There’s no ‘getting over’ a Psyhcopath

A woman I have never met writes me an email to tell me how she has just seen the documentary that was created about the journey I took through hell with a man whose lies and deceit almost killed me. It still occasionally appears on Discovery Channel and OWN and I always know when it’s been on. Someone will write to tell me they saw it. That they too have a story like mine.

Often, they will write of their misadventure and ask me, “How did you heal? How did you get over that?”

They will also, as this woman has, thank me for having had the courage to tell the story. To share it. “I don’t feel so alone,” she writes. “I am not crazy.”

It is one of the reasons I did the documentary. So that people know they are not alone. Not crazy. That there is hope, and life, after an encounter with a psychopath, or as I used to call it in the early days of my healing, a P-encounter.

Sometimes, the woman will tell me she is still in the relationship, or trying to break it off. Sometimes, it is a mother writing for her daughter’s sake, or a sister, pleading for understanding. Asking me to help them make sense of what is happening. Why won’t she leave? How do I save her?, they ask.

You must cut off all contact with the “P”. You cannot save anyone as long as the “P” is calling the shots. You are not powerful enough to combat the poison he feeds you, or the person you want to help, with every breath he takes and every word he speaks.

We must first stop the poison from entering before we can heal its effects.

There is no sense in encounters of the “P” kind. They are designed to drive the victim and those around them crazy.

“P” encounters are never about Love. They are always about Abuse.

P-encounters rob you of joy. Of your sense of worth, your self-esteem, your belief in yourself. They destroy hope. They tear apart lives, rip apart families and decimate relationships.

The damage is terminal if you stay  in the relationship. Your heart will wither within your body. It will become capable of pumping only enough blood to keep you alive. But moments of joy. Moments of bliss, of seeing the sunshine and feeling the warmth on your face, of feeling alive and free, those will be transitory, fleeting, brief.

When in a relationship with a “P” you will always be connected to the umbilical cord of his lies and deceit feeding you the poison that is cutting off your blood flow, your free-thinking, your heart. He needs to keep you connected in order for him to stay alive. He will do anything to not let you go.

Fear, manipulation, terror, deceit. These are all tools of the trade for a “P”. They have spent their lives perfecting their art. They are subject matter experts in human manipulation. (and yes, women can be P’s too).

And we, their prey, whether a man, woman or child, are simply a means of keeping their art alive.

How did I heal?

By naming what happened for what it is. Abuse. By stopping all contact, even in my mind, with the ‘memories’ of a lost love. It was never real. It was only the creation of his desire to catch me in the web of his lies.

How did I heal?

By taking one step after another, every single day, and reminding myself as each step took me away from those dark and violent days, that I was not healing from a love story gone wrong. I was healing from abuse.

How did I get over it?

I didn’t.

It was not something to get over. I wasn’t trying to climb over a fence dividing ‘those days’ from these days now. I was healing from the loss of joy, the ripping apart of all my relationships, the destruction of my dreams, my heart, my belief in my worth, my belief in magic and wonder and awe.

To heal from the loss, I had to reclaim what I had lost. And I couldn’t do it by getting ‘over him’. I had to do it by letting go of the idea of loving him and believing he was my soul mate, my perfect lover, the man of my dreams, my Prince Charming.

I had to stop all thoughts of loving him and the lies I told myself about how I had lost a beautiful love so that I could see myself without the poison of his lies holding me enthralled in the make-believe he’d created when that relationship first began.

I had to become fierce and tenacious and willing to feel the pain of the loss of myself so that I could fall in love with me. All of me. Beauty and the Beast. The abused woman. The woman who deserted her children. Who let go of her life to take that journey to happily ever after and became lost on the road to hell.

I had to fall in love with me, the woman who is caring, kind, sometimes funny (Ask my daughters. They will tell you being funny is not one of my strengths 🙂 ) Who believes in angels and sees fairies dancing on sunlit water and hears the wind whispering stories of far off places in seed pods dancing on the branches of a tree in springtime.

Who believes we are powerful beyond our wildest imaginings because, she knows with all her heart, we are magnificent human beings capable of creating a world of wonder where harmony, joy, peace and Love abounds.

That is the woman I have fallen in love with. And that is how I ‘got over’ the P-encounter.



16 thoughts on “There’s no ‘getting over’ a Psyhcopath”

  1. LG,

    Seems like another ‘book’ emerging here. You should do one. About ‘the view from here’, from ‘where you are now’.

    My situation is by no means similar, but I see a Potential Parallel Perhaps- love those P’s! Each year, as another anniversary of my sobriety comes and goes I chuckle to myself at the congratulations I receive ‘great job .. 29 years sober!’, or ‘wow, that must have been so hard to stay sober all this time’. But, I KNOW, the hardest part was 6 months leading up to getting sober – the depth of it, the grip of it, the near-death of it’ .. THAT was the hard part. The second hardest part was ‘the first few months’, of second guessing whether I was really sober, staying sober – and free from it. Since then, it’s been more of a breeze. Not without thought, reflection and learning … but so easy by comparison with those parts. Yet other people concentrate, and congratulate, the 29 years. The 6 months, the ‘first few weeks is disbelief’ …those were the hard parts.

    I see it SO differently looking back – and the more I talk about it and write about, I think there is a ‘book’ emerging …

    And each time I read your discussions of ‘that time’ and ‘the time since’ I wonder if your greatest gift to give those who are trapped in that ‘P’ spiral could benefit from your view now. The ‘then view’ you’ve written about. They are in the ‘then view’. Each time I read you re-hash this material, each time you slice and dice it a different way, clearly you have SO much to say. I wonder if your story, your ‘now view’ would benefit those in the P-moment to see a way out by your ‘view from here, from now’

    Like I said, I see another book emerging.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations Mark! – I know. I know. You don’t need to hear that, but it is something to celebrate. 29 years sober. And I agree, as I move further and further away from those days, the circumstances become less important — the learnings are always relevant and vital.

      I also agree it is the view from here that inspires — that says, you can do this. There is a here from where you are — and here’s how I got here — here’s my path.

      So appreciate your words and ideas! Thank you.




  2. I wish more people could be understanding during the process. I’m grateful for the select few who are. Been disappointed & fooled by a few who were not. Self love is no simple task. It seems like a distant, nearly impossible goal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. those who understand and surround us with a feeling of being safe, of being seen and heard — they are vital Kerri. I am so glad you have a select few who are! and yes — self-love is no simple task — neither is self-hatred — so for me, it became, which will I feed? Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you broke free Louise. Knowing you and how you are now, the difference you make in this world, the lives that you touch, the simple fact that you are a human being…I can’t help but want to smack that man. Not very gracious or peace-making or take-the-high roadish – I know, but it makes me angry that you had to live that, that anyone has to live that…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tee hee Diana — I love you and your fierce, protective heart.

      There was a time when in my imagination, to get rid of some of my anger, I would cover him up in a vat of tar, feather him and roll him up in an expensive rug that he was so fond of. and then… I’d take one of those road roller machines and squish him flat, just like in RoadRunner cartoons! 🙂 It felt good to do it in my imagination.

      Now, I simply say, Forgive him. He knows not what he does. and take my thoughts off him and move on with living my one precious life with wild abandon and loads of love.

      Hugs my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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