By | November 15, 2012 60 Comments

Poor Bonnie or Bonnie and Clyde? A look at the accomplice

Where we find psychopaths, we may find accomplices.  There are no shortages of individuals who are ready and waiting to champion psychopaths’ causes or support their agendas.  This happens in a variety of circumstances and for a variety of reasons.  However, if our brushes with psychopathy came by way of romantic involvement, we may have lived through the experience  of having been “replaced.”  This is common because relationships with psychopaths do not endure.  This doesn’t reflect on us, as we probably once thought.  Rather, it is merely a phenomenon that comes with the territory.

Initially, we may have been upset or experience sadness and confusion.  However, in time, those feelings tend to subside, especially, as we gain information regarding what we were dealing with and just how psychopaths operate.

We may come to feel bad or concerned for our “replacements” because oftentimes,  they are much like us.  In spite of the fact that we may feel they played a role in some of the breakdown, over time, we come to understand that they were probably placed under the same “spells” we were.  Their beginnings probably looked similar to ours, rich with lies and pity plays.  We can often predict what their futures hold and may  come to see these individuals as the psychopaths’ pawns or new victims, rather than home-wreckers, as we once thought.

However, there are also times when this is simply not the case.  The next person may not have been chosen for the same reasons we were.  The new person may not be the victim we suspected, but rather, the accomplice.  We may have been busy thinking, “Poor Bonnie,” when we should have been thinking “Bonnie and Clyde.”

What lies ahead for us when Clyde meets Bonnie?

If this happens, we should cut our losses, run quickly, and never look back.  However, there are some circumstances which prohibit clean breaks.  These situations are slightly more challenging, but we can and must learn how to effectively handle them.  When psychopaths enlist other individuals to do their dirty work, and this happens consistently, we must brace for a bit of a wild ride.  Why?  Ask what normal, decent person would want to be an accomplice.   A reasonable and healthy person would probably pass on this type of involvement.  As a result, dealing with both Bonnie and Clyde can be somewhat exhausting.  Wrangling this dysfunctional duo can take practice and patience.

Try to maintain perspective on both of them.  This helps immensely as we muddle through completely false accusations, rampant projection, name calling, set up’s, lies, possible police involvement, and potentially even  frivolous law suits.  Frankly, these examples may only be the tip of the iceberg and we may have to consider our physical safety, as well.

When they launch attacks against us and/or our friends and family members, it will feel wrong and perverse because it is, but we must not lower ourselves in their battles.  There may be times when we react in various, less than perfect ways, as we work to grasp what is occurring, but rest assured, time and experience are the best teachers.

How do they choose their accomplices?

Psychopaths look for what they can use in people.  Their accomplices fill a need.  At the same time, the psychopaths may be filling one or more of their needs too.  We must also consider the possibility that they may have personality disorders themselves.  Regardless, they tend to feel that they are special or have been chosen for legitimate reasons.  In reality, they simply possess usable traits or qualities, just like anyone else psychopaths target.

What does set typical accomplices apart, however, is their propensity for seeing their roles as fun, exciting, or even entertaining, where others would refuse to engage in such behaviors.  They may feel that they are helping the psychopaths attain twisted forms of justice.  Their roles become obvious, especially in cases where the psychopaths or individuals with psychopathic traits, are legitimately incapable of some of the “work” the accomplices do.  If and when we dare question what seems as plain as day, we should be prepared to watch the accusations fly.  We must be ready for anything and let nothing surprise us.

What do we do when an accomplice is involved?

We must re-train out brains to think differently than they would in normal situations where we were not repeatedly being manipulated, framed, or harassed.  We must accept that the interactions will not be pleasant and realize that “nice” is out of the question.  It’s not part of their plan, even if it is what we desire.  We must also learn to stop seeking approval from people who do not matter and they do not matter.

They do not like us and that will not change.  They are not looking to improve any part of these particular situations at hand, as they may claim, either.  Any of our attempts to encourage reasonable communication will fail.  The only genuine portion of their agendas is their pursuit of our demise.  Therefore, we must examine exactly who we are dealing with and realize the lack of value attached to what they “think.”  It’s jumbled and bizarre.  Let it go.

Additionally, we must acknowledge that their exchanges are  intended to make us look wrong or unstable.  Accepting this fact allows us to function without the burden of wondering what’s going on or searching for answers as to why they are doing what they are doing.  It’s the disorder speaking.  Look no further.

They will likely inform us that we are “sick,” “disturbed,” or “in need of mental help.”  We must take it with a grain of salt.  They want us to become upset by their behaviors.  If we do, they can blame us for our “instability” or “erratic behavior.”   Don’t reinforce their false accusations and assertions.  Refuse to engage in any form of “back and forth.”  It accomplishes nothing productive.

Next, stop, breathe, and steer clear of lengthy defenses.  That’s where they want us.  We must not allow that.  Exercise extreme self control.  Over time, as we learn and they no longer matter, this becomes easier.  While still feeling emotional or hurt, this may take great effort, but that’s ok.  It’s worth it.

Understand that in these situations, we are often faced with two dysfunctional people whose common bond is  their hatred for us.  Their relationship may have been formed on that hatred or continue to be fueled by it.  It’s unfortunate when “settling the score” is the glue, but it happens and it’s a recipe for disaster unless we come understand and act accordingly.

Recognize our strength and give ourselves credit

Though things may seem ridiculous and endless while in the heat of the moment with these folks, we should remind ourselves not to internalize their words or actions.  Think about how they look to everyone who is not them or those immediately involved with them.  Guaranteed, it’s not “normal.”  We must take comfort in who we are.  We must believe that even if this enters our world, it need not define us.  We should take a moment to recognize our strengths and another to give ourselves credit.  We may even get to the point, when we can shake our heads in dismay at their actions and truly pity them (if we care to even spend our time or thoughts on the matter.)  It really is sad that anyone would choose to conduct their lives in such fashions.

We should treat ourselves well and keep ourselves healthy, emotionally and otherwise.  It is easy for us to get wrapped up in someone else’s “crazy.”  However, we should try to get in touch with and then stay in touch with ourselves.  We should do the things that make us feel “normal,” like the people we were prior to these experiences. When we do, we are better able to visualize ourselves being more than fine, if we are not already.



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Great article. This is so right on.


Wow, just had that realization last night while attending a fraternal order function that I recently joined and LOVE being surrounded by such a high-quality group of people, who’s purpose is to serve others via charitable work & to also create a “family” social organization. Really gave my brain a rest, having conversations with normal people and replacing the thoughts of the ex-spath in my head with lively conversation, good food and volunteering for a few up-coming projects for the holidays. I mean I LOVED it! This is who I used to be and NONE of these people knows the terrible ex!

I have been targeted by his new “victim” and I was starting to see that maybe she was also some sort of narcissist, although I pitied her in the beginning. Luckily, since he acts like an eight year old and she acts like she’s twelve, they are ridiculously easy to step around, over or just ignore altogether. It’s a little tiring, trying to keep up my guard, but the answer presented itself to me last night. Surround MYSELF with new and better people who are fast becoming friends. Normal, healthy people who are working hard to better our community and not trying to destroy it on a daily basis.

Since this particular organization has a bar and a restaurant as part of the scene, of course there will be some aberrant, dare I say it, spaths in the mix here, too. Sigh, just like in the rest of the world. One of them attached themselves to me last night, but it was incredibly simple to immediately spot what he was. I felt like I was outside of myself watching more as an observer instead of a participant. I was amused, to say the least, but surprisingly, not threatened at all. And I made it abundantly clear, in a nice way, that I just wasn’t interested. He kept throwing out hooks to find out about my financial situation, love-bombing me, telling me how pretty I was. Blah. Blah. Blah. But because of everything I learned on Love Fraud, I only interacted with him in a “Grey Rock” kind of way. Thanks OxDrover & Donna for that!

I guess what I am trying to say is, no matter where I go in the future, there will be sociopaths. I may or may not attract them by being who I am. So I can stay home and isolate myself with those thoughts of pain and grief that run in a loop in my mind, or I can go out with the TOOLS that Love Fraud has given me, and face the world again. I can TRUST myself again. After last night, I now know I can protect myself from unhealthy relationshits, and even if I do make a mistake and fall for one again (hope not!), I can recover quickly, because really it isn’t about me, but them, as Donna said in the above article. I may attract them again, but knowing that ahead of time, hopefully I won’t become involved. In the future, I really, really, REALLY, don’t want to settle for anything less than what I want anymore. There are so many good men out there, and I’m gonna find me one! Grin!

New Life,
this article is by Linda, I think.
And it’s an awesome article.
It’s such an important topic to understand: they NEVER work alone. They love to ensnare others into doing their evil. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? To turn us into them. Some people are already like them and don’t need much prodding though.

Your comment, New Life, is like the cherry on top of this article, you are so right: the anti-dote is to surround ourselves with good people. thanks for the reminder.


As an aside to my previous post above, before I joined this fraternal organization, I was walking around like a zombie, feeling like the worst person in the world. I had been duped, deceived and totally robbed of my personhood. But I remembered something that I had read. Act “AS IF.” As if things were ok, as if I wasn’t in the terrible mental situation I was in. By FORCING myself, and I do mean forcing, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I am not a hundred percent yet, but I can see now that I will be. Also the other tool that I use on a daily basis, particularly while reading the Love Fraud blog, is EFT. Please, for the men and women here who are hurting so badly, look it up on YouTube or any place on the internet. You can learn it for free and it speeds your recovery by light years. There are a lot of layers of pain, caused by what we went through. EFT peels them away one by one, and once that particular aspect of the situation is gone, it doesn’t come back. But you have to use EFT again on the next layer, until it’s gone also, then the next, etc. It really has worked for me!!

I have been reading some of the other posts and my heart goes out to those who after 4 years are still hurting so much. My last contact was only a little over 5 months ago, and I am probably more than halfway recovered due to Love Fraud and EFT. I hope some of you check it out. It would cost you nothing to learn it and use it. Good Luck!


Sorry about crediting the wrong author. Thanks Linda for the article and thanks to Donna for providing the forum to post the article. You have saved lives with this blog.

Just like the story of the boy throwing starfish back into the ocean, when the beach was covered with hundreds of them. A man came along and asked what he was doing. When the boy told him, the man looked around and said, “You can’t possibly throw all of them back, it doesn’t matter!” And the boy replied as he threw another one back in, “Well, it matters to that one!”

Thanks for throwing me back, Donna!

Ox Drover

Linda, I call these relationships “gasoline and fire” if they are romantic ones because they usually eventually BLOW UP in spectacular manner.

Just because someone is involved in a relationship with someone who is either a psychopath or high in the traits does not mean that they are not ALSO HIGH IN P TRAITS.

The accomplice that my son recruited to sneak into our family as a “friend” by renting a small house from me then voluntering to work off some of his rent money here on the farm was a diagnosed psychopath ex convict pedophile. Of course in the end, when their plan fell apart because the guy started screwing my DIL, and they got caught and ultimately went to jail for trying to kill my son C, her husband….Patrick wasn’t too pleased that his buddy had ruined his plan. They use and discard each other just like the use and discard an “innocent” victim.

Not all people who claim to be “victims” are actually victims in my mind, but sometimes they are psychopaths who lost in the battle with another psychopath that always results in two Ps hooking up, the “gasoline and fire explosion.”

Psychopaths always paint themselves as being “victimized” by their previous “crazy” or “mean” _____________(fill in the blank for the type of relationship)

Some of these “pseudovictims” as I call them are very adept at presenting themselves as “victims” and play the PITY CARD extremely well. I have been totally taken in and FOOLED by a couple of these pseudovictims over the years and went out of my way to “help” them….that is the SUCKER in me, sucker for a sob story…and they know how to push those buttons to evoke my pity.

I’m getting better at recognizing these people…they are usually blame placers, mooches, become easily offended, make little or no effort to help themselves, play the “victim” role, the Pity card, feel very entitled, and expect others to do for them what they should do for themselves. I’ve had several people in my life that fit that description and I have ripped their names out of my Rolodex.


What sprang to my mind when I read this was, “One lies and the other swears to it.”

Last week, my son’s P father was called before a judge for an Enforcement of Litigant’s Rights hearing. This was about the P’s chronic efforts to ensure that my son cannot use his health insurance.

I attended “telephonically,” which means the judge called me and put me on speaker phone when they were ready to procede.

The judge said that the P had presented a letter from his insurance broker that the P has provided health insurance continuously for my son for the past 20 years. I started to say that wasn’t true and attempted to relate what he had done this year and last alone. The judge interrupted me and said she wasn’t interested in what he has done in the past. That left me nervous, wondering how do I counter a statement that he was permitted to make, but I wasn’t permitted to rebutt.

For starters, my son is 19 years old. Because I was so shocked by his statement, I didn’t think to bring that point up, but I will later on when the lawyers handle the case.

The P went on to say that I had hung up on the broker. He got sarcastic and said that if I didn’t feel that he could submit the information correctly, then his broker would help me and I could submit it to the insurance company. (Had I had time to see his letter and argument beforehand, I would have had the presence of mind to say that if he had been providing insurance all along, why would there have been a need for his broker to have contacted me about anything? Also, the broker has not been involved over the course of my son’s whole lifetime. He cannot attest to things that he does not know firsthand.)

I just happen to work for a company providing IT services for a sister insurance company of the P’s.

I knew enough to tell the judge that I couldn’t possibly do that, any more than I could add my son to her insurance policy. The judge said she didn’t know anything about health insurance policies.

I also happen to work doen the hall from our corporate lawyer, who is quite friendly with me and we discuss this case (the P father) from time to time.

He had given me enough knowledge that I was able to explain to the judge that a health insurance policy is a financial contract between the subscriber (the P) and the health insurance company. I had no legal right to make any changes to it.

That must have gotten through because she changed her position. She suddenly questioned the P why the letter from the broker was undated. I was quick enough to add that I had multiple, undated letters from this broker at home that were statements that the P said this and the P said that.

It’s true that I hung up on his lawyer because I am not required to speak with him. In restrospect, I also don’t have to provide confidential information on demand to anyone who calls the house. Anyway, I knew that I did not have to speak to a broker, who does not legally represent the P. What I was able to state was that I told the broker to tell the P to have his attorney speak with mine. THAT a judge would understand.

Not so unfortunately, the weather was so bad that they stopped the hearing halfway through because the courthouse was being closed under emergency in 15 minutes.

The judge ordered that the matter be handled by interstate lawyers, which is the biggest blessing that I could have received.

The P very nonchalantly that was it for him. The judge snapped at him that he wasn’t going anywhere, she wasn’t done with him yet.

She ordered that he must provide proof every six months that there is health insurance coverage for my son and it is active until we get the rest of the matters straightened out. She also left it open that we could discuss finances again.

I had just gone through most of the documents related to this P. Again and again, there is a history that clearly demonstrates that he uses others to do his dirty work for him. He has left a clear trail of incomplete forms, unsigned documents, undated documents, and documents that do not answer the questions asked.

Why do these people help him? Because he is consummate liar, good looking, and charming to the nth degree. He also is not above giving a dazzled female a quick lay in the hay to make her feel special. People will do almost anything for him.

As for my P sister and my S mother, I have long said that they double-teamed me and my son. There is plenty of proof of that. I also know, because they told me and it is consistent with their behavior, that they have met and developed their strategies together.

If you can envision two nasty, jealous women wanting to bring down somebody that they feel doesn’t know her place in life (beneath them,) then you can envision them. My P sister even got in touch with my son’s P father and had him participate in her attempt to get custody of my son.

Chances are you have encountered these types-the ones who get together over coffee, via emails or chats, or a couple of bottles of wine and know what is wrong with the world or a particular person. Yeah, they’re going to get ’em.

In my case, it was relatives doing it to relatives. I’m sure it happens in all sorts of situations, like at work, committees, schools, a place of worship, or an organization.

There are certain phrases that my mother has used throughout my life that I remember more than others because of how she said them and their frequency. Her big thing is that she is going to teach somebody a lesson. She loves scheming how “to get” somebody. She thinks it proves how superior she is to others.

Even though I think my P sister is further up the psychopathic scale than my mother, I’m sure that much of my P sister’s behavior was learned from my mother.

And as for my son’s P father, I used to marvel how much there was something about him that would make him fit right into my family of origin. Little did I know how accurately I was picking up on that one.

Linda, thanks so much for bringing up this point. I haven’t seen it presented before. I hope that it will be developed, discussed, and examined in many locations. You trailblazer you!

Ox Drover

Yea, Linda, the “pseudo victim” presents as the most pitiful of abused victims in such need of help and support….and before long you are attached on like a leech to a victim….they suck your very blood and you wonder “WTF happened?”

LEGITIMATE VICTIMS even though we may have “volunteered” to be the victims by staying even when they abused us, and going back for more of the same…get a bad “rap” for allowing ourselves to be abused. I admit it. I ALLOWED my son to abuse me for a long time…I fell for his “Mommmmm, I found Jezussssss…” (whine) for a long time past when I SHOULD have told him to stick it….about the time he killed Jessica Witt in January of 1992. But I didn’t. I stayed and was emotionally attached to him for another 18 years. So I ‘aint throwin’ rocks” at any else’s glass house, I was a “volunteer victim” for a long time, but I didn’t abuse anyone else in so doing. BIG difference.

The “pseudo victim” is highly disordered too I think, maybe even a full blown psychopath who got iinto trouble either by hooking up with another psychopath, OR by being tossed to the curb by a victim that got away.

Everyone here reading this whose X P has posed as a VICTIM, raise your hand! Well, that is just about everyone isn’t it? So I think it behooves us to learn to identify those people who are pseudo-victims from the real mcCoy. In fact, how many of us fell for our X because s/he knew how to play the PITY ME CARD and we wanted to save them?


Linda, thank you VERY much for this article – it speaks directly to what I’m experiencing, this week.

OxD, yeah…..I “volunteered” to take on the exspath because, at that time, I needed to believe the tripe that he was feeding me. The lovebombing that I was important, valuable……VALID.

For whatever reasons, accomplices are in it up to their necks and, even if the duck is blue and looks like an egret, they’ll still claim that it’s a duck. They do it because they can’t do otherwise, IMHO. Their lives are so empty and shallow that they have to engage in whatever drama/trauma that makes them feel/believe that their lives are so much more than they really are. Reality shows – prime example.

I do NOT want someone to “save” me, ever again. The exspath swore, asserted, and spoke words that made be believe that he would help ME to help myself – that he was “the only one” that cared about me, etc. Aw, bullshit.

Let someone start a sentence with, “You’re the ONLY person ___________” and I’m out. I’m out without a backward glance.

Brightest blessings


My son’s P father presents himself as a victim quite often. That’s just a manipulative ploy on his part, such as, “I am too sick and disabled to understand this. Can’t you accept this paper the way it is? I’ve put so much into dealing with this already.”

When we were involved, back when I still fell for these kinds of lines, he wouldn’t refer to certain people by name. They would be “him” or “her” with the big sighs and a sad, puppy dog face. Poor baby! So troubled by these despictable people that he cannot even bring himself to state their names! How could they treat such a wonderful guy like that?

Stupid me would infer whatever I wanted from that – oh yes! I knew how he was suffering. I knew the type, blah, blah, blah – not realizing that I was being manipulated. I was doing EXACTLY what he wanted.

I wanted to rescue him. I wanted to be important to him. All this, because it was how I was seeking value at the time (not grasping that one’s sense of self-worth must be an internal thing and not based on external approval.)

I’m not sure if this kind of manipulation that my son’s P father uses so often would qualify as a “pseudo victim” because if I am reading these posts correctly, the pseudo victim doesn’t understand that he/she is playing the victim and is unconsciously refusing to get help for him or herself. Am I correct that they keep putting themselves into situations where they are being used and abused, but can’t see it?

Martyrs would be “victims” as well – the ones who always feel obligated (big sigh) to step up to the plate to clean up the mess because (big sigh, again,) who else is going to do that?

Would all of these be willing partners with a P? I would think there are other things going on as well. It’s not unreasonable or foolish to have hope that somebody will get help for themselves. As we all know, Ps are gifted at exploiting seemlingly normal human behavior and twisting it into their advantage in ways that regular people would not do.

Going back to my son’s P father, he loves presenting himself as a victim, but if you know the man, it’s obvious that he’s just playing to the room. It’s all an act, but because he is so smooth and subtle, unless you have had repeated experiences with him or made a study of his behavior, what he does easily slips by most people.

The guy has no internal feelings of note. How could he feel sorry for himself? He’s a narcissist. He can flip in a second into somebody who has only contempt for an individual. I’ve seen him do that many times, and I used to admire him for being in control of the situation. I simply had no clue as to what he was really doing.

I do know that whatever he does, it is always for his agenda. I think it’s a double-thrill for him that he can get people to do things for him as easily as he does. It’s a perk.

Sometimes, people DO lash out at them, but only because they drive people to that point by attacking first. But that is what the spaths WANT us to do. That way, they can play their favorite role: the victim.

It’s the 180 rule. They want to trade places with us, so they victimize us and then call themselves the victim. Classic scapegoating. Girardian theory explains it all so clearly. It’s what spaths have been doing since the beginning of civilization.

Girard says that all myths are based on a murder and a lie, the murder of the scapegoat and the lie told to cover it up (the lie that the scapegoat deserved it).

I think that all myths point to spaths.



My last therapist, who was there when my P sister and S mother attacked, said that the reason people believe them is because they believe it themselves.

That’s probably true in some cases, but when my sister was driving my son back to her state, she refused to stop to feed him until they crossed the state line because, she explained, she was afraid of a state trooper pulling up behind them. This was after the judge had granted her ex parte order.

My mother was on the phone once and interrupted herself to ask me about something that happened. I told her and she immediately relayed my response embellished in such a way that I came across as an idiot. I was very upet. I asked her why she did that. Her answer was that she thought her version made the story more interesting. I said, “Yeah, but I sound like a moron.” She shrugged her shoulders and asked, “So what?” My “I don’t like that” fell on deaf ears.

I don’t think we necessarily “volunteer.” I think we’re conditioned both by society and by what we grew up with to be susceptible to certain things, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s our fault or a failure if we enter a relationship expecting to be treated decently and fairly.

A volunteer is somebody who knows the situation and enters into it willingly.

I think it’s very hard to know the situation when a P is involved, especially when we don’t know anything about Ps or if we do, when we don’t realize that we are dealing with on. How many of us have said that if we knew then what we know now, we never would have gotten involved in the matter or with the person. That doesn’t sound like people being too willing to enter into a situation where they know the outcome is that they will get hurt or screwed in some way.

Yes, I do think you’re a trailblazer on this subject. I have never seen it elsewhere. I would very interested in hearing what you’ve seen from your law enforcement days. What do you think the judges would like to know? For instance, when the judge told me that she didn’t know about health insurance, where would anybody go to learn about such a thing? I just happen to work in the industry with a lawyer down the hall. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known how to explain it legally.

There are many nuances when determining who willing participates, unknowingly participates, and who is truly a victim. Victims tend to get lumped together. I really do hope that there is more research and examination into this side of the equation.

Thanks for writing about it. Great topic!

P.S. I never intended to pursue justice for all these years. It initially happened because I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was pregnant with my son and I wanted to make sure that he would be provided for if I didn’t survive.

Then, as the years went on and my health turned out to be all right, the economy became very rocky. We needed the support. Quitting wasn’t an option.

Now, I see no reason why my son should be denied what he is legally and morally entitled to. It isn’t anybody else’s responsibility except his father’s. Besides, nobody else is stepping forward offering to make up that loss if it should occur.

But, because the P has been persistent and I kept on top of the situation, I now have an amazingly well-documented case of what a P will do and how the system will both support and fail enforcement efforts. None of this would have happened if the P had been honest and met his obligations. Maybe some day I’ll write a book.

Ox Drover

Linda, I would like to discuss the pseudo-victims concept with you….and pass some ideas by you.

I know it is difficult to tell who is the “real McCoy” and who is the pseudo-victim. God knows I appeared CRAZY in the midst of the “summer of chaos” in fact, when I went to a new therapist (PhD EMDR) he did this very nice 2 hour intake interview and at the end of the two hours of me telling him “my entire family is out to kill me” he very NICELY AND SWEETLY asked me if I could bring in a witness or someone else to verify what I was telling him. I had been crying for the entire two hours and when he asked me for a witness I began to LAUGH….I said “you think I am a paranoid nut job don’t you?” Then the next appointment I brought in my son D and a stack of court documents backing up what I was saying.

A couple of years later I hired an attorney in Texas (by phone) to fight my son Patrick’s parole hearing and I could tell by his tone of voice he didn’t believe a word of what I said….then I mailed him a foot locker full of documents showing that my son Patrick had sent his ex cell mate to kill me…and he called back and said after he received the evidence “Your son is a badddddd man” (almost in awe) He hadn’t believed me either.

So I think we need to be careful in identifying the “pseudo-victims” from the real McCoys….because the psychopaths CAN put up a really GOOD mask. I don’t think it is Either EASY or QUICK in identifying the real from the fake.

I had one come here to stay a few summers ago….poor pitiful “Pearl” and she had all these problems, was living in her RV tiny motor home with her two dogs and no safe place to park in the big city….no way to work, no place to leave her dogs while she worked, you name it she had all these problems, so I allowed her to come here to park her Mini motor home and a safe place to leave her dogs while she worked,….well, of course she had no intention of getting a job, and she had first one excuse and then another….finally I realized she was a mooch and a con so I asked her to leave, even gave her some gas money to make sure she could have gas enough to clear the state boundary line.

Found out later from some people who previously knew her that yes, indeedy I was right, she was a con—but it took me a while to see that she had NO intention of getting work, or even DOING work that she could have done from her computer without ever having to leave the farm…lots of excuses, but no helping herself.

These things don’t show up quickly though….and without knowing her “back story” it was difficult to tell. That is why knowing people IN CONTEXT —knowing their friends, family, co-workers, etc. is helpful in sorting out the real from the fake I think.

I realize that I have met these pseudo-victims in the past, both professionally and personally. I have dealt with them accepting their tales of woe as genuine, until I realized that they were indeed fakers. Of course when you confront them they scream out in rage at the UNJUST ABUSE you are heaping on their heads by accusing them of X, Y or Z. I even caught “friend” RED HANDED STEALING FROM ME….and I cried for 3 days because I was afraid that I had HURT HER FEELINGS. Talk about inability to set boundaries…LOL but I am learning!


What a terrific discussion!

And, what IS it about the lie detectors and all of that?!

On one level, they are quite aware that the words and assertions that issue from their mouths are false. On the other hand, they speak their untruths to a point where they begin to believe their own fabrications. HOW do these people even walk around without gibbering and drooling on themselves when they’re living such contradictory lives and compartmentalizing every farking aspect?

Just curious because I don’t “get it” as to how someone can simply put this lie into a jar, that one into a jar, and that one into a jar, without eventually dropping the lids or the entire jar to shatter. It’s too much to juggle.

I’m beginning to ramble, so I need more coffee……


Wow! This discussion is timely – for me!
I am fresh out of a relationship that I am trying to understand.

Am feeling much of what is described in the article.

It didn’t take long before my ex gf told me about being sexually abused by a relative when she was little, physically and emotionally abused by her mother, raped – at least twice, ‘entrapped’ by an ex-bf, ‘used’ by another bf for over 7 years and then basically discarded, victimized by a lesbian roomate ( That she went back to again and again.), bereft over the loss of a sibling, allergic to gluten, soy, dairy, etc., suffering from a whole range of ‘mystery’ chest and abdominal pains, and, oh yeah – stalked by the bf who preceded me. In some circumstances we had to keep the lights off in case ‘he might be trying to see into the windows.’ For many of those days I felt like a body guard. After I helped her get a court order against the ex-bf, which involved me going to court with, and doing research for her, she waved a copy of the order at me and said: “See – now I know how to get one of these!” In other words….I was ‘next.’

And yet, according to her I was the one that needed counselling. She refused to stay with me unless I went to counselling – basically in order to figure out why the ‘sex’ wasn’t so good. About half way through our relationship she wanted a certificate from a psychiatrist that I was ‘O-K’. She felt that there had to be something wrong inside my head and at various times diagnosed me as schizophrenic, having Asperger’s , having ADHD, suffering from PTSD, etc. My counsellor met her once and did warn me to be on the lookout for her to ‘project’ onto me. GF refused to go to counselling with me again after that. In her break up letter a few months ago she then claimed she had asked me ‘5 times’ during our relationship to go to couple’s counselling with her. That was a total fabrication.

Whatever was wrong with me then – I am NOW feeling messed-up and suffering through PTSD.

All this while once in a while she would say – ‘Love you , too.’She would also be there when I felt sick or had minor surgery. Those moments really brought out good actions and attention and support from her. But, after those things were over – it was back to the repeating cycles of arguments and make-ups – with me hanging around like a puppy looking for a pat on the head or a snack.

And to this day I truly, sincerely feel love and empathy and sympathy for her and pray for her every day.

Oh- did I mention the ‘couples counselling ‘ she invited me to – AFTER our break? That’s a whole ‘nuther story!

And another thing – that fits with the article: I am active in my community – something of a public figure. I have many good, loyal friends and supporters. And, as to be expected there are people that hate my guts. Well, guess what? Before we broke up I heard she said that she had been communicating with someone that is not one of my friends. She was also becoming highly critical of some of my statements and was even viewing recordings online of debates I had been in.



Fixerupper, for what it’s worth, it might be well worth the effort to see if individual counseling with someone that “gets it” would be an option.

I can truly identify with “feeling” the empathy and sympathy for the spath – cripes, I did the same thing at all times! He was SO very, very sad because he never had the support of his family, etc., blah..blah..blah. It was an endless litany of sad events that caused my maternal instincts to protect and nurture to kick into overdrive. I used to feel a strong empathy and sympathy for the exspath.

Today, I feel only contempt for him. I will not entertain a nanosecond of sympathy or empathy for him, his plight, his childhood, or his sad, sad self. We’ve ALL had childhood issues, Fixerupper! Every danged last one of us can look back and point at some type of dysfuction whether it was mild or severe. The difference between spaths and “normal” human beings is that we don’t go around using our dysfunctions as an excuse to bait, lure, snag, and dismantle other people for our own purposes.

As far as “disclosure” on the personal issues, I don’t talk about ANYthing with ANYone, ANYmore. Even if someone is disclosing to me about something going on in their lives, I keep my personal disclosures to a very, VERY limited 2 or 3 people. The exspath was aware that I had survived domestic violence and abuse with the first exspath because I told him these things after he had gained my trust.

Nope – today, NONE of it is open for discussion or even disclosure. I’m just having a tough patch and it is what it is. Nobody needs to know about my past for ANY reason except a strong counseling therapist.

Brightest blessings



With respect to the judges wanting to know more and educating them (and I would assume this would apply to the lawyers as well,) what tips can you give us about what we can say, do, or submit that would help us and what should we avoid so we don’t undermine our efforts?

Are there any rules of thumb that lawyers or judges look for that would label us in their minds as the crazy ones or the liars?

Maybe, too, if we knew that, that knowledge would help us know what to present to courts to show the Ps as they really are. I’m not sure how doable that is given my son’s P makes outrageous claims and I am not permitted to present anything to show he isn’t telling the truth.

What sorts of things should we be asking our lawyers to do for us? In other words, is there anything we should be focusing on more or avoiding?

When I started on my child support journey, I was lucky to have found a grassroots group for child support advocacy close to where I was living. They taught me to keep the emotional stuff out of anything I wrote AND to make sure I repeated that this was about the child and his rights, not what a scum the father is.

That helped a lot BUT, as the most recent hearing showed, all the P has to do is deny something and the judge took him at his word. Anybody can write a letter.

I have copies of health insurance cards, subponeaed documents, a hearing transcription, and letters between government agencies and lawyers. I get smug questions from the enforcement people asking if I can prove my statements, and when I supply the documents, they dumped them in the judge’s lap without any explanation. They expected the judge to sort through them. That isn’t reasonable.

So, what should we present and how should the information be assembled? What do they want to see? What would give us creditability, especially over the Ps?

As far as knowing what to tell or not, places like LF and sharing our stories here provide us with opportunities to vent and off-load all this toxicity. We get validated that we not crazy for trying to help. I’ve gotten stronger knowing that I am not the only one who has family members attacking me for the sport of it. I’ve learned to limit what I share to an audience that will understand. The other people, I talk about much less personal things.

But it took a long time to learn those differences and find places of support like LF.

Maybe somebody telling you to hook them up to a lie detector is a tell. I did note, at the most recent hearing, that the P kept buying time by answering a question with a question. And don’t you know that what he finally answered was a lie?

Maybe we should be providing the judges with a list of tells and manipulation tactics?


G1S, you’ve raised some interesting questions and I wonder how many spaths visit this site for entertainment, as well as tutelage to hone their techniques.

Judges don’t “hear” the facts or sort through them because each case is a docket number, IMHO. I’ve been through the custody/visitation insanity and the fact that the first abusive exspath kept a literal arsenal of firearms in his home made NO impact upon any decision. The court-ordered psychiatric evaluation portrayed me as a volatile and self-absorbed nutcase and the abusive exspath as an unambitious guy who “vehemently denies” any abuse, of any sort. And, this was the professional assessment that was given and taken as factual.

What I have learned in those nasty experiences is that each judge’s docket is full of the same complaints by differeing parties – they’ve heard it ALL, and they just want the litigants to exit their courtrooms and “play nice” so they can clear the docket. In spite of documentation, reports, etc., there is NO skepticism ever in play during these hearings. I’ve never seen one judge look at one party and say, “I believe that you’re lying through your teeth and that you told the psychiatrist what you think he/she wanted to hear.”

But, going back to my curiosity about who visits this site and what their motive might be, I’d HATE for the current exspath to glean any more techniques that might enhance his illusion. He read a couple of books on spathy a few years ago and, using the information contained in those books, launched the most subtle and effective campaign of crazymaking and deceit that I’ve ever experienced. I was the definition of that frog swimming in a lukewarm pot of water that boiled alive because the heat was increase ever-so-slowly!

Brightest blessings!

EDIT ADD: G1S, for whatever it’s worth, I believe that the only way to approach the custody/support/visitation issues is with documentation and an absolute absence of emotional reaction, whenever possible. Trying to “convince” an attorney or judge that someone is just plain BAD and predatory has never resulted in a fair or “just” decision, in my experiences.



Thanks for the feedback. Sad state of affairs. Horrible to think all our information to support others is being used against us, but how is what we’re doing here any different than trying to work something out in a therapist’s office?

I guess if there were a simple solution, somebody would have put it out by now.

Big sigh.


G1S, it is, indeed, a sad state of affairs, isn’t it? But, we’re supporting one another with compassion and emapthy. When a spath takes information rendered with compassion and empathy and tries to work it to their own benefit, it NEVER pans out to their grandiose expectations because the two qualities that motivate the suggestions, support, and encouragements are alien to them. They read the words, attempt to impliment them to their own designs, and usually fail in their schemes because (IMHO) their motivation is the destruction of another.

Yepper – no easy solutions, especially in courtroom dramas. The participating actors know their parts, but it’s the actual victims that are left without any guidance or justice.

Brightest blessings

Ox Drover

Linda, Yes, the next visit with that counselor, I took my son D with me and also a big stack of documents showing that the Trojan Horse was indeed a convicted pedophile etc. so he did come to believe me. The same with the attorney in Texas, when he saw the mountain of evidence I had realized that I was not making up some far fetched story that read like a B movie script.

I think if we tend too be “fixers” (call it want you want to—co-dependent, enablers, fixers, hyper empathetic, suckers, even LOL) and we take what people say as “gospel” without looking for any other evidence, people who are “con wo/men” will pounce on us and we fall for the con.

Whether it is them love bombing us and selling us a flawed dog (like my recent article about that happening) or whether it is making us feel pity for them as “VICTIMS” of a psychopath, the cons seem to know which story is the one we will most likely fall for. Love bomb or pity ploy, or a combination of both. Then there is the ever successful “savior” play where they are going to rescue us from some problem.

In a discussion here on LF a while back the subject of “shunning” came up which I think is simply another word for NO CONTACT…and one of the bloggers said she had been “shunned” and that shunning is “torture” (and wiki does have that definition of shunning) and that if we “shunned” someone we were torturing them and that was a horrible thing for us to do because it hurt.

Well, yea, I imagine the psychopaths do feel “hurt” (from losing control) when we go NC with them but it is not about “punishing” them, it is about PROTECTING OURSELVES. “Shunning” as practiced by some religious and social groups is (at least supposed to be) about showing the person who is shunned the error of their ways so that they will stop what “sin” they are doing and come back to the ways of the group. Yes, it is a powerful group tool. It also can be misused by cult leaders to punish people and hurt people.

If a group member is “shunned” because they are a drunk (say for example) then maybe they will stop the drinking and so they will be improved because they don’t want to be cut off from everyone they love because of the excessive drinking so they will give up the drinking.

Of course psychopaths can ‘shun” us, and “smear us” to everyone that we know, destroying our reputations in the community and in the family. My own egg donor has done that to me, but by the same token I am NC with her except for the things I have to communicate with her about, and then I do that by e mail so there is a RECORD of that communication.

We advise people who are escaped or escaping from a relationship with a psychopath to go NO CONTACT which in effect is “shunning” which is “no contact” of any kind. The reason we do this is SELF PROTECTIVE though the psychopath may interpret it otherwise. NO CONTACT keeps us free of new injuries from the psychopath, it gives our minds time to calm down and THINK about what is going on inside our heads and hearts.

Psychopaths who “devalue and discard” us (and some do that and drop the victim like a hot potato when they are done with them, and others stalk their victims forever) are doing the NC thing when they discard us.

Psychopaths also use “shunning” or “cold shoulder” or “silence treatment” as punishment of victims if the victims don’t do exactly as they want.

Either way, finding CLOSURE in the relationship wit a psychopath is very difficult for us. Going NC allows us to reclaim control over the relationship and to say ENOUGH!!!! I’m doone!!!!


OxD, I’m with you – call it whatever you want, but where I am personally concerned, “No Contact” is a barrier of protection. There is no reason for me to speak with, to, or in the presence of the exspath OR his minions.

“Shunning” may be painful, but just because it causes someone else discomfort does not obligate me to tolerate stupidity and break that barrier of self-defense by responding to stupidity. I USED to be the person that could be counted upon to work the “peacekeeping” and “diplomacy,” and I resigned those positions. I am not required, by any Law or ethic, to give attention to stupidity or bad behaviors.

“No Contact” is probably the most priceless tool for recovery. Taking away that power and control from the spath and placing in our OWN hands puts a screeching halt to the “step-and-fetch-it” bullshirt that spaths spread.

Brightest blessings


OxD and all,

I, too, went into counseling after a family “lie” was confessed to me back in 1994. It explained so much of my life yet left many questions on the table but ALL had affected my past and was going to affect my future. I went straight to counseling after being intoxicated for days in a row for the first and only time in my life. It was that bad. The counselor who I went to see was one who was referred to me by an employee who I actually witnessed recovering and cleaning up her life with his support and guidance. He knew of me through her since I was her immediate boss. I felt it gave him a leg up and me.

I went in a mess and regurgitating all that I was dealing with. Probably in a mainly hysterical and intoxicated manner. LOL . I wasn’t known for that but maybe as a workaholic. After a time, he also asked if he could meet with my mother for some validation of facts although I don’t believe that’s how he presented it at that time. I didn’t have any knowledge of psychopathy or sociopathy except from the movies as most people believe as who they are.

After my mother FINALLY found her way into the office, I found it very validating when my counselor confirmed my mother had validated my reality! HUH? At the time I didn’t know that was what he was looking at but I did silently worry my mom would make this guy think I was nuts. I wondered what info he got from my mom. He never said. I imagine he did this to avoid wasting his time and mine. I really like the way this guy operates.

I believe OxD, did the exact right thing bringing documentation and a verifiable witness. I told a mother recently to bring some of her case info to her new therapist and she did. She felt great pride in educating the therapist in the family court problems. She would let me know when the therapist showed shock and read her documents. It’s probably a good way to see if your counselor is worth the money by how they handle the beginning sessions and how much fact checking they do to make sure your version of reality is how to proceed.

I was told repeatedly how strong and brave I was to be so willing to let my counselor speak with anyone he felt would help. I was there to GET HELP. I wanted him to have every tool he could to help me. I was always told crazy people don’t think they’re crazy so if I was in denial, somebody needed to know. lol……….

Every person I have referred to him has really liked him except those who LIE. They’re the only people not liking him.



I think I am understanding your question correctly. I don’t know if you’ve heard of “Bill Eddy” who runs a “high conflict” institute. One of his books is called “Splitting” and I bought that in the beginning of my custody/everything case. It states to buy one for your attorney too. (my atty thought he knew everything so I didn’t bother)

I really believe “what” your particular judge would want or what they would appreciate totally depends on the judge. If law was truly running the court, documented facts and solid evidence for a judge to base an accurate decision would be what they want. But since it’s not necessarily what they are working from, it can be taken wrong. For instance if they are a narcisistic personality it can go a different way.

If you are asking in general, it depends on your judge from my experience but if you are asking about your particular judge, I found going to the courthouse and sitting in the back of the courtroom during my judges cases which resembled mine if possible (took some research to get that detailed info), I would be able to get an idea of what my particular judge was like. I also watched other judges out of curiosity of the system. I have to say I was horrified by just the cases I saw. Before this all happened to me, I read about it happening to others and then I watched it happen in real life at the courthouse. One day I went to watch a trial and I had 2 that resembled mine sort of. I watched one, OMG! The one I didn’t watch, the mother lost custody of her kids and jumped out onto the freeway, from the backseat of the car she was riding in and killed herself that very day on the way home! Nobody talks about her and it makes me angry.

Let me know if you think I may have info that would help.

As you said, the reason we go NC is to protect ourselves from any more of their drama. The reason a community might shun someone is to remove the offender’s “supply”.

The disordered, cluster b spath craves attention and will do anything to get it. That’s why they engage in DRAMA. What they need for drama is : people’s attention. Take people’s attention away and they can’t get their drama. That’s why shunning works. It retrains them that drama, means LOSS of attention, while good behavior gets them the attention they crave again.

With a spath, this doesn’t really work so well because they never really learn. You have to shun them permanently. Otherwise, the moment you give them attention for behaving themselves, they get “duper’s delight” at the thought that they have tricked you. Then they begin to plan how they will manipulate your emotions again by making you really really happy so they can pull the rug out again and bring you crashing down.

Each time you go NC, and then take them back out of pity or whatever reason, you are allowing them to manipulate our emotions and that is just feeding them.

That’s why I’m done with second chances. It just feeds them. Remember: Please don’t feed the spaths.


Linda, I read your response and I “get it.” I have never had any intention of using the term, “sociopath,” or “disordered,” during testimony. I’ve also accepted that testimony doesn’t have anything to do with how I “feel” or “felt” about anything. As my counselor taught me, “Feelings are NOT facts.”

I’m angry, today, because I do NOT appreciate feeling pressured, and I’m taking that back, right now. I refuse to be pressured into anything, again. “Hurry up, or you’ll lose whatever you have left,” is not flying with me.

OxD……EXACTLY. And, someone told me, last night, that this bankruptcy thing is continued contact. If I respond/react to this, I’m STILL having contact with the exspath. Perhaps, that’s one of the reasons that this whole thing has me unpinned. Especially since the idiot bankruptcy attorney claims that he can waive a TRO so that the exspath and I can “meet to discuss” the particulars of this action. Uh…………………… FARK no.

Brightest blessings



I don’t envy your position at all. It’s so sickening to imagine “meeting to discuss” anything with them. It reminds me of the deposition day in the small room with all of us closed in around the conference table. Then the “therapeutic interventionist” disregard of the law that there will be no counseling or meetings with a couple when domestic violence is part of the case. Yet I was told I had better comply with the TI’s suggestion/s or risk losing custody of the child. I was on his ‘no contact’ list as a condition of his parole as a verified and validated victim but not one person in the case acknowledged this except his parole officer who’s hands were tied. I learned how irrelevent the victim notification list was. I learned how irrelevent more of my rights were along with learning the child really had no rights.

Fark NO is what I would say.


This is such a great article, and another very important subject. Thank you.

I think it’s yet another aspect in the ‘beware the enablers and minions’ theory several people have been writing about. Writers like Hare and Stout describe psychopaths as being solitary, but in my experience they are just as likely to form self-beneficial cliques as anyone else – perhaps more so. If we view someone as a fellow victim and look to them for help when they are in fact a fellow predator, we are in even worse trouble than we know.

Bonnie (of Bonnie and Clyde) is generally considered to have had “hybristophilia”:

It’s actually referred to as “Bonnie & Clyde Syndrome”. It’s divided into two categories: 1) passive hibristophilia and 2) active hybristophilia.

I think that the latter category is just another example of female psychopathy, which is again all too frequently misdiagnosed. Of course, this can also apply to men. I think how various groups of people display their psychopathy is influenced by culture. OTOH, as women have gained more overt (as opposed to covert) power in our society their violence has likewise been coming out of the closet and becoming more overt, and they have less need to do this these days. Statistics re: growing rates of violent crime by women seem to back this up.

G1S made some references to Karla Homolka on another thread, which the above article also mentions. Karla was first viewed as a battered wife and victim of her serial killer husband (there is a famous picture of her with a ‘contra-coup’ injury (racoon-eyes)) and she got a ridiculously inappropriate plea deal that disgusts Canadians and makes endless headlines (and sells newspapers) to this day 20 years later. When the media blackout about her plea deal was taken off and the details started coming out the story changed and some experts started viewing her as a hybristophiliac.

It’s worth noting that in the forensic pictures taken of Karla in the hospital room, she was wearing a Mickey Mouse watch that she had taken from their last victim (allegedly). In the hospital afterward, where her lawyer was attempting to come up a psychiatric defence for her participation in the crimes, she cheerily introduced her stuffed bear “Bunky” to Sister Josephine, the Carmelite Nun with depression who shared her hospital room. Bunky was the bear she’d given to their second-last victim (who they later dismembered) to ‘comfort’ her as they tortured her.

In both of these situations she was still being viewed as ‘the next victim’, or a fellow victim, when she was in fact (at minimum) the accomplice, and both of the kidnapped victims had appealed to her for help.

You can find much of this information, btw, in the first chapter of the book “Invisible Darkness” by Stephen Williams – available free online at his website. (Just remove the spaces from the address below)

Most of her huband’s former girlfriends had either stopped dating him &/or reported him to the police (he was a budding serial rapist when he first met Karla). But Karla, by all initial accounts his ‘next victim’ actually encouraged him. He was reported to police by many friends and acquaintences, and visited several times by the police, but the existence of his blonde pretty wife always threw them off the track. At the same time, there were several accounts by rape victims of a blonde woman videotaping the rape or distracting &/or waving at rape victims just before they were ambushed – also always discounted by police as being unbelievable. Their last murder victim was kidnapped because it was Karla who made the initial contact by stopping her (in a church parking lot no less) to ask for directions.

One of my favourite (as in, wtf) quotes about Karla is actually from a book by Peter Vronsky “Female Serial Killers”: “”Bernardo ordered Homolka to destroy the pillowcases and blanket stained with Leslie’s blood. Homolka argued that they were her favourite set of bedding. She would carefully wash them instead.”

Karla is now out of jail (she received a 12 year sentence for the rape, murder, sexual torture and dismemberment of three young girls, including her younger sister). She now has three children, has an internet based company selling infant diapers and clothing, spends a huge amount of time on parenting forums (where she’s caused quite a stir amongst the mothers there), and evidence is now coming out that she also teaches young children in a school in Guadeloupe (again, allegedly). And yet she still gets all kinds of support (less so these days, but still significant) by people who still want to view her as yet another victim.

However, people are starting to ask questions about her current husband, who is the father of her three young children. Even casual newspaper readers who support that she MIGHT have been a victim, are asking WHO ON EARTH would knowingly marry, let alone have children with, a convicted sexual serial killer? It’s not as if he wouldn’t know who he was getting involved with; he is her lawyer’s brother. So questions are being asked: is he her next victim, or yet another potential accomplice? Is he now the one with hybristophilia?


This reminds me of how the producer conspired with the pschopath to destroy me. I had to withdraw from the TV show once I realized that he was a psychopath and when the c amera team came to my house with him to film the second part of the show, I was not home, I drove away. They couldn’t film us together and they filmed him alone. Later the producer contacted me and asked me to talk with her in a private skype chat. She promised it was not for the TV. I agreed and I explained that the guy was a psychopath who had damaged me emotionally, psychologically and financially. When I denied her permission to broadcast our conversation she took revenge. She told hiim everything and thet lashed out at me, they tried to sue me for defamation, and take 150000 euros from me and put me in prison for 2 years.

when you write about Karla, it throws me for a loop. I wonder if people will ever wake up to this or if the reality is that there are so many spaths in the world, covering each others’ butts, that it doesn’t make any difference any more.

How can anyone see anything but evil in that creature?

The media black out is what enabled her in the first place. How did she manage to get that done?

Without the media and the internet exposing them, they can get away with murder.


Wow. So much here.

Annie, I have never heard of hybristophilia as a term, but I have heard it described so I recognize the condition.

Your links didn’t work for me. Wikipedia had this:

I knew that Karla was bad, but I didn’t know she was that bad. I, too, have wondered why some guy would marry her and why she would be permitted to have children.

Eralyn, no I have never heard of Bill Eddy. I checked out him out and his website for the High Conflict Institute. They’re describing Ps! Look at their quote, “High Conflict People aren’t just difficult people – they’re the MOST difficult people.” Donna should add them as a resource to LF.

Linda, I know that you’re not an attorney. It was a DCYF representative who went to family court daily who came forward to tell me that my rights and my son’s had been violated when my P sister attacked us.

Your experience in the court room is very valuable as an observer. You know more of what is going on and why than we could ever hope, and with your repeated exposure to the court dealings alone, you know more than us.

Regarding my son’s P father, my case is assigned an attorney. The attorney represents the state on behalf of our state. We’re involved and matter, of course, but we’re not the lawyer’s main responsibility. They don’t pursue things or look up things on their own. I do all the footwork and supply the documents and information. Most times, I hear no more than necessary from these attorneys. I was very lucky last time to have an attorney who did more than most with these cases. She also communicated with me regularly and answered all my questions.

In the P’s state, the state assigned attorneys have done very little and one time treated the whole matter as a joke. They were insulting the state where we were living at the time. It’s absolutely outrageous what they did, not only to the us, but by wasting the taxpayers’s money.

On the other side of that coin, the attorneys representing the state where we were living communicated with me often and wrote a lot of letters (thank you!) It’s their words that describe what the P has done and is capable of doing, not mine. They wrote things like, “She has very good reason to be concerned that the P will do X, and we are warning you to on alert for this from him.” They were a godsend.

I cannot go and observe a judge. Geographically, we are several states apart. I cannot simply drop in for a day or two. It would be physically impossible. Also, they rotate the judges. Eventually we know who has been assigned to hear the case, but usually the hearing happens soon after. We have never been assigned the same judge twice.

The court order from the hearing the other week arrived today. I’m so tired tonight that I put it to the side. I’ll open and read it tomorrow.

Ox Drover

Annie, there is always the “Stockholm Syndrome” situation, for example, Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped, yet after a while she went with them to rob a bank. Participated “willingly” in robbing the bank, as she had Stockholm syndrome, yet she was convicted and sent to prison. (she was later pardoned)

Was she a WILLING accomplice? I doubt that she would have ever robbed a bank if she had not been kidnapped.

What about the women married to the men who kidnapped Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart? They PARTICIPATED in the kidnap and holding hostage and the rape of these two young women. Are they also victims or are they accomplices?
I can’t remember the name right now but years ago in NYC a lawyer and his wife starved their daughter to death, they both went to prison but eventually the wife was released and given a pardon I think (can’t remember the details but the wife got out in any case) on a Stockholm Syndrome Diagnosis.

I wish I knew how to separate the Stockhlom Syndrome Victims who become accomplices from those that WANT to be accomplices in crime. I think the wisdom of Solomon would be necessary to do so.


You’re thinking of Hedda Nussbaum and Lisa Steinberg, Oxy.

I thought that the Stockholm Syndrome needs to include some kind of physical imprisonment or actually being held physically hostage.

The situation with Nussbaum is that she went to work. She wasn’t held physically hostage. There were people around her who could have helped and she had the freedom to reach out for help. In a Stockholm Syndrome, physical escape is not possible.


If you read the Hedda Nussbaum situation, there were a lot of other sick dynamics going on.

I am sure that there are many types of victims.

Leopold and Loeb is an excellent example of an attorney, Clarence Darrow, presenting the perps as victims (of their eduction and their crime.)

Ox Drover

I think that the “Stockholm Syndrome” or the “trauma bond” does *NOT* HAVE TO INCLUDE physical imprisonment, although it was first seen in the hostages of bank robbers in Stockholm…it took place over only a day or so, and one of the hostages even waited til the robber got out of prison to marry him 10 yrs or so later. Odd bonding.

Dr. Carnes’ book “The Betrayal Bond” covers all aspects of the trauma bond which I think also accounts for why most slaves didn’t try to escape from bondage, or revolt when they outnumbered the owners by 3 to 1 or more.

It also accounts for why a child who is abused will defend that parent, or why a woman who is being beaten by a man, when the cops show up and try to arrest him, she will turn and attack the cops.

I was just reading an article about women whose husbands are in prison and how they are encouraged to stay the course, and be “supportive” of their mates in prison….of course this is for the benefit of the STATE, not the benefit of the individual women….all under the name of “family reunification” and this **high minded principle** that the “family” should be together. (Excuse me while I puke!) Of course there is no consideration that a full 25% of these men are card-carrying psychopaths who are many also bi-polar and ADHD as well as addicts….but yea, they need to be reunited with their women and kids….and those that are NOT fully psychopathic are on average a score of 22 on the PCL-R so yea, we REALLY want them to be involved in “family reunification” when they get out of prison, for the sakes of the children of course, who really need the love and guidance of a “father” in their lives. (excuse me, got to go puke again!)

So the women and kiddies on the outside spend their time going to visit daddy in the joint, and sending money to him for commissary, and living in fear that if they talk to some other man on the outside that one of his buddies on the outside will find out and either hurt the woman or hurt the man.

There are about 2 million men and women in prison in the US right now, and about another 5 million on parole or probation so there are a great many women (mostly) and parent and sibs who are trapped and trauma bonded to these convict/criminals. To say nothing of the children.


Sounds like the incarceration “support” is like the military spousal support system, meaning the powers-that-be won’t or can’t spring for certain expenses so they’ll let the families provide them regardless of what it does to the family members.

I bet that arose the same way that the military system did-the authorities didn’t have the support systems (money and means) to provide so either the family did or the individual was in trouble. We need to remember that these attitudes go back to Greek and Roman times.

Sounds like we need to modernize a lot of things.

I don’t think trauma bond and the Stockholm Syndrome are one and the same. Maybe the Stockhold Syndrome is a subset of trama bonding?

Anyway, it was interesting when I was reading about Leopold and Loeb that they wanted to get Sigmund Freud to testify at the trial, but he was too ill to travel.

Silly me! I just looked up the The Betrayal Bond. I have a copy of it. I bought it used from Amazon, and when I got it, somebody had marked it up a lot inside.

I didn’t read read it because I felt like I was violating somebody’s privacy. That’s was whenever I got the book. Don’t feel that way now so I know what I will be doing tonight. Thanks. 🙂

OK, here’s a little that I just read in it.

“Trauma bonding thrives when the system reverses its victim, victimizer, and rescuer roles.”…”Remember the fundamental premise: Attachment deepens with terror.”

Boy, does that sound ripe for Ps creating legions of supporters or what?

kim frederick

….Yes, and also on intensity, secrecy, and deception. The seduction, the promise, the story. The higher calling, (for instance, the duty to defend our country), the betrayal, anre-framing of the story, (the re-seduction), and then, another betrayal.
Skylar, G1S’s quote from, “The Betrayal bond, above, brings to mind Girards theory of “reciprical violence”, and fits right in with the idea that dysfunctional family members play musical chairs, with one chair marked “victim”, one marked “perpetrator”, and one marked, “rescuer”…..except, that, to Girard, the three chairs exist within each and every member in the system…inside them….not outside, and not as chair.
Remember, that to Girard, the scape-goat, or victim, is both the toxin, and the cure. He is both foul, and sacrid.
Anyway, just tying disimilar school’s of thought together. I find it all preatty fascinating.

As far as stockholm syndrome and trauma bonding go, I can perhaps excuse a young person who does something evil, like rob a bank, under the influence of a spath. (well, not excuse but perhaps understand, because they are young and their ethics and morals are still malleable) I cannot understand an old woman, especially over the age of 40, who can be so lacking in empathy that she would participate in these heinous crimes. Karla was young but her crimes, especially against her own sister, were unforgivable.

I know it’s hard to reconcile watching the person you love do things that seem evil, while simultaneously believing that they are more than just good –they are the best of humanity. Yes, that’s what I believed about my spath. So when he said he hated someone, I believed he had a good reason. He was a good person so the other person must be wrong. It never even occurred to me that HE was the problem. Not even with rotten way he treated me. He groomed me from a very young age and I had nothing else to compare to for so long.

After age 40, I began to have some idea that spath was not as perfect has he portrayed himself. In fact, he even asked me, “When did you stop respecting me?”

I think I lasted as long as I did because I WAS so isolated from human beings, in a cabin alone for 18 years and always sick from being poisoned. They ALWAYS isolate their prey.

I guess my point is that age should bring maturity, if it doesn’t then it’s a spath.

kim frederick

Well, Jaycee Dugard, had two daughters that she was raising in a tent in what’s his fuck’s back-yard. How long do you think it would have been til he started raping his daughters? She wasn’t going to the police, or sneaking out to ask anyone for help. Why? Don’t you think she was aware that he was capable of raping her children? Does that make her an accomplice? I’m not criticizing Jacee, by the way, I’m trying to make a point about the psychology of entrapment. There is a psychological perversion that takes place, and it’s very real, complex, and logical, in a tragic, human and twisted way.


Sky..I made all kind’s of excuses’ for his behavior, he had no respect for me what so ever..he could say I hung the moon but his actions were completley opposite..
The respect I had for him was all built on his lie’s. By the time the truth showed it’s face I was trauma bonded ( confused to say the least ), it was such a traumatic relationship as I look back. Gosh almost 5 years ago now…

Hi Kim,
we posted over each other.
Girard does see sacred and the toxin in both sides. Until Jesus.
Jesus was the first that was so obviously innocent, that he wasn’t a toxin.

Am I wrong on this? Sometimes Girard’s theories escape me. So if you can see something else that I’m missing…

Although I do know that Jesus said he came not to bring peace but to bring the sword. He came to divide the wheat from the chafe. So some may consider that a toxin.

The duty to defend our country is no different than the sacrificial victim marching up the pyramid steps to be sacrificed for the good of all, to ensure that the sun would rise the next day.

And before his sacrifice, he was encouraged to have sex with his four consorts, as often as possible. These women would give birth to the next generation of sacrificial victims, born of a father who had died for the sins of many. The children would be raised, like sheep to eventually walk the same steps as their father had walked, up the pyramid, after engaging in sex with their four consorts (who were the daughters of other sacrificial victims).

It reminds me of the military families who have a tradition of military service.

Abuse continues. It just hides under a different disguise. Spaths know how to re-frame the story and give us another “urgent” need, that requires our acquiescence and our sacrifice.

It never changes. Nothing new under the sun.

Yeah Hens,
sometimes I wonder why we have to argue about how to label them: anti-social, borderline, psychopathic, sociopathic or cluster b.

We can just call them evil and it fits the bill. They are just evil.

My spathy sister said, “Sky, it’s ok to be evil.”
Now, I know that she didn’t come up with that on her own. She barely has 2 neurons to rub together. Her trojan horse spath gave her those words. Granted, she was evil before she had the words, but she didn’t know. He rationalized, excused and justified it for her.

Makes me sick to think about it.

kim frederick

Hey guys, I just googled, “psychological entrapment” and found this:
I haven’t read it all yet, but thought it was really insightful…not sure it speaks to acompicehood, yet, but still, thought it spoke to feeling duped, and trapped. Going back there now to finish reading.


Evil is obvious only in retrospect. ( Gloria Steinem )

kim frederick

Okay. Just finished the article. Not so impressed. It has a politicle propoganda feeling to it. It contains some seeds of truth and lots of hooks. All the while warning about not being sucked in by propaganda and hooks. Sigh. Oh well.

kim frederick

Well, Skylar, Jesus stands in for both the toxin and the cure, in so far as he is the defiled King…he is the scape-goat who is sacrificed for the communal evil of the entire community….and then he is resurected as sacrid, and the savior. He is the bad guy and then the savior. In that way, he recuperates the myth of the sacrificial victim, but, Girard does aknowlede that Jesus is truley innoscent, and that his innoscence forecloses on sacrifice, making sacrifice obsolete.


I read a bit of your link, Kim.

It says that intuitively, we know right from wrong and we should trust our instincts. I say that can only apply to somebody who is emotionally healthy to begin with. A child born into a dysfunctional home or environment or faces repeated abuse and/or abandonment isn’t going to intuitively know much. In fact, the emotions shut down and the person dissociates.

There were good points if you’re emotionally healthy.

Sky, how is the scapegoat a cure? Cure in what sense? The scapegoat makes the situation healthy? For whom is the scapegoat considered a cure? Certainly not the scaregoat.

Wasn’t Jaycee and her children so shut down and weird in manner when they were discovered that it was their behavior that tipped off the person who initiated the investigation?

Am not sure where I read it, but I saw today something about the psychological situation is so controlling that slaves didn’t rebel even when they outnumber their masters 3 to 1.

And of course, we can always point to the Nazis, what they did, and the people who obeyed them.

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