By | March 14, 2016 42 Comments

To escape a sociopath, trust your perceptions

man with black mask 200x300Some sociopaths are really, really good at maintaining their charade. They can present themselves as an honest, caring, loving, church-going, salt-of-the-earth man or woman as long as they deem it necessary to hook you.

H.G. Beverly referred to this in her recent post, Gut instinct is not enough. She described the way her ex, Wyatt, treated her during the seduction stage. With the sweet words that came out of his mouth, who would not interpret his behavior as authentic love? She writes:

The red flags we expect like little signs of a deceitful nature or callousness or flakiness, or even what we call love-bombing these red flags are not always going to be there right away.

The key is the last part of her statement red flags are not always going to be there right away.

 Warnings early or later

 I’ve heard stories of people who instinctively knew an individual was a predator immediately. One woman told me she had an overwhelming sense of fear and danger the moment she met a man who turned out to be a sociopath. She derided herself for being judgmental and disregarded her instincts much to her later regret.

But early warnings do not always happen. Many times the sociopath’s performance is flawless in the beginning, and it’s only later on that you start to see inconsistencies and discrepancies, and feel those internal messages that something isn’t right.

Then the phenomenon that O.N. Ward described in her recent post, Sociopaths are superb natural psychologists, kicks in.

Because in the beginning the sociopath appeared to be so honest, loving, kind and romantic, you come to believe that these are his or her true traits. Your belief becomes the framework for how you interpret his or her behavior.

Later on, when you do see the red flags lies, callousness, manipulation you assume that they are aberrations, because they don’t fit with the framework you have in your mind about who this person is.

So when your instincts do finally warn you, you are at risk of discounting the warnings, because the discordant behavior conflicts with the view you hold of the person.

Trust your perceptions

Here’s what you need to understand: Generally your instincts will warn you that someone is dangerous, but this won’t always happen right away. Sometimes you may need to interact with a sociopath for a while perhaps even date the person for a while before the mask slips.

Sooner or later, however, it will, and you’ll see behavior that, at the very least, makes you say, “Huh? What was that?”

This is a critical moment. When you see something that gives you pause, it is very important that you do not ignore your perception.

Never, ever, disregard a perception.

That’s when you get in trouble. You see or sense that something is off, but you talk yourself out of it, or you allow the sociopath to talk you out of it.

It may be really, really difficult to act on a perception. You may have already made a commitment to the person. Many people have told me that the sociopath’s behavior was perfect until the wedding and then it changed, either slowly or dramatically.

So what do you do? You just got married. Do you file for divorce already? Well, all of the people I spoke to wish they had done exactly that.

Instincts are a form of perception. If you can trust your perceptions whenever they arise, even if you don’t avoid a sociopath completely, you’ll have a better chance of getting out of a bad situation more damage is done.


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Hope Springs


I always felt that there was something wrong…something very off, with my SP son. Even as a baby and young child.

He just did things that other children did not do. Especially lie. And not seem to have the proper emotions nor any empathy at all.

As most people do, I denied it, thinking that I was wrong…that he might change with age.

Btw, HE has done nothing but use us (his parents) and actually try to hurt us in various ways throughout his entire life. He does this with everyone eventually.

Well, I have come a long way, now that HE is 34. It took a very long time to realize that he is a SP…even after being diagnosed twice as a child!

He is full blown, now, I think, because the stress of his marriage and having two children made his mask slip very fast all of a sudden. Yes, there were MANY instances throughout his life that pointed to his diagnosis, but no REAL crisis in his life, until this. He had set up his life to appear how he wanted it to. A wife. Kids. Look at me. I am a wonderful normal family man…meanwhile living a secretive double life…

Perception is EVERYTHING, but I think it is HUMAN nature, which we mere empath mortals have in abundance, that clouds that perception and makes us question ourselves.

When I let HIM know that he is a SP…diagnosed as a young child and everything, he actually tried to talk me out of that and debate me on it. He did the same to my husband, his father. It really only made the diagnosis stand out even more, because he was almost manic about convincing us. It was so strange and eerie. His mask was slipping all over the place because his marriage was also ending…such an awful time for all of us.

Anyway. as I have decided and established NO CONTACT for the past 6 months so far (and I know it must be forever), he now tries to get everyone concerned to buy into that I am crazy…or ‘unhealthy’ as he likes to phrase it.

Perception…believe it!!


Hi Bev! Me again – you always take the words right out of my mouth with regard to my son (25)!

“I always felt that there was something wrong”something very off, with my SP son. Even as a baby and young child.” YES!! As an infant he didn’t like to be held and would stiffen & wouldn’t breast feed for anything. As a child he was impossible to discipline, always defiant.

“He just did things that other children did not do. Especially lie. And not seem to have the proper emotions nor any empathy at all.” YES!! Lied all the time, even when there was no apparent reason to. No tell signs either, like he believed the lies were truth.

“As most people do, I denied it, thinking that I was wrong”that he might change with age.” YES!! That’s me to a tee. I have only recently figured out he will not ‘outgrow’ it. As I am his current victim, I’m fighting a daily battle to remain with no contact even though that means not being able to see my grandson. This forum helps me win the battle knowing I’m not crazy or ‘unhealthy’ (that is SO something he would say!).

Hang in there Bev and stay strong! You are my inspiration to do the same!

Hope Springs

Hi ‘me again’!!

And, you took the words right out of my mouth as well!! Unbelievable…it is like we have the very same son…

Mine would stiffen as an infant too. As if he did not want to be held or cuddled. NEVER liked hugs, either. Would absolutely NOT breastfeed. And, I tried like hell to do it, too.

I think now, that I have ALWAYS been his ‘current victim’. It is almost like he despises me and wants to punish me for having brought him into this world at all, or something. I cannot explain it properly, but it is very much like that.

I also cannot see my two young grandchildren any more, otherwise, I will become entangled with him. I just can’t let these children see this dysfunction. I want no part of him having children for his warped reasons…all of the wromg reasons.

You know, his first custody court date, this past week, saw him telling the judge, that ‘he wanted to make right what his own parents did wrong’. My DIL told me that he used us as an excuse! He hasn’t been paying child support because he feels it is immoral because my DIL kicked HIM out, he did not want to end their marriage…blah blah blah…and apparently, he supposedly wants more time with his children. That old pity ploy play again!

I think that in his mind, he really wants out completely, with no responsibility for his children, but he cannot do that because he knows how that will look. He is a cliche…had kids for all the wrong reasons (for appearances only…look what a great guy I am with a wife and kids) and now he is crying to the judge that it is the fault of his parents and childhood that things have gone sideways. He has really been through NOTHING bad in his life! Nothing at all. We have, but he hasn’t. This marriage split and custody thing is his first crisis in hos entire life. This mess has made his mask slip and revealed his true self.

I may be your inspiration…and you are mine!

Thank you so much…I needed to hear from you right about now!! Great timing…


Bev – We do have so much in common with these boys (I know they are men, but you know what I mean). I can also relate to your feeling of always being his victim – didn’t realize it until you pointed it out but mine has always tried to emotionally hurt me as well. This last ‘episode’ he actually said “all this is directed right at you, no one else”. How can the truth be so blantant but I still did’t change my perception of him until now?

My son is still married – for the wrong reasons as well, but she hasn’t seen the mask slip yet. His reason is to establish the perception he’s the perfect family man and look what all I provide for them despite his horrible upbringing. Yes, he plays that card as well and still tells people he was ‘abused’ all of his life. I can tell you nothing of the sort ever happened – but it doesn’t matter. As a parent, defending that accusation only makes you look guilty. We have delt with this from elementary school until now (he tells the people he works with this).

He also tells people he was in the military. He was unable to join due to a medical condition and is now obsessed with it. Even got a huge tattoo on his arm, I’m sure so people would ask him about it and he could lie about getting a purple heart, etc. Can’t think of anything more abominable, disgusting or low, but people fall for it and make him feel like a hero.

I can’t find words to fully describe how comforting it is knowing others parents are dealing with this as well. Yet living happy lives and have come to terms that no one is at fault…people are actually born as sociopaths. As a mother I’ve struggled with such guilt and am learning to let it go and live my life. Thank you for taking time to post on this site and share your story and insight.

Praying for you and all struggling with this very real disorder.

Hope Springs

I just can’t get over that. My son was married, I am certain, for perception only. To make it seem and look as if he is this great family man.

He also blames us for everything that ever goes wrong in his life, only we weren’t aware of it UNTIL his marriage failed and his ex wife asked him to leave their home. That is when his mask not only slipped, but cracked wide open.

He hurled accusations at US, the parents, that basically said that all of this (his problems in life including this divorce) was / were all our fault. In custody court, this past month, my DIL told me that he used a sob story and he said to the judge, ‘I just want to make right what MY parents did wrong’….UNBELIEVABLE!! What WE did wrong to him? Which was what, exactly?? I am incredulous, of course.

He has now become a cliche. He is that guy who got married and had children for all of the wrong reasons. To PROVE something to the outside world, it seems. To show everyone that he can be a loving caring human being…which is so far from the reality of who he is. He is just a black hole, really.

For some unknown reason, he has striven for that mask of perceived perfection in his life, and when it all came crashing down, as it inevitably would, he showed his true colors.

Such hate came pouring out of him. Directed at his ex…directed at us…it has been a real eye-opener for sure.

Thank you for listening, AGAIN. I hear you as well. It is really a great comfort to be able to share without feeling bad about it. Most people could not understand.

Bev 🙂

Hope Springs

Sorry if I repeated the story again…I just realized that I basically said all of this up above a while back…lol.


Hi Bev I couldn’t reply to your latest message for some reason, but wanted to tell you no worries about repeating anything – if anyone can understand I can. I know ezactly what it’s like to need to actually be HEARD and UNDERSTOOD. You are so right that most people do not and cannot possibly comprehend this madness. Write whenever and whatever you need to, you’ve got friends on here willing to listen and help. Thanks to Donna for establishing this website, I searched for a long time to find others in my situation and am so thankful God led me here.

Hope Springs

Cheers to you and to Donna!

Hope Springs

Oh…and believing his lies are the truth??

OMG, YES. That is my son to a f***ing tee, as well.

He is son convinced his lies are truths, it is almost insane.

Hope Springs

One more thing…my son telling a judge that he wants to make right what his parents did wrong speaks VOLUMES as well.

A keen judge will realize that HE had children for nothing good. No good purpose.

HE had children for wrong and selfish reasons.

So sad.


Perceptions. What are those? I talked myself out of whatever instincts I had a long time ago. I’ve known for years that I was dealing with a very sick individual. When the mask first started to slip I thought he’s that way because of childhood trauma, lack of coping skills… When I finally realized there was no changing the situation, there was no coping with him and his destruction and I needed him out of my life and filed for divorce is when I finally realized what I was dealing with-a psychopath. When I first filed for divorce more than a year and a half ago I thought I would be as amenable as possible to try and get out of the marriage-baby him through it. Last summer he asked that we have a settlement conference-a positive sign I thought. I attended the conference and it was painfully clear that it was his version of a “date”. Through this process I’ve come to realize that there was “no leaving him” even though he had essentially discarded me. I serve no purpose to him and I haven’t for months and months and months. I slowly began to realize that what he really wants is my complete destruction. When I realized only my complete destruction was his goal I fought back and fought back hard. Still he stays the course, trying to sick the IRS on me, thwarting my son’s scholarship, alienating the children from me, making it impossible to see or talk to my children (the goal is you want to talk/see the kids you have to take me back), falsely accusing me of crimes, not paying the taxes on our home all the while sitting on a pile of money… What he wants is to break me so I go back to him so he can finish me off. Knowing he will never let me go and I can’t run, I have one option, stand my ground. Most psychopaths move on-not this one. He says he’s prepared to go to prison (why prison and not jail? Most deadbeats don’t go to prison so what is he really saying?-I know what he’s saying).

Hope Springs

Well, let’s not go ‘there’ becomingstrong.

You are going to prevail in this whole debacle, although, it has been way too long and hard on you so far.

Let’s cross our fingers that he does, in fact, end up in good old jail. Or, maybe he’ll just have a massive heart attack or stroke…

Thinking of you always,



Love your spirit :). He would love to go to jail. If he goes to jail he wins there too. Then I end up with kids who hate me and will hate me more for putting their beloved spath of a ‘father’ in jail. I’m going to argue against jail to the judge if it comes to that. A medical condition would be too good to be true. But one can hope. As we “inch” closer to some hard deadlines his in court raging gets worse. I am going to take a little respite during Easter break. Taking my kids on an exciting trip to Mexico.

Hope Springs

Yes, I did not think of that…his going to jail may be just what he wants so that he can stick it to you again. You just cannot win with these people.

How absolutely wonderful about your trip to Mexico. I hope that you (and the children) can put HIM totally out of your minds and really enjoy!! Do it!!



Thank you Bev,

An temporary escape is what is in order for now. The spath is trying to make inroads with my son. He’s been laying it on thick for a week. My son just doesn’t respond to him. Ever since the spath started to sabotage my son’s scholarship my son wants nothing to do with him. Luckily, my son will be away next year and will be out of this. Whatever inroads the spath tries to make with my son while he’s away won’t effect me much since hopefully I’ll be divorced. The concrete walls have come down on him, by his own doing. He wanted to enlist my son so he could use him to jeopardize my youngest daughter. But the spath is fighting too many fronts and couldn’t help himself to hammer me vis-a-vi my son’s scholarship, thereby scr**ing himself with my son. Hopefully, his detractors at work are taking their bite out of him with the Facebook posts. Many fronts he has to fight. Keep him busy.

Hope Springs

That is fabulous…I know when my SP son is busy as well…lol

Rosie Jackson

Did we marry the same guy?


Rosie, you made me laugh. I thought I married the one and only and lo and behold he has many clones, twin brothers, minimes and wannabes.

Rosie Jackson

I was never so ABSOLUTELY REPULSED by a total stranger as I was when I met him, even before I set eyes on him, just the sound of his voice and the creepy feeling I got when he stood behind me made me want to get as far away from him as possible.
And I never was so rude to a complete stranger before (or since) in my life. It was instant, absolute and total ABHORRENCE!

Married him anyway.

Always listen to your gut.

And if you can’t trust your gut read Dangerous Instincts by former FBI Profiler, Mary Ellen O’Toole. She’ll teach you a few things.


How do they do it? That was what happened to me too. I was ripe for the picking being 18 a freshman in college and my mother had terminal cancer. They sure can pick us and their timing is impeccable. I think they are warlocks with special powers to do evil.


This was my experience too. My first impression was a gross troll and I ignored him. Then he started the classic creepy stalker / used car salesman routine and embarrassed me in public with my school friends by calling me a snob. If I had just known about “gray rock” then, I could have ridden it out. But I felt threatened and I ended up “being nice” to him (encouraged by my friends no less). He still has that creepy ability to pity play with anyone and it works. Yuck.

I’m sorry many of us have or have had this version of narcissist in our lives. Thank you for the book recommendation.

still reeling

This is an uber-important fact. I, too, was repulsed the first time I met the ‘path (he interviewed me for a job/headed up the dept in fact). He had said a few things that were a little weird before and during the interview, but I only realized that much later when I was putting the socio pieces together. As I got up to leave the interview, he started to come with me, and it was a long walk to the entrance of the building. I told him I’d walk myself out, “You don’t have to walk me out.” He, in true socio style, didn’t even hear me. He was already on it. I didn’t notice that either. If someone asked, I’d have said, “He just sees it as part of the job and being courteous.” When we got to the elevator, he dummied up. Became silent. I don’t like small talk but this was really bizarre. I finally got very uncomfortable and asked him a question. He snapped at me. Once again, I didn’t think much about it. “He’s busy.” I wasn’t really interested in the job….too little money and I still had another job. It was rather informational and I was honest about that with him.
When we finally got on the elevator and were walking towards the entrance, his mood completely changed, big smile on his face, and asked me question that was completely off the rails. I can’t really think of anyone who would ask a question like that, not even a close friend. Of course, it was a sexual question cleverly in non-sexual words. He completely caught me off-guard. But when I left, I can recall saying to myself, “Smarmy!!!” However, I was a little flattered.
I did end up working for him and that’s when the “fun” started. I overruled my gut several times just during that interview and had the opportunity to do just that again and again and again when we worked together, until, yes, my gut lost all its power.

LISTEN to your better self and stop questioning it and making excuses. Today, trust is not easy. My gut is sensitive, so much so that I sometimes fear my husband is socio. He’ll say things I find insulting, then tell me I have no sense of humor. He’s only joking. I have told him that’s abusive. He’s gotten better with that, and I shrug things off sometimes, which I would never do in the past. By not listening to my gut, I allowed my essence to be injured by the path, and I will never be the same again. The sense of being duped and believing his lies cut to the core. As I’ve always said, they choose well. He knew the minute he laid eyes on me that I was perfect prey.

Again, trust what you feel and move away or the emotional entrapment and blinders will disable and paralyze you.


Bev and Becomingstrong,

I have no children, so cannot imagine having one so thoroughly disordered. I really cannot. However, I did want to say that I have learned so much through reading your posts (experiences and observations), and it has aided me in helping a friend of mine who had a baby who was born with ‘colic’, wouldn’t breast feed, was angry and physical with her, and who is now 19 years old.

They are Japanese, and this is really not discussed much in her country. But she has started reading (she can read English), and feels that her son may very well be fully disordered. Her husband’s brother is disordered by her descriptions, and perhaps her father in law as well.

No one in her family is willing to address this. The son is very good looking, and extremely verbal, manipulative, defiant, egocentric. I have known him all his life and have watched him go from a very difficult child to a manipulative, exploitative young adult. He is now learning to dominate all conversations, to sidle up to those who are more well-off than he is, and to use others to get his basic needs met.

That said….I have been able to share so much with my friend, and it has aided her immensely. We do so much more here on Lovefraud than we sometimes imagine.


Hope Springs

Thank you for letting us know this, slimone.

You know, I want nothing more than to help someone…anyone else.

Thank is such a gift that you gave me today. Telling me this.

I empathize with this woman very much. If we have a child like this, it affects the rest of our lives, and not in a good way.

I wonder how she deals with this and how she will deal with this in the future.



Dear Slim,
Glad that I could help as I have received so much from this forum. Disordered individuals bank on societal constraints placed on the nondisordered parent, spouse, sibling and child. But in my view, having a disordered child is the worst of all. Society dictates that all parents should forgive, look past, deal with the disordered ‘child’. When one refuses to the deck is staked against the parent. It’s time to be done with this view. Yes parents have an obligation to their minor children. Parents do not have an obligation to their disordered adult children, period.
When a parent allows the disordered spouse to have custody of children who adore the disordered spouse and who scorn the non disordered parent, society is harsh on the non disordered parent. The deck is stacked there too. It time to be done with this thinking. The psychopath will always win and destroy any chance of happiness with these rigid, antiquated and smothering ‘rules’. The psychopath can only destroy one’s happiness when ‘we’ put on our handcuffs.
You are helping your friend understand that she holds the key to her freedom. We give the psychopath power and ‘we’ can take it away.

Hope Springs

Oh my, I 100% agree with this. We are supposed to do what society has deemed that we are supposed to do.

Parents are SUPPOSED to always have the children’s back, so to speak…even when they do not agree with anything that adult child (even those two words together…adult child…talk about a dichotomy) thinks, feels, or does.

Excellent becomingstrong.


Yes Bev,
When the psychopath loses control, society steps in and beats us right back into place. Personally, I am not buying into it anymore. I’m done when I say I’m done. To hell with what other people think. Society says I ‘abandoned’ my children with the father they adore. But their father didn’t abandon the children by leaving them in my care 24/7, 365 days a year, year after year (save for visiting every other weekend for 36 hours). I’m sorry ‘society’ that I didn’t alienate my children from the spath as he had done. Society then says you need to ‘teach’ your children who are alienated from you that they shouldn’t hate you for making them live with the non disordered parent they don’t like, don’t respect and have no love for. Well when you figure that one out, how to ‘teach’ I mean deprogram children who don’t want to be unprogramed, you let me know. You can’t win for losing with that mentality. No thanks I’m going to choose happiness, love and respect over a life of misery. You too Bev.

Hope Springs


Yes, I know and believe that the only way that I can be happy is to let my SP son go. Forever.

It is literally for my own survival.

Thank you becominstrong, as always. It would be so great to have someone that is going through what I am going through, live right near me. I think we all need that…each other…a lot.

In society, when we are lambasted for what we are perceived to have ‘done’ like by leaving our adult child behind, or when we are made to feel bad for how we choose to live our life, (which, btw, is in a happy place), it would be and is nice to have an ear who totally understands us.

We all have that understanding on this site. Thank goodness for you and all of us.


I completely agree with you. One book that helped me was “Stalking the Soul” because the writer, a psychotherapist from France, explains how contemporary therapists and counselors started doing the “No Blame” or “NO Judgement” approach, and stopped holding abusers accountable.

Until one is exposed to the danger of these people, it is not possible to understand.

I kept thinking, “this is my ONLY life…and this dangerous man acted to destroy me, my home, my character, my safety…”

Professionals told me to wait one year before filing for a divorce, and I did. In that year, he completely destroyed my retirement, foreclosed my home, terrorized me…all while duping his therapists and support groups.

Finally, one psychologist who had a sociopath brother told me: RUN! NOW! And then SHE became very concerned that he would attempt to damage her.

You are holding firm, accountable boundaries. Smart.


In a perfect world we would have a support system that would help buffer us from harm. When harm comes and hard choices have to be made they would stand behind us, not out of blind loyalty, but because they would know we are good people. There are communities out there that may not understand psychopathy per se, they do understand injustice. Those are the people I live amongst. When I leave I get to take you and my mother other Lovefraud friends with me. For those that have led a charmed life and have not been touched by psychopathy and refuse to think bad exists, I wouldn’t eant them as friends anyway. We are friends here. And I’ll take my friends where I can find them.

Hope Springs

Yes! 🙂


Typo (autocorrect)
I get to take you and my other Lovefraud friends with me (not “mother”).


My heart goes out to you all, coping with sons who carry these traits.

I was married for nearly 18 years to sociopath, but he kept me far from his family. He told us many stories about how they were a strict Catholic family who would not forgive him for divorcing his first wife. The few times that we did see his parents, they were very kind and welcoming. But, because we had been so manipulated into believing that they would never accept us, I filtered many statements as following the story I was told.

Once he exposed the truth of his life, my now ex-husband went into therapy, claiming that he was struggling with “sex addiction.” After several intensive treatment weekends and counseling sessions, he claimed that he had been sexually molested by both his mother and father. His stories were horrific, alarming, and completely heartbreaking.

THEN, I realized that he enjoyed telling people! AND, when I detached and carefully thought about his parents and their home, certain details about what he was claiming simply made no sense. I understand that abusive families with history of incest keep secrets, etc., etc., etc., BUT the stories did not make any sense.

Now, he is very involved in the “recovery” groups in this city and he repeats these very ugly stories, particularly about his mother. I realized that he had fabricated the stories to elicit sympathy from the therapists in the treatment centers and his 12-Step colleagues in sex addiction recovery groups. His family has NO IDEA that they are being maligned by his grotesque stories.

I know that he told similarly distorted stories about me. He is VERY VERY dangerous because he plays victim so well.

We were married nearly 18 years, and although at many points I got strong gut feelings that something was very wrong, he very convincingly explained away any question or reason. He was then determined to keep me and my children as his front –

He was married for nearly 16 years before we met…He is very good at keeping his “homefront” in place while it serves his needs for cover. I am still concerned about the extent of his sexual offending behavior –

He has a new woman and her family for his cover now – I think his offending behaviors have greatly increased, and HE KNOWS THAT I KNOW so he had to do everything possible to destroy me so that I would not be taken seriously by anyone.

I am sickened that he was in my life, was part of my family.

I am impressed by your great strength in being able to see what your sons are doing and protect your selves, and your grandchildren, as much as possible. You have great courage.

Hope Springs

Thank you annabelle.

Yes, my SP son has brainwashed his ex, at least one counselor that I know of, and who knows how many other people, that, we, his parents, did him so wrong during his childhood.

He uses this to get pity from others so that he has an excuse for the way that he ‘is’, and to get what he wants out of them.

I am disgusted in him, and you can understand why I cannot be a part of his life. He is ‘nice’ to our faces, then literally lambastes us to other people.

THEN, we actually end up meeting some of these people that he has lied to about us, and we are unaware of it at the time! Like, his ex, my DIL. He told her awful things about us.

We have not met (and never will meet) his counselor, but I have seen him blatantly lie about us to her in a cc’d email that my DIL forwarded to me. Thank goodness for emails! Otherwise, I would not have known.

As for my strength, it swings back and forth constantly. I never waiver, though, in the no contact department. I am done with him.

If I try AGAIN, he will just do the same things, be the same person. I know that fact. It is what I cling to.


I can only imagine what you have gone through…
I discovered that my husband had always told lies about me, behind my back. Lies with comments and innuendo… When I was present, he was loving, kind, supportive, etc., etc…

I remember walking into rooms, though, and he would immediately stop talking and others would seem uncomfortable. He would quickly say something to connect me to some conversation, so I increasingly thought that I was simply paranoid.

But, my siblings, my children, my neighbors, my colleagues increasingly reacted to me in short, irritable comments, rolling their eyes, sighs…
I kept excusing their behaviors, thinking they must be having a bad day, or struggling with some issue…

I was HORRIFIED OUT OF MY MIND when I realized that for years my husband had been increasingly smearing me – and all of those relationships were severely damaged as they perceived me as someone entirely different than who I actually am.

Worse, I realized that my sense of reality was very unstable–space and time were becoming disoriented. The mirroring behaviors of others toward me was so distorted that I finally withdrew from EVERYONE in order to reground myself and my world.

My adult sons were able to soon understand what had happened, and talk about it with me, and share what they had been told and how they had reacted and held very distorted ideas about me.

I KNOW how horrible it is to talk with people who have been told hateful, very disturbed things about you – without your knowledge.

I am so sorry that you have experienced this – and can imagine the heartbreak that it is your son who is acting in these pathological ways. Absolutely heartbreaking…

I can imagine the many frustrating things people say to you about loving your son…etc., etc.,

Too much of our modern psychology blames the parents for any disturbance. Previously, psychology blamed mostly mothers…
I am hopeful that as more is learned about neurology that psychology, etc., will also become more knowledgeable AND provide appropriate support.

I am glad that you are sharing your experiences here… Your knowledge is very helpful…


AND I mean “appropriate support” for those targeted by sociopaths and disordered people…

I completely agree with you that the “broken mind” will never change. I catch myself hoping that my ex-husband will experience some healing so that he stops his malicious behavior AND THEN PAYS ALIMONY AND DEBT. Then, I have to quickly remind myself that I am once again using wishful thinking–completely pointless and dangerous because such thinking puts me at risk of naivete.

As a parent, you have clearly learned much, and sharing your observations and your resolve is very helpful …

Hope Springs

Thank you again annabelle.

I really do NEED to hear that as I sometimes feel very bad and sad about all of it.


Bev and Annabelle – thank you both for your comments and support. The most heartwrenching decision a parent or spouse can face is choosing no contact with someone you love/loved so deeply. The hurt and confusion is overwhelming, but when that someone’s goal is to destroy you it comes down to survival instincts – fight or flight. And since there is no way to fight and maintain quality of life the only option is flight. We have chosen to value ourselves and the people who TRUELY love us to allow for further destruction. This reflects enormous strength in character for you both. Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers!

Hope Springs


Thank you…


Thank you!

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