Recovery from a sociopath

Sociopaths and their smear campaigns

Lovefraud received the following letter from a woman who was married to a sociopath for 16 years.

I was a stay-at-home mom until my son entered kindergarten, then I got a job. This was the end of any peace I would have for 10 years. The worst possible thing happened to my husband—the woman he could make fun of for being stupid or having no goals (whatever he would say to hurt my self-esteem) became a huge success. In fact, I made three times as much as Mr. Wonderful. The abuse escalated. He was so obsessed with destroying me that even on a business trip where I was getting an award for being the top sales rep in my company, he was pulling my boss aside and insinuating I was committing fraud and that was why I was #1.

Telling our stories of being targeted by sociopaths

Sociopaths have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. They purposely drain the life out of people and then throw them away. Despite their charming and charismatic veneer, they are evil to the core.

In my opinion, the people who truly understand this personality disorder are those who felt the full brunt of sociopathic deceit, and then woke up to the truth.

We, the former targets, remember the promises of love and luxury, and how it all seemed so possible. We remember the confusion—how reality didn’t match the promises, and the excuses that explained away the discrepancies. We remember attempting to express misgivings, only to be told we were crazy.

When I fear the past, the psychopath haunts me

Every Saturday morning I take my golden retriever, Sadie, for a walk at a park on the edge of the city. It is a quiet time, a time for reflection, for musing, for dreaming. This morning the world was blanketed in a white veil of fog. There was no city view, no vistas of the grandeur of the jagged ridge of the Rockies marching along the western skyline. Sound was softened by the denseness of the air around me and my vision was limited by the marshmallow-like mist of the world surrounding me. It was a magical grey on white landscape of misty hills rolling into nothingness dotted by the stark relief of naked trees holding their ground against the fog swirling around their frost laden branches.

When the trigger is pulled

Editor’s note: This post was written by M.L. Gallagher, who was romantically involved with, and almost destroyed by, a sociopath. She has written a book about her experience called, The Dandelion Spirit: A True Life Fairytale of Love, Lies and Letting Go. Lovefraud recommends the book for anyone who is trying to understand how sociopaths manipulate their victims. M.L. Gallagher will be posting regularly to Lovefraud.

Jack and I have been friends since high school. Last fall when his marriage of twenty-two years dissolved, he arrived on my doorstep, emotionally drained, bruised and fragile. As he tried to make sense of what had happened to his life, our friendship deepened.

Fear and loathing when the sociopath returns

In August Lovefraud posted a story called One woman’s experience of romantic manipulation. The information was submitted by “Survivor,” who had been targeted by someone whom she believes is a sociopath, and lists her observations of behaviors that, in hindsight, indicated how she was being manipulated.

Survivor wrote to Lovefraud recently—the guy was back. Survivor had finally taken a step to be social again, joining a singles group. The guy found out and joined as well. I told her that No Contact is the best policy, and she might want to drop out of the group.

To confront—or not

Pop psychology doesn’t work with sociopaths

I remember the first time I had proof that my ex-husband, James Montgomery, was cheating on me.

Montgomery had talked me into giving him a credit card to use. He charged things on the card, and I paid the bills (a good deal for him). One time the bill came and it listed a charge for the Berlin Motor Lodge.

This is not Berlin, Germany. There’s a small town called Berlin not far from where I live in New Jersey. It isn’t much more than a blip on the highway.

How do you help someone snared by a sociopath?

Lovefraud recently heard from a woman who was concerned for her daughter. Here is her e-mail:

Currently, our daughter is married to a sociopath. He has taken us (her parents) for thousands and thousands of dollars, then turned her against us. These people victimize people and are somehow able to make themselves look like the victim. They have 2 small children.

How sociopaths are diagnosed

Sociopaths are difficult to identify—in part because they all behave differently, and some are worse than others.

There are sociopaths who hold a job, get married, attend church—yet emotionally abuse their families, cheat on their spouses, manipulate their coworkers, steal from their employers, and never get caught. There are sociopaths who never work, torture animals, con their relatives and commit cold-blooded murder—and end up in jail. And there are plenty of sociopaths in between.

The point is that sociopaths exhibit a wide range of behaviors. So it is not just the behavior that defines the sociopath—it is the personality traits as well.

He or she is a sociopath–now what?

Before you figure out that you’re involved with a sociopath, your dominant state of mind in the relationship is confusion.

There are times when he (or she) is the most charming person on Earth. But he has been lying to you for so long that you don’t know what is true and what is false. One day he says the two of you are soul mates, the next day he beats you. You’re walking around on eggshells, never sure when a minor issue will send him into a rage.

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