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Acceptance: I don’t have to like the situation, but I recognize the truth of what it is

Editor’s note: The following post was written by the Lovefraud reader “Adelade.”

After the sociopathic ex left our marital home, I fell into a vortex of fear, panic, anxiety, and desperation that I had previously never even imagined to exist. At that time, I was unemployed and extremely sick from the autoimmune disorder that had laid me low years before. I was left with no income, no access to joint accounts, no computer to check said accounts, a mortgage that was being “accelerated” into foreclosure, a car loan and utilities that were all in arrears of no less than 3 months, and change in a glass jar. The financial arrears were a complete surprise — I had no idea that these accounts were past due, much less that there was a foreclosure action, and I had no way to remedy any of these issues. My investment portfolio had vanished within a span of 2 1/2 years, and I had no means to support myself, in any capacity. I was taking a number of prescribed medications that left me susceptible to every invasive organism on the planet, and I was in a medically precarious state. In short, I was literally left for dead.

As I began my counseling, I wanted answers and assurances. I wanted a timetable for my recovery. I wanted a painless means to achieve healing and recovery, and I wanted all of these things, immediately. I also wanted people to feel sympathy for my experiences and what had been done to me. I wanted understanding and support. I wanted the exspath held accountable for his frauds, and I wanted justice. To say that my expectations were unreasonable would be a gross understatement. The things that I “wanted” were my damaged “inner child” throwing the greatest and most monumental temper tantrum imaginable.

Ex immune from consequences

When the filings and motions for my divorce commenced, it became glaringly clear that the exspath was virtually immune from any consequences. The bank that processed his forgeries had met its legal obligation by printing and mailing my investment statements. Any drafts that were forged should have been disputed 60 days after the statements were mailed, and the institution was not liable for whether or not I received those statements. Federal prosecutors had bigger fish to fry and wouldn’t even return my calls about filing criminal charges. My own attorney advised me that seeking a civil suit against the exspath for his forgeries would only have resulted in his bankrupting himself and never having to pay the judgment, even though it would always remain a matter of Public Record. My attorney also advised me that there are no punitive damages awarded in “no fault” divorce.

Godalmighty, and every expletive known to mankind!!!! I wanted revenge! I wanted justice! It wasn’t fair that the exspath was able to use my money for his purposes and not experience any consequences. It just wasn’t fair!

Well, I spent a lot of time ruminating and cogitating upon how unfair this whole situation was. I abandoned the home that I had helped to purchase with a substantial (tens of thousands) cash down payment, and significant upgrades because I couldn’t afford to bring all of the utilities current, and the home was so remote that I would have been stranded without heat or electricity in the dead of winter once the vehicle that I was driving was repossessed for non-payment.

No help from a friend

When I abandoned my beloved home, I rented a room from a colleague who had assured me that I would “always have a roof over (my) head,” and this turned out to be another lie, as well. His girlfriend was clearly disordered and vicious, and made the lives of my son and myself a living hell. What should have been an opportunity for focused recovery became yet another experience in sociopathy and passive/aggressive behavior, and I had nowhere else to go except a homeless shelter. That I had lost my transportation added to the anxiety because I literally had no means to get to counseling sessions, doctors’ appointments, or anywhere else without begging a ride from someone.

Lessons about control and acceptance

So, what does any of this have to do with anything other than a sad series of events? Yeah, it reads like a Lifetime Movie, but it really happened and the apathy that I experienced from friends and colleagues only compounded the frustration that the exspath was not going to experience consequences. But, the point of recollecting the facts of my experiences comes down to this: This was a series of lessons that I “needed” to learn about controland acceptance. My counselor was insightful enough to recognize this and frequently brought me back to the present and away from the obsessive thinking by simply asking, “Don’t you think that you deserve to recover?”

At first, my immediate response was, “I deserve justice!” Well, everyone in every walk of life under every circumstance “deserves” justice. But, the reality is that most human beings who have been exploited and damaged never experience justice. After a time, I “got this” concept, and I accepted the fact that “justice,” the way that I interpreted it to be, wasn’t forthcoming. But what about Karma? If justice weren’t going to be delivered, what about Karma? Again, I wanted to know about how, when, and in what manner Karma visited itself upon the exspath. And, again, I came to accept that I would most likely never “know” about Karma’s visit to the exspath. Dammit. When was I going to experience some sense of satisfaction that the exspath was suffering as he had caused me to suffer? When was it going to be my turn to clap my hands together and squeal, “Goody, goody!!!?”

“My turn” to experience the glee of another person’s suffering isn’t important anymore. It took me a long, long time to get to this point and it was no easy effort, either. I am not cut from the same type of cloth that a sociopath is, and I have taught myself that the sense of satisfaction that I might have experienced upon learning about Karma’s visit to the exspath would have only been short-lived and insufficient — I would have wanted more damage and more chaos to reign down upon him. There would never have been enough to compensate for all that I have lost and suffered because of his deliberate actions.

Facing The Truth

Acceptance was the moment when I came to a personal understanding of “The Truth” as being undeniable and irrevocable. Truth is based upon fact, and facts are irrefutable. They simply are, whether or not I believe or feel that they are fair or just. Acceptance doesn’t obligate me to “like” the truths and facts, but to appreciate them for what they are with dignity and grace.

Acceptance is also an acknowledgement of my own limitations and honoring them as a part of the Human Condition, and not some perceived fault. I have control over only one thing: myself. I cannot control Family Court. I cannot control the policies of financial institutions. I cannot control the outcome of any situation, regardless of what it might be. I cannot control whether or not a friend cares about my personal suffering. I cannot control whether or not a person’s word is their bond. I cannot control anything other than my own choices, decisions, and actions. Accepting this simple fact has relieved me of many, many burdens.

Relief from burdens

One burden is not having to placate my screaming “inner child” with false assurances of justice and fairness. I can calmly and lovingly tell my “inner child” that some things are beyond our control and that it’s okay to feel upset, but let’s look at that feeling, compare it to facts, and come to a point of acceptance so that we don’t need to feel upset anymore.

Another burden that I’ve shed was shame. I no longer “feel” falsely obligated to be responsible for anyone else’s actions, choices, or decisions. I am relieved of “shame,” forever.

The burden of fear-based decision-making has been lifted, ever so slowly, and continues being lifted. This has been one of the heaviest burdens to bear for me, personally. Because fear has been the primary catalyst, my personal choices, actions, and decisions have been hurried and impulsive and based upon a system of faulty beliefs.

Moving on

Once I experienced true and honest acceptance, even my current struggles are a matter of course and nothing beyond my ability to process. Of course, my state of poverty and disability is frustrating and, many times, infuriating, especially if I let my mind take me down the path that I wouldn’t be here had it not been for the exspath. But, I cannot alter the past, and I’ve also chosen to accept this fact, too — none too well, I might add. But, I can’t alter the past. So, it is what it is, and I have to work with whatever I have the best way that I can. I don’t have to like it, but I have a choice to accept it, or not. And, acceptance, by far, has been the most liberating choice, to date. Acceptance is an ongoing endeavor. I have no delusions about this being some do-it-and-done-deal. This is going to be an ongoing process for the rest of my life.

“Acceptance” is defined as recognizing a process, situation, or condition without making an attempt to debate it, reconstruct it, protest it, or run from it. I am not obligated or mandated to “like” or “love” whatever I’m choosing to “accept.” But, my choice to embrace the facts and truths for what they are allow for me to nod acknowledgement to them, and move on to the next issue.



42 Comments on "Acceptance: I don’t have to like the situation, but I recognize the truth of what it is"

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  1. Viewpoint says:

    Dear Adelade,
    You are one fine woman! I imagine that you ached while writing your brutally but exquisitely true essay. It can be almost as hard to say what is so as it is to live what is so. I think of this essay as an offering of great sacrifice for a greater good because as you said, acceptance isn’t liking a truth…So there you were spending time in the company of the unlikable just for the rest of us.
    Thank you. I say that sincerely and deeply for your sacrifice within this gift. You would be my kind of company for sure because from that big truth, you have to know about all the other important truths that go into a meaningful life. I wouldn’t want to wax Pollyanna here but rather say that the substance of you is awesome to almost overshadow that struggle to live this truth 24/7 with the challenges upon you. But still, you would know what really counts and would savor it for your transcendence within the truth.
    Ah! To keep company with someone like you!



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  2. Stargazer says:

    Wow, great article. I really enjoy reading stories about people who have overcome tremendous adversity and how they were able to do it. Recognizing that it was your inner child who wanted justice and sympathy and being able to placate that need is rather profound. I was caught in anger and the need for justice with my neglectful abusive mother for many many years. When I finally let go of the need to exact justice, my life improved dramatically.

    I agree with you so much about not being able to control anything but ourselves. And there is so much power in making our own choices and just KNOWING that we can choose peace. I didn’t even know I had the option of just letting go of anger. I thought it would never end until I got justice. I see now that it’s just not true. Not only is it untrue, but that attitude held me hostage for many years.



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  3. Dave says:

    Excellent article,

    Very sorry to hear another human being going through this, its so hard to get beyond the rage and depression. I commend you for facing it and getting beyond it.

    I am still in the angry/resentment/sad/confused phase, I think about it constantly and my ex as we just split 3 weeks ago, 10 years of hell is a long time to just wipe away, and here I sit broke with no job, an old car that is ready to break down and not the money to fix it, while my kids are stuck with this crazy woman. I know in time I can move on,,i only wish that time had past by now.

    Hope you stay the path and things continue to get better for you and your child, and that someday you meet a sane person that has great loyalty.



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  4. Stargazer says:

    I also don’t believe it is just the luck of the draw that we meet sociopaths and stay entangled with them for years. There is something in us that makes us vulnerable, something that makes us stay at the first signs of disrespect. Our relationships – no matter how good or bad – are our own story, not the story of the bad guy (or girl), what he did, what he said, etc. They are the story of where we were at at the time, how we got involved, why we stayed, and what lessons we learned. If you can honestly examine those areas of your life, you can be much stronger for your next relationship. When you rely on the luck of the draw, you just get whoever comes along. But when you are armed with self-knowledge, you can make smarter choices. A wise friend said to me recently, “If you really know yourself, it’s easy to know who other people are.” Also, if you pay attention to Adelade’s story, she discovered her unmet needs for justice and sympathy. By holding onto those needs, she would have been miserable for the rest of her life. I see people doing this, waiting endlessly for the perpetrator to say they’re sorry and make amends, or for them to go to jail. These things rarely happen, so you can’t count on them. If we base our happiness on things that are out of our control, we are at the mercy of externals for our happiness.

    It takes just as much energy to be miserable as it does to be happy. It’s just a matter of where you direct your energy.



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  5. Vision says:

    I was always a big fan of Indiana Jones Movies….

    In The Last Crusade film, a 13-year-old Indiana Jones (or Indy) is horseback riding with his Boy Scout troop in Utah when he finds a band of thugs who have found a cross belonging to Coronado. He takes it from them, hoping to give it to a museum.

    After the men chase him, Indy is forced by the sheriff to forfeit the cross. Indy looks in surprise at the Cross of Coronado is handed over to the leader of the thugs. However, a member of the gang admires Indy’s gumption…..He grins at young Indy and says, “You lost today, kid. But that doesn’t mean you have to like it.”..and puts his Fedora on Indy’s head…

    I always remembered that line…and when things went wrong, I thought of those words and repeated that line to myself many times. It kinda made me feel tough….I even tilted my chin a bit up and outward and put my shoulders back…inhaled a deep breath and thought, “If Indy could take it so could I.”

    Yeah, it sure doesn’t mean we have to like it….but that acceptance of the truth as ugly or as despondent or as despicable as it is, that acceptance is half the battle….

    I wanted great revenge in the beginning….I dreamed of choking him with my bare hands….there, I said it….If we lived in Medieval times, I would have taken my entourage upon horseback and burned his fields, destroyed his home and more….

    But I realized I had lost indeed…as stated above so eloquently in a grand article,…..but I didn’t have to like it….so I spat, and raved and raged and vowed revenge one day….and then after more time…. used that feeling of “not liking it” to better use.

    Mental work, therapy, body work and so on…The best revenge is to live with your heart as wonderful as it ever was and your spirit more generous and your boundaries in place, and your will to be ever strong no matter….

    Nah, I didn’t like it….. but I like me especially now….

    PS(the sp doesn’t get it so he could never feel any “revenge” put upon him….there would always be someone to blame,etc…he/she would never feel sad or feel lonely or that he got it in the gut…you would waste your time…mine always laughed…when I told him off..laughed a big laugh….)



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  6. seekeroflight says:

    This is good. Really really good.



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  7. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    I agree seekeroflight, this could have been written by me. Oh I’m not that good of a writer, but my feelings and my process are in this story.

    I, too, was enraged at the betrayals done to me. I wanted JUSTICE. But I learned there’s no such thing as JUSTICE and if a person continues to fight that battle, to get JUSTICE, they will find years of their life Gone and still no JUSTICE. Better to redefine what I name as JUSTICE and to LIVE my life with gusto and JOY. And I learned to leave JUSTICE to GOD.

    I also learned, the path to healing is through TRUTH. Sometimes the truth HURTS, REAALLY HURTS. But in the end, TRUTH serves me, TRUTH does not fail me. and the sooner I accept TRUTH, the sooner I am protected, or at least on the way to healing.

    My ex got away with his “WIN”. Good for him. Let’s see how that piece of work serves him. My ex lives a small little life because he knows that he can’t leave his town, there are too many that are willing to cut his manipulations into retribution. There’s always a bigger sociopath. So he lives his little life, hiding from the townspeople so they don’t find out what he truly is, because if they did, he’d be discredited for what he said/did to me. And he’d rather live small than lose his “WIN”.

    Meanwhile, I live FREE. I can make my life whatever I want. I don’t have to worry about being found out because I don’t live a world of lies. I found a new community, one where his smears don’t matter. I am a person who finds joy in life, who celebrates the happy moments in people’s lives as part of the way I earn my living. SO… JOY for me in bringing JOY to others. He took it all from me until I let go, and then I found a whole other life of JOY, something he can only take from his victims, he can never authentically live it.

    So who’s the real WINNER???!!!
    Yes, LF friends, we all want Justice, but sometimes there is something better. TRUTH. I can live with TRUTH, I live very well with TRUTH.



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