emotional abuse hurts just as much as a punch to the gutWhy do I need to show you a picture of bruises on my body or a black eye to convince you that I am a victim of domestic violence/intimate partner abuse? If I could show you a picture of my broken spirit, I would show it to you, but the technology necessary to capture THAT doesn’t exist. Even if it did exist, would you be convinced that emotional abuse is just as damaging as a punch to the gut, a kick to the face, or a gun to my head?

Emotional abuse is often a predictor of physical abuse. Before the punches begin, the nasty words, name calling, and put downs come first. In many cases, however, the abuser prefers to stick with the emotional abuse. Why? Because it’s harder to prove (no physical proof) and the results are long-lasting (bruises go away; emotional turmoil grows deeper), and the abuser gets the thrill of seeing his victim suffer longer.

So, instead of physically harming his victims, the emotional abuser chooses to destroy things his victim holds dear: a favorite book gets burned (accidentally in that gorgeous fire burning in the fireplace he slaved to build for her), a favorite lamp gets smashed (because all she had to do was listen to him, dammit), and a favorite pair of earrings suddenly turns up missing (because she needs to be more careful where she leaves things).

But the most precious “thing” an abuser destroys is his victim’s spirit. Losing her spirit results in depression, lack of interest in things she once loved, loss of her job, loss of her friends, loss of her connection to family, and ultimately, loss of her desire to live. THIS is what emotional abuse does to her. Like bullying, emotional abuse of an intimate partner can lead to suicide or murder or both.

And when she does get away from her abuser (if she gets away from her abuser), her fears and insecurities will keep her from EVER sharing her story. But she NEEDS to tell her story, doesn’t she? The abuser’s next victim deserves the chance to know, doesn’t she? Besides, what is the abuser going to do if she does speak out? Come after her? Maybe. Sue her? Not likely. (Look what happened when a lawyer, yes, a lawyer, tried to sue his ex-girlfriends for letting the world know what a jerk he was: The Failed Matthew Couloute Lawsuit.)

Unfortunately, the victim will never talk about it. Instead, she’ll enter counseling, get prescribed some antidepressants, and everyone will tell her to get over it and move on. Future victims never receive her cautionary report (or at least we don’t get the report in time).

I received the following “report” (part of a larger e-mail) from one of the boy’s ex-girlfriends nearly 13 months AFTER I escaped him. In addition to my personal story, I pass along this small snippet for anyone currently dating the boy. Hopefully, this will serve to provide you with additional proof and validation that the boy is a piece of garbage not to be recycled for future use:

“I am sorry you were caught up with Ruben. I hope you didn’t get sucked in for too long and are able to rebuild your relationships. I make it a practice to not meet with Ruben, his family or correspond with any friends we had in common during my time with him. …I do not honestly want to waste any more of my life thinking or talking about him. I look at the that time in my life as a lesson learned. Because of that experience I will cherish even more the blessing in my life now and the ones to come.”

“I used to watch those mystery murder stories on TV where a psycho husband killed his wife for some senseless reason and used to think if I didn’t leave Ruben, I might end up that way.”

The most beautiful part of the failed Matthew Couloute lawsuit is that Matthew Couloute himself has made it VERY easy for all of us to avoid him through his simple arrogant act of filing a public lawsuit in the first place. Genius!!! (Keep THAT in mind, boy.)

Tell your story. Tell it anonymously if you must. But tell your story. We believe you and don’t need to be convinced that words hurt, too.

Namaste!

Category:
abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Health, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, Narcissist, Psychopaths, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Writing
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Join the conversation! 69 Comments

  1. Dejavu with the wild thing garden.

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  2. Paula,

    I wanted to reply to your comment about cooking in the kitchen and your ex stating someone had really messed you up. My soon-to-be ex husband asked me a couple of times if someone used to tease me as a child. haha–no, no one every teased me, which is why my own behavior was becoming so foreign to me! He also likes to say, “you have anger issues and it isn’t me. I’ve never been treated this way in a relationship before.” or “You need to explore your the anger you have at your father because you’re taking it out on me.” No, dumbass, the anger is at you!! But..in true NPD form, someone else has to take the blame.

    Today is better. At first, it’s a lot easier to hold on to the anger. This time I will be prepared for the sob story when he tries to come back…

    Thank you for providing this outlet for survivors. I’ve been hiding for so long.

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    • You’re welcome! Isn’t it funny how they see us reacting to THEM but try to shift blame to someone else from our past? “No, Buddy. It’s you!” Hehe!

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  3. My mother is a sociopathic narcissist. I’m 40 and it’s taken till now to know what it was all really about. She is emotionally abusive and very subtle. I still think I’m the bad one because I just feel guilty and/bad most of the time yet could never figure out why. She and I were ‘close’ – that is I never had any privacy and had to give her attention all the time and look after her. It was so all consuming that I am tired still and didn’t have the time for friends.. Yet while I was in it I felt special and loved because of being needed. Yet then on the other hand I was subtly devalued and told what was wrong with me all the time. I think that when one has had this from babyhood it is all the more pervasive and hard to really understand and ‘weed’ out from one’s psyche. Another relationship a few years ago turned out to be very similar – a sociopathic person who brought up all these wounds to look at – very traumatic but it did bring up all the old stuff to deal with.. which is good but I’m having such a hard time healing from. I’ve been in therapy for quite a while and still feel anxious, depressed and that maybe it’s me all along.

    I have the utmost respect for you Paula and those who comment here because you have been through so much and are doing something positive with the experience.. I think that commenting here is a positive step, sharing your feelings and what’s happened. It helps me so much to read this. Thank you Paula for writing about it and please keep doing so as it is the only way many people will get to hear that they aren’t alone and that they can validate themselves.

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    • Ginger, it’s not all you. It’s unfortunate that the sociopath is the one who slowly and painfully pulled the bandaid of your past off, exposing all of your suffering and insecurities. But it happened and you’ve been thrown into the lion’s den of your own psyche. Be patient and gentle with yourself. It’s going to take time to come to terms with everything and accept your mother’s treatment of you for what it was and not what you were to cause it. You sound very aware of the dynamics. That’s a great place to be in your awareness.

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    • Thanks Paula. The band aid comment is spot on! Took me by surprise and had to have a grateful cry..
      sheesh.. Easter and other family holidays are hard.

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  4. I am so glad to have found your blog today. Thank you. My journey with such a person began when I was only 12 and he 14, and except for a brief five year period (which occurred when I tried to get a reaction out of him when I was 18), and ended at age 50, when he ‘was through’ with me.

    After he ‘left’ during that summer of terror while being browbeat into accepting his requirements of divorce (which he demanded happen), I first came across the term ‘narcissistic’ personality. But small towns, small minds, prominent families, his prominent political position, kept taking his side in matters.

    Seven years later I still wonder daily – Am I on the shit list today? What remark will he say to someone about me? What damage will he do just to enforce his being God? Can I stay out his sight? Will the grown children have to listen to him, then call me and ask how such a cold creature continues to exist.

    I’m better, so much better, but will I ever live a full life free of him, his words, his actions, the outcome? How I react? I don’t know, but I’m trying.

    Thank you. Simply thank you for being here.

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    • Flyingundertheradar, You will be free of him. You simply must start listening to your voice and not his. Remind yourself how wonderful you are, not focus on his ugly projections and negative, self-defeating thoughts. Once you begin practicing making your voice louder than his, his voice will slowly fade, and one day it will be completely gone. No more echoes of hatred and rages filling your daydreams. 🙂

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    • I do my very best to keep that door closed, because it takes a mere meeting his eyes while passing in traffic, for him to start scratching at it. Every word, every move on his part is very well thought out in advance, calculated. Nothing is said or done that he does not know the answer to. If, by chance, we are quick and sidestep him, he repeats himself nonstop until finally turning his back and walking away – to plan another strategy, while broadcasting to those within his circle that once again he tried to do good and we trashed him.

      As my youngest told his wife who doesn’t understand such a person: “The only way to deal with him is to ignore him, smile, and keep moving.”

      He goes dormant for a while, then suddenly he’s everywhere. And right now is such a time. As the same son said to me yesterday: “he’s on the move.”

      So I go about my business a little more carefully, checking for his vehicle wherever I have to park, avoiding mutual friends, etc. Until either he surfaces with his latest smooth talk or suggestions of how I should be living, or until he gets frustrated and goes to ground again.

      I am stronger than I used to be.

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    • They seem calculating, yes, because we have been conditioned to understand that being mean and vengeful requires planning. But we’d be very wrong to think being mean and nasty requires thought for the sociopath. It doesn’t. For sociopaths, being nasty and hateful is their default. Which spews effortlessly out of them, and the older they become, the more tactics they are familiar with for inflicting pain on others because somewhere along the way they overheard someone who did X and Y to hurt someone…and it worked! So the sociopath tucks that tactic away in his brain the way non-pathological people tuck away acts of kindness and thoughtful solutions.

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    • Your youngest is very smart. 🙂

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  5. I am trying to walk away from my N – somehow he has silenced my connection to the group we both share – I am yet to understand how that worked…

    I have tried to write it here obliquely – seeing through another lens as confronting it directly feels like he is winning… my interior voice has been stolen – made to be obsessive…. the anguish and anger begins to escape me.. I am a little tired – a little scared of it…

    http://silkred.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/narcissistic-vehemence/

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    • It seems instead of being validated, you’ve been completely ostracized. Your attempts to be heard and for the truth to be revealed have been met with resistance after resistance. Silent treatment, stonewalling, gaslighting…whatever we call it…the behavior is vile and corrupt and it drives the “victim” into a pit of anger.

      Unjust acts have been perpetrated against you! Why won’t anyone believe you?!? Why won’t the perpetrator fess up, tell the truth and admit to behaving badly?

      We seek closure and validation. That’s how normal circumstances and events end, leaving us free to transition to the next place/stage in life. But when a narc/sociopath infiltrates your life, stomps on the relationship bond and then walks away as if it was all YOUR fault and he claims to have proof it was all YOUR fault, the normal progression and flow is interrupted, making it difficult to accept “The End.”

      There will be no closure. Your questions will never be answered. You will never know why the narc/sociopath treated you the way he/she treated you.

      But until you accept this, you will continue flailing and reaching for answers. Desperate to find those answers, you will do and say things out if character. You will act in a hyper-vigilant manner that may alienate people who no longer recognize this desperate person before them.

      How do you stop the pain that comes with never knowing but keeps you forever reaching? You must reside yourself to the fact the narc/sociopath will NEVER be accountable and cares not for your pain. The narc/sociopath actually enjoys watching you suffer and flail about. It gives the fool power and supply.

      You need to take back your power. But that means you must accept what struck you as being unlike you: without conscience; without empathy. You must accept that others may continue viewing you as crazy or unstable. (However, what I think they feel is more hopelessness in their ability to help you recover from that which they do not understand. I do not think they have abandoned you completely.) You must also go back to doing those activities that fulfilled you in the past, pickup a new activity you have always wanted to try, and surround yourself with people who will stick by you knowing you are not that ‘crazy’ person who lost control.

      Most importantly, have patience with yourself. The intensity of the pain you are experiencing will dissipate over time as long as you believe in your own power to overcome the pain.

      You love life. You know what joy feels like. Seek out your joy instead of seeking out that which you will never receive from the narc/sociopath.

      Your peace and door to happiness is inside of you where it’s always been. This time when you walk through it, you’ll be a new person who appreciates the good so much more than you ever did before.

      Namaste!
      ~Paula

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    • thank you so much for your understanding – I feel seen – it is beyond words how that feels – sat nam – Scott.

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    • this is the chronology I now refuse to articulate but which is captured here in notes as I tried to comprehend what was happening…

      http://www.stovolando.co.uk/protagonists/thetwits/

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    • Scott,

      I think your best approach moving forward is to continue to focus on creating a forum separate from the one from which you were essentially banished. At this point, there is absolutely nothing that can be forcibly done to convince the others that the person responsible for the reputation assassination is narcissistic. The more you try, the more you will seem to be the one who is narcissistic.

      What has happened is classic DARVO: Deny abuse, Attack the victim, Reverse the role of Victim and Oppressor.

      This is why so many people don’t speak out against abusive individuals, because once we do, the abusers have no issues abusing us more with projections and more lies.

      “You spoke out against a person, you MUST be a horrible person to do such a thing. Shame on you!”

      I think it’s great that you purged yourself of your story. That’s the first step toward detaching from the story and from the characters…all those pesky protagonists! 🙂

      Now it’s time to get back to the business of taking care of Scott and accepting that those people are no longer a part of your life and that chapter is closed. Some may return; others may not. Most definitely you are now open to welcoming new and honest people into your life and to share with them the joys and pleasures you get from gliding and flying and sometimes crashing. 🙂

      Namaste!
      Paula

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    • thank you Paula – its hard to articulate how important it feels to sense understanding – one of the commanding elements of this experience is the blank feeling you face when you share with others your anguish… it rather makes you feel quite insane… not to make a joke.. but really actually mentally unstable !! the main of my protagonists follows me around and so is likely to read this at some point – which gives me the background feeling that any insight I gift him by sharing in this way may become fuel to him, which is a powerful suppressant- right now – he is in ‘display’ mode – I can see him behaving like a peacock, harvesting adulation from the wider national forum of pilots, which on an objective level does at times make you feel like an anthropologist – somehow tracking the behaviours of some rare sub-species – so for me it is with absurd allusions of that nature that gift ‘me’ laughter… however maniacal… 🙂

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    • I know exactly what you mean by feeling mentally unstable. Who wouldn’t get unhinged by the inability of someone you assumed was human to act humane and simply acknowledge your truth, your questions and you as a person that matters. Being tossed aside like you’re road kill can be unsettling, as we enter a mode of hyper vigilance that makes us appear unstable. All we want are answers. But what we must, must accept is the fact that we will never receive those answers, only more excuses, lies, gaslighting and silent treatment. 🙂

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    • this acceptance is something I am slowly coming to terms with – it feels at times that I have been in an accident and am sitting dazed at the side of the road somewhat at a remove from all that passes around me.. but equally I can sense the wisdom around acceptance.. its hard though Paula – really hard…

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    • But when a narc/sociopath infiltrates your life, stomps on the relationship bond and then walks away as if it was all YOUR fault and he claims to have proof it was all YOUR fault, the normal progression and flow is interrupted, making it difficult to accept “The End.”
      Desperate to find those answers, you will do and say things out if character. You will act in a hyper-vigilant manner that may alienate people who no longer recognize this desperate person before them.—————-))))))))))))

      I don’t have the energy to post everything that happened to me but after years of abuse, physical and verbal, cheating, gaslighting, name calling, I finally got the courage to not take him back after the 10th time or so he walked out. I was able to get no contact for about 6 months.

      However, it all turned on me when I saw myself sink to such a level, shouting back at his rages, being irrational and just out of sheer exhaustion of dealing with word games and betrayal day after day, that I feel like I became that person he accused me of being. Does that make sense?

      i started as a calm, loving, rational person and and when I started to go to no contact, he went to great lengths to get me back. At some point, I dropped my guard and he lowered the boom completely saying that I had treated HIM so badly, I had so demeaned him, I was such a crazy person that he didn’t want to be around me. The situation had been completely reversed and it allowed him to completely discard me.

      I’m stuck in this spiral of ‘self blame’ knowing that I indeed did act like someone I hardly recognized. I did act crazy and vindictive at times. i was furious at how i was treated and i kept trying to prove I wasn’t that person, therefore even looking crazier.

      I understand how this happened to me but I just don’t know how to stop blaming myself . I keep think if only i had held on to my dignity and not re- ‘engaged’, at least i could have discarded him by going no contact and now i’d feel okay about myself. But rather I gave him the final laugh by knowing he got the better of me and was able to discard me. Does this make any sense?

      Do you have a suggestion that can help me recover from this spiral of shame?

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    • Anonymous, everything you say makes absolute sense! Are you a fly on my wall? 🙂

      How do you move forward and stop ruminating about what you should have done and why you should have done it considering the sociopath now has measurable evidence to support the fact you indeed are the crazy abusive one?

      The first thing you do is accept it. Accept that you reacted in an out-of-character way and realize you did it because you were acted upon by something not remotely like yourself. We naturally react abnormally to abnormal situations. (Someone else said that first. I’m not sure who.) and we are allowed to react. We are allowed to get pissed off. We’re allowed to express our anger. But what we aren’t allowed to do is shame ourselves for our temporary lapse. That’s exactly what the sociopath is counting in because it weakens us and makes him look even more justified and righteous.

      If I lived close to you and were your friend, I’d invite you to meditate with me and to join me at yoga. I’d sit down with you and let you cry and scream about all of the injustices you feel. I’d ask you to keep a journal of your emotions and to go back and record some of the things that happened to you. I’d hold your hand while you did this, not to coddle you, but to help you process through the triggers and help you stop when it becomes too much. Then we’d go for a walk and eat something you love to eat along the way. Maybe stop by the grocery store and grab a bunch of flowers and take them home and place them in a vase.

      As your friend, I’d ask you to go gentle on yourself but to be ever-mindful that you matter and the truth is inside of you and what the sociopath thinks of you makes no difference to your present and future. I’d remind you how wonderful and smart and artistic you are.

      As your friend, I’d also remind you that you don’t need to convince me of your truth. I believe you and those who don’t, don’t need convinced. Focus on growing your faith and love in yourself and the friendships with those who really love, respect and want you to succeed.

      ❤ ❤ ❤

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  6. […] Sharing What is Happening to Us.  Believing Us. Why is it so hard to believe? […]

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  7. Thank you for this validation. My ex could also abuse without ACTUAL words or physical force. He sent messages others ways. For example, he would suddenly go two weeks without looking at or speaking to me. He would flaunt doing the opposite of what I wanted, needed, desired. He mocked me with expressions. He would throw away my stuff. He would exclude me from decisions, places, etc. He would show more affection to the dog than me, and act almost repulsed at the thought of sex with me. He treated me as if I couldn’t be trusted with money by keeping me out of the loop. Had I known about psychological abuse, I would have realized what I was experiencing. I would have realized I wasn’t alone — that it wasn’t that something was wrong with me, but that I was being abused.

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    • It hurts just reading your description of his tactics used to hurt and harm you. So few people understand that when people behave in these ways, they do it to hurt us on purpose! They want us to hurt and ache and suffer. Why? Because they are sick and twisted and evil. There is no excuse for their behavior. Absolutely zero excuse. I’m so glad you were finally able to get away from him and start a better life. 🙂 ❤

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  8. Thank you for creating this space to share. I am still struggling to understand whether the person I was involved with is a narcissist, sociopath or just a supreme hopelessly immature asshole. It has led me to so much doubt and confusion, although I am taking steps to try to move forward via reading, sharing, and energetic cord cutting. Suffices to say, how foolish I am feeling at present, as I feel I was emotionally duped.
    I connected with this man online via a popular social network. He was someone who had sent me correspondence about a year earlier, seemed to be a bit flirtatious, but it was just a few days, and I did not hear from him until a year later. When I did, it was a long email conversation, and I was interested in him, as we seemed to have a lot in common, particularly in the spiritual realm. It quickly led to a full blown romance in a matter of days, within a week, he told me loved me, and that he had finally found his soul mate. At first I was hesitant, as I had been down this road before, only to be heartbroken, however, unlike “others” he showered me with so much “love” attention, poems, romance, etc, I finally believed him and allowed him into my heart. I wasn’t looking for a relationship at that time, and was feeling like I was finally in a good space for once in my life. It was all hearts and flowers for months, leading to discussions about meeting and starting a life together. However, he is living in a very isolated place, no work, no car, no real source of anything (this is a grown man, chronologically speaking). I overlooked this, along with many other flags…his rage of jealousy when I went to have lunch with a male friend, to a constant pull of him needing my attention, to never ever putting me down or berating me, per se, but when I was upset with something, he seemed to have no real regard to my feeling, and turned them around to get “back to loving”. He was very controlling. I didn’t realize it at the time, until I looked back, I was getting a lot of stomach aches, headaches, and was extremely tired a lot. He tried to pin the source of my illness toward my family and things going on around me. There was always a love poem, and professions of love, including gifts, etc coming my way. He always “knew” what was best for me. After 5 months and still no meeting, I was starting to get agitated, and tried to express this, and he always had a way of keeping me hanging on. There were more flags that kept popping up, including him continually asking me if I loved him. By summer (June/July) I felt like I was overwhelmed and suffocated, as he constantly needed my attention, my advice, always putting others down (although never me directly), and let him know that being in this online relationship wasn’t working for me, I wanted something in “real life”…again, the promises that we would be together at some point. I felt I wanted to break off with him, but something always held me back from doing so (my own fears that I was doing the “right” thing). Late August, he did something that really upset me, and he said “sorry”, but I really felt he didn’t “get” it, and at that point told him we would be best off just remaining friends. He still didn’t get it, as days later he asked if I had “released my anger”…told him again that friends only, until such time we could meet for “real”, and I would remain open to that possibility. At that point, I did not phone him any longer, we still had daily email communication, and still poems, and how much he loved and missed me. I did not return the sentiment, but continued as a friend would be, although our communication was becoming less frequent, although still daily. I started to feel so much better, not having this daily tie and pull to him. At that point, I was still torn down the middle, to wanting him to go away, to him finally “man-ing” up and initiating a conversation with me to discuss our feelings and relationship Neither happened. Beginning of this month, he told me he still dreamed of me as his main girl, and still had my photos on his desktop. About a week later, I noticed he had made some changes to his profile, and edited a photo where there reference to me, as well as untagged photos that were sent to him (that had no romantic implications)….at that point, I started looking around,, and my gut was that he had connected with someone else, so I followed my intuition, and sent him a businesslike email, stating that I noticed what he had done, and felt he had other interests, so best to close the chapter and not be connected. I also told him that I was in love with him, but his lack of being able to make a real relationship happen, led to my not wanting to perpetuate a fantasy, and wished him good luck. I then blocked him. The next thing I knew (same day), he was full fledged on with another woman, who just so happens to live in the same area as me (where he had told me he wanted to live). A few days later, I received a card in the mail from him, postmarked the same day I said “good-bye’. The letter did not address any of what had happened, it was a thanks for my friendship, wishing me all the very best (and to stay connected to “source” and my empowerment). Needless to say, I am dumbfounded, and, while I wanted to end this relationship, the shock of what he did (by eliminating all traces of me, and moving immediately on to another woman) was a huge slap. There is a part of me that feels so betrayed and foolish, as I am no youngster, and thought I was already done with this type of scenario. I am trying to reconcile myself, but at the same time, trying to understand just what I have been dealing with, so I can finally free myself of the connection. The most difficult part is dealing with the acceptance that the almost 15,000 messages, daily phone calls and everything else meant nothing at all. This is all very recent (10 days ago), and I making very small gains to restore my emotional wellness. Any thoughts would be deeply appreciated.

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    • You experienced a textbook discard. There is no relationship safe from this when it comes to dealing with sociopaths. Accepting it is not easy but you must. Read more about how and why sociopaths discard people and why it’s so easy. People are mere supply to them. We support their ego and delusions they have of themselves until they can find someone who’ll worship them more. Be thankful he discarded you and has a new source of supply. Don’t let a loser like that sick your energy away thinking about why he did it and what you could have done to prevent it. There is nothing you could have done. These people lack humanity. Don’t fall into that pit with him. Let him go. Gently. Love yourself. Be graceful and accept the discard. Time will reveal the truth of what I’m writing. 😉 Namaste!

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  9. Is anyone else overwhelmed by the frustration? My N is a lawyer, he argues circles around me and somehow makes it seem like it’s all my fault, even though there is still enough of my mind left to know that isn’t possible!!!

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    • It’s VERY frustrating if you continue to engage because they will always win, because they can always go deeper and darker than we can or would ever wish to go. We defeat them by ignoring them, thus stealing their platform. 🙂

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    • It’s a game to them on how much they can hurt you. Don’t engage and watch him get enraged the more you don’t respond. When you are in a clear space without anymore need to engage with them – I found myself laughing at how desperate my ex was with attempts for my response. Let them be alone with themselves.

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  10. I was once involved with a fullblown NPD psychopath. Actually, I unfortunately had a slew of encounters with them. The most recent one lasted for only a matter of several weeks, before I got a little more educated about the pattern of guys I’ve met in the past, and what exactly was their problem (NPD). The last guy I was with was a full blown NPD. The one before that had Aspergers as well as NPD. This last one was evil to the core. They exhibited classic warning signs, such as telling me, “It’s always the womans fault”. Sick and mysogynistic. They accused their last gf of stealing their stuff and running off with their so-called bestfriend and breaking the lease. When he was probably the one doing the cheating on her. He was pretty much a jerk to me right to begin with. The first night I met up with him on a blind date, he tried kissing on me the FIRST night I met him..obviously that told me he was just after one thing. I just thought it would be a few nights fling between him and I. At the time I was at a pretty low and confused point, so I planned on just having him around a few nights..Little did I know he didn’t just want sex, no..he wanted more (control) and tried to find my vulnerable spots. I had met someone just like him a few years prior, so I knew when dealing with types like him to never open up or share anything with them like your heart or your emotions, so I was cold and detached emotionally from him, just like he was with me from the beginning. He tried saying I was “The One”. What a crock right? Just after a few weeks of meeting him..What scared me also was he tried leaving things like his toothbrush and his nasty shorts over at my apt right away and told me it was so “I wouldn’t bring other guys over.” HA! How pathetic. The abuse started when I mentioned I’d be moving away to another city. He gave me the silent treatment one night..that was the LAST night I’d ever had anything to do with him..after that I made him come get his shit and I never spoke to him except through one petty text a few weeks later, and then I blocked him from calling or texting my number.. That night something snapped in me, something broke..that one night, with that one awful instance of emotional abuse and his silent treatment. I remember..I told him something like, “Bend over huh?” after he told me to bend over before proceeding to try and have sex with me, and he apparently didn’t like the tone I used when I objected to being talked to like an blowup doll, so he right away said he “wasn’t in the mood” anymore, and laid down and was giving me the silent treatment. He said “what I said” put him out of the mood..what a sick pathetic excuse of a human being. During the silent treatment, the whole room went still..he just wiped me out of existence in his mind. Then he just walked out of my apt with no explanation, no sorry..just asked if I was mad at him cause he was trying to rile me up after having withheld sex from me, saying it was “my fault” and “what I said” made him mad. That night was the last night he ever got to see me. I kicked him out of my life right after. Hope that showed him a lesson–this is one girl he’ll never be able to use and abuse ever.

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    • Good for you! One of the funniest things my ex, the boy in my story, said to me when I declined having sex with him was, “You just use me for sex. You make me feel like your sex toy.” Bahahaha! Talk about projection! I had just told him a few hours before that I was not feeling well, and he throws THAT in my face when I reject his sexual advances? These people are seriously whacked in the mental health department, and they will always be in denial and delusional about their role in their interpersonal relationships. Like your guy said, it’s always the other person’s fault things didn’t work out: she got fat or lazy or unattractive or abusive or hateful or whatever! His excuse the relationship fizzled out could be as ridiculous as, “She started wearing green. I don’t like green.” Losers.

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  11. […] me bruised. Only the last time he locked me in the house did I call someone (his mother) for help. I didn’t think I fit the description of a battered woman; I wasn’t hiding bruises or avo… While I might limit his exposure to my friends and family, I still saw them. I was able to work, […]

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  12. […] It’s also worth it when you see comments such as this one just posted on Paula’s Pontifications: […]

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  13. The hilarity is the FACT that you use “Sam Vaknin” as a ‘source’. You do realize that he is a self admitted psychopath. (not to mention scumbag). Of course he is CERTIFIED by Brainbench.com so maybe I am wrong about him. lol
    Ok , I will say something constructive, STOP PORTRAYING yourself as a victim. Look at your own SINS and see where that thought process takes you. Or DON’T. up to you.

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    • Hi, Nott Dumm from Kansas City, Missouri. Who’s the dummy again? Get a life. Troll someone else’s blog that gets your panties in a bunch. You know what is up to me? Not allowing your stupid comments to be submitted. Does that make me a sociopath? No. That makes me able to recognize garbage and dispose of it appropriately. 🙂

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    • A few things, in response to the above. First, it does not appear the individual who responded first here is aware even minimally of a what a sociopath is. Sociopaths are very clever; that’s why the have victims…because they are able to fool the best of us. It takes being clever to do that.

      When sociopaths are referred to as foolish or idiots, it’s a reference to their pathological inability to discontinue their own sick behavior, to control it (ah, the irony) hence making the same mistakes in their relationships over and over again. There is difference between that and intellectual intelligence. Admitting it does not make the behavior and its effects okay. They are better for doing this (although I would argue based on my own experience that this and other details having to do with the pathology only come out when the sociopath sees it as advantageous, to themselves of course, in some way). But in no way does an admission of the disorder make the behavior and its horrendous effects okay. In court to lack intent one has to prove temporary insanity, etc. Sociopaths know full well what they are doing and, most disgustingly, they enjoy it.

      Second, on being a victim. In coming out bravely about her story self-sacrificially to educate and empower others, Paula is anything but a victim.

      Yes, she was a victim (we all are with the sociopathic personality, sooner or later, and to greater or lesser extents depending on what that individual wants and how close we have the misfortune to get. It can be unavoidable, and the isolation they engage in to control others greatly facilitates that aspect of things).

      Not to acknowledge having been a victim is to not acknowledge the reality. What is misguided is using the age-old trope of rugged individualism and personal responsibility where it does not apply. It does not apply when you have been been a victim of sociopath. Although (more irony) I would say Paula has made it apply in taking responsibility for educating and helping others. That’s more (actual) responsibility than you’ll get, ever, from a sociopathic individual.

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    • Thank you, anonymous. You explain things very well. So glad you are outside the relationship you once found yourself with the sociopath. I’ve honestly given up on trying to convince anyone (like Nott Dumm who would rather hide behind righteousness, skepticism and criticism) of the reality of sociopaths and their affect on non-sociopaths in long-term romantic partnerships. It’s much easier for most to react as Nott Dumm has reacted. It speaks mostly to our collective indifference to issues until that same issue directly affects us. But I would never wish what I experienced on anyone just for the sake of having more support and understanding, not even on someone as critical and close-minded as Nott Dumm. 🙂

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    • Until you experience it, you’ll never believe it.

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    • Thank you, Paula. Your blog has been tremendously helpful to me. It gets at so many of the issues that come up and the thinking that occurs with them. The situation was actually a work one, although he tried to bribe me with dating and then led me on when he knew I was interested (now I know I didn’t imagine all the seduction, or the putting plans to meet after my contract was up in a way where I could choose the option that implied going out with him…like he said I did, of course…gas lighting?)(and assessment?)…it’s what they do to survive! UGH). It was all a game for him, and hinged on what he wanted at a given moment, which changes so quickly with them. I think he knew I was onto him, or would come to my senses once out of his reach, and he had also mentioned something else work related he needed to keep me quiet about.

      I do think he knows he is a sociopath. He said several things to indicate that to me. Actually more than several. I just didn’t put them together at the time. For one, I wasn’t my rational self due to the brainwashing caused by the emotional abuse.

      Now I know why he tried to bail and was seriously not making sense, talking a mile a minute about himself at dinner, etc. My head was spinning, but then the denial of it all was what killed me, in that particular instance (there were so many). You see, he was so manipulative that he had my reality wrapped up around him. You know how they get inside people. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. I’m not easily manipulated. In that instance he just completely became a different person. I wondered how he could just do that, but now I know about the discard phase.

      One of my favorite blog entries of yours (although I relate to all of them) is the one you published recently on sociopaths not knowing the meaning of success. That fits him to a t. I could not figure out why he had to compete with everything, even when it was not warranted, and come in and take credit for things that he really had no role in, in ways that implied he did. Of course with them things are always implied. I watched your interview on HuffPost, and the example you gave really rang (yet another) bell. There are always those subtle, to varying degrees of subtleness, indirect threats about their power to do something to regain control. I would contend they are indirect because sociopaths are, fundamentally, cowards.

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    • It’s those subtle things that most people dismiss and think nothing further. But it’s those VERY things that add up and make their abuse so insidious and difficult to describe and explain. The constant competition was tiresome. Imagine a grown man in his 30s competing with a little boy of 5? That’s when the insanity truly hit me and I realized I wasn’t going to jeopardize and sacrifice my son’s childhood trying to figure out why the sociopath behaved as he behaved. I realize now that it can’t be explained by examining his childhood or his place in society. Like all sociopaths, he’s dark and despicable because it’s his nature to be dark and despicable. So glad you were able to release yourself from the emotional hold and manipulations of that coward. I agree, they truly are cowards. 🙂

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    • Right, exactly. I tend to notice subtleties but even I dismissed so much. In part it’s the nature of the abuse, and that’s why I dismissed it. But in part because it is exactly as you say: insidious. And it takes aggregating it to establish a pattern, and then having the framework of what a sociopath does and how that effects people to see the full deal. I can completely imagine a grown man doing that. The person I experienced competed with me who was under him and had no power. I will never forget the time he competed with me over ping pong. I think I was too dazed, and by that point too abused to even fully process what I had heard. But a colleague wanted to play and I was going off to do that and he leapt in front of me and said he’d play (he had more power so the colleague didn’t argue). Then he proceeded to play. I stood there and mentioned that I’d like to play next when it’s free, have next game. So eventually he finished and the colleague was done. He threw down the paddle and then said “there, now it’s free. you can play.” (and stormed off). So, yes, I know exactly the kind of behavior you’re talking about. I was floored. Also, the baby talk applies as well, and that’s exactly how it works on people (your other blog on that). I”m so glad you had the courage to come forward about all of this and help people.

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    • Hehe! It’s so sad how they can make a simple game of ping pong seem like a chore. I remember crying one evening over cooking him dinner. He liked to cook; I didn’t. I admired his cooking skills but never felt the need to compete. Well, he wanted me to cook for him. I honestly wasn’t up for the inevitable criticism. My crying only made him react in a different kind of ugly way, “Wow, someone really messed with you in the past.” Little did he know it was HIM. Some will read this and think I was overreacting. I realize it sounds that way, but at the time, my entire body was revolting against the pressure and the unnecessary challenge. Crying was my freeze response. I was literally frozen to act, to cook. All my body could do to release the pressure was to cry.

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    • Right, exactly. Everything was a huge chore with him but of course he would rationalize that, in irrational ways that when you thought about it really did not make sense, especially in the broader context of things and up against the facts. What you’re describing with dinner is the response I got when I cried, just different words. They always project it back onto you somehow. For one they are incapable of seeing their own behavior for the most part, and when they do they see it as right due to being sociopathic. You weren’t overreacting. When one gets in that situation and is repeatedly subject to it it’s like being in a combat zone. Things impact one exponentially. I had whole times after speaking with him that for hours I couldn’t focus on the next thing (I couldn’t think to do that) and for him it was like nothing had happened, again, part of the diagnosis. They talk a mile a minute and continually throw things back at the person in an extremely abusive manner. Once you’ve been subject to that of abuse even a few times every time after that is like sticking a wounded hand on a hot burner. It’s amplified. I was frozen many times as well, as with the not being able to think properly, or at all. Crying is the natural response, I think. It’s like being on a terrible roller coaster ride when you’ve got the flu. Once off for even a moment, or even while on, you’re going to be sick. It’s inevitable. And, not seeing anything wrong with their behavior, apart from the reactions it gets (but even then their lack of emotional memory factors in) they then again throw that back on you. With me, it was all about how my crying was wrong, in a bunch of different ways, all of course having nothing to do with him. And if you bring that up, that it’s him, it gets turned back around on you. It’s a no win situation, but you’re winning out of it and by helping so many people, including me. Thank you.

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    • To Paula, Anonymous, and others who have described what it’s like to be subject to emotional abuse: You are putting words to experiences that are most difficult to explain and it is immensely helpful to all of us trying to grapple what we’ve been through and why we weren’t able to understand what was happening at the time; how our vision was shrouded and our judgment systematically deluded by sociopathic influences. Recognizing that the reactions of others have parallels to our own alleviates feelings of guilt or shame, and also, sharing your experiences helps us realize that we are not alone or impossible to understand and believe. Thank you all for your efforts! You are making a big difference in the world.

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    • Thank you so much, Human, for letting us all know how valuable our stories are for each other. It’s amazing how many connections I have made in a short period of time and how much these connections have positively impacted my healing, recovery and dreams and ambitions. I am always blessed to learn when others experience similar miracles in healing. XOXO

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    • The suffering and damage sociopaths cause, without remorse, must be taken seriously. Covert abuse can cause PTSD and lead to fatalities. Laura19 writes on Lovefraud.com: “Excruciating emotional pain. Numbness. Loss of appetite. Sleepless nights. Obsessive thoughts. Inability to concentrate. Loss of pleasure in cherished activities. Lack of energy. Anxiety and panic attacks. All of the above will probably sound familiar to those of us who have been devalued and discarded…” Read about her remarkable path to recovery: http://lovefraud.com/2013/07/17/finding-darkness-emdr-therapy/

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    • Thank you for sharing this with us, Human. I will definitely check out her story. I was just over at Lovefraud this morning. 🙂

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    • This is to Nott Dumm….. You are obviously and currently abusing someone in your life, and that is the only reason you are even here at this blog, commenting on matters in which you are oh so the expert on. Your agenda for life is simple: You must diminish others so you don’t feel as bad. That is why you blame everyone for everything. And you are constantly and relentlessly “Self Promoting” you at all times and at any cost. In reality, a place you rarely visit, you feel you are inadequate in 99% of everything you do. You feel this way because of your mother. You have never understood your mother or why she once referred to you as “the best part of you trickled down your fathers leg”. This “not meant for your ears” vulgar bit of truth about you was and is an extremely difficult pill to swallow, still is, and because you do not have the ability to decipher the difference between what’s real and what’s real shitty, you are Hell bent on inflicting pain upon any and every woman you come in contact with. You have to. Because you can never be mad at your mommy. But deep down inside you have absolutely no regard or respect for her and you never will. But because you know she really is just tolerating you, because it just looks better that way, you have to be cruel with every other woman in your life. Especially the ones you are intimately involved with. Answer just one question please: Would you like to be treated in the exact same way that you treat others? You can only answer Yes or No. I’ll bet you will find some way to justify or project your answer onto someone other than yourself. You always do.

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  14. […] Sharing What is Happening to Us. Believing Us. Why is it so Hard to Believe?, Paula’s Pontific… […]

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  15. […] Sharing What is Happening to Us. Believing Us. Why is it so Hard to Believe?, Paula’s Pontific… […]

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  16. I’m not sure if this’ll go through because I haven’t seen my comments show up….But here goes. I suggest reading “Clarissa” by Samuel Richardson. Or the quick version, watching the movie (with dreamy Sean Bean). 🙂 Though the book–all 1500 pages of it–goes far more into the psychological drama. It was written in the 1740s, but is surprisingly modern, with a thorough understanding of the sociopathic mindset (and a feminist character, Clarissa’s friend Anna, who refuses to “obey” any man). You get into the heads of everyone, including the sociopath (Lovelace) and his prey (Clarissa). He alienates her entire family and engineers an impossible situation, so that she finally feels she must throw herself on his protection. He then proceeds to gaslight her, and use various unsavory characters to hold her captive in a brothel. He makes her think the brothel is a respectable house, while the inhabitants, who are carrying on the charade, think Clarissa is his frigid wife. They help him arrange a rape. She tries again and again to escape, but he keeps following and recapturing her, telling everyone she is his wife, so they will put her back with him. I first read it in 1992, and it’s been a favorite ever since.

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  17. Thank you for speaking up about the issues of more subtle forms of abuse. My own experience which changed me and my relationships for the rest of my life so far is from going to school, which for me, was a pit of alligators. For Heaven’s sake, parents, LISTEN!!! If your child chronically comes home from school in tears, day after day, saying they don’t fit in and that the other kids are being mean, pull them out! Don’t imagine they are learning to cope with the real world. Kids are often cruel. Girls too, even while they tend to obscure it like the socialpaths. I still have trust issues with girls and women because of the cruelty I went through as a kid. There are other alternatives to education than the largely unsupervised torture chamber that the classroom and gyms and hallways and cafeterias of the school/warehouse can be. Trust me, your child will tell you if something is wrong. PLEASE LISTEN AND DO NOT IGNORE THE PROBLEM!!!

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  18. I’ve been so scared of my own story I have hidden (to the best of my ability) my identity and my abuser’s. This isn’t the first time I’ve asked myself who I am protecting with this pseudonym. I am so afraid of his revenge I keep calling him Donkey. I chose that because I believe he is an ass on purpose.

    Telling the story is as frightening as waiting for the next punch. What consequences will I suffer for this? Can I “save” his next partner? Will anyone learn anything, will anyone be saved from the same? Will I get better, be less angry, sleep without a baseball bat under my pillow?

    I started telling my story because I wanted a central location to build my next case against him. I can’t call the police on his patterns of emotional abuse (I called and asked) because they won’t take a report on emotional abuse since what will make one woman cry won’t phase another. I’m just an emotional baby to them, an annoyance who can’t handle a hard time, a stupid weak woman who should shut her mouth and behave.

    Maybe someday I’ll start calling my abuser by his given name so his name and my story come up together when his new girl(boy)friend googles him. Until then, he’ll remain Donkey and I’ll continue to tend to my life’s weeds.

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    • If you’re scared, don’t reveal your name or his. Even without them, you help people. I sent you a message through your FB DD page. 🙂

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    • I use a pseudonym because I don’t see any advantage with exposing myself. My blog isn’t about me and my personal life anyways; it’s about psychopathy in general and is meant to be enlightening and informational.

      The police don’t deal with non violent abuse, as you discovered, but there are other, and more compassionate resources, http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com/, for example. There are a multitude of organizations for abused women, and some doctors with psychopathy expertise have a Q&A section on their websites. No doubt, a local women’s shelter counsellor can offer you helpful connections, too.

      Psychopathy awareness is a new and vastly important “movement” of our time. By sharing your story and/or participating in the conversation online, you are a member and a contributor. You are not alone. You have joined the team. We need you!

      http://PsychopathResistance.wordpress.com

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  19. Let’s keep the conversation going! Awareness of personality disorders may be the most valuable gift that we can pass down to the next generation.

    http://PsychopathResistance.wordpress.com

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    • Yes! I read the blog you reference always. It inspired my post on DARVO. We cannot stop the conversation. Too many women (and men) are discovering the reality that sociopaths aren’t just serial killers or the people committing atrocious crimes against humanity. Sociopaths are in their beds committing atrocious crimes against their vulnerable hearts, minds, and spirits. Thanks for commenting, Human. 🙂

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    • Thank you for including men in this Paula. My kids and I had quite a time with a very unsavory woman, and I’m by far the only man I know of that this happens to. It is rare to hear of a man being abused, but I wonder if that’s because it happens less, or is very unmanly to admit.

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    • Jester Who-ver:
      I have two close male friends in my life (one I have known since grade school, another I have known only a few years) who are victims of female narcissistic/sociopath abuse. They both have children and have nightmare custody battle stories and alienation stories. Unfortunately, they are not at the stage where they can be open, and they keep their comments very private. For anyone, admitting abuse is a shameful experience. No one wants pity or for others to think we are weak. It’s very hard getting my male friends to discuss it, let alone have male strangers come to blogs like this and write their experiences. I wish I could write more about the male-side of this. Maybe one day my friends will allow me to use their stories. I can only imagine that having more men share there experiences would be helpful for you. Thank you for your comment.
      Paula

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  20. You are so right. As a woman that lived in emotional abuse for almost 20 years, it’s a tough thing to recover from. I’ve been out of it for 6 years now and married a wonderful man 2 years ago that has shown me the truth about relationships. I now share my story with young adults encouraging them to make healthy relationship choices. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  21. I can’t believe you posted this today! 🙂 Must be a cosmic connection, because this is exactly what I was also writing about today and I highlighted your blog. Your truth helps others- believe it!

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  22. Very touching Paula. I always admired you, though didn’t really know you. You aspired to think outside the box, a talent few possess.

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    • Thank you, Heather. Leisha has been a huge influence on me. After reading her blog for the first time months ago, I realized that she wasn’t melting from her honesty and openness and that I wanted to take the same leap of faith she was taking by sharing her pain with the world. (And maybe one day we WILL really know each other. That would be nice.)

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  23. Amen to that!

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