LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: It did not feel right, but I dismissed my discomfort

Editor’s note: The following story was submitted by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Greenfern.” It is a classic story of sociopathic seduction.

When I first met the S, I was very young, 22, and in a pretty bad spot. I come from a broken, abusive family and I have been pretty much on my own since 16. I was managing by putting myself through college, working full time, step by step. A year before I met the S, I was hit by a car and the recovery from that sent me into a depression and hardship. I had no family support or insurance, so I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and tried not falling behind. I felt alone and struggling, but managed. I feel like I was a strong young person considering the circumstances.

Then the S appeared in my life. He was my TA at school. As it turns out he later told me that he had been observing me for over a year, but I was acting “stand offish” and “unapproachable” so he had difficulties getting to know me. So I guess when I hit the bottom after my accident I have become more approachable in his eyes and he pursued me.

Constant care and attention

He courted me very intensely, I felt off guard, like a deer in the headlight. He came across as this very dignified, old fashioned (he was only 28) gentleman with strong interest in my background. He kept asking if I needed help in my school work and brought me sandwiches and kept coming and coming at me. I felt strange, but I was flattered by the constant care and attention. Inside myself I felt weird, it did not feel right. But then I dismissed my own discomfort. I told myself “maybe I just need to relax and accept the attention and kindness”. I think at the time I have isolated myself from people and had little trust in myself being liked for who I was.

I told myself that maybe it was time to open up to people and receive. The problem with this was that I made the wrong choice of person to open up to.

He kept pursuing me harder, showering me with gifts and sweet little notes. He even branded my name into his arm. That should have been a big red flag. In fact when he showed me my name burned into his skin, I felt physically ill to my stomach and had a rising panic within me.

He wanted to hang out at all times. I felt like I had no time to myself at all. I kept telling him that I needed to do stuff on my own, but he replied to that by asking if he could come over after I do that thing. He wore me down with persistence and I did not say no. I did not know how to say no.

Phony clowns and bozos

Before I knew it, we were hanging out all the time. He told me about his problems with his parents, he made preachy speeches about the phoniness and hypocrisy of the world. He told me that now it’s us against the world and to “f the phony clowns and bozos of the world.” He convinced me to let him shave my head for a home movie. He told me that I was a mess and he will take care of me. He had me help him with his projects, including these films where he dressed me up as a boy wearing leg braces. He would pretty much decide when to eat and sleep. Many times I wanted to sleep at night, but he was asking for more.

In the same time he put me on this special pedestal, told me that I was the one for him and that I made him a better man. He said I was very special, he loved me, I was his best friend. He said we were meant for each other. He always asked if I was “the one” for him. I just could not say yes. I think this made him angry, but he would not say.

Completely suffocated

We moved in together, I have cut off my friends and social life. The S and I were doing EVERYTHING together. I felt completely suffocated, yet I could not even be clear to myself as to what was wrong exactly. I would have crying spells and could not put in words what was wrong. He delivered these little pep-talks about being strong and not caring about what the world says.

He took over many things in the household. Even though I was perfectly capable of doing those things, I have always managed previous to meeting the S. When I would do these things, he always made me feel like he could do them better; he would take them out of my hand. Slowly but surely he would be doing all these “favors” then make me feel like I owed him. He got mad at me because I did not say “I love you” enough in response to his million “I love yous” during the week. I did not love him. I dreamed of some miracle happening, so I could get away out of the relationship. I fantasies of him just going away. The idea of me ending the relationship filled me with dread, dread to his response. I felt like I owed to him to stay with him. He always said “I saved you, you were a mess when I met you” then following it up with “I love you”.

He would go through the garbage to see what I was doing on my day off and I am pretty sure he was monitoring me, even though I have no proof. He grew marijuana and collected toy guns in his special room. He also hoarded his own urine in soda bottles. According to him, he was too busy with his projects to go to the bathroom. Gradually he has become too busy with his art projects to have time for me. He stopped initiating sex. When I wanted to talk to him about the sex issue, he shot it down with “sex is WAAAAY over-rated” or “what do you want me to do about it?”

I wanted to feel the way he made me feel in the beginning, but I did not understand why he took me off the pedestal. In the beginning he would want to have sex multiple times a day, but now he did not even want to hear about it at all. I did not understand what happened.

More and more criticism

At this time he started criticize me on small things. For instance on my grammar. English is not my first language, so I felt sensitive to the issue. He said I was sloppy in my language.

Then more and more criticism has arrived, and he has become more and more withdrawn, physically and emotionally. He refused to have any discussions about the relationship. He said I was the one who had a problem with the relationship. He also told me that his friends were surprised that he did not have a younger and prettier girlfriend.

I think what was the beginning of the end is that I got a good job that I liked, made me feel good. I think it really gave me confidence to stand up for myself more. I started pointing out some of his BS, yet I was not feeling strong enough to break up with him, even though I wanted to.

Bringing home a drunken girl>/p>

On our 7th year anniversary night he told me he would be home by 8 pm, so we could spend some time together. He came home at 4 am with a drunk girl, laughing. The girl was one of his students. He was offended that I thought that there was anything weird about the situation. I was livid. I felt like my world collapsed. He showed up with flowers the next day.

Then not much after that, we had a Thanksgiving party where he acted like a total ass. Then he broke up with me the next day.

He was was unfazed and calm. He combed through all of our stuff to make sure he took everything he felt a right to. He went about with complete calmness, purchasing new bedsheets for his new place. Completely cold. He told me that he was now seeing a therapist and he thinks he is pretty depressed. For the last 3 years I was BEGGING him to see a therapist. He would not even talk about it. But I think this was just an act. Later I found out that he was cheating on me for the last year and a half with the woman he married not much after we split up.

I have been in therapy for a while now. I realize that those years I lived in a complete lie and I chose to be blind to it. My task is to recognize that blind spot and protect myself from Sociopaths like him. In a work in progress.

Please if you are out there involved with a sociopath, trust your intuition!

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Henry, to answer your question, the S told me on our second “date” that he was married, but that it was in name only. He said his “ex wife” as he called her was living in a separate apartment and that they were waiting for the medical army discharge to come through to file the divorce papers. This was supposed to happen THAT WEEK. It had something to do with benefits for their daughter. However, the week got extended into 2 months of it dragging on. Then the S finally told me the discharge AND divorce had gotten filed. I believed him. It turned out to be a lie, along with the whole saga about his head injury. This was last July. It is now February of the following year, and to my knowledge, there has been no discharge or divorce. Everything he’d told me, including his “ex wife” living apart, turned out to be a story.

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