By | April 15, 2013 78 Comments

Sociopathic deceit: Plan or second nature?

Sociopath behind mask.

Sociopaths hide their true intentions behind a mask of charm and charisma.

Lovefraud recently received the following question from a reader:

When a sociopath targets his victim, does he think and create a plan as to HOW he is going to manipulate his prey to glean what he wants, or is this just second nature to him?  How can he spend MONTHS being such a kind, considerate person, going out of his way to do the “little” things that matter in life, before turning into the evil monster?

When you have been deceived and manipulated by a sociopath, the most difficult idea to grasp is how totally different people with this personality disorder are from the rest of us. Their behavior is different from everything we thought we knew about human interaction.

Sociopaths—both male and female—seem to be missing the parts that make the human race human. There is no deep warmth. There is no true caring. There is only fake warmth and fake caring, which disappear immediately once sociopaths decide they have no further use for us.

How do they become like this? According to Dr. Liane Leedom, it’s their different motivation.

Power motivation v. love motivation

Normal people, who do not have a personality disorder, are motivated by both love and power.

We feel emotional love for family, friends, neighbors, and even animals or causes, that are important to us. We care about everything we love, which makes us take action to please, support and protect them.

Normal people also have a healthy power motivation. This is what makes us pursue achievement, leadership and recognition. But our power motivation is kept in check by our love motivation. Therefore, although we strive for accomplishment, we’re willing to strive fairly, without injuring other people as we pursue our goals.

In sociopaths, there is no balance between their love motivation and power motivation. The defining characteristic of real love is caring about another person’s health and wellbeing, and this is practically nonexistent in sociopaths. Their power motivation, however, is out of control. All they really want is to win, to control and to dominate others.

Born to be manipulative

Sociopathy (technically called antisocial personality disorder or psychopathy) is highly genetic. That means children can be born with a genetic predisposition to the personality disorder. Whether this genetic predisposition “expresses,” or becomes active, depends in part on the child’s environment, including the parenting he or she receives. When sociopathic parents are part of the child’s life, their notoriously bad parenting may encourage their offspring’s latent disorder to develop.

When children are born with a genetic predisposition to the personality disorder, what it means in practice is that they have a stronger power motivation than love motivation. From a very early age, these children derive little pleasure from warmth, affection and closeness, and much more enjoyment from getting what they want.  Therefore, the children learn, essentially through trial and error, how to behave in order to get what they want. They learn manipulation techniques—and spend their lives perfecting them.

Games sociopaths want to win

To get back to the Lovefraud reader’s question, I think sociopaths pursue both avenues of manipulation, depending on the individual and circumstance. Yes, they think and plan about how to get you to deliver what they want. And yes, they’ve been doing it for so long that much of their behavior is second nature. They are opportunistic, so when chances to manipulate you pop up, they know exactly how to capitalize on them.

Because their objective is to win, sociopaths view their interactions with you as a game. Some sociopaths have the patience to play the game as long as necessary in order to score that win. Then, when they’veachieved their objective, they’re finished. The charade is over, and you find, to your horror, that everything the sociopath said and did was designed to deceive you.

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lifting the veil

this is an absolutely brilliant article……thank you donna.

this really spoke to me.

Because their objective is to win, sociopaths view their interactions with you as a game. Some sociopaths have the patience to play the game as long as necessary in order to score that win. Then, when they’ve achieved their objective, they’re finished. The charade is over, and you find, to your horror, that everything the sociopath said and did was designed to deceive you.

not nice to be a game to someone… have someone play with your emotions and your life………so as you also said in the article real love is caring about someones health and wellbeing so how could you care about a person to play games with them…..its when i read things like this i find the wisdom and knowledge to see what happened in my life…..and it helps me move on and not want this person in my life again…..i can see she never ever carer for me,i mean really cared or loved me…..i was just a game,it was all like you said about power and control……and when the charade was up how easily she got to walk away but im left with the horror.

Mincheff Joyce

Interestingly, the number of male predators with ASPD (Anti-Social Personality Disorder) is estimated to be far greater than the number of female. Commonly you’ll hear the number expressed as 4% of males and 1% of females.

Consider yourself among the rare, and also take heart that people with ASPD prey particularly on forgiving, kind people.

ASPDs are not capable of abiding love. They lack the depth of emotion that others with appropriate emotional reasoning feel. They are simply out for what they can get, and will use anyone who seems caring enough that stumbles into their path. Their motives can be any and everything but basically, their feelings for you are extended because you provide something they want or need.

The most telling characteristic of a loving person is their ability to feel empathy. Recognition of this character in a person will help you stay away for ASPDs in the future.

I’ve written a poem on the subject for my soon-to-be released book. It’s called Carnal Abusive Deceit, When a Predator’s Lies Become Rape. It’s written from the perspective of a woman, but it’s equally true for men. Hope you enjoy it.


You lead your life down Predatory Path
Strewn with victims in aftermath.
Manipulating lies, deceit abounds,
How truthful all your spinning sounds.

The chaos you cause others fails,
To reach your conscience, as hard as nails.
As empathy fails to penetrate,
You find, you stalk, you blame their fate.

You groom with charm, destroy their guard,
’Til time to pounce, when you gouge hard.
Conflicting lies, unleash your greed,
All they can do is cry and plead.

And wonder where stability went-
Unmasked, move on, their wholeness is spent.
As you skip down your path anew,
“A new” victim to travel to.

No, no, not you, not one so fair,
Those folks who shriek, how do they dare?
Diminish them for the world to see-
Add insult to their injury.

Construct a wall, Isolate their pain,
Disrupting cries inhibits your gain.
Their public sorrow could do you in,
Exposure could stop your continued sin.

As enlightenment opens,
Recent eyes that you’ve mated,
Who envisioned you’re gold,
Though you’re just fools-gold plated.


Wow, thank you, Joyce.. great post and poem..right on! when will your book be published and on sale? Sounds like a good read……

Great poem! Thank you so much for sharing this!


I was also a victim of a woman who misled me, even proposed to me, and all the while was taking everything she could from me. She left me in financial shambles, but made the mistake of using my credit card to purchase considerably too much and was charged with felony theft, identity theft, computer fraud, and forgery. She was to receive a considerable amount of prison time, but unfortunately, the district attorney who originally was prosecuting the case had to resign due to his own sexual misconduct with an employee. The one that replaced him not knowing all the details agreed to a plea bargain and dismissed most of the charges against her without my knowledge. I was waiting to be called to testify against her in a trial. She got off with the time served, which was about 6 months, but did have to go to two other states and finish serving sentences in those states due to breaking her probation and parole conditions. She is currently finishing a sentence in Missouri as I understand it, but am not sure. I have completely gotten her out of my life except for the financial bills she left me to pay off. It will be almost 5 years before I completely pay off the rest of what she was able to milk out of me. Thankfully, I never married her (and the proposal she made? She bought me a ring which was very cheap at Wal-Mart when she originally asked me, but unknown to me at the time was the fact that she bought herself a much more expensive wedding set and also another male ring for her real fiance’ and later exchanged them for an even more expensive set!) She wound up not marrying him, either, but the rings were never recovered. No one seems to know what happened to them. I still haven’t paid off all of that balance, either. The credit card company removed some of the charges she made on my card, but not all of them. Another miscarriage of justice in our society. She had taken the card without my knowledge and used it to purchase over $9,000 worth of merchandise, food, and gas in only a few days before I realized it was gone and had it cancelled. All in all, she “took” me for something over $30,000. It’s all she’s ever done in her life. She married twice, had a daughter with each husband, and both of them got custody of their daughters when they divorced. Apparently, the youngest was born while she was in jail and she hasn’t seen the girl since right after she was born. She had an abusive childhood, but the extent of it is not completely known because she has lied so much no one knows how much to believe of what she has said about it. She had a history of using sex to get what she wanted from older men from when she was in junior high school, to the present day. She also has a history of prostituting herself to women, also, so she is probably a big hit in the jail, or prison, she is currently serving time in. When she gets out, I have no doubt she will continue to practice the same kind of things to live with even better knowledge of how to avoid being prosecuted for doing them. She is a total menace to society; not a killer, or at least not yet one, but a total manipulative woman who manages to get most of what she wants, primarily from older men. There have been few things she hasn’t done at one time or another in order to get what she wants. In my case, she came into my life at a time when I was totally vulnerable. I had lost my wife to cancer a couple of years prior and then had the only person I’d met since then that I cared for to leave me, too. She was young, somewhat attractive, and very conniving and convincing. She convinced me for a time that she had real feelings for me, and used sex and deceit to get me to do things financially that normally I would have never considered doing. Looking back now, I can see many warning signs I should have heeded, but she was always able to cover them up; changed her story so many times I couldn’t begin to count them. She only told me enough truth to make what she said to me believable, and if I questioned her on anything, she would take my hand, sweetly talk to me, and change the subject without ever answering any concerns I had. When I would be away from her, I knew she was someone I needed to stay away from, but when she was with me, she was always able to allay any doubts I had about her and make me feel loving towards her. If she felt threatened by what I was asking about, she would simply remove her clothes and lead me to the bedroom. Thinking back, I can never remember having sex with her at any time other than when I had challenged her about something she’d said, or hadn’t done as promised except for when she was winning me over in the beginning. She was good. When I found out about all the things she’d done before I met her AFTER she was arrested for stealing my credit card, I felt so foolish for ever going along with her for as long as I did. She told me she loved me so many times, but she could say it in a way I should have known that she didn’t really. The crazy part is that we all know we are being had in some way by these people, but we allow them to do what they do to us anyway. In my case, I never should have seen her the second time, and so many times after that I should have ended it well before I did. I’m not sure how much longer I would have kept believing her if she hadn’t stolen my credit card and did what she did, but I’m sure it would have been several thousand dollars later. As it is; she has put me in terrible financial position that I am just now beginning to climb out of enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been three years now since I last saw her in a court room in prison attire (which was the best looking I ever saw her). I have managed to get control of my finances again, and have met and married a wonderful lady who is definitely NOT a sociopath. When I read about others who’ve had similar experiences or worse, it makes me feel a little better about the things I allowed this woman to do to me, but I’m not sure I will ever completely forgive myself for what I let her get away with. I had an excellent credit rating before I met her; now I’d have trouble borrowing enough money to replace something that breaks down in my house. In a few years, that will be different, too, but I am no longer the trusting person I used to be. It was a life changing experience for me, as it is for all of you. I hope that some day there will be a way to cure these people from their non-human behavior, but until then, I wish there were tougher criminal punishments for them when turned in. So often they go after respectable people who would be embarrassed to turn them in due to the publicity and dent on their reputation that such action would cause. They know that, too, and select those that feel that way. They are cold, calculating individuals who are out for only one person in the world, themselves. They have no conscience, no guilt, and no remorse for the things they do, and like this article says, they plan to do what they do to you, and they also do a lot of the things they do out of what comes natural to them to do. They will continue hurting people and getting better at it until they are dead, or maybe finally put in jail where they can’t for that period of time. There is no cure, no hope that they will change because they don’t want to change. In their deranged minds, they are doing nothing wrong. One clue the person you are seeing may be one is that they are using a prepaid cellular phone as the only way for you to contact them, and/or a computer. The one I was conned by had I think 26 cell phones in her glove compartment when arrested. She would use a phone to talk to whoever she was conning, another one for her family, and friends, and in her case another one for her fiance’. When she was through with someone, she’d simply let the battery run down on her cell phone she was using for that person and buy another one. During the time I was with her; she used some 4, or 5 different phones for me to contact her on. The police found some very interesting text messages between her and several individuals she conned, or was a prostitute with over the past year. Between those and the laptop computer she had, they determined she had conservatively had sex with over 100 different men and women over the past year. No telling how many more prior to that. I was flabbergasted and embarrassed beyond belief when I was told that. It was, however, the one thing that made me see her for exactly what she was. Prior to that, there was a real possibility I would have dropped the charges against her had she come up with a plan to repay me for the charges she had made on the card. For anyone who is reading this; please, don’t feel like you are a bad person, or have something wrong with you. These people prey on GOOD people, people who love and forgive and trust others. They pick you out because you are a good person; the last thing they want to do is pick out someone who might have violent tendencies, or would turn them in to the police for what they do to you. It’s part of their survival technique. But also, PLEASE, PLEASE get away from them as soon as you can; they will never change and will only continue to hurt you more if you don’t.

TNvictim, I’m really touched by your story and thank you for having the courage to share it. I sincerely hope this experience has not ruined your faith in finding honest love as you so genuinely deserve. My experience with two sociopaths is that they do not want to change, and this would make highly difficult for any discovered cure to be affective. They like the idea of getting a “free ride” throughout life concerning anything they need and want, and getting there by means of deception gives them a feeling of power and control whereas they would feel out of place in world of normally functioning people without it. I think the best cure for this disorder is prevention and awareness for anyone who is susceptible to becoming a victim. Without victims, these people have no other choice but to survive off of their own labor. Your testimony helps this cause. Thank you again for sharing.


I didn’t think very highly of myself when I finally realized I had been manipulated, played, and duped by this psycho-slut. The fact that I was seriously contemplating leaving my wife for this snake makes me shudder. How could I have been that naive? The ironic part of this twisted relationship was that the main focus of the socio wasn’t me, but my wife, who was her employer! She was so envious and covetous of my wife that her main goal was to have me divorce her and thereby “win”. In retrospect, it was all very sick. Fortunately, the lies finally caught up with her at which point I quickly ended the relationship and then had to painfully deal with the addiction which is always part of that postmortem.


Feel SO sad and vulnerable when I read this!!! Yes he hurt me used and discarded….but the real pain is from knowing that my child is “Just Like His Father”. He has had no contact with me for almost nine months now…. Unlike his father though he is a parasite….he dropped out of college, moves from one place to the next without aim and direction. His father bails him out financially…That will stop at some point and then I really worry….He will be 25 next month. I raised him with every privilage not just financial but with ALL my time, my love, and my values…His father’s mask was still intact while he was home,still I think the genetic predisposition is very very strong!!!! Feel helpless. In our last conversation after I had discovered he had been failing yet again I told him that I would give him my love my advice and my help BUT no money. He has not spoken to me since.

Thank you Donna for another excellent article!This has long been a question in the back of my mind;was this all planned or did it just happen this way because I was in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’?! Knowing it’s planned hurts even more!So it’s second nature~no wonder they can’t change!I’m glad I got out before he was through using me~that thought makes me feel in control,lol!I just wish I could wipe all the hurt away from my girls’ lives.

As much as it hurts to say this,your son may be doing you a favor by not coming around.As a mother I know. We have a bond with our child,and our heart breaks when that bond seems to be broken.But we don’t do ourselves or the child any favors by giving into pressure in order to be with them.Hopefully,he’ll ‘come around’ in time.In the meantime,focus on your healing.Best wishes! (((Hugs)))

This article describes my experience precisely. All of the “love” and “concern” was fake. Once she took everything and destroyed what she could not take, she moved on and disappeared. Recently I got a large income tax bill for the one year we jointly filed. One final kick in the teeth from an abusive ex-spouse…


Your article clearly states the underlying motivations that drive actions of sociopaths! Thank you! Had a chance to interview relatives of a female sociopath who confirmed lifelong patterns consistent with manipulation, lies and dramatic power plays left unchecked when the paths father died; the mother, fearful, was easy to overcome to enable the behaviors. She has stolen identities, conned large sums of money and set up others so she appears as a victim!

Once again, sounds like my ex. She manipulated the sheriff’s department, the prosecutor, the judge and even my attorneys…

When I learned she had done it so many times to others I was stunned. So all the nice things she ever said were lies. And she even contacted one of her exes (whose life she had ruined) and bragged about what she was going to do to me…

Hi Donna,

Thanx for another great read. 🙂

I’m glad that you mentioned pre-disposition and would just like to stress that I feel that is a bit of good news. Good because it doesn’t mean that all with the pre-disposition are likely to become sociopaths. Just simply more likely under a given set of conditions.

That said, there is more and more evidence linking low cholesterol levels in the brain and sociopathic behavior. Given the Western Hemisphere’s notion that everything cholesterol is bad, it’s not surprising that we see more and more with this pre-disposition “going active” so to speak.

I sure wish people would do their own research when it comes to diet as well as child rearing.

That surely is an interesting theory-low cholesterol and sociopathic behavior!I know that certainly isn’t responsible for my spath as he is of Mediterrean background(and so was his diet)….but like Donna,I’d love to see a reference work!


My spath had relatively high cholesterol as his mother was asian. His father was probably a spath so i go with the genetic theory, especially as they all seem to behave in the same way. Genetic and then they hone their techniques by practising all through their sorry lives.

I have not seen my spath for 4 weeks now and have not spoken by phone for a week. It doesn’t sound long, I have learned SO MUCH about sociopaths but most of all about ME. I had a lucky escape and got away from my spath before he started the D&D. He’s still trying to contact me, but I’ve blocked him wherever I can.

Whenever I tried to challenge him, he evaded it all, turned it back on me and told me not to over-analyse. I think this is a common trait. they are so good at turning things round. He even turned round the fact that he was living with a woman and his child that it was my fault because he’d fallen in love with me and he’d only wanted a ‘sexual tryst’ like he usually had. Also it was my fault he went off for a weekend with another woman because he thought he’d lost me and was in self destruct

I nearly fell for this crap and it was only by learning about spaths and their methods that I was able to understand that he couldn’t speak the truth and it was all a game of manipulation and control.

My last conversation with him, he actually said, ‘I don’t think like normal people, I don’t know why I just can’t’ and ‘Some moments with you, I really felt fully human and in love’. I pity him because if he has those insights into himself, it must make it worse to live his life, knowing that he isn’t able to feel human most of the time.

I felt pity until I found out he’s in a house-share with a vulnerable single 40 year old pole dancer. He’s been there two weeks and I’d assume will be sleeping with her by now. I think that was the final straw for me. For all his pretty words, he’s a predatory spath and I’m well rid of him.

I know it’s early days but I feel good about getting away and have pushed myself out of my comfort zone since getting away. I feel strong and feel that the gift I have from this ‘relationship’ is that I have to love and accept myself. I believed all the bullshit from the spath, but had no self belief. the anger I’ve felt is wasted on him, I’ve used the energy from it to learn about myself and nurture myself and my friends and family.

I have moments when I long for the spath I thought I knew, but I know that person doesn’t exist. It is a strange grieving process, to grieve for someone I thought I loved, who actually never existed. The whole situation is so bizarre, I wouldn’t have believed it without hearing others share their stories.
Keep sharing and stay strong x


I agree: excellent article, both succinct and packed with info about how and why psychopathy develops.

As horrible as being victimized by a ‘spath is as an adult, via a chosen relationship, I think its a thousand times worse to have a ‘spath as a parent. I don’t think its possible to emerge into adulthood undamaged if one has been raised by a psychopathic mother and/or father.

The child would either be severely neglected/totally abandoned by a ‘spath parent, or the child would be the equivalent of a political prisoner: subjected to emotional torture, manipulation, lies, shaming and humiliating, stripped of any healthy self-esteem, burdened with misplaced, inappropriate feelings of responsibility and guilt, made to feel that the abuse is deserved, or the child would be at risk for being exploited sexually. A child in the hands of a ‘spath parent: its the stuff of nightmares.

I wish there were tests for those who wish to become parents, to make sure that they are at least minimally mentally healthy. These days, there seem to be neurological tests, 3-D real-time MRI brain scans indicating that an individual’s brain has personality disordered or psychopathic wiring/processing, that differs from normal brains, like a “signature” of disorder. I wish such tests could be put in service to provide a safety net for children being raised by those who are truly too mentally ill to be trusted to raise kids.

I agree with you about a child in the hands of an spath is a nightmare. The stories I’ve heard from these victims even gave me nightmares.


I believe in the genetic theory too.Spath’s family were immigrants and children of immigrants.Not saying all immigrants are spaths!But some of them were from Sicily and went to NY.Um,I think most know what kind of activities many of them were involved in.Criminal.

Spath was cruel to animals and to his brother as he was growing up.But I think he came by it naturally.On both sides of his family,there were MEAN people.They mellowed as they aged.I even came to love his father before he died,but I do remember him doing alot of yelling and being very critical of spath.

lifting the veil

Mincheff Joyce …

just wanted to say i really loved your poem and related to the pain of it….id really like to read your book when its published….thank you for sharing your poems.


thank you so much for sharing your experience,it was a shocking tale of what a woman is capable of…….terrible…!
im so glad you moved on and met someone special to share your life with.after everything you have been through you deserve to be happy.


i really related to what you wrote especially to the last bit where you said………….
but I know that person doesn’t exist. It is a strange grieving process, to grieve for someone I thought I loved, who actually never existed. The whole situation is so bizarre, I wouldn’t have believed it without hearing others…………..

i truely feel the same……im not sure i even understand what happened….though i try logically tell myself and read information about sociopaths…..for some reason my mind cant fully comprehend what has happened in my life…….its hard to come to terms with the deceit,the lies……if someone else was telling me there story i would be ..oh my god…….but for some reason my own story goes over my head…..
i was so sick from the truth i found out it almost destroyed me….emotionally and psychologically…..i still struggle with anxiety,panic attacks,uncontrolled rage and emotions….at one point i thought i was going crazy and thought i should be locked up in some hospital…..but now i just see that the harm this person did to my life and emotional wellbeing was too much for me to cope with and i had a breakdown emotionally ,i know too that im suffering with post traumatic stress,i just hope in time i wont always feel afraid….
when i found out the truth about all the lies i phsycially felt sick for months………it was like a toxic posion had gotten into me….
i too struggle with the question……..was all the lies planned ….i dont understand that bit…so this article has really helped me.
regard my ex lying to me about having cancer……one of her excuses was …she owed money to a money lender and she thought if she pretended she had cancer they would let her off the debt……eh hello……what about me? at the point she told me she had caner we were together 10 years….
she pulled off the cancer ly for 3 full years…..and i never suspected once it was a lie,she was that amazing actor…….full marks to her…cause i sure was fooled….and even after when i found out she told me…… dont know how much trouble i went to to research cancer on line………like i was supposed to be happy she did it all for me…….i feel sick even thinking about it.
in the 16 years we were together she never worked more than a year…..i looked after her….gave her everything she needed…she knew exactly how to get what she needed….and she would be the first one to admit she is a taker…..and i was a giver.
i know now every story,every illness ,every drama in our 16 years was a lie.
i loved who i thought she was too……and i still am trying to comprehend what has happened….but thank god for lovefraud and i read alot which helps…im trying to recover my life….i cant understand why and my heart is broke why she would have told so many many lies..i believed everything and yes i feel like the fool now.
it helps to read this article to see….that yes she knew how to manipulate me to get what she wanted,and that she lied fully knowing she had control and power in it…i actually believe she got off on the lies…..seeing me suffering…….it gave her some sort of pleasure……playing her games……that what makes me feel most sick because i trusted her,i was naive cause i thought only good of all people….now im afraid of closeness and trusting…but i certainly know now…yes trust will be earned for me and not freely given…..
so thanks again for helping me on my road to recovery donna with this article.


Even tonight my s-path husband accidentally sent me a text message intended for my 16-year-old son: “Even if mom asks don’t let on that we had this conversation. But when it is natural to say so, tell her that you’ve noticed that I’ve grown in many areas (my business, care of the property, etc). And that you know I care about her very much.” And so the children of spaths are used as conduits to further the parent’s agenda. After 7 years of separation, the s-path husband is aware that I’m very close to filing for a divorce. He has enlisted the sympathy and support of our very large family. I am amazed at how he rationalizes and reconstructs history. He seems to believe in these rationalization, that he is in fact self-decieved. Is it really possible that he is a cold and calculating liar? His thinking is so convoluted and his defense mechanisms so impermeable! When I’m in his presence I’m in danger of being pulled back into that strong current. I believe the rule of “no contact” protects us from further self-doubt and emotional turmoil.. He is so convincing, I fall into the whirlpool of momentary self-doubt .


Very interesting article. I have come to the belief that all of us are 50% nature and 50% nurture. Then, as adults, we make the choices about what parts are good and respectful and what parts are wrong and disrespectful. I believe spaths can all make those choices. There may be some who projected spath behavior as children and then were nurtured correctly and make good decisions about how to behave and there may be some that have an almost identical proclivity for spath behaviors and appropriate nurturing and make a choice that being a spath is what they want.

Mine drank over the weekend. Broke another rule. I think it’s the last broken promise. The only thing left is not to pay his share of the bills. I found out on my own with information I kept from his debit card and confronted him with it. He says he’s in pain from the leg while waiting for the next surgery, doesn’t want the Lortab (doubt that’s true), tried drinking and got sick. He said, “I think I’ve paid for it.” I said, “No, I don’t think you’ve ever paid for anything you’ve done. You are a liar and you’ve hurt hundreds of people.” He becomes very upset when I remind him he is a liar. When I ask him what he would call it,he says “addict.” I let him know there are addicts who don’t ruin everything good and lie about everything possible. (Probably not many, but some…especially in real recovery). Sad. He hadn’t had a drink in four years to my knowledge. I need the money as I’ve said before. If it did make him sick, could be the last time. Who will ever know? He is in terrible pain supposedly and started walking the half mile to the local liquor store on a WALKER with a broken leg that has not healed properly after one surgery. He says “a guy” saw him and took him to liquor store and back. So some local person in my small town picked up a drunk on a walker and dropped it off at MY house! Idiots. I took his debit card and told him he gets no cash unless I know what it’s for if he wants to stay here. If he doesn’t want to stay here, he needs to take the VA housing when it is available. I think that is probably what he will do. He wants to drink himself to death because he is in pain. Spaths sure are weak weenies about pain. I guess they are “entitled” to never get old and sick after abusing their minds and bodies for decades. I personally think spaths and APD’s use lies and deceit as their ONLY plan. I don’t think the truth is even a viable choice for them at any time.

I am also interested in seeing a link to a low cholesterol study. Maybe if they are narcissists and want to keep their bodies lean? Mine has always had horrible cholesterol, overweight, and smokes.

I am very glad to see more people here whom have dealt with female spaths. EVERYONE whom has dealt with a sociopath needs reassurance and support and the more everyone who are willing to share and deal with the aftereffects regardless of gender, the better off the world will be.


Thank you for a wonderful article. Every time I start to soften, feel sorry for him, want to send something thoughtful & sweet to ‘The Illusion’ lovefraud brings me back to reality.

I have worked very hard over the past year to get on with my life, give myself some forgiveness for having been a victim of abuse which ends up with me forgiving him because he is SICK and TWISTED which is out of my control, so I start to remembed the good times.
..BUT fact is that he targeted me as a challenge. He destroyed my marriage ( like several women he destroyed before me) won me away from a wonderful man, then discarded me because I was no longer a challenge. He stole my integrity & shattered my soul which I need to keep remembering when I start to soften the thoughts.

The Gift, if I look at it in that light, is that my life now is so dramatically different & ultimately much better because now ALL that try to step over my now FIRM boundaries don’t have a chance. Good people have moved Into the spaces formerly filled by The Illusion and his brainwashed followers. Chaos is gone & I’m starting to live again.

Wishing us all continued strength.


Serenity, I can relate to your story. My sociopath attempted to steal me away from my wife and very nearly did. Luckily, after convincing me to cheat on my wife and sleep with her, she showed her true self before I actually left my wife to be with her. Apparently all she wanted from me was sex. She was so nice and sweet for about 3 months and then turned very ugly and evil. Thank God my wife was willing to take me back. And she had done this same thing to many others before me. Seducing married people, getting them to fall in love with her and cheat on their spouse and then dropping them is her favorite game and she’s very good at convincing even the most loyal spouse to do it. In fact, the more you claim to love your spouse in the beginning like I did, the more she enjoyed the challenge.


AV… i hadnt thought about it like that until your post. Thank you for clarity! The Illusion was envious of the great relationship I had with my husband…it was after he admitted that when he started his intense demolition process.

Truly what ‘they really want is to win, to control and to dominate others’ can’t be a more true statement.
Nobody in the world could be more magical, soul mated, successful, passionate… blah blah…than he was and he literally wins won everything he covets & goes after. He figured out a weak chink in my armor & didnt stop pursuit until I gave in, he won, then moved onto the next one… poor soul eloped with him within 5 months after he dump me ( public postings about soulmates, most passionate… blah blah) now she’s his possession & slave (boys & girls please note: if its too good to be true its NOT REAL!).

My spouse does not know everything, but he knew enough that he should have walked away from me. He really must be a good guy if he took me back & offered forgiveness. Been a hard road tho.

I’m so happy for you that your wife took you back as well, and wish you peace & kindness.

lifting the veil

serenity,im sorry to hear of your experience….i truely know how you feel…im glad to hear you are moving on with your life and healing……its so easy to fall into that place again of feeling sorry for them….cause thats what they do,they play on our emotional heart strings and we want to rescue them…..but would they be there to rescue us? no ! they dont think of our feelings and only see their own needs……your right what we had was an illusion…….god i was so happy with my illusion……hadnt a clue what was going on …..guess i was just so trusting and caring and forgiving i made excuses for things and let her have free rein to do what ever she wanted…i was happy at the time to do that as i felt safe with her….that was the illusion….i wasnt safe at all…i have been so devasted for a long time realising what happened….i let myself fall apart and give up on life cause i have been so hurt……..people always said time is a great healer and i would say they hadnt a clue……but yes i guess like all things..time does heal and life has a natural order of healing…and it has taken me almost 3 years to get to this place where im starting to recover my life…..
i was really enlightened by what you said serenity about the gift…!
there is definitely something to be learned by our experiences with a disordered person,a person with an anti social personality disorder/sociopath………like you i have learned to have boundaries that i dont think were ever in place in my life…….now i keep myself very firm and protect myself and my litle world from harm……and every time i get sad and feel loss of the ex in my life i think of all that she did to hurt me….all the deceit and lies and i think to myself do i want to be hurt again…as much as i sometimes miss her/miss what i thought i had/miss the life we shared for so long….i dont miss the chaos/the dramas/the fears/the stories/the illness now i know all made up…..and i dont miss having someone live off me…..i have learned through this experience what i want out of life,what i will except and what i wont except and im happy to hear im not the only one setting new boundaries and trying to recover their life…..
during this experience i never thought id recover…..i used to walk around thinking of killing myself everyday..the loss of the relationship was so great coupled with the uncovering of the truth,but i knew the relationship was over and i had to walk away….and knowing that i walked through hell…..i cant believe i have come this far…some days are harder than others but i have alot more good days… thank god.
i knew i had to go no contact cause the hurt/the anger and the hate for what she did to me was too much….and it was going to consume me……i dont want to be that kind of person who hates…then im letting her abuse continue as i abuse myself… will take time and patience and lots of prayer/lots of meditations/lots of reading/lots of me time and healing /and most of all no contact so as i can move on and let go of the anger towards her and move on with my life……cause i know if i was to see her and talk to her i would fall into that same trap of feeling sorry for her again and giving what little is left of me…..and for the first time in my life i have to think of me and walk away….BOUNDARIES…! thats what i have learned too from this experience……
my councellor asked me to rewrite my script in life…….and i have been sitting with this for a few weeks…she said write what you want out of life /your dreams /your hopes/what you like to do……what you want for your self and look back and think how has my script changed now since before i met the spath…well i have definitely changed..for one i used to think i had to give to make someone happy…so she had me at the word go,she must have thought all her christmas`s had come at once… the no limit giver and her the ultimate taker……now i realise i dont have to give to be loved….but first i must learn to love myself…..
definitely this experience has changed me…..i wouldnt have asked for it….never.but i will seek better treatment from a partner and trust wont come easy….

once again serenity i wish you well in your continued healing and send you blessings.


I’m having a BAD DAY. I have been doing well and then took a call from the Spath last night!! I was a bit bored, had drunk too much wine and let him talk to me. I’ve told him I will not go back to him and I don’t even like him. He is still coming out with the same old lies blah blah blah. I wanted a bit of drama and chaos and I’m paying the price today. I have a toxiic hangover from the contactI’ve blocked him on my phone butcould see that he had been trying to phone and texted him to tell him to stop stalking me.

It was interesting that he let his ‘nice’ mask slip a few times and threatened me about contacting my children and ex-husband. The problem for him is, that he hasn’t got anything to tell them about me. I actually have nothing to hide. All the same, I didn’t like his attitude.

I know that all he wants is to gain control and he is desperate to see me in person to try to ‘lovebomb’ me and get me ready for disposal. 95% of me is not tempted to see him, but 5% is. That part of me that is the addict, the drama queen. The part of me that misses the non-existent person I thought the spath was. Before the ugly reality of his mental illness became apparent.

Since the spath has been removed from my life, I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone and moving forward. Today I feel like I’ve gone backwards. I feel miserable, can’t concentrate, and I don’t want to see anybody. I feel empty most of the time if I’m honest and I’m sick of it. I need to stop ALL CONTACT, including looking at his new victim’s facebook page. But I find it hard, I’m still raw and angry.

He does know I don’t like him or want him, so hopefully he won’t contact me again. He’s busy grooming his ex and his new woman as well as arranging one off sex with various other women. I think he’ll leave me alone. And I need to leave him alone, He can offer me NOTHING but lies and pain and will strip me of any self respect that I’m building up.

I know there’s a gift in this for me and that I’m already a stronger person, but some days I’d just like to lead a simple life and not have to ‘grow’ and ‘be strong’. It is PTSD and sometimes, the shock of it all just takes over me and I can’t function normally. And I’m resentful that I had to have a spath in my life. It just isn’t fair

To Be Free

Jayo: so sorry about the contact… I know how that feels. When you talk to them you think in your head that it is not going to affect you that you are strong…. then when the “fix” is over, the roller coaster ride begins again.

I’ve learned and am still learning this the hard way. Then I get so down on myself….. what a destructive cycle….

Tea Light

Oh yes well put tobefree. Each time l have looked at an email or listened to a voice mail since l last saw my abuser in November ( he’s married and has harassed me since l ended the ‘relationship’ after discovering he was still living with his wife ) it’s with an attitude of … ,l can handle this, it’s not direct contact, I’m well enough today for it to remind me he is disordered, and not be emotionally affected. Crap, of course. I feel panicky, confused, violated and weepy each time and NEVER learn anything that helps me recover or which answers questions I’ll never get answers to. The only outcome to any contact even reading his emails and not replying is more evidence of what I know anyway. He is a highly narcissistic individual with a sadistic highly controlling deviant element and a pathological liar. He is remorseless in his emotional sexual and physical abuse of two sons two wives me and no doubt others. It’s a horribly difficult nut to crack, accepting that once you get to ‘they have the traits of a psychopath I must stay away always’ ANY contact unless you have children and they have access is a totally self destructive waste of time. Let’s all put down the path pipe!

Tea Light

Hm my edit didn’t post. I ended it after he admitted he lived with his wife and then sexually assaulted me in an isolated rented holiday apartment

Tea Light

Jayo, try not to think of it as unfair. That can be tempting God knows but it doesn’t empower us. The best outcome for we survivors is to accept the painful truth that deceitful destructive people exist and by their red flags we will now know them and can make self protective choices as we move forward. Don’t be down on yourself about slipping off the no contact wagon but get the hell back on it. If you have had a drink post a note on your phone and computer : I have alcohol in my system and am not thinking straight but l will not break no contact.

To Be Free

I’m having such a hard day today.
So much…. so much to think about….


Thanks for your support. You’re right I am letting him rent space in my head. He’s living there rent free and I’m harming myself. I’ve only just realised that the reason I’m having a bad day is because I’ve had contact with the toxic spath!!!

I so want to move past the pain but I’m holding on to part of him because my brain simply cannot believe that I’ve been completely deceived for a whole year.It cannot believe that such a person even exists. It’s like I’ve had to re-live the whole year’s worth of relationship in my head, but this time with the knowledge him being a Sociopath. I need to stop thinking about him and his lies.

I need to remember what you say, Tea Light, I NEVER learn anything from him that helps me recover. He is manipulative and wants to control me. I don’t even like him anymore. Talking/contact with the pathological liar makes me not like myself and it’s a step backward.

My part in that is that it was easy for me to put my life ‘on hold’ while I was under the spaths magic spell for a year. I took the easy way with him and did not work on myself. Now I’m having to put the work in on me and still keeping the spath around is my way of trying to avoid me. I don’t want to go backwards and let him destroy me. I have had a lucky escape and will be so much better once I stop giving him any of my head space. That’s what I’m going to be working on.

The contact last night has served to remind me of how violated and crap I feel after listening to him rambling on, lying, threatening, controlling, love-bombing etc. It’s a waste of my time and it’s so damaging to me. It’s self harm to even think about him.

To Be Free – sorry to hear you’re also having a bad day.

Tea Light

What’s going on with you tobefree?

Jayo, it’s for me a bit like after weeks of total no contact l sink into denial about how this man nearly destroyed me. I broke down in November. It was the loneliest most nightmarish experience I’ve ever had. I spent days unable to function reading here crying derealised (everything seemed unreal, without stability or meaning). That is what this man’s treatment of me, this man who spent six months ..telling me he was separated that I was the love of his life…every path cliche in the book…his “love” nearly killed me. Maybe l find that so shameful I pretend it didn’t happen, that he had no hold over me. So l read an email to try and prove he has no power. Well, the truth is he does have the power to harm me even in the form of lies typed on a screen even though he is in another country. And l need to accept that he has that malignant power without shame. I’m not the first person who’s life his abuse has nearly ruined. And l don’t look down on them so I shouldn’t look down on me


It makes me so angry that I can let such a nasty person continue to harm me.
I will not let him into my head.
I will not keep going over the whole year’s worth of lies and betrayal.
I will not continue to harm myself.
I am worth so much more than that pathetic empty man.
I do not care what he is doing now or in the future.
I promise to myself that I will not look at his friends on facebook to try to find out about his new relationships or what he is doing. I am violating my own good nature if I bring thoughts of his disgusting behaviour into my head

Tea Light

Jayo, we need to focus on their behaviour just long enough to work through the various natural responses to abuse of which anger , depression , self blame and denial / minimising are common stages, to get to acceptance that disorders of personality exist in our world and the ones we have all encountered cause enormous suffering to others and cannot be cured and will never change. It’s been so recently that the scale of your ex’s abuse of your trust came to light no? So it’s totally normal that you are processing and trying to understand the terrible experience you’ve had. Keep reading and your new knowledge will help support your recovery and help keep you safe from these destructive dangerous I’ll people in future. Peace and love to you.

I really like your positive self affirmations!You should print them up and hang them where they will be visible (possibly in several places!)

Tea Light,
Since we were in denial during our relationships with spaths,it is very easy to return to that place of comfort & habit.We can’t take that chance anymore!It’s kinda like an alcoholic must stay away from alcohol!That’s why it has been such a struggle for us;because we’re fighting an addiction,as well as fighting the shame we feel!

To Be Free

I am still having trouble getting over this man that almost destroyed the person I was and almost destroyed my relationship with my children.

Why do I even still care about him????


Its simple…because you’re not a sociopath.
Don’t ask yourself why just accept it. You may NEVER stop caring about him. And that’s ok!! That’s NORMAL. Is there anyone in your life where you can honestly say “I hate this person, I don’t care about them, and wish ill on them?” So don’t expect this to happen for him even though I know you want to just wash your hands of him and laugh. For me I wanted SO badly to have these feelings for my ex but I can’t. Because I’m not like him. He has TOTALLY discarded me and has “moved on” SO FAST and I am still feeling and hurting. Not fair right? But its OK!! Hell ya I am hurt over this OW, and I miss our good times and get sad because that’s NORMAL empathetic emotion like 95% of the rest of the world feels. We’ve been brainwashed for so long that that %5 of sociopathic people are the norm. Because that’s what you’re used to right?

Remind yourself today what empathy looks like. Last night I went for a few drinks with a guy friend and listening to him it reminded me how NORMAL people behave.

Its ok to care. You’re a caring person who feels real emotion. I keep saying that to myself. Hugs.

To Be Free


You sound just like me. This spath has also discarded me after almost 3 years and is now seeing the OW he started seeing behind my back. I does hurt!! He moved on fast too. I can relate to what you have said in every way.

It’s not fair! And I’m hurting because I lost my wonderful husband to cancer 3 years ago and this spath targeted me soon after and I fell for it. Now, I’m dealing with delayed grieving for him and on top of that the grieving process of this terrible relationship. Lately, I feel like I’m drowning in grief.

Tea Light

They move on fast alright. Mine remarried a year after abandoning his first wife and child who ended up in a homeless shelter at one point while he prowled the local ski resorts for a new target. These resorts are full of young women from all over the world and he quickly found a perfect victim – much .younger, from a country where most people are struggling and many want to move to Westereurope and she ended up spending the next ten years cooking and cleaning for him and being bullied for deviant sex and eventually cheated on when he grew bored of her. He was trying to line me up ad victim 3 without me realising for 6 months he was still living with her. They need someone around to service them and to bully to feel good I suppose.


Tea, mine had me lined up before he left his ex and I was ready to step in and clean his house and take care of his son…his new victim has already been in right after me has reorganized his house and already met his son(who he hit me in front of about a month ago) and has been introduced to his sons mother(who he still tries to make out with) such a pig!!!


Well although not proud of this but my spath and I started off as an affair on the mother of his child. He had told me they were just “friends” and living together for the child and free to see other people…this was not true and she like you was devastated. Even worse I was already bonded with this man so I stayed with him! For 3 years! At first he would tell her how great our relationship was(it wasn’t) just to torture her…once he started the discarding process on me he completely turned on me telling her I was crazy and about all the literal crazy things I was doing out of stress and desperation. On top of her being cheated on with a new baby she was then involved in our dramatic relationship!! So you are almost like she was….but guess what even though he saw me for 3 years which was devastating to her I can imagine…he did the SAME thing to me!!! And now I am her and the cycle continues!!! He WILL do the same to her eventually.

His ex and I have spoken and exchanged stories. She thinks I’m nuts rightfully so!! Although she doesn’t quite understand the severity of his psychopathism as i feel she entertains still being with this man….

Tea Light

Mine has been stalking me since I ended it and the bait he offers is that his wife is leaving him with their son to live in her country. One nauseating email last month ( I don’t reply and have been to the police and told him that) said he had won a ‘financial coup’ by persuading her to accept a nonpayment for a house in her country where property is much cheaper than most of W Europe. He was very pleased at what he saw as this victory. A ‘coup’. Interesting word to use about the welfare of the mother of your child and the child. Relationships are just dungeons and dragons to these b*******s. Just opportunities to see what they can get and how many points they can score.


Tea, do you think it’s wrong that I feel like I’d RATHER be in your situation where you get to ignore him and maintain that power, instead of him stonewalling me and me feeling ignored unheard and discarded?

Tea Light

Serenity , it’s hard to explain but that man sexually assaulted me and there was psychological abuse during sex before that and all the lies about being separated to get me to trust him. All that for me WAS being discarded. What I mean by that is his abuse made me feel dehumanized, brutalized. None of his behaviour is rooted in love. The stalking isn’t a love struck man who has seen the error of his ways and is begging my forgiveness for what he did to me. He’s mentally unbalanced. He knows right from wrong but he thinks he has the right to behave as he sees fit. So the stalking doesn’t make me feel in control, it has made me feel chronically depressed helpless violated and ashamed. He is sick and I don’t love him or want him, he disgusts me. God knows how I’d be if I was trauma bonded to non-stop and if we’ve been abused and feel need for the abuser it’s trauma bonding we are experiencing, rather than love for the abuser I think. Have you read anything on it? It’s a real eye opener! Love to you x

To Be Free

Ladies….. it think it hurts just the same!!!

To Be Free

WE all trusted someone and truly loved them and they hurt us and didn’t care AND still don’t care!!!

Tea Light

Amen tobefree!! That’s it in a nutshell.

Tea Light

Except, the only “love” l felt for him was from his brainwashing of me for months. I wasn’t even attracted to him. It’s terrifying how mind control techniques can turn your mind to mush l didn’t know what the he’ll had hit me!

TBF & Tea Light,
What bonded me to my husband was my love of God and love of family.Spath was never exceptional in any way.I can’t even blame the oxytocin.What hurt me,was his lack of response to my love and compassion.And the way he alienated family and friends,and hurt our daughters and me.So once I learned the reason behind his actions,I didn’t feel tempted to look behind like “the wife of Lot”.


Tealight: Amen! to ‘It’s terrifying how mind control techniques can turn your mind to mush’… incomprehensible is more like it.
Serenity12: Agreed! The moment that I stopped trying to figure out ‘why’ I was able to find peace.

Why: did he target me twice in 15 yrs; did I let my guard down for him; did he leave me a crumbled mess to find yet another soul mate within a heartbeat each time; did I let him steal my integrity; does each of his ‘current’ victims act so arrogantly & think that they’ve got The Golden Ticket who is really the farthest from that; do we not see the frazzled broken ex’s in their wake as warning signs just like I did but ignored?

We all have these same questions, and none of us will know the answers because we’re not sociopaths. It’s impossible for us to understand. A friend told me 2 months ago ‘get out of your mind’… and that’s what I’ve committed to doing. If I start to feel the pain coming back, and start to let my mind wander into figuring out ‘why’, I hit the pause button, get out of my head (fantasies) & remind myself about harsh reality of his Illusion, lack of reality, and illness that is out of my control to cure. I would love for the fantasy to have been reality, but it wasn’t. Can no longer mourn the death of something that did not exist.

I never thought the pain would go away, but bit by bit it does. It will for you too, so be kind & patient with yourself while you heal.

What you’re describing is exactly what I’ve done….decided that healing is more important than answering the WHYS.Because we’re not sociopaths we’ll never be able to truly understand why they do certain things;it’s simply incomprehensible to normal people!I remember as a very young girl,learning that God,the Creator of the Universe had no beginnining….I nearly drove myself crazy trying to figure that one out!Best just to go on with what we can understand!

edge of sanity

I encountered the horrific damages from the spath. I was married for 31 yrs. I always thought there was something wrong not only with him, it was the entire family. I kept telling myself, I did not marry the family, but I did. The whole marriage was a sham.
During the divorce, the spath portrayed the victim, I the perpetrator. Never, produced any discovery, and stated he had not worked since 2005. I produced every piece of discovery, and during the process, I found evidence that he was socking monies away,and taking bonus’ out of his construction company. My attorney never did anything to protect me. I literally lost everything. The spath possibly paid off my atty. not to let this to a trial, because the spath knew that he would be screwed. The courts, and the attorneys have no idea what personality disorder is unless they see medical records, and with the hippa laws, the person whom you want to see the records of, have to sign a release form, and they play their games with that. The problem is the courts, the attorneys, and the law enforcement. The spaths are so good at this game, they have had years of experience. I had to loose everything, but I fought back. I needed to go to a higher authority
the government-irs and social security. I was fighting everyone by myself. The spath had the monies, to pay everyone off. I do not
miss anything about the 31 yrs. I had. The confusion, the lies, the manipulation, is gone. I treasure my mental health too much.


I think it is very difficult, but I refuse to think of the spath as a human being. They do not think or act like true humans. They only look like them. I think that they are all brutal in every way except when preparing us for indoctrination. It is like being in a cult run by an alien being who can transform himself/herself into the vision of a normal human….for a while….then the real non-human is there inside, but we still connect their body and face with a human being. They are not. All of them have no conscience whatsoever. As I read here all of the different stories, there are differences. But, honestly, to me, there are many more similarities. This includes the fact that they are not real human beings like we are. Their brains are the exact opposite of ours. The way they can read our every strength and every weakness is almost with the accuracy of a computer. What is our worst nightmare? That is what their non-human, alien, computer-like brains think. Then, they set out to make each of our worst nightmares come true. Not humans.


Yes, it is helpful to not think of them as human beings. I think of them as predators, implies something not quite human.

To Be Free

blossom4th and Tea Light:

Don’t know if you are on now…. So I was totally bonded to the ex-boyfriend. I really thought we could work out all the problelms. Crazy because there is no working it out. He is disordered! He is a very good looking guy for being 50. He looks so much younger and takes care of himself, well really is obsessed with his looks. He is very muscular. One of the problems with me is that I didn’t think I measured up to him. He would say things that would make me feel that way.

To Be Free,
Just now logging on;been helping one of my daughters out by babysitting her 16 month old daughter all day.

You’re so correct when you said:” I really thought we could work out all the problelms. Crazy because there is no working it out.He is disordered!” Our eyes get us in trouble when we don’t also use our brains!When something looks so good that we push logic and truth out of the way…..TROUBLE’S SIMMERING!You know what is done to keep race horses from being distracted from reaching the finish line(in our case,reaching out for healing)?! THEY PUT BLINDERS ON THEM!

There is more to a relationship than sex and the satisfaction of having a good-looking partner!Think about what I’ve said;then think about your happiness.


Hi all it’s me Lillian. I’ve been absent from the site for a while. I’ve been absent from my life as well. Mostly lying in bed and sleeping after a wave of devastating things rolled over me once again. All slightly related to the aftermath of the spath relationship. The good news this should be it as all is finally lost. Me for a while included. I am able to get back up now even if briefly. Anyway my excuses for my absence having been said I want to share something that has helped me as I navigate my way back from the abyss that is a relationship with a spath.

A few months back someone used the term (I apologize to the author as I can’t quite remember who it was) that I glommed on to. After spending at least the first year with the mantra “how could anyone one do that to someone? variation: How could he do that to me? and the conclusion: “I would never do that to anyone not my worst enemy nevermind someone I professed to love… blah blah blah!” That process didn’t get me anywhere. Just dizzy by going in circles upon circles.

Anyway the term is to picture the psychopath as a boat without anyone on it. The boat is so pretty bobbing along on the waves, appearing to go with the flow, the beautiful water, the sunshine, the sunsets so romantic. Then it runs you over when you get in its way like you were never there leaving you in ruins. Blown apart like so much jetsam and flotsam in the water. Upon investigation it is discovered that the boat that ran you over while you admired it’s beauty was empty. No captain. No driver. Empty and adrift. You just happened to be in it’s reach and it didn’t give way just because you happened to be there. It couldn’t because no one was driving the boat.

Well now you can’t take it personally when there was no one in particular that rammed you. It had nothing to do with you. It wasn’t your fault. Who would think that there would be a boat without a sailor on it that far out to sea as you were?

It helps with the it was my fault problem. Who knew? It helps when; and it still happens, people say things like…. “why Lillian it was your fault really you picked him.” Really? Did i put that empty boat in the water and know it was empty as it so beautifully sailed along? NO. That it wouldn’t give way as any good sailor should when I crossed it’s reach per the rules of the sea? NO. Did I have the choice between two boats; one with a sign that said: “FULL CREW ON BOARD” and one that said “NO CREW ON BOARD?” What? Did i just recklessly choose the empty one? NO.

There was no way to know. I couldn’t see there was no one at the helm. The sun was in my eyes and my sunglasses had been flung overboard. It was all so picture perfect until it wasn’t. By the time I became so much flotsam in the sea I could’t reach the life perservers I had so carefully gathered over my lifetime as they were long gone. I had no choice but to cling to a piece of fiberglass and send sos signals for help. The water was cold, my body was numb, my face sunburned by the exposure, my lips dry and cracked from dehydration, I was tired of treading water, and I was hungry. There were sharks everywhere. Not much I could do but sink or swim which I did alternately depending on the tide and the weather. I’m still searching for rescue boats but hopefully if I keep swimming I’ll reach the shore. I’ll lie out in the sun and warm myself, drink pina coladas and put balm on my sunburned face and arms. And I will sleep and play in the surf once again. Lot’s of love. Lillian

Welcome back!We know the spath knows what he/she is doing,but I still like the analogy of the empty boat to explain No Fault and the injury that is done!Keep posting as we’d love to hear more from you!

Tea Light

Lillian, l agree with Blossom, your empty boat analogy is very evocative for me…the idea we’ve discussed quite a lot on LF that the disordered abuser is soulless..and without conscience..your boat without a captain is a powerful visualisation of that concept. I’m sorry to read you have been suffering. Let us know how you are and do keep sharing your thoughts on your experiences . Peace and love to you.

Tea Light

Hi Blossom!! Here’s a hug (((for Blossom)))

Tea Light

Tobefree, l’m just logging in now after a couple of tough days and wanted to say to you that my self esteem was very eroded by my abuse and I read a book which was not an easy or gentle read but which helped me enormously to see clearly the abusive process I was subjected to. It’s called Stalking the Soul by Marie-France Hirigoyen, a psychoanalyst who works with victims of abuse in intimate relationships. The book was originally written in French and the english version I have is a bit clunking in places not à great translation but it’s an amazing read , she really knows her stuff on love bombing, manipulation, devaluation and in particular the soul destroying effects of psychological and emotional abuse. If your ex partner was saying things to make you feel disrespected and degraded you are a survivor of such abuse. Take care of you .

Tea Light,
((( Hugs))) Stalking The Soul was one of the books my counselor had me read!I agree it wasn’t the easiest book to read….but it sure explained what happened to me!

Tea Light

It IS hard going Blossom definately, no warm and fuzzy tone, very clinical descriptions of the various cases but a brilliant work! I admire her too she’s a really powerful advocate for we survivors and for those being abused

Tea Light,
I can’t remember alot about the book anymore (I’ve read so many!),but I do remember that I printed sections of it because it explained what I’d been through so well…I wanted the elders in my congregation to have an understanding of what a sociopath is and how they can cause so much harm.Normally they do all they can to help couples work their marriages out,but they seem to understand my situation and have been very supportive.

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