lf1

How did you get caught by a sociopath? Find answers in the new Red Flags of Love Fraud Workbook ebook

Red Flags of Love Fraud Workbook

Red Flags of Love Fraud Workbook — only $4.95 in the Lovefraud Store

As I learned more and more about the depths of my one-time husband’s deception and betrayal, one of the things I kept asking myself was this:

How did I get myself into this mess?

I was a college-educated journalist and business owner. I’d been dating for more than 20 years. Yet nothing this man promised me was real, and I couldn’t see it — until it was far too late.

How did this happen?

Since my personal experience, and hearing from thousands of Lovefraud readers, I’ve discovered that we all have vulnerabilities, and sociopaths are experts at finding them.

Recognizing our own vulnerabilities will help us understand why we were targeted, and what we have to do to recover. More importantly, knowing our vulnerabilities can keep us safe in the future.

To help you, I created the Red Flags of Lovefraud Workbook. And, now, for the first time, it is available as an ebook or a printed book.

This slim little pamphlet offers you the opportunity to gently look at your strengths and weaknesses, so you can evaluate for yourself how you were manipulated. And if you are still involved with the sociopath, it can help you plan your escape.

The Red Flags of Love Fraud Workbook covers the following topics:

  • Buying into the myths
  • Assessing your vulnerabilities
  • Trauma bonds
  • Your assets
  • Were you hooked by a sociopath?
  • Warnings about the individual
  • Sex
  • Power, control and dominance
  • Reality of the relationship
  • Analyzing your reactions
  • Leaving the sociopath
  • Escape
  • No Contact
  • Protecting yourself from predators
  • Making changes

Within each topic, you’ll find checklists and/or questions to ask yourself. You can write your answers directly in the Workbook, whether you choose the ebook or the printed version.

If you want a more thorough explanation of any of the topics, the Workbook is designed to coordinate with my other book, Red Flags of Love Fraud — 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath.

The Red Flags of Love Fraud Workbook costs only $4.95, and it is available only from Lovefraud.com.

This book will help you see how you were, or could be, targeted. Get it now to protect yourself.

Red Flags of Love Fraud Workbook is available in the Lovefraud Store

 



15 Comments on "How did you get caught by a sociopath? Find answers in the new Red Flags of Love Fraud Workbook ebook"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ifellforapsycho says:

    As my username says I fell for a psychopath. I spent three years with this person, even though there were many, many red flags and actual abuse and violence. I wrote to LF years ago about my involvement with a boyfriend who had bitten my chest (and destroyed many items of clothing). I involved the police but believed that it was a one-off and I think I wanted to believe this because I couldn’t understand how any human could bite another person they claimed to love etc. I didn’t give evidence at court – I believed that we still had a future, and he was remorseful. The Police were less than useless anyway. My statement was illegible, they had lost ALL evidence, photos, GP reports, hospital reports and even the emergency call I made at the time! If I had been prepared to get in the witness box it is obvious that there would have been no case to answer.

    So I continued the relationship (knowing somewhere in my heart that it was not healthy). And as everyone here would expect… it happened again with a blow to the head, more police, hospital and court. Again I refused to give evidence, not because I wanted to save the relationship but because I was not emotionally and mentally well enough to put myself through what I knew would be a traumatic experience. I had contact with him throughout and knew what his defence was going to be. (I hit myself, I was mad, an alcoholic etc). In other words he was the real victim (and he had a solicitor). In the UK the victim of domestic violence does not get legal representation because we are considered to be witnesses for the State. But again, the Police ‘lost’ all photographic evidence etc. So the case was thrown out. The relationship ‘finished’ for a while but I was soon drawn back into the relationship.

    There were numerous occasions of what I will call drama, when he stole from me, pushed me to the floor and I would call the police.
    The relationship continued to be difficult, but I would try and find a way to ‘work with it’. I tried to control the time we spent together, to do more outside of my home. But that never really happened because that was not what he wanted. All he wanted basically was what he would call ‘a wife’. This meant someone he had sex with, cooked for him, did his admin and was perfectly happy for me to be so tired when he got up for work at 5am, that I would end up sleeping late, not doing any of the things I needed/wanted to do for myself. I’m an artist so time alone is crucial for me, and I need my days to be creative.

    I knew a year ago that I was with a psychopath, which is how I came to LF in the first place. But I seemed to think that I could still find some joy in the relationship. After all… he had presented himself as the love of my life, the companion I had been looking for, my soul mate. It took me a long while to completely get the fact he was a PSYCHOPATH and incapable of giving me the kind of healthy love that I wanted/needed.
    Not one of my friends wanted me to be with this person as they could see the damage he was causing and how I had changed in the time that I had been with him. They weren’t prepared to be around him, so they stayed away. I couldn’t blame them, but I did feel some resentment towards them, if I’m honest.

    So by the time we get to 13th September 2015 (exactly 3 years to the day)… and he tried to hit me in front of one of his friends I knew it was OVER. But I let him back into my home to collect something and he hit me in the mouth. Again, Police but no hospital… I couldn’t bear to go on my own AGAIN!

    I was later contacted by Police who told me that I had been referred to a ‘committee’ of Police, Social Services and DV projects because of the amount of incidents (I had lost track). All my time had been spent crawling from one drama to another. I literally could not see the wood for the trees. But I started to take it seriously and took out an emergency non-molestation order, which took 3 days to obtain from Court and lasts for 1 year. The amount of evidence I had made this an easy decision for the Judge. This Order was served on him on 23rd September. No-contact. I was a bit uneasy doing it. But I knew it was the only way to save myself from getting sucked back in. I also knew in my heart (and head) that one day one of us would end up dead, either by accident or design.

    So, to get back to the article (apologies for my rambling). I have spent the past few months looking at myself. Trying to work out why I continued to have a relationship with this obviously dysfunctional man. Through my research I learned that I was the ‘perfect victim’. Why? Because I grew up in a dysfunctional home.

    I grew up with one person-my mother. She had lost both parents and separated from her siblings when she was 14. My mother had no friends, and I had no family around. No father, brother, sister, cousins, uncles, aunts or grandparents. And my mother would fall out with people all the time. Bernard was like a Grandad to me, and I loved him dearly but my mother fell out with his wife when she didn’t get a birthday card and I never saw Bernard again. He will always be special to me because he was an artist and taught me how to hold a pencil and draw. And I’m still drawing!

    No-one came into the home because my mother was ashamed that we didn’t have a ‘posh house’. I was not a child who had friends over, I was a child who became a mini-adult, and a support for my mother. If I cried she would get very angry (she had a temper), she told me often that I was too tall to cry. So I learnt to hide my sad emotions. She also continually referred to my ‘nice days’ which were until I was 6. I don’t know what happened at 6 other than I remember thinking that she was strange and wondering if I was adopted.

    Basically I have come to accept that although painful (and for some reason embarrassing) I grew up with a sociopath who had little or no empathy for anyone other than herself. I can actually remember the first time she expressed it when she saw an old woman crying on TV next to her bombed-out house in Bosnia. That was the first time she had shown any compassion for another human being. All her compassion was for herself, which was understandable she had had a hard life. But it left me with a mindset that was all about looking after other peoples needs and I spent the rest of my life being ‘helpful’ as a way of getting love. That is what I learnt love was. You had to act a certain way, hide certain things if you wanted people to love you. It made sense to me at the time. After all, my own mother taught me that. There was never anyone else to contradict her nasty comments, her verbal abuse etc. So I believed everything that came out of her mouth. Yes, I was too tall to cry, no-one wants someone like that. I became an actress. Pretending to be happier than I really was.

    So, I was/am the perfect victim for an experienced psychopath like D was. He picked me because he could see that vulnerability. I even talked to him about it. But he was the worst person I could ever have exposed that to because he was not in my life to make it ‘all better’, he was around to control and destroy me, and he nearly did.

    So after all these years (I’m 58 now) I have to acknowledge that I grew up in a dysfunctional home and that I too am dysfunctional when it comes to choosing the right partner. D is not the first psycho I have been involved with, but he was by far the most dangerous. The only man I have met who has used violence and who I ended up being afraid of.

    So I start my new journey now. I know it won’t be easy, and I have to let go of all the mistakes I’ve made. I never asked to be a single lonely child, raised by a selfish, narcissistic mother with strong psychopathic tendencies. But that is not what defined me. I have always had a strong, good spirit and that has brought me here, all on my own. I feel a deep sense of loneliness (I always have to be honest). And of course I still fear that others will use that against me just like my mother did.
    But I cannot hide anymore, and the relationship I had with D showed me that. And I am grateful for that…really. I do worry that I have left it too late, but as the saying goes- “hope springs eternal”.

    I hope that this post does not sound self-indulgent. I know my situation is very different in many ways to most of you here on LF. I do not have children, financial involvement, property or any other ties to this man. I never even gave him keys to my home.

    But last night I finally realised that I had been prepared to stay with this abusive, violent man because he said he loved me (and probably did in a psychopathic way), and that the reason I let him in my life was because I was desperate for love, because of who I was/am. That was a wake-up call. I know I deserve better. I don’t know if I will ever find the love I have craved all my life, maybe it is just something I have to learn to live without. But I know now that I was the perfect victim and refuse to be that person. I will learn to be honest about who I really am. I will learn to be kind to myself and to feel proud that after all that’s happened in my life I’m still the lovely spiritual, kind, compassionate, helpful, funny person that my friends love. My life has made me who I am. It’s still early days, but I know that once I start to be honest with myself and others I will be happy with or without a man in my life.

    The most important thing I have learnt is that people that really love you do not want to hurt you in any way. And that includes parents, siblings and partners. That lesson will remain with me and I will see the red flags and have the courage to step away.



    Report this comment

    • daughterofone says:

      Although our stories differ in many ways, one thing you said rang true for me. You described your childhood as living as an “actress” and pretending to be happy and were groomed to always look after other people’s needs. I grew up the same way. Dad was/is a sociopath. Had a wonderful, kind mother and younger brother. We were the three musketeers until dad would show up and ruin things. (he worked out of town a lot – would come home on weekends or every other weekend) My kind mom could not protect us because she couldn’t understand what was happening either. We all knew our family life was abnormal, but back in the 70’s, there wasn’t a name for what our dad was/is. Sociopath. Growing up that way caused me to marry a man who was narcissistic. Miserable 10 years, finally divorced. Married now to a wonderful man for the past 21 years. Around the dawn of the internet, I started learning more about dad and people like him. Then more and more was being shared online. I finally had a name for it. I had read a few books on the subject too. Sites like this are invaluable. I’ve told so many about it.

      One thing that helped me the most was to learn who I was. I had never been me. I had always been what others wanted me to be. I had never been allowed to be my own person and I didn’t understand the word, “No,” and I didn’t know how to confront or stand up for myself. I still struggle with those issues, but have made progress. I have no contact with dad and that was hard because he was way more knowledgeable about how to manipulate and control me than I realized. He knew I have/had a tender heart and was a first rate people pleaser. After all, he groomed me to be that way. No wonder people like us grow up to find mates who are similar to the only life we’ve known. But there is hope. It doesn’t have to be a permanent state.

      My advice to you is to not look for love. Let it happen naturally. When we look for it, because we are desperately lonely, we tend to blow through red flags just to have someone. And when you do think you’ve found it, give it a lot of time to bloom. Just because you are older, doesn’t mean time is running out. There is plenty of time to find a kind, loving man to share your life with. You sound like you are on your way to finding yourself, and that is good. Know who you are. Know what you want. And don’t settle for less.



      Report this comment

      • Ifellforapsycho says:

        Daughterofone, thank you for sharing your story and your positive comments. You are totally right when you say “No wonder people like us grow up to find mates who are similar to the only life we’ve known”. That’s exactly what this last relationship was… a carbon copy of my mother. I was a champion helper…especially with stuff he needed, like writing formal letters, emails and such. I even said to him on many occasions that he was like a re-incarnation of my mother. Somehow I thought I could ‘win’ this time… get the love in exchange for being super-helpful. I wasn’t looking for love but to be honest, I did say a prayer or two asking for a companion. Life’s been a very lonely experience sometimes without someone to share myself with. As a child a used to wish I had brothers and sisters, other than my imaginary ones David and Mary! But there was always a serious thoughtful mind going on as a child, so I was never sentimental about my reality. But I was jealous. I was jealous of friends with families who loved them.

        I never had children, and one of the main reasons (apart from picking rubbish men) was that I did not want to repeat the isolation I felt. I was always afraid that if I split with the father (and his family presumably) I would have been passing on the same lonely legacy and emotional background as my mother did, with no family (once she died).

        Although competent, I just KNEW that I did not have the emotional development to raise a child. And I knew I did not ever want to put a child through what I had experienced. Obviously friends would disagree and said/say I would have been a wonderful mum, but they never knew the emotional turmoil going on inside. Acting happy and confident. (Booze helped when I was younger, made me more outgoing and to this day I say that ‘beer goggles’ work on yourself too!!)

        But people come into your life for a reason. My experience has proved that to me. And being a spirit who from a young age has always had a strong connection to my soul. That is what made me finish the relationship with D. He could never satisfy my soul. He knew it, even said it….and that was one of the reasons he didn’t want me to be alone, reflecting etc as he knew I would soon realise he was WRONG for me. I was perfect for him. For me it basically comes down to who is doing the choosing. I realise now that I never was. I was carried away by flattery. And as I write I acknowledge that my inner self has known this for my entire life… it’s only now I am ready to really listen to my soul.

        One last thing. When I first met D, I said to a good friend “I don’t know who this guy is…but I KNOW for good or bad he’s going to have a major impact on my life”. Never did I anticipate the manner in which that would come true! Right now I feel glad I met him because he has brought ME to a place I NEED to be… I used to say that I felt like his stepping stone… who could have thought that actually it’s the other way round! Now it’s all about me and I’m going to work on that… life is short. I appreciate your comments about meeting someone. But the first thing I want to do is to fall in love with myself… then I can do the choosing!

        Take care.



        Report this comment

    • Jay Anthony says:

      Brave! Be proud your honesty and willingness to face yourself is admirable. Your ability to share your past as terrible as it all sounds takes strength. I am proud of you as well!

      Please, we need more like you in our current culture. I’m afraid we are losing our ability to stay connected to who we really are and why. The amount of narcissism/borderline behavior we face today seems unprecedented.

      Have you considered helping others/children? You certainly possess the strength, intelligence and what appears to be sincere empathy to do so. Food for thought.

      Best of luck to you on your journey!



      Report this comment

      • Ifellforapsycho says:

        Thank you Jay for your kind words. I truly appreciate you calling me ‘brave’. I never really saw myself as brave, but I suppose I am now after a lifetime making it up as I go along. I feel I have no choice now, I have to be honest, it’s the first step to being myself. And here at LF I can do that and receive encouragement and wisdom. Exactly what I need!

        Believe it or not, today, here at LF is the first time I have ever spoken about my adolescence truthfully. How could I have before? I didn’t even accept how dysfunctional I was/am until yesterday! And being dysfunctional meant that I had actually been prepared to stay in an abusive, totally wrong relationship for three years because I so desperately needed the love I had been craving my entire life. That just seemed crazy to me. And I KNEW for ages he was a psychopath with a black heart. He even asked me to paint a life-like image of him as the devil! I mean who wants that? But he was good at his psycho manipulation.

        But the idea that I was that desperate/needy was obviously heart-breaking . But by yesterday, I knew I had to make a choice and I chose me.

        Thank you for your comments about helping others, I’d be happy to. I have said jokingly to my friends that I was going to write a book about my relationship with D the psycho, and maybe I should do just that. Funny enough, I kept a journal for a while at the beginning, when he was driving me nuts, trying to work out what was going on. I know when I read it I’m going to wonder about my sanity! I’m only joking… because I feel NO regret about not leaving the relationship before. I believe the timing is perfect. If I hadn’t experienced exactly who he was and faced the consequences of what he was capable of I would have never seen my own damage and therefore the opportunity to heal myself. That is why I feel deep down that meeting this man, with all the nasty, is going to prove the catalyst that completely turns my life around. I can’t wait to be me! I’ve already started…. and I intend making up for lost time…a lifetime!

        Once again, thank you for your comments. Blessings.



        Report this comment

  2. Ifellforapsycho – My heart breaks to read what you have endured. But I am so glad that you have the courage to take an honest look at yourself – and know that you deserve a better life. Stay strong! Push through! Honoring your true self is the first step.



    Report this comment

    • Ifellforapsycho says:

      Donna, when I read the first line of your reply I burst into tears. The fact that someone has acknowledged my personal pain means so much to me. I realise that I have the right to feel sorrow at my past/life. I have never allowed myself that. I was taught that other people have it worse off and that is what my mother taught me. There was always someone worse off than me, regardless of what pain I was in (especially emotional pain, although she also owned all physical pain as well as she had problems with her foot). So I apologise to the child of 6 for not making a better life for her/me, but acknowledge with love that I had a terrible start to life and I need to celebrate getting this far. The future has to be better now. I am strong, as experience has shown me. But I must learn to protect myself, by being honest about who I am. That way I will attract kind-hearted people into my life. Thank you again for LF and your comments Donna, the value of which you may never know.



      Report this comment

  3. slimone says:

    Ifell and daughterof,

    I can so relate to both your backgrounds. I was raised by a very selfish and emotionally immature mother, who was married 5 times by the time I was 10. She is, to this day, clueless about herself. No introspection, and very limited empathy for others’. She is not completely amoral, or predatorial. I think she is basically a moderate grade narcissist/borderline personality.

    Growing up with her was a lonely, chaotic, dramatic, uncertain experience. I certainly was left with my own narcissistic wounds (as I received very little real love, acceptance, approval, or nurturing…no mirroring of my actual worth). I ended up emotionally cut off from both myself, and from others’. I desperately wanted love and connection, but didn’t know how to do it, didn’t read other people’s intentions well, and was ‘attracted’ to types like my mother: selfish users and abusers.

    I was a lonely child, and grew up a pretty maladjusted young woman, desperate for any crumb of attention I could find. Plus, I was a ‘fixer’. I certainly absorbed my mothers’ message that everything was my fault, and none of hers. Man, Ifell, when you wrote about what you ‘did’ for D, I just shook my head in amazement. You described one of my ‘roles’ to a tee. I think, for me, I adopted this ‘doing and fixing’ for others routine as a way to try and create a different outcome: that they would find value in me and love me.

    I organized paperwork, filed taxes, paid medical bills, filled out applications, arranged MD visits, bought airline tickets; and I didn’t even live with him! I just stepped in and started doing the things he did not appear to know how to do, thinking he would learn, and we would live happily ever after.

    What changed for me when I was out of any kind of destructive relationship was that I FINALLY connected with myself, instead of being a kind of chameleon for someone else. What I found, when I connected with myself, was complicated. But the simple version is that I had very little idea of what was truly important to ME. I didn’t even feel I had a right to have MY OWN values, desires, and life direction. I was so focused outside of myself, looking for approval and attention, I couldn’t fathom how other people were motivated by their own selves. Of course, this was a big reason I was so attracted to the false bravado and flattery of disordered people. They ‘seemed’ so SURE of everything.

    It was a tedious and anxious few years before I started finding out who I was, as I mostly just cried and went to therapy and yoga, waiting for a light bulb to come on.

    Now my life is so much more than I ever could have imagined it would be. I have very solid and deeply connected relationships (including a husband), my work is gratifying, I feel like I know myself now and can advocate for myself (boundaries!), and I wake up with a sense of solidity- not all wishy washy and uncertain. There is real joy, silliness, and humor now. I feel (mostly) unburdened, as EVERYTHING isn’t my responsibility to fix.

    May we all find our way to our true hearts….slim



    Report this comment

    • Ifellforapsycho says:

      Slimone, what a brilliant post! As I read it there was so much you said that I could have written it myself … except you put it so eloquently, and with honesty. It’s only recently that I acknowledged that I’ve never had a clue how to make friends by just being myself…. I’m even fascinated with people who wear crazy clothes! I still don’t know how to make friends. Except with kids, I’m brilliant with them, but ultimately they belong to an adult I might fall out with, so that’s the end of our relationship (just like my mother/Bernard).

      I don’t really know what love feels like to be honest, certainly not from other people (but I do feel my cat loves me, because she accepts me as I am). Someone telling me they love me doesn’t really mean anything other than nice sounding words. I think the word ‘love’ is meaningless. We use it for everything. I want a deep soulful/friend connection. That’s what I call love. I don’t understand movie plots when the man (usually in desperation) tells the woman he loves her and she suddenly drops all plans to leave! What’s that about? I just don’t get it. Am I supposed to take responsibility for the fact someone loves me? Or does that just show how dysfunctional/damaged I really am?

      Anyway, I learnt how to ‘get by’ without having someone to do things with me. My mother refused to do anything like school events, sports days etc because she didn’t think she was well dressed. So I always felt crushed, always being the only child without any family support. Luckily I was so well brought up people would take pity and I would go off to other peoples’ houses and have a great time!

      As a child I would force myself to do things alone. I had no choice. I’d go swimming in the summer holidays, even though I was painfully shy (and a mixed-race child in ‘60’s UK). But I learnt to perfect the ‘art’ of making temporary friends/friends for the day. I would attach myself to anyone that would allow me to. Obviously with my mother I was never allowed to bring them home with me. That pattern of temporary friends has been with me my whole life and I have dropped a load of people from my life with a ruthlessness that I thought was normal. But it’s meant that once I have decided that I don’t want someone in my life I’ve just dumped them… usually with a letter… or just not bothering to maintain contact. I didn’t really care about them. I assumed they felt the same about me. I think I hurt quite a lot of people that way, without ever intending it.

      I think growing up with my mother gave me zero skills in even living with someone else…. unless they follow my regime. D never really had a chance and even said he was out of his depth on more than one occasion because I was determined to ‘fight’ for my lifestyle…. difficult though it was. I felt I had come too far to allow anyone to change my life…. especially D… he was/is an idiot as far as I’m concerned….God what was I thinking!! Any wonder my friends were worried! The bit about the stuff you used to do Slimone was hilarious. I even made appointments/accompanied him to dentists, opticians, chemists, made phone calls. Taught him how to write down what he wanted to say before he dialled. I got to the point I had a nickname for him ‘Brain’…. in recognition of the one brain cell he had that was still functioning (I’m glad I can see some humour today). He liked it. It was still about him after all.

      But the part of your post I found touched a real chord with me was your description of your adolescence. I ended up emotionally cut off from both myself, and from others’. I desperately wanted love and connection, but didn’t know how to do it, didn’t read other people’s intentions well, and was ‘attracted’ to types like my mother: selfish users and abusers. I was just as dysfunctional (but never admitted it). I used alcohol to help me and abused myself thorough sex and basically all the effects of really low self-esteem, and to make matters worse I was attractive, so people assumed a certain confidence. And I was confident with people… I’d spent years perfecting the art of talking to complete strangers and getting them to like me…. I even worked successfully in sales…I’m an Aquarian, I genuinely like people! But privately I was an expert in picking up all types of waifs and strays. I never had the confidence to ‘make friends’ with quality people….. only the dregs. I didn’t think I deserved any better…. after all who was I? But I’ve forgiven that young woman and her mistakes years ago, and feel no shame.

      I have always known that I have strong intuitive powers, and a deep connection to my spirit. I also know EXACTLY what I need to do in order to develop those powers. With D I just never had the chance to meditate, create or think. If I didn’t see him for a month, I never missed him. After 2 days recovery, I just got back into my own groove. I always ‘feared’ him coming round, because even if we didn’t argue, the negative energy he brought with him, once the mask had slipped, was enough to turn everything sour.

      Thankfully I am the kind of woman that has a strong mind (once I work it out!) and am very determined. This relationship has shown me that, because I could have stayed. I could have changed myself just so that I could get love… like in the old days. But I knew who I was when I met him and he was never going to defeat me. It really did feel like a battle. I even stated to my friends that I was now a Ninja!

      I want to express myself now… my true self. I have a good idea of who I am, but I want to express it. I want to stop hiding. I will still need to be brave and may have to dump a few ‘friends’ along the way, if they don’t like the person I become. I don’t care. I have long said to my friends that all I want is to be myself. Now I can start that journey.
      May we all find our way to our own hearts……. What beautiful words Slimone. Thanks.



      Report this comment

  4. slimone says:

    Ifell,

    We sound a bit like two peas in a pod.

    It is not easy, especially when we don’t want to be compared to a truly pathological person, to own our dysfunction. However, there are some real distinctions between pathological narcissism and being incredibly wounded, lost even, but capable of change.

    All I can really say is ‘me too, Ifell, me too’… to so much of what you have written. The sexual acting out, the booze, befriending the waifs and strays, and even the ‘strong mindedness’. I am was also a pretty good actress and could appear to be quite happy, even when feeling desperately sad and lonely. I had long vacillated between a part of me that was quite sure and strong, and a part of me that was every bit as destructive, insecure, and thin skinned as anyone I had ever met. Even hanging out with the misfits served to shield me from too much self-examination, since they were generally ‘worse off’ than I was. On the one side of the coin I didn’t feel I deserved better, on the other I felt hidden by their glaring insufficiency’s.

    Bringing these parts of me to light has been of immense help. In truth I have struggled with my own version of dysfunctional narcissism. Albeit not pathological. I have had the good fortune to be able to be introspective, and capable of change. But I certainly had the set up from my early years to be lost in that darkness for a long time.

    As far as I can tell it is the coming to light of my weaknesses and my strengths, and then taking them away from my ‘ego’ (if that even makes sense) that has done me the most good. Now my weakness doesn’t produce so much shame and reaction, and my strength doesn’t cause me to become over-inflated and puffed up. It’s kind of like I don’t take myself ‘personally’. This has allowed me to connect to the deeper places in my heart and psyche, enabling my strengths to serve more than just me, and my weaknesses to be made smaller and less harmful. I am not more than others’, nor less.

    It’s all any of us can do in this life, to see ourselves clearly and keep growing. Luckily for those of us who are not disordered we CAN DO THIS. It is really good news for us.

    Good for you for letting go. We have to. The biggest part of my forgiveness has been for me. Regardless of why I may have ended up so wounded, my actions were my own. I have compassion for myself, for my confusion, hurt, and my rebellious reactions to a life unfair. I am no longer angered by it, and have little self-pity. I can let it go.

    I hear that, I think, in your voice too. Good for you.

    Slim



    Report this comment

    • Ifellforapsycho says:

      Wow! Slim, I don’t know where to start. Firstly, it felt brilliant to hear you say “we’re like two peas in a pod” after a lifetime of feeling totally misunderstood and alone. The way you again, so eloquently, expressed yourself felt like my words but more than that, your words are inspirational to me right now.
      I seek clarity, always and I know the mind is a powerful tool. Words are power: and these words of yours: “Even hanging out with the misfits served to shield me from too much self-examination, since they were generally ‘worse off’ than I was. On the one side of the coin I didn’t feel I deserved better, on the other I felt hidden by their glaring insufficiency’s”.

      Those words basically summed up my life, especially with boyfriends. I would go so far as to say I felt special in the company of misfits. I certainly understood them, but I admit I also felt superior in many ways (ego). With lovers/boyfriends, I always punched below my weight, and would inevitably drop them once that fact became glaringly obvious and I would tell myself I deserved better.

      I asked D once if he would be with a woman who had his background, who was a fraudster, ex-con etc just like him and all his past entailed. He was affronted at the question “Of course not, why would I? I wouldn’t be able to trust her”. Amazing. I said “What makes you think I want someone like that?” I even wrote that little exchange down. It really got me thinking….about how he saw me…if he did at all. Here I was with someone who wouldn’t dream of being with someone like him, but thought I should be happy with him. He did have a massive ego though. The kind that is founded on nothing: pure ego without substance. I was fascinated by it for a while. I couldn’t believe it. D was in many was a study for me in a type of personality that I had never encountered in my life.

      But I understand what you mean when you talk about ego and letting go. I started consciously doing that a couple of months ago. Just checking myself if I started getting a bit cocky (in my head) and be more humble, which is not the same as ignoring the fact that the person you’re with is completely incompatible mentally. Even my mother used to say the only thing that matters is that you have similar educations/intellect. I can see what she means. But then D was a fool, even my mother would have had no time for him, especially after any violence (cutting my clothing in particular).

      I also try to stop criticising myself. It is what it is, so I can’t let my ego rule. I think we all need a bit of ego, just don’t need the extremes. I think it’s about our higher and lower sides not being in conflict. I too have always been this contradiction between visible strong woman and invisible weak, insecure mess. No-one that knew me professionally would/could ever understand my tears/frustrations etc in my relationships. With D, because it was so exposed (police, hospital, tears, shouting etc) everyone knew. My female friends in particular eventually used to look into my face with total confusion, as if they were looking at a stranger. My behaviour just didn’t make sense. They all knew that if they were experiencing the same abuse, I would tell them to get out. But I will tell those I love the reasons, as I have done here at LF. The ability to write and receive support and wisdom is invaluable in my journey.

      As I said Slimone, words are power, and your words have given me the opportunity in my responses to help me begin to accept and forgive my past behaviour. Thank you. My mantra at the moment is “I did my best, I was struggling too”. I believe that I am blessed to be able to make these changes. I hope I can inspire others one day to do the same (if they need to). I’m happy to say inspire, as opposed to ‘help’. I stopped all that helping malarkey ages ago!



      Report this comment

  5. stronginthecity says:

    Donna,
    Thank you for making this workbook available as an ebook!
    Add to cart.
    SITC



    Report this comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.