Sociopaths target our dreams

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail. In it, I felt like I was reading a rerun of my experience.

I was involved with one of those 1 to 4% sociopaths/scammers you’ve outlined in your website.

I lost everything ”¦ Long story ”¦ you already know it ”¦ he was so charming ”¦ the love of my life ”¦ kind generous, giving, very sexy in and out of bed ”¦

Anyways, it’s been just over 3 yrs (I was only with him 2 + yrs with a 3-month breakup period. Yep I took him back ”¦ Call me a LOSER now and hit the delete button ”¦ Wait, please don’t ”¦) and I’m living in a mobile home park. Not any of the three properties I had on a golf course.  Sold two of them and the third is heading for foreclosure.  Put all the money 250K+ into a condo in Mexico and took loans out on my condo that I had paid off while I was selling new homes from ’95 -’05) the year I met him ”¦ to pay for “our dream””¦ live in Mexico. I had an offer letter to work for the Four Seasons (selling luxury time shares ”¦ the interviews were long and the background check very extensive ”¦ I passed) and that would help pay the mortgage on the 3,000 sq. ft. beachfront condo WE bought ”¦ none of his money till he made some payments ”¦ And my job would hopefully cover his expenses of running his dream job of being a charter captain on a boat that we would lease from the person we bought the condo from ”¦ OMG ”¦ Thanks for listening. ”¦ I need a support group to go to ”¦ but I’d rather just be one-on-one ”¦ and I’ve been to the therapists ”¦ they all (so far) just watch the clock and tell me stuff I already know.

Been extremely depressed ”¦ always suffered depression but was able to work and acquire my homes ”¦ Then, all of his promises and “deals” shot all my $$ and savings out the window ”¦ at a very high speed mind you ”¦

How long does it take to get on with life?

My friends, which are fewer nowadays, say get over it and move on ”¦ But, I considered myself to be somewhat “street smart””¦ And so I continue to beat myself up for the horrific financial things I did and the mess I’m in ”¦ I know I need to accept some of the blame ”¦ but ”¦ he had the plan ”¦ didn’t know his plan ”¦ and went along with the Love sick person inside of me ”¦ finally, my ugh, prince had come ”¦ yada, yada, yada.

At the end (two weeks before our big move to start our new “fabulous” lives together ”¦ I finally confronted him about his 150K in credit card debt. I have no idea ”¦ why I didn’t run his credit before that close to our move ”¦ other than he was always paying for everything, including ALWAYS having to upgrade our flights to first class, etc ”¦ I thought he was just spoiling me ”¦ as he told me time and again ”¦ I deserved to be treated like a lady and he was going to be the one to do that ”¦ and claiming to pay off his cards monthly with his construction job.

By the way, yes he allowed me to run his credit one night when he was having one of his daily 6 Bud Lights. I’d gone to bed early ”¦ he came home beyond plastered, woke me up from a sound sleep and poured beer all over me ”¦ threw me to the ground and threatened to kill me (“Do you want me to kill you now?”)  I responded two-fold. “Why are you wasting a beer?” and “No, I’d like to make it to my 43rd b-day.”

I called the police after he got up from holding me by my neck to the ground of our bedroom floor ”¦ I called a cab, as I’d already sold my sports car (as it wouldn’t have been too practical in Mexico) ”¦ stayed in a motel for 2 weeks ”¦ next day called some movers and moved all my stuff to a storage ”¦ then after two weeks in “hiding” ”¦ because I was afraid he’d go to my girlfriends homes looking for me. I stayed with a girlfriend until the tenants in my condo found a new place to move.

Sorry for rambling on ”¦ to repeat ”¦ it’s been just over 3 yrs ”¦ and I can remember everything like it was yesterday ”¦

How long till I regain my life? I’m sure the answer is in ME ”¦ maybe a lobotomy?  Please advise or let me know that I still have a life that’s worth living.  I’ll be 46 in Feb ”¦ He’ll be turning 60 next yr.

Insidious tactic

This reader described in living color probably the most insidious tactic in the sociopathic arsenal: They target our dreams.

What better way to draw us in than to promise to make our deepest desires come true? How can we resist someone who wants what we want, and seemingly has the capacity to achieve it?

And how do the sociopaths know what we want? They ask us, and we tell them.

It happens early in the relationship, under the guise of “getting to know each other.” It goes something like this:

“So,” the sociopath asks, with pitch-perfect sincerity, “what do you really want in life?”

“I want a family before I get too old,” we reply. (Or, “I want to live on the beach on a tropical island.” Or, “I want to send my kids to a top college.” Or, “I want to retire while I’m still young enough to enjoy it.”)

“That’s what I want,” the sociopath replies, with a touch of feigned surprise. “We have so much in common. We must be meant for each other.”

Painful betrayal

Dreams explain one reason why the betrayal of the sociopath is so painful. Not only have they manipulated us, deceived us and stolen from us, but they used our own most treasured dreams to do it.

We have lost not only our love, money, time, home, and whatever else they have taken. We’ve lost our dreams. And that hurts.

Then, of course, comes the self-criticism. Why did we believe the sociopath? Why did we wait so long to check them out? Why didn’t we listen to people who warned us? Why didn’t we listen to ourselves?

Why? Because we wanted our dreams to come true.

It’s a brilliant tactic on the part of the predators. They use our dreams to hook us, and then because of our dreams, we don’t want to let go.


So how, as this reader asks, do you move on in life? “I’m sure the answer is in me,” she writes.

She is right. A lobotomy is not necessary, but a “pain-ectomy” is. We have real, true, genuine pain because of what the sociopath did. In my opinion, we can’t analyze away the pain, or wish it away. Pain is emotional, and the only way to release it is emotional. We have to allow ourselves to experience it.

The only way out of the pain is through it.

This isn’t pretty. In my case, I spent a lot of time crying. To get out my anger, I imagined the con man’s face in a pillow, and beat it as hard as I could. Because our dreams were damaged, the pain goes deep, and releasing it is a process. We get rid of some, and more rises to take its place.

Eventually, however, we get to the point where we’ve cried all the tears and released all the anger. We get to the point of acceptance. Something awful happened, we had a part in it, but it’s time to move on.

Then we learn something about dreams. Dreams are linked to expectations, and expectations have a down side. Sometimes, if our expectations aren’t met, we feel like we’ve failed. Or, expectations blind us to other opportunities that may come our way. Because the new opportunities do not match our expectations, we don’t even see them.

Maybe we have to give up our original dreams. But that doesn’t mean there will never be dreams again. Perhaps something better, and more fulfilling, will come along, and because we are no longer looking to make a particular dream come true, we’ll see the new opportunity.

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I’d prefer that you and your children never see the raging of a sociopath – it’s disturbing to witness, being shocking. I have thought that the h-spath experienced this raging with his father (all the kids were abused) and possibly saw his mother being treated the same way by his father. I didn’t start see any raging (directed at me) until a couple of years ago, thinking that the behavior was asinine, ridiculous, unnecessary. I would have to talk to his older sister and my sister-in-law (who’s married to the youngest brother) to find out more about the family dynamics. I watched a Larry King program a few months ago (over the summer) where he was interviewing a panel of specialists who were talking about the human brain – one doctor made a powerful comment that stayed in my mind – “a healthy brain equals healthy behaviors.” I thought how true. Many people (disordered and non-disordered) do not have healthy brains. The goal is to get a healthy brain going.


That visual was awesome, even the Christmas music playing in the background. What a gift! He said he would tear up the papers if I just say the word and how much he loves me. HELLO! What gives? He must have forgot his freakish behavior as of late. (as of forever!)

I must have scared him with the custody eval. because he started talking about having son on weekends and how much he wants to do the right thing for me. It’s all for me, aren’t I sooooo lucky?


I did see this rage a few weeks ago and it was a sight to behold! Then he threatened to hurt himself if I left the house. He really NEEDS to think he’s normal, it’s a need for him otherwise he has to face the nothingness that is really taking up space inside his head. True disordered people are seriously scarry!

We wish you a merry Christmas, We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dear Hopeforjoy,

I got that visual in my head and I can’t get it out, of him with the suit case and the PITIFUL LOOK, BALANCING THE SUIT CASE AND THE GOLD FISH BOWL as he goes out the door, with the dog growling at his heels and the cat running from him, and the christmas music playing and the tree lights blinking!!!!

I mean I CANNOT GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD AND I KEEP ON LAUGHING! I have been standing in the kitchen washing dishes and cleaning counters (just came in to take a break and sit down) and I was laughing the whole time, I keep ADDING to the visual like the dog and the gold fish bowl (a huge gold fish bowl with 1 huge bug eyed fish in it with this stupid look on the fish’s face) Oh, I wish I could draw cartoons I’d draw one up and send it to Donna for her to post!

I guess we have to have something to get our tickle boxes turned up side down once in a while.

JUST SAY THE WORD AND HE’LL TEAR UP THE PAPERS!!! Yea, I bet he would! Not too late for you to change your mind Hope4, you can have another 20 years of this carp!!!! Complete with the goldfish bowl! LOL

I’m not really sure what made me do SUCH a visual on this one, but it is sort of like a BACKWARDS NORMAL ROCKWELL PAINTING of a psychopathic Christmas morning with the P leaving and the FAMILY is HAPPY and smiling in relief, but he isn’t! He is just looking like a pity party! Oh, my gosh, I can’t quit laughing! It actually HURTS and my nose is running!

Yea, he does NOT WANT JUNIOR but he will try to make you and junior think he does.

I think you might be able to turn this around on him by telling Junior that it is OKAY with YOU if he goes with daddkins but of course DADDYKINS won’t have a place for junior to stay as he COUCH SURFS his way around town for a while, but it will be on HIS HEAD THAT JUNIOR HAS TO STAY WITH YOU, not because YOU made him. But Junior can’t blame you for NOT LETTING HIM GO. A little BACK-SPATHING “reverse psychology”

Of course Junior will want to visit dad, and I would not get in the way of this, HOWEVER, MAKE IT SO THAT DADDYKINS NEVER GETS TO SEE YOU—just junior. Since Junior is old enough to be left alone for a while, you can drop him off at Daddykin’s homeless shelter or grandma’s house or whatever and just slow down enough for junior to get out of the car and YOU keep on going!~ I think you will find that when Daddykins doesn’t get to use JUNIOR AS AN EXCUSE TO GET TO TALK TO YOU, the visits will stop being welcomed by daddykins….so again, you are not the “bad guy” keeping junior from Daddykins, but DADDYKINS is the one who makes no effort to see Junior.

THAT WILL SINK IN with Junior sooner or later that it is not you being the bad mommy and keeping him away from dad, but that dad will not make the effort to see him or provide a home for him or to BE A PARENT!

I realize that adolescent kids, and males in particular, are pulling away from control of mommy and trying to model after daddy but your son isn’t stupid, he should SEE what is going on, and yes, he will resent it for a while, but I bett’ya he will see that daddy is not the prince he thinks he is, and mommy is not the witch that daddykins paints the picture of.

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