lf1
By December 20, 2011 44 Comments Read More →

Beautiful Birds

Thank you for your kind comments after the Tigers post – I’m so glad that people are able to identify with what I’m saying. It kind of makes all the past ‘bad stuff’ worthwhile… you know what I mean? So again, thank you for letting me know what works – it means a lot to me.

This last weekend was my birthday and I’ve been wondering what to write for this week’s post. Do I talk about the celebration of birthdays? Or the festive season? Or perhaps the concept of rebirth and renewal? And then, all of a sudden, as I was consulting Google for a completely unrelated subject, a phrase that I had never heard of seemed to jump out of my computer screen:

“It’s the beautiful bird that gets caged”

Simple. Straight forward. Meaningful. Relevant. It’s a Chinese proverb and, as with so many ancient wisdoms, a whole story is conveyed in just a few carefully chosen words.

A Valued Prize

For me, it bears witness to the many times people have said on here (myself included) that we must have had something very special about us to make the sociopath want to control and possess us in the first place. We must have shone very brightly in order to attract a person who is only interested on winning. Someone who calculates to capture everything s/he can to make sure they come out on top. Surely it stands to reason that they would only be interested in ensnaring a valuable prize? Something that would be certain to give them the one-upmanship they crave so deeply?

And once again I am reminded to be thankful for all that I am – and yes, also for all that I was in the first place. Because, like all of us here, I must have been a worthwhile target. It stands to reason, doesn’t it?

Coming out of a sociopathic relationship (or any kind of abusive experience) the feelings of guilt, shame and self-hate can simmer and gnaw away inside, ever-defining the gaping hole that was once filled with something we believed to be love. At the same time, self-flagellation and whispering fury continue to eat away at our last remaining pieces of self-esteem “How could I have been so stupid!” “What made me so blind!” “Where have I gone so wrong!”

Sometimes the emotions explode geyser-like, full volume and highly coloured, and other times they stay rumbling beneath the surface. No matter how they come, at times they threaten to overwhelm us entirely… And that is where the sociopath, even if they are no longer in our daily life, is still managing to exert their power of manipulation. Or are they…? Are they really inside our head? Are they really dictating our thoughts? Are they really controlling our emotions?

We Decide – Day By Day

Yes, I agree, many times it may well feel as if they are… the thing is, though, it’s within our power to break free from the control-cage in which they’d held us prisoner. It’s up to us to decide what thoughts to think and what emotions to feel. Whether to lie down or stand up. Whether to give in or get out. These decisions are ours to make – and nobody and nothing can make them for us. And you know what? Every single moment of every single day we have the opportunity to choose who we’re going to be and how we’re going to live our life.

I know it can be daunting and at times seem impossible. I can understand how much it hurts and I can identify with the depths of pain and despair – both during and after such relationships. And I know it takes every ounce of courage and determination to fight back and come through – and I also know it’s worth it. Every clash. Every battle. Every small win. They all add up and they all help us to shine even more brightly than we ever did before.

For me, a huge part was looking back and honestly recognising my own value before I entered in to the relationship with my ex. It was critical to understand that I hadn’t been stupid, blind, dumb or worthless – as the proverb says, I must surely have had something pretty special about me in the first place, or he wouldn’t have wanted to trap me.

It wasn’t easy! Far from recognizing my beauty, there were times when I felt like a beaten up, washed out, brown and stubby-feathered excuse for a bird. My wings clipped, my voice vanished, I could sometimes hardly even find the strength to breathe. But, like the rest of us here, I did manage to keep breathing – and eventually I regained my strength. But it all came from a decision. From my decision.

It wasn’t a major life-changing future-defining “ah ha” of a decision. Far from it in actual fact. Nope, on a daily and sometimes a moment-by-moment basis, I decided I would find a way to survive. I would fight back and reclaim my life despite the overwhelming odds stacked against me. I would find my self-worth and appreciate myself for who I am. And slowly and surely I made steady progress.

Flying High!

I’m sure that many of you here can identify with what I’m saying, and I’m quite sure that many have had or are having tougher challenges than those I’ve faced. The thing is, though, each and every one of us is still here. Still breathing. Still carrying on. Still fighting back, whatever stage of the journey we’re on. And that, my dear friends, is what makes us such strong and shining examples of the human spirit. That is why our stories can educate and inspire others. This is how, as a group of people who’ve experienced the masked charmers and lived to tell the tale, we can set others free and prevent still more from being captured in the future.

Surely, you may be thinking to yourself, it takes a certain kind of person who would be willing to take that on board? Surely that kind of arena is reserved only for the brightest of souls, the strongest of spirits?

Yes, absolutely it does – of course! And… remember, only the shining people are caged and put on show in the first place. So yes, that’s you. You are and always have been a strong and beautiful bird.

Remember Obi Wan Kenobi’s warning to Darth Vadar: “If you strike me down, I shall become even more powerful than you can ever imagine”. Well, so it is for us. Because once we’ve been through the experience of being struck down or caged, and then we find a way to break free…? We become even stronger, brighter and more beautiful than ever before, flying high and singing at the top of our voices, our bright, vibrant colours shimmering in the sunlight.

To each and every one of you beautiful birds out there, I salute you my friends and wish you happy holidays and an abundance of love and blessings for everyone. Thank you for reading.



44 Comments on "Beautiful Birds"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. strongawoman says:

    Athena,
    thank you for pointing that out.
    I was in love with what I thought he was.

    Note to self…..I will remember that message.

    Thanks again and blessings to you and yours this Christmas from England xxx



    Report this comment

  2. Hosanna says:

    I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! I don’t know about you, but I am soooo looking forward to a new year, new beginnings and a fresh start!! God bless all my spath overcomer friends here on Lovefraud!!! Thank you for all the brave people here sharing their stories!! Bring on 2012!!! : )

    The last verbal contact I had with my spath ex (the whole incident resulted in a 3 year restraining order against him, long story) he stood there and yelled at me as I was escaping from his abuse. He yelled at me as I was running to my car “You have a good life!”, “You have a good life!” Over and over…Now you might think that sounds like a nice thing to say…NO, he was yelling at me, very angry, in a rage. At the time I thought it was bizarre, but many of the things that he did and said were bizarre and strange after his mask came off. The last couple months that I was with him I was focused on survival and physical safety. It wasn’t until later that I realized he hated me because I was normal, I had real friends, a loving family, personal joy, real faith, personal fulfillment, a passion for life, I sleep like a baby at night and I was reasonably happy…he HATED that I was normal. I have come to a place where I refuse to even waste a single brain cell trying to wrap my brain around his motives…it is a waste of my time there is something deeply broken, diabolical and malicious in him.



    Report this comment

  3. IMconfused says:

    Sky, the butterfly clamp has to do with a valve that must be opened to work like a choke to get fuel flowing, and not flood the engine. If it is stuck closed the engine won’t start up. If he could get under the hood he could mess with things…so might have been sabotage! (I used to drive a Chevy PU with butterfly camps that needed to be forced open to start…when necessary, I used two screwdrivers to pry and hold the clamps open when I started the truck..then pulled them out before I took off.)

    He was clever…like a movie introduction (that usually has a happy ending…unless, of course, the movie is shown on Lifetime for Women!)

    Hosanna
    If you’re stubborn like me, you can turn nasty statements around to your advantage. My first husband’s parting words were that I was going to lose everything…and it would be my own fault. Those were fighting words that made me determined to prove him wrong. And I did prove him wrong! …unfortunately, 6 years later I met my current husband…and have lost almost everything to #2 (just like #1 predicted).

    The key word is ALMOST everything…not everything! I’ve decided to fight with all that I have left. Who knows, I might still have minor victories in sight…just need to use my brain to my advantage.

    I keep reciting the Serenity Prayer.



    Report this comment

  4. skylar says:

    IMconfused,
    that is probably what he did. He might have tightened it so it wouldn’t open and nobody would think to check that.

    Sabotaging the aircraft of wealthy people is how he has gotten them to be greatful to him and they have given him hundreds of thousands for “saving their lives”. right.

    They (and I) believed that he was actually such a great mechanic that only he could find the hidden “death traps” on their helicopters – thereby saving them from certain catastrophe. But now I know that he set them up from the beginning. And because I’ve seen that and because I know that predators stalk, I know that he stalked me for a while before he approached me. His MO is sabotaging machines. WHY did it take me so long before I saw the pattern? Am I such a believer in coincidences that I couldn’t see the pattern as being more than a string of coincidences? Or is it because they took place over a period of 25 years?

    Now, I look for patterns a LOT more than I used to.



    Report this comment

  5. IMconfused says:

    Sky, I didn’t look for patterns because I didn’t realize that nasty people create nasty patterns that work to destroy others. It’s only been in the past few years that I have come to recognize that both of my parents used patterns…back then it was called pushing someone’s buttons. I was raised to think patterns were “normal”…things that seem “normal” don’t raise an alarm.

    A manipulating pattern can successfully stop another person and shut them down either in exasperation or self defense. A pattern that has worked becomes a proven defense tool that will be used over and over again. Whenever I have the gall to honestly question actions that have left me hurt, my abusers seem to know what words and actions will shut me down and stop my questions . By our actions or inaction we teach predators what weapons work against us…which words and actions work most effectively to stop us.

    To break those patterns, I think we must change our reactions.

    We need to figure out what “tools” we can successfully use that are likely to stop the billies and leave them as dumbfounded as they seem to leave us.

    Does anyone have words/ideas as to what actions or statements might be effective against our “button pushers”?



    Report this comment

  6. skylar says:

    Yes, I’mconfused, there are several things that work.
    Gray rock is the first and foremost. It means to be so boring that they can’t stand to be around us and they slither away. You become boring by giving them no emotions and no reactions to the button pushing.

    Milo has practiced her gray rock and has gotten very good at it. She says, “that’s nice dear.” to her spath daughter, no matter what outrageous remarks spath daughter makes.

    Spaths can’t stand boring people. Dress in drab boring clothes, use no expressions on your face, don’t make any sudden moves and don’t wear anything shiny. I’m not kidding. Predators are attracted by shiny, fast moving things.

    Another trick that works is laughter. Laugh at them or with them or whatever. Laughter disarms them.

    Another thing is to “mix up the typewriter keys”. don’t give them the reaction that they expect. If they go into a rage, smile and tell them they are “Hot” when they’re angry.

    Don’t ever let them know that they have hurt you. Act clueless.

    You have to realize that there are no words that can make them see the light. They will never react like a normal human being to your honest questions.

    The last and final weapon that worked on my spath was when I told him he was a psychopath and consequently, he was a simple 3 trick pony: charm, pity and rage. I explained to him that he was emotionally arrested at the stage of an infant. then, no matter what he said, I replied, “See? That’s exactly what a psychopath would say because…etc, etc. You really should stop being a psychopath because it makes you PREDICTABLE. Why don’t you let me help you stop being a psychopath?”

    LOL! He really hated having his mask ripped off, he slithered away for a long time. But he’s been trying to contact me lately…



    Report this comment

  7. New Beginning says:

    Mel – that is such a poignant message, thank you.



    Report this comment

  8. one/joy_step_at_a_time says:

    ‘Predators are attracted by shiny, fast moving things.’ ah, this was my problem! just like a fishing lure.



    Report this comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.