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Profiles in Mightiness

Did anyone get a load of the testimony in Michigan this week against creepy prolific pedophile USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar? What’s this have to do with infidelity, Tracy? Mightiness, CN, mightiness.

All hail Kyle Stephens.

This poor kid was abused by Nassar, not believed by her parents, called a liar by everyone close to her, and persevered in telling her story anyway. She finally got justice, and in an epic badass moment, she looked Nassar square in the eye and said:

“Perhaps you have figured it out by now, but little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”

The Washington Post reports:

“I have been coming for you for a long time,” she told Nassar, who hid his eyes beneath his hand through the testimony. “I’ve told counselors your name in hopes they would report you. I’ve told your name to Child Protective Services twice. I gave a testament to get your medical license revoked. You were first arrested on my charges. And now as the only nonmedical victim to come forward, I testify to let the world know you are a repulsive liar.”

Sexual abuse victims are given protected anonymity. Stephens rejected hers.

“I’m addressing you publicly today as a final step and statement to myself that I have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Your Friday homework, CN — who inspires you? Whose is the profile in courage that’s getting you through this shit storm now?


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I take my hat off to the judge who is allowing 140 victims to unleash their pain directly to him….no matter how long nor how many days it takes.

    This, is indeed, an example of true leadership.

    • To think Nassar had the goddamn nerve to try to say it was cruel and unusual punishment…I’m glad the judge laughed in his face.

      • This kind of reaction really rings true across many flavors of abusers, doesn’t it? They think their victims deserve it or they flat out fail to care how it affects the victims, yet they squeal that the hands of justice are unfairly beating up on them when they deliver recompense. “Woe is me! I don’t deserve this.” You do, asshole.

    • When I open my toolbox at work every morning, there is a quote written under the lid that I see all day long.

      “We are survivors. We control the fear.”

      It is from Tom Hardy’s character, Forrest Bondurant.

    • Love this judge!!!
      That bastard deserves every bit of hell he’s got coming to him.
      I hope he gets ass raped with a cactus by a kangaroo. Repeatedly.

      • Child abusers are viewed as the scum of the earth in prison…and he will be punished…repeatedly. I bet he commits suicide rather than spend the rest of his miserable life behind bars.

    • I thought of CN & CL while watching not only this, but the judge’s response to Larry’s 4-page letter he wrote to her before the victim impact statements. CL taught me about a narcissist’s centrality, & in this context, really get where he’s coming from. CL gave me the magic decoder ring of life.

      • Yes! THIS: “CL gave me the magic decoder ring of life.”

        Cartoon-worthy, even!

  • This is an odd one, but I have always been inspired by my mum’s cousin, called Catherine. Years ago my mum went to a boarding school in England, and a priest would prepare the girls for confirmation in a private one to one meeting, after which each girl would come out looking shocked and tearful. When it was my mum’s turn she was groped by this vile paedophile.She didn’t think she could tell anyone. She was only 12. It was the 1930s, a time when it was unthinkable to challenge men in authority and especially men of the cloth. And when most people didn’t think child abuse existed. Anyway, the year after my mum’s confirmation her cousin Catherine arrived at the school. She went in to see the priest. And slapped his face! She was immediately expelled, of course. But my mum just loved it that she instantly knew that what the guy was doing was wrong and refused to put up with it for a moment. Catherine was always unconventional, and later ran away and married a lovely guy all her family disapproved of ( because he had no money) and was very happy with him. Some people just have this strength and know what is right and know how to defend themselves right from earliest childhood. I’ve always wished to be like that, and I’m trying to be like that now.

    • Knittedrobin, you are right. Some people have this skill. Like you, I am trying to acquire this skill. It seems like Catherine is a strong woman and an example to model ourselves after.

      • I love tough women who don’t take any crap. They’re like a fire you can warm yourself at.

          • Love this idea. Here is where we start seeing how getting chumped is really a form of abuse, and the skills we learn are all about knowing abusers at the moment we encounter them.

    • Perhaps CL & CN need a Patron (Saint). Against the odds Kyle Stephens has stuck to her guns and called a spade a spade. Larry Nassar abused his privilege and the trust of those in his care to abuse innocent children, and then Kyle has stood up for her rights and what she believes in, which has allowed others to come forwards in safety and call Larry out as well. Kyle Stephens has courage and bravery beyond her years and is a shining example of standing firm on her boundaries and not taking shit from anyone regardless of “who” they are. She has demonstrated a very strong lesson in protecting herself from abuse, whilst maintaining a healthy self esteem, courage and determination.

    • Sounds like my nana! She spells her name with a K, not a C, but she simply does not take any shit.

    • Your aunt was mightily courageous! Loved your story!

      I think that a lot of the problematic issues for women stem from religious teachings – being submissive, obedient, silent, etc. Highly conducive to abuse in society by giving a false sense of power and superiority to some men…

      When I think back over the years (before I was married and before Anita Hill) of all the times where men thought it was ok to say or do something that was sexually inappropriate… I wish I had had the confidence then to speak up.

      • Wives submit to your husband…not to all men. And the submission is with conditions. Proverbs 31 talks of a virtuous woman. There is nothing weak or simpering about her. Read the Bible yourselves. Don’t rely on what the pulpit tells you about the Bible. Seek for yourself.

        • I would disagree with the idea of submitting to husbands … submitting to (believing) so much of their bullshit got many of us to this place. Be like Aunt Catherine — even in marriage!

        • The problem with Ephesians 5 is that people (men especially) like to quote the part about wives submitting. What most fail to do is continue reading on to Ephesians 5:25 which notes: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” KJV

          It would only be a husband’s Christ-like love, loyalty, and devotion to his wife that would even remotely enable a her to then have a desire to be agreeable to her husband in such a manner.

          If your husband is a lying, cheating, DOUCHE, then we can pretty much all “submit” that he can screw off!

      • I have actually blamed Catholicism on the fact that I put up with so much from the Narc. You know, you will be rewarded in heaven!

          • Not to quibble or get all defensive about Catholicism (which the DOCTOR never even pretended to be) but I see Baptists and Pentecostals and many faiths outside of Christianity, using religion as a vehicle for oppression of women.

            It’s not which denomination does it, it’s that it is done at all. WE have eyes and brains too. Don’t let someone convince you of or manipulate you into believing ANY law or tenet or “rule” that makes you less than. Period.

            We have sons & daughters to raise. WE have to raise them right.

        • NMF – My mom used to say the reward (for some) will be a bale of hay for being a jackass! 😉

        • Yes and the fact that he appeared to be a good christian man attending Church with his family every week meant that I believed he was not capable of being a lying dog-piling serial cheating, hooker loving lowlife. I sat beside him praying to be a better mother and wife and he sat praying he didn’t get caught. When I kicked him out…guess where he turned to for free accomodation.

  • I’m beginning to think that we need to encourage our daughters to yell, immediately, loudly and clearly. It’s the shocked silence that allows these creeps to get away with their actions.

    Oh, and get judo or jujitsu training, and carry a weapon. We’ve been too submissive for far too long, trained by our religions and society to “get along”.

    F**k ’em.

    • Yes and boys too. Young boys are also often the target of these paedophiles, and are probably even more socialised to keep quiet, be tough and just cope.

      • Natalia. B,
        Yes, I agree with you, young boys are very much targeted and made to believe “just cope”!! I hope and pray that the whole “be a man and be tough” attitude disappears. There are many young boys, teenage boys that are sexual abuse victims and suffer silently.

      • Thank you for this reminder, Natalia B. Just as male Chumps are even less likely than females to discuss their experiences of abuse (cheating), so too boys are more likely to shut up and feel the shame. Tragic.

    • Yes, I think that especially on these sexual harassment cases. When guys start touching or talking inappropriately we should shout “what do you think you’re doing or who do you talking too!”embarrass them right on the spot. I know it would stop the really devious ones, but certainly would put the feely/touchy ones in their place!

      • I remember being on a subway in Europe as a teen. I had been flashed and groped in the past and, not knowing what to do and feeling mortified, had remained quiet. So, I was determined that the next time this happened, I would behave differently.

        A guy was exposing-while-masturbating himself right in front of me at a busy time of day. In a loud voice, in the local language, I said/ shouted, “this man is an exibionist and pervert. Stop that right now! You are disgusting.” He zipped up and exited the metro at the next stop but many of the other passengers game me dirty looks, stared at me with disgust; one middle aged lady shook her head while scowling at me. I’m still glad I spoke up but I learned then that the backlash against speaking out is real and can be as painful as the assault itself.

    • Sorry but that is victim blaming: it is NOT the shocked silence of children/women/victims that cause abusers to continue to abuse. ????????????????????????????

      • MC99 how is that victim blaming? Unless victims speak out and have the confidence that their complaints will be taken seriously how can perpetrators be dealt with?

        Before qualifying as a barrister and working in crime I trained as a nurse. As a student nurse I was followed up to my on-site residence by a police officer who had brought a stabbing victim into A&E. I had been working in a completely different department and had not even spoken to this man. Our normally strict security didn’t question him due to automatic trust in the uniform. He tricked his way into my room and seriously sexually assaulted me. The whole time he was making derogatory, disgusting and sexist comments about the so-called reputation of nurses, and knew we were all “up for it.”

        As he went to leave he warned me against reporting him as it would be my word against his, and who would believe me. I was a pretty shy and childhood damaged 19 year old at the time and was inclined to believe him. In fact the only person I stupidly confided in was my diagnosed BPD mother who initially sympathised then a few days later made fun of it in front of my emotionally distant father – who never mentioned it again. I just went back to work as though nothing had happened.

        I have often thought of this police officer’s work on rape cases which makes me shudder. I am also ashamed that I was too afraid to speak out and report it.

        • Try not to beat yourself up Natalia. I worked as a sexual assault/domestic violence advocate for some time. I helped women get restraining orders, went with to rape examinations, helped them prepare for court etc. And I hate to say this, but with what I saw, what happens to rape victims in the system by those they have to face down in court and (perhaps more horribly) the very people who are supposed to help them like police, D.A. personnel, doctors, counselors etc, is often times more lastingly traumatic than the actual first attack. It leaves them with the sense that NO ONE cares and NO ONE can be trusted–despite what they say. To this day, I am not sure that if I were to be raped I would report it. I very well might quietly enter therapy and try to heal. Sometimes you may only be able to save yourself. And that is okay–because our culture sure isn’t coming to help.

          • This. My stepfather molested me for years … I was terrified to tell. My fears came to fruition when the truth came out. My mom called me a whore and stayed married to him.

            The rest of her family played the “he’s such a nice guy otherwise” and “we can’t punish him forever” and “get over it” cards. I had to cut off that ENTIRE side of my family for my sanity — and to prevent further passive-complicit abuse.

            Their after-the-fact condemnation of me and acceptance of him nearly destroyed me. It was even more devastating to me than the years of sexual abuse (which was pretty fucking devastating on its own).

            • That’s heartbreaking. Really shocking. Thanks very much for sharing it can’t have been easy. You should be really proud of yourself and your strength having survived so much.

              God bless you ????

              • Thank you, Natalia. And, I’m so very sorry you had to endure a similar bastard. I hate him for you.

                Please remember that his willfully chosen actions and intimidation are not your responsibility to bear. Bad enough you’ve had to deal with the emotional fall-out of his actions.

                I firmly believe that victims, often broken and traumatized from the abuse, should not have the onus placed upon them. Though, yes, for those whom have the strength to stand up in the face of victim-blaming and disbelief, they have my complete admiration. Kyle (from the article) is such an amazingly strong person. I honestly don’t know how she pushed forward after so much passive abuse (disbelief, etc.).

            • Jess’sMom – My heart breaks for you! What a living nightmare… (((Hugs))) Glad you have removed yourself from that dysfunction. You are mighty!!

            • JessMom,
              Sending you a big hug!!!
              I am so sorry for what you’ve gone through.

          • “Sometimes you may only be able to save yourself. And that is okay–because our culture sure isn’t coming to help.”

            Yes, that’s okay. But it also sounds to me like it’s time to change the culture. That’s why I (a man) am so thrilled about #metoo and #timesup, and all that is happening now in this arena. I want my daughters (now young adults) to live in a world where this horrific behavior is exceptionally rare, and not disturbingly common like it has been for decades (centuries, millennia?). My not being abusive to the women around me for my whole life (you know, basically having a conscience and acting like a decent human being) isn’t enough anymore. I have to do more, we all have to do more. Changing the culture isn’t something that happens easily or quickly. Look at the opposition to things like slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, gay marriage. It takes work and time to make these changes. Let’s all get busy, in our own ways.

            Hugs. Strength. Peace.

            • Aeronaut,
              Yes, yes, yes!! I too wish for the day when we will rarely hear horror stories of abuse of any kind. Societal changes take far too long! For every person that has the courage to speak out against their abuser – is one step closer to be able to see those changes.

        • Natalia, I’m sorry that happened to you and your parents didn’t provide any emotional support to report it. Perpetrators often threaten their victims by instilling fear in them. It’s a powerful tool.

          And, as in Kyle Stephens case, her abuser was in a position of power – friend and respected colleague of her parents – no one believed her as a small child who spoke up on multiple occasions to different people! (To think of the horrors that she experienced repeatedly and no one stepped in to help her until she became an adult!)

          I agree, we should continue to teach our children to have the courage to speak up but, as many of us here know, it’s not always easy to stand up against our tormentors. Especially when they are older, stronger, have positions of authority, etc. It (shocked silence) is not their shame (or yours) to carry when they are too afraid or embarrassed to do so. The movement we see today is finding strength in numbers and an open avenue of communication to put an end to abuses against innocent people.

          • Thank you for your kind comments of support Over and Out & Jojobee.

            I understand what you mean about the additional trauma caused by the system. Now a lawyer myself I have seen this too, but having decided to keep quiet in my own case I can’t help feeling humbled by the bravery of some complainants who had the courage to make a stand.

        • Natalia B,
          I am so sorry for what you’ve gone through!! Many times the “people in uniform” are even more dangerous because “their” uniform and position of power can so easily scare someone into silence – these bottom feeders “slither” along watching and waiting for the next victim!!

    • I have told my children from the time they were very little that they have a right to defend their own body, and I would defend their choice to anyone who challenged them doing so. We had many conversations around this topic, including the way bullies operate. They choose someone they think won’t challenge them, or who will back down. This of course is the exact opposite of what the school teaches. They teach walk away, turn the other cheek, bullies are just hurt people, feel sorry for them. Tell someone in authority (this I agree with). But I also know that I wanted to teach my kids to advocate for themselves and not think that it is up to someone else to solve their problems, because sometimes nothing gets done.

      My cheater ex and I vehemently disagreed on teaching the kids to challenge authority. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want them to be rebels, but I do want them to think for themselves and not just do something because an adult says that’s what they are supposed to do. My opinion is there is a lack of children who are taught to think through the consequences of actions, and I want more for my children. Authority can be abused, and there seems to be a misconception that people in authority are in authority because they are moral, upstanding people.

      I’ve also taught them introspection, and to look at their own motives. We don’t always agree or like to be told what to do, so is their impulse to challenge because they just don’t like it, or because they know what that person is doing is wrong.

      • ‘When a boy is mean to you it means he likes you’

        ‘When a bully attacks, ignore it, see if it will go away.’

        Things we need to stop teaching kids because it sets them up for chumpdom.

        • So true. Ignoring it absolutely doens’t make it go away it makes them double down and harass or bully harder.

          • Yes! All abusers start by testing what you will put up with. They rarely just smack you around on a fist date. They get your confidence then they yell at you for no reason. If you take that nicely they apologize then some time later they grab your arm. If you take that nicely, then they apologize and some time later, they shove you…and on….and on…and on. They target nice people who will be taken in by the subtlety and seeming remorse and the violence builds incrementally. All the while they start mentally priming you to accept the blame fr their action. Women especially are culturally trained to accept this. We are taught that boys who are mean to us “like” us–oh no, they are contemptuous of us. Then the culture trains us to actually “want” bad boy types with the fantasy that their is something really sensitive and kind beneath their seemingly vicious ways—nope under their arrogant, contemptuous exteriors, there is only an arrogant contemptuous heart. And finally “bad boys” become “bad men” and nobody wants that.

            Men are similarly trained in our society to put up with abusive women with a couple of slightly different narratives, including “crazy is hot!” Nope, crazy is crazy.

            • So very true! This is exactly what happened to me. I could never understand why our relationship degenerated. It took me years to figure out. This is a deliberate process on their part to gain control. Cheating just becomes one more element in the chain of abuse.

            • And how about we call it like it is; they are predators. Often times we think of predators as the bad boys who condition us over time and it’s displayed through roughness or visibly bad manners.

              Yet predators ARE those close to us hiding behind a good guy image like Nassar. They build trust and by all appearances look the part.

              The key is to listen and believe. My granddaughter told me about getting rides with her fathers uncle and he had her lay in his lap as he put his finger in her mouth.

              What? I was furious. His own daughter wanted nothing to do with him. I called her dad and his mother downplayed it. And yes he victimized his own child.

              We have to listen and be outraged.

    • As a victim of molestation by my babysitter’s son from 3-8 years old (maybe earlier since I was with them from 9mo. old but I remember being 3 and never told my mother, just pleaded with her that I was old enough to stay home alone and would really behave and do chores), I have been very vocal with my siblings (the guilt would eat my mother alive so they have agreed to keep it secret) and children about their power and how these creeps can sneakily start. It stopped when, as above, I pleaded to stay home. Every day, he’d try to force his dick into me and I’d clench down with all my might and fake-apologize that I must just be too small. I feel absolutely ill just thinking about it now.

      I’ve told ALL of siblings and children that if anyone ever puts a dick in their hand to rip/scrape/tear it or their scrotum off and if it’s put in their mouth, to BITE THAT FUCKER OFF. They won’t be able to hurt you from being in so much pain themselves, believe me. Go for the eyes. Scream. Bite. Scratch. Destroy them. It will be proof, at the very least.

      My mightiness moment came after D-Day, on a particularly low day. I saw my molester at B&N, getting coffee. He’s a mailman, apparently. The SOL has long passed. I told him off clearly and calmly and the fear in his face was so unbelievably cathartic. Everyone around him backed away in disgust. I didn’t know how much I need that until then.

      That same feeling of might, mixed with rage, comes out whenever I meet someone who, despite having DONE nothing, gives me the creeps. Those people, coincidentally, stay far, far away from me and my children. It’s like they see me, SEEING THEM. There are no.more.fucking.victims.HERE. Fuck off!

      • Insist on Honesty,
        Horrific story of abuse. Horrific. You sound very strong and mighty. ((Hugs))

        • It was when I was 8 that I could feel myself about to lose that clenching battle… I was getting old enough where he *could* soon force his way in and I was already at my limit for how long I clench that hard and keep him out of me.

          It had to stop. Right that day. I made sure to get detention every day for weeks until my mother said I could go right home after school instead of the babysitter’s.

      • (((Hugs))) — Dear heavens, I’m so sorry you had to suffer that. I understand, though I wasn’t that young when it started (I was 10 … wearing Garfield underwear …. the nightmares exist still).

        I also had a bit of a cathartic moment when the truth came out and the bastard (step-dad) tried to deny what he did. I reminded him that I had an eye witness (one of his buddies). So, then he said it was the alcohol … I was so fucking angry that he was trying to pin it on drinking. So, I reminded him that it went on for YEARS and that he was certainly not always drinking. Though, he almost always forced me to drink just before he started to molest me. (The only good thing that came of this experience … I hate drinking alcohol.)

        Finally, he just shut his trap and quit trying to explain or defend. Appropriate — since nobody should try to defend the indefensible.

        Regretfully, this moment ended quickly when my mom decided to blame me and the rest of the family took a passive position. Fuck them all. Every one of them.

        • I’m sorry… awful. To finally speak up and watch the one person in the world, who’s supposed to care for you MORE than yourself, just fold… and not just fold but blame YOU? Horrific.

          The ONLY good thing I can take away from this is that the fear of my children ever being molested has absolutely prevented it. I know, without a shadow of doubt, that they have not been. It is completely impossible. I trusted no one with my children… and was vocal about what happened to me whenever someone pushed my boundaries for them. “Oh, I’m sure everything will be fi…” NO. You cannot be sure of that. *I* can. My children are not going to sleepovers with any dads, older brothers, or boyfriends until I’m sure they know what could happen and can protect themselves. They’re that age now, at 11, 12, and 13. Fortunately, the younger one’s friends don’t have any brothers if they have any siblings at all. The middle one doesn’t like sleepovers- he puts himself to bed at 8pm with his electric blanket. lol. The older one has gone to three and called me the last two times, to bring her home… the younger brother (9-10 years old) likes to “snuggle” into her large bosom while watching movies and she knows there’s no graceful way to tell him off. So, she has sleepovers here. They know what they’re comfortable with and know that I will always get them out of something they can’t handle on their own.

          We chumps are raising MIGHTY children. Solid boundaries. Clear, effective communication. A sense of empathy. Dignity.

          We’ll all be all right and pass that on.

          • I wish I could hug all of you beautiful people. My stepfather was the pedophile in my life. Blehggg. I cut ties with anyone that didn’t condemn him, to include my mother. None of us survivors need trash like that in our lives. Fuck them!!!

            • I wish I could hug all of you too. It’s good perspective for me to remember that I was a full grown woman when I was chumped and I can deal with it – and being chumped is a far far cry from being sexually abused as a child. When I hear your stories, I want to weep. You all sound so strong and you have been to hell and back. You inspire me. Thanks for sharing – I’m going to be thinking of you ladies for a while. Insist on Honesty, Jess Mom, and Sugar Plum. ((Hugs))

              • KathleenK,
                Thank you for saying what is in my heart also.
                I am astonished at the courage, strength and determination of our fellow Chumps who have survived such abuse and who give their support and love to each other.
                Band of Angels, CN’s bravest!

                Does anyone else have the feeling that if they could, a Chump would give their very life to save another Chump from such abuse?!

  • Chump Nation!! Chump Nation!! Chump Nation!!

    You all inspire me greatly! I find myself alone in my shit storm, your great tales of strength and perseverance help keep me on the track to my Tuesday!

    Love you all!!

    • Being part of this community has given me the strength, wisdom and backbone to stand tall and yell my truth!

      Tracy, you have inspired each and every one of us. And you have given us a space to then inspire others. It is often through a thought or phrase that resonates within our hearts that gives us the strength to get through a minute, an hour or a day.

      You and every person here has gotten me thru this shit show and I hope my story can help others as well.

  • My mother was my inspiration and still is even though she has passed many years now. When I was a young girl there was a boy who lived on our road who tormented me everyday on the way to school. He would chase me and threaten to beat me etc. when I told my mother she said ‘you have to stand up to bullies’. She told me not to run but just walk by him and if he tried to hit me, hit him first. ( of course this was in the 50’s and wouldn’t be the advice given today). So next day he pulled the same stunt, got right in my face. I took a deep breath and punched him right in the face! Cut his lip accidentally with my ring! Well the big baby started crying and ran home! To this day I can’t abide a bully! I think that’s why when doughboy said he wanted a divorce, right out of the blue, my first instinct was to tell him “get the fuck out now”. When I’m feeling sorry for myself I think what would Mum do or say, it straightens me right out!

    • Love this!

      I think women would be a lot better off if they’d been given your mom’s advice and permission to hit their aggressors. (I realize that’s dangerous too.)

      I remember the exhilaration as a young kid standing up to a bully. Evanston, Ill. Freezing playground. Recess. I was making slush castles (weird kid). And this jerk came and stomped on my slush castle. I was so shocked and angry, I kicked slush in his face. Like a LOT of dirty, freezing cold slush. And then I ran FAST. The guy just looked so shocked, I got a good head start. And he never bothered me again.

      I was, however, convinced that I would die for doing that.

      • Yes!! Grade six for me and the neighbourhood boy who was constantly bullying my little brother. I went up to him at recess ( or lunch) and told him to leave my brother alone, then I grabbed him by the shirt for some reason and ripped all the buttons off it somehow!
        I was terrified for months that he would tell his mother and I would get in trouble , but he never did! Guess he didn’t want anyone to know a GIRL had put him in his place! Never bothered my little brother again either!
        Fifty years later and I still love this memory!!

        • Like many here, I endured physical abuse, harassment and bullying as a young girl, and actually as an adult woman in the workplace (Me Too), but my memories of my courage are when I stood up to the bullies and harassment for my little sister. I remember watching from the window the neighborhood bully threaten her as she played our yard, I was out the door in a flash and in his face! I would never speak to him in any other way, he was closer to my age and we rode and attended the same school. Now as a mom I have taken many unpopular stands against school bullying of my children. I am the crazy wombat mom for my kids, but I roll over and cower in my personal or work life if I am bullied or harassed. I tried to report it once recently and I was accused of instigation! Of course my stbx fucktard was not interested in discussing or helping me, emotionally or otherwise. I’m pretty sure he used the “go along to get along” mantra as well. Thanks for the solidarity asshat. And now as our dtr has been bullied and harassed in her workplace, he used the same policy for her. That’s when I knew this relationship was off the rails aside from his threat of physical abuse towards her as well. I want to get to Meh, Tuesday, peace and calm and I want to be a positive role model for strength and courage for both genders of my children. I whole heartedly agree with CL – decisions are the choice of the individual and those decisions will show the absolute TRUE nature of the person, every time. Its time for me to make some Kyle Stephens style decisions in my life.

        • Alas, this didn’t go so well for me as a kid when I tried to protect my friend from two boys who were bullying her. I set up a confrontation to tell them off and hopefully scare them out of continuing to harass her. When I got there, however, they had recruited an older boy to protect them from me. They had convinced him that I was the bully even though I had never touched them and was trying to protect my friend. It didn’t go well. A lot of name calling and antagonism between me and the new boy and the younger ones got off scot free. After that those two boys would continuously harass me at every opportunity and if I touched them at all in my defense, they would go off crying to older boy “she’s bullying us again”. Eventually I think older boy did figure it out and stopped listening to them but it was quite frustrating for a while there. That is when I got my first lesson in image management, blame shifting and “pity me”. On the plus side, once these two boys had me to harass, they did leave my friend alone.

      • You never fail to crack me up. And you never fail to inspire.

        Gosh, I love you. Thanks for going after the cheaters and all their flying monkeys. You give me strength.

  • As corny as this may sound, you inspire me chump lady. We all say it – but it’s worth shouting to the rooftops- if it wasn’t for you, we would all be stuck. Who knows? Some of us would probably still be eating shit sandwiches because we would not have realized our worth. Thank you for paying it forward.

    • Aww, thank you. I get my inspiration from CN, which I why I keep doing it. (And my eternal disgust at the RIC.. until the majority of sites are like this place and the narrative changes, I’ll keep at it.)

      • CL, you and IHG were the only sites I ever found that told it like it really is.

          • IHG is the Infidelity Help Group, look it up. I don’t know if it is putting up anything new, but there are a lot of good articles that help straighten out some of the twisted thinking that chumps tend to have. Like CL and CN,IHG reinforces that it is essential to firmly and positively put the responsibility for shitty behaviour on the perpetrator. A lot of chumps take responsibility for others bad behaviour. I know I did. Just like any form of abuse, we need to stand up and shut it down.

            • Thank you, Canadian Dad, you are another reason why people like yourself, Tracy and Chump Nation are so inspirational. The guidance to other helpful resources is a “guiding light”!

      • There was a column on WAPO the other day re: a woman who had had an affair, went back to her husband, yet was tempted to go to lunch with her AP for “reconciliation” and farewell. I commented by saying she should either get a divorce or recommit to her marriage but she couldn’t have it both ways. The next comment or two both had phrases directly from this blog, re: “Column B” and other phrases I’ve seen here. Laughed my ass off– your message is getting out!

      • Tracy, I found your website a few days after d-day, (one and only d-day, because he discarded me when I confronted him on his sudden and strange behavior, then to go live with his twu wuv – all of this happened within about an hour). I was shell-shocked and utterly devastated, and I thought he had lost his mind (temporarily, of course!). How could he do this and just walk away from me and his family after 13 years – Mr Family-Man!?!? No fighting, still laughing at each other’s jokes, still having sex at least a couple times a week?!? What just happened?!?!?! You, your book, and CN saved me the humiliation of any post-d-day pick-me dancing (though looking back, I did plenty during the devaluation stage), saved me from trying to save HIM (nothing to work with – total narc and plenty of sociopathic behavior), or our sham of a “marriage”. Because of you and CN, I was assured (after being manipulated for years with mountains of gaslighting and revisionist history) I WASN’T CRAZY and THIS WAS NOT MY SHAME. I exposed him and his homewrecker slunt to everyone, was in a lawyer’s office 3 days after d-day and am divorced from the self-agrandizing POS since last summer. I came very close to having a nervous breakdown during the 2.5 years of the divorce process, was on a ton of meds at one point (he had moved me across the country and away from my entire support system), went through all the stages of rage, desolation, hopelessness, etc. BUT, because I had you and CN that had been there and GOT IT on a level that no one else did, through all of it, I knew I would get to the other side and I was NEVER truly alone. Thanks to all of you, and Tracy, thank you from the bottom of my heart (and my son’s heart as well, because this site helped keep me the sane parent in a time of utter insanity!) for sticking around and changing the narrative. You saved my life and my sanity. Thank you for speaking out and putting those morons in the RIC in their place! The shame has been placed on chumps (aka VICTIMS OF ABUSE!) for far too long. Speaking out is imperative. Best part of the internet, we can no longer be isolated and convinced it’s just us (gaslighting!), we come together, validate each other, and change the world!

    • That’s right, Chumplady! You are my inspiration. Up here everyday, first thing in the morning, preparing an article AND a cartoon for us — to help us out!! You attracted to yourself a husband who loves you, and supports your service (to humanity, helping the downtrodden, the chumps, arise and become mighty again). You sacrifice so much of your time to help us. You could have moved on, “Ya’ll are on your own now. I’ve got mine. Bye,” but you haven’t.

      Thank you Chumplady!!!

  • We had a retired, “popular” teacher, active in the community, trusted by parents, accused and convicted of sexual assault. His victim described him as a family friend. And he had assaulted many many many of his students (preferred), young girls. My hero is the 12 year old and her parents who believed her. And the friends of the 12 year old who persuaded her to tell her parents – about the years and years of abuse. The enabling and cover-up that must go on for these predators to succeed is mind-boggling. Unfortunately – the hundreds of victims of this teacher did not get their day in court. And my community never investigated any further. Typical. But you know who did talk about it? The students. His students. I think they will be better than we were. I do.

  • This is really off topic but just thought I’d pass this along. It mostly applies to the older cheaters like mine. Next time time you get feeling bad about cheater and Schmoopie living happily ever after, just imagine his saggy butt, beer belly, balding head, fumbling around with his viagra and trying to get it up! Ha! Schmoopir will be exhausted before, just watching the preview! I thought about this yesterday and just laughed out loud, these guys don’t realize how really pathetic they look. George Cluney they ain’t.

    • I know you mean in terms of looks, but they certainly don’t measure up in terms of moral fiber either. Yes, I know we can never really know what a person’s up to, but George has thrown himself into activism for many different important causes and by all accounts is a devoted husband and father.

  • CL and CN. I spent two years after dday#1 trying to save my marriage, reading all of the RIC books and pick me dancing. Even the therapist I saw was supporting me in these things. After dday#2, I found this site.

    I learned about no contact and gray rock. I learned about gaslighting and projecting. I learned that I was not alone in this. I learned that it was not my job to fix his mess ups. I learned that it was OK to cut him out of my life rather than trying to stay friendly for the kids especially since all it did was give him a license to continue to emotionally abuse me.

    There may have been some mightiness inside of me but it had been squashed from 20 years of manipulation. Chump Lady and Champ Nation have helped me find it again.

    • Agreed, CL and CN are better therapy then all the other crappy advice I paid for….finally working towards Tuesday…

      • Yes, CL and CN ( and my clergy) has been the real world advice which has helped me to make changes, set boundaries and move on. This is where I saw hope. The hard part is when asked are you in therapy, what are you doing to move on… I can’t just say to people (ie the courts, fuckwit’s relatives etc. ) I found a kick ass blog that tells it how it really is and gives me the tools to say fuck you fuckwit! Instead I am left trying to find creative ways to tell people I have seen the light and it is credible.

        That is a fear of mine is that when trial comes, judge will think there are two sides to every story, why aren’t you and your kids in therapy? I won’t be able to say because I have chump nation for that.

        • I gave my lawyers copies of CL’s book with extras to share with opposing counsel.
          You can absolutely share things you have learned here – just call it your divorvce support group or therapy group.

          You should also share your validation concerns about the judge’s reaction with your lawyer. It is your lawyer’s job to make sure the judge knows the truth and that your side of the story is the only important point of view. Your lawyer should be able to share their strategy and reassure you. If you don’t feel reassured or confident in their ability to do that, speak up NOW. As much as it sucks to change lawyers, you have to feel 100% confident that they will represent you properly.

          Also, there is nothing wrong with individual or family therapy for you and/or your kids.

          Now there are sites where you can even text with a therapist at a very low cost point. I’m only suggesting not to dis punt therapy without trying it.

          My therapist has been the rock in my private life. She always has my back and is available whenever I have hit a wall or the floor. Many years out, she is the person I turn to for advice and support. During the divorce and hardest periods, I saw her a lot. Now I check in every month or two. It helps so much to have someone who has been though every step of this journey to turn to. Even when I don’t see her, I can hear her voice in my head. It is comforting.

          If you can find the right therapist for you, it can be a huge help and support.

          • I don’t dis therapy. I did try it (RIC and regular) and so did my kids. It wasn’t wasn’t giving me what I need anywhere near what this site did). I felt worse afterwards and far from empowered. I think their is probably great therapy out there and there are chumps who find it but I found what I needed at this time right here at chump nation.

            As for my kids, fuckwit blew up their therapy. He refused to continue to schedule the therapy for my older sons and their reaction was if he doesn’t care enough to schedule then I don’t want to go. (They are both over 18 now and I offered to schedule for them.)

            As for the younger, they wanted the therapy so they could express how they felt to their father. They met with therapist one on one several times. He thought it was time for the meeting and at the last minute, he said he wanted to meet with me and fuckwit together to make sure we were on the same page and would cooperate in parenting decisions blah blah blah. I said no, this is between the children and their father. Therapist then said he couldn’t do the reunification and fired us. He said he could continue with the children but not with dad. He was afraid of being drug into court. I offered the kids to keep seeing him and they said they didn’t want to. This is where DD started saying, I don’t think it would do any good to tell him how I feel.

            I may discuss the ideas from chump lady with my attorney. I don’t, however, want to risk fuckwit finding out about it. This has been my solace, my place to journal and my comfort. Fuckwit gets no part of that.

        • I found a different therapist after dday#2. Went to him for 9 months. We spent the whole time on me and working on controlling my thoughts and reactions. We did not waste time trying to figure out the Ex. Simply because we can’t control the Ex.

          My kids went to a separate therapist for about 6 months. That did not go as good. Not bad just did not do anything to help them. But my kids seem to be doing okay. Ex wasn’t a big part of their lives before he left so the transition wasn’t that traumatic. Plus, the kids and I have always been close, so they talk with me. If there comes a time when they start acting out and not talking to me, then I may need to think about finding another therapist.

          Trying to find a good therapist must be like dating…

        • Here’s the answer I give when I get asked this same question. I have a friend who is a psychology professor and she is helping me a lot to understand what happened and how to deal with it.
          I am talking about the wonderful Tempest who has put her academic experience and credibility at the service of Chump Nation.
          Tracy and Tempest, and we are so lucky to have found you.

  • Last night I went to dinner with two retired teacher friends. In the 30 years I have been teaching, we counted over six in appropriate teacher/student, teacher/teacher interactions. I hate to generalize, but every one was an older, male “grooming” a younger candidate.

    We are an excellent school. We handle even with police, all matters. Kids are very safe here. Smaller staff, concerned people. Everybody knows everybody place.

    BUT there is always the potential for abuses and especially what I call grooming, especially with text and social media everywhere. (Yeah, groomers are stupid!)

    Probably why I am repulsed at older men thinking they are mate potentials for much younger women.

    • I’m also repulsed by the older men who think they are mate potentials for much younger women. In the mid 70’s, at my high school, there was an older male teacher who dated a female student. But it was “ok” because they got married right after she graduated!

      He got completely away with it. And of course, the marriage did not last long.

      • I have unfortunately been chumped, and will be, possibly, dating again after 30 years. I am middle aged, and am in pretty good shape for my age, but I have to say that I will not be looking to date anyone that isn’t near my age. What would we have in common?

        What is an acceptable age range according to CN?

        • Don’t worry about age, find compatible people. I find I generally have more in common with younger people than those my age or older. Especially when it comes to politics, bigotry, etc. I apply the same rule for dating as for being friends, do we share interests, can we talk and enjoy each others company. Unless, you are dating for sex, then there is only a couple of things to think about, hot? safe? Done. LOL.

  • Kyle Stephens.most certainly doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of. Staying quiet always benefits the abuser. Doubt is abusive. Planting doubt is a tool for abusers. She maintained her reality and she kept it real. .

  • I have a coworker who’s husband cheated on her. She told me, when she found out, she told him it was over, she’s was going back to school, getting her degree, getting a better job and leaving him. She said it took two years but she did just that. She has helped me see my wife for who she is and helped me realize she is not going to change. Today, her kids are almost grown and even her ex’s family says he fucked up. I don’t think my in laws will ever do that but seeing her shows me every day that some day in the future things will be good again.

  • Chump lady has been a inspiration herself, I wish I had known of this website years ago.

  • I try to stay on topic here and I will admit, today, this will deviate a bit.

    I think the partners of people who are caught cheating via harming children must be a special kind of mighty just to keep waking up everyday. Mrs. Nassar, Mrs. Cummins, and countless others (and not just lady partners, either). When it’s high profile like this, it has to be so much worse, too.

    I have remarried. Since I will never trust myself again, I find myself regularly waiting for the other shoe to drop, even when I have no evidence there’s ever been a first shoe. Gotta love trauma. 🙂 In any case, learning he was a secret child harmer for years would bring one of my worst nightmares for marriage to life. Not only did he cheat AND harm kids, my mind would say, but I have personally been unwittingly putting kids in harm’s way on a regular basis just by having them near him.

    Shout out to the partners who live this living nightmare and manage to get up in the morning, get out of the relationship, take care of the kids, etc. Y’all/they all are superheroes.

    • I always think of that movie, Freeway (1996) with Reese Witherspoon. The wife (Brooke Shield) didn’t believe her husband was the monster (Keifer Sutherland) who the police say he was but then she found in the back shed a full load of child porn. It caused her to kill herself. Interesting movie, often overlooked. A sleeper I believe they are called.

      • Read the plot summary – twisted, indeed! People who harm kids are a special kind of messed up.

        • If there is judgement seat, there has to be a special corner of hell for people that prey on the most vulnerable and trusting.

      • I LOVE Freeway—-haven’t seen it in quite a while but Reese’s character is one I will always remember–quirky and fierce. You are correct, it’s not well known–one of Reese’s earliest but she showed the world the talent within.

        • I thought it was a dark comedy, it’s on Amazon Prime free, I’m going to watch it again as I don’t remember much about it.

  • I come from a long line of women who were taught their needs didn’t matter. Finding Chump Lady was like falling into an alternate universe. I learned that I do matter, my feelings do count. At the time I had spent 57 years feeling like a pinball bouncing off of everyone else’s needs. Now, 3 years later, I finally know my worth. I know my strengths and refuse to be bullied or settle for less than I deserve. CL and CN are my inspiration and I will be forever grateful.

    • Right there with you NewDay; the same history of making my needs small, being the pinball for 57 years, and three years later knowing my worth.

      The very first time I ever mentioned my needs after Dday the Limiteds response was a raging, “YOUR NEEDS!”

      Yeah, taking care of those now and the pinball retired. Thank you.

  • I read an article yesterday on how Nassar wrote a letter to the Judge saying he didn’t want to have to face all of his victims speaking out at his sentencing hearing – so many victims in fact that the hearing will take at least 4 days – and that he shouldn’t have to do that.

    So even after destroying all of these girls’ and women’s lives, he still: (i) can’t face his actions, (ii) has no empathy for his victims, (iii) doesn’t see what he did wrong, and (iv) is demonstrating a mind blowing sense of entitlement (because his sentencing hearing has to go the way he wants it to go).

    Sound familiar chumps??

    • You can literally write this exact list about my ongoing divorce from the Narc troll.

    • I can’t say this without eating my own words when I rant about how insensitive and unkind the world is becoming, however, last night I was thinking about Nassar’s whining, and the only conclusion I could reach is that he needs to top himself.

    • And the judge shut that shit down rather judiciously—-read his letter to the courtroom and remarked as she went along.

      • I know ! I cheered as I watched her telling him, in a professional manner, to shut his narcissistic pie hole

    • It certainly does sound familiar Blindside. Predators just want to erase all the despicable actions of a lifetime.

      A simple sentence works. “I love her but I’m not in love with her.” See it’s simple. And there’s no accountability, remorse, or fucking justice. Or we get the ‘ownership’ fuckover.

      The Limited was accessing child porn. He admitted it in front of his SON saying it was a mistake. And the way he checked out younger and younger girls was pathetic. And the whore brags that she calls him papa.

      And silly me I believed him until my therapist said he wouldn’t put it past him.

  • Another vote for CL/CN.

    In the depths of this thing, there’s so much pain and confusion that it is really hard to see any kind of path out of it. Feels like the slow motion disaster will last forever, and that we have no power to alter the course of the narrative.

    Like a lot of us, I turned to books, the Internet, research, looking for any knowledge or information that could help me understand, heal, escape. Pretty much everything I found seemed to make it worse, and confirm the cheater’s take on things: I should examine my grievous faults, understand his need for a lover better than me, admit that I am not pretty/sexy/supportive/smart/
    obedient/communicative/fun/young/and so forth enough. I should understand that monogamy is unnatural, men of course seek younger partners, and aging is among my sins. Plus, I should be sweeter, more forgiving, and not compound my many errors with bitterness. And I should preserve his image, be a compliant and chipper ex, and spread the story that these things unfortunately happen and people simply grow apart all around so that everyone would keep on celebrating him, and nobody would dare judge.

    It was horrid. Little to nothing to help a chump in any of that. Then, I found CL/CN, and so many patient, tough, and generous teachers that it was a miracle.

    I honestly think I might still be taking care of the cheater’s dry cleaning and chatting with him daily if not for this space. Our lexicon here—no contact, trust that they suck, be mighty, get a life, the walls will sing—might seem simple on the face of it, but the wisdom is real.

    This place saved my life. Absolutely saved it.

    • Yes! Cashmere, you really are a tremendous and insightful writer. You expressed my reality perfectly. Thank you!

    • Mine too. Therapy has been life saving too but did not help me make the big shift of understanding the need to stay far away from disordered people, even if you “love” the part of them that isn’t epically destructive,

  • This is a great story of vindication. I hope tons of praise is heaped on all those victims for their courage in coming forward. And then…keeping so true to the disordered’s limited playbook, this remorseless doctor actually wrote the judge a long letter complaining about having to listen to each of these personal statements. Their self-pitying shamelessness knows no bounds and adheres to no reality but the one they invent for themselves. He stands as yet another example to the outside world of the delusional entitlement we each here know so well.

  • I’m inspired by a vision, which is an amalgam of many of you here that have left the cheaters and have built a peaceful, meaningful, cheater-free life. I’m striving to be just like you.

    For those of you that are not yet at meh, here is one of the most important concepts and actions: The path to peace and justice is no contact.

  • This young woman is so incredibly brave. Not only did she come forward, but she continued to come forward even after everyone she told called her a liar. It is unforgivable that her own parents didn’t believe her and continued to allow this pedophile access to their child. I hope she has cut them both completely out of her life. I’d like to say it’s surprising, bit it’s not. I lived it with my own mother refusing to believe me every time I told her what her new husband was doing. Then she would either beat me for.lying, or ridicule me that I wasn’t woman enough to entice her man away from her.
    Some parents, and especially mother’s, should never five birth or conceive a child with someone. Shame shame shame in both of her parents and every adult that didn’t protect her when she was a child.

    • IIRC, her father killed himself when he realized she wasn’t lying. Not sure about Mom.

      • I saw that. I wish he’d lived…lived with the shame of what he allowed happen to his precious daughter. I also read that she is estranged from her mother. Good for her.

    • So sorry you had to endure this, Sugar Plum. No child should go through life without at least one parent who totally loves and protects them. Unfortunately, so many of us do. I’m so glad you’re part of CN now. We understand and support you. You deserved so much better.


      • Unfortunately my father died when I was only 3. But I have a two aunt’s who protected me once I finally broke through the shame and told them. I was much older. I also have my Army sisters who definitely don’t think I should “get over it. It’s in the past. And , should stop being so petty”. Unfortunately, I have next to no relationship with my half sisters who think what their father did to me for years was just a mistake. I love CN and CL! I think I would have lost my mind if I hadn’t found this place after my divorce. Wish I had gotten here sooner, like DDay sooner.

        • I’m so glad you have your Army sisters for additional support, Sugar Plum. It’s so unfair we aren’t believed, and that those who weren’t directly abused will defend the abuser and their memory over us, the innocent victims.

          You are mighty. Don’t let anyone steal your light. The narrative is changing. Hugs.

        • Sugar Plum,
          I wish I could hug you in person. I cried reading your comments and what you have gone through!!
          Your resilience speaks volumes about what a brave, strong woman you are.
          You are a survivor, you are strong!!!

          Million hugs to you, sweetie!

    • Agree. The parents not believing or jumping on the victim-blaming bandwagon — they are fucking horrible. As horrible as the abusers.

      Sending a big, virtual hug, Sugar Plum.

    • SugarPlum

      So sorry you suffered abuse upon abuse. What you described was horrific. Hoping you are surrounded by loving supportive people in your life now.

      There were many times my abuser denied hitting and verbally abusing my daughter. It’s bad enough what he did to me; I’m appalled to think he convinced me that she lied beginning when she was in kindergarten. One has to be very twisted to take a child to OW houses and then say she was making it up.

      Or to blame your son for internet porn.

      The biggest error I made was to confront my daughter in front of her father. The abused should never be placed in that position.

      • I’m sorry you were abused too. It’s a bitch and it really does change the trajectory, for a while, of a healthier path. I’m glad you and your daughter are both away from your abuser now. And, yes, I have a very small tribe, but they have my back and I have theirs!

      • I appreciate your compassion. I’m past the point of damage and healed. Believe it or not, my Xhole’s abuse, infidelity, and subsequent abandonment (ok that one is kind of hard to say with a straight face because by the time he decided to “abandon” me I’d already secretly filed and was awaiting him being served…and then I helped him pack) actually sent me on a path towards healing. I had to first heal from what he did. Later, I finally started addressing all the stuff I had suppressed for years. Today, I am happy. The childhood abuse and the subsequent spousal abuse no longer defines me.

        • Take a bow, Sugar Plum. I’m not the only one clapping and saluting you.

          Cheers and best wishes as you travel the healing path.

        • Those words hold so much power, Sugar Plum. “The childhood abuse and spousal abuse no longer defines me.” Amen sister.

          I too came from a childhood background of abuse, although the sexual abuse was in my later teens with my mother’s boyfriend. I only had to endure it for about six months before I could escape. The tough thing to come to terms with for me, was the fact that my mother was complicit. He paid her for my “services”. She told me to go with him and do what he told me, that I could make a lot of money, as he handed the cash. I was seventeen. Later in life she had the gall to be outraged when I denied her access to my boys. (That day was the end of all trust I had in her.) She is dead now, and that is a good thing. Her toxic presence is no longer around to pollute the world.

          These days, I too am happy and no longer defined by abuse, as Sugar Plum so eloquently stated.

  • How absolutely heartbreaking for Kyle that her parents picked their friendship with this loser over their own daughter’s safety and welfare, then continually forced her to be around her to be around him, so he could continue his abuse. Just horrible.

    My mother sat my sisters and me down one day when we were very young. She told us that some adults abuse children and she went into detail on how they abuse and she told us that if anyone ever did anything like that to any of us that we were to report it to her immediately. She made it clear that it didn’t matter “who” the abuser was – family member, family friend, neighbor, etc.

    Thankfully, none of us ever had anything to report to our mother, but we were educated that this sort of thing sometimes happens to children and we also knew if it ever happened, that no matter who the offender was, our mother would protect us.

    I’m so sorry for Kyle that she didn’t have this kind of security when she was a child.

  • This has nothing to do with adults abusing children, but in regards to my current situation, Jenny Sanford and Lynn Johnson were my role models. Two classy, beautiful and accomplished women who were left by their loser husbands in favor of women who were definitely downgrades. They didn’t let it stop them form continuing to live their awesome lives and maintain their dignity and sense of self worth. That’s the way I wanted to be. I admired them long before my own marriage imploded and I used them for inspiration after.

  • I work with teens and young adults who are contemplating or have attempted suicide, many of whom have suffered sexual and/or psychological abuse. Having lost my oldest son to suicide and being a suicide attempt survivor myself, I was shocked yesterday by the number of comments from chumps who thought about or attempted suicide after finding out about their cheaters. I know the amount of pain it takes to make one think that death is the only way out (will cheaters ever realize?), so my Mightiness and Inspiration Award today goes to all those in Chump Nation who managed to survive and even thrive after having been so close to suicide. And please, if you’re having suicidal thoughts talk to someone you trust or contact your local suicide hotline.

  • I know that CL and all the people here at CN, finally, truly opened my eyes !!! Thank you CL, for your dedication in providing -maintaining a site that has probably saved more lives than you will ever know.

    CL – finding your site is the most inspiring for me and joining was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Every person on CN, your story, your strength ,your support are my daily source of inspiration. To all the people on this site, navigating this hell, while still raising your children, you are all inspirational heroes to me!!!

    Reading online information from Sam Vatkin, made me realize my Stbx was a classic NPD/sociopathic predator.

    My children and grandchildren are also my inspiration. I want my adult daughters and granddaughters to never be manipulated by a charismatic, cunning, sick narcissist in any aspect of their lives.

    Another inspiration is for me to rediscover my previous self that existed 17 yrs ago. A woman that was strong with self confidence, that had been married for 20 yrs with 3 children, to a man that was loving and kind, until his sudden dead. My old self , had started rebuilding a life after the devastating grief me and my children were going through. She existed and I’m slowly finding myself again after 17 years of being married to a very cunning , manipulating, Narc/Sociopath that I almost allowed to totally break me.

    Seeing clearly

    • Welcome, Seeing Clearly. You sound strong and beautiful. You will rediscover that joy you had before the lying cheater stole and deceived you. Best wishes for an awesome, healing 2018 and beyond.


  • First of all, Tracy is my mighty s/hero….. for this site, for her clear vision of the skewed narrative of traditional infidelity, for her moxie and unrelenting courage to tell it like it is and to reach out to the suffering chumps of the world with her life saving message. And make no mistake, she undeniably has saved lives.

    I also bow to the multitude of strong, loving chumps here who have walked the walk and come back to share their experience, strength and hope with the newbies. Love those mighty kick ass stories here. Love hearing the mighty, mighty stories of chumps rising from the ashes of their ruined lives to rebuild bigger and better, claiming their rightful place in the sun.

    Last of all, I have a take-no-prisoner, strong woman heroine in a book, a series which I love, the In Death series, by J. D. Robb. It is a blend of sci-fi, murder mystery, and a touch of romance. Eve Dallas is her name, and she rose from a horrible childhood to be a totally bad ass, no nonsense cop with a big gooey heart, set in the NYC of the future. Her courage, in not only dealing with her job, but with her trauma from her past is a great inspiration to me. Love those Phoenix stories in fiction and in real life.

    • Thank you, Tessie, for the book recommendation. After spending close to three years reading about personality disorders, narcs/sociopaths/psychopaths and healing from this abuse — I need something different to read!! I will checkout your suggestion. It would be nice to one day have a full CL blog post dedicated to books that we loved, whether they were self-help, biography, fiction, etc. Most of the time someone suggests a book, I look it up to see if it would be one that I would like to read. 🙂

    • Tessie, you’re a hero. You’ve overcome more than anyone should ever have to. The mightiest.

    • Tessie, you are my MIGHTY inspiration and many others who were posting 3 or 4 years back. Your story has been such an inspiration. The loss of your son at the hands of his father and the way that you rebuilt your self from a pain so horrible has been awe inspiring. You are one tough lady!!!! And that you keep posting and trying to continue helping people is truly awesome.
      I feel so blessed to have found CL and CN. I’ve been reading here faithfully for more than three years. I could not believe my good fortune at finding this blog. I had searched the net for something to help me. RIC sites told me it was all my fault, poor scared forest creature EX, could never be held accountable was all I found. I called BS on that. That mother f*er had been pulling all the strings in our “marriage”, and I was not feeling that at all. I was told I had to be more, more understanding, nicer, prettier, sexier, etc. f*ck they shite. I wasn’t perfect but I was a good and loyal spouse, ex not so much. CL and CN are mighty!!!

  • My hero WOULD be the bad-assed lawyer/judge/politician/whomever who identified

    EACH.and.EVERY person

    who ever shut the door of justice on Kyle’s face

    and held them accountable

    with REAL consequences.

  • I think this young woman’s story is astounding. She is a hero for persevering through all that she has been through. She is a fantastic role model to people everywhere. I think that for all of us, a place like CN is empowering. When we are isolated we are weak, we question ourselves and our realities. When we share our experiences we gain strength from each other. We all help each other to be mighty, to feel that what we are feeling is real, and that we aren’t alone.

  • In my life their have been several mighty role models.

    Back when the cheater was still in med school, one of our neighbors was an older couple, L and M that we and our group became very good friends with, They were like surrogate parents. They had been married for 30 years, we in awe of their long term relationships. He, M. was retired military and she, L, was a nurse still working at a local practice and doing everything around the house. He volunteered at the Red Cross. Well at some point he starting being really interesting in the music of Neil Diamond, definitely not a musician in their current library. Then the truth came out that he had been having an affair with a younger women at the Red Cross who had a thing for Neil Diamond. When all was discovered, L kicked M out of the house and filed for divorce. Their children even refused to take him in. L made sure she got an excellent settlement, then retired. She soon after met a lovely man, extremely successful utimately married and traveled the country and the world with him. While M was dumped by the OW after he had to move to a tiny apartment and get a job. I’ve always admired L’s strength.

    And there was a woman I worked with in my first job after college over 30 years ago. It was common knowledge that there was a briefcase of porn that circulated among the men in the office. In fact men who travelled usually made contributions to the file from places they visited. This female coworker decided on day that enough was enough, walked into our department head’s office and told him that if the file was not removed immmediately, she was going to HR and file a formal complaint against the department. The file was removed. She took a lot of heat and criticism about what she did not only from the men but from some of the older women but she never backed down from believing she did the right thing. At that time she was very brave and really put her job on the line.

    Last and this may be corny, is my first grade self. I was in Catholic school. The Catholic school of 50 years ago. At that time during recess, girls were allow to play those silly patty cake games or stand around and talk but boys were allowed to play tag and run around the playground I couldn’t understand the difference treatment. So when I was asked if I wanted to play tag, I joined in. I miss that tough little rebel. It’s something I’ve been striving to recover.

  • Chump Lady you are my inspiration. You have given me a voice. I couldn’t verbalize my thoughts and feelings about X clearly and succinctly. I needed the tools to communicate so that I felt understood and validated and supported. You gave me the tools – the strong logic, the words (blame shift, discount, minimize, play victim, 3 channels of a narc and on and on), and what I consider a PhD in narcissism. You have educated me and education is so powerful! People listen when I speak and I feel I am making my own small difference by speaking up and teaching others (most importantly my children) what you have taught me. You have strengthened me, made me feel not alone, and given me hope for my future.
    Thank you Chump Lady!❤️

    • I’m ready to vomit:
      It wasn’t his fault – it was that darn match’s fault! He’s just a nice guy praying for healing…

    • He said: “For all those involved, I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control. I have no animosity toward anyone. I just want healing. … We need to move forward in a sense of growth and healing and I pray (for) that.”

      KK expressed (and continues to express) these exact sentiments OVER, and OVER, and OVER again.

      No further proof of disorder is required.

      • I heard the same thing OVER and OVER too. They really are all following the same script

      • He is ENTITLED to his victim’s silence, dammit. And their forgiveness, while he’s at it.

        What an unspeakable waste of carbon is Nassar. When the bad you do in the world outweighs the positive, extermination is too good for you.

      • Isn’t that big of him, “ he has no animosity towards anyone”. What freaking plane of the world do these asseipes live in???!???!!!

      • I have apparently, one song on this site: “what in the actual FUCK is with the world “we”?

        Nassar, there is no “we” in the need for healing. YOU are a bastard with a bucket of snails where your soul should be. YOU hurt those girls. Stop trying to steal more of their personhood by denying them their own pronoun.

        And cheaters who want to work on “us”? “We” need to be friends? Yeah, no. You stabbed “us” to death with a butter knife a while back.

    • CL,
      Read the link – article, you referenced.

      “He’s not mentally capable of listening to his victims!!” That stayed alone made me want to vomit!
      Sorry, pedophile, this isn’t about you!

      Can’t deal with one more of these sick freaks talking about prayer and forgiveness.

      No one, not a single one of your victims asked for the years of abuse from you that has now resulted in their fight to be mentally capable of the life long damage you inflicted to them!

      He needs to be forced to sit and listen to the victims impact statement from each and everyone of his victims-irregardless the # or how long it takes.

      I’m sure we will read soon he committed suicide in prison! Even hardened criminals have a code with regards to pedophiles – prisoners won’t consider whether he’s mentally capable of receiving “prison justice”.

      • Larry needs to be drug through the streets in chains! The fucker doesn’t care a thing about what his victims said in their statements. Sexual predators do not care about what happens to their victims.

        • Leavingthecrapbehind,
          Yes, you are absolutely right, sexual predators don’t care about their victims.

          For victims that are able to give their impact statement in court, can be an empowering stepping stone – it was for my DD when she was 12. Her statement as well as my late husband’s and mine / convinced the judge to give her molester the maximum prison sentence. It took years for her truly to begin healing, however, the fact that my late husband and I immediately believed her, allowed her to process and make the decision on her own to report him, with our encouragement, plus giving her impact statement at the age of 12 and the judges decision / gave her the courage to write a letter separate from my late husband’s and mine / yearly to the parole board that always decided to keep that predator behind bars for as long as the law allowed. Pedophile also received “prison justice” several times from fellow inmates

  • Mia Farrow was saying something in the 90’s. Investigations could have been more thorough.
    But wait MiaFarrow was chumped so she was emotional, so she was bitter, so she was resentful. Let some decade pass before searching for the truth. Allen’s defense was written by some Hollywood author, he sounded very convincing. It’s easier to think that chumped women must have something wrong and make sexual predators feel validated in our culture.

    • Don’t forget ‘crazy’, ‘jealous’, and ‘psycho’.

      I now know that when it starts feeling crazy, off balance, and insecure, I am involved with unsafe people, and/or am being abused.

      Doesn’t matter by whom – friend, lover, employer.

      This is a terrific emotional rule of thumb.

      • Yea..Bill Clinton’s victims were deemed either “nuts” or “sluts.” Tragic!

  • Bad behaviour is bad behaviour, full stop. We were pretty sure you were an asshole already,but then to try to blame the victim you just confirmed it and added at least a couple more reprehensible things about you. People in places of trust of the most vulnerable have the greatest responsibilty to those charges.

    The full force of the law should be brought to bear against the doctors, teachers, priests, etc for taking that positionof power and twisting it to suit their perverted desires.

  • There’s still the injustice to think one couragous young child was repeatedly silenced. That in itself makes me cry to think of the abuses she suffered after telling not one but many adults who denied her truth.

    I applaud the judge for letting each and every victim speak.

    • Yes ^^ not only was she abusedby this asshole,she was then let down by all the adults around her. She deserved better. He deserves to have every single bit of pain and suffering he is feeling in court. Who knows how many others there are out there that are not in court. Also, I wonder if anybody as messed up as he is ever truly feels anything for anyone else. There is no remorse in him. It is just that this is embarrassing him, and making him look like a bad guy.

      I wish we could see people’s character instead of their outward appearance. This guy would be one ugly MF’er

  • Of course, what inspires me and continues to uplift, motivate, encourage, and keep me laughing and sane — almost 3 years post-DDay — is you all: the Mighty Chump Lady and Nation.
    Also, my grandmother, who passed away a few days ago. She was my everything. She lived me and nutured me more than my own mother. She was fiercely independent up until a few months before she died. She was loving and caring, but never put up with bullshit. My aunt said she has never heard grandma cuss as much as she did the day she found out about how much of a bastard exh2 The Evil One had been to me. That he left me near penniless. That he was a liar, cheater, and thief. She liked him, you see. Thought he was good to me and for me. I’m glad she got to see me living in MEH-dom before she passed.
    Each one, reach one.

    Viva la Chump Nation!!!!

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandma. Sending you big long-distance hugs… <3

      • Thank you, Sunny.
        She was a widow for close to 30 years, and she remained as independent as she could and self-reliant as long as she was able. It killed her to have to bed-ridden in a hospital in her final days. She was the light of my life. I will miss her every day for the rest of my life.

        • UnsinkableMollyXinAlabama,
          What s wonderful woman you had to inspire you!! I am so sorry for your loss/incredible heartbreak losing your guiding light!

          She sounds like my late husband’s mother, who passed away on December 23 at the age of 94. Wonderful woman who was my mentor and inspiration.

          Warm hug to you!

  • I read Chumplady’s book often during the week, especially at night before bed when my thoughts start to feed my anxiety. It helps me keep everything in perspective and reaffirms my choice to leave that cheater behind and forge a new life. I’m a few years out now and I can’t imagine a life having to “reconcile” with someone who was so nasty and cruel. However, without her wisdom and guidance the road would have been a lot longer, and harder.

    Thank you CL and everyone here.

  • I am SO proud of these women for standing up and saying NO. What is happening in that courtroom is unprecedented, and will hopefully change the way we respond to abusers forever. If anyone is interested in some academic work that addresses these issues, see Jennifer Freyd’s work on institutional betrayal. Not only does she explain how there are more layers of trauma placed on victims when the perp is protected by the institution where the abuse occurs (college campus, workplace, hospital, etc.), but she explicitly names adultery as one of these types of trauma that usually isn’t recognized as such.

    • Over and out,
      Yes!!! Rachael Denhollander – another amazing young woman.

      I saw article where USA Gymnastics President and CEO, Kerry Perry, announcement they have severed ties with Karolyi Ranch training facility, where so many of these young women were assaulted.

      I’m sure there will be a statement released by Karolyi Ranch facility denying they had any knowledge of the abuse that was occurring at the training facility- BS!!!

  • Dancing Dick (ex pervert/liar/cheater) had tastes in “barely legal porn.” When I found out about it by tracking down his internet porn trails……it literally made me sick. I was vomiting for days. Then….I called a divorce lawyer and prepared myself for a speedy exit from a marriage to a sick freak.

  • I’m so un-mighty in the sense that I’d be forever afraid that him or someone sent by him would try to chase me down years later for revenge. This is what I get for escaping a sociopath. A lifetime of fear and distrust.

    But I’m really happy for the victims that feel like justice has been served. They all truly deserve that.

  • There was a girl. a couple of years ahead of me in high school who was even at that age, a special person—she was already making the whole community a better place at age 17. We rode the same bus, and during a time when i was being bullied by some older kids (including a relative of mine),she stepped in and stopped the bullying. Such was the respect that others had for her, that the bulling stopped. I was so grateful. A couple of years later, a similar situation came up on the school bus, but I was the older kid who could stop the bullying. And I told the grateful victim that she was the next person who had to pay it forward.

    The older girl who helped me has gone on to show a lot of mightiness—she survived the loss of her HS sweetheart and lived for years as a single woman until she married later in life. Now she’s modeling mightiness for a whole bunch of nieces and nephews and still inspiring me to be my best self, to believe in my own worth.

    • LovedaJackass,
      How wonderful for you to still have this amazing friend in your life – sounds like she has been such an inspirational, true friend, that has always been there for you!!! And continues to be a role model for her nieces and nephews.

      Your post made me remember 2 instances when my DD1, was 15, (she’s now 38) and was suspended 2 times from the high school she attended in the mid 1990’s in a very small, rural , racist community in the Midwest where we lived for 2 yrs while my late husband was finishing his degree:

      DD was suspended the first time for standing up for the only minority at the high school, who was being threatened and bullied by a group of idiots. She was suspended for “causing a scene” because she told bullies, they would have to go through her before they bullied this young man again.

      DD was suspended the next year at the same high school because she asked her history teacher why he chose to not discuss or participate in celebrating Martin Luther King Day-the history teacher suspended her for “questioning his position that MLK was not a topic the students in his class needed to discuss”.

  • UnsinkableXinAlabama
    Was reading an old comment from 2015.. (this has nothing to do with this post). Being angry with your X is understandable but throwing his innocent cat outdoors is cruel. Holding resentment towards a pet is
    immature & heartless.

  • I would like to nominate the 17-year old girl from the Turpin family for a super mighty award. She had plotted her escape for two years and finally climbed out the window of her house to alert the world to what she and her siblings had been subjected to for years.

    Massive hugs for all those children.

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