Mending boundary fences requires the right tools

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

I get most of my mail at a PO box and only a few things come to my rural mailbox, which sits on the road at the end of my driveway. A few days ago I checked the mailbox, and there were several Christmas cards ”¦ including one from an EX-friend.

We had reconnected a few years ago. He was an old college chum, a guy that I had palled around with when I was in my first couple of years of nursing school. He is also a nurse, now retired. We had a lot of the same interests then and still do, so since he had recently moved to this area, we started going places together and just being pals again. This was really kind of fun to have a “running buddy” to go to auctions with. My son D had also known my buddy’s sons at scout camp, so it was a “family friendship” as well.

After a couple of years of this, he began to act kind of snarky and did some things that were frankly dishonest and stupid. One of the things he did was to break a small agreement we had made, nothing “serious” as far as money was concerned, just $56, but he just didn’t do what he said he’d do and it greatly inconvenienced me. I decided it was serious enough of an inconvenience that I would try to talk to him. We sat down in my dining room and I brought up how he had backed out on the small agreement we had made and that I didn’t appreciate it. He became absolutely livid, called me a liar, accused me of trying to cheat him, etc., so in the very middle of his rant, I told him “Get out of my house right now!”

Since that day I had actually seen him only a couple of times in various stores. This year at Thanksgiving he showed up at one of our living history events ”¦ and I just ignored his presence and kept going. He also saw me and realized that I had ignored him.

My son and I had seen his son a couple of times, as he buses tables at a restaurant we eat at once in a while and both of us had been very friendly to the boy and cordial. Neither of us hold any grudge against the boy for his father being a jerk.

“Cooling off”

So there was a Christmas card from my ex-friend in the mailbox, and inside was a note from him saying that the “cooling off period” between us had gone on for far too long and he wanted to be friends again. I laughed when I read it.

This man is not a psychopath, he is just a jerk without a great deal of understanding of social discourse. He isn’t going to burn my house, or murder me, or anything else. But he took the holiday as an appropriate time in his mind to try to “mend fences” —without the proper tools.

Why would I laugh? Well he obviously thinks that “bad behavior + time = pretending it didn’t happen and everything’s lovely.”

Well, it may be true that “tragedy + time = humor,” but it does not mean we “pretend it never happened.” Time passing does not mean that no recognition of bad acts and no apology + time means “all is well.”

I don’t hate this man, I’m not still angry at him. I have “forgiven” him, in that I do not harbor bitterness toward him, but I don’t want to associate with him, to go places with him, or have him over at my house, because I have LOST TRUST in him. While I can “forgive” him, without TRUST, there just isn’t any need for association, because being around people I don’t trust isn’t something that makes me happy.

Being a stickler

Why am I being such a stickler? It wasn’t a big deal, really. I mean, come on, it was only $56, and he just lost his temper and called you nasty names. You’re a big person, Joyce, can’t you take the “high road” and just get over it? Now that a couple of years have gone by, shouldn’t we just cool off and be friends again?

The answer is NO! I don’t want to be friends with this man, now or ever, even though he is not a psychopath, he is not dangerous, and overall most people would say he’s a pretty good guy. However, he flunked the “Ox Drover friendship test,” which consists of an apology. His apology should have had three parts:

  1. acknowledging that what he did in breaking the agreement was wrong,
  2. that he was sorry he acted like he did, that he had no right to call me ugly names, and
  3. that he would never act like that again.

However, because he shows no recognition that what he did was wrong, there is no (#1) He shows no remorse for what he did so there is no (#2). He is only extending his “olive branch” to me to “pretend it never happened.” And of course because there is no #1 or #2 in his “extended olive branch” there can’t be a (#3), which means that I can’t trust him to not repeat this kind of behavior. I also realize that he has a hot temper when he is crossed or disagreed with or when he gets called out on BS.

Lost trust

As the philosopher Nietzsche says “It doesn’t matter to me that you lied, what bothers me is that I now cannot believe you.”

I lost my trust in my now-ex friend that day when he broke his word, and then projected on to me the problem, then called me a liar.

At the time that happened, my boundaries with people who were “close to me” were still pretty shaky, but I was getting my “training wheels off” with boundaries and I made this one quickly and firmly and have not wavered one whit from that day.

I actually started to write a reply to him, because he isn’t a psychopath, and I thought maybe, just maybe, he would see the error of his ways. But I got to thinking about what I would write and realized I didn’t even care enough to tell him what a jerk he is.

The best part though, is I don’t even feel guilty about not replying, and I don’t wonder if I should have taken his proffered “olive branch” (sans apology).


Comment on this article

79 Comments on "Mending boundary fences requires the right tools"

Notify of

Hi Oxy,

This is simple and GREAT! It’s all about boundaries and being grown up. I too have faced these kinds of dilemnas and now my “friend” list is short.

You called him out on his crap and he didn’t appreciate it and went into deflect mode. This I call smoke and mirrors. The attack on you is meant to make you forget all about the real issue.. he balked on his word. He may not be a sociopath but this is still a very familiar tactic.

When I find myself in this situation, it reminds me of all the times I tried to explain to the Bad Man that what he was doing to me was wrong. Then I stopped. He was a grown man and a former minister…. I am SURE he knew that it was not right to call me f***ing a**hole. Seriously! What was wrong with the situation (the part I needed to change) was my unwillingness to walk away and cut free those who knew better and didn’t care…. and those who knew better but were more interested in me taking the blame for their actions.

Since then, the line has been drawn now between YOU (anyone shady) and ME (I’m kinda nice).

Thanks Bad Man. You taught me how to do that by providing so many examples of what not to do and how not to be.

I am all better now. :O)

Love, Elise aka AlohaTraveler


You are AWESOME! Happy New Year!!!

And thank you so much for your dedication to this healing community! You are truly a gift to LF.


Dear Aloha, my dear, you are at least 50% of why I am half way sane today! The other 50% belongs to Donna! Yea, setting the boundaries, even with the non-psychopaths is starting to be much easier and more “reflex” than it was to start with.

My “friend list” is also quite short now….but those that are left on it are PURE GOLD!!! That’s worth a lot more than a bunch of fool’s gold friends!

I am assuming you have started your final semester!!!! You have come so far since we met here on LoveFraud nearly 5 years ago, dear Elise! You were still living with your friends and trying to pay off the debts and I was hiding out in the RV in fear of my life! Long roads for both of us, but the path is much more sunny now! (((hugs)))) and God bless you!

Wow… you were hiding in your RV and I was hiding in my room… but hanging out on LF! Good times!

I am sitting in a cafe waiting for a old/new friend. I won’t tell her story, that is up to her. But she is one of us and I am supporting her through the fog. She can see me waving at her and she’s inching her way through it.

I am so glad that my worst times have given me something to share with others..

Hey, so my story continues but in a way I hadn’t hoped for. I’ve tried everything to stay here at my college. I’ve applied for student loan but I need a cosigner. I don’t have anybody to help me here. I only have a few days to find a place to stay because I’m about to get thrown out of school. I can’t believe both my parents planned this whole thing! Everyone here has been trying to help me stay in school but it always retorts back to my current financial support, my father. I feel defeated and almost like my parents got what they wanted: to see me fail. I have lost my faith in God almost because it feels like he’s not doing anything. He’s letting my dad buy a new house, a new everything while I’m sitting here broke and afraid. Most of the people here say I need to find a place to stay and get a job. I just want to finish school and open my own fashion boutique. It feels like evil has finally won this battle. I have no one who believes in me that much to support me that can do something. I haven’t eaten in two days cause I feel hopeless. I mean I don’t my future anymore. I thought I could have things settle a bit but it looks like I can’t right now. I’m so ready to quit. I’ve tried everything to stay but no one can help me.

Mutual love and admiration, dear Oxy.

Oh! My friend has arrived!

I sent her your new article on email.

Catch you later.

Dear Hurtnomore,

Sugar, your dad has been threatening you with this for at least a year now…..so this should not come as a “surprise” to you….BUT, while you cannot have what you WANT right now….which is to stay in school, you can have a GREAT LESSON in self reliance…which is the best thing that any of us can have.

I have found in my decades of life that sometimes when I think that the thing I want MOST IN THE WORLD, and think I should have seems to be “jerked out from under me” by God/the universe or psychopaths, what ACTUALLY happens is that I get what I NEED, NOT WHAT I WANT. Sometimes even as a GOOD AND LOVING parent our children want things that are not either what we think is good for them, or what we are ABLE to give them…so we must say NO. I think God is like that loving parent who sometimes tells us NO. While YOU want to finish school and open a boutique….you also want your father to support you while you do this…but he is NOT WILLING TO DO THIS UNLESS HE CAN ALSO CONTROL YOU. So you are going to have to PUT YOURSELF THROUGH SCHOOL BY WORKING, SUPPORTING YOURSELF, AND THEN STARTING YOUR OWN BOUTIQUE or work for someone else until you can start your own boutique. Frankly, sugar, I think this being independent is going to be HARD WORK, but will in the end BE WELL WORTH IT IS THE THINGS YOU LEARN.

We can’t always have what we WANT, but we can have what we NEED and we can work for it, provide it and not be dependent on anyone else. Good luck, and don’t give up on either yourself or God! Just find yourself a place to live and a job and you will be able to become independent and not suck up to your father or others who want to control you. God bless.

Your choices have not changed. If your father is committed by law to pay for your education, then get a lawyer.

If you don’t want to fight, then get a job and move on with your life. A lot of employers will look favorably on a person who is trying to get an education and will be happy to give you real life experience in a boutique. Show them what you’re made of!

A “friend” of mine did a “small” thing too. I wrote her off. Then one day she saw me in our condo building and said, “Don’t be mad, I miss you.” I knew it would never be the “friendship” it was, but decided to forgive and forget and guess what? SHE DID ANOTHER THING that was basically yet another example of how thoughtless, unreliable, inconsiderate and ignorant she could be.

Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT judging her. I know she is on her own journey. The words I use to describe her behavior, ARE the correct words. This does not mean I don’t just walk away and leave her to her path, without me by her side.

I have NO time for people who will not be kind and respectful towards me. I’ve had a lifetime of the other way and I no longer have one ounce of tolerance for horse shit.

People can make mistakes, BUT they need to APOLOGIZE……ANNNNNNDDDDD, they need to make some kind of effort to make amends. If they can’t do that, walk away.

As the saying goes, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Peace sisters.


Yep, exactly…..this man “showed” me on several occasions that he was a “bit greedy” and a “bit snarky” and I didn’t call BS on it, but it sort of “stuck” me, and I tried to “take the high road” and not be cross, to give him the “benefit of the doubt”—but when he totally broke his word, our agreement, even though it was a petty amount of money, the INCONVENIENCE was quite a bit and I called BS on it. That was when he “went off on me” verbally….acted out. But then when he sent the note there was NO “I’m sorry I acted poorly” in fact, the only thing he acknowledged was that TIME had passed and that we should have “cooled off” by now.

Well, actually, I cooled off in a couple of hours after he left my house, but I determined that I didn’t want any more of his “friendship” because I don’t need people who “go off on” me when THEY are the ones who have broken their word. He is the one who broke his word, I did NOT “go off on him”—but I did stand up to him and tell him to LEAVE MY HOUSE. I set my boundary and I have no regrets about doing so. The fact that HE seems to think that “bad behavior + time = all is okay” doesn’t make it so. Unfortunately, too many times people think that way, and in fact, I have “thought” that way myself. I have let people who “done me wrong” get a second chance to do me wrong again because I failed to remember what they had done.

BTW it is OK to JUDGE someone’s behavior as BAD…in fact, it is a GOOD thing to judge what is good versus what is bad.

Forgiving is a good thing, FORGETTING IS A BAD THING. Just because you “forgive” does not mean you have to ALSO “forget.”

Once burned, twice shy.

Shiat on me once, shame on you; shiat on me twice, shame on ME!

I agree with Ox Drover…it is a wise and prudent thing to judge others… condemning them to eternal hellfire is what we should not do…. they do that for themselves…

Besides…we (those who stand strong for ourselves) suffer judgment by others when we refuse to put up with their crap– we are called all kinds of things and accused of being mean, unloving, etc…. and my response to that is, “Yup! and I can be nasty too.. wanna see?”

It doesn’t matter to me that you lied, what bothers me is that I now cannot believe you.”

That really says a lot; doesn’t it?
Thanks Ox. That is an EXCELLENT saying to remember.
I am saving it and I’ll make sure you get the credit for it.

What hurts more than being lied to is knowing you weren’t worth the truth…

THAT is the mark of a psychopath…lying and spinning webs of mass deception. Not caring who they hurt nor how. All that matters to them is their position.

Yes, you are right, Joyce. A person MUST stand up for themselves and stand their ground. Definitely. We have every right to NOT choose just like everyone else has a right TO choose how we value life and see things…if we can’t stand up for what we believe, especially when it comes to virtues such as honesty and kindness, etc., if we can’t stand up for those things that we hold dear, we don’t need the ‘environment’ nor ‘landscape’ around us.

I am like you: once that trust is broken, it’s gone.
It’s pointless trying to get it back. I always smile and wonder about couples who say: “Oh, we went to counseling and worked it all out…” DID THEY REALLY? Or, is it just a facade? Once that trust is broken there is no coming back from that.

Bravo Joyce. I admire you for standing up for yourself.
I have done a lot of that myself, these days. Much to the dismay of others, I am afraid.

Thank you for your frying pan when I have needed it…
I think I am on the road now…hopefully. I know I still have a long ways to go but at least I am not a prisoner anymore in my own life and in my own mind…the ABUSE was just overwhelming and leopards don’t change their spots…

mawahhh!!! xxoo
Nite Nite Love Frauders…


Dear Hurtnomore,

I want to second what Ox says… and please forgive me if I do not know your entire story, I may not be responding quite on target because of that.

But… I struggled for years to find financial independence. First, my family of origin paid for me, then I barely got a taste of independence in my 20s, and then I got married and had 3 kids in short succession and became dependent upon my abusive ex-spath… then my parents helped support me again as I went through the divorce (awful feeling to be dependent), then a second, failed marriage (more dependency)… struggle, struggle… now, FINALLY at age almost-50 I am making it on my own, supporting myself and my 3 children, and it feels GREAT.

That is just a plug for you to find your own way to independence. It is an individual path. I do firmly believe you will get what you need, and do not be afraid of hard work. There are many paths to fulfillment.

And also, please… if you can… take care of yourself (EAT!!! (some nutritious stuff, I mean :)) you will feel better…). Though during periods of shock, I realize it is normal/common to lose one’s appetite.

You are NOT alone — you have the support of many people on this forum, and you WILL find your way. Sometimes it seems darkest before the dawn. (You’ve heard that one before — and I think it is true). Try taking a few steps in a new direction and see what you might find.

And hang in there. A wonderful life is awaiting you, though it may look different from the one you thought you had planned.


hurtnomore – have something to eat and if you are not out of school yet, please talk to a school counselor about finding a place to live/ job.

i know this sucks and that you are devastated. we don’t a;ways get what we work for, want or need in life. God or no god, life is not easy. It IS important that we develop resilience. It is one of the MOST important things. I see my 95 year old demented grandmother still in there responding to life’s slings and arrows – she is one of the most resilient people i know.

no one here is surprised your dad did what he did, and I understand your anger and the sense of betrayal you must feel – regardless of the fact you KNOW what he is, you have still been hoping this would turn out differently. you are not so different that most of this in that regard.

so eat, find a roof and a job. you need to stabilize yourself first. and no, going to your family is not a good idea. they will continue to try to destabilize you. I was on my own at your age – if not younger – and what freedom!

Happy new year. It’s started off crap – hopefully, it will only get better. life brings many ups and downs – that part never ends. keep your chin up and advocate for yourself.

one joy

Hurtnomore ~ You may not get exactly what you want and have dreamed of NOW, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to achieve your dreams. It may just take a little longer, which isn’t always a bad thing.

Like one/joy said, you need to stabilize yourself first, as in NOW. Face things one at a time (baby steps) starting with eating, sleeping and getting yourself healthy. Next find a job, any job for now, look at it as temporary. Waiting table in a nice restaurant can bring in really good tips, for example. Find a temporary place to live, you can “move up” as you can afford it. Be on the lookout for a longer term job that has education benefits. My son was able to get his master’s degree with the company he works for paying most of the tuition. My daughter-in-law got her PhD with the county she works for paying. My youngest son is currently taking classes on line and his company is paying over half the tuition.

When you have enough money, take as many classes as you can on line, temporarily until you can afford to enroll back in school.

It will take a little longer, it will not all happen NOW, but it can and will happen. I will even go as far as saying, I bet it will mean a lot more to you in the end than if you had it all paid for by your father. You will also learn life lessons along the way.

Don’t give up, dig your heals in and start NOW.

He’s back again.
here is what he sent me.

Is there a significance to the begging?

Sky ~ not sure about the significance to the begging – would it be him begging or you begging?

Did you happen to catch the caption -“This fellow definitely wants something” – maybe that is the tell ???

I think the begging is a pity ploy: to make me think of him begging innocently for attention.

I hadn’t thought of the caption as a tell! Good call!

The reason I posted this is so people can see how innocently an evil spath can present himself. It almost makes us take our boundaries down. But I know how diabolical he is.

Spath has always used cute animals in his schemes. He used to have pictures of my cats on his laptop screen saver. He said, “when I walk into a restaurant, I’m just your average dude. But when I open the laptop and the waitress sees the picture of my cat, EVERYTHING CHANGES!”

Oxy- Bravo! Excellent post and I love the quote.

I have also gone through a similar experience with my FIL. Back in the spring of last year we had a falling out of sorts. In a public place, in front of my children no less. Did I ever receive an apology? Not to this day. At this point, any apology I receive from him would only be because of outside ‘prompting’ to which I ask- Is there really any ‘feeling’ in that apology? Yeah, not hardly…

So I continue on, not paying any mind to his attempts to carry on ‘life as usual’. I don’t care that he is ‘well respected in his circles’ since I can only imagine these people may not have been tread upon by him yet… If they have and allow him to carry on like nothing happened- well then they too are showing their true colors as to how shallow and superficial they are as well. Is any of this My creation or problem to fix? Only if I allow it to be, which I don’t.

Hurtnomore- I am not fully aware of all of the painful details of your situation, but from what others have said, you need to come to grips with what life is handing you to deal with. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with YOUR life.

The counselor may know of a way for you to stay in school, may be able to help you secure housing- or not, worse case scenario. Doing for yourself will bring you a greater sense of accomplishment and acheivement when you do reach your goals. I am struggling as many people are, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can either sit on the tracks and keep staring at it or get up, move on and start walking towards it. The choice is yours to make.

If it takes a little longer to reach your dreams and goals, so be it. Nobody can take those away from you, but it sounds like you are allowing others to get in your way, undermine your efforts and muddy the waters. WHY? Because they lost sight of their own dreams? Is that reason or cause to allow them to destroy yours? I have people in my life doing the same at every attempt and know how it feels. How sad for them, but they can’t have mine.

Embrace the new year, attack each day with a vengance to accomplish something. Set a goal for yourself each day. Small things that will bring you rewards and will be uplifting to your spirit. Slowly start to spread your wings and before you know it, you will be flying. When that day comes… Let us know how the view is from up there ok?

Dupey, the quote was not mine but

As the philosopher Nietzsche says “It doesn’t matter to me that you lied, what bothers me is that I now cannot believe you.”

And you know, that is one of my FAVORITE sayings….Don’t ya just LOVE the “one line philosophies?” SO TRUE. What bothers me is that NOW I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU. That is the thing that just makes me want to ska-reeeeee-am!

When people betray me, it means I cannot trust them. When they lie it means I can’t believe them any more.

I hate that, because I WANT to believe people, I want to trust people, but I will NO LONGER believe and trust those who have shown me they are not to be believed or not to be trusted.

****”But I got to thinking about what I would write and realized I didn’t even care enough to tell him what a jerk he is.”
Is that a great feeling or what? Realizing you just don’t care; not even to send the jerk a note! I love it!
Remember the Hallmark slogan that said “When you care enough to send the very best”
How about when you just don’t give a $#!%…what do you send then? Nothing…and it feels great!

Dear Adelle, I hadn’t thought about it like that, YOU ARE RIGHT! THANKS FOR POINTING THAT OUT! LOL Thanks!!!!!

One of my favourite sayings…..

“if you’re going to be a liar, you better have a good memory”

Interestingly my ex stated he despised liars. Still can’t quite get my head around that one lol.

They do NOT like to be lied TO, but it is OK for them to LIE. Can’t figure that one out, but seems to be the case. If you lie to them they become enraged, but they are “justified” in lying to you. DUH!

Everything changed for me the day I figured out (sometime summer of 2011) that my ex-spath is a liar. We were in the middle of CPS-ordered therapy (which ran from approximately May through mid-October). The whole spath thing was slowly dawning on me, throughout the entire year. But one day (and you all helped) — it finally sunk in. I finally got it.

And once I did, I couldn’t ever go back. All of a sudden, I realized that ALL of it is/was a lie. You mix a sprinkle of salt (lies) in with water (truth) and you don’t have salt and water — you have salt water (lies). All lies.

The trust is gone forever. That cannot come back. I am no longer able to be jerked around by him, because I witnessed it for myself: he and his wife LYING for impression management purposes IN THE THERAPY SESSION, even though the kids and I knew they were lying… and this was for the benefit of whom? The therapist? The two spaths? It was incredible to see.

I wondered at the time… does he not KNOW that I know he is lying? Or does he know, but not CARE that I know? Does he have a bad memory? Or is it like an attempt at hypnotism… if he keeps lying long enough, we will be lulled into believing him?

No more! The kids and I know.

And the therapy helped us see all that. But other than that… what a waste. What NOT real therapy. You can’t do therapy when one of the people is a liar (or in this case, the two of them).

I’m trying to figure out now (since he is the kids’ dad and we have to share custody)… what exactly he wants from the one daughter who adamantly refuses to see him. She is still a bit scared of him. And the forced therapy (which was probably designed to reunite father and daughter…) ended up making up her mind even more firmly that she wants nothing to do with him.

But he keeps trying. She feels that he is stalking her.


Sometimes I wonder if he hated liars so much because lying came so easily to him. Lies rolled off his tongue ….I know that now. But he would argue black is White and swear on the life of his child to convince me he hadn’t lied. Faced with that, I believed he hadn’t been with another woman. Only to discover…he had. To be duped, taken advantage of was his worst nightmare

He used to say my good qualities included honesty and that I had a big heart. …euphemisms for too trusting and far too soft
I once tried to list his good qualities. There weren’t any.

Adelle, thanks for that post. What do you send when you don’t give a
shiat. Nice one!


Towanda to your daughter. Good for her!
These things just do not get it do they? The reason your daughter doesn’t want to see him is nothing to do with him? Omg!

I take my hat off to people here who have to have contact because they have children with this sub species.
And….if he’s anything like my ex he wants what he is incapable of having. A loving relationship/ A relationship with another human being based on trust, devotion, respect and love

Pah, not a chance

20 years,

“What does he want?” The only thing I can see is CONTROL…it boils down them being IN CONTROL of everyone and everything.

If you and strongawoman have not read Dr. Robert Hare’s book, “without conscience” I think you should. I think EVERYONE here needs to read it. Dr. hare says that they will LIE EVEN KNOWING YOU KNOW THE TRUTH….that some how even with the EVIDENCE in front of them, they will still somehow hope, even believe, that if they lie hard enough, strong enough, that you will believe them. Doesn’t make sense to me, but apparently this is one of those things that is sort of a “RED FLAG” sign of a psychopath is that LYING IN THE FACE OF CONTRARY EVIDENCE.

Hare thinks that some two parts of their brains don’t connect when they are lying that in ours would connect because we would get it that “with the evidence in front of us, she is not going to believe me so I better back peddle and quit lying or at least change my story.” They don’t seem to get that signal. Hare wasn’t sure WHAT the signal was, but he gathered that they can’t see it.

In retrospect that was the FIRST sign I saw in my son, at age 11 he lied IN SPITE OF THE EVIDENCE BEING IN FRONT OF HIM. My other son lied, but when “caught out” would confess…..not the P son, he just kept on with the lie. At the time I didn’t realize that he was a budding Psychopath, but looking back I can see that was the FIRST sign. He is still that way, and unfortunately, too many times some people DO believe him.

I have seen the lying with the psychopaths and “would lie when the truth would fit better.” Not all liars are psychopaths, but all psychopaths are liars. So I figure if you avoid ALL LIARS you at least SIMPLIFY your life and keep out most of the psychopaths as well. LOL

Hey y’all,
so i did everything I can and try to stay here at school. The answer came out NO! I feel yet again defeated. The gentleman who’s helping with this is saying that when he spoke to my dad that he felt a common theme of “being unappreciative.” He says that he spoke to two different adults and they said that they use to support me in school. Everytime they would ask to see my grades, or how’s school I would either change the subject. He also said that he understands my father because I’m supposedly doing poorly in school and that I don’t deserve to be in school. Especially, since my college is 24,000 a year! Honestly, as a student if there’s no support in you helping me achieve my dreams then what’s the point of sharing. I’m tired of telling the truth and people believe my parents lies over and over. And scrutinize me as if what they are saying is true. He only knows what he hears in the gossip and I’m an intelligent girl. I honestly think that I can eventually come back here or a state school. I just want people who really support me outside my f**ed up family or family friends.


Sugar, a 24,000 per year school would be NICE, but if your father refuses to pay for it, and you are not able to pay for it (at least not right now) you are ON YOUR OWN….and that’s what I’ve been trying to stress to you, is that if YOUR FATHER PAYS, then he WILL have some control over seeing your grades, and other things…that is just the way life is. The old “golden rule” which is “HE WHO HAS THE GOLD MAKES THE RULES!” So if you want to live by your OWN RULES, then you must be the one to pay your own way.

I would suggest that you get your stuff together and make arrangements to find a place to live and a job….while you may resent your dad having a new house and a new car and still refusing to pay for your school, unless the law says he must (and my guess is that there is not a law that says he MUST pay for your school) then you have to live independently for a couple of years (your school financial aid counselor should tell you how long you have to be independent) before ONLY your income will be considered in grants and loans….in them meantime, you will be getting some VALUABLE experience in working in the “real adult world” and in how to manage your finances and so on.

Since you are NOT YET 26 it is possible your father MIGHT carry you on his health insurance so that you don’t have to pay for health insurance, but again….he may demand some control for this PRIVILEGE, as he is NOT required to do so…since you are 18 you are legally an ADULT.

As far as “telling the truth” and your parents lies are believed, just stay away from anyone you don’t want to tell things to your parents or listen to your parents’ lies. Just take your own fate into your own hands and live your own life. Then YOU are in control. Good luck.

Ox Drover says:

They do NOT like to be lied TO, but it is OK for them to LIE. Can’t figure that one out, but seems to be the case. If you lie to them they become enraged, but they are “justified” in lying to you. DUH!

No truer words, Ox.

Great article, Oxy!

I’ve been whittling down my friend list. One of the most recent deletions didn’t even extend a hand to help me up when I had fallen while hiking and landed on exposed tree roots. She also avoided me for a full six weeks after my mother died……not even a sympathy card. If I cannot rely on someone, I cannot consider them a friend. She behaved like this before and we had lost touch for years though we renewed our friendship a couple of years ago. You are right Oxy, these traits are part of who they are and they don’t change.

She is now an acquintance who I will politely acknowledge and converse with should I pass her on the street but no more than that.


I was just thinking what if I joined the army, or navy or the reserves? I mean I get to be an independent on FAFSA, my college tuition(most, at times all) gets paid for, I don’t mind serving after college. Why didn’t anybody think of that? It may not be easy but I think I would appreciate it. I’ve been researching all about it and I may have to start getting healthy again. I looked at it and it doesn’t take as long as you think to join either. I just want some honest feedback.

The book Incognito, the Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman touches upon the same theory about the two hemispheres of the brain functioning more independently of each other in P’s. The sparse connections between the two hemispheres explains many oddities I noticed in my ex P over the years.

Apparently this is what also creates memory problems for them. My ex’s memory is like swiss cheese unless it is associated with any of his misdeeds…..then he remembers minute details. As typical, they are a mass of contradictions.


That’s an excellent idea. I know of a really nice woman who went into the Navy right after high school (she lives here in my neck of the woods). Her education was paid for – today she is a nurse practitioner. She met her husband via the Navy and they have a good marriage, nice home, two grown kids, satisfying careers, etc. I think you’re onto something.

New Beginning,

That’s interesting. Our spath’s memory is not good. I question if he remembers all the stunts that he’s pulled – the lies, thefts, etc. He struck me (at times) as being unable to remember things that he’s done (in the past), stuff that was downright deplorable. I guess he does so many bad things, why bother to keep track of them, eh? (his thinking on the subject).

Bluejay, it made a lot of sense to me and though I said mine remembered minute details I suspect it was for a few select things he was particularly proud of.

My ex MIL who is also a spath has the same memory issues, especially anything that occured when she was in a rage. She also has very little memory of bringing up her children though I’m guessing the non-spath’s remember raising our children so clearly because of the emotional ties we have with them.

My ex has no emotional ties to our son though he occasionally tries to fake it. It all become crystal clear when he became enraged last week because our 23 yr old son is on his health insurance. Scary…..very scary.


That is a possible idea….and I am not sure they will pay for your education BEFORE you join, or do service, but check it out…it can’t hurt to talk to a recruiter or two. There is also the peace corps, and job corps as well….there are more than 1 or 2 options…so explore as many as you can before you are out on the street! Good luck!

I was also told that my stong points were my honesty and that I had a big heart and yes, they were used to his advantage. He too would argue black was white, even when I knew differently, and he knew I knew that the truth was different – but he seemed to think that the more he said it the more true it became.
I also realised that he lies to himself – he would reinvent our history to suit himself and then believe it. Even now I hear him creating unreal worlds past and future in his head and he thinks they are both accurate. But I know neither are truthful or real. Listening to him talk to other people I wonder how many of them realise how contradictory his stories are
He believes himself to be an honest man who would not deceive anyone. But he deceives himself completely
The Nietsche quote is only too accurate!

Love lost,
it means so much when someone else identifies with some crap I’ve been through. Makes getting through another day a bit easier so thank you.

The huge irony is that he hated liars. His parents both lied to him and his mum got him to cover for him when she lied to her mother. …..or maybe that’s all a lie too! Sigh.

Ox, am on the case. “Without Conscience” has been ordered

Greetings : )

LoveLost and Strongawoman,

My ex lies to himself also and “rewrites” the past in addition to overriding the present. He too considers himself an “honest” man……a man of integrity.

I suspect some of it is due to his childhood where he would get whipped with a belt regardless of what he did or didn’t do. Although it appears to possibly be a pity play, I was married to him for 30 years and there is no doubt in my mind that my former MIL behaved in that manner. Everything angers that woman and she envies beyond compare.

He learned to fabricate his world at a very young age, as did his siblings. They all lie and I’ve come to believe that telling the truth is as difficult for them as it is for me to tell a lie. An altered reality was required to survive in their childhood home. But I regress, feeling sorry for the ex again……..just cannot understand how a parent could do that to their own children however I know it happens all the time.

There was never a need to lie in my household. My siblings and I were always treated with respect. I thought that’s just the way the world worked. It’s taken decades to realize how very wrong that assumption was and I continue to struggle with it.


Yes New. I can identify.
He showed me a place he would go to to escape and dream of what his life would be like when he had escaped his mother. I think it was Dupey who recently stated they hate their mothers. Not sure if that’s why he feels compelled to lie. He certainly feels he’s owed something

Hey Oxdrover,

Looks like you’re doing very well. Bright blessings into the new year!


Dear Elizabeth Conley,

Yea, I guess I’ve found a “home” here….going on 5 years now, but still learning new things every day, believe it or not! I “came out of the closet” a few months back and started writing under my own name.

Hope all is well with you and your family as well! Bright blessings to you as well! 2012 is gonna be a great year!

Adelle2011 says:

****”But I got to thinking about what I would write and realized I didn’t even care enough to tell him what a jerk he is.”
Is that a great feeling or what? Realizing you just don’t care; not even to send the jerk a note! I love it!
Remember the Hallmark slogan that said “When you care enough to send the very best”
How about when you just don’t give a $#!%”what do you send then? Nothing”and it feels great!

Yes, it certainly does. Immensely good.
Like I have myself back and screw the dumb stuff. Right?
Right. When you just don’t care anymore….yep.

And with the stalking, etc. – the water is only missed when the well runs dry. 🙂

Strongawoman, mine hates his mother also. Many years ago he told me one of the reasons he married me was because I was the exact opposite of his mother. When I pulled a little loose thread and 30 years of lies unraveled, he started claiming I was exactly like his mother. Of course at that point I was REALLY angry with him for leading a double life. He’s a sex addict who hates women. Every woman becomes his “mother” eventually…..at least in his mind.

strongawoman and new beginning
can’t make the upbringing excuse for mine – he didn’t have to create worlds as he grew up. He lies to get what he wants and to justify his actions then to cope with the guilt he has to believe his lies. Very sad


It does appear the genetic link has the strongest impact in psychopathy. Oxy’s sons are a good example. Same parents and environment yet a totally different outcome.

There are interesting books out there that scientifically explore the brain structure of psychopaths. Oxy touched upon this a short time ago as it is also mentioned in Dr. Robert Hares book “Without a Conscience”.

In the book Incognito, the Secret Lives of the Brain there is a lot of info about the two hemispheres of the brain not having many connections between them in psychopaths as well as a frontal lobe that does not function the same as it does for the majority of the population. It made me wonder if it is responsible in part for my ex’s two different personalities……and lies to himself to justify his actions.

It is all very sad….and scary too.


Newbeginning and Lovelost, I can trace the lines of psychopaths on both sides of my family, and on at least one side of my children’s father…On my side, because I know the family history quiet a ways back, I can find evidence of psychopathic, alcoholic and abusive behavior going back to at least 1800, but on my husband’s family I only know his parents, and a few stories about his grandparents, but didn’t really know much about his family outside of his nuclear family of parents and his one sib. The father is definitely a power freak and I think very abusive and controlling. My husband was not a psychopath I don’t think, but he was a dupe of his father and was suffering from some very specific mental illnesses that I saw evidence of but didn’t know what it was at the time I was married to him, only years later, looking back at the symptoms I saw so clearly and after education in psychology and experience working in mental health medicine, then I realized what I saw was VERY significant.

WIth my own psychopathic son Patrick, I kept up this MALIGNANT HOPE that I could help him, that he wanted to change, but I would not believe what was in front of my eyes, I wouldn’t believe what I SAW I was in total denial. It was too painful for me to accept the truth of what I saw.

Denial is a helpful technique in some circumstances but when it CONTINUES for a long time it keeps us from TAKING ACTION when we need to take action. We must let go of denial and accept the TRUTH before we can ACT to take care of ourselves.

New beginning and Love lost,
I’m with Oxy on the disordered family list. If I told you what my grandmother did to her youngest son, you simply would not believe me. Despite the incredible antics of my ex-spath, my grandmother actually takes the cake.

My family is incredibly sinister in their spathiness – you can’t tell what they are because they hide it under a facade of goodness and holiness. It’s possible that even THEY can’t tell what they are because they hide it from themselves! (I’m not sure, that’s a theory that might apply to some of them but not others)

These people don’t break the law EVER. They feed on power and control over their family members. And the family members – even the other spaths – can’t tell what’s happening.
I think each spath in my family believes that they are the only one with machievellian capacity and they don’t realize that the others are all manipulating them BACK.

I’m not sure. It’s very confusing. they are so sick, I just stay away and when I can’t, it’s GREY ROCK ALL THE WAY!

actually, my spath brother does break the law. It makes me think of him as a failed spath because he couldn’t hide what he is – despite his high IQ. A successful spath is never discovered, the mask is maintained at all times.

Send this to a friend