Finding Happiness Within After the Psychopath by Kelli Hernandez

The last few days have been really tough for me. A new illness to learn to manage, my car breaking down, the year of “firsts” without my psychopathic ex, our birthdays and the upcoming holidays…. It’s a combination of unhappiness and feeling overwhelmed. This morning, while reading my emails, the newsletter for Sandra Brown’s “Sandra Says” column showed up, as it does every week. I love her articles, as well as Claudia’s, and find them very healing for me. This article is entitled About face-changing the direction to which you seek happiness. I’ll include the link here:

This article was probably the biggest lightbulb moment in my recovery. Not just concerning  my past encounters with pathology, but also the reality that the happiness I was seeking was OUTSIDE OF MYSELF. It dawned on me that while my goal of completing school was somewhat thwarted by my newly diagnosed illness, this was the point where I had changed direction to find happiness. As the article points out, it does not bring happiness, ultimately, it merely changes the focus of my DISTRACTIONS from what needs to be my “new normal” and in achieving genuine happiness.

With this, I also realized that my “dependency needs” had switched focus towards my children, grandchildren and close friends. While they can and do offer support, they cannot make ME happy. Those  closest to us can also become distractions because the focus is not where it needs to be, which is within. It is irresponsible of me to expect that my focus on others should create a happiness that I need to create for myself. It is also a burden that they do not deserve from me. Part of recovering from pathology is to build ourselves up from within, no matter what our circumstances are. Along with a genuine happiness from  introspection, insight and emotional/spiritual growth, comes a humility based upon having had experiences that can be used as tools to help others seeking direction on their own paths to self-discovery. It is a calm, quiet, PEACEFUL self-reflection that can be shared with others. The hard part is getting there. It takes work. A lot of work.

I have activated my Facebook account again. This time, it’s very different than before. I find myself observing the lives of others, given in bits and pieces, through the FB news feed. Most of these posts are about relationships: finding them or losing them. Many speak of feeling lonely and finding the “right” person to date or spend their lives with. Often, they are depressed because they are in pathological relationships or acting pathological themselves, without realizing it. The common denominator in all of these posts that I observe is UNHAPPINESS. Seeking happiness from other people, or in other THINGS. I’m also noticing that those that have much, have very good jobs, make a lot of money, are also some of the MOST unhappy. Even with all they have monetarily, they are deprived personally and emotionally. They feel EMPTY.

I noticed that those without money were just as UNHAPPY, but the have’s and have not’s have ONE thing in common: looking to find their happiness outside themselves. This is what got us into BIG trouble with our pathologicals. It could have been something as simple as loneliness, or the feeling that while “fulfilled” in some areas of our lives, something was MISSING. Psychopaths pick up on that. Quickly. At first we think we’ve hit the jackpot in love and happiness. It is temporary, and gravely disappointing and painful, not just because the psychopath duped us, but because our lack of personal happiness allowed us all to open the door when the psychopath knocked.

That is the biggest pill to swallow in recovery. I believe we are disoriented, as well as “disenchanted” and in deep pain as a consequence to our involvement with a psychopath, but more so in understanding that the psychopath keyed into our deepest fantasies. We dreamed of finding love and happiness in another human being rather than in quiet reflection and meditation, learning to seek happiness from our own core.  The most difficult and challenging thing I think any of us will do in the aftermath, is not seek out another distraction, whether that be work, money, material possessions, school or others, but to look at the darker side of ourselves. We need to examine for what internal reasons we couldn’t be truly happy alone, or without a relationship for awhile; why we were so driven to make someone else happy, believing that was the key to our own happiness.  This is precisely what the psychopath counted on to keep his/her power and control over our lives. That drive to attain a higher level of happiness through the another person created the addiction to the psychopath and for the relationship. It was a pointless pursuit.

The adjustments to my life now will be many. It’s fair to say that while I enjoy going to school and pursuing my goals, it does not make me feel “happy” inside. I have a tendency to view the unexpected in life from a spiritual perspective. I believe that things happen for a reason and that my higher power is trying to teach me something about myself, to pay attention to what I ignore when distracted by external things. This is where I now need to learn to welcome life’s adversities as lessons that teach me about the nature of happiness. I think what it really means is the ability to sit alone with yourself and with God, COMFORTABLY. I‘m seeing that the addiction to the psychopath was filled with similar behaviors that accompany other pursuits that I’ve had in life, distractions and drama: ANYTHING but having to face myself and FIX my life.

Sandra Brown M.A. mentions in her article that those that tend not to get involved in pathological relationships again are those who find happiness within. I understand this now. If you’re happy with yourself, if you truly love yourself, “looking” for happiness outside of yourself, no matter what it is–person, place or thing–is all secondary. They are ADDED blessings. They ADD to your life but they are NOT your life and do not define you.

My illness, my car, my home, my children, my grandchildren and my beloved Hercules are all important elements of my life–relationships that I have–but they do NOT ultimately define ME. They are beautiful additions to my life in one form or another and I’m grateful for that and them, but I realize that I need to do a lot more work on creating happiness for myself. This means more time alone, more time in reflection, more time in therapy and more time spent alone with God. Pathology has been my biggest and best teacher. A springboard to the core of self. A catalyst for a future happiness that is far more meaningful and genuine than any relationship with anyone. The relationship with myself.


  1. Kelli, thanks so much for this insightful and moving introspection. Claudia

  2. Claudia

    Thanks for posting the article and I love the pic that goes with it. You choose the most beautiful photography. I like your new look to the right of your posts too. Kel

  3. Kel, I’m at work now and need to go p/u the kiddos. So, I can’t read this just yet. But, will get to it tonight. However, at first glance I am amazed how well it ties into what I just wrote Claudia on the past weeks thread. We are on the same wavelength! My jaw dropped when I finished my post and noticed this and saw how connected the theme is. 😉

  4. Lisa,

    This is a personal enlightenment derived from many happenings and elements in my own life, along with Sandra Brown’s articles, which have a profound impact on me. I can’t and won’t say I’ve “arrived” so to speak at a level of joyous freedom and happiness. I’ve realized that for true and genuine happiness to be real, it is achieved over a long period of time via hard personal work. I don’t believe it’s something to which one wakes up one day and has an epiphany, as there are many on this journey. I’m also seeing that genuine happiness is brought forth in peace and a new found humility that is really difficult to maintain amidst life’s challenges.

    I’m glad that the article resonated with you. Kel

  5. As a footnote to the article: I have found that true healing happens with a very deep and profound visit to one’s core. Just as it would take an abuser YEARS to accomplish “healing” providing they didn’t have a personality disorder, so it is for the victims coming out of these relationship and doing deep reflective work on themselves. Pursuits for personal pleasure or accomplishment are only one small piece of the puzzle, but without deep growth work, don’t amount to much than a pursuit. Happiness truly does come from within and that takes a long, long time, but I think is well worth the work and effort. Kel

  6. Kel and Lisa, this article resonates so much with all of us because it’s true and universal, plus spoken from the heart. Almost all victims of psychopaths eventually realize that we’ve been duped by Losers because we couldn’t be satisfied with the life we had; we were looking for happiness to come from another person or a special relationship. As Kel states, that’s the recipe for disaster (and psychopath bait…). Claudia

  7. Claudia,

    Another realization I had just as I was reading your post response here: I can view my ex with indifference now. I know what he is, what he does, that it won’t change, etc. And even while I understand this, even feel that in my heart now, I haven’t experienced the feeling that others have of jubilation and joy over it. That was an aha moment for me. Why am I not experiencing this sudden jubilation? This professed “joy” when heart meets mind? Because it’s not real for me. Knowing and feeling what he is, doesn’t make me “happy” either. It is merely an acknowledgment of his disorder within, nothing more. While indifference is a good thing, it isn’t the key that unlocks any door to “happiness” in the real sense. I think that happens over a long period of time. Perhaps for some, it’s shorter, but I think if deep grief work and introspection is done, that takes awhile….it can be and is very painful to acknowledge the reasons why my psychopathic ex was allowed through the door. This jubilation somehow seems to me as if a one uppance of the psychopath, this sort of “AHA! I’m better than you, you seriously repulsive douche bag, it wasn’t me after all!! AHAHAHHAHAHA!!!” . That doesn’t work for me. I realized that it doesn’t because there is yet another element that needs to be fixed, and that’s ME. Whether or not he’s pathological doesn’t matter anymore, whether or not he WAS doesn’t matter anymore, what matters is WHY DID I ALLOW IT? What was missing? What was familiar? How do I FIX that within? Well, for me, the only way to fix it, is to SIT in it and ALONE. Being alone is the most difficult, challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life. I fight this ALL the time! I’m waging WAR inside myself with this.:” I WILL BE ALONE” , I stubbornly say to myself, lol! I WILL ENDURE THIS. It’s like testing myself. What I’m seeing through all of this is that loneliness is universal. Everyone feels lonely now and again, the idea is to MASTER that loneliness with HAPPINESS THROUGH SELF. My temptations taunt me when I’m at my LONELIEST. I am so acutely aware of this, I’m now even MORE cautious of my motives in dealing with anyone. To get and be, that REAL with yourself in a world that says you are DEFINED BY A PARTNER, or should be, is a HUGE challenge. Going against the grain. I WILL GET THERE. I want to experience personal happiness at a level that is deep, ingrained and done on my OWN, without distraction of anything else. I will continue to pursue my goals at the same time, such as with school because I enjoy it, but it is SECONDARY to the pursuit of finding happiness within. I’m finding out how easy it is to distract myself from growth work with simple distractions that are the definition of what society at large says it is to be happy. The happiest I have been lately, is when I feel completely at peace. And through that peace, I’ve been of assistance to other victims just coming out of these relationships (I don’t just assist here, but outside the blog too) and through that PEACE have a profound impact on their lives and they upon MINE. I LEARN more! If I feel that I’m slipping in my focus with inner growth, I’ve learned to step back and be ALONE and figure it out. I have found that when I have total peace, everything I do and the reasons I do it, flow from the internal TO the external. NOt the other way around. With a psychopath it’s ALWAYS external. It also brings a great level of humility than I’ve ever experienced before. I’m no more and no less than anyone else. I’m just me. This perspective helps me so much in dealing with victims too, as well as family and my friends, even with Hercules who is loving my new electric blanket and therefore tries to hog the bed now. To achieve this feeling of peace is unbearably painful work at times. I’m so far from reaching that goal to a level that it persists, but I’m working on it. Always more work to do.

    My ex psychopath was an EXPERIENCE in my life. One that has taught me much about myself and to which I am learning and need to learn so much more. I’ve not catapulted to a bursting level of temporary joy lol! I’m learning to live in peace and with balance which in my situation is more challenging because of the Lupie and financial situation. But it’s doable. I can do this and am doing it. When that joy happens for me, I’m stubborn enough that I want it to be REAL. No more fake in my life. No more bandaids. I’ve had enough of that! Kel

  8. Kel, that’s true. Bandaids don’t accomplish anything but mask a problem for a very short period of time. As for the joy of the epiphany that your disordered ex is psychopathic, I’ve never experienced that either. I wonder if anyone does… There’s no reason to jump with joy from one foot to another because you ended up with a severely pathological man. I can think of better reasons to celebrate:). Claudia

  9. Claudia

    I was referring to the often dramatic and sudden epiphany of “indifference”. I’ve observed that when some reach this level rather suddenly, that it doesn’t feel genuine to me. I think indifference evolves after a lot of introspection and time. A lot of time. Kel

  10. Kel, I recall that soon after realizing my ex was a psychopath and breaking up with him I experienced recurrent moments of indifference, but they didn’t last because I felt so angry and betrayed, and those negative feelings came back. Now, years after the breakup, the indifference has settled and is here to stay. But it took time for it to be lasting rather than coming in waves and being periodically replaced by resentment and anger towards him and his behavior. Perhaps many of us celebrate early on the moments of indifference, since after all they’re a pleasant relief from the pain. However, it’s only with the passage of time that we truly stop caring about the psychopathic individual and the whole unpleasant episode of our past. Claudia

  11. Claudia

    That is so true. I perceive indifference to come gradually over the course of a long period of time, and not with a bang, but with peace and then subsequently, noticing more periods of joy that become more frequent. Julian was only half right, lol, but I do understand what he meant by the emphasis on time healing all wounds, but for me, it’s also love, Love and time heals all wounds. It’s learning how to love yourself too and that takes time in the aftermath. A year out now, I feel a lot better than I did a year ago at this time, but I know I still have a long way to go. Kel

  12. Kel, with school and eventually a new job, things will only get better. These things don’t give you happiness in themselves, as you state in your article. But a sense of purpose does contribute to one’s happiness (and is the antidote to boredom, which is one of the main reasons people get involved with pathological individuals). Claudia

  13. Kel,

    Very well written, insightful and heartfelt article! I can see your hard work, introspection and self renewel in your writing. I can also see the pain you are still in which is a normal part of the journey, and the most difficult to get out of.

    I’ve always felt the indifference, healing and level of self introspection for me is a done with daily renewel. Sometimes it’s even a moment to moment renewel. I may come to a place of indifference and 5 minutes later recall an event or a painful memory will get stirred up and I’ll be a heap of tears. It truly is a continuim. The more I practice renewing my spirit and found indifference, the easier it gets. The easier it gets, the more often I reach that state and the more often I reach that state the longer it lasts. So you are right that it does not happen over night. An epiphany may help me refocus my thinking when I start to get pulled back into that dark space of longing for, missing, or giving emotional attention to that past relationship or person. But, it won’t keep me there. That’s where the work you refer to comes in. Yes, it takes a while and yes it is hard work. I make a conscious effort to redirect my thoughts and turn what could be pain and sadness into something that comforts and/or inspires met. For me, I couldn’t have it any other I would shrivel and let it consume me otherwise. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life for sure.

    Aside from this summers brief set back, I have been away from my ex for 2 years now. So, I have had enough practice that my state of indifference is nearly constant. I do still have times when I have to realign my thinking and get my head out of a space of focusing on him and get back to myself. I haven’t felt a sense of jubilence or superiority over my ex that you mentioned. It doesn’t make me happy or joyful to know he is disordered. In fact it is a very sad and sorrowful thing that he is the way he is. It’s tragic that his children, who are wonderful, incredible human beings in their own right have been dealt the hand of having a psychopath for a father. What does make me feel joyful is being able to focus on how different my life is w/out him, how infinitely better it is. I feel this heavy dark grey cloud has been removed. The weight of the cloud having been removed has allowed me to soar in ways I never would have had he remained in my life. That is the thing that lifts my spirit rather than rejoicing at his flawed character. So I think you are absolutely right that we should keep our focus on our own healing and why we were with a disordered person. Boredom and looking for something outside myself to fix what was missing in my life were defintely contributers.


  14. Lisa, very well said. I know what you mean about the dark, heavy cloud–of bad memories and negative emotions–having been removed. The memories turn bad even if they initially seemed good because you realize what kind of person you were dealing with, which casts a pall over the entire relationship with the psychopath. Over time, however, that ceases to matter. Claudia

  15. Kelli – I need to remind myself of these facts more often – and it is a fact that happiness must come from within ourselves first.There will never be an outside source that can save us if we are unhappy internally; this is one of the main elements a psychopath will exploit on, those that believe he will “rescue” them so to speak from their unhappy circumstances. I believe when we move on from this belief we are not useful to them anymore basically because we no longer believe in fairy tales. This thinking is what that is; nothing but a fairy tale. I never needed to be idolized and lovebombed because I am NOT THAT GREAT, nobody is that great – in the end I realized it was not that which I was seeking – I was missing something that I could only give myself. x0 Linda

  16. Claudia

    It gives a sense of purpose, but that’s only PART of what gives fulfillment. If a sense of purpose is what prevents boredom, why is it that so many already SUCCESSFUL people get involved with psychopaths? Boredom. Loneliness. Familiarity with past abuse. One can be highly successful and have a combination of these factors and still not have addressed an underlying unhappiness or something that is missing. I think if you have a purpose in life and you have an overall feeling of contentment with periods of joy, the purpose then has MEANING. Without the inner structures for happiness. it doesn’t mean anything at all but a temporary bandaid. Kel

  17. Kel, good counterpoint:). Still, professional and material success, up to a point, can give you the possibility to focus on what is most meaningful and fulfilling for you without worrying as much about financial disaster, etc. It’s necessary but not sufficient to happiness. Claudia

  18. Claudia, Thank you. 🙂 “Over time that ceases to matter.” Bingo! That is the key, time. Keep up the work and with time healing, complete healing, does indeed come after all.

    Kel, One other thought I had while rereading your article this morning. Another way I chose to look at the pursuit for “happiness” is to change the word and my thinking from “happiness” to fullfillment. I’m not sure I completely believe “happiness” is a permanent, or continual state of being. I think happiness does (to a degree)come from outside. A sunset makes me happy. Hearing my nieces, or nephews, or any loved one laugh makes me happy. Rocky road ice-cream makes me happy! Hearing Sparky’s pitter, patter, tat tat tat tat of his claws on the cement while we are walking makes me happy. These are all things outside myself. What is inside myself is fulfillment. When, I am meeting my spiritual, emotional, physical and mental self, then I am fulfilled. When I am fulfilled, I am able to experience happiness. But, happiness isn’t my goal. Fullfillment is.

    My ex used to constantly talk about wanting to “be happy.” He is in a constant state of seeking “happiness.” He thinks he finds it in a woman. But, he only feels these bursts of happiness while luring his victim and feeling that state of high at the newness of the relationship. Soon, when his boredom sets in, he is no longer happy. On the other hand if he were a fulfilled individual, then that state of happiness would be the added bonus you mentioned, to his current state of fullfillment. It wouldn’t matter to him when those bursts of happiness wear off becuase he would remain fulfilled either way. This was a discussion he and I had often because I was perplexed by his constant pursuit of happiness outside himself and his inability to understand what I was trying to communicate, that he needed to find that state from w/in through being fulfilled by meeting his spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs. I now realize that I was struggling with the same issues or I wouldn’t have been so tied to him and desperate for him to be fulfilled with himself. Then, I felt he would feel happy with me! I always realized his unhappiness wasn’t because of me. Yet, my own disordered thinking at the time, had me believing if I just tried harder, did more, was nicer, he’d finally reach that state of happiness he expressed longing for so regularly. Then, he’d quit searching another relationship and realize how great I was for him. Lucacrious!

    I believe this is all part of that dual sickness of mind that happens between both parties in a disordered, pathological, abusive relationship. Our thinking becomes very skewed along with the psychopath/abuser. The longer you are out of that sickness, the healthier your mind becomes and the more able you are to see yourself. The healthier your self introspection becomes, the clearer you can see yourself and your areas of weakness that need fixing. Once we gain some clear perspective and begin to heal and find inner fulfillment, the more we will be able to experience happiness.


  19. Lisa, you bring up another excellent point: the difference between what could be called a spiritual happiness which isn’t defined by highs and the psychopath’s understanding of happiness, which is the same thing as “rush” or “excitement”. Only psychopaths and other disordered individuals–or those affected by drugs–perceive happiness as a state of constant euphoria. That doesn’t exist in real life. Those who pursue that kind of happiness are either personality disordered or end up in some kind of drug rehab. Claudia

  20. Lisa,

    I’m not in pain everyday, every minute of the day, unless you count physical pain, then I can tell you that that does happen everyday lol! It is what it is.

    I’m more in a place of introspection. There is peace in that. It’s very deep. I think it’s worth noting that it’s very few that can go to that level, but if you can and you do, I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s very scary to be in a place of deep pain and introspection. There are and have been times, where it feels like It will last forever, but it doesn’t. It truly does take a long time to accept the experience, not just part of it, but all of it. It’s also very difficult when the fog lifts and you begin to recognize just how dangerous and disordered the person was. In my case, the lies continue to unfold and with each one I find out about, the pain is very intense. The level of betrayal that is there is astounding. Nothing like I would ever have imagined. Anyway, one of the things that I also realize is that when you’re with a psychopath, you become psychologically sick. There is no way around that. the path to getting well, is to be able to admit and submit to the pain and the reality of all of what happened. And including one’s state of being in the aftermath. It takes a long time to get well. There is no time limit on this, there is no quick fix. A psychopath reaches to the soul and attempts to steal it. I’ve not experienced such a level of evil.

    Claudia, I agree with your analogy with regards to euphoria and psychopaths. Their euphoria is extremely limited. I think the basis for happiness, is contentment. Peace. Happiness is NOT euphoric. It’s not a rush. I think that gets confused even by those who are not disordered. Because I’m experiencing it more often now, it just seems to be a place of submission accepting what was and deciding that a big overhaul or change needs to happen to move forward and grow. It is tremendously hard work. But all of us here are doing it! Kel

  21. Lisa – I tend to agree with you on the state of “being happy” There are outside influences and factors that attribute to ones happiness; not only places, memories or certain things but in the people we choose to be in our lives. We can try to retain a balance of self fulfillment in ourselves while accepting the happiness and joy others can add to our life in many dimensions. I dont want to go through life under the assumption that I should never expect a partner to give me happiness – of course I want a partner that would make me feel good about myself and add happiness to my life, but he is not responsible for my happiness he is only a part of it. I have learned to distinguish that difference now in the aftermath – I SO understand what you are conveying as we move out of their sick world and manipulations we can stand back and actually see what they were really doing.

    I have experienced happiness just in the process of getting myself back even as much as it pains me in the process, I can still feel the difference – I am starting to feel whole again. Linda

  22. Linda,

    I hope I’m not being misunderstood as saying that pursuits and those around us can’t be a source of pleasure or joy or that reaching our goals, personally or professionally, is a negative thing or can’t bring us happiness. My point here being that those things merely ADD to us. If one is pursuing something externally, no matter what that may be, rather than working on finding peace within, it takes on the same addictive force as trying to make the psychopath happy, which is impossible. Lisa, what you described in making your ex happy, was precisely what I was referring too, but also with regards to other pursuits once the relationship is over. If we don’t take the time to FIX what is missing within, or work on ourselves internally to find that measure of peace (happiness), contentment, fulfillment, whatever terminology you want to use, we won’t truly achieve a level of happiness that keeps us safe during times of stress, loneliness or boredom from yet another psychopathic relationship. Linda, you and I talked about this earlier in how there are soooo many women who are alone and seeking out men on dating sites. How sad that seems. There are, more often than not, people who believe that the key to happiness is through an OUTSIDE force (relationship) or some other relentless pursuit. Does it ever make you wonder why people are bitterly disappointed when they reach a goal they’ve worked hard for and don’t find the fulfillment or contentment they thought they might have once they GOT there? This is why a spiritual connectedness within is so important. Making a life for yourself after the psychopath means incorporating new experiences, but it also means incorporating new behaviors and introspection, so that when all of the externals “align” so to speak, there is still a level of contentment or fulfillment, a happiness in just being with yourself. We will all experience times where we feel lonely, bored or stressed. These are the times that are the most critical in what it is to know yourself and to have a peacefulness that a psychopath could never again infiltrate. I think it’s also normal to want human connections with others. it DOES get lonely when you’ve been single awhile and many people get tired of it, but those times make a person vulnerable. So how to fill up that time, that loneliness with what may be perceived as missing, such as a relationship with the opposite sex? I think it takes courage to do the work that it takes to create a good connection within to the point that even if you’re single TWO or TEN years down the road, you’re going to be just fine WITH YOURSELF and whether you have one or not, WILL NOT MATTER,, but connections with others that are meaningful will still be there. Others are not and will never be responsible for giving me happiness. I have to give that to myself. Most of us were not doing that when we were with the psychopath.

  23. Kelli, Linda and Lisa, how true, peace and fulfillment comes from a life in balance of different elements, both personal and professional, as Aristotle said. Introspection is important to this balance, as you’ve argued, because you have to not only DO what you want in life and HAVE what you want in life, but also BE who you want in life. Claudia

  24. Claudia, Kel, Linda; Right on! That is precisely why “Harmony” is my favorite word. It’s a synonym for “balance.” To me “harmony” is balance which brings about peace. I think everything in life comes down to balance, harmony. Being out of balance in any area of life throws the whole apple cart off. This in turns causes all other things to readjust trying to find balance. It’s this topsy turfy rocking and teetering searching for balance that gives us feelings of chaos, turmoi, pain, suffering etc. Because our life is out of balance and searching for it, whether we are aware of it or not. It’s those who are aware of it, and make the proper adjustments to realign things into balance that find that fulfillment, contentment that allows us to then experience “happiness” moments because all is in balance. It’s also an on going process. Once a person finds balance the work isn’t over. But it DOES get easier. It’s an on-going continual process maintaining the harmony. That’s how I see it anyhow. 😀

  25. Linda, I am so glad to hear you say that!!! You are doing some things right if a sense of completeness is coming to you. I believe feeling the pieces of yourself coming together is a direct result of serving the needs of your spirit. Although I couldn’t atriculate it at the time, I felt very fragmented while with my ex. I knew I felt my spirit crying out to be recognized and honored. My spirit was in great turmoil while with my ex and I felt that deeply when I was with him. It is a big motivator in helping me release him. It is that sense of sorrow w/in my spirit that is a direct result of it being fragmented searching to be honored. This sense of fragment is from being out of balance. So, keep doing what you’re doing and that sense of harmony and peace within will just get stronger and stronger. 😀

  26. Lisa, harmony is the perfect concept for you, especially since you love music. Claudia

  27. Kel, I agree and understand with all that you are saying. I just think of happiness as a temporary, quick fleeting feeling that I experience in small increments depending on the situation or circumstance I’m in, or experiencing. Whenever anyone talks about “being happy,” or I hear someone ask another “Are you happy?” My thought is always that the question should be rephrased to “Are you fulfilled?” For example, I can be happy at the moment because the sun is shining down on me. Then, I might spill hot chocolate on my favorite dress and feel unhappy. All the while I am content and fulfilled with myself and my life. Just not “happy” at that very moment. It’s just a small distinction on my own understanding of happiness. 😀


  28. Kel, I am sorry for your daily pain. Your introspective phase will no doubt ease some of that. I think as your spirit heals and you bask in the peace you are experiencing your body will begin to take on some of that peace.

    How did your decorating go? Is your tree up and house looking festive? I’m heading upstairs to get dressed to go outside to walk Sparky and then attempt to hang my Christmas lights on the outside of the house. My roof is very high is some spots and I have a severe fear of heights. Hence, I’ll be doing some personal stretching today. Stretching of courage I mean. 😀

  29. I like the meaning of balance. 🙂

    I don’t think life is ever balance on a continuum for long, however. I think the idea is how to achieve learning to balance the balance lol!

    There are many things even in daily living that can throw off one’s balance. Yes, yes, we will all have bad days and good days, but there is nothing more out of balance, chaotic, upsetting, debilitating and anxiety provoking as a relationship with a psychopath where balance is unachievable and the meaning of it is completely lost.

    Lisa, not sure it gets easier, I guess that depends upon the circumstances of one’s life, but even through the more challenging times, there can be a level of peace through it all if the work on the inside is done. Strange as it may seem, I’ve been thinking a lot about end of life stuff. No, not suicidal lol, I mean with this illness. How do i want my life to have expressed itself with meaning? What will matter when I’m gone, which causes me to think about what matters while I’m still here. No one is going to remember what job I had, my academic pursuits, my car, my home, my “stuff”…in the end, those are pretty meaningless when thinking about what legacy is left behind for those I love the very most, my children. They have a chance at a healthier life because I removed them from pathology. They know what love is and how to give it. With the exception of two that i worry about, the rest know what self love means too and live it out. That’s what matters the most. I’m realizing just how much I love my children and how proud I am of them and that all of the work required to change my own life, work on myself, is a gift to them too. I’m very, very blessed to have such wonderful people in the form of my children, that are living examples of what love from within and to love others really means. I realized all the sacrifices made that meant loss for me, meant gain for them. It’s soooo so worth it. My children are the best gift I could ever have asked for and the most meaningful. If not for them, I may not have wanted to work hard at finding that contentment within, nor to get rid of pathology. Kel

  30. Kel, when you think about what truly matters, it’s so clear, as you state, that family–and having healthy, happy children who appreciate all your sacrifices–comes first. The quality of life and standard of living also matter to some degree, because one needs a minimal level of comfort to have a stable life, free of extreme financial stress, which can take their toll even on one’s health. Plus, there is some additional satisfaction too in your choice of future career as a therapist, which is devoted to helping others. That too is an emotional legacy that matters, even though of course family matters far more. Claudia

  31. Lisa,

    We are getting the tree today, and it’s very festive around here, the kids really enjoy it and it has a peaceful tone to it! you’re brave, I couldn’t do the outside lights, that’s a job for my sons lol! They love doing it anyway. We live relatively close, the weather is beautiful here, as it seems to be across the state, so I’m assuming you’re enjoying it there as well. It’s a little deceiving with the cold though!

    Aaaahhhh yes, stretching. I do it quite a bit along with breathing exercises that helps quite a bit. The contentment and self care helps with pain, but not to the degree that I wish it would, as I’m currently in flare mode. But even then, there can be a level of peace. I’m appreciating more not living with the constant anxiety that my ex created in my life. Kel

  32. Claudia,

    I understand why you have the perspective that you do. You’re doing what you love to do with your writing, but when you were in scholarshit, did you love that as much? Was it a reflection of what was within? Not many get to do what they love doing. This is why it’s even more important to have a level of contentment and peace inside, even while you’re doing something professionally you DON”T love doing. In that case, I’m pretty blessed in that I’ll be doing and am doing, something I enjoy and that brings fulfillment, because it’s a way to help others find their own. As you know, it doesn’t pay much. That isn’t my goal. My therapist and I talked about how it doesn’t pay much lol! You’re not a therapist because you’re paid well, you’re a therapist because you love doing it, love helping others and it ADDS to the sense of fulfillment you already have. My therapist went to the same University that I’m going to attend. To acquire the MSW in social work is a whole different scenario than a lot of programs. Self care, reflection and introspection is encouraged overall, as it’s necessary for the field to which one is about to enter. The choice to pursue it for me, isn’t about money, it’s about adding to the fulfillment in helping others. I want what I do to have meaning on a contiuum, rather than a race to get there and misery to follow. This is a great place to be because I enjoy the journey far more. Kel

  33. Claudia,

    It isn’t about them appreciating my sacrifices. It’s about them moving forward in life without pathology to rip them apart. I realize that it’s somewhat idealistic. to assume that they will not encounter pathology or even that one or two of my children are not pathological (i have hope here!), themselves. The sacrifices in and of themselves are a reflection of love, both for myself and for them. Claudia, many are not free of extreme financial stress. Given the state of the economy right now, you’re very fortunate if you have a good job that pays well or a spouse that has a good job that pays well, but the reality is that many people do not right now. My daughter has a bachelor’s in communications with a minor in cultural studies and works at Best Buy full time. Not one of her friends are working in jobs that they went to college to pursue in degree. She doesn’t want to do a Master’s program right now, because she’s afraid to spend even MORE and be in the same boat she’s in now. That is reality for many many people. There are no guarantees for me either. But I do have hope that this economy will turn around eventually. Kel

  34. Kel, LOL! You used my term “scholarshit”. Not all scholarship is “scholarshit,” some is really good. But I did feel like the kind full of jargon, incoherent logic, where nobody can figure out what the article is saying (or why) seemed like B.S disguised as intellectual or artistic discourse. It’s the equivalent of the psychopathic bond, which is a “relationshit” disguised as a loving relationship. Both are frauds. Yes, I’m very glad to have left both kinds of frauds behind. When I was an academic, I still focused on writing poetry and fiction and establishing the postromantic movement in art. I still did what I loved, but had much less time available to do it, and that was very frustrating. Now I’m very fortunate to do what I love in life full-time. That’s why I hope you will achieve your goal of becoming a therapist, because doing what you love in life, and helping others, can contribute to your sense of fulfillment. You have my support every step of the way:). Claudia

  35. Claudia

    RE: Your above post. LOL!!! Yes, SCHOLARSHIT! Just like RELATIONSHIT, learned from some of the participants on the LF blog. I heard it and thought it was a hilarious spin on labeling the psychopathic bond. You’re right in that scholarshit is somewhat similar. My professor made note of this when she shared about publishers plugging their texts, LOL! So funny because soooo much of it is just BABBLE. Semantics. What really amuses me now is reading the textbooks and recognizing all the jargon for the scholarshit it really is. This is where my participation in a speed reading course helped me to weed all of that out. It’s very long winded, like ME, lol! Kel

  36. Kel, in my career as an academic, I also read so much good scholarship: clear, meaningful, well-researched and informative. So I don’t mean to knock down the whole field. But, as I’ve told you many times, what turned me off was the scholarship that was filled with jargon, with premises that made no sense, and that didn’t say much, if anything at all. Ironically, that kind of scholarship was often considered more “sophisticated” than the kind that made sense and actually contributed something meaningful to the field. I compared the jargon-filled “scholarshit” to the “relationshit” with a pathological because both are fraudulent: the former is an intellectual fraud; the latter an emotional fraud. Incidentally, a physicist named Alan Sokal wrote a very good book unmasking intellectual fraud in the academia called “Fashionable Nonsense”. Here’s the link to it:

    I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the humanities. Both kinds of frauds, the intellectual and the emotional, cause immense damage. When you get falsehood and nonsense presented as reality and truth it messes with your mind. So, in your studies, I hope you’ll avoid scholarshit as much as possible and focus only on what makes sense. I know you’ll sure try! Claudia

  37. Claudia

    I can tell what’s scholarshit and what’s not. Scholarshit is just as you described. To me, it reads as B-O-R-I-N-G. It says a whole lot of nothing. It’s mind “f**king text. I HATE that. As the reader of such, I find myself frustrated that it’s a required read and am not past letting the professors know how much it SUCKS. Just like with this one. Some of them become quite offended when confronted with the choice of texts, but this professor did not and in fact acknowledged that the text for the one class DOES SUCK. lol! The other is VERY, VERY good because it completely immerses me within the subject. It makes sense and is CLEAR.

    Interesting that when I discussed this with my professor, one of the authors of a very popular series of psychology texts is a narcissist and guess what? His work reads like SCHOLARSHIT. I can’t figure out why it’s so popular and I didnt ask her, but I think I will. Anyway, it’s how I feel about my ex too. A whole lotta nothin! Kel

  38. Kel, why am I not surprised? Narcissists love to write scholarshit because it makes them feel smarter and superior to write something nobody can understand. Claudia

  39. Claudia

    LOL! Somehow I knew you wouldn’t be. Kel

  40. Hahahaa!

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