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My father the sociopath: ‘I should just kill you’

Emotional young blondeEditor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a reader whom we’ll call “Judith-Ann.”

Many of us grow up in homes of loud abuses. As children, constant new realities wail on our fledgling emotions, all too often beating them into submission. Some of us give up. Our sensitive natures can’t bear the hate of our own creators and we crash into ourselves in a thousand ways, catching fire until we burn out like stars, until there is nothing of ourselves but a black hole of self-hatred.

Others of us continue to rail against the injustices committed against us. The Unwanted, we bash our brains out against the bars of an invisible cage from which we honestly believe we can never be freed. I guess I should be grateful that I fell into the latter of these categories. That is not to say I haven’t vacillated between the two. But I was given others in my life that I love more than myself and for whom I had to fight, people who would have died without me. If I had thought that they might have survived without me, even in extreme difficulty, I cannot say I wouldn’t have pulled my own plug long ago.

It is a terrible thing to be hated. You cannot judge the broken adult who was once a child not of neglect, but of disdain.

When I found my husband I finally understood what truly loving was. What being loved actually felt like. And when he got cancer I knew God had given me a responsibility that I bore with great pain and a decidedly immature anger but, in a strange way, learning what living for someone else is, loving someone more than yourself, past death even, this is the thing that has saved me.

Survival instinct

It has not always helped me, this survival instinct of mine. I play great with others”¦ unless the stakes are high. I am terrified to trust. I live with an internal shame mindset I know was forced on me and that I have to try to fight my way out of every day. I get depressed easily and am too self-protective, to the point that I get lonely. I live with almost paralyzing anxiety, always looking over my shoulder. Some days, it is almost debilitating. But therapy helps. This blog helps. Others coming forward and telling their stories helps. Because despite my father, I live. I find joy in my children and in this beautiful world. It is hard won but it exists. For that I am grateful.

I am alive, and I have even remained human in spite of all I have been forced to see. There are some, raised like me, that grow into the monster they knew. I thank God to have escaped that fate, but I also know how close to it I came when I was young. I was a bully for a time, a horribly angry child unable to make peace with the reality in which I lived. But my baby sister, born almost a decade after me was my first real glimpse of love, and protecting her when she was a very small child changed me.

Demonic lullaby

No, growing up my house was never a home, and though it was ripe and pregnant with abuses, not all of them were loud. Many of my nightmares are silent except for the little whispers he would say to me his demonic lullaby.

“”¦I”¦ should”¦ just”¦ kill you.”

Rarely every night, but almost always every week. Sometimes, a few months in between”¦ usually after some great success for our family, (which probably involved some petty fight with others ending in a lawsuit in my parents’ relentless favor, or another debt relief program from my rich grandmother granted) but then”¦ always he would return. To “say goodnight.” Faint and well after my siblings were asleep, my mind was never sure if he even knew I had heard him. But my thumping heart and the hard pit that began to grow in me as soon as I could understand the words, fat fingers on my security blanket, I knew deep in my gut how hard he hoped I could hear him. He paid tribute to me for years this way, but it kept me alive in the end. Is it really ever over though? When your father is a sociopath, does it ever really end?

Disordered parents

My parents had been married for five turbulent years by the time I was born. My father came from an extremely wealthy family. His own father had actually been an adoptive stepparent, an utter alcoholic, who doted on his real son while abusing my father horribly. If that’s not a recipe for sociopathy, I don’t know what is.

In my reading I have learned that sociopaths come in all shapes and sizes. Some are aggressively hell bent at proving they are the best, and though all of them believe it, this “best-ness” manifests in different ways. My father, growing up so wealthy, didn’t believe he should have to lift a finger doing anything. He presented a front as though he were the smartest, most accomplished person in the room. My mother was actually much smarter, but had her own emotional problems.

My mother is a borderline. Borderline is a personality disorder that creates a manipulative reality around the patient every action and emotion they feel is their focus and should be the focus of everyone else. This is perfect for the sociopath, who can hide in the shadow of her over-emotionality, degrading her on a daily basis to herself and others, belittling her emotionally (emotions of which he has none), and therefore seem, in comparison, “normal.”

His campaign against her began years ago and exists until this day. When I was young they would have terrible brawls, usually ending in my mother whimpering in fear as my father smiled and towered over her. Now she doesn’t fight back. She stays medicated. It’s common knowledge, and a bit of a “joke” (how sick is my family?) that she can’t even pick her own clothing out. She sides with everything he says even if it’s blatantly false (“oh you’re right, the sky IS Green Sir!”). Oh and yes she calls him “Sir.”

When something goes wrong in their life financially or otherwise but usually financially she assumes guilt in every situation. It angers me. It breaks my heart. But neither of them were parents to us. They asked me to play that role and then punished me for doing it poorly.

Wild tales about me

My brother was barely more than a year younger than me. Of all my siblings he and I still talk. The others believe such wild tales about me I can’t even start to correct them.

For instance, my little sister, again almost ten years younger than me, “remembers” me being held down in a straight jacket while she watched because of my violent behavior. Wow. Not only did that never happen, there is no mechanism in which it could have.

I was away at school. In another state for the four years around the date she thinks this happened. I was on the honor role. I did go into hospital during college for depression, but was only there a few days and never even saw my sister. And I have dealt with depression my whole life but after a father like mine and losing the love of my life? I think I’ve managed pretty damn well on 10mg of Lexapro and a good therapist. And I’m also pretty damn proud of it.

Straight jacket? They have told my grandparents to not give me Christmas presents which they did not because I’m an alcoholic, told my children I suffered from a cocaine addiction, tell their “friends” — they have very few if any at this point that I’m mentally ill. None of these are or have ever been true.

I have no criminal record, no history of drug use, a successful set of family and friends as well as a great career and stable kiddos. To hear their side of things, I’m a crazed drug addict with mental illness issues and a penchant for violence including being willing to run over people with my car. (I have never even been in a girl fight lol.) I’m just a widow trying to raise two kids.

I’m not perfect. But I am none of those things. How I wish I could say this nicely: go f*ck yourself mom and dad. Yeah, that actually feels incredible. And yet I have lost my siblings, I have nieces and nephews I have never even met.

Because It’s all me. All my fault. This is the insanity of my parent’s lies.

My sister will never remember that to HER, every night, I would tell her how much I loved her. In fact, she calls herself a “Daddy’s girl.” One with so many of her own problems, one who looks more and more like my mother everyday. If I had to guess I would say she is probably a borderline with no real idea how it could have happened, and by now no desire to see anything wrong in her crumbling life.

Why my father hates me

If you’re wondering why my father finds me more fun to hate than my siblings, there are several reasons. I was the first, the first annoyance, and also horribly not born a boy like I should have been. The boys in our family actually faired pretty well. It was the women who seem to suffer his fallouts.

Also, I was born with a disability that took several surgeries over many years to correct. It embarrassed my father. And even when I was “fixed,” it never made me good enough for him. Nothing did. Not being editor of my schools papers in high school AND college, not being successful on the debate team, a musician who can play several instruments, a singer, a model, I’ve been in the media, a spokesperson for charities.

I run a successful company. A company, by the way, which he is now suing after I made the mistake of hiring him — my own narcissistic gesture of “winning,” and he embezzled from it, then sued me for “loss of a relationship.” So wait he steals from me, the board (not me) fires him, and I’m being sued for “loss of relationship.” By the way I’ve now spent over $75K in legal fees separate from what he stole.

The truth is, I didn’t understand why he hated me as a child. As I grew up his behavior was absent, not really hateful that was my mothers’ job. I hired him thinking I could get to know him. But what I didn’t know was what he was. I barely remembered those whispers from nights past and was somehow sure I had invented or dreamed up it in my head. Now that I do it makes sense all of it.

Retaliation

The day after the board fired him, “someone” called DHS on me and tried to have my children removed from my care. In the report was my net worth. To the penny. It is information only he, as my “dad helping me make financial decisions,” could have sworn to. Or would have bothered. Only my dad cares how much money I have. No, my attorneys and I are pretty sure a neighbor didn’t make that call. Angry at being caught, he tried to take away my kids and then tell people I deserved it.

My father is the very definition of a sociopath. It should have been illegal for him to do all that he has to us, but what happened instead? I went through (and was exonerated) only after a full investigation that lasted 6 months.

My siblings, by the way, are “Switzerland.” They refuse to get involved. They see my father as the poor victim of my mother, just this poor guy who can’t seem to catch a break.

And all I can hear in my head are the whispers from my childhood, ”˜”¦ I should”¦ just”¦ kill”¦ you.”

Writing a book

The list of abominations committed by him could, and will, fill a book. But without some understanding of why writing that book is so important to me personally, you can have no context for my knowledge and understanding of this issue.

I’ll share anecdotes, but nothing that can’t be proven in court, mind you. Like I said, he’s suing me. No one likes a courtroom more than a liar, no one is better at manipulating the truth as one who refuses to recognize their need to be humbled before it.

There is some scientific research in some books that may seem to argue that, in my father’s and other sociopaths’ cases, it’s not their faults”¦ after all they were abused, right?

But this fails to recognize the true horror of these people that empathy cannot be taught once it has been abdicated. We were both abused but at some faint point in my bullying past I made a decision not to be like that. To put that away. To be better than he was.

Principle of talio

There is something called “the principle of talio”, or “the taliogenic effect”. This refers to a human beings’ need for revenge, it is an indicator of lack of empathy when diagnosing a sociopath.

A sociopath has an abnormally high talio, and remarkably little or no emotionality that isn’t manufactured. (Even Ted Bundy was charming.) These people are dangerous;, they cannot be understood through the lens of our own empathetic natures, that is where they manipulate us the most.

We think, “Who could do this to their own child?” They gaslight everyone. They deny, they lie. They cheat and manipulate. To me, an adult child of a sociopath still grieving her childhood, still at war with my monsters, to me there is no excuse that matters anymore. You don’t get to hurt me because you were hurt.

I know now that nothing I can do will make him capable of loving me. Nothing will get me back the person I could have been if I had had the support of a loving set of parents. I can’t fix that for any of you either.

But we can tell the world who they are, and what they really look like. We can try to help each other and others like us, afflicted with this kind of malignant infection, others who are still suffering in silence.

 


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30 Comments on "My father the sociopath: ‘I should just kill you’"

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Judith-Ann
Thank you for writing this well written, almost lyrical, deeply compassionate article.

If I may be so bold, much of what you write explains my own childhood. You are the wealthy end; my family was (I say “was” because I “divorced them” shortly after giving birth to my child)the stereotypical bigots sitting around demanding their welfare checks, refusing to work and amazed that anyone would ever thing they should do anything but exactly as they pleased.

Where you write that you “made a decision to not be like that…to be better than he was”, yes, that resonates with me and my mantra of “NOT LIKE THEM”. It was an easy mantra, because I knew I was different, that I didn’t fit in, that it was more than my mother’s words that I was “the one she wished she never had”.

For so many years, I thought what made me unwanted was that I was unlovable. As a teen, I realized they didn’t want me because I would not submit to the ascribed pecking order, I failed to admire their superiority. In fact, I railed against it, not on my behalf, but on the behalf of our animals, and certain people in the community that I was drawn to, those who were very kind. I liked certain other people because they were gentle and loved to read and were curious and liked to share…I wanted to be LIKE THOSE people.

It is clear to me that somehow, even though a member of a cruel and disordered family, we escaped their curse, the curse of wanting to be cruel. And in spite that character difference marking us as outsiders and therefore their prime target of abuse, we are still better off. The benefit I had, I think, is that my family was so poor that leaving home and becoming completely independent of them was a natural process and after a particularly horrific incident, I was able to cut off from them completely and never associating with them ever again…with one small exception. I tried to reconnect with my youngest sister, and in a short week, she demonstrated that she was “LIKE THEM”, and I withdrew and was glad to have received that validation that no contact with them was a VERY VERY excellent life choice.

Thank you for this inspiring and validating article. It’s very good of you to share and I look forward to reading more of whatever you write.

NotWhatHeSaidOfMe,

Thank you for your kind words- this was the very first time- other than in therapy- that I felt safe sharing, and it was because I know there are others out there, like you, who might be able to hear it and would believe me. Not being believed, not fitting in, feeling like we are the broken ones- that takes so much energy to heal from. Having others in the same boat makes it easier. Now that I have started writing I almost can’t stop! I highly suggest it- even if we have to hide from our sick FofO’s, we can share in this community and truly help others who need to know there are others who have also spent a lifetime being gaslighted, maligned and abused- and more importantly how, with support, it can be overcome. Way to go girl- sounds like you made it out truly on your own and you SHOULD be very proud of that!

Thank you for this. I grew up in a similar environment and barely now understand that my father is a psychopath/ sociopath. I never understood why he hated me so, much even as a child. I just had to accept it because that was life. He would abuse my mother and even though she stood her ground at times she never left him. When she wasn’t around he would verbally abuse me. Being an alcoholic made easier for him to unload the nastiest put downs. I was “worthless” etc..

My mother was always so wrapped up in her life with him that she never really had the capacity to be a nurturing mother. I was just there, yes, I had a roof over my head, meals and clothing, but not much else. She never saved me from that and never explained anything in order to process things a little better.

My whole life I have punished myself for being so broken, never figuring out why I can’t be “normal”. I was all angry in my early adulthood. It was hard for me to figure out emotions and cope with hardships properly. My personal relationships have suffered greatly because I choose to push people out when they hurt me. I had to raise myself and figure out what type of person I wish to be. It’s been a hard and lonely road.

My father is the same he remarried and has other children. My mother remarried a good man and had more children. I don’t speak with my father because I have choosen not to years ago. My mother and I try to have a “normal” relationship, but has always said statements of denial like “I’m not sure why you have so many problems in your relationships” it’s pretty insulting and hurtful. She has pushed me away so many times and I feel alienates me from my siblings I can only assume it’s out of guilt or refusal to admit the damage I have was partly because she did not protect me or maybe I’m a reminder of her ugly past. I’m not sure so I would rather just stay away than to feel the rejection from yet another parent.

I’m still a work in progress and I am still digesting a lot at this age. It still hurts and I still struggle, but I refuse to be a victim. I wish to continue to educate myself and be at peace with things that have happened.

It’s not until I had my son did I choose to want to change that for him. I want him to thrive and be happy. I want to give him a life I never had. I love him so much and I never want him to suffer the way I did so I am strong not only for myself, most importantly I do it for him.

Kath,

Have you considered maybe your mother has a personality disorder, much like mine did though maybe not as pronounced? Triangulations of your siblings against you and continued criticisms from her (which I read between your lines as- you are the scapegoated child still…) they don’t strike me as coming from a particularly healthy person. Maybe you can forgive yourself more if that rings true for you. You said one thing though that I want to comment on, only because I hear it a lot and I fear it leaves something huge out. You said, “You refuse to be a victim.” Kath, you WERE a victim. That doesnt mean I think you should parade around like a martyr- but the little child that was not protected by her mother and clearly unloved by her sociopathic father, that little girl IS a victim. We can’t continue to deny these abuses by acting as though we should be strong enough to just “get over them.” That has never worked for me at least. We were victims- of vicious, I think evil, people and we DO deserve to cry about it. To regret the childhoods we could have had. To mourn relationships with parents others have that we can’t even imagine. If we take away the fact that we were victimized than we really diminish what was done to us. Are you a victim now? Oh hell no! I can hear it in your words and love of your son. Bravo to you for that! But if at the end of the day you feel like its just not fair, and you want to have a cry? Do it. Its not fair. And letting it out might heal you more than you might expect. Just a thought hope I didn’t offend!

I found this to be such a find and tender response. It helped me to read this, and brought me to tears. Much like Kath, I had a mother who failed me in every way except by providing basic food, clothing and shelter. My stepfather was a sociopath and a pedophile, and she did nothing to protect me or my younger brother, or help us to understand our situation or ourselves. My brother and I have both carried a deep sense of inner shame, inner “wrongness”, into our adult lives, and suffer far more from her neglect and criticisms than we did from our stepfather’s abuse. I understand her to be a malignant narcissist. As a young child, my mother was my world. She doted on me and my brother, and made us the center of her world. When I was about 5 or 6 – as I began asserting my independence – she became more and more critical and eventually openly hateful towards me. I never understood what I was doing wrong – I was an honor student, a good kid, aspiring to be a perfect kid. I left home at 17, thinking I would never see her again. It was a very matter-of-fact perspective on my part – she clearly hated me, and I just wanted to get away. Then the calls started. She began berating me for never calling, never coming home, never visiting with her, for being a horrible daughter to her. She wanted to take me out to lunch, buy me clothes, show off her “successful” daughter to her friends. I was so confused! She never wanted to do any of those things when I lived there. Why now? In time, I realized it was all for show. Her show. Anytime I disappointed her, I was rejected harshly. When I acted the part of the happy, successful, dutiful daughter, she lavished attention and money on me. All I wanted was for her to know me, to understand me, accept me, love me.

What touched me about your response to Kath was your insight into how those who survive abuse can have a great deal of difficulty in admitting their suffering. I have a great mask of competence and capability. Most people see me as a solid rock of independence and togetherness. And I am those things – I worked in emergency services for many years and did much good work. But I can’t be there for myself like I am for others. At 48, I still struggle with staying present with myself when I am under any kind of stress. I don’t even know what I feel most of the time, although I am great at understanding what everyone else in the situation feels/needs. What it really comes down to for me is coming to terms with how painful it is for me to let myself feel (let alone express) any sort of vulnerability or human need. How dangerous it feels to me to open up and trust another person. How awful it was to be so hated by my own mother, who I had believed (as a young child) truly loved me.

I’ve done a great deal of recovery work, and yet I still have this hard nugget at the center – this painful struggle about who to trust, how to trust, why to trust. I resist the softening, the opening, the settling into the pain and just letting myself feel it, letting it release. It sounds so simple, but I have strong resistance to that simple process. It feels life-threatening to me.

Thanks for speaking so kindly to that need. Thanks for opening a path to finding another level of healing.

In gratitude,

V

Veramadera,

Thank you so much for sharing this, you have given me something to think about.

I wish you well in your journey of healing.

K

Veramadera,

Your story brought me to tears… that you reached out in pain to your mother who ignored and belittled your reality, your suffering- as a mother it just made me want to scoop you up and tell that little girl it was NOT her fault and that should NEVER happen to a child! Oh-(and beat your SF to a pulp obviously… guess I’m not much of a “turn the other cheek” sort of gal.

Before I decided to submit my post- after my therapist suggested I write it- I gave it to my sister in law to read. For context- this woman was my late husbands sister, and she has become family like I never knew before. So FIRST- I recommend you find a woman you can trust with this, with your heart, and consider sharing part of your painful past with her- but only if you KNOW she is a safe person. Here’s why:

When I handed her the pages and she started reading I was watching her intently. I, of course, was prepared for the, “No Way- did that really happen?” as much of it sounds so unreal. I know it will be extraordinarily hard for you to want to take my advice because this person has been my closest ally, beloved sister, business partner and mentor for 6 years now- and she is party to the lawsuit mentioned and knows first hand my dads lies- and still I watched her, waiting for her to look up in disbelief. But thats nt what happened.

As I sat there I watched tears start rolling down her face, first just a quick brushed away drop but by the end a full on faucet. She got up and hugged me like I have never been hugged. She told me I would never fight him alone again. And something inside me- this big dam of shame and anxiety and BULLSHIT, it just broke. BROKE.

I know not everyone has that person. Maybe though, you could consider looking for someone who can be a safe place for your heart? Maybe that will be here! But you – all of us- we need to be VALIDATED. We need to know that what we have lived through was NOT OK. And we need to know that however we have made our lives work up until now- lonely or depressed or whatEVER- that is not on us.

Maybe once that first step is taken you will find a brighter light and an easier road fro your recovery journey. I don’t think my recovery will ever end, anymore than I think I’ll ever stop loving my late husband. Pain doesn’t go away- we just get better at dealing with it. My prayer for you is that someone is put in your life, soon, that can show you how truly valuable and worth protecting you are.

YOU DESERVE THAT. For the love of God you deserve that at the very least.

Blessings to you V!

CKC1977,

Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, it has occurred to me that my mother has some type of personality disorder of some kind. I figured it has something to do with the way she grew up. My grandmother was very passive and my grandfather was an alcoholic and disregarded all of his children except for one, the pretties (they had 9, my mother was third). The children were there to do as he said and were to always to serve some type of function.

They sent her away to live with her uncles at a young age (14 or 15). As she tells this story she stops and says “How can they have sent me away?! They got rid of me with a pretext that I could go off and work, but I knew it was one less mouth to feed. I was unwanted. I could have been raped, something could have happened to me!” As I’m listening to this story, as I’m listening very empathetically to her story, I stop and remember when she left me at 16/ 17 years old with my father. The man that hates me, is verbally abusive with an alcohol problem. She asked me if I wanted to go with her the day she was packing. While she was putting things in her car, she very matter of factly said “I’m leaving, you can go with me if you want”. I said “No” then she said “I figured you wouldn’t want to go because you are in your last year of high school and your friends are here.” From that point on I was completely on my own.

She also complained about how her parents always played favorites with two of her siblings, but yet does the same thing with my sister. She doesn’t speak to me and hasn’t because I chose not to take some time off to attends my sisters graduation. My sister doesn’t even speak to me and the only time I hear from her is via text on my birthday and Mother’s Day. I said “No, I can’t ask for time off because I use those requests for my son (I’m a single mother) and I don’t see why she wants me there anyway. I’m sorry but I’m not going to do that for someone that has been disrepectful towards me and doesn’t even bother to even reach out to us (my son and I ), I don’t see a point to it”. She got so upset because I said that she doesn’t speak to me and hasn’t over a year except for texts on holidays.

Her reality is all so twisted and I don’t quite understand whether it’s a type of personality trait or whether she has some type of disorder. I have been so pre-occupied with finding that my father exhibited the traits of a psychopath/sociopath that I didn’t consider that.

As far as your comment on being a victim; you’re absolutely right, I was a victim. I much like Veramadera have a hard time admitting that. I thought about it after reading your post and the only thing I can think of as to why I do is because I am in fear that I will slip into some type of depression or anger. I will however digest that, recognize it and care for my inner wounded child.

Thank you so much for taking the time in expressing your thoughts. It’s this website and kind people like you that make this journey a bit easier to navigate through. As you can imagine, I don’t express any of these things to very many people becuase people that haven’t been through that can’t really relate even though they are kind enough to try. Due to all the posts and articles on this website I know now, I’m not alone. I thank you.

Best regards

k

Kath,

So – you’re pretty much just a badass (excuse my language… you’re DEFINITELY a badass.)

Talking about it is SO hard. Its brand new to me too and you have really helped make it a healing process! You are so strong for yourself and your son and in trying to stay in contact with your mom and maintain your boundaries- though I wonder if thats the best thing for YOU. But, as to your response about the victim thing, it makes total sense to me that being brave and tough was a survival mechanism and that showing any sign of pain or vulnerability would open you up to attacks from ruthless predators- like the ones that raised you.

How could you possibly admit to a chink in your armor when your whole history has taught you that chinks in armor will be found and manipulated- used to destroy you? No smart person would open themselves up to that.

Not talking is a hallmark of our journey- and it sounds like the only time your mom cares what you have to say is if it’s going to reflect poorly on her. I can only imagine what would happen when a young you tried to ask for help. Let me guess- that went over REALLY well, didn’t it? Ha.
I would guess any weakness or perceived weakness of yours was pointed out and made into fodder for their amusement. Based on what you shared you sound like so much of what you dealt with is part of the pathology and- like molestation- remains in the shadows since the adult abusers can make kids like we were feel that everything is our fault anyway. Hence the lifetime of shame feelings.

My therapist tells me that guilt is a good thing- its how we know we should act and isn’t ALWAYS because of something we personally did, but is a sign of our humanity and belongingness. For instance: If a bully picks on a kid at school and I do nothing about it I feel guilt. Why? I didn’t do it. But I should have acted to protect or prevent future abuse. Guilt is our soul telling us something is wrong and we should fix it. When we choose not to we open ourselves up to character disorders. SHAME on the other hand is inherited. Shame, per my online dictionary, is defined as 1) Negative emotion 2) To be made to feel inferior 3) To be disgraced.
I wouldn’t feel shame as a normal person watching that bully beat someone up. The decision to act hasn’t been made yet- especially if the guy is bigger than me. I could still report it and save the day later. SHAME however is immediate. And I, and my guess is you too, would somehow watch that bully beating someone up and we would feel shame. We would feel inherently bad for, being perhaps female and too small to take on the bully. Or, we might think of our fathers, and be instantly inside the mind of the person being beaten, knowing their pain but unable- almost too frozen- to go to the rescue. And worst- we would never follow up and tell. Why would we? No one ever believes us. We already know we wont act- in that moment. But we self talk ourselves into it being about how bad WE are. Thats total bullshit. Our response to the bully scenario was programmed into us by evil people who feel neither guilt NOR shame but are very adept at teaching others to absorb both.

Kath, you are a survivor. I hope you can stay clear of your mom and go NC- for you and your son. I made the mistake of letting my Spath back in and it nearly destroyed what I have built. Im truly praying that doesn’t happen to you!

God Bless to you, you woman warrior! Thank you for your sharing and your support!

Hello, Hope you are well. Thank you so much for posting this. People often talk about sociopaths and selfish people coming into our lives as though they are always boyfriends or girlfriends or spouses, when it is family it is so much worse. You ought to feel protected and loved by your family until the day they pass over. You ought to be able to go to them when you need help or support. You ought to get praise from them. Partners may come and go, you can date someone and you can decide they are too this or that and stop dating them but if your parent is cruel, selfish, manipulative or cold you are lumbered with that parent or no parent at all. So much worse.

I know because my mother and father were both sociopaths or suffering from personality disorders. My mother is still alive and it still hurts me a great deal.

Some advice – never think that because it is a parent they can treat you anyway they want. Ignore what other people say. I have found that a lot of people who have never met or spoken to either of my parents assusme I must be making things up or exagerating when I tell them what has happened because “parents do not do things like that”. They hear the word parent, mother or father and in their eyes nobody who is either of those would ever do anything other than love and protect their child, so the child must be wrong or lying when they say otherwise. Doubling the hurt.
NEVER let a bad parent ruin your life. This may sound obvious but it is amazing how many run back to their parents being nice to them because they feel guilty or they give them unconditional love or they hope they will change. They will not change, they do not deserve unconditional love and they will never feel remorse or guilt, so it is a waste of time and just more hurt for you.

LOVE YOURSELF. Do not believe that because your parents or parent did not love you then you are unloveable. It

I LOVE this. I totally made the mistake of letting them back in after I escaped- and it was the WORST mistake. You are so right. Now I just want the lawsuit over and to never talk to them again. You are also so right about not being believed. Its really the hardest part- to constantly doubt your own reality- your own sanity. Thats the true evil- making the child feel insane.

Working on the “Loving myself” thing. It is great advice but really hard to do. Validation and an adopted family of inlays that are just amazing human beings has truly saved me. I wish that for all of you too!

CKC1977,
I found your reply very interesting and helpful on my journey from escaping all of the sociopath relationships with men (I have had many)once and for all.
The answer lies in me.
Your statement about triangulation in siblings really jumped out and I never realized that is what my mother did and still tries to do.
My mother always hated me and made my 2 older sister out to be angels.
She criticized and abused me on a daily basis and my father did nothing to stop her. I was blamed for everything and she went out of her way to make me feel bad about myself. I don’t speak to them much these days. Every time I try, my mother goes out of her way to say or do something to upset me and then when I got upset she would always say that I took it the wrong way or she didn’t mean it like that.
YES YOU DID MOM.
I am a wounded child. No wonder I go through life letting people walk all over me.
Wow, I am literally shaking my head in disbelief, not that I didn’t realize that my childhood was messed up before but I never explored the triangulation of siblings before.
I am currently on medical leave from work.
The sociopath I was involved with has left me in despair but I am trying to look at it as an opportunity to address this with my therapist(I just started seeing her) and come up with a game plan.
Thank you for your reply to Judith-Ann’s brave story.
Defiantly something to explore.
Stronginthecity

Since my screen name is anonymous I can tell you- I am Judith Ann. And what you are just beginning in your therapy and with your revelations is your REAL life. Up until now you have been living in the belief that YOU must be the broken one who deserves to be looked down on. No. Your mother is a bully, you the darling youngest- she probably wa so jealous of your older sisters doting on you as a (very) small child that she began her campaign against you before you could walk. Just a guess, but an educated one.

I would say my heart breaks for you- but instead the truth is Im EXCITED for you. Imagine what life can be like if your shame and self doubt can be replaced with a deep belief in your own goodness. Did you no that normal people have that? I didn’t I thought everyone walked around like I did- fearful and ashamed. Not true. And not true for me-as much- anymore. Validation is salvation. But you will never get it from your FofO. Get it from your therapist, find a person that has walked it to and can tell you to your face like Im telling you now- you are awesome. You are worthy of love. You didn’t deserve the emotional torture of being made to feel inherently bad. You are NOT inherently bad. You deserve goodness. Stay in therapy. You will find it!! Good Luck to you Strong! -GREAT NAME by the way. If your seeking counseling and finding screen names like that one, my guess is you will be a recovery success story and a light to others.

“Some of us give up. Our sensitive natures can’t bear the hate of our own creators and we crash into ourselves in a thousand ways, catching fire until we burn out like stars, until there is nothing of ourselves but a black hole of self-hatred.”

This, and many other things you wrote, struck me. This year has been a process of me fighting tooth and nail to extricate myself from a long term relationship with a serious spath, one in which the severity of the situation wasn’t fully known until I told her, my partner of many many years, that we needed to break up. Then…omg. The awakening to the reality which I had been trying so hard to deny was horrible. Realizing that over many years I had completely lost any sense of who I am, realizing I had let someone I loved, who turned out to be a complete fraud, nearly destroy my entire life, including I believe my life literally being in danger, this realization about took me out. And the biggest question I have had to ask myself is, what is wrong with me that I let myself end up here? How did I get sucked up in this mess, especially knowing that I saw warning signs… Yes, the black hole of self-hatred. I know it well. It formed so so early on that I don’t remember ever being without it. The abuse was so well hidden that I didn’t even recognize it as such until adulthood, despite it being as frequent as sometimes daily for years of my childhood. That one parent who never parented, but instead expected me to parent her while she behaved in soul-destroying ways…and I protect her still by my silence, and protect my family, and myself, because to reveal the truth too publicly would shame my entire family, extended family included, and would force not just my secrets but also those of my sisters out of darkness, and to have such things revealed without permission would be one more betrayal to them. Some things are just too bizarre to be believable. So instead I crumble under the weight of secrets I can’t tell other than to the most trusted people. I get to watch while others wonder how a smart girl like me ended up in the mess I just got out of. How I continue to be an emotional mess. How nothing seems to ever fill the emptiness inside me. And I can’t even tell them. They wonder why I recoil in disgust when I have to speak about my mother- this woman who parades her “good mother” facade for all to see, pretends she knows us and has this relationship with us which she doesn’t. Sure, she’s a bit weird, they think, but nobody understands why the sight of her makes us want to puke. My sisters and I can barely speak to each other about these things, and we lived them! To admit it happened is hard enough. I can speak with one much more than the other, and even with her it is basically just to verify that our memory serves us correctly. But to talk in detail? No. Not even to one another. Mothers don’t do such things, so such things shouldn’t be talked about. By anyone.

I’m lucky, after a string of therapists over the years I’m each time better able to verbalize what happened. My new therapist, a man (finally got the bright idea that a male therapist might elimitate some transference when dealing with mom issues), I told him my fear- that people will think I’m making a big deal out of nothing. He said the opposite is probably more realistic- that for years I’ve minimized something that was hugely negatively impactful. The validation helps…but I worry that all this work in therapy will be in vain- that nothing will ever stop the self-hatred. Nothing will ever make me feel loved, no matter how many people show me healthy, appropriate love. I lived the abuse, I relive the memories, and I get to be crushed under the secrets I carry and protect. It feels beyond hopeless sometimes. That’s not to say that I don’t see glimmers of hope…especially as I recover from my recent situation…but the fear that it’s all in vain, that I’ll never feel whole or loved or good enough, the fear is always there.

You are loveable and must see that everyone is loveable if they have good things in their heart. It was not your fault that you were thrown together with an unloveable person and they took it out on you. You become their whipping post, their sacrifice so that they feel better.
Nobody loveable would do that. Why would you want the love of an unloveable person anyway? If you met a drug addict who was high on drugs all of the time, and could barely string a sentence together, planning to rob a bank and swindle old ladies would you be upset if they did not like you? No. You would be relieved. Tell yourself that it is a relief that someone horrible, selfish, manipulative, nasty, cold, cruel did not like you and love you because it proves you are nothing like them.

All the time you continue to hurt and search for some answer they are winning. It is now time for YOU to win, for you to rise up from the ashes and be content with your life, no matter what was in your past.
Learn from the past but do not hurt from the past. Learn that abuse never works for anyone. Learn that you can get a lot of pleasure from simple things such as cooking your favourite meal or looking at a beautiful flower. Learn that when a decent caring nice person says they love you they mean it, they are nothing like the scum bag who treated you badly before.

I repeat my mantra for you: validation is salvation. Stick with it. Talk about it- anonymously is probably safest, it is for me- but talk about it. Keeping it inside is a poison and NOT YOUR JOB. You may not be believed by people who were raised by regular parents- the kind that try to instill in their kids a sense of worth. When yours actively attempts to destroy that it is incredibly immensely RIDICULOUSLY hard to just tell yourself its not you. So let this community and your therapist (way to go with the self insight there!) tell you: you ARE good. You DID NOT deserve this. I keep saying this to all the commenters because- its just true. If you survived- if they havent killed you- then you have immense strength. Stay in therapy. Recovery is possible if you don’t run from it. You didn’t run from life which means you can do this. I hope you will keep us posted on your progress especially with the new therapist angle! Good Luck !

At 77, I now find myself completely alone and disabled and where my current decisions will affect the rest of my life and this is really scary. If I hadn’t been so occupied with raising my 5 loved children, perhaps I would not feel so alone right now. My primary problems stem from most people’s ignorance of psychosis and having to be ultimately forced into succumbing to my psychotic NC family. I realize this is not a very optimistic outlook; if I could venture an opinion, it would be for victims to act more selfishly and not be blinded by love, compassion etc. Take care of yourselves!

Where are your five children to help you in your hour of need?

Flicka and everyone. No good kicking yourself over your past mistakes. Think about what you can do to make the future better. STOP trying to please and love the unloveable ones and love yourself and be selfish as from today.

When I was 12, my father the sociopath said to me ‘if you were a man I’d kill you’. He was holding me by my throat up against the kitchen wall, my feet dangling below me. I had stupidly told the mother of a new friend of mine that ‘my dad is not nice’ and it got back to him. Heaven only knows how, but the nice mom must have phoned him. I have never forgotten it, nor ever forgiven him. I That was 46 years ago. My mother, who was in the room, sort of remembers it. She did nothing to come to my defense as she lived in her own hell living with him. I was an A+ student all through school and skipped two grades. I went to college as the youngest student in the class. Neither my mother or my father ever asked about schoolwork or helped me out. I excelled at piano and never caused any trouble, never smoked, drank or did drugs. I could never understand why I was so despised. We, my older sister and I, were not allowed to be visible or a part of this sick family. The classic line in the family was ‘be seen if you have to be, but not heard’. All of the years before and after that sickening moment in time were in a constant need/hate relationship of needing this man’s financial help so I would not be homeless and praying he would just die. A true roller coaster of a life. He has had 3 marriages, 3 divorces, cheated on my mother, one of his other wives, and a long time girlfriend. I have had two marriages, two divorces and do not trust anyone. My sister is divorced, her daughter is divorced. None of the women in the family have ever been happy. This man, my father, has spent his whole life taking them down a notch and defeating every single woman that ever came into his life. Two years ago, after believing in him and thinking he was genuinely helping my daughter and myself by us renting an apartment from him, I really discovered how low he will go. I accidently discovered him cheating on his long term girlfriend of 13 years. I arrived at his house early one day, he knew I was coming. I later realized that his plan was to be gone before I got there and leave me a note to just go on in he would be home later. I got there 10 minutes before a women walked in his house. She didn’t knock. If anyone knows anything about a sociopath, you need to watch them scramble to cover up being caught in a lie. He was so busy convincing me this woman was a friend of the family, didn’t I remember her? And he had just met her that morning and invited her over for coffee since she used to take care of his sick mother 30 years ago. And 5 more lies, each one more desperate then the last. But, she knew her way around the house and even got us a drink. When I left he followed me out to the car and said ‘don’t you dare tell Barb’…his long time girlfriend. I got out of the car, stared him down for the first time in my life, and said ‘for once in your life do the right thing. Break up with one woman before cheating with the next. Barb deserves better then this and we love her.’ Then I got back in my car and left. He never knew if I would say anything or not and that would cause him great angst. Sociopaths always get revenge. Within 3 months my father, my daughter’s grandfather, evicted us from our rental that he owned. It took him a year to succeed because I fought him hard and long. He won, sociopaths always win. His long time lady found out all on her own and dumped him, but he blamed me. Sociopaths get revenge. He had the audacity to bring down his new girlfriend every day for 6 weeks to paint the other unit to get it rented. Neither one spoke to us. We were at war and forever lines were drawn in the sand. I have disowned him. It has been 3 years now. This fool is a millionaire and I will never see a penny of it. My daughter and I live on my part time job as a caregiver of seniors. We rescue animals that need homes. That is my revenge, I am the opposite of him. My sister is just like him and I disowned her 4 years ago. My mom has dementia and some of it was caused by 60 years of depression and the meds she took all that time. She also had electric shock therapy in the 1960’s while in a psychiatric ward…all thanks to my sociopathic father. He should have had the shock therapy, not her. He is off living happily with his money and younger women. Living the legacy of being the adult child of a sociopath never ends but I never have to see him or be insulted by him again. Now if I could just figure out a way to live with the past, heal and find love. I have never been loved in my whole life other than by my daughter. My father wouldn’t, my mother couldn’t and the men I picked were users and abusers. It is not a nice legacy at all.

That is insanely like my childhood. Wow. Well done you by being the opposite!

When I was a young girl in elementary school my dad used to say, “If you were a boy I’d smash your head in” or “I wish you were a boy so I could shove your teeth down your throat” and so forth. I was an A student, quiet, introverted, insecure. Because I didn’t do anything *wrong* he’d use hypotheticals: “If you ever talk back to your mother I’ll ram your head into a wall” or “if you shack up with a Hells Angel I’ll put a bullet in your head.” I had never seen a Hells Angel.

I think living with a sadistic adult who hated me, who repeatedly called me names, threatened me, threatened to kill my pet, molested me, and told me that my existence had ruined his life, crushed his dreams, and that this adult was my father…I don’t know how to recover from that. I remember wanting to kill myself from the age of 8, running away for the first time at 9.

My mother was mostly ignorant of what he was doing–she didn’t overhear the threats or witness the incest, she worked days and he worked evenings/nights so she wasn’t around. Except for the time she came home from work early and found him molesting me on their bedroom floor. She was extremely upset, but didn’t leave him and never said a word to me or asked how long it had been going on. I was 11. He always tied me up or used his police issue (he was a very high ranking cop) handcuffs to restrain me–wrists and ankles. He did stop after my mom caught him. I imagine she threatened him with divorce and maybe exposure. After a few weeks he began another awful sexual gratification thing but at least it didn’t involve touching me.

When I was 15 my mom took me to a psychologist who specialized in teens. She was afraid I had “no ego.” I was extremely compliant and had been for years-I would obey anyone and do anything I was asked to do. I think of it as being dead inside, frozen. I had nothing to say to the therapist–I felt I was bad and wrong and a freak who should never have been born, who literally had no right to breathe. I just stared out the window.

I remember the day my mom caught my father…all he had to do to indicate he wanted to molest me was open my bedroom door and incline his head toward their bedroom door. It was that easy. I was that trained. I put away my crayons and followed him, taking my usual position on the floor.

At any rate, it is devastating when the bogeyman is “daddy” or any close relative. And when there is no one to help you.

Mandie- you being complicit- you “not fighting back” – thats a hallmark of abuse that serious. It is his you survived. You may feel like you are weak- but actually that just shows how smart and adaptable your young brain was. And guess what. We are more mentally flexible than the average person. Because we had to learn how to be immediately flexible based on the whims of another- we now have a surprising power- a super secret “super power” that normal people do not have. WE CAN ADAPT. A lot of healing happens in therapy- I so hope you have that and a support group to validate you and to help you grieve your childhood. But I also hope you can see your “passivity” for what it is- an enormous PROOF of your souls desire to survive and to live! And now that you are older I truly hope you can tap into it and start figuring out what YOU want and who YOU want to be. It is hard to build an identity when yours was nearly ripped away from you. But the fact you even wrote that is proof you are there- you exist- you are amazing. Good luck and god bless you 🙂

We all have our different ways of coping. I became a therapist myself so that I could understand what had happened, my parents, how to behave and think and helping others. I have met many therapists (those who applied to me for a job) who were clueless about these things, some of them had read books and did it all robotically but had no empathy or understanding or common sense) so you need to find your own strength. If you cannot rely on your parents then do not be quick to rely on a stranger.

I think that people who have been abused by a parent or parents have as far worse time of it than those abused by a partner. Because (a) we might have a dozen or more lovers in a lifetime and we can dump one at any time, moving on to being single or replacing them. I can think back to people I dated when much younger who mean nothing to me now. Totally different with a parent. and (b) I have had people telling me that my parents were only cruel and demanding and selfish etc with me as a way to show me they loved me !!! or because of their age, as they are elderly
(even though they did many of the horrible things they did when in their 30s, 40s, 50s . Or – and this one takes the biscuit – if I explained to my mum that doing this and saying that is hurtful she would realise it and stop doing it. As though she doesnt realise it. My God. Of course she realises it and it is because she realises it and KNOWS it is hurtful and spiteful that she does it.
If we were talking about a stranger who lives down the road or a lover nobdoy would make these ridiculous excuses for them.
I have also had a lot of people – people who have never been abused by a parent and who have a lot of loves in their life – telling me that you should just let it go and just allow it. And do whatever the parent wants, because somehow, because they want it and are a parent that makes it alright. Because my mother is now nearly 80 and suffering healthwise I get people making comments about me letting her move in with me and me becoming her full time carer. It never occurs to them that she doesnt deserve it or that it would ruin my life to do it. They always just look at what she wants and what her needs are. If you had a lover who was ill treating you they would not expect you to take care of him.
In a way all these people who speak as though it is ok for a parent to abuse you and you should still be there for them are clueless, definitely irresponsible and definitely dangerous to listen to.

One of the things I finds hurts a lot if when I am listening to someone talking about their fabulous family life full of great parents, cousins, sisters etc. I think if only. The only family I have now is my mother and she is so abusive, selfish and difficult I hold her at arm’s length.

So does anyone else agree we should form some sort of group especially for those who have been abused by a parent or parents?
let me know.

I would very much appreciate a group for those abused by a parent or parents. My late father was a sociopath. It was only after he died, at age 87, that I’ve been able to begin to come to terms with his evil.

I agree. It is so incredibly important to expel ourselves of these memories. But as they pile up… so many… we know that no normal person can accept the horrors we could show them and look at us the same way. We need to do it with people who see us- really see us- aside from what was done TO us. And people who can look at the weird survival mechanisms we may have developed in order to survive the intensity of this kind of hate and say- Wow you are incredible! And not- you’re different/eccentric/too anxious/ depressed/ whatever.

Hi Mandie. Not sure how to go about this. Have often run groups and things before, that is not a problem for me, but if I put my email here will that be ok?

Hi Carmen–in the past Donna would put people in touch via email addresses if both parties agreed. I imagine she still does that, but it’s been years so I don’t know. Probably not a good idea to put your email here–although maybe creating a special email like “temp–something” might be OK.

I have no concerns about putting my email, my office receives hundreds every day and we know how to handle abusive or daft ones. I just wanted to be sure that it was not in anyway upsetting Donna and the site.

This is far too familiar. our former pastor **** **** who is a sociopath has had a 10 year affair with congregants. His daughter tells people in the church that he threaten her constantly and even physically beat her with a belt in her youth.

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