By | November 13, 2009 158 Comments

Your reality is what you see

By Ox Drover

My best friend has been visiting me and, as usual, when we get together we re-share “old stories” of “remember the time when so-and-so did such-and-such and how we laughed?”

One of those stories was a funny one about a small quarrel I had with my late husband. After relating the story, I had one of those “ah ha!” moments that applies to a lot of things in life.

My husband had a partial plate that was almost impossible for the dentist to get seated so that it did not “flop” and my husband used some of that pink goop that you put under a dental plate to keep it glued down. Every evening when he would get ready for bed, he would go into our bathroom, take the plate out, scrape the goop off, clean it, re-goop it, and then replace it into his mouth.

The pink goop, while wet, was the consistency of chewing gum, but when it dried on the sink, it became the consistency of concrete and I had to practically chisel it out to clean the sink. I offhandedly asked him if he would be sure he cleaned it out well before he went to bed and he assured me he would do so. I saw absolutely no improvement when I went to clean the sink the next time and I became irritated.

I asked him again to please make sure he got it ALL when he cleaned the sink and he assured me he would. Again, when I noticed that there was still no improvement, and now quite irritated, I started to nag him about how inconsiderate he was to make me have to chisel this stuff out of the sink, when it would be so simple for him to wipe it out when it was still moist.

He patiently listened to my tirade then said, “Honey, I am trying, but because it is pink, and I am color blind I can’t see it!”

Well, you can only imagine how small and awful I felt. About one inch high! Of course I knew he was partly color blind, so I should have known he couldn’t see it! His “reality” was not the same as “my reality” because we looked at the same sink and saw different things.

Blind to emotion

After thinking about this story in more detail and more depth, I think that the psychopath is maybe not “color” blind, but they are “blind to emotions” that we can see. Because we can see those things so clearly, we try to explain to them what we think is obvious, and “right before your eyes.” However, just as my husband could look at the sink and only see the “clean white” sink, and I could see the pink globs turning to concrete “right before my eyes,” our misunderstanding was because of the “different reality” that each of us saw.

A psychopath, who is unable to comprehend the “emotions” that go with words like “love” and “caring,” might think. “We are having sex, sex feels good, therefore, I love her. But because sex feels good with others as well, I don’t know why she gets so upset when I have sex with someone else. ”

We would think, though, because our “vision” is different, “we are having sex and the sex is good because we love and care about each other. Because we love each other, we will treat each other well. Treating each other well means we will not purposely do things that hurt the other one.”

My irritation with my husband was because I could see the pink blobs plainly, and I assumed that he could see them as well, and thought he was refusing to wipe them out. In fact, he was making an effort to wipe out the sink, but because he could not perceive them, he had no idea when they were gone, and his only “reality” was that the sink looked clean to him.

Family and friends

I also think this same “reality is what you see” can be applied to our friends and family members who “don’t see” what we see in the psychopath. There is a common thread among victims that “my friends don’t understand what I have been through” and “my friends don’t believe me that he is evil.”

Our friends and family members who “don’t get it” don’t see the same “reality” that we see. They are unable to draw the same conclusions that we draw, and therefore it is difficult for them to believe the same things about the psychopath that we believe. We can see things about the psychopath that they can’t see, just as I could see the pink globs and my husband couldn’t. Our realities were not the same. We didn’t see the same thing, even though we looked at the same thing.

Sometimes though we can see clearly the toxicity of the psychopath, our friends may not. They are sometimes “color blind” to the ability of a psychopath to be the way they can be. They are unable to see, to perceive, what we so clearly see as truth. These people cannot validate our vision, and they didn’t even have a way to know that their vision is defective, like my husband did. He knew he was color blind and couldn’t see certain colors, and because he believed I was honest and had good color vision, he took my word for the fact that the pink goop was there. Unfortunately, most of our friends and family are not aware that their vision is “blind” in this sort of situation. Just as the person who is color blind doesn’t know what color looks like, the person who has never personally experienced the true vision of a psychopath, has difficulty seeing this vision, even when it is before their very face.

We aren’t crazy (though sometimes others think we are!) our vision is REAL and our vision is VALID, and so is theirs, as far as they are concerned. I know it frustrated me for people about whom I cared and thought cared about me, could not “see” what I so clearly saw where my egg donor or my psychopathic son were concerned. I now realize these people cannot see what I see, cannot accept what I have finally so painfully accepted. Realizing that these people are blind in this sphere makes it easier for me to accept that they can’t “see” and can’t “get it.” Just as I had to accept that my husband was doing the best he could to clean the pink goop off the sink, but his vision prohibited him seeing it, I have to accept that those people who have a “blind spot” where psychopaths are concerned are doing the best they can with the somewhat “limited” vision that they are capable of. I also realize that my own vision was somewhat “limited” before the “scales fell from my eyes” and I could truly see the psychopaths.

My vision is my reality. The vision of others is their reality. Maybe those things will never be the same, but it doesn’t mean my reality is not valid. It also doesn’t mean that they are purposely doubting me, it just means that their vision is not the same as mine.

Just like the mythical “vampire” doesn’t show up in a mirror, psychopaths, don’t always appear in their true form in the vision of those who behold them. Just like the soiled sink with its pink globs appeared perfectly clean to my husband, with his limited color vision, psychopaths appear “perfectly normal” to those who do not have the sphere of vision capable of “seeing” them for what they truly are.

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This truly resonates with me. I have an ex P who has skillfully manuevered my own family into getting him out of jail for stealing MY debit card to buy drugs. They no longer speak to me at this point because of what he’s told them/done to them. I understand, however, this is their vision, their reality. I can only trust that with time, that will change. This one is good, really good. He went from being a petty criminal to being a victim of MY anger to being the “altar boy” in their eyes. Go figure. I am only happy that I see through it all. One can only pray for these people and hope they are not too badly taken in the end. I know I tried to tell them and was accused of being a liar.
Thank you for writing this.

Ox Drover

Dear Cat,

I had to laugh, although at the time I was NOT laughing, when I was the ONLY ONE in the whole situation who was NOT lying and I was accused of being the liar before they could swallow the lies in their own mouths!

I hope that your family does get out of the FOG, but they may not. That is part of the damage that they do to us is the smear campaign that they paint so eloquently sometimes that it becomes the “reality” because they said it even if it is NOT true, not even close.

It hurts when people we love and thought loved us turn their backs on us because of the P’s lies. Sometimes those people will discard us at the urging of the P, and sometimes we must go NC with them as well as the P.

Learning to VALIDATE our own REALITY is I think one of the most difficult things I have done. And finally realizing that just because THEY don’t see it, doesn’t mean it is not TRUE.

What you see is REAL, Cat. They are emotionally blind. And as frustrating as it is for us, we have to not let that make us hate them, or feel like we are crazy—we just have to keep on plugging away doing what we know is OUR REALITY. (((hugs)))) and God bless


Dear Ox,
Thank YOU for the validation. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one, though I would wish this on no one. I have evidence in black and white on this person and what he has done. I’m the one that was accused of stirring up such a family mess! I told my parents when they accepted that first call from the jail that the manipulation would begin and so it did and now it’s all a mess. I even had to let this person back into MY home, which he doesn’t pay for, due to legal technicalities.
I am laughing, yet NOT laughing now because he has convinced my parents I am in love with him and just can’t see it and that he loves me. He uses our son as an excuse for us to “work it out”. He is angry because I caught on. This is all about revenge. He doesn’t resort to physical abuse. It’s all mental.
My main concern is our 10 yr. old son and I am watching him play with his mind as well.
My only hope is to get both of us out of here and to a place where he knows nothing about. That’s MY reality for today.
God Bless you as well…


Oh, the smear campaigns…I used to wonder why my ex never invited me to Chicago to meet his sister & her husband…then when I finally did meet them at a funeral, I didn’t understand why they completely ignored me.

I later found out the whole time he was telling me how much he loved me, how I was his soul mate, blah blah blah he was telling them I was “disturbed, a gold digger, pathetic, labile…”

He later said they believed he always chose women who needed help & he was just too naive & gullible…geesh. I was wife #4, #2 was a psychiatrist & the breadwinner who funded his PhD. By the time he was finished with her–used her up financially and in every other way, she’d had a nervous breakdown and was working as a candy striper. From a fully functioning MD to a candy striper…he used to tell me this and shake his head, saying “I thought (__) was so normal, but look at her. All she can do is be a volunteer candy striper.”

Wife #1 ended up severely depressed & agoraphobic when he left her. “I thought she was so together, but…”

Wife #3 was a therapist. She was the only one who managed to stay afloat after their relationship ended. Somehow. He left her a bit of a mess though. She was in therapy for a few years.

He told me dozens of times that he somehow always managed to pick narcissists for wives and figured it was because he was such a “giver” they took advantage of him.

Reality? He cleaned out all joint bank accounts and then left every one of them. He justified this by saying, “the marriage was already over in my mind.” The wives didn’t know the marriage was over in “his mind.” He was still living with them and playing husband while searching for a house to buy, another city to live in, having sex with new women (and men).

So, me. #4. I left him but still kept contact for a while. I went back to him once after he swore he’d stop with the control stuff, the porn, the gay stuff, the bad-mouthing me. And of course how much he needed me, loved me, wanted me. Once I returned, he was worse than ever. I eventually got out but spent a few years pretty wrecked, physically and emotionally.

Before the S I had a life I loved. I was happy. The S was icing on the cake. Until he ate the cake, stomped all over me and did his best to destroy what was left of me.

His family, being so far away and not ever knowing me or even talking to me, believed every word he said. The other wives never met his family either, and must have wondered why…it’s kinda obvious he couldn’t let his family meet the wives as they might see for themselves that they weren’t pathetic, wounded narcissists who were unable to survive on their own~~and that he wasn’t being abused and having to cater to them, that he wasn’t really co-dependent, a giver, and helpless to do more for them–because, too late, he realized they were all narcissists. So he told them his reality, assuming he believed all of this and I think he does. He sees himself as the victim, and so does his family.

Oh the irony.

While we were married he adopted a public persona of a giving, kind husband. In private it was completely different.
If I pointed out some bad behaviour he claimed it wasn’t really him, but a sub-personality he called “Sam.” And that he wasn’t responsible for anything “Sam” did. Interesting twist. And sounds as if he was crazy, or had DID. But no, just a way of making me crazy…gaslighting. OK, so YOU didn’t just choke me and call me names…it was Sam? YOU didn’t stay up all night on meth, it was Sam?

Uh, yes, in his mind Sam was a part of himself he had introjected from his father. (remember this guy has a PhD in clinical psychology so had a toolbox full of stuff he could use and somehow make sound reasonable)

Now I can laugh about “Sam” but at the time it was chilling.
And very confusing. The real him was, he claimed, a giving person…(who walks around the house saying out loud, “I’m such a giver” apropos of nothing? In no context, saying it as one might say, “where did I leave my keys?” or “it’s really cold today”…he’d walk around saying “I’m such a giver” like some sort of mantra. Bizarre.)

He equated giving with talking…so would keep me up for hours talking and talking (the meth helped I’m sure) and if I showed signs of sleepiness, he’d yell “you’re such a narcissist” for not being able to stay awake and fully alert while he was “giving.”

Reality. What a disconnect between his reality and mine. And what his family believes and what is true. They have no idea.

Now he’s in Florida looking for a wife…he’ll tell her she is special, unique, like no other woman he’s ever known…and then when he feels he has her (marries her) will destroy her.
I just hope he never finds her…that the red flags will stop anyone from getting involved with him.

He has no conscience. He told me in grad school he had a kitten he was trying to train to stay out of his way, so he’d put his full weight on her (step on her) to “teach” her to move…well, he killed her and threw her in the trash. Kind of a metaphor for what he does to women.


Wow, CAmom, I can so relate to you on some levels and I’m so sorry for what you went through. My ex-husband (the P) and your ex sound the same. He has his PhD too and it’s not a good combination for Ps. The power trip thing makes them more dangerous, IMO. Thanks for sharing.

to innocent to know

Reading the post at LoveFraud, have helped me so much over the last few months, I want to thank you all for your posts

to innocent to know

It took me awhile to see what he was doing to me. I started to see things were not right with him and went on the internet and looked under philandering. We were not married, but he wanted me to move in with him, so I did. We were together for 3 and a half years. He asked me to marry him and I said yes thinking he was the “ONE”. I had just come off a bad 29 year marriage. After 8 months of being engaged, I broke the engagement off off with but we still lived together. In 2 weeks he was meeting another woman, still sleeping with me and keeping her a secret. He allowed me to read his e-mails and I noticed one from this woman. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time but was curious. We made up and still he kept in touch with her. I found out he likes to keep every woman he’s ever been with as friends. Brags about it even to his brother. I just dumped him in July and he was already hitting on his new victim before I broke it off. He is now engaged to her and she has NO IDEA what he is about. He threaten and tried to commit suicide, is addicted to prescription drugs and overdoses, he goes through cycles it seems. Like when he gets to close to someone it triggers it off. I have been reading a lot of books on sociopaths and Borderline Disorder. They fit him like they were written just about him. I kept trying to figure out what was wrong with him, and wondering if I was the crazy one? My kids certainly thought I had lost my mind, I wouldn’t listen to anyone. He lives in his own reality, his own idea of how things are, for one thing I am certain, he does not love anyone, not even himself.

Ox Drover

Dear Too innocent to know,

I’m glad you are here and glad that you are away from HIM. I;’m also glad that LF has helped you, it I think saved my sanity if not my life.

CA mom, a nightmare for sure. Sorry you had to go through so much chit. Maybe you and teh x-wives and X GF can have a convention, I’ll see if you can rent the ASTRODOME! It might hold the crowd! I’m sure if we got 2-3 of us together with our X’s exes it wouldn’t hold the crowd! Maybe we could throw rotten cabbages at them for a “half time show” LOL


To camom and too innocent-WOW, I’m pretty sure our ex’s must keep in touch! I experienced the women(and men), questioned my own sanity, went through depressive episodes, the whole 9 yrds. In the end, as I’ve written to Ox, I am free by seeing the reality of it all. I took off my ex’s glasses and finally put my own on. I think that’s the best way I can describe it. It was such a relief to have my mind back. I think this site is exceptional in that I’ve learned so much here already. I truly like it here!
I’m so sorry that you had to go through all that has happened, but you aren’t alone. Not anymore.

Elizabeth Conley

I just had a lovely chat with a very nice man who is still a member of the same martial arts organization I was part of. He tried to engage me in a conversation about his personal frustrations with the behavior of the organization’s Narcissist, and I declined.

He’s such a nice man. Really and truly. He just doesn’t see it. He doesn’t know why the organization is so unstable. The organization has just been kicked out of its previous facility due to the behavior of the narcissist and his family. Of course, the rank and file within the organization don’t know this.

I can’t be the one to tell him. If I tell him what’s wrong, he’ll think I’m “bad mouthing” the organization’s sainted leadership. I have to smile and nod, and make small talk. He’s such a lovely person. I hate to see him get hurt, as countless other decent people have been. Unfortunately, I can’t make him see what’s right under his nose. He’s got to see it for himself.


Wow Oxy,

This is a wonderful post. I just ate it up. I really appreciate how you made the link between something so ordinary (a little spat/misperception between healthy partners) and the subject of truly understanding Pism. This, for me, makes it so much more real and helps me to ‘hold onto’ the learning. Thank-you!

Hello to the newcomers (CA, Cat, and Too innocent). This is a wonderful healing place. As always I am so bummed to hear about the exploits of these nutbags. But I am glad you have found your way to this site. It really is the best site I have found for support, real education, and rational thought. Welcome

Elizabeth: I so get this. I have had to keep my mouth shut a few times. And, I think it is a good way to go, unless you KNOW, for sure, that the other person is already getting it, and really wants more awareness. I hope this nice man doesn’t get ‘bit’ by this N vampire.

Ox Drover

Dear slimone, glad you liked it.


Good article Oxy I think ? – Colorblindness is a disability in a way. So you forgave your husband and understood his way of seeing things. So the P’s live in their reality, their disability? We have to accept they are flawed? Dont hold them responsible? This just sum’s it up – it’s unfair – I would rather do the tango with somethin real..there’s no justice..can’t get even…talking to them is a total waste of time… it’s like talking to a parrot – frustrating isnt the word I am looking for here…..


welcome Cat – Those glasses you put back on? That was your identity. They take your indentity and make it their own and you feel lost. Glad you put your identity back on – he will go find another one.


Great Post Donna – thankyou – I love when you get those lightbulb moments and can see a theme emerge that you can link to other situations to delineate understanding. Thankyou for sharing that very clear one with us.

Welcome to the new people. This is a marvellous place for reading and getting and giving support + healing in short . As you can see the writers here are highly educated, rational, intelligent and empathic women and men who don’t just depend on research but share insights from their own experience to help those of us “Newly diagnosed (? Those of us who are only recently learning about psychopathy / personality disorders) understand our own experience. You can do reading and research on your own but you will got more from reading regularly here. As the blog has several posters you can read updated posting frequently.

Sorry to all of you for what you have gone through. It’s not fair. It sucks. Just try to feel a little happy though that YOU are the NORMAL one – it hurts because YOU HAVE NORMAL EMOTIONS. The person in your life hurting you doesn’t and will never have them. That is some small consolation to me in tough times!

CA Mom – woah – what a story! Destroyed FOUR women and two of them mental health professionals. Oh my goodness. It terrifies me to consider the power and credit it will give them to have Phd – that is scary but of course mental health tests are not required to get one. Wow

JillSmith you are spot on – that is too much power – imagine the delight they might have one day in torturing a graduate research student over several years! Eeek!

Cat ——– just unbelievable – that must hurt so much your family taking his side. My grandma took the side of a highly dysfunctional bfriend many years ago and I cut her out of my life for over a decade for it. We are on thin ice these days – I couldn’t believe she would take the side of someone she had met once over her own flesh and blood. UNbelievable – he was a total ratbag too. Not a patch on your situation of course but family betrayal has a different flavour to most varieties.

Oxy – you are awesome – you give consistent warm and loving welcomes to people who badly need it. I was reading through the archives the other day and saw your name as well as Slimone and Elizabeth Conley welcoming newcomers and caring for people’s situation. Just wanted to give a shout out to you all for doing that. There’s a long history stretching back – people who come to this site are pretty battered and bruised – your tender care matters 🙂


Oooops sorry = Great post OXY!!! Sorry sorry sorry – I have just read four archived ones from Donna – that is why I think I typed it. Sorry again!

Twice Betrayed

CAmom: Yeah, the hard part is realizing and coming to terms with the fact they are out to destroy us. They have a different face for everyone they meet. They love to add people to their ‘charm bracelets’. Their collectables are people.

Twice Betrayed

Oh yeah, BTW….my first PX has now been married five times[is alone now…#5 walked] and my second [and last] PX has been married four times now. I was #3 for him. These people love to ‘marry’ and it means nothing to them. Always looking for the next con.


I looked at my X’s address book one time and by some of the names there was a $ sign. Males and females – his family members didnt have a $ sign. I was never added to his little black book..



Hello, dear one. Fabulous post. Absolutely right on the mark. They are blind to emotions. I suppose one could say that the vision of emotion is empathy and/or compassion; to feel what another feels. They are handicapped this way.

Even so…their handicap is not the kind you run to offer assistance. In fact, it’s more like…”Do not stand in the path of a man beating himself up.”


Hello to all & thank you for the welcome~~

Donna: Yes, he was a practicing clinical psychologist and taught psych at the university. He’s retired & I don’t think he sees clients any more. I hope not.

Pollyannanomore: The knowledge he acquired to get his degree in psych was used to manipulate and he was excellent at it. I had psych 1 in college long before I met him and had no idea what was happening to me. He was both a Psychologist and a Professor so I gave him total credit–if he said x was normal, I believed x was indeed normal.

Jill: Those damn PhDs! Gotta remind myself that while it takes a lot of work to get one, it doesn’t make anyone omnipotent. I dropped out of college my jr. year~so a PhD was like, wow…and in Psych! He could quote Freud in his sleep, if he ever slept that is. (hard to do when you’re strung out on meth!)

Ox: I’ve thought of forming a “Dr. (__)’s survivor’s group.” Only 2 of us are on the same coast; the 1st 2 are on the east coast, the last 2 on the west. But I would love to hear their stories & think we could help each other, along with sticking pins in little voodoo dolls…; )

Twice: Yes! “charm bracelets” is a great way to put it. And I so relate to marriage meaning nothing to them…he said his first 3 meant nothing, really, as divorce was always an option. That he always “hoped” the marriage would “take.” Of course he said I was different…ha! He’s looking for #5 now.

And it is very hard to realize there are people who are out to destroy us. I think for him (and my sister–also a S) it’s fun.

Both my ex and my sister have a low tolerance for boredom and I think at times just do stuff to watch how others react. I felt like a specimen under a microscope if that makes sense? Like, let’s see what happens if we poke her here, or pour some stain on her here…

my sister caused a huge international drama just because she could…it was all b.s. but put her back in the spotlight. The ex would call me sobbing (after I moved out) and then hang up. I’d call back–no answer or busy…and I’d drive to his house, scared. He’d be fine, drinking coffee on the terrace with a (fake) perplexed look on his face. After the 2nd time I never reacted. But he knew I *would* drive over in a panic as my dad had been suicidal when I was 21 & call sobbing & I would drive over to his house and find him drunk and holding a loaded pistol. I had told my ex that story & how traumatizing it was, so he just repeated it. How easy for him…

In the horse world the saying is, “whoever moves their feet first loses.” I have a horse & try and make sure *she* moves her feet (hooves) first. It’s about power struggles & horses can test us by crowding our space. In the ex’s case, and my sister’s, they like to make us move first, pull the strings and watch the reaction. Sorta like entertainment I guess.

Cat: I love the putting on your own glasses analogy…yes.
I really wish I had found this wonderful group when I was living through the nightmare but am so grateful you are here. And sorry you are here as well.

to innocent to know

Reading all your posts helps so much, so much of it I have gone through also. Some things not as bad as some of yurs, but still the same concept. I never really saw the violent side of him, I guess he got smarter as he got older. He sure does the manipulation and controlling thing though. It’s like one day my rose colored glasses fell off and I saw the real him. I found a book “Boomerang Love” by Lynn Melville, it has helped me soooo much, every time I find myself slipping back, I pull it out and remind myself what he is all about. You are all right, the hardest part was accepting that he really didn’t love me and that I wasted 3 1/2 years on someone like him. My kids keep saying, they tried to tell me. lol 2 years ago when I first started feeling like there was something really wrong with him, and I began my search for the name of my pain, once you know how and what your dealing with and you finally realize it’s not going to change, ever, you can begin to move on. It still hurts like nothing I’ve ever been through before, but I’m healing. I now know I have not been alone in going through this. I have also read” The Sociopath Next Door” Great book!!!! I’ve only ever been in the 2 relationship, my ex-husband, who by the way also got hit with lightening (made him a real looney) and my ex BF. Between them I have learned a lot about Mental Illness. You guys are a great support group!!! I’ve been reading your posts for over a year now, I don’t know why I didn’t join in before. Denial I guess, lol

to innocent to know

your right CA, it is sad that anyone has to be here, but it’s so nice to know we are not alone!

to innocent to know

anymore that is, lol


Lovefraud-I am struggling right now. What is wrong with me? I called my ex late last night/early morning trying to see if he would come over. I think it was God’s way for him not to come. If he would have come I think I would be sitting here even more depressed.

Why did I call him? I am disturbed…lol. All of the things he has done to me. Why would I still want to be around him? He has hurt me ever since I met him in 2003. I am finally divorced from him. He hasn’t come to see his child in 4 weeks but I called him to come and see me.

I don’t know what to do. I have a problem. He is toxic, evil, etc. What does that say about me? I have to move on with my life. I haven’t slept with him since Feb. 2009 even though there has been numerous opportunities. It is so hard. I am scared to date again so I have not been with anyone but him for 6 years.

Any advice or wise words would be so helpful.

Ox Drover

Henry, darlilng, you missed the point, NO, I DO hold the Ps RESPONSIBLE for their “disabiility,” it is the peopole who know them but don’t know what they are that I try not to hold responsible because THEY are the blilnd ones. They are blind to what the P is and therefore they have trouble validating our point of view. They can’t SEE for example that my egg donor is not the pious little old lady she pretends to be any more than my husband could see the pinik goop.

I could stand there and scream “there it is, can’t you see it stupid?” till hell froze over and he still could not have seen it. It is the same way with the people the P has fooled, no matter how much you tell them what the P has done, what the P IS, they look and CANNOT SEE IT.

Jesus said “they have ears to hear and cannot hear, eyes and cannot see” (paraphrased) and I think it is the same. The DUPEs are BLIND and the Ps REFUSE to see, but the MOTIVE is different.

My husband was TRYING to see, but couldn’t. The Ps REFUSE TO SEE and the DUPEs are also BLIND so just different motives.

We get frustrated at our friends and other people who can’t see how bad the P is, but I think they TRY to see but are just BLIND because of the P’s lies.

I know I have been blind to other;’s warnings and deaf too for that matter when other folks warned me about some of my P relationships until I finally got my senses back and then realized the warning was RIGHT!

Maybe the P s have some magical power that renders us deaf and blind around them for a while—I think that is in the love bomb stage. LOL

Ox Drover

Dear Nic,

I think we were posting over each other. Sweetie, you are feeling the normal phase of wanting him back. you KNOW the truth, he is TOXIC but now that the divorce is over you are starting to question yourself again and to feel lonely.

I’m glad he is losing interest in your child. My gosh I remember how he used to use your baby as a weapon to slap you with.

I am glad he did not come, but NC is the only way to stay on that road to healing, and I know you know that. I am NOT going to boink you for calling him, because you are beating yourself up enough for that, but I do want you to stop beating yourself up over this and just tell yourself that you slipped, just like an alcholic falls off the wagon and has a drink sometimes, but you, just like them, have to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and say, I made a slip yesterday, but today is a better day.

I know your story and I know what a creepy jerk your X is and I am really GLAD he is losing interest in your child. He was only using your child lto hurt you and doesn’t care about the baby. That final acceptance stage where you are getting to the point that you can EMOTIONALLY accept all of this is coming closser and closer, so this is a good thing.

I remember when I had my hysterectomy done, I did NOT want more children at that time, but afterwards when I no longer had a choice, I would CRY when I saw a preg woman on the street. If that makes any sense. I actually grieved over the loss of the possibility I might want kids later and then had no choice.

So this final step I think is a good place for you to be. It is painful, but it will pass. Honey, you are FREE of him.

Don’t worry about not wanting to date, you need some time to YOURSELF to get further along with your healing before you even think about dating. IN a vulnerable state right now, it would be easier for another P to target you, get your feet firmly back under you, your emotions stable and then you find a REALLY NICE man, a responsible, caring man, not a “mr. Bad boy” to love you and your baby! (((hugs))))


go easy on yourself. you’re still under his evil spell, is all.
it’s not easy to get them out from under your skin, that’s for sure! they stick in there like an oil spill to rocks. you have to clean every nook and cranny.
perhaps you aren’t really in touch with your anger over how he treated you. you’re thinking of good times, of what may have been, of what he pretended to be. getting over the s/p/n in my life was about realizing how incredibly sick he is; not just evil, but truly mentally sick … demonic … manipulative to the core. while there are STILL times when i wish he was here with me, curled up on the bed watching TV, or being intimate, or laughing over an inside joke at the dinner table, i have to remember that it was ALL a lie. the jokes, sex, mellow moments were just more manipulation to make me believe: 1) that he was normal 2) that he loved me 3) that i could count on him to be there for me. Lie, Lie. Lie.
if they loved us, they wouldn’t treat us so horribly. if they were normal, they wouldn’t do such outrageously agregious things. if they could be counted on — for ANYTHING — we wouldn’t have felt like we were walking on egg shells waiting for the next shoe to drop!
it helps to get to the abject hatred phase! when i think of him now, it’s 90% rage. i despise him, loathe him. slimy cretan that he is. i’m lonely and sad, but that’s far better than letting him have one more moment of the love and warmth i have to give.
you called him because you still believe, on some level, that he is what he pretended to be. it takes a while to realize that — yes, he was that good a fake.
perhaps your child is better off without him, as you are. as for dating, it will feel right for you at some point. maybe you could become closer to your own Self. heal and breathe and find joy in little things and the peace that comes with being without a s/p/n.
the bad man in my life was the only one i was with for the past 16 years. i’m not dating either. don’t know if i ever will again. just taking it day by day, figuring out why on earth i fell for those obvious lies for so many years.
be good to yourself. and your baby. ((((NIC))))


If a Blind person has more tuned sences of smell , hearing , touch , taste . Does it not follow that a persons development however nature or nurture , with the handicap of no concience , no worth! percieved. That these peoples brain adapts to survival instinct! They seem to have a 7th sence to read others more acutely and use it against us! Does that make sence? I also think that this can be learned by us , it is just not a necessarly dominant way to deal with life for those who have a normal concience!

kim frederick

Easy, that’s a very interesting analogy. Food for thought.


Ox, thanks for not boinking It feels good to hear this from you again. I feel that I keep posting the same stuff and that everyone is tired of reading it. I know I do so well when there is nc. We were in nc for 4 weeks and it was great. I hate to admit but I am glad he is losing interest also. That made perfect sense about crying when you would see a pregnant woman.

lostin grief, yes I am under his evil spell. When I think of all of the things he has done I am enraged but then I just forget about it. Hopefully I can get to that 90% and then 100%.

I try to tell myself that he doesn’t deserve my love, time, or energy and that he should be grateful to be in my presence. That doesn’t always work for me though. Thanks again. I feel much better.


There’s so much truth in this article.
And, when you try to point out what you see verses what someone else may be seeing, you often get persecuted.
It’s “kill the messenger” time.

My brother did it to me so many times over the last 5 years when I would point things out about his wife. He would literally blow up.
He doesn’t do it anymore, though.
We are actually closer than ever, and that gives me HOPE in spite of the current situation.
Because we all know how psychopaths love to split their victims off from their family and friends.
But, I guess those angry episodes from him (and the smear campaign from the ex-BF) toughened me up a bit, and I have a thicker skin than I realized.
I don’t see that as a bad thing, either.
You are going to need a thick skin to get through this life.

I think the greater the EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT one has in the psychopath, the more BLIND they will be.

Psychopaths are counting on this.
I believe they are most dangerous when they are able to make emotional inroads, and gain some “credibility” within a group of people.


nic: for months i visualized his ‘hold’ over me as oil on a beach, and i visualized every cell of my body being washed clean. over time, it really did work.
sometimes i wish he would call me up and say that i was the only one, he should have never hurt me, we should be together forever, but i know that will never happen. while he is out from under my skin, my heart still ‘wishes’ for what i thought we had for soooo many years. to think it was all a lie hurts so deeply.
he leaves a trail of destruction in every life he touches, and i saw that for years, but never believed he would do it to me.
no one is special in their lives. just means to some end.
nic, you’re right, he doesn’t deserve your love, time or energy. he deserves to be left to his own evil devices … which will all catch up with him in the end. just make sure you’re not around when it does, because he’ll most likely latch on to whomever is closest and can pick up the wretched pieces of his sick life. don’t let it be you, my dear.

Ox Drover

Dear Nic,

Yep, honey, it will take while to get the poison out of your system, and I know you can do it! I KNOW that! Keep in mind, you are like an addict, knowing that coke is bad for you, but rememberring the “highs” and it is in a way an ADDICTION.

But you can start, one step at a time to build a LIFE for you and your baby, FREE OF DRAMA….he may come around every once in a while to pull your chain, using seeing the baby as an excuse, especially when he is “between” relationships or feels down, but you know that song and dance and you know the music that preceeds it, so don’t get involved.

Make a good life—now is a perfect time to sit down and think about what YOU want in life—what you want to DO—don’t include anyone else except your baby in that vision (YET) just think—I can do anything I want to now, and weat is it? Start a college class? Learn yoga? Whatever it is—it is for YOU. and you are free to make your own decisions, do your own thing and create a NEW and wonderful YOU! FREE OF THE P! (((hugs))))


Dearest Oxy, I meant to come on before and thank you for all your help and loving support. Its now almost a year,{8th dec.,08.} since I last saw my daughter,and almost 5 months since I last spoke to her on the phone. As much as I know you and everyone else is right,re NC,Im still finding it bloody hard. Like you said, once one layer of the onion comes off, another,WORSE one is exposed,{in my case, a lot of anger, at myself mainly,}and terrible flashbacks of th e gaslighting, the lies, the fraud, the violence. I know Ill never get an apology from her, so Ill never have any closure. Im really no further on in undestanding how creatures like her can live with themselves. Maybe if I could believe shes just like a blind person, and really cant see what terrible things shes done, it would maybe make it easier for me to accept it, feel sorry for her that shes so disabled. But if I fall into the trap of feeling sorry for her,{again!} I know the next step will be for me to ring he up to see how shes doing. Then another sob story from her, more money being funnelled out of my bank account, and shes top dog and in control again.Even when I saw her school counsellor,in 1981, when she went from straight t As in every subject to failing most of them,{she deliberately ‘downed tools” to get to be a punk} , the counseller said to me,”When she falls on her face, guess whose face gets bruised? Yours.”And for 30 years, Ive been giving and giving, like a mug, getting nothing back{not money but any kind of love and niceness} I know now that Tough Love is the only thing that may save her.To pull the rug from under her, stop being a safety mattress between her and her rock bottom. When she eventually runs out of people, so called “friends” to suckerpunch, when her looks start to fade,when she gets sick, runs out of luck, jobs, good men,etc, then is when its a ll going to go pear shaped.Im 70 now and in reasonable health, I am blessed with a good man, and my loving adult “kids” from Iran. I have a lovely home, a nice life.
And yet, I still yearn fora normal loving relationship with my daughters,-AINT GONNA HAPPEN! The other daughter is worse,if anything. How completely ruthless do you have to be to completely cut your own Mother out of your life,for 17 years, and not let her see her kids? I dont think Ill ever get over this. I know people get over concentration camps, where they lost their entire families, and go on to build new lives. Honestly I feel like this. The pain never really goes away, but it turns into a dull ache. If I could STOP caring,and reach the “Nirvana of indifference,” that would be a good thing. But Im still suffering, every day. Ive long ago forgiven my ex, but these girls,-not girls any more but hard, scheming, lying, callous, cold, consciense less,bitches.Hopefully one day Ill get to a place when I can look back on my wee girls with pleasure, and let go of these horrible people. But Im not there yet, and it still hurts every day of my life.Thanks Oxy, you are my Oxygen!
I havehope that one day Ill get to where you are now., and the pain wont be as bad. Actually the pain gets worse, as the layers come off, and I really SEE what CRAP Ive allowed in my life, and how Ive allowed them to treat me this way . I guess I have to forgive myself, for “when you know better, you do better.” Thats so true. NO MORE!!!I should feel sorry for these heartless b–tchs ,at least Im human and real , I have a consciense, I have remorse, I have empathy,-they have NONE.But survival is kicking in now, I want to survive and have a good life with my loving husband. he doesnt deserve any more of this,he doesnt want any more to do with my daughters, he also has suffered at their hands,but his worst pain is seeing MY pain and being helpless to help me. He is GLAD Ive found this wonderful community of survives on LF, and often asks about Oxy. he enjoys hearing your pithy stories and reat metaphors, and humour!Ill sign of now, and thanks again Oxy for your loving words and good counsel. {{HUGS}} Gem.XX

to innocent to know

Well said lost

Ox Drover

Dear Gem,

The thing that keeps standing out to me in your posts is your “I can’t get over” and other SELF DEFEATING WORDS—-

You can’t change them, but you CAN change yourself. Your SELF TALK…

I know this may sound silling, but sit down and CHANT to yourself “I WILL and CAN get over this.” Or some other phrase that you make up that is POSITIVE SELF TALK.

You are DWELLING on the negative and we MUST DWELL ON THE POSITIVE.

Did you count your BLESSINGS as I suggested?

I know all these things sound so “silly” and “how could that help?” but they DO HELP!

I don’t know if you remember the children’s book “The little train that could”? It was a cute children’s book about trying hard and saying I CAN, and the little train pulled th eheavy load up the mountaion chanting “I think I can, I think I can, I can!”

We must tell ourselves that this is not the end of our lives.

You are not that much older than me, I will be 63 in less than a month. I’m also in reasonably good health, but I know one thing I have MUCH less endurance and strength than I did before all this crap which started with my husband’s death 5 and a half years ago. Before the two bouts with tick fever, and the months of inactivity and crying 24/7 and feeling unsafe. Feeling devalued.

Gem, I think it hurt as much or worse than my P-son when I realized my egg donor preferred HIM to my son C and me, and my adopted son isn’t even part of the “family” where she was concerned, but the TROJAN HORSE P j(no blood relationship) was a golden member of the family. LOL

Even now when we are NC with her, she still prefers to write the P and send him money rather than have living family members because she can’t control us. She must be in CONTROL, and she can BUY his cooperation and whatever she wants to hear from my P-son with money and C and I will not let her buy our “love” with money.

I know for a fact that giving them money, bailing them out, giving them presents doesn’t get you anything with a P. As you know too.

And dear Gem, you must and I mean MUST stop beating yourself about the head for being so stupid—you were not stupid, you were “in love” with your daughter and you wanted to do good for her, and you kept up the TOXIC hope just like I did. THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE STUPID. OK? Got that?

Look at all the other SMART women here that have been rooky-doo’d by people they loved….I can’t find a single dumb member of this blog. So we are both, we are all, smart people who have fallen for a con by a psychopath or two. so what, we are smart enough to STOP beating up ourselves and to forgive ourselves and to MAKE GOOD LIVES FOR OURSELVES. Now you sit right down and count your blessing my sweet Gem, or I WILL get the SKILLET out for you! LOL ((((Hugs)))) and my prayers sweetie!


(((Ox)) and ((((lost)))


Yes, Henry, that’s exactly what I did. It’s difficult at times, as he is going MORE insane over this. I won’t give up ME, however. I don’t care how much poison he spreads or what he does. He’s lost control and I can see that very shortly, he will find someone else. I’m on to his games.
Someone mentioned bailing them out, paying, etc. These are some of the things I no longer due and refuse to do. Each action we take that makes a statement about our person freedom from someone like this is a HUGE step. I know I have many more to take. I am just so grateful I found this site and I am reading everything I can and soaking it up.
Gem…I have found the more anger I carry towards my ex P., the more personal power I give him. It’s hard work, but I refuse to give that to anyone. I do swing back and forth on this one yet, so I understand completely. BUT, personal power is sacred and we need to use it wisely.


So much wisdom here, I know what happened, how and why. But today I am digging up more trigger’s, even after so long a time of not seeing him the things I planted outside when he was here are reminders, like red flag bushes blowing in the wind.. He was like my shadow at first, followed me around and helped me do this, plant that. Of course that soon changed and I spent most of my time outdoors wishing he would get off the puter and come out and enjoy the day with me. Well back outside digging up and discarding memories. I just feel really worthless today, like nobody would really love me for real.


Everytime I go to the mailbox I still look for a card, a letter a note anything to make it real. I am so tired of pretending I dont love him. I hope I dont take this regret to my grave, that would be so fucked up.


It is a long road. I’m sorry your feeling triggered by all of the beautiful things in your garden. Allow the flowers to drop the blooms and spring to renew a ‘new’ garden……in your mind, heart and soul.
As unfortunate as my story turned out…..him not being the healthy father I wanted for my children…..not having ‘closure’ of sorts…..Looking back, I am really glad I followed through with the TPO’s, it has allowed us to keep a distance from the constant emotional barage of crap he would have, no doubt, continued with……so that is one thing…..I know when I get my mail…..there will be nothing from him in the box.
Yes….there are attempts at ‘break ins’, sending proxy’s our way, ‘rumors’ and other harassments……BUT…..There is never anything in our mailbox……for now!
I hope you can find some peace today henry….and allow the winds in your garden to take some of the discontent your feeling!

Twice Betrayed

CAmom: Girl you are so right! You are a horse owner! *high five… am I. Yes, it’s how horses establish herd rights. They move by physical crowding. I would agree that these P’s are very animalistic in their power plays. They also yield as horses do to dominate pressure. Guess I should have carried/used a crop on him. Bwaaaahahahahaha!!!! [don’t think I didn’t think about it..;)]
They do love to push those buttons and then watch the reactions….and suck the power off them… can almost see them ‘inhale the power’.


I have a GF who swears by a statement.
When she see’s, or is in the company of a S or another odd behaving person that makes her hair stand up, she makes a comment about them,
“Their swirl is not centered”.
Referring to the swirl on the top of a horses head, between their eyes…..
She relates it to something about the off centered swirl and a horses behaviors….
Anyone horse peeps here heard this?


Thank you pollyannanomore, for your words. It DOES hurt at times, but I must remember their reality is based on what he has shown them in terms of behavior, so-called emotions and attitudes. That’s THEIR reality. I am fully prepared to not speak to these people again and while it hurts, there is peace in knowing I have my own reality back, as henry has said.
henry, i’m sorry you hurt today. We all have those times. I didn’t even KNOW I was grieving until I looked it full in the face and realized the person I though my ex P to be had never existed and was in fact just another illusion he thought up at the time. It takes a long time. Be strong in letting yourself feel what you feel and letting it just pass through you. You’ll come out on the other side. I promise! I like how ErinBrock said it.
I am trying to remember how I made it through without this site and already, the answer eludes me.


Hanry: You wrote: I’m so tired of pretending I don’t love him.

I think of it this way. I did love Dr. Jekyll, but that was before I met Mr. Hyde.

From the beginning, if he had said, “Hey, let’s try a relationship. I’ll pretend to love you, maybe even convince myself of it for awhile…But the truth is, I’m incapable of love, except that I DO love power. And so little by little I will gain power over you, you will be hopelessly in love with me, and then I will jerk the rug out from under you, and watch you fall, over and over and over, because that is what I do to people. so what do you say, want to give it a try?!”…..would you have said, hey, that sounds just like what I’m looking for! ????

Of course not, you had no idea that Mr. Hyde is who he REALLY is, and Dr. Jekyll is just a mask.

Yes you were in love, still are in love with the illusion, but as time goes on, more and more No Contact, your heart will heal, just as surely as if he had died during the good times. Hearts do heal.


Sorry, I meant HEnry. And I hope I don’t have Hyde and Jekyll switched! 🙂 Dyslexia knows no bounds.


Henry, I can so relateto your post. I’m sorry that you feel bad today. I blame my P-parents for my own sense of not being loved for just being me – I know you have your own history, too. I wish I had the words to make it all better for you.

Thank God you have your kids, I think that they really do love you for just who you are. For myself, without kids, I can only hope that there are good people out there somewhere because I haven’t met too many of them. I think they’re busy leading normal lives….


thanx everybody – sometimes saturdays are tuff – i will be ok..

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