By | July 2, 2006 68 Comments

How do you help someone snared by a sociopath?

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

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

He has completely isolated her from her family, including her sister. He completely hates me and has made me the enemy, for I started seeing through him. Do you have any idea how I can possibly reach her to make her see the pattern? This man has felonies on his record for scheming to defraud; he has cheated people all his adult life. I have found out many other disturbing things about his past that she is not aware of. I want to inform her of these things, however many people feel she won’t believe it. Like your sociopath, this one said he was in the Gulf War; he never was. Instead he went AWOL from the service. He said he had a masters degree in accounting, but he has no college degree of any sort. He’s had over 20 jobs and moved over 30 times. He is 12 years older than our daughter, has a terrible temper. We worry about her and the babies all the time.

What’s a mother to do? On the one hand, she sees knows that her daughter’s husband is toxic. On the other hand, her daughter is a grown woman making her own decisions.

Sociopathic manipulation

The woman’s daughter is being manipulated by a professional. Sociopaths gradually draw in their victims with flattery and half-truths. Then they hold on to their victims with empty promises or threats. Eventually the victims, confused by the alternating charm and rage, are emotionally off balance and doubting their own perceptions.

It happened to me. It happens to everyone snared by a sociopath.

The problem for me was that I didn’t know about sociopaths. I had no idea that it was possible for a man who consistently claimed that he loved me, to lie, cheat on me, and take my money. I had no idea such evil existed.

Friends and family

Sociopaths put a lot of energy into maintaining the charade for their victims. They don’t put the same energy into manipulating people on the periphery. Consequently, the friends and family of the victim can often see the deception when the victim doesn’t.

I think friends and family should speak up, in whatever way will get through, while maintaining a relationship with the victim. I also think friends and family should not enable the sociopath by continuing to give money or whatever else he is demanding. The sooner the supply ends, the sooner the sociopath will leave.

I suggested that the woman do her best to maintain contact with her daughter, even though the sociopath has isolated her. At some point, he will abandon her. When he does, I recommended that the woman not be judgmental toward her daughter.

I know the devastation of being victimized by a sociopath. Once I realized the truth, what I needed was not criticism, but the support of people who cared about me.

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I am the child of a socopath-my father. needless to say, I am quite maladjusted at 25. Are there any book or online groups to help with childrenof sociopaths?

super chic

heispureevil, it sounds like you are handling this very well, especially in the NOT enabling him with any money. As Donna’s article points out… you need to maintain contact with your daughter, so you are probably right about the not wanting to badger her constantly. It is a tough situation, when I was involved with a man who was toxic to me… I don’t know if anyone could have gotten me out of the FOG… I really loved him and the biggest problem was I loved him more than myself. It really hurt when I realized he never loved me. I hope you will stay and read more articles and post again, maybe you will get some more ideas and there must be someone out there who has dealt with this same situation that might be able to give you more insight than I can. I just wanted you to know that this site is a very supportive place and your are in my thoughts and prayers.

super chic

heispureevil, I started thinking that maybe if he’s not going to get any money out of this… maybe he’ll just move on to someone else. The way he “lures” her back in is part of her addiction to him, she is in love with the person she thought he was, she might think that he is going to turn back into that charming / loving man, we know he’s not, but she is hanging on to that hope. How do we turn a lilght bulb on in someone’s head? I’d like to know myself in case something like this happens to my daughter, or God help me, if I ever do something like this again myself.


This is just my opinion, so for what it is worth…..

Your daughter sounds like I was. I didn’t believe evil existed like this, I truly believed he loved me because he said it over and over again. I am not sure anyone could have stopped me going through it. I went through it to learn the lesson that yes evil like this exists and it hurts like hell to find out, but I had to find out myself. So what I suggest is this.

Do not advise her to leave etc. Do not label him this that and the other. Rather spend the energy on BEING PRESENT TO HER…..listen, mirror back, accept she is caught in a web and she , only she can get herself out. Support her by being there, but not trying to fix it. She is going to find out herself and then you can gently assist her in connecting to her own inner knowing, her own assessment of the situation.

To go against her in anyway could make her rebel against you and stay with the monster…use I feel messages to her rather than HE IS A LIAR say “I feel very concerned, I know it’s your life and Its not my place to tell you what to do, but I am feeling very sad and worried about you…” then zip it and feel whatever you are feeling….leaving her to gradually make her own emotional connection

As for the psychopath, he will use her up and then throw her aside. He will extract her energy and essence until she is an empty shell and then dump her….off to find a new fresher fruitful target. Watch the need for revenge, outbursts, plots to get him…because you wont …there isn’t anybody to get. He is a hologram of human being. Best of luck.



My family situation is similar to yours in that my brother is married to a psychopath, and they have a 6-year old daughter together.

The only reason my mother and I are NOT isolated from my brother and my niece is because my brother insisted we care for the child so they could both work.

The funny thing is…before my sister-in-law was engaged to my brother, all she wanted was to “be married, have kids, & be a stay-at home mom.”
Then, after she got married and had a child, she decided she was bored, and thought it would be good to go back to work.
She wanted to put the baby in daycare, but my brother (and my mom) would not allow it. That’s how we ended up being the child care providers.

In caring for this child, we discovered something was very wrong. And, it took me 4 years to figure out what exactly the problem was, because there was SO MUCH gaslighting going on, and I did not know there were terms to describe all of this until I found LoveFraud about a year ago.

I agree with everyone who is telling you to maintain contact with your daughter. This is crucial.
I also read that your daughter has 2 children with this man?
You should be very concerned about these children, as well. There is a genetic component to sociopathy, and the kids could develop some of the same personality traits as the father.

If the father is not hurting or emotionally/sexually abusing his children, then consider yourself very lucky.

You do NOT want your son-in-law to know that you are onto him. This will only make matters worse. Do not confront him, or engage in any kind of verbal altercations with him. It’s futile. Just let him think that everything is fine.
(This is easier said than done, because you probably want to punch him in the face for what he is doing to your family, I know.)

You need to concentrate on your daughter and her children, and their well-being.
You are NOT going to be able to convince your daughter that she is married to a con-artist in one conversation. She’s in the FOG, and she “loves” him. So, you are fighting an uphill battle there. Going in with “guns blazing” and yelling at the top of your lungs about what kind of a man she is married to will only cause her to shut down. It’s a KILL the MESSENGER type of situation, and YOU are the MESSENGER. It does not matter that you are right. She won’t hear that.

Instead you want to study the husband’s ACTIONS, and point out disturbing patterns that you see in his behavior. Point these things out to your daughter at the appropriate TIME.
I believe TIMING is very important when you are trying to “enlighten” someone about a sociopath in their life.
If you do it at the right time, they just may open their eyes a little, but you need to show a PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR.
Just pointing out an isolated incident is NOT going to get the job done.
You need to show a pattern of behavior, a timeline, and how it all fits together.
This may be more difficult for you if you are isolated. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s imperitive to maintain contact with the victim…then you can also keep your eye on the abuser.

In summary, you need to feed the victim bits of information in SMALL DOSES at the right time, in order to be heard at all.

You may become frustrated, because the victim cannot see something that is SO CLEAR to everyone else.
Honestly, I feel like I have done everything but sky-write it in big letters across the sky for my brother, and he still does not seem to be getting it. I just want to slap him along side the head sometimes.
But, I was in a toxic relationship once myself, and Donna’s advice is right.
The victim needs love, support and compassion.

I wish I could leave you with something positive, but there really is nothing positive about being stuck with a psychopath in the family.
You are going to need lots of PATIENCE & STAMINA to get through this ordeal. It’s a horrible way to live, and I do not recommend it to anyone.

That’s why No Contact is preached to infinity on this site.
It really is the only way to save your own life.
From everything I’ve seen and read, being married to a psychopath and having children with them really complicates the No Contact rule. In fact, it makes it almost impossible.

Educate yourself about personality disorders, and learn to recognize those RED FLAGS, so that you don’t get taken in again.
I cannot stress that enough.

Ox Drover

Dear He is pure evil,

(and yes, he IS!)

My opinion is this, he has “bonded” her to him sort of like a person who is hypnotized. There is a book recommended on here called the “Betrayal Bond” about trauma-bonding and it is very important concept–like the Stockholm Syndrome that made Patty Hearst become “bank robber Tonya” after a period of time being captive with her kidnappers.

You didn’t explain how your FAMILY having money was benefitting HIM (at least at present) however, if your Family is supporting your daughter (and via her, HIM) then you might want to reconsider this support if it is possible to do so.

If you criticize HIM to her, she will “defend” him, because you are “questioning” her judgment in her choice of mates.

It is a difficult situation all around. I had a son married to a P and she definitely was looking for $$$, eventually when she found that there would be NO MONEY for her, she even tried to kill my son (along with her boyfriend) afrter stealing $25,000 from my mother. Though my son “saw the light” about his now X-wife, the truth is, that his relationship to me is not what I wish it was, he has some emotional problems too and has consistently (I think) made some poor judgments is friends/lovers.

I definitely empathize with your situation, and wish I had a magic formula you could follow, but I would suggest the “Betrayal Bond” book for a start on learning how the man has gained “control” over your daughter. God bless your family and Good Luck!


Dear everyone:

In looking at this post, some of my own experiences came to mind…again 😛

After my ex and I broke up in June, my parents directly told me that “he is never welcome back into our home…we are tired of seeing him do everything to everyone and we are not going to be a part of it anymore.” I dont live at my parents, however, we are very close and I see them every weekend (one of the many ‘perks’ to being with me in my ex’s eyes I think…my parents are VERY cool, like to play cards, drink some beers, laugh and eat…the polar opposite of his family).

That same day, my oldest brother, who my ex seemed to ‘idolize’ due to his genuine nature and friendly demeanor called to tell me…OUT OF THE BLUE…that he hasn’t wanted to go to my ma and dads because he didn’t want to be around the ex. My brother seemed to feel that my ex had been ‘using’ everyone for about the past 6 months or so, so he and my sister in law had stayed away.

At the time all this information was shared with me….on the same day…I remember hearing the words, accepting what they were saying, nodding my head, and agreeing. I hadnt accepted though just exactly WHAT they were saying because they were being subtle with me so not to come off aggressive and attack me. They were telling me they were ON to his game and had been for a while and they were NO LONGER GONNA PLAY!

My ex and I, coincidentally, began speaking again and THIS time, right off the bat my eyes were wide open! He lured me back with offering to take me to a concert we both loved. At that time, I remember thinking to myself ‘hell, maybe I can use him this time around…at least for the concert.” There was a vengeful piece of me that really didnt want to try for the connection anymore because he had fucked shit up so bad that now even my FAMILY was disgusted (this should exemplify just how hard my ex worked at ruining his own destiny with my family as it’s pretty hard to get them to say someone is not welcome in their house).

We went, and the smoozy, smoozy, lovey dovey, things are great in paradise act was on full force for about 2 weeks. I had to go to my grandmas 90th birthday party and tell him he wasn’t welcome at the function as my family had told me he wasnt welcome around them. As you can imagine, he wasn’t pleased with this information at all! He honestly thought he would pull his bullshit stunt of breaking up with me, take me to a concert without me telling anyone what was going on, and squirm his way right back into my whole life without so much as having to explain himself to anyone!

He flipped! At one point during his tantrum, I actually contemplated NOT going because he was so pissy…when HE DID THIS TO HIMSELF! After coming home from the party, he gave me the cold shoulder and at one point said to me ‘this ain’t gonna work for me…if I cant be around your family, I dont know how we are gonna have any relationship. YOU NEED TO TELL YOUR MA THAT THINGS ARE OK BETWEEN US AND THAT I WILL BE COMING OVER TO THEIR HOUSE WITH YOU.” Needless to say I told him Im NOT gonna tell her that and this ‘problem’ is between he and them-if he wants to explain himself to them, then write an email doing so and see what happens.

He apparently wrote her…not just one email though, he wrote her THREE. According to my ma, as she didn’t show me the first email, it basically blamed me for the breakup. The next two emails were simply attempts to see if she had gotten the original email and why she didnt respond…SHE DIDNT RESPOND BECAUSE SHE WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM!!!

AFter I found out he actually DID write an email and invited my parents out to breakfast to ‘talk’, I told him my mom HAD IN FACT GOTTEN THEM, but chose not to respond cause she was ‘done’ with him. He, of course, went for the jugular over that, rudely saying ‘and did you ask her why she didn’t respond to me? All I want to do is explain myself to her and if she cant be courteous enough to respond, then what more do I do?”…

…anyone want to share their thoughts on THIS one? 😛


yes….babe works better than ‘robsx!”….. 🙂

At the holidays the S called my parents….in May, they had told him NOT to be in contact with them again….he gave them a ‘break’….but hit at the holidays….thinking he could smooze them in then…..he couldn’t.
Mother answered the phone,without looking at caller ID and he said Mom, this is Sociopath….she hung up.
He called right back….mother didn’t answer….he left this loooong diatribe on the vm about how he knew they were there, he heard them pickup just now (duhh, first clue) and how HE has LOST ALL respect for them because they won’t talk to him….He’ll never speak to them again, they are losers and bad people…..blah,blah….(remember, they SUPPORTED HIM during my cancer and all his fucked up behaviors towards me and kids and even aided him in kidnapping my kids….)
His message went on and on…..

They do this for control…..I think in your case….it was to either control YOU…..or them….or likely, both….
If you alienated your parents for him….he wins….
If you demand your parents allow him over….he wins….
Who loses….YOU, and family…..either situation.

He coulnd’t control your mother….and he doesn’t know what to do… he goes to you to control your mother for him….control by proxy….YOUR the proxy.

They are not used to being ‘denied’! That’s THEIR role…the rule maker!

Good for your mother for ignoring him…..there was no reply she could have given that would have satified him….unless it was…oh, so sorry……come to dinner on Sunday with Babe…..
kissy, kissy…luvy luvy…..
I was wrong….your a fantastic dude…..and we are happy and thrilled to have you in the family!

You need to pat yourself on the back for ‘hearing’ your brothers ‘words’ and feelings about the ex!
A lot of us brushed these conversations off and let it fester in the family…..continuing to bring the S around and playing ‘fantasy’….

You got it going on Ms. Babe!!!


Thank you again, EB:

The part you wrote about where your ex said he lost all respect for your family because THEY wouldnt talk to HIM hits right on with my ex.

About 3 weeks before Thanksgiving last year, he ‘suggested’ we go to his parents for dinner ‘since Im not welcome around your family.” Ive been with MY family for 33 years at the holidays and this year was goning to be NO different. He invited me to his parents saying “my mom would like us to be here for Thanksgiving and its the least we could do considering Ive been with YOUR family the past 2 Thanksgivings.” This, however WAS HIS CHOICE, not to mention the fact that he didnt like his moms cooking AND we have gone to his families for dessert, per the agreement already made.

I told him I’d think about it, however, I was badgered so much about ‘sacraficing’ and ‘being fair to (his) parents” that I totally AVOIDED trying to make ANY accomodations for his ‘request’. I KNEW this was him ‘getting back at’ my ma for not answering him considering we ALWAYS did things with MY parents…cause he saw his parents as little more than pawns to use also.

I started the NC on November 11 so I didnt even have to ‘consider’ him this year. He, (I believe) got to eat dry turkey with not-enough stuffing and store bought pies! I, on the other hand, got to feast on HIS favorite meal at HIS favorite place for Thanksgiving…my aunts…and had turkey that was perfectly cooked, all the green bean casserol I wanted, home made desserts and home made mashed potatoes!

Sometimes I feel so bad for thinking such mean, vindictive thoughts…but those feelings only last a minute…then I begin laughing again!


Lets also talk about the sociopaths definition of others wanting ‘control’ versus ‘setting appropriate boundaries’…

Sounds like a good topic of conversation, right?


Isn’t is weird how they turn things…..not surprising, butweird!

As with your parents….my parents set a boundary with him….DON”T CONTACT US…..
And when HE doesn’t respect their boundary, THEY are wrong….and punished with his words…..

Go figure…..

From now on… will have all the wonderful food you want….at the all you can eat family holiday spath free buffet!

Yeah…..don’t feel bad….those thoughts are very healing….it’s part of the process!!!!
Your ONE healthy woman!!!


YEah…..I was a control freak!

Oh, he should have thought twice about that label….I didn’t want to prove him wrong during our divore….Hehe!!!
I rose to his occasion!



I used to tell my ex “Im not the one for you to fuck with”…because, although I am a very caring and compassionate person, I also know right from wrong…and can call a spade a spade-one more thing he didn’t like.

He would say ‘you roll over and show everyone your soft underbelly, but when it comes to ME, you have NO problem putting me in my place.”

That used to strike me as odd as HE was about the only person I HAD to do that with! He would say “I just wish you would let things slide with me the way you let them slide with your family and your friends.”

He was in special education in high school… a bd classroom. It used to, sorta-tickle him?, when I would act ‘bd’ back at him ( Ive worked with behavior disordered/emotionally disturbed kids for the past 11 years)…kinda like ‘fight fire with fire.” He would say “and YOU say Im BD? YOU ARE JUST LIKE ME!”

What a fucktard!


I ‘was your daughter’ in the early years of my 28 year relationship.
Just keep at it.
Plant seeds in your daughter, about him…..
leave things laying around when she visits….notes, books etc…pertaining to Cluster B’s….
You won’t be able to force her to do anything…I caution you….
The more my family ‘bitched’about him….the more I was going to prove tothem he wasn’t what they saw….consequesntly….I didn’t see it either.
I chose to close my eyes and keep them tightly shut.
until the family accepted him…..then Ikept up my fantasy.

I think the serenity prayer will help you in this situation…
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

I don’t suggest giving up….and by the sound of your strength…you won’t…but know the limitations and consequences of ‘shouting’ from the rooftop what your thoughts of him are.

You might have to pull away from your daughter and set your boundaries….not allowing him over, declining invites that include his company….etc….and leave it at….we just feel more comfortable this way….no further explanation….she will go defensive of him.
Cut off all loans… NOT help ‘them’ in any way…you won’t be able to help ‘her’ while she is in his grasp.

You must play your cards right with her…/him….
Figure out the weak points and hit em!!!

I commend your love and care for your daughter, along with the courage to explore her situation and see it for what it is!!!……in the end….my parents jumped out and went to great lengths to support the S, believe his lies and throw away all they ‘knew’ of ‘who’ I was/am….to aid his control over me! I really needed them when they abandoned me. And it’s something I can never forgive of my parents.

Good luck… prepared for him to ‘nail’ you in her eyes first!!!
It’ll be a tag team effort…..
Learn all you can and DON”T give up…..

Ox Drover

Dear heispureevil,

It is difficult when your children are hooked to a psychopath, I live on my family’s farm where my family has lived since 1833, and though we are far from rich, this land is quite valuable. I have two biological sons, one a P in prison for murder, and one who was married to a P who also isolated him, and an adopted son. My P-DIL had an affair and tried to kill my son, her husband. She went to jail

Before my husband and my stepfather died, the 4 of us, includiing my egg donor (mother) set up an irrevokable trust to protect the farm from the DIL at the time and also from my P-son, who at the time, we wanted to provide a place to live but not ownership.

I suggest that you might want to consult a GOOD estate planning attorney to set up an estate plan that would protect your daughter in the event that she does break free from this man at some future date after your decease.

A lady who was a former poster here left her Psychopathic super abusive husband after 47 years of marriage and she lived in utter poverty until her death a couple of months ago.

You can leave money for your daughter in trust for her life time with any conditions you want to, and then at her death, if she never has a right to it (like she stays with him) it can go to her children, or to a charity or to anyone you designate.

Sometimes it takes DECADES for people to wise up, and in the case of women, sometimes they are quite elderly, disabled, and leaving destitute is a very bad option, and staying is even worse.

Yes, he will distance her from you as much as he can, but remember too, that he is after the money. EB’s advice is very good about not bad mouthing him. My son C was married to a P for nearly 8 years before he divorced her after a failed attempt by her BF and herself to kill him (and her going to jail) and her stealing $24,000 from my mother by fraud and deception.

I also realized something else, almost two years after the divorce, and that is that my son, C, as much as I love him, has some dysfunctional characteristics that (1) made him succeptable to being distanced from us (2) while he was unhappy in the relationship after the “honeymoon” period, he CHOSE to stay (3) his own choices about his life were not anywhere near as positive as I would have wished. (4) he has some real issues about letting Ps lead him off “down the garden path” against me, his mother, and has some deep seated anger/resentment toward me. Whether or not his anger/resentment is JUSTIFIED is not the question, it is JUST THERE, whether justified or not. I realized that recently when I caught him telling me a lie (which DEVESTATED me) and I went into a tailspin for about a month!

It is difficult to see our child involved with a P and being abused, as I watched my son C with this woman for nearly 8 years. But now that I am looking at the situation a little more rationally, I also see that HE has some “big problems” in making good choices in life. I had blamed their poverty (he is very hard working) entirely on her spend thrift ways, but I realize now, that he was as much to blame with bad spending decisions as she was.

So while it was VERY easy for me to “blame” the P-wife for all the problems of the marriage, I realize now that my own son had some problems as well. He is NOT a psychopath by any means, but he is very much guilty of making very poor decisions and for whatever reason, justified or not, he is easily influenced by Ps (his P brother and his P wife and P friends) that I am the “mother from hell”—unless he needs my help, and then I am “Mother Theresa.”

Accepting that my son C is a somewhat willing volunteer to the abuse he has received from his x-wife and from his P-brother, and that he hasn’t (at this time) learned much of a lesson from it has been very very difficult for me. I hope and pray he does realize what he has let himself in for by continuing to be an enabler to Ps, and allowing himself to be sidetracked by his anger/resentment of me (for whatever reason) and that he won’t end his life with another repeat of his past poor judgment, but who knows? We can’t fix other’s lives only our reaction to what they do. I’ve been too much an enabler myself, and I working on fixing that in MYSELF. It has been a difficult journey and I think always will be.

God bless and guide you in your journey! (((hugs)))


This is such a GREAT article and enlightening thread.

I’ve been posting about my sons and the ongoing issues with regard to my youngest.

I’ve taken some time to consider all of the excellent suggestions that I’ve read on LF, as well as those of close and wise friends. One of my friends has a psych degree, is a Survivor, and had this to say to me: the youngest boy doesn’t have a clue as to how to make a “good” decision, since he was never “allowed” to make ANY decisions. You (meaning me) as his mother can never BE his mommy, but you can be a source of hope and a source of safety. It’s going to take a long time for him to learn HOW to trust, let alone trust you (meaning me) after everything your ex and son taught him to believe. He now has to UNlearn, and your job is to just listen and guide, if he wants to talk or walk.

I am still in a good place, emotionally, with regards to my sons. The eldest is spath and lost to humanity and that’s just all there is for that. The youngest may have a chance, but HE has to take the hard path of healing under his own power. IF he reaches out, I’ll take his hand with faith and agape.

Ox Drover

Dear Buttons, I think your choice is a wise one. YOu cannot save him from himself against his will!

This article was originally posted almost 4 years ago (by the few numbers of responses it got then, you can see how LF has grown since then!!!!) and I hope that mother’s situation has come to some resolution in the meantime.

Just like I mentioned in my post up above, though my son C was a victim of his P-wife, he also was a willing victim, and didn’t learn a lot afterwards—he has been a repeat victim of Ps, his P-brother SEVERAL times, his wife once, the TH-P once, etc. and he still doesn’t “get it” that HE is the one who has to change in order to become functional. He will again be victimized, no doubt in my mind. He refuses to accept accountability and responsibilty for his own choices.

Sure being the victim of his brother and P-father, your youngest son has a disadvantage in life but he has to WANT to be helped, and to be WILLING to do the work it takes to make progress. My son C is not willing to do that work, and I’m un-willing to do it for him AGAIN. When we do the changing for them, it doesn’t last long! LOL ROTFLMAO I finallyy got that through MY thickk head! I can’t fix anyone except ME!


Donna, I’d really like to see an article on what people can do to help those snared by a sociopath who want help. Like us. A comprehensive article that we could share with our confused friends who are innocent to the existence of spaths would be a big help.


I think this is a great idea.

From my own experience, everyone around me was more aware than I was and if anyone had told me what a SPATH was and given me a chance to run down the clues I;d have listened – carefully.

But, what they did instead was hire PI’s and get peripheral information that didn’t prive anything. I was frustrated by it and felt like they were against the person I loved and we just couldn’t come to terms with how to communicate about it.

Later, I found out that the PI;s told my family not to talk to me about what they knew. When I disscussed this with Stve Becker, he was truly amazed tht someone felt it appropriate to give that kind of advice and that my family accepted it.

There is the notion about tough love, but, I think that only works when you have the facts in front view. You can’t be tough without presenting the facts. Sometimes that does require a preofessional intervention. But, always with a recitation of facts prior to being tough.

I feel that my family members who despite their intentions, really acted in a neglectful way because they figured they were exercising tough love.

In hind sight, it turned out to be the case that if they had shared what they knew, and if they had spoken from facts and insights I could hear other than ” I don’t like him” I;d have been one hell of a lot more responsive.

So its all said and done, but my point is just like when we were talking about family court judges that other professions need to know what these people are and what the teltales are. And, that the best way to communicate about them be somewhere within reach of the family members who want to and ultimately that there be better resources easily availble to women who often don’t have money to check guys out available.

My own example is that I didn’t find out that inmate locators are free and easy to use and that if I;d known or thought of it, I’d have saved myself a great deal of distress.

I didn’t think of it. I’d love to see a links page for that kind of thing right next to all the online dating sites, just the way jewel weed always grows close to nettles…….

Ox Drover

Unfortunately, sometimes even with hard EVIDENCE that someone is a criminal, a cheater, etc. the “victim” will not believe the evidence, and instead will take the “word” of the psychopath over the cold hard facts.

If it IS just a case of family or friends having “gut feelins” about the psycho path, but there being no criminal record or whatever to be “hard evidence” then it is very difficult to successfully “warn” a victim or potential victim.

I personally have been warned about various people that I did business with that were I believe psychopaths—and I DID NOT llisten to these warnings. In each case I went back to the person who warned me and thanked them after I saw the light for myself.

I have also warned others about a psychopath who HAD A CRIMINAL RECORD and the person(s) would not even LOOK at the evidence. I have been accused of being delusional, bitter and angry! I am sure I sounded like all of those things, but I was not delusional—and I had a right to be VERY angry! But I was NOT believed. That is the point!

If you are “the ex-wife, (GF etc) warning the new GF then you will be seen as a SCORNED wo/man and will not be believed because s/he wil have told the new squeeze what an evil witch you are!

There are several articles and discussions here on LF about warning the victim(s) and sometimes it works, but many times I think it is fruitless to even try.

I’m sorry Silver that your family apparently had some evidence that they chose to withhold from you. Sometimes when dealing with a P it is difficult to know what is the right path to take. Especially if they had never dealt with one before. They were also in a learning curve in dealing with this kind of person. (((hugs))))


So, an update on the youngest son’s arrival. For the purposes of convenience, I’m going to call him, “Mike.”

I don’t know if I posted this, but the night before Mike was to leave, his spath brother told him that he’d purchased a laptop computer for him, and that he could pick it up at the spath’s house. Well, Mike arrived at the spath’s house and the laptop was there, but the spath and his new victim-wife were not.

Mike went to the victim-wife’s parents’ house as he believed that the spath and victim-wife were there and he wanted to say, “Goodbye.”

True to form, the spath refused to appear for 1 1/2 hours to bid his brother a farewell. “Spath’s taking it very hard,” was what the victim-inlaws excused this behavior to be. That Mike, the source target and whipping post, was moving on with his life and starting over with his mother was repellant to them, and they made no bones about it by saying, “You really belong here with ______.”

It came time for Mike to leave, and he never DID have a farewell from his spath brother. What a kick in the nuts that had to have been for him.

Mike got here and he’s displayed a WHOLE lot of self-confidence issues, along with play-acting for Social Services when we went to have his food stamps reinstated in his new home. He suddenly went from capable young man to an anxiety-ridden person with “short term memory loss.” I believe that this behavior is directly related to his upbringing so that the spath father would be provided with NUMEROUS medications to “manage” this kid by keeping him doped up and quiet. Mike also seems to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and vehemently defends his spath brother as a great guy and “good Christian.” I keep my mouth shut and my facial expressions on “Neutral.” He’ll find out in due time, and I refuse to be the one to blame for his epiphany.

We have a long way to go. I have to set my boundaries very strictly, and I have to NOT absorb Mike’s personal issues. This is going to be a very demanding challenge for me, but I’m feeling confident that we can tease Mike’s exceptional qualities out in a gentle, encouraging manner. His hard work will have to rest on HIS shoulders, however. Again – boundaries, boundaries, BOUNDARIES!

God love you ALL for your support and encouragement! 😀

Ox Drover

Dear Buttons,

I will pray for you to have strength and wisdom and for your son too. He probably DOES have stockholm syndrome and he also probably has some learned helplessness and manipulation of the system (foodstamps etc).

I hope you can get into some FAMILY counseling situation with him, where you can meet with the counselor so that it will benefit both you and your son. He may NOT want to “benefit” from it by becoming “independent” he may prefer at least for a long while to be DE-pendent at least to the “state funding.” But it is possible I think to show him that DE-pendency to anyone goes along with the person you are DE-pendent upon (even the State) having control over your life.

Take time for YOURSELF, Rome wasn’t built in a day! (((hugs))))


Thanks so much, OxD. This is going to take time – a good, long time. And, counseling is not optional, at this point, but a mandate.

Only by example is he going to “see” the difference between dependency and independence. It’s going to take him a while to understand the differences, too.

{{{{Hugs back atcha}}}}


Ugh. Picked up my ds today, and had to hear all about his visit with new girlfriend’s parents over the weekend. I think the spath is really pouring it on thick with this girl to get her to marry him and save him from his financial woes and make him look better in court. Was SO GLAD to have found the link to “Don’t Date Him, Girl” and from here. Just posted to both, and now I will pray to the universe that somehow she finds him there. Anyone have any luck with that? It really hit me when my ds was saying how nice new g.f. is to her how much it feels like my obligation to save them both. Wish someone would have done that for me… but do the new victims see it as good fortune, or do they get wrapped up in the denial? I just wrote what the “red flags” are… I know all his lines, and I have learned his game. I’m hoping that means more than just going on how much he hurt me.

Ox Drover

Dear Freemama,

I don’t remember how old your daughters are, or how old the New GF of your X’s is—no doubt she is being “love bombed” by him right now, so chances are that if you had a video of him raping the Virgin Mary it would not matter, she would not believe it.

In the past, I have been warned about someone I was dealing with was a psychopath (not necessarily a lover) but they had already convinced me that they were wonderful and I chose not to listen to people I trusted, that I knew had good judgement, I BELIEVED “my own eyes”—and of course they were blinded by the shining light of the psychopath’s wonderful treatment of me! Yea, [email protected]

Warnings are generally better received if they are delivered to a person BEFORE the “love bomb” where the psychopath mirrors back to the victim how special they are and how they are just “perfect” in the Ps view. Cults do this to ensnare new members and Ps are GOOD at it as well.

This woman will be his next victim unless someway she gets herself out of it. Your daughters won’t see either him or the new GF in a light of “reason” most likely but the way they are presented. If you kids are young, my suggestion is for the time being just let it ride. If you try to “wasn” them about the new GF who ruined their “happy home” they are more likely I think to see you in the light of just a “bitter person” —

The “bitter person” role, the “scorned woman,” the “crazy x wife” are all roles that the psychopath likes to lay on US—and if we say a word against them, that “proves” what they are saying is right! They do it to our friends, our kids, and anyone whom they can get close to.

Fighting it is difficult, and frustrating, and usually unsuccessful, unless like Erin Brock your X gets himself arrested for SELLING DRUGS and vindicates her publicly.; Two of the psychopaths I was reviling got arrested as well, and that was SOME vindication for me, but my egg donor continues to paint me as “mentally ill, the poor dear” when in fact, she is the enabling and abusive one. Fighting it, trying to get people to see that YOU are not the crazy one, only, unfortunately, many times, makes us LOOK CRAZY! And frankly most people could care less one way or the other. So I just let it ride, if they are gossiping about me, they are leaving some other poor soul alone.

He will EVENTUALLY show his true colors to the current victim, so at some point in time, you and she can both sit down together and have a cup of coffee and compare stories. (((hugs))) and God bless.


Oh, I definitely know his painting of me as the “Crazy Ex” – which is why I am no contact! Kind of harder for him to pull off how jealous and controlling I am when I don’t talk to him and essentially just bide my time until court, submitting declarations every time he breaks the restraining order. I was a very passionate person who honestly showed my feelings, but that’s the absolute worst thing you can do with a spath! I don’t say anything bad about the new g.f. to my ds (he’s 5), and I know of course he likes her and of course she’s probably really nice. The only thing I would say if I could is “Don’t get too attached”. After she gets taken, she’ll have no rights to see my son. Everyone loses in this scenario. (Hello Jesse James!) I do know that! At least I can be sure my ds is eating well. His father hated to “waste” money on food! According to my ds, they’re eating over there every day. Ugh. You’d think being jobless and completely unable to care for himself would be a huge tip-off to the poor woman, but I remember how nice he was to ME in the beginning, and how he tends to pick women who are insecure in some way and really feed their ego. Also he went to massage therapy school (supported by me!) not a a profession but as a way to lure hot women. Poor thing. I certainly hope she’ll have the smarts to demand to meet me before marrying the man.


Freemama, your ability to feel pity for the spath’s current target is an indication of just how far you’ve walked your healing path.

The new targets get caught up exactly as we did – we believe in the facade, and then we’re in denial until our worlds collapse and the spath is revealed at long last. They are usually ensnared via pity – no job, no home, crazy ex, etc., etc., and it works for them for a while until the new target either heeds the red flags or finds themselves in dire straights, just as we did.

I’ve always maintained that it is imperative to “meet the ex” when considering any relationship with someone who was previously married. Spath will do anything they can to not allow that to happen, but if it does, Katie-bar-the-door!

Brightest blessings!


I have grown a lot, to be sure. Though no one should have to come out of anything like this at all… but if you’re going to, it might as well be stronger.

He TORTURED me with his secret girlfriends and numerous emotional affairs. Even when caught, he would deny deny deny and make it out like I was just a controlling freak. Meanwhile, I watched his son every second I wasn’t working so he could go party and cheat all of the time. Can’t imagine why that would make someone bitter! I used to HATE those women. I was so jealous that he was giving them all the attention I deserved as mother of his child and caretaker in every aspect of his life. I do realize now that they were just as duped. I even feel compassion for the girl he cheated on me for two years with. She probably expected him to leave me for her, and when he did finally leave, he dumped her, too. She didn’t make enough money, though she was totally willing to appease his voracious sex drive! Yech. I still think it was horrible of her to be a willing accomplice, but letting go of that resentment towards her really brought much-needed healing to me.

Ox Drover

Dear Freemama and Buttons,

I agree that letting go of that bitterness especially toward the others who were/are duped by them is an essential part of OUR healing. Even letting go of the bitterness toward them (as long as you don’t start trusting them again! LOL) is also healing for me.

Those that participate in continuing abuse TOWARD us are a different story, and taht abuse (of course, according to the P we deserve it) is usually a CO-abusive person, so sometimes they turn it around on the P themselves. When two Ps get together it is simply amazing what they can do to each other. Fortunately, one of them usually whips the crap out of the other one, and the loser limps off as “I’m such a VICTIM” and (giving REAL VICTIMS a bad name!) but it is nice to see a P get what they have coming, and from another P NO LESS!

Karma Kicks arse!


OxD, indeed it does! In the world of spathy, EVERYONE is a victim, willing or not. The ones who get caught up as co-abusers begin as a display of their loyalty to the spath – surely he/she/it MUST have a reason to hate their ex (or, whomever), so it’s “my job” to support them because I love them. Oh……….it’s horrible once the truth about the spath comes out because the co-abuser finally realizes that they’ve been made a pawn with less value than a disposable lighter.

SO, Mike wanted to check his facebook page early this morning and send a message to his spath brother. He left his facebook page open on my computer when he came for breakfast and never logged off. What did I do? I checked the messages from his spath brother. I don’t feel that it was underhanded, as these issues will be addressed in due time, but what I was described as was almost comical.

“Manipulative,” “liar,” “a snake,” etc. And, Mike’s response was that he hadn’t observed anything like that, so far, but that he would keep his eyes open, just in case.

The coupe de gras was the spath brother typing, “Remember, my door is always open when you need to ESCAPE, and I mean escape…”

Some people might find my reading his messages as reprehensible, but I wanted to know the level of gaslighting that Mike was subject to, and I make no excuses for reading what his spath brother sent.

Kharma, I would think, should be knocking on the spath son’s door, any time, now. (snort)


Sadly, I don’t think there’s much you can do for a relative ensnared by a sociopath/psychopath. The rumor is still out there that my mother “made her sister choose between her husband and her sister.”


The creep made a pass at my mother.
The two of them destroyed the loan papers for $10K she lent them.
Together, they stole everything that wasn’t bolted down, everywhere they went. For years.
They hid bags of cash in the closet, and made it taboo for their daughters to talk about it.
Their daughters married thugs and swindlers themselves.
My aunt was honored as a soft and lovely person at her funeral — which she indeed was — the perfect follower.

And my mom is the attempted “homewrecker.”

So I guess the rumor is that Mom is the sociopath.


Ahhh…..and the plot thickens.

I think this is where psychology is NOT our ‘friend’.

Your mother…..saw it….and alerted others.
She is then turned into the scapegoat……which is ‘easily’ believed. (IE we hate what ‘we’ are).

When the heat is turned up…..the example is made of the ‘firestarter’.

Yes…..we are all just supposed to shut up and keep those blinders up high!



Sister, this is so often what happens! The non-spath makes a bold, courageous attempt to alert someone (ANYone) to make whatever the spath(s) is doing stop, and they’re ignored and dismissed as raving lunatics!

Yah……EB’s got it spot-on. Hang in there, Sister.

Brightest blessings.

Ox Drover

Yep, the PLOT SICKENS FOR SURE! Don’t ya know, I’m the crazy one!

I’m not alone though cause EB is also crazy! LOL

Buttons, sweetie, DO NOT act like you think THIS group would criticize you for ANYTHING you did in YOUR HOUSE. NO one has the right to access the internet on my computer and/or my electricity in MY HOUSE without me knowing what they are doing! Period. NO ONE LIVES IN MY HOUSE AND KEEPS SECRETS FROM ME!

I don’t check on my son D’s computer habits because I know I can trust him, but you know if I did ask to see his computer history, he better pony [email protected] I had a hired dhand here once who was accessing and saving on MY COMPUTER KIDDIE PORN, and you know that’s not ever going to happen again.’

Know how I found out, my computer got an electrical surge the day after my husband was killed and I lost all my business data and I had a friend of ours FIX the computer and recover my information and HE LET ME KNOW. If I had taken it to a regular repair shop they MIGHT HAVE CALLED THE POLICE. So you know, as far as I am concerned, anyone under my roof better consent to a computer or possessions search if I request it or MOVE THE HECK OUT. MY HOUSE, MY RULES. My computer—my ass for anything that is on it so I don’t take any chances.

Lots of people don’t seem to realize that when you take someone in you take in their problems and proclivities as well. So as far as I am concerned, YOU NEED TO KNOW what is being said to him by whom, and WHAT HE IS SAYING BACK as well. YOUR house, your rules!



Actually Oxy….I’m NOT crazy….I’m just mentally Ill!


I agree with Oxy…..if my kids pay thier own bills……and they are over 18…..well……none of my business….
If I pay the bills…..I get ALL passwords.
I also check emails, phone records and whatever it is I need to to get tot he truth. If they aren’t sharing the truth with me….EB digs it up and cuts off the service!
It provides insight into what you are not being told!!!!
Forwarded is forearmed….I say!!!!

Over the weekend the eldest got a letter of trust distribution of funds from his deceased G. mothers estate.

It listed all beneficiarys and amounts to be received and a letter to be signed and notorized by beneficiarys.

WELL…….this started some laughter in our home…….Spath father gets same as kids……(spath will be NOT happy)….BUT…..2 other gkids get an 800K house that no one knew gparents owned. It was their daughters home….and her two kids get it.
NOW…..THIS WILL BY FAR PISS SPATH OFF……..and raise a stink, stink, stink!!!

When we were first dating……28 years ago….he would tell me that he will be in ‘fat city’when his gp’s die…..I thought it was odd….as no one in my family talked about wills or had any money to inherit. He spoke of this fat city forever!!!!!!!
Well fat city amounted to 5000K…..and his kids get the same!

Anyways…..the eldest (who DIDN”T graduate)…immediatly took the stance that i’ts MY money and i’ll do what I want with it…..i’m buying a car…..
I told him….well yes, it IS your money, but it’s my obligation to NOT allow you to piss it away on starbuck,but to do something with it that your Gmother would be proud of!!!
He immedialty spent that night looking for cars on Craigslist….
Yesterday when he was gone…..I did the snoop on computer thing…..because he has shown NOT GOOD judgment when on CL in previous times… giving out his phone number, address yadayada……UH….NOT!!!!!!

So….sure enough, he’s been ‘corrosponding’ with a nigerian scam artist about this great deal vehicle…..he’s ready to wire money off……Ya know….i’m 18 and can do what I want!!!

So…..last night….on egg shells….I entered his room and asked him if he was ‘open’ to hearing some advice and my opinion on his car buying and whatnot. He said sure.

I told him about buying a car and not getting excited UNTIL the car was in our driveway, as a lot of things could stand in the way…..doing due diligence on a purchase…..
AND WHEN it’s the right car……it will become his. But so many variables need to be met……NON EMOTIONALLY!!!!!!

He shared with me his ‘love’ for ‘this’ car……and I said, yeah it’s a nice car……he said I’m going to wire her the money as soon as I get it.

I told him, BEFORE HE purchased a car…..he needed to call the dmv and see what registration and licencing and tax would cost him.
He needed to call the Ins. co. and see what a policy would cost him.
And know….tires, gas, maintenance etc….would cost him and have the reserves to cover it.
He also needed to call my friend the mechanic and have him check car out, do compression test and full workup….which would cost him money regardless of IF he bought the car or not.

So……he started talking about ‘this lady’ and how she acquired the car…..I told him sounds fishy.
She was going to ship him the car for free….she was so cool!
And I said…..yeah, I bet she wants you to wire money to an ‘escrow’ account…..AND HE LOOKED SHOCKED AT ME…..I said….Jr….it’s a SCAM!

He said….well read her emails……I told him….look at ‘her’ use of words…..’she did a divorce’, the car had never been in an altercation, ………..

He’s now getting mad at ME……as if I’m an idiot. I said, you dind’t provide her any identifying info did you? He said….well….only my name and address and phone number…. I wanted to show her that I was for real….

I said, honey, YOUR the one with the money, YOU OWN NO ONE ANYTHING to prove yourself!!!!

It’s a scam!

I said….did you also ‘share’ with ‘her’ that it was your first car and how excited you are? He said, yes…..


I gave him the business is business talk…..
Personal should NEVER come into business. EVER>

But….spath always does business this way……he personalized everything to gain trust….and brohood.
I pointed this out to Jr. and I said…..look where that has gotten him?!?!?!?

I am so affraid his 5K is going to be pissed away on a scam….but I also KNOW….if he is soooooo hell bent to be a MAN and make big decisions on the fly……well…..the consequences will be his big man on the fly consequences too!

He is hell bent to ‘do it his way’. he’ll show me!!!!!
And of course…..being his mother…I don’t want to see him make a wrong move……and I also know…..i’m the only one he’ll come to to lash out on!!!!

So….i’m trying to head off whatever I can…..but sometimes they just gotta learn the hard way….and this seems to be this kids MO!

Ox Drover

Dear EB,

Now you have had your say, let him FIND OUT THE HARD WAY that you were right and it is a SCAM, it might be some CHEAP TUITION to the school of hard knocks.

For you it is aLOSE/LOSE situation, if you keep him from buying the car of his HEART’S DESIRE he will resent you and never be satisfied with the one he gets, but if he sends the money away and loses it, then you are a GENIUS and so maybe the next time he may think twice. If it was 50K maybe more force but for the $5K, let him lose it.

I wish I had let mine find out the hard way more….unfortunately I didn’t. Out of the 3, only D is responsible with money and content to do without if necessary, and live within means and conserve funds. So, you know….let him pay his LIFE TUITION. Also, he needs to be able to pay insurance (required by law) and so on, so even if he bought a 3,000 car, he wouldn’t be able to drive it long or far before he ran out of money due to high insurance premiums at his age, etc.

I wish they didn’t have to pay the “hard knocks” tuition, but I did and they do, so let’er rip!

Glad your X is gonna be pithed though! LOL hee hee bwa ha ha


Yep… no say…..really!


OxD & EB – yepper. It’s the burned hand that won’t touch the glowing stove, right? We’ve all been burned, and that’s one of those unfortunate Life Lessons. UGH…….Bless your heart, EB.

And, we’re having a “serious” talk on Monday about trust, expectations, etc., that WILL involve passwords, disclosure, etc. I printed out the messages while Mike was outside doing something, and here’s exactly what was written the WAY that it was written (punctuation, etc.):

Spath Brother: “Hey, glad to hear all is well… Well, the 20th is fathers day, so thank God the father, and Dad who is also your father, and just remember Dad for who he was… Make sure to pray to God though, because dad is busy flying around and God listens and answers…

Anyways, yeah, a lot of people were very worried about you going up there I mean very worried… Remember, mom’s track record speaks for itself… social services, lies, manipulations, an so on… Be very careful and very wary about what you do and what you say… Also, I wanted to leave a door open to you, if at any time, and I do mean anytime you feel the need to leave or in other words escape, do not hesitate to call me or email me. If you want to get out of there, I can get you out… So dont ever worry, there is always a house here with a sweet game room if you ever decide to leave… I know that you look at mom, you want to care for her and try to be a son to her, but I must remind you, she is VERY sly, almost reminds me of a Snake, she is very manipulative, and very deceitful, so just be careful… Don’t let her guilt trip you EVER, talk badly about dad EVER, or manipulate you EVER…

I gotta run but take care aight. AAAAhhhiiight”

This long-distance gaslighting and manipulation is precisely what the ex spath did with spath son when he was living with us. Talking against me and telling spath son that he didn’t have to follow his step-father’s rules because, “…he’s NOT your father.”

WTF is wrong with these people, anyway? SPATH ISLAND, DAMMIT! WE WANT IT, and we WANT IT NOW! LMAO!!!!!!!


Love the sweat game room comment…..just gotta add the carrot covered in honey.

I know you won’t be surprised if Jr decides the grass will be greener on ‘spath island’…..

I think reading this stuff will be a great insight to where jr’s head is.
also the spaths.

Your gonna need luck and patience and a whole lotta love to allow your good will to be seen and felt by jr.

Keep doing your best and keep on top of it all Buttons!!!

BTW….spaths DO have their own islands…’s called their lives. 🙂


EB, yah……the self-sabotage is beginning in a subtle way with Mike.

The discussion on Monday will be low-key, without threats, etc. Mike needs to define WHY he wanted to come live here, determine IF he wants to remain here, and make decisions based upon what is best for HIM.

I think, all along, I’ve kept it in the back of my head that Jr. will probably cave in and return to Spath Island, but I want to be very careful to NOT project that belief, in any way.

Mike has never known a normal level of safety. He is constantly apologizing for everything from tripping over his own feet to my own respiratory infection! He’s so full of fear and doubt that any decisions that he makes without the benefit of a counselor/therapist should be placed ON HOLD until he examines the rationale behind them.

This is going to be a long road, and I can’t fix what’s ailing this kid. I can walk alongside him, but he’s going to have to come to some ugly truths. And, he’s definitely in the middle of Stockholm Syndrome, and I don’t have ANY tools to deal with that from my end!

Oh well…..more onion/honey juice and I’m off for studio adventures! 😀



Well, I finally experienced a very serious trigger episode with Mike. I have to say that I’m not ashamed, just irritated for allowing the situation to get out of hand when I could clearly see the pothole, ahead.

Since Mike is such a talented visual artist, I gave him a “lesson” on anatomy drawing – draw the hand using contour lines, only, and hold the drawing material in a specific way to allow the freedom of movement. Mike balked and actually seemed to become hostile about this. I told him that I wasn’t criticizing his drawing technique (compelled to soothe the injured soul), but offering him a new and valuable tool to help improve his work. I asked him, “Don’t you want to improve your techniques?” This was after he had mentioned that he didn’t know enough about anatomy to better his subject matter. His answer was, “I’ll never earn a living doing this, so I don’t see the point…” I hit the roof.

My brother’s ex-wife and the ex spath had said the same (VERBATIM) thing about my creativity, beginning at age 16 with the ex-sisterinpath. With the ex spath, my creativity was constantly criticized as a waste of time – when I wanted to return to college to finish my degree, I was only “allowed” to pursue something in the medical field, and only then if my parents paid for it. Mike’s response brought back all of the miseries that the ex sisterinpath and ex spath had inflicted specifically regarding my art, and I lost it.

I threw the piece that I was working on into the reclaim bucket (I was throwing pottery, at the time), and proceeded to throw several other projects into reclaim and kept saying to Mike, “Okay! I’m not an artist, anymore, because I’m not making a good living at it. There! I’m not an artist, anymore.” My blood pressure was through the roof, and I was so hurt and furious that I left the studio before I did anything else stupid. I needed to calm myself, and it took a dammed good while.

The ex-sisterinpath often told me, “You can’t make money doing that. You need to go to secretarial school, instead.” This was while I was showing at prestigious art shows and festivals in the Tidewater, VA area at 16. No, I didn’t earn any awards, but I sure loved what I was doing and the one person that I “needed” acceptance from viciously shot me down without batting an eye.

The ex spath used art as a “reward” if I complied with his demands, and only in theory – the ex spath nearly killed my art spirit. I was “allowed” to WANT to practice my art, and the “reward” was always dangling in my face, but I never, EVER created a finished project during the entire time I was married to that farker. “I’m NOT babysitting these kids while you doodle and the house is still a wreck!”

Now, when I returned after my trigger tantrum, I sat down with Mike and told him that I would never indulge in another response in the manner that I did, and that I was very sorry for my display. I also explained that my response was MY fault – that I gave into a “trigger.” I went on to describe my feelings on being BORN an artist and having that used against me by others – I didn’t say whom, and I didn’t provide specifics. I simply said that it was tantamount to spiritual murder to deny anyone to become who, and what, they were born to be. I also told Mike that it took years for me to restore my art spirit and that I will not tolerate such remarks from him, or anyone else.

Mike was born an artist, and the ex spath couldn’t abide this – it was a constant reminder that I was involved in creating Mike. He was never encouraged to pursue his artistic creativity and it was hampered in such a way that he can’t see (YET) that creativity is imperative to progress the human quality of life – without creative minds, we’d still be scrawling lines on cave walls and wearing hides for clothing. Mike has said on numerous occasions that (quote), “There isn’t a need for creativity, anymore.”

After this lovely episode, I went on to remake some of the projects and let the drop.

Another trigger was averted, last night, when Mike mentioned that he had met a “friend” of the spath brother’s. This “friend” was a petty criminal as a minor, and only God knows what he’s evolved into, at this point. But, the premise of this was that the “friend” had been invited to “stay” with the spath brother because spath brother had been “having some trouble with some people.” This means only one thing to me – to bring someone from 4 States away to “stay” for a while was because the spath son was in some serious trouble with some bad people because of his illegal activities: dealing dope and God knows what else. I didn’t react to this trigger as much as I might have. Mike insisted that the “friend” was a really nice guy – “…a really GOOD person.” My only response was, “Yeah, he’s a great guy. Good people always plot to murder their girlfriend’s parents so they can continue having sex with their girlfriend without interference.” Mike insisted that the “friend” was a “really good” person and had probably changed. I didn’t respond to that, at all – I had to let the matter drop, entirely, even though Mike kept on about what a “nice guy” this “friend” was.

So………The whole point to this outrageously long and rambling post is this: I don’t care how far I am on my healing path, I’m still vulnerable to triggers. I don’t know if other LF site members have had the same experiences with triggers, but I am STILL vulnerable and I have to really get vigilant and attend to my boundaries. I’ve gotten slack in the past couple of weeks because I was beginning to feel a false sense of comfort – although I love Mike very much and feel for his personal experiences, I CANNOT MAKE HIS PROBLEMS INTO MY PROBLEMS!!! I must, must, MUST attend to my boundaries and get myself centered and focused. I cannot allow myself to facilitate Mike’s issues – I must take control of ME and not allow myself to take ownership of the spaths’ cruelties. BOUNDARIES, dammit………BOUNDARIES!!!!

THANK YOU LoveFraud, for the ability and safety to vent and rant.

Brightest blessings!



What’s good is that you’re communicating with your son (living truthfully and honestly around him), letting him know why you reacted during the experience, educating him, coming back after-the-fact and talking to him. Mike does have a long road ahead of him. I’m thinking that Mike is still acclimating to his environment, hopefully, taking off in time, figuring out what he wants for himself and “going for it,” his personal ambitions. It’s going to take time for him to get free of the brainwashing that he’s endured over the years. While Mike becomes clearer in his thinking, your son can learn what relationships are all about, people having ups-and-downs, but genuinely caring about each other, not using one another. I know it’s hard and frustrating, dealing with a young adult, but be patient – there will be a payoff in the end. Go one step at a time. I think that you’re awesome, doing what you can for the sake of your child. Peace to you.


Bluejay, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I have all the patience in the world for people, I just am so irritated with myself for having reacted so violently to those triggers! Dagnabbit!!!!

As I mentioned, I think that I had neglected my boundaries and that I might have managed the triggers much better had I been attending to them, diligently.

Mike will find his own way, I believe. It is, indeed, going to take a long, long time for him to set his feet firmly onto his own healing path – one psych friend assessed his emotional/social maturity at about 13-14, and I agree. He has to witness work ethics, committment, and emotional health before he can “want” those things for himself.

Boundaries. Yes.

Brightest blessings.


Hi Buttons,

I think we change so much during this experience, learning to deal with triggers as they come up in a NEWWAY is part of that. I had an experience recently with a woman who run’s my son’s after school care. I’ll try not go into too much detail, but the woman is a common all garden bully, who likes to lord it over poor inner city parents and kids.

She for what ever reason (and part of my healing is about learning to NOT CARE about what ever that is unless she can explain to us that we have done something wrong) doesnt want my son but cant refuse us provison. So she had me jumping through hoops. and the thing for me, having just started a new job, was that I really NEEDED her. I felt over a barrel and at her mercy. She clearly saw this and I could see she enjoyed her position.

Another aspect, that I am not sure has any play in this, is that she recently contacted me on FB out of the blue (unprofessional much) expressing how ‘astounded’ she was that I had attended the same selective school as her. She may have had me pegged as something and wasnt happy I didnt fit it? (crazy theory time!- too much thinking blue!)

Anyway.My physical tolerance for being bullied is now at zero (after spending my life so far in bully situations) but I still felt unable to deal with my feelings or her. I was furious at her I KNEW she was BSing me. But I also NEEDED her assistance. Real trigger situation for me.

There is a disconnect still, like I have no tolerance for BS whatsoever but am still not ‘allowed’ to feel angry or reject hands down being bullied. I dont know how to deal with the anger it throws up . I end up feeling hopeless, useless, fighting being apologetic to the bully!

So anyway after three attempts at clearing up the position with her (she was too busy, the computer wasnt working ect.ect.) I wrote to her boss requesting their position in writing, and it turns out that this woman has no right to refuse us provision, that there is a policy of equality and inclusion for kids with SENs they have plenty of spaces and have to take him and all her ‘not sure we have a place for your son’, ‘we need you to request a place in writing at least month before’ (with only two weeks term left)was total rubbish. A personal stance on her part that came out of who knows where.

Now she refuses to speak to me or make eye contact. She will be laughing and joking with other parents and when we walk in her face drops and she walks out of the room. She is sulking with me and my 8 year old, for going over her head.

I have no other option AT THE MOMENT but to put my son in her ‘care’.

Only one more week of it to go though.

I didnt, and am not handling it perfectly, like an ‘all healed’ person.


Dear Buttons,

After reading your post about your son, I am reminded of how wise you are. Your ability to take ownership for your actions and anger will help guide your son in the right way to own up to our feelings and behaviors. It sounds like he wants to see the good in people, this is a place we have all been, believing that unhealthy people have the same values as us and won’t try and hurt us. It will take Mike a long time to learn this lesson, I’m still learning it.

You are wise in the fact that boudaries are so important to keep in healthy relationships. Mike will see your example and hopefully learn from it. For some reasons spaths like to squelch the creative side in people. Spath has said to daughters “You should get in business, you could do your writing as a hobby.” “She is not going to art school, I won’t pay for it!” Both girls are creative and spath is a jerk about it.

You are taking the healing path Buttons, the trigger that made you angry, was because the spath tried to take away your core, your soul. Allow yourself to recognize the anger for what it is and why you have it then forgive yourself for getting angry. Spath tried to take so much from you, sometimes I wonder if we ever truely heal, we just learn to cope with the damage done. No one has the right to take what they took. It’s natural to be angry.

Mike has a long way to go, you are doing the right thing in how you are caring for him. I’m glad that you are able to vent on LF and process everything here. It really helps to have this virtual place of healing. You have been a wise counselor in my journey of dealing with a disordered person and all the crap they dish out.

Many blessings!!!


Blueskies and Hopeforjoy, thank you so much for your very encouraging words and sharing – it really is a GREAT help to know that I’m not nuts and that I am capable of forgiving myself when I lose it.

The issue of boundaries – professionally, and personally – is so important to me, now. I have always had boundary issues as most spath Survivors have, but this recent episode brought it home with exquisite clarity. If this subject comes up, again, my response must be: you may place limitations on yourself, but I have chosen to indulge my art spirit and I may be poor, but I love what I do.

It’s all about control with the spath – simple, complete control, and this I will not allow. The ex spath is dead and buried. The ex-sisterinpath is history and wallowing in whatever world she has created for herself. The spath son is enjoying the experience of constant scrutiny by Law Enforcement. I do not “have” to live in their world unless I choose to. And, damitol, I choose to live in agape, beauty, and wonder and NOT the atmosphere of suspicion, defense, and fear.

Hopeforjoy, I’m so glad to see that you’re still reading, learning, counseling, and healing. I think about you, often. 🙂

Thank you, thank you.

Brightest blessings!


I think that you can voice your opinion, but ulimately the person must see it for themselves.


Buttons, you didn’t loose. None of us on this site lost with the Spaths that consumed our lives. Complete opposite, we WON because we survived the destruction of their lies.


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