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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I got out before any damage could be done

Lovefraud received the following email from a reader whom we’ll call “Lorna.”

I thought I’d write and tell you a success story, thanks to all the information you provide to help people to survive a sociopath.

I’ve met them at various times in my life, however, I was lucky that I never married or got pregnant or lived with one. A couple of years ago, one crossed my path, and in a short time caused a lot of disruption before I dumped him. I pretty much forgot all about the narcissistic sociopath since then.

I wanted to watch the Will and Kate wedding live, but didn’t have TV, and on the West Coast it would be shown at 3 a.m. I posted on the activities partners section of Craigslist hoping someone was planning on being up to watch, and might let me come join them. I was surprised to get an email from a man, with whom I exchanged emails and phone calls before I felt comfortable going to his place to watch the wedding.

I made chocolate covered strawberries and brought a bottle of champagne, and he had some too, so we laughed and had a wonderful time staying up til dawn watching the wedding — competing on who knew the most wedding trivia, etc. I had a blast, so did he, or so I thought. He was 14 yrs younger, worked part time as a baseball umpire, had a bright and witty mind, and was a total gentleman. We ended up snuggling a bit, and even kissing a little.

I wasn’t going to chase him, so I did send a quick email letting him know I got home safely, I left it up to him to reach out to contact me for future dates, if he wanted. A week went by. I finally got an email telling me he’d been out of commission as he’d pulled muscles in his back. I took him dinner and a heating pad and massaged his back. I waited another week before he contacted me again, which I thought was a bit strange. We emailed and planned to go for a hike at the ocean to his favorite place.

Previously, he had told me he was a confirmed bachelor, and he had “been played” by some gal a year before, and his feelings were evidentially hurt over that break up. He made another comment I didn’t quite catch, however, I think he said if I got too romantic he’d just end the relationship. Huh? I didn’t understand.

Hike to the ocean

The day came for us to go on our picnic hike to the ocean. I was to meet him at noon at his place. I had misplaced my keys and was running about 10 minutes late, so I called and got his voice mail to let him know I was on my way. When I arrived, he pointed to his watch and let me know I was late and he has a “thing about that.” Hmmm, kinda uptight, I thought to myself. After all, I did call and left a message. It wasn’t as if we were going to a concert that started at a specific time. We had all day, and what was 10 minutes? I was on “observe and take mental notes” duty, as I’d learned to watch for signs from the very very beginning, as people will give plenty of clues as to who they really are if you take off your blinders and stop making excuses for people.

My next clue came when he drove like a maniac, and made me uncomfortable tailgating. My telling him so and asking him to slow down only helped a bit when I pointed out he had 364 days a year to drive as he wished, and this one time to consider me. He did slow down, a bit, but when we came to a very curvy section of road I asked him to take the easier detour so I wouldn’t get car sick, and he refused! Ok, now my alarm system was on full alert. I was getting too many clues of his selfishness, and little comments he made to upset me. He even noticed something about me he said he could use to “push your buttons.” I didn’t think highly of that, either! Instead of being comfortable in his company, I was becoming quite wary. He seemed to take pleasure making me squirm. Not good.

We arrived at the beach, went on a bit of a hike to get there, and he helped me up and over these huge boulders on the beach. However, he wanted to be out on the edge where huge waves were crashing up on the rocks. He stood out there like a crazy guy, and I could see he was addicted to adrenalin. I couldn’t keep up with him and didn’t want to. I was getting tired, and yet he kept pushing me to go further and further, though I knew if I did I could fall and hurt myself, and told him so. HE wanted to go further, so we did, and that was that. I just made more mental notes realizing how selfish and somewhat antagonistic I found him towards me. I actually should not have been climbing on those rocks, I’m 64 years old and have had knee surgery, but he pushed me and said he didn’t drive all that way not to see it all. Eventually, we left to return towards home.

He had originally suggested we go to a local seafood restaurant for some clam chowder, but now that it was time to do so, he changed his mind and we drove back towards home. He did stop at a taco wagon that is parked in the grocery store parking lot and got less than $10 worth of tacos. He did make a point to pull out about eight $20 bills and fanned them in front of himself as he was paying for the tacos. He let it be known he had the $ to eat in a real restaurant, but instead here we were sitting at a picnic table in a grocery parking lot eating $1.50 tacos. Mind you, I’m not a gold digger, and I had brought food for the picnic. I eat at that taco truck myself from time to time. It was just the way he did this felt more like he was intentionally avoiding spending any money on me, and not keeping his promise to go for chowder as originally planned.

“Bad boy”

After we got back to his place, he didn’t help off load any of my stuff to put in my vehicle. He just gathered up his own and went up to his apartment leaving me to do my own. Once I did, we watched TV for a while, then he started kissing and it was warming up. I was about to stop it to leave when he came out and made a comment that after a while of a relationship going along nicely that he “likes to mix it up” and will let his “bad boy” come out. He said he would do things like cancel plans with me at the very last minute because something he rather do came along.

I told him that wasn’t a problem as long as he gave me enough notice to make other plans so my time wasn’t wasted. He said no, that it would be at the last minute, and why shouldn’t he go do something he liked better? I thought about it for a minute, looked back over the times I’d been with him, especially all the signals he had been giving me throughout the day, and I realized what I was dealing with. I figured out I was with a selfish brat narcissistic, probably abusive, and I felt like he was trying to set me up to expect less of him. Once I had him pegged, I instantly knew I had to get out of there immediately and have nothing more to do with him.

So, after taking in his bad boy comment, I replied back to him, “You wouldn’t do that with me if you ever wanted to see me again. Thank you for the warning.” I stood up, went over to where my car keys were sitting on a table, picked them up, went to the front door and left. I walked out on him and never looked back. I know he wasn’t expecting that! For once in my life, I had my eyes and ears open, didn’t believe a word he said, watched his behavior and believed that, and when the picture emerged, I didn’t waste another minute trying to change him or hope for the best. I just got out before any damage could be done.

In retrospect, I realize he was sizing me up to see if I took any Rx, had any jewelry and money, investments, where I lived, etc., and assumed I had $$$. He picked the wrong person! I know I’ve not heard from him either as he realized I really don’t have anything to offer him, and I’m certainly not going to have anything to do with him anyway.

I wish I had used my head in the past, but at least I did this time. I am grateful for your website for helping to ID a sociopath and pay attention to the signals. Also, the most important is to know not to get involved in the first place, because you cannot change the person and he’s not anyone you should have in your life anyway.

So, I dodged a bullet and the info on your website helped me to do just that.


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ErinBrock

Neither is a hedgehog hens……

Lorna

Hi Everyone!
I’ve been quite busy and without time to keep up here on a regular basis. However, I would like to suggest we begin a thread called “Early Red Flags” and simply list those little signals we got right from the start. Perhaps if we dismissed with some excuse, we could post that too. The purpose would be to help us and others to learn to identify spaths before we get too involved so we can get out before damage is done.

With my last encounter, I came home right away and started jotting down my first indications. I had already made mini excuses starting on day one, but didn’t realize it until I had made my list of warning signs after date 2 with him.

My first flag – He kept interrupting me when I was talking and took over the conversation. I didn’t get to finish what I was saying. I didn’t really pick up on it until later when I realized I had not told him the ‘end of the story’, and then started remembering all the times he did this. My excuse, I had chalked it up to the excitement of our first date going so well, we were both having a lot of fun, and I didn’t think much about it til later.

Second flag – I arrived 10 minutes late (even though I had called to alert him, and it wasn’t a big deal), and he pointed to his watch and told me I was late and that ‘he has a thing about being on time’. I just ignored it and laughed to myself that he was being too uptight and I’d have to retrain him. Ha! So, this was the start of his attempt to control me. Well, maybe highjacking the conversation was the first attempt, though I chalk that up to wanting to be the center of attention.

The biggest thing all wrapped up in one was I discovered how SELFISH he was. It was all about him him him.

He took quite an interest in a necklace I was wearing, even lifting it off my chest in his hand to get a closer look. Yes, it was a gold chain with a gold/diamond bauble dangling. I said I wasn’t much into jewelery, this being the only real piece I wear, and he said, “Yes, I noticed that”. What man pays attention to your jewelery and the quality (real or costume) enough to comment on it? Ha, I thought I was showing him how frugal and not a gold digger I was. His thoughts were all about whether I had assets for him to somehow obtain – if I had $$$.

I have lots more, but there is a start. I think a whole chapter about red flags – brief notes – would be helpful. How easily we dismiss these flags only to get tripped up after the fact! I believe before the fact is a far healthier place to be!

Since we cannot rid the world of these spaths, at least dating and taking our time with our eyes and ears wide open from the start will provide us enough clues to cut the cord and prevent ourselves from getting involved.

Oh, while I think of it…for those looking to sell items on Craigslist, I suggest you meet the buyer at your bank lobby, never at your home. When they pay – in cash always, then immediately go deposit the money so you won’t be robbed after you walk out of the bank! After I had a yard sale at my house, someone came in after the fact and went through all my out buildings and yard and stole just about everything that wasn’t nailed down.

Take care everyone, and be safe!

Lorna

Lorna

Hi Everyone!
I’ve been quite busy and without time to keep up here on a regular basis. However, I would like to suggest we begin a thread called “Early Red Flags” and simply list those little signals we got right from the start. Perhaps if we dismissed with some excuse, we could post that too. The purpose would be to help us and others to learn to identify spaths before we get too involved so we can get out before damage is done.

With my last encounter, I came home right away and started jotting down my first indications. I had already made mini excuses starting on day one, but didn’t realize it until I had made my list of warning signs after date 3 with him.

My first flag – He kept interrupting me when I was talking and took over the conversation. I didn’t get to finish what I was saying. I didn’t really pick up on it until later when I realized I had not told him the ‘end of the story’, and then started remembering all the times he did this. My excuse, I had chalked it up to the excitement of our first date going so well, we were both having a lot of fun, and I didn’t think much about it til later.

Second flag – I arrived 10 minutes late (even though I had called to alert him, and it wasn’t a big deal), and he pointed to his watch and told me I was late and that ‘he has a thing about being on time’. I just ignored it and laughed to myself that he was being too uptight and I’d have to retrain him. Ha! So, this was the start of his attempt to control me. Well, maybe highjacking the conversation was the first attempt, though I chalk that up to wanting to be the center of attention.

The biggest thing all wrapped up in one was I discovered how SELFISH he was. It was all about him him him.

He took quite an interest in a necklace I was wearing, even lifting it off my chest in his hand to get a closer look. Yes, it was a gold chain with a gold/diamond bauble dangling. I said I wasn’t much into jewelery, this being the only real piece I wear, and he said, “Yes, I noticed that”. What man pays attention to your jewelery and the quality (real or costume) enough to comment on it? Ha, I thought I was showing him how frugal and not a gold digger I was. His thoughts were all about whether I had assets for him to somehow obtain – if I had $$$.

I have lots more, but there is a start. I think a whole chapter about red flags – brief notes – would be helpful. How easily we dismiss these flags only to get tripped up after the fact! I believe before the fact is a far healthier place to be!

Since we cannot rid the world of these spaths, at least dating and taking our time with our eyes and ears wide open from the start will provide us enough clues to cut the cord and prevent ourselves from getting involved.

Oh, while I think of it…for those looking to sell items on Craigslist, I suggest you meet the buyer at your bank lobby, never at your home. When they pay – in cash always, then immediately go deposit the money so you won’t be robbed after you walk out of the bank! After I had a yard sale at my house, someone came in after the fact and went through all my out buildings and yard and stole just about everything that wasn’t nailed down.

Take care everyone, and be safe!

Lorna

Ox Drover

Lorna,

Those were GOOD observations about the red flags! Especially the “late” part, and you did call….good for you for noticing those red flags and MOST FOR HONORING THEM.

Lorna

Ox Drover,

Yes, I did call when I realized I was going to be just a few minutes late. He didn’t pick up his phone, so I left a message. I told him that when he pointed out he had an issue about being on time, but it didn’t matter to him that I had called. 10 minutes? He was lucky I called at all! I thought to myself that he’s going to have to get used to me as I am. But I did get a twinge when I realized it mattered not to him that I had called.

Funny too, that later that evening he told me how he would just call and cancel at the last minute, and that was fine by him, but I could not be 10 minutes late. Not what I would call a balanced give/take!

I requested my duplicate post be deleted, and am sure it will be in due time. My apologies. Thanks for your comment.

Lorna

skylar

Lorna,
thanks for posting your story. When I first read it, I thought, “well those are obvious red flags why would anyone fall for it?” Then I remembered that I HAD fallen for those red flags many times in my life. It’s only now that I’ve learned so much that it seems obvious.

Sometimes, I forget that not everyone is in the same place on the path. And I forget how I used to be, so innocent and so naive. This is great information. Your story tells it clearly: that boundaries are so important.

candy

Lorna – I wrote a long post and lost it grrrrrrrrrrr. So I will be concise. For our first meeting ex spath said he had bought a rail ticket. Then when we were finalising the meeting arrangements he said that he was arriving by car. I said what about the rail ticket and he said he never bought one! I should have run at that point.

HE’S THE LIE FROM HELLO TO GOODBYE

Louise

candy:

UGGHHH. Don’t you hate it?? I just hate the thought of even dealing with ANYONE like that now! It just takes so much f*cking energy and who needs that???? I am glad I am feeling a bit angry this morning. I feel like I am healing more when I am angry.

candy

Louise – Anger is good, it’s a sign that you are getting over spath. It’s one of the healing processes.

The other day, at work, I was chairing a meeting. This one person kept butting in like all of her ideas were the best.

There were about 20 people and and it was ME ME ME. Huh!

Well I soon got her measure (I would never have done this in the past without LF) I ignored her. Not easy, but I looked directly at the person sitting next to her and said ‘what are your opinions?’ (about xyz) That person was so glad to have a say, a voice. Apparently in previous meetings this P woman had ruled the whole session with her ME ME ME attitude.

So yes, when something stirs in us like anger, if we have control of it, can be a positive thing.

Louise

candy:

Anger is good and I do experience it a lot, but I never seem to get past it and heal. I regress again…anger, sadness, anger, sadness, anger, ruminating, sadness, anger…you get the picture.

Good for you!!! I love that you called that woman out, but in a subtle way by asking the person next to her if SHE had an opinion! Way to go!!!

The OW in triangulation with me is a “look at me, look at me” woman! I cannot stand it!!!!! She is like this all the time and it is so disgusting. I am so the opposite. The X spath picked two totally different women and played us against each other. It was so cruel and damaging. Now because of it I lost that job.

I just took some self assessments a few minutes ago from a link I found on this website. HA…according to these self assessments, I have PTSD, ADD and am bipolar!! I look so normal; no one would ever suspect! Are these accurate?? Could I REALLY have all these at the same time?? Oh, and another assessment was a grief/loss assessment and I never thought about this, but I suffered the loss of my dad, my job and then this relationship all within two years!! Yikes!! No wonder I feel so horrible. Sigh.

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