By | April 23, 2009 146 Comments

The pathological self-confidence of the sociopath

Pathologically self-centered individuals, such as sociopaths or narcissists, often project a level of self-confidence that is pathlogically tremendous. This can be a problem for others who, unlike the sociopath, will be prone to empathy and self-reflection, along with which come self-doubt and hence fluctuating, less dependable levels of confidence.

But the pathologically self-centered individual is often seemingly immune to self-doubt and can thus seem implacably, impressively confident. Why?

The answer is suprisingly simple: When your interest in others is principally, if not entirely, about what you can get, or take, from them; when you lack the capacity for, and/or inclination to, genuine, thoughtful self-reflection; and when the meaning, or purpose, of life is fundamentally reduced to the expectation, and pursuit, of continual gratification, you have a prescription not only for pathological self-centeredness, but its frequent concomitant—pathological self-confidence.

Think about it: for such an individual, it is mostly, and sometimes only, about what he wants. And if he knows what he wants, such an individual will feel entitled to it. And his sense of entitlement becomes self-validating—self-validating, that is, of whatever argument, rationalization, or manipulation brings him closer to his demand.

In other words, the pathologically self-centered individual has something very powerful in his favor—conviction. His is the conviction of his entitlement, of his right to have what he wants—whether it’s agreement, an apology, special attention, cooperation, sex, a favor, forgiveness, you name it.

And he wields his sense of conviction powerfully and persuasively—all the moreso if he’s also articulate and glib.

This explains how a sociopath can look you in the eye and blame you for something—even his victimization of you—and yet you struggle to fully disbelieve him. As I just noted, if he is intelligent and glib, he is in an even better position to erode your sense of reality. He can construct positions, however absurd and even confirming of his sociopathic orientation, that nevertheless have just enough superficial plausability to arrest your attention.

Once you’ve been disarmed, even slightly, his impregnably confident assertions, stemming from his pathological self-centeredness, can have a brainwashing influence.

You wonder if you’re not crazy? The “gaslighting effect” is in full throttle. It is disorienting, literally, to have someone present even a ridiculous proposition, demand, or accusation with unwavering confidence and certitude. And the disorienting effect is magnified exponentially when the assertion is simultaneously packaged in superficially intelligent, coherent, “rational”-sounding language. Confidence in one’s sense of reality can wane, and fail, under this combination assault.

This can explain why sometimes extremely intelligent, thoughtful and self-respecting individuals can actually be at greater risk of accepting and tolerating abuse. It can be a case of the exploiter’s pathologically inflated confidence overwhelming the more self-questioning, self-doubting individual’s reality.

(My use of “he” in this article was for convenience’s sake, and not to suggest that females are not capable of the behaviors described. This article is copyrighted (c) 2009 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)

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I have never seen anything so succinctly and powerfully describe my husband as this!


And I should have added to the above: and our relationship. I have about as much self-doubt and over critical self reflection as one can have. And my h sure made use of this to the extreme.

Thank- you Mr. Becker.


Yesterday night, talking with my therapist, I realized that the self doubt is still there after many years. I know better, logically I know better. I see the pathology, the pattern, the way the relationship played out. I understand my role, and trying to care less about his way of thinking. The more I read this blog, the more things become clear. Things that I felt before but could not admit to myself. Things that I might have felt, yet could not put into words. This whole new door opened up for me, once I understood that he is a sociopath. Yet, I still have moments where I feel like it did not happened, I imagined it etc….It’s a brief feeling, in logic I know that it did happened, it was real. In that moment I feel like looking into a dizzifying cascade. The years I spent with him become hallucination-like in my head. I ask myself :was that really possible?

Then I need to reassure myself. Yes. it happened.

This seed of residual, occasion self doubt is what I need to un-earth in therapy.
Anyone have similar moments sometimes?


It is just this ability that allowed my husband to suck me in every time . He has a way of speaking that is so confident (of course I am used to it) that you believe everything he says and meanwhile convince yourself you must have heard wrong, thought wrong, misinterpreted and misunderstood.

How could I question him when he is SO SURE of what he is saying or said previously.? Of course, I am always multitasking , so I must have given him only part of my attention.

Even now, while divorcing, his answers are SO QUICK to even the most difficult or emotional questions – the answer just flows and you believe.

But I am learning discernment and to look beyond that quick answer – see the blank kind of look in his eyes, the lack of remorse or shame – the lack of thought -his wit is quick and never fails to respond.

I am learning to ask questions I already know the answer to – just to test for the lying – and the lies flow as smoothly as if they were the truth. This is why I always believed him – no body language to give him away. No hesitation !!!!

Yet, now that quick witty answer seems to be a dead giveaway – there is no THOUGHT behind it – it seems to just serve as a way out for him – a way to end the conversation or excuse away his behavior – and naturally , his answers now are always some criticism of me and why it is all my fault.

He wasn’t happy – so he cheated.

He worked hard – so he was entitled to spend what he wanted.

Add his intelligence and it becomes a deadly cocktail as Steve states – a controlling influence that is hard to ignore – and if you look up to him because he is able , handsome, charming and the attraction is there – say good night.

Now I have to learn to accept these truths – that he is ill – it isn’t me – and I can’t fix it. I would if I could.

I have to take the responsibility for taking so long to allow my gut feelings to come to the surface and confront him – for allowing the damage to myself and my children to continue.

My kids lost a lot because I was so busy trying to please him and now because the final outcome is also hard to handle they see me struggle with healing.

I want better for them – and for me.

I feel like Dorothy on the yellow brick road – lost – looking for the right path to home while the Wizard has left the castle.

I have to stop looking for him to wake up and return…..

Thank you , Steve – for sharing your expertise with us!!!


Oh, Greenfern, do I ever have moments like that…still.

After the big reveal; after three years of shock and pain; after fighting my way back from emotional, financial and mental devastation; after the horrible revelations that he sexually molested my daughters; after his arrest and subsequent escape from any real punishment; after two more years of dealing with the additional revelations; after fighting the psychopath, the state and all the enablers of his evil; after realizing how he robbed me and my children of everything we had but each other; even after ALL of this, I sometimes have to shake my head to clear away the memories of JUST HOW NORMAL AND WONDERFUL HE SEEMED back then.

It seems impossible, and yet it happened. The loss of all my good memories is one of hardest parts of this whole experience. There is literally no “mental space” from my past that I can go to and find joy and peace. He ruined EVERYTHING, every moment, by his mere presence.

It doesn’t give me self-doubt so much as it gives me continued SICK AMAZEMENT at just how deceptive the human animal can be. I now know exactly what he is, and I know my “diagnosis” is 100% correct. I have had enough pure NO CONTACT time to be able to self-validate my own reality. You’ll get there too, with enough determination and self-work.

Just keep seeing what you see, and hearing what you hear, and knowing what you know. Even if no one–and I mean NO ONE–believes you, you hang onto what you KNOW is true. There is evil in the world and there are evil people, and sometimes the worst of humanity is hiding behind the prettiest, most normal, exceedingly self-confident facade.

Jim in Indiana USA

Steve…I had to laugh…right on the money! Mine did that…when I caught her in a lie…a BIG one, she lied to blame it on me. And HER LIE became her TRUTH!

Yeah, no contact is the only way…once you escape. You can’t discuss anything rationally with someone who lives in a made-up world, based on their own lies and where all history, the bad part, was your fault.

Thanks, Steve, I needed to read that, today.


New Life,

It was a happy day for me once I realized that none–not a single one–of the normal markers we humans use to convey meaning means jack-diddley-squat when you’re dealing with a true psychopath. No facial expression, no micro-expression, no tone of voice, no facile and plausible explanation, NOTHING has any meaning at all. The only thing that has meaning is their ACTION.

Once I learned this, I began to turn away from him and his problems, and turn toward myself and my healing.


As always, perfect. I reread your articles and posts often.

The other resource I reread are by this author.

Still, nothing helps me the way your articles do. I really do feel I should change my name to Healed. I’m there. I just reread once in awhile to keep my head on straight.

Ox Drover

Dear Justabouthealed,

I used to think I was “totally healed” but I realized that there is no “heal-ed” place, but a ROAD TO HEALING that is a journey not a destination, but as you get closer and closer, and further along on the journey the road does become smoother, the scenery more beautiful and life more wonderful, and the acute pain is gone! I’m on the JOURNEY and intend to stay on that journey for the rest of my life.

Too many times in the past have I jumped up and screamed “I’m healed” only to find that I was still VULNERABLE to the next P down the road….I will never pronounce myself heal-ED, just heal-ING because I think for me at least, if I get too sure that I am heal-ED, I will wind up a victim again, because I will start to feel TOO SAFE and become less cautious.

That’s why I am still here at lovefraud, I don’t ever want to FORGET or to become too sure of myself….I can see here that people, SMART people and even those that know about Ps CAN be fooled. I’m like the “recover-ing” alky who still keeps “going to AA meetings” because they don’t want to ever BACKSLIDE. Maybe there will be a time I don’t need to “go to meetings” or go as often, but right now, I am NOT TAKING ANY CHANCES. One day at a time.


Steve: Do these S’s know all this information about themselves and us? It just hard for me to believe the ones I were involved with are that smart, although I lived my life just repeating stupid mistakes. So they just want what they want and do not care about using people? Do they think they are normal and just know that I’m a kind stupid person? And they just stay away from the smart ones who can see through them?


Steve said

“This can explain why sometimes extremely intelligent, thoughtful and self-respecting individuals can actually be at greater risk of accepting and tolerating abuse. It can be a case of the exploiter’s pathologically inflated confidence overwhelming the more self-questioning, self-doubting individual’s reality”

They seem to have innate ability to target the ones who self-question, self-doubt themselves.. (not necessarily” stupid ” people..) but “pleasers” , “low-selfesteemers, weakers….thats why IT IS KEY TO BECOME SELF EVERYTHING FROM A – Z TO WARD OFF S AND REMAIN S-FREE.. Self-confident in an honest way, selfish in a safe and kind way, self-respecting knowing your boundaries and keeping them firmly in place, self-loyal KEEEP YOUR WORD ..not only to them when you say NO MORE, GOODBYE…but to and for yourself…keep your word to yourself. Self-trusting…at the end of the day open your eyes and see the person for who they are as being deceitful, conniving, controlling, callous…not for who you want them to be or who they were for a sliver of the time in the beginning.. trust yourself that you are better off without them – because you know you are — you just have to muster up the strength and courage to accept that they are who they are and they will always treat you the way they do. People dont change unless they want to. They simply dont want to…they want you to stay stuck, confused, mixed up – because when you actually do get it together with real self-confidence – they actually know you can see right through them and their pathological “self confidence” and they try to find another victim or source who cant see through them…just yet!



“This can explain why sometimes extremely intelligent, thoughtful and self-respecting individuals can actually be at greater risk of accepting and tolerating abuse. It can be a case of the exploiter’s pathologically inflated confidence overwhelming the more self-questioning, self-doubting individual’s reality.”

Yup. Sign me up for that club.

S was an ex-convict, financial and career failure, who wasn’t all that good-looking. The casual observer would say “what a loser.” I am 180 from him.

I have always been questioning and self-doubting, having grown up in a highly abusive home. Still, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today if I were a complete pushover — or so I thought. On some level I must have thought since I survived bootcamp at my parent’s house, nothing could ever flatten me again.


When I found out about S’s being recently released from prison and the lies I caught him in, I was still willing to give him a chance. A horrendous mistake. The abuse steadily increased. By the end I didn’t know which end was up. S flattened me with his staggering sense of entitlement and his stunning self-confidence.


I have not jposted in over a week b/c I am kind of moving. Everything in boxes. No computer.
borrowing a laptop right now and I need ya’ll help; for real.

Lots of you have blogged with me before and know my situation.
I found out today tht my ex is calling another one of my sweet, best friends at her home!
we do not know how he got her number. She will not pick up phone.
What SELF CONFIDENCE that this man has done what he has done to me== and he will call my best friends and not even block his phone number.
she has not talked to him. she says she does get private numbers now.
You guys– do you have any idea how much I want to call him or call his exwife– who is most likely being conned by him as I write.
I want to do it. I want to end my pain. I want answers. closure. why is he calling. More smear campaign my friends think as he called my poor friend who has Leukemia three months ago and went on and on about how horrible MEG IS!!!! He would not even let my friend speak– did not respect her when she said i do not want to talk to you– do not call here.
My two friends are saying no!!! Do not call him. Nothing good could come out of it.
The injured person who stilldreams of him all damned nite– wants to imagine that he loves and misses me you guys!!!!!
Please, please give advice.
I have not called.
He will find me. I know it. and now that he is a millionaire? he can afford to find me?
should I at least call his exwife?

this is a nightmare from which I cannot awaken?
do I call? do I call her? do I call lawyer? I have not money or job yet– real job anyway. NOt good.


I have read your post and prayed that someone who has walked in your exact shoes would give you a GREAT reply.
No one seems to have done that yet so I am going to reply even though I might not be the one you need to hear from.
I read as I am sure you did also the opening article and this is something for you to read over.
The very last part….

“This can explain why sometimes extremely intelligent, thoughtful and self-respecting individuals can actually be at greater risk of accepting and tolerating abuse. It can be a case of the exploiter’s pathologically inflated confidence overwhelming the more self-questioning, self-doubting individual’s reality”

This part at the end really is something that might hit home right now. You are thinking with your “heart” right now.
If he is a sociopath he hasn’t changed in the time apart and WILL not change. Wherever your relationship with him ended it will BE THE SAME AGAIN. The answers you want so badly still will not be answered nor will you get any closure. ALL YOU WILL GET IS MORE PAIN.

I have never read any of these blogs that suggest the N/C isn’t one of the most imprtant things you need to do to heal and move forward.

You said the injured person that still dreams of him….I would suspect that your love for him was an illusion. In other words you loved him for what you “thought” he was or pretended to be but NOT who he really was.
Do not call his ex. Do not call him. Go by one of your girlfriends houses and stay with them until you feel better.
And hopefully you will also hear from one of the more experienced people that have such great advice.
good Luck


I am at my witsend as well. ACtually I was there 6 months ago. Now I am in the negative.
I thank you sooo much for your reply. Thank you. Thank you.
why can’t we call their ex’s? He is sure calling MY PEOPLE. My gosh– I have numbers to his family, job, exwife– lawyers– everyone– have I ever called them and told them that this man is Satan Incarnate– literally? No—-
so why would he search, search out friends of mine– across the US who have families and have known me fo 22 years and are sick?
I just wish his exwife knew the truth! I am a victim with no voice to defend my rapist– or tell folks that he will rape again and continues to do so–
thanks again.


The ex wife thing is more about what it will do to YOU not the effect it will have on him or her. By talking to her when your in a bad place I would say it might be like fueling the “fire”.
right now you don’t need that! It wouldn’t do any good for you.
Remember your “people” are real people and they love you for WHO you really are. Those that might listen to his nonesense are not your “real people” to begin with if he is trying to smear your name.


Akitameg –

I second witsend with every single word of advice and support she gave you. It is spot on !

And you still are in a place of wanting to know why to questions that if/when answered wont give you any more closure… just more confusion. Because he could choose to lie about his answers why he is contacting her…or even on the far off chance he is looking to lure you back, or he misses you…what good is that answer? So now he is a really bad man who misses you. What are going to do with that information? See either way he is a bad guy. The person you need to tell that he will rape again is yourself – stay away – youve come so far, so far Akitameg. Dont go backward by making any kind of contact… watch him fade away again because he didnt make you weak…he doesnt care…only if you respond and be the source that “feeds” him.

His exwife – will figure it out, if she already hasnt . Or she will form her on conclusions about him when she is ready

Have you all seen in the news the young guy “well known, well -liked upstanding citizen” from Boston (i think) who was driving with his fiancee and was pulled over and arrested for murdering a massage therapist in her hotel room and robbing her for money. And holding another stripper hostage and robbing her and I think yet a third therapist …all posting on craigs list for “services”….

Point is his fiancee wrote a letter to the Today Show, saying “the police have the wrong guy, her guy is sweet as could be wouldnt hurt a fly, he has been set up…etc… Even with police evidence (girls underwear hidden in a copy of the book Grays Anatomy, gun and plastic handcuffs confescated from his apt in which he lived with her!!!!! = she still was in a severe state of denial…protective…and probably in shock. Noone will be able to get her to begin to accept this – accept herself when she is ready. Everyone who knows a bad man has to come to their own terms and get their life back on track their own way. Dont need to tell, deal with others… need to tell yourself and deal with the need to contact or have questions answered…its all normal… but in the end its all really worth nothing… because he is was and always be the lie and the bad man. Let go and move on! Youre SO CLOSE!!!



I would hazard a guess that the fact your your S is divorced probably means she knows what he is all about. Even if she doesn’t, her reality is that she didn’t want him in her life and that is why they got divorced. Nothing can be accomplished by contacting her.

As for him contacting your friends, this is definitely out of bounds. The only friend of S’s that I have anything to do with is a friend (former?) of his who asked me out to lunch. Your friends have an option when he calls — they can HANG UP. These subhuman creatures have no feelings so it’s not like they can offend him.



Ox Drover also had some wonderful words of wisdom posted above. About healing and how it is a process…She said healing is a journey and not a destination.
How true that is… I think anything that happens in our lives that really hurts us to the depths of our souls will always be a part of us. Not in a bad way necessarily (except it feels that way in the begining of the process). Anything that touches our lives so intensely, changes our lives FOREVER….We can never be what exactly the same person as we were before. But that is a good thing in the end. We continue be more “complete” as we continue our healing. It means we are growing and learning as we go.
HANG in THERE. You will feel better. And each day that passes is one day closer.

I didn’t mean to imply (if I did) that it doesn’t hurt when your ex is trying to “smear” you or talk about you to others…..
I can relate to that and it DOES hurt. I live in a very small town and when my husband commited suicide that was VERY BIG news for awile. You would be shocked how many people have very distorted opinions on suicide…And how many people shared THAT with me.

Once I was in a store and over heard 2 people I had not ever seen before that were “talking” about it and speaking as if they had known both of us , yet relating the story with no truth or facts.. Alot of rumors that I am sure they had heard…

In the “big picture” of things though it was the least of my problems. This although a painful moment at the store this was not where my “energy” needed to be. I would be hurting for a long while after this would be “old” news around town.

I hope that you have many supportive people around you.


The person you most need to “warn” and “support” and “protect” and give closure to is yourself, from yourself. No contact. Try to even just set aside 30 minutes a day AT MOST that you even allow yourself to think of him. If you think of him at any other time, picture him with a long nose from all the lies, his head in a stockade, whatever reminds you he is BAD and not worth your time. Make a list of all the inexcusable things he has done to you. Reread it when you are weak. Tell yourself the WHOLE truth.

I had a hard time giving up warning other women. I did. And you know what….every single one of them already had his number. And then I realized if someone had warned me when I didn’t have his number, I would have not believed them.

Think of someone you really admire, and then think what that person would say about this person to you. Picture yourself feeling self-confident, happy….would you still want this person in your life? Start concentrating on becoming strong and confident….and pretty soon you will be!

All hard advice to follow until you are ready, but you have made really great strides!


I can’t thank you all enough for your posts!

I will now think of him as Pinnochio!!

Big group hug to all of you.

since i have moved to a new state and city– I have no real friends yet. I thank you all more than you know.

MATT– i FREAK out abou the exwife cuz I now remember signs of him hiding me and trying to get back with her. His sister also told me that the exwife still loved him (I understand that) and that the ex only divorced him to get him to go get help out of despertion of losing his beautiful Japanese wife and child. That she would take him back in a sex b/c his other side– the “man she married” was so sweet. exact words and God do I know what they mean. And imagine–
he has a 6 yr old little girl with this woman.
what a mess. If they truly knew what he was– they would know that he cannot change. He is more evil than they realize and I hate living with the truth on my own. /but maybe I am not. I have you guys and you seem to have seen the same ugly face/spirit.
love to allllll of you!


oh my gosh. look at my Fraudian slip/typo above!!!!

“she would take him back in a sex…”

I meant to type sec.
but I was remembering how good he was in bed and how that had a hold on me as I am sure it does her.


I have read this site for a long time but never posted before.

However, this post spoke to me in volumes and was truly brilliant. And so very timely.

It’s three years since I left the S (or was discarded and kicked to the curb moreso) in rather traumatic circumstances. Just last night I learned something that threw me right back to this time and had me in tears.

Throughout my relationship with the S, I fell for most things hook line and sinker. His confidence and sense of self was one of the attributes I loved about him.

Essentially he targeted me for my money. We were going to buy a house together. Except suddently my money got transferred into his business. I tried to get it back. He ended up getting violent. He then made threats about what I would lose if I told anyone. I made the decision to call a distant acquaintance because of his field of expertise. I was too ashamed to tell any family and was living in a foreign country so had no close friends around me. I rang the number, a child answered and I hung up and thought better of it. It occurred to me how would I explain how it all happened and still make any sense.

Unbeknownst to me the S used to check the numbers I rang. He contacted this person (he had heard of him) and charmed his way into repeated conversations with him. After establishing that I had not been in contact with him, he told him that our relationship had not worked out and I was a ‘fruit loop’ and had conned him. He said I had taken off and he didnt know where I was but I may go looking for him and end up knocking on his door because he didnt think I had any money. He said he had a very important job and he had all these highbrow functions to go to and I was an embarassment to him (um the football??) because i was such a nutter. He kept repeating the words, “Its Unbelievable”. He said lots more but I will not go into it as I am sure you get the idea. This guy thought he sounded a very nice man and ended up feeling sorry for him. The S even invited him and his family to his ‘big house’ where he would entertain him and see that he had a wonderful weekend. We were living in a 2 bedroom flat and I was still living with him for a further 14 months after this. But of course unbeknownst to me his wife lived in a house which he jointly owned. I had never left the flat.

This acquaintance said he had niggling doubts for a long time about what happened to me (we were not close contacts at all) and eventually he went online looking for me and found my daughters Facebook page and got in touch. And he ended up telling me all this.

It makes me wonder if the S was going to kill me (he did try and strangle me 13 months later after he had lost my money and my usefulness had gone) and whether he was laying the groundwork or he was scared I would tell this guy things and he wanted to get in first to make him think I was crazy. It threw me completely and and I am now wondering what else he did and said. The web is always way worse than we think.

Last night I was feeling like **** and wondering how anyone could be that evil. It’s hard for me to still try and reconcile how they can control people in such a way. AND THEY ARE SO GOD DAMN BELIEVABLE.

This scares me because I coud never afford legal help (it happened in the UK and I am elsewhere) and now finally, after all ths time, the police contact me how of the blue and are making enquiries about my fraud and assault. BUT, who will believe me or anyone over him. He is Mr Cool still running a business and bragging about his success. Two weeks after I left him to face bankruptcy he was remodelling his house and taking overseas trips (with his wife I thought was an ex wife). Confidence knows no bounds. And poor self esteem becomines our undoing.

I agree with Ox its a journey and I dont expect to get over it because there will always be things like this that pop up out of the blue.

Thanks Steve for such a timely post for me. Now I still have to totally get that it was nothing personal.

Thanks everyone for your wise post and comments – never took the opportunity to say it but its what keeps me coming back for another dose of the best medicine in the world. I need an overdose today.

Jim in Indiana USA


“BUT, who will believe me or anyone over him.”

I will. Others here will. Wondering about what he had planned? Well, it didn’t work, for him, and probably can’t be explained to a “real” person. You’re away from him and can find what YOU want. And on the journey, with time, more for you and less of him in your thoughts.

Glad you found this site and that it helps.

Elizabeth Conley

“In other words, the pathologically self-centered individual has something very powerful in his favor—conviction. His is the conviction of his entitlement, of his right to have what he wants—whether it’s agreement, an apology, special attention, cooperation, sex, a favor, forgiveness, you name it.

And he wields his sense of conviction powerfully and persuasively—all the moreso if he’s also articulate and glib. ”

Thanks Steve. This goes a long ways toward explaining something that still has me scratching my head from time to time: why is he so believable?

Elizabeth Conley

Dear Akita Meg,

Your ex S is a Drama Wh-re, and he will go away when people stop giving his performances air time.

1. When your friends stop picking up the phone, he’ll stop calling. If they don’t have the sense to do that,

Then –

2. When you stop responding emotionally to their reports that he’s calling, his ability to triangulate you through them will end. He’ll sense that it’s not working. This method is slower, but still effective.

As for the S’s ex wife, if she’s dumb enough to go a 2nd round, she’s not going to benefit from anything you say to her. Write her off.

Meg Sweetie, toughen up. This is life or death here. Your life. If this keeps up, you’re going to get very sick. Now quit paying attention to your ex S, and start giving yourself some of that attention. Meg deserves it, the ex S most assuredly does not.



Ox Drover

Dear Kate,

I TOO WILL BELIEVE YOU! Sometimes we are not able, unfortunately, to recover what they took from us (money and other physical things) but we CAN recover our dignity and our souls! Yes, recovery is a JOURNEY, not a destination, but YOU CAN BECOME WHOLE AGAIN. Even better than that, you can become YOU. I think most of us had “something” in our backgrounds or our genetics that made us willing to believe their lies, even when those things began to HURT.

No other species of predators that I know of tries to get their victims to love them and “volunteer” to be the victim, over and over and over….but the Ps do.

You talked about how you didn’t tell your family because you were ashamed! I KNOW THAT FEELING of shame, but the SHAME should be for HIM not you….you have done nothing wrong. Think about it. If a stranger pulled you off the street and raped you, would you likely feel SHAME? Well, the answer believe it or not, is YES YOU would feel the “shame”—but the shame TRULY BELONGS TO THEM….of course they don’t FEEL it, but we should NOT feel it, but we DO.

I too felt SHAME, for this and for that and for the other thing that the Ps in my life did to me…..yet that shame should NOT have been mine! Yet, I felt it. DE-shaming is a big part of what we have to do, to let go of that shame, and quit feeling it. Shame should be for a bad behavior that WE do, not feel the shame for something that is done TO us. Shame is not a bad thing, it along with guilt, helps to keep our moral compass on the right track. Since they have NO moral compass, and they have no shame and no guilty, they do whatever they damn well please to others and feel just fine about it.

I’m glad you have been lurking and learning here, but I am also glad that you now feel strong enough to post here!!! Your post is so welcome! Please hang around and continue to grow and learn. (((((hugs))))) and always my prayers.

Ox Drover

Dear Meg,

My dear meg, you have gotten some excellent advice from the posts above, but I agree with Elizabeth that you MUST toughen up, you must get it! YOU must start taking care of YOU.

All the questions you asked about “should I call her” etc… know the answers we would give you on that.

The “he will find me”—-I think is the thing that has you so FEARFUL, and that is what I am finding in your post is the FEAR he will find you.

I too have CONCERNS that my son may send a killer to FIND me….but Meg, I have finally realized that the only thing that if that happens is that he can kill me. That’s all he can do.

This may sound dramatic but “the coward dies 1000 deaths, the brave man but one.” It is so true. As long as you are
“SCARED SHITLESS” YOU WILL LIVE IN FEAR like a mouse in a hole thinking there might be a cat outside so he sits in the hole and starves to death. Meg, you are sitting in your hole emotionally starving yourself because you think he MIGHT FIND YOU.

I lived in my own “hole” for quite some time….but I am back in my house now and my P son and his henchman know where that house is. But I no longer COWER in a hole or live in TERROR, I live with CAUTION, reasonable caution and I have made PLANS of how I will respond if a henchman does show up.

I would rather LIVE than to cower in my hole and starve. I made the decision that I will NOT live in terror, I would rather die first (literally if it came to that) I am NOT wanting to die, but what is “life” if I have to live it in a dark hole starving.

You have two choices in my opinion, you can continue to live in your HOLE and whine and tremble, or you can decide to LIVE. It is YOUR CHOICE, independent of who he is trying to call or what he is doing, or how much money he has or anything else.

I know that down deep there is the strength in you to do this, the AKITA strength…..think about it. What would an AKITA do? Would an AKITA cower inside a hole? NO!!!!! NO!!!!!! and neither should you. .Draw strength from that inner akita and stand up and be courageous…..bravery is not being UNAFRAID, it is being scared shitless and STILL DOING WHAT IS RIGHT!

Now, Meg, I love you, you know that, but if you keep cowering in that hole, I will get my skillet and my grappling hook and pull you out by the hair of your head!!!!! Now you stand up like the A. S. S. (assertive survivor of a sociopath) that I know you are, and take care of YOU!!!!!! (((((hugs))))) and all my prayers for your peace!


Dear Akita MEG…

WHAT OXY SAID!!! THATS WHAT I WOULD LOVINGLY SAY TO YOU!! The analogy of the Akita — WOW, WOW, WOW— how appropriate for YOU! You are so close AkitaMeg….by choosing to make no contact, by choosing to get on with your life and seeing where the unknown may take you.

Compare apples, if you need to. You and a new life with yourself and the unknown…Or you and the old life, the old ways with a bad man..who makes bad choices where you are concerned, except always sugarcoating it with what he knew you “needed to hear to stay”… to be abused…but nonetheless to stay … “Im sorry, I love you, I wont do it again, blah blah blah….ugh ugh ugh….nah nah nah!!!!!! Dont go back to the lie, the games, the abuse!!!

LET GO, MOVE ON! A better life awaits you without abuse – and with SELF LOVE, SELF RESPECT AND SELF TRUST. Time to implement all that into your life NOW – not him!!!! xoxo


Dear Kate,


Your comment about

“confidence knows no bound and low self esteem becomes our undoing”

beautifully stated…I would add tho…”pathological confidence knows only lies, infidelity, bad choices..and eventually exposure!!!!!

Im sorry for your loss and your pain and suffering. Im so glad you found LF too…its one of the most healing places ever! So long as you are ready willing and able to let go and heal and move on….you can get past anything.

I expect you will get over it, because the things that pop up out of the blue are meant too! To give you more insight, validation, acceptance that this guy was a creep. And your job for yourself now is to recognize and learn the red flags and get out get away ASAP! I learnED a much needed lesson that the HARD EARNED money that is in my bank account with my NAME on it is – is for a reason – it is meant for me. Not anyone else.

Good luck! Glad you are here~

Great Steve!

Q: Where does this pathological self confidence come from biologically?

A: The social dominance drive and testosterone, even in women. Testosterone produces feelings of well-being and self esteem. Pathological self confidence is important for the attainment of dominance. If the silverback gorilla didn’t believe in himself how could he win? Of course he is entitled to status, he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!

Most dominance contests, even in other mammals are won by bluff and intimidation as opposed to physically aggression.

Psychologists need to work on better separating the “pathological self confidence” that is in a sense an artifact of the dominance drive, from true self esteem that results from one’s own realistic appraisal of one’s accomplishments.

Most sociopaths lack achievement motivation and so have few accomplishments to be proud of or to give them real self-esteem.


OMG today is a bad day…My son evidently had a melt down at school with a teacher. The teacher called me. I am trying to get ahold of him again (teacher) to have him repeat to me exactly what happened. My son said something at the end of the conversation to this teacher that went something like this: You can’t help me, the school can’t help me and my mom can’t help me. He also informed the teacher that he was not going to report after school for a detention….The teacher said he was crying when he walked away.


I love you and thank you so much. You — are right– and Akitas are even left alone with kids in Japan b/c they will not let anyone hurt the kids. They are guard dogs who are very loving, but who have discernment.
Elizabeth, LearntheLesson–I thank you from the bottom of my loyal Akita heart.

Elizabeth Conley

“You can’t help me, the school can’t help me and my mom can’t help me. He also informed the teacher that he was not going to report after school for a detention”.The teacher said he was crying when he walked away.”

Time to intervene – big time. Yes, call the school. Better yet, go in to the school. Talk to everyone and anyone.

Your son MAY NOT be alone today – not even “alone in a crowd”.

Something is very wrong here.

Elizabeth Conley

Wit’s End,

Depression isn’t just feeling sad. In fact, depressed people don’t feel sad all the time. They can feel:

1. Mysterious aches and pains
2. Exhaustion
3. Desire to sleep 24/7
4. A continual mental fog
5. Lack of interest

Sadness may or may not accompany depression. When it does, it’s usually only intermittent.

When depression hits the uninitiated, it feels like it will never end. The victim can hardly remember not being depressed, and quickly looses hope s/he will ever feel good again. Further, the victim lacks the vocabulary to articulate what has gone wrong. The victim also tends to reason that what has gone wrong originates outside of himself, because this seems logical. To restate: the victim figures he feels bad because of things happening in his environment. (After all, isn’t that how emotions are “supposed” to work?)

Can you get him in to his Psychiatrist? Of all the people you dealt with, the Psychiatrist sounded like the only one who had a clue. I don’t think the Psychiatrist will blame you because your son would not take his meds. Psychiatrists are totally used to this problem.

Hang in their Lady. I’ve got to go, and so do you. You and your son are in my prayers.

Elizabeth Conley

Hang in THERE! Sheesh – will I ever learn to spell?


Most dominance contests, even in other mammals are won by bluff and intimidation as opposed to physical aggression.

Boy is that true. IMO, the ’Lovefraud sociopath’ primarily fights with psychological weapons. Subliminal suggestion, especially the kind that’s geared toward the victims imagination to make S appear bigger and victim feel smaller, is their favorite.

I’m thinking of an S who everybody in that group hated, feared, or was wary of – who still kept people in check by cleverly implying that he had lots of friends and allies outside of that particular environment, while his victims had none. The truth should have been obvious ”“ his only real friends were his current tools and henchmen.

I saw another S convince a normal who’d grown sick of that particular S, that he would win any physical encounter, even though it was obvious to me the normal guy was vastly superior, physically.

And another time I saw an exasperated kid punch the S’s innocent sycophant, when all the abuse came from the S (who was physically smaller). The kid had been too afraid to confront the actual source of his troubles. Normals are often more afraid of the imagined reality than the actual reality itself.

Also, the top two attitudes I’ve discerned that sociopaths feel about their prey:
1. They’re stupid.
2. They’re weak.

Much of their confidence may also come from an ability to do do more of whatever it takes, moral or not, than normals.

The advantage we have here is that intelligent use of genuine achievement, knowledge, skills and accomplishment… should be able to beat these ‘artifacts of the dominance drive’ (their B^llsh!t) almost every time.
Student Of Sociopathy


Right on Mr. Becker:

“This can explain why sometimes extremely intelligent, thoughtful and self-respecting individuals can actually be at greater risk of accepting and tolerating abuse. It can be a case of the exploiter’s pathologically inflated confidence overwhelming the more self-questioning, self-doubting individual’s reality.”

I regard myself just like you describe (and have the documentation to back it up), and I believe this magnified the trauma of being taken away from myself. This is because being like you describe is what is at my core personality, and “loosing” the core personality is the ultimate loss and extremely anxiety provoking.

It has been a while since I posted. I think this is a sign of healing. I can totally relate to what other people here have mentioned about being “reborn”. In fact, a much more confident and prideful person came out of it. Gone is the naive person, out came a person with a totally new awareness about humanity, ready to protect oneself and his loved ones against these human predators.

Because “they” lack the most evolved parts in humanity (love, empathy, guilt, remorse), I am now prone to regard these people as a “sub” species of humanity.

It’s weird that we don’t learn about this in school. It should be one of life’s most important lessons (and it is).


Reading this article, I am remembering the killer comination my ex S had of great self confidence but also a humble, self-effacing way about him too. It was that killer combination that drew me to him like a moth to a flame. I think they are also so confident because they have gotten what they want so many times that they know they can get it again. And they know just who to turn to and how to get it. It’s a formula for them. All players have it.

I am laughing now, a year after I first met the S, remembering how he went on an on about how great he was in bed (before we did the deed). It was almost comical at the time, but also a little exciting for someone (me) who’d been celibate for a year or two. Then to find out a few months later he was SIMULTANEOUSLY pretending to the army to have such a severe disability that he couldn’t perform at all in bed!!! LOL It’s too bad he has such an aversion to any form of work. He would be been an outstanding career actor.


This is a day of decisions….I took Elizabeths advice pretty strongly as it felt like it was right on to what my gut was saying.

My son spent and hour 1 1/2 with the school counscelor after the melt down with his first class of the day teacher. I had many calls from the school, the initial teacher, the principal and the counscelor.

I called the treatment center “hotline” number as I am never ABLE to talk to anyone through the direct number….Always have to WAIT for call backs. His doctor was in a metting and was unavailable until 2 oclock. So I asked to speak to someone ELSE. She told me that when a 16 year old refuses outpatient treatment, (his meds) and will refuse to go with me to take him to a hospital the only option I have is a court order. To file papers to have a judge make the decision.

Soooooo I prayed the whole drive to the courthouse for God to OPEN some doors here…Please OPEN a door, and I prayed for a sign to know that I was doing the right thing.

This is a HUGE decision. Once I sign these papers it is ALL up to one man, the judge. I have already become the “enemy” in my sons eyes. I have lost his trust by just taking him for “help” that he “doesn’t” need. So in many ways I have alienated myself from my son althought that is NOT my intent.

By putting this in the courts hands I am basically saying….He is not taking care of himself, or even recognizing the NEED, and I am unable to take care of him in an outpatient setting. So I am pretty much in my “humble” opinion giving up my rights as a parent and putting those rights in a judges hands…

Long story short…Once I arrived at the courthouse in the town I couldn’t figure out the way to get there because of the major construction…..A sign from God?? Or just another CLOSED door? I finally got there and they told me I had to go to a completely different courthouse as this courthouse doesn’t handle this. A sign, or another closed door?

I can’t even read the signs anymore as this point (EVEN street signs ) as I am reduced to tears driving home as I will not be able to make it to this courthouse UNTIL Monday as time will not allow as the courthouse closes at 5.


Can you tell me how such a court order works? I was wanting information even about how the process works and the ladys did not know?


Dear Witsend,

Your son needs you to do whatever it takes. You have all the rights as his parent in your hands and it isnt enough right now to get him the help he needs…so in order to advocate for and save your sons LIFE, you must do what you feel is best.

There was a time I had to sign papers and commit my mother to a mental institution. I remember being next to my sister with my grandparents and telling them my heart just fell out of me. I thought I was betraying her or losing her forever…but really I was allowing her the opportunity to get the help she couldnt see with her own eyes, her own spirit, that she needed it.

If you believe your sons life or future is in danger, then with the support of teachers, principals, family, friends, the judge will see this. If you are already the enemy in your sons eyes, what do you have to lose? What do you have to gain by getting him help through a court order.

Im sorry you had such a horrifying day, and that your sons day was so terribly emotional too. I hope this ordeal ends for you on Monday, in that he can get whatever help is made available to you.

You are a dedicated mom, your son is lucky to have you. One day hopefully he will be able to look back and see that you did everything you could to get him the help he needed.

I might suggest you make NO MENTION to him of the possibility of a court order. Or a judge deciding what needs to be done. I think the less he knows regarding the “intervention” plan the better.

I think and hope and pray that Monday will be the day your son begins his journey to treatment. God bless you and good luck. We all are here for you.


Most teenagers regard their parents as the enemy no matter what you do. I appreciate the tough situation you are in, and I applaud you for making a difficult decision. Sounds like this could be a positive step for both of you, and I wouldn’t take his lack of cooperation as a sign that it won’t work.

Ox Drover

Dear Witsend,

((((((hugs)))))) I think your decision to seek inpatient treatment is a wise one. What other option do you have?

As far as alienating him by insisting that he get treatment, again, what other choice do you have?

I would call again to the HOT line and tell them that you think your son is a danger to himself and.or to you, and that you want a 72 hour hold on him. This will be done over the weekend, and he can be held for up to 72 hours, taken there by the sheriff/police and kept there until the court opens.

Stay on here this weekend, but I agree do not let him know what you are up to so that he will not bolt. ((((hugs))))) and all my prayers! Love Oxy


Hi Oxy, haven’t chatted with you in a while. How’s the garden coming? I’m planting the tomatoes and veggies in a cut off gallon of milk container and hanging them from the fence … aka cheap way of doing the hanging planters (LOL).

Hope everything is well with you.


Ox Drover

Dear Wini,

I put in raised beds, one for annuals (tomatoes, squash, etc) and one for perennial herbs, garlic, mint, sage, etc. and am collecting salvaged materials to build a green house and hot beds for this winter for various greens etc. then to start plants in next spring. I put in some of the “upside down” tomatoes too, I had some old cast iron pots and they had holes in the bottom, so I hung them with the tomato plants hanging out the bottom. Give it a try.

Cleaned out the goat’s stall the other day and used the shavings and manure for mulch in the raised beds. Have 24 tomato plants which should be enough for some picante….keeping busy here, love the spring.

The nice thing is that now the “road to healing” is all about ME and doing things that I enjoy not focusing on the left over pain…just peace and joy here now! Calm and serenity. Couldn’t be better. (((hugs))))) and always prayer for every one on LF’s peace.


Oxy, send up some of that manure to me. (LOL).

Did I tell you the story about when I was married … how I thought I had a green thumb? I lived in the country, where each back yard off of main street USA had acres and acres of property behind it (owned by the then old timers … aka farmers).

Long story short. Anything I planted, grew and grew and grew. It was incredible. I remember receiving a bridal veil planter for a wedding gift. It was just a starter plant in a potted planter. Well, I took it outside and placed it on one of the hooks on my front porch (we lived in a 3 story Victorian house). By the end of the summer, that little potted plant that was hanging on a hook on my front porch was over 30 ft long. I was walking around telling everyone that I was a chip off my mother’s side of the family (also grew up in the country).

Plants that friends had for years that were stunted … they’d eventually give to me and those plants thrived upon what I thought was my love and care and green thumb.

Then came my divorce. I moved back to the outter city … eventually got my own apartment. Within a year, all my plants died. I cried to my mother, something is wrong with me due to this divorce, I’m killing off all my plants.

My mother laughed and said “honey, I’m so proud of you thinking you were this country girl and inherited the country green thumb from my side of the family … but, I’ll tell you, when you live in the country the manure is all over the place and is airborne … and everyone living in the country has a green thumb.

True Story (LOL).



Usually to get an order for involuntary commitment you need a psychiatrist to agree that the person has a risk to himself or to others. If your son is posing a risk to you or himself, you can call the police in to grab him and drag him to the psych ward, and then the psychiatrist’s can get the order.

At this point his psychiatrist should see the need for an involuntary hospitalization, since based on his statement to the teacher, it seems to me that he is dangerously close to posing a risk to himself.

Ox Drover

Good advice, Matt,

The way it works here in AR is that the cops will come and get him at the mother’s request and usually take him to the ER where he will be interviewed by the ON CALL PSYCH evaluator, then moved (if thought reasonable) up to the psych ward, then the on call psych doc will see him in the morning, and decide whether to keep him for a 72 hour hold, and/or get a committment on monday.

With a KID the cops are usually cooperative with the parents, and he will at least get an over night stay, especially if he is already seeing a psych MD and is NOT complying with medications etc. Especially with the school backing up the parent, and the mom being a single parent, etc. I would think she would get the help she needs. My guess is too, that the son will “show out” about the time the cops show up in a rage, which will encourage the cops to take him to the ER.

Wini, don’t you know I sling plenty of BS besides the skillet! LOL That’s why my plants grow so well.


My thing is I don’t see the point of a 72 hour or 48 hour stay and then they release him to me more ANGRY then he was when he went into the hospital. Unless he would go from one facility to the next.

And when I called the hospital ER the nurse there told me they would NOT keep him longer than 48-72 hours. And if his personal psyciatrist (who is not affiliated) with this hospital did NOT order to have him transfered to a facility if the hospital themselves DID see fit to tranfer him somewhere it would be a state mental hospital. NOT an adolecent facility.
I would rather see him in an adolecent facility.

I was expecting the psyciatrist to call me after his meeting. However the woman who called me (psyciatrist nurse ?) was the one who informed me about a court order and said that would be what the doctor will suggest under the circumstance if I can’t get my son to go willingly.

The teacher recanted somewhat of what he said to me in the first phone call in the SECOND phone call. He now says that he can’t remember my sns exact words but that he wasn’t sure if he did say my MOM can’t help me. He said it was more something like the teacher can’t help/make him, the school can’t help/make him and he was the only one who could help himself. Then he said he would NOT come to the detention.

The SCHOOL counscelor was contacted instead of the principal by the teacher.

The school counscelor would definately agree that my son has signs of depression. She talked to him long enough to see that although he is ADAMENT that he is not depressed, he said alot of things that she picked up on as being very inconsistent. What he says and what he does are two different things. And she also picked up on the anger.
She has talked to him before but never to the extent she had today.

As I see it if he is going to be hospitalized it needs to be for a long enough time for medication and therapy to work.

There have been so many things that have gone “wrong” that this next step it is important that something go “right” this time. If there is going to be an intevention, regardless of who else is involved, police, court order, doctors…..It is important that it goes from start to finish and not that he just walks away as he did in the past. This is NOt the first intervention. My son walked out of the last one and the couscelor allowed him to do it. I feel he should have called the police.

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