Not long ago, Lovefraud received the following note from a reader:
Your articles have given me a lot of peace and the ability to see good in life again, though I’ll never go back into the mainstream of society because of the abuse and betrayal I’ve experienced. It’s sad that the vision and understanding one achieves after being victimized by a sociopath prevents you from ever being able to get close to anyone again. I’m working through that though, so I just take it one step at a time. Maybe you could write some more about that?
Yes, dear readers, we do need to take recovery one step at a time. But know that we can go back to the mainstream of society. We can recover to the point of allowing ourselves to open to love again.
For each of us, the experience of the sociopath was probably the most traumatic of our lives. The betrayal shakes us to our souls. But sometimes what gets shaken loose is the negative beliefs that enabled us to fall for the sociopath in the first place. Beliefs like “I’m not good enough.” “Nobody loves me.” “There’s something wrong with me.”
Those were my beliefs. They were buried deep in my psyche, hidden by my brains, writing talent and management ability. But my ex-husband, James Montgomery, plowed through my life, crushing the structures I’d built to present myself to the world—like my career, bank account and credit rating. With the structures gone, I came face to face with the beliefs.
The beliefs were wrong. It was the sociopathic upheaval that enabled me to realize that and let them go.
How did I do it? Quite honestly, it was painful. I cried. I raged. I released layers and layers of negative emotion. And finally, on April 19, 2001, I gave up the battle to make my ex pay me back.
Nine days later I met Terry Kelly. We dated. We fell in love. We married.
Friday was our fifth wedding anniversary. We still love each other as we did when our romance was new and fresh. Today, we exchanged mushy Valentines.
These have been the happiest years of my life. We enjoy each other’s company. We comfort each other in times of stress. We support each other in everything—in fact, without Terry, there would be no Lovefraud.
So yes, there can be life and love after the sociopath.
Please do not give up on life because of the terrible experience. If you do, then the predator will truly have won.
Instead, give yourself time and permission to heal. Find the blind spot within you that made it difficult for you to see the sociopath’s agenda. Recognize that you are now educated about this personality disorder, and you won’t be fooled again. Trust your intuition.
When we’re in the midst of the pain and trauma, it is difficult to believe that life can turn around. But we really do need to believe it, and allow ourselves to move, day by day, toward our own healing. Because healing can bring us love.