By | June 11, 2009 96 Comments

Is the predator always a sociopath?

Sociopaths, as a group, tend to be predatory personalities. But does the converse always hold? Are predatory personalities, by definition, sociopaths?

Is it possible to prey on innocent people, and victimize them, yet not be a sociopath?

I think the answer to this question is yes…it is possible to be a predator and not a sociopath, although let me state as strongly as possible that, sociopath or not, the predator’s exploitation is no less damaging.

How one defines the predatory personality makes a difference. For purposes of this discussion, here’s how I’m going to define it: The predatory personality recognizes (if not actively seeks) opportunities for personal gratification, and seizes those opportunities knowing full well that, in doing so, he or she will cause someone else to feel victimized.

This must be a pattern of behavior to constitute predation.

While hardly comprehensive, this will be my working definition.

Predatory behavior can be driven by compulsion, but not all predatory behavior is compulsively driven. When it’s not, as a matter of fact, I think that sociopathy is a virtual given.

Compulsion can be a driving feature of predatory behavior. And many of us can attest personally to the power of compulsion. Compulsion is, by definition, an incredibly hard force to resist. When we feel compelled to do something, even knowing it’s an unwise thing to do, we often do it anyway…and sometimes again and again. Resistance to the compulsive urge proves enormously difficult.

We also know that sometimes, what “compels” us, at the same time violates our general standards and personal values (causing most of us, in these cases, internal disturbance).

This makes compulsion a quite fascinating experience, among other reasons for its seeming power to drive us to actions or thoughts that sometimes fly in the face of our self-respect, and sometimes respect for others.

Of course, not everyone who feels compulsively driven to perform self-violating or violating behaviors even has an underlying value system to be contravened. In these cases, I’d again suggest that sociopathy is likely to apply.

But things grow murkier in cases of individuals who, otherwise seeming to possess and adhere to reasonable moral standards, find themselves “compelled” to actions that profoundly transgress their standards—actions, especially, that leave a wake of victims in their trail.

Theoretically these may be cases where the urge to perpetrate the behavior—the compulsion itself—is so powerful that it’s as if it overrides and corrupts the standards the individual normally applies, and from which he or she draws his or her self-esteem.

In such cases, shame, self-contempt, guilt, and conscious or unconscious acts of penance can follow.

In August an interesting story broke in The New York Times headlined “Star Pediatrician Fights Accusations of Sex Abuse.” It concerned a pediatrician, researcher and writer, Melvin Levine, MD, who is recognized for his work on children’s learning styles and differences. Levine has written several popular psychology/education books on children, and his innovative research has been embraced by school districts across the country.

The front-page story (Aug. 6) reports that multiple former patients, either directly or else through their families—victims who could not possibly have known each other—alleged that, over a period of decades, Levine sexually molested them in the course of physical examinations he conducted with them alone.

Some of the accusations surfaced while Levine was still practicing, others later. None of the accusations, it turns out, was rigorously investigated, as a result of which Levine was never made professionally accountable at any point.

Levine has denied the allegations despite the fact that the complaints were spread across different states, over long stretches of time, contained virtually identical descriptions of his sexual abusiveness and, as noted, were made by disparate, disconnected patients. Thus, the probability of some sort of conspiracy to undermine him begs credulity.

Who, then, is Melvin Levine, MD, assuming the allegations are true and that, over a period of decades—as he was simultaneously contributing undeniably meaningful work to the better understanding and academic growth of children—he was also selecting some of them to sexually molest?

Is he, by definition, a sociopath? Certainly, if the accusations are true, he meets the criteria of a predator. But does this necessarily make him a sociopath?

I could be wrong, yet I can imagine that Melvin Levine falls into that category of individuals who find themselves in the throes of a compulsion that insists as if tyrannically on its expression. I can imagine that Melvin Levine has secretly despised himself from his first, and every subsequent, capitulation to his compulsion.

I can imagine that Melvin Levine has been filled, over the years, with a private self-mortification, believing himself to be incorrigibly corrupted and beyond help or forgiveness. And I can imagine that his good works—his career that, so oddly, has been devoted to the same children he’s abused—derived and evolved from a genuine need to contribute his talents to society in a meaningful way.

I can imagine that Dr. Levine has been living for decades in awful confusion, trying to reconcile his good, perhaps even admirable values,with behavior that’s made a shameful mockery of those values.

Of course, it’s possible that Melvin Levine is a sociopath, and that I’m giving him way too much credit. But I entertain the possibility that he isn’t; that instead, from the first time he indulged his compulsion, he began digging himself as if into a psychic hole of shame and self-corruption so deep and inescapable that, at some point, his survival came to depend on denial and lies and, of course, his capacity to compartmentalize.

Skepticism here is valid. Where do you draw the line? How about serial rapists? Or serial killers? After all, isn’t a monster a monster, regardless of the role compulsion plays in his or her deviance? Who cares what the diagnosis is, one can rightfully object! It’s the behavior that marks the man (or woman)!

I’ve merely scratched the surface of this discussion, and intend to continue it in a future post.

(This article is copyrighted (c) 2009 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)

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Steve, you raise important issues in this post. I’d like to participate in this discussion and I hope others will also join in adding their own observations.

Psychopathy is defined by the presence of 4 general facets, interpersonal manipulation, affective (lack of remorse and empathy), lifestyle (irresponsible, parasitic), and criminal antisocial behavior. One can be a psychopath or psychopathic and not have every facet.

A person who lacks the interpersonal and affective symptoms, who also has an antisocial compulsion would expend much energy to resist the compulsion. There are pedophiles who lock themselves in their homes, afraid to go out. These people prove their digust with themsleves and caring for others by trying to get help before they are caught or hurt somebody.

Even in very psychopathic individuals, antisocial behavior often has a compulsive quality- consider the pathological lies of a psychopathic con artist.

This gets to what psychopathy is- a disorder of aberrant experience of social reward. What person gets a charge out of hurting other people or exploiting them? A very psychopathic person. In my view, it is the presence of disordered social rewards that defines psychopathy more than the absence of guilt/empathy. The 4 facets are just u=the usual markers of this aberrant experience of social reward.


Working, so just have few minutes to post. I think one can be a sex addict, which is a predator, and otherwise be “okay”…depending on how they act in all other aspects of their life. I think I met one, who was otherwise a good person, a former priest. But that is a huge “otherwise”. But he didn’t seem to cause havoc in people’s lives, other than those young teen boys he molested. (again a BIG otherwise). So I think it comes down to all the other aspects of their lives and how people feel after interacting with the person. And if the person is truly shame filled, or enjoying “pulling one over” on everyone. Just initial thoughts.


If an MD researcher were psychopathic, wouldn’t it be more of a thrill to be molesting children while simultaneously becoming a big name in the field of researching children’s learning styles?

Isn’t that a bit like a high-flying con artist also serving in a prestigious role on Wall Street?

Don’t both aspects point to their grandiosity, their sense of immunity from responsibility for their actions?

As Dr. Leedom said, it’s their “aberrant experience of social reward.”

Ox Drover

IMHO, I think (*ALMOST) EVERY person who COMMITS sexual offenses against children or others is a psychopath.

[* I put that in just in case there is ONE who might have some real guilt and not be a PPD]

People feel “compelled” all the time to do things they know are not good, not wise, etc. and HEALTHY PEOPLE restrain themselves from doing these things. I do not doubt that there are men/women who have the “compulsion” to molest children or others sexually, however, those people RESTRAIN themselves with their conscience, at least most of the time. I won’t say that a person who “did it” once, became repulsed at his/her own actions and never did it again, regardless of their “desires” or “compulsions” would be a psychopath, but those that REPEATEDLY do this sort of thing either don’t have a conscience (PPD) or if they have the vestige of one, they over ride it as a LIFE STYLE.

Many psychopaths are bright, artistic, talented, and appear on the surface to be doing wonderful work for the betterment of mankind—yet, behind this mask of “mr Nice Guy” they hide their hideous alter egos. “Great educators” work in schools so they can be near their prey, “great scout leaders” like Charles “Jackie” Walls III mask themselves behind this facade so that they can get near their prey. Jackie molested over 1500 different kids over a 20 year period and was responsible for three deaths, two by murder and one suicide.

What better “cover story” than a well loved and respected pediatrician for a molester? It gave him access to hundreds of children and the “respectability” to get to be alone with them without raising eye brows.

Just like the pedophile priests and ministers and other “men and women of God” insert themselves into the community with a mask of respectability. It doesn’t mean that they are any LESS PSYCHOPATHIC than the crack-head bozo who molests his girl friend’s kids, or his own kids, or snags one out of teh park. It is the ACTS that they ROUTINELY and REPEATEDLY and premeditatively commit that is the KEY IMHO.

This is NOT something that they CANNOT CONTROL, it is an ADDICTION, and yep, there are some definnite “compulsions” for any addiction, whether it is gambling, drinking, drugging, sex, control, risk taking, or whatever it is, but they CAN CONTROL it if they WANTED TO as long as they know right from wrong.

I will not give someone who ACTS on these desires (compulsions?) repeatedly a pass just because it is more tempting for them to do these things than it might be for me to do them. There are other things that I feel COMPELLEd to do, like murder these people in a slow and painful manner that would make hanging, drawing and quartering, seem like the minor punishment, but I know that it is not right for me to do these things, no matter how richly these people deserve it, so I RESTRAIN MY COMPULISONS to give them what they deserve and let the rule of law reign.


This is a hard one. I don’t know about molestation, but I think that there are people who do horrible acts and do feel regret/shame. Maybe a person who commits these acts is similar to a psychopath in the regard that they do not feel enough empathy with their victims to prevent them from committing the offense, but still feel guilt afterward where a true psychopath would not feel that guilt or regret.

Compulsion is a strong force. It definitely played a roll in me staying with my S for so long. I would find myself calling, or even flying across the country (two times) to be with him…when every part of my mind was screaming at me “STOP BAD IDEA” I’ve felt at times like my mind/logic has been hijacked and tied up in the back seat, while I was compelled to drive across town to be with the S the entire time knowing it would end badly and cause me pain.

So I understand what it is like to be out f control and compelled to do something I know is wrong, unable to restrain myself. But there must be a fine line in there somewhere, bc like Oxy said above I am able to resist some compulsions–like strangling the S.

I guess I believe that one doesn’t have to be a psychopath to be a predator. I could see Dr. Levine full of self-hatred, trying to somehow release himself from his guilt by ‘contributing his talent’ to society, while inside he is being eaten by guilt, yet compelled to continue molesting children. Psychopath or not, EITHER WAY he is a child molester. Neither explanation excuses his actions. I’d presonally prefer it if he was not a psychopath, because he deserves to be riddled with guilt. That’s the most unjust thing about psychopaths, they “get away” with their crimes guilt free. Even if they are caught and punished, without feeling guilt/remorse it’s not much of a punishment.

Psychopaths remind me of a child that sticks out his tongue when he’s been spanked, rather than crying. It would be nice to believe that every bit of evil committed by humans on this earth was done by psychopaths. That would make it easier to deal with, but I’m afraid to believe that. I can’t just go through life thinking every person who has done me harm in some way is an S or P, so I feel like I can’t say that all predators are definitely Ps. Some people are just shallow, selfish jerks, that doesn’t mean they all have some kind of personality disorder.


I think the key difference is the lack of empathy. I have worked with a number of criminals and people who could be considered psychopathic and others who are not. I very much agree with Oxy except it is not an “addiction” in the medical sense. I think the term addiction has been abused and overused much like the term psychopath. Almost everything these days seems to be called an addiction which is some ways helps to mitigate their responsibility for their actions and choices. I have never seen a psychopathic individual go into withdrawal from not being allowed to act like a psychopath or choosing not to act like one.

There are people out there that are pedophiles but who have never touched a child and will go to their graves without ever touching a child. I have also worked with SO’s who did have guilt and remorse over what they have done (though they were adolescents). The difference between the pedophile who acted out and the ones who did not? Often it was empathy. To be disgusted with oneself you have to have at least some empathy to know that acting would be harmful and “disgusting”.

Psychopathic folks make the choice to do what they do and to act how they act. They are not compelled to do it. The want to do it and act on those desires.

Empathy is what makes the difference moreso than any other factor in my opinion. There are people who get a kick out of exploiting other people and hurting them but that do so in a more pro-social manner who are not psychopathic. One example that jumps to mind is people who are often engaged in various types of negotiations and they exploit others and hurt others to win BUT they do not hurt others in the same way a psychopath would do so. They may hurt someone by bringing up something that makes another uncomfortable or unsettling so it puts them off their game but it does not “hurt” them long term or deeply.

Now does this mean that every psychopath does not have compulsions? Of course not. There are often comorbid disorders and other issues that go along with it.

Ox Drover

I quote Dr. Carla van Dam, PhD in speaking about serial child molesters who are “socially skilled” (like our physician above) and she in describing them says “THEY LACK EMPATHY, AND EPERIENCE NO REMORSE, AS SHOWN BY THEIR ACTUAL BEHAVIOR.”

Okay, children, let’s all say it in unison, “What ARE TWO OF THE MOST TELLING POINTS ABOUT A PSYCHOPATH?”


Blogger, I totally agree with you about the term “addiction’ being over used and used as an “excuse’ that makes the “addict” HELPLESS AGAINST the addiction. PUKE!

“psychopathic folks make the choice to do what they do and to act how they act. they are not compelled to do it. They want to do it and act on those desires.”

AMEN, Brother!!! Right on!


When asked about the parents of the children he killed, here is a quote from a serial killer pedaphile who is in jail (it was at his interview on being caught), ( And I will have to look up his name for next time as I can’t remember it right now).

” If I cared about the parents, I wouldn’t have killed the kids.”

From a very young age, I learned to stick my tongue out at my pysychopathic parents when they brutalised me. Simply because, if I cried I would get a worse bashing. I find it hard to cry now. I feel fear when I want to cry as the bashings were bad. I had my left arm broken by my parents and my brother repeatedly. The earliest break was 18 months. I still have the x rays. Laughter is much easier for me. Laughter is the same release as crying for me. But only when those around me know me (i.e. my son). Otherwise it is best to stay silent.
Since i have been on LF I have cried a few times. I cried for Kelsi and the Coleman boys and their mum. Also for the two wives of that psychopathic ex policeman who was recently arrested. I cried when some members were so understanding and kind. I reckon that is real progress!

Ox Drover

Dear Tilly,

It is “funny” (not laughable) that some parents who abuse their kids and the kids cry and the parent tells them to “shut up or I’ll give you something to really cry about!”

I am so sorry that you endured such abuse, I know that leaves marks not only on your body and X-rays but on your soul as well. BUT, I also know that what lyou endured is PROOF POSITIVE that no one can BEAT the GOODNESS OUT of someone who is kind and good….and you are that, my friend!

BTW–can’t remember which thread you asked it on, but a “skillet” is a frying pan made out of heavy cast iron for cooking. It lasts forever if you care properly for it, and is the original “non stick” surface if used properly. It keeps an even temp and is not prone to burn things—and is a great weapon if you need one quickly. In my living history group we have games like kids and one of them is the “skillet toss” for distance and accuracy. I don’t get the distance one against the younger women, but I usually win the ACCURACY toss.

I also (now don’t faint!) won the LIAR’S CONTEST (wild story telling) contest three years in a row!

Ox Drover

Tilly, do you still have your boomerang? I have my skillet! Have a nice day and hope Rosa is doing better today! You know the best thing is NC and it is our ONLY defense against those that would try to hook us in. (((hugs)))) and as always, my prayers!

passer-by, I’m going to try to say this as kindly as possible. The issues you’re apparently struggling with seem to be based on the failure of your marriage and the questions it raised about what women want and how you failed.

This is understandable, but the threads of study and the conclusions you’re playing with are not helpful here. You may see some similarity to what we’re working with, and I can see that similarity too. But ultimately, our work comes down to developing personal authority in our own lives.

People do give up their power for various reasons. You can certainly find lots of material in books and blogs for these insights you’re pursuing. But the people here are largely interested in recovering their own power and working on the reasons that they ever gave it away.

If you want to work on learning how to love yourself, care for yourself in healthy ways, or develop your capacity for good relationships that are honest, open and mutually respectful, you may find some value here. For a start, it’s a good idea to read the articles in the archives to understand what we’re working with and how we’re approaching it.

If this doesn’t interest you, you’re basically hijacking the thread. And you cannot be helpful to us or we to you.



I too am going to try to say this as kindly as possible. Seek and you shall find a new therapist…interview them, print out your posts here, let them read them…find someone you feel comfortable with expressing your soul (including your confused soul)…sex therapists will answer your questions and help you with your confusion about life and love… there is SO much more to life than what you are fixated on and pondering and maybe even obsessed with. The best thing you can do for yourself no matter what your “diagnosis” is….is to want to get to a better place for yourself and with others in society.

You should not project onto others and most importantly you should not judge others. Work on yourself and becoming a better person…stop looking at others and analyzing them and look within… start with the one and only person you can change and grow and become consciously aware that life is a learning process…about yourself and others WAY beyond sexuality. However if you are confused and your life growth is being affected over such issues there are professionals to help you. Find the one that you begin to relate to and see positive growing changes within yourself… not spend two years getting nowhere. You should be able to express yourself and TRUST your therapist enough to say anything you wish to work on and learn. I suggest you start interviewing today.


Thanks Kathleen Hawks for your post. This site carry a theme and consistently discuss views and topics and tries to understand that theme without undue injustice and bias views. Our theme helps one and/or many to understand and accept what we have witness and experienced with our ex’s children parents caretakers employers and co-workers. This same theme helps us to learn and then heal over time. Members here who understand this theme comes to us with help for others with compassion empathy and open hearts. Which allows others to help them in return. To deviate away from this theme would be an injustice to this site something I for one don’t want.



How true! Many of our get a hiccup at times in life. It never hurt to seek out others to assist and help us overcome this hiccup and then allow that person to learn more about oneself which allows healing and empowerment of one’s self.


Sorry I am a little rushed today: 🙂

Update should be:

“Many of us get a hiccup at times in life. It never hurts to seek out “professional” help to assist us and help us to overcome this hiccup.”


Thank you for being polite.

May I ask your personal opinion if there are healthy ways or good reasons to give up one’s personal power over basic circumstances of one’s own existence in the course of ordinary life? I don’t mean power over others, I mean power over oneself.

There are many articles in archives. Which ones should I start from?

I don’t have a diagnosis known to me.

People judge others in most cases in everyday life in order to accept or reject. That’s my experience.

How is it possible to learn something true about anything or anyone, for example about others, without analyzing them?

And I know that it goes way beyond sexuality. Sometimes I want to be asexual being so I don’t have to struggle with it anymore.

What is better person? What does it mean to be a good person? That is the question that ultimately is behind my previous posting.


“May I ask your personal opinion”

No you may not…

Research is personal and something we all need to do on our own. Goodbye…



I think you should interview professional therapists and allow yourself a safe and trusting place to express yourself… Especially if you have been in therapy and dont have any kind of diagnosis known to you….

Just because some people judge others doesnt mean you need to jump on that band wagon. You can make it a personal goal NOT to judge others if you so choose. I personally accept or reject based on treatment of respect and positivity and honesty and personal choices. I dont judge or try to get into others minds or beliefs or practices, I accept or reject based on respectfulness as well as other traits I am compatible with….

It is possbile to learn through experience and personal growth and introspection. First work on yourself, trust yourself, love yourself, know yourself and select your friends and circles based upon being treated with respect and letting people earn your trust and respect based upon their desire to want to…

Sexual therapists may be able to assist you with no longer struggling with so much…if you feel better expressing in writing…do so upon your interview with them…tell them it was suggested you print out your posts here and let them read them and see who is willing to assist you in your life journey.. for answers and growth..

A better person is one who no longer wants to struggle, who wants to find peace within and feels balanced and healthy and more positive in life. A good person means feeling good about yourself, loving yourself, trusting yourself so much so that you allow others to live their own life and fulfill yours with like-minded respectful honest loving people.

passer-by, start anywhere. That’s what everyone else here did.

I don’t think you’re grasping the feedback your getting here. Your issues, what you want to talk about, are not the same as what we’re doing. If you really want to participate, put the time in to understanding what’s going on here.

If you don’t want to do that, read the home page and Donna’s statement there. If you feel you are the victim of a relationship with a sociopath and you’re trying to get over it, that is what we are sharing here and how we’re supporting each other.

That’s it.


Potted plant, potted plant, potted plant. Hey Oxy, that is a pun too! I never realized that until now!

Steve, I think you have written before that the distinguishing trait of a sociopath is a willingness to exploit. I hope I have the wording right. Is what you are suggesting is that some exploitation occurs without willingness and instead with regret? Even if done over time?

Steve, thanks for another thought-provoking post.

I think that the factor of compulsion makes the distinction between addiction and sociopathy a moot point. If a person comes to believe that something — a drug, a behavior, some consumable — is necessary to emotional equilibrium, it doesn’t matter if that person is “functional” in other areas of life. The potential exists to destroy anything in the way of getting that thing, without compassion or remorse. (And unless remorse includes commitment and action to change behavior, it doesn’t count. It’s just wanking.)

In “Strategy of the Dolphin,” the authors define “sharks” as addicted to winning. So there is the factor of needing other people to lose in order to feel like they’ve won. As you wrote, some activities — such as contract negotiations or competitive sports — involve dividing finite resources. Not everyone can have everything, and at the end of the day, there are going to be losses on someone’s side. While normal, healthy people might need to act shark-ish in order to do these activities, other people’s losses are not the point of the exercise. They are unfortunate by-product.

But sharks need “power over” to feel whole. Or they need to see that they can outsmart, steal from, hurt, or otherwise diminish other people to feel like they are not nothing. They start from a less-than position — even if they mask it with a lot of grandiosity or arrogance or insistence that they have it all figured out. Despite this strong front, they compulsively parasite off people who have what they don’t have. The intensity of their need creates a sense of entitlement. Just like any other addict, willing to destroy anything that gets between them and their drug.

Again, thank you, Steve for a really thought-provoking piece.



thank you for reminding me of that book. I have not read it, but your summary helped me.

I have seen lawyers who act a little sharkish, as the situation mandates it, but nonetheless have limits about fairness and trying to create a win-win situation as much as possible. You have hit the nail on the head that, for them, other people’s losses are not the point of the exercise.

I saw one corporation’s total culture change when they lost a good lawyer as I just described, and got one addicted to winning!


Has anyone had any experience of Ps acting together? I know a couple (male-female) who seem to cooperate as sexual predators.

I’m bringing my response to James and others from the Coleman thread as I didn’t want to deviate from the original post.

James, you and Glinda mentioned that there must be more sociopaths in Ill as the news articles seem to be proliferated with their evil accounts. And from your own personal experiences.

Not so, my dear friends. I seriously consider this a national epidemic, crisis. I can’t say global as I just don’t know.

Ever since I have flung those deceptive rose colored glasses to the ground and fiercely stomped them into obliteration, I see now once what I did not see. Once you saturate your brain with the predictable actions/behaviors of the pathological personality disordered…there ain’t no going back.

It would be self defeating to deny reality, the truth we are all seeking on LF and in meatspace. We can’t undo our learning of valuable, priceless, survival oriented knowledge. And I bet we all sure as heck don’t want to. EVER!

With that said, I see many occurences of maybe not outright sociopathy but evidence of self obsession, narcissism on a daily basis just by frequenting stores, restaurants, the usual places to go.

Yesterday I was at the grocery store and as I was standing in line, the cashier, a woman in her 50s, was rambling on and on about her little cold, her allergies due to the overabundance of pollen and dust.

I could feel compassion for her but me and many others had suffered the same sinus conditions. We just weren’t advertising to the mass public as everyone becomes ill a time or two during allergy season.

Anyway, my turn came and I looked over at the lovely young woman who was bagging my few groceries. She had her brown hair down and it was profusely curly. She’s gorgeous with big brown eyes and olive skin. I told her she looked very pretty today and asked if her hair was naturally curly. She said it was. I said it was gorgeous hair.

I looked back at the cashier to see what’s what and she immediately started touching her hair and saying hers’ is naturally curly also but she had it in a pony tail. And off she went on a tangent about her hair.

I wasn’t even talking to her! I was directing my words to the young woman. Seems like such a minor incident to write about but when I’m around a person who wants and needs all attention focused on them….I get more than a little leery.

That’s a red flag warning, right? Hmm…



“Not so, my dear friends. I seriously consider this a national epidemic, crisis. I can’t say global as I just don’t know.”

How I wish I could disagree with you, oh how I wish I could but you are right. I thought about that 1-4 percent I keep hearing about for those that suffer for being an NPD today. The more I thought about it the more I realized how this number is just too low. Just how many people out there walking around who suffer from a PD? I don’t believe we will never really know and then do I really want too?

James, darling, please don’t despair when coming to terms, realizing that predators abound anywhere and everywhere.

It just is what it is and by us striving to educate ourselves, those of us who truly are good, decent, compassionate and loving folks, we can protect ourselves and loved ones from further future predation.

I’m a hopeful optimistic lass. I exist, you exist, all the awesome peeps who read and comment on LF exist so the odds are in our favor that there are oodles, plenty of good people who live right alongside us on this planet.

My unwavering belief is that there must be a balance at all times otherwise chaos and destruction would rule the day. That balance of good vs evil.

That hasn’t happened yet and not likely to, either. Because even though we are the gentle and loving we are also fierce and determined. Ain’t no damn way evil can always win when confronted with such stubborn warriors like us.

We live in an enlightening time where we have access to as much information, material, knowledge that we need to preserve what’s right, good and decent in the world.

LF is only one such place on the internet that is offering such knowledge, support and education. And think about other avenues provided in the community that are helpful, concerned and benevolent. Many such places are out there just waiting for other good peeps to join in.

Peace, Love and Joy for all…….


Hi JaneSmith- I was really just being, well, me. If I don’t joke about it, I’ll cry. And I’ve cried enough 🙂 I wish there was just a pocket of monsters but unfortunately, I know they are all over. I wish it were just Illinois as we could board it up and move on. Alas, I’ve dated losers from Missouri too. I don’t currently date because I have what I call “UPM”. Unerring Psycho Magnestism. If there is a room of 50 women and 1 psycho, he’ll be at my side in as long as it takes to push the non vulnerable women out of his way to get to me.

All kidding aside, I have 2 small children, boys, to raise into non-sociopathic men. The xs is in prison so while I don’t have to constantly do damage control, I’m flying solo here. Any time I take to pursue things (including a relationship) that don’t involve their care and feeding would be taking time from them. And the xs is in prison for sexually abusing my oldest daughter from the 1st xs- I couldn’t possibly go through that again. Do I really have a clue now or not? I don’t care to risk their well-being to find out. Or mine.

And I agree with the narcissism…look how long I talked about myself. 🙂 LOL I was in a gas station recently and a woman came stomping in and demanding to speak to the manager because the card reader on the pump wouldn’t read her card. good gravy- I wish I had her problems that that would get my knickers in such a bind.

I’m still basking in the glow from living life without the chaos of an s/n. I don’t need anything else. I am content. 🙂

Hello there, Miss Glinda…

Joke all you want. Is good for the soul and healing. Many or most of us former victims, now undefeated soldiers who write on LF have developed the most remarkable humors. Yeah, sometimes morbid but still alive and kicking, ya know?

And please don’t compare yourself to a person with NPD when you are discussing, sharing your awful experiences with LF. Completely, entirely different situation and circumstances.

You have a working functioning heart and conscience. Therefore, you honestly expressing your misery and suffering at the merciless hands of one or more predators is more than acceptable. It’s downright customary on here!

We all care about others’ pain and suffering. We are very loving and compassionate people. We all extend our care and concern to those who visit and in return, the newcomers extend and share with other peeps. I refer to as reciprocity. The genuine real deal here on this awesome site.

And I quote Miss Kathleen Hawk when she said…”You’re suppose to talk about yourself. I love it when you talk about yourself”

I totally agree! How am I going to get to know you folks better if you don’t talk about yourselves and your experiences? That’s how it works here.

Just hang in there and hang in here because it will most certainly get so much better.



PS….you really don’t need to be involved with a man to have a sincere life of peace, joy and love. Take me for example. Been single on and off for a bazillion years and I’ve realized the times where I was the most serene and content was when I was alone. Without male companionship. Funny that, huh?

Must be because I’m a weirdo introvert. Yeah, true dat!..haha


I as a single parent can see how one’s “dancing card” can be filled when raising our children. Then there is the desirer to return to school and finish up one’s education. My new found skills which are writing and poetry. With all this in hand I feel at times so blessed and lucky. I now am able to see a horizon I never would have dare to look at before. Ironic in a way I sometimes tells myself that how my ex s/p wanted nothing less then to destroy me only it didn’t work and in so many ways it only help me grow up more and become more then I would have expected could ever be.

I often find myself smiling when there no one else there
I often see the joke of me and laugh with no one there
I often find myself enjoying me like never before
I often see my child smile and laugh so much more
I often see my children at play so carefree and happy
not like those three years ago
When it rains and sometime storms in this life
Instead of running for our own shelters we now
Run to each other knowing there is support and trust
Once I was a fixer but no more
Each one of us will learn more
When we all understand we can be one
and still be part of the whole

So I ask myself am I willing yet to share what I have with another so soon? Maybe for a short time I want to hold what’s dear to me albeit selfishly I know but maybe it’s all part of healing and a willingness to grow both for my children and I?


I also get pleasure from the simple things in life, now. I used to think, OMG, how will I ever survive being alone? I have finally learned(& still learning), the company of myself isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I work outside in the fresh air & sunshine, & find myself smiling or chuckling for no reason at all, except I am happy to be alive & free. I may have lost everything I own to the s, but he couldn’t take my spirit away. I will, & I am surviving this. I have been badly wounded, but I am here, among the best friends I have ever known.

persephone says:
Has anyone had any experience of Ps acting together? I know a couple (male-female) who seem to cooperate as sexual predators.

Ps are quite capable of forming power alliances and do show loyalty for a time toward those with whom they have an alliance.

MSNBC last night told the story of two men who took over a chicken restaraunt at closing and tortured/shot 7 people, for no apparent reason. One of the men told a woman that they did this because they wanted to know what it was like. The woman said they told their story with glee and exhiloration. This is an example of the aberrant motives of Ps.

In the old criteria, “Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior” was a criteria for psychopathy. That was before we came to understand motives. The behavior is differently, not inadequately motivated. In the end it is pleasure or relief from pain/anxiety that motivates all behavior.

Yes, Steve, the diagnosis is unimportant to me.

If I am consciously aware that I am possibly being set up for exploitation, to be used for whatever reason said person wants to use me for, I’m history. Or I make tracks and the person becomes history to me.

I can contemplate, analyze the situation AFTER this person is gone from my life. I don’t waste my precious time or energy trying to figure them out while I’m somewhat involved with them. At the first sign of exploitation, or even inconsideration or disrespect, I confront and boot them out to the curb.

This self preserving action becomes easy once you have retained your self respect, your confidence in who you are as a good person, realized that you most certainly deserve to be treated well as you treat others.

To me, a predator is a predator as a duck is a duck. I won’t be wasting anymore time, energy or sanity on these fiends ever again. Tis done and there it is.


Its’ great sstiles54 when I write something and others can relate!
It’s great when others can open up their hearts and find a shared connect with other members!

Which is what can be so sad and yet so confusing when one pass n by thinks they can hide behind words that are empty and shallow. Those that the world “pass-by” because being alpha is all they really want.

Those that the world “pass-by” pretend to ask questions but are really directing and controlling by those very questions asked in a deceitful and manipulating way . Those that the world “pass-by” who are passive aggressive plotting behind the scenes playing all alone to be honest and innocence and then when we come to understand them and they are caught will put on a face like an child stealing from the cookie jar.

Those that the world “pass-by” are play acting “I am the invisible man/woman” thinking we don’t see them for what they really are and will rage and blame us when we wish not to participate in this game they believe is so real for them.

Ironically, this isolation for Those that the world just “pass-by” that they do will feel from time to time. This isolation is a punishment they themselves imposed upon themselves through these very actions yet will blame all the world who will in the end just “pass-by” them. I can’t help but be sadden for all those that the world just “pass-by” but still knowing all the while they have in fact just did it to themselves. 🙁

Empathy isn’t just a word for all those that the world just passed by, it’s a way of life and learning which is way you will fail time and time again.


“Empathy isn’t just a word for all those that the world just passed by, it’s a way of life and learning which is way you will fail time and time again.”

Sorry typo: 8)

Empathy isn’t just a word for all those that the world just passed by, it’s a way of life and learning which is “why” you will fail time and time again.


Hey Rosa!!
I’ve got this huge CHILDISH crush on one of my art/fabrication production teachers!! He is AMAZING!! He is gentle and kind and has a genius mind, a great sense of humour and can do ANYtHING concerned with engineering and art and …well just whatever he puts his mind to! He treats me with respect and goes out of his way to help me and tells me to lighten up in a funny way when I get to serious and oh he is HOT!
But I am not gonna post myself to him! And I will NEVER be with him EVER!! Except to learn from in class.
But what is so fantastic Rosa is: that I actually have already moved on in the love stakes. You see, he has a great big nose and little eyes and he is not terribly tall and a big bum for a bloke…and I find him really SEXY!!! Which means I am totally over the ex P!
But he is the best teacher I have ever had and no doubt happily married, so I am just gonna check him out from a distance forevermore.
TOWANDA! I can fall in love again and its only been EIGHT MONTHS since the PSYCOPATH!
(It took me 8 years to get over the solicitor in that regard!!)


P.S. I know, I know, he may be a psychopath as I have only ever been with psychopaths so the chances are he is one, but hey, does it really matter since I’m never gonna be with him? And I’ve only got him for one more semester too. (not much time to devalue


Dear Tilly , it is great to feel love again after such a terrible incident, and I do not want to play the “spoil-it-all”.

What came to my mind reading your entry: I do NOT hope he is the one who destroyed your artwork!
And you may yourself have a moment of thought about the uneven relationship between teacher-pupil, physician-patient, boss-secretary etc. It is not an even distribution of power. Just to think about. You are always with less power to start with in the relationship.

Take care! I wish you a sunny sunday!

Ox Drover

Dear Tilly, sweetie, being “in love with” or “having a crush on” anyone doesn’t mean you are “over” the P, or that you even consider that person a possible “mate.” I have BIG CRUSHES on Henry, and James and Jim in Indy, but I will probably never meet these men, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a “crush” on them!

I have BIG crushes on some of my son’s cute great friends, but they are 30 ior more yars younger than me, so the “soul mate” thing or “dating” is OUT with them, but that doesn’t mean I can appreciate how neat they are or how cute their butts are, or how sexy their eyes are! It simply means I am ALIVE and all my parts re in “working order” LOL ROTFLMAO. Of course if these cute youg men knew the old lady had a crush on them, they would die of embarassment, because they think kat their age that “sexy thoughts” are only for the young and beautiful—LITTLE DO THEY KNOW, NOW, but they will learn in another 30 years.

“Just cause there is snow on the roof, doesn’t mean there isn’t a fire in the hearth!”

At the same time, though, I am content to be “alone” because tehre is no one that I have a crush on that is “appropriate” for me, and there is no one that I have a crush on that has a crush on me! But that’s okay! LIFE IS GRAND and you can have a crush on anyone you like!!!! (((hugs))))


Yep:) I second that Oxy:)hee- heee! I think that secret crushes are a GRAND idea and the way to go – its a lot less complicated than dating ( I have tried that recently and it’s DEFFO too soon for me), a lot less worrying, and because my parts are still in good working order, especially my imagination, and I am alive with my fire still roaring away in the hearth, a crush can warm my cockles and put a smile on my face while still working through this stuff and enjoying being ‘alone’ right now and knowing that I have a way to go to get over the P/S:)Nothing wrong with crushes!! Hugs for Tilly!x


Gosh. This post really cheered me up. Thanks both T and O.:)x



I love it that you have a CHILDISH crush on one of your instructors!!! You deserve that.


God is rewarding you because you did NOT paint over his face on the window, right? 🙂

P.S. What does “a big bum for a bloke” mean??


So I’ve seen TOWANDA a few times on here, and I’ve been trying to figure it out. Can somebody dumb it down for me?



I have a crush on that 23 year old cowboy who just won 250 million bucks. He is ADORABLE.



And the money don’t hurt any, either.


I hope you didn’t take offense to my comparison of P’s being like children who stick out tongues when spanked. I guess it was a bad analogy, what I was getting at is that what would be considered punishment to a normal person, isn’t punishment for an S/P.

I’m sorry that you had to deal with that growing up. OxDrover has a great point when she says that’s proof that they couldn’t beat the goodness out of you. I guess the opposite of that is also true, that you can’t love the badness out of someone.


Het MAtt,

Welcome back and how are you??



Just got back into town. I am so tired from all the stress of the last few weeks — to say nothing of all the accumulated stress of driving off S, losing my job, etc.

How went it with your lawyer on Friday? You were on my mind when I was talking to a friend the other day who has been in a pitched, prolonged battle with her sociopath soon-to-be-ex-husband. She said there’s nothing left he can do to her. When it is soon over, no matter how it turns out, at least she will have some certainty in her life — something that has been lacking for the 20 years she was involved with him. Once she knows what she will or won’t see, at least she can begin to make some plans for her and her kids’s futures.


– -MAtt,

I agree with your friend – I am kind of in the same boat.

Glad to see you are back on – you have been on my mind-taking care of parents is a task that earns you Grace. Your cup will be full. i am happy you are getting the chance for some satisfaction for what your “S” did to you. It must be difficult though to keep up your energy level -parents illness, caretaking, “S” stuff, job seeking – sleep, take vitamins and pray. You do so much good here – I know things will turn around for you.

Friday was a 2 hour meeting with the lawyer. All to conclude the judge is an arrogant ass who HATES family court and wants his calendar clean for June 30 deadline. So it looks like we will come off the schedule unless N/S agrees to my proposal we sent out. I HIGHLY doubt it. Our only leverage is that we have the tax fraud – but we have to be careful with that. I need innocent spouse ruling, the assets could ALL be seized from the divorce if it goes to a judge, there isn’t an easy way to get to a bottom $$ line because of all the coprporations he moves money in and out of – it is just a mess.

So went sent a proposal and we will see. I think it will take a miracle.



I hear you, LOUD & CLEAR!

If we ever “settle our family business”, we should travel the world in search of a “few good men”. (If we have any money left, of course. I don’t know about you, but my family thinks money grows on trees at my house.)

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