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Telling Them Off–Why We Can’t Do It — 8 Comments

  1. Joyce,
    the letter brought back an old, old memory.
    One of the first times I left my spath, back when I was in my 20’s, I decided to write him a letter explaining to him why I had to leave him. He had managed to track me down and was visiting every day and we would talk. The conversations just seemed to go in circles. He professed his love, of course, but the issues were not being resolved. I honestly don’t even remember what the issues were. (Now I realize that there WERE no issues and it was just a GAME).

    It seemed to me, that a letter would be just the thing. I would get it down in black and white so that the words could not be twisted, misconstrued or forgotten. I wrote it all down.

    Then out of nowhere, I got a feeling of dread. The letter revealed my feelings, everything. I burned it. There was no logical reasoning involved. I just knew that the letter was dangerous to me. I sensed that the letter would be a KEY to hurting me. It would be like giving him an owner’s manual to my heart.

    We must be careful whom we give that instruction manual to. Some would use it to sabotage us.

  2. Amen, Skylar…I can tell you I gave them the owner’s manual, the schematic and everything in between, including the wiring diagram. LOL And yep they used it to make me crazy, to hurt me even more.

    On your blog, http://www.180rule.com the new article by Jill about communication is very good. She also advises us to use SILENCE as a form of communication.

    Acknowledging them in any way is futile and only encourages them by giving them the attention they crave. Which is paradoxical because though they devalue us, yet at the same time they CRAVE our admiration and devotion.

    With my own biological paternal unit, he despised everyone in the world as beneath him, and yet, he CRAVED their attention and admiration…and funny thing was that he tried so hard to get people to worship him by telling people how superior he was to them and then couldn’t figure out why they didn’t like him. LOL In fact, he was so inept at social conversations that he didn’t even get it that not everyone in the world DIDN’T worship and envy him. Strange way of thinking.

  3. Amen sista friends!

    I think we want to tell them off because we imagine for once we may be heard. As this woman said in her letter early on, he didn’t care before and doesn’t now so why bother?

    Skylars writing it down and lighting it up as well as Joyces screaming it out, I think is much the same in releasing the hurt you have suffered. You got it out of your system and turned it over to the sky above to take it away.

    I wish her the best. It sounds like she has a pretty good grip on things, but even still the road ahead won’t be easy for her or the kids for a while. Sadly we can all relate on some level. Which is actually pretty sad to think there are so many screwed up people in the world.

  4. Too many of the abusers and offenders have “minions” that they have convinced that they are the victim. They go into the SMEAR CAMPAIGN after they devalue us and discard us or when we escape their clutches. It is hard to stomach when they convince these people that WE are the abusers. In my case it is my own family that my son has convinced and the family has bad mouthed me to the community.

    That’s hard to take, but I have eventually come to the conclusion that I cannot let this rule my life…cannot fight against the slander. Funny thing is, I think, that the more you try to defend yourself, the worse you end up looking. Frankly though most people who are not directly involved really care very little about it all.

    But you know, the few REAL friends I have now are very supportive and caring, and the rest of the folks, well…I am no longer concerned about what they believe about me. I KNOW THE TRUTH. I have finally learned to validate myself.

    Unfortunately when the “fit hits the shan” there was this OVERPOWERING DESIRE TO BE VALIDATED AND VINDICATED…and that was I think why I kept on trying to communicate with the abusers and with those they had lied to about me. When our head is in that “spin cycle” when we are feeling despondant, depressed, angry, sad, injured, and every other emotion you can imagine we aren’t thinking rationally, but thinking and acting emotionally, not logically and rationally.

    As we heal though, our thinking becomes more clear and we are able to prioritize what is important and WHO is important.

    No contact—and that includes emotional NC–is the key to reaching “sanity” and “peace” and to be able to put things in perspective.

    Yes, it is sad that there are people in this world who are without conscience, who have no respect for others, or for the laws of God or man. But it has always been that way, throughout history. One only has to read the Bible to see stories about such people, or history books to see that people who have no empathy are NOT a “rare breed” but are all around us.

    The good news, though, is that there ARE GOOD people, caring compassionate people and we need those people in our lives, not the abusers.

    We can’t change the abusers, there are no magic words to reach them, and we need to focus our energies on HEALING OURSELVES. Once we learn what they are, that’s all we need to know about them, but we do need to learn about ourselves, and learn to set boundaries with these people and NC is the ultimate boundary to keep them out of our lives and out of our heads.

  5. YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blog is fixed! Thank you, thank you!!!

    Joyce, I can name 3 people at this very moment who are involved in very toxic relationships (romantic AND “friendships”) that are maintaining contact with these people. The “evidence” of whom they’re dealing with is glaring and cannot be in dispute. These “friends,” in particular, are treating the people that I know like absolute sh*t, and MY friends (the source targets) are literally refusing to accept the evidence as factual. Instead (just like I did, myself), they are trying to fit the toxic behaviors into their systems of beliefs because it is apparently too painful to sever the ties with them.

    One of the people is trying to tell their abusive “friend” all about themselves. The other one is questioning whether or not it’s “kind” to just cut someone off. The third person continues dating online, meeting up with these men, sleeping with them, and then rages when they don’t call her back or continue “dating” her.

    For me, personally, I have to attribute the “acceptance” of the end of my marriage to foreknowledge that I had gained a couple of years prior to my discoveries. I “knew” that spaths could not be reasoned with, and that No Contact was literally the only way to sever ties with one. The day that he left was the last time I ever saw him outside of a courtroom. And, even with the information that I had under my belt, the process was grievous and painful.

    The average times that an abuse victim returns to their abuser is 6 – literally. It’s a statistical fact. Now, one of my professors told the class that it took a minimum of 6 repetitions (verbally, or physically) for most people to absorb whatever they were being required to learn. Whether it was learning math facts, or learning how to operate a piece of equipment, the knowledge only sank in over a series of repetitions. Some people had the ability to reduce the repetitions, while others needed more to get the task or information ingrained.

    Where abuse victims are concerned, there are many, many factors that interfere with a victim absorbing the factual information. They “know” that the abuser is harming them, but they also fear the steps required to extract themselves – don’t I know it, myself!

    No Contact is the most difficult and powerful step we can EVER take to protect ourselves. Sure, it’s painful and all of that, but the relief that we experience after a time is empowering! We really DO have the power to determine whether or not we’re going to continue being victims, or survive.

    Excellent article……….absolutely excellent.

  6. Thanks Truthy, and the EMOTIONAL NO CONTACT is the most difficult to achieve of the two. Physical NC versus Emotional NC…because we can rage inside our heads, and “say” the things we want them to hear even though they are physically far away, they are still inside our heads as we want to “tell them off”—of course the ideal is when we reach a point we no longer WANT to tell them off, when we become INDIFFERENT TO THEM…

    Sometimes we leave them because of the ab use, and sometimes they devalue and discard us. I have been in both situations. I have left abusers, and I have been cast aside, devalued and discarded by abusers.

    Even now I can recall the look of scorn on my mother’s face when she D&D’d me in favor of my DIL who then later stole from her and betrayed her…at the time, that look was devastating to me. It said more than mere words could ever convey. Yet, though I can remember it now, I no longer feel devastated by the memory, it is just what it is, what it was, but no longer painful.

    Seeing the TRUTH is difficult in a relationship to an abuser or offender, because it is not what we want to believe, but i t is important that we see it, accept it, and move onward too that nirvana of indifference to what they think or want or what they did.

    That inner voice of ours that wants to rage, to tell them off, will eventually fall silent when we reach acceptance and realize that “x never did love me, though I loved them, I can’t change the truth.”

    Also, the past offenders are not the only offenders we will meet in our lives, there will be new ones from time to time, but we become more able to spot them for what they are, and to not allow them to hurt us like previous offenders have done, because we are no longer afraid to disconnect from people who use/abuse us.

    We learn to set boundaries and to enforce them without guilt of worrying about “hurting” them because we set boundaries. When we see people who abuser our boundaries, even in small ways, we can put a stop to it.

    A young man I know, a friend of my sons, who is also in our living history group, wanted to buy a powder horn frm me, and I sold it to him but he never paid me for it. It wasn’t a big sum of money but he didn’t make an EFFORT. So months have passed and I will ask him to either pay for it, or to return it so that I can resell it. (for much more than I charged him) If he becomes offended, then so be it, because I expect people to keep their word and he has not kept his. He isn’t a psychopath, he is a good young man, would protect me with his life, but he has crossed a boundary by not making an effort to pay for the horn.

    After we start on our healing path we come to the point that we are secure in enforcing our boundaries. That’s a good thing. I can remember when I caught a “friend” stealing from me, IN THE ACT….and I cried for three days because I was afraid I had EMBARRASSED HER. LOL Now I laugh at that thinking, but it was a moment of profound growth because I eventually realized from that thing that I had let her walk on me, steal from me for years and had never confronted her about any of it. Instead let her continue her behavior. She was NOT my friend, she was a parasite who envied me and felt entitled to steal from me. I cut her out of my life.

    It’s a long road to retrain our thinking, but one that we must continue to walk. Having validation from others about that walk is nice, but if we don’t have validation, we still must continue our walk…and learn to validate ourselves. Truth doesn’t change because we ignore it. Truth is still truth.


    • Joyce, you typed, “After we start on our healing path we come to the point that we are secure in enforcing our boundaries.” For me, this was 100% spot-on, because (where I’m concerened) I never knew what the feeling of “secure” was like. And, this takes time after trauma. It just does. There is no magic wand, special tablet, or Divine Lightning Bolt that will catapult me into “normal” and “healthy!” Dagnabbit! But, it’s true. My previous behaviors and beliefs were LEARNED, and I’m in the process of UN-learning them and replacing them with things that approach “normal” and “healthy.”

      “No Contact” is (IMHO) THE most important step that can be taken to facilitate recovery, and subsequent healing. No, it isn’t pleasant or easy – in fact, it’s a dreadful challenge. But, in the end, NOT knowing about the toxic person is a blessing and relief. That person (or, those people) in my toxic past don’t have a place on my emotional bookshelf, anymore – well, more or less. But, I’m NOT allowing them to continue renting space in my head without making payment.

      Insight comes, in due time, and I’m experiencing more insight even if it’s in tiny bits and pieces. 😉

  7. Yea, Truthy, it is difficult to quit “renting them space” in our heads….but it is a must do for healing. Especially difficult is “co-parenting” with one I imagine…the various people I know who are having to do that and try to protect their kids from the psychopath but at the same time the court orders “visitation” and the nurturing parent KNOWS that the psychopath is using these children to hurt her/him.

    I could tell stories that would “curl your hair” about these parents….and not from the news, but from people I know! And the hurt done to these children is worse than I can even imagine. It makes me grind my teeth at what these nurturing parents and their children are required by the COURTS to endure. Dr. Liane Leedom is right when she says that NO CHILD SHOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH A PSYCHOPATHIC PARENT…a child is better off with ONE nurturing parent than with a psychopath in their lives. Plus, the nurturing parent also has the additional worry that the genetics of the psychopathic parent will taint the children as well.

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