medical care (if he needed it) WHY SHOULD YOU “FEEL GUILTY”?

I am my mother’s only child. My sons are her only grandchildren. Before all this chaos, I had had her COMPLETE power of attorney to manage her finances and medical care if she needed it. In march of last year, without telling me, she REVOKED MY POWER OF ATTORNEY and gave it to my DIL. She revoked my right to know any of her medical information.

Now that the family has “blown apart” a first cousin of mine has her POA, which is only “for emergencies” but you know, I felt guilty because I COULD NOT TAKE CARE OF HER, OVERSEE HER MEDICAL CARE, ETC. But one day it dawned on me. I did not have the AUTHORITY, to do so if I wanted to (I didn’t want to but I felt guilty because I didn’t want to) DUH.

If I have NO authority, I have NO responsibility. Therefore, I have NO REASON TO FEEL GUILTY because I don’t do it.

What makes you feel (not think, FEEL) RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS MEDICAL CARE–even if he needs it? Our FEELINGS are that, feelings, and they come and go, but we can influence these feelings.

If I hear a noise and it frightens me (feeling) then I go to the door and look out—if I see a bear, I know I have a REASON to be frightened, but if there is nothing there, I am reassured and my FEELING of fear goes away. We can also work on these things with other emotions, like FEELING “responsible” when we are not.

I felt responsible for my mother’s health care and welfare, because I thought I was responsible. Once I realized I was NOT responsible, didn’t have the AUTHORITY to do it. I NO LONGER FELT RESPONSIBLE OR GUILTY. My (logical) thinking changed my FEELINGS.

Working on changing our feelings about things, whether it is the frustrated or angry feeling we have when we are in traffic and blocked behind a very slow driver, or whatever the feelings that we are having, we can use our conscious mind to alter these feelings. It takes practice to do so but we can. I’m not where I want to be with DOING it, but I am working on this and it is becoming easier as I go along. Start with “Little” feelings like when you find yourself frustrated in a long line or angry at some little thing you can’t control…it does work. And gosh how much stress it relives! LOL (((hugs))))


Thank you Free & LilOrphan for your honesty,

I was feeling so badly today also and sometimes it helps me to come here and read the comments of others to know that what I’m feeling is really real. I hate admitting that I am still effected by my P. My friends give bad advice sometimes so I keep my feelings to myself for the most part. No one I know really understands the trauma I suffered and still struggle with today. (4 year ordeal with P and have been free for 11 months) I am no longer in that relationship but from time to time I am transported back just like it was yesterday. I hate that I still have feelings of hurt for all the lies told and dreams unfulfilled. I know that it is unreasonable to think that my P is the changed person she pretends to be now that we are apart. I realize that its just another lie. I know that she is giving someone else all the lies, heartache and deceit that she gave to me so well.

Nevertheless, I am upset today because I still want what was promised to me in the midst of all the lies. All that I gave in love I want to recoup NOW. I struggle to keep my head up when my heart hurts. I’m tired of trying so hard to forget the misery. When will it end?

I won’t deny that time as been my friend. I have done what I can to see myself through all of the chaos. I like what I see in myself and better yet, I’m trying each day to live fearlessly and take care of myself. (this is new for me) It’s working for the most part.

Still, there are days like this, where nothing works except shedding a few tears. Remembering that the lies I allowed to inundate my life can no longer effect me so profoundly as they once did when I didn’t understand who I was dealing with. I was no match for my P, for I was only armed with my love and trust which was ammunition for the P so I was defenseless. But that was then and this is now. And I do know better but still it hurts.

The days when I feel as I do today, brings me back to that hopeless feeling that I will never feel love as it is intended.

Glad to know I am not alone and that it really does get better.



I am new here. My relationship, if I can call it that, lasted for almost four years. M.L. Gallagher’s words are perfect and describe to a “t” what it is like being caught in this love net.

I haven’t seen all comments on all subjects, but are there any others out there who were married and involved with a married socio? That was my situation and it makes it harder to make people understand how hard it has been when all they can see/hear is that I was also a cheater. I’ve accepted my responsibility for my actions. That has been hard for me to own up to; I know the affair was a wake-up call to other issues I had not been dealing with all my life.

I believed I was very much in love with this man, whom I call The Thief, and even though it’s been almost 10 months since my husband ran him out of town (yep, true story); I still miss the “idea” of him. Gallagher’s (and all of your) writings helps me keep on the right track of healing.


Thank you, everyone, for opening your hearts and souls to those of us who are new and are still in the beginning stages of healing.


Oxdrover, ML, Lil Orphan,all, what a thread! I have been posting musings of mine together with excerpts from this blog onto a “journal” because you all are teaching me so much, more than the therapist, more than what I read in books, and giving me so much perspective that I could not find elsewhere. The last post (Oxdrover) is going on the fridge until I GET IT, LIVE IT, BREATH IT.

Why do we stay? Because we invest qualities in them that we desire, which they mirror, and because we feel RESPONSIBLE. At least for me I felt responsible for honoring my committment, for honoring those vows, for finally “getting it right” for proving my “bad luck” in relationships just that, bad luck. I did not want to be WRONG. So I would make it work. No matter what.

There were other real issues, like raising children together and not wanting them to go through a broken home, of evaluating, and saying, is it really that bad? Was that betrayal really a deal breaker?

My P/S/N/ is the master of the long deal, and even in the abuse, it took many, many years to see the pattern, and even then, when we went to counselling, together, and I by myself, I never really got any support in SEEING the pattern. Or perhaps I was too locked into my vision and never stuck around long enough to have it’s falseness revealed.

But at some point I stuck up for myself. For my parents and what they taught me that was good and affirming. For my children who should have a mother with a spine and some dignity, for my daughter who is extricating herself from an abusive (P?S?N?) partner, at great pain and suffering. For the person I have allowed myself to be and become since he is gone, for that little girl on the swing so long ago. For my sister, who broke free, suffered much, and has a balanced, sane, enencumbered rewarding life on her own, by herself, modest, but rich in freedom and peace of mind.

I know I stayed emotionally invested beacause I invested qualities in him that he did not possess. And during the times I saw him as shallow and self centered and distant and lacking empathy and self absorbed and BORING, I told myself it would be IMMORAL to leave beacause deep down he really loved me and deep down he was a DECENT man. And you don’t throw a good man away.

Excuses made, because love is so hard to come by. But like most things in life, there really are no short cuts. And that is what I am working on, where my responsibility lies. I took shortcuts, I fluffed over the warnings, I took the bait.

On the wall of a room that I work in I have scrawled, in a moment of anger “Never take candy from a stranger” – because that is what I feel I did, I took his candy, but he was a stranger.
For 27 years.

For me, belive it or not, I am grateful, that his final betrayal was so egregious that I can now move on, guilt free, no second thoughts about the vows, taking “care” of him, worrying about his health or what he eats.

I stayed because I believed I could be loved, and believed, warts and all, he did. And being an honorable person, I felt it would be wrong to desert him in his ongoing moment of need when after all he LOVED ME SO MUCH, I needed to be there for him.

What others have posted on this thread is so true, A) be there for yourself B) Trust will return, when you trust yourself.

Peace & love


You are right. I don’t know why I should feel guilty for not helping him pay for a medical procedure. At this point I am not even sure what is true or not. He has family in Philadelphia and a son here in Baltimore. They should be the ones providing aid.

My supervisor said to me yesterday after I told her what has been going on that I should not give him a dime. She said that I need to look after my own long-term needs and those of my children. He will not be there for me in the long run and she is right.


I know what you mean. People in my office think that the S. is a nice guy. He doesn’t involve himself in office chat. He doesn’t talk about others in the office. He is witty and sociable. Fortunately, our supervisor has seen another side of him and understands what I am going through.

Presently, he isn’t talking at all to me in the office or outside the office. I am sure that he is upset that I didn’t give him any money for his PET scan (if he really had one).

Thanks for all the words of wisdom from OxDrover, LilOrphan, Ariadne,etc.



That is a great idea to make a list of the things you can and cannot change. I think I might do that myself. It can help you take charge of the parts of your life that are your responsibility and leave the rest be. But even if we accept something as unchangeable doesn’t mean we need to stick around and let it mess up our lives. Accepting Ss are Ss is the first step in staying miles away! We know we can’t change their disorderedness so the logical conclusion is to head for the hills. I think that has a lot to do with setting good boundaries.

You know I used to think the same thing, those people who are “healthier” for whatever reason and know not to get involved with a P, S or N; what do they think when they meet one? I had a friend clear that up one day when we were talking and the office S was coming. She told me not to leave because she said she gets a bad feeling about the S. That’s it. She gets a bad feeling about her so she stays away. She doesn’t need to know that she’s a sociopath to know she’s bad news. While knowing she is a sociopath is probably better for predicting what she’s going to do next, my friend doesn’t feel the need to stick around and find out. It’s so simple it kills me. The S also knows that she won’t get anywhere with my friend so she doesn’t bother to talk to her. If everyone would listen to their intuition like that, sociopaths wouldn’t have any victims left to manipulate.

Yay! Good for you for not giving in to his pity party. I’m sure his kidneys are fine, his wallet is probably what’s in bad shape. It’s good he’s not talking to you. For them every interaction is an opportunity for manipulation.

Ox Drover

In “romantic” relationships, I would say that people who were less dysfunctional (I hate to say “healthier” LOL) might be less inclined to get involved with a P romanticly, but my friend who was professionally involved with one who suddenly became her boss, after being not rejected, but repulsed, sexually by her, fired her before the ink got dry on his new contract. That has been 8 years ago and she still is ANGRY and feels “raped” professionally. He made sure he did it in the most public way, and to get the maximum amount of humiliation out of it.

But of course the predator does not pick out the healthiest animal in the herd to attack, but looks for the one with just a slight limp, or some other thing that will make them less likely to successfully escape or fight back. They can almost instinctively pick the one wildebeast out of a herd of 1000 that has something wrong with it, or is young, elderly, and they go for that ONE animal out of the herd, ignoring all the others.

Interestingly enough too, when the rest of the wildebeasts (or any other herd prey animals usually) the rest of the herd will stop and go back to grazing while their companion is being torn apart in front of their very eyes. I wonder if that is a sort of “denial” on the part of the rest of the herd? I wonder if that is somewhat like our frineds not really “seeing” what the Ps have done to us. Or if it is just a thing about “if he is attacking you, he is leaving ME alone and I am not in any danger this minute.”

HUMMINGBIRD, I suggest you start treating him like a potted plant. Just pretend he doesn’t exist. Unless you are REQUIRED to even acknowledge his presence in a room, don’t treat him any different than you would a potted plant on the table—no eye contact and NO CASUAL CONVERSATION OF ANY KIND, NO LISTENING TO HIS MEDICAL PROBLEMS/LIES, OR ANYTHING ELSE.



I have always talked about the “reciprocity principle” which is directly equated to your “law of reciprocity”. I can totally relate to this…my S was VERY generous, I mean excessively so (of course he was embezzling money) and fully expected me to reciprocate by investing with him. After 3 years, when I didn’t, the game was up, and he moved on to a woman who’s family has a lot of money.

It seems like you have insights on everything. I think of you as the “P Expert”, hope you don’t mind that distinction!


I will have to limit our conversation to work only. Since we do have to interact in the office, it would be difficult to not talk forever. The potted plant idea is one I will work on.

I have never been involved before with someone who is so manipulative. A normal person would be unable to use his or her family’s supposed problems to solicit money from another person. Yuck!

From everything I have read, there is no cure for S or P. They don’t respond to medication or therapy favorably. It is a shame that these human beings could be such a lousy reflection of God’s creation. I guess no amout of prayer will ever change their basic makeup. They will continue to plunder and pillage their way through without any remorse for what they have done to others.



Thank you so much for sharing. Yesterday wasn’t a good day. The way I felt mirrored your words and experiences exactly. I feel so sad sometimes because all the love that I shared so freely was for nothing. I want to feel in equal measure all that I gave wholeheartedly. I am haunted at times by all the lies that were told and I somehow believed. I had to take a hard look at why I allowed it and it’s been a rough journey. Today I feel that each day I have the opportunity to be good to myself.

The good part about overcoming all of that drama is that I am no longer so hungry for love when it doesn’t feel right. I had to really look at my contribution to the entire relationship and all that I choose to overlook. I stayed because I wanted to have everything the liar said disguised as promises for better days.

I have begun to transform my life one day at a time. I am worthy of love even if it means I am to spend years just learning how to love myself. My journey has been life changing. I am grateful to wake up without feeling the burden of having the P in my life. However, there are days were I just want the affection that I was showered with which seemed real at the time. Lately, I have had some rough days but overall I am feeling better. I must constantly remind myself that it was all a facade. Some days I can do it well but other days I must allow the tears to flow. It’s been a year since I left the P. It still hurts to know that this incomplete person is off doing just what she did to me and what she does best. With no remorse or conscious for all the pain she causes.

Thanks for pointing out that there are some triggers that bring us back to the horrible places the P’s once occupied in our hearts and minds. I never really thought about such triggers. But in thinking, when I am feeling down and out, it was always a trigger of some sort that got me going. I will now try to be on the “look out” for what my triggers are as I move through my days. Thanks.

Thank goodness for this site, I can come here and express myself with everyone who understands fully the devastation after dealing with P’s.



Yes I feel that I am still in mourning. I still want what was promised to me by the S. I gave freely of my love and it was never, ever lovingly reciprocated at all. I did all that I could until I lost myself completely. It has been a journey realizing what happened and where I went wrong. What I did discover was something very wonderful, that I am resilient, strong, beautiful and able to give and receive love. Just needed to heal some of my own wounds and realize that some of my unrealistic thoughts about love were simply fantasy. I am better today but I too have some bad days where I am transformed back to that place and time when I was being abused.

I stayed at first because I did not understand what i was dealing with. I stayed later because I felt that no one else would do. (couldn’t see that the manipulation and lies disguised as love was all I was getting fromt the S)
I left eventually because I gave so much that I had nothing else to give and I finally wanted more for myself. All of that took 4 years. I have been struggling for 1 year and the struggle is worth it everyday. I only have to worry about me. My focus, my hopes, and dreams are all about me and what I want which is honest and true. I have allowed myself time to heal and see what really matters in my life without a bunch of lies and deceit. Loving me has been the best thing for me.

The days where I feel down because of thoughts of what the S did or what i allowed are the worst. I hate that my feelings are still hurt over the whole ordeal. I just would like to discard it just as she once discarded me.

Today, I found out that there are things that trigger me emotionally and take me out of my normal rational being. I never really understood that until I read some of the blogs here. I appreciate all that is shared in this site.


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