Donna Andersen, a journalist and commercial writer, is the author of Lovefraud.com, a website which teaches people how to recognize and avoid sociopaths. She launched the website because she believes her ex-husband, James Montgomery, is a sociopath. Claiming to be an entrepreneur and former Special Forces soldier, he conned Andersen out of $227,000, fathered a child with another woman during their marriage and committed bigamy. He had also defrauded at least four other women of similar amounts of money. Andersen had no understanding of a sociopath before her experience, and as a journalist, realized that she had a story that needed to be told. She did just that in her book, Love Fraud—How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan. She is also author of Red Flags of Love Fraud 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath. Andersen is program administrator for Lovefraud Continuing Education. Contact: [email protected]
Liane J. Leedom. M.D., is a psychiatrist and author of Just Like His Father?, a book about parenting kids who have genetic risk for antisocial behavior, addiction and ADHD. She is also the author of justlikehisfather.com and parentingtheatriskchild.com. Dr. Leedom trained at USC, UCLA and Yale. The best training in psychiatry had not prepared her for her encounter with a sociopath, Barry Lichtenthal, who is the father of her son. For three years she pored through masses of scientific literature to gain the tools she needed to care for her son. “Although the government has spent millions uncovering the genetic and environmental factors involved in antisocial behavior, addiction and ADHD,” Dr. Leedom says, “the findings of this work are not available to the public.” She believes all parents have a right to the information that will help them protect and enjoy their at-risk children.
Joanie Bentz, B.S., M.Ed., is a wife, mother, and a behavioral health consultant in Pennsylvania who has first-hand experience with chaotic family dynamics. She deeply understands how experiencing dysfunction in childhood can lead to poor choices as an adult. Joanie holds dual a master’s degree in Education and Special Education (mentally and physically handicapped), and earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She has worked with adolescents in residential psychiatric hospitals. Joanie is also a fitness instructor and personal trainer. Her interest in the mental health field started at a young age, as did her love of fitness. Her anchor was her faith in God, which was the GRACE, and her involvement in physical activity since childhood, which was the GIFT. Joanie has overcome seemingly impossible obstacles in her recovery from narcissistic abuse, and now she is helping others do the same.
O.N.WARD has an MBA and a degree in psychology. She had a great career before marrying her “soulmate,” an MBA classmate. She now believes her ex-husband and the father of her children is a sociopath. In her marriage she experienced chronic gaslighting and emotional assault. Her divorce was so toxic that at times she feared for her life, and she emerged saddled with PTSD symptoms, a gutted financial future and the on-going pain of having a beloved child alienated. To understand what had happened, she read voraciously about sociopaths. How had he manipulated so seamlessly? How had her confidence and self-esteem been shredded? Why had she stayed? To help others avoid traveling a path like hers, she wrote Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned. She writes under the pen name O.N.WARD
Eleanor Cowan, B.A., B.Ed. is a Life Skills teacher and author of her memoir, A History of a Pedophile’s Wife. Born in 1948, the same year women first voted in Quebec, she began her life odyssey with a lovely home, good food, some affection, and soon, the company of nine siblings. These are the details she relied upon, not the nights of sexual abuse, the constant criticism of her mother, nor the religious oppression in her strict family. With the alcoholism of her mother and the chronic absence of her Dad, life slid downhill fast. She became a devout Catholic, an anxious people pleaser — and a complete stranger to herself. Three drug-rapes into her 20’s, she decided to erase the past, turn a brand new page, get married and have a family – and promptly married a pedophile who molested their children. After writing her book, Eleanor gladly visits groups, presents her story and answers questions about her entry into a mature adult world where tears and laughter can co-exist.
Ruzanna Dinger had to quickly learn to back up her mind on a hard drive, so not to lose it, and control constantly dropping pH levels in her life, with no degrees in IT or chemistry. Her own degrees in public relations from London Metropolitan University, as well as psychology and sociology from Yerevan State University, the largest and most prestigious university in Armenia, left her so “poor,” she couldn’t even pay attention…Her love was blind, but marriage was a real eye-opener. Even her years of work experience from the Department of Surgery at Imperial College London was not enough to take the Hot out of a psycHotic. She was giving her 100%, but found herself donating blood. She ended up at Lovefraud’s emergency room with her dog, Marley, lying at her feet. Doctors told her the operation was successful, but the patient died. She is currently working on recovery programs integrating mind and body exercises, such as yoga and meditation. She is passionate about sharing them with the Lovefraud community, to make a difference.
Steve Becker, LCSW, practices in New Jersey, USA. Clinically, Steve is interested in the personality disorders—especially borderline, narcissistic and sociopathic. Earlier in his career, Steve developed a reputation for working effectively with aggressive, paranoid and manipulative clients at various community mental health centers. Now in private practice, Steve works with individuals and couples, and has made presentations to clinical and lay audiences on subjects including sociopathic and narcissistic personality, rage management, and the relationship abuser. In 2006, he was honored by the YWHA in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for his commitment to end domestic violence. Steve has placed clinical articles in many publications; published short stories in small magazines; and is presently shopping an irreverant non-fiction manuscript, What’s Wrong With My Spouse?: Guidance For Partners of Impossible Spouses (viewable on his website, www.powercommunicating.com).
Quinn Pierce has a master’s degree in education. She also has a master’s degree in sociopaths, earned the hard way—by being married to one for 15 years. Because she shares two children with him, and he is still in their lives, she needs to remain anonymous and is writing under a pseudonym. Quinn and her children have all been diagnosed with PTSD. Quinn hopes that sharing her experiences of the journey to recovery will help other Lovefraud readers along that difficult road.
Peace in Chaos is a full time Mom and also a professional dance instructor. She went to school for Fine Arts, but ended up being a self-made entrepreneur, building a commercial construction company. By lies and manipulation, Peace in Chaos married a sociopath at age 20. Ten years later, after a long custody battle for her special-needs child, she is now divorced and lives to help others avoid the same follies. A song by Dan Bremnes called Where the Light Is pretty much sums up her life. It starts with: “This is me, I grew up in church, raised on the Gospel, trained in the Word. Had a faith so fearless, thought it was all I needed. But life hit me hard, more than I planned, it knocked me down like an avalanche.” Peace in Chaos attributes her psychological, mental, physical and spiritual victory, after exposure to a sociopath, to God, for if it wasn’t for Him, she is not sure where she would be. Her blog is Surviving Sociopathic Destruction.
Wendy S. Weber is a writer and Bioinformatics major. She is especially interested in genetics and the role they play in mental health. While a lot is still unknown about psychopaths, Wendy has 40 years of experience with them. Both of her parents were psychopaths. Wendy, along with her four siblings, endured physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse. She understands their manipulative tactics all too well. Psychopaths are very convincing and deceptive, which is why the severe abuse of Wendy and her siblings went completely undetected. Wendy is now using her past to help others and bring more awareness to the devastation psychopaths cause. Wendy is married to Eric, who continues to help and support her through the ongoing recovery process. Wendy and Eric live in Nebraska with their 2 dogs.
H.G. Beverly is a licensed clinical social worker in the State of Ohio. She has a post-graduate clinical certification in Gestalt psychotherapy and earned her graduate education through endowed scholarships for academic excellence in domestic violence and child welfare. Beverly unknowingly married a sociopath in 1998 and now struggles to co-parent their three children within the confines of parental alienation, battering, stalking, and a prolonged court process. Her ex has kept her in court for more than five of the past seven years—on top of the other described behaviors. To protect her family, Beverly writes under a pen name. She is the author of The Other Side of Charm, and she hopes her writing and outreach will help make the world a better place for victims of sociopaths—while also building awareness to decrease the number of victims. Her website is HGBeverly.com.
Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired), who posts as “Ox Drover,” is a retired Registered Nurse Practitioner who lives on her family farm. Her son, William Patrick Alexander, who has been diagnosed as antisocial personality disorder, is in prison in Texas for murdering a 17 year old girl, Jessica Witt, in January, 1992. In 2006, Patrick sent one of his former cell mates, also diagnosed as ASPD, and a three-time convicted child molester, to infiltrate Joyce’s family like a “Trojan Horse” for the purpose of killing Joyce. The ex-con, along with Joyce’s daughter-in-law, who had an affair with this Trojan Horse, both went to jail after attempting to kill one of Joyce’s other sons.
Cappuccino Queen (CQ) has a master’s degree and an important job. She also had the unfortunate experience of not only falling in love with a psychopath, but sharing a son with him. In the midst of an ugly custody battle and continuous terrorism by her ex-fiance, she created the blog www.cappuccinoqueen.com to write about her journey of healing from a relationship with a psychopath. She hopes to give readers the perspective of a mother who is in the fight of her life and also trying to raise an emotionally healthy child (despite the realities of his father). Due to numerous threats to her life, CQ wishes to remain anonymous so as not to incite more violence.
Stephen Appel, Ph.D., is a psychotherapy practitioner, clinical supervisor and educator. He has an intellectual interest in psychopaths (as he prefers to call them), and a personal and clinical concern for those they prey upon. While he believes much is to be gained from understanding the psychopathic mind, he is deeply skeptical about the merits of doing psychotherapy with psychopaths. On the other hand, those who have had their selves distorted, corroded and emptied out by psychopaths need to repair themselves and may benefit enormously from working with a mental health professional. Dr. Steve is author of TheTopTwoInches, a site devoted to contemplating “the mysterious workings of the mind.” (“The top two inches” literally refers to the head, but means the mind, brain and thinking.) In his blog, Dr. Steve discusses, in alphabetical order, neuorology, philosophy, psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, social psychology, social theory and more.