Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call, “Larissa21.” She met the socioath at 18; she saw but didn’t understand the warning signs of a sociopath.
I met the love of my life or so I thought the summer of 1994, my mother was suffering from breast cancer and she wanted to bring me on a trip for my senior year graduation present. She asked if I wanted to go to Ireland but I knew she wanted to see my brother in California at the time so we went – my mother was a year in battling cancer (an unknown source that only 3 percent of the population gets). She was given a year to live.
On the summer night of July 5th I phoned my best friend to tell her I just returned home and could I stop by, she said her neighbor, friends and cousin were there. I went over and met this handsome – adorable guy who was a year younger than me – I was 18 he was 17.
We had a summer romance double dating with my friend and her boyfriend. There were signs early on…..at an Irish festival I danced with a childhood friend I hadn’t seen since grade school – really nice person. Nothing was meant by it – just fun. After this dance I was grabbed by the neck by my boyfriend and told that “I was his,” we were both drinking so I blew off the transaction…..
Gut feeling that things weren’t right
I had a gut feeling things didn’t seem right. I saw but didn’t understand the warning signs. He HATED his mother – he never said a kind thing about her or his sister while we were dating, he came from a broken home where the story was that his father was an alcoholic and his mom was a nut job.
As I was dating him, people told me that his mother had borderline personality disorder – this was before the internet and I was young and had no idea what these comments meant. She did walk around that she was better than everyone else and having conversations with her, I could see she was socially inappropriate. Her children were embarrassed of her. My boyfriend was always at my house and would tell me my house was fun and his was the house of misery because of his mother.
During the summer of love – and he was my first love, he started living in his grandmother’s barn – I thought this was because of the turmoil at home with his mother. After the barn, he lived at his Aunts, then his cousins, then my attic, and finally he went to live back home. I did feel bad for him, he hated being home with his mother – his name for her was “nut job” and every time I was at the house he and his sister would always tell her she was “nuts.”
Forgave him and let him back in
We dated on and off for five years – the times we broke up was usually fueled by alcohol and I couldn’t keep up with the party life so I ended the relationship shortly after my mother died in 1997.
I was devastated by the loss of my mother and me and my father were a great support to each other at the time. My boyfriend was too – he seemed really supportive….however I needed time and space to heal from this loss and I wasn’t given it. When we broke up, he sent me flowers, letters of love.
I forgave him and let him back in……this time I was pregnant and engaged to him… it was a connection and love one would dream of having – I thought I had it with him- we were young and needed help just starting out with a family. My father believed in him and thought he was a “good” man, he lent us through the 21 years of marriage over $60,000.
Didn’t see the patterns
Why didn’t I see the patterns? I didn’t understand the warning signs. We moved because he would get “sick” of the scenery and we moved 16 times in the 21 years of marriage. I had five children with this man who could never hold down a job……
He felt entitled to his family’s inheritance and would tell me he was a trust fund heir and that he was inheriting all this money and we would never have to worry about anything……he would lie, cheat people and steal their things because “they grew up better than he did” and he always had to fend for himself………
We were married four years when I was pregnant with my fourth child- I found out I was very sick with hyperthyroidism – thyroid storm and needed to be on weight gainers and could lose my child…. I had to go on Medicaid because my husband told me “I cost him too much money and he wasn’t wasting money on my medical bills…”
Fast forward a year later and on his second spinal fusion and I worked three jobs to support the family and pay the bills, every time I was sick- post partum, even down to a stomach ache he was terrible to me – getting smacked in the face, punched in the head – it was horrific.
As time went on he would ridicule my friends, family, and any of my guests that came to the house – this was how he grew up – he never had anyone over the house because he was embarressed of his mother and now….I was becoming embarrassed of him.
Why am I getting smacked?
The fun we had started to really diminish when I was pregnant with my daughter – he smacked me across the face and told me to get an abortion because I was ruining his plans (none of our children were planned). I was shocked by this reaction because he never did that before – I thought he loved me and the kids?
Why am I getting smacked after all I did for him – I was there and paid for all his back surgeries, signed him up for social security disability, medicare medical benefits, anything that could help us during his time laid up on his back. I never treated this man the way he treated me when I was sick.
When I look back, I think about how is that love to treat someone like a door mat when they are sick? In 2017, he was on so many prescription pain killers through the years – percocets, fentanyl, oxy – that he completely lost all his teeth – I took him to every dentist to get him help and he would scream at me at to why they weren’t helping him – it was the cost and he decided to cash out the rest of his inheritance and go to the Dominican Republic to get implants…… he was drinking during this time – vodka and ginger ale – and had a “talent” for making mixed drinks…he went alone on this trip to the Dominican and upon his return he was talking to someone – later finding out that it was an affair and he kept saying that “I was imagining and creating things- lots of gas lighting.
He would kick and smack the kids – I would see it and he would say “nothing happened.” He sat all our kids down and asked the kids to vote on who they wanted to live with? They of course divided the vote to pick neither parent – who would do this to their kids?
We would go out to dinner and he would show my son’s friends sex toys, show my 14 year old at the family dinner table – strap ons – very inappropriate and bizarre behavior that I never saw before….who was this person?
I believed I could change him
I constantly made excuses for the behavior- his parents’ divorce, he was beat as a kid, he drank because of the pain in losing his teeth, he drank because I drove him to, he drank because he loved to, he drank because he thought I was cheating on him and this numbed his pain.
When the gas lighting was very bad me and the kids would try and sit him down and tell him about his behavior and he would claim to all of us that he had “Alzheimers” and he doesn’t remember anything that happened. His favorite word for me and my daughter was c*nt.
I honestly believed I could have changed this terrible man – I heard from several therapists and his own therapist that when they meet him and he begins to talk he is a narcissist / sociopath……I feel like an absolute fool to have been conned by this man….
I loved him….so I thought it was love…..when he was losing his teeth and he got fired from his family’s company (3rd or 4th time) he asked me to open a business for him in my name….why not….I love him, he’s the father of my five kids…..he’s terrible to all of us but if I help him with this – it will work out…wrong!!!!
He made $10,000 a month off one contract – if something went wrong he would throw it at me saying “its your f*ckin business – you figure it out”……here I put the business in my name and after he had his teeth implants I told him he needed to get off the disability so I could transfer the business to his name….he would say- why would I do that – its free money!!!!!
The bills will piling up – he was refusing to pay the employees – he would pay them with wining and dining – no actual paycheck …..he started calling me and the kids moochers and “taking what he earned”…..however it was the other way around – me and the kids were working because by the end of the month he was broke and had no money to get to…….I can’t tell you how many times I left him – and took him back.
Educated myself about sociopaths
It wasn’t until I educated myself through the local domestic violence program and all of Donna’s books to realize what I was dealing with…….all the warning signs in the beginning – the control of “being his,” people telling me his mother was a borderline – I was 18 how would I know or care at that time what that was?
Therapist upon therapist told me he was a narcissist, sociopath, marriage counselors you could feel his anger through the room….. you are right Donna when you say you get addicted. I was until I left with my five children one night after fearing for our lives – months of walking on egg shells and knowing he was going to snap and hurt one of us…..the month before he was drunk one morning and told me he had a cock fight with the family rooster and snapped his neck….that was it —-planned my escape……