Victims and Survivors of Psychopaths

from victim to survivor

Traumatic Bonding

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Traumatic bonding is “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” (Dutton & Painter, 1981).  Several conditions have been identified that must be present for a traumatic bond to occur.

–(1).  There must be an imbalance of power, with one person more in control of key aspects of the relationship, such as setting themselves up as the “authority” through such things as controlling the finances, or making most of the relationship decisions, or using threats and intimidations, so the relationship has become lopsided.

–(2).  The abusive behavior is sporadic in nature.  It is characterized by intermittent reinforcement, which means there is the alternating of highly intense positives (such as intense kindness or affection) and the negatives of the abusive behavior.

–(3).  The victim engages in denial of the abuse for emotional self- protection.  In severe abuse (this can be psychological or physical), one form of psychological protection strategy is dissociation, where the victim experiences the abuse as if it is not happening to them, but as if they are outside their body watching the scene unfold (like watching a movie).  Dissociative states allow the victim to compartmentalize the abusive aspects of the relationship in order to focus on the positive aspects.

The use of denial and distancing oneself from the abuse are forms of what is called cognitive dissonance.  In abusive relationships this means that what is happening to the victim is so horrible, so far removed from their thoughts and expectations of the world, that it is “dissonant” or “out of tune” or “at odds” with their pre-existing expectations and reality.  Since the victim feels powerless to change the situation, they rely on emotional strategies to try to make it less dissonant, to try to somehow make it fit.  To cope with the contradicting behaviors of the abuser, and to survive the abuse, the person literally has to change how they perceive reality.  Studies also show a person is more loyal and committed to a person or situation that is difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating, and the more the victim has invested in the relationship, the more they need to justify their position.  Cognitive dissonance is a powerful “self-preservation” mechanism which can completely distort and override the truth, with the victim developing a tolerance for the abuse and “normalizing” the abusers behavior, despite evidence to the contrary.

–(4).  The victim masks that the abuse is happening, may not have admitted it to anyone, not even themselves.

Trauma bonding makes it easier for a victim to survive within the relationship, but it severely undermines the victims self-structures, undermining their ability to accurately evaluate danger, and impairs their ability to perceive of alternatives to the situation.

Once a trauma bond is established it becomes extremely difficult for the victim to break free of the relationship.  The way humans respond to trauma is thought to have a biological basis and reactions to trauma was first described a century ago, with the term “railroad spine” being used.  Another term used has been “shell shocked”.

Victims overwhelmed with terror suffer from an overload of their system, and to be able to function they must distort reality.  They often shut down emotionally, and sometimes later describe themselves as having felt “robotic”,  intellectually knowing what happened, but feeling frozen or numb and unable to take action.  A victim must feel safe and out of “survival mode” before they will be able to make cognitive changes.

Many victims feel the compulsion to tell and retell the events of the trauma in an attempt to come to terms with what happened to them and to try to integrate it, reaching out to others for contact, safety, and stability.  Other victims react in an opposite manner, withdrawing into a shell of self-imposed isolation.  The trauma bond can persist even after the victim leaves the relationship, with it sometimes taking months, or even years, for them to completely break the bond. 

Written by victimsofpsychopaths

January 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm

720 Responses

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  1. “The Lights are On – And No One is Home”
    After reading this article, I feel floored! That was exactly how I was manipulated by my ex-husband. It is so hard to put into words, but the above article is verbatim of how I was bonded to the very person of who I was terrified of.
    I met him on the internet. After 6 weeks of a whirl wind romance, where he mirrored everything I had ever wanted in a partner, I was hooked. He told me I was everything he had ever wanted in a woman, I was his Goddess, his Princess. Bit over the top? Bit eccentric? Yes, but I didn’t question it. After 6 weeks, I moved out of my rented apartment and he moved out of his hotel room and we rented an expensive apartment near his office in the city.I gave up my job and at his insistence, worked for him. We never did get around to fully discussing my wages. We never stopped working long enough to do so. We worked seven days a week non-stop. It was for “our future” he said. “Okay” I thought. My basic needs were being met and I would reap the rewards of my work in the future.
    After 3 months he came home to where I had forgotten to buy the soda water for his spritzer that he enjoyed of an evening. Without warning, he started screaming, ranting and raving as he paced around the kitchen island bench. The rage was so unbelievable I backed away and watched him. I was rooted to the spot with fear as I heard him screaming to a third person, “She forgot the f&%^#$@ soda water, the f&*$%#$ useless bitch, I have to do every f)^&$%# thing, I’m the useless c)&*. He did this for at least five minutes as I stood rooted to the spot, afraid to react, run or do anything. My adrenaline was racing, but I could not move. All of a sudden he stopped. He came over to me and sat me down. He told me calmly and quietly that he didn’t like being like that, that I had made him do this by forgetting the soda water. I looked at him and thought he was a crazy nutter. I told him, “no one had died”, I had simply forgotten the soda water. He went silent, got up and walked away. Went to his computer and ask that I make him a spritzer as if nothing had happened. Strangely enough instead of asking him to go and get the soda water, his rage and my fear made me feel that it was my responsibilty to buy soda water, and I dutifully did. When I was out of the apartment, I knew that I had to leave this guy. His rage was so out of proportion with the event. And my initial reaction after he stopped was to run and get the soda water. Nothing I had ever done before for anyone. After dinner that night, his words of immense praise for my cooking and over the top behaviour (once again, over the top compliments for what was a simple salad) hooked me again. Why? I don’t know. On one hand I felt I had made a commitment to him in living together and working long hours with him and on the other hand I knew his behaviour was wrong and quite frankly not sane as I knew sanity to be. A contradiction.
    We lived like we were in a movie. In fact I used to say that to him. Nothing felt real. He would take me to bed. His words were loving but he was forceful when we had sex. It was like his words and actions did not meet. What I was hearing did not match what I was experiencing. It was an extreme contradiction.
    When he deemed I did something right, I was praised in an over the top fashion. When he deemed I said or did something wrong I was punished in many ways. Deprivation of my right to be me, to have thoughts and opinions was not allowed. The psychological abuse became physical abuse over time. He was the cat and I was the mouse. It was a game to him. You see I never knew when the punishment would be metered out. His rules were never the same. They could change in a second. All I wanted to do was survive. I became detached after months of this, as in a self survival mode. It became a way of life. Why? Because he kept me so tired, so worn out with fear of what he may or may not do next. He had control of the money and there was a huge imbalance in the relationship as stated above.
    The first time the physical abuse started was when he started pushing me from behind. In a fight ( when he deemed I had said or done something wrong) I would walk away as trying to reason with him was like talking to an alien. He was too contradictory in his words and actions and my own thoughts were starting to unravel. So I would walk away. He would follow and push me to the ground without warning. He would walk away and never apologize. The next morning it would be my fault that he had behaved badly.
    The last and final time he physically hurt me, we were staying in a hotel on holiday. We were having a silent argument. He was reading in the bed and I was on the balcony having a coffee. I went in to confront him on his flirting with another woman. I had also found emails from an internet dating site. It was if he had left them there for me to read. He immediately rang Security and told them he was in fear of his life and could Security come to our room, put the phone down and pushed me to the floor. As I tried to get up, he grabbed me and started punching me all over my body where all I could feel was blinding pain. He got up and started packing his clothes and I lay on the bed in shock and in a daze. It had happened so fast. Security knocked at our door and he answered it with his bags in hand and walked out. The security officer came into the room and saw me laying on the bed crying. I could not talk, it was so surreal. My ex husband had rung security saying he feared for his life before he started assaulting me.
    Over the coming months I planned my exit. During this time, I knew he was always one step ahead of me. I kept quiet and planned. He started having nightmares to where I was kicked and punched in my sleep. He winded me as I woke up from a deep sleep as he sat on my chest and chopping into the centre of my chest with the side of his hand.
    I did leave. I never went back. The morning before he left the apartment on the day I had decided I was ready. I looked into his eyes and saw nothing inside of him. No life. Nothing.
    The lights were on (his physical self)) but no one was home(his spirit and soul).

    GirlFromOz

    January 2, 2010 at 1:14 am

  2. For years I kept hearing the words in my head “trauma bond”, I had not heard of it before but was in an abusive relationship that was manipulating in just about every way.
    Tonight, just wanting to read over info that I had been given in shelter and working on a website to help other women, I came across this article.
    The “girl from oz” really has touched me, enough to leave a response of my own. And to be thankful that others do care to share their own journey to somehow help someone else. That reminds me why I work on the website.
    So, “trauma bond” really does exist and now I know why, because like her, so much of it now makes sense. The conditions, the responses etc. I’ve known it has been hard on an emotional level at times to work on the website because it reminds me of the past. Now I know what needs healed. I’ve known for a long time that the amount and depth of abuse I endured would take a long time to heal, but to heal you have to know what you are dealing with.
    My journey has become about maturing and learning how to make my own choices, the precious gift that won’t ever again be so easily entrusted to another. It’s not easy to heal from or break the trauma bond, they told me in shelter that I may always have nightmares, but they would get further apart with time. Sometimes things trigger them, like people, smells, sounds. I still do not date, and am happy just getting to know myself.
    I work to put information on the internet to help others, still a work in progress and as yet unpublished, but getting there. In so many ways I’ve moved on, holding on to faith, and my motto is to just keeping walking.

    I’ve never been able to explain why he was so abusive and controlling, he really enjoyed causing pain and would be held accountable for nothing – the world revolved around him.

    survivor

    April 8, 2010 at 5:06 am

  3. People have become desensitized, i try and tell people that they need to calm down group together and be happy but no one listens cause their already being abused themselves..i feel bad for people in those kinds of situation but it should stop there and not made into a blame game cause that’s useless

    josh

    May 25, 2010 at 3:07 am

  4. i have just left my abusive boyfriend. i thought that i had loved him once, but now i see that what i was feeling was the “bond”. i hated having to leave, but i cant go back because i know he will start beating me because i left him. it took me 4 months to realize i was being manipulated. i fought with myself denying that i was being mistreated because my guy has a Ted Bundy quality about him, and hes passive aggressive. lately hes become very jealous possessive. i have no support system so im still isolated, hes a popular business guy, no one believes hes abusing me.

    catt

    May 30, 2010 at 7:47 am

  5. This is very common with sexual abuse survivors!! A woman or man will find a “clinging object” who is totally symbolic of their
    abuser/victimizer and feel sexually and emotionally aroused and
    “bonded” to them emotionally, intellectually, physically, spiritually, etc. ONLY TO FIND OUT LATER THAT THIS “REPETITION COMPULSION” SETS THEM BACK WORSE THAN THE PRIMARY ABUSE!! UGH!!

    mgh

    June 1, 2010 at 2:01 am

  6. Hi,
    I wanted you to know that I have added a link to your blog on our blog and website. I had posted before but we changed the name of our website before we “officially” publish it. We are still in the finishing stages.
    Your blog is very educational and important to understanding abuse and the bonding that happens between abuser and survivor. Thanks for taking the time and effort to do this work :)

    Zoe

    June 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  7. The Jehovah’s Witnesses cult fits the traumatic bonding description 100%

    Rebecca

    July 28, 2010 at 8:03 am

  8. I am currently being abused. i keep searching for that one thing or piece of knowledge that will just make it click for me…make me want to leave. we have lived together for 4 yrs and he abuses me daily. one moment fawning all over me, the next calling me every name in the book and saying nasty things about me. its so awful! i do have the means to end it. i have an okay job in which i could scrape by on (with the 5 pets that we hav acquired together). we both know that he would be the one to leave the house. hes said that constantly for the past 2 yrs. hes only been around so long because at times ive begged him not to go. im so sick! he gets mad at me over the smallest things and gives me the silent treatment for weeks i just realized. because he still talks to me about daily things i didnt see. its so confusing to have him be so perfect and loving at times and then be kicking or hitting me because i brought up something he didnt like. im addicting to trying to appease him and he just hangs me out to dry. i know this has to end because the ship is sinking fast but i feel unable, uncapable, unwanting and afraid to act. please help me. i think i can feel myself slipping away. Additional details: im 28 with no children and he doesnt make enough to really contribute to the bills. he was unemployed for a year til 2 months ago.

    Torn

    August 13, 2010 at 3:27 am

  9. Hi Torn,
    I’ve had a similar experience. Now that he’s working he will spend money on you but if he pays bills it won’t be a regular thing. He will try 2 talk you into quitting work and if you do it won’t be long before he starts saying things like “What did you do with MY money?” Then you’ll start cutting corners (on you) to save him money. Sooner or later there will be a problem with your joint checking acct. so he will open a “temporary” one until the matter clears up. Eventually the joint acct will close from lack of use and you will find that he is now in charge of all finances. Most of the credit will be in your name and one day you’ll find a ton of creditors after you. You may even go to renew your license (as I did) and find it’s suspended because of tickets he racked up on your car and never paid. When you ask him to pay them he’ll say he will but he won’t. Finally, if you’re really lucky, he will walk out on YOU. This will leave you in a state of confusion and mistrust. He’ll call you a few times a week and tell you he loves you and he will even invite you on dates (don’t go). He has no intention of returning (which is good but it will take a while for you to figure that out) He will continue abusing you for as long as you let him. Trust me, I know. I wish you luck but mostly I wish you would leave now. The longer you wait the harder it will be.

    Lily

    August 31, 2010 at 1:52 am

  10. i have just learned of trauma bonding and itis the information i have been looking for to explain my experience ( emotional abuse only – not physical) thanks for doing this work

    janiceLee Kelly

    September 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm

  11. Eighteen years ago. I shut down. Couldn’t cope. New me built a new life. New family. New home. New friends.
    He now lives across an ocean. His new family. New friends.
    He decides to tell me he is sorry. He still loves me. He wants our baby. He proposed to me.

    Me. Who am I now? Two people it feels like. Old me woken up and traumatised. I was with him. In love. In pain. Lost our baby. Heavily advised abortion. Won’t go into details if you don’t mind.
    New me. Intelligent, independent, secure, successful and happy family life. With kind giving partner.

    Back then I was angry at him. Blamed him for loss of baby.
    Now…The anger is no longer there. All I see is the positive.
    He has schizophrenia. Frontal lobes removed in surgery.
    Does that excuse his behaviour.
    Could medication resolve our problems?

    If trauma bond or love or what ever label you want to put on it, creates the feeling in me to go back, this addiction, shall we say….What can I arm myself with to stay away?

    I am not preaching, and I really do value other peoples opinions, but for me, all I can say is that Jesus was the one who gave me the strength to say ‘no’ to his proposal. Jesus is the one who stops me from writing the letters to him. Texting the texts, man, even feeling the need to buy him presents and sending those to him. Well, if you thought you had it bad…How sad does this make me?

    I lost my man to schizophrenia eighteen years ago. I lost my baby. What other trauma do I need to experience at the hand of this man before I am ready to throw in the towel and realise that it was eighteen years ago and I have a better life now than he could ever give me?

    Addiction. Trauma Bonding. Psychological….Whatever.
    Me. This is ME.

    I have the choice. Go back, or stay? Hmmm…It’s a hard one right?

    Intelligence prevails, for now.
    I have children to think about. I have a partner to think about. It’s not just me anymore.

    And thank God, Right.

    Because, without them…Well, all I can say is talking about staying away, doesn’t make the feelings go away. It doesn’t stop the internal bleeding need to want to be by his side. The denial. How could he be capable of such a thing? How could I be so stupid?

    Love. It was an awfully bent arrow that cupid shot that day twenty five years ago when I first met him.

    The fear I feel when I sit in the cinema in case he is coming for me? Well, how does an intelligent women dispell those? Put it behind me?

    What about when he makes you feel responsible for him and slashes himself for your attention? Or tries to commit suicide if you go to leave?

    I have not come across a book good enough yet to show me what to feel or how to act or what to say.

    Nope.

    I have a choice, like I said. I love my partner and my family. They mean more to me than the internal desires kicking off for someone who treated me like dirt a long time ago.

    No one said it’s easy right. No one says that you will enjoy the prospect of leaving. You love this person just don’t know why or how they can do this kind of stuff.

    Sure. I love him. Will always. Ain’t no doubt.
    But it is possible to love more than one person at once. You just need a new life. A new you. A new home. Take time to find out who you are.

    I wanna help. Yes. I want to help. But that’s who I am and he sussed that out about me a long time before I did. He appealed to my finer nature.

    But, what I tell my kids is…Life is all about balance. Like a see-saw.
    It’s not all give and it’s not all take.

    And if you don’t have that balance, then you don’t have life….You need to go find one. Make a new life.

    I’m not a victim. I’m not a survivor. I am me.
    Just a normal odd bod.

    And happy to help.

    He once told me I am clever.

    Am I? I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know is that I can aspire to be clever. To win over my emotions.

    I am going to be clever. Clever enough to stay away.
    At least for now.

    One step at a time right?

    Go on…Take the leap. Somewhere around the corner could be someone as special as my partner. You may become as lucky as me.

    Tell yourself that you are strong and you can cope far better without him.

    He is not your responsibility. He is your partner and a partner has an obligation to you also but if he is not prepared to give….Walk away.

    For those of you out there who thinks I make all this sound so easy, and it’s not….
    There is a saying in the bible which says that someone may be able to hurt your body, but they can never hurt your soul.

    I read that years ago.

    Think about it.

    I am nobody special but if there is anybody out there who would like to talk to me about stuff…

    I still have me. I am still giving, kind caring and wanting to help. Just a little bit wiser too.

    Please feel free to email me. gilbertlouise at virgin dot net.

    I hope you have a good day.

    Its been a pleasure.

    Because we have each other.

    Gilbertlouise.

    Gilbertlouise

    September 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm

  12. Hi Torn,

    I now how you feel. I have been there also. I found myself in a terrible relationship that was dangerous to my physical health and emotional well-being. The frustrating thing was that I couldn’t muster the strength to leave him. Actually, I would leave him constantly but then go crawling back because I missed him. I missed him so much it was like trying to give up cigarettes -I CRAVED him. When I told people how he treated me they would look at me in aghast. I kept trying to work out why an intelligent and financially independent woman would accept his treatment and not walk away – trauma bonds. Then one day he went too far and something deep inside me changed. I didn’t give him up straight away but my mindset had finally changed. I moved 100 km away from him and although we still saw each other for the first month I finally found the strength to let go completely. I read a book that I bought over the internet called “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft and I felt much stronger in my conviction to stay away from him for good. His cruelty is what is sapping your strength.

    Rosebud

    September 27, 2010 at 7:51 am

  13. I just dont know how to stop it.

    Torn

    September 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm

  14. Wow… How true and how hard these words are hitting home. I am a 50 year old man, living in Canada. I had found my partner (wife of 12 years) 18 years ago. I thought I was trying to be careful in waiting for such a long time. We have 2 children (girl 11 yrs, boy 6 yrs). my wife has been a stay at home mom for the last 11 years. Everything in or about our relationship has been outlined in the postings here. She consistantly keeps me in a state of eccentric control. The perfered method for her is anger. She puts her self in a state of anger as a way of / to control me. I have been sleeping in clothes now for the past 6 years, because she goes nuts at the drop of a pin and throws me out of your home (I generally make an attempt to return around 4~5am, after she is sleeping. 3 years ago, I rented a 1000sq ft building where I keep 95% of me things. I learned earlier that my wife liked to distroy various items I owned. I feel I am exposed to my wife’s control by guilt, lying, drinking (approx 40oz~60oz of vodika per-week), cheating, mental cruelty, head games, various threats, verbal abuse, mood swings. There have been 22 sucide attempts by my wife over the time I have known her (14 of which police and medic’s attended). The most extreme of which was when I came home from work on a Saturday afternoon and found a note again, 6.5 hours later she was discovered (by police dogs) in the farmers field 1,000 feet away, drunk, holding a large kitchen knife and a green bed sheet. The police advised me that she was playing a game, she had sat there, and watch the whole thing unfold for the last 6.5 hours. 23 police cars had managed to be parked in our farm’s drive way, there was no way anybody could have missed that. I tried to leave her then, but she had some kind of sick power in drawing me back into this relationship. On Christmas morning 3 of years ago, we gathered at the top of the stairs before going down to our tree, my children went first. At this point my wife turned to me and said: this is the last Christmas morning you are ever going to have with our children, so you better enjoy it, now get the fu&k down thos stairs now”. Please understand, the only reason I stay is because of my 2 children. I can only hope I am doing the right thing. While my wife does not hold a job outside the home, money is balanced, she rec’s approx $1,800.00 per-month and is provided for in many other ways (nice car, etc). I think she has created (over many years) an imbalance of power with control. Is drinking part of this, yes (I don’t or have ever drank). I think it is a case where “it is a person who uses a sick form of control as a on-going game”. I would be very interested in reading some replys, Thank you…

    Drew

    November 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm

  15. my comment is to the lady in the top, thanks for sharing your dumbass story, i wish your husband controlled you better so you would at least shut the fuck up. women have 3 holes and they all need to be stuffed with dick

    Hell starts with an H

    November 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm

  16. To Hell starts with an H…
    What… is that suppose to SHOCK us? SCARE us? INTIMIDATE US? you have to be kidding… people like you are nothing…. we are STRONGER than you, we have a garden and all the weeds have been pain stakingly dug out with alot of work and effort… Guess what… your one of those weeds.
    You a laughable and what you intended to do… I dont know what was it exactly… Go back to Hell where you belong… people like you are vermon.
    … and there are way to many of you… but many of us are waking up to your evil… and the vermon are getting less and less power.
    God Bless the people who are kind, caring, sensitive, giving and loving … and may we all remember that we are worth so much more and deserve so much more… because we are GOOD people.. ask God and St. Michael to give you the inner strength to break away and stay away.. I did and have. Wont say it was easy.. and still isnt… BUT IT IS WORTH IT….
    I wont go into detail because I wont give the above vermon the satisfaction…
    How bad is it that I cant be open about what happened because this vermon decided to get onto this site.. why? hmmm because he thought saying the things he said would give him power.. well guess what .. IT DIDNT!!!!! you just disgust me… and made me laugh because I can see right through you…

    Sharron

    November 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

  17. the funny thing is that this entity called to hell has wasted all of his time reading on our website just so he could lash out at us. how pathetic. i love what you said sharron about all the good and caring people. i have thought that so much myself. we know what we deserve and what good people we are. its sick f***s like this that make us who we are. we are distinguishable from the rest, we have a purpose and can only hope that the evil and cruel people out there can be forgiven because they are so pitiful and i truly do feel sorry for them, because in the end you get what you deserve. we may endure bad things in life but it doesnt mean that we deserve it. we are all given challenges that we may or may not be able to overcome. some of them simply are for the good, even if we dont realize it. so to hell with you and your negativity on this site about love and understanding. you do not belong here and anything you say here on out will be ignored. poof. we cannot see you and we must not censor ourselves ladies. thank you and dont let him ruin this.

    torn

    November 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm

  18. After a 20 year marriage, several break downs, running and hiding, suicide attempt, I got out and stayed out. It’s been 5 years now. It has been hard. The abuse continues but I find that I am getting stronger. There are occasional triggers, night terrors, melt downs, but I am determined to stand up and speak the truth about this man. He cornered me, isolated me, followed me to 2 different states. He is a sex addict. He would interrogate me until I was a mess on the floor, and then say, “Sorry bout that.” He accused me of not praying enough for him. And yes, on the outside, we looked like the perfect church-going home-schooling couple. Fpr those in the trap, get help, get counseling, get support, and mend.

    Julie Potter

    December 4, 2010 at 3:18 am

  19. i can only describe the last 25 years of my life as horrific abuse by my psychopathic ex partner after a year of seperation iam still haunted by the cruel things he did to me i was very young when i met him only 17 he was 33 years of age i remember when i first met him i found him a bit strange and i felt a bit scared of him but before i knew it i was under his total control i remember the first time i caught him in bed with another young girl i was obviously shocked by this i was very young and nieve he dint say how sorry he was there was nothing there other than the 5 pounds he gave me for my taxi home next day he got around me but this was only th beginning of many sexual encounters all with girls around my age the lonely nights i spent in his flat knowing he wouldnt be home all night and knowing he would be with some dirty women who had no respect for themselves he loved promiciuos young girls i was the opposite i had morals he never once said sorry to me no matter how much hurt and pain i was in due to his behaviour he seemed to enjoy the power he had over me i was totally brainwashed there was nothing working in my head i was in a robotic trance i was so unhappy i would beg god to take him away from me my own head just couldnt break free from his control i wanted out but i couldnt get away from him he would humiliate me and degrade me in public he would grope women in front of me knowing every time i would react he would pull down his undergarments in public and show his backside off he liked to plant seeds in my head and leave it festering away in my head for weeks waiting for him to ask what is wrong and only then would my head be clear he loved doing this to me i had beatings but they were nothing compared to the mental torture he put me through i cant get my head around it that another human being can get total enjoyment at watching someone suffer and have a look of total gratification at what he was doing sex played a very big part in the relationship he wanted it all the the time and it was usually abusive sex he wouldnt leave me alone nearer the end of the relationship he would physically make me feel repulsed after 25years together he suddenly became an old man and he looked like an old man i felt like a prostitute i ended up having to be intoxicated in alchohol in order to have sex with him i would tell him i wanted to finish wit him and would ask him to leave he would just laugh and walk away as if he was forcing me to stay with him if i saisd no to sex he would plead with me and manipulate me into doing it he hated anyone influencing me or if i got absorbed in anything wether it be a film or magazine he even killed my little girls hamster by putting it between 2 boards and smashing its brains out and burying it in the back garden he enjoyed telling me this beacause i bought the hamster off my own back and this made him rage with anger because i didnt consult him first there is so much more to say but i will leave for now i would really advise anyone in a relationship of this kind you have to get out get help and support because if you dont the years will fly by and you will end up like myself all messed up.

    chantelle

    December 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm

  20. To drew
    I hope by reading my story you will have some insight to why I’m telling what I’m telling you. I dont know what age your kids are but kids model behavior they see. It’s called learned behavior. Your kids are learning how to act like your wife. It’s much better for you and them to get out now and never look back. I’m not saying it’s easy. Here’s my story. I had recently been divorced and began talking to a old fling from my past. Well little did I know he was only using me. Then I ran into his foster brother. I knew what would happen if I got involved but I let my guard down thinking he’s older he’s matured since high school. I’ll give him the name for Jason. Jason told me I was being used and rescued me from that situation. Around the same time I found out Jason was a meth addiction. But he was so sweet and treated me so good. I quickly feel in love. He had moved in with me and all was well until his ex gf called wanting him back. He moved her into my house. I allowed it cuz I was in love and wanted him happy. He was mentally and verbally abusive to her. I felt so bad for her cuz he treated me so good and her so bad. I finally had enough when he threatened me and pulled a knife a me then turned to her. I helped her get away from him. In doing so it cost me my job and my car. Big red fire truck here!!! Stupid me I went back. I loved him. I hated him. And I was terrified what would happen next. He manipulated me without me knowing. He’d tell me the only reason he was with was to make me suffer cuz I stole the woman he was head over heels in love with from him. Then he’d tell me how lucky he was to have me and treat me like a queen. He
    alienated me from my family and my friends. I had to cover for his drug addiction and all his illegal activities. He was the only thing that mattered. Everything was all about him. Then it finally happened I had a psychotic episode. My parents became my guardian and I pretty much lost my kids. And I still went back! Then the cycle started I’d leave and he convince me to come back. Now he’s in jail and I can focus on me. But through all this I learned a lot about him. He born addicted to meth. His adoptive mother no longer wanted him after he husband passed away. He stole a check from someones mailbox at the age of 8. And his mom thinks he made that decision?? Hello 8 year olds don’t have a full understanding of laws. We all have to be taught laws. I’ve spent a lot of time with his mother and she is loving one minute then mentally abusive the next. And it all comes to me. He felt unloved so he was doing what it took to get attention. But someone always bailed him out of any trouble he got into. And he tried to escape the home environment by doing drugs. His desire to be loved is so great that he will manipulate to get it. And because he was never shown love he doesn’t know how to love. And he has confused love with being given his way and he manipulates to get his way. For right now I know I don’t have to worry about his constant calls or his lies. But I worry about if I can stay away when he is released from jail.

    Melanie

    January 23, 2011 at 3:05 am

  21. traumatic bonding is real and powerful. i recently reconnected with a boyfriend i had in high school which was 27 years ago. it was an abusive relationship and i broke up with him. when i reconnected with him it was like an emotional tsunami hit me. emotionally i was reeling and couldn’t get my feet under me. i couldn’t believe the strength of the emotions after 27 years. i hadn’t faced those feelings during my relationship with him and i realized that i had locked them away and thought they were history. trauma doesn’t have a time limit and the emotions i felt 27 years were incredibly powerful. i couldn’t sleep or eat. i still felt attracted to him even though i know he’s still dangerous. i now see that i bonded with him during 4 years of an abusive relationship in high school and those memories and emotions will always be a part of me. i have to take care of myself and repeatedly tell myself that i will not participate in another abusive relationship. i will not re-traumatize myself, no matter how strong the attraction to an abusive ex-boyfriend. my programming when i was young was to accept abuse as normal. now i know that i’m worthy of love and respect and i will not tolerate abuse. no one should tolerate abuse. we are all worthy of love and respect.

    bianca

    February 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm

  22. Dear GirlfromOz, as I read you post specifically, and that of others on this blog, I read my own story, deja vu all over again, and uncanny and chilling for the similarities. So I wont add my lengthy story bit.

    Good luck. It takes years to break the bond. but it will happen. With the benefit of your experience, keep an eye out for others, who may be now at the stage of whirl wind romance, or at the stage of moving in and experiencing the first signs of abuse and crazy making.
    p.

    pascale

    February 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm

  23. I was involved with a man for two years. When I met him I thought he was the answer to my prayers. I had been abandoned by my family and finally now I was going to have my own. I felt important. I felt like finally I wasn’t a feather in the wind but would have a place in the world. A wife and a mother. I loved the idea. He was the sweetest man but there were red flags. He liked to be violent in bed. He was jealous and posessive. He drank a lot. When got engaged and moved in. The honeymoon was over pretty quickly. He was cruel and humiliating. Then he would would come back with gifts and sweet words. He would aggressively kick me out of the house, then try to get me pregnant. I was in a psychologically traumatic state of mind constantly for two years. Then I got out and moved to my parents house who are ever MORE abusive than he was. I went back and forth from his house to theirs for a year. I finally moved out and live on my own but here’s the sick thing… I am still very very attached to him. He lied to me, cheated, treated me like dirt but always came back with the sweetest most loving words and sometimes just beautiful actions. When I met him I was traumatized from almost being attacked by my brother in law. And clung to this guy. He in turn abused me more and more and he LOVED to see me in pain. It gave him joy. I have to take responsibility for myself. I have compassion for myself. I come from a family that treats me like dirt. A sub-human unworthy of anything good in life. I have lived in trauma for the past 5 years( with reoccuring illness) and sought refuge from the people who traumatized me the most. I realize now why I did it.
    1. I used to be a cutter and being in this relationship was like cutting. The pain made me feel alive. I went back again and again.
    2. I chose him to destroy me so that I may rise from my ashes anew.
    3. I was addicted to illusion. He spoke of beautiful illusions. Safety, security, happiness and forever love. It was all BS but it’s what I wanted to hear.
    I am happy that I am free of him. I am not unscarred but finally I can’t the process of healing my heart.
    He was a domestic abuser and he profoundly hates women I have the classic victim personality of someone who would be attracted to this type. I feel alone, vulnerable and weak. He has a good paying job and seems “strong”. He is not strong. He is the weak one. I will heal. I will love again. I will have a healthy life. I am still “bonded” to the man who has brought some pleasure but mostly pain to my life. It is a wonder to me. But I need to not judge myself but understand myself.

    Rising

    April 19, 2011 at 1:00 am

  24. Like many others my story is very similar. I was emotionally and physically abused for over a year about 4 years ago. Luckily i got out a lot quicker than some of you poor women, my heart goes out to ye. I went travelling to the other side of the world to get away from him but even still he threatened he would go after my family if I didn’t keep in contact with him. He threatened and attempted suicide and even had his family contact me to give me a guilt trip for leaving him!? ( yes they knew about the abuse) I never told anyone close to me including any family members, although I knew they would be supportive I didn’t want them to know as my parents would have hated to hear what I went through. So that leaves me here years on and still can’t stop thinking about it or get over it luckily I don’t see him around any more he must have moved away. I’ve changed my number so that’s how I eventually lost all contact with him. Unlike the other stories I would never go back to him, I have only anger and hatred towards him. I feel a little resentful towards my family that I put them first and didnt tell them what happened to me if that makes sense?? I told my new partner a few stories about my ex but never went into great detail and he never brings it up so i haven’t had much support. Sometimes i wish someone would just give me a hug and say I didnt deserve it and give my ex a good kick in the balls see how he feels! Does this feeling ever go away?

    Anonymous

    May 3, 2011 at 10:47 am

  25. i totally agree with survivor, 2nd post.
    i have hustled and tried to work on my recovery from all angles. have been in hellishly abusive strugglig relationships……. but the bottom line is …. you have to know what your sickness is.
    from a through fear of sinning against the holy spirit, being driven around by manipulative jerks, picking up, like always, manipulative crazy witchy (as into witchraft stuff no less) women yada yada yada.

    how can you even begin to know what your sickness is.
    trauma bonding… word has floeated around for quite a while and i end up in this blog.

    if this my sickness hopefully now i can cure.

    anon guy

    anon

    May 14, 2011 at 9:03 am

  26. i really apologiese. because am laughing.

    a man writing……

    I rented a 1000sq ft building where I keep 95% of me things. I learned earlier that my wife liked to destroy various items I owned. I feel I am exposed to my wife’s control by guilt, lying, drinking (approx 40oz~60oz of vodika per-week)….

    but i also cry that such a thing is possible.

    a healthy person wd have called it quits like a decade ago.

    why i cry is because i am the one who wd have tolerated this madness, and have tolerated and have all kinda of psycho emotional illnesses of which depression is the smallest.

    my prayer is that now, through these kind of experiences and exposure.. will get well.

    but boy, am i tired?

    excuse me

    May 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

  27. @@ Hell starts with an H

    there are several ladies “at top” which one do you mean and what do your statements mean??? that you are an abuser … or you wished she was stronger enough to say no to crap?

    anon

    May 14, 2011 at 9:30 am

  28. @rising
    . I chose him to destroy me so that I may rise from my ashes anew.

    you really are sick. not that i judge you.
    i am sicker. i really feel my “self”

    anon

    May 14, 2011 at 9:40 am

  29. @rising
    . I chose him to destroy me so that I may rise from my ashes anew.

    you really are sick. not that i judge you.
    i am sicker. i rarely (i mean rarely not really) feel my “self”. like i am in a stupid dream that i am not able to wake from.

    anon

    May 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

  30. All of you thinking you may be a victim of this should read Rose Madder by Stephen King. An excellent narrative of an abusive relationship. Decide for yourself; ultimately the girl realises he is going to kill her. I wish everyone here the best of luck and those unsure to reflect upon the previous sentence.
    There is always hope. No matter how small.

    Truth

    May 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm

  31. hi anti natalist trueth
    are you following me around blogs?
    who is rose madder?

    anon

    May 14, 2011 at 7:56 pm

  32. I have just turned 50 – My mother and my younger by 3 years indentical twin sisters are physcopaths . I was dragged up as the scape goat – My father was a gentle but weak man – I was sent to live with stangers at the early age of 3 to 7 years old . My mother tried to kill me just before her death oh and there is so much more – but she was the most cunning and cleaver one – now my twin sisters are not as cleaver as her . Ive just ran away – no way will I go back – Ive come to the other side of the world to get away – I jsut feel so sorry for the kids . God helped me and a lot of reading . Ive up until recently been highly attracted to the phsyco types – because I thought that they appeared cool strong and relaxed and yes I suppose a bit of an ego challenge to make them fall intimate in love with me – they gave me a few small morsals of affection to go on that was like herion for me and I wanted more and more and well the well was empty for these poor detached souls . Im recovered – single , hard lessons learnt better late than never attitude .

    Annabel

    June 26, 2011 at 11:20 pm

  33. I urge that we focus more on the solutions and if ever possible try to help others . In a perfect world I would like all of these emotionally retarded people to be taken out of society and put somewhere where they cant harm any one any more – still that wont happen any time soon , so I think we should arm ourselves with knowledge as this is power . To be a hundred steps ahead of these people certainly shows them up in a very unattractive light – which then disarms them – In the past during wars they were usually the ones sent to the front line because they had no concept of fear -were considered DISPOSABLE PEOPLE ( as we should think now about them ) high physical pain threshold and a joy in seeing others pain . Yes I think that if it was not for the thought that they may get put in jail so that they cant get up to their antics with normal people , there would in my mind be a lot of deaths caused by these adult 6 year old spoilt brats . They dont like children because this takes attention away from them – we all know the basics of these people and we all Im sure have horrible stories to tell about what they have done to us and to others that are so bizare and unreal – however I think that rather than give them any ideas that they might read here ( they can be lazy sometimes to come up with their own ideas for harming others ) – we should start to take more of a positive action to leave them . Dr Robert Shahs book without consience is well worth reading and can liberate you with the knowledge that your barking up the wrong tree with ever thinking that these retards can ever change . You tube has some good advice from great doctors there as well – Read whatever you can and re educate yourself in taking absolute the greatest care of yourself . To become a serial victim is just too easy to do I know this first hand . Perhaps its true what they say that oppersites attract – but if you can some how learn to be attracted to more positive people – who given more of a chance are not really that boring at all – you will be so much more happier to be surrounded by those that are genuine kind warm supportive and loving .
    Im sure we all believe that our personal experience with these emotional vampires is the worst – I think mine is = 3 in the family and I was really the only sane one I think really takes is the ultimate worst from what Ive read and then after this to be married to one and then after that have 2 other long term relationships with 2 more – the cycle has just got to stop .
    Ive thought long and hard over this and have come to the conclusion that to be alone at times a little lonely is better by far than to be living with anyone so vile as a psychopath .
    They respect and are facinated by strength at the same time they will try to break it down as their ego says that they are the king of the hill not you .
    All of the top doctors say one thing that Ive noticed and that is to leave – get away – dont have any contact what so ever – if you can do this – then do it now – dont waste another day feeling sad – replace that with getting along with your life – baby steps at first – just so you can get over the shell shock of all of it – then when the light goes on in your head be prepared for feeling angry for having wasted so much time on these little adult babies – its recovery in stages .
    Talk read watch – move on and away and be a lot more selective about who you have in your life .
    After all they wont notice anything different when your gone even if they say so –
    Their affection lines are mimicked from television or other people – nothing is real with these types – its all copied from others – one doctor even said that if you reverse EVERYTHING that they say you will be getting closer to the truth with these people – learn to spot them out when they are lying – which is always unless its to give you hope for a short while that they are being honest only to take it away later to make you go crazy – DONT TELL THEM ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF keep as quite as you can – dont try to use logic – that a weakness to them – anything good honest or kind is a weakness .
    I believe that there are a lot more of these people around than what the statistics say there is –
    These people dont give a dam about anything and as thats the case how stupid can one be to be even around them for a minute – their only delight is to destroy you and then once thats done shrug their shoulders make up some – I dont care off the cuff excuse –
    My mother even admitted herself into a mental hospital and went through electric shock treatment – just to find out how the system worked – they have no shame they are liberated from guilt they are not bound down by being embarrassed BUT WE ARE and in this way they have the advantage that we dont .
    Then there is the unlimited energy that they have for rage – this is pure bliss for them – with all the crocodile tears ( all learnt off some tacky tele drama series no doubt ) this is as close as they will ever get to emotion – its all an act and if it has its desired reaction on you then they feel that they have hit the mark of actually feeling something – actually all tey feel is a sore throat from screaming during their rages . To conclude JUST GET AWAY AND STAY AWAY dont worry with the discompfort in the beginning – anything is better than having one of them ( or in my case more ) try to kill you in your sleep .

    Annabel

    June 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

  34. I realize now I have also been a victim of the trauma bond. I had people in my family who abused me, then married men who did the same in different ways and who were also likely trauma bonded in their own families. I live alone now and am learning to help myself. Although I want to be with a healthy person, I need the time to heal and learn about myself. You can survive on your own and if you get the right help you can actually like yourself too. Don’t let them hurt you – you deserve so much better!!

    Jingo

    July 17, 2011 at 5:01 am

  35. How sad….

    Lori

    August 14, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  36. annabel

    we have the exact same story – it’s eerie how similar they are.
    God bless you, for your strength and for your courage to post this here.

    lilly

    August 23, 2011 at 12:10 am

  37. [...] syndrome, is when a human being feels bound to her torturer by invisible psychic chains. It is a well-documented phenomenon. Add a sexual element to the sadism, and you get what is known in BDSM (and Rad-fem) circles as a [...]

  38. I have suffered all of what was written there.
    It bothers me that the answer is always to leave. She wants to be better, she acknowledges what she does, after the fact. Her being sorry is always short lived but she is a very spontaneous person, I don’t expect her to just sit around and feel bad about she treats me.

    I want help figuring out what to do to stay with her, we have kids together, we have been together 10 years. I don’t want to give up but I can’t stand what she does anymore. I can’t get a word in, she ignores what I say and LITERALLY makes my side of things up, she takes on a different tone of voice and tells me how I feel as if she gets to choose.

    She knows it’s bad though. I’m having a particularly hard time tonight, she’s been throwing around threats to leave me a lot and I think it’s pushing me over the edge. We have been seeing a counselor but I don’t think it’s helping. Before the threats to leave me she would talking about killing herself sometimes. I feel horrible to say it but sometimes I fantasize that she would. I would be able to mourn her with my children but at least I could be with them and feel free of this pain (of course there would be a new pain)

    Man

    October 20, 2011 at 7:20 am

  39. Oh, Man I feel your pain, my husband is the same as your wife, tried despretly to save the marriage of 11 years but now having to run to a shelter this week because of the craziness. Praying for your situation!

    melissa

    October 23, 2011 at 2:46 am

  40. melissa
    going into the shelter is a really hard thing to do, but so worth it.
    i am so glad you made that move – feeling safe might be something you are not used to.
    i have had to go to one before, and it isn’t easy, partly because i felt so guilty, like getting away from him was something i should be ashamed for.
    i tend to think other people’s emotions are more important than my own, and i think all of us who have been abused have been forced to think that way.
    we have been made responsible for their emotions – if they are mad, it is our fault. if they are unhappy, they blame us. we get so used to trying to keep them happy (to protect ourselves, but also because most of these kinds of abusers make themselves out to be victims, and we know what that is like, so we try to “protect” them) that we forget that we are the ones being hurt.
    going to the shelter made me feel like i was hurting him – and he played it that way.
    please don’t buy into that kind of manipulative cruelty.
    remember that you were strong enough to leave, and that he made it so that you had to escape your own home.
    you are really smart and you deserve better, but i am so glad you are at the shelter, rather than back with him.

    @Man
    i’m so sorry you are trapped in this situation. i get why you sometimes wish it could all come to an end. don’t feel bad for that; anyone in your position would feel that way.
    i have.
    she is forcing you to be responsible not only for yourself, but for her too.
    that is just so sick.

    i will say a little prayer for both of you.

    after four years, i am just about to go on my first date, and i am so scared. what these people have done to us is going to last a lifetime. i just wonder if i really can have a normal relationship after all of this. i am so scared that i will end up right back in the same situation – i have thought about calling the date off for the last few days, just because of that fear.
    i hate that those feeling were beaten into me.

    lilly

    October 23, 2011 at 9:17 am

  41. i think i may have been in an abusive relationship but not sure as he kept on leaving me

    claire

    October 24, 2011 at 8:50 am

  42. @CLAIRE… but he comes back, doesn’t he? Do you feel that he thinks no matter what he goes and does and for how long… you’ll still be there for him? Or is it something else? Best, Pascale

    pascale

    October 24, 2011 at 9:20 am

  43. @claire
    he could be “punishing” you by leaving you – it makes you less likely to complain about whatever the next time – doesn’t it?
    if he knows leaving hurts you, then it could be just another form of control and abuse.

    lilly

    October 24, 2011 at 10:01 am

  44. what can i say? I wish those bastards rot in hell, all of them, they leave such a wake of destruction behind them, they enjoy bringing down people that are better then them, that really excites them, an excellent article is The Disturbed Mind – Compliant Victims of the Sexual Sadist, the part on how they prepare and “groom” their victims is unfortunately spot on. I won’t bore you with my story but i can only tell that I recognize myself in everything written at the beginning on the trauma bond and on the sexual sadist article, i was just naive and lonely from a borderline abusive loveless marriage and fell for a colleague that studied me for a year and a half, gaining my trust. I had never had another man except my husband, came from a culture that didn’t discuss sex at all and never had seen a porn before, had to look at wikipedia every time he used a new sex word, he was so patient in destroying me, at the end he was having me do everything his sick mind wanted, he sent me people he found on the internet to have sex with me, instructing them beforehand that I liked rape fantasies, and asked detailed reports and would get mad if they didn’t do everything to me. the sick thing? he teaches in university, clearly looking for other victims after I got out from under him, how? I was lucky, met a guy that saw right away that i was abused and that wasn’t the real me and took the time, patience and love (how lucky i am that he loved me so much even after i had been through hell? sometimes life is surprising) to educate me about abuse, abusers and everything related to it, suffering with me and getting severe secondary trauma, but he stuck with me and is really my soulmate, my half and the love of my life, this time for real, not the BS the abuser was constantly giving me, he earned the trust, that is the key, follow your gut, don’t give your trust away, feel they are earning it, I wish i could offer a solution to everyone’s pains in here but mine was luck and i wish all of you can replicate it and be as lucky as me, there are good people out there, follow your instincts, your gut and you will find them. a hug to each and everyone of you and a good kick in the balls the “hell starts with an H” guy, but most importantly the realization we can love and have a life and enjoy it while he will always have only himself and will never be able to escape, you and your ilk are just cockroaches, now that we know we won’t even bother spitting on you.
    Love to everyone.
    a.

    phoenix

    November 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

  45. I am sorry to read of the painful experiences of everybody on this site. The article explaining Traumatic Bonding is very accurate indeed. I would urge anybody who resonates with any of the above abuse to educate themselves as much as they can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Plenty has been written on the subject, however, little or nothing has been written on the carnage done to those victims unfortunate enough to have a close relationship with a narcissist. The narcissist’s dysfunctional behaviour involves such callous exploitation of their victims that it has given birth to a new condition known as Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (or Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome). The spectrum of narcissism exists on a continuum, from healthy narcissism, to unhealthy traits, and all the way to pathological Narcissistic Personality Disorder. By the way, the narcissist does not have to display all of the traits associated with the full blown pathological stage of narcissism in order to do untold damage to their victims. Some people do not like to think of themselves as a “victim”, but I use the dictionary definition here to make it easier for covering all the different forms of abuse mentioned above. According to the dictionary,”a victim is one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment by another”, and clearly, all posts express that they have been treated in this manner. Narcissistic abuse is on the increase, it is official that it has reached epidemic proportions.

    All victims of a narcissist has meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (loving one minute and totally enraged the next). At first the relationship is like being in Heaven, but it is not long before the honeymoon is over and it feels like you are living in Hell. Once a narcissist has you hooked, the nightmare begins, and very soon you are left as if you are “walking on eggshells” all the time. You have now become what is known as “Narcissistic Supply”. Because the narcissist has an inflated sense of their own importance, and a deep need for attention and admiration, they must have narcissistic supply in order to maintain their fragile ego. The narcissist believes that they are superior to others, and have little regard for other people’s feelings, regardless of whom they are (i.e. spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, peers, co-workers etc.). Other people are merely object there to serve their every need as narcissistic supply, and they will use every form of abuse, without guilt, empathy or conscience, in order to make sure that their needs are served.

    Narcissistic Victim Syndrome:
    Victims who have suffered narcissistic abused are likely to demonstrate feelings of shame, and humiliation, this is partly due to the narcissistic abuser projecting their shame on to them. They also tend to be over responsible, and apt to self-blame, this is because they learned to take responsible for the narcissists behaviour. Whenever the narcissist’s rage is triggered, without any doubt the victim is told it is their fault (i.e “It’s your fault, you should have known that was going to upset me, now look what you have done”) Victims often act inferior or powerless, and feel great guilt when talking about their abuser, even to the point of wanting to protect them. Many abusers also develop something called Stockholm Syndrome.

    Stockholm Syndrome involves the victim emotional bonding with their narcissistic captors, this “trauma bonding” is known to be a strategy of survival for victims of narcissistic abuse and intimidation. In such a hostile environment, the victim soon learns that their abuser does carry out threats, so they are in real danger. Threats to their physical or psychological survival terrify them, leaving them feeling lost and isolated. But then, confusingly, they can also receive small kindnesses from the abuser, which make them feel connected again, connection makes them feel safe once more. It will be important to understand the components of Stockholm Syndrome in order to understand why the victim still wants to support, defend, and even love the perpetrator after all that they have gone through. This is a highly unconscious sophisticated source of defense for survival that needs to be applauded.

    Cognitive dissonance is another unconscious defense mechanism employed for survival. Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused when the victim is holding two conflicting ideas simultaneously. As you can imagine, living in a torturous war zone, where all forms of power and control are used against you (intimidation; emotional, physical and mental abuse; isolation, economic abuse, sexual abuse, coercion etc.), the threat of abuse is always present. Coping with these states of mind throw the victim into any number of inner conflicts where defense mechanisms are called for. For example, a woman who is abused by her narcissistic spouse will hate the conditions she is living in. However with the real fear of a violent reprisal from her narcissistic captor if she tried to leave, she will more likely choose to stay put. The cognitive dissonance shows itself through rationalization: On the one hand: she abhors her unhealthy relationship and all the abuse that goes with it; while on the other hand, she tells herself that he only fights with her because he loves and cares for her. This inner dialogue reduced her anxiety, allowing her to bond with her abuser, to the point that she will even protect him from the outside world if people attempt to rescue her or encourage her to leave. The result of that is a massive draining conflict ensues between the person’s emotional self and their rational reasoning self. Their “cognitive dissonance” is a sign of the disharmony the victim is experiencing as a result of two conflicting ideas going on at the same time; i.e. the victim knows that they should get out of the abusive situation, but they also know that to do so will put them (and possibly their children) in great danger. When these two strategies are in place (Stockholm Syndrome and Cognitive Dissonance), the victim firmly believes that their relationship is not only acceptable, but also vital for their survival. They become so enmeshed in the relationship with the abuser, that they feel that their world (mental and emotional) would fall apart if the relationship ended. This explains why they fear those people who attempt to rescue them from their abuser, and how this creates the victim to develop cognitive dissonance and become protective of their abuser.

    Many victims find it hard to recognize who they have become. Where they were once able to be strong, articulate, decisive, their confidence becomes so low that they have trouble making simple decisions. There is a good reason for this, this is because they may be caught in the narcissist’s cruel game, sometimes called “The Gaslighting Tango”, or just Gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse uses by narcissists in order to instill in their victim’s an extreme sense of anxiety and confusion to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment. The techniques used in “Gaslighting” by the narcissist are similar to those used in brainwashing, interrogation, and torture that have been used in psychological warfare by intelligence operative, law enforcement and other forces for decades. The intention is to, in a systematic way, target the victim’s mental equilibrium, self confidence, and self esteem so that they are no longer able to function in an independent way. Gaslighting involves the abuser to frequently and systematically withhold factual information from the victim, and replacing it with false information. For example, they often move objects around, and place them in an unusual place. When asked if they have seen or move the object, they deny it. When the object is finally found, they tell the victim things that make them doubt themselves, i.e. “I told you that you had moved it, you must be loosing your memory”, or “I saw you put it there, don’t you remember?”. The Gaslighting Effect involves an insidious set of psychological manipulations that are carried out gradually in stages, and repeated time after time, in order to undermine the mental stability of its victim. Because of it’s subtly, this cunning Machiavellian behaviour is a deeply insidious set of manipulations that is difficult for anybody to work out, and with time it finally undermines the mental stability of the victim. That is why it is such a dangerous form of abuse. The emotional damage of Gaslighting is huge on the narcissistic victim. When they are exposed to it for long enough, they begin to loose their sense of their own self. Unable to trust their own judgments, they start to question the reality of everything in their life. They begin to find themselves second-guessing themselves, and this makes them become very insecure around their decision making, even around the smallest of choices. The victim becomes depressed and withdrawn, they become totally dependant on the abuser for their sense of reality. In effect the gaslighting turns the victim’s reality on its head.

    I understand that I have given a lot of information here, but I do recommend that if you are being victimized, then you need to understand the convoluted dance of the narcissist. By the way, it is a myth to believe that only males are narcissistic, it is now on the increase in women. When you understand the behaviours of your narcissistic abuser (the need for narcissistic supply, control, revenge, envy, gaslighting etc), then you will begin to understand and have compassion for your own wonderful defense mechanisms that have helped you to cope (Stockholm Syndrome, Cognitive Dissonance, Trauma Bonding etc). These behaviours are your artillery for surviving a “War Zone” until such a time when you are able to remove yourself out of the relationship.

    Reluctant Shaman

    November 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

  46. To lilly October 23, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Congratulations on getting so far as being able to think about a date, shows you are making a good recovery of your own self. Please do read up all you can about Narcissism. Once you identity the behaviour you are less likely to pick another narcissist. Unfortunately, it is a well known fact that people who have been narcissistically wounded do have a tendency to be re-victimized. The reason for this is that they have been conditioned to respond in a way to the narcissist (like Pavlov’s dogs), They become an easy source of supply, so they attract the narcissist to them like a “moth to a flame”, and enter the narcissists convoluted dance all over again. You dance the same dance, the only difference is that you dance to another’s tune. But once you understand the narcissists part of the dance, and your part of the dance, then you can change your own behaviour. You will then attract healthier men into your life.

    Don’t bother trying to change a narcissist, you will never do it. We can only change ourselves.

    Reluctant Shaman

    November 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm

  47. @reluctant shaman – thanks for all the information – it really helps to read about this stuff, and yourself, and understand that you are not crazy, you are not alone, and there is a way out.
    i read what you wrote about Jekyl and Hyde, and i understand now that saying “my blood ran cold”. i will keep reading to keep myself safe – thanks for that.

    i know the word “victim” has been taken over and made into something bad.
    but i think all of us should remember that if someone was in a car accident, and had to walk with crutches, no one would say “look at him acting the victim!!”
    we have been injured, and we are working through it, which means, yes we were victimized – by don’t let them turn that term against you.
    if you weren’t a strong, living victim, most likely you would be a suicide, or murder victim.
    being a victim means you survived something that was meant to destroy you – but you got out and kept going.
    there is no “acting the victim”.
    there is only where ever you are on the way to fully recovering.
    victims aren’t bad or weak people – they are anyone who has been violated.
    remember that – you should be proud that you are a living victim, so strong you are still walking forward, instead of six feet under the earth, or still under an abusers thumb.

    God bless you all!
    you make it easier to bear all of this.

    lilly

    November 6, 2011 at 1:04 am

  48. I am reading these words living them in my mind. I as well finally got the courage to leave an abusive relationship. I also have read “Why Does He Do That?” Lundy Bancroft. I met him when I was in a weak period of my life relearning a career, new to wonderful city and looking for friends. I still remember like yesterday the first time he lost his “temper” with me. He was rude. He lives on a yacht. I walked down the stairs for air to the galley. He followed me screaming and spitting while he screamed. I journal. I found those words “I love him but he has an insane temper. I am going to work not to ignite that spark!” The yelling turned to him grabbing be by my throat and throwing me up against the wall pinning me while he yelled. I was now living on the boat with no recourse. Christmas Eve? We had a fight because he was an asshole to me. He loved figuring out my weaknesses then attacking them. I look back now and think I will never tell anyone I first start dating my secrets. Has he ruined me for life? He put my things on his dock because his friend at this bar in Fort Lauderdale mentioned he yelled and spit on his four month old relationship. Somehow I had the courage to acknowledge in public it happened to me! Then, he ran away like a crazy person (he is) from that bar. When we drove up all of my things in my car and on the dock. I was paying him rent! I was so naive. I crawled back on that boat because I had nowhere else to go. I got to spend the next five months in terror. Yelling, spitting, holding me down by my hair on the bed so he could spit in my face, grabbing me around the throat – punching my stomach – holding my hair (his mechanic steps away, the next day in tears when I ask him why he did it – I had marks on my neck – he says I have “loose skin around my neck” – insult to age), hand over mouth – fingers up nose repeat..repeat…but then LOVE. I love you so much. I want you to be my wife. I know if I continue to abuse me you will leave me. I have prior felonies you can’t call 9-1-1 you will destroy me. Finally I save enough money to move out and I STILL let him in my life. We have a fight in my apartment and he bites me on the face while “kissing me goodnight”. I called the police but never filed criminal charges. Then! It gets worst. He throws my bag overboard grabbing my things while I am panicked in Miami Beach Marina. Cute overnight bag and all of my favorite things including my work iPhone overboard. I start screaming 9-1-1 and he throws me into the galley of his boat. Kidnapped for eight hours. Screaming at me. “What about my needs!” “Make me an iced tea.” “Bitch, Whore, Cunt!” Offshore to the Bahamas and when I try to contact anyone on my laptop? He takes both of them scratching my MacBook Pro. It doesn’t end there. I realize now I was a victim of traumatic bonding and Stolkholm Syndrome. He continued the abuse. I attempted to escape. I moved out of state for a new job. He followed me. Threw me against a hotel room door. Finally had to go back to South Florida for probation and somehow? I said. I don’t need to do this anymore. I separated and went through a month of hell. Stalking, he called the police on me, blamed me for all the abuse. But, I found the truth which he lied to me when I attempted to reach him. He was abused as a child. He abused his first wife, second wife, ex-girlfriend and who else? Now? I cry everyday. I am so mad and have nowhere to direct it. I hate him and am mad when I cry because I miss him. I didn’t now him. I never caused the abuse towards me but am obsessed with getting the other woman’s stories so I can know I didn’t cause it. It’s all so sick. It’s awfulness. I want to be that person only ONE year ago that I was before I met him. I have nightmares. I don’t trust anyone. I am in Group and am going to find a counselor soon. But, I AM FREE.

    KittyVictim

    November 11, 2011 at 12:54 am

  49. @Kitty. what you wrote strikes a chord. I was obsessed trying to find out how his previous wives were affected or if it ‘was me’. I learned that one was hit in pregnancy, the other attempted or threatened suicide four times, another does not seem to function properly any longer. I got obsessed too in warning the new partner of what she was potentially exposing herself to. she did not accept it. It occurred to me later that the ones before me want to let go or forget, and that the new partner has been possibly told that I am lying. All in all, rather than trying to make sense of it as to whether “it was my fault” or ‘what made him/her do that”, I found it healing to simply look at the facts : any one person should not aggress another and if there is a past history of agression of previous mates, leave. Look at the knowledge you have now, I am sure that your safety radar is now fine tuned, and that you will find persons decent and respectful to surround you with, because now, you know how to look for the signs. In terms of let go, the remedies are police and legal, yet few take that step. I have found that these types of recourse are healing in that, they give one their power back. Asking questions will make the pain linger on, though, will prepare a sound terrain for your future. Purging it is the best thing I found to do for myself. I also find that I will never again be the person I was before this relationship, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Good luck, it is tough, but do-able.

    Paige

    November 11, 2011 at 1:15 am

  50. @Paige He told me early on in our relationship (major fucking warning sign!). You can never call 9-1-1 on me or I will go to jail. I remember scratching my feline head wondering why he said it. Of course now I know. As Steve Jobs brilliantly said “you can only connect the dots looking back”. My radar? I met this new guy in a bar (having dinner by myself) and told him. “We can only be friends.” “I am coming out of an abusive relationship.” Blah blah blah ad nauseum. Then, he Friends me on Facebook. Then, he texts me (as if we were close friends) that “he hopes I do well in this out of town meeting” he saw on my FB Page). Then, he texts me the morning of the meeting. Then, he calls me to go hiking on Sunday and I again say “we can only be friends”. His response? “You are not all that hot anyways.” I don’t answer his calls or text messages. Yes. The radar is up. The bug zapper is on. And, I want peace and happiness. I don’t have crazy making in my life anymore. Brilliant! Peace to you. P Bloody S. Yes. I need to let him go and realize he is awful, mean and THAT IS WHO HE IS (he used to shout that line at me). I am the one that actually can forgive. But, I am worried that I will be reading the paper someday and some poor woman did not make the cut. Cheers! Oh! P other S. His ex-girlfriend found the courage after I emailed all of them on Facebook to tell me the truth. We are now friends. Off I go! Oh! P Z S! I like me after. I am not as naive. Moving on to find my new life. Still being a hermit but I will take my camera out again soon. Peace. Love!

    KittyVictim

    November 11, 2011 at 2:05 am

  51. @Paige I am cutting and pasting your words for my Journal. They are amazing actually. I have fought for 12 months saying I did not deserve it. But, of course I did not. And, now the PI in me wants the truth. But, the truth was staring me in the face the entire time. Why do I accept non acceptable behaviors in my life. His ex-girfriend (balls) amazing woman told me that line. I need to let it go now. I don’t miss him because I never knew him. And, watching him walk away from me laughing with the police officers after doing the “walk through” (court ordered) of my apartment and stealing a $5.00 serrated knife and a plastic spatula? I realize he is going to laugh his way on to the next victim. Cheers.

    KittyVictim

    November 11, 2011 at 2:12 am

  52. I understand your pain so well…

    RB

    November 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

  53. When do we get over it all? I just want to be free now! He got in my head and rearranged all the furniture. The couch used to be *there* and my arm chair was *there* and now it’s like this tornado took it all out. I function during the day and break down every night. Soon to get into therapy. I am looking for the right counselor.

    How can they walk away after the destruction denying it all and feeling good about themselves?

    I knew going into this I was playing with fire so I guess I should not be upset that I got burnt. I just didn’t realize it was going to be first degree burns.

    Will I ever be myself again? And, will I remember who she was? And, it was ONLY ONE YEAR!

    Kitty

    KittyVictim

    November 15, 2011 at 12:18 am

  54. This has opened my eyes. I have never heard of this, but describes to the T what I have been through. I have been away from my abuser for a little over a year.

    Tabitha

    November 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm

  55. THIS HAS BEEN SO HELPFUL THIS IS ME 4 MARRIAGES ALL ABUSE THE LAST 5 YEARS I WAS MARRIED TO MY PRESENT HUSBAND HE PYSICAL SExual AND EMOTIONAL ABUSED ME I NEVER CALLED THE POLICE A MONTH AGO A FRIEND OF MINE CALLED HE WAS ARESTED HE THERE IAS A RESTRAINING ORDER ON HIM I FILED FOR DIVORCE I AM A CHRISTIAN AND STRUGGLED WITH IT BUT KNEW I HAD TO KEEP HIM AWAY SINCE THEN HE STARTED TO CALL ME I KNOW HE IS DANGEROUS AND COULD ACCIDENTLY KILL ME HIS FATHER WAS VERY ABUSIVE HE IS BEGGING WITH ME NOT TO GO THROUGH WITH THE DIVORCE I FEEL SO SORRY FOR HIOM BUT I AM AFRAID I ATTEND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COUNCILING BUT I AM HAVING A HARD TOME IT IS TRAMATIC BONDING TO A TEE BUT I KEEP MAKING EXCUSES FOR HIM AND SAY HE WAS ABUSED HE CANT HELP IT WHAT AM I GOING TO DO I WISH HE DIDNT WANT ME BACK IT WOULD BE EASIER TO START OVER CAN ANYBODY HELP ME OR GIVE ME ADVICE I FEEL SO COMMITTED TO HIM AND I DONT WANT TO BETRAY HIM BUT HE WAS VERY ABUSIVE IN FACT THERE WILL PROBABLY BE A 5 YEAR RESTRAINING ORDER ON HIM

    ELAINE

    January 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm

  56. @ KittyV. THe possibility is that they will be in our head for a long, long time. So, befriend it, rather than curse it. It is part of your fabric now, as is part of mine. I use it, to say “no” whenever I see similar behaviour. I use it to say “yes”, whenever I see behaviour respectful and mutual, that of the friends I now make, and surround myself with with. It is gift, when looked at it like this. It protects from repeats. , wiser. stronger, and with a tear that is now a scab, just about to be a scar. and painful at times, very much so. The past is a support, a knowledge base for going ahead in a direction that allows us to avoid these characters. not a hindrance. but much of the pain needs go first, most of it be purged. How do you do it?
    p

    Paige

    January 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

  57. kitty thanks i love that ……..”a tear now a scab about to become a scar” the problem is ai cant get past the tears and i am going back and forth i talk to him it started with a email to a phone call and then i saw him i didnt want to i allowed myself slowly to get sucked back in i know the danger he is not changed impossible anyway not enough time has passed i feel sorry for him it is pathetic i am pathetic i dont know what to do? i know it is tramactic bonding but knowing it doesnt help i have my advocate and counsler from domestic violence supporting me but i am getting sucked back in it i dont know what to do?????
    It is so sick knowing i could die and go back to it do you have any advice?????
    elaine

    ELAINE

    January 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm

  58. It’s sad how relationships changes to be a drama in a long run.

    Fyfe Owe

    February 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm

  59. False accusations sadly may be statistically proven to be more than half of “domestic battery reports” which are known to be FALSE. More than half. But no one speaks out? I’ve accomplished much. I worked for 20 years with at-risk youth, counseling at-risk youth in depressed areas and as a college professor and business consultant and an executive in digital media. Until dating Pam Geldart , a self-professed “expert sales pitch person” whom can “get anyone to buy anything, anytime”. Until I dated her, in all of forty years, I’ve NEVER been in trouble at home, at school, or with the law and then… I was falsely arrested for misdemeanor’s while dating her.. in hindsight by her, not once, but twice. The first time on a Sunday afternoon at noon, with Pam, four friends, and Pam’s kids, watching the World Cup soccer match (all my friends were there and as shocked as I was). It seems a woman called 911 to report a wild-driving red truck supposedly that almost killed her and her baby? Six police cars SWAT-style located my red truck matching the description perfectly, located me, then interrogated and arrested me for further questioning???? My girlfriend, Pam refused to defend me, avoided everything and according to my friends her comments actually caused the police to arrest me) It was surreal! As expected, they found “inconsistencies” in the accusation, but poor fortune had it, that my drivers license had expired on my birthday, just days prior (I’m from Pennsylvania, Florida expects you update on your birthday… so I had just learned, as my birthday was days prior), so the police in Sanford, for all their trouble, were only to happy to charge me anyway with a “non-moving violation” though as expected, everything else was completely thrown out??? Who called about my truck and and why? Coincidence? I’d never been in trouble in my life, forty years, and certainly on a Sunday afternoon wasn’t careening through a small town recklessly in my truck, with friends or Pam’s son, in my truck. Embarrassed to the core, my first altercation with any authority in 40 years of life, but after, Pam actually had me believing I was very “lucky” she chose to stay with me in our relationship after an arrest! I was embarrassed, horrified and she expressed my fortune she stayed with me after it??? I’ve never been that way. I worked for Senator Rockefeller, President Leonel Fernandez, taken pictures of celebrities, and given everything I ever could to community service. I dated Pam for two years, and gradually noticed “something” of her conscience appeared to be shallow. But she had two boys that were fined, police reports filed, for shooting neighborhood cars with Airsoft guns, they poking holes in furniture with knives, smashed neighbor pumpkins, and often lied about everything often. I felt badly her kids behaved this way and thought with my youth and at-risk background, that I could become a solid fatherly influence. I’ve won awards from superintendents and commissioners for my youth-work. Pam expressed extreme anxiety when she and I were physically apart, and it took me years before I realized I had mistakenly interpreted this as “love”. I learned she told my friends I needed Viagra (not true), later, she said I choked her (holding up a loving picture in which I was actually hugging her), and when Pam actually began cheating on me with several of my male “supposed friends”, she told those friends that she was justified sleeping with someone else, that she was simply “trying to move on”, and she told them she suspected I was sleeping with my students (not true). Then she began dating a Daytona Beach Commissioner Rob Gilliland that she met online, and told his friend, a police chief, that I had smashed her bedroom window multiple times???? She told her kids I was “ill” to do these things (Shocked she would accuse me, I should have walked away IMMEDIATELY.. but two years in, I believed it was the kids actions and so I set about to prove otherwise). I agreed together with her, her request, to see her previous relationship counselor, one that she had taken her previous boyfriend to see. When I realized SHE was doing these things (Viagra, choking, cheating, the windows) for attention, and in counseling began confronting her with absolute proof, she later loomed over me, while I sat on a bench outside of a restaurant and I asked her to please sit with me, she glared, sneered, stood screaming that I had humiliated her??? She smashed an equipment bag of mine in fury, containing a $4000 MAC book pro, with two Canon EOS the 30 and 50, and and thousands in lenses and hardware. Further enraged, she punched me, with a right fist clenched, three times in the left side of my head, all this outside a restaurant, her fist still in my face, while I sat slumped on a bench listening to her berate me ??? (the owner generously gave me their surveillance video, proof positive she smashed and punched me while I sat calmly on a bench). Sitting there I took it, but said, ‘I can’t believe” after smashing my equipment, that ” you are hitting me” out here in public… She scoffed, “Who hit who? Who are ‘they’ gonna believe?” she added, ” I’m a 94 pound little girl and your 220 daddy!” she grimaced, “You hit me, Bart!” She threatened to flip the scene around and lie… Shocked and dismayed, 48 hours later in a different jurisdiction, she had me arrested for pushing her “to the ground” (which I didn’t do) and “hitting her dozens of times over the years” (which I never did), and claimed on her 911 call that she had “previously filed 5-6 police reports against me” (which she never did). The officer arrived. No evidence. Nothing overturned. No ability for him to hear the 911 call. On her call and to the officer she stated she had “no injury”. Not a scratch reported, or a scrape. Not a thing. Just that she said “she and her niece” she added, “a 21 born again, home schooled” and pure holy witness, ” were afraid.” Nothing in the house or garage was overturned, the officer arrested me simply as he told me, “when there is a call to 911, someone’s gotta go in, because I have to take someone” and he added, “she’s afraid of you” (her call is public record, and is pasted below). Many friends, whom she immediately stopped speaking with (if they didn’t believe her story) and later her 21 year old niece (living with her for a mere couple months) was kicked out by Pam for not maintaining Pam’s lies. Pam cried wolf enough that her newfound “hero” Commissioner, provided her his lawyer, brought along the community police chief to her side and for a while, she was treated, coddled, adored… as a victim… a “survivor”. It’s been almost a year now, and I never spoke to her since or after all this. Florida has twenty vulture websites that print arrest mugshots (whether convicted or not) to first page Google searches, and each vulture site (and your lawyer) wants $400 to take down the same “public domain” picture. My name, my reputation is falsely blemished for life. The States attorney Diaz, concluded and caught Pam in numerous lies, and DISMISSED EVERYTHING, her allegations OBVIOUS ON VIDEO AND FALSE, they quietly “seal” the file and label it “NO INFO”. No one knows what that means, no one observes the record, what she said, how badly she lied… except the Prosecutor. I’m not allowed to see it, my lawyer can’t see it, to even defend or myself or restore a false loss of reputation. The prosecutor gives pamphlets and the women’s shelter mandated group-counseling she attended, provides more stories, so that next time, she won’t get caught in lies. “Domestic Battery” cases that are false, simply get swept under the rug, and the accused must live with false arrest, defamation of character and slander for the rest of their life – even though nothing went to trial – employers and the public don’t know much beyond the arrest. it’s modern day slander, a modern day witch hunt. I’m told these things can be countered in a civil action, costing about $20,000 to prove and resolve, but even if a victim of slander and defamation wins their lawsuit, what law holds a single mom with two kids at home to pay a hefty financial settlement for a “little white lie in the passion of a moment”… None. It’s a credit blemish. Would $20,000 in legal fees, be a fair price for me to get a judge to request from her a letter that simply states to me, the falsely accused, “sorry, I lied?” Maybe. But in the meantime, what else might this kind of person say, what else might Pam do in retaliation? She’ll have her day, no doubt, one can’t keep up this kind of facade forever, or can they? But yet the damage in her wake is unbelievable. I have since learned over a period of twenty years, her father (whom committed suicide), her mother (whom has been institutionalized for genetic Dementia), her ex-husband (arrested multiple times) and a previous boyfriend … each and all were arrested in five different states/jurisdictions over 20 years, for the SAME THINGS. Each time they seal her files, there is no pattern to look up, and there is nothing to stop her from doing this anytime to anyone she wants. She’s learned how to use the system in Mass., NJ, several communities throughout Florida… and she walks away unscathed … every time. She goes online to dating sites and forums like this one here, masking herself as fictitious people, using other people’s identity, as “Lindy_99″ or “Lindy_999″ (her nieces name), “Spunker_99″ or “Spunker123″ or even adopts other peoples names she finds on the web, like “Stacy Merrick” and uses their identity, to post lies, and to say for instance that I have felony arrests for grand theft etc., in other states (not true at all). Google search brings it all right up. We live in easy times for slanderous behavior to quickly propagate the net. And, if I talk about any of this to my colleagues they tell me to stop (they say it’s too much drama, and it’s my fault for staying with her… and they are correct). If I remain silent she continues to use other unsuspecting people (injustice). Next job I apply for? Human resources no doubt can see all the drama? Would you hire me to run your projects, teach your students, or let me work with youth after seeing my mugshot on a website? (I know you wouldn’t because before I met Pam Geldart, I myself wouldn’t have hired someone with this online either). It’s good there are forums like this. All we can do is tell our “story”. Hope for change in the laws, the system, and hold accountable people whom use it falsely for power and control… There is no solution in our system, in our society, when dealing with a person like this. Why do people like me stay in a relationship like this? Same reason the Commissioner helped her out. She’s expert at having you believe she’s hurting, needs your support, and can’t live another moment without you. She’s a self-professed “expert sales pitch person” (and does “sell” products for a living). I’ve concluded that people with her behaviors, consider the rest of us with a true conscience, those of us trying to help their situation, as a sort of “sucker” who will believe and do anything. Also, a good resource: http://www.dvmen.org/dv-10.htm#innocent
    Sincerely,
    – Barton Christner

    DEFENDANT
    Ms. Pamela Geldart of Daytona Beach maliciously and vindictively lied to
    authorities, attempting to extort Mr. Barton Christner for a “Criminal Mischief”
    charge he levied against Ms. Pam Geldart 48 hours prior.
    Ms. Pam Geldart’s May 12 actual 911 call below, transcript.

    State Attorney Dropped Charges July 6, 2011 with
    “NO INFO: misstatements, gross exaggeration and no evidence”.

    2011/05/12, 11pm (approximately)

    O = Operator or 911 Dispatch
    P = Pam

    Red = Alleged VIOLENCE
    Green = Expert “pitch” designed to prove who they will believe (94 pound “hamster” or 220 pound guy)
    Blue = She positions why I was at her house. Says, “her ex-boyfriend (Bart) insists on bringing his “crap” and she “allowed” it.”
    Purple = Malicious lie putting me in jail contradicts her:
    1. May 10 text to Norman
    2. Counseling session with Norman and I
    3. May 23 Volunteer Statement she submitted

    00:00:00
    O: 911, What’s your emergency?
    P: ______________________
    O: And what’s Your Street?
    P: ______________________
    O: And what’s going on out there?
    P: Um, my ex-boyfriend is here and he just brought all his stuff, and he just threw me on the ground.
    O: Is he still there?
    P: He’s here now. He’s brought all his stuff.
    O: Does he live there?
    P: No he doesn’t, he did, he uh, I allowed him to put his stuff here temporarily… and he just (she clears throat), threw me on the ground and he…
    O: (pause/waiting)
    P: HE’S 220 POUNDS, I WEIGH 95 POUNDS. He filed charges against me a couple days ago. He’s here now. He, he insists that he bring all his stuff here, saying that I hit him.
    00:011:00
    O: Ok, so the…
    P: Eh, um, the reality is, he really hits me!
    O: Ok, did he come there to pick up his belongings or he came there to drop them off?
    P: No, no! (Pam’s agitated) He came here to BRING his stuff here, his, his trunk is full of crap. And he made up the, this, these allegations of me… hitting him… and the reality is … the reality is he hits me and I just don’t call the police and tell all about it.
    O: Ok… Do you have any injuries you need an ambulance for?
    P: NO, I DON’T (Pam’s sounds annoyed operator is not caring about Bart’s charges against Pam) I’m just saying I never called and I was like out… one night (Corky Bell’s) (pause) and playfully slapped him in the face (Contradiction: Pam hand wrote in her May 23rd Voluntary Statement she slapped me angrily, got up from table, because I accused her of infidelity with Armondo), and he called the police and filed charges against me and… the reality is he REALLY hits me.
    O: Ok, so he’s…
    P: He’s here… uh… My niece is here, my 21 year old niece, and, um, he’s here. He brought all of it… (pause) after filing all these, um, charges against me, that I took, all, hit him…
    00:02:00
    P: I… I want… I WANT A POLICE OFFICER TO SEE that I’m 94 pounds (stresses her weight)… He’s 220 pounds (operator cuts Pam off)
    O: Ok, that’s enough… I will send an officer out to you so you can file a report… what’s your.. um.. (Pam cuts operator off)
    P: Thank, thank you I appreciate it, and uh…I have filed like
    O: What’s your name… (Pam won’t stop)
    P: … 5 reports against him…
    O: What’s your name…
    P: __________________
    O: Spell your last name for me (Pam interrupts)
    P: I have filed 5 reports previously against him… get, get… please, PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM ME! I have filed 5 reports against him…
    O: Will you spell your last name for me please?
    P: __________________
    O: Ok… Where is he now? Is he in the same room as you?
    P: He’s at, he’s at my house at _________________
    O: Ok.. is he touching… is he… are you guys in the same room? (Pam cuts her off)
    P: HE’S FOLLOWING ME AS I TALK.
    O: Ok.. What’s his name?
    P: Bart Christner… C H R I S T N E R … He just brought all of his stuff from his … from his office to my house … he’s standing here…
    00:03:00
    O: He’s bringing items over?… (Pam cuts her off)
    P: No, no, no…. yes, he just brought his stuff … and um … all this stuff from his office… and this is… mind you … the day before yesterday he filed reports where he says I HIT HIM… I.. I’m like … I WANT AN OFFICER TO SEE that I’m standing here at 94 pounds … I’M A FRICKIN’ HAMSTER … he’s 220 pounds, my niece is here. she’s 21 years old… TO SHOW THAT… I mean, I have reports on him, I have 6 rep… 5 or 6 reports… from Daytona pee, police… department, he’s broke my window, knifed up my car, Um…
    O: Ok. Where is he now?
    P: Uhh… at my house at _________________
    O: Ok, I have a call up. I’m gonna get an officer out to you. I’m just trying to figure out what he’s doing right now. If he’s still trying to interact with you or, if anything…
    P: He’s… he’s standing here in my garage. He’s got his trunk full of his office stuff, he’s already brought all his stuff here today.
    00:04:00
    O: Can you walk away from him? Can you go to a different room and shut the door?
    P: I… I’m outside in the driveway? (Pam’s tone is like… I’m fine right here next to him, but why won’t you listen about my previous reports?)
    O: Well, he’s outside with the vehicle, can you go inside and create some distance between you?
    P: He’s in the garage. HE’S … NOT… I’m trying to get some distance between my niece that just moved in a few weeks ago and him… and ALL OF THIS (all of what?) … this is LIKE A NIGHTMARE (dramatic).
    O: So he’s not bothering you at this time then? You guys are separate?
    P: No. He’s on the phone (with Dr. Norman Brown). Yes.
    O: (pause) Ok. Does anyone have any weapons?
    P: No… but my niece is here (Pam’s coached her “witness weapon”)
    O: But, does she have any weapons?
    P: No, no.. nah.. of course not.
    O: Does..
    P: She’s 21, born again Christian, home schooled her whole life. (e.g. she’ll make a great witness)
    O: (pause) Is she inside as well?
    P: She? … Yes… She is… She’s fine.
    00:05:00
    P: (Pam clears her throat) I’m just saying… ON THE HEELS OF WHAT HE (Bart) HAS DONE… he is here and so …
    O: What kind of vehicle does he drive?
    P: He drives a… um… (pause)
    O: You said it was a truck? What color is it?
    P: It’s a red truck. It’s a Ford Explorer. Sport Track XLT.
    O: Do you know the license plate on it?
    P: Um, it’s um… (clears throat)… um..
    O: That’s ok, you don’t need to go back by him…
    P: W 3 3 6 U M (Pam standing with me all night, no fear of violence)
    O: That’s a Florida tag?
    P: Yes.
    O: Ok. So what does your house look like so units know what house they’re looking for when they come out there?
    00:06:00
    P: Um, it’s _________________ Drive, it’s a um… all the houses in here in LPGA look the same. (Pam slightly laughs) It’s uh…
    O: What color is it?
    P: Um, beige like all the others.
    O: Do you have any vehicles in the driveway other than his truck right now?
    P: Um, there’s three cars, just my niece, myself and his because he was moving his stuff in…
    O: Ok. What are the other vehicles in the driveway?
    P: Um, a Honda Accord, a SAAB, and his car.
    O: What colors the Honda?
    P: Silver.
    O: What colors the SAAB?
    P: Aaaah…uh, Cranberry Red.
    O: Ok. (Pause) How long has he been there this evening?
    P: Uh, couple hours.
    O: And you guys didn’t have any trouble up until recently, or have you guys been kinda arguing?
    00:07:00
    P: We’ve uh, WE’VE HAD ISSUES FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS … and um… (Pam sells the year, doesn’t answer the question)
    O: But you said he’s been there for a couple of hours, have you guys been fighting the whole time he’s been there or was he..op.
    P: No, nuh, no, no.. we weren’t, and I uh.. stepped outside… into the garage.. he threw me on the ground… and I said I was gonna call.
    O: Why did he throw you on the ground? What were.. you guys.. talking about?
    P: What.. we’re.. we were arguing and he threw me on the ground.
    O: What were you arguing over?
    P: (Pause) HONESTLY, I CAN’T RECOLLECT… (minutes later, in the police report, she fabricates I’m upset over a “hamster” scene in a movie and that’s why later in the garage I “suddenly and unexpectedly” throw her for reasons she at first couldn’t remember??)
    O: Ok.
    P: (slurs) We argue over everything.
    O: And you don’t have any injuries at all, right?
    P: I DON”T just that he… just that THERE’S LIKE A STOOP, from the .. um (pause) in the garage… THERE’S A STEP, AND HE THREW ME OFF THE STEP. (Maybe she tripped off this 4 inch step! She’s drunk. I actually believed she dropped to her knees on purpose.)
    O: Ok (pause) Ok. well we’ve got a car out…
    00:08:00
    P: This is.. this is far from the worst… the first time this has happened.. this is like the 50TH time (emphasis) it’s happened. And I filed the report … previously, uh, previously, that I believed he broke my window three times, knifed up my car, I have filed reports in the past, but I, I can’t prove… what he’s done but… I WANT TO REPORT … THAT HE … DID WHAT HE DID TONIGHT.
    O: Ok. We’ve got a call out, we’re going to get some officers on the way out to you ok?
    P: Thank you, I appreciate it.
    O: Did you want to stay on the phone, or do you just want to give us a call back if things escalate?
    P: I, I guess I’ll wait (hang up) until the officer gets here. (Pam’s not scared of violence from Bart, wants to mention charges most)
    O: Ok.
    P: Thank you.
    O: All right, Give us a call back if things escalate, ok?
    P: Thank you I appreciate it.
    O: You’re welcome, bye bye.
    END CALL

    Barton Christner

    March 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm

  60. Barton, it seems that what you describe in your former partner’s behaviour is congruent with a personality disorder. Please congratulate yourself that the ordeal is over and that she is not in your life to do any longer more damage than what has been done. I can empathize with the “drama” such persons create in our lives, it is akin to being caught in a tornado and spinning out of control while they, remain ‘grounded’ in the eye of the storm. Let time do its work please. the postings will eventually disappear from the web. Your reputation will be rebuilt. Best of luck.

    paige

    March 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm

  61. I’ve been reading site after site to get perspective, but I figured telling my story could be cathartic for me, and someone else. I met this predator on a dating site, after having been single for over a year. Go figure, in the aftermath of having dated another N. Thankfully my trial this time lasted a mere 6 months, in contrast to the decades some have endured. I was involved with a being who lacked a soul. But the weird thing is that because he would at times articulate who he saw himself as; amoral, god, perfect, sadistic, rapist, I would laugh it off as though he were joking. He is racist, misogynistic, crass, hateful; it became difficult to see where he was a normal human being, and whether he was joking to keep me off balance because he would be so giving of his time and materials any other time. He became immersed in me, as much as I in him because I was the perfect source of N supply. Adulating, adoring, kind-hearted, forgiving. He would start the day off as a depressed, and empty vessel. By the day’s end he would have my energy sucked dry. It was literally as though I were an electrical source and he needed me to plug into. Only over time, the power source could no longer sustain this grid of endless power sucking. I neglected so much to supply this energy.
    I did however, just a week ago, tell him that I would no longer put up with him sleeping with “hoes” as he referred to women, and that I would be moving on. He threw a temper tantrum through text, as I knew he would, like a 3 year old in true form as had been for the past 6 months. He knew he no longer had any control, and I had changed the game. I had regained my power though. Mind you, I still felt weak in making the decision because the trauma bond was so deep. I was in contact with him for at least 10 hours of each day through text or IM. I had literally handed over the keys to the house that is my soul to this person. But I always knew who I was. Strong, independent, and full of light and love. When he would verbally abuse me, I would talk to myself and say, no, none of what he is saying is true and would assert that he was wrong. I had moments of doubt, and his toxic personality slowly began to permeate within me. But I was able to deflect his evil lamenting. I have been through this before, and completely lost myself when I was younger. But something was different this time. I said all that to say to someone, if you can talk to yourself and remind yourself of who you really are, who you were born to be, it just might be the catalyst to help you break free. It was painful to break this soul tie, and I do miss the “good” times. But again, I talk to myself using the knowledge gained from these sites to tell myself, the “good” times, whether real or imagined could never measure up to all the negative. And I am worth so much more than this fool could ever give.

    I had to check, and it has helped me move forward; but this predator was back on the site within minutes of my text to him. Looking for more N supply. I feel so bad for the next victim/s. All I can do is wish divine protection for other women he encounters. I thought I could just love him enough into a whole being. I’ve decided to take that love and love myself into wholeness. We can do this. It hurts, but there is so much to learn from these people. Let’s act like them in recognizing what’s good within us, but instead of exploiting it, use it to teach, love ourselves and others. You can conquer this and break the bond. I know it. Best wishes to all in the struggle and in healing.

    ISurvived

    March 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

  62. I got here on a desperate Google search. I don’t even know why I’m typing this-I don’t think it’s going to help but I am scared I am going insane. My boyfriend shot me with a .357 Magnum in the left chest in 2007. He admitted to shooting me to the police. I almost died. But I cant remember the shot. I stuck up for him. He didn’t even get a ticket for discharging a firearm within city limits. I stayed with him for a long time. I have been with him on and off now since then and I hate him and me. I feel sick just typing this. I love and hate him. half of the people I know just want to keep thinking it was an accident and think he is wonderful and hang out with him still-including my sister. Maybe they think it is just to horrible to think he did it on purpose. Others despise him and wish he was in prison. I agree with them both. (?) It’s my fault because I wanted it to be an accident. That’s what I told the police in the beginning. They were not happy with me. He never helped me with the medical bills but he always acts so loving to me. He isn’t a hitter or a verbal abuser or anything. He just got drunk and mad and shot me. :( I think I am addicted to him and wanting everything to be okay when I know its not. I always imagine punching him until my hand breaks. But I don’t tell him that. I hate him so much but I watched a movie with him last night. When I get home I literally HATE myself and hate him and I wish I could turn my brain off. I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me so I took that trauma bonds test and matched almost every answer. I have tried to tell the people that are friends with us both that I know he did it on purpose and I hate him but I don’t know what to do. They don’t want to hear word ONE about that. They just say: “Well, you two were the only ones there and you said yourself it was an accident in the beginning.” When I try to tell the people that believe he did it on purpose(along with ballistics and the police) They just freak out and say “go see your counselor.” It’s ptsd…or something like that. Because I really can’t legally do anything at this point. I screwed myself over big time. I don’t even want to deal with it–how can I expect anyone else to? And him-the shooter…he is a passive aggressive manipulative narcissistic drunk. He is always quiet and nice. I have a counselor I haven’t seen in a long time. I asked her once what if I felt that I hate him and really want him to go through everything I have and hurt him(but I am not violent-I wouldn’t really hurt him) but I don’t think I can be with anyone else but him. She said that would be really bad if I felt like that so I haven’t told her anything else. I also live in a state where good mental health services are nil to none. I think I scare even the “seasoned” professionals here. Nobody knows how to help me-including me. I can’t talk to ANYONE. I’m really scared. And I’m sure typing this message is futile. I feel horrible. I feel better when I ignore all of this but when it comes out its really really scary. I feel like I am two different people. I know how that sounds. I can’t even look at the screen.

    Leadbelly

    March 25, 2012 at 1:27 am

  63. I can relate to your issues. You only feel normal when you are with him. Yet, your life is not normal with him so you want to escape. It’s called a trauma bond and you have it love. He almost killed you yet loved you afterwards. Get some professional counseling or if you can’t afford it find a local support group. I escaped my mental captivity. I never thought I could but, it’s four days now and I have not had contact with my abuser. Your life is worth more than all of this Leadbelly. I know what it is like to look outside your body at yourself like you are in outer space. I will pray for your safety and your peace. You are not alone. Go on line and find some Forums. Lisa Scott. Google it. Peace to you. Don’t judge yourself. You still have your wings and you will learn to fly again. xxx

    KittyVictim

    March 25, 2012 at 3:10 am

  64. Thank you so much for responding. I feel really alone and scared. Just knowing that you are out there too helps me.

    Leadbelly

    March 25, 2012 at 3:15 am

  65. Leadbelly. Read Lundy Bancroft “Why Does He Do That”. Find a support group. You are not alone. I have been through hell and back. I loved a narcissist psychopath that abused me emotionally, mentally, physically and psychologically. He destroyed my property. He always blamed me until the living end for all of it. Baby steps Leadbelly. Find a hand to hold. Look at yourself in the mirror. Life is more than what you are going through right now. You will find your self and hope soon. The first step is reaching out. xxx ooo and sss. Be safe.

    KittyVictim

    March 25, 2012 at 3:21 am

  66. Leadbelly. I was addicted (and still am) to my abuser as well. He had me under his mental mind control and psychologically abused me. But, it’s like quitting smoking. You can be free. You can be normal again. Like I said reaching out is the first step. Pat yourself on the back for that and know you are NOT ALONE. Trust the Universe. Go online and find a domestic violence group in your area. Group sessions are amazing. Be safe. Be strong. You are special and you will make it!

    KittyVictim

    March 25, 2012 at 3:23 am

  67. Thanks for the info and being so helpful and sweet. I keep telling myself I should be in some group, but I don’t know if I should go to a domestic violence group? I don’t know if I fit that category. I don’t know. This is seriously like ripping off my skin. I can’t stop crying. I don’t like to be like that. But I will try to get as much info as I can. I really appreciate your help. I hope you are okay too.

    Leadbelly

    March 25, 2012 at 3:31 am

  68. He shot you in the chest. Sounds like you qualify for a domestic violence group which is about women helping women. It’s free. And, you can reach out to help others which will give you a lot of release. Leadbelly. You aren’t as tough as you think and I would suspect you grew up in an environment where the drama made you a good candidate for his as well? I am OK. I am NEVER contacting him again no matter what venom he spits at me. I am free finally. Be safe on your journey towards the light Dear.

    KittyVictim

    March 25, 2012 at 4:04 am

  69. You are right. I guess I qualify. I just hate talking about it with people. I NEVER talk about it. I actually feel more okay telling you Kitty-V., than someone I know. Is that weird? I probably need to get over that. I actually had a great childhood/parents-but I was raised to be tough–no whining–help others first. Which is good in some respects because I became a nurse. I wish he was a jerk. It would make it a lot easier. his M.O. is “feel sorry for me.” And he is GOOD at it. He doesn’t do the petty anger/fighting/hitting. He has actually never hit or belittled me. He actually is really emotionally unavailable–until he is drunk–then he gets really sad. I think he gets me to stay by counting on my pity/guilt—and then I question myself about the night in question-like “what if” he didn’t mean it? But I know he did, I just think he wouldn’t do it if he was sober-not an excuse. He told the police right when they pulled up that he did it but it he can’t remember what happened. When he was in the interrogation room I think he knew he was going to prison or death row. He had a Copenhagen can in his pocket(I don’t know why the idiot police didn’t take it from him) and he slit his carotid artery and wrists. So they sent him to a hospital instead of jail. Later he said he did that because he thought I was dead and he couldn’t live without me. The paramedics and police didn’t tell him I was still alive when the took me out of the house. Shortly before the paramedics came I was upstairs bleeding to death-I had begged him for my cell phone many times and he didn’t give it to me. he left me alone and apparently from the report stayed outside. He finally came upstairs and laid my phone on the nightstand. I called 911. So basically he left me for dead. He has had some tragic things happen in his life: His sister committed suicide, his mom died in a car wreck and then his girlfriend shot herself in their house in 2005–this all happened really close together so everybody feels really sorry for him. The police went back and re-investigated her death but it is still ruled as a suicide. But it is strange. so he lives off of the sympathy of people. I just have to stay away from him. I’m cutting myself off tonight. I’m sorry about rambling on. I just started typing this and kept on going. I guess I didn’t need to tell you all of that but it just came out. Thanks again for your help. I think it helps so much just to know you have the same problem and you trying to help yourself. It gives me some hope. You be safe too. You are an angel, Kitty V. :)

    Leadbelly

    March 25, 2012 at 4:39 am

  70. Also Kitty V., I read a lot of your posts and I think you are really brave.

    Leadbelly

    March 25, 2012 at 5:12 am

  71. leadbelly

    the problem is that it makes you crazy. they seem so normal, until they don’t.
    but sweetie, he tried to kill you. no matter how you feel about him love, he is sick, sick sick.

    i am so sorry for your pain and the loss you must feel.
    girl, in the real sense, you are a survivor.
    listen to me; i have had one try to kill me before, and yes, he ALWAYS got the sympathy.
    it was only in leaving that i ever felt safe.
    i know you want the thing you have come to need from him – but it is like heroine. it is a drug and IT WILL KILL YOU.

    you are worth so much more. you are worthy SO much more.
    sweetie, he tried to put death into your chest.
    that is NOT love.
    that is sickness.

    please, for both of us, find a safe place to remember who you are without the blame, guilt and abuse.
    his sad stories? they are NOTHING compared to a bullet in the chest, and the refusal to let you call for help.
    this is not love. please remember that love is about caring for the other more than yourself.

    YOU feel that, but it sounds like he can’t. would you shoot someone you love? would you try to kill them?

    you are in the grip of a sick man, and they can do all kinds of things with your mind.
    remember what it felt like to be loved by your parents – does this feel like that? good? warm? right?

    you DESERVE ALL OF THAT.
    not death, honey.
    you deserve a real love.

    you are not alone. we are here, hiding, like you , because the world judges us.
    but we understand.

    please remember that it truly can get better once you leave the madness.

    my attempted killer will never meet justice in this world. and yet, i left, and have two best friends, and others that would stand for me against such abuse again.

    you deserve that, and to never feel such horror again.

    please remember that you are worth so much
    and that others can see that, even if, right now, you can’t.

    this man does not hold your worth, because he can’t see it. he can only see himself.

    God bless you love.

    lilly

    March 25, 2012 at 6:24 am

  72. Dear LeadBelly. You may consider perhaps a support group or individual support, to talk your experience through. Is there any of those available on yp search or else near you? Good luck.

    hksmreality

    March 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm

  73. Leadbelly –

    I finally after six months was able to not engage again with my ex psychotic narcissistic abusive boyfriend. It has been five days since I have not engages with him. It might take you a while but, whatever happens learn to love yourself. Learn to fill yourself with good positive things. Take care of yourself. I wish you the best!

    KittyVictim

    March 26, 2012 at 3:26 am

  74. @Kitty and @LeadBelly: more than 6 months, well done Kitty – , it took me two years. for some it takes seven or more, and I am aware of an instance where twenty years has not been yet enough.
    At the end, all things considered, how long can you endure the pain of memory, the pain of the broken dream, the pain of reality with the N, the grieving of the loss, the pain of rebuilding, the pain of fending for your ow, and that pain of letting go … whatever it is, such as the injustice, or simply their lack of empathy….. Keep going!

    hksmreality

    March 26, 2012 at 4:57 am

  75. Thank you everyone for the posts. It feels really good to know I can come here if I am feeling really cruddy. He has called me twice since I last posted but I haven’t called him back. I have been scouring the internet for local groups, but you either have to be a veteran with PTSD or in a domestic violence situation. (YWCA) But I would rather go to a group than back to one on one counseling. That was brutal–and I really don’t think we have anyone here who would even know what this diagnosis is. So I might have to go to the Y. I’m not ready yet though. That would be a really big decision for me. I’m just baby stepping it like Kitty V said. You all are really inspiring to me. Yesterday when he called I ignored it and drove to the desert to look for rocks just so I would be far away from him physically, just in case I was too weak mentally to stay away. If I didn’t find you guys and know you are going through the same issues I don’t think I could have done that. And that is HUGE. I hope every one of you is safe and either happy or on your way there.

    Leadbelly

    March 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm

  76. Leadbelly. It has been six days for me since I have engaged my ex-abuser. I was with him for a year and a half. You have to be ready, get strong and you can do it. But, don’t beat yourself up for weakness. Go to the Y. Talking with anyone right now will be good for your soul. You may run away then come back. But, you soul will tell you to come back.

    I am finally free after being mentally, psychologically, emotionally, verbally and physically abused by him. I am not flying back into that cage again. Freedom smells too sweet.

    xxx

    (Your wings aren’t clipped. You just have not flown for a bit.)

    Kitty

    KittyVictim

    March 27, 2012 at 12:29 am

  77. I hope you are doing well, Kitty V. I am trying to follow your lead. I still haven’t seen or talked to him. I almost called him today. I drove to the mountains instead. Physically driving far away seems to help for some reason. Thank you so much for your support. I’m keeping my head above water because of all of you wonderful people. Today I felt really sad, wimpy and weak. I thought of you guys–and kept telling myself that if you can do it, I can too. I don’t know about tomorrow or the next day, but I’ll just keep baby stepping it. Please know that I am here if you need support too. :)

    Leadbelly

    March 29, 2012 at 6:09 am

  78. leadbelly
    i remember the first little while being the hardest part – you are doing something huge right now.
    you said that you feel weak – but what you are doing is just so strong. please remember that.

    right now is the time to pull out all of the stops. this is the time in life when you do whatever it takes. whatever you need, give it to yourself.

    thinking of you

    lilly

    March 29, 2012 at 6:40 am

  79. Thank you so much Lilly, hksmreality and Kitty Victim.
    I still haven’t talked to him, which is good, but then that sends me into my depression/rage/worthless/neurotic phase. It’s almost like I’m 2 people–the one I just mentioned that sits at home because I can’t be around people because I don’t want them to see how big of a mess I am.
    Then there’s the other me, who acts like everything is okay now because it MUST have been an accident. Nobody ever brings it up. I don’t bring it up anymore, either. I act like that problem was over a long time ago. I even act normal, happy and funny with them and have a good time. It’s like the bad thing never happened. SO, my friends that are both of our friends are so happy to see me when I do come out with them–but SUPER stoked if he and I are together. Because everyone believes that we are the most romantic couple and that nobody loves each other more than the two of us.
    I guess that’s my excuse to hang out with him. Just hang out with his supporters who still also love me, they all just still want to believe it was an accident. And my Sis is still holding onto that too. She hangs out with our mutual friends every day, so I’m guessing she doesn’t want this mess to ruin her life too, it’s just easier this way.
    My other friends and family KNOW what he did,(as I well do too) because the police told them. I did go back to the police and told them everything I DO remember, because I thought if they could prosecute him, then I would have some closure or something. But unfortunately they can’t–even though he said he did it we were both so drunk AND I stood up fro him in the beginning unless he came absolutely clean and tells them WHY he did it. So a defense attorney would rip apart my case…even with all of the “CSI” stuff they have on him.
    I don’t even remember the actual gunshot. (even though I told the police it was an accident to save his skin)But ballistics confirmed he shot me from across the dining room table. They also had many other “positives” from the bullet’s speed, the gunpowder residue, where the bullet entered and exited my body and others.
    I have done this “back and forth thing with him for a long time now. He usually will try to call for a couple of days and if I don’t answer, he just leaves a couple of sweet messages. Then he stops trying to contact me at all, because he knows I will be the one to call him or I’ll go to meet my sister somewhere and our mutual friends with him. It’s like we never missed a beat. Everything is okay again.
    But even when we are together I always feel this impending doom looming over my head and feel guilty and horribly sad. Then I get my wits long enough to feel how much I despise him and want to really hurt him. Then I leave without saying why.
    I beat myself up because I am the idiot that should never have dated him in the first place, because not only is he a drunk, but has a horrible case of PTSD and depression as well.
    It’s at night mostly when I’m sitting here being mad because I didn’t stick up for myself in the first place and I didn’t cooperate with the police in the beginning, so I sealed my own fate. Then I get REALLY mad and I want to scream “MURDERER!” In his face and beat him to a pulp. Or buy a fake toy gun at the dollar store and walk right up to him, stick it right in front of his heart, tell him that he ruined my life and almost killed my son’s Mom, tell him all of the reasons I am angry with him and then pull the fake trigger and hope it scares the crap out of him and miraculously makes him apologize. I think about all the horrible things I wish would happen to him, but I know I could never really hurt him so I get more depressed and angry. I know someday I am going to have to talk to him–I mean tell him exactly what I am feeling or I will go insane.
    I can’t talk to anyone because everyone has strong feelings one way or the other and I would freak them out. I’m seriously a mess. I know that I should go to a counselor or a group, but it rips me apart to even talk about it—to even think about it. Even typing it here is hard. But here I know you all have had similar problems and you are not only non-judgemental, but supportive and kind. So thank you for letting me type my sordid story here. At least I can do that. Hopefully someone here or someone new will find this page in a desperate search like I did and know they aren’t alone. I really hope all of you are okay this week. I might not believe in myself right now, but I believe in you guys.
    PS Sorry about rambling on again and probably repeating something I typed in my other post. When I type here I usually cry-type and don’t go back and check my post. Hugs to all of you.

    Leadbelly

    April 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

  80. Can I just add that…I know, for some this is hard to swallow…took me a while, but, each of these people who have treated you horribly, all have a background too. Maybe they were abused as kids? Maybe they were attacked? Whatever their history, they aren’t born as abusers(genetic history is another story). Forgiveness is hard, excruciatingly so, but forgiveness is vital because, if you can’t forgive, if you don’t forgive, it will eat you up on the inside and hinder your success at moving forward. You feeling bitter at them will not do anything to them, it will only hurt you. Please find it in your heart to forgive them, but by that I am not saying go back to a life of hell. Give forgiveness, but then move on with your life. There are those however, mentally ill people who do behave like Jekyll and Hyde and who do hurt others without meaning to…they are not in control of their actions as much and they are not aware of the pain and hurt they inflict on others. Some are aware but their condition means they beat themselves up over it and cannot change their behaviour. You need to assess your own situation and work out for yourselves…is this behaviour because of something they can’t control? Do they need professional help? Will things be different with professional help? Will they seek the help? It has to be them wanting to seek the help. If your answer is ‘yes’. It is a mental condition they are suffering from and the abuse you face is the result of the symptoms of the condition, then think very seriously about how much you can give to this person…could you stick around while they seek help? Your emotional needs cannot be met by someone like this. You will also need an outlet for your emotional needs. If them getting help and them using medication means that life will be better for the both of you then I wish you every success with your relationship. Sometimes cupid does shoot bent arrows and sometimes love is not straightforward. It is possible to be in love with a man who carries an awful lot of baggage and confused brain cells and it takes one heck of a strong, dedicated woman to help make things work. Good luck to you. Only you will know, honestly, deep down inside, whether your relationship is one that can survive with help from outside sources or if your relationship is one to walk away from. If the man is just beating you or controlling you just for the shere hell of it, then honey, he just ain’t a man. Forgive him and move on. It may actually take you to leave before he sees that you were worth keeping…but, don’t you look back. Not one step. It’s confusion that makes you ache. Whatever you decide…Jesus is there…right by your side. x

    gilbertlouise

    April 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm

  81. I’m glad I found this website….. this totally explains why I can’t seem to shake my attachment to my abuser….. I’m still healing up from the latest assault (fractured nose, fat lip, bruises on my face) Ive had ribs cracked/bruised, my head cut open needing stitches…bruises, etc. Part of me thinks I love him….how can I love someone who has been so brutal to me? =o( Sure, there have been good and loving times, but those seem to be few and far between….i feel like a dog sitting by the table waiting for a few mesely scraps to fall to the ground…..what a horrible feeling…like I don’t even matter!!!! How can he treat me like this? He must hate women…or something. It was nice in the beginning, for about 3 months, then got worse and worse…..I’ve been severly traumitized…..I need to break free from my emotional bonds with this person BUT HOW?????????????????????????????????

    HELP.

    ~Hana~

    April 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

  82. Take it slowly Hana. Look at your drive to continue loving him and going back to him as being similar to an addiction to both the high and intensity of all that happens,”the drama”, the addiction to “wanting to change the situation”, and an addiction to the hope that those 3 months of bliss will come back….. “if only this or that happens or changes”. They say that time out with no contact for a period of time is best so that, during that time, you can slow your emotions down,rest, nurture yourself and gain some perspective as to what you truly want. Then, you do what you have to do: go back to him or get on with life without him. That period is one of the toughest to go through, and can drive you (us) positively mad! Some people can help you go through that time, friends, family, helpers, counselors…. whatever it takes.

    Aline

    April 12, 2012 at 11:52 am

  83. Ya know I just wrote a long story and deleted it because I feel like my story isn’t as bad as everyone else. But I feel like this article relates to me some how some way. I am extremely hopeless right now as I am just starting to walk away, haven’t even left the house yet. Waiting for him to come back home from overseas. I am away from any type of support system that I might have because of military. I can’t just up and leave because it cost too much money. I can’t just ask the Army to pay for me to go home. I have to go through this long ass process.
    I know I am in an abusive relationship!!! But I kinda want to stay!!! I am scared and very weak right now. If anyone out there has any advice for me please help me because I might just make the biggest mistake of my life. I might just let this continue to happen to me because it is so much easier to deal with than walk away. I am just so tired of fighting!!!

    Broken in Hawaii

    April 18, 2012 at 6:50 am

  84. Broken –

    if you have some time to yourself, use it to make a list. pros on one side, cons on the other. and be entirely honest with yourself.

    you need to fill in all of the ways you are abused, and all of the reasons that you want to stay, as well as all of the things that are holding you back from having the life you truly want.

    you might want to call someone too – a therapist or counsellor, to see if talking through it can help. they are usually on a sliding scale. depending where you live, you might find a free clinic, or a short term crisis counsellor. just look stuff up online. i can attest that a short term counsellor can really help you put things in perspective.

    you must know that your feelings are there for a reason. if you step away from the fear, just for a minute, you might be able to acknowledge your own pain. it sounds like no one else is doing that.

    and you are not weak – admitting this is probably the hardest part. remember that – you have a strong heart.

    lilly

    April 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm

  85. @Aline. Thankyou for the support. Yes, well, he made sure I had no friends and I cant share this with my family, my own family has abused me…..its no wonder it feels comfortable to me. I would have to find a private counselor that would work with me on $$ because I am on a fixed income..cant afford that right now…. I have been finding some support online, for now, which is better than nothing. He (my abuser) continues to play games with me, lead me on, etc. (via facebook, emails, etc) I am thinking maybe I should not make myself so availible to him, because I feel like that dog sitting by the table, again..only this time I am feeling bad because of the latest incident and there has been no healing from it as far as “we” are concerned…. this whole thing makes me sad. I think the trauma bonding is what I have. I dont want to be with someone I am always afraid of, etc. Life is too short for that. Love should be safe and secure, not all those other things…thanks for listening…

    superscreamingeagle

    April 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

  86. @superscreamingeagle Whether consciously or subconsciously I think the abusers seek out those who are easily victimized. Or, else those who have suffered abuse are more likely to stay in the relationship while being abused? I come from an abusive family as well. Breaking a trauma bond goes both ways. My abuser has not made it easy for me to be free from him. Every time I have tried to break free he has stalked me. And, he is on felony probation for aggravated stalking. I am determined (like quitting smoking) not to engage with him again. You are not going to fix your abuser. They are not normal. Mine is a pathological liar. He began telling lies about me and our relationship to everyone as soon as he sensed I was breaking free. It’s a game to him to upset me so that I will respond. Response is engagement. The longer you are in the relationship the tighter the cords that bind you. Cut your losses and move on before this destroys you. And, move on anyway you can even if it is messy. I am only days again into not having contact with my abuser but I am determined to be free now. You can do this as well!

    KittyVictim

    April 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm

  87. @kitty and @eagle. Kitty Makes a good point: we ALL have some tender spots and abusers recognize them in us. Hence they are attracted to us and us to them. First, in the honey moon phase, they’ll show they can protect those spots in us. As the relationship progresses, s/he starts injuring those spots. As the recipients or ‘victims’, we just can’t make sense of what is happening, and the change in situation. We become intent on going back to that time of honey moon… and from this all kinds of things happen, in a fashion that is loop like and spirals down. This is akin to being caught in a spider web: not being able to break free. @eagle: learn to recognise those soft spots in you, so you can protect them and only open them up to persons who will not use them agaisnt you. Also Kitty has a good point: engagement needs to be minimal and if possible, non existant. And if engagement there is, you need keep it safe for yourself. What I know is that I longed keeping engaged with him, despite all the drama. This means that it required protecting myself from his attempts to engage, while controlling/managing my own desires to engage: working two shifts instead of one. That’s TOUGH! All the best, p-aline.

    aline

    April 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

  88. I wanted to share with everyone a wise thing that our facilitator said in Group this morning. She said this in response to my sharing that I was upset with myself that I have continued to go back to my abuser. I also made a comment regarding being a “Group drop out”. The facilitator told me that she has seen a lot of growth in me since last fall. She told me that being able to recognize my abuser for who he is shows real growth. In short? She took away the shame and guilt I was feeling. She said, “Life is a journey. We do the best we can with what we know. When we know differently we act differently.”

    My salvation is going to come with knowledge and insight. I will gain this when I quit focusing on him and put the focus on myself.

    KittyVictim

    April 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

  89. It is very important to have professional help. You cannot get through this kind of trauma alone. Friends and family are not qualified to treat this kind of damage to your soul and psyche. I was a victim of someone who targets women that are looking for companionship, love, sex, happiness, nothing that should risk what happened to me. I married T. after only 6 months of a very intense, dramatic, danger filled, problematic, continuous rescuing him from his financial and legal problems, flying in for just each weekend relationship. I had money in the bank and a healthy mind and great job and no real problems. Within one hour of meeting me, he made it clear that we belonged together, red flag, yet I was so happy to be with someone so remarkeable, a former pilot, captain, skydiver, renovator, successful businessman, an image he created in my mind of the ideal husband material. For one month he was the kindest, most caring, affectionate, sexy man I had ever met. Then the real T, started coming out, slowly exposing me to the lies and hidden truths about his past and his present. This man with his cunning ability to con even the strongest and smartest of women had me working for no pay to help him out because he was alone trying to make it in his dry cleaners in West Palm Beach. So for months every weekend I cleaned clothes and did hand laundry and cleaned his mess because he lived in his dry cleaners as he had a bad credit rating and could not afford an apartment. There was no shower or hot water so he was filthy and his teeth were so bad he needed serious dental work for which I lent him the money. Then he needed a business loan. Then he made me put my Jaguar in his name lying that I could not own a car in Florida because I did not have a Florida driver’s license, telling me we would be partners in his dry cleaning business that he wanted me to fund and expand so he would have good cash flow. He took over $ 50,000.00 of my cash in 8 months, lying that he was a certified remodeler and would buy houses for us with cash when all he did was pay his bills and spend money on whores, I was told only after I left him, that he had exposed me to serious risk of STDs. After threatening to kill me if I left and threatening to set me up with a drug possession charge with witnesses who would say they sold me drugs then I would be in jail, I realized that the repeated and continuous abuse had created a trauma bond in that there were only two ways to end the pain, make him change or leave and because he would never change, they are what they are, narcissistic psychopathic serial abusers, I decided to abandon all feelings of love for him, knowing that all it was is called trying to tame the dangerous felon that he was. I met previous wives and girlfriends who told me they also suffered at his hands and then I realized there was no way that this could have a good ending. After months of therapy and medication I am able to sleep and have less anxiety and panic attacks in which I would relive when he broke into my condo and stood naked at the end of my bed in the middle of the night and told me I had left the door unlocked, NOT, but I started to wonder if I did, or when he threw my purse upside down to the ground scattering everything to slow me down as I tried to leave, or when he tried to tell me I did not hear him having sex with P., his employee, that I was crazy, or when he told me I was not giving him enough money as though I was his hooker, you see he used to be a pimp, or when I found out he had never filed a tax return, or when I found out how many women he owed money to, or when I found out he had served time for attempted murder, identity theft, trafficking, an endless list of cruel and horrible psychological attacks, that I would have to pay someone to have sex, that no one would ever want me, that I was crazy, that my family hated me, that I had to put my businesses and bank accounts in his name……..when was it enough to say run…… It took a year of therapy and willpower to stay away from him, after him begging me to return and claim my husband, telling me he wanted his wife back, lying about his good relationship with his family who won’t speak to him, lying about his being a one woman man who was looking for his one true love of a lifetime, finding out from so many people that he was notorious for sleeping with Broadway street hookers in West Palm Beach, finding out he was now destitute, doing drugs with the woman who I caught him with, how I cried to hear he was down and out because I thought I still loved him even though this man threatened to kill me???? You are responsable for your own sickness, yes it is a sickness called Trauma Bonding, PTSD, Stockholm Syndrome, yes you are alone when your family and friends do not want to help you unless you leave him, so you do. So you take the first baby step of saying no more….. Do it.
    No one else can save your life, your soul, your heart, your mind. Yes every bone in your body wants to stay and hold him until he stops hurting you, and no, nothing will make a difference. You can bang your head on the wall all you want, it will not change him. You will hurt yourself trying to save him. You will pay dearly for having met him and wanting to be with him based on his online profile which says immediately I don’t know if I want to marry you or adopt you…looking for a partner, last love in my life, all of the things a girl wants to hear. So many times I thought I had to die to stop the pain, but thank God for good therapy and family and friends who care. Police tell you that other than the restraining order for domestic violence, nothing can protect you so you do get that restraining order but if he wants to kill you he will. So you live in fear. Is this the kind of man you would say yes to when you meet him for the first time if you knew what he was really like? No. No one would want to be destroyed the way he destroys. So if you can, run. Run fast and far. I did and still am running, I will not stop running until I know he is in jail or dead. It is that dangerous to fall in love with a Financial Predator, someone with no conscience, a man who knows exactly what to do to take from a lonely woman what he needs, money and trust and your body and soul and heart, all to get everything you have that is liquid, as well, he ransacked my condo and took everything he could pawn, yet still claimed to love me, want me, need me, that we had a life together if only I could move forward, yet I am the sickest one to have believed him, wanted his illusions so badly I fell for the lies, lost my self esteem and my self worth, knowing he was just going to continue to cause me great pain and imminent danger, yet I still believed I loved him and couldn’t live without him…..so if this rings a bell, RUN. Today could either be the last day of your life or the first day of the rest of your life. It’s up to you. Yes suicide was often on my mind. So what will it be? In this situation only one can survive so I hope for your sake you decide it is you that deserves to live, even though right at this moment you want to die. I pray for all of you that God gives you the strength to run. I had my marriage to him annulled and have to live with the memory of who I let control and diminish me, all because I was lonely and needed companionship and was vulnerable. There are thousands of lonely women in Florida, older, retired, widowed, abandoned by their kids and they are all potential marks for T, and other men like him. The police say it is a civil matter to pursue in court with an attorney. You will never see your money again and what he did is legal although immoral so be happy you got away with your life. The names may vary but the methods are alike. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The dangerous part is even though you survive this kind of experience apparently you are prone to repeating it, so stay vigilant, stay in therapy, feel the danger with all of your instincts and listen to your inner feelings when you meet a man who is looking for his next victim. No one is immune to this, not even the most intelligent, educated women can avoid falling for this kind of deathly trap, because if you need love badly, this may be what you get, and it is not love.

    The one that got away

    May 20, 2012 at 2:57 am

  90. @The one that got away –

    Oh my. Your entry resonated on so many levels with me! Unfortunately after my last strong post I went back to communicating with him again. This time however I could see what he was doing to me verbally. I am reading “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” by Patricia Evans. It is almost scary that he follows the patterns of the Power Over model so closely.

    He is on probation in Florida. I live in Georgia. His probation officer will not let him come back to Georgia because of our history. It gave me a window to see what he was doing to me verbally and psychologically. He NEVER stopped abusing me even though he lives over 600 miles away. I got stronger. I realized his behavior towards me was unacceptable. After the last verbal put down regarding my looks I broke it off with him for good. When he tried to call my cell I blocked him on AT&T. When he emailed my Facebook account I blocked him on Facebook. When he called me at work I hung up. I filtered his email to go to my Trash on Gmail. He finally figured out how to text message a blocked cell phone number so I emailed his probation officer and copied him. One of his felonies is felony stalking.

    I built a castle wall, dug a moat and armed myself. And, you know what? For the first time in a year and a half I have peace. It’s so quiet now. I don’t have someone in my face creating cycles of violence and abuse. The trauma bond is still there but I don’t allow myself to contact him. Like quitting smoking I know that I will always be an addict. It’s lonely, scary and confusing but I trust that I will be a better person for having known him.

    I agree that we need to own our conditions. I am in therapy and go to Group. I read as much as I can to educate myself so I don’t fall into the same pattern with anyone again.

    One thing I wanted to add to your entry is that one of the qualities these Narcissist Psychopaths look for is a naive and forgiving person. How else could you con someone into allowing you to abuse them? This is exactly what they do you know. They CON us so they can dump their toxins into us.

    I don’t think anyone gets it having not survived a psychopath. It’s a club for which I wish I had not become a member. But the positive thing in my life is that the very weaknesses that he used to exploit will be dealt with one by one. I will be a better, happier, healthier, more successful person.

    This time when healthy comes knocking on my door I am answering it.

    Keep the faith.

    ~ Kitty

    KittyVictim

    May 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm

  91. @The One Who got away: well done, for getting away. Your segment on PTSD and trauma bonding is spot on!

    @Kitty: you said that they hook onto naive and forgiving persons. This is true. A person who gives the benefit of the doubt, or thinks that expressing pain will be heard, and does this more times than an ‘average’ person in terms of patience, is prime target for those men and women N or P. Also you raised an intersting comment about them Ns and Ps exploiting weaknesses. We all do to a certain extent feel other’s soft spots. The difference between a normal person and a N or a Psychopath, is that we hit the soft by inadvertence mostly and we learn not to hit the spot, because we realise that it hurts the other, though we can succumb to sometimes hitting those spots in anger and spite, in which case we know how to make amend and not repeat this behaviour . But Ns and Ps simply do it and ram into it as much and as often as they will, for as long as it works: the more they create a reaction in you, the more they will use it. Hence you are right in identifying and working on each one of your “weaknesses”, bearing in mind though, that these soft spots, in other conditions and with other people are ones of your many wonderful assets.

    I went through the same process of him identifying what would hurt, a sore spot…. and using it. and I learned to cement and reinforce each weak point in myself. I used to call it “repairing and fortifying the breaches in the wall of my castle”. The issue may be that as we do this, we may over reinforce that past weakness and no longer allow others close to us. However, I see it as a type of re-balancing, before we level out to a changed self.

    As for the traumatic bonding, 30 months later, I still have it. I am understanding that it is a life long condition, as far as this specific person is concerned. No Contact, ever, is the cure, in the same way a person quit smoking or drinking alcohol. And yes, there is grief in having to let go. But remember that the first months of the beauty in that relationship were a dream, a smokescreen. It was not the reality. Remember the beginning months of fantasy fondly, and strive to achieve something as beautiful but more peaceful with a worthy partner.

    Good luck to all.

    Aline

    May 20, 2012 at 11:56 pm

  92. Aline and Kitty
    The pain of loving someone who never existed is endless. You cannot find that person ever again because he never existed. So much of the loss is due to trusting and loving someone who portrays themselves to be your match, mirroring your values and making you believe that their word on the future together is solid. It has been 8 months since I left yet I am as afraid and traumatized as ever. No one could have told me this would be the way this relationship would affect me, making me lose my sanity. Read Women who love Psychopaths and this was the exact recipe for my madness. I would wake in the night from dreams of him being at the foot of my bed, dreams of the man I thought he was coming to find me, knowing as I awoke that there was no such man. Mourning is important in acknowledging and accepting the end of a fantasy but in a normal relationship there is a common understanding when you enter into the reality of day to day living together. In an abusive relationship with a Financial Predator, there is no real relationship, just a man made illusion that in a chameleon manner changes with the circumstances. T adapted to whatever he had to do or say to keep the supply of money coming his way, each time making me believe that our dream was near. Knowing the women he did this to before me makes it easier to accept that I was targeted and I saw that I was a member of a sorority of sorrow. I read everything I can to help me intellectualize the process I survived. I try to analyse and understand what happened in order to feel less helpless. I am the only witness of what happened to me which is frightening. However with more and more women testifying publicly about this phenomenon, I realize I am not alone in my solitude. I try to learn from the pain in order to avoid repeating the mistake I made. I ignored my intuition. I ignored my instincts. I betrayed myself and wanted the destination so badly, the trip was irrelevant and the pain was just the path that would take me to nirvana. I lost my soul and my spirit to a man who thought nothing of robbing me of my dignity, my self esteem, my trust in myself. I ignored the obvious because I was so certain I could be the woman that made him happy, that would redeem him from his inability to love enough to be a normal man. The cognitive dissonance came from trying to uphold the values I thought we shared yet finding myself in so many dangerous and compromising situations that made no sense. Yet in order to justify my love, I defended behaviour that was clearly supporting the truth and reality of the man who stole my money, my car, my trust in men and my only chance at happiness because I cannot see myself ever feeling that high again, that happiness in finding the man of my dreams, the glorious sex, the intense passion, the crazy love that became just plain crazy games screwing with my head. So now I am writing a book on my experience and will share my lesson with other women who can learn from my mistake and not their experience. I wouldn’t wish my nightmare on anyone. No one should wake up every night wanting to kill themselves because all they want to do is hold him in their arms and hear him say, nothing you feel is real, it was a dream, not a nightmare, I am here, I am real. Without the help of an excellent therapist and family that cares, I would not have survived. With the help of medication, I am now able to sleep and there are no panic attacks in the middle of the night. The sorrow is still there and always will be but there is a scar now instead of an open wound. To go from being a successful and affluent woman to what I have become, it is a lesson in humility and it is a badge of resilience that I wear with honor knowing that I got away alive, financially poorer but full of hope that my wholeness will come back one day, one dawn. Until then I warn all older women to be aware that there are men out there hunting for them, that the fate of becoming their prey is worse than death. It is a darkness from which many have not returned. You can replace the money but the mental health is often wasted. The spiritual loneliness that follows what appeared to be a meeting of souls seperated at birth is infinite. The loss of spirit and energy is debilitating. The guilt is the most disturbing because others are suffering disease and serious losses in their life and what you lived through appears to others to be a result of your consensual decision to choose to allow someone to victimize you because you wanted the relationship because of the sex or whatever it was that bonded you above and beyond the trauma that sealed the bond. Time heals all wounds. I watch the days go by and wonder when I will stop thinking his name, hoping he is far enough away not to take out his anger at me by harming me or anyone I love. His anger in court when he realized his record would reflect the domestic violence charges and restraining order showed the judge and clerk and attorneys how quickly he could explode, how swiftly his wrath could be thrown around. I live in fear that because I got away, he will hunt me down to force me to fix this as he would always say, you need to fix this. This cannot be fixed. I cannot be fixed. I am broken, different, wiser, older and forever healing, a process that may never end.

    The one that got away

    May 21, 2012 at 1:20 am

  93. right now i am just so tired. i have been alone for four years now, and have an opportunity to start dating again, but i am just so scared. i was supposed to go on a date a few months back, but i backed out of it and went into hiding. now, i have been asked out again – by two different men. just for drinks, to talk. i would love to do that, except that the fear just keeps crawling up inside me and blotting out all of the hope.
    i keep seeing the beatings and the verbal abuse. the first time he hurts me. will he rape me? humiliate me? see my body’s flaws and use them as a way to debase me? i almost feel like it isn’t about if, but when he will do these things.

    it’s exhausting, because i am so ready to meet someone. i want to kiss someone again. i want to go out at night for a stroll in this gorgeous summer weather. i want to be married some day, to the right man.
    but i am too scared. it is like a war inside my chest. the hope springs up, i get excited, and then i think of the relationship that i had with someone i loved so much that i kept putting off leaving him, even though he beat me. the terror and shame of that crushes the hope and i fall into a despair that is truly alarming. then, a bit of hope pops up again, and the need to be with someone who loves me. a nasty circle.

    i don’t make good decisions when it comes to men – how can i ever trust myself, my choices?
    i have a good heart, and i know how it feels to be hurt. i never want to hurt anyone else. i used to think of those as strengths, but as someone said, that can be used against us. our caring hearts, our love and patience. i am just so vulnerable. it feels like looking for someone to love me is like inviting a mugger into my home.

    i have to answer one man tonight, whether i will go or not. i have done this five or six times in the last year with different men – and each time i say yes, i know i will call a day or two later and say “sorry, can’t make it”. then i will avoid his calls. i haven’t even held a man’s hand in four years. i look older and older and i think that there will be a time in the not to distant future, where the offers will just stop coming.

    this is another thing my abuser took from me.
    and i know that on top of the abuse i survived as a child, his abuse destroyed something inside of me.

    i can’t stop the clock. i can’t make myself heal. i can’t win. i can’t win.

    i don’t know what to do.

    lilly

    May 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm

  94. Good luck for your date Lillly. go for it, have fun! :) Simply remember the Red Flags. They’ll tell you what to do about the person you meet within the hour, well by end of date. By now, you may be sensitive to anything that could be future danger. I know that when I meet guys now, I simply “KNOW” whom to avoid. a kind of 6th sense. I did something though, after my own story ended : I designated a series of “rebound” friendships then an affair, with the other sex. It was my way of learning to be around men again whom I could trust. I naturally told the persons that I was in a difficult position (no details given), not available, but intent on light fun, and not looking for long term. It worked out well. two years later, I am now in a wonderful relationship with a very sturdy, trustful, NON ABUSIVE person. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And yes, an abuser takes something away from us. our core, that strong shiny diamond inside which has been reduced to power and sand and takes time to rebuild. good luck

    Aline

    May 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm

  95. Aline – big breath…i accepted.

    lilly

    May 25, 2012 at 12:01 am

  96. WOW! GO FOR IT! WELL DONE! a suggestion: don’t mention anything about difficulty with the ex. If he is same type, it will him attract more for the obvious reasons, and if he is intent on a good time with you, he could be put off. This type of chat can come later….. just something I learned along the way……

    aline

    May 25, 2012 at 12:17 am

  97. I am recently out of my abusive relationship. I decided to go for a 3 month period of no dating. I am in intensive therapy, am reading some really good books and am determined to do the work in myself I have been running from for years. The questions I have been asking myself after this devastating experience are “what is the lesson”? “Why have I repeatedly allowed unacceptable behaviors in my life.” “Why did I keep going back to him?” “Why did I feel so bonded to someone who was so abusive and damaging to me?” “Why have I literally felt like I have been dying by cutting off all communication with him?” I have flashbacks constantly to the abuse. I know I will be eventually, I hope to eventually be free from the memories. I am working with a therapist who specializes in trauma and PTSD. And, my trauma goes way back before I met him. I feel that I was simply accepting unacceptable patterns in my life because of my past. This time I am not heading into another relationship until I figure out why I have been attracted to people who are obviously damaging to me. It’s one day at a time literally. I so agree with @aline! Predators prey on the weak. I am going to learn the warning signs and keep my past to myself. I wish you well @lilly. Don’t be too hard on yourself. As a wise woman told me in Group “Life is a journey. We do the best we can with what we know. When you know differently you do differently.”

    KittyVictim

    May 25, 2012 at 3:14 am

  98. @Aline and KittyVictim – thank you so much for what you said.
    i just feel lost in all of this – like a kid who has no idea what to do in an adult world.

    i went out with him, and lasted 55min before i made a break for it. he was very nice, and it was fun, but i was so nervous beforehand that i nearly cancelled.
    i think this whole thing has brought up a lot of pain, and many memories for me, because i keep crying for no reason. i can see why people just stop trying with this. to try again is to become vulnerable again.

    he wants to see me again, and i think i will, but i am just so full of misgivings. i want to run away.

    maybe it is too soon for me – but four years should be long enough.

    as i write that, i think “long enough to get over being beaten and terrified for years?” and it sounds dumb.

    but here i am trapped between what was done to me, and what i want. just not sure i can ever trust a man again.

    lilly

    May 29, 2012 at 4:18 am

  99. Well done Lilly. I hope that despite the hesitations and anxieties, you had a good time out! The pain, the memories, the cries are about the past, the dream that was and never was became the hoped for reality. Being nervous/anxious was the past again, and your very sensitized self-protection (re)actions. You say you want to run away. the question is: because something in the person makes you feel so, or because past memories of another, entirely different person tell you so? It took my current mate a lot of understanding and resolve for me to now say “I can trust a man again”. I generally think of him, whenever I say that. You’ve gotten plenty wiser, trust your gut feelings!

    aline

    May 29, 2012 at 7:29 am

  100. @lilly I so agree with @aline. We don’t realize how far we have come until faced with a potentially toxic relationship. I think all of us have had to learn how to set boundaries. I have chosen to not date currently but managed also to say no to two new friendships. I had no boundaries going into the relationship. I was naive, trusting and the perfect victim. I am determined to love again. I don’t know if there is a time limit to get over the trauma we experienced but I think we do know when the timing is right in our hearts. My perception is that you know it is time you are simply afraid. Let fear be your counselor not your jailor. Keep us posted on how things go for you!

    KittyVictim

    May 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

  101. So happy to have found this web site. After a divorce (20 yr. marriage), and the end of a relationship, I realize that I have been attracted to the wrong men for me – men who will eventually verbally abuse me, not be emotionally there for me, etc. After I separated from my ex-husband, I spent many months working on myself (out of the dating pool), and that helped tremendously. Then, about 2 years later, began a relationship with a guy who seemed ok. EXCEPT – and here comes that red flag – told me because his Mom was an alcoholic, he can’t trust. As was my m.o., I sort of ignored what he said. After all, I told myself, he treats me so well, calls me all the time, etc. I also sort of ignored the fact that he had never loved his ex-wife, married her because of her looks. I do give myself credit for the following: 1) After dating about 5 months, I broke up with him, because of the ‘not trusting’ problem he had, AND because he kept telling me he would eventually go to live in Italy, and had gone there twice while we’d been dating. Unfortnately, agreed to remain his friend, and a few months later, he convinced me to date him again. I did have a great summer with him (last summer, of 2011), & then it started to unravel. He still treated me incredibly well; we thought about going off on vacations together, etc. Yet, He left me ‘hints’ that he was trying to date other women – like at my house once, he “forgot’ to delete something he’d been looking on,,on my computer – and it was an internet dating site. He gave me an excuse for that 2) Well, Labor Day weekend, began well – as we got up on Sunday morning, he asked me if I remembered the exact day of our first date was, saying it was “very important” to him. Then, I found a slip of paper on his kitchen table with a woman’s name, tel. no. and e-mail address. I give myself so much credit – I immediately confronted him, and he began denying it was someone he wanted to date. , I told him that “I’ve told you, I just can’t handle you seeing other women”.,& I just began picking up all of my things I had had at his place. He saw I was going to leave, and finally came clean. He said some awful stuff to me – like “we never had a romantic relationship”, and I confronted him on everything he said; that he blew ‘very hot and very cold’, etc. I walked out on him right there and then. Then, came his email, we should remain friends, etc., he’ll call me soon, more of his same bs. Wrote him back that it was I who would do any calling, and not to call me. Then, 2 weeks later something inside of me told me to google his name; I did and was appalled. On the meetup websites (meetup is where people get together, often with a common purpose, like seeing movies, etc.). On these websites, he had signed up for EVERY ONE that had a SEX theme: like orgymeetup, polyamory meetup. nudist meetup,, etc. I was appalled – he had signed up months before WHEN WE WERE STILL DATING. And on one meetup site, he had actually posted this message “I am so sick of monogamous relationships”.
    I wanted to puke. I wrote him another email, told him eXACTLY what I thought of him, and told him to NEVER ever contact me again. And even AFTER this he left me a tel. message months later that he was going into the hosp. for surgery & said “I know you would want to know”. He is NUTS. I emailed him never, ever to contact me again, and that, if he did, I would call the cops & tell them he was stalking me. Well -have never heard from him. Am proud of myself, but I have really, REALLY tried to look into why I didn’t just stay away when he first told me he couldn’t trust anyone. A combo of a bad childhood (mean Mom), plus other things. NOW, I have vowed NEVER to ignore what a man says or does, now or in his past (like marrying a woman you don’t love). However, am still traumatized – I think the first few months after I left him, I couldn’t even believe it had happened. Plus – I am close to 60 (yikes!), yet have some work to do on myself. Well, at least I and all of you are doing it! Thanks for reading all this. It has helped writing it.

    Suzanne

    June 18, 2012 at 1:35 am

  102. When we are attracted to someone, one of the red flags is their admission of a childhood issue very early on in the relationship as a “warning to you: new partner”. It creates a nurturing/protective stir up in us, and we give benefit of the doubt, while the other may use this later as a “I told you so, I was a naughty boy/girl” exonerating statement of their behaviour later on in the relationship. Yet, in a healthy relationship this type of disclosure comes from intimate chats over time, as follows natural release of information about oneself. It is easy to know in retrospect, Suzanne, but not when it happens. This gives you a hint as to what to look for the next time you date that great new guy with whom you may want to settle for good! I always think that when we recognise the type of character in the person you described, we have the choice to attempt to make it a long term relationship (which I would not do myself!) or simply to enjoy the ride as a casual friendship, or a short term rebound affair as we nurture ourselves from our past “big” breakup, but in the latter case, keep ourselves detached. The latter thing I talk about is NOT for everyone, as our moral codes and values might make it difficult for us to consider a “no strings attached relationship”. In any case, if we decide short-term/ rebound, we have to be respectful and clear with the other person, upfront, as they may want themselves to consider long term, and also be ready to let go immediately, if our mutual goals are not in synch. I went over the past 3 years through the process of breaking up from a person with whom I was traumatically bonded (3.6 years ago), to pure emotional madness during a year (3 to 2 years ago) and later in that process a rebound relationship (2.6- 2 years ago) , and then two years ago I met the great fella whom now is my partner. Getting to be with that great fella was a very slowwwwww process over a year, without immediate/quick commitment, which happened a year ago. I hope you find someone good. You’re doing the work, in any case, from what I read in your post. Well done!

    aline

    June 18, 2012 at 2:30 am

  103. I don’t think you can be friends with someone who has put you through trauma. I was reading @Suzanne’s entry and so much resonated with me. My ex never used to let me leave quietly. He would fly into rages yelling over me. If he thought he was losing me the worst in him came out quickly. I remember times when we fought that I would spend the night anyways because I was afraid of the alternative. He would stalk me constantly including repeated calls, emails and text messages. He would bait me by saying the cruelest things to me. His violent outbursts came when the need to control me overwhelmed him. When it all comes down to it I think it is always about power and control. You ex boyfriend @Suzanne wanted his lifestyle at all costs even if it meant deceiving you. It’s about the time you wake up to the fact that you never really knew the man you loved that the pain sets in. It all seems so futile but I have learned during these darkest times to ask myself “What is the lesson”? What great lessons can you take from this relationship? I have chosen not to date at all so I can sort out my head right now. I am in therapy weekly with a trauma specialist. I am committed and determined to create something positive out of this painful experience.

    KittyVictim

    June 18, 2012 at 11:26 am

  104. @kitty: you right, it is impossible to become friend with someone with whom one was traumatically bonded. the old patterns of control are bound to show again. I was helped therapeutically for two years, one year prior to leaving him, and a whole year after. weekly. One day it all made sense.

    aline

    June 18, 2012 at 11:43 am

  105. @aline I am holding on to your closing line. It’s pretty rough right now. But, I am managing not to contact him and when I do I get right back on track. Unless you have been through this it is hard to understand. It’s not like any break up I have experienced. Thanks.

    KittyVictim

    June 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

  106. Contact. That is the magic word. If you do not have a no contact order due to violence, it is much harder not to contact I am sure. You need to read Women who love Psychopaths to understand the brainwashing and the mind control that these men excercise over women they hunt down. You are totally unarmed to handle a man who is a professional predator. Especially hard to take is the knowledge that you mean nothing to them. Nothing. You cannot rewrite the ending. These men don’t stop until they get what they want and if there is no more of that supply that you were provicing, whether it was money or adulation or whatever the fuel was that the predator was able to refine from you,if there is nothing left for them to feed on, they leave for new supply from new prey. There is no love or emotion or sorrow or regret on their part if they are truly in a predator prey relationship with you. And no amount of therapy or professional help will rescue or heal them. They had a psychic break with humanity long before you came on the scene. Run. Run as fast as you can and don’t look back. And hold your therapist’s hand along the way because it is a bumpy ride back to reality.

    The one that got away

    June 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm

  107. I got a legal “no contact’ agreement. that piece of paper saved my sanity. Not only is this preempting him to contact, but also, it protect me in those times I feel the urge to contact him. I simply remind myself that it is binding and……legal….. and enforcible. I don’t want to be the one breaking it. very useful when I feel myself going all mush remembering the ‘good’ times and feeling I want to grab that phone. These men suffer from zero empathy. No one will teach them. they are wired that way, some areas in their brain associated with empathy are simply “not firing”. look for psychopath, bullies and narcissists fMRI scan analysis on the web. waste of time hoping they’ll change.

    aline

    June 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

  108. I find the hardest part is knowing I will always love him but cannot allow him near me because he has control of my life when I am with him, I am unable to think clearly, unable to think independantly of his needs and expectations. I liken the power he has over me to that of Charles Manson over the women that went to jail for murder with him. Sooner or later, he would have made me break the law, go to jail, live forever in the hell of knowing that I could have done things differently. That is what keeps me away from him, is knowing that he will only use me to get what he wants,that I am just a means to an end. Einstein said it best, only one matter can occupy one space at a time. If your heart is strong enough and if you love yourself enough, get the hell out of any realtionship that is leading you down the wrong path to the wrong end. Think about how many women are sitting in jail doing time because they were with the wrong man at the wrong time, worse, those who are doing the time while the man got away. Think of the worst end for your personal scenario and premptive strike youself out of there now. These men will sell you out and throw you under the bus pronto if they have to. There is no love in predator. There is no truth in the dream they weave. Break the spell before it is too late. Yes there is such a thing as too late. It is usually because they kill you or you kill yourself. Reality check. Say goodbye and make your life count by putting yourself first. It will feel suprisingly good. Get medicated, do whatever the hell needs to be done to get strong. Time is on your side. Even when you feel that you are dying because you have not seen him and held him and heard his voice, remind yourself that there is a fine line between right and dead right. Don’t look for too much proof of the fact that you are being manipulated, conned or played by a pro. they will move on if you fail to fall for the con, so listen to that red flag instinct and when a man says he loves you too fast, asks for money, makes you feel sorry for him or makes you think you are the most wonderful woman he ever met in the first hours of your communication, you are probably in the clutches of a pro. You have no chance of winning or changing the game. Step aside and say no. I wish I did.

    The one that got away

    June 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

  109. @The one that got away “Even when you feel that you are dying because you have not seen him and held him and heard his voice, remind yourself that there is a fine line between right and dead right.” I don’t think anyone gets it that has not been in it. I wouldn’t have fathomed why someone could keep going back into a situation that is not only emotionally painful but physically harmful as well. I finally made the excuse I could not talk to him while I was in counseling. I asked for space until July. He did not comply initially so I had to email his probation officer. And, EVEN after all of it I still allowed communication to continue. This is AFTER trying and failing to get a Permanent Restraining Order due to the fact that although I had the evidence the crimes had not been committed in my new home state. Now? I had to be really firm with myself. I had to MAKE myself quit communicating with him. Yet, I am embarrassed to write that I still retrieve his emails from the Google trash AFTER setting up a filter so I would not see them. I tell myself now that I HAVE to do this because there is NO other option for me. He can’t change because he won’t admit he has a problem in spite of my evidence of his abuse. I KNOW what it is to feel that you are under their mind control. @Aline “waste of time hoping they’ll change”. I talked to his ex-girlfriend who had not dated him for eight years. We became friends. What he said to her was so scary because he said the EXACT same things to me. He was supposed to change for her. She wasted another year with him going to counseling sessions with her. And now he is supposed to change after destroying my property, physically assaulting me, kidnapping me, biting me on the face and consistently verbally abusing me because he “says so”. @The one who got away “And hold your therapist’s hand along the way because it is a bumpy ride back to reality.” I think it is critical to stay in counseling during the initial break up period. I am in counseling and group. The one night I missed group I unblocked him on Facebook. Then, the emails started pouring in. Then, I missed my counseling session. Until I am strong enough I will hold everyone’s hand from my counselor to the other women who have had the same experiences as I. That includes this Forum. Thanks to everyone who writes to me. I am off now to read on my iPad. I am reading a plethora of books about abuse. This too is helping me see what I had not the picture he painted of our reality in my mind. Off I go!

    KittyVictim

    June 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm

  110. kittyvictim, I feel your pain and I wanted to do what you did. His voice was everything to me. However I knew that if I allowed contact I would betray myself because I knew my fate was imminent harm and death. You do have to reach the point where your life is on the line before you understand that if it comes between which one of you will survive anything, any fight, any argument, any trap, any dangerous situation, any mental crazy game, it is not you. It will be him. They have said the same things before, over and over until another one falls for the dream they weave. The last 3 gilfriends/wives have become my close friends and told me everything they went through, carbon copy experiences, same music, same song and dance. One was out $ 400,000.00, the other $ 200,000.00, the last one $ 20,000.00 which was all she had and my loss came to over $45,000.00. I now have to work hard to re-earn that lost after tax sum so I have to earn $90,000.00 just to pay the taxes on income which is what that money was for in the first place. So much emotional and physical and mental pain for what? I cannot even tell you the details of what I caught him doing which is why I finally left. You see we all have a tipping point, a point at which either our conscience or survival instinct kicks in and we say enough………..The more we invested in the relationship, the more we will stay to recover our losses, change the ending so we haven’t fail to rescue, save, redeem a lost soul who convinced us how badly we needed to help him, lend him money, become partner in his business, help him pay off his ex wife, whatever they give as a reason for your financial participation in what eventually turns out to be the most expensive mistake you may ever make and scars for life to show for it. They are scars most people can’t see but those of us who have been there see them. The many symptoms of PTSD, Stockholm Syndrome, whatever you want to call it, the time during which your soul, your spirit belonged to another. His will is no longer my command and that was the hardest part. You cannot and should not have to buy love. I learned the hard way that financial predators listen for words you may use or things you may say to tip them off that you are affluent, then they pirouette you around until you are their puppet. To lose your money on top of your pride and your self respect, without being able to feel sorry for yourself because you are the artist of your fate, writing checks, giving cash, buying gifts and cars and jewelry….. How many men have done the same and been used and discarded? Why is this phenomenon now being seen as so damaging in the senior population? Senior women often can’t make the money back. Whether it was a divorce settlement or pension or an inheritance, you will be at risk. So at least, hold on to your assets, don’t give away any money or lend anything. It will be handy when you need to pay for the valuable therapy that you will need to survive.

    The one that got away

    June 19, 2012 at 12:22 am

  111. How about when you wake up? When you have been away from the mind control long enough to realize that every time you thought you imagined something, sensed something or saw something and he told you it was just not so you REALIZE it was so. How do you manage the mental and emotional backlash when you finally see this person you called husband, boyfriend, lover was not at all what HE told you but what you knew in your heart but doubted. It’s like a horror film you cannot wake up from when you have all this anger inside you. You know finally that all along everything you knew was right. You remember that around the other people that you distanced yourself from you are now OK again. You remember all the words, the assaults, the destruction of your own property, the crying out to God when he hovered over you that all those things really were real. You wake up to it all and what do you do then? It’s over people. I am NEVER going to voluntarily connect with my ex-narcissitic psychopathic abusive boyfriend again. Like when I quit smoking I finally GOT it. Now do I heal? When do I sleep. Will I ever be myself again? And, WHO am I?

    KittyVictim

    June 21, 2012 at 1:14 am

  112. KittyVictim everything you are saying well, I say it too. I did the work of sifting through everything he ever said, everything he promised, what he told me life with him would be like, that he was a one man woman, that we would be happy together forever, a house on the beach, a dog, together in old age, yada yada yada, and it was all lies, and when I see him saying the same thing to other women on his Match.com ad, I realize that he is the broken record and that he will always be a charicature of a man, but that man he pretended to be is just an illusion. I had to grow up and face that I had sugar coated many things, that I had ignored signs because I wanted everything to be real, cognitive dissonance, I read all of the books over and over and it was the classic case, classic symptoms, classic ending if I wanted to be beaten or die at his hands or be set up or any of the things he threatened. Most importantly even though I still may not have experienced true love with a man, I know what love is not, I know that this pain is the cost of learning not to touch that hot stove again. I think I will know from now on when a man is phony, but most of all, a mistake can be a valuable lesson that can prepare you for a future relationship that when you meet that right someone, you will be mature, serious, experienced enough to filter through the crap and recognize a good man when you see him even though your heart cries out for that man that never was, that facade that was created to lure you into a trap. Get out of the trap, dust yourself off, do the work, read the books, talk to all of us when you need to let it out but most of all it is important to stay away. My therapist says you can love him, but don’t let him near you because he doesn’t love you the way you need to be loved, in the way you deserve to be loved. You alone can choose to refuse contact, no matter what he says, how many times he pleads, sooner or later, the psychopath finds another supply, another woman to take the place of the last. One day you will cry because you won’t hear from him anymore and that will really hurt because it will signal the end of the chance to rewrite the ending. You will have to accept that the new supply, the new woman, is just a replacement for you and the one before you, all faceless, nameless in the cold heart of a predator who is now looking the other way so RUN, and don’t stop until you feel you are safe again. Learn the lesson, pay the price, grow, know that this too shall pass.

    The one that got away

    June 21, 2012 at 2:24 am

  113. “One day you will cry because you won’t hear from him anymore and that will really hurt because it will signal the end of the chance to rewrite the ending.” HIs last words to me were so cold and cruel they took my breath away. Yet minutes afterwards he sent me an email featuring Hawks Key where we spent a beautiful day together last summer. I really DON’T know who he is but I remember the person I created in my mind. Our beautiful life together cruising the east coast in his boat would have never been sane. Everything with him was chaos. Chaos because he would verbally abuse me and chaos because I always predictably stood up for myself. At any time he could have killed me when he was physically violent towards me. It’s all jumbled away in my mind now and I just wish I could MAKE HIM GO AWAY. I don’t want to think about him constantly anymore. I am running and I will feel safe again someday. I need to give up the dream of rewriting the ending @The one that got away. Life with him would have been just what it always was not what I believed it could be. He is just what I saw not what he sees of himself. This man could RAGE then state calmly minutes afterwards that he had no issues with anger. He grabbed me around the throat then told me the reason I had any marks was that I had loose skin around my neck. I am hurting now. I am angry now. I have nowhere to direct any of it. I wake up then I get numb again. I am running hard. I too WILL get away.

    KittyVictim

    June 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

  114. KittyVictim

    i have no other words to describe what this man has done to you but “mind fucked”.
    i know that is crude, but it is entirely accurate.
    they do that – mine did too.
    they will twist your head around and leave you breathless at their audacity and the ability they have to lie.
    i have been beaten and then told that it never happened. so honestly did he say it, that i truly wondered if i was going mad. the five inch bruise on my leg, that made me limp, and send Christmas alone in defence of myself, told me i wasn’t crazy, but he really made me wonder.

    it is almost like we are living in two realities and we really want one of them to be true. the problem is that both realities are true – the nice, giving, loving man is also the abusive, foul-mouthed, cruel terror.

    Kitty – he is mentally ill. he makes you feel crazy because you are trying to understand his sick head.
    the only safe place for any of us, is away from the mind fuckers.

    lilly

    June 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

  115. @Kitty and the @theOne… the fashion you describe your respective partners’ behaviour is very similar to what I experienced. What I noticed though was his denial of all incidents and him stating that “whatever I was referring to did NOT happen”. Though at the time I thought he was a liar, or a coward or that I was going nuts, with insight, I realise that perhaps he was split, switching from one persona to another, jekyl and hyde, and perhaps quite incapable of coming to terms with such appalling behaviour to be wanting to remember it , if not on some occasions too stoned or drunk to remember. but often, he would within minutes if not seconds come back to baseline “normal” non abusive. That’s when I think he /they split, become disassociated. I think I saw the good personality sometimes, and it kept my hoping and longing for the dream of seeing that persona ALL the time, but for that, I had to endure the at first occasional then alarmingly recurring “black” personality. I guess this is what keeps us hooked.

    aline

    June 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

  116. @lilly. You are spot on.

    aline

    June 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

  117. So true Aline. We are hooked. I am now examining my addiction problems. I am addicted to him just as though he were heroin. Having never tried heroin, I can only imagine that this is just as bad or worse. Think about it. Why would we be willing to give everything up for someone who is not safe, not good, not faithful, not loving, etc. Because we feel we need them, cannot live without them, but who put that thought into our heads? If you look back you will see the mild and slow brainwashing. We did not get the light rinse, we got the bona fide mind control. I was told by him that if I left him, I would have to pay a man to sleep with me and I remember thinking I would never do that. Why would he say that no man would ever want me? Then I found out that he used to be a pimp. I found out that pimps control their prey. He wanted money, all my money. Here I was, a successful businesswoman who was being told so many horrible things about myself yet I still loved him??? Who is the sick one? I stayed until I caught him red handed with his employee having the most disgusting kind of sex so I had an aha moment where I understood that I had to draw the line at being exposed to HIV/AIDS. I hit rock bottom emotionally and through months of therapy finally understood that I was really just a faceless pawn in his con. He successfully conned me out of money that I had put away for taxes. He successfully conned me out of a Jag by making me put it in his name. He successfully made me believe I could not live without him. In his words, ain’t gonna be no annulment unless you’re dead. So how much more did I need to hear and see before my self preservation instinct kicked in? Yet every day I think of him, miss him, want him, so I am the sick one. My life consists of before Tony and after Tony. I am not the same person anymore, I am no longer the girl who made the world a better place with her actions. I live in a sombre world of work and tears. Everyone is kind and helpful and understanding yet I know they are tiring of my plight. One day they will stop being so kind when the time is up and I have to be okay, no more tears, no more memories, no more regrets. I don’t know anyone but God who could fix this. If He wants to He will. Otherwise it is fixed, the end is near in this devil’s game. I lose. He wins. All I pray for is that I survive. Even when I feel like I just want to die. I try not to dwell on the past but learn from it. Be careful who you let near your heart. Be careful who you listen to and fall in love with. Tony could make anyone fall in love with him. It was that easy for him. A serial whore in a world where men are rare and good men rarer. West Palm Beach is a mecca for men looking for lonely, neglected women who have money and need affection. He will hurt each woman that spends any time with him. But they are not my responsability. I live one day at a time, just like eating an elephant is done one bite at a time. So put one foot in front of the other and start from zero but start. Walk away, in the right direction. Look for a safe harbour. Be alone until you have healed. Try not to look back. Do anything but go back. That is not an option. That road leads to inevitable harm and imminent danger. There are many women on the news, in the papers, beautiful, mothers, wives, lovers, all dead, killed by their other, so why and how is a mystery but the truth is women die, are dying and have died because they took too long to leave. Like frogs on a slowly heated frying pan they are lulled, instead of jumping at the first sign of heat, they stay and wait and suddenly they fall asleep and die. Don’t allow yourself to slowly live with the hell on earth. It will only get worse, not better. True psychopaths don’t change. Even if he is not diagnosed, you know he will always be what he is. God help us all to find peace with ourselves because the hardest part is forgiving yourself for having allowed that evil person into your life. Betraying yourself by closing your eyes when you should have looked closer. There is no price to pay for love, you can’t buy it, you can’t find it, just stay still and it will come to you. Be yourself, love yourself and allow yourself the time to heal. Pray for strength and guidance and reach out to others here in this sisterhood of women who know better. I will never let this happen to me again. Wisdom is like a tatoo on your heart. You cannot ever let anyone like this near you again. That is the first promise you have to make to yourself. The rest will follow. And yes Lilly, I have been mind fucked. I am educated, experienced but I was no match for someone who has been doing this all of his life. I had never heard of anything like this before and now I know. When he tells me I need to come back and claim my husband, I know that is just manipulation. Yes there are 2 realities. What you wish it could be and what it never will be. You will never have a normal relationship with this kind of man. Again I cannot repeat enough times, RUN.

    The one that got away

    June 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

  118. This Forum is so helpful to me! I think the real reason is because I did feel like I was going crazy. It helps so very much to know that I am not alone. I questioned my own sanity because as @lilly writes mine too denied saying things that I heard him clearly say. My personal experience did not include him lying about the physical violence though. Now that I realize I AM NOT crazy and I CAN trust and validate my own experience everything has come rushing back on me. I remember all of the times including when I first met him and he said in reference to this girl he wanted to date that was stringing him on “What do you think would happen if I took her offshore and she disappeared?” I remember laying next to him in bed Godsmacked that he said it. Of course when I confronted him the next morning he denied saying it at all. And as @lilly states he said it SO CONVINCINGLY that I sort of believed him. But I knew he was lying. I should have RUN then! I don’t know if he does believe the lies he tells himself or he knows exactly what he was doing when he lied to me. He lied about EVERYTHING including to his prospective clients on the telephone. I would listen to him string the lies on about his past, what his mother did for a living, what he owned. When I confronted him that his mother was never an “Attorney General” he said she was a clerk in the court. His ex-girlfriend told me that he told her that I had been “Baker acted”. He is now on his own in the filth of his own mind. I don’t care why he lies anymore. I don’t care why he felt compelled to knock me down every time I was up. I don’t care if he was violent to anyone else. I just don’t want to think about him any longer! I was totally obsessed with learning the “truth” about someone who simply has created a chaotic world around him for years by choice. I understand why now I was so shocked to discover that I was not the only victim when I befriended his ex-girlfriend or why I was so obsessed to hear the other’s stories. Somehow I just could not marry Jekyll with Hyde. But as @lilly so eloquently states they were ALWAYS THE SAME PERSON. That I think is what scares me the most now. Hyde was always there I just didn’t realize it. And, I put my life in danger every time I was alone with him. Hyde was always there. I dated Hyde. Geese.

    KittyVictim

    June 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm

  119. Kitty, you dated Dr Jekyll. And it is Dr Jekyll you fell in love with and miss. Jekyll was there for sufficiently long enough for you to make the decision to commit to the relationship. From then on Hyde started to come out more and more regularly and often.

    If you think back carefully about the time of the ‘courtship’, and recollect, you may find that Hyde made very brief appearances and that Dr Jekyll’s behaviour was therefore at that very moment, inconsistent. You may have made a remark to the man, which he dismissed as not real or petty incident. That is the very red flag to look for in any new date. that red flag behaviour generally involves a sudden spike in moods such as anger coming from nowhere and quickly disolved, or a lie kind of big enough to be noticed but not quite too dramatic nor costly to breach trust yet, or a statement of value (such as talking about a former partner in a bad way, or telling about cutting the worms in two or torturing the cat in childhood, etc.) . If it happens once only that’s ok, maybe frustrations of the day are talking, but if it happens twice, then beware. If there is a third instance, you’ve met Mr Hyde, and the only way is out, NOW.

    we had a courtship of 9 months before I moved in with him. During that time he blew up twice and reacted badly once to, in all cases, minor actions as triggers from my part. I told myself that he was stressed and perhaps a type A personality. within the following 3 months, as I moved in with him, I got afraid at the 3rd blow up and became careful around him. At that time, from verbal angers, he moved on to punching objects and walls. The 4th blow up was extremely dangerous to me as it involved road rage and near fatal accident as he drove beyond speed limit while trying to reach for my face with his free fist, and I suffered trauma. that 4th time heralded a slow descent to hell as I showed symptoms consistent with traumatic stress (nightmares, anxieties, clinginess while withdrawing, inability to be articulate in fear of consequences, walking on eggshells, choosing words carefully not to ignite him, etc.). My change from confident to cowed and fearful, gave him license to allow Hyde to take over shortly after that event.

    In retrospect, I should have left him after the 3rd incident, and definitely, absolutely ,after the 4th. But I did not. The rest is madness.

    the moral for me: absolutely in hell of a pain, while being a detective who seeks meanings for my actions, reactions, feelings, surrounding circumstances, his various behaviors, ways to hurts, for a bit more than two years, but, but, at the end of the road, the discovery of me, the strengthening of me, and being wiser with my new relationships whether friends, colleagues or partner. Am just about out of the tunnel. Sometimes, especially during ‘anniversaries’ I have a few days of down feelings as memories come back, and they pass, and I move on.

    aline

    June 22, 2012 at 12:02 am

  120. Aline – it was similar for me.
    he waited until after we first made love. we had been friends for over two and a half years, and i had never seen Mr. Hyde. after we made love, he waited three days, and then Mr. Hyde decided to destroy me. he screamed at me and degraded me. i couldn’t believe it. i was so in love, and i had trusted him with my heart and body. i can remember feeling so naked, so vulnerable and so helpless because i loved him.
    that is the worst, i think. we love Jekyll so much, he is so wonderful. we share our selves with him, but then we find out we are sharing ourselves with this other, nasty, horrible person that we would never have been with if we had known! we give our hearts to one, but find out we opened ourselves to the other too.

    i wanted my Dr. Jekyll back so badly. i stayed for years. i am ashamed to say that. i remember praying “i know i have to leave, but please, please not yet. just let me have some more time…”
    i think people who are addicted might say the same when they know they have to quit.
    even after he beat me, i wanted the love back. the man i fell in love with. but it was like Hyde held him captive, and i was negotiating with him to return my Jekyll!

    crazy crazy terrible time.

    i went and met a man for the first time in four years, about a month ago. we had a lovely time, then he mentioned that as a kid he had hurt animals.
    i have refused to see him again.
    i am so afraid that Hyde lives in all men, or maybe just the ones i am attracted to.
    this man said he was so guilt ridden about it, that he was trying to make it up to animals now, but for me, that was the end of it. we were talking about rescuing animals, and he just said it.
    i found him very attractive, and we had fun, and then bam. i used to hurt and kill animals as a kid.

    it’s like they are every where. and i am not sure i know how to scope them out. i am worried i will be too terrified to give any of them a chance. but that was a signal that sent me running.

    i think, in his case, Jekyll outed Hyde.

    lilly

    June 22, 2012 at 1:08 am

  121. @aline @lilly But the incongruence is that I never really got that they were one and the same person until this week. Because Dr. Jekyll refused to acknowledge Mr. Hyde I was serially confused. I mean how can someone RAGE over you screaming so hard they spit blood on your computer and iPhone then the next day completely convince you that they have no anger management issues? I remember the day well because I was at work when a beloved colleague in IT asked me what was all over my computer screen. Specs of blood everywhere. But, I chose to believe the Doctor that I WAS THE ONE WITH THE ISSUES. He rx’d me into hell. When do they realize that you are hooked? When does evil appear and good Hyde? I am proud of @lilly for leaving this person who admitted he abused animals. Seriously? WARNING SIGNS! I am going to find that inner voice that I quit listening to that attempted to warn me before the first scream, slap, spit, hold down by hair, step on foot so you can spit in face, destroy property, bite on face, kidnap, put fingers up nose and hand over mouth. Shall I continue Dr. Evil? YOU WERE ONE AND THE SAME PERSON. I GET IT NOW. AND, EVERY DAY I DO NOT HEAR YOUR WORDS I AM ONE STEP CLOSER TO HEAVEN AND ONE STEP FARTHER OUT OF HELL. Good night everyone.

    KittyVictim

    June 22, 2012 at 1:58 am

  122. Amen to that Kitty.
    beautifully put.
    night.

    lilly

    June 22, 2012 at 2:29 am

  123. Ranting again at 11:26 PM. I am a recent dove out of the cage so I hope the Forum does not mind. This is my entry into my Journal tonight. Memories are screaming in my mind right now. Memories I blanked out due to trauma? I was with a serial abuser! He has felonies! Please God let this stick. I AM NEVER GOING TO ALLOW HIM ACCESS TO ME AGAIN. > I am remembering when he stood on my foot several times so I could not get away. He would then spit in my face. Why did I forget this and the incident in the Keys when he scared me so badly? He towered over me screaming at me and I cried out to God. How could he condition me so perfectly to where I let these things go? He doesn’t want me anymore because now I will not allow a single lie. He took over my mind and body for over a year and a half. I can’t breathe right now.

    KittyVictim

    June 22, 2012 at 3:28 am

  124. Kitty Victim
    This too shall pass. I used to wake in the middle of the night and think he had broken in again and was at the end of my bed naked the way he was the night he woke me saying you left the door unlocked right after I kicked him with all of his furniture out. He stood there in the dark and said what do you have to say for yourself, I can break into anything, I am a Certified National Remodeler. I cried, he got into bed and held me. What is wrong with that picture???? Every time he endangered my life or threatened me with crime, I stood there and listened but couldn’t hear. I couldn’t think straight. My reaction time tripled. He would yell at me and ask why I wasn’t happy and I would think, because I don’t know who you are…..The best behaviour ended fast. The control and the overbearing rage when I was 10 minutes late. The purse he grabbed and emptied on the floor to stop me from running out. Telling me he was surprised no one had ever shot me in the head yet because I had a big mouth. Telling me I wasn’t going to live life with him the way I thought and that I was used to getting what I wanted and that wasn’t the way it was going to be anymore. WTF? When I think back, I overappreciated every crumb he gave me and yet I gave him every penny I earned. Then when I asked him to buy me lunch after I had just given him $ 7000.00 he was arguing why I did not have any money? Hello? Figure it out. When he told a life insurance agent that he wanted to insure me after we discussed business insurance. One month after our wedding, he told this agent never mind insuring the business I need to insure her in case something happens to her, I need to be taken care of. Yet I still loved him, but still I heard myself refusing to allow any insurance to be taken out on me. Each time he did something wrong, I objected. Then I started being sleep deprived going to bed at 2 am and rising at 6 every day. I knew it was happening and joked that that was an interesting way to get women to weaken and fall for him. The day he asked me if I wanted cold spring water, handed me a bottle and I took one fast sip and spit it out, screaming that there was some metal taste to it and I could see the residue formed in a kind of sorry to say it, nose leaking phlem in the bottom, I choked, nearly throwing up and I screamed what are you trying to do,kill me? I threw out the water on the bushes out front outside of the dry cleaner and weeks later the plants showed some reaction to the liquid. And I still loved him and wanted to be near him. Like a dog that has been beaten and not petted and not loved but still hovering near his master looking for one glance of love. Still today I fear that if he came near me or I heard his voice, all of my strength and resolve would disappear. So strong to leave, so weak to stay away. I haven’t kissed his lips since October 2011 yet every day I miss him, want him, need him. The man I know could kill me, who has put other women behind bars when they caught the rap for him. The man who promised me he would kill for me and protect me. The man who still thinks I am his wife, who screamed at the judge at the last restraining order hearing, that he did not know I annuled the marriage,yet he had signed papers that the bailiff gave him, the man who acted helpless in front of the court system while I trembled waiting for him to lose his temper. I remember always making everything okay around him, preemptively striking out at anything that would hurt or disturb him as though he was a king. He really is just an old pimp and whore who thinks he will never get old, never stop turning women on, never lose his charm. I sit here too in the middle of the night wondering who he’s holding now when I couldn’t possibly even look at anyone else. I too yearn to forget his name, forget his smile, forget how good I felt in his bear hug. Had I known this could happen to me I would have never gone out with him. Had someone told me this man is a dangerous psychopathic financial predator, I would have easily not looked at him twice. All I can think is that God wanted me to learn a lesson. I learnt that the devil lives in West Palm Beach and that any woman who loves him knows how close she came to death, how close she came to losing God. When I was afraid or angry around him and I felt the need to prepare to defend myself, I know I could have easily killed him in self defense if he tried to kill me and then I would not have wanted to live because he would be dead. To this day I know that when and if I hear that he is dead, I will cry because I don’t think I can ever stop loving him. This makes me sick. My thoughts, my intrusive thoughts about him, about his voice, his lips, when will I stop caring, when will he become like the song lyrics say, just someone that I used to know.

    The one that got away

    June 22, 2012 at 5:43 am

  125. @The one that got away I liken it to quitting any major addiction. I remember every time I quit smoking. I finally quit for good in December. Now the thought of having a cigarette sickens me. But this addiction to this unhealthy relationship was stronger than anything I have ever quit. “Still today I fear that if he came near me or I heard his voice, all of my strength and resolve would disappear.” I so understand this statement. I too know he will move on soon to find a new source of supply. I recently was contacted by this woman that he said he was going to start dating. I had sent her an email to warn her about him. It was motivated by all the wrong reasons. I have never done anything like that to anyone I ever dated. And, she sent me an email back that “he is with me now”. I had to get up and leave work. I was so devastated. It turned out the whole thing was a set up. She chose to believe him over me even though he has felony convictions that she knows about. No one can get their charm unless you are prey to it. No one can understand how they get into our minds feeding the insecurities that we share willingly with them. No one can get how we have to walk away with the last bit of sanity left knowing that we will always love them but that staying with them would destroy us. I too had no idea of this personality type and what devastation he would bring to my life, my heart and my soul. I have lost my trust in other human beings. I can’t eat now. I am not sleeping well. He has figured out how to text message me in spite of a block on his number through AT&T. This morning I allowed myself to read his words and I was right back in the place I have been since I first met him. He typed about himself in the third person. Here are the words of a man that has beaten me, verbally abused me and destroyed my property. He is either completely mad or entirely disassociated with his behaviors towards me. But, then I was to blame for it all. I want to hate him and am forcing any thoughts of love away from me. “I thought you might appreciate that I am a very kind and considerate person and do not bully or force things on people or deny them their feelings. I most certainly do not pick on people’s insecurities to purposefully make them feel less than..or more insecure. I fully recognize they are already insecure about it. I have enough self-confidence to not pussy-foot around anyone who is easily angered at wrongfully perceived feelings or emotions. I most certainly have NEVER put someone else down if that it would make ME feel better. I am sorry that you have been unable to describe our interactions for what they were but rather you portray me in a very verbally abusive light. Mostly due to Your own and inability to listen and comprehend. I am an easy read. Always. Never a hidden agenda. Easy to comprehend. Easy to get. Nothing complicated here. To turn my good nature and my fun loving ways into something ugly is simply not right. I am NOT an ugly person. I am a very diplomatic person and go way out of my way to patiently find and discuss resolutions to issues.” His fun loving ways consisted of him berating my age and my looks. When I read his words my mind gets all fuzzy from it. So, this weekend I will figure out how to block this portal as well. I want to hate him. I want to quit thinking about him. I want to be that happy go lucky girl that boarded his boat two years ago October. This too shall pass. Thanks.

    KittyVictim

    June 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm

  126. Kitty Victim, so well said and I feel for you and all of us. Why is it that when it came to these men we were so gullible? I am a powerful retired politician and businesswoman and with this man, I was putty in his hands, yet I can put men in jail for 25 to life and change very important legislation and reform all sorts of institutions yet I fell hook line and sinker???? My life was not in balance. He was able to see how starved I was for affection and sex. Don’t be idiots and make my mistake that a year later I cannot look at another man? Learn from my mistakes and move on. I wish I could. I am 58 and stuck in this hell. I will probably never have sex again. I will probably die in my office working and making over $ 200,000.00 a year forever yet I am stupid when it comes to this man. I fended off many other men before him, but why did I fall for him? Even when I tried my engagement ring on months later after I annuled my marriage, (my marriage because he was never married to me or at least he didn’t act like it, I was married and he was not I guess)and he magically called right then at a dinner party in front of my therapist, I thought this is magic, we belong together….NOT, my therapist told me don’t call him and I did anyway, and he said I was just trying to get you off of my favorites and I was devastated. So I am the sick one. He is just the evil one. If you read the book Women who love Psychopaths, it describes that we are intelligent, powerful, achieving and resourceful women who don’t stop until we get it right, finish what we start, a whole bunch of positive characteristics that helped me understand that in every way, I am okay except I am an idiot when it comes to him. I am told not to put myself down, but lately I have to start getting rough on myself. How can we love these men? Why can’t we just celebrate that we got away? My wedding annniversary is June 25th and I will probably want to spend the whole day in bed crying but why? There is not enough Paxil in the world to make this pain go away. I yearn for the man he said he was to hold me and make this hell on earth go away. I might as well pray for world peace.

    The one that got away

    June 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm

  127. @kitty : you describe by rewriting the words on sms, a very, very split personality. In his mind he was what he describes, and you know that sometimes he was, in the honey moon periods of the cycles. the rest of the time, in the Hyde/abusive cycles, he can put nicely away in a compartment, which he will forever refuse to see. Was he doing drugs? I suspect mine was on cocaine. the ‘changes’ from good to evil were far too abrupt to be explained/rationalised as natural manic mood.

    Good on you that you contacted the new date. while she does not believe yet, she will in a few months or year time, remember your words, which, right now, in the state of romantic intoxication she is, as you were at the beginning with him, she cannot understand nor see. Her reality will change.

    And yes, they are broken inside with major insecurities, but will never, ever admit to it, nor perhaps ever SEE it.

    @TheOne. The very characteristics you describe such as “completing what started”, are the very ones who make us persist and stay. They are wonderful traits of great help for our circles and professions, the are our demise with the disordered person. some great books not dealing necessarily with trauma bonding and loving psychopath shed a light as to how these men are attracted to us, and why we are “trying to make sense of their behaviour rather than run”. I am highly educated, had a great job, a very good life, a great social circle, and, my job is actually to help others in such situations, as I work with trauma persons. I DID NOT SEE IT COMING!!! ME OF ALL PEOPLE, with ALL my training!!!!!!!!

    There’s a great book: Bullies at work: what you can do to stop the hurt and reclaim your Dignity by Gary Namie. it describes interactions in work settings between two persons, which are uncannily similar to what happens in the dynamic of the couple in which one is disordered and where the other becomes trauma bonded as a result of the bullying. It is simpler book because it does not look at the affective dimension of a couple, but is spot on, absolutely spot on in the description of personalities and the mayhem that ensues.

    I have gone through the stages and steps and hurts you both describe. I am just about crossing the exit gate from hell, and I am a very transformed person. Though, I think I will grieve my naive and so profoundly giving vision of love, for this was shattered. Other than, life is good on the exit side and I am strong in knowing why I fell for it, and how I got out of it, how I went through the aftermath of pain and grief, and how all this now serves me in all thatI do, including my decision for new directions in life and being very discriminating in my choice of entourage. I am very lucky that several of my friends are therapists and were able to provide skillful help , a kind that my other friends could not provide other than their concerned support.

    EMDR did speed up the healing for me.

    aline

    June 23, 2012 at 2:27 am

  128. “You describe by rewriting the words on sms, a very, very split personality. In his mind he was what he describes, and you know that sometimes he was, in the honey moon periods of the cycles. the rest of the time, in the Hyde/abusive cycles, he can put nicely away in a compartment, which he will forever refuse to see.” @Aline The amazing thing is how peaceful my life is now that I am away from him. He would create chaos with me constantly. He determined how to get to me which was completely different from his ex-girlfriend who subsequently became my friend. I know it is not healthy to compare notes with her but even down to the violent acts they were different with the same intent. Control.

    He was not on drugs. He did not drink too much. One time when he scared me the most it was when he was drunk. This was the time he bit me on the face. I remember his teeth grinding into my lips and nose. It’s so awful remembering the terror I felt now. He has alternated between remembering this incident and claiming amnesia due to his alcohol intake.

    I am seeing a therapist weekly that specializes in EMDR. My BIG goals right now are to not contact him and figure out a way that he can not contact me. He started emailing me again to my office. My friend is our web developer. He is working on blocking his email addresses for me. He scared me in an email (which I should not have read) that he was “thinking of surprising me” by coming up to see me. If I see him I will call 9-1-1. He is on probation for felonies of the same kind and is not allowed to travel to my new state.

    I am tired all of the time now. I am getting stronger. I am reading books which are helping me see that I WAS NEVER TO BLAME FOR ONE ACT OF ABUSE WHETHER IT WAS PHYSICAL, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, VERBAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL.

    These men are very good at what they do in targeting, attracting and holding their victims. But, I do see that we can get away. I want to get away now. I don’t want to believe his lies any longer. I refuse to believe his reality. I am embracing my own.

    KittyVictim

    June 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm

  129. From experience, not all relationships can be so easily classed/categorized/judged based on one or a few theories concerning any issue at hand. There are always more to something than meets the eye and sometimes, just because your experiences kind of resonate with whatever points that’re written in some advice column written by a “guru” does not mean your relationship is automatically categorized as “abusive” or “wrong” or whatever. You “empowered” women are writing all about your exes – in truth, I think I see a whole lot more blinding and vengeful anger than objective reasoning here; attempts at justifying your own actions and trying to make yourself feel like you were the absolute victim and that leaving/giving up is the way to go! At the end of the day, it all boils down to the understanding shared between the two of you from the beginning; what it was that got you two hooked up. If things fall apart, don’t just blame the dude. Us women could’ve done wrong too. Ever heard of “it takes two hands to clap”? It’s always more helpful to yourself if you understood where you went wrong as well, as opposed to pushing the entire blame to someone you thought was abusive, just cause some article like this made you think so.

    Lisa

    June 25, 2012 at 7:54 am

  130. Lisa, This forum is for persons who have been abused and victimized and who are either bona fide diagnosed as suffering from a variant of PTSD or a variant of Traumatic Bonding also known as Stockholm Syndrome or, who hunch or believe they suffer from these, and are finding ways to heal. If you feel that this forum is too vengeful, too easily classifying of relationships, its writings resonating too much with a guru’s column, and that we are blinded and vengeful, that we were not victimised, and that we blame the dude, I would suggest that you express your concerns in a more suitable, as of specialised, forum or contact the “COLUMN GURUS” to voice your concerns about their advices, which it seems you view as mistaken.

    I would respectfully suggest that your post contains its own rageous and vengeful remarks. Please, add to the topic of Stockholm Syndrome, add your own experiences, but this is not the place to criticize.

    Finally, I would also respectfully suggest that your writing hunch strongly to being that of a MAN, despite your female name, and that this is a place of solace, for both venting and consolation, and understanding of a condition, not a place to further victimise others. best.

    aline

    June 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

  131. Lisa – what a load of bollocks.
    did you read about the lady who was shot? the one who’s face was bitten? the beatings and death threats?

    how many people does it take to pull the trigger of a gun, “Lisa”?
    the “us women” thing is the dead give away. you call us angry – maybe “Lisa”, you should read what you wrote. it sounds like a abuser trying to off load his responsibility onto anyone else but himself.

    lilly

    June 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

  132. @lisa I am in therapy for something I did not understand that was happening to me. I happily am not affected by your uneducated post prior to researching what you obviously don’t understand. I forgive you without even knowing you because I know in my heart whether you are a man or a woman you simply don’t get it. I won’t waste a single word attempting to educate you as this Forum was specifically created to help people just like me. And, it has helped me to NOT contact the man who is now stalking me. And, yes I did attempt to get a Permanent Restraining Order. So at the end of the day thanks to all who have taken their time to share their stories. My abuser is now back again in “honeymoon” stage stalking me, attempting to hoover me back in and promising me that he is serious about change. Again. This time I am stronger. This time I will be FREE. In closing you simply have no idea of what you are speaking and my advice to you would be in the future keep your ignorance to yourself.

    KittyVictim

    June 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm

  133. Lisa, in my case I was targetted by a financial predator who got to my money by ID’ing himself as a Nationally Certified Remodeler who got a job in my condo reno project as innocently as that. As well he presented himself as a one man woman, who I now have proof is always stalking for new, better sources of money from naive women like myself, who were manipulated with expertise by the use of psychological methods well practiced and professionaly executed. I am the most recent in a series of wives, all of whom he married to avoid prosecution. I have been to the FBI, West Palm Beach Police, Sherriff’s, and to court for Domestic Violence and as well received several full restraining orders so this is not something that was taken lightly by myself nor by the law enforcement and judicial parties involved. I would much rather have bought a Birkin bag, or a Rolex and kept my Jag. If you can’t relate then why are you lurching here to diminish our already injured feelings? I will bet you right now that if you met my ex husband Tony you would fall for him in 10 minutes so if you are immune to this kind of thing, give your secret away now. We would all appreciate it. Or do you normally troll websited devoted to women in distress because it does something for you? Being here does something for us. It makes us feel we are not alone in our pain recovering from well documented crimes against women. IP addresses are so easily traced, I wonder why you make comments if they are sure to be attacked by a bunch of angry, hostile, aggressive women who asked for it….sounds familiar, sounds like how they blame victims for their hurt and anger when it is a natural process and stage in being an abuse victim to reach the stage where they are angry, after long periods of fear and sorrow. Find some compassion in your heart. I can say that this experience has filled my heart with compassion for any woman who ever has the sorrowful chance to hook up with my ex. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Meeting the Devil here on earth has made me something I didn’t ever want to be, that is someone who can’t understand why they get away with it. Why is there only Domestic Violence to handle a situation that sounds like a national sport, find women to abuse. There I said it. And last but not least Lisa, you sound like you are in denial and it is not a river in Egypt or you wouldn’t have bothered to be here and read our posts. So if you are ever harmed like we have been, we will welcome you here. You are not immune, no woman is immune from the fate of falling for a man who is a professional at taking everything you have and making you think it was his just as they think we are theirs. Mine still calls me his wife nearly a year after the end. I see it as pitiful manipulation but now my hindsight is 20/20 because I know the devil he is, better than he knows himself.

    The one that got away

    June 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm

  134. I want to thank all of you, especially Aline, who commented on my comment a while back. I am the one whose abuser treated her very well, and then SUDDENLY it was all over. Unlike the “characteristics” of traumatic bonding at the top of this site, this man did not elicit “intermittent’ good treatment of me, etc., But, abuse is abuse, no matter what the specifics. Same with traumatic bonding, which I definitely suffer from. Today has just been awful; I feel awful. Crying all day; Screaming about what a farshtunkene putz (Yiddish for stinking-to-hell-A hole) he was. Yesterday, got together with someone I had through an internet dating site; very nice man, no chemistry really, but was still so disappointed afterward. I am just SO not ready to date again -and that’s ok. Am accepting, finally, that it will take me a very long time to get over my ex-boyfriend, and that that’s ok. There are no timetables for these things. For me, the fact that he had been so nice to me, and THEN suddenly was awful – I swear the shock of that has been the hardest for me. Today, I posted his name onto one of those web sites where you can type the name of your ‘ex’, warning other women about your ‘ex’. The old me kept telling myself, don’t do it. But – Hell – I am NOT the old me anymore. The old me wouldn’t have done the great things I did do – like walking out on him immediately; never contacting him again (even if I felt like I was gonna die), etc. I mean this: THESE MEN (OR WOMEN) SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GO OFF QUIETLY, if that is possible anyway. THEY did what they did, and to hell with them. bTW, an excellent book which has helped me more than anything is entitled: “Men Who Can’t Love” by steven Carter and Julia Sokol. I swear to G-d: that book was so true for me, that it described my ex-bf and I ‘to the tee’! Freaky! I highly recommend it. I think for me, and maybe for all of us, that our bonding was actually on a very physical level as well – like being addicted, as someone else has said. btw, I know many of you have been helped by therapists – but for me, – often has been the opposite. I’ll discuss that in the future. Books have helped me more than anything; and this site. thank you all.

    resharpen

    June 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm

  135. @The one that got away. Brilliant! “If you can’t relate then why are you lurching here to diminish our already injured feelings? I will bet you right now that if you met my ex husband Tony you would fall for him in 10 minutes so if you are immune to this kind of thing, give your secret away now. We would all appreciate it. Or do you normally troll websites devoted to women in distress because it does something for you? Being here does something for us. It makes us feel we are not alone in our pain recovering from well documented crimes against women. IP addresses are so easily traced, I wonder why you make comments if they are sure to be attacked by a bunch of angry, hostile, aggressive women who asked for it….sounds familiar, sounds like how they blame victims for their hurt and anger when it is a natural process and stage in being an abuse victim to reach the stage where they are angry, after long periods of fear and sorrow.” The sad thing is that so many people he knew also knew that he hit me yet still sided with him that somehow I brought it on myself. He is 5’11” and over 260 pounds. He can sail a yacht by himself. He has a punch that could kill. But, somehow “me” with all of my faults and good nature (Yes. I am really sweet.) brought this savage ape out to attack me. Even when an assault was witnessed by his “good friend” of “character” it was denied. There is an abuse club unfortunately. And, it doesn’t really matter what our backgrounds are it’s the predator’s that have brought us together. I too was called angry, hostile and aggressive. One of his closing lines to me was “Thanks. Being in a relationship with you has taught me how to be with someone LIKE YOU without getting violent.” Which I now counter with my own “Thanks. Being with you has taught me that evil really does exist in the world. Being with you has shown me that I can’t just forgive, forget and love. Being with you has shown me that my biggest responsibility moving forward to myself is never being with someone like YOU again.”

    KittyVictim

    June 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm

  136. Re: Lisa (although, as someone else pointed out, easily sounds like a MAN) SO;
    Re: Lee sa:
    to the rest of us:
    I was reading comments on another site, where another ‘Lisa’ -type kept telling the rest of us off, ‘she’ had the truth, and we were dumb idiots, etc. Someone then commented that ‘Lisa’ -types were considered ‘bi-polar’ as they comment, not really on the topic, but with his/her own agenda, to put others down (Altho, I do feel this is an insult to BiPolars who actually have the diagnosis).
    Lisa is advocating that we just have NO feelings, be robotic automotons. She doesn’t get it that both the bully & those bullied are FULL of feelings, and that we have every, single right to all our feelings. There is nothing wrong with feelings; and actually EVERYTHING right about them. I have heard others say in particular that we shouldn’t be angry! What garbage! We should be angry. To all the LIsas in the world: WHY should you be bothered that WE are angry?? I have never understood that. If you are, it is YOUR problem, not ours. Look into yourself re: why this bothers you, why you care so much. I know that some ex-husbands, b.friends, etc., our anger causes emotions in them that they absolutely DO NOT want to feel – like guilt. There are no ‘wrong’ emotions. In addition, these types of people seem to be especially miffed when it is WOMEN who are angry. Wonder why???!

    resharpen

    June 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm

  137. Wow KittyVictim, thank you for those words “my biggest responsability moving forward to myself is never being with someone like YOU again” is exactly what I need to repeat to myself. I survived this and there isn’t a second chance if I ever go back. I will lose my support system, my family and my friends. I will lose the trust I have in myself. No matter how rich or powerful or how poor and powerful a man is, I have the final say, and if I do not want to suffer again, I will stay away from him and any man like him. These are the truest words one can say to oneself. No matter how hard it is. Today is my first wedding anniversary and I sit here still missing him even though he threatened to kill me and set me up for a drug bust. That is his world that I entered through loving him and living his life. I know that my life is not like his. I temporarily allowed myself to walk a mile in his shoes with him and it was enough to bring me to the edge of danger. RUN. Don’t look back. You cannot go near someone who you love or loved if they threaten to kill you or harm you or touch you in a non loving way. As normal as you think you are, you can find yourself lost in a dangerous place if you don’t learn from the past. You cannot rewrite the ending or take the chance at trying, you need to write the beginning of the rest of your life. One day at a time. One thought at a time. Even if there are invasive thoughts of him and those days, focus on the future and being safe, number one, then thinking safe, number two. Thinking safe is not sugar coating the past, not wishful thinking the past, not creating illusions of positivity where there is none. Nothing you do can change the karma or destiny or fortuna of someone who is programmed by the past to be who they are. We have a difficult time changing our bad habits, imagine thinking we are powerful enough to change a narcissist. Just as we cannot judge them for that is God’s role, we cannot judge ourselves for having been victims, just ask for strength and focus on your path to becoming who you are supposed to be in this world. I am sure you know as I know that they will move on. They will because when they stop receiving their supply of adulation or money or sex from you they will find it elsewhere and that is part of my heartache, that I am and have been so easily replaced when I have been alone and sad for the year that he has spent chasing other women as though they were fresh donuts. He is what he is and I am what I am. The first rule of recovery is to give up thinking we have the power to control or change things that we have no power to be the boss of. I am not the boss of him, I am the boss of me. I forbid myself to see him even if I think I love him. If I cannot stop loving him then I can stay away from him just like a heroin addict can stay away from heroin when they decide to. It is that dangerous and that deadly for me to be near Tony, as though I bring out the worst in him. That I know so that I do.

    The one that got away

    June 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

  138. @ The one that got away – when you said today was your first wedding anniversary, my heart broke and i cried.
    the days that should be full of happiness are so full of pain because of people like this.
    i’m sorry you are going through this – but i am so glad, and so proud that you are stepping out of that trap.

    no matter how many “Lisa”s there are out there, we are doing the right thing.
    no matter how many people want us just to shut up and take it, we are doing the right thing.
    no matter how many people want to blame us, we are doing the right thing.
    because none of use deserve the broken bones. the terror, the scars, the anniversaries spent in tears.

    i saw my ex today, and i started to shake. every muscle tensed, and i couldn’t think straight.
    he followed me around while i shopped. i almost ran home.
    i got inside and shook, and then i started to cry.

    Lisa, take your hurtful “advice”, your selfish cruelty, and go away. you can’t change the truth because you refuse to believe. i wish you could. i wish that when you disbelieve us, the past changed and none of us ended up in the kitchen crying in fear. i wish that when you tell us that it didn’t really happen that way, that the scars on our skin and in our hearts would suddenly evaporate. i wish that all your contempt for our pain meant i am not afraid to go up to get my laundry, because i might find him there waiting for me, or might run into him in the elevator.
    no matter what you believe “Lisa”, i will still be the woman he beat.
    so go away, “Lisa”. you change nothing with your meanness, except your own heart.

    lilly

    June 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm

  139. I have tried to Posts more than twice now and my Posts are not going through. I guess I will try one more time then contact the facilitators of this site.

    KittyVictim

    June 26, 2012 at 12:23 am

  140. Ever heard of “it takes two hands to clap”? It’s always more helpful to yourself if you understood where you went wrong as well, as opposed to pushing the entire blame to someone you thought was abusive, just cause some article like this made you think so.” @lisa Ever hear it only takes one hand to traumatize? One mind to think it. One heart to grow stone cold while you watch what you are doing to another person. But, I doubt that his heart beat at all. He was an animal, selfish and carnal up to his last communication to me which had all to do about him. None of us want to think there are monsters under the bed. We especially don’t want to think they are lying next to us.

    KittyVictim

    June 26, 2012 at 12:25 am

  141. @theOne- anniversaries are tough, very tough. 4 years down, I still have moments of anger, grief, enacting, etc, on specific dates of the year. I am told it is NORMAL by pros and that it goes away with time. The body and mind have a kind of inbuilt timer, and memories spring out at times that are ‘memorable’ . Hang on there and good luck.
    @kitty? I think it was you who wrote in a post above (many today to copy exactly) that people sided by him despite that they knew. Well, it is to be expected. I lost friends and literally went after them for their failure to help and support. In a nutshell, it is guilt that they know they stood by and did not much, that in turn make them choose the ‘strong’ one and reppel the victimized one. it is an enduring, general pattern. Sad. The only persons who helped had all been trough the same strife with their ex a decade or so prior to me and they were extremely practical about it, I mean they offered very sound help.

    Aline

    June 26, 2012 at 2:06 am

  142. This is the one that got away…not a good day, a really bad day for all the right reasons.
    This week was the shoulda coulda been my one year wedding anniversary to Tony. The one woman man who could professed that he could skydive, scuba dive, fly a plane, build a house on the beach for me. That soft, secretive smile he would flash as he massaged my feet in thunderstorms to make me less afraid, the memory suddenly made me want to cry. I had been so badly abused during our short marriage, I wondered if some women never experienced this would even believe it. What was I thinking when I married this frightening manipulating love telemarketer. A total stranger. I realized I never knew him because he was a chameleon who became whatever the woman he was with wanted him to be. Mirroring. This came to me as I was driving home tonight. It is a beautiful cool summmer evening and I heard a song that sounded like a song he would like. Then the reality of our relationship interfered with my fantasy. He never sang or showed any interest in mucic and could live without it. I on the other hand always sing. Every car drive I am harmonizing with whoever is on the air or on the cd. One day he tried to sing to a song along with me and it sounded like the first time he ever tried, it was wretched, but it was so beautiful to see him try. When thoughts like these come up, the sentimental past becomes something I don’t want to forget and I begin to fear that I cannot live without Tony. Then I remember that we are not together because he threatened my life and I obtained a restraining order. He had already moved on. And then I think of going back to him instead of living with so much sorrow as though he could take that sorrow away. Wishful thinking. Then I think of killing myself even on Paxil and that is bad. So here I am, the strong tough broad who was so smart she walked right into the path of the speeding Mack truck of love. A scorching cold burning in my heart from repeated abuse. Yet it still wants me to hold him and I miss him and know that my life is putty in his hands and that scares me. My heart is broken and yet I realize it is for my own safety. There will be fewer bad days as I live through the aftermath. I have never wanted to be alone so much as though I am afraid to remember in front of anyone. My therapist lost her Yorkie and is grieving and I guess this is the other safest place in the world to say I am not yet over the charm, the promises. If it could happen to actresses, princesses and nice girls like me, then I was able to understand that it has nothing to do with the ability to love, it has to do with the blind trust we gave the men who never really loved us.

    The one that got away

    June 30, 2012 at 1:43 am

  143. @The one who got away. Of course you are safe! You are safe to share everything. You are safe to share the thoughts and feelings you don’t share with those who would ask if you were insane to be thinking or feeling them. I totally understand your pain. I can’t be with Mark but I also don’t want to be with anyone else. But when you are crying remind yourself that although they lied to you about who they were they were always ONE AND THE SAME PERSON. The man that made tender love to me also called me a “Bitch, Cunt, Whore!” The man that sang me to sleep with his guitar also bit me on the face. Unfortunately you don’t get one without the other. Maybe they loved us or not with whatever capacity they have for feelings? But WHAT Dear is YOUR definition of love, of truth and of sanity? As much as you hate it you must get out around others you trust right now. Do not hermit yourself with your tears and a bottle of wine (spoken from experience). Try to call or visit with those who are your true friends. It does feel like sand because we want the vibrations and excitement we had with our abuser. But, what we experienced never made sense. We will NEVER have closure. We WILL NOT have the last word. They will NEVER LISTEN TO US. THEY WILL NOT BE SAVED. We sit with our broken hearts remembering both the good and the bad. It’s a torture that DOES NOT GO AWAY. I have accepted it. My victory is not going back. My peace is in No Contact. I know now that I can not bear seeing him fly into another rage against me then denying it all together or blaming me for his anger. And, Dear? They could have killed us. Be strong. You are allowed to cry but eventually have to wipe those tears and go out into the sunshine. I think this too shall pass but not as quickly. They got into our minds and rearranged the furniture. We are now learning to live in a completely different living space. You have us. We are your friends. Be honest here. You are allowed. As Andy Dufresne said “Get busy living or get busy dying.” You and I will get past this but not as quickly as either of us hope. Be safe Dear.

    KittyVictim

    June 30, 2012 at 2:14 am

  144. @ the one who got away – you know that your name is about you, not him, right?
    you got away.
    you fled the magic spell.
    do you remember Hansel and Gretel? the fairy tale? with the gingerbread house and all the delights that drew the children in?
    but there they found that the delights were the trap, and the truth was a terrible witch who wanted to eat them.
    oh love, that is us. that is you. he was the witch who lead you in with the sweet promises and dreams, but he wanted to consume you.

    and you got away. you are the one who escaped.
    i know the draw of the beautiful dream – that spell is so strong!
    but it is a glamour they pull over their ugliness.
    remember that beneath all that gingerbread is a thing that wanted to consume the best of you.

    anniversaries are so hard, but i celebrate mine. as the day i escaped. i never let it pass without a celebration of some kind. instead of letting this one hurt your heart, can you find a way to celebrate the strength of it? that strong heart that managed what so many didn’t?
    you saw through the illusion, while so many are still being quietly destroyed by the cruel people they love.

    my thoughts are with you.

    lilly

    June 30, 2012 at 4:25 am

  145. Lilly and KittyVictim
    Thank you. I walked out to the pool and lay there watching the stars and feeling sorry for myself and it was touch and go, mostly go. Then this incredibly fat firefly started to dance around the cedar hedges. Now that is odd. Never seen a firefly since I was 5 and it definitely wasn’t here in the suburbs of a huge bright city. So it disappeared which is what they do. Then it reappeared again and again which is what they do. But I saw it as my mother entertaining me from heaven and trying to make me laugh, and then suddenly I felt better. Then I saw what you both wrote and I knew I was not alone. I knew that somewhere out there millions of women who loved the wrong man were sharing my plight. I just have to read Women who love Psychopaths over and over to see exactly the same recipe for disaster over and over. It is such a long story. He is still the only man I love, I cannot even think of another man touching me while he is screwing everything that squats to pee. So I know that as long as he has someone or many others to focus on, he is not thinking about me therefore I am safe, but when I called him to ask about my Jag and the money he owes me, he said ” I want a lotta things back too.” And I said, like what, I gave you back everything and you took everything you ever bought me and the wedding presents and he said I want my wife back. Then when I said that is not why I am calling, he said if you’re not coming back then don’t call and hung up so I called back and said Tony if you don’t give me my things back and pay me back the money you owe me, what do you want me to do come with the police? Then he said if you come anywhere near the Jag, I will set you up, drugs, witnesses and you will go to jail. So I fell apart, called the police, reset the restraining order from no violence to no contact. So he wins unless I sue in civil court, which unless he has assets, well royal waste of time. A three time felon, once for drugs, RICO, meth, trafficking and then identity theft and I found out after jailed for attempted murder with intent to kill with a dangerous weapon. Pride of his family. So I took him seriously and have not contacted him again. So when I start the thinking of him process, I now correct my mental compass and head true north, away from the fantasies and wishfulthinkies. I remember he wants me dead because he cannot have me. Little does he know that he does have me. He had me at hello and he has me at goodbye.

    trying to make me

    The one that got away

    July 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm

  146. come back to him. It is like a drug that I cannot stand living without. My biggest fear is that I will go back to him. I miss him and know that going back would sign my death certificate. I walk the thin line between life and death because I miss someone who tried to destroy me and I still love him. I hate myself but love myself enough to stay away. It is this nonsense in my head that drives me crazy. Intrusive thinking on page whatever of the book. It explains it all. I understand. I just don’t want to believe this sorry ending. I live to stay away from him. What an accomplishment. Every waking moment I am subject to memories, less and less but they come with no warning. I must stop trying to make the wild wolf lick my hand. Dear God I pray every day to see him again. This is self indulgent and makes me hate myself more than I did when I realized that this was life and death. I am a statistic in the right category. I am a survivor and could have been a mortality. Palm Beach County does not keep track of financial crimes and women who are abused. It is all dumped into the same category. I tried to get justice. There is none. I know someone’s brother or father or son will hurt him one day. I have none so he was safe. I have a daughter to show an example to so it is important not to be weak. I am strong but falter when I think of him and how I wish it could have been. I might as well want world peace.

    The one that got away

    July 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

  147. Lisa
    It almost sounds like Lisa was abusive in her relationship and doesn’t want to own what she did; two hands to clap, please.

    Meny

    July 4, 2012 at 7:11 am

  148. Meny, I would not jump to conclusions: there are 7 or 8 stages in being the victim in a traumatic bonding situation, such as denial of issues, self blaming for issues , shame of self for falling for it, and anger/vindication at self and the abuser toward and after the end of the relationship. Those are the four last stages. Those are very, very strong feelings, which people manage in various ways, sometimes none too skillfully, especially if a trauma bonding relationship has gone on for a while: the target/victim is exhausted, stressed out and prone to erroneous judgment as a result. they simply explode or implode! Sometimes the explosion is mis directed, not at the bully, but as the ones who point to truth.

    Victims also come to assume the very characteristic of the abuser after having lived a while with them too. This goes in time, but takes time to get one self rid of. it is a normal survival reaction in an abnormal situation and consists in adapting to the “abnormality” of the events. So, that anger in the post, can as much be the work of an abuser, as it is the results of being caught in an abuser’s web!

    The whole thing twists mind, feeling and soul very badly, unfortunately. Obviously, the very nature of the posts on this forum had an impression on Lisa for having such a reaction. S/he’ll make sense of it in time, hopefully.

    the first three stages by the way are : assessment/acquisition of target by bully- falling for him/her, then manipulation – the honey moon period where they learn about your buttons, and then crazy-making – that’s when they start pushing the buttons to bring target under control, submissiveness and to deliver what the bully wants from them and also the time when the target realises something is wrong, and then start oscillating between denial and self blame: that’s when the bully is in control. being conscious of what is going on happens as we oscillate from denial to self blame. The shame is the result of us becoming aware of what and whom we fell for, because we should have known better, right??!!! :)

    Anger and vindication is when we have gathered the will, strength, – call it as you may-, to reclaim ourselves back.

    I realised that something was bad, very bad, when instead of approaching issues directly with my ex partner, I started to apply the silent treatment to him over a day, as he would routinely do to me for up to 3 weeks. I became aware that I was adopting ugly dysfunctional responses, AND THIS WAS NOT ME! That got me to a lot of shame all right!

    aline

    July 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm

  149. Freedom. Edited version of an email sent to him today. This is my final attempt to get him to leave me alone voluntarily. I will eternally ignore him moving forwards from this date, 4 July 2012. Thanks for helping me see through the clouds until I was able to step back out into the sunshine again.

    “Mark –

    I am not supposed to be contacting you. I am doing a lot of work in my life right now. However, I also do not want to string you on. I do not know if I will be able to trust you ever again. I do not know if I will ever be able to get over the violence in our relationship. I am moving on with my life.

    I am going to figure out how to block your text messages to my iPhone so please quit sending them. I find it very disruptive and it really upsets me. I am going to quit checking the filter on my Gmail trash for your emails. I do not wish you to continue contacting me. We are not in a relationship.

    I know this hurts but I have made my decision. I told you I would contact you in July. It is now July and I am doing as I promised. Last 4th of July I remember you yelling at me on your boat because I did not “help you” navigate through the other boats to see the Fireworks in Miami. When I protested you told me I should “always be ready to help you”. That was the big fight we had coming from the Keys when you completely lost it raging at me on your boat. You never took the time to lovingly show me how to do things. You preferred yelling at me instead. I remember so many days offshore when you ran up the stairs screaming at me while I sat in fear behind the wheel. The night of the fireworks you made me sit in a certain spot on the boat like a dog. It was always like this with you. I was not happy that day. Even though I loved you I was not happy that day or so many other days. Do you know what it feels like to not feel like you can sit where you want or walk where you want when you are supposed to be “home”? I never felt at home on The Naked Truth. These incidents one year ago today were after you started to be nice to me. Since I quit communicating with you everything is coming back on me in waves including the time I broke a wine glass on your boat. I remember you yelling at me while I cried telling me to pick up the glass on my hands and knees. I have an amazing memory Mark. And, no I am not too sensitive. And, no I do not black out. I remember crying picking up the glass looking at your face while you yelled at me. I remember you hurting me further by telling me that Darota also broke a wine glass but you did not “give her the same treatment” because she responded differently afterwards. I remember you stepping on my foot when I tried to get away so you could spit in my face. I remember you making a joke about stepping on people’s feet later so you could hit them and wondering if you said it on purpose to get a reaction out of me? Or, did you forget that you used the same maneuver several times on me? I remember you holding me down by my hair on the front cabin bed so you could spit in my face while you called me a bitch, cunt, whore. It’s all coming back and I CAN’T MAKE THE MEMORIES STOP. They term this PTSD and I am told eventually I will be closer to normal again.

    I don’t have to ever again listen to you arguing with me about my feelings over the abuse I experienced. I don’t have to hear you tell me how I should respond after my ex-boyfriend bites me on the face. I don’t want to be told to “get over it” or that I abused you worst or any of the things you say to yourself to make yourself feel better in your own mind. I don’t want any of it because EVERYONE I am speaking with now TELLS ME I HAVE A RIGHT TO MY FEELINGS. AND, I have a right to my own reality and perceptions. AND, my awful reaction to you slapping me on the face on your boat in front of your friend, which you have subsequently exploited to make yourself look better in the eyes of your friends, family as well as your Probation Officer, was also a result of the abuse. AND, the emotional melt down I had on your dock after you put me out with the goal of making me homeless without any money or family on Christmas Eve was OK. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO ALL OF MY FEELINGS WITHOUT YOUR WORDS ECHOING EVER AGAIN IN MY HEAD. I CAN’T GET OVER IT AND I CAN’T ACCEPT THAT I DID ANYTHING TO MAKE YOU ACT IN ANY WAY EVER AS YOU HAVE TOWARDS ME. I don’t have to now worry about justifying my last statement to you with the volumes of self-justifying words, voice mails and text messages you have delivered to me in the past. There was never anything wrong with me. Look in the mirror Mark. The answers to your anger and violence lie within you. Emailing me a list of the women that you did not hit does not make me worthy of your abuse. Nor does it make me in some way the cause of it.

    I am getting healthy now which means I am also seeing that I never deserved my twin sister’s abuse either. I couldn’t even tell you that she had a complete psychotic breakdown on the telephone and they took her son away from her because I knew in my heart you would somehow use that information against me sometime in the future.

    I can never marry the two of you even now when I try so hard. I can never marry what you tell me you are and what you have shown me you are in my mind. How can someone scream at you turning red in the face and then deny having a rage issue? You minimizing or denying things because you also can’t accept your own personal behaviors is something you will have to work out all by yourself in counseling now. For the record I realized last week that YOU are all of it. You are the man that made me the bunny knot with my hair tie and the man that had his fingers around my throat making jokes about the marks on my neck afterwards. You are the one that sang carols to me and the one that threw my expensive bag overboard which had all of my beloved things in it after I lost everything in the Recession. You are the same man that grabbed the shirt and items I snatched from the air making sure they were in the water. You are the one that told me you would take me to get my things if “I did not tell anyone that you kidnapped me.” You are the man that says, “I love you” and calls me a “bitch, cunt, whore.” You are the same person. You were always the same person. I just never wanted to see it.

    Please get this statement now. I do not wish to speak to you ever again. Please get the message and move on. You don’t have to worry about shouting out to the world what you want them to believe that happened between us. I will never contact anyone related to you again. I have blocked all access to my life now.

    I wish I could say from my heart that I wished you the best but I am in the stage of recovery now where I have a lot of anger towards you. What I can say is that I forgive you.

    ~ Kat”

    KittyVictim

    July 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm

  150. [...] industry to pimp out to the World and we proved it. They use debt bondage to hold them there. They trauma bond them to the male performers and producers who make them feel like stars. Once they’re on top [...]

  151. Wow, I just found this website last night, I spent hours reading all your comments and all I can say is WOW! I have spent the last ten months agonizing over why I am feeling this way, why why why do i love, miss, and long for a man who hurt me every day? trying to figure out if i am a shining example of unconditional love or a pathetic naive damaged women who cant get enough of a bad thing, who fought so hard for four years to stay above water, who took all the strength I had left to leave, and then I keep wanting to going back?? I keep letting him into my mind and heart, every contact he makes with me feels soooo wrong and soooo right all at once. I keep trying to date and as soon as someone starts to get close I run away screaming and wanting to call HIM. And the crazy thing is no one really understands who hasn’t been through it, I feel like people (friends and family) think I am crazy for feeling this way, but why would they understand because it doesn’t make sense. I just need to realize that I am not stupid and weak, I was strong enough to leave, strong enough to survive, and strong enough to stay away (at least for the last two months since he shot at my house), I am just so relieved to find people like you all who know exactly what I am dealing with and the pain and confusion of it all.

    I'm always ok

    July 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

  152. @always ok. And strong indeed you are. good luck with the staying away/no contact. I read regularly the posts when I need to strengthen my resolve and need a reality check. :)

    aline

    July 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

  153. @I’m always ok Welcome to the world of the trauma bond. It can be broken but it’s difficult. Are you in Therapy? I also recommend Group. Always remember that your personal safety is most important. Do you have a safety plan? There should be a center for domestic violence somewhere in your area. They provide great advice and typically also have Group sessions. You are not alone.

    KittyVictim

    July 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  154. [...] for once in their lives, they believe they are actually needed and useful.  Many girls experience trauma bonding, where they become attached to the one who is causing most of their pain. Needless to say, pimps [...]

  155. I have been reading about the pimp control issues and for the last few months I identified. My ex was a pimp and a prostitute (male) for a long time and he manages women today at 63 the way he used to then. Picture me finding this out after I married him. He had told me that in the 80’s he ran an escort business. That was far from the truth. He had been arrested for soliciting a cop. So there are many variations of the untruths they tell you to control you and relate to you on your level. They mirror whatever your values are to appear to be your twin seperated at birth and only after do you realize what a cinema they are. Once you understand that you are an academic equation to them and they manipulate you the way they have other women, like a recipe, you realize you are not special to them, you are just another mark. That is what hurts the most. To think that you lived and loved and they just acted out whatever it took to get their hands on your money, your soul and sometimes your life if you do not get away fast enough. Run.

    The one that got away

    July 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

  156. Thanks for the warm welcome! I am in therapy I have been on and off for years but i stopped going when I didn’t want to face the reality of my situation. I just started going back this month and after the last incident I did contact a domestic violence center. I just found out yesterday that he is facing possibly 15 years in prison. While my friends and family are happy that I am safe while he is locked away, for me this prompted these feelings of sorrow, guilt, and wanting to come to his rescue, because he is really really gone! I suppose I should be celebrating and the healthy part of me is, but damn these nagging feelings of “love” are making it hard. I may be called to testify and I don’t know how I am going to handle it, part of me wants to protect him, part of me wants to make sure he is away from society (cuz we will all be better off), and part of me wants to not even show up because I’m afraid I will fall apart if I see him glaring at me hatefully from across the court room because I am “betraying” him and “proving who I really am”.

    I'm always ok

    July 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm

  157. When I go to court against him, I never, never allow my eyes to make contact with him. I sit in the front row end of the row and I face the floor and the wall and my attorney is instructed not to allow him anywhere near me. He asks questions of the judge like “your honor are we still married”, “why was I not told the marriage was annulled”, “I need to speak to my wife”, “why can’t I speak to my wife”…. I also want to believe that he needs me, loves me, can’t make it without me, is nothing without me, that I am responsable for his recent drug and prostitute addiction, whatever it takes to make me be tempted,to return to him, I feel it, and it is an addiction. Just like heroin or cigarettes or whatever you can relate to, even chocolate if you have no more serious addictions. You need to decide once and for all if you want to stay alive. It takes one second for him to end your life, even if he regrets it, is swift and you may be right but dead right. You are the one who dies. If it is that dangerous to be near him and if you do successfully get that restraining order like I did, you need to respect the judge and the court, they are not stupid, they are protecting you from danger even if at the moment your maternal instincts are crying out for you to save him and then maybe just maybe he will love you the way you want him to…… He cannot love. He is a carboard copy of a man you think you knew, you thought you loved. Mine had missing teeth with a partial that kept falling out and was homeless when I fell in love with him. I should have had my head examined. And I got teeth for him with caps and a nice smile that he used to meet new women and I allowed him to live in my condo and I thought surely this man will love me so much for everything I have done for him. Yet behind my back he was sleeping around because he used to be a pimp and then was also caught soliciting a female cop to give her cunnilingus. Can you imagine how sick I am to still want him in my arms? To still want to save him? To still want to spend the rest of my life with him? If I can do it, you all can too. The pain will go away someday but only if you protect yourself from any repeat trauma. In french we say chasse la naturel ca revien en gallop. If you chase away the natural, it will come back in a gallop. I have passed him onto God because I cannot rescue him, he is not an abandoned puppy that has to screw everything that he thinks will allow him to hump it like a table leg or something. He is a 63 year old man who is an expert at getting women to fall in love with him because he reads you like an open book and presses the right buttons. I am no match for him. Neither are any of you a match for the one who holds on to your heart with his lies. Reality check. Read up on the Simpson case, other cases where the man could not resolve the issues without violence. Violence is psycho economic, physical, emotional and many other things that result in harm. If no one has ever stood up for you then be the first. Stand up for what you could be if you could love yourself enought to get away from the man who makes you suffer. Life is hard enough without their attacks. Find your selflove and then you will understand that love feels good in every way. Buy a puppy, take yoga, volutneer in a children’s hospital and give your love to someone who will appreciate it. Don’t throw it away on someone who will use it to steal your soul.

    The one that got away

    July 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

  158. @I’m always ok – hey there.
    glad you found us. it is such an awful, painful thing to go through, and i think we all feel really alone in it, because so few people really get it.

    i can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to think about facing him in court, but remember that you have one job to do in court, and that is to tell the truth.
    nothing else is your job. the court will decide what happens to him, and his lawyer will decide what to do for his defence, but you can only tell exactly what happened, and what you know. all the pressure you feel has got to be so very hard to take, and i bet that this person made you feel very responsible for his happiness. that means you are going to feel like you are doing something wrong by testifying.
    but you have to, by law. which means it is the right thing to do.
    just remember that.
    your job is to tell the truth, and all of the rest of it is out of your hands.

    lilly

    July 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm

  159. He absolutely does everything in his power to make me feel responsible for his happiness, he tells me I have the power to make him a great man, that I have the ability to make him or break him, his favorite thing to say (paraphrasing) “behind every great empire there is a great woman and there is another kind of woman behind every downfall of an empire” he would ask me “which one do you want to be”, (build the empire or destroy it) telling me that his ex broke him took everything from him she “destroyed his empire”, but it is my my ability as a good woman to build him back up. Basically by leaving him that means I gave up on him, I proved to him that i was no different than the rest- selfish and it was ME who tricked him into the illusion that I was someone HE thought he could trust but in the end I was just using HIM Apparently I destroyed his faith in love and will to live. Now that I am writing this i am realizing that he was basically projecting what he was doing to me and trying to make me believe that I was doing it to him,and he was trying to make me desperate to prove myself. Wow these guys a tricky bastards huh? Looking back now somewhat objectively I am connecting the dots in my own mind of how he mind manipulated me and I never saw it coming! He had his whole script, he knew all my soft spots, he knew when to push and when to pull, he knew how to make my memory unravel into an incoherent mess, got me to the point where I started to write things down, conversations we had or lies I caught him in just to keep track of it all so he could not tell me “that never happened” or “I never said that”, even then he would find a way to make my record keeping “invalid” He would act as if I made up conversations and laugh and tell me that for such a smart girl I was pretty crazy but I still love you, (condescending). BTW I know I should just tell the truth at court I absolutely know that but you are right on the money, I have been so conditioned to protect and help him feed everyone his victim sob story it absolutely feels dead wrong to testify against him when I have spent the last four years exhausting myself trying to advocate for him, and then I start thinking of all the things he would say to crush me, he got so in my head that he doesn’t even need to be here or physically say these things to guilt trip me, Its like he put a CD on repeat in my mind and left the room, he may be gone but the music is still playing…

    I'm always ok

    July 11, 2012 at 5:04 am

  160. I learned that we get addicted to ‘drama': the good times are good, and the bad, are just that, very bad. roller coaster. It wires our brain to want the high of the good times: dopamine, serotonin and all that good stuff. for this, our brain gets accustomed to endure the bad times: the cortisol, the adrenaline, the stress hormones, etc. Our brain rewires over time to accept those dramatic changes brought by stressful bad times. Before we know it, we need the roller coaster to bring us back to what once was our ‘normal’ state: that of life as its pleasant usual or perhaps at times down with pains, as it was before that love of our life appeared. But a time where our brain still functionned normally in its ups and downs. That’s why it is like chocolate, heroin or cigarettes. Except that the addiction was pushed on us and gorged down our throat and we did not realise what was happening.

    aline

    July 11, 2012 at 5:13 am

  161. Aline- “Addicted to drama” ahh the “good” old times…. my life and the people in it seem so boring and uneventful now, after we broke up I would get my “fix” indulging in his drama from a safer distance via phone/internet, Still emotionally destructive as I came to find out and still prompted him to escalate in erratic behaviors- seems no contact is the only way to break it- and maybe peaceful is not so boring after all On the plus side I (and I bet many of you) have come to function amazing almost optimally in crisis, high pressure, or stressful situations- That’s where my “name” comes into play, Everyone would ask me how are you dealing with all this are you ok? “I’m always OK” He would ask me after a fight baby are you ok? To which I would reply I’m always OK, you know that ;) Now for the first time in along time it is safe for me to not be the hero, for me to say “you know what? I’m not OK, I’m a freaking mess, but…I will be better”

    I'm always ok

    July 11, 2012 at 5:48 am

  162. @ i’m always ok – wow. you wrote things down too? i have notebooks full of things, because he would say they never happened, or that i said some terrible things that i never did say. i really felt like a crazy person. i doubted myself, and actually thought “did i say that? i didn’t – he said it. i know he did”, but the doubt was there.
    i found that i often forgot things too. i think it was self defence. after we fought, i would kind of blank out,and i would remember the fight, but the terrible things he said that felt like he was trying to destroy my heart, would somehow fade into the background. i had to really concentrate to remember them. that is dissociation, and i bet they use that against us. we are so destroyed that our minds go numb and we forget things in defence, we push them down so we don’t have to feel the impact of them. they use that, i think. they know you are breaking inside, and they push on the cracks in your heart, because the pain keeps us distracted from the truth of the situation. we want the pain to stop, so we jump through the hoops, we do whatever it takes. they are like torturers in that way “do what i want, and i will make the pain go away”.

    as to him making himself the victim – so eerie. exactly the same thing here. i could never believe it when he would accuse me of doing exactly what he had done to me. i honestly felt like i was going mad. he was recreating reality. whatever he did to me, i would later be accused of doing to him. i think it might be just so crazy that we can’t believe anyone would say such things, so we try to make sense of it. that is such a trap because we get lost looking for the logic, and for our own failings, while they prance off having dumped all of their guilt and responsibility on us. i remember being hit, and saying ” you can’t do that! you can’t hit me!” and he would yell “why is your pain always more important than mine? you upset me. you don’t get to be the one who is upset, because i was upset first!!” or “just because you were upset with me first, doesn’t mean that what you feel is more important! you hurt me when you said that! you made me angry! how can you treat me so badly? how can you act like you are innocent when you upset me? i wouldn’t have hit you if you hadn’t upset me! how can you do this to me? how can you always make me miserable. this is abuse. you abuse me.”
    i was sitting in the floor covering my head when he said that i abused him.
    he would claim anything i did to “upset” him was abuse. it could be anything – often it was nothing. he would be fine one minute, and screaming the next. he would pick up a book and start to beat me with it, and then later tell me that i was destroying his life. when i asked “how?” he would get really angry, and dangerous. because he had no good reason for saying i was destroying his life. he was angry because i made him coffee, because i was wearing something he didn’t like, because i liked a song he didn’t. or because he needed to eat or sleep, or smoke. his anger was insanely out of proportion to the “crime”. he would be angry because he had hurt me – that was the worst. he beat me because of the guilt he had over beating me. madness.
    i couldn’t have a bad day – i couldn’t be sad or grumpy or ill. i couldn’t be anything less than perfect, and even when i tried so hard to be perfect, he still got angry and hurt me. beat me. hurt my pets. but he always said he was the one being abused – because he was the one who was angry, so it had to be him that was being violated.

    i think they want all the power, so they decide to be the perpetrator and the victim – that way they have all the control. they get to hurt you, and all the sympathy is theirs too. they get to destroy you, and claim that you don’t love them.
    these are people who would do anything, say anything to control another. which is why we can’t figure them out. because we are sane, and trying to figure out insane is like trying to measure the volume of a balloon with a ruler.

    lilly

    July 11, 2012 at 6:42 am

  163. Lilly Wow that is crazy, do they have some sort of club where they plan this shit out? you said- he would yell “why is your pain always more important than mine?” Mine was the same way like you said you can never have a bad day it takes the attention away from them- or a good day at that, Every single time I had something important going on in my life good or bad, he would pull some shit or get into trouble so all my focus was on him rather than what was going on in my life! Daughters in the hospital- he had people at my house and an all night fiasco with the police, my best friend got married- he got in a fight his friend got stabbed and he went on the run, I had oral surgery- he “fell of a roof” and needed me to take care of him, I was going on vacation with my daughter and best friend- He called me an hour before I was supposed to leave saying he was in a horrific car crash in another state with internal bleeding and he wasn’t sure if he was gonna make it, needed me to come and be with him, I called his father and found out he was sitting at home with his family, imagine if i cancelled my trip and drove out to Connecticut only to find he was lying? I told him why can nothing ever be about me? why is everything more important than me? but of course this made me selfish, and he claimed I made everything about me, I only cared about myself, I think I’m always right and he can never win, proving to him that i don’t really love him Once again projecting what he was doing on to me HE was selfish, HE made everything about him, HE only cared about himself, HE thinks he is always right, HE never really loved me! but saying that it was me i guess took the focus off of the fact that it was him, making me focus more on defending my character rather than exposing who he really was. I have to say reading everyone’s experiences and writing about my own is very therapeutic, helping me sort through the madness in my own mind, I didn’t realize how affected I was but all this because I never had a moment of peace to work through it, my mind was just constantly bombarded by him even after I left. I have had no contact with him for a couple months now and its like the pressure that was building finally exploded, I started waking up physically crying in the middle of the night, crying at pretty much any random thing, feeling anxiety for no apparent reason, Since I started going back to therapy and writing here I’m feeling more like myself again.

    I'm always ok

    July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm

  164. I get very relieved when I read the posts here because I feel that I am not the only one that is feeling completely devastated when the past returns in a flash and suddenly all associated feelings sneak in the same door. Sometimes it is too much and I get up at 2 a.m. and shower and get dressed and go to the office and work just to stay alive. The depression, the feelings of loss, the feelings that he still can affect me if I don’t fight it, it all makes me feel the way all of you describe yourselves so I feel I am okay because this is the process of healing through the pain and loss and sorrow and all of the new ground I am walking on. I tread on new feelings that overwhelm me. Then I realize I am still in the relationship and he is not and never was.

    The one that got away

    July 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm

  165. I find it amazing that after all the trauma- emotional, mental, and physical abuse endured, that the most painful part, the part that keeps us in denial and sorrow for so long is coming to the realization that they NEVER not for one minute REALLY LOVED US and it is not until we come to terms with this, that we can truly move on. I still have not fully come to terms with this I wrestle with it in my mind. It feels better saying he didn’t know how to love properly or he was in so much pain his ability to love was hindered but it was there on some level, but to think that he really really did not love me after the deep connection and loyalty and intense love I felt for him, it seems unreal impossible….heartbreaking

    I'm always ok

    July 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm

  166. Yes that is the hard part. I keep thinking I am making a mistake because he really loved me. Okay then, is that the way he shows his love? Unfaithful, steals my money, thousands not hundreds, $ 62,000.00, threatens my life, threatens to make me go to jail for drugs, oh my God, is there anything here that means love???? I hurt to think I am not loved by the man I thought would love me and make love to only me forever, but guess what, I was either misinformed or dreaming because a man who loves you makes you happy, shares his resources, takes care of you, is honest and all of the attributes a normal relationship has. Now this is the other ball that drops. What if there are no normal relationships and this is what normal is. Regardless, I cannot live with a man who is intimate with other women, I cannot kiss those lips again, I will not ever forget what happened, I am damned to suffer this pain until when????? That is what the problem is. It has been since October that I last kissed him. I have not touched another man. He is with a different woman nearly every day. So that is not love. When I get that through my thick skull then maybe I will heal. This weekend I read that book by Mrs. Buttafuocco and it took me two days. I read it when it came out years ago. How could I fall for a psychopathic sociopath? Love is something we know. Falling into sex or love is not. It is that unknown that made it so exciting and so new and I guess this life alone without him is dull and empty. This is the kind of thinking that pulls me down. He has not thought of me for months because he has new prey. Yup, how could he forget wonderful me? That is what hurts. The feeling that the relationship was just a cruel process to get my money. It is financial rape. It is emotional torture to relive the words he said, the promises and the things he said we were doing with my money. One day at a time. We all have to eat an elephant one bite at a time.

    The one that got away

    July 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

  167. @the one: one incident left me with first, disassociation for 6 months, then followed by 3 years of nightmares. So hang on when you wake up at night. At first the dreams were there just about everyday. I was really going nuts, i’d wake up crying and in fear. Then perhaps once a week. After a year I was down to once or twice a month. Now, once in a while, on the anniversary of something traumatic, say, 4 to 6 times a year, they’re back. they are too far between now for me to get depressed about them and, they no longer give fear, but instead provide answers, my mind tells me something, I try to listen to it, and instead of “im going mad, go away, stop”, I think “what is this telling me, and has it got a relationship with someone new I know today?”.

    I went to therapy to get EDMR six times, because at the time, one nightmare a night was unbearable. Each EDMR dealt with one specific traumatic episode with my ex partner. This in turn reduced the number of dreams and also moved the reactions from fears to clue and solution finding and finally acceptance. If anyone of you is severely disrupted by the memories, you may be interested to know more about EDMR. Many therapists use it nowadays.

    @am always ok: yes, their club comprises approximately 7% of the population, and the membership requirements are ‘zero empathy’ and ‘conscience unimpeded by guilt’.

    aline

    July 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm

  168. oh, something funny comes to mind as I wrote the above post. I started having the nightmares while still in the relationship. I’d wake up early hours of the morning crying and talking in my semi-sleep. He’d told me I was doing it on purpose to wake him up and annoy him. He’d scream at me invariably every time I would wake him up, telling me “you are mad” . I can laugh now about it.

    aline

    July 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

  169. I am on medication Paxil 20 mg which lets me sleep, I can no longer cry which is good because I was on the phone all day crying with anyone who would listen, and by the way no one except you guys wants to listen in my friends and family anymore, his family is so good to me because he has hurt all of them so they are supportive, I am afraid of the day no one will remember, it is like when someone dies, they hang around you for awhile and help you but then as time goes on, people forget and you are left alone. I am stuck in a time warp in which I am still bargaining with myself when he is already on the 4th or 5th woman after me. That makes me feel so scared, that I am still in this process while he doesn’t remember my name. We were married. I mean I was married, he was not.

    The one that got away

    July 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm

  170. The one- I feel you, my friends and family I sense are getting quite sick of listening to me go on about him, I feel like an annoyance, but I think part of healing is talking, telling your story, and letting it all out, that’s what I’m trying to do here. When we were together and for some time after, his family was there for me as well, but like you said eventually they dwindled away, I hear from them once in a while and I feel that I will always be received warmly by them, but I think it is good to let that part of your life go…I appreciate the support, but on the other hand, sometimes being around them or talking to them just brings me back and reminds me of him, but I held on to them for a while as my contact into his world, sometimes its just more painful.

    I'm always ok

    July 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm

  171. thank you to everyone for helping me during this difficult time, I appreciate the responses and feel better when I hear that you are all with me and I promise to be strong.

    The one that got away

    July 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm

  172. The dreams suck, I had them more when we were together though, After he stole my car and broke into my apartment to steal my computer I would have dreams about him breaking into my apartment with a chainsaw. My sleep was constantly disturbed by night terrors where i would have these like out of body sleeping experiences that would paralyze and terrify me, I didn’t want to go to sleep anymore just to avoid dreaming because the dream experiences were so intense. After we broke up I would sometimes dream that he was just standing there and I would be asking him questions in a panic trying to figure out why he was here and it was scary because I had no idea what he was going to do. Finally, since no contact I have dreams that he has died and i am crying uncontrollably, I wake up physically crying-sobbing- feeling deep sorrow grief and loss, these feelings would stay with me throughout the whole day, these days I cried more often than not, but like aline said, after thinking about what these more recent dreams mean I feel better knowing that I am grieving the loss of the relationship, all the hopes and dreams, all the memories of the “honeymoon period”, this grieving means that I am healing, his death in my dream is his absence from my life and although it is sad for me now- it is good that I am recovering

    I'm always ok

    July 11, 2012 at 11:11 pm

  173. Yes to I’m… the dreams and the crying, very hard to sleep through the night…I had sleep deprivation and the subsequent serotonin uptake problems from not getting any deep sleep. They are very dangerous, I almost did myself in several times from realizing that he was not there, it was not a dream, I was alone, it was over, he was not at the foot of my bed naked like the night he broke in, there was no turning back, time had passed, all intrusive thoughts that were unmanageable. I have never in 57 years accepted to be medicated until it was that or I was going to do myself in, it was very close to the end so I accepted serotonin uptake inhibitors and now I sleep but I cannot cry or feel the deep emotions I used to. What is this incredible thing that we are all going through and why is it so unknown? My daughter and my friends look at me and think I have lost it. If I knew this was going to happen to me, I would not have had a relationship with Tony. I did not know I was going to go through all this. None of us would choose this pain. But there is no broken bone or bleeding cut, just internal hell on earth so we look normal as we go through our lives and the daily routines which used to include him and now include me and my job and my home which is such a mess because I have no energy to clean, just get into the shower, dress, work, back into the shower, go to bed, watch tv, wait for the pain to disappear. Will it be overnight, will I wake up one day and know I am okay? They say it could take years. I cannot do this for much more. I need to live. I am dying inside. He has killed my spirit. I used to be full of energy and Ms. Optimist helping everybody, loving life, loving love and marriage and then boom, the humiliation that everybody knew what was going on but me. If I wanted to lose weight, all I would have to do is relive the moment I left. I did not eat for a week. Then survival kicked in. It always does, like a breath you have to take after trying to stay under water. Thank God for this blog.

    The one that got away

    July 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm

  174. Memory. We slept together in a twin bed for 2 months because I only had a twin bed. We held each other so tight, it was unbelievable. The love making was incredible. I had not had sex for 5 years and before that 1 man for 10 so I was so happy to have his love and be with him. I think that bonded me to him. I never felt such love before, I never wanted to spend the rest of my life being everything he wanted and needed. That is sick. I have to stop blaming myself. I was like a child who needed love that is all. Now I sleep alone and am afraid I will never have that feeling again of being so comfortable and happy in someone’s arms. The dramatic parting and subsequent no contact felt like being ripped away from my mother’s breast. That is how deep the bond went. That trauma bond. The feeling that I would not live if seperated from him. No matter how badly he treated me, if I was near him there was hope of changing the reality of the situation. It is like a long drawn out mourning period for someone closer to me than my mother or daughter. Sometimes I feel like I am belly button gazing, dwelling. He used to say, you are getting everyone to feel sorry for you, my family, my friends, the court house workers and judge and you are just bathing in that sympathy. Then he would laugh and say Paula and I laugh at you all day. She is the ex prostitute that works for him and started having sex with him at our place of business that he said he was investing my money in. Oh God I am so ashamed that I fell for this incredible set up. He is still doing it, looking for women to invest, picking up women online, it is so painful to realize he just goes on without me as though I was just a fly in his ointment. I cannot do this anymore, I cannot beat myself up. I am done.

    .

    The one that got away

    July 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

  175. I am back posting. I think sometimes when I come back to this Forum that we did all date the same man? I believe mine intentionally targeted naive, sincere, loving, and insecure women. Insecure is the most important word in the last sentence. I was rebuilding my life after losing everything in the recession and moving 1,500 miles with all I owned on the top of my car to learn a new career in south Florida. Good news? The career dice I rolled came in my favor. I have relocated to a new state after learning my new sales career and am succeeding beyond my wildest dreams. I finally let go of LOSER. When you quit communicating with them you get angry. Their words become less important and all of their past actions as well as lies are very much in your face. Some of his recent words have also helped me get over him including his insipid responses to my actual pain over our past. I have been told that I am the abuser. I have been told that he is not worried if HE can change but is very fearful of ME. I NEVER thought I would be thankful that I dated a man that had felonies but today that means he can not travel. I hate him with a white hot hate and do not even think him worthy of any further communications. EVERY time I tried to talk to him about his rages or his violence NOT once did he have ANY remorse. NO apologies. Everything twisted in his sick mind. He is my catalyst to my new life where I DO NOT ALLOW UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIORS IN MY LIFE. He is not worthy of another word from the same lips he once bit grinding his teeth into my face then crying about it saying he could not remember any of it. They lie Dear Readers BECAUSE they are pathetic psychopaths. The sooner you can cut the umbilical cord even though you think your nourishment is their toxic poison and you will DIE the BETTER. You will die. But somehow out of the ashes you will rise again. I am in weekly therapy which is really helping and soon to begin EDMR. I can thank Mr. Without a Soul for helping me get the therapy which was required in my life since I experienced trauma growing up. I QUIT giving my love to those who abuse me back. It might be lonely right now but at least it is sane.

    KittyVictim

    July 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

  176. the one- You should be done beating yourself up- IT”S NOT YOUR FAULT, it’s not because you we stupid, hind sight is 20/20 you know, I think part of the reason I stayed so long is because i was ashamed, I didn’t want this relationship to be a failure, I did not want it to prove how stupid or weak i was to fall for this man and allow myself to be manipulated, I was ashamed of the disgusting things that I allowed in my life- that before I met him I could not imagine accepting, so I stayed and constantly tried to change the reality of the situation to prove myself and my judgement- how could I let this happen to me? I am educated, successful, good morals, good person, Simple as this- I was at the wrong place at the wrong time the day I met him and if it wasn’t me it would have been someone else, We are not the first and we won’t be the last- It is not stupid to think that people could not be so evil- why would you? no one expects that they will come across someone like this in their lifetime, good thing- now we know better, now we are a little wiser, now we can protect ourselves.

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 12:26 am

  177. @ the one – it is an incredible set up, isn’t it?
    they have it all worked out. such incredibly good manipulators. they have no shame. none.
    which is strange, because they are the only ones who should feel shame.
    you did nothing wrong – i know we all feel like we did, but unless we shot, beat, raped or abused the other person, we are not the ones who are bad here. you are not bad. you are not wrong, you are not responsible. it is a crime – because we are paying for their behaviour.

    just curious – was anyone else here abused as a kid? i was wondering if that set me up to fall for this. is it a factor in this whole situation? i know i was never loved as a kid – and i desperately wanted love. i know i wanted to feel like i was worth something, because i didn’t as a child. i know i understood what it was like to suffer, and all of those things made me an easy mark. made it easy for him to manipulate me.
    do you think this is a factor?

    lilly

    July 12, 2012 at 1:46 am

  178. @Kitty, spot on. Yes, we all got the same partner it seems…. and somehow, when you write ”
    targeted naive, sincere, loving, and insecure women.”

    you are describing me!

    @all. Only people who have been through this understand the need we have to obsessively talk about what happened and for so long. It is linked to trauma. In a normal relationship that breaks, people naturally hurt, but rebound better, they do not have the depth of the symptoms we do, though they too have some or perhaps all of those symptoms. Their intensity is different, their duration is shorter. So, most of our entourage, friends, family, etc, they do not get it. The ones who do get it are the ones who’ve been there too. That’s how some people were there around me, they had that little edge, and I realised that the level of understanding they were showing, was because they’d been there themselves. The others, were supportive, but then would get annoyed.

    aline

    July 12, 2012 at 1:49 am

  179. Lilly, I was not physically abused as a child but I was subjected to emotional manipulation and verbal battering by my father who was a severely dysfunctional alcoholic. Also as a teenager my home was taken over by a DIAGNOSED sociopath/ child molester. My therapist has told me that the reason I was more easily trapped into this situation and the reason I tolerate so much manipulation and emotional abuse is because it feels normal to me, Healthy people tend to have their radar go off a little louder and and do not accept this behavior as readily because it feels so unnatural to them. For people who grew up with this dynamic it fits right in with their natural relationship patterns that have developed over the years. He also tells me that part of what my ex preyed/played on were my already existing insecurities laid out for him by the relationship with an alcoholic parent

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 2:10 am

  180. @I’m always ok I know this is a factor. Think about it. Did your abuser ask you about your past? Did he realize you were also abused? Maybe. Maybe not. Mine actually told me he did not want to date me because I came from an abusive family and he came from a good one. Sad thing? He was also abused as a child. Vibrations attract vibrations. We sync with what we know. The only way to break free is to rise above the water line.

    KittyVictim

    July 12, 2012 at 2:39 am

  181. i totally told my abuser. he was my main support for getting through the effects of my long term abuse.

    bastards. it’s like watching someone be beaten down, and pretending to go over to help them up, while really stealing their wallet.

    lilly

    July 12, 2012 at 2:53 am

  182. Kitty, When we first met we talked about EVERYTHING, honestly the whole time we were together we talked talked and talked some more (it was so great to be with someone who I could talk to, relate to, and connect with) we knew each other inside and out/ or so I thought, he always knew what was going on with me I think he put together pieces of me before i even realized it myself, like he was always a few steps ahead of my self awareness which was a huge advantage for his agenda (i suppose this is part of what someone mentioned earlier the step of assessment)

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 3:00 am

  183. Lilly- it is really sick proof positive of their complete lack of empathy and conscience, to kick someone when their down, to use their pain against them, just sick

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 3:05 am

  184. They target us. They can smell us miles away. They are predators. They are like wild animals that know what they CAN GET AWAY WITH and whom among us knows of women they were with they did not abuse? I remember being in Publix when my abuser told me that he wanted to date this cashier who was NOTHING like me. But she was me. I could smell the insecurity all over her. He was obsessed with her and when I moved away he told me (we were still supposed to be dating) that he wanted to hire her to “help her better her life”. They enjoy all of it. Don’t tell me that they don’t because I know he did. I remember seeing him smile to himself after he yelled at me that I had to run up and down his stairs on his boat into the galley. I was so weak and now that I am stronger I am remembering all of it. I want to tell him about every incident and make him pay but he is not worth it. He is still sending me emails and mailing me letters about his “love” for me when he could not ONE TIME acknowledge ONE THING HE DID TO ME. Occasionally he would sort of apologize and compartmentalized the times I did not “cause it”. I never caused any of it and ANYBODY THAT WOULD TREAT ME THE WAY HE DID REGARDLESS OF HOW HE FELT ABOUT ME AT THE TIME OR MY CONDITION IN THE WORLD IS A SADISTIC PIG. Anger. I will get it out by working out soon. I am waking up my friends. He does NOT deserve a SINGLE word from me FOREVER. There is something good to come from all of this for all of us. They target us.

    KittyVictim

    July 12, 2012 at 3:15 am

  185. Wow kitty, mine still claims to love me desperately most recently text message HIM ” I hate how everything reminds me of you. I’m at that spot with the fountain and reflector pool we hung out that night, I miss those times I pray every night for them” HIM When I say I love you I mean it without condition, If im wrong I hold you close enough to respect your opinion, but I hope you stay by my side, I’d do the same” HIM Love me not for being the man you will help me become. Love me for my faults n show me better, Love me because im yours even if you dont want me’ HIM “I dont mean to bother you, Ive just never felt this way about anyone before and im willing to do whatever we need to to get past this, I miss my best friend” ONE WEEK LATER “I thought u wer special. I thought u wer the one to show me i was wrong for my mistrust. U proved ur jus like any other smut tryn to leach off sumthin u didnt hav. Even at my worst i was always loyal, stupid me. I knew better than to trust a…. U no what u r. But whoever the next will always giv u the benefit of the doubt. Til ur back goes. Ur body’s slush at 25 imagin at 30. U’ll stil think of me because i truly loved u. N u broke that u broke me. I might shoot at ur boys from tme to time. Ur gonna wanna move soon. I owe peeps doe n they gonna collect. B careful cuz now ima tell em to come get it. N they dont care how cute u or ur boy is they might rape both of u. Ima send em. Fuk u n fuk ur peeps. Ur a fuckin coward n a leech ur a dirtbag u earned it i saw through your lies and played along, u dont deserve me”

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 3:31 am

  186. 3 days later five shots fired outside my house

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 3:35 am

  187. @i’m always ok – he got one thing right. you don’t deserve him. no one deserves a psychotic loser like that.
    i hope you are safe – that is just plain insane.

    @kitty – you are right. they can’t ever admit that they are responsible. ever. they will do ANYTHING to avoid taking responsibility. and people help them with that – “it takes two to tango” and all the rest. that helps the abuser – they love that kind of thing. i remember mine laughing when someone said something like that to me. he just loved it.

    lilly

    July 12, 2012 at 3:43 am

  188. Nothing is ever their fault nothing they ever did was not justified it was always someone else or something else that made him do it, usually my fault or some other terrible injustice he was suffering from, That last message he sent me from my last post, I called him the next day so angry I told him how could you say those things to me? no matter how angry you are you don’t talk to someone you supposedly love that way, what is wrong with you? to which he replied- you know i didn’t mean those things, i was just so hurt from missing you i wanted you to hurt like me, you wouldn’t answer your phone and i really needed to talk to you” then he tells me “hey it got you to call me right”

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 3:53 am

  189. @always ok. Are all the messages from him? Do I get it correctly? If so the dissonance is too great. There’s a split in his very fabric. If you get another message of type 2, the type last in your post, get safe immediately, run.

    Aline

    July 12, 2012 at 3:58 am

  190. i second Aline on that. he is a freaking psycho. i am scared for you right now.

    lilly

    July 12, 2012 at 4:00 am

  191. And don t call him to tell him the message hurts. That s exactly what he wants to create in you. Don’t feed him!

    Aline

    July 12, 2012 at 4:01 am

  192. yes all the messages were him the sweet loving and the crazy both the same person- fortunately he is locked up for the moment and hopefully a long time. Aline your right about the split i told him all the time, I feel like I am living with two different people, when he switched something in his very soul shifted I could see just by looking into his eyes weather I was dealing with personality one or two his eyes changed i don’t know how to explain it he just looked looked empty, very frightening- when he was here (i dont want to say the real him cuz im not sure which one was him)he was passionate, vibrant, bursting with energy and charisma

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 4:07 am

  193. can you believe when I found out he was locked up i was upset, i felt bad for him, i contemplated going to visit him? That was the night I found you all- thanks for giving me a reality check!

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 4:16 am

  194. yes! passionate, full of fun, caring, loving. and then boom! hateful, violent, spiteful, and scary as hell. totally convinced that his anger made his abuse ok.

    and the trigger could be anything – even a TV ad, or the fact that he hadn’t had a cigarette in a while, or my shirt, or anything really.

    i think they keep the one hidden because they can only show that side to certain people – they never are like that with the boss, or men or strangers. just with us, because they know they can hurt us and get away with it. i read that is a typical behaviour for psychopaths. they manipulate so well, are so charming, and then when the curtain drops, all the charm is gone, and just the monster is left.

    lilly

    July 12, 2012 at 4:19 am

  195. you have all helped me too. mine has been contacting me lately, and every time i think about responding, i find a new message from you guys. it has been almost unreal. every time – no joke.

    lilly

    July 12, 2012 at 4:22 am

  196. Oh man that drove me crazy, everyone LOVED him! He was like a minor celebrity, he had a freaking following, could get anyone to do anything for him talked himself out of any trouble in court! even the people who saw how he treated me, felt bad for me but still loved to be around him, he was the life of the party, the center of conversations, made everything fun and exciting.

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 4:31 am

  197. yes! same here! we went to couple’s counselling and i described how he had beaten me and locked me in the basement without food or water for over twenty four hours – after asking permission to speak, because until then the therapist only spoke to him. well, the therapist was a man, and had been won over, and honest to all that is holy, he looked at me and said “well, you are disabled. that must be pretty hard to live with!!” i just stared at him. then he said “besides, i am sure he is sorry.”

    i never went back. and the abuser laughed about it later. he had made sure to looks so sad and small and beaten down when i was telling about what he had done, and that therapist actually CAME TO THE FUCKERS RESCUE. as if i was the abuser! as if what i just told him – beating, confinement and withholding food – was nothing at all, but that my complaining was a really terrible thing to do.

    lilly

    July 12, 2012 at 4:41 am

  198. Romeo and Juliet? Let’s try Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis in Kalifornia. I watched the movie tonight. I am Juliette *always believing*, *always hoping* and so GLAD he saved me from my abusive past. EXCEPT I wound up with a MONSTER bigger than anything I could have imagined. They could have killed us. At any time when he threw me up against the wall, grabbed my throat, held his fingers up my nose while hand was over mouth or biting on face? If I can say anything to ANYONE on this Forum? QUIT communicating with them and the sanity will return. Don’t read their words or listen to their voice messages. GIVE YOURSELF THE SPACE THAT YOUR SPIRIT HAS BEEN CRYING OUT FOR and in that silent moment after you have thrown yourself on the floor because YOU ARE IN A TRAUMA BOND you will realize that they are selfish, amoral pigs. Sorry. This is the anger state. If ANYONE would have told me that I would have said I loved someone that held me down by my hair on the bed so they could SPIT directly in my face while calling me the most viral names imaginable two years ago I would have called them crazy. I was crazy. I was crazy for almost two years. But the insanity is over and I AM GOING TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM THE MONSTER UNTIL THE DAY I DIE. I am going to let my charismatic abuser move on with his “Mark show” and all of the women can go on the yacht, his Mother can call him everyday, his friends can trash women with him and I don’t care anymore. Every second of every minute of every day I am going to protect myself from him. He is NOT ALLOWED back in my world. I have blocked EVERYONE related to him in anyway I can. I tried to warn them, tell them cried out to all to them in my pain. They chose him and I choose myself. There is no illusion. I broke the mirror. I see a demon with a painted smile laughing at me when he abused me and yelling at me when I cried.

    KittyVictim

    July 12, 2012 at 4:46 am

  199. That is Un-freakin real! This therapist must be some kind of idiot! Was he a real psychologist? I can’t imagine how desperate and helpless you must have felt- like is this really happening? did he really just say that, wow so happy we all got out of these unbelievable situations- don’t go back! don’t respond to his calls! I thank God for watching over me everyday that I came out of that relationship with my life, health, job, daughter, home, freedom and the list goes on, he seriously compromised every aspect of my life and everything that is important to me, I could have easily lost it all, It’s a miracle that my life is as intact as it is

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 4:53 am

  200. “GIVE YOURSELF THE SPACE THAT YOUR SPIRIT HAS BEEN CRYING OUT FOR and in that silent moment after you have thrown yourself on the floor because YOU ARE IN A TRAUMA BOND” Truer words could not be spoken, when I first had no contact it was awful the bond was so strong, but everyday i dont talk to him it gets a little weaker, every time i talk to him or read a new message it gets reinforced, It hurts so much at first but once the withdrawals subside you can once again regain your life, and regain YOURSELF

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 5:04 am

  201. @I’m always ok I give the letters and cards he sends to me to my counselor without reading them. I have him blocked on every venue. I don’t read his words in my Gmail Trash filter. My counselor asked me when I wanted the correspondence back? I told her I would know if I was ever ready. I think when we realize that what they say is absolute, complete, unequivocal, total bullshit then we are finally free. When we see that they are mirroring, transferring, gas lighting and only communicating to control us we quit giving them the keys to our minds. When we finally see that what they have towards us is not love for us but a toxic unhealthy need in themselves that will never be satisfied we can move on. I am ready to be healed now. I am walking towards the light. And, unlike Juliette Lewis’ character in Kalifornia I am NOT going to be destroyed. I am so grateful that I am free. Even if he came after me someday, attacked me and killed me? I would still be free. Because I have made this choice in my mind. Decision is actually quite easy. The Latin derivative means to cut off all possibilities. I cut the toxic umbilical cord that was feeding me poison. Truth tastes a hell of a lot better.

    KittyVictim

    July 12, 2012 at 5:27 am

  202. Abuse. Yes. Sexual touching for 12 years by a grandfather from age 6 months. Psychoanalysis for 2 years so I am supposed to be in control of my mind, my decisions, my fate. How did I hand over the reins to a madman? It could happen to anyone who is at a low. Lesson? Watch out who you let into your life. Mine gave me a business card that said he is a national certified remodeler so he did some work for me. He is not a NCR and used this trust to enter my life. As I wanted to buy and renovate properties, he used this to make me believe he could and would do this with me with my money. I would rather have been held up at a bank and shot. What he did was enter my soul to reach my money. We are all targets and need to value our lives, however boring or eventless, because they are our lives. Handing over the reins to someone we think loves us is probably because we need to be loved, accepted, wanted and we do anything to get that intimacy. Starting today, realize, you do not need to prove anything to anyone. The mere fact you exist because God created you in His image, you deserve respect, love and trust. The only way to get it is to demand it right from the start before you invest in anyone. The first time you see any sign of psychopathy, RUN.It is so much easier if you are the one who left that is my only consolation,that it could have been worse. If he had left me, I hesitate to think what I would have done. But he made me leave by pushing me to the limit of what I could accept. So he did not end anything he never started. I ended the abuse by deciding I wanted to live. God bless all of you and hold you close to His heart.

    The one that got away

    July 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm

  203. My “aha” moment- the moment I realized my ex did not function as a normal human being I did not realize it was psychopathy but it was an amazing moment of revelation in my own mind the moment I stopped interacting with him and bargaining with him from an emotional angle the moment I stopped begging him to have compassion for me.- At this point in time I had begun sleeping with my car keys under my pillow. That morning I woke up boyfriend gone, car gone. I called him, told him I need my car back there is no food in the house I have to go to the grocery store my daughter is hungry I need to buy breakfast. “OK baby, I’m just finishing up, I’ll be on my way soon”. an hour later- no car. called him again “I’m leaving right now be back in 20min”- an hour later-no car. Called him again he tells me “stop harassing me I come back when I’m ready!” I engage in a long argument insisting that the car is MY property I need it back and I don’t care what he is doing it doesn’t justify taking my property and refusing to return it when I asked, then I said the “unthinkable” I asked him “what do I have to do, call the police?” this sent him into a rage, and in a nut shell he said to me you want your car back? hide and seek come find it! After this none of my phone calls were answered, I called the friends he was with who told me they did not want to get involved and convinced me not to call the police. soooo I borrowed my mothers car, went and found the car. It was parked in his driveway- his roommate opened the door for me, he walked into the kitchen with the keys around his neck, reprimanding me for showing up at his house. I tried to reason and bargain with him until finally I went for it, I grabbed the keys and tried to get them off his neck, we wrestle for the keys until he pushed me against the car and said “don’t make me hit you” I looked him in the eyes and said “watch what happens” He grabbed the keys and told me to meet in at a local motel where he would give me the car. I told him to meet me at my house (didnt think it was a great idea to meet him at a motel alone) I called his father who was sympathetic but referred to the situation as “mellow drama” REALLY? I called his cousin who promised to talk to him and get my car back “just dont call the police” it wasn’t until after sunset that they called and told me they were in their way to drop off the car at this point i was at my mothers house. After A while i started to get a bad feeling, so I drove to my house, my car was in the drive way, my front door broken into, as he and his cousin sped away from my house. I came to find that my computer had been taken. I called and pleaded with him to bring it back, all my school work was on the computer and i had class the next day. I listened to the story of how he didn’t mean to take it he was just getting his things, his friend grabbed it thinking it was his, he told me the computer was in his friend car and he had to get it from him later. this story turned into the friend wont answer the phone I dont know when i will get it, he lives far away it might be a couple days. shaking, crying, overloaded with emotion and frustration I prayed for an answer I was so lost helpless had no idea what to do with myself so I prayed. I decided to try and sleep, just as I began to drift in to sleep I was jolted awake by a simple thought, If you can’t beat em’ join em’. All this time I had been trying to relate to him from non-sociopath perspective pleading with a conscience that wasn’t there. I sent him a text, told him I loved him so much I want to come over and put all this behind us, I never should have acted like that – I’m sorry. He told me he was so happy to hear this, he loved me to and never wanted this to happen. I told him I would pick up breakfast and come over. I showed up embraced him and told him how sorry i was, he thanked me for my apology and told me he hoped I wouldn’t do it again. (god I felt sick inside apologizing trying to seem sincere and listening to him carry on as the victim but I was worried he would see right through me) At that point I spotted my computer on his couch, I said “You got my computer back!” he told me he had got up early that morning to get it back because he knew how important it was to me, (bullshit-I knew he had it the whole time) then he told me “see how good I am to you?” I jumped up hugged him kissed him and thanked him over and over for getting it back, (is ego must have been in heaven!) I told him you are good to me I really appreciate everything he does for me and showered him with affection- (at this point i just wanted to grab my computer an get the hell out) I told him we both had such a long tough day lets curl up together and take a nap, I pretended to fall asleep and waited until i could hear his breath get shallow and i was sure he was in a deep sleep, I slipped out of the room grabbed my computer and ran to my car as fast as i could, later I explained to him that my mother had called and needed me so I left but did not want to disturb his sleep. that day I drove home crying at the realization of how absolutely fucked up he really was

    I'm always ok

    July 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

  204. @I’m always OK Oh my! What a story! It’s amazing when the mask comes off is it not? Mine stole something as stupid as my bike pump after I let him into my apartment. We had a fight, he grabbed me by my arm and started punching his fist into his hand to intimidate me. I told him I was going to call 9-1-1. He spit in my face, called me an ungrateful bitch then grabbed my bike pump and ran down my stairs. He was using it to pump up the buoys on his boat. I, like you pretended to make up with him. I called him and he said he was on the phone. I knew he would be busy making sales calls from his cabin. I walked on to his boat, grabbed my bike pump and took off. But, I went back over and over after knowing his sick, twisted side. They have NO respect for us or our things. When I filed the restraining order and lost the PTO case (jurisdiction – he lived in south Florida and was on probation) he was allowed by the court to come get his “things” at my apartment. I boxed everything up. He came in like he owned the place opening my drawers and going through all of my things. He asked me for items he gave me as gifts. I refused. He then STOLE my spatula saying this was to pay back for this cheap stadium table and chairs he had bought me prior to my POD arriving with my things. He stole a cheap $2.49 spatula from me waiving it in my face. The police escort said “What an asshole”. AND I still went back to him. But, I am finally free. Freedom from communicating with him has brought all of the incidents back on me which I journal about. Someday all of the toxins will have left my body. I am proud of you for keeping your head in that situation. Crying over how fucked up they are is allowed. Trying to change them is futile. The only solution is to run screaming for what parts of your life are left and rebuild.

    KittyVictim

    July 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  205. Thinking. When I want to see him and see how bad or good he is and whether his hoarding and whoring have gotten worse, I remember that Dorothy Stratten also wanted to help her ex and he shot her after raping her. So it is not possible to take the chance that your life is at risk just to see them. They may not be happy to see you. Then I thought that maybe he hit rock bottom by now and would change and want to be what I want him to be. Rescue fantasy. Not good. This thought process is what leads you into hot water. So I try to remember that no contact means just that and that thinking of seeing him is the first step to the end. It isn’t curiosity, rather I just can’t let go. Textbook. Attached to the wish that it could have been what I wanted it to be. He mirrored my wishes. So it is like falling in love with your reflection. If I had known what he really was, I would not have fallen in love and been here today nearly a year later still letting my mind go there. How could an educated accomplished woman such as myself be this way? I read about disposaphobia which is a problem with disposing of things that a hoarder has. I seem to hoard thoughts of him and take them out to look at and it is not good. I cannot move on. The illusion of safety that the restraining order has given me allows me to even think of seeing him again. Not wise. So textbook. Almost impossible to believe that this will ever end, the thinking, the wishing, the feeling that anything but being with him is less than living. I wish there was somewhere to go and have these thoughts liposuctioned out of my brain. There is no easy way out but this recovery seems endless. Maybe that is something to accept. That I will always be a Tonyaholic.

    The one that got away

    July 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

  206. @The one that got away We talked about this in Group today. How is it after they have treated us so horribly could we entertain being with them again? I mentioned Trauma Bond and neither facilitator even knew what it meant. I told everyone that I don’t expect to quit loving him. I just can’t communicate with him again. No contact means no contact. I am like a heroin addict hoping that I remain firm. Of course I miss him. If I could have someone wave the Men in Black wand erasing memories would I do it? I just know I can’t connect with him again in anyway. I am taking all of this one day at a time.

    KittyVictim

    July 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

  207. KittyVictim
    My therapist says I can love him but cannot be near him as he will harm me. I liken it to not putting a box of cold dark chocolates with cherry cream filling in front of me and expecting me not to eat them if they are there for hours. If something so benign as chocolate presents an irresistable urge for me then to see him and think I could resist the chance to make him love me well, it is impossible. I think I will always be in trouble where he is concerned. Like a Pavlovian response, he makes me want to be with him even if he is not what he appears to be, like a dog who salivates at the sound of a bell even if there is no longer the real stimulus of food attached to the event. He made me believe in a dream that was not real. That dream is what I mourn. That will never change. One day at a time is the only way to approach what may take an eternity. I may always love that dream. I may never live it. Do I wish he would become born again or something and completely convert to a good boy? Yes, I would do anything to have him again but I will not pay for it with my life. Whether it would be an exposure to HIV/AIDS because of him or dying at his hands, I do not want that ending. At this point I am in a survival/stay alive mode still. Ironically sometimes I feel so sad that I say I might as well just be with him and die at his hands if I am going to kill myself without him. That is when I realize that I am depressed and the meds are there to help. Ashamed to admit it as I am, these meds allow me to sleep and get the rest I need to heal. The stress he put me through, the panic he created in my life, the cruelty and mental anguish he put me through is the same as breaking the bones in my body only they are the invisible bones that support my sanity, those are the ones that need healing now. Once I am healed if ever, then maybe I will think beyond survival but for now it is survival, one day at a time. This blog is part of my healing, to have a place to think out loud when no one else wants to hear about it anymore. This is our safehouse where we can show our vulnerability without being exploited by the one we still love. Just like children who are abused, we feel that the abuser is the one that will stop hurting us if we are good, if we please them, if we show how important we are to their success, all of the efforts that yield nothing because there is no water in their well. They suck our energy out of our spine and make us like jello and then they throw us at the wall and we try to pick ourselves up. Still the sound of his voice is like honey to me, the memory of the first few months when he was gentle and sweet and I thought he was all mine. I look back without any real expectation of ever seeing him again, so I look back and remember and those memories are intrusive, the good ones, why I don’t think about the bad times? Go figure. All I want is to be free of the memories, the yearning and the wishing and the hope that he will be back and make it better. And I worry that if he dies, I will never see him again. That is when I feel I am doing my own crazy making. I feel like a firefly caught in a glass jar of him. It is again a difficult day ending into a more difficult night. I have to confess. I called him just to hear his voice. A momentary lapse. I know he is still alive and it made me feel good to know he is alive. Why? Because I still love him and always will because I am sick. Like an alcoholic, the first step is to admit I am powerless over him. I have given him over to God. I have given myself over to God. It is out of my hands. If God wanted me with him, I would be with him. I am not therefore God does not want me with him. It is that easy. If two people want to be together, they are. Look at Camilla and Charles, and the king who gave his throne up to be with Wallace, if he cannot make the effort to stop being a psychopath, it is either impossible or he doesn’t want to because as Dr. Phil says, it works for him. So I can chew this forever or spit it out, it is going nowhere. I spin my wheels in mud, trying to find out how I can move out of this unbearable mess. I am going nowhere. Things are progressing around me, life goes on while I stand still missing him. Not a good day. But tomorrow is another story.

    The one that got away

    July 15, 2012 at 1:48 am

  208. i think it might be that they have been so careless with our safety, that we become that way too. no one is looking out for us, everyone is looking out for them. so, risking ourselves seems like nothing – everyone involved seems ok with it. the people who know but don’t do anything, the friends that look away, the perpetrator. all of them send us the message that risking our safety is fine with them. it tells us that we are less important than any of them.
    that message gets into your head.

    lilly

    July 15, 2012 at 4:23 am

  209. @kitty and @the one, i had similar talk with my own therapist, love him still, remotely, but not longer any contact, as she advised. I thought about it hard and long. And i came up with the conclusion, that loving a memory would do me no good, that loving as of longing and unconditionally, would most probably impede my moving on. I am not making a general statement here, I am talking about a conclusion I reached for me, and me only, as applies to my own circumstances. I mean it in no way that this is judicious path for all. I did everything I could to absolutely destroy any memory of the “good” (meaning good times, parts of him, shared memories, you name it, all that was “good”). I kept the bad firmly in my head. This meant that there was no going back, nor entertaining the hope, thought, wish to go back. it also meant unleashing my anger. It was like burning all behind me so to feel unimpeded clearing a clear path ahead of me. The issue with this, is that by applying all devices to ensure “no good was left” so to remove any lingering feeling, I am now as if a part of me has literally been lobotomized because there is no longer any tempering positive. there was pure anger, pain and grief for a while, that slowly went away. I have finally achieved a state now very close to indifference, a bit more time still is needed to get there, but I did not want to grieve as long as I discovered two of my acquaintances had been grieving, one seven years, the other still affected two decades later, in stories similar to ours on this forum. I only know, now, that there is and end to it, and that it takes a lot of effort to burn the bridges in what ever way we wish to do it. I don’t wish it to anyone.

    Pascale Aline

    July 15, 2012 at 5:19 am

  210. OMG Aline and Kitty these last two posts have opened my eyes. I have to listen to both of you because reading what you have written has struck a chord. Yes, there is no constructive purpose for continuing to love him or a memory unless it is a psychological defence to protect me against the pain of the truth until I am strong enough to understand the reality of what happened to me. Talk about people standing around and watching a train wreck, what about all of the people from his Italian family and friends that sat at my expensive wedding at a private club that I paid for and none of them said anything to me. They sat and ate my food, drank my champagne, and we received $ 400.00 total in gifts, and no he did not steal any of it, they just gave us nothing. I had told his family then, that any money they gave to us would go for his share of a deposit on a home we would buy because he had nothing. They all knew him and his history of ripping women off yet they sat and watched as we took our vows. So yes people should have said something and did not. Many of his friends told me after I left all about the affair and the previous behavior, much too late for me to leave unharmed. I am in charge of my psychology but the stress of all the events burned out my serotonin machine, and if that is the only physical damage to repair, Paxil will do it. So my timeline is one year. This too shall pass. With the help of brilliant women on this blog and I see the intelligence in your thoughts, I will be okay. I will bring a balance into my life where I do not just work and place all of my eggs in one basket. I will pay down my debts, I will protect my precious heart from further pain by doing just that, burn the past memories in a celebratory little fire into which I will invite the three friends I have, previous wives and livein girlfriends of his, and we will all throw something of his into the fire and chant Devil begone because honestly, the more I think of it, there is no way that God put this man in my path. Have I learned something Christian about this experience? Yes compassion and sorrow for this man’s soul that has long ago been sold to the Devil. I recognize the forces of evil through my experience with him. When I think about how many times and in how many different ways he calculated my death in order to get my companies, my life insurance, my condo and yes he did successfully get my Jag into his name, but my soul is still mine and God’s. He temporarily promised the Devil that he would give him my spirit but my strength and survival instinct and the Catholic upbringing, well it gave him a good fight. I thank all of you again for being there. We are not idiots. We were generous and kind and that was taken as stupidity. Sometimes love is blind but now I can see and I know he alive but far away. I just need to stop loving him and that is within my control. I wish I could buy a puppy and love it and have a companion but I can’t. I love horses so maybe I will try to do something there to bring out my loving instinct again towards something that will appreciate it. I have so much to give. I cannot take back what I gave Tony but I am proud that I still want to love and that I came away with honor. I never did anything bad to him. I am not a bad person.

    The one that got away

    July 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm

  211. @The one that got away “like a dog who salivates at the sound of a bell even if there is no longer the real stimulus of food attached to the event. He made me believe in a dream that was not real. That dream is what I mourn. That will never change.” They train us you know? They train us to believe the same lie that is playing on the screen in their minds. This is why it is so confusing. It is because mine really believed the lies he was telling me. I pushed “his buttons”. It was because of me that he had to “restrain me”. Believing the dream lie for so long while they continue to abuse us leaves us with nothing when we finally break free. I thought about it after reading your entry this morning. Isn’t any toxic substance that we abuse the same way? Who would smoke the first cigarette without the lies that Madison Avenue perpetrated? We get that hit (nicotine) and always go back for that initial pleasure while our bodies start dying one day at a time. We have to hold onto the dream (being cool, being the rebel) but it becomes lackluster as we sink into addiction. We never get the golden ring that was promised. I quit smoking in December. I quit Mark in July. I just set boundaries in another relationship in my life where I was being taken advantage of as well. I might be alone and hurting but everyday I get stronger. Everyday his memory is fainter just like the thought of having a cigarette seems incredulous to me now. Are you in Group? I am attending the most amazing Group for domestic violence survivors. Group twice a week. Therapy once a week. And, I have this Forum which I agree has helped me so much. I think eventually we will be free. I will recognize the cage prior to flying into it again.

    KittyVictim

    July 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm

  212. So true. Tony made me watch several old happy romantic movies every Sunday morning. At first I was bored then I started to feel the love. He said I needed to see what love was because I was too cold hearted. The first time I met him, he repulsed me. To go from that to extreme love, well it is conditioning and anyone can be conditioned by a pro. So yest you are right, the promises never come true and if we invest too much money or love or time, we are reluctant to let go. I am not in group but had a private therapist for 4 months, daily, she is a client of mine and recognized immediately that I had some kind of psychic shift and told me to sit down and started to treat me immediately for months of intense one on one. I cannot count the number of times she said, it is okay to love him, but you cannot allow yourself near him, he will kill you. She treats domestic violence victims all of the time and said I was a classic case. What bothers me is that the financial theft is just thrown in there. State police, Sheriff, Attorney General, they all said that in Florida, this is the bottom of the ladder of priority, that I could start an advocacy project to get legislation but it would take years, so it is kind of like saying if you tell a bank teller you love her before you point the gun and say give me your money, it is a domestic violence case, so no contact is the penalty? He is thrilled that I cannot contact him and ask for my car anymore. So where is the penalty?

    The one that got away

    July 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm

  213. Oh. And, one last comment @The one that got away? Just like Madison Avenue’s lies Mark’s lies had so much power over me. But, it’s like a movie reel that breaks up. We could call the featured film “The Shining Dream and The Lies. His dream of cruising won’t come until 2016 when he is off probation. But, he did not bother telling me that one. HIs boat is not adequately insured which means the first hurricane that hits could render him homeless. Again that would have been nice to know prior to moving on board. He is hand to mouth daily with his business while I am rocketing with my sales. The dream included him ordering me around, raging at me, telling me where I could sit on the boat and yelling if I did not come running when he knocked on the deck for me. The dream Dear Reader comes with a price tag. The dream I guess was real. The reality is our nightmare. If we could see clearly like that first cigarette we would never have started the “habit”. These men are better than the best advertising agency in molding their prey. Mark used different methods, said different words and terrorized his other ex-girlfriend in a different way. The cocktail of verbal abuse, threats, violence and shame were custom tailored to me. It’s never supposed to make sense. And, I will never communicate with him again one day at a time…

    KittyVictim

    July 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

  214. Yes Kittyvictim, Madison Avenue has programmed us to be the thinnest, prettiest, hardest working women in order to expect to be loved for being so successful and we are all lined up looking for love. Read Women who love psychopaths to see the description of the kind of women they look for and that fall for these men. You will be surprised at the description of how we are incredibly talented and unrelentless in our successful lives and how we are targeted for our refusal to give up and yes so many times I bailed him out of trouble with clients, suppliers, the law, the code enforcement departement, the tax department (he has never filed a tax return personal or business, is a 3 time felon, has been a pimp and a whore and knows how to manipulate women into what he calls giving him things. How did a woman like myself get caught up in this? My therapist says I want approval and love so badly I will do anything to prove my worth to a man. I know that now and am not that girl anymore. When I did the FBI report because they finally accepted my case, the 30 page report described everything and the agent said this is a movie. He took my case and not the other 2 wives and said because I am from another country, I am in his jurisdiction. I call it love trafficking. He seduced me using the phone, the internet and made me work so hard and make so much money and give it all to him. I would give him my $ 9000.00 that I made in that pay and have nothing in my wallet, so he had all in cash. When I would say I am hungry, can you buy me lunch? He would say what, you have no money on you? If that is the case, I feel sorry for you. Imagine that???????? The cruelty was unbelievable. When I would say I am hungry, my blood sugar is low and I am hypoglycemic, he would say, you are bipolar. You are a sick woman. He would make me wait 3 hours for food. He would go to a bar opening and then celebrate with his friends and the owner while I worked in his dry cleaner for him for no pay every weekend, and then 3 hours later come back with a container of food. Because I could not wait, I went and got a big Mac and he said you made me go get this food? Is this crazy making? He would then throw the food he brought at me and say you waste my time. And I still love this man?????? WTF.

    e

    The one that got away

    July 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm

  215. Kittyvictim, this feels good, to let it out, to release these feelings of incredulity, these flashes of memories of horrible moments so often feeling I was frozen and could not get away because I needed his smell, his body, his eyes, his words, his voice, all to get love from him. He is still a danger to me because I could still fall under his spell. I thank you all for listening and sharing and being there. I think my therapist feels this is long overdue and has thrown me out of the nest. I am dwelling too long but talking her makes me feel lighter in my sould. My spirit begins to feel it can fly again. Thank you for the talks the responses the feeling that you share.

    The one that got away

    July 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm

  216. @The one that got away. I just ordered Women Who Love Psychopaths. I was hoping to get it for my Kindle APP on my iPad but they only have it available paperback. Ordered today. This Forum means so much to me as well. Keep the faith.

    KittyVictim

    July 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

  217. I am watching Sophie’s Choice for the first time tonight. And I see myself in Meryl Streep’s character. I felt like her in the concentration camp clothes leaving this relationship so traumatized that I would do anything to survive. And, that is all if have to say about that.

    KittyVictim

    July 16, 2012 at 2:16 am

  218. In order to understand Trauma Bonding as part of Narcissistic/Psychopath victim abuse, it is important to understand Stockholm Syndrome. What happens in Stockholm Syndrome is that a primitive survival instinct takes over in the victim as a threat to life becomes imminent. It is a complicated process that helps them to tolerate the indescribable abuse they are being subjected to on a daily basis. I have written an article on this subject if you want to know more.

    http://narcissisticbehavior.net/category/what-is-stockholm-syndrome

    Christine

    July 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

  219. I don’t know what to do. I am disabled, and very poor. I can’t work. He is helping me with money, and I don’t have family to help me. They abused me as a kid, which is why my body is so broken up now.

    I know about the sweet time, when he is so nice and visits with kind words, leaves some money for me, and will pick up some groceries. I try to pay him back, but he won’t take the money. Then he tells me I owe him later, and that I have to do what he says. I won’t sleep with him or kiss him, but he makes it plain that is what he wants. I don’t have any way out. I can’t live on what I get, and I have no one else to help.
    He hits me at times, and breaks my stuff. He scares my cat. I have no one, and I think he likes that. I am in a really bad place, and I can’t see a way out. I don’t get why God would let this happen. I survived my family, and I lived through the stuff they did to my body, and now I have to live in poverty and only with a man who hurts me? How is any of this right?

    I have lost everything, and can’t even work to get it back.
    I don’t want to live like this.

    grey

    July 28, 2012 at 12:10 am

  220. Grey, you are correct he does like that you have no one, and if you did, they always do their best to cut you off from your support system that’s one of their tactics to keeping you under their control, unfortunately people who are victims of abuse at a young age are more vulnerable to these predators- this cycle is familiar to us- this behavior is not quite as shocking, it takes a lot of work to not repeat these relationship patterns over and over again because we have been conditioned to them since childhood- the manipulation and the guilt are hardwired… to a certain point. Their is hope, I know how desperate/ destitute it feels but my advice to you would be to seek out advocacy though a domestic abuse center, look it up online and find one in your area- abuse isn’t just physical either my ex never hit me but he manipulated me, intimidated me, put me down verbally, threatened me, harassed me the list goes on…. but the bottom line is that these organizations have the resources and know how to help you get out whether through financial assistance, temporary shelter, transportation, whatever your needs go talk to someone and make a plan of action initially leaving seems impossible and uncomfortable but it is the best thing you can do for yourself!

    I'm always ok

    July 29, 2012 at 3:06 am

  221. I agree with calling a shelter. Are you getting all the benefits you are entitled to? I represent disbled people who can’t work, trying to get them SSI or Social Security Disabiiity benefits. Are you getting these? food stamps? General relief? The Shelter can help you with this.

    Suzanne

    July 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

  222. btw – I have used books & friends to recover since my breakup. (I personally have had terrible experiences with therapists). A great book: “The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships”. by Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D. I have found that to recover from my awful pattern with men, I have to do a LOT of work – I read books like this one, to replace the ‘unworkable’ beliefs and behavior I have had in my life with new, wonderful beliefs, that reflect good self-esteem, and a way to be with a good man.

    Suzanne

    July 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

  223. I also read the Betrayal Bond. this and Women who Love Psychopaths helped me through. The first step is to apply No Contact which means you acknowledge the danger you are in and you commit to not contacting him either. When you realize that this is the most important decision you can make, and you make it, you are in for the most trying, difficult step. It is a year later and every bone in my body aches for him. I know that if I stayed, I would not be here today doing what I do which is one day at a time I stay on the path to recovery. I cannot have it both ways. Yet every day, especially on bad ones, I want to run back to him with Whitney Houston songs playing in my head. There is nothing romantic about someone wanting everything you have, including your life if there is life insurance for them. How many beautiful, loving, loved, normal women have lost their lives to men who are psychopaths? Read every day about them in the news. What if they had the resources to understand their situation? That is not negotiable. You need to understand the danger you are in or else you will be walking up a waterfall. I had to accept that the one man I gave all my marbles to, he knew what had to be done to get me to accept him, love him, need him, despite the abuse. I thought I was loving the imperfect perfectly. I thought that was honorable. I almost lost my life doing what I thought made me a better person. All the while, the man with no conscience was counting the dollars and the ways to get it all. That is the hard part, accepting that you are not loved by the one you want so badly. Get that through your head like I did, believe that you are loveable but that this person cannot or will not love you and agree to move on or die. I chose life. Although I realize that being with him and dying with him, for him, because of him, that was inevitable, sometimes I think I am wrong. That I would rather be with him no matter what the cost. That is Stockholm Syndrome. That is PTSD. It is no game. It is certifiable and dangerous to not respect the delicate, vulnerable, fragile, and risky state of the union that you are leaving. Nothing in my life made loving him worth it. But living without him is not easy. Do the work, study the research, read the books hook up with a good blog or therapist but don’t stand still in the headlights. We are here for you if you need to scream out the pain of being without him, we have been there and will listen. It has to start with knowing what you are running from and knowing where you are running to or you will spin your wheels in the mud trying to get away. I carefully spent 2 months documenting everything I could, risking my life to have the proof I needed to be sure and accept that my fate was in his hands and it was not going to end well. I am alone and life is a daily routine to want to live, get up, shower, dress, go to work and resume the repair work needed to restore whatever I can to normalcy. But life will never be normal again. We all have challenges, it is how we deal with them that defines us. I did not want to die and have it on my gravestone, here lies the woman who loved Tony so much she gave her life to him. He does not deserve it. Intense therapy is expensive but in the beginning it is a lifeline. Go to the closest shelter and get help. This is too big a burden to bear alone, I know it. Don’t wait to hit bottom before you realize the life you live is in your hands, remember those gone before us who did not have the internet or the knowledge we have about our situation. Above all have the courage to seperate yourself from the source of inevitable harm.

    The one that got away

    July 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm

  224. Hate is an inappropriate word. Despise does not cut it. After picking up the pieces of my life I journaled again today. No Contact is the only way to clarity.

    You have no money. check You have a history of violence towards women. check You have a small penis, a mortgage to the hilt boat and little if any insurance on it. check You have no car. check You have no savings. check YOU PUT ANY ASSETS THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE IN YOUR SON’S NAME. check You have made a mockery out of me and my life. check You left me on your dock on Christmas Eve with no resources and nowhere to go attempting to take off cruising but you could not find your boat key. check You are a sick pathological liar that has attempted to destroy me because of your sad little life. check You have left marks on my body and mind. check You have NEVER once apologized appropriately for anything. check You are a sick mother fucker when it comes to sex preferring jacking off to the real thing. check You have stolen minutes, hours, days, weeks and months from my life with your asshole drama behaviors. check I don’t really like anyone in your world. CHECK

    GOOD-BYE.

    PS: He is still stalking me but I have effectively blocked him. Now on to building what is left of my life. I am a different BETTER person for it all.

    Hate is an inappropriate word. I have never hated anyone. I think the right sentence is “You disgust me”.

    Off I go.

    KittyVictim

    August 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm

  225. Way to go KittyVictim. I could write a similiar list and should just to let it out and see it in writing. I don’t know if I would get sick just itemizing everything. I am sorry this happened to you and wish we could legislate morality. In reality we need to heal and avoid repeating the error we made getting involved with these men. They are no longer in our lives and we need to move on but it is so hard to let go. Especially in my case because of the money. I try to move on, it has not been a success yet. I don’t know if I ever will. When I read posts like yours, I feel that I am not the only one who feels how you do. We are not alone. In my case the 3 previous women showed me how similiar we all are. There but for the grace of God go I when I look at those women who are not alive to tell us their story. Stay safe my dear.

    Michelle Daines

    August 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm

  226. @Michelle And I only listed the tame items. If I would have prosecuted him he would be behind bars yet actually wrote to me more than once that the “police have never been to his door”. I dated evil, became obsessed with saving him and finally simply saved myself.

    KittyVictim

    August 2, 2012 at 12:54 am

  227. And, I can’t even send him these lyrics that define my experience with him because he is STILL stalking me. He is not allowed back in. “Who do you think you are?” Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts (he has one)…

    I know I can’t take one more step towards you
    Cause all that’s waiting is regret
    And don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore?
    You lost the love I loved the most

    I learned to live, half-alive
    And now you want me one more time

    And who do you think you are?
    Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
    Collecting your jar of hearts
    And tearing love apart

    You’re gonna catch a cold
    From the ice inside your soul
    So don’t come back for me
    Who do you think you are?

    I hear you’re asking all around
    If I am anywhere to be found
    I have grown too strong
    To ever fall back in your arms

    I’ve learned to live, half-alive
    Now you want me one more time

    Who do you think you are?
    Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
    Collecting your jar of hearts
    And tearing love apart

    You’re gonna catch a cold
    ( From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/c/christina-perri-lyrics/jar-of-hearts-lyrics.html )
    From the ice inside your soul
    So don’t come back for me
    Who do you think you are?

    Dear, it took so long
    Just to feel alright
    Remember how to put back
    The light in my eyes

    I wish I had missed
    The first time that we kissed
    ‘Cause you broke all your promises
    And now you’re back you don’t get to get me back

    Who do you think you are?
    Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
    Collecting your jar of hearts
    And tearing love apart

    You’re gonna catch a cold
    From the ice inside your soul
    So don’t come back for me
    Don’t come back at all

    And who do you think you are?
    Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
    Collecting your jar of hearts
    And tearing love apart

    You’re gonna catch a cold
    From the ice inside your soul
    Don’t come back for me
    Don’t come back at all

    Who do you think you are?
    Who do you think you are?
    Who do you think you are?

    KittyVictim

    August 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm

  228. My song about him has the words, you took my money and my Jag and all you left was a memory of near death experiences that I can live without, you are a whore loving pimp pretending to be an Italian altar boy. I feel sorry for the gound you walk on and hope you have a bottom hitting spirit rocking experience that will probably safe your life you sorry assed homeless tramp who lives above the law. Whew! That felt good.

    The One that Got Away

    August 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm

  229. @The One that Got Away LOVE the lyrics! Now you just need to find a country western singer to put it to music. Ha!

    Here goes with my original score:

    You are the Captain of an under insured boat with felonies due to your serial abuse of women. You met me at a vulnerable time in my life when I was naive, trusting and down on my luck. You orchestrated me moving on your yacht before I was ready then proceeded to make my life a living hell for six months. After I moved off your boat the abuse continued. You bit me, slapped me, strangled me, attempted to suffocate me and destroyed my most precious things. You then blamed me for all of it. You are still stalking me even though I have taken you to court for a protection order already. I can’t even read your toxic words which show the severity of your personality disorders. Go away Captain Crunch. Go away!

    KittyVictim

    August 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

  230. @all of you. Numb. Just numb. I’m currently in an abusive relationship. He is 46. I am 35. The story is hauntingly familiar to all of yours. He is a successful Corporate Lawyer. Graduated top of his class. Was a Rhodes Scholar candidate. We had been friends for several years. We started dating about 3 years after I separated from my ex husband. I have cervical cancer. Was battling it when we started dating. Didn’t want to date. Was coming off of a rebound relationship after my marriage and it ended with my heart breaking badly. I was a small business owner. My cancer had caused me to have to drastically reduce my hours resulting in financial hardship. I have two boys. They were five and seven at the time. He came on to the scene like a knight with shining armor offering to help me financially, which I initially refused, wined and dined me and promised not to leave my side through all of it. I fell hard for him. I was always very fond of him, but in hindsight, I was very vulnerable and an easy target. Within two months of dating he proposed. I hesitated, but said yes. I was surprised. I did talk to him and told him I wasn’t ready to get married right away, and wanted to get healthy first. I wanted to get life on solid ground for me and my boys. He wanted to move in right away. He was controlling. I just didn’t see it. We started dating in October and had moved in to a house together by March. I had given up my house which was incredibly dumb. The house we live in now is in his name. We had decided that I would close my business to concentrate on getting well and take care of the kids and he would provide for all of us. Fast forward. From March 2011 to present, he has repeatedly taken my car keys, cell phone, computer, books, clothing, makeup, ATM card, checkbook, house keys, printer and more that I’m forgetting. He has sabotaged my business by “moving” documents that I need and then forgetting where they are. He has with held money so I cannot get treatment. He has never gone to a single treatment or doctors appointment and blames me. He will scream at me while I’m hovered over a toilet bowl sick from chemo and tell me I don’t do enough around the house. In 2008, my older brother died of cancer at the age of 34. He makes fun of me for feeling sad about it and says I should be over it. He spits in my face multiple times a week. He pushes me, throws things at me, and holds me down, and then denies doing it. He tells anyone and everyone about our problems playing the “victim”. I don’t tell anyone. I’m embarrassed and humiliated. He calls me diseased, whore, cunt, bitch, says I’m a bad mother. I’m on the same roller coaster that all of you are on or have been on. I’m VERY aware that I’m being abused, but don’t know how to leave. Financially, I am in a tough spot still trying to get well but on the flip side, I will never get well being abused all the time. I will be honest, I have slapped him right in the face a few times in response to some of the things he has said or done. I have called the police once on him after he kept taking my stuff and he actually came through a locked bathroom door to harass me in the shower. The police basically laughed it off because they knew him because he is such a prominent criminal defense attorney in our community. I believe I am in danger. I don’t have family I can move in with. I have alienated most of the people that used to be close to me. I have to get my kids out of here. I can’t live the rest of my life this way. I feel trapped and like I’m living in a shell of the person I used to be.

  231. @myfascinatingdysfunctions They are called psychopaths. They are not created in my opinion they are born. Their environment perfects their pathos. You have only one option and that is to leave him permanently without ever contacting him again. Your words? “He spits in my face multiple times a week. He pushes me, throws things at me, and holds me down, and then denies doing it.” Mine used to spit in my face while he held me down by the hair calling me a bitch, cunt, whore! Red flag? They fall “in love” with you immediately working it out so you are living with them. They make you their study telling you what you want to hear so that you get emotionally attached. Trauma bond. Look it up! It doesn’t matter their occupation or title. They are predators. Your first step may be to find a domestic violence group in your city? It helped me no…it saved me. I still feel like that shell but I am free now even though he is still stalking me. It’s baby steps but you typing your entry was your beginning. You are NOT alone. How to leave will come when you are stronger. It’s like my facilitator said to me in group. “Life is a journey. When you know differently you act differently.” Find a group my new friend. They are out there and this Forum will help you. Read. Start with “Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft. Read. Knowledge is POWER. As my ex-psycho’s ex-girfriend told me “Ask yourself why you accept unacceptable behaviors in your life” and “look for the lessons”. Hugs. – Kitty

    KittyVictim

    August 7, 2012 at 4:44 am

  232. @Kitty thank you for responding. Somehow, I knew you would be the first to reply. I feel grateful to have stumbled upon this site. I was reading the book Should I Stay or Should I Go ironically written by Lundy Bancroft as well and came across the term traumatic bonding. I did a google search and this post came up. Sometimes you you are led exactly where you are meant to go. I have been doing work on myself. It’s amazing how threatened he feels when I go to my shrink. I like calling her my shrink, it makes me feel better about it. I feel like I really need to understand why I am so attached here. I know a lot of my issues here are deeply seeded to some instability I had in my own upbringing and my constant need to please. An interesting point my shrink made is how numb I have become to some of the treatment and exactly what is the breaking point? There is so much absurdity and you do begin to talk about it like you would talk about the weather because it happens so frequently. I am going to research support groups in my area. That is good advice-thank you. I am feeling stronger from my treatments and am going to look into starting to work again even if it is part time. The book I mentioned previously said when you have made the decision to leave, to start repairing relationships that were previously important to you and pick up activities that you gave up for the relationship as long as it is safe to do so. I am going to bit by bit start reclaiming myself. Right now I feel like only a shell of the person I was. I feel many things for him. I feel sorry for him. I feel hatred for him. I see a little boy in him who was severely damaged. But I also see a grown man who refuses to accept responsibility for what he is doing in his present day life. This man has impeccable control with his words on a daily basis in a court room, yet no control with me and my boys at him. THAT is a CHOICE. I’m not sure that he has the ability to be empathetic or sympathetic. What I do know is that he does not make any effort to try. Like anything in life, if something is important to someone, they will make great effort to change. If it’s not, they won’t. In my experience, his responses to normal life events are totally inappropriate. His mom had a stroke in June of 2011. He has gone to see her in the nursing home only twice. There is some family strife, but I can tell you that no one would stop me from seeing my mother if she was ill. He has never gone to any of my doctors appointments or cancer treatments. I’ve lost four close friends by way of illness or accident since we have been together and he will argue with me on days of the funerals or not so much as offer me a hug. He doesn’t seem to understand or know when to step up in life, when to put petty stuff aside and just be there for someone. I was rushed to the hospital via ambulance due to chemo side effects. He knew right away, but showed up two hours later. He was snooping through my phone and computer because he always thinks I’m “up to something”. When my mom was going through extensive testing for heart problems, and things were touch and go, no phone call to check in. He just doesn’t have any compassion for anyone or anything. He can at times, but if he is upset with you, forget it. I’ve talked to him about it saying, I don’t care if we are fighting Lou, if something bad happens, I feel compelled to be come to you, for some reason, you don’t feel that for me. He just looks at me because he can’t deny it. Whenever I call him on something he does, “I’m attacking him”. I could go on and on for days. My post yesterday was the first time I’ve ever jotted stuff like this down. I can’t write it down because he goes through all of my stuff. Thankfully, he is not good with the computer and I erase my history after I go online. Again, I am thankful for stumbling upon this site. It is therapeutic just to get some of it out and to know I’m not nuts!

  233. “It is therapeutic just to get some of it out and to know I’m not nuts!” @myfacinatingdysfunctions How many times have I wondered if I was crazy? Did he say what I just heard him say? How could he ask how my skinny jeans looked with my “muffin top” then completely deny saying it declaring I “black out”. How could he grab my hand to run to the canal to see a manatee family after vulgarly commenting on another woman’s bush? Life with Mark was the greatest adventure and the worst nightmare I have ever experienced. I told my therapist today if I would not have left him, cut off all communication with him and committed to never engaging with him again I would have gone insane. I had lost all sense of myself in his lies. My entire life focus was HIM. I was either having an insanely good time with him or attempting to sort out why he just went into an absolute rage against me. Why did I travel crazy land? For the highs of it all I think? Because I had a trauma bond with him? We sailed everywhere together. But there was that night on his boat staring at the stars in the Keys watching him gouge his nostrils and the question afterwards “Would you like to lick my fingers?” Dear Reader my psychopath was into “public humiliation” but not his only mine. After reading a recent email to my therapist today where he wrote about his amazing reading comprehension and his high SAT scores I pulled out the other files. I transcribed all of his voice messages to me prior to filing the Temporary Restraining Order. Those words, those old emails compared to his new rhetoric (absolute correct choice of word here) have set me free. IT’S NEVER SUPPOSED TO MAKE SENSE. He lied about his ex-girlfriend who he said was Borderline Personality Order but now she is a saint because she is my friend and he is using her to get to me. Contradictions that are categorically historical in their absolute insanity. lies. Lies. LIES. And, his FOCUS has become me as I am now the only thing that keeps his focus off himself. Until he finds another victim ergo “true love forever”.

    I too am reading Lundy’s book “Should You Go or Should You Stay”. My Kindle APP is a library to help me understand first him now myself. I thank the universe because I am finally doing the work needed to heal from earlier trauma in my life. This is all so new to you but as you open the window the breeze will blow through the cobwebs. The light will illuminate your polluted mind. If you want to be free you can experience that self you once knew.

    Baby steps Dear. We are all here on the Forum to help.

    xxx

    ~ Kitty

    KittyVictim

    August 8, 2012 at 12:45 am

  234. Bonus Round @myfascinatingdysfunctions “In my experience, his responses to normal life events are totally inappropriate.” When I opened up to show my ex pictures on my Facebook Page of my 32-year nephew Adam’s funeral silent tears streaming down my face do you know what he asked me? He asked me if I was going to be as fat someday as my older sister Janet. They can’t feel you know? They can’t feel like us. They are psychopaths. Another interesting topic for your daily reads just make sure he does not discover the books. Mine found out another Forum I was on which I can’t post on anymore. Of course he “knew” the author of the book about Narcissists. Mine was a Narcissist Borderline Personality Disorder should always be on medication sadist. But they can turn on the charm and OH how they love us! You are not alone in all of this Dear. Stay strong.

    KittyVictim

    August 8, 2012 at 12:51 am

  235. @KittyVictim. “Are you going to be as fat someday as your older sister Janet”? Terribly inappropriate, but I laughed out loud. Not because it is at all funny, but because I totally understand and relate completely. How you can be so consumed in the emotion of something and they come back with something so crazy, off the wall, and completely insensitive. You have to experience it to believe a human being is capable of it. Tonight I’m laying in a hotel room with my two boys. I’ve booked the room for three nights. I’m due to bring them out of state to my ex Mother in laws where they will be visiting for ten days on Friday. In a fit of rage today, he bit me. He actually bit my hand. It was complete madness. I don’t even know what he was so angry about. Thankfully, the boys were outside playing at a friends house. I locked myself in my sons room to escape him, pretended to call police while I was throwing some clothes together for all of us, and he fled the house. I have called the police once before and they basically laughed at me because he knows so many of them from being a high powered attorney in our area. However, he did not like the humiliation of it, so I had that going for me. I was afraid. He was throwing my stuff everywhere. I just wanted enough time to get a weeks worth of clothing out of there for each of us along with my laptop. Mission accomplished. All three of us are relieved to at least have some peace tonight. Safety and sanity have become my primary concern. Right now I can’t even think straight in that house because I am always looking over my shoulder. The problem is that you don’t know what they are capable of. His kindness is merely an act. To your point, I do have plenty of books about Narcissists and personality disorders in general. He has found some, but many I have downloaded from Audible.com. A good one is Disarming the Narcissist. I forget who wrote it as I’m here at the hotel. Dealbreakers and Stop Walking on Eggshells are also good books. I need to get to the root of why I feel sorry for him. Why have I sacrificed not only myself, but my boys for over a year and a half? I’m not out of the web yet. I’m calling some women’s shelters for advice and support tomorrow. Baby steps. Thanks for listening. Stay Strong. Hugs!

  236. @myfascinatingdysfunctions The party has just begun. He has started being physically violent with you and it will only escalate. Read your book by Lundy. You staying is taciturn (I really should be a writer. Did I just use this word in a sentence) to “It’s OK to physically assault me.” Trust me. It’s the next dance step. Mine bit me in the face AFTER kidnapping me, throwing my bag overboard with $2,500.00 in merchandise (did not include $1,300.00 cute overnight bag). iPhone gone. But the violence? The longer you stay the more your life is in jeopardy. He will not stop. It’s about power and control. And, if he thinks he can’t get it mentally and verbally then physical assaults will do. I can’t even tell you how many I went through in crazy land. You might not think you have anything but you can conjugate a sentence. My shelter is full of women who are not educated and managed to leave. It’s your life but think of your sons. Think of them before you think of yourself. Captain Crunch told me laughing that I should tell people the reason you could see his finger marks (and finger nail marks) on my neck was that I was into bondage. It’s a lifestyle for them and the game is to one over at all costs. Be safe my Dear. I am proud of you for leaving. You took an adult step tonight! There is probably a hot line telephone number for the women’s shelter in your community. Reach out to check out your options. No one should live this way. xxx – – > Kitty

    KittyVictim

    August 8, 2012 at 2:38 am

  237. @myfascinatingdysfunctions

    you asked why you feel so sorry for him – because they are sooooo good at milking that in us!
    every predator i have ever known (raised by two) sells themselves as a victim. and we know what it is like to be a victim, so we empathize. we hate hurt, so we want to make it better.

    i think they also hold our safety hostage, depending on how much we “take care” of them. if they don’t feel like we are giving them all of the sympathy, they do something horrible. we have to capitulate just to be safe.

    they can’t stand us having any of the sympathy – they have to have it all. they want to be the perpetrator and the victim, because that means they have ALL of the power. to them, being a victim is powerful, because they use it to manipulate.
    they are the people who call us down for “playing the victim” because they really can’t see our pain as anything but a play for power over them, a way to manipulate them. the only pain that means anything to them is their own, and they also know that talking about how hurt they are, how sad or miserable they are, makes our hearts hurt for them. we know pain, and we have the capacity to love, so we want to make the pain better. what a great control for them!

    my abuser would beat me and then, when i told him how wrong it was, how terrified i was, he would say “your pain isn’t more important than mine! you always try to do that! you are abusing ME – you said those things that made me beat you! that is ABUSE! your pain doesn’t get to be more important!!” he would say that when i tried to defend myself, i was abusing him, and then he would cry and talk abut how alone i made him feel, about how he was just defending himself against my “abuse”. the abuse he accused me of was me saying “it isn’t right to hit people! it’s not my fault, you are choosing to beat me!”
    it made him feel guilt, and he saw THAT as abuse. how dare i make him feel guilty! he should be free to hurt me!

    it is crazy making. it is brilliant too – whatever they can see to use against you, to control you, they will.
    and some of that is love.
    they will sell themselves as being so alone, as being so sad.
    they “need” our love – they say it takes away the pain.
    then they claim that when we protect ourselves, we are “taking away” the love they “need”.
    anything but handing over complete control becomes abuse of THEM.
    if we are in control of ourselves at all, they call us the abuser, or the one that is hurting them.
    clever, i think. so very calculated.
    if you are being abused, the worst thing anyone can say to you is that you are an abuser – it makes you jump to try and prove that you are not. which means you are right back in their control.

    i see that in society too – attitudes towards women, women handing over their rights to prove they are not “man haters”. we hand over our self control and respect to “prove” that we love them, to make them feel “safe” and “loved”.

    the truth is that he doesn’t respect you or your love, or your sympathy. he just uses it to control you. they doesn’t feel safe or loved when we submit to them, “look after” them, or “be nice” to them, they just feel in control. that is what they want.

    lilly

    August 8, 2012 at 2:53 am

  238. @lilly This is one of the most insightful posts I have seen. The monster I dated was a master manipulator. The truth is anything that gets him what he wants AT THE MOMENT and he takes it by force. Your closing paragraph is classic! Dating him was like running a race where the finish line keeps getting moved. While I was running I was being doused with all sorts of foul things. Winning? There is no winning. There is no sense to any of it. As a sensible sane person we think we can get their attention. We think there is a point they will have this “aha” moment realizing what they have done to us and the truth. But they don’t care about the truth at all. I suspect mine knew everything he was doing but playing a mind control game with others is a very lonely sport. When you couple it with physical assaults while on felony probation it is a dangerous game as well. In the end he started reading the books I recommended with a sincere heart to “save him” and literally turned tables on me. He accused me of verbal abuse and labeled me an abuser. WE are both wrong now. He actually typed referencing Patricia Evans book The Verbally Abusive Relationship “Are we both abusers? Definitely. Have I demonstrated the skill sets Suggested though page 31 to determine if I am being abused? Yes – often.” AND “It hurts me to read these words and realize just how much a victim I truly was.” Victim? This is the man that would scream at me on his boat if I put an item back one inch from it’s original designated spot. This is the man that would roar at me “I wasn’t mad at you but NOW I am going to give you something to be upset about!” after I would complain about his rages. This is the man who towered over me screaming at me stepping on my foot so I could not flee while he repeated spit in my face. Do I hate him? YES. Do I fear him? NO. Am I so very happy that I did not spend months in therapy only to find out his true heart towards himself and others? YES! The goal of my life is to NEVER allow him in my world again. They just want to feel in control at all costs. They can’t feel like we do because they are psychopaths. They are from a different planet called ME. WE and US is not in their vocabulary. You cannot reason with them. You cannot reach them. You cannot save them. You can only walk NO run away. Victim? It takes someone who understands feelings to correctly label themselves this way. They use this word to control as well. Control at all costs. Remember that @myfascinatingdysfunctions It’s going to be a bumpy ride to get away but your life and your sons is well worth it.

    KittyVictim

    August 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

  239. @ KittyVictim

    “Victim? It takes someone who understands feelings to correctly label themselves this way”.
    so well said.

    lilly

    August 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm

  240. I was at this after-hours Happy Hour tonight and this nice man that dated a “psycho” girl and I were talking besides ourself with the group surrounding us. He told me everything about his girl then started asking me questions. I shrugged it off with “he was abusive”. He asked me “Did he ever have his hands around your throat?” Mind you Dear Readers he was curious not mean. i answered yes but seriously that was just a bit of all of it an the asked me “Why did you go back?” How can you explain how it went from point A to point Z when you return to your normal world? How can you explain if asked why you stayed? He is gone now and I hope for good. My heart is only starting to heal. Should I have said to this man “I am an idiot” or “I thought I was in love” or “I am white trash” or “Kill me now with your words” or “I guess I hated myself” or “I was in a trauma bond” or WHAT? I stayed and that was the signal for further abuse but eventually I LEFT. And, that is the only thing that matters.

    KittyVictim

    August 9, 2012 at 2:10 am

  241. Because I did not know better, now that I know better, I can do better but I will only do better if I am out of his reach because he is a professional predator who knows what my buttons are so my buttons need to be beyond his reach so I can act without his influence. You cannot give love to get love where there is no love to be found. Psychopaths feed on supply and we give it. Once we stop giving they seethe but go to plan B which is usually another source already in the works. We are just an object with a supply of love or sex or money. Love is never a part of the equation. In these cases 1+1=1 and that one is not you, it is him. The big I. Every day I want him like others want alcohol. Be careful who you let near you, you can fall in love with a psychopath against your will and it will be the biggest mistake you ever make with widespread consequences. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest source of professional help before you get AIDS or lose all of your money or get your heart battered. You are the only one who can decide to end the bond. Find out how to deal with your vulnerabilities or they will be used against you again, often in a rebound relationship????? with another predator.This can be a fatal matter and many public deaths, Nicole Simpson amongst many more felt safe and they were not. Take all threats seriously, or it can be too late. Something about you allowed this to happen so something about you has to take charge of protecting that vulnerability that is being exploited. Above all be safe.

    The one that got away

    August 9, 2012 at 7:00 am

  242. @kitty “Why did you go back?” You go back because it is not all bad all the time and there is this place in us that really genuinely buys in to the fact that they have been hurt so deeply at some point in their life that somehow made them this way that can be worked on IF they choose to. The problem is, and I think we all get to this breaking point, We realize they can’t/don’t feel anything and the moments of gentleness and kindness are a hoax. So are the moments when they talk about their pain. Maybe they could be helped, but they certainly would have to be intrinsically motivated. Nobody is going to make them do anything. For me as a person, I do love deeply. I get invested. Lilly hit the nail on the head for me. If I see people hurting, I want to help.To a fault. The very few people I have tried to talk to about this, I almost just stop because you can’t do it justice. I wish there was a camera on the wall so I could better explain the insanity. It is too much for most people to comprehend. I have repressed much of it and started writing down what I remember. It’s amazing what you start to do just to cope. I think the other reason you go back is for me, I started to do things I wasn’t proud of. One day, I had to get to work. I run my own business and he kept putting stuff behind my car so I couldn’t move it. After going back and forth, calmly moving it about ten times, I finally flipped my lid and threw one of the items. I didn’t mean to, put it hit him in the leg and knocked him down. I knew it must have hurt but once I saw he was down, but okay, I fled. My two kids were in the car and witnessed the entire episode. It was awful That’s when he started saying I was physically abusive. You start to wonder if you are an abuser. There have been several times when he has invaded my personal space and I have “pushed” my way passed him so I could get to a space where I felt I wouldn’t be trapped. I know I don’t have to explain, you all know the deal. The theme is familiar where all you have to do is “call them” on their treatment of you and you are abusing them. I definitely started replaying all of our arguments and wondering if my part was bad. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter what you do. I sacrificed my whole life. Nothing is ever good enough. Nothing is ever his fault. My question is this. Aside from control, what do these people really want from the people in their life? I don’t completely get it. Does control feel like love or euphoria for them???

  243. @myfascinatingdysfunction

    i know! i think we all know, to some degree – they are completely out of their minds.
    but they don’t LOOK like they are crazy, and they can ACT perfectly normal, so we try to understand them.
    that is the trap, i think. they look normal, so we figure they must be.
    so we try to understand what is just @#$%ing crazy, and then start to feel crazy ourselves.
    they are NOT normal, they are NOT sane, they are NOT good.
    i want to understand them too – but i fear that trying to understand them just gives them more power.

    lilly

    August 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

  244. @myfascinatingdysfunction @lilly The one thing I am learning that is amazing to me during my journey healing from Captain Crunch is that to a fault ALL of the women I have met either on line or in group are kind, loving, conscientious, good hearted, honest, fair, sweet and naive. I could keep writing the words that describe us. Coincidence? I think not. Abusers target a specific type of person. I have read that abusers in therapy have described somehow “knowing” who they should go after. One abuser said that he was in a room of people and “she” walked in. He knew intuitively to go after her. Who else would put up with their shit? Who else would keep forgiving them? Who else would attempt to “love them” to fix them?

    And?

    To a fault all of the women were blamed by their abusers for the abuse.

    My therapist told me that abusers 1) Deny 2) Minimize 3) Justify and 4) Blame. We had a session where I took incidents of abuse and it was amazing that EVERY time he did one or combination of these actions. He denied “I did not say that.” “You black out”. Minimized “I am not an abuser. Abusers consistently beat their women.” Justified “I was only mirroring your ugliness.” “I had to restrain you like a Police Officer restrains a person.” or Blame “You pushed my buttons”. “I dated many women who did not cause me to act out”. Try the exercise.

    @myfascinatingdysfunction I wish I would have had a camera in the room. Some of the girls in group have taped their abusers conversations with them and used the evidence effectively in court. Seriously? We feel like WE are crazy because it ALL is so crazy. NO ONE could understand! If you read Lundy’s book Why Does He Do That it will help answer your question “What do these people really want from the people in their life?” I think it is as simple as they want their own way. Remember the sand box and the bully? Oh. And, they hate the light in us. Captain Ding Dong hated my successes. He hated me taking any attention away from him. It’s never enough attention either. Trust me.

    I have not heard from Captain Moron now for a week. I am hoping he is gone but history has shown me that he never leaves me alone for long. Unless he has found another victim already for his Narcissistic supply. Regardless I have blocked him and everyone he knows. I don’t care if he get miraculously cured or winds up back in jail. I do have compassion for the next woman but after trying to warn someone he lied about starting a relationship with on Facebook and it backfiring on me I realize that we are all on our own. It’s sad actually that they get away with all of this only to repeat the abuse.

    KittyVictim

    August 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

  245. I appreciate all your remarks. Almost a year ago, I walked out on my liar boyfriend who treated me wonderfully, but behind my back he was trying to date other women. I have already discussed him on this website – since then i’ve met a few men, via internet dating. One guy I met, seemed nice, etc., but was in the middle of ‘getting over’ the ex-Wife. So he droned on about her; and his 9-yr. old daughter (she looked cute), but the thing that really caught my attention, was when he explained the actual ‘break-up’. He said they had had a wonderful weekend out-of-town, came back home Sunday night, and Monday morning a moving van showed up. She then told him she was leaving him. I asked him whether she had eVER brought up the ‘D’ word; he said no, that she had given him no sign that she was going to leave him (altho they had been in marriage counseling). He just told me she had a ‘personality disorder’. He’s a smart man, as time went on, very hard for me to believe that he had NO idea she was going to leave. And – happy to tell you all- at the end of our one ‘date’, I told him that he was nice, but he seemed to be “wrapped up” in certain “things” in his life. And I left it at that. NOW, with the comments here, am happy I decided couldn’t see him; In a relationship, IMPOSSIBLE that everything was only ONE person’s fault. thanks!

    resharpen

    August 10, 2012 at 3:29 am

  246. @resharpen The biggest red flag is when they are droning (love that word) on and on about their ex whatevers! I know now that “that could be me”. Moving forward I will know that a man that steals (second husband) could steal from me (he eventually financially frauded me many times). A man that lies (so many of them) could lie to me (they all did)! A man that goes into rages (Captain Crunch) could rage against me (that’s how the abuse started which escalated into destroying my property and assaults). Red flags waving in my face but I refused to see them because I “loved” them so much. Captain Crunch told me when I first met him that his ex-girlfriend (now my good friend) had “Borderline Personality Disorder”. Recently he diagnosed me with it and said she was a saint. Whatever lie works at the moment is the one he wants everyone around him to believe. I have had peace now for months and I am not trading it for anyone’s crap ever again in the future!

    KittyVictim

    August 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

  247. Kitty – good for you! I also see red flags when a guy talks about his ‘terrible’ ex-wife. He is one or more of : these things: very bitter (which he can turn into anger at you); still ‘traumatically bonded’ with his ex; if very little time has passed since he left his ex (and most men remarry within 2 years of a divorce); he hates his Mom (may be different if he had issues with her, but has worked on himself, and has forgiven her); and the list can go on and on!

    resharpen

    August 11, 2012 at 12:54 am

  248. ohh – yes! mom-hating! that is a huge one! they seem to want to punish us for whatever they think mom did wrong.
    he even hated the colours i liked, because his mom liked them too. the colour dusty rose is apparently a sign that i am evil and need to be punished.
    of course, they hardly ever have the balls to stand up to mom in a healthy way, or at all, so we get hell for their frustrated anger.

    lilly

    August 11, 2012 at 2:20 am

  249. Lilly – thanks so much for your comment! you are so right – they lack any cajones to stand up to Mom; and not just that – they lack any will to 1) work deeply on their problems with that relationship and 2) refuse to alter things by Forgiving her. I am not saying that is easy; but if they really care about others, especially themselves, that is what they ultimately have to do.

    resharpen

    August 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm

  250. Oh my everyone! I could write a book on “Mommy”. She initially denied that there was any abuse in his family even though his brother had told me volumes. Then, last fall she “broke down” telling me that she “didn’t know what to do” because they did not have shelters and programs to help her. Then, she turned into this raging bitch towards me when I simply asked her to influence her son to quit stalking me. As my friend told me it takes two parents to make a monster. My ex categorically denies not only the abuse (minimizes it) that occurred in his own family but also his abusive nature towards his repeated relationship failures in his life. In the meantime Mommy continues to favor her older son at the neglect of the youngest brother who bore the brunt of the abuse. As it was relayed to me Mommy abused the middle child while Daddy abused the baby all while Monster looked on. And, they have a daily call each other love affair to this day. I wanted to tell Captain Crunch to go marry his Mother. We could write a book on the Cluster B personality disorder man and the relationship he has with his mother! Reading “Women Who Love Psychopoaths” and drinking a chardonnay. Determined not to repeat history!

    KittyVictim

    August 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

  251. Hey ladies, I haven’t been on in a while just finished reading your recent posts, glad to see you keeping strong! Lately I’ve been really trying to work on myself going to therapy and praying, I have been struggling with my rescue issues! As I have said before HE is in jail and I have been dealing with this overwhelming incessant “need” to “help” him, reach out to him, show him that someone cares, that he’s not alone not abandoned, that even through all the shit I still have compassion for him blah blah blah. When I had decided that contacting him is a very bad unsafe idea i even began thinking that I should recruit someone else to contact him and offer him comfort.WTF? OK for now I’m am doing my best to ignore these feelings and just let it go and move on, why should I invest any more of my energy and effort into comforting this animal? I just can’t shake the feelings of sympathy and urges to “save” him from himself. My therapist tells me I have spent my entire life as a rescuer, that has become my role in every relationship I have ever had in my life I am the one who solves the problems, sacrifices myself for others, and saves the world! This is obviously why I was targeted, sucked in by the sob stories and injustices dealt to him, the horrible ex that unjustly sent him to jail and took his children away, now he’s just trying to pick up the pieces of his life- turns out he was just trying to break apart the pieces of MY life. I’m realizing just as much as I was a target for his reckless agenda He was a target for my hopeless need to rescue and prove my love through thick and thin, ” If I love hard enough, without conditions, without selfishness, someday he will be healed, someday his hurt will go away and he will love me for it, I can teach him how to love, he just doesn’t know how to do it right” But he made it perfectly clear (as many of you have found out) Nothing I ever do will be good enough I can risk everything for him my health, life, safety, family, child, freedom, accomplishments, career, reputation, sanity, you name it everything important to me was compromised daily when we were together, WAS IT GOOD ENOUGH? Never, the slightest sign of self respect or self preservation showed him “who I really was” selfish, ME? I’m selfish, I make YOU feel bad? I ran around in circles for four years trying to make sense of this three ring circus and at the end of the day it was all for nothing… at the end of the day I fucked up, I betrayed you, I let you down, And when I finally left the circus freak show and rejoined society to reclaim my life and self respect, I killed you inside- It’s all bullshit though because you were already dead.

    I'm always ok

    August 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

  252. @I’m always OK And, we come out like a soldier coming out of a war zone with PTSD, shell shocked and trying to remember who we were prior to meeting our Prince (of darkness).

    KittyVictim

    August 18, 2012 at 3:38 am

  253. the problem is that we can’t turn off our hearts – they can.
    protect yours I’m always ok – it’s a good one, and he is running it into the ground

    lilly

    August 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm

  254. I doubt their hearts are ever on because they have no empathy for those they exploit. They operate on a reptilian brain method so they are incompatible with humans and the reptile world does not want them back. To thine own self be true or you become their accomplice in the inevitable harm that they cause you because we love their imperfect hearts so perfectly. Again my therapist who works on skype too, said that I can love him forever as long as I do so at a distance and respect his dangerous reach. I will always love him and cannot even look at another man a year after my annulment, but that is beyond my control. We fall into love and walk up a waterfall to fall out of love. I sympathize with all of you, may God heal you with His love and I pray for all of us.

    The one that got away

    August 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm

  255. @The one that got away I still love my ex-psychopath who was bent on destroying me while blaming me for it during the process. I have gained so much insight through reading. My current read “Women Who Love Psychopaths” has been a tremendous help to me. I was talking to a new business acquaintance recently who asked “what went wrong”? I only told him one story which is so mild in comparison to the abuse I experienced it’s laughable. Captain Crunch asked me to install an APP on my iPhone so he knew where I was at all times. This was according to him so I could track him on his sailboat. However, one night I was out for dinner with a platonic male friend. I had my friend up for drinks. He lives in my building. I had NO idea Crunchies was trying to contact me. AT&T is very sporadic in my apartment. Well. My friend went to get something out of his apartment. So, I thought I would check my voice messages. Captain Stalker had left a number of voice messages. According to him I was intentionally hitting the “Ignore” button on my iPhone. The last message? Here, mind you was a simple fun night with a friend and I had told my friend I needed to go to sleep early. I was checking my voice messages getting ready to call my out of town GOING through a separation due to past abuse boyfriend. He left a voice message, “Why don’t you go fuck yourself” in this screaming awful tone and hung up on me. Normal? It was never going to be normal. When it was exciting and fun it was over the top. When it was abusive and controlling it was over the top. I dreamt about him the other night. I woke up realizing that I still love him so much. But, I will never contact him again. He has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Intermittent Explosive Disorder. He is NOT going to change. He WILL hit a woman again. It is only a matter of time. He will NEVER admit he is at fault and believe it. Because due to the nature of his illness he can’t be at fault. It is very sad but it would be the same if I fell in love with a retarded man. According to Sandra Brown it is pretty obvious that someone with mental retardation can’t change. I am like you @The one that got away. I can’t date either. I pray that I can truly forgive him. I have moved on.

    KittyVictim

    August 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm

  256. Hey KittyVictim, Mine was never jealous because he never loved me. He just wanted my money, yet like so many others here I want to rescue him, still worry about him because he is very very sick both mentally and physically. I feel that he ruined our life together by screwing around but he is sick, an admitted sex addict and I am very jealous so I feel that he wins as he is having sex regularly with other women while I have been celibate because I cannot forget the things we did, the promises he made. What differentiates my case is that he is a financial predator so I know it was never about love. I hate myself for having fallen for his lies and I hate myself for refusing to look at anyone else, I always reject anyone who tries. I am doomed to be alone and miserable unless I forget him which I cannot, every waking moment I remember this and that and have to make an effort to stop thinking about him a year later and although he has stated he wants his wife back, I can’t go back because it will never be the same, I am not the same, I have lost any trust in men, so as I am straight, what does that leave me? Pity party day, again. Please let women and girls know to stay away from this kind of man, it can never be worth it. He married me in front of his family, took my money and has moved on to the next victim and I still love him? I pray for him every day and I beg God to make me whole again to do His will, yet another day comes and nothing changes. I was so much better off before I met him, financially, mentally and physically. It’s twice as hard when you realize you did this to yourself, unlike someone who attacks you anonymously, you pick the criminal and the crime by not walking away. You lay with dogs…….. I am happy that you like the book, it changed my life because everything made sense and still does. I just need to fall out of love.

    The one that got away

    August 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  257. Waking up from that dream is awful, I know, because like WWLP says, we have intrusive thoughts, but dreams, that is so hard to wake up and feel love. You seem strong, bravo, you will make it, not just survive. You will be a different person when you finish the book, there will be no turning back, no falling for the same tricks again. If you can let others know what this book does, maybe they will read it too. I think the book was written by a victim if I am not mistaken. She is brilliant and puts into words the feelings and healing thoughts we all need if we are to come out of this alive and ready to live. Being ready to love again, that is a lot to expect. Stay strong.

    The one that got away

    August 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm

  258. The book was actually written by Sandra Brown. She also wrote “How to Spot a Dangerous Man before you get involved”. Both books are incredible. I think with me the reason I allowed the abuse was because it was what I knew from my family. He just went beyond my abnormal “comfort” zone. I had never been physically abused. I will continue reading hoping he will become a memory like the other men in my life. Friendship is not an option. No one will ever have the opportunity to hit me twice again including him.

    KittyVictim

    August 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm

  259. i can’t trust enough to date either.
    i am just too afraid.
    i fear the sudden change, that makes the face that you love turn into the one that terrifies you.
    i fear the humiliation.
    when i look at myself, i only see the collection of faults he used to point out to me.
    all i can hear is what he used to say about me.
    and i can’t bear to hear that from another man.
    my self esteem was low enough – i was an abused child – but what he has done to me…well. i guess i am broken.
    i can’t imagine allowing another man see the flaws. i can hear the nasty things he will say, i can imagine the disgust in his face.
    sharing myself seems like the stupidest thing i could do, mostly because i really feel like no one would want me.
    i want to be loved so much – and i think i am over the man who did this to me.
    but the fear is so much greater.

    lilly

    August 19, 2012 at 4:51 am

  260. just occurred to me – do you think they do that on purpose? to keep us from going on with our lives, and meeting other men?
    i mean, they are all about control.
    if they destroy our hearts and esteem, they can be pretty sure that we won’t look for love ever again.
    it is another control, isn’t it?

    i can’t believe these people.
    these men.
    they really hate women.
    other people have told me how pretty i am, how nice a figure i have – but i can’t believe it.
    he has made sure that i fear the judgement of all men, made me believe that all of them would be as cruel or crueller than him.
    it has worked – i can’t imagine letting another man in. not because i am still in love with him, but because i can’t bear to face it all again. i couldn’t survive more abuse and more humiliation.
    i am right – aren’t i?
    he did that on purpose.
    after all of the beatings, all of the terror, all of the gut wrenching pain, he left this nasty seed inside of me, so that when i wanted to look for love the future, it would flourish, and become this huge, all-consuming tangle in my heart.
    i guess it is like the villains in movies – if i can’t have her, i will make sure no one else will either.
    one way or another, they manage to make that true.

    lilly

    August 19, 2012 at 5:13 am

  261. “do you think they do that on purpose? to keep us from going on with our lives, and meeting other men?” @Lilly Yes and no. I think they do what they do because that is WHO THEY ARE. My ex used to scream that line at me while he accused me of . Who are they? What comes naturally to them would be unthinkable to us. Some actually get aroused torturing others. They are a separate race unlike humans that feel guilt, sense remorse and admit guilt.

    I also think they simply put their fingers in our psychic wounds and wiggle them around a bit to control us or get off on seeing us hurt. What else would explain sincerely crying to someone about something that hurt you only to discover this was paramount to asking them “please hurt me”.

    I am learning that I will never really understand the answers in that place that still loves him. But if I look at the facts without his voice in my head I know that I can never be with him again.

    It’s not supposed to make any sense.

    KittyVictim

    August 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm

  262. The dating piece is really hard, It’s hard enough when you come out of a somewhat normal relationship never mind a traumatic one, I think this all comes in time, shouldn’t rush it if your not ready I think healing needs to take place before we can get back into the world. After I left him i got kinda pressured into the dating world right away, friends and family were setting me up left and right (guess they figured I sucked at picking my own men!) You know it was nice to have company and have nice guys taking me out and giving me appropriate attention but I definitely was not ready, I found my self out on a date and thinking about him, like dating just made me miss him more, one guy sent flowers to my house and I cried I got this irrational feeling of overwhelming fear and handled the flower box like it was a packaged bomb- I realized that to me flowers symbolized not a sweet gesture but rather an “apology” for disrespect. I realized after dealing with all these odd feelings that I had never experienced while dating before that I was just not ready, I was scared, un-trusting, timid, everything was fine during the casual “get to know you” stage but as soon as any glimmer of emotion or connection showed up I fell apart emotionally and immediatly disconnected. One positive thing thing though is that i realized my “radar” had been fine tuned, I am constantly aware of any red flags or “odd” behaviors and immediately bail when my gut tells me something is just not right- this is something I never did before i used to rationalize the “little signs” away, now I know the most important person for me to be able to trust is myself, I don’t have to have a reason I don’t have to justify my self or give any excuses, I just have to listen to my instincts and be careful with my heart. I’ve also been dealing with the self esteem piece as well- I honestly didn’t even realize the number he had done on my confidence- as I’m slowly coming back to normalcy and gaining my identity back I keep looking back at how I felt when I was with him and how subtly he made me feel less about myself- but i am determined to get that confidence back to own the fact that I am a great woman, strong, smart, caring, genuine, beautiful, and any man should feel lucky to earn my love as well as all of you, anyone who can go through what we have been through and still come out with a loving heart, and a stronger will is truly special.
    @Lilly I do think they tear up our confidence on purpose, If we felt self confident then we would not put up with the disrespect they dish out, we would demand the respect and care that we deserve, if we feel down on ourselves they can put us down, if we feel like we are not desirable they can make us feel grateful just to have them, by destroying our self esteem they assure that we will not go looking for something better. Mine used to tell me after we broke up that I would never find anyone who loved me as much as he did, that now that I was single the vultures were circling me and I deserved what I got, he definitely tried to put that fear and doubt into my heart to make sure I would not move on. He used to tell me that he didn’t care who I was dating because i would always be his and eventually I would realize this. Oh my God the psychological mind fuck games he played with me! It’s hard to explain how deeply they penetrate the psyche. I think the best thing to do when it comes to “getting back out there” is to take it slow and steady- don’t put too much pressure on yourself and definitely don’t put up with anyone who isn’t patient with your process or expects too much too soon. I always make sure I am upfront with guys about the fact that I am not looking to get into anything too fast that I’m coming from a difficult relationship and don’t expect too much from me, but I happy to go out and enjoy someones company. Honestly I think it can be therapeutic, the post-sociopath. “no pressure” dating has helped me realize a-lot of things about my self and my healing process.

    I'm always ok

    August 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm

  263. @kitty “I am learning that I will never really understand the answers in that place that still loves him.” your right “It’s not supposed to make any sense.” My therapist tells me that I will drive myself crazy trying to understand irrational behavior with a rational mind, we try so hard and spend so much time trying to “figure out” how they work, why they do what they do, bottom line- we will never fully understand because we are not capable of such heartlessness, Even though it is frustrating- its a very good thing that we don’t understand It means we are still human.

    I'm always ok

    August 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

  264. @I’m always ok “I will drive myself crazy trying to understand irrational behavior with a rational mind”. I spent almost a full two years of my life in pursuit of the answer to how someone could touch me so deeply then randomly hurt me without any remorse. I too wanted to know if he could “do that on purpose?” The hours I spent journalling took me on a circus ride into crazy land. It wasn’t until I chose (operative word) to accept (again word fully intentional) that I was never (had to let go of my all consuming efforts) make sense of any of it (this includes the loving hugs with tears streaming down his cheeks) that I found (I was always still here) myself again.

    Could I let someone touch me again? I tried but it was not the same as before. I am still comatose in my pain but each day I feel a little bit better. I still think about him obsessively but the addiction is fading into “what the hell was I thinking?”.

    I guess the one thing we all have in common is that breaking up with the psychopath is not like any experience we have had nor one we would voluntarily welcome into our lives. Bringing oneself back from the dead is not easy. But it is possible.

    KittyVictim

    August 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm

  265. I am new to this site. I have just left an abusive partner after about six years. I am now learning about traumatic bonding and am extremely distressed by the possibility that this is going to be much harder to get over than a ‘normal’ relationship. It’s really upsetting to hear so many sad stories, and to find out how, years and new lives later, many are still attached to their abuser. This is making me feel very upset about the prospect of recovery. I only left him a week ago. It was a huge struggle to get to that point. I seriously need some comfort, and warm words telling me that this will get better… Otherwise I might just as well have stayed with him. Please help.

    luna

    August 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm

  266. @luna Hello and welcome. It does get better. But the most important thing is to stay firm in your decision. I would recommend not having any contact at all with your abuser. I left the man I thought I would marry and spend the rest of my life with this year. He never respected my boundaries so any contact with him at all would create a stalking spree. He lives out of state and is on probation for five felony counts. He is not allowed in my state which has allowed me space to heal and see things for what they really were in our relationship (not his reality). I would also recommend finding a domestic violence support group in your area. Finding a counselor that specializes in domestic violence and post traumatic stress is important a swell. And, there are so many books to read. Google Patricia Evans (The Verbally Abusive Relationship – and other books) and Sandra Brown (How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved, Women Who Love Psychopaths). If you left a dangerous relationship which damaged you physically, emotionally and spiritually you made the right decision. I would also recommend reading Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft. This book helps you see things from the eyes of the abuser. Things will get better but use this time to heal not run. Healing hugs to you.

    KittyVictim

    August 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm

  267. Luna
    It is okay to feel what you feel but what you need to do is control your actions. I still want Tony but cannot live his life. I can love him but cannot be with him because his kind of love will only destroy me and I want to live. I know what you mean, when I am depressed , I think of returning but that too shall pass. Get a good therapist or a group or talk here. I have found support and a safe place to express my feelings here. God protect you and help you with the baby steps you need to take to be safe. If you can talk to your doctor like I did, maybe they can also help. PTSD which I have is hard to handle alone. You are not alone, so many women before us have survived this pain. We are here to listen and share and support you. Big hug to you.

    The one that got away

    August 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

  268. Thank you so much KittyVictim and The one that got away. I have made other attempts to leave him before this one (par for the course), and this is definitely the right thing to do. I hear that ‘no contact’ is the way to go although he still has stuff at my house which he has delayed collecting (strategy to stay in touch) but I am planning to get rid of all of this this week. As soon as I have done that then I will stop all contact. Thank you also for the book recommendations and warm words of advice. When I first started to wake upmtomwhat was going on (realisation takes a while) – a couple of years ago – I read Evans and Bancroft. I was looking for explanations… I’m now finding the need to look for lit that deals with ME – how to cope, move on, heal. I’m reading Carnes’ ‘Betrayal Bond’ which has helped me to establish that the traumatic effect I’m most suffering from is the trauma bond. I recommend it. I have also been recommended a DV counsellor and shall get in touch with her soon. I have yet to find a local group (I’m in the UK), but will get onto this. This site has been my first contact with other women in the same situation.

    Thank you so very much for your warmth and advice. It brought tears… I may be asking for more advice as I go along this path. Do you mind me asking you both how long you were in your relationships, and how long you’ve been out of them?

    Love to you both x

    luna

    August 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm

  269. Oh, and I came across a really fantastic website today that I think is worth reading – every page of it is fantastically insightful: http://www.abuseandrelationships.org/index.html

    I found the section on ‘origins’, and especially that on attachment styles really useful. I have spent so many wasted hours, days, weeks, months looking for an explanation and found this site really helpful on that front. I realise that I need to let go of the need to understand, and am getting there, but this site really helped.

    Thank you lovely women x

    luna

    August 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

  270. @luna I was in my relationship for almost two years but he is a serial abuser with felony convictions. I can pick them huh? Love back across the pond to you. xxx

    KittyVictim

    August 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm

  271. Luna
    I was with Tony for 7 months, have been apart 1year. It is hard as I have intrusive thoughts daily but therapy let me know that I have to soothe myself and hold on tight to my love for myself to survive. You need to sleep, eat right and surround yourself with healthy everything. Knowing I can never go back is like being an alcoholic. Mine used to be a pimp and used trauma bonding. Books are helpful, I highlight relevant phrases. My prayers are with you. Find comfort in solitude and prayer, I did. I told God that His will was mine. Stay true to yourself. I know I will love Tony until the day I die but at least I have extended my life by leaving him. His last attempt to insure me scared me enough to trust that he would have had me kIlled for the money. My long term goal is to protect myself against other men like him. He is a 3 time felon and professional gigolo which I only found out after I left. The best thing that could happen is that he has now focused on new women. I mourn what I thought was a love so strong when it was all a con. Have met 4 of his exes, all nice new friends. Be strong. I have also been lucky to have the ladies here hold me up when I fall. We are here for you. Sometimes I am away but feel better everything I read how strong we all are being. One day at a time and then a week, a month. …. What is scary is knowing there is no turning back. No looking back. No wishful thinking. Sorrow and relief are the best I can do right now but this too shall pass.

    The one that got away

    August 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm

  272. Well said @The one that got away “What is scary is knowing there is no turning back. No looking back. No wishful thinking.” Especially no wishful thinking.

    KittyVictim

    August 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm

  273. thank you so much – this is actually really helpful being able to have these conversations with women who understand. One of the things that was stopping me get out of the relationship was the fear of looking back over the years I spent with him in horror and sickness. I’d actually just seen a counsellor a few weeks ago asking for support to leave him – support leading up to my actual leaving, support through the leaving and then afterwards. As it happened, he precipitated yet another big blow up over nothing (I never remember what his reasons for exploding are), and it happened so quickly. He had an absolute terror of being abandoned, which is why, for me, the attachment theories (Bowlby) are an important way into understanding what was going on.

    I also read your earlier post KittyVictim about what to tell people about this. You recounted an encounter with a guy in a bar, and mentioned your abusive relationship which led to uncomfortable questions. I’m realising that I have to be VERY CAREFUL about who I talk to about this as anyone who does not properly understand very easily throws me into a panic – and most people don’t really understand this unless they’ve experienced some kind of abusive relationship in their lives. I think the way to go is to have a ‘ready story’ to hand, and one that perhaps avoids the issue of abuse in a previous relationship, especially when talking to strangers. If anyone has such a story, or a line or two, then do post it here. I’ll let you know when I’ve thought of one! Mind you, I won’t know if it’s any good until it’s tried and tested.

    luna

    August 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

  274. @luna Being in sales I figured it out. I just tell people he was “mean” and give a “light” story which is horribly abusive in itself but enough to terminate the relationship over. I told this story recently while out of town on business with a vendor. He asked “What happened?” I just said that Mark was always wanting me to check in and asked me to get an iPhone APP so he could tell where I was at all times. I mentioned the whole thing made me uncomfortable but that he said it was so I could track him sailing. His Mother and Son had both downloaded the APP. One night I was out with a platonic friend. I remember having to check in with Mark every couple hours, every day of my life, 365 days a year. If I went MIA he would get very angry. Well? I actually called him from the restaurant that evening. I came back to my apartment which does not have good AT&T coverage. I had no idea he was trying to call me while I chatted with my platonic male friend in my kitchen. My friend went to get something out of my apartment so I thought “Time to call Mark!” I noted voice messages on my iPhone. Within a two hour period he had left 3-4 messages the final one screaming “Why don’t you go fuck yourself!” Mind you he said that I intentionally ignored his calls. According to Mark I hit the ignore button on my iPhone that evening. He had “abandonment issues”, “separation anxiety” blah blah blah ad nauseum. It was simply about control with him and he lost control for one two hour period during one evening. This “mild” story made my vendor suck in his breath which was better than my work colleague asking why I would still be with a man that had his hands around my neck? Yup. No one gets it unless you happened to date the small percentage of the world’s population known as psychopaths. Long story short? I keep the real version for Group. Even when I start dating again until I am ready to make a commitment after checking out the man better then I would if buying a used car I will keep it light. “Why don’t you go fuck yourself!”. Nice huh? It was one of his favorite lines outside of calling me a “bitch, cunt, whore!”. Off I go.

    KittyVictim

    August 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm

  275. @luna “This is making me feel very upset about the prospect of recovery. I only left him a week ago. It was a huge struggle to get to that point. I seriously need some comfort, and warm words telling me that this will get better… Otherwise I might just as well have stayed with him.” I want to tell you that it does get better! Don’t lose hope or be disheartened about you decision- I was with my ex for four years- left him one year ago, At first I went through so much heart ache and I couldn’t understand it, Why was I missing- longing for someone who treated me so badly? I went back and forth with these emotions for quite a few months still contacting him and indulging in “wishful thinking”. When I finally cut things off for good I grieved terribly, woke up crying in the middle of the night and the like. My therapist suggested to me that I was dealing with a sociopath and had been bonded to him- This is when I found this site and the realization, although painful, was liberating. The great thing about sharing here is that when your having a moment of weakness, an urge to contact or an intrusive thought, is that you have somewhere to deal with it safely. Since I have found this site I have not contacted him once instead I come here to work through it, and each day I feel little better, a little more myself, and a little more convicted that I have absolutely made the right decision to move on with my life- It can only get better from here on out. Do I have my moments? Yes, but they are becoming more few and far between and making healthy, healing decisions for yourself is the best way to ensure that you too will heal and move forward even if initially you need to linger in the past a bit just understand its all part of the process, don’t be frustrated with yourself during grieving piece it is just a part of healing.

    I'm always ok

    August 27, 2012 at 2:51 am

  276. Luna – you are doing so well! Stay strong – the way you have been. Of course, many people will never understand about why you stayed with such a person – but you were in love with him, and bonded to him. Keep on reading the books, and doing the great work you’ve been doing. You are doing so well!

    resharpen

    August 27, 2012 at 3:43 am

  277. Kitty Victim – thank you SO much for having said this: “It wasn’t until I chose (operative word) to accept (again word fully intentional) that I was never (had to let go of my all consuming efforts) make sense of any of it (this includes the loving hugs with tears streaming down his cheeks) that I found (I was always still here) myself again. ”
    You are so right – I have read the books, looked at my part in having been with my ex-boyfriend, and also spent so much time trying to figure out WHY he did what he did. You are so right – I am going to ACCEPT what he did, instead of trying to figure him out. Kitty Victim – you have helped me so much.

    resharpen

    August 27, 2012 at 4:01 am

  278. KittyVictim: ‘keep it light’. Great advice. I had an issue last week, just three days after kicking him out, with a friend (not particularly close) I met up with after work. I was still reeling (still am), and just had to tell her what had happened to get it out of the way. I was met with ‘I wouldn’t have thought a woman like you would put up with a situation like that’. Classic. Cue panic attack. This cut straight to the shame that is inherent in these relationships. She said out loud what I’d been saying to myself all along, and yet I realise that the ‘someone like me’ formula was about how OTHER people perceive me, rather than how I perceive myself. But this is how shame works: it has a public face (whereas guilt is private). It’s about thinking what other people would think ‘if only they knew’ etc.

    I’m always ok and resharpen: thank you SO much for your warm words and encouragement. It really is much needed. I’m feeling physically very unwell at the moment. My throat has swollen right up and I can barely speak. I practice meditation but I’m unable to do this at the moment – my breathing has gone completely awry and my head won’t be stilled for a minute. I’m really hoping that this is the eye of the storm and that some things will start to calm soon. I know it’s early days, but it’s unbearable….

    thank you so much xxx

    luna

    August 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

  279. Luna: I am not surprised at all re: your breathing, inability to speak, etc. Dealing with that ‘friend’ probably knocked the life force out of you – but only temporarily. I suggest you stay away from all toxic relationships just now – and for you, what that woman said is ‘toxic’. You needed her empathy and support, not her negative energy. I suggest that before you tell anyone about the ‘man’, you preface it by saying you really need their support right now, and their empathy.
    Only you really know yourself, your ‘friend’ doesn’t. It is also possible she said what she said, because she is afraid she could also get involved with a guy like that, and wants to ‘reassure’ herself that she would act differently. This may be totally unconscious on her part. After all, we all want to protect ourselves. Just remember, what he did to you could happen to ANYBODY. These men are are the best at being manipulative & scheming, and have no heart.
    Also, right now, maybe you need to take it easy. To let you know – after I walked out my ex-boyfriend’s apartment for good, I laid on my couch (for the most part) for a few weeks, just trying to get my head on straight. I then sought out friends, etc. be very gentle to yourself. Your body may be telling you what you can and can’t do right now.

    resharpen

    August 28, 2012 at 2:15 am

  280. @luna sometime you don’t realize the toll these relationships take on you mental/physical health until your out of “survival mode”. When you in the middle of the constant stress, worry, adrenaline, etc. your mind and body are on auto pilot. when your leave and have a moment to breath, this is when the stress come crashing down, my therapist told me its because it is finally safe for you to be vulnerable and its almost like all the stress you had suppressed for so long as a defense mechanism hits you like a wave, now you are in “recovery mode” and it hits hard at first. When I left my ex I became drained of energy, I lost weight, my hair was falling out, I began having what my doctor told me were stress induced night terrors, I had been running on adrenaline for years and all of the sudden my life shifted to a more calm pace, which although it was a positive change, it still required an adjustment and all the growing pains that come along with changing habits in your life. Pace yourself, don’t be too hard on yourself, take some deep breaths and remember that your in the process of regaining your equilibrium. As for dealing with the judgmental outside parties, I agree with the others, a lot of people will not understand and wind up making us feel worse, I mean the shame/guilt is part of what fueled the fire in the first place-we keep trying to rewrite the story as a means of personal redemption. Every one has their own way of dealing with the “outsiders” but i will share what has worked for me. I usually just tell people that when we first met he was kind and loving and I fell in love with him and that by the time he showed his “true colors” I was in over my head and it took me a while to realize that the man i fell in love with was not coming back. Most people, even if they haven’t been through it to the magnitude that we have, can relate and sympathize to this version of the story, you know someone not turning out to be the person you thought or hoped they were and the disappointment of the failed relationship.

    I'm always ok

    August 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

  281. I think the hardest part of leaving is the feeling of being so alone. When we are with our ex psychopaths they consume all of our energy. All of our focus is on why they are doing what they did to us. We are suddenly out of the storm in a place that is foreign to us. I too am going through health issues @I’m always ok. One of the facilitators at the organization where I attend Group told me how to deal with the awful rumors he is spreading to everyone about me. I simply say “Mark lies”. I know that things are bound to eventually get better but now is pretty brutal. I had no choice. It was my life or this hell where I have found myself.

    KittyVictim

    August 29, 2012 at 12:49 am

  282. Thank you all for sharing. Not misery loves company but a place where I can learn about what is happening to me. Separation anxiety is what I feel. Trauma bonding and then his threats to me to go back to Canada two hours after arriving in West Palm Beach. Flying 3 1/2 hours to give h my pay i.e $ 7,000.00 commission yet told it was not enough….then later to find out he was once a pimp. It was the fucking Maury show live! Calling me trailer trash when I am blue blood arisfuckingtocracy from Russia. Every time I knew he was full of it and I said why is he doing this? Because there is something wrong with Tony and I can’t fix it and had to stop trying, totally against my nature but I decided to stop fixing his life and I walked away, then I ran, as far away, as fast as possible, even as I feared the separateness of losing him. I never had him so I never lost him. It was a one way love like loving an image that had no substance. God help me stay away, he has someone new, his focus is long off ofe and here I am with him at the center of my life, which revolves around healing from the pain, trying to love myself again, unable to love anyone, or even date. Something is wrong with this picture.

    The one that got away

    August 29, 2012 at 3:58 am

  283. Thank you so much I’m always ok and resharpen. You are all helping me enormously here…

    resharpen: Thank you for the advice to take it easy. your post gave me permission (god, I’m ridiculous!) to lie around for a while. It’s all I feel like doing at the moment and I’m learning to just give in to that impulse and to let it take over for the time being. My voice has returned but I have a horrendous cough.

    I’m always ok: Thank you for explaining the ‘stress crash’. It’s true: I have been in a state of heightened alert for so long, and locked into a ‘relationship’ in which there was no room for me to have a normal range of moods. I had to be happy and pleasant all the time otherwise there would be hell to pay. I’m floored by the immediate physical consequences of his absence.

    KittyVictim: I agree re. loneliness. I’ve always been happy with my own company, and solitude doesn’t freak me out. However, he is like a vortex, sucks everything into him, takes all my energy away, takes up all the space. Now he’s gone, I feel so freaking lonely it’s unreal. I can’t bear to be alone at home. I hate it.

    Apart from feeling floored and mainly lying around, I’m doing lots of reading on traumatic bonding, DV, abusive men etc. I’ve just got hold of Dutton’s ‘Abusive Personality’. Anyone read that one? I’m slightly worried ‘though that I’m filling the gap he left with obsessive reading and learning about this – it almost feels as ‘though I’m compensating for his absence and continuing to engage with him through my attempts to understand what I’m going through. Anyone else go through that? The main problem is that I was not properly aware of so many things when I was with him, things that were revealed when we split (his obsession with porn and webcams, ‘use’ of escorts, probable affairs, gambling) and I’m trying to piece together so much. It’s such a strange feeling: I look back and the ‘relationship’ feels like some kind of mysterious void, as ‘though I wasn’t really quite there because so much seemed to be going on that I didn’t know about. Re-piecing will be impossible though because I could never trust anything he said. ‘Rewriting the story as personal redemption': I’m always ok – that’s a great insight, and is particularly true in light of the deep shame I feel about all of this. How could I have let this happen to me? I think I’m starting to come to terms with that feeling. I need to, because it’s blocking access to other feelings that I have to deal with…

    There were signs from the beginning but I didn’t/couldn’t act on them… When I met him I was being stalked (by someone I’d had a very brief relationship with – it was a matter of weeks – six years earlier). It was a frightening time. ‘My abuser’ was the detective investigating the case. He pursued me – the ‘victim’ of the crime – relentlessly. Wouldn’t let it drop. I think he just saw an opportunity – he saw someone he probably wouldn’t have had the chance to get to know – he decided ‘I’m having ‘that”. And he did not leave me alone until he ‘got’ me. I now realise he was abusing me during the investigation, and this just escalated when later we got together.

    I do know that I won’t reach a satisfactory account or understanding of this ‘relationship’, of the past six years or so. I know it won’t happen. I just hope I can drop this search sometime soon and just accept that I won’t ever get to the bottom of it.

    luna

    August 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm

  284. Luna: if he abused his power over you in his capacity as a detective, would it not be important to meet with internal affairs? This is a serious ethical and moral problem if in your capacity as victim, he revictimizes you by entering into an improper relationship with you? This is far more serious than you may think. He could lose his job. Maybe that is why he is so controlling, because he is afraid of the power you have over him. Maybe you can be stronger if you know that you are in fact the one with the power to destroy him. Sometimes I think Tony has so much power over me because of his past history with LE and how he used his criminal background to obtain a very special status with them and now it appears he can do no wrong. No police or law enforcement body will touch him except for the 2 restraining orders I obtained. Speak to an attorney. You may heal faster than you think if you review who really has the power and control to fix this situation. OMG. Try to speak to a woman at internal affairs wherever you can to find out your options. I would even ask them to pay my therapy at the best therapist plus damages for the actions of their employee. I would also speak to the Bar in whichever state you are in to refer you to an attorney who would give you the best legal representation there is if you want to sue the police department. I tried going to every police body, even the FBI. Tony has more power than I do and I cannot get them to recognize him as a repeat felon who has an enterprise by which he stalks women who are widowed, lonely, but have money, cars, companies, houses that he can steal. It may not be easy for you to do but to continue to live in fear of someone who may even have easy access to weapons? That is just me, I don’t feel that you see the power you actually have to resolve this situation and fight back. But no threats or talking, just start to evaluate this with an attorney. Just my advice. Now that you mention it, Tony had the same attitude, I’m having that. Not love at first sight or what an incredible feeling but just I’m entitled to that. Entitlement. Big problem of entitlement…..God protect you.

    The one that got away

    August 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm

  285. Hello The one that got away: thank you very much for your advice. I’m in the UK, so the system is a bit different here. I’m very well aware that he abused his power and that he could easily lose his job for this. However, whilst I have been thinking about reporting him I have decided, for the moment, to do nothing. First of all, I’m not strong enough right now to be questioned by the cops (and I would be asked for an account). I don’t want to be under scrutiny and they often close ranks and I’m too vulnerable right now to deal with that. In addition, I’m not feeling like I want to put him under extra pressure as I’m in survival/self-protection mode and I don’t know what he’d do to me. Right now, it seems his job is about the only thing he has left. His kids (not mine) hate him and he rarely talks to them, and he’s now out of my house and renting a tiny room.

    There is an added issue too: if I reported him it might cause the original investigation to be unpicked. The stalker is dangerous, and I don’t want that case to be re-opened as I do not want to reignite that situation.

    I know that I do have power over him, and I have actually threatened – to his face – to report him for professional misconduct. I plan to give it more thought once I am feeling stronger, but for now I think I need to bide my time.

    Thank you for your care and thought. You have certainly made me think more seriously about this x

    luna

    August 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm

  286. Hi Luna
    Often professional error and liability is paid out in an agreement to avoid publicity and court and requires that you sign papers renouncing further litigation but it is worth a try. Consult an attorney instead of the internal affairs department asap just to document the facts even if it costs you a couple of hundred pounds. A domestic violence attorney who is sworn to secrecy on your behalf can be the best friend you ever had, and she has the power to prepare a request for a settlement out of court from the internal affairs insurance people. Even I am insured to 2 million for errors. That money could be used to find good treatment and shorten your pain as it does require guidance from a professional to live through what you are now going throuh. Stay strong.

    The one that got away

    August 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm

  287. @luna “it almost feels as ‘though I’m compensating for his absence and continuing to engage with him through my attempts to understand what I’m going through. Anyone else go through that?” Absolutely! I felt Obsessive, my mind was constantly invaded by thinking about him, analyzing him, trying to figure him out…. I think its a process, but I do feel that the research and the blogging is a safer was to obsess of compensate for his absence rather than through communication with him. At first my obsessive thoughts prompted me to contact him which continued to escalate into an increasingly bad situation, then for I while I obsessed about him through relentless internet research and reading, then I decided that this was getting a little ridiculous and the healthiest thing to do for me was to try and understand myself and how I fit into this equation, this took the focus of him and onto me, this is where the real progress has taken place in my mental/emotional recovery, but I do think its a process (took about a year for me) and it took a while of sorting through the rubble before I was ready to rebuild if you will. So like I keep saying be patient with your self! Also about the legal actions, I think it is a good decision on your part to let the dust settle a bit before you jump back into the madness, legal proceedings are draining and from the looks of it you need to rejuvenate before considering the emotional strain, When my ex took five shots outside my house the police and everyone around me kept telling me to get a restraining order but my gut instinct was not to fuel the fire, sociopaths believe they are above the law and a piece of paper telling him to stay away from me I felt was more like an invitation, but i did struggle with the decision especially under the pressure of everyone around me to “protect myself”. Finally I went and spoke to a domestic abuse counselor who gave me some great advice, she said you know him more than anyone else, you know what he is capable of, you know what sets him off, you need to listen to your gut and make the best decision for you because at the end of the day it’s just a piece of paper.

    I'm always ok

    August 31, 2012 at 11:42 pm

  288. @ Luna
    my counselor explained to me once that the period right after leaving someone like your ex, or getting out of any really bad abusive relationship will cause a person to go through “the Crisis Period”.

    i went through this in a huge way when i left my home, because my parents were terribly abusive. i had never been safe with them, and left in fear of my life. they raped me, beat me, and destroyed many good things in my life, even killing my pets. many of us live in that kind of way with the men who hurt us, and even if we didn’t actually live in the same house.
    i will use the example of my parents because that was the strongest reaction i had, with regards to the Crisis Period.

    when we live like that, our bodies start to make crisis hormones, like Cortisol, Adrenaline and other hormones used by animals to help them in times of life or death situations. but our bodies, the bodies of people who are victims of psychopaths, make them ALL THE TIME. our minds stop focusing on critical thinking, and instead focus on getting through the situation.
    we become “hyper vigilant” because we are always in danger, and we are trying to keep ourselves safe. my therapist said “animals are only supposed to live like that in short bursts. the rabbit running from the wolf, the monkey hiding from the tiger. but you were LIVING with the tiger. that is NOT how these hormones are supposed to work!”

    as with anything, our bodies become accustomed to the levels of crisis hormones, but they take a huge toll on us. living like that, with those levels of hormones, drives you down, and causes physical and mental problems. the stress is far greater than people are supposed to have. we jump at every sound, we are aware of every exit, we are like prisoners of war who have just come home.
    like those prisoners, you know you are “safe” but you can’t tell that to your body.
    your brain will continue to make those hormones, your eyes will continue to look for the danger, your ears to listen for his voice, because your safety, and maybe even your life, used to depend on it.

    he isn’t around, and that is a big problem. it is like wondering where the tiger is? it is awful that he is in front of you, but if you can’t see him, your brain is screaming “where is the tiger? is he sneaking up on me??”
    the obsessive feelings are you, trying to figure out how that danger happened, and how you could have reacted better, or differently, and worst of all, trying to deal with the feelings of love. that is still survival, you are basically going over your performance to find the mistakes so you won’t make them again. like a soldier trying to make their reaction time better, or an abused kid trying to figure out how not to set dad off next time.

    i couldn’t sit with my back to the door – and seventeen years later, i still can’t. i dreampt about them, i couldn’t read or sleep well. it was all about them and what had happened. i saw them in every crowed, and froze. i heard their voices when watching TV, and my stomach clenched. i saw names that were theirs in books, and felt my shoulders tighten.
    i was out of danger but in crisis.

    you must take it very easy right now. your poor system is freaking out, because you are just coming home from that POW camp, and you are trying to figure out what the hell happened. while there, you were focused on surviving it, but now you are feeling the emotions you COULDN”T allow yourself to feel then. and there is a huge backlog. you are not overreacting. you are feeling the true extent of your injury.

    you need to send you body as many signals that “it is OK” as possible.
    my therapist said “whatever makes you feel safe. want a lock on your bedroom door? do it! don’t feel silly! even if no one lives with you, that lock can make you feel safe! so do it!” you know what? i did, and i DID feel safer. i knew i wasn’t going to be raped again, but that lock SHOWED me it was true. she said “make a “safe nook”. even a corner of your room. blankets and pillows and books. in the one place in the house you feel safest. some of my clients go in to the closet. and go there whenever you feel overwhelmed”.
    for me, it was the bathroom, because that was the only place in the house i grew up in where i could be alone. they broke the lock on the door years before so we couldn’t escape them there, but i could be alone for a while. so my bathroom in my apartment became my haven. i had hour long baths where i read. i locked the door, and you know what? i started to feel safe. i still do this when i have flashbacks or when things really upset me. i go and get into a tub, and that tells my body “your are safe.”

    you really need to treat yourself as gently as you can, because this isn’t just in your head. your brain chemistry is all messed up, and you need to help your brain know it is ok to come back off that ledge. it has been staring down a cliff for so long, and it couldn’t come back from it, but now it can. send it that message again and again. it will get better – i promise.
    don’t watch scary movies, or read scary books. read things that are funny, and watch funny movies, sweet movies. don’t watch romances, because that can really upset you, but watch uplifting, fun things.
    let your poor system know that the tiger is locked up in a zoo somewhere.

    you are doing really, really well. please know that!
    and you need to respect just how amazing it is that you got through this, and LEFT him!!
    give yourself the permission to feel freaked out, shaking and weird.
    the Crisis Period is hard, and you will obsess over everything. but here is a tip that helped me; give yourself times where you are not allowed to think about it. watch new comedy every night, or read a new funny book. give yourself a whole two hours to ignore it.
    at first it is hard, and then it becomes a wonderful haven for your poor, tired brain.

    love to you, and God bless

    lilly

    September 1, 2012 at 3:01 am

  289. Great comment Lilly, and great advice. Nice to know that the weird seemingly irrational things we do are actually normal and healthy for people like us, my friends think I’m a little strange somewhat paranoid because of the odd little things I do, like every time I leave my house I hide my computer somewhere, I sleep with my phone and car keys for a quick escape (+knife under the bed), even though like you said the tiger is locked up (literally in jail), I still have my security regiments. and yes, laughing the perfect medicine for a weary soul!

    I'm always ok

    September 1, 2012 at 3:36 am

  290. I’ve seen this sort of fear and denial in many settings. In dysfunctional work place settings where the boss is punitive and abusive, staff bond with the abusive boss and try to please him or and look the other way when he or she punishes other people (and often they join in). I’ve heard workers praise the abusive person and call them strong and I’m thinking, “what the hell, she’s a mean bully”. There are so many unhealthy situations out there. School can be a wonderful place or a living hell; it depends on the principal who sets the tone for the school. If she’s a manipulative fiend, the school setting becomes warped and it is Lord Of The Flies with some teachers attacking and informing on other teachers while they praise the bully boss and survive and flourish. In one-on-one abusive situations, the jerk plays with you and you start to unravel unless you hold onto to reality with both hands. It’s the same in group situations. You see something is wrong but nobody will acknowledge it and in isolated situations, you see that something is wrong but the abuser won’t acknowledge it and you have nobody else to talk to and you start to doubt yourself but you can’t. You have to be able to see that shit is shit no matter how many people tell that it isn’t shit. I was traumatized at how groups of people would toady up to the bully and turn a blind eye to someone’s suffering, to your suffering. They’d say that the man who had a shit fit over no soda water was just blowing off steam. These same people will change their opinions depending on who has the power so you have to know your own reality and not wait for people to confirm that it is bad. You can’t wait for the abuser to say, “I’m out of control” because he won’t. You can’t wait for someone at work to say, “She’s a witch” because often they won’t say it because they are too afraid and will instead sing her praises (She’s strong) or they’ll say they don’t want to talk about it and don’t want to get involved. It takes courage to look reality in the face and say, “No, this is wrong” when nobody is validating that reality.

    Em

    September 1, 2012 at 4:26 am

  291. Sooooooo true Lilly

    The one that got away

    September 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

  292. I’m always ok: very solid advice – thank you. I’ll try to communicate here instead of with him and it’s good to hear about the shifts in your own progress – from thinking about him to shifting to yourself. I had thought that I had started to concentrate on myself but it seems that I’m still stuck trying to work out what was going on, to make sense of it. My head knows that this is pointless but my heart won’t listen. I’m waiting for my heart to catch up.

    lilly: this is so insightful and helpful. It’s been really hard to make sense of my physical reaction to all of this but what you say makes perfect sense. Coincidentally, and instinctively, in the last couple of days I’ve built myself a ‘nest’. I can’t sleep in the bed we shared, but I have made up another bed in my spare room and covered it with cushions and blankets. It’s right in the corner of the room and has walls on two sides, so feels very cocooned. It’s my favourite place in the house right now.

    I have a question and I wonder if anyone has an explanation. ‘My’ abuser was paying for sex, using webcams and I’m fairly sure he was having an affair whilst we were together. However, he won’t leave me alone now he’s gone. He’s texting me, calling me, emailing me. Why is this? I don’t quite understand. I understand that this is fairly typical behaviour for abusive men, but I don’t understand why and especially when there are other women on the scene (or he is at least ‘availing’ himself of other women). Does anyone have any light to shed on this?

    luna

    September 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm

  293. They can’t accept rejection, you belong to them, they miss the supply of whatever it is we have them. Mine had a whore at work. I was told he loved me. Love doesn’t hurt.

    The one that got away

    September 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm

  294. luna – i think it is about rejection, like The One that Got Away said, but i think it is something more – control. you have slipped the leash, and it makes him angry. he wants you back in your kennel, where he can do whatever he wants to you.
    if you are running free, he feels out of control and that is something he can’t bear.
    i also think it has something to do with a fear you will move on – another loss of control. he wants to control you like a cruel owner controls a pet.

    i am so glad you have a safe place. it might feel silly, but keep making it better and better. once you get in there and feel so much better, the “this is silly” thoughts just drop away.
    whatever you need in there – a TV, or a stuffed animal, or all the quilts in the house. just make it your own personal haven. you really need that right now.
    you are doing so well – remember that!

    Em – i hear you. it is amazing how people ignore or even help those that hurt others. i can’t understand it and thinking about it makes me so angry.

    lilly

    September 2, 2012 at 4:08 am

  295. The One the Got Away – they always say they love us, don’t they?
    the evil bastards. because we believe them.
    i hate them for that.
    i needed to believe in love and goodness, because i had none of it as a kid. turned out that his “i love you”s were as genuine as my father’s – the one that raped me.

    i wish no one could say “i love you” unless they really meant it. like, they would choke on it or turn blue or something, if they tried to use it to control someone else.
    i don’t think i will ever trust love again.
    i know it is real – i have felt it, and acted on it, year after year, trying to give others what i was never given. but i have been shown it almost never.
    love is not just a feeling – that is what gets me. i mean, if a man can rape his child and claim he feels love for her, then love is NOT just a feeling. love is also ACTING lovingly.
    they never, ever do that.
    if they are mad, their “love” never encourages them to not hit, or scream or harm in some other way.
    if they are sad, their “love” doesn’t stop them from manipulating or hurting their intended victim – er – “lover”.

    they don’t get that. just having love as a feeling is selfish.
    it is only inside you.
    it is the act of being loving that is important, or is at least as important as the feeling, because that is how love touches others. if it is just a warm fuzzy feeling, then the other person doesn’t even have to be there! or exist!
    it has to be about acting on it, more than just saying you feel it. it has to be about swallowing that anger because you love them, about keeping your hands to yourself because you love them, about doing what is good for them because you love them. otherwise what is the good of love?
    i have heard that some serial killers said they loved their murder victims, and really believed they did. they felt it, but sure as hell didn’t act lovingly.

    i think they only think of love in a crazy, selfish way.
    love for them is something they are owed, and something they feel. it is NEVER something they GIVE.

    that is how i see it – and it upsets me so much.
    how can i ever let someone into my life again?

    lilly

    September 2, 2012 at 4:23 am

  296. Thank you for helping me to understand The one that got away and lilly. Rejection, ‘abandonment’, control. Whenever he texts or calls to say he loves me, I’ll replace ‘love’ with ‘control’.

    One of the difficult things about leaving them is reflecting on the time you had together and realising that there was no love at all coming from their side. Six years I’ve had, believing that he loved me (although I had given up on that idea in the last year). That process of revising the past is so hard – especially when you realise you were living an illusion but at the same time coping with the brute reality of abuse. I feel I was both present and absent. The intensity made me present, but the lack of love made me absent somehow, and not knowing what was going on in his life, the stuff he was doing behind my back.

    It’s so, so strange.

    I am finding some solace in my nest, and in my garden. Thank goodness for green things!

    luna

    September 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

  297. lilly: I think you are dead right about the need to distinguish between loving words and loving actions. Especially with abusive men who are SO full of words… and so lacking in loving actions.

    luna

    September 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm

  298. replace “love you” with “control you”.
    luna, that is brilliant.

    lilly

    September 4, 2012 at 1:53 am

  299. Oh my. I got together with him. It was the same. Please don’t judge me ladies. He is insane. I went back now I have to heal all over again. We met in St. Augustine. He verbally abused me while I was with him. It was like it was all over again. I looked at his face remembering the violence. Then, on the drive back home he denied remembering a huge incident where he picked me up from West Palm Beach Airport and screamed at me all the way back to Fort Lauderdale. Screams whilst spitting in my face. He is so good at appearing to mean that he is intent on changing. He is reading all the book. Yet tonight? Anger? You will “only talk to me about what I want today and for three days moving forward!” When I told him that I had not abused him as bad as he abused me. I reminded him about the violence? NO! I was at fault of course. How can I love someone who says to me on a moonlight beach “I still want to see you nude even though you allowed yourself to get big.”? I gained weight but I am not a monster and he looked like he is eleven months pregnant! He is a sadist pig. Why did I go back? How can I ever be free? I am an idiot that is crying tonight. He is crazy with a capital C.

    KittyVictim

    September 4, 2012 at 3:55 am

  300. You are NOT an idiot.
    you are a woman who is trying to make sense of love and pain and abuse and desire, all at the same time.
    you gave this man a chance, and he ruined it – you did nothing wrong there.
    i am just sorry he hurt you all over again.
    please don’t blame yourself for what someone else did.
    you must have hoped that it wasn’t as bad as you remembered, and then he goes and proves it.
    he will never take responsibility, and that is what you need – to hear him say “i was wrong. i should never have hit you”.
    but he won’t – he is so sick that he believes his own lies.

    oh my dear, please get a nice big blanket and a cup of hot chocolate, and wrap yourself up.
    please stop feeling stupid – you are doing the rational thing – but with a crazy person. the rational thing is to try and work something out with an ex-love, to try and see if anything can be salvaged. to treat them like you would anyone else.
    i think everyone of us has done the same again and again. but we forget that they are not normal people.
    just take care of you, ok?

    as to the “i want to see you naked” thing – i bet you are much better looking than he is, and he knows it, and so is trying to make you feel bad. he wants to control you through sex and humiliation, when he has a beer belly that really is a beer tent – right?
    for some reason they always blame us for what they feel – he feels fat so calls you “big”.
    he feels like an abuser, so he calls you abusive.

    i know you have doubt that it could really be as bad as it was, but that is because you are not a crazy person. he really is that insane. he really is that bad. he really did lie and blame you and act like a madman. it isn’t you love, it is that terrible man being just as sick as he can all over your life.
    just remember that everyone of us has tried taking them back, or seeing them, or calling them, only to have the cold water of their horrid reality thrown in our face.
    it is hard to believe that there are people like them out there.
    NOT your fault – ok? they DECIDE to do that, even when we are giving them a second chance!!! what rational person would do that when you are offering them what they say they want?
    nope, he is a bug-eatin’ crazy man who DOES NOT DESERVE YOUR TEARS OR PAIN.

    love and hugs and chocolate to you!

    lilly

    September 4, 2012 at 4:19 am

  301. I can’t even read your words. I can’t read anything right now. I am crying to hard to see light. He said to me screaming “Fuck you! Fuck you Bitch, Cunt! Fuck you!” He told me that I abused him worst. He said to me after what I thought was a beautiful day at a museum that he hated the outfit I wore because it made my ass look big. Then, the nest day asked “You aren’t going to be as big as that girl?” When I picked out an outfit he approved of out of my suitcase? “You look hot! I would hold your hand and say you are my girlfriend!” Then, after taking a picture of me by a boat? “I don’t think so.” Evil. Sadistic. Pig. ESP. Why do I love him? My platonic male friend holding me while I cried tonight. Telling me the truth. Telling me that what he said to me was so unacceptable. HE told me after he said the “I want to see you nude even though you are big” line that it was like all the other things he said to me. He never meant to abuse me. I took everything the wrong way! I am crying all over again. I am not a Bitch. I am not a cunt. I am not Big. I am a size 10 after being a size 6-8 with a playboy asshole. Please make it all make sense. I will not listen to his words again. He had his chance. I am not crazy. He is crazy. Who would say and treat someone they love this way? I am crying while I type these words.

    KittyVictim

    September 4, 2012 at 4:30 am

  302. he knows how to hurt you, and is still trying.
    what a waste of skin he is.

    i’m sorry love. you don’t deserve any of this.

    lilly

    September 4, 2012 at 4:34 am

  303. He said to me “You have accomplished nothing this night but convince me you are some little mean fat girl who picks on and bullies everyone on the playground before they Pick on you thinking the entire playground is against you before the even start to play. How self-destructive can you be?” Nice huh? Yup. He is a 260 pound grey haired mortgaged boat felony convicted sadistic pig. I am going to save this lovely little paragraph to remind me of how kind he is with his words to me. Day #1 No Contact all over again. PS: He paid for the trip to St. Augustine.

    KittyVictim

    September 4, 2012 at 5:32 am

  304. What matters is are you staying KittyVictim not that you allowed yourself to relapse. Be strong. Going back was wishful thinking, that maybe he missed you so much he would be different in order for you to stay. If you stay, you will suffer. Everything costs, it just matters how much you are willing to pay to have him in your life. Will you pay for hanging out with a felon? Will you feel so ashamed that you will stay or are you now convinced of the living nightmare of being with him? I too spent one night with him 10 months ago and it was beautiful but then I saw the dating site evidence. I still have not even kissed anyone. So he and I are over even if I wished things were different, he has changed so little and I am trying to change and love myself enough to refuse the pain. Pain. Pain, and more pain. It is your decision. Don’t beat yourself up. There is love out there, just pray and visualize what you want in a man and call out to it in the universe. Love yourself and love will come to you like a magnet. Choose wisely how you feel about life and love or he wins because you will still be his unless you say goodbye. Evey day I think of Tony but I respect that he can make me so depressed that I want to die. That is not equality in love is it? He isn’t contemplating dying over me so how is it I still want to die nearly a year later? That is because of how damaged he left me. Baby steps. Take baby steps. One day at a time.

    The one that got away

    September 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm

  305. @The one that got away Mark is appropriately blocked now. This is after he brought up putting my things out on his dock on Christmas Eve 2010 when I was paying him rent and had nowhere else to go was “symbolic” of me not knowing when to stop. (We had what I considered an ordinary fight at a bar. However, when I admitted to a friend of his that he would scream at me whilst spitting he chose to run like a crazy person down Los Olas Boulevard straight for his dock to appropriately punish me.) He compared this to yesterday’s “symbolic” 24 hour verbal abuse tirade where he called me everything from a “Bitch, Cunt, Whore” to a “little, mean fat girl” to “dirty” “pig”. “Stop means stop.” (He also used this as an excuse to grab me around my neck once with such pent up rage he left his finger nail marks on my neck. But, let’s not focus on the violence!) Because I fell for his hoover act prior to our romantic weekend getaway I was so shocked when the mask came right off that face again. The mask had been on after weeks of unwanted emails, text messages (even though I have my phone blocked), cards, letters, flowers and a dress delivered to work from Macy’s. After swearing to “listen to me” then “listen some more” then “listen again” per his expensive counselor he is seeing he quickly assumed the role of my satanic tormentor bringing up as he screamed at me every secret detail I have shared with him including my failed relationship with my twin sister (favorite bullet for his firing arm). I have now wasted an entire night and over half a day dealing with his onslaughts. After telling me prior to our weekend together that he would give me as much space as I needed he sent me an email with “I will not accept anything that involves non-communication.” “The time for you to take advantage of my open heart and keep it from hardening on you forever is quickly passing each moment of your non-communication of the important things.” When I brought up to him that verbal abuse proceeds domestic violence and that given our history together I found the last 48 hours very concerning he quickly responded “When I do the things you have done I expect to be called out. Apparently you expect to be called Miss Perfect. I am not buying in to your abuse.”

    I guess this is what they reference as a classic “hoover”. I think we could add in a cycle of violence as well? Throw in a whole lot of verbal abuse and you have a big bowl of “why the hell did I call him”?

    I loved this man more than any prior but the best part of this story is I am learning to love myself more.

    And, thank you very much for your line, “There is love out there, just pray and visualize what you want in a man and call out to it in the universe. Love yourself and love will come to you like a magnet.” As well as “Baby steps. Take baby steps. One day at a time.”

    I am closing the lid to my laptop now and going back to the life I was creating prior to his bullshit interruption. I am going back to Group tonight. I have my weekly counseling session tomorrow. I cried my eyes out all night and this morning over something that never existed. Mark was always going to abuse me because that is his nature. I just quit being the Victim by choice. Now? I am going to choose to take the focus OFF him and back on to me.

    KittyVictim

    September 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm

  306. KittyVictim – from what you wrote, this man sounds like he LOVES control games. he really is sick.
    i’m sorry – i know everything he said to you will hurt and hurt. but the truth is that he is saying anything to try and control you.
    you deserve better.

    lilly

    September 5, 2012 at 12:13 am

  307. @lilly Yes. He comes from a family where both parents abused the children. He is in denial about seeing anything. He is so sick. This time he really scared me but I think it is because I have had all of this time to get stronger. He talked to me of marriage one day and called me a Bitch, Cunt, Whore the next. Nice? Who calls the woman that they say they love these names?

    I am focusing on no longer being a victim. I am taking control now of my life. I see clearly he will never change. I am not reading his words at all costs. Tomorrow after my counselor hears his voice messages I will erase him. It was not supposed to be even though I really wanted it.

    This Forum means everything to me. I appreciate everyone.

    KittyVictim

    September 5, 2012 at 1:47 am

  308. you have been through the wringer. i wish i could make it feel better.
    you deserve to have someone in your life who can be trusted – this man is all over the place. who calls a woman those words indeed – that is just vile. he was using all of the worst things he could think of.
    nasty person.

    you are so wonderfully strong, and you are brave. you would have to be to deal with a man like that and come out on the right side of it. he didn’t get the best of you! remember that! he hasn’t won!

    hugs to you my dear!

    lilly

    September 5, 2012 at 2:21 am

  309. “He did not get the best of me” This is a life changing affirmation for because it is the very fact that I am able to resist him that gives me back my power. He got my money but not my ability to make any more. Darling I drink this champagne in memory of the short dance with the devil. I have not touched neither him nor other men. This is the kind of pain that I cannot revisit. I respect evil and do not wish to be it’s focus. How many times on an average does it take before the violence kills one…. Respect the danger.

    The one that got away

    September 5, 2012 at 3:23 am

  310. @lilly He is all over the place but this time I was strong enough to see it was not me. I did not buy into his crap. I have an amazing life now that I am creating with a great job and wonderful friends. I clearly see his toxicity. I don’t accept his blame shifting excuses for his own behavior. I love him. I may always love him. I don’t understand this love but I know that any man that calls me a bitch, cunt, whore or a fat little girl is not worthy of me. Period. Regardless of the context of our conversations or any other thing I did not deserve to hear:

    “You have accomplished nothing this night but convince me you are some little mean fat girl who picks on and bullies everyone on the playground before they Pick on you thinking the entire playground is against you before the even start to play.”

    “You are not my size. You are fatter and bigger and less able to deal with life.”

    “I hate you. I am never going to be with you again. You suck.”

    So be it. To my Knight in Shining Armor with the toxic tongue. To the man of my dreams that spit on me, held me down by my hair so he could scream and spit in my face, stepped on my foot so I could not get away so he could spit on me, towered over me screaming so many times, grabbed me around my throat lifting me off the ground so he could hold me against the wall, grabbed me by my hair – around my throat – punching me in my stomach, put his fingers up my nose – hand over my mount then accused me of hurting him when I pushed him off me, threw my expensive overnight bag with everything I truly loved overboard – beat me down into his galley – commanded me to sit for hours – screamed over me “What about my needs!” – threatened to throw my laptops overboard – kept me offshore overnight (that time I thought you would kill me) – bit me on the face when giving me a kiss goodnight after a fight when I asked you politely to leave my apartment, screamed over me for hours for nothing coming back from a cruise to the Keys hitting me upside my head – spitting in my face – calling me a “Bitch, Cunt, Whore!” and throwing me up against a hotel room door after I went to run out of it when you towered over me screaming punching your fist into your hand (did I forget anything – yes of course it’s not all of it). To the Serial Abuser who told me that you did not “Buy into the violence” when I told you that verbal abuse precedes domestic violence and that your verbal abuse was concerning to me. To the Man that stalked me for a SOLID YEAR. To the Man of my Dreams who promised that he had changed who could not even get through our first disagreement without two solid days of verbal abuse which has included some of the cruelest things anyone has ever said to me:

    You look like you are eleven months pregnant. You lied to me about your finances again then left me a voice message that you could not pay your bills because you arranged our weekend rendezvous. You have wasted two years of my life now but I thank you for the lessons I have learned.

    To the Man of my Nightmares? I deserve better than you. I deserve someone who cherishes me and would never think to attack me verbally. I deserve someone that does not call me “Bitch, Cunt, Whore” EVER. I deserve someone that I feel safe around. I am not what you called me nor was I responsible EVER for any of your abuse towards me. I am free from you now because I say it is so. I forgive you by faith but I will never communicate with you again. Someday I may find another to love that is worthy of me or not. But I am learning to love myself. My self speak does not contain words intended to destroy but to build. Consider this your virtual Dear John letter you will never read.

    KittyVictim

    September 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm

  311. @The one that got away “Respect the danger.” No truer words ever spoken.

    KittyVictim

    September 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

  312. KittyVictim, please be careful. If you have a restraining order against him and you should, you are violating it just as much as he is and that is a problem for the future if this restraining order loses its validity. I think this man could kill you if he is still focused on you as his problem. Mine has a new woman so I can breathe even though I still love him, I prefer to live. Tony had already been found guilty of attempted murder with a dangerous weapon with intent to kill so I have to believe that he is capable of taking a life, especially mine. Be safe my dear.

    The one that got away.

    September 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

  313. @The one that got away Yes. You are right. I do not have a restraining order against him but I screwed up big time seeing him as well as communicating with him for the last few days. I am going to set an appointment with the head of the resource center for domestic violence I go to this week. In Group they said that if I document everything even though I screw up given his past history as well as felonies (he has one for aggravated stalking) I should be able to get protection. I think he may be “over me” but we will see. I have not read any of his words since I blocked him on AT&T. I can’t trust his words. Some are good, kind and others are spoken with hate, malice with the intent to destroy me. I am stronger than I have ever been. Thanks for your words of advice!

    KittyVictim

    September 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

  314. KittyVictim: this sounds absolutely horrendous. What a monumental arsehole he is. He sounds absolutely disgusting in every possible way. I am so sorry that you had to experience this all over again and you very definitely shouldn’t blame yourself for this. This is the nature of the ‘bond’, as I am now understanding it.

    One thing ‘though: you mention in an earlier post that you have to start healing/working on this all over again from scratch. But you don’t. This was just a slip, with horrible consequences, yes, but just a slip. You are not back to square one. You are still armed with the knowledge, support, and courage needed to get away from him. In fact, this latest encounter may have been just the thing to renew and re-strengthen your resolve. Keep your eyes on the beautiful prize of freedom from this utter shitbag.

    luna

    September 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm

  315. @Luna Thank you so much. It hurt so much when the mask came slipping off his face. He got back into me just like he did on Christmas Day. He promised NO MATTER WHAT to never go into a rage against me. He would never again call me names. I cried literally for two days. The thing that hurts the most is that he has projected all the blame onto me. He says in one breath he is responsible for his abuse towards me and in the next if I reacted differently to things he would not abuse me. He called himself the “victim” after reading Patricia Evans book “The Verbally Abusive Relationship”. I was actually beginning to not miss him. I hate him for his all of his lies. Lies to his mother. Lies to his family. Lies to his friends. Lies to his ex-girlfriend. EVERYTHING intended to hurt me for what I think is actually (and has always) been his bruised ego.

    KittyVictim

    September 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm

  316. Email sent Wed Sept 5 8:29 PM:

    Mark –

    i have a huge issue with this email. This “love letter” was written last November 2011. We had not dealt with any of your violence towards me. I was still a mess over all of it. Your three counseling sessions don’t account for your violent acts towards me. I wanted you to listen to me but it’s OK. You did it to me. I don’t matter. I don’t exist. The only creature that exists in your mind is the one you put inside me and when I don’t act like her there are consequences.

    I am not under your mind control any longer. Go find a girl that does not get NLP and all of your bullshit tactics. Your mother? I thought she was a really sweet Christian lady until I got her last email to me.

    Now.

    I heard your words. You told me “I will never call you a Bitch, Cunt, Whore.” But, you do it like running water out of your sink as well as ALL of the other cruel sick things you said to me. You told me that the relationship was over. You said you would never contact me again. Where is the Mark that executes the plan? YOU SAT WITH YOUR MOTHER ANALYZING ME FROM A BOOK WHILE I WAS SUFFERING FROM PTSD and YOUR ABUSE TOWARDS ME LIKE I AM YOUR FUCKING HAMSTER IN A WHEEL. WHAT DO I HAVE NOW MARK? BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER? ALCOHOLISM? YOU TELL ME DR. MARK. My Therapist was just happy I was still alive in my session with her this afternoon.

    I am worth more than ALL OF THIS and if you want to find someone else to focus on so you can not deal with your own issues go ahead. I loved you but I will not be treated this way ever again. NO ONE will verbally abuse me the way you have this week. EVER. Nor slap me. Nor spit on me. Nor tamper with or destroy my property. Nor tell me that if I only reacted the right way towards them it would never happen. Nor make me feel insecure by repeating my insecurities to me then denying they said them.

    Who is smarter then who? Who does not LIE? I have $7,000.00 in my checking account come see me. Let’s stay at the Scottish Inn with no hot water. Wait a minute. I have no money. HOW ABOUT BEING HONEST ABOUT ONE THING IN YOUR LIFE? GO LIE TO SOMEONE ELSE.

    Quit contacting me.

    I mean it. And, even though I screwed up I can still have the law on my side. Guess what Mr. Verbal Abuser? I have not cried since the voice message I left you. The only tears you acknowledge are your own which is why you can’t cum in anyone else. You love your own reflection. NO ONE WILL EVER HURT ME LIKE YOU AGAIN MR. VICTIM.

    GO AWAY. I am blocking your brother on AT&T now until I change by cell phone number. Thanks for remembering how you were going to listen to me, acknowledge your violence towards me and understand. Quit reading the books. I don’t think they are helping you. Best plan? Love yourself like you have your whole life and go off to find your next victim.

    ~ Kat

    PS: I could not afford to see you this weekend either. You were supposed to fill up my gas tank. I can’t make my bills now as well. But, that involves me so I know it does not matter.

    PWS: If you cry again and call me I am hanging up on the memory of every time I cried on your boat, or your dock or anywhere else you abused me and you denied my tears. You can’t hurt me anymore. I will not allow it ever again.

    GO AWAY.

    KittyVictim

    September 6, 2012 at 12:31 am

  317. Kittyvictim

    wanted to know if you were ok.

    keep your chin up girl.

    lilly

    September 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

  318. @lilly I am good. One of the last things he said to me was that I abused him worst then he ever abused me. His words are so toxic. He has caused me so much pain. He typed in an email to me, “You do not remember being SLAMMED down the DECK 7 times and thighs bruises by them NOT me…….You could not comply with the police demands to sit. You could not stop yourself Monday night either when I begged you in tears to stop attacking me.” The only problem with all of these words? They are inaccurate. He talks about me being “slammed down the deck” referencing the police who did not slam me down but asked me to sit down after I called 9-1-1 ON HIM when he slapped me in front of his friend on his yacht. They had him and his friend laying on their faces because Mark has prior felony convictions. The same officers whom he told his mother handcuffed me and took me away actually did take me away on their boat waiting with me on the road until my friend picked me up. These same officers apologized to me that they could not arrest him as he did not leave any marks (evidence) on me. I never attacked him last week but told him I could not “do this anymore” when he began to slip into an abusive pattern that I immediately recognized on the telephone. He told me that he and his mother diagnosed me from her medical journal last fall in response to “Why did you say I had Borderline Personality Disorder?” after I asked him not to come back to my apartment because I needed a separation. After crying to him over his repeated abuse towards me which was never dealt with I find out that he was analyzing me behind the scenes with his mother? Do you see the evil nature of his words? The police could not control you and neither could I. He used to tell me that after he abused me when I lived on his boat. He used to say that “I am restraining you like a police officer”. The scary thing is that he said the exact same thing to his ex-girlfriend after he abused her. She told me this on a telephone call when I first connected with her. The hair on the back of my neck stood up.

    He is consistent in the 4’s of an abuser. Deny. Minimize. Justify. Blame. He clearly verbally abused me in the most awful manner imaginable last week for two days, screaming on my voice mail and sending the cruelest emails. He called me a “fat little girl”, a “dirty little pig” and a “bitch, cunt, whore.” THEN, he flips it all around that he was simply responding to my attacks after I did not STOP? THEN he says regardless of his words I was more abusive towards him. He even lied and said I called him names. I have learned to ask him to quantify statements. He said I called him a “fat pig” which was an absolute lie which he then backed down on saying it like it was nothing. He lies then expects me to forget about it immediately afterwards. He tells me that he is going to start writing my counselor so she can hear his side of the story. He says that he was sick of “walking on eggshells” in our relationship. It’s so upsetting when someone plays the “Hector projector” game with you! Thankfully I have created a major support group around myself.

    I honestly am not healthy enough to read his words any longer. I can’t take any of this mentally any longer. I am checking out permanently from the crazy club called a relationship with Mark.

    Thanks for checking up on me.

    KittyVictim

    September 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

  319. Kitty, glad your OK, I’m sorry you went through that all over again- but I’m glad you can see how much you’ve grown! You are stronger than before and you snapped back to reality very quickly and got out! good job! I can relate to the wishful thinking, I did it so many times, listened to all the sweet words, apologies, revelations, loving promises of how things will be different and he would never do anything to lose me again…. and then the mask comes off, they put you down, drag you down, same old song and dance and your left wondering What the F*** is wrong with me how many times am I gonna feed into this bull sh**, . WTF these men are maddening! Anyway I hopped on here tonight cuz I’ve been doin a little wishful thinking of my own, not that I made contact but entertaining some fond memories and warm fuzzy feelings even had a couple dreams of reuniting with him, I don’t get it I was doing just fine for quite a while and then a couple weeks ago I was out on a date and BAM! Something reminded me of him, I instantly got very melancholy and I was able to push it aside for a while but it sneaks in here and there…..so then I start looking through pictures, not a great idea…. ick one day at a time a guess, some days are harder then others…. maybe its the changing of the seasons or something, who knows….. bottom line I’m with Kitty lets all just “STAY OUT OF THE CRAZY CLUB!”

    I'm always ok

    September 10, 2012 at 3:09 am

  320. @I’m always ok. Do you journal? Journalling is what saved me. I write it all down. I also saved his words. I transcribed his voice messages. I sent him an email tonight. It’s long and laborious but the point I want to make to you tonight? He is the same person that beat his ex-girlfriend’s head onto the floorboards of his boat then lied about her being Borderline Personality Disorder when she finally had the strength to leave him. Don’t go back OK @I’m always ok? It’s worst every time. Trust me on this…

    Here are the words of a monster:

    • December 21, 2010. You wrote this to me in an email. This sums up your mental attitude towards my “crazy feelings”. “I would rather simply disrespect you enough to push you away right now than to have to endure future hours of needless comforting of your feelings of whatever that last way too long and simply take you way too long to get over. I don’t like getting raising my voice at you to make points and to keep the focus off your own self-created drama. I feel if you want drama, I’ll give you the drama you require but I’d rather start to pass. I don’t like any part of this whatsoever. My point before is – I will not sit and watch while someone has to take time to brood over something. Life is way too short. I feel that if you are going to brood over something for more than two seconds, I’ll give you something that warrants brooding over. Life is way too short.” (You were true to your word.)
    • Christmas Day 2010. This is my worst Christmas of my life. My things where still in my car. I got no presents. Nothing. “Although you piss me off too often, I do care about you. I am trying to love you between your insecurities and paranoia that create issues in our relationship.” You still justify putting my things in leaving me at the Quarterdeck, putting my things in plastic bags, putting everything I had in the world besides my POD in my car and on your dock. Trying to escape offshore but you could not find your boat keys. This is the beginning months into our relationship. There was so much violence. So many times you spit on me. But, I will now skip to two periods. The time right after I asked you to not come back to Georgia when you left me voice message after voice message mad at me because I said I needed a separation because we never dealt with the violence in our relationship, the time after our Christmas 2012 reconciliation and your recent words to me.
    • September 27, 2011. “I don’t want to be reminded of the fact that the mistake I made was not untying the lines fast enough and get away form this dock.” Referencing you abandoning me on Christmas Eve 2011. I was paying you rent at the time.
    • September 27, 2011. “The more I think about what happened in the past and the more you make me think about it instead of forgiving and forgetting the more pissed off I can get about it all over again.”
    • September 27, 2011. “I don’t want to be in a situation where I don’t have any respect for you and when you do the things you do I have zero respect and zero tolerance whatsoever for it.” This is a very scary place for me to be in given your violent history. That is the truth regardless of how you want to paint the picture.
    • September 27, 2011. “I no longer feel your actions are a threat to my freedom. I figured out how to deal with it. That doesn’t mean I feel disgusted when I feel you are being in self-pity and having attention brought to yourself.” Do you have any idea how many times you have told me I disgust you? Do you have any idea how that has made me feel?
    • October 1, 2011. “Has anybody else had their hands on you because of what was going on in your brain that you didn’t know about during drinking?”
    • October 2, 2011. “I don’t blame you for anything but except for the fact that you don’t realize what’s happened in the past. You weren’t even there. I mean you were there but not mentally.” Incorrect statement. I remember more of the past than you ever will. I also score over 98% on my SATS for reading comprehension. You can’t even remember driving all the way to WPB airport to pick me up not even a year ago.
    • October 4, 2011. “OK? With Marianne? Different whole story. Very different story. That was Mark and I was rageful. And, a true definition of rageful…what you demonstrate over and over and over.” What is wrong with that sentence? Do I even have to tell you? Well let me clarify something. Since September 27, 2011 you have repeatedly told me that “Marianne was a saint”. “Brenda and you pushed my buttons.” Logically though there is one person here repeating the same patterns? His name is Mark. Turn the focus on yourself.
    • October 4, 2011. “Did I get upset with her one day when she walked on the boat and she left footprints? Yes. Did she overreact when I just simply asked please don’t do that? Yes. Probably the same way that you reacted when I said please don’t drink.” You beat Brenda’s head on the floorboards of your boat. Are you starting to get how I feel now?
    • October 4, 2011. “I know who pushes my buttons and I know when I see red and you know I know who around me when I see red doesn’t respect me.”
    • October 8, 2011. “Your disease and your diagnoses are well documented in those journals. I can’t believe that you haven’t read these things and figured it out for yourself. This is who you are.” After you sat reading from a medical journal with your mother “diagnosing” my “disease” when all I wanted was for you to STOP and listen to me about the abuse you committed against me. I am going to a professional now. Don’t bother ever diagnosing me again. If you choose to lie to your friends and family now about whom I am if we never get back together again? Go ahead. I had a feeling that was what was going to happen to me when I lived on your boat.
    • October 17, 2011. “I think the reason that you have stayed with me throughout this is because you realized what you’ve done in relation to everything.”
    • December 3, 2011. “They were CONTROLLED – CALCULATED and meant to STOP what you were doing and immediately SQUELCH your noise and temper so as to NOT bring attention to my person or boat.” This has been your ongoing reason for your violence against me. Again. Turn the focus on yourself. Quit focusing on our relationship. You do not need a bandage. You need major surgery.
    • December 3, 2011. “there were EVER-so-SLIGHTLY over the top of what YOU were doing by design. NOT OUT OF CONTROL. I call it MIRRORING your behavior so that you see it. DON’T LIKE IT? Then choose to stop.” I am getting so upset reading these words I want to throw up right now.
    • December 3, 2011. “I fell in love with you from June-July-August-Sept. The minute you showed some consistency in your personality and love for me.” Then did you lie on your boat? I have volumes of you professing your love for me. I remember you holding me in the front cabin telling me you loved with tears rolling down your cheeks. No. This also was a lie invented to justify past behaviors towards me.
    • December 3, 2011. “I will sue you for the $3,450 soon as you do NOT seem to fathom what you have done.” You did stalk me. Deny it? I have proof. I have the same story as Brenda. And, after I was forced to take you to court you threaten to sue me back? You should be thankful I never really took you to court for felony kidnapping. I had filed a report at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. They had pictures of the aftermath as I was bruised all over my body. You would be in jail for life. I did not do it because I loved you. EVERYTHING HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT MARK. You tormented me at work and home calling repeatedly over and over and over. You text messaged me so much I could not focus on my job. I remember Mark. I remember everything.
    • February 2012. ““You are not even close to the class and ladylike nature of Brenda. She got the diamonds in the pearls and the trip to see her daughter six months after our relationship was over due to the Classy nature of who she is. You have sucks years from my life and I despise you for continuing to do so. So as Demi Moore expressed to Tom Cruise in the movie “a few good men”. Live with that…You are nothing.”
    • April 2012. “Do not worry Ms. I am starting a relationship with a very nice lady who knows my entire history and family. She is the former Mayor of… She is a very strong and successful business woman who comes from a family of extreme wealth. She has known how much I love you and has been helping me through my pain involving you. Like all my friends and family who know you she has been trying to convince me that we should be together but only if you acknowledge what you have done town nights ago and apologize and do whatever counseling is necessary to affect change. Unlike me who have at least acknowledged all thing that need work, you have not even acknowledged your issues. Each time they are front and center you do everything to transfer the focus away from such behavior.” First? That was a complete lie or you lied to me about that it was a lie. Second? I have always acknowledged that I need work. That is why I am in therapy. Third? It was cruel for you to say any of it including your shining biography of all things she is compared to what I am not. My counselor said this was cruel and intended to hurt me. She has said repeatedly that your words are damaging. I cried for a solid week after receiving this text message.
    • April 2012. “Thank you for teaching me how to avoid people like you without having violence.” Operative words? “People like you.”
    • April 2012. “You keep trying to justify your bad behavior by accusing me of many things including being with other women (the Friend Finders APP put you at her address) and most recently turning things around regarding my warnings to you that if you keep things up, I will eventually start another relationship. I am sorry I said this to you in my own frustration over your constant escalating of stupid things. It is very similar to me holding your bag over the water begging you to calm down and stop.” These are what your apologies look like. You also bring up a very traumatic experience justifying your behavior, minimizing my reaction to your hurtful words and blaming me for all of it.
    • April 2012. “Is this why your sister writes and talk to you in a way that shows she has simply “LOST IT” as you say?” NEVER reference my twin sister again. I WILL never tell you ONE thing that is painful or personal so you can use it against me as AMMO when you need a bullet to hurt me. As you may or may not remember she recently had a complete psychotic break. They had to remove her son from her home. You are not allowed to mention her name to me ever again.
    • April 2012. “Janet has removed herself from the both of you. Is it because you both caused issues?” AGAIN. DON”T EVER USE MY FAMILY AGAINST ME AGAIN. I AM COMMUNICATING again with my older sister after much pain. She LOST her SON not that you ever BOTHERED TO ASK ME ABOUT HOW IT FEELS TO LOSE A NEPHEW. We never even talk about it or the death of my mother. But we spent a lot of time covering the death of your father. You only asked me if I was going to be as fat as her someday after you saw the albums I created to honor his death on Facebook.
    • August 2012. “Yes. I recognize all violence is preceded by verbal abuse. However, I have never blurted out comments that were intended to make you feel less than or diminished. My intent was by no means that of a typical verbal abuser.” And, you also said the same thing about your violence towards me. You weren’t a typical “wife beater”. Tell me how I was supposed to feel when I was standing in front of your friend Steve Smith with your marks on my neck including the finger nails marks because you grabbed me so hard? How do you think I felt at work that week hiding in my office?
    • August 2012. “While it is very true that nothing you ever did warranted any of my behavior, it does not diminish the massive amounts of verbal abuse and creation of chaos I had to endure also before my outbursts.” A classic pattern that both Patricia Evans and Lundy Bancroft detail is when an abusive man is called to task on his abuse he shift blame calling his partner abusive. I have my issues. I have never denied it. But I did not abuse you. I did not abuse you this week. I overreacted to you forgetting a situation, which included you screaming at me all the way from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale. I told you I couldn’t take it anymore. But what words did I speak? You said I called you a fat pig? That is a lie and also extremely upsetting. I would never call you those names because it is not in my nature. My reality is more precious than any love I have for you. You are tampering with it again. I won’t allow it. I don’t “black out”. If you and I agree to the words you speak to me and my counselor and I agree that no matter what you say they are damaging who is right Mark? I found someone now who listens to me. She does not make me feel there is something wrong with me.
    • September 5 2012. You said to me over the telephone “this is why I put your things on the dock the night of the Quarterdeck”. “You should have pulled me aside”. “You never had my back”. Mark. You were screaming at me on the boat, spitting in my face. For the first time someone said out loud what you were doing to me. My counselor asked me “Did he deal with any of it? Did he acknowledge his rages towards you?” I am somehow always at fault for everything with you.
    • September 5, 2012. You told me over the telephone you could “only be with someone that loved themselves and I “disgusted you.” You said it was “my fault” that you said the things you did to me because I was “so insecure”. You told me that I “put” the “ideas” in your head. Again? I disgust Mark. How do you think that makes me feel?
    • September 5, 2012. Again back to nothing is resolved. I can never look forward to a proper holiday, birthday or Valentine’s Day with you because of the way you think. You think presents are only bought when someone is “in the right mindset”. “You cannot go to bed tonight with them I love you and forgiveness. I could not bring myself to purchase gifts for you when I was in the same mind set. However I was always ready to go to bed with the issues resolved. The fact that you could not resolve the issue in your mind is not on me.” But when I cried over the lack of presents to you on your boat you told me “Do not expect anything from me until I have $10,000.00 in the bank.” Is it just because you are selfish that you don’t buy me presents unless they are unwanted and you send them to me at work? Or are presents another means of control to you? If i am good I get presents? Too bad I was never good enough when we were in a relationship together. Then I might have some nice memories of important occasions that are supposed to mean something with the man she loved. I am also sick of trying to figure out your behaviors. Bad behavior or neglect are simply what they are regardless of reason or intent.
    • September 5, 2012. Voice message. “You’re worried about my name calling? You forget that you started the name calling a full hour before I ever called you a single name. You promised me that you would never be a bitch, a cunt or a whore. And, you would never do XYZ and you did exactly those things.” For the record Mark? I never called you a fat pig. I never called you a single name and if you say I did you are lying. I did ask you if you were schizophrenic. That was wrong and I apologized for it. I have also saved these two voice messages so my counselor can hear how you speak to me when you are in a rage. You didn’t yell the way you used to at me but it’s bad enough.
    • September 5, 2012. Voice message: “I want to go to sleep in peace. I am either going to go to sleep one or two ways. One? You are going to call me. You are going to apologize. I will apologize to you. We will say that we need some more work. We will discuss things. Or two. I will convince myself and you will convince yourself that you are a rotten son of a fucking cunt whore and I am a fucking monster and I’m an asshole. Well? You can do that. But just remember. You started it. And after five minutes you kept it going. And after another five minutes you kept it going. And, after you got home from Griffins you kept it going. And, after an hour and a half I got disgusted when I heard you say “I can’t do this anymore”. And, I called you some names that you were actually being! Not like the human resource manager who would never, ever act in such a childish unhealthy manner. Am I upset? Yea! Do I belong saying anything more for the rest of my life about this to you? No. I am going to stay angry about it. And, I am going to stay angry so that I hold anger and contempt for you in my heart. Because that’s what I see in your heart. Clearly. And, when I definitely convey to you how tearful and how upset and how hurt I am about what you did over that hour you purposely crushed me all over again long before I called you a bitch, cunt or a whore…long before.” Guess what? You will never call me a bitch, cunt, whore again because I don’t have to communicate with you. It’s my choice not yours. I don’t believe you when you say you won’t call me these names because you are still calling them years after I first asked you to STOP.
    • September 5, 2012. “You have accomplished nothing this night but convince me you are some little mean fat girl who picks on and bullies everyone on the playground before they Pick on you thinking the entire playground is against you.”
    • September 5, 2012. “”If you don’t touch shit you won’t stink. You can’t wrestle with the pig without getting dirty.”
    • September 5, 2012. “You are not my size. You are fatter and bigger and less able to deal with life.”
    • September 5, 2012. “I way more mature than to deal with the likes of you or anything for which you stand. You are the biggest drunk I know and you are a very mean sadistic drunk.”
    • September 5, 2012. “I am already over you. Thanks for making it very easy for me to do so this weekend.”

    And, he is still the “victim” and I sbused him worst then me? Don’t bother calling. Dr. Jekyll is in love with Mr. Hyde. If you can’t date the evil conjoined twins they will find someone else that loves both of them.

    KittyVictim

    September 10, 2012 at 4:34 am

  321. @I’m always OK Don’t compare crazy land to normal. The ride up is more wonderful but the ride down is going to hell. It’s a dance between contrasts that makes us addicted. How can you date normal when Dr. Jekyll was so amazing. Shit. Can’t we kill Mr. Hyde?

    Nope.

    I would rather be by myself for the rest of my life than listen to him call me a “Bitch, Cunt, Whore” one more time.

    Even if I miss the “butterfly kisses” and sunset cruises off the coast.

    Good night mate! Stay strong.

    ~ Kitten

    KittyVictim

    September 10, 2012 at 4:53 am

  322. Prior to bed I just wanted to share one last thought(s) with the Forum. I did not even really like him that much when I first met him! I played with him like a Kat with a mouse. I did not know I was playing with evil. HIs pathos met my naivety. I thought I could just hang around, take him back and ignore my internal screams for safety.

    I don’t like the “danger boys” any longer. I have found myself again. I don’t have to explain to him that I will never communicate with him. I don’t have to do anything ever again but take care of myself.

    I am up tonight way late thinking that I will create my own adventures now. I will learn from this relationship like the others but this one brought me to the center of myself.

    It’s not a bad place to be actually. Focus on yourself. Learn the lessons. A wise ex-girlfriend of his has told me this over and over.

    My life is not going to be defined by an arrogant, abusive asshole. The filth of his heart and mind will no longer be a rallying point for me. My life is going to be created by my mind which is pure.

    The one thing I have learned from Group is that almost universally the women who are abused are pure, sweet and loving creatures.

    And, that is all I have to say about that.

    KittyVictim

    September 10, 2012 at 6:43 am

  323. I have experienced trauma bonding as well. I choose not to go into details because aren’t all the stories basically the same. I have learned that the push-pull attraction to someone who treats you poorly is more about YOU than them. My family of origin was a classroom where I learned that some of the men (grandfather, uncles and step-father) in my life were supposed to be loved and respected despite the fact that they treated their spouses and children terrible. The conflicting messages learned early in my childhood set me up to a perfect victim. Now, that I am in recovery, I thank my soon-to-be ex-husband. He was a great teacher. He taught me that if I do not love myself and heal all of the junk I acquired early in life than I will always behave as a victim and attract victimizers. Co-Dependents Anonymous, individual therapy, family/friend support and developing a relationship with God have been my salvations!
    I wish all of you luck on your journey.

    Learning to Love

    September 19, 2012 at 4:56 am

  324. So true. If you learned love was painful when you were little then love without pain isn’t love. Learning the difference in order to recognize that painful love is dangerous and destructive is lesson one. Lesson two is learning that you are worth loving and if you love yourself from 1-10 at 10 then you will expect 10 from your significant other. If you love yourself 1 then you will settle for crumbs if you think that is all that you are worth. Everytime you let someone hurt you in a relationship, they get the upper hand and learn your vulnerabilities. I wish I had left the first time I noticed that T hurt me in order to express his feelings of loss of control over me. Valuable lessons learned often come at a price. Sometimes that price is your life. Never underestimate the danger of being with someone who does not love you in a positive way. There is a long list of women who lost their lives trying to make a man love them or trying to leave them after the deal breaker.

    The one that got away

    September 19, 2012 at 5:24 am

  325. Couldn’t help myself:
    When I first began my journey of recovery a couple of years ago, all I could focus on was the details of how my husband had lied, cheated, emotionally abused and betrayed me. When I learned about narcissism and narcissistic supply, I thought “Yes, that’s him. I now have a definition to fit his dysfunctional abusive behavior! So, I am off the hook. It wasn’t me. It was him all along. I’m not the crazy one, he is!”
    I couldn’t see beyond his actions to look at myself. However in recovery, I have learned that there is a part of me that is attracted to that chaos and emotional rollercoaster ride and that has absolutely nothing to do with him. That’s my own pathology.
    I am encouraged reading posts on this site because it shows how we are all at different stages of healing. The intricate details of what he did to dishonor me are not as important NOW because I understand that in between the lines of the story of him&I is the story of the girl/woman who had the core belief that I deserved to be treated like crap. That doesn’t excuse his behavior but it puts the power for my happiness and joy back were it should have always been: with me.
    I still have moments where I reach for the phone and just want to talk but I have to remind myself of how the pattern of our relationship always plays out. ME: busted, broke and disgusted. Him: on to the next woman.
    Life is much too short to keep hoping that someone who has shown who he is will change! My life has changed and I have experienced so much happiness and peace because I now know that I am my change agent.
    Be Blessed.

    Learning to Love

    September 19, 2012 at 5:41 am

  326. Hi I just stopped in again to share this healer’s’ website/blog. I found her over on youtube, she has some videos on healing from Narcissistic Abuse VERY GOOD!!!!! I knew I had to come here and share with all of you!!! I have already gotten some healing (still have a ways to go). She talks about things such As NO CONTACT, inner healing, and she uses Quantum Physics principles and also the Law of Attraction. It’s all so very good!!!!!!!!

    May we ALL get the healing we all deserve and need to be able to move forward….!!!! Here’s looking to better days.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://blog.melanietoniaevans.com/

    Here is the first of 3 videos she did over on youtube that I was talking about, very good….I encourage you to at least watch this first one…!!!

    anonymous coward

    September 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm

  327. on a side note, I did get some healing upon completing the 3 videos (she has a healing session at the end of the 3rd video)…Im not so anxious, etc, as I was. Im feeling more peace and calm inside of myself….=o)

    anonymous coward

    September 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

  328. I’m in love with a woman that has been severely abused by a predator so bad that she would’ve killed herself if we didn’t meet, this is the conclusion both of us came to and our therapists too.
    Long story short i had to learn everything about abuse, trauma bonding, dissociation and all the rest, i couldn’t simply understand how someone could simply be so evil, evil engulfed me and her like a disease, it made me so fearful too (I’m a corporate executive and i consider myself pretty sturdy) never in my life i would’ve thought to experience such anxiety, such terror….love saved both of us, now I see him as the garbage he is but i have learned that evil people can have such a power over good people, we are simply not used to evil, we are out now and we will marry….it’s terrible we met while she was under abuse and because of the abuse but as they say “if you cannot take the worst you don’t deserve the best” I surely understood the significance of the phrase!
    anyway, I just wanted to signal a document that made me understand and her understand so much, it’s and FBI document from agent hazelwood about compliant victims of sexual sadists.
    here’s the link

    http://www.canadiancrc.com/Newspaper_Articles/FBI_USA_Disturbed_Mind_-Compliant_Victims_of_Sexual_Sadist.aspx

    good luck to everyone and i really hope you will find a good person to share the pain and love you for who you are, a hug to everyone of you,
    A

    ale biglio

    September 20, 2012 at 3:30 am

  329. I am so thankful to have stumbled across this site…after years of reading and searching and trying to heal……

    paulrinaldo

    September 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

  330. @ale – i can’t thank you enough for the link – it really helped me to understand exactly how much i have come through. and thank you for being the man that understood, and stood for the woman who survived so much. God bless you both.

    @paulrinaldo – welcome! we are all here trying to help each other do just that – read, search and heal. glad to have another perspective.

    lilly

    September 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm

  331. Learning to love….I am new to this forum…when you say he has moved on to his next woman…does he do the same to her…or to them? That is the struggle I have now…questioning why he treated me the way he did….but can so readily move on to another woman….That is my biggest struggle now, seeing him to be seemingly happy with someone else, and her happy with him…and I, like you feel, broke and busted….

    breaking free

    September 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm

  332. Oh my goodness…..reading through these is like looking into a mirror….I was repeatedly called, whore, bitch, cunt, slut…..ugh…………….I cringe at those words………and to know that others have experienced the exact same things……….are we all talking about THE SAME MAN?????? No, there cannot be more than one of them….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I was alone!

    breaking free

    September 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm

  333. I am literally shking reading through these posts………..I have been spit on….when he had oral herpes spitting all over my face to try to give it to me after telling me he could not kiss me so he would not give it to me…..he has had his hands around my neck, choking me and cutting off my airway….trying to get him off me while he was slamming my hand against the bed…….leaving it bruised and swollen…..the police were called, and I did not want to press charges at the time but a report was taken….and we went to court, and I asked the judge to force him into counseling…and the case was dropped when his attorney said he could not be forced into counseling, and he paid $8,000 to have his record expunged. When he tried to get me away on a romantic weekend a month ago, he promised to finally go to counseling, I asked him to take ownership of the that one incident with the choking…and he said it never happened, if it did the police would have taken photos of the bruises. I never went back the next day to have the marks photographed, so he said it never happened…and he told me to drop it and shut my mouth, and I would not let it go, so he said deal was off for counseling, and now he, a month later is with another woman….and I feel so ashamed that I fell for his manipulation, yet again…..

    breaking free

    September 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm

  334. Breaking free, there but for the grace of God go I. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Learning isn’t always instantaneous, especially lessons of the heart. Yes it hurts to find out there is another woman willing to take your place. Yes she may be perfect for him and they may live happily ever after but you know that if you wanted to be that girl, suffering at his hands, you could still be the one. Why we cry? Because that place in our vulnerable heart has been deceived. You can love someone and not be with them because you are preserving your life. It is sometimes accidental that women die at the hands of a man they love, but warning signs can save you if you heed them. I chose to stay away from Tony even though every day I miss the good parts of him. You have to choose. Your life with him, sad and abused or your life alone until you meet someone who will respect you and be kind. Choose with your mind and your heart will understand one day, not tomorrow, maybe in a month, maybe a year, you will look back and know that you have done the right thing, only looking back now, it is too close, just like looking at fabric and not the dress, one day you will see him for what he really was, a lesson to learn and grow with. Soothe yourself to make your pain easier, whatever it takes, for me it is Dream Whip and hot cherry pie. Stay strong.

    The one that got away

    September 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm

  335. He has treated his exgirfriends the same way as me…he strangled me, and he strangled another one before me. He cut my airway off…he choked her until she blacked out. He tells me it never happened to either of us. He said we both made up it up. He joked to me about bruises he left on me at times from pushing me or grabbing me or kicking me, that they were gone in a few days so it must not have been that bad. He told his other ex that she did not turn blue when he choked her, so it must not not have been that bad. So what you are saying is that he can be cruel and hateful to me…and his exes, but he is miracuosly going to change for his new woman?….that he will always treat her well because she is “perfect” for him? That they will live happily ever after because I wasn’t perfect for him? Ouch! He did say that his problem is he picks woman who are bitches and whores and cunts and that is why he has not been able to maintain any type of long-term relationship. So because she is perfect for him, she will never see that side of him? I struggle with comprehending that.

    breaking free

    September 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  336. I should mention that his “new woman” and he have been seeing each other for about a year, when I finally walked away from him last August. Since that time, he has begged me to be with him about 4 times, (he has a habit of coming back into my life every few months) each time telling me that he is no longer seeing the other woman, promising me he will change, he will go to counseling, will do whatever he needs to get us back together….but each time I went back to him, although he says he is no longer seeing “her” I found out that he is in fact still seeing her. So, he is trying to get with me behind her back, and he is lying to me about his involvement with her. I have read all the books, Lundy Bancroft’s, books about narcissists, books about abuse, etc. and I know that I know the “real” him, but it boggles my mind that he can “miracuosly” change for another woman…..is he changed? or will he eventually let his “real self” out of his dark little closet?

    breaking free

    September 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

  337. The perfect one has low self esteem and accepts abuse because she has no other options or she is a masochist. I still love him even though he has found someone new who accepts his process. In my case when she runs out of money and assets for him to steal he will find a new one who will drink the koolaid. He also always wants me to go back. If I ever go back he will be even worse as he will feel he has won an the challenge is gone.

    The one that got away

    September 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

  338. “So what you are saying is that he can be cruel and hateful to me…and his exes, but he is miracuosly going to change for his new woman?….that he will always treat her well because she is “perfect” for him? That they will live happily ever after because I wasn’t perfect for him? Ouch!”

    breaking free: when I kicked ‘my abuser’ out for the first time around 2 and a half years ago, I saw a counsellor who suggested that I was perhaps not the ‘right’ woman for him, and that he might be happier with someone who was more subordinate than me. She even went so far as to suggest that I was putting him at risk by staying with him since I could cause him to lose his job (he is a police officer) if he were to attack me. I was furious with her for two reasons: first, this seemed to take the responsibility for his actions out of his hands since I was the ’cause’ of his abusive behaviour towards me. Second, I was devastated that she suggested he could be happier with someone else. Needless to say, I ditched that counsellor, but I did wonder whether she was doing a bit of reverse psychology on me by suggesting that by staying with him I might cause him harm.

    I honestly think this is a crock of shit. Abusers say that there are ‘perfect’ women out there as a way of justifying their abuse. Some counsellors collude in this rubbish, to their shame. Controlling men use any technique to control and will always find a reason to kick off at the one they supposedly love, however ‘well behaved’ she is.

    In your case it is clear that your abuser is also abusing the ‘other’ woman since he is seeing her whilst pursuing you.

    Mine always maintained that I was the only partner he’d abused in his life (which seemed like a very unpleasant vindication of what this counsellor had been saying to me), and yet over time I came to see that this was untrue. He didn’t tell me much about his relationship with his ex-wife, but what I have managed to piece together shows a remarkably similar pattern in the relationship: her kicking him out frequently (I did that – having never done that to a partner before – when he was being intimidating and kicking off), her calling the police on him (I almost did that on more than one occasion), him ‘losing’ his wedding ring (he used to take the ring off that I’d bought for him and throw it around during his explosions), her kicking him out before Christmas. I did that too during an especially frightening explosion of his just before Christmas. Her insane anger with him after the relationship ended. I have felt like that too. His older kids also ‘act out’ like him, and I guess they grew up watching him abuse, and now feel that this is the way to behave.

    Maybe I got off lightly. I didn’t have kids with him, although we did try. I don’t have kids and would dearly love them, but it is probably too late for me now. Six wasted years… it’s a crying shame.

    luna

    September 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm

  339. @Luna – i had a similar therapist, who was male. we went to him together, and he actually made excuses for me being locked in the basement for over 24hrs without food or water, and for being hit. i have a disability, and when he heard about those things that my then-boyfriend had done he said “well, you must be hard to live with, you are disabled. besides, i am sure he is sorry.”

    to be completely honest, i sat there with my mouth open, having no idea as to what to say to him. i never wen back to couples counseling, but my ex did – to the same therapist. he had found the perfect therapist for him – one that would back his abuse.
    it was unreal.

    lilly

    September 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm

  340. lilly: this is absolutely disgraceful. Disgusting. It amazes me that these people can carry on practising – there should be a way of outing them professionally and getting them barred. They can do alot of damage I think, especially as counselling is often sought at a time of vulnerability. I’ve seen some absolutely rubbish ones. One told me I was ‘obsessed’ by my abuser (!), and also told me I should have a baby to ‘take my mind off things’.

    You poor thing. What a horrible, horrible story.

    luna

    September 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm

  341. @ Luna – that’s right! you need a baby in that abusive relationship! then you could worry about her safety instead of your own!! brilliant idea, ms. therapist!

    i agree – they really need to be brought to light, because they help the abusers go and do what they do. i just can’t get my head around it. i know my ex tried to look as small and sad as he could while i told the story of what i did, and that was enough for the therapist – he “protected” my abuser, by telling me i was just as bad because disabled.

    still to this day, i can’t believe it happened. and my ex? still abusive. that therapist – and yours, i suspect, have a hell of a lot to answer for.

    lilly

    September 23, 2012 at 10:36 pm

  342. lilly: here in the UK the best known couples counselling organisation is ‘Relate’. To their credit, when I phoned them and explained the situation they refused to see the two of us together. Their line – they don’t couples counsel when the situation is abusive because this can make the abuse even worse – ought to be adopted by ALL counsellors in my view. Besides which, how can YOUR needs and HIS ‘needs’ be met in the same session? It just seems insane.

    luna

    September 23, 2012 at 10:40 pm

  343. i like that – it actually makes sense. we don’t seem to have that here, and it gets worse for people who go to religious counselors. they have the whole “women submit to your husbands” thing, and the “forgive” thing too.

    the worst thing with therapy is that the abuser is manipulative. and they are very good at it. throw one of them in a tense situation, and they will control the whole thing.
    it’s just nasty.

    lilly

    September 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

  344. “I have learned that the push-pull attraction to someone who treats you poorly is more about YOU than them”

    Learning to love: I don’t think this is always this case. Certainly, some people who are in abusive relationships are repeating patterns that they have, very sadly, grown up with. They repeat the behaviour as a way of trying to find a proper resolution of it.

    However, in my case I encountered the one abuser in my life as an adult. I generally have faith in human beings, I look for the good in them. I find ill intention perplexing. I was duped. I wasn’t looking to be abused, and I wasn’t repeating a pattern. This situation was very much NOT more about me than him. It was very much about HIM repeating patterns. I happened to be the unfortunate object of his patterned behaviour at that time. It took me a while to work out what was going on partly because I hadn’t encountered this kind of behaviour before, but also because he was blaming it on him suffering from PTSD. I came to see this also as an excuse.

    Having said all that, I am looking into myself because I really want to arm myself against this happening to me again. I want to work out why I didn’t act on the red flags (they were there), and to make sure that if ever anyone treated me in this way I would act uncompromisingly at the outset and make it VERY clear that I would not accept that behaviour.

    luna

    September 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

  345. “the worst thing with therapy is that the abuser is manipulative. and they are very good at it. throw one of them in a tense situation, and they will control the whole thing.”

    lilly: yes, yes, yes. I think my abuser was manipulating HIS counsellor! I didn’t ever really envy her since he was the most unreflective person I’ve ever met. He was totally incapable of any type of self-examination, or any reflection on ANY aspect of his life.

    luna

    September 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

  346. Luna – you know, i think you are spot on there – none of the abusive people i have known in my life really examine their own thoughts or actions. they tend to jump to blaming others, because it is easier.
    and that is sad, because both of my parents and the abusive boyfriend were all very intelligent people.

    one thing with those of us who were abused as kids – heavy abuse is a training camp, and just because you leave, doesn’t mean you lose the training. the new abusers rings those bells again, and even though it is years later, you salivate.
    you can’t help it – it was life and death as a kid, or incredibly painful, and so you lean their lessons very quickly. most of us never get “deprogrammed” from abuse, and so never realize that we are still primed to respond exactly how an abusers wants us to.
    not only that, but for us to spot danger, it has to be really, really bad. i think that is how we end up with these losers. they don’t hit or rape us right away, so we don’t really think of it as dangerous, where a person who wasn’t abused might think “what a jerk!” and leave.
    once they do hurt you, the “i have to make the best of this, and not get them angry!” training kicks in, and leaving never enters your mind, because you couldn’t leave as a kid. you kind of live in a waking flashback. at some point, you realize what you are doing, but by then you have lost years.

    it sucks – and it is one of the reasons that child abuse is just plain evil. it leaves the person totally unprepared for the nasty world at large.
    but i would never say it is more about me than the abuser – because no matter what i have lived through, i AM NOT RAPING OR BEATING SOMEONE!

    lilly

    September 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm

  347. lilly: what you describe is desperately sad. Tragic. It makes me feel very sad indeed to think of kids going through such traumas, and then being ineluctably bound, and drawn, to that kind of behaviour. I think this kind of programming can happen in later life too, although where this happens (such as in my case) there is the capacity to counter and balance the abusive experience against more positive experiences.

    I’m so sorry that you’ve had such terrible experiences. It is very sad indeed. My heart goes out to you.

    Huge hugs x

    luna

    September 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm

  348. @luna – that is really sweet of you. thanks. i felt that hug – and i needed it too!

    i feel free to share things that happened to me here, and because of people like you, and the other ladies (and that one awesome guy) i actually feel supported.
    it is weird, but hearing someone else say “that is hard, that is horrible” helps.
    i think it is because so often women like us are told that what happened to us didn’t really occur, or that we are exaggerating it.
    people don’t know what to say, or are plain selfish, and so they minimize and rationalize what we went through to make themselves feel better, or so they don’t have to expend the effort it would take to support us.
    which means we had to survive it, and live with the consequences, but are constantly denied support, or are even punished in some way for talking about it.

    i don’t think it is “misery loves company”.
    i would never wish misery on someone just to have company in my pain.
    that is just a really mean saying.
    after all these years, i have come to the conclusion that misery needs comfort, and no one can comfort you if they don’t understand. when someone can really empathize, you just don’t feel so lost in all of it.
    which for me, has been huge. i feel like there is a life raft, even though i am still at sea.
    that is thanks to all of you.

    i have progress to report to everyone.
    about three months ago, i went on a date with a guy for the first time in five years.
    it was a huge deal for me to get up the courage to do that.
    we met online, because i though online dating might be a safer way to meet someone, to get a feeling about who they really were by talking to them for weeks before meeting.
    we talked for a while, and then decided to meet in person.
    it was ok, until he started to tell me he used to shoot animals with a b b gun for fun, when he was a kid. he said he felt really bad about it, and tried to make it up by adopting a dog from the pound, but he told me this out of the blue. “oh, yeah. i used to be horrible to animals. you wouldn’t want to know”.
    i just went cold when he said that, mostly because i hate animal abusers, but partly because i felt it was a sign of the kind of man i was dealing with. an abuser is an abuser.
    i didn’t see him again, and felt like crawling back into my cocoon and just hiding. it felt like defeat.

    a while later i went back to the site because i had messages, and i found a message from a guy that i thought seemed pretty cool. i was hesitant to talk to anyone else, but i responded and we started a conversation.
    we have been talking for about a month and a half, ( i made damn sure i knew about how he treated animals) and he asked to meet me a few times. i was too afraid for a while, and kept putting him off, but last night, i finally did it.
    we met and had tea and talked for hours. i even let him hold my hand.

    i know that is nothing big, but it felt huge to me. i was so scared that i almost decided to just stay home. i had to force myself out of the door.
    i had a nice time talking to him, and he asked me out for a movie in the week, and i said “yes”.
    i swear i nearly aged a year while trying to make myself leave the house, but now i am glad i did. it made me feel alive again, rather than like i was on hold.
    i have no idea if this will work out, but i like that i have a bit of myself back.
    i wan’t sure it was possible.

    so….progress, of a tiny kind.

    lilly

    September 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm

  349. lilly: this is progress of a HUGE kind. I can totally see why this would be a major deal. bloody well done. not only that – i think you did brilliantly to cut the other guy out so quickly and it does show how you can move beyond those bonds, and see the signs early on. seriously: you should be VERY proud of yourself.

    on misery: I agree that with this kind of situation it is VITAL to seek out people who understand because there is so much misunderstanding and prejudice about abuse out there, and it is very difficult for us to know who we can trust with this kind of information.

    on that note I have just had a shitty day at work. I had told my boss that I was going through a difficult time ‘at home’ a few weeks ago. She responded in the right way at the time – she said that I should let her know if it was affecting my work etc, and she left it at that. Today, she pulled me up on this and almost insisted on knowing what was going on with me. I said that I would talk to her if I felt that my work was being affected. I also asked her if she thought my work had been affected, to which she answered ‘no’. She then went on – without knowing any details at all – about how I needed to let her know, and how I should seek out counselling, and about how it might become an issue at work. She was almost predicting that I would be causing problems when there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever to the contrary. She then went on to say I ‘looked tense’ (as if proving her point). Damned right! When someone insists, pokes you with a stick, it’s going to be upsetting. This stuff is never far from the surface, but I have always been proud to maintain a line between my personal life and my professional one as far as that is possible (I also resent having to be a ‘robot’ in this way, as if workers aren’t human beings too…).

    I feel really shaken by it and am very angry.

    luna

    September 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

  350. @luna – people are so weird. i wonder why she is poking at you like that, because that of all things, will lead you to being upset.
    it’s almost like they expect a sickly grin to be pasted on your face at all times, and it is slips….more poking.

    you could make something up to tell her; “the leader of my cult is considering blue robes instead of green” or “i wonder if the person i just hit with my car is OK” or “i was offered a job as a spy, and i am considering it”.
    after that, every time she looks at you, you could waggle your eyebrows.

    lilly

    September 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm

  351. Greetings: I am posting the latest blogradio program from Melanie Evans…the one who uses Quantum Physics healing techniques…anyway, they are talking about Narcissists in this show…etc. I hope you are all recovering completely…blessings to you all…right now they are talking about the betrayal of the love we thought we had, to what it really is, ie: lies, manipulation, anger, abuse, etc…the title of this show is “Committing to Yourself”

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/empowered-love/2012/09/25/narcissistic-central-committing-to-ourself

    anonymous coward

    September 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm

  352. lilly: i think the car line is fantastically unhinged. wonderful!

    it’s almost seven weeks since i got him out of my house. after the first three weeks or so the physical symptoms – pounding heart, breathlessness, anxiety – started to subside a little, but i am distressed because they have returned and i am having bouts of real helplessness, exhaustion and grief. it’s so painful it’s unreal. i’ve been in despair this week.

    this isn’t helped, i’m sure, by the fact that i haven’t managed to properly break contact with him and desperately need some help NOT to go back to him. he also moved out of my place into a place just around the corner – literally! – from me, and is likely to be there for some time. i don’t know why he did this. after all, he’s from another part of the city (his family – parents and siblings) still live there and this is miles away from me. he could have ‘gone home’. but no. i guess he’s maximising his chances of bumping into me. we use the same rail stations into and out of the city and our workplaces are only a five minute walk apart. it’s frazzling my nerves knowing that whenever i’m out – locally or around work – i could bump into him.

    so, it feels like the right time now to seek some professional help. until now i’ve been very nervous about digging around in it all but i now feel that i need some structured professional support to move me beyond this point. i’ve found a therapist who specialises in abuse and am hopeful that she will be ‘the right one’. i’ve had such bad experiences of counselling in the past, but most of those were more general counsellors with insufficient experience of domestic abuse. this one looks much more promising.

    has anyone had good counselling experiences? we hear enough about the bad ones… if so, can you tell me what makes them good? i’d like to know what to look out for. i’m having a first session with her next week to see if we gel, and to explore the possible approaches she might take (integrative is the first thing she said, which appeals to me).

    i just hadn’t realised how physically and psychologically fractured i was… such a horrible realisation.

    luna

    October 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

  353. Melanie Evans, thank you for your work. Watched the videos. Great. My therapist Carolyn Nelham worked with me in domestic violence treatment and she does online skype for some clients like myself who travel, get mentally screwed up on business trips. Thank God. Luna, three words. Restraining order, stalking. If Tony moved close to me he would be in jail. I still love him, that is my mental problem that my therapist and I are fixing. You can’t change them but you can make sure they are not anywhere near you. If Tony came to me and held me in his arms, all of the therapy would go out the window. RESPECT THE DANGER. I know my life would be in danger. I want to live. I went through sleepless nights, wanted to die, wanted to kill myself, thought I was going crazy, got medicated and it helped. Please see a doctor, don’t let this madness hurt you more than it has to. You need to be sure to treat yourself with all of the love and care YOU need. I am alive today because of my therapist who I saw daily for three months. This syndrome is the most dangerous thing I have ever felt. It needs more research and advocacy. Women who live through this like I did, I never want to live through this again with anybody. No one has the right nor should they have the ability to cause this damage. Yet it happens over and over. Women are targets for these men. You are in danger and need to see someone who is competent. I would not have made it with a therapist who did not know PTSD caused by this kind of relationship. So many people look at this and say, oh, just a breakup. No. This kind of relationship rewires your brain. Look at the peptide video by Melanie. I am a science graduate and it all made sense. Derevictimize yourself with a therapist because the wrong therapist can revictimize you. Take care my dear Luna. You are all in my prayers. Going through a horrible time, FBI asked me to wear a wire and get evidence of his crimes, and the whole process made me so stressed that I could not continue to fight for my rights and now I am writing the book instead of continuing the fight. I could be right but dead right. No one is worth dying over. Look at how many women die in this situation at the hands of the man or at their own hands. This is a serious situation. God protect any woman who goes through this. Only women who have lived through it respect the danger. Learn from my experience not your mistakes.

    The one that got away

    October 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

  354. Oh Luna – i am so sorry, i can’t believe he is so horrid. moved right near you! that is psychological abuse – still! he wants you to know you can’t “escape” him, i think.

    you are totally right about a therapist – but not because you are broken. you need one because you are dealing with a really abusive man, and (sorry to say) what sounds like a fairly terrible human being.
    it isn’t you that is weird – you are a normal woman in a really abnormal situation.
    so yeah, you do need help to get through it. anyone would. you need the therapist because of this freak, not because of you.

    i have had a very good therapist, and i have had two awful ones.

    this is a guideline that might help you. i found it in “The Courage to Heal”, which is a book for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

    it states; go to the appointment with prepared questions;
    – have you been trained to work with women who have been abused?
    – what kind of training do you have?
    – would you support my participation in a survivors group?
    – do you think that physical, sexual or emotional abuse is always damaging?
    – do you think that women ever cause the abusive situation?
    – do you think women ever exaggerate their abuse?
    – do you see reconciliation as a goal?
    – what role do you think forgiveness plays in healing?
    – what sort of relationship do you establish with your patients?(hugging, touching, etc?)
    – what are your feelings towards people of different sexual orientations?
    – do you think it is OK for a therapist to socialize with clients outside of therapy?
    – how much do you charge? is there a sliding scale?
    – can i call you at home if i am in crisis?
    – can i schedule emergency sessions?
    – how do you feel about religion?

    “Ask the questions that are the most important to you, and add others that will help you to asses how sensitive the counselor is to particular issues that matter to you (like religion, sexual orientation, eating disorders, alcoholism, past abuse etc.)
    Chose whichever gender works for you, as some women are afraid to open up to men because they were abused by a man, while some find they can learn to trust again by finding a male therapist they can relate to”.

    the best advice i have ever gotten for choosing a therapist is this; give it a month to see how it works out. but only if there are no red flags, and you feel that they are a decent match for you. don’t let minor doubts chase you away. major doubts must be respected, so move on.
    also, find a therapist with a woman centered, or feminist background. the reason for this, is that many therapists who have not been trained in this way, focus on forgiving the man, returning to him, or even blaming the woman. they focus on the “family”, and insist that the woman should return to “rescue” the relationship- as a good woman should. they will say that a woman can “ask for it” by being angry, too sexy or for “nagging”.
    woman-centered or feminist therapists are taught that the victim never “asked for it” no matter if they are male or female, that forgiveness is only something done if the client wants to, and only to help them heal. they never suggest that the abuse was caused by her behaviour, and they will not throw “wifely duties” or any bible text at you.
    they will have a balanced view of males and females, and will not allow assigned gender roles to cloud the issue of abuse.

    my excellent experience with a therapist was responsible for saving my life, i think. i was truly suicidal, and she helped me. she taught me how to survive the pain and how to get better from it.

    “the way to tell that you are with a good therapist is that you feel supported, you feel safe, and you develop more and more skills to heal yourself over time.
    s/he should be able to help you identify your own patterns, and your own emotional injuries and responses. they should be willing to teach you strategies to deal with all of the things you are going through. you should feel at ease with them, if not with the subject matter.
    they should not foist their own moral code on you, and they should never foist their life on you.
    if they start to do this, leave. you are not there to be taught their religion or political stance, and you certainly shouldn’t have to become part of their life.” – this is all paraphrased from the book.

    my therapist had a masters degree in counseling, and i highly recommend that level of training, with a focus on abuse. just about anyone can call themselves a therapist, and they don’t legally need to be trained to do so. so be careful about their training.
    when i admitted to doing something wrong, my therapist would say “yes, that isn’t OK”. she was trained in the woman-focus method, and respected that women sometimes don’t know how to deal with abuse, like anyone, and so can lash out, or turn on themselves.
    i had started to starve myself again, and had even self harmed. she was amazing about it, and told me that those strategies were not helping me. she helped me to find ways to deal with the overwhelming pain, so that i could stop doing those things. she was not a yes-man. but she never tried to shame or force anything on me.
    when i said something that she disagreed with, she said so, and then presented her side of the argument. we could debate the point, in a very gentle, intelligent way. and she would always respect my thoughts, and help me to find the solutions that were best for me – not the ones she decided i needed. in that way she empowered me. she helped me to see that i can help myself, if i look closely enough at what is wrong, and if i have some idea of what to do. she gave guidelines, not orders. i was the one in control, she was more like the assistant. they take our sense of control and power. a therapist should help you get that back. if you feel helpless with them, or like they are taking control of your healing, please don’t stay.

    i wanted someone who could understand my religious upbringing, and i wanted someone who would be blunt with me.
    i felt safe, i felt respected and i felt that she taught me a great deal.
    it was awful, some times, because i didn’t want to go in. not because of her, but because of what i was dealing with. but i was always grateful when i left, because she helped me to see ways i could help myself, and she validated me and she showed me just how big a thing i was doing. she taught me to respect how strong i am. going was often a relief because i could talk about the pain, and she got it. she didn’t just listen, she empathized, without being overly emotional. that way i didn’t feel guilty for upsetting her, and i didn’t feel weirded out by her emotional response. i felt supported by her, but still like there was a professional distance. that comforted me. there were boundaries that were respected, but there was still warmth and caring.
    i only stopped seeing her because i had to leave university, and couldn’t afford a therapist.
    i think she could have helped me a lot more, but she taught me how to heal myself, and i went on doing just that. i bought books, and i used the lessons she taught me. how to refuse to take responsibility for the actions of others, and how to understand just how much pressure i was under. i have continued to develop, basing everything on the foundation she helped me to lay down.
    that was the best therapist i have had. later, there were two nightmares. i left after a month with both of them.

    luna, i am sorry you are going through this. you don’t deserve it.
    please remember to do whatever it is you need to, in order to get through this. i know you can find a good therapist. you need all the support you can get, because of the man who is abusing your life.
    here is a huge hug.
    and here is another.

    lilly

    October 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm

  355. [...] relationships, one of the primary reasons that the abuser stays is traumatic bonding, defined by “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harass….” If media reports are to be believed, the numerous times Rihanna and Brown have supposedly tried [...]

  356. I honestly do not think my ex will ever contact me again, and I thank God if he does not. He has moved on to his new woman. I have been in counseling with a domestic violence counselor for 3 years on and off. We are doing EMDR and it is helping somewhat but I still have moments, especially today when I obsessively think about things he has done. I try to get it out of my head but little things remind me of him and the thoughts just come up and then I have anxiety when I think of the horrible things he said, did, etc….but I am still upset daily that he is with a new woman and supposedly treating her well.
    As for counselors, mine have always been extremely supportive. I came from an abusive marriage as well….I wish I could break my cycle of attaching myself to cruel, sadistic, souless men.

    breaking free

    October 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

  357. breaking free:
    He is ‘supposedly’ treating his new gfriend well? HA! First of all, a tiger rarely changes his stripes. Sure, these abusers are SO manipulative, that at FIRST they will ‘wine & dine’ a woman. Then, once he has ‘trapped’ her, or he just can’t contain his hideous nature any longer, OFF come the gloves, and he’s back in business. raging/beating her. I always tell myself: “Do you really think you are SO unique, that this man is ONLY TREATING YOU this way?? not likely”. I am unique, but not when it comes to his pattern of behavior. Just wait a while. She’ll either dump him, or he’ll land in jail for beating her, or he’ll just be using the very same song&dance he did on you, massive abuse.
    My ex-husband has taken his new gfriend on trips, etc. – its the ‘wine-and-dine’ stage. He would never do this for me. But in probably two years or so, he’ll be back to ignoring her, as he’ll be the same workaholic/narcissist he was with me.

    resharpen

    October 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm

  358. or worse, the “treating the new woman well” is just her taking what you were too strong to put up with.
    hope that if that is the case, she comes to grips with it, and manages to get out like you did.

    lilly

    October 9, 2012 at 9:21 pm

  359. I am genuinely glad to read this web site posts which contains
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    November 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm

  360. Actually there are no statistics on these issues. Especially financial crimes linked to this kind of relationship. Police, sherrifs, FBI, Attorney General say this is a civil matter. Remarkeable.

    The one that got away

    November 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm

  361. Just a couple helpful hints, helpful in the sense they helped me and my love get out of the aftermath of severe abuse.
    first the website where it’s explained ow seriously abusive psychopaths operate, they are all the same and victims are all the same, very important first step into healing is realizing you were a victim, I know it’s hard for self esteem to accept someone can gain power over you but you have to realize the fact to not have a conscience and care for other people feelings is a HUGE advantage that you don’t have, it’s like dealing with a tiger, it will eat you if it finds you tasty and have zero regrets, it will go for the kill while you overthink on how to avoid that without hurting the tiger or its feelings.
    Those psychos are a relic of or past, genetacally they are different, they are wired differently, they are our predatory past, when to survive men needed to kill and dominate a group, so as predator, like all the predator animals, they prey on the weak and do anything to make you weak in the first place, they all operate the same way, please read the article (I had posted in a previous post, sorry for repeating myself but it’s really useful/important.

    http://www.canadiancrc.com/Newspaper_Articles/FBI_USA_Disturbed_Mind_-Compliant_Victims_of_Sexual_Sadist.aspx

    second some of you talked about aniety and difficulty to cope in the aftermath, for us medication worked, please don’t be afraid of them, medicines have their use when properly prescribed, anxiety is a terrible condition but it’s a physical one, it’s a condition of the brain/nervous system, anti anxety drugs like ativan or remeron do help, talk about it with your doctor, for us it was a lifesaver.
    And finally good luck to everyone again, crossing paths with those monsters has been the most unlucky thing in our lives but there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is the possibility of coming out stronger, believe in it!

    ale

    November 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

  362. Statistic rates show it’s a pretty even split… male/female psychopathic tendencies abound in people of any demographic, regardless of race, age, religion, etc., and since these people have a smaller or non-existent pre-frontal cortex (just behind the forehead, where “sincerity and compassion” manifests itself/exists) … this shallow sense of “caring” is actually considered by scientists to be an evolutionarily plus… What the @#$#!! (I said that aloud when I first read that)… but it’s true, and makes sense… while a larger fore-brain is an advanced biological development, the ruthless, maniacal, conscience-less creature (the “evil”) actually fares better in a dog eat dog world. The “sirens” of lore, Bathsheba, Stalin, gold diggers and serial abusers, all have one thing in common… no sense or sign of a compassionate, caring, kind heart… anyone with these traits, they believe? …is considered by them to be gullible and a “sucker”. According to the latest psychological handbooks, as many as 1 in 30 people are estimated to have no conscience… 1 in 30 cannot feel bad for any of their actions. 1 in 30.

    Barton James Christner

    November 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm

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    November 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm

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    NIKE AIR MAX

    November 30, 2012 at 10:12 am

  366. Barton, Thank you for speaking up. Most males are afraid to do so because they will often be blamed and typically lose access to their children, home, half of their income, etc.

    Dora

    December 4, 2012 at 5:11 am

  367. In a day I will leaving for Las Vegas, where I’ll stay for a few days. I am looking forward to it; will be meeting an old girlfriend there. Problem is, my ex-boyfriend, with whom I ‘bonded’, and I once went to Las Vegas. I guess it is natural to feel sad about going – but it makes me mad as well, as we didn’t go there alone, just the 2 of us. We NEVER traveled to a place, just the 2 of us. He was afraid to get close to a woman (BIG surprise, huh?) so traveling with others would create a natural ‘block’ between him and me. So – even tho its been over a year since I’ve seen him, takes time to heal, I guess.

    resharpen

    December 4, 2012 at 6:12 am

  368. there are far more males who are psychopaths than women.

    “Many misconceptions about psychopaths can lead to mistakes in investigations, interviews, and court proceedings. Psychopaths are both male and female, but more men are psychopaths than women. They represent all races, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Some are intelligent, while others possess average or below-average intelligence. They come from both single- and two-parent households and may themselves be married with children.”

    http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/july-2012/psychopathy-an-important-forensic-concept-for-the-21st-century

    this is from the FBI stats.
    you can find more in scientific literature.
    the difference seems to be both cultural – men are permitted to hurt women more than the reverse, as in the “she asked for it” defense of rape – while some seem to be biological. men have more aggressive tendencies and women tend to be less criminal overall. 93% of murders are committed by men, and 99% of rapes by adults are committed by men.

    these statistical relationships say nothing about the value of men – simply that when men go wrong, they tend to go wrong in different ways than women.
    this is one of them.

    overwhelmingly, victims of psychopaths are female, and overwhelmingly, the behaviour tends to be excused in men until they actually kill someone.

    this is because women are silenced; if she complains, she is a bitch.
    if she doesn’t, she is a doormat.

    the sociological attitudes that lead to the support of this kind of behaviour need to stop. they do not cause it, and most men know those attitudes are wrong, or at least suspect, but to the psychopath, they are like candy. they use them to do the damage, and then happily can rely on the society to excuse them while blaming their victims.

    like us.
    most of us here are women.
    most of us have been raped, beaten, stalked and threatened with death.
    we have all stopped trying to find justice because our society blames women for all the terrible things men have done to them.
    if we are raped, it is because we are too sexy, to slutty, too something.
    if we are beaten, we must have “made” him do it.
    if we are killed, we must have driven him to it.
    if we are broken, it is because we are weak.
    the society refuses to hold men accountable for horrible treatment of girls and women. this means that the psychopaths are delighted.
    it feeds into their defect.

    this is, statistically, a male on female crime. and as with most such crimes, it is ignored or downplayed.

    “Dora” – that is simply garbage.
    when men complain of abuse by a woman, especially a spouse, they are believed more often than the women are.

    lilly

    December 4, 2012 at 6:53 am

  369. Thanks Dora.
    Lily, your not alone in looking at gender.
    It’s less about “male/female” and more
    about biology and power. As swords, size and muscle so too now finance, 911, and zero “zero tolerance ” offer influence over
    another human being. Lack of compassion,
    the desire to ” win” at any cost, and little or no conscience drives the psychopath. It’s
    not a gender issue… Rather whim seeks power, and the lengths they are willing to go
    In securing it.

    bartonjames

    December 4, 2012 at 11:37 am

  370. Bullshit.
    look at the actual statistics. look at the actual number of male to female psychopaths. look at the stats on victims.

    and then ask yourself why you came to a site largely populated by women who have been horribly abused so that you could pass on your own special brand of misinformation.

    you show no compassion for the survivors on this site, a complete lack of honesty with regards to stats, and a tendency to thank yourself for your previous posts.

    you haven’t once said “i’m sorry these things happened to you” or “i hope you find your way through” or anything helpful or supportive.
    you have only said “women are as likely to be psychopaths” which is patently untrue, and “poor men who lose their money when they are accused of doing these things”.

    if you can’t be supportive of those who have been abused, and instead use their pain as a platform for your own agenda, i submit that you display some fairly disturbing traits.

    leave us to support each other, and go highjack some other thread.
    we are not interested in more bullshit from people like you.
    or you “female” alter ego.
    here’s a hint – thanking yourself repeatedly is a dead giveaway.

    lilly

    December 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

  371. lilly: bloody well put. couldn’t have put it better. but you know, these psycho idiots are really best ignored i think. giving them no attention is the best way to make them go away… (i know… we’ve all tried that with varying degrees of success).

    it’s been a while since i posted on here and i really wanted to thank you so much lilly for your incredible help and advice regarding finding a therapist. i’ve been quiet because i’ve been going through the mill. but thanks to your invaluable advice (and i really appreciated the time you took to give your thoughts in detail) i found someone fantastic. she specialises in child and domestic abuse (i still hate that phrase – it just doesn’t do justice to what it describes, does it?), and has many, many years of experience. she seems to be a recognised authority in the UK, and has done a number of media appearances relating to key news issues around abuse. she is amazing, really understands the problem and has helped me to stay away from him and to take further action to keep him away from me.

    i went to her because i felt myself in danger of returning to him. he would not leave me alone, parking his car in an adjacent street to mine, turning up on my doorstep at midnight, constantly emailing me (up to 15 times a day). all this even although i wasn’t returning any of his messages. he started threatening me, saying he had ‘intimate’ pictures of me that he was going to disclose, and threatening that he’d passed on god knows what (HIV, etc) and that he’d put me at risk. i have a semi public job, and the photo threat was too much (not to mention the rest).

    i finally called the police. you might remember that he is a police officer and i had found it difficult to report him to the police in the past. i ended up doing just that. he persisted – contacting my friends instead of me, so i had to go back to the police. i have heard nothing now for several weeks, although i saw him on one of my trains back from work (surprise: with another woman – just a week after he’d been contacting me persistently…).

    anyway… therapy is really hard work, and i’m currently going through a pretty destabilizing stage with it. but i honestly believe that it prevented me from going back to him and the work i am now doing on myself will better arm me against falling into this kind of thing again.

    the one that got away: thank you too for your kind words of advice. you were absolutely right about taking maximum action and getting the police involved. i was not ready to do this when you first suggested it, but it was only this action that stopped him in his tracks. i am still looking around every corner, can’t believe that he can have gone away (can he?) and it’s only been a matter of three weeks or so since i’ve heard nothing from him. so, very early days.

    i am going to escape from the city to a cottage in the country for four weeks over the christmas/new year period and will spend time with a few beautiful friends. i am really looking forward to the psychological and emotional space that will afford.

    i am seriously grateful for the support, solidarity, advice and kindness of you lovely folks on this forum. you helped me through a really difficult stage, and although i’m not out of the woods, and things will probably get worse before they get better again, i am on my way to recovering from this horrible experience. it’s a tough journey, but one well worth taking.

    thank you, and warm wishes from across the pond.

    x

    luna

    December 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm

  372. luna – it’s so wonderful to hear that you have found someone who you can work with! really good news.
    seriously, the more i hear about your ex, the more afraid for you i get.
    what a madman.

    you deserve every day of the upcoming Christmas getaway!
    it’s a lot of hard, heart-breaking work you are doing, and you should celebrate your efforts and your victory.
    please have far too much hot cocoa, read too many really good books, and indulge yourself in whatever way you can think of.
    treat yourself like someone who just escaped a prison camp – ’cause you kinda did.
    gave the crazy guard the slip and dashed off to freedom.
    now you get to enjoy it!

    hugs to you! and here is another!

    lilly

    December 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm

  373. thank you so much lilly. my therapist says he has the ‘typical profile of a rapist’, which really unnerved me. but, better that i’m aware of the potential dangers and to take appropriate measures than to live in a world in which i hope that his intentions and actions are, on some level, benign. i haven’t heard from him now since the police were involved (around 3 or 4 weeks away) and he seems to have stopped parking his car around the corner from my house which is a relief. perhaps he’s given up. he seems to have very quickly found someone else (don’t they all?) and my hope is – although i wouldn’t wish this on anyone – that he is sufficiently distracted by her and will finally leave me alone.

    i can only hope.

    i have had a couple of days of feeling much happier and very grounded, but this is also accompanied by the fear that this will be taken away from me. i guess it’s just that i need more time to pass…

    lots of hugs back, as always. i do hope that you are making good progress lilly, and finding love, warmth and strength within yourself and from good friends to help you through.

    much love x

    luna

    December 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

  374. I dreamt the other night that I was married to Tony again. I immediately thought oh my God I have to call my attorney and start the annulment all over again. How did I marry him again, the terror was back in my heart and again I felt the fear that he would kill me for the insurance and business and other assets. I woke up and knew it was a dream. What’s up with that?

    The One that Got Away

    December 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

  375. i think dreams like that come up when you start thinking about the abuser again, in some way. i had dreams about an ex for years, and over time he became shorter and shorter. eventually he was only two feet tall, and i was able to just roll my eyes and walk away from him.

    but before that happened, i would dream that we were still together, and that i had to kiss him and hold his hand. it was awful.
    when he finally turned into a munchkin, i stopped having the dreams.

    lilly

    December 10, 2012 at 8:18 pm

  376. luna – when i read what your therapist said, i felt cold for a second.
    man, that is just terrifying – and it totally backs up what you knew.

    i wish you all the happiness a woodland escape can bring – please roast a marshmallow over a wood-fire for me, while you are gone!

    lilly

    December 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm

  377. lilly: me too. i was totally freaked out about that for days and i wondered about the merits of her telling me. it scared me to death. but, i realise that it’s better knowing what i’m up against, and potentially facing, than not knowing and it means that i do take precautions that perhaps i wouldn’t otherwise have done.

    thank you for the lovely wishes. i’ll be toasting marshmellows and raising a glass especially for you, and for all the wonderful people on here. here’s to a warm and strong new year!

    luna

    December 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm

  378. Hello, I just found this. I recently left my abuser. (4 weeks ago) We have been together for 29 years. He emotionally abused me for years and I only just admitted to myself. It had gotten to the point that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was happy that I left, but now, all I can do is think about going home. I am trying to find ways to start healing from this abuse. I miss him so much and I now realize that it is the bond not love. Yet even as I type this I want to go home.

    pamiam

    December 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

  379. My first recommendation is that you read this whole blog from start to finish like I did to understande the process that is trauma bonding. You have a lot of work to do but I did it and so can you. I still love Tony but do not go Home as you call it, yes and every day I want to. Yet I realize there is no happy ending so you must try to fix this yourself. We are all here to listen and learn and share in the pain but it is hard work. Pamiam, we all share everything here so go ahead and let it out. You are safe here.

    The One that got away

    December 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm

  380. pamiam

    i am so sorry this has happened to you – none of us deserve it.
    i know that feeling, that pull towards the person who hurt you.

    please, instead of thinking of the things that would be nice with him, remember all of the things that were not. the terrifying things, the hurtful things, the fear and pain.

    those are the things you escaped, and after 29 years, you have a right to live free of them.
    you are right – your bond is based in fear and pain, not love. that is a terrible thing to learn, but it is something you can heal from.
    and you deserve healing – and safety, and love, and hope and joy. just like other people.
    please keep telling yourself that.

    home is more pain, no matter how much you wish you could go.
    it might even seem nice for a short while, but he will make you pay, won’t he?
    what you are doing is new, and hard, and TOTALLY worth it – because it is your happiness and safety.
    for a long time no one has told you that you are worth either.
    now you are showing them different.

    i will say a little prayer for you.
    stay strong love.

    lilly

    December 28, 2012 at 12:13 am

  381. Pamiam: I highly recommend that you read this book ASAP: “The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships” by Patrick Carnes. This book was amazing – it explained EVERYTHING re: why I couldn’t seem to stop obsessing about my ex-boyfriend. All the best to you – and keep staying in touch with us and seeking help -

    resharpen

    December 28, 2012 at 5:45 am

  382. Thank you for your replys. I am doing much better now. Have been reading and talking. I am getting stronger every day. I know that I deserve better, that I am worth the hard work.

    pamiam

    December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

  383. Hello Pamiam: you came to a very good and supportive forum. I joined this forum a few months ago after leaving an abusive man, and I have found huge support, warmth and a great deal of information and education from fellow forum members here. I also found an amazing therapist, and I am sure that I would not be where I am today – free from abuse and terror – without the support of my therapist and the lovely people on this forum. I can also recommend Carnes’ book – it really is superb. I also found this website really excellent: http://www.abuseandrelationships.org/index.html

    Like you, I read and read my way through those first weeks but you really must find outside support if you are to stay away from him. This can come in the form of a support group, therapist, friends, family whatever. I will say that it’s immensely helpful if you can share your experiences and feelings with people with experience of these things – it makes you feel less alone.

    You’ve done amazingly well to break away after such a long time. To stay away it’s really critical that you get more support. I really wish you well, and am sending warm wishes, love and hugs to you. Keep going – you’re doing great.

    luna

    December 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

  384. Oh, and by way of a ‘happy new year’ to everyone (and I will be doing some serious reflecting on the past year) life after abuse can be hard, but it can be wonderful. I have new and important insights into myself, I have experienced a real creative explosion – I am playing music again after many, many years, doing photography, learning Spanish again and generally fulfilling and rewarding myself if rich and wonderful ways. I am changed by my experience, and I have suffered intense and extreme pain and loss. But at the same time, through therapy and my own work and reading, I am garnering a depth of self-knowledge and understanding that I never had before and I look forward to a life renewed and reinvigorated. Indeed, I am already living that life.

    I have difficult days, dark times, but I will never go back to that shit and I will never let abuse into my life again.

    Happy New Year beautiful people, and here’s to a wonderful new year.

    x

    luna

    December 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

  385. Thank you Luna for the kind words of encouragment. I am trying so hard. It is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I loved this man with all my heart. I am fighting everyday to stay away. I am in the worst state of depression that I can possibly imagine. I cry all the time, have lost 20 lbs. can’t sleep, can’t concentrate on anything.

    I do have a great group of friends that are there for me and my kids are awesome. I have also made an appointment with a therapist for next sunday.

    I just want the pain to stop!!! Some peace in my heart. I have never felt so lost or so afraid and so lonely. I am so afraid that I will cave to all these emotions and go back. I keep telling myself if I do that it will be the same cycle over again and that gets me through for a while.

    The first 2 weeks after I left I was fine, then 2 days before Christmas I just lost it and have not been able to regain my composure. I think I was in denial those first 2 weeks.

    Thanks again!!

    pamiam

    December 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

  386. pamiam; listen, now is the time you pull out all of the stops.
    you must do whatever you can to comfort yourself.
    the pain you are feeling is what drives one back to the abuse, so you must fight it however you can.

    whatever it takes to get through – no matter what it is you need. books, movies, chocolate, baths, long walks, whatever.
    nothing is silly, nothing is too much, as long as you get though.
    so, what helps?
    movies? books on tape?
    flowers?

    hugs to you

    lilly

    December 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm

  387. Thanks Lilly.
    My daughter and grandkids are coming to spend the night and tomorrow with me so I will be ok. I am going to join the Y on monday and I got some books today. I am not going back. I am trying to stay strong. I am on such a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I have tried to watch movies and I just can’t seem to keep myself focused. Thank you for all the support it really helps. Keep talking to me please.

    pamiam

    December 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm

  388. there is something you should know – when we are in such terrible situations, our brains make crisis hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. there are others too – they are for the “fight or flight” reaction, and to get you out of situations that are harmful.
    your system will be flooded with them, because you are a long time abuse sufferer.
    that means you have WAY too many of these hormones, and you will be hyper vigilant because of it. you will probably not feel safe, feel afraid, and like something bad is about to happen.
    often when nothing bad occurs, the person feels like they are working themselves up over nothing, or that they are silly.
    some feel all those hormones, and because they can’t flee or fight, they turn the emotions inward, and attack themselves. it can become depression, self hate or even self harm.

    those are totally normal responses for someone who has been in your situation.
    you absolutely must remember that you are a normal person in an abnormal situation. YOU are not bad or weird. the situation was though, it was bad and weird – and anyone who faced what you faced would feel exactly what you feel now.
    the most important thing you can do right now, is to get yourself to feel safe. that is the only way to stop the flow of those hormones.
    you must do anything at all that makes you feel safe, and never feel foolish about it, because when you are removed from that situation, all of those hormones are still there, and you have no immediate danger to face.
    that can drive people back, because back is where they feel “normal”. they have something to fight or run from. something to spend those hormones on.

    as well, making yourself feel safe tells you that you are not bad, but are worth protection, comfort and support. it helps you to not turn those hyper stimulated emotions inward.
    that is one of the dangers right now. all of those hormones are present, and you can’t help but react to them.
    so you need to react in very specific ways.
    you may not know what comforts you – you have been in an unsafe place for so long.
    i was like that too, as a kid.
    when i ran away, i was terrified, hated myself, harmed myself and actually sought out danger to feel normal.
    i am amazed i made it.
    when i went to a therapist, she taught me to comfort myself, and that truly helped.

    for me it is baths.
    sounds silly, right? but the bath was the only place i could ever close the door, and relax.
    i remember taking five baths in one day once.
    i also bought lots of books, and took up sewing again.
    i learnt to love being able to lock my door. it felt like indulgence.
    that was what comforted me.
    i would get books on tape and sew while i listened.
    i remembered how much i loved sewing while listening to stories when i was a kid, and it helped me as an adult. it was a comfort.
    over the years, i have learnt all the ways i can comfort myself, and they helped me when i, sadly, ended up with a psycho abuser as a boyfriend.

    you must think of what comforts you, and if you can’t, close your eyes and imagine what you need.
    ask yourself, i mean, really ask your mind, “What do i need?” and then listen for the answer.
    it might surprise you. my therapist had one client who made a bed up in her closet, and slept in there.
    some people make their bedrooms into their fortress. all the blankets, pillows, teddy bears they can, and a TV or books, etc. others make up safe places in the basement, attic or bathroom, and when they are terrified and overwhelmed, they go there. some stay in their bedroom almost exclusively for the first two weeks.

    and none of it is silly, because it is sending your brain the “it’s ok, relax” signal that will help those hormones stop flooding your system.
    it has to be what YOU need – it won’t work if it isn’t your thing.
    a safe place is a great thing, and going to it when you need it is one of the only ways to help stop the overwhelming fear and dread.
    it can be the room you are staying in, and you can request that no one goes in it unless invited. you can take a teddy bear to bed – i held mine and cried, even as a twenty something, and you know what? it helped. it can be the best blanket in the house, wrapped around you while you listen to music that you love. it can be sitting with you best friend, and not talking at all. just watching the fire.
    whatever is right for you.
    and do it every time you need it, even if that means sitting in that blanket all day, for a week.
    your poor system needs to know that it is safe, and your poor heart deserves it.

    it might not help to know you are in the worst of it right now, but then again it might help.
    i promise, this is the worst.
    and so you must do EVERYTHING to get through this, like if you were diagnosed with cancer.
    this is when you pull out all the stops.
    even if you eat too much, or drink to much. getting through this time is vital.

    you are going to want to ease the dread and pressure by going back – that makes sense because the dread of what could happen will be so heavy on you. that is most likely one of the things that kept you with him, right?
    but that is something that will only make things worse.
    he will make you pay for leaving, if he is anything like any of ours was. mine hurt me so badly when i went back, after greeting me with love.
    you will be right back in that awful situation.
    just remember that like an illness, this is the worst bit, but it will get better.

    can you imagine living in a home where you are not afraid?
    never have to worry about what you say, or wear or eat?
    can you imagine being happy in a home? i mean, really happy? peaceful?
    can you imagine wanting to be in your home, and not dreading it?
    because you can have all of that – i promise.

    i never would have believed it, but i am safe, and i am not being beaten or raped. home is my haven now, not my jail.
    i like being around people, and when i want to be alone, i can be.
    it feels like indulgence, like i am getting away with something, but it is something we all deserve! you might feel like it is expecting too much, like you are not worth it or like me, you might feel it is an indulgence, but truly, it is just what home is supposed to be.
    i want that for you.

    if you don’t mind, i will say a little prayer.
    you can do this, because you are so strong.
    you are so strong that you lived though it, so amazingly strong that you left, and all that is left to do is get through this bit.
    please figure out what you need to feel safe, and get it for yourself.

    and remember, we are all here for you, and we are all cheering for you!
    you have your own cheering section!

    here is a huge hug – and look! here is another.

    lilly

    December 30, 2012 at 5:55 am

  389. oh – i also want to warn you about the reaction of others.
    i think all of us here have talked about how other people have tried to pressure us, or blame us.
    i read the “Courage to Heal” and it had a wonderful section called “Don’t buy the Bullshit”.

    you might find that people will pressure you to go back, because they want things to be normal again. they might try to blame you, or manipulate you, because it is easier for them to say you are crazy or emotional than it is to admit that he is an abuser.

    usually this is something aimed at women – if she is just silly, frivolous or bad, then no one has to feel responsible, or caring. they feel that all they have to do is pressure her to stop being “bad” and everything will be fine again – for them.

    these reactions are totally selfish. it doesn’t mean the people are bad, just not thinking about you.
    as you have taken it for so long, they may want you to keep taking it, so that their lives don’t have to change at all.

    please remember that this is utter tosh.
    there is nothing in this that you could have caused – imagine you doing the same awful things to him. is there any excuse in your mind for that? could a person do anything to deserve abuse? anger, yes. frustration, yes. but abuse? never.

    if anyone starts in with you like that, you can say “i don’t want to talk about it”, or “i was tired of being afraid” or “i don’t want to be hurt anymore”. it’s hard to argue with that.
    you can say “your relationship with him is still the same. mine with him is my business, your relationship with him is yours”.
    or you can just tell them that the topic is off limits.
    it all depends on what YOU need.
    what you need to feel safe and supported.

    and i am personally giving you permission to refuse to see anyone for the next two months who tries anything like that on you.
    i give you permission to be too “sick” to see them.
    to be too “tired” or anything at all.
    because pressure like this can also drive people back, and remember it would be YOU being hurt, not them.

    people can be good people, but do fairly not-good things at times like this.
    if you have the strength, you can explain calmly, and firmly that you have done what is best for you and that they are allowed to be unhappy about it, but that if they care for you, they will need to be supportive.
    or, you can refuse to talk about it at all.
    you never need to win their approval, you never need to apologize for what you have done.
    you looked after an abuse victim, and you were totally right to do so.

    so – DON”T BUY THE BULLSHIT!!!!

    even more hugs to you.

    lilly

    December 30, 2012 at 6:22 am

  390. Hi. I feel very ashamed.
    I have been gonzo for a while. When I checked, I saw that my first post was in March 2012. (I really thought it was in 2011?)
    Well, I went back to my ex-boyfriend,(I’ll call him “J”) the one who shot me. (*See my first post to experience the full horrific story*) “J” is the one I have “loved” and been in an exclusive relationship with for 7 years. I left him, went back, left him went back. Each time I left him I would have moments of clarity mixed with what I can only describe as something as bad as what I imagine heroin withdrawal would be like. During this time I had alienated my biggest alli and supporter, my own Mother because she didn’t approve of him. I would come here and read posts and cry, too ashamed to post. Then the pain of not being with him got so bad I had to go back, even though I knew it was no good. I would seriously be physically sick being separated from him. But going back was easier because of exactly what Lilly wrote above. All those same people that are our mutual friends that like me and think “J” is pure gold. So it was happy fun time for a short while. But those times got shorter and shorter every time I went back. Then things got bad quickly.
    He was a “drunker” drunk. He would get drunk and fall down stairs and hit his head and pass out. He wasn’t as “nice” as he used to be. He didn’t hit me, but the passive aggressive, manipulative, narcissistic, psychopathic and anti-social personality disorder behavior got worse towards me. And I got worse-more depressed, more afraid because I see more of his scary weird behavior now. More panicked. I have been researching everything I could to try and find out why I am so crazy and why he is so crazy. Well I already know he was diagnosed with a personality disorder but chooses to ignore it. I finally decided after months of research that we share a traumatic/betrayal bond. (Duh-I know) And that I have a form of Stockholm Syndrome and Cognitive Dissonance, on top of PTSD from the shooting. I took this info to my NP and she agrees. I started a search for someone who can help me but no luck so far.
    I had a couple of uber bad flashbacks at his house. This is where the shooting happened. The only reason I was able to stand being in his home in the past was either getting a beer buzz or, when I stopped drinking, anti-anxiety medication. Then when I stopped drinking and taking Valium, it started wearing me down. We would argue more.
    I had one really bad panic attack about a month and a half ago at his house. We were both sitting at his dining room table playing Trivial Pursuit late at night. I was sitting exactly where I was sitting the night he shot me. It was around the same time of night-everything was almost exactly the same as the night I was shot. So out of the blue it triggered the panic attack. I think I just stared at him funny and then totally went back to the night he shot me. It WAS that night to me–January 16, 2007. I could smell blood. I felt like I was watching a movie though a little black hole. Then I think I got down on the ground. It’s like I knew what was happening but I couldn’t stop it. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I laid on the floor forever trying to breathe and sobbing incoherently about how the paramedics wouldn’t be able to fit the stretcher upstairs to get me. (“J” later told me what I had said)
    After that night I wasn’t able to go back to his house. I begged him to move(like I had done a thousand times before) but he said: “There is nothing wrong with this house. Why would I want to move?) So he came to mine. I finally decided I couldn’t be with him anymore PERIOD. I told him in so many words GOODBYE. That was right before Thanksgiving.
    So a few days later, he called me and said that he was going to kill himself–that he was going to stab himself in the heart. So I stupidly felt sorry for him and went to his house. I decided that if he really meant it I would call either his Dad or 911. Well, when I got there he was just really drunk and happy that I came over. I watched him pass out on the living room floor and then got into his phone to find his Dad’s number so I could tell him the situation and leave when he came over. At that point I realized that I never felt the need to look in his phone for any reason before. He was THAT good at keeping things from me.
    What I found in the phone were many 40 minute phone calls from him to a girl he was in love supposedly “before” I met him. I remember him telling me years ago that he wanted to be with her, but she wouldn’t be with him because he is an alcoholic. But that she would be with him if he decided to quit. “J” said that didn’t matter anymore because he was with me. Basically I found out he has been secretly having a relationship with her after I contacted her about it. I told her that he is dangerous and she should stay away from him.
    I had just broken up with him prior to this but I was totally blindsided. He was such a great liar/manipulator I never once expected this. I was really creeped out because I realized for the last 7 years he has only let me know what HE wants me to know. I don’t think I know him at all. It scares me to think of all of the other things he has hidden from me and other people.
    After that incident I talked on the phone/answered his texts a few times and told him he would never see me again. Then I stopped answering his calls.
    He tried just the other day to use other people, including my sister(who knows better now) to convince me that “J” loves me dearly and would never cheat on me. They don’t know that I could care less about that now. It’s everything ELSE he did that caused me to run away.
    It has been hard, but unlike all of the other times I went back to him, this time I made up mind with out any reservations. I know that I will never be with him again.
    Now I am on a mission to get everything that has to do with my shooting: news stories, radio segments, etc. I am going to get all of the information on “J” I can find as well. I am also trying to find a good therapist. Not only for me, but to help me spread the word to the police that investigate domestic crimes, spouse inflicted traumas or attempted murder so that maybe they will know what to do when women(or men) are in a traumatic bond relationship with the offender, what they go through mentally, how they act during the aftermath of a crime and how it affects the investigations.
    In my case, I stuck up for my offender and even lied for him. The police were very frustrated that I wasn’t helping them. They were going to prosecute “J” for attempted murder but since I didn’t cooperate with them, they hastily closed the case a little over a month after the shooting. My family and I agree that they could have handled the case better and that they kind of botched it even without my full cooperation. But I sure didn’t help. Even when I went back to tell them I was covering for him it didn’t matter anymore. “J” even admitted that he shot me right after it happened, but I said it was an accident.
    So hopefully if more police, victim witness coordinators and police therapists know how to deal with people in our situation, maybe more bad guys will get the justice they and we deserve. I think that if they would have understood what I was going through mentally, the case might have remained open and “J” might have gone to prison today. Even if the police and therapists do nothing more than read the books Lilly mentioned above, it could help you get justice.
    And like Lilly said: “DON’T BUY THE BULLSHIT!” If I would have taken that advice I could have knocked years off of my horrendous relationship. Thank you all for being here. I hope this site stays up forever. Your posts have helped me more than you can ever know. Hugs to you all. :)

    LEADBELLY

    December 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm

  391. Hi Again.
    I found this page helpful when I was trying to describe how my ex boyfriend works to some of my family. My ex does every single one. He is currently using #5 to try to get me back. Now that I know what his “major malfunction” is all about he won’t be able to fool me ever again. Here’s the link. I hope it helps:

    http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/emotional_manipulation.htm

    LEADBELLY

    December 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

  392. Well here I am back. My chilren and grandchildren have all gone home. It is very quiet.

    We had our Christmas in my new apartment today. It was great to have them all here but, I just couldn’t figure out how I felt. I felt a little out of place sort of, with my own children. They have been very supportive to me, encouraging me to stay gone and talking with me on the phone so why would I feel that way with them? Actually after reading that back it wasn’t them that I felt out of place with, it was me. It’s hard to explain, I felt like I was forgetting something all day, like something was missing. I just can’t quite put my finger on it.

    I feel like I am having actual withdraw. Is that possible?

    I read your post Lilly about the hormones and that put some light on things for me. I can’t wait for all these emotions to pass. I do feel safe in my apartment, he has no idea where I am and my chilren would never tell him. I actually love my apartment, it is peaceful, is is quiet, but it is very lonely. My new church is having a gathering tomorrow night for new years eve and I think I will go there.

    I am very thankful that I found you, you will never know how helpful it is to me, well maybe you do. Thank you…!!!

    pamiam

    December 31, 2012 at 12:29 am

  393. I recently found out that he is not telling ppl that I left him. He is simply telling them that we are not speaking at the moment. How bizarre is that? His closest friend does not even know that I left.

    I believe that he is denial. He has been gone on vacation all week, so I decided to go to the house while he was gone. Some of my clothes that I must of left are neatly folded and laying on the bed as if I were going to come home and put them away. I am a little worried when the reality hits him. I am afraid that either A. he puts the nice guy act on and begs me to come home or B. totally goes bezerk. I don’t know how he will contact me, but I’m sure he will find a way.

    pamiam

    December 31, 2012 at 1:09 am

  394. I think I have found the best thing for me right now. That is to educate myself. I have been doing so much reading on the abuse that I have suffered. I was hoping to find an anwser that would just take it all away, the pain that is, I realize that only time and self help are going to take all that pain away. This morning I feel strong, but I know that tonight I might not. So I am just going to take it one minute at a time and do whatever I have to do to survive. I am going to give myself permission to feel good or feel bad or sad or lonely and just deal with those emotions as they come. I am going to make a better life for myself. I know that it is going to take a lot of work and that it is not going to be easy. I am ready to accept that I may have setbacks and I am just going to have to deal with it as it happens. I am not going to fool myself by thinking that I won’t at times want to go back to my abuser but I am making a commitment to myself to get free and find out who I am.

    I AM WORTH IT!
    I AM SOMEBODY!
    I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!
    I DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH LOVE AND RESPECT!
    I WILL SET MYSELF FREE!

    pamiam

    December 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm

  395. it might sound stupid, but writing things like that down can really help to make them real in your mind. i used to keep a journal to write down all of the ups and downs, and i have even posted a note on the wall for myself, so that i will remember what i need to.
    mine says “self respect”.

    Happy New Year to you, and all of the survivors here.

    lilly

    December 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

  396. Dearest pamiam: lilly is so right – the stress and fight/flight hormones will be raging right now and causing havoc with your body. i left ‘my’ abuser in august this year, and my sleep is still disturbed, my heart still races, i lost weight… but little by little these things are changing and i am so much better than i was. i am being treated by my therapist for complex trauma – repeated exposure to traumatic events – and i truly believe that without her help i may have gone back to him. i had left him several times before this last time and had always gone back. i had never properly broken contact with him in the past and never sought help or given myself the chance to properly break away. the traumatic bond is serious – and you may really need professional help to break free. a therapist with years of experience and who specialises in abuse is the best thing. lilly wrote a great post on here about looking for the right therapist. it’s crucial, and i believe she might have saved my life. that sounds very dramatic, but i think it could be true.

    educating yourself is also important. i also went through an obsessive reading phase after leaving him. the first part of this was marked by my need to understand him, to understand abusive behaviour. once i’d realised that there is no answer to the question ‘why’, that this behaviour serves only control and power, that love is not part of it, did i manage to move on to doing the reading that concerned me, how to heal myself and properly look after myself, to acknowledge the harm and to seek help.

    as lilly suggests, i also made a bed for myself elsewhere in the house, away from the bedroom i had shared with him. i piled it with blankets and cushions. it was my retreat, my safe place, and i barely moved from it in the weeks that followed my separation from him.

    one of the things that really helped me was listening to music i enjoyed as i was growing up: it somehow reminded me of a life of possibility, a life before abuse, and it filled me with a sense of possibility now. my life feels new again, and is full of new possibilities now that he is out of my life. i am free to renew my old friendships, to live my life with more honesty and integrity. i am free to be free.

    he didn’t go easily. i ended up having to call the police on him. he still haunts my neighbourhood. i am now spending a few weeks away from home in a cottage in the countryside with two beautiful friends, lots of books, music, musical instruments, long walks and lots of cooking and happy times. this is immensely healing. there is love in your life – make sure you seek it out to stay away from him.

    keep going, don’t look back. you are doing so well.

    love and hugs x

    luna

    December 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm

  397. dear Leadbelly: please don’t feel ashamed. shame gets in the way of dealing with the abuse. i have learned that. i still feel shame from time to time – how could i have let this happen to me? – but i know it to be counter-productive and . many women with abusive partners try for years to leave them before they finally manage to get free. please keep going, keep trying, get as much support as you can. you are in a very dangerous place. look after yourself, seek as much help as you can. you deserve so much more. if those around you are deluded by him, then seek out others who are not, or who don’t know him. find a therapist, even if you start therapy before leaving him. it will help you to understand the situation, to ‘reality check’ his behaviour. you’ve been sucked into his world, you’ve internalised his reality. you need help to step outside of that and to create your own, new, healthy reality and to garner the strength to walk away.

    i wish you all the best in this. stay safe x

    luna

    December 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm

  398. Happy New Year!! I am meeting a friend for a bite to eat, coming HOME curling up with my dog and a good book and getting some much needed sleep.

    What I have to look foward to in the next year…
    1. Peace
    2. happiness
    3. getting to know myself and liking her.
    4. reconnecting with some long lost but not forgotten friends
    5. getting healthy (mind, body and soul)

    There is so much more to look forward too….
    Today has been a good day.

    Thank you to my new friends for all the support and may God bless each one of you and keep you safe.

    pamiam

    December 31, 2012 at 11:03 pm

  399. Lilly: You are so right about journaling. It really does help. I think I have filled 3 spiral notebooks full. I leave a notebook next to my bed so when my mind starts spinning and and my brain won’t let me sleep I write the jumbled mess of emotion down. I am making a point of keeping it near me as much as possible so it can also remind me why I left him. The note on the wall is a great idea too. I might do one for each room in my house. :) Luna: The shame is a hard thing to get over. It’s like you have to keep telling yourself you are doing the best that you can right here and now and know that shame is a normal part of the crap you have been through. But I am trying to get over that. I still do the obsessive reading thing. I am plagued by trying to understand the “why” stuff too. Maybe part of it is because I know I will never get closure? You are right about it being about control and power. And sometimes there just is no answer. I went through all of the posts again and made a list of the books everyone recommended so I can start helping myself. I made a “nest” for myself in my bed too. It really helps more than I thought it would. There are a lot of people that are totally deluded by him still. I am staying away from all of them. I am staying away from any place that even reminds me of him. I’m not responding to his calls. I won’t even listen to music we listened to together and I’m going to do what you are doing and listen to music from the happy times in my life. He doesn’t call too much. I think he realizes that I’m really not coming back this time because he is taking desperate measures like manipulating mutual friends and my sister(who won’t listen to him anymore) to try to weasel his way back into my life. He has never had any interest in having the internet or even an android phone. I saw yesterday that he signed up for facebook and has already become facebook friends with 5 people we both know.(Some of them don’t know too much about what happened) Oh, and he even tried to friend me! WTH? I have always gone back to him after breaking up in the past so I don’t know exactly how far he will go to try to get me back. I’m going to be on threat level “orange” from now on. I’m completely cutting anything out of my life that has to do with him. I didn’t even go out to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the off chance I would see him. I was sucked into his world. Now that I have been away from him for a few weeks I can see it more clearly. I can’t EVER be “hoovered” back into it again. I talk to my Mom and sister almost every day, even if it’s just an email. I keep them informed of everything that happens. they are great supports. I’m in the muck and mire right now, but that means the only way to go is up, out and forward. I check this site every day to read everyone’s posts too. They are really reassuring. I hope the police are doing something about him hanging around your neighborhood, or at least driving through on a regular basis. I’m glad you are staying somewhere else and surrounding yourself with only good people and uplifting things. Pamiam, I broke up with my ex 4 weeks ago as well. I understand many of the things that you are going through. The debilitating depression, feeling unsure if you are doing the right thing and feeling alone even when you have support from wonderful people. It really is a roller coaster of emotions. Most of us on this board have been through or are going through those horrible separation withdrawals too. One minute you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the next feel like you need to go back. It’s especially hard during Christmas. (for me it was) But think of all of the big positive changes you have made, like getting your own apartment. That would be stressful by itself. But you did it! You are are making positive changes and taking big steps forward even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. I’m so glad you have your kids to support you as you go through all of this. You should be very proud of yourself. You can do this. Hugs to everyone.

    LEADBELLY

    January 2, 2013 at 3:39 am

  400. LEADBELLY… you are doing a great job too! Looks like we are going through this together. We can both be very proud of ourselves. I can feel myself getting stronger every day. I still have moments, kind of like a twinge that I feel sad and want to call him, but I make myself busy and it passes. I have had a taste of freedom and happiness and I know that I will never want to give that up. It is great to make my own healthy decisions. Paid my rent yesterday and the rest of my bills are paid and I still have money left, it feels good to be totally financially independent. He always had total control of the money and I never had any. I too read the pot on here daily, and it so helpful. You take care and stay safe.

    pamiam

    January 2, 2013 at 12:08 pm

  401. These comments have been amazing.
    A few of my thoughts:

    -So many women go back to the abuser because they think: “What man would want me?” OR
    “There are so FEW men in the world; at least I have one if I stay with him (abuser)”
    MY THOUGHTS:

    1. It is important to work on your self-esteem. From all the comments here, you women are doing just that. Keep it up! Remember, we women are strong!
    2. There really are a LOT of men in the world. I was raised with this idea of ‘scarcity’. “There is NOT ENOUGH money”; “NOT ENOUGH men” , etc. The only result of this belief is that you become DESPERATE – a bad and very unrealistic place to be.
    This is ONLY a belief, and you can change it. Just because you don’t see many available men DOES NOT mean they are not ultimately there. When you are working on yourself, of course a lot of men aren’t around you – because you are busy working on yourself. The universe/God whatever you believe doesn’t want you to be distracted. Look at pictures of huge crowds of people – they exist, even if you haven’t seen them yourself. See any men among those huge crowds? Of course you do! And, one day after you have healed enough, and you are ready and want to date again, you will see them – for real, near you.

    resharpen

    January 2, 2013 at 5:55 pm

  402. Another thought:
    Many here have commented that it is important to get a therapist. \
    I do think that will help the majority of women here.
    BUT My own personal experiences with therapists have been BAD. I want to emphasize that these are MY experiences, and most likely will NOT be yours.
    However, if you do get therapists who do not help you, GET OUT as soon as you can. Do not waste your time. I have been with therapists who have completely lacked compassion. I have even had some therapists who have blamed ME for the fact that I was with someone who was cruel to me. DO NOT TAKE THIS FROM ANYONE! Run, do not walk, out that therapist’s door and never come back. (btw, am on another blog, one for those of us who have been damaged by therapists – let me know if you want info on that).
    Important rule: DO NOT BE WITH ANYONE, ANYONE WHO IS NEGATIVE/MEAN TO YOU. You need to heal. You cannot heal around negative energy. I don’t care how long you have known such a person, what sort of professional tag they ‘wear’ around their neck, etc. Tell them right away that you have a headache and have to get off the phone or have to leave (their presence). Believe me, if you don’t, you’ll have wished you did and you will get a headache.
    For years, I had to tell my Mom (who has passed now) only the most general things about who I was dating. She couldn’t help it, but her no. 1 goal in life was that I was married – to ANYONE. Well, my goal didn’t include an ‘anyone’. She was so desperate, and so full of negative energy, that I couldn’t tell her about the men in my life – so I didn’t. And that saved me a LOT of grief, believe me. I had to come first in my life – ahead of anyone, even my Mom. And so do all of us here on this blog!
    A Happy Year to Us all!

    resharpen

    January 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm

  403. Today has been a good day. (another one) Went shopping with my DIL and her mother. Went to a huge thrift store where everything is half price on Wed. and got myself an entire new wardrobe. I went in the dressing room and they just started bringing me things. 6 pants, 10 sweaters and an hour later I had a new wardrobe. Most of the stuff was like new. It felt great to spend money on me for a change. Then I went to walmart and got new unergarments and makeup.

    Trying to stay busy. It is when I am at my apartment that I feel lonely and scared. Not always but most of the time.

    The past few days I have felt so good about myself. I like how it feels and I like who I am becoming. Someone asked me a week ago what I liked to do, and I couldn’t answer them, I still really can’t but I am learning more about myself every day.

    I still think about ” him” and what he might be doing and is he ok and does he miss me and all those things but those thoughts are getting fewer and farther between. I know that I still have a long road ahead of me but I am ready to face it and deal with it one day at a time.

    Do I still miss him, yes, but not as much… do I miss the belittling and critisizing, no!!
    Do I miss the home I spent 29 years making of coarse I do, but ,I am making a new one here.

    Thank you everyone for the wonderful words of encouragement and all the support that you given me, I’m not sure that I would of made it as far as I am without it.

    resharpen, what you were saying about freeing yourself from the negative and negative ppl. I had to tell a long time friend that I couldn’t be around her right now. She left her husband a year ago. She left for totally differnet reasons than I did, she just wanted to go out and party. So since I left she has been almost yelliing at me about being sad and crying and emotional. She kept saying things like you should be happy now you can do whatever you want. She just kept telling me how I should be feeling. So I finally told her no, enough, I am trying to escape from someone always telling me how I should and shouldn’t feel. I told her that I am happy for her that she is doing what she wants but untill she can understand what I am going through and stop telling me what to do and how I should feel that we just can’t see each other for a while. It was very hard but I know that I had to do it for me…. I hope that she will understand and if she doesn’t I guess it is just a price we will both have to pay.

    pamiam

    January 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm

  404. Hon, your friend may be partying to keep down her own emotions. Of course she feels free? who wouldn’t? but who also wouldn’t feel sad and depressed from such a big change, etc? Your being sad (which is VERY normal) is probably making her feel VERY uncomfortable. She is busy stuffing her emotions and here you are, reminding her of her own emotions. You are very right – she is no friend to you right now. You are one sharp lady.

    resharpen

    January 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm

  405. I don’t even know what to say to that. I never thought of it that way. She is probably keeping her emotions locked away. I wish I could be there for her but I must think of myself right now. I have been thinking of other ppl for so long that I am just learning to take care of myself.

    pamiam

    January 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm

  406. you can’t be there for her, pamiam, if she is repressing. trying to get her to talk will just make her defensive.
    you are doing what is healthy, and what feels right to you.
    glad to hear that you got pretty things!
    they do have a way of brightening one’s mood.
    even a new lipstick can make me feel like a brave, independent woman (but, if i am to be entirely honest, i will also have cat hair on my pants, while i am feeling brave and independent.)

    lilly

    January 3, 2013 at 12:14 am

  407. I am having a lot of the same feelings and friend issues as Pamiam. Once I decided to break away from J for good, it was like a line was drawn in the sand. Now that everyone knows that J and I are broken up, I’ve had to face the cold hard truth that most of the people we spent time with are really not my true friends. (With the exception of a few good people)

    Most all of our mutual friends are either drunks or are always at the bar that we used to go to together. Somehow over the course of our time together it seems like I only spent time with him alone, or his bar friends. I didn’t didn’t dawn on me that I didn’t have any of my own friends. The only person that went to the same hangout place with all of us that is my friend is my sister.

    I am angry with myself for being so selectively blind for 7 years. I have to finally do what’s right for my life and stop worrying about these people and feeling the need to tell them all what really happened so they know the truth. Sometimes I just want to make a hundred copies of the police report and pass them out to everyone downtown next to the religious guy handing out Jesus flyers. I really feel a deep need to set the story straight. Then at least I would know everyone knows the truth and I wouldn’t have to worry about at least that part of this Hell anymore.

    I know I will have to see our mutual friends at some point because my sister is friends with some of them. I think that some of the friends don’t really know about happened to me. Some got J’s version of what happened. Some may think that I broke up with him because of the “other woman” I recently found out about. Then there are a few friends that think it was an accident because that’s the cover up I told the police in the beginning because I thought the police would throw J in prison.

    J goes to the bar and drinks with them all the time now. News flash! I heard from my sister that he gave the entire bar some super sad “woe is me” story about how he loves me sooo much and can’t understand why I would ever want to break up with him. He is seriously better than David Koresh or Marshall Applewhite at conning/brainwashing people. He is very quiet, antisocial and intelligent, many times to his own detriment. I have been referring to him as the “evil genius.” He has said many times that people are incredibly stupid and they deserve what they get if they fall for a lie. He has said much worse than that, too. Weird, scary things.

    I’ve heard a couple of his good friends tell people how HONEST and trustworthy he is. His best friend messaged me on facebook a few days ago telling me that J is the most honest person he’s ever known. Even though he is J’s “best friend,” he does not know him AT ALL. I didn’t even feel like trying to explain everything. So since he is just a naive but really nice guy, I politely told him that I am not ready to talk about the situation right now and I might never be ready.
    I’m sure J gave him a pre-planned “poor me” speech, knowing full well that this friend would call or email me telling me how much J loves and misses me. J’s biggest talent is manipulating people around him to get them to do his dirty work for him. This is just one of the many reasons I am not going anywhere near any of the places our “friends” might be. So far I’ve been holed-up in my house.
    I know that in order for me to truly have a happy, healthy life I have to make a clean break from everything and everyone attached to him. Simple enough, right? Simple, but not that easy. I’m still staying away from anywhere he might be and I am not answering his calls. Thanks for your support Pamiam. Thanks again to everyone who is supportive here. Sometimes coming to this site is the only thing that gets me through the day. I hope everyone is doing well.

    LEADBELLY

    January 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm

  408. LEADBELLY, that is all part of it. From what I have been reading our abusers want to keep their public image in tact. They want ppl to see them as the good guy. You will make new friends over time. You have already made a new friend in me that is for sure. You need to focus on YOU don’t worry about what other ppl think. I know that is easier said than done, but you can do it!!!!

    So I have had a crappy day. Went to leave for work and my stupid car wouldn’ start. Have only keyless entry and because my battery was dead couldn’t even get inside to open the hood to jump it. My first instinct was of course, to call “him”. well I can’t call l him anymore, not that he would of ever come to my rescue in the first place. But now I still want to call him. I am figting it but boy do I miss him tonight. I know, why, I don’t know why…..So instead of calling him here I am telling all of you everything.

    I will be so glad when I can stop worrying about what he is doing and is he ok. Why do I even care. I am sure he doesn’t care what I am doing and if I am ok.

    You know it seems that when I have a couple good days then I have a really bad day like today. 2 steps forward 1 step back, but thats ok because I am still making progress.

    pamiam

    January 4, 2013 at 1:59 am

  409. resharpen: i totally agree with you re. therapists. there are some very bad ones out there and they can make the situation worse. i have experienced that. i’m very lucky, now, to have someone who really is excellent, and I can honestly say that i would not have been able to come this far without her. i would recommend that anyone looking for a therapist finds someone who specialises in domestic abuse/abuse issues, and has many, many years of experience. mine also specialises in treating people who have been abused by therapists (!) so is really attentive to the particular power dynamics within therapy. i realise that i am lucky, but i’ve been through my share of bad ones. for me, having her there and my weekly sessions is a safety net. i know that i can talk to her about anything – and all of the difficult things i am feeling – and that she enables me to work through them in such a way as to protect myself. being in therapy is not at all easy. in fact, this level of personal scrutiny can be very difficult. however, with the right therapist it can be a life-saver. perhaps literally.

    luna

    January 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

  410. I am really struggling this morning. I am so lonely. I miss him soooooo much. Have picked up the phone several times. Is there anyone out there?

    pamiam

    January 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

  411. DO not call him. I did and saw him and it set me back to where I did not know if I could live without him and then I hated myself so much I wanted to die. That is what it does to you but you may have to learn the hard way like I did. This is like alcohol to the alcoholic, driving drunk, deciding what to do when he is in your blood, I am here.

    The one that got away

    January 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

  412. It is like if your husband died, there are so many supportive people and then one day you are alone and it hits you like a ton of bricks, call a friend to hold you and tell you it will be okay. It has been over a year but I am on Paxil and it helped. Try to read a good book or go to a movie with a friend or pray or go to a priest or a therapist but do not call him. You will have the short term gain of his arms and when you are this weak, it will only prolong the anguish. One of Tony’s victims went and picked up a guy and got laid, I have had no sex since him because I am not made that way, but hey I am not judging anyone, yes I am lonely so I have a good cry, then I feel a little better. It gets slowly better but oh so slowly you are having a lonely bad day, go for a walk with sunglasses and a scarf to hide the tears, buy a puppy but surely you do not deserve more of him do you?

    The one that got away

    January 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

  413. Get a room ate or a visitor to stay with you for awhile, just don’t be alone.

    The one that got away

    January 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

  414. do ANYTHING but call him.
    remember all the things he used to do to you.
    remember how terrifying it could be.
    remember how strong you are to leave.

    you feel alone right now – but you are not. we are here for you, and this is truly just a stage of healing.
    it will pass – i promise.
    but if you go back, you will have to go through this all over again, when you have to leave him again.

    lilly

    January 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

  415. It is okay and natural to miss him or what you thought he was or what you wanted him to be but he is the reason you are hurting so it is short term gain if you call him and he shows up, I was told by family and friends to stay away but then after awhile they all expected me to be strong alone. It is hard but I am alive by choice. Chose life, living, loving and breathe deeply and pray. This too must pass.

    The one that got away

    January 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

  416. Choose you, pamiam.
    take care of you.

    you have had to take care of others so long, you don’t know how not to – and you must feel like your purpose in life has been taken away.
    but your purpose in life is not to be abused.

    i know the pain – it is worse than physical pain, but going back only prolongs it.
    please be strong, even though you feel like you can’t.

    lilly

    January 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

  417. The holidays are the worst time. His family told me he brought a new woman to their house for the holidays. Why tell me? It hurt even after onene year and I know if I want him I can have him back but I will lose everything, my money, my health, my fragile mental stability, and so I sit here and think I should celebrate the year without him but really I should celebrate the year with me as he would have killed me by now for everything I had as I was his wife. I cry for the man he said he was, for what he said we woul be, the house on the ocean, the dogs, the things he said we would do, all words, easy lies when the truth is and was that he abused my love and trust, at 63 he will never change, but will be nice again when he wants the supply of money and adoration I gave him. I am not that woman anymore but I am alive. One day at a time.

    The one that got away

    January 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm

  418. Thanks everyone…… I know what you are saying is right and I know what I must do. I knew this was coming but it does not help to k now it. My heart aches, I am sorry o be so needy…. I keep second guessing myself, wondering if it was that bad. I know the answer of cousre, I read over my journal to remind myself.

    pamiam

    January 4, 2013 at 3:07 pm

  419. The one, I do miss the things he promised that never happened. I miss the man that he once was but has long been gone. I miss the times we used to have. My head knows what I must do but my heart is fighting it every step of the way. I have never been one to show my emotions and rely on other ppl and I don’t like to be a burden on other ppl, so for me to just tell all of you all of my woes is a big step for me. he was gone on vacation last week and I think that made things easier now that he is back it is hard knowing he is just a phone call away.

    pamiam

    January 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

  420. I do so good for a day or 2 and then wham… it hits me like a ton of bricks. I keep thinking of the future I could have now, and then all of a sudden I just start crying, and once I start i can’t stop.

    pamiam

    January 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

  421. Everyone was here for me and I am giving back. Put yourself first. You will survive and that is the priority. Stay alive respect the danger.

    The one that got away

    January 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

  422. I am going to take a hot bath. I just want to get away from all the pain. I hope that will help.

    pamiam

    January 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm

  423. read a good book pamiam – or go out and buy some. get lots. stock up movies or shows or books, or whatever you like to help when you feel this way.
    sending hugs

    lilly

    January 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

  424. Pamiam: you are VERY normal! It is very normal to feel needy at this time, and when you feel like you want to see him again – that is extremely normal! One thing that helped me a lot – when I wanted to see him, I would re-read several e-mails I had sent him, telling him to NEVER get in touch with me again. The e-mails spelled out all the awful things he had done, in detail. I really let him have it. Re-reading them made me quickly realize how much I couldn’t be with him again because of what a schmuck (pardon my French) he was. You have a journal – would recommend, if you haven’t already, writing down ALL the horrible things he did & said. You read them over when you want to call him. You need to remind yourself of how horribly he treated you, and that you can’t return to that. Also -Sounds like your ex was a real narcissist. I read some good books about them – helped me tremendously. One is: When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself. It showed me, for example, why my ex was so wonderful to me in the beginning, and why he turned into the ‘opposite’ later. And please keep writing on this blog – we want to know how you are.

    resharpen

    January 5, 2013 at 8:32 am

  425. you guys are the best.

    I took my bath yesterday and just soaked till my water turned cold. Went to work and had a good night at work. Today and tomorrow I am going to be very busy. Work today, getting ready for baby shower with a friend tonight and church in the morning and baby shower in the afternoon.

    Yesterday was the worst. You were all right that it would pass and thank God it did.

    pamiam

    January 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm

  426. Pamiam,
    Thanks for the encouragement. Like you said, you’ll have a couple of good days, then you have one horrible day. But we both should remind ourselves that at the very least, we are HAVING good days! So that is definitely progress!
    I came to this page in May(I think) and just looked at the posts. I had picked up the phone to call “J” and hung up at least 3 times. The “J” withdrawals were TERRIBLE. Well, I didn’t pick up the phone right then. I didn’t type here to ask for help, either. I got in my car and drove.
    I can’t remember where I stopped–a gas station or a store. One of our mutual friends was there and asked me how J and I were doing and saying how great we both are. (Blech) I have never talked about anything but the happy stuff with these friends. (My first name has been “Denial” all this time) I felt like telling him the whole story and that he should stay away from him because he is a murderer! But I didn’t of course. I didn’t even tell him we were broken up. Somehow I knew it wouldn’t make a difference what I said.
    Well, I ended up calling J after talking to the friend and just like that we were okay and together again. But now if he calls or texts, I just back away from the phone. Just the fact that you didn’t call him and you decided to come here first is BIG progress! But even if you did/do call, please remember that we have all been there and have made “that” call and have gone back too. But you seem a lot stronger than me when it comes to those things. As long as you know in your heart you truly don’t want to go through Hell with him again, you will make it, even if you slip up once and awhile. You have already been a lot braver than me. We are all here in your computer whenever you need us. That goes for everyone else too!
    I saw that you said you got your journal out and read it to remind yourself why you left him. I do that too! It does help most of the time. But sometimes I have to physically remove myself from the place where I’m having the negative thoughts or when I’m thinking I could call him. It forces my mind to think about something else. I like to drive to the desert or the the mountains. Maybe you have somewhere you can temporarily escape to? Even if it’s just walking through a store or going to a movie-anywhere. The others here gave great advice too. Also, I think taking a nice relaxing bath is a great idea. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
    Pamiam, you ARE doing it.

    LEADBELLY

    January 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

  427. Thanks Leadelly, I know a am strong, and I am doing it. This is way harder then I ever imagined. I really thought that once I finally got the courage to leave that would be it, I would be free. Boy was I ever wrong. Now I know that the realy hard work begins.

    I have seen a couple friends that do not know that I left and they told me to tell him hello, and I just said ok I will…. I have told MY friends and most of them are happy for me, a few have even said it’s about time.

    I have an apt. with a therapist tomorrow, I did do some research and he is supposed to be the best in the area for domestic abuse. looking forward to that.

    pamiam

    January 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm

  428. I am back everyone. I finally broke free. Here is my journal entry from today. The names have been removed to protect the guilty…

    “I can either be nice to you or shut you down.” When the pain of missing you causes me to remember your touch I stop myself to recall your words to me. I have a whole notebook full of your venom. You always were the proverbial snake charmer with a bite that took my breath away. When you raged I felt that I was staring into the face of evil. But we were supposed to forgive and forget about your dark side until eventually it always came bubbling back to the surface. You raised a false image of yourself to me then commanded me to worship it. Lies became the bricks you used to create your false image. Truth was your enemy. Fear was your tool. Because you were controlled by fear you subsequently used it to control me.

    In the end your words were what drove me away. I grew up reading words. I will never allow another to take that truth from me again. I never had a voice in our relationship. You controlled everything including when and how I was to apologize to you. It’s amazing that now after eliminating your toxic waste I am not in need of “apologizing” to anyone. Words spoken to me in this very same bed where I type this journal entry now. “Your counselor probably thinks the same way that I do about you.” “Baby.” “51-year old baby.” Obscenities shouted at a sincere attempt on my part to understand you. “You have not read any of my e-mails!” Holding the cell phone to my ear listening while you raged against yourself.

    I know now that I did not cause you to put my belongings out on your dock on Christmas Eve. I did not make you choose your actions that night. I believe that you did get angry, rage and spit on your ex-girlfriend. I believe you kidnapped your children and threatened to kill them. I believe you grabbed your other ex-girlfriend by the hair on your boat, threw her to the floorboards and banged her head repeatedly while she screamed. I believe she looked at you saying “Go ahead and kill me.” I believe you are such a coward that you jumped off your boat into the water to hide yourself. I believe that you beat your ex-wife in front of your children. I believe you stalked her and others with the same intensity you stalked me. I believe that you are an overweight, selfish, sadistic pig who is an experienced offender that either refuses or cannot change.

    I am so happy to be free from you forever. Your words will help me get through this healing process now in my life.

    I forgive you but I will never forget. I will never allow you any access to me. It is over unequivocally forever. I have made this commitment to myself. You do not have the power of life or death over me. I am free.

    KittyVictim

    January 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm

  429. I tell people this: if two people want to be together they will, no matter what, no one can keep them apart. If they don’t, no one can force them. You have chose not to be with him, for whatever private reason, it is your choice. We keep our choices if we feel better apart. Try to surround yourself with light, calm, good sleep, good food, good people that may become new friends. Museums, botanical gardens, zoos, volunteering, babies, baby animals, babysit a prt, anything but what he came gift wrapped in. I fight it every day, getting stronger, there are bad days, but then comes tha hard nights, and then a new dawn, a gift from God, I am still alive. Pray, however you pray, whatever your religion or beliefs are and call your angels to protect you. I have statues, pictures of angels. be strong and true to yourself and show the standards you need in a relationship. Every pot has a cover, you will meet yours one day. Visualize the relationship you want. Have faith in the nature of love.

    The one that got away

    January 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm

  430. @The one that got away How lovely! Thank you for sharing. He still periodically stalks me but I am free. I am working on true forgiveness and the letting go now.

    “This is the Hour of Lead —
    Remembered, if outlived,
    As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow —
    First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go –”

    – Emily Dickinson

    KittyVictim

    January 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

  431. Kitty Victim – what a gorgeous poem. thank you for posting that.

    i keep thinking – i can’t meet the new one, the RIGHT one, until i get the old one out of my heart.

    i really want to meet the right one.

    The one that got away – i agree – i pray for help and i pray for the right one to come along, and so many good things have happened when i prayed (i am Christian, so i pray to God and Christ) that i have to believe it will happen.
    some part of me still wilts when i think of love, some part of me still just feels pain when i think of it, but some part of me wants to believe, and so i try.

    lilly

    January 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm

  432. Beautiful poem. Remember we are imperfect bodies with perfect souls. Love is never perfect, just perfect for you and although others may not have the ability to meet all of your needs, they should respect them and be there for you, not cause the unmet need to cripple you. Real love is like a pair of shoes that you buy and take care of and wear for years, comfortable and worn in to fit you just right. Be honest about what you want and don’t fool yourself into accepting someone just because you are lonely. Solitude can be good, like fresh earth to plant in, pick the seeds of thoughts you nurture carefully, be positive, believe in yourself, you are a special, unique being with gifts you have yet to unwrap. Love will come when you least expect it, don’t chase it, make a place for it in your heart and it will dance into your life when the song is right. I can love Tony from afar, love the good moments and what we had without exposing myself to his diseased mind and heart. I am not going to save him or change him. I respect the danger he represents. I have removed myself from his life, leaving him to focus on new women. Maybe he will find love before I do. There is no race, just a straight slow walk apart to ou separate destinies. If for any reason God brings us together again, it will not be because I made it happen. I cannot make someone love me the way I need or want or deserve to be loved. I can only be the best person I can be, so that is my New Year Resolution. To weed my garden of those energies that do not help me grow. Be the kind of person you want to meet, call out to the universe when your fragile heart has recovered, then love will find you.

    The one that got away

    January 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

  433. Good Morning…. Busy busy busy… and it feels good.

    Thinking of him, missing him BUT, putting myself first for a change.

    I have come to realize that it is ok to miss him, worry about him, and wonder about him, I took care of him for 30 years. Now it is time for me to take care of me…. The only persons happiness I am responsible for is my own and I am the only one that can make that happen. I have thought of lots of things I can do since I left that I would like to do but I have not acted on them. Now I am going to act on those thoughts and do it.

    pamiam

    January 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

  434. Hello pamiam: yes, putting yourself first is the most important thing and it is good that you are working on this. keep going!

    I have a question for you guys: I am finding that my self-comforting skills are not very good at all. Giving self-love is something that I think I’ve never learned and would really appreciate some tips. Overall, things are going in the right direction. I stopped all contact with him in October but had to call the police on him in November as he wouldn’t leave me alone. I am not tempted at all to get in touch, but am still, inevitably, having times where things are hard in spite of the good things that are going on in my life. Simply, I sometimes feel very fragile, fragmented almost, and am hard on myself. I find it hard to self-comfort and to give myself the love that I need.

    Any ideas on how to get there on this one?

    x

    luna

    January 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

  435. He made himself indispensable to you. So u feel like u need him. You don’t what u need is a good man do leave that parking spot open for one when they show up. Be beautiful. Every day, hug yourself, repeat I luv me, 10 times in a row, then feel it grow in your heart. Stay away from sad luv songs.

    The one that got away

    January 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm

  436. best advice i have on self love, Luna, is to never do what will make you ashamed – even small things, and to only ever do what will make you proud of yourself.

    you have to question yourself a lot in the beginning – “is this right? is this not ok?”, but you start to get the hang of it.
    sometimes it feels indulgent to do what you need, and what will make you proud, but the truth for me is that my heart needs to learn that i am worthy of respect and love. this is teaching me. no one can take away what i have done that i am proud of, and now i know that when they say terrible things to me, they just aren’t true. they can’t stick to me, because i KNOW who i am. and i am becoming more proud of me with each good thing i do.
    i realize that i can’t accept less than i deserve, because i know what i am worth now.

    the day to day can be hard, so just keep asking “what would make me truly proud of myself?”

    not sure if that is helpful – if not, here, have a hug!

    lilly

    January 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm

  437. Luna, I too have a very hard time with self-love. I think at this point it is baby steps. Do something for yourself that will make you feel good. Go get a manicure, or pedi or both. Try a new hairstyle, or buy yourself a new outfit. Baby steps. I am hoping that someday it will be as natural as taking a breath, but for now I am content with the little baby steps I am taking. You deserve it Luna and you can do it….. (((hugs)))

    pamiam

    January 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm

  438. Thank you so much dear friends. Your words, advice and hugs have helped a lot.

    I had a very difficult, but important, therapy session today. I’ve moved out of the ‘firefighting’ stage when I was dealing with traumatic bonding, my need to get in contact with him etc, and into a new stage which I’m finding very difficult: looking at childhood patterns of attachment and love and at how these may have contributed to me getting into and tolerating an abusive relationship. It’s important work to do but boy, is it hard. I find myself feeling very raw and opening up old wounds on top of more recent ones (to do with my abusive relationship) is a very difficult thing to do. Tonight’s session tapped into some very big themes which connect up to this issue of self-love: why do I find it difficult to accept that others love me? Why can I not recognise and acknowledge my own attractiveness/beauty? Why do i find it hard to recognise and celebrate my personal and professional achievements? I think these questions are all connected to this issue of self-love, of not being able to express it for reasons that go back a long, long way.

    It’s time to break with these old thought habits, to transform my relationship with myself, and to reorientate myself to the world. It’s going to be hard, but it must be done. I only wish I’d started this work earlier in life but hey, better late than never!

    luna

    January 8, 2013 at 12:09 am

  439. good for you….doing what you need to do to be a better YOU!!! I am so proud of you Luna… we are all here for you…. keep up the good work.

    pamiam

    January 8, 2013 at 1:32 am

  440. you are doing something very brave Luna – remember to be gentle with yourself!
    and take all the time you need, because there is no rush.
    not to sound condescending, but i am proud of you!

    lilly

    January 8, 2013 at 8:36 am

  441. thank you pamiam and lilly – not at all condescending but wonderfully supportive. i don’t know how i could have got through the last few months without the support of you wonderful people on this forum. the therapy is really tough, and i have had a few complete meltdowns with it all. just unable to function at times and just wanting to run away and hide from the world. sometimes i wonder whether it is worth the difficulty. but i just have to remember how this is the first time that i have properly been able to get away from him, and my therapist walked with me every step i took away from him. that is worth all the difficulty in the world. i start this new year without him. the first time for a long time. that is one huge thing to celebrate.

    luna

    January 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm

  442. I’ts 2 A.M. and I can’t sleep. No work tomorrow but plenty to do. Can’t shut my brain off. Therapist apt. was cancelled, don’t know why but I guess I will start searching for another one. I am feeling pretty good and getting stronger every day. A good friend of mine is coming to see me next weekend so I am really looking forward to that. She has been a great support and has seen the abuse first hand. Hope everyone is safe and well tonight….

    pamiam

    January 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

  443. i hope no one minds, but i said a little prayer for all of us last night. we all deserve to find happiness.
    honestly, the courage of the people here is just humbling.
    how amazing is it that after being treated like we were, we can not only continue on, but keep being loving?

    luna and pamiam – if you need us, remember we are here. if you start to feel lonely, remember that we are behind you.

    last night i had a dream about my childhood abuser, raping me.
    i am starting to make connections between the abuse i suffered then, and the abuse i suffered later.
    i thought i had figured it all out, but so many of you have helped me to see things differently.
    i really didn’t think i deserved better back then. intellectually, i knew the abuse my childhood abuser and later my boyfriend put me through was wrong, but i think of some level, it felt right.
    i argued with them, i even tried to fight my boyfriend off, but i never really felt “how dare he hurt this good person!”, because i had never really understood that i was good.

    if anyone wonders if the hardship of leaving is worth it; i now know that i am good.
    i now know that the rape was a rape of a good woman, that the beating was the abuse of a caring, worthy person.
    i can’t believe i can say that, but it is true.
    what i am able to see now, is the pitiful mind of my abusers.
    my childhood abusers looked at a tiny little girl, and only felt hate.
    how sad for them.
    my boyfriend looked at a woman who loved him, and only saw someone to hurt.
    i am sorry for the mind he has to live in.

    they don’t deserve sympathy, and yet i am sad for them, that they hurt a person who loved them so much. they are, each of them, people who feel so alone.
    and yet they cause themselves that pain. they destroyed love. while i kept creating it.

    our abusers can’t feel empathy or sympathy for good people, loving people, while we can feel sympathy for rapists and abusers.
    i wouldn’t be them for all the world. no matter what, i would much rather be like we all are.
    i get it now – all the horrifying things they did to me couldn’t snuff out my heart, couldn’t break my spirit, and couldn’t destroy the good person in me.

    i don’t look at the child who tried to love her abuser and feel disgust at her weakness any more, because she was anything but weak.
    i don’t look at the woman who was abused and hate her for not being able to fix anything anymore, because she did fix the situation. she left, saving a good person from abuse.

    this understanding of my own value is worth the fight.
    knowing that i am truly a good person feels like something from a dream. something i thought i could never have. i can now be honest about what i do, and in that honesty, i have realized that i work harder than most to do no harm, to help others.

    i have learnt to stop looking at myself through the eyes of my abusers, and through the eyes of the people who cared so little about me that they did nothing to help, or even blamed me.
    that is truly a kind of freedom – my mind isn’t full of their hate anymore.

    if you wonder if the fight is worth it, please hear me when i say, resoundingly, YES!!!!
    i believe my ability to come through and remain a good person was because of help from God, because i wanted so much to be loving and truly good, and because of help from people like you all.
    see?
    see how good you are?
    you not only helped yourself, but you helped all these other people too!
    you are so worth the effort.
    you may never hear this from anyone in your life, but you should hear it now; when they abused you, they abused a good person. they hurt a good heart, they returned hate for love.
    you gave love for hate.
    if the world needs anyone, it needs people like you – like us.
    because our goodness survived a torture of a kind, so that it could go on being good.
    that, i think, is fairly rare.

    i am so lucky, so grateful, that i found this site.

    lilly

    January 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm

  444. Oh Lilly…how beautiful your words are. What a great awesome person you are.

    I was feeling very fragile when I logged on just now, but you have given me a renewed strength. I hope someday, no, I KNOW someday I will be as strong as you are. Youre prayers are very welcomed to me and much appreciated. I know that God is the only reason I am still alive. I know that the power of prayer is the most powerful weapon we have. I have only just discovered that I did suffer abuse when I was a child. Just starting to work on that. I have large gaps in my childhood memories and I am working on opening those gaps. I know it is going to be very painful and very hard work but it is something that must be done to help me have a true understanding of who I am. you know you are right, the women on here have suffered so much and are the kindest most loving people it has been my pleasure to meet in a very long time. I will never forget the help that I have received here and hope that I can do the same for others someday…. God bless us all and keep us safe.

    pamiam

    January 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm

  445. Luna, have not heard from you today. Hope all is well and you are safe….

    pamiam

    January 10, 2013 at 2:10 am

  446. Lilly, thank you for your beautiful post. I’m having a really hard time today. It helped to see it. Hope everyone is doing okay.

    LEADBELLY

    January 10, 2013 at 3:21 am

  447. pamiam – made me tear up there. i think you are just as strong – you are just much closer to the danger than i am now. when i first left, i felt like i had been skinned. all my nerves were right at the surface. i was so overwhelmed and so full of pain and fear. that wasn’t weakness – it was just years of abuse, and the storm of emotions brought on by leaving.
    i am so sorry to hear that you were abused as a child too. it just isn’t fair.
    please take your time, and let your heart heal at its own pace.
    the book that helped me the most was called “The Courage to Heal”. when you are ready to look at the past, it might be a great help for you.
    but please don’t rush – your poor heart deserves a break, and time to feel safe.
    i am sending you imaginary hot chocolate right now. look – it has marshmallows!

    leadbelly – you’ve done the same for me in the past!
    if you are having a hard time, your absolutely must go and spoil yourself in some way. i highly recommend hot baths and good books. the book will get damp, but that will just give it character! or maybe some cut flowers for your living room? something to make you smile and feel better.
    here is a hug for you.

    hope everyone is ok right now. night.

    lilly

    January 10, 2013 at 8:03 am

  448. yes lilly that is how I feel, like all my nerves are right at the surface and my emotions are so very fragile.

    I have to tell you about my boss. He is a wonderful man, his wife is very lucky……. now. He used to be a raging alcoholic and when he drank he was mean…. his wife was also an alcoholic. About 11 years ago they lost their kids, their marriage fell apart and they got the help they so needed. They both abused each other, it was ugly. So they got very involved with the church and did years of intensive therapy and they are now very happy. They have a very loving relationship now…. They have been a great support to me. I was in a bad way yesterday and he and I talked. He explained to me that my abuser is like my drug or my drink and I am in recovery. He said that I will want that drink untill I get healthy…. Well ladies I have to be honest with you, “I had a drink” He called while I was very vulnerable and asked me to come over and I did. He was very sweet and “acted” so sincere, mind you he did not ask me to come back but I am sure that he is working up to that. At the time it was a wonderful feeling to be with him, but after I left I realized that it was just my fix if you will and that the disease is still there. I know that I can never go back because it will never be healthy for me. He was, is, and always will be an abuser, he is a master manipulator and he has had 29 years to condition me to what he wants me to be. Well guess what, I am not that person anymore….. yes it has been a very short time and I stil am very fragile and could easily fall back but I am going to stay true to myself for the first time in my life. I came home and got all my writings out and read them and read them again and again….. I have posted notes in my car on my frig on the mirrors all over the apt of the things he did to me……. I can do this…..I am going to do this.. I will do this.. I must do this….

    Thanks again for being here, together we will all get stronger!!!

    pamiam

    January 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  449. Thanks for being so supportive you guys. I went through all of the posts again and got a list of the books everyone recommended so it would all be in one place. Hope you all are doing okay.

    Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of inevitable Harm With Psychopaths, Sociopaths & Narcissists
    Sandra L. Brown

    Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
    Lundy Bancroft

    The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond
    Patricia Evans

    The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

    The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships
    Patrick J. Carnes

    LEADBELLY

    January 10, 2013 at 11:46 pm

  450. This post is a godsend as I struggle to leave 25 years of abuse. My 14 year old daughter will be coming with me and this information is helping me put her doubts to rest as well.

  451. pamiam – they always say “relapse is part of the healing process”. i went back once, and stayed for another year. what a nightmare.

    be gentle with yourself, and forgiving.

    Leadbelly – i am going to have to look up some of those books. “Why does he do that?” sounds like something i really need to read. it is so hard to understand why they do what they do, and if something can help me understand, it would save me a lot of mental agony. trying to think like them is just painful. it’s like stepping into crazy land.

    Change My Body… – i’m sorry you are going through this, but i am glad you found this site. it has helped me so much, and i am sure it can help you too.
    keep safe.

    have a great weekend everyone.

    lilly

    January 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm

  452. pamiam: i am here, not to worry but thank you for checking in!. i’ve had a difficult few days – therapy is making me feel like i’m being ripped open (not fun…), and i lost a dear friend and mentor this week. an extraordinary person. the funeral was yesterday and i’ve been giving myself a bit of space to recognise and honour his life and influence.

    and, please don’t give yourself a hard time about seeing him again: it happens so don’t beat yourself up. you have done amazingly well to get away – just keep going and try not to look back. if you slip up, don’t give yourself a hard time but remind yourself why you left him and keep sticking at it. i left mine several times in the past and never really broke contact even when we had split up. this is the very first time that i have managed to get away and stay away. the thing you have to be aware of is that if you keep seeing him you’ll lose faith in your ability to change the way things are. this happened to me – i left him several times, went back, and then this summer felt so helpless. i was so unhappy but felt unable to act. i thought that if i left him then i’d only go back again so it seemed pointless doing anything about it. but… i went to see a counsellor to help me through the whole process – just realised that i couldn’t do it alone. in the end, events overtook me (or rather, he kicked off big time again) and i ended up having to get him out of the house and do an emergency lock change to keep him out before i’d started the counselling properly.

    leadbelly: it’s great that you managed to put a reading list together – a great resource, thank you! i have read most of the books on that list and can thoroughly recommend bancroft, evans and carnes. i read bancroft and evans when i was still with him and i was trying to understand his behaviour. evans tries to help you work out whether it is possible to salvage anything from the relationship and her book and bancroft’s are extremely good if you are still in an abusive relationship and trying to work out whether/how to leave. both are very pessimistic indeed about the possibility that he can change, and bancroft has alot of experience of counselling abusive men. very, very few change their behaviours and attitudes. these books are very good if you are in the stage where you are still asking ‘why’ and trying to understand what is going on. i started my reading about two or three years before i actually left him. it took me a while.

    since leaving i’ve been reading different things, more focused on understanding the effects of abuse on me and less about trying to understand him. here, carnes is invaluable and has helped me to assess the damage, the extent of the damage, and the things i need to do to break the trauma bond with him. it really is excellent.

    luna

    January 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

  453. lilly: it’s beautiful that you prayed for us, thank you. i’ll be honest, i’m not christened and am not religious, but prayers can be heartfelt communication to and for those we care for and want to wish well and i am grateful for your warmth and kindness, and for remembering me in your prayers. keep well, go safe. hugs x

    luna

    January 11, 2013 at 9:44 pm

  454. so sorry for your loss luna.
    thinking of you.

    lilly

    January 11, 2013 at 11:17 pm

  455. thank you lilly. he was very ill, it was expected, but very sad all the same.

    luna

    January 12, 2013 at 12:00 am

  456. Thanks Luna and Lilly. Luna, I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t mean to be a downer, but I haven’t been doing too well. I have been trying to avoid going to a therapist because my last experience with one wasn’t very good, but I think I am going to have to see one. I don’t think I can do this by myself anymore. Can anybody share how they found a good one? I am terrified to tell my whole story to someone that might not be able to help me. Any advice would be appreciated. I hope everyone is okay and safe.

    LEADBELLY

    January 12, 2013 at 8:50 am

  457. luna – please just take it easy right now. you need to focus on you, and keeping yourself feeling safe. just remember to do what feels right. i’m sorry for all that is happening to you right now.
    hugs to you.

    Leadbelly – this is a post i made a long time ago about finding a good therapist. i had one really wonderful one, and two awful ones, and i learnt to tell the difference. as well, i used the guidelines in the Courage to Heal and in other books to write this;

    “you are totally right about a therapist – but not because you are broken. you need one because you are dealing with a really abusive man, and (sorry to say) what sounds like a fairly terrible human being.
    it isn’t you that is weird – you are a normal woman in a really abnormal situation.
    so yeah, you do need help to get through it. anyone would. you need the therapist because of this freak, not because of you.

    i have had a very good therapist, and i have had two awful ones.

    this is a guideline that might help you. i found it in “The Courage to Heal”, which is a book for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

    it states; go to the appointment with prepared questions (written down helps);
    – have you been trained to work with women who have been abused?
    – what kind of training do you have?
    – would you support my participation in a survivors group?
    – do you think that physical, sexual or emotional abuse is always damaging?
    – do you think that women ever cause the abusive situation?
    – do you think women ever exaggerate their abuse?
    – do you see reconciliation as a goal?
    – what role do you think forgiveness plays in healing?
    – what sort of relationship do you establish with your patients?(hugging, touching, etc?)
    – what are your feelings towards people of different sexual orientations?
    – do you think it is OK for a therapist to socialize with clients outside of therapy?
    – how much do you charge? is there a sliding scale?
    – can i call you at home if i am in crisis?
    – can i schedule emergency sessions?
    – how do you feel about religion?

    “Ask the questions that are the most important to you, and add others that will help you to asses how sensitive the counselor is to particular issues that matter to you (like religion, sexual orientation, eating disorders, alcoholism, past abuse etc.)
    Chose whichever gender works for you, as some women are afraid to open up to men because they were abused by a man, while some find they can learn to trust again by finding a male therapist they can relate to”.

    the best advice i have ever gotten for choosing a therapist is this; give it a month to see how it works out. but only if there are no red flags, and you feel that they are a decent match for you. don’t let minor doubts chase you away. major doubts must be respected, so move on.

    also, find a therapist with a woman centered, or feminist background. the reason for this, is that many therapists who have not been trained in this way focus on forgiving the man, returning to him, or even blaming the woman. they focus on the “family”, and insist that the woman should return to “rescue” the relationship- as a good woman should. they will say that a woman can “ask for it” by being angry, too sexy or for “nagging”.
    woman-centered or feminist therapists are taught that the victim never “asked for it” no matter if they are male or female, that forgiveness is only something done if the client wants to, and only to help them heal. they never suggest that the abuse was caused by her behaviour, and they will not throw “wifely duties” or any bible text at you.
    they will have a balanced view of males and females, and will not allow assigned gender roles to cloud the issue of abuse.

    my excellent experience with a therapist was responsible for saving my life, i think. i was truly suicidal, and she helped me. she taught me how to survive the pain and how to get better from it.

    “the way to tell that you are with a good therapist is that you feel supported, you feel safe, and you develop more and more skills to heal yourself over time.
    s/he should be able to help you identify your own patterns, and your own emotional injuries and responses. they should be willing to teach you strategies to deal with all of the things you are going through. you should feel at ease with them, if not with the subject matter.
    they should not foist their own moral code on you, and they should never foist their life on you.
    if they start to do this, leave. you are not there to be taught their religion or political stance, and you certainly shouldn’t have to become part of their life.” – this is all paraphrased from the book.

    my therapist had a masters degree in counseling, and i highly recommend that level of training, with a focus on abuse. just about anyone can call themselves a therapist, and they don’t legally need to be trained to do so. so be careful about their training.
    when i admitted to doing something wrong, my therapist would say “yes, that isn’t OK”. she was trained in the woman-focus method, and respected that women sometimes don’t know how to deal with abuse, like anyone, and so can lash out, or turn on themselves, or make mistakes.
    i had started to starve myself again, and had even self harmed. she was amazing about it, and told me that those strategies were not helping me. she helped me to find ways to deal with the overwhelming pain, so that i could stop doing those things.
    she was not a yes-man.
    but she never tried to shame or force anything on me.
    when i said something that she disagreed with, she said so, and then presented her side of the argument. we could debate the point, in a very gentle, intelligent way. and she would always respect my thoughts, and help me to find the solutions that were best for me – not the ones she decided i needed.
    in that way she empowered me.

    she helped me to see that i can help myself, if i look closely enough at what is wrong, and if i have some idea of what to do. she gave guidelines, not orders. i was the one in control, she was more like the assistant. the abusers take our sense of control and power. a therapist should help you get that back.
    if you feel helpless with them, or like they are taking control of your healing, please don’t stay.

    i wanted someone who could understand my religious upbringing, and i wanted someone who would be blunt with me.
    i felt safe, i felt respected and i felt that she taught me a great deal.
    it was awful, some times, because i didn’t want to go in. not because of her, but because of what i was dealing with. but i was always grateful when i left, because she helped me to see ways i could help myself, and she validated me and she showed me just how big a thing i was doing.
    she taught me to respect how strong i am.

    going was often a relief because i could talk about the pain, and she got it. she didn’t just listen, she empathized, without being overly emotional. that way i didn’t feel guilty for upsetting her, and i didn’t feel weirded out by her emotional response. i felt supported by her, but still like there was a professional distance. that comforted me. there were boundaries that were respected, but there was still warmth and caring.

    i only stopped seeing her because i had to leave university, and couldn’t afford a therapist.
    i think she could have helped me a lot more, but she taught me how to heal myself, and i went on doing just that. i bought books, and i used the lessons she taught me; how to refuse to take responsibility for the actions of others, and how to understand just how much pressure i was under.

    i have continued to develop, basing everything on the foundation she helped me to lay down.
    that was the best therapist i have had. later, there were two nightmares. i left after a month with both of them.”

    Leadbelly – just to add to the above – it’s really helpful to write some questions down so that you remember to ask them when you go in.
    focus on their training (their primary training should be with abused women, and they should have a degree or masters degree. if they don’t, they will not have the skills to help someone who is going through what you are facing) and on whether or not they have women-centered or feminist training.

    in my search for a therapist, i called the Women’s Referral, Education and Counseling Center (they help women in my area to find the right therapists, psychologist or groups for them) who told me that they highly recommended feminist or woman-centered therapists for women who have faced what we have. those therapists who have not been trained in that way tend to put some or all of the blame on the woman, and even can encourage her to go back to her abuser to “help” him.
    they also tend to feel that anger in a woman is a bad thing, and they can shame women for it.
    abusers often do the same thing, which is why that kind of therapy can be so damaging.
    knowing she in in a safe enough place to express anger helps the woman to deal with what she is feeling, instead of turning her anger inward.
    a good therapist should make you feel safe enough to express your anger, and will encourage you to do so.

    good luck to you! i will keep my fingers crossed for you.

    lilly

    January 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  458. Lilly, thank you so much for your post. That is some of the most valuable advice I have ever received. I think I have some ideas on which places to call now. I don’t know what I would do without this page and everyone’s support. I hope you are doing well.

    LEADBELLY

    January 13, 2013 at 8:40 am

  459. Hi everyone. Hope you girls are all doing well tonight. I have been busy putting in some ot at work.
    have another busy week ahead too. put a to do list on my frig with something to do for myself everyday. gotta stay busy. i have been thinking of moving back to where i was raised. where my mom and sister are. i talked to my kids about it tonight and bless their hearts they just said mom you have spent your life taking care of us and dad now you need to take care of yourself. i just think it would be the best thing for me right now. i need time to heal and i just don’t think i can do it here. it would mean a 1,700 mile move. i think if i gave myself a year there it would really help me. i can’t make it forever cause i can’t leave my kids and grandkids forever. just thinking about leaving them is hard but i really think it is what is best for me. it has been 6 weeks since i left and i don’t really feel like i have made any head way. i still cry all the time, i still want to see him all the time, i’m thinking some distance between us would really help. but then i think am i just running away, i am still going to have the same problems there. the only differnce would be i would have my mom and sister as a support.

    i found out a little while ago that he got a dwi this weekend. good maybe now he will get some help. he will probably lose his drivers license and have to go to counseling. but when you are forced to go it probably won’t help. i knew it was only a matter of time, it wasn’t if he would get one but when….. he also was supposed to go to our daughters for dinner tonight and he was a no call, no show… i wasn’t surprised, but she was really hurt.

    hope everyone is safe tonight…

    pamiam

    January 14, 2013 at 2:01 am

  460. have a dr. appointment with my primary tomorrow, going to ask for some anti-dipressents just to help me get through. anyone takinging them and do they really help? i am also going to ask for something to help me sleep.

    pamiam

    January 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

  461. Pamiam, as an antidepressant user, I can tell you they do work. Extended periods of stress wreak havoc with our serotonin levels and the anti d’s get that back up to normal levels. You need a full toolbox to cope day to day, so don’t hesitate to take the medication you require. You may not need anything to help you sleep once the meds do their job. All the best.
    Crystal

    Crystal

    January 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

  462. thanks Crystal. I have been putting it off getting them. but I really think i need them.

    pamiam

    January 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm

  463. I took Paxil for one year and got off last week. I think the old me is back without the 24 hr a day tears and runny nose from crying over Tony, the pimp/whore sex addict that stole $62,000.00 and made me think I wanted to die, before the annulment of our marriage came through. Take the pills and stop crying so you can heal without picking at the scab that he left on your heart. God heals everything with time. It was the hardest year of my life. You will make it if you do the no contact. If Tony comes up to me and puts his arms around me now, I will not melt, I will dial 911 to report the violation of the restraining order. One year ago I cancelled the restraining order after he told me he wanted to get counselling. He never did go and then when I asked for my money, he threatened to have me arrested for drugs he would plant on me. Do this. Picture the real man he is, ask yourself: “If he had told me the truth about how our relationship would play out, would I have accepted a second date?” So never mind the promises, the dreams, the fantasies about what life with him was going to be, ask yourself if you want more of what you had? I did not want more of Tony having sex with Paula, the whore that worked with him, whose salary I had been paying with the money he stole from me pretending to buy houses. I do not want more of a guy who says he is a one woman man ( one woman an hour) and I do not want more of a man who threw my purse and held it upside down emptying the contents all over the floor of his dry cleaner to stall me as I tried to escape, I do not want more of his telling me if I did not loan him more money he would have to break the law, I do not want more of the women coming to the dry cleaners screaming why did you not tell me you were married, oh my God, I do not want more of any of him. If you get to this point at any time in your recovery, you will feel strong and certain that you deserve better. You set the standards for how men treat you by saying NO! Surely you deserve someone who will make you laugh and love you and share his everything with you and be proud of you and not cheat on you and not lie and not threaten you and not make you cry and not make you think you aren’t good enough. He said once, you are trailer trash. I laughed in his face and said I never lived in a trailer but you did and that was the beginning of my cognitive dissonance where what he said did not match what he did or how he did it. Put the broken pieces of the relationship together if you want to look at them to make more sense out of why you left but like Tupac said, You can spend minutes, hours, weeks or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, trying to justify what could have, would have happened, or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move on. One person carrying the relationship while the other walks all over it is a waste of time. Look in the mirror, decide if this is your best look, the swollen eyes, the puffy face from crying and say whoa, I can be better than this without someone making me hate myself for accepting the crap that he dishes out. Be alone for as long as it takes, it has been 14 months with no sex, not even a kiss, while he has had dozens of women. I can’t change him if he doesn’t think there is anything wrong with sex addiction so what was my choice. Solitude can be good if you use it to reflect on your future and how to avoid allowing anyone to say or do anything that will hurt you. I know I have let everyone know that I cannot allow anyone to hurt me, not even my daughter. So do it, tell yourself, this is not the best version of me. I know it will work, it did for me. It isn’t easy but climbing the Mt. Everest of what your life has become but the view will make it all worth it when you look at yourself in the mirror one day and you say I like what I see because I have stopped letting anyone rain on my parade.

    The one that got away.

    January 15, 2013 at 12:41 am

  464. thank you,
    today i have been digging down deep and really looking at myself. I know that i deserve to be treated with love honesty respect and all those things. i know that when he says he loves me, which he told me the other day what he really means is I love the control i had over you i love that you are my victim and will do anything i want you too. the past 2 days have been quite the ride but i think that i have made some really good decisions for myself. I have decided that i am not going to make the move. my life is here, my kids my grandkids, my friends. right now I am angry and i am going to use that anger to my advantage. i no longer am going to blame myself for his behaviour. i am no longer going to think about what we could of had that we never would have. he is not able to love me the way i deserve to be loved, the first person i have to fall in love with is ME!!! you know i went grocery shopping the other day, it was very hard to shop because i didn’t really know what i liked. i went to get some pork chops and realized why the heck would i buy pork chops i don’t even like pork chops. it was great to get stuff that i like for a change.

    thanks for all your prayers and support…..

    pamiam

    January 15, 2013 at 3:19 am

  465. i was on prozac, and it really did help me to not get down so low, and to pull myself together.
    i recommend it.
    some of them have weird side effects, but there are lots to try.
    when i took prozac, i took it in the morning with just a coffee. if i didn’t eat anything after that for about an hour, i had no appetite all day. if i ate something with it, i ate more all day.
    i lost a lot of weight on it, because i tended to not eat in the morning. at one point it was getting kinda scary, so i had to make an effort to eat more.
    make sure that if you take it, you keep an eye on things like that.
    if you take it at night, it can help you to sleep better.
    but you could lose weight.
    if that is something you want, i would go with prozac, because it has fewer side effects.
    if losing weight is a bad idea, then eat food in the morning when you take it.
    it helped stop the panic attacks and it helped me to stop being as hyper vigilant as i had been. it was a good decision for me.

    i remember when i first left, i felt a weird kind of freedom.
    i discovered that the music i liked wasn’t “crap” like he had said – it was awesome! and that i wasn’t ugly or fat(i was a recovered anorexic, and being anything but drastically underweight was “fat” to him), and that if i wanted to read a book, i didn’t have to endure him telling me it was “stupid” or “badly written” or any of that.
    i could be ME!!!
    i could wear what i thought looked good, and not have to put up with being told what i should be wearing instead. i could watch TV that i wanted to watch!

    it was wonderful, and at the same time sad. i had taken stuff like that for so long, that i had forgotten who i really was.

    enjoy being you pamiam!!
    all the things you haven’t done in 29 years are still waiting for you!
    try to remember all the lovely things in life – that will encourage you to keep going, to keep on being free.

    hugs to you for no pork chops!

    lilly

    January 15, 2013 at 5:50 am

  466. thank you lilly! yes, no pork chops for me. I said in a couple post ago that i didn’t feel like i had made any head way. i have been re-thinking that, i really have come a long way in 6 short weeks. i should not be so hard on myself, after 29 years of that crap it is going to take way more time then 6 weeks to recover. after the past few das my head is starting to clear a little and I am making some plans and getting them done. I know that i will emerge from this darkness a much stronger person. i would like to lose a few lbs, although i have lost some, 2 pants sizes since i left, i would like to lose about 20 more lbs.

    have a wonderful day everyone!!!

    pamiam

    January 15, 2013 at 11:39 am

  467. where is everyone?

    pamiam

    January 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm

  468. hello pamiam and all of you wonderful women. i hope you are all doing ok, and hanging in there. for those of you who have just left your nightmares, don’t look back! and for those of you a little further down the road, keep going.

    i’m dropping in briefly to say that i’m going to be off this forum for a little while. i’m finding therapy pretty hard going, and have been doing way too much abuse reading, and have had some bad dissociative episodes and massively stressful days in the last couple of weeks. i think i’m overloading myself, and i sometimes find that i feel very upset after being on this forum – not because of you wonderful people, i should say, but because, inevitably, it brings up so much stuff for me. i guess, at the moment, with the particular work i’m doing in therapy, engaging in abuse-related stuff to the extent i do is just too much to bear. my sleep is really terrible at the moment and i am at my wits’ end. i am going to my GP tomorrow and i will take anything they give me. seriously (and i prefer to stay away from the meds if at all possible – i have managed to do that so far but i am at breaking point).

    i came home from work today and cleared away all of my abuse books (which, i’m not kidding, were piling up in pretty much every room in my house!) and put them away. i’m now checking in with you lovely people just to say that i’m going to be away from this forum for a little while because i need to reduce the abuse-related stuff i’m engaging with for the time being. i need to sort my sleep out, get exercising again, and try to normalise a bit.

    all my love, warmest wishes and hugs to you. i’ll be thinking of you and i’ll be back when things have settled down a bit for me.

    x

    luna

    January 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

  469. Luna you take care of yourself. I will be thinking of you. Thank you so much for all your help.

    pamiam

    January 16, 2013 at 10:00 pm

  470. luna – do what feels right.
    take some time to watch funny movies, and read good books, and sleep as much as possible.
    we are here if you need us.
    it’s a hard slog, when you are in therapy, so just focus on getting through it.

    hugs to you!

    lilly

    January 16, 2013 at 11:29 pm

  471. good morning everyone. it has been very quiet here. i hope that is a good thing and everyone is doing well. i started the anti-depressent the other day. she put me on celexa, 10 mg. i am waiting for it to start working, although i have been feeling pretty well the last few days. my primary is trying to find a good therapist in our area for me. i went to see one the other day, wow i got up after 15 min and left. he pretty much blamed me for everything, told me that i enabled him and we chose how we let ppl treat us and i had allowed him to treat me that way all those years. i mean really blame the victim, what century do we live in. i know that it was my choice to stay all those years but i just couldn’t believe his attitude…

    hope all are well….

    pamiam

    January 19, 2013 at 10:06 am

  472. Pamiam, so glad you walked out on that therapist. Abusers find there way into all careers. You were there to heal. Period. Therapist shouldn’t be practising…

    Good work on the Celexa! You will only continue to improve now.

  473. the male therapist i went to with my ex did the same thing. he actually told me that my disability was as “hard to live with” as my ex beating me and terrifying me (not to mention locking me in the basement without food or water for over 24 hrs.) my disability causes me pain, and required nothing from my ex. he also said “besides, i am sure he is sorry.” without even looking at my ex, who was trying to look just as sweet as he possibly could.

    therapists who do not have woman -centered or feminist training will always take that tack – it’s your fault you terrible hussy of a woman. how could you drive him to be that way to you?? and so on.
    they are, in my opinion, one of the reasons this kind of abuse continues. they clearly are enabling the abuser – and then blaming the victims.

    that therapist was the reason my ex went on hurting me, and i wish almost every day i could run into him again so i could tell him so.

    try to find a woman-centered therapist, pamiam, because they have a much more balanced view of men and women. the abuser, is in their opinion, the abuser, and the victim, whether male or female, is the victim. with therapists not trained in that way, the woman is the guilty party no matter what.
    many even try to get the woman to go back to help the man who beat her.
    it’s sick.

    lilly

    January 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm

  474. Therapists can be made to explain their treatment of patients to thei professional order so you should always ask which disciplinary body they are subject to. I f they are not subject to anyone’s oversight, walk away.

    The one that got away

    January 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm

  475. hope all are doing well. it is way too quiet in here.

    pamiam

    January 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm

  476. I’m making preparations to leave with my daughter in a couple of weeks. Trying to keep everything secret from Him. Constantly doubting myself, hating myself for doubting when I see how sad he’s made our daughter. I’m truly hating this process – I know I’m doing the right thing but I’m tied in knots inside.

    Crystal

    January 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm

  477. Crystal – i’m sorry that you are going through this. it is an awful time, when it happens to you.
    but it does get better. please remember that. there will be times ahead that you stop and think “this is what it feels like to be safe”. that made it worth it for me.
    thinking of you.

    lilly

    January 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm

  478. Thank you Lilly. I’ve never been so terrified. I don’t want to do this, but there’s no way I would let my daughter continue on in the present environment. She came to me to say it was time, it was so bad. Can’t move forward…can’t stay where I am…can’t undo the past….

    I will keep remembering your words – This is what it feels like to be safe.
    Crystal

    Crystal

    January 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm

  479. Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m
    definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    the cold calling crusher

    January 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

  480. Crystal – and what a wonderful thing to show your girl. that she shouldn’t have to take such behaviour. you are a good mum, and are totally doing the right thing.
    hang in there.

    lilly

    January 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm

  481. Crystal – please know we all want the best for you! AND PLEASE do NOT doubt yourself, or judge yourself. You are doing what is right. That’s what these abusers do – try to convince us that THEY are the ones who know everything, and we know nothing. Remember that. You are strong. Write to us as often as you can and tell us how you and your daughter are.

    resharpen

    January 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm

  482. I have had TERRIBLE experiences with therapists. I just can’t see them anymore. for me, life coaches are much better. Also, support groups. but – if you see one, tell them immediately that you need COMPASSION FIRST. That that is essential. I don’t care what credentials they have, what kind of therapy they use, blah, blah. What kind of person are they? So many have been downright cruel to me – to the point where I am another blog for those of us who have had awful experiences with therapists – anyway, I do wish all of you well with this.
    .

    resharpen

    January 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm

  483. resharpen – oh love, that is awful. i have had a few terrible experiences too, and i know how bad it can be, but i was lucky and found a really good one. i am so sad that you only ever had the worst of them. that is just so wrong – like a doctor making a patient worse. giving them another condition or disease. those kinds of people are just abusers in a different setting.
    can i ask about the blog you were referring to? i would love to go and see it.

    lilly

    January 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm

  484. Hurting people hurt people. No abuse like child abuse.

    deb

    January 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm

  485. P.S. Usually people from abusive families are abusive. It’s all they know. It all starts with parenting.

    deb

    January 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm

  486. We all need re-parenting. Let us confess our own desperate, erratic, exploiting, dependent, behaviour while we are pointing the finger.

    We ought not shame and condemn our abusers lest we shame and condemn ourselves. Replace self pity and blame with the safety to confess our own shame and bring abuse our of the closet and help each other be better parents..

    deb

    January 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

  487. What the fuck?

    “We all need re-parenting. Let us confess our own desperate, erratic, exploiting, dependent, behavior while we are pointing the finger. We ought not shame and condemn our abusers lest we shame and condemn ourselves. Replace self pity and blame with the safety to confess our own shame and bring abuse our of the closet and help each other be better parents.”.

    I think you are on the wrong forum.

    I for one take offence at your description of anyone here as desperate, erratic, exploitative. I don’t think it appropriate that you tell anyone here to shame and condemn themselves. You sound like a man who is attempting to make it work for you like Dr. Phil says. If you insist on re-victimizing the victims here by pointing the finger at them then I have to ask that you find another forum. I am requesting that the moderator remove your comments and ban you because these women have been traumatized enough and they do not need you to blame them for pointing fingers when this is a safe place to point the finger and it is in fact the place to safely declare their victimization by abusers and in my humble opinion your comments are abusive to those who read this forum. I wouldn’t be surprised if you are someone who has been abusing women and your name is not deb but don or some other male diminutive who is lurking here as a troll who is cyber bullying women who are vulnerable and need support not blame for their “desperate, erratic, exploiting, dependent behavior”.

    The one that got away.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:11 pm

  488. and that folks, is what we call “blaming the victim”.

    deb – love how you claim that we are all abusers and exploiters.
    see, “deb”, that is you expecting us to be like you.
    i chose a long time ago to never be anything like any abuser, because i know what it is like to be raped, beaten and psychologically tortured.

    you, on the other hand, sound like a man who wants desperately to not have done the things he has done, and wants very much for the world to blame the person or people that he has done them to.
    i am sorry you are an exploiter, desperate and erratic.
    i am sorry that you are an abuser.
    that must be a nightmare for you – but you can get help.
    and the first step in getting help is in admitting that you and you alone are responsible for what you have done to the person or people that you have hurt.

    you will also need to let go of the “well, if i have been abusive, then everyone else must have too!!” attitude, because dude, it keeps you coming back to the forum for victims of psychopaths in order to dump your lack of responsibility on them.

    in the end it just shows a person who refuses to take his own advice. because if you were truly willing to take responsibility, i doubt you would be here denying the reality of other people.

    i second the removal of this garbage. it is upsetting at best and sadistic at worst.

    lilly

    January 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm

  489. Thank you Lilly and ‘one who got away’. Deb,you wrote: ” Let us confess our own desperate, erratic, exploiting, dependent, behaviour while we are pointing the finger.”
    Ok – Deb: Take your own advice, and as you are pointing the finger at us, “confess” about your own awful behavior. Apparently, you failed to read what I had written above re: therapists. I wrote make sure when you get one to tell her/him that you need COMPASSION first. Deb – you are utterly devoid of that, and that is horrific. I bet you have made these ridiculous statements because somehow you need to feel ‘superior’ to the rest of us. well, deep down, means you don’t feel good about yourself to begin with.
    Anyone who has the gall and audacity to tell an abused person what to feel needs more help than the abused woman. I’ll tell you this: get in touch with your feelings – not your thoughts on how people should be – but with your Feelings. I’ll bet you have a tremendous amount of sadness that is coming out in anger, and you are taking that out on us. So easy to do on the internet, on a blog – any coward can do that. But a real person reaches out her hand to hold another’s who is suffering and needs support.

    resharpen

    January 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm

  490. Ummm, are you F****** serious “Deb?” I think you, “Deb,” are one of those types of people who get off on upsetting other people, “Deb.” Please. I went down the “Not pointing the finger” and forgiving and having pity on the poor, “misunderstood” man who shot me and almost killed me, “Deb.” I remained with him for five years after that because I took advice from people like you, “Deb.” Please, “Deb,” find other people to harass.

    To all of the brave, wonderful people on this site who are desperately trying to do the most heroic thing in they have ever done in their lives, you are my heroes. Don’t stop trying. You are doing the right thing by knowing your abuser is the bad one and getting away. Don’t ever let the “Debs” of the world sway your mind for even a second. Love to you all!

    LEADBELLY

    January 31, 2013 at 10:13 pm

  491. Sorry. I was angry when I was typing my last entry so there are missing words/typos. It sounded a lot better in my head. :)

    LEADBELLY

    February 1, 2013 at 2:24 am

  492. Leadbelly – when i read what you said i gave a nod, thinking “right on.”
    nothing wrong with what you wrote!

    hugs to all and sundry.

    lilly

    February 1, 2013 at 4:32 am

  493. Today I took the apartment. I signed the agreement, put down first and last month’s rent, took the keys and inspected the apartment. I have never been more terrified. I’m walking away from 25 years of (crap) marriage. I’m taking my 14 year old and walking away from the father she hates. Why can’t I feel joy? I find myself wondering if I killed myself, maybe my husband wouldn’t take all his anger out on our daughter. Maybe they would be healed. My God….I feel like I’m ruining everyone’s life. Maybe it’s just that I’m so happy to get away from him I feel guilty. I can’t think. I can’t breathe. I can’t run away. I can’t stay where I am. Why do I want to take care of a man who treats me like I have no worth, like I’m a possession? And he treats our daughter the same way. Please…any words of encouragement, anything that can make sense of this insanity….I feel like I’m falling….

    Crystal

    February 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm

  494. Dear Crystal,
    Joy will find you as soon as you stand still long enough. Right now you are moving fast, changing your life and it’s direction, so once you are done and the calm after the storm returns and the sun peeks through the clouds to get a good look at you, you will feel joy again. I also lost the capacity to feel joy for a long time because I was grieving. You are grieving the loss of a commitment, the loss of a family unit, the loss of a dream, but look what you are getting in return. You are a strong woman who is doing the right thing for your daughter. I am so proud of you. Baby steps, dear, baby steps. We eat an elephant one bite at a time no matter how hungry we are. You are now entering the zone of realizing how strong you have been and you are not alone. We are all here for you, we are all survivors. You will look back one day and say why didn’t I do this sooner. Because it was not time. God opens doors and we walk through if we want to and you finally did. Sleep, rest, eat, smile. You are now in the land of opportunity. Walk with your head up high, my dear. You have reached the point where it will be your choice to smile or cry, and no one will make that choice for you. Teach your daughter to build her dignity with choices that are positive and lead to a better chance at joy. I wish you were my mother.

    The one that got away.

    February 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm

  495. My God TOTGA, you are so so kind. Thank you. When I was 14, my life fell apart. I wanted so much more for my own daughter. I will try to remember your words. We do the actual big move on the 12th while the Pain is at work. In the meantime we can stock shelves with canned goods, paper products, even get the bathroom prettied up. I might even splurge on some good ice cream and chocolate to stash in the freezer. Thank you for being there. Thank you so so much.

  496. You go girl and teach us all about perserverence and survival of the strongest my dear sister.

    The one that got away.

    February 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm

  497. Crystal, you are doing the right thing for you and your daughter. You are going to learn so much about yourself in the days and weeks to follow. I am not going to tell you that it will be easy, it will not, but it will be totally worth it. I left my abuser 8 weeks ago and I still strugle with is he ok is he eating and all that and then I remember, does he care if I am and the answer is always no he does not. You have taken care of him for so long that have to break that cycle and take care of you for a change, buy what you like to eat and what you like to wear and what you like to drink. I am so proud of you!!! (((hugs)))

    pamiam

    February 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm

  498. Thank you Pamiam. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to cook something without thinking about whether it met with his approval. You have been free for 8 weeks? What an accomplishment. I hope I can follow in your footsteps.

  499. Crystal – my mother married her rapist. she gave birth to two girls, and then he went on to rape them. my mother was terrified of him, and loved him, and took the whole horrible prison of it into herself, and expected us to as well.
    i am a damaged person. i can’t trust men, i can’t sleep without the nightmares.
    my mother knew what he was doing.
    my mother refused to leave him.

    my mother didn’t have the love in her that you have. the love for herself, and for her children.
    she didn’t have the self-awareness. she lacked the self respect.
    and her girls are now broken people – one is a psychotic who is a compulsive liar, and the other is an anorexic who tried so hard to make it all right, and failed. who is alone, and wishes so much to be with someone, but the fear is just too much. who once found a love, who turned out to be just like her father.

    your girl is still a child, and has a mother who loves her so much she will face the pain of separation.
    your girl is a child who is watching her mother’s bravery and learning.
    your girl is a child whose mother thought her daughter’s safety was more important than her own pain.
    your girl is luckier than i can ever say.

    TOTGA is so right. you are grieving.
    it’s like after the funeral. you come in, sit down and realize they are really gone. you don’t know how you can make it without them. you don’t know how you made it with them.
    when you love them and hate them, you feel all the pain, and all the relief, and all the shame of it – all at once.
    which means you have every right to feel like you have been skinned.
    every nerve on the surface, everything too bright and loud and terrible.

    i am crying for you right now, and i am crying because i wish so much my mother had your courage and your love.
    i am crying because someone treated such a good person so badly that she had to run away from them.

    please treat yourself gently now, as if you were looking after someone who has just lost a husband, and who has survived a war.
    that person would need everything to be safe, and calm and good.
    whatever you need right now, do it.

    i am going to say a little prayer for you, if that is ok.

    lilly

    February 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm

  500. Dear Change:
    You go gurl! You are SO strong and brave. What you are feeling is vERY normal for what you are going through. As others have said, it takes time. OUr brains and bodies cannot heal in 5 minutes! As for going through a divorce, I recommend the book ” Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life” by Abigail Trafford
    I know, for me, once I left my ex, I felt so grateful for what others thought were ‘little things’ – like I would come home to a quite, peaceful apartment. No one was going to scream at me for something stupid, etc. Also, I remember putting some books away in my new place, and smiling deeply – they happened to be on a topic my ex belittled me for (astrology) – because I now could be fully who I really was. There is not a price high enough for being who we truly are, and truly deserve.
    Please also, do not judge what you think or feel right now. Just observe it, if you can. There is no ‘right’ way to feel – you are going through a tough time. Keep staying strong!

    resharpen

    February 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm

  501. Oh Lilly,
    I have tears in my eyes, your words are touching and I feel your pain and had a bad childstory myself. How strong you too have become. Be free of the past and the pain others have beset upon you and live for today, live a genuine life and know we are all there for you.

    The one that got away.

    February 1, 2013 at 9:56 pm

  502. Oh Lilly….I am crying as I type this. I realize you reached into a bottomless pit of pain and retrieved healing for me. Thank you. I wish beyond wishes that you weren’t in such pain. My God…what kind of a spirit resides in you that you can reach out with such kindness? You have blessed me today, and I will read and reread your comment. And as you say a prayer for me, may I also say one for you? You are a gift. You are.

  503. Reharpen, thank you for that wisdom. I need to know that there is light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel. You remind me that I will smile again. And maybe even p— him off, which might feel good. ;)

  504. After my annulment, I was grateful for the sleeping at night without his loud sleep apnea snoring and his big belly and his pushing me off the bed because he is a fat pig who stretches out over the bed, as well I did not miss begging him to take a shower because he smelled so bad, now I know why, he slept with the whore who worked with him and others he got arrested picking up on Dixie Road in West Palm Beach, and as well, he ate like a pig without chewing his food, and oh I forgot, no more death threats or threats to shoot me in the head or threats to plant drugs on me and send me to jail, no more stealing all of my money $62,000.00, no more nearly crashing the car when he drove drunk, no more trying to poison me, no more lies about why girls were calling him, no more threatening to commit a crime if I did not give or lend him money, no more infections such as Gardnerella, no more messy car with all of his food and junk all over it, you couldn’t even get in the passenger side, oh it was my Jaguar and my Lincoln, and most of all no more lies about “Baby I love you so much, I am so grateful that you are bringing me to another level, we will be so happy and have a house on the beach and a dog and a garden and a BBQ and oh so many promises just to get my money. I don’t have to go on do I, you get the picture, we stay because we are like a deer in the headlights on the highway, we stay because we feel so bad, we think no one else will ever love us, we stay because we are in shock that the person we fell so in crazy love with who promised “Baby no one will ever hurt you when you are with me, I would take a bullet for you, you are the only woman I have ever loved”……ya, ya, ya, there is not enough toilet paper to wipe the ass that is his mouth. OK I have let it out….vented, now I want some chocolate and world peace.

    The one that got away.

    February 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

  505. I had chronic dye eye before I met all of you. Seriously, I have a box of Kleenex next to my PC just for times that I visit this page.

    Somebody earlier said it seems like we were all with the same man. Our pain feels so similar. It does hurt so much and you feel like an empty shell. No joy at all. I still feel like that. But something weird is happening. Even though it thoroughly sucks, I get this “twinge” every once in a while. Something maybe like hope? It only happens on certain days-not most of the time. But maybe, just maybe we can all be stronger than we ever thought possible, right? When I read all of the posts after the idiotic “Deb” posts, I saw these beautiful, heartfelt posts encouraging and trying to lift up the soul of someone else in pain. That’s exactly when the “twinge” hit me again. To help someone by typing a message of goodwill–to someone who is probably hundreds or even thousands of miles away, is one of the most powerful things I have ever seen and felt. It’s so nice to be in the company of such beautiful souls. I’m going to go blow my nose now.

    LEADBELLY

    February 2, 2013 at 4:10 am

  506. Oops. Darn typos. I did NOT have “DYE EYE.”

    LEADBELLY

    February 2, 2013 at 4:19 am

  507. Please forgive my intrusion earlier. I didn’t realize this was a forum and that I was interrupting a conversation. I certainly didn’t mean to belittle anyone’s suffering or to be insensitive. I suffer with you even though I didn’t take the time to read the posts.. I was just kind of thinking out loud about how I myself have been so badly victimized since early childhood and as I got older I would erupt in rages and get drunk because I had no idea what else to do. I’m just so sorry and so ashamed that I behaved that way. It helps me to consider that others may not know better either… even my abusers. Just trying to make peace in my world … like a bull in a china shop.

    Anyone hear John Lennon sing “Woman is the N of the World”. Wow! I sure did cry my eyes out. It’s so true. I hope you will listen to it. Peace.

    deb

    February 4, 2013 at 12:49 am

  508. I rarely share any of my story. It’s so horrendous. It’s only just coming together out of the shattered pieces but the little I have shared caused dropped jaws and looks of horror and that does not feel good. So I have one safe counselor who helps me put the pieces together. I will try to come back and read your posts when I feel stronger.

    deb

    February 4, 2013 at 1:01 am

  509. Deb, I accept your apology, if you need to find a safe place to heal, this is it. Don’t blame yourself for things that happened to you as a child. Know that people who love you with all of your pain will never exploit you, blame you or accuse you of deserving any of the abuse that exploiters cause you is learning to surround yourself with support that will teach you to soothe yourself. You need to read our posts. We help each other gently grow out of pain into peace with ourselves. The absence of pain is not pleasure just as the absence of the man who we are grieving is not the end of loneliness but it is better to find a healthy solitude rather than be lonely in an unhealthy relationship of imminent danger. I think you will find that the women here understand you but we are protective and if you need that spiritual protection, they will share it with you like they shared it with me.

    The one that got away

    February 4, 2013 at 2:14 am

  510. Deb: I am happy that you found us. it is VERY hard to go what you have and are going through. It doesn’t matter to me re: your earlier post. As the ‘One’ just commented, you are definitely in the right place if you want to heal.
    Also, as to the people who looked extremely horrified when you told them some things about your life – you still did the right thing by sharing your life with them. I know it probably makes you feel like you don’t want to ever share things about yourself again. However, those of us here – we have shared things here about ourselves that could probably make ‘normal’ people (whoever that is!) also look at us with jaws dropped and horror in their eyes. But we have not done that – instead we have been there for each other – in a consistent, kind fashion.
    And I have gotten some of those reactions you are talking about. My parents are Holocaust Survivors, and sometimes when I share just that with people, some think i must have suffered abominably as a child; others have looked at me like I should just march back to the mental institution i must have just left.
    They are people who really don’t know what to think about those of us who haven’t had the ‘squeaky clean’ lives they have, or are ignorant re: how to be with us. I usually think they don’t want to make us feel badly, but just don’t know what to do with us.
    That is why it is important to share your life story with people who won’t turn away from you, who are there no matter what. That is the kind of people we are on this blog. Welcome.

    resharpen

    February 4, 2013 at 7:58 am

  511. deb – other people might be willing to accept that apology, but i for one don’t think i can.
    you came here and violated a safe place, saying things i have only ever heard abusers say, actually calling us all exploiters and abusers. it is not our fault that you didn’t read anything that we had written, or apparently, what the actual site is about, written at the top there.

    i don’t want to share my pain with someone i can’t trust.
    i am sorry for your past, i am glad you have a therapist, but i am not willing to listen to more of your musings on the topic.
    we have all heard the same abusive logic too many times, usually just after we have been beaten, raped or terrorized.
    i also still suspect you are in fact a man using a female name, which would mean you were not being honest with us about your experience.
    if you are a male survivor, you have every much right as we do to ask for support and acceptance, but you do not have the right to ask us to be responsible for things we did not do, or for things other people did that were violent crimes against us.

    you accused an entire forum of abused women of exploitative behaviour, which is entirely in keeping with the male abuser’s response, and it is this ;

    “Replace self pity and blame with the safety to confess our own shame ”

    that you wrote that tells me you are only interested in blaming these women here for what was done to them.
    i also know that abusive types are incredibly manipulative, and taking a female persona, writing such a thing, and then apologizing, is exactly the kind of thing they might do, in order to be able to continue to disseminate hatred and misery. i have never met an abuser who did not present themselves as a victim.

    if you are in fact a person who has survived such things, then i advise you to write down what you posted here and take it to your therapist.
    s/he should know that you have internalized that particular message to the point that you used it as a way to open communications with survivors of psychopaths.

    whether you continue to post here or not is entirely your business, but please know i don’t want to be involved.
    i would be very unhappy to leave, but i refuse to open myself to any more of this kind of mental abuse, whether from an abuser, a victim turned abuser, or a victim carrying abusive notions in their head that they feel free to foist on others.
    i left that so that i didn’t have to be controlled by sick logic and cruelty.

    lilly

    February 4, 2013 at 8:17 am

  512. Very well put, Lilly. I agree 100%. I was upset about Deb’s posts when I first saw them and relayed them to my mother because I happened to be having a conversation with her via text message at the same time. I said I was angry because it upset me and will probably upset an entire group of people who are trying to heal from exactly the kind of blaming rhetoric in her posts. The first thing she said when I told her the language in the posts was “Don’t worry honey, it’s probably just an abuser trying to shock the victims.” So Anyone can tell that it is at the very least not okay to post like that.

    I am probably one of the most guilty when it comes to blaming myself, protecting the bad guy and rationalizing his behavior. I was in complete denial and I am the poster child for Cognitive Dissonance, Stockholm Syndrome and Traumatic Bonding. But even if I had the thoughts like Deb posted, being a victim/survivor myself and suffering tremendously, I could not actually post damaging and harmful things to a group of other suffering people that will no doubt be upset by them. I know that it would hurt my feelings, so that means it would probably hurt other people’s feelings too.

    At the very least, Deb’s posts were completely irresponsible. Deb says she didn’t take the time to read our posts from before. If that is true, that makes her posts even more irresponsible. It is also hard for me to believe that she just thought “Whoopsie, I accidentally posted hateful stuff,” and then blame the posts on her suffering. That’s kind of a slap in the face to other people who are suffering and would never do that. The only reasonable explanation(just my opinion, I’m not an expert) I can find for someone doing something like that is:
    A. The person is an abuser or is someone who derives pleasure out of posting emotionally charged messages on sites where it’s guaranteed They’ll get an emotional response, or
    B. The person really IS a victim/survivor that is suffering a mental illness that is partially to blame for Their behavior. If that is the case, it still isn’t an excuse for having bad Internet posting etiquette.

    At the beginning of Deb’s apology she says this: “I didn’t realize this was a forum and that I was interrupting a conversation.” That sounds totally flippant and like passive aggressive anger to me. It doesn’t matter if this is a forum, blog page, news site, chat room, etc. Posting like Deb did is akin to “flaming” and “trolling” and as a universally known general rule is not acceptable anywhere on the Internet where you are allowed to post. Deb did the victim blame game again in her apology when she said this: “It helps me to consider that others may not know better either… even my abusers.” It is pretty clear to me that she is not sorry at all about what she posted.

    A lot of us say things that make people uncomfortable, upset and not want to talk to us, etc. But I don’t want to be included in the generalization that acting like an abuser to victims of abuse is acceptable, just because we all might suffer differently.

    An apology is nice when it is sincere, but if you are really a victim and thinking the way you are posting, then you do need to take Lilly’s advice, print this off and take it to your therapist. I will never turn my back on anyone truly suffering. My main goal is to heal myself and ultimately be a support to other survivors. But while I won’t turn my back on a survivor, I will not tolerate victim blaming by anyone; survivor or not.

    So thank you for trying to apologize Deb, but please do not post again unless you can leave the victim blaming out of your posts. Even though this is an open place to post, for some women it is the only place they have felt safe and supported. If you are a survivor too, I’m sure you can understand that.

    LEADBELLY

    February 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm

  513. I still think we need to recognize how badly some victims have been brainwashed to blame themselves and as a victim of domestic war, I want to be sure Deb gets the help she needs and comes back if she is able to help us in our journey if only to see how far we have all come from where we started. I hope she is not a troll.as debating this takes us off track in our recovery and diverts us from our shared destiny of one day only coming here to help other victims who don’t know where to turn to heal. Maybe I am too gullible which is how Tony managed to reconvince me over and over that I was imagining his abuse. Forgiving someone is for me difficult but it is my way of believing in the good of people which again is what abusers look for.

    The one that got away

    February 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

  514. May I ask everyone here a question?

    I keep going back over 25 years of abuse. Most of it was psychological/emotional, interspersed with occasional well placed “accidents” that miraculously stopped once I said our family doctor was aware of them. I keep telling myself it wasn’t so bad. I keep telling myself I’ve imagined all this. Still, I see the damage done to our daughter and I know I didn’t imagine a thing. But I leave with her in 8 days. I’m so scared. Harder still, I’m in such conflict because I’m leaving in secret and I hate lying so much. He’s having a bad time right now – feeling the world is against him, trying to bond with me because he’s feeling lost – and the guilt – Oh God the Guilt…..I can’t stay….I don’t want to leave….I will not allow him to destroy our daughter….I keep thinking, maybe if I can find a way of telling him what I’m doing so I don’t feel like a sneak, maybe I can do this and not be ripped apart psychologically. It’s possible that what I feel worst about is that I might be happy….it’s like I can’t allow myself to be happy. I’ve made contact with my therapist whom I haven’t seen in a couple of years. She’s agreed to see me again, but the referral has to go through my family doctor so it will take awhile.

    So the question….Has anyone here ever successfully communicated to their abuser their plans to leave prior to doing so? Am I crazy? I keep thinking if I can just make sure he doesn’t get incredibly angry then maybe it will turn out OK. This mental weariness…living a double life….I’m trying to keep a confident, brave face on for my daughter but really, I keep wishing I could just die. I can’t leave her behind though. I can’t let what happened to me as a child happen to her any longer. But I’m empty. So much to do….trying to be productive at work, trying to be strong, and I think I’m having a breakdown.

    One of you mentioned – I think Lilly said it – that you’ve never met an abuser who didn’t think he was a victim. I know that’s what’s happening, why I’m getting roped in again…but it’s like being in a nightmare where a tractor beam has you, and you’re being pulled in….

    I feel so safe talking to you all, and you seem to be the only ones who understand. If I sound like I”m feeling sorry for myself, I apologize. I think my fear is winning right now, so I’ve lost my ability to communicate in useful ways. Just…thank you. Thank you for offering your experience and support. I am so lost right now.

  515. Respect the danger, leaving is the most dangerous time whether they love you or not, they are losing control. Restraining orders and police escorts are dramatic but effective. Passions and tempers give rise to opportunity for violence, deadly, dangerous mortal danger. Many women before us paid the price for their indecisiveness. Beautiful kind mothers and their children lost their lives. Make a decision, then stick with it or no one takes you seriously after that. It takes several attempts to really leave. Try to get the support of a female law enforcement officer or domestic violence shelter until he cools Dow. Don’t make him see your telling him you are leaving as an invitation to debate your decision. When I left it was forever and to this day I miss parts of him but I am no longer afraid for my life, he has a new victim. Do not give mixed messages. Not even to yourself. I compartmentalized the me who couldn’t live without him and the me who would surely die with him and I chose life. I may never feel the same feeling I had with him but I do not want to die for love, I want to live for love and I started with giving myself the love that would help protect me from his control. Sometimes leaving breaks your heart, not your bones, it makes you feel the separation anxiety created in your childhood, but you can fix that if you are not always cringing because you are under the control of someone who makes you live in fear and shame. Be brave, have protection when you leave, this is not a game, it is life and death, your life, your death. In my case it was this dangerous and dramatic, even the FBI dropped the case because he is an informant. So I found myself truly alone just like I was alone with him in the good moments. Nothing is worth being killed for, not in this context. Stay safe, you are in my prayers.

    The one that got away

    February 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm

  516. TOTGA – Thank you. I feel like I was just giving a very loving butt kick. I needed that. I needed a shot of reality. I appreciate you doing that for me.

  517. T’y just be strong, survive and give back and we break the cycle of violence and enter a circle of safety.

    The one that got away

    February 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

  518. One thing that helped me a lot – every time I thought about calling him, etc., I made myself read these e-mails I had sent him in the past describing to him exactly, in detail, why he was such an a-hole. I suggest that every time you think about HIM, poor little victim, about having to lie to poor little HIM, etc., think about what he did to you. Maybe, like me, you need to write what he did down, and then just read them. Every time I read them, I realized WHY I could never return to me and couldn’t even have contact.

    resharpen

    February 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm

  519. Change my Body….TOTGA is so right. this is a very dangerous time. please, please take her advice.
    i would not tell him, to give him a chance to work himself into a fury. i would stick it out and then disappear.
    too many people have been killed, or put in hospital – please, remember that he cares only for himself, and for years you have had to do the same – only care for his feelings. that is the pull you are feeling now.
    your own feelings are at least, if not more important. try to remember how YOU feel – not how he feels.
    Keeping you in my thoughts.

    Leadbelly – well said.

    lilly

    February 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm

  520. The pull is the wsy I’ve been taught to care only for his feelings….OMG…That’s true. It’s not the pull of loyalty or affection. It’s a trained response to ignore my needs and only care for him.

    I will not tell him. You wonderful people here got my head back on straight. It still feels awful…but I will not tell him.

    Sometimes I feel like everyone here pull me back from the brink of hell itself…

    Crystal

    February 5, 2013 at 2:11 am

  521. I have started writing down the reasons why we are leaving, the reasons why he’s not worth it…I’m a little shocked at the emotions. But it is an effective motivator. Thank you.

    Crystal

    February 5, 2013 at 2:16 am

  522. keep it hidden though. i know it makes you feel like you are being sneaky or bad, but you aren’t. you are responding to years of abuse, and you are doing what you have to in order to be safe and healthy.
    you did not create this situation – you are not doing what is wrong, but what is necessary, and absolutely the right thing to do.
    keep your head up lady – you are heading out of hell.

    lilly

    February 5, 2013 at 3:55 am

  523. Change My Body Change My Life, I know how hard it is to leave when you have so many raw emotions. It is hard to even function. Please know that you are not bad or wrong for keeping your escape plan secret. It absolutely has to be when you are in an abusive relationship in order for you to be safe.

    You are incredibly brave for even taking that first step of wanting to leave and making a plan, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. It’s especially hard when you have a kiddo. I went through the same thing. I kept trying to talk myself out of it because I thought I was a coward for wanting to “sneak away” and divorce my abusive husband with his son. I thought I was somehow hurting/depriving my son by leaving my ex and his father. I had no idea how flawed my judgement was at the time.

    My son was just a little guy then, but old enough to be affected by it. I had given his father too many “chances.” I had already left him and then went back 3 times. It took a little while of being on my own with my son to realize that I actually saved my son from irreversible damage and abuse by leaving. Now my son is 19. He is such a great person and well adjusted for a kid his age. I know that if I had stayed with my ex-husband, my son would probably have a different personality and might have kept the cycle of abuse going.

    I know it is extremely difficult, but we are here for you. Please feel free to share anytime you need to. You are not feeling sorry for yourself at all. Please be kind to yourself because YOU are worth it. Also know that many of us have experienced a lot of the same emotions that you are feeling right now. The emptiness, fear, shame and feeling like you want to end it all. I promise you that you will make it, even if those feelings don’t go away for a while. I left my ex about 8 weeks ago after 7 years of Hell. (Not the ex husband I was talking about-I know how that looks) I felt like I was dead inside and worthless. Sometimes I still do. But I am starting to have days that are actually good, where I can see the tiny little light at the end of the tunnel.

    This might sound simple and stupid, but I have found that keeping a notebook by my bed or somewhere close by and writing down my feelings, random stuff-everything, helps. I know it has helped other women on this page too. I also came to this page a lot and even if I didn’t post anything, it was reassuring to see that we are right there with you going through a lot of the same horrible things but that we are slowly but surely recovering and starting new lives.

    I also went to the library and got some of the books people have said really helped them. I didn’t do it in the beginning when I was hurting the most, but I kinda of wish I would have. I am reading them now and it honestly helps. Two of the top rated and most recommended books mentioned on this page and on many other sites are the books The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free Of Exploitive Relationships by Dr. Patrick J. Carnes and Why Does He DO That? Inside The Minds Of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft. I am reading them now.

    I am glad you have a therapist that can help you. Do you have a local YWCA or women’s shelter number just in case you have an emergency? I’m not sure if you are moving to a different town, but do you have numbers for these kinds of places where you plan on going as well? I don’t know if you have family or close friends that you trust, but I know even just having one really supportive person in your corner can very helpful. The number one priority is that you and your daughter are safe. You can do this. You are a great mother doing a very difficult thing. Your daughter loves you no matter what and she is getting a lesson on how to be a heroic loving mom from you. Please take care of YOU and know we are here for you!

    LEADBELLY

    February 5, 2013 at 5:07 am

  524. Oh, and Crystal, writing down the reasons to stay or leave is a great idea. I’m going to do that and keep it with me when I am doubting myself. :)

    LEADBELLY

    February 5, 2013 at 5:15 am

  525. I haven’t had the time to read through all the many comments here, but I have noticed one thing — that the majority of you are women… And possibly it is a more common thing to see this happen with men who are abusers, but I would like to point out that it can go both ways — that I was married to a physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive woman for 9 years — and it was she who finally filed for divorce and turned things completely around to try to accuse me of being the unstable one — and it has taken me five years to come to the realization that as much as she tried to make everything seem my fault, the abuse I suffered and put up with was not my fault, and truly it was a good thing that she left, because I had slowly become someone I didn’t like…. Someone who even after all the horrible things she did to me, still wanted her to like me… My therapist has asked me, “Why in the f***k would you want someone like that back?” And led me to realize it was because of a trauma bond — that I blamed myself for the way things didn’t work, for the way she would get angry and go crazy, and that I grew to feel that I couldn’t do better — if I couldn’t make it work with her, I couldn’t make it work with anyone. I just wanted to share — because it is kind of hard for us guys who have been victims to speak up, much less be taken seriously.

    David

    February 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm

  526. Because the dynamics for men and women in this matter could be divisive, I would elect to request that this be a forum for women only as extending the debate to whether the abuse of men is equal to our victimization will be a distraction. I recommend men find their own blog to discuss their situation. Abuse is abuse whether it is victimizing women or men, and victims need to feel safe on the site that they use to heal. Gender issues bring in arguments that I don’t have the energy for. Our experiences are grouped and handled differently as societal issues, so to be exposed to and try to understand how men suffer trauma bonds and why their are equally victimized is to introduce defensive mechanisms that will divert my healing to one that dilutes my path to widen it to feel men’s pain as well as enter into their discovery of why women abuse their significant others. For example I am tempted to say bitches get nice guys and fuck them over and get the house, the car etc, etc. So I don’t want to go there.

    The one that got away

    February 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm

  527. Wow, that is a rather insensitive reply. The post at the top is about “Trauma bonding,” and that occurs regardless of gender and is just as desctructive to the victim no matter the gender. But what you have just said illustrates the point that I made at the end — that it is *very* difficult for men to talk about this or share and indeed find healing — and the reality is, the dynamics are not so different as you seem to think. Your reply makes me feel unwelcomed — the original post was a helpful read for me, as it is something my therapist has been talking to me about — I was trapped in a relationship with a narcisstic abuser with Borderline Personality Disorder — and nowhere at the top did it say “this is for women only.” Wow. Regardless of what you might say, it seems you may not really believe that men can be abused as badly as women. And from a male perspective — from a man who was abused — I also have horror stories about how the “justice” system in fact often does not favor a man, no matter how abused. In my experience, the woman who abused me was adept at lying and convincing others of her lies (she believed them herself at times, a characteristic of BPD) — and people who did not know me were easily swayed by her. Anyway — if this is “your” page and another perspective on the reality of this tragic phenomenon is unwelcome, then I will say no more. Ironically, that is exactly the problem I had for many years — being unable to say anything and have people take me seriously. Thanks for your empathy.

    David

    February 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm

  528. David, “Lilly”, ” one that got away” “leadbelly” and a few others describe exactly the same circumstances wrecking havoc on my life. It’s not gender related, is humiliating as hell ( were supposed to “man up” not complain) but reality is when you love a manipulative person whom later turns out to have little or no conscience.. the damage is devastating. I applaud these women speaking out – I monitor – but contributing is tough… Their wounds feel male oriented… And it’s legitimate emotional wounds talking. Ignore the male biased commentary as I do, have these posts sent to you, read them often… It’s taken me two years… Still painful… But the posts here are incredibly healing. It’s natural to bite back after abuse… We hope we all recover here… In the meantime… Stay vocal… Stay the course… And stay tuned to this site. Don’t let personal comments from a few keep you from the dialog happening here. Were the minority on this site is all… And that in itself cones with challenges. Pulling for everyone here, and David… Being here will better you… I’ve monitored these posts almost two years now… They’ve saved me… We Don’t feel so alone in this ” trauma bonding” hell when you see what others have experienced! -

    bartonjames

    February 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm

  529. David – it is exactly because you opened with the comment that most of us are women, and then “i would like to point out that it can go both ways” that caused the response from The one that got away. you decided that we had no idea that was true, and that we needed to be educated to that fact, making your post more of an attack, using your stated abuse as a way to prove a point.
    we don’t need that David.
    mainly because we get all sorts of crap from abusive men who post here telling us that we are all responsible for our own rapes, our own beatings and even being shot. we are told that we are hateful of men because we dared to confront and leave our abusers, and then because we support each other here.

    we have no desire to get into the man/ woman debate.
    i suspect that if you were willing to leave the sex issue behind, and just discuss your abuse, that people here might be more open to you.
    several other men who truly were abused have posted here, and they did not open as defensively or derisively as you, but instead just shared their experience.
    they were supported precisely because they did not try to tell us that they had it harder, they did not compare themselves at all. they just talked about what they went through.

    no one here says to one another ” you don’t have it as hard as me”, or “people like me have to suffer with people like you” or “you obviously don’t know about this” or as you seem to imply “you are prejudiced”.

    being that we have had one man come back repeatedly, using a female persona, then one of a victim, and then one of a man who was trying to “educate us”, and then again as a woman, we are all rather wary of men who come off even slightly in the same way.

    your further response was “regardless of what you might say men can be abused as badly as women” which, once again is only designed to deny that we have faced all that we have, or that because men have also faced abuse, ours is somehow less damaging.

    the truth is that women are overwhelmingly more common victims of this abuse, the stats are too clear in that. but no one here has ever screamed about men not being abused or men not suffering.
    it was you who brought that attitude with you.

    it could be that you are a defensive person because you have met with resistance in the past, but even if that is true, why would you come to a forum for the victims of psychopaths to announce that most of the people here are prejudiced?
    it can only mean that you have an ax to grind.
    if you had truly come for support, i doubt you would have come across in such an accusatory way.

    as well, indicating that men have it worse in the court system only shows your complete lack of understanding on the topic and a disturbing lack of respect for other users.
    you were here only to sell yourself as the victim, while ignoring everything everyone else here went through – because they are women.
    you will have missed the woman stalked by her policeman ex, the women who have gone to court and lost because of a man who lies and is believed by other men who use exactly the same lines you have “people don’t know men have it harder”. you will have missed the truth that 40% of murdered women are murdered by their husband or boyfriend after she left him, which is nowhere near the same stat for men.
    these are the realities you seem willing to ignore, simply because you want to tell us that you believe, just because we are women, that we must be prejudiced.

    what it sounds like, David, is that you found a bunch of women supporting each other against the most psychotic abuse of the men they loved, and decided that because we got out and are supporting each other, we must be hateful and bad towards men.
    which is interesting.

    we don’t need further crap David.
    your aggressive, dismissive and insulting attitude has caused a hostile reaction – and my question is this; did you intend to upset the women here so you could go on feeling justified in your feeling that men have it harder?

    lilly

    February 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm

  530. Wow…. You have no idea what I’ve been through and you were reading a LOT into what I wrote. I was not attacking — I made a simple observation that most of the comments were by women (that is *not* an attack and absolutely not aggressive) and simply TRYING to share that men are abused as well.

    I’m sorry, but this is a case of misinterpretation based on *your* prejudiced attitudes. I understand how that happens — I have been a professor of rhetoric and communications at the college level for 20 years and I am fully aware of how personal experience feeds a person’s reading of texts. I am sorry you guys took things that way but you have pounced on me in such a way that demonstrates a type of violence from you.

    And you dare to actually use language that suggests that I have not been abused.

    How about this: My ex wife was a former athlete and a very tough woman who was in some ways physically stronger than me. She pushed me down the stairs, struck me in the face (one time so hard that my ear rang for several days, and I already suffer from tinnitus), tried to smother me with a pillow, struck at me with scissors, slapped me too many times to count, threatened to cut off my genitals (and not in jest!), ripped to shreds an expenshive shirt while it was on me, slashed my face and left wounds that I had to lie about at work, to cover for her, thrust me against a wall so that a large painting fell on me…. Do I need to keep going? And that’s just the physical part. And guess what, I *NEVER* laid a hand on her in retaliation. EVER.

    Let’s move on to how she denigrated me verbally, in front of my own children, calling me names like “fag” and questioning my masculinity (telling me she was the “man” in our relationship), putting me down, making me feel bad when I started losing my hearing and when I started losing my hair, blowing up at the littlest things and teaching me that the only way I could “buy” her happiness was either putting myself down to her (telling her I was dirt and not worth her) or buying her expensive gifts….

    And I never felt I could file charges or call the police, because she as an expert liar… And one occasion she did call the cops, though it was a situation that started with her yelling at me and ended with her pushing me into a rose bush full of thorns (and a situation where I did not touch her in the slightest way), and guess who the police believed??

    So before you jump to conclusions, and start accusing me of “attacking” and “being aggressive,” why don’t you stop and consider that maybe your “reading” is filtered through your own experience and that you “read me” the way you wanted to, basically, not the way I intended.

    You have no idea what I’ve been through and you have no right to judge me the way you did. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve suffered, but I was just TRYING to share that I have suffered as well. And I brought up the gender issue only BECAUSE of an observable fact — that most of the posts were by women — and because every THERAPIST I have seen has told me that our society is conditioned to not take men seriously when they talk about being abused.

    Again — thanks a lot.

    David

    February 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm

  531. Read back through your comments about me (e.g., “feeling justified in your feeling that men have it harder”) and then try to find actual statements I made that truly imply those things… You can’t do it. You read a LOT into what I said that I did NOT say.

    David

    February 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm

  532. And don’t worry — I won’t come back here. But I will say — no matter what you’ve gone through and suffered (and I NEVER said that I or any man had it worse), that does NOT justify you attacking someone ELSE based on their gender — and in fact, what you just did is akin to what my ex did to me. And I will not be back. I’m not going to come back here to get hurt by women any more than I have been. And I promise you, the few things I listed were just a sampling of what I went through.

    David

    February 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm

  533. ah Bartonjames – you have once again returned with your alter ego.

    it is your need to constantly harp on how much harder you have it as a man, rather than actually just talking about your abuse, that shows us your prejudice.
    your main focus is that men have it harder, and that means your main focus is NOT the abuse.
    and is NOT supporting others.
    it is just to put them in their place so you can…what? feel like you have scored a point?

    please refer to the men who have been supported further up, who never tried to “educate” us about the issue.
    they just wanted support, and we gave it to them.
    you refuse to listen to stats, you refuse to give support, and your only contribution has been to periodically show up to remind us that you feel men have it harder.

    were you to drop the obvious contempt for women, you might find the women here – most of whom never saw justice precisely because of the court system which does NOT favour women – were willing to support you.

    make it about how you have it worse, or make it about support and caring.
    the choice is yours.
    but i would like to suggest it is your tone and the things you say that cause the “man-bias” that you complain about. which is actually just women telling you that they have it just as hard, if not harder.
    deny their reality and you WILL get people here defending themselves, as they should, but should not HAVE to.
    we are not here for you to educate Barton. we are here to help each other.
    stop being selfish.

    lilly

    February 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm

  534. David – what a load of waffle.

    you opened with the statement that you wanted to point out that “it happens to men too” and that “most of you are women”, suggesting that WE NEED TO BE EDUCATED, because as women, we wouldn’t know that.

    you came here defensively, and you got a negative reaction, reinforcing your own assumption – which you just stated several times – that we are prejudiced.
    you came here with that attitude, and you have decided to interpret everything in that way.

    i also love that you claim i am also an abuser.

    ” and in fact, what you just did is akin to what my ex did to me. And I will not be back. I’m not going to come back here to get hurt by women any more than I have been”.

    lilly

    February 10, 2013 at 12:07 am

  535. And again before leaving for good — I challenge you to actually find statements I made that truly *in and of themselves* said anything about “men having it harder”…. Everything you said along those lines was completely read into what I said and not supported by the text or subtext. Your going back to stats that women are more often victims, etc, demonstrates the way you responded… I never said women weren’t victims more often… I said that men are OFTEN victims, too, but the reality is that men are NOT as likely to report it OR to be believed. There are studies and data backing THAT up, too. And you just proved it because you did it yourself. You attacked, unfairly, someone else who has been a victim, and you misjudged and prejudged him.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    David

    February 10, 2013 at 12:07 am

  536. Quote: “point out that “it happens to men too” and that “most of you are women”, suggesting that WE NEED TO BE EDUCATED, because as women, we wouldn’t know that….

    WRONG. You get an F on that, madame. I was just STATING A GODDAMN TRUTH.

    David

    February 10, 2013 at 12:09 am

  537. and there you go.
    you are here to fight David.

    no one wants to oblige.

    lilly

    February 10, 2013 at 12:15 am

  538. I guess I’m going to throw my two cents in here…carefully. Reading the above posts, including David’s posts and then the responses, made me sad because even though I can understand the emotions, it seems like the posts are more argumentative then helpful or supportive. I can empathize with parts of most of the posts. When I read David’s post it didn’t ruffle my feathers too much. Except for opening with pointing out the obvious…that men and women both suffer from abuse. There is no way for me to know for sure, but his post did come across as genuine, even if there was anger peppered in his comments.

    I did get the sense that David might be feeling really alone and angry, possibly because he has not only been hurt by his ex, but has been treated in a prejudiced manner by law enforcement and other entities in his community simply because he is a man. His words may have come across to our posters as condescending to women. He may not have chosen the best way to go about posting on a page full of deeply wounded people that could also write volumes of educational material on trauma bonding, abusive relationships and how the the judicial system is extremely flawed when it comes to helping abused or assaulted women. Most of us also realize there are men that are abused, too.

    Lilly is correct that the system does not tend to act in favor of the woman in an overwhelming amount of cases. This isn’t a theory, it is a fact. The way the police handled the attempted murder case against my ex for shooting me in the chest with a .357 Magnum is a very good example of a flawed judicial system that tends not to favor the woman in most cases. In my case, the police either ignored, or weren’t trained to see that I was in a serious trauma bond/Stockholm Syndrome relationship and was deeply in denial
    (and Cognitive Dissonance) that were mostly responsible for the way I acted from the moment the police and paramedics arrived after the shooting. Many women all over the world have had the same kind of experience with police and the judicial system. It is a huge problem that has yet to be completely “fixed.”

    My ex admitted to shooting me to the police. But in the beginning, I told the police it was an accident and refused to testify against him. And unfortunately, they seemed satisfied with that story. They could have prosecuted him anyway, but they told me that since I have a history of depression and because we had both been drinking, the defense attorney would rip me apart on the witness stand and they would not be able to convict him. It also did not help that my ex had no criminal history of committing acts of violence. He is a partner in a business with his father and owns multiple properties. On paper, he looks like a good guy. They told me that there is no way the county prosecutor would even want to touch my case. So they dropped the attempted murder charge against him. He got off “Scot Free.” I am paying for his actions financially, physically and mentally and will for the rest of my life.

    I do believe prejudice occurs in cases where the woman is the victim—but also can occur when the man is the victim. It is not completely one way or the other. Abuse is abuse, no matter who you are. The cases where men are victims are just few and far between and are rarely addressed. I also understand that when there are cases that the man is abused by the woman, they usually are too ashamed to tell anyone and are many times not believed, or expected to “man up” and “suck it up.” Even though abused men are a smaller demographic, they are out there. If David is one of them, then he must be feeling very alone.

    So, all of that being said, I understand why people are upset by David’s posts. We have had many creepers post accusatory, flaming, women-hating/blaming rhetoric that seem to be posting for their own psychopathic entertainment. So, many of us are wary of posts by men. A few of them have come on trying to “point out” that men can be abused too; that it’s not just women that are abused in their hateful posts. So it is probably not wise to begin your post in the tone of trying to educate abuse survivors on the fact that they aren’t the only ones in the world that are being abused. I think it’s safe to say that the people posting here know that already.

    I believe that this page is open to anyone. If you are a man or a woman that has suffered in a traumatic bonding relationship, you should be able to post here. I want to support anyone, men and women going through this special kind of Hell. There aren’t many places like this on the web that have so many wonderful, supportive people. Or at least, I haven’t found one. I think that we need to make sure that we realize that all of us are suffering because of the actions of our significant others and we and trying to recover, so it would be prudent to be aware that many times, posts trigger bad memories and emotions of many of the people that follow this page–a majority of whom also happen to be women. We tend to be protective of each other in order to try to maintain a sense of security so people feel safe enough to post here. Any survivor should absolutely have the right to post here and be supported–unless they blame the victim or post blatantly rude, hateful things. I hope everyone understands that most of us post to share our stories, get much needed support and support others. Even though we get posts by the occasional jerk-wad, This page is a great resource for anyone suffering from the aftermath of a traumatic/betrayal bond kind of relationship.
    I hope everyone is doing alright and have a good weekend! :)

    LEADBELLY

    February 10, 2013 at 4:08 am

  539. I want to add that when I started my “No Contact” contract with myself to successfully stay away from my ex forever, I found this page really helpful–and kind of funny. It is written by a British guy with a very strong accent. (I could tell by the way he typed- haha) He talks about how he got away from his crizazy ex-girfriend and gives you a step-by-step “No Contact” contract to follow. Anyway, here is the link to that page:

    http://www.escapingabuse.org.uk/leaving-relationship-femal