lf2

LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: My adopted daughter became her biological mother

Editor’s Note: Lovefraud recently received the following letter from a reader who posts as “Hannah4.” Donna Andersen will offer comments at the end of her story.

V and B join our family

I retired from teaching two years ago. I have been married for 38 years to the same man and gave birth to two sons who are now grown. Sixteen years ago, my husband and I became guardians of two girls who are biological sisters (who attended the school where I taught). One of the sisters, V, joined our family when she was nine years old. One year later, her younger sister, B, who had just turned nine, also joined our family. At the time, I taught in a private Christian school where the philosophy was “it takes a village to raise a child.”

Parents in jail, children with grandparents

V and B were two of six children living with their maternal grandparents. Both of their biological parents were in jail and Grandma was having a particularly difficult time with V. V was failing in school and constantly fighting with her family. My oldest son had just left home to attend college, so his room was empty.

My husband and I were asked by G, the parish secretary, and pastor to take V into our home Monday through Friday to give her emotional, academic, spiritual and physical support. She was failing in school and my goal was to nurture her to help her become more academically and socially successful, as well as to help her learn to deal with her emotions in an appropriate manner. We did this for several weeks, and then V started to refuse to return to her Grandparents’ home and they did not want her back. I could not understand why her Grandmother never asked for my phone number, where I lived, if I had a bed and room for her grandaughter. It was just, “take her.” The school secretary, a dear friend of mine, G, had spoken to the Grandma and told her about me, so in Grandma’s defense, she probably trusted G’s instincts.

The moment I met V, life changed

I had met V early in the school year, when after school one day, several of my former students came to me and said there was a new student who had just started and she really needed my help. I had no idea what they meant, but the minute I laid eyes on her my life changed forever. The day I met V, my former students brought her in to introduce her. My former students had changed from their uniforms into cute, stylish outfits for the after school program. V was such a contrast to the other students. V and her siblings all had very short haircuts because their grandparents’ home was loaded with lice. They were sent home every Monday and the grandparents were reminded to de-louse everything. They returned on Tuesday still loaded with lice. One by one, the school nurse and the parish secretary would wash their hair and return them to their classrooms. So here stood V, before me with her short lice filled hair, wearing an old stained man’s t shirt and an old pair of ill-fitting shorts with dirty gym shoes. She looked down at the floor. Right there she had me. My heart ached for this child.

In retrospect, through V and all of the children I ever taught, I was trying to heal my inner child. I always thought the pain I’d known as an abused child made me stronger as an adult and gave me insight and empathy to children who were suffering.

V consumed my life

From the moment V entered our lives, she consumed my life. I used to play the piano, volunteer at the hospital and at Church, keep a journal, etc. Everything came to a screeching halt, as V demanded every waking moment of my attention. She called me “Mommy” but she refused to acknowledge my husband. She liked the attention my sons gave her, but within a few months, my younger son went off to college and V begged for her younger biological sister, B, to join our family. B was a much gentler little girl than V, so my husband and I thought B might have a comforting effect on V and B joined our family.

Looking back, there were so many red flags. I had both girls evaluated by the state Child Psychologist at Child protective Services. I was not allowed to see the evaluation, because I had no legal right to that information. (Ridiculous, I know, but technically I was not a blood relative and did not have legal custody, although I was their “mother” in every way imaginable). However, the State Psychologist called me. He said he NEVER called parents, because he was so swamped with work, but he wanted to tell me that he had never seen a child more neglected than V and that I had done such an incredible job with her. I wish I would have recorded our conversation to remember his exact words, but he said something like, “You are her only lifeline.” When I got off the phone with him I felt as though her success in life depended on my commitment to her.

Dealing with lice

I hate to admit it, but the lice got to me. V went back to Grandma’s on Friday nights and she’d start calling me about 5:00 p.m. begging me to come and get her. I could hear Grandma screaming in the background and 9 times out of 10 I would go and get her. I think she only went back on the weekends for about a month, although my husband says he thinks it was a little longer. The hassle of spending three hours on Sunday nights combing through every inch of her hair while she watched television, was draining. Lice shampoo is not meant to be used weekly on a child, so physically pulling each egg off of each hair was the only way to rid her of them. It was just easier to let her live with us 24/7 and visit Grandma once in a while. V loved the arrangement and Grandma and Grandpa seemed content with it too. My husband and I carried all financial responsibility for both girls and never asked the Grandparents for anything and they never volunteered to help in any way.

At this time, I thought of our arrangement as temporary, until the girls’ parents were released from prison. At the time, their bio Dad was in prison for murder and I honestly don’t remember what bio Mom was in for at that time, as she has been in jail so many times since. Bio Mom is currently incarcerated for murder.

Over time I became concerned about what would happen with the girls when the parents were released from prison. I knew that both bio parents used drugs and the girls had never lived with either parent. They had always been with their grandparents. A mother of three adopted children at the school where I taught, recommended that my husband and I become foster parents so that we could get Child Protective Services involved, forcing the bio parents to at least go through drug rehab before getting the girls. My husband and I went through the classes and became licensed foster parents to the girls.

Biological parents out of prison — for now

Their bio Dad was released from prison first. I learned through G that he had no interest in taking the girls. Both V and B separately went to visit him overnight and each said they did not want to go back again, and they did not. When bio Mom got out of jail, she told me that she could see the girls were happy and she could barely take care of herself, so I need not worry about her wanting custody of them.

However, because the state was involved, all of the six children (children of V and B’s bio mom) were required to attend counseling together with bio Mom for one year while Mom went through drug rehab. When I would ask how things were going, V and B said they didn’t talk to the counselor; they babysat the younger siblings while Mom talked to the counselor. Mom made no effort to meet with the girls to develop a relationship with them outside of the counseling sessions. Mom, did however, apply for and was granted custody of two of the younger children who received social security benefits from their bio dad who had since died, (V and B’s half sister and half brother). That lasted about a year and then bio Mom went back to jail. Those children went to foster care, as Grandma had died and Grandpa could not take care of them.

That’s the general background of V’s story. Her behavior was very very difficult. I have a master’s degree in early childhood education, and I continued to read everything I could on how to manage her behavior. She lied about everything. Even when there was no need to. She argued for hours at a time. I was so exhausted from her demands I couldn’t think straight.

Through the doggy door

When she was in 7th grade, I got a call from the school principal saying that some of V’s classmates reported she had stolen liquor from our home and drank it with them. She denied it. She started sneaking out at night through our doggy door. One night I went in to kiss her good night again, after I had tucked her in. There was a shape of a body stuffed under her blanket and I almost didn’t go to kiss her, but I did and found no one there. We had an alarm system on, so at first I couldn’t figure out how she’d gotten out and then I realized the only way she could have gotten out without setting off the alarm was through the doggy door. I sat in the dark, staring at the doggy door, terrified at the thought of what I had brought into our home. Soon she crawled back in, surprised at seeing me there. From that point on, it was war.

My husband and I took her to a psychiatrist and a counselor. The psychiatrist said she was ADHD and put her on ritalin. The counselor found her so charming. V refused to allow my husband in to any of her sessions, claiming that as a child she had been sexually molested by her grandfather’s cousin (which I do not doubt), and that she would not talk openly in front of a man. For years I drove her to the psychiatrist, to the counselor, to gymnastics, modeling school, dance classes, basketball and volleyball team games…everything she wanted. (All the things I would have adored to participate in when I was a child). But in the background of our busy schedules she made our lives hell with constant chaos.

V’s plan to ruin our family vacation

When V was a freshman in high school, my husband and I planned a family vacation at Christmastime, at a hotel two hours north of our home. My older son came over Saturday morning and the girls wanted to drive up with him. My husband and I drove in our car right behind my older son’s car. On Sunday morning, my younger son was going to drive up and join us. Driving up to the hotel I looked so forward to a break. My husband worked two full time jobs and I worked a full time job teaching. It would be so nice to have our sons and the girls all together for a beautiful family vacation. In retrospect, the Narcissist, V, could not stand the thought of a boring vacation with the family and had cooked up a horrible plan to throw us all into chaos.

To make a long and painful story short, she had given the house key and alarm code to a friend to have a party while we were gone. In one evening over 500 beer cans were tossed into our home and backyard, coke and/or heroin was burned on my spoons, all of our Christmas tree ornaments were broken, our carpets were drenched in liquor, vomit was all over the bathrooms, our tv, stereos and valuables were stacked by the door Sunday morning, ready to be stolen, when my younger son stopped by the house to make sure everything was okay and discovered three intruders still in the house.

V is out!

We immediately called the police who informed us that they could do nothing because a “family member” had willingly given the intruders our key and alarm code. My older son grabbed both girls from the hotel and drove them to his house where they stayed for one day. He was afraid that my husband would crack under the pressure. My husband called Child Protective Services and had V removed from our home. She never cried. She never admitted any culpability. She had left a signed note on her bed to the girl that she had given the key to telling her where to find the “surprises” (liquor? drugs? who knows) and to “straighten up before she left so my Mom won’t know.” My older son held the note up to her telling her to just admit, for once, the truth. She refused. When the CPS case worker picked her up, my son screamed with frustration because she coldly said she had nothing to do with it. He said he was done with her. My husband agreed. B and I watched V leave with the case worker and drive away. We sobbed and sobbed. V never shed a tear.

V was put into a group home a few miles from our house. I visited her almost every day. I went to counseling with her. I cried. She was rather cold toward me, but I thought she was just trying to be strong, coping with living in a group home environment. When she moved to the group home, CPS transferred her to a different high school. She started to date a boy and later I found out they were having sex. This boy died one year ago. He committed suicide. He was a heroin user, had two children, and his live in girlfriend was extremely physically abusive toward him. He had a tragic codependent personality, perfect for V’s needs at the time. She dumped this boyfriend as soon as she left the group home. He never got over her and kept in touch with her on and off throughout the years.

Group home closes; V is back

After she was in the group home for six months, I got a call one day that Child Protective Services was closing down three group homes run by the same person. One of the homes was V’s group home. They said they were desperate to find a placement for all of these children and would I consider taking her back. I immediately said yes without consulting my family. My husband was, needless to say, very angry. My older son would not forgive her and was frustrated with me. My younger son was disappointed but kept an open mind. B was hopeful, as I was, that she would have changed.

As you can guess, she had only gotten worse. I re-doubled my efforts to save her. We continued to take her to counseling and to the psychiatrist. She enjoyed the attention and had them laughing at her antics. Once the psychiatrist said almost like he was telling a joke, “Well, V, some people see someone stick their hand into the fire and they just know not to do it, but you are one of those people who see someone stick their hand in the fire and you just have to do it to see what it feels like.” She said, “Yep!” with a big smile on her face. I had no faith in the counseling sessions she was getting and had her go to a new counselor. She loved the new counselor, who would look at teen magazines with her during sessions. Everyone felt sorry for her past and no one could help her (or my family) deal with the present.

 “Tough love” didn’t work

She totally controlled our lives. The counselor told us to use “tough love” with her; take away her things when she was disrespectful or refused to follow the rules. She did not care. We had taken everything from her. All she had left in her room was a mattress and pillow on the floor. I bought her a tan skirt and navy blue shirt to wear to school. Each day she would come home in a cute outfit that one of her friends had brought to school. She told us she didn’t want her things back when we told her she could earn them back. She truly did not care and did not earn anything back. It was all about control and she was going to win.

V is 25 with a son

Fast forward to 2014. V is 25 years old and has an adorable 2-1/2 year old son who I will call M. M’s Dad is 27 years old, smokes marijuana daily, works at a minimum wage job, lives with his Mom (who does not work) in her boyfriend’s apartment.  M’s Dad has never paid a cent for M and he sees him on holidays or when his father (paternal grandfather) asks to see him.

V was recently involved in an 18 month relationship with a wonderful man we will call A. He is 27 years old, is from a warm loving family in another state (I have never met them, but he has talked about them and I have seen his Facebook page). A is in the military and after 18 months of having been lied to and financially been broken by V, he has moved on to his next military commitment in another state, alone. 

When A entered the picture, my family and V’s bio siblings had all washed their hands of her. They had completely given up on her because she had taken advantage of them in every way possible. When A came into her life, he replaced me and slowly I was able to begin to see what was happening. She had the same hold on him that she had on me; he was constantly off balance and confused and broke. He was so trusting and naive and she took advantage of him in every way possible. Of course, I didn’t realize this until later because she kept everyone away from him, unless she was standing right next to him for very brief encounters.

Researching V’s behavior

Fortunately for me, in trying to understand V’s behavior, I had read several books about borderline personalities and narcissism, but it wasn’t until I came across Zari Ballard’s WHEN LOVE IS A LIE that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that V was a sociopath. It is interesting that when the Jodi Arias case was aired I had to watch it every day. I could not get over the similarities between her and V, yet V was so much more evil. When I read the 13 characteristics of a Narcissist in Ballard’s book, I was able to check off each one. Now I am into Ballard’s second book dealing with the difficult and painful process of “No Contact” with the N.

When I look back at all my husband and I did for her, the sad part is that it took away from our two sons and B. We put V through technical school which cost a lot of money and she lost her license because she was stealing from several places where she worked. Over the years she has done many illegal things, some which could have landed her in jail for many years. Sadly, she has turned into her biological mother.

V’s boyfriend says good-bye

The night before A left to go to his next tour of duty, he came to say good-bye. We cried for a long time. He still does not realize what he has just been through or what he has been saved from. He has a top secret clearance and she recently had three warrants (two traffic and one criminal for theft). A was warned he would lose his clearance if he didn’t leave her. I am so grateful to him because until he stepped into her life and he became her narcissistic target, I was the target and I could not see the forest through the trees. No psychiatrist, no counselor saw her as she is. My husband, sons and V’s siblings did, but I just couldn’t accept what I considered their “harsh judgment” of her. Once I saw the pattern in her treatment of A, like an alien ripping apart a human for the fun of it, and then checked off those 13 characteristics of a narcissist, I was able to pull my head out of the fog and begin to take control of my life again…16 years later.

Looking back

I went out the other day with a former teacher I used to work with and we chatted about our kids. I told her a little of what I’d been through with V. She said, “No wonder you always looked so sad.” I was shocked. I thought I had been able to hide the horrible pain I was always feeling; obviously not.

The hardest thing I am having to deal with right now is missing M. I was there when he was born and I adore him. I confronted V two months ago about her drug use and so she has kept me from him. I don’t know her phone number and do not know where she is living. I have decided to cut the cord with her (and painfully that means M as well) and go NO CONTACT. I was telling my sister how much I miss M and she said I have to forget about him (easier said than done). She went on to say that she believes V got pregnant just to have one more hook into me because she knows how empathetic I am toward children. I immediately disagreed and said that V is just impulsive and got pregnant without thinking. Having read Ballard’s book now, I am not so sure.

The pain I’m feeling

I made an appointment with a counselor about two weeks ago. I brought Ballard’s book WHEN LOVE IS A LIE with me and another book on narcissism to share some revelations I had had about V. I told the counselor my plan for the future, and suffering in trying to go “No contact.” I had hoped he would give me tools to cope with the horrific pain I am feeling. He said I was doing all the right things and told me to pray. I was so disappointed. I have prayed all of my life. I was praying he’d have some tools to help me get through this lonely and painful time.

Then I started working on the difficult exercises in Ballard’s second book, STOP SPINNING, START BREATHING, which brings me to why I am writing on this blog…I am STILL having cognitive dissonance. In trying to do the activity: (complete the sentences) “Even though I know it wasn’t real, I still miss________________.”

I have plenty to write, but then there is this voice in my head that says, “Who are you to say she is a narcissist? Maybe you just never got her the right help? You are cutting her off and she still needs you. What mother walks away from her child?”

I need help to process these doubts. I believe I need to cut her from my life completely so that I can enjoy my family (including my three other grandchildren), yet I am having trouble coping with the guilt of missing  M and one day maybe having to face V if she returns.

Searching for info on narcissistic daughters

I have not been able to find any articles or books on dealing with narcissistic daughters. It seems everything available is for adult partners. I have been able to learn from these resources, however, as a mother, there is an added layer of guilt that is so difficult to objectively assess.

Do you know of any resources available for parents?

Do you have any advice for me to help me cope with letting go of M?

Donna Andersen replies

Hannah4, I am so sorry for your experience. To answer your questions, Lovefraud has published quite a few articles about dealing with disordered children, which you will find in this category:

For Parents of Sociopaths

The most revealing statement that you made in your entire article is this one:

In retrospect, through V and all of the children I ever taught, I was trying to heal my inner child. I always thought the pain I’d known as an abused child made me stronger as an adult and gave me insight and empathy to children who were suffering.

You don’t describe what you experienced as a child, but I’m sure the bottom line was that you were denied the love you needed and deserved.

As an adult, you drew on your childhood experience to offer empathy and understanding to children in similar situations. V, unfortunately, was unreachable. You offered her limitless unconditional love, and your love was rejected.

I see a direct correlation between the denial of love that you experienced as a child and the denial of love that you experienced with V.

I believe your experience with V isn’t about you being able to help her because you, too, endured pain in your childhood. I believe the purpose is to allow yourself to actually feel the pain of your childhood now, as an adult, when you are strong enough to process it.

The objective is to clear your heart and soul of all the disappointment, betrayal and negative emotion.

You are doing the work. Release the pain all of it. As you do so, the pain will be replaced by peace, and you’ll feel better than ever.

 

 


Comment on this article

25 Comments on "LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: My adopted daughter became her biological mother"

Notify of

I think that many of us who are snared by these people had difficult childhoods, often because of a narcissistic parent of some stripe. Or we had a period in adulthood with one of those and thought we had recovered. Being a kind and thoughtful person who wants to give the joy you were denied can make you a target of those. They look for givers, and especially for those who have learned that they may never get anything in return but still have the fortitude to try. Child sociopaths may be even harder to detect, as we expect children to be selfish and demanding because they are immature. When they continue to be so as adults and you can feel them stripping your life of happiness, it is time to set a boundary/build a moat around your otherwise happy life and hope that when the time comes the rest of their collateral damage (people) that you still care for will approach you. In the meantime, give yourself a purple heart for your combat injury and heal yourself. You are a warrior and a hero for your effort.

Thank you so much for your wise and kind words. I used to work with a teacher who was wonderful and she had experienced pain in her life. She always said, “Watch out for those great white sharks.” I think that is what everyone participating in this blog is doing.

I wish you the best of luck in coping with your experiences as well.

I am so sorry that you and your family endured sociopathic abuse. What you endured is an absolute nightmare and you were doing all the right things trying to help these two children including involving counselors sadly they counselors were clueless about sociopathic abuse. I want you share a few things that I have learned since leaving and divorcing my sociopath husband that might help in your recovery:

1) Sociopaths manipulate everyone they come into contact with…it does not matter if someone came from a healthy family dynamic or not, the sociopath will try their con on everyone. Just look at how many millions of people Hitler conned into following his crazy ideas or Bernie Madoff or Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong. Sociopaths no what to say to con everyone and anyone! This child could not manipulate your husband and that is why she attempted to isolate you from your husband.

2) You are more like to be sucked into a con game of a sociopath if you have had some type of life change such as going off to college, having children go off to college, change in job, a divorce or relationship break up, a move to a new town etc. Why this time? because you are emotional, your thoughts are on the change and learning to adopt to these changes. For you and your husband the change was your oldest son going off to college (empty nest) this is a big change for a parent your guard was down when that person approached you to ask you to take in these to girls. See the Book Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs to learn more about this topic.

3) There is NOTHING you could have done to change this situation or to have change the outcome of these girls lives…genetics for them is to big…sociopaths have a different type brain, their brain is literally wired differently then a normal persons brain.

4) This girl created a addictive behavior in you to drop everything to attend to all of her demands. This is what all sociopaths do! If you look at this girls behavior EXACTLY like a cult leader and you as the follower you can get a better vision of what happened to you. You have to break the addition of thinking about her (which she created in you) just like a person who has issues with drinking and drugs. How do you do this? EMDR therapy with a extremely knowledgable counselor of sociopathic abuse. If you go to Amenclinic.com then click on anxiety/depression it will bring you to a video on EMDR therapy. ONLY have a extremely knowledge counselor in sociopath abuse do this therapy as it is a form of hypnosis.

5) Sociopaths create constant chaos on purpose to throw their victims off. This contents stress wreaks havoc on the bodies adrenal glands. Constant stress such as a toxic abusive relationship like you endured burns out the adrenal glands creating Adrenal fatigue or worse Addison’s disease. Some symptoms of adrenal fatigue are racing mind, ocd, mood swings, cant handle stress, sleep issues, anxiety, depression panic attacks etc etc it’s a long list

Adrenal gland expert Dr Wilson (adrenalfatigue.org/book author) states that 80% of adults will end up with adrenal fatigue some time in their life time if you are under sociopath abuse you will end uup with it. One of the biggest issues of PTSD (which most victims of sociopaths have) is adrenal fatigue. The good news is you can heal your adrenal glands with in 6 months to two years with a good clean diet such as drfuhrman.com (google Dr Fuhrman PBS you tube), vitamin/minerals in large dosages and hormonal imbalance most likely progesterone (you are at the age too that you are in perimenapause and need hormonal replacement too just guessing on your son’s age going off to college) which is a factor with your adrenal glands.

see sites like adrenalfatigue.org take the quiz/read/see symptoms list

drlam.com see his symptoms list/read

mialundin.com see her you tube videos read her book (must read)

google adrenal fatigue

Find a good hormonal specialist and get tested (and your husband your kids too) for cortisol levels, vitamin/mineral deficiency, hormonal imbalance.

To find a hormonal specialist google “compounding pharmacy” with your city name then call them for a list of doctors. This is the missing link to heal from the sociopathic abuse. YOu will see changes in your emotionally and mental well being within days and within weeks you will move back to your old self.

5) FIRE your current counselor who told you to “pray”…he is clueless about sociopath abuse…you might find a good recommendation by calling your local abuse center and prior to going to any new counselor interview them by phone have a list of questions such as what do you know about sociopathic abuse, what types of books have you read on the subject, what do you know about sociopathic mind control and gas lighting abuse etc. Follow your gut when you first meet the counselor if your gut alarm is going off find a new counselor.

6) Talking to someone like Donna Anderson (lovefraud) via phone counseling is a good idea also.

7) other sites that will give you more info on the subject:

psychopathyawareness.wordpress.com, psychopathfree.com, onemomsbattle.com, afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com (all of these have great facebook support sites too)

I would recommend the following books:

Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs by Steven Hassan. His site is freedomofmindresourcecenter.com THis book will give you the mind control and brain washing aspect of what you endured. All sociopaths use mind control, brain washing, gas lighting abuse etc to control their victims so education yourself on what she did to our mind so that you can unravel all the mind control is essential.

Women who love psychopaths by Sandra Brown

The Gas lighting effect by Dr Robin Stern (she has a website under her name)

I am truly sorry this nightmare has happened to you and your family. WIshing you all the best.

Thank you so much. You are the “Google” of “How to heal after life with a sociopath!” I appreciate ALL OF YOUR SUGGESTIONS and will definitely pursue them.

It is apparent from your experience and recommendations that you have been through a lot and I appreciate the time and effort you spent in writing to me.

I am so impressed with the support that is available here. One of the most painful things about living with a sociopath is the isolation from those who would give pertinent advice.

Thank you for taking the time to detail so many wise suggestions.

I just wanted to add the “no contact rule” is the only way to deal with a sociopath. It is not easy to follow the rule at first but reading everything you can get your hands on about sociopath abuse will help you to sort out your mind. every time you think about her read about sociopathic behavior or watch Lovefraud videos posted on the top of this site under the red/gray tab “video”. Then after you read analyze your relationship with this girl and understand how she twisted your mind. This will help you mind sort out your emotions and to move back to your old self. Google “no contact rule narcissist” to learn more on the subject.

Thank you, Jan7. Once again you have given me exactly the advice I needed. You are an Angel!
Thank you.

Your welcome! Yes, there are a lot of “google” items for you lol 🙂

I know it’s hard emotionally right now for you…the shock of finding out about V mindset/manipulation and how it all affected your family negatively, but I can promise you with time you and your family will heal from this painful part of your lives as long as you keep the no contact rule in effect.

Take care,

Hannah4 – You just described family life with raising our sociopath cousin. My husband’s family watched them go through much of it or heard about it long distance. Honestly, the family believed the aunt and uncle to be exaggerating how bad things were. When the sociopath moved to our town and married my husband’s best friend after a one month long distance courtship we got sucked into her chaos as well.

Our sociopath was also adopted. Both biological parents are diagnosed sociopaths who have done time. She was adopted as a special needs toddler. She threw their life with their own biological child into chaos, but the aunt was a nurse and uncle was a minister. They seemed ideally suited to giving the sociopath child a stable life full of love and acceptance. As it turned out, the sociopath nearly broke them both. They have refused to accept that she is a sociopath.

Long story short, we have two suicides, broken marriages, people who are trying to heal, and now three innocent children from two fathers thrown into the mix with yet another marriage to another enabler. While her adoptive family has moved away, she is still able to manipulate them from afar. It’s painful to watch. They are good people who she plays like a fine tuned instrument. Her biological mother recently cut off contact with her telling her that she only cares about herself. Funny, she tells her friends that her mother is trying to manipulate her into a guilt trip. Funny in that she lacks the emotional skill set to pack baggage for such a trip. It does keep her acquaintances participating in her dramas.

You are correct. There isn’t much to read on specifically dealing with sociopath daughters. There is, however, a great deal of information available on dealing with sociopaths and no contact is the way to go. The less contact we have, the easier it becomes. At first it was like stepping off of the Tilt-a-Whirl at the fair. It took awhile to establish equilibrium. After regaining our footing we started processing all of the information that each of us had and in putting together the pieces found that despite all of the loving nurturing care the family gave in raising a little girl to adulthood, what she is… is undoubtedly a sociopath just like her mother.

I found salvation in this website. There are plenty of people who understand what you are going through and can relate to your pain. Donna Anderson is a gem as are her contributors.

Nothing you could have done or didn’t do would have changed the outcome. Nurture cannot overcome that kind of nature. I know you are mourning the loss of your daughter and your grandchild in going no contact. You need to find a qualified counselor. As an educator, you know that all educators are not the same. Same goes with counselors. Find one who understands sociopaths and can help you with tools to regain you footing. Finding the right fit is important. This website is a great tool also.

God Bless you and your family. You’ve been through hell. I pray you can find peace for yourself and joy in family without the chaos.

Dear Bets,
Thank you for your supportive words. In reading your story, I feel badly for the Aunt and Uncle who adopted her because they cannot (as yet) accept the fact that she is a sociopath. That is a difficult process and although I had read about narcissists and sociopaths for years, something about Zari Ballard’s Book, WHEN LOVE IS A LIE, opened my eyes and it became very clear to me that my daughter has all of the Narcissist characteristics. Once I was able to understand this, it became clear what I had to do to move forward.

You are also correct about the Nature/Nurture aspects involved. Prior to my acknowledging that she could be a Narcissist, I kept thinking I needed to nurture her more. That kind of thinking only fed the flame of my sociopath’s greed. As an educator and lover of children, it is heart breaking to admit that sociopaths do exist and those of us who are easy targets need to create firm boundaries to survive.
Thank you for your helpful advice.

Hannah4,

Oh My Gosh, I am sorry for what you and your family have endured, for the love and care of this (once) child. I do not have any children myself, but have a friend who appears to have a disordered girl child, nearing her 18th birthday. It has also been a nightmare for her, with all of the same kinds of behaviors you have described: The lies, pity ploys, angry outbursts, triangulations, and indigence.

I will only echo what other’s have said here. NO CONTACT is vital. Though I am saddened you would never see M, unless he contacts you when he is older (and then watch for the red flags in him as well…sigh). But the only way to obtain and maintain clarity, security, strength, and boundaries is to get as much time between yourself and the sociopath. That time is best spent attempting to understand, deeply, yourself (what motivates you, what you ‘believe’ that no longer is of service to you, what you will and will NOT tolerate…even in the ‘name of love’, and what you want the rest of your life to be). Also, it is really helpful to learn what ‘they’ are. I spent many years, and still have an interest in, learning about what they are, how to spot them, how to ‘feel’ them, how to avoid them.

That said, it no longer consumes me emotionally or even time-wise. My life has definitely moved on, and so can yours. It is your commitment to yourself that matters most. Not ‘selfishness’ and a pre-occupation with your central importance in all things. More that YOU are the only person who can truly know, love, and take care of you. And it is important that you do so. The sociopath, over time, teaches us only to focus on them, disdaining our needs and boundaries, and calling US selfish if we choose our own well-being before theirs. It is hard, at first, to break that kind of emotional ‘brain washing’, and turn our focus back on ourselves and our own lives.

You sound very wise, despite the pain you are feeling. You sound like when you were writing this you were very clear about what your adopted daughter is, and what she is capable of. This bodes well for you. Hold onto the TRUTH of your experience. YOU know what you have endured. You know what your intentions were. YOU know how hard you tried, and how many tears you cried helping this person. YOU KNOW. Don’t let go of this knowing. Even when you become emotionally ‘confused’ (cog. dissonance) find that small part of your intellect that absolutely knows the truth.

I know this website, and some amazing writers/supporters, here saved my butt. I would have re-engaged many times if it weren’t for what I received here.

Read Kathleen Hawk’s series on healing from a sociopath. The articles are found in the ‘authors’ section. They can be read in any order, but they are best understood in their wholeness if they are read in order (I think).

Much love and healing to you Hannah4,

Slim

Dear Slim,
Your letter made me cry because it touched my heart in so many ways. It is amazing how powerful this website is and I am so grateful for all of the generous people who have shared their experiences and helpful advice to me.

Your words reminding me to maintain NO CONTACT, to allow time to help myself heal and to “HOLD onto the truth of my experiences” are profoundly important to me. I will re-read your letter to remind myself of your insight and wise words.
Thank you.

Hannah4
I am so sorry for the path that your life traveled when trying to be a blessing in this child’s life. I, too, thought that my history of child abuse would give me insight into the needs of other abused kids. What I learned was… it gave me insight into the needs of kids LIKE ME. My family is pretty much the worst of the worst. Father a pedo, mom was likely borderline. My sisters are all raging, angry, somebody OWES me kind of mindset. My brother is a pedo who has birthed 13, yes THIRTEEN kids. His wife just popped em out year after year. When I saw my brothers kids, they ALL had that blank glaze, just like my siblings.

I had my child, who was SO darling. She was very smart, could read and do math before she started kindergarden as an early kid, aged 4. However, she’d have these rages, when she seemed to just spiral and nothing I did seemed to stop the spiral so I took the pediatricians advice and let her vent it out, and then she’d be okay again. WRONG. BAD ADVICE. Later I learned it would have been better to get an assessment and they would have told me how to teach her to self sooth.

I did not allow my family access to my child. I knew how they were with me and I protected her from being their target.

But… my daughter is just like my sisters. It breaks my heart. All the potential that she showed for a good happy life is GONE. It seemed once she went into puberty, the gloves came off and she let loose. Yes, she is able to control herself when she wants to impress someone. But if she decides they don’t have anything she wants, she is dismissive and behaves with her mask off.

To say she hates me would be an understatement. She thinks being kind or caring to others is a ruse, she doesn’t understand having a life philosophy that it’s inappropriate to take advantage of others.

The source that really helped me is George Simon, Phd. He has a website and a recent book, “Character Disturbance”. His main insight is… when people with a conscience have to deal with a person who lacks moral character (i.e.sociopaths, NPD, or BPD) we must stay focused on behaviors and consequences… NOT on feelings. You hold them accountable for what they do, do not bargain with them trying to understand how they must be feeling. It’s a different approach than the normal one whereby we process moral feelings. They don’t have any. So, the approach is about what they DO, BEHAVE.

I will never have the loving relationship that I always dreamed of. The one where I got to give love to my child and she grew into a person of character and honor and respect. Instead, I have strong boundries of what’s allowable and what gets her cut off. Sometimes I am NC with her, and eventually she owns up (because they actually DO know they are being jerks!), and I will share a holiday with her. But I do not stay with her, nor let her stay with me. Again, boundries designed to protect my safety. And that’s the way it will be the rest of my life. Having to protect my safety from the one I love above all others. And she knows if she ever harms another, I will not ever see her ever again. It’s been hard to get to this place, where I admitted she is LIKE THEM. But… for my own preservation, I had to.

BLAME ME for being a bad mom? Nobody can blame me more than I have. But, in the end, I have to deal with reality, not with what I WISHED could be. The end lesson? GEE. Hindsight is wonderful. If I had known what kind of person she would have turned into, then I could have made difference choices for her and MAYBE those choices would have made all the difference. OR… since it is a crapshoot, maybe not. But treating her as I would have wanted, with love and books, and exploring woods and rivers and nature and animals and art and dance and theater… had no impact on how she turned out. That loving stuff just made her laugh because she knew she could manipulate LOVE.

And thus the reason why Dr George Simon Phd was so valuable, to teach how they manipulate and to not let them control us through our feelings.

I wish you well Hannah4. I know the heartbreak. Unfortunately I hurt all the more because My heartache is my own biological beautiful child.

Notwhathesaidofme,

I really appreciate you sharing your feelings and wisdom here. And, I love George Simon….I agree with you, he was a real eye-opener for me. That is a must-have book. I really learned about ‘not feeding the monsters’ (they feed off our feelings), and setting boundaries. He has a very no-nonsense, easy to understand, but profoundly deep understanding of these types.

Your ’emotional’ post is a gift to the rest of us.

Slim

Dear NotWhatHeSaidOfMe,
I am sorry to hear about your childhood and family, but it sounds like you have learned not only how to cope, but how to excel at helping others survive. I have not heard of Dr. George Simon, but staying focused on behaviors and consequences makes perfect sense. When my daughter lived at home I can’t even tell you the number of nights she would keep me up for hours and hours defending her poor choices and making it look like it was somehow my fault. I allowed myself to get so sucked into her manipulations and if I would have just focused on her behavior and consequences I would have gotten a lot more needed sleep and maybe it would have helped her to realize her behaviors were inappropriate. I intend to look into Dr. Simon’s work asap! Thank you.

I apologize for being so emotional in my post. I am still working through that part of it, the anger that I poured my heart and soul into loving my child, and like my birth family, getting nothing back but rejection, ridicule, and contempt. And that awful feeling, looking within myself and wondering what is so awful about me that the ones I love are unable to love me.

Still, I hope my post points the way for someone else who is wondering about the unsettling behaviors of their child, not sociopath, but knowing something is wrong, the lying, getting into other peoples things, the blaming, the blatant envy of others, and the unexplainable anger, anger that has no cause/effect and the child can’t say what they’re angry about, only that they feel anger. I’m sharing about a book that says the accepted therapy doesn’t work for these type of personalities, but we can learn what OTHER types of therapies seem to have success, at least with some. If I had known, I sure would have tried it.

I just wanted to offer something because I am grateful for the help that I’ve found here. Take care. ~What I KNOW of me. 🙂

No need to apologize. This is the place to vent! You have been through a lot of pain. Expressing the pain is an important step to healing. I completely understand.

Hannah4,

I learn so much from the people who post, contribute to this site. Like all of the commenters, I advise you to go NO CONTACT. You gave it your all with this daughter. Unfortunately, she has a personality disorder that will be with her the rest of her life. It’s heart-breaking, I know, but you must let her go. Sociopaths create constant chaos. There is always something unpleasant that pops up that the rest of us average people have to deal with. My kids’ dad is a sociopath. I limit contact with him because he has caused major disturbances in our lives (all of them unnecessary). I remember once saying to the sociopath, “I think that you were put on this earth to piss people off,” saying this when I was angry and exasperated over his latest stupid action. If you want a stable, peaceful existence, I strongly recommend going NO CONTACT. You’ve done your job in trying to care for your daughter but sadly, our love cannot reach these kinds of individuals. The only love that can reach a sociopath is God’s love. Put them in His care and detach from your daughter. I wish you well. Peace.

Thank you, Bluejay. I am working on it! I am grateful that she has not tried to contact me in 12 weeks. It is easier to remain “No Contact” when she is not calling. I am reading, praying, preparing for the next contact. It is painful, but necessary. Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your support.

bluejay, I’m not so sure that even God’s love can break through a sociopath personality, if so, there would be no hell. Our sociopath uses religion as yet another manipulation. She manipulates congregations full of well meaning, good people with her stories of our abuse of her. They donate money, furnishings, food, their time, transportation, clothing, housing, attorneys, and more which only continues to enable her to continue her campaign against those of us who have stood up to her. As she has worked her way through the various belief systems and claimed her whole hearted belief in each them despite conflicting ideologies, she leaves damaged people praying for her in her wake.

I think like any other personality issue, the afflicted individuals must fully invest themselves completely into the process. Sociopaths, by definition, lack the capacity to do so. Ours has also worked her way through Battered Women’s programs and counseling. As a skilled manipulator, once again, she manipulates these systems for her own gain and the detriment of others.

As much as we have all prayed for her conversion from disordered to non disordered, I have learned that true evil exists. I’m not aware of anything that can reverse this anymore than God’s love could prevent the fall of one of his angels.

Bets, my relationship with my daughter has been so painful and I have struggled so hard to comprehend it. I completely agree with you that sociopaths manipulate everyone and everything they come in contact with. I do not know if they are outside of the realm of God’s power. I know that as long as they choose to be, that is their choice, and they will remain sociopaths. I pray for my Grandson, who innocently came into her life. I pray for those who are hurt by her. That’s all I can do right now.

Because the personality disordered person in my life is my biological daughter, I have chosen, for now, to remain available for contact. I simply can not live not knowing if she is safe and unharmed in this world.

It’s a very difficult position to find oneself, making choices about a relationship with the one person I loved completely, the child I would have died for, the person for whom I have submitted to so many sacrifices for her benefit.

But the time came when I had to, HAD TO, accept that I would never have a mother-daughter relationship. There would be no adult friendship, no sharing of lifes experiences. I HAD to accept that my ONLY choice was to live/accept what IS reality, that I could not live a life of pretend or hoping that she will “mature” and get her act together. I had to accept that at her age, (30’s), her fraud and her lies are not a mark of maturity, they are a mark of her moral character.

What I have had to do is set up safety rules for myself. That is the basis of all contact with my beloved. I had to place safety as my priority, both financial and physical safety. I had to set the boundry that my possessions were not her possessions and that she would be held criminally responsible for breaking that boundry. I had to tell her that I would not bail her out of jail, that I would not mortgage my home to pay legal fees for her. That I would love to see her and talk but only in a public place with lots of people around, I will not argue with her, I will not sit there if she choses to yell and embarrass me. I will continue to send presents (no cards because cards only mean something to me, they mean nothing to her.) on her birthday and holidays, as long as I could verify the address.

This is most of what my life looks like, what my interactions with my cherished daughter have become. It is not what I want, but it is the reality that I am not the one who limits our relationship. He who cares the least sets the tone, they have all the power. Me? I am left with protecting myself from the one I would have died for. And I am also left with knowing that there will come a day, chosen by her, that I will no longer be able to know if she is unharmed, safe, and well.

Thank you to the LF members who helped me to endure the pain, to find my spine and limit her ability to harm me beyond recovery. And yes, I do pray. But my child has free will, and God does not interfere with her choices, no matter how much I pray for her to be a person of moral character and conscience. Rather, my God is my comfort and my courage and the answer to help me be the person whom I chose to be.

Well said. I applaud you in controlling that which you can in protecting yourself from your beloved child! Stay strong!

I so understand your prayers. Raising children is difficult enough without the added burden of disordered personalities. You are on the right track. Let me add my prayers for your comfort, courage, and peace. We all need all the help we can get!

Thank you for writing. You are absolutely correct in establishing and following through on the boundaries you have created. Once I established financial boundaries with my daughter, I noticed a distancing from her. She realized I had established a boundary and she moved on to find other sources of revenue.

It is so heartbreaking to experience the realization that a child that you would do absolutely anything for simply doesn’t care about anyone but herself. It goes against everything that is human. It isolates the mother even further, because although the child is still physically alive, the potential for a normal relationship is dead, and that in itself isolates us further from our own friends who have never experienced the reality of loving a sociopath. My friends have been supportive, but now that I have come to the “No Contact” phase of my relationship with my daughter, my friends have shared that they are so relieved.

I wish you the very best in coping with your daughter. I pray that your boundaries remain firmly in place and you may enjoy whatever time you have with her.

What I connect with about this story is the utter disappointment, emptiness, and betrayal at pouring your heart out to someone so completely and finding that they cannot ever receive it. The reason almost doesn’t matter. I have done this with my younger sister over the years, and she continues to push me away. It is an ongoing challenge (which I don’t spend too much energy on these days) to figure out whether to keep pouring out love to her or to just walk away and cut my losses. I’m almost 54 and she is 52. I will say that she has at least learned not to be abusive, though I think she secretly thinks badly of me and attributes bad motives to me. At least through therapy, she has learned to apologize when she blows up and keep her communications respectful, whether she likes me or not. She is a business woman, and she knows how to put on her game face. This may be the best I ever get from her, so I don’t focus too much on that relationship.

One thing is I do have a great respect for her for splitting our mother’s estate with me. By some bizarre fluke, my mother left only a very old will which – for unknown reason – left 3/4 of the estate to my sister and named her as the executor. We had agreed before we ever saw the will that if she left her estate to either of us, we would split it fairly. She kept her word, though I don’t know if she resents me for it or not. I respect my sister for her integrity, though I don’t think she does it out of love – I think she is a bit of a martyr and just wants to do things “the right way.”

In any event, she is not someone I will likely ever have much of a relationship with. And she is my only living family member. So I can relate to the pain of loss of love that you always hope for but never receive. It’s good as Donna says to really feel the loss of love. At its core, it’s the parental abandonment. It’s very painful, as as a core issue, can color everything that you attempt to create for yourself in your life.

Thank you for your comments. Yes, it certainly is disappointing. I read a book by Barb Schmidt, THE PRACTICE. In it she says that when we have EXPECTATIONS about another person’s behavior, we are likely to be disappointed; it is better to have PREFERENCES. I have found this to be so enlightening, as words hold such power. When I have certain EXPECTATIONS for my daughter, I was always wiped out, because she could cut me to the core so easily. When I changed my thoughts to holding a PREFERENCE for her behavior, somehow it made my disappointment less painful. Schmidt says the word EXPECTATIONS has “entitlement” attached to it. PREFERENCES simply means it is something I would prefer that my daughter would “do” or “become” but if she doesn’t, she doesn’t.
This seemingly insignificant clarification of terms has really helped me to put things in a very helpful paradigm. I hope it may help you as well.
Thank you.

Send this to a friend