How to recognize and recover from the sociopaths – narcissists in your life › Forums › Lovefraud Community Forum – General › Several months on – some perspective needed please
March 8, 2021 at 7:09 pm #65446
Hi, I haven’t posted for a little while because I have been working hard on my recovery. I would say I am making progress in lots of ways but I need some perspective on one particular aspect please. I just want to clarify that we were friends rather than partners. S told me that he had experienced childhood trauma and, as a consequence, struggled with sex addiction and other mental health issues. He painted a grim picture of a life full of broken relationships, infidelity, promiscuity, cybersex, using pornography and prostitutes etc Any attempt at questioning his behaviour was met with hurt feelings, the silent treatment, attempts at justification and complaints of feeling judged. Ultimately he began a relationship with his complementary therapist who regularly posted about the effects of trauma – suggesting that traumatised people can’t help their behaviour and shouldn’t be judged or shamed. At that point our friendship disintegrated and I was left feeling hurt and confused. I am interested in understanding my response to his sexual behaviours. To be honest, I was completely appalled by the things he told me – I thought his behaviour was profoundly damaging to his humanity and to his mental and physical health. Equally, as a woman and the mother of daughters, I felt disgusted that he indulged in behaviour that abuses and exploits women. I felt a real sense of shock at what he told me and have struggled with it ever since. Is it a failing on my behalf that I couldn’t cope with hearing about his behaviour – should I have been more tolerant and understanding, less judgmental? I felt traumatised by some of the conversations we had and have struggled to put them to the back of my mind.
March 8, 2021 at 7:40 pm #65447truthmattersParticipant
“ should I have been more tolerant and understanding, less judgmental?”
No. Let me repeat it, NO. I had a very similar situation. The childhood trauma as his excuse for the sex addiction, he hated his behavior, wanted to kill himself, blah blah blah. I spent thousands on his treatment, didn’t leave him as I intended, did the Christian thing by trying to be supportive during his fake recovery.
Unfortunately, it was all BS. A couple years later, after what he claimed was a relapse (which he blamed on me because the first psychiatrist was asian and he’s sexually attracted to asians…) I found out the truth. He had never ever recovered because it was all a lie.
Center of Healthy Sex had referred him to a psychiatrist at UCLA for a behavior evaluation to determine cause of the “sex addiction”. It wasn’t childhood trauma. It was his sexual and mental pleasure/obsession to manipulate and control people. Again, his abusive/perverse/dishonest behavior was caused by his insatiable need to control and manipulate people; that’s what got him off, that was his drug fix. He had been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and hid it from me.
Not only did he hide his diagnosis from me, he used the “sex addiction” bs to play the victim (while never stopping sexually abusing people and exploiting them multiple people at a time), deny responsibility for his actions (it’s fault of childhood and he can’t stop it), and to keep me trapped in his abuse while physically, psychologically, financially, and sexually abusing me.
About six months after we finally escaped, I learned he’d been sexually abusing my sons as well. Think about your children, then re-read that sentence.
Trust your instinct not your sympathy, because you are being played. He is likely telling you all this to 1) see how much you can take and still not walk away (at which point he’ll work OT to reel you back in) 2) you are snared and he’s likely enjoying your discomfort and yo-yoing with your guilt/sympathy/horror towards him, 3) it is desensitizing you so that he can keep pushing this perverse game a little further and further with you.
You won’t like reaching your breaking point, because what you don’t yet know about him is likely worse than what you already do. The harm he’s already inflicted on you is likely far worse than you realize yet.
For your sake and your daughters, stop all contact.
STOP ALL CONTACT.
He’s in too far already. It is not your job to be polite, it is not hour job to explain yourself, it is not your job to be his therapist, it is not your job to be his friend, and it is absolutely not your job to continue being his victim.
Get yourself and your children away from this person.
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by truthmatters.
March 8, 2021 at 7:49 pm #65449Donna AndersenKeymaster
artyme – I second everything that truthmatters says. An excellent response with lots of good advice.
It did sound to me like the guy was trying to see how far he could push you.
When you are uncomfortable, that’s the only reason you need to end a relationship/friendship. Remember, your first responsibility is always to yourself and your kids.
March 8, 2021 at 8:20 pm #65451
To be honest, I was completely appalled by the things he told me – I thought his behaviour was profoundly damaging to his humanity and to his mental and physical health. Equally, as a woman and the mother of daughters, I felt disgusted that he indulged in behaviour that abuses and exploits women.
This was your GUT SURVIVAL INSTINCT ALARM BELL GOING OFF LETTING YOU KNOW THIS GUY IS VERY VERY DANGEROUS!!!
You did the right thing to not only protect you from a preditor but your daughters too!!!
BRAVO FOR LISTENING TO YOUR GUT INSTINCTS!!!!
Read Donna’s review of the book “The Gift of fear” by Gavin Debecker.
ALso, google “Oprah Gavin Debecker you tube” to watch their interview on this book and why it is vitally important to ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR GUT INSTINCT!! It will keep you alive & out of danger.
So many of us that got tangled up romantically with a sociopath…had the same gut reaction when meeting our ex’s…we all regret not listening to our gut alarm warning bell.
YOU SHOULD BE SO PROUD OF YOURSELF FOR WHAT YOU DID. BUT KNOW IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO KEEP THIS GUY OUT OF YOUR LIFE & YOUR CHILDRENS LIFE FOR GOOD!!
Please look up at the top of LF “No contact rule”…and also the net. BLock him from your social media, & phone.
This is the only way to deal with a sociopath = kick them out of your life forever!!
If they attempt to boomerang back into your life. STOP IT THEM IMMEDIATELY if you have to call the police.
You should be so proud of yourself!! YOu did the CORRECT THING…but, now just keep him out of your life & keep reading everything here on Lovefraud it will open your mind up as to what kind of evil danger this guy really is. ANd that therapist is UNEDUCATED ABOUT HOW TO SPOT A SOCIOPATH…most are…Donna has a course for therapist to get educated. SO direct this therapist to that then keep this therapist out of your life too.
SENDING YOU HUGE HUGS 💜💜💜 PAT YOUR self on the back & be proud of yourself for having a very strong gut instinct!!
ps remember sociopaths use “sociopath pity me manipulation” (look this term up here on LF) to such people into their con game & keep them in their con game. Dont take his bait.
March 8, 2021 at 8:23 pm #65453
ps I read after I escaped my ex h (a sociopath) that 70-90% of child predator are sociopaths!! Protect your children & teach them that it is ok to stop being friends with people that are bad people. This is a valuable life lessson for them.
ps your local library may have the book “The gift of fear” and also look up at the top of LF bookstore for Donna’s wonderful books.
March 8, 2021 at 9:36 pm #65454
No you should absolutely not have been more tolerant and understanding or less judgmental. That is exactly how they get you. They do or say things that slightly cross your boundaries, then when you are tolerant and non-judgmental they will push a little farther next time, and next time, and they will keep going until you find yourself in a completely degenerate world and you don’t even recognize yourself anymore.
I think prostitution and degenerate sex is linked with sociopathy because my ex was really into that world at well. He was cheating daily with multiple hookers and strippers and spent massive amounts of our money on this degeneracy.
March 9, 2021 at 2:25 am #65455
Thank you all – it was such a relief to wake up to these responses this morning! (I am in the UK so it is morning here now)
I walked away several months ago now and have no contact with him. During the process of extracting myself I wrote to his therapist and told her everything. I felt it was my responsibility to warn her. I happen to know that they are still together now. Also, during the time I knew him, I realised that his ex wife was still friends with him on Facebook and had their wedding photos clearly visible. She left him because of his sexual deviance and is now married to someone else. I know another woman keeps in touch with him even though he was constantly unfaithful to her. He also has a huge number of adoring women friends on Facebook! I think about these women and can’t help wondering if I am particularly harsh and judgmental. By the end I felt disgusted by every aspect of his behaviour and was convinced he would never change. Equally, I have a female friend who claims that prostitution empowers women – I just don’t see it that way. I realise that my life is so much better, happier and calmer without him but sometimes I find myself wondering if I am harsh and uncaring. There is such an industry around trauma these days – so many ‘cures’ and therapists reminding you not to judge or shame people. I think these deviant people ride the crest of that sympathetic wave. I will investigate the resources you have suggested – thank you.
March 9, 2021 at 3:20 am #65456
PS I have just remembered something I left out. I have a friend who is a child psychologist with an interest in trauma. When I told her how I felt when I discovered he used prostitutes and that I had warned his new partner, she questioned me and suggested that some people might be fine with their partners visiting prostitutes. She was obviously only offering her perspective but it made me feel as though I was a prude and harshly judgmental. I just don’t believe that he is capable of a healthy, equal, respectful, loving relationship. I also believe that sexual abuse and exploitation damages all of us.
March 9, 2021 at 9:40 am #65457
what those therapist do not realise is that women who end up in protitution rings are “sex slaves” controlled by sociopath & psychopath who care nothing about the women expect that they give them free sex & that they make their living off of the poor women.
These women are in a “cult” like environment and their life in constant state fear of being physically abused by their sociopath or the men who hire them. It’s a very tramatic trauma filled life if this theripist would step back and see the truth. In addition most of their cult leaderes give them drugs to control them & get their money back that they made so that they are depended on their cult leader & will not leave the business. Most therapist are clueless about sociopath & psychopath traits/behavior or how to spot a sociopath cult,
ALso, controlled by sociopaths & psychopaths are gang members & the mafia. It’s all grooming/love bombing with sucking someone into prostition which are a high majority of the “prositution rings” are run by the worlds mafia. Also, grooming/love bombing for gang members & also intimidated tachtics.
Steven Hasson (a cult expert) highlights in his book that a “cult” can have one member ie domestic abuse (which we all experienced here) or a cult leader can have millions. That cult leaders want power & controlover everyone. In addition if you look at his site he highlights that prostitution, gangs, religion organizations, some yoga guru clubs, political organizations etc are run by cult leaders. Who are cult leaders? Sociopaths & psychopaths!!
So dont let those theripist turn your head from your gut instinct. Those theripist are absolutely clueless…and the one who is dating him…is now his cult vicitm!!
Again, YOU HAVE VERY STRONG GUT INSTINCT…you were right about that evil guy!! You tried to warn those theripist…but, they will need to learn their own lesson about sociopaths and the evilness they bring into other lives. Sad. But,you planted the seed that this guy does NOT have a healthy brain! And never will!!
If you want to educate yourself on cults…because this guy is a cult leader…look up Steven Hassan’s book (see donna’s review here on LF just do a search at the top of LF) and see his site “Freedom of mind resource center”….
when I escpaed my ex h I felt like I was “brain washed” during my marrige my him even though I really did not know much about this term…I asked my counselor after I escaped if my h was “brain washing me”…she said ‘YES”!!! That is correct!! without hesitation with her words…so I did reseraching on brain washing becuase I wanted to “unbrain wash may mind”..which leaded me to Steven Hassan’s book Freedom Of mind and his news books (cant remember the name just lookup)…It was a light bulb moment not just for the hell that I endured by my ex h…but, also it opens your mind to all the evilness you read in books. newspapers, magazines..and you see on the news..
and once you see the amount of brain washing in this world from tv to news papers, magazine, from Politcans to World leaders (who most are psychopath & sociopaths who only care about money, power & control over others you see the truth in this world..the wizard of oz curtain opens if you are brave enought to look & see the truth…
Educating yourself on brain washing you can see the endless suffering on this planet at the hands of these evil sociopahts…you will then fully understand the evil depths that a sociopath will push their victims into…including for those poor women who endup in prostitution…or young people who end up in the mafia.
Again, those therpist are absolutely clueless about how to spot a abuse vicitm or a sociopths. Prostitues are abuse victims. Had someone told me that prior to my hell at the grips of a socioapth…I might not believe it because you just hear “they chose that life”…but, most were sucked into that cult world very quickly. and cant escape.
If you feel inclined maybe sent an email to them & let them know about Donna’s books (in her book store at the top of LF) and also of Steven Hassan’s Books & his website. His books & site (with videos) and his you tube videos…was a huge part of my healing and what I needed to unravel the brain washing…and of course this wonderful site Lovefraud is a Saving Grace for all of us.
March 9, 2021 at 6:29 pm #65459
Thank you – it is such a relief to find other people who understand the nature of the problem. I am genuinely shocked that people (especially therapists) can make excuses for this behaviour – nothing excuses the sexual exploitation of other human beings. This site is indeed wonderful!
March 10, 2021 at 1:19 pm #65463
Am glad you worked out staying no contact with your disordered friend.
I am appalled as well that some therapists see nothing wrong with pornography or prostitution. Many young people from poor countries get lured by sociopath promises of a good job in a richer country. Instead they are kidnapped and trafficked into the sex trade. They often are told they or a family member will be harmed if they leave. It may help to send the therapist news articles on this phenomenon. That’s very kind of you to try to help her out.
I have gained so much insight into sociopathy thanks to Donna. It’s helped me to heal from my relationship & avoid future entanglements. A definite life saver and then some.
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by thesmiths.
March 10, 2021 at 6:35 pm #65466
Yes I agree that most therapists are clueless. They mean well but they don’t understand these disorders and don’t understand the signs. They are trained to give equal credence and respect and understanding to all people. So they don’t understand that some people should be harshly judged on their sociopathic actions.
When I went to marital counseling with my ex the therapist did not understand the signs at all. He just naturally assumed my ex was a normal well meaning person and that our marital problems were normal couples issues like growing apart or lack of communication etc.
It took a while for him to understand what my ex was really about. And when he finally did understand he said: he was just a con man. So finally the therapist did see that he could not believe anything my ex said and that my ex did not mean well. But it took a while to get there. Because from his training his natural assumption was to treat my ex as an honest well meaning normal person going through normal marital struggles.
March 10, 2021 at 7:25 pm #65467
That is it exactly! I have had to walk away from our friendship and go no contact without any real closure – or the apology I deserve for all the lies he told. I realise that I am struggling this week because it is two years since we met. You are all completely right about this – he is treated with respect, sympathy and understanding by his therapists. What about all the women he has lied to and cheated on? What about those women/girls who are sexually exploited through prostitution and pornography? What sympathy and support do they get? Many years ago I used to drive through the red light district on my way home from college – those women looked utterly broken. I have been haunted by those images ever since he told me. I have teenage daughters and it would break my heart if they were mistreated by some man who thinks it is okay to exploit and abuse because of some unspecified childhood trauma. It makes me furious – he described his sexual deviancy as self-medicating! It is disgusting to use someone else’s body to ‘medicate’ yourself. It is just vile. There appears to be an endless supply of therapists queuing up to reassure him that it’s not his fault and he is the real victim – the most recent one is even prepared to abandon all her professional boundaries and have a relationship with him! I am sorry for ranting – I didn’t mean to but when I started to type the floodgates opened and all my hurt and pain poured out. Finally I am in a space where I can express my pain. Thank you
March 10, 2021 at 8:52 pm #65468
Sorry you had to lead a seminar about sociopaths for your therapist. It’s amazing they don’t know. You’re right they believe all people are good deep down inside.
I had a similar experience when I wanted to end my marriage after four years due to abuse, lack of interest in sex, overspending and poor work ethic. (These issues weren’t visible until after we were married.) My husband attributed the sudden appearance of these behaviors due to our marriage triggering unresolved issues of his being molested as a kid. It didn’t seem like a credible reason. My therapist believed him. She told me I was lucky to be married. I was 60 lbs. overweight then and assumed she was talking about that since I was 34. I stuck it out for another 16 miserable years with him.
I sought therapy after the divorce. I knew he had a personality disorder after googling it – my guess was psychopath. Not much luck. One was promising after I told her my story. She must have forgotten my issues. She told me his strange behavior may have been due to PTSD instead.
artyme, have heard some therapists go into the field because subconsciously they are the ones that need help. Sorry you didn’t get closure or an apology. None of us did. I know it hurts and anniversaries tend to stir up these feelings.
As a gentle suggestion, go no contact with the Facebook page where you see mention of this man or his girlfriend. It’s not pleasant and doesn’t help you. He’s not worth it. He can’t change. Hopefully, she’ll eventually see him as the big problem he truly is.
You’ve come so far and are very much worth it! We are rooting for you!
March 10, 2021 at 10:20 pm #65469truthmattersParticipant
In response to sept4, “Yes I agree that most therapists are clueless. They mean well but they don’t understand…,” I would like to add that there are indeed therapists trained in abuse from anti-social personality disordered persons BUT true specialists are few and far between. If the therapist profile shows that they treat everything under the sun, they do not specialize in this most likely. Everyone out there, do your research and find someone who specializes specifically in this. They are out there and they do make a world of difference.
March 11, 2021 at 2:34 am #65470
Yes truthmatters – I wholeheartedly agree. If a therapist makes extravagant claims or appears to treat an broad range of issues, it is a red flag and they are best avoided. I have previously had little to do with therapists but this experience has opened my eyes to the huge variety of therapists out there and the industry that has developed around the treatment of trauma.
I am sure there are excellent therapists out there. I suspect from my own experience that disordered people are unlikely to seek out effective and highly professional therapists – S seemed to gravitate towards quick fixes and sources of sympathy.
March 11, 2021 at 2:43 am #65471
Thanks thesmiths – being able to talk about how uncomfortable his behaviour towards women made me feel has been such a relief. When these disordered people are portrayed as victims who can’t be held responsible for their actions, the real victims are silenced. Finding my voice has been an important part of feeling better.
March 11, 2021 at 5:07 pm #65472
Hi Artyme yes correct there will be no closure or apology from him.
The closure is your understanding of personality disorders. This understanding resolves the cognitive dissonance between good guy/bad guy because it explains that the good guy persona is an act and that he is actually a bad guy at heart.
A genuine apology will not be forthcoming because he is a bad guy. He simply does not care that he caused you or anyone else pain and that his actions are morally wrong. In his eyes he can do what he wants and the collateral damage to other people is at best irrelevant and at worst something to enjoy from a sadistic perspective. So in his eyes there is simply nothing to apologize for.
I’m sorry you encountered a terrible person and yes this forum is the right place to understand their condition and to find other victims of the same types. Most therapists are simply unaware and do not understand.
March 11, 2021 at 7:26 pm #65473
Personality disorders are part of the DSM-5 so they can’t be unknown to therapists. I wonder if they simply refuse to treat them and/or the victims by feigning ignorance? Many times victims have living exes who may do something scary to their shrink? Not sure.
My late ex-husband claimed to have early onset dementia during one of the times I looked ready to leave. I believed it might explain the crazy behavior so I took him to appointments and took a ton of time off work. (He claimed he saw his dead grandmother in our backyard, among other lies.)
He was evaluated by a team of doctors at a local teaching hospital. The program was difficult to get into as they took only the worst cases. This included a few sessions with a psychologist. He met with both of us for the first part of the evaluation. I told the psychologist about his crazy antics. The psychologist had a scared look on his face after that. He met with my ex for 30 minutes. The psychologist didn’t think it was necessary to see my ex after that.
Am guessing he realized my ex had a personality disorder. And my ex was calculating enough to fool a couple of MDs to be admitted for evaluation. The psychologist washed his hands of him. The MRI which came shortly after this was inconclusive. In short, they didn’t find anything amiss but he could be experiencing mild cognitive issues. I think they let him down easy so he wouldn’t retaliate against them. (Am sure they read The Gift of Fear.)
It makes me sick to think he faked dementia. What a strange person he was!
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by thesmiths.
March 11, 2021 at 7:45 pm #65475
Thanks thesmiths – I think it must be a nightmare trying to treat someone with a personality disorder, so perhaps they do feign ignorance of these conditions. I believe that S had Borderline Personality Disorder and I know in that case there is a real risk of transference and the forming of inappropriate relationships – which is exactly what happened. I warned her because I realised it could cause her both personal and professional harm. At least I have only suffered personally – my career has flourished during this time.
I am sorry you had that trouble with your late ex-husband – they do seem to have a strange obsession with their health. It must have been a bewildering situation to be in. I watched the Oprah interview with Gavin Debecker today. I watched it with my eldest daughter because I want her to learn to trust her instincts. I was very struck by the idea of noticing red flags but being too nice to walk away – that was my response. I knew he was a problem but it felt mean to abandon someone so vulnerable and mentally ill.
March 12, 2021 at 12:18 am #65476
I hope this therapist realizes her mistake soon. You’re right. I overlooked the breach of ethics & possible loss of therapy license for involvement with a patient.
I am a fairly recent poster so I didn’t see your original posts about your troubled business associate. I imagine he was very polite and helpful at first. I don’t think anyone could withstand to hear stories of inappropriate behavior he told you, unless you’ve been manipulated and worn down. They enjoy shocking people. My late ex was the same.
It helped me to vent about his faked dementia. He wanted to gain government disability payments for his “condition,” and have me pay for his residence in an assisted living facility. I assume this was to get away from me while sponging off me.
I thought he was telling the truth, so I researched facilities & costs. I didn’t look into government payments because that was contingent on a diagnosis which never came.
I feel so ashamed that the doctors may have thought I was part of his scam. I pride myself on my honesty and integrity. His actions were sickening.
Am glad you’re showing your daughter to be aware of and avoid problem people. Am glad you’re posting to get this terrible experience out of your system, too. This man sounds like a scourge.
March 12, 2021 at 2:40 am #65477
At the beginning we did start a romantic relationship but that quickly became a friendship as it became obvious how unstable he was (I like to make it clear in posts that we weren’t together romantically because I recognise that my suffering was nothing compared to that of people who endured long marriages to disordered people) He had recently been for some intense therapy and did seem to want to change his ways – initially I respected his openness. I felt our friendship had some mileage because we shared an interest in art, and I would admit to initially hoping that one day we could be more than friends. Unfortunately his behaviour became more and more chaotic over time and he overshared so much that was difficult to listen to – you are right, I felt completely worn down. I hadn’t considered that he might be trying to shock me – I think you are probably right. Finally, he began the relationship with his therapist and I walked away. He told lots of lies about their relationship and I felt compromised by remaining in contact with him.
I don’t think you have anything to feel ashamed about and I am sure the doctors knew you weren’t trying to scam them. I have a couple of friends in the medical profession and they are pretty astute – they see such strange behaviour that they become very good at understanding family/relationship dynamics. The weird health rollercoaster seems to be just another aspect of these disordered individuals – S was almost constantly at the doctor’s surgery or trying some new therapy and he had a huge list of symptoms that disappeared as quickly as they appeared – and they never stopped him indulging in deviant sexual behaviour!
Thank you for sharing your experience.
March 13, 2021 at 6:11 am #65479
Smiths, “to be aware of and avoid problem people” – YES this is SO important.
For unaware and highly emphatic and open minded people, the first reaction to meeting problem people will be empathy and understanding and helpfulness. Coming from a good place of wanting to help people and not wanting to judge.
However this open approach works out BADLY with problem people because they will use that empathy and non-judgmentalness to use and abuse you.
Sadly because there are so many users and abusers out there it’s much wiser and safer to learn to identify and stay away from problem people altogether. It’s sad to need to be judgmental and skeptical and have your guard up – but unfortunately it’s necessary in today’s world with so many emotional predators out there looking for victims.
March 13, 2021 at 11:29 am #65480
Sept4, Being open and nonjudgmental has been the worst trait for me. It assumes a sense of trust that I give to a person I don’t know at all.
When people didn’t move around so much in previous generations— they stayed put in smaller communities— this makes sense to get along with your neighbors. It would be fairly apparent if someone was a bit off if you grew up with them and saw them for years and years.
That doesn’t work anymore as we learned the hard way. I agree too many personality disordered people, con artists, those with addictions. There’s no treatment for them which is sad. If you are tricked into an emotional bond, it devastates you. Best to stay away in self defense.
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