How do you get a sociopathic ex-husband out of your life?

7/25/2008 Current victim/survivor:
I can't agree enough with the author below. My former spouse was so sweet and kind and loving to me the first year or so...then all changed, he controlled every aspect, shut me out of his work life, spoke his own language, told me what where when to do things...We butted heads over a lot of issues for about 4 more years, I caught him in lie after lie about his work schedule/coworkers etc while he was out of town/country for weeks and months on end. He took advantage of my depression when I failed to conceive our child and when our dog had to be put to sleep. He emotionally mindf***ed me till I literally beat my head against the wall and wanted to die many times over. I reached out to my parents for help and support once and he cut me off all marital funds and credit. I had to come crawling home on his terms. That lasted about a year, and he then threatened to kill me when I exposed his infidelity and secret life. He shut all the money down again, and broke the restraining order to try to come back in the house to reason with me!!! The final order didn't stick, I lost to have the law protect me, and I paid huge for a lawyer. I left with what I could take and my animals, established my own apartment and thus began a very long and now psycho pathological divorce process with him. He found out each time I had a phone, cable, cell phone, PO box, new employer, new boyfriend, medical claims....he stalked the hell out of me for over 2 years, some of it I caught, some was not able to be proven. There is little that the women's crisis centers can do other than evacuate you out during a crisis, you can't get legal representation unless you are dirt poor and can prove it, and the law doesn't allow you to bring in past history if it has already been used in a trial and he was found innocent of the charge. Thus, trying to show that these abusers are historical in their pattern of abuse even while they don't live with you it next to impossible. Remember a psychopath will do ANYTHING to lie even if it involves a semi normal person to help him, but remember, he usually has equally deviant support people, so they are all crooked and evil. Consider it like breaking free from a mafia type mentality, it's consuming, scary, very difficult, tricky, unsafe and dangerous daily/hourly/minute to minute. You have to enlist a support system, if you can find one (not many want to get involved, even if they WERE your friends). Friends and family are sometimes just as stalked and threatened as you are by this same person. This process will wear you down to the bone as you will fatigue being so worried and consumed by fear, you eventually will crumble to bits and start to lose ground. I wish I had the formula to help the next victim out of similar situation, but there is no formula. It's a unique and unpredictable as a tornado, and hard to get out of the way most times and the casualty is usually the victim of abuse. It will take you many times to "recover", if you can, from the torture you endured at the will of the psychopath that will forever claim he loves you. DON'T turn back, DON't believe he loves you's a trick to continue to control you in what ever way he can. It's dangerous and not worth it. Move on with your life. There is a process with the Social Security and victims services that you can petition to change name and SS#, but keep documents and records of the abuse, get letters from friends, lawyers, doctors as you go. Keep them in a safe and remote place. If you petition for a new name and SS#, you MUST do it at the same time, or it won't work, and he will find you any time by reverse look up. Place verbal security passwords on all your accounts so he can't access records. DON'T use your mother's maiden name, HE KNOWS IT WELL!!! That is the typical security password most use to identify you, just use your father's mother's maiden name or your first pet name, just make sure you remember it, keep a log book and hide it. Get new email accounts, and warn people to not respond to email from the old account, remember he knows all those email addresses they are on the home computer, right?

Most of all, you need to take care of yourself, mentally and physically. You probably have had to go back to work more than full time to self support. Do not deny your fear, it's real to you. You know the psychopath better than anyone, go with your gut instinct when it smells like trouble. Make sure you have a chain of communication in place with friend or family, check in every couple days. Read stuff on the internet about stalking/harassment/domestic violence, it will empower you to know more resources. Store the most important and valuable items away from your new home, those are the things you will worry about if he breaks in and steals stuff, it will emotionally cripple you into doing stupid reactions towards him. That's the way he can push your hot button and win. Prevent those things from happening, don't let him see that he has made you react. They thrive on hurting you and seeing you destroyed.

Good luck to all, from a STRONG LADY SURVIVOR!!!

Personal experience advice (first, congratulations for recognizing the sociopath in him and for taking action -- IT'S VERY DIFFICULT AND OFTEN SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE): You must move away; staying where you are and changing your phone number every time he manages to get ahold of the new one won't work and he will know where you are to hassle/hurt/kill you (I MEAN IT). Go someplace he can't get at you (I went to my mother's gated, guarded retirement community. Even though he knew it and her number, I knew he couldn't get past the gate). Don't trust anyone, especially mutual friends; you must have a girlfriend he tried to keep you away from but knows what's up. Trust no one. Women's crisis centers are a joke; restraining orders are a joke. YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER EVEN IF YOU SIMPLY CAN'T IMAGINE THAT. Women die every day at the hands of sociopathic, abusive men and if I hadn't listened to one of the two girlfriends I managed to not let him isolate me from, I'd be one of them. GET OUT OF THERE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO CAMP OUT. It's not a matter of getting him out of your life -- you can't control him, only yourself -- it's a matter of you getting away from him because he won't leave you alone. Ever. After you leave, you can never have contact with again. Ever. To All Survivors! Please get a copy of "Be the Pack Leader" by Cesar Millan ("The Dog Whisperer") even if you don't have a dog: better than any therapist/support group. THIS IS FEMALE-CENTERED EMPOWERMENT! Sorry to yell, but IT'S THAT IMPORTANT.