Disturbed Characters and Making Amends – A Wrap Up

I’ve been posting on the importance of making amends when something is said or done that damages a relationship and how folks with significant character dysfunction tend to deal with this task (See: The Importance of Making Amends and Disturbed Characters and Making Amends).  Today’s article features a vignette that I hope will illustrate how some disturbed characters manipulate their relationship partners into enduring more than they rightfully should by appearing willing to repair damage without sincerely making an effort to change (as always, key facts, names, places, etc. have been distorted to preserve anonymity).

“Jan” had been urging her husband “Blake” to get some counseling for quite some time.  She had come to appreciate what therapy had done for her and had hope that it would help Blake gain some self-awareness, too.  Things had been rocky in their relationship for quite some time but came to a head when Jan learned Blake had been “texting” a woman at work on a fairly regular basis and with language that suggested he was looking for something other than an appropriate involvement with her.  Blake appeared contrite and uncharacteristically even apologized.  And he insisted that “nothing actually happened,” so there was no need for any real concern.  He also had what appeared to be a perfectly good explanation (i.e. rationalization) for his “mistake” having felt emotionally neglected for some time.  He made it clear he was not blaming her (actually, he was) for his indiscretion, but wanted her to understand he wasn’t just a bad guy but rather a guy who, in a time of hurt and weakness, “messed up.”  Still, Jan wanted him to get some counseling because her gut had been telling her for a long time that there was something not right about the way he tended to view and relate to women, and despite the fact that early on in their relationship he treated her somewhat like a princess, things had really changed over the few short years of their marriage and the things she’d always noticed were increasingly showing up in how he treated her.  And she made clear her willingness to participate in joint counseling when the time came, to work on any issues they needed to work out between each other.

Jan was elated when Blake made an appointment with a therapist.  And she was even happier when he started doing things he hadn’t done for a long time like being more attentive to her, buying her flowers, and taking her out to dinner.  He seemed to be wanting to make up for any hurt he’d caused and get their relationship back on track. And he must have said he was sorry a hundred times.  So when she learned that he’d stopped seeing the counselor after only 2 visits, she didn’t want to jump the gun or push the counseling issue because things were generally so much better.  She even began to wonder whether her gut instincts were valid.  Perhaps she’d totally misjudged him and how badly he really needed professional guidance.  And even when he started sliding back into some of the same old ways, she was hesitant to sound the alarm because some things were still a lot better than they were before.

Jan couldn’t really say that she was totally “blindsided” several months later when she learned of not one but two affairs that Blake was having.  In her heart, she knew something was still not quite right but there was all this evidence that he meant to do better, so she doubted herself. Still, it was pretty devastating to have her worst fears confirmed.  Later, upon reflection, she knew the red flags were there.  After all, it’s one thing to make all those apologies, say all those nice things, and do all those ostensibly nice things he’d done, and quite another to accept the need for and then follow through on getting the guidance he’d promised to get.  Therapy is about taking an honest and serious look at oneself.  She knew that all-too-well.  And looking back, she could see that change, was not really what Blake had in mind.  He really wasn’t out to make amends, only to appease. And in the process, he only helped prolong her ordeal.  His insincerity only became clear after even more damage was done.

When I was doing my clinical research for In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance, I made a mental count of the number of times I’d hear someone say they weren’t blaming anyone other than themselves for problems while simultaneously doing nothing but casting blame, and the number of times they would appear contrite and acknowledge a “mistake” (which in itself is often the tactic of “minimization” at work) without accepting the greater responsibility of an honest self-reckoning.  Of course, I lost count early on.  Talk, as they say, is pretty “cheap.”  And most of the time, fancy gestures are equally devoid of substance.  When a person really intends to make amends, they not only willing to repair damage already done but also to take action to help ensure they won’t inflict the same damage again.  As is the case in all of nature, really mending a wound is more than merely applying a bandage, fancy dressing or offering comforting words and much more a matter of recognizing what caused the trauma in the first place, rallying all the resources possible to restore a healthy balance, avoiding actions that might impede healing (i.e. “pouring salt on the wound”) and taking affirmative action to prevent re-injury.

This week’s Character Matters program will again be a live broadcast, so calls can be taken.  It will also be an open forum program.



125 thoughts on “Disturbed Characters and Making Amends – A Wrap Up

  1. I am floored by what I have just read. This vignette could be my story with a few changes in details.

    The ability to inflict such pain on someone, someone you claim to love, not just once but repeatedly is just incomprehensible.

    The truth that came out about the deceptions during our false reconciliation were shattering. The truth of who he was or is as opposed to who he claimed to be. The collusion of this story by his family, it is almost too much to accept.

    My x did thing so similar to what is described here. It is as if it were written about him. I think though he was even worse. Maybe it was more that I was conditioned to accept worse.

    It changes you when you finally see the truth. I have hope that I won’t always be so suspicious, so untrusting but I think it will be a long while.

    Thank you so much Dr. Simon for your work, for this blog, it does feel like a life line.

    It has helped me in this short time, 2 days of reading here, to begin to accept that nothing I did could have changed anything. He is who he chooses to be and nothing I did or did not do was going to make any difference.

    I really struggle with how someone can just dispose of people so easily and then I remember I was not the first, I will probably not be the last whose life is hurt by this person.

    He said to me that his reason was that he just “stopped caring”. In reality I don’t think he is capable of truly caring in any real and meaningful way.

    After his first affair and abandonment, I was blindsided, so broken, I let him back too easily. I was changed though and would not go back to the same old patterns. That created some very scary situations. One night I stood up to him, finally for the first time expressed my deep pain, his response was to beat me black and blue and then of course blame me for it.

    I gradually became stronger, demanded counseling, started taking care of me, asking things of him. He could not or just chose not to do it.

    He would blame me for our lack of progress because I could not see or appreciate what he was doing. No I couldn’t see because he was already having another affair. My gut knew though, I could feel something was really wrong.

    Then came the expressions of remorse. I thought finally, he is finally seeing this, feeling empathy but no it was a ruse to keep the truth from me again.

    I discovered his second affair and he was out the door in minutes. Dec 20th 2013. He then proceeded to text and email all of my shortcomings and defects, along with a confession that he had been lying to me our entire marriage.

    The back and forth shift from extreme sadness for himself to attacking me was insane.

    “I abused you our entire marriage and I hate you for that, you were supposed to save me”

    “I miss you, you will trust me again”

    “this is not our end”

    “I hate you. I hope you are dead”

    “I love you”

    “You are a whore”

    “I lost the best thing I ever had”

    Just on and on, sometimes the shift was within minutes.

    I blocked him in every way that I can.

    Now we are divorced. He has left me alone for about 8 weeks now. It still makes me angry that he does not pay the alimony and I am afraid to seek it from the court because it may just start him up again. Or maybe that is the plan???

    Thanks for letting me get this out. There is so much more, just too much. I think I could write a book or maybe 3.

    1. Most people can’t comprehend this, til they live it, if ever. Of course living it myself I wouldn’t wish it on another. I’m trying to extricate myself right now from same situation. Here’s wishing us both future safety, peace, hope, and freedom.

  2. So glad you used the term treated her like a “Princess”, that’s the big RED FLAG in my book! Now! He called me his “Princess” all the time in the beginning, treated me like one and even sometimes toward the end. Ugh! I read or hear a man use that term now toward their partner or even suggest that’s what they’re looking for and I would RUN as fast as I could. It’s not a term of endearment, it’s a term of possession. I get a shudder when I hear father’s call their daughters “princesses”.
    So much in this is so real for me too, this comment is interesting… “He made it clear he was not blaming her (actually, he was) for his indiscretion, but wanted her to understand he wasn’t just a bad guy but rather a guy who, in a time of hurt and weakness, “messed up.” Wish I had a dollar for everytime something like that was said or intimated.
    Freedom some of what you say, that your ex said to you…same for me! I was supposed to fix him, all he ever needed was me to understand, if I can just lie next to you I feel so much better, you help me more than anyone else…the list goes on! It’s so tiring, for these men you have to be wife, lover, mother and therapist! It’s a living nightmare!

    1. Oh god help us all help ourselves and never let us fall victim to another of these character disordered individuals again! I went through two years of counseling 23 years ago extricating myself from an adult child of alcohic,rage-aholic,abuser 18yr marriage (19-37yo mother of three) now trying to extricate from another 18yr marriage (39-57yo) from initially adulterer, discovery of (sex)addicted, eventual abuser counseling the last 4yr 9 mos has been like peeling layers of an onion. NEVER never never again I’ll happily spend the rest of my life alone in peace.

  3. Oh, yes, my story is somewhat the same. We have been divorced for 8 years now. We were married for 45 years. I forgave too many times and I gave him the benefit of the doubt way too many times. The man I thought I was married to is dead. He never existed. My daughters and his family is finally feeling it too. He has no use for us because we know too much.

    1. Noel,
      Thanks for this….I too was married for 38 years and I feel just like you. The person I thought I was with, is dead. Period. Thanks for letting me see I am not alone.

  4. This series on making amends is wonderful, so validating for me to read.

    This is what I was looking for from my x during the false reconciliation. He behaved exactly the opposite from what true contrition, remorse and empathy feel like.

    In a way I am grateful that he could not pull it off. I think it would have been false, temporary and I would have been sucked back in to the same cycle of abuse again.

    What is so helpful to read is that my feelings and thoughts about this are right here before my eyes. He was blaming me for not accepting that he was remorseful. He was blaming my pain on childhood abuse and not what he had done. He took no initiative and even when I was so clear about what I needed he would just disregard it.

    The conversations were just so strange. I would find myself trying to explain to him what compassion and empathy were. His response to the definition, “that is disgusting, why would I want to do that?”

    One conversation that I still find humorous, “I used to have morals and character but I lost them”, this was a text to me after he left me the second time.

    I did respond, “did you leave them in your other pants?”

    I just couldn’t resist. I was so angry, actually a good thing. I was always too soft, to easy to forgive, anger can protect you from harm. I always was afraid of anger, it’s not the emotion though that is dangerous, it is what you do with it.

    I just felt so crazy during this time, he had stopped drinking, he is an alcoholic, he was mostly not being verbally abusive but he was still manipulating me, I just didn’t know it.

    There is just so much that has happened over the years. I start writing here and I cannot keep up with my thoughts. They jump from here to there. I hope this isn’t too disjointed.

    I think the most important thing that I am gaining right now, reading this is that there really are people like this. There are people that are deliberately manipulative.

    I keep wondering, how could he just walk away and leave me with a house that I cannot afford, that is too much for me to manage alone, knowing that I cannot even sell it? How can he have no sense of obligation to me? How do you do that to someone that you lived with, married, was with for 15 years? How do you do that and live with yourself? I couldn’t do that and look in the mirror, look at my family. Then, by reading here it helps to remember, he is not like me, he does not think like me, he really has this ability to not care.

    I did find out a lot during the last two years, so many lies or omissions, or twists. His definition of a long term relationship, two years! He had never been in a relationship more than two years! He has a felony for drugs. Every relationship he has been in has ended this way or with the woman leaving him because of his abuse.

    His family was thrilled when he introduced me, now I know why. They hoped that I would be the stabilizing influence and probably grateful to get him out of their hair.

    No one was shocked by any of this, they all knew what he was and no one said a word to me.

    Just so much to wrap my head around. So much change, coming for so long but at the same time it feels so sudden.

    1. Freedom, had the same response from his family too, only now I am the evil one! How dare I say he’s an abusive violent person and break the family code of silence. Thirteen years I was married and same as you left with everything, no remorse, no conscience, no responsibility… it’s what they do. If it’s not bad enough that you’ve got the emotional part to deal with there’s the trauma lumped on top of it. You will jump all over the place with your thoughts, it’s like a thousand little triggers going off in your head sometimes. I hate it too when people liken it to a normal breakup, it’s nothing like a normal marriage break up… I don’t even have the words to describe what it is…maybe Puddle can help with that she’s always good at coming up with a great succinct term!

      1. How about “escape from captivity”?

        Something that just hit me, the “knowing”. So much of what I have read seems to suggest that these types of behaviors, personalities are just the way they are wired. Almost as if they cannot help what they do.

        Reading all these articles the last couple of days, the deliberateness of it! It starts to make sense in a very twisted and cruel way.

        There was an issue about 7 years ago. I hid something from him regarding finances. I was not overspending just having trouble making ends meet. He was very puffed up about his new job (he had been unemployed for 3 years after being fired). I would try to express my concern but he would shut me down immediately, “I make plenty”, in a very condescending almost angry voice. I was afraid of him even then. It had become a pattern of rage at me for imaginary things. I was blaming myself for the position we were in and I was afraid to tell him. This was a real problem, how would he react to a real problem??? Fear, I let fear influence my actions. I did not tell him until I had to. He was spending too much and I had to tell him that we needed to catch up.

        Angry is not the word to describe it. Raging, name calling, it was awful, I took it though because I felt that I deserved it. I did my best to atone, I tried so hard to apologize but he would only rage at me when I spoke. I found a job, worked overtime, spent nothing and handed over my pay. I did more around the house to relieve him. I guess I was trying to pay penance.

        He raged at me about this or made comments, hurtful comments for years. His most frequent name to call me was liar. I thought it was because I had hurt him. I wanted to do whatever I could to make up for what I did but it was so hard when we could never discuss it.

        Then finally last year in therapy, we discussed it, he said that he understood why I was afraid to talk to him. He said I did nothing wrong and that he understood and was sorry that he had made me so afraid of him.

        Then, he “forgot” raged at me about this again.

        This happened so many times that I thought I was going crazy. Issue discussed, some resolution and forgiveness and then here it was again!!!

        I wonder now, was that manipulation? Did he really understand and just use it to control or hurt me because he knew how badly I felt about it?

        Even after he left me the second time, he would email or text me, “you are a liar, when are you going to stop lying?”

        1. Freedom……I don’t think this is quite accurate……..
          “Something that just hit me, the “knowing”. So much of what I have read seems to suggest that these types of behaviors, personalities are just the way they are wired. Almost as if they cannot help what they do.”
          My thinking is that they might not be able to help what they ARE but that does not mean that the can not help what they DO.
          So, think of all the different things in the world that you could do if you let yourself, all the things you could do but don’t. These are not split second choices they make in the moment…. They are deliberate campaigns that go on for a long time.
          Yes, part of it may be the way they are wired but they most definitely have the ability to make choices, they are not automatons.

      2. Tori, you are doing a fine job. You can’t find the words to describe it because it’s beyond describing. I think the damage they do is at such a deep primal level that there really might not BE words to describe it. That is true for me anyhow. When I try to describe it in words, I feel an exhausted feeling come over me. It is all emotion, he ripped open a deep deep OLD wound of mine, something pre verbal, and carelessly took a s-*t in it. Why? Because he loved me SOoooooo much. I gave him my heart in a way I have never given it to anyone in my life, no….he stole it. He conned me out of it and then tossed it out the window like one of his cigarette butts. I don’t HAVE words to describe the type of pain I felt over that type of trickery and betrayal.

      3. Tori, if you are refering to what it’s like to have others think you should just get over it and let it go because they don’t GET what this is really all about, I don’t think I can find a word for that either….it’s been disorienting as hell like that, twilight zone like. Like this thing happened to you but you can’t explain it because all of a sudden no one understands you. Like somehow you stepped through a door unknowingly and came out on the other side speaking a new language that no one else understands? I feel like this all the time! Like I feel like saying, ” no! Wait! Just listen to me for a minute. You don’t understand”!
        Again! That is why this is such an important and valuable website to those like Freedom and others who have just come out of the Black Hole of Spathdom where everything gets stretched and twisted out of shape, pulled apart and reassembled backwards!!

        1. That’s exactly what I mean, and how the legal system sees things. The frustration is that others who have not been involved with such a being just can’t fathom the depths of hurt, pain and psychological damage. When I first came out I was suffering extreme trauma, i can’t even explain how I felt, you can say terror but that doesn’t even cover it! Not to mention him being all sad and sorry (pretending) and then when he finally decides to tell me he’s had a good day and I should be happy for him…I lose it and then he accosts me with a verbal cruelty beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I wasn’t allowed to be angry, how dare I, it’s okay that I was bruised physically, emotionally unable to cope, sleeping all day on a couch because I couldn’t function that went on for weeks but I ruined his good day because HE was feeling so much better about himself! That was when everything unravelled for me…basically knew that I needed help to deal with what was going on and then finally here to this site. Light bulbs going on everywhere, how do you take that all in and have to get your life back on track at the same time and think logically, practically and take care of your child. Sorry think I went into freefall there but it’s not normal, they’re not normal.

          1. Oh God Tori….. I completely understand sweetie. I am so so sorry and I FEEL your pain. I can’t even begin to imagine how this whole experience would be when you have a child to care for on top of it all.
            And then the legal system? They just don’t “go there”!! My councilor try’s to help women in these positions all the time, women who did go over the edge, and she sees the unfairness and misguided attitudes in the legal system all the time. Just so agrivating. On going twilight zone craziness even though they are gone. It is something beyond words but you need words to explain something they can’t posdibly understand. CraZy! I wish I knew the answer Tori.

          2. I took myself for a walk this afternoon Puddle with a friend and the dogs, get back into normality. Thank you for caring ((Puddle)). 🙂 It’s always a case of pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again!! Ha ha!

          3. Tori, nice. I’m happy to hear you did this, with a friend, pets, nature, all so important. It takes some time to get back to you but it can and does happen. It’s really important for people to know this in the beginning. It’s probably graded for younger people to do though because they haven’t had the time to form a solid self. So many factors to how a person handles these experiences. I feel really horrible for Spathtards first exwife, young. He drug her down into the ditch and she did not handle it well but I THINK she got him back to a certain degree, turned the tables in her own way.

    2. Freedom, when I read your words “I think the most important thing that I am gaining right now, reading this is that there really are people like this. There are people that are deliberately manipulative.” This was one of the biggest hurdles for me, I was one (but only one) thing that kept me in the dark for so long. When we would have those few overt moments, etc. I would easily believe all of his excuses, reasons, etc. Mostly because it was so confusing and I actually couldn’t believe that there really are people who are purposely this way. So not only would I believe his excuses, I would also add a few of my own in there. Reading this site has also been great for me, but I do want to say watch out for some sites and some reading material, there is a lot out there that only further feed into the excuses that disturbed characters use and will attempt to but responsibility on the victim. It can be a confusing time, but there is great reading material too.

      Also when I read, “He was blaming me for not accepting that he was remorseful. He was blaming my pain on childhood abuse and not what he had done. He took no initiative and even when I was so clear about what I needed he would just disregard it.” Wow, it’s really weird to read someone else’s experience and see it so similar to your own. So often when a confrontation over his bad behavior would happen he would find a way to turn it around on me. So many times he would imply or say or find a way to say he was doing nothing wrong and that I was the one with the problem because of my past experiences. How I was unforgiving, how I was over-reacting, how I was misreading things because I had been abused or came from a dysfunctional family, etc, etc. He could find a way to say it like he was caring, he would get this look on his face, change his tone of voice and talk to me like I was a small child. The funny thing is I had worked through these issues throughout the marriage, been to pastors, counsellors, really did a lot of work to overcome things from my past. And it’s hard to realize that the whole time I was maturing, growing, overcoming he was finding these subtle ways to try to put me down or turn what I was doing into a bad thing. It’s really hard to come to an understanding that the person you married, the person who you’d think is supposed to be there to help you overcome to support you when you’re down, is actually the person using those things against you and holding you down with them even further. I could sense this throughout our whole marriage, but couldn’t actually believe that someone would really do such a thing. And when I’d express that I’d think he was doing this to me, he would act offended, like I was being ridiculous and a little bit crazy. And it was easier to convince myself that I was being ridiculous and over-reacting than it was to truly see that he could really be so mean and hurtful (and do it all with a “loving” smile).

      1. Sheri, same same same!! It’s like we are all talking about the same person. It’s like, how could I NOT have known about these types?? They are so text book, so similar in their abusive BS! Even now, this long after….. I read your post, sheri’s post, Tori’s post, etc… And I STILL have that, !OMG! feeling of recognition! Just like I did in the early days when I first found these types of sites and information.
        (((HUGS to you all)))

        1. I know, if it didn’t personally happen to me, except for a few minor differences in details. It almost seems like we were involved with the same guy

          1. Sheri, I always read the details of people’s stories looking for similarities. He former victims are fairly long in his past and I’m sure wouldn’t be bothered with it by now. It would be interesting if one popped up though. His exact MO would be easy to spot I’m thinking, I mean how many men, 50+ live in their mothers basement, etc, etc, etc………………………….well, we are talking about manipulative parasites so……..he may not be unique in that.

    3. Freedom…..reading your words and thoughts and observations…..you are so on target. The last paragraph, they knew, they KNEW! That was the icing on the cake in the realization department for me. His mother ” knew” his sister knew…. But what they knew is debatable. Partly based on BS he fed them to garner their support? I suspect many MANY things that he has done to me and women in his past that his twisted mind thinks we deserved.

      1. Hi Skinymarink,,Welcome,,,,,,I’m hoping for a happy ending? Sounds like you have really been through it and you know? I’m with you on the no risk, single forever more plan! It wouldn’t bother me in the least. Better safe than sorry, etc. OK, it would not be my first pick and yes I would prefer a “mate” and companion but better to invest yourself in the person you WILL be with, for sure, 24/7, the rest of your life……..YOU!?! 🙂

          1. Well Tori, That was one thing I had in my corner and in my favor going into the aftermath (afterspath) of the break up. I was ok being by myself. Not that I couldn’t have used some support, “boots on the ground”, someone to be with and shore me up, etc…..but generally speaking I am ok by myself. He is NOT! He told me so in so many words and his mother told me so directly. That was one of the things she disclosed to me and i didn’t know what to do with it at the time, didn’t know how to translate it into Spathspeak. “Spathtard can’t live by himself, it destroys him. I think that is one of the reasons he moved here”. Did I run? Noooooooo. I felt bad for him but confronted him and then bought his lies in response. Why? Because I was clueless and thought he loved me and absolutely was baffled by it all. Some saying about relationships……you have to be a whole before you can be a half? It really makes sense the older I get.

          2. Oh Puddle it’s so good you are Okay with being by yourself, and it’s hard going on your own in the aftermath…it’s hard getting that emotional support in those initial stages. I was lucky I did have friends who were there etc but like you not that someone to be with to keep you going… but then it’s something that is so difficult because there’s nothing that can really cure a hurt that goes so deep. I think there’s a period of just sheer personally wallowing that nothing and no one can really help you with but it’s nice for someone to be there. Like you I am essentially okay by myself and that works in my favour. I did resent when counsellors suggested I had a fear of abandonment issues, as it wasn’t true…No I didn’t want to be alone and I had some fear of loss but being on my own that I am okay with…yes some fear but who doesn’t have some fear! What is it with these spaths, they just can’t bear their own company, they need to be with someone to make themselves feel better. On the one hand they don’t want responsibility but when they are on their own again they immediately find another supply to help them get through…ha ha more responsibility THEY DON’T REALLY WANT! Talk about messed up!

      2. Skinymarink, not sure how it all turns out but hoping it is a free life of happiness and peace. I know like you I feel my heart, health and at times my stamina have taking a battering but somehow I feel stronger inside. I keep thinking I got this far so there must be a time when I will be free of this. When I think about all the stuff that I had to go through this past year I wonder how on earth I managed to get to a virtual whole new life! Leaving everything I knew and loved behind. It is a surreal feeling. Honestly, I think getting over the fear is the hardest, it’s the fear of what happened and the fear of what will be in the future. But none of us know that and I keep thinking of a line from a favourite movie of mine, “it is pointless to fear that which we know nothing about!” So I keep that in mind and if you think about it we all survived our time with these characters, we may be weakened by the experience on so many levels but we are strong in many other ways to have come through the experience and that’s what will get us to a point of true healing and we will have happiness and peace in our future.

        1. Tori, Wow!! That is inspiring. You got through it because you had to and you didn’t quit. Your story makes mine look like a cake walk in many ways. It’s all relative to the individual and there are many factors that affect our abilities to deal with things in general but when there are children involved and having to leave everything behind? It is really a testament to your love for your son and your inner strength. I suppose we are all stronger than we realize. I really hope that people who are new into recovering from one of these situations can read that and hear it in the stories like yours because it is so hard initially to know that things will change and will get better. I’ve never had anything take me as far down as this did but it’s really close to being resolved emotionally for me now. Not 100% but pretty close.

  5. Hi Puddle, Tori, Sheri, Freedom (and others who read, names unknown to me)– I just want to give you all a word of encouragement. I’ve been divorced for 24 years now. It hurt like hell for a while. Healing is a slow process and you have to go through it and can’t get around it. Stay busy, vent here as much as you need to, keep on truckin’ — I had several seemingly insurmountable problems, but one by one, with a lot of help from God and friends, I managed to get through them. I won’t go into detail, it would take all day. I tried to keep busy and I prayed a LOT. Sometimes the prayer was “Lord, please help me to get through the next 10 minutes.” And He always did (and does) help me through every day. I also do pray daily for each one of you, that God will help you sort through all of your problems on your way to wholeness and emotional health. Peace and hope from Elva

      1. Hello Margot — My first prayer, when I realized how badly I had messed up my life, was very simple — “God, please help me.” I don’t know if you are a Christian, but if you ask Him sincerely for His help, He will give it. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

        I will suggest that you read the Bible — go to biblegateway.com, click on version, my personal favorite is J.B. Phillips New Testament in Modern English, then click on book and chapter. The book of Ephesians tells you what it means to be a Christian. The book of Romans goes into some detail about how to interact with other people. (Providing those other people are reasonably mentally healthy — obviously trying to get along with character – disordered people as detailed here, is extremely difficult, if not impossible.) biblegateway.com also has several Bible studies available. If you’ve tried to read the Bible (King James version, in particular) and found it difficult to understand, do give the Phillips translation a try. For me, it answered questions I didn’t even know I had.

        For yourself, when you feel frantic, stop and breathe deeply for five minutes. If you can, get outside and go for a walk, preferably where there are trees, lawns, flowerbeds. If you can’t go outside, find a photo of a lake, a park, the beach, whatever appeals to you. Imagine yourself there, smell the fresh breeze. These activities sound simplistic, BUT, they are proven to lower your blood pressure, give you a better outlook on whatever is happening in your life. Keep a journal, find something good in your life each day for which you can be thankful, list it in your journal.

        Problems — if you have been blocked on a forum, perhaps you were not supposed to be there in the first place. Again, take each problem to God in prayer. If you were raised in a particular religion which places God on an enormously high pedestal, you may have trouble with this. But He cares for all His children, down to the littlest detail. When you pray, talk to Him respectfully as you would to your grandfather. When you ask in prayer, give yourself a bit of quiet time, try to be open and receptive and listen for guidance.

        From the tone of your first post, it sounds like you have quite a few problems to sort through. You can vent freely here, which really does help.

        It does take time to sort through the problems, the deep hurt, the people who simply don’t understand because they haven’t experienced what you are going through. But it can be done. Please understand, I am not an expert here, but I’ve given you what has worked for me. If you can, try to take a deep breath when you post, so that you can perhaps be more specific about what your circumstances are. Folks who post here have been through just about anything you can imagine.

        I hope this information will help you a bit — I wish you well, and send you Peace and Hope from Elva

        1. Elva,
          Thank you so much. You devoted so much time to answer in detail to my question about praying. Yes, I am Christian. THANK YOU. The reason I didn’t specify my situation, was that, I simply didn’t feel I should bother you all with it. I thought of sharing my thoughts on the general topic instead……, but yes, a lot is going on in my situation. You got it.
          …no, I wasn’t blocked from the forum. I am blocked from my previous activities by a psycho mob.
          DOG BLESS YOU.

          1. Hi Margot — glad I could help you out a bit. Keep reading and studying, vent when you can, and thank you for the blessing! God has watched over me my entire life, and dogs generally like me too:D!!
            Peace and hope from Elva

    1. Elva, Thank you! You are a guide and it is helpful to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, especially for those who are new to discovery/ recovery. I can back you on that now because so much has changed for me finally but initially the tunnel was very dark.
      I had so many complicating things going on at once that keeping busy was just not something that I could do but I did the best I could to keep one foot in front of the other even if it felt like I was going backwards at times. It all seems like a dream now.

      1. Hi Puddle — you are most welcome!! Part of my life is trying to “pay it forward” — to pass along a bit of the help that has been given me through all my life.

        It’s been a pleasure for me to see how far you have come along your path toward healing. Peace and hope from Elva

    2. Elva, thanks so much for your advice here about praying, submitting to a higher authority. I think it’s crucial to seek spiritual help from God, guardian angels, or whatever is pure and good, that has access to our interior beings. I consult my guardian angels fairly frequently and have received immediate help. I don’t ask them for anything other than understanding and reciprocal understanding of others if I am having a tough time interpersonally. It nearly always comes. I had tremendous help with the Spath experience, my husband and my relationship, too. His death was much easier to bear, as a consequence. I take for granted that if I am receiving angelic assistance frequently, there is an invisible realm that he is now a part of. I will see him again.

      My level of frustration at being housebound much of the time is reduced,because I feel somewhat protected, sheltered. I think I am really making progress. It’s an ongoing process. A few days ago I received not one but two blow your mind rude emails from a couple of friends. I have a real life guardian angel in my life right now who looked them over and blew up. I was laughing. It was difficult to impress upon him that the reason I was laughing is that they were so over the top and out of line that it struck me as funny. I explained to him that my ability to get angry at people who are hooped on caffeine, having a bad day, or operating under a crushing load of stress is radically altered. But I think that is largely due to what some people would call, ‘grace,’ and I credit all of the spiritual help I’ve received from my guides, Christ, or whoever is on ‘my team’.

      My late husband was and I have always been steeped in the spiritual, the ineffable. Everyone’s beliefs should be respected but I want to add that, even if someone is agnostic, to give it a shot. Speak out loud to your guardian angels and ask for help. Speaking out loud helps clarify the issues for all involved. And you will likely receive help of some kind. I am still physically very ill. That hasn’t changed. But, maybe it’s not supposed to. Maybe this load is meant to be, is instructive and ultimately helpful I some way I can’t quite perceive.

      1. Hi LisaO — I’m so glad you found my words helpful, and thank you for telling me! Sorry that you are ill, I hadn’t realized that. I can sympathize, for at times in the past I have been out of commission due to back problems. I have learned to keep my back very erect so that an old injury will not cause vertebral slippage and subsequent very poor function until I can get to a chiropractor.

        I would encourage you to ask God’s help with your illness. Let me tell you about 2 miracles I have personally witnessed. In one church I used to attend, one of our choir members came in on Sunday morning with news that she had been in to the doctor for a routine physical checkup. Dr. discovered a palpable mass in her abdomen, x-rays showed a grapefruit sized tumor. He immediately scheduled her for a follow-up exam / biopsy, etc., for the following Monday. Well, the choir (about 60 of us) surrounded her, laid hands on her and prayed fervently that she would be healed. When she went back to the doctor, the tumor was GONE!! No trace of it.

        And another instance — a friend called me, hemmed and hawed until I wondered what was up, because she was usually straightforward. Finally she asked if I would pray for her newborn nephew because he had so many birth defects that he was not expected to live. The Catholic hospital had in fact called a priest to give him last rites. Then he was sent to a hospital in a larger city, where there were specialists available. I asked my pastor to announce and ask for prayers for this baby. I also called 2 friends from different denominations and they asked their congregations for prayers. So in total there were about 4,000 people praying for this baby. He was in intensive care for a month, kept improving, finally he was discharged, healed. The ONLY remaining trace of the MANY birth defects was that he was cross-eyed. (Which was subsequently corrected with glasses) The doctors there marveled, they said “We didn’t do this, God healed him. He’s a miracle baby.”

        So please meditate on this — it may be that God wants to keep you somewhat protected by your being mostly housebound. The apostle Paul had some physical problem from which he prayed to be delivered, but God did not heal it and left him with that ailment. You can ask in prayer if there is anything you can do to help yourself — diet, nutrition, etc.

        Meanwhile, when you can’t get out, you have computer access to the whole world. Go to refdesk.com, scroll down the page about 1/3 of the way, there is a section in the center column titled “Today’s pictures.” Then click on astronomy. There are wonderful pictures of the universe taken by the Hubble space telescope. This site has an archive which you can click through. Also, at the bottom of this section, there is a site called Weather photo gallery. People from all over the world send in their digital photos — some of them are absolutely spectacular. Another virtual trip would be, where would you like to visit? Go to Google, click on images, type in your destination, and there you are! Another site is Atlas Obscura which takes you to all sorts of largely unknown places all over the world. Google for it.

        Last, on another topic, I think it was Tori (?) who asked about checklists for therapists to use in evaluating possible clients. This is a slightly different take on checklists — I just ordered and received a new book, Dangerous Personalities, c. 2014, written by Joe Navarro and Toni Poynter. He includes long checklists to help people decide whether a person might fall into one of the categories. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the first one covered. There is a 13 page bibliography, 6 pages of resources (different agencies which can give you help in reporting abuse or getting away from dangerous people. I’ve just finished reading it, plan to read it again and again. Peace and hope from Elva

        1. Hi again LisaO — another suggestion. First read Ephesians 1:4. Then read Mark 5:25-34. Meditate on it. We don’t know exactly what her illness was, only that it had lasted 12 years, and because she was bleeding, she was ceremonially unclean, which meant that she was generally shunned by everyone, lest they become ceremonially unclean just through contact with her. Yet she had faith that if she merely touched his garment, Christ would heal her. Meditate and pray on that, ask if there is a lesson there for you personally. Peace and hope from Elva

        2. Elva, Thank you I will check this book out and how lovely of you to give the other links for digital journey’s that is such a wonderful idea. And for all the hope you give people in your words. Such things help such a great deal for people working through difficult times.

          1. Hi Tori — thank YOU for your kind words! I’m paying it forward — the older I get, the more I realize how much I owe to my foster parents. I know what it is like to hit absolute bottom — I’ve been there. It took me years to climb back out. Now, I’m cruising along, just trying to give a word of encouragement here and there, and “here’s a website where you can get lots more information about _____(whatever the topic might be).”

            I sympathize with all of you who are still trying to cope with horrible situations. I remember that sometimes it seemed one step forward, 2 steps back. But God and friends carried me onward and upward.

            Even though I live in a beautiful area, I don’t travel very far, because my car is 26 years old, and I’d rather not have it die on me out in the boonies. So, digital travel is something I do every day, helps keep me balanced. Again, glad you found my tips useful, peace and hope from Elva

  6. Hi ladies (so far ladies only…haha),

    yes, they think we deserve. they are misogynistic. female psychos too….To my observation (I am in a mob, lucky), all of them hate ALL, wish bad to everybody and are envious, even of partners, they are attracted to (whatever it is to them). However, when a male ‘disordered’ hurt her, in their mind they do it to all other women too. A ‘disordered’ female is hurting him and ALL OTHER WOMEN too. To stress, by no means I imply the old-standing believe about woman’s envy towards each other and men’s ‘superior’ friendship, not at all, these are lies. I am talking here strictly within this ‘phenomenon’ only. They are twisted, but it’s not enough to say. There are definitely patterns. You are all so right, stories are almost identical. There was a male blogger once, who said: “I don’t understand, are there sites teaching how to become a psycho in 4 easy steps”. I think they are ‘wired’ that way,…again by no means an excuse (and I think someone who mentioned it first, didn’t mean it either). The point is, you can’t change them!!. They want to change you, to make you an ‘insecure’ rack, so that you are tight up to them, even when they are gone, or/and can never become happy, move on. This by inserting fear in you, and then it stays there and affects all aspects of your life. THEY DON’T JUST DO IT, FOR YOU TO FEAR THEM ONLY. What do you think they “steal, conned out and tossed it just like a cigarette”? I think, it is a confidence to deal with life, previous fearlessness towards the basics, at least. I wish the legal system (and academia)would find a way to address the issue, so that neither they would be ‘free from diagnosis, so I am just like this’, neither would the diagnosis become an excuse and the means to manipulate the system to reduce the sentence. An example came to my mind: in one of the countries, ‘being under the influence of alcohol’ would actually help to reduce the punishment for causing the damage while driving. Can you believe this?!. Well, it changed then, and by the 80s, it became the opposite – ‘drunk driving’ and/or consequences punishable even more. I wish they could do it with these ‘beings’. Even though it’s interesting, whether they can or can’t stop, I think the point is THEY DON’T WANT to stop. Also, stop what? the behaviour, or their outlook on the way they relate to others? They don’t hallucinate, do they?? Well, accept for their twisted sense of ‘superiority'(and even this is probably ‘inappropriately applied term’….I assume Dr. Simon would say). They know what they are doing. So, why not to be punished for the activities, related to the legal system
    FEAR… I think, a very important emotion for victims to understand, and very useful for anybody, in general. What causes it? how to deal, e.t.c. Would be nice to hear more on this…
    HELP…can anybody suggest something on how to deal with the character assassination by a mob (uufff..what a combo!!). I can’t, or don’t see the way how to go with the ‘grey rock’, ‘keep happy appearance’ etc. In my situation, it would be exactly what they want…AND I AM NOT BEING STUPPBORN, just I’ll not be able to do what I want to do and is ‘just’, I can’t become invisible in this sense. Also, I can’t appear, where I have to appear to do the things, they BLOCK me. ANYTHING YOU KNOW, PLEASE.

    1. Margot, if I am reading you right I think there’s a lot in your post I could completely agree with… that on some level they find ways to manipulate the system and get away with it! That’s been bugging me from day one. Many academics do address this in papers and reports, I’ve read many but the problem is it appears to be largely ignored by the powers at be and society as a whole. I am having decisions to make that from one end I get advice that is it worth all this stress, settle for less move on and have a happy life etc… and as much as I see the value in that and have considered it and like you I am not stubborn but there is value in standing up for your rights and not letting them get their way. I feel that is what they expect to happen and if we as survivors keep allowing that to happen then nothing changes. For me deep down inside I feel some fights are worth the stress and frustration if you can help make a change that is worthwhile. The trauma that is sufferred cannot be discounted and makes it difficult to work through which again falls into their favour, exactly what they want for us to be emotionally, psychologically crippled so we are unable to move on or fight. I don’t know if that’s what you are alluding to but I know for me it is important. I don’t want to for go my own personal empowerment to move forward with my own life without this stuff but I also need to feel like I am not giving in, despite the knowledge I have that it appears it is impossible…there’s a point when these people need to know their behaviour is unacceptable and we are not going to back down. I don’t mean we should become like them or fight abusively or even manipulate but if we continue to accept as a whole this is going to continue to affect others into the future. Not sure if that’s what you are saying but it is how I feel. I wish you well with your fight but as Elva so rightly points out get in touch with those simple beautiful things in life, they help a great deal to keep you strong and keep going even when things get unbearable.

      1. Tori, this contractor dude is an example of the futility in trying to stick up for yourself. It would cost me a lot more money, emotion, stress, frustration, etc…to go after him. Say I do prove I was taken advantage of and misled, all of it, then what? I can’t get blood from a turnip. He doesn’t have any money and I’m sure he spent the money I gave him as a down payment. New truck, trip to the dentist and who knows what else. So….they KNOW how to pull it all off. The do nothing but calculate risk and know how to lie like we know how to breathe. I feel bad for you Tori especially because of your child and you trying to advocate for him. Terrible. 🙁

        1. Oh Puddle, I know, they are so brazen with it too! I was told of a story today how one of them just can say he doesn’t care to a judge! Rips his wife and child off and smiles doing it and there’s no law that can stop it! They just get away with it!

          1. Tori, I know. How they get away with it in court is how they get away with it with you. In court you have to have something to point to, ie proof. And without having experienced this before, even when you think something might be wrong it’s so hard to pin it down. Then even if you do they know how to work it against you. Was it Margot? Sheri? Freedom? Who talked about the weakening process? Wearing you down? ……duh….Margot (above!) it’s true what she said about this process and in court it is similar, frustration after frustration wears you down after a while till you give up in resignation. Then THEY feel vindicated. It’s so unjust. I just don’t know what you do without betraying your own character, dignity, morals, etc.

          2. It is a wearing down, I think there’s a point where you just can’t deal with all the horrible stuff anymore. That’s how it is for me, I don’t want to feel or say, or relive another moment of what I lived. Yet at the same time I don’t want to make a mistake that somehow has it all revisit in a different way in the future.

      2. Hi, Tori. Very insightful. I too, can feel what you are saying. I however, didn’t mean ‘fight’ in a sense, that I have to make choice. Nor did I imply, that leaving it, as it is, wouldn’t be ‘just’. It probably sounded to you, as if I was hesitating between ‘revenge’ and ‘peace of mind’. Not at all. It would contradict what I said about ‘them’ wanting our ‘reaction’, as they feed on it. Unfortunately, they feed on both – our ‘reaction’, as well as, our inability to ‘react’ on life. That is why, in my situation, ‘no reaction’ is also a ‘reaction’, as they ISOLATE me, by restricting from my lifelong activities (BTW struggle against the power at be). On the other hand, if I react, they isolate me too. The point had been, that so far I’VE COME ACROSS with the two approaches – ‘grey rock’ and….something like, I am not sure, but you’ll get…’continue to appear were you always appeared with happy smile’. Both are damaging for this specific situation, and I was asking, if anybody knows what to look up for, as an alternative. I AM TALKING ABOUT THE CARACHTER ASSASINATION BY A GROUP OF PSYCOS.(may be somewhere on this site, but I can’t find). RE: ‘address’: yes Tori, you are right, the issue had been addressed, and I didn’t make clear what I wanted to say. I should’ve said: I wish somebody could address it the way, that the current state of affairs improves, at least a bit.

        1. Margot, your situation sounds horrible, like you’re being held captive, literally. It sounds terrifying if you can’t free yourself and your child. My situation is different, I am out and my issues now are legal and trying to do what’s best for my child. So we can both move on with a fresh start. My ex doesn’t want custody but keeps wanting some access…how much, etc I don’t know it just always raises it’s head and my son would like to see his father and I am caught between knowing what I know about him and trying to work out an arrangement that’s safe for everyone. Not that he participates, it’s got to be on his terms or no terms at all! I don’t know how you can cope in your situation. It sounds like you need some expert help or outside help that could get you and your child free and safe. Dealing with one manipulative abusive person is hell, I don’t know how you can remain and deal with a group. Even if given the best advice on how to handle them it would be hard to maintain let alone keep your sanity in such a situation. Have you tried contacting outside services that could give you some advice?

  7. Tori, I don’t know your situation in details, but with them to not bend down is to get out of the situation and BE HAPPY. Or, are you stuck just like me, i.e. can’t get out, can’t stay in, because the outcome is going to be the same (bad for the child)? Are you fighting for child’s custody?

  8. Women can act the same way! My husband’s ex still tries to control him (us)!
    A true narcissist/sociopath! His daughters have complete ly alienated him since the enabling has stopped! She has done all what gas been discussed here and more! Down to brainwashing grandchildren! Yes! Cohesion todlers! Very disturbing!

  9. I appologize if any of my recent comments were too “colorful” or inappropriate. I seemingly had an anger relapse. Some of what I’ve read over the last couple days is really triggering and definitely stirs up memories and emotions.

    1. I can relate, sometimes I think I’ve moved passed an issue and then I read something and it stirs up the old feelings again, some things I think I’ll never truly let go of the anger completely. There are certain things that one experiences, even after knowing all you know, still seems like “how can a person actually behave that way!”

    2. Damn, wrongly asked here.

      Let me re-prase this. Is it possible to “let go” so that it actually doesn’t do anything to your standards? Is it possible to hold a certain reasonable expectations “you do this, you don’t do that” and if someone breaches on them, you do anything that’s good to do in that situation?

      1. Anything is possible J but life is unpredictable. What you are talking about takes a huge amount of mental and emotional disaplin and maturity and also quite a bit of detachment. Sure, it’s possible. And Spaths excell at it.

      2. Aren’t there many ways to release? Releasing body tension, which helps a lot, by the way? Many imagery exercising meditations can be found on Youtube alone.

        I don’t listen to every single meditation I find on Youtube, but I surely don’t think releasing emotional leftovers would have a link with having or not having standards.

        Also, please clarify: Spaths excell at what?

        1. J, sorry, I think I misread or misunderstood your original post. I retract my reply other than Spaths excell at detachment.

      3. J, I’m not sure if I’m understanding the context of your question. If you are being covertly manipulated, everything changes, or many things, so what you might normally be able to “rise above” becomes more difficult. I believe, and it’s only my belief, that they have a contagious energy field in a way. I will never be able to explain this properly but I experienced it.

        1. You’re right Puddle about a contagious energy there’s a lure of some excitement? When I think on it, it’s that all too good to be true, romantic, caring, charismatic and exciting man. No wonder we get addicted, like all addictions starts with a high ends in a desperate low!

          1. Tori, you know it. Interesting comparison too. With them it’s like having someone sneak crack into your food or beverage and becoming addicted without knowingly taking the substance. I’ve actualky heard of this happening.

          2. Follow up…….you end up wanting them more than you can stand even though you can’t stand them.

      4. J, I think it is possible to reach a point where a person can interact with a person and it not effect your standards. But it is a long practice, it takes a lot of hard work to get to that point. I think the first step, when dealing with a covert-aggressive is one needs to be as aware as possible with what they are dealing with (which is a very difficult thing to do), to not react out of emotion, to take a few minutes to think things through. It takes practice, practice, practice. It takes a lot of self-reflection after each encounter to determine if what one did was in their own best interest according to their values, and if it wasn’t to think it through as to how they are going to handle the situation the next time and then put it into practice. But we are human, even though I work and practice at not reacting with emotion, it’s still there. It still needs to be acknowledged and worked through.

        I think it’s just as important to acknowledge the feelings that dealing with these people bring about. To accept them, to work through them, to use them in a way that will help us (and others).

        It takes a long time, it is a lot of work, it takes an extraordinary amount of self-control.

    3. Seems it’s catchy Puddle and Sheri, I am in a little backslide right now… hoping some new therapy might shove it out the door! I have been hypersensitive to any situations that appear abusive lately, a man and woman in the supermarket made me shudder, though the poor man he seemed so distressed. It was awful! It’s like right back at the start when I was so messed up a couple of times I did a few things in the car, like indicate the wrong way and I got abused by another driver…I was really sorry but got called names so abusively I felt sick! Just stupid little mistakes we all make and someone overreacts and boom you feel like your sinking again. I keep thinking that too Sheri…how is it people are like this and yet you know there’s nothing you can do or say that can make it better except stay silent, or stay away!

      1. Tori, I keep trying to distill this down to the core issue and it keeps coming back to gross injustice and an inability to champion myself because I’m blocked at every turn. It’s the injustice, the false accusations
        ( scapegoating) the humiliation of having fallen in love with SUCH a loser and him allowing and encouraging that, the blatant deception and cruelty. It’s all just so over the top and beyond the pale that it crus out for justice and vindication yet there is none.

        1. All your comments are heartfelt, it feels to unreal to be true. For so many years to have lived such a lie up to the very end, and when they are found out they just say twoddle-lu and are on their merry way to create havoc somewhere else.
          When I notice someone doesn’t call me by my name a flag goes up, excuse me my name is —— that is my name. I just met a man who called his ex “the Princess” Hm.. I thought her name was Patty? Flag, Flag, I found that by not calling you by your name they don’t have to recognize your personhood. I always wondered why I never heard my X call his mother, mom or ANY name for that matter. He just started talking to her. I was confused. I could add so much more. Thanks you ladies shared so much and all have gone through so much, I do believe practicing No Contact and shutting down all communication if you can and giving them no response is the best response. I do believe that in the end they will answer for their sins against humanity. And as one of the gals remarked there are a lot of sites out their and be wary of the info presented. This site and commenters is by far the best one I have ever read. I still at times get drawn in because of my nature of compassion. They do love their pathetic selves at all costs. Prayer and my faith has been my refuge. Blessings to all and I feel your pain. At least all of us are capable to love and be honest.

        2. The vindication and justice is bound up in what we become after the experience, Puddle, don’t you think? If we can take something that was intended to destroy us, turn it around and let it enhance us, expand our ability to love and feel compassion for others, they lose. Or whatever animates them, from the demonic realm, loses. It is really difficult to get a handle on this without resorting to spiritual fundamentalism, in metaphorical or literal terms. It is profoundly anti-human…alien…cruel and creepy.

          1. I don’t know what to think LisaO, in a way I think you are right about how we come out in the end. Maybe it’s too soon for me to really relate to that thinking. I’m not there yet for sure so I can’t speak to that from experience but you are probably right.

      1. Not claiming it would be instant. But it IS possible to let go of emotional sensations without that changing standards at all?

        1. I think I know what you mean, J. It is very possible and entirely desirable. But, a really bad experience with a sadist can take a very long time to come to terms with and then process properly. I lost all emotional charge after about a year. My experience was destructive but limited and I had a great support system, so it was much easier for me. I was already working with therapist for complex PTSD.

        2. It’s not easy, sure.

          I haven’t read much about complex PTSD, but that may change, if I don’t have too much other matters taking my attention.

          Have you ever heard of body scan meditation? Could it be helpful?

  10. Margot, A big obstacle for me to overcome was fear. I kept repeating fear is of the devil and so is confusion. Elva is right God is a refuge and God will hear you. You found this site and all the others here that will help in any way possible on your journey. This is a safe and good place to be. Dr. Simons work is well respected throughout the country, he tells it like it is from experience. When I am in doubt and start to feel sorry for the monsters, I just start reading the comments as were stated here and any disillusioned sentimentality has a wakeup call back to reality.

    1. BTOV, thank you for your posts and thoughts. Regarding names, that is interesting….. I never heard Spathtard call his mother, mother, mom, mommy ( sorry, had to 🙂 when he spoke to her either. And I finally took issue with him refering to me as “babe” all the time. I don’t mind terms of endearment but never hearing him actually use my name started to bug me ( and would be a red flag now ). I wondered if it was just his way of assuring he wouldn’t call me someone else’s name by mistake. But even his friends…. He would refer to them by their name but never address them by their name when he was with them. Something significant to this?

      1. Puddle again…same I was Babe…sometimes darling he very rarely used my name. Admittedly I called him the short version of his name only because that’s what he preferred but yeah very rarely used my name. He didn’t even use my name when as contact in his phone. I don’t think I ever heard him say mum to his mother, it was as BTOV says he’d just start talking. It’s really only since the split he used my name a couple of times in a very condescending tone… then was downgraded to YA!

        1. Think back, I never realized it till later. If they talk directly to you. Such “hi Sally, how was your day?” They always say nothing or give you a name they decided to call it. Be it an endearment, or a vulgarity. How often, did you find they addressed you directly? I found that in not identifying you by your given name, acknowledges you as a “real” person. In the alternative a CD by calling you by your given name has to acknowledges you as a “REAL” person. They don’t want to because they are defining who you are.
          Comments please.
          Never said Hi Dad. Always just started talking to him. He would refer to as My father, or a name he gave him, but never directly addressed parents as Mom or Dad. Always, in the back of my mind puzzled me. I hope you will comment on this Dr. Simon

          1. Tori, BTOV, yes to all. He would say, “I havevto take mom here or there” etc……. But he would never CALL her Mom!! Weird! I think of me, my dad, I always call him Dad. I phone him and say hi Dad, start a question to him, Dad what was the name of……etc! Same with talking to him….. He would only call me Pudfle because I started asking him to but the BABE thing is a real slam and pretty a Spathuversal term they seem to pick. Pathetic losers b

        2. It went from babe babe babe to sweetheart and honey. Rarely if ever Puddle unless it was in a fight or some other weird, out of the ordinary situation.

  11. Puddle

    When I read your emotionally refined and compassionate remarks to posters here I think you have already beaten it, triumphed over evil. This is no small task — and it may take a while before you feel all the love you generate out to the world, reflected back to you. But you will. It just takes time. Keenly feeling the lack of justice and having boiling rage come up once in a while is normal and healthy to acknowledge. It’s typical nowadays for people to yang on about how you can’t be a loving person if you are ‘living in fear,’ or if you have anger ‘issues’. These are such generalizations. I think some of the best people have great anger.

  12. LisaO, I think so too about anger. I feel my weak link is in expressing it in a way that helps me rather than hurts me? Thanks LisaO. It’s so “easy” to feel compassion here for people who have been through or are going through this. I read some of the posts and I KNOW how much pain they are in, I feel it in me and I wish I could be right there with them. I was completely alone through the initial stages other than web sites( some of which turned into their own traumatizing experiences ) and a couple good, old friends who “understood” but they were long distance. No one here really, no one physically close. Honestly, I needed held so I could feel safe to let it all out, instead it leaked out slowly. It was really deep and really primal. Woah. My best friend, who lives really far away now, is the most loving person I’ve ever known and she can really express some anger!! But she is kind and loving and she tried to love Spathtard as I did. He also made her very angry and once the gig was up? Yeah……. Angry!

  13. You are amazing, Puddle. And anger… oh, you betcha. People who just don’t get angry, or so they claim, either lead pretty charmed lives, or don’t express it properly. I was always assertive with my Narsister. This she construed as a full frontal body blow. When she was rude, manipulative, dismissive, I eventually began to call her on it. Never raised my voice. Just told her, that there was a huge discrepancy between word and deeds and I wanted clarity.

    People who don’t express anger, ever, and disdain those who do, often have the larger problem. If it’s a result of being genuinely afraid, that’s one thing, but if it is underlying fear, overlaid with a manipulative coping style, it’s intolerable. I don’t have the energy endurance or desire to deal with it anymore. Through therapy, I have come to realize that sometimes it’s just not me at all. I grew up in a weird household and as therapist keeps reminding me–“you were the psychologically healthiest one.” My ‘anger’ was not a symptom of anything other than setting boundaries from the time I was a little girl. When family members or member describe you as weird and or emotionally disturbed, you have to almost wear it as a badge of honor.

    1. That is so weird LisaO, our family therapist said the same thing to me and strongly suggested that I go away to finish high school. The anger thing is true too, what you say? I think some people have it but think they are wrong to have it or want others to think they are so enlightened that they don’t. BUT, oddly, when I was with Spathtard? He would always say something about me being angry with him and over and over and over……I would tell him that I was not angry…..I was hurt! I never felt ANGER when we were still together or I should say RARELY. I only felt hurt. After I woke up and realized the ugly truth……then I felt anger and still feel righteous anger and disgust…..
      Please know, I’ve been reading your posts and think you are SAo on target LisaO. Little time to reply to them all right now. ((((( LisaO HUGS!))))) 🙂

      1. LisaO and Puddle, I was told the very same thing by the first psychologist that I was actually “the healthiest one psychologically in the family” that knocked me because to everyone I was always labelled as the “unstable one”! With anger too, I often think anger is healthy and worry when people get upset with you expressing your anger. I think over the years I have had trouble expressing it in the right way at times and that caused me issues but it’s a learning process. I also think it’s natural when in relationships with CD’s that your anger like all emotions get stretched to the limit and become all out of whack as you try to work out all the confusion. Again if I had only known what I know now so much would have been different…maybe, as you point out LisaO fear can have an effect that I think makes it difficult to express many emotions in a way that is healthy!

        1. Tori, absolutely about fear and that fear can be fear for your safety or the emotional fear of loss, the loss of the addiction they have created, mental fear of another gas lighting or mental turmoil…..it’s just SO exhausting and I know I tiptoed around to a certain extent to avoid another melt down/ fight. He created that fear from the very beginning by walking out during any conflict. the hook was already set and I didn’t want to loose what he tricked me into thinking was real. Again, in retrospect? It all seems so obvious to me, I can’t even believe it happened now. But the fear does warp everything Tori, it throws everything off kilter and then things come out in the wrong places. It’s like emotions are water and it has to flow freely and not back up or it sprays out sideways. Fear blocks the natural flow.

        2. One more thing about fear………..it can have a subconscious layer to it, don’t you think? There is fear that you are aware of, like physical abuse situations and violence but then there can be a whole other layer under that obvious fear. When Spathtard used to stand over me during a fight…….I felt uncomfortable but I also think there was something deeper like a fear of sorts and there WERE times I was afraid of him and told him so,,,,,,yikes, I just got major chills when I typed that. There is a darkness to him that I guess I couldn’t “look at”, I think because I didn’t understand and it was so contrary to his mask. I sensed something though. I think of him now and I see him as dirty and decayed. it’s so weird to me. Surreal is definitely a word that fits in this Tori.

          1. Puddle there are so many fears caught up in these relationships, of course just like his standing over you they are created on purpose to keep you right where they want you. I think they do give you glimpses of their darkness and it is difficult to comprehend with all the other stuff. I think that causes the deep seated fear that is that subconscious fear, the one you don’t want to look at! That’s the fear that lingers it’s a psychological aspect that I want to get rid of. My ex said something to me, in the last week of our relationship an admission of sorts that has left me in no doubt of how deep his darkness goes! I felt sick and I pushed it down because I knew if I reacted it would have been bad but it’s one of the things that comes back now to haunt me! How on earth could I have been involved with such a man? What gets me is he seemed delighted in himself! Dirty and decayed is exactly it! Puddle the fact there are so many of these cretins out there is frightening in itself… There’s so many aspects to how fear works in these types of relationships, it’s the worst manipulation tactic, creating fear, it’s paralysing!

    2. LisaO, so, that line between being assertive and a total b? It’s a fine line for me. AND, I wonder sometimes if someone doesn’t work it against you, like your narsister? she doesn’t like you setting assertive boundaries or calling her out so she makes a federal case out of it and acts like YOU are the one with the problem?? Well, that all sounds very familiar, NarMom style. Goodness gracious! Your NarSister is just trying to wriggle out of being accountable for her “stuff”! I could write a book on this topic LisaO! And I know you could as well.
      So, I think of a child, growing up……being invalidated because their NarParents can’t own their own faults and they loose the natural anger response that is there to protect them as adults AND as children!……….just so many things go wrong don’t they? I find myself thinking this ALL the time…….”WHY??? Why does it all have to be this way?” And I do it in an internal whiny kind of voice! 😛 But I really do wonder about it so much! it just seems so strange to me that things go so wrong so often! And so unnecessary!

    3. As for anger, I know a few people, who are genuinely nice and healthy and whom I’ve never seen angry. Whether they feel anger, I think so, it makes sense they do so in small amounts. Basically, anger is energy, too. My 2 cents here.

      Oh my, LisaO and Puddle, your chat so reminds me of what I’ve heard of Viper. As his ex would tell, he’d often say things that implied the fault to be in her, like: “You have trouble letting go, my love”, “How long did you plan to sulk?”, “What’s wrong with you now?”, “Look, it’s over, no need to stress yourself”, “I have many things on my mind right now and I really need some space to think, please”, etc. Many statements that could have been assertive, except they were used with what in hindsight was manipulative, responsibility-avoidant, controlling, punishing, disparaging or otherwise aggressive and destructive intent, in a certain type of context. A context would be out of what else had been going on, all those little incidents that alone didn’t seem important. Long after that I read certain books, it felt like many passages were written straight from Viper’s life.

  14. Being very very angry at a spath after a spathcapade is normal. Getting to anger after shock and grief starts to wear off. Healthy. Staying enraged, becoming embittered towards the world, from the experience, is what we have to try to help others with, if we can.

    What I have seen on ‘help’ forums is way too doctrinaire an approach to healing. Also, completely feeble advice, like, “quit thinking about him/ her. You will never figure them out. Do something nice for yourself. Go have a pedicure, bubble bath. Get in touch with old friends.”

    Being hit by a Spath is worse than being hit by a run away truck. Imagine if you suggested aromatherapy to the victim. This is how I perceive this kind of advice.

    Validate rage if those who have been targeted and help people with it by not condemning them for feeling that way. It is a process that resolves itself and, my personal feeling is, it’s not unhealthy weird creepy.

  15. J, I know people too, that I have never seen angry. I am cautious around people who consider anger a ‘negative’ emotion, without differentiating cause and being ignorant of how anger can be protective, in some cases. My mother should have acted on her anger towards my father about how he treated his kids, particularly me. It didn’t do me much good years later for her to tell me she was appalled by it. She didn’t need to blow up. All she needed to do was tell him to knock it off. It would have worked… But she found it constitutionally impossible to express anger. Strange. I can’t fathom this lack of drive to protect those who are vulnerable.

  16. The anger part is difficult an we all have ways of dealing with it. Many time when we have learned in life that the anger we feel will get no results many times is turned inward and take on many shapes and forms. This is a whole topic in itself. I never, got that angry, I went to church on a Friday and kneeled for hours and laid it at the foot of the cross. For these people I look at the miserable pathetic excuses they are and feel sick to my stomach. For the CD in my life I don’t want to give them any of my positive energy and eventually, they will pay the ultimate price for their selfishness. I do not believe and at one time I did feel sorry and got sucked in by their poor me stories. That is why I admire Dr. Simons work because he has it right. Don’t get me wrong the Lord hates the sin, not the sinner. I have found an inner peace and resolve that I refuse to let anyone take from me and this has been helpful. I feel for all of you, it would be wonderful to have a convention and meet all of you. Peace and joy to all. I’m so glad you have found each other here.

    1. BTOV

      There is no right or wrong way when it comes to anger. My late husband was almost constitutionally unable to feel anger, too, and I think it was almost genetic. My mother was a very happy soul, always hoped for the best and just work themselves out. Also, women of her generation were part of a generation that pretty much forced girls to be super submissive and ‘sweet’. When I say I can’t fathom how she wasn’t more driven to be protective, I guess what I mean is I have a very different personality and grew up in a different era.

      I think some people are just very gentle like my husband. You sound like a gentle soul, too. For you, it’s probably not a good thing to attempt to ‘get angry’ about your experience. You have your way of processing it all that is best for you.

      Super big hug to you. I would love to meet everyone here, too!

  17. Oh Puddle,

    I had to be so insanely careful around Narsister. I want to highlight that it is very true that at core narcissists are very scared people, hiding behind various masks. They are trying to avoid personal injury to an alarming degree and quite intent on getting their way as they manage others impressions of them.
    Here is a great example of some if the stuff I used to just let slide.

    “Hi Norma. I have to apologize for missing Sean’s birthday last year. At least I think I missed it. Everything was a blur. I may have sent him a gift but can’t remember. I was unable to leave the house fir about a month and could barely look after myself.”

    “Lisa, I don’t recall the gift he received but know you must have sent one because you would never do something as awful as forget his birthday, no matter how sick you were!

    This kind of manipulation takes a very special kind of individual. All I can do is stay far away, politely respond to emails and that’s it. I am emotionally neutral because there us nothing I can do to help her and I do ‘t care what her opinion if me is because it radiates from a strikingly weak and incomplete personality

    Though you have to credit narcissists with tremendous staying power. Acting all the time, being on a stage. … That has to be hard!

    Puddle, my mother was lovely in many ways and my poor father was just kind if a screwed up mess. But neither if them can come close to the sheer oddity of Narsister. The emptiness within is like a cold clear frosty day.

  18. Could it be those lucky few, who have lived a seemingly charmed life and don’t seem to be angry, have in fact learned to have that certain presence of mind so that aggressive energy only comes in appropriate doses, with a safety valve? I’m shooting the air, but could it be?

    1. J, anger is not agressive energy, it’s the engine that moves us away from something or someone dangerous when it is functioning properly. Sadly, many children are crippled by their parents who think anger is, ugly, dangerous, reflects badly on THEM or threatens their control over the child. That is exactly one of the ways a Spath controls and manipulates his victim, they throw you in the defensive if you dare to call them out or express anger over mistreatment. If you have never personally been targeted by one of these idiots, and I mean hooked deeply and have formed an emotional “investment” and bond with them, it seems like all a person should be able to do is walk away when someone does x, y, z. But it doesn’t work that way. I was hooked before I was even attracted to him. I wasn’t even really attracted to him until much later during round two but the seed was planted deep during round one.
      Anyhow, if I would have been operating under my complete free will, minus his manipulative BS, my anger would have shot me out of his life like a missile.

  19. J,

    I was trying to make a point about feelings of anger and people being allowed to express how enraged they are about being targeted by a Spath. I have not encountered one person who has had this experienc, become enraged and then act in a violent manner. I applaud them. It’s ludicrous to try to rush people through different stages of recovery with witless and superficial suggestions for healing while disparaging intense feelings if anger. If you can’t get angry at someone trying to destroy your life for sheer entertainment purposes, you should be nominated for sainthood.

    More than anything victims should feel free to express what they are feeling and have access to the best information. Dr. Simon’s books are probably the best out there. I haven’t read any better.

    1. LisaO It’s so true, we have to express our anger and it can’t be rushed at all. I couldn’t agree more with all of what you’ve said. In the initial stages while counsellors would say take a long hot bath with scented candles and nice music, I would look at them thinking “Yeah Right…what’s that going to do?” It’s impossible to think these things will magically cure all and not to mention that other things may cost money you don’t have! I would think is that the best you can give me!
      Although having said that, all the things I did love at that time I just couldn’t do like go for a walk, watch the birds etc. I loved walking in nature and I’d take the dogs, take photos paint etc… I was so distraught nothing would have made me go out only that I felt guilty because my dogs looked so depressed so I made myself go out for them. I hated it but did it. Now I do realise why people say these things, I think deep down they really want to help and really what can you say or do to help someone is such dire situations?? Also that is a learning thing in a way, so often people who’ve come out of these situations have only cared about the other CD character so learning to actually take care of yourself in a compassionate manner is alien. It feels selfish in a way and in the end you have to be a little bit selfish at such a time and be kind to yourself, let’s face it no one else is going to! So in some ways even though it seems trivial it does tend to work to allow you to start looking out for yourself. I always encourage someone to walk in nature because for me it brings me such strength…I realised I was letting him take something I loved from me and I wanted to take things back…so I will walk even when I really feel miserable and when something beautiful overtakes me in my book it’s a win! That’s a moment that he is not in my thoughts, a moment that is mine! I also went horse riding recently haven’t done that since I was a child…I was sore, and could barely move for two days but that was FANTASTIC…for two hours or more I was really free of all this crap! I can have fun on my own and just me and my son! It was worth it! So I think you can encourage people to take care of themselves but not deny them their anger!
      I’ve actually found my counsellor is really encouraging as to expressing my anger…I can swear, stamp my feet do whatever…mind you much to her dismay I haven’t really, I accidentally swear and apologise and she says no go for it! Ha ha! So yeah I think no one should disregard those intense feelings of anger, they’re there and need to be expressed.

      1. I applaud both your comments, LisaO and Tori, Thank you Long ago with one of my experiences with the CDS in my life it was suggested to me to take a baseball bat and beat a mattress until all the negative anger which held me back resided. It felt good, it was a good release instead of interacting and hoping to get a normal human response out of a “human” that desires to stay stuck in their developmentally immature state of narcissism.

        I believe all the input from all of you who have shared so truthfully with such dignity, will give us all the strength to heal. So many unanswered questions, have been answered here. I am going to reflect more on the anger issue. There is so much here to digest.

      2. I agree with both of you LisaO and Tori, I actually think it would be a form of denial to not get angry about thing that we should be angry about, especially when it comes to people who are intentionally treating us like we mean nothing to them but then smiling and telling us how much they love us and implying there is something wrong with us for what we are experiencing. I think we do need to acknowledge our anger, find healthy ways to express it (so that it doesn’t harm ourselves or anyone else). I think we have the right to be angry, if we can acknowledge it and express it appropriately it can do many great things…like protect us from being fooled again, help others who might be in our situation but still blaming themselves for it all, and a crucial learning tool to take us from anger to assertiveness. I think if we deny our anger, feel guilty for feeling anger over things we need to get angry about, or ignore it turns into depression…and that’s not good I’ve been there. I think a lot of people automatically equate anger with aggression and that’s not the case…anger is a legitimate feeling that was given to us for a reason, to let us know an injustice was done.

        I actually want to add, we just discovered that about a year ago our fourteen year old daughter was sexually assaulted by a fourteen year old boy… Is there anyone out there who would actually tell me I should not feel anger or fear? It would be ridiculous and inhuman of me not to!

      3. Tori, early on…..EARLY on, while mired in shock, grief, the process of trying to find a counselor,…….ALL of it……I felt like I was dying and I actually think I was dying or could have died very easily. I know that sounds overly dramatic but I am very serious. I could barely feed myself let alone go for a walk or take a f’ing bubble bath! I was in some other world and I THINK I was re-experiencing something from my babyhood. for someone to tell me to do ANYthing……just was not going to happen. I don’t remember what I ate, I remember the house being very dark and it was Winter….Jan. Feb. Mar……..deep Winter here. It had nothing to do with anger at that stage…….just some sort of primal ripping pain I have never know the likes of in my entire life. SO ……………. I see the value of things to take care of yourself at certain stages of the recovery process but according to where and how you were targeted, I think that will affect the timing of being able to implement certain self care methods. I don’t know if that made ANY sense! 🙂

  20. Oh Puddle…I know exactly what you’re saying and I love you for putting it into words and it’s not over dramatic at all…I felt exactly the same! I thought I was going to die, I was convinced of it, there’s a physical pain that is so intense that twists inside you like all these deep emotions are attacking your system. I literally didn’t eat at time and others it was forced, I lost so much weight my friends were really worried about me. I was dangerously thin and it took months before I could even begin to eat reasonably well and I still don’t eat as well as I did. I absolutely believe that people can die from broken hearts! I had a friend who was thinking of ringing the police one day when she came to my house and I didn’t answer…I had gone to my mother’s that day.
    When counsellors would say take a bath etc I felt exactly the same way as you…like what the… My situation was different though, I had my son there and I had to make sure he was okay, fed and taken care of so I was forced to do things… I mean if I just didn’t care at all about anything then he suffered more and part of me had to prove to him that I would be okay so he wouldn’t be scared. For a while I floated in a hope bubble that my relationship could be saved but also knowing I’d be risking my life if I stayed. I was left not knowing what to do about a house we owned, my ex was out having a good time spending all the money leaving us with nothing and I had to make so many decisions at a time when you are bouncing off walls emotionally and filled with trauma. So after weeks of sinking emotionally it was a case of get things done and I don’t even know how I managed, I was in a zombie state, on some automatic pilot. I just did what I had to do! Again I was lucky I had support from friends who would urge me to make decisions and think about my future and gave me a cuddle when I needed it! I also think accessing all the services out there made a huge difference. This is not something you can do on your own. Maybe that’s what has helped me in this time of recovery or maybe it has hindered me too! I don’t think I’ve had time to really come to terms with the trauma and the real anger yet! It’s like I’ve pushed myself through practicalities and now that I am settled these things are coming back washing over me and I haven’t really dealt with some of them at all! So yes I think the timing as you say is all important as to when you can really take care of yourself. Again the recovery process is unique to every individual. And again what an amazing place this blog is…honestly the support here is just so wonderful and loving… this is a unique thing in the world of the internet and gosh Dr Simon you have done an amazing thing by creating this space and your writings just pull people together, such a gift of healing that is so precious to those of us who have lived through these life situations. I can’t thank you and others enough this place has been a life source! I just wish I could give you the biggest hug in person Puddle and everyone else too. As BTOV said earlier wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day we could all meet put faces to names and know that we’ve come together through something so difficult in life…it would be magic! 🙂 xx

    1. Tori, it would be wonderful to meet. It such a shame we can’t. Can you imagine everyone trying to discuss this craziness?? I think there would be lots and lots of ” me toos” and ” He did that TOOs! It really is such a relief to find you and every one here and to Hearn someone else express the way they felt during the aftermath because it was something very unique for me and I did not handle it well.
      Just throwing this out there………I just happened to turn on TV and the movie Dangerous Liaisons is on. For anyone who can stomach it….. It’s a window into the world of twisted character development, or lack there of, and cruel psychopathic manipulation.

      1. Puddle that was one of my favourite movies and I have a copy but you know haven’t been able to watch it since. It has a whole new connotation but gosh it is a great one for realising the covert manipulations that go on in the psychopath mind. J Wolf Creek Oh my… I couldn’t watch that at all it scared me so much and that guy is so EVIL I turned and ran away from the telly! Funnily enough my ex loved it and watched it numerous times, he watched so many of those torture type movies I wonder about all that now! Not that I am saying that anyone who watches those movies are evil or anything, gosh I love a good thriller but it wasn’t only movies he read almost religiously True Crime books and watched all those crime shows…especially the really heinous ones…mind you I watch those too but some of those real crime shows especially ones produced here go way overboard with their re-enactments that it’s just too much to watch. There’s so many I just couldn’t stomach.

        1. Tori, I have heard that what you describe about your Spathex is a sign. Of course not all people who watch shows like that are spathtards but when it is extreem like what you are describing…….something is not right Tori. Spathtards favorite movie(supposedly) was SEVEN and there is more to that but I can’t put it together right now. I think he had a Hitler thing too. Just disturbing.

        2. My CD ex LOVED Reservoir Dogs and other pics showing sadistic devious people… You’d think I would have seen the clues?! Sigh.

          1. Vera, You may HAVE seen the clues but not known how the dire the out come could be having never been through it before. And never underestimate the power of cover manipulation!

      2. In fiction there must be a line between showing unflinchingly, without varnishing and indulging in it for the hell of it. The impact should be delivered when it makes for development of plot and characters(I’m not a master writer, I just think this makes sense). I don’t think it should feel like horrid things are splashed on the screen juse because they can be.

        If we are to think of disturbing film characters, one good example I’ve heard is from Red Eye.

    2. Dangerous Liaisons, haven’t watched it, but sure damn have to change the matter.

      As for other movies featuring evil characters:

      *In the Company of men By Neil LaBute
      *Wolf Creek
      *Then there’s the recent film Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhall. Haven’t watched yet. Still read a lot of good about it.

      1. J, the thing about Dangerous Liasions is that it portrays a covert manipulator perfectly, more than one. It also shows the victims side VERY well. There is one scome in particular that I could really relate to where Uma Therman (or Michele Phifer) is talking with Glen Close about her entanglement with the manipulator. Glen Close is FULLY aware of the manipulators modus operandi and gives her advise cit is a “must watch” movie. Also the movie Doubt….very good.

        1. Oh…sorry, wrong characters. It’s the more matriarch type woman and she is speaking to Michell Phifer.
          Anyhow, if you can, watch it. It’s not uplifting but it is educational.

  21. Elva, thank you for your scriptural suggestions. I will give them a try! Your zeal to help others is so lovely!

    Tori, You WILL be alright. There is so much obvious goodness, common sense and clarity of vision in your posts.

    Sheri, I have the same sense about the way you are handling your uniquely difficult life. You’re goi g to be okay. Am so sorry to hear about your daughter being sexually assaulted. That’s awful. And yes, who wouldn’t be angry. I’d blow a freaking gasket.

    And Puddle, nobody describes the experience of the trauma better than you do. You articulate it in a way I sure can’t and I’ve tried. It’s a unique gift to be able to give a voice to the voiceless, in a sense.

    1. LisaO, it’s the first time I my adult life that I have been completely resigned to painful emotions. I’ve always pushed sadness away because I guess I was afraid to fully feel it? That was not an option this time. I cried in a way that I’ve only come close to a couple times in my life. Brutal. I really am amazed that I didn’t completely fall a part. I really was convinced that I could quite possibly die of a broken heart. It’s almost impossible for me to grasp the pain I was in.

  22. Hello,

    I am in the dregs of a 26 year long marriage. I have been manipulated and abused.

    This is a festering wound which I cannot resolve. Under the influence of Ambien my husband sodomized me. He has never been regretful and in fact manipulated me to drop charges against him. “You’ll lose the house and won’t be able to take care of the kids.” was his bargaining chip. It worked.

    So for 12 years now I’ve been devolving inside and my pain will no longer be ignored.

    How do I find competent counseling and what do you do with a marriage that is completely destroyed?

    1. Hello Jennifer and welcome. What a sad story — my heartfelt sympathy to you. I think you need to contact Dr. Simon privately — scroll down to the end of this page. On the right hand lower corner, under the heading Blogroll, click on Contact Dr. Simon. Fill in your details there, so he can best advise you. It will be kept private. Almost everyone who posts here has been through very difficult circumstances and we will do our best to encourage you. Peace and hope from Elva

    2. Hi Jennifer, just a quick welcome and I am sorry this situation is in your life. How demeaning and traumatic. I do hope you contact Dr.Simon, he is a good and decent man and will help you to the very best of his ability. Please know that these situations are difficult but there is hope and you are more than welcome here.

    3. Welcome Jennifer, I also agree that you contact Dr. Simon. Also keep communicating, I have found this to be a very understanding and supportive forum. Some days when I feel desperate just reaching out here can help. Be careful of counsellors and forums that blame the victim, YOU are not to blame, even in dropping the charges, you did what you needed to do at the time. But now it seems like you’re reaching out, it will be hard and it is scary, but you have taken a strong, wonderful step for yourself today. Dr. Simons books and this forum are wonderful for validating the targets of abuse. Please remember you are not to blame or responsible for his horrific acts of abuse. Some other sites I have found great at helping put the blame solely where it belongs is speakoutloud.net and cryingoutforjustice.com. Lots of love goes out to you right now. You did not deserve such a thing.

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