By | October 16, 2007 48 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Once upon a time, I would do anything for love, but not anymore

Editor’s note: This essay was submitted to the Lovefraud Blog by a reader who comments as “AlohaTraveler.”

I have thought about this for a long time. I have decided I am not going to tell you my story, at least not today. I have read the stories of other contributors and even more of visitors who have just discovered this site and posted their story in the blog comments. Believe me, I understand the need to tell someone what he/she did to you and your life. You just want someone to understand, because you don’t. You don’t understand why he did what he did. But worse, you don’t understand why you let it happen or why you tolerated the intolerable far beyond reason. You don’t know why you ignored the red flags, neon signs, the sirens, and the atomic bombs going off all around you. Now you are sitting in a pile of rubble that once was your life and you don’t know what to do next. You found this website, LoveFraud, because you have been through HELL.

Welcome. Take a moment to thank God that you are here! Believe it or not, it could have been worse.

I put an end to my nightmare on July 3rd, 2005, departing Maui on a plane headed for San Francisco. (Isn’t it funny how we all can remember the exact date?) I landed in California five and a half hours later to an avalanche of abusive text messages and voice mails. “How can you do this TO ME?” he asks. Huh? Every part of my life was damaged. In debt up to my eyeballs, my psychological, spiritual, and emotional lives were in a shambles, thanks to “Pastor Jeff” also known as “Captain Jeffrey” and “Maui Merman.” (I now refer to him simply as the “Bad Man.”) I was, to put it lightly, a basket case. I must add here that I don’t blame him entirely. There were signs that something wasn’t right with him after the third date. In fact, during the 14 months we were dating, there were many, many signs. There were many things he said and did that hit me in the stomach as not quite right, but I wanted love and he seemed to love me more than my wildest dreams thought possible. I noticed but ignored the signs.

As I write this today, October 13, 2007, I am in a much better place. I have just returned from my first visit back to Maui, the scene of the crime, as I call it. On the way there, I started to feel anxious right before the plane landed. I spent the first 2 days looking left and looking right, all the while repeating the mantra, “NO CONTACT” (the title of one of the most helpful entries in the LoveFraud Blog). As it turns out, I didn’t run into the Bad Man while there. One thing that took me by surprise though was that I had a few impulses to call the Bad Man. (God, that is hard to admit!) All it took was hearing about something bad that happened to him for my compassion to be triggered. But now I have the tools to stay on track because I know what he is and how he gets to me. My compassion and kindness are like open wounds and he is a Staph infection that takes over my body. I know what triggers me, how he got to me and I know how sick it is.

I have worked hard to regain control of my life, my self respect and the respect of others that I let down with all the drama and bad decisions I made connected to this Bad Man. Now, I know what a disordered person “looks” like. That is what LoveFraud is about. It’s recognizing that your story is already here. And once you see that, you are half way to understanding. You are here to get what happened and why in the bigger picture. It’s not about the details, “he did this, he did that.” Why were you triggered by this person and how did they get you to forget all the good sense you were born with? You need to know this so that you can release yourself from the spell. Does this ring a bell for you? Did you ask yourself, “Why am I allowing this to happen to me? I don’t recognize myself. Why can’t I stop?” I had to put an ocean in between myself and the Bad Man. I left behind my island dreams so that I could put a stop to the nightmare.

I understand why you want to tell your story. I did that too. I told it to myself over and over in the car. I yelled, I ranted, “And ANOTHER THING!!! blah blah blah.” I thrashed about in bed at night, arguing with him in my head, trying to make him see that it is wrong to treat someone the way he treated me. I did this for over a year. I held onto the fantasy that somehow, I could find the right thing to say so that he would really get how bad he was and he would be sorry and then he would shower me with the “Love” that he used to hook me in the first place. (I now refer to those first two weeks of euphoria as “Relationship Crack.”) He hooked me and I was a total junkie. I got hooked because I didn’t know it was dangerous at first. I thought I had met the love of my life. But, unfortunately, he was both the most seductive and destructive person I have ever encountered.

Now the “story” is irrelevant to me, and that is why I am not telling the details. (Believe me, it’s good enough for Dateline or LifeTime television.) What a Sociopath or a Borderline or a Narcissist does will never make sense to you because you live by a different set of rules. What is important is to know these individuals when you see them so that you won’t be drawn in by the details of their stories and manipulations. And you can let go of trying to make sense of it all based on how you do things and what drives you. That path will never lead to your healing. Ask yourself, do you ever feel better when you recount the details of the nightmare over and over? I don’t. It makes me cry, gives me anxiety attacks and sleepless nights.

Educating myself and putting a name on it (Borderline, Narcissist, Sociopath) has given me more peace than anything else. Pretend you met a person that drank alcohol every day. And then you noticed that they have black-outs, and you noticed that they hide alcohol and you noticed that they are in denial about how alcohol is negatively affecting their life and then one day, you come across information that informs you that all those things added up together equals ALCOHOLISM. Now you know. Now you know and you can spot an Alcoholic when you see one. For your purposes, it really doesn’t matter what they drink, or how sad their story is or how seductive they are. What matters is, you know what they are and how much it will end up hurting you and so you cut-your-losses and run as fast as you can the other way. Nothing else matters.

That is what you are doing here. You are learning to spot a Borderline, a Narcissist, a Sociopath, when you see one. You are here to learn that these kinds of individuals are looking for a person just like you. You are here to learn that there is nothing authentic about the “love” they offer you. You are here to learn how to be cautious when you notice your compassion and kindness and your willingness to see the best in people is triggered when it really shouldn’t be ”¦ like when danger signs are flashing and sirens are blaring inside of you. You are here to learn how to have healthy boundaries and to know when they are being crossed so that you put a stop to it immediately. I like to say now figuratively: It’s noble to throw yourself in front of a bus to save the one you love, but not if they are the one driving the bus!

The things I have learned on LoveFraud have helped me to get onto a path of healing. Accepting the label that fits has helped me tremendously to let go of the fake “love” he offered. I can see that his every action was simply a manipulation to get what he wanted out of me, and that my well being and happiness were NEVER on his agenda. You can bet that these things are top priority for me now. The details of what happened don’t matter to me anymore and I don’t need to tell them.

With Warmest Aloha,
E.R. aka “AlohaTraveler”

Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of

Hi All,

“Learning to spot a borderline, narcissist, etc…”

After doing a lot of research and soulsearching and looking back on my whole life, I know I have traits of Borderline, etc.

I was diagnosed years ago with BPD tendencies and was in therapy. My symptoms subsided a little bit as I got older, but go full blown when a relationship ends.

This past relationship with a person with Sociopathic tendencies — has really made my BPD go full blown.

I am also dealing with severe depression, some dissociative issues, etc… anger…


I feel too old, too damaged and too far gone to hope for help so I just go through the motions of the day.

I don’t believe in love anymore. I am not sure I ever had real love.

I might be pregnant… things look hopeless… healing seems so far away and impossible.

I would love to check myself into a long term facility… maybe really get help.

Thanks very much for this, Aloha Traveler. I relate to the way you think about it.

Though I still probably love my own story too much. But then my story has a happy ending. Because bizarre and grandiose as this might seem, I think I manifested my guy in my life, because I was ready to heal some deep-seated issues from my childhood. And he was a kind of weird mirror, making me look at my own weaknesses. Like a ridiculously high pain tolerance. Like depending on other people for validation. Like imagining that if I were nice enough then other people would take care of me.

I’m still in process, but when I get through this, I’m going to be amazing. Self-aware, self-sufficient, strong. When I begin to love again, it will be for the right reasons. Not because I feel sorry for someone, and am swapping caretaking with them because, at base, I feel sorry for myself too.

What are the right reasons to love? I’m still learning that. And if I owe my sociopath thanks for anything, it is for sending me on this long quest to find the meaning of love. I thought when I accepted responsibility for taking care of myself, I would be free to love again, but not yet. And then I thought that when I learned I could choose what I wanted it my life, that would be it, but that didn’t open my heart again. And lately, I’m learning to understand my own deep needs and respect them, and I think I’m getting closer.

But the one thing in all of this that you probably didn’t think worth mentioning, but is relevant after holehearted’s post, is that I believe I can get better. And that belief keeps me moving forward. I believe I can take this experience and use it to recreate my life. I believe that the expense and pain of this lesson reflects how important it is in my life. And I intend to wring out every last bit of value from it in learning about myself and becoming the person I want to be.

Not just generous and compassionate, but also self-interested and commited to my own objectives. A sociopath can’t get into your life if you make your life the most important thing to you. In fact, when I asked mine why he didn’t just going find someone like himself instead hanging around with poor ol’ weak, weepy, needy me, he said, “Because they’re not interested in someone like me.” Duh.

So thank you, Aloha Traveler. I love the way you talk. And holehearted, all I can tell you is that there is a center in you that is not harmed, can’t be harmed. Your blown-open heart is making a lot of noise right now, but it’s just talking to you about how mean he was and how it hurt. Deeper inside you is a powerful and visionary woman who is learning and judging and thinking about what is the next best thing for you. Trust in your own healing. Be kind to yourself. Take your time. You are ten times the human being he was, and what you have to do now is just figure out how to experience your life that way.

Good luck.


Thank you for your kind words, but I was pretty bad to him througout our relationship as well. I put him down all the time even when he was trying though it always ended in him getting fired or accused of stealing from work (which I believed at the time he didn’t, but as I go on I see he most likely was). My meanness was not an excuse or reason for him to steal.

Trouble is I might be pregnant. I took the test but it was negative however, I had my period that ended two weeks ago and we made love on the 2 or 3rd of October. I am having breast tenderness and such but my next period is not due for two more weeks unless it comes sooner – hope hope.

I am such a dope. My mind just wouldn’t accept what was happening and still saw him as my kitty and wanted to be near him and love him again. What a farce since 1 week after that he proposed to his new victim.

I can’t even breathe.


To holehearted:
I feel your pain, because I, too, had reached the end. I have been married for 37 years and am in the process of getting out of that and in the midst of that troublesome time, I met a man who I truly thought was a God send and he was going to take me and my children away from the awful marriage. Years of living with my husband had drained me emotionally and he had a way of making me feel worthless. I felt for a long time that I was the most unlovable woman God ever created. Then this really handsome man came along and noticed me. I thought my time had finally arrived. That was the beginning of a bizarre adventure for me.

I had little to no experience where men are concerned, other than negative. I always figured if my husband and his brothers represented the male segment of society, then spare me another one. But this man, who insisted we are friends, saw me in a different light. So I thought. I never had an inkling that one person could do and think the happenings that he created. He had to lay awake nights figuring how to pull one over on me. It took me a long time to beat him at his game. I’m much older and very much wiser for all that happened. I’m still not sure what his ultimate goal was, but I’m working on my own agenda. I’ve wanted a real home, and thought that’s what my husband and I were supposed to be doing. He hated every aspect of the marriage, except sex. I figured if someone only wanted me for sex, and not the rest, there’s not much sense in sticking around for a happening that’s over in a blink of an eye. So many of these men are so full of themselves, they don’t have room for us.

I believe, with God’s help, that we can do and be what we want and not be at the mercy of a mere man, who doesn’t care about our wants, needs and desires. I’m thankful for sites such as this, to inform those of us who really want something more out of life. Had I known what a sociopath, narcissist, etc., were, I would have been spared a lot of grief. But I guess it was all about building my character and becoming strong in my own right. Realizing that we can have a new beginning, by ourselves. I didn’t know that I, too, had options. I was so impressionable when I married, that I dedicated my heart, not knowing, that my husband’s heart never left home. I was putting emotions into a bottomless pit. He guarded his heart, and I allowed mine to be exposed. I’ve realized the one who cares the most, hurts the most. I refuse to just do it someone else’s way, if I’m not part of the picture.

And for your sake, if you are pregnant, you will have new life to give you new purpose. There are lots of agencies out here to give you lots of help. It’s important to have goals. Don’t give up on yourself. You are important. It took me losing most of what I have, to find out that I am okay. I do a self analysis and know that I don’t create the havoc others do. But I refuse to be a victim anymore. And if someone truly loved us, they wouldn’t be constantly hurting us. True love is unconditional. I know that sounds lame, but it’s true. Altruistic love is the kind we want to find. If I can’t have that, I refuse to settle for anything less. I want peace and harmony in my life, and if I can’t have it with someone, I will have it by myself. The key is contentment. To be happy within. I have a deep belief in God and He has been my mainstay. I give Him the glory for keeping me sane, when all my world was falling apart.

But, I, too saw the significant other in my life through rose colored glasses, and kept making excuses for him, at my own expense. It wasn’t until I saw him for who he really was and admitted what he did and was capable of doing, did I finally start to heal. I’ve found, too, that by journaling, I get all my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. That way I’m not carrying them around with me all the time. That has helped my mind heal. And without a healing of the mind, the heart keeps breaking over and over. I journal the good and bad. It’s amazing how once you put it on paper, your mind gives a sigh. It’s like having someone to talk with. It’s a good catharsis.

But you will survive. Just the fact that you are acknowledging your problem, is a big step to healing. One day at a time. You have to look inside to find the strength you need and not be at the mercy of someone who will take advantage of you. I hope that you find the healing you so deserve.


I am grateful for the postings on this site. Many of the stories mirror my own. I was married for 30 yrs. to a con-man, a fraud, a narcissist, a siociopath-whatever you want to call him, he ruined my life and my children’s lives. I cannot believe that I believed in him for so long! But now we are on to him, and he can never manipulate or con my children or me EVER again. Thanks be to God. In the long term, he will either eventually acknowledge his accountabiltiy and responsibiltiy to me or he will just leave his legacy to me and his children that he really was what he seemed to be- a con and a fraud. If he were a normal person he would be ashamed and look back on the fact that he failed to lead a life well-lived and that he was a total failure in what really matters.


AlohaTraveler…… what you wrote above really spoke to me…. all of it…. since my sosciopath expirence which ended over a year and a half ago, I have talked to many about what happened to me, and how it threw me into a tailspin. although I have heard a lot of advice form caring friends, and a few things have stuck with me, as they have tried to help me make sense of the senseless, I have never really had a “Oprah” moment like I did when I read your letter above. thank you for sharing your thoughts, and like so many here, I want to thank everyone who writes here. I come here frequently to read, to keep the thoughts on the right track…. when I find myself longing for her, I come here to remind myself just what I was dealing with in her… It’s all good and I’m so thankful for friends, for family, for being given a second chance, and for this site and those who write here.





Thanks so much for your comment. I guess I must have wrote this for you.. all I have wanted was for my experience to help someone. Thank you so much. And, it does get better with time. I no longer have nights with imaginary arguements in my head with my ex. I noticed that I never won those imaginary arguements anyway… not even in my head. For the 1st year after, even though I removed myself from this person, I still thought about it almost 24 hrs a day. I couldn’t concentrate and I was just completely undone. Anyway, hang in there and learn what you need to learn about yourself. We can never fix these people, but we can control our own choices. I will never choose a person like that again.

Aloha…… E.R.


I, too, so appreciate all the comments that are being made. How I wish there was something like this years ago. I had no idea that people were capable of doing the things they do. I, too, thought if the outside was impeccable, the inside had to be too. Such naivete. Being married to someone who loved me and hated me, and I never knew which was the real, to come out in the world to work, and meet a really handsome man who noticed me, only to take a broken heart and break it even further, has set such a guard around me heart, that I don’t know if I can ever let someone in again.

The man I met, who I thought was a God send and was going to take me away from an awful marriage, led me on such a merry chase. I had experienced awful anger through my husband, and this man, who kept calling us friends, used my weaknesses and kindness to extract money and emotions from me, without giving anything in return. If I complained about the lack of anything, he would go so far as to say that I ought to be glad he even stops. I told him he should be glad I let him.

It’s almost completely over and I feel so relieved. After all he’s done to me, if I contact him, he says I’m bothering him or disturbing him and interrupting his time. What audacity! When I first met him, I couldn’t understand why his wives divorced him. He’s very suave and somewhat sophisticated, and to have him notice someone like me, I thought he had to have been sent. But I know now that God wouldn’t punish me in that way. He was a lesson for me to learn. And learn I did. But now I’m so leery of men, I think they are all out to get me like he and my husband did. I’ve been stood up, set up, knocked down, belittled, devalued, mocked, pressured, and all the other negative adjectives that describe the actions of a sociopath, narcissist, etc.

I wish I had this knowledge 30 years ago. I could have been spared a lot of grief. But at least I’ve had an awakening and I won’t fall into that pit again. I know the signs and I’m always on the alert. I can’t understand how someone can call what they are doing love or friendship. I think the only way to beat them at their game, is to quit playing and just walk away. Much wiser. I think if they died, I could no longer grieve, because I’ve done so much grieving over the pain they have caused. That kind of saddens me that a life lived causing so much angst in others, isn’t much of a life lived. Maybe they see us as the warped ones. I do know that I don’t cause the kind of pain that has been heaped on me. And by reading the posts here, we could probably write each other’s stories. I see me and my situation in many of the writings. I guess it’s a comfort to know we aren’t alone. Misery really does like company. At least we can relate. There is no relating to these kinds of men. No empathy and very little sympathy for any plights. But if they are in need, stop the presses. I seek mutuality and equality, when it comes to a relationship and if I can’t have that, I will go it alone. I like myself better now than I ever did. If these kind did anything, they forced me to look inward and find my own strength and boldness, and be able to say, I’m just as good. I hope everyone who has been subject to this kind of treatment, would find this site and really listen and learn. Life really is good and we don’t have to have it marred with the negative treatment of someone who doesn’t really care.


To apt/mgr:

A wise woman once said, “The only way to beat them at their game is to quit playing and just walk away.” BRAVO apt/mgr!

Now you have got tit! Stay on that path and don’t look back! NO CONTACT. I was so happy to see that in your comments. You have the tools to save yourself.

Aloha… E.R.


Oops! There is an obvious typo in my last comment. I meant, “you’ve got IT!” Sorry. I don’t know how to fix it once it’s posted. HAHA! I suppose I could pretend that I was making a reference to having “balls” but for a woman. Though that would be out of character for me, at least in writing!

Aloha… E.R.


Go Girl! THANK YOU…moving past the need to tell the story myself. In a mode to help others see the truth and heal and discover who we really are as women. Why have we been so very naive and needy in our own way? Seeking answers to the powerful seduction I’ve found satisfying by these men. What is my growth? What have you discovered?


I think about him when I’m lonely. It’s been 5 mos. since I’ve seen him. On occassion, I have sleepless nights, nightmares, and difficulty focusing on my job.

What gets me is even though I’m done, it is still costing me. When will it end?

Prayer is the main thing that helps me when I feel tormented.


To done12,

I had many sleepless nights and I lost FOUR jobs during the first year I was home from Maui. I thought about what happened for 24 hrs/day for a long long time.

The thing that helped to set me free was educating myself about personality disorders. I understand now how he manipulated me and I understand how all the love was FAKE. It was all an illusion. Now I love myself, for real. That’s a start. It took something as bad as the Bad Man to get me to love myself. But hey, whatever it takes… I got it now.

Adhere to the NO CONTACT rule and learn about these characters so that you will recognize one when you see them and you will not get hurt in this way again.

There is light again after this…

Aloha… and all the best in your recovery and healing.


My saving grace is that the sociopath I just got rid of wont be back – he would have too much explaining to do. When things got uncomfortable with him, he would know how to run for the hills, leaving me with the emotional fallout and then punishing me by returning my gifts and following that with abusive txt messages and if i wrote or contacted him he knew how to block me, he would either get his sister to come round and warn me off, or he would threaten me that he would get the police for me harassing him by sending him a forthright letter. He knew his game and he was playing by his rules, I really only realised what his rules where at the end, that he was keeping one foot in the relationship with me but had his exit routes all planned out.



The best way to Cope is NO CONTACT. “No Contact” is the name of one of the most powerful essays in the Blogs.. at least for me. Find it and read it. It never ceases to amaze me when I read other people’s posts and comments how similiar things are… like a formula they follow. The text message thing, the gift thing… the game where they get you to look bad. Just walk away and never look back. His “friends” or his family are simply under his spell and he is playing them like pawns against you. You win by forfeiting the game.

You know, I had stacks of psycho emails from him but they were accusing me of so many false things that they made me look like a lunatic. I wanted to get help but the more I thought about trying to explain point by point how all these humliating accusations were false, the more I felt helpless and like no one would believe me. I was going crazy over all this in my head for so long and then I finally LET IT GO. (and my Bad Man is an ocean away terrorizing women in the islands still… but his games and his reputation are closing in on him.)

Anyway, to anyone reading this… hang in there. You will get better if you don’t engage.



Thanks Alohatraveler. Because my ex had a really bad childhood, I bought books to help him, photocopied articles from books and offered to give him 100 per cent committment and I paid for counselling. He wasnt interested AT ALL, threw my letters and articles away, declined the counselling and as he said in one abusive txt mgs to me ‘I aint kow towing to no-one especially you!’ – he told me he sorts his own problems out. That was one of my big MISTAKES I GOT HOOKED in on helping him and he clearly didnt want my help. I have spent thousands of hours thinking about him, writing about him like I have never done before – almost like post traumatic stress. I have posted more comments on the article under the woman who met a sociopath millionaire.


Hi Beverly,

I read all your comments. I did get hooked on trying to figure out the Bad Man. I think I lost my own mind for awhile. One of my friends in CA said she was so concerned when I called her once and I sounded “manic.” I remember this well and I do not have any disorders… well, maybe a little PTSD since the big event. I do remember that day. I called to tell my fried how happy I was and I was talking WAY TOO FAST… I couldn’t even breathe. That was so weird because normally, I am fairly calm.

Anyway, yes, I spent a long time trying to figure out my man, suggesting counseling which he thought was a good thing until I suggested it. I can tell a bunch of stories here but never mind. It was all nuts, nuts, nuts… and thinking about it too much makes me anxious.

I will never get hooked on helping someone else again. I know this is bad for me and as I write this, I realize there is someone that I am helping too much in my life right now and I am going to stop that immediately (and he’s a sweet guy). I just need to help ME.

I still need help, even with all my straight talk!

Have a lovely holiday and I hope you get to enjoy time with people that love you.

Aloha… Elise


Hi everyone new to this site…All I have to say is that I do feel invigoraed, when 1 door closes (or explodes in ur face) alot more open up including your eyes to see the truth for what it is, even though you are left with your jaw hitting the floor saying repeatedly what just happened???!!!!
Where did that come from ? Deep inside we always new it was coming, when was the real question, we put our blinders on for it, they are so dark no light enters.
It has only been since October 17 2007, that my explosion erupted. I am an RN surprise…who just finished school last May after being blown away I needed to feel the ground again quickly to get some form of sanity back into my life, it didnt make any sense, this drove me nuts so only a couple days ago I wrote down all his behaviors and things I thought were not quite right and decided i just finished school I can research this and figure it out, bam here I found you all and heres my reasons and i feel invigorated WOW!!!! I thank God every day I was capable of finishing school! I thank God every day for saving my life!!!! I have been through malor traumas in my life (hense the co-dependence) But I truly thought I would be locked up with the key tossed after this one!!! Again WOW!!! God bless everyone here for being strong enough to survive..survival of the fittest, I will also pray for the next victims of this horrible rollercoaster ride.

hi guys,

aloha, you nailed it.

i spent five years of my life and hundreds of dollars in self-help books – everything from codependency, abuse, anger, narcissism, manipulation – you name it, and i’ve read about it.

i went to counselor after counselor searching for answers.

they called me “codependent.” i got angry. i knew, above everything else, i was NOT codependent. i was the victim of a crime.

imagine the police telling the victim of a mugging that they wanted to be mugged, that something inside them was pulling them to the mugger.

hogwash. and through all of this, i knew that for sure.

but i did get hooked on trying to figure him out. trying to find the answer.

and i think that i needed to go through this process because i am the kind of person who feels i want to make a difference for someone, to make a difference in the world.

and it wasn’t until i had the name for it – whether it is narcisissim, socio or psycho or plain old abuser – that i could identify what i was up against.

once i had the correct information, i had the power to protect myself.

during our last conversation, my S, who is quite open about his lack of empathy and conscience – and wants someone to accept him without it – told me that he just doesn’t know what to do, that he doesn’t know how or why he hurts me, he just does.

he tells me he doesn’t know how to love someone, but if he could, it would be me.

i told him that i understood, that i know he is struggling to display human emotions he just doesn’t have, but that it is now time for me to protect myself. that there is no other way.

i can’t ask someone without legs to get up and walk. i can’t ask him to be human if he isn’t. a scorpion only knows how to sting. that’s where we are in this.

i am detaching with empathy for him. i told him that if he does “love” me, he will understand my need to protect myself from him and respect it by not contacting me anymore.

so far, so good. i don’t expect the peace to last though.

it will hurt a lot if he finds another girl, but i realize that he is a S, and that he needs to fill the void because he needs immediate relief from his distress. it is not about anything else.

and with every moment away from him, i don’t cry.
that is a big step.

i am sad, yes. but sadness i understand and can deal with. it is constant and i am living through it.

i know in time, it will pass. the insanity i had before was what i couldn’t live through.

i always explain this as though i am putting my beloved dog to sleep.

say you have this wonderful, perfect dog who is your life companion. he plays frisbee, sleeps on your bed and brings you the newspaper every morning. you two are inseparable.

but say one day this dog gets bitten by a racoon and contracts rabies.

there is no cure. the dog will never get better. he will never be the same dog who looked at you with love. you have to put him down because you realize that now he could kill you.

knowing what rabies is helps you to make clearer decisions about what you need to do.

still, having the information and the name does not take away the sadness, the absolute agony.

but unfortunately for us, it seems that society knows a lot more about rabies than it does about sociopathy.

that’s where i believe we come in and make a difference for others, and make a difference for the world.

i’ll bet the folks long ago – trying to put together the foaming mouth, aggressivness, suffering and death – were searching for answers too.

how many people do you think died waiting for their beloved dog to recover? they wanted a cure too. they wanted their dog back the way he used to be.

sometimes i am surprised to learn that we, as a society, have still so much to learn.

we don’t even know how long a whale lives!

i find that extremely hard to believe, but it is true. there is so much still unknown.

i truly believe there is a reason that we went through this. some good will come of it.



Rabies, alcoholism, sociopaths… now we know.

As I read your words about wanting to make a difference for someone, I instantly thought of LoveFraud and of our selves. We make a difference in our own lives by recognizing our own unhealthy behavior. We share our experiences and we make a difference for the person reading and wondering if they have the strength to get away or to put a stop to the nightmare they are living.

Nothing I ever did or said to the Bad Man made a difference for him or in him. He was a lost cause and continuing to try and help him would have been a self sacrifice. But I can tell you know that.

As far as having empathy for a Scorpion, I hear what you are saying. I think the Bad Man wants love. I think it is sad that he is wired this way. Very sad. However, even when I have expressed compassion to him, he stung me so bad, I almost didn’t get up. Do you know what I mean? He’s just a dead end.

Thanks for reading my essay. All the best to you in your road to recovery. My Bad Man is an ocean away. If yours isn’t, create an ocean in your mind and set him on the other side.

Aloha……… E.R.

thanks aloha –

did you ever hear the story of the frog and the scorpion? i have told it to my S (hey! that stands for scorpion too!) and he did understand it. didn’t keep him from stinging though.

i am detaching with empathy not to benefit him, but to retain who i am.

for anyone who is interested, here is the frog and scorpion story, with my own personal extra-ending…

One day a scorpion is hanging around the side of a stream. A frog happens by on his way across the stream. The scorpion cannot swim so he stops the frog and asks if he can climb on his back for a ride across the water.

“Do you think I am crazy?” The frog says. “If I let you on my back, you’ll certainly sting me and I’ll sink in the water and die.”

The scorpion replies, “hey just think about it for a second, I can’t swim. If I sting you, then you’ll die and I’ll sink and die too.”

The frog thinks for a second and decides that makes sense, so he proceeds to give the scorpion a ride across the stream.

About half way across the stream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog screams “What are you doing? Why did you sting me? Now I am going to drown and die and you are going to sink and die too.”

The scorpion says “because I am a scorpion and it is my nature.”

–With the new ending, think of your S as the scorpion, and you as the frog —

As you sink into the water, gasping your last breath, your S turns to you and blames you for not getting him across the river, and that you are dying on purpose, just to ruin his day.

Aloha -alas, my scorpion is just a half-mile away, but i will dig the ocean this afternoon….yours is in hawaii? maybe the spy satellite will fall on that bad man…

as for mine, no more rides across the river….



you gals are so great! Thank you for you. Appreciate the good thoughts of digging oceans and no more frog rides. Looking back at not just the S but several men I’ve dated, and my ex husband… I think I have been the frog one too many times. Sometimes though I wonder if there really is a man out there that can stand on his own feet and actually give back sometimes. I am a giver, at heart – but its getting to where you seem to do 99.9% of the giving anymore. And then you feel like they’ll drop you if you sit back a bit and wait for them to figure out how to give of themselves. I know logically its better if they do leave, if that is the type they are. I dont know how to date anymore maybe. The S has really thrown me for a loop. I do think digging my ocean will be healing in itself 🙂

findingmyselfagain –

in my very humble opinion, which i have earned through much suffering with my S, i am not sure doubting yourself, giving up your “giving” nature, is the right way to go.

i am not giving my “giving” nature up, i do know that much.

i think in the midst of this, we sometimes forget the normal progression of relationships. even in healthy ones, we do things to hurt each other.

the difference with an S is that we cannot expect the “normal” reaction that our partner will change the behavior that hurts us.

no, we cannot expect what we have grown up expecting. it’s like someone changed the rules of life and didn’t tell us. now all bets are off, and nothing is as it was.

think of how you would respond if the roles were reversed. if your partners were giving, would you act as your ex’s have? or would you appreciate it and reciprocate?

your gut is you. your instincts are you. you are you. doubting your nature is less than what the scorpion does. he is who he is. so are you.

there is an old book i once read, “stop, you’re driving me crazy,” that talks about expectations. it says having expectations is normal – when the mailman is on your porch, you expect mail in your mailbox.

but if for some reason your mailman throws it in the yard, you are rightly angry.

but if the mailman says he slipped on ice and the mail flew out of his hand and scattered in the yard, your anger is replaced by concern and even caring for the mailman.

i think our expectations are sound and reasonable. our anger is reasonable when the expectations are not met.

the S’s however, know how to lie skillfully – they all slipped on the ice…

while you dig tonight, think of how valuable you are in your life. make a list, write yourself a letter, congratulating yourself on all you have done in your life, how you have chosen to live.

then take that letter and place it in a beautiful place, high up, where only people worthy of you can read it.

on valentine’s day, i truly believe that my Scorpion lost out because he was not worthy to give me flowers. he missed that opportunity to be with me. he lost out on my company, on my goodness, on my love.

dating right now, is the last thing on my mind. when the time is right, the man will have to seek me out and earn my attention.

i am not going to make it easy for him, but i will allow my heart to open again as he displays the qualities I NEED from a man – character, integrity, loyalty, honesty. i deserve those qualities. i will not accept less.

the last chapter of martha stout’s “the sociopath next door,” said a lot to me. she explained very clearly why it is better to be giving, to have a conscience. it is one of the only books that i’ve read so far that attempts to do that.

meanwhile, exercise. join a gym if you don’t belong already. try a new class, maybe kickboxing? meet new sisters who will smile when they see you at the gym. ask them if they are coming again tomorrow. then keep digging!


Your bad man, my father… literally JW, is a lost cause. My mother stayed with him for far too many years being emotionally and physically abused. I tried to mend a broken relationship with him. He would pretend to change, then the moment I didn’t give into his selfish ideas he would blast me with text messages telling me I was a bitch and a horrible daughter. I think everyone he knows has tried to help him, but he will never be helped. He doesn’t want to be. He’s pathetic. He never tried to make contact with my other 4 siblings. He said it was my mothers fault, but it wasn’t. She encouraged them to call him, but he was just nuts. He barely paid child support, I still cannot figure out how a man lets his children go unnoticed…. Yes my mother took us. But she took us to a safe place. And now we are much better off. Be glad you left him when you did.


Are you still in San Francisco?! I bet we have passed each other before and didn’t even know it! I moved here to get away from my first abusive x-s when I lived in Florida. I think this is a place of healing 🙂 (although unfortunately, I met my second x-s the first week I moved here). But still, I am finally on the road to changing myself and healing. Thanks for this essy, it definitely spoke to me as well 🙂


AlohaTraveler (and others)-
Do you know where I can find that blog about NO CONTACT that you spoke of in the above posts? I am definitely interested in that one specifically…

Ox Drover

Dear Aloha,

I don’t know how I missed this essay, but saw it today when it was brought up by Karissa and Letgoletgod. This is a fantastic article (as all your articles are) but particularly spoke to me. As I have healed the “details” do stop ‘MATTERING” but at first they matter so much. There comes a time though when the details start to “fade” into distant memories that in themselves aren’t of any more importance, just “he/she was a P and they are out of my life”

I’ve been noticing this about myself for some time, as my hate for them has become forgiveness and as my disgust with myself has become forgiveness and as my joy has risen as the pain as subsided. Life is not only good again, it is BETTER than good.

Thanks for a grand article, Aloha! ((((hugs))))



I am in San Jose CA. I will see if I can find the NO CONTACT essay for you. I believe it is one of Donna’s Posts.


This is an old essay but I am glad you found it. I have 6 essays. This one was my first.

I havent’ been very active lately.

Unwilling Raconteur

Thanks, Aloha!

“You are here to learn how to be cautious when you notice your compassion and kindness and your willingness to see the best in people is triggered when it really shouldn’t be ””

I agree! What threw me about this behavior is that I’d seen it before in my ex-husband. He was not a sociopath, and in fact, he was one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met; but he was a “spoiled brat.” (And a substance abuser.) So I felt that canvassing for sympathy and compassion when none was deserved wasn’t an “abnormal” trait — just annoying and indicative of a flawed personality.

I’ll tell you what first threw me for a loop. My ex-S told me about hiring a prostitute and how she brought over drugs and he ended up in the emergency room for an overdose, and the same hooker came over to “take care of him” the next day. He laughed about it like this was just another story that he’d tell at a party, not knowing how shocking and inappropriate his behavior was. If I’d done that — and I’m sure there are people who have skeletons in their closet — I sure wouldn’t tell anyone! And if I did, it would be in abject shame.

That he was able to make such a sordid, inappropriate story “humorous” made me think that there was “something” wrong with him. I just didn’t know what at the time. Now I know.

Ox Drover

Dear Unwilling Raconteur,

Yes, some of them are inappropriate in their knowledge of what is “socially acceptable” behavior and what is NOT. Some of them have not learned what they need to “hide” and what is okay to “share” and laugh at.

One time my P-bio-father was going to “entertain” a group of visiting people from another country so he took them across the boarder into Mexico to “boy’s town” which is a notorious red-light district in Tijuana and these married men were NOT AMUSED at all, but my P-bio father’s idea of a “good time” was a Mexican whore house, so he saw noting “inappropriate” in entertaining them this way. Sheesh, talk about “low class”—he even took me there once with a group of his employees, and of course I thought I was just at a cheap Mexican “cantina” (on the ground floor) and being a green teenager I had no idea until some one later told me where I was.


Awesome essay! I can relate to every emotion… I also can remember the dates…ignored the red flags… and it lasted about 15 months…. Mine was a “firefighter” not a “pastor” but he was a malignant narcissist, a sociopath. And I too, was a total “junkie” for that relationship…
It’s amazing how they leave your life in ruins…
Just like a recovering addict, I try to take it “one day at a time”…I think the most painful part is that you never really get any closure…It’s just “cut your losses” and adhere to No Contact…I think that is why it haunts you for so long…



Thanks. I am glad you got something out of this essay. For me, the closure has been the understanding that this man was disordered and this is how disodered people act.

In the end, he did toss me out like a used rag.. but that is what they do. How else would he do it? If he did anything else, well then, he wouldn’t be disodered.

I let go of his vicious acts and know that they are not deserved by me and they are not a comment on me and my character… it is a comment on HIS character.

And from there, I have freedom.


Unwilling Raconteur,

A comment on inappropriate behavior… I have a friend that went through a similiar experience with her own Bad Man. We both noticed and made up our own term for what we called: Inappropriate Response.

Her Bad Man and mine both did this… a good example would be this… you get very sick and the disodered person becomes annoyed because they are inconvenienced by your illness INSTEAD OF… feeling empathy for you and wanting to help take care of you.

Look back and notice .. Was there any responses to situations that disturbed you?




You can find the No Contact essay in the section called “Leaving a Sociopath” the Link is right above the link to the Blog. Better yet… here it is:

Please… all readers.. read this is you haven’t already. I believe it is the foundation to your recovery.



Dear LF Peeps,

This evening, I dredged up this old essay I sent to LF. It was the first thing I submitted oh-so-long-ago. I pulled it up because I wanted to share a link to it with a new friend.

I have a new friend that I met recently. Actually, I met her years ago the first time when we were part of a Bible Study, back in the day, “Surfer Bible Study” in Santa Cruz, CA. (I wasn’t a surfer but I was a sailor… they made an exception.) :O)

Anyway, our paths crossed again and she is now in recovery mode from a sociopathic encounter. It has been so rewarding to be able to speak to her and share stories. For the most part, these days, I am able to talk about this subject without getting too upset. And that is why I am making a comment here on one of my old posts.

When I wrote this “Once upon a time..” I was still very traumatized. I wrote this specifically because I was hoping that a certain reader would see it. I wanted her to see it because I was concerned for her healing. She continually posted long lists of what “he did” and she often said “and get this” like it was something to gossip about.

I guess I was being judgmental. But mainly, I just wanted to share what I was starting to learn at LF… that the healing and the lessons were in me, and not in what “he did.”

Does this make sense to anyone? (If anyone is out there…)

These days, I know how important it is to get it all out.. what “he (or she) did.” And I don’t want to stop anyone from dumping it all out… get it ALL OUT!!! But then, do turn to within… because the healing and the answers are within us.

I told my new friend that I don’t need to tell her my story. I am happy to hear hers and she can tell that I understand. When it makes sense, I tell her a small bit here and there if I know that it will help her to believe that I believe her or show her that I get it in my bones what she is trying to sort out right now. And the fun part, as I listen to her, is that different bits of wisdom in the LF archives pop into my head… and I have shared with her many articles by other readers and authors.

So our hard earned lessons, that we have recorded here, benefit the healing and growth of others and all that we share will make a difference.

So go ahead and tell your story and don’t let little old me, AlohaTraveler, tell you not to.

And about pathologically exploitative people… we know them inside and out, but through this process, I have come to a much deeper understanding of myself. My friend has been asking me how do we learn to trust ourselves again?

I say, now, I trust myself more than ever… but it took time to get here.

I think that’s it for now. I hear a piece of cake calling me from the kitchen and I would like to answer that call.

Thanks to all here. This community is where healing truly begins.



Bad bad girl using the 4 letter word that begins with C (cake).
Other than that, yes, it makes sense. We begin by reporting what we are experiencing because we don’t quite get it. When we have traversed the expanse of spath knowledge, it becomes more about us.

It’s hard to admit that we have the spaths to be thankful to for our new knowledge. Or maybe not, after all, if the spaths knew how much they have helped us grow, they would implode with rage.


Skylar… cake? LOL!

You scared me for a minute.. I was wondering… did I drop a bomb?

Yeah.. the Bad Man was definitely not interested in anything that would be helpful to me. I have a visual in my mind of a cartoon character blowing his top. Funny.

Nite nite… Aloha


It’s not even funny, how almost every single letters, or blogs posted here, just seems like it’s coming from my mind/experience.

My friends are showing concern for me now, because I seem to have locked myself in, with work and family.

I hardly socialize or date, they know I see several men at the same time, but kept my distance with everyone of them (I probably have gone out less than 10 times this year, none I would consider a date)

However, I am happy though, I feel at ease and at peace.

I also like to wish Donna and the rest of LF members, a healthy, happy, and humourous 2012! 🙂


This is a good article. Our spath is in another state in jail. I received my first jailhouse letter (I’ve never had one of these before). The spath is in trouble and wants my help. He loves me and the kids (he doesn’t know what love is). The spath gave me instructions, directing me what to do on his behalf (I was amazed by the gall of it), how to bail him out, get him free of charges (unrealistic thinking on his part). Not gonna happen (also, it’s beyond my control, obviously). In his letter, he fails to acknowledge (or recognize) how his latest drama could have affected all of us (here on planet earth). He’s on his own. The letter was a big pity play, seeing just how self-centered he is. Everyone (friends and family) are disgusted with him, believing that he’s not working with a full deck. Personally, I’d like the jailhouse personnel to “lose” the paperwork on him (since he’s in another state), letting him sit there for a few years, then he wouldn’t be extradited back to our state for a while.


bluejay –

“my first jailhouse letter … he fails to acknowledge (or recognize) how his latest drama could have affected all of us (here on planet earth). ”

You got it in one; they are NOT from this planet. Only HUMANS come from this planet and they are most definitely not human…

“Everyone (friends and family) are disgusted with him, believing that he’s not working with a full deck. ”

No – not a FULL deck or even part of a deck – he’s working with a STACKED deck and/or more than one set of cards. They all do.

So pleased to read here how strong you are being in not falling for the con again. Well done! x



Thank you! My oldest son struck me as being very concerned (about this latest letter), thinking that maybe, I would get sucked into helping their dear old dad, but I told him, no way. I wrote a letter to my son, spelling it out that I am going to do what’s best for all of us, that means, letting their dad take care of himself and his own problems. Their father has made a mess of his life – it’s tragic, but we can’t help him in any way, shape, or form.

Ox Drover

Dear Bluejay,

Yep, let him stew in his own juice, and let the consequences of his –repeat—HIS bad acts fall on HIS shoulders.

Do not fall for the pity play and never ever EVER think he will change or get better…..he is what he is because of his choices, not yours. NO ONE CAN HELP him because he will NOT help himself.


Aloha, thank you for bringing this article back up, it is one of the BEST articles on LF and it is so true. It starts out about them, but ends up being about US and OUR healing and growth! Thanks very much for this article! TOWANDA


Thank you for your words, Oxy! It’s so true, he will not help himself. He creates troubles for himself, not learning from a single one of them. His motto is to figure out how to get out of his latest jams, trying to lure good-hearted people into rescuing him. I don’t have the time, the money, nor the inclination. Peace.

Ox Drover


Yesterday a girl I knew back in the 1980s contacted me on face book, and I gave her my phone number and she called. Her kids used to play with mine and we had a good time together, she is a nice gal.

She called today and her son has been in and out of prison for the last 20 years, but her daughter is doing well and the lady is doing well. I’m going to go have lunch with her one day next week. I look forward to seeing her again. Sometimes these old friendships can be rekindled and sometimes not but I’m going to give it a shot. Sounds also like she could use some support about her son in prison.

Psychopaths and other criminals effect not only themselves but their families, and their kids….she said he had 3 kids by 3 different women (sounds pretty spathy doesn’t it?) and two have mental health issues and one has behavior issues….well, will keep you posted on the old friendship, maybe we can get a local support group going for parents and others relatives of criminals and help out some folks.


Ox Drover,

I’ve had similar thoughts (every now and then) – holding a support group at my house for anyone who’s suffered due to ties with a spath. If I do this, then, the whole neighborhood and/or town will know what I think about the kids father. Who knows if I’ll ever do this. I would love for the spath to be diagnosed while he’s in jail, confirming my suspicions about him. I don’t know if jail mates get psychological evaluations or not – does that just happen at the prison level?

I hope that your reunion turns out to be positive for the two of you. Peace.

Ox Drover

Dear Blue,

Psych care in prisons is lacking for the most part, the very very dangerous and ill patients may be medicated or simply locked up in a cell like a caged animal. I know of both. My son has seen a therapist, only to con her….of course. But psych care is not a priority for the prisons.

As far as holding a group, you might do it at a church or other facility….doesn’t have to be at your home. Might not be a good idea to do it at your home in fact. There are places you could get a room, though for a support group like that. I would not have one here at my house, but somewhere else.


Hi Blue Jay,

I know at jail there is a quick mental health assessment in Santa Clara County.

I suspect at the prison level, there is knowledge about AXIS II disorders. One would have to have that training in order to work so closely with these people or they might manipulate people all over the place.

So you got a plea (pity play) on prison stationary? Frame the sad little envelope, just for fun. I would.

Look who has all the power now! Good for you.

Keep on, keepin on.




I love the new editing tool. I just fixed some typos I made in 2008! HAHA! That’s awesome.

Oxy, don’t flatter me so much. It makes me feel weird. But, I am very glad if my stories helped you. That is the point of this for me… to help others.. otherwise, what a nightmare that was and for what? As if I needed that?!

Actually, I did need that. It helped me to wake up. I didn’t know I was sleeping. Know what I mean?

Interacting with a sociopath or other exploitive personalities can cause a radical shift in our brains once we are able to see what is really going on.

Also, I wanted to add that “Sociopath” and “Psychopath” are not in the DSM IV. My Professor said, “Oh, those are just creations of Hollywood.” Say what?! To me, a Sociopath meets criteria for the other AXIS II stuff but they add the socially exploitive element. They exploit people in all the different ways we have heard about here at LF.

Some smile while they do it and use Love Bombs. Others use fear and intimidation. It’s all abuse, no matter what flavor.

Aloha………. :O)

Send this to a friend