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The first step in recovering from a sociopath: Staying alive

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader who we’ll call “Lillian.”

Yes. It happened to me. It took him six years but he left. He left me holding two mortgages in both our names. He left me once I ran out of cash. He left me when I got laid off. I am almost 50 years old and I have nothing. I haven’t heard from him in over a year. He encouraged me to buy a bigger, more expensive house than I would have on my own and came up with half the down. He moved in. Wouldn’t pay anything. Got us a joint account and credit card. I worked. He didn’t even buy groceries. He bought himself a boat after three years of hell as I got angrier and angrier because he just lay on the couch. Then he sailed to Mexico and didn’t come back. His rich widow of a prominent heart surgeon called me one day. He had told her he owned property up here and that he had ended a relationship—which he hadn’t. He got really angry then and cleaned out the joint account of my funds, of course, since there was never any joint about it. He lives in Mexico on his boat and has a house in Oakland. She feels like Cinderella right now and thinks I am the evil stepsister.

I had $400K in cash. No revolving debt. Two retirement accounts and supported my husband and kids. Well fast forward. I have no cash. No retirement accounts. $70K in revolving debt and no job. I am ruined. I am so traumatized and messed up that I can’t function. I just cry. I reach out and no one is there. I am extremely isolated. I want to die. He is living in Mexico and suing me for half the house. He isn’t done with me yet. And I am just two months away from living in a tent. No one cares. No one understands. Everyone thinks that somehow I either deserve this and or it’s my fault. I am done for. I don’t know that I can be helped even if I knew someone who could help me. That’s the story. Sad but true. I wish I were dead.

After a devastating encounter with a sociopath, the most important thing we have to do is stay alive.

We may have lost our money, our homes, our jobs, our health, our self-esteem, our hopes and our dreams, but we cannot lose our selves.

This is basic, but crucial. We cannot die.

Not everyone succeeds at this essential task. Not everyone is able to continue living in the face of monstrous personal betrayal. In these cases, the sociopath truly wins. Dr. Leedom calls it “murder by suicide.”

There is an old adage, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” When dealing with the aftermath of a sociopath, this is the truth. A sociopath’s goal is always to win, and sometimes to destroy us in the process. When we stay alive, we deny the sociopath’s victory.

We can also start a process that, over time, will enable us to claim victory for ourselves.

It doesn’t seem that way in the blackness of despair as we survey the wreckage of our lives. But as many of us have learned, amid the wreckage we may discover that our broken ideas and beliefs actually needed to be broken and thrown away. We were operating under false conceptions of ourselves, conceptions that made us vulnerable to the predators.

We learn that if we stay alive, we can begin to rebuild our lives, and when we do, we will be living our own truth.

So how do we do it? We keep putting one foot in front of the other. We cry when we need to, then we pick ourselves up and push on. We keep going forward, even though we don’t believe we can.

The road to recovery takes time and patience. It takes recognizing that we may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). It takes caring about ourselves and being kind to ourselves.

The first step is staying alive.

Please, Lillian, we know your situation is very, very bad. But don’t let him win.



128 Comments on "The first step in recovering from a sociopath: Staying alive"

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  1. justabouthealed says:

    Muldoon……..how are you doing??????????????



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  2. skylar says:

    Matt, since you are a criminal lawyer, I thought you might have some thoughts on this story:
    My P decided to up the gas-lighting while simultaneously removing me from our business as owner last January. He placed a GPS tracking device on his truck and told me he had found it. He said he suspected homeland security is following him because he flies a helicopter without a license. I told him to remove the device and disconnect it because it was probably a joke being played by my BIL, the cop (who is an S and I believe also a Trojan Horse). Lots of whispering and paranoid behavior followed for 2 months. In March he brought home a warrant and a business card from a Homeland security agent. The warrant was dated Feb 3 and indicated that the tracking device was to be placed on his helicopter from Feb 3rd to March 15. The card had all the phone numbers scratched off except the cell phone number and the words “call me” were scrawled on it.

    Looking at the warrant, the numbers on it begin with GJ indicating Grand Jury so that the record is sealed and no info can be gathered about it. It is a real warrant signed by a real judge, but obviously doctored with the P’s helicopter information and name. I told the P that since we found (and I took pictures of) the tracking device on January 26th, and it was placed on the truck rather than the helicopter that the warrant is illegal. At this point I still thought my evil BIL was behind it all.

    The P went through all kinds of drama and then announced that the agent had threatened him if he didn’t give it back. So he supposedly gave it back after they surrounded him with drawn weapons.

    I know that the P likes to hang around cops and gets great pleasure in manipulating them into doing evil deeds by invoking their misogynist mentality. So, likely/possibly the HLS agent is involved, but I can’t see the judge being party to all this. I tried emailing the judge, but a US marshall emailed me back with a phone number to call. At that point I called it and left a message with my number. It has been almost 2 months and he did not reply. I have copies and pics of the device as well as the warrant. Whom do you think I should contact next? BTW, I traced the HLS agent’s cell phone number to a “Dan” no last name. Dan Gleckman is the name of the agent and there is a real agent Dan Gleckman living near here.



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