By | August 19, 2010 17 Comments

TARGETED TEENS AND 20s: Teenager shares wisdom about life’s hidden truth

Editor’s note: Almost a year ago, Lovefraud received a letter from Mandy, a 15-year-old who told her distressing story about a “relationship” with a sociopathic guy. Read it here: I didn’t want to be alone and believed that he loved me.


Well, it’s a year later, and Mandy has written to Lovefraud again. She’s grown. She’s matured. Her letter contains so much wisdom that I’m astounded it came from a 16-year-old. I invite you to read—and learn.

Life is hard; I think everyone can agree on that. It’s true when people say life is like a roller coaster. People have their ups and downs, twists and turns and every day is a new adventure.

It’s important to slow down in life and to not live in the past or future. Living in the moment is key, whether we are conscious of it or not. Believe it when I say every day has significance to it.

1. We have a conscious choice.

Every choice, every decision we make, is made within us. People are in control of their lives, and other parts are beyond our control. As people we have the choice to create a better lifestyle and to grow. You can choose to be happy, or sad. The part that we have control over depends on our thinking.

When summer 2009 came, everything had fallen apart. This was the first Fourth of July alone, with no grandparents, cousins, aunts, or uncles, since my family had been fighting. My first year of working at a day camp was a nightmare. My co-workers didn’t like me because I didn’t fit in, and tried to get me fired more than once. Every day they would whisper about me, and purposely leave me out, and treat me if I were below them. This was the first summer without the guy who I thought loved me. On top of everything, my group of friends, including my best friend, had been fighting with me almost every day. My best friend was extremely angry that I received the job that she did not get. She went out of her way to pick fights and to verbally abuse me.

Well, why didn’t I just get rid of the people who were putting my down? Because I didn’t want to go back to a place where I felt alone and scared. I have been there before, which led me to even more awful places. I also had lost the one person who would support me in awful times like these, but he left my life completely.

So what had come out of that summer? The feeling of depression, feeling alone which would make me cry almost every day. I would cry, “Why me, what have I done to deserve this? G-d hates me.” I had thought, that’s it, my life is over, but then I had realized something towards the end of the summer. I can either cry about it, or choose to do something positive.

I ended my relationship with my circle of friends, which made me vulnerable and scared. This was the best decision I made, because I chose to become active to make new friends. I chose to make a fresh start. When the new school year came, I joined my school’s kick line team, and joined a program through my temple. I made new friends, and felt that I’ve become a part of something. I was open to the idea of trying new experiences, which I’ve never done before. It is really true when people say you have to work to get what you want. With a positive and open mind, positive things can come together.

By joining these new things, I had many new experiences such as performing in homecoming, helping out with children, and went places with people I never thought I would even talk to. I started to put myself out there, but that is what life is about: taking chances. We might succeed or fail, but how will you know until you try?

Sometimes we fall into dark places and feel that we will never be able to see the light again, but everyone has the power to do something about it. You can either sink into the negativity or pull yourself out.

Sometimes there are reasons to have grief or sadness, such as a death of a loved one. This is the part that is beyond our control. As many people say, “To live is to suffer.” This is normal and is a part of life, but it comes to a point where we need to find our inner strength. We will have happy moments and there will be sad moments. I learned that if you live in fear of becoming hurt, then we will never be able to fully enjoy the good. Face your fears, look it right in the eye and make peace with it.

When we fall back into those dark moments, it is good to think of something you’re thankful for. It can be your health, family, friends or what ever means the most to you. During summer 2009, when I fell into a complete depression, I was in search of hope. I decided to talk to a 16-year-old boy diagnosed with leukemia to find out what he was going through. He told me he missed his house because he was too sick to leave the hospital, but then I asked him what he missed the most; he said “All the small things. The ability to ride a bike, go out with his friends, just independence of doing what he wanted.”

If he could find his inner strength through this unfortunate situation, I knew I could find mine.

Most people dwell only on the negative because that’s what hurts us. Why not think of the positive though?  I am not saying deny the negative, it’s important to acknowledge it, but it’s important to know when to let it go.

It is impossible, though, to only make sure we have positive moments in our life. This would be a very unrealistic situation. We have to acknowledge the other feelings of sadness, or anger. It is ok to feel sad or angry at times! It just depends on how we deal with our emotions and the decisions we make from this.

Positive choices are the most important choices in life. The great thing about this is that everyone has the power to do it!

It’s never too late! Nothing in life is ever too late. You read how I joined kick line and a group through my temple, which were extremely positive choices. It takes a lot of courage, which can leave us vulnerable, but it pays off in the end. I made a lot of wrong choices to reach the right ones, but that is ok. That’s how people grow; we learn from our mistakes and take the next step forward.

2. Acceptance

What would life be like if you could never accept? Let’s say your parents had recently gotten divorced, but you never accepted it. You held onto anger and sadness and were never able to move past it. Doesn’t sound very healthy, right? But what if you could face your sadness and reach peace? If you could accept the situation for what it is and move on. Even though it is easier said than done, just think about it and how it would feel to get there.

So what are some ways a person can reach the ultimate goal? Well, that takes us back to everyone has a conscious choice. What if you say to yourself, “This was not my fault.” “Life will be okay if I want it to be; this will not stand in my way.” Positive thoughts and a positive attitude can bring positive results.

We are our own worst enemies. Every choice leads to another moment in our lives. It all depends on how we chose to make those choices. We try to be the best person we could be, and to have a better life, although we face a constant battle each day to reach that.

So my point is, what if we can accept those bad choices and learn from them? We then can realize we just moved one step forward to reach the ultimate goal.

Look at everyone in life as a teacher, and from each of those people we learn something. Elizabeth Gilbert mentions this in her book “Eat, Pray, Love.”

When I was thirteen, I had fallen in love with a guy who I believed loved me. Our relationship continued on for more than a year, it ended when I was 15 and he was 17. My whole life revolved around him, and he eventually became my life. Until, without any warning, he left me for another girl. I took a scissor and started to rip everything that he gave me, screamed into my pillow and tried every way to get revenge.

It gets worse, though. I found out that most things he told me were lies. He told me he never met his dad, his mom abused him, to name just a few of his lies. This would make me feel sorry for him, which was all part of his plan. He had manipulated me for over a year, had full control of my life, received all types of abuse, broke all his promises, and took me down with him. Money out of my own pocket was spent to go see him, and buy him various gifts. He verbally and mentally abused me and made believe I would never find anyone like him who would stay with me. When about a year passed, his interest in bestiality, incest, and sexual interest in children came out. He tried to make me go along with it, but I never did.

As I write this at the age of 16, almost 17, it took me more than a year to get over this awful experience; I was traumatized and depressed. To quote Matchbox Twenty:

“Say goodbye, these days are gone and we can’t keep holding on.”

Perhaps you are wondering: If the relationship was so awful, then why would I stay? Because I wanted to be loved and as long as he said, “I love you,” I would stay no matter what.

For over a year I felt hurt and broken by him and never truly moved on. Why couldn’t I? Because I never faced my pain and never could accept the fact that I allowed this awful situation to take place. I would think to myself, how can I be so stupid to believe all his lies? Well you know what I think now? How could I have known better, I was so young and naive, there was no way for me to know!

One day I thought about it and said to myself, “How much longer will I keep beating myself up?” Getting revenge will solve nothing; it is just a waste of energy, but instead move forward and learn from it. It has happened already and nothing I do will take that back. So why not turn into something positive? I could forgive myself, accept this has happened, and use this knowledge in the next relationship I have.

The only way people will learn is through failure. It’s ok to fail because we are only human. The only part that we need to do is to pick ourselves up and to learn from it.

My hardest obstacle was to accept my past, and to not pity myself.  I would have built up anger from the people who looked upon me as a loser, or the people who stepped all over me. Accepting and forgiving yourself is one the hardest tasks to do. Accepting this means I was able to move forward, although I am not trying to forget. You can never forget because that puts you in denial and the inability to face reality. I have realized that it is ok to think about your past, but there comes a point where you need to let it go and move on.


3. Self esteem comes along with self respect

What exactly is self esteem? Self esteem is to reflect a person’s overall evaluation of his or her own worth.

I am a person who suffered from low self esteem.

Lack of self esteem leads to a lengthy list of problems, including some that could be dangerous to a person’s lifestyle. This led me into troubled relationships with guys and girls. I would cling to people who were unhealthy and would have trouble recognizing that. From these kinds of people I took a lot of verbal abuse and never knew when to walk away.

One rule I learned is to never be desperate. Never settle for someone who will not respect you and your values. To have interest in another person is ok, but not at the expense of your health. Keep your options open, especially for teenagers. You do not have to settle for the first person who takes interest. When it comes to the opposite sex I like to use the expression, “There are so many more fish in the sea.”

Life is not always about what you desire, but what is right. That was another one of my problems, my desires with men would confuse me with reality. You can not get caught up in fantasies, but need to stay in reality, even if it is not you want at the moment.

My low self esteem took a big hit when puberty started. My acne broke out, and my whole image started to fall apart. I was made fun of by classmates, especially about my acne. I remember one boy said, “Pizza face.” Another boy said, “She is so ugly she will never get a guy.”

This would make me feel bad about myself, which would make me think the only way I could get guys is by sexual intercourse. I didn’t realize that I have so much to offer as a person. I couldn’t see the good in me; I saw a girl who was ashamed to look in the mirror.

I still deal with acne, but I have received treatment and I put myself back together. Now if anyone says anything about my acne my answer is, “I can get rid of my acne, but you can’t get rid of your disgusting personality!” Considering I am a quiet girl, I never was able to stand up for myself. But there is a difference between being quiet, and able to protect your emotions.

Standing up for yourself is important; it shows high self esteem, confidence which all proves that you feel good about yourself. This is also proves that you are able to respect yourself.

I have to admit I was a bit of a mess, but I was 12 when it all started! I have learned how to fix up my appearance, which now I can feel beautiful inside and out.

Now from more than one guy I have received comments like, “You are so pretty.”

Life is not all about looks and beauty; it is just a part that can make us feel good. Taking care of ourselves physically helps us with our mental health. Personal hygiene, exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet is all part of the key.

Another key to happiness is to learn to love yourself. Find at least one thing about yourself that you are proud of. Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for improvement with all aspects of our lives, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t already qualities we can’t enjoy.

All it takes is to look in the mirror and smile to help us feel good. “Smile with your mouth, smile within the mind, and smile within your soul.” Elizabeth Gilbert mentions in her book “Eat, Pray, Love.”

So how can low self esteem be dangerous? Low self esteem can lead to depression, drug use, and promiscuity, which basically equal bad choices. Some less serious problems are denial in bad experiences, unable to express our feelings, and depending on others for self acceptance.

Denial happened for me when I thought I was with a guy who loved me. As my dad says, “He was pulling me on a string.” I gave my heart and soul to him, not because he was such a great guy, but because I was needy and depended on him. I never wanted to believe that he could be using me for his ulterior motives. I wanted to have a boyfriend so desperately that I lost my own self respect. I ignored all the bad parts of the relationship and only looked upon the times he made me feel loved.

This was immature love: I was 13 when this all started, and I loved him because I needed him. That’s why I was his perfect victim; I was in a point of my life that I didn’t like myself and had zero self esteem.

We talked about marriage, kids, our lives together and talked everyday for 30 months straight. We were there through our greatest and worst days during this time period. We cried together, we laughed together, and we knew each other’s biggest secrets. He always would ask me what love means to me, and I could never answer this question. As of now I still don’t know, but a real relationship consists of two people who build a relationship through friendship and trust, who grow together with respect and care.

The inabilities to express my feelings were another problem for me. Whenever I would feel angry or upset the exact words I would say are, “I’m ok, I’m fine, I’m fine.” I was never able to touch into my other emotions. I thought that those feelings were negative feelings that a person should not feel. I was scared to feel upset or angry and tried every way possible to get around those emotions.

The third problem for me was depending on a guy for self acceptance. Since I was 12, I depended on guys to make me happy. I thought, once I get a boyfriend it would be the answer to my problems. If they love me, then I can love myself. Well guess what: That’s wrong!

You are not going to be happy if a certain condition is met. I will not be happy all of a sudden if I have a boyfriend and all my problems disappear. You should not let people approve of you to make you feel worthful. This part needs to come from within yourself to lead a healthier lifestyle. There is no perfect solution to life; it’s about taking one step at a time and keep moving forward. Life is a process, and we will face problems, but this is reality. People will not be happy all the time, but we can work to try to enjoy life as much as we can.

These were all real problems for me, but promiscuity was the serious problem I had because of low self esteem. Luckily, I never went into drugs, smoking, or had an alcohol problem. When I was 12 and my low self esteem kicked in, my friend and I would go online and talk to random guys only about sexual things. This phase lasted for about a year; we met some of the guys, but most of them we didn’t meet. This was dangerous to us because what happens if one of those guys was a sexual predator, or a killer? Our lives were at stake. The guys we talked to were from Florida, Pennsylvania, Brooklyn. This was very unhealthy to our lifestyle, but sometimes we learn the hard way. We were lucky enough that nothing happened to us.

My friend and I, who would go online together, are not friends anymore because we went our separate ways in life. She went into drugs, smoking, and alcohol, which is one thing I knew never to start. It is ok if people grow apart, because people are constantly changing in life; nothing will last forever. Life is about making changes and rolling with the punches, and to keep moving forward. No matter how much I didn’t like it, nothing will stay the same. You make relationships, you lose relationships, people come and go, and that is perfectly normal. We have moments that we can look back on and smile, and other moments that we regret. Try not to regret, but to cherish all the memories and one thing I have learned, it’s not about if the relationship will last. It’s the meaning of the relationship and how it affects you as a person. The more you can accept this, the stronger you will become as a person.

My self esteem is still building and everyone’s self esteem will continue to build in life. View yourself as the person you see yourself as, not what anyone says you are.

4. Friendships and Family

There are good friends, best friend, just friends, and acquaintances. Everyone in your life has a category. I had some trouble picking the right kind of people for me. Ever since first grade I would pick people who were louder than me, leaders, which I was not. It wasn’t until eighth grade when this decision making in friends exploded in my face. I met a girl who was my enemy in disguise. Yes, this was my best friend, who I spoke of earlier, who verbally abused me in summer 2009. Just like my ex, she wanted to control me and take me down with her. People talk behind each other’s back, which is a part of life, but she went out of her way to make you feel bad about yourself. She dropped me as a friend, and this is the time when my ex boyfriend came into the picture. She dropped me as a friend and picked me up when ever she wanted to. I felt like I had no one because I depended too much on her, the leader of the group. It wasn’t until the end of summer 2009 that I found courage to drop her for good. This was hard because I faced her in school every day and we still had some mutual friends; it took me six months to recover from her.

Friendships reflect you as a person and how you feel about yourself. If anyone is going to be categorized as a friend, it should be a two-way system. You are there for them, and they are there for you. A real friend would never put you down, and talk crap about you behind your back constantly.

Friendships are a process just like everything else in life. It takes time to develop and needs to be slow to see if you click with the other person. This is hard because you don’t really know anyone at first; only in time you will be able to tell.

Now I am able to pick up on the warning signs if they are the wrong kind of people for me. Well, how do I do that? I take it slow and don’t give everything until I see what kind of person they are. I look for genuine people like me who are real and not into gossip or drama.

I have also learned to stop trying so hard for friendships or any kind of relationships. Let it come natural and let it come to you. Pushing for anything only makes you look bad, and it’s important to know when to back off. As people say, “Go with the flow.”

To find balance in relationships is a difficult task, but can be done. You need to know where everyone stands, and most importantly, where you stand. It is important to do what is best for you, which was one of my biggest problems in friendships. I was always so concerned with pleasing others that I would sacrifice what was best for me. You need to put yourself first, because you are the most important. This could also be useful in any other relationships.

What about family? For thirteen years of my life, I had an amazing family, amazing parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Unexpectedly in 2007, my grandpa had an unsuccessful colonoscopy. He died in August, and this is when my family collapsed. My grandma on my mother’s side completely withdrew from the world and the family. My Aunt Susan (mother’s sister) decided just to have a relationship with my grandmother, which started the family fighting. Holidays started to become separate, which turned the family into two teams: my Aunt Nora with her kids on our team, against Aunt Susan’s family and my grandmother. We tried to make things work, including talks with grandmother, but the next tragedy for our family happened. My Aunt Nora died from a heart attack in February, 2009, which ironically pulled our family further apart. Her children had to go live with my grandma, which left us with no one our team. This decimated my life, because the most important people seemed to be disappearing.

I tried talking to my grandma a bunch of times, but she was never able to communicate with me. It seemed like she really wanted nothing to do with me, which left me hurt and angry inside.

Recently, in the summer of 2010, my mom and grandma cleared the air with each other. My mom was nervous to talk to her, with feelings of rejection and insecurity; she wasn’t sure how to talk to her after everything. I said to her, “Communicate how you feel, and tell her how hurt you are. It is ok to express how you’re feeling in a calm manner.” I helped my mom the whole way through before she went to see her.

Communication is key with everyone in life. It is important to express how you feel and it is ok to show emotion. When there is a problem it should be addressed when it happens, not to let it build up in anger or hurt. Communication is how relationships evolve and are able to keep going.

One realization that I had to help my mom with was that you can not change anyone. She couldn’t change my grandma no matter how hard she tried; she could only do what was best for her. Going to talk to my grandma did not mean that everything was going to go back to normal. I said, “Go to talk to her because it will make you feel better, to know you tried, to let her know how you feel, and then go from there.”

You can only control yourself and to choose what you want to do. One of my favorite quotes is:

“Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can’t prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you’re presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power.”- Blaine Lee.

This relates back to having a conscious choice in life. Friends, family, or anyone in any of those categories make up our life. Relationships are a huge factor for everyone, so why not try to improve this area? This will help us with our balance, which will lead to a healthier lifestyle.

5. Where to go from here

So what do I do now? I take all of my knowledge from my suffering, which I will carry into the future. What a journey I’ve been through, to only realize this was my first real journey in life. To have once thought I couldn’t make it through any of those difficult times, and to now be writing about it, amazes me.

Life is unpredictable: It can be our best friend or worst enemy. I now appreciate everything and absorb all the positive moments that occur. Another one of my favorite quotes is:

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”- James Dean.

My strength has been put to the test, and I have proven how strong I really am. I actually have the Youth Leadership Award from my temple. When I was younger I attended Hebrew school and loved going in, which most people did not. This really loud guy in my class, who would not stop talking, decided to be rude to the teacher. I turned around and said, “If you don’t like going here so much then leave. He said “What?” I said, “You are obnoxious to the class; you are not funny at all.” He became angry and told me to go back into my shell. The teacher watched me stand up to what I believe was right.

My point is that I have had strength all along; I was just not able to find it all the time. Everyone has strength inside them.

There will always be light at the end of the tunnel. As Pema Chodron said,

“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, and for joy.”

This is not an ending, but only the beginning.

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Ox Drover

WOW!!!! What can You say to top that article? Nothing I can think of. This young woman isn’t 17 yet and she has the wisdom of an ancient sage.

WOW! That’s all I can think of. She needs to write a book for teens, they would listen to her since she is one among them. Her writing style and wisdom is outstanding.

WOW!!! (Mouth hanging open here with astounded look on face)

THANKS FOR THIS ARTICLE! Wisdom far beyond your years!


Thank you for sharing your journey with us! What a wise and wonderful young woman you are!
In reading your article, you brought me back to when I first met my spath. I was 13…..unlike you, I carried on this lack of confidence in myself for 28 years.
I am now almost 43…..and just figuring out what you have already done at 16.
My hat is off to you darling!
I am so very glad you haven’t made the same mistake I did……

I admire your courage and tenacity to keep figuring life out.
There is nowhere but ‘up’ for you in life.

Thank you for warming my heart….and teaching me some lessons in life.
I will be sharing your article with my teenagers.
Maybe hearing it from a peer will be more ‘authentic’ to them rather than hearing it from old mom.

Your enlightening more people than you know…

Continue to grow and learn….and I wish you ALL the best in life.

With much respect…..

Dani S

Mandy- It sounds like you have turned into a beautiful swan! What a beautiful story & you should be so proud of yourself, what a smart young women you are. I am 40 this year and I wish I bestowed the wisdom you already have!
Oxy is right you need to be reaching out to the teens with your story. It has been an honour to read your words here and I feel your words would be very powerful for teenagers.
Because of what you already know your future looks bright and limitless.
Best of wishes to you!


Thank you so much everyone! I appreciate the positive feedback, I would like to share it with other teenagers, but I do not know how to. So if anyone has suggestions on how I can do that please feel free to tell me!

Dani S

Mandy you write & articulate so well! I think you should put it all in a book or even a diary type book.
I didn’t know what Personality Distorter was until I left my husband at 37. My first husband although looks like Peter Pan compared to my second husband also had slight spath traits and so did my father.
If I had learnt about Red Flags & Personality Distorters at a young age I would have save myself of a lots of stress & heart ache in my adult years. My ex bestfriend I also now know is a spath, she ran off with my first husband. If I knew what they were all about I would have got rid of the toxic friendship when it started to turn weird, not put up with her because I thought she was a friend and needed me. She didn’t need me, she needed my husband.
I was with my first husband for 11 years and we have 2 children together. He has now had 2 more children with the ex bestfriend and she still laughs at me 8 years later like she got the prize over me. Thing is she doesn’t worry me because I know the prize is not that great and he is not happy with her. He told me he is unhappy but financially cannot afford to leave her and he doesn’t want to loose 2 more kids through separation.He told me he wished we never moved from the City to the Suburbs and our lives would be so different as he believed we would still be together. So that is there Karma! and I barely give them a thought these days but in the beginning I was very,very, very sad & upset. I couldn’t believe a friend would do what she did.
It maybe a huge task to undertake right now but just keep it in the back burner maybe. It would be wonderful if you could use your experience to reach out to your peers about something so important. 🙂

Ox Drover

Mandy, contact Donna and Dr. Leedom for advice on how to go about spreading your message to others on a wider scope!!!! Both of those savvy ladies will be able to give you some direction!!!!


I am astounded at your wisdon at such a young age. I am also sad that at a young age you had to go through all this. I have a teenage daughter who is 18 and after her sociopath father left her, actually all three of us, her brother of 14 and myself, we went through hell. I actually had tears as I was reading your comment, because I could feel your pain, but at the same time, you are so wise and have learnt so much that I am so happy that you are truly a survivor. I cannot imagine a girl so young going through your heartache, I am 50 and my ex husband just picked up and left. I loved him with all my heart, I was a good wife and mother and and my whole world fell apart when he left. I stumbled upon this site and after going to family therapy with my family, we are coming through it ok. I can honestly say that some days ( like today) are awful, its a rollercoaster. Its been two and half years, and I still cannot wrap my head around it. I am so deeply wounded that I hope that I can learn to love again. I go through my days without tears, and carry on like a brave soldier, but at night when no one is around, I cry. I cannot imagine a human doing to another what he did to me. That is what is so difficult, the cruelty, and abbandoment after 18 year marriage. I know I will eventually be ok, but sometimes I am impatient, I need to rid of him from my mind, and I get upset with myself for being so attached to the ghost. Like I said, I am older and cannot imagine you going through some of these feelings. I guess this is what makes us human and them not. I was watching the history channel, and it was about the holocaust, and Hitler. Again, wrapping my head around cruelty to humanity is hard for me. I guess because I am such a kind hearted person, having said that, that is why my ex targeted me. My daughter and son what nothing to do with their father, he hurt me mentally and physically and they seen the violence and will never forget. I am thankful that they saw, and made their own choice. I am grateful that they are not like their father. I needed to write this, because I do know that love prevails. I kind of get the vision of the vampire trying to pounce on the victim, and the victim pulls out a cross and the vampires cringes back, love does prevail and strengh in ones faith keeps us going. God bless you and stay strong, you certainly have inspired me and all of us I am sure. Warmest hugs


Dani S- Wow did your ex husband miss out on a great wife, what ever he says dont let him try to manipulate into anything with his sorrow stories and your ex best friend sounds like someone who deserves none of your time and your so above them all! Just stay strong and recognize the great person you are.

Survivorlady- Thank you! Im sorry you had to go through that. I used to think the same way, is how can anyone do such horrible things to such inisit good people. But instead of questioning it and making yourself upset, recognize it know its real, grieve, but then recognize you didnt do anything wrong and work on moving foward. Try not to live in the past because unfortunalty as we know theres nothing we can do to take it back. Therapy is a excellent way to recover, but it will be a process especially for your kids too. Give yourself a pat on the back and your kids for the strength you all have, and loosing all contact and recogonizing the reality is a step foward. Just know its normal and ok to cry here and there about it, its real feelings, but hopefully in time it will get easier to let it go more and more. Keep staying strong!


This article was so uplifting and gave me an encouragement for the rest of my days. I’m so glad to have come across this page and it brought me to tears. It is so true and beautiful! This hit me right in the heart, almost like a bull’s eye. I can say from my experience from my family that I can continue to move forward. Most importantly, Listen to my heart and to not be afraid to speak up. My parents try to cover up last year as if it never happened. But I know the truth that I had nothing living with my dad. People who I never expected to help me have helped. My mother moved to a foreign country and thought it would be easy to send money. I had to find a job to support myself. My older sister bailed on me and nobody else believed that I was suffering at my dad’s house. My neighbor picked up on what my dad was doing and she helped me a lot. A few of my teachers and the writing lab lady helped me to try to get into college. Most important, I kept my faith in God and kept praying. My dad kept lying and covering up repeatedly. I thought no one could ever see the truth. If only my mom knew how much I didn’t want her to worry about me. If only she knew how much I hid so many things away from her! Now she sits and tells me to stop pretending that I’m broke or that I don’t have much. I DIDN’T! But overall this article is truly a motivation and I can’t change the way she thinks. So what can I do?


Thank you Mandy, wise words for one so young…it’s sad you have grown up so fast! I wish you were having fun and goofing around like most 17 year olds!

with your grasp of life so young you will be the one to keep your head whilst all around you are losing theirs!

I would have loved to have had you as my friend when I was 17 (I’m 50) I was incredibly sad at 17 and capable of feeling all you talk about yet adults seemed to treat me as though I were “too young” to be depressed…so not true, we feel so much at a time when real dreams are held preciously…these dreams never fade…


hurtnomore010- Im glad my article has helped you, You have to accept these people for what they are and now think about where you want them to stand in your life, take control because as I wrote it is all about you. Its unfortunate that it has to be this way, but you do not have to try to prove any of your suffering to any one who wont believe it. If you still have to live with your dad, unfortunatly you have to deal with the situation, but know that you can create a much better life for yourself later on without him.Dont let him make you think any less of yourself, and realize how strong you are and that your life does not have to be this way forever. Talk to anyone who will be there for you when you need to as your doing, because holding it up all inside is very unhealthy. Keep a journal when you ever want to write, and as i wrote be as active as you can. Do anything that will keep you away from your dad as much as possible! I know its hard, but deffinatly take all my tips from this article and apply them to your situation. Know that one day as I wrote there will be light at the end of the tunnel! Best wishes

Bulletproof- Your welcome! No one is ever to young to feel any of those emotions, this is all part of life. Even though I have been through this I am still enjoying my life as a young girl, my life isnt perfect but I am so happier knowing this knowledge.


you blew me away with your maturity last year and you did it even more this year. But you aren’t the only one. I’ve met a couple of other young girls your age that surpass me even now in maturity and I’m 44.
What is it about your generation that gives you all this wisdom that I couldn’t attain for 20 more years?
Whatever it is, I’m proud of you and so happy that you will have this strength to help you in the future.
I’ve just found these links to an interesting book:
Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity
I haven’t read it yet but maybe it will hold some wisdom for you or someone else here at LF. I’m beginning to understand this personality disorder as both a problem with getting older and also a problem of misogyny.


I saw “Who The Bleep Did I Marry” last night. I’ve been thinking about it all day and decided to pull up the website today. Although the guy I was with for 5 years doesn’t fit all the profiles indicated for a sociopath he does fit far too many of them. What do you think of this description?

I met him online.
We talked for 8 months, then out of the blue he wants to come for Christmas.
I send him money to come….I’m hooked, but cautious, and I could afford the expense.
He stayed 4 weeks.
He was the most passionate lover I had ever been with.
He pretty much stopped having sex with me after 2 years.
He did a lot of great projects around the house then stopped after 2 years.
He acted like he adored me 24/7
I financed his food and gas.
He returned home only to come back in a month (guess the other gal ran out of money!)
We were together five years.
He received phone calls from several different women he always referred to as “long time friends, nothing more”
He never received phone calls from any guy friends.
I walked in on him having phone sex.
I put a tracer on the phone and the computer and caught him with other women.
I caught him telling his daughter-in-law lies about my children,
He didn’t like any of my friends.
He did isolate me from everyone except my children.
He lost 3 jobs in five years. I was always the bread winner.
He always wanted to spend money for “men toys”
He was very affectionate and very funny. He was one of the smartest men I’ve met.
He was very calm and never violent nor did he ever put me down.
He told so many lies that I lost track. I checked on him to find out he did not go to the university he said he had nor did he own the land he said he did.
He conventiently said everything was stolen out of the house he was trying to sell in another state so he had no records.
It was two years before I met his son and family.
I was so grateful to meet them and they were so great that it made him look much better.
I began corresponding with the daughter-in-law and she began to warn me in small ways about all his other women.
We were engaged and he talked about marriage but I put him off. I never brought up marriage.
He got plenty of purchased items from me.
I finally sent him out and he cried to me for weeks.
He still calls me…..3 years later….and tells me he’ll never leave town because I’m here however he’s had several women.
He’s sick about 50% of the time but nothing’s life threatening. He had an operation and took off 6 months when he was well enough to return to work in 6 weeks. I’ll stop now although there’s much more!

Thank you for any input. I’m still trying to understand why I still talk to him!!!!!


katy – the lack of physical violence confuses some of us. and even though he may not have verbally abused you, his lying and deceit was in every way demeaning.

re – why you still talk to him: have you read ‘The Betrayal Bond’ yet? get it and read it.

one step


You are so right! The fact that he was so affectionate, wanted to protect me constantly, was a great lover and gave me tons of attention and support DID confuse me. If he had ever been violent he would have been out the door! That’s where my limits are but I was always confused with all his love, then his cheating, then his love, then his cheating. Every time I confronted him he lied and never, ever, gave in. It’s like they are also pathological liars. They DO believe the lies they tell. I’m getting that book. Thank you!

Ox Drover

Dear Katy,

“I agree with One_step, get the Betrayal Bond. The thing about talking to them is that it keeps the “relationshit” going on in your head, you can’t move forward until you DIS-connect from him.

The “affection” he showed to you is like “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

If he had said, “Look, b1atch, give me the check booK NOW!” you wouldn’t have given him a dime. But he DID get the $$$$ when he was “sweet’>….so, HOW GENUINE was his “sweetness?” NOT!!!

My egg donor was just flabbergasted that they had stolen from her because “they were ALWAYS so respectful to me” LOL ROTFLMAO of course they were sweet to you, and it allowed them to get close to your MONEY.

NC, NO contact, none, nada, zilch, zippo!!!! It is hard at first, but it will SET YOU FREE! ((((Hugs)))))


Katy- Sorry to say he completly manipulated you for his ulterior motives. Once you caught him cheating, and found out a couple of lies it was time to let him go. Sociopath or not, guys are good at knowing what a woman wants to work there way in on you. My sociopath always used excuses and stories to me to make me feel bad. It sounds like he has sociopathic traits to me. My sociopath had many women too because they get bored easily, and yours never put you down because that was part of his manipulation. He wants to make you feel like ” your on top of the world.” The reason I used to still talk to my sociopath because I wanted to believe he really loved me and I was afraid to let him go. If you know all of this keep reminding yourself this is why you can’t talk to him. The first key like OxDrover said, loose all contact! It will be a process to get over him, but it will be so much better in the long run. You deserve so much better!

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