Feeling guilty about a sociopathic stepson

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader who we’ll call Martha.

I have a 33-year old adult stepson who I believe is sociopathic — he fits all the criteria. He has been a problem to the family ever since his mother threw him out to our house at the age of 13. By that time he was so oppositional there was no dealing with him in any reasonable way. We went through all the “standard” teenage issues with him — petty crime, running away, repeating years in school, counseling, adolescent psych facility, military school till we ran out of money, etc.

What is different about our situation from everything I read is that my husband has stood by him for so many years, giving him money, cosigning on loans, all to no avail of course. My husband thinks he is being a good Christian parent and that he is the only one who is forgiving enough — the rest of us are at fault for not being forgiving enough. We can have no reasonable discussion about his son, as he does not like to hear anything negative about him. We can have no reasonable discussion with his son, as he never takes responsibility for any of his actions — everything is our fault for not doing enough for him — all the standard excuses that sociopaths give.

My unique issue is that I feel a lot of guilt about it. I know he was 11 when we married, so I could not have had any part of early childhood upbringing. He showed some of the signs you talk about when he was 11, but he did not appear to me to be a red flag issue at that time. I was never able to bond with him, but his being sociopathic explains that to me in retrospect.

What I would like to hear about is how other parental figures deal with these feelings. My own husband acts like he feels guilty, but will not admit it. His ex-wife is emotionally fragile and has to stay on meds to keep from having a breakdown and being hospitalized again. My stepson is probably ADD also, but neither of them wanted him “labeled” as a child, so they rejected any sort of meds or treatment for him back then. I guess my moral compass says that parents should not inflict this type of child on society and must do everything possible to assure they raise their children right. I know it bugs me that neither my husband nor his ex ever seemed to do a whole lot to correct their son or guide him even today. I also know that a stepparent really has no ability to alter the situation either. I just feel that it is so wrong to have this situation and have all the family members taking this approach that it is not their issue or problem, and the guilt sponge in me feels that I cannot be allowed to sink to their level with them.

I feel guilty for being part of the whole situation and not being able to make it any better. I feel guilty for being part of unleashing my stepson on society where he preys on people and does not carry his weight. Every time I read one of those articles where people want to start prosecuting the parents when someone like my stepson commits a crime, I just cringe in fear. I feel like as long as my stepson is acting the way he does, someone must be doing penance for the sins. And it scares me that I feel that he will never change but we are responsible to get him to change since we somehow failed to properly mold him in the first place.

So why am I the guilt sponge? Why do I want everyone else to wallow in guilt like me? Are there other family figures in similar situations who feel all the guilt that no one else in the situation seems to feel? I know this is unrealistic guilt, too. I know I was raised to be a guilt sponge, so part of it is just me. Sometimes I think I have all the guilt genes these sociopaths never got!

Martha is not to blame

The reality of the situation is that Martha is not to blame for her stepson being a sociopath. This personality disorder is highly genetic. Martha is not the biological parent, so she had nothing to do with his genetics.

As Dr. Liane Leedom explains, children born with the genetic traits that may lead to sociopathy exhibit signs such as aloofness and fearlessness. This is because they have a diminished capacity to form bonds with people, including their parents. Parents need to work extra hard in order to teach these children how to love. For the best chance of success, parents must do this from the time the children are very young.

But this is new information—Dr. Leedom’s book, Just Like His Father? was published in 2006, and it is the only book that addresses how to parent children with genetic links to antisocial behavior. The information was simply not available when Martha’s stepson was growing up.

Plus, these children are, in fact, difficult. It takes a lot of emotional strength to teach them to be loving, day in and day out. Martha says that her stepson’s mother is emotionally fragile, so she did not have that strength.

The stepson came to Martha’s home when he was 13—probably in the midst of puberty. In many cases, the hormonal changes of puberty cause sociopathic traits to really become prominent. Martha and her husband did everything they could, such as counseling and military school. It didn’t work.

The sad truth is that sometimes the genetics of sociopathy are so strong that all the best efforts of parents to guide their children fail. Martha’s stepson may be one of those cases.

How to deal with the stepson

So now what? Martha’s stepson is 33 years old. He is an adult. The issue becomes, how does Martha and the rest of the family deal with him?

The first thing, I believe, is to be clear on what this disorder is about. If the stepson is a sociopath, he will probably be manipulative until the day he dies. He will lie, cheat, sponge off of others, perhaps commit crimes. This is what he is; this is what he does. No one in the family should have any illusions that he will change.

So then, what do they do? I’d say it depends on what the stepson does—Martha provided no information on that point.

If the stepson is a criminal, I think they should let him face the consequences of his actions by, for example, not bailing him out of jail.

If the stepson tries to defraud women, I think they should warn any woman that he snags. I’ve heard of many cases in which the families of sociopathic men were happy to let some poor, unsuspecting woman take the parasite off their hands. This, to me, is unconscionable.

If the stepson is abusive to Martha, she should implement a policy of no contact, even if her husband will not go along with it.

Martha mentioned feeling guilty about unleashing the sociopath on society. The family may or may not be able to do something about this. I know of one case in which a family made sure the sociopath was taken care of—set him up with a place to live, food, etc.—just so he wouldn’t have to steal and manipulate for a living. This might work for a parasitic type of sociopath. But, as Steve Becker writes, many sociopaths act out to relieve their boredom, so it might make it easier for him to cause other kinds of trouble.

Finding peace for herself

There is only one person we can ever truly change or influence, and that’s ourselves. Martha is in an impossible situation, and to me the only thing she can do is try to find peace for herself.

Martha needs to let go of the guilt. She did not cause her stepson to be a sociopath. She did her best to guide him in the right direction. It didn’t work.

Having a sociopathic stepson probably feels like a loss or a failure, and Martha may need to grieve this. Although there may be little Martha can do about the sociopath, she can do something about her emotions. She needs to let go of blaming herself, let go of wishing things were different, and accept what is.

Remember the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

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38 Comments on "Feeling guilty about a sociopathic stepson"

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Regrettably, there have been no responses to this post. I don’t have much to offer Martha, except sympathy.

Martha, guard your finances as much as possible. Your husband’s concern for his son may cause him to give the S assets the two of you need. The two of you may need legal help with this, and it’s a ticklish thing to do, given your husband’s prickly emotions with regard to his son.

I suspect that Martha’s husband feels far more guilt with regard to his son than Martha does. Martha, you know your husband best. Do and say whatever you can to mitigate that guilt.

It has been my observation that sociopathic children bring a great deal of grief, and even financial ruin, upon their elderly parents. One of my dear friends has a daughter who is probably borderline. This daughter is incarcerated for minor, stupid, piddling crimes this summer. Many, many people are sighing with relief. My girlfriend doesn’t see it this way, of course. Even though the daughter is 50+, the mother is grief stricken because her “baby” is troubled.

I’m afraid this is what you have to look forward to as you, your husband and the sociopath all age together. Guard your finances to the best of your ability, and be prepared to offer your husband a great deal of emotional support over the years.

When S children move home in adulthood, they bring awful baggage with them. I suggest that during a lull in the action, you convince your husband to move into an intimate little retirement home with NO SPARE BEDROOM! (Chuckle) It’s A OK to be a bit stealthy in your efforts to insulate your lives from the S.

Oh, one more thing: Don’t run around warning people of how awful your stepson is. This will backfire. It’s a rare person who will heed your warnings. You’ll only brand yourself as the “evil stepmother” if you do. Warning people about Sociopathy is an absolutely thankless task.


You are living with the feelings of a victim. For all practical purposes, you are a victim, though you are not identifying yourself that way. You are writing about your concerns about everyone else, and your internal confusion about what you should being doing about them — now or in the past. But the primary topic of this letter is your feelings, and that’s a really good thing to be focusing on.

Whatever your stepson is in diagnostic terms, he is affecting your life in serious ways, and has been for a long time. And whatever the causes of his behavior, he is an adult now and accountable for his behavior. This is important, because you are also accountable for yours and whether you are actually taking care of yourself.

One of the hardest things in dealing with people like your stepson is to separate yourself, to realize that he is not only a supportive and loving influence on your life, but that he will actually suck you dry or harm you, if you don’t consciously get some distance. Emotionally, if not physically.

No question you’re dealing with a complicated situation. A husband who is in denial, and probably (as Elizabeth noted) struggling with his own guilt, disappointment, and a lot of other emotions that threaten his sense of himself as a good person. The fact that the mother is emotionally unstable doesn’t help either. It sounds like you are the only one in this emotionally enmeshed group who is dealing with anything like a rational and realistic view of what’s going on.

In other words, you’re the grown-up. And because everyone else is acting as though they are inadequate or unwilling to face reality, you are left feeling like you are responsible in ways that you just aren’t. All of this is out of your control, and that’s the hard fact.

What is in your control is how you look at it, and how that affects how you feel about it and what you do about it. One of the ways you can look at it is that your husband is behaving irresponsibly, if you two have any hope of holding onto your remaining assets, not to mention your mental health. And you may have to find enough backbone to confront him, without apologies or caring whether he understands or not, and tell him that he is not taking care of you two and you expect him to do better.

This is going to be a tough conversation, and you may need to find a marriage counselor to help you go through it with him. But he is collaborating with your son in destroying your lives. It has to stop. And if he continues, there will be repercussions on your side. I don’t know what you can threaten him with — stop cooking for him, stop sleeping with him, leave him — but you have to communicate that you’re serious about this. So that he can see what he’s doing to you two, and make some decisions about what’s important to him and what he wants the rest of his life to look like.

This is not about not loving him. Quite the opposite, though he might not grasp it at first. But you also need to be prepared to back up your threats, even if it comes to leaving. And that’s going to be hard on you, but otherwise this isn’t going to stop. The stepson is manipulative and is playing off his father’s feelings of responsibility for him. And you need to clarify for him that he is prioritizing the wrong responsibilities. Not just in terms of how he should be caring for you, but how he should be caring for himself.

As far as what you’re experiencing as guilt, maybe it’s not guilt. Maybe you’re articulating it that way, because it’s a familiar concept in your current family or family of origin. Lots of times, when we dig down under these things, we find that we’re really angry with ourselves for allowing ourselves to be abused. For allowing the people we have supported and loved to return our investments with selfishness and thoughtlessness. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were so in your case.

At some layer of consciousness, you surely must be resentful and frightened about what your husband and this grown-up stepson are doing to your life and how they are threatening your future. A lot of your letter is about why you feel you can’t take action, the various obstacles related to other people’s emotional states or chronic behaviors.

But you know, Martha, this is your life. If you don’t stand up for what you think is prudent, fair and loving toward you, no one else is going to do it. Especially not in this group. Unless your husband wakes up. I assume he loves you and depends up the good, well-established partnership of your marriage. But it also sounds like he might be suffering something like the same kind of guilt, a kind of mask of depression over not being able to get his own life under control because he feels responsible for other people’s behaviors.

The real challenge is for both of you to toughen up. And start thinking about and taking care of yourselves. If you’re stepson is ever going to grow up or behave more responsibility, he’s going to do it on his own dime, not yours. What he owes you now is a truckload of apologies and efforts to make amends. Short of that, he’s not worth dealing with or worrying about. He’s on his own destructive path, and your only real relationship to it is as a witness. Available to help by sharing your own experiences, if someone asks. But otherwise, what he does has nothing to do with you.

If these other people insist on thinking that they need to be involved, you absolutely have to think about what you’re going to do to protect yourself. There’s a concept that some people here talk about as “sociopath by proxy.” If your husband is giving away your money and darkening your life by continuing to support this dangerous man, then you have to recognize that you might as well have the sociopath in your home. This is a tough thing to face, but it’s what you’re dealing with.

I’m sorry to be so blunt. And sorry this is so hard for you. But the truth is that you’re a victim as much as the rest of us here. And like us, you face the challenge of taking your life back. The fact that you’re here at all is a great step. Welcome to LoveFraud. It’s a wonderful place for healing.


Dear Martha,

I am a 62 year old woman with a VERY SIMILAR SITUATION, only it isn’t my husband that is ENABLING the psychopath but my mother and the “child” (now 38) is in prison for murder which he is guilty of, AND has recently tried to kill me by seinding another psychopath he met in prison to do the actual murder of me—because I cut him out of my will.

I am also othe one who coined the term “psychopath-by-proxy” for my mother’s toxic enabling, giving my son money, providing for him to have a LOT of money after her death, which he will use to try to get out of prison AND to use to try another attempt on killing me and his two brothers.

Though your husband, like my “egg donor” (mother), couches their enabling (muting the consequences for the psychopath of their behavior) pouring mooney and other assets to these people and saying it is “forgiving” IT IS NOT ABOUT FORGIVENESS AS THE BIBLE DESCRIBES IT—I too am a Christian but my egg donor’s “definition” of “FORGIVENESS” is to “PRETEND IT NEVER HAPPENED” THOUGH YOU KNOW IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO GENUINE SIGN OF REPENTENCE.

It appears that your husband is using the same “twisted” lotgic cloked in “christian forgiveness” that my egg donor uses to excuse my P son, NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES, it is “not his fault” and so on.

In this situation, Martha, there IS ONE INNOCENT person, and that is YOU. There is NO WAY you caused or failed to prevent this young man’s behavior.

Your husband is a TOXIC ENABLER who is in my opinion a “psychopath-by-Proxy” with his enabling of his son to continue this reign of terror without consequences.

My other sons and I have completely cut off all contact with my egg donor after she promised to stop sending money to my P son, and then lied about it and we caught her lying to us. She knew that if she sent money, she would lose contact with us and we have continued to stand by that. She still sends the money. I amher only child and my other sons her only other grandchildren, so she has in effect, TRADED the P-grandson of hers for the rest of her family. She stands by that choice and we stand by ours. so she is alone, her only family contact the letters she gets from her incarcertated grandson.

I have a feeling your husband would do the same.

So, after a marriage of 20 something years, your only options are to 1) accept the situation as it is and not participate in it and continue to live with your husband while he sends your joint assets to this man or 2) cut your loses and get a divorce and half the assets if you can.

Neither of these “option” is an easy one for you. It was not easy for me to “divorce” my egg donor, as I am her only child. It was also not easy to “divorce” my P-son, even if he had become a murderer, but after much pain, 20+ years of headaches and sorrow and tears, I did both of these things.

I am very sorry that you have had so omany years of your life lived in chaos and trauma, but the one fact we have to accept as grown ups and the hardest to accept I think, is that we cannot control what others do or thinnk, even when it is so obviously “bad.”

I wish you well and I ihope that you will come here to LoveFraud and learn more about psychopaths and about their enablers and how we CAN BREAK FREE and BE FREE and experience joy in life again! My prayers are for you and your healing and escape from all this continual pain. God bless you. (((hugs))))

I so agree with Ox Drover, (as usual). The only way I am able to survive the abuse, and self guilt, I suffered for years dealing with my “troubled” daughter, is absolute NO CONTACT. Yes, break free of this sociopathic “kid”, and his enabling father both.

Oxydrover, I love you and I miss you all. I had to comment on this topic. I had to stop posting for a while, due to the divorce and custody battle.

As you all know, I am the daughter, sister, ex-wife and mother of a sociopath. My daughter is now 11. In the past, she has made 3 attempts on my baby’s life from my second marriage, drowned my poodle, snapped my birds’ necks and has stolen from me and my friends, including food, money, makeup, clothing and whatever she can get her hands on. Her new thing is to disappear in the middle of the night and come back with large amounts of cash. Every lock in my home is disabled as well, so that she can gain access to whatever she wants. They are repaired every week and she simply disables them again.

We are down to finalizing her being placed in a permanent facility and it has been a lengthy process and a desperate cry for help.

Like the husband of the woman in this posting, I denied, denied and denied her condition. I even went after the school board when they “segregated” her from the school bus for torturing other children. But when she drowned my poodle, it got “real” for me. Then I knew, she was one of those.

I no longer deny the truth about my daughter, as I want to go to the hilltops and shout it out and warn THE WORLD. She has no soul, she has no conscience and she is a “flatliner”. Yes, a “flatliner”. When I look into those eyes of hers, there is NOTHING there, as if she is simply staring off into space. The expression changes, but never those eyes.

It’s funny how my mother’s own parents hid what she was and we hid what my brother was and my first ex-husband’s family hid what he was. I suspect the reason is that NO ONE wants to admit to having a monstor. Yes, A MONSTOR from the scary movie that in their sick, twisted game to win, they keep coming back. You think that at the hospital after giving birth to her, I would think, OMG, she is going to be Rosemary’s baby? It is not what I signed up for.

She is in the therapeutic school now every day and will be transitioning to live there full time. During the struggle, guess what? Her father called me! He now wants to be in her life. I quickly told him to go back to hell and keep running it OR, go find some chains and haunt a house. He says there is NOTHING wrong with her. HA HA HA.

At her therapeutic school, she has already conned her shrink. The shrink actually thinks she can save her and pointed out the fact that she didn’t want to give the poor worms to the bird on their field trip to a nature outing. I told her that it is all an illusion…..Whatever! Whenever I piss her off, she makes false reports against me and CPS shows up equipped with her shrink. This shrink thought that she could “save” her. Thank GOD that the shrink my little P had been seeing prior to this school and since she was 5 (the same shrink I wanted to fight in the parking lot when she told me that she saw something DARK in my child that I humbly went back to and have counseled with over a year), has been there to back me and swatting down child protective services like flies. Her con game; however, has been helpful to my benefit. I told her “Please, I can save her” shrink that if they didn’t do something soon, I will send her to her father and within a week, she will be a street prostitute, but because both she and her father are so cunning, they will NEVER prove it.

I’m DONE. And I too do not want to unleash a beast on society, which is why I will ALWAYS rat her out……..ALWAYS. She knows this and perhaps this will keep her away from me once she graduates “Vampire High.” It’s funny, one of her classmates (another P) told her that everybody at that school is going to hell and she asked if it was true. My answer, “It won’t be so bad, at least there will be somebody there that you know.”

If I offend anyone, I really don’t care, come live my life with her for one week, just one, I will pay all the expenses and afterwards, you will RUN for the hills.


I’m so sorry. Has the “I can save her!” shrink gotten a clue yet?

We had two kids in our family who started running wild at about age 11. Ironically, the rest of the family didn’t know. The parents knew their daughters sneaked out every night, of course. The rest of us were clueless. We just saw “sweet little twin girls”.

I don’t think my nieces are as bad as your daughter, but it just goes to show how much can be hidden and/or denied. You describe a lot of hiding and denial WRT previous problem members of your family. I can relate to this, because it’s taken me decades to learn just how crazy-mean my two nieces, now in their early 20s, can be.

They’re as sweet as pie to me, but absolutely evil to their mother and each other.

God Bless You, Dear Lady. You’re in my prayers.

As I read what Martha has written, plus the responses, I’m struck anew by the damage that results from relationships with Sociopaths.

Martha, cling to sanity! Don’t let the step-son ruin your life. Stop thinking about him as much as you can. Limit the damage he can do to your finances and your emotions. Try to protect your husband as well.

Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Histrionics, Borderlines and Narcissists really change us. The greater our exposure, the worse we’re harmed. Oh sure, we can and do recover. That being said, the memories can be awful, and the recovery process is rough. Finances don’t always bounce back so easily. Even when we feel stronger and wiser than ever before, we still bear the scars.

Don’t waste any more emotion on your Sociopathic Stepson. Disconnect, distance and insulate – that’s your best bet.



To answer your question Elizabeth, the answer is no. The shrink still thinks that there is something that I am doing that is causing her behavior saying that she wants to “attach” to me. It’s utter nonsense. She called me today and said that she had to file another report because she lied again and said that she was spanked, when I asked by who, she said, “you.” So, I was like do whatever you got to do.

The school made a bed ready for her as of tomorrow on emergency shelter plans because I reported that there are safety concerns. This will be emergency placement for 30 days and give the school board a chance to re-coop and call her IEP. At the last IEP, the school board got into a pissing match with the staff at the school because the school performed a “psychological evaluation” on her and began to read it about how low her cognitive skills are and how she can’t identify correctly with emotion. The board immediately adjourned the meeting to talk with their “uppers”. My best friend who is a juvenile correction’s officer was there and said, “It’s all because you guys don’t want to pay….Yes Ms. Shrink that think you can save her, she is in fact good here at school, it’s because you have controls.” He went on to explain that she can’t do bad things there because there is so much control and literally 2 staff members to each student. He made me laugh so hard when he said, “Meanwhile, that little souless girl wakes up at home before school and says, let me do 10 bad things today before I leave because I won’t have that chance at school.”

So, I am meeting with the school tomorrow and will be saying goodbyes to her. I am mandated to meet with the school and her once a week, as their goal is to eventually have her “reattach” to me and come home. It’s all to frustrating. **sigh**

Dear TDp. my God! I thought I had problems with my daughter, but compared to what you have had to live through, they seem like nothing. How terrible for you. I hope and pray that you will be able to extricate yourself from this agonising situation, and get some kind of a life for yourself.
My ex husband was an alcoholic, and he did bash me severely before I left him. However, I have long ago forgiven him, and still have good memories of some happy times with him. The problem is now with my daughters, now 43 and 45 years old. I havent seen the younger one, Claire, for 16 years, and have never once been allowed to see her 3 kids.
Until I found Lovefraud, quite recently, I had no idea that the hell Ive been experiencing for over 30 years had a name, that both my girls are NS. The older one was the worst, over the years she has,wrecked my art studio, and destroyed all my art books and paintings, painting over some of them. Invited strange guys into our home when my ex and I went on a brief holiday break, to try to save our marriage. When we returned w found our home had been vandalised and wrecked, -thousands of dollars damage. She has thrown a red hot steam iron at my head, and then hotly denied it,beat me with a bamboo pole, leaving red welts,hit me in the face with a belt buckle, threatened to break a stool over my head.
She has connedand fleeced me out of thousands of dollars, lied to me, wrecked my tiny flat, bad mouthed me to my new husband, told so many lies I even wonder if she knows she is doing it. Since she left her poor long suffering husband 3 years ago, I have given her thousands to try to bale her out of toxic credit card debt.She never, ever rings me unless she wants something, usually cash. I gave her an ultimatum several weeks ago,set a boundary,{that she get rid of her former alcoholic friends from her facebook, and re-instate me, and also apologise for all the terrible, cruel, heartless things she has done to me. Since the letter, I havent heard from her, and I havent rung her. I feel at peace about it, and dont miss her at all. I know I must NOT weaken, and now that I have the marvellous support and help from all you great people out there, I know I CAN DO IT!! Its not easy to cut off your own flesh and blood, but she is not, as dear Oxy said, my dear wee girl any more. She is a selfish, cruel, manipulative, conniving lying B—ch. She doesnt love me, I doubt if she is capable of love.My lovely new Iranian “children” make David and I so happy, they ar so appreciative of all we do for them. They hug and kiss us, and are doing much to heal my broken heart! I thank god for them! Maia {geminigirl}


Reading your posts, I kept thinking of how grounded in reality you sound, and what a hard road you’ve traveled to get to where you are now. There are a number of people here dealing with problem children, but you are the first person I can remember who has gotten so far with diagnosis, going through the treatment options, getting professional support, and placing one into a residential facility.

I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this, but I’m grateful you’re here telling your story. It may help some of us. I hope the relative peace and safety makes a big difference for you and your family.


Thanks Mai and Kathleen.

I stay grounded because I have been surrounded by them all my life. It’s easy to let go “pure evil”. That is exactly what they are: heartless, wreckless, venemous–true representation of evil.

Children at her school appear to be about 98% sociopaths. It’s like a bunch of robots walking around with those scary ass eyes. I keep thinking that one of them will lead a revolt and they all turn into bats and terrorize the county. There is one girl at her school that is 6 and decided to drop her newborn baby brother in the pool and drowned him because her mother pissed her off. Seriously, it’s like a school full of monstors and they really should call it “Vampire High”.

All I can do is stay on top of it. For parents out there struggling, stay on top of your school district, express safety concerns and utilize EVERY resource there is. Whenever they do anything wrong, call mental health, call the police, call the school district, call social services and keep it all documented.

Well, I am scheduled to meet her at the school at 5:30 p.m. today to tell her that she is not coming home. She won’t know that she is going until we get there, just in case she decides to burn the house down before we go. Wish me luck.

Love to all of you.


I wish you well. I hope it all happens relatively smoothly, and you come home to a blessedly peaceful house.


I feel your pain. I too have a stepson about the same age as yours. I have been married to my husband for 25 yrs. He is a wonderful caring man. We have 4 other children together.
My stepson also meets the criteria of a sociopath. On top of that he has a bad drinking problem, he smokes pot alot and takes perscriptions for anxiety and anti-depressant medication. It started getting bad about 10 years age. He has no ambition and no problem taking money from anyone. He has no self respect. I keep waiting for him to grow up, he can’t hold down a job. He also has been married twice and many other relationships. He lives in his own house but my husband has been helping with finances for years. I have had it with this situation.
My younger children all act so much more mature than their older brother. They
all feel a little sorry for him because he doe’s not have a good relationship this his mother. I think he is very manipulating and self -centered he takes and takes and never gives back. He tells people what they want to hear.
My husband recently suffered a stroke, he also has a heart problem. My stepson came to him for thousands of dollars because he was way behind on his bills. My husband gave him the money because he was afaid he would lose his house.
I was very angry with both of them and told them so. My husband can’t have alot of stress right now so I have backed off him (for now). He is the type that would give you the shirt off his back. I think he is always afaid his son will commit suicide if he gets to depressed so he enables him.
My stepson has never cared much about his younger siblings until recently. They are older now and have situations or things he wants. Now he wants more of a relationship with them. I know it is so he can take advantage of them becaus I have watched him manipulate for years. When I get upset or bring it to my husband attention he tells me I dont love my stepson the same as I do my own children.
All the children are raised and out of the house and living productive lifes except my stepson. He is regressing, it is soo frustrating. He says he wants to change but I know he likes being the party animal all the time. He doe’s not want to grow up and be responsible.
My husband and I never fight except over this issue.
I am going to help my husband through his recovery. I do love him dearly. I don’t know if my marriage can withstand more than 1 more year of enabling.

tdp- I have thought about you often since I first read your story. I haven’t any advice, just want to send wishes of strength and peace to you.

Thank you once again Kathleen and now Glinda.

Well, I just got back, it’s 9:10 p.m. PST. I asked her to clean her room and to pack some items and she agreed and asked if we were going to her dad’s house the P. I told her no and told her to just do what I asked. She came downstairs to my home/office and said she was ready, so I asked if her room was clean and she said “yes.” So, I left with her and called my ex-husband and told him I would be late for the custody exchange to get my toddler back from him.

On the ride over, I told her that she was going to her school to live and that it is for the best because of all that she has done and that it is my hope that she tries to “blend” better like normal human beings or just get the help that she needs.

I sat in the lobby with the social worker and we filled out the emergency placement forms, which was ordered by her shrink. During the time I filled them out, there was some verbiage that I didn’t understand, something like I granted them “custody” while awaiting her IEP for them to step in and take over and pay. I crossed out the verbiage and wrote in that I do not allow them to take “custody”; however I allow placement because of safety. At first there was a struggle, but then the social worker agreed and was fine with it.

All of the staff gaver he welcomes and began joking and playing with her in the lobby (they all know her and like her). I heard one staff member say over the walkie-talkie before the other staff members came up, “She is FINALLY here to stay.” He was in the other room and didn’t think I heard it. That alone was tremendous for me, I mean emotionally it really was. Her goodbye words were, “Bring me treats when you come to visit. Now, at least I won’t have to sit next to so-and-so on the school bus anymore…..bye mom!”

I cried as I spoke to the social worker alone when we finalized everything and I got my copies of the paperwork. I briefed her on the entire nightmare and told her about her P father. I told them to make no mistake, if they didn’t do something, she was going to go with her father. She then asked, just like Mrs. Save The World Shrink, “Why would you place her with a bad man, we would have to step in.” My response, “It’s not against the law to be a Sociopath. He has no criminal record and I have NEVER EVER been able to prove all the hell, lies and games he put me through. So, it will be laughable for you in court that because the district got into a pissing match with this facility claim that he is not fit because he has no soul, it’s not against the law.” I further went on to tell them that he lives in a separate county, so if they backed me to a wall, I would simply drive her there, pack up her belongings and drive 90 miles per hour away and let them try to get the other county involved and satisfy her clueless shrink. Towards the end, she began to sympathize with me and I burst into tears. I told her that this is nothing I wanted EVER for my child. This is the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.

When I got to the parking lot, I began to cry uncontrolably and so I called my shrink and she said that she was proud of me and new that it would hurt, knew that I love my daughter and said that I was very brave. Then she made me laugh so hard saying, “Yeah Mrs. Save the World, upper middle classed, liberal was horrified at the thought of her walking the streets with her probable pimp father. It’s sad you had to go to such an extreme to get her to where she needs to be.” Yes, he, her P father was on a couple of conference calls with the school and yelled obscenities to the top of his lungs about how there is nothing wrong with her and that they were a bunch of idiots and how he didn’t want her on meds.

Before I began this blog, I went up to her room, she once again lied to my face, not caring like she usually does that I will possibly check it and then the usual 3 hour shouting match pursues while she kicks on the walls saying, “It’s clean” or run out of the house screaming to the top of her lungs, “Don’t kill me, my mommy is trying to kill me” and then the police come. It’s a complete disaster. For several months now, I only allowed her to have a pillow and blanket in her room and no clothes so she wouldn’t sneak out of the house and by the end of each week, she has stolen everything back out of my room and the garage and it’s only Thursday and all of her belongings are piled in her room, shredded paper is everywhere and the stench of urine is quite evident. It’s a ritual, every Friday we shampoo her carpet and take back everything from her room and then she stores urine in the interim and collects trash to destroy her room again. I plan on cleaning it for good this weekend and remove the writing on her walls that read, “I hate you mom,” “You b*tch” and my favorite, “You suck.” All in black sharpie format, so it can’t be washed.

So, I am now going to join my toddler upstairs and finally have a good night sleep for the first time in a long time and I don’t have to put a chair in front of my door! But alas, it is still painful, but at the same time a relief.

By the way, the evening social worker called me last minute, the exchange wasn’t supposed to take place until tomorrow, but they were in fear they would lose a bed. So, thank goodness her shrink is clueless. That’s all for now, off to bed!

I’m glad for your peace tonight. I imagine this was wrestled with over and over and over…….
Certainly not a decision taken lightly. I commend you for not ‘keeping the secret’ and not being ‘bullied’ by the folks your daughter has bamboozled.
I pray that your daughter can get the help she so needs, and maybe one day she can integrate back into ‘society’ and her family in a more healthy way for all of you.
You sought help, you didn’t take the ‘abuse’ from the pros and you knew what your daughter needs. I commend you again and again.
Your in my thoughts and I send you mojo strength to see the way ahead.
I bid you peace my friend.


I just read your post, and feel grief-stricken, relieved, wishing I could wrap you up in a blanket and feed you cocoa, show up to help you clean and paint the room. You write so well. It’s like living through it with you.

A story like yours makes me wonder what any of this about. Why some of us have so much to deal with. What it forces us to face, and what we find in ourselves to survive. Because that is what so much of this is about, pure survival for us and our kids. Or the ones we can save, when we have that power, which we sometimes don’t.

I am sorry that you’ve had to go through this. I can’t imagine what it was like, but you expressed it very clearly. And it made me cry.

But I’m glad it all happened with no one being hurt, and that the staff like her there. The comment on the walkie talkie was a grace note. And that she, apparently, walked away without looking back. And that you were able to say the right things for them to take the situation and you seriously.

Your strength through all of this, your focus on what needs to be done, has been superhuman. I hope you include some decompression in your ideas of how it is going to be now. You’ve been holding the world on your shoulders. I’m glad you have a therapist, and she sounds like a real friend to you.

You are brave. And not just brave for a moment, but brave over a long time. Not least because, while it must have sometimes seemed like every thing in your life was conspiring to make you a victim, you decided not to be. To make your life something else.

Namaste. I salute your will, your good sense, and your ability to see and learn.

Whatever strings still tie you, I hope this is the beginning of something truly better for you.


Thank you Kathy and Erin.

I slept in today. Held my baby close to me, bathed him and got him ready for an early, unscheduled visitation with his father.

Kathy, it was in fact like a final sociopath “F U” when she walked away without even saying that she loved me and I am sure she could see right through my soul, as she is a pro in reading body language and emotions, so she did know that she hurt me, but she really didn’t care. As I watched her walk off, she was playing with the staff members little tug of war with her bag and just happy, but perhaps not, I think it’s the fact that she knew she hurt me.

Well, I am off to see my boyfriend for a day at the beach. He doesn’t know “her” but knows of her, as there was no way I would expose him to my situation.

Happy 4th everyone. May God bless and keep you all. Thank you for the kind words. I will update you on the visit I am having with her on Sunday and see how grateful she is for the “treats” I give her that she asked for when she walked away from me.



Your comment on your parting from your daughter made me think of a comment so many on this site have made — that once an S has decided you are of no further use to him, he walks away without so much as a backward glance at you.

I am in no position to address the parent-child bond. There is a part of me that wonders what your daughter would do if you didn’t bring her the “treats” you promised her. I suspect that if you didn’t produce those treats in short order she would decide that you were of no use to her on a going-forward basis.

Have you ever read the book “The Bad Seed”? It is a fiction book about the mother of a young girl who is a sociopath. While most people on the first read think it is the story of a sociopathic child who becomes a murderer, it is really the story of the mother.

tdpprocessing – I am in awe of your ability to hold it together in the face of this – you sound clear and rational and – well healthy despite the enormous amount of horror you have had to face.

I love what Kathleen wrote –

Your strength through all of this, your focus on what needs to be done, has been superhuman.


You are brave. And not just brave for a moment, but brave over a long time.

Co-sign that!

May you have a wonderful celebration July 4th – may freedom from this struggle be yours.

Hello to All,

As I read this thread, I feel very relieved to know that others go through similar experiences. After scouring the net for advice and comfort, I always end up finding solace at lovefraud.com. Tdpprocessing, I do so hope that you are finding the peace you deserve. Your strength to walk on is incredible, and I admire your ability to let go, even as it must be excruciating to have no other choice. I, too, have a daughter (she is my only child) who demonstrates sociopathic traits (either by proxy or a combination of training by the ex (her father) and perhaps genetic tendency from that side)- she is now 18. We were separated for 6 years; the sociopathic ex kidnapped her in 2003, and since the courts made all the transcripts disappear (he had connections), I lost all hope that I’d ever see her again, (in fact, mourned terribly after she left at 12). Last November, she returned to me and my second husband, with legs cut up, withdrawing from heroin use, truant from school, and telling us and the therapist that her half-brother had sexually abused her- there was a CPS case started by the school she was at in NJ. Since then, she has refused to be interviewed, because she doesn’t want to “hurt” this person’s life.

Since she has come back, all the hope I once had to help her heal has gradually been decimated by her behavior, which over time seems more and more to mimic that of the ex. For the past nine months, my daughter has demonstrated all the signs of what we first thought was PTSD, then BPD, and now, psychopathic tendencies. She has abused us both terribly, calling us every swear word in the book, (the same ones the ex used to call me), lying, threatening us physically, behaving in such a horrendous manner that we have had to call the police, and trying to destroy the new marriage, creating lies designed to try to divide our relationship, and our family. (My new husband recently told me that on several occasions, she would confide in him that her mom was “crazy” and that her mom had had affairs during the marriage to her father- even as both were false, when he told me my daughter had told him these things behind my back, I felt as if the trust between me and my child had been forever breached). Now she claims she cannot “remember” ever saying anything, and that my new husband was “making it all up to make her look bad.”

At first, I held up high hopes that she could heal, because she knew how to draw me back emotionally in to the old connection we used to share, years ago; however, over a period of several months, we observed a stark fluctuation between two opposing personalities, splitting almost perfectly in her, one very charming, sweet and needy, (the part of her that wanted or needed something from us), with words that could convince everyone of her abilities, but without any actions to follow them, and the other, an overly entitled, demanding, abusive teen acting out in rages akin to those of a 4 year old child.

Just when she was about to get tossed out of school in NH, she agreed to be hospitalized for 8 days, and then we tried Risperdal for her extreme rages. For about a month, things were a little better, but after that, the situation became progressively worse, to the point that we couldn’t maintain our normal family life, nor invite my husband’s two wonderful boys over for dinner, because of some daily rage she’d initiate that was upsetting the entire household. As she claimed that her social anxiety “prevented her” from going to school, we arranged for homeschooling until her graduation. This seemed a bit strange, as her social life in NJ had seemed almost extreme and ever-blooming (particularly with those who were fond of using heroin)- however, in NH, she refused to make any new connections, pay 50 dollars for a license, or do anything save complete the least amount of work she had to do to graduate, then take off for a summer in NJ.

It wasn’t until she kept going back to her father and her druggie friends in NJ for every possible vacation, where she is still being abused, and likely also again using drugs, that I started to have no choice but to realize that the mean side of my daughter was the “real” one, that she came to NH, in part, in her own words, “to use us to graduate.” This week, we called her, via conference call with our family therapist, and she stated that she “got along with her father better,” and since “we made it too hard for her to stay in NH” (by requiring her to get into an independent living program), she was going to stay with her father (supposedly), even as it “was all our fault that she couldn’t stay in NH.” At any rate, even as I can walk on (I went through this mourning process when she was 12, as even then she was showing signs of splitting and psychopathy), I fear that she may die of a heroin overdose (she is hanging out with two other friends who are on probation for heroin, and has initiated suicide attempts in the past.)

We are prepared for what future horrors may come, but can do no more for her, as we tried so very hard to give her the chance to choose to allow what we thought as the nice part of her, to become real, 24-7. It does feel like a tremendous relief not to have to dread waking up every morning to cater endlessly to her neediness and her abuse, and yet, at the same time, I feel robbed of my motherhood, (and 6 years of being in her life), and robbed of the connection I once had with my only child. In the same breath, I also try to honor the part of me that needs to walk on, to breathe, and to live without fear, and without guilt or past stigma. One day at a time. Peace and healing to you Tdp, and to all.

Dear around the bend,I really feel for you, I had very similar problems to you with my then teenage daughter, Deborah. As soon as she hit puberty, she changed from this quiet, studious, hard workingchild, with top grades in every subject, into this raging fiend, who stayed out late, drank, was out of control, escaped out of her bedroom window, and ran off into the night. She was both physically and emotionally abusive to me. I tried everything I knew how, to reach her. Then she left school, ran away from home, and went to live in a squat with this “tribe” of punks.Her dad was even more devastated thn I wa and started drinking again, after 10 years of sobriety.over the last 30 years, she has stolen from me, conned me, lied to me, used me, I have given her thousands of dollars, and all because I was in this FOG {Fear, Obligation and Guilt}. It wasnt until I founf Lovefraud recently that the penny finally dropped. I wrote to her,{she is now 45}, letting her know the Mum bank is now closed, and that if she wishes to see me again I require her to apologise for all th mean rotten things she has done to me over the years. I have little hope that she will change,Narcissists apparently never change, so I will have to be strong and go NC,{no contact }. Its very painful to do this, but I know its my only hope of a good, peaceful life with my second husband. I deserve a better life, and I now know that I am NOT to blame for the way she has turned out. As Oxy said, “Kiss your dear little girl in your mind,, and say goodbye to her, because this scheming, selfish, abusive, manipulative nasty person is NOT the dear little girl you once had in your life. She has GONE for good.You deserve to live without guilt, fear,and this awful sinking feeling in your stomach. I had it for years.You need to live your life, and have a happy life!!Dear Around the bend, you will never win with a daughter like this.Dont feel robbed of your Motherhood, GOd knows you did the best you could!Even Jesus said, “If they reject your words, shake the dust of your feet and leave them.Dont cast your pearls before swine.” He says to us, if they dont repent,{apologise and change their ways]

this was cut off, for some reason! I meant to say,Jesus said, FROM SUCH TURN AWAY!! She is not the lovely little girl you remember.She has to live with the choices she has made. You deserve a happy, peaceful, joyful life and you will never have this with her in your life. Its very hard, but Ive had to go NC with my daughter,and you will probably end up doing the same.I wish I could give you a big hug, and say, “God loves you! he doesnt blame you! You did your best!Now you have to move on, and let her go, as Im having to do. Its very hard, but you have the love and support of all these wonderful Loverfaud guys, to cheer you on!All the best,love, and Hugs,geminigirlXX

I have thought about you many times and wondered how you were doing with your daughter. I have to say that your story, when I read it months ago gave me hope and inspired me, as well to find someone out there that “gets it”. I have found that some of the most difficult challenges is to find outside resources willing to help. I was unable to even get my son tested through the school system for ADD/ADHD. His insurance put that responsibility ON the school & of course the school put that responsibility ON the insurance. NOT that this even matters at this point, as he would refuse the meds anyways….However that was just my FIRST attempt at what was a long uphill battle to even BEGIN to find some small solutions to some of the many challenges……Two years later and it is still an uphill battle. There is NO “system” out there for any kind of EARLY intervention…..It all seems to revolve around breaking the law. I am so sick of hearing that…..

I am sorry that your situation with your daughter has not been what you had hoped it would be. I hope that you can take some comfort in the fact that you did everything that you possibly could do as a parent…….I know those are shallow sounding “words”, but in my heart, I really feel for what you are going through.
I am still struggling to get through this. Wondering what my son is or isn’t as far as the spectrum of the disorders/emotional and mental disorders.
If I could wish anything for you it would be peace. Finding moments of peace within yourself.

Dear TDProcessing,

I have been busy with other things and didn’t get to your story until this afternoon. I am SOOO relieved that your child is out of your house and that you and your son are SAFE AT LAST.

I heard the desperation of your posts months ago, and have worried and thought about and prayed fo ryou in the time since you posted last. I cannot even imagine how traumatized each day, each hour, each minute of your life in the interum has been. When I worked at the in-patient-psych-hospitals I saw “your daughtetr” and her clones daily and they were so scary that they made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The Ms. I can save her Shrink also makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, because they try to make YOU look like a monster for being unable to control a “sweet little child”—-I wish I could have seen my son as the MONSTER HE IS a long while before I finally got a clue, and that was after he had KILLED SOMEONE.

Thanks Geminigirl, and Witsend, for your kind words and thoughtful support. I’m sorry I didn’t respond for a few days, but I wanted to spend some time thinking about all the great things that you and other people share on this site. Thanks to all for sharing your stories, and your profound growth. It means so much! Certainly, this ambiguous grief we all share is, at times, agonizing, in that our feelings shift frequently, along with varying levels of acceptance, that ebb and flow, each day. Our children, whether they are 3 or 43 years old, will always be our flesh and blood, and so part of what is so hard to let go of is that very basic physical/spiritual connection between mother and child which cannot be expurgated, even when we do need to let go and walk on. When I said in the other post that I feel “robbed of motherhood,” I guess what I mean is that I am honoring the anger inside me that sees how the ex, (my daughter’s father) so deliberately trained all the weakest areas of her personality to mold her into a weapon that would eventually come back to suffer to the degree that she would come to abuse me, and others. On one side of the coin, I guess one hard part to accept is not whether I did the best I could, but how to let go of the unknown question for which I may never answer: If my child had not been forced, through the corrupt system that let her down during the divorce, to be thrust into parenting with a sociopathic father (without her mom able to protect her for six years), would she be in this spot today? On the other side of the coin, and perhaps even more daunting, the other part for me that is hard to accept is to figure out just how much responsibility I own in my daughter’s suffering in her life, (ie in giving birth to her knowing the marriage wasn’t perfect at the time) and how much I now owe her because of my blatant unawareness and innocence. Is this responsibility an amount? Is it, at times, a feeling or need to relinquish my own happiness because she has suffered so much at times, in part because of my past naivety? I guess since neither question can be answered adequately, I’ve decided to view this process as a constant and sometimes unpredictable fluctuation between letting go and embracing, and knowing when it is time to perform which task, depending on the state of the “weather” inside, both in me, and in my child. I feel there has been a huge price for my naivety, and I find it awfully difficult not to give up on trying to help my child heal during the short moments she is open to receiving and reciprocating, because there are those small opportunities that pop up in each day; besides, I’m the one who brought her into this world, even if she is an adult (albeit a very confused one). The conclusion I’ve come to is that this process is much like the constant ebb and flow of tides, that our feelings and approaches toward the complexity of our children must be as wide and varied as the sea. As protective but also independent and responsible parents, we must be as vast and open as oceans, constant and present when our children are open to walking our shores, when they ready and aware to pick up the shells and gems of the wisdom we’ve learned in the process of our healing, but also constant and fully moving and trilling to the dances of our own lives and growth. When the tide ebbs, the children are gone, or we are in mourning, we are just gathering energy for the next flux, contemplating our mistakes and accepting the losses, or setting our boundaries so that they and we know that we will not accept anything less than a life with no abuse in it. When the tide comes in, we fill the shores with our tears and joy combined; at these times, we share the largesse of the wisdom we’ve gained from our suffering, with one another, with those people who are still unaware in society. Whether or not the people we love and care about want to share on our ocean journey is up to them, but we are always there, always doing our own thing. When children are little, we hold the responsibility to care for them at times when they are lost in the woods, but even then we still have the space of a rich inner life to cultivate; this garden may be the very place they may be ready for someday to come back to as their only soft place to fall. Even as we take moments to honor the anger, and honor the confusion, we can hold neither hope nor hopelessness inside regarding our children as the reasons we continue to grow and walk on inside. The only thing we can do is be fully in each moment, and to let those moments carry us, like the sea to our healthy inner and outer destinations.
We had the lucky opportunity to put this into practice. Yesterday, my 18 year old daughter came back to NH to pack all her things so that she can move back in with her father in NJ, because her abusive behavior is such that she cannot live with us now. At first, my husband and I were dreading having to endure more abuse, albeit for a short time, and indeed, she did start in on her old behaviors. This time, I tried to observe as if she were one of my students and not my child, but with the same kind of love and kindness I would offer them, but without holding any expectation of healing or helping her. She asked me if we had told my husband’s sons about her abusive behaviors to us. I could not lie to her, but I couched it this way: “Everyone in a family has issues and problems, and in our family, people share the truth about our humanness so that we can help one another, not hurt each other. The boys see you as someone searching for yourself, just as they are doing.” At first, she responded several times, “Those boys are (expletives), and I never want to see them again.” I told her they would never speak about her in that way, and disengaged. Several hours later, my husband decided to take one of his sons on a hike. My daughter was happily opening her graduation present from us, a laptop, and so I felt intuitively here there might be a slight but rare opportunity to give her a chance to choose a path that would help her emerge from her shame and start embracing personal responsibility as a normal human being. I said “Your stepdad and his son are going on a hike to a beautiful place I’d love you to see! Would you like to go and see it so we could all go together?” She seemed to be wrestling inside with two opposing choices. I said, “If you choose to give it a shot, I think you may find that your fears might be unfounded.” And then she said, “I guess so.” So we packed into the care, surrounded by a moment of magic in joy. Then while we were on the hike, I asked my stepson if his brother might come along in the evening and bring his game “HALO” so that my daughter could try playing with him, and he did. In the end, we ALL shared a very wonderful dinner and evening. What happened here to me as a mom was HUGE; for once, my daughter didn’t flip out, and she was willing to be included in a family situation, knowing that she was taking a risk, and knowing that others knew that she had a tendency to abuse us. We told her afterward how much we admired her courage. Now we know that when she goes back into the abusive situation to live again, she does not want to close the door to a connection with us. At least for that moment, our family was blessed.

I have to firmly say one thing: The Eyes. My experience with “them” being the daughter, sister, ex-wife and mother of one, I don’t differentiate with height, weight, social status, race, creed, gender, sexual preference, political party………just the disturbing “eyes”. Sorry, I am totally black and white here, no ifs ands or buts and no gray areas. My socio-dar calls a spade, A SPADE!


You are are the sunshine after the rain.

Yes, she is gone. I miss her, and then I don’t. I am in a zone that I have NEVER felt before. Her actions after the placement drives me there and also Ms. “I can save her.”

So, I went for visitation. She asked for shopping. So, I bought her whatever she asked for (of course the most expensive items she wanted and it had to be name brand because that’s just HER). This was on a Sunday.

On Monday, she stood at a position that she will NOT take my calls. Ms. “I can save her” told her that she didn’t have to.

I have done nothing to her, but, I am the evil one. It makes me laugh, but it hurts so much to the core of my soul. I admit, I did go off on her shrink with a few threats too saying, “The little tyrant has only one choice in life and that is, either peas or carrots for dinner and if she keeps it up, I will pick her ass up and take her to her father if she wants to play this game.” Oh my God, I can’t believe I went there!!! I’m certain the shrink is gathering with her army and ammunition, but I really don’t care. I feel SAFE in my own skin.

My blue eyes celebrated his third birthday yesterday and it was so peaceful. No police, no sleeping in a barracade, no preparation for the fire ladder in case she sets the place on fire, no safety concerns, no uptightness, just PEACE.

It’s funny, during visitation, she told me about an outing where her and the rest of the “dead” society went. Apparently, there was a truck driver that was cut off by their bus driver at a nature camp. Well, the truck driver flipped off the bus driver with the “undead” crew of kids present from her school while unboarding when he decided to vent. At cue (HER OWN WORDS….I SWEAR ON MY SON’S LIFE), they all flipped him off by sticking up both fingers in the air and making an X, as in xoxo, but just x with both vulgar fingers. Can you imagine this grown man’s shock with a bus load of little girls ages 5 to 17 doing this? How refreshing right?

All I can do is pray for strength and mercy that the school keeps her there until she “blends” better.

I no longer feel guilt for my 30 year old stepson who is a sociopath. I have had 15 years of hell. It has been constant chaos and a huge roller coaster ride. When I married my husband his son was 15 and well on his way to his sociopathic path. My husband did not tell me that his son had already been sent to a boys home for delinquency, drugs, truancy, stealing and assault. I brought my son who was eight into this marriage and it is something that I will regret and have to live with for the rest of my life. He was a victim as well. My stepson has been arrested at least 10 times, spent long periods of time incarcerated and my husband has bailed him out of just about every situation that exists. My husband owns his own business and he has and is currently supporting my stepson, his girlfriend and there three children.

There has been a long history of sick behavior on my stepsons part. When I first married my husband, I caught my stepson breaking into our bedroom stealing my underwear and using it to masturbate. He was also saving his urine in cleaning botles under his mattress. I tried to tell my husband that his son needed serious psychological help, but my husband was in denial and is still to this day. Over the years my stepson has broken into our house to steal to provide for his drug and alcohol habit. I have had everything stolen from christmas presents to my son’s silver dollar collection to just about anything worth of value, including my car. My stepson defamed my name in the small town in which I lived and worded in a charity by spreading lies that I was a drug user and that I was having sex with him. Before he was arrested at the age of 22 for assault, he got a 15 year old girl pregnant. While he was incarcerated the girl stayed with my husband and I in our home. They would spend hours on the phone each day and I found myself walking on eggshells because they would talk about me and the girl would complain to the stepson that I was not treating her right. My stepson threatened to kill me when he got out of jail, when I told my husband of this, he told me that I should have kept my mouth shut. i was shocked.
I ended up leaving my husband only to come back to the promises that things would change, that he would put me first and protect me from his stepson. Needless to say that has not happened. The abuse has continued. Now that he has 3 children, ages 6,5 and 4., it is difficult for me to sit by and watch and be a witness to my stepson emotionally and physically abuse his girlfriend who is afraid for her life if she leaves him. He controls her and will not allow her to have any contact with her family. His children have wittnessed violence and kicking in of walls and damage to property because of my stepsons angry outbursts. All along my husband has continued to go along with this behavior. I believe that my husband feels guilt for his lack of parenting and being an alcoholic when his son was little. 2 years ago when I left my husaband we went to counseling and all of this came out in the open and I thought that we had dealt with it effectively, my husband admitted to not protecting myself or my son from his son and that things would change, that he would put me first and stop enabeling his son to abuse either of us. Well, needless to say that has not happened, it has only gotten worse. I have reached the point that I do not want to go visit them, they live 2 hours away. I do not even want to be in the same room with his son, knowing everything I know and that his girlfriend has confided in me that she isbeing physically, emotionally and sexually abused on a daily basis and much of this takes place in front of the children. It is very strange on how a sociopath can pick up on the vibes of another person that knows who they are and won’t buy any of their crap any more. This past weekend was the 5 yearolds birthday and we had planned a birthday party to go to the zoo. They came to stay with us for the weekend. My husband and I have been looking forward to having the grandchildren stay with us and went out and purchased new beds. The 5 year old has some allergies, and we have cats. The girlfriend gave the 5 year old an antahistimine and he was doing fine. It was not until after the kids were in bed sleeping, my husband and I went to bed as well, that my stepson knocked on our door and told my husband that they had to go to a hotel because the 5 year old was sick. They were sleeping. My husband paid for a hotel room for them and they were supposed to be back at our house at 9:00 in the morning for breakfast before we went to the zoo for the day. When they did not arrive the next morning, my husband phone the hotel and found out from the girlfriend that my stepson had left hotel at 3 a.m., to go out to use drugs, and did not return. My husband went to hotel to get girlfriend and kids and we fed them and were on our way to zoo, when stepson phoned my husbands cell to say he needed us to turn around and go get him as he was to messed up to drive and needed girlfriend to pick drive his truck. By this time I was really annoyed, but my husband and girlfriend readily agreed to do this and at this point think that this is all normal and acceptable. After getting to the zoo, stepson stays in truck to sleep away the afternoon. We went to dinner afterwards, I had difficulty being in the same room with stepson and was very disgusted with his behavior, but did not say anything about it, just ignored him, which made him angry. He wants to behave in horrible ways and get away with it and gets very angry and has a hair trigger if anyone goes against him. He wanted my husband to pay for another night in a hotel room for him and family and my husband refused saying they could stay at our house or go home. They argued in the parking lot of a restaurant about this and I had had enough and shook my head. My stepson became very angry and exploded at me verbally. When we got back to our house, I calmly asked him if the kids could come in for the birthday cake for the 5 year old. He exploded again yealling he was sick of my drama, omg, my drama, just like a sociopath to try and deflect any wrongdoing and look for a scapegoat, and I have been the scapegoat for 15 years. I tryed to defend myself outside in the front yard, my husband I could tell was very scared of his son as well, and screamed at me to shut up and go in the house. His son followed me in the house up stairs where I had gone, my legs were shaking and I was very frightened for my physical saftey. He came upstairs after me and got in my face yelling at me that he hated me, blamed me for ruining his life and that he could do anything he wanted to do to me and that no one could stop him. I took that as a threat, my husband came in the house and told his son to leave or he would call the cops. It was horrible and the whole thing makes me feel sick and dirty. I told my husband after his stepsonleft that I was afraid for my physical saftey and thought his son was going to hit me. He blamed me, stating that if I had only had kept my mouth shut, that I was worse than his son. Even after everything that has happened in the last 15 years, my husband blaming me and using me as a scapegoat, his denial over his sons behavior, I was shocked, hurt and scared. It has been a few days now and my husband refuses to discuss this incident, which is how he deals with any crisis or problem, ignore it and it will go away. My stepson needs my husband to support him, so they will make up by the end of the week and my husband wants to be able to see his grandkids. So where does that leave me??? Out in the cold once again…I feel like I have been involved in a hit and run again….I am recovering from major surgery and I need to heal up, take care of myself, because no one else will in this situation. This sick family dynamic was already in place before I arrived, I have pointed out the elephant in the room over and over again. I have been punished over and over again. I do not want my stepson to ever step foot in my home again. I am afraid of him and that makes me feel angry. This should not be allowed to continue to happen. I know I have to leave and then and only then will I be free. Thanks for letting me vent

stillhavehope1, Reading your story was so scary. I felt like I was reading about my life. I felt like someone got ahold of my inner most thoughts and wrote them out. I feel for you so much.. I am also at the point that I know I must leave my marriage in order to be in a safe place. Im only 37 and feel like an elderly person with all the craziness I have gone through. My husband is 19 years older then me and I met him when I was only 23 and very needy aND STUPID. His son from the beginning was trying to keep me away from his father. his son is 7 years younger then me. So he really felt like He did not have to respect me. I also feel as though my husband has put his son before me and my 9 year old. I regret every dealing with my husband his son is a loser and he is a loser. I have given and wasted so many good years of my life on someone who does not care for me. Im a christain who is trying to do the right thing. the right i know is not allowing abuse to continue. If God wants the best for us why would he want us to be in an abuse no win situation? I hope that things are getting better for you stillhavehope1, I know for me the only way for peace is to get away and start a new life with my daughter.

Sonia, I am so sorry that you’ve had such horrible experiences.

I’m only going to type this once, and if ANYONE gets offended by it, tough: in NO writing, Gospel, or passage does it say that “God (wants) us to be in an abuse-no-win situation.” Nowhere.

This is NOT to support an abusive ex, Sonia, but I think it is vital for incoming step-parents to do 2 things: 1) engage in family counseling with all parties involved, and 2) accept and understand that my new spouse’s child will be a priority before I am.

Now, having said that, that doesn’t mean that a new step-parent should be allowed to be treated like dirt.

Have you sought counseling to help you sort this all out as you exit this marriage? Have you consulted a divorce attorney, yet? I would strongly urge you to do BOTH before you make ANY move, unless you and/or your daughter are in danger. Leaving a sociopath is a VERY dicey situation, at the very least.

Brightest blessings

truthspeaks, I have spoken to hom about counseling but it is always what he feels like i am making a mountain out of a mole hill. I have 8 brothers and as adults we do not treat each other with disrespect like his son has treated me. His son has threatened to punch me in the face and have his wife beat me up and my husband witnessed the whole thing. yewt nothing was done . there were no consequences for his behavior . his father still pays many of his bills, bails him out of all kind of legal problems. he feels entiled to his fathers things. Im the evil one. I know i am not crazy. I have given up on the relationship. I feel ilke i just want to move on. I am going to look for some legal advice. thank you so much. I find that I can not be with a man that does not respect me enough to defend me from his sociopath son. right is right , wrong is wrong , what i find is that many people get confused with what they would put up from there children because they are children. our children still have moral responsibility to society. sociopaths have no moral resposibility to society especailly when they have enabling parents to protect them from consequences of bad dishonest chioces. I feel ilke this whole situation has changed me into a person that is not trusting anymore.

Sonia, yes – the dynamics of this “family” are emotionally and morally broken, and I don’t blame you for wanting to end it.

I also have “trust issues,” and it’s something that I’m going to have to manage for the rest of my life. But, my belief is that I’ll be better able to manage those issues when I am able to trust MYSELF to make good, sound decisions and choices.

Hang in there, Sonia, and do speak to an attorney before you do ANYthing. Spaths have a very, very uncanny way to warp and twist every situation to their advantage and divorce is no exception. If you have access to cash, begin stashing it away. Gather all of your “important documents” together and keep them hidden in a safe place. Don’t speak about this to ANYONE, especially your daughter. Don’t make any threats of divorce, either. That can really open the door wider to personal danger of all types. Counseling would be strictly for you, now – so you can sort all of this out and learn ways to help you manage your experiences and triggers that are associated with those experiences.

You are not crazy. You are not evil. You are valuable and an important part of this vast Universe. Take it one moment at a time, Sonia – one step at at time. And, take your life back for you and your daughter.

Brightest blessings

You aren’t the first person to post a similar story about an enabling parent that allows a spathy kid to run amok on the other family members.

My own parents do something similar and Oxy’s egg donor enables Oxy’s spathy grown son who is in prison.

If you want to read a true story about a similar situation, read “Everything She Ever Wanted” by Ann Rule. True life case of a murdering woman enabled by her mother.

There might be different reasons why these enablers do what they do. Frankly, I suspect they like the drama that the spath creates. They actually like being able to sit on the sidelines, like it was some kind of spectator sport, while their baby-gladiators create chaos. Then they get to root for their team, whichever side they are on that day, and get themselves worked up into a frenzy. When it’s all over, they get to go home and “pretend it never happened.” Because it didn’t happen –to them.

Honestly, I believe this is just another sickness in human nature that nobody talks about. Instead, we’ve made it part of our culture, the same way that the romans and the aztecs did. It’s like a religious ritual and people find it cathartic to work out their anxieties in this way. Only problem is, they need a scapegoat… the most innocent is always chosen.

We could form a new club: Scapegoats Anonymous.
We’re all honorary members.

Anyway, sorry I got on my soapbox and couldn’t stop!!

What I mean to say is that your husband is probably doing everything he does on purpose. He is addicted to the drama and don’t you dare take away the source of his drug: his kid.

I understand about your not wanting to trust anymore. I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that, in my experience, you will learn that you can trust yourself to have good judgement, eventually. You will know it, when it happens, because you’ll instantly recognize red flags.

The bad news is that you’ll see red flags in abundance. That’s because they are everywhere. You aren’t paranoid, spaths and their minions really are everywhere.

Skylar, I totally agree with you. this is a pandemic. It is a little secret that all the sociopaths want to keep. I see him for what he truly is and he hates it. He tells his father he did not do anything to me. He is not allowed in my house anymore. He tells his father that it is not my house because I dint pay half the bills. he is so concern that hias father takes care of me but we all know why. That is less money for his father to spend on him and his bad decisons. He has goated me in the past but not anymore I know not to respond in anger because that is what he wants . he has two children and he only pays min child support for one because the childs mother took him to court. He admitted to us years agao that he didnt have a steady job because he did not want to pay child support. he said let her pay for evrything. what I give my daughter when I see her is enough. he is married and just walked away for his wife and daughter to come to Florida where we live and make our life more difficult the it already was. His wife refused to come live here, so he dediced that they would break up. personally, I think she figured out he was a do nothing and wanted to let the dead weight go. his father decided to sign to be in charge of him while he was still on probation. he paid his restituion and his apartment since I decided he could not be around me and my daughter anymore. Yet it was all my fault I should have kept my mouth shut and he would have not threated me in front of my daughter. I decided to stand up for my self and this is what I get. I come from a dysfuctional family but this family is criminally dysfuctional. I am taking my life back. I hope everyone had a great july 4th.

Sonia, you wrote: “I decided to stand up for my self and this is what I get.”

What you will “get” if you move through the process of ending things in a precise and legal way is your FREEDOM. Freedom from fear. Freedom from manipulation. Freedom from abuse. Freedom to become whom you were intended to be.

And, your daughter is watching all of this, Sonia. She is reading every nuance and filing it away in her child’s psyche. She is going to learn three possible lessons: 1) how to be a perfect victim; 2) how to be a perfect abuser, or; 3) how to be a self-assured, independent woman who can make sound choices and be self-aware and self-reliant.

Kids cannot process the same information in the way that adults can – they do not have the benefit of maturity or experience. My sons both were so horribly damaged by their experiences that one is a bona fide diagnosed Borderline (and, sociopath), and the other is fighting to extract himself from the role of “Victim.”

Brightest healing blessings to you

Truthspeak, I know it is what I must do to have a better life for me and my daughter. I no longer have any hopes of things changing because things will not change. I can only change and make better choices. I can not see myself being with my husband since he does not understand the pain and damage his son has caused. I do not want to have his son in my life anymore. I know the only way to assure that is to divorce my husband and start a new life with my daughter. I wonder if there is a way I can keep my daughter away from his son after the divorce? I want him out of me and my daughters life. Thanks for listening

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