Editor’s Note: This letter to Lovefraud was submitted by the Lovefraud reader who goes by the name “GoldenGirl.”
I remember my first red flag. We were walking to his car on a first date after about three months of telephone conversation after we first met. I was so shocked by what “I” blurted out, that I ignored my own advice.
As we were close to his car, I turned to him and said, for no specific reason, “If you ever lie to me I will leave you.” I immediately apologized and said, “I don’t know where that came from! I have never said anything like that to someone before in my life.”
It is five years later and I dearly wish that I had followed my own advice. I was 65 at the time, had not dated for decades and realizing that I was handicapped and alone, I thought I should have a friend in case I got ill and needed help. What a mistake.
Describing a SPATH
I had a “basic” idea of what a psychopath is… the movie version… the myth version… but not the reality.
The closest that I can come to explaining how they interact when they are in their “spath” mode is from an old time space movie called Queen of Blood, a 1966 film also known as Space Vampires. In it there is one scene that raised the hairs on my neck when I saw it. It is a scene where the “Alien,” when hungry for blood, approaches her victim and as she approaches, she fades in and out. From the victim’s point of view, he sees the Alien at different positions and he is not sure what he is seeing, if she is approaching or not, until it is too late. That is what I felt when the spath was working his magic.
He did his love-bombing — telling me he would never leave me. He would say one thing, then contradict it. He never answered a question directly. He was like a politician that never gives a straight answer.
Or he would answer a question with a question. He requested two things, one… tells me that he hates a liar, ensuring I would be truthful and he studied and questioned me about everything. When he found what bothered me, he would do exactly that — or the opposite of what I said I wanted.
And he would watch me. Watch my reaction. I could almost see his feeling superior, when he continued to do something annoying.
One example is I had some small books on top of a bookcase and he reached up and started to flick them backwards and they fell down between the bookcase and the wall. Every time I told him to stop, he would flick another and I would protest and move towards him, he would stop, keeping his hand touching the remaining books on the top of the bookcase. When I stopped, he flicked another and I would hear it fall behind and protest again. I didn’t lose my cool, because I had a secret weapon that he didn’t know about.
Writing in a journal kept things real
Way back when, about six months into the relationship, I had that ”no I didn’t, yes you did” experience. I was experiencing feelings like I saw in the movie Gaslight. (I didn’t know that people actually did things like that to one another.) The feelings of uncertainty ate my guts.
So, I started to journal. I wrote down everything. I journaled because I knew if I wrote it down, I didn’t imagined it. It was real. I described what I saw, what he was wearing, what he said, how I felt, time, date, car license plates — everything.
Curiosity lead to much reading
After awhile, the activity took on a curiosity factor. I started to read books, the first When your lover is a liar by Susan Forward. Those two activities helped me back-track.
I couldn’t go no contact. I wasn’t ready yet and I was using him as a Video, Photograph and Photoshop subject to get through my university classes. I saw him at a church that I became really attached to, as I was fully accepted and even special at the different events. (I have no family or friends as I grew up under unusual circumstances that precluded any original family members and I lost both parents by the time I was 15 years old.)
My spath’s antics fuelled my curiosity. I eventually read 14 or more books, followed Dexter (and his internal musings) and Criminal Minds for their descriptions of the different types of criminal profiles. Going into film, I thought that what I was learning would be invaluable as I was able to experience the relationship, for script writing. As I journaled, I realized I was writing the back story for a very, very dangerous and criminally active person. (I got a sneak into his emails.
Devil Man — a book in the making
The man is an evangelist in a Pentecostal African Church. And I had been videotaping him preaching and so on. I thought I would write the book first titled, Devil Man. The front cover would be him in his religious robes, with his shadow in the background showing horns on the shadow head and a tail coming out from under his robe.
A very scary thing is that when this man was a child, he stepped on a piece of metal and his foot got badly infected. As a result, his foot is malformed — kind of like a mild club foot. It made me think that the devil has cloven feet. I was thinking that I would also have a cloven foot peeking out from under his robes. I might have to get a ghost writer — no pun intended — to write the book and script for a movie plot. I have to get more down on paper of things that I realize he has done.
Three-column structure of the journal
The way I kept myself sane was/is when writing in the journal, I use three columns.
- The first is what I personally saw or have a hard copy of and is the most credible.
- The second is what people tell me. I need to hear it from more than one person, because it is less credible.
- The third is my imagination column. It is what I think can happen because of what I know from columns one column two. Column three is speculative, but possible.
Because I have been writing and learning for a good while, I have slowly replaced his love bombing and manipulations with what is real, thereby negating his influence on me. I have seen how the spath is an incredible person, who can accomplish much,but chooses nasty behaviors and methods to get to the same position of wealth and authority.
One of my last dealings with him was that he stole my cell phones, micro SD card, my large print bible and my good copy of Snakes in Suits. He could have asked to have any of them on loan.
My disgust comes for him, a high ranking religious person of 25 plus years, stole my bible.
Stealing from me
Another thing that I have learned in the past year, is that he is very skitterish and a coward at heart. The non-thinking part of me still loves this man very much and I long to see him, hear his voice and his laugh.
But when I think he might come over, I get very nervous, make excuses and wonder what he will steal next. He is almost magical with stealing. I only caught him once and he made an excuse that I sort of believed. I have not caught him since. This is how I think he is stealing.
When he has been in my apartment, he looks like he is texting. I might catch what I think is a flash of light from the corner of my eye, or as a flash if I am in the other room.
When I ask, he says he is texting, but I think he was taking pictures of what he wants to steal. He then insists like crazy, that I have to go to this church event or meet him at my university so we can work on a project. Then he gets calls, or texts someone in church from the altar. I think he is letting a second party know I am out of my apartment and sends him a picture of what he wants to steal.
I didn’t know how the person got in, but I discovered that a fellow tribesman of his lives in my building AND was on the board of directors (and I assume got access to master keys). I kind of didn’t care because I am downsizing and I have nothing of real value in my house. Jewelry, hard drives and other media is in the safety deposit box.
I have been going through some medical problems — same as my mom who died from it. So I didn’t need waves and just looked after myself, and made myself as unavailable as possible, because I didn’t need the drama.
During this time, I found him to be unsympathetic (no surprise) and even cruel. He, being neglected, has found someone else and has started a campaign a year ago to kill my credibility in the church. Not worried, as I have documentation including audio tapes.
If nothing comes out of my ramblings, I think that all women, especially older ones, need to journal all dealing with their new “friend” until they can KNOW they are in a safe relationship. Journaling can bring out discrepancies in what he says and does. It also keeps a person mentally grounded, like putting on brakes every day, so one doesn’t fall down the rabbit hole into Wonderland where you are wondering if it is real or not.