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By September 10, 2012 65 Comments Read More →

After the sociopath, another sociopath

Several Lovefraud readers have written to me recently—annoyed, angry, horrified. These readers had finally realized what they were dealing with—a sociopath. They extricated themselves from the relationships and had no further contact with the disordered individuals. And what happened? Another sociopath came into their lives.

The readers asked: What is going on? Why can’t they leave me alone? Am I a sociopath magnet?

The answer is, not necessarily. Following are some observations to add perspective to the situation.

Millions of sociopaths

These disordered individuals are everywhere. As long as we’re living on this planet, we face the possibility of running into them.

Experts estimate that 1 percent to 4 percent of the population meet the criteria for psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder. But if you add in the narcissists and those with borderline personality disorder, as many as 12 percent of the population are social predators. In the United States, that’s 37 million people. With so many of them out there, we shouldn’t be surprised to come across them.

Faster recognition

The bad news is that these readers found themselves dealing with another sociopath. The good news is that they figured it out much more quickly this time around.

I think these readers should interpret their most recent experience as signs of growth. Yes, another sociopath came into their lives, but they spotted the predator! They know the warning signs and listened to their instincts! This is progress! This is good!

More healing

The fact that another sociopath appeared could also indicate that these readers still have more healing to do. Sociopaths sense vulnerabilities, like sharks sense blood in the water. Perhaps the readers need to look for more injuries within themselves that need to be addressed.

Remember, sociopaths come into our lives by exploiting vulnerabilities. Afterwards, we need to recover from the nasty encounter with the sociopath. But we also need to heal the earlier, deeper injury that enabled the sociopath to target us in the first place. Perhaps we were neglected as a child or abused in an earlier relationship. Or perhaps we had negative beliefs about ourselves—that we were unwanted or unlovable. By addressing and healing our vulnerabilities, we protect ourselves from further pain.

How to stay safe

The bottom line is that millions of sociopaths live among us, so chances are good that at some point, we’ll come across them. So here are the three steps to protecting ourselves:

  1. Know that sociopaths exist.
  2. Know the warning signs of sociopathic behavior.
  3. Listen to our instincts.

Our intuition is designed to protect us from predators. It will almost always tell us, early in the involvement, that something is wrong with an individual. The trick is to pay attention and take action.

All of these readers did that. So yes, it is annoying to find another predator. But at least they got rid of them quickly, before too much damage was done. These Lovefraud readers should be proud of themselves.


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65 Comments on "After the sociopath, another sociopath"

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Donna, I think this article is one that is one of, if not THE most needed articles on LoveFraud.

We do allow first one psychopath into our lives (maybe we are born with them in our families) and then another comes along. It seems to me that in my own experience when I would “heal” (I thought) from the trauma of the damage done to me by psychopath A, then along came Psychopath B to LOVE BOMB me (and it seems that being vulnerable, in pain, traumatized, etc. leaves me at least open to sucking in the love bombing. Thus being vulnerable to the next psychopath.

Having dysfunctional, if not totally psychopathic ways of dealing with thing in our families of origin, for example being the ones to keep the “family secrets” makes us put other’s welfare ahead of ours, even if their problems are self made.

After coming here to Love Fraud,. I finially caught on that healing is not like getting over a bout of pneumonia, you take medication for it, give it some time, and you are good as new—-it can leave you with injured lungs that make you prone to get pneumonia again and again the rest of your life.

I have finally come to realize that the first order of business (in my opinion) when we are starting to heal from a psychopath induced trauma (regardless of what the relationship with them is or was) we must learn about PSYCHOPATHS. How they think, what their motives are, and basically what kind of creature we are dealiingn with. THEN when we have done that, we must LEARN ABOUT OURSELVES, and WHY we are vulnerable to them.

There are many reasons we may be vulnerable to a psychopath, depending on our own needs.

If we are lonely for male/female companionship, a love relationship and someeone comes along and starts telling us how sexy and lovely and wonderful we are, blah blan blah…WHO WOULD NOT FALL FOR THAT, HOOK, LINE AND SINKER? Especially someone who is “down in the dumps” like I was after my husband died. And fall I did.

But I also fell for another line….from my psychopathic son Patrick. Even after he had committed murder. I wanted to SAVE him, to redeem him…I wanted my sons and me to ahve a good family life together and treat each other like we should.

So for the 17 years I lived in LA La FANTASY land reading the letters from my son about “Praise Jesus” and talking to the minister at the prison who thought Patrick was WONDERFUL—I have since educated this minister about what a psychopath is and he is no longer quite so naive.

IN my JOURNEY (and I believe healing is a llife long journey, not a destination that we reach, all 100% healed and perfect) toward healing, I find new things each day in my life that I realize I should change. One thing was putting up with people who w3ere “just a LITTLE dishonest”—-people who were just a little dysfunctional in the way they dealt with others. People who didn’t keep their word ALL the time.

I realized that as long as I associated intimately with these people in my person or business life as friends or co-workers that there would always be trauma/drama. By eliminating them, my life has become much more peaceful.

ADJUSTING my attitudes and my behavior started to show some really POSITIVE RESULTS.

Like I told another poster the other night who was legitimately complaining about the hassle he got from his lawyer P ex that never seemed to stop.

He doesn’t have the power to change that, IT is gonna do what IT is gonna do, but he does HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE how he thinks and feels about it.

It looked like for a while that my egg donor, the Trojan Horse and my son C and his then wife were going to be successful in running me out of my house. A house I almost built with my own hands, where I lived with my husband during the majority of our marriage. I WAS DEVASTATED!!!! They were running me out! I couldn’t stay. WOE IS ME!!!!!

Then I realized it is JUST A HOUSE. What was causing me all thhis grief about having to leave the house was my ATTACHMENT to it. If I no longer cared about the place, then I wouldn’t be upset by leaving. It was like doing an amputation of a limb with a rusty butcher knife and nothing to deaden the pain, but I cut that attachment out of my heart.

What was causing me so much agony and pain for two decades about my son Patrick was my affection for him and my DELUSION that he was going to change, my MALIGNANT HOPE that he was sincerely accepting responsibility. ONCE I LET GO OF THAT MALIGNANT HOPE, once I let go of the EXPECTATION THat he would change, wa la! tHE PAIN WAS GONE.

EMOTIONAL PAIN IS INCREASED BY EXPECTATIONS VERSUS REALITY.

MY REALITY OF MY SON IS THAT HE IS A CRIMINaL, A VIOLENT CRIMINAL AND HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE.. Accepting that realiity was just like accepting a death in the family and was that painful, but not that I HAVE accepted it, I have peace because there is no difference between expectation and reality..

I would like to say that after I realized how many sociopaths were in my life, I have also been realizing their influences on me, and how my personality has attracted the “other” sociopaths in my life. There are 4 “blood” spaths in my family, and I married 2 of them. For all I know, my current relationship of 12 years is with a sociopath as well…as it is definitely one-sided in all aspects. The reason for my post is that I truly believe I am a sociopath-magnet, but I also recognize that this is because I was raised by one, so I was “taught” to accept certain behaviors. I also went to the complete opposite of the narcissistic spectrum, and became a giving and loving person—the opposite of how I was raised. Because I put so much emphasis on empathy, giving, and loving…the sociopaths see me as a TARGET. Healing and acceptance of my own role in all of this, has helped me to get a better grasp on the behaviors of others, as well as myself. If you have several spaths in your life…expect others–But pay attention to the behaviors of new people before you roll out the red carpet for them, and give them the keys to your house.

Donna, thank you for the validating article. I am hyper-alert, anymore. I am very, very cautious and I put nothing out there that will give anyone any excuses. “Benefit of the doubt” does not apply in my world, anymore.

Yeah, brushes with spaths are going to continue – it’s inevitable because it is such a rampant condition and seems to actually be promoted as “acceptable” and “tolerable.” So, the three guideline gifts that you posted are replacing any misconceived beliefs that I once maintained.

Thank you so much, again!

BRIGHTEST BLESSINGS

Thanks, Donna.
Trauma survivors often have an unconscious tendancy to “repeat” the trauma. Freud called this, “the compulsion to repeat”. It stems from the need to gain mastery over the traumatic event, and an unconscious belief that this time I can get it right. Of course, we never do. We only increase our woundedness.
Some months ago I watched the old 70’s movie, “The Deerhunter, and, even though I had seen it years earlier, I didn’t get the significance of it. This is a movie about the devistation of war, yes, but it so perfectly portrays, “the compusion to repeat” of PTSD. Remember the scene where the two American buddies are forced to play Russian roulette by their Vietnamese captors?
Then, toward the end of the movie, one of them enggages in this Russian roulette willingly and compulsively, until it kills him.
We can stop it though.
We just need to become conscious of our woundedness and take responaibilty for changing and healing.

Donna, this article is important for Lovefraud readers to know.

Yes, it happened to me; 2 years after the sociopath I had a relationship with another pathological. He was more charming than the first, complimentary, handsome, sweet, attentive, and my 7th grade crush. I did see some red flags (victim of ex-wife, physical ailments, “I live in the slums and you live in a nice neighborhood”, etc.) I distanced myself from him several times, but he sweet-talked me back into the relationship.

Within a month he said he’d take me to Vegas, Times Square, Port Angeles, San Francisco, etc. He had a lot of friends (first sociopath had few friends) and his children seemed to adore him. He smiled a lot. He was very affectionate and loving (much more than the “sociopath”).

I thought it could certainly not happen again. I had spent thousands of hours researching sociopathy and believed it couldn’t possibly happen again. I had “known” him for 30 years. I was aware and alert to red flags, perhaps even hyper-vigilant.

But he planned to rip me off after a Caribbean vacation. He refused to do the work for me he had promised. And he displayed the most extreme (red-faced) rage I had ever seen in my life. The mask fell; his manipulativeness, anger issues, and conning were apparent.

I was again saddened and dismayed at my stupidity. Again? Oooh not again. There must be something wrong with ME!

And hence began a search to the depths of my being, and back to my childhood. To my surprise I discovered my father (whom I have always been close to and considered a ‘daddy’s girl’) was charming. My father was always the victim or the hero. My father had intense rage issues (I cannot recall from my childhood a genuine smile, more a crooked grin or a gritting of the teeth look).

SHOCK. Not my father! No. It could not be.

And hence I have come to the conclusion that I have been attracted to and/or a magnet for sociopaths because of my upbringing. I am a pleaser. I like peace. I enjoy pleasantness. I am compassionate and like to help people. I am a good listener. And because my own (loved) father is one of “them”, pathological men are my comfort zone. They are the “known”.

It was a difficult realization. I have not dated for 2 years. I refuse to be sucked into an unhealthy relationship. I am much better company (even if alone) than being with a pathological.

You see, the lesson (for me) was not yet learned. I did not yet realize that I was not just a victim, but I was (subconsciously) CHOOSING pathological men. This was MY choice. I was not just targeted.

And hence more research (this time into borderline personality disorder) and more healing. It is a process. It takes time, and one must be patient with oneself.

I must say that this second relationship harmed me more than the first and the recovery has been even more difficult although the relationship was of a much shorter duration. I have come to believe it is because it was like falling again on an already injured and bloody knee.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not only have I looked closely at relationships with men, but with other people in my life. I only welcome healthy relationships now. I now seek only people who are genuine with a sincere heart. I am very careful with whom I associate.

Thank you for the article, Donna. It will inform your readers that it can happen again, and that there is more learning for them. They are on a path of self-discovery and ultimately, self-love and acceptance.

Blessings and Peace to all of you.

Peggywhoever.

P.S. Hi Oxy!

Ohhhhhh Myyyyyy Gooooooooodness! What a great as well as timely, desperately needed posting for all to read, as well as DIGEST!!! Thank you, Donna. What insight! As I have been in my situation for awhile now, I’ve asked myself the question a zillion times now: How could this happen to me, AGAIN??? Donna said: “Our intuition is designed to protect us from predators. It will almost always tell us, early in the involvement, that something is wrong with an individual. The trick is to pay attention and take action. The bottom line is that millions of sociopaths live among us, so chances are good that at some point, we’ll come across them. So here are the three steps to protecting ourselves:
*Know that sociopaths exist.
*Know the warning signs of sociopathic behavior.
*Listen to our instincts. May I add a few more? When entering any relationship, SET YOUR BOUNDARIES! Make a clear and precise decision for yourself, (and your mental as well as emotional well being) of what you WILL AND WILL NOT tolerate. Any RED FLAGS pop up…..CUT IT OFF! Do not “excuse or rationalize any “off” behavior into oblivion! Also…..ASSUME NOTHING, AND QUESTION EVERYTHING! Not on a “paranoia” level, but do not be gullible, and trusting. Set the boundary, that if someone wants you to trust them, THEY HAVE TO EARN YOUR TRUST! Any breach of that trust……DONE! FINISHED! After being here at LF, for the short time that I have, I have learned sooooo much! However, I have learned far more about ME, (and why this happened to me, again), than I have learned about the spaths. All of the information here is wonderful, and great, BUT it will remain that…just information….. unless we APPLY this practical information, in our daily lives, as well as all relationships! Thank you Donna! Best wishes to everyone here! 🙂

I was targeted by another disordered man shortly after my devastating breakup with the psychopath. My best friend assured me that he was “so nice” when she didn’t really know him at all. The difference this time was that I questioned some of his motives and didn’t immediately go along with his demands, so he grew frustrated and revealed himself fairly early. I’m only sorry I didn’t toss him away at the very first red flag – this little “friendship” wouldn’t have lasted a day.

I also had to take time and think about the best friend’s motivations in constantly trying to hook me up with completely unsuitable men (former prison inmates, jobless gigolo wannabees, etc.), when I kept telling her I wasn’t really ready to date yet. The end result was that SHE had to go too because she refused to respect my wishes and boundaries. My therapist told me that this was normal – after seeking help and introspection we often find ourselves surrounded by damaged and damaging people.

I have since, deleted ALL of the toxins from my life, which includes toxic people and (so called) friendships. Although this has left me with just that of my wonderful family and 2 trusted, normal, loving, intelegent friends, it is THEE best action I have taken within my entire healing process! What a difference this has made spiritually, mentally, emotionally. I am so relaxed and feel incredibly empowered since doing this…. It is as if the sun is now shining down on me, once again, after being blocked by all of the toxins, for far too long. Being free of toxins/toxic people is the best thing going!

Hi,. Peggy, great post above BTW…yes, our childhood dysfunction that we don’t realize is dysfunction but think it is “normal” trains us to be people pleasers….cover up Daddy’s rages because if anyoone knew he would lose his job, lbe kicked out as deacon of the church, you can’t let anyone know daddy drunks, our YOU WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE IF HE LOST HIS JOB BECAUSE OF IT.

YOU….kill the messenger!!

My egg donor ACTUALLY SAID “let’s just pretend that none of this happened and start over.” when I was trying to discuss what she had done to me in discarding me in favor of the pedopile and my then X DIL who had tried to kill my son C, etc.

It was like a bucket of water hit me in the face when she said that. It was an AH HA moment!

YOu know we ARE “magnets” because just as an african predator looks over a herd of 1,000 antelope, he looks for that one out of the 1,000 that limps, is old, sick, young, injured in any way because it gives him a decided advantage in “catching”prey. The psychopaqhs do the same thing as the lions, they pick the weaker one out of the herd.

How they can “read our minds” and realize that we are the weaker ones, I do not know. It seems MAgic! bUT THEY CAN DO IT FOR SURE. MAYBE THE FEBBIES SHOULD HIRE THEM AS PROFILERS. Funny thing is, in other ways, they are as DENSE as a piece of iron in knowing how we think emotionally. DUH?????

Good for you, DawnG! As for your “former” best friend, sounds to me, SHE wasn’t worthy of your friendship…that she didn’t respect what you WOULD NOT TOLERATE any longer! Also makes me wonder what types of relationships SHE had/has with men in HER life? Could it be the “misery loves company” type of friendship you and her had? Don’t know, just some things that crossed my mind after reading your post. Another thing I am curious about is, I wonder how many spaths, access this website, TO PICK UP POINTERS, ON HOW THEY CAN BECOME EVEN MORE DEVIOUS!???? That is why we must always be……..”radar on”! 🙂 Good day to all! 🙂

As for a “aaaaaah haaaa”, moment…..some months ago, was listening to the spath, as he bragged about the days he played football. As he was blowing hard, he said this: “Hahaha, in playing with your opponent, you look for their…WEAKNESSES, and then USE IT AGAINST THEM” Little did he realize when he said that….WHAT I ASSIMILATED….is NOT WHAT HE SAID, but the meaning behind what he verbalized. For me, that was a WOW! A huge……ahaaaaaaa! Now, anything HE SAYS, CAN…and WILL be used to MY advantage! WHOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

So profound, Radar_On…

Pedopile. LOLOlolol. Love that. So many fantastic word variations within this blog. Someone must create a spath/survivor dictionary/thesaurus or something of the like.

I also fell for that trap. I thought I was so carefull, but the second time around nearly killed me. Not the first. I was even single for 7 yrs. so I wouldn’t fall into another trap and I believed I had done the work. Oh boy did I fool my self. I was so carefull, had all my friends and family approve of him and I thought all is well. Unfortunately, I had a bucket full of bullshit. When my world collapsed, it felt as someone had pulled the vail away from my eyes. I could see clearly. Not only did I attract spath boyfriends, but 99% of every single friend I had were spaths or had traits of it, they were highly selfish. Just as my family.
Yes I agree, in our childhood lies the answer. My mother trained me well to be targeted. I believe that our childhood and past isn’t only a place were we store our pain, therein lies the key to our healing.

magnets targets..do we really know us…???? I believe being damanged young and though adulthood…us as victims and surivors dont know the true us…. we ourself damanged to spaths..abusiers..ect… I believe being alone and learning ourselfs…the right theropy..we can learn to be living spath.abusive free..dont we deserve that.. I relized myself..i have no clue who I Am.. just my name..thats it…remember we were stripped of who we are.. for there gratification..i figure love and know ourselfs truly know ourselfs…and when the next spath.or abusier..or psyco ect..comes peeling in our lives the flags WILL FLY..

It is amazing to me how the topics on Love Fraud are so relevant to exactly what I need right now! I read on another site (wish I had bookmarked it) a very interesting remark. The Dr. who wrote the article said, (paraphrasing)

“The most harm in the relationship comes from the waiting: that things will change, things will get better. They never do. In fact, they get worse.”

Well, that hit me like a ton of bricks! I realized that I wasted so much time waiting for things to get better. To continue to suck up more of his abuse, both verbal and emotional, financial & legal…and then beating myself up for wasting that precious time. I was SO angry with myself. A woman said to me the other day, “Don’t beat yourself up.” “Why not?! Why shouldn’t I for being so stupid?” I replied. She said, “Because it doesn’t change anything.”

She is right. Forgiving myself and taking care of myself are my two priorities, neither of which I am very good at. I should be fantastic at it, since that’s all I did for the spath; forgive him over and over and take care of him. His needs, his wants, his goals, plans and dreams. Geez, aren’t I at least as good as he is? Surely, I must be. How can I see that I have some value and worth in this world? I think that’s what it’s going to take for me. Fingers crossed it happens sooner than later.

I know I’m a spath magnet. That’s why I’ve been thinking about it for a while and trying to figure out why.

I’m beginning to think it’s because spaths are an addiction. Once you are an addict, you can go into recovery but you’ll always be an addict and you have to be extra careful not to fall off the wagon.

So what exactly are we addicted to? DRAMA.
Spaths are the source of all DRAMA. And we don’t realize that this is what attracts our attention to them. They watch our faces. My spath used to describe people’s faces during moments of surprise or fear. He’d say, “You should have seen his face.” Facial expressions are what he eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I think that drama addicts reveal our addiction by our facial expressions, among other reactions. They test us with their charisma, their stories and their larger than life persona. They read our faces. They know when they’ve caught a “live one”.

That’s why gray rock works. GIVE THEM NO EMOTION. Keep boundaries on your emotions. Do this as a matter of course. Don’t let your expressions give you away.

No, I’m not as successful at this as I would like to be. On the contrary, unless I’m on alert because I KNOW I’m in the company of a spath, I let my emotional expressions flow. This is my problem, I think.

The article was timely. I need to work on that: being a gray rock ALL THE TIME and keeping emotional boundaries for close friends.

I’m terrible at it. It’s my next goal. I’ll let you all know how that works for me.

This is really interesting. I am going to put another viewpiont on this subject. The first one that met, was sadistic, heavily narcissistic, distempered, cruel, and did a lot of emotional damage to me. I was led to believe i was crazy.

The second in my life, was a charismatic sociopath. At the time when i met him – i was in a terrible state, i had finished 10 months of EMDR therapy, yet still, i was in a terrible state.

The seconds motives was MONEY… i ended up thousands in debt, have almost lost my home and my job- well almost – but he was as charming as anything. Made me feel amazing about myself. He helped heal the PTSD by mirroring me, getting me out, helping me to face thingss. He was wonderful – but behind my back, there were no jobs, everything was a scam. He enjoyed getting one over on me. Financially…

But you know – i am glad i met the second one. Financially he was a disaster – but his cheer and charm, mirroring behaviour and dedication towards me to help me (for his own needs of course) helped undo the damage of the sadistical narcisstic psycho.

OF the two…. i would prefer the second any time he wasnt violent and whilst he is text book psychopath (pathological liar, fake jobs, fake everything, fake background, no family friends, manipulation deceit, whilst behind my back he was ruining me – I had no idea of this.

Just goes to show that ignorance is bliss. Sometimes people will do anything for cash. Today, i feel ok. I think….

Whats the WORST –is how do people believe me? Thats what i find hard, its oh yet again – he has issues – hmmmm

Thank heavens for this post! I thought I was nuts or particularly unlucky. My second wife was a nasty sociopath. As a result I took four years off of dating and when I tried it again I found myself with the daughter of a sociopath who followed in her mom’s footsteps of cheating on everyone she was with and colluding with hersister and mother to cover it up. In retropsect, the M.O. and goals of both women were decidedly different but nonetheless.

The saving grace was when I realized and accepted what was happening with my ex-girlfriend I quickly and decisively ended it. Afterwards I found out that two people I know knew her propensity to cheat and didn’t say anything. their logic was I was such a good person and so good for this woman that she would of course turn over a new leaf. Not!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

i had an n gf before the spath. the spath was much more charming. i suspect because she was completely fake. the n was just a completely different story – no problem in acting like it was all about her…took a while to see that, but it was obvious once i saw the projections.

now, the spath WAS more charming (as the fake boy), but was ugly in some of the other sockpuppets. (for those of you who don’t know my story – the spath is a serial con who creates entire families and friend networks – a whole fictional world, with global addresses and photos – to con women online.) The mirroring that inoel mentioned had the same affect on me. it was very healing until i found out that the cure could kill me. Even the n gf and immediately after her, a spath boss, didn’t fuck with my head the way the spath did. she turned the axis of my world. it took a very long time to get upright again. I function okay after three years, but i am no where near healed. Every day i need to work on myself, and find ways to calm down, drop the vigilance, find balance, trust others, trust myself, be gentle with myself and others, and learn new ways of coping with difficult situations. there isn’t a lot of ‘joy’ yet – but i am functioning much better. I do have some control over my actions, and some better thinking habits are evolving.

the spath taught me that people can really be irredeemable, and many people have worse motivations that I would ever have thought. i had prescribed to what i felt was a sound world view: people are usually ignorant, and not malicious. But now i question where people are coming from and what their motivations are…and most importantly, what their GOALS are. Looking at actions through a lens of goals and motivations can give one a very complete picture of disorderedness in another.

i have a long way to go to live from my heart and wisdom. i am still integrating the spath and n experience, and the other things that happened during the same time period. i have been working steadily for over 2 years, and although i am not sure i really like my line of work, i am doing well enough financially that i have almost rid myself of the debt I have carried for the last few years. the sceptres of homelessness and poverty are still close to me, and i am trying to deal with that via helping others, an evaluating how I want to live my life.

I do find myself doing kindnesses for people, so my generosity is returning. I have been out kayaking this summer with a friend i have made in my industry, and I bought a bike a few weeks ago. One that puts no pressure on my hands…and i am in heaven. I feel so free with wheels. i also feel like a 14 year old boy with a new hot bike, and that’s very good too. (It’s actually a used hot bike…a low-rider. I feel tres cool on it, with my 25 year old helmet…LOL.)

I am still working on ways of saying ‘no’ in work situations that are accepted, and that don’t get me into trouble. i had an intense dream one night – woke up gasping for air. I saw very clearly how i had responded in two very difficult work situations (one with the spath boss) that got me into trouble. Lo and behold, if a similar situation didn’t arise at one of my present jobs just two days later. I shut my mouth and thought. it was a phone conference and my silence was rather loud. When I did speak, i said: ‘ just figuring out what I want to say’ – to buy myself a bit more time. inelegant, but it worked. i said what i needed to – and the situation didn’t change much, but I said what I needed to, and didn’t get fired. Since then i was confronted with another thing, that hit a similar trigger for me, and was able to very gracefully side step it, without using the dreaded ‘no’. everyone is expected to be so damn flexible in the work force. being that flexible isn’t good for me at this time. my boundaries are still messed up and i am still challenged in taking care of myself.

I am learning a lot through work – and the two jobs constantly colliding into one another, competing for my time. That’s VERY challenging to balance, and a lot of days I don’t balance it, i just muddle through, losing my personal time in service. But after my last job, i am less and less willing to lose my personal time. mind you, I do get PAID for all of the hours i work with these jobs.

I have moved ahead with a bit of a social life. emphasis on ‘bit’. it’s a start, and that’s all i can ask for. I have also made some big strides with letting go of the anger i carry for my father. i am now able to be in a room with my mom and him and ignore his presence, and not want to whack someone else afterwards. I am trying to speak with less anger in general. Trying to not feed the anger seed.

Off to work now. Today is a big day, and i think i came to write to get a little more grounded in myself.

hugs to you all. (and I have seen to have re-found my hug mechanism. 🙂 )

One joy, it looks to me like you are in a different place since you first came here, and it’s great reading about your progress. Did you ever move out of that apartment with the toxic neighbors?

Hello Everyone!
Just wanted to stop in and let you know that I have been reading you all and trying to follow along the best I can with all your progress.

I am doing well these days, now that I have the NOISE out of my life.
It has been a couple weeks now, since I changed my number and I must say, goodness gracious: so very peaceful and quiet now. I am sure I have lost some long time connections in the process but well, I have also gained a whole lot too. What I have gained – there can’t be a price put on that.

I am still in weekly therapy; still taking lexapro, along with the rest of my heart medication. Starting to heal in just an IMMENSE way. It hasn’t been easy but I am doing it. One step at a time.

Thank you Donna for this article.
The BF before “IT” was also a spath, bi polar…
I ended that relationship against what my heart told me because I knew it would end up in an ugly spot sooner or later. I have found that no dating and no involvement is best for me right now and perhaps for the rest of my life. There are LOTS of these ugly people out there who just use others and suck souls. I feel more ‘comfortable’ just learning to stand on my own two feet again and grasp what life I have left.

Absolution and moving forward does wonders for a person’s life.
However, the devastation it leaves behind, in the wake, is amazing.
Unbelievable. It’s because they DO use our weaknesses and vulnerabilities against us. We must stand up and stay strong and learn to say “NO” when “NO” is truly appropriate. We must not be afraid to stand up for ourselves and what we know is right/and/or wrong.

Love to you all on this day’s journey…

Dupey

After this last SP, I asked myself the same question. I then scared myself so terribly. For a second, that I thought I might be one. I was always taught “like attracts like”and “birds of a feather flock together.” I sat alone, for the first month, not talking to anyone. With the exception of a favorite family member, who, by the way, is a self-proclaimed narcissist and whose mother, like mine, is also narcissistic; I talked to no one. “Am I like them?”, I asked myself. I combed my personality for any sign that might show me a traitor to myself, and to my horror, I found some. (keyword: some). I found that I am “used” to having this type of person in my life. This type of person was my outer authority which became my inner authority and I am a, literal, child at heart, that needs authority but can’t trust it because it either hurt me or didn’t protect me from being hurt. (In my case, both)

What has changed within me, now I am starting to learn, like any person abused from childhood, my perspective of normal is off. There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with my inner core, I have an spirit-astigmatism. I have been arrested in my development emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I had to understand, I am not, yet, who I CAN become. The innocent child is still in me. I need protection, security, safety, nurturing, and love from an authority that must come from within. I reason, I keep calling them because they “seem” like the authority I’m used to, but never trusted. I have to develop an INNER authority I can trust. This is the gift of maturing.

Every time I make a good choice, a right choice, a better choice; I build that inner authority. I can trust that inner self to mature that childish inner core I have. I realized that’s what the mutual attraction is: we both are locked up children. The difference is: I care enough to recognize it, acknowledge the truth and DO something about it, because I care for myself and I do not want to pass this to my children or another person. They, however, do not care.

What I have been learning about my, now, broken-cycle of being surrounded by this type of person is, I’m used to them. (I believe the moment you recognize, accept and take action; you already have what you seek. You just have to walk to the path of acceptance of that knowledge). Around this type of person I feel “normal”, because I am “used” to them. So, of course, I’m going to call them, just like they call me. I realized they aren’t as smart as I am giving them credit for, because I am doing half of their work by unconsciously seeking them out as hard as they maybe looking for me. By understanding, they are my basic idea of normal, like the narcissistic Cusco said in “The Emperor’s New Groove”, I am giving them way too much credit. Knowing this puts the power, my personal power, back in my hands. Now that I know this is MY perception of normal, if I want to change it, I can. I no longer have the right to place the blame on the predictor, if I won’t stop being the prey. I stopped being prey when I acknowledged my authority issue. I will continue not to be prey when I feel “at home” with someone or when a person “feels like family”, and I walk away from that situation. My life will change when I am able to create a new perspective of normal by accepting an inner authority that will provide me with the guidance I need to mature. I have learned Sp cannot deal with mature people there is nothing for them to manipulate. You can manipulate a child, but a person of full emotional and mental maturity is not able to be seduced.

1Cor 13:11 ESV

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
I very rarely quote bible verses, but this one hit the nail on the head. Speaking, thinking, and reasoning like a child has been the way I have lived my life. I have lived my whole adult life through the eyes of a hurt child. Now, it’s time to grow up and become a woman which will ensure I won’t place the calling card of my heart or mind in the hands of another SP.

Ox

Sorry your son put you into having to make that choice. That had to be excruciating.

EMOTIONAL PAIN IS INCREASED BY EXPECTATIONS VERSUS REALITY

I’d add wrong to expectations. But your right on track.

IT do do what IT do. And IT is doing it not to us but to anyone IT can.

Hows Achilles doing?

spoon

My life has been DESTROYED – permanently – by sociopaths and sexual perverts. My latest loss is my granddaughter – I am blamed by everyone for introducing her to my boyfriend. The life has been literally sucked out of me by my family sociopaths and then the ones I met in the aftermath of their abuse. I have no clue how to climb out of this mess. My heart is officially shattered. My mother made sure I felt like a worthless piece of shit from the day I was born…and at 53 (today) friends are saying I have to let it go. Fine, but how to deal with today’s continuing story-line where I lose every freaking single person in my life that I love.

How does one deal with such internal pain?

Yeah they keep coming! a friend has a Cuban refugee living in an old trailer on his property. The guy hardly works. A mild sociopath he is! I first began to get the personal clues when I loaned him a dvd film. For weeks I didnt get it back. Once he claimed in front of his property owners it had been a gift from me! I let it go apppreciating what and how I was hearing him. later I planned a trap for him when some things I had left in the shop of the owners disappeared and had learned he had taken them to his trailer. In front of everyone I demanded the dvd and the other things back immediately and accused him of being a thief! It was too much embarrassment ion that momnent and he went to get them. When the dvd came back the disc was not in its clip inside but allowed to swish around inside potentially scratching it up. I appreciated myself again for realizing this person for what he is and noticing his manners that do not include anyone but himself. Yesterday he briought me the wrong drink I had asked for when he went to the store for everyone. He claimed he did not understand English but we looked at each other like we knew why he did it! He was getting back at me! How petty and unloving he must be. I know now not to involve myself with him even down to the minute details!!! Everything is competition and theft to him.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hey star, yep, def in a different place.

i am still in my building. the worst neighbours have moved out, but i am still struggling with smoke, and noise above me. when my debt is cleared in a few months, I am saving for a car, so that i can move out of the city. i can hardly believe that i am about to reach my first goal (paying off my debt), and that I can actually begin to think about the 2nd (as a necessity for the 3rd!)

The industry i am in is quite harsh – tonight was a pubic meeting and i had to deal with a real jerk – finally, I just had the police deal with him, cause’ i could feel myself losing my composure. don’t know that i want to stay in this line of work – but it sure is paying the bills.

keep on dancing!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

speakingup – it is hard, but time, effort, support and grace can change things. through my spath experience I lost all of my close friends and realized that my family was full of narcissists – so i lost them also. i didn’t choose to lose my friends, but i did chose to step back from my sib and father – effectively losing most contact with my demented mom, who lives with my dad.

it sucks. ‘letting go’ has no meaning, when espoused by people who don’t know the devastation caused by spaths. their denial of our reality doesn’t change our reality, only makes us more isolated. I have found much support here, and from really random strangers. we need to persevere. one tiny little step at a time. but it is more than possible to heal. with work and grace, it is probable.

I may be posting something that is very unpopular with some of the above posts but here goes.

I didnt come from an abusive family. My parents were married for 44 years and then my father dropped dead from a heart attack.

Did they have a perfect marriage? Hell no! We had many financial issues and this caused strife in our family. However, both of parents loved us unconditionally and wanted me and my two siblings to all go to college. Something they were never able to do. My mother had 8 brothers and sisters and my father had five. No, we are not Catholic, but their generation believed in large families.

Why am I attracted to psychpaths? Hell, come on, they are exciting people – at first. Many are intelligent, charming, engaging,many are musicians, artists, politicians, pilots, attorneys, and doctors. Who would not be attracted to these folks? The secret is finding the ONES that are NOT psychopaths.

I am a super empath. I believe that until someone shows me “evil” they are not evil. Sadly, the side that most on this post have seen with their ” Mr Wonderful” was charm and more charm. This is what they do. They are very good at it.

Paul Babiak who wrote “Snakes in Suits” even addresses this issue of being attracted and “woven” into the web of deceit by psychcopahts. Basically, Dr Babiak believes that most of us believe in the “good” of all people. I totally agree with this assessment about many women and men.

Does the fact that I married one mean I am a highly disordered person? Absolutely not. I was an “uninformed, young woman that believed in the best in people. I dont see anything wrong with that actually.

The challenge now, however, is that many people are disordered. The population in our country has exploded and we have multiple cultures and ethnicities now in all of our communities. Different value systems, priorities and moralty issues are mixed up in our communities for us to understand and learn to co-exist within.

What we need is education. What we need is to accept the fact that they we are good people. Good people that trusted the wrong people. Do I need to tighten up on my boundaries – absolutely. Do I need to be more wary of the charm of some individuals – absolutely!

I have arrived at a point in my life however, where I am done with men. I spent 30 years with two of the most disordered I could have ever chosen. Do I feel guilty about this choice? Yes, there are days when I hate myself. However, I know in my heart that I believed in these two men and thought it was “love”. Not so much however.

In the future, my plan is to educate young women about these predators. I dont ever want to remove the beauty of the souls of my sisters – I just want them to know themselves and understand that in this life truly the only person that takes care of you – is you.

One joy, remember those visions I had for you a few years ago (and you probably had them for yourself too)? I think they are working. 🙂 Keep dreaming of a better life, my friend, and you will find it. When you start dreaming, ask yourself what is in the way of having the life you want and what you have to do to let it go. Keep asking why and what you can do about it. If you focus on what you want, the obstacles will come up as challenges for you to overcome. You will not be so focused on them because you are focused on your dream – whatever it is. Even if your dream is just to have peace, that is a worthy goal. You will find ways mentally to create that peace within, even in stressful circumstances. Or if you can’t, you will choose different circumstances.

My life is infinitely better now than it was 2 years ago. I used to have dull weekends at home and a lot of internal and external stress. Now every day is fun and interesting, even on the days I work. I have goals and dreams, and I’m working toward them. All the things that are incompatible with my goals must go, so I am carefully releasing them. I seem to magnetize a lot of high energy people – I get invited to a lot of parties and events, and going to them raises my energy level. It’s like an upward spiral. I don’t take a lot of things personally, so I don’t get too caught up into drama with people. If someone is dishing me a lot of their drama, and I’m feeling drained, I will just end the conversation as gracefully as I can, make my escape, and not contact that person again if I don’t have to.

Keep thinking about the things that would be fun and enjoyable for you to do and find some way to do them. A little bit of joy will attract more. 🙂 Stuff will inevitably come up. Process it as you have been doing and keep going. You may need your job to fund your hobbies and your lifestyle, but if you are enjoying your life outside of work, work won’t seem so bad – you can just regard it as a paycheck. Or maybe you will find ways to make work more fun. I dragged many of my co-workers and my boss into Zumba. So we spend work time discussing Zumba and laughing a lot. I put up salsa pics on a wall at work. So whenever people come in, they ask me about them. It can kill a good 15 minutes out of my day to discuss salsa and I get all lit up (in a good way) talking about it. This is one way I make my mindless job fun. I decided to have a big Zumba/salsa birthday party next month and invite my friends from all my different social circles. I spend a lot of time planning the party and I feel excited about it. I also spend some of my work time planning our big work holiday party, which I usually do every year. I really enjoy it. Though it’s not in my job description, it makes my job more fun.

I cannot believe I waited so long to start dancing again. I have always loved to do it. It just never occurred to me. If I had time, I’d find another band (I was once a lead singer in a rock band). I think it would be a blast. But there is only so much time in the day/week. Your new bicycle sounds great! I hope you get to use it a lot! This sounds like one of those fun things that will increase endorphins and help you stay in shape.

On a different note, you know, I still have a lot of nostalgia for my mom, and I miss her all the time. But I know she is a narcissist, so I just stay away. I have had a few dreams with the following theme: I wake up as an adult to find that I’ve been living in a very dull and stagnant environment. The house is ugly; the carpet is olive green shag; the people smoke and are lifeless. They don’t really value me. But somehow, I have been living there for many years and I am part of their family. It’s as though I were unconscious or hypnotized, and suddenly I wake up. I wonder how I spent all these years with these people. It is like a fog. Usually in this dream, it is not my bio family – it is some family who either kidnapped or adopted me. Anyway, I wake up to realize I’ve been sleepwalking through this lifeless existence with these unconscious people for many years. I know I am a special person and deserve much better. But I feel some loyalty to this “family” I’ve been with. Some nostalgic comfortable feeling that makes me feel guilty to leave. I imagine this is how Jaycee Dugard felt about her captors for many years. This is how I feel about my mom. I feel this nostalgic tie to her that makes me want to contact her. And I feel some guilt that I don’t. But the higher part of me tells me that it would be psychic suicide to go back – that I cannot contribute to her life any more than she can contribute to mine because we are on totally different wavelengths. Better left alone. I even feel this nostalgia for my neighbor whom I had a crush on for years. Though now we are friends, and I could probably easily seduce him, I cannot go backwards into unconsciousness. My dream reminds me of the Cinderella story or Sleeping Beauty. It seems to have an archetypal component to it – waking out of unconsciousness to find your true self.

Becoming conscious demands so much of us it seems. We have to let go of so many past comforts if they are not in sync with our spiritual path and our goals and aspirations. People who have too much drama in their lives, habits that are unhealthy, old limiting beliefs about myself and the world……….they don’t serve me anymore. I hope what lies ahead is really fantastic for all the things I’m giving up. But I know I can’t go back. It would be like Jaycee Dugard going back to her captors because it is comfortable and familiar. So I am venturing into new territory, and I’m not sure what it is yet. But I’m enjoying the ride at the moment. The relationship stuff is a little difficult, but I’ll get there, too.

Hope,
my parents have been married for 50 years plus.
I have 2 spath siblings and one normal one.
If I told you about my grandmother, you would not believe it was possible for a woman to do what she did to her son’s mind. (my uncle)

It is my parents’ dna in addition to the way they brought us up, that made my brother and sister into spaths. My other sister and myself, just became supply for spaths.

It’s hard to judge what normal is when you’ve been raised by n parents. I thought my parents were my best friends, until I realized what my spath was. Then I saw the truth. They do love me, in their own way.

My spath also loved me, except that he experienced love as hate and planned to kill me. His addiction to drama and his sadism over ruled his addiction to me.

We all try to understand our experience in our own way. It’s not easy. They aren’t like us. They will always do things that we don’t expect. Their reactions are 180 degrees opposed to what we think is normal… but they hide it, so then we have a 360 degree behavior. I know, it’s confusing.

I just met someone who is disordered. At first it was hard to tell, he’s so charismatic and young and happy. But he reminds me so much of my spath brother. The more I know him, the more I see the similarity. A few tests have proven me right. What is scary is how my brain just overlooks what I know because a person seems so normal and familiar.

In the last few years, what I’ve learned and ingrained into my mind is that my emotions cannot be trusted. Only my knowledge of spaths can be trusted.. If it has red flags, it’s a spath. Unfortunately, we tend to go with what we feel over what we know. Spaths know this. That is their power.

Skyl… I do believe what your grandmother did to your uncle. My mother did the same to my very young mind and onward. I cannot seem to rid the tapes but the worst part is how she blackballed me from the entire family. She was brilliant.

And then so was my sister…she learned from the master.

Tonight I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from my granddaughter! Yee haw! Maybe all hope is not gone.

And, it’s my b-day today and I had so many good friends send me wishes.

I picked my friends and I am so grateful to them. They know me more than my own family knows me. My family knows me through an evil woman’s interpretation of me. My mother. And it wasn’t pretty. Even though she is dead her hatred and campaign against me lingers on through others like her in my family. Although my father was a diagnosed psychopath one thing about him was he never put me down or degraded me the way my mother did.

speaking up,
they all have their tricks.
My grandmother got her son to marry a hermaphrodite. He didn’t realize until the wedding night. He was innocent until then and so horrified that he didn’t marry again until over a decade later.
That’s what she wanted. He was her favorite and she didn’t want to lose control of him.

He still doesn’t realize it and he’s about 70 years old!

So if you ever wonder what these creatures are capable of, let that be a guide for you.

Today I had a revelation about my own spath… another revelation.

It amazes me that they are coming on so slowly. They are obvious, once you understand, but the truth is so horrible that you stay in denial, even years after you’ve accepted the truth.

Someone on LF once accused me of thinking I had “the BEST spath.” HA! I think what I have is the BEST acceptance of the utter evilness of them. And even that isn’t good enough.

I still can’t grasp their audacity. I still don’t imagine how evil they are, even though I see right through them. 3 years later and I’m still accepting that there are so many of these creatures (both male and female) who despise women and whose narcissism is unfathomable. Though I know what they are and how they think, each time I encounter one, I am flabbergasted. It doesn’t seem possible.

Is that my own narcissism, causing me to not be able to accept that there is so much evil out there?

PS
sorry to be a downer on your birthday.

happy bday and let it be a spath free day! It doesn’t matter what they do, it only matters how much we let them affect us.

Speaking_Up, I can only imagine what you’re experiencing – I don’t know, first hand, but I DO know the damages that spaths create.

I would stronly urge you to consider individual counseling therapy with someone that “gets it.” You’re waling around with a load of guilt on your shoulders that you don’t know how to shake off – nobody can really tell you how to do it on a blogging site. What you’re experiencing is beyond nearly all of our skills to assist you. Each one of us has found things that work for us, individually, but seeking the trained ear of a professional that “gets it” would be the most priceless step you could take for yourself – your Self, that is. Self = soul, or that which makes us each individuals.

You’re never going to alter other people’s perceptions or deflect their blame. People, as a rule, require SOMEONE to blame, and it’s so much easier for people to blame you rather than the perpetrator. Why that is, I cannot say, but it’ is almost universally true in human behavior. “Scapegoat.”

With strong counseling, you will learn to manage the accusations, the guilt, the shame, and everything else that goes along with spath experiences, and emerge and recover with, or without, the rest of your family.

Brightest healing blessings to you

Speaking_Up….I meant to add: Happy Birthday, dear one. The only gift that I can give you is the fact that you are priceless and precious in this vast Universe. Nobody can replace you – you are unique. Take that fact, embrace it, and may this year be a Year Of Discovery And Healing for you.

OnlyGetsBetterFromHere

This article is so on point for where I am in my own recovery. Just two months after my divorce from the s-path was final, I met another s-path. He came on REALLY STRONG! If I hadn’t been living with my s-path mother at the time, I probably would have ended the “relationship” much sooner than 4 weeks in. Mother invited the s-path to live with us the first day I met him. Mother only put him out when he didn’t pay rent to her on time, and didn’t follow her “rules.”
I really felt like a failure after that “relationship.” How could I end up in another abusive situation so soon after getting away from the x-husband s-path? Well, the answer was that I was trained to be what others wanted me to be, and I was willing to allow my boundaries to be crossed just for love.
Not long after the second s-path, I realized that mother is an s-path. She threatened to kill me many times as I was growing up, and almost made good on her threat when I was a teenager. She tried to kill my stepdad. She abused my daughter verbally and physically. I had no idea what love felt like, but I spent my whole life trying to earn it with compliance, good grades, support and encouragement – later with sex, outstanding job performance and accumulation of status symbols. I realized at 39 that I was tired of working so hard to make everyone else happy. I didn’t know who I was, or what I really wanted from life, other than to just stop trying so hard all the time.
I finally moved out of my mother’s place, and I am happily living on my own. When someone of the opposite sex approaches me now, I don’t try to make them like me anymore. I think about how peaceful my life is, and think about whether I want what this person is peddling. I still care about others, but I can now turn someone down if he is not what I want. It feels pretty good. I’m learning to love me, finding that I like me, and that makes me less desperate and less of a target.
As the article states, we won’t ever stop running into s-paths. However, I know much more than I used to, in part due to authors like Donna who are exposing these monsters for who and what they are. I see the red flags much more quickly, and I listen to my intuition much more readily. I made the decision to believe myself, instead of excusing away the behavior of others in hopes that they will like me or love me.

I went from bad husband to a worse one. I have no doubt the 2nd was spath, 1st one was disordered for sure. After the 2nd, I was convinced that I SHOULDN’T get involved again lest the 3rd would probably actually kill me or my children.

I managed to put out a “hell no” vibe so strongly that I didn’t even get ASKED out for 4.5yrs. I wasn’t sure I was “ready” for when I did. I thought I was – I even emailed Donna and that was a post about 18 mos ago. In some ways, I was ready.. I was ready to identify a sociopath faster/better/sooner. I wasn’t REALLY ready to believe someone who WASN’T a spath could ever be interested in me.

I looked for ways that new guy resembled a spath so I could write him off and thereby not risk getting hurt (or worse). I wasn’t prepared to deal with his baggage as I was still mired under mine. Both of our issues made us terrible communicators.

From all this, I’ve learned not to assume the worst needs to be balanced with watch for red flags and you have to communicate. You don’t have to pour your heart out, or discuss every embarrassing, destructive thing the xspath did to you, but the other person needs a little something to understand your potentially unexpected reactions. After a, well, frankly, rocky romance, I broke up with my bf. I had him all figured out…. at least, I WOULD have IF he’d been a spath.

It is “easier” to presume a potential lover is out to get you than to truly open yourself up for a relationship again. It’s SCARY…. be careful out there. Be careful not to sell yourself short – remember – the spath probably chose you because they believe they deserve the best and you had it all “going on”. For a genuine person, you ARE someone special.

So glad to find this post; after a TBI, a sociopath cleaned me and my then young daughter out, abused and threatened us. When he reappeared as another victim’s daughter “found me”, law enforcement refused to help the victim’s family.

Not too long after that, I was targeted by a female coven of sociopaths who joined up to “set me up” to lie, cheat and steal my home; I found other victims of these “women” who were robbed and threatened. It is clear perjury, theft and slander/libel with motive (witnessed) to obtain falsely my property. These victims knew I had been a “past” victim and “would be easy pickings”; they nearly got away with it… Their “pathology” was tsk-tsk’d.

There are now witnesses and other victims who want justice. They have conned so many people stealing their money, reputations and property. Open to constructive advice.

So glad to find this post; after a TBI, a sociopath cleaned me and my then young daughter out, abused and threatened us. When he reappeared as another victim’s daughter “found me”, law enforcement refused to help the victim’s family.
Thank you for having a site to help victim’s identify these “cons”.

Not too long after that, I was targeted by a female coven of sociopaths who joined up to “set me up” to lie, cheat and steal my home; I found other victims of these “women” who were robbed and threatened. It is clear perjury, theft and slander/libel with motive (witnessed) to obtain falsely my property. These victims knew I had been a “past” victim and “would be easy pickings”; they nearly got away with it… Their “pathology” was tsk-tsk’d.

There are now witnesses and other victims who want justice. They have conned so many people stealing their money, reputations and property. Open to constructive advice.

I think this is an excellent topic. From the words of Sociopathic expert, Thomas Sheridan (you can see all of his excellent videos on Youtube), he states that sociopaths know from a very young ageb (usually when they reach adolescent age) they are aware of their pathology. Sheridan states: “Every psychopath knows they are psychopaths and they choose to act as they do”.

Is that the man who wrote Puzzling people? That’s a very good book.

Hi Sunflower. Yes, that man wrote “Puzzling People”. He has some disfunctional traits of his own, I was disappointed to find, when it was reccommended to me that I visit his website/blog. He expressed some very unfortunate, hurtful, direspectful and crude things toward one of the blog participants, there. He seemed quite narcissistic in his approach, when I visited there, several months ago. If you are one who still becomes triggered easily, or at all, in fact, I would be very careful with regard to visiting his blog. Not that you expressed interest in doing so, but just in case. Thought I would mention it.

Thanks for the “heads up” Shane.
I’ve found that many people who warn us about spaths are, unfortunately, spaths themselves. It’s the 180 rule.

Takes one to know one doesn’t it?
I’m not meaning you, I mean him.

I’d call Sheridan’s forum dogmatic. He insists on the use of the word psychopath (not just advocates it), and claims that narcissists and borderliners are also psychopaths too. And the word ‘sociopath’ is a no-no, too soft. And there’s also a rejective attitude about professionals, as well as citing them.

If you do not 100% agree with that take then you can expect a lashing and rejection by Sheridan and some of his moderators, and you are told to go to another blog and nearly accused of being non-validating, hurtful, probably a psychopath yourself.

So, basically they are dividing the victim community up by the way you refer a cluster B disorder, feeling themselves the righteous ones.

Donna advocates the umbrella word ‘sociopath’ for malignant narcissists, psychopaths and borderliner, but if anyone here chooses to use the other disorder names, it wouldn’t spark some dogmatic response from either Donna or other long time posters here. We all know the survivor is talking about a destructive cluster B disorder within a spectrum from having some traits and being toxic to full blown. Whatever label one uses doesn’t stop us from validating that person and their experiences. The label is practically a non-issue in order to reach out and help the person.

It’s also recognized here that some professionals and therapists haven’t got a clue and aren’t helpful at all (they don’t “get it”), neither in therapeutic sense as well as labeling sense. But the whole of the medical professional world and their research isn’t rejected because of it.

Sheridan and his moderators have solidified this attitude in a ‘must read before posting’ thread, where they basically say “this is how we see it, if you don’t there are other blogs and forums and books out there”. They then give the links to all type of resources, included with their recommendation whether to go there or not based on the labeling view.

Does he show narcistic behaviour? I wouldn’t rule it out. His ‘scientific’ opinion is basically law there, and some of the moderators are like his prophets, and these moderators are rather vicious about not agreeing 100% to the dogmatic statements, and if the unsuspecting visitor keeps thinking it’s just an innocent sharing of opinions with all opinions having merit, Sherrigan himself will step in and reject the visitor personally and harshly, to then turn around at a later post by saying you’re very welcome. There is a bit of a guru attitude with followerlike minions, which they all deny of course, projecting blame on the visitor who has some questions about the dogma, which they bring up themselves.

For myself, I don’t find that attitude a healing one. I consider the ex a psychopath, because in all likelihood he’d score above 30 on Hare’s scale. But it’s exactly because of Hare’s scale it would be wrong imo to use the term as an umbrella for all cluster B disorders. I agree that the different labels and medical disagreements about it causes a lot of confusion with non-professionals, and it would be better if the professionals solve that. I also am of the opinion that when it comes to destructiveness for relatives and partners any of the cluster B disorders is destructive, and since these disorders share similar behaviours the “red flags” are similar too.

However, I recognize there’s a difference between the need of a victim and the need of the professional world. For potential victims and actual victims it’s important to recognize toxic behaviour, irregardless of the disorder, in order to protect themselves and their lives from abuse and ruin. For the professional researcher though those tiny differences and variations on the spectrum might very well be of major importance to understand the cause and perhaps find some workable therapy for it.

An anology: people in general use the word ‘weight’ instead of the scientific accurate ‘mass’. People will think of the same concept when either word is used. But for a physicist ‘weight’ and ‘mass’ is very distinct from each other: mass is an attribute of an object in kilograms (or pounds), whereas weight is a force in newton.

There is a reason why there are so many spaths warning us about other spaths. They all want to be the only one with power.

Spaths resent authority or control. Their issue of shame is an issue of feeling powerless, so they rage at anyone trying to control them. There are actually many people in authority who are spaths too and those spaths who are not in authoritative positions can see the dysfunction. They see the hypocrisy and they want to overturn it. They also resent the “sheep” who blindly follow, just as much as we resent minions who enable spaths.

The difference between us and spaths is that we want something better for everyone, whereas spaths who can’t be in power would rather have chaos, fear and anarchy, so that everyone can feel the way they do all the time. Basically, it’s the old adage, “They’d rather rule in hell, than serve in heaven.”

Ok, I am having a whole lot of ah hah moments and a coming together of a number of thoughts on a number of threads this morning….don’t even know the best place to post my thoughts.
First I read spoon’s view on how to divorce a memory from a negative emotion by “exploding the smurf”.
This is what came to mind, and should be sung to the tune of, King of Pain” by Sting and The Police:
There’s a little blue Smurf on my path, today.
It’s the same old Smurf/spath as yesterday…….
Then, I read this thread about cultish followeres of narcissistic leaders, and what comes to mind? The 60’s or was it 70’s book, “If you meet the Budah on the road, Kill Him”…..
My Budah is a a little blue smurf that needs to be exploded….I need, finally to believe in myself, find my own way, and be my own teacher…..

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