Last year, I had an email exchange with a woman whom we’ll call, “Amy.” I sent out a newsletter that included an article about staying safe from sociopaths by listening to our intuition. Amy responded:
Nov. 13, 2018
This is so true about intuition. The biggest mistake I made was not trusting my gut feeling that there was something wrong with the man to whom I was engaged. I asked everyone, friends and family, for support and they all said i should marry him. Now I realize that the quick engagement was a trap to get me hooked and committed, to be hesitant to break it off. I see it now as a real tactic to get me hooked. Back then, it seemed like the worst thing to be engaged and call off the wedding. Oh, and he encouraged a big wedding and before I knew it I was engrossed in wedding planning and not able to focus on the reality: that he was a sociopath.
Now I see it so clearly and can see his strategy. I was 30 years old when I met him and felt that “bad” feeling the very first night I met him. He was walking away into the night, wearing a black leather jacket. I remember feeling something really really bad about him as I watched his retreating back…. I had never ever had such an intuitive, bad feeling about anyone. I ignored it. Now, 27 years later, I see that feeling for what it was. I was feeling the very deep evil in this man. It radiated from the back of his chest, like something palpable. I felt it.
Now I can flash back to that moment, as I felt that. It was real and true. He was evil and I felt it. All evening, at the church supper and discussion, I had not felt anything except his charm. It was only when he was walking away from me, about 10 or 15 feet away, that it hit me.
I have ruined my life by not listening to my intuition.
Since then, though, I have learned to trust my gut instincts and several dire situations turned in my favor and disaster was averted, all because THIS time I listened and followed my gut. It’s amazing how accurate it can be, especially as a warning system.
One thing is that following the advice of other people is always dangerous. I mean, if their advice goes against my feelings. I have learned to “disobey” other people, even doctors and lawyers, when it feels they are off track. I have learned to go against the professional advice of lots of people when I feel I am on the right track.
All of this I learned in the long road of getting free of my sociopathic husband.
Nov. 13, 2018
Thank you for your email. I’m glad you have learned to listen to your intuition, albeit you learned the hard way. Would you be willing to share your thoughts as a comment on the blog? I think others will find it validating.
Nov. 13, 2018
i will write it
and send it to you by EMAIL
THIS GIVES ME PURPOSE
CUZ I AM IN HOSPICE CARE
Nov. 13, 2018
Wow Amy. I don’t know what to say. I hope you have found peace. I look forward to receiving it.
Nov, 14 2018
so from your survey results, over half of the people who intuited danger ignored their feelings? That is a high percentage. Not sure about the math, but it looks to me like over half of the people who felt some warning sign inwardly, chose to ignore it.
That is what I did and it was because NO ONE supported me in my feelings or encouraged me to listen to my gut. I plainly told family and friends that I felt something was wrong with him. This was because I was engaged and so felt trapped and as though i needed support to break it off.. But my best friend and her mother, my much older brother, and sister both told me to marry him.
Now I see that their attitude was really based in a lack of caring and love for me…. which made me vulnerable to fake love in the first place.
One thing to write about is that we should all be watching out for each other. This should not be a personal, private problem to deal with in isolation. It should be something parents teach their children, teachers and administrators teach their students. It is a public health issue, or should be. People know the signs of physical dangers and what to do, like if there is a fire. But it seems no one knows the warning signs of social predators and they live in our midst.
The primary place my SP hides is on Facebook and he seems to have a following of people manipulated into stalking and harassing me. It has been bad and no one has helped me. It is like a hidden place for spaths to do their evil without detection. I feel like someday it will be known and predators will not be able to hide so easily. But for now, they lurk there in the shadows.
This morning I finally reached out to the police, since I had a specific complaint. I hope they will help, although Facebook stalking is something local police departments are not prepared to fight. It is a new frontier of violence, a form of psychological violence. But it has effects. My health condition is specifically affected by emotional stress. It is life threatening for me.
Nov. 14, 2018
You are absolutely right — people need to know about sociopaths and support each other.
Dec. 6, 2018
One piece of simple, practical advice: to be suspicious of the whirlwind romance and quick engagement to get married. It is a tactic to keep us off balance and not have time to perceive the wickedness of the sociopath. We are swept off our feet.
Now that I look back, I cannot believe how foolish I was and how easily manipulated. It was all about my feeling alone and vulnerable at that time in my life. I was 30 years old and had many admirers/suitors, but no one begging me to get married and “have a family.” And that was all I wanted. The happily ever after picture and I felt my biological clock was ticking.
Another piece of advice: beware when you are vulnerable, have just moved to a new city, are alone. I had just moved out of family home and was vulnerable. Now, I can look back and see the whole thing played out like a bad novel. I wish someone had been wise, since I asked advice of everyone and told them my gut feelings. Everyone urged me to marry him.
Another piece of advice: do not listen to other people. Listen to your gut feeling. Get time away from the person and get a feeling. Get distance. And do not let other people talk you into abandoning yourself, your integrity. I did that and have regretted it as the biggest, gravest mistake of my life. I do not even know if such a mistake is redeemable because the marriage produced a child, a boy, who has grown up to be …. a sociopath.
All I have gained is wisdom in hindsight. But I feel so stupid for how I fell into this trap. It is all so clear to me now and I feel like I walked into a trap. Why did no one else see it? I can understand that I didn’t see it because I was lonely and vulnerable…. also because my brother had died a year before in a sudden and traumatic way…. I was grieving. Mostly, I was vulnerable and the spath and his spathic family lured me in.
Now, I am wise but also living with an incurable cancer and am in hospice care. It seems like I should be able to redeem my poor choices back then. I have not yet responded to your kind offer to let me write my story to you. Maybe I will reconsider it now. I have thought I should do something bigger, like save children from sexual predators, which these men are….. I mean , they are more than just spaths. They are very very dangerous sexual predators. And yet they are outwardly so perfect. I wish someone had taught me as a child that the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood is a real metaphor and to teach me the lesson from the story. Tell me about it, so I know. In a way that a child could understand.
Donna, have you ever considered writing a book for children? Or for teenagers? There are so many fictional books that use metaphorical language about evil, and I was read them all. Later I became an English major and read even more. But I still did not recognize evil in real life. I did not know about sociopaths. It’s a miracle I am still alive to tell this story, considering how naive I was for so long. Really, it is not enough for a father, like mine, to be protective. They should teach their children from whom they are protecting them. Teach kids skills, even basic ones, without freaking them out too much. I mean, the stranger danger thing turned out to be not quite apt, since much of the sexual abuse is within families and communities. But still, there is the idea of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Why didn’t my father teach me about spaths? Or school teachers? How could I just be learning now, within weeks or months before I die in hospice care? I am not very old: 57 years old. But still. One might learn these lessons earlier and have a happier life. I walked into danger, not because I’m bad but precisely because I am very good and very naive. But why not be very good but also very wise, like it says in the Bible: be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. And I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Why did no one explain these to me? I read them now and feel blown away, like aha, that’s it!
Of course, no one would buy a children’s book about sociopaths, so don’t even bother. But maybe one for savvy teenagers? I mean, they go from innocent kids to intensely adult teens within the space of a few years. You already know all of that. Why not focus on teaching teens? Or maybe teaching parents how to gently instruct their younger children about the story of Little Red Riding Hood? That’s a good one since it deals with disguise and trickery…. and is not religious. Omg, how many times my mother read this to me and I had no idea.
I feel a desperate desire to teach and protect all the children in this world. Why don’t you write something for them and get it translated into a gazillion languages? Sell it to parents, as a way to protect their children from sexual predators, which are sociopaths with a sick appetite for children. That was my ex husband and now my grown son. They are the werewolves of our world; another analogy from myths: were means man in old English and wolf means evil…. and the one bitten by a werewolf becomes a werewolf, too. Look at the Harry Potter books, the last one, I think has a werewolf who is an icon of the spath/child rapist. Not the nice werewolf, Lupin, who controls himself…. also a nice idea that being a bad werewolf is a choice.
Please go to literature and mythology and fairy tales and Aesops fables for symbols we all grew up with. Word pictures help adults as well as children. The wolf. The snake. Lies, disguise, trickery, manipulation.
It seems very late in life to figure this stuff out. Am I really alone in my naivete? Or are there others like me? Why did no one encourage me to listen to my gut feelings about my fiance years ago? Why did they all urge me to marry him, go against my feelings? I mean, it’s not like I was blithely running off to elope with him. I was reaching out for help, asking for support, and not one person gave it to me. They all said I had cold feet and should ignore my feelings. Maybe a children’s book about listening to your gut feelings? Listen to that place below your rib cage? What does it mean? Or what is a bad gut feeling and how to get safe by respecting that fear and getting away.
Why am I just learning this now???? I am so mad about this. Feel like I have been ripped off. We should not let our children grow up to be victims or at least uninformed, unwarned victims. Why read these fables and fairy tales and even Harry Potter and not break it to kids that evil is real… or at least sociopaths are real. I happen to believe that the symbol of evil, the wolf, is the same as the symbol of the sociopath. The fruit is the same, the outcome…. evil is as evil does.
Have you read the book, “People of the Lie” by Scott Peck? It spells this out really well and correlates evil with malignant narcissism. But does not use the word sociopath. It’s an old book, though.
Thank you for listening. I feel like screaming because I have discovered that evil and spaths are all about disguise and the disguise is always one of goodness. It means we have to learn to discern real good from fake good. There are no bad looking bad guys like in the scary movies and cartoons. No Snidely Whiplash and Dudley Do Right. Little Red Riding Hood is more apt and what a place to start with young kids. Maybe I grew up in a time when children didn’t know anything, but really I wish my mother had told me who the wolf was really in the story.
Sincerely and thanks,
Dec. 6, 2018
I was glad to get your email. Your feelings are so heartfelt. I would like to post on Lovefraud this email, and the one that you sent me about not following your intuition. Is that ok?
Dec. 6, 2018
Lesson from Amy
we should all be looking out for each other, be wise when our peeps are vulnerable or falling in love too quickly. and best yet is to teach our children and teens to be wise…. like they learn about sex… and drugs… why not teach them about spaths, too?
i guess i do have to take ownership of walking into danger, even tho no one would support me in walking away…. and i did eventually walk away, after my son was two years old, and it was much harder to do it then, but i did do it.
maybe celebrate small victories, like getting out at all? i mean so many victims do not even realize they are married to spaths or they just carry on. i have seen bad guys go and get married like it’s the easiest thing to get a good reputation.
maybe give myself a break ? i walked into danger, but then walked out of it, without any support. actually i did get support, but i sought it out. not family, but therapists…. and it took a long time for a therapist to be brave and say
After December 6, 2018, I never heard from Amy again.