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By | May 23, 2008 70 Comments

Do psychopaths/sociopaths make choices?

Hopefully, many of you read this blog because you want to know how a trained psychiatrist deals with the issues you also face. I am not glad to be eternally tied to a psychopath, but since I am, you and I share the same challenges. We can reflect on these challenges together and we will all be better and stronger.

This week I received an email from one of my ex-husband’s family members, so I will put off the planned discussion of psychopathic anxiety to address the issues raised by the email. The email points to the trivializing of the sociopath’s/psychopath’s behavior that family members often do. This week give some thought as to how you will deal with others who trivialize a sociopath’s/psychopath’s behavior or perhaps your own tendency to “excuse” what he/she does.

In case you missed this, my ex-husband is in prison and is a sex offender. Regarding the events which led to the prison sentence, one of his blood relatives just wrote me, “but I don’t agree with all of his choices and in all fairness I do understand your disgust with ________’s actions.”

I want to ask all of you to consider this question: Do sociopaths/psychopaths make choices? If they do what does it mean when we say we “disagree” with their choices? What is the difference between disagreeing with their choices vs. being “disgusted” by them?

Last night at La Salsa, my favorite restaurant I made a choice. I chose to have fish tacos and some chips. I chose the fish tacos because I really like them. If I didn’t like fish tacos I wouldn’t choose them. I have to also confess, that I ate a small amount of ice cream when I got home, even though I am counting calories. I also really like ice cream.

My food choices were indeed choices, but notice that you learn about me from my choices. In regards to the ice cream, you learn that my impulse control regarding food is only fair in that I ate the ice cream even though I am making an effort to reduce the amount of fat I eat. If you have met me, you know that I am not particularly overweight so you probably wouldn’t hold my ice cream consumption against me.

What we learn from my eating behavior is that all choices reflect the chooser and his/her circumstances. I ate the fish tacos because I went to La Salsa. I ate the ice cream because it was in my freezer. If I hadn’t gone to La Salsa or had ice cream in the freezer, I would have eaten differently.

That gets me to sociopaths/psychopaths. These individuals do not just make “choices.” They, with malice and forethought set up situations where they will be able to gratify their deviant impulses. My former husband sought me out so he would have access to victims in addition to me. The choices he made started with his looking for his next victim on the internet. That victim turned out to be me. This situation is analogous to my eating the ice cream last night, because although I am trying to eat healthier, I did buy the ice cream and put it in the freezer myself. I would have eaten 250 less calories last night if I didn’t buy the ice cream in the first place.

It is clear that a person’s pattern of choices reflects that person’s drives and impulse control. Most sociopaths/psychopaths have a clear pattern of “choices” that show clearly what and who they really are. During psychiatry residency I was taught that the best predictor of what a person will do in the future is what that person has done in the past. This is because the past is a reflection of who that person is.
If choices are a reflection of our person and our drives are we without choice in the end? The beauty of it is that we do have choices because as humans we have some capacity to set up our environments and to modify our drives. If it was really necessary for me to avoid ice cream, I simply would stop buying it in the first place. I can also work on liking fruit or some other healthier alternative. As a human I can change what I like, what I want and ultimately what I do.

On the other hand, if you really understand the connection between what a sociopath/psychopath chooses and what he/she IS you will move from disagreeing with the choices to being disgusted by the person. Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines disgust as:

1. to provoke to loathing, repugnance, or aversion : be offensive to
2. to cause (one) to lose an interest or intention

Notice that seeing the connection between choices, behavior and the nature of a psychopath, provokes loathing, repugnance, aversion and loss of interest in the person. I have stated before that I believe the people who are “fascinated” by psychopaths do not understand them. Understanding psychopaths breeds contempt not fascination.

The other difference between disagreeing with what a psychopath does and being disgusted, is that disagreeing is an intellectual exercise, while disgust is an emotion. If you are disgusted by psychopaths, that emotion means you comprehend WHAT THEY ARE with your entire being.

Can sociopaths/psychopaths get help or ever make different choices?

The problem with psychopaths is that they are so grandiose that they never examine their own behavior, nor do they ever seek to modify their choices. The choices they make are a deep reflection of their pathology. That pathology includes a lack of desire to be anything other than what they are. But why don’t sociopaths/psychopaths desire to change? The answer is that they enjoy their choices too much. They also do not have insight enough to comprehend that their drives are deviant. They think everyone else is as they are, only weaker.

The other problem is that drives are triggered by the things that remind us of our pleasures. Since people trigger the sociopath’s/psychopath’s deviant drives for sex and power, in order to begin to be different they would have to stay away from other people. Since sociopaths/psychopaths don’t want to be alone, they can never take the steps required for change. They will therefore never be anything other than what they are- dangerous to everyone.


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eyeswideshut

Well put Dr. Leedom.

My ex-P always said with great dignity and and seriousness to me and our children, when an issue of self esteem, or other moral choices were being discussed at home ” First you have to love yourself”…

Well during our breakup he rephrased it to more accurately reflect his meaning ” The way I work is I come first”

BIG difference.

So to me that is the one and only over riding choice that P’s make. They choose their needs, desires, etc. over everyone else, consequences be damned.

What I would like to hear more about is the deeply self destructive tendencies underlying this behavior. My ex has been spiralling into an ever deeper quagmire of debt, deceit and destruction that is breathtaking. Committing fraudulent acts with CLEAR paper trails that can only lead to ruin. His over riding sense of entitlement, correctly identified recently by one of our lawyers, is what to his mind justifies ANY action he takes, legal or not.

I wish, years ago I had been more attentive when clients sent a live Pirhana to him at his office. I took it as a joke, and admired his hard nosed, winner take all business acumen. At home, after all, he was a real softie.

Do they make choices, yes. But in my experience with only one benficiary, and even that is doubtful. They end up much like that famous story of the monkey trapped by his own greed.
He dies of hunger because he won’t let go of the peanut in the jar, his fisted hand being to big to escape the neck of the jar.

“Out of my cold dead hands”.. comes to mind. What is bracing, is how much this culture of winner take all, me first, greed is good mentality, even the glorification of this behavior permeates our daily lives. Men especially are taught to think this way. Me first.

TrishNJ

So they are driven to hurt other people for their own pleasure…..whether it be sexual, power…or that euphoric rush they get….and to hell with everyone in their way of it….maybe there should be a drug developed to take away their sexual drive…power drive and euphoric rush and when they get caught and plead guilty to their crime…the drug is administered….just a thought!!!

I would like to see that the legal system takes all of this into account and that the perpertrator has to do serious therapy…..if there is a thread of hope that would bring about a change…..maybe some behavioral modification….It’s almost like you have to teach them the boundaries they never learned as children…..

The con-artist who hurt me and my family…told me a little about his childhood….his father died when he was 9-years-old…his mother raised him and he went to work early in life….He didn’t talk alot aobut his mother which led me to believe he didn’t love her much….myself, the x-fiance of 11 1/2 yrs. and the current fiance are single mothers with children….No problem making our lives difficult to say the least….and what is shaving all your manly bodyhair off about?

I want to say that I believe he had the tools to hypnotise and control your mind….and that is a very difficult thing to break….you have to tell yourself when you feel it might be happening that you are in control and you have to get to your core beliefs and break the control…..and if anyone out there is feeling this…I urge you to get into therapy without the P’s knowledge….and break the cycle!

I want to believe that there is a thread of hope for these people….but to believe that would feed them…so I just give it to God!!! Maybe they need to be taught a tough lesson! I believe our legal system has to know more about these people and be tougher on them!

The P thought he was going to get away without paying back his restitution to me and my family….he did not and I thank Judge Batten….He came through….he is a good and honorable judge and he saw through the P. He violated his probation and next month he is being sentenced again. My P tried to make himself look like the good guy taking care of a single mom with a 7-year-old son.

I feel for her….but just as the judge said….he has a prior obligation….He stole from us and left us homeless…..and my daughter is taking student loans…which will exceed $60,000….for her undergraduate degree in Music…..

I haven’t been able to save money yet because I am still paying off attorneys….It will take 2 more years…..I know I am stronger….as every day goes by, I build my life back….it’s like taking baby steps….

LovingAnnie

“you learn about me from my choices”

So true – and eye opening !!!

When I focused like that, I realized who my cop was. His choices were to lie, to manipulate, to disappear without explanation, to break promises with no remorse, to re-write history, to deny responsibility and to play games.

And these behaviors had nothing to do with me.

None of them were “my fault” (the way I tend to blame myself for his lack of loving).

“The past is a reflection of who that person is”.

I knew nothing about his past except what he had carefully edited. He was able to create an image of who he wanted to appear to be – a good guy, a noble man, a loving, honest man who just wasn’t available yet.

He told me he hated his Mother, who had been a verbally abusive drunk. That his brother was a leech. That he hadn’t spoken to his family in years because his girlfriend pissed them off, and his pride wouldn’t let him contact them. That he was so isolated and had no friends.

(Now that I see all of this instead of feeling sorry for him, it paints a picture of someone who refuses to work on his issues with women and around alcohol, who alienates, isolates, isn’t a friend himself – and is proud of it/his choices to do so.)

These two remarks from Dr. Liane Leedom put things into context very clearly.
The cop makes his choices deliberately, and in his quest for emotional-sexual seduction and power, he has no desire to change his choices. They work for him.
It is irrelevant to him how destructive and devastating his choices are to someone else.

However, seen in this framework of how, what and why – he disgusts me. And that makes me lose interest. WHICH IS A VERY GOOD THING INDEED.

I’m going to keep coming back to this article when I start doubting myself out of habit.

Thank you, Dr. Leedom.
Hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend.

Yes, choices define us. Thank you for this reminder.
And that we act based on what we want/enjoy….

Puts the behavior of psychos in a disturbed light.

Last night I calculated the body-count for my psycho- 11 women (2 marriages in there) in 10 years. Yes, all the relationships/encounters overlapped. That’s 11 I know of, I count myself lucky for dodging that bullet. I was not sexually involved with Psycho.

But still I was emotionally destroyed, perhaps because he could not physically destroy me as he tried. So when I feel like a discard, I remind myself….he is evil. The numbers don’t lie.

Ox Drover

Very good article about “choices” Dr. Leedom.

Another thing struck me about it too–even when their “choices” cause them to “lose” (go to prison, etc) they don’t seem to feel that they “lost”–only that they are temporarily inconvenienced…and that they still GLORY in the hurt that they inflicted on you. It almost makes me think that they are in a “can’t lose” state of mind—if they get what they want and no punishment comes as a consequence, they WIN, if they get “punishment” since punishment is of no consequence, they still feel like they have “not lost”–maybe not a complete “win” but NOT a “loss.”

So we in up in a situation of “heads they win, tails we lose” and they end up feeling like “winners” no matter what happens to them.

So why should they alter their choices if there is never a chance they will actually “lose?”

I have imprinted on my brain like a tattoo, the vision of the Trojan Horse Psychopath sitting in the court room in the orange jump suit and chains, SMIRKING at me with the “I got you good” look on his face of GLEE. He seemed at least to not even be embarassed that he was caught, but glorying in his “success” of having sex with my daughter-in-law, and stealing money from my mother…which of course he could no longer have either of.

My daughter-in-law sat behind him, also in chains and orange jump suit, chatting with him very socially and smiling…she, on the other hand, looked at me with RAGE and hate. I’m not completely sure she is a complete psychopath, but she is at the very least Borderline Personality Disorder (from both her behavior and past life record). From reading her letter to her daughter “blaming” me for her situation of adultery, theft, lies, manipulation, and trying to kill her husband, and vs. her “letter of repentence” to the church (written on the same day) I realized that she has no remorse for anything except that she “got caught.” She is angry at and blames others for the consequences of her own CHOICES that resulted in a jail term, a felony record, loss of all respect in the community, loss of her FOO family’s support, loss of her home, her marriage, and her freedom. She did not in any way connect her choices and her bad behavior to the consequences.

My P-son, who engineered and planned this years in advance (in order to get all the players in place) was enraged that it failed. Enraged that his carefully planned attempt to murder me, and take over the family finances etc failed, but he didn’t in any way, I don’t think, from reading the letters he wrote to various people, feel that he had totally lost, only that he had not succeeded NOW, but still had confidence that he could “repair” the damage done by his partners and still succeed. Even though he has really never gotten away with his crimes, at least the major ones he has been caught and prosecuted for and sent to prison, he still does not see himself as a “failure” or as a “convict” but sees himself as “successful” and “super smart” and “invincable”–DUH?

Looking back at his mind’s workings as a rebellious teenager “trying to put one over on the parents” so he can stay out later, I can’t see that his thinking has changed in the 20+ years since that age—the only difference is that his CRIMES have escalated from “staying out past curfew” to trying again to get away with murder–even though he didn’t get away with it the last time. His choices of plans have become more sophisticated, more carefully thought out, but he has no more insight now than he did then. No more fear of the consequences of not immediately succeeding, no more empathy for the consequences of his choices to others.

His deliberate choices to kill for what he wants, his deliberate planning over a long period of time, working in concert with other personality disordered partners—they are free choices that he made in an effort to GET WHAT HE WANTED no matter what the cost to others, even the loss of their lives. He sees nothing “wrong” with doing this if it gives him what he wants. In fact, he chortled with glee (in letters) at the prospects of success of his carefully thought out plans.

My feelings for my son now are simply that the child I loved and had such hopes for is “dead”—the man, the psychopath that tried to kill me, that destroyed our family, that caused such havoc and pain, that MAN is not the long gone smiling child I adored. I have no love for that MAN, and my memory of the long-gone CHILD, is good, but for the MAN, he is a stranger and I have no love or pity for him, any more than I would a rabid dog. No matter how much you loved the dog before it became rabid and tried to attack you, it is no longer the dog that loved you, would have defended you with its own life, it is now a crazed animal with a defective mind that will kill you. Your loving dog is NO MORE. (I know the analogy of the rabid dog is not exactly 100%)

Yes, they CHOOSE to do what they do, they make PLANS and carry them out, oblivious to or uncaring of the consequences to others or even themselves.

The trivalizing by others of these choices, the unbelief of others who still “try to see the good in everyone” etc, makes it more difficult for those of us whose lives are devestated by their actions…it tries to invalidate our TRUTH, and we must not allow that invalidation to make us “wonder about ourselves”.

alohatraveler

OxDover,

How strange. I used to say Bad Man attacked me like a “Rabid Dog.”

I think it is so strange how we (all here) often come to the same conclusions nad make the same analogies across the globe. Weird.

alohatraveler

LovinAnnie and TrishNJ,

I think that it is a dangerous place to go in the mind where we start picking apart their childhood and being concerned for their rehabilitation, wishing there was hope for them.

Beware of putting too much thought into what you “know” about their childhood and their tragic life and psycho ex-wife. You only “know” what they told you. Somewhere down the line is a woman that will feel bad for one of these guys because he got hooked up with a psycho like you. Do you get what I mean? Everything they say is about making them look good and others look bad. They paint themselves as the victims and not as the perpetrators, ALWAYS.

I think it’s a complete waste of time thinking about the inner workings of your ex-Bad Man and worrying about him and how he might be helped. Do we really believe that if they could just learn some boundaries (that they didn’t learn in childhood) then there would be hope for them? I don’t think Sociopath’s are people who just didn’t learn about boundaries. This is a hard wiring problem in the mind. It has nothing to do with learning boundaries when you are a child.

What do you say OxDover? Did you forget to do that lesson with one of your kids? Oops!

If we are still worrying about them, then they still have our attentions. They get us so worked up about them that we are not paying attention to what is happening or has happened to us. Perfect! This is exactly what they want.. to be the center of our universe and we are nothing more that some dust and particles unconciously orbiting around them.

But WE do have choices like Dr. Leedom said. I think that Bad Men have choices too… they chose to do what pleases them and they have absolutely no desire to do anything differently so we should not spend any time thinking about “if only they could get some really good therapy… or be reconditioned.”

My opinion is that if we are doing this… we still don’t get what a Sociopath is and we are still ignoring ourselves.

My healing is purely focused on me. I spend absolutely no time worrying about, pondering, being concerned for, the healing of the Bad Man. He likes himself just the way he is.

Ox Drover

Aloha,

The “seeds” of my son psychopathic mind surely must have been “in place” when he was a very young child, but they were invisible to me, the say may that your “bad man” appeared so wonderful to you at first. I fell in love with that child before he was born and visiualized this loving child to nurture and grow with. You fell in love with the Bad Man who presented to you this “image” (just like my image of my unborn child) and you loved the image of what was in your mind.

I look at my CHILD son like I would the dog that WOULD turn rabid later–the genetic “virus” was incubating in that child, but he was still not yet RABID until the hormones of impending puberty activated it. (at least I think that is what happened, but who knows?) the ADOLESCENT/MAN who was fully RABID is only sharing the BODY of the CHILD as the RABID dog no longer has the mind of the loving dog, it has been polluted by the “virus”—it has been changed forever from the loving dog. So you shoot it.

We can’t shoot our Ps, though society still, once in a while, does put them to death for the crimes they commit, but even that is becoming “politically incorrect” no matter how horrible the crime or how overwhelming the evidence.

There was a time when I was so devestated by my son’s behavior, and yet I would have “died” almost letrally if he had been put to death for his crime—as I still saw the man and the child as the SAME.

I wouldn’t have hesitated to shoot a rabid dog, no matter how much I had loved it, yet I could not SEE that my CHILD/SON who had grown into the RABID MAN was just as dangerous, just as forever changed from the IMAGE of the CHILD I had nurtured.

Personally, I think our “criminal justice system” (boy, is that an oxymoron!) is proliferating the crimes in society by believing that “anyone can be rehabilitated” and turned back into society. If they don’t want to execute them, they should lock them up FOREVER. Just like the Trojan Horse P will get out at least by August 2010 (3 years for this latest series of crimes) and I don’t need a crystal ball to KNOW FOR A FACT that he will again sexually molest someone, that he will steal, that he will commit further crimes.

I am totally for the 3-felonies and you are out! Life without the possibility of parole. Period. No discussion. No appeals. MURDER, NO PAROLE. RAPE. NO PAROLE. CHILD MOLESTATION or RAPE. NO PAROLE. Get these people out of society. Stop their predation the ONLY way it can be stopped. What ever the cost to society in terms of $$$$$, it is CHEAP in terms of crimes prevented. Psychopaths commit in the neighborhood of 70% of the violent crime. There is no therapy, no medication, and nothing else, except maybe a pre-frontal lobotomy, that can stop them from continuing their predation.

Some few of us have their Ps in prison, but probably only a tiny percentage, though many of them do committ fraud, violence, etc. it is never even prosecuted.

I take a long time to grieve. Is this natural?

I mean some people say two months and there back and OK.

I have wondered abou this.

Benzthere

Dr. Leedom,

You point out what I think is the single most difficult problem in exposing this behavior and obtaining due process in the courts, in the mental health field, and in the daily lives of those affected, getting public awareness to move from some intellectual perspective to genuine understanding, gut-level, emotional, heart-of-the-matter awareness.

It’s complicated and it’s not pretty. It’s another dirty little secret that we (the public) want to hide in the closet out of fear. We fear the unknown, and we fear the pain in making the unknown known in opening the closet door. And people resist change and change takes time, a difficult concept when you are facing a child visitation, destitution, mental illness at the hands of someone lacking a conscience. It starts with taking the first step. We’ve all done at least that here.

I understand, and much I learned here and as always I am grateful. Choices? Most certainly. Change? Not likely, he likes being the big dog on his block. This is a paragraph from my blog I’d like to share.

He is like the proverbial junk yard dog, an analogy I’ve also shared with him, mentally uncivilized, lying in wait to attack, and not to be trusted. Sound advice I learned the hard way is do not try to understand, sympathize, or help. Do not even as much as walk up to the gate of his junk yard full of problems. Once you do you can’t just run away, but you must back away ever vigilent because he will attack from any angle and he will bite the hand carrying the stick or the hand carrying the food. It is now obvious to me he does not have the capacity to desire or appreciate a difference. His choices are made with greed and malevolent disposition and he believes he is owed whatever he can grab, and without regret or second thought. And that behavior didn’t just begin, he’s been locked in that junk yard from a young age and the key is not something he’s concerned with finding.

The difference between disagree and disgust for now I think is the difference between observer and target. One more line from my blog, “I can think of little that is more contemptible than a greedy, insecure, parasite who has no remorse for deceitfully spreading his spawn and leaching off of women while he propagates his delusions of superiority.”

But I don’t really find contempt and fascination mutually exclusive. Fascination is what seemed to propel me toward understanding and taking whatever steps I could toward exposure and due process (closing the gap between disagree and disgust).

alohatraveler

The concept that people don’t grasp, I think, is “no conscience.”

This is what the public doesn’t understand. They think it can be trained and taught and therefore rehabilitated.

No conscience is like no kidney. Can’t grow one.

LovingAnnie

AlohaTraveler : “My healing is purely focused on me. I spend absolutely no time worrying about, pondering, being concerned for, the healing of the Bad Man. He likes himself just the way he is.”

You are correct in this – it is where I am trying to go. I think I am 50% of the way there… When I am able to fill my life with different memories and experiences, he will only be a name that has no meaning.

It took me seven years to get over my college boyfriend, and five to get over a man I loved in my thirties…
So if I am smarter and stronger now, maybe within a year – or less – he won’t matter at all…

It really IS about me and what I choose in my life – to think about, to act upon, to believe. I want to get to that place where I KNOW what healthy looks like/feels like/is on an ongoing basis.

I so want to choose this so that for the last 30 years of my life I can really look back and know I changed and be proud of it. No more victim, no more co-operation with a sociopath because I didn’t love myself enough…

alohatraveler

Good for you LovingAnnie,

BTW, it took me three years to get over the one I call the Good Man. We dated for 5 years.

I thought it was because I truly loved but now I wonder about the wisdom of pinning away after someone is long gone. I realize now that I gave 8 years to the good man if I count all the time I couldn’t/wouldn’t get over it. I could have spent that time dating my ass off and maybe I would be married now… then again… maybe I wouldn’t. I will never know.

But I am conscious of time now.. my time on this plantet and whom I spend it on.

If someone is exploiting me, devaluing me, hurting me, then my time on them is wasted, isn’t it? Much better use of that time is to focus it on me. After all, the Bad Man doesn’t think of me anymore. And the Good Man, well, he’s married to someone else.

I still have my struggles and my scars and my wisdom.

Aloha…. E

bird

The sociopath made his choice to leave me and move to another state many miles away when I was pregnant. Now I am left with many choices because I am still pregnant. I feel lucky that I was given so many choices due to him not waiting around a couple months for the baby to be born. He won’t be around when the baby is born. I have a moral choice to make. How much is money, in the form of child support, worth? I’ve decided it isn’t worth my sons mental health and safety. My choice… I am good…. we are poor…. and the sociopath won! Yippy for high morals.

Most people except my choice…

But my girlfriend last night lectured me on it. “How could you not get child support?” She asks. “He IS the father? Yours and your older sons standard of living will be compromised!” She says. She then continues “yeah he messed you over…Yeah he is a sociopath….Yes he has a really flat affect….But he doesn’t stike me as a sexual molester or killer!”

I retort “But he is capable of anything”.

She says “Your neighbor could be one, Bill could be one, a teacher could be one. You have read too much into it”

I retort “But he was sexually abused as a child. He talked about sexual abuse all the time. He was overly concerned with any alligations my other son might make. My other son was not allowed in our bedroom and was not allowed to roam around the house without clothing, sociopaths rules. Once we were in a park and there were many kids there and he said he had to get out of there because the place was making him horny. I once caught him checking out a little girl in a sprinkler.”

She says “You are reading into it.” She continues “If he was sexually abused as a child that would make him NOT want to do it as an adult. It was so tramatizing he would never want to do that to another. You are worrying for nothing! You do not want to be poor.” She had many excuses for his bahavior. She said when he was in the park with all the children around, it was just the thought of making babies that made him horny…. He was just looking at the girl in the sprinkler…. She went on and on.

I said to myself “You do not understand.”

I didn’t follow the initial warning signs when I first met this man. I ignored them and assumed he was like me. I now have an opportunity to follow my gut feelings. My friend is telling me everything I used to tell myself-making excuses for his often bizarre behavior. It is hard not to listen to her, and say maybe she is right, I am overreacting. But if I went for money againts my intuition and put my son at risk, I would be just as bad as the sociopath.

Being good and making the right choices, hurts sometimes.

Ox Drover

Bird, a child NEVER PROFITS WITH A PSYCHOPATH IN THEIR LIVES–especially as a parent. Keep your child AWAY from this MONSTER–when the child is born, I would put “unknown” on the birth certificate for father, or a fake name if you feel you must have a name on there…but I wouldn’t trade my CHILD for a Million dollars a month in child support because even IF you collected it, the P would be so mad at you that he would take it out on the child as revenge against you.

Tell your girl friend that you thank her for her opinion and go with your GUT, keep this man out of your life. Move, don’t let him know where you are, don’t let anyone know where you are that could or would tell him. Take your child to safety.

Read the thread about how Amy’s husband murdered her three children to punish her….if what I am saying doesn’t make sense to you, that should tell you all. These people are capable of ANYTHING no matter how awful. You are fortunate beyond belief that he left you, deserted you, was through with you, but if you poke the sleeping lion with a stick, I can almost guarentee that he will maul your child in revenge.

Tell your friend to lay off, it is not her decision, you must take care of your child, no matter what UNINFORMED people think. I have spent too much of my life trying to live according to other’s rules, even if I thought they didn’t make sense, but I am finally realizing how smart and good I am, and that I should have listened to myself all along.

Good luck to you and your wonderful child! and God bless you both—he has done so by the P leaving you, so I thank God that the man is not in your life now. (((hugs))))

Bird-

Turned on by groups of children? Keep him away from you and your child- whatever you do…do not put him on the birth certificate. Avert disaster.

Free-Dr. Liane-

Thank you. I am intellectually to the point I know the psycho is no good, I do not trust psycho and do not want him near me…

but it is sad to realize …he not only hates me, he used me. And to have to let go of any hope he’d be normal. But that said…there’s no way I want that relationship back and I know I am getting better.

It’s just a surreal emptiness and sorrow like waking from a good dream that wasn’t real to a REAL nightmare that follow me into the waking hours.

And I was fortunate- my situation is trivial and my fault, I feel for those on here who from no fault of their own faced these monsters and have children with them.

Bird-

Hey- my psycho loved the pity play, so I know what you mean BUT e would be psychos if we did not INTIALLY empathisize. Our reaction, empathy was normal…that does not make us a sucker.

You know now, but then your concern was that of a normal human being.
Anyone who uses that is sick.

Here’s an interesting point: my psycho thought I made up real health issues…hmmm…..perhaps because HE did.

Take care and give your belly a rub and some Ben and Jerrys

bird

He is a sexual sadist-it is an epiphany to have a name to it. When he told me at 6 months pregnant that he was in love with another women halfway across the country and he wanted to move there without me and the baby, I was so distraught. I cried and cried. The week that followed, he was more sexually excited for me then ever. I wasn’t sure if my pain excited him, or if it was having two women at the same time. It was probably a little of both. Him telling me about his other lady definitely turned him on.

I can make good choices now. Before I had made all of my decisions on lies and omissions-hence my situation.

I need to keep working on healing. I was exercising and it was helping with my anxiety. But the massive stress the sociopath caused me, has caused problems with my pregnancy. I had a preterm labor scare last week. They shot me up with medicines to stop the contractions and gave me pills and told me I could no longer exercise, clean, mow the grass, or lift groceries.

So much for exercising to get through this.

The one choice I am making that is unhealthy is anonomously looking at the sociopaths and his new girlfriends facebook pages. I need to cancel my page so that I cannot access their pages. He used to write on his facebook page everyday. Ever since he moved he has completely stopped. He wrote to me over email and said he was going to stop writing on it, “because after what he did to me, he could never be who he thought he was again.” I don’t believe what he wrote to me to be the real reason that he stopped writing on his page. I am sure there are healthier things I could be doing then looking at their pages.

His new girlfriend is an open book on her page. She used to write about how in love she is. She doesn’t write that anymore, I wonder if she is getting to know him yet? She writes about how happy she is. She writes about how much money she makes.

Watching her page is entertainment to me. They were pursuing each other and she knew about me. She even wrote to me right after he told me and said that she “can’t help herself, she is so magnetically attracted to him.” Maybe some people watch American Idol or LOST, I watch her story with my ex sociopath unfold on facebook. I watch it quietly, way on the other side of the united states, with his baby in my belly. Secretly, I am watching her page, to see her fall.

When I am not doing that I am reading books on sociopaths. Or I am reading every website I can find on it.

I used to be able to lounge around with a calm mind and watch shows and movies in my pregnant state. For some reason my mind has been too “zoomed” and “alert” to be able to calm it down enough to enjoy the shows. At least the babies room is all set up.

The pity play of my sociopath…. the sexual abuse was one of many. The sociopaths father also left his mother when she was pregnant and got another women pregnant at the same time. The sociopath has a half sister who is two months younger then him. I wonder if the sociopaths father was a sociopath? So, his mother gave him up and his grandparents adopted him. His grandfather was never around, he was a roaming drunk and womanizer. He was raised by his grandmother and she was abusive and not very attentive. When he was 16, his grandparents left him and moved out of the country. He was forced to move into his biological mothers house. His mothers husband kicked him out and he was then taken in by his friends family until he went to college. He was abandoned by pretty much everyone. Then, while at college, both of his grandparents died when he was 18. He called them his parents, and therefore his parents died when he was 18. That is why his grades were not very good in college, he says. He was so totally devistated by their dealth that 15 years later he still cried about them. Sometimes he would wake up after dreaming about them with tears running down his face. He never made it back to their dealth beds before they died, and he cried about that too. Due to his parents dying, he turned to massive drug use during college. By the time I had met him he had been sober for 2 years. Or so he says

I bet I can think of his next pity play to his next victim. I never see my son…(cry cry)

One BIG pity party for my sociopath…and I am the sucker who bought it.

Ox Drover

Bird,

While it is a big “turn on” to him to have two women “fighting” over him, his time with her will come to a sad end, and possibly he may return to see you to get back with you again…that is VERY common. Cut EVERY tie with him, total No CONTACT…not even knowing about him or her. Believe me, trying to “keep tabs” on him/her will only slow down your healing. I think about everyone here will agree with me on that.

Whatever you have to do to keep that child away from him so that he cannot use the baby as a weapon to hurt you with, do it.

His “pity party” is just that, even if his stories are “true” (and they may not be) he CANNOT have cared about them, he can’t care about anyone—them or you. His “tears” are crocodile tears, used to hook you in. They are amazing ACTORS.

My P-son used to convince all his friend’s parents that he was an “abused child”—he convinced my mother he was abused, and she KNEW BETTER but fell for it anyway. He convinced my husband’s niece to let him come live with her after he got out of prison the first time because “his parents were too harsh on him, all he needed was love and understanding” to be a good boy! Boulder-dash! He lived with her 5 months and all 5 months of that he was involved with illegal activities, and ended it by killing his partner, a 17 year old girl, for “ratting him out” when they got caught. He even took the murder weapon back to his cousin’s house and hid it under his bed.

Your X’s parents and grandparents may have been bad people to him, he may have been abused, and then again, he may not have been, but it would NOT have made any difference, he CHOSE to be the way he is because he has NO caring, NO empathy, and no love for anyone except himself and what HE WANTS and he doesn’t care who he hurts if he gets “instant gratification.” To heck with YOU, and to heck with your baby. It isn’t HIS baby, it is your baby, because he doesn’t care about the life inside you except as an ego boost, but he will not nurture or love that child.

Try meditation instead of exercise to help you through the pregnancy and it will lower your stress. Lie down on your back or some comfortable spot, then just start to FEEL your body. Start at your toes and FEEL the temperature of your feet, feel the weight of your body against the bed, then “talk” to yourself about how you feel the sensations of the sheets, the air blowing against your skin, then “fill” your body with warm water (like your toe is the fill spout of a big water bottle shaped like your body) and feel the warm water running in, bathing the inside of your body with warmth and comfort, filling you. feel each group of muscles relax as the warm water comes to them.

Or anything else you can imagine—make up your own meditation picture…it doesn’t matter what. Your blood pressure will decrease, your stress and muscle tension will decrease, and even the baby will benefit from it as the stress hormones decrease. Your heart will slow down, your breathing will slow down and you will feel a sense of peace and comfort. It takes a little practice, but not much and you can get the benefits of the exercise without the stress on the pregnancy.

God bless you Bird, you ARE a strong woman! And your baby will be beautiful and wonderful and healthy! AND VERY MUCH LOVED!

James

Do sociopaths/psychopaths make choices?

Yes, we all make choices. I believe that when we choose an action or course of actions we expect something in return. Like eating ice cream, I expect a cool, wet tasty treat. But this of course doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes I buy a different kind of ice cream and don’t like it. So I won’t buy that type again. I learned the different between “good” and not good ice cream. When a sociopath makes a choice they expect something in return. So with this theory in hand, a sociopath must be looking for the “good” ice cream i.e. person who will supply s/he with a good return. This is a conscience choice this person makes. Now this is were my “theory” starts to breakdown. S/he knows that this person will make him happy and will give him some type of return in the process. But this person also would know that if s/he does this or that and then must have experience the consequent of past “bad” actions and/or deeds, then why does this person keep repeating those “same” actions and/or deeds that will hurt s/he in the end? I have been told that their brain is wired differently. It must be!

Here is my story:

My ex of 17 years lost 2 other children from a previous marriage due to a divorce. I now know that she was requested to have a psychological test done. Which I believe now that she failed. Or should I say, showed some traits (personality) that wasn’t in her favor. Now in all fairness she told me that the reason she lost custody was because his family had more money (that was true) then her, (I know I am a fool) and with blinders on I believe her. What I never understood is why she made no attempt to pay children support, visit them or anything concerning their warfare. (To this day she still has no relationship with both of these children, which are now adults) I asked her many times why not? [James, can you spell r-e-d f-l-a-g-s?] Always the same answer, He (ex) would hurt me and/or doesn’t want me there! Well guess were I sit today, in her ex’s shoes. Now let fast forward to today. She again left her children and doesn’t see them, not because she expect me to hurt her or that I don’t want them to see her. No! Our children don’t want to see her from all the pain and misery that she did to all of us. And then on top of that after she left she continue to add more pain and misery trying to control us by harassing us by calls after calls. Demanding to talk with them even when they didn’t want too. Demanding that I give whatever she felt entitled too. Which I did. I only wanted to work with her, but no James! You see that’s personal power. Which I was never entitle too. I still gave and she still kept taking, taking and taking until I just couldn’t give anymore! I thought that if a person lost two other children because she didn’t work with others that she would learn her lesson, grow up and learn to give and take. Did she no! Why not? The lessons did come to me, and believe me they came fast and hard! What I did learn is that this person learns nothing from her past! Why? Well I believe that what is too painful is put in a place called denial. What is unfair is put in a place called hate. What is too hard is put in a place called blame. If her past is too painful then forget the past. When we forget the past we learn nothing from it. We make choices from what we learn in the past. Take out the past (reality) and then we learn nothing!!!! They do choose, but I believe they learn nothing from that choice!

Bad wiring? Well that I will leave up to the experts!

James

Bird

I too want no child support, kind of silly really. One is going to be 17 in July. The other 14 same month. Plus what we need she can’t give us. Peace, a safe environment (no fighting for hours on hours on hours) Love validation and compassion. None of these does she have for us, for her self or for others.

Healing time. Well I guess it’s different for all of us. I was with her for 17 years. And it’s taken me 2 years to heal. Thank God, that I am there. There was some day’s that I believed that I would never heal, but I did.

What will happen with her new “soul mate” (*God how I hate that word)? Who knows and who cares… Not me!

*Interesting story behind that soul mate BS. She told me for two years that she wanted to find her “soul mate” and she made sure I knew I wasn’t it… Ouch, that (at the time) hurt! But now I can only thank God, I wasn’t that “soul mate”… Poor, Poor Soul mate! And I do hope you have as much fun as we did…

alohatraveler

Bird,

Your friend is so very wrong. Send her to us. We’ll take care of her. :o)

Isn’t it true that most molesters were molested themselves? I know that children who have been molested quite often act out sexual play and molest other children. I don’t know where your friend got her crazy ideas. I am not saying that all people who were molested go on to be molesters but her statements were just so off base.

This friend is speaking to you from a high high horse… one which is far above understanding that what happened to us can happen to anyone. Look at how many smart, articulate people write regularly on this site let alone our hosts… three professional women! (and Dr. Steve)

And bells rang for me when you said that your ex was constantly saying he was concerned that your son would make allegations against him. This sounds like a set up if I ever heard one. The Sociopath is going overboard to act as if it’s your son’s integrity that is in question so that if he did do something and your son spoke up about it… the Sociopath has already planted a seed of doubt in your mind and he can counter, “I just knew that kid would falsely accuse me! Didn’t I tell you!?”

What a bad scene.

Don’t go after the money. It is not worth it. Your friend does not understand what is at stake by remaining tied to this man over child support. It sounds like you do understand. Don’t doubt yourself. You sound like you are on the right track.

And I totally get watching the whole sickening thing unfold with the new woman. What’s sad is she is describing a Sociopath without knowing it. It’s like watching a trainwreck in slow motion isn’t it? And didn’t you say she talks about how much money she makes on her facebook page?

Gee… I wonder what attracted this man to her?

alohatraveler

Free,

My point was, your friend’s arguement was dangerous. I believe you said that she insisted that your ex would not molest because he was a former molest victim.

Bad logic.

I wouldn’t make any decisions based on her arguements.

:o)

James

Bird,

“Your friend is so very wrong. Send her to us. We’ll take care of her. :o)”

Ditto on that!

James

Free

“I don’t entirely agree with that statement. There are hundreds and hundreds of people out there who have been molested, like me, who DON’T molest others and the very thought of that is abhorrent to me/us.”

Sorry to say but I would have to be counted on that roll call. I too was molested as a child, but would never this to a person albeit it molestation, rape, date-rape or any type of dysfunctional sexual deviant act. In fact this make me physically sick inside. An aftermath, of my molestation I guess?

alohatraveler

I am not going to labor over my point but I think you all are still missing it.

The arguement of the uninformed person was that Free need not worry about her man being a molester, even though he indicated all kinds of signs… because he claimed that he himself was molested. The person asserted that since he was molested, he would never molest…. DANGEROUS ASSUMPTION!

Terrible logic.

I am done. :o)

Benzthere

Free,

You captured exactly what I think is the main point of Dr. L’s post, “not only her friend is misinformed, it is society also” and the result of that misinformation is that Bird’s ex may or may not be a child molester, but until he commits a crime society dictates that he is innocent. Even after misbehavior is factual, our legal system still is painfully lacking in protecting the innocent as it is designed to do.

Absolutely we all make choices every day, the problem is taking or not taking responsibility for those choices and what consequences, if any, are there for those who don’t?

If Bird seeks child support, she as a responsible parent, must weigh the risk versus gain and unfortunately she probably cannot rely on the court system for assistence or protection. How likely is it Bird will receive child support and what may have to be endured to attain it? In most states whether or not he pays support he still retains visitation rights. With DNA testing, parentage can be determined whether or not his name appears on the birth certificate. Only Bird can make that decision but she’s found this site and is seeking knowledge, so she’s taking steps and has found a wonderful source of support in weighing her decision.

Life isn’t fair, but it can become more informed, leading to change. Knowledge is power and having experienced what we all on here know from witnessing it up close and personal, whatever steps we can each take to enlighten society while making the best choices we can to protect our own, brings us one step closer toward change and the self satisfaction of our ultimate goal of living well in spite of them.

Ox Drover

BEnzthere,

Very good post—very logical, rational.

I might point out too, that sometimes the Ps “think it is all about money” when it comes to identification of parenthood through DNA.

Sometimes too, if you apply for welfare or social services they insist that you tell them who the father is or no assistance. The purpose of this is so that they can “go after” repayment of the assistance via the bio-logical/legal father. So even if you forego “child support” from the father you also have to forego social services support or lie. This “well meaning” law has some negative consequences for some parents who are trying to AVOID A P in their child’s life.

Even “good laws” (choices of society) sometimes have negative consequences, because there is never a “one size fits all” law or other choice.

alohatraveler

Right.. it was Bird. I forgot.

tmassar

Hi…so just to weigh in on the question here, do they make choices…
There are behaviors they can CHOOSE that would still allow (some) of them to have functional, better lives – without abusing others. (I speak about my own circumstances, and I certainly don’t believe this about someone who is a sexual or child predator.)

But so the question is, what drives them to make the “wrong” choices? This is where I really get confused. Dr. Leedom, you say it’s because they actually enjoy their choices or the consequences of those choices. But if I look at someone like my ex-narcissist (whom I’m sure could/would be diagnosed with NPD), he has awareness of his destructive behaviors, of his vindictiveness, difficult personality. And he’s said that IN THE MOMENT, he just feels unable to control them, doesn’t understand why he can’t interact on a level that is not wrong to others.

He made the wrong choices with respect to me – over and over and over again – refusing to see how beaten down i was getting. Now that I’ve left – the reckoning is shocking. And though I know I’m not supposed to feel pity (it certainly doesn’t help me heal!) – I do. Because I feel that the self-destructive, terrible behavior is governed by drives that he really can’t, doesn’t know how, to control. He does not want to be in this situation. He has never really enjoyed his life or interpersonal relationships – he can’t. He just can’t. And in years of watching him struggle, I guess I don’t really believe that’s a choice he has.

I think the choice he does have is to recognize the pain he causes and modify his behavior to become more bearable. But that recognition comes with an enormous price – in this case, the loss of his marriage, which was literally the cornerstone of his life. (He actually had the nerve to say to me that he thought he could play with fire (his affair) because he knew I’d always be there for him!! Oh the tragedy.)

But I can’t feel disgust. Life is hard – for us now, but for them too. Yes, they take the easy way out – no self-examining, no will to change. But they live with their own enormous deficits, and they have to try get through life too…Is feeling disgust for them really the way to go? I feel disgust for some of his behaviors, but overall, I just feel a lot of sorrow for what HE faces in his future. Which is probably just going to be more of the same.

Ox Drover

Tmassar,

I don’t think they “can’t control” their urges, I know they CAN–they can plot and plan and take years to bring together a con, so they have the CAPACITY to “delay gratification” to some extent…it isn’t that they dont’ know it is “wrong to steal” they KNOW it is, they know it is “wrong to murder” but I think they just don’t CARE that it is wrong–wrong for everyone else maybe,but not for THEM, the “rules” don’t “apply to them” they are “Special” and “entitled” to break the rules.

I DO think that they know that we are “differeent” from them, that we have “something” that they don’t, and they know we enjoy it (caring, love, closeness, bonding etc) but because they, like a child born blind, can’t perceive “sight,” that blind child knows others have someting he doesn’t but he isn’t really sure what it is. The P, though, unlike the blind child, since he can’t have “it” then he wants to take it away from us. It would be like the child born blind decides he should put the eyes out of everyone else since he can’t see and he knows that we can.

We are all “equal” before the law (or should be) and before God, but otherwise no two people are the “same”–each of us have talents in various things, more or less “smarts” more or less physical abilities, etc. NOT THE SAME—so I think this is their “handicap” to over come if THEY WILL, they CAN, just like the child born blind and deaf (Helen Kellar) became a very functional human being. She never saw, and never heard, but yet she had other talents that were developed.

We can see and hear (well, I am getting a bit near sighted and deaf as I age–LOL) and don’t have her handicaps, but each of us has others, and each of us has different talents that we can develop. Maybe you can sing and I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I play ping pong like a champ—not really, just an example, but we are unique, individual, and all worthwhile—-but we make our own choices which handicaps to let overtake us and keep us from developing the talents we do have, I think the P makes the same choices we do, or he or she could, except they ALLOW their handicap of lack conscience/bonding turn them into monsters of one degree or another, into abusers….they are the “blind child” trying to poke the eyes out of everyone else because they can’t see.

tmassar

It’s a good way to put it. You’re right too – when i think about the choices he could have made — I threatened to leave and actually DID leave several times – scared him but not enough to effect change. And certainly I couldn’t have sounded the alarm bells more loudly. So yes, you’re right – he had a choice and very consciously chose wrong.

It’s funny (well not really, but anyway) – even now, I learned from friends that he has taken out a restraining order on the OW, so that, to everyone else, he could publicly blame her for our marriage failing. And this very act is just another bad choice on his part – he didn’t need to publicly humiliate her (not that I mind, hahaha) – he could have CHOSEN to have the courage to deal with her on his own terms. A year ago!

Yeah. ugh.

Ox Drover

Tmassar,

I think about my son in prison the first time (he had already been in jail once for a few weeks before he turned 18) he got out, knowing he would not “go straight” (he had told me so while he was out) He CHOSE to not come back to live with me because “I knew if I got into trouble again you would turn me in to the law.” he said. I told him he was “right about that.”

He was almost immediately upon release engaged in illegal activities. When the inevidible happened, he got caught and his partner (a 17 yr old girl) was going to “cop a plea” against him, he CHOSE to kill her rather than face going back to prison. He was out only ONE day before he was arrested for murder.

After his original arrest as a juvie, he CHOSE to continue to rob, after he got out of prison that time, he again CHOSE to go back into illegal activities ALTHOUGH he had a choice, and did not even “need” to do this in order to live, have a place to stay etc. When he got caught again, he CHOSE the course of killing the girl rather than just go back to prison for a little while (a few months) on being busted for parole violation.

After he got back to prison “for life” (minimum 15 yrs) he CHOSE to violate prison rules, to smuggle things in illegally, etc. rather than abide by the rules. He got 19 “write ups” including a weapon charge, which most likely is why he did NOT get parole the first time, as they are emptying prisoners as quickly as they can due to over crowding. At the time his first parole came up my mom hired a lawyer to make him “look good” on paper at least and with a “supportive” family etc. he “should have made it.” Thank God he didn’t though.!

Everything that has happened to him in his teenaged years up to now are CHOICES he made when he had OTHER OPTIONS. He was not from a “deprived”home, he was not from an illiterate family, he had every opportunity to succeed that any kid could want….yet, he chose the same path that some kid from the ghettos would possibly choose. He was never really “rewarded” in the sense that you and I could understand, though I am sure he “got away with” a burgulary or two that he was never prosecuted for, but he got caught for every major “job” he did. He got punished (by our views anyway) yet he is not afraid of punishment, and it has in no way made him see that he “lost” or “paid” more than he “got” in return. Somehow, and I am not sure just how, he sees himself as a “winner” who is just “temporarily” inconvenienced by being in prison. Since, in my mind anyway, he has had very few even “short term gains” that lasted more than a few hours or days, he has sacrificed EVERYTHING for them, and doesn’t seem to realize he paid a high price for his “gains.”

Of course he keeps himself entertained inside in breaking the rules of the prison, plotting and planning, etc. He is still writing to my mother trying to influence her to send him money again, but I think he has given up on me or his brothers corresponding with him.

I’m almost convinced there is nothing such as an EX-convict, though I know there must be a few who “reform”—

Beverly

Dear Free. I have to say it – your comments mirrored my experience almost exactly! I had much the same experience and I can say, without going into detail, that it was an extremely frustrating annoying experience, basically designed to mind ….. you!! All I can say is that my ex made no overtones to me to start with for a long time, then when we got into things which was awkward. Then he had 3 months of impotence, saying it was a health problem – I kept asking him whether he really fancied me, because I ‘SENSED’ at that stage that things were offkey and weird. He liked alot of thrills and spills, but I realised that he was limiting his behavior, i.e. he was ignoring my requests, saying he didnt feel comfortable with certain aspects, thereby keeping me at arms length. When he got his health problem sorted, things did get better, but were punctuated by him ‘going off the boil’. He was constantly telling me that I was too demanding, and that sex was more important to me than to him. Eventually I cottoned onto the fact that not only was he flirting with women at work – and he was telling me, by texting me that he felt aroused at work, I suddenly realised that it was not because of me!! Another thing he did quite frequently was to tease me, saying he was going to fulfill my requests and then coming over and falling asleep on the settee or sitting up to the early hours watching tv or porn – sound familiar Free?? It was all a way of using sex as a power tool. How unfair and unkind. I have to say that on one of our breaks I cheated on him, because I met up with a ‘normal’ man who made me realised that I was not losing the plot.!!

Then as his final weapon, he deliberately left sexual text messages to these other work women on a phone he borrowed from me on purpose in order to orchestrate the quick exiting of our relationship. As he had so many mobile phones, at least 12, I wondered why he was wanting to borrow my old old phone. It was obvious that he had different women, and they were all married, at different levels of play. I rang one of them up, but she denied everything, even though I had the txt messsages.

Benzthere

I think another important part of the self gratification that Free mentioned is realizing that nothing is more important than feeding that existence, nothing, period, and they will forsake all else and they will use anyone else in that pursuit. They become as addicted to their behavior as the drug addict is to the drug, so their choices, and they do choose, become predictable. And right or wrong is insignificance in lieu of need.

I also think, just like drug use or alcoholism, that what started in the beginning as pleasure becomes not just wanting, but needing even with the absence of the original pleasure. That is the cycle of addiction that we become a part of.

First you must become aware of their addiction without seeing any “needles” and then you must become aware that someone who is so convincingly saying I love you is really saying I need you and I want to use you which flies in the face of everything real to you. No wonder this is so difficult to understand until you’ve been “educated.”

Tmassar, I don’t feel disgust for the person either, just for the behavior. But I refuse to allow that behavior to taint what I think is a beautiful thing, human compassion. But we must be compassionate from a distance because of their choices not ours, and we must learn as others expand their boundaries that we do not contract ours, and that doesn’t lessen our compassion for others, but it is doing the best we can do for ourselves and for them. Tough lesson. OxD for you that person is your own child, and NC with him must be the epitome of tough love.

Ox Drover

Benzthere,

When my kids were young, I practiced what I thought was “tough” love, was consistent with discipline, etc. when they were young, but when the P-ush came to shove, I let him suck me in to the fantasy of his “reform”—because it was what I wanted to believe, just like the rest of you, I let my P-XBF do the same, because I was needy after my husband died. I honestly don’t think it was any “tougher” with my P-son than with anyone you loved that betrayed you–betrayal of love is betrayal of love. Period. It causes pain and pain is pain…little or big, it fills our being, takes over our lives and souls if we let it.

NC with ANY one you love is difficult, but it is the only way to survive with a P. Otherwise they suck you dry.

bird

“whatever steps we can each take to enlighten society while making the best choices we can to protect our own, brings us one step closer toward change and the self satisfaction of our ultimate goal of living well in spite of them.”

Maybe he will molest our son and maybe he won’t, I really agree that I cannot see into the future. If I could, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I think what my friend was saying, is that you take that risk with everyone. I totally agree. And, before I found out the hard way that he was a sociopath, I never would have assumed that because he was molested as a child that he would automatically become a molester as an adult. (if he even really was molested as a child). But, the whole “sociopath” diagnosis, really frightens me. It puts a whole new spin on all the warning signs. Being the sociopath that he is, if he gets the urge to do it, there is nothing in his brain to stop him from acting on it. It would be a game of Russian Roulette allowing my son into his hands.

James

tmassar

“Which is probably just going to be more of the same.”

This I agree because basally this applies to all of us. What will in the end define us is our choices that we make in life and from those choices how we lived our lives. It is not what we believe that defines us but the choices we make concerning our beliefs.

Do sociopaths make choices? Yes only because each one of us chooses each day!

They range from simple choices to very complicated ones.

Like will I work today?
Will I go shopping today?

Will I marriage h/her?
Will I divorce?

One of my favorites saying to my children and my ex-P (as well as myself) is:

“What we choice today will define what happens tomorrow.”

One quote from one of our fore fathers Ben Franklin:

“Experience is a dear teacher, and only fools will learn from no other.”

Again do Sociopaths make choices? Yes..

Was it a good or bad “choice”? That depends on the chooser from what s/he believes is “good’ or “bad”…

Did what happen base on this “choice” give me what I wanted? Again all base on the receiver of this choice.

What did I learn from making this choice, was it good or bad?

Again base on the receiver’s point of view (experience)

Thiefs who got caught stealing will learn two things.

“That stealing is wrong and how much more it hurts myself and other people” (An honest person)

Then this person may choose not to steal again..

“It was wrong for them to catch me! I will learn to be more careful next time” (A dishonest person)

Then this person may choose just to be more careful next time they steal again..

The only different that I see in the choose is what did we learn from it? Again, this will always depend on the receivers of that choose….

James

Dr. Leedom

“Psychopaths both enjoy power and sex and at times pursue these compulsively in the absence of pleasure. In any case they sacrifice long term well-being for short term “gain.”

Interesting insomuch that one thing I heard said about them is:

“What feels good is good”

And the long-term cause and effect never comes into play. In fact because of this they learn nothing from experience.

Again what is that old saying?

“If we don’t learn from history, we are destined to repeat it”

James

Benzthere

“They become as addicted to their behavior as the drug addict is to the drug, so their choices, and they do choose, become predictable”

Oh did you say a mouth full!

They are so predictable to it gets funny at time. I don’t mean to be rude but OMG, I just laugh and laugh sometimes at their predictability..

And have learned over time that this “predictability” has become my greatest accessed.

James

[What we choice today will define what happens tomorrow]

Should have been “choose”, sorry for the typo..

Fran

In response to Dr. Leedom’s posting”Before I left my ex, I remember approaching my mother-in-law and seeking her help to try to change some of his behaviors. I remember she said, “I know how he acts, but he is who he is and he is not going to ever change. You just have to accept him the way he is.” After the separation, my ex’s family supported him 100%…even knowing my character for so long and knowing his, they made an outward show of total support for my ex. A shiny outward appearance was always the number one priority to my husband, and I think this was a value he picked up from his family. It didn’t matter how he behaved privately”his public performance was and still is an A+. I know that environment contributes to how a psychopath develops. Maybe families of psychopaths value outward appearance, so the psychopath grows up learning this skill. When the psychopath is exposed, the family’s natural tendency is to paint the best face possible”even when they know the truth.
I think to describe ones feelings toward a psychopath as “disgusted” shows anger”which is very understandable”but I am starting to realize that anger hurts the victim more than it does the perpertrator. The perpertrator probably enjoys the fact that the victim is still so hurt. He probably feels great that he has that effect/power over the victim.
When Dr. Leedom says that “understanding psychopaths breeds contempt..not fascination”. I think this is true”at first, but additionally understanding pyschopaths breeds things like wisdom (not to be manipulated, used, etc. again), understanding and nonjudgement of others (you realize that not all is what it appears) and personal growth (I am a better person for having gone through this ordeal).

James

Fran,

Yes, I know that what I have learned, Is allowing me to be “that better person”..

Which takes me back to the question. “What have I learned from this experience?”

TrishNJ

Dear OxDrover,

You always need to be careful with your P…..and I think you are right that they never believe they loose….they look at life differently…..they look at the larger timeline….that is what the father of my child did….he said he was going to drain me and he did….it took 13 years….I struggled…in many ways….emotionally, physically, financially….I had to live with my parents….so I was under “parents rule”….I was getting by, not strong….and I could not find a husband….instead I found the second P….who did me in….and I know my x waited for the win…..He said he would do it and he did….I chose not to fight while my daughter was in H.School for “her”…she had enough..and I miss her because she is gone now! I don’t have a relationship with her anymore….

So my point…..be careful with these P’s…..they are thinking well ahead of most of us….it’s like a game of chess for them…..you have to expect the worst and prepair….better to be ready than sorry!

As far as the second P for me….the con-artist….I am fear for my life of this one! He threatened to kill me….I live anonomously, moving around alot….until I can change my name….but here is a big problem with it all….I looked into change of name and guess what you have to post it in a news paper 2 times….and today….newspapers publish on-line….I am asking for legislative change about that one! If your life has been threatened you should not have to post it in a newspaper!

My last P has copies of my tax returns with mine and my daughters ss#…I tried to tell her to change her ss# at least…she ignores me as though I am too over worried about all of this…I was being followed for a while there…..until I moved…here’s the story….

1st incident….I had just started dating this guy…on this particular day of the week I usually went to the guy with a friend and came home alone at 8pm…but I called him to meet me home….and from the side of my house came a guy….my friend at the time yelled at me to turn and see who this guy is….I had never seen him….the next day there was a baseball bat at the side of the house in a garbage pail….this was my garbage pail. Could have been a coincidence….

Then for a couple of months I was being obviously followed home from work…after that first incident I started watching….one time my girlfriend and I were walking to the parking garage from the casino we both worked at and this guy was getting a little too close for comfort. I told her to stop for a minute. He walked past us, and went about 10 feet…walking like he was lost…he turns around and I look him right in the eye….and he walks again toward and past us! Could have been a coincidence…maybe not!

Than, in a seperate incident with the same girlfriend who was walking me to my car….actually this time we decided to go to her car first and drive to my car….we are stopped for a while talking to each other maybe 5 minutes….then I click on my door open on my keys…and my lights flash with that….and you can see that from the floor above and below….all of a sudden this big Italian looking thug is walking down the stairs with that “evil thug stare”….He starts walking toward us…my heart was pounding….than he stops pretends to throw something in the garbage pail there turns around and goes to the stairs again…stops (as if he didn’t know if he should go up or down) then he goes down the stairs…and you have to know how disgustingly smelly of urine the stairwell is…and that the elevators are right next to them! So I get out of the car and my girlfriend rolls down her window and yells…if that Mother F’er comes back I’m running him over the side of the building!
I get in my car all shaken, look in my rear view mirror and see another thug….staring me down in the mirror…I call My girlfriend to tell her and she yells at me to back out quick….get out….I called the investigator about this and he shrugged it off like I was nuts….people just don’t want to believe the possibility of these P’s…..I lived it….I had two witnesses….

And I could have been thrown over the side of the building or abducted! And guess what two weeks later those prostitues were found murdered in AC…..and guess what My P has….a foot fettish….and guess what else… when I first met him he talked alot about prostitutes…in fact one time he brought me up to one in Tropicana and was talking about hiring her….I was surprised…but I laughed it off…thinking he was just playing around….and one more thing….the x finace told me he had called her once from an unusual # that she called back and it was a seedy hotel near the Tropicana….I don’t know which one but the “Flamingo” is near the Tropicana…that was the hotel in ? according to the news…I told the investigators on that case what was happening to me…and all of this and they called me back for questioning a few times…then I went to court trying to get a restraining order because of the following incident…

and there were a couple of others in between…

but this particular day…was a wednesday and my boyfriend was meeting me at Boscov’s department store upstairs where the SBA (small business association) was holding a meeting and I had been going to for a few weeks by myself after work! I was on the phone with him he was maybe five minutes away and I was walking toward the stairs and he asked me to buy him some candy I hung up…. All of a sudden I see the P walking toward me. I was so afraid….but I knew my boyfriend would be here any minute….The P says to me….”you ruined my life…I told you what I was going to do to you if you went to the police”…which was hide all the money and kill me if he had to. Then my boyfriend walked up and he changed his toon and told my boyfriend that he was just apologising for the problems he had created….then he had to go to the bathroom…and my boyfriend said he had to go too…so they went in together….my boyfriend said I just hope you pay her back! When he came out he was apologetic….but I turned to him and told him I had been in touch with Soraya….He almost lost his mind….that was the x finance….he has a new fiance now….I said the prosecutors office told me about her…she has been talking to them! Now he know’s….and his game is exposed….I’m not the “crazy”…that he and his attorney are trying to make me out to be…..there are two victims now….me and Soraya….

I never got a restraining order….his lawyer managed to make me drop the charges….I’m not even sure if any of this was legal…..heres what happened in court…

The day we were scheduled to be there….my boyfriend was a little mad that moring because he had to take my dog for a walk and the little 7 lb yorkie got his shirt dirty and he had to iron another one! So he was sitting outside by himself while me and my girlfriend were on line….then the P and his attorney happened to go outside and stand next to where my boyfriend was sitting and what they said was horrible….they said they were going to have to make me out to look “Crazy”….his lawyer said this was very serious….apparently I didn’t even realize he could go to jail for this because there was a stay away order! Then they talked about the cape may case…his lawyer said don’t worry I have Megan Hoerner in the bag! Then he said he would talk to this judge and prosecutor now!

So I decided not to use my boyfriend as a witness…because we were planing to move and I did’nt want to give up his name…so only my girlfriend and I went to court….the prosecutor never talked to me after that first day….she never came up to me to ask me any questions the day of the hearing…nothing…In fact I asked her how long it would take for Dennis to get here from the prison he was in (for a different account) and she was rude and said it will be when it will be…then his attorney and her were chatting like best buddies! When they questioned my girlfriend they said they were not hearing anything other than the Boscov’s incident…then the hearing started the P was finally in court and his attorney was questioning me….I almost cried…he was yelling at me so abruptly….asking for my boyfriends name….oh and I forgot when I had gotten to court we met at the door at the same time….he used that in his debate….saying it was just a coincidence just like me and Dennis meeting….although with a stay away order he has the responsiblity to walk the other way…not toward me! But I was the bad guy….this attorney managed to make it out to be my boyfriend spying on them….for what reason would I do that…..They wanted to know who my boyfriend is….I said I couldn’t tell them…the judge was agreeing with the lawer and wanted that info…I explained to him how I felt unsafe and that we were moving….he said give it up or I will have to charge you with contempt of court….I still wouldn’t…insisting this is not right….I could not because I felt threatened….he said I had to drop the charges or give up the name….I dropped the charges…

I am still in fear for my life….and I am still unsure of how to handle all of this…..

TrishNJ

Dear Bird,

I wish I knew what I know today about getting child support and about these P’s……I faught for years in court for child support….I have many stories….and I spent more money than I ever received in support….so I will tell you to focus on yourself getting a decent career and moving forward with your life…and don’t tell social services the name of the guy either…don’t…tell them it was a one nite stand! Leave him out of the picture completely…..If you need help from Social Services go for it…you can get alot of help there with child care and other things but do not tell them who he is….or they will bring him back into your lives! And believe me you are better off on your own! You can do this!

Ox Drover

DEar Trish,

Your story sounds like some paranoid delusion—just like mine does! That doesn’t mean it isn’t true, just that it is “unbelieveable.” LOL My psychotherapist had me bring in a witness and court documents the second time I went to him to prove that I wasn’t just a “deluisional nut case” (my words not his) LOL

Yes, some of your stuff may actually have been coincidence, and maybe not! I also chose to RUN, and I managed somehow to do so in a sensible manner–picked a place and way to live that was in “plain sight” and yet hidden (an RV in a recreational area doesn’t stick out as new or different and no one is curious about just another RV coming in for the summer) I got my things out of the house a little at a time so they wouldn’t even know I was gone until it was complete and on the last load, I took the dogs.

I was fortunate enough that the Trojan Horse P’s record was sooooo awful (sexual predation on 3 children) that the local law enforcement in our small rural area believed me that he was a “bad actor”—I’m not sure if they believed ALL of the story, but they did believe enough of it that when the TH-P was caught with a gun after he tried to break into my son’s home with it, he went to jail, along with my DIL for buying the gun for him (her story that she bought it for herself and accidently left it in his vehicle and he was just returning it didn’t fly with the law.) She went to jail too. He is in prison now, and I was able to get his quick parole rescinded because of the law that says no sex offender can be housed in a half way house and he has no other place to go when he gets out. So for the time being we are physically safe.

I too thought about changing my name, leaving my home forever, etc. just because my need for safety at that time was so overwhelming. I have decided to return to my home, and have, but will most likely stay here and not be driven off, however, I know that if I thought I was unsafe here, I would and could leave in a matter of hours and wouldn’t look back. I will do whatever I think I have to in order to protect myself.

Free, about keeping your “guard up”–I think in time you will learn to be more “reserved” in giving out your trust, not so much “guarded”—I think the guarded might be a first step, but as you get “better at it” you will not lose your sparkle.

Giving way trust rather than having people EARN trust is one of the things I think we tend to do and that is why we became victims in the first place. When I meet someone new now, they start at a “base level” of trust/distrust. I don’t necessarily trust them but don’t DIS-trust them either. Sort of neutral I guess. But any behavior that raises a red flag sends them in to the “watch this guy” catagory.

I had a guy come by the other day, he was a rockk mason working on the house of a friend of mine’s new house. He told me who he was and said he wanted to come over and look at her horses that are pastured here on my place. We talked about horses for a while and looked at her horses, but as we walked over my place his head swiveled and swiveled and he kept looking and looking and actually appearing “nosey”—I think he must have sensed my disquiet because he said “Oh, I just like to look around” (my immediate thought was “at what you can maybe steal?”) I have a huge amount of valuable aircraft tools here. This man may be quiet honest, but he raised a red flag at his hypercurosity about all the things here on my farm, so if I were to have a robbery I would report his name to the police, and I will also keep an eye on him if he comes around again.

ANYTIME someone raises a “red flag” I will note it in the back of my mind. If later, I see that I was “over reactive” or too “hypervigilant” and something SOLID shows that what I thought was a red flag really wasn’t a red flag (not dis-ing the red flag like I did with my Ps) then I will let them move up a notch, but I will NEVER AGAIN GIVE AWAY MY COMPLETE TRUST until I have known a person well enough and long enough that I see I CAN trust them. They must EARN my trust little by little by their behavior as honest, trustworthy do-what-they-say-they-will-do people.

As I get to know someone, see them interact with others, listen to them tell about themselves, and compare what they say with what they do, get some history on their back ground, etc. I will use that information to calculate just how much I feel okay in trusting them. But no more “free rides” and once a boundary of trust is CROSSED by dishonesty, lies, etc. NO TRUST, no back peddling. They are OUT of my “circle of trust” forever. Goodbye. Have a good life, just not here.

TrishNJ

Dear OxDrover,

I could never go back to my past….never…..I have been dealing with the legal aspect of all of this…but someday I will change my name and idenity…it’s just a matter of time for me.

As far as your situation goes….be careful…better safe than sorry! Remember the law is more on their side….Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt….they don’t catch all murderers out there! And the way things look inside the legal system…fat chance getting proper investigations….they are already overwhelmed!

Longdistance S

I too am a psychologist and much like the rest of you have been subjected to some of these agonies, however, I am struggline with a sense of victimhood that I get from some of these postings. I also think what I am hearing is a lot of blaming and pointing fingers at the so-called sociopath, however, we are no different from them if we are driven by “our” “impulses” darlings! I guess what I am saying is that they do what they think is best for them, and we seem to be enabling them all the way by forgetting about who we are and what our wants and needs are. I think we should take more of a responsibility and come out of a lot hate messaging that we spiritually/emotionally/intellectually are sending our their way…I mean I am not trying to defend them but I guess what I am trying to do is claim back the power we think they took (or can) take away…giving into our impulses is like drug and feels good, let’s admit it, we all want to give up responsibility of who we are and what we struggle with so that we can live inside a wish…I guess that’s when sprirituality can help. It helps in the sense that we can stop creating false gods from these immortal beings, and we can stop worshipping another human being. They are the way they are because they are humans, they have blind spots, they have pains like us that they need to numb etc. so let’s stop trying to make monsters out of them. At certain points in our lives we could be acting like them and not even know it, not necessarily in a romantic situation, but at work etc. we ALL have blind spots and as krishnamurti says so nicely: “the root cause of all anger and frustration is fear”. Humans seemingly use each other becausse they are afraid, because life is tough and we are struggling human beings, the evil guy could be our son or brother doing it to someone else without our even being aware of it, so let’s stop focusing on our differences and focusing on them and instead, see why there is such shortage of ways and venues to meet eligible mates in our society, why mating and dating and finding new choices is seemingly so difficult for us. In my view we all get what we deserve, and if we are with a sociopath is becuase we deserve that experience (or our soul needs it) at that point, and given better choices we would not choose (or stay with) them! We think they are the best we can get at the time and we like to enable them and take care of them etc. becuase it fills a void inside our own self, so we too are selfish just like them in so many ways, it is just that we are matched with our negatives/positives much like the battery operates, let’s meditate a bit and see why they give us the high that they do and treat them like any bad experience in life, like a bad boss, bad friend, bad choice of vacation etc. – I particularly like to hear the comments that show how a woman can be empowered despite all hardships not what such and such jerk has done to her…sorry for the long post…

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