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.
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.