By | June 3, 2011 176 Comments

Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, meeting highlights: Researching victimization

Having spent time listening to many psychopathy researchers, I can attest to many times coming away with the feeling that very critical insights are being missed. An appreciation for the bigger picture just isn’t there yet. For me the bigger picture always includes the family. A sociopath may prey on strangers, but usually that is after a lifetime of practice on family members. The reason this piece is so critical is that the personality disorder, psychopathy is a pervasive disorder of human social behavior that affects every relationship the disordered person has.

Considering what this disorder actually is- a pervasive disorder of human social behavior, the perspective of family members becomes very important. Methods of victimization of others also shed light on the nature of the disorder itself. I think this may be the only psychiatric disorder that would not be present if the affected person was lost alone on an island somewhere. That observation is often lost amid the abnormal brain scans and cognitive tests that are sometimes seen in affected persons.

Without the balance of hearing from victims and family members theories of psychopathy can even miss the central features of the disorder. For example, one new theory of psychopathy called the Triarchic Theory, states that the three traits of boldness, meanness and dysinhibition tell the entire story. The theory is actually better than this sounds but meanness is not what the authors of the theory think it is. If sociopaths were obviously mean, there would not be as many victims.

Given the assertions of the Triarchic Theory it is not surprising that the DSM 5 Personality Disorders Task Force proposed that “acknowledgement and articulation of other emotions (than anger) such as love and anxiety is rare.” Researchers need to put their theories into a perspective that can only be gained through real life outside the laboratory. Therefore it is critical that meetings include work on victims and their experiences, as subjective and “unscientific” as this may sound.

The posters Donna and I presented were an opportunity to challenge researchers to consider their words and assertions carefully. Many came away from reading them doing just that. I had to explain why the language proposed for DSM 5 is wrong, as many tried to defend the proposed statement as true.

There were also two posters from Adelle Forth’s group out of Canada’s Carleton University by graduate students Henriette Bergstrom and Janelle Beaudette on the effects of victimization by a psychopath on victims’ relationship functioning and physical health. This group has identified several themes in the narrative stories of victims, ongoing suffering, transformation and transcendence. But they also say those victims who came through the experience stronger did not really describe how.

This group has identified something I think is very important, that is the question of how to survive victimization and grow from the experience. The fact that a relationship with a sociopath has detrimental effects on psychological, emotional and physical health that lasts for years after the relationship has ended, tells us a great deal about what this disorder is about.

Watch the video: Donna Andersen explains Lovefraud research at psychopathy conference.

Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of

i’m not sure how valid (let alone complete) a proposed theory of psychopathy can be without studying victims. as you wrote, this may be the only “disorder that would not be present if the affected person was lost alone on an island somewhere.” (although i believe the disorder would still be present but absent animals or other living things to dominate, there would be no manifestations of it)

kim frederick

Donna, I wanted to take the time, once more, to thank-you for this blog and the service it provide to us, the survivors.

In your post above, you mention the grad students from Canada, who don’t elaborate on HOW survivors recover.

My background is in Literature, and as a result of being here, I learned about trauma bonding. From that, I started looking into something that is called “trauma theory of Literature.”

What I am learning is that “witnessing the testimonials of trauma victims is essential to thier recovery.”

Tha’t what we do here. That’s what so many of us find we can’t do out there. No one speaks our language.

We tell our stories (naratives) and everyone here witnesses it.

I think that’s also what you did when you wrote your book. If you are interested I can post a link about trauma theory.

Thanks again for what you do.


Dr. Leedom…..excellent work!
Thank you!!!


I see how difficult this is to diagnose and even recognize.
Given what we (the survivors) have gone through and learning about these behaviors….when a sociopath is on ‘show’, being observed for behaviors etc….it’s all for show, only a victim can describe and identify specific unrehearsed behaviors. (Or a video camera on at all times), unbeknownst to the sociopath.

The behaviors are covert and scheming and so many times even the victim is unaware they are being duped.

It’s a situation of …..adding up the behaviors to get the equation.

kim frederick

I’m sorry Dr. Leedom, I was confused. I thought Donna wrote this post. Silly me.

kim frederick

Hi, EB. Don’t see much of you anymore. I miss ya. How is the move coming along?


Hi Kimmie……it’s at a stall.
One day i’ll be totally out…hopefully soon.
You well?

lesson learned

What a great article!

I am a FIRM believer that intensive study of the victims is absolutely necessary to complete a theory about psychopaths.

Further, it’s interesting that most who are affected or traumatized by a psychopath are most often those in therapy. What we could learn from therapists aplenty (if they too had a clear understanding and comprehension of the disorder), and their clients is how the psychopath operates, his particular behaviors, the similarities, as well as the AFTERMATH of such an experience.

I think study of the brains of psychopaths is a fascinating one, that reveals a lot of information but so much more work needs to be done in this area.

Dr. Leedom, I think you expressed very well what further research needs to be done. It’s not on the psychopaths themselves, but the victims who can tell their stories thus illuminating the true nature and disorder of the psychopath.


Ox Drover

Many, if not most, mental “disorders” or “illnesses” have an effect on the family/friends/associates of the person who is “sick” as well as psychopathy having an effect on the family/friends/strangers who are victims of the “aggression” of the individual with the disorder.

If I am depressed I may withdraw from my friends/family, lose my job, or any other number of things that will effect those close to me in a negative way, but usually not to the EXTENT that a psychopath has a negative effect on those close to them, as well as others who are selected as victims.

Bernie Madoff I think is a good example of a “successful” and “socially acceptable” psychopath (as in a “shark in a suit”) but look at the negative effects his victimization had upon MILLIONS of people as well as the suicide of one of his sons, the split between the sons and their mother….etc. How much more damage could Madoff have done without a machine gun and an endless supply of bullets?

Look at the collateral damage that my psychopathic son has done to our family and the family of the victim he murdered…

Every psychopath I have had any interaction with (and that is several) from my egg donor’s brother, my Uncle Monster, to a couple of bosses, and a couple of employees, and “friends” and my own son….as well as my P-sperm donor…there has been a circle of devastation and pain surrounding the psychopath…their family members are usually either co-abusers or victims, or both. The emotional, spiritual, physical and financial devastation done to the family victims seems to be as bad or worse than what is done to the strangers, and in some cases, family members seem to be targeted for special malice.

Ox Drover

Looking at the HOW I have made progress in healing from the damage done to me by the multiple family psychopaths, as well as the one I dated, is that I finally received VALIDATION from several sources. 1) my therapist 2) my adopted son 3) my oldest biological son 4) the attorney I hired to protest my P son’s parole 5) LOVE FRAUD 6) some few of my friends 7) a minister friend 8) some of my P sperm donor’s cousins.

The VALIDATION by others of my pain, the validation that my assessment of the various psychopaths was SPOT ON, helped very much.

The BEST validation though, I think came from me LEARNING TO VALIDATE MYSELF. From me learning to TRUST MYSELF to keep me safe, to spot the psychopaths in the future….and we are all bound to run into another one or two at least on the fringe of our circles.

Healing has been a SLOW PROCESS because of the MULTIPLE TRAUMAS starting with my husband’s death in July of 2004 in a plane crash, and the serious burning of of my adopted son and two close friends in the same crash in which my husband burned to death. The next three years were chaos of family crisis after crisis with the illness and death of my beloved step father, the betrayal by my egg donor, my P son sending someone to infiltrate my family like a Trojan Horse….and so on….but since August 2007, the worst of the crises have been over and the healing started to move forward.

Learning to set boundaries and to STOP enabling others who used/abused me was another step that facilitated my healing. Getting out of DENIAL about the behavior of others is also an important step helping me set boundaries and stop the enabling.

Continual education of myself about psychopaths, about how grief is processed, and validating myself as well as practice setting boundaries and eliminating those from my life that do not respect my boundaries has furthered my healing.

That’s about as concise and precise as I can describe the healing process for me.


Ox Drover:

I am so sorry about the loss of your husband. That had to be so traumatic; I can’t imagine. My thoughts are with you, lady…

“”this may be the only psychiatric disorder that would not be present if the affected person was lost alone on an island somewhere.”
Paints a perfect picture.

“Without the balance of hearing from victims and family members theories of psychopathy can even miss the central features of the disorder.”
That just makes too much common sense.

As Oxy wrote and as also occurred to me as I read it, most any illness, physical or mental, impacts those around the afflicted. By its very nature, however, this one is unique in that the one afflicted is probably not the one who suffers from it (i.e., they don’t feel love, et al, so they don’t know what they’re missing), and it cannot be diagnosed without collateral evidence precisely because the psychopath’s own testimony is purposefully unreliable and from the perspective of one who does not feel emotions as we do, therefore whose viewpoints are vastly different and generally opposed to ours.

An integral element of that evidence is indeed the testimony of the psychopath’s targets. That’s us.

It has been my impression that the PCL-R does take collateral evidence into account (e.g., public records, witness statements, etc.), so is this strictly in regard to the anticipated DSM 5?


I have often thought that the best way to build a profile of a criminal offender to give the justice system some idea of their likelihood to re-offend would be to interview his/ her friends and family, exes, school teachers, workmates (especially those subordinate if the issue is about control and power), victims, etc. this wold create a truer profile. The same could be true for spaths, and well, victims.

Changes of the type suggested by Dr. Leedom usually come from the bottom up – from grassroots movements, and from young,new researchers. What was once deemed ‘anecdotal’ is codified and new research parameters are created to capture the information.


Ox Drover,

It is true that “there is a circle of devastation and pain surrounding the psychopath.” Because of my involvement with a spath, I have been profoundly affected (as have other people), resenting his family members (eg. his oldest sister, the substitute mother, for she was aware of some of his misdeeds) for not warning me about his true character. It seems no-one in his family of origin bothered to try to figure out that psychopathy runs in their family (their father, uncle, and possibly a female cousin, etc.) seemed to have it. They saw the behaviors (of their father and brother) and didn’t bother to put two-and-two together. Instead, outsiders (eg. daughter-in-law (me), business partners, etc.) had to suffer, starting to clue the family into the fact that their relative is a spath. They talk among themselves (about the spath), but the people who should be in the know aren’t. Total dysfunction and lack of actual concern for the well-being of outsiders. Their attitude has done a job on me. I don’t trust their seemingly kind ways, knowing that they could be withholding critical information from me. They don’t allow others to make informed decisions – instead, the outsider has to find out on his/her own, to the point where a person can be totally devastated and the family just sympathizes. The damage is done and they don’t acknowledge how they could have prevented A, B, or C from happening (that’s my opinion). I’m at the point where I refuse to have anything to do with the spath’s family, having no contact with them. It’s hard to know who to trust or if anyone can be trusted in that family.

Ox Drover

Dear Bluejay,

Your assessment of the family situation of your psychopath’s family is very valid I am thinking in many many cases….my own family included.


If my Uncle Monster got involved with a woman, she had to find out for herself that he was a serial beater of women….no one in the family warned her or empathized with her, or protected her at all. They just “stayed out of it.”

You are right, I think, to not have any contact with these people, or to trust them. Their dysfunctional family dynamics are not going to be any kind of benefit to you is my opinion. Or any support. In fact, many times ALL of the P’s family and/or mutual friends need to be avoided when you do break free from the P. That’s just part of the collateral damage and the collateral losses that the victim suffers.

Ox Drover

Dear One,

I have always found that the BEST way to find out about a boss is to talk to those people who work FOR them, not to talk to the boss’s boss…..So I think your suggestion to talk to the people around the “individual” is a good one, unfortunately, too many times, the family will “saint-i-fy” the individual, and the victims will “devil-i-fy” them so the person doing the interviewing still doesn’t know what to believe.

Just like too many of our friends don’t “get it” about what we (as victims) have suffered and trivialize our wounds, too many people who are on parole boards, etc. either have other agendas (empty the jails/prisons at all costs) or subscribe to the lie that “there is good in everyone” (puke!)

In the 1950s when it was believed that “a child is born a blank slate” and that ALL behavior is caused by environment or how the person is treated, and so on, it is unfortunate that there are still many people who subscribe to that MYTH….and many of them are sincere in that belief….as well as people who are “Christians” and believe that God can work miracles with “bad people” (even if that is true, the “bad person” has to be WILLING to participate in the reformation which we know Psychopaths aren’t willing) So the problem is in the Opinions and attitudes and lack of education of the majority of people who are appointed to parole boards and school boards….etc.

Yea, I sound pretty cynical about this and I guess I am….I don’t have a lot of confidence in people to do the logical and rational thing even most of the time, much less all of the time. LOL


Ox Drover,

Thanks for the response – it is helpful to have my impression of this family validated. I have periods where I am consumed with anger toward not only the spath but his family. It takes a while to get over it. Years ago, one of the spath’s friends (whom I didn’t like) was showing interest in a young woman. This man was an odd, irritating person who was going through a divorce (his wife smartly dumped him), being a very irresponsible person. I e-mailed the lady (that he was interested in) and let her know that she should think twice about getting involved with the man. She responded, thanking me for the warning – she was already thinking that she’d have nothing to do with him as the guy was constantly trying to contact her at all times of the day and night (he was getting on her nerves). At the time, I thought to myself, I would not want my sister, daughter (I didn’t have one yet), friend, etc. getting involved with such a man, thus, my reasoning for getting in touch with the woman. The spath’s friend never knew what I did.


Thank you for your well articulated post. That is exactly what I mean by my spath being surrounded by a nest of vipers. They enable him to do what he does. It’s a small town so they protect their own, and us outsiders who are at first confused and then upset at the magnitude of the lies are dismissed b/c we’r “outsiders”! As if that entitles spaths and their family/friends/sycophants… which sadly it does.

Your post describes the conspiracy around the spath. My spath undermined my ability to make rational decisions by withholding sometimes just one tiny piece of info that changed EVERYTHING,and then the consequence was used as proof that I was stupid and couldn’t make decisions so people went to HIM when they needed a decision made. And thus it seemed the entire community was against me… and I did end up scared that I was crazy, alzeimers, whatever… b/c I couldn’t figure out why everything I did went wobbly.

Amazingly since I left, all logic and reason and sense has returned. No more incidents of alzeimers (gaslighting) or making bad decisions, or people being so KINDLY while turning around and stabbing me in the back.

So So So different now. Joy and contentment are again part of my life. HAPPY :))))



You deserve to have a solid existence that doesn’t involve tremendous turmoil. Good for you, getting away from the “nest of vipers.”


For anyone interested in the technicalities (though it’s quite dense):

Triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy: Developmental origins of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness

One psychopathic trait it mentions is a “lack of planfulness. Now there’s a word I can’t recall hearing before!

If someone is prone to a “lack of planfulness” in their budgeting, together with a “lack of cashfulness,” do they end up suffering from an “excess of billfulness”?


Now that’s interestingfulness!

Would that be the same as ‘fly by nightfulness’?


“”this may be the only psychiatric disorder that would not be present if the affected person was lost alone on an island somewhere.”

So there is a treatement for Sociopaths.

But…..are there enough islands to RX?

Ox Drover


I love those “professionally” designed “terms” and I have laughed my head off at some of them…..yea, “lack of planfulness.” You’d think that with all the ed-u-ma-ca-tion these folks have that they would have enough of a vocabulary to cover the meanings of these “invented” words or phrases….LOL

One of my favorite one was used in an article about “change theory” and was “pre-contemplation” stage—meaning, I guess, that the person hadn’t even thought about changing. LOL Wonder how that would work in a sentence with “lack of planfulness?” ROTFLMAO


This is such a great thread, I just had to pop my head in here.
Agreed that BlueJay’s post somehow hit a nerve. It accurately portrays what I observed in my family as well. And I think I have an explanation of sorts. It’s narcissism. The family members know right from wrong, but since it’s US or OUR family members, we are exempt from the normal channels. It’s a form of nepotism.

My father was RAILING about my ex-spath and said, “anyone who abuses a member of my family…I don’t even want to hear their name mentioned in my presence.” I said, “But dad, your daughter and your son have abused me, and they LIVE HERE.” He ran upstairs to his room. no response.

So they don’t even SEE that they have a double standard, they’ve just always done it this way. It’s a feeling that the family must be protected from OUTSIDERS, even as it rots with evil on the inside. Because after all, it’s OUR evil.

I also love the comment that this is the only “disease” that requires at least two people. Well, that’s because any other addiction which ensnares an enabler, can stand on it’s own if the addict tries hard enough. But in sociopathy, the addict is addicted to the enabler. He just needs to suck and suck and suck on another’s power and leave them completely powerless.


Dear Ox Drover:

I read this article and viewed Donna’s video with a lot of interest. I am intrigued with the idea that spaths need another person to prove that they are mentally off. Dr. Leedom says:

“I think this may be the only psychiatric disorder that would not be present if the affected person was lost alone on an island somewhere. ”

Maybe I am not understanding it quite correctly. I tend to not be a very technical thinker (more philosophical and contemplative) so the nuts and bolts loses me in my comprehension.

I am directing this to you because seems to me you have a very clear and very balanced view of how this disorder works (nuts and bolts) and combined with your life’s experiences, your perspective comes from a place of healing which shows through loud and clear. Plus I feel safe with you. I still can tend to be waiting for the other shoe to drop and am apprehensive of letting my guard down. I trust you that you will handle my questions in a kind manner (maybe a boink or too, but always kind in the end!)

What I am failing to get it is this: Donna is explaining in the video about the conflicting data on sociopaths who cannot express love and HER findings that they do often express love. I had the same thought as Skylar’s in above post. I actually have had it for awhile. Some “spaths” are narcissists as the Addiction is.

What I cannot grasp is our tendency to lump everyone together in the spath pool when it seems it is possible that it is all relative and arbitrary-as far as traits and symptoms. BUT my not getting it is more than likely a lack of clarity on my part. I just haven’t put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

My ex bf has most all of the Narc tendencies and a few of the spath ones thus I tend to not label him as sociopath. He never expressed love/caring not even for his daughter, grkids etc. Just his mother, certainly not for me. He is highly narc but not so much the sociopath.

Now I know you have said in other posts that all narcs are spaths and vice versa. All the PS this and that tends to boggle my mind (as far as diagnostics). I did follow Redwald’s analysis on that brilliant post the other day! I agree with Kim F-it was the real deal no doubt!

Since I am not a psychologist and don’t really feel the diagnostics are 100% reliable, I am very confused on how we come to our labels of each “spath”. Yes we have all had one (or more) I just think they are not cookie cutter and stamped out with the same die. I want to lean towards the idea that they all present as individuals whom were all products of their own certain brand of environment and conditioning.

I guess what I am saying Ox is I don’t feel as if it has ever been explained to me in a way where I can really get my arms around it and know for certain that I have a clear understanding of what really is a psychopath, sociopath, narcissist. I want to say they are interchangeable like Legos and their traits can build on one another yet not all are dyed in the wool, some are like the Addiction, only narcs.

Back to Dr. Leedom’s comment, I want to think that even if they were alone, their madness would lead them to self destruct (as data indicates that even sane people can lose their marbles by too much solitude). And their victims would be their own self since they tend to destroy what they ‘love” but then again there we are back to the idea that maybe this is true only for the narcissist and not the psychopath. ???

BTW, I have to say that once I met an emotionally healthy man and am now in a relationship with him, I can see EXACTLY what I had before. The difference is stunning!! I want to understand these concepts as I want to fully put my past behind me. My Irish guy may or not be a narc/spath. He could have just been a very misguided soul recovering from a break up with his wife. I don’t want to accuse in my mind when there is a chance that I am wrong. He was very kind and loving. But he did some things that make me question. Never the less, I am happy now and my temptation to return to the Addiction is not a problem at this time. But I am proceeding with my eyes wide open.

Thanks Ox!!

Adam’s Rib

Ox Drover

Dear Adams’rib,

I see your problem, and I definitely understand.

1) Sociopath–psychopath–narcissist–antisocial personality disorder are ALL DIFFERENT NAMES FOR ESSENTIALLY THE SAME THING “on the street” (non professionals)

2) even among professionals there is a LOT of disagreement on (a) what the name should be and (b) what the criteria for diagnosis should be.

So can we say CONFUSION????? LOL Of course we can, when the professionals can’t agree even on a name for the condition, what are WE non professionals supposed to think?

We have been “hit up side da haid” by something that left us lying in the emotional street, bruised, broken and bleeding and the EMTs who come to the scene start to argue about the color of what it is that hit us and was it a station wagon or an SUV?


Yep, you have every right to be confused! That is why I say READ READ READ and educate yourself.

Actually, in my opinion and in the opinions of several other people that I think are pretty clear headed, Dr. Leedom, Dr. Robert Hare etc., there is a RANGE of behaviors and attitudes that constitutes what Dr. Hare calls PSYCHOPATHY and Donna uses “Sociopathy” (I pretty much use the two terms interchangably).

A narcissist (VERY self-centered person) can be a “narcissist” and yet not QUITE be a psychopath, just an unpleasant person who has little consideration for another person, but ALL psychopaths are “narcissists” but not all “narcissists” are quite psychopathic.

Psychopaths also have different levels of narcissism and arrogance as well, some more so than others.

As far as “expressing love” whether they can or can’t, they can FAKE EXPRESSING LOVE—they can say the WORDS or even “act nice” for a while during the early stages of the relationship especially, because they instincitively know that “being nice” gets the victim HOOKED. The same way that I know that putting a worm on a hook is much more likely to catch a fish than just throwing out a bare hook will.

The psychopath learns the way to BAIT their hook with words or deeds, but they are INCAPABLE OF FEELING THE FEELINGS that go along with the “being nice” and “saying loving words”—-it is all just BAIT on a HOOK.

The “Irish guy” you have described in other posts (if my memory serves me, it isn’t the greatest for details) I would qualify as a psychopath….your reluctance to “label” him one because you might be wrong, is pretty normal for most of us, however, I think it doesn’t matter if he is or isn’t, he was DANGEROUS and TOXIC….that is enough and more to get away from him.

I hope that answers your questions. No boink for having questions, asking questions is how we learn….but being down on ourselves for asking questions that is what gets a “boink” from me. LOL So no boink for you my friend! ((((hugs))))


this is really helpful Ox. Really sorts out the wash if ya know what I mean. Glad to know my confusion in all this is normal and I’m not just missing something that everyone else is getting!

Yes Irish Guy was dangerous in that he never gave me the closure that I so needed. He was so good with words “silver tongued Irishman” for sure but he couldn’t find the words (or the time) to give me one small letter that validated and answered my questions? Instead he left me with uncertainty for TEN YEARS. And being that he is a psychologist, I figure he knows more than anyone else what that type of ongoing, nagging uncertainty does to the psyche. Sadly yes, that is toxic. I see that now thanks to your reply.

(((back at ya)))) 🙂

Ox Drover


When a psychopath or highly toxic person is a psychologist, they frequently use that professional knowledge as a weapon to hurt their victims. I do think from your description he is a psychopath, but it really doesn’/t matter what the “label” is, because POISON, TOXIC fits the bill quite nicely.


that’s what makes it so sickening Ox. A psychologist for heaven’s sake and a family counselor. But I am not shocked when it is someone else, just him. Sickens me to my core the thought of it because he was so special to me. I just HATE it to think he is one of those creatures.. Not him of all people. UGH!!!SUCKS!!

Gotta go get the kid at the mall. Thanks again for being there for me ox!



Yours was Irish, mine was English. There’s something about those men…


Irish men are so damn hot especially those that have that old school shyness that comes from the Catholic school discipline. He looked like a cross between a young Russell Crowe and young Richard Burton with a deep voice and that accent. Oh eyes the twinkling Irish eyes. Those really do exist. Blue green eyes. too much. Lot of good it does to remember him. As Ox says it so well here he was TOXIC! That is the part I need to remember EB.


and the one of best times I ever had with him was getting totally snockered in a pub on Inish Mor (Aran Islands)called Joe Watties. We were so pissed we rode our bikes tottering through the rain down the rode singing at the top of our lungs. I’m not a drinker but you cannot go to Ireland and not get totally blitzed in a pub. To miss out on that is a travesty!! Haha…I have the memories for a lifetime.


woof~! and what great memories to have……we dont have to throw the baby out with the spath water…



Oh, no…I think that was mine, too with the Catholic school upbringing. Sigh. Your Irish man sounded gorgeous. My English X spath was gorgeous, too, but in a different way. Kind of small, very white skin, blue eyes…totally yummy. The most gorgeous accent ever. And he had this wonderful touch. Right…toxic, poison…whatever we want to call it…believe me, I know, oh, dear do I know!

Wow, the memories you have from the Irish pub are absolutely priceless. I remember when I used to think how if he could be mine, I would have given up everything and moved to England with him if he ever had to go back there. Looking back, I was so stupid. It still hurts a lot.

Not sure how either one of us will ever get them out of our heads, but we will. I have faith in that; it’s just going to take a long time.

Denise Guiney

The person I encountered was mean to his cat. First I thought he was kind to animals as he adopted a kitten however he was unbelievably mean to this cat. If I had lived with him undoubtedly it would have fallen to me to feed the cat and this person too. As it was whenever I visited my property two work on renovations he would try to emotionally manipulate me into buying cat food. He spent all his money on gambling and then tried to make me feel guilty that the cat was hungry. Unbelievalbe gall. I soon got wise to this person’s manipulations but it took me over twelve months to get him out of my house. As for the family, they were only too happy to see someone else copping the fallout from this person who they referred to as mentally ill with bi-polar, only adding to what he could call on for sympathy. I suppose that they always hoped that some relationship would fix this person but relationships do not fix this kind of person. In fact relationships make their behaviour worse. This kind of person even enjoys seeing the disappointment and hurt of family members when they faill yet again to pay back money owed or fulfil promises. They take sadistic please in the act of concocting a con. Why should they stop, the actions are pleasureable!


Here was a red flag: When I met my X spath and we started talking, I asked him if he had any pets and he said, “I am too selfish for pets.”

Ox Drover


Interestingly enough, sometimes they DO tell the truth…little snippets, sometimes disguised as A “joke,” but in retrospect we can see that they ARE THE TRUTH….I noticed (in retrospect) that my X-BF, the P, had told me the truth multiple times in little snippets, and if I had listened and honored those truths I would have saved myself a lot of grief….but HINDSIGHT IS 20/20.


it is not uncommon at all for people who are psychopaths to ALSO be bi-polar or to ALSO be ADHD or all three! The triple whammy of dysfunction!


here’s an interesting article on psychopathy in politics.
read the whole article, it’s worth it. you will recognize all of the ploys that you were subjected to. Except here it is done on a larger scale.


Hi All ,
From all the books I have read , most of them by supposed experts , I have concluded that unless an expert has been in a relationship with a psychopath most of these experts will never understand what a psychopath really is . I have read that psychopaths are not logical and that they have a poor grip of reality . This would almost make me laugh if it wasn’t for the seriousness of the problem . When experts are studying psychopaths , what the expert may not realise is , is that he or she is a potential victim . A psychopath does not sound logical because they do not want to sound logical . Its all part of the game . If a psychopath can confuse their victim they are well on the way to controlling them . Confuse followed by manipulate followed by destroy . But why you may ask . Its only a theory but i am beginning to think that psycopaths do not have a subconscious like most people . The logical side of their brain is in tack but the creative , either does not exist or is turned off . Because they only have a logical brain with no creativity they are void of conscience , the ability to love etc etc , basically all the things that a psychopath seems to be missing that most people have . This emotional void is perhaps what frustrates the psychopath . They are aware that everyone else has something that they don’t . They are fascinated by the aspects of humanity that they do not have . whats left of their soul is a tormented shell . Because they are not emotional their logical brain is somewhat enhanced which is why they are able to confuse the uninitiated with their pscho babble . It is this confusion that is dangerous to normal people . If a psychopath can shut down the logical thinking brain of their victim , by using confusion , I believe they can then gain access to the subconscious . Having Gained access to the subconscious they are then free to manipulate and then destroy if they so choose , whether mental destruction or physical destruction . The subconscious by itself has no defense mechanism . The logical brain is the defense mechanism of the subconscious . Take away the logical and you are in big trouble at the hands of a talented psychopath . Most of these thoughts are what have been going through my brain since the O like umbrella experience which I wrote about earlier and can be searched on this site . I realise this theory sounds a little spooky and I am sure that to a lot of experts it does not compute . However having been a psychopath victim and survived i think my knowledge is just as , if not more relevant than some expert who is trying to study a psychopath, much the same way as studying a tiger in a cage . Take the cage away and get a taste of the real situation is what it is like when one is in a relationship with a psychopath .


Quest! I missed you. glad to see you.
I’ll never forget O for umbrella. my BF calls it a “systems check”. they need to know if they have us thoroughly believing in them, so they lie, blatantly, to watch our responses. Our perspective is colored by our feelings for them. If we believe them to be honest and honerable, we simply adjust our own perpective to match the “truth” that they have told us. O for umbrella was simply a systems check failure!

I agree with you that a psychologist who has never been duped by a P can ever understand what that knife in the back feels like.

Consider that there are so many P’s pretending to be psychologists and therapists that they just do what Sam Vaknin does and they speak from experience – only difference is that Sam actually admits it and these other P’s are wolves in shepards clothing.


hey quest, what you said resonates with me because NLP ( psychological manipulation tactics often used by P’s and Pick Up Artists ) is based on touching on the target’s subconscious mind ( with “word hooks” and suggestions, etc etc ) here’s a pictoral example of NLP ( Neurolinguistic Programming )

I think that’s why it is so important to be AWARE of these techniques and how they’re used.. so we can avoid falling into the trap ourselves. The less aware we are, the higher the chance that we are susceptible to the techniques…

Here’s a warning article i posted a few weeks ago on NLP and how “anchors” are used.

I really appreciate your sharing your thoughts and insights with us quest! I agree that it is difficult to comprehend just the sheer severity of the psychopath’s pathology if one has never encountered one ( as you pointed out, a so called “expert” who has never been involved ). That’s why I think LoveFraud is so valuable- it facilitates real healing, real experiences, real validation.

I am still always and continously appalled at how little the public knows about one of the greatest risks to our sanity, health, and well-being. Not to mention the fact that there are so many of them out there. Psychopaths are predators ( no less ), and they prey on humans- the kindest and most well-intentioned ones of all. Without a doubt, there needs to be a tremendous amount of effort in educating the public, because our ignorance lends to their advantage.


Quest I agree. I think the only people ‘best qualified’ to write about spaths are those who have experienced it.

A bit like giving birth – those of us who have BEEN through it KNOW what it’s like. Now we can explain to someone, who has not given birth, what it’s like, and they can try to write about it. BUT that person can never FULLY understand.

Or on the other hand a man could try to explain what they actually feel at the point of ejaculation. From a woman’s point of view we ‘think’ we know but we have never experienced it.

I have never jumped out of an aeroplane (with or without a parachute!) But I have seen it on tv, read about it. Now does that qualify me to ‘teach’ others how to parachute? I think NOT.

Ok, I’m off for a flying lesson!!!


Denice, Eb

Oxy is so right on in her comment that they tell the truth, drop little bombs to see if we will react. Addiction said to me once when I first met him I asked if he had a girlfriend: “I have lot’s of girlfriends” haha joking. But I found out he really did. ALL AT ONCE!!


Eb seems like many times it’s these “larger than life” types of guys that get hold of our psyches and our hearts. Poor average Joe’s don’t have a chance as long as we stay hooked into the fiction, the illusion. I’ve realized lately that my new BF is ONE HELL OF A MAN. He has never been the drama king or that hero in an Irish film but he is an awesome dude and I am so thankful that he is just the average joe. I am ready to let him be who he is and to getting to know him as a NEW CHAPTER in my life’s story.


Ox Drover:

Yep, you are right. That happened to me more than the conversation about the pets. He also told me that he was unreliable and what you see is what you get. When talking about being separated from his wife he said, what can I say…I’m a dick and she’s a bitch. So…he told me outright over and over again. Ha, I think it’s the ONLY time he was honest!



Yeah, I know. The excitement isn’t real. I have come to the harsh reality of conclusion if a man is evoking those feelings in me, it’s not good. But how sad is that?? Why can’t I have that heady excitement feeling with a good man? I have never come across that in my life. My experience time after time is that if it is a good man, I am bored. It’s beginning to scare me. Mind you, I have dated very, very little in my life. I was married once, but I have been divorced almost 20 years. I never have gone from man to man. I think that is why when this one came along, I really went a little crazy. I really thought he was the one. What a fool I was.


Hens true… BTW to post a link from youtube:

go to the clip, highlight the URL address on the top tool bar(http), right click, copy, go to your email or here to LF and right click again, paste and shazam, duckie..


Eb my bf asks me, “am I boring?” and I tell him, BORE ME BABY!! 🙂

He’s quiet, shy, reserved, decent, hard working, funny, adorable, built from gym and cycling, not drop dead gorgeous but we know what that brings us don’t we ? 🙂 he grew up just miles from me, same culture, knows my family, doesn’t drink or do drugs (a little smoke here and there for the arthritis), and looks great for 57! We are going to church this morning!! Last time I went to church with a man for a whole service not just a touristy visit was when I said I do 13 years ago.

Don’t know what is going to happen but I am giving it a go yeseree!! Keep working on yourself EB. You will find a partner if you are as healthy as you can be emotionally, physically, spirtually etc. You will…laws of attraction..

Bye for now, going to CHURCH!!
ha ha…

Ox Drover

Dear QUEST!!!! Welcome home, sweetie! Missed you bunches!

I think there is some insight in what you said in your post. (as usual with your posts!) I have always believed that one of the reasons they are so sexually experimenting and trying new people and new things is because they don’t get what WE get—the “bonding hormone release” (oxytocin) and somehow they sense that we get SOMETHING that they don’t and they aren’t sure what it is but they keep trying new partners, new things, etc LOOKING FOR whatever it is that WE get and they do NOT GET. I think at the start of each new sexual relationship they think “maybe this is the ONE” but of course it never is and the new quickly wears off and they haven’t found the MAGIC FEELING so they move on to new partners, new experiences, etc.

Hang around Quest! Youu always add a lot to the conversations! ((((hugs))))

Send this to a friend