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By December 13, 2006 8 Comments Read More →

I grieve for myself and let the psychopath go

When someone dies, we grieve. The process is well-documented, the steps clearly defined though seldom straight-forward. We each journey through the process at our own speed, in our own time. But, regardless of our pace, we must go through each step to come to that place where we can be at peace with only the memories of the one we loved to warm our hearts, as we learn to accept that they have gone forever as we move on.

We start with disbelief. It cannot be true. They cannot be gone. We are in denial. And then we move into anger. How could they have left us! Why me? Why them? Why now? Why? Why? Why? Anger gives way to bargaining, trying to find some way to reach peace with the inevitable truth that is edging away at the darkness, trying to bring light to the endless night we seem to have slipped into with their passing. We’re angry they left us, angry they won’t come back. And angry there is nothing that can bring them back — though we keep searching for a way to make the pain of their going, go away. Until, finally, sadness invades our minds like fog drifting upon a river in the grey on grey world of a winter’s dawn as we wade through the pain of the truth seeping into our hearts with chilling clarity. We will never see or feel or hear them again.

As the truth settles in we learn to accept. They are not coming back. Sad, but true. But we have our memories. Those beautiful, jewel encased visions of who this person was and what they meant to our lives. And so we slip from the waters of despair into the memory banks and photo albums of their loving faces frozen in time, etching their images upon the page with our fingers lovingly caressing their smiles as we point and laugh and tell stories about them. Remembering when. Remembering how. Remembering them. We hold their memory lovingly in our hearts and feel the breath of life return once again to our peace of mind. Knowing that whenever we need to, to have them near all we have to do is open a photo album, slip into our hearts and there they’ll be, forever and a day. And so we grieve as their memory turns into a poem of love we will cherish forevermore.

There is no poetry when grieving a psychopath

When grieving a love gone wrong, especially when after having loved a psychopath, there is no place where it is safe to trace their image upon the pages of our mind as we carefully gather mementos in the book of love we are writing in their passing. For, no matter where we roam, the lies, the deceit, the cruelty and desperation we felt in loving them tinges our minds with the ashen silt descending from the volcano that erupted in their passing through our lives. Where once love blossomed on every branch and flower strewn vistas of happily-ever-after cast a sweet heady aroma of bliss upon our minds, burnt out memories lie etched in stark relief upon the black and grey landscape of our dreams. We are not safe to grieve wrapped in the memories of their love and so must find a way to release the tears without falling into the river of despair as anger and hatred and revulsion invade.

And so we grieve

In anger we turn the pain of having loved a phantom onto ourselves. We search for answers to their duplicity in our own naiveté. We blame ourselves, we find solace in trying to keep alive the image of what we wanted so desperately for him or her to be. We attach ourselves to the belief we love him as reality rises with our racing hearts pounding out the truth in a mind-numbing tattoo. He is the lie. Until finally, like Vesuvius erupting, the anger boils over the top and we are free to vent our tears and pain and fears and anger.

We were betrayed. Not because of anything we did. Not because of who we were, or how we looked or behaved, but simply because the psychopath was who he or she was. We were betrayed not because we deserved it, but simply because we lost track of what we truly deserve when he betrayed our truth, our faith, our hope in love. We were betrayed because he chose to betray us and we were not expecting betrayal. We were expecting the love we gave in such breathless wonder to be returned with equal honesty. We were expecting to be cherished as we cherished him. But we didn’t know that upon that first sweet hello, we were targeted for betrayal. And betrayal is hard to grieve.

I grieve for the woman who was abused

When the psychopath was arrested and I was set free, I wanted to mourn the relationship that was too good to be true. I wanted to grieve the man with whom I’d fallen in love. But he did not exist.

How could I mourn a dream? How could I grieve a figment of my imagination? Where was the substance to the chimera of his being in my life?

When first I was set free, I tried to mourn the man I thought he was and have ended up grieving for the woman who was betrayed. Me.

I grieve for the woman who believed in Prince Charming and awoke to her worst nightmare raging in the night. I grieve for the woman who believed no one could willingly, knowingly, consciously create such evil and who had to awaken to the truth. Someone could and that someone was once a man I loved. A man who was untrue.

I grieve the woman whose hungry heart led her into his unholy arms. I grieve the woman who had to give up on believing in herself in order to keep believing in him. And I grieve the woman who almost lost her life because she could not believe she deserved to live. I grieve that woman who was me who was so wounded, battered and bruised upon the road of life she thought she had no choice but to follow her magical thinking into the nightmare of his lies. She was betrayed and lost her way.

I grieve the past. I grieve the woman-child who believed she deserved to be abused.

In my prayers, I let him go

I do not grieve for him.

I pray for him. I pray for him a miracle, for only a miracle will set him free. And in my prayers, I let him go.

And focus on me.

When first I stumbled off that road to hell I could not feel my heart within me, could not feel the warmth of the sun upon my face. I could not feel. In grieving, I have shifted my focus from memories of him to memories of me. My life, my joy, my sorrow, my pain, my elation. In grieving, I mourn what happened to me and rejoice in the wonder, the beauty, the joy of being alive today. In living, I create my poem of love that says, this is my one and only life. And I am the one and only me that I can be.

Becoming all that I am meant to be

In letting go of him, I catch hold of me and wrap myself up in my loving arms. For I am the wondrous, incredible, miraculous being who has been given this gift of her life to live it in freedom. In freedom, I know that whatever lies I believed, from childhood through to this moment, there is only one lie that could hurt me now – to believe that I am not worthy of love.

He was my worst nightmare. But in his passing, I have been given the gift of truth that has saved my life – I am an awesome human being, worthy of love.

In love with me and my life, I accept all of me. Beauty and the beast. Joy and sorrow. Tears and laughter. Pain and ecstasy. Perfectly human in all my imperfections.

I am not less than, greater than, other than. I am me. And as me, I have the gift of embracing all that I am meant to be when I accept, without equivocation, my truth. I deserve to live my beautiful life without fear of being anyone other than who I am meant to be.


Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

8 Comments on "I grieve for myself and let the psychopath go"

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  1. will be okay says:

    WOW, Thank you for writing this. I am a widow, I lost my husband 7 years ago, he left me with two beautiful kids to raise on my own. We were together for 13 1/2 years, right out of high school. He was a good man, who loved me and the kids more than anything. That love I had known, that was so strong, and my lonliness… Made me the perfect victim for a sociopath. Grieving my late husband was so much easier than what I’m going through now. The anger was limited. I was angry at God, and I was angry at the circumstance, but you cannot hold on to that anger for long. I was also surrounded by friends and two families, mine and his, who would be there for me and the kids. To heal I focused on the kids. My thought was, I have to make sure they have as normal a life as possible. In light of the fact that, the most awful thing possible, had just happened to them. Our life since then has been good, and full of love, we are blessed with wonderful extended families. I dated, but there was no-one serious, until this seemingly perfect man came into my life. We were together for a year and a half. I belived the things he told me, I trusted him. It never once occured to me to ‘double check’ any of his claims, or stories. I now know he is a pathological liar, and nearly everything he told me was a lie. Once I caught him cheating, he changed, to say Jeckell/Hyde is an understatement. Then I began to check his stories, the more I discovered, the more pain I felt. The anger is unbelievable!! How could he have played me like that? How could I have been so stupid? I am also hurt because my daughter got hurt as well. She had lost her father when she was 3, this is the first man I was sure of enough to bring into her life, she loved him, too. In my head, I know how lucky we are to have him out of our lives. I know it could have been ALOT worse, I could have married him, he could have hurt my daughter much worse than just breaking her heart. BUT there is still so much anger. The families who were there for me when my hasband died, cannot help me with this, they don’t understand. My sociopathic ex, lied to the police about me. he lied to our supervisors, I ended up getting fired, and then lied 5 times in an addendum to get a PPO against ME!! People don’t understand how someone could do the things he did, so no-one really knows how to help me through this, and frankly they don’t wan’t to hear about it. Because of losing my job, I also lost my insurance, so I’m dealing with this on my own, as I cannot afford the mental health help that I need. I can attest, this is much, much harder that losing someone to death.



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  2. Leentje says:

    Wow,” will be okay”, I feel your pain, I really know what you are going through and how alone and alienated you must feel. You are so right about nobody understanding what you are going through or even wanting to continue listening. That is what makes the psychopath so strong: the deception and the appearance of his/her normalcy. This is what makes us so vulnerable, as people start to think that it is maybe us who are not 100% up to par. No one believes that the psychopaths would do the things we claim they do and everybody asks the question “why”. And quite frankly there is no answer to the “why”; they do what they do because of who they are.

    The only advice I can give is to weapon yourself with knowledge. Read, read, read a lot of scientific books and testimonials of people going through the same experience. Knowledge is resilience. In addition, do not let him back into your life: not through people telling you about him, not through answering his phone calls, listening to his phone messages, reading his emails, or any other means where information from him finds its way into your life. This is very hard to do when you are still emotional attached to him in one way or another. Whether it is because you would like to believe the good image you once fell in love with or whether you think he might have had a change of heart. They do not change; the only changes you can count on are the changes you make yourself.

    They are bad (or mad as some might think) people. They do not care about anybody but themselves, they have no remorse, no guilt, no empathy, and no conscience. And that is why things can get so horrible, because they are not guided by morals or sociably accepted values, they are guided by their own greed and need for power. They don’t love, they possess. I wish you strength “will be okay”, I really do.



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  3. will be okay says:

    To Leentje, Thanks so much for your kind words, also great advice, I should read more on the subject. The only problem with no contact is, He is a paramedic stationed out of a hospital (my local hospital) and I am an EMT. So theres a good chance I’m going to run into him, once I do find another job. Also I’ll have to deal with running into my ex co-workers, who know the entire drama. I’m not looking forward to that!! Especially when most people think he’s such a nice guy, so ofcourse that makes ‘me’ the psycho!! Like I said- Not looking forward to that!! Thanks again. Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays (To Everyone)



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  4. Hi Will Be Okay,

    One of the more challenging aspects of these relationships is having to live with their lies in our life, even after they’re gone. I was very fortunate, the psychopath was sent to prison and any lies he told about me (and there were many) were filtered through the bars of a jail cell.

    For people like ex-coworkers and acquiantances, they have no right to judge — please do not give it to them. You know your truth. You know what you endured, you know what happened. Live your truth today with grace and dignity by being all that you are meant to be.

    The first Christmas after the psychopath was arrested I came back to the city where the debacle had unfolded for the first time. I was at a dinner with friends and the subject turned to …. the debacle. One friend, whom I’ve known for years and who was also fooled by the psychopath, asked me — well, we know who he is, but what does it say about you M.L. that you stayed with him so long and bought into his lies? I asked him, Are you asking me to understand or to judge me? If it’s to judge me, dont’ bother. I have judged myself harshly enough, I don’t need your judgement too. If it’s to understand, I’ll gladly answer. He said — it’s to understand (somewhat sheepishly). I told him that what it said about me was, I fell down, and I had the courage to get up and try again. Everyone falls down at some point in their life — for me, mine was a big fall — but I got up. It’s not the fall that would have killed me, but the staying down. So what it really says about me is — I am a courageous woman.

    Will Be — you are a courageous, loving woman — others do not have the right to judge your journey — just as you do not judge theirs. Be proud of being such a courageous woman and love yourself for having the strength to get back up and move through the pain of grieving that relationship with such grace and dignity.

    Blessings and all the best of the Season,



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  5. will be okay says:

    Thank You M.L.., You are so right! I am strong and I know what he did. I will be strong when I see those coworkers, if they say anything, I’ll just shrug and say “you have no idea what he did to me”, and leave it at that. After all, what can they say to that? That will also get me out of having to go into ugly details. Thanks for your kind words. Take Care and have a wonderful holiday.



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  6. shannon55125 says:

    I woke up a little over a year ago and the man I loved was gone he packed up and left in the middle of the night while I slept when I called him he was already 500 miles away, but it was not the man I knew he was cold and very as a matter of fact he told me to get over it he was gone and that I was “just his 2 dollar whore” I have felt every emotion possibe over the past year, however I was never able to put my finger on it why I questioned myself I cried a sceamed I questioned my own self worth….but after reading ur story EVERYTHING U SAID RAN SO TRUE thank u now I know it was not me but him he is a sick man thank u



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  7. LAMan says:

    Hey Shannon55125,
    I know the sound of the “cold and very matter of fact” after the fantastic.

    My psycho wrote me a love email (the deepest ever in our relationship) after an hour in the park with food he made and brought for us, and lots of romance. Two days later he was out of my life forever because he had decided to move on. No explanation from him but to blame me with short “matter of fact” words and a clipped conversation on the phone. It was as if he wanted to skewer me more deeply than ever before abandoning me.

    I tried a few times to contact him via email, and once by phone. On the phone he could only wish me luck and thank me for telling him I missed him. By email he blamed me for telling him I deserved a final communication at the very least.

    It was then I googled him using his middle name and found out he had been in prison, and then checked the internet under “psychopath” and found this site and others where the lists of psychopathic traits matched him 9 out of 10 times. I even met someone he had dated before who described him as alternatingly charming and “unkind.”

    I can’t believe he thought so little of me when I think highly of myself. But, apparently it was true. I have also gone through a complete range of emotions and still find myself recovering after almost 5 months since the park and the love note, and then the abandonment.

    He is a sick man, like yours. But he doesn’t think of himself that way, and is extremely bright (skipped 2 grades and then graduated college in 3 yrs at the age of 18). But everything from the way he used grammar in emails, the way he mirrored the information I revealed about myself, to the artwork on his walls reflected now in hindsight how classically he is a psychopath. Even down to the rejection of owning pets and giving everyone in his life a knickname like an online nickname to dehumanize us all. Seemed eccentric when I knew him, but now I see how completely he fits the profile.

    I am glad I am rid of him and researched him when he abandoned me so that I am not trying to contact him or clinging on to the fantasy any longer. I am in my 40s and thought I had seen it all.

    And…apparently there are many others out there like him, who might not steal your money or move in with you, but will use you for sex and manipulate your emotions for sport. I am very bright also, but this proves there are always surprises in this world!!



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  8. Margaret says:

    I appreciate all of your comments. I see what has happened in your lives and how you are moving forward. My 19 year old daughter is just beginning her journey with her 32 year old boyfriend (who has already been married twice). He barely supports himself with three part time jobs but has talked her into moving into where he rents a room. She is a full time college student and works part time. I think he fits into the group that uses females for sex and manipulating their emotions for sport. Her family is hoping that one day she will see him for what he is. Even the friend from whom he rents the room knows what he is, but our daughter is blind. To show how much he really does not care, earlier this week our daughter had to be taken to the ER with what turned out to be an extremely serious kidney infection that overtook her in only a few hours. He actually refused to let her seek medical attention insisting that she was fine and could spend the night with him instead of coming home even though he said that she was in a lot of pain. We actually had to go and retrieve her to take her to the hospital. We have been told that if she had not come in when she did, the best result would have been some very permanent kidney proplems, etc, but that she also could have very easily died from the infection because it was so bad.



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