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By January 26, 2017 17 Comments Read More →

My Unwitting Relationship With A Sociopath Corroded Who “I” Was

Husband Liar Sociopath

Every week, a chapter of my book, “Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, please see the links at the bottom of the post.

Chapter 37B: “It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again.” (Yogi Berra)

Soon after, I required minor surgery. As I had with Jessica’s testing, I involved Paul when setting a date for the procedure to ensure he would be available to help the kids and me. I was forced to reschedule my procedure two times, because Paul’s work demands kept trumping my health needs. Two days before the surgery, he called me from Chicago.

“Something’s come up,” he said. “A huge account’s at stake, and I can’t get back. You can handle this, right? This client’s worth lots of money. I need to stay.”

I hung up the phone and cried. Nothing had changed. If my health and medical needs and those of the kids could not come first, not even for a single day, not even for something important, not even for something known about in advance, it just punctuated how little we mattered to Paul.

Friends helped me out, gave me rides to and from the hospital, and checked in on the kids and me in the days that followed. Paul remained missing in action in Chicago. I think I knew then, without realizing it consciously, that no need of mine or the children, no matter how big, could ever trump any need of Paul’s, no matter how small. What I did not know at any level, conscious or subconscious, was that I was describing sociopath math perfectly.

Although the reality of my doomed marriage should have been inescapable at that moment, I had a problem that I did not have when I hit bottom years earlier. I had stayed in an increasingly hostile environment for far too long, and I was drained. Because I felt trapped, I was trapped. I was like the frog that had not detected the slowly rising water temperature. Finally, when the danger was clear, my body and my will were too weak to flee or fight.

If I hear one more talk show host ask a victim of domestic abuse, “Why did you stay?” and not really listen to the answer or try to understand the psychology of how emotional, psychological, financial, and/or physical abuse can rewire your brain and murder your soul, I will scream, because I do not think the interviewer is really looking for an answer. Instead, it is as if the questioner is seeking to label the victim as “weak” and “not like us.” This creates a sense that the victim is different, and that perceived difference creates the comforting illusion that it could never happen to us or someone like us. They were weak; we are strong. They were naïve; we are savvy. They were stupid; we are smart. They have no self-respect; we are self-assured. But this is wrong, false, naïve, and downright irresponsible. It can happen to almost anyone, and our only defense against it is accepting this inconvenient reality and being alert to the signs that someone with whom we are emotionally involved might be a sociopath—a sociopath who will blind us with love and the fulfillment of our dreams while leading us down the road toward self-destruction.

Almost anyone can become the target of a sociopath, and someone like I was, like most of us, who does not understand this is at even greater risk of being targeted. We need to understand and defend ourselves from this brutal reality. Evil exists in the world. Sociopaths are real and frighteningly common. They will present themselves as Prince Charming, poison us slowly, transform into the devil, and then feed on our souls, all the while making us feel so emotionally weak and confused that we stay on the “What am I doing wrong?” treadmill, unknowingly sowing the seeds of our own destruction. We need to know this and to watch for those fleeting moments when the disguise falters and the truth is revealed.

If you have not experienced the emotional and psychological erosion at the hands of a master puppeteer, it is probably hard to comprehend how profoundly your life can be altered by living with such subtle but chronic toxicity. Your strength is sapped, your confidence in your ability to perceive, decide, or “be” is all but gone. You cannot will it back to life with overused clichés to “Buck up,” “Get back on the horse,” “Get on with your life,” “Don’t give him power over you,” or “Just think—GIRL POWER.” Your strength is not hidden in a box that you simply have to discover and reopen. Even if you find the box and pull back the lid, it will be all but empty. Confidence and strength have to be remade, rebuilt, and coaxed back to life from all that is left—dust. There is no quick fix once you are so depleted. The road back is long and hard.

Over the years of consistent and discretely worded criticism that devalued my role as a mother and wife and being gaslighted, I was no longer “me.” Not only was I spent emotionally and altered psychologically, through a series of decisions that seemed to make sense at the time, I felt compromised financially as well. As the money started flowing from Paul and Anne-Marie’s consulting business, I let my own business die. The kids’ medical issues, the need to fill in the all too frequent gaps in education even at the best public schools, as well as the after-school lives of both children, became my priority. It was too exhausting to try to keep my business alive when it was not necessary to pay the bills. Daniel and Jessica needed me. I loved being their mother, coaching their teams, volunteering at their schools, applauding their victories, and wiping the occasional tear. And if not me, who? I had no family within 200 miles, and Paul was rarely available to help with homework, life, or even with transportation to and from an occasional after school event. He was just too important, too unpredictable, and too busy with work—or, if not work, too deserving of much needed recreation and relaxation, right?

Start from the beginning:

Chapter 1

Go to previous chapter:

Chapter 37A

Notes

Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.



17 Comments on "My Unwitting Relationship With A Sociopath Corroded Who “I” Was"

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  1. DoneWithThat2 says:

    “Evil exists in the world. Sociopaths are real and frighteningly common.”

    It does seem that being able to “lift the veil” and see the truth that evil does walk among us, takes the brutal experience of suffering that we all endured, to bring us to this site and others like it.

    In a real way, we are like Neo in the Matrix. We have “unplugged” from the world that other people see. We see the truth. The objective truth. Evil is real and wears a normal human face. And we know that those still plugged into the matrix don’t see it. The worst thing that can happen is that our deep suffering is not used for good. Everyone who has “unplugged” has vital information that humanity needs.

    Ona is right. It is a long journey back. But you are stronger than you know. You will pick up the pieces and find peace. And that may take some time. But make no mistake, you are here at this time with this knowledge for a reason. You have vital information that those who are still plugged in, don’t know. Learn everything you can and do what you need to do to heal and protect yourself. And when you are ready and in your own personal way, share what you know. The world is trying to wake up. You will know you are ready, when the people who need to hear what you know, start showing up in your life.

    Then you will see your life from a higher perspective. That your suffering was not for nothing. It has given you knowledge. Knowledge that needs to be spread so that more people see what is going on and come to know the truth about human evil, in a human like form, that is not human.



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    • hens says:

      Yep I look back on my relationship with the evil one as a Life Lesson . I learned so much about what motivate’s these disordered people. But even more I was forced to examine my own disorders. Looking back I am a wiser and quicker to notice the red flags. But was boggles my mind is our new Predator in Chief, I guess the whole
      fuckin work needs a life lesson, I hope we survive this one.



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      • DoneWithThat2 says:

        Hens, I have a deck of the Gratitude Cards by Julia Cameron. Reminding myself to be grateful has been key to my healing. But I pulled one yesterday and it said, “Each of us is kind, wise, knowing and gifted”.

        Then the experience Cognitive Dissonance! I pay attention when I feel it now.

        Because it isn’t true. Everyone isn’t kind, wise, knowing and gifted. In order to be kind and wise you need to be able to experience emotions. You need to tap into the feeling of love. You need to be able to put the well being of others in a place as important as your own well being. And we know that there are those who walk among us that are unable to do that. This means that they don’t feel the repercussions of their behavior on other human beings.

        More importantly, it showed me that our culture underscores that predators don’t really exist.

        We know they do.



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  2. Bev says:

    THIS:

    ‘It can happen to almost anyone, and our only defense against it is accepting this inconvenient reality and being alert to the signs that someone with whom we are emotionally involved might be a sociopath—a sociopath who will blind us with love and the fulfillment of our dreams while leading us down the road toward self-destruction.’

    Wow. That’s powerful. How many of us are in or have been in that situation?

    That is too good. Your ability to put into words what so many go through is remarkable.

    Thank you.



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    • regretfullymine says:

      The ME that I was, at 19, when I married, almost got destroyed by him. After being married, now divorced a number of years; I am still finding, growing, strengthening who that ME was; I cant take back 30 years in a wilderness of abuses, but I am stronger and I like who ME is more and more. I am an introvert, not shy, and a highly sensitive person. (briggs/Meyers tests)…



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  3. OneFootInFrontOfTheOther says:

    Thank you ONWARD for your book. Your story and your explanations saved me the last couple of days. I just ordered your book so hopefully it will come soon and I will be able to finish your story.

    I sat on my therapists couch one day, thinking i was completely losing my mind. I was acting like an irrational crazy person. I wanted to kill myself… And i could not understand what in the world was wrong with me… I had been acting this crazy for several months – i was needy and desperate and growing more needy and more desperate by the moment. And I looked up, when my therapist said to me, YOU HAVE BEEN EMOTIONALLY ABUSED, THATS WHY YOURE ACTING THIS WAY. I looked up at her as if she just explained the meaning of life, death and god. And then I said, “no thats not possible, he has done nothing to be mean to me, I mean he has, but nothing like emotional abuse”. She looked at me patiently, as she has been trying to tell me this for the last two years since i started dating this guy. And she said, “what abusers do, is they pick you up, she gestured with her hand as if she was grabbing something up, and drop you”, opening her fingers so i could see the action… “Pick you up and drop you, pick you up and drop you. And thats what has happened to you and that is why you cannot control your actions right now. You are suffering the trauma of emotional abuse.” I let that sink in for a moment. I left her office as broken as I had been when I walked in but with a glimmer of hope that at least there is an explanation for it. I googled emotional abuse.

    In full disclosure, I am a therapist. A really good one too. My life has been so complicated that there isnt much i haven’t experienced or much anyone can throw at me that i dont get. I see the big picture and patterns of behavior and actions and then i work on small details step by step until the client learns this for themselves. But my personal life is a disaster that i have never been able to manage well. My last boyfriend before this one, was an alcoholic and opiate addict who i paid thousands of dollars to send to rehab. My second husband a sociopath and my first.. well hes just a sweet freeloader that has found himself a nice doctor to support him as he hasn’t worked a day in about 12 years.

    After i googled emotional abuse that immediately led me to sociopathy and narcissism. And then everything started to make sense. It made so much sense until it didn’t anymore… because i was married to a sociopath in the past and he was cruel. He withheld love affection and sex. He was mean and horrible if he didn’t get his way or I asked for my needs to be met. But because my boyfriend never really put me down… I mean, he used to say, “I only like tall girls, and boobies – I mean we could get you boobies but how tall are you again?” or “I dont feel things like you do, youre so emotional, its so cute, but emotions are an anchor.” “or youre so cute, youre such an empath”… well there’s plenty more.

    I was drawn to post to you ONWARD because yours is the first story where your guy was nice. He wasn’t really mean, or losing his temper. All the other stories are very dramatic, and yours is covert and insidious. I just started a downward spiral again of questioning, “was it my fault? Maybe he wasn’t a sociopath. Maybe i didn’t understand him. Maybe i was too emotional for him, he never really was mean, i mean yes he hurt me, but he didn’t hoover for very long, he didnt really disappear when we were together, he only started lying when i cornered him and his balls were against the wall… as you would say, ‘maybe, maybe, maybe’.

    So when i started reading your story, and saying what PAULS response would be before i read what you wrote and guessing accurately 100% of the time I knew that what my logical mind knows is right and its just taking my emotions a long time to catch up. I realized that I am so mind fucked that i still cant keep things straight. Your story helped because its identical to mine. Well the contents of the story. What he did, what it did to you, how you responded, how he would respond. All of that was the same. I was not married, i didn’t have any kids. But we did start a business together. It was “going to be amazing!” we were “going to rule the world!” we we we and us us us until i built it and it became his his his. He began making unilateral decisions. He would spend money we didn’t have on things we didn’t need and I could not for the longest time understand why he was making so many illogical decisions when he prided himself on being logical and rational and unemotional. I couldnt understand why he asked me to clear off my saturday client load so we could spend time together on saturdays only to me never ever seeing him on a saturday again. Well I could write a ton more and perhaps i will, once i have the depth of understanding about my experience, as ONWARD you do yours. I read through old text messages and the formula for a sociopath is there. Me saying over and over:
    I cant let you out of my sight for a minute or you’ll be hanging on a girl and blaming me for being crazy and controlling “because I should know youre comin’ home with me babe!” – You are impulsive, you make terrible decisions, cant you see the big picture? We have to learn from the mistakes we make, pick up the phone where do you keep disappearing????” and on and on.

    But i still question. I still get confused… And worse than anything. I miss him. I miss our life together. I miss his smell i miss touching him i miss cooking for him. I miss who i was with him. Not because i was the best version of me, because i wasn’t – i was the worst version of me i have ever been – but i miss that version of me all the same. I wonder if he loves me, if hes thinking about me, if even if hes a sociopath he misses how easy going and comfortable i made things for him. Then i get resentful, that jack ass is in our business, acting like he built it, profiting from it. Hes going to build our dream but hes excluded me from it because i called him on his stuff, asked for my needs to be met and started realizing something was very off.

    Did you ever experience this ONWARD? When do you start letting go? How do you do it when your mind knows it all backwards and forwards but your heart wont let go no matter how much your try to reason with it. When do i stop looking at when the last time he logged into netflix was… When does what i know with my mind, that he is a sociopath, he didn’t love me, i was perfect because i rescued him when he needed rescuing and started a business for him, and then i started asking too many questions and making too many demands and i became “hard work, a hassle, an anchor, a drain, like nails on a chalkboard”… when does my heart catch up to my mind? Thanks.



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    • O.N.Ward says:

      Hi OneFootInFrontOfTheOther:

      I am so sorry to hear all you have gone through and are still going through. It’s hard, really hard. It’s emotionally brutal, even physically painful to disentangle from an abusive relationship. Disentangling does not happen overnight, but please have faith that it will happen.

      For me, the pain started to lessen as I developed a profound understanding of what had happened, let go of ideas and things that had not served me well in the past, and found personal anchors which I felt were good and immutable.

      The understanding had to go way beyond intellectual understanding–I had to understand it so that my entire experience made sense. It took time for it to fall into place. I read and read and read some more—sociopaths, abusive relationships, trauma bonding, narcissistic personality disorder, victims of narcissists/sociopaths, PTSD, Chronic PTSD, betrayal, etc. For me, writing was as important as reading. Writing about the experience helped me make mental connections that I did not make when thinking or even talking about my experience.

      I also had to let go of ideas that were no longer valid or productive. This wasn’t easy and it took time. I was hardly young when I got divorced. I had to come to the realization that I’d poured 20 years of my life down a black hole, and I might never experience a long-term, mutually loving, respectful intimate relationship. I had to find a way of being at peace with that.

      Lastly, I had to become clearer about who I was. What were my anchors? Like you, I also supported my “ex” a lot and he walked away with a business that has made him wildly successful. At first I really resented that. It felt so unfair. Yet, as I grappled with who I was, I stopped being so resentful. I had supported someone I had loved because that is who I am. And, I respect and value that about myself. Okay, I needed to learn to be more careful about whom to trust (I learned that the hard way), but I am the kind of person who will support and sacrifice for those I love. That is one of my anchors, and I won’t be ashamed of that and I won’t abandon that. In fact I like that about myself.

      For me, it was all a long, painful process. At times I felt like I was drowning and felt so emotionally raw and thin that I feared my identity and will to live was close to gone. This may sound odd, but I learned to surrender to the intense emotional pain, because fighting against it was even worse—I never won. Yet, slowly, slowly, slowly, things improved. It was up and down, there were tons of setbacks. But, there was progress.

      Be patient with yourself, be sure to be kind to yourself, and be sure to get the support you need.

      It is hard, but “no contact of any kind” is very, very important because the contact is likely to set off a tailspin. If that happens, please be gentle with yourself and just take it one breath at a time, one day at a time.

      Wishing you peace and clarity during this challenging time. It’s wonderful you have a therapist who understands.

      O.N.WARD



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      • OneFootInFrontOfTheOther says:

        Hi ONWARD,

        I am so grateful for your thoughtful reply. Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. And thank you again for your book. Funny, I kept saying i could relate to your story because your husband was nice and not very dramatic… and then i read the end of your story and it ends like every other sociopath story. Nothing nice about him at all.

        I am grateful for your story, because like other stories I read, (I could just relate to yours a lot more than most because the sensations of your story were so much like mine…) that through all of this devastation, mourning and confusion it reminds me to be grateful. It reminds me that I am lucky that this took 2 years of my life and not more. 2 years is enough and i cant imagine how you endured it for as long as you did. It also reminds me of what my story is going to look like if i entertain my fantasies and go back. Its a lucid reminder that maybe ill have the man that I wanted for a night, a week, maybe six months… but what I will end with is nothing. Exactly what I had when I ended it a few months ago, a devastated and destroyed me that cant find the will to live and cant find a reason to live. I was saved by family members, but I don’t think I have another recovery in me. And then theres the realization that a sociopathic happy ending is walking away with nothing but your shattered life, because many of us victims don’t get to walk away with even that.

        Yes reading is the only thing that keeps me grounded. I read a lot. I feel like my best friends are Zari from the narcissist website and some others, even though i have never met you all nor do i usually interact with you. Your words and your experiences tell me the exact words that i need to hear when i need to hear them. You “get” me and listen to me and have the perfect response whenever I need you… We become so destroyed and so starved for sanity and validation that people I don’t even interact with become the people I rely on most. How much does a person really “get” what its like to be bled and emptied by a sociopath until they actually get bled and emptied by one. Its a feeling I have never experienced before, not even in my harshest breakups. No one can prepare you for a feeling of complete hollowness left where the love for the sociopath used to be… A will to live for and love only them… I described it like a thief breaking into a safe and taking out the contents and leaving a little mocking memento in place of the valuable contents – except the safe is our lives and the contents that are stolen are our joy, our purpose, our identity, our strength, our motivation, our sanity… Thank you, the recommendation to read and understand is the best recommendation I could give or receive. I have read and listened to many on your recommended list and I picked out a couple I would like to read next.

        Youre so right, I wish I was better at surrendering to the pain. I don’t know if I have the courage to do that yet. But I hope to get there with some time.

        I am no contact… although most would probably consider me not completely no contact as I check when he logs into netflix and still have little fantasies of him coming back, me saying “you know youre a socipath right? And you’ve known this whole time… so how can we be together and ensure you don’t hurt me in sociopathic ways?” I know how silly that fantasy is between us girls, and between us adults I know how dangerous that fantasy is. Again, your story reminds me of how your story could have ended up, and how mine can end as well. I havent heard from him in a while but a lawsuit is coming to fruition soon, so I am preparing myself for that. I know I cant be with him, but I also know it takes some time. So thank you for telling me to be patient with myself if I fall back for him. I know its not you giving permission… its you “getting” it. That sometimes we have to go back to make sure one last time that this person really is that horrible to us. I think from all the reading ive done, I know I cant go back… I am just fighting with life and god trying to find a loop hole to change that which I know I cant.

        Thank you again ONWARD for being one of my current “best friends”. 🙂 Thank you for being a positive anchor, (not the negative one i was called) someone whos words ground me and let me know that where i am right now is exactly where i need to be. I dont have to push myself forward or be in the past… right here is good for now 🙂 I am so so sorry for all that you have been through. It is not ok. It is not acceptable. I wish i could gauge your bastards eyes out… then… I guess all we can do is laugh when we can find the laughter. Im so sorry for your pain. And I know nothing i can say can make any of it better… But there is something really magical to be able to connect to a perfect stranger… that is what spirituality is, isnt it? The ability to see yourself in a bigger picture? A higher level on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Maybe a gift from all of this is the experience that there is good in the world and total strangers will give you love, kindness and understanding. That is what i felt when i got the responses from you and another to my post. So thank you again and again and again. Thank you for filling my safe with a small deposit.



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        • Bev says:

          This is such a good post.

          I was aching as I read it. You describe perfectly what we go through. The feelings that we have when we realize the truth.

          It is the most difficult thing to go through.

          Thank you for taking the time to write all of this. It sure hits home, for me, and I am sure, for everyone who has been there.



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        • O.N.Ward says:

          Hi:

          For me, it was also very important to find people who truly “got it” or who at least accepted that what I said happened actually happened, even if they had no parallel personal experience. By gaslighting, manipulation, and erosion; our reality and sense of self was undermined by the sociopath. So when we turn to someone for help and support and they respond by saying things like “You are over reacting,” “You are being too sensitive,” “Just get over it,” etc. it makes the situation worse. It triggers our PTSD because what are we being told? We are being told, yet again by someone we respect and care for that the situation is normal, and that we are the problem, we are flawed, we are the ones misperceiving. Gosh, THAT was helpful!

          Regarding the total devastation we feel after being involved with a sociopath, I think part of the reason is that the unique nature of a relationship with a sociopath destroys our implicit view of ourselves and the world (in other words, it destroys “us”) in a way that a normal break up or setback in life does not. For what it’s worth, as I came to that understanding I wrote a 2016/03/03 post “Why a relationship with a sociopath is soul destroying– some-thoughts” (Sorry, but I was not able to add a link)

          On a totally different note, does the litigation you mentioned involve the sociopath? If it does, having been down that road, I’d recommend getting the best lawyer possible who really, really, really understands these types of people. If not, the lawyer is not likely to be able to keep up with the legal game of chess that is likely to unfold. Also, if the lawyer does not really understand sociopaths he/she is likely to view you as overly anxious and controlling (even paranoid), as the lawyer will not understand that the game must be played differently, strategically and very, very carefully if the opponent is a sociopath. A sociopath plays by no rules, is often an expert at “lying with the truth” (via masterful use of language and selective truth telling), and wants to keep you involved in expensive, exhausting litigation for as long as possible. Sociopaths use litigation to force contact with someone trying to go ‘no contact.’ Some lawyers understand all this, others really don’t.



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    • Jan7 says:

      Hi OneFootInFrontOfTheOther, I know you posted to O.N.Ward but I wanted to pass a few things on to you to help you heal and maybe use in your practice.

      When I finally escaped my ex h’s terror, I found a counselor who told me that day that I was married to a sociopath. I didn’t fully understand what this meant except that it was the answer to my prayers. I asked the therapist if he was brain washing me.

      Her answer: YES!!!!

      I knew nothing of brain washing expect that that is how I felt. I felt like he was controlling my mind fully. Often times during my marriage I would think to myself that I needed to leave by my self & go on vacation to “screw my head back on”. To be able to think on my own. My gut was correct!!

      I was always a level head person. Calm, hardworking & could see danger. But once my ex h sucked me into his sociopath con game, all of this normal mindset shifted to not being able to make decisions even to pick out paint colors or groceries for the week. I knew deep down on a subconscious level, I need to get away from him, but because of the emotional bond he had created I felt forever stuck with him. Prior to him, I would NEVER have put up with control from someone. I did not want to date my husband, move in with him or even marry or stay married to him. All the red flags where there. I saw them.

      After 12 years of wanting to escape hellish marriage, I finally packed my bags and started to drive 3000 miles away from him. Within two hours I felt a weight off my shoulders LITERALLY…I cant even explain this feeling, except some how my body & mind was fully relieved that I left him even though I was not I think fully conscious of my abusive situation.

      What I have learned from researching brain washing is the new term is Mind Control.

      What my ex did (and most likely yours) is retrain your brain to forget your normal thinking pattern and reprogram your brain with his crazy thinking. So you need to unravel his mind control. How do you do this? by going back to how your parents raised you. Old habits (good ones) that they instilled in you. For example making your bed everyday, eating healthy food, what ever they instilled in you. Get back into your old patterns (good ones only 😊).

      Also look at old photos to remember your past as the sociopath covers these memories up so that you stay with them. So open your mind up to old memories. When you look at the photos think about how you felt during that photo good or bad feelings = feel them!! It will awaken your brain!! Go to places you use to visit or hang out. For example go to your old high school and walk around (obviously not during school hours). If you played sports or when to church go do these things again. If you always want to do something say learn to sew or garden or paint take a class in these things or join a group so that you follow your old goals which will open your mind up from the brain washing aka mind control.

      During my search on brain washing I found the book

      ****Freedom of Mind by Steven Hassan.

      This book was excellent as it explains mind control for victims. Most of Steven Hassans work on mind control abuse is with Cults but his book did give me the answers as to exactly how my ex h was mind controlling me & this helped to unravel all of his control over me. What I have learned is that cults leaders, gang leaders, drug cartel leaders, pimps, sex predators, human traffickers & domestic abusers are ALL the same type people using the same type of mind control techniques to control their victims!! Such a scary world!!!

      Steven Hassan has a site called Freedom of mind resource center and has videos on you tube. He has been on CNN, Fox, Larry King Live, John Walsh Show ect.

      The other thing I learned when I left from my counselor that I had PTSD like most victims. I knew my heath from all the stress I had been under for years was a mess and lucky for me a friend directed me to a endocrinologist doctor who tested me for:

      cortisol levels (fight or flight or freeze mode)
      vitamin & mineral deficiency
      hormonal imbalance

      plus normal testing.

      My test results were off the chart = bad!!

      My doctor gave me progesterone pills (natural not man made) and Dr Wilsons adrenal formula vitamins two kinds. One is just Vitamin B Complex.

      After going to this doctor within 4 hours of taking the progesterone & vitamins/minerals (4 times a day) my anxiety was half & I could think much clear. Within a month I felt closer to my old self. I was able to sleep better and not stress out so much about thing.

      I have researched this extensively and I believe it is the missing link to healing from PTSD.

      Take a look at Adrenal Fatigue. org and DrLam. com sites. Look at the list of symptoms on both to see if you had any. I believe most victims have most of these symptoms. On another site the site creater ask the question Did you have health issues during your abusive relationship with a narcissist. over 400 victims posted YES…and posted their symptoms. Most of the symptoms were alike and were adrenal fatigue symptoms!! So there is a link to “feeling crazy” and adrenal fatigue.

      The adrenal glands regulate our cortisol levels, adrenal levels, blood sugar, blood pressure, and over 50 hormones including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. The adrenal glands are a HUGE DEAL!! But over looked by most doctors. IF you dig into the history of adrenal fatigue you will see that they were identified by the US medical board over 100 years ago but now most doctors are not taught about this important gland and most doctors believe that “adrenal fatigue” is not real.

      How do you heal your adrenal glands?

      get plenty of rest & relaxation, sleep, a good clean diet, progesterone or other hormones needed via testing, vitamins & minerals and possibly no exercise until they are healed.

      If you look at Adrenal fatigue org they explain the testing.

      I believe that not everything is “all in the mind” I believe that if your body is not functioning correctly your mind will not think properly & you will feel “crazy”.

      I’s so sorry that you endured this hell from this evil man. I am so happy that you researched your experience which lead you to Donna Anderson’s wonderful site Lovefraud. I want you to know that you are not the first therapist on LF to be sucked into a sociopaths hell. So it was very brave of you to let us all know that you are a therapist.

      I also want you to know that 1 in 25 people on this planet are sociopaths or psychopaths!! YES!! That many. These evil people are everywhere blending into society as doctors, lawyers, blue collar workers, teachers, therapist etc. It’s a crazy world. If that was not scary enough it is estimated that 1 in 5 people are narcissist!! (75% men).

      So right there 5 out of 25 people are sociopaths/psychopaths/narcissist!!

      Experts believe that we meet a sociopath or psychopath EVERYDAY!! Whether in the deli line, at work or at a friends party.

      And….

      That we have one in our circle of friends or family without even knowing it!!

      My counselor gave me the book Women Who love psychopath by Sandra Brown which like Lovefraud 10 signs your dating a sociopath by Donna Anderson helped tremendously to see the truth with my ex h.

      It’s not easy to break the emotional bond they created by manipulating you. One thing that Steven Hassan stated in a video was to think in your mind of an evil person such as Charles Masson and put the picture in your head of your ex need to this other picture in your head. IT works to see the truth. I cant even stand to look at a picture of my ex…literally…I see his evilness in the pictures!

      One of the most important things to remember is that you are NOT ALONE ANYMORE..We Hear you…and we are hear for you!!

      Wishing you all the best during your recovery process and your new bright future!!

      Take care.❤️

      DEAR ONWARD, thank you for all that you do to help so many hear by posting your chapters of your book. SO powerful how everyone lifts each other up to heal & clearly your book is helping so many!!!. Something all of these evil sociopath never counted on, all the victims joining forces to heal together!!. Keep up our great writing skills!! 💜



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      • OneFootInFrontOfTheOther says:

        Hi JAN7

        Thank you for writing. You are so thoughtful to share your thoughts and experiences and i was so grateful to get your feedback.

        I can definitely relate to not being able to pick out paint colors… when i first ended the relationship i didnt know how i was going to do anything without him. I am the girl who can change a tire in 15 minutes while talking on a cell phone holding it with my shoulder. I have never needed to depend on anyone. I have always been independent and self sufficient. Not that i dont let people take care of me, i do, but i can definitely take care of myself. When the relationship ended, i found myself feeling incapable and unable to make decisions. I wondered how i was ever going to make it without him. Its funny because he never overtly brainwashed me. I cant even tell you what he did or how i wound up feeling like i couldnt and wouldnt survive without him. I think the combination of being sucked dry of myself and my soul and loving him and valuing him so much left me with no ME and an emptiness of not having him.

        Unraveling his mind control… that is such good advice. I am still trying to unravel it. I stopped eating and sleeping in the beginning. My day felt like one long panic attack. I had to do exactly what you said, get myself back to some semblance of normal that i used to be. With the help of my family and some supportive friends i began to force myself to eat, which was not easy because i was constantly nauseous. The smell of food made me feel sick. I started with eating once a day and trying to eat something a little later no matter how small. Indulging in things i normally loved, like chocolate, didnt work either because my body would reject it. I started taking 12 different vitamins that were supposed to help with brain function like B’s, D’s, C’s, thiamine, tumeric etc… theres a lot, i still take them 🙂 (that was really great advice you gave too!) my anxiety was so bad i felt like my heart would pop out of my chest and defeated i went to my doctor. My normally very healthy pulse rate was so high the doc put me on blood pressure meds which helped with the anxiety. A few weeks later i gave up my fight to avoid medication and i went on antidepressants. I tried to eat meals with someone which turned eating into an experience i could tolerate. Little by little i began to be able to take care of myself. I dont actually know how i did it but i worked 12 hour days in that condition. Once i was able to eat and sleep, unraveling the mind control continued with reading. Lots and lots of reading. I will try what you said, to go back to places i loved, to get back to my values and going back to my old healthy habits 🙂 I wish i had your advice a few months ago… 🙂 I will definitely check out Steven Hassan.

        I thought one of the craziest things told to me was that i had PTSD… (it scares me how as a therapist i didnt understand any of this! I thought i just had a relationship and a breakup and that i was acting so crazy because i was so in love with him. I am so grateful and so lucky that based on how i was behaving a therapist that left a very emotionally abusive marriage picked up on my symptoms) Thank you for all of your information about adrenal fatigue. You are right on with that. I realized that my flight/fight never turned off for months. When i realized it, it scared me what was happening to my body. Fight/flight is meant for a situational immediate release – we go through it for months or years… the toll it takes on our bodies is awful. I whole heartedly agree with you JAN7, the healing has to begin with our bodies and slowly our mind will follow. Thank you for your invaluable advice.

        Thank you JAN7 for your incredible advice and mostly for being so loving and so supportive. I dont know how to stop loving him, how to stop trying to find loopholes to making something work that cannot. A friend of mine the other day told me, “you hated him, you said he disgusted you, you couldnt wait to end the relationship”. And i dont remember that feeling at all. All i can remember right now is how we seemed to fit so perfectly together, how much i appreciate who i thought he was… again disconnect between what my head knows and my heart feels.

        I will read sandra brown and steven hassans books. And i really appreciate being accepted into this community. As i wrote to ONWARD, the biggest gift of your answer is knowing that there is good in the world, that there is connection – because two total strangers took their time to write me, to offer me support and to share their experiences.

        Thank you JAN7.



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        • Bev says:

          First, you are so right. JAN7 is a wonderful caring contributor to and on this site.

          Now, your post is so sad. For all of us who have been through this same thing. When we think we know someone so completely and then discover that the person was not who you thought at all. It is no wonder that we can then suffer PTSD. That person was never who we thought. It is unfathomable and tragic when that is realized and accepted. We were really living in a ‘bubble’, it seems, with high hopes, much love, and beautiful dreams. That is hard to let go of.

          Cheers to you for doing it and I know it will get better as time passes.



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          • Jan7 says:

            Hi Bev, ahh, thank you again, for your kind words!! 😊

            It takes a village to heal!! You have contributed so much here also! So kind to others when they come to lovefraud broken down in their dark nights & day.

            So right back at ya for being a “wonderful caring contributor”!!! 💜

        • Jan7 says:

          Hi OneFootInFrontOfTheOther, Your welcome!! And thank you for your kind words.

          Yes, I was the same, self starter, independent, like you if the tire needed to be changed I did it. In the book Freedom Of mind by Steven Hassan, Hassen writes that cults search out certain types of people…

          who are cult leaders” sociopaths & psychopaths as they are the cult leaders of the world. It does not matter if their cult is 1 persons i.e. domestic abuser or a cult with a million followers…they search out the same type of person.

          What type of person do cult leaders search out for:

          doers = people who will step up to the plate to get things done

          feelers = people who feel life with their emotions

          (there are more ?? types, I think but these are the two I remember from his book). Not to say that people that are “doers” aren’t emotional people, they are. Obviously sociopaths & psychopaths search out people with empathy. And once they tap into someones empathy, these evil people will exploit them. My ex, your ex, every victim of a sociopath is exploited whether covert or not.

          So that fact that you were “independent” you were a target. My ex had to wear me down to date him. How? by Lovebombing! This is how they slide into your life. My ex called me 8 times a day, leaving messages even though he knew I was at work!! Yep, I would get home & my answering machine was filled. I would ignore his called. But then he would show up at the house. This is why lovebombing is dangerous for a vicim but a masterful manipulation technique for the evil sociopath.

          They just keep wearing down the victim to finally go out with them. Same with the fact if you fight & break up with them…the lovebombing starts again.

          Did you ex lovebombing you in the beginning?

          Once they have you in their grips, they train you, change your routine, call you on the phone to talk for long hours, change your sleep patters (they dont want to sleep = more control over you).

          Did your ex do this?

          If I liked anything my ex would say I hate “fill in the blank” over and over to brain wash me not to like what ever I did like. If I did not want to do something he would manipulate me with “pity play manipulation” (google), everything was to change my pattern of behavior, to change my likes & dislikes, push me out of my comfort zone, push my boundaries etc.

          Did you ex do these things to you?

          If so then you were mind controlled by him.

          It’s crazy how they do things to screw with our brains. ALL for fun. Very sick individuals.

          I think that if you live with the sociopath it is different then if you are not. The brain mind control is not as extreme when you are not…maybe because you have some time to escape & clear your mind (maybe??) but neither the less it’s all damaging to be with a sociopath!

          I think the fact that your relationship with him only lasted 2 years might be another reason you dont feel so “mind controlled” by him. I was reflecting on this today. I look back & when we were dating living separate, I had my freedom…more time to have my normal routine, got sleep, but once he manipulated me to move in with him..all that changes…lack of sleep. If I said I was going to bed early, he would either use pity play to force me to stay up or if I went to bed he made sure to make lots of noise to wake me up. I liked hot showers…he would not let me take a shower with out him..this was all his crazy covert manipulation. These are steps that they take to change the victims normal routine = normal mind set. Humans are creators of habit as most animals are too. Sociopaths want to get you to change up everything you do…wear you down, once you are exhausted by their them = they have full control over you. Take someones normal route habits away then you lose part of who you are.

          Did you see him trying to manipulate your normal routine?

          Did he try to make sure you did not get enough sleep?

          Did you feel exhausted around him?

          This is all mind control. They are manipulating your mind…your pattern of behavior. Then at some point you start to realize you have no idea who you are…and when you leave them this is the pieces you have to put back together…along with your adrenal glands. This is what I think? at least for myself this is what I needed.

          I am sorry that your body was in shock (really no other word) that it was rejecting food & drinks. This is the part I think that we have under the mind control that we did not listen to what our body alarm was screaming = YOUR IN DANGER!

          They take over our mind that we dont listen to our gut alarm!! But once we leave and have time away from them, our mind literally starts to clear. The stress from them really does wreak havoc on our body (adrenal glands) and in return we can not think clearly, memory issues, panic attacks, depression, anxiety = ALL symptoms of adrenal fatigue!!

          Our bodies know when it needs to revert to survival mode = shuts down to heal. Maybe this is why you were not able to eat or drink??

          You state:

          “anxiety was so bad i felt like my heart would pop out of my chest and defeated i went to my doctor”

          I was the same way!! I felt like I was going to have a heart attck with all of the anxiety that I had been feeling.

          I have since read that it is normal when you break up with someone that your body releases high levels of cortisol & adrenaline..and this is why you felt the way you did (obviously times 1000 by being with a sociopath). The medical world now are calling this release of cortisol “broken heart syndrome”. But it is really just high levels of cortisol being released by the adrenal glands. Like you state, with a sociopath you are in constant fight, flight or freeze mode..

          In the book Women who love psychopaths the book author talks about the anxiety level (I think it was that book) and this is part of the reason why victims return to their abuser = lower their anxiety level. I know this was true for me during my marriage when I would leave him after a fight but wanted him to call to lower my anxiety level. When I finally left him for good & found out the truth I too had panic attacks. Panic attacks are a symptom of adrenal fatigue!! I believe Donna Anderson has talked about this also on her site here.

          Great that you knew the importance of taking vitamins!! This is good. My doctor tested me for vitamin and mineral deficiency…all the results = deficient.

          I have since read that over 100 million America’s are deficient in vitamin D & b complex!! The other thing that I researched was magnesium and how important it is to have in our bodies as it is a natural relaxer. Epson salt baths are a good source. (check with your doctor first before using!!)

          You state: My normally very healthy pulse rate was so high the doc put me on blood pressure meds which helped with the anxiety.

          I always had “low blood pressure” (which I know have learned is a issue of adrenal fatigue) but once I met my ex h this changed to a point I ended up with really high blood pressure.

          You state:

          A few weeks later i gave up my fight to avoid medication and i went on antidepressants.

          I think you have to do what is necessary at the time to survive! I did not go this route but I wish I would have gone to a doctor for blood pressure med.

          With regards to antidepressants look at the you tube video “Dr Amen depression”. He is a leading brain expert & therapist who has conducted over 80,000 brain scans at his clinics. He has other excellent videos on youtube google also “Dr Amen PBS you tube” to watch is PBS special.

          Dr Amen is also a NY Time book best seller…he has endless books on improving your brain function. And he has one on “Anxiety & depression”. For me I found that the books from Dr Wilson Adrenal Fatigue 21 Century (cant remember the whole title??) was really informative (his site is Adrenal Fatigue) and I also know that Dr Lam has a book his site is DrLam. com.

          Mia Lundin has a great video on you tube on cortisol levels (being too high) effecting sleep. Mia Lundin is a hormonal specialist. She has a site also under her name.

          For me the biggest issue I had when I left my ex (& during my marriage) was sleep issues, anxiety, memory loss which are all issues of adrenal fatigue). So watching her video gave me the understand that my cortisol levels were off the chart not just by my test but by my sleep issues.

          You state:

          “I thought one of the craziest things told to me was that i had PTSD… (it scares me how as a therapist i didnt understand any of this! “

          You are not alone…most therapist dont understand PTSD or the emotional toll & psychical body toll the abuse has on a vicim of a sociopath ..neither do the divorce courts, friends, family etc.

          I like the old saying:

          When you know better, you do better! 😋

          When I first escaped my ex..I returned to my families home, I now know this was a huge step in getting my life back because I could see my old patterns in my family so it was easier to learn old habits from family members even though I was so broken down by my ex ….looked at old photos, places etc Helped tremendously.

          Then I watched Shania Twain’s tv series called “Why Not? on the Oprah Channel. Google this show on you tube! It’s worth your time. In one of the series a therapist also told Shania to return to old places (he is a book author of a book called “Why Not’ ?? something like that.

          Shania has never talked about her husband possibly being narcissist but I do know he cheated on her & left her for her best friend!! So that seems pretty damn narcissistic! Anyway she takes a journey to heal. It’s a really good series & Shania is great, very down to earth.

          One last book…yes I read a lot when I left my ex…I’m an analytical person so I need all the answers LOL..the book is The Gift of Fear by Gavin Debecker. This will remind you to listen to your gut (me too!!). I personally, think it is a book that everyone should read in High School it’s that good.

          You can also google “Oprah Gavin Debecker you tube” to watch their interview on the book and a follow show Oprah did years later.

          Some of these books like Dr Amen’s & Gavin Debecker you might be able to find at your local library.

          You’re so welcome for the support!! I want to thank Donna Anderson & Terry of Lovefraud for all that they have done for years to educate all off us & to provide this forum for all of us to share & heal and all the wonderful people here that were kind enough to post for me during my darkest days & nights.

          I just want you to know that you are going to get to a point you won’t remember the pain like you do know. You will remember your healing process more. And with this knowledge you are gaining you will now be able to share so much more with your clients.

          Did you know that Donna/Lovefraud has a credited continue education program for therapist online? If you go to the top under “education” tab you will find more details.

          If you do a search in the top right for “Steven Hassan” you will find Donna’s write up about his book. And also for your clients that have kids do a seach on Tina Swiften too. She has a site called “One Moms battle” dedicated to divorce court & child custody with regards to dealing with a narcissist. She has written two books also. which might be helpful for some of your clients.

          Hugs to you!! 💜Take care.



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          • Jan7 says:

            Onefootinfrontoftheother, here is Steven Hassan’s “Bite Model” which breaks down how someone can become mind control by an abuser: (just google “Steven Hassan Bite model” to find it on his site:

            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.

            We are all subject to influence from our parents, friends, teachers, co-workers… When this influence helps someone grow and maintain an internal locus of control, it is healthy. Influence which is used to keep people mindless and dependent is unhealthy. To download a PDF of the Influence Continuum graphic, click here.
            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
            16. Threaten harm to family and friends
            17. Force individual to rape or be raped
            18. Instill dependency and obedience
            19. Encourage and engage in corporal punishment
            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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