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LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Ever since this experience, I’ve been afraid to love again

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by a Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call “Shania.” Names have been changed. My comments are at the end of the letter.

I’m a 20-year-old girl and I had an experience with a sociopath, or so I think he was one. This traumatic experience actually gave me post-traumatic stress disorder.

A few years ago, in my senior year of high school, I started to talk to this boy in my class named Mark. Everyone loved him; he was the most popular guy in my school. He was really good at talking to people, had the charm, very funny, always knew what to say.

I first noticed a red flag before we started dating. Out of nowhere, Mark came over to me and cut off a piece of my hair. I freaked out, and started crying and asked why he did that. He said, “Because it’s funny.” He could obviously see I was very upset. The hair he cut was VERY noticeable. He didn’t care and just laughed at me and left me crying by myself. He showed no sympathy at all.

After all that, I just thought maybe he was just being stupid and playing a dumb joke. I continued to talk to him and I eventually told him I liked him and wanted to date. He told me to meet him at his house the next day to talk about it in person. I went to his house, and he confessed that he had liked me also but didn’t want to start a relationship. He gave me a pity party story about his ex, and how he got played by this other girl in my school before me and broke his heart. I said, “but I like you and want to be with you so why don’t we be together?” His mood completely changed and he said, “Because I just can’t date you” and he walked away.

I started crying hysterically, while he left me alone on a side of a road. He told me he had to leave to go buy his prom tuxedo. I said, why do you have to leave now? We haven’t finished talking about this. He goes, “because I told you I’m done with this conversation, I like you, but I am never dating you. Now I have to go.”

I hysterically cried for about an hour and a half when I received a phone call from him. He goes, “Hey, can we talk?” I said, “We just talked. What more do you want to talk about?” He says, “You’ll see, meet me in the parking lot of supermarket in 15 minutes.”

Asks me out

So I went. There in that parking lot he said he had “changed” his mind about dating me and asked me out. I was thrilled. He was my first boyfriend.

The thing about Mark was, he is super religious (or so he says). He told me the only way I could date him is if I read the bible with him and pray with him. I did that because I really liked him, and I am sort of religious.

Everything was going super great in our relationship until I started to see more red flags. Mark claimed he loved to “hike” so he would always take me in the woods to read the bible with him and talk about God. Yet, every time we were in the woods, he would take advantage of me and sexually abuse me. After he would do that, he said that I was a sinner. That what we did was sinful and the devil’s work. He told me I was going to hell for doing that with him, even though he was the one who instigated it. He lied to his friends about our relationship. He said he didn’t want them to “judge” us. I went along, of course, because at the time I really liked him.

Forced himself on me

After this happened I found out something very shocking about Mark. One night he pulls me aside and says, “We cannot make out anymore or do anything sexual.” I asked why not? He goes, “I was sexually molested by one of my family members after my dad died.” I was shocked and hugged him and I said I respect your wishes.

The next day, he tried to touch me and make out with me. I said, “Mark, you told me we can’t do this anymore, and I’m okay with that.” Mark goes, “No. I promise. I want to do this. Please.” He kept begging me and I said no.

Eventually, he molested me and forced himself on me. After that happened, 5 minutes later, he kicked me out and broke up with me. He told me, “I never liked you. I just used you like I was used. I don’t have emotion for anyone. I can’t feel. I’m numb. I don’t know how to feel. I never loved you or my mom or my family. I don’t know how to love.”

Then I start crying and blaming him for all the hurt that he caused me. It didn’t even faze him. He didn’t seem to care at all. He said that I was the reason he’s dumping me because I remind him of being molested and that I’m going to hell.

The contract

After hysterically crying over an hour, Mark comes up to me and goes “I changed my mind. I’ll get back together with you if you do one thing for me.”  “What do you want?” I asked. He says, “You have to sign this contract I’m going to make. We can’t kiss for a year. We can’t lay next to each other for 2 years. We have to pray every time we hang out. We have to read the bible. We have to live by Jesus’s way.”

Stupid me, I signed it (and took a picture of it, thank God, for proof).

I leave his house, relieved that we didn’t break up. An hour later, he calls me. He says, “We need to talk.” I asked, “About what?” He asked me to meet him in a parking lot to talk. I went, and there he is with all of his friends. I asked, “What’s going on?” He said he is breaking up with me again, and that the contract was fake and he didn’t actually want to be with me, and never did. He humiliated me in front of all his friends and embarrassed me.

I cried and became severely depressed. He didn’t care at all and blamed everything on me when I didn’t do anything. After the breakup, I told all his friends about this contract he made me sign. They asked Mark about it, and Mark denied everything. He said I was lying, even though I took a picture of it as proof. He said I’m crazy and a crazy ex gf.

Abuse

Weeks go by, and I get a text from Mark stating he wants to be friends again. I still liked him. Stupidly, I said ok. We hung out after, and he said, “lets go somewhere a little more private.” I didn’t know why he wanted to go somewhere private but I went along”¦

He took me to a dark alley and started touching me. “What are you doing?” I asked. He goes, “I miss you. I still like you.” I said, “No you don’t, you said you never liked me ”¦” He continued to touch me and manipulated me to think he liked me and wanted to be with me so I gave in. After I gave in, he left me. He said he never liked me and just used me for sex.

This went on for about 4 months. He emotionally, mentally, and sexually abused me. Now I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

I don’t really know whether this classifies him as a sociopath or not, but I feel that he is. He had no remorse for his actions. He did not care about my feelings one bit and he pretended to like me our whole entire relationship.

My new boyfriend

Ever since this horrific experience, I’ve been afraid to love again. Recently, I found an amazing guy named Jarrod at my college. He’s the same age as me. He’s very intelligent, caring, sweet, driven, funny. I fell for his looks because he was exactly my type (unlike my ex) and we hit it off.

We went on a few dates and he was very nice. He never pressured me to do anything with him, which was a relief from my last relationship. He said he would wait to do anything physical with me until I was ready.

I told him about the incident with my ex. He said my ex was psycho and that he feels so sorry for me. His one flaw is he does have a temper, but never laid a hand on me. Also, it was my fault for making him angry because of my drinking.

Binge drinking

After my ex, i started to binge drink. I’ve been binge drinking for about 2 years now. When I get drunk around Jarrod, my current boyfriend, I get violent and nasty. I will call other guys in front of him to make him mad and I will try to run away from him.

Every time I ran from him he chased me, making sure I don’t get raped outside at 12 at night. I feel that he TRULY cares about me. When it’s his fault in some arguments, he always admits that it was his doing and that he is sorry. He’s never lied to me.

He was cheated on in the past by his 2-year girlfriend and that really made him depressed before we met. So he has some relationship issues as well. He’s very open with his phone, he tells me everything if a girl texts him. He’s very loyal. He’s not controlling. He lets me hang with my friends, go to bars, and hang with my guy friends. Totally different than my last experience. He always tells me he loves me. He’s not manipulative.

Awful thoughts

Seems like the perfect guy right? Well. Since my experience with my ex I cannot get these awful thoughts about my current boyfriend being another sociopath. EVEN though my boyfriend never takes advantage of me. He has a 40+ hour job and works very hard. It just seems too good to be true, and since my ex I feel that every nice guy is faking it.

Does he sound like a sociopath?? I think I’m just worrying because of post-traumatic stress disorder ”¦ but I wanted your opinion.

From Donna Andersen

Shania, your first boyfriend, “Mark,” was clearly sociopathic.  His only objective was to use you for sex. Of course, almost all males at that age are looking for sex, so what makes him sociopathic? The lies he told and the cruelty with which he treated you.

It is entirely possible that he was never molested he said he was to get you to feel sorry for him. And this man is clearly not religious. All his talk about “reading the Bible” was simply to disarm you and make you more likely to go along with his scheme. Then, after he took advantage of you, he called you a “sinner.” He, of course, is the hypocrite, and said those hurtful things to you just to break you down.

Then you suffered repeated cycles of “I love you” followed by “I hate you.” This is classic sociopathic behavior, and again, the objective is to break you down and increase his control over you.

Why would he do this? Shockingly, some sociopaths do this just for fun. They get a thrill out of acting like a puppet master. They entertain themselves by romancing you, then discarding you. I think these are the most despicable sociopaths out there, and unfortunately, there are millions of them.

About the drinking ”¦

Shania, I am very concerned about your binge drinking. I do, however, applaud the fact that you even mentioned it, because it gives me the opportunity urge you to stop.

Binge drinking is really, really bad for you. Here’s a summary of the risks from the University of Rochester Medical Center:

The Dangers of Binge Drinking

Please pay particular attention to the last item on the list of risks: Brain development in young adults:

Most of the college students engaging in binge drinking are still at a vulnerable stage of brain development. This puts them at greater risk for the toxicities and consequences of drinking. This is in addition to the direct effects of alcohol on judgment and loss of control. The high of binge drinking now can lead to a more dangerous, unhealthy path in the future. It can even be lethal.

Perhaps you started drinking because of the pain you felt from your relationship with the sociopath, but the drinking may now have taken on a life of its own. Make no mistake, binge drinking is alcohol abuse. It affects your brain, and you could become an alcoholic. It already affects your behavior you’ve admitted that you get violent when you drink.

Please stop. If you can’t do it on your own, please seek counseling. Ask the therapist to help you not only with the drinking, but with the pain you are still feeling because of the sociopath.

Here’s another word of advice: Many therapists do not understand the damage cause by sociopathic relationships. If you hear some form of, “Just get over it,” find another therapist.

Your new boyfriend

Your new boyfriend may very well be a terrific guy—he seems respectful and understanding. But you will never know until you get yourself clear.

Here is the secret of finding a good partner: Start with yourself. Work on becoming the person that you want to find. Understand, at a very deep level, that you are worthy. You are worthy of self-esteem and self-love. The healthier you are within, the healthier your relationships will be.

 


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12 Comments on "LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Ever since this experience, I’ve been afraid to love again"

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Donna is right. Your boyfriend was an abusive sick psychopath. My “first love” was too and he treated me much the same way. He said he loved me, lied, cheated and broke up with me when I got agry about it. He was the problem but he trasferred it to me for even mentioning what he did. Then I was blamed for being the problem. It was mind-numbing and I am still trying to recove decades later.

I was raised to be psychopath bait so I did not know how to recognize or stand up to crazy behavior. I was the scapegoat of the family and I went on to marry a full dip psychopath to get away. Now I am re-married to a loving but withdrawn man and do not know if he is the sick one or if I am.

Please find a good therapist, learn all you can and heal yourself before gettig into a perment relationship. You were abused and need to learn how he did it and to not let it happen again. Bless you, you are on the right track.

Hi everyone. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, I really appreciate them. I notice I have a binge drinking problem. I am seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. He said I have post traumatic stress disorder from my ex. The therapist is helping and very understanding of the trauma I went through. I actually have stopped binge drinking since me and my boyfriends relationship grew. He, as well as me had anxiety and depression and he is on an anti depressant as well. Everything my current boyfriend tells me checks out. He always is willing to talk to me about my ex and help me build my self esteem up. Ever since my binge drinking has stopped our relationship is much better. The one thing getting in the way sometimes is my anxiety. Since the trauma my anxiety is off the wall. My bf now helps as much as he can with it but sometimes my anxiety adds stress on his life which is affecting him. I know my current boyfriend is not a sociopath. I never had a bad feeling or thought about it until I read symptoms of sociopaths. My current boyfriend doesn’t even show any of these symptoms. Besides that he has a small temper and has an ego even though deep down inside he is insecure. He knows when he is wrong and he always apologizes and learns from his mistakes. He’s never lied to me yet. I am just the type of person from my anxiety I will focus on one thing and pertain it to my life. For example: one time I had a headache and thought it was brain cancer bc that’s one symptom. Even though I didn’t have any other symptoms. This is what I am doing with my current boyfriend. My mind is trying to shield me from going thru the same expirience. Example. I read online that sociopaths say I love you alot. My boyfriend always tells me he loves me. Always. I’m not used to this and I had no bad feeling about it until I read that sociopaths do it. My bf never said it early. And he doesn’t want marriage until he’s like 25 he said. I’m just being paranoid. Since my expirience it just feels like every guy is faking it. A sociopath. But my bf is truly in love with me and I need to accept the fact I can be loved. By true love, not fake love. What are all your opinions? Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your story. I haven’t read many stories from a young victim yet.

The first boyfriend’s behaviors sound like a cult indoctrination. A lot of very sick people play “tricks” or make fun of people and then when people cry, they say they were just “teasing.” That is a form of emotional abuse and I would consider the hair cutting a definite test. It sounds like he continued tests just to see how far he could go in his indoctrination.

I agree with Donna about your drinking. You mentioned that your new friend is abusive in some ways when you have been abusive in some ways. That could turn into a very sick coupling. It is understandable that you don’t trust your decision making because of your experience with “Mark.” That is common for anyone ever involved with a sociopath. However, drinking is not going to help you with making good decisions for yourself. It will cause you to make worse decisions.

Check with your college counselor and tell her/him what you have been through and ask about what to do about the drinking. Binge drinking can be an addiction. Some people think that if they don’t drink every day, they do not have an addiction problem. However, binge drinking counts…even if a binge is every couple of months, it can be a sign of addiction.

Keep reading articles here, read non-fiction books about figuring out who you want to be as you continue through adulthood. Keep us posted on your progress here and read, read, read.

Shania, thank you so much for letting us hear your experiences. I hope very much that you have received specialist support as you come to terms with the sexual abuse, emotional and physical abuse ( cutting your hair without your permission is a physical assault) this dangerously disordered individual subjected you to. You are very young, and have your education, and growing awareness of personality disordered people, this awareness will help keep you safe in future. But listen to Donna, and please take urgent steps to stop self medicating your trauma with alcohol. Contact the counseling services your college no doubt provides, ask for signposting to local support if the college doesn’t provide it. It sounds to me as if your current boyfriend cares very much for you, but Shania it isn’t really possible to have a healthy relationship with a partner if you are drinking through unresolved trauma. Put self care, recovery and your education first. Take good care of yourself. You can recover.

Hi everyone. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, I really appreciate them. I notice I have a binge drinking problem. I am seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist. He said I have post traumatic stress disorder from my ex. The therapist is helping and very understanding of the trauma I went through. I actually have stopped binge drinking since me and my boyfriends relationship grew. He, as well as me had anxiety and depression and he is on an anti depressant as well. Everything my current boyfriend tells me checks out. He always is willing to talk to me about my ex and help me build my self esteem up. Ever since my binge drinking has stopped our relationship is much better. The one thing getting in the way sometimes is my anxiety. Since the trauma my anxiety is off the wall. My bf now helps as much as he can with it but sometimes my anxiety adds stress on his life which is affecting him. I know my current boyfriend is not a sociopath. I never had a bad feeling or thought about it until I read symptoms of sociopaths. My current boyfriend doesn’t even show any of these symptoms. Besides that he has a small temper and has an ego even though deep down inside he is insecure. He knows when he is wrong and he always apologizes and learns from his mistakes. He’s never lied to me yet. I am just the type of person from my anxiety I will focus on one thing and pertain it to my life. For example: one time I had a headache and thought it was brain cancer bc that’s one symptom. Even though I didn’t have any other symptoms. This is what I am doing with my current boyfriend. My mind is trying to shield me from going thru the same expirience. Example. I read online that sociopaths say I love you alot. My boyfriend always tells me he loves me. Always. I’m not used to this and I had no bad feeling about it until I read that sociopaths do it. My bf never said it early. And he doesn’t want marriage until he’s like 25 he said. I’m just being paranoid. Since my expirience it just feels like every guy is faking it. A sociopath. But my bf is truly in love with me and I need to accept the fact I can be loved. By true love, not fake love. What are all your opinions? Thank you.

Find out and read as much about PTSD as you can. Mindfulness books and CDs by Jon Kabat=Zinn as well as reading books by trauma specialist Dr. Peter Levine have been helpful to me. But, I don’t know if some forms of anxiety ever go away.

Shania,
You’re definitely on the right track by having sought help and understanding!Many feel they can handle things on their own;and that’s why things go from bad to worse!

I’m so glad you have a therapist and psychiatrist.Have you let them know about your anxiety issues?You may even need to see your MD.Trust me,I didn’t want to,but that was preferable to public meltdowns!And once I did go,I was comforted beyond measure!Remember,your body and mind have been through alot of trauma and will need alot of time and help to recover.

Lovefraud is a wonderful supplement to the support you’re already receiving.This site is so very educational (there are even archives to benefit from!),and the validation we need to feel as victims of abuse.As you get to know everyone,you’ll find we’re from all different “walks” of life;different ages.And while our experiences are different,there are many similarities.

Hi Shania,

Just want to say you are a very brave young woman. In all you’ve been through, you’re still alive. That speaks volumes. I know of some young women your age who,unfortunately, cannot say the same thing. At least you are making the positive effort to get passed the memories of all that has happened to you.

Here’s one little piece of advice on how to put those memories of a romantic relationship with a sociopath behind you. Recognize the person that you were in love with was NOT a REAL person. With that being said, there literally was no loss. You can’t lose something that as never real to begin with. Yes, I understand he took advantage of a part of your womanhood, your heart, your time, and your emotions that you can never get back again. BUT,you never gave him what he REALLY wanted, and that was total and complete control. I’m sure if he could have his way, he would have wanted you to be so emotionally destroyed that it would guarantee him that you will never ever love again. As you can see as proof of you having a new love in your life, your ex’s plans backfired. You’re still willing to love and be loved.

So just hang on there, girlie. It gets better. 🙂

Shania~
I can whole heartedly understand your feelings about loving again. Though i consider myself over the romantic aspect of my ride with a spath, i WILL never even date again. Even if i had the desire, spath gave me an STD (HPV) that in us older girls is probably with us for the rest of our lives. I would NEVER risk the health of another person out of selfish need for romance or comfort. Having said that, you are awfully young to have this attitude. You have a whole life to live and now that you have learned that there are spaths in the world, you can learn more and avoid their company.
I too had a spath that used “Christianity” in extreme vain. He didn’t have a Christian bone in his body, but to hear him tell it, he was a MOG and with me, he was “in a very difficult marriage” because his wife wasn’t Christian. I told him, nope, you are in a difficult marriage because YOU aren’t Christian, because if i was, i wouldn’t be any different than i am. It was him that cheated, lied, stole and was a sexual deviant, not me! These people use anything that “titles” them as superior. Depends on which website you look at, he has different college degrees from numerous universities! Yes, this is amusing…he never even graduated from HS! Never took a college course, in any subject. When i called him on the fact that he hadn’t even a HS Diploma his answer was “ONLY because i didn’t have enough credits.” Duh, what other reason could it be?? If it was because of his lack of character, he wouldn’t have attended at all! He is currently a poop scooper at a dog rescue, but on his personal FB page (which is where he spends most of his time), he is an Executive in his very successful consulting company that is no more than another FB page. He has a virtual GF that thinks he is a god. She has contacted me on occasion for exposing the truth about him on FB, she believe everything he tells her, though she has never met him in person. She is 54 yrs old, hello! She tells me he is a very successful business executive that makes a lot of money and is very responsible and has been for the year that they have been together! Well, funny, i was there when he was evicted from his last GFs house, 5 months ago, when he left there penniless and homeless with only a plane ticket the rescue had given him to come be a live in kennel help (i suspect there is another woman involved there). When i slip and think of how stupid i was i think about this woman who can’t figure out that if he was a rich business man that perhaps he would afford one of them a plane ticket so they could meet. I guess he’s just too busy consulting to take a trip to meet her or have her for a visit! Too funny, for him at least…i have tried to tell her, but she says she knows everything about him and there is nothing i could tell her that she doesn’t know, he’s different with her because their relationship is based on their “faith”. In actuality, it’s based on his lies and HER faith. While this IS amusing to me in one way, it’s what angers me most about him. I am over what he did to me. I came out on top and i’m okay, it’s that he’s going on to do the same or worse to others, to totally unsuspecting women who can’t afford his games.
Shania, just avoid the predatory wolves, but have a good life, open to love, laughter and joy.
R

What really grabs me is the level of drama. Drama does not equal love. So whether the message here is to distrust your current boyfriend or to get clear with your own internal dramas, keep the drama-meter on and notice what moves the needle. If something arouses you, there’s your red flag about what you draw into your world.

I tend to believe Donna that in Jerrod’s case there was never any church at all. Probably right. But something similar involving “religious” sentiments happened to me at age 34, but in this case there really was a church — which asked not to be identified as Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City (oops, sorry author Rev. Tim Keller! You did nothing about it when I complained!). My episode took only a month of dating and a month of really strange phone conversations.

The similarity was in the “deep” kind of drama and connection, and the scapegoating of me for being the “Jezebel,” tempting him, when he was the guy with the sicko fantasies.

There’s a wonderful book written by a recovery alcoholic called “Carry On, Warrior.” This woman is so imperfect, so awful in some ways, that I can’t help but love her. She loves herself, and writes so beautifully about that.

Seems that a lot of sociopaths claim to be very religious and to read the Bible. The one I dated briefly claimed the same thing, all the while cheating, lying, and defrauding the army. There is a very strange disconnect between their supposed religious beliefs and their behaviors. I don’t know if the religious stuff is really their smokescreen to make people think they are decent people, or if it’s part of their weird delusional system in which they actually do believe they are God or godlike. Probably depends on which flavor of sociopath they happen to be. I think many people hide behind religious doctrine/dogma as a way of avoiding responsibility for their actions. But sociopaths take this to the extreme.

In the Lovefraud Romantic Partner survey, 20% of respondents said the sociopath falsely claimed to be Christian, born-again, religious or spiritual. It’s a common scam.

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