It was just a name in the subject line of an email.
I knew the name. How could I forget it? It was the name of the man who had betrayed my trust and my love for the four years nine months of our relationship.
Curious, I opened the email and read the words of a woman whose daughter’s girlfriend is engaged to a man named ‘Jack’ (not his real name). I think he’s the same man you knew, she wrote. I read your website and the article from when your book was published. Do you have a picture?
I wrote back and told her I had burnt every picture I had of him. She sent me one by return email. Is this the same man? I’m really scared for my daughter’s safety. Conrad and my daughter’s friend have been living with us for a couple of months. He’s made lots of promises. Lots of commitments to do this, do that. None of them have come true.
I wrote back.
Unfortunately, it’s him. You can’t change him, I told her. You can help your daughter and her friend get free by learning as much as you can as fast as you can about narcissism and sociopaths. I gave her a couple of websites to read and I suggested a couple of things she could do to end the abuse now. There’s a good chance he’s up to his illegal activities once again as he has two high-end cars in their drive and one license plate which he continually shifts from vehicle to vehicle. I’ve suggested she contact the police and have offered to speak with the young woman who believes she has been swept up into Prince Charming’s arms.
When I wrote The Dandelion Spirit, I wanted to help women and men caught in a liar’s web to make sense of the craziness. I wanted to encourage and enlighten as well as inspire people.
Over the two years since the book was published I have heard from countless people — telling me their stories, asking for advice, thanking me for helping them understand and to breathe freely again.
I never expected to be able to help someone extricate themselves from Conrad’s web.
Expect the unexpected and life will never disappoint you.
It is my belief that knowledge is a gift to be shared. I learned a lot through the ‘Jack’ experience. Learned about narcissism, sociopaths/psychopaths. About liars and abusers. And, I learned about being free. About turning up for me, in all my cuts and bruises, to stand tall and proud, a victor in my own life.
Helping others is not about getting even with the abuser. It’s about ensuring people know their rights, their duty and responsibility to be true to themselves. It’s about helping them understand they have the power to cut the ties that bind them to someone else’s abuse — and to help them find their courage to do it.
I have been blessed. In the 5+ years since my release, I have been given the gift of healing and the opportunity to help others find their paths away from abuse.
I am one lucky woman and I want to share my good fortune with the world around me.
“In today’s environment, hoarding knowledge ultimately erodes your power. If you know something very important, the way to get power is by actually sharing it.” Joseph Bardaracco
Everyday, survivors of these affairs stumble into this sight and take heart at the words written here by those who have journeyed through similar darkness. In our sharing we brighten the road and lighten the load of those who have fallen behind us. In our sharing, we illuminate the path for others to follow.
I never expected to be given the gift of helping someone involved with the same man I was. When first I read her words and thought about my response, I wondered if I was doing it out of vindictiveness, or was I truly coming from a loving heart.
I questioned myself to ensure I stood true to me, my values, principles and beliefs. And then, in the end, I realized – my heart belongs to me. In helping someone else, I am not going after him, I am going after what is right – sharing what I know and have learned so that someone else can find their way out of the darkness.
For the woman who wrote me, the story has a happy ending. She got him out of her house. For his new girlfriend, the story continues. She did not heed their advice. Did not want to hear what they said about him.
I know where she’s at. I know how scared she is and how frightened and alone she feels. I cannot change her path. I cannot alter her course. I can only continue to do what I do to create a world of peace around me: speak out against abuse and speak up for those who have lost their voice.