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By | July 26, 2011 290 Comments

“So You’re Telling Me That My Husband Is A Sociopath?” The Night I Made A Deal With Dr Hannibal Lecter

So, what happens when you suddenly discover that the person who has been sharing your life is actually a stranger? Worse than that, they turn out to be a person who has deliberately deceived and manipulated you with surgeon-like precision. Wrapping you in a web of deceit — delivered so skillfully and carefully that you’ve welcomed the silken threads as they tighten around you. Freely allowing yourself to be wrapped in the cocoon being made by your soul mate. It’s only once you have morphed in to an emotional mush of confusion and fear that you realize you are trapped. And by then, of course, it’s too late — and your mate is off to the next willing victim.

I know, of course, that so many of you will identify with this experience. After only one week as part of the Lovefraud team, I have been amazed by the responses I have been receiving. I can feel the support that resonates among the community here, and I am delighted to be a part of it. I am not happy, of course, that so many of us are joined together here because we have suffered at the hands of another — but I know that together we can heal… no, I know that we are healing. After all, we’re here aren’t we?

If you’re anything like me, you won’t have come in to contact with the terminology ”˜sociopath’ until it happened to you. For my part, I had never even heard the word. It created an earth-shattering jolt in my consciousness when a dear friend of mine shared her opinion that the man I had called my soul mate was in fact a sociopath.

So for my second post I thought I’d share what happened to me when the truth suddenly dawned on me, because that moment marked the beginning of my healing.

It was nearing midnight on Thursday 9th July 2009. It was a typically warm summer’s night that found me in my bed at home in France, distractedly checking through my emails on the iPhone for the umpteenth time. Anything to try and quieten my mind and bring me back to normality. I was mentally and physically exhausted but my tortured mind and aching soul refused to let me sleep.  No matter how much I tried to rationalize the past ten weeks, or how much I attempted to make sense of the situation, I simply couldn’t find any answers. Peace seemed a very distant memory as I continued to search for clues. What had happened? Where had I gone so wrong? What had prompted my beloved husband of 10 years to lie to me for so long? Why did he need to create so many other lives? What had I done to make him stop loving me? How had I missed the signs? What could I have done differently? The questions circled, round and round my head like the mythological embittered Harpies — snatching at my rising fears, cackling at my confusion, their cruel wings fanning the flames of despair that threatened to engulf my soul.

I am a motivational coach and leadership trainer, known for my ability to quickly get to the heart of the issue. I am employed for my skills in reading and understanding people, so how had I been so blind to my husband? We were a team, we worked together, lived together, loved together and had spent nearly every day and night in each other’s company since the day we met — and I loved him totally; heart, body and soul. Only the year before we had celebrated our ten-year anniversary together, and just a few weeks before Christmas we’d spent his 40th birthday together on the beaches of a beautiful Caribbean health spa. Our life together, as I thought, was perfect!

And yet now, here I was, alone with my son in the beautiful French farmhouse we had lovingly restored over the past 6 years, betrayed and deserted by the person I truly believed was my soul mate, left alone to deal with the enormity of the emotional and financial wreckage caused by my husband’s double life. It had all happened so suddenly — the chance email just three months earlier that led me on a trail of discovery to uncover the horrifying truth that I was married to a stranger. Cold, hard, black and white proof that my idyllic life was in fact a total sham — and the equally cold hard fact that my husband had simply vanished out of our lives the second he knew he’d been rumbled, leaving my son and I to deal with the fall-out. Disappeared without a trace just as quickly as he’d arrived in our lives more than ten years earlier.

Around and around the questions turned in my head. The Harpies I had named “Who” “What” “Where” “When” and “How” mocking my stupidity, berating my gullibility, and piercing ever more deeply in to my already broken heart.

And then I saw it. It was an email out of the blue from an old friend Mandy, which naturally pricked my interest. It was a kind and thoughtful message of support, the contents of which seemed harmless — the very same email that had me shaking to the core just a short while later as I explored the following words:

“”¦Interestingly, you may or may not know that I am doing my masters degree in forensic psychology at the moment, and recently have done loads of work on sociopaths.  Lets put it this way – he shows all the signs – in retrospect of course!  So in fairness, he was highly skilled at fooling everyone.  In fact, not just skilled – it was natural to him.  Therefore, who would have known?  He has no conscience.  And before long, he will find another place for himself, and will never feel any remorse, because he doesn’t know how to”¦”

Sociopath was a term I had not come across before and so, after a quick scan for more information on the internet, I discovered that a sociopath is also known as a psychopath. My brows furrowed as disbelief and comprehension entered my head at the same time. So I asked the question out loud to see if it made a difference: “You mean to tell me that my husband is actually a PSYCHOPATH?” Chills ran through my body, my mouth went dry, and the Harpies were suddenly very still and very quiet.

Random images of famous psychopaths came flooding in to my head — Norman Bates from Psycho, Peter Sutcliffe the Yorkshire Ripper, America’s Ted Bundy and Heath Ledger as The Joker — the absurdity of the idea prompting nervous laughter to erupt from deep within me. And then silence again as I truly began to consider the enormity of this new information. The room was still. My mind was quiet. My heart started thumping loudly in my chest. Holding the iPhone in my left hand, and hugging myself with my right arm, I read yet another ”˜checklist’ for sociopathy and realized with absolute clarity that my ex’s behaviours actually ticked each and every one of the boxes — to a tee. I shuddered, forcing myself to breathe, and blinking wildly, hoping that I had somehow misinterpreted the information.

And that was the precise moment when the archetypal psychopath, Dr Hannibal Lecter made his sudden and unwelcome appearance in my mind — crystal clear and standing just a few feet away from me in the corner of my bedroom. Sucking air through his teeth and smacking his lips, he held me hypnotized with his ice-cold beguiling stare, clearly enjoying my confusion as I quietly considered the overwhelming evidence that my estranged husband, the man I had loved with all my heart and soul, was in fact a text-book psychopath.

“But surely I’d know if I was in the company of someone like that?” I reasoned to myself, the dank smell of Hannibal’s cell now beginning to permeate my senses, his chains rattling my imagination. “I’m an executive business coach! I’ve been working in the field of personal development for over 13 years! I’m wise to the ways of different personalities and what makes people tick!” I tried to rationalise, becoming more aware that my bewilderment was arousing the curiosity of my uninvited guest.

I was hooked. And as I read further, uncovering facts, examples of typical traits, and stories from other victims of a sociopathic relationship, I was gradually coming to the horrifying comprehension that my friend’s prognosis was correct. In equal measures of horror and relief, I also began to understand that I was not alone. That there were literally thousands of women with stories just like mine — many of which I found on this very site. Intelligent, professional, and successful women who had willingly succumbed, fallen in love, followed their dreams and been thwarted by the malevolent charms of the skilled and charismatic sociopath.

As we all now know, these people are predominantly men. Charming, witty and attentive — the life and soul of the party. Men who can sweep you off your feet, make you believe that you are the most precious person in the world. Men who let you dare to dream that all your dreams have come true and convince you that you’ve found your true soul mate. Men who make you feel that anything is possible, and encourage you to live life to the full. Men who slowly and deliberately bleed you dry, suck out your soul and leave you for dead, without even a backwards glance — but by the time you realize this, of course, it’s too late. Much too late.

Suddenly I began to see things from a different angle. Suddenly things started to make sense. Dr Lecter faded safely back in to the darkness of my imagination, as I began to replace his image with strangely comforting feelings of relief. Because it was finally dawning on me that the experience I was living, my own personal living nightmare, was not something I could have foretold. So I was not to blame for what had happened — there was nothing more I could have done. In fact, I’d had a lucky escape.

This marked the beginning of my journey towards understanding what had happened to me. How I’d found myself in such a horrific and unimaginable mess. After three long months, April’s hurricane of discovery that had all but broken me in its relentless force to destroy all that I had believed in, gradually started to loosen its grip in light of this new information.

At the same time I also realized, with frightening clarity, that in order to truly comprehend what had happened, to come to terms with how I had come to find myself in such a horrendous situation, I was going to have to embark on a journey of self-discovery. I would need to find out more about what had happened to other people. Understand the true meaning behind the word sociopath, or psychopath. Recognise the traits within myself that allowed me to be the perfect target — dig deeply in to my own psyche and explore my own choices in life.  Examine how I’d got here, what I’d believed about myself and others and my own deeply held personal values. And, most importantly, to find my strength and finally to heal.

My years of experience in personal development told me it was not going to be an easy journey. Some of the deeply buried feelings and experiences of my past would need to be re-examined. I would need to dredge through parts of my life I thought I’d already dealt with. Old scars I thought I’d healed would need to be re-opened and treated anew. It would be painful. It would mean re-visiting old chapters of my life. Re-living the hurts of the past in order to truly understand what was going on.

And I would also need to venture in to the depths of this murky world that I was just beginning to discover. I would likely need to stand in the shoes of these soulless people I now knew existed for real, and who live and work among us. Because unless I could comprehend the workings of a sociopath, I would neither be able to heal nor protect myself in the future.

I was alerted to the sounds of Dr Lecter once again shuffling around in the back of my mind, his interest clearly intensified by my growing fear at what lay ahead. And I heard a barely perceptible laugh — or was it a cackle — coming from the darkest corners of my imagination. The unpalatable solution hit me like a steam train, and I understood at that moment that he would need to become an ally in my journey; for who better than the archetypal sociopath, Dr Hannibal Lecter himself to help me understand the twisted workings in the mind of a psychopath?

“If I help you, Melanie, it will be “turns” with us too. Quid pro quo. I tell you things, you tell me things. About yourself. Quid pro quo. Yes or no?”

His perfect and calculated logic slithered towards me, the words and the consequences of what I was about to do sending shivers through my body. I would need to let Hannibal Lecter inside my head if ever I was going to become free. It was the only way to regain my sanity and claim my life back. And, surely, this couldn’t be any worse than the real life experiences I had already survived?

So I nodded my silent agreement and the deal was done. I would allow the specter of Hannibal to steer me as I unravel the past and make sense of my pain. A smug sneer crept across Dr Lecter’s face, as he pulled himself upright and acknowledged my consent “Brave Melanie. You will tell me when those lambs stop screaming, won’t you?”

So this was the beginning of my recovery. I started preparing for my own personal voyage of soul-searching, education, self-questioning and personal discoveries right through to the eventual victory I knew was waiting for me. I’d have to return to the innocence I once knew, and in returning there I knew I’d have to face some ugly and painful memories. I’d have to rearrange them to make sense of what had happened, and to ensure that I would never again be taken in by anyone whose sole intention was to hurt me.

Hannibal fixed me with his steely stare, the rest of his face shrouded in shadows as he slowly wound his fingers around the bars in his cell.

“Clearly this new assignment is not your choice” he hissed “rather I suppose it is a part of the bargain but you accepted it Melanie. Your job is ultimately to craft my doom. So I am not sure how well I should wish you but I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun. So let’s start at the beginning — tell me everything you know”

With that his image once again faded away, and I felt that I had just made a deal with the devil. But at the same time, I knew that my journey to freedom had begun.

 


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Ox Drover

Enjoyed your article, Mel, and we all have had our own “Hannibals” in our lives for sure….good analogy. Thanks for sharing this part of yourself.

Back_from_the_edge

Great article, Mel.
Thank you for sharing.
I know it doesn’t come easy.

Thank you for sharing something my soul has been screaming.
You said it so well. Look forward to MORE! 🙂

Duped

skylar

whoops, this post disappeared and then reappeared!

skylar

Mel, your discovery coincided with mine. Spring 2009. I ran on May 17 and discovered the real meaning of the word sociopath in June.

We’ve come a long way and we still have a long way to go.

Hope to heal

Great analogy Mel! Thanks so much for sharing your story with all of us.

(the picture of Anthony Hopkins as Lecter REALLY creeps me out though!)

the sisterhood

Thank you for this article, Mel. I can’t believe it was here when I logged onto lovefraud. It is exactly what I needed to read. I have been struggling the past few days with this very issue.

“The Moment”, as I call it, when you realize what kind of person you have been involved with. “The Moment” you have been schooled in all things twisted. For me, “The Moment” came about 2 years ago, almost 14 years after my relationship ended, but for some funny reason I keep questioning it. It has been a very slow process for me to accept, that indeed, I meant and still mean absolutely nothing to my ex.

I think the core reason I can’t accept this truth is that it is just too painful to admit. A little part of me holds on to a piece of the fantasy because I just can’t bare the alternative. All the evidence is there. The emotional abuse, manipulation, degradation, shaming, slandering, and the just plain using me to puff up his image.

We have both moved on, but he has won. He is still the life of the party, very intelligent and charming and everyone loves him. I am left looking like the psycho scorned lover. His mask is firmly on in his current life. He let it slip with me, but has learned how to keep it on. I keep telling myself that he’ll have his day, but I feel like I’m kidding myself. He just simply doesn’t care about the pain he has caused me to the depths of my soul.

I keep going around in circles trying to make sense out of this insanity. What I am left with is my pathetic hurt from the realization that he never loved me even though he meant the world to me. All the steps of my relationship I trace over and over in my mind lead me back to this simple conclusion.

I am sad tonight and just want that last little piece to heal.

Louise

sisterhood:

I know…it can hurt years later. And I know how it feels for them to be the life of the party, very intelligent and charming and everyone loves him…what you said there describes mine to a “T.” And because there is no telling what he told everyone about me, I suspect I also look like the scorned one.

That last little piece will heal someday. If you moved on and have a good life, please just try to concentrate on that. Concentrate on all your blessings. I know it’s hard, believe me, but I haven’t moved on yet and you have so you need to take that as a blessing and try to heal this last part of you. This will eat us alive if we let it and somedays I feel like allowing it to do that, but we can’t.

Hugs to you. We are here to listen.

superkid10

Mel

Thank you for your article. It’s a great read. You’re talented in telling a story. I know it’s YOUR story, and so it’s personal, but it’s polished too. I’m wondering what actually happened. Did you wake up one day and he was gone? I’m looking for the discovery of the clues that must have preceeded the “aha” moment when your friend used the word “sociopath”.

For a long time I’ve been wishing for a letter, a letter that could have been sent to YOU prior to your awakening – one that might facilitate or speed up the awakening process. A letter to a current victim. In a way, your story could serve as that (but the Hannibal reference would turn some people off and believe it doesn’t apply to them).

I am not a writer but I wish I had a letter I could send.

Anyway your writing is superb, and I’m glad you’re here. You’re glue for us, your a kindred spirit, and with your gift of writing, I’m hoping you really greatly extend the reach and impact of LOVEFRAUD.

Best

Superkid

coping

Mel,
I enjoyed your article. (both of them).
One of the things I liked was your reference to starting from the beginning, looking within ones past, old hurts and painful memories. I believe this is ultimately where self awareness can begin and protect us from future predators. It is a hard task. I am personally not even capable of that yet. The damage done can be so devastating that the acceptance of reality and the cleanup mode, financially, emotional, ect., is a large enough task. One day I know I can, one day I know I will. If not for myself but for my son.
Bless you and your son. Keep posting.

MoonDancer

sisterhood, Our love for them was real. I can accept his love for me was all a game, as painful as it was I can not unlove him. I just try to live a good life and keep that part of me to myself.. i have the capacity to love someone else now. I will never see him again and he will never know how I FEEL or even care, thats just something I will prolly take to my grave..but I have put that in perspective so I can carry on.
anyway I hope you find peace with that, there is nothing wrong with loving someone..

MoonDancer

Mel This a great article, your first paragraph sums up just how unbelieveable it all was. I enjoy reading your articles..thank you.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hesn…’as painful as it (the relationship) was i cannot unlove him.’ every time you say something like this i hear healing and acceptance.

i could also say as painful as it IS to love him, i cannot unlove him. and when i get to the point of saying this, i will know i have healed enough to let myself into the light again.

i was thinking that not only did SHE lie to me, HE did too – he lied in character. i mean, the whole damn thing was a lie, and when i let her and him finally slam together in my head, i understood that those shitty characters were ALL ‘him’, as they were ALL HER> so HE lied to me. hope this makes some sense to you – don’t know if it will – it’s complex given the nature of the deception…so for me it’s important to recognize that the ‘sweet boy’ character wasn’t so sweet. from time to time i still wanna punch her in the nose.

MoonDancer

yes I loved him, still have that special place for him.. it’s just for me, doesnt mean I wouldnt like to slash his tires….

Shalom

It was easy to stop loving my two ex ps, compared to how hard it was to start loving me. Shalom

MoonDancer

Shalom – That was the hardest thing to do, to forgive myself for loving a mirror, kinda made me feel like a fool. Took years to process all this..but in the end I did love him, that does not mean I would give him the time of day. And yes I love myself more than him, that continues to be a daily struggle. nite shalom give henry a kiss for me…

Shalom

I just gave him one and told him it was from Uncle Henry. Shalom

Back_from_the_edge

Profound Shalom:

“It was easy to stop loving my two ex ps, compared to how hard it was to start loving me.”

Breath taking statement.
Thanks a lot xxoo

Night Shalom and Henry: *Big Hugs*
Sleep tight.

Dupedster

Back_from_the_edge

Hello Mel: Thank you for your ‘gift’ of awareness today. 🙂 You are absolutely correct: they will never and can never win because they don’t know ‘how’ to ‘love’ and ‘feel’ and value things the same as we do. We can HOPE all we want; we can ENDURE all they throw at us and it will always STILL never be enough for them. There is nothing that will quench their souls except for their own awareness regarding THEMSELVES.

They ARE truly like ‘creatures’. It took me a long time to realize that IT was with me because it was sucking my strength and my compassion and my understanding and my unconditional love. Seeing us weak made them feel so strong. That gave them power.

I feel lucky that IT didn’t succeed in killing me. I believe if I had stay in that relationship for one more month, I would not be here right now, writing this. I will always believe that with all of my being.

A living hell for THEM or for US? They whine about how nobody understands them; nobody really cares; we’re all HATERS to them. This was the most difficult understanding for me to get:

While it was holding me and telling me it loved me. Telling me that I was ITS soul mate and that forever our love would live…it had evilness in its heart for me the whole time. It was JEALOUS that I was able to ‘make sense’ out of life and find some direction; that I had something in my soul that made me strong and driven. IT wanted to be me. That is why it chose me. And, why “I” unchose “IT” because it wanted to be me so much that it would have taken MY LIFE to be me but what it didn’t understand, even if it HAD taken my life, it would still NOT be me. It can NEVER be me. It has to be itself.

I know what I am saying is very complex. “IT” was extremely complex. In fact, IT may end up being a ‘case study’ some day, sooner or later for medical professionals, psychologists and law enforcement, all at the same time. I have NEVER (and mind you, I grew up in an entirely dysfunctional family) I have NEVER experienced anything quite like this. Yes, Mel, “Hannibal” does come to mind. Very much so and when I think about the ‘narrow escape’ I had, both with my heart attack and it trying to kill me and harm me, somehow the chill just goes to my core.

Thanks so much for your wonderful talent! You have my attention. You and I come from the same spot, I believe.

My experience was something rather like being lowered into a deep, dark hole which has been dug into the ground. There is only enough space in this hole for me to stand, never sit, never rest, never eat…no place to go to the bathroom and the sun would come overhead and bake me; so hot in that hole. I didn’t know how long I had been held captive there but I never saw anyone, although I could hear them and once in a while I was given nourishment but it would only come around to torture me and taunt me; throw me a scrap and then away it would go again….

Oh I could hear it over there, going on with it’s life, enjoying itself so much that once in a while, I could hear it making love with the OW that he had but had not stuck in that hole. That was part of the torture. I do know I was in that hole for a very long time. I was in that hole because I wasn’t doing what IT wanted nor expected of me. That was my punishment for not OBEYING. Not accepting the truly bizarre and being degraded and humiliated. The love turned to hate rather quickly. My sp was trained to kill. Doesn’t that make ME feel truly special?

I am certain TOO that the more we share, the more we heal. We can try to warn others but most don’t listen. I know this from experience. They equate my trying to warn as an outburst from being jilted or from being upset that I was dumped for someone else. That just isn’t the truth at all. It never was the truth. I was a TARGET. I was TARGETED for my strengths and the person I was and what I had to offer it. No other reason.

Thanks, Mel, so much for being here and sharing.
Love and hugs to you too…

Duped

the sisterhood

Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful support. I am so grateful for this site. Mel and Louise, your words mean so much to me. Thank you.

A thought just came to me and I wanted to know if anyone else has felt the same. The question may sound a bit off and I mean no disrespect or to invalidate the experiences we have endured (Especially those who have endured physical and torturous abuse) I was very fortunate in that way, my ex-spath was only emotionally abusive (stealth or covert)

Do you ever think that this person was just a mis-match for you and that they moved onto someone who was better suited for their personalitites? In other words…Did being in a relationship with this person bring out the worst in both of you and that they may very well not be bad for the person they are with presently.

I get the feeling sometimes that my fantasy coupled with his manipulation and fantasy fanned the flames, so to speak, on a relationship that was doomed from the start because each of our wounds, and traumas we brought to the relationship were such an powder keg waiting to ignite.

My ex moved onto a woman who came from a very stable, happy family. I did not…hence two people from dysfunctional families just can’t make it work.

I only pose this because I can’t shake the feeling that he is living a very happy life with a wife who is also very happy. I know how he treated me, but I can’t understand how he is in a successful relationship now. (perhaps I am thinking he actually does love his wife, just didn’t love me)

My therapist thinks that maybe she is just able to handle disappointment better. But that he does disappoint her. Her personality is better suited for him than mine was. Is it really that simple? My therapist absolutely thinks he has NPD and that he has not changed. She reminds me that I do not know nor is it any of my business what his marriage is really like. I just have to focus on healing the deep wounds that were inflicted from my experience with him.

On another note, I am so tired of everyone trying to explain what happened to me by saying, “Oh, but you were both so young.” Like that makes what he did understandable and he is much more mature now to have a good relationship.

Am I just having a serious moment of self doubt or is there some validity to what I’m thinking?

I do know that he has no remorse for how he treated me. He feels justified for everything he did. He puts all the blame for the failure of that relationship squarely on my shoulders. So, I suppose I just answered my own question…I guess.

Ox Drover

Sisterhood,

You are just having a moment of “doubt”—sugar there is no way he is going to be “happy” with someone else.

Yes, he probably did bring out the worst in you, but that doesn’t mean he is going to bring out the BEST in someone else, no matter how well grounded she is.

You can’t fix him, or explain him away, all you can do is to HEAL yourself….and that may mean going back to some childhood traumas and healing them. Until we are HEALTHY we can’t have a good functional relationship with anyone, most of all with ourselves. There’s lots of great stuff here on LF to help you heal, so focus on YOURSELF most of all. Be good to yourself. Be kind to yourself. (((hugs))))

Louise

sisterhood:

I relate to what you are saying. I have also felt that way not just about the X spath, but about other relationships I observe. I do wonder if there is something in those two people in a relationship that brings out the worst in each other. I don’t know, I really don’t. And do you really know if he is happy? He could be miserable for all you know. And the therapist is right about his wife…maybe she just puts up with things. It’s hard to say. I know I ruminate just like you do and I hate it about myself.

Hang in there…you WILL heal.

the sisterhood

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You, Ox!!

Louise-I can’t stand that about myself either. I wish I didn’t keep going around in circles like this, but I just have this thing about me of trying to make some sense of it. I think that if I re-trace all the scenerios in my mind the answer will suddenly pop up and I will be healed. I know it doesn’t work that way, but I just can’t seem to stop. That’s the CPTSD acting up. Thank you for the support.

Shalom

Sisterhood:
Mismatched? No more or less than any ‘cat and mouse’. Love. Shalom

MoonDancer

Sisterhood, I felt the same way, that he had found someone much better than me and he was HAPPY and i was worthless…But his new love didnt last either, so I compare his future with his past..rinse and repeat….lie and cheat…I hope he finds someone that can live with that, I sure can’t..
Think of it this way, it’s better to be dumped by a sociopath than by a perfect prince charming, and prince charming he was not…

KatyDid

Sisterhood –
She may be different. But he’s not.

I have a unique fly on the wall look into my husband’s life. Just a small look but enough to comfort me. He never changed the password to our family email account. At first I read his email b/c that was the only way I got the info for a more fair divorce. (found property, scams, etc) But I also read emails from women to him, begging him what they did wrong, why he cut them off, that they were so in love so what happened. And I read other emails at the same time, him telling a new gf that it was only a rumour that he was seeing (the old), that it was only in her head, that she was crazy and assumed things b/c he gave her a ride to dance lessons. And I read emails from so many back burner girls, offering to meet him, go swimming with him, have him come visit when he’d come to their town…. and he accepted. That’s when I realized he was never faithful. And that he always puts it out there to the new woman that the previous thought there was more but that he never felt it. My fly on the wall may have violated nc, but seeing who he truly was to me, and that it didn’t change towards others INSPITE OF HIS PUBLIC IMAGE helped me to feel relief, yes in time, relief b/c….

He had No loyalty. No honor. No faithfulness. (lots more other bad sht.)

Where is the happiness to ever be found when HE is incapable of the basics? I have not missed him at all since I saw him for who he really is.

takingitslowly

It has been 14 months since I discovered my husband is a sociopath. I have gone through so many emotions as I battle in court to keep my daughter safe and hear the advocates who ignore his lies despite my massive paper trail of truth.

I am tired of focusing on him — his madness – his distorted version of events. It sends my mind spinning when I think of how he was simultaneously carrying on two completely opposite lives right under my nose. Looking back at my journals, I did see so much but never to the level of destruction he was set on creating for myself and my daughter.

In the last year we were together, I was reading “The Sociopath Next Door,” and “When your Lover is a Liar.” I was reading books about what to do when your child is being sexually abused. I was underlining passages and reading them to him while he was doing the very things the book talked about. I had no idea. It was unfathomable to me that he could be so sick.

I look forward to the day when I will no longer try to figure him out. He has visitation with our daughter so I have to see him several times a week. I avoid talking to him as much as possible.

I am just mentally exhausted.

Completely wiped out.

Louise

sisterhood:

You are welcome. It will all come together somehow…trust me. Keep the faith.

Annie

“As we all now know, these people are predominantly men.”

Just wondering. How exactly do we “know” this?

When I first started to try to find a place to talk about what happened to our family and to me I finally woke up to the sad realization that most public service institutions, and in fact most public policy, had been strongly influenced by the misguided (at best) women and men who had bastardized feminism, who rather than starting with women’s victimization as a precursor to working on alleviating victimization and suffering as a whole, never intended to get beyond it. Only they were victims, and only men were offenders.

Thanks in part to this site I started to recognize the predators working within the feminist organizations who spin things into false ‘us vs. them’ dichotomies. So I thought, perhaps I could get more validation in men’s groups, and so I attended a couple of them.

Surprise, surprise: it was the exact same dynamic in BOTH TYPES OF GROUPS: a few predatory individuals who actually *like* to incite prejudice and hatred and take out their grievances against the opposite gender, who were taking advanatage of the mostly decent but hurt and vulnerable people who had come to them for support and help.

In the father’s rights group I listened to tale after tale of decent men who’d been horribly hurt by horrible women using their children as weapons (or worse). (BTW, a suggestion to all the decent women here, I’d suggest going yourselves to listen and learn and see for yourselves.) I heard the same things I read on here. Same kinds of stories. Same sociopathic techniques used on them. Same slandering. Same mind-f***ing. Same hurt. Same anguish. Same confusion. Same fear. Same grief. Same battered and abused children, btw.

And the same few twisted people at the top whispering about and slandering “women”. Just like the leaders in the many women’s groups I attended who continually felt entitled to slander “men”.

So I said the same thing to them I’m saying to you now: this isn’t about gender, this is about indecent people taking advantage.

I know so many decent men. And I know a few indecent men. Same thing with women. A sad truth I’ve observed: it seems to be the ones who are complaining about the other sex in general who also spend their time complaining that they can’t find a decent person to date.

Perhaps the reason you “know” that this is “predominantly men” has more to do with the all too frequent silencing and shaming of the voices of men or those who would defend them, than it does with truth.

I’ve learned to recognize that when someone indiscriminately targets any particular group without using specifics it is a sociopathic “tell”. They’ve either been influenced by a predator, or they are one. For the ones who are predators, it’s also a test to see if anyone will speak up.

So I’m speaking up. And I hope that, in future, the decent people here will do so as well whenever they hear crap like “As we all now know, these people are predominantly men.”

For those who wonder how situations like the ‘Final Solution’, or the Rwandan genocide, or 9/11 started, I think they all started pretty much like this. With someone initially slipping in statements hoping they’ll fly under the radar such as: “As we all now know, these people are predominantly (insert target group here).” And no-one speaking up to counter that.

To once more repeat the phrase oft misattributed to Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

And if you’re looking for another example of an ultimate psychopath I’d suggest looking up Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Unlike Hannibal Lecter she was a real person.

Ox Drover

Dear Takingitslow,

My heart goes out to you, for being FORCED by the law to have contact with him. If your daughter is not in therapy and you are not, GET IT ASAP for you both. If you think your daughter has been molested don’t give up. I don’t know how old she is, but you also should go to Dr. Leedom’s website “parenting the at-risk child” and there will be information and support there for you and for your daughter. Keep on reading here. I know it is tiring, but it will help you cope. There is some great information here and KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. There are other mothers and fathers here who are in your same shoes. You are not alone. God bless you is my prayer.

Ox Drover

Annie, it only so “happens” that more men than women are diagnosed as “antisocial personality disorder” or psycho/socio-paths, but I think it is because the “test” is somewhat skewed. There are MANY TOXIC WOMEN as well as men, who are manipulative and rage filled individuals.

It is NOT just about sex/gender or straight/gay, old or young, it is about a lack of conscience, and a manipulative personality disorder that sees others as pawns and objects to be used for their own desires and uses.

I agree that the women’s groups and the father’s groups are twisted against the other sex/gender.

There is a website linked her (look at your screen on the left under blog roll) called Female-offenders, go there and you will see statistics and research showing that even sexual offenders are at least 50:50 women as well as men, though MANY more men are prosecuted/accused than women.

It just so happens that there are many more women here on this blog, but it is not indicative of the fact that this group thinks men are the culprits….this group on this blog is NOT ANTI-MALE or female– we are very much ANTI-manipulators.

skylar

THANK YOU ANNIE.
for speaking up. I’ve said it too and I thought people are just getting tired of hearing me say it. The same thing goes for those posts with “slightly” racist undertones. They distract from the real problem, which is sociopathy.

It is the exact same thing with misogynists and misandrists. Spaths are actually misanthropes – they hate all humaninty, but they like to pretend to take sides.

Their hope is to get people to focus on a particular feature such as sex or race so that the hatred can spread towards anyone with those same features.

Thank you for taking the lead on that.

For anyone who is still convinced that there are more male spaths than female spaths, I’d like to say that it is possible, BUT IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE because as long as there are both types, we have to watch out for both types, since they will target anyone.

Keep your eye on the ball, don’t get distracted. Watch for what the spath does, not what they look like.

Louise

For the record, I am not a man basher. And I have seen MANY manipulative, psycho women. It just so happens that we have more women on this site than men. I think sometimes it’s due to people just thinking women are “hormonal” or “PMSing” when they are raging or going off. Really. So I think it gets overlooked with women when they are truly sociopathic or psychopathic because it looks like they have other issues. I have never taken anything on this site to be offensive or prejudicial.

MoonDancer

For what it’s worth I have been effected by more female sociopaths/narcissist/ POD’s.. than male over my life time.. and that’s all i have to say about that….
God is great. Beer is Good. People are Crazy.

Louise

Hens:

I know…like I said, I have seen MANY manipulative, crazy women!! No doubt!

Ox Drover

Henry,

Yes, God is Great!
Beer looks (and I think tastes) like pee
People ARE crazy! LOL

G’nite! It was 103 here today but the next few days are gonna be COOL like TODAY and then it is supposed to get HOT!

It is already 10 + degrees hotter than “normal” for this time of year.

Louise

Oxy:

I’m burning up here, too! No end in sight.

Joanie123

Mel: Good story. I did think of Hannibal too when I realized my ex was a spath. Although there are extreme sociopaths that actually crave human flesh Jefferey Dahmer being one.
Remember this: Each sociopath has his particular MO and extreme sociopaths are into cannibalism.
The “nephilim” raped children, and women and ate human flesh.
According to the Dead Sea Schrolls.
Certain extreme sociopaths desire human flesh. Some sociopaths rape women & children. In Greek mythology the “Titans” were the same as the “nephilim.” The one-eyed cyclops raped women and feasted on human flesh.

Constantine

Annie,

Very well said – and thanks for sticking up for us men! In that vein, I would second the points of Oxy and Skylar, and simply add that at best, the “jury is still very much out” regarding the prevalence of sociopathy in men verses women.

There have been some theories put forward regarding how testosterone, for example, disproportionately predisposes males to the disorder; but from what I’ve seen the evidence for this is extremly flimsy and unconvincing. (I believe Martha Stout holds to this viewpoint, though I’m not sure how refined her position is on the matter.)

At any rate, there is a host of reasons – social, cultural, psychological, etc – that can account for males (and especially boys, who get a disproportionate number of “ASPD diagnoses” following referrals from the public school system – a fact that by itself should arouse one’s deepest suspicion!) being overrepresented in the official statistics. But there is a profound difference between a few decidedly skewed samples (prison populations being another), and the actual incidence of this disorder across the gender spectrum.

It would take several books to flesh out the varying permutations of sociopathy across class, race, gender, socioeconomic status, and the like; and even if that were accomplished, I doubt very much that we would be any closer to a “final word” on the subject than we are now. Indeed, there are simply too many variables at work here for anyone to say definitively that this is primarily a male as opposed to a female disorder. On a gut level, my feeling is that it’s probably a close call, with at best a statistically insignificant variability between populations. (Again, I’m sure someone can cite a study to the contrary, and I’d like to see it, because I’m certain that it will have gaps and weaknesses at a hundred different points.)

Nevertheless, I didn’t take any exception to Mel’s comment – it seemed entirely innocent – and what’s more it provides us with a “teachable moment.” And that’s why we’re, here, no? -to learn everything we can and to continually refine our own positions.

I have to say, however, that from my own very biased standpoint, a female sociopath is just as thoroughly odious as a male sociopath – and perhaps even a bit worse! (haha) Trust me, I’ve seen the thing in it most disgusting and virulent form. And even if there were two unspeakably hideous males for every female like mine, well, it would still equal out in terms of the overall evil brought into the world! (Okay, now I’M exaggerating, but you get the point!)

Oh, and I’m glad to see a lady here quoting Edmund Burke, the world’s most brilliant conservative! (I’m just teasing you, of course, though Burke actually is one of my personal heroes.) In any case, thanks again for the timely bit of “feminine good sense” – indeed, let’s never forget that we’re all on the same team here!

skylar

Constantine,
perhaps testosterone does make some people more predisposed, but who the hell cares? Once a person becomes narcissistic and toxic it doesn’t matter which sex or race or social class they are from.

In fact, the worst combination is spath plus intelligence. That is really scary. really really scary.

dancingnancies

They are not predominantly men; I think it’s a safe bet to say it’s about a 50/50 deal more or less. There are a lot of reasons as to why one would get the impression that they are composed, predominantly of men… but I assure you, that is not the case at all. ( As someone who has seen both sides of the “coin” so to speak )

Anyway, a lot of great comments here.

Duped- I agree, they are like creatures… from hell.

Sisterhood- I feel for you when you doubt yourself. If it’s your first encounter with a psycho- it’s HARD to wrap around your head that someone could be EVIL TO THE BONE. You want to believe otherwise, I know, because it completely throws your previous worldview up on its head. Evil, not bad, but evil, as in deliberately and maliciously calculating to hurt someone all under the masquerade of “kindness” and pumped up false as hell “generosity” ( blech… i think i need a trash can… ) it’s all smoke and mirrors. ( Just in case that wasn’t clear : they are grubby and greedy as fiends, they just need to “appear” that way to others ) Anyway.. doubts will surface, but you know, deep inside that what you encountered was unequivocably NOT HUMAN.

Speaking of which, I was thinking about this today. Looking at pictures of certain psychopaths ( Madoff, among others.. celebrities I won’t name at the moment ) is bizarre. They certainly look human, don’t they? But there’s this coldness.. there’s an emptiness, no matter how colorfully they may try to word things.. an underlying hollowness. And that hollowness is kind of a cold steadied steel harness of pure and unequivocable evil.

And i want to say sisterhood, even if you may sometimes be plagued with these feelings of self-doubt ( you’re human ).. stick with it. Keep reminding yourself. It has to be consolidated in our worldview- if it isn’t already. The notion that there are EVIL creatures out there ( again, not human ) masquerading as human beings, all with the sole intent of destroying whatever lies in their path as they spin onward on a self-obsessed spiral of fuckery and hollow experiences.
Like i said, you’re not used to the idea that psychopaths are very real ( 4% of the pop according to Martha Stout… that’s 1 in every 25 people. And that’s just an approximation. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more. But as it stands, 4% of the population is still a helluva LOT of psychopaths, I’ll tell ya. ) You just have to carry on and remind yourself, keep at it. (((hugs)))

dancingnancies

And since we’re on the topic I thought I would post Kathy Krajco’s wonderfully succinct blog post/article entitled, ” NPD? A Male Disease? An Adult Disease? ” here for you all to read.

NPD? A Male Disease? An Adult Disease?

Here’s an excerpt :

Another thing that warps our picture of NPD is double standards that are the fruit of stereotypes and sloppy thinking:

Women are nicer than men and therefore less likely to be narcissists.
What’s okay for men to do is wrong for women to do.
All old people are nice and deserve a pass to treat young people without respect.
Physically hitting someone is worse than verbally abusing them or destroying their life through slander and calumny.
Children are all innocent and, by nature, good.
Rubbish.

So, another thing that invalidates current statistics is mental-health-care workers applying double standards of both age and sex.

An example of such a double-standard is this: if we see an action photo of an angry male coach with his mouth wide open and his face contorted, we think nothing of it. He doesn’t strik us as ugly. Yet, if we see a photo of a female coach with but an intense look on her face, we find the image off-putting. She strikes us as ugly.

These internal reactions are so conditioned by society, that even if you are aware of the double-standard, you can hardly help but be affected by it. Therefore, we think nothing of this behavior in our male hero, but she strikes us as a bitch.

That’s just an excerpt, I recommend reading the whole article in full.

Also, you can replace NPD/Narcissist with Psychopathy/Sociopathy… she’s referring to the same thing.

Back_from_the_edge

skylar says:

“In fact, the worst combination is spath plus intelligence. That is really scary. really really scary.”

Tell me about it! High functioning, extremely intelligent and almost more intelligent than most; like that quiet little rat that sneaks out of the alleyway at night, in through a crack or a window, searching for it’s next snack or meal. You know how mice do that: somehow they can always find the smallest little crack to get into to make it to where they want to get. And they do it for what they want. Yah, just like that. Smart like that. Smart like red ants, making their trails to and from a water supply. Like that too.

Thanks Mel for YOUR post. I appreciate your being here and happen to appreciate your gift so much! 🙂 Thank you for coming here and for sharing. It adds unto the journey, Dear. 😉

You are right: this isn’t about gender, race, class, age, sexual preferences, creeds, etc….it’s about acceptability and non acceptability and where WE fit into all of this. No stone should be left unturned because what we know and what we have experienced is going to pave the way for a different understanding of this problem in our world and society. The ‘human soul hunter’, we shall call them, trying to keep disdain away from our conversation. 🙂

I have seen just as many women socipaths as I have men, since I noticed and from looking back over my life. And although I am a woman, I am saying: I think the women were actually somewhat worse then the men I saw because of their PMS, etc. 🙂 Yah…think about that! yikes! ahahahaha I am sure we have all been THERE! 🙂 Well, maybe not all of us…. 😉

We are all here to help one another and I, for one, am here to say that Love Fraud has been like 1/3 of my therapy. Just being able to come here and have a place to share with ‘like minds’. This journey has been amazing and ‘magical’ almost since I have been here and you all have added something to this experience in a very positive way. Just by being here and being YOURSELVES. 🙂

Hurry up with the next article, would ya, Mel…
I just can’t wait! xxoo

Dupedster

candy

takingitslow ”“ welcome to LF

There are many people on here parenting with a spath who will be able to guide you. 14 months is GOOD. Well done.

It’s tough when the courts don’t get it. Soldier on.

Make this about YOU and your daughter. Don’t give him head room.
If you try to figure him out you will be wasting your time and energy. There is NOTHING to figure ”“ none of it makes sense.

He’s not sick, he’s a spath. He cannot be made well.

Others here will suggest methods of managing the visitations.

Stay and learn.

Back_from_the_edge

In 3 days it is going to be 3 months since I have spoken a single word to it or allowed it to contact me in anyway whatsoever. I am getting nervous because Monday is fast approaching. It never makes it past the 3 month stage so this will be a HUGE moment.
I just never know what will be next. But I do know ONE THING: I am not tolerating anymore of this around me. Period.

It has been quiet so far and I am hoping it stays that way. There is NO WAY I would EVER agree to meet with it any more. Not ever. There is no excuse nor reason for it to bother trying to contact me any further.

Still, though, that burning thought hangs there in the back of my mind, trying to sear a hole straight to the core of my being and it isn’t going to continue! — “WHAT IF?” 🙂 Ruminations: be gone! Thought patterns: change! Inner strength and peace: here I come! 🙂

It’s a long and daunting journey but it is one we have no choice but to take. I think we are going to find ourselves on the other end. xxoo

Ox Drover

Duped, Congratulations on the 3 months of NC—that said, QUIT WORRYING ABOUT “what if?” and “Will he?” When you find yourself doing that worrying about tomorrow’s problems….STOP yourself right there.

I am working on the same thing….trying to live in the here and now, the TODAY rather than the “what if”s of tomorrow. Making decisions today based on “what ifs” are difficult.

Again, congratulations on 3 months total NC! TOWANDA!!!!

candy

Duped – the only thing you have to fear is fear itself. Someone famous once said that so I can’t take the credit!

I think they last 3-6 months with their ‘new’ love before the mask starts to slip. THAT’S when they start hovering around for past loves. That’s when triangulation comes back into play.

Others may think differently (it’s just my experience)

Are there any statistics? I don’t know. They can only keep up the ‘front’ for a short time. How we deal with it, and how long we put up with it, varies.

If/when he contacts you, do you have a plan Duped?

Back_from_the_edge

Thanks, (((Ox)))….
I know you are right about stop worrying what ‘if’ but I mean, we are talking about someone that truly is unstable and off the hook and I can’t help but be concerned for my safety at this point. I would be so foolish and blind to ignore it now.

You are right and I completely understand you and I try to do that: not worry about tomorrow’s problems. Right: making decisions based on ‘what if’s’ is very difficult.

I want it to just go away now and not upset my life anymore.
It has done enough. I will never forgive it. How can I?

TOWANDA OX!!!!!

mwah! xxoo

duh-Dupedster

Back_from_the_edge

((candy)) Good day to you! 😉

Yah, I have a plan: “Move away from the door and leave the premises the cops are on their way. Unless of course, you would like to stick around a while…” THAT is my plan.

We don’t live in the same cities so that has made it a little easier. And we have never formally ‘lived together’ because I wouldn’t allow it. Way too off the hook for me! BUT: it knows where I am. And, although that does not ‘scare’ me, it gives me ‘chills’ to think about it now that I have learned of the murder attempt.

If I am out and about in public and it approaches me, I will simply not look at it, put my head down and walk in an opposite direction. I will NEVER say another word to it; not ever again as long as I live. It needs to just go away. If it continues to follow me and/or harass me, I shall phone the police on my cell! 🙂 Which I am never hardly farther than around my neighborhood, anyways, and they all know about all this…not to worry. It’s just that he is so very unpredictable. About the time I think I know it, it bolts in another direction so I don’t trust it at all.

I think there are enough people now, in the world, who know about it and are aware of it and all of the threats, not just to me, but to others as well. It will have to lay pretty low to avoid the storms. IT is fortunate that the people who it has harmed along the way aren’t pre-disposed to murdering like IT has been.

*Blessings you guys*

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