Jacqueline Kraft Bruno: No Path to the Heart: The Futility of Relationships with Narcissists

Jaqueline Kraft BrunoBy Jacqueline Kraft Bruno

In a healthy, heart-centered, relationship, we experience connection. The love between two people is given and received openly. There is a natural flow that exists. Of course it isn’t perfect and as human beings we fall into fear, experience disconnection and we work to re-connect. These are the natural struggles of relationship, the rough patches. These struggles are not meant to be the norm.

In a relationship with a personality-disordered person, we give love that is never authentically received. Our love is deflected by the ego, twisted and manipulated. The person we have shared love with is lacking a path to the heart, by which to receive it. In a loving relationship, our love would be acknowledged, accepted and returned or responded to. This is not the case when our partner is disordered. Our trial begins when we respond   to our disordered partner by giving more, giving differently and expecting less in return. We do this hoping for a better outcome.

We have now embarked on an exhausting and futile journey. Our energy will be drained; our perceptions of self and others will be challenged and distorted. Ultimately, our hearts will be broken.

Words as bait

Our disordered travel companion leads us down a dark road using bait. The bait we take comes in the form of words like:

  • “I can’t live without you,”
  • “No one understands me like you,” and
  • “I wouldn’t know myself, if I had never met you.”

Then these same words turn on us and our bait consists of harsh words we try to negate like:

  • “We have never been good together,”
  • “It’s not like we’re some storybook romance,” and
  • “I can’t deal with your nagging and trust issues.”

Words that are meant to contradict confuse and hurt.

The appearance of listening

They focus on us with a hard stare, which indicates hanging on our every word in the beginning. A stare that is evidence we are being studied and facts about us are being stored to use later as weapons. We mistake the interest for being seen, heard, like we never have before.

As we continue down the road with them, the stare turns to cold disinterest. Every time we speak their eyes gloss over. But we lie to ourselves and look away from what is right in front of us, pretending all is as it has always been.

The illusion of affection

They give affection with a manipulative motive behind it. The goal is to trick us, to trade their illusion for what we wish we could give to their heart. Our kisses, our touches are lapped up by a greedy Monster, not received gratefully by a warm heart. We know this when they use withholding affection to punish and manipulate. Often, they manipulate us into excusing what we never thought we would excuse or to cross a boundary we never thought we would cross.


As we continue down this road of conflicting, intense emotion, we comfort ourselves with self-delusion. Our delusions fuel our ability to continue. We tell ourselves lies like:

  • If I ignore this it will stop
  • If I can learn to understand him/her better, he won’t act out like this
  • If I was a better partner, he/she would value me and treat me better
  • If I could love them enough to make them love themselves, then they will love me.

And on and on…

What is the result of this brainwashing and humiliation we have participated in? We become just like them. We lose the path to our own heart. We exist in the same darkness, experience the same rage, distrust of others and loathing of self. We become as focused, even obsessed, with exhausting ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically as they are with feeding off the light that was once our dominant feature. The gift we sacrificed to them so easily.

When we have become shadows of our former selves, our disordered partner can no longer find satisfaction in our humiliation. A human being with a path to their heart would feel empathy at stumbling across a person in our condition. Our partner feels only disgust and likely has already begun planning how to suck one last charge for his/her ego by discarding us in the most humiliating way they can imagine. When they do, they will likely kick us from our place in the gutter where they believe they have left us to rot.

Strength of the human spirit

But the man or woman with no path to their heart is limited, at best, in their understanding of the strength of the human spirit. They never connected with us from the heart, and as such, they know nothing of our strength, or the strength of a heart that chooses to heal. It is the saddest facet of their being, this inability to understand the power and resilience of the human heart. Like Snow White said to her own disordered mother, “You cannot have my heart.”

It is from this place, in the ashes of our former selves, that we are raised again, reborn.

We rise stronger not because the myth of the Phoenix promises we will, but because of the truth that a heart and spirit broken has shed it’s weakest parts. We realize the only path to healing wounds as deep as these is through self-love. We may have lost our way to the path leading to our hearts, but it hasn’t disappeared. It’s simply under reconstruction. It’s been torn apart, but we embark on rebuilding by recognizing connection to others begins with connection to self. Without it, we have nothing to offer another as we are not whole.

The big picture

We start to forgive ourselves and we learn to forgive them. As we live in this place of practicing forgiveness, the big picture is revealed. This experience is not only about the wounds and behaviors of the disordered or even our wounds and behaviors. This is about the gift of perception we received by seeing the world through our abuser’s eyes. The disordered person is an extreme example of what we are all experiencing in varying degrees. We are losing connection to ourselves, each other and spirit. The path to our collective heart is damaged and dimming.

A disordered person deserves to be seen as they truly are. We are not angry at the blind person who cannot see. Our heart does not break when a person who cannot walk refuses to dance with us. Similarly, we don’t have to carry resentment for the man or woman without empathy because they are cruel.

If we are come across others who are missing a path to their heart, we can make the only choice that serves them and us with dignity. We can choose not to conspire with the disorder against the person and against ourselves. We have learned to see and to choose the path of integrity. It is by letting go that we are able to heal and to allow space for others to heal. It is in this allowing and accepting that love is transformed from a feeling, a state of being, to an action producing a result. We do this by seeing the person as they are, accepting the person as they, and most importantly, by releasing the person as they are, with love.



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Hope Springs

Thank you for this post.

Thank you for reading this post.


I really liked this post. I found it very insightful. I do, however, have one problem with it-the letting go part. There are many of us who aren’t allowed to shut the door, heal and move on. There are many of us who are forced to deal with these damaged souls, or their fall out, day in and day out. I do think it is helpful to remember that their abuse is not about us but about them. However, when you are hemorrhaging real money day after day, having to come up with legal strategies to combat them,lost real children and the like it is hard to be forgiving and magnanimous. For me that comes after I’ve slammed the door shut once and for all and forever. I try to look at this way, I’m in the gutter fighting a street fight. Once it is over I can brush myself off and move on.

Hello becomingstrong,

I hear you. The destruction these relationships leave in our lives is exhausting and often on-going. My suggestions come from my experience in dealing with the mess. I couldn’t speed up time and make the end come faster. I couldn’t change the other person’s behavior. I couldn’t change the laws that seemed to protect them.

All I could change was me. It’s about the difference between engaging and accepting. For me, and I do deal with disordered people in my life regularly who I cannot completely shut the door on, it’s about not letting their behavior, and my feelings about it, take root in my head and in my body.

We forgive because it removes us from the place of resistance that causes suffering and takes away our power. Forgiveness isn’t about a holier than thou dream state of disconnection. At least, it isn’t for me. It’s a practice that we don’t have to do perfectly. Forgiveness is simply letting go of resentment. We have been abused. We should be angry. But when we hold onto anger we are allowing the abuse to continue.

By your comment, it sounds to me that you are at this jumping off place. And to be there, you must have done some difficult work already. So my question to you is, can you let go now? Or do you have to wait for outside circumstances to align for you to be able to let go? Is it up to you, or is it up to the circumstances outside of you that you cannot control?

It sounds to me like you are ready to begin to brush yourself off and move on today, rather than once it’s over. And it sounds to me like you’re strong enough to to do it.

I’m here to help if you have any other questions or would like some support.


Hope Springs

But, should we not strive for NO CONTACT? If it is possible, should we not do it?

Forgiveness from afar is one thing, but if I can have NO CONTACT at all, then isn’t that what is best for me?

Hi Bev,

Absolutely! 100% YES!!!! Whenever possible No Contact is the best response. It’s about the attitude we take when we adopt no contact. It’s about loving ourselves. We are not shutting them out in anger, we are setting ourselves free from abuse, from a place of self love.

Forgiveness is about freedom for us. It’s not about them at all. If I forgive you I have nothing to argue about. If I accept you as you are, I know pointing out where you are wrong, and entering into a conversation that will go nowhere and leave me in pieces, is a waste of time.

If I forgive you I have accept the truth, and there is no place where I can honestly re-enter the relationship with delusions it will get better.

Forgiving Looks like this: I see you, I accept you, I release you. I’m not saying what you did is okay. I’m saying I won’t hold onto it anymore. How often do we leave the toxic relationship, but keep the events and the pain with us constantly? It’s about letting this piece go. It’s about letting ourselves out and experiencing real freedom, in our minds, hearts and bodies.

I hope that makes sense. I’m in no way advocating that we all go back to our abusers. I am advocating the opposite. Let them out of your life AND your mind.

When we must have limited contact, when we have to parent with them, for example, we don’t have to let one interaction with them dictate the way we feel for the rest of the day. It might, at first, but we can practice accepting how we feel after interacting with them, and allowing these thoughts and feelings to move through us, and move on.

We don’t have to suffer, no matter what. That’s what empowerment is. That’s how forgiveness opens us up to empowerment. It’s cutting all cords to that person. It frees us from any control that person may have.

I have used the mantra, “You cannot have my heart,” when a disordered person is getting in and I want that toxic energy out. You can use mine or one that works for you. 🙂

Sending you love Bev.


Hope Springs

Thank you from deep in my heart for this absolutely wonderful post, Jacqueline.

I have never heard or read such a perfectly descriptive post of what I am feeling.

Just FYI, it is my adult son who I have finally cut ties with. It was something that has needed to be done for quite some time. Years. Funnily enough, I was not the one that had to actually do it.It was actually made easy for me by HE himself!

After years of me trying to back out of his life and make myself scarce, he emailed me and said that HE wanted closure and no more contact! I was not expecting that and it was fabulous. I always thought that I would have to do it. I was and am over the moon happy about this.

Of course, less than two weeks later, he was texting my husband, as my husband is viewed by our son as the more rational and sympathetic of the two of us. (The sucker, more like, in our son’s view). Our son enjoys trying to play us against each other and triangulate.

My husband basically ignored the text (which was a picture of my son’s two young children, 3 and 5 years, which he has never sent pictures to us of them before…he is going through a nasty split with our wonderful daughter in law and of course, is being a complete ass about everything, trying to play father of the year all of a sudden, and fighting her for custody). All my husband responded was ‘nice picture’ and did not reopen the door, so to speak.

I hoped that our son meant that he wanted the closure and the no contact, for real. He has frozen us (my husband and I) out before, and has always come back when he NEEDS something, whether monetary or superficially emotionally. He has never said this, before, however. The closure and no contact stuff. Perhaps, just more meaningless mind f***ing, excuse my language.

Surely, it cannot be this simple. I am crossing my fingers that it is.

Thank you so much for the beautiful and kind words in your reply.


Hope Springs

Forgive but never forget, say. I think if you can do that, then you can have no contact to your own benefit.

I just do not want the SP person in my life AT ALL. I am lucky that I do not have to be around the person.


Thank you Jacqueline, I will look up the posts. Without the benefit of previous articles. I know how to physically remove myself but the emotional healing seems a very long and arduous process. I find since I’m involved in a high conflict divorce that just as soon as I “feel better” I am on spiral downwards. I find the lack of communication with my young children haunting. Yet communication invariably results in more conflict. In fact, they associate communication with me as unpleasant since in results in my husband going in a rage. Cleaver isn’t? Mom+communication=conflict. I think I can try and minimize the impact it has on me, trough the passage of time and therapy.

Hi becomingstrong,

I think you are absolutely correct. The real challenge is the emotional healing. But we do heal, with time, self love and self care. Here is a link for a meditation I recorded. There are thousands on YouTube, and they helped me immensely.


Rosie Jackson

Don’t feel bad sweetie. We become trapped in relationships when there are children involved (and leaving them alone with a sociopath who has shared custody scares us to death!) and when there is financial abuse (he controlled every penny, and pinched them hard, unless HE wanted something and then he was extremely generous!) and when we have been separated from any and all support from family and friends after the creep alienates them from us. I know where you are right now. My church-going, retired military officer, little league coaching ( a great way to meet single moms) soon to be ex husband was abusive to me in EVERY way and yet I stayed even though I hated my life. It wasn’t until a friend gave me the book, “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout that I realized that I wasn’t to blame, HE WAS! So you SLAM that door in his FACE and get out! But be very careful, they retaliate! Get support from any friends and family you have left and do not contact him no matter how much he says he wants to “work things out”. Its a bunch of crap, don’t fall for it!


Hi Becomingstrong,

It’s true, letting go is a process and comes to each person in it’s own time. It is definitely part of the ‘context’ of each individuals situation with a disordered personality. If you have kids, or other ‘ties that bind’, the timing of your process of healing will differ from, say, mine (no ties”able to just walk away).

Kathleen Hawk has written a series of articles for Love Fraud that focus on the stages of healing. I found them super enlightening, and very validating. If you have the time and interest they may be the same for you.



Thank you Slim,

I will certainly look up the articles and thank you for your response.



It’s clear, looking back now, that I connected with the disordered man out of a deep sense of empathy and caring. In a way I felt akin to him. And I don’t think it is ‘just’ because he was mirroring me. It was also, in a deeper sense, that I could relate to his pain, his self loathing, his darkness and disconnection. I could find those same woundings in myself, and believed he and I were not so different. I knew I had overcome much of my past difficulties, and that with help he could too.

It was only with the passage of time that I came to understand that our woundings were VERY different. Mine was not genetic. I could change and heal. He was stuck. He was a hamster on a hamster wheel (albeit much more cruel and horrible than any cute little hamster).

I remember the day I came home, threw myself on the bed, and cried a bucket of tears. I remember an image of a very big train coming towards me, and it was him. I KNEW that day that he was thoroughly damaged, but that he was not ‘done’ with me, and that I was going to suffer a pretty awful humiliation. I KNEW it was over (in a concrete sense). I also knew he would need to complete his cycle of destruction, before he would move on.

In a way, looking back, I can see how I instinctually allowed him just enough access to ‘finish’ what he started, as I ‘stood back’ watching the damage he was trying to inflict on me. I let him do it, then got in my car and never spoke to him again. The pain was real. I felt skewered. But I also knew I would heal. I didn’t FEEL like I would, I felt like I wanted to die. But I knew I had the capacity to heal and thrive. I had done it my whole life.

He is as you say. Stuck. Disconnected. Repeating his behaviors day after day”.pushing people around like chess pieces.

My life is joyous and complex.

Thank you for this article and your wonderful heart!



Wow! Your insight and strength are inspiring! Thank you so much for your kinds words.

It is strange that what attracts us is the similarity of our deepest wounds. It is also interesting that despite the similarities in our wounds, our ability to empathize and perceive our environment has manifested so differently. It’s so easy, in the beginning, as you said, to believe that with some love and care we can help heal them. It seems logical. We have to, or get to, learn the opposite is true. The only sane response is to release them and our attachment to them.

Have you read about the journey of the shaman and the petty thief? It’s very interesting when applied to the journey of healing after abuse. Your story reminds of it. I can hear the work you’ve done in your words you’ve written.

Blessings to you as you continue your journey!



I love how you describe your connection with your sociopath in a way that I too identify with your feelings. I also, like how you state that he just wanted to destroy you and would only be done with you once that happened. I too feel that my husband was hanging around to ultimately destroy me once and for all. That realization led me to leave. He ultimately, fragmented my family, destroyed me career as a mother and a professional… I have very little left on the table to destroy but whatever is left is all I have and I better protect it. Thank you for your post.

Rosie Jackson

I know exactly how you feel. But remember Snow White! Your heart is your own, and don’t let that bastard take it and break it anymore. Hang tough, angel!


First, I wanted to say thank you for the post and the comments. I am in limbo currently, having finally told my N the hurting had to stop. She is packing up and getting out. How sad that I know for certain that the worst is yet to come. With the straw event that broke the camel’s back having been over three weeks ago, it’s tough having to constantly think of all the bad to keep from getting sucked in by the nice cooperative mother of the year routine. I try to remember she is deserving of pity for what she’ll never experience, real happiness. I feel pulled to fall into the old patterns of capitulation and apology, but am resisting actually doing it. Barely at times. After so many years of being gaslighted, it’s easy to question your decision. I wanted to say thank you again as all of you help me to stay strong and remember I can’t fix it or expect any different outcome. Only more of the same if I enable it.


First, sending love your way. The first 90 days are the hardest. But you have begun the process. Congratulations on taking that step.

Now, just a couple of suggestions that I hope will help you continue on your new path positively.

Can you change your user name? It’s no longer accurate. You have seen the truth and acted accordingly. Today, you are standing strong and refusing to be brought back into the drama. Perhaps, choosing a name that represents what you’re growing into instead of what you’re growing out of?

Second, you don’t have to constantly think of all the bad, I completely understand why this sounds safe. It’s the facts that serve as a rebuttal for the gas lighting. But would this serve that purpose just as well? She is incapable of empathy, and she is incapable of insight. She cannot connect her actions to consequences. She cannot possibly therefore, be trusted. I accept this about her. I release myself from attachment to her. And… Done. Argument inside your mind is over.

I suggest this because we can get stuck in our heads re-traumatizing ourselves with the events of the past. You don’t deserve to be re-traumatised. You have suffered enough. It takes some work, but we can retrain our brains with a summary, so to speak, of the past, to use when we think we might be caving to manipulation.

In time, our responses will become automatic and even the summary won’t be necessary.

You got this. You are strong enough to accept the past is over and to move on. (The word accept in the place of resist decreases tension and fear in the body and mind. In turn, suffering decreases.)

Sending strength and light,



Dear gullible,
Coming into a forum where we can see and experience that the destruction these types cause is an inevitable consequence of staying involved with them. Yes the worst is yet to come when you leave. However, leave you must because your total destruction will result in staying. You take that to the bank. I’m not sure a silver lining exists when comes to being involved with them. I do know that I have started to think about me as a person and my wants and dreams for the first time in years. These dreams can now become a reality and not just some pipedream . I wish you the best.


Thank you all for your insight and goodwill. I just wanted to add emphasis to the concepts of addiction and drama. Once addicted the the drama, it is hard to let go! So, it is not just about the disordered person, but about the disordered experience of the disordered personality. Without drama, an “ordinary” life may seem dull. One must re-calibrate to a lower, more even emotional balance, in order to heal. Consciousness is about integration of our feelings with our thoughts. Acting with integrity becomes a habit when you are at peace. Peace is the place where integrity resides. Don’t bite the bait of “drama” bonding. The intensity is about delusion. Sanity is about seeing others as they truly are and not needing to change them! Best wishes for the season. Kalina


That is so true. We often overlook our addiction to the drama. An addict who stops using one drug will often transfer the addiction to another drug. It is the same for us with disordered people. We trade one disordered person for another looking for the same “high” we got in the beginning. The same rationalizations apply as well. “This time will be different,” “this time I won’t let the abuse get physical,” or “well, he/she isn’t as bad as my ex.” It’s not until we have healed, and are coming from a place of peace, like you stated, that we are ready to attract and be present in a healthy relationship.

Thanks for your comment!

Sending love,



I love this post.
I guess I am trying to get to the bottom of things but for me it is not as simple as no contact.

No contact is the best protection from abuse, I agree.

BUT how can this be a blanket rule when we are dealing with a condition that has a spectrum?
In dealing with an illness, do we not judge the behaviour but the illness itself? Not how it manifests but compassion for a being who has it? It is, after all, not their fault.

I have been badly hurt by many sociopaths, mainly in my family.

But my experience with them has gone far beyond just being manipulated and abused. They do have other parts to them and while we appreciate them and they can’t, they do appreciate knowing that we appreciate them!

I can think of a million fantastic times that were genuine, in which no games were being played. It is true that I have been devastated by the downsides. But I think this disorder is complicated enough to need more study and more information on treatment.

Yes we hate the bad behaviour. Does it mean to them what it means to us? No.

We do not see the world the same way.

So what next? Take the good and manage the bad with help, or cut them out and lose dear, dear people?

I have been processing many experiences and I would say that some sociopaths I met do not deserve my time. Others, I have decided to keep in my life. Why? Because we managed to create a language and a planet that was just our own where we could negotiate respect.

Is it love? I am not worried. Why? Because for us, it is. It is our version of love where we are happy.

I’m sorry to seem like throwing cold water on an argument but I don’t think the no contact rule and the judgments of these people are very accurate here because as I mentioned, there is a spectrum.

So what do you do with people who sit somewhere on it?

Hope Springs

I would really love to hear from professionals regarding your post star_al.

This exact thing is tearing some relationships apart…when one person wants or thinks that they should adhere to the no contact and another feels almost sorry for the SP, in that it is not their fault, or so that person thinks anyway.

In saying that it is not their fault, are we not letting them off the hook to continue to manipulate and play their games? Or are we to look at their ‘mental’ shortcoming as we look at autism, or Down’s syndrome, where those people really cannot help themselves in every sense of that concept?

Could anyone help with this dilemma?

Hello Star_al,

We cannot forgive without loving ourselves. This is where we begin. How is tolerating any abuse self-love?

We can compare excusing and rationalizing the harm disordered people cause us, with the harm an addict or alcoholic causes us. When we allow the abuse to continue, we are not forgiving, we are enabling. When we enable abuse we communicate to the other person, “I don’t believe you can do better than this.” When we tolerate abuse we communicate to ourselves, “I don’t believe I deserve better than this.” There is no love in either of these statements. Not for us, and not for them.

Trust is a requirement in any loving relationship, familial or romantic. How can we trust someone who abuses us?

You are, of course, free to manage these relationships as you see fit. They are in your life for a reason. I have learned some relationships in my life, are there to teach me to let go, to surrender completely. I have learned that letting go is the most loving gift I can give to an abuser. I will not participate in a contract of pain with another human being. I will not allow you to keep abusing through me. I can only manage my own space, and that is the statement I choose to make with it. I have zero tolerance for abuse.

Sending you love,


Hi Bev,

I don’t think it’s about fault. If we decide where to lay the blame, does that solve the problem?

We don’t have any control over wether they will continue to abuse others. We can only decide what goes on with us. We can decide our own boundaries in our own space.

We take our power back when we make a decision that our lives are not dictated by the actions of others. We set our own boundaries, not based on what others are capable of, but based on what we need in order to be happy.

If I have a boundary that I will not tolerate abusive language directed at me in my environment, and a person in my life insists on verbally abusing me, than I must make a decision about continuing this relationship. I ask myself, do I want to tolerate abusive language? If the answer is no, I can communicate this to the person. I can tell them this simply is not negotiable if they choose to be in a relationship with me. If thie behavior continues, we cannot speak to one another. I’m not asking they stop the behavior. I am asking they stop the behavior with me. I have a right to voice what my needs are and ask that they be met. I also have a right to end relationships with people who do not meet my needs.

We can make it this simple, “I have a right to walk through my life without being abused, and I have a right to end relationships with people who abuse me.”

When I allow someone to abuse me I am allowing a relationship to continue where I am a victim, and the other person is a victimizer. This is not love. I am not loving them. They are not loving me. So if my goal is to be a person who shares love with others, how do I excuse my own behavior when I continue to participate in relationships where love is not a possibility?

I hope this answers your question.

Sending love,



Dear all,

I think we’ve all tried to stay in these perverse relationships, and for some of us we stayed much longer than any reasonable person should. I for one knew that the relationship was horrible and any happiness I felt was merely a respite I was experiencing before the next round. I liken it to coming up for air only to be pushed back down (maybe they even allow to frolic in the water before we are submerged again). However, I knew the divorce would be worse than the marriage. I knew that I would have to face the full truth of every relationship in my life most importantly the relationship with my children. I knew that some of my children would want to be with him, he knew that too, and he promised them they could live with him, but I was standing in the way. I faced my children and I let them go. For me to continue staying with him I would have to have figured out a way to protect what was left of my self esteem. I wasn’t raised to compromise the very essence of who I am, that is not negotiable. Everyone needs to do what they need to do as they need to do it. All in good time. Time is on their side. In time they can strip us to the bone. Time is not a friend to the abused until we leave, then time works in our favor. I wish everyone good mental health and make good decisions.

Hope Springs

Well, I do not want to stay in any relationship at all with the SP in my life. The SP is my own son. My husband (his father) does not feel the same way that I do. He tells me, we know what our son is, can’t you just love him anyway? Can’t you just see him a couple of times per year?

Unfortunately, having him in our lives always leads to more conflict and seems to detrimentally affect my husband and my relationship. I also don’t feel as if I can compromise my real self.

My husband says, oh well, you have to get over it….he is our SON.

About two months ago, after we said NO to our son’s last plea for help to bail him out monetarily, as he is going through a nasty split and custody deal with our lovely daughter in law, he decided to ‘cut off; contact with us! Imagine how thrilled I was!! Well, less than a week later, he was texting pics of his children to my husband, who my son knows to be the more ‘sympathetic’ of the two of us…I always say the ‘sucker’ more like, in my son’s eyes. I texted my son back and said, I thought you wanted no contact? You are playing your mind f**k games with your father and I again and trying to play is against each other.

I then blocked him and we did not hear from him for this blissful almost two months…until this week…ah, the Christmas bullshit season…my husband could not help himself, could not resist, and secretly phoned our son and of course proceeded to fall into his ‘I’m broke’ trap. Our son already has a new girl who is he currently love bombing, so his Christmas is all sealed up for him…going to meet her parents and mooch a Christmas dinner there…

My husband opened the door again. We had been freed, or it felt like we had, but my husband just cannot live like that he says. He cannot or will not ‘turn his back’ on his son, as he puts it. I told him that he needn’t look at it that way. That we can just back out of the picture, which is easy as our son lives three hours away and never contacts us unless he wants or needs something, usually money.

Anyway, back to my question. Our son is a 33 year old adult SP. Do I have to be in his life? Can’t I have no contact? I don;t think that it will work, though, if my husband has contact with him. I am the ‘crazy’ mother, who stayed back at home, who ‘hates’ her son?? Some say that it is not the SP’s fault that they are like they are. Regardless, it still negatively affects ours and others’ lives every time we let them back in. And…this poor new girl that he has latched on to before his ex even kicked him out…I would not even want to meet her. I feel like I would have to warn her about him. I know that he will devastate her life, too, eventually. It is what he does.

I am so tired of all of this.

Hi Bev,

I think it would be a good idea if you and your husband got some counseling around this, together. Is that a possibility?

Also, I can call the sky purple, it doesn’t make it so. Your son can also call you crazy. That doesn’t make it true. If you start answering to a disordered person’s opinion of you, you are likely to get stuck in a crazy head space. I know it’s difficult.

People change when the pain of going on the same way, is greater than the pain of letting go and doing something different. If you have reached a place where the pain of continuing this relationship is too great, it could be time to let go.

We don’t have the power to change others, we can only change ourselves.

Take care of you and love yourself through this.

Sending Love,


Hope Springs

Again, thank you Jacqueline. I really cannot thank you enough for all of your help and insight.

I have asked my husband to go to counselling with me, and after saying no so many times, he agreed that he would. He said that he would go, but that he will not change his mind (with his arms crossed over his chest…lol). He is adamant! Of course, that is just fine with me. Just having him go would be great.

I think that my husband believes that a counselor will tell us that my husband is right. The SP is our son, and that family is family. I wonder if that will happen. I suppose it is vital to find a counselor who is learned in personality disorders. We live in a town of only 50,000. I am not sure that there will be one available here.

Anyway, if my husband will go, then I am all for it.

Sending much love back to you Jacqueline. I appreciate you so much 🙂

You are so welcome. And thank you for sharing your experience.


Dear friends,
These recent posts, especially from Bev and “becoming strong”, have reminded me of my two out of three children.
My son, K, showed signs at an early age that something was not right. He would steal and love doing it. No therapy or nurturing or education could influence his moral conscience which should have left him with some sense of guilt.
He grew up to be “the nicest guy in the neighborhood”. But, this was correct only on the surface. Behind my back he stole cash from my purse, then cash from his employers, then from his best friends, their credit cards and credit card numbers. Like the dutiful mother, I bailed my son out. Time and again I paid off the debts from the cash k took and the credit cards he abused. Did I want my son to go to jail? I did not!! However, by the time my son was 26 years old, I literally “kicked” him out. By that time he had gone to prison on a few occasions. There are no words to describe my pain and guilt for actually letting him go. It took years of self hate and blame before I could even begin to heal.

The next time I went “no contact”, was with my daughter, age 30. She advised me that 3 to 4 times a week she used online sites for free sex with anyone, I pulled the plug immediately. She was living with a very respectable guy for almost 9 years. They were engaged to get married. Two months prior to the marriage, she told me that she had an open relationship. That they both had a sexual addiction and frequently went on line for sex with strangers. I told my daughter, L , that I was accepting her right to choose but that I was letting her go. Our values were too irreconcilable. “So you don’t want to have a relationship with me”, she said.
To make my long story short, I have not seen or talked to my daughter in 2 years. I was terribly disappointed in her character but let go easily. I feel more whole, more complete knowing that “blame” is not the answer. Only the truth can set us free from people we love who do not respect the basic rules of living with decency. I am comfortable with my decisions because I must live with dignity even if my children do not. I recommend to anyone with these dangerous people in their lives, to let go. There is no other way to live with such empty people. I hope this is helpful. Kalina


Kalina, I am wondering why you went no contact with your daughter. I am not saying I condone as wise what she is doing (and I think it’s odd she told you) but her and her fiancé are consenting adults, if she is indeed not going behind his back.

I don’t put her behavior on the same level as your son’s. He is hurting people, as well as breaking the law. He is deceptive. She is in a “modern” relationship and admits they are both like this. I think it’s strange she told you about her sex life, even if she were married and monogamous, do you really want to know the details?



I’m really sorry. I think of all the scenarios not being able to let go by virtue of a marriage must be one of the most difficult. I let go of my children so that I could end the destruction and there would be no more inroads into my life and the children with me. Can you in any way crop yourself out of any interaction/relationship your husband has with your son? How did your husband react with you going no contact with your daughter? I agree with not meeting your son’s girlfriend. You don’t need to sanction that relationship and having her over would certainly appear that you were. The hope lies with your grandchildren and their needs and wants. Your son will be bringing you in to the fray to add cover to his story and make it appear that his parents are supportive and onboard. Therapy to discuss these issues with your husband would not be a bad idea if you find a therapist who is familiar with sociopaths. I personally don’t know what I would do if I was forced into an healthy relationship. Maybe your husband will focus less on your son when he sees you won’t join in and he’s on his own with that decision? Hard to say. Maybe your husband needs some one on one and get burned a few times. I wish that the decision in your case is joint decision but where your personal wellbeing is concerned you need to follow your gut. The frustration must be unbearable. What does your third child have to say? I wish you the best.

Hope Springs

I’m not sure if you are posting to me here as well? About me not wanting to meet my son’s new ‘girlfriend’? If so…you are correct. I cannot sanction any relationship that my son has with a woman. I know what is going to happen eventually. He is always so charming and Mr Wonderful at the beginning, but once he seals the deal, his mask slips… I hate to be right about something like that, but I was right about his relationship with his soon to be ex wife.

Also, my mother suggested I ‘back out’ of any relationship that my husband feels that he NEEDS to have with out son. That is hard for me, because I think that the two of them will talk and agree that this is all me…my problem. That I am crazy and that my son is not a SP…even tho he has been clinically diagnosed on three occasions…Yes. by three psychologists at three different ages in his 33 years…at age 6, at about age 9 and then again this past year when he and his soon to be ex went to marriage counselling.

I am hoping that as you say, and my mother said, that my husband will in time focus less on my son and trying to ‘fix’ him and that the one on one time will open my husband’s eyes to the fact that a relationship will not work. My husband is incredibly stubborn, though, and 33 years of this has not changed his attitude.

We have been together almost 40 years, my husband and myself. married almost 35 years. I do not want to let our son destroy us. I have been fighting that for a long time. My husband and I have a strong bond, and so far we have prevailed. We have been through all of this together…even placing our son on care from age 8 on.

My bad for trying to get our son back into our lives at age 16. We have been trying to have a family relationship ever since, but it just cannot be…I did not realize what a SP was or what it meant. That it is forever…I do now.

Hope Springs

Sorry…that was supposed to read IN care. We placed our son in care at age 8 where he stayed with the same wonderful family until he moved out on his own.

I was always in contact with the foster family and gived progress reports. He was diagnosed while living with them as well. This was in the late 1980s, early 1990s…no internet back then so I could not research or get help on sociopathy. I had no idea the scope of it.

Hope Springs

I also wanted to comment on what you said about our son bringing us into the fray to add cover to his story…to make it appear that his parents are supportive and on board…wow! I could not have said that better.

My goodness! Sometimes I do not know how to put certain things into words, and then people like you do it for me. Uncanny.

It’s like you are living my life…

I never understood WHY our son wanted children. I even told him that I was not fond of children (no wonder…we only had our one son, no more after him, because of him). Well, I don’t think that he really wanted children at all. It was merely an added cover to his’story’. By the time our son began having his children, I was already seeing who he was and what that meant. I was pulling away again. I backed away even more when he had the children. I knew that I could not be a part of him being a father! It was and is actually absurd to me that he is. He has no right being a father…but I digress. In having his children, our son knew that my husband would be ‘pulled’ in even more, and then, I guess by default, that I also would have to follow. That we would have to be supportive and on board, as you say!

I can see it all so clearly now. Another sad irony is that I have no interest in carrying on or supporting this dysfunction for his children. I have not been a part of their lives much, and I cannot bring myself to. I always make excuses for not going there to see them, even when my son was still with his ex. They do not need to know, at least at their young ages of 3 and 5, all of this. How I feel about THEIR father. That I do not sanction or support my son as a father at all.

You can imagine the discord that this causes between my husband and myself. My husband has really had no real interest in the kids, either, but feels that he can fix all of this past life through them. By being involved in all of it. Or, at least he did. Now that my son’s ex has booted him out, and me son is love bombing some other poor girl, my husband is less interested in the grandchildren, and more interested in forming a bond (that was never there) with our son and his new life.Jesus.

I think that was the main reason that our son even had children. So that he could use us as cover for his ‘story’ and so that we would feel the ‘pull’ of grandchildren. So sad for everyone involved…

Do you see our dilemma? I will not meet nor be involved with ANY new girl / s. I will not start yet another clusterf**k cycle.


Dear Bev,

What I love about this website is it is empathatic people helping their own. It is truly amazing what happens when we use our own insight to do good-we all benefit. When we are kept isolated and away from good people we lack the collective insight to see straight. I believe we are all part of the same story, we could write the script of each other’s lives. It doesn’t matter whether the harmful person is our wife, husband, son, daughter, etc…, we all serve the same purpose to these people-to provide cover for them and their disorder and to sacrifice our lives keeping them from finding their own level. My husband would glum on to the “respectable” trappings that I fought so hard to provide, unsuccessfully by the way, all the while keeping his perverse lifestyle (a secret). I say, let the water find its own level and I will gladly move out of the way. I will not provide cover anymore. I will not be his whipping post anymore, I will not be the person to blame for every single problem, and I will no longer care what society think about me opting out, I will no longer beg to be treated like a “person”, and I will certainly no longer explain the obvious to a grown adult. Let these people find those who are like them. Let these types end up where they have worked so hard to be-the gutter. Bev, I hope that you allow yourself and your husband allow you to detach from the dysfunction and the unhappiness.

Hope Springs

Yes, thank you becomingstrong.

I so see that we are all helping each other on here. This IS the therapy, I dare say.

I wish all of us the very best!!


First, let me thank you for your kindness and concern. In all honesty, I believe remaining married to a sociopath contributed enormously to the detriment of my son, daughter, and to myself. As wives of sociopaths probably know, as mothers we are barely able to cope. Deep emotional pain and pretension create double binds for children “I’m damn if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t”. Confusion is pervasive as one parent is continuously dominated by a cheating, emotionally aberrant spouse,while the victim suffers in silence. How are children to learn right from wrong when the parents collude in creating a false front? The answer, is that children grow up with deficits in their emotional development. These deficits reflect the child’s acting out poor impulse control, sexual identity conflicts, and diffuse or rigid boundary issues. I should have divorced my husband. I regret raising my children in a dysfunctional home. I was fifty, thirty years married, by the time I filed for divorce. By that time I was a basket case and barely could see straight. My decision making skills were so poor that financially I gave myself a beating. Barely able to stand straight, I slowly began to rebuild my life. After twenty years single, no dating, I can say I am thriving. My son, third child, is fully functioning, has a lovely wife and two children. He accepts that I must do what seems right for myself. He is sad that I do not have a relationship with his siblings. I have not and will not tell this son about the nature or details of my decision. He knows nothing about his sister’s promiscuity! My ex husband is currently in a wheel chair. He had serious back problems and needs continuous care in order to manage. My daughter is there for her father. I’m supportive in that I am kind to my ex husband and offer hope during this painful time.
Still I am thriving in my own way. I am not self righteous in a critical sense but I am genuine in my heart. Sincerity is a decision I have no trouble keeping. I am sincere to my values and do not trouble other people to conform to them. I do not now consider myself a martyr. Thank Goodness I have matured beyond that horrible phase of my life. Somehow I have reconciled with myself the flaws in my judgement that kept me stuck for so long. I am humbled by my experience of suffering. I hope my story can be a lesson of optimism for others during this joyous season. Thank you, Kalina.


Thank you for your replies and I am grateful for others to share as well.

I think the conflict is: self protection, versus treating a being based on OUR value system and also the recognition of grey areas in their mental health.

There are so many times I can think of where psychopaths I knew really enjoyed sharing and doing things together, solving problems together. And then… emptiness. THey have no real relationship with themselves and no desire to build or expand on that. So it’s about living mechanically by formulae.

The conflict is also within an empath, who doesn’t like to hate anybody. And yet, the repulsion towards the abuse and violation drives this hate and anger, which exhausts us. Also, it is positively heart-breaking to watch someone in their position. It is disappointing, sad, and makes us do-gooders want to fix them and the world to make us feel at ease. Living in the world and knowing they’re around after we’ve been traumatised causes us anxiety. We need to be at peace with the fact that they are there. We need to be willing to do what’s necessary at any cost to protect ourselves.

What I think is that yes, we should see sociopathy as any other illness. It is truly not their fault. And we say that a sociopath can change and other ill people can’t? I don’t think so. I haven’t met a “reformed” sociopath who chose to change. Only those who want the image of a good person and the peace that comes with it. They simply can’t connect. And I am not going to judge or get angry at them because they didn’t choose it.

Having said this, I view things like this. Smoking and passive smoking causes cancer. Would you stand in a room full of smoke every day because you love someone else? No. You protect yourself.

The sociopath’s EFFECT on us is smoke.

Our way of life is different to theirs. Being in their company means accepting that the experience we are having isn’t going to be shared and that is indeed heart-breaking. We also need to respect the fact they exist and won’t change, and they have the right to be in the world too. So it is totally our choice what we do.

Personally, at a very young age I was able to negotiate with my psychopath parents. I couldn’t stop the abuse but I also trained them to let me be myself. How? I didn’t react to the bullying at all, and I made sure I let them know I was looking down on them as inferior. I demonstrated with my behaviour I was getting on with it and they had no ammunition. I didn’t think about what I was missing out on from not having anyone who loved or protected me.

They can’t feel guilty but they can feel self-hatred about their failure at being human.

Another reason I think we can get addicted is they promise us an irresistible expereience, momentarily, freedom from shame, a perfect image a willingness to take the absolute best for themselves and comfort. There are so many “pay-offs” to be aware of and I used to offset this by relying on them for nothing at all and practising awareness.

I’m 30 now and have a history of mostly only these people. I am really looking forward to stepping outside and experiencing something new. Because despite being a “good” sister, daughter, girlfriend and friend to these people, who admittedly added a lot of good to my life besides their illness, I now need to express my values and yes, as you say, not compromise myself.

I think everyone here is very brave and should be compassionate. Their “drug” is not so easy to refuse and there is next to no public education about it. Our culture is also narcisstic and success is dependent on sociopathic features. But the best thing that has worked for me is re-telling stories without the catastrophic and dramatic language of the sociopath. Say “that’s not true” a lot. They do respect people who make themselves happy and who have their own mind.


Merry Christmas everyone,

I’m reminded today of the golden rule, “do unto others as you want done unto yourself.” I was raised with this rule it governed my formative years, from being quiet when you got up early as to not wake anyone to the way I spoke to people, treat the garbage man with the same respect you would treat the President. What I didn’t learn was treating people with respect was not enough to be treated with respect. So I say, expect others to treat you the way you treat them and if they don’t be done with them. Through my research on sociopathy I’ve read that these types need to be the “star of their movie and yours”. Yes, I accepted that, but isn’t there a minor role for me in my movie I ask, a bit part? When I realized there was no place for me in my life it was time to move on. I can’t say that it is easy to move on, no it is not. To paraphrase a line from a movie I saw recently, “I never asked for you to make me happy, I only asked that you didn’t interfere when I was.” Yes, that was all I asked, just leave me alone and not constantly rain on my parade. I really don’t care personally whether they are to blame, whether they have some illness, whether they are hurting. Not my problem anymore. Did he care when I was/am hurting, did he care about my career as a professional or as a mother, did he care…? The answer is a resounding NO-again the golden rule. The time I spent focusing on “him” I could have spent maybe making a contribution to society, helping the poor, the sick. No I didn’t do any of these things as I was too overwhelmed or depressed to even think about what contribution I could have made. Those days are over. Moving forward, I’m going to use my education and skills to do good. I am opting off the hamster wheel. Being an empathetic person doesn’t mean we need to live in the obscene. We have a gift to be shared with those who want the gift-love. Though love is not finite if we place our love in the wrong hands it can make us reluctant to place it anywhere. This is tragedy of being involved with a sociopath. If they aren’t going to get our “love” they will see to it no one else will. They will see to it that we spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out what happened to us. I say don’t waste your time or your precious resources. Heal as we are doing here, and move on. I say don’t spend on ounce of your time wondering how they “feel” .

Hope Springs

OMG…I concur, I concur, I concur!

I was thinking that I am not as strong as star_al. That there must be something missing in me because I do not want to stay around nor be in the SP’s life. I do not want to help them or understand them.

I simply wish to be FREE of the SP.

I want to live the best life that I can, without being ‘brought down’ by the SP whenever they are around. I wish to not always be on guard, but to be present in my moments.

Isn’t that what we should all strive for?

Cheers 🙂


My thots exactly. my story also. too much wasted time tht we cannot give back that could have been used better. i did everthing but chew this mans food for him. i could have made a contribution to my family, my self, my community instead. Nope mine did not care either. It was always about him. Always ! I see things so much clearer now. My ah ha moment has only come recently since i found this site. Thank god for this site. It put a name to what was happening to me. I thought i was going crazy. he told me I was going crazy.
he will never get it, but I have. trying now to keep moving forward. Some days are harder than others. I do not care about the whats or whys anymore. it is what it is and i have to manage the mistakes i have made. Oh god the mistakes I have made. Still looking for answers about my healing. Still trying to make whats left of my life as good as I can get it.


I think you are all right, this is the best therapy. Just in case this is helpful, I saw five psychologists. Five who after a time I recognised to be sociopaths as well. It is VERY dangerous to trust a therapist without knowing and I would recommend phoning them and quizzing them. The sociopaths tend to blandly recite the trait and sound a little excited when they sound intelligent and as if they’re on to cracking a code. A normal psychologist I think would be a lot more realistically focused on small steps within ourselves. I’m not sure how else to tell the difference.

I like this idea of not fighting to be recognised as a person. There is not any need to fight to be respected and I see now despite the good things I enjoyed, this was a constant. Not only with me, an empath, but that is how they treat all people.

The spurting hatred from their eyes and faces can make us think we are deserving of that hatred where nothing can be further from the truth.

Bev I do not think I am strong, just that I had to survive with no resources so I made the best of things to stay sane. I lived positively and well. They only thing I didn’t do was put responsibility for their behaviour back to them. I had too much compassion for them (and obviously still do).

I suppose built in me is my tribal mentality: family stays together to survive. I did get most of my needs met by cooperating. Whether it was a pretense, they showed me an enormous amount of respect. Now reading all these posts, I wonder whether that was the game. Give me so much of what I need and then make me wonder for the rest of my life why the abuse continued or why they are not making any effort to amend problems and be in my life.

But a tribe is really based on values, not blood. We are safe wtih people who see things as we do and act, rather than familiar.

I agree with what you are all saying. Time is very important, particularly for us who bond. To the psychopath, time is nothing. They are not engaged and reacting so they don’t care. Time for us is layers of memories which affect our energy.

You are all right. NOT solving the problem, their problem, is the real way to heal.


I would add that I have spent a lot of time trying to understand them. But there is no end and no way we can relate. There is never going to be a connection or an understanding. We are so different and I think if we were educated at the start we would never waste time trying.

Once, I casually talked to a sociopath in neutral language about my family. I didn’t mention the illness, but I said, “what do you think they think of me?” And he said “you’re from the moon.”

I asked him, “how do you think it is for them?”

And he said “they will run forever, they will never be at peace. Ever.”

This helped me accept it a little more. I asked another sociopath about workplaces and society in general. He never admitted he was one but I knew it. I asked “what do you do if you see a psychopath?”

And he said “I ignore them. I can laugh with them if I have to, but otherwise, I never look at them. Because they are hypocrites and they will always lie.”

Then he proceeded to try to hook my in as a girlfriend, without missing a beat!

There is no explanation from my planet for this behaviour. I need to let them be in the world and learn to quieten my desire to fight it and to bring them closer to us. I don’t know the meaning of them being here.


Dear Satya, frankly I was waiting, hoping, someone would address the sex issue with my daughter. Thank you for coming forward with your concern. I was frightened that my daughter might get hurt after her breakup of a nine year relationship. I was in the process of simply warning her about guys who “love bomb” and manipulate women emotionally who may be particularly vulnerable. At that point my daughter kind of giggled. She then proceeded to tell me about her sex addiction. In my daughter’s case, addiction to sex was frequent and anonymous and dangerous. I have been there emotionally and financially for my daughter, always putting her welfare, first. However, I no longer viewed my daughter as the woman I thought I raised. It may be true, modern couples view sex in “new” and I believe, perverse ways. This is a choice consenting adults make sometimes choosing frequent partners. In my personal life space, I have chosen to be much more cautious than I had been. Foolish I was, to allow almost anyone into my life who wanted my time. I have chosen, as my daughter has, to be free of certain entanglements. In my case, I have chosen to share my life space only with persons who share my most sacred values. In my daughter’s case, she has chosen instant gratification over commitment. Two adults, deciding on their own basic values and boundaries. I simply told my daughter that her life journey was not one I wanted to share with her. I am in my late sixties. Much about the world has changed over my lifetime. Some of these changes I can live with. Others, I cannot. I am happy, functioning very well, and at peace with my decision. Thank you for listening, Kalina.


I have been trying to identify in my own experience, what was the “the thing” that my husband did that made me feel so depleted. Why there was no place for “me” in my life. And why I could never have survived with him. No matter what coping skills I tried to employ I was absolutely unable to deal with him, and in fact, I believe the more I put up with him the worse he got (or was it just his true colors coming out more and more). I realize he not only wanted to take from me he wanted to become me. I believe that these types want to “become you” take your identity- and then squeeze you out. I am having difficulty articulating what I mean without sounding outlandish. Most of his decisions he now makes, from the schools he chooses for our kids, to the restaurants he eats at, to his vocabulary are decisions he thinks I would have made. He is trying to channel my thoughts for lack of better explanation. He wanted to take my identity for himself, not unlike the identity theft we read about when it comes to con artists. He has no thoughts of his own. He has no personality of his own. He wanted to strip me of my personality, take it for his own and then discard what remained.


Becomingstrong, you are correct they do mimic everything their target victim does and feels. It’s so crazy & scary what these evil people do!! Remember this always, their brains do not function like a normal person. They do not feel any emotions because their brains do not work in the emotional region. Because of this they mimic everything others do to blend into society. They will mimic people at work and then come home and pick up the traits of their friends, family and mate. Everything they do is to mask the truth about them = they are not the same as normal people – they are pure evil.

Once they have mimicked your traits they want to get rid of you…break you down. This is a goal of theirs for the pure joy of destroying someone and because they are angry that you are natural with your good character while they have to mimic the traits.

My ex did the same. He would come home for a business trip where he would pick up new words or an accent. And I would think to myself how & why does he do that so quickly? When I was divorcing him he picked up the traits of a lawyer but made no sense because he was using so much word salad even my lawyer was like I have know idea what he is talking about in this email.

Their mimicking is where a target vicim will think they have meet their “soul mate” when in fact they have not they have meet a con artist conning them into an evil game.

Look up these things up on the net/love fraud to help you understand more of the craziness he does to push you & others over their emotional edge on purpose!

gas lighting abuse

sociopath reward and punishment

sociopath mind control (then with the word brain washing)

read the book Freedom of mind by Steven Hassan it’s about brain washing that these evil people do to their victims. And also in the Book Woman who love psychopaths by Sandra Brown she talks about brain washing, trance & hypnosis these evil people use)

As for the part where you state “He is trying to channel my thoughts for lack of better explanation”…they DO THIS!! This is the most scary part of them is they are able to channel your thoughts when you are not with them. I dont know how they do this but its creepy and scary as hell. There is an article on Lovefraud about this every thing! Remember that sociopath use trance, hypnosis and brain washing to control their victims.

When I first left my ex I drove 3000 miles away from him as I was that scared of him. I then found a counselor who told me the truth that he was a psychopath with narcissist personality disorder. During this time I would know exactly when he was texting me down to the second….I would pick up my phone and bam a text would come through from him. I even would wake up in the middle of the night knowing that he had just texted me within a minute. I got rid of my cell phone so after as it scared me to much that he had mental control over me still. I also remember when I first moved in with him waking up in the morning with him steering at me and thinking to my self that I felt like he was trying to use hypnosis on me. I have not researched this aspect of a sociopath because it scares me to much but they do, do this.

I would highly recommend you look at the site One moms battle. com, their Facebook for support is excellent and she has two books on divorcing & child custody too.

If you want to chat on One moms battle Facebook page open a fake email then a fake Facebook page that way you can chat freely without your ex, his family friends from seeing what you are chatting about. Also ask on their how you get a court order mental evaluation on your ex this will help you tremendously in court.

Glad you are asking these questions as it really does help to fully heal.

Hugs to you! Wishing you all the best in your recovery.


Dear Jan,

Thank you I will take your advice and get on One moms battle. I will do so anonymously. I can use the advice anyone wants to give to gain some insight. Yes, they do take on the identities of those they have used. But I do believe it is more than mimicking-much more insidious. They get in our brains like a virus. A few months ago my ex-husband used a phrase my mother used to use against me. I was appalled. He really didn’t see the problem in using that phrase against me. I thought, where are his phrases? Where are his lessons to the children? Where are his traditions? Who is he? He is me. By leaving him I felt like I took part of me with him (not in traditional sense of the word). They are gross. Uncanny that you could sense when he would call or text. What do you attribute that to?

The gas lighting, punishment, mind control… Mine used word salad too. I watched him in court being asked direct questions, he could not answer a single question and was all over the map. My lawyer told me later that he kept looking at me as though I would cue him, for help. He was on his own and didn’t know how to react. He couldn’t mimic anyone he had to be himself. His lost nothing self.


Hi Becomingstrong, you stated: “Uncanny that you could sense when he would call or text. What do you attribute that to?”.

I not sure? I have always had a good six sense of things but this is different he had such control over my mind when we were married that I think it goes deeper then just a six sense. It’s the only aspect of my marriage with my ex that I can not explore/educate myself on because honestly it is too scary for the simple reason I lived in hell for so long with him that I just dont want to dig into this aspect of it and return to his hellish world.

Someone within the past 6 months wrote a main post on this very subject. I just tried to find it but could not maybe someone will remember that main post and reposted for you to read.

What do you think about your situation & how he tries to get into your mind?


Hi Jan,

I think you hit on a point when you say that, “I just don’t want to dig into this aspect— I completely understand what you are saying. Before I filed for divorce I told a close friend that I believed the hounds hell were going to be unleashed on me. There are things that are just too dark to delve into. I do have dreams, some vivid, some I can barely remember. Recently, I had a dream that my husband and I and our children were swimming from one Island to another. In the dream, my daughter, who lives with me, and I made it to the second island. In my dream we were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean warm and shallow. In my dream, I never looked back to see what happened to the rest of my family. I remember thinking, in my dream, my daughter was a strong swimmer (a better swimmer than in real life) and I was worried she wouldn’t make it to the 2nd Island. We both made it to shore. I was relieved.

Hope Springs


You do not sound outlandish to me at all. I feel much the same about my SP son.

The more I have tried to have a relationship with him, and cope with him, the more of me he seems to try to take FROM me. It is like they are trying to define themselves, in yours’ or in others’ identities.


Thank you Bev I’m glad there others who feel the same way. The longer you stay with them the more they take until you are a shell of human being. What is the saying in physics, “two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time.” There’s only room for one person and yet two are vying for the position.


Oh My Gosh becomingstrong,

I TOTALLY think they come into our lives to ‘steal’ it from us. They want what we have, they are insanely jealous of others. I don’t care how ‘confident’ they try to appear. They covet everything they don’t have. And if they cannot have it, they set out to destroy the person who does. Obviously they cannot really have our ‘lives’, cannot occupy our authentic beingness. This is where, I believe, much of their rage lies. In their inability to occupy genuine beingness. I think that is part of what drives their cycle of lovebombing, devaluing, and discarding.

They always come up against the reality that they cannot actually have what is not theirs: Someone else’s beingness. They can take our money, sex, homes, and kids. But they cannot become us. So then they set out to destroy us, even if only in their own minds. They villianize us. That way they can unconsciously convince themselves that they haven’t lost anything meaningful, and that their completely outlandish goals are still attainable (if only they can find someone they can completely consume). It’s all a weird delusional fantasy they live in.

I have looked at stuff the psychopath has posted in the years since we crossed paths. I can see myself in his choice of pictures, subjects, books he likes (he doesn’t read), and on and on. If I told anyone else this they would think I was an absolute ego maniac, but it’s true.

I could even see that years later he was posting little things that only I would know were directed at me, and designed to try and hurt me more. Didn’t hurt me a bit. At this point his image and words are of no importance to me. I have learned more about personality disorders by peeking behind his little curtain of deceit.

However for many years I stayed no contact and did not ‘peek’ at anything. I needed to because I couldn’t see through the fakery, and I felt hurt all over again.

His whole ‘personality’ is disordered, so he borrows from other people’s lives to create a person. I am sure that all of the stuff on his personal website and his FB site is all borrowed. None of it authentic. Likely any woman (or business connection, etc) who looks at his sites would find snippets of themselves there, that he attributes to himself. Little barbs and arrows directed at people (and a world) that has done NOTHING but let HIM down.


Dear Slim,

Yes, they do destroy us, or attempt to and came dangerously close. Interesting, they ultimately become frustrated at their inability to become us. But I wonder if part of our inability to let go of them stems from some realization that they have taken part of us. Don’t find ourselves protecting our identities from them? Don’t we hide our secrets, our desires, our likes and dislikes from them? Don’t we try to deceive them to throw them off as to not know what we think, feel…., in the end? Do we do this entirely to evade their gas lighting or do we also do this to protect our core self?

Yes they do communicate with us in their indirect but very direct way. They do communicate loud and clear and yet did they ever say a word to us? Yes they do feel let down don’t they. I am certainly glad that others feel the same way. To tell people this stuff will certainly raise more than an eyebrow. Truth is stranger than fiction.


Hi becomingstrong,

I didn’t hide anything. I was an open book, gave him my entire ‘profile’. I guess, maybe, because I wasn’t with any one of these sorts for very long (a year at best, but there have been a few of them). So, my experience was pretty fast, and it always deteriorated in the ‘honeymoon’ phase, when you are sharing yourself so completely.

I think for folks that have been embroiled with one person, over a long period of time, you do begin to protect your inner world as best you can.

My difficulty in letting go (which I say, because I kept repeating these sorts of relationships) was:

1. I thought love conquered all
2. I thought everyone wanted love as much as I did
3. I thought everyone was capable of love
4. I thought if someone wasn’t loving me, when I was loving them, it was because I wasn’t doing something right

Each of our stories and our family backgrounds create reasons why we cope and interact with other’s the way we do.

I had close relatives (mother and grandfather) who were/are disordered. This set me up to believe when anything wasn’t going right it was TOTALLY my fault. This is not a healthy thing to bring into the adult world with you….

I never did protect my core self much. I never had much sense of who I was, what I wanted, what I believed in, and what I REALLY needed to be happy. That didn’t come to me until I was in my late 40’s, after the last spathattack.



Dear Slim,

Yes, you do describe “us” so well. The them getting to know you and all your faults, weaknesses, vulnerabilities and fears as well as your strengths, dreams for your future and your family and friends. Yes, the stage you opted of is the stage in which you realize that all that info that you imparted, is nothing but cannon fodder. When reach that stage you start guarding your thoughts, dreams and the like (the above list) and even resorting to camouflaging what you really think, dream etc…, to throw them off the scent that leads right to your jugular. While in the “damage control stage” as I like to call it, I still believed, as you did that love will conquer all, everyone is capable of love etc… This disparity between protecting my thoughts, dreams and the like and my continual hanging on to love conquers all creating a lot of anxiety. I couldn’t rectify what I was doing versus what I wanted to believe and the downward spiral began. I would tell myself that once we “resolve” our issues I would be the open person I was and wanted to be. Well needless to say that resolution never happened and he had to dig deep and far into the past to come up when he wanted to hurt me so he resorted to being physical violence.

Like you I never gave much thought to who I was, or so I thought. Because there was a point where I thought if I stayed any longer I would never find myself again. There must an internal mechanism that finally makes us leave. Obviously some sooner and others much later.


I like you supplied all the information that inevitably caused my demise. I loved him more than breathing. I lost my soul. I gave it away unknowing that it meant nothing to this horrible man.
I’m 6 weeks out now. I gave really good days and then yesterday I couldn’t get out of bed from fear. I don’t even know what I’m so fearful of. Just too many loose ends to try to tie together alone I guess.


Dear emtuoba

PTSD fear can escalate to anxiety disorders, panic attacks and agoraphobia. Please do see someone to nip it in the bud.

I wish I was more knowledgeable about that fear in lieu of trying to overcome it on my own. I am sorry to have missed out on the beauty of life for so long. Warmest wishes and best of luck. Angele


Hi Jan,

I think you hit on a point when you say that, “I just don’t want to dig into this aspect…” I completely understand what you are saying. Before I filed for divorce I told a close friend that I believed the hounds hell were going to be unleashed on me. There are things that are just too dark to delve into. I do have dreams, some vivid, some I can barely remember. Recently, I had a dream that my husband and I and our children were swimming from one Island to another. In the dream, my daughter, who lives with me, and I made it to the second island. In my dream we were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean warm and shallow. In my dream, I never looked back to see what happened to the rest of my family. I remember thinking, in my dream, my daughter was a strong swimmer (a better swimmer than in real life) and I was worried she wouldn’t make it to the 2nd Island. We both made it to shore. I was relieved.


Thank you Canuck. Got my first appointment on 1/6. Cannot wait. I’m so ready for someone in the flesh to listen. I’m going at this from all angles. God bless you. God bless us all.


These are really important beliefs to be aware of Slimone. I think we all were led down the pathway because of assumptions.

Some I would add are:

Everybody has an internal “stop” button when they are harming me, so I can trust this person will use those abilities in our relationship. Psychopaths have no stop button. So then we have to create a coping system that manages their lack of conscience.

Everything I need in life comes to me and it comes easily. (In fact, most things require fighting for or hard work).

If someone shows me hatred, I must deserve it.

I thought I would also add some common phrases among all sociopaths I have known when you are trying to voice the truth. When you point out inconsistencies or things that make you feel ill at ease, these might be some things you hear back from a sociopath.

– So you’re a psychologist now?

– All relationships are hard. All couples have misunderstandings and differences, but it’s the love between them that brings them back together. Love is the most powerful force.

– You’re just anxious. You need to relax.

– You just don’t trust me yet. I’ll wait for you until we can overcome this together.

– I was only joking (When he said to me during a fight that he would lock me in a room and leave me there for a few hours. At the time he was indifferent and then laughed at me when I was crying.)

– You think too much. You’re paranoid.

– She’s just a friend. Like a little sister. I could never see her that way.

– Let’s put the past behind us (when you have had a huge session of listing all your worries only to find he erases them and nothing is dealt with. How can someone with values let such things slide without wanting to go through them? You end up feeling like you’ve spoken to a brick wall. Which you have).

– We come from different upbringings. Everyone has their own views on the world and sees it differently. We just have to understand each other better.

– What’s mine is yours.

If anyone has any others, I think it’s helpful to know the script. They are seriously all the same.

Regarding identity theft and psychic connections… I think they are on that hamster wheel chasing your patterns to keep control and you end up having some sort of internal dialogue together. But in hindsight I wouldnt be too scared. I think it’s an illusion.

What they try to do is emmulate you and your love, so when you see them, you will fall in love with what is most dear to you. For me it was a sense of childish fun, an open heart and non-judgment. THen, they act as if they are BETTER than YOU at being YOU. How? By setting an unrealistic standard of being without the normal, human, negative emotions we feel. “It’s so easy, why are you so negative, why can’ you be like me?” Playing on our self doubt. When really, they’re a machine copying our values.

They are so damn focused when on a hunt, they forget everything except what they chase – you. They are so good at observation and shaming or anxiety-inducing that you wonder how they are doing it.

A favourite of my ex was sitting down to dinner and saying nothing because he knew I hated awkward silences and would feel guilty that I’m boring him.


Dear Star.
Yes they try to be beat you and being you. They even have to win that one. Unbelievable. The problem with it as far as I am concerned is that there is the strange realization that they bring nothing to the table. They have no opinions of their own. Mine you would ask what do you think of xyz and he would first want to know what I thought and then hammer me over my opinion. So I then said you disagree with me so why did you tell so and so exactly what I told you if you didn’t agree with me. He would then say I was playing the devils advocate (he should have just dropped advocate). He to this day is trying to replicate my recipes, that chaps my hide. When he goes on vacation where does he go if he goes anywhere, the place I showed him that my family used take me to when I was a kid. A place I showed him and my children and btw he used to complain. Yep hows that for emulating. In fact he was just there at my childhood vacation spot over the holidays and I nearly went myself not knowing he was there but changed my plan at the last minute, otherwise I would have run into him. What a jackass. Now how do I know he was there? Well I’ll tell you he made sure my son sent a social media pic to my best friend’s daughter (a person he has never met).


Becoming strong.
My ex takes all the “others” to the same places. He cooks the same meals and deserts. He goes to all the places I showed him. I heard him repeating my little words of wisdom like they were his thoughts. Funny too I realize that he never called any of us by our names. Guess that’s so he wouldn’t trip up. He called everyone sweet, sweetheart or love or my love. I read his texts and emails to everyone before he left and it’s crazy he told us all the same things. 6 woman including me all within minutes of each other. Bla bla bla bla. Heartless monster.


Becoming strong.
So much the same for me. I gave him all the info he needed. Most of all I told him about my fear of abandonment. Everything he did to me I gave to him in our heart to hearts. Now I know he was just storing information to use, abide and abandon me.
I’m continue to be amazed at all the similarities we all share here.


Dear Emtuoba,
Yes, we do give them the instructions and even draw them a map as to where to put the dagger, no guessing games there. I was in my “relationship” long enough that I was developing decoys to keep him off track. “Oh yes I used to want to be loved that was the old me” kind of things, “Oh I used to love our house, now ehhh, sure we can sell it no problem.” I think in the end he was confused, someone replaced his empathic wife with someone like him. I knew I was going to leave him and if he thought something bothered me or mattered to me he’d be sure to go after it. Talking about greyrock.

As far as the stealing my ideas, likes etc… Yep, A few months ago he actually had the gaul to quote MY grandfather (who he’d never met) against me. Oh that was the icing on the cake for me.

I do have a question for anyone who can answer it. My sociopath husband is coming dangerously close to being thrown in jail/sanctioned by the court, he has been exposed for being a violent drunk. However, inspite of these very serious consequences he will NOT oxide by court orders, continues to order his booze in a very traceable manner and seems to willing to lose his career. The question is why is he willing to self destruct (this is all highly avoidable for him)? Don’t these types usually have survival mechanisms that kick in and say “this ***** isn’t worth the effort”? Any insight would be much appreciated.


Wow becoming strong. Good for you. I’m afraid I was the begging crying please don’t leave me type. So embarrassing now. But I have not seen or spoken to the ass for 6 weeks now. Think I’ll go through the girlfriend to try to get things settled. At this point I trust her more. Don’t want to see or speak to her either. Just text and email for business related things. God I hope that works to get the truck thing sorted out.


emtuoba, Don’t be embarrassed I was the crying type for years. In fact, I still am, I just don’t let him know it. When I realized he wasn’t “normal” -sadistic sociopath, in it for the pleasure of hurting me, I started “mimicking” him. It was nothing more than a race to the bottom. Sometimes it just best to cut your losses, not deal with them if you don’t have to.


Here are some things that helped me:

Take down the authority you give them. You are worth more and better in every single way.
Release the shame. There is nothing faulty with you. Life is hard and the quick fix didn’t work out. Shrink the significance and amplify the importance of all your fantastic traits. Yes. There are people who appreciate them. Us, for starters!
PTSD is a call for you to go and see the real story: you’ve been treated badly. And it’s nothing to accept responsibility for or be ashamed of. Put it back on who did it.
Fear, is just an illusion for their control. Whatever good there was, just a reflection of you. You’ve lost nothing.
Accept 200% who and what they are. Separate your identity from them and appreciate it. Identify what they’ve done and don’t try to understand, it’s a waste of time. They will never be us.
Despite what they said, you are not weak, pathetic, mean, judgmental or deserving in any way if what happened X
If you needed the relationship at the time, forgive yourself.
None of us has been shown compassion and that is exactly what is needed for healing. Again, take the authority and caretaker title from them. They’ll never be able to fulfil it.
We survived, and so we deserve the caretaker title.
We are the champions. Don’t buy into their hopelessness.
I still think it should be seen as any other illness. But we need to be fully educated of the dangers.

And yes, life our way is worth living! Your spirit won’t let you have it any other way!

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