Want To Reclaim Your Power? Re-Write Your Story!

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”

(Joseph Campbell)

There is a difference between what happened and the story you tell yourself about it. The facts can’t be changed, but the story about what those facts mean about you and your life is not fact — you created it, subconsciously.

But you can consciously create a new story, a powerful one that re-frames your experience in a way that helps you heal and that yields other positive benefits as well.

Because you subconsciously created a story from your ordeal, you probably don’t even realize that ‘default’ story exists. It’s important that you do, because it acts as a frame made up of beliefs and assumptions that controls how you think and feel. This post will bring that story into your awareness and help you to change it.

About six months after my ordeal with the psychopath came to an end, I had a serendipitous meeting with a Jungian analyst.  I told him about my experience, and what he said surprised me:

“You had a run-in with the Red-Eyed Demon! Not everyone gets this tremendous opportunity! You’re on the Hero’s Journey!”

I was OK with the red-eyed demon part of what he said, but opportunity? Hero’s Journey? I was determined to overcome it, but I hadn’t quite seen it as an opportunity or as anything heroic. 

Over time, I came to learn he was right.

Changing the frame, or context, of an experience can have a major influence on how you perceive, interpret and react to that experience.


A ‘frame’ provides a context or framework for your thoughts and actions. Put another way, your thoughts and actions happen within the context, and are dependent upon it. Therefore, a different context will create different thoughts, feelings and actions.

Re-framing is real. It’s not about trying to fool yourself by making up some feel-good story. It’s about finding the truth and living it. You have much more power than you believe you do, and you can claim that power.

You cannot change what happened to you. You were victimized by a psychopath. But you can choose what you do with it — what meaning it holds for you and how it affects you — by creating a new story that gives it a new meaning, one that empowers you.

♦ What story are you telling yourself about your experience with a psychopath? Is it a story of defeat, failure and danger, one that disempowers you and makes you doubt yourself and the world?  Or is it a story of your resilience and strength, a story of overcoming significant trauma while learning and growing and building your wisdom, confidence and sense of self-worth?

What story are you telling yourself about your experience?

There is actually a form of psychotherapy called Narrative Therapy, based on the premise that throughout life, personal experiences are transformed into personal stories that are given meaning and help shape a person’s identity. Narrative therapy utilizes the power of people’s personal stories to discover the life purpose of the narrator. The motto of this school of thought is “The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem.” It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them in overcoming a problem. It also fosters self-compassion and the development of post-traumatic growth.  Narrative Therapy is all about ref-framing, or rewriting, your story about an experience.

The post continues below after this powerful poem from fellow reader and poet, Linda.

The Heritage

This poem was born of the need to change, to transition from a place of waiting
to a place of taking action, of recognizing and claiming my place in my world. In
acknowledging my own value I also found my poetic voice again – a voice I had lost
for a while.

Based on the premise that one might have been reincarnated from a hawk…


Standing in the Winter meadow
Measuring the dawning sky
A memory awakes and whispers:
Did I once know how to fly?

On the wind that calls the morning
I can hear a keening cry
And I understand the message:
Why are you afraid to try?

We who own the wings to wander
Higher than the heavens are high
Have a heritage to honor:
Throw your heart into the sky;

You have known our name: The Hunter,
You have let your spirit die;
You are bound to earth and now
You seek the Truth and live the Lie.

You must break your heart for freedom,
You must cut each earthly tie:
To say hello to your own vision
You must learn to say good-bye.

Waiting in the Winter meadow
Measuring a bright new sky
I claim my wings and on this morning
I choose freedom: I will fly.

© Linda 1990

“You are confronting one of the most startling – if not the most profoundly traumatic – experiences of your life… You are now confronted with the absolute reality of the situation. You must embark on what has to be your own hero’s journey to slay the dragon left within your psyche by the psychopathic experience.

…  You will emerge from the other side with a new understanding of yourself and previous untapped potentials you were unaware of will suddenly shine forth. Unlike the superficial delusions of some born-again seekers or saviors, you have been truly saved by saving yourself. This is the ultimate lesson of the psychopathic encounter: to become your own hero.”

~ Thomas Sheridan, “Defeated Demons”

“This is the ultimate lesson of the psychopathic encounter: to become your own hero.”

The Hero’s Journey ~ Your New Story?

The hero’s journey is about growth and passage. The journey requires an experience that causes a separation from your comfortable, everyday world of the past, one that ultimately causes initiation into a new level of awareness and skill, and then a return back home.

There are three stages to the hero’s journey:

  • Departure, when you left your familiar world and journeyed into the dark unknown;
  • Initiation, when you were subjected to a series of great trials, both during and after; and
  • Return, when you finally ‘come back home’ with your new wisdom and strengths and the “Freedom to Live,” which marks your attainment of psychological freedom from the psychopath.

This describes it perfectly. It’s no lie. It’s the real story — the real context — of your experience. It already belongs to you. The lie is the story of defeat and doubt and failure. That’s the story the psychopath wanted you to create and live with. Don’t fall for it anymore.

“Freedom to live” is the ultimate goal of healing. Re-framing your story as the Hero’s Journey allows you to break through the road blocks on your path and to move forward in a powerful a focused way.

The lie is the story of defeat and doubt and failure. That’s the story the psychopath wanted you to create and live with. Don’t fall for it anymore.


“The very scientist who, in the service of the sinful king, was the brain behind the horror of the labyrinth, quite as readily can serve the purposes of freedom. But the hero-heart must be at hand … Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Do you believe that your ordeal was too terrible to ever recover from, and that going even further to experience positive growth from it is out of the question? Experiencing positive growth does not suggest that you aren’t suffering as your wisdom grows. In fact, significant distress is necessary for it to happen! Research shows a correlation between PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and post-traumatic growth, “suggesting that the disruption caused by the trauma is significant enough to create psychiatric symptoms and shattering enough to  your assumptive world view to generate growth.” (Melinda Moore, “Positive Changes in the Aftermath of Crisis”)

When you frame your experience in a different way, life becomes framed in a new way. The way you approach the world, and how the world approaches you, changes.  A new context, created by reframing your experience, leaves you with an ability to relate to life with freedom and power instead of fear. Yes, it’s that powerful! And it is possible. I can personally vouch for it, as can many others here.

The way you approach the world, and how the world approaches you, changes.  A new context, created by re-framing your experience, leaves you with an ability to relate to life with freedom and power instead of fear.

You can reclaim your power by re-framing your experience in a way that gives it a new — and empowering — meaning. You truly can become your own hero.

But even a hero sometimes needs help.

“Oftentimes the hero must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.”

I hope you will find whatever help you need, both from within and from others, to make your return back home and to be even stronger than ever before.

♥ What story do you tell yourself about your ordeal? How does it help or hinder you? 


Comments are closed.

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53 thoughts on “Want To Reclaim Your Power? Re-Write Your Story!”

  1. red

    This is incredibly empowering. I’ve always believed it necessary to question everything and this includes our own beliefs and the stories we tell ourselves! If someone stands to gain from your beliefs (in this case, the psychopath), reassess and question them! We do not have to play into these disempowering belief systems any longer!

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Exactly! Often, the disempowering beliefs we have, that we don’t even know we have!, control us. It’s important to reveal those so we can examine them.

    2. janes

      Thank U, i was in desparete need lately!
      i’ve been comparing the pscychological difrences in my life before & after ” Tsunami” hit me.
      Before= Abundant personal power/Self Love(not to mention material losses),
      During/After= Depleted to no self power , lack of self love.
      WE MUST REBUILD THE TEMPLES ONLY ON OUR SELVES & NEVER ON ANYONE ELSE( significant others, children,friends, family members ect) if we dont fully have self love for our selves we cant never really share it with others.
      3 things especially stood out in the post
      1-Problem is the Problem which instantly awakens the critical/clearity of thinking. Self Blaming (weapon of choice by Psychos) disappers :)
      2-Heroes journey; we are the ONLY & always the hero of our own lives never anyone else. We have done it many times before the Psycho.
      3-The way you approach the world changes the world approaches you. This is very empowering.
      Good news is accourding to a NeuroScience Doctor, Positive/Good dispositions come back after a while when we experience trauma.

      this was my favorite Poem! Very up lifting with the Wings:)
      i also love what U said before your poem.
      Thank U!

      Hear, Hear
      i completly agree with you!
      SOME WHERE ALONG THE WAY WE EITHER FORGOT ABOUT CRITICAL THINKING OR UNFORTUNETLY, WE NEVER DEVELOPED CRITICAL THINKING IN OUR CHILDHOOD & END UP BUYING Ps FANTASY SALE STORIES IN EVERY LIFE SETTING. Pls, dont ask me how i know. lol. John Jaquies Rousseau in his Emile book discribes thoughly how that grave mistake happenes. Btw best book i read on how to raise a strong child/individual( i dont have a child).

      ” First you give your heart then you give your head” Neitche
      Sounds like Neithce was warning us , saying the easiest & surest way to DISMANTLE OUR CRITICAL THINKING IS MAKING US FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM SO WE LOSE OUR HEAD WITH IT.

      **** ONLY WAY FOR THEM TO ABUSE & DESTROY US IS TO MAKE US POWERLESS( after we meet them we become like a powerless child) & MAKE THEM SELVES POWERFUL @ THE EXPENSE OF OUR PERSONAL POWER( after Psychos meet us they become like a powerful/evil parents) ******** REST IS A HORROR A MOVIE *********
      some personal rambalings, all i am doing is sharing with U the relevant info i read from other great thinkers.
      Peace & LoVE

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Love is the surest way to dismantle critical thinking, Janes. And without being aware of psychopaths and the things they do, we didn’t have a chance. Then we unwittingly handed over our power and yes, the rest is a horror movie. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Janes! Peace and love to you, too

      2. Linda

        Thank you Janes! It is one that I especially love. It has resonated with other women in the past as well. It was literally written in the field behind my house, and the hawk has long been my totem. I was writing straight from the heart.

    3. Jacqui

      Adelyn I really don’t know how I found the strength to survive, I really had never loved anyone as much as I loved him. When I came back to London, even though my family had deserted me when I left, and that is because they knew he was no good, when I came back I had their support, if I had not had that I really don’t know what would have happened. When I came back I was a zombie, all I did was sleep for nearly 3 months, but had to pull myself together for my daughter. Took 4 months after I returned to start seeing my counsellor and she was brilliant. I am on antidepressants.still but that’s fine because they help me. Now I have started writing , seems I cant stop, sorry, kept it bottled up inside not knowing exactly what to say. I am truly happy now though, no more mind games,confusion and pain, silence is golden. . Hope we beat them in the end. i believe in god and that goodness eventually triumphs over evil, I truly believe that ! Xx

      1. Adelyn Birch

        That’s what makes is so difficult, that feeling of once-in-a-lifetime, soul-mate love so many of us experienced. That’s a big part of what keeps us there too long, and part of what makes it so hard to detach. I’m glad your family was there for you when you returned home, and that you found a good counselor. It’s good to tell your story to people who understand. It actually has therapeutic value. If you need to say more, go right ahead. Your words are reaching real people who understand, and who wish the best for you.

        1. Jacqui

          Thank you so much xx

      2. Linda

        Write Jacqui! Writing helped me too. It felt as though I was clearing out the black-dark fog that had filled my mind, and flushing away the awful pain that was twisting my guts when I left him. Your words are those of a very brave woman, and your strength will empower others, believe me! Let the words pour out of you, until, slowly, you begin to feel peaceful and calm again, more consistently. My poem was written during one transition in my life. I could never have imagined that it would someday speak to those of us who are on the Hero’s Journey to freedom! I am honored to share it with you now.

        1. Jacqui

          Oh Linda, thank you I am honoured to have you say that to me, am crying now I don’t know why, your poetry is so moving and so so captures the ordeals we have been through, please post more poetry , you are an inspiration xx

          1. Linda

            What sweet, kind words Jacqui! Thanks to Adelyn I have some other poems on the blog on a dedicated page, and elsewhere… I am so grateful that they are speaking to other women now. Poems can sometimes say what we cannot find words for. They have been my way of charting my journey, articulating pain, finding hope and comfort in the storms, and celebrating joy for many years, and if they can do that for others now, I am truly blessed!

  2. Jacqui

    Oh my goodness, have been an avid reader, but not posted anything before , your site has really helped me to understand the way a psychopaths mind works. Was absolutely in love with him, I left my home, my job my 11 year old daughter to move from London to Lincolnshire. He had never been married before , but I was the love of his life apparently ! i had doubts along my journey, but he always made me think I was being paranoid. I cant believe I was so stupid to fall for his lies, I am not normally a stupid person, I went to grammar school , so must be quite intelligent , lol. But not intelligent enough to know of the evil people that exhst in this world, the psychopaths. Thaught everyone was honest and kind like me , BIG mistake, nearly two years since I left him, and by the way once I moved to be with him it took me a couple of weeks to realise I had made an enormous mistake. i married him 6 weeks later, and that’s when he dropped his mask, he was constantly on the internet flirting with and chatting with women. He did it in front of me , and tried to make out I was jealous and insecure, he said they were just friends and that it was just fun! How hurtful is that to Me. When I challenged him on what he was doing he was violent, slapped me and tried to strangle me, I faught back and he was shocked, there are so many other things that he did but if you have been a victim of a psychopath then you will know I don’t have to go into detail. All the lies, the gaslighting , the silent treatment ! And that’s all because he is trying to control you and you are fighting back. They don’t like that.
    I left him just after 3 months of marriage, I came back to nothing, no home, no job , no money , no family, my family had not liked him, I was absolutely addicted to him ,and I was trying to make sense of it all once I came home again. I was suicidal when I left him, so knew he was destroying me, I had to leave or die !. Once back in London I stayed with family and saw a counsellor to try and make sense of what had happened., he tried o contact me and wanted me to come back. i blocked him completely, changed my mobile number, did not give anyone my new address , then the stupid E- mails. The good news is I now am doing better than before I met him, I faught for my sanity, and I now have my daughter back with me , I have a lovely full time job working in a school for children with special needs that I love, and a lovely home, my friends and family back, and I am oh so lucky and happy. i think I must have met him for a reason, I am definately a much stronger person, I still miss him sometimes, but Im only missing the illusion that made me fall in love with him, I really know that now . Thank you for being there and helping me see the light xx

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I love a happy ending, and I’m so glad to hear that you had one! I’m also glad I was there to help you. Thank you for sharing your story. Best wishes to you and your daughter.

  3. Linda

    “This is the ultimate lesson of the psychopathic encounter: To become your own hero.” I love those words! What a wonderful, ironic twist on the ultimate goal of the psychopath! I wish that somehow all of these predators who have tried to destroy us could read that and weep! We really are heros now. When I first left him I was wounded and weakened. When I found this blog and the stories here, and understood what he is, and the dark place that I had escaped from, I found a new strength, born of pain and grief, and the willingness to walk through them to freedom, and a resolve to be my own hero. I know this experience and its lessons will be of great value to me for the rest of my life. And I am empowered to help another woman, because of my own “hero’s journey”.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      It is indeed an ironic twist! Not at all what they intended. Yes, these lessons will be of great value to us for the rest of our lives! I’m glad you’re empowered, Linda!

  4. Jacqui

    Dear Adelyn, thank you for your kind wishes for my daughter and I, has been hard because I left her and I cant believe I did that I love her so much. I had wanted her to move to Lincolnshire with me , but she did not like him and I thank god she didn’t witness the horrors I did. My story is long, from beginning to the physical ending of me leaving him only nineteen months, but still even though I escaped he still is in my head at some stage of the day, even though I don’t want him to be. Wanted my counsellor to hypnotise me to try and erase him, so I would be able to forget the agony of him, but obviously that is not the answer, you have to go through the pain barrier to get to the light and the pain is horrendous.

    Has not been easy and I just hope that other men and women who have been hurt and damaged by these evil entities can really know its possible to survive and be happy again. Fact is stranger than fiction and has been very hard explaining to most people what happened to me and why I did what I did. Could write a book because I only just gave you the general details of what happened to me and I know many others. There is not enough space to write it here and I would not want to bore you, but we know what we went through and I really don’t think that people who have not experienced it can comprehend. I know that before I met Mark I would not have understood.

    I loved Linda,s poem it was very true and summed it all up.

    When I told him I was leaving him he could not believe it, he said BUT YOU LOVE ME, never said he loved me !! There you go, tells you everything. My son actually came to collect me in his car the following day. All I took were my clothes , my passport and my marriage certificate. He never called me by my name once I married him, he called me Feral. He persuaded me to move from London and all my family and friends because he loved me WTF. He isolated me and once I married him he left me on my own , he told me he was doing overtime at work, he told me he was going fishing after work, what a load of crap. These people are deserving of an Oscar they are such good actors. But I knew he was cheating on me , deep down in my guts, I checked ip on him on the internet, he was on dating sites , game sites , Facebook, you name it he was on it. He thought because I was kind I was stupid , but Im not.

    He had a 14 year old son living with him who had social services and many other so called people who are supposed to look after neglected and abused children around constantly, but yet he persuaded them there was something wrong with Philip his son, when all the time it was him driving his son insane. Philip was sectioned about 6 weeks after I moved in. His social worker told me that Philip said I was awesome and could not understand what I saw in his dad.

    When I left him, don’t really like saying his name, I knew I could not possibly under no circumstances speak to him again, I knew that if I heard his voice I would go back, his voice was hypnotic and I knew I would not be able to resist. The pain I felt was excruciating, detoxing from the devil, took all my might. If I can do it , then please believe me you can too.

    The day I left 02/11/ 2013 I came back to London with two black eyes that he had given me the night before when I told him I was leaving, he raped me the following morning before I left. That is not love, that is hate, hatred because I managed to see through his lies and see how evil he really was. I did report him to the police, had pictures of what he did to me , he denied everything, I had no witnesses so again he gets away with it , yet again. I wanted to try and protect other women from him , but I know I cant, so have to give up on that one now.

    I met him on the internet, was not looking for a man , just went on a gamesite called King. Com, think its called Royal games now. Went on there to play games because I was bored, scrabble , word games and didn’t realise that after you had been on there for a while and earned points that you could start chatting to the other players. That’s where I met him and that’s where he groomed me, don’t have to be a child to be groomed , you just have to be an open , honest person.

    The predators are everywhere, especially the places you least expect. Its so true that the voices of God and the Devil are barely indistinguishable, I found that out, trying to think of a way to spread the message and stop psychopaths in there tracks. How dare they hurt and manipulate good people and get away with it. There must be a way , there has to be a way to stop them, not sure how yet, but if we could warn people by maybe getting an advert or a spot on a television show, Im sure that would be a start, If I had seen something maybe it would have helped me see the warning signs before he had me under his spell. Heres hoping ! Xx

    1. Adelyn Birch

      There’s a movie called “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and people can have their memories erased. The story follows a couple who have their memories of each other wiped clean… and they just go on to meet again and repeat the whole thing. It’s not the answer, although I can understand why you asked your counselor to try. They tenaciously persist in our minds, and it’s maddening.

      I’ve heard from many others who feel very regretful at having left or neglected their children. I know that must be hard to deal with. It seems the children forgive them long before the parent can forgive themselves. Maybe there’s another mother reading this who can give you some words of advice or wisdom.

      I feel sorry for his son. It’s a good thing your daughter didn’t end up there with you. That part of it worked out for the best.

      Mine told me the same thing when I threatened to leave him — “You can’t! You’re too madly in love with me!” Yep, not “Please don’t! I love you!” Unfortunately, he was right in my case.

      ‘Detoxing from the devil’ is excruciating and terribly difficult. You were very strong, Jaqui. There’s no trick to make it easier. Just have to maintain No Contact no matter what, and gut it out one day at a time, knowing you’re doing it to protect yourself. I’m very sorry to hear of your ordeal of physical abuse.

      You make a good point, that these predators are in the places we’d least expect. That’s just when our guards are down. Now we know.

      Here’s hoping, Jaqui xx

      1. Depressedempath

        Good on you Jacqui! You proved that you are a very smart and strong person in fighting the battle against evil. I agree that the experience will help you in the future.
        I had a 7 month relationship with a psycho, met him on a forum on the net. Left my husband and two adult children for him. Now I’m back with my husband, it’s really made our relationship stronger- anyone who hasn’t experienced what we have wouldn’t understand that… But my adult daughter will not forgive me. She reacted the worst at the time, and now 18 months later, she still brings it up. I think the older the children the worse it is- younger ones forgive and get over it quicker. I suffer from depression a lot now, small things trigger it, but I have a good therapist who can help me.
        Wishing you and everyone on this site best wishes for their bright futures. It has made us stronger!

  5. lisa

    I have spent the day in bed feeling no meaning and no hope in my experience. More than once today I felt I did not want to go on living. And then i found your blog. I am crying as I type this. Over and over again today I said out loud, ‘he destroyed me.’ Then I read this post and I know I will be ok. He has not destroyed me. I can do this. I can come out of this, perhaps even wiser and stronger? God, I sure hope so.

    There is something about the re-framing that I’ve come across before in Jungian therapy that always gets through to me. Thank you so much for your blog. It is the most comforting ‘site’ that I’ve found on the topic of emotional abuse from Cluster B’s. You have a created a wonderful, healing space and I will visit often.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      And I’m crying as I type this, and they are tears of joy, absolute joy, that my words helped elevate you from hopeless to hopeful and knowing you’ll be OK and that you can do this. The truth works in powerful ways. It shines through that dark despair like nothing else can.

      Things are far from hopeless. You’ll not only survive, but you will even thrive and become stronger than ever. The reason you can re-frame your story “as a story of your resilience and strength, a story of overcoming significant trauma while learning and growing and building your wisdom, confidence and sense of self-worth,” is because it’s the truth, and it will set you free. It can’t take the pain away, but it can give it meaning and purpose and give you the determination you need to make it through.

      Thank you for sharing this. You turned a regular day into an absolutely stellar one for me. I hope you’ll find many more ideas here that will support you as you heal. Welcome to the Hero’s Journey, Lisa. xo

    2. Linda

      Stay close to us here Lisa. This blog has saved so many of us from despair and given us hope and healing! Read and study as you feel able… knowledge and understanding are our most powerful weapons against the predators who have wounded us. You will be fine… it takes time and effort, but now you have joined us on the Hero’s Journey! xox

    3. Jacqui

      Dear Lisa, please believe me , you can do it, you will beat the Devil ! You cant let him win PLEASE BE STRONG !! When I left my Devil, I felt like someone had a knife in my heart and was twisting it, felt like my guts were being ripped out, slept for three months inbetween crying and screaming in agony. I did it I survived and you will too I promise you , please be strong, don’t let him win, you Will survive and you will triumph and be Happy !! Lots of love and strength being sent to you now xx

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Thank you for supporting Lisa, Jacqui!

        1. lisa

          To all of you, Adelyn, Jacqui, Linda!! THANK YOU! i am feeling like i am getting a handle on this. i wrote the whole entire experience down for myself in a sort of memoir format, every fact, dates, everything and seeing it all in front of me battled the cognitive dissonance so well. i’ve also been reading everything on your blog. then i watched the TED talk about PT Resiliance. oh my gosh! that made me feel so good.

          it hit me today for ten minutes or so, that the only power he has over me is me feeling anything for him. i know when i’ve reached the place of indifference i will free.

          at times i get this feeling like he needs to pay for what he’s done and last week i said to him in anger that i am mailing back all the love letters he wrote me. i will never do this as he is married but for the rest of his life he will be worried about what may arrive in his mailbox. it is all his handwriting. he will continue to be scared that his wife might open the package. i know this sounds terrible but it gave me a sensation of retribution that there will be this part of his brain, somewhere that will be a tiny bit anxious for a long, long time.

          am i awful?? i won’t never send anything as i wouldn’t want to hurt his wife that way but he doesn’t need to know that. he will be thinking about it every day on his train ride home, as his wife gets home before him. i think he deserves it for lying to me and stringing me along for two years.
          natural consequence for bad behaviour i’d say. :)

          thanks again for helping me through a really hard week.

          1. Adelyn Birch

            Lisa, you’re sounding so much stronger than you were just a week ago. That’s wonderful. I’m very happy that this blog and the people here have helped! It’s good that you’re purposely battling the cognitive dissonance. Don’t be discouraged if you have setbacks. This path doesn’t go in a straight line, but you will gain ground anyway.
            No, you’re not awful at all. You’re human.
            Please keep us posted on how you’re doing. I hope this week will be an easier one for you!

          2. Linda

            Lisa, writing helped me so much too! I have filed my pages and pages away to remind me, if ever I weaken, of the hell I lived through. Please don’t be concerned if your emotions act like a yoyo for quite a while… that is a normal part of the withdrawal. Just know that we have all been exactly where you are at every stage of your healing, and we’re here for you. Stay strong and trust in Time to do her work! xx

  6. Totallybel

    Your on your way Lisa, I was you in 2014, the year I spent most of my days in bed, the smallest thing exhausted me, walking the dogs, preparing dinner, we had many a pizza in ’14. All the normal tasks, even self care was an effort, so emotionally and physically wrecked was I from 20 years living with psycho. I knew my body needed rest and recuperation from the deep trauma he inflicted, I called it active rest when I took to the bed. And I read and read about these evil creatures, total submersion, my therapist would suggest a rest from it, I tried, but I needed to know, and this site was my life saver. I read the wise words of Adelyn Birch, ‘know you will recover, you may not know how, but you will’ And I held that, and everything I did was with that aim to recover. And it was true, the light within me that was so nearly extinguished, very gradually grew brighter, it took many months, over a year, but less than 2. And I have my light back burning brightly within, ready for everything and anything. It’s a major wound that’s been inflicted upon ye Lisa, go easy on yourself, nurture you, you will heal xxx

    1. Linda

      Totallybel, what beautiful, powerful words… the voice of experience, from your heart. You have just given Lisa a priceless gift: hope! xx

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Yes, she has.

    2. Adelyn Birch

      Thanks for sharing that, TotallyBel.

      That’s exactly what I told myself — I would recover, even though I had no idea how. I had complete faith in that. I was determined. I was absolutely determined not to let that creep destroy me or my life any further. I was still irrational and in love with him, and I was completely devastated, but the side of me that knew full well what a disordered creep he was took the helm. He devalued me, and I was not going to let him continue to do it vicariously after he was gone! It still took a long time and it was difficult, but that determination and faith in myself got me through.

    3. lisa

      thank you Totallybel – i am so happy your light has been restored and has grown even brighter. is this what is meant by post-trauma resilience? it does seem like a near-death experience in that when you return to life you are so appreciative of it.
      i have surely being to doing the total immersion thing as well. i think that is a reaction to trauma. you need so badly to understand what happened and i think that’s because you don’t want it ever to happen again. i sense that one day my “obsession” will lift. i trust that it will bc i cannot obsess over it forever and i am aware that i am doing it and allowing it, trusting that it will pass.

      thank you again to all of you here. this blog has such a positive feel and i think that is incredibly important. i have to believe there will be some meaning in my trauma and i hope to be a light for others as you all are being for me right now.

  7. Klarissa

    I am out of the “relationship” with P. It was actually an affair that went on
    for about 6 months before I woke up and was able to find the strength to get away from him.
    I have never done anything like that before, had never even contemplated it. I felt completely
    different than the person I thought I was all these years and still cannot really comprehend how
    I could have been so stupid.
    It has been almost a year since I broke away from him and I have stayed away even though it felt like nothing
    I have ever experienced, the withdrawal. Even through his stalking, his hoovering, his cycling between Mr. Sweet and Charming and Mr. Creepy Stalker. I gutted all that out and feel like I turned the corner but I can’t seem to resolve my guilt and shame. I can’t forgive myself for doing what I did, for risking my marriage, my family, compromising my own
    beliefs and morals, the part I had in any hurt to his wife and kids.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I’m glad you’re out of it and have turned the corner, Klarissa. You’re not alone in feeling that you compromised your own values. All of us feel that way to some degree, including others like you who risked marriages and families. Many went on to have better marriages and to feel more satisfied with them, and with their lives in general. All was not lost, and there were even gains.

      It’s a learning experience, really, one we never wanted or imagined, but got anyway ~ We learn there are predators, and that they can figure out what we feel is lacking in our lives and then pretend to provide whatever it is we need (even if we weren’t fully aware of it ourselves). We learn the power of manipulation, and the level of deceit and betrayal possible by someone without a conscience. We learn where our boundaries need to be made even stronger than we believed they were before.

      We also come to learn that out of the multitude of lies they told us, the worse one of all was hidden away deep within us, unseen and silently doing its damage long after they were gone: They made us believe we were responsible.

      Take a look at the Road Map page under the headings of self-blame, shame, and moral injury. I hope you’ll find something there that helps you. You might also consider talking to a good therapist knowledgeable about abuse and trauma. Best wishes to you!

      1. Klarissa

        Thank you, Adelyn! This site has been so helpful to me and I will definitely check out your suggestions.
        I do want to put this behind me, learn from it, and go on
        to build a better marriage and life. Therapy is a good idea as well. I do feel stronger in that I have moved on from him, but now I think I need to turn the focus on me.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          Exactly! It’s time to turn the focus on yourself… In a good way, with curiosity and compassion. It’s amazing how this experience can reveal so much to us about ourselves.

    2. lisa

      klarissa, i too behaved in ways that were completely away from my own moral compass and the other strange thing was that i felt like it was all my own ideas. now that i am back to myself i look back and think ‘what the heck!?’ it absolutely confounds me that i behaved the way i did (which was also an affair.)
      they say they have hypnotic powers, and also the intermittent reinforcement of their attention and then removal of it turns the victim into a puppet. i was a puppet. i did things that i will always regret and that saddens me the most but somewhere deep inside me i know that wasn’t me.
      some people bring out the best in people, and others bring out the worst.
      i was where you were too.
      i respect you for getting a handle on it. all of us deserve medals for having the strength to end it. it is like our own mount everest.

      1. Klarissa

        Thank you, Lisa. I said often that I felt like I was in a trance or he had some kind of mind control thing over me. He had that intense stare that I mistook for something entirely different than what it was! A predator sizing up it’s prey!

        It is hard to comprehend and come to terms with. I know he manipulated me but I still feel like I should have been able to resist. Like I should be accountable for my actions.

        At least I got out, which like you said, did feel like climbing Everest! But, we did it and are on the right path now. It helps so much to know that I am not alone.

  8. Jacqui

    Dear Adelyn, since I started posting recently, I have found all the memories of him I have tried to block return. Just felt I needed to give you some background to the reason I fell for him. I had been divorced for nearly two years when I met him on a game site. Had been married for 25 years to a man who treated me like shit and was unfaithful many, many times, but I had 3 children with him and I had to protect them, that’s why I stayed. Eventually I could take no more, my sons were in there 20,s and so I left my 1st husband for some peace and quiet for my daughter and I. Divorced him and me and my daughter were ok , we were happy. As I said before was not looking for a man, but when I started talking to the psychopath , I fell in love with him before I had even met him, he was so kind and sweet and lovely to me. When I met him for the first time physically I did not find him attractive, he was going bald and had false teeth, but I didn’t care I just thaught he was kind and lovely and that’s the type of man I really needed at the time. I did split up from Mark twice before he brainwashed me to come back to him and marry him. I split up from him, not him from me, don’t know why, never will, its a mystery.

    1. Jacqui

      Adelyn , when I say its a mystery I really mean, why did I go back to hell, must have been mad, what did he do to my brain? Was so angry wanted to kill him. My counsellor said that it was quite normal to feel that way. Planned it all out in my head, knew what time he came home from work, was going to be there waiting when he walked through the back door and shoot him through the heart, know he hasn’t got one really, but physically would have been possible. I am a good person, how did me drive me to think like this. Evil I wanted to obliterate it, so he could do it no more. Saw sense realised If I killed him, I would go to prison and then my daughter would suffer again, hes not worth it, he is the scum of the earth. Just hope one day he gets what he deserves Adelyn. Xx

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Thank god you didn’t shoot him, because he wouldn’t have been worth spending one minute for in prison. That’s the point they drive us to. Actually, they drive us to the point right before that, and then we take the shot instead of them, figuratively speaking. They may have driven us to the brink, but we were still able to realize they weren’t worth giving up our own lives for. Self-preservation hadn’t completely abandoned us, and then we build on that.

    2. Adelyn Birch

      Many women stay to protect the children. They feel that if they left and he got custody, even partial, it would be worse because they wouldn’t always be there to protect the kids. It’s a very difficult situation. Something must have caused you to split up with the psychopath. Maybe you sensed something, and wanted to get away while you still could. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that the memories are returning. We have to deal with it before we can truly move forward in our lives, and blocking it will keep us stuck. Many things I’d somehow forgotten came back to me in the first few months afterward, things I was surprised I didn’t remember, and would rather not have remembered, but it turned out to be a good thing.

      1. Jacqui

        I think your right. I only got 10 sessions with my cousellor on the NHS, I really needed more. But getting my full time job that saved my life, stopped me thing about him any more kept me occupied and took my mind off of Satan. The peace I have found since I left him is such a relief, and I truly am enjoying life again. Hoping the ghost of him will eventually fade away completely.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          It is such a relief. Savor it. His ghost will fade.

          1. Jacqui

            In retrospect I have to laugh at myself, I don’t know how to use a gun, would have had to have lessons, and where would I have got a gun ? Sure in this day and age its possible, but at the time I was determined it was what I was going to do , lol. Anyway once back home I immediately wanted a divorce, did not want his name or anything to do with him anymore. You cant get a divorce until a year is up , so had to wait till the following July to apply. i had taken my marriage certificate so that was good. My divorce was final on 2nd of December of last year, was hard initially to get things going because he would not respond to my solicitor, He did not want to pay for it , said I was the one who wanted a divorce not him so I should pay. All I wanted was to be free of him for ever, did not want anything financially from him. The good news is that the judge ruled after seeing and hearing the evidence that he had to pay for it. He was warned that if he didn’t pay then the bailiffs would come to his house and take his property, it worked he paid. He must of been furious, lol. Feel like I beat him a little bit Adeltn, HOORAY. Will leave you alone now, thank you for listening and responding to my rants. Love and hope to everyone on this site. We won , we left and the world is now our oyster xx

            1. Adelyn Birch

              You would’ve certainly been the most responsible murderer ever, having taken lessons! It could never be presented as a crime of passion, that’s for sure. I’m very happy things didn’t go down that way!

              I’m sorry for the way your marriage turned out, Jacqui, but relieved to hear the divorce is final. You made a strong, clean break, even though it was very difficult. I’m glad the judge had some sense and acknowledged where the responsibility belonged. You had a big victory, Jacqui, in being decisive about ending the abuse, and the judge’s ruling added to your victory. You deserve to feel very strong and capable! The world truly is your oyster, and I hope you’ll find many wonderful things waiting for you.

  9. Jacqui

    Dear Adelyn thank you so much, I really hope you know what a wonderful Lady you are! I hope by sharing my story that I empowered others to realise that they can beat the devil and that eventually be HAPPY. I am at the end of my journey and have come through , was really hard, it is a nightmare, but its a nightmare,that can turn into a new beginning and a happy ending. Your wise words and support are helping others so much, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Am looking forward to your next post. You and all the other heroes on this site are AMAZING. God bless you Adelyn xx

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Thank you so much, Jacqui! Your words mean a lot to me. They are very much appreciated!
      I’m sure your story is empowering others and giving them hope. There are many heroes here, and YOU are one of them! xo

  10. gill

    Thank you so much for your book Adelyn, it made so much sense of what i have been through. I have spent years trying to understand my husbands behaviour and trying to apply normal morals to reason out outrageous behaviour. I am re reading it again slowly as every wee bit makes me re think what i have gone through. He has now moved on to another woman , one of many. He has left me in lots of debt, i may lose my home . He has occasionally given me a little money towards our children but sees them and they come back laden with toys. Still part of his manipulation. I am hoping to start on the recovery path now , still quite desimated.Is the psycopath behaviour genetic ? is there anything i can do ? How do people put their life back together ?

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I’m so glad the book helped you make sense of things, Gill. Yes, psychopathy is genetic, and there’s nothing you can do to change it. People put there lives back together piece by piece, day by day. You will, too. Believe that. As I’ve said many times on this site, you don’t have to know at first how that will happen, only that it will happen. And then become determined that you will heal, that you won’t let this disordered person continue to have a negative impact on your life indefinitely. I knew he was long gone from the moment he ended it, and there was no way in hell I was going to let someone who never loved me or cared about me continue to have a hold on me and affect my life.

      There’s no way to fast-forward through the healing process, at least that I know of. Although there is a way to stop it or slow it down considerably. How? Blame yourself for what happened. To stop doing that, please go to the “self blame” category on this site and also learn all you can about emotional manipulation. Some people still have trouble letting go of self blame because they can’t accept that they fell for a con job, or for a psychopath. They’d rather believe they were in some way responsible. There is not one person on this planet who can’t be conned. When the self blame stops you’ll have self-compassion, and it will make all the difference.

      You’re not only going through the healing process—at the same time that you’re healing, something else is happening inside you: you’re developing resilience, wisdom and strong self-worth. Best wishes xx

      1. gill

        Thank you so much for your reply , it really means a lot. The genetic thing , what percentage of chance that my children will have the psychopath gene. Is there any early signs, there is nothing obvious at the moment ,but my mother in law said my ex husband appeared to be a normal child. When will it show if they have it ?.
        Thank you again for your words, I am now so determined to heal and build myself again.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          I don’t know the answer to your questions about heredity, but I’ll bet Google does. I’m so glad to hear you’re determined!

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