Sociopaths and creepy trophies

By Sarah Strudwick

Sarah Strudwick, based in the UK, is author of Dark Souls—Healing and recovering from toxic relationships.

First of all I want to thank everyone who commented on the posts that I’ve written over the last couple of years. Recently I did a post on How to speed date a sociopath. Whilst I make every effort to move on with my life after the psychopath, occasionally something will come up that causes me to think “Why do they do that?”

So the topic of this post is whether or not any of you have experienced the following:

In my book Dark Souls, I wrote about an occasion where my ex moved my cash card. A week later I found it hidden behind a bottle of sauce on the top of a very tall cupboard in the kitchen. At the time it went missing, I asked my ex if he may have picked it up by mistake, because he used the same. He commented that I was forgetful, and asked me whether I’d left it in the freezer.

This was a very strange comment. Later, I found a book written by a psychopath about how to manipulate people, putting the victim off guard so they question their own sanity. One of the suggestion was to ask victims if they left something that went missing in a freezer!

Being a complete idiot at the time, I looked in there, just to check I wasn’t losing the plot or going mad.

More items not returned

I also lent my ex some books and a heart-shaped crystal. At the time he was leaving his wife. He promised to keep it safe. When I asked for it to be returned, I got the excuse that he had let his children play with it, and one of his small children managed to drop it out of a two-story building and broke it. The story was preposterous—why would he let his kids play with something he didn’t want his wife to see?

I was also in a relationship with a man call Dan. I was doing acupuncture, and he as asked me if he could borrow my acupuncture books and also a book on Taoism. He also borrowed a cassette of a local radio interview I’d done when I was 19 about backpacking in India. When the relationship ended, I asked Dan to send me back the books and the interview cassette. He still has them to this day, and refused to give a reason for keeping them. Looking back, I think it was his way of keeping a little trophy of me.

Happening again

I was prompted to write this is because straight after I ended the speed date, I noticed something strange. Every day I wear a necklace, which I made myself out of resin and crystals. You could call it my “security blanket,” because I always feel happy when I am wearing it. When I bathe or shower I take it off and leave it in the bathroom as the string is made of leather. Lurch commented on the jewelry I make as he saw the resin and paraphernalia on the worktops in my kitchen.

A day or so after getting my head of the washing machine with all the mind games he played, I suddenly realised I wasn’t wearing the necklace. I searched the flat everywhere but couldn’t find it. I soon realised that a photograph of me was missing as well. It was an old photograph of me when I was about 16, dressed in fancy dress and looking reasonably young, fit and attractive. My son had seen it a few days before and commented on how young I looked. The photograph had been next to the computer, but was gone.

I like to think of myself as a rational person and don’t jump to conclusions before pointing the finger. In fact, I searched multiple times only to find nothing. Whilst I cannot prove that anyone took it, these were not items of value like money. But they had a lot of sentimental value, much like the cassette and the specialist acupuncture books, which, incidentally are irreplaceable.


I’ve read before that the psychopath likes to closet their victims, and I’ve heard stories about serial killers keeping “bits” of them as trophies. Whilst we expect the sociopath to steal our hearts, money and valuable possessions, the difference is that all these items are irreplaceable. Which begs the question that they will intentionally go out of their way to take such things, because they know how upset we will be.

I am still searching for these items, just in case I haven’t lost my marbles. Whilst it’s easy to let them go because they have no real value, the whole experience points to the potentially sick and twisted nature of their personalities and has “creeped” me out. Even with such a good understanding of psychopaths/ sociopaths, it’s still beyond all my capacity to understand what motivates someone to do something like this.

It’s for this reason that I shared this experience. I wonder if anyone else had experience the same kind of “creepy” behaviour.

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571 Comments on "Sociopaths and creepy trophies"

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Yes, my ex kept creepy trophies as well. They were the little reminders of the pain he inflicted on people. The worst creepy trophy that I discovered was also the ONLY piece of correspondence he ever saved from his youngest sister. I discovered it on his computer, it was a Facebook message that said, “You destroyed the innocence of your younger siblings (three girls and a boy) and don’t think that any of us have ever forgotten it, _____”. That one really floored me and I worry about what he may have done to my kids!

My x also keeps trophies. He has kept a box marked “sentimental”. All it contained was pictures of me as a little girl and some notebooks of poems I wrote in my teens. He has also refused to return my negligees. He uses these thing to try to control me. He threatens me with them.

This is great.
Before I realized that the boy I was in love with was, in fact, a sociopath, I stuck a post it on his cubicle. It was just a little doodle of my zodiac sign with part of Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Hope” written on it.
As I witnessed his behavior changing, I became extremely perplexed. While he was giving me the old silent treatment, the sticky-note remained. For months! In fact, he had to subsequently tether it with a pin; a pin on which he hung his oft used headset. Again, perplexed.
It began to bother me so I asked a girlfriend, “Why is that goddamned sticky-note still there?”
“Ya know, Dee, serial killers keep trophies…”
And thus began my research regarding psychopaths. In my findings, I discovered that the boy’s behavior was typically antisocial. He was, is a sociopath.
That damn note stayed there until I took it down and had a friend video me tearing it into tiny pieces.
About a year later, when neither of us worked at that particular job, and yes, I was still spellbound, I asked him about it. His reply was, of course, rather cryptic, “How am I supposed to remember a sticky-note? I had lots of sticky-notes on my cubicle.”
Here’s my conclusion, and you’ll love this. He had secretly knocked up another coworker of ours. Her desk was next to his. I really believe he kept it there, in her plain veiw, to mess with her. A poem, a zodiac sign not hers. It had to have driven her crazy. Poor gal. I still pray for her, and their daughter.
Nevertheless, that trophy is what led me to understanding him.

still waiting to get my lifeback

Yes, mine stole under clothes and other worthless items. This could be a separate diagnoses. Nothing of real value but strange like tank tops. When I mentioned it, he said stop acting petty and bringing up the past. Crazy making at its finest.

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