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By | April 8, 2011 416 Comments

Letter to a sociopath

I write you this letter to explain something to you. You have a serious personality disorder whose very symptoms, paradoxically, may leave you unaware that you have it.

Or”¦you may be “aware” of your disorder in an “intellectual” sense but, consequent to your disorder, you lack appropriate alarm and shame over its expression.

People who do not have your disorder, if they were told they had it (and of its nature),  would feel extremely unnerved, shamed, to hear this feedback.

You, on the other hand, neither feel, nor react, with expected levels of uneasiness to learn of your disorder. Your reactions, expressing either calm indifference and striking unperturbedness, or, alternatively, possibly rageful defensiveness, merely add credence to the diagnosis.

You were probably not “born” with this disorder, but it’s also probable that you brought a biological tendency to it, whose eventual emergence your upbringing probably encouraged, or elicited.

It seems likely that histories of abuse, neglect and trauma encourage the development of this disorder in individuals who, like yourself, are prone to it.

It is rare, although not impossible, that this disorder would emerge in its fullblown state from childhoods that are genuinely nurturing, secure, and free of emotional and physical abuse.

Your disorder is called a number of different names that can be confusing, among them sociopath, psychopath, antisocial personality disorder, malignant narcissist, and more informal names. Although there may be some useful distinctions between these terms, the confusion they produce probably exceeds the usefulness of these distinctions.

More important are the common elements between them, which describe a similar phenomenon—a human being like yourself who, while intellectually aware of common standards and laws of “right and wrong,” nonetheless grossly, chronically violates the boundaries and integrity of others with deficient remorse, deficient empathy, a deficient sense of accountability and, typically, with an attitude of contempt or indifference towards the experience, and suffering, of those he’s violated. 

You might recognize yourself in this description, but you may not. If you do, as I’ve suggested, your recognition of yourself as having this disorder will produce a notably inappropriate response.

But if you don’t recognize yourself from this description, it’s likely to be a function of more than just your denial. Rather, your failure to see yourself, truly, as a sociopath probably reflects, to an extent, an aforementioned feature of your disorder: I refer again to your deficient empathy, as a consequence of which you are actually incapable of feeling more than superficial, transient concern about, and remorse for, your hurtful impact on others.

It is possible that hurting others is a primary goal, but it’s also likely that hurting others is a byproduct of your primary aim (and pattern) of taking something from others that doesn’t belong to you.

In other words you may, or may not, intentionally seek to hurt others, but in either case your condition leaves you depleted of normal, inhibiting levels of compassion, sympathy and empathy towards others.

Your disorder has other essential features. The reason you can take from people, steal from them—their money, their dignity, sometimes their lives—and suffer so neglibly, if at all, from your abuse of them, is that you do not respect them.

Your condition fundamentally leaves you with a characterological disrespect of others.

You view the world as a competition ground for gratification. People around you are thus players in this metaphorical drama”¦.players from whom your principal inclination is to take, cajole, exploit and manipulate whatever it is that will leave you, not them, in a more comfortable, satiated condition.

You feel that your gratification—your present security, status, satisfaction and entertainment—takes precedence over everyone else’s. Your gratification is simply more important than anything else.

In your mind, you are entitled to the gratification you seek—in whatever forms you presently seek it—even when it costs others a great deal of pain towards which, as we’ve established, you bring a disordered lack of empathy and concern.

This is a very twisted notion—specifically, the conviction that your gratification and its pursuit are virtually your inalienable right—a notion that supports the rationalizing of the chronic expression of your abusive, exploitive attitudes and behaviors towards others.

Finally, this make you an unrepentant boundary violator of others’ space.

I am willing to try and help you in some way, if I can, but as you may, or may not, know your disorder is notoriously unamenable to known treatments.  But first I ask that you return to me the forty dollars we both know that you took from my desk drawer last week when I left you alone in my office for half a minute.

You did this once before, and because I had no proof, I could not be 100% certain you stole from me. But this time I counted my money before stepping out of my office, admittedly in case you stole from me again, allowing me proof of your theft.

And so I ask you to admit this when I see you next Tuesday, rather than play the foolish games that are often so indicative of your personality type. 

Perhaps we can discuss this letter when I see you, or perhaps you took a quick look at it, laughed, and ripped it up. We will see.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

(This article is copyrighted (c) 2011 by Steve Becker, LCSW.) 


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Ox Drover

Dear Ex-friend,

See letter above—but don’t bother coming to my house on Tuesday, the door is locked to you from now on, there’s nothing left to discuss.

Sadly, Oxy

Dear Steve—-GREAT ARTICLE! Yea, the first time they stole from me I put it down to “misplacing” something, but “after baiting the trap” and counting the money—it didn’t take long to catch them to find out the truth…

skylar

Steve,
LOL, that was a good twist on the letter. I didn’t see it coming.

He’ll never admit the truth, it’s like kryptonite to them, but I bet if you offer him some drama, he’ll return the 40 bucks in exchange! But you’ll have to perform.

I actually got my spath to return $5000 to me back in 1986, after I broke up with him, because he knew he could con much, much more out of me if he did it slowly, like boiling a frog to death.

Then, in 2009, I got him to give me a couple more thousand by making him think that $$ was my one and only hook – the only way he could watch me react. I should’ve milked it for more…but I got tired of the drama. Spaths are like 2 year olds, it’s hard to keep up with them!

superkid10

Steve

Holy cow! What a letter! You know the thing is, I have written that letter so many times to my spath (while I am not as eloquent, my points were the same) And each time I wrote that letter, and sent it, I had tears streaming down my face, feeling terrible, feeling sad, feeling empty.

The thing is now I can read your letter, and not react. It’s all true. It’s factual. There is no point in tears or whatever. It’s just the way it is.

Well done.

lesson learned

Steven,

I think of most of the articles I most look forward too, it’s yours.

The insight is amazing. A real and true gift to the rest of us.

I look forward to your articles, read them over and over, as they have been a vital part of my healing process.

Excellent again.

LL

Stargazer

Steve, was this letter actually sent to the spath? I’m curious what the response was.

Ox Drover

Star, I actually sent a couple of these letters to various Ps in my past life….but every one I ever sent BIT ME IN THE ARSE…it is an exercise in futility to try to “educate” them or make them feel bad for what they have done. LOL The last 10,000 pages (slight exaggeration but not much!) I wrote I never sent and eventually the compulsion to write and send them went away!

CAmom

Wonderful article, Steve, thank you. I still wonder if my late ex deliberately hurt others or if hurting others was simply a by-product of his self-driven actions for pleasure/gratification. I tend to think hurting others was perhaps his primary goal most of the time, as I saw him derive satisfaction at the thought of how others would react to some mean-spirited planned behavior; I witnessed behavior toward me and others (once the mask dropped) that was intentionally sadistic. One of the key features is what you call ‘characterological disrespect’ for others–it seems as if he had complete contempt for others as well as almost complete disrespect.

A marriage counselor told him he was a narcissist–he had no reaction at all. Said nothing to the therapist during the session or to me afterward. And, not surprisingly, he suddenly lost interest in marriage counseling and we never returned. I’d expected a big angry reaction to being called a narcissist but it was as if it had never happened. I thought at the time it was an unusual non-reaction. All of his craziness was made worse by the fact he was a psychologist and knew the words and concepts to twist whatever he did into some sort of ‘ok’ behavior that was essentially ‘normal’ according to Dr so and so and/or x study, etc.

At any rate, he’d lived his adult life pursuing whatever gave him pleasure–which caused a great deal of damage in those persons who had anything or could provide anything he wanted. Not getting what he wanted led to anger, rages, cold cruelty; and also seemingly kind and understanding behavior while planning revenge of some sort. He had what I called Inevitable Critical Backlashes (ICB) following any perceived slight or dissatisfaction…the ICB usually happened 24-48 hours after the perceived slight and came out of nowhere. ICBs were delivered in a cool, focused, well thought out way, designed to inflict as much pain as possible while couched in a matter of fact manner. Because he was a psychologist, he normally used exclusively pyschological terminology to deliver these blows, i.e., “I’ve been thinking you have Reactive Attachment Disorder unfortunately and that’s not something that can be cured. It’s quite sad, really, maybe you could have accomplished something with your life…and of course this means you have initimacy issues as well…I don’t know why I always choose such screwed up women.”

When asked to explain RAD , for example, he’d shrug and say look it up. Sometimes I had RAD, sometimes it was something about Object Relations, other times it was depression, whatever he thought of…I had many, many ‘diagnoses’ from him, none of which I’d heard of (except depression). So I’d ‘look it up’ and find it didn’t apply. This became a continuous pattern…he finally stopped when he ran out of diagnoses, and when he couldn’t find another therapist to agree with him. Other times the ICB was just flat out demeaning, “You’re kind of trashy aren’t you? And not too bright, are you?” followed by an hours long lecture on how and why I was so lacking, so inferior to him in every way. This was deliberate, not collateral damage, this was designed to cause hurt and self-doubt and was very effective.

By the time I physically left him I’d lost much in every single area of my life. He’d ridicule me for “not understanding pronouns” “never being educated in rhetoric” etc, to the point I was afraid to speak and did so only when I’d mentally run through what I was going to say to be sure my pronouns were adequate. There was always something to pick at, I always was ‘trashy, uneducated, neurotic’ and so forth. He was like a kid in a candy store, having a great deal of fun putting me and others down, mocking, ridiculing, whatever worked. No respect for boundaries at all, anything and everything was his for the taking, and take he did–to the very end, his suicide and the letter he sent blaming me for it—including scribbling on the envelope his afterthoughts, all poisonous, all designed to cause as much damage as he could.

Since his death I’ve heard from people who knew him, other therapists, who’ve said they think he was Borderline and/or Narcissistic. What’s frightening is that he taught psychology at the college level and had a clinical practice as well. I don’t know why he chose psychology as a profession, and don’t know why he chose transpersonal pyschology in particular, other than that he had a great deal of power, control, over his students and his clients, a large number of people he could ‘have fun’ with. And if criticized he’d say, as he did in fact say, “And you believed him/her? He’s/she’s in therapy!” —the “identified patient” and therefore “crazy.”

Thanks again for a great article, Steve.

Hopeforjoy

Dear Steve,

As I was reading your letter I thought about printing it and sending it to my soon to be ex.

I keep looking for signs of remorse, a sign of someone who is actually sorry for the way he treated me, but there is none. As he tells me that he can’t sleep and misses me so much and loves me and wants to marry me again he is lying. He lies better than anyone I have ever met. And he’s quick.

While I’m speaking to him I almost want to believe because he is that good. At the same time he rewrites history and changes it to suit him at any given moment.

A letter wouldn’t get through to him, I don’t know if it is because they are in denial of who they are or are cognizant but can believe any lies they tell themselves. Magical thinking.

They are sick and sad people, I don’t know if I should have compassion for them or hate them.

hens

Steve, Great read. But you should of started with asking for the 40 buck’s first sentence tho. Because a sociopath will read about two sentence’s and toss it in the trash..But very good letter indeed, loved the twist…..

lesson learned

CAMom,

What an INCREDIBLE post!!! I’ve not read one like yours in such a long time!! While mine was NOT a psychologist, the tactics used were identical. He was very bright and in business, however, having a degree in theology, with a license to marry and bury, the professional “one upmanship”, spiritually, was FAR more damaging to me. So complicated it all is and was.

You’re post was so good, I wish i could print it out. It’s as good as I have read about the psychological mind fucking I’ve seen several survivors suffered. What a mind blower to have been with a man who was spath, but also a PSYCHOLOGIST!

I’m SO GLAD you came out of that intact. You’re very strong, intelligent and insightful as hell.

Much smarter than your ex. I’m sure he knew that too, thus all the psychological all out warfare.

Amazing post.

LL

geminigirl

My spath biatch daughter {47 in July,}has just been fired from her job. What happened was this . She was employed by a Travel Mag for kids, and all her articles,{while quite well written,} were full of lies. Up to now, Ive never ever added my comments at the end of the articles. This time, I did. The article was called “The Fall of the Vegemite sandwich”.
{Vegemite isa yeast extract thats spread on toast and bread.}She went on to say that her kids dont like bread and vegemite, and she has to, every day, make cheese scrolls, ham rolls, individual quiches, sausage rolls, and indiv. fruit salads in litle tupperware boxes.The REAL truth is, her ex husband has the 3 kids Full time, she only gets to baby sit them in their own home at weekends.With her “significant Other”, and HIS 2 kids.Her 16 year old daughter always makes the sandwiches.
Well, I couldnt stomach it any longer, so I wrote,
“Im at a loss to understand WHY youd bother to make your kids all these fancy lunch box treats when you only get to see them at weekends!”
Of course, she DELETED it and then BLOCKED me from ever writing again , however her boss read it. The upshot is, shes been sacked, fired.
I SHOULD feel guilty, but I dont. Well, maybe just a bit. I know it was spiteful of me, but 30 plus years of abuse from her, and I FINALLY got to backspath her!
Her ex hubby is mad at me, as now he says hell get even less child support from her.
Her karma is fast catching up with her and her lies.
With a bit of a helpful push from me! of course now Ill be the MOTHER FROM HELL! All the crocodile tears will start big time. Only diff is this time I WONT be baling her out financially, ever again.
Revenge is SWEET!!
Mama gem.

Ox Drover

Gem, ((((Hugs)))) I understand the desire to “back-spath” them, to chuckle over their down fall, to trip them so they will fall….believe me, darling. I have been there. Actually it usually bit me in the ass, but I definitely understand the feelings! (((hugs))))

Steve,

Made me laugh! Great article.

candy

Steve – you have been ‘nominated’ official spath letter writer of the year:)

superkid10

CAMom, wow, great post. Very insightful. It sounds like you’re well well on the path of healing. I am proud of you. I want to know more, how long it took, how you’ve recovered. Thank you for being here today.

Gem, I really understand where you’re coming from you want to expose the lies and ridiculousness for all to see. I hope she doesn’t come raging back into your life in some way.

Superkid

Near

Hmm, this letter would NOT actually work on my dad, but it isn’t really meant to in the first place. The main thing I noticed is the part about their reactions to being called a sociopath. My dad has different reactions depending on how he is feeling. Sometimes he gets super defensive, and sometimes he just brushes it off.

I didn’t even know I was at risk through my childhood, but now I’m remembering his reactions to things and stories he told me.

Anyway, enough baddies. I signed up to tell Steve that I love his articles and admire him. 😀 They have helped me realize some things. Everybody here has, actually. Just wanted to say thanks! *high fives all around* Yeah!

Oh, and beware GEMINIGIRL. That revenge is sweet at first, but it truly is the defintion of a hollow victory. Don’t let it absorb you. Looking for revenge at every opportunity can create even more confusion and frustration. 🙁

Ooops, one more thing! A question to everyone. Did your sociopath ever change his accents or voice to match those around him? My dad does this without even thinking, whether he is with a person or on the phone. He does this to ‘clients’ while trying to set up a ‘gig’ to earn some extra money.

Oh boy, look at all these random thoughts. I really made a mess here. First Post!

candy

Near – welcome. The others will be here later and I’m sure you will find their posts a great help.

Good advice to Gemini by the way.

Ox Drover

Dear Near,

WELCOME!!!! Nah, you didn’t make a mess of your first ;post at all and glad that you are here! You made some insightful comments.

Changing the accept I’m not sure is a psychopathic trait per se, but at the same time it is a way for them to mirror their potential victim and make them comfortable with them.

I grew up in the southern US where there is a HEAVY “hill billy” accent but I also have enough of an education that I can “speak conventional English” as well….but I think I tend to “lapse” back into the “hill billy” if I am speaking to someone who speaks that way all the time, and I know some others who are “bi-linguial” (hill-billy and English) that do this as well, and it is sort of unconscioius. I don’t effect a British accent though if I am talking to someone who is British, or French only Hill Billy (my native tongue) and English. LOL

Near

Wow, a welcome already! ^_^

My dad is from the north and tries to speak with a southern accent. He shifts back to normal with me, though. Then he’ll change it again for others. It might be a slip, but to me it feels like an empty personality. He can just morph in to whatever.

He has other sociopathic signs. 🙁 He didn’t raise me, though. He just popped up a couple of years ago. He is still in my daily life now. :/

Anyway, thanks for the welcome. Although, I think I’m not as mature or experienced as some of you. What is the main demographic here? I’m 20/male. I have a sneaky feeling some of you are older. (coughgranniescough) 😛

candy

Near – Hell yes, we have all sorts of people here and all ages.

My son encountered a full blown spath a couple of years ago. She made a complete wreck of him.

Near

Candy – How old is your son, if you don’t mind? I’m not too worried. I’m getting ready for college and am not focused on dating, at all. I’m pretty asocial and asexual. Never really enjoyed the company of others. :/

Still, I know I’m not immune to the damage they can cause.

candy

Near – my son was your age when he encountered his spath. Please take great care when you are away from home.

We are all here because we have been damaged in some way by a spath.

Good luck with your college.

Ox Drover

Dear Near, the ages here go from teenager to 70s, gays and straight, male and female, highly educated (MD, PhD) to GEDs but the one thing that is pretty across the board here is most of the people are SMART!!!

Educating yourself about psychopaths (sociopaths/antisocial personality disorder) will stand you in good form your entire life and save you a bunch of grief.

My sperm donor was (he’s dead now) a psychopath of a high order, and I have a son who is also a psychopath (he’s in prison for murder).

As for your father trying to FAKE an accent, it probably doesn’t work…it would be like me trying to fake a NY accent or a cockney accent…I just wouldn’t have it and would come across as a FAKE…I can “do” the hill billy accent naturally because it is my “native tongue” but if your dad is trying to “talk southern” when he wasn’t raised here—it will go over like a whore in church! LOL 😀

superkid10

Hello Near

My spath didn’t change accents but he just turned into whomever he needed to be. An Army general, whatever. lies lies.

I told him once he was a compulsive liar and he got FURIOUS, spent hundreds of dollars trying to prove me wrong. Yet I called him a sociopath too, and he never reacted. No sense.

Near

Candy – That is pretty scary. College seems to be a hungting ground for sociopaths. I guess it’s because everyone is so optimistic and naive at this point in their lives, so it makes a perfect target. I feel like I already have some kind of advantage over some victims. Many my age don’t even KNOW about sociopaths, let alone know how to stop them.

Ox Drover – Sweet, an educated and undertsanding group that accepts people. Still, I expected to see trolls lurking about trying to claim to be sociopaths and such.

Aw, I’m sorry about your son. I saw some old posts here and I know bits of the story. It’s sad stuff. My dad hasn’t killed, but most don’t. He mostly lies, owes child support, uses people and women, drinks and abuses drugs, and hangs around with a bad crowd. Stuff like that, but not as horrible as your story. Yikes. 🙁

I see my dad as the whore in church, btw. <____> ^__^

Ox Drover

Dear Near,

Learning about how people manipulate and use others is a good thing for anyone to learn at any age….and it is a must if you are going to protect yourself.

You said your dad is a daily part of your life now (?) but he didn’t raise you, well…just stay as far away from him as you can and dont’ believe a word he says.

Most sociopaths don’t kill-, you’re right–but they sure do ruin lives and tear up emotions.

There are a few trolls come by here from time to time, but they usually start to stick out like the “whore in church” before long and then we ignore them until they go away in boredom. No big deal. They are not important or a real danger here because we don’t let them become a danger. What can they do? call us names? Then they get banned, they come back with a new IP address and get banned again…not a big deal.

Near

Superkid10 – I love the fact you called him out. My dad tells people he is a WAR HERO! He never once went to war. He also, to this day, says he has NEVER told a lie. He prides himself on being an honest, hard-working man. :/

Ox Drover – My dad is still a part of my daily life. He asked me this morning for $200 because he needs to pay court costs. He doesn’t have the money because he spent it in a bar this week because he was depressed. I didn’t give him the money. I NEVER listen to him, but thank you for the tip. I was actually the first one in the family to notice his behavior as sociopathic, I just didn’t have a name for it or cause(still don’t have a cause) but oh well, nobody listsns, except mom. ^__^

This place is pretty active, and new blogs seem to be posted a few times a week. Yay! Sorry if I vent, though. It just spills out once I get going. 🙁

OneBeliever

My sociopath is raising a minimum of two other sociapaths from two different mothers. His oldest child, his son who is now 14, insisted on wearing a Michael Meyers mask just about every where when I firs started living with him and his three children. He would wear it to scare his sisters and me all over the house. At one point he frightened one of the neighbors in her car when he wore the mask around the neigborhood at night. The son also most likely stole my purse when I took him to baseball practice one day.
The son also did something strange to my 12-year-old Labrador who would up and leave the room – any room – whenever he walked in to it.
His youngest child, a daughter who is now 9, constantly lied and manipulated to get her way. She slept in the same bed as her mother and father from the time she was born until they were divorced when she was seven-years-old. Then she slept with her father because she was ‘scared.’ When I moved in, she thought I was taking her spot in the bed.
This man has two children with a woman he never married and cheated on when she was pregnant with an infant in her arms. She tried to sue him to get him out of their lives, but failed to block his parental rights. The mother went on to become one of the best child and family lawyers in my city.
He then went out and found a woman with a child a year older than his two babies. He married her and had a third child.
Now they have four children together. And at one point the two oldest children’s mother accused the new mom’s oldest daughter of sexually molesting her daughter with a plastic horse. I heard there were lawsuits and all kinds of legal accusations.
By the way, this spath was abandoned by his birth mother when he was a child. His father, a drug dealer on the beaches of California when this spath was a small boy, fought for his custody and moved him away from his mother’s parents who had been raising him. He was raised by the dad who was married at least three times before he finally got sober and settled down with his current wife of 20 years.
When my spath’s third child – the youngest – was six, he met me. He told me his marriage was open and his wife was gay. At one point he told me he wanted his wife and I to meet one day so we could all have a threesome together. I was so totally not into that. Then he told me he decided against it and he was divorcing her because she slept with a couple without his permission while he was on a business trip. He always told me she knew about me and that he had her blessing. (I know how strange that sounds now.)
He portrayed himself as the cuckholded husband. Hurt by her.
After he divorced and we moved into his house because the ex-wife couldn’t afford it, I discovered the whole place was filled with unfinished paint jobs and projects. I found 60 cans of paint.
The house had a lien on it from the trash company because he had let a $37 payment lapse. The first day I lived there the water was shut off because a $400 payment was due. (That’s about three months of water bills where I live.) That day when we were trying to get the water back on he told me he was on the phone with the water company for an hour when he called me and asked me to pay the bill and he would pay me back. I rang straight through to a rep when I called and paid the bill.
I found out through completely random friends that cheated on me when he was away on a business trip. When confronted he told me it was an emotional affair. I believed his daily lie that he didn’t sleep with this girl every day for three months.
I still can’t believe I believed him.
I spent about $2,500 per month on groceries and household incidentals the whole time we lived together.
The great irony of this entire situation is that I pegged him as someone who strays from the minute I met him. And I even told him that straight to his face because I met him as he was starting a new job that I was familiar with.
I told him straight up: “You’re biggest challenge will be maintaining integrity and a good reputation in this new job.”
He does the international public relations for one of our country’s top destinations. He travels all over the world representing our fabulous city on a fat budget.
I feel blessed it wasn’t worse, but wish I would have trusted my gut from the beginning.
This monster was just so darned believable. I just pray for his children because I think it is genetic.

Ox Drover

Dear Near,

I am assuming that you live with him or he lives with you….I think ultimately you will find living with him gets on your nerves and you will want to move on/away from that situation as quickly as you can.

Yea, “war hero” Yea, right! PUKE!! Truthful!!!! Yea, PUKE again! Trying to have a calm and peaceful life living around/with/near them is sort of like pissing against the wind, it’s gonna get you covered with spray from their slime. I’ve tried that and I think I will take a pass on even breathing the same air in the same room with them, it makes me sick. LOL

Ox Drover

Dear Onebeliever,

Welcome to lovefraud. Sorry you got sucked in by this guy, but anytime someone’s words and actions don’t “jive” then you can bet there is “something wrong”—and it’s not your hearing!

Knowledge is power, so learn all you can about how they behave because you will run up against others…so you will be able to spot the red flags next time.

In the meantime, don’t beat yourself up too badly, we all fell for their lines…but we are healing now and so will you. Again, welcome.

candy

One believer – welcome. So many red flags in your post. HE is the LIE. Read as much as you can on here ( I read for months!) It will help you to make sense of him. No matter how much love you give him (have given him) he will NOT change.
The people here are brilliant and will help you through this:)

Near

Ox Drover – I don’t live with him, just contacted and visited by him all the time. He just shows up most of the time, without calling or warning. I live with my mom, though. We made a HORRIBLE mistake of letting him live with us for a year once he came back into our lives. He was good for little bit, and then degenerated back to his normal behavior. Really stuff you have probably heard a million times.

He called just a little while ago. He was gambling in a bar. 🙁 He gathered the money he needed from somebody. I was just the first on the list this morning, it seems. He wants to see me tommorrow and go out to eat with my mom and I.

Everybody believes his war hero stuff. Everybody! They believe almost all of his lies, and when he is found out, he plays a sympathy card and gets a free pass. He mostly uses my condition and my brother’s death to manipulate his way out of trouble. 🙁

That was a funny example, the piss in the wind. My username is actually symbolic. I stay NEAR, but actually couldn’t be farther away emotionally from him, but I am near in the sense of knowing what he is.

Anyway, Did anybody believe you, Ox Drover? When it first happened? Did they finally figure it out? My father has been to prison before and everybody still thinks he is great.

Onebeliever – Hmm, that’s awful stuff, but I expect children to suffer from being raised by a sociopath. Most girls in homes like that seem to sleep in their parents beds for a long time. I feel sorry for the children, though. They have faulty genes(Like me possibly) AND enviroment against them(unlike me). I’m just happy my mom was allowed to raise me. ^_^

Ox Drover

Dear Near,

I don’t know how to tell you to get him out of your life, he is like a tick stuck to a dog’s ear, as long as he can feed off you he will stay hung on…either for money or for attention.

I’m glad that your mother believes you at least. No, most people did not believe me about either my P-sperm donor or my P-son, but I found finally, that IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT OTHERS THINK, I can VALIDATE MYSELF and I don’t have to take a VOTE on what is right or wrong.

Back when Columbus thought the world was round and everyone else thought it was flat, the VOTE didn’t change the shape of the earth!

II suggest that you just don’t take his calls, and if he comes over, “I’m busy, sorry” and shut the door.

I’m not sure what your brother dying or what your “condition” has to do with him abusing you…I used to allow others a “pass” for bad behavior, but NO MORE–even if they get upset with me because I say “I will not let you treat me like that” that is TOO BAD. I have a right to associate with whom every I wish and the right to NOT associate with someone if I don’t want to. No matter if they gave birth to me, or I gave birth to them. Being related to someone by blood doesn’t give someone a right to abuse me or even be in my life.

There is some genetics involved in psychopathy I think has been pretty well proven, but even psychopaths have CHOICES in how they behave, they know right from wrong, but just don’t care.

There are lots of great articles in the archives here, go back through the different subjects and the different authors and read and read I think it will answer some of your questions about how they think and behave and the “causes.” Educating yourself about that will help you not only cope but will help you heal. I’m glad that your mom got to raise you too, just sorry that he’s back in your life. You have a choice though, don’t ever think you don’t have a choice just because you let him come over in the past…you don’t have to continue to, no matter WHAT others think.

CAmom

Superkid,
I wish I could say I’m recovered or even far along on the path to healing. I’m not. I’m getting better though, and what’s helping is accepting the fact he had a personality disorder and that he was a sadist—an emotional, mental, physical and sexual sadist. And accepting he knew right from wrong and chose wrong 99.9% of the time, had no conscience 99.9% of the time.

For a long time I’d looked at healing as being able to reconstruct and reclaim the life I had before I met him, the me I was prior to September 18, 1997. That was my standard, my benchmark, my goal–if I could just get back what he’d taken (and what I gave up, not letting myself off the hook for my self-defeating complicity in this nightmare–my willingness to collude in my own destruction, though I didn’t see it at the time). I wanted the old me back and was unable to make that happen. The old me was elusive, I had a hard time even remembering who I was before 9/18/97.

Then I realized that I would never be the old me, I’d never reclaim the lost years or lost self. I needed to begin from square one, or almost square one. The me prior to meeting him provided clues, what did I used to like to do? Who were my friends, who was I a friend to? What kind of music had I liked, what kind of movies, books, foods had I enjoyed? What social justice issues did I care about? Where did I like to travel? This sounds extreme, but all of that was surrendered in my marriage and relationship with him post-divorce. The ex initially claimed to ‘love, value and support’ who I was, but slowly and methodically began to tear all of that to shreds. All of me to shreds. He’d say I needed to create a ‘new identity’–to let go of any and all ‘attachments.’ Besides being a psychologist he claimed he was a mystic in the tradition of St Teresa de Avila and St John of the Cross. And that he was a “Kabbalah-Buddhist” as well as ‘an intuitive.’ He made it clear that everything about me was not good enough, that I needed to get rid of who I was, to be erased and start over, in his likeness, to his specifications.

I spent a few hours today (again) writing down what I used to like, how I used to spend my time. I’m discovering much of what I used to do sounds appealing. But the books and music I enjoyed before 9/18/97 are long gone. Thrown away by the spath ‘for my own good.’ I go to Youtube and listen to music, for example, to see if I still like what I used to like. I go on Amazon and look at the books I remember I liked to read and re-read. When I met him I was reading a lot of Garcia Lorca, and want to begin again. I had a library of over 2,000 books, when I left the spath I had about 25 books…many of which he’d given me, most of those written by Ken Wilbur or Sam Keen or Roberto Assagioli. The only ones I kept were Peck’s People of the Lie and one book by Assagioli.

Same with my clothing. Gone. It’s not that he wanted to spend money on buying me new clothes, he didn’t spend anything on that. He just thought I needed to get rid of my clothes as they were another ‘attachment.’ So I did. (also got rid of furniture, belongings, everything I’d ever written, partially completed manuscripts, original copies of things I’d published, artwork, etc etc) The money: I came into the relationship with quite a bit of money. I earned money throughout the marriage, even after I got very sick. I free-lanced while bed ridden for 7 months in the acute stage of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…my health broke a year into the marriage and while I recovered from the acute stage, it did indeed become chronic, have a dual diagnosis of CFS and fibromyalgia. Interstitial cystitis was added a year later. I gave him every cent I had and earned. I had no access to money, to ‘his’ checking account, even though my name was on the account. I had no checkbook and no ATM card. Everything I needed he bought if he decided I needed it. That meant two things, medicine and a small amount of food–food he chose for me.

I think the Spath recovery is going to take some time, and longer now following his suicide last September—I hesitate to say PTSD but after looking at the criteria it does fit. Nightmares, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, all compounded by the constant threat of his violence as well as the acts of violence he did in fact commit. Maybe the hardest struggle will be to regain some self-esteem, some feeling that I have worth. I have to look at why and how I went from single and self-supporting (for 21 years) and traveling alone overseas a great deal to being trapped and isolated by a controlling sociopath. And to forgive myself for that, forgive myself for participating in my own destruction. I wanted to believe he was who he initially presented himself to be, which was far, far different than who and what he was.

Another thing that helps is realizing he lied about *everything.* One way to make sense of who he was is to take anything he said and turn it upside down, that is much closer to the truth, and in most cases spot on. Example: he said he ‘couldn’t understand seduction, would never seduce anyone.’ I found that seduction of women was one of his favorite things to do. He liked to make people do what they didn’t want to do…and had contempt for them when they did. He hated women, really hated them. He said he couldn’t understand sadism, couldn’t understand why anyone would take pleasure in causing suffering. Again, one of his favorite things, something he did over and over and over. Stated men were his preferred sexual partners but he didn’t like men’s bodies. (“No soft curves”) Then described his ideal man…or rather young boy, and it was all about the body and no “soft curves”. Said he loved animals, yet killed a kitten, broke it’s back by stepping on it as it “didn’t learn to get out of my way and I was tired of going around it.” This is hellish stuff. A friend describes that time, my time living with him, sick and trapped and subjected to hours and hours of rages and lectures and more, as being in the “jaws of despair.” Getting out took a strength I almost didn’t have. I was hanging on to sanity by a thin and fragile thread.

I was wife #4, wife #1 had a breakdown when he finished with her and moved in with her parents, she’s apparently ok now. Wife #2 was a psychiatrist, an MD, she had a breakdown and volunteers as a candy striper now, moved in with her parents and still lives there 20 years later. Wife #3 was a LCSW, she was in therapy for years post-spath. I’m on my own and still struggling. I don’t trust therapists any longer but need to talk to someone, am thinking maybe a priest or rabbi, someone to explore the nature of evil with, a different perspective on sociopaths. Just this week I’ve thought maybe a female therapist would be ok, but need a referral from someone who knows a female therapist in my area, and not someone who knew him, hopefully someone who has never heard of him. Lovefraud is a lifeline for me, reading the articles and comments helps a great deal.

LL–thank you for the kind words. I know what it’s like to have your spiritual integrity assaulted. It sounds as if he wasn’t able to destroy your faith, he couldn’t take that from you. Hang in there, LL, you’ll make it through this. You’re strong and smart, you have the life experiences needed to pull through this painful stage and get to the other side. ((hugs))

Near

Ox Drover – Yes, this place has many great topics. I mostly read Steve’s articles, but have seen some others. There is so much to read, though. I’ve got some catching up to do. 😀

I know sociopaths have choices, and I know my dad makes those choices, but the cold shoulder is so hard. It was actually easier when I was younger to ignore him, because he lived so far way. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you. Ignoring your child has to be one of the hardest things to do, and I’m not even a mother. ^_^

My condition and my brother’s death are pawns to him, pretty much. He uses it to get free things, avoid tickets and poilce, abuse courts, get pills, and pretty much make people feel sorry for him in general.

That tick example is the best. A parasite! Just like today, he needed money and yet wants to take us out tommorrow. Either he is lying or he plans on not paying. 😛 He isn’t even costing us money really, he just owes us money and is more of an emotional drain.

Ox Drover

Dear Near,

Somehow you seem to have been hooked into feeling sorry for him, and “being hard to give him the cold shoulder”—think about WHAT “obligates” you. What FOG are you in? The fog is FEAR, Obligation and GUILT. As long as we are hooked into one or all of those thins we let them continue to use us.

I am assuming your “condition” is some kind of disability that he uses to get sympathy. Since he did not take care of you when you were younger and doesn’t take care of you now…how does he use that to get sympathy? Especially from YOU?

YOU have choices too. You can choose to associate with someone you think is a psychopath who has neglected you as a child, and is trying to con you now—so you get what out of associating with him? Relief from guilt? Or relief from feeling obligated? Obligated why? Just some things for you to maybe think about. It is also YOUR choice to associate with him or not. One that you can freely make. Good luck. Keep on reading. I don’t think you would have kept on reading here if his presence in your life didn’t cause you some distress or discomfort. You don’t have to allow that though.

Ox Drover

Dear CA mom (((Hugs))) and my blessings and prayers for your recovery.

skylar

CAmom,
I know that many of our spaths sound alike but for some reason, yours sounds so much closer to mine than others. It isn’t that mine was a psychologist like yours, because mine is many things, pilot, welder, engineer, musician etc… but these are all things he taught himself to do since he was a failure at school.

The things about your spath that remind me so much of mine is the utter evil. The behavior in full knowledge of being evil and of being a sadist. And the 180 degree statements contrary to the truth of what he was, because he knew that what he was was so gruesome that if you ever glimpsed it, you would have run screaming. My spath arranged accidents to kill people who believed he was their best friend. He is a Judas. His favorite sexual prey are children. He lamented to a friend of his that getting older was a bummer because he could no longer seduce children as easily.

I don’t know if you saw my post a few weeks ago, in which I posted a letter I found in his old bible. In 1985 he had been sick and he had written God a letter in desperation and fear. In it he admitted that he had enticed others to do evil. This was his raison d’etre, to take others to hell with him. It was clear to me at the end.

Your story about losing who you were is also similar to mine. I was 17 so I never developed my life like you had, but the next 25 years were devoted to making myself into what he wanted. I gave up the job, the clothes, the education. All to go live in a cabin, isolated and do his bidding. All my money – over $120,000, is gone and I’m deep in debt.

Still, I think that I was able to maintain the core of who I am because I had learned to hide this core from my parents – in order to protect it. So instinctively, I also hid it from him. I knew better than to let him in all the way. He tried, really hard and he was always surprised when I allowed him to peak in at something about me that I hadn’t told him. He was suprised because he always believed he knew me completely. Not so, nobody does.

CAmom, I’m getting out and meeting people and I feel like a teenager again in some ways. People are very warm and friendly toward me, I had forgotten what that was like – spath told me that people were dangerous and would always bring trouble into your life (projecting) so I wasn’t supposed to make friends. Those friendships I did make, he sabotaged by going behind my back and slandering me or just by destroying my friend in some way.

You said that you were ill with CFS/FMS. I had the same thing but was able to cope with huge doses of magnesium supplements. As soon as I left him, I began to feel better and now the 20 years of symptoms are gone. Within a week of leaving him I found out he had been poisoning me with strychnine and botulism toxin. Both of which cause the muscle aches that Fibromyalgia is known for. You said your spath was buying your food and bringing to you. Do you think he may have been poisoning you?

Like you, of all the things that I craved more than anything when I left him, was the opportunity to talk to someone about the nature of evil. There is no one. I went to 3 priests, one told me that people were not evil, because we are all children of God. He blamed me for the troubled relationshit. The second priest, got up and ran away from his office, exclaiming, “I’m just a poor parish priest!”
The last one said, “I’ll refer you to our counseling services.” and shook my hand.

The catholic church sucks in so many ways….and the counseling services were about as bad as it gets.

Next week I’m going in for hypnotherapy since I don’t feel like I’m making any progress on my own. I will let you know the results.

CAmom, if you ever want to talk you can ask Donna for my email address. I lived with pure evil for 25 years, so I do know what you mean.

Near

Ox Drover- I suppose I do feel guilty. I can’t believe people actually still help him and yet I keep attached too. I don’t even have many fond memories of him or anything. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. What do you do if the rest of the family still hangs around him? He’ll always be in that doorway, since they love him(and dislike mom, go figure) so much. They even all tell me I’m brainwashed, by my mom, of course. I’d have to get rid of them all?

I’m in a wheelchair now and he uses that to get sympathy from others. Not me. He uses other methods on me, like his failed relationships(also with shady girls, as they now stalk OUR house) and friendships.

Well, let’s look on the bright side. The fact I feel this way means I haven’t become like him yet. Guilt and fear certainly don’t feel like gifts we should get for the holidays, but they are. Hehe, I read that on here! Back to the topic index! ^_^

geminigirl

Near, and Candy,
I totally get what you say about me outing my spath daughter as being a hollow victory,-such it is proving to be.
I have NEVER done anything like this to her before, and Im sure wont again.Its not pleasant to realise the sort of person you have given birth to, despite all of your love support, many kindnesses, being a good Mum,etc.
I just FINALLY HAD IT, after reading all her lies in the articles! Im NOT sorry I outed her, and she got sacked, =frankly I dont think my comments a lone would have caused her boss to fire her. It was prob ably the last straw with him.In a way its “Tough Love,” bringing her to the truth.Im sure she will hate me like poison now and 30 plus years of care, bale outs, love and concern will go for nothing.
I will now totallyBUTT OUT of the whole thing, wont contact her husband,never see the kids anyway.
Life and karma will take care of her, with or without my help!But thanks for your timely warning, you were 100 per cent right.
Love,
GemX

Ox Drover

Dear Near,

I’m sorry that they believe bad things about your mom…how does she cope? Does she allow him into her life? emotionally?

Actually I did let go of ALL the people in my life that supported my psychopathic sperm donor, my egg donor, and my P son so I have only one son as “family” left that I am close to or that I trust. Family was small to begin with, but smaller still now…but still I do NOT regret getting the toxic people out of my life.

I worked in spinal cord rehab for some years so I am somewhat familiar with the challenges being in a wheel chair presents…up to and including quads requiring total care.

You have nothing to feel guilty about for wanting your sperm donor (I dont’ think he earned the title “father” did he?) out of your life. What has he done for you except try to take money to gamble with and keep DRAMA stirred up in your life? But YOU are the one who must decide who you want in your life and how you will allow them to treat you.

There are a lot of great articles here to read and KNOWLEDGE IS POWER…we empower ourselves by learning. Sounds like your mind is still 100% okay even if you must use a WC…and that is WHO you are. I’m not in a WC but I am getting older and many of the things I’d like to do are now difficult or impossible for me to do…but I am determined to be the best I can be and to be happy, peaceful and not allow others to make the decisions for me. My truth is my truth. Your truth must be yours. If you think your father is a psychopath and he treats you poorly, you must decide whether or not you allow that to continue. You don’t owe anyone anything if they treat you poorly.

It took me decades to learn that and to become strong enough to realize I am not responsible for other people’s behaviors, they are. (((hugs))) and God bless.

Near

Ox Drover- She WAS drinking at one time(he still is) and she entered therapy. She’s sober now and therapy has been great for her. My dad said he would attend therapy, but he never does. She does allow him into our life, and my uncle works with him and she is close with my uncle. Like I said, a festering web!

Wow, deleting the toxic people in my family would eliminate almost everyone. Depression on my mother’s side of the family and drug abuse and alcoholics on my dad’s side. Irony! I have to become cold in order to eliminate the cold people. 🙁

I’m recovering from my 3rd spinal fusion and have been in a wheelchair since I was almost 5. It’s odd that I have found you. You have experience with all my major issues so far. Great stuff, you’ll have more clarity to see what I mean.

My mom always calls him a sperm donor. 😀 She always mentions his drama too. Mom?! Is that you!? I think I keep him around because deep down I wanted the normal father experience. That I’m HOPING he’ll change. I know he won’t, but I always question myself. What if it’s depression? What if it’s the drinks and drugs? I always do this. None of those explain him, though.

Ugh, it is true I don’t need his drama when I start college, but sometimes we are fine together, but only for a day, and then the rest of the week is DRAMA. I don’t know what I should do.

I saw that one of the authors here is raising an at risk child, and I bet many of you are too. How did that go? Any signs that popped up despite good parenting? Now I’m paranoid. 😛

Hugs! *hugs* Yeah!^_^

geminigirl

BTW this was my ONE and ONLY act of pay back,{well, revenge if you like!} for ALL of the dreadful things she has ever done to me,-and I do mean DONE!!
Like destroying my Art Studio and painting over some of my best oil Paintings. For wrecking my house after a wild party. For wrecking and trashing my tiny flat where Id fled to after leaving my ex. For practically starving my cat to death, and killing my Goldfish. For conning me out of my last $400- when it turned out she didnt even need it,-shed juts had a huge Super.Payment paid into her bank account.
For totally banning me from her Wedding in 1994, but inviting my ex, and my present husband.For crying to me that shed no clothes or undies, ,me borrowing several thousand from my bank, then going on a skiiing Holiday with the money. For throwing a red hot steam iron at my head,{luckily it missed and hit the door jamb, a hands breadth from my right temple}.For hitting me in the face with a belt buckle, and beating me on the legs with a bamboo pole, leaving purple welts.For mocking and emotionally abusing my nice kind husband.For all this and much more, I never ever retaliated. Now I have ,ONCE, Ive exposed her sodding lies, and thats it,! ONE AND DONE!!.All over Red rover.I sincerely hope never to have to meet her again in this life, she has torn my heart from my chest, and trampled on it.I LOATHE her, I used to love her more than my life.
LOve,
Mama GemXX

CAmom

Skylar,
I do remember your post about finding the letter in the Bible, I was thinking about it yesterday in fact. It puzzled me at the time, and sort of piggy-backed onto something I recently found out about my spath ex. One of his former therapy clients said he’d once apologized to her for the damage he’d caused. That’s the only apology I’ve ever known him to offer anyone and brings up the question, was it real? Did he feel some regret at that moment? He continued to abuse her, but maybe, just maybe, he had a brief realization that what he had done was so horrible it bothered him. If so, then he had at least a minimally functional conscience. Same with your ex, did he have a moment of regret? Some insight into his nature that caused him real anguish?

My ex spath told me one of his (many) sexual fantasies. This one involved taking a young girl, he said about 10-11-12, a virgin, and initiating her into sex by getting her “very turned on” and “trembling” then walking away and leaving her lying on a bed. He was all about corruption of innocence…other more involved fantasies were about boys of the same age, 11-12, pre-puberty, but more detailed, told with much more enthusiasm and animation. He was proud of his ability to find child porn on the internet and said he looked at it quite a bit, felt it was his right to view whatever he wanted to. (he said Homeland Security paid him a visit once, hooked up some forensic thing to his computer as they’d “been watching him for over 2 years”–I asked if he was afraid he had some images stored and he said yes, but not too worried as he’d just bought a new computer. They found nothing. It’s a weird story)

I doubt the spath killed anyone but if I ever found out he had, I would not be surprised. The latest revelations from his former patient made me realize, finally, that nothing was off-limits for him. I don’t think he was poisoning me. He bought food from the store, I prepared my own meals, but the thought occured to me even then that he could put something in the open container of orange juice. And I know that sounds super-paranoid…The CFS and fibro are getting a little better as it becomes more real that he’s truly dead. I don’t have a panic reaction nearly as much when I hear a car drive up or hear something outside, so hope that will translate into less anxiety and hopefully less pain and less stress on my immune system.

Skylar, the exploration of evil seems to fit with religious thought, which is why I’d hoped to speak with a priest and/or rabbi or other clergy. It’s discouraging to hear your experiences with priests and I have a feeling that may be my experience also. I don’t know how a rabbi would respond but will look into it. The spath and I used to attend synagogue once in a while but not enough so the rabbi would remember him (which is a good thing). I’ve found no one to really talk to about evil. Therapists usually speak in terms of personality disorders, very, very helpful, but talking about evil isn’t something most people, in my experience, are too comfortable with. I will ask Donna for your email, and you can ask her for mine as well.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

.

Ox Drover

Dear Near,

When you are dependent (or feel dependent) on others for your mobility, and for other activities of daily living (ADLs) overcoming those basic NEEDS (not just wants) by telling off the very people you are dependent on to some extent is more difficult. That is why children are TRAPPED in a relationship with an abusive parent.

Plus you add in the fact that we ALL want a LOVING PARENT and we want that parent to approve of us…I’m 64 years old and I wish I had that…I never did from my egg donor, but my step father was a good man and he loved me. I’ve have come to appreciate him more and more in the last few years though he is deceased now.

When your entire extended family is supportive of a person who is abusive (if they are a full blown psychopath or not) it is difficult to validate your own opinions of them.

You are at an age too where you are working on emotional independence from your mom as well as your father. Learning, reading, growing, and making your own decisions is difficult in adolescence (and even though you are 20 you are still in that stage where you are working on your own independence) Keep on reading, learning, and growing. Good luck in college as well.

A friend of mine who was 15 when I met him (as a patient) is 40 now and though he is a totally dependent person physically (quad) he is married, lives independently, is a computer programmer with a college degree and has a LIFE that just about anyone would be proud to have.

I’m glad that your mom does not drink any more. Your sperm donor’s decisions not to go to therapy are HIS problems, not yours. He makes his own choices to do things that are TOXIC. You are smart and you can learn to make better choices. Keep on reading here, there are over 700 articles here on not only dealing with psychopaths but in how to grow and be better and happier people, set boundaries and enforce them. God bless. You can do whatever you set out to do!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

gem – i think what you did was a part of the process of healing. and your heart will help you move through the complexity of what revenge means to you and touch your soul.

hens

mamagem – you dont have to justify how and why you feel the way you do to me..just remain no contact with all of them and SIMMER ~!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

gem – it’s like when you were angry and couldn’t own it…own what you did to her. there is wisdom in owning the things we do. xx

Near

Gem- I’m sorry she did all that, and my comment was just a warning. I didn’t mean to imply you were abusive or anything. I know it was just a one time thing. I think somebody needs a hug! (Darn Ox Drover for starting a hug chain) ^_^

Ox Drover- That’s an amazing story. I don’t think I could make it as a quad. My soul is weaker than his, it seems. Things like this remind me to be thankful I’m only a para and still have a mind.

You are right when you say they are his choices. I found out he broke a mirror off his van by drinking and driving. 🙁 I AM too worried about his choices. He is about to self- destruct, I think.

You guys need to make a section of the site with balloons or something. To cheer people up after reading. 😛

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