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What’s Your Patronus?

patronusYesterday Glinda wrote:

I feel my anger has taken a patronus form – a huge tiger that sits there silently reminding me to stay on guard. It’s good now. Anger came back when I realized the kids and I were putting up with things that aren’t normal – that are abusive. So I traded silent hurt projected inward to an anger that protects by projecting outward.

I thought this was a terrific concept — an anger patronus!

For those of you non-Harry Potter geeks, a patronus is this sort of guardian animal that appears when you’re in danger. You have to think hard of the people who love you, and positive things, and it just appears. You don’t know what form it will take (a white stag!), but after you summon it, it kicks dementor ass and protects you from harm.

When I was going through the Troubles, I definitely summoned a sort of patronus. I summoned  Chump Lady. There was no Chump Lady then, but I conjured up her persona in my darkest hours. She was several parts Aretha Franklin, South African freedom fighter, and WASP-y matron who takes no shit.

When I was paralyzed with depression and indecision, my persona patronus would appear and kick some ass. “Let’s call the lawyer! Let’s make a plan!” And when his rages got scary, she would appear out of nowhere in a towering rage right back at him. She would’ve killed the motherfucker if her chumpy, sensible self hadn’t intervened.

So today, the question is — who is your patronus? If you could summon all your guts and courage into one being, what form would it take?

Ask Chump Lady

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    • I like the Golden Eagle! I am going to borrow it, especially since it is the mascot from my high school, the same school my kids attend.

  • A gazelle.

    Because I like Dave Ramsey, and I have, for all intents and purposes, put it in gear and run like hell from XH’S disorderedness like a gazelle escaping from a cheetah.

  • I choose a Siamese cat. When I lived with my parents we had a Siamese and a standard poodle. Our poodle had a bad disposition, but he always gave the cat a respectful wide berth. We could never understand how our soft, sweet, benevolent seeming kitty could put this poodle into almost nervous breakdown mode. Then one day we arrived home early and we saw our seemingly sweet, lovable kitty riding on the back of the poodle with his claws clearly embedded into him! Apparently the Siamese was keeping him in tow by riding him like a bull at a rodeo! Kitty was showing him who was the boss! Looks can be deceiving and I know I had always been the easy going, compliant, fair minded chump who never rocked the boat. I know my ex was hoping I would carry that through mediation, but I’ll be damned! I rode him like a bull in a rodeo! Still waters run deep and don’t let my chumpy, fuzzy exterior fool you. The claws WILL come out when you least expect it. Survival of the fittest!

    • Roberta–I love the “make the poodle my bitch” concept (with sympathy for the poodle, but the sweet exterior/claws out dichotomy is wonderful!!).

    • Roberta, I going to mentally take you with me to mediation. I am taking your “NO” from yesterday and the damn bull riding today! I NEVER rocked the boat (eggshells) and I feel I am kind. I’ve been thinking of some things that I could have taken but left behind, asked my lawyer not to do because of fear,thinking of all the damn money he has and at this moment his mom is in hospice so he has not paid support and we have NO money. I am not demeaning his mom and have offered my help if he could give me something specific. I just know he is not there 24 hrs because he has a dog,a life, and maybe working his side job, but can’t find the time to give what he agreed to. Excuses! Ding, just got overdraft notice! Luckily we have food. Sorry about the rant.

      I had cancer as well. (16 yrs ago)Short version-I knew we were going to divorce and after being home with first child, I went back to work. Got pregnant which was a good thing because i was going to OB and and that age I probably would have ignored the lump. It was agrassive at stage 3 and I did an experimental treatment. He took me to most appointments which I felt he did out of obligation and pity from friends. He pointedly told me he was truthful to me during that time-bitch cookie-, and he did not cheat because I only had one breast. While doing the pick us dance, I actually went to several Drs to see about reconstruction because the comment was hurtful. UGGH time and money wasted there. Now I think anyone who gets to see my scars is going to feel privileged. My first treatment he left and I waited on the curb to be picked up. Wanted BJ after I got sick with chemo. No sex because I did not have an immune system. Toward the end of the marriage he did infect me with STDS ( I was faithful) and I even stayed after that. Thankfully it was not when I did not have an immune system which may be a reason they say no sex. I have only been out 6 months and one of the things he said after I left was that he wondered if I was sick again because I was acting strange. Wouldn’t you ask your wife if cancer had returned? Maybe he did not ask because he thought it would be another bad pap and wanted to avoid that scene. Everyone who has lived with these people know there are more pieces involved. Huge Chump! As a response to the post yesterday-Yes I am angry.

      I want an animal Patronus but can’t think of one. It would have to be quiet, quick, so subtle he would never see it coming. I’ll have to think about that. I do use thoughts of being surrounded by my family. My deceased brother who said we did not deserve to be treated like that and left me his home to move into, and all deceased grandparents and relatives because I know they would never want us living like that. I also propel myself with thoughts of my kids who deserve more attention, kindness, love, direction,modeling respect, and stability.

      • Roberta…that reminds me of my sweet little dog ‘Teddie’ she was a 4lb puppy Shih tzu at the time and she would put the run on the neighbor’s Doberman when it came in our yard. We’d just crack up laughing at the sight!
        I guess I’ll channel Teddie.

      • Informal, feel free to channel my “no” and my super Siamese anytime. Just know that when you go into mediation you don’t have to agree to anything if it doesn’t benefit you. I had made a list of all my non-negotiables in the months leading up to the divorce. I knew exactly what I wanted and what I needed. Basically my ex was short sighted. He wanted to settle the taxes he was unable to pay in 2013 and get the 2014 taxes done. He also wanted to wiggle out of lifetime spousal support. I negotiated with those two things, but I was very focused and had plan B and C if it didn’t work out. Right around hour 2 he was folding like nobodies business! I went for solid assets. Such as investments, the house, cars, savings etc. things I knew I could turn into larger sums to secure my future. I am no spring chicken at 59 and I was not willing to give up the lifestyle I enjoy. Bottom line: know what you need and go for it! Then let your lawyer do the talking, but be clear to your lawyer about what you are and are not willing to negotiate. Don’t feel sorry for your cheater cause they chose this! He is not your problem anymore. Let him deal with the consequences of his actions!

        • Thanks Roberta,
          I’m fifty with one in college and another to go. At this time they are both no contact as well. I have put thought into long term survival mode and what i am not willing to let go which is my standard of living and helping the kids. It has already hit rock bottom this week. It took six months to make our needs disappear and the thought of mediation makes me turn to jelly. He is an angry person and deals with cash so its going to be hard. He does have a lot of toys and we own property as well. Dread it but I will be so glad when it is over!

          • Don’t worry Informal! These mediators have seen these types of situations before. Your cheater may think he has come up with a novel idea to “hide” assets, but the courts have seen it all and know what they are up to! Just be calm and collected. Let your attorney do the talking and you will be fine. I know I dreaded going also, but it was the strangest thing, once I arrived at his attorney’s office no less, I came face to face with the cheater. He actually looked at me in the foyer of this office and nonchalantly asks, “hey, how are you?” I didn’t say a word to him and planted my behind in a chair, picked up a copy of a magazine and ignored him totally! I felt and was calm surprisingly enough. I guess I knew I needed to focus on my needs rather than expend a lot of emotion on a useless idiot! I also knew that he was wrong from start to finish so his goose was cooked! You are going to do fine. And I have no doubt that cheaters never really win, experience bears that out! Good Luck to you and you will be on my mind until I hear about the outcome. Besides, you don’t need luck, good people, honest people are always way ahead of cheaters!

    • I am going with my sign- the scorpio. They can adapt to harsh environments by slowing metabolism while maintaining the ability to quickly spring into action using their unique venom to paralyze and kill in self defense.

  • A starfish

    A friend reminded me that a starfish’s arms can be ripped off but over time they will regenerate. I bought a starfish ring & a pillow for my bed as reminders that I too will regenerate.

  • A salamander. Just kidding;) I have two dogs, so I am going with… oh.. a large dilute Bull Mastiff 🙂 Loyal, territorial, but it’s a big dog, so don’t abuse it because that can’t turn out well.

  • I’m the phoenix rising from the ashes. I’ve been so emotionally and psychologically so beaten down but I will not be broken like he thought I would.

    @ RobertA..definitely survival of the fittest and smartest. I don’t have to do much but wait this out. My disordered ex pos will self destruct in due time.

  • Tempest, great, but scary! I prefer to lull my prey into believing I am fuzzy, warm and sweet, but cross me and I hiss, claw, bite and in general make the “poodle my bitch

  • I enjoy the thought of a Puma or a ferocious female cat of any sort that protects the hell out of it’s cub. I imagine she is calm and loving with those closest to her but will defend herself at all costs against a threat. It helps too that she’s incredibly fast, to retreat from danger when necessary. I think I like the idea of a cat because they’re not just brute strength, they’re intellect too. They observe, they absorb and then they take precise action.

    I dig it.

    • TheBetterJamie – yes! Fucker knew I was born a Leo, and my b-day also happend to be during the Year of the Tiger. I have a lot of ass-kicking, cub-defending, intelligent, aggressive, competitive, and dominant characteristics about myself. It’s what drew his weak-minded ass to me back in high school. It turned out to be what he ran from; he couldn’t keep up or compliment my personality at all.

      That’s why he chose to scheme against me and stab me in the back. He knew I’d attack, defend, and kill (if necessary) if he came at me and my children from the front.

      Turns out, after 8 months of controlling the tiger/lion in me by not attacking the whore and his married whore-worker, and instead waiting prayerfully and patiently, and focusing on my healing while lining up my ducks, I realized he wasn’t even worth any kind of a fight. I realized I’d been alone for years anyway, and I accepted that over 23 years, he brought zero value to my or my children’s lives.

      I only roared, swung at, and bared my teeth and claws to his lawyer in the temp hearing and mediation (my lawyer was useless). I’m a professional PR practitioner, so generating details and messaging, articulating who the adulterer/abandoner is, and what will and WILL NOT happen concerning my only under-18 child was simple for me. I got what I wanted, and protected my daughter from his crazy ass, and his weak-ass lawyer backed down from me. Both times (he couldn’t even make eye contact with me within 30 minutes!).

      I had bought a sizeable jade tiger necklace years prior to all this crap. I just didn’t know I was wearing my patronus around my neck for a reason. Now I know.

      (((Hugs))) to all you mighty women and men!!

      • Additionally – what is it we know about the lioness or tigress? They keep, feed, nurture, teach, and care for their cubs almost exclusively ALONE.

        I’m positive that every member of Chump Nation is a part of the same pride…

      • I hear you. Same kind of stuff here. And the part about the female felines – so true. I just get so frustrated that I put up with it for so long. A friend told me when I was first married to always keep a huge iron frying pan in the kitchen – just to have on hand in case it is needed. If we only knew, the symbol of matrimony.

        • This is an easy one for me!! I am totally a Tiger! I always envision Katie Perry’s “ROAR” song playing in the background. I’m a very musical person and that song speaks to me. I can hear it now : “you held me down, but I got up. Already brushing off the dust. You hear my voice? You hear that sound? Like thunder gonna shake the ground. You held me down, but I got up. Get ready cause I’ve had enough. I see it all. I see it now. I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter. Dancing through the fire. Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR”. Hells to the yes! This song and the visual is conjures speak to me! This vision really carried me when I felt weak. It propelled me to the attorney, to apply for a restraining order, to finally stand up for myself.

  • I’m an owl — careful watching what’s happening from all directions. I’ll hoot when I need help but otherwise, I will quietly take to my perch and just observe. Then when I need to I will swoop in quietly and reek havoc.
    It’s been two years that we’ve been working on this agreement and I let my lawyer do the talking and I just let her do what she’s been paid to do. He’s in a tizzy and I’m calmly watching from my tree.

    CL –thanks for this exercise. It’s calming to realize who I am and what I’m doing! It gives strength!

    • Owls are amazingly territorial. A family I know had one adopt them – it had got injured and the dad of the family set its wing and nursed it back to health and then let it go… only it cottoned on that the pickings were rich around their place and she never left. Ulla lived with them (perfectly and completely free) in a keep on their deck for about a decade till she finally died of old age. Anyway, there had been a string of burglaries in their area and then one day my friend got back from school to see signs of a break-in… only there were possessions all over the deck and just inside and nearby, and a bit of blood and signs of a struggle… and Ulla sitting there, preening. They had no other pet.

      A few months later she attacked a bull mastiff that was visiting so ferociously that they had to take the dog to the vet. A small, fluffy, partly blind barn owl. Very small. Really very unassuming and a bit tatty. No more break-ins, attempted or otherwise.

      • What a cool story! I’ve always been so fascinated by owls. Now I know why!!! Lol, Ulla sounds like a badass, my kind of chick!

      • Love this story about the owl!! Mine would be an owl, too. I have been fascinated with owls for the last 5 or 7 years but have not been able to see any. Then, during the year of X’s affair, I saw several; different owls in different places – some wild and some at a local aviary. I read some books about owls and people started sending me photos of owls. After D-day while I was still living with him we had a pair of little screech owls visiting our trees in our yard every night for about a week. They made these cute little noises and we saw them with flashlights. Never in 25 years did we have owls in our yard. I felt like all of these owls were bringing me wisdom, vision and insight.
        Owls can see in the dark. They symbolize wisdom and vision. They fly silently. When they feel threatened they will attack and they will go for the eyes with their tremendous, razor-sharp talons, and the victim will never hear or see the owl coming and won’t know what hit them. I feel like I became ferocious like this after D-day. My X thought I would accept what he did. We are divorced now.

        • Sightings of owls can mean adultery is at play.

          I don’t know where I read that, but I remember in the year leading up to BD seeing more owls than I usually would!

    • me too, redless. I came at him in full force when he stopped helping with the bills. Mess with the money that puts food on the table and provides a roof for my daughter and I’ll fight you tooth and nail.

  • I have had to ponder this one for a little while. I think my patronus is some sort of mythical creature that can fly and move swiftly on ground. It has flaming red fire wings and a huge mane of red hair. It’s terribly calculating and unpredictable. It bides it’s time and goes into action at the right time. But don’t anger the son of a bitch. It attacks when provoked whether its an attack on the creature itself or those that the creature protects. Grrrrrr!

  • I love this idea. I’m going to go with a Scorpion which is my star sign. Before I got with idiot man all through my teens I loved that I was a don’t mess with me Scorpio. That side of me withered away over the years with the idiot but I think I’ll reclaim it now.

    Also a Phoenix (which I use as online and on my blog) which I am going to get as my next tattoo.

    • Out of the blue the other day, my supportive friend txted me “How goes Project Scorpio?” which I thought apt. So now when we text, Project Scorpio is code for “divorce my cheating wife.” So another vote for Scorpion!

      • Buddy, Scorpio is also code on the TV series Flashpoint for take out the idiot with the gun jeopardizing folks out there… Pretty apt in these situations with cheaters… Go Scorpio !!!

    • Yeah definitely Phoenix. I’d never heard of a Patronus until yesterday and then did a quiz to find out what my Patronus is (the things you learn at Chump Lady!). It was a Phoenix which was really no surprise as I already identify with this wonderfully mythical creature and wear a red Phoenix pendant. Being a chump is not the first time I have had to arise out of the ashes to be reborn….

    • CheaterPhoenix when my son deployed to Afghanistan, we got matching tattoos. Double infinity rings. Mine on my ankle and his on his trigger finger. He is now stateside, thanks be to God. He will be home soon on leave and we will again get matching tattoos. We have decided on a Phoenix. Fixing from the ashes is something I have had to do many times in my life. And he too has faced and is facing challenges due to his deployment. We will rise again!!!!

      As far as my patronus, I think mine is the Honey Badger. Mean, kick your ass, hell to the NO and fuck that shit kind of animal. 🙂

    • I got a Phoenix tattoo on my left pectoral. It reminds me every morning that I truly came back from the dead. I don’t do tattoos, but it’s one of the best things I’ve done in my life.

    • THIS
      “I’m going to go with a Scorpion which is my star sign. Before I got with idiot man all through my teens I loved that I was a don’t mess with me Scorpio. That side of me withered away over the years with the idiot but I think I’ll reclaim it now.”

      Scorpios are fiercely passionate & loyal until betrayed.
      Then it is all stings & scorched earth for the party who has wronged you

      • Irish,
        I set up a gravatar account. (search “gravatar account” and click on the word press icon).
        Glad that your son is home safe!

    • Ok. I changed my mind. My patronus is a lion.
      I also like gardening shears. And a mama water buffalo, and a curly horned goat, and a sagetorius and let’s keep the scorpion and a boar. I’ve got a team.
      I acquire patroni.
      And for wisdom, we need the owl and the elephant, and how about one of those trees that does not falter in a storm (with living branches.) Fiercely loyal.
      And I want the wind on my side, and St. Benedict for healing all wounds.
      And lady liberty (Thomas Paine’s version, half clad) with rock solid resolve, stepping forward.

      Bluedragon, you are nothing.

  • I have a Queen in my belly, a tall, regal, masterful woman of power. Think of Galadriel when she reveals her power to Frodo. Fearless, strong and a total bitch when needed. The Queen can shoot sparks out of her eyes if necessary and make any demon back down. No man is her match. No problem defeats her.

      • I always think of Sylvia Plath of queen bees:

        “I
        Have a self to recover, a queen.
        Is she dead, is she sleeping?
        Where has she been,
        With her lion-red body, her wings of glass?

        Now she is flying
        More terrible than she ever was, red
        Scar in the sky, red comet”

    • // ,

      “In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”

  • A large black cat. Quick, stealthy, fearless, smart. Defends its territory–and me–from the ground or a high perch. (Doesn’t Prof. McGonigal have a cat patrons? I need to re-read the books…)

  • A shark. Always watching, seldom seen, calculating, knowing everything but revealing nothing until the time is right.

  • No patronus here.

    But I do have a Harry Potter reference. When I thought about how my ex loved to keep “friends” after the relationship(s) went inappropriate, I thought of Professor Slughorn and his “collection” of students. I made it clear I was not going to be put in that collection, though.

    • I swear JK Rowling had a relationship with a sociopath. That whole thing about Voldemort hiding pieces of his soul around in little compartments. Turns out Rowling was in an abusive marriage before she was a single mom and wrote the books. She gets the workings of the disordered. Slughorn for sure, and Dolores Umbridge, the “sweet” vicious suck up.

        • This is very timely.. The Harry potter reference… I was just telling my friend the other day that cheating is a lot like dark magic .. If you practice it n hurt people, the only way back is to feel truly remorseful but the pain of it can kill you!! That’s why most death eaters won’t even attempt it… Don’t want to own upto their crap or feel remorse Cuz it’s too much work n pain… It’s uncomfortable so they would rather inflict pain on others… So true of cheaters!!! Although I prefer to call cheaters – soul eaters instead 🙂

        • I knew her vaguely before all the HP stuff kicked off, and yep, that is the case. The legend that she wrote the books in Edinburgh coffee shops to spare the heating bill is 100% truth.

          • Mehphista–are you in Edinburgh, then? I may be nearby toward the end of July (with KarmaExpress). If you’d be interested in meeting up, let me know [tempest.ariel2014@gmail.com]

      • JK Rowling was already an inspiration in my time of woe,the year after Dday, as I thought of her, raising her kids as a divorced mom, sitting there in the coffee shop writing Harry Potter — and look where she is now!! Many times, I thought of her and thought, “Well, if JK Rowling can do it, you can, too.” But to know her XH was a jerk just puts icing on the cake.

    • In light of today’s Harry Potter reference, I would wish to be a wizard so that I could cast one of the 3 unforgivable curses on stbx-mainly the Cruciatus Curse. That way he could experience the horrific pain he has caused me. I would say the Avada Kedavra Curse but my little boy would be crushed if his crappy dad wasn’t around anymore……………

      • But don’t let that stop you muttering ‘Riddikulus’ under your breath. Best way to deal with boggarts.

  • In addition to my golden eagle who gets everything in front of me. I keep a gargoyle for the back. I’ve dumped everything and everybody in my life who irritates me and brings me down but one. Gargoyles are not evil they were placed to keep evil spirits out. Who knew one evil spirit disguised as my spouse was living in the building.

  • As a life long hiker and climber, I think my Patronus is the mountains that I look up to from my bedroom window. After the affair, I remember looking up at the mountains as they basked in the glow of a summer sunset, and I was no longer able to see or feel their beauty. Feeling empowered, I said to myself “I WANT MY MOUNTAINS BACK.”

  • A Griffin.

    From Wikipedia: “…is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle’s talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of all creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions.

    ‘Nuf sed!

  • “I’m gonna come at you like a spider monkey ‘ol man” from Talledaga Nights.
    That line always cracks me up. So today, it will be the spider monkey. 🙂

  • A kickass Viking warrior woman. And believe me I know how to wield an ax.
    I was constructing a new garden bed in our backyard a few months befor d’day and the only way to get the plants out of the decayed old plastic pots was to spit it with the ax. While I am working my ass off, XH is sitting at the back table with some random guy he had invited over to quote on taking a few branches out of a large tree in the yard. I split the pot and I hear my stupid X comment ‘I bet you weren’t expecting that? That’s why I married her!’ WTF???
    That’s why you married me?

    Well as of today I am wielding an ax of a legal kind to my XH’s future.

    • Viking shieldmaidens were fucking awesome. This is my Anger Patronus, too – kinda fitting really, because my roots originated in Scandinavia probably around that time. If theres such thing as past lives I reckon I was probably one of them – not taking shit from invaders and cracking some heads open.
      And I know how to wield an axe too! Packing any sort of steel – beware!

  • Me, from 21 years ago. There was a woman who took no shit from anyone. I was a single mom working two jobs. When asked if I didn’t need a man in my life I’d say my life was hard enough,I didn’t have the patience for another toddler. She was strong, tough, and supremely confident that she could handle whatever life threw her. I know she’s got to still be in here somewhere.

    • Trusting …^^yes!^^
      I had a signitifant dream during XH’s adultery years/pre Dday. It told me all I needed to know though it made no sense at the time. It ended with me being greeted by myself at age 28 – right before marriage. I was financially independent, called a spade a spade, and walked away from craziness. She is my patronus again. In my darkest days, it was Jesus. He and I actually make a great team now.

      • This reminds me of a dream I had right after Dday where I was following a car down a really steep winding hill. (I hate heights.) There was green grass on either side of me and the sky was bright blue. All of a sudden I realized tht the car I was following had disappeared and I was at the bottom of the massive hill. I now saw a roadway in front of me and one off to the side. I had to decide whether to go back up the hill I came down or go forward and take one of the other roads.

        I’ve never ever had such a vivid dream. I still think about it all the time. It means a lot to me to know that I’m climbing up the hill in front of me and not going back the way I came!

        • wonderful dream, Susan. i keep a dream journal and when i re-read it, i see all sorts of “knowing”. dream on up your hill 🙂

  • My Patronus from the darkest of days when he was the craziest and most unpredictable was that I was a stone pillar…a solid, unmoving, strong, unchanging and predictable…he was like swirling colored smoke…different, unpredictable, affected by unseen forces – you couldn’t remember what he was like or know what he would be next. Imagine the colored smoke swirling around the stone pillar…every moment was slightly different – if you took a picture of it, but the time you glanced at thephoto, the situation was already different.

    Now that those most desperate of days are over, I am more myself…a strong loving middle aged anglo woman who (if dead H were to walk into the room and serve me up a shit sandwich like he did 2000 times before) would stare back at him unmoved and uninterested…blinking in silence thinking how little his opinions about anything matter to me.

  • Lioness. Because they love and protect their children at all cost, and when some lame ass male tries to screw up the pride or eat the children – she and her other sisters rise up to beat the shit out of him. That pride, from where I sit, is the Chump Nation! (I realize guys are in Chump Nation too – but prides are all about the ladies so I had to roll with that!)

  • During one of the more stressful periods after I had decided to divorce, I was in a store with my son and came across a Lego Darth Vader keychain. Darth Vader has been hanging out with my keys ever since. I use it to remind myself that I am tough and strong and that I don’t have to be nice all the time.

  • MIne is me as a girl. I was a book-wormy nerd, but we lived in a rural area. It’s going to sound like I was a feral child, but I can remember doing some pretty badass things like watching coyote play in the field across from us while I waited for this bus, without being scared. And playing in the woods and being confronted by stray dogs , snakes, and wildlife and knowing how to handle myself. Picture a tatty eight year old walking through the woods all day with a big walking stick-it was a little wild! I had a friend with a horse, and we would hop on bareback and go have an adventure. My Dad made sure I could drive a go-cart, use the riding lawn mower, and use a shop full of power tools at a pretty young age. I stood up for myself and my friends and had a strong sense of right and wrong. Then I turned into a teenager and became something else completely. She’s hiding behind a suburban soccer mom facade now, but she’s still there!

    • Yes! Me before I started limiting myself. I think of if as the “best me” – all the good parts – rising to the top to fight as needed!

  • Funny-I don’t have a patronis, but my ex is my Boggart and I have the spell “Riddikulus” posted to my monitor to remind myself how rediculous he is and to laugh at him make him disappear.

  • Let’s see. For real creatures, it would be a tiger. They are just magnificent animals.

    For fantasy, some one above mentioning the mountains gave me an idea. My Patronus would be The Ocean. I love it. Majestic, powerful, beautiful, serene. It would protect good, faithful, innocent people but when OWhores touched it they would be swept away to the underground world of WhorLantis. Lol, there all cheaters would spend eternity making good on all those “promises,” they made. They could do nothing but text, email, talk, screw, etc. all day, every day till the end of timowte little

  • Damn phone. SB every day till the end of time. Their own private, couples only personal hell. Kind of like Sandals resort, but sinister.

  • My patronus is a cougar and I adopted her image as my avatar on all my social media before I even left my ex. She sleeps for the moment but is ready to leap into action at any time.

      • I’m very easy to get along with, until I notice you fucking me over. Then? I’ll show you my full height. I used to give people the benefit of doubt.

        No more. I feel like trouble only spreads my might wider… maybe a flying squirrel?! lol – but this video just launched itself into my mind, when I saw the call for my patronus. 😛

  • Badger. Mean as hell when they are attacked. Smart as heck when they try to get in or out of someplace…or when the smell food…

  • Mama Bear! I feel like I am still protecting my children, our home, and our belief system. I also pray the Armor of God prayer when I start to feel he is up to something that is harmful to our family life. EXPECTO PATRONUM!

  • Mine is a little white foster dog that recently found a home. For some reason, while she was in my care, I could stand up to bullshit happening around me. As soon as she left a couple of weird things happened which I felt were emotionally abusive. I suppose my guard was down toward people because I was mourning her at the same time I was happy she found a home. I’m going to continue to hold her little badass attitude in my heart forever.

  • Taurus the Bull that I am…loving, kind earth mother…till pushed to the nth degree…then…LOOK OUT! 🙂 Better RUN and keep your head down 🙂

    It takes a lot to rile me…but, once riled LOOK OUT. I will not be abused! Nor will I allow those that I love to be abused!

    xmr morphed into, or finally SHOWED, his true self – disordered, uncaring, cheating, lying, self-centered preening asshole – and UH OH – pushed me too far this time!

    I imagine he spends a lot of time squatted in a corner somewhere, drooling, lost in his irrational mind trying to figure out what the hell happened!

    • Jeepin4me, I found your description of your cheater delightful! I hope each and everyone of these disordered fucktards end up that way!

  • Spot on here. By definition, chumps has sold themselves short and have a lot more power than they realize. It’s been three years of dealing with and moving on from finding out my wife had a boyfriend she had neglected to tell me about. It was a progression of patronuses (patroni?)

    1) Initially, cold hearted and calculating snake. Hacked into emails, withheld what I knew until it was important, intimated that I knew everything (when I didn’t) . Needed to get all “The Art of War” and shit.

    2) 1970’s crap TV reference: the alien robot Sasquatch from the 6 Million Dollar Man. Powerful, can fight Steve Austin but ultimately friendly.

    3) Happy, lean and quick racehorse.

    Go get ’em chumps!

  • My Patronus is the inspiration of my username: Boudica – Queen of the Celtic Iceni Tribe, and she, with the rest of her clan and other tribal allies in ancient Britain, took on the greatest force at the time: The Roman Empire. At first she and her husband were in harmony with their Roman usurpers in exchange for a façade of autonomy over their lands. However, when Boudica was left a widow, the Romans soldiers came in, took over, and publicly beat her and raped her daughters as a show of their dominance (and Misogynistic culture). It invoked such ire in her that she raised a Celtic army and soundly defeated the Roman forces in occupied Britain until more troops were brought in. She is legend. There have been several documentaries about her, and one movie:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=poJXSZZ-bmE

  • A dragon . . . fire-breathing, preferably. I feel like my anger could destroy villages and take out towns. Or sometimes I imagine myself like Maleficient in the newer Disney Movie. She is mighty and angry because she was betrayed by love, to where her wings were clipped, but she didn’t stop fighting. I know what that kind of soul betrayal feels like and I know what it is like to feel that pain of clipped wings.

  • My patronus is RuPaul. She’s fierce, on point, and doesn’t dumb it down. One of my favorite sayings of hers is “What other people think of me aint none of my business.” It reminds me to be true to myself and to hell with the haters.
    Seriously, if you’re ever feeling deflated, RuPaul’s Drag U is the best remedy ever. It’s like Queen for a Day, but with Drag Queens and lip synching. Good stuff.

      • I love Ru too-
        It’s been my guilty pleasure since it started.
        Those queens are fierce & don’t take any crap!!
        Plus, a few of those ladyboys are some really gorgeous women.
        Makes me a little jealous…..ha ha!

        • I read Ru’s book Working It, and found this gem that got me through the post D-day swamp:

          “No more hiding. No more dumbing down. Rise up and be fierce! Fierceness is a deliberate decision to be clear, precise, and on point. Rise up and be fearless, like a Maasai warrior. Stake your claim in this lifetime. Remember who you really are. Unleash the dragon and let–these–bitches–have–it!”

    • Yeah, where is that story? In the Runaway Husbands book? — AMAZING to read that the XH hinged his decision about whether or not he would divorce her on whether or not he won the Pulitzer. If he did, he would stay. He didn’t so he left. How f***ing disordered is THAT?!?

    • If he already had a mistress and the Pulitzer was Madeleine’s “pick me” dance card, good riddance, I say.

      • While he was undecided about the marriage, he would call and inform her in percentages how much he loved her versus his mistress on a particular day.

        “One day, he came up with the startling proposition: if he got the Pulitzer, he would stay with me. If not, he would leave and we would get a divorce. I did not know how to react.

        Late on the afternoon of April 12, the phone rang. It was Joe. ‘I didn’t get it,’ he said, ‘so I am going back to Atlanta.’ That was that. At least the uncertainty was over. I could never make sense of the possibility that my marriage might have been saved if only the Pulitzer committee had made a different decision.”

        • That is so crazy… and I’ll bet her husband’s public persona was elite, intellectual, polished… who would have guessed he was a disordered loon!

          • What is that line by the guy in the restaurant in Fast Times at Ridgemont High? “. I’m going to kick 100% of your ass”. That’s what she should have told the cheater.

        • I find that weirdly passive and chumpy of her. If my husband came home and told me what percentage of him loved his mistress more than me, I would at least see a lawyer. She left it to HIM (and the Pulitzer committee) to determine it was over? The woman should’ve walked.

            • I didn’t read the whole book, but to me it came across as “meh.” Even if that’s not really where she was, I wish I could be like what I imagined of her, that she’s thinking…… ” wtfever you disordered asshat. MEH. Stay or go, because I don’t really give a rat’s ass.”

              Someday MY Tuesday will arrive. Until then, I’m just trying to move forward, make good decisions and get over that what I thought the past 25 years was – just wasn’t. It’s hard to fully comprehend and I still feel sort of disoriented a lot of the time. Nevertheless, my mantra is to just keep moving forward. And my patronus, oddly the vibrant poison dart frog. Can’t EVEN touch it.

              • In the article she doesn’t come across as “meh” years latersaying while she “doesn’t seem to have many regrets. Except for one big one. She still can’t get over losing Joe.

                She knows that he behaved badly, and that she might not have become secretary of state if she had remained married. Yet she keeps his name and agonises over the question of how marriages and careers can survive each other.”

                And this was 20 years after the fact, after she was SofS.

          • I knew a gentleman who worked for Madaleine Albright when she was Secretary of State. He absolutely adored her and said she was kind, sincere and he loved his job with her. He couldn’t say enough nice things about her. She is, to say the least, a gracious woman. She is truly a role model for women everywhere. I had no idea until today that she had been chumped! Just goes to show you, it’s not the chump who is screwed up, it’s the disordered, self entitled cheaters! Hope her ex is miserable!

  • Some mean as hell female cat.. a female cat with cubs.. who she would DIE to protect, and who she will not let any cheater asshole stomp all over. Whose future she makes her daily mantra.. her reason to live.. her inspiration.

    GROWL…..

  • I wish I could go with puma or black panther but I feel I’m not calculating enough. I have to go with the tried and true mama bear — a grizzly standing on her hind legs making a grown cheater shit his pants.

    xox

  • I don’t have a Patronus, but there was a switch that flipped in me one day. Before that moment all I could think was “how can I reach him?” After that it became “how can I protect myself from him?” What flipped the switch was him saying “When I look in my future, YOU’RE not in it” as he walked out the door. What made me crazy was him sending an email the next day saying we would still be friends. It was crazy making!! At that point all I wanted was to get the hell away from him.

    I’m extremely protective of myself now. Sometimes I think I’ll never be able to let down my defenses enough for someone else to get in.

    • Lyn, I think we were married for a similar length of time and I also wondered “how can I reach him”. I protect myself way too much now and believe me, there is absolutely no way anyone will ever get close to me again because I don’t trust a soul. I have a wall built around myself now that is 3 feet thick.

      • Same with me ladies. Wasted words trying “to reach” a sociopath after 30 years. I don’t have a Patronus, and maybe that is my state of mind at this moment. For right now, I imagine myself a butterfly emerging from my chrysalis and flitting away from cheater.

  • I’m going to go with my Chinese Zodiac of the Dragon (my year). I’m a Leo in the Western Zodiac, and that would be good, but I’ll take the dragon because it is like the lion, but smarter (not the Harry Potter ones). I have character and integrity, but I can be fierce as well.

  • My Patronus would be a foot bobbit worm, an equal match for the narc predator and his like thinking whore. I love this creatures middle name but I would call her Olive after my grandmother. She was four feet six inches and would stand between my sweet mom and narc feather to defend her with fists raised. She was mighty.

  • My Chinese Zodiac is Pisces- the fish- so I like the Starfish idea, but when EH1 divorced me, I took on the persona of Phoenix Rising…I think I will claim that as my Patronus. My Chinese Zodiac Year is the Pig, so no on that one.

  • Lol, I’m totally a Potter geek. Patronuses don’t just happen, you have to say “Expecto Patronum.” It’s the only spell that can get rid of Dementors. For those who don’t know, Dementors are evil spirits that can suck all the happiness out of any space they inhabit. They make you feel so empty and cold that they can cause ice to freeze over windows. And they can literally suck out someone’s soul. It’s called “The Dementor’s Kiss.” They’re the guardians of Azkaban Prison. Conjuring a patronus is really difficult because it’s extremely hard to feel any happiness or think of anything happy when in the presence of a Dementor.

    Which…really isn’t unlike being stuck in a relationship with a cheater. It’s actually a really good analogy. The pain of finding out you’ve been betrayed is not unlike the feeling of all the happiness draining out of you, it’s hard to feel happy in their presence because their blame shifting and narcissism sucks all the life out of the relationship, thinking of happy memories becomes difficult because they’re all tainted by the new knowledge of betrayal, leaving you wondering if any of it was genuine…

    My patronus is a crocodile. A big-ass saltwater crocodile. And actually, I got a tattoo of a big ass saltwater crocodile spirit on my left thigh last Sunday.

    A friend of mine asked me why I think my patronus is a crocodile. I told him some stuff about how crocodiles are misunderstood and feared and all that, and how I think they’re beautiful and whatnot.

    But I also feel like this crocodile spirit is my guardian figure. The design itself is a large, four-armed crocodile with dragon whiskers. Two of it’s arms are holding a woman, who glows blue and pink and kind of floats in its hands. I feel like that’s me. I’m the floating woman and the crocodile is my guardian spirit protecting me. Crocodiles ARE misunderstood, reptiles just generally are. I’ve loved reptiles my whole life, since I was a little kid. Which of course means I’ve had to put up with a lot of people thinking I’m weird, asking me dumb questions about why I like them, and (probably the most ANNOYING) people saying a lot of really stupid, false, and just plain ignorant urban legends and comments about reptiles that I’ve had to debunk. (No, snakes do not “save room in their stomachs” to eat people. I’ve heard that stupid urban legend so many times I think I really might puke if I hear it one more time…)

    But misunderstood though they may be, they’re amazing. Fascinating creatures, powerful, long-lived, and magnificent. One of the things that I love about them is despite their MASSIVE size (saltwater crocodiles are the largest reptile in the world) they can hide, undetected, beneath the surface of water and take their prey by complete surprise.

    Misunderstood things have under appreciated value. Kind of like chumps.

    The crocodile tattoo really doesn’t have much to do with my reaching Meh or having X amount of years out of that shitty relationship, but I know that when I finally let go of my ex, he was sure as hell surprised at my sudden strength!

    • Awesome tattoo! I like reptiles as well. When I was a kid, my brothers had loads of pet reptiles, including a couple of baby alligators.

      • I was never allowed to have reptile pets. Not even a turtle. My mom CLAIMED she wasn’t scared of them, but she saw a garter snake on our front walk once and screamed really loud and dropped her purse.

        …Not afraid of them. Suuuuuuureee..

  • I like the idea of Towanda, Idgie Threadgood’s and Evelyn Couch’s alter ego from Fried Green Tomatoes. Like Evelyn Couch, I’m older and have more insurance. 🙂

  • All this Harry Potter information is great cause my 11 year old daughter just started reading the first book a few days ago. She will be impressed with my knowledge, lol.

        • Sounds totally Chumpy, but my patronus (patroni?) is an amalgam of Chump Lady, Tempest, Mrs Vain, Moving Liquid, Nomar (who I am kind of in love with), the dear departed Chump Son, and the one and only Datdamwulf and the rest of the Mighty, Mighty Chump Nation.

          When the fear has me, I remember that you guys hold me in the light as I hold you. And on my least Tuesdayish days, that counts for everything.

          love to all,
          x-Meh.

          EXPECTO CHUMPONEM!

      • They’re very tiny. But… they’re survivors for sure. The micro-world you cannot see is full of weird critters, and they’re up there. They’re even doing experiments on the in the space station.

  • I’ve believed in Guardians for a long time, most of my guardians are female ancestors of mine, and I picture them sitting on my shoulder, or flying behind me for protection. My Great Grandmother Bertha left her mean and abusive husband, and never went back, so she is one of them. I think my Patronus would be a glowing, white light Queen, like Cate Blanchett as Galadriel! She would appear when I need her strength and beauty to guide me, she is so perfectly kick-ass! I have this great print on my wall, the medieval Queen is knighting a young man in armour, of course he’s kneeling in front of her. I love it, I surround myself now with empowering artwork and quotes, like the good kind of brain-washing!

    • FreeWoman,I too believe in Guardians. My mother had Alzheimer’s Disease for fourteen years. She would only laugh and smile at me. I took her everywhere and took care of her on weekends. She would often point to the corner of the room and say something to her mother who died years ago. I knew she was going to pass because she started talking to me in the hospital. The next day I got a call saying she would only last for another week but I knew. She was surrounded by my family and I took her into my arms and told her it was ok and time for her to go. She died in my arms as I whispered into her ear. I felt her spirit pass through my body and I have never experienced such great joy. I didn’t cry, I knew she was ok. She let me know. This lasted for another day and I knew she was trying to tell me something. The nail polish in my granddaughters room kept falling off the shelf. There was no explanation for this. I would put it back and go out only to find it on the floor again. I asked her if she was with me and if so to give me a sign. As I stood by the picture window it started thundering on a clear and sunny day. My mother was petrified of thunder her whole life. The asshole x had been bringing the whore to my house when I wasn’t home. I believe she gave me the strength to say, this is enough. I threw him out. She lived a horrible life with an abusive narcissist, my father. I tried to get her to leave him but she stayed. I am so thankful today that I had the strength to face the fact that I too had been abused by my cheating X. I wear her wedding band to remind me to never put up with disrespect from the disordered ever again. Fortunately, my daughters recognize this pattern and while they love their father, they understand his illness. This helped me today as did yesterdays posts. It wasn’t enough to see him with his mask off, it was getting past the pain to truly understand the depth of deception and games a narcissist is capable of maintaining for years. I think my anger is subsiding somewhat and I am healing finally. I never though I would get to this place. CN has been the steady light leading me to a brighter future. I am feeling Meh is getting closer.

      • CL, and the nation of fine people, have been a guide for me too. I was searching for anything, I was kind of drinking myself to death from misery (and I’m a health food nut, so that tells you how bad my feet were knocked out from under me). I came here and found the backbone to leave, but it was very hard. He had me completely whooped.
        I’m glad you also feel the spirits from beyond, they care and guide us on our way. Your Mom sounds wonderful, so lovely that you could take care of her- not everyone has the patience for that! (I work in healthcare, and dementia can be very trying). She stays with you, the love doesn’t expire with the body, when it’s that strong.
        Bless you Donna, you’ll get to your peace, a little closer each day!

    • The people we love live on in us so long as we remember them. It was my Dad’s voice in my head that led me to go look, and find out my ex was lying to me again, the last chance. If not for holding his memory in me I would have spent more time in doing the bullshit reconciliation crap. Our people change us and help us even after they are gone we can see from their viewpoint. Thank you for your post, it’s good to know we are not alone in this keeping of our people.

      • Dat,
        I know what you mean about our loved ones who have left. I hear both Mom and Dad’s sensible voices in my head even though they are long gone. I think carefully about how I counsel my grown kids now, because I know that may be the voice that calms them long after I’m gone.

  • First time posting here! Mine would be my beloved German Shepherd, Buddy. He was my rock and a devoted, loving dog. His ashes sleep next to me and he comes to me in my dreams protecting me from harm. His bark was loud and would scare people off, but he was the most loveable dog I have ever had. He comes with me and fights for me in trying times. The douche canoe never knows what hit him!

  • I was hoping my Patronus would be a wolf because that would be supercool, but then I realised it’s more likely to be a hedgehog. Yes, hedgehog seems to be it. Nocturnal, like to curl up (with a good book), interested in food, not that noticeable, great dancers (probably). They bumble along most of the time but can move way faster than you expect under pressure and can definately protect themselves.

  • I am really torn on this, but I am going with a Griffin! Strong, powerful and is said to feed humans that steal from it to its nestlings! I can respect that

  • I found my long lost Bitch Hat. I put that mofo on and become BWA. Bitch With Attitude. So I guess the patronus is a hat. Maybe I need to find a spirit animal.

  • I like the idea that I don’t know what form my Patronus would take. After all, Harry thought his own Patronus was his Dad’s, right? (Sorry, can’t check, gave XH all the hp books in the split.)

    One of my clients calls me Tiny But Fierce, so that has become my nickname at work. Though I only stand 5’2″, I’ve driven a number of irate clients forcibly out the door.

    So I guess it would be something like that. Basically, something that’s totally chill until you fuck with it, then look out! Maybe some big old farm dog sleeping in the middle of the driveway, “Yeah, dude, we’re cool. But don’t make me have to come over there and rip you a new one, m’kay?”

    • In my spirit word, it is Jesus. I feel invincible when I pray to him prior to confrontation or in danger.

      My physical Patronus would be the hawk. A bird a prey that feasts on snakes and mice. Uses the wind for fight or flight, screeches to frighten.

    • Harry’s Patronus wasn’t his father’s, it was a stag because his father was an animagus and he turned into a stag.

      Sorry, I’m a big nerd with this.

      • Right, sorry, I knew that didn’t sound right. I think I was thinking of Severus’ doe, for Harry’s mother…

    • NBiblio, I too am 5′ 2″. Remember that diamonds and dynamite come in small packages. People tend to underestimate us.

      • Me too!
        It’s the perfect height, suits me just fine. It takes less fabric to sew a skirt or dress for us, and we even have our own song!

  • In my spirit world, it is Jesus. I feel invincible when I pray to him for guidance in confrontation or danger.

    In my physical world it would be the hawk. A bird of prey that feasts on snakes and mice, uses the wind for fight or flight and screeches to frighten.

  • My Patronus or spirit guide has always been the raven. From Wikipedia
    “French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss proposed a structuralist theory that suggests the raven (like the coyote) obtained mythic status because it was a mediator animal between life and death.[1] As a carrion bird, ravens became associated with the dead and with lost souls.” I’ve had my share of associations with the living dead and in the end I pick their bones clean. Muwhahaha!!

  • Mine will be an elephant. They never forget who has hurt them, they will defend their children with their own life. And they are just fine with their size! So screw any partner that doesn’t like the size. And last but not least they are loyal to the end.

  • My patronus is an otter… they live in the sea, they wrap themselves up with in the kelp and ride out the storms, they take care of their babies and cleverly use a rock placed on their tummy to use to break shellfish with another rock and they have lots of fun and when they are around, they change the whole ecosystem.

    • I like the idea of a fun patronus ringinonmyownbell, but then you said rocks and the next thing you know I want the HULK outside my door – nobody fucks with the HULK. And he is cute and funny when he’s not, you know, pissed off. LOL

  • A Honey Badger. They make a living eating poisonous snakes. They can be bitten by a snake,pass out, metabolize the venom, wake up, and keep eating the snake. When I get back up, I am going to chew up that snake and crap it out.

  • I love felines, am also a Scorpio, but there is an amazing journal on a cycle touring site penned by a remarkable strong adventurous woman named Heidi Domeisen. She rode her recumbent trike from North Carolina all the way to Alaska and back again. By herself. Camping all the way. She is definitely a mighty kick ass woman who says it like it is and take s no prisoners. And that was only her first bike trip. My guess is that she would eat weenie ass cheaters for breakfast. My kind of people. My choice is Heidi.

  • My patronus is just the feisty version of myself. It’s basically me with full war paint on, dressed for battle in the corporate world. I must be in that mode to be able to defend myself against the crazies.

    I have a soft side which I prefer, no makeup, jeans, working in the garden. I have friends who only know either one side of me or the other. I think those who know me “at home” would dislike the “corporate me” .

    Soon I hope to be no longer in the corporate job, but I wonder if I can fashion a softer “me at work” and find a job which allows me to be resilient without having to feel as if I’m an actor.

  • I summon Medusa and her rage at being raped and blamed for it. However, I am a more mature Medusa, knowing well that the backlash from showing unrestrained anger can be deadly. I pick my battles and know when to shut up and just do what I must to survive.

  • All the ideas here have been great, but it occurs to me that these creatures and mythological characters in some way, shape or form have been a part of the strong people we have always been. They were just dormant for years due to our crappy partners! Our cheaters chose us because of our stable, strong, no nonsense personalities then made us doubt ourselves. It’s part of “the game” for them, manipulation! Once they realize we are of no use and they believe they have sufficiently broke our spirit then they move onto the next soon to be chump. And don’t kid yourselves, the paramours future is going to be just like ours. The little simpleton just thinks he/she is special right now. But on a personal note, my ex found out that I was able to dig deep on the day of our mediation and summon the voice that he had tried so hard to silence! He failed miserably. I only wish I had taken a picture of him leaving the attorney’s office that day after I took everything he had! We are all strong individuals and I for one am damn proud to be part of Chump Nation!

  • A Tiger! No hesitation there, and I am thrilled there are so many other Tiger Chumps! Toni Tiger has been my nickname my whole life and my house is just full of tiger stuff- they are so beautiful, smart and powerful, able to blend in with camouflage. While in the worst of my pain in the beginning and before I found CL I read somewhere about a visualization technique where I would see my tiger cub escape from him and running back to me, literally (in my mind 🙂 ) running from where he was with the whore. I could see her rounding corners, down streets till she finally made it into my arms. Now I have my Tiger back and have never felt so right!

  • I haven’t read all these responses, and I don’t know what my patronus is, but I could sure use a pensieve. A way to take these intrusive thoughts out to look at another day. Dumbledore had that right. Pull the memories out. Put them in a bowl. Look at them as needed.

  • “Wolf = brave.
    He may not be brave inside but that poker face doesn’t show any slight emotion of hurt.”

    It is the lyrics from a song so i can’t take credit for it.

  • My patronus is Wonder Woman.Yes, I’m mixing fantasy and comic books, I don’t care. My patronus is an ass kicking, as powerful as Superman and looks better in red boots, beautiful, fierce warrior.

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