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The journey from pain to peace

The Lovefraud reader “Kataroux” has been struggling with the profound betrayal she endured at the hands of a charming young sociopath who turned out to be nothing more than a parasite. She told her entire story in the post from September 25, 2013, entitled How I was duped by a young sociopath and believed all his lies — until now!

On October 4, Kataroux posted the following comment on Lovefraud:

As I sit here tonight I find myself wondering how I ever let something like this happen to me and yet I know the answer. I just buried my husband and wanted to feel loved again and Spath jumped in with promises of a wonderful future and I bent over backwards to give him just that. Notice I said to “give him just that” because I never bent over backwards for myself. I allowed him to dictate my life and control me without even knowing it. I allowed him to cause so many complications that I sent my youngest son to live with his father (I will always regret that decision) because I wanted Spath to be “happy.” All the money I spent and borrowed (and still owe) because of this man makes my hate for him so strong that I can barely stand it at times.

There are two things I cannot seem to do:

1. Grieve – Every time I am sad and want to cry I force it back and refuse to shed another tear over that man. Yet, sometimes I know if I just cry and scream I will feel better but I can’t seem to dig deep enough to allow myself to do that. I have always had trouble dealing with grief and I know if I don’t deal with it I am going to drive myself crazy.

2. Forgive myself – How can I forgive myself when I allowed this to happen? How can I forgive myself when I should have known better? How can I forgive myself for giving up so much for a man I only thought loved me? Forgiving myself is a hard one because I am so dang mad. I am so mad at him it physically causes me pain and I am mad at myself because I am so mad at him that it causes me pain … make sense?

I am trying to move forward I just don’t know what forward is. I mean I am dieting and working out but I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t feel like the strong person everyone says I am. I don’t “feel” anything but hate! Even though I NEVER want to see that man again and looking at a picture of him makes me want to vomit, I will never not hate him for making my life a lie and for faking to love me. I will hate him forever for that and that knowledge eats me up because I have always been a kind, trusting person and now I am suspicious of every man.

Spath has been out of my house since September 1, the last time I physically saw him was on the 15th and I have had zero contact with him since the morning of the 25th. I guess it is a good thing that he is so convinced that I am the “crazy ex-girlfriend” and so busy trying to “fool his new victim” that he does not even try to contact me. According to him everything is my fault and, you know, sometimes I believe it.

Response from Donna Andersen

Dear Kataroux,

I know exactly how you feel — as does everyone at Lovefraud. This is one of the most painful aspects of realizing that our partner is a sociopath: We have to acknowledge that we participated in our own betrayal. But keep in mind that you, like all of us, were deceived. You were looking for love and companionship. He said he was looking for love and companionship. In reality, he wanted a place to live and someone to support him.

This man targeted you when you were vulnerable. Your husband had just died. This man saw your grief as an opportunity. Under the guise of “being there for you,” the creep moved in on you. His behavior was despicable.

You have every reason to be angry. You have every reason to hate him. In fact, when anger and hatred are so overwhelming, they morph into numbness. That’s where you are right now; you are numb. And that’s why you can’t grieve and can’t forgive yourself. You are so filled with rage at his horrendous betrayal that you are numb.

And that’s okay for now.

Keep in mind that this is all very fresh and raw for you. You last had contact with the man on September 25, and you posted your comment on October 4. So it’s only been nine days since your last had contact!

Remember, every time you have contact, it’s like reopening a fresh wound. That’s why it’s critical for you to maintain No Contact. This is what enables you to heal, and you’ve only just begun.

The recovery journey

Recovery is a process. In fact, I found one of the best step-by-step recovery procedures in a book called The Legal Abuse Syndrome, by Dr. Karin Huffer.

In her practice as a therapist, Dr. Huffer found that many people who had been betrayed by a sociopath were further betrayed by the legal system when they sought justice. This book provides eight steps to recovery from legal abuse, but the steps work for recovering from sociopathic abuse as well. You can read a description of the steps here:

A guidebook for recovering from the devastation of a sociopath

The point is, recovery takes time, and you are in the very early stages of the process. Your wounds are deep. Your pain has been accumulating over years. There is the pain of the sociopath. There is the pain of your husband before the sociopath, who was addicted to drugs. And there may be an earlier pain that made you vulnerable to both of those men.

Maintain no contact. Eventually the numbness will start to thaw, and then you’ll feel the grief. You’ll process the anger and the hatred.

The sociopath deserves to be hated. Unfortunately, there is a problem with hatred — it doesn’t affect him, but it eats you from the inside out. So at some point, when you are ready, it would be best to let go of the hatred.

And that will be the forgiveness. We’ve had many discussions of forgiveness here at Lovefraud. Forgiveness does not mean you pretend that the betrayal didn’t happen. It doesn’t mean that you allow the predator back into your life.

Forgiveness means that you accept what happened and you let it go. Forgiveness is not for him; it’s for you. Forgiveness means he no longer consumes your thoughts, and his actions no longer matter to you.

You’re just beginning this journey, and it will be a bumpy. You’ll probably discover many things about others, and yourself, that you didn’t know. But I promise you, if you keep going, and allow yourself to recover, eventually you will find peace.

 



31 Comments on "The journey from pain to peace"

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  1. hens says:

    Hello Donna ~! I am doing well, so are the wieners…lol… LF has just been on my mind alot lately and I thought I would pop my head in and see if any oldtimers were lurking about.
    I see new names, but the same stories.
    I am not here to give advice. But my life lesson with a sociopath changed who I am, it’s a lesson I so wanted to get over and forget, well I did get over it but I will never forget.
    I am still forever thankful to you Donna and all the ‘names’ of the peeps that shared my journey from pain to peace.



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  2. toknowimok says:

    Thank you Donna! The biggest hurdle is the forgiving and letting it go. It’s a continuing topic in therapy. I guess also self-esteem. I find it’s so hard to talk to guys for fear of being judged, because that’s what the spath did



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  3. Stargazer says:

    Hens! Great to see you. I’m still around occasionally, and I even wrote an article here. So glad to hear you and the weiners are doing well. Don’t be a stranger. I’d love to hear more about your life and what you are up to.

    Toknowimok: Forgiveness has never been an easy thing for me. I’ve had so much betrayal. It took me 48 years to forgive my mother. And I’m finding things to forgive others for on a daily basis. I never found any magic formula to help me forgive. I just know how good it feels to be on the other side of resentment. And how crappy it felt to hold onto the resentment. And to know I have the power to let go of it. I’ve also been inspired by stories I’ve heard of forgiveness. I remember reading about a woman who was angry and depressed her whole life. She ended up in the healing community of Findhorn – I think that is in Scotland. There, she experienced a great healing when she was able to forgive a man who had raped her many years prior. It was a miraculous event in her life. I always look to these stories for inspiration. The other thing I do is see the story through the eyes of the other person. Even if they are sick, selfish, or whatever the case may be, often whatever they are doing is not really personal – they are just trying to fill some need of their own in their own tragic way. Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes can really expedite the forgiveness process – just seeing all their pain and darkness they must be experiencing in order to hurt others the way they do.



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  4. toknowimok says:

    Thank you stargazer! In time I’ll get there. If I can forgive my father for a childhood of verbal and physical abuse, I cab forgive just about anyone. In time



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