By | July 17, 2012 46 Comments

“Personality disorder” as an excuse for criminal behavior

One of the good things about the conviction of Jerry Sandusky on almost all counts related to molesting 10 boys was that his lame personality disorder defense did not fly.

Histrionic personality disorder? Huh? That was the prevailing reaction when defense attorneys claimed that the former Penn State assistant football coach wrote those “creepy” letters because he suffers from histrionic personality disorder.

Read the creepy letters

Several experts in personality disorders were quoted in news reports stating that even if Sandusky does have histrionic personality disorder, it would not be an excuse for the molestation.

Why not?

It’s quite simple: Most people with personality disorders are not delusional. Those with antisocial, borderline, narcissistic and yes, histrionic personality disorders are not “hearing voices” or out of touch with reality. (By the way, the American Psychiatric Association is in the process of revising its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Histrionic personality disorder isn’t even included in the new version.)

Over and over, Lovefraud readers tell me about outrageous deceit, manipulation and conscienceless behavior in their own interactions with personality-disordered individuals. Here is the common denominator: Sociopaths know exactly what they are doing. They just feel entitled to do what they want, and do not care who gets hurt in the process.

I was worried about the introduction of “personality disorder” as a defense in a criminal trial. Because it was permitted in the Sandusky case, would it open the door for all the defense attorneys in the country to blame their clients’ crimes on personality disorders? This would be a serious problem, because researchers estimate that 47 percent of male and 21 percent of female prison inmates have antisocial personality disorder.

For the most part, people with personality disorders are quite capable of making choices about their behavior. They know the difference between right and wrong, although they may have no emotional investment in doing what is right. They can follow society’s rules and laws when it suits their purpose.

Jerry Sandusky was convicted. I hope this continues to mean that when these disordered people commit crimes, they won’t be able to get off by claiming the psychological equivalent of, “the devil made me do it.”

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Donna….thank you for this article and the affirmation and validation that “personality disorder” was shot out of Sandspathsky’s “defense.” THIS GIVES ME HOPE!!!

It is my fervent hope that the Court will see beyond my victimization and recognize that the victimization would have been perpetrated to ANYone who had money. Family Court doesn’t rule on punitive damages, and this is a crying shame, but all of the exspath’s behaviors, choices, and frauds will hopefully factor into the final Order.

Yes…..personality disorders are simply no excuse. They are not organic (except, perhaps, in terms of genome), they cannot be treated with any known medicaiton or therapy, and I have never read of one person being “cured” or even “managed” who was diagnosed/assessed with a personality disorder. Not ever.

Thanks, again, Donna. Right now, I need some glimmer of hope and this was helpful to me, this morning.


“Creepy letters,” indeed. The more that I considered this, the more that I can identify how spaths use WORDS and twist them to their own designs. And, it’s deliberate, intentional, and done with malice.

There isn’t a punishment fit enough for Sandspathsky and creatures of his ilk. There just isn’t. No amount of money, no amount of “time served,” and no amount of hard labor (HAH!) would redress these heinous crimes.


Donna: HAHAHAHA: “Histrionic Personality Disorder”. Wow: that’s a great way to escape responsibility; isn’t it?
I am happy it didn’t fly in court as well, because that would have been THE PERFECT EXCUSE FOR THE DEMONS.

In fact, my ‘ex demon’, would always say, with a twinkle in his eye and a smirk on his face: “It doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do because I am sick and not in control of myself. I can get away with almost anything I want. Who is going to do anything about it, hm? Do you think YOU can? Not even the law can do anything about what I do because I am sick, so you just tell anybody whatever you want. They won’t believe you because you are crazy and in counseling yourself; hm?”

Well, this took away that defense for the wickedness; didn’t it? Yah, like ‘histrionic stalking’? How about ‘histrionic threatening’? Pffffft!!!!! Whoever the Judge was that disallowed his ‘histrionic defense’ woke up on the right side of the bed with his head on straight.

Even when these beings are held accountable and are forced into treatment, they only say and act and do that which is only enough to get them off the hook and then they go right back to being the way they were before.

CREEPS like this need to be taken out of general society. If they are claiming to be ‘sick’, then, they should be forced into some kind of treatment. Not just for a 12 week anger management class either….sending a psychopath to a 12 week anger management class is like sending a 12 year old to California Adventure with a hundred bucks in his pocket. Or like going to a coffee and donut social. Please!!!!

I consider emotional havoc just as equally as damaging as physical violence and abuse. It’s an assault just as any other. It damages the victim and permanent damage can take place. Spaths/Ppaths consider themselves above the law and scoff at the laws attempts to control them because the laws are inadequate to protect us from this type of assault.

Yes, Donna: thank you for this little inspiration.
You have helped put a certain kind of ‘spin’ to my day, having this small victory to cling to…



The letters were so manipulative – and he quotes the Bible as well.

What’s with talking about himself in the third person? Is that indicative of anything? Is that self-adoration or some kind of disconnect? Does anybody know?

Ox Drover

I also saw the letters as manipulative, and I “liked” the Bible quote as well….I wonder if he was having problems with the boy at the time and thought the boy was going to “tell”

The letters to me really were almost “word salad”—really saying NOTHING that made any sense. CREEPY? Yes, because they danced around with emotional words but never actually “said” anything.

Manipulative? An attempt I think.


Donna: I completely agree with you.
The JURY not allowing it is even better still.
Thanks for telling me! I haven’t followed most of the story.

Oh yes, defense attorneys across the country are probably very busy with the phones these days, I would imagine,
From spaths/ppaths across the country, calling, trying to buy into the defense tag.

May the good graces be with us all.



In the creepy letters, it’s all about “Jer” (the way Jerry Sandusky signed his letters and referred to himself). It’s apparent that Jer sucked the life out of this boy (that’s what psychopaths do) – Jer could pick up on this fact, but he failed to recognize that he was the CAUSE of this boy’s brokenness (and that he needed to leave the kid alone, pronto). I feel badly for the boy – he didn’t need this guy writing these crazy letters to him, probably stalking him. In one of the last letters, Jer describes himself – “You are able to bounce from person to person, object to object. You seek happiness through control, domination and what satisfies the moment.” What Jer attributes as being qualities that the boy has, they are in fact, part of Jer’s own make-up, personality defects that Jer displays. Jer is a twisted human being. May God help his victims recover, feeling so badly for them – their innocence being stolen from them.

In any letters that our spath wrote (when he was in jail and then out of jail) to us (either to myself or my kids), he put on the pity ploy, telling us what He wanted to happen (directing us – letting us know what we could do for him), ALL of the letters being about him too, never once recognizing or acknowledging the crap (the emotional devastation) that he put us through. Psychopaths are extreemly selfish, self-centered, never seeing things from the other person’s perspective. The world revolves around them, their EGO needing to be fed.


Bluejay! Good to “see” you, too!!!!! What is this? LoveFraud Old Home Night?!?! WONDERFUL!!!!!



Hello, I hope that things are working out for you. I just read my post – I come across as so hard (I apologize). I have my moments where I am ticked – having compassion for other victims (especially children). When I read Jer’s letters, it struck me how they all revolved around Jer, never really relating to the poor boy. I could “see” the similarities between letters that my family received (in the past) from the spath and Jer’s letters, pretty much all of them being about the spath.




Bluejay, Sandspathsky is a master manipulator, and he had PLENTY of enabling to help him damage these kids.

OxD, the third-person is a HUGE tell in all of the letters. He’s separating himself (what he TRULY is) from this “loving, loyal” and bullshit illusion that he’s trying to portray. He cannot say, “I,” or, “me,” because that would connect him, on all levels, to his manipulations. He had to put DISTANCE between the illusion and the monster.

Just my 2 cents, there



They are all master manipulators – our’s too. In Jer’s letters, he say’s “we…,” like he’s speaking for the dark (spiritual) influences within himself. That’s my thinking. In one of his letters, Jer talked about dark clouds. I’ve relayed this experience before, but years ago when we were on a family vacation to Tennessee (before I knew that my ex was a spath), I saw what looked like a dark, black cloud in front of the spath’s abdomen (I was outside, standing on the lawn, looking up at the spath, who was standing alone on a house’s deck). To me, it’s interesting that Jer talks about a dark cloud. It makes me think that there is a spiritual connection (undetected by himself).


quoted from the creepy letter article:

“I Am A Great Pretender

Yes, I am a “Great Pretender.” I pretend that I can sing. I pretend about many things. However, I can’t pretend about my feelings and want you to always remember that I care.

Not always a pretender ”“ “Jer””


Everything else, except the last to victim4, was total uninspired lovebombing, and then blame projection… GAG!

I too wonder if the third person is a tell. Is he disassociating?

The creepiest part, for me, was his use of the word, “care”.

I hope that I will be able to say that I

…always remember that I care.

He was so happy because he wasn’t caught up in being anything other than a caring
person (I wish that I had more of that in me).
He never gave up because he cared.

Try not to ever forget all of those who

… crying, caring and so much more fun.

Very few people know about this story and probably less

There were ups and downs. There were arguments, fights, they cared!

There was always a sensitive, caring feeling deep inside.

“Tell me another story, Jer, “ has been replaced by “I don’t care.”

Jer will not forget and always care!

I write because of the churning in my own stomach when you don’t care.

If you cannot care, you will not be able to live up to the expectations.

With some hope and a lot of caring.

Oxy, I agree with you that it sounds like word salad. It’s like the syntax is off. He knows the words but not the music. He knows the word care is important, but he doesn’t feel it. Though I do believe that he is obsessed with people caring about him. Like my spath and yours, he has realized that he can only manipulate people if they CARE about him first.

Darwins’s mom, yeah the entire manipulation attempt is 180 degrees the opposite of the truth. He can’t possibly care, yet he demands that his victim care about him.

It really is repulsive to read.



that is very interesting! Of the seven chakras there are 3 that can hold emotions – the sacral one (in the abdomen), the solar lexus (ego) and the heart. The difference of those emotions are that sacral ones are feelings that have a direct emotional impact on us as a sensation (such as being in love, hope/fantasy because creativity resides there too; but also upsetness over someone actively hurting you; or primal fear in a dangerous situation). The feelings will give a sense of ‘need or craving, create a desire’ (desire is not the same as imposing will).
The solar plexus emotions are purely cognitive feelings and related to ego (possession related feelings, such as envy and jealousy, but also rage and frustration of not having what you feel entitled to, and fear of losing face with rationalisation as a consequence). These ’emotions’ have a very cognitive quality, rather than a ‘sensation’ quality. And while entitlment and willfullness is a sign of an ego in overdrive, it is not something we can function without. At a normal healthy size, ego is the seat of your will and hence the motor to actually try and get your needs and desires realized.
The heart emotions are more like ‘social’ type of feelings – feelings with regards to an injustice (not just to yourself), sympathy, love for another human being (that is if they’re happy, you’re happy too), caring… If anger is a sacral emotion and rage an ego emotion then wrath is the heart version of it. So the heart emotions are not solely ‘benign’ feelings. Actually, I think wrath is eventually a ‘positive’ emotion as well, because it is always related to seeing or knowing the possibility of others beside yourself getting hurt. Wrath is the feeling described in God in the bible to clean the whole mess in one sweep; it’s the tough side of ‘love’. It’s often the emotiona spark that caused plenty of the known and succesful revolutions in history.
And if ‘hope’ was the feeling at the sacral chakra, then faith is the sole remaining emotion, which resides in the crown chakra. This feeling is what makes you believe ‘Life’s Being Good,’ even if it is far from perfect

Anyhow, what can this have to do with spaths and the observation you made about the black cloud? Spaths would lack all emotional sensations except for the ego ‘cognitive’ ones. They go straight from an opportunity in real life (sex, money, drugs, etc) to ‘I will have that!’ There’s no creative process of hope, no slow inner world desire building. There sacral chakra would basically be a black hole (which is not actually a hole at all, but a microstar that just eats everything up without it ever escaping again, not even light). They wouln’t have heart emotions either, because they cannot empathize and bond with other human beings.
In any case, so ‘seeing’ a black cloud or black hole at the stomach area would to me mean having a vision of their emty sacral chakra.



For all the supposed ’emotional’ display I found it extremely tedious to read those letters. I simply couldn’t concentrate much or long on the lovebombing blablabla. That’s why I guess I used the word ‘uninspiring’. You can sense that this man is trying to talk the talk but doesn’t know the walk.

Interesting observation on the use of the word ‘care’!

I also found the allegorical material he used totally superficial, cardboard and cheap – movie characters?!!! Not that I find Forest Gump a bad movie character, or all that superficial. But well, movie characters are a) easy b) not actually a genuine example of a human being anyway as it was a character acted by an actor. Sometimes I think movies and their characters are the sole ‘humans’ spaths can somehow try to ‘understand’. Hello, it’s FICTION!

Darwin’s mom,
yeah movies are fiction and the characters are actors, but then, SO ARE SPATHS! 🙂

So how do you expect them to know the difference? THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.

Well, actually there is one. In a movie, the actors know that they are acting and that there is more depth in life, than the character they are temporarily playing. With a spath’s fictional life, they really don’t see that there is a difference. They can’t feel the depth of an emotion and they can’t imagine what it would be like if they did. They are amused by our reaction to their dramatic displays.

Spaths are story driven characters. Once they tell a story and someone seems to react like they believe it, it becomes “real” to them. That’s as real as anything gets to a spath. That’s also their vulnerability. You can tell them any story and they believe it.

Both actors and spaths, do what they do to manipulate our emotions. Actors do it to entertain us, while spaths do it to entertain themselves.


Under what circumstance should an adult man ever be telling a boy how much he likes his “special touch”? I think I can feel my dinner coming back up.


Sky, you said, “yeah movies are fiction and the characters are actors, but then, SO ARE SPATHS! 🙂

So how do you expect them to know the difference? THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. ”

That was exactly what I was thinking. 🙂



I have to read your response (about the black cloud) over and over again to think about it, digest it, learning information that I’m not familiar with (about the chakras). LOL! Letters from a spath are flat, trying to convey emotion, but truly lacking actual substance (they’re empty). Our spath’s letters are that way. The letters are word salad (as Oxy pointed out), just a bunch of words that say nothing (just wasting your time reading them).


Word salad…..LMAO!!!!!!!!!

In formal training, actors are required to dig down very deep to find their own Life’s Experiences to draw upon in association with their characters – it’s a grueling process. One friend of mine who is a SAG member refuses to instruct anyone below the age of 21 and has had a recent (4 year, I think) traumatic event. His assertion is that the approach that he was taught requires “adult” intrusion into very painful experiences.

And, spaths are, indeed, actors without substance. They are the Iceburg Lettuce of humanity. A lot of fiber, but no flavor or nutrition.



Crazy-making word salad, Truthspeak.
And the sad part is that they actually believe their BS, themselves.

That’s the scarey part.
Especially with a violent psychopath.

Spaths are INDEED actors on a stage.
Everyone and everything about them is prey.
Especially if you don’t want to play their game no more.

It has been quiet for a couple of days now.
No stalking or intrusion. Hmm: (knock on wood).

Maybe the boogey-man has gone away from the door.
Although, I am certainly NOT holding my breath.
Nor am I going to even look through the peep hole.

PFFFFFTTT! Is right…


raggedy ann

I think the defense attorneys’ argument has been misinterpreted. It looks like the argument was introduced as an explanation of why someone who is NOT a predatory paedophile would write such letters — rather than as an excuse for being a predatory paedophile.

I think anybody trying to convince anybody of anything else is in a sense attempting to manipulate. The letters to me indicate complete desperation — he would get obsessed with or extremely attached to a boy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he really believed he loved them. The word salad imo comes from a cognitive dissonance: he couldn’t be honest with himself about what he was and he had to resort to euphemistic and, in that sense, manipulative language.


The trait that convinced me that my husband was a charismatic psychopath was his predatory behavior. These people PLAN their deeds. The manipulativeness of their behavior fits into the PLAN. They know EXACTLY what they are doing and enjoy it. Jerry Sandusky PLANNED his rapes of these young boys. He manipulated them into the situations where he could carry out his plan. These predators know exactly what they are doing. They blame the victim to ease any “discomfort” about their choices. Notice, I use the word “idscomfort”. They never feel guilt.


Sandusky choosing The Great Pretender as his mantra sent chills down my spine. About six months after my exspath and I split up (and I really started to deeply understand what exactly he was), he fell in love with the band Stabilo because of the song “Flawed Design” which sums up beautifully what it is to be a spath:

“Cuz I lie
Not because I want to
But I seem to need to
All the time
Yeah, I lie
And I don’t even know it
Maybe this is
All a part of my flawed design
And how can you say those things
Why can’t you just believe?”

To everyone else it seemed he just was a fan of the band but I knew he was thrilled they were singing about what he was really all about and he was, again, pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes about it.


Awe yes…the “personality disorder” or the “criminally not responsible” or the “insanity plea”…
I wrote in over a year ago of the horrible events that I went through over 3 years and special attention to the last few months after trying to rid of my SP. Not unlike anyone else’s cries, we shared eerily similar stories however since that time, I have put him in my past”until recently.

June 2012 ”“ my SP was arrested and initially charged with “murder after the fact”, but as of last week, that was upgraded to “2nd degree murder” of a still missing girl. He too is taking the insanity, mental incapable, not criminally responsible”ect route through our justice system.

When I first found your site over a year ago, I logged in religiously, and it helped OH SO MUCH! With (emotional) hard work, I distanced myself from the drama, convinced myself it wasn’t me blah blah blah. But here I am again, reading all these posts once again, I hurt but this time for reasons I have zero control over and ones that I predicted a year ago. How can I overcome the guilt I have growing inside of me that to my horror became real.

My words a year ago “from what he learnt from our relationship and from what he learnt from the last long term relationship”the next one”he will kill” I KNOW deep down I couldn’t’ have stopped this, I could not have alerted any authority with my (feeling), but it still haunts me. It’s in my dreams or rather nightmares. He speaks to me nearly every night and I haven’t had this happen for well over a year and truth be told, my dreams while going through all that hell, were not nightmares. They were more geared towards dreams of what I wished my life was with him”my little get-a-ways- from the realities of the actual world. NOW? They have turned into complete nightmares! I can feel, smell & taste him right here. He stares and I feel. Dreams of unbuilt houses surrounding me while fires, tornados, floods or mudslides wreck them. Ones where I’m searching for people. Ones where there are many people in one room and we are all just standing there looking at each other, like cattle right before their slaughter ”“ that fear, that wait. I dream of him being nice, gentle and I’m so scared because I know if I step out of line”

So”now again I start the process of detaching from him one more time but this time? It will be a longer process while it is splashed across our newspapers. Also ”“ because people know we had a history together they volunteer more information that I can handle.

The worst? He turned into something he never was with me. Perhaps a double life, even mention of homosexuality”HOW DO I HANDLE THAT?!?! How do I handle this when my children who once called him a step-father hear of this???Cause he was NEVER that with us”

In a once twisted world of a so called relationship it now has a warped meaning now. And here we go again”

Donna? Your reading materials you suggested got me through this. Your book, The Betrayal Bond, The Sociopath Next Door, Snakes in Suits , the Joey Buttafuoco story, were stepping stones into my healing but I feel as if I now need more (and I hate it). Please”if you can suggest any other books, perhaps geared into schizophrenia or multiple personalities, or bipolar, I would appreciate it.

Lost yet one more time”



Great observations about his use of the word “care!” Their language misuse is subtle, but it’s an indicator to watch for. When I received a supposedly loving card from my ex, I sensed even then that there was something “off” about his words. He created this analogy between his position in our relationship and a ship lost in the fog at sea, where “the hollow drone of the fog horn and the flash of the lighthouse are strangely comforting.” Odd images/sounds to describe falling in love, no? But I chose to see it as if I were a beacon for him. Silly me. Then he wrote some blubbering gibberish: “Where is this going, the question seems to be… The present is knowable and known, the future is unknowable and unknown…and your guess is as good as mine. The only thing about which I am completely sure is that every time we have parted, shortly thereafter, it has seemed to me like too soon.” Then he draws another analogy to explain what he means by the assertion that he finds me compelling. “It is rather complicated I think, like the medley of instruments that contribute to the perfectly harmonious cacophony of an orchestra. And every time I get to know you a bit better, the din seems to grow.” Again, he’s extremely educated and verbally articulate and so knows the meanings of the words he’s using and their connotations. It seems that “din” and “cacophony” again are odd diction choices to describe being in love with another.
This was all written at a time when we were supposedly at the height of falling in love. He was talking marriage and children. Of course it was only a week later that he launched himself fully into his double life with another woman…
His parting words in that card also remind me of Sandusky’s use of “care.” He writes, “So, in friendship and with much love and affection–” I remember reading that line over again because it struck me as odd that in a card proclaiming his love, the word love was sandwiched between friendship and affection.
I wish now that he’d written more to me so that I had more to analyze. I’m wondering if any of you out there have other examples you’d share of the phrasing your spaths used when writing to you. Perhaps if we notice and share the oddities that appear (and that they always eerily seem to share), we’ll be able to better weed them out next time!


Whirlwind71, oh……my…….gawd, I am SO sorry for your experiences! I’m virtually “speechless” and I need to process what you wrote.

I can only offer you my brightest protective blessings, for now.



That’s horrible! The nightmares you describe make me think that on the one hand you are triggered into him being back in your mind, and this time there’s no mask anymore for you. You can only see the menacing evilness now that he has done what you feared would happen – he killed a woman.

The same seems to be happening in your waking life with peope volunteering info now that they hadn’t before. You express the sentiment of not wanting to know more about his evilness, exactly because such knowlege is triggering and adds new betrayals and traumas on a past you’ve tried to heal from.

You can ask people not to talk about him to you, you can purposely avoid news in papers and television about it. But you probably won’t be able to shield yourself totally from it.

On the other hand I observe that you seem to want to preserve some part of the mask for yourself and your children about him. And I’m not sure that is helpful in the long run. Yes, further demasking is horrifying because it once again opens pandora’s box on the evil man you lived and loved for so long. It forces you to revisit the whole cognitive dissonance experience. I think that is what you are experiencing all over again. But maybe there are also traumas still within you that need to be taken on and healed, and weren’t until now, exactly because you preserved a part of the mask.

At this point I would suggest you visit a therapist foremostly to guide you through the cognitive dissonance re-experiene and who can hand you tools to cope with anything you hear about him.

we don’t need more examples, the ones you provided are CLASSIC! LOL.(caps for emphasis and acronym)

perfectly harmonious cacophony of an orchestra

(caps for emphasis and acronym)

Harmonious cacophony. I don’t even know where to begin.

1. Could it be that he is using an oxymoron to create cognitive dissonance in the listener? Knowing that cacophony cannot be harmonious, we are left perplexed as to what that would sound like. While you’re busy thinking about that, you won’t notice some other blatant lie.

2. Maybe it’s a tell? To spaths, chaos is wonderful and cacophony sounds harmonious. He’s telling you he’s a spath.

3. He knows the words but not the music. He has heard oxymorons which create a paradoxical truth and he figures he could make one up and you would feel profoundly affected by the “truth” in his gibberish. *sigh* All he has communicated is how profoundly tone deaf he is to words and their meaning. It slimes me just to contemplate being so lacking in being, so hollow and vacuous. You said he’s educated? it boggles the mind.

4. It’s not an oxymoron, he’s just a moron.

Maybe it’s a weaving together of all of these, as layers in his flawed thinking: He wants to confuddle and confuse you, while telling you he’s a spath and thinks you’ll be impressed by his moronic choice of words because he is deaf to the meaning of words.

I feel slimed. Just knowing someone who thinks that way is out in the world, slimes me.

kim frederick

Hilary and Sky, Absolutely.
Yeah, “harmonious cacophany”, the, “din”. Contradictory terms, all over the place. It’s like he’s trying to impress, by being poetic, but is giving himself away because the point of poetry is to create a feeling in the reader or listener. His goal is to seduce with a feeling of calm, comfort, safety and love, but the feeling he leaves you with is the typicle, WTF? of having an interchange with a spath.
I see it here, sometimes. I don’t want anyone who is currently posting to think I am talking about them, but, not too long ago, we had a poster who continually said, “it’s just awful”. Over and over again. He said, “I feel gutted.”
This was all a reaction to being NCed. I had a difficult time putting my finger on it. But, I knew he knew the words but not the music. He really had very little emotion behind what he was saying, and I just felt manipulated.

the contradictory terms create a feeling in the reader alright… a feeling of dissonance. like a musical score that leaves you unsettled.

I think that poster you referred to, went away when he realized we were all just studying him. I think it was you who uttered the words that revealed that the king was naked. Then he left.

BTW, did you know that the word, Oxymoron comes from the Greek,
Oxy = Sharp, plus Moron = Dull ?

Now we know why we call OxDrover, Oxy. She’s sharp!



I think that is a great observation. The most painful moments in the relationshit with the spath surfaced in nightmares for me, like a triggered memory where I relived the whole thing. I would wake and feel the pain and of course had my whole nightrest disturbed (and then overslept which was one of the reasons I lost my teaching position then), but though painful it helped me at least know what deep scars I needed to work on and get healed. It’s just that I had these nightmares in the first month, rather than a long period after. But the nightmares did have the function for me that you described, Donna.


I know that the nightmares are going to follow – I went through this, before, when I left the first exspath. Over, and over, I would experience the violent abuses and rapes in nightmares. I would wake up yelling and fighting. One night, it was another rape and he had me pinned down and he was telling me what he was going to do to me. In this vivid dream, I was suddenly physically strong and threw him off of me and had HIM pinned. In this dream, I told him that he would never touch me, again, spat in his face, and woke up in a sweat. It was years before I ever had another dream about him, and they haven’t been violent, since.

Once this second exspath situation is settled, the nightmares will begin, and I’m not looking forward to them. I know, academically, that these terrifying dreams are my mind’s attempt to purge my psyche of these experiences and put them into their proper perspective. I do, however, look forward to the dream that will finally put an end to the purging process.

Show of virtual hands: how many survivors experienced nightmares during their recovery?


Yes, slimed and WTF? That’s exactly my reaction. But I’m glad, on some level, that I have his written words. They’re there. He can’t change them or deny them or warp them like he did so much of what he said verbally. They’re a concrete reminder of what he is. I taught college-level English, but didn’t realize until the end of both spath “relationships” that there were clues in the diction all along.
I believe that I did have nightmares, but I don’t remember them. I slept only in short bursts, and I’d always wake up suddenly and with a feeling of overwhelming fear and anxiety. I was desperate for a sound, peaceful sleep, and I knew that the PTSD I was experiencing during the day was heightened by weeks without sleep. I went to the doctor at my local walk-in clinic for help. As embarrassed as I was, I gave him the brief story of why I was at the end of my rope and asked for a prescription so that I could sleep. I was met with manipulation and condescension–and then given what amounted to a placebo prescription. That night, while on the phone with a dear friend from high school who is also a doctor in another state, I was told that I’d exhibited drug-seeking behavior and, after all the crying and insomnia, probably looked strung out. I keep getting the bill from that doctor, for all the unnecessary tests he did that he assured me would be covered by my insurance, and am waiting for my anger toward him to subside before I confront him about his behavior. I can’t imagine how many of us survive these awful encounters only to be met with disbelief and further manipulation and condescension from those from whom we seek help.
It’s amazing, though, how we’re sometimes able to find strength through our dreams, as Truthspeak articulates. The mind is extraordinarily powerful, and I’m thankful for sites like this that not only support members emotionally but offer knowledge and paths to personal growth.


And yes, he’s educated. Still upset that he didn’t get into Harvard and had to suffer through the 12th best liberal arts education in the country.


Hilary, ugh – the victim-blame is infuriating, and it can be so demeaning and humiliating.

I believe that this is why I so strongly urge survivors of socipathic entanglements to seek counseling through their local domestic violence agencies. What we have all experienced was, on some level, abuse and/or violence. And, whether it’s a domestic partner, family member, or co-worker, it’s all abusive.

The intelligent sociopath is frightful – they use their education to their best manipulative advantages, and it’s sickening. A friend of mine who has a degree in psychology was taken in by a spath professor and got herself out of it before it went too far – thank goodness. But, at one point, she was outraged at the fact that this was an “educated man” and that it had been so difficult to see any indications that he was spath. My feeling is that any arena where there is power and control is a venue for spaths to operate. What better power is there than a make-or-break position of authority with regard to a student’s success or failure? With one stroke of a pen, a student’s years of effort can be dashed, along with their hopes and dreams of a career. What could be more powerful than that, aside from being a Judge?

Tzzzzzzzz… glad that you are out, Hilary. So very, very glad for you.


I’ve noticed your advocacy of such, Truthspeak, and it’s brilliant. Thank you. It’s so important to spread the word about where victims can go to heal and learn–and to go from victim to survivor.
Nick was a classic snake in a suit, always striving for more power, more money, more of everything. He makes six figures as a biotech consultant in the health care field–and although he can’t seem to keep a job for more than a couple of years, one company after another keeps not only hiring him but promoting him. Right now, he’s employed by a company that publicly prides itself on innovation, values, and quality of life! Ha! I read somewhere that the health care industry is overrun with sociopaths, which probably shouldn’t be surprising.
A spath professor would be incredibly dangerous to his students, both as professor and predator. It’s natural to admire our “teachers” in life, so he’s positioned perfectly for the strike. Ugh.
Thanks for your kind words. I remind myself every day to be grateful that I’m out, grateful that I’m no longer confused, and grateful to his other woman for putting herself in the line of fire, however unintentionally, and sparing me more pain. I’m glad your friend is out, and that we’re all here doing the work to protect ourselves, too!

Ox Drover

Thanks Donna, I hope that PA enforces their sex offenders list and compliance better than Arkansas does.

When Hamilton moved to Arkansas and I found out he was a sexual predator “Level 4 in Texas” and he was NOT reporting his living address in Arkansas, and I found out taht since he had NOT BEEN “ASSESSED” in Arkansas that he didn’t have to report his address and my local sheriff could not arrest him as not reporting his address.

Then I called the assessment board and this woman told me that they were a year behind, that they did about 5,000 assessments per year and that they got 5,000 new ones each year so they STAYED 5,000 assessments behind. He had been here about 10 months by then.

So I spoke to a supervisior and raised a bit of the specter that I might go on the news with the information about him not being assessed etc. and I gave them 3 days to have him assessed before I went to the news stations…well, they did assess him, and assessed him as a level TWO!!!! When I asked about why he was a 4 high risk for viiolence in Texas and a level 2 in Arkansas where you would only have to search for him by NAME not just an address or area, they said, and I quote: “well, he didn’t do any of these crimes in ARKANSAS” Rape a 9 year old, an 11 year old and a 14 year old and because it was done in Texas he got a level 2 in Arkansas. WTF????

Sandusky, like donna said, due to his age and the FAME of the situation will probably be in prison until he is on his death bed with cancer or heart problems etc. and I don’t think any judge in America would DARE give him a slap on the wrist sentence.

I hope the victims of Sandusky will sue and bankrupt his estate…and I know his wife wasn’t convicted of these crimes and that will effect her, but I hope the victims get something out of it.


Thank you for this thread! My experience interviewing family members of these “paths” leads me to believe there is “knowledge” and “understanding” of the actions being carried out with intent and feeling “justified” to do the actions.

I have one study of a woman in her sixties that carried out actions since childhood that would have landed most “in jail”; her family covered her “in shame”. I asked each family member “Why?”: “she wants what everybody else has”!

This family’s “dirty little secret” has bilked many a person, stolen reputations, and caused harm to person/property and continues to operate while writing a small town paper column to “self promote” her “angelic” persona while trolling for new “victims”; she targets vulnerable.

Yes, she has a mental illness and has been in patient diagnosed with co morbid bipolar. Yes, she is aware she is “stealing, robbing and committing crimes (perjury/false police reports, theft, assault, conspiracy, and probably more)” and told she derives pleasure from her “success”! I was recently “warned or threatened” that I remain in her “sites”.



I haven’t read through all of the comments, as I’m uninterested in reading other’s opinions on personality disorders. But I’m very disappointed in your statement:

“For the most part, people with personality disorders are quite capable of making choices about their behavior. They know the difference between right and wrong, although they may have no emotional investment in doing what is right. They can follow society’s rules and laws when it suits their purpose.”

Who are you referring to? ALL people diagnosed with personality disorders or particular personality disorders? From what I read, you’re not a licensed mental health professional, just a journalist. I don’t know where you get off making such an ignorant statement. “ALTHOUGH THEY MAY HAVE NO EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT IN DOING WHAT IS RIGHT.”

You should NOT make the assumption that people with personality disorders are like that. Especially since you don’t even specify. Obviously you are not familiar with the different types. I AM very well educated on them, especially on Borderline Personality Disorder. Your statement doesn’t even make sense.

Before you make outrageous statements like that, better get your facts straight.


I found the statement Donna made to be totally true….Many of us will never see what we are calling people with personality disorders….psychopaths….sociopaths diagnosed as such…..but we do see the reality of the symptoms that are manifested….and being able to understand it in some way here on Love Fraud is extremely helpful to our healing from the insidious nightmare we have been in….

Thank you Donna and everyone….there are so few “professionals” who even have a clue of what we are dealing with….and I for one spent a lot of money….getting no help at all….

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