By | October 3, 2008 163 Comments

Can victims become like the psychopath?

This week we received the following email:

My daughter is married to a man I consider a psychopath. My daughter has not spoken with me for many months. She has totally changed her personality, voice, she says things she never would have said before, she attacks me to my friends. My daughter and her husband seem to have their own version of reality, truth, and morality that is not consistent with those outside her marriage or in the world. My husband doesn’t want to invite them to our house for the holidays or have anything to do with them. I feel the same way, too, because of their attacks and saying things that are not true about us. I have gotten advice on this blog to try and have a relationship with her no matter what (she needs us if she ever comes out of this relationship or if she comes out of the fog) and to not say anything negative about her husband. (The prior question.)

I really need more advice on what to do. She called my friends and has repeatedly said lies to them, then she called my husband at work and lied to her father. She has totally changed. I kept thinking she would snap out of it and go back to her “old self”. She used to have affection for us. She never would have lied to us or about us. Is this what happens when you live with a psychopath? Can they so change you that you see the world through their eyes or perspective? She used to be so happy and so much fun to be around. I don’t know how we could be around them now. Do you just agree with their reality and say you are sorry for things they said you did, even though you didn’t do them? It seems like a power struggle and the psychopath wins. It seems like the reason they are calling our friends is because they want to stir up drama and win some kind of “battle”. Our life was so even and no drama before our daughter met the psychopath. I am amazed how one person can affect so many lives for destruction, evil and suffering.

This is very hard to know how to respond to my friends, daughter and husband. Could you please give me some advice?

There are three questions here and I will try to answer each one:
(When you comment on this article please reference these question numbers.)

1. She never would have lied to us or about us. Is this what happens when you live with a psychopath? Can they so change you that you see the world through their eyes or perspective?
2. What do we do about a sociopath/psychopath’s smear campaign?
3. Can we still save our daughter?

Question #1 Is this what happens when you live with a psychopath?

The answer is definitely yes. This is what happens when you have any association with a psychopath, no matter how you know them and whether or not you live with them. This is why I strongly encourage family members to cut the sociopath/psychopath off. Sociopaths/psychopaths whole way of relating to the world is about power and control. This need for power and control is very personal. They do it one person at a time, one victim at a time. They do it very systematically with malice and forethought. When they succeed in hurting someone or getting another person to hurt him/herself or others, they step back, revel in it and say, “I did it again, s__t I’m great!” (they use a lot of foul language also.).

Never forget this

Sociopaths/psychopaths get off on controlling people and hurting people. That is why we don’t understand them, and are unable to predict their behavior. To let this sink in emotionally do the following: Next time you eat that piece of chocolate cake, have an orgasm, or watch your favorite team win at sports, focus your attention on the pleasure you feel, and say to yourself, “This is what a psychopath experiences when he controls or hurts another person.” Once you do this a few times you will have no problem understanding them or predicting their behavior.

Since sociopaths/psychopaths lack the brain wiring and chemicals necessary for love, they can only experience pleasure in relationships through power, control and sex. When a normal person says, I love you, he means he has affection for you and “cares” for you. We call it caring for a reason. When we love someone we take care of that person. If we really love someone we also take care of everyone in that person’s family.

When a sociopath/psychopath says, I Love you, he means I own you. When a sociopath/psychopath really “loves” someone they own everyone in that person’s family, including and especially parents, siblings and any children. When you own something you can take pleasure in it however you want. Again this is very up close and personal, There is nothing distant or impersonal about a sociopath/psychopath’s way of relating to others.

How do victims become psychopathic?

It is important to remember that all non-relative victims are to some degree tricked or fooled into the relationship. The need not to acknowledge the profound mistake causes them to lose contact with reality. Their brains are busy constructing the imaginary world they wish to be in. The victim therefore enters what may be called a hypnotic state. Hypnotic states involve shutting out reality and attending to only certain parts of it. In this state, the victim is easily manipulated. What the victim is willing to do may or may not be a reflection of who he/she is. The evil deeds may reflect the victim’s response to selective perceptions. For example, perhaps the daughter in the story above is now so confused about love that she believes the lies.

The process I describe above also applies to families. The less affected family members do not want to admit that their family has psychopaths (because usually there is more than one) in it. They want to have the perfect family as much as anyone else. They therefore normalize and justify ALL of the psychopath’s hurtful controlling behavior.

An ugly side of victim psychology

Since our drives are contagious, a person who is with a loving person becomes more loving. The person who is married to the power obsessed becomes more power obsessed. This can occur outside of conscious awareness. Part of being power obsessed involves delight in both aspects of victory-delight at being a winner and delight at the loss of the loser. People who are not power obsessed usually feel empathy for the loser. The brain power system turns off the brain empathy system.

Get away from that psychopath before his/her behavior rubs off on you more than it already has!

Question #2 The psychopath’s smear campaign

Please check out the other posts on this topic. A colleague recent told me a very similar story so I will address this again in detail soon. My inclination would be to ask the friends to tell their daughter and her husband not to call. If they call after being asked not to they may be prosecuted for harassment. That will put a stop to the drama. Please focus your attention on addressing this specific problem-the phone calls. The drama comes from the context of this problem. (Daughter in the clutches of a psychopath.) Try to make light the silly lies, that way the psychopath can’t win.

Question #3 Can we still save our daughter?

There may come a time when you will feel the need to let go and live the rest of your life as best you can. Only you can pick that time for yourself. Statistics show that the more psychopathic a person is, the more prone to life failure he/she is. In other words most psychopaths screw up, A truly successful psychopath is so rare that I have never verified a case- again it depends on how you define success. I mean this: all of their relationships are eventually broken, they lose their jobs, they have no real friends and they can’t manage money. They also suffer from ill health because they don’t take care of themselves, They also get into accidents and their life span is 15 years less on average. If the man in question here is a psychopath, he would be in the extreme minority if he is NOT cheating sexually or bringing them to the brink of bankruptcy.

The question here is whether this will take so long to run its course that the victim will lose herself completely. When that happens there is great risk of suicide when the relationship falls apart. So if you do decide to back off of the relationship, that would be time to set the record straight perhaps in writing something like: No matter how old you are you are still our little girl and we have loved you since the day you were born. Your choice of a partner has hurt us so much that we must ask that you not call us or have contact with us until this relationship ends. No matter what else happens, we will always welcome you back into our loving arms.

Has a sociopath/psychopath’s influence caused you to do things or be involved in things you regret?

Please comment below.

In regard to: I am amazed how one person can affect so many lives for destruction, evil and suffering. I had the benefit this week of talking with one of my ex-husband’s other victims. In comparing notes, it was clear, the man has harmed everyone who has had the curse of connecting with him. This is the mark of a person with psychopathic personality traits. Since he cannot love he can only do harm. He doesn’t know any other way of being! Just like an apple tree produces apples because that is what it does, the sociopath/psychopath hurts because that is what he/she does.

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This is so apt to how I am feeling this week. I started working after taking leave for having a baby with a sociopath, after he left me in the most callous and strange way at 6 months pregnant. It had to be the worst thing that has ever happened to me. It is a sad day when I can say well at least I am not dead. At least I am better off then lacy peterson! Sad day indeed! With all the stress that has come from working and taking care of a baby on my own, I have felt anger welling in me. As if I had been bitten by the sociopathic vampire, I have been wishing pain and misery on the other women. Her demise is not coming fast enough, and I have been wishing the most evil things on her! I am relying on him to destroy her, and I hope he doing a good job. Is this part of my personality? Not normally. But I really do think that the vampire myth comes from meetings with sociopaths!

I listened to a wonderful sermon on the topic of loving the people who do us wrong. But, it is still hard.

BTW, Dr Leedom I love your book not like his father. I was just reading it again today. I find it interesting that the care givers at the babies daycare tell me they never have to hold him/her because him/her doesn’t ever demand it! So, when I get home I hold that lovely baby until I can’t take it anymore. baby is so sweet, but really doesn’t demand to be held. So unlike other babies:)….

Ox Drover

My dear lovely wonderful Bird,

I am so glad that you are posting sometimes again, you have been through so very much, and you are so strong.

Your feeling of wishing harm on her is a natural feeling in response to the injury you suffered at the hands of the P.

But you know, I had that same feeling of wanting to “get them back” have them suffer. It (that feeling) was bringing ME DOWN, though, Bird, and I had to force myself to get rid of it.

I started out by praying FOR THEM. Praying for God to bless them. Jesus tells us to “pray for your enemies and those that persecute you.” WHAT? The very people that hurt me?

Well, I said the words, out loud, and I DID NOT MEAN THEM. God knew I did not mean them. But I did what Jesus said for me to do, even though I DID NOT WANT TO. But you know, before long I started to mean the words, and I realized that the prayers for these people was not to benefit THEM, those prayers for the people who hurt me, BENEFITED ME. It helped me to get the bitterness out of my own heart, the bitterness that was EATING MY SOUL.

Yes, in many ways, the pain that they heaped on my head made me somewhat like them, striking out in anger, rage, frustration and malice. But I DO NOT WANT TO FEEL LIKE THAT, TO BE LIKE THAT, so I had to FIGHT to get those feelings of anger vengence wrath out of my heart.

Bird,you are taking care of your Birdie, and doing the best that you can do. Being a single parent IS DIFFICULT at any age. Working and trying to parent as well, and find time for yourself as well.

Bird, try praying for these terrible people, even if you don’t mean it. Ask God to bless them, and the blessings will come to YOU as well, because the bitterness in your heart will decrease.

Also, thank God that your P left you. Can you even imagine how hard your life would be if he was stil there? God blessed you by him leaving. Give my Birdie a big hug from Aunty OXy, and know that I remember you in my prayers daily.

Ox Drover

To the woman whose daughter is married to a psychopath:

One of my sons IS A PSYCHOPATH, and the other biological son MARRIED ONE. He met her on theinternet, and she was looking for a meal ticket. She immediately started isolating him from his family. They were married for nearly 8 years.

In august of 07, she and her boyfriend tried to kill my son after he discovered their affair. She also stole money from my mother. Fortunately, God preserved his life and she and her boy friend were arrested.

She, her boyfriend (who was posing as a friend of our family and of her husband) influenced my son and my elderly mother and I literally had to flee for my life from these people, but though my son would never have hurt me, he went along with their assessment that I was “crazy”—

I had to cut off my son, the son I loved, as well as the psychopathic son (who is in prison) and believe me it hurts to cut off a child that you know is being influenced, brainwashed, etc. by someone who is EVIL. But in order to protect my own sanity I had to do it. I don’t even have an idea of how many people in the community they told how “crazy” I was. Eventually when my DIL tried and failed to kill my son her husband, and she and her boy friend were arrestd, I was vindicated publicly.

I can only say that praying for your daughter and just being HONEST with your friends and with your daughter is your best hope for resolution in YOUR life, and only SHE can get out of the FOG she is in. She may do it and she may not, but unfortunately it is out of your hands.

It’s a big step to cut off a child, but sometimes it gets to the point that you have to be honest with the child you love and say “Darling, I love you and always will, but I cannot tolerate the behavior any longer. It hurts me too much, so until you are willing to stop this kind of behavior, we can’t have a relationship.”

The happiest day of my life was when my son who was married to the psychopath put his arms around my neck and said, “Mom, I am so sorry, you were so right, please forgive me.” At that point, I felt like the father of the prodigal son in the Bible, I wanted to kill the fatted calf and celebrate the return of my son, who was lost and is now found.

God bless you in this terrible situation and give you peace.


I am the mother of a daughter that is married to a man I consider a S. Everything I am learning on this blog is very helpful. I appreciate all your comments and information. It helps to have people explain the situation to me because I am still “in shock” or can’t believe this is happening. We had an extremely warm and loving relationship with our daughter and this is very different than anything I would ever imagine living out. I haven’t had any conversations with my daughter since May. I have left messages on her cell phone and she sometimes calls me back for a few minutes of strained conversation. My husband and I don’t know what to do about the holidays. Our daughter and husband live in another state and I don’t know if we should invite them here, or what. I can’t imagine they would want to come, but if we don’t invite them, would that be another thing they could critic us on? I already have realized there is not a correct way for me to act. I have already been told by the S our family doesn’t say “I love you enough”, I didn’t respond happy enough or I was too happy. It just seems like there is no way to make the S happy, so I am constantly trying to figure out what I should do or say. That is one reason I don’t think it would work out to have them in our house for the holidays. It seems like no matter what the S would have lots more ammunition to fire at us. I am sure I would not have the right expression or say the right thing to him.



Was the sermon online?.. if so could you provide a link to it?…

I’d like to pose a question to Donna, M.L., and Dr. Leedom….

Is it normal to go on with your life.. develop new relationships… have new goals and new ideals….. years go by…basicly move on from the sociopathic experience.. but yet.. still feel a emptiness in a part of your heart, or a tugging at your soul…a sort of grieving…maybe partly for them, or about them, but also about yourself…. even though in hindsight, you have gained so much because of this experience and have used it as a springboard to a new life with a new mindset….?

Donna, I know that you have since re-married after your sociopath experience… Does that bad relationship ever come up in your thoughts, effect your emotions or thinking… even though you are happily married?….. At what point does this “go away”… or does it ever?


#1From my perspective, although I don’t think I became psychopathic, I did experience an extreme drop in empathy that I felt while with my P. My feelings became so numb that I didn’t feel much of anything, no matter what happened. Felt sorta like a zombie. But I never tried to hurt anyone or smear anyone else, however, due to my numb feelings, I didn’t really react with much empathy when I witnessed someone else being hurt or smeared either, however, I still knew it was wrong–just my feelings or reactions to it wasn’t what they were prior to P. It took months away from him for my feelings to gradually start to thaw and me to feel high levels of empathy or any other real feelings of depth again. So, in the sense of can being around a P make you feel or react somewhat like a P (even if you don’t hurt someone else), I would say yes, just due to the numbness and lack of emotions you begin to have due to your self defense mechanisms in order to survive.

Onajourney, google traumatic bonding and stockholm syndrome as it sounds like your daughter is bonding with her P due to that.

#2 The smear campaign sounds like he is taking any little fault he can find with you and your husband and presenting you in a bad light to your daughter, so he can form a “It’s us against them” type bond and is probably blaming any of her reactions to HIM on her upbringing, trying to make her think her upbringing is at fault and ya’ll are at fault, meaning she isn’t normal and any negative reactions she has to him is not normal. Plus if he can keep the focus on you and your husband and ya’ll’s faults, it keeps the focus off him and his misdeeds. He probably also senses you see thru him and therefore you are now the enemy he must destroy. Since your daughter keeps contact with your friends, he is gonna want to alienate them too, eleminating your support system also and have them on HIS side for when they talk to your daughter.

Although only you can decide what to do for the holidays, since they are already smearing you with friends and neighbors, I doubt an invitation to the holiday gathering is gonna make things better as far as the smearing goes. Like you said, it may just give them more ammunition. Of course they may use not getting an ivitation as ammunition too, but since you are already being smeared anyhow, why suffer thru the holidays with them. You might just want to follow both your and your husbands gut feelings on this and skip the invitation for holidays.

#3 Can you still save your daughter? IMO, No. Only your daughter can save herself. IF and WHEN that time comes that she figures out what he is, he has turned on her and hurt her to the extent that she has had enough, all you can do is be there for her THEN. You can offer her a safe haven then and help in any way you can to help her get back on her feet.

Others on the board my disagree with me, but in my experience anyway, although I might listen to others and even verbally agree with them and feel they were right, and I would make attempts to leave and get him out of my life, it was just a vicious cycle of whining and complaining and saying I was gonna do this or that, and making some attempts at it, only to cave to the P’s manipulations and end right back with the P at square one.

Wrapping my mind around the fact that a person has no consicence and accepting that as reality was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. I still have problems with it. I mean, they do after all, do nice things sometimes, which is in conflict with the evil things they do, so you get into “But–but–but he did such and such and it was soooo nice.” I just so wanted to believe that he loved me and he was changing every time he said he was, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I also didn’t want to leave my former location, a house and business I was about to open etc.

Until I got to the point where I had had enough and was able to accept the situation as it really was, I don’t think parents, friends, a therapist or anybody on earth could have really changed things or my behavior or forced me to leave and make it stick (short of locking me up somewhere). I think if a person is receptive to advice it may help them to talk about the situation and steer them in the direction of leaving, but like I said I feel they can hash it out forever, but until they actually get to the point where they’ve had enough they’ll find excuses not to leave and stay gone.

But once they’ve experienced enough pain and they decide leaving is the only alternative to end the misery, no house, no car, no job, NOTHING will stand in their way of getting away from the psychopath–they’ll cut their losses and leave because no location or material possession is worth the misery of trying to hang onto if it means having to deal with the P. It’s just getting to that point of understanding you have to cut your losses and leave, and rebuild or salvage whatever you can once you’re out, is the problem.

Oh, and on Dr. Leedom’s comment about P’s using lots of foul language, that is sooooo true. That is another fallout from being around a P and picking up their habits, cause I found myself cussing like a sailor just like him. I’ve got it down now to just the occasional H*** or S*** for the most part, but it is a habit I have had to work on breaking.


i just want to comment on that ive notice that when im out with friends i feel like i have some of the sociopaths attiudes. i have notice ive become cocky, ive become mean to other men. and i make like rude comments like trust me i want nothing to do with you. i feel like how the x was has rubbed off on me. is anyone else like this? i hope im not like this forever bc i will never meet a good man being like this.

i talked to one of mine mutual friends that i work with that i have with the ex. the one and only mutual friend we have thank goodness.. but he told me that my x says that he talks to me all the time. its unbelievable they still lie and make up stories even when you dont even date them or talked to them anymore



I was in your daughter’s position and my parents in yours. My ex S isolated me and criticized my family. I grew closer to his family because there I wouldn’t hear the truth. They enabled him and still do. I knew how my parents felt about him but I couldn’t handle the truth. I was in that fog; I was very numb. I believe that I was numb because I have a conscience. I knew what he was doing to me, his family, friends, business associates/aquaintences, but my conscience weighed on me so much that to get through his chaos my emotions went numb (this is what I believe). I did in some ways turn into him, such as being antisocial and critical and I enabled him; I was not myself–I lost myself. He sucked the life right out of me. It wasn’t about me anymore, it was ALL about him. But, I wasn’t a sociopath…

I have talked to my sister after all of this and she told me that she told my mom that I would wake up and wise up to this eventually. I did, but only when he found another victim. In a sense, she saved my life. Wow, that was a light bulb moment.

2 1/2 years after I separated/divorced from my ex S I finally had the courage to face my father and apologize for how I hurt him. This is something I knew I had to do. (I am crying while I am writing this) His eyes weld up with tears, he stood up, sobbing, and hugged me and said that is all he needed to hear. We just held each other and cried. I knew that was going to be the hardest thing I had ever had to do. But I knew I had to do it. Now with my mom, she passed away before I could apologize where she could understand. When she was in the hospital I crawled into bed with her and told her that I was so sorry for not being a good daughter. She told me that I was a good daughter and to get that out of my head. She was very sick so we couldn’t have the conversation that I would have hoped.

My ex S and I have two kids so my parents maintained a relationship with me and him so they could see them. My parents kept a distance from him and things were strained. My kids have a much better relationship with my side of the family now. Being mentally and emotionally healthy I have realized how his family enables him and my family may not be perfect, but they are honest and loving people who look out for me and my best interest.

A few months ago I spoke to my aunt and she told me that my mom told her that he could sell me the Brooklyn Bridge. That was the truth. If I were looking at the sky and I said look at that bright blue sky; he would say the sky is pink. I would look again and I would say it was pink.

I am not sure if I answered your questions, but I hope my real life situation may help you in your journey to have your real daughter back…



Hi Southernman,

I saw your question to Donna and our other leaders. :o)

I am in a relationship now and I am struggling. I have noticed that I am easily triggered by certain things. I am always looking for patterns that might emerge. If my boyfriend has a bad day, I wonder.. will this start happening every three days?… will he take his moods out on me?

I am hyper vigilant and perhaps unfair in my constant monitering. ONe thing I have done is that I don’t put him through every thought I have. If something nags at me for a long time, then I bring it up and talk about my triggers. So far, he’s patient but I think it would be too much for him if I treated him to my every doubt and worry. I processed my pain for three years before I attempted a relationship like this. And.. as an aside, this man is someone I dated 20 years ago.. an old friend. So there is some comfort there from knowing him.

Anyway, I do hope the anxiety does go all the way away at some point. But for now, I would put those distressing thoughts at about a 2-3 out of a 10. That’s a major improvement considering that about a year ago, I felt as if everywhere I looked there were predators and I felt very anxious.

I think the main thing is that we had to learn to love ourselves. I have made progress there and so I trust that I will take care of myself. That lowers the anxiety.

Sorry if my post doesn’t make much sense. I am tired.



Thanks, everyone is helping me understand the situation. I really appreciate it. This is really hard, because I feel like I lost my daughter on so many levels. I don’t have a relationship with her, I can’t talk with her and she doesn’t even seem like she is the same person I knew for so many years. Over all, I miss her alot and have cried almost every day for over three months. This seems to be the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. I think eventually, my daughter will “come out of the fog” and recognize the truth, but it could take 5,10, 15, 20 years. I questioned her about the things she told me about him over the last year, his stealing,lying,sexual abuse case at work, etc. She just seemed to trust him in everything and not have any doubts about him. Some of her friends questioned her about his character and how they had seen her change over the last year. She ignored their letters and pleas and chalked it up to “they don’t really know him”.

She told me on their first date, he was bragging about violence he did. I told her that was not good and googled “violent boyfriends” (this was over a year ago). I wish I would have found this site a year ago or known about S five years ago, so I could have talked about it and warned my children or other friends. I have never studied this before or known this was a serious problem. It seems like a whole subset of information that is valuable to know about and understand.

My son was there when he called her some names- some foul names. I couldn’t believe she would stand for that and not say something to stand up for herself. That was not the way she used to be. The S husband used degrading remarks and belittled my daughter on the phone to me and I stood up for her, that is the beginning of him turning against us (or it could be that we are “on to him”) Shortly after that, we got to see our daughter one time in July at our home. She wouldn’t talk with us, or look us in the eye. She just had this weird smile on her face and kept nodding and smiling at the S. (She looked like a battered woman to me) That night I told my husband, I was going to “get to the bottom of this. My search led me to this site and I am grateful, because I think this is helping alot to understand and learn about similar situations. I really appreciate all the above comments. They mean alot to me. Thanks for sharing…


Blondie I know what you mean.. I feel so cynical and ready to judge everybody, especially men. I am also so lonely I feel like I could die. I think I need to get involved in some social activities.. when I’ll find the time I just don’t know.


im so afraid to be in a relationship. even the nice guys scare me. any guy that is nice to me im scared of. i went on just a low casual date and he opend the door for me, and i ve never had that and its odd for me. maybe i just dont trust myself enough yet to judge people. or to pick a good guy. GOD i wish i never met the sociopath, i hate that i ever dated him.

BTW IM SOOO PISSED OFF THE MY CRAZY X STILL TELLS PEOPLE WE TALK ALL THE TIME AND THAT WE HANG OUT…i had to vent that here, bc i wont say anything to the x bc i know he wants a reaction from me and i wont give him that..god why does he do this?? its so lame. he makes up stories about my life, when my life has nothing to do with him. what a pathetic loser.


My ex husband is forcing my son to make up lies about me. These lies will falsely accuse me of abuse. My therapist has told me that my ex is a sociopath and has forewarned me that my ex is going to manipulate my my son as a weapoon to take me out. My ex is so manipulative that the Family Court Judge has signed an order where I will be held in contempt of court for getting help for my son that the E.R. doctor wanted done. I need help. My ex is mean and has no regard for mr or my son.


My counsellor has my ex pegged. There is no help from DHS, the cops, the courts. He is a master manipulator.


Thankyou for your thoughtful question. I’ll answer it in tomorrow’s blog article.


kat/blondie: i understand completely. they’ll say ANYTHING to anyone if it gets them something: even if it’s a stunned reaction.
i don’t want to even know what my ex is saying about me. all i know is that none of our mutual friends (that were his first) have called me AT ALL since he second i threw him out.
we all wish we never met them. before i knew my ex was a sociopath, i would occasionally say to him: i wish i never knew a person like you existed on this earth. he was shocked, but i told him i meant it. and i did
after his mom died, i just knew there was something SO abnormal and twisted about him.
intuition is a beautiful thing, if you follow it immediately!


Thank you Donna.. and I look forward to reading it and responding…. I hope to get some insight from your post and from the others here. My “issue” is multi layered, but I feel that it is not without a solution that would go along the lines of renewed thinking.

Aloha…thank you for your response…. I too have anxiety (something I never had before) when it comes to dating or inter-personal relationships…. My triggers are daily (sad to say).. but it’s not that I see a sociopath behind every bush, but I find myself over-analyzing everything, which produces worry and anxiety…..sigh…. will the drama in my life ever cease?????…. ha ha…….

More after I read Donna’s post tomorrow…….

thanks all…



Onajourney said: “we got to see our daughter one time in July at our home. She wouldn’t talk with us, or look us in the eye. She just had this weird smile on her face and kept nodding and smiling at the S. (She looked like a battered woman to me).”

The change you see in her is likely the result of abuse as you said, whether psychological abuse or a combo of psychological and physical. Remember when you said that you are in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing if they come to visit? This would also be your daughter’s fear–she is afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, and she has no idea what that wrong thing might be, so that is probably why she is just nodding and smiling at the S.

Although you don’t want to give the socio any ammunition to use against you, if you can figure out how to maintain contact with your daughter such as maybe thru the occasional card so that it is non threatening, IMO that would be good. When you phone, she is probably non communicative because he is there and she knows she is gonna hear a barrage of criticisms about you later from him, of even if he isn’t there she doesn’t want to open herself up to criticism about him or the relationship. You’re a threat to him, thus a threat to her because communication with you results in pain from him, if that makes sense. She also doesn’t need to hear any criticism or questionning from you about him or judgements about him or her own behavior. Believe me, she is getting plenty of criticism from him already, so she likely isn’t gonna want to be hearing more from anyone else.

But if you can maintain the contact, and be positive and encouraging to her about stuff unrelated to him, that could have a positive effect. There are lots of domestic abuse sites that have articles on how to be supportive without being judgemental and about letting the person know you are there for them, yet letting them maintain their own power of decisions over the relationship and whether to leave or when to leave. Also you might want to try calling some domestic abuse counselors and getting tips from them on ideas of how to maintain contact in a way that is not as likely to be perceived as threatening to her.

Ox Drover

Dear Jen,

Your advice is wonderful and I think makes more sense than anything else she could do. I appreciate your insight more than you can know.

Onajourney, (((hugs)))) and prayers for you, I know it is tough to feel “helpless” in such a situation.


mykidneedshelp.. this is a terrible situation. I do not even know where to begin to tell you to get help for this, since the judge has turned on you. You may get more help over time than in the near future, but in the meantime appear sane above all and call a lawyer immediately.. the best you can afford.


the bottom line is in order to communicate with an antisocial/narcissist, you HAVE to become like them. There is no exception to this rule. I will take it one step further…you have to become them. Look at the myth of narcissus and echo. Echo was with him because she echoed him. You want to know how to communicate with your daughters boyfriend? Echo him. If he tells you that you don’t tell your daughter you love her enough. Say the same thing back to him. If he yells. Yell back. If he tells you your lovely, say it back. You’ll never say the wrong thing! But you will also never say anything that you really feel. So you become his mirror. It is the ONLY way to survive in this relationship. It is what your daughter is doing. It makes you a shell, but it might be tolerable in small doses. Ot it might consume you. I am not sure. Your daughter sounds already consumed. It might be best to cut your losses and wait for her to get discarded, as every echo does.


I had become just like him and he didn’t like himself so he left, and maybe two lives were saved – I just knew he had to live his life somewhere else and I had to find out who I was – and why this happened to me..during the three year relationship I became so conditioned to taking the blame – for everything – I still feel guilty that I could not love him – as hard as I tried – I never did – I felt pity for him – and he used that to his advantage – I had strong feelings of emotional something for him – I still do – but it couldn’t of ever been love – and it wasn’t sex either – I remember a feeling of doom, that whatever happened we were doomed – I dont feel doomed now – but he doesnt feel anything – i really think he lives totally in the moment and wakes up everyday in a new world – he never was excited about anything – I asked him to come out and watch the sunset one evening – he brought his crossword puzzle book out with him – he never saw the sun go down..


just wondering if anyone saw oprahs show today? the guy who killed his whole family. he was a complete sociopath. he said he felt nothing inside. he didt feel emotions. he lied for 4 years about going to school and his family thought he was going to graduate from college but he never finshied freshmen year. more and more people are becoming aware of sociopaths. you really need to always be on the look out for red flags at all time with all people in your life.


I saw oprahs show today…his father forgave him..not sure if I could do that — but I think forgivness is something i will have to do at some point because I agree with the physcologist that was on her show – untill we forgive we remain bitter and full of toxin’s – i think forgiveness is going to take some time for me because he did what he did knowing what he was doing was wrong – and that is criminal – if he asked for forgiveness? yes I could – is he going to ask? you know the answer too that….


I didn’t see Oprah today:( But yesterday on Nancy Grace they actually called the girls mom a sociopath. They said the word “sociopath”. They said her mom is acting just like a sociopath would, and none of her actions are a surprise. She is a real nutcase! Nancy Grace just can’t believe how much she so obviously lies and the person who called her a sociopath said, it’s totally in line for a sociopath. I nearly jumped out of my shoes when I heard the word

From my own experience I’ve found that sometimes someone will join into a partnership with a S/P willfully and almost consciously. A normal corrupt person, who believes entitled to lie and cheat their way to success, still has a conscious. Sometimes they seem to think that a S/P could teach them the secret of guilt free corruption. Similarly a rigid narcissist (who has disowned their soul and emotions in favor of the consciously directed will) may feel a S/P could free them from the constant friction of their own soul calling them back to full humanity. Couples like these belong to the phenomenon of the “evil couple.”

I first became aware of that phrase some years back — probably in Scott Peck’s The People of the Lie (that’s my best guess without finding the specific quote). The book is about the rigidly narcissistic. He defines them as being “addicted to the will.” I would say the same thing differently, I’d say they believe their true self is their will and their mind and that they disown their own deep emotions as though their emotions were some kind of outside manipulation. For example an incest victim might, on a deep psychological level, decide that the only reason she feels shamed is because of her emotions and then attempt to split off from her soul and emotions as though they weren’t “of her,” becoming a rigid narcissist.

I don’t believe the above really speaks to the other comments, but I offer it as something worth keeping in mind.


Ox Drover

Hi, guys,

Been busy during the days lately and lost power tonight during a storm and just got back on internet when the power coming on woke me up at midnight.

I dont watch much TV at all so didn’t see Oprah, but had heard somet things bout the P that killed his, entire family and the father “forgave him.”

Forgiveness to me is in two forms as I said on the thread articles I sent in here, we have to get the BITTERNESS out of our own souls and hearts for what they did, that doesn’t mean though that we have to TRUST them, or be around them (for future injuries) and then we have to FORGIVE OURSELVES for allowing them to repeatedly abuse us–quit being bitter and angry at ourselves. I had the hardest part in forgiving myself I think. Cause I felt so incredibly STUPID.

I am rereading “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman. IT is one of those REFERENCE books that I KEEP and reread from time to time to refresh my thinking and help keep me ON TRACK. It talks a lot about many of the articles here on this blog and why we must work with our emotions AND OUR LOGIC and that we CAN take control.

The book also goes into some very interesting studies about how infants as young as 2-3 months are influenced by their mother’s reactions to them, and how personality and empathy are developed (or not developed as the case may be) and also about how we read “body language” and that 90% of our communication about emotions is PHYSICAL not verbal. How our training and culture influence how we show emotions under different circumstances.

One of the very interesting things in that book, too, is how experiments have shown that two people sitting in a room (in an experiment) will mirror each other’s moods even though nothing is SAID between them. Take on the mood of the other. When we are around the P’s most of the time they are either euphoric with glee if things are going well for them, or they are in a flipping RAGE if things aren’t. We allow their “moods” to effect us, so in a way we start to mirror their moods or respond to their moods rather than to the REALITY of the real world.

I think Pathwhisperer’s “evil couple” reference can be along this same lines too. One N or P dragging someone down with them into the bowels of N or P-ism (emotional hell), feeding on each other like two vampires with a mission to find a victim.

The forgiving though, for me, has been my “ticket to freedom” from the Ps, because as long as I was wrapped up in bitterness, I was not free from them, and as long as I was unforgiving of MYSELF for being so “stupid” I was also wrapped up in negativity. It is only since I have forgiven them (and I believe I truly have) and forgiven myself (I’m pretty close on that one) have I been able to again experience JOY!

My son D and I were talking today as we worked on a long over due project and during it we were both “worked out” and tired, and there had been some things I wanted hung in the house that needed two people to do and I had asked him to help me with it a couple of weeks ago and we somehow had never gotten around to doing it. He apologized and said “Ask me in the morning when I am not so stiff I can’t raise my arms above my head” and I laughed and said “Well, it’s been needing doing for a year and a half now, so what’s one more day or one more week?”

I realized then that I NO LONGER RUSH all the time, I no longer have this internal slave-driver beating me with an emotional stick to “hurry up and get it done”—I just for the first time in my life am “going with the flow.” Do what I can do and don’t worry about what didn’t get done. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I won’t get everything done in a day either.

We were gone from here for quite a while so there are a 100 little repair jobs that need to be done on the farm and have been neglected while we were gone, or after my husband died and we weren’t able to “get around to them.” SO WHAT! They will be here tomorrow and the next day. But JOY IS HERE TODAY in every thing I do now. No worry about yesterday, and no fretting about what I didn’t get accomplsihed today, no fear about what may come tomorrow, because I HAVE JOY NOW–TODAY—THIS MINUTE–THIS SECOND. I am P-FREE, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

I no longer have to “make an appointment with God” to pray, I pray continually. When I look out at how pretty the trees are I say “Thank you God for giving me such a wonderful world and such beauty” When I read a story on here of someone else’s pain, fear, etc. I don’t sit down at night and say “Now God bless Henry, and God Bless I wonder,” I pray as I write “I will keep you in my prayers”

Each day has something MAGICAL AND WONDERFUL in it for me to experience with JOY. Even on the days I do something really dumb and stumble and fall (fell flat on my face the other day, skinned my knee, elbow and NOSE LOL) But heck, “stuff happens” and I won’t let it make me lose my JOY.

Goleman talks about Optimism and hope in his book and says that all kinds of research has shown that having optimism and hope that we can take control of our lives is more important than anything else in helping us recover. Helping us to grow.

When we feel down and bad and hopeless our brains don’t even THINK RIGHT, we are less able to make good decisions, etc. I think that is one way LF helps us by raising our optimism and our HOPE for each other.

We have grown to know what a psychopath is and we can see them on the news at night and recognize them and we are also getting to where we can recognize the RED FLAGS in people we meet as well.


hi oxy looks like you are up late – i have never been a good sleeper. I enjoy reading your post about your days on the farm and the time you spend with your son. Thanks for sharing your thought and simple joys of life, it gives me hope that I will get back to that simple life – uncomplicated by mental agony lol – oxy I remember the first time I posted here, you were the first to respond – you said it would get better and it has – yes he is still my head but slowly getting less and less intense – I can think now and concentrate on what has to be done -I dont whine about him to my friends and family anymore -they are sick of it – I get lonely because I miss him not because I am alone – and yes I know I have issue’s still to work on that has nothing to do with mike but with my childhood – oxy i swept my childhood uner a rug for years and my mothewrs mental abuse – some of the things that happened in my childhood – well there was just no place to put them in my brain so I just avoided them – the past 3 years have been hell -with my mom and mike – and it just all caught up with me – but I have processed alot of things and realize they were not my fault – i was a victim – thank you oxy for helping me out of a dark place I have avoided for so long….


I did worry about this question as well as to what affect this will have on my children and I in the long term…

Until I learned about our core personalities did I really understand that most of us don’t really change. What I mean is that we are who we are. We can understand ourselves better learn to hinder those personality traits that hurt other and us but we will always be “who we are”. Because we see ourselves as “authentic” people we can then learn to accept and understand that which is really who we are and will always be.

Patricia Evans from her book “CONTROLLING PEOPLE”. Puts it best insomuch as she writes:

As we have seen, people have the ability to build their identify backwards, from an outside source, by accepting definitions of themselves that have not come from within, and by believing the pretender knew them better than they knew themselves. It is often very difficult to believe in oneself, especially when one is constantly told not to. But it is the ability and freedom to define oneself, and to see the other as pretending that protects one from negating his or her true self. (pg. 56)

When we build ourselves from within we in fact are authentic people. I don’t need things outside of my reality to define me..

You can take my money
You can take my car
You can take my house
You can take my job…

These thing don’t and never did define who I am…

That I am still that person I was before I had these things and will always be that same person after I lose these things….

Ox Drover

Thanks, Henry, I KNEW YOU WOULD GET BETTER, and I didn’t need a crystal ball to see that, I could see it in the shine on my iron skillet! LOL

Seriously though, being CONVINCED that we CAN get through it is 99% of the process. It is when we say to ourselves “I CAN’T…______” (fill in the blank) that we actually can’t.

That is why I am BOINKING you guys over the head so often, when you are negative and use the “I can’t..” words. They are POISON TO THE SOUL. Remember that book “The little Engine who could” that we used to read our kids? As he chugged up the tall steep mountain he kept chanting “I think I can I think I can I think I can.” until he DID IT.

We have to realize that our HOPE and our CONFIDENCE in ourselves are what bring us through. What JAMES WROTE from the book “Controlling Peoplle” is ABSOLUTELYright. We formed ourselves BACKWARDS so that the people (in our case the Ps) became our definiing character, without them we were nothing because WE LET THEM BE–we have to take back our POWER and our CONTROL over ourselves, our thoughts and our feelings and WE CAN. Feelings don’t ust wash over us out of the blue, we CAN CONTROL THEM, but we have to BELIEVE we can.

Last night when I was rereading “Emotional Intelligence” for the umpteenth time I came across a paragraph about how even a 3 month old infant will “quit trying” if the caregiver doesn’t respond to them, just GIVE UP. That baby is trying to define him/herself by how the mother reacts to them, and if they don’t get a reaction they quit trying. They give up hope and say “what’s the use, I can’t get a reaction anyway?” But we KNOW MORE THAN THAT BABY, we can make ourselves not give upo hope. We can encourage each other, and BOINK each other when we give up hope and confidence.

That’s why I kept BOINKING you and Kat, cause you would be so negative “I can’t, I can’t”

The more positive I am, the more I stop and appreciate things, the happier I am the happier I GET.

This morning I lookd out my window to the back of the house from my bedroom and the trees are all still thick and green so I cant see very far but there were some tiny light purple flowers on some weeds growing in the edge of the woods, just little spots of dim color but I thought, “How beautiful” here it is nearly time for frost and still there are wild flowers blooming…JUST FOR ME. Just to make my rainy morning better.

Henry I know that the P-experience can “bring out” the crap we went through as kids, but until we DEAL WITH that crap too instead of push it aside like we have done in the past and ‘PRETEND WE CAME FROM A NICE NORMAL FAMILY” and deal with it. DEAL with it, it will always rear its ugly head and we won’t be able to make headway in TRUE AND COMPLETE HEALING.

I think, Henry, that I am at age 61 healthier and happier than I have ever been in my life. Sure I still miss my husband, but it’s not “painful” missing, just sort of sentimental, and you know, I don’t miss the Ps any more. I don’t miss my mother. I realized that the other day, I don’t miss her AT ALL.

I no longer feel bitter at myself for being so “stupid” and I no longer even feel bitter at them. I realize, like the story of Joseph in the Bible when his brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt, he was bitter and angry at them but eventually, he realized, when he became the second most powerful man in the kingdom of Egypt that GOD HAD A PURPOSE IN HAVING HIM IN EGYPT for everyone’s benefit. He saved the whole family and the country fro starvation. But long before he was reunited with his family, he had Forgiven his brothers, but even though he had the bitterness out of his heart toward them, he TESTED THEM to see if they were the same nasty men who had sold him into slavery. He had forgiven them, gotten the bitterness out of his heart, but that didn’t mean he trusted them until he had seen that they had had a change of heart and had grown up.

I can look back now and see PURPOSE in my encounters with the psychopaths, and like Joseph I see that there was a lesson in there for me IF I WOULD LOOK FOR AND LEARN THE LESSON. I don’t believe that God looks for a psychopath and says “go attack Oxy and teach her a lesson” but when Satan does send his “P-angels” to attack us, and I DO believe that, then if we “get the lesson” we have become stronger and over come, and become better people than we were before.
Spiritually we “lift weights” in over coming problems just like a weight lifter goes to the gym and his muscles become stronger. People who have never had any “serious” problems just FALL APART when something comes along, so each time we face a problem and over come it, make a good decision, then we grow spiritually and emotionally STRONGER.

Just as a child learns about death from the losss of a pet frog or gold fish, then maybe a puppy or a kitten, then when grandma dies, they have something to relate that great loss to. From each thing in our life, each hurdle, we can learn valuable lessons and GROW. Keeping up our HOPE and our OPTIMISM is important, and, Henry, you keep- up your hope or ELSE–you know the drill. (Hugs)


This reminded me of my mother’s sister. My aunt became a psychopath under the influence of her husband. My mom didn’t know what was happening. One day she lent them some money, and a few months later, they were claiming it never happened. I was there at the house, a teenager, when they stole the papers from my mother’s dresser. As an adult, I had to tell them once in no uncertain terms to stop telling lies, I was there, and I saw everything.

My aunt was living in unreality, and all the time implying my mom was nuts.

My mother reconciled with her sister just before she died — and after my aunt’s death, I retired from my own sister’s fantasyland. There is no escape. . . . read on.

This past winter, that aunt’s daughter — my cousin — accused me of encouraging her husband to have an affair. Shame, shame, shame. She was “surprised at my morality.” Morality? I had one conversation with her husband that she spied on over the phone — I had actually called to speak with her, not him — she took my comments out of context. In order to defend myself I would have had to call her on her little morality play. And by the way, she’s stopped having sex with this man for five years. Is it OK that she holds him hostage? Is that a “moral” marriage?

I just can’t tell her that her own parents fooled around, and her father even made a pass at my mother, pretty much in front of me. I have to make nice, or I’ll perpetuate the one family argument that tore my family apart when I was a kid. Emotional blackmail, and she doesn’t even know she’s doing it.

I see this as a political problem, too. So easy to fall into a childlike, dreamlike state in such a harsh world. The feeling that Daddy President will take care of you, doesn’t need to explain anything reasonably, and isn’t accountable. To buy lies about a war we’re “winning” or being expected to respond favorably to condescending remarks that we’re “Joe Sixpacks” or small-town moms. Whose reality are we being forced to buy here, on threat of our civil liberties being cut off?

Insist on reality. Period.


Donna is right on the money, but there are a couple of things I might add.

The first occurred to me on my own, after an experience with a woman who is some crazy blend of narcissist/borderline/histrionic personality disorders (the textbooks and the DSM call this “co-morbidity”).

I found myself asking the question, “What is a reasonable person’s response to utterly unreasonable treatment?” Stop and think about that for a moment. When any one of us is pushed beyond our physical, emotional or spiritual limits, we might be persuaded to do almost anything in response. It’s a variation of the “fight-or-flight” response that we rely on to save our lives in some situations.

A sociopath often uses that same reactive tendency to control other people, and it works amazingly well! The antidote is to be self-contained and self-controlled, and many of us in the modern world simply don’t have experience or self-discipline enough to manage that. It’s sad.

It was important to me to understand that the sociopath’s methods are part and parcel of a world view, created and recreated and redefined over many years. Such a person cannot see a way to go forth in the world without manipulating people to serve their needs, and they will always find SOMEONE. If we know how to protect ourselves against this (sometimes subtle) abuse, perhaps the best we can do is assure that this someone will not be ourselves.

Secondly, I’ll share with you what a friend told me in the wake of my own experience with the woman I described above. He said, “Don’t let what she does change who you are.”

Isn’t that brilliant? For me, it was the perfect thing to hear at the time. I had been savagely manipulated, and these words helped me to resist further manipulation. Yes, a person in a close relationship with a sociopath will almost inevitably be corrupted. Real healing can only begin with complete and permanent separation.

It helps to understand the psychology of the sociopath, but I found it easy to obsess over that understanding so much that I failed for a while to get on with my own life. It’s a bit tricky to strike a balance with that, too, so I think it’s worth a mention. Get a clue, get away and get on with living your life. Easy to say, but sometimes very hard to accomplish.


You know, today I was feeling a little down thinking about my situation and all I lost and the misery I went through and wondering if and when I would truly get back on my feet. Then I read TDP’s post and I thought My God, I’m one of the lucky ones.

TDP, I have to say your post left me speechless, mouth hanging open. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for you, what all you have been through with all those psychopaths, and now trying to deal with your daughter. I do hope you are able to get her placed in that school in Utah. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I wish you the strength to take whatever action you need to take. Good luck.

Ox Drover


You sound like my identical twin sister, I am the daughter of a psychopath, the X GF of one, and the mother of one incarcerated for murder since age 20, his first prison sentence was at age 17.

You have my utmost sympathy and empathy and I also am a retired mental health professional who has worked with children like your daughter. I can’t even imagine how stressed you must be. I have seen children like you described your daughter in and out of institutions and medicated, only to continue their behavior as soon as they get home. My son didn’t start his until he hit adolescence and he was not ADHD as well. My other son was ADHD but is not a P. The ADHD Ps seem to show up earlier and be more scary as children than anything I have seen that walks on two legs.

I have 3 half sibs by my P-bio-father and only one of them is apparently a P. so he got 1 out of 4 P offspring, and my youngest bio son is definitely a P.

His most recent attempt at crime was to get one of his criminal P buddies to come and infiltrate our family by renting a home from me, then murdering me for cutting my P son out of my will, but by murdering me before my mother died, he would at least get some of a family trust. Didn’t work out, the P buddie that I call the “trojan horse psychopath” wasn’t able to get a chance to kill me, so he and my P-DIL of my other son, got together in an affair and robbed my mom and tried to kill her husband, but they went to prison for that one, so I am P-FREE now for the first time in my life.

Read Dr. Leedom’s articles and her web site for those that are parenting the “at risk” child, and good luck in placing your daughter in some form of facility. I know how painful it is to give up on a child at any age, but I also know that in order to preserve your other child and your own sanity, sometimes it is necessary to do what is necessary. ((((hugs)))) and I will keep you in my prayers.

Can victims become like the Sociopath?

Well I have to say that they are contagious – they want to replicate themselves and create the pain in you that they feel. They want you to hate yourself as much as they hate themselves — that is the only thing that makes them feel better.

They despise other humans because this is a projection of the hate they have for themselves. So instead of recognizing their self-hate, which is intolerable, they project that hatred onto others.

So, in my opinion yes, they will make their victims like them as long as the victim is with them.

I came out of a four year relationship with a Borderline Personality man who had tendencies toward Psychopathy.

I believe he has some good in him and some feelings of remorse for certain things and in certain situations. However, I feel this is a spectrum disorder rather than an all or nothing disease. People afflicted with personality disorders can swing within that spectrum depending on the situations happening and stress. They can’t tolerate rejection, losing, being treated unfairly or not being in control.

Depending on how far into the total psychopathy scale they are, the worse their behaviors.

Now, I have borderline personality disorder which is very close to sociopathy, and I was more sociopathic when I was around him. I was angrier and wanted to cause harm and it made me feel better, but I did feel remorse afterwards and still cry over it. But when I was in it… I dissociated and could only think about causing harm to them and others and, of course, eventually myself.

I having been studying about psychopathy and BPD for quite some time now and have come to understand that they are both diseases of the brain having been deveoped in such a way from infancy due to neglect, abuse and trauma.

When a baby is born, the brain is only partially developed. The limbic system and frontal lobe continue to make neurological connections after birth.

If the baby experiences love, nuturing and is responded to and stimulated properly, the connections between these two areas of the brain develop conscience and remorse and the ability to love. If the baby experiences trauma, neglect and is unloved these areas fail to deveop properly. The proper connections are not made between the rational frontal lobe and the more primal limbic system specifically the amygdala.

These areas are where emotions and fears and response to danger lie. If we are ruled by this area of the brain, then we are more animalisic in nature even when confronted with minor slights or even perceived danger real or unreal.

Most normal people think rationally when confronted with a difficult or stressful situation. The frontal lobe and the limbic area are in communication and are sort of working with eachother to assess the danger and make the right decision with respect to a response.

Here is where the disorders lie. Now, we call them disorders because they don’t lie within the normal spectrum of societal behavior. But remember, the infant was not raised in a normal family and therefore the brain develops the more primal side in order to survive. The infant is basically trained not to love, not to have a conscience and to respond with anger, rage, violence and not to feel guilty because to the BPD and the sociopath, there is a REAL danger of not surviving.

I like to think of it as a feral child raised by wolves or something. The brain does not develop the more higher functions such as self-care, language and so forth. The question is, if these connections and developments are not made in infancy due to trauma or perhaps fetal brain damage or abnormality, then can hey ever be developed?

I suppose it depends on the severity of the disorder. For example, I have BPD, but I am very high functioning and intelligent. However, when I am faced with rejection, fear of abandonment or if I feel my basic needs are threatened, I will fly into a rage and go into attack mode.

Now, here’s the kicker, the rational part of the brain sort of goes to sleep during this and the limbic area becomes overstimlated. So then, rational thought is put on hold, dissociation occurs and it does not matter what the objective reality is, all I know is I have to fight to survive. And fight I will.

Okay, so what does all this mean? It means that BPD is a sort of epilepsy according to new research. The primal limbic area goes into overdrive and part of the rational mind becomes unconscious. When it’s all over, the rational brain kicks back in and tries to make sense of what happened. Now a BPD will have remorse at this stage and a true sociopath will not because that portion of the neocortex has not developed at all or is severely underdeveloped. This is why the sociopath can do things and feel the other person deserved it. They are always in fight mode and “winning” to them means “survival.”

They have no remorse because they feel none is necessary since they had to do what they had to do in order to survive. Does a wolf have remorse for eating the rabbit? Do we show remorse for eating chickens etc? No we do what we have to do to survive and get our needs met. However, we also balance this with not harming others in the process. The sociopath does not care about harming, because his basic survival is all that matters.

Fortunately for me I did have some loving and caring during my infancy to I did develop okay, but I still have episodes of limbic system malfunction. I work every day with yoga, positive affirmations, lexapro (and maybe some tegratol in the future – and anti seizure medication to be used in times of stress), I see a pyschologist and a therapist.

I am trying to retrain my brain so as to not have borderline episodes as often or ever if I can.

The sociopath does not want to get better because this is his only way of survival. In his mind it’s either you or him. Getting better would mean death. Yes this is irrational to you and me, but that is because the sociopaths brain has not been fully developed to think rationally.

The only way to be healthy and get better is to be away from the sociopath and to work on yourself totally. It’s the only thing that works for me.

Now, that I am on the road to recover, I can look forward at least to helping others with my disorder — that is for the future though.

I have to first learn how to swim before I can help rescue someone who is drowning.


Ox Drover


I am glad tha tyou know you are NOT ALONE in this thing. A few months after my P son killed his girlfriend, who was also his criminal partner (she had decided to rat him out) and he was arrested for her murder the next day, I was finally persuaded by a friend of mine to go to work in a psych hospital for adolescents like your daughter (mostly) and it was a godsend for me, because I realized that I was not the ONLY mother in the world with a child who was a Psychopath.

That was over 20 years ago, and I have been repeatedly sucked back in by him, even when I knew better, but a couple of years ago when I saw him the last time, he was frustrated with me and let his “mask down” and I too SAW THE FACE OF SATAN looking out, the same look I had seen in my bio-father’s eyes, and in my Uncle Monster’s eyes, and the eyes of other children and adults who are Ps or “budding P’s” since we can’t call them that until they are 18.

I learned a lot about them, how they act, how they react, and how they think and behave, I just didn’t apply it to my P-son even though I KNEW…I allowed myself to get sucked back in. Partly because I was raised by a mother who was a TOXIC enabler of males in the family.

Since then I have gone NO CONTACT with her, though she lives very close to me (actually on the same farm) but now I have started to heal, learned to forgive myself and to forgive the others—but I will NEVER TRUST THEM AGAIN, but I have gotten the bitterness out of my heart. I won’t live in bitterness and anger the rest of my life.

I “handled” my P-son, who I am NO CONTACT with in a way that I can live with. My son “died” when he was 11 or 12, and the MAN who is is organ recipient is not my son. that man is a STRANGER, and EVIL stranger, but my son that I loved and still love, that young child, is DEAD, and I have buried him, mourned for him, and come to acceptance that he is GONE just as my late husband is gone. Not coming back. I can live with that. I just can’t live if I continue to have contact with the MAN who got my son’s organs.

I have one other biological son and an adopted son, the former 39 this week, and the latter 31. I am very proud of both of these men and they too are NC with my P-son.

I’m starting to live again, and live better than I did I think in the prior 60 years of my life. I’m happy, and doing well physically mentally and spiritually. Enjoying the NOW and each day’s blessings.

I will keep you and your daughter in my prayers. You are so young to be dealing with such anxiety and trauma, and you seem to be coping “as well as can be expected”—God bless you. There is light on the other side of this. Your baby needs you too, and I’ve been in that “tight spot” between two children that each need things and you can’t do BOTH. Sometimes I felt like I was in a river trying to swim and save myself and save both my children too and I couldn’t save both of them and myself–how to choose. It was horrible. But life is better now. I sincerely believe that God led me by the hand through this “valley of the shadow of death” to “green pastures.” Peace.


I really enjoyed reading your post and all of your insight into BPD and sociopathy. I have studied personality disorders for many years, and I’m especially interested in healing from an energy perspective (where energy gets blocked in the body for the different character disorders). I myself was diagnosed as a BPD many years ago. Though I feel the label did me more harm than good, I have spent many years working with different modalities to heal these tendencies in myself. I truly feel like the worst of it is past and I’m a different person now than I was 20 years ago when I was in my “dark night of the soul” as I call it. However, I still battle with abandonment issues and depression (especially over this recent P). But I’m a much stronger and more grounded person than I used to be. My life has been relatively stable for many years. What a long haul to get to get here! And it’s an ongoing process, as I’m still working with healers. I no longer identify with the BPD label for myself. If I am, I’m a pretty high functioning one at least.

Whereas the borderline uses the defense of “splitting” (good person/bad person), the sociopath is in complete denial of feelings. The problem with being in denial is that you don’t know there is anything wrong with you. At least BPD’s have an idea that something’s wrong.

Ox Drover

Dear Tdprocessing,

My first “view” of anything besides a “perfect” child was at age 11 when he stole something and when confronted with the evidence DENIED DENIED DENIED, then ran away from home. I had to turn out the entire county to find him and we did. I paddled his butt for running away and for the lying (not the stealing but the lying and the running away) He looked me square in the eye and said “You can’t watch me 24 hours a day I will do it again and YOU CAN’T STOP ME.” Sheesh, he was RIGHT! I knew it.

I ended up taking him out of public school and putting him in private school and my step father had retired at that time so I sent my son to live with him (my mom was traveling for work at that time M-F) where he would be watched, drive to school by a neighbor of theirs who was a teacher there, etc. and it seemed like ALL WAS WELL, until he hit puberty then he went frrom Jekyl to Hyde in one summer. 180 degree turn around, and I had NO CONTROL over him.

I was supervisor of a hospital on the night shift, so I ended up taking him to work with me every night and putting him to bed in an unused wing of the hospital where he could be LOCKED IN. I dropped him off at school on the way home from work. Still I couldn’t control him. My mother took him in when he started getting into trouble with the law and roaming the streets at night on my night’s off while I was asleep, AGAINST MY WILL BTW, and she kept him a year or so, and then I unwisely let him come home. I had remarried in the meantime. The reason he wanted to come home was that the law was about to get him in the little town where my mother lived.

But even with my husband to help me, there was no controlling him and within a year he had commited several crimes of various magnitudes. Just before his 18th birthday I caught him with $100K worth of computers he had stolen from the business of some friends of ours (shut down their business, cost them no telling how much) and I turned him into the police. He still bears me a grudge for that one.

He has been in and out (mostly in) jail or prison since 1988. I think I totaled up the months he has been out since then and it is about 12, in three different times he has been out. He is in for “life” now for murder, cold blooded, premeditated that he did in anuary 1991. He came up for parole once and got a 4 yr set off, he comes back up in Jan 2011. I will be there at his hearing to beg the parole board to NEVER LET HIM OUT. I also have a copy of a letter he wrote BRAGGING ABOUT HOW VISCIOUS HIS CRIIME WAS, “Worse than the cops even knew.”

He is a pretty good con, and can quote the Bible and every philosopher you ever heard of. He has an IQ in the 99.9th percentile, has been in every gifted and talented program every school he went to had to offer. Had a full ride scholarship to any college he wanted to go to. Could have been anything he wanted to be, but he chose to be a convict, didn’t even finish high school, got arrested a couple of months before graduation. He never met my father but he is so much like him in actions, phrases, personality and IQ that is is freaky.

He was one of the brightest and best of the little kids I have ever been around and I thoroughly enjoyed being his parent until the “morphed” into Satan himself. I kept hoping there was some magic phrase I could find that would show him what he was throwing away. I wanted SO BADLY to “save” him from himself that I threw away what I KNEW WAS RIGHT, for what I KNEW WAS WRONG.

I wish you luck with placing your daughter in a program that might save her. I also know the heartache that a parent who has a “defective” child who is otherwise bright and capable. I hate to use that word “defective,” but I don’t know what other word would apply. They have a missing cog, or a gear out of sync some way. I would have preferred a child who had no legs or whose body was bent and broken to a child who had no soul.

I fondly remember that freckled faced little boy that gave me so much joy and for whom I had so much hope. He was absolutely the greatest little kid I have evern known. Loved by everyone who knew him, wanting so much to please and do well.

God bless.


I just read your earlier post, and it brought tears to my eyes. I recognized some of your story, as my P stepfather also treated my sister and me like slaves, making us constantly work. He also took any money I tried to save. My life was really the Cinderella story (only I still haven’t met my prince yet). My heart goes out to you for all you have dealt with and all you are still dealing with, as it sounds much darker than my early life.

What happens when you find out you have a child who is a P? What can you do, if the child is still a minor?


WOW!!!I believe I could have written this story! My daughter did the exact same thing to her father and me. Dr. Leedom is so right. You have to live your life and let the relationship with your daughter go. She will come back…when? No one knows, but she’ll be back. Our daughter did the same thing. Her psychopath husband spent time in prison for conspiracy and we slowly were able to begin talking again while he was gone. She found out she was pregnant just weeks after he left and once she had the baby (he was still in prison), she realized that this wasn’t the life for her. But, it still took being physically away from the P. They are now getting a divorce and he is playing all of the mind set games. He took ALL of her money that she had inherited, has taken her personal belongings and won’t give them back, etc, etc. But, we’ve got her and our beautiful grandchild back. I might add that he is furious that she would leave him. I feel that he will probably try to prolong everything simply because he didn’t leave her, and “how dare she do that to me!”
Dr. Leedom gave me this advice that she is giving the mother in this post and she is dead on target. Please try to understand that not all things work in our time. Pray like there’s no tomorrow and things do come in God’s time.


Well I never acted like my sociopath ex girlfriend, but I am glad to know more about why my sociopath does what she does: to try and control myself and others, to smear my name and other victims using the internet and other forms of harassment,etc. The craziest thing is she harasses my friends and family online as well as people she has never met before. What a sick and awful human being. I can only hope that one day Karma will come back around and give her a dose of her own medicine. Thanks for a great informative article.


Normally I avoid giving personal advice. However, you need to drop your P law mentor. You can not play games with these people. He will find a way to F you over and laugh while staring into your eyes. I am sure he already knows that you recognize him for a P. You don’t need him – who really has mentors in this world anyway? Get far, far away. Nonviolent, passing P’s are my subject, please take my advice.

Also having had a P parent you are almost certainly vulnerable to P’s in ways that you have no knowledge of. Your mentor will sense it though. Somewhere in your psyche you probably still think you can find a P who will choose you over their own psychopathicness, who will take care of you the way your mother never did. This is a delusion. It will not happen. Drop him.

Concerning your tragic daughter, your fears sound very real. I have seen extreme P children respond to male authority, but you don’t have a father figure in the house. She may very well kill your new baby. P’s respond only to superior power. If I were you I would tell her the IEP meetings are to consider putting her away for the death of your dog and birds. If she says you have not proof, slap her. You have to make her fear you. If you can’t do this, then I’m afraid worse lies ahead. Only the fear of consequences (which doesn’t come easily to P’s) could possibly keep her in line.

Good luck. Thank you for sharing your story, there is nothing like the voice of authenticity.


Sharondenson thanks for your post. It seems like you understand from the “mother point of view”. Everyday, I keep saying to myself, “I can’t believe this could happen!” We had a good, loving relationship with our daughter. I can’t believe it changed so drastically! Right now it doesn’t seem possible to unravel all the lies and get to a place where we would have a relationship again. I want to believe you that it will happen again in God’s time and to pray for that to happen. I appreciate Dr. Liane Leedom’s advice and all these posts. It means alot to me that there are so many kind and helpful people when you are in a situation like this.

Ox Drover

Dear Pathwhisperer,

I agree with your advice to TDP about getting away from her mentor that is a P. It is playing with fire in my opinion.

As for slapping the little girl….I used spanking with my kids rarely and only for more “attitudinal” problems (like lying) than anything else. However, with my P-son, spanking or any other kind of punishment made him worse, not better. He became more determined to “get even.”

It seems to be something where he MUST “best”me and never let me get “one up on him”–no matter how long ago the time I “trumped his ace” he has to “get back at me” for it. He is willing to scheme and plan for YEARS to come up with a revenge toward me. There is no telling how many years he plotted and planned this last attack (having me killed by one of his friends) just the execution of the plan took at least two years that I know of, maybe longer.

Quite frankly I would not be able to sleep in the same house with that little girl, I would be afraid she would burn the house down on my head during the night. I have known children (in inpatient settings) who DID JUST THAT because their parents punished them for vandalizm etc. These children are quite dangerous because they have NO bonding to other humans, but they DO have plenty of capacity for horrible revenge.

Ox Drover


One of the things I did with my kids when they started into the difficult years and felt “entitled”–the P was just starting, but I didn’t realize yet what he was—was I told them. “Look boys, the state says I have to feed you—Oatmeal is food—they say I must dress you—2 sets of clothes one to wash and o ne to wear from the Salvation army is “clothing”—and I have to house you and give you a place to sleep, a pillow and a blanket to sleep on the floor is “housing” I want you to know if you behave in a manner that is unacceptable, I will do for you ONLY WHAT THE STATE MAKES ME DO, everything else you get or get to do is GRAVY, so keep that in mind when you think you are about to misbehave.

I realize she will rebel but you might try taking EVERYTHING away from her completely and make her earn it back.

Once I toldl my kids to clean their room (it was a sty) and they kept saying okay and not doing it so I told them that if they did not do it I WOULD DO IT.

After the 3rd for 4th day, I DID CLEAN IT. Everything that was on the floor or shoved under the bed with the “pizza bones” etc. I took outside and made a pile at the top of the driveway. They had to get off the school bus at the foot of the steep drive. I soaked it with lighter fluid and just as they got off the bus and saw the pile, I set it afire. They ran up the hill but by the time they got there it was a blaze and they could save nothing. They were saying “What did you do?!!!” I smiled and said “I told you if you didn’t clean your room, that I would do it for you. It is really clean guys, you can thank me later.”

From then on my kids cleaned their room without ever being told to do so again. To this day my “good” son is an excellent house keeper and very neat. He can sew, wash clothes appropriately, wash dishes, cook, and do as good a job as any professional house keeper.

I am NOT “nasty neat” by any means but I keep a reasonably nice house and am generally not ashamed to have some one come over when my house is not spick and span. Sometimes you can write you name in the dust on my furniture (but I do ask that you not write the DATE! LOL) But my kids always kenw that there were consequences to their actions and that I loved them and wanted them to have nice things even if we were poor during a chunk of their growing up days.

I never “threatened” and didn’t carry through with a “promise” and they knew that I was consistent. Didn’t have but the one problem with the theft and running away of the P son at age 11, but til he went Mr. Hyde on me after puberty, then it was an all out war. The ADHD son was a challenge to raise when he was little (always in motion) but emotionally he was a loving child and one I was always close to until he married th P DIL and she alienated him from the family.

So, anyway, my suggestion is to take EVERYTHING away from her and make sure that she knows she CAN EARN IT BACK. But if she destroys something (even if she denies it but you know she did it—) CONSEQUENCES— which no amount of acting out will change. You also might if you have room in your house have a “quiet room” where you put her for an hour—it must have a light in it that she can’t reach to hurt herself with, and an unbreakable window so you can look in on her but absolutely nothing in the room. Bare floor and bare walls. Preferably ones that she cannot damage. That is used quiet successfully in inpatient treatment when nothing else works. It is the equivalent of “solitary confinement” with inmates and at her age I would limit it to one hour max. Talk to her therapist aboutit. You might have to construct such a place inside a room in your house. Make sure you talk to the therapist about the legality of it so you are not accused of abuse by using such methods. As long as she is in your house I think you have to find some way to get control of her.

Good luck. I hope I am not sounding like some DRill sargent from the marines, but I don’t know how else to think with children like these and to protect yourself from their revenge. You are in my prayers. Both you and her.


Wow, all I can say is that my heart goes out to all of you through this time. Just know that “THIS,TOO, SHALL PASS.” So no matter what is going on right now, eventually it will all be the past. I am so thankful for CHANGE…

Ox Drover

Dear TDPP,

I think at this point that I would take her and hospitalize her in a juvenile facility ASAP. ANY facility to get her out of your house for right now so that you can have some respite.

She is a “CLEAR DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS” with her behavior and that is the only thing that you need to get her admitted. You ought to be able to have her there for several months at least if you have any insurance at all. That will give you time to get your head on straight and to work on your relationship with your husband. YOU AND HE DESERVE THAT CHANCE and your other child deserves a chance to grow up with both parents.

She is consuming your life, your soul, your marriage, your other child. YOU need to take care of yourself. Without some care for YOURSELF how can you help her? Or your other child or your marriage?

Rather than try taking things away NOW, see if you can get her in an inpatient setting just for some time for YOU, while you work on your marriage, get a night’s sleep and see about getting her into the other facility.

Hang in there–I didn’t watch the UTUBE thing, I don’t even want to “see” it, I lived it, I know it already and just watching it just makes me sick to my stomach–lliterally. There is a thread on here about a man who kept his daughter locked in a basement tunnel for 19 years and sired 6 or 7 kids by her before she was found, and I was so mad and upset for a week I ground my teeth at night. Not that I am trying to bury my head in the sand, I know the level of evil in this world, but lately I’ve seen enough of it up close and personal, I just need to stay in a calm and peaceful place.

That was one reason I retired after my husband was killed in an accident, the stress of his death left me with PTSD, my step dad died six months later of cancer (I was his caregiver) and then the crap started with my P son trying to hve me killed. So it has been a tough 4 1/2 years. It is only the last three weeks that I have been able to move back into my own home. I fled it June 1, last year, moved back to here on the farm in my RV Christmas week last year, but didn’t for some reason feel safe enough to move back into my house.

I’m back in my house now and comfortable, feeling secure in my “sanctuary”—-I read a phrase somewhere (no short term memory=CRS) about “sanctuary trauma” and it really struck a cord with me as the entire farm had almost a “black cloud” of evil and unsafeness over it for so long, now the cloud is gone, and it is peaceful again, and a secure sanctuary.

I stay on my end of the farm, though, and don’t go close to my mother’s house unless absolutely necessary. Unless I go out in the pasture a quarter of a mile I actually can’t see her house. I’m totally no contact with her, I send my son to get any business papers or take any to her. I don’t answer her calls, just listen to a voice mail.

LIfe is good now. Calm, peaceful and I’m content and feel safe. I’m still working on my new attitude becoming a habit, becoming the “real me”—it takes practice when you’ve done it wrong your entire life prior to this.

Peace and contentment to you all.


OXD, thank you — a word of personal experience is worth pages of theory. I was going by fathers of P’s I have known, but there was the whole godlike father figure issue at play also. Yeah, TDP, one more thing, don’t follow bad advice.

It’s just the description of your daughter killing your dog and pet birds (why do you say “mysteriously dead” birds, you know she killed them, yes?) is horrible. From your description it’s seems that a calculus is taking place in your daughter’s head and it’s not leading any where good. She has to see that her actions can have very undesirable consequences for herself.

P’s of course aren’t demons. “There is . . . a core of the emotionally/morally colorblind . . . [that] . . . Robert Hare, author of Without Conscience, terms ’intraspecies predators.’ ”


I was referring to my own bad advice. But you already knew corporeal punishment didn’t work, and Oxd backed that up also. I do stand by my advice on your P mentor (POS mentor is more like it) though. It sounds like he thinks he can pull you over to the dark side.

Dr. Hare of course deals mostly with failed or unsuccessful sociopaths who can’t make it in society. So that might slant his view. Would he recognize a sociopath working on his own staff — I don’t know. His 1% estimate for the general population seems to me extremely low. In my own blog I try to flag current news stories and crimes that have that “sociopathic flavor” to spread the word of that possibility. However it’s hard to give it enough time. Thank goodness for the internet, there’s a lot of material available now. So knowledge of s/p’s is spreading.

I hope you filed police or other official reports of the animal killings (even if filed as “mysterious deaths”). I assume you have – you definitely need a record for the future. Your baby is literally an infant, right, too young to live with her father? I don’t know anything about your marriage, but you need both to keep you and your other child safe from your P daughter and you need to make sure that your P daughter doesn’t control your life (which she clearly does now, from your description).

Ox Drover

Dear TDPP,

I have thought about you much today and prayed for you and your family.

Yes, I agree that your first priority should be protecting your toddler. My mother’s brother was a P, I call him “UNcle Monster” and from day one he tried to kill her (he was 7 when she was born) Their mother was an ENABLER and kept his abuse of his sister secret until my grandfther found out about it and PUT A STOP TO IT when he was 14 and my mother 7.

My mother, as an abused child, and the example of her mother’s enabling protection of her brother, made her a TOXIC enabler, which she is to this day. I call her a Psychopath-by-proxy as she enables my P son, even after he tried to have me killed and SHE KNOWS THAT. I have gone NC with her as a result. (and I am her only child)

I agree with Path that you cannot continue to let her CONTROL YOUR LIFE, your every waking moment, and ruin your marriage which might have a chance if she were out of the picture in an inpatient facility, which with good insurance you can get her into due to her DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS. It is ultimately your decision, but I can speak for myself, I GAVE UP A GOOD MANY YEARS OF MY LIFE for my P-son, and in retrospect, I should not have done so. I would not do it again. To give up a good man and a marriage for a child (as in this case) that is out of control I would think would be a “high price” to pay, considering that you have another child that needs two parents as well. I know you love your daughter, I loved my son, but you can only do and only take so much. I pray earnestly for your situation and your sanity and peace. I know that whatever road you take it will be a difficult one, but I trust that if God takes me to a cliff and says “Jump” he will either teach me to fly or catch me in his hands. He will not put more on us than we can handle, but he may but ALL we can handle, but never MORE. Peace (((hugs))))

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