Last week, I was invited to participate in a “Women’s History Breakfast” at a local high school. The school asked six local women to speak about obstacles they’ve overcome in their lives and careers to a group of approximately 50 girls.
I used the opportunity to talk about sociopaths.
First, I briefly summarized my story: I married James Montgomery, an Australian, who told me he was a Hollywood movie producer and screenwriter, a war hero who served in Vietnam with Special Forces, and who came to Atlantic City to open an electronic theme park for adults on the Boardwalk. The only thing that was true was that he was Australian.
Montgomery took $227,000 from me, cheated with at least six different women during out two-and-a-half year marriage, had a child with one of them, and then, 10 days after I left him, married the mother of the child, committing bigamy for the second time.
I had the girls’ attention.
Then I told them that my husband began his career as a liar and a cheater in high school. One of the women that I interviewed for my upcoming book relayed to me a story that James Montgomery told her: While he was in high school, Montgomery picked up a girl for a date. As they were on their way to wherever they were going, she said she forgot something and had to go back home. The girl and James walk into the house, and sitting there were six other girls—he’d told each one that she was his girlfriend. He was busted.
Now I really had the girls’ attention.
What was this guy’s problem? James Montgomery was a sociopath. I explained what a sociopath usually wasn’t—a delusional serial killer. I explained what it was—someone with no heart, no conscience and no remorse.
Then I read a shortened version of the letter that Lovefraud posted last year from a 15-year-old girl, I didn’t want to be alone and believed that he loved me. The girl described her involvement with a guy who was two years older than her. It was mostly a phone relationship—he couldn’t be bothered to actually see her. But if she went out, he got mad because she wasn’t paying attention to him. Then I read the part of the letter where he tries to get the girl to go along with his sick sexual fantasies.
By now, the girls in my high school audience were shocked.
I concluded my presentation with points on how they could protect themselves from sociopaths: First, know they exist. Second, know the warning signs. Third, trust your intuition.
The girls asked a lot of questions: How did I recover from my marriage to my ex-husband? (Good therapy.) The guy in the letter was verbally abusive—are sociopaths violent? (Sometimes.) Is there any treatment for sociopaths? (Once they are adults, no.)
I hope that I’ve warned 50 girls to be on the lookout for sociopaths.