Saturday night, the Lovefraud reader “rriinnaa” posted the following under Heeding the Exploiter’s Earliest Warning:
I cant stop crying .. and I dont know what Im crying over ! Im crying over the happy-go-lucky joyful loving warm Rina.. the woman I once was .. THAT I POSSIBLY won’t be again …. i want to be held and rocked until this pain goes away, but i have to work, i have to pay bills,i have to bring up my children … all the PROMISES HE MADE TO ME, “when you cry Rina, I will cry with you” ….. “I would die for you Rina”…. “such simple things make you happy Rina”.. “Rina, you are the light in my life”… “Rina, you are strong and I believe in you” .. AND AND AND AND AND AND AND .. oh my god AND I BELIEVED EVERYTHING HE EVER SAID TO ME… I believed him .. he hated me because I was strong and he did everything in his power to crush that.. he didnt have that sense of fun, that wacky sense of humour, that friendliness that everyone fell in love with THAT WAS ME, THAT WAS THE GIRL HE MET…. and I have lost that girl i once was.. i want it back, i want to live and laugh and be happy .. he has turned me into his apprentice monster … oh my god !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TELL ME THERE IS KARMA.. TELL ME HE WILL HURT ONE DAY PLEASE TELL ME THAT HE FEELS .. yeah right ………I still can’t get it in my head THAT HE IS A SICK SOCIOPATH.. I STILL CANT BELIEVE I FELL IN LOVE WITH THAT THING ! IM GOING CRAZY .. i cant get my head around it .. i saw a psychologist.. it was the worst thing i could have done last week ..IS THERE A GROUP MEETING WHERE I CAN TALK TO REAL PEOPLE IN MELBOURNE ABOUT THIS MONSTER ????? can someone guide me to somewhere, someone that understands what I am going through ????????????????????
i am sorry… i am ranting…. maybe i have finally gone over the edge ? nooooooo NO NO .. i never will. I will find the strength.. .again .. im up and down and my kids are suffering.. as much as I try to hide it ……. they feel it, they see it and I HATE HIM FOR DOING THIS TO ME I HATE HIM ..
I remember feeling like this. In fact, when I read Rina’s message, I got that old tightening in my chest, that inability to breathe, that constantly-on-the-verge-of-tears feeling again.
I remember the rage, the hatred, the utter despair.
They’re normal reactions to the betrayal of a sociopath.
Why it’s so bad
We’ve all had romantic relationships end before. Why the end of a relationship with a sociopath so much worse?
First of all, the scale of the deception is beyond what most of us have ever experienced. These people don’t just lie about where they were last night. Their entire lives are lies—everything they ever did, every human relationship they ever had. In my case, as I started to unravel what was really going on, each day brought another fabrication, another betrayal. Recently, nine years after I left my sociopathic ex-husband, I discovered yet another lie. It never ends.
Then, the degree to which we were used is unbelievable. My ex-husband wanted a place to live, reliable sex and someone to finance his dreams of grandeur. All his love notes, his little gifts, and his forever promises, were designed to make me provide those things. It worked. Then, two and a half years later when I was used up, he moved on.
But perhaps the biggest reason why it’s so bad is because sociopaths steal our dreams and use them against us. In those heady early days of the relationship, as the sociopaths listen intently, we’re spilling our guts, telling them what we really want, what is really important to us, what we want out of life. We think they’re listening because they truly want everything that we want. In reality, they’re listening to discover the deepest places within us where they can set their hooks.
Sooner or later, it all collapses.
At that point, we lose our trust—trust in other people, trust in ourselves, trust if life itself. And as Karin Huffer writes in the Legal Abuse Syndrome, “the most profound loss is loss of trust.”
Dealing with the pain
We’re left with the emotional wreckage—along with very real problems like physical illness and injury, financial devastation, caring for children and legal issues. And all of it was caused by someone who supposedly loved us. What do we do?
The only way out of the pain is through it.
People often call and ask me how to cope. I suggest that you hold yourself together while dealing with the practical, financial and legal issues. Somehow, you have to keep your emotions in check so you can think and make decisions.
But after those concerns are handled, and you are alone, let it rip. Allow yourself to cry, yell and curse. Get physical—stomp your feet or twist towels. My personal favorite was envisioning my ex-husband’s face on a pillow, and punching the crap out of it. (For more information, read Releasing the pain inflicted by a sociopath.)
Why do we need to do this? Because emotions are physical. They are not intellectual concepts that will dissipate upon discussion. They are physical sensations, and must be dealt with physically. The tears, yelling and punching are the means by which the emotional pain is drained from the body.
What you’ll find is that there are layers and layers of pain—you’ll release some, and more will rise to the surface. So you do the exercise again. And again. And again.
Older, deeper pains
Then what you’ll find is that older pains—injuries not inflicted by the sociopath—will also rise to the surface. Perhaps they were injuries from your family of origin, or other relationships, or profound disappointments in your life.
When you find these pains, you have struck gold. These are the pains that made you vulnerable to the sociopath in the first place. They too, must be released. When they are no longer buried within you, you will be able to move into a new life of peace, contentment and happiness.
It’s hard to believe this when you are in the midst of the trauma. But it is true—you can pass through the pain and come out the other side. The process is not pretty. A therapist, if you can find one who gets it, may be able to guide you, but you alone must do the work. And it will take time.
Many of us on Lovefraud have talked about how we’ve become stronger, wiser individuals after our run-ins with the sociopaths. This is how it happens. We persevere through the pain, and then we are set free.