The sociopath’s “loyalty” deficiency

(This article is copyrighted (c) 2012 by Steve Becker, LCSW.  The use of male gender pronouns is strictly for convenience’s sake and not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the behaviors and attitudes discussed.) 

“Loyalty” and “the sociopath” are incompatible terms. We’ve discussed many traits of the exploitive personality, but let’s not minimize a very vital one: deficient loyalty. Clearly,  deficient loyalty is a sociopathic characteristic.

A deficiency of loyalty can be disguised very well by clever, self-serving rationalizations. But you will not find the case of a true sociopath about whom you will ever be able to say: he (or she) was really, through and through, truly loyal.

Loyal? What does “loyal” mean? It’s actually pretty simple to define: when you are loyal, you “have the backs” of those who’ve “had your back.”

You “have their backs” because you want to “have their backs.” You are glad, if not grateful, for the chance to “have the backs” of those who’ve had yours. This is loyalty. It’s application feels good, and it feels consonant with the loyal individual’s “value system.”

Now, in some cases “loyalty” can lead to corruption. For instance, look at law enforcement: cops, corrections officers, will often “have each others’ backs—”they will often “go down” protecting their own even in scandals where, intellectually, they are well aware that laws were broken (by colleagues and friends), and the public’s trust violated. But they “have each others’ backs,” sometimes stubbornly and illegally. Their loyalty to each other may, in a rather complex way, sometimes contravenes other “values” they may have, such as ethical ones.

In a person of conscience, this may produce  real conflict and stress. In someone with a weaker conscience, this may not be the case.

In some cases, the “whistle-blower,” who might “look” more honest and courageous than his seemingly more ethically-challenged colleagues, might  be more sociopathic than his “corrupt” counterparts who, in snubbing authority and the law, maintain “the backs” of those who had his (or hers).

I am not judging this phenomenon in any way at all, just pointing out its sometimes complexity.

So “loyalty—”its demonstrations (and abdications)—can encompass serious moral complexity.

This is a case where, of course, not all evidence of disloyalty is a hot red flag of sociopathy, but “disloyalty” is absolutely a feature of the sociopathic personality.

And this is especially true: when “loyalty” becomes inconvenient, now we have something to evaluate. When it’s “inconvenient” to be loyal, watch the disloyal individual (and sociopaths) shed their capacity to “seem” loyal with a variety of disturbing rationalizations, and sometimes without even the need to explain. Watch them, in any case, emerge in their truer colors.

If there is a single quality, in fact—a single, true trait—whose presence alone virtually “rules out” sociopathy, it is arguably “loyalty.”

You simply cannot be “loyal” to those in your life who have been loyal to you—that is, be truly loyal to them even when it’s no longer expedient to be so—and be truly sociopathic.

As I said, true loyalty and true sociopathy are simply incompatible concepts, and will never describe the same individual.

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I agree.

I’m not sure about police etc. When my son joined the police explorers club in our town, which was run by our local police department, he was told that he had just joined the biggest brotherhood in the world.

Laws are broken, “stretched,” or overlooked all the time by the courts and politicians so if they can look the other way, is it that surprising that the brotherhood, i.e., family, would be a stronger bond than upholding the law which is often capriciously applied or interpreted?

The law isn’t black-and-white. People need to feel grounded.

It must be very demoralizing to be an idealistic police officer only to see lawyers getting their clients off on technicalities, seeing monied politicians getting away with lies and lining their pockets, or seeing seasoned criminals released from jail for spurious reasons or not serving their full term.

And “whistleblower” can also describe anyone who presents themselves as a “well meaning” friend, relative, or co-worker. A whistleblower does not need to be somebody reporting misdoings of a Wall Street firm or a manufacturing dumping toxic waste into the environment.

All is takes is a snake in the grass who whispers in somebody’s ear, “Darling, you know how much I care about you so, please don’t take me the wrong way, but did you know that …” Plant the seeds of poison and sit back to watch the show.

My mother told me that back in the 1960s, a woman at my father’s office bragged about making a $10 bet with another secretary that not only could she get a married worker to sleep with her, but she could break up his marriage as well. After both happened, she dumped the guy and collected her money. Yeah, the husband was a scum bag. Where was his loyalty to his wife and marriage vows? Nowadays, fewer and fewer people think they even matter.

The only loyalty that Ps might ever have is to themselves.

“Loyalty”, “complexity”, “whistle-blower”, “minions”, “fence-sitter”…..thank-you, Steve. Yes, it is mired in “complexitivity” isn’t it? I agree, though, that, at the end of the day, the spath’s only true loyalty is to themselves.

Great article and great timing for me.

As I learn my spath family yucked it up with the the psycho who has ruined their daughter and granddaughters peace, joy and financial stability. They say “betrayal? I don’t understand what you mean or how you say this is betrayal”……. in true spath form. The biggest slap in the face is it’s not like they KNOW him or have evered shared even a meal together in their lives!!
Thanks MOM & DAD…….

Thanks Steve…

Loyalty is a non concept for ppaths/spaths.
It holds no bearing on any of their ‘concepts’.

In fact, they regard ‘loyalty’ as foolishness.
In their eyes, we are very foolish for being loyal.
They mock us as they stand before us.

It amazes me, still, how all these ‘beings’ have the
same traits. WHAT or WHY is that? Is there something
in the pollution about us? Corrupting genes? Laying down
bad bases for future life and the well being of that life?

Complexity only skimmers the surface of what this is.
You said a mouthful though when you said that a loyal
person and a sociopath cannot mix. It is against everything
they live for. Definitely.

As you start to peel away the onion skins and rewind it
all in thought and memory, you can actually SEE and HEAR
all of the webs coming undone, one by one. I gave up
listening to any more when my life was threatened.

I gave up caring, at all, when the actual attempt was made.
This is MY LIFE. I want this demon away from me for the
rest of eternity. I have built and island around me and I
have lived in psychosis because of the mind control, for
the past two years. It’s really noticeable when you get
rid of the problem, the psychosis begins to unwind, all
by itself and you can clearly see and think.

Having “IT” and the entire ‘roadshow’ away from me, now,
for the sixth bout of NC, in just about 13 years, only for the
past six months now. “I” have been loyal to NC, although
the reverse has not been true. I have been non stop
stalked until I changed my phone number and now it
is very quiet again.

The only thing my cutting “IT” off has done is to funnel
him right down to my front door, which was the case a
couple of weeks ago. I AM NOT AFRAID ANYMORE.

“IT” is the one who should be VERY afraid of
losing “IT’s” freedom. It sure can’t practice
any more shenanigans from behind bars. Hm?

Virtues do not exist in their vocabulary.
It’s all about THEM, all the time, with no
forethought and/or concern for others.

Thanks Steve for another great write!!!
You have helped to solidify my day.


On a related topic, you know what I wonder about?

In the face of full force seduction, who can resist?

What are the traits of those who can resist?

Michael Jordan couldn’t resist.
Many of us who were targeted by our spaths couldn’t resist.
Who CAN resist, and what are their secrets?



That’s exactly how my mother sounded. Like I was foolish and has many times during heartbreaking conversations I could not comprehend. I comprehend now. It is also heartbreaking but at least I know what I am dealing with.


Are you saying your mom was a spath?


I am as sure as I can be about my father being a spath and the ruling on my mom isn’t totally in.

I asked my counselor who has known me and my issues for many many years WHAT AM I DEALING WITH? He hesitates but I said, “I’m thinking dad is a sociopath and mom is a malignant narcisist?”

His words, “I feel that’s probably pretty accurate”. So they of course have not been diagnosed and my mom has met with my counselor before. He knows me from many angles of being a counselor first for an employee of mine, then me and long term spath and then friends who I have referred to him over the years. I feel he has as good of a guessing handle as a person can. I have been said to have “situational anxiety to change and PTSD”….. So that’s the best way I can answer you. Does it sound like it to you?

It’s very difficult to answer your question and hurtful for me as I feel some “loyalty” to and probably some “situational anxiety” about labelling them once and for all on the http://WWW………... truth……..

But do we know if narcisists have loyalty or lack of loyalty issues? The current conversation with my mom about betrayal just happened a couple of weeks of ago and I have not spoken with her since.

The counselor also elaborated on shameless behaviors of father with no ability to feel anything regarding his affect on another but mom was more shame filled.

Her behaviors have become more prevalent over the years and I feel like either life has hardened her or her choice of career but she does speak openly and emphasizes her empathy for animals but leaves humans out at every conversation??? of late……….

Narcissist see their family as an extension of themselves, so you will see a certain amount of loyalty to other family members. Until you offend them, then they cut you off for not being good supply.

For example my father said he never wants to hear ex-spath’s name again. He hates him so much for everything he’s done including trying to kill me.

But my spath sister also was trying to drive me to suicide and he loves her anyway. He is trying to save her from her own spath-cop-husband (whom my spath sent to marry her a decade ago), but she won’t listen. She thinks evil is ok, she said so. She doesn’t get that her demise is being planned by her spath -cop-husband.

My n-dad knows she is a spath. My brother is also a spath and put me in jail on a fake DV charge, while I was hiding from my ex-spath when I first left him. Years earlier, my spath sister tried to put spath bro in prison and I saved him. I derailed her and her spath-cop-husband’s plans to make the judge give him the longest possible sentence after he was arrested for buying crack. Yet, that didn’t stop him from immediately trying to contact my ex-spath and plotting with my spath sis and her spath-cop-husband to put me in jail.

My dad knows all this and still lets him live in the basement, drinking beer and playing online poker and watching porn and selling his food stamps. at age 48.

My brother and sister are definitely spaths. My dad is an N and is loyal to his family so he feels sorry for them despite what they’ve done to me. Until the day that they actually attack HIM, he won’t learn a lesson.

As “Jerry Springer” as my family sounds, none of this would have happened without my ex-spath instigating it. There are a lot of fence sitting spaths in the world who don’t do too much harm. Sure my brother would still be in the basement wasting his own life, but not really attacking too many people. He finished his criminal career in his late teens. My sister would still be a pathetic money grubber, looking for someone with status, to ride their coat tails.

So you can see where loyalty lies: spath bro has none to anyone, spath-sis is loyal to her spath-husband but he is not loyal to her. N-dad is loyal to blood relatives.


Thanks for sharing. I felt like if I read that out loud I would’ve spit all over myself. LOL in a tweety bird voice of course.

So what about her not identifying with the word “betrayal”? “oops my mask fell off” sociopath? Or simply a narcisist? I can attest to the cut you out, off, down, with any indication of a betrayal to her……lived it….

Steve, thank you for this insight. Yet, another lightbulb going off.

“Loyalty” is something that I have observed the spaths that I’ve known to exhibit, vociferously, UNTIL they were crossed or exposed for what they are. But, they don’t really display what I would consider to be “true” loyalty.

When it comes down to it, spaths are “loyal” only to their own wants and desires. This holds true, especially, with spaths in positions of power: police, judges, prison guards, etc. These people only have each other’s backs as long as there’s something in it for them. It’s not a “brotherhood,” at all, because a “true brother” would hold their family member accountable in the interest of truly loving and teaching their family member. Enabling isn’t an expression of “love.” It’s an expression of FEAR, and this is what I believe the “Brotherhood” is based upon: fear.

I don’t really understand your question regarding her not identifying…what?


To me it was a very obvious betrayal, breech of trust, and/or lack of loyalty. My question would be does throw that change the potential situation out of naricisist and into sociopathy or are they considered one in the same?

Eralyn, I think a Narcissist is loyal to you, as long as you allow them to render you voiceless, powerless and invisable….if you become a non-entity, in your own right, you become very valuable to the N…but, if you assert yourself, in any way, you will be disgarded….or abused….
On one of the Narcissism web-sights I read a quoite that went something like this:
If you submit to this, you become depressed. If you resist this, you become abused.
So simple, isn’t it? If it’s so simple, why is it so difficult? Simple isn’t the same thing as easy.

I think that an N feels loyalty and when betrayed will cut you off, maybe forever.

But a spath has no concept of the word. Though he knows that you do. My ex-spath said to me, “I will say that you are very loyal.” Then my gay frienemy who was having sex with the spath, said, “You are more like a dog and I’m more like a cat.” He was insinuating that I could be kicked repeatedly and still come back to the spath.

When I say spaths have no concept of the word loyalty, I mean that even if you betray them – for example if you are a spath too – the next day they might still join you for coffee, a beer, sex or an evil escapade. It’s like they see nothing wrong with what you did because it’s part of a game. Of course they do remember it.

Example, my spath sis tried to put my spath bro in prison and I saved him, yet, when it came time to pick sides, he betrayed me and chose to attack me at her bidding. About 2 years later, I spoke with her at my parents’ home. My parents and I were yelling at her and telling her how she needed to stop being evil. When I brought up the incident of her trying to put our spath bro in jail, she denied it. She said she didn’t remember that. This was not an instance, it took place over weeks with various letters being written to the courts, etc… Of course she remembers.

Well my spathbro was downstairs listening and he came bounding up the stairs red faced. “YOU LIE, SPATH SIS, YOU DID TRY TO PUT ME IN JAIL AND YOU REMEMBER.” Then he ran back down. WTF? Did HE conveniently forget what he did to me? Did he forget what she did to him while they were conspiring against me?

No, he remembers, it just has no meaning to him, because they don’t “get” loyalty.

I remember that he would get into fist fights with his friends and one guy actually stabbed him and he almost lost his life. But later they were out getting drunk together. Even life is meaningless to them. The only thing real to them, is the game.

Your simple explanation was the nail on the head. I have lived it.

Thank you for explaining that so well. I have said the very words you use about spaths and saw without a doubt at all times my father and psycho terrorist father of my child both could light you on fire in the morning and take you to dinner that night. It has always baffled me. I am not so sure about the first longterm abusive man I was with. I am absolutely sure about those two.

My mom can’t grasp betrayal unless is directed her? That is how it is seeming.

I love (not for you) your brother running down to make sure she owns her $hit and calls her out. So spath! But running back up? Just going to fling his poo and run? Typical…

I am still baffled by my mom. I don’t know if it’s my heart or my mind. Or both………. But…….It’s something PD for sure.

It’s been a real mind bending life for me.


Miss Greenjeans over here (me) is just comprehending why when I respond to someone it is best to address them individually as it shows up to the left under the subject. 🙂 Lightbulb moment. lol


I am not sure as she has never had a professional diagnosis. I am looking at upbringing, learned behaviors and long time career along with being married to at least a sociopath for many many years. I have a difficult time when they are covert. It’s not so difficult with my father as he is proud to wear his asshat and wouldn’t mind the label most likely so it’s not feeling as bad to speculate about him and he has some pretty solid obviouses in his behaviors.

I am on the fence (ooh no) about never seeing the dark black stare in my father that I have seen in the eyes of both other sociopath men in my life.

To a Narcissist you are always only a prop. You are a part of the stage play, but only exist to aggrandize them…that is, if you are still under their sway. If you are good supply, you are primary supply, and you know your place as prop. You are valuable to the narcissist. If you tire of this arraingement, your value will decrease, and you will become secondary supply, or worse, disgarded supply, or even persecuted supply. As your self-esteem grows, and as you express yourself, as you find yourself, and realize yourself, you become less and less valuable to the narcissist, and more and more their betrayer, you become contemptable, because you have some-how stolen some of the unique and speciallness away from the narcissist….you have been a bad prop. This is a play on words, because narcissists have such a fragile ego that they literally lean on other egos to prop themselves up.
There is always the choice between saving the relationship at the expence of the self, or losing the relationship and growing a self.

Guys, I gotta tell you. I’ve been a bad prop. 🙁

🙂 🙂 🙂


Me too. I am a very bad prop. I always said and felt like their worst nightmare of a child. Not that there wasn’t much to appreciate, if I do say so myself. Myself seems to be the problem though.

Now where did you find this explanation of the narcisist? I have told my friend who is convinced her ex is a narcisist that she was a prop. I had never heard it said as you did above. That is just what I saw. I also want to know if you got the example from some straight shootin’ guidebook, why counselors don’t just lay it out like this for you so you can say “yes” that sounds like exactly what I’ve lived? Please don’t say it’s been a secret because of money. I don’t think I can take one more financial abuse at this time.

Wow skylar, what an “aha” moment.

I betrayed my spath several times. He is fully aware of it and called me on it. Serious betrayals.

Yet in every case he resumed the relationshit with me. Wanted sex. Started texting.

Each time I couldn’t figure it out. I was wondering, wtf, doesn’t he realize I betrayed him and I WANT HIM GONE and I WILL DO IT AGAIN?

So you are saying he was aware, and didn’t care, because its all part of the game? Seriously???


Eralyn, I’m sure I’ve read it somewhere in my studies. I think Sam Vaknin talks about “the prop”, but, I think that it’s just a good metaphor, and generally accepted allusion to being a narcissists partner.
Narcissists are split off from their true selves because the true self is not ideal. So, they creat a persona, or false self, and this is very much like a character in a play. They live in a fantastic world of ideal love, romance, heroism, etc. etc. etc. They are the authors of this ideal fantasy world. You can not fit into this ideal world unless you are the ideal prop to this ideal world, and being a prop means being objectified….not having a real role in the drama, because you exist only as an acoutrament to his fantasy…you must also, remain ideal, and that means, remain a fantasy and not become real…not have a self, and all the messyness that comes along with it….be a phantom, a figment of his imagination…don’t ruin the moment with a voice, or a request, just be a dream, in his drama.

This speaks to the narcississtic condition of leaving his props behind….while still asserting to “love” his props. His repeating the cycle with a new prop, and how the narcissist burns the victim to the ground, like an old house, when he leaves them behind….but, believes, his props are “coming down on their own, now…”

Steve, this article almost made me laugh…my son Patrick DEMANDS absolute “loyalty” from others, yet, he shiats on the very same people he demands “loyalty” from…

Example: When he was 17 he came and STOLE MY CAR to use to carry the “loot” when he robbed our friends’ business…then parked it back in my yard where I discovered the engiine warm the next morning and knew exactly what my car had been used for….DUH??? What car thief steals and returns the car?

So, I turned him in to the police who arrested him for grandtheft…

So who was DIS-loyal here? Why ME OF COURSE!!!! He still bears a grudge against me about that to this day.

He got a young girl to take her grandfather’s credit cards and he charged thousands of dollars on them, so when the bills came in…DUH??? The girl said “grandpa he was the one who used them” and so he LOYALLY BLEW HER BRAINS OUT because she had been “dis-loyal” to him.

Yet back when I was visiting with him, Patrick talked about the “prison code of honor” and that you “couldn’t snitch” or you would be killed….and that may be true, yet, I know for a FACT that prisons are FULL of snitches.

I also know that when I “disappeared” in the middle of the night and the ex cell mate of Patrick’s that he sent to kill me couldn’t find me, said ex cell mate went to PLAN B, leaving Patrick in the lurch!

No there is no “loyalty” among criminals and I think darned little loyalty among most people….and the RATS do start to swim for shore when the boat starts to sink…just like the SS Lance Armstrong boat is sinking now. The people who were “loyal” to him and kept their mouths shut apparently are no longer “loyal” to him.

Real honest to goodness TRUE LOYALTY is what you get when you buy a dog, and maybe, just maybe, you will have 2 or 3 people in your life that you know would be truly loyal to you and would never betray you no matter what….that is, as long as you were also as loyal and as honest, kind and caring.


It’s been said repeatedly “Sorry we aren’t the Waltons”. Huh? Or, “you should’ve had older parents”…. ? I see the stage and I danced around your paragraph (in my life) above watching the show. It’s strange to read knowing all the accidental “telling” things I have said that are spot on to your description. Why doesn’t anyone just SAY it like that?

I have a friend who is 50ish and when I met her we hit it off due to high conflict child custody cases. We got into the psychology of our spaths and then later speaking of what was used against us in court. She suffers from PTSD from the whole thing and we both were forced to relive awful stuff from our pasts. She felt her spath used her mothers suicide by shotgun in an attempt to make her crazy or at the least labelled crazy. I would listen to her and I couldn’t get out of my head how I didn’t believe her mother killed herself. After a while I told her some things I knew and had seen and what I felt about her mom and why just from what she herself had told me. Her moms death occurred when she was just 19 years old. She almost had an entire case disclosed to me that invalidated her moms suicide. She no longer believes with her heart and mind that her mom did it but in fact there’s some evidence her step-dad killed her mother. I felt like nobody ever just spoke to her directly and said flat out what I said. It really took a load off of her for her life.

we talk about how everything is a game of drama for them but I’m not sure we always realize how spot on accurate that description is, because we can’t imagine being so shallow, so 2-dimensional. Really, they have NOTHING that they value except the adrenalin rush of the game.

As Kim said, you can be a good prop or a bad prop. You can be good supply or discarded supply or the naughty supply, it doesn’t matter as long as it gives them drama.

Sam Vaknin said it best, “The narcissist doesn’t have friends or enemies, he only has supply.”

We are all plot devices, things to keep the game going so he can get off on the drama of it all. Without it, the boredom is too much to bear.

Very good and insightful article. The spath is only Loyal to themselves. They are parasitic in every aspect of their lives… just as a tick feeding off of its next victim…

Eralyn, you were probably your friend’s saving-grace.


Have you heard the story about the psychopath who murdered his victim and couldn’t get the body to prop up the way he wanted behind the steering wheel of a car and the psycho says, “why does this always happen to me?” in exasperation. Or something to that affect.

It’s reminds me of your story about your son.

You know what though, even though I talk a good game, My raising is a hard thing to shake. I still, normally become a good prop. It comes natural to me. Being a bad prop feels bad, and I suffer when I disappoint the narcissist. My conscience plagues me. I let my narc down. I’m bad. I wanted a say. I wanted a self, an opinion, a personhood. O shit. My bad. 🙁


Sometiimes I see just why we find certain people at certain times. Thankfully it’s not just the negative that makes us go hhhmm……:)


Yea, that’s Patrick for sure! LOL It would be funny if it wasn’t so freaking SAD.

I wish I could have gotten through the cog/dis sooner…it never made sense to me why he would think I was being disloyal to him for turning him in, but HE was somehow NOT being disloyal to me by stealing my car, or being dis-loyal to our friends by robbing their business and shutting them down for weeks til they got their computers back???

You know it is not supposed to “make sense” and when we try to make 2+2=5 and we can’t understand why it doesn’t work all we do is drive ourselves nutso!

Seeing clearly now that 2+2=4 and that no matter how many times I try to make it =5 it ain’t gonna happen.

Yea, they always seem to think that life is unfair to them and other people stab them in the back…unjustly of course. LOL ROTFLMAO

In the aftermath of x’s affair, I said I wanted to go to the hair-dresser’s, and get a whole new hair-style. Money was tight, I knew it, but, the most hurtful answer from him, and totally unintended to hurt me…just, total insensitivity, was his response….”No one’s looking at you anyway”….


He sounds like my father. TOTALLY. He, to this day, will tell my mother to jump out of the F’ing car while he’s driving 80mph on the highway. He’s got some very brutal one liners.

Another thing about these spaths, if you’re coughing (choking), laughing, sneezing, wheezing, and on and on, it’s always makin’ them mad! You’re doin’ it to them. I’m fairly sure my dad thought I had his game growing up and he was abusive as he was sure I was outgamin’ him at age 5! lol As sad as it is, I really was just being 5………..

He was just being honest. I was totally insignificant to him. There was something wrong with me, because I couldn’t accept my role as invisable, voiceless and insignificant….


I didn’t get the game so I tried to understand but was determined to be myself. That cost me A LOT of wasted explanations and defending myself and apologizing and thinking until my brain hurt. UGH!

Now that I think of it. 🙂 psychos aunt and I weren’t too far off making a game board out of the psychos life! So close to the answer and I didn’t even know it as they’re nothin’ but game!

So that explains why they could speak with your spath and not understand why it would anger you. To them it’s just a game.

I totally understand how you feel about your mom. It feels wrong to speak ill of my mom too. And it feels confusing when I try to figure out why she does what she does. But it’s getting easier. Truth is, we don’t want to see anything bad about our parents. It’s like seeing them naked.

The best thing AND the most difficult thing about your articles is that they often cause me to re-trace the steps of what led me here. The subjects often ring a little too true so I am responding to in an effort to then move forward and not obsess. Loyalty and it’s definition was always an on-going struggle between me and my former relationship.
It was his “mission” to constantly test my loyalty and dedication to him, although no matter how “true” I appeared to be, it was never enough. I was constantly made to choose between him/co-workers, him/family, him/sign post, you name it, it was divided. I ultimately came to this understanding and have lived by it ever since. The ONLY loyalty I owe is to my own integrity, and suddenly the confusion ceased and everything became clear. Perhaps this is selfish, but I believe in the quote that “loyalty is a currency best spent on yourself”. If a friendship or relationship ended it was probably not due to a lack of loyalty on my part, but rather because I was perserving my own need for well being and preceived priorities. That is not SELFISH, but rather a universal trait.
Anyway, thank you for provoking my thoughts, some have told me that is a challenge not for the weak.


I have been trying to crack this secret code that’s been my life for a long time! I held anger toward my father all my life and focused probably 100% on him. In 1995 I had been in counseling for over a year. Counselor wanted me to write the infamous parent letters and they were way overdue. My mom’s was blank every week with maybe one line that said “F this” or something to that affect. Then one night holy crap! The flood gates open and I wrote the letter. Then as I was crying uncontrollably I took it to 1st spath bf and asked “IS THIS THE TRUTH? IS THIS WHAT YOU SEE? AM I RIGHT?!!” He was stunned, read the letter and simply said, “yes”. I still have the letter and it applies today. It’s got a lot about her allowing crap. FENCE RIDING and failing to teach me basic self respect and that I deserved respect.

It is like nakedness especially when I specify. It really felt weird here. But that’s probably that ol’ family secret thing.

So from what you are reading would you say Spath 1 and Spath 2 = mom and dad ? Or NPD on mom and Spath dad? That’s where I’m leaning. Mom is self admittedly jealous and she shares this in conversation. I am not jealous by nature. All the descriptions of NPD here are spot on…… Are narcisists competitive by nature? Jealous? I would say spaths are as it’s all game.


Or maybe just survival instinct?

yes I’ve read that N-mom’s are very jealous of their daughters. But I’m not sure if that’ a red flag, because I think that many parents are jealous of their kids. Honestly, I don’t know if that is “natural” or what. Kids are here to “replace” you, so maybe it’s natural to be jealous of your replacement, the person who will get everything you once had. But I don’t have kids and by nature, I don’t experience jealousy. LOL, maybe I think I’m irreplacable! 🙂

I’ve explained to my mom all about spaths and she understands how badly she has raised us. She just says she didn’t know any better because that is how she was raised.

It’s a lame excuse, I know that and I just don’t care anymore. Last night I cried for hours over her – that happens every once in a while. I think that I’ll probably continue to cry over her for years and then finally it will stop.

I know I have to re-mother myself. She will never be the mom I needed though she tries. She just doesn’t know how.

When I go into these crying spells, I listen to this:
Mother You by Sinead O’conner. It makes me cry even more, so I don’t know why I listen to it, but I do.


Was that you? I have never heard that song before but it is good and I could see it being comforting but sad at the same time. It was a nice tribute.

My parents were very/too young.

It is not natural to have jealousy toward your daughters. I have a daughter but no jealousy. It’s tough to grow old while they are picking up where you left off. I am happy, anxious, excited, hopeful, wishful, fearful and then some. I could see if you embraced jealousy how you might resent aging if you’re a woman and get it maybe mixed up with jealousy toward your daughter. I don’t have that.

I did meet a mother at a retreat years ago and we were in a circle of about 7 women and she and I were eye to eye. She spoke of one daughter out of her 5 children who she was having a hard time with. She hoped the retreat would help her with these feelings toward her. I kept getting goose bumps. She was zoned in on my eyes. She kept speaking. She basically said she was jealous of her and was hard on her. The daughter was everything she wasn’t. She didn’t mean to be mean to her but she’s outspoken, a strong personality and has no limits.

She’s looking at me and I said this is wonderful. I think we are here to learn from each other. I proceeded to tell her that her daughter only loves her. She doesn’t understand your feelings and you’re her mother. Love is her main emotion and you mustn’t continue this as you will crush her spirit and she will never understand why her mother would do that. She doesn’t understand you are affected by her being her.

So it went on. I learned and actually heard a mother state she’s jealous of her daughter “light bulb”moment for me. I hope what I said had some impact. I felt it did but you never know. I knew from that day forward moms are jealous of daughters. I did give her credit for being so honest.

It’s devastating to be the daughter. You just want your mom to love you as you love them, unconditionally.

Your song made me feel all moooshhy…. I really am sorry skylar that you’ve had all this tough crap in your family and extended family. It’s too bad that we can’t have an adult conversation and with our logical mind get some answers and say our sorrys and then be all better to move forward happily. Instead it just goes on and on if you’ve had a lot.

I have a lot of trauma bonds and this traumatic court case not only brought it all up and I had to relive and at times defend it but I am so hyper sensitive I’m having the domino affect when these ‘players’ do something, say something and it’s back to square one practically.

no that wasn’t me. Just someone’s tribute to their mom. I can’t find the official video right now.

I hope you were able to help that woman see things differently. In my experience, being able to see something and being able to feel it, are 2 different things. People tend to go with what they feel. It’s more “real” to them.

I also know a mother who just doesn’t like her daughter though she loves her. The whole family is a mess, and it all stems from the abusive N-dad, but they can’t see it.

What an apt word, “Player”. Now I get it. They play a game.

Once when my spath was trying to con me out of 5 thousand, I could sense how it was going to “play out” and outsmarted him. This was before I knew he was a spath, I just thought his stupidity was going to cost me money. When I ended up with a new (used) car out of the deal, he said, “YOU PLAYED ME. YOU PLAYED ME!!” Everything is just a game to them. They are sitting in the sandbox playing like a baby and we have to play or they will rage. Also, we have to let them win. or they cry.


THIS is a VERY ‘catchy’ tune…
It kind of over takes you…

Happy Day everyone.


skylar: yes, they can threaten you with your very life,
yet if you even breathe a mention of litigation, they also
scream: “YOU THREATENED ME!” Well, yes, I did.
YOU IN A COURT OF LAW. THAT is a worthy threat.

They act like babies because their emotional development
IS that of a baby. Rage and stomp their feet. Then if you
still hold firm, they will try to kill you to get whatever it is
they want from you.


*Edit: It is difficult to hate a soul less person.


It’s amazing how they have such short memories of their indiscretions but ours !!! Holy crap, it’s locked in their memory forever and will be dealt with again and again…..

How about the one glass of wine you drink while they run around screaming you’re an alcoholic and that’s the REAL problem going on here!! Yet they have just downed a 6 pack FOR THE SECOND TIME THAT DAY and yesterday and tomorrow. It is so futile but aggrevating. That’s how you know they remember their crap.

Isn’t it strange how those words fit and give aha moments over and over again? As we learn we realize we’ve been saying it all along………….”player”…. How about that word “TooL”? That’s gotta fit here somewhere as it has caught on so well.

Maybe the DSM-5 should use analogies and a toolbox. ie, my wet noodle as a hammer? I always say I feel like I don’t have the “tools” I need. “Well hello “spath”, you’ll be my hammer?”…….Ok “TOOL”. Just trying to find the link…. RUN 😉

If you had to identify your spath as a specific tool, what tool would it be????? Maybe a “SCREWdriver?” Maybe there isn’t a good tool to really compare them to. Some kind of knarling saw? Just a thought.

Eralyn…..LOL…..tools. The second exspath would probably be a septic snake. You know, the kind that loosens up clogs in the waste line? (slapping knee and laughing, alone, out loud)

Add Edit: OR A TOILETTE PLUNGER because it forces the poo down the pipes! Oh, my dear goodness…..LOLOLOLOLOLOL

Please. Someone. Stop me, now.

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