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LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Breaking free of the controlling, sociopathic girlfriend

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a woman who posts as “seekeroflight.”

I feel this overwhelming urge to reach out to your website, and I am not quite sure exactly why. I’m working my way through reading pretty much your whole website, or at least the articles which strike my eye as I go through it. It is one of very few things in my life right now that helps me to feel a little less alone.

I told my life partner (of almost 7 1/2 years) that I was done with the relationship in January of this year. I gave her pretty much no warning — just sat down one evening and told her I thought we should break up. She claims she saw it coming, but I think that’s a lie.

Judging by how quickly and the lengths she suddenly was willing to go to in order to “work it out” right at first, I don’t think she ever thought in a million years I’d get the courage to leave that prison, and she certainly had no problem ignoring my requests for us to try to work on things, try counseling again, try whatever. She had told me flat out that she was not interested in working on our relationship. I think she just thought I’d stay, forever the devoted girlfriend, forever her caretaker and provider.

Tried to be amicable

I tried really, really hard to make the breakup as amicable as possible. Told her we could stay friends. I was willing to try a variety of arrangements if she thought it could work out — she is on disability and has limited means without me, and we had a whole mess of dogs, plus she was forever bringing people into our house who were somehow down on their luck (and subsequently making them practically her indentured servants in the process), and at that time we had two kids and two other disabled women under our roof. In no way did I want to put everyone on the streets!

The truth is, I was miserable, and had been for awhile. She was my first girlfriend, whom I met at a very vulnerable time. I wasn’t even really out of the closet yet. She is 18 years older than me. She saw my very messed-up self coming a mile away, and pounced. I realize this now.

For over seven years, I tried to make this relationship work. I truly loved her — my love was real! Even as I know now that hers was not. And over those years, as I cared for her through her numerous health problems (many real and some I found out fake), she wore me down to a shadow of a person.

We would have a few good times, usually when she really needed me, or right after I was getting to a breaking point. We tried joint counseling once, which seemed to work then (but she would years later throw in my face as being some horrible experience where she was victimized, much to my bewilderment). And I worked hard to support her and the constant stream of people and animals she wanted to reign over, even when it was more than we could handle, even when she would bring them home without my permission, even when she would reel them in expressly against my wishes.

Relationship nosedives

Our relationship took a nosedive that never corrected itself in 2013, during a time that had seemed to me to be relatively positive. We were getting along pretty well and she was being minimally affectionate. Then I accidently found the Facebook messages on her phone. She had helped her ex move across the country to the next town over, and was spending EVERY DAY with her while I was at work. Even talking to me on my lunch breaks while with her. This had gone on for weeks, and she had been intentionally deceptive about it. Racy, somewhat explicit messages, sent from her ex, even describing how the ex wished I wasn’t in the picture.

My whole life crumbled.

There is no way to describe that feeling if you have never felt it. And I was so naive, so trusting, that at first I literally thought the ex must have hacked her Facebook and was messaging herself, just to torture me. But when I read more, there was no way. There were things said about recent happenings that the ex would not have known about. You know you are under someone’s control when something like this can happen and they can so easily convince you that not only is it not REALLY cheating (because they supposedly never slept together), but it’s also all your fault.

In one evening I went from happily in love with a woman and in a marginally “good enough” relationship to one in which either the woman I loved was a complete liar and fraud or one in which I was so lacking as a partner that I caused the woman I love to do this horrible thing. I allowed myself to be convinced of the latter…

Wants ex to move in

To add insult to injury, within a short while my partner came to me saying that the living situation her ex was now in, having moved from across the country, was not working out. They wanted to know if she could move in with us. Now, keep in mind, my partner was 18 years older than me. Her ex was 10 years older than her — in her 60s! And disabled, and in poor health. Of course my partner came to me very embarrassed that this whole situation had turned out like this — she had moved her ex across country into another bad situation, and she was asking me to help fix it. Not wanting to put a disabled senior citizen on the streets, I reluctantly agreed. I would say it was a mistake, but it also was a part of a turn of events that eventually let me to get OUT, so perhaps it was meant to be…

My partner and her ex made quite the pair … both disabled, both at home all day, while I worked to try to support them. As always, we ended up with more people being paraded through my house temporarily to stay when they were down on their luck.

Over a span of a few months I had three different people come to me and tell me that my partner and her ex were secretly actually together, and they just weren’t going to leave me until my partner’s disability went through (her ex already had SSDI).

The first time I confronted her and she said the person saying these things was just stirring up trouble. The second time she had the same answer. By the third time, I was like, look. THREE TIMES!! What is going on? And her answer was that her ex must be going out and saying these things to these people. But she had no desire to do anything to fix the problem — said she would just talk to the ex, but there was no mention that the ex needed to leave.

Children, dogs and cats

Our household kept expanding…at one point last year we had a family of four (including minor children, one of whom was pregnant), my partner’s ex, 17 dogs, and 4 cats. And I was the only one working. (The ex had SSDI, so she “helped” with that, but her inability to be frugal and insistence on smoking like a chimney and getting expensive cable in my name pretty much canceled out any help she would have been.)

As if that weren’t stressful enough, I also have two neurological disorders and an autoimmune disorder. Because of my health conditions and the stress in my life, I was having to pull into parking lots on my drive to work just to take naps so I wouldn’t wreck driving. I was exhausted physically, and emotionally I was at the end of my rope.

There was just NO WAY to make ends meet. I couponed like a crazy person. I made my own laundry soap (with that many people and animals, laundry soap was a huge expense). For awhile I was buying cigarettes for three people (I don’t even smoke), and eventually I refused to do so any longer and bought a machine and tobacco and tubes…but then my partner refused to roll her own (said she couldn’t figure it out) so then I was stuck 30-60 minutes a day rolling her cigarettes so I wouldn’t have to buy them. And still all our bills were behind. I often went without some of my own medication because I couldn’t afford it — one medicine in particular is quite expensive even after insurance. I could barely keep lights on and the house out of foreclosure and gas in my car to get to work.

Unbelievable stress

The stress was unbelievable. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, with so many people and with my partner’s health issues and with all the animals. So many times I seriously considered ending my life, just so my partner could maybe make ends meet with my life insurance policy.

And of course, I received no emotional support. Rather, I was criticized for how I interacted with everyone else in the house. Criticized for getting so upset at the ex (you know, for doing things like starting rumors that I was pregnant and cheating on my partner). Criticized for not being able to control things going on with the family living with us that were bothering my partner. Two times I sat the mother of this family down, at the request of my partner, and said, look, we need to start planning for you guys to move elsewhere. Then I’d go to work and my partner would make amends with them and agree to let them stay longer … making ME the bad guy and her the compassionate one, of course.

Didn’t ask for much

The worst part was, I really didn’t ask for much. Intimacy was long gone, per her refusal. I tried repeatedly to understand what had happened to our relationship, and she literally refused to even discuss it with me. Every couple months I’d simply ask if we could talk, and would be met with an immediate and angry, “Oh Jesus F—ing Christ, what now?!” I mean, how do you even respond to that?

I can honestly say, I gave everything I possibly could to make that relationship work. I gave far more than any reasonable person would have. Despite the fact that she refused to marry me when it became an option in my state, I still considered her to be my spouse. I took the promise I made quite seriously. I begged for us to try couples counseling again but she wanted nothing to do with it, or our relationship, until I finally decided I couldn’t go on like that. Literally, I couldn’t…it was going to kill me, or I was going to kill myself, and I saw no end in sight because she was continuing to do the same things over and over.

Fabricated past

Beyond the fact that I just couldn’t continue on like that, there was another factor that contributed to my decision to get out. I found out early this year from a relative that quite a few things my partner had told me about herself and her past were untrue.

I had already been told that my partner’s story about being raised by her Native American great grandparents was untrue … in fact that these relatives never even existed. I had already brushed that aside, thinking maybe I was being told wrong. I even got a subscription to Ancestry.com to try to research it myself (working on her family tree) and couldn’t find these people anywhere. It struck me as strange, and I decided it had to be a misunderstanding somewhere. Maybe she had been told these people were grandparents, and they were just an old couple in the community. Surely she wouldn’t LIE about something like that!

The biggest lie was about her military background. She supposedly spent 13 years in the Air Force, worked on nuclear weapons, worked in NATO, was trained as a profiler (think Criminal Minds), was trained by the military in martial arts, and had been deployed all over the world. This was such a huge part of her identity, and she claims to have PTSD from her experiences.

Then I found out in a conversation with a relative that that was a complete load of crap. She was in the military 4 years, and never left the country. She was a cook. And she was not honorably discharged.

Once again, my world crumbled. I could not fathom that she had lied to me in this way for so long. I wracked my brain, trying to find an explanation. Maybe she has a delusional disorder! Maybe that was why so many times her stories of her military experience sounded so similar to things we just saw on TV … maybe she couldn’t help it, maybe her brain was confusing her! But I was able to confirm at least part of this to be true, through the SCRA website. Her military service began two years later than she told me it had, and lasted four years and one month. Definitely not the 13 years she had been telling everyone.

Nothing was as it seemed

Regardless of the reason, and regardless of how much I loved her, I could not stay in a relationship where nothing was as it seemed. I knew better than to confront her about the lies —she had an explosive temper and hated to be challenged. So I just sat down one night and told her I was done, it just wasn’t working, and I was as gentle as possible.

At this point we had fewer people living with us, but two of them were minor children, plus all the dogs, and I wanted to make sure they were all cared for. I said we could try being roommates (that didn’t go over well).

She had a rental property, and I said one or the other of us could move out of my house and stay in that one, so we’d still live close and could both help take care of the dogs. (That didn’t go over well either, b/c at that point her ex was renting the other property.)

I decided I would just move out and let her stay in my house (the mortgage is only in my name and predates my relationship with her) and I’d help her get on her feet financially, and as long as she could within a few months handle the rest of her bills through her SSDI (which she was finally awarded) and rental income, I could still pay the mortgage and then the rest of my bills at a new residence. No option was acceptable to her.

Behavior started to scare me

She started alternating between trying to work things out (saying she wanted to marry me now, wanting counseling, etc.) and just going into frightening raging lectures, which lasted HOURS. Her behavior really started to scare me.

She began using sleep deprivation as a primary means to wear me down, which is especially cruel because I have narcolepsy. She would lecture me for hours, into the early hours of the morning, with me just begging her to stop and let me sleep.

And she would change from threatening all sorts of stuff, like threatening to take legal action against me or destroy my belongings or prevent me from using our vehicles to get to work to threatening to try to get me fired from my job or even threatening to harass my family. I had gone off some of my meds, including my antidepressant, due to side effects, which were affecting my other conditions, so she kept saying I was just crazy and had me terrified she was going to Baker Act me.

More controlling

Her behavior had already been controlling for years — driving me away from friends and family, controlling all my time, but it got so much worse. I had to talk to her on the phone on my way to and from work and on my lunch. She would get angry if I tried to have any sort of private phone conversation ever with anyone else. She threatened to try to ruin every person who ever helped me — said she was going to have my psychotherapist’s and my massage therapist’s licenses revoked due to some imaginary malpractice.

She repeatedly accused me of cheating on her, with a million people, even with men! I was selfish, I was making her and the dogs and the people staying with us homeless. I was ruining everyone’s lives. My dogs would end up dying if I took any of them with me b/c I wouldn’t be able to take care of them right. She told me I could only take the one with me that I had before meeting her, even though others were microchipped in my name.

I was so terrified, some nights I’d wait until she fell asleep and sneak out and lock myself in a vehicle to call the domestic violence hotline, and they recommended I speak with a police officer. When they transferred me to the police, the officer told me that if they came out the best they could do (since I hadn’t been hit, of course) was recommend to me that if I feel unsafe I should leave MY OWN HOUSE, regardless of the threats she was making and the sleep deprivation techniques which were literally putting my life in danger the next day when I would drive because of my condition. Without my dogs, of course, b/c they couldn’t come to the shelter. Why would I just make my partner even more angry by waking her up with the cops there when they couldn’t do anything to help?!

Leaving my own house

I refused to leave without as many of my dogs as I could get (which ended up not being very many, but was more than one at least), and until I could safely leave with them I couldn’t give her 30 days notice to be able to evict her. There was no way I could deal with her for 30 days after telling her she had to leave! No way on earth I would be able to live through that, not emotionally, and possibly not physically.

She was already starting to do things like poke at me and put her hands on me when I was trying to sleep despite me demanding she not touch me and she even blocked me in a hallway once for speaking to her best friend who was in our driveway working on a vehicle. I knew she wouldn’t just hit me — she was too smart for that. If she were to become physically violent, it would happen exactly one time, and I’d be dead.

It took me two months, but I found a house that I could buy on contract near my job (45 minutes away from where I had been living). She insisted on helping me get the house ready — she changed the locks (so she of course still had a key to the new house). She packed my stuff (and therefore decided what did and didn’t get moved). She helped with some minor work that the house needed before I could move in, so she did all this under the guise of being so helpful and supportive while I was ditching and abandoning her of course. But I did manage to get out, with a few dogs and a few basic things.

I already had to sneak a few nonreplaceable things out of the house, family items and other things I was afraid she would destroy, but basically I moved with almost nothing. Despite the fact that we had two refrigerators, I moved with just my old college dorm fridge. Despite the fact that we had two sets of washers and dryers, I was hand-washing laundry in a bucket in the bathtub for weeks. My new house was (still is) pitifully furnished and she took almost everything, saying she needed it all. (All while, I later found out, telling everyone that she let me have everything and I left HER with nothing…)

We had five vehicles between us — she took them all except the one we were selling on payments to her best friend. Thankfully he is a good man and gave me the car back so I can get to and from work, but I am going to have to make it right with him for the sake of my own conscience and make another arrangement or pay him back the money he paid HER for this car so far.

She did whatever she could to try to leave me with nothing.

Stalking

Once I moved out she began the stalking — calling, texting incessantly. Terrifying me. Threatening all sorts of things again. I eventually had to change the locks (which really angered her) and get a protective order against her, which was a difficult several month process with a lawyer and a legal advocate from the local domestic violence shelter.

Since she can’t contact me, she has proceeded to harass anyone who has remained my friend, including having them arrested and making false and exaggerated CPS reports to get a friend’s kids taken away for two weeks (they have of course gotten them back now). It makes me feel like a liability to have as a friend. It’s horrible.

I was the fourth woman

After the last court date, when the protective order was made permanent (2 years), I reached out to a woman that my partner (now my EX) knew years ago. I was desperate to figure out what had just happened to my life. I found out that this woman, let’s call her Ann, only knew my ex for 6 months, but I was the fourth woman she knew of who my ex took practically every penny from and tried to destroy their life.

Her lies were more extensive than I had even realized, and Ann told me that the last time someone reached out to her trying to find out information on my ex, it was the parents of a girl who my ex TRIED TO KILL.

“Someone” poured diesel under this girl’s house while she was asleep in it. She got out, two of her dogs did not, and she subsequently had a nervous breakdown.

They couldn’t prove it was my ex, but it was clearly arson, and I can’t tell you how many times my ex would say to me things like that she could just burn down the house of this or that person she was angry with and nobody would ever know… So, clearly, my determination that my ex would only get physically violent with me exactly one time was spot on, as this is what happened to this girl prior to me.

Why am I writing?

There is so much more I could write…I have a long way to go, but I am slowly getting there. So why am I writing this now?

  1. I want someone else to know how bad it was. And it was bad. So many people just look at me like I am crazy if they hear even the smallest detail of my situation. But it is real — I lived it and I am still recovering from it.
  2. I want people to understand that this happens in gay and lesbian relationships also. There is very little out there about domestic violence in the context of lesbian relationships, and even in the LGBT community there is often little recognition of it.
  3. I want others to know that it does get better, although not always in the timeframe we would like. I thought it would just magically be better when I moved out, but it actually got harder. I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be for me to be alone. I had no idea who I was anymore or how to make even the most basic decisions. I was like a zombie — paced the floors, slept all day, couldn’t eat. Lost tons of weight. I spent many, many nights on the phone with domestic violence and suicide hotlines. Add to that the fact that my ex’s stalking and threats only escalated when I moved out (and she refused to leave my old house or give me access to it for awhile as well) and the difficulties I had in getting a protective order … it was just tough.

But I was tougher. I somehow made it through. I am a little bit amazed at my own strength, to be honest, because I went through hell, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, and financially, and I am still here. I survived and persevered, and even made some important decisions along the way to protect myself.

I am not where I want to be yet, but I do know where I will never return.

 



27 Comments on "LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Breaking free of the controlling, sociopathic girlfriend"

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  1. Stargazer says:

    Dear seekeroflight, your story is inspiring. You have survived a classic sociopath – no one can imagine how destructive they are unless they’ve been through it. You seem to have some resources – financial and social. Sounds like you need one good, creative friend to come over and help you fix up your place a little so you like it better. Maybe you have a friend who would actually really enjoy doing that! It’s normal to feel shame after what you’ve been through. You have swallowed so much of her energy, her words, and her criticisms. Time to give it all back. It’s a process. Blogging here was so helpful to me when I was going through it.



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  2. Jan7 says:

    Here is Steven Hassan’s “Bite Model” on how a cult leader domestic abuser mind controls their victims.
    His site is Freedom of mind Resources Center.com

    Steven Hassan writes:

    “Many people think of mind control as an ambiguous, mystical process that cannot be defined in concrete terms. In reality, mind control refers to a specific set of methods and techniques, such as hypnosis or thought- stopping, that influence how a person thinks, feels, and acts. Like many bodies of knowledge, it is not inherently good or evil. If mind control techniques are used to empower an individual to have more choice, and authority for his life remains within himself, the effects can be beneficial. For example, benevolent mind control can be used to help people quit smoking without affecting any other behavior. Mind control becomes destructive when the locus of control is external and it is used to undermine a person’s ability to think and act independently.

    As employed by the most destructive cults, mind control seeks nothing less than to disrupt an individual’s authentic identity and reconstruct it in the image of the cult leader. I developed the BITE model to help people determine whether or not a group is practicing destructive mind control. The BITE model helps people understand how cults suppress individual member’s uniqueness and creativity. BITE stands for the cult’s control of an individual’s Behavior, Intellect, Thoughts, and Emotions.

    It is important to understand that destructive mind control can be determined when the overall effect of these four components promotes dependency and obedience to some leader or cause. It is not necessary for every single item on the list to be present. Mindcontrolled cult members can live in their own apartments, have nine-to-five jobs, be married with children, and still be unable to think for themselves and act independently.

    Destructive mind control is not just used by cults. Learn about the Human Trafficking BITE Model and the Terrorism BITE Model

    The BITE Model
    I. Behavior Control
    II. Information Control
    III. Thought Control
    IV. Emotional Control
    Behavior Control

    1. Regulate individual’s physical reality
    2. Dictate where, how, and with whom the member lives and associates or isolates
    3. When, how and with whom the member has sex
    4. Control types of clothing and hairstyles
    5. Regulate diet – food and drink, hunger and/or fasting
    6. Manipulation and deprivation of sleep
    7. Financial exploitation, manipulation or dependence
    8. Restrict leisure, entertainment, vacation time
    9. Major time spent with group indoctrination and rituals and/or self indoctrination including the Internet
    10. Permission required for major decisions
    11. Thoughts, feelings, and activities (of self and others) reported to superiors
    12. Rewards and punishments used to modify behaviors, both positive and negative
    13. Discourage individualism, encourage group-think
    14. Impose rigid rules and regulations
    15. Instill dependency and obedience
    Information Control

    1. Deception:
    a. Deliberately withhold information
    b. Distort information to make it more acceptable
    c. Systematically lie to the cult member
    2. Minimize or discourage access to non-cult sources of information, including:
    a. Internet, TV, radio, books, articles, newspapers, magazines, other media
    b.Critical information
    c. Former members
    d. Keep members busy so they don’t have time to think and investigate
    e. Control through cell phone with texting, calls, internet tracking
    3. Compartmentalize information into Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
    a. Ensure that information is not freely accessible
    b.Control information at different levels and missions within group
    c. Allow only leadership to decide who needs to know what and when
    4. Encourage spying on other members
    a. Impose a buddy system to monitor and control member
    b.Report deviant thoughts, feelings and actions to leadership
    c. Ensure that individual behavior is monitored by group
    5. Extensive use of cult-generated information and propaganda, including:
    a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audiotapes, videotapes, YouTube, movies and other media
    b.Misquoting statements or using them out of context from non-cult sources
    6. Unethical use of confession
    a. Information about sins used to disrupt and/or dissolve identity boundaries
    b. Withholding forgiveness or absolution
    c. Manipulation of memory, possible false memories
    Thought Control

    1. Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
    a. Adopting the group’s ‘map of reality’ as reality
    b. Instill black and white thinking
    c. Decide between good vs. evil
    d. Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)
    2.Change person’s name and identity
    3. Use of loaded language and clichés which constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzz words
    4. Encourage only ‘good and proper’ thoughts
    5. Hypnotic techniques are used to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking and even to age regress the member
    6. Memories are manipulated and false memories are created
    7. Teaching thought-stopping techniques which shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts, including:
    a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
    b. Chanting
    c. Meditating
    d. Praying
    e. Speaking in tongues
    f. Singing or humming
    8. Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
    9. Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy allowed
    10. Labeling alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful
    Emotional Control

    1. Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings – some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong or selfish
    2. Teach emotion-stopping techniques to block feelings of homesickness, anger, doubt
    3. Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault
    4. Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as
    a. Identity guilt
    b. You are not living up to your potential
    c. Your family is deficient
    d. Your past is suspect
    e. Your affiliations are unwise
    f. Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
    g. Social guilt
    h. Historical guilt
    5. Instill fear, such as fear of:
    a. Thinking independently
    b. The outside world
    c. Enemies
    d. Losing one’s salvation
    e. Leaving or being shunned by the group
    f. Other’s disapproval
    6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows – love bombing and praise one moment and then declaring you are horrible sinner
    7. Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins
    8. Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority
    a. No happiness or fulfillment possible outside of the group
    b. Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc.
    c. Shunning of those who leave; fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family
    d. Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly, brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock and roll
    e. Threats of harm to ex-member and family”



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  3. seekeroflight says:

    Ironically, I had a brief experience with a cult…in Mexico while studying there. I like to joke that I’m the only person stupid enough to travel to Mexico to study spanish and end up in a cult. It was a very brief but very traumatic experience, with a group which is widespread in Mexico but not really known about in the USA. At some point I will have to write an actual thing about that experience too…Also about the stalker from high school and early college. It’s funny, I mean, there is obviously a pattern here, right? It’s not like I’m unaware of the pattern. I have a good amount of crap in my past. I just thought my ex was going to be a person who would help me heal from those things – that’s certainly how she presented herself. And then she was the worst one of all.

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading about having an addiction to relationships. I relate to that quite a bit in some ways, and I know I’ve gotten a lot better with that especially this year. However, it’s hard for me to differentiate between what is a healthy want and need of having relationships with other people and what is an unhealthy want and need of relationships. It kind of makes me want to avoid everyone altogether and question myself whenever I feel like I would like to spend time with someone. I’m talking even friends, not romantically. How do you know the difference? How do I try to not be unhealthy without just completely isolating myself? Is it ever not unhealthy to feel lonely? I feel like this should be so easy, and it’s just not. I feel like an idiot.



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    • Stargazer says:

      Great questions, seeker. I think it’s important to feel comfortable spending time alone and getting to know yourself in order to know when other people’s energy is draining or uplifting. Then you can choose. It’s also important to be able to recognize old unresolved needs from childhood. It was an epiphany for me when I realized I could meet these needs myself, allowing me to have healthier and less co-dependent relationships. These days I spend a good amount of time alone, and I enjoy it. I meditate frequently and guard my energy carefully. I love helping others and doing for others, but if it feels like a drain, I stop. This is especially true in my massage practice. I have fired clients – even regular paying clients – when they become a drain on my energy for whatever reason.



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      • seekeroflight says:

        Thanks for the reply, Stargazer…

        “It was an epiphany for me when I realized I could meet these needs myself”

        This is so hard. It’s so hard when you already feel subhuman. When you feel like you began the race three laps behind, and the race is only four laps total. And having some awareness of what those unresolved childhood needs are doesn’t seem to do much, at least for me, to make fulfilling them seem more attainable.



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  4. 20years says:

    seekeroflight, I am very moved by your postings. Your reaching out here is a huge first step in your healing. Trust that you are on the right path, and you will get to a very good place, in time. You are receiving a lot of excellent support and advice already from the several people who have responded to you. I don’t have much to add, other than another voice saying, you can do this, you are worth it, you are not alone. Keep going, do the no contact, keep reaching out for support. Absolutely ignore the naysayers, anyone who is negative, anyone who makes you feel like crap, anyone who judges you in any way.

    You will find your own way out of this. There is no one, right way. But there are many people who have done this before, so take heart, it is absolutely possible and certain to recover, once you decide to go in a good direction and cast off the old, negative patterns you found yourself caught in.

    It is not clear to me, your spiritual leanings, so I will only mention that I have found it to be true, that “spirit” is at the heart of the matter. If you are drawn towards positivity and “light,” then that is the way out of this. First, go within yourself, find that spark of light there, and nurture/protect it so it will grow. Look for beauty. Turn away from ugliness and strife. That is a good way of getting stronger, of knowing yourself, and eventually not allowing anyone — ever — to control you in the ways you have found yourself controlled.

    Jan7’s words about adrenal fatigue are very wise. Nurture yourself physically as well as spiritually. You have been so busy taking care of everyone but yourself. As they say on the airplanes, put your own oxygen mask on FIRST, then put the oxygen masks on your children. You cannot take care of anyone, if you are not also taken care of. Even if YOU are the one taking care of you (without anyone’s help) — it is not selfish in a bad way. It is extremely important. Be responsible for yourself, and others should be responsible for themselves, rather than being dependent on you like parasites sucking all the life out of you. Don’t allow that — it is not good for you.

    I can tell you are a wonderful, loving and kind, generous person. I am sure you will be OK — it sounds like you are financially resourceful. Oh my goodness, to be taking care of so many people. Make yourself very, very strong and then if you want to return to taking care of others, you will be in a much stronger position, to be able to do so, without becoming depleted in the process (spiritually, energetically, physically).

    Hang in there.



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    • seekeroflight says:

      20years,

      Thanks so much for the kind words. It helps to hear people say things will get better, because some days they feel like they won’t. Ever. I’m having a few days like that right now. It’s like my mind is replaying every moment from the last 7+ years, making me relive each one in light of the knowledge I now have of who and what my ex is. It’s horrifying and exhausting. I feel like every moment I’m losing another part of myself. And I can’t make my mind stop. For awhile I was just so preoccupied with getting the protective order and figuring out financially how to survive the next day or week or month, and now that those needs aren’t quite so pressing anymore there is nothing to keep the other thoughts on the back burner so to speak. And I’m spiralling downward right now. I don’t even know how to explain how horrible I feel. I don’t understand how it can ever not hurt this bad. It feels unending and completely overwhelming.



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    • seekeroflight says:

      I meant to also add…I am really trying to get my health in order, b/c I spent a long time neglecting it in order to try to get health care for my ex who did have some significant health issues (real ones, in addition to the ones she made up). I just saw my eye doc last week (first time in a couple years), have gotten back in to see my chiropractor regularly again and I see her in two days for my first appt for nutrition response testing (which I have wanted to do forever but made sure my ex got to do so first b/c her health was worse than mine…although she did everything possible to sabotage her health as well regardless of what I did to try to help her), I got a good local psychologist, and I see my new primary care doc next week. Need to get a dentist appt and I’ll be mostly set until I can get a referral for a new sleep specialist. I am trying to do the things I need to. I have put all this on the back burner for so so so long.



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  5. bluejay says:

    Seekeroflight,

    I am glad that you cut ties with the ex. Concentrate on caring for yourself. I wish you well.



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  6. twiceinalifetime says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. My story is similar in so many ways. People don’t want to hear it and it sounds too unbelievable. And it’s long and complicated. I filed an eviction and it was pure hell. Then when I fought him I got arrested and the judge put him back in my house and ordered a no-contact order so I couldn’t even go to my own house. He filed an affidavit saying that I broke the order so I had to close my business and go to jail for something I didn’t do. Then he filed a restraining order so that I would never be able to go back to my own house (which he turned into a bachelor pad). Anyway, yada yada, same sob story which no one cares to hear about.
    Right now my Spath is using the court system to his advantage to destroy me. I finally have my home back (minus everything he stole) but gave up on the legal system because cops are charmed by the Spath and will not be helpful. And fighting in court is expensive and exhausting. I’m trying to walk away and cut my losses, but I’m feeling all of those things you talked about.
    I am trying to run a business but it’s very hard to function so am pretty sure I’m going to have to close down. I don’t want Spath to win but I also know he is wired wrong and it may be better to just close up and leave town.
    I’m trying to find a therapist who understands Spath’s destruction of my head, heart, health. He has everyone charmed. The women who he hates and tries to destroy are the ones he lived with and finally said no to him.
    Anyway, it’s good to hear you’re doing better. I hope to get at least that far. I feel totally duped AND so stupid. And trying not to be so mad at law enforcement for taking his side everytime. They were charmed by him on the spot all the time.



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    • Jan7 says:

      Twiceinalifetime, hugs to you! WOW what a nightmare of a story. What you are describe is what so many other victims have endured. It’s shocking how our judges & legal system are so clueless about con artist sociopaths even when they are right in front of them and they help the sociopath further destroy the true vicim life. I am so sorry that all of this has happened to you.

      Look at the site One moms battle & for support look at their Facebook page. Open a fake email then a Facebook page so that you can chat freely & safely. This site is mainly for child custody but they also help others who are dealing with a sociopath in court. It is a God send site.

      One of the first things you should do is get a court ordered mental examination on your ex. Ask the site creator on One moms battle Facebook page to guide you. THIS WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE because once the court sees he is disordered then things will shift in your favor. It also might help to have your convicted over turned.

      Also on one moms battle they list lawyers who “get” personality disordered people and will know exactly how to deal with your ex in court. IF you don’t see your city listed with any lawyers just ask on the Facebook page if anyone has a good lawyer & ask the question how do you get a mental evaluation ordered by the court. You are right about walking away sometimes is better then trying to win a fight with a sociopath. Remember the sociopath is all about winning and they love that they are able to con a judge!

      Again, I am sorry that you are dealing with such a nightmare. HUGS!! 🙂 wishing you all the best!!



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