By | January 28, 2013 169 Comments

Sociopathic confidence and conviction, even when they’re lying

Downton Abbey was on TV last night, and Terry and I are among the millions of fans. Last night’s episode (Season 3, Episode 4) ended in tragedy because of behavior that looked so familiar to me.

(Spoiler Alert: The following description gives away the story.)

Lord Grantham’s daughter, Lady Sybil, is about to give birth. Rather than depend on the local country doctor, Dr. Clarkson, Lord Grantham has imported a more socially acceptable obstetrician, Sir Philip Tapsell, to deliver the baby. As the birth approaches, both doctors are in attendance at the estate.

Lady Sybil starts acting incoherently. Dr Clarkson fears that she may be toxemic. He recommends that they rush to the hospital so the baby can be delivered immediately by C-section. Sir Philip insists that nothing is wrong—Lady Sybil is experiencing a normal childbirth. The two doctors argue in front of the entire family and the nature of the argument is why I’m describing the show.

Dr. Clarkson worries that Lady Sybil may be in grave danger, but admits that he doesn’t know for sure. Sir Philip, on the other hand, is totally confident that nothing is wrong. He never wavers. He is pompous in his confidence. He practically sneers at the country bumpkin doctor for being an alarmist, and actually tells him to shut up.

Lord Grantham notes that Dr. Clarkson isn’t sure about the possible danger, whereas Sir Philip is 100% confident that everything is fine. He sides with Sir Philip, and they do not go to the hospital.

Lady Sybil goes into labor and the baby is born. But a short time later, she goes into convulsions and dies.

Argued like a sociopath

Dr. Clarkson was right all along. But Sir Philip spoke with unshakeable self-confidence, unwaveringly certain that he knew best. He argued like a sociopath.

I am not saying that the Sir Philip character is a sociopath.  But I am saying that his extreme confidence, his self-righteousness and his hubris are all traits that sociopaths display when they are pushing to get their way.

I write about this in my book, Red Flags of Love Fraud:

How do they do it? How do sociopaths convince you to go along with their agendas, even to your own detriment?

They command it. This is a function of their charisma because they command unflinchingly, with complete self-confidence, they get results. Now, this doesn’t mean sociopaths are always barking orders. Often the commands are delivered on cushions of sweetness, or camouflaged as appeals for sympathy. But in their minds, whatever sociopaths want, they are totally entitled to have. Therefore, when they make their desires known, they show no doubt, only certainty. Compliance is demanded, and targets respond.

Those of us who are not disordered usually aren’t as adamant in expressing our views, opinions or desires. We may think we’re right, but recognize that we could be wrong. We may know what we want, but we’re willing to compromise.  So when we come across people who communicate vociferously and forcefully well, we tend to be bowled over. Because of the sheer force of their words, we tell ourselves that they must know what they’re talking about, they’re telling the truth, and they’re right.

My ex-husband’s convincing lies

I’m soon going to be on another TV show I’ll tell you all more when I have details. The producer asked me if I had any more video or audio of my ex, James Montgomery. Well, I found some tapes that I had forgotten about recordings of voice mails, and a recording of our first telephone conversation when I arrived home after leaving him. The tapes illustrate the steamroller tactics with which he argued even when he was lying.

Let me set the scene. James Montgomery swept into my life, portraying himself as a successful entrepreneur. He invited me to be part of his business plans, which, if I could help him get started, were sure to make us fabulously wealthy. He pressured me to lease a car for him it was in my name, and I made all the payments. To feed his unending need for money, I drained my savings and loaded about $60,000 in debt to my previously zero-balance credit cards.

Montgomery also told me he was a member of the Australian military who had heroically served in Vietnam, and still acted as a consultant, particularly on terrorism. He often flew to Florida, telling me he was stopping by MacDill Air Force base in Tampa, home of the Special Operations Command. While there, he was able to get around by borrowing the cars of other military members that were parked at the base.

In December 1998, Montgomery dragged me to Florida, saying he had a contract to open a Titanic show in Orlando. We spent money we didn’t have to move down there. A few weeks later Montgomery admitted he never had a contract. Then, while he was flying to yet another business meeting, I discovered that he had fathered a child with another woman during our marriage. I left Florida, and took the car that he had been driving.

So, here’s part of my conversation with James Montgomery when I was back at my home in New Jersey. (Warning: Contains some profanity.)

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Here’s what I know now that I didn’t know during the conversation. My entire marriage was a financial scam. James Montgomery was never in the military. When he travelled to Florida, he was visiting other women including, but not limited to, the mother of the child., who probably owned the car he drove.

Yet listen to how he argued about the car. I was wrong for taking the car back to New Jersey, which inconvenienced him. I was wrong about him using cars from the base. And I was stupidly ignorant about the policy for using military cars. Montgomery was adamant and self-righteous in his argument even though everything he said was a lie.

At the time, the conversation was terribly upsetting. He threw many more accusations and threats at me, which, because of the conviction of his words, made me wonder if he was right.

Later, I discovered that everything he said that day, and practically everything he said during our marriage, was a lie no matter how convincingly the words were stated.

I didn’t know someone could lie with such confidence and conviction. And that’s how I got into the entire mess.

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kim frederick

Donna, thank-you for this very timely article.
There is something about the condescending tone of manipulation that signals sociopath, for sure.
Again, thanks. This article was just what I needed.

Ox Drover

About the television show and the two doctors arguing, I look at it this way “what is the WORST CASE that can happen if A or if B” and make the decision based on that, in this case, taking the woman to the hospital, the DOWN side of doing it? Very little inconvenience, but the DOWN side of NOT taking her could be (and was) death.

Unfortunately too many times you are right and when people argue a point with GREAT CONFIDENCE they sway the outcome of the situation…sometimes to great peril in the outcome.

If I had a dollar for every P-lie I believed I would be richer than Bill Gates.


wow. seems an overlap between two articles!
it’s the same glib tone of voice when a pedophile is speaking, that authority of entitlement, that attitude that YOU must be wrong, that YOU (or whomever they targeted to exploit) are responsible to help them resolve the problem so they can continue their predatory behaviors. YOU of course, are heartless for not caving in and providing them YOUR assets, whether tangible or emotional. As heartless as anyone who keeps a child away from a pedophile who only wants to give that child “Love”.

my spath’s greatest glee was when he manipulated his victim to abusing themselves. he crowed and felt like a WINNER then!

that’s what James is trying to do to Donna in this recording, trying to shame her into providing him a car all the while SCAMMING Donna for HER assets. he musta been late for a date…


This all sounds very familiar. The ex swore once that he showed me his medals for valor. He was adamant and angry in his argument that he had and I was so stupid I just didn’t remember. I found out later he was a light vehicle mechanic in the army and he was stationed in Georgia. He didn’t serve in the Gulf war or any other conflict. There were no medals.

that recording brought back memories.
There was the part where he repeats your words back to you, “A-a-a-a-a base car, in Orlando?” That gives him time to think.
My spath just used, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Huh?”

Then there was the liberal use of expletives. That’s to raise your stress level and throw you off your game.

I noticed that you were gray rocking him. No emotion. That was really good. It was driving him nuts.

Then of course he was laying all the responsibility for his transportation on you. Everything is your fault, you are responsible and you failed HIM.

It really triggered memories, and made me want to slap him silly.


Just, OMG! Listening to that recording was like listening to this spath that I am yet divorced from! Aghhhhhhhhhhhhh! Don’t they all operate like that to certain degrees? Ughhh, what memories of the arguments we got into over ME confronting HIM, and him getting angry and OFFENDED that I was calling him out on a matter! Just Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Our divorce is gna be very interesting! It’s gna really piss him off when I counter-claim spousal abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, financial terrorism, false-pretenses of our entire marrige! He will be LIVID when I go to court with proof of him calling transvestite escorts, profiles on xxx-dating websites, and so much more! Yep, should prove very interesting! Its so true, how they have such confidence and conviction when they are lying, and gaslighting! Thanks, Donna. Another good one!


Wow, Donna, listening to that short audio, that short argument brought back memories.

Every one of my arguments with the ex sounded exactly like that! (just an even hoarser voice and a latin accent). But the way he would tell me what to do, the sighing, the persisting, even if I greyrocked him at those moments…

And you’re right, it made me feel doubtful about myself, that perhaps he had a point after all, that I had messed things up for him and possible even endangered myself (from fellas he made me think were out to get him or me). And then he would suddenly shift gears and stroke me, and be sweet and said he understood, but I was making if unecessary difficult/dangerous. And that’s usually when I caved in.

I traveled the world in a backpack for years all by myself, without ever getting in trouble (though there were some risky situations, like hurricanes). But when he talked like that, he made me feel as if I KNEW NOTHING.

Of course it was in similar situations: he would lie to me about something, and I would function and make decisions from how he presented stuff (his stuff, where he was). But then all of a sudden I would learn the situation was different from the first representation, but the new representation would be a lie to of course.

It definitely harmed my ability to take initiatives. I couldn’t take initiative anymore, not for anything, or I’d end up “messing his life up”.

Ox Drover

Yep, Donna, they all sound alike in trying to get you to take responsibility for THEIR PROBLEM.


Their annoyance with us sounds really through in their voice. I can hear it clearly in the audio you put up, Donna.

Whenever we do something spontaneous it upsets their plans. At the time with the spath I tried to make him understand that if we got into trouble because HE MISINFORMED me (euphemism for lying), it was a problem HE CREATED. Of course he could never see it that way. I should just be careful and not do anything unless he told me when it was ok. BLEUGH!


Yes Donna there is a commonality.

“THAT” tone, like you should KNOW what you need to do and go along with what he’s saying…. even though what he’s really saying is “don’t get in my way of my defrauding you and anyone else i target to defraud” and if you DO get in the way, it’s b/c YOU are SO difficult. THAT tone. Glib. He’s So Sure you should comply b/c after all, it’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do.

Ox Drover



kim frederick

I thought you all might like this article about NLP, or conversational manipulation.

kim frederick

ROTFLOL on that last link… that “love letter” translation was spot on and HILARIOUS


“kim frederick says:
I thought you all might like this article about NLP, or conversational manipulation.

Oh, boy.
I checked out the link and found articles about Projection and Withholding.

Seeing the parallels and the outright accurate description of my ex-gf’s behaviour makes me feel like breaking down.


sorry. when we realize how bad they are, we can be overwhelmed with grief. i know i was. i thought, how come i couldn’t see it? now, i’ve been divorced one year (as of Dec 31!) and look back, amazed how happy i am to be free of him. when i think of the years of pain, of ending my marriage, of how hard i fought to find a solution and how much i wanted to FIX it ALL and stay married, here i am! HAPPY to be free. But that took time, and a LOT of processing and after a while, I stopped looking for the end of KNOWING about betrayals b/c they just didn’t STOP. Instead I worked on KNOWING myself and setting up strategies to have healthy relationships, the ability to assess and walk away BEFORE being committed.

If you need to break down to release the tension, DO IT. and then give yourself grace for being a person of care and feelings b/c my dear, we NEED those type of people in this world.

One of my coping strategies was to counter his harm by finding a way to do good for someone else. I tried to keep it secret b/c getting kudos meant it was ego centric and I wanted to make it other centered. I’d put pennies in places for children to find. Or drop dollars in a store where people would feel blessed by a little extra cash (dollar store). I’d put little things in people’s mail boxes (Yeah illegal so sue me), like reading books for preschoolers where I knew a child of that age lived there. (I volunteer at a used book store so I could buy children’s books for 50 cents.) I am poor but am willing to eat bean/rice for a week to fund my secret santa projects (done all year long, secret santa is just where I got the inspiration.) Knowing I was inserting a little happy serendipity kinda made me feel powerful at a time when I felt SOOOOooo low.

Not saying copying some of what I did changes things for you, but getting away from the toxic infection and thwarting evil did something for me….

Best, Katy

kim frederick

Katydid, I love how you countered your spaths evil. I absolutely love it!!!! I have had a few incidents in my life when soneone did what you did, and it was lovely. It was reaffirming of my faith in humanity. I think I will think of ways to do this also….and never let my right hand know what my left hand is doing. 🙂


Wow, just wow. Very triggering, but thank you so much for posting this, Donna. I also watch Downton Abbey by the way and love it. It’s really a remake of Upstairs, Downstairs, but it’s great…I am hooked!


Here is a great article about office affairs for anyone who is interested. It talks about how some abuse their power which happened to me. I read this in a magazine while I was on the stationary bike today.


Yeah Kim Frederick
Doing little things so others have serendipity? It was something I fell into as a way to reconnect to my humanity. I love serendipity. A small thing but it was powerful for me, to feel like I was thwarting EVIL, esp at a time when I felt SO worth less than nothing (my husband’s phrase about me, and I had come to agree with) 🙂


I missed that episode. she died ? oh my…


Yes, Sybil died! 🙁 It was awful and very unexpected…a huge twist in the plot.


Very powerful point about s-paths. I sometimes look at old YouTube clips of Hitler speaking in front of tens of thousands of people all in awe of him. I wonder how they could all be snowed by a madman. A large part of the answer is charisma and force behind the words. Life is often confusing and when someone comes along, as Donna points out, with confidence behind his or her words, we take notice and are inclined to believe and follow.

My own experience was similar to the woman I now believe was at worst an s-path but at least had some kind of personality disorder, like narcissism. She could look in my face and lie with no qualms or hesitation. And her adamant assertion of things which were not true in order to be convincing to get what she wanted seemed so genuine.

I think the s-path’s lying is tied to another topic, which might be worth an article here some time. (I haven’t seen it if it’s been written.) That topic is the s-path’s understanding of language. I truly believe that, after observing this woman I knew, that she thought that saying something made it true. Language was not about sharing things for her. Rather it was almost solely about persuasion. It was what some linguists call a “transactional” use of language: I use words in order for me to exert my will upon you. There is no other reason for them. So, in her mind, it is quite possible she was not lying, since language for her was not about truth or communication. (Although I was never physically involved with her, I learned later she had the same view of sex, when I found out that she slept with people for money and advancement. Sex was not about intimacy, but just as a means of persuasion.)

Thanks again for the post.


His voice gives me the chills. But I loved the flat affect you displayed. That was something I could never do during my relationship with my ex husband, but it’s a good skill. when they spath says something, they really believe it, which is why they are such good liars. The doctor in Downton clearly thought he was superior to the country doctor. I’m in healthcare, and there are more than enough doctors who feel that way. I’m wondering if doctors have a higher rate of sociopathy. Someone should do a study.


Sigh…been there, done that. (re: your conversation with your ex-spath).

Sorry you had to go through it, Donna. Sorry for everyone who has had to suffer at the hands of a sociopath. We deserved better.


“skill with words”

I’m ashamed to admit that my ex was a blathering idiot. When I met him I thought he had some basic intelligence, at least when it came to his job and a couple of subjects he seemed interested in as hobbies. It wasn’t all that long before he was literally making up words to try to impress me, and even to compete with me. When it was all said and done I was pretty confident that he was functionally illiterate, but he knew how to ‘fake it’ to a certain degree.

I don’t know why I was so forgiving. I guess I accepted that he wasn’t all that smart, and that it was ok for him not to be as intelligent as I am.

But he really was just a flipping idiot.


rochelle –

actually a few months ago there was an article about psychopaths in the professional world in a Belgian paper. Their source was “‘The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success’ by Kevin Dutton.

Not surprisingly some type of jobs attract more psychopaths than other jobs and it included a list of a top 10 list for having the most psychopaths versus a top 10 list of least psychopaths.

So the top 10 was:

Media (TV/Radio)
Civil servant

The top 10 of the least psychopaths was

Charity workerr

Of course no field is withouth them, but there are less in the jobs that require giving a lot of yourself for not that great a social status and money. The glamour jobs that implicate pyramid hierarchy and ultimate power are the favourite fields of spaths.

(the Belgian source, in Dutch)


Good Morning, Seeing Clearly here, haven’t commmeted in a while but have come here quite often to read and learn. My reason today is that I clicked on the link that Kim Frederick posted. All (3) of my security walls flew open with a warning or threat. Please proceed with caution. Thank you all for being here.
Happy day to all of you.

kim frederick

I found a host of articles about the word choices and speach of psychopaths who had been convicted of murder. The point, though, is not that they were murderers, but that they were psychopaths, and that they could be identified by their speach patterns.
Here’s one:

Ox Drover

That was an interesting article, Kim, and there were some other interesting links on the same page….like the one about handedness


Thanks Kim,

I also clicked on the “read more” to the source site for the longer article.

Isn’t it interesting they speak more about and put more emphasis on physical needs. It reminds me of the “positive disintegration” theory where the level I integration is the one that dominates the psychopath’s personality: “Marked by selfishness and egocentrism (both reticent and explicit), those at level one development generally seek self-fulfillment above all, justifying their pursuits through a sort of “it’s all about me” thinking; or, more simply put, they adhere strongly to the phrase “the end justifies the means”, sometimes disregarding the severity of the “means”.

Since they have such low degree of emotions and no regard for other human beings their daily life pursuit is for those “primary” needs, but never those of emotional/mental and social development (soul searching). They simply do not have what it takes to develop on those levels, nor can’t perceive it. All that stirrs them and they can actually experience is physical stimuli. Hence food, sex, and material bling bling is their most important need, not able to conceive that a hug, a smile, a good conversation, doing something for someone else can be more satisfying than food, sex or bling bling.



More moments of feeling slapped in the head! The stuff about ‘primary needs’ got me.

My ex-gf started out with me about being a ‘spiritual ‘ person.
There were the Wayne Dyer books, Sunday School memories, family values….

But that was all talk. She only seemed to function in the realm of what you mention as ‘primary needs.’ For her, life seemed to revolve around those things. There were epiphanies and realizations and all the stories about abuse and hardship but – why didn’t I detect a ‘soul’ and a ‘heart’?

In the end she wrote: “I’m tired of feeling guilty for wanting what I want.” (Material things – mostly.) I feel like I need to find that letter and read it again.

Thank you for all that you wrote.
It means a lot to me.


my 3 yr old granddaughter looked up at me one day & asked me, why did i divorce her grandfather, my husband, the father of her mother? at this point i was two marriages later- the second husband who’d rescued me from that first one turned out to be a much more dangerous type of sociopath- at least that was how i thought of him at that point–
but what do you say? how do you possibly quantitate succinctly and understandably 12 years of the worst quicksand a human being can walk through, put it into terms not only justifying your actions but also simply enough that a very young child can understand? my mind spun. between this, my first grandchild, and myself, was a very straight and strong line of communication, always. it was importanat to me.
finally, my spinning wheel mind stopped. on one phrase that defined it all…and so very very much more.
“he lied” i told her. “he lied about everything. always. you can’t live your life with that in your closest circle. it will kill you and everyone dependent upon you.”
it almost had, still is a daily threat because i raised my children in a life that was, at it’s best, an illusion, at it’s worst, homeless…threatened by a whole order of people who were similarly “challenged”. nothing and no one was safe for us, as he had inserted lies about me to my own family and any friends along the way. i was, unbeknownst to me, “the bad guy”. he even, when i made it clear i really really was serious about a divorce (not the kind of games he’d played with me constantly) he took our first-grade son out and did his “poor poor me” act, crying on this very young child’s shoulders that mommy had been the one screwing around all along, that mommy was just toying with his poor heart, etc, etc…that i was the liar, the thief of the life, the one who’d always jerked the rug out from under his feet….that i was destroying poor poor daddy, who simply had no one else to cry to but his loving little son, so sorry, i just had to have someone, he said to this 7 yr old child….
sure he did. so i will always have that planted doubt and fear to deal with from my son, worse, so will my son. this is how a truly adept sociopath controls the people closest to him…


There are sociopaths everywhere but.. and their main tool is their ability to lie..

I noticed priest/pastor on the list.

When I was a kid in Catholic school we had a 5th grade teacher who was a nun. She came to school crying so often that she had a nervous breakdown and had to leave her job. She told us that the other nuns were bullying her because she didn’t want to give up wearing her habit (the nun’s veil), although they had been given permission to dress as regular people.

Looking back now, I see that she was attacked by spath nuns. What I can’t figure out is why a spath would become a nun. Sure, it’s the perfect mask, but what’s the upside? Lots of victim-supply?


That conversation sent chills up my spine. I so remember those totally confident outbursts that made me doubt my own memory, sanity, and self. They could go on for hours, battering my self-esteem and self-confidence even lower.

It has been 5 1/2 years since I left our relationship and 11 years since we met. I have had extensive counseling and I know everything you say to be true. Even so, there are times I look back with longing for someone who wasn’t really ever there. Such is the sociopath. Such is the wound they leave.
Such is the co-dependent enabler.

I do, however, have a much better, calmer, more peaceful life and I am quick to recognize my own triggers and the dynamic I want to avoid in relationships with others (all relationships – sociopathic people don’t have to be partners, they can be friends, family members, business associates, etc.)

Thank you for this site, Donna, you have turned your experience into something so positive and helpful. It has certainly helped me.



The dutch word was more general for someone holding a power function in the church. It could include women.

As for nuns: there was a certain special status to being a nun, certainly for women at a time who didn’t have much career opportunity anyways. The internal structure is very hierarchical.

raggedy ann

Wow, I had no idea I was also being characterized as a manipulative psychopath in that other conversation.

Skylar, people do horrible things all the time without necessarily being out and out spaths — partly because of compartmentalizing the world into who deserves one’s compassion or morality (puppies, cancer victims, etc. vs less romanticized things like fellow-adult-colleague-nun), and/or because the human tendency to bully or transgress in some other way is growing in an area where they have a blind spot. A spath could also become a nun if she buys into a lot of the notions in their religion but is simply too stupid to notice the other parts of life that merit application of those notions. Or they just don’t care, and their first successes in life as a spath were in manipulating the local priest, or their community or family by being a virtuous pious young girl, and the vocation had some other appeal for them. Of course in the instances where the local priest was sociopathic, then their whole sense of religion may be skewed.

Some of the coldest and dishonest likely sociopathic shit I’ve had done to me has been by daily churchgoers who really believe they are virtuous. And their expression of their virtue is in being there for their child or parent, protecting them or cleaning up their mess at other (translation: non-family) people’s expense.

Donna sounds tough but nervous and unsure to me. Having to stand up to angry illogic is usually disturbing, but especially so when a situation is new, like maybe this one was. My first reaction with angry gaslighting bluster was to think that I must be wrong because nobody would have the gall to be expressing indignation like that when they knew they were the one in the wrong. Apparently it’s a common haggling technique in business in some cultures, but if you are inexperienced, you are manipulated by it. Until you reach the point that you are not. You may be afraid, but you understand much more quickly that of course the person in front of you is lying again, or this unknown new person who is blustering could be sincere or could be lying.

I have dealt with several people who might qualify as secondary sociopaths, in that they are people who have anxiety issues but have still behaved very immorally/unethically, or have been dishonest consistently in a way a sociopath would.

The truest lovefraudster I have had a close brush with was prone to illogic. In the cases I have encountered it has seemed earnest and sincere and just hysteria, rather than deliberate controlled crazymaking manipulation like the awful man in the audiotape.

I think there must be types who become easily hysterical, and then others who very rarely display that.

I’m still interested in hearing your story about your spath encounter that brought you here.

To Be Free

I have been reading this website for about 4 months now. In Dec., I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years the week before Christmas. I could never figure out why he didn’t act normal. Now I know that he displayed all the traits that are associated with the spath. I did not see him or talk to him for 4 weeks and I thought I was doing good. But the missing him was too hard. I should not have done it but I contacted him and even saw him this past weekend. Now I realize that I will have to start the whole process over again to get him out of my head. My family would be furious with me if they knew I even talked to him. They were so worried about me dating him. They could see right through him and I couldn’t. I was just in “love”. And of course, there was always “talk” of marriage. Anyone, got any advice?

raggedy ann

I was a very, very messed up person with life problems. Stumbled across a player that subjected me to various elements of lovefraud — I was very slow in recognizing things that were going on, as well as patterns and tactics that appear here in various people’s accounts with their spaths. I didn’t have the lovefraud site to learn from. That situation didn’t involve violence. It lasted quite a while, that person is still like crack to me. Addicts get complacent and sometimes pick up the pipe again thinking they can handle it. Mentally ill people get complacent if their medication is working, and then reduce it because they hate the side effects — having lost sight of the terrible chaos or suffereing that comes with their illness unmedicated. Sometimes the pipe is agressive in trying to get back in your life. This is one reason why “skin hunger” interests me. I think it makes some people susceptible to jerks that come around when no one else has stuck around.

Years later, in a different relationship, I was subjected to a really brutal and degrading attack which had an incredibly complicated aftermath, including eventual reinvolvement with the person. In the year after the attack, I found myself obsessed with the Elisabeth Fritzl case which had just broken, because in my bizarre way I related to the idea of being held captive, in that I felt very trapped where I was and unable to tell a soul that could help me resolve things. I was obsessively refreshing google for news, and stumbling upon other crime stories and Dateline and 48 hours archives (i don’t have a tv). Found myself rubbernecking these stories — had watched years earlier the real mystery shows on the Discovery Channel which were similar). I was drawn to these stories and also learning things — you see or hear enough and you start to see patterns on why crime or violence between intimates happens. Anyway I also stumbled accross Eyes for Lies, which had a link to here. I might have also encountered LF before but this was a restumble.

I read a lot of stuff that initially triggered me because of my earlier lovefraud experience. But I also was learning stuff and feeling a certain improvement in my mastery of what happened years earlier and an ability to spot some kinds of trouble — many of us here had NO preparation in our youth even for generic cads. I also learned new important things — like that I may have mistakenly attributed the lovefraudsters deeds to his Middle Eastern background. Or maybe that’s a warranted connection, but still I was reading stories about church people, this type that type, educated etc. (Occasionally I would recognize in stories attributes of my current boyfriend who was on his own journey of redemption, but still very troubled and taxing and draining and abusive though not violent.) You were the first person I ever saw use the expression “grey rock” — a concept or method I never really had to test out but seems like a magic coat of armor for the future. I disagreed with some stuff I read here, was wary of some posters or some of the things they said, but remained a reader, eventually registered out of concern for Nassau Girl and had a handle to post with. Registered a new handle after I lost the otter ballet password.

Much of my internet use was also from boredom at work, so I would check in here regularly and other places.

I was IN my last very damaging relationship while reading.

The extrication of ourselves from the relationship was also very complicated, and ended in a massive betrayal in a number of ways, with more horrible aftermath and upheaval that I am still in, although the attack person is mercifully gone and the relationship ended. I mourn a lot of the positive part that kept us with each other, but also have reminders of why. So while not a classic LF like a bigamist or Donna’s horrible abuser (I don’t even want to type his name), this second guy (not sure if spath or if under influence of a spath — very churchgoing _ father, at most ‘secondary spath”) is one reason I pay attention here. Especially because some things still trigger me and I am not out of the damage this person did yet.

I was close to answering “how is it relevant?” to your question, and wary of your reason for asking. And certainly wary of what new attacks await, especially after learning what happened to Cappuccino Queen. The stuff I typed out and saved is also completely different from what I wrote here because it was heavy on detail of events with abusers rather than about how I ended up at LF. After seeing this latest word salad is from psychopaths business, I decided there is no way I would share it. But you asked again, and so here is some of the answer. I did not edit it it or proofread too carefully; my answer may be too stream-of-consciousness or disjointed for some tastes, so I half-apologize for any ongoing coherence problems.

raggedy ann

oh, lol, typing, typing, and Donna steps in in the meantime. Thank you for doing that, Donna. I’m OK with my sort-of compromise post.

And grateful for any good will in skylar’s curiosity.

To Be Free

Thank you Donna.
You are totally right about being additive. I lost my husband of 22 years and very shortly after I started seeing this guy whom I had gone to high school with but had not heard from him in 30 years. He was sending condolences at first, then later wanted to get together to talk. He lived an hour drive from me. I was totally vulnerable. He wanted to shower me with attention and then gifts. But the Dr. Jekell/Mr. Hyde actions was what I couldn’t understand. And of course, in every conflict we had, he turned it around to be my fault. I excused his behavior time and time again. I am just an emotionally generious person, which was bad for this relationship. He lied to me so often but I would end up excusing that too. It is so crazy. Then, of course, I found him talking to other females and he said they were just “friends.”
My deceased husband was a wonderful man and I never was treated in that way. I just don’t understand how I would let someone treat me like this and STILL go back to him. Guess that’s why it’s called addition.

Raggedy Ann,
just from past experience here on LF, I’d say that telling your story will only get you more good will. People here are very compassionate. They only get suspicious if they don’t read any story at all.

Personally, I was very curious because you do seem to have a different perspective than most people here AND you are quite willing to post it and defend it, vehemently. So that made me curious as to why, on both counts.

Your average empath (if I may say there is an average) MIGHT have empathy for a pedophile, but wouldn’t post it on LF because of empathy for the survivors of abuse. Not judging whether that is good or bad, just what I’ve noticed.

I’m kind of like you, in that I will have an opposing opinion and I will mostly just blurt it out. Donna might recall that I have even argued with her on particular issues.
Blogging on LF has taught me to be a bit more “diplomatic” in how I state my positions, but I’m probably still not the most diplomatic person out here.

Being in the company of all these wise teachers here for the last 3 years or so, I’ve learned more about human nature than I have in the previous 44 years (when I learned virtually nothing). Learning is why I’m here, so I appreciate your sharing your experiences. Please continue to share your experience as much as you are comfortable doing. You might be pleasantly surprised at the response you get.

In my life, it was my parents who set me up for being a victim early on. They taught me to sacrifice for others. So of course, I looked like perfect spath food. My spath brother and spath sister are still convinced that I should make the ultimate sacrifice (my life) so they can inherit my share of what anyone would consider a measly inheritance!

I mentioned this because you speak of “skin hunger” and that might be an indication that you were “starved” for touch in your early upbringing, by your parents.

I will be honest and say that I do have some trouble following your posts sometimes. Maybe that’s why people brought up the term “word salad”. I think sometimes it takes some effort from both the reader and the writer to understand each other, so please don’t be offended if people ask you to clarify.


Dear ‘Donna,

After listening to JM reem you on about the car and listening to your tone, knowing all that had happened and you were now back in Jersey, and he is not even concerned about you, just his fxxxxxxx car, I found my self letting go of a little giggle (through my nose) at your tone…I guess because now you had him and you can tell you are not moved at all….I loved that… your tone….Thanks for posting this. It is so true….

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