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Sociopaths, at first, don’t act like jerks

When I first met my ex-husband, James Montgomery, whom I now believe is a sociopath, he treated me like gold.

His attentiveness started with our initial e-mail correspondence. Yes, we met via the Internet, but he lived nearby—I wasn’t worried about the pitfalls of a long-distance relationship. During our three weeks of preliminary correspondence—his notes were clever and well-written—he made it clear that he was interested in me.

When we did meet, Montgomery was attentive, charming and entertaining. He asked questions and listened to my answers. He was quick to pay me compliments. Yes, he talked about himself a lot, but he was intelligent and intriguing, so I didn’t mind—I felt like I was getting to know him.

Significantly, when Montgomery said he would call me, he did. Now, before I met him, I spent a lot of years in the dating game. Many, many times, I heard, “I’ll call you,” and then the person who said the words fell off the planet. So a man who followed through with this basic courtesy—well, that scored some points.

Trying to impress me

So, in the beginning of our encounter—I don’t want to call it a relationship—he did everything a man who was trying to impress a woman would do. He wore a sport coat when he took me out to dinner. He brought me little gifts. I interpreted these gestures as signs of his budding affection.

Many Lovefraud readers—both women and men—have told me similar stories about the beginning of their encounters with sociopaths. “He asked me how he could make my dreams come true,” said one woman. “She would do anything for me—nothing was too much trouble,” said a man.

That’s how they get us hooked.

Excellent social skills

Had my ex-husband behaved like a jerk in the beginning—stood me up, acted out in public, flirted with other women in front of me—I would have dumped him. He did none of those things. While he was reeling me in, he was a perfect gentleman.

Of course, I now know that he was on a mission to find a supply, and was simultaneously treating several other women exactly the same way. Apparently, I was the first to bite. He proposed; I accepted. Yes, it was far too soon—but I’d heard all those fairy tales about love at first sight. Why couldn’t it happen to me? I didn’t realize that all his expressions of affection were empty lies.

It would certainly be easier to spot sociopaths if they always acted like jerks. Unfortunately, they don’t, at least in the beginning. Many of them have excellent social skills. But eventually their true, disordered personalities are revealed—they are despicable con artists, out to take what they want, even if it destroys us.

Take your time and pay attention

We can’t allow ourselves to be blinded by Prince or Princess Charming. Under all the sweet nothings, there may truly be nothing, only a hollow shell of a human being. A sociopath.

So what can we do? When meeting someone new, be aware, and take your time. Ask questions. Go slow. Pay attention to inconsistencies. If your instincts tell you something is wrong, listen.


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24 Comments on "Sociopaths, at first, don’t act like jerks"

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I am still coming out of the ending phases of a relationship of someone I consider to be a sociopath. Everything I have read on every site hits the nail dead on. It is so hard to delete a person like this from your life because they do lure you on.

I just moved from our home today, and I have always had significant issue with change. He has not lived there for two months since he engaged in a fight with me, resulting in a black eye and a temporary order of protection. I found out he cheated on me with three women, and it was like the truth was never completely out there. First there were no women, and he even created an email address to pretend to be one of the women I was always nervous about, talking to me for four months, apologizing for trying to “take my man”. Then it came out that he really had cheated, but only with the one woman. Then a month down the road, I was suicidal at this point (and not for the first time) because I felt like everything I once had was slipping through my fingers. At that point, it came out that he’d cheated on me with two more women (one of which he’s with now).

My apartment got broken into, and the police think it was me! They had no proof it was him, and it wasn’t about taking money as my purse was left. At this point, he’s still stringing me along, and for whatever reason, I allow myself to be…. one article said, “Some look at it as the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” That hits it right on the head for me. In the beginning, our relationship was beyond my wildest dreams, and I always hoped that we could find our way back to that.

It is so hard, and I still have not broken free myself. I have contacted both of the ex-loves-of-his-life, but he has had some 30 ex girlfriends…. never been faithful to any of them. The two significant ones both told me to run and never talk to him again. Ironically, he’s never spoken ill of either of them, and now all of a sudden, the one he cherished the most is a “dirty slut”. He would be pissed at anyone for speaking ill of her at all, and now that I have befriended her and spoken with her, that spell is broken. The other, he’s said has convinced herself of all of these lies. Funny how the story keeps twisting. In one article (perhaps this one, I don’t remember now), I read something about how it was so tangling to try to sit and figure it all out, but you wind up engaging in that all day long. That is exactly what I have been doing, and it is one big headache. Supposedly a fake email account pretending to be him was contacting me, and all night I thought it was him, only to have them tell me it was really someone else, but not identify themselvse. I even demanded to hear from him, got a phone call, with the Caller ID clearly identifying his work…. and heard his voice say “I love you” on the other line before hanging up. And I honestly have questioned whether the whole thing really was him. It’s like he has me questioning my own sanity, and I wonder if that is what the ultimate purpose of his game is?

I would like to know, if anyone does, what the point really is? Do they enjoy hurting others? Is it more than that? What is the goal? Part of me thought it was to chase me out of town, which it has… I am moving entirely in a month. But a good friend of mine pointed out that he is feeding off of me right now, and would not honestly want to chase me off.

Where do the intense emotions they display come from? Is THAT what they feed on? Believing it themselves that they have these powerful emotions, but that in the end, it inevitably turns bad?

His hook was always to tell women of the “demon” he used to be…. and he would honestly refer to himself as a demon, and how he wonders if he can ever really be anything different, or if this “good” side to him is simply masking it. He even told me one night when things were wonderful that he hopes if he ever cheated on or abused me, that I would run, because I did not deserve that and he strongly felt that it was a possibility his “bad alterego” could come back to life after being silent for “years” he claimed. I believe now that he probably simply wanted me to see the good in him and truly believe it was there. But does HE believe the good in him is there? I have talked to him about the possibility of him being a sociopath before, and he seems to think it plausible, but is not sure. I wonder if they do know their own motives. If anyone has any answers to my questions, I would love to hear them…. or even theories.

Dear cdaniel,

I truly understand your need to tell your story and to find answers. I don’t think there are answers. I have spent many nights trying to figure it all out myself. My ex was formerly a Minister and I kept trying to figure out how that was possible given the way he was treating me. He also claimed that he was a fast learner and once he realized he was doing something wrong, “it is never to be again.” I noticed that he had a lot of drama in his speech. Anyway, my advice is try to let go of needing to know why it all was the way it was. Trying to make sense of a Sociopath’s actions will only make you feel crazy because their world only makes sense to them. See how it’s working already? You stated that you have sometimes felt as if you are losing your mind. And the suicidal thoughts… I had that too for a period of time. The hook that they hang out there is so powerful that we go for it beyond our own reasoning, like moths hitting a light over and over until they finally hit the ground, dead or destroyed.

One day you will be able to look back and understand that you fell for someone that doesn’t exist, not truly. It was all a scam.. even the very best moments. There was a period of time that I call “relationship crack” (not that I know what crack is like!) but the point is, I was so hooked and I had NEVER been happier in my life than in those 2 weeks… but after that, it was gone. All I wanted was to be back in that moment. That was the moment when I thought all my dreams were coming true. Sound familiar? I even called my Dad to tell him, “I’ve met the man of my dreams.” You know what he said? “Honey, be careful.”

When you move, if you can, change all your contact information and don’t give him the new address. Just disappear. Don’t call, don’t engage, don’t answer, close the door forever. I guarantee every time this man contacts you, you will have a string of sleepless nights. The sooner you let go completely, the sooner you will be able to get your heart back. I have found a lot of healing here on this site simply because I hear my own story over and over and it helps me to know that others have gone through this and they felt every single thing I felt. It makes no sense and yet there it is… like a formula he is following and you were following your end of it too without knowing it. Congratulations on making it to the “end” of this thing. If you need any support, I am happy to give it via email. It gives meaning to my own suffering if I can help anyone here to get through the fog.

I have a friend who went through a similiar experience as me and she called me almost every morning for a month and asked me “Am I doing the right thing? Tell me I am doing the right thing.” You are doing the right thing. He is NOT the man of your dreams and he never was. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

Good luck cdaniel.

cdaniel, all you can do right now is start your journey to recovery. You cannot go thru the rest of your life without dealing/coping with this step. Although it is not always fun, it is vital. I have been rid of my pyscho now for 8 mos. and doing much better than I ever thought. Do NOT question if it was you, I did the same thing in the begining. With the help of this website and a book on the subject I discovered what I was dealing with.
On our first date, he was super charming, interested in getting to know me, polite, sweet, etc.. It was the first time in 52 years that ever happened to me. In fact when my sister asked me the next day how my date went with this guy, I said “he did everythig right”.
Today, if that was to happen I would run. Now I know that is not particulary normal. This article is about what they do. They “act” perfect to hook you in for whatever reason is on the agenda. But in reality, they are jerks, actually this is too kind of a word. I see my pyscho in a nearby community every now and then by accident (my parents live there) and he glares at me with a hateful look almost as if I did something wrong. It’ s like I read somewhere that they turn on their victims afterwards for some weird reason even though they did not do anything wrong. Now looking at him this way puts it into perspective. That is truly who he is, not the suave, kind, complimentary, sweet, polite, affectionite guy I met on the first date. Now I can see who he really is.

As far as motives, I guess it is just what the articles say. They need power, especially over women. I do think is this where they get their kicks from. My pyscho never had a long lasting relatinship with a women and I think it is because either they get bored with them,( love doesn’t esist), or they dumped him when they caught on to him. And I don’t think he especially respects women. Hang in there and do not let this person ruin the rest of your life by questioning yourself. Good luck.

cdaniel,

I have been seperated from my psycho for 3 months now. I understand completely, as I’m sure everyone on this board does, how you feel you are so obsessed with finding the truth and trying to make sense of it all. Through spending hours upon hours looking through public records I have found a lot of info I didn’t know about my soon to be ex. Through one of his divorces he was court ordered to undergo psychological evaluation. He was found to be a sex addict, has poor judgement, a self admitted propensity for lying for no apparant reason, and low impulse control, all symptoms of sociopathy. I dont know if sociopathy was diagnosed back in 1995 when these tests were administered to him. He was also found with pedophilia tendencies, and his ex had found a video tape with him and his own son from a previous marraige. Very sick stuff. When I saw that it just took my breath away, that I actually shared my life with that man.

I have wanted so badly to call his ex but I’m afraid I don’t know what to say or how she will feel about my calling her. How did you do it?

I feel like I am beginning to heal. Some days are really overwhelming though. This week has been particularly bad since we go to court Friday, again.

I think contacting the ex, loserchooser, is a good idea. Just ask what their experience was. That’s all. They’ll tell you things you identify with and visa versa.

I was able to talk to someone who my psycho had dated and their similar experience helped me immensely to get over the bastard.

As to the question about where the psychos get their intensity in the emotions they act out — many times, I could see weirdness in my psycho’s emotional scenes. Responses to me that weren’t logical, and responses that were inconsistent with his extreme intelligence in non-emotional areas.

They are actors with emotions and if you look closely — they are not very good ones.

I support going over all the details of the relationship (but not ad infinitum) in order to see the lies in everything the psychos say and do. I think it is necessary in order to finally let go. The trick is to know when to stop analyzing.

“They are actors with emotions and if you look closely they are not very good ones.”

Yes! My bad man did that. I gave it a name: “inappropriate response.” I noticed right away that there was something not right about him emotionally. He gave me flowers but it seemed sort of robotic. He twisted up his face in weird contortions in order to “cry” and indicate he was sorry. I remember that it looked like watching a bad movie and it hit me in the stomach as not right. We have to pay attention to these things. I have been thinking about contacting the ex of my bad man. She was married to him for 16 years. I can only imagine what kind of hell she went through. I have been hesitating because I don’t want to disturb her peace but if I knew it would help her in any way, I would get on a plane and go give her a hug. This evening, I saw TWO postings on Craigslist warning people about this guy. It made my night and validated my experience. ALOHA… :o)

I have been divorced from what I know was a sociopath. We did not settle out of court until the very end of Jan of this year. I have cerebral palsy and when I met him in Jan of 1992 on the telephone of all things I was very desperate and had all the signs for him to swoop. We had our first date only that end of Feb and by May we were looking at engagement rings. I married him on Sept 3rd of 93. He wanted our anniversary to be 9393 geez. What I did not listen to was my parents friends, that told me not to marry him. He did all of the above I have been reading here. Bought me gifts while dating. He is a womanizer as I found out while being married to him.
The whole time we were married I had no idea of finances. He kept a separate checking acct and used charge cards like candy. I got out because he had the temper stuff going on and was very arragant can’t spell. He has totally ruined my credit and am trying to repair that now. I am the one that filed for divorce. He also is a computer freak by takiing to young girls on line. I found files on here just recently where he dated them too.
I know he married me because I was his best deal and he used to call me his 401k. I mentioned credit but he forged my nane on several cc checks and my atty is helping me clear my name so I can restore my credit. He got us into so much dept I have nightmares at times. This is my first time here. I am in counseling over this guy. Thanks!

I wish I could explain what happened. I can’t. I cannot get my arms around it. I am very analytical, and even about my own moods and personality, I can be very objective recognizing patterns. But, this, this took me by surprise. He used to say, “don’t ask me something if you’re not ready to hear the answer because I won’t lie to you.” Now, almost five years later, it turns out almost everything was a lie. And, of course, it was all my fault because if I hadn’t gone “snooping,” I would never have found out. He went so far as to accuse me of invading his privacy when I found most information on the internet and threatened to have his attorney file a motion to prevent me from even typing his name on my keyboard. So, I changed my locks, changed my phone numbers (all of them), and have asked my attorney to handle any personal property issues that remain. I’m sorry, I wish I could be more forthcoming, but I feel so at odds right now. I have my first counseling appointment this Friday night, and I’m hoping she can help me come to grips with this sociopath who invaded my life five years ago.

Our stories sound very much alike all though I have only been away a little over a year I still have anxiety and panic attacks over what he did. I am just very thankful I am out of a terrible situation before he ruined me financially. I feel blessed for that. He lied from day one about his career and everything. I have very bad trust issues.

pokeybanana,

Your sociopath, making everything your fault, sounds a lot like mine. Everything that ever happened was my fault. (I had no idea I was so powerful!).

On the rare occasion when he did something that was totally, provably his fault, something that no one else could be blamed for, then he would make a very fake and insincere apology, and immediately attack me for making him feel bad. It wasn’t his fault for doing something bad. It was my fault for making him feel bad about his actions. He would do this whether or not I said something about what he had done. It was just as if my mere existence and the fact that I knew what he had done was an accusation.

For him, the best defense was a good offense. He never missed an opportunity to attack.

My advice with counseling is that if you find a good therapist – Great! A bad therapist will try to get you to change yourself, as if something in you was responsible for the sociopath’s behavior. If you get a bad therapist, leave immediately. It’s not that those of us who are victims of sociopaths are faultless ourselves. Certainly we are human and fallible, too. But the sociopath magnifies our faults in addition to projecting his faults onto us. Don’t let a therapist help him do this. The biggest fault of the sociopath’s victim is not being able to spot him. I have read many articles written by professionals and they often cannot spot the sociopath, either, until late in the game. So, get reassurance from your therapist. Get armor to protect yourself from the sociopath and from any that you may meet in the future. Don’t allow a therapist to add to your guilt or cut into your self-esteem.

Best to you.

All,

I’d like to recommend a book and a movie that have been extremely helpful to me. The movie is “Gaslight.” It’s been mentioned elsewhere on this site. I think that all of us who have dealt with a sociopath can recognize him in the movie. The main difference between my sociopath and the movie version, is that the movie sociopath actually had a purpose for his actions. He was after his wife’s wealth. In my case, that was a secondary consideration. I think my sociopath primarily enjoyed the mind games for their own sake.

Second, I’d like to recommend the book “When Your Past is Hurting Your Present.” This book is especially helpful if you are a woman and/or a Christian. If not, I think it’s still worth a look. The author is a little skeptical of therapy and more interested in self-help. I think each person is different and what’s right for each person is the therapy/self-help mix that works best for them. I do like the more active/doing approach, rather than just the talking/therapy approach.

I think that most women need to go through the talking phase, whether it’s with a therapist, close friend, or family member. But at some point, at least for me, I’d had enough talking and I needed to take action. The book is a little more action oriented.

If there is an even more action oriented book that any of you are aware of, I hope you post here and let me know. For me, at first the talking was therapeutic. It was nice to know that friends understood and sympathized. But soon, the talking was not enough. Too much talking just made me feel like a victim, wallowing in self-pity. I needed to fight back.

The main problem with action is that it is so difficult to fight back without doing something drastic that the sociopath can point to and hold against you. It’s hard to actively fight back and get any results. Another problem is that sociopaths are adept at fooling judges and lawyers. They only have to fool them for a few hours in most divorce trials. Since they have no qualms about lying, this is easy for them to do.

The “get away from him” advice is definitely the best thing a person can do. But often more is needed. Getting away seems like such passive submission.

This is ALL far too familiar! I am trying very hard to stop “feeling like a fool” after falling for 17 years of manipulations and lies. he most certainly is an “OPERATOR”
A dear friend had said to me “sounds like you are dealing with a “professional” ” so that kindda helps to not “beat myself up.
It is amazing how everything is our fault. I can even control wildlife (by causing a moose to run infront of his truck) (when I was 45 min. away!! ) Yes I AM so powerful!! ha ha
I am grateful that I NOW ( after it was pointed out to me 2 years ago what kind of games he is pulling ) can start to heal. I will be forever grateful to that person.Still have great difficulty understanding that one can actually have NO feelings!. I am very cautious when I feel some “heart strings” or feel sorry for “IT” (best description for him)……….doesn’t happen so much anymore, and to be honest, it is rather surprising when it does. I guess I did love him once upon a time.Nonetheless, I am still very hurt and angry. I too am grateful that he didn’t take all (what little $$ I have) (not that he didn’t try to get it) he certainly did abuse me financially, verbally,psychologically, emotionally, physically, and YES sexually. Its all there. he tried so very hard to “Push me over the edge” however, I am fortunate enough to be too stubborn, PLUS he abandoned us (not around very much) under the false pretense “I am working” blah blah blah. yeah he was working alright, and had us here to “protect” his assets. Had he actually “Physically”been here, I may NOT have been so fortunate to be somewhat sane. I also have heavy duty Trust Issues. I don’t like this at all, and alot of times I feel like I am being paraniod. I have spoken to professionals (I also worked in the mental health field) and they have assured me that I am NOT going Insane.Praise the LORD, because I had come close to losing it, and he actually stated “Oh this is so funny, I like seeing you like this” “you are a crazy woman…” after such horendous abuse
Then there is the manipulation of the child.That scares me the most, because if that person had not pointed out his observations, I would probably STILL be in that believing his rubbish that spews out of his mouth mode. I am now 41, and just realizing what a sick individual I am dealing with. What about a child that only wants acceptance from”poor dad” who was never a father , that is a “recipe for diasaster”. My child is VERY protective of him.I just monitor conversations and behaviours as closely as I can. Trying to differentiate between hormones and just plain “bad behaviour”
Another blessing is this website, where I finally have some understanding as to what I have lived through.
Amazing how there is a “Surplus” of people (my friends) ready to be “Quick to defend” and make excuses. Even after knowing some of the maltreatment!!!! What the???????
Yes they certainly are masters of maipulation and he really saw me coming. 13 years difference in age and a great big “pity ploy” oh she did this and that, she is so evil. HA I tried to find out how to contact her, but it is so secret, and probably all lies as to any info. he has said about her anyway. I sincerely hope she is happy being away from him, and to the best of my knowlege they had no children.
And YES the best advice is to have NO CONTACT. Anything that I say (we are in the Long Slow Expensive process of seperation) is viewed as a “button” to push.That became evident as good old “hind site” kicked in!
Sending good thought to all of you wonderful “survivors”. We have made it this far already. “Onward and Upward” away from them!

I recieved some very good advice I would like to share with you.,

“Stay on the Offence”
&
“You may be a Victim, BUT you don’t need to be a Casualty”

Sincerely

Learning to Fly

” and he even created an email address to pretend to be one of the women I was always nervous about, talking to me for four months, apologizing for trying to *take my man*”

What ? Nuts !

Hi All,

I feel like repeating what learningtofly said:
This is ALL far too familiar! Of course the lying stands out. And not only when there could have been a reason for, but many times when it was totally unnecessary!

The first time, however, I was toubled by my ex’s reactions was when he lacked empathy for someone. I knew nothing about real psychos then. Also I can’t remember the exact circumstance (it was about 30 years ago) but I do remember how disappointed I was in him.

We were married only a few months when my engagement ring suddenly got lost. He left me to think out a reason for the disappearance, which of course was totally wrong. Since then he has sold, broken, thrown away so many things of mine I know what has happened to my ring. I’m sure, although I can’t prove anything, that he sold the ring when he needed money or else only to do me harm. His actions many times didn’t have much to do with reality, although I always found some or other thing I did that could have been the reason. Many times what he did, didn’t seem to have a good reason.

He died last year in an accident with a bakkie while he was riding his bicycle. He told me the previous year that he didn’t need me for sex. HOWEVER, when I filed for divorce, he asked me to withdraw my application. My lawyer couldn’t understand that he didn’t want to divorce me, but he wanted to stay in the house and sleep in another room. He then openly went on with his internet and cellphone sex, bothering me during the night with his escapades.

Five minutes before his death he came into my room and told me that he was going to sleep with me that night. I just said nothing and thought he must be crazy. Five minutes later I came upon him lying in the road, when I went to town to buy milk.

learningtofly says she can’t believe that she fell for his lies for 17 years. I’m ashamed to say that I was married for 37 years. Healing is a slow process. But the lies he told everyone, from the Education Department, colleages and professional people like my doctor, psychologists, lawyer to friends, family and especially my sons will haunt me my whole life. Many relationships will never be rectified because people loved believing him! And he knew exactly to whom he could lie and to whom not. There will always be people whom he helped and treated so good, helpful, tactful, loving, etc. who will never believe that he was such an evil person. That is why it is so important to have NO CONTACT with them.

Thank you so much for this valuable blog, Donna!

The SLANDER!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am just now recognizing that he managed to “lure” or however one would term it it ..so many of MY FRIENDS and FAMILY members. No the relationships will never ever be the same, the best one could hope for is that they can heal a bit. As I am in the slow painful seperation process, this is just when I NEED these people the most, and they are just not there. What a grand scheme that has been thought out for all these years.How sick; that he is now enjoy the “fruits of his labour” setting up all of these twisted sinerios.he is in his glory thinking about all of the suffering and how difficult all of this is for me now. The only reason he even knows how stressed out I am about all of this, is because he is manipulationg the child who give a “full report” as to our everyday. And YES, thanks so much for this safe place of understanding.
Have a safe and happy weekend
learningtofly

Hi friends ! Jesus what a roller coaster ride from hell this has been. It all started out so innocent. Steve and I are first loves from highschool. Yep, we date back to 1978. I was a sophmore and he was a senior. I suppose once a sociopath always a sociopath, but what could a 18 year old kid hope to gain from a 16 year old kid. Personally, in my experience, this disorder worsens like a progressive disease.

He seemed pretty normal, maybe a little thoughtless at times at that age and we were only together dating until the end of that summer a total of 5 months. He left the state to go to college. We corresponded for several months and when he came back to visit home he always visited me. Didn’t think much of it at that age. A long distant relationship either makes it or it doesn’t. At that age, most likely it won’t make it as neither party want’s to settle down.

18 years later, he pops into my mind as I had a premonition about him being in a car accident and dying. I called his sister to ask what he was up to and can I get his phone number.

I call, he is thrilled to hear from me and I ask if he would be willing to come visit me in Florida. He was living in Phoenix. He obliges, we have a great time. I disguss the dream and tell him to just be careful and I’m still not interested in settlling down and I assume we can be friends long distance. Clearly Steve had a different agenda.

Once he got back home he vanished into thin air. He still vanishes today.. Well talk more about that later in the story… I’m thinking, what a prick ! I just spent over a thousand dollars flying him, wining and dining him and he just vanished ! I was confused, hurt, and questioning what I DID…

Time heals all wounds and I went on to reconnect with my second love from college, Tom. We lasted 20 years, have a wonderful daughter and built considerable wealth when he decidied to have a mid life crisis and have 2 affairs, lying and deniying until I had proof. Not only did he cheat, he had been funneling my money since 2004 to a private bank account in Saint Croix to the tune of 4 million dollars. So— am I a magnet for the mentally ill ?

Back to Steve.. After Tom and I had seperated, by pure happenstance, I get a e-mail from Reunion.com a website I had never heard of asking me if I was going to go home for my 25 year highschool reunion. I plugged in about 25 names including Steve’s as we had mutual friends I thought he may be able to contact. Only one person responds to my e-mail. Ok kids, listen up, here’s where it get’s real freaky..

I know I’m going to divorce Tom and I want a new career. I decided I wanted to be a helicopter pilot so I google search training facilities and I planned to get the hell out of Houston and leave Tom behind. I had chosen a school in Chandler Arizona. My mind was set. I’m moving to Chandler.

That one and only e-mail was from Steve, 28 years ago Steve.. Guess where Steve lives ? Chandler Arizona. For some insane reason, I think this must be a sign. Oh yea.. It was a OMEN I just hadn’t come to that conclusion yet. Steve and I e-mail and talk on the phone and he confesses he was inlove with me back in 1986 but felt we were to young and the only way was to break free permanently. Yes, I fell for it.. but today is different, Steve is ready for a relationship and so am I.

Steve is so enchanted with me, I’m perfect to him, please hurry and move to Chandler he says. I commuted every month. I ended up staying in Houston an entire year longer and Steve was still in the picture loving me more than ever, so I thought. In reality, he knew I was wealthy and I never got over him. The perfect victim I’m sure he thought.

I finally move to Az and we live together. No sooner did I move in with him than his car broke down beyond repair and imagine this, Steve has bad credit and can’t secure a loan for a new vehicle. But wait ! I can…

He will just make the payments to me I thought, after all we are going to get married and live happily ever after.

Everything WAS perfect for 5 months when his facade started to decay.

Steve can no longer keep a job, Steve is shooting crystal meth, Steve is into teen porn, Steve loves to gamble at the casinos and Steve has taken up beer and cigaretts, and low and behold, Steve has failed to pay his child support and is going to jail.

He was put on a work furlough program and he was going through detox and was diagnosed as bipolar. I thought, poor bastard, what can I do to help as he was so good at conning sympathy from me. I, completely shrouded in pity, bail him out for 3 grand. That was the beggining of the end of my finances.

I honestly thought, cure the bipolar, cure the problem. He started lithium and I saw a profound improvement in his behavior, but that’s also when he became a even better con man. Every payday, like clockwork he would vanish, for hours even a day and come back home flat ass broke.

He would always come up with some lame excuse, like he had so much back child suport payment, credit card debt, you name it, he had an excuse for it.
Fortunately ladies, I made a new friend. His ex wife.. She told me everything I told her. Steve hadn’t changed, in fact, this was Steve’s MO, mooching off of woman so he can support his filthy addictions.

I went to the police. They did NOTHING ! He wasn’t on the lease, and he had NEVER PAID a dime towards rent or utilities. But you know what, in Arizona, Steve is entitled to residency if he recieves his mail at my address. Excuse me.. So, my only option was a order of protection.

Well now I have to prove my life is threatend or show proof of assault.

Steve was much smarter than that. He is such a experienced con man he knew what he could get away with and what he could not. Months go by and I can’t get Steve to move.

I mean really friends, why would he ? 3,300 sq ft, a hot tub, a pool and a brand new truck all for free.

I wrote letters to the Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and Phoenix police. There is no law to protect people like us. They actually told me despite the title and registration on the truck is in my name Steve has an established pattern of using it and I can’t take it away from him.

I no longer can handle school as I no longer sleep because now Steve pawns my belongings and steals money from me while I sleep and has helped himself to my credit cards. He even stole $100 dollars worth of quarters out of my slot machine I have at home !

Ive become increasingly desperate and now Steve has become verbally abusive. 9 months later, I haven’t seen a dime, the money is going somewhere and he not bringing anything into the house so I feel it’s pretty fair to assume his filthy addictions. Steve can’t seem to manage taking his lithium as directed and now he is in a manic episode followed by a depressive episode. Back and forth, back and forth, never stable. You know why ? Because Bipolar is secondary to his being a SOCIOPATH

Steve can’t get out of bed to go to work and he loses yet another job.

At this point my dear friend says,” go hit yourself in the head with a baseball bat and tell the police Steve did it’, so I can get this piece of sh—t out of my life.

I’m mentally, emotionally, and spiritually desperate. I realize I have no choice but to flee the state. I make arrangments, contact the police again, to no avail. Then Steve and I have the fight to beat all fights.

Steve can’t seem to comprehend why I’m so angry with him. He says it’s my fault, if I were just more patient. I pulled his hair to get him out of my face as he was screaming in my ear and he punches me in the nose and breaks my nose. Blood everywhere, I race to the hospital thinking this isn’t my life ! This can’t be happening !

The hosptal had to make a report, I told them the truth and an officer showed up, took my testimony and went to my house to talk to Steve.

Steve told the officer I attacked him ! But he won’t file charges if I don’t. The police told me if I charge Steve with assault we will both be arrested for assault.

$6,000 dollars and facial surgery later I am now beaten to thoughts of suicide. I’m facing assault charges !!!! I don’t even kill cockroaches, I take them outside ! My Mary Kay organization describes me as the woman who will give you the shirt off her back, feed you, love you, do anything for you, nurture you, and now I’m facing jail !!!

I told the police, drop the charges, and please just let me leave
this state !

$70,000.00 later, a broken nose, a ruined career, and a waste of 2 and a half years, I am soon to be free.

Steve is going back to jail next month for not paying child support and this time there is no one to pay his bail. He simply couldn’t replace me with his next victim in time.

For that I thank God, and for God I will do everything in my power to protect another woman from Steve.

I still feel Steve will die in a car accident, the odds are in my favor, he’s rarely sober and never sane !

Why is there no law to protect us ?

Kari,

I just read your story and WOW. Rarely sober and never sane! Sounds familiar.

The police are idiots. They are in it to make big busts and make a name for themselves. If it’s petty bullsh–they can’t be bothered — especially if it’s “domestic.”

I am conviced that the law enforcement agencies are like the medical professionals (they don’t prevent illnesses — instead make a load of money “treating” them), they don’t look to prevent crime, they just look to catch the bad guys after they have done the big crimes. All to make themselves look good.

For example, they will let a drug user/dealer use all he wants and commit petty crimes as long as he informs them of the “bigger dealers” and “bigger crimes.” They feel they keep an eye on the guy and basically “own” him as he will give up names in order not to get locked up.

As for the women who are taken in by the con men, the police don’t give a crap and you know why? They figure it’s our fault for getting involved with the guys in the first place. Plus they hate to get in the middle of domestic disputes, because the way they see it — the couple who is beating the crap out of each other today, will be back together and “in love” tomorrow. It’s a waste of their time.

As for him breaking your nose after you pulled his hair…well you know how that goes… you’re the crazy woman who provoked the guy.

They make you think crazy ways don’t they??…. like hitting yourself in the head with a bat to make it look like he did it. Their crazy is infectuous. Once you have the disease in your head — it’s like bouncing back and forth between love him hate him… Am I sane Am I crazy???

I feel the same way, I don’t like to kill the ants and sometimes save them from drowning in the sink because I can’t bear to watch them struggle for life like that.

However, I am the crazy ex-bitch abusive nutjob to this guy and his friends and the cops and his new “victim.” I will call her a victim from now on because that is what she is.

Of course, I look like one because when I found out all this crap, I went insane with anger and told him I’d kill him and that I would have him arrested for all the shit he’s done.

Well, you know what? That was a big mistake… they just get more conniving as you get smarter and wiser to their tricks…they get more ruthless.

Look, if I come to you and I am angry and I yell and scream… at least my anger is honest.

It’s a totally different world when someone is saying I love you, I want to make you happy, I care about your wellbeing — all the while plotting and scheming against you behind your back. True evil… truly the way the devil works… The devil is a liar — he knows your fears right? Same with a con man. They know what you fear most…

If it’s old age, they get a younger woman and flaunt her.
If it’s death, they fake wanting to commit suicide
If it’s being alone, they will make sure you have no one.
If it’s being broke and homeless, they will play on that too.

They know if you’re a competitive person and the play on that.
They use everything your are — good and bad against you.

The best part is – they smile and say I love you while they do it. They push your buttons and provoke you and say you’re the abuser. They steal and blame everyone else. They never accept responsiblity for their actions. They justify everything with their paramoralistic crap.

There is like almost no preparedness for it. I have gone so far as to get a “fiery wall of protection” candle, some protective gemstones in a sack and holy water!!

Think I am ready for the loony bin yet?

It’s a total mind-f–k and if you’re the type of person who has a mind of her own, the more they will take pleasure in messing with it. If you have morals, the more they laugh as you break them. If you love something, they more they enjoy it when it’s taken away from you.

Oh and trying to play their game back, doesn’t work… unless you are a ruthless sociopath yourself and don’t care about anything and just want to win. How can you win? You can’t — sociopaths never win – they just think they do when they see other people suffering — that’s a win for them.

When they know you’re jealous, lonely, broken, tired, confused angry and hurt… oh that’s when they really feel like they have one.

I guess the best way to win against someone like this is to make them “think” you are lonely, broken, tired etc. Give them their win and then go on to live a happy life while they continue to live empty and reckless.

Funny that you say he will die in a car accident… a friend of mine predicted the same for my “villain.”

What can you do? Pop pills until the pain goes away? Face the pain that they never loved us?

Question our own motives… what can I possibly hope to get out of the situation except more pain?

You know what this sick part is… I will go and pick him up from the hospital and take him wherever he wants to go.

Why, because I am a fool and I know eventually he will get his or he will live happily ever after… the question is why do I care?

Why do I care what happens to this lying, theiving, conning, manipulating jackass?

Maybe it’s the same reason why we don’t kill the bugs.

I guess everything serves a purpose and all those sociopaths are really Karma Bearers. They bring your bad karma to you and purify you and make you a better person.

I guess I should just commit myself to a long term nut house.

Argh

Dear holehearted. First and Foremost You are NOT a Fool!!
The new “victim” is on board now. he will find out all of her “weaknesses” & “strengths” Twist & Manipulate every word, feeling, thought, etc………………………… and now this poor soul is in for a Hell of a ride, unless she is already aware of this sick sick sick game. Lets hope she is . Then perhaps she will “turn the tables” on him.Not that it would even “fizz” him at all though. Because EVERYTHING is EVERYONE else’s fault don’t you know.
I had thought once ; that perhaps I will be the one to MAKE him accountable for Something, ANYTHING>>>>>>>>>>>>>
afterall we share a beautiful 13 year old sensitive sweet loving daughter. HA!!! Now, I seem to be gettin’ back to “Reality Land” and can see / recognize that he simply is / never will be accountable for a damn thing. Don’t forget his Mommy has made every excuse for him all of his 54 years! & Still Does. How Very Sad. & YES!!!! Once they realize that we are on to them, they do “Up the Anti”…the behaviour is So Predictable.And YES, it is all about Crazy Mind F’K.& YES again…when they can see us suffering it is a “win”. We will NEVER win, unless we are of the same sick twisted mind set of ENJOYING the infliction of PAIN and they get the sheer pleasure of watching us SQUIRM!! I really like yer idea to let them THINK we are “lonely, depressed, etc. etc……… that way they will THINK they are recieving their “Narccissistic Feed” BUT it is only a “mirage” and hopefull then they will give us a break or a “Honeymoon” period. I am really interested in your comment about the KARMA. My very dear dear friend said to me ” who’s Karma are you paying off for all of these years?”
Lets keep that nice thought in mind that this H”L ‘ ish experience is PURIFYING us!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really really like that thought / idea. Take Good Care Of YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sincere Best Wishes
learningtofly

I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to respond. It’s been such a tough, tough couple of months for me. My counselor has been wonderful. I’ve always known that I had abandonment issues stemming from my father’s disappearance as a child, but I never realized how much I appear to be emulating my mother’s life. And all I remember is that my mother never smiled, she never laughed. And there’s something inside me that is so afraid that he has just sapped all the joy from my life. And there’s a part of me that knows, instinctively, that I will never love anyone or trust anyone completely again, and if I can’t offer that to someone, what’s the sense? He has destroyed that very essence of me. And that’s where I see my life emulating my mother; I keep hearing her say how she would never trust another man or let another man take what she had worked so hard for. And I don’t want to be that way. Remember Groundhog Day? Well, I feel like I’m in something similar – like I’m in a parallel of my mother’s life and I can’t seem to find my way back to the “real world.” Does that make sense to anyone?

Anyway, there’s been some eye-opening, painful sessions with my counselor, and as she warned me, we’re only at the beginning.

On top of everything else, I’ve been trying to cope with some of the financial issues that the sociopath created….and to discover that at a minimum, it will cost me nearly $8,000 just to get my house back into some semblance of normalcy has destroyed me.

I’ve been such an emotional wreck that I sent my only child to stay with my sister and brother-in-law until next June, and that, too, has devastated me making me feel like a total failure as both a woman and a mother. I know this isn’t true, but I can’t help how I feel.

Despite the advice from some who say to just let things go and get on with my life, there’s an internal, integrity part of who I am that says I will not let him get away with this. I could handle the broken heart, but I will not let him walk away from the mess he created without some accountability. And I don’t care if all I get is an unenforceable judgment. He has an image he’s trying to maintain, and getting a judgment for taking advantage of a single mother will not go well for him, especially since he has just resumed contact with his son after 18 years.

I feel especially nuts, though, because I still miss him. And I still long for him. And I know how stupid that is. Some emails I’ve received from him again blame me for everything and focus entirely on what I’ve done to him. Which just makes me crazy with anger and hurt and feelings of absolute revenge.

I hate to admit this, but I’ve been in such denial….I don’t want to believe that he truly is a sociopath so I didn’t want to read anything else on this website because the stories were too eerily similar and in reading it in black and white, I can’t bury my head in the sand and pretend it isn’t so.

Anyway, I do want to say thank you to the support messages that followed my initial posting. And to holehearted, let me say that checking myself into the hospital for some intense therapy crossed my mind as well, but my counselor has truly helped me stay sane–even without mood altering medications. But you must do what you feel is best to get you through this tough time.

I have a girlfriend who had an excessively abusive husband. I asked her, how did this happen? She said, “He didn’t beat me up on the first date”.

Yes, the initial hook is the charm…the impeccable manners, the attentiveness, and later the small gifts.

peggywhoever:

Good point! They hook us with the charm, flattery and whatever other tricks they have and then they start their crap.

Oh yes, that web of mass deception begins at ‘hello’. You give your trust is the first mistake. From that point forward, it is a long journey down into that rabbit hole leading to hell itself.

But we can find our way back out if we truly want to because we are the stronger! The light has finally been laid on them lighting their darkened souls and they slither away like the slime they are. Just evilness, pure evilness, I tell you…from that charming little twinkle in their eye; to the overpowering sex; to all the lies and fantasies it built SO IT COULD GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO DEVOUR US.

I never took any gifts – I am not a person to be bought.
It abused my genuine love and loyalty and then it tried to kill me without forethought nor compassion. Just like “Hannibal”. Only if “IT” had eaten me, I would not be tortured the way it has tortured me and killed my soul and my spirit. But you see, I believe we can get that soul and that spirit back for ourselves. Sure, it’s a struggle and it’s a difficult path to walk but when we achieve our goal, THEY LOSE and WE WIN.

This torture and rumination was also a part of the plan. Their plan. They have mastered the art of manipulation and find no conscious or remorse when using it against the ‘silly’ – those of us who care and show compassion and all of those wonderful and good human qualities because IT HATES those qualities. “IT” can’t have them for itself and it is JEALOUS of us and the more it comes to know us and realizes we are too strong for “IT” and won’t be lead around anymore, they begin their evil and wicked ways.

Only THIS STORY, over here, is going in a different direction because I can give it right back the same way it was given only MINE is shining the LIGHT and not the DARKNESS. I do feel I am in a battle with evil itself. I plan on winning. I am going to die trying to win this battle, if I must, because I REFUSE to let it take my soul.

Mine was all charm on the first two dates but actually on the third I saw the first hint of manipulative behavior, although I did not recognize it then.

If I knew then what all these subtle warning signs meant, I would have backed off.

🙂 ((BBE)) Yah; me too….
This must have been my kismet; my karma…

I AM GOING TO WIN THIS BATTLE IF IT IS THE LAST THING I DO ON THIS EARTH. I can promise you that.

Duped

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