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The fantasy of magic moments with sociopaths

Editor’s note: The following essay was submitted by a Lovefraud reader.

Snapshots
By AlohaTraveler

In our lifetime, we hope to capture the best moments of our lives in pictures. We keep albums of our family events, weddings, births, first dates, proposals, holidays, vacations, and so on. There is another kind of snapshot that keeps many of us longing for our sociopaths. These are the “snapshots” we hold in our minds. They are the ideal moments, the perfect words, the heightened romance that so many of us felt when we were being seduced by a sociopath.

Browsing through my mental album, I see a snapshot of myself and the Bad Man, as I call him, passionately kissing in Safeway next to the tortilla chips. It was romantic, it was silly, and I felt so in love. Never before had I done a thing like that! It was just a kiss but it was so ideal, so out of the movies. I recall during our first kiss, he embraced me as if he were Fabio on the cover of a Harlequin Romance novel. Who wouldn’t swoon for that?

Here’s another snapshot. This time, I am at Home Depot. Why all the retail?! On the radio, Dan Fogelberg’s Longer Than is playing and I start to weep tears of joy. Suddenly, I felt as if I had a deeper understanding of this song about lovers. I know, it’s c-o-r-n-y! This happened during a time that I have referred to as “the happiest two weeks of my life,” or like I said before, “Relationship Crack.”

Another snapshot I have in my mind is spending an hour choosing just the right birthday card for my budding new romance (and more weeping over drippy love songs being piped in over the sound system). God, I was a sap! I ended up with two cards. I saw this as “the first card I would ever give the love of my life” and it had to be perfect. So what’s more perfect than two?

Yet another. This time I am sitting next to my Captain as he skillfully pilots the craft and gives an enlightening spiel about the marine life over his microphone. The guests were rapt with attention as was I, goo-goo eyes and all. I always had a thing for islands, the water, the whales, which were out in full force that day, and of course, the Captain of the ship. Isn’t it perfect?!

I remember looking at the Bad Man with his tanned skin and his Indiana Jones hat. He looked exactly like Harrison Ford back when Harrison Ford still looked good. It was all too perfect. I was living in Hawaii, I had a hunk of a man for my new boyfriend and of course, he had already told me what a “quality woman” I was, asked me to be his exclusive girlfriend and told me he was “seriously considering” me as a “potential life partner” after only a few short weeks! Considering that my move to Hawaii was my idea of an “alternate” life plan since, at 35 years old, my marital dreams had not come true, you can imagine how ecstatic I was to have such a lucky break in love. I had only been on the island 10 days when I met the “man of my dreams.” It appeared to me that my dreams were coming true after all. I looked at him and thought to myself, “We are going to be one of those couples that everyone wants to be like!” and I was on top of the world. I thought I had beat the system by letting go of the quest-for-love and reaching for my dreams on my own… and BINGO! My prayers were answered.

Sadly, the signs of danger were already present but my ideal moments, my perfect “snapshots” were clouding my ability, or perhaps, my willingness, to see them. The Bad Man had already mentioned that he had been called a “cult leader” in the newspapers back in Seattle during his days as a Pastor for Assemblies of God. He had been “sort-of excommunicated” because he was an “out of the box thinker” and he had “thrown off the templates” of the traditional hard line thinking of his former Church. He was a “rebel” and a “hero.” He had a “permanent restraining order” against him and all women’s health clinics in the Seattle area. He was “honest” about the “B.S. restraining order” his ex-wife had against him. He told me mournfully that his ex “stole the children” (escaped under extreme duress, I am sure) and that the court would issue a restraining order to any woman that said she was afraid. “The court wouldn’t even question it” he told me, with indignation in his voice. He called her a “gossip” and talked at length about how couples should be able to work out their problems in private or go “up the food chain” for advice and not down. Now in my defense, this was confusing. That seemed like good advice coming from a former Minister. Perhaps his ex was a gossip. I mean I was keeping all our problems private, just like he told me to. Why couldn’t she? I know as I write this that it all sounds ridiculous but alas, the kiss… the kiss! Now, I say, “Alas… the red flags, the RED FLAGS!!!”

Never before had I been so taken in by someone, so consumed by a man. I thought this was the big love that I had been waiting for. I thought it was finally my time. These were the things I was telling myself in those brief moments of heightened romance. As I write this, I realize that my snapshots were just my thoughts. In fact, in some of the snapshots I describe, the Bad Man isn’t even present… just me and my thoughts of LOVE. I was in denial of what was really happening and I let a few highly romantic moments, snapshots, overpower the truth. My own thoughts about what this relationship was going to mean for my formerly-empty-before-him-life were seductive enough for me to all but ignore the truth before me.

In my mind, I have burned up these snapshots. I recognize them for what they are now. They are my own fantasies, and my own dreams that I pinned on someone else. Why are all my dreams riding on someone else? Now when I am asked, “What are your hopes and dreams?” I feel sad and empty. For some reason, I keep getting asked this question lately. I can’t think of anything. I have plans that are solid and based on reality. I am working toward some goals. I have named the steps to achieve my goals and I am ticking them off as I go. But there are no dreams.

When someone loves you, they don’t set out to destroy you. They consider your wellbeing and they consider how their actions affect others. This is what is normal. They don’t terrorize you until you feel like you are worthless. I knew this but I sort of forgot. I forgot because he said the magic words”¦“I am seriously considering you as a potential life partner.” I became a slave to those words and would do anything, endure anything, ignore anything, because of them. It’s like I was on Survivor. I formed an alliance with him! I bought in to his strategy to destroy me and I joined in the plan. Hey, in the end, I even voted myself off the island! I guess you could say, I escaped the Bad Man by leaving while he was at work, kind of like the way he described the day his ex left him with her 5 children in tow. God Bless her.

If it seems that I make light of my encounter with a sociopath, I do not. My story is lit up with red flags, more than I would like to admit. My lessons from the Bad Man cost me some money, some time, many tears, a few friendships, and maybe one thing that needed to go, like a baby tooth needs to go to make room for the emerging adult one. Perhaps my fantasies of love, and being in love, and what that would mean for my life, were a bit girlish. Now, I have a plan for my life beyond loving and devoting my life to someone else. Where was I in all that, anyway?

I have a real snapshot of myself from my time on Maui. It was taken by the Bad Man. When I saved it on my computer, I gave it the file name, “pretending to be happy.” It looks like I am having the time of my life but the truth is, I was sleepless, anxious, afraid, and miserable. I was being emotionally battered, manipulated, terrorized and stalked. I had been called a long list of names your Mother wouldn’t want to hear you say. I was never good enough, never knew what he wanted or didn’t want, could never guess how to make him happy, because it changed minute by minute, nor could I keep up with his ever changing relationship rules that always applied to me but never to him. I was crumbling under the stress of it all.

I guess it’s never too late to be truthful with yourself.

Author’s note: The concept for “Snapshots” was introduced to me by my friend, Susan Bradley, RN. Susan is a Relationship Coach, and author of “Irresistible Prescriptions for Love.” For more information, visit her website www.lovinguniversity.com.


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217 Comments on "The fantasy of magic moments with sociopaths"

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Alohatraveler:
I can totally relate to your ‘Snapshots’ article, and it is beautifully written. The one thing I hope for you is that your fantasies of love, and being in love, are found again for you.
Aloha.

Wow… I relate to the snapshot vision as well….. that seems to be the hook that keeps me thinking about her and wondering “Why?”….All the wonderful moments.. her gentle words… her caring actions… when those thoughts drift by my head, I want to grab them and hold them… but then there is the dark, sad, reality of what it really was and what it eventually became… I then throw those thoughts out in disgust and remind myself of what it really was all about… I also relate to your words “I was never good enough, never knew what he wanted or didn’t want, could never guess how to make him happy, because it changed minute by minute, nor could I keep up with his ever changing relationship rules that always applied to me but never to him. I was crumbling under the stress of it all.”………….that was me too…. what worked in the beginning sure didn’t near the end…. it was crazy.. it was frustrating.. it was confusing.. and then she mocked me… telling me that I was “too emotional”… or she’d say “am I frustrating you?” with a knowing smile on her face……. when I tell people of the things she said or did.. they can’t believe that I put up with it.. and now… I can’t either… it was insane….. it was those “snapshots” that kept me there and they kept me in that bad place long after she departed….. We all have those snapshots, and they can be chains of bondage, or if we choose, they can be a reminder of what was never real even though it felt so real for us…. that was then.. this is now… and now is real. Good writing Aloha……….

~R~

Aloha-Beautiful and so True!! It tells the tale that almost all of us had. How you hold onto the one line or phrase that makes you stay. Repeating it over and over in your mind. Your thought process does become clouded to see the Red Flags. We never are truly happy, its a lie, just like them. Because deep down you are full of anxiety, fear and going crazy trying to keep up with their ever changing rules. You become an emotional mess, its is then “over” and we are left ALONE to mop up the tears and broken pieces of ourselves. Astonishing how their manipulating ways grab hold and you are hooked in by the devil. Then he walks away grinning on this way to the next.

Today I was thinking about some of his comments – ‘I dont want to lose you’ ‘I knew you were the one as soon as I saw you’ ‘I want to grow old with you’ ‘you tick more boxes than I could ever imagine’ etc etc. How he could have been so two faced still confounds me. I still wake up some mornings thinking – I dont know how he did all that to me. But he would never be open about what he was doing, just dropping hints now and again to keep me thinking and wondering about him.

When I think of how little he put into the relationship, he was playing the relationship by a set of rules I was completely unaware of at the time. How he thought out and measured out his actions to diminish me, I am left wondering why – its been 6 months of him doing his disappearing act – am I still thinking about him? I know in my rational mind, that a relationship with him now would be a waste of space and I would not take him back ever – but I have lived with guys for 6 years or more that have not knocked the stuffing out of me like this man who I only knew for a year. I am desperate to move on, but I just cant seem to shake him out of my head. I had no closure, he conveniently did a runner when I closed in on him for questions and answers and then gave a message via a friend, saying he had found someone else. Any answers please?

Beverly,

The closure is: He is a Sociopath and that is what Sociopaths do.
*(credits to ML for that thought… I have clearly attached to it! It’s powerful and it’s freeing, isn’t it?)

I know it’s sad but that is the full answer. There is nothing more you need to know about him.

I believe the healing begins when we stop looking at them asking “Why?” and start looking at ourselves… and asking “Why?”

My fairytale love fantasies are gone now. I traded them in for what is real and what I can create in my life for myself. I know that many readers had full lives before they met their Sociopath. For me, I was not full for sure. I was pretending that I was but honestly, I wasn’t. That is my story though. Yours may be different… but the story of your Bad Man is the same as mine. He did what he did because that is what they do… Let this remind us that it had little to do with who we are. They did not treat us bad, or toss us out, because of who we are or because we deserved it in any way.

Be gentle with yourself but still learn what you need to learn.

Now, we have lives to create for ourselves. Full lives!

Think of the lion and the gazelle. We don’t ask why Lions sneak up on gazelles punce on them and gobble them up.

I am baking a cake today. I haven’t done that in years.

My fairytale love fantasies are gone as well. My relationship and marriage with my ex s was the only fairytale love story I’ve every known although I certainly know that I was loved before and am actually loved right now. Looking back, it was TOO perfect. He paid me way too much attention, flattered me beyond words and petted me like a baby and all the while was leading a double life having sex with the lowest of the lowest. I loved the way he pampered me but hated his being irresponsible. I didn’t say anything about his not fulfilling his end of the deal financially for a very long time and finally, I had to. It was either say something, or crack under the pressure. It wasn’t long after that until he sought out the younger woman with a good job and credit. I’ve warned her repeatedly and she says that she has told him that she will NOT financially support a man although she has already gone above and beyond what I would have done. She’s caught up in his charm. Speaking of snapshots–I don’t dwell too much on those. They seem to just be the classic things that s’s do to entrap us. Lies, all pretty lie! He had my pic, his wife of nearly 7 years, on his myspace page with the caption “baby girl”. Days after he left, he replaced my pic with hers but left the caption the same. He called me his snuggle bunny, now he calls her that. It’s a shame that all of their victims can’t get together and compare notes–that’s when I think a s behavior might get limited and their victims fewer and far between. However, s’s make sure that they stay one step ahead of us convincing the current victim that all the previous ones are crazy! Yeah, we know who it is that’s really crazy, don’t we?

Reading these posts have, for some reason, brought tears to my eyes. I am sad sometimes for how seemingly complicit I was in how the sociopath treated me. I didn’t know how to defend myself against him, and my lack of a strong sense of self prevented me from telling him to take a hike sooner….
Basically, I didn’t love myself very WELL…and, I am growing and growing, my love for ME is growing…and this is bringing me healing.

But, in regards to finding resolution, I have to say…accepting that a snake is a snake, and a sociopath is a sociopath, and that is JUST THE WAY it is…and accepting ME and MY BRILLAINCE…HAS meant tremendous growth for me, and to avoid allowing sociopaths like him in my life again…I MUST accept my own brilliance. Also, I have chosen to try to avoid fixation on the pain, the sociopath’s actions, and how horrible HE IS…I don’t want to give him more of my energy, after all, energy IS life.

I found the following film to be helpful, for some reason…accepting the sociopath as a predator, and ME as simply as prey…has made it LESS PERSONAL…check the film out…if you care too…it was very very powerful for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

All the best to you all…thank you Alohatraveler for your story, and the rest of you all for sharing your stories, and your hearts…

Grace

Bev- My encounter (far from relationship) lasted a little over a year as well. Its only been a month for me, but I am trying REAL HARD to take care of myself, take myself back from him. I mull over the lines he use to say as well. “I must really love you, cause I don’t stick around for someone who makes me so mad”- nice one- double sided. Or- “I think about having your daughter as a step daughter and it makes me so proud to think people will praise her and I can say, oh yes that is my step daughter.” “I think we should have a child and then adopt another.” and it goes on..

As far as closure…NONE! I did leave him for 2 months and came back, he professed; thanking god that I have returned. He sweet talked me and I was so attracted to him. Then he asked for a couple hundred dollars. He said he needed it that minute but would re-pay me in two days AND make dinner for me. Well, the two days came and went, the dinner never happened and when I pressed him for the money he disappeared. Never returning a txt or call. Then shortly after, his brother called me and told me that my S was just a player who would stick his D**K into anything. But reassured me that that statement didn’t include me-(yeah great). I’ve stopped trying almost a month ago. It was keeping me in the sick trap and I was becoming psycho. I realized he doesnt even deserve my psycho side let alone my good nature. He can keep the money- in return I’ll keep myself.

Tami- Everyone to him was “Babe”-even his sister. He couldn’t get confused or mess up I guess. OR to him a name really didnt matter, the person doesn’t so why would a name.

change06: Your words haunt me. It was actually my sister-in-law (married to my s brother) who once told me that I didn’t know my husband at all. She hailed from the same community that he grew up in–I did not. She told me that my husband had always been a “player” after he caused a family uproar by calling her up and hitting on her during the time we were married–HIS BROTHER’S WIFE! He said horrible things to her that scared her!

And, when my s was leaving me after 7 years of marriage–a man who had never raised his voice to me–spat at me between clenched teeth that he just wanted to stick his d**k in everything! I was shocked and horrified. I could NOT believe the monster that he turned into. I don’t think anyone believes me when I tell them because he always plays the Mr. Nice Guy role. My parents and my son saw it, too, thank goodness, or no one would believe me. It’s hard to believe that a man could play a role so well for actually nearly 8 years including our dating time and then turn into a monster on a dime.

Another thing that really bothers me is that his family knows damn well how he is. I started to hear rumors when he and I were married and questioned them about it. They convinced me that they had never seen him SO happy and content in his life and that I was his dream girl and the love of his life. Now, they’re telling the new gal the same thing! She’s fool enough to believe it. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I honestly think my ex s’s mother is a sociopath, too. I KNOW she is a pathological liar–tells big ellaborate stories simply for the heck of it. I don’t understand.

yep that is right the only way its going to stop if everyone knows everything new and old victims alike. but with social situations and for our own sanity how the hell are we going to do that. i dont even know half of his victims and they would probably turn on me anyway. stick their d…k in anything the only thing mine ever gave me was his d….k and one day when im really over this i am going to tell him that.

Tami-I have mentioned in another section that he is the greatest manipulator of his family. They excuse his behavior, they believe his lies and he gets more practice for his ways through them. He is a sociopath so he has been doing this all of his life. He has been thrown out of a prep school, college, arrested, moved around, no job, sucked money out of his family & others, the list goes on. But they see all of this as someone elses fault…oh her poor baby son. His mother thinks he just needs to find the perfect woman. Hes not going to. It may be for a little while but he will use her and get bored, cheat on her and treat her like S**T. She will put up with it for as long as she can, and if she doesn’t leave him, he’ll go. Either, physically, mentally, sexually to yet another.

I have said this before, “I am sick of smelling like garbage because I have been treated like trash.” Of course I still wonder, dwell and get urges to call, see him and await for my phone to ring. But I keep trying and working on keeping my head afloat. In time, as others write it will get better. We will get better and they will just be a blurred vision in the rear view mirror. Can’t wait!

At one time – and one time only – I had developed enough hope and enough trust, and after years of back and forth, I let the Tiger, who I KNEW was incapable of changing his spots, come live with his son and I.

He was living with us for 6-months or so at the time. He only had male friends come over to the house, his brother, but not his sister (whom I did not much care for) and for some reason, one day, I ended up on the phone with his sister. During this conversation she explained to me that I needed mental help, that I was delusional…that her brother was off living his own life. That he had told her that I was crazy and he would have nothing to do with me. I was like ‘huh? He lives here, with me and his son…” She said, “he said you would say that, that you have spun way out of control.” Here I was, on the phone, having to ‘defend’ myself over cohabitation? Since I didn’t like her anyway, I hung up on her….This started a big argument between me and S of course, and he left for a few weeks. Interestingly, this situation he created, in the long run, played right into his hands. Even though I knew better, he ‘made me look crazy and delusional.’ However, the sister found out from his daughters mother (because the sister and her have a good relationship, and the daughters mother and I have a good relationship) that he was IN FACT living there. But regardless the sister refused to believe that I was sane or normal. She still thinks I am ‘crazy’. Fine. What the hell do I care what she thinks? Who is she? My son’s aunt from my son’s defective paternal family that have never done anything for him anyway? Don’t see how there is a loss in that set of facts.

When my son was little, my father used to tell people, within my son’s ear shot, but not directly to my son, stories…that I was crazy and out of control and such. We have had little to nothing to do with his dad for 3-years now. As time passed, and the healing began..my son confessed to me that he had been made privy to my ‘mental instability’ from his dad and the family…and used to believe it was true. But now with no dad around, and life being very peaceful, my son not seeing ANY drama, where-as with his father, there was drama constantly, my son sees fully that it was never me, my fault, or my ‘mental instability’. I am perfectly rational and peaceful.

Like any person who has been convicted on the testimony of a liar, my oh so natural desire is to go out of my way to prove I am SANE. But ultimately, I just opt to not interact with anyone from the S family. For the past 5 years, at least, if a request has been made for my son’s presence, I refer that family member to his father to arrange that. The result, is my son does not see his paternal family. This year I was asked for copies of my sons very expensive senior pictures. My son’s father was supposed to contribute towards their purchase. He picked a fight with me – over nothing, and he missed the appointment to select the pictures, so I bought a package that would satisfy my needs only, and never asked, or received, one red cent from the S. Now I am being asked for copies from his family. I politely replied that I had no extras, but that I had supplied the S with the website to purchase whatever THEIR family may want. That was the last I heard about it. Through the grapevine I heard I was selfish and greedy and that he had helped purchase them, and this was how I was trying to control him, that he was being robbed and taken advantage of – blah blah blah…..You know…who cares???? It is sick and twisted. You know, I have seen it all over this site. The Sociopath only wants to win. I am so done with his games.

Snapshots, wow that story sounds like my life for the three and a half years of sorrow that I endured and still enduring because of custody battle for my son. I was utterly consumed by this woman. I was invited to take a shower with her the first time at her house. She told me all about her exhusband and how horrible of a person he was. I was sucked into helping her despise and hate this man. Later in court she would tell the magistrate that her relationship with her ex was so bad because of me. She said the same thing about her mother, the same woman that physically attacked me at the front door of our house. Like mother, like daughter. I still have a hard time getting this woman out of my head and I hear things like how useless I am, I am only good for sex, I am a bad parent, mean, I am a pussy of a man, at least my cooking is good because I am not good for anything else. I have lived in constant chaos and always on edge, I unfortunately began to drink heavily as this was the only time it seemed that we were able to get along, when we drank together. I gave up jobs and military service for this woman, which I thought was for the better of our family but that was not good enough. Nothing was period. I have lied for this woman over and over again to protect her and her side. Now I am paying dearly for helping her and making her look good while everyone else was wrong. The kids were all made to think that I was the bad man and a mean daddy and she would tell them that in front of me and others. She would put restraining orders against me and then send me nude pictures of herself and tell me how horny she was. I would fall right back in and make everything ok for her. That’s right the SP only wants to win and I have been weakened to the point that I have no fight left. Thank You God for my friends and family that hold me up.

When I wrote earlier – I was kind of adding a situation I had to the previous writer…But I have a snapshot:

I was 16, he was 20. We had been seeing each other a few weeks. He was in the neighborhood I lived in everyday, hanging out with his cousin at a friends apartment one block down. When I got out of school, he would come up to my house and spend hours with me…talking, laughing, sharing experiences, watching TV – we even played a one on one ‘game’ of tag that brought me great joy…and let me not leave out kissing. Lots of kissing. It didn’t matter to me, at 16, that the 20 year old did not have a job, he said he was going to junior college…and he was done by the time I got out of classes. It didn’t bother me that he did not have a car…I didn’t have a car..lots of people I knew didn’t have cars….He may have been 20, but we were both kids in my minds eye.

On one visit, it was getting late, and it started to sprinkle, the precursor for rain. We were in my front yard, hanging out again. He decided to go and gave me this great big kiss, even today, 23-years later, I can still feel one hand on my back, the other touching the back of my neck and fingers going up into my hair, and his lips on mine. It was a really good kiss….and he knew he had to go, the rain was coming down faster…and he stopped kissing me, and started spinning in circles as he ‘walked’ away…he was spinning, and spinning and spinning..he was about 20 feet away and he stopped and ran back up to me and swooped me up in his arms, twirled me around in a spin and just passionately kissed me!! That was the moment that I fell in love.

A few weeks later we had sex for the first time, I was young, naive and idealistically in love. Turned out that the ‘friend’ in the apartment was a woman that he had met at a local nightclub. I met my ex through his cousin that I was friends with. He brought me down to the apartment..and we were watching some TV…My new boyfriend…the guy I was in love with, was in the next room having sex with this woman. I tried to get out without raising any kind of a fuss, but my body language went hay-wire…and when I walked out, she followed me, we talked…

A few months later he was calling me…couldn’t get me out of his head (and vice versa) he had dumped her, she had a drug problem – etc etc etc….we reconciled. And the story continued for years.

I was the child of a narcissistic alcoholic man…at first I went with the old saying that “I had found my father”. And I naively, instinctively, attempted to fix the S, fix me, go along to get along with the S. I didn’t even realize what I was doing to myself. CO-dependent stupidity…that I was RAISED to do. (I bet a lot of us were raised to do it).

I had many snapshots, many times when I felt so amazingly loved…because I wanted more of the snapshots…the stuff I tolerated was incredible..the stuff I participated in is now embarrassing…I was driven mad by his manipulations, and then he pointed his finger at me and said – “see, you are crazy..” Turns out, he calls all his victims crazy. The victim he has now, he had sex with other women in the house they share, had sex with women in HER CAR and she didn’t kick him out, she is living in total paranoia, he says she is crazy, when I talked to her, she said she didn’t want to kick him out because he is “Such a nice guy…” She is living in her snapshots. Now that I am older, wiser, and eyes wide open, I see the pattern.

To be honest, this is all I ever knew of love. I tried dating in between episodes with him, and I must have wreaked of mistrust..I actually dated someone who worked in criminal justice and has a degree psychology, upon discussion of where my sons father was I volunteered that he was a sociopath, and we have kind of cut him out, to which he replied “If your ex was a sociopath, so must have you been, you gravitate towards what you are…” Well, that was the end of that little get-to-know-ya and turned me off of dating for a while. In the end I felt like I ran, just like a sociopath would if someone had their number.

I wish I could end this on a strong, positive note, but after writing it, I feel like a sucker..and it was 23-years ago…and I was a kid. Alohatraveler, and everyone else that shared their snapshot…I know EXACTLY how you felt.

Righteous Woman,

It’s too bad that your “date” said you must be a Sociopath to have been with one. How sad and not true. Don’t take that on for a minute. I am sure that was confusing as you were probably already being run in circles with word games with your S. That makes me mad that someone would tell you that!

The point of Snapshots is that they aren’t real. Or what we were telling ourselves was happening in those moments… well… what we were thinking that they were thinking.. they weren’t. Do you follow me?

Burn up those snapshots. Burn up those ideal moments that weren’t real.

The hardest part of thinking about the snapshots is that throughout the entire relationship (which only lasted 2 years) I suspected/knew something was not quite right…but, I didn’t want to listen to my intuition/quickly went into denial, and escaped INTO the snapshot to hang onto every bit of hope, false promises, and just felt that if he would just “get help” — he might actually live up to the idea, fantasy of the various snapshots I had of him…and of our lives together.

I still find myself thinking about the moments where I was convinced he had the compassion, sensitivity and honesty of those snapshot moments. And, its getting easier to deal with his lies, and the lies I told myself.

Yes, they were not real…except in my mind, hopes, dreams and fantasies. And, you can bet he was counting on that…that’s why I was one of the chosen ones…LOL.

I get to face him in court on March 12–and this site has given me the strength to look beyond the snapshots, to gather all my resources and friends to face him down. The man hates exposure, and I know he won’t be happy when I bring in a half dozen of my friends to support me…but, fortunately, I have friends like this who have been happy to become educated about this…FOR ME. I don’t know what I would do wilthout them. I still might be living in the SNAPSHOT moments…going crazy…and giving up my life, my energy to someone who clearly has no conscience, and doesn’t care who he hurts…as long as he gets what he wants.

I know I have a tendency to get carried away sometimes when I post…but, I hope I AM clear about how grateful I am for this site…and for the time, love and honesty of all the posters…dealing with a sociopath…I WOULD NOT wish this on anyone!

And, thanks Alohatraveler for this wonderful topc…and thereinforcement of reality that I MUST focus on sometimes to make sure I keep my eyes open…

I really like the symbol of the ‘snapshot’–because realzing it was ALL A LIE…helps me to stay grounded in my recovery TODAY…to focus on the truth of the here and now.

Thanks again.

Thanks again

Grace63,

I am so glad I don’t have to face the Bad Man in court.

Good luck to you and thank God that you have friends to surround you with TRUTH.

LoveFraud has explained to me every single second of my relationship with the Bad Man… especially the Snapshots… the most ideal and seductive moments, words, glances. I feel like I was a puppet and I just reacted to everything that was happening. Have you seen that movie with Jim Carey called “The Trueman Show.” That is EXACTLY how it is being with a Sociopath until one day you notice there is nothing behind the backdrop of the man. Everything you love about your life is a lie. How many times have we seen people on LoveFraud say that their S said something like, “I should win an academy award for my performance.”

I can tie every moment and every word from Bad Man’s mouth to a Sociopathic tactic. It’s as if no man exists, only a diseased mind. How sad. How scary!!!

This revelation has helped me to turn the corner. I don’t miss the Bad Man at all. I do not long for those over the top moments. In fact, if I were ever to be in a relationship again, I would seek something much more earthly. I would feel unsafe if I noticed myself being whipped up into a frenzy of “LOVE.”

There were some very bizarre moments I had with that man. One that really strikes me was when I called a friend to talk to her about him. The Bad Man and I had already had several ups and downs and we were on an upswing. I called my friend early one morning after car camping in a remote area of the island. I was talking to my friend back home about it and I was talking SO FAST that I was gasping for air, my heart was pounding and I kept having to stop in the middle of a sentence to catch my breath. All the while, I was running around in circles as I told her about my man and our fabulous camping adventure. It was like I was having a MANIC attack. I am not Manic depressive but even my friend told me after I moved home that she remembers that call. She was afraid for me and she thought I was going Manic. She also told me she was afriad to come visit me because of this man. After I hung up, I stood there for a moment trying to catch my breathe and noticing how strange I felt. I felt out of my mind. This is the only time in my life I have ever had something like this occur.

Anyway! The point is, the massive amount of manipulation and stress I was under plus the hours and hours of trying to sort out lies and double talk nearly had me coming undone.

Does anyone relate to this?

A friend of mine is divorced from someone she now realizes was a Narcissist. Her therapist told her this but she never fully grasped what that meant until my Bad Man experience. (She was my housemate in Maui… thank God for her. She kept me from going over the edge! I love you, M!) She told me she always cried when she was intimate with this man. She thought it was because she loved him so much but I think it was because of his ability to stir up her emotions the way only a Narcissist, or a Sociopath or a Borderline can. I remember having strong feelings like this as well.

I do hope one day that I will love someone deeply but that it will be real. Not some drama designed to bring me to the brink of mental collapse.

AMEN!

Aloha & To All- Without question the stress endured by trying to figure them out becomes an overload and takes a major toll on you. I very much can relate to your “manic” episode. I too would feel I was trying to find the air. It reminds me of a song and I think the lyrics go well for a S. They go something like this:

I know what you’re doing,
I see it all to clear
I only taste the saline when I kiss away your tears
You really had me going, wishing on a star
But the black holes that surround you are heavier by far and
I believed in your confusion

Well it must have been that yesterday was the day that I was born
There’s not much to examine, there’s nothing left to hide

Everyone keeps asking, what’s it all about?
I used to be so certain and now I can’t figure it out
What is this attraction? I only feel the pain!
There’s nothing left to reason and only you to blame
Will it ever change?

I’ve come to find
I many never know
Your changing mind
Is it friend or foe?

I rise above
Or sink below
With every time
You come and go

I am barely breathing
and I can’t find the air
I dont know who I’m kidding
Imagining you care
And I can stand here waiting
a fool for another day
But I dont suppose its worth
the price that I would pay

I guess on one hand I should be glad that he walked away, I wasn’t going to. (At least not then) And I need to realize it wasn’t worth the price I would pay—which was ALL OF ME!

Thanks for sharing these song lyrics. It’s funny but once you have gone through a Sociopathic encounter, it seems like all the jilted lover songs are about Sociopaths.

that song explains a lot of the things i felt with my ex s path. thing is i cant believe that so much happened in such a short time i was only with him a year. and it s like so many things happened, that doesnt normally happen in a relationship. i heard a song by missy higgins the other day i dont remember the word exactly. but it went like this; you said life is just peachy without me, stupid me i thought you might miss me, of course you dont of course you wont. that was the chorus and i thought that just is him to a tee. he wont miss me he wont let himslef miss me or anyone else for that matter they dontknow how to. something i have noticed about the s path is he has this ideal image of his perfect woman i mean its very specific physically in his mind. and if he sees someone who looks like or fits this description in his mind, he is so desperate to know them and intereact with that person he swoops on them right off. there is different variations of his image of the perfect woman but by knowing him and his behaviour for a while now i know exactly what this image is. and when i see him with different woman i can see just what it is that attract him physically, in fact if a woman doesnt have these attributes he wont go for them. does anyone else have this experience with the s path in there lifes. its just i wanted to mention it cause its so very obvious to me with him. love to hear some comments on this . thanks for helping me.

Jules, my ex N has the perfect picture of the woman he likes and when I saw the ex before me, I said to him ‘she looks just like me’. He is able to get really nice looking women, is he because he is the alpha male alot of women are looking for – I was certainly drawn to that type of masculinity. But after a while, his ‘conquest’ begins to see that he is suspect and so that is why he wasnt completely honest about who he had been with and why it ended. He only told me the bits he wanted me to know.

I am convinced that the time he asked to go shopping with me (he hated crowds!) and then went off for nearly two hours on his own, had arranged to meet a girl and when we met later, this girl who appeared to be his ‘perfect woman’ who was sitting near him, or if he didnt know her he was sure trying to, because he sent me away for 10 minutes and when I got back he had disappeared – I gather to find the woman who left moments after I met up with him. That was the end for me, I thought ‘if I put up with that – whatever he is doing or thinking’ I will put up with anything and I will be lost, I will be telling him by staying with him, that I will turn a blind eye to his philandering – and I couldnt put up with that.

He was not worth all the anxiety and worry and care that I was putting into someone who was totally ambivalent about me, was using me and insulting me to my face – thinking I he could get away with it. I had already been through two of his ‘tests’ one was that he had left initimate text msgs on a phone of mine he asked to borrow and I didnt look in the phone when he gave it back. So his next prank was to give me one of his old phones which had womens phone numbers on it and I still stayed with him, knowing that he was up to something, and playing cat and mouse with him. But he knew where he was going, I was not familiar with the rules of his game – but I am very familiar now.

I am still full of thoughts about him, which is the bit I never expected when I terminated the relationship for good, I let him convince me we had a future together and I went along with the fantasy even though he was avoiding committment like the plague, he wouldnt be intimate with me and used his mobile phone to communicate with me much of the time. so that when he came round, I felt more special. He cancelled arrangements, teased me sexually to get me to go to meet him and then I would realise that he only wanted a lift home. He even sat across the road in ‘his’ bar, knowing that I was in the bar across the road – he finished his drink and I saw him passing my bar on his way home. Boy we had a breakup over that. I had to finish it, but I didnt realise that thoughts of him on a daily basis would still continue – dammed if you stay in the relationship and very painful when you get out!

Jules,

That is interesting what you said about their “ideal image.” Yes, I relate to this. On Craigslist, I can easily find any woman he would contact. For awhile, over a year ago, I was contacting women on CL and found that I had nearly 100% accuracy on whom he had contacted. By that time, his ads were getting kind of freaky so most of the woman had already felt bad vibes from him. Some had gone on a date but had already experiences the wrath if they did something “wrong” according to him. He digs and asks them for lots ot information about their life and then will attack them later for who they were being say… 20 years ago. It’s ridiculous. If you’re a virgin that there is something wrong with you and if you’re not then you are slut and blah blah blah.

I would say my Bad Man has a certain profile of a woman he is looking for… some kind of new age spiritual lady or something. Actually, what am I saying.. he changes it all the time. He recently wanted to find a transexual so scratch the whole thing for me. He wants anyone who will go along with him for a moment in time. The weird thing is he is not a player with a roving eye. He freaks out on all his potential mates and then when they get upset for how he is attacking them, he calls it “DRAMA” and walks away. His ads frequently say he wants someone with “no drama.” I think the women are so traumatized by his sudden attacks from what seems like a really nice guy that they fight back and then he calls them stalkers of whatever. He really should be locked up.

That is a trigger for me these days. Any guys who says he wants “no drama” to me means that for some reason, there is a lot of drama around him and therefore… he is a NUT JOB and forget it!

Aloha… :o)

Aloha – I love your writing, I always enjoy reading your comments as well. I’m still hooked on my snapshots :(. Feeling rather weak these days.

I had to comment on the “type.” That’s amazing, I didn’t realize that was something else they have in common! I am not my S path’s type, as he has told me over and over again. I’m blonde, petite, close to his age and fairly attractive. His “type” is much older, dark hair, a little heavy. I’ve managed to see pictures (thanks to the internet) of three of them, and they all look alike. I assumed it was just because they were easy prey, but it sounds like it’s something burned into their brain. I may not look anything like them, but he was able to spot the gaping hole inside to know I was fair game! Psychic, I swear.

Sorry, I have to post these song lyrics, too. It’s Kelly Clarkson’s “Gone.” It’s an anthem for us! If only I could stick to it :).

What you see’s not what you get
With you there’s just no measurement
No way to tell what’s real from what isn’t there
Your eyes they sparkle
That’s all changed into lies that drop like acid rain
You washed away the best of me
You don’t care

You know you did it
I’m gone
To find someone to live for
In this world
There’s no light at the end of the tunnel tonight
Just a bridge that I gotta burn
You were wrong
If you think you can walk right through my door
That is just so you
Coming back when I’ve finally moved on
I’m already gone

Sometimes shattered
Never open
Nothing matters
When you’re broken
That was me whenever I was with you
Always ending
Always over
Back and forth, up and down like a rollercoaster
I am breaking
That habit
Today

You know you did it
I’m gone
To find someone to live for
In this world
There’s no light at the end of the tunnel tonight
Just a bridge that I gotta burn
You were wrong
If you think you can walk right through my door
That is just so you
Coming back when I’ve finally moved on
I’m already gone

There is nothing you can say
Sorry doesn’t cut it, babe
Take the hit and walk away
‘Cause I’m gone
Doesn’t matter what you do
It’s what you did that’s hurting you
All I needed was the truth
Now I’m gone

What you see’s not what you get
What you see’s not what you get

You know you did it
I’m gone
To find someone to live for
In this world
There’s no light at the end of the tunnel tonight
Just a bridge that I gotta burn
You were wrong
If you think you can walk right through my door
That is just so you
Coming back when I’ve finally moved on
I’m already gone
I’m already gone
Oh, I’m already gone, gone, gone, gone
Already gone
I’m gone

Dorkgirl,

Another reader shared some songs with me on YouTube. I think this was one of them. Isn’t it amazing? Doesn’t it sound like a song about a Sociopath. I am starting to see all those bad relationships that we hear of in a different way. I have noticed that my ears and eyes have changed.

Yesterday, I told my housemate, “I will either never have a relationship again OR I will have the healthiest relationship ever.” I hope it’s the 2nd one.

And thanks so much for the compliment. I find the writing so therapeutic. I don’t want my experience to go to waste and I hope my words will help someone, anyone, to heal quicker or to help them “turn the corner” as LoveFraud has done for me.

I have learned too that wanting to help is a normal part of the healing process and it explains why many of us have wanted to reach out and warn the next victim or help the ex-wife. Yes, PP, I am talking about you. :o)

I am actually helping someone at the moment who almost got involved with the Bad Man. Perhaps I will write about that.

“I was never good enough, never knew what he wanted or didn’t want, could never guess how to make him happy, because it changed minute by minute, nor could I keep up with his ever changing relationship rules that always applied to me but never to him. I was crumbling under the stress of it all.

I guess it’s never too late to be truthful with yourself.”

Truth is painful, and so sometimes arrives in small doses a little at a time, I’m learning. But that paragraph quoted above, wow…YES! It’s a truth I’ve come to embrace and understand…that weird sense of him constantly moving the goal posts from one place to another – friends, then dating, then marriage, then…um, wait, I want you in my life forever…then the D&D…me bolting…me foolishly returning and a SNAPSHOT of happiness…then him ripping the rug out from under me, sneering as he repeatedly told me he never loved me.

Ouch. Big flipping game, rules we could never fathom, a role we never understood because we were never given context for it. We were just there to be moved around like human chess pieces and that sense of never being good enough was pervasive.

It still is. At this point a few months into No Contact, I realize I am a shell-shocked, former shadow of my beautiful, trusting, loving, supremely confident self who probably still has PTSD.

I stayed with another man this weekend…not a Bad Man, I don’t think, and he placed my car in the safe confines of his locked garage area. Most of the night I paced, worrying because my car was not readily available in case I needed to run…in case he woke up and went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. There are so many things I can never tell any man in my future, and so much of my panic and odd feelings they may question.

The aftermath of trauma and abuse is never pretty, is it? But somehow we were smart enough to realize we really are good enough and that someday we’ll meet someone who agrees, who won’t change the goal posts, who won’t enjoy abusing us.

In the meantime, good days and bad. Your post really hit home on a bad day and made it a little bit better, Aloha.

LilOrphan,

Moving the goal posts. WOW! Yes, I totally get that!!! That is so perfect. And it was so tiring wasn’t it?

When I came home, it was 9 months before I was able to be intimate with anyone. I chose someone I already knew and then I really cried. And since then, there has been very little “action” as my girlfriends like to call it. NO ACTION FOR ME. I cried because I heard the Bad Man in my head telling me I was a slut and “sleezy cheesy pop culture girl.” He was so under my skin.

Anyway, I left the Bad Man on July 3rd, 2005. I am just now feeling like perhaps I should date. At this point, I want to date at a snail’s pace. I DO NOT want to be swept off my feet.

Maybe it’s too soon for you to be dating. If you are pacing and afraid because your car is in the garage… that sounds like a little PTSD. I am not a therapist but you sound very very vulnerable. I can really relate to that, very much.

It has taken me a long time to figure out what to say to a date about what happened. Recently, I decided that I really don’t want to say much about it. This goes back to boundaries again for me. I don’t need to reveal my inner most hurts and pains to some poor guy that just wants to meet for coffee. If I meet a man that shows himself to be worthy of developing true intimacy, then perhaps, I will share some things about my experience.

In the meantime, I have decided to take better care of myself. I got a massage today because my body is holding a lot of pain. There is still a lot in my life to sort out and I still have a long way to go as far as financial recovery. I realized that I have to start taking care of myself now instead of waiting until I pay everything off. I might even get another massage this week. I feel like I am going to cry when I get a massage. I feel safe with a Massage Therapist (I am one myself) because I know that nothing is being taken from me… only something given. I had a male therapist today too and I felt a slight hesitation inside but I decided to just let my hesitation be present and go for it anyway. It worked out fine and I feel better.

I gave the Bad Man access to the deepest part of my being. That has left me very exposed and raw. I am slowly healing that wound and today was a small step toward trusting a man again.

lil orphan; yep so ,many songs are around like that one like they were written about s paths its good to hear them but hard too. my s path said when we broke up that he didnt love me anymore and that i loved him more than he loved me. and thats why he was leaving. then later he said he did still love me and he just said that cause he was backed into a corner and didnt know what else to say. so confusing i was devestated to hear him say he didnt love me cause he always said he did and he told me a lot of the time. those words cut like a knife and then when they say i didnt mean it they think it takes all the pain away but it doesnt. no wonder i thought i was losing my mind.he often said things then turn around and say i didnt mean that or i odnt know why i said that. it actually took me a fair while before i realised i was with a sociopath a while after the relationship had ended and i was finding it hard to get over what i thought was a normal break up but i couldnt figure out why i was hurting so much. then i started reading i went onto a site called dont date him girl and that is where i learned about a s path and i thought my god i was with one deeply involved with one. then i read a book written by on of the doctors on this site and it opened my eyes i was reading about him exactly. re your car in the garage, i dont think we are ever going to feel the same with a new man, it just wont be like that with that trust gone, we just arent the same woman anymore and we just need to know and accept that at least thats what im trying to do .i really want to be in relationship its 2 years since s path, but we still slept with eachother for ayear after , anyway its hard cause i really want to be with someone but i dont think i will ever feel the same about a man since s path experience its weird and i dont like feeling like this but no one is attracting me the way he did. i think it was cause everything is so exageratted with s paths like the attention and loving and all the rest no man is going to be that good cause its all a act so it seems anyway.

I just bought ‘Art of Seduction’ book – whew – what an eye opener. There is a formula for what they do. My N may never have bought this book, but he might have well written it – it is us all over. The intenseness, the intrigue, the push and pull, the attraction. But make no mistake, it is concocted and unreal, it is a ploy and it part of the hypnotism they use to suck you in till you have lost sense of reality and that is when you are loosing sense of self, then they can exploit and confuse you at their whim. The book says that infiltrate their emotional minds first and the rest then becomes easier. And as women are so in their emotional minds, this is somewhat easier to do.

They do a thorough and deep job into our psyche, it is not easy to pull out by the roots. But i too feel this magnetism for someone I went out with only just over a year. This is the stuff of mind control, seduction, exploitation by design. As one contributor said ‘Seek, Conquer, Destroy and Discard’.

To Jules you said:

“l orphan; yep so ,many songs are around like that one like they were written about s paths its good to hear them but hard too. my s path said when we broke up that he didnt love me anymore and that i loved him more than he loved me. and thats why he was leaving. then later he said he did still love me and he just said that cause he was backed into a corner and didnt know what else to say. so confusing i was devestated to hear him say he didnt love me cause he always said he did and he told me a lot of the time. those words cut like a knife and then when they say i didnt mean it they think it takes all the pain away but it doesnt. no wonder i thought i was losing my mind.he often said things then turn around and say i didnt mean that or i odnt know why i said that. it actually took me a fair while before i realised i was with a sociopath a while after the relationship had ended and i was finding it hard to get over what i thought was a normal break up but i couldnt figure out why i was hurting so much. then i started reading i went onto a site called dont date him girl and that is where i learned about a s path and i thought my god i was with one deeply involved with one. then i read a book written by on of the doctors on this site and it opened my eyes i was reading about him exactly. re your car in the garage, i dont think we are ever going to feel the same with a new man, it just wont be like that with that trust gone, we just arent the same woman anymore and we just need to know and accept that at least thats what im trying to do .i really want to be in relationship its 2 years since s path, but we still slept with eachother for ayear after , anyway its hard cause i really want to be with someone but i dont think i will ever feel the same about a man since s path experience its weird and i dont like feeling like this but no one is attracting me the way he did. i think it was cause everything is so exageratted with s paths like the attention and loving and all the rest no man is going to be that good cause its all a act so it seems anyway.”

Think that’s why I was crying most of last night, at work. Good thing I work alone. Letting the S’path get to the point where he violated everything beautiful about a relationship – the moment a guy says he loves you, the talk of getting married — all sullied, now – all questionable. I may never believe another man if the day comes for that new person to say those things to me.

Thought I’d escaped this time pretty much unscathed. Had figured him out, understood why all the saying one thing and then him saying “I didn’t mean that/never said that/huh?” crap existed. In many ways, I did get the better of the P this time. I knew when to run and I never really let my heart get too far into things. But the damage of just being present for his lies, even marginally present, is definitely there.

I realized last night that I am different now, and there’s no going back in some ways to the woman I used to be — who spent five years alone getting rid of the toxic memories in order to be ready when the right, sincere guy came along.

We’ll learn to accept this as part of it, right? I think. I hope. A true, loving relationship with a solid, truthful guy will feel so different than the illusion created by a P/S guy that we’ll probably find it much easier to feel their real affection and believe when they say they love us — especially when it’s not followed by creepy, cryptic disclaimers, cell phones ringing well into the night, lies, secrecy and outright abuse.

I’m holding on to that hope. Mostly because I don’t want to shed one more damned tear over any of this, and because I believe the Universe has so many better plans for me — there’s no way it would let the P ruin those.

Just finding this blog and other resourceful forums on the ‘Net was the first sign that somewhere, something much bigger than we can fathom, wanted help us save ourselves.

Aloha:

Moving the goal posts. WOW! Yes, I totally get that!!! That is so perfect. And it was so tiring wasn’t it?

That was my first clue. I was utterly, completely exhausted, didn’t care about anything, was physically ill, losing hair, turning into a zombie — and my kid told me, unequivocally, that the only change in our lives was the addition of this guy she saw as being a controlling guy seething with hidden rage.

As to intimacy, I spent five years between the last encounter with the P (who I didn’t realize even then was anything but QUIRKY — have a great range for tolerance, apparently) and this time.

Was not prepared to do that again. Felt so much like wasted years because it WAS. I wouldn’t even date anyone for all those years, on purpose, pining for the Wolf. Ugh.

So this time, I chose someone I barely know but really liked as a person…who seems also to be pretty tolerant. With the Wolf I had a female “problem” that some guys would love a girl having, but the Wolf made me feel horrible about it…so I was afraid of feeling so stigmatized over time because of that I just wanted to hurry up and see if another guy would react ok to it. Thankfully, he was quite happy and made me comfortable!!

Emotionally, though, you are 100 percent right. I am not ready. It would take someone with the patience of Job to win my deepest affection and trust. So I am just completely open to going as slow as possible, dating a little, a lot or not at all, and not attaching myself to outcomes. Because I refuse to let the Wolf win and close myself off to really living and eventually loving someone again.

So yes, if you are ready, Aloha, try to slowly get back into dating. The key really is slowly (even with me, emotionally if not physically). We have no guaranteed time table in life and the Bad Man should not be able to rob you of any possible joy or experience, not one second more than the time he took from you before you knew better. It’d be like voting yourself off your own island, perhaps forever!!

Thanks again for the beautiful blog entry, both heartwarming and humorous. All of this reading really helps.

Snapshots? Yes, I have them. And it is the toughest thing to deal with. Talk about sappy….I can’t hear the song I Wanna Know What Love Is without crying because it brings to mind a phone call I received at 11:30 p.m. with the song playing on the phone, him singing along in the background, and when the song ended, a simple, “Did you hear that?” I said, “Yes, I heard that.” He said, “Good, now good night.” He did this a couple other times with songs, but this memory is the most poignant.

I remember so many things, and it makes me miss the man he pretended to be for so long. I DO NOT miss who he turned out to be, but I have to admit that I miss that other person.

I’ve gotten past wondering what was real and was a lie. I read someone’s words on this website that helped me a lot — realize that everything was a lie to prevent torturing yourself. And that’s how I’ve approached everything. But it makes it that more painful because there are NO good, happy memories to look back on. At least with my ex-husband, I can look back and smile at some things and I was only with him for 18 months. I was with the sociopath for 5 years and cannot trust any memory as being “real.” It makes me very sad.

lilorphan; thanks for your reply. i totally relate i know i will never feel the same again too. and now tonight especially i dont want to waste anything on him anymore no energy. no emotions nothing. someone said something to me today which i took to mean something to myself she said, she only lets love penetrate her mind only positive no negetive only positive love. i thought that was a good way to think. anyway i am feeling down tonight cause as i suspected the ex s path has a new vicitm. they have been seeing each other for a week and a half and yep that includes valentines day. she is younger than him by a bit and they met through an old FRIEND of his. thats what amazes me its like he networks to meet find woman . he said he got in touch with this old friend he would not elaborate who and she invited him to her birthday and this new girl was at the birthday. so its like when hes got no one he goes into his phone book and looks up all these old friends and tries networking. i think he does this cause most of the current people have woken or are started to wake up to his ways.and these old friends are always girls so he knows they are going to introduce him to more girls. i dont know anyone who can meet people so fast and then start dating them i now think he really cant be without some sort of female attention. it makes me mad that he just meets them so easy then they fall for him. i know he wil be laying it on so thick for her right now to get her to really like him and valentines day well you can imagine. its not fair i really would like to meet someone and i m having trouble doing this and what do you know he beat me to it again and just sounds so smug about the whole thing of course talking to me. but i was good i just didnt re act much and didnt ask much. do all spaths network and look up old friends to try to meet woman this way, this seems like a pattern to me. anyway thats annoying and its got me angry. he wil probably use some of the things he learnt from being with me and even take her to places i introduced him to, im sure he does that which is a bit sick really. but i dont want to waste any time on him anymore and just want to get back a little of who i used to be i am going to go out on dates and just go at my own pace and see what happens. if we believe we deserve good maybe good things will happen. i know his routine he will be perfect for a while then once the dust settles and she starts to have her own mind the gold will start to wear off him a little when things dont go his way.. dont know what it is with this one she prob has a car which he doesnt and maybe a rich family or something like that, but there will be something for him to gain here you bet your life. i can see exactly what is going to be happening now its unbelievable really how well i know him and his habits now from what ive been learning, and this poor young girl is totally blind to it. he did tell me her name and where she works which i was suprised but im not getting involved or warning her or anything. if i hear something i am just going to observe and not be involved in any of it. i think the young ones he can con better and he knows that now and also i think hes learning older woman expect more than he can provide. its funny i feel a bit relieved cause now i know whats going to happen i dont need to be wondering. i can see now the way he was talking last night i dont mean a thing to him and he just wants to hurt me, he only needs me when he has no one else .anyway good luck to you wether your dating or not. i think we all deserve a beautiful true man to love. everyone one here all of us. let meknow whats happening, i feel strength in sharing with you all.j

Jules. You are reflecting the pain you felt and is similar to pain I felt and still do feel to think my ex N had his tried and tested ways of securing women at different levels of play – presumably that is why he had a dozen mobile phones? They will use what ever methods bring them the most success and their confidence is bolstered so much, they are charismatic and on a high which makes them so appealing and that blended with charm is desirable. Because my exN was fairly agressive looking I thought he was theft proof – but what I didnt realise is that women love a badboy – he was able to secure women easily once he got into the swing and he must have taken great delight in getting me to give him a reference for a job in a place (unbeknown to me) that is almost the entire workforce is made up of women nurses, social workers of his target age groups – he has almost unlimited prey on his territory and because he looks after security he can really run his persona of protector to the full and seduce co-workers – which is what he did. Again thinking that I was safe because he was telling me that he had the numbers of staff married women, what I didnt realise is that he chose them to keep himself safe. He is a security guard there and I bet he is thinking he is king of the castles. They exploit the female at her very core (or male) brutually wounding, these are the actions of people who hate their opposite gender.

i still feel jealous and sit thinking about how they met, what she looks like, what he said about me, where they go, whether he had started his nonsense yet and how he did that – it is only natural to think about these things. And here am I still in the aftershock of the relationship with no partner, still feeling pained and here he is having skipped off with another so quickly – an equally shocking barrier to put in. And yes that feels unfair and my next door neighbour has a new boyfriend and my friend is getting married, so that compounds my aloneness. I have to be strong and stay with my aloneness, because I hate to think what a life with him would have been like. But it is natural to feel curiosity and envy – as like you, I do. But we know it wont last and if it does, the woman will have to be captured or enchanted as they put it, so that she succumbs to her partner’s whims – a kind of cloning process.

Jules

You asked: “do all spaths network and look up old friends to try to meet woman this way, this seems like a pattern to me. ”

Yes. As a matter of fact, yes, they do. It’s “recycling of Narcissistic Supply” and they are notorious for it! And, guess what? That person means no more to them than you did, or the person before you, or the person before that, or the one who will be next (most likely unknowingly part of a triangle with the current one).

They cannot be alone. They cannot face themselves alone. Imagine a blank canvas in front of your eyes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no meaning, nothing to make your heart feel lighter, or heavier. Just nothing.

That’s them. They have to fill the canvas. We do it by love and passion for people we really care for. We do it by nurturing our insides through memories, thoughts, feelings.

They do it by “harvesting” supply from outside. And they will use anyone they can either as a mirror or a way to find a mirror, until that source gets boring or gets wise.

I am learning not to take this personally. It is what it is; they do what they do. All his “love” was no more honest and real than all the abusive things he said about me and did towards me were real or true. Best not to internalize their statements and actions, lest we make them our own.

Am sorry you’re hurting. The less personal you can make what he did to you, the easier it will be to get through it.

It was never going to get any better – no matter what level of wonderful you became towards him. Just know that you could not change the outcome, no matter what.

Hugs to you.

lil orphan: thanks a gain for your feed back. recycling of narcissistic supply. wow it has a name i knew it was something to do with his s pathic be haviour cause it keeps hapening every time he gets dumps he goes looking for old friends contacts usually woman of course and as he says catches up, but its just networking to me their not friends i dont think he has any friends only conveniences to use as links to other woman or social contacts and i now see so clearly that once he and i were done and he said he wanted to be friends still, he was just using me as another one of these contacts when he had no one else. i feel better to know what you told me that this actually has a name where did you find that out? and harvesting that is exactly what he does. i never knew a man or anyone to have so many friends old and new and like anyone else you sor t of move away from some old friends fo r whatevr reason he goes back and digs them up at his will, and to my suprise they usually go along with it. i do wonder if it wil all go wrong this time a round she is young and probably totally blind to men like him he loves the innocent ones who lap up his attention, without questions. he is slightly different to some s paths i read about he is perfect and will do everything for you until you do something he does not like, like question him or his behaviour or look into his personel stuff. but even when he was behaving well there were little things i found out he was doing behind my back. like when we first met and he was supossed to be falling in love with me i foundout he was flirting with girls at our work place. like he cant help himself always looking for something else better in his eyes as soon as your out of sight. also they are complete opportunists[ sorry my spelling] so if this young girl does not wake up and lookinto things a bit deeper it may be great for them . but i am a thinker and i like to know whats going on so i was different. maybe some girls dont think like that and just enjoy everything he puts out. he is good looking which helps him he is charming affectionate, fun a good lover he really has it all so i can see how they get mesmerised. its funny cause i have a family friend who has schizophrenia and he also is a opportunists too . so maybe its a comon link in mental illness. also what do you mean they use anyone as a mirror? i havent heard of this before either. thanks for your kind words and for understanding me and what im going through. it does just p…. me off to know he always lands on his feet and i have to struggle to meet one new person . its just hard i wish i could see some karma come back to him. any way i am going out tonight on date with a guy i met on the dating sight he is nice, not sure how into him i am but at least hes taking me out and i wont be sitting at home alone thinking about you know what. do you have contact with your ex s path? thanks again to you . hugs back j

This made me remember a moment when – yes they are always on the look for another woman – even tho they are supposedly happy with you. At Christmas we were at the grocery store, in line to pay and I just knew the woman ahead of us was something he could not resist. She had the right look. Well we stood there awhile and then I kind of forgot about her but he said why dont you go get a pointsettia for the house – so I walked up to the front of the store to pick one out and as I turned and looked back, he had created that moment without me so he could flirt with her. He made some comment to her and she laughed outloud.

I put the pointsettia back on the shelf and marched back to the line. He said why did you put it back? I said I dont want it. You only sent me over there so you could flirt with her. Of course, he didnt noooo such thing – it was not what I thought. They were only laughing about some little comment he made – blah blah blah.

Anyway – there were so many moments like that that, yes, I oould have been making something out of nothing I guess, but my gut told me exactly what was happening and I even sensed it before he sent me off to get the flower.

What I thought was a nice thing at first – he was getting me the plant – turned into yet another heavy icky feeling inside.

Bev. thanks for writing. i know , i met mine at work and there was lots of attractive girls working there he was in heaven working there. and i found out things that happened with the girls there that he lied to me about too. i wont go into it but just stupid things he did withthem that he lied to me about. he isnt so much a bad boy but iknow what you mean woman find that exciting its true. but he is smooth as, he works out is very fit and works on his apearence like its very important clothes hair accesories the works he takes longer to get ready than me and i often could nt get to the mirror cause he ws using it. anyway he doesnt have anything sucsess wise but he looks good and is charming and sweet he puts on the innocent rather than bad boy. and they fall for it. i am curious and that is ok im not fighting it anymore just letting it go in and out and observing what he does without getting involved it is funny actually to see what happens. im not so much jelous but annoyed cause he always finds someone and i want a relationship and find it hard to meet people. he has so many friends andi dont. just not fair he has all the luck and i dont.thanks j.

Jules, My ex N has nothing, no home, no money and he looks aggressive, but that hasnt put women off falling for his promises of protecting them like their knight in shining armor, he works in the security industry so he can easily play this image to the max especially at work, where he commented once that the women in the building were grateful and in awe of his protection.

It still hurts though, but long term we know they will never have the possibility of a fulfilling loving relationships by taking the short cuts and manipulations they do. But in the short term, their ability to seduce more women does not have to rely on good looks or assets, as my N exploits his masculinity to the full and women fall for that. What makes me mad, is all that advice (and it makes sense) to women about making yourself the best you can be to attain your perfect catch is all b…s..t when it comes to the way they operate. They dont bother with really wanting to get to know you as a person that they love, or give to you because they want to honour you as a person and make life good for you. Any window dressing they do, is to exploit and take.

My ex N could be a taker (he was sometimes generous, but always out of context and quite clumsily) – most of the dates we had I bought every other round of drinks and he accepted that. Now and again he put himself in first position by buying me a meal, but he was never in deficit to me and he carefully weighed up the balance sheet. This smacks of someone who either knows he is not going to be in the relationship long term, or is trying to modify his behaviour – trying to iron out his greedy tactics, or even having experienced this before in other relationships and what the outcomes are. They are always on the take and I got wise to him. He started coming round my place to watch porn and he would come over and 30 mins later would ask to go on the internet – he must have thought I was a fool not to notice that! the more I shone a light on his behaviour, the wiser I became – couldnt put an entire meaning on what he was doing (that came after we finished) – but realised that all his phony charade was concealing something more devious and I didnt want to be a part of that.

There are so many sideshows on the internet that are tempting people into a kind of free for all. These sideshows give the impression that this free for all is mainstream and that everybody is engaged. Whilst I honour peoples’ rights to engage in whatever activity they want, there is a big difference to going onto these sites to exploit and abuse people and unfortunately for any who want to go that way, there is not an immediate way of weeding out the abusers from the others.

Spoke to a guy last nite who openly admitted that he uses women. Problem is with this where access to sexual content and activity so easily available, some people may think that they can get the cream without having to go through the angst of investing in a relationship and I think there will be more people like that – not just the people with PSD but others who are possibily already prone to being narcissistic.

The operative statement here is ‘without consent’.

Jules

You said: “i feel better to know what you told me that this actually has a name where did you find that out?”

One night when I couldn’t take it anymore with the S/P, his weird statements, the not moving forward, the demeaning, silent treatment, weird gaslighting…I typed something into google…funny, but now I don’t even remember, almost a year later. It came back with Narcissism. So I read everything available on N’s…here I thought they were the “life of the party” guys and this guy was not that. He wasn’t even particularly charming or engaging. But he was arrogant — even mutual acquaintances talked about how arrogant he is — and secretive, withholding, cold, distant, addicted to alcohol and just flipping ODD. He kept leaving and coming back into my life and had done it to others — the last time it had been five years of silence or better.

Was like getting hit with bricks, that week of discovery.

A mirror…N’s need a mirror reflecting their “perfection” back at them. When the mirror cracks, like when they do something and you dare to say, “hey, wait a minute – that’s not fair/right/kind/loving/ethical….” you no longer serve to mirror their greatness and give them the adoration they need. At that point, or later, you get deliberate cruelty and they disappear.

And yes, they’re always looking for the next woman. Always. Right in front of you, obviously and painfully to you. They’re entitled, they believe, to do whatever they wish, whenever they wish, to whomever they wish and damn the consequences. Mostly because they see other people as chess pieces, or objects to be manipulated – not really separate people with their own feelings and needs.

It really is impersonal for them. Has to be, because they do not have feelings and cannot really love…so everything in their lives is impersonal. Does that make sense?

Jules, my ex N was arrogant, cold, distant, controlled and after waving his ‘evidence’ under my nose, dropping hints, making weird statements, doing strange things, confusing me and dropping in calculated absences designed to make me squirm and develop his ‘prize quality’.

Like you when I questioned him, he would punish me in some subtle way – we never argued – but he distanced and worked on my insecurities as his ultimate defence.

Yes by being blocked off from feelings, it allows them free reign to act without remorse or responsibility – what a playground for them! I reflect back on how my ex N was cruel and subtle, that is why I didnt cotton on at first. I knew that his weird distancing behaviour was going against how much he said he adored and ‘cherised’ me, its just I couldnt make sense of it – i knew he was up to something.

Finally, after he left I got an almightly shock realising that he had been a total fraud and that my feelings had been hurt for very good reason and that I wasnt making it up or exaggerating, because when i saw the power in the subtle and calculated tactics he used to bring me up and then pull me down, I realised that being subtle is his perfect defence and is not easily noticed by others. He is probably the worst loser I have been out with, is actually not a very nice person, has nothing, dislikes society – that is probably why he needs to hypnotise someone to have him – he would never be chosen on his own merit. But he can get away with it – temporarily.

lilorphan; thank you so much for your insight. i now think after reading that, that mine might of beena N as well as a s path. which i never thought of before. he is as i have said charming, funny happy, sweet, affectionate and all good things but a slo arrogant but subtle so most doent see, and yes secretive very. the mirror thing is what makes me think he is a N because when we met he was so into being with me he had have me and went all out. but now i think i may have been a mirror for him cause he saw things in my life that he thought would make him look better and would improve his life. but when he found something about me which was not perfect for him things changed almost imediately. he found out i was more than ten years older than him but i dont look it and i dont think he knew he never asked me and then when it came up i noticed him change, but he stayed with me and went along for the ride but things were different from then on he wasnt as loving toward me, and i think he was looking around behind my back. so i guess he saw a crack in themirror i wasnt so perfect for him. yet he is far from perfect him self. in the end i think he just had no use for me anymore so after a year he left suddenly, but still wanted casual sex for a nother year after that saying we were friends and that he cared for me. but i do wonder if i wasnt older and the mirror did not crack if he would have stayed anyway? i think i am going to look up info on the net about N s cause i have read a lot aobut s path which i think and have been told by experts he is but i havent read a bout the N. can they be both? i agree totally that he is impersonel but he was a great actor and really seemed to convince even him self that he was deeply in love it seemed real it really did. maybe cause they cant feel it they imitate it so well. i have the feeling he will be saying and using things that happened with us to the new girl right now i just know that. if i go read about the N i bet i see alot of his personality. like i did when i started readinga bout s paths it opens your eyes big time. do you know what good web sites i could look at . thanks for your help .

Hi everyone, I was reading some of the comments above, and the diagnoses that I would give my ex…definitely a sociopath, also a narcissist, and possibly borderline personality disordered as well…funny thing is…these things all overlap tremendously from what I can see…I don’t understand how anyone can just be ONE! Also, from what I have read, and gathered from this site as well as from some experts…sociopathy can be measured on a spectrum…NOT ALL SOCIOPATHS are created equally…there are a range of behaviors that qualify them, and not all of them have everyone of the behaviors…

Jules, my ex was very charming, funny, sweet, affectionate as well..but, he was JUST MIRRORING…reflecting back ME, and my behaviors…and, upon looking back, I recall how he pretty much was an empty shell, and did a lot reflecting, and basically had no personality of his own…it was all borrowed from whomever he was spending time with at the time.

Yes, THE MAN was very much into image, control, manipulation, cruelty, pathological lying, stealing, conning, hurting family, friends, and everyone he came in contact with…the man had no ability to truly care, empathize, or be a stable, honest person.

He was clearly a narcissist, and would often seem to fall apart if he didn’t get positive attention all the time. Also, he couldn’t deal with any kind conflict whatsoever. In fact, he would become an emotional terrorist when challenged, and often projected his own dis-ease and sickness onto me. Also, he could not say he was sorry.

Once I told him he had to say sorry to my daughter for what he had said and done to her, and HE DID, but, he came back with tears in his eyes (which to this day, I am not sure if it was manipulation or shame from a part of his personality that has yet to be identified; I had seen him nearly in tears as well when I told him I didn’t care for the homemade soup he had made for me one night.) It was weird, because by this time, I knew he couldn’t take negative feedback…so I was hoping he wouldn’t ask me what I thought of it…Sadly, it was HIS TEARS that made him seem more human, not a horrible sociopath. Anyway, it doesn’t matter WHY he cried now. Some things I will never understand…

One good website for Narcissism is Sam Vaknin’s site…he’s the author of Malignant Self Love, Narcissism Revisted.

Regarding the original topic of “The fantasy of magic moments with the sociopath” — one thing for sure is…I don’t have any of these such fantasies anymore. I would be INSANE to buy into the fantasies anymore…but, I certainly do understand that I was kind of my own type of insane when I was with him, because over and over and over I continued to do the same thing, forgive him, and then expect him to change…this is kind of crazy. Regardless, I know I inherited some dysfunctional ways of coping, and I no longer have to cope this way…and, I sure learned some valuable lessons.
No, I WAS NOT responsible for his behavior, but, I did BUY INTO THE FANTASY and his lies. I am much wiser and stronger now, and no longer will be this easy to con and manipulate.

Its been a year since we split–that I called the cops on him for the newly discovered 5 warrants he had out for his arrest…and obtained a restraining order on him…and, its only beenin the last couple months that I am feeling “normal” MOST of the time…I still get obsessive sometimes about “studying’ sociopathy, narcissism etc…but, I know I don’t want him to have any kind of control or say in my life these days…so I try to use imagery, talk to friends, come to this site, therapy, fun, laughter, and meditation to help me with my tendency to obsess over unhealthy thoughts about him…

Slowly but surely i am healing…and, hell yes, it feels GREAT!!!!! And, it has to be one of the greatest lessons in my life…I have to be on the look out for how I truly want to BELIEVE that ALL people are good…because they simply are not…BUT, I can be happy regardless…I WILL BE HAPPY regardless…

Grace63,

wow, I love what you wrote. 99% of it sounded like me. And I did notice some peculiar things about the Bad Man.. that he used my own words right back at me as if they were his own. And I know that he took a concept I gave him and packaged it as his own and used it to seduce another woman. STRANGE.

I noticed that he tweaked his Match.com profile constantly and it seemed to reflect details about whomever was his last prospect. It was so obvious and strange. Like who would write, “I like petite brunette marine biology students.” Only he would think that makes sense in an ad. I didn’t know why before but now I do.

And I love what you said about accepting that there ARE bad people in the world and we can still be happy. Of course, why didn’t I think of this?! I LOVE IT!

grace; thanks for your advice i am going to look at that site. and i agree mine was a pathological liar too. and he also cried a few times when we were tog ethr one year. once he cried when we were being intimate he got very emtional and cried . and another time when we were breaking up and i had caught him lying a gain and i had proof and he just said i lie all the time and he started crying like he was ashamed but when i asked why he lies he just said cause im scared of people knowing the truth? what ever that meant it confused me totally. and yes maybe he was just mirroring me too. i think also he has many different problems that over lap. cause somethings a s path is suposed to do he doesnt and other things he does i know he is ok with money and doesnt steal as far as i know, but he is attracted to wealth and the wealthy.like you said into image. and like you too i allowed a lot of things to happen cause i fell for the crap and kept forgiving him and really loved him. i also have to know that not all people are good and deserve my love. i dont want to obsess but i need to learn so i can understand why i feel like this . thank you for you in put it helps.

Jules —

All P/S’s are N’s, but not all N’s are sociopaths. The Narcissism has to be there in order for them to be a sociopath, but not all narcissists are violent or other sociopath qualities. For instance, mine never stole a single dollar from me or relied on me financially; he was very good about paying for things himself, and I don’t think he’d ever end up in prison for ANYTHING. But he was definitely an N and a different type of S. The site Grace mentioned is also where I learned a lot but I wasn’t sure we were allowed to mention other links and sites on this forum. Their forum is excellent, as well as others out on the Net.

Steven Carter at Powerblog (google him) also has a really good Q&A about commitmentphobia where you can write and ask him questions. He’s written a book called “Help! I’m in love with a Narcissist” that I read when I was still seeing The Wolf, along with his commitmentphobia books, that was very illuminating.

grace and lil orph; thanks to you both for helping me sort this out. grace i read the web site you mentioned and most of it sounds just like my ex he was a N as well as spath. i was interested that it said on that web site that most N problems stem from the mother in males. cause i always thought his mum had something to do with his ways. it made me see why he uses his friends and contacts when he is lonely the way he does reading that site. but it did say on there that they arent that into sex which is not true in his case very into sex and different partners when not in a relationship. but his behaviours seem to over lap between N and spath. its good to learn this for my self. lil orph; mine also never ripped me off with money he was generous for his financial capacity and always paid his way. i will check out the web site you mentioned too. thanks a gain for your support.

Jules, you are so welcome. The only difference in how things played out this time around versus all the others with the Wolf lay solely in the area of knowledge. Once I read everything available, including Dr. V, their forums, this blog and everything under NPD and AsD it was so clear to me that this guy fit the profile. Except for not glib or charming. He had a quiet charm, but not overt. Rather, he was the “playa” type who would tweak your nose to get you interested…pick on you…infuriate you. Irascible charm, I guess.

At any rate, once your eyes are opened to all this and you learn how none of it has anything to do with you personally, it’s more liberating and freeing than any amount of “closure.” Since it’s not a normal relationship with a normal person, you never get closure with the S/P. The best to hope for is connect-the-dots, and the information from these sites gives that to us.

All P/S’s are N’s. Some are somatic (really into sex – sounds like what you describe) and some are cerebral (use sex as a hook but don’t really care for it – or have one woman for “mummy” to adore and no sex, and another or more for the sex).

By the time you’re done researching, you’ll be able to write a book!!

I just added this link to another thread. It was sent to me by Peggy Pseu and it blew me away.

If you were with a verbal, emotional, psychological abuser, check out this article.

http://www.obgyn.net/displayarticle.asp?page=/yw/articles/Romeopart5

WOW is all I can say. This describes the Bad Man to a “T” and also describes psychologically what we go through as the victim in this bizarre head trip.

Thanks “Peggy” for sending it to me.

Aloha……… Elise

I’ve mentioned before, but a book called “Women who Run with the Wolves” also is very good. It is kind of long but I took my time reading and digesting it page by page during and after my relationship with my S.. I learned tons about myself and sociopathic type personalities and how they manipulate. Has anyone hear read it?

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