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Answers to questions about sociopaths

I recently heard from yet another Lovefraud reader who realizes that she’s been in a relationship with a sociopath. She’s in the phase of trying to wrap her brain around about what these people are, and sent me the following email:

What happens to these people?  These sociopaths?  How do they end up in life?  Do they just go from victim to victim?  Have any of them ever realized the affliction of which they suffer?  Do they ever realize they are not capable of love?  If they are not capable of love, they will never be happy, right?  So…you could present “Red Flags of Love Fraud” to a sociopath and they would not see themselves in it, correct?  Do they ever see the error of their ways?  There is a rather cryptic site called Narcissism Cured, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.

I’m thinking they die alone and unhappy.  They don’t have the capacity to find true happiness if they don’t have the capacity to love.  Chemically, what goes on in their brains?  Is research being done?  Does it run in families?

Many readers, I’m sure, have the same questions, so I’ll address them one at a time.

What happens to these people? These sociopaths?  How do they end up in life? 

Many sociopaths eventually crash and burn. But it can take a long time—decades—during which they create havoc for just about everyone in their lives.

There is evidence that sociopaths die younger than people who are not disordered, due to their reckless lifestyle. Even some so-called “successful psychopaths”—those who ply their exploitative trade in the business world—may eventually face a comeuppance. Think Bernie Madoff.

Unfortunately, the sociopath you encountered may never pay directly for what he did to you. You may eventually hear that his life fell apart, that he’s burned all his bridges and is in trouble and alone, and you may feel like he got what he deserved.

But don’t wait for it. You need to find your own way of getting past what happened, so that you can move on.

Do they just go from victim to victim? 

Yes. Sociopaths live their lives by exploiting people. They view every social interaction as a feeding opportunity.

Have any of them ever realized the affliction of which they suffer? 

Yes, some of them realize that they are sociopaths. I have heard from people who tell me they’ve been diagnosed with the disorder. Some of them seem to be perturbed—they’re probably the ones who are fairly low on the sociopathic scale.

Others view themselves as superior beings. They don’t view sociopathy as an affliction. Rather, they see it as a competitive advantage.

Do they ever realize they are not capable of love? 

Some of them know they are missing something. But having never experienced love, they don’t quite know what it is. It’s like asking someone who is colorblind to describe red or green. They have no frame of reference.

If they are not capable of love, they will never be happy, right? 

Sociopaths are motivated by three things: power, control and sex. So when they feel like they have power and control, or when they successfully pursue sex, they would probably describe themselves as happy.

So…you could present “Red Flags of Love Fraud” to a sociopath and they would not see themselves in it, correct? 

They may very well recognize their behavior. But they probably won’t see anything wrong with it.

Do they ever see the error of their ways? 

Sociopaths feel totally entitled to do whatever they want to get whatever they want. So if you hear words like, “I’m sorry,” “I know I’ve treated you badly,” or “It’s all my fault,” well, they are not expressing genuine remorse. They’re worming their way back into your life so they can exploit you again.

There is a rather cryptic site called Narcissism Cured, but that doesn’t seem to be possible. 

All sociopaths are narcissists, although not all narcissists are sociopaths. The difference appears to be in the degree of malevolence. Narcissists are so focused on themselves that they don’t notice when they hurt people. Sociopaths often hurt people intentionally.

Once a sociopath is an adult, there is no proven cure. I think the same thing applies to narcissists.

It may be possible for someone with a personality disorder to learn to control the expression of his or her disorder. But keeping a lid on bad behavior doesn’t mean the disorder is cured.

I’m thinking they die alone and unhappy. They don’t have the capacity to find true happiness if they don’t have the capacity to love. 

Perhaps. They may also live by the motto, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

Chemically, what goes on in their brains?  Is research being done? 

There are chemical and structural differences in the brains of psychopaths (the term used by most academic researchers). There are also differences in the ways that parts of psychopaths’ brains communicate with each other.

Research is ongoing. Maybe the scientists will eventually find a way to change the brain to correct the disorder. But will a psychopath submit to treatment? If they don’t believe there is anything wrong with them, why should they?

Does it run in families? 

Psychopathy is highly genetic. This means people may be born with a predisposition for the disorder. Whether the disorder actually develops has much to do with environmental factors, especially the parenting that the individual receives.

If a person is born with the genes for psychopathy, if often means that one of the parents is disordered. Unfortunately, psychopaths make terrible parents, so conditions are usually ripe for their children to also become disordered. In fact, some psychopaths intentionally try to turn their children into little Mini-Mes.

That’s why it’s so important to understand the Red Flags of Love Fraud. Becoming romantically involved with these individuals always has the potential of leading to children—children who may also become disordered.


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291 Comments on "Answers to questions about sociopaths"

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Donna, thank you for posting the answers to these nagging questions.

With regard to genetic predisposition to spath traits, I would have to say that I have witnessed evidence to support this in both the first and second exspaths. The first was an abusive spath. The second, a “non-violent” abuser who was interested in financial gain.

My eldest son is product of the first marriage, and he has been diagnosed as disordered and has perpetrated violence against previous wives.

The second exspath has a VERY dysfunctional family – all members present symptoms of narcissism and full-blown sociopathy.

And, you are SO right that concerning myself with the exspath’s “comeuppance” may be a gleeful notion, but the further out I am from my experiences, the less important it is to me.

Thank you for posting this!

Brightest blessings

My ex-P-path was an easy-going, stress-free person who enjoyed his life, in his own sick way. His life was a game he played. As a predator, he chose unknowing players who thought they were playing the game of love. They weren’t. They were playing HIS game, the game of power, a game she was going to lose, and lose BIG.

He used his arsenal of covert emotional manipulations to reduce her from a woman in love to an emotional wreck. That’s when he “won” and moved on to the next, never looking back, never experiencing remorse. It was a sham from day one, and the object of the game was serious harm. Why? Because that was his entertainment. And he got lots of sex along the way.

This “person” is seriously disordered, yet believes he is superior and believes the rest of us are toys to play with. Our only defense is to try to learn to stay away. Please read about TACTICS OF COVERT EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION ”http://psychopathsandlove.com/covert-emotional-manipulation-tactics/ Arm yourself with knowledge.

Arianna
I echo your response. My spath was also very happy go lucky. People said I was SO fortunate to have a spouse with such a temperament. But that was his public persona. Behind closed doors, that same “happyGoLucky” guy was crowing about how he got Mr A to do this, and how Ms B would do anything for him. Controlling others behaviors was how he measured his superiority. Failure of someone to do his will was the one thing that threw him into a rage – but NEVER in public. He controlled his rage and took it out on vulnerable farm animals and on me… He would later find a way to “pay them back” but it was not with rage, but it destroyed them all the same.

I asked my X!husband how he could be so happy when he spread such misery onto me, having to listen to me cry and sob… and his response was that he had what he wanted so he was happy and if I was miserable, well those were my feelings, and had nothing to do with his happiness.

Thanks for your link.

KatyDid,

Mine also said he’d be happy no matter what, no matter anyone’s misery even if he himself created it. He truly did not care, which is impossible for us “normals” to understand. I’m sorry about the rages you and the animals had to bear. I hope you are all out of harm’s way now.

I hope the link helps in some way; it’s mainly from my own experience, although I try to add more.

Arianna
Lately, I have met another person who said that other people’s feelings had nothing to do with her. While I agree that people should OWN their feelings, I do think we are ALL responsible for our BEHAVIOR.

BEHAVIOR has consequences. Someone who admits they don’t care how they make their spouse, children, loved one feel is also saying they have NO emotional bond in their relationship. The sooner I accept that disconnect, the sooner I escape to an emotionally healthier place.

ps I am SAFER but I will NEVER be so foolish to think myself out of harms way. I know my now X!husband considers my escape as a LOSS, and he will bide his time for when he can WIN. WINNING is EVERYTHING to him. He has carried grudges for decades and still crows about finally getting revenge.

KatyDid,

I’ve met many callous people in the past few years. Empathy-challenged, I call them. I didn’t want them in my life, so funny I should get involved with a psychopath. But he was deep undercover.

Even before my run-in with a psychopath, I hated sayings like “No one can make you feel anything without your permission.” To that I’d reply, “We’re all interconnected, and we DO have an effect on each other. It’s called being human.”

What is life without interconnected emotional bonds? Psychopathy, maybe. Painless, yes; but loveless, too. I’ll take the pain with the love, any day. One thing that saved me in the beginning of the end was realizing I’d MUCH rather be the one hurting than the one laughing. It meant I was real.

And yes, WINNING is everything and we’ll never be fully out of harm’s way. Even if it’s not our ex-psychopath, it could be a brand new one. I will not let that happen; I’ll sniff him out, even if it takes years.

I was reading an article earlier today and have a question I am hoping someone can help me understand – In this article it stated that sometimes P-paths and I assume even spaths try to make their mates jealous or enjoy seeing their mates jealous – if this is the case, then why was it that when I could question my exspath about an incident or show any sign of jealousy he would get so angry at me and tell me that he couldn’t live his life everyday making sure that I didn’t feel “secure.” And he would always tell me that I am just a jealous person, it’s who I was and always would be – yet that wasn’t me and the reason I became the way that I did was because of all his lies and cheating ways. I didn’t enjoy being jealous or insecure – but needed him to help me feel secure yet he never could or wouldn’t.

So why is it that he may have enjoyed seeing me jealous and insecure, yet get so angry with me when I would “act” out – like question him or analyze a certain situation that made absolutely no sense to me so I would question him – and when I did that he would also tell me I analyze every little thing in my head – He literally made me feel like I was this crazy insane, person and I was the problem.

Donna, my son Patrick, though he has spent the VAST majority of his adult life in prison still considers himself a SUCCESSFUL person. WTF? DUH??? SUCCESSFUL? Not in my book, but by his own measure of how he has put it over on the guards time and time again, how he “showed me” that I couldn’t boss HIM around, how he “got Jessica” for ratting him out…yea,. by those measures he is a “success” but he doesn’t get it that the REST OF THE WORLD doesn’t agree with him.

During a heated argument with my sociopathic ex husband, I came out and called him a sociopath. He was HORRIFIED anyone would call him that. After all, no one ever accused him of that (yeah right). Somehow, he saw Rochelle’s article that was written on this site. Again, he was horrified. After all, he is a saint. He is above everyone else in the world. He felt terrible when I was going through my divorce/breast cancer fest. I mean, after all, he did give me a container of chicken soup (that was rancid and was thrown out). The article written by Donna (above) showed up on the perfect day for me. It made me feel better after I read it. I do believe, every dog gets it’s day. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. But it will happen. I am sure of it.

It’s amazing how these spaths think they are above everyone else. My ex thought everybody was beneath him, or at least that’s how he talked. Any mistakes that happened in his job was always because everyone else is stupid and he was the best at what he does. Yeah ok if he says so!

Once when I told him I wanted to end his affair with this married women on the phone in front of me, he flat out refused and said he wasn’t going to humiliate himself like that for anyone. I didn’t see it as humiliation as much as I saw it as a man trying to save his relationship with me and make me feel at ease! The idiot then turned around and used an example of how if he got pulled over by cops and they asked him if they could search his car he said he would tell them hell no! It’s an invasion of his privacy and they could go get a warrant. Don’t ask me why he correlates cops to me asking him to end his affair on the phone in front of me have in common but he uses that as an analogy

He only cares about how he feels, how he looks and he THINKS he looks or portrays this certain image when really I think people see right through him!
Even his best friend once told him that his personality is like night and day at any given moment!

Also, my spath says he ‘prayed to G-d to find someone who loves him who he can love in return’. Not long after that, we reconnected after 38 years. So, of course, I was the gift from G-d. I really believe he does not know what is wrong with him. I was wife #4. And, in typical sociopath style, all the exs are crazy. His problem? He made ‘wrong choices’ in wives/girlfriends. It was always them…never him. There were LOTS of girlfriends, but he was very closed mouthed about past relationships. His sisters know what he is, but blood is thicker than water. I had many conversations with them during my problematic marriage. I would relay situations, they would agree with me. Right before we got married, his sisters told him not to ‘screw this up’ because I was the best thing that every happened to him. Now I have been marked as the crazy one. Go figure….

Rochelle
I agree… According to my ex, I’m the lunatic but so are all his other exs! They were all immature or too boring or cheaters or stalkers… He was the sane one yet now I wonder if he was so same why couldn’t he pick same women or better yet why couldn’t he make his marriage or any relationship for that matter work?

denbroncos, mine was exactly the same way. He is a VP at his company. He thinks he is the cat’s nuts. He tells everyone he meets that he is a VP. And, of course, he is so GREAT at what he does and they absolutely LOVE him. THEY DON’T KNOW HIM. They only know the facade he puts up. I believe there was one guy there that got it. He worked very closely with my ex, left the company for a lower paying job and could not even stay for his 2 weeks notice. One day, he told a co worker, “I can’t take another minute of this guy (meaning my ex)” and walked out. It is the only job he ever held for more than a minute.

Den—were we married to the same man?????

Mine used to tell me about ex girlfriends hitting him. More than one took a swing at him, so he says. That’s something I believe. I wanted to knock his lights out myself. I can understand how frustrated these women got with him. And his habits! I was not allowed to chew gum or even have gum in my mouth. And G-d forbid I was eating a hard candy and it hit my tooth. Forget crunching potato chips or anything crispy. It would drive him nuts. He did not like when anyone chewed. We could not sit by anyone in a movie theater eating popcorn. He belongs in a rubber room.

Hahaha that’s funny! I told mine that they don’t make manuals on how to be with people like him…. Because either people get smart & leave there sorry asses or they are so beat down that they don’t even know how to leave!

I think my ex belongs in a bubble… One that can float off into Neverland, preferably to the darkest cold place there!

It’s so strange how these men have such similarities! I want to take my fairy wand, fly around the world zapping each of these monsters on the head so they disappear like fine dust!

Ok back to reality, they exist and will exist so now we must get stronger to deal with them… Or wait, I mean so we don’t have to deal with them!

denbroncos007 wrote: ” In this article it stated that sometimes P-paths and I assume even spaths try to make their mates jealous or enjoy seeing their mates jealous ”“ if this is the case, then why was it that when I could question my exspath about an incident or show any sign of jealousy he would get so angry at me and tell me that he couldn’t live his life everyday making sure that I didn’t feel “secure.”

Because he wasn’t truly angry… he acted at being angry, to make you feel like the crazy one, to make you feel ashamed and bad and guilty. That’s exactly how spaths perform “crazymaking”. They do something to causes one response from you (disappointment, distrust, anger, pain, grief), but then make you feel guilty, planting the idea that you must be paranoid, have insecurity issues, or are such a drama queen.

True rage and anger with a spath is calculatedly cold. It’s not hot, fiery, passionate, bellowing or dramatic. It is very calculated and exacted with disinterest. When spaths shout, curse, wave their fists… they’re on a theatre stage, just as much when they profess undying love.

I will give an extended response to this tomorrow. For now, to the question “Does it run in families?”

Absolutely. At the age of 4 years old, x-spath was abandoned by his father. He hated his father so much that he refused to attend his father’s funeral. I do not know the details, but I can only assume that his father must have continued to act in an embarrassing fashion that we known to my x-spath, perhaps a local drunk or criminal.

My ex spath is entering my life again and I don’t know how to stop. I am posting because I really need some help and some direction. I am scared and hurting and so confussed. I was with my ex spath for about 5 years. He lied constantly with no remorse, he cheated repeatedly although he never admits to it. He was violent and I believe he hurt my son, and he hurt his own 3 children. He had broken my ribs on 2 separate occasions, gave me a black eye, fractured my tail bone, and the best part is he threw me out of a van on the freeway and i got my leg stuck in the door, so he dragged me a little bit. He broke the bone behind my eye as well. He went to jail twice and i took him back each time, and visited him religously in jail and spent all my money sending him large weekly care packages. Honestly, that is the short version of what he has done. For whatever reason, I continued to stay with him after we lost the house that we lived in togeter and i moved in with my dad. (mind you i am a grown woman with 2 children). I continued to see him until up about a month and a half ago when he broke up with me by text message with no explanation. I did not see or talk to him since then. I have cried my heart out and i feel so lost and depressed on a daily basis. I tear up at work multiple times a day and some days i find it so hard to be interested in anything. I have lost myself and who i am. About a week ago i ran into him driving by and he waved at me. he ended up calling me and at first i ignored it, but then i couldnt resist to answer his calls because he left me a voicemail and texted me stating he missed me and loved me. Of course, that was my weak point. I ended up meeting up with him, after he ditched me the night before and did his usual emotional bashing of me, leaving me on the phone with him in the middle of the mall crying loudly and everyone staring at me. We met up the next day and had sex (unfortunately he is a huge weakness in that way as well). He took me out Friday night and we spent the night in a hotel on Saturday night. However we spent a lot of the time arguing because he picks fights with me over my feelings. He was playing mind f%[email protected] games with me and was telling me he should have thrown me out of a car again, all while he had a pocket knife in his hand threatening to kill himself. I don’t know what is wrong with me and I don’t know why I feel that I love this man so much. I am so devistated and destroyed by what he has done to me and my life, but I feel that I can’t live without him I am so desparate to find help and not continue this unhealthy cycle anymore, but I also feel like no one will ever love me again, nor will I be able to give love again. I don’t trust anyone, including myself. Please, is there anyone with any insight or any direction you can give me that will help me on my road to recovery? I am so lost and need help. I can’t keep living my life every day like this. I feel so lonely and depressed and I’m afraid of what my future looks like living this way.

Lost Myself,

I was just going to bed and with a certain sadness I read your message. I suggest going to the nearest domestic violence shelter or calling your most local domestic violence hotline. This man is abusing you and you don’t deserve it.

It will take courage, but do not talk to him and don’t see him. Don’t take his calls. You will stay weak (just where he wants you) if you stay in contact with him.

I am really sorry you are hurting, but as long as you stay in this dysfunctional relationship you will continue to feel pain. Things will slowly get better if you put ALL your energy on YOU. Give him NONE of your energy. You can do this.
You already know what happens with him doesn’t work. Take every opportunity to help yourself. I dare say that you stay with him because you are bonded by trauma. It’s written about on this website.

Get rid of that dirtball. Don’t let him use you any more – EVER again. The way to do that is live your life starting now as if he doesn’t exist. Break your addiction to him. I know…. I was addicted to a man who abused me. It was hard, but I broke the bond and I am SO VERY much happier and stronger now.

Pull yourself up girl. Look in the mirror and say, “I love myself, I deserve a good life, I deserve happiness.” Practice this exercise 4-10 times a day. It can happen. Dreams come true little by little.

You took the first step to write your message. That took courage. Keep up the courage. Every day. Blessings to you.

Do you have a job? Focus on that. Focus on you.

One day at a time, Lost. That’s how it works. Tell yourself that just for today You will not have any contact with him. Ask God for help and remember to say, “please’. Do this every morning, and every night when you go to bed, say, “thank-you.” These single, One day at a time, days, will string together into a week, then a month, then a year, and before long you’ll find yourself again. I promise. And, yes, please do seek some counseling to help you gain your strength and self-esteem. Read everything you can about trauma bonding. Just google it…there is a wealth of information out there.
I will keep you in my prayers.

Lost,
Please just stay away from him. Don’t let him get a foot in the door. As long as you have him in your life, you can’t ever get well.

Lost myself,

Post and let us all know you are well. Think about changing your name too. Here’s why……
While it’s true that you have lost yourself (we have all been there)turn it into what you want to have happen.

For instance when I was at my lowest I really hated myself and what I had allowed to happen. He was indisputably a liar, MEAN and a taker. Take, take, take. He took from me my kindness, happy disposition, sex, extra money, just one big cheat.

I thought of myself as garbage. I was embarrassed. I felt like I wanted to be every bit the opposite. Hence, I came up with my name Honest, Kind, Giver. It keeps me being what I want.

I could’ve even done something like Courage, Strong Woman… in fact there is a poster on here Strongawoman, or Back from the Edge.

Or go the opposite of your name: Finding Myself
courage, strength. It will help. Little by little

Let us know,
Peace to YOu

Lost,

It’s calld trauma bonding. You have a psychiatric injury to your brain. He is so horrific he is etched in your mind. You mistake this constant thought of him for longing for him when really it’s a horrifying tragic injury to your brain.

Get OUT! Know that you will suffer like a withdrawal from a drug addiction but YOU WILL survive it and get out of it. Many dead abused women are dead from the abuser accidently going too far. Let him accidently kill himself and not YOU. I lived through much of your abuse and I had everything together in my life except this dirtball! Your self respect is set aside and so is your self worth and don’t forget your sanity. Their antics just keep ripping the scab off of your injury in your brain. What does a wound look like that has had the scab ripped off over and over again? An ugly SCAR. Bail and BAIL NOW. Accept you have this injury and it will take time to heal. It will hurt and haunt you with your mind on it every minute while it’s healing and over more time now, it will heal and become less and less painful but like all scars, you must accept it is there and don’t expect it to be GONE. You learn to live with it.

I gave myself ONE year unconcditionally to start with and then grew from there.

Please find an angle you can grab on to before some intentional accident happens. Your children need you to show them that you can get past these type of problems.

Lost,

I know exactly how you feel when you say “I don’t know why I feel that I love this man so much”. I am still trying to escape my feelings for my spath.

PLEASE do not go back to him. Someday he just might kill you and then it will be too late.

This wanting him is such a strong feeling you mistake it for loving him. Actually, you are addicted to him just like a junkie is addicted to his dope. You must quit, and do it a day at a time. I can promise that it will get somewhat better as time goes on but I can’t say that it all goes away. I have not reached that point in my life yet, but I keep on with NC.

Read, Read all the articles on the site. You will see yourself in most of them. The stories will give you hope. We have all been at the exact same spot you are at now and for the most of us we have gotten a little better day by day.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dear Lost,

You are in my prayers that you will stay LOST TO HIM….he doesn’t deserve you, and you do deserve better.

Like everyone says, one day, one MINUTE at a time. Stay away. Don’t let him back into your life. God bless and keep you safe.

Dear Lost,
It is time to honor yourself. Not sure if you have lost yourself or if you haven’t ever really honored yourself. You are worthy of so much more simply because you are a human being. Your spath is obviously trying to kill you and I think because that kind of stuff only happens on the news that you are not embracing the fact that the news story could very well be about you next time. You don’t drag somebody by the leg while driving the car, not to mention that it was on a freeway. You got lucky that day because you could have easily died. I went back to my xspath 3 times after the divorce. Each of those 3 times he ended it either on the phone or by text. This time, I got it. After the 3rd termination of the relationship, he came back once again begging me, telling me everything I needed to hear. Stuff like how I have his heart and his inability to “give” anyone anything in a relationship because of that. More BS piling higher and higher. I’ve come to recognize that EVERYTHING he says is a lie because he has no capacity for the truth. We absolutely cannot expect to have “normal” communication with these monstrosities because they are misssing those qualities of character and integrity that would allow for that. I’ve wanted to call sometimes in these past 2 weeks of NC but I keep writing here and doing whatever it takes to not call or contact him. I keep telling myself that it will just be SSDD and each day I get stronger and more convinced that this is true. These creatures are not real and are not genuine. They are the living dead. They are what a lie would look like if the word, lie, could take human form. I am thinking of the movie where the pods come to earth and lay around and take on human shape and form. Eventually they take over the entire essence of the original person but they are not longer human. They feed on the human until they are completely absorbed into the alien. What is left has the body alright but no conscience or feelings or compassion or any other honorable human trait is left. That is the sociopath with no capability or comprehension of what is humane. A shell, not a real person at all. That is what has violated and shamed all of us here.

Lost,

What you are feeling is need. Need is not love. And in the way you are feeling it, it means you are addicted.

The only way to recover from an addiction is by quitting the drug, in this case this abusive psychopath who’s trying to rail you back in.

I understand your perplexity at yourself. There were so many times that I utterly felt deep hatred for the ex while I was with him, for how he was treating me, hurting me, and yet I couldn’t find the strength to get away from him.

I hear your despair when you write that you believe nobody will ever love you again. That’s not true. First of all, he doesn’t love you, so you’re not being loved right now either. Secondly, there is at least on other human being who can grow to love you so much that you don’t ever have to feel alone anymore: YOU!

Self-love doesn’t jump you from one day to another. It grows on you, just like any other love grows gradually. And it grows through practice.

Sometimes, the only way out is by doing it, even if you don’t believe in it. Practice makes believers.

Write here whenever you are falling apart or fear you’ll break the NC. Then do something very good for yourself: a nice, long relaxing bath with a lot of foam. Put on your favourite song (unrelated to him!) and dance your heart out in the living room.

Also teach yourself what true love actually is: go back to your childhood memories and answer all the following questions:
Who hugged you for no reason at all?
Who kissed you good night?
Who showed you how to fight fair?
Who dried you tears?
Who read your favourite story?
Who asked you how school was?
Who cheered you on?
Who took you to the park (or another special place)?
Who attended your events?
Who came to your graduation?
Who encouraged you to get better grades?
Who told you they loved you?
Who held you hand when you were scared?
Who helped you make friends in the neighbourhood?
Who introduced you to consequences?
Who laughed at your jokes?
Who missed you?
Who cooked your favorite meal or baked your favorite cookies?
Who brought you ginger ale when you were sick?
Who rubbed your head when it hurt?
Who celebrated birthdays?
Who cried when you left home?
Who told you, ” You are beautiful, handsome, smart, amazing,..”
Who tucked you into bed?
Who washed your clothes?
Who gave you the opportunity to work as part of a family?
Who told you, “You can do it!”
Who answered your questions without making you feel dumb?
Who listened?
Who believed in you?

Most people won’t write down a multitude of names, but just a few. A few is all you need. Even one name is enough. It may be someone ‘obvious’, but that’s ok too. Even if it’s to be expected that these names loved you, they still taught you something about love and your self-worth. It may be that the ‘obvious’ ones did not provide for that type of care, but I’m sure there must have been someone whose name you can fill in for at least a few of those questions… a neighbour, a friend, a pet, a teacher, perhaps even an imaginary friend…

When you do this exercise you will remember those moments and times that made you feel loved; the memory will fill your mind and body with the feeling of being loved. And when you do that: you are actually loving yourself. Recognize again what being truly loved is like, and commit yourself to loving yourself like that for the rest of your life.

denbroncos007, to try to answer your question about jealousy:

P-paths LOVE to play the jealousy game! What could be better? they talk about another woman, or compare you to her, or flirt with her, or parade around with her, or dance with her…and if you say ANYTHING about it, the problem isn’t that he’s an [email protected]@wipe who doesn’t give a crap about you; the problem is…YOUR JEALOUSY! See how that works? And your jealousy (or insecurity, some prefer that term) is a big problem according to the p-path…and an unattractive one at that. So if you speak up, you’ve got an unattractive insecurity problem, and will probably be punished with the silent treatment. So he’ll teach you to sit quietly while he carries on with other women right in front of you. That’s just what mine did, and when he finally got a new one, he dumped me because my “insecurity problem” was such a “turn off.” These aren’t men; they’re lower than maggots.

Darwinsmom, that is a wonderful exercise. You know the emotional and nurturing part of that exercise…who rubbed my head when it hurt, etc. was never my egg donor…she did wash my clothes (some of the time) but the encouragement, the nurturing, was all my grandmother or my grandfather or my step father. I have no memories of encouragement from her. Interesting exercise. Thanks.

And doing it makes me feel good for those times I was encouraged, I was nurtured, and brings back wonderful memories. My childhood wasn’t all that bad after all, it just didn’t include my egg donor. LOL

Dear ‘lost myself’:

Consciously or sub-consciously you are making the choice to walk with the abuser, join the abuser, be one with the abuser. What will become of you? What will your ‘life’ be? What mark will you leave on this world and those you leave behind?

Where does it lead?

I once knew a dear, dear beautiful young woman. A most beautiful, vivacious, creative girl. In a word: Stunning.

She couldn’t break free – couldn’t turn away from the allure of a dark world. I don’t know – she slipped into a skewed state of mind. I think maybe that she lost her sense of self worth. Maybe it must have been exciting and exhilarating for her to do the things she was doing. She kept choosing to go back to the back-alley sleazy scum that dragged her down and bled her of her possessions and her dignity.

One night one of them slashed her to death.

I know a woman who was systematically abused and brutally beaten by her boyfriend. He went to jail for it. When he got out – despite court orders – he started seeing her again. She ended up pregnant and giving birth to his child – who has ‘special needs.’ She just can’t seem to get her life together and relies on various forms of assistance for everything.

Although many might be thinking that someone should stage an ‘intervention’ and take you away to a country retreat for some course of rehabilitation – it’s not going to happen.

I am guesing that you are a pretty good-looking and passionate person that could enjoy a prosperous lifestyle and a good and healthy and caring relationship.

Your choice.

Arianna:

As you wrote:

“….

P-paths LOVE to play the jealousy game! What could be better? they talk about another woman [man], or compare you to her [him],

….

And your jealousy (or insecurity, some prefer that term) is a big problem according to the p-path”and an unattractive one at that. So if you speak up, you’ve got an unattractive insecurity problem,
….

…[she] dumped me because my “insecurity problem” was such a “turn off.”
….”

Oh, I went through this BIG TIME with my spathic ex-GF!

After attending a birthday party for one of her girlfriends she compared the whiteness of my teeth and the number of wrinkles in my shirt to what her friend’s husband had.
She seemed to delight in doing this – and it wasn’t the first time.

Fixerupper,
my spath and I double dated with his minion and minion’s gf.
In the car, they both started telling minion’s gf that her butt was too big and that she needed to exercise more so her butt would look like mine. WTF?

The game, in this case, was to make her hate ME. Though it may seem that she was being victimized, it was actually me that was being targeted. They needed to add to their army of people who hated me.

It’s possible that your ex spath was doing that to you too. We can never underestimated their convoluted way of thinking.

Rochelle:

So much of this sounds like my relationship with a BPD.

* I heard the endless stories about her ex’s, half of which she maintained contact with.

* I heard the “Don’t screw this one up” and “Don’t cheat on him” lines from a friend of hers who was also a Psychologist (yes, this one is a Psychologist!)

* Now i’m considered the crazy one.

The more distance I put on this person and all she knows, the better.

From the article:

“Does it run in families?

Psychopathy is highly genetic. This means people may be born with a predisposition for the disorder. Whether the disorder actually develops has much to do with environmental factors, especially the parenting that the individual receives.”

I would listen to my ex-GF for HOURS. I would help her to ‘get it all out.’ I think I helped to draw out the buried and suppressed emotions. Her mother had Borderline Personality Disorder. Her Dad was a broken man because of his wife. He had his own issues. My GF was sexually abused by a relative when she was very young. She had a string of broken relationships. I tried to find a way to help to ‘fix’ her. I offered my whole self. In the end she lied to and betrayed me and, projected all sorts of mental problems and issues onto me. (Not that I don’t have MY issues – just not to the degree that she would have me believe!)

Yeah, I guess I sometimes feel sorry for myself. It was a valiant effort and I really feel like I really loved her and wanted to be her partner in building a normal, happy life together. She inspired me in a way: The relationship was a challenge and I adored her. The main point I have to remember is that I never had a chance. In the end she was especially cruel and heartless. Her true colors came through. A total sociopath.
Good luck to the guy she’s with now.

Yeah, the content of this article rings true.

Dear Fixer,

I think to a great extent “we” (victims) tried to fix’em, give them another chance and another….we lacked borders and boundaries, and we gave and gave out of the abundance of our love for these disordered people.

I’ve come to the conclusion we can NOT fix anyone, we can only fix ourselves and learn boundaries and not allow others to abuse us.

We treat others well and we must insist that if they want to be in our lives that they treat us well as well. No ifs, ands or buts.

Everyone here is absolutely amazing. I wanted to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts and prayers and you assistance in things that i should try in order to help me. I have never found a place where I feel like someone actually understands me and what I am going through. I feel like I have a lot to share and a lot to learn from everyone here. I have so much on my mind tonight and I find it hard to make sense of my thoughts, but before I went to bed, I wanted to thank you for all of your support. It means everything to me. I will be back on here very soon.

Lost Myself,

Yeah, I love it, love it, love it.

You are understood. We have all walked much (or some) of the same path. We have endured the crazy making.

Step one, you wrote in. Step two, you answered back. Step 3, you keep reading the “aha” moments. Step 4 you are grateful,

Keep going girl, it can be rough, but some days are a very very nice journey. It keeps getting better.

No contact with that dirtball, you hear? Nothin!!
It’s all about you now.

Hugs.

denbroncos007 and rochelle:

Maybe we can fix-up your spath ex’s with my spathic ex-gf. She’s in her 40’s now, never married, coming off of a string of failed relationships because, according to her ‘she attracts all the kooks.’ But, according to her she is blameless, faultless, highly sensitive, balanced and considerate and, knows what is wrong with everyone else. She will have your ex’s emasculated within a month and they will have to agree to go into psychotherapy in order to prove to her that they are normal.

skylar;

Interesting comment regarding your x-spath’s minions. I met several of my x-spath’ minions. I remember one incident vividly, the second time I was out with him. Keep in mind, I had just me the x-spath the previous day. I met them at a bar. They were sitting against the wall, the x-spath in the middle and a minion on each side. The significance of that seating arrangement should not be lost…

I sat across from them and at first, I felt like I was on trial. They could tell he liked me (better yet was targeting me) and were teasing him a bit. Then, one turned to the x-spath and said: “did you tell him what year you graduated from University?”

This made the x-spath uncomfortable, as I could tell he was a few years older than his friends. He told me the year he graduated and I did the math — 36. Then the x-spath looks at me and goes “ok embarass me — what year did you graduate?”

Clearly, at this point his friends were trying to embarrass him and undermine him. Normal friends would be supportive but here, they were trying to make his “age” an issue.

Then I told him the year I graduated and the x-spath gets this odd look — like a computer that just blue-screened. I did the math for him — 39. He looks and me and says: “I thought you were late 20’s, 30 at the most.” This made him even more uncomfortable but says a lot.

All three of them are predators. The Leopard got the “catch” and the Hyenas were biting at him…

Arianna

Your post from last night at 6:00 was another aha moment for me. He did the exact same thing to me. I was married and had to be quiet. He was a lifeguard at the hot springs pool one night per week. His girlfriend worked inside there also. I had a pool pass and would go on the night he/she worked. She got the girlfriend treatment and he used to call me jealous and tell me what a turnoff that was. He said it made him uncomfortable but, I have since realized he loved it. What better thing for a spath…girlfriend and woman he is seeing behind her back in close proximity. Same story.

OxDrover

I agree that you cannot fix anyone. My friend was pretty self centered and somewhat of a user. When I complained to my sister she would say, “Have you talked to her about it?”. I would say, “Why should I? People are who they are. If they aren’t treating people right at the age of 63, they probably are not going to. She may change her behavior for a while but, I don’t think it will last.” Had to part company with her.

Oxy,

You got it exactly!!!!! I’m sorry that it wasn’t your egg donor, but the great thing about this exercise is to find out exactly what you did discover: you had 3 people in your life who nurtured you with care, love and support… your grandparents and step-father. 3 people who taught you what true love is like. You had 3 examples. And they gave you plenty of memories to reach back to and feel nurtured and loved.

The first time I did this exercise I was on a plane flying back home. As I was filling it in, I couldn’t help from tearing up. I felt like total sentimental mush, in the best way. And it strengthened the love I felt for these people who did it for me, but also the love I felt for myself.

There’s also a list of the “now” (that you’re an adult): and my three best friends and my cat got their names on it quite often. Pretty sure that your adoptive son would be on that one.

Darwin’smom,

My adopted son is at the TOP of the list. Sometimes I felt like the man in the Bible, Job, who lost EVERYTHING and his friends blamed him for some secret sin that caused God to let all this pain and loss into his life but Job couldn’t figure out that he had done anything wrong, but even his wife, said “curse God and die”–in other words your life is so miserable I wish you’d kill yourself. He had NO support from anywhere and he was destitute, sick, lost all his children…but he never gave up.

Eventually, he had more children and his fortune was restored and he was richer than before and healthy and lived a good long life.

I feel like Son D is the “child of my old age”–not quite young enough to be a grandson, but the age I would have had a “late in life” child. I feel like Job after he was restored to health and had more children. You don’t forget the “lost” children, I even remember the good times with Patrick when he was young. But you come to an ACCEPTANCE that that is only a memory and come to PEACE WITH it.

My grandmother that was so nurturing to me also was the family enabler…the keeper of secrets. The difference between her and the egg donor though is that my grandmother would NOT PUNISH YOU if you did not do what she wanted. BIG DIFFERENCE as egg donor will PUNISH YOU AS MUCH AS SHE CAN if you thwart her control. I have seen the RAGE in her eyes when she was thwarted, my granny never had that rage or malice. There was not a mean bone in her body, though she had grown up in a dysfunctional alcoholic family with a P father and she had been taught to keep the secrets, which she did even when it was a BAD idea to do so, but her intentions were at least good. Not so egg donors.

fixerupper:
Now wouldn’t that be funny, I would love to be a fly on the wall to see how the two would interact! Funny!

BBE: I met my exspaths best friend and the guy was a complete douche bag (excuse my un-lady like comment but he was). Before I met my exspaths best friend, I was told by my ex that his best friend “hated” women, wouldn’t tolerate any “shit” from woman and was a complete womanizer. My ex went on to say that his best friend couldn’t commit to anyone and had three women that he “frequented” when he wanted something from them. So immediately, I disliked this man and even told my ex why in the hell would he hang out with someone like that- I truly believe friends do influence friends. Anyhow, when we went to dinner with his best friend and his best friends girlfriend at the time, my ex’s best friend put my ex down – for example, my ex would tell his best friend something about a job he was on and his best friend would say something negative. Even towards me, his best friend found out the town that I worked in and immediately said something negative – he did this quite a few times, jokingly i might add, but I thought to myself how rude, and my ex just allowed it. So when we left dinner I told my ex why in the hell doesnt he stick up for himself and he just said he let’s it roll of his shoulders and pretty much ignores him — remember he painted this evil picture of his best friend and after having dinner with this ass, I thought he was a jerk too.
Anyhow, my ex allowed his asshole best friend to call me a pyscho bitch in a text and I flipped out (not literally) but I thought how disrespectful and I told my ex that I found that because he didn’t say anything to his best friend, he condoned another man calling me names – it wasn’t so much the name calling but the disrespect that he allowed. That was a red flag in itself — and it was something that i did continuously bring up for another month or so and my ex would always just tell me “I’m too sensitive” anytime I felt disrespected I was told either i was playing “victim” or I was too “sensitive.” Long story short, I now realize that what my ex said about his best friend was really how he was! His best friend is still an ass, but my ex was referring to himself – my ex didn’t come out and admit this, but I kind of put two and two together! His best friend is actually in a committed relationship and has been for a year now!
Where I intended to go with this was we went out to dinner with a few of my ex’s other friends and my ex spath would always “show boat” me to his friends, which believe it or not, I don’t like being in the lime light. He would always tell his friends, about my education, where I got my undergrad degree, where I received my graduate degree and tell them about my occupation. Then his friends would turn to me and start asking me questions about myself and I hated it — I am a very outgoing person, but I do not enjoy talking about myself – I have always been that way. I prefer to keep topics off of me — just never been one to “gloat” about myself…

I always wonder why this ex spath of mine would do that – put me on center stage. I don’t really measure success based on degrees and/or occupations, but when I compare myself to my ex’s ex-girlfriends (I do this in my head) none of them came close to me in terms of occupation, finances, and education. Not that it makes me any better because in some cases, people with such a status end up being jerks or stuck up! Also I must note, my ex spath would always tell me I was diff than most woman he dated because all of his ex’s were impressed with all his “stuff” and liked the fact he made good money — here I came along and I am not impressed with material things at all and I am the type of person who doesn’t really enjoy letting anyone pay my way for things, like dinners, trips etc. I always pull my “own weight” — I did this even in my marriage.

Sorry for rambling – hard not to do on this website 🙂

denbroncos:

How does that saying go? Ducks don’t fly with Geese? You know what I mean. Friends and family are vital tools when assessing somebody’s character, especially friends. Personally, I would never allow any friend of mine to denigrate somebody I was seeing. I even got into a huge fight with a friend because of a comment he made about the x-spath, and this was after I was dumped!

Your comment about “showboating” resonates with me. Essentially, I feel that my x-spath was showboating me to his friends those few times we were together and most likely when he was back in London. I was better educated, mad 3x more money, had a large apartment in Midtown Manhattan and took him to very nice places…

In fact, I am not much of a Narcissist but the second time I was out with the x-spath and his friends, I was careful to note their behavior. We were at this one gay bar and they were drunk and carrying on, kissing guys I would not give the time of day. I even thought to myself that compared to whom they were meeting, the x-spath must have seemed to hit the jackpot. Certainly, based upon his then “reserved” behavior, I believed he was the best of that lot. Which in retrospect is not saying much…

I have mentioned many times that my x-spath’s mask was unravelled when I came across a profile of his on a dating site. While he “dumped” me romantically, I had so fallen for his mask of “British reservedness” and “sorted” life, I was determined to remain a friend. Until I came across that profile. It was insulting in many ways; also it led to several other discoveries. However, relevent to this discussion, perhaps the most insulting was the following, in answer to the question “what are you most likely doing on a Friday night”:

“Passed out on a couch in Manhattan.”

My couch? Keep in mind, he lives in a not so upscale part of London…

LostMyself, I absolutely love Darwinsmom’s exercise, and it is something that I am going to do.

There is one question that I had to ask myself before I considered begging (yes, begging) the exspath to get help to address his personal issues, and this was almost 2 months before I learned the extent of his financial frauds. The question was: What do I stand to gain from holding on to a man who has so completely shattered my life? There was no good answer to that.

If I had remained with the exspath, I would probably be dead by now. Either by some untimely demise, or by proxy, I would not have survived.

What I “loved” about the exspath was a 100% fabricated illusion. The person that I loved, cared about, cared FOR, and supported and nurtured never existed. He NEVER existed. This fact was a very huge pill to swallow. And, the implications of that truth were myriad.

The fact that the man that I had loved so dearly did not truly exist meant the following: I was targeted for money, respectability, and as a safe mommy figure; he never truly cared about me, from the beginning; he only spoke words that generated trust so that he could literally rob me of my individual investments; and, finally, that he would have preferred to bury me than negotiate a divorce settlement (MUCH cheaper, in the long run).

Now, to say that I “don’t like these facts” would be a gross understatement. I hate that these facts are true. But, they are facts, nonetheless. Accepting and processing such cold, hard, and cruel facts were one of the most difficult tasks that I’ve undertaken during my lifetime, up to that point. After accepting those facts, I had to sort out WHY I had allowed someone to perpetrate a ruinous illusion and alter my entire system of beliefs.

These people do not “play fair,” LostMyself. They do not abide by rules of ethics, morality, or legalities. The do not have the capacity to experience emotional connections and, as a result, they simply do not care about their targets. They don’t. And, that is a hard fact, but indisputable.

Hang in there and, as so many have responded, take this one-day-at-a-time. Sometimes, it’s going to be one-minute-at-a-time. “For the next 60 seconds, I’m going to focus upon washing my dishes. After that, I’ll address the next 60 seconds, but not until this one minute has passed.”

It isn’t easy, simple, or pleasant, LostMyself. But, in due time, it will become easier and much less painful than you ever imagined. Four months from now, you may still be hurting and experiencing some stage of grief, but it won’t be as keen or intense as it is, right now.

Brightest, brightest blessings to you

Truthspeak;

You wrote a concise, “refrigerator magnet” post that is highly accurate about sociopaths.

The person I cared for does not exist. That person was simply a mirror of my values, crafted to manipulate me for respectability. My x-spath is an HIV+ Flight Attendant — in the gay world, that is about as low as one can go on the respectability scale, save for an escort. I did not know about the HIV+ part when I dated him; however, in retrospect that I would even consider dating a Flight Attendant speaks volumes of my mental state at the time. However, to my concern about his “profession”, he did state he would only being doing it for a bit longer then return to a white collar job; right — he was just mirroring to get hook me.

My x-spath needs emotional and employment fixing. He is intelligent and college educated, with a degree in media production. I felt that by working on both (addressing some emotional issues, resuming his media career) he could be a good partner. Wrong. He is a sociopath and will never change. In fact, while his career facilitates his predatory nature, even if that changed, he would still be a cold, manipulating sociopath.

I do not like these facts. There is still a small part of my that “feels” for him and that he could be a good, happy person if he followed by advice and vision for him. NONSENSE.

What he did to me is inexcusable, even for somebody not HIV+. Given that he is HIV+, dumping me when I was facing such a crisis myself shows a total lack of empathy and honesty only found in sociopaths.

spaths are dangerous and evil people. They minipulate, conive, and always plotting and planning their next scheme.
I lived a life of hell, yet I could not put a finger on what was wrong. The spath faked the courts, and I lost my home, my monies, everything. Luckily, I took the stand to fight and exploit the bastard, and turned him in to the irs criminal investigations. The spath fled because he knew the mask of sanity was falling, and I knew because I was reading Dr, Hare’s checklist for psychopathy. It fit my spath to tee. There is no doubt, that you will feel the hurt, the anger, that encompassed this relationship. Every aspect of the relationship was an illusion, it never existed.
You tell people what to watch for , and they look at you as if you have 10 heads. I learned one thing, what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger. The addiction to the spath is a dangerous road to follow. Some people find the excitement, and the continuous everything is a way of life-it is not. The spath always need the narcissist supply, so they come back, like a bad penny. When you exploit them with the big guns, they back right off. You need to be strong, yet stay away, completely away. No contact!

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