lf2

Naming the social predators among us

Editor’s note: This is a more complete explanation of a proposal I made a few weeks ago.

How do you avoid a social predator? First, you have to know that they exist.

I didn’t know they existed. So when a charming, charismatic and supremely confident man swept into my life, I didn’t know that charm, charisma and overconfidence were red flags that he might be a predator. And he was. This man took a quarter-million dollars from me, cheated with at least six women during our 2.5-year marriage, had a child with one of the women, and then, 10 days after I left him, married the mother of the child. It was the second time he committed bigamy.

“He might be a sociopath,” my therapist commented, as I described his mind-boggling betrayal and duplicity.

Sociopath? I thought a sociopath was a serial killer.

Well, not necessarily. Sociopaths are people who live their lives by exploiting others. Sometimes they commit serious crimes or kill, but usually they abuse their partners, neglect their children, defraud credit card companies, indulge in drugs and alcohol, bilk customers, steal from employers, bully their co-workers and find more ways to disregard and violate the rights of others.

But you’d never know it to meet them. Sociopaths are not delusional, and they do not necessarily look like thugs. In fact, they blend easily into society and often have good social skills. Like the man I married, they are frequently charming, charismatic and confident.

And they are a huge problem. Experts estimate that 1% to 4% of the population are sociopaths. That means there are 3 million to 12 million of them in the United States. Plus, additional millions have sociopathic traits but not the full disorder.

Back in 2005, I launched Lovefraud.com to educate the public about these disordered individuals—people who have no empathy and no conscience. My first problem was deciding how to refer to them.

Multiple names for essentially the same disorder

In the mental health field, social predators may be called sociopaths, psychopaths, malignant narcissists or antisocials, depending upon whom you ask.

Research psychologists tend to use the term “psychopath.” The official diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—the bible of mental health conditions and illnesses—was once “sociopath,” but was changed to “antisocial personality disorder.” Psychiatrists and clinicians tend to use this term when describing the condition, and “sociopath” as a shorthand way of referring to a person with the condition. At least, that’s the current usage. The psychiatrists are in the process of updating their manual and have suggested yet another name for this disorder: “antisocial/psychopathic type.” (Try using that in a sentence.)

In addition to disagreeing about the name, experts also argue about what the names mean.

  • Some consider a “psychopath” to be an extreme form of “sociopath.”
  • Some say “psychopath” describes personality traits and “sociopath” describes behavior.
  • Some see this as a nature vs. nurture issue—”psychopaths” are born, “sociopaths” are the result of bad parenting and deprivation.
  • Some people use the terms depending on how a person is diagnosed. If psychiatric standards are used, the person is a “sociopath.” If the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R), a standardized evaluation, is used, the person is a “psychopath.”
  • Some think of a sociopath as someone who is socialized into an antisocial subculture, such as a gang.

In short, naming this disorder is a mess. And as the experts argue, the public is in the dark.

Confusion in the general public

Lovefraud.com gets 50,000 unique visitors a month, and I’ve collected more than 2,400 cases of people involved with sociopaths. Last year, we surveyed our readers and asked a few questions about the name of the disorder. More than 1,200 people responded. Here are the questions and the results:

“Before your involvement with this disordered individual, what did you understand the term ”˜sociopath’ to mean?”

  • Criminal 19%
  • Serial killer 19%
  • Someone who was delusional 6%
  • Person without empathy or a conscience 20%
  • I didn’t know what it meant 35%

“Before your involvement with this disordered individual, what did you understand the term ”˜psychopath’ to mean?”

  • Criminal 15%
  • Serial killer 51%
  • Someone who was delusional —13%
  • Person without empathy or a conscience 9%
  • I didn’t know what it meant 12%

The correct definition of both of these terms is “a person without empathy or a conscience.” This was selected by 20% of the respondents in reference to “sociopath” and only 9% in reference to “psychopath.” On the other hand, half of the readers thought “psychopath” meant serial killer, and the largest number of responses for “sociopath” was “I didn’t know what it meant.”

No support in the aftermath

Why is this discussion important? Why should anyone care about what to call people who lie, cheat, steal and abuse?

Two reasons: First of all, these social predators are probably responsible for most of the manmade misery in the world, ranging from the fraud perpetrated by Ponzi schemers, to the abusers who force their partners into domestic violence shelters, to the bullies causing turmoil in the workplace.

Secondly, once you become entangled with a sociopath, there is usually no support from legal, financial or other institutions. Why? Because most sociopaths use social interactions to find and exploit their targets. This means there is some kind of relationship between the predator and the victim, which muddies the water when the victim seeks redress.

The only effective way to deal with the trauma caused by social predators is prevention. Prevention requires education. And for education to work, we need agreement on what to call these people.

This is a medical disorder

It is not sufficient to say that these predatory individuals are “abusers” or “toxic.” We are talking about a medical disorder, a mental illness, not merely a lifestyle choice. Of all the personality disorders, only this one is defined by the affected individual’s victimization of others. The perpetrators themselves rarely experience distress because of their actions. It is the people around them who experience distress.

Mental health professionals, searching for possible causes and treatment, engage in nuanced debates with each other about definitions and diagnostic criteria. For example, are antisocial personality, narcissism and psychopathy distinct disorders, or are they different points on the same continuum of abusive behavior? In practice, the behaviors and traits exhibited by individuals diagnosed with psychopathy, sociopathy, narcissism and even borderline personality disorders overlap, so it’s hard to tell where one ends and another begins.

From the perspective of those of us who have tangled with one of these individuals, however, the clinical diagnosis doesn’t matter. Our lives were turned upside-down, we lost money, our homes, our children. We suffered PTSD or other maladies. The point is that we were involved with a disordered person, and we were damaged.

Proposal for a name

When it comes to helping people avoid exploitative personalities, it’s not a diagnostic issue, but an education and communications issue.

I propose a solution for the name problem. I propose that “sociopathy” be used as a generic, layman’s term, similar to “heart disease.” It would not be a clinical diagnosis. It would be a general description of a personality disorder in which the people who have the disorder purposely exploit others.

Let’s compare it to “heart disease.” There are various types of heart disease, like a heart attack, or, clinically speaking, a myocardial infarction. There’s also cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, and so on. The American Heart Association tells us to keep our heart healthy by not smoking, avoiding fatty foods, and getting regular exercise. They don’t tell us to avoid heart attacks by doing this, or avoid strokes by doing that. They provide information to protect the whole system.

With my suggestion, under the umbrella of “sociopathy,” the professionals could determine actual clinical diagnoses. They may decide that a “psychopath” should be defined as someone who scores 30 or more on the PCL-R.  A “narcissist” should be someone with an overactive sense of entitlement. “Antisocial personality disorder” should describe the people who are worse than a narcissist, but not as bad as a psychopath. Other subcategories could be defined as the experts see fit.

The idea here is coming up with a general term that describes social predators so that people can be educated. It doesn’t matter if someone is diagnosed to be a narcissist, sociopath or psychopath. The idea is to avoid all of them.

Understanding the red flags

I’ve talked to and corresponded with hundreds of people who have tangled with these exploiters. Time after time I’ve heard, “I never knew that people like this existed.” This is the problem that needs to be solved—alerting the public that social predators exist. To do this effectively, one agreed-upon term is necessary.

“Sociopath” has the advantage of already being in the lexicon, without the cultural baggage of “psychopath.” People are generally aware that the word has something to do with bad behavior towards others. But, as our survey pointed out, most people don’t really know what “sociopath” means, so they can be educated.

In another Lovefraud survey about romantic relationships involving sociopaths, 71% of people said that they had a gut feeling or intuition early in the relationship that the individual was bad news. Most people said they ignored their internal warnings and continued the relationship. Why? I think a big reason is because they did not have the empirical knowledge that sociopaths existed. They saw the red flags and did not know what they meant, so they dismissed them.

In my view, settling on a clear name for this disorder, or range of disorders, is a public health issue. People have learned how to protect themselves from heart disease. Sociopaths cause physical, emotional and psychological injury, illness and trauma. We need to learn how to protect ourselves from them.

Can the ill effects from tangling with these predators be totally avoided? Probably not. But if we know that sociopaths exist, and know the warning signs of exploitative behavior, we may be able to escape before too much damage is done.

 

 

 


Comment on this article

174 Comments on "Naming the social predators among us"

Notify of

Donna, I agree about the “social predators”=sociopaths as a”generic word” to cover people of “all different personalities who qualify as SOCIAL predators….

I am not sure what is going on, I posted to this thread and it seemed to post and now that post has “vanished” so will retry to post this and see what happens.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oxy – the amazon cloud is still not functioning properly. the appearing/disappearing thread thing is part of it.

Donna,
I am in 100% agreement with everything you’ve said here. You’ve taken on a noble and world-changing cause. This could change so many lives, and even societies, for the better.

There is one aspect I hope will get more awareness as this campaign progresses: a better awareness of how child abuse and neglect can impact the less genetically inclined children and train them to become exploitative/violent where they otherwise would not have (Hare’s definition of sociopath). This message (along with the flip side of it, which is Dr. Leedom’s book) is important for society to hear. Minimizing the number of sociopaths in the next generation can perhaps be the impetus for more $$ invested in early child protection. We haven’t had any luck using appeals to morality or ethics to further the cause of protecting vulnerable children in most modern westernized societies. Perhaps getting a better understanding of the true economic impact, via an understanding of how child abuse can lead to (some) sociopathy, might.

One more point: when you’re making your appeals to high school students I hope you’ll also appeal to those youth who are not full-fledged predators but are being influenced down the wrong path by those who are, and urge them to understand where they’re being led and to care enough about themselves to step away from that influence and get help before it’s too late.

I read a great quote lately, which I’m trying to find again. Something along the lines of “Tyrants can’t be tyrants without crowd support.” Cut off their supply and their support systems and they have very little actual power.

Here’s to your efforts to educate the public and dry up their supports. Congrats again on a job very well done.

I know that young children are not usually diagnosed with sociopathy, but I used to work with elementary aged kids when I first started college, and some of them definitely had characteristics that would make them highly likely to develop it. Some of them were scary “not right” compared to the other children. I sometimes wonder how some of them turned out because most of the ones I worked with are now probably sophomores and juniors in college now.

Children with sociopathic behavior or attitudes before age 18 are called OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER (ODD) OR CONDUCT DISORDER. For whatever reason the professionals must have this “problem” pre age 18 before someone can be “diagnosed” as a Antisocial personality disorder/psychopath/sociopath after age 18.

I too have worked with kids in inpatient settings that were very dangerous by age 10, and uncontrollable and without the least bit of care about hurting others. Some of them even seemed to take immense joy and glee in defying authority or rules. Some of them were also conscious that you couldn’t watch them 24/7 except in an inpatient setting and these parents were beside themselves. It is also very interesting to note that many of these children had been adopted as infants by mature, well centered parents….and finally the professionals are getting the idea that there ARE some genetics involved in this. That babies are NOT born blank slates on which the parents write for better or worse.

My P son didn’t display much problems until he hit puberty, and there is some research showing that higher testosterone levels tend to go along with more sociopathic tendencies.

That may also account for more men than women being diagnosed as psychopaths (by whatever name) or it may be that the more severe levels of “BPD” which is more frequently diagnosed in females is the female equivalent of PPD in males, though there ARE full blown score 30 or above on the PCL-R females, but more females I think who are just sub-criminal but very destructive of people they have relationships with.

The social aspect of the predators, who destroy the structure of society–the family, the business, the community–those social predators whether they are actually “high enough to score 30 and be “diagnosed” professionally, those men and women are the social ROT in every culture in the world. Then when you add in the COMPLETE Ps, the 30+’s, most of the violent crime is committed by this small percentage of the population. But almost the totality in my opinion of all man made ills and problems is by “social predators”—by bullies, by sociopaths, whatever you want to label them…I also believe that our “politically correct” carpola about “there is good in everyone” and that “everyone can change” causes tremendous damage to those victims of the social predators and doesn’t do anything but encourage and reward the predators.

The social predators present themselves as victims, when in fact they are the predator in disguise….and what a good disguise it is too. Re-injuring the real victim again. The book here in the LF store, “The Legal Abuse Syndrome” is a good example of how this happens in “family courts.”

Donna,

I think the biggest problem in educating people about sociopaths is that they can be so charasmatic and charming. It seems to be, especially in our culture, that these are traits which override our morality.

For example, Bill Clinton, he is extremely charasmatic and seems to be a skillful diplomat. He lies extremely well too. Jimmy Carter doesn’t have Mr. Clintons charm but I would say he has way better values than Bill.

We like the funny, witty, crowd pleasers when they are possibly the most damaging people because we don’t expect them to be mentally ill. Their outward appearance is a wolf in sheeps clothing. When we find out how nasty they really are, it’s so difficult to believe it because of their facade.

I do wish I would have know better, I could have a better grasp of human nature.

Oxy,

I would agree that they are preditors in disguise. They use the poor me thingy so well. There is not good in everyone, the social preditors use this fact to take advantage of the trusting nature of humanity.

They also think that we are like them, that everyone is capable of the kind of decept they take part in. They must be a pile of mush on the inside, what a horrible way to live.

Oh boy is this the appropriate place to share about what a diagnosis should be….

I”m now THOROUGHLY convinced my youngest son (if he is not sociopath labeled because of his age, he is DEF ODD).

He pulled a fast one on me this morning, created so much drama and chaos for me that I missed a very important appointment.

A friend of mine suggested that that was PURPOSEFUL to sabotage me. LIGHTBULB MOMENT!

I am so frustrated with this child and his games that I’m ready to throw him out of my house. And, well, legally I CANNOT do that in my state and IRONICALLY, even if I HANDED HIM OVER TO THE STATE FOR FOSTER CARE THEY WOULDN”T TAKE HIM BECAUSE HE WOULD BE “hard to place”. DO YA THINK????

I have had two children in the past with issues, one SIGNIFICANT that I’ve shared on this blog. I have had NO PROBLEM intervening when an issue arises. BOTH have recovered from their issue. This one is COMPLETELY different. His attitude is different, his behavior is different. He has a TOTAL lack of empathy, NO remorse or regret, uses me to play the VICTIM and sabotaged the last therapy appointment and I did nothing but REACT to him and his manipulations.

He has the ENTIRE SYSTEM snowed!!!! Like a blizzard!

Last Friday, I received an email from the school counselor (often) and she told me that my son told her that I HAVE breast cancer and then she did the whole “I’m so sorry, we really want to help you if we can” shpeel, and blah blah blah….she is a KIND person and I’m absolutley LIVID with my son that he used ME (and does) to get pity for himself, but this was just unbelievable!

I corrected her and let her know that I had a cancer SCARE a few months ago but that it turned out OKAY and that I’m FINE, and my son KNOWS that.

I told her that while I appreciated her concern, I was WELL and that my son was using this to get PITY from her and the rest of the school staff and to PLEASE not believe all the BS my son gives her. He KNOWS she buys into his BS so he goes to HER or the school Principle when he wants to get out of school, which is often.

When I make him stay, he starts abusing me over the phone and gets very VERBAL with staff to the point where they don’t WANT him there, thus, he wins again.

This morning was it for me. I’m so done, I’m beyond done. My pain about my son is turning into RESENTMENT quickly.

He has continued to try to steal my money and now I’ve found a hiding place that he hasn’t found yet. I keep it within eye shot wherever I am in the house!

This morning on the phone, he was abusive, nasty and then something dawned on me …my God he sounds EXACTLY like my exP when he’s abusive.

Two times at the school this morning, an appointment I was looking forward too, RUINED, I was pissed beyond belief.

School counselor’s suggestion: “You really do need to have a heart to heart with your son” WTF???

People do NOT get it. It is SO frustrating!!!

I’m telling you he is DIFFERENT than the rest of my children! NO EMPATHY, NO REMORSE!!! ABUSIVE!!!

I spend MOST of my time “GRAY ROCKING” my own son. Unless he does something against the law, I can’t even kick this kid out of my house!

Again, I’m on the therapy bandwagon and I’m dreading it!!!

He’ll play the new one like a fiddle too, just like the last.

And the last thought it was too much trouble to deal with.

Not only does there need to be education regarding sociopathy in general, but my GOD there sure does in the schools in that there ought to be WORKSHOPS on this stuff for staff to see children with this illness in their classrooms!

My son is mainly the smooth operator but verbally vicious at home. This morning, he told me flat out that he didn’t CARE about anyone but HIMSELF.

Welll, no shit sherlock!

I’m so frustrated. Everytime he walks in the door we cringe.

I’m so sick to death of pathology, I want to puke!

LL

Dear LL, a previous blogger here, Witsend, had exactly the same problem with her son that you are having, she kept HOPING for a long time though that there was a cure….he finally left home voluntarily and now is over 18 so she is off the hook, but she was nutso there for a while.

See if there is a way in your state to get him declared uncontrollable. Your therapist might be able to help you with this. In my state many times kids like him are put in inpatient care in a psych unit, or sometimes if they have violated the law or are caught with drugs into boot camps run by the Sheriff’s association.

Check it out and get him out of your house…you know the drill. Don’t keep up a malignant hope that will eat you up like a cancer. He is either a delinquent or a budding psychopath and in either case, you can’t cope with or control him and he knows it.

Cut off all privileges, do not buy him anything not required by law, do not give him any money for sodas or anything else. Let him carry his lunch to school or where ever he goes. If you catch him with drugs, call the cops….set the rules the best you can and get as much help as you can enforcing them. Make life miserable for him by cutting off all “benefits” just tell him that you owe him a place to sleep, that means a blanket and a pillow, and food, oatmeal 3 times a day sounds like food to me, and 2 sets of clothing, one to wash and one to wear (take the rest of them away) no TV, no stereo, no bike, no skate board, no nothing else….strip his room bare while he is out….go into tough love mode. He thinks you OWE him, but what the law says you OWE him is very little….no cooperation= no benefits above a blanket, pillow, 2 sets of clothes and oatmeal.

Good luck.

Dear Lesson learned,

It sounds like you are doing all you can do to help your son to get to a better place. It may be that he will never grow out of this stage and he can’t be helped.

I think you are a smart lady and you probably know that there is something more off with him because of his lack of empathy and he likes pulling the wool over people’s eyes. School counselors don’t ususally get it and won’t get it.

Call the police if he does anything threatening and make sure you keep your appointments a priority, no matter what he’s pulling.

I wish you didn’t have so many things pulling you down, you need a break!!! At least you’re not in contact with the spath and he has no more control over you.

I struggle with making sure my own son, who is 15, stays healthy. He stays part time with the spath and I cringe at what kind of influence spath has on him. I have seen changes in his behavior and do not like it. He is mean to his sister and ostracizes her. It is spath’s influence of course because she called out spaths inappropriate touching, etc.

I know that you will do all you can do to try and steer your son in the right direction, it’s up to him if he wishes to follow your guide.

When he turns 18 you can let him go and find his own way, you don’t need to be taken advantage of after he is of legal age.

Hugs!!!!

Dear Hope4joy,

I’m sorry that your X is using your son as a tool to hurt you and his daughter as well, and not caring what effect it is having on your son either.

Maybe the three of you, your son, your daughter and you can sit down and have a “come to Jesus meeting” about how he behaves in your house and set some boundaries about how he treats his sister. (((hugs)))))

Ox,

My “hope” is gone.

My “Hope” now, is to get him OUT of my house. I love my son, but I can’t keep living this way and nor should my other children have to live this way.

Uncontrollable? Nope. He works his system well. He has the entire staff at school manipulated and has worked hard to bring his grades up. From what I witnessed at the school, the mask is plastered. The state wants nothing to do with him (even DHS) unless he does something ILLEGAL. He does not keep his “drugs” at home, they are not allowed in the house. He even wrote a paper on the POSITIVE uses of marijuana, validating his USE of it, and got an A on the stinkin paper!

One thing you are absolutely correct about Ox. He knows he has the control. THAT is what is eating me alive.

He has no privileges, other than his cellphone. Most of the time, he chooses not to be here, but out with his druggie friends.

I do not indulge him with money or anything else that says he has control. He gets NOTHING other than his cell, from me.

Truthfully, I hope that what I know he’s doing that is illegal, he gets caught….

hmmmm…………there’s a thought………..I don’t have to give my name to “report” his illegal activities, do I?

Time to do some brainstorming……..

LL

Hope 4.

thank you very much. I appreciate your support.

You are RIGHT! He DOES NOT have empathy. Nor any remorse in the slightest. My two other children, one who had some very serious issues, showed REMORSE AND EMPATHY for THEIR part in their issues. This one DOES NOT AT ALL.

I understand his game completely. I love him and WANT to help him, but I realize that I can’t.

In thinking about this today, there were behaviors when he was very young that remind me of the story he told the school counselor. I wish I knew about this shit then.

Hope4, the HOPE your son has IS YOU. Your healthy influence can steer your child in the right direction. Thank God he has YOU to do that for him. Even if he is emulating your ex spaths behavior, it MIGHT be just a “stage” that he is going through and will come out smelling like a rose in the end with your influence.

I’m so sorry you’re coparenting with a spath. I”m glad you believe in your strengths as a parent and that you SEE what’s going on. Here’s hoping that your children make it into adulthood, happy and healthy because of YOUR influence.

LL

well done article. back in the 50′ and 60’s, i think we could safely say the sociopathy in its purest form, only existed in situations in high society against well to do women. now, due to absolute decay of public moral values, cell phones and the internet, we can see sociopathy across all levels.

men worked, wanted to work, wanted to serve their country and for the most part, be honorable.

i remember my parents wouldnt bear the thought of having credit cards, nobody wanted credit cards back then, to owe on something besides the mortgage was unspeakable.

i knew my exfiance in high school, she seemed fine, after 30 (and her failed marriages, a career in exotic dancing and a stint in prison) years i met back up with her and she immediatly started her “schtick”.

i seen the red flags and didnt know what they meant. i never dreamed that anyone would have the audacity to lie and fraud like that.

plus, we are all capable of being targets, but i can only be a target to a female spath. i can spot a male spath coming a mile away, i can actually feel the bad vibes in the air and i’m 99% sure i give back the vibe of “i know what you are, get on your horse and ride” but not so much with a female. probably because i have the philosphy that you cant be scared of life and you gotta take a chance once in a while. this brings me to mind how important it is to introduce a girl to my female friends in case they can feel the bad vibes that i cant.

well, i certainly didnt mean to ramble my thoughts like this, mondays are always ugly.

just like when a new sexual disease hits the scene, awareness and prevetion are essential. perhaps a documentary on the ID channel or for youtube, just thinking out loud here.

I like the term ‘social predator’. I know when I am being exploited now, before the s p (social predator) I thought it was normal behavior and I was flawed ( weak ) or damaged, or not as good as. So I kissed ass to get approval. When your raised by s p’s you dont know your being exploited. I literaly almost died from being so damn nice to everybody. It was because a friend and employer of mine noticed what the xbf was doing to me and said he is a sociopath, well I came home and googled it, and because of my friend and LF my life has changed for the better. There are good people out in the world and I appreciate them so much.

Donna,

I mentioned this to you before, but it hadn’t reached the west coast yet. Is there anything that can be done to reach them? This is an extension of the high school my son attends.

What can be done to educate staff and parents about the potential that the children they teach, may also be, or are, sociopaths? The warning signs?

Donna, I don’t think giving the “Ten Signs You’re Dating A Sociopath” is gonna work on this one.

Any suggestions to bringing this to our state and school?

LL

Oxy,

Yea, it’s the same old crap with him, trying to manipulate everybody. Yesterday he even asked oldest daughter (his step daughter) to come over and have dinner with him and son this week. He asked this right in front of other daughter who he has never asked to come over. (Which is okay by me) It’s just that she already has abandonment issues and he is trying to make her the scapegoat.

I noticed him doing that when he lived here, trying to make daughter the one on the outside looking in. What a loser to do that to his own daughter. All the psychologists tell me to try and keep the door open for daughter and spath daddy to have a relationship but I say NO! It just makes her mad, sad, upset and confused when he tries to weasel his way back into her life. She has been hurt too badly and he doesn’t freaking get that!

He hurts her time and time again by turning son on her and sucking up to step daughter, who he never gave a crap about for the previous 19 years. Sheeesh.

It’s all a game to him and I HATE that he comes out smelling like a rose with his psycho ex wife (meaning me). Gets in my craw big time!!!

Hens,

I agree with you. I’ve made some of the best friends from this site I’ve ever had.

I’m glad you feel that way. 🙂

LL

Hope 4

The one thing I can share with you is that only YOU know your children well enough to know what is good/bad for them. Some parents don’t give a rip. It’s sad that when you do, there are so many obstacles, but especially from a spath.

Trust your gutt. you KNOW what’s right for your children, what’s wrong….no one knows better than their Mom!

LL

Dear LL,

Take the cell phone….CUT OFF ALL BENEFITS….clear his room out while he is at school, do just what you legally have to do to “provide” for him. NOTHING ELSE. NADA, ZIP, ZERO. He will freak out, and that is okay….don’t react. Just casually say “No cooperation from you, none from me.” Then quit talking to him and keep a log of what you observe, his coming and going times, any lies he tells anyone (like the cancer story to the counselor)

and no, you don’t have to give your name when you call the cops to report suspicious activity.

Also, do you know the mothers of his friends? Call them and have a chat.

Sky,

Would you please email me as soon as possible?

LL

Ox,

If I take his cellphone I run the risk of VIOLENCE. He has done it before, he will do it again. I do NOT underestimate him.

His room IS cleared all that is there for him, is the clothes he wears, the blankets and pillows on his bed, NOTHING more than that.

I have only spoken with only TWO of his friend’s parents that I could reach. They didn’t give a crap. They buy their kid cigarettes and give them money (kid spends it on pot) and they call it good. YOu have no idea how many parents DO NOT care about where the hell their kids are or whom they are with. It is APPALLING.

And those were the only kids that were UNDER the age of eighteen, the rest are that or OLDER. He’s not an idiot.

He knows where to go that there aren’t “boundaries”.

LL

Well, whatever….

LL, the thing is I have come to the conclusion that MY HOUSE, MY RULES….I refuse to live in an armed camp afraid to set boundaries in my house.

LL Back to your post to me at 8:08 – Yes I have made some cyber friends on LF but that was not what I meant. LF has opened the door for me concerning personalities, good and bad, what motivates certain people, how to decern disordered personalities, abusive, exploitive etc. It has helped me understand my life from birth to present. LF has pointed me in a good direction be it books, blogs, self help forums…helped sort out things…
And yes I have made a few cyber friends – but have yet to make a real life friend that I can relate with…need to work on that.

Hens,
I hope to be where you’re at someday. I still have trouble spotting disordered personalities, although I’m getting better at it. I don’t want any new friends. I have my friend Joan who I’ve know for 30yrs and my sisters.

Well, if I lived near you, you would be somebody I’d want as real life friend. I have a feelin’ I’d be laughin me arse off!
Know when the time is right, that friend will appear. Wish you all the best-cyber friend.

Hens-I know how you feel. I don’t really have a close friend here where I live. I have some where I used to live. I thought it was going to develop with my neighbor but I don’t even think I can be friends with her at all. I backed off from her and am trying to stay away unless I have to see her or talk to her. I thought we would be friends since we are both so alone. The thing is, I am really open and she is a closed off person who alienates people. I don’t know but you are definitely my cyber friend and I am so glad that I met you on here.

Thanks Ana – I really have sorted through some baggage the past few years and thrown out alot of crap. I am happy I make you laugh, gotta find some humor ya know?
Thanks nolarn2bcop – The bestest friend I have is me, I can remember when I didnt like me very much.. I dont ‘need’ a friend, but one would be nice…I am kinda closed off to erin, if I alienate people it’s not intentional, it’s more protectional..

Hens,

I understood. Your posts are very insightful. There is something to meeting others OFF blog. I will have that blessed opportunity with some who are here on the blog.

real life. It’s not so bad. Just slow going.

You’ve grown so much. 🙂

LL

Ox,

I understand…..

Thank you for your input 🙂

LL

I feel sorry for my neighbor lady. I wouldn’t want to live that way like she does. I saw her tonite and she looked sad.

Hens,

You were one of my first friends here, it was incredible finding this community. It saved my life. You remember the love bombing that was happening, I couldn’t believe all the crap that was going on and you (buttons, oxy, eb, one-step-joy, etc.) knew exactly what I was dealing with.

I’m lucky to have some lovely friends and neighbors, some that I thought were close friends shied away from me when the heat was turning up at home. People just don’t understand. I have a few friends that do get it, one worked in a womens shelter and knows abusive behavior (she saw some concerning things in the spath, he was toooo slick), and another friend who had an abusive husband. It seems some abusers use the same mo.

Hens, you understood, as my cyber friend and helped with your validation and advice.

Do you ever feel outnumbered? Seems like they’re crawling out of the woodwork, ugh!

Two of my daughter’s male, gay friends concern me because they seem to be into annoymous hook ups. One now developed hiv. They are bright, nice, boys (early twenties) and seem to find really nasty characters to meet. I wish it were easier for them to find dates that have some moral character.

The spaths are everywhere, it’s an invasion! Don’t you feel like you were innocent and naive and now your not?

HopeforJoy – I dont reach out to every new person that comes to LF, but I really identified with your story and with you. Yes they are everywhere!!!! That is sad about your gay friend, seem’s the gay culture is all about SEX….sex and youth – people are livin way to fast these days, they need to slow down….

I have something I’d like to share with all of you.

It’s been one hell of a day. One HELL of a day…..

But I had something happen today, amidst all the turmoil that I felt was a huge spiritual enlightenment…as well as a personal one…

I have verbal bulimia. I say what’s on my heart. Up or down, I say it. With all of my efforts to get help, it seems that every professional on the planet knows of my plight (in this field) as well as my friends here who have been super supportive of me and my efforts to find healing….

Help comes with a price. Unfortunately. This has bothered and bothered me………

I’m 47 years old now. I come from wealth. I gave up wealth, to live poor, to scream for help from those who get it who cost a lot….because those that dont’ charge, don’t know shit about psychopathy. It’s rare if you find that, and if your insurance covers it….

People die in my state because they can’t get a liver transplant. IT shouldn’t happen, but the reality is is that it does everyday. There was a little boy who died several years ago here because the state insurance would not cover his transplant….the campaign to create funding for his transplant was not enough, in such a short time…such a sad thing…..and he died….

What about those suffering from the aftermath of those with personality disorders?

I’m screaming from the mountain tops and am not heard. Because it costs. I’m not suggesting those that have the knowledge shouldn’t charge……….

That’s their deal. you wouldn’t go to school, spend thousands to be a doctor to give services for free…………..or would you???

So today, as I went to buy a pack of smokes, I was driving into my apartment complex….it’s in a canyon…down, down you go, landslide central…..but at the top of the hill before you come down, there is a really fancy office building…contractors….so this lady in a crappy red car, with a german shepherd in the passengers seat were hanging out in the drive of this office building….she was happily talking on her cellphone and the german shepherd was CLEARLY her buddy, he was happy as hell, head out the window…..

I don’t know WHY that left such an impression on me….all day long, I thought about it……….

I come from wealth. It never mattered. I could have played the psychopathic game to get that wealth. To keep it. I could have given into the games of my ex, got a job, earned money to take care of his indebted ass…..I could put my children in nice clothes and send them to the best colleges………

I sold all of that out. ALL of it.

if it was really important to me, I would have held onto it. and been fake. The ultimate psychopathic victim.

I couldn’t do it. I can’t now.

I had a spiritual awakening and enlightenment today, thanks to the woman in the red crappy car and happy german shepherd next to her………

I”m 47, my life probably half over now. My children are almost grown. Not one have I been able to put through college. not one. It isn’t going to happen. The psychopaths in my life were successful in making sure that wasn’t going to happen, but part of that was my decision too…..I decided about the wealth…..

So God was speaking to me with this woman in the car….and there was great peace in that………

And throughout the day, the women who are so struggling, who have nothing, who are sitting in their homes, at the mercy of their spaths, who are uninsured, who are without money for services, who have great wisdom and intelligence, just like everyone here…..who have children who are suffering greatly….without services…who are living every single day wondering what the hell is wrong with them, when a little bit of help and services might help them realize that they are healithier than they believe and that help is there to make it happen………..

Well, it doesn’t happen.

And that is a great tragedy. Just like so many in this country who need medical care and cannot have access to it……

The voices of those women play over and over in my heart and mind…..

What do I really need? I have a roof over my head as do my children. Ok, so we sit on an ancient landslide and I might have to drop all and leave tomorrow ( the management had us fill out forms just in case LOL), but I can’t afford to move. I have food in my mouth as do my children. My dogs have dog food, warmth and love. My children (other than spath son) are happy and healthy.

What else do I need?

Well, maybe a german shepherd 🙂

So throughout all that has happened today, I found out where my calling is. And it feels right.

My doctor’s office is filled with very poor women who are so sick from their pathologicals and proclaim, “BUT I LOVE HIM!”…she can’t help them…..

But maybe I can. Me and my crappy gray Dodge Neon and my wiener and chee wow wow.

Maybe I can make a difference. And I really felt, with all of my heart, that I can do that without a lot of money….

I leave nothing behind but my legacy. I realized, I’m not caught up in “making it” financially to the exclusion of others who are otherwise cannot afford help.

That’s what I feel my calling is.

I have a lot of healing work to do first. I know that.

But the voices of women who can’t afford the knowledge that education provides….

I want to give.

Happily, in my little gray dodge neon…and well, wiener dog…..

LL

verbal bulimia? – is that the same as having no unspoken thoughts?
I am happy you had an awakening of sort’s today – I am that way, I can always see people less fortunate than myself, I am very blessed, but I work but butt off for everything I have. I have never wished to be rich or wealthy, I work for wealthy peeps every day and they have more issue’s than I do.. Speaking of wieners I had a dream the other nite about wiener puppies, they were everywhere..NO I am not gonna get another one – cant afford the vet bills and food on the three stooges I have….verbal bulimia ? hmmm maybe I have a touch of that.? ya think?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

LL- i love you, standing in your truth.

((LL)) I’m glad for you!! It sounds as if your day included some wonderful insight. Merrily on the road to healing. Blessings to you!!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Hopeforjoy! nice to see you!! read lesson learned beautiful post.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Hi guys – am here when i should be sleeping. but i’ve had a hell of a day, too….and all through it ran this sense of lonliness that i could not shake. so, i thought i’d come and post. and just hang out a bit….’cause life is too short to go to bed lonely. 😉

Hey ya Onestepper’s – lonliness sucks big time…….sorry u had a not so good day….

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hi hens – just couldn’t shake it today – a sadness with it. and i had a really bad exposure to enamel paint that threw me for a serious loop for many hours. i was out for my walk and i was down along the lake front and everyone is out working on their sailboats..so nice so nice…then WHAM i walked into a huge offgassing of some fresh enamel paint.
now i am a day behind finishing my proposal (due wednesday) for a possible new contract. cap the evening off with 3 ##$%^& hours filling out a government form online that wound me up no end….(and although not so important, just irritating and gross: i had to listen to the grunt pig upstairs having sex – if we can call that commercial length interlude that..whatever does that gal see in him????)

but! LL had a brilliant realization that made me all happy inside, you are hanging out, and hopeforjoy is here! AND my new anti-anxiety meds are REALLY REALLY helping.

Hens,

Yea, verbal bulimia….

You and your wieners. Mine is so needy lately…..he always has to have his nose stuck under my armpit, all cuddled on the couch when I’m online, when I’m not, he finds one of the other kids to suck up too. So spoiled….I wouldn’t be able to afford another wiener, but with each I see on the dachshund rescue site, means I want to take each one…..

You have a big heart in being so good to THREE wieners.
I just don’t have enough money or armpits for that many 🙂

Wish I did. I know you bust ass for what you have.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’ve said.

Hugs.

LL

1steprs you keep us intertained with your thin walls and grunt pig neighbors, what ever happened to the gay boxer? 1step – you of all the peeps I have met here have grown, like me you have found some peace within, we still struggle, but your hill has been very steep and I admire you for your climb with such a heavy load to carry, your gonna get there,, i just wish you could sleep well with out the grunt pigs and howling dogs…..hugs – nite all it’s pumpkin time for me….

OneJ.

Your posts are so real and honest! I’m so glad your anti anxiety meds are working for you! I”M{ SO GLAD ONe J. No one should live in unnecessary misery!

I love you toooooooooo…………….

OneJ.

It’s so important for you to know, that even during times you feel so lonely, you’re on my heart. Everyone here. Everyday.

I’m so glad you’re posting about it! Tomorrow will be a better day. Promise 🙂

BIG BIG HUGS!!!

LL

((((((((((((((( hens ))))))))))))))))

Hug the wieners for me!

LL

One J. sleep in peace tonight 🙂

LL

one/joy_step_at_a_time

LL and Hens:
🙂 🙂 🙂

Hope 4

Thank you! 🙂

LL

Send this to a friend