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Murder disproves mental health myths

The story is shocking. On Friday, Leo Moran, 75, of Chester Township, New Jersey, was charged with the murder of Charlotte Moran, who was 74. They had been high school sweethearts and were married for 54 years. A man who grew up with Leo Moran described them as the perfect couple.

So what sparked the violence? Moran’s wife and son repeatedly insisted that he get counseling. He finally agreed to go, and then, according to his family, was not honest with the counselor.

Please stop now and read Chester man accused of killing wife of 54 years believed she was unfaithful, working against him, on NJ.com.

Sometimes we see cases of an elderly person killing his or her spouse of many years because the spouse is gravely ill and unlikely to get better. It’s almost an act of compassion rather than murder.

In this case, a few crumbs of information indicate that Leo Moran was not suffering from despair or anguish. Rather, if the reported facts are accurate, they may indicate that the man was a sociopath:

  • Some neighbors thought the Morans were the perfect couple. Others thought Leo Moran was “a surly man quick to bicker.”
  • Moran offered his wife a kiss, which she refused, so he beat her with a baseball bat.
  • Moran said his wife was unfaithful and his family was conspiring against him.
  • Moran said his wife initiated the attack and hit him in the back with the bat, but he had no bruises.
  • Moran said his wife suggested they commit suicide together.

So the mask slipped, Moran became outraged by his family’s affront to his control, he allegedly beat his wife to death, and then blamed everything that happened on her. This is sociopathic behavior.

But for me, what is important is how this case disproves two generally held perceptions about sociopaths and mental health.

First, many therapists believe that sociopathy diminishes with age. I believe sociopaths never become less manipulative, although I was willing to concede that perhaps they became less violent, simply because they run out of steam. But maybe that’s not true either. Maybe they never lose their capacity for violence.

Secondly, many people, and perhaps therapists as well, have far too much faith in intervention. This is one of the most important things that we, as a society, need to thoroughly understand about sociopaths: Once they are adults, they are extremely unlikely to change.

Anger management classes won’t work. Restraining orders won’t work. Sometimes, the only sane and safe thing for people around sociopaths to do is escape.

But it’s too late for Charlotte Moran.

UPDATE:

Joyce Alexander notes that Moran’s actions may have been caused by dementia rather than sociopathy. See comments below. It turns out that she may be right—that is exactly what Moran’s attorney is saying. Read:

Attorney: Chester Township man accused of bludgeoning wife to death with a bat had mental issues, on NJ.com.

With this correction, this case brings out another important point—behavior that appears to be sociopathic may, in fact, have another cause.


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97 Comments on "Murder disproves mental health myths"

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This is tragic and heart-breaking. It seems to me that the highlighting of their long marriage is meant to make it seem like something suddenly snapped in him, whereas he had been a in a stable marriage until that point. Why point out that they were married so long? I know it’s a fact of the case, but the way this is talked about is as though the length of their marriage would make him seem like a good guy who is capable of a long-lasting commitment–especially since everyone called them the perfect couple. People seem to think either someone is a good guy or a bad guy, and there seems to be an argument that maybe he’s a good guy who got pushed a little too far. The general public cannot understand how a sociopath is all about contradicting dichotomy. They are both black and white at the exact same time, which blows people’s minds, because normal people are more consistent–whether in a good way or a bad way. They don’t understand an evil that walks and talks like a good person.

Sociopaths can seethe in subtle and subversive silence their whole lives, as long as everyone they control keeps playing their parts. They don’t suddenly become murderers. They are always capable of murder.

And Donna this is why I totally agree with you. I don’t think there is such a thing as a safe relationship with a sociopath, unless it is a non-relationship, the no contact one. This case goes to show that one can let you live for as long as this guy did and then one day just go ahead kill you, as though the behavior was always a part of his design.

Of course this story is far from complete, and many “news” stories are inaccurate in their entirety, however, assuming that all the facts are reasonably covered in this story, the man also could have been suffering from any number of mental health issues, including delusions that the wife was cheating.

The fact that the wife and family insisted that he go for counseling makes me think this may have been of more recent onset rather than something that was life-long. As for the neighbor saying he may have been contentious and cranky, well that is quite possible along with the decline of mental health in the elderly with the onset of dementia or OBS (organic brain syndrome) due to the decreasing blood supply to the brain or any number of “organic” problems. One of the very first signs of OBS or other dementia is that the person loses their ability of reasonable judgment.

The man becoming enraged when she refused his kiss (along with delusions) could indeed have sparked his outburst and violence and many male dementia patients become violent and contentious. Dementia also decreases impulse control. I think his “story” (which is of course not even possible, much less believable) being so simple is also an indication that the man is demented. Of course it could also indicate that the man is a sociopath, but in this case, given the age of the man, I think the motive for this murder is going to turn out to be more along the lines of dementia rather than psychopathy.

That of course doesn’t mean he wasn’t a psychopath before the dementia, or that they had a great marriage. Having worked in geriatric psych, and seen the havoc that is caused in families when dementia strikes a member of the family, just as Doug whose father was scammed out of $1.2 million dollars. Fortunately his father did not become violent, but just gullible.

Dementia can also act like alcohol, disinhibiting the person, so that if they (without the alcohol) harbored violent tendencies, they are no longer inhibited from expressing these and the full flower of the violence comes out.

I have to weigh in here as a person with a 25 year relationshit with a psychopath.

Even though things were “bad” for the last 15 years, by all appearances we were a dedicated couple. Nobody knew that we didn’t sleep together or that he was poisoning me. The mask was always on. We held hands in public sometimes.

In the few months before he tried to kill me, his behavior changed. He seemed to be paranoid and crazy. He talked about being stressed looking for work (all lies).

Psychopaths don’t just go out and do their dirty deeds. They need a STORY to go with it. The story isn’t something they tell, it’s something they perform. They add props and other players. The more people who witness parts of their story, the more “real” it becomes. Sometimes, the story is only meant to justify their behavior to themselves. Other times it rationalizes their behavior to others. Either way, it serves to protect the mask. As long as there is a story to go along with what they did, nobody will ever come to the real conclusion: PURE UNADULTERATED EVIL.

They build up this story to a crescendo until they are ready to pop. Then they wack you.

When the jury is offered 2 possible motives: demon from hell or temporary insanity, they are going to choose the one that they are most comfortable with. Spaths know this.

I actually don’t think this will go to a jury, as any half way competent defense lawyer is going to get a psych eval on this guy. I would like a follow up story on what happens to this man and the outcome of the case. I am sure this must be a terrible ordeal for both the friends and family of this couple.

I think from both personal and professional experience with geri psych patients that he is going to be found incompetent….or it at worst will go for man slaughter assuming he is still in the EARLY stages of dementia where he still knows who the governor is and the president. Actually, that EARLY stage where they have lost their JUDGMENT is the most difficult to deal with.

My neighbor “grandpa” who has picked up (literally) a “crack ho” who shows up the first of every month when his check comes in, has started all kinds of things. He is NOT legally incompetent and it is not against the law to have poor judgment (if that were so we might all be locked up! LOL) or to “self neglect.” Yet he has started lying to his friends and neighbors and conning strangers into giving him gasoline or money, he is stealing from his daughter and siphoning gasoline out of her car. He never did these things before, he was a good neighbor and a good friend, now he is just enough “off” that he is lacking totally in judgment. Yet, he is still bright enough that he can wire his electric meter around the meter so he can turn his electric back on after it is shut off for non payment so all of his facilties are not gone.

In instances where patients were an “IMMEDIATE THREAT to themselves or others” and they were put on a 72-hour hold in a locked psych unit, if they were not an IMMEDIATE threat (note the “immediate in caps!”) they could walk out as long as they knew who the governor was, could tell time on a clock, and knew who they were and where they were, no matter how bad their judgment was. I have seen families totally distraught over what mom or dad was doing (like “Grandpa’s” daughter is! and like I am over my own egg donor.)

Con artists of all kinds prey on the elderly for this very reason, that their judgment is the first thing to go. I saw a study recently that said the ABILITY to DISTINGUISH AN OBVIOUS LIE from the truth, and to know what sarcasm was where two of the “first” things to go when dementia set in.

I would also add IMPULSE CONTROL seems to be one of the first things to go. We all know that a psychopath lacks impulse control and in many cases judgment so dementia can mimic psychopathy in many ways, just like a two year old without a conscience, and lacking impulse control and being “cranky” can mimic the behavior and attitudes of a psychopath. That’s why it’s called “the terrible twos” LOL

Just as a 5 year old who was HEARD getting into the cookie jar by a parent in the other room would say “are you in the cookie jar?” and the child, not knowing that the SOUND of the jar clinking as it was opened gave him away even though dad couldn’t SEE him in the jar would lie and say “oh, no dad, I’m not in the cookies.” The 5 year old’s, OBVIOUS to an ADULT, Lie wouldn’t fly, but the 5 year old doesn’t have enough knowledge to realize WHY. Elderly dementia patients also lose the ability to not only distinguish a lie, but to tell a believable lie.

If a person is/was a psychopath and they start to become demented or senile, their behavior is not going to improve, that’s for sure. My Uncle Monster (he had brain cancer and brain damage from years of alcohol abuse) lost impulse control almost completely and couldn’t be left alone for a single second because he would get out of a chair when he could not stand and would fall. Due to the fact he was a large man and debilitated physically it took 2-3 people to get him off the floor. He wanted whiskey, cigarettes and women and he wanted them NOW. LOL

Because hospitals are no longer allowed to “restrain” patients without very strict observation, and no longer allowed to chemically restrain them either, this becomes a problem for the staff as well as the patients and family.

Because most states don’t have reasonable restrictions on driving, patients like this are out on the road, driving and putting not only themselves at risk but others as well.

My prayers go out for the family of this man and woman and I hope that some reasonable resolution is made to the horrible case. It is a sad situation either way, manslaughter/murder or dementia.

Yep, totally could be dementia as I am dealing with my mom first hand. They become very defiant and paranoid. The age of this man points to that possibility.

Louise I am so sorry you are dealing with problem with your mom. It is very difficult. (((hugs))) and my prayers

Question:
do people with dementia LIE? do they decieve their therapist as this person did? His wife and son both were angry at him for LYING to his therapist.

He lied to the police about being hit in the back with a baseball bat. He had no marks.

He murdered his wife and he’s not even arrested. Must’ve done the pity ploy.

They are called People of the LIE for a reason.
They LIE.

Skylar, yes, to answer your question, they DO lie….their lies are GENERALLY not really convincing (depending on how far “gone” they are) but my neighbor “grandpa” lies to his daughter, steals from her, tries to con strangers on the road for gasoline….he gets in his truck and starts off to town knowing he doesn’t have enough gas to get there and carries a can and strangers will stop and go get him a couple of gallons of gas to “help him out.” LOL

He still has enough gumption to wire around his electric meter when it gets shut off, and he would never have done any of those things before the senility set in. The “meth ho” that targeted him can get him to do these things to “help her out” because he’s in love.

This man may not have been any “saint” before he killed his wife, but I think the indications are there that he is at least early stages of dementia (as far as you can tell from an article in the media.)

People with early onset dementia lack JUDGMENT and they can become very paranoid and delusional…when they misplace things they think someone has deliberately moved them. The frustration of actually suspecting that they are becoming “senile” can also be a problem.

In head injuries where there is some brain dysfunction (whether this is a stroke, organic problems, diminished blood supply, or whatever the cause, the EMOTIONAL problems caused by the patient KNOWING THEY ARE NOT FUNCTIONING WELL can be the worst part of the problem. I know it was with my step son as well after his traumatic brain injury. He looked okay, and he could talk to you and superficially he seemed okay, but he wasn’t and he knew it, and him knowing it was a big problem. He became hostile, paranoid, impulsive, and sneaky. He should not have been driving a car, but he took a car and was driving it in the middle of the night and crashed on ice….thank God no one else was killed. Part of the problem with him was also that his mother refused to accept that he WAS brain injured. We had him tested and he tested out VERY LOW functioning.

Looking back, we probably should have gotten a guardianship over him and we didn’t, as all this was happening about the time that Patrick went to prison for killing that young woman, my MIL who lived with us was having strokes and she became paranoid and demented. You can only do so much though….and enough stress at any one time will make you forget a detail or two and that year was a doozie! It was my WINTER of CHAOS!

“I’m not an expert in that area, but if you ask me as a lay person, I don’t know he fully understands the dynamics of what he is involved in,” Porfido said. “I don’t know if he fully understands and appreciates that his wife is gone.”

S PATH!

Oxy:

Thank you very much for your kind words and concern. Hugs to you.

You’re welcome, Louise, dealing with dementia and all that goes along with it is terrible! I think part of the problem with the paranoia is the patient is in denial yet somehow knows that they are slipping, and fights against it being true….once they are completely “gone” things are many times much easier for the care giver than they are in the early stages, so it may be easier as time goes on. Hang in there.

I completely agree with Oxy on this. “Psychopathy” was the last thing to come to mind when I read this sad news story. Nor did I see any evidence that this guy Moran had an abusive personality of long standing.

Instead, the first and most obvious fact to emerge, from the very first paragraph, was that Leo Moran was PARANOID, to a delusional extent. He believed his family was “conspiring against him,” and suspected his wife was “no longer” faithful to him—after they’d been married over half a century!

The second fact is that Moran is 75 years old. In my own mind, that was all I needed to know! Senile dementia was the obvious explanation.

We all know how some elderly people get cranky and cantankerous, in ways they never used to be when they were younger. Not only that, but paranoia is a regrettably common accompaniment to this apparent change of personality. Not for everyone, thank goodness, but I’m sure we know how some elderly people start getting all suspicious of those around them, imagining that people are “stealing from them” or trying to “do them down” in some other way. Moran is a clear case of that, and his sadly deluded belief that his wife was “being unfaithful” to him fits that pattern perfectly.

Of course, there’s no actual proof in this news story that Moran didn’t have some kind of “problem” all along, but the indications point the opposite way: that his deterioration was relatively recent, consistent with the onset of senility.

The story suggests that his family’s concern for his mental health was comparatively recent, although they’d been pushing him to get help for some time. Naturally when he did go for the screening, he would be unable to give the counselor an accurate picture of his situation because he was to some degree delusional.

The wording also suggests he USED to have confidence in his wife’s fidelity—when he was in his right mind, that is—and it was only recently he came to believe she was “no longer” faithful to him.

His personality change would also account for the contradictory picture different witnesses gave of his character. Naturally those neighbors who only encountered him in recent years would describe a “surly man, quick to bicker.” It’s those who had known him and his wife for far longer, like Richard Newman, who had a better perspective on what Moran was really like for most of his life, describing a far more genial man.

This type of story is just an enormous tragedy, illustrating what terrible consequences the ravages of time and Nature on the human brain can have for those around. If Leo Moran ever could get back into his right mind (which is doubtful), I’m sure he would be just as devastated as everyone else by what he had done to the wife he had always loved.

Sometimes Nature destroys people by direct action: by sending an earthquake or tornado to tear their homes to pieces, and the occupants with it. Or by sending diseases to rot people’s bodies and kill them that way. And sometimes Nature destroys people by indirect action: by sending disorders to rot their brain away and turn them into insane agents of death and destruction to others.

I don’t think there’s much more to be said, other than may the dead rest in peace and the living have our sympathy in grieving over this tragedy.

Oxy:

What you said is exactly true. That is exactly what my mom is experiencing. She is in obvious denial and you can tell she knows she is slipping because she makes excuses all the time for what’s happening. But it’s pretty bad. It is so tough to deal with and extremely frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time. It also makes sense about once they are “gone”…I have thought about that before…that once she gets to that point, it has to be easier as there is no longer the defiance and the fighting. But also very sad 🙁

Louise, I had a patient in a nursing facility once (I was the nursing director) and she was in a Wheel chair. Every morning she would come out to the nurses station and ask what bus her husband would come in on. The little nurse would tell her that her hus band was dead and that she was at XYZ nursing home and the woman would cry. The next morning same song. I found out about this, and the little LPN was doing what she had been taught “orienting the patient to time, place and person.”

Well, in this case, the woman was HAPPY when she thought she was waiting at the bus station and “orienting” her A) didn’t last long and B) made her unhappy so I told the nurse to just tell her “the bus has been delayed, it will be an hour or so late, just wait right here.” When Lunch time came the nurse was to take her to the dining room and tell her she should have some lunch while she waited, and he’d be in later, ditto supper and when bed time came, she got a “Motel room” for the night. She never cried again. She was happy in her delusions, her husband was not dead and gone.

Sometimes people who wouldn’t say feces with a mouth full start to cuss like sailors and become uncooperative in the afternoons or at night. This is called “sundown syndrome” and research has shown it isn’t light related at all, but after you’ve been around a patient for a while you can almost predict the time of day they will take a “dive”.

Google your local alzheimer’s association and see what you can get in the way of help, support, and information.

Also be aware that once they are “pretty well gone” you can also make a referral to hospice and get all kinds of helpl with aids to help bathe, home care nurses, and even household help as well as some respite help—and even if it does upset her—TAKE THE RESPITE HELP. I can tell you from experience if you don’t take care of YOU then you can’t take care of HER, so think of the respite as caring for yourself AND her. If it up sets her she will get over it just like a 2 year old may throw a tantrum but will get over it. So pay her tantrums as much mind as you would a 2 yr old’s. n((((Hugs))))

Oxy:

Haha, perfect solution! I know you are right. It’s just finding ways to deal with them and making them happy.

I have seen the “sundown” or “sundowner’s” syndrome in my mom. My cousin’s wife pointed it out to me. She gets more agitated and depressed in the evenings and even comments how she doesn’t like “night time.” She can’t sleep either, but will not take anything to help her sleep.

Thanks for the advice about hospice care, etc. I greatly appreciate that because as of now, I have had no idea where to start to go for help.

Louise, many thoughts and prayers out to you and your Mom. It certainly is a difficult road to travel.

New

Louise,

I work in hospice, and specialize in Dementia care at end of life.

Seek a hospice program.

Many hospice programs will improve the quality of life for a Dementia patient and assist the family with symptom management (agitation, falls, paranoia, anxiety, impulsiveness, lack of appetite, etc). They will also help you decide when it may be safer to have your loved one either live with you, or for you to find a memory care facility for them. It isn’t about getting someone to the end of their life as quickly a possible. It is about getting them there with as much quality and dignity as possible.

I have had patient’s on for years. If you would like to speak/email further, feel free to ask Donna for my email address.

I don’t have an opinion on this story. Too few facts. So it could go either way.

Skylar, I loved your post about how they weave and perform their ‘story’. Brilliant. And SO difficult to SHOW to people who are being duped.

Slim

Slim one, thanks for pointing out what I didn’t about the fact that hospice is not about “rushing” the patient toward the end of life, but giving LIFE to the days they have left, as well as helping the family members as well.

Thank for you for working in hospice, it is a special calling for special people! God bless you.

slimone:

THANK YOU so much for the hospice info. It means more than you can know! I may get in touch with you…thank you for opening up your help to me.

Leo Moran was mean. He poisoned kittens. He threatened ,harrassed, nd frightened his neighbors. HE WAS THE ONE WHO FOUND HIS NEIGHBOR AT HIS VACATION HOME IN PENNSYLVANIA (RUSS LOBB ) “On the floor with a head injury”!!!! A NIEGHBOR WHO REFUSED TO SIGN A FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL TO HIS PROPERTY UPON DEATH. AND THE YEAR BEFORE A NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR WAS FOUND UNRESPONSIVE WHO HE FOUGHT WITH ALL THE TIME. HE HAD A VICIOUS ROTTWEILLER THAT HE LET OUT NO LEASH OR ENCLOSURE. ASK HIS NEIGHBORS IN PA.

Nonamepplease,

That is interesting information to add to the little bit of information that we had. It sounds like you knew this man or were neighbors with him.

It also sounds like he had a “convenient’ habit of finding people he had quarreled with unconscious….

Sometimes though, as the brain ages, the “real them” comes out with the impulse controls totally gone and paranoia setting in, in males with dementia the trend seems to be they get more violent as the brain loses judgment and memory. If the person is controlling to start with they get WORSE and more violent.

Thanks for sharing this information—of course there is no way that WE HERE can make a medical judgment about this man’s sanity or lack of it, but it is simply a subject of discussion.

Psychopaths also get senile and paranoid. Thanks.

Psychopaths also pretend to be senile and paranoid. I recorded my spath crying because I had caused him so much stress when all he wanted to do was earn a living to support us. The con went on for 6 months. It was supposed to end after 8 months when I was scheduled to die by suicide. Or perhaps before.

Yes, some spaths stay married for 50 years or more. Look at Bernie Madoff, it is part of the facade. Moran’s lie, “she hit me first” is all I need, to know the truth.

Why didnt he call 911? Cuz his son is a state trooper and he knew they would use it in court. He s trying to get off with self defense or dementia. He knew exactly what he was doing. He has been cold and calculating for the 13yrs. I know and thats not dementia. He has just been getting away with it.

Nonamesplease,

That’s why news stories Which tell less than the WHOLE TRUTH or are actually slanted are not always a good way to realize what is really happening. We look at them as best we can to get the whole story, but it isn’t always there.

Thanks for this information….it helps to see the man in perspective. We are all here familiar with how “mean’ (psychopathic) people operate and how they pretend to be something else….we call it the “mask” sometimes some mean people don’t even bother with the mask they just strike out and know they can get away with it. I hope he rots.

I am brand new here, though I’ve also been lurking around reading from the sidelines, both enlightened and appalled by the true stories here.

Is there a section where new members can post their stories or ask questions? Forgive me for not yet being aware of how the website works!

I picked this blog b/c Skylar posted something back in December (I think) relevant to my own situation, so I esp. wanted to ask her a question.

I want to say that though I know the stories here are true, I can’t believe what you all have had to live through. I believe it, but it’s so unbelievable to know how some people choose to conduct themselves. It is really hard to get your head around…you can’t make any sense out of it. I am sorry to read about what you all have been through, but grateful you are sharing your thoughts and experiences here, to help yourself, as well as others, heal.

Dear Looking for truth,

There is no one place that we “post our stories” so just pick a thread and go for it..where ever you feel comfortable.

Welcome to LoveFraud and sorry that you qualify to join our “club ” b ut since you do, this is the best place for support and understanding. Again Welcome.

Looking for truth,
welcome to LF, sorry for the experience that brought you here.
Ask any question you like.
I’ll try to answer it. If I don’t get right back to you it’s because I had to go out or because I need to think about it.

Thx, Ox and Skylar for the welcome. Okay, here goes. Only 2 people out in the real world know what’s going on”my therapist and my best friend. And even they have at times suggested, “He probably didn’t mean it like that”, minimizing and excusing what did not feel right to me, while I was on the receiving end. There is always the fear that my H will read what I’ve written on-line somewhere, even though I do so anonymously in an effort to stay under the radar, away from him.

On the surface, my story is not like the others, b/c most of what my H has done is more to the covert side”not only covert as far as hiding it from the rest of the world, but also, covert in hiding it from me. I’ve not had to call the police yet, though there have been subtle signs that he is capable of physical violence. Given my H’s history of lying, double lives, overall deceitful behavior, stealing, infidelity/sex addiction, extremely reckless driving, angry though unwarranted outbursts, intense irritability, shoplifting, and past animal abuse I’ve witnessed, along with all of the emotional abuse in general, I more often than not think the worst of him, even without concrete “proof”. There is more, one thing in particular that I am afraid to mention even here. I already know a lot of his secrets, and I shudder to think of the ones that exist of which I am not yet aware. I honestly do not know if he is sociopath, though I do believe he suffers from at least one of the personality disorders, if not more. Which one becomes the trick question.

Our pets have been ill at times, and I too have been “ill” at times. I am currently awaiting initial results of lab work, in an effort to diagnose what my symptoms mean. One of the tests they ran was for levels of arsenic in my blood. It chills me to the bone to write that, let alone think about it. I have wondered off and on for the past 3 years whether or not he’s been slipping me things, but it’s easy to dismiss during long lulls being symptom-free. I told the neurologist, “At the risk of sounding paranoid or delusional, I am not convinced he is, but I am also not convinced he isn’t. I have to consider this, due to his unscrupulous track record so far.” He included this test on the script without hesitation. My H works in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, so he has plenty of access to lots of different things. I have to consider this possibility, as serious an allegation as it is. After reading here, nothing surprises me any longer at just how unscrupulous these people can be.

My H has systematically worn me down over time, to the point I am not mentally strong enough to work at the moment, though I am doing all I can to change that (individual therapy, a live support group, on-line communities, reading, journaling, spending time with “normal” people, like family and friends). I had started doing better, but then my Mother suddenly became ill and after 6 days of watching her suffer, she passed. It has only been one month since. I know I need to get out and away from my H, but first, I need to be able to financially support myself and my teenage son. In the meantime, I have learned the art of “emotionally detaching” to get through, which helps tremendously in dealing with my H, but detaching isn’t really who I am”so I am still sacrificing parts of myself in the process.

One side of my brain tells me there is no way he would do such a thing as poison me. He might do a lot of bad things, but he would never go that far. The other side of my brain tells me to remember everything he’s done so far, so just why would someone like him stop at that? I have to remind myself that as uncommon as it is, there are still cases of people being poisoned by their spouses. How do I know for sure I am not one of them? I don’t.

Skylar, if you see this, can I ask how you caught on to him doing this to you? Some of them do so “systematically”, just like they systematically break us down over time. You don’t necessarily become so violently ill that you immediately land in the hospital. I came close a few times to heading to the ER, though, but it didn’t come to that, b/c my worst symptoms suddenly backed off, just at the point I was ready to go.

Thank you for any insight you can offer me, Skylar and anyone else. My H was extremely nervous the night he found out I had gone for my bloodwork. I have been a nervous wreck since myself, waiting for the results, though I tend to think nothing is going to show up there anyway, and that further testing will be needed. This is really sick that I have even had to go there.

No worries about any delays in replying…though I’ve been nervous about what my H is potentially up to, I am overall a pretty laidback person, and I do understand that everyone has lives beyond what goes on on the Internet!!

Looking,
My spath was also extremely covert. He mirrored my love of animals and my kindness. Because of that, I would never have believed anything bad about him. When I saw things that contradicted this belief in his goodness, I told myself that I was wrong. I was wrong to judge, I was wrong in my assessment and I was wrong in my suspicions.

These are typical reactions for someone in a relationshit with a spath. Rather than place blame where it belongs, instead we take responsibility for all the problems.

I continued to move my boundaries further and further back to accommodate his immoral and illegal behaviors. In my defense, I will say that this is part of my spath’s strategy. EVERYONE that knows him eventually crosses that line in order to accommodate his needs. Cops, church pastors, millionaires and billionaires, pharmacists, average joe’s and many others get tempted down the slippery slope as he pity ploy’s them into using their influence or authority to “help him out” because he’s such a nice guy.

So how did I “figure it out”. I never really did until after I left him, then all kinds of information came at me from various places, including my own memory.

The moment when I was finally able to see him for what he was, came when he turned up the heat a bit too fast. He had decided to kill me, so he started a con to get me to sign over my business and put it in his name. There were 4 or 5 months of strategic gas lighting. I did recognize the pattern that I had seen before, but I kept thinking someone was playing a trick on HIM. Then he said, “the only way we can protect ourselves is if you put the business in my name.” I LITERALLY SAW AND HEARD A BELL RINGING. I’m not kidding.

Up in the corner of my right eye, there appeared what looked like a church bell. And it was clanging, loudly. No, I wasn’t sleeping, I was standing there wide awake, talking to him.

This is why I know that the right brain is aware of things and trying to inform us. It does this with imagery. We have to pay attention.

Anyway, I could go on and on with my story. I’ll try to be brief:
When I left him, I began to feel better in a few days. On the second day, I went to check on the house and all the FOOD was gone! I had my blood and hair checked for drugs, all came back negative. By the end of the week I felt better than ever. The constant pain in my neck and shoulders was gone. About 3 months later I asked him what he had poisoned me with and he said, “strychnine and botulism toxin. I liked to use little bits of this and that.” I really didn’t believe him but when I looked up the symptoms, I saw that they both caused severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. So he told the truth, but in such a way that I would doubt it. Spaths can’t be straight about anything.

I would suggest that you do not inform him of your blood tests or the results. Say they were negative. He may kill you if he thinks the jig is up. Look what Josh Powell did to his boys when he thought he would be psych evaluated and his boys had begun to talk.

What are your symptoms? Get tested for strychnine.

Skylar

You just said something that hit home for me.

They call them PEOPLE OF THE LIE for a reason.

Yup.

Hi everyone. I’ve not been here for a while. Just thought that I would share this with you.

Last night I watched a program on the TV about psychopaths. Some of the documentary focused on Bob Hare’s findings.

Basically the program showed that with spaths there
are 2 (or 3) ’physical’ factors.

1. Brain studies show that the front lobe and the temple lobes are different in spaths.
2. There is a gene which can be passed down the generations (not always directly)
3. There may have been some form of abuse as a child
So my conclusion is, that if it’s a gene and a brain abnormality, then these cannot be ’made better’.
Therefore spaths can never be cured in my book.

There was an example of how people can have these characteristics but keep them subdued. Usually if they were well nurtured as a child this somehow helps to over-ride the spath becoming full blown.

Brain patterns of the group studied showed that they demonstrate the same reaction to a word like rape as they do to the word tree. It is not in their capacity to feel the emotions as we do.

Well those are my findings for what they’re worth!

One year and 3 months spath free. Whoop whoop!

Thank you so much for sharing your awful experience with me, Skylar. I am so sorry to read you have had to go through such a horrible ordeal. I do not understand people like this. My H too has mirrored me, in many ways. He leeches information from me as far as how to best interact with other people, in an effort to appear normal. It took him a few years to learn this. I can feel that it is not sincere, and that he only performs those acts of kindness to make himself appear in a more favorable light. Anything deceitful he does, that he thinks he gets away with, gives him an obvious rush that I can pick up on, even if others can’t. I am tuned in to him more than I’d like to be.

He has recently begun working on my oldest son, in an effort to create an ally and to “look good” to the family. This began to happen shortly after I uncovered my H’s stealing scam fall of 2011, that the family does not know about. Though I’ve had some of my symptoms off and on for the past 3 years, what also happened around the same time was not only a resurgence of my symptoms, but also, a few new ones. They were not severe enough to cause me to go to the ER, but they were alarming enough to cause me to make an appointment with a neurologist.

I have researched all of the poisons and heavy metals, but I cannot conclusively say I feel it is one or the other, or perhaps a little of this and a little of that, like your H did. I currently take a daily inventory of my H’s psych meds, b/c the other night, I had a very strange symptom that I’ve only had once before. I had what I believe was akathisia ”“ an inability to sit still. It was extreme for me, and it was not normal anxiety or anything like that. It’s almost as if I had to move, without wanting to move. While I was researching side effects as a result of discontinuing the psych med H takes (b/c he has recently talked about going off it, and I am very concerned that he will have a psychotic episode in the process), I came across the side effects that can be experienced while on it”and my symptom was one of them. It only lasted an hour, but it was quite pronounced. I could not help but wonder if he slipped me one of his pills.

The symptoms I experience are varied, all over the place, and usually include pain, both skeletal and muscular, that moves around my body, from lower back, to hips, to legs, to knees, sometimes ankles, wrists, or elbows, and back around my body again. Sometimes it will settle in one part of my body, mostly my back, for longer periods of time than in the other parts of my body. Sometimes I feel more achy than in “pain”. Sometimes I also experience strange sensations such as pins and needles, prickling/tingling, stinging, crawling, burning, stabbing, you name it. I’ve had speech, cognitive, swallowing, bladder, bowel, and GI symptoms. I have “flare-ups” during which I will experience many symptoms at or around the same time. Sometimes my skin feels as if it is burning, sometimes itchy, but the itch does the same thing as the aches and pains”it is transitory and travels around my body. Sometimes it feels as if there is a “hole” in my throat”sometimes I easily choke”sometimes my lips burn”sometimes my tongue itches. Sometimes not for all these things.

The newer, more alarming symptoms that appeared Nov. 2011 were difficulty standing and walking, due to extreme weakness in my legs, preceded by the migratory pain, achiness, numbness, etc. And, bladder incontinence, which I had not experienced before. I felt as if there was a disconnect between my brain, my legs, and my bladder”and as if I was losing control of my body. My whole midsection was numb at times. The GP started me on an antibiotic in the event of infection, but none showed up on the lab culture.

Sometimes, I experience severe abdominal pain”sometimes severe nausea”sometimes bouts of diarrhea, altering with bouts of constipation. I know I’ve also had other symptoms which I am not remembering at the moment, b/c there have been many. The GI doctors all told me that my symptoms do not fit neatly into any one category, which is also what the neurologist told me. But, my sister has mixed connective tissue disease, and that’s what they told her, too.

So the question remains, is there a medical explanation for some or all of my symptoms”do I have rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, MS, or something else? Or, has my H been up to no good? If he is, I am not convinced it is arsenic”it could be any one of a number of toxins. But the neurologist wanted to begin with that. So we shall see. I am trying to give my H the benefit of the doubt, but he has lied to me so many times about so many different things, some of which has been totally unnecessary. I feel he gets off on doing things behind my back”I feel he does not care if he gets caught by me, though he would prefer to elude the authorities and not pay any legal consequences, if he can help it. If my H is up to no good, is it b/c he wishes to control me in this covert way by slipping things to me”is he trying to make me sick, so that I cannot work, and therefore, will forever be reliant upon him?; or is he systematically trying to kill me, and since I now have enough information on him to get him into trouble with both his employer and the law, he had stepped up the activity to speed things up? All I know is that my symptoms became far worse a few weeks after I confronted him about his stealing scam, but once I began getting tested and seeing the neurologist, they mysteriously subsided again.

In the meantime, I am hypervigilant when H is around, I look over my shoulder all the time when he is around, and I do my best to keep him away from anything I eat or drink. But it is really hard to stay on top of him at all times. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I am sure he would find a way if he really wanted to.

Other than the other night with not being able to sit still for an hour, and the night before my neurologist appointment, my “flare-ups” have mysteriously ceased. I can’t help but wonder if my H is now on his best behavior, since he knows I am now under the care of a specialist who is trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

How do these people get their hands on such toxins? Not that I would bother looking, but I would not even know where to begin looking. I guess in my H’s case, it’s easy”he gets them from work, or from a business associate who does not know any better (he often talks about all the pest control they have to do at his job, that he is directly responsible for). For all I know, he’s been feeding me rat poison at times. Not enough of anything to send me to the hospital, but enough to make me sick regardless. Then he lets up, when my symptoms accelerate too much. That is, IF he is slipping me things to begin with. Some moments I am convinced he is; other moments, I am in denial and utter disbelief. I also know this is typical, when you are dealing with something you cannot get your head around, such as this. I am just sick about what has been going on, not knowing for sure one way or the other.

Thank you so much for your reply, Skylar. I am glad you are away from him now.

Louise

First of I want to say that I can relate to where you are. But all I have is first hand expereience with my beloved Granny. I played it by ear and fought many an internal battle- this is how it unfolded.

She brought me up and I was very close to her.

Hearing your own and other’s contributions begged me to add my small bit.

All you can aim for is a journey that starts with tears in your heart and a happy ending for the one you love.

When dementia first hit my Gran I fought just as hard as her. Both of us didn’t want to believe it.

We started arguing-something both of us rarely did and if we did so- it was important. Despite the 50 age year gap-we were best friends. After a year I realised something was wrong.

Heart break.

When it finally dawned on me that my Gran was a danger to herself and that I needed help–I got doctors involved. Drugs were given

Diagnosis. DEMENTIA.

Heartbreak. She always told me the losing her mind was her worst fear.

A home help was enlisted against her wishes and she was mad. But she was a lovely person and they hit it off.

This went on for a while. Then the form of her dementia took the shape of malignant forces out to get her. She started carrying a big stick to protect herself.

Scared.

I told her I had booked a holiday for her at 3 am one night as I had just come quickly from a phone call from a local junkie who had found her wandering the streets. We were lucky.

I had booked her into a psychiatric facility for stabalisation although I did not know what I was really doing, again against her wishes as she had a fear of hospitals and at 84 this was her first time in in 30 years.

Heartbreak

I just wanted help for her demons. It just seemed unfair that this wonderful woman could end like this.

We got her out and settled her once again at home with 2 carers they called in 10 times in 24 hours. We took shifts and roughed it out. Out of all the family we decided to abide by her wishes to die at home. We roughed it out.

Hard work.

The form of her dementia changed and it was beautiful to experience. She was a young girl again and we would wait together for her horse and cart to arrive to take her to the dance. In the meantime, I helped her pick her outfit and put her earings in. I played old tunes and we would dance.

I was happy for her.

She became quite fragile and it became apparent that we were not coping. She started falling. This period went on for quite a while as we were considering going against her wishes and put her in a hospice. She was terrified of this pre- dementia.

She was happy and we got her settled at her holiday hotel and she could just ring this bell and get anything she wanted. She loved the idea but was too frail to use it. She felt special.

The hospice was local–in a house with only eight residents. Being in her own age group was a joy to behold. She was right at home. I wish we had done it earlier. We were less stressed and could enjoy her more while she was well looked after by experts.

We were happy.

My best friend passed away peacefully in hospital. Not a demon in sight.

All I can say is aim for a happy ending no matter what it takes.

Forget reality=Humour them.

Always be guided by love and common sense even if it is going against their wishes=which is really tough.

Indulge them in their happy fantasies and get help for the negative ones.

I was honoured to take part in my Gran’s last experience on Earth.

You are in my prayers every step of the way.

Take care
STJ
xxx

Looking for truth,

I suggest that you see a psychiatrist and a neurologist as well, your symptoms are disturbing to me (I am a retired registered nruse practitioner) and I would get them seen ASAP

Rat poison now is not arsenic or anything like that, but now contains warfrin which is a blood thinner and in rats it causes them to bleed to death internally. Vitamin K is the antidote.

I sincerely suggerst that you get out of that house ASAP if you even suspect that he is poisoning you. Go to a shelter if you must b ut GET OUT!

Looking for truth

I really need to say-never underestimate your gut feelings and please get yourself to a safe distance from this man.

You seem sane at the moment and this is the best time to go.

Don’t leave it too late.

From a distance the best that can happen is that your fears are unfounded and you can then make a decision to return or not to the relationship.

On the other hand the worst that can happen is that your fears are true. And you will be safe.

keep quiet-plan and get out ASAP.

Thinking of you

Stay safe
STJ
xxx

STJ:

Wow, thank you for that beautiful post about your Granny. I know I was supposed to see it as I have not been on here really at all for quite awhile and just happened to be reading through and saw my name at the beginning of your post.

Sigh. Things are about the same as they have been. My mom is putting a lot of pressure on me to move home and live with her. My brother is also. I had a huge fight with him at Christmas time that ruined my holiday. It was horrible. He wants me to come home and take care of our mom, but yet, he doesn’t want to do anything to help her. It’s all on me. It’s just very frustrating and disheartening and is making me depressed.

Anyway, thank you again for your beautiful post. I got so much from it…mainly the part about humoring them and going along with their fantasies. You are right…I just need to do whatever it is that will make her happy.

As far as the X spath who I have not written about in a very, very long time, I haven’t had any contact with him for almost a year. But I still cry over him. I think I am nuts to still have these feelings for him, but I do. I just don’t talk about it anymore, but it hurts almost as badly now as it did two years ago. I don’t think I will ever be truly over it. It is just something I have learned to deal with.

Dear Louise,

Welcome back….and don’t think that you must ALWAYS feel this way…you have other stressors on you right now, your brother’s unreasonable demands that YOU care for your mother without his help….commmmmme on! Get real Brother! Oh, and Louise, if you were to leave your life,, go back there and move in with mom and take 100% care of her HE WOULD NOT BE PLEASED WITH THE JOB YOU WERE DOING!

He has a guilt trip and wants you to fix it…but you can take care of YOU…which is what you need to do now…you can get better and learn to Deal with, not LIVE WITH this pain about the X. (((hugs))) and God bless.

Hi Louise, Welcome back Dear. I was almost tempted to ask where you went. I missed by good buddy on the boards. I too come and go from LF. Sometimes I get real busy with home life and kids.
Other times I suffer from a light PTSD episode from my ex and have to give LF a rest till I get my bearings back.
I too took care of my grand mom for 10 years with dementia. It was a nightmare. We had her at home. She technically belonged in a nursing home but family wouldn’t put her in one.
Our large extended family lived in the house together. We took turns taking care of her but I would never take care of another dementia patient again. Too stressful.
Any how welcome back.
Joanie123

Louise

Dementia isn’t an illness that you can do alone. There were six of us caring for my Gran and also a team of carers. It was hard.

Looking back I wish we had put my gran in a home so much earlier-that would have been a wise thing to do. But of course when the heart is involved that sometimes rules the head.

Dementia is an illness that causes fear in loved ones. My gran’s only son could not accept it at first and would not visit. This too caused a lot of fighting in the beginning. He just wouldn’t play his part. Invoking that it was women’s work etc that made me so mad.

I meet a lovely woman who currently visits her dad in a home daily. She is always so cheerful. She is fresh going to her visits and comes home knowing that he is well taken care of. She recognised that she didn’t have the personal resourses to care for him alone. She is wise.

Dementia patients can be very hurtful. They don’t realise this. But it takes a toll on the carer. Professionals in a home are trained for this and it is not personal to them. Which leaves you to spend quality time with your mum.

Also-I found it so much healthier for my gran to be with people her own age rather than cooped up with us all trying to do our best. Sometimes I would visit and catch her in her lucid times reminising with another resident.

Louise-you can’t do it alone and it won’t get better-all you can do is make it easier for you both.

You are still grieving the spath and are vulnerable to being dragged down. And you will. So be wise and take care of you both in the best possible way and you won’t go wrong.

Thinking of you

STJ
xxx

skylar says:

I have to weigh in here as a person with a 25 year relationshit with a psychopath.

Even though things were “bad” for the last 15 years, by all appearances we were a dedicated couple. Nobody knew that we didn’t sleep together or that he was poisoning me. The mask was always on. We held hands in public sometimes.

In the few months before he tried to kill me, his behavior changed. He seemed to be paranoid and crazy. He talked about being stressed looking for work (all lies).

Psychopaths don’t just go out and do their dirty deeds. They need a STORY to go with it. The story isn’t something they tell, it’s something they perform. They add props and other players. The more people who witness parts of their story, the more “real” it becomes. Sometimes, the story is only meant to justify their behavior to themselves. Other times it rationalizes their behavior to others. Either way, it serves to protect the mask. As long as there is a story to go along with what they did, nobody will ever come to the real conclusion: PURE UNADULTERATED EVIL.

They build up this story to a crescendo until they are ready to pop. Then they wack you.

When the jury is offered 2 possible motives: demon from hell or temporary insanity, they are going to choose the one that they are most comfortable with. Spaths know this.

————————————————–

My goodness, sky, now I DO realize how close our thoughts are. Listening to you is like looking into a mirror of some kind. I had to copy and repaste that because it is so very profound. You have seen that true and pure unadulterated evil…..so unlike any other…mesmerizing in it’s hold, almost…

Thank you again for the validation.
Your words mean a lot to me.

Dupey

New Beginning

Thinking of you here–hope you are all right. Emotional topic that is still close to home for you.

Take care

STJ
xxx

When I read this, that’s the first thing that came to my mind: dementia; due to the age of the individual and the sudden onset. Senile dementia and Alzheimer’s is the brain almost literally dissolving, and it seems that the executive function (that usually controls and moderates our emotions) often deteriorates first. The abnormal behaviors and changes in personality due to dementia can come on gradually or rather quickly. My mother had delusional and paranoid thoughts and feelings her whole life due to borderline personality disorder, but as she entered her 80s over a period of just a few months she began evidencing more extreme, frequent and intense delusions and paranoia plus she began hallucinating. She began acting in abnormal ways that were dangerous to herself and to others. So, I agree with the conclusion that aggressive, violent behaviors can have more than one cause, including traumatic brain injury, senile dementia, certain kinds of autism, psychopathy (sociopathy), drugs/alcohol, and mental illnesses like schizophrenia and some of the personality disorders.

STJ:

Thank you. I know…it takes a village to take care of a dementia patient and I realize we are not going to be able to do it, but my brothers are extremely stubborn and won’t listen to anything and we are a super dysfunctional family anyway so it is just tough all around. I pray a lot that it will all work out, but it is going to take work.

I know my mom will be better off eventually in a home…it will be better for everyone involved…her and us. I can see how the stress would be soooo much less by being able to go visit her and enjoy her without the burden of having to take care of her. And like most people, she doesn’t want us to have to take care of her.

Thank you again for your caring concern. I will keep everyone posted!

Oxy:

Thank you for responding to me. You are so right!!! I am sure that if I gave up everything and moved back home, the job I was doing wouldn’t be good enough. Plus, I would be stuck taking care of my mom while he and my other brother would still be going on with THEIR lives! I know they wouldn’t help at all and they live there very nearby. UGGHH. I hate it to sound like I feel like I would be “stuck” taking care of my mom. I love her and would do it if I absolutely had to, but I think you know what I mean. Anyway, she doesn’t want her kids to have to take care of her. She has said that in the past and I think most people feel this way…they don’t want to burden their families.

Oh, totally…a guilt trip!! You hit the nail on the head; thank you for realizing it. He KNOWS he is not doing what he is supposed to do while I am doing everything I can from 400 miles away, so he projects his guilt onto me! We still have not talked since December 24. I am going to the be the bigger person though and call him only because I don’t want this type of strife in my family. It doesn’t mean I forget what he has done or forget that I know now how he truly feels about me…it simply means I won’t hold a grudge and move on.

I will let you know what happens. Thanks, again.

Looking for truth,
I am worried about your safety. Is it possible for you to tell him you are going away for a while? Perhaps to visit a friend or family member. This will give you time to see how you feel when you aren’t around him.

Another indicator that my spath was poisoning me, which I should have seen, was that he never ate the same foods as I did. I kept a well stocked pantry and fridge. But he insisted that he have his own separate foods: canned peaches, cheerios, boxes of macaroni and cheese. Other than that he ate out of the house.

One year I made an entire thanksgiving dinner complete with organic turkey and gluten-free stuffing and pumpkin pie. It cost me over $100 dollars and 2 days of work. He wouldn’t touch ANY of it.

Without the ability to imagine that anyone would do such a horrible thing, I couldn’t see the VERY OBVIOUS clues right in front of my face.

Now, I CAN imagine and I KNOW what people are capable of. I also know how to spot the spaths because there are always red flags that demonstrate their shallow and selfish natures. So now the OBVIOUS CLUES have MEANING.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Louise,
is there an Alzheimer’s organization in your area? The one in my area has great support groups and the form of dementia doesn’t matter. the issues that came up time and again, were relatives telling another family member what to do or how to do it…when they themselves wouldn’t do anything; and/ or intense denial on the part of some family members. I used to jokingly offer to run over said family members. always got a laugh…but i really hated that those who were struggling to do the right thing for their family member and themselves were also assaulted and abused by the know-it-alls-do-nothings.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Sky – you can come cook for me anytime!

One/joy:

I am sure there is some type of support group in my mom’s area. I’m sure there is one in my area somewhere since I live in a big city. It comforts me to know that the issues that you saw in the support group are the exact same issues I am facing. Denial…my oldest brother is in total denial. He thinks there is nothing wrong with my mom…that it’s just the “devil” and if she would pray and go to church she would get better. Yep, that’s me…trying so much to do the right thing and whatever I can and being bullied by a brother who is doing nothing! UGGHH and double SIGH.

Thanks for your support!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Louise, He’s not only in denial, he’s delusional. It takes people time to ‘get it’, each of us our own time, but i don’t know if he will because he clearly delusional.

my mom’s doctor didn’t want to get it; thought she was within a ‘normal range’. one of the issues in his resistance was her age (she was young), and another was that the test isn’t refined enough to catch early problems. of course he also didn’t *want* to get it. i insisted he send her to a neurologist. wouldn’t leave the office until he made the recommendation. she has a brain full of aneurysms (2 of which required brain surgery), has had several TIAs (small strokes), and has been diagnosed with two different forms of dementia.

it’s a hard road. good support and good care is very important. I have to go back to meetings.

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