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By | February 6, 2012 51 Comments

We must have been ‘daft’ to fall for the con

Mary Turner Thomson, who lives in the United Kingdom, was one of the first people that I knew of who wrote a book to tell her story of being conned by a sociopath. The perpetrator was Will Allen Jordan, an American who claimed he was madly in love with Mary, claimed he couldn’t have children and claimed to be a CIA agent. All lies.

I’ve collected some unbelievable and frightening tales of deceit, manipulation, and betrayal. I can say with confidence that Will Allen Jordan ranks as one of the most dangerous sociopaths I’ve ever heard of. With his brainwashing skills and his ability to fabricate “proof,” I think he could convince anyone of anything.

Here’s the True Lovefraud Stories profile of Will Jordan:

Convicted sex offender and bigamist deported from the UK, returns to New Jersey

Mary’s book was originally called The Other Mrs. Jordan, because her malicious hubby was actually married to two different women, and maintaining two separate families, at the same time. The book was later reissued with a new title, The Bigamist.

Here’s my original review of the book:

Book Review: The Other Mrs. Jordan

Mary tells an incredible story. And for some readers, it is just too incredible.

Feeling crushed

I received an email from Mary the other day with the subject line “Feeling crushed.” Here’s what she wrote:

My publishers put my book ”˜The Bigamist’ on Kindle in the US for a crazy price of 89 cents.  As a result it has sold quite a few.  The trouble is that as there are a lot of people buying it for the cheap price there are a lot of people writing reviews who don’t understand what the victims really go through.  The latest review is extraordinary — see a bit of it below: —

“… I found it eye-opening and informative but at the same time I found it almost impossible to feel any kind of empathy for this daft, gullible woman. I’m sorry but anyone that stupid for that long is just asking to be taken for a ride ”¦ it’s just plain sad. And to liken it to the abuse suffered by rape and molestation victims in terms of not being ashamed to speak up ”¦ pfft ”¦ there is no choice in rape or molestation, whereas the author did have a choice and more or less allowed herself to be a victim ”¦ and that IS shameworthy.”

I have always said that the victims of this kind of crime should not be made to feel ashamed. I admire the first victims of rape and child molestation that stood up to be counted against the social stigma, making it possible for others to come forward and stand up as well without shame – many of the people who have written to me, with messages of support, agree with me. This reviewer disagrees and thinks we SHOULD be ashamed. Can we get some of the Lovefraud readers to comment on his review?  I want to personally tell him what I think but can’t.  It is idiots like him that keep allowing this to happen and makes people hide away so that the abuse continues.  For the first time in years I feel really crushed.

Scathing reviews of Love Fraud

The same thing happened to me. My first book, Love Fraud How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan, tells the story of how I was seduced by, and almost destroyed by, my ex-husband, James Montgomery. Most of the reviews on Amazon.com are good. But several are really scathing.

For example, here’s part of what a person by the name of Jessa Larson wrote (complete with her original typos):

She decided to take a chance with James, believing due to his charm and influence, that this indeed was the man who would fill the void she felt inside. Donna’s life goes downhill for many years after that. James turns out to be a manipulative man full of lies and deceit. He has great dreams and aspirations as well as a seemingly endless list of accomplishments and goals. He sounds excellent on paper and seems to be quite the impressive man. I believe the first giant red flag pops up right about here. After 2 days of meeting, James had announced that he was head over heels in love with Donna. 3 days later, he proposes. Within a month of knowing each other, Donna dishes out approximatly $35,000 dollars to a man she barely knows and she marries the guy. She continues ignoring red flag after red flag as the relationship continues. He has more accomplishments written down on paper than I believe is possibly for 98% of the population to have completed in such little time. His claims to fame seem proposterous since if you even began to look further into it, you’d find that is name is not associated with ANY of the companies he’s listed. And if he WAS with those companies, wouldn’t he have quite the income or at least a lot of money in savings somehwere? Also, at this pointf NONE of his goals and investments have come thru whatsoever. This is just the beginning of things I can’t figure out why someone wouldn’t notice even a LITTLE bit of what has to be false.

Here’s what I’ve discovered: People who have tangled with sociopaths understand what Mary and I are talking about. They find our stories to be validating, because they’ve experienced the same thing. They feel like we are talking directly to them.

People who have not tangled with sociopaths think we’re “daft.”

Why they don’t get it

So why is this? Mary and I are both good writers. In fact, I intentionally included a lot of detail in telling my story to make it as real as I possibly could. I’ve been criticized for that—some people consider the detail to be “boring.” But my goal was to paint a complete picture of the experience, so people would “get it.”

Why, in some cases, did my efforts fall short? I think there are three reasons.

First of all, the readers, when they pick up the books, already know the outcomes. My book is called Love Fraud and Mary’s book is called The Bigamist. Readers know we are writing about con men. So yes, when you know you’re reading about con men, the red flags are obvious.

But as we were living the experiences, Mary and I did not know that we were dealing with con men.  So even though we were aware that things were amiss—I knew James Montgomery was lying to me—neither one of us ever imagined that we’d come across someone who would intentionally scam us.

Secondly, I believe the written word simply cannot do justice to the experience of sociopathic manipulation. Linguists and anthropologists have determined that 65% to 90% of the meaning in human communication is nonverbal—tone of voice, body language, facial expressions. That means in written communication—whether it’s online or in a book—65% to 90% of the meaning is missing.

I think the keys to sociopathic influence are their “energy” and “presence.” I have yet to find the words to adequately describe the magnetic, charismatic and convincing way that James Montgomery presented himself, a presentation that made me believe he loved me and he would accomplish everything that he promised. I do think, however, that his behavior could be replicated by a skilled actor. I hope that someday a producer will want to make the Love Fraud movie, because then I may finally be able to convey what it was really like.

Finally, as I said earlier, readers who have not experienced a sociopath simply cannot identify with the manipulation, self-doubt and brainwashing that go on in these encounters. Perhaps they are naturally suspicious and non-trusting enough to keep sociopaths at bay. More likely, they’ve just been lucky. But for whatever reason, they’ve avoided involvements with sociopaths, and assume that anyone who admits to being duped is stupid.

Please comment

Anyway, Mary Turner Thomson and I wrote books in the hopes that our willingness to stand up and tell the truth would help people avoid being scammed like we were. Or if it’s already too late for that, we hope our books help people recover from the experience. So it’s unnerving to be trashed by people who obviously don’t get what we’re talking about.

Lovefraud readers get it. So we’d really appreciate it if you would post a comment in support of our books.

Here are our books on Amazon.com. Just click the “customer reviews” links to see what has been written.

The Bigamist  (look for the review by “Blitzen prancer” on February 4, 2012)

Love Fraud

You need to be an Amazon customer in order to post a review or comment, but you do not need to have purchased these books from Amazon. Here’s what to do:

How to post a review

Mary and I have started the conversation. As more of us tell our stories, I hope the world will wake up to the danger of sociopaths.


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Ox Drover

Mary and Donna,

I also think that people who read these horrific stories read them for the same reason that they read “true murder” stories, because it is a way to reassure themselves that THEY ARE SAFE, that THEY would not fall for Ted Bundy’s broken arm story, that THEY would see James as a con man and not give him THEIR money….

If they believed that “Jane Doe,” who was as smart as they are, as ordinary as they, could be fooled into falling for John Doe, psychopath, then they would be TERRIFIED because it would mean that THEY were/are in danger themselves.

skylar

I was visiting a different forum, it was a financial forum. One poster wanted advice for getting back the $10,000 that his ex fiancee owed him. While they were in college, he got a credit card with low interest and 10,000 limit. She asked him to pay for her tuition with it and he did – after all they were engaged.
Then she dumped him right after college and refused to pay him back.

I advised him that she was a psychopath and related my own story. Most people on that forum, were eager for more details about my story. They were especially eager to hear my opinion on how to protect their wealth from these parasites. But ONE person was not very nice.

He said, “well if you hadn’t been so NEEDY.” WTF?
I wasn’t needy. I had 2 other boyfriends, I looked great, had money, was healthy and energetic. The spaths target our strengths. He then went on to dispute the veracity of my story. Most people told him to STFU. The thread was eventually closed for going Off Topic.

People who post derogatory remarks about our stories do so BECAUSE THEY ARE SPATHS AND DON’T WANT THEIR TACTICS REVEALED. It’s as simple as that.

Spaths are everywhere and they WILL do everything they can to derail our knowledge and the dissemination of information – especially the red flags. They are parasites and they want to protect their access to easy supply.

KatyDid

I do think when derogatory remarks are written, they reveal the character of the writer, that the writer is “LIKE THEM”, sociopaths or high in sociopathic traits.

Therefore, I also think it’s more than objection to having tactics revealed.

In my case, my husband did not take responsibility for poor decisions or for being abusive to me, for cheating on me, for scamming me, for defrauding me, for humiliating me, etc. He blamed me. I was the scapegoat.

Blame the victim mentality is just that, people who don’t take responsibility for the harm they do to others and so they blame the victim by changing the definition of NORMAL. (wanting to be loved is a NORMAL human need, trivializing by defining that NORMAL need as “Needy” is scapegoating. Their victims consented to being loved, they did NOT consent to abuse.).

Whether the derogatory remarks are from spaths themselves, or from their minions, they are the hallmarks of those in society who prey on others and then blame their victims for being gullible or for not being smart enough to identify their manipulations. They make these remarks with the same tactics used to scam people and avoid being accountable: by trivializing and excusing their own behaviors as mainstream, by ridiculing NORMAL psyche of their victims, and by encouraging others to join them to ridicule NORMAL human needs and feelings.

B/c hey, if spaths can get a crowd to agree that being a spath jerk is OKAY, then they don’t have to maintain a mask do they?! B/c hiding who they really are is a LOT of work. See how it slips out, like when defending victimizing others?

breckgirl

I hate to not support the prevailing message that the posters may be high in sociopathic traits themselves.

I believe one of three things is going on with the people –

As Skylar posts – they don’t want their tactics revealed

OR – it is cognitive dissonance – to believe that the person who was defrauded and duped is the same as you is to admit to your own vulnerability and that is terrifying for many.

OR – as has been discussed about the “triangle” of what makes us human: empathy, moral backbone and impulse control – there are people who are high on the latter two and not so high on empathy – for them it is hard to understand – they just are not wired that way – until of course it happens to them…

My own example – a small one but nonetheless… I am will admit to my own less than stellar thinking – I remember over the years my very judgmental Mom commenting on pregnant women who appeared to be single mothers – “how awful, shameful” etc she found it. So at a certain point I too would see pregnant women with a child or two and so often no ring and wondered – why all these fatherless children…?

Of course along about 5 or 6 months pregnant – maybe sooner – I cannot remember precisely – fingers swelling horribly I took off the ring until I had my child… Suddenly I saw with new eyes.

Soooooo – there you have it. Is the first category present – absolutely – but I also think the 2nd and 3rd exist as well…

skylar

Breckgirl,
I understand that some people just can’t relate. I used to be one of them. That’s why I didn’t even know when it was happening to me!

What I meant was that posting inflammatory and derogatory remarks is cruel and meant to shut down the victim from speaking. That’s why I believe it is spaths who don’t want tactics revealed.

KatyDid

BreckGirl,
I draw a distinction b/w those who have an opinion or judgement versus those who attack and call upon others to attack those who have been victims.

You didn’t know better. But you were able to change your opinion when you gained insight.

Those who attack and ridicule victims aren’t interested in any other perspective. That’s why I call them either spaths themselves or the minions of spaths.

I have known people whose behavior I did not approve. But I also thought they were miserable creatures and it was NOT my place to make their lives more miserable. So yes, I judged, but I did NOT attack, nor worse, did not encourage others to attack.

That’s my distinction.

breckgirl

I totally get it KatyDid – what I wrote was not to disagree with you – just to voice the other perspectives. I agree – to attack the character of another when you have not walked in their shoes… And to rage against them – well that speaks volumes. But people who post along the lines of – that was stupid – why would you not leave …etc… I tend to classify in the other categories…. The “If you hadn’t been so NEEDY” – I get it – this person is attacking overall…

MiLo

Along the lines of this topic being discussed – I am amazed and horrified whenever I read a story on the internet news or even my local home town paper and then scan down and read the comments.

I can’t believe what I am reading. I don’t know or even care if these people are spaths or just human trash, but I am often left wondering how in the world they fit into society. Is it because they can hide behind a stupid user name and therefore think they can say whatever, regardless of who they might be hurting? I guess that is a total “lack of empathy”, but I bet they would not dare post such things if they had to attach their names.

20years

Mary and Donna,

I went to the amazon link to see Blitzen’s comment and I thought real hard about posting something, but the more I thought about it, the more the word came to me: “troll.” And you just don’t feed them.

This impression is from Blitzen’s responses to the comments to his/her review — he/she said something about how he/she has a “semi-charmed life” due to the choices and judgments made along the way about people.

There is just no point in responding.

But try to take heart, Mary — the majority of commenters and reviewers were positive. I truly believe that unless one has lived this, can’t possibly know what it is like.

I have a friend I’ve known since we were little girls, and I think I maintain this friendship because of our history and honoring shared experiences, etc. But if I were to meet her for the first time today, I don’t think I would choose her as a friend; our paths have diverged, and these days I find it painful to be around her — she constantly complains about and judges and disapproves of other people. She has even said hurtful things to me over the years, about how I had made “poor choices” with regard to a husband, effectively blaming me for my struggles… while she, on the other hand, was not “lucky” so much as she was “smart” in choosing her husband wisely.

Honestly — I think there is always an element of luck involved! We cannot predict the future, and people do not always reveal their true character early in life. I hope I can be wise and discerning about choice of friends and lovers (or maybe another husband — who knows)… but some people are very good at faking.

Or, let’s put it another way: yes, there are red flags. But there’s also observing how a friend or spouse or family member reacts when they are “tested.” And I think that is when true character shines. Do they lie? Weasel out of it? Make excuses? Avoid responsibility? Place blame elsewhere or judge harshly? Or do they step up to the plate and accept responsibility or reveal their humanness (imperfection) and accept you as your imperfect self without blaming you for your “bad choices” or calling you names like “daft.”

So Mary, I think just ignore the trolls and don’t feed them.

breckgirl

KatyDid – you mentioned an important piece – insight.
One of the things that the courts and psych wards literally use on their reports is “lack of insight” – which essentially as I understand it translates to lack of empathy, lack of personal responsibility etc….

skylar

20-years,
my sister acts the same way as your friend. She THINKS she has a good husband. She points out that her marriage is successful while her friends’ marriages have all fallen apart. She is as blind as I was, despite having seen what I went through and despite my educating her about narcissists.

She think that because her husband is a high-level executive, he is “normal” compared to my spath, who dropped out of grade school. He’s just a different kind of spath but he IS a spath and she doesn’t know it. He completely controls her and doesn’t care about her feelings. He threatened to divorce her because she wanted to attend our spath-sister’s wedding in Hawaii. Now he is punishing her by not ever taking her to Hawaii, even though they travel all over the world. He throws tantrums in public that would make Sam Vaknin blush.

She doesn’t understand that our parents are spaths. She thinks they raised her okay. But even her physical appearance reveals the fact that she feels oppressed: her posture is hunched over as if expecting to be beaten. It has been that way most of her life.

“Picking” a spath is not about luck. It’s about boundaries. You either have them or you don’t. If you do, the spath might hook you but he’ll throw you back. If you don’t, you better learn how to spot the spath’s lure before he hooks you, or he will reel you in and you’ll never know it until you find yourself getting fried in a pan.

Ox Drover

20 years, I have shed most of those “old friends” who are NOT friends and do not bring joy into my life any more. What’s the purpose to keep them around? Like the prom dress we can no longer get into and it sits in a box in storage and the mice eat it?

Throw out what is not useful in your life any more. It makes life so much more simple. You just don’t have to deal with the storage problems any more. LOL

Dana

There are lots of people out there that lack real empathy. It is amazing to read how they think.
It is very scary to know that people think like they do.

At least I can brush off the creepy notes they write knowing they lack real empathy. The interesting thing is that they KNOW it. They learn this when they are little. The see how they are different. Well, if they know they are different, I wish they would SHUT UP and not post comments. ( I am talking about comments to books, blogs, etc. Certainly not here )

They know they lack empathy. Yet they think their opinion is worth something. sigh….. grrrrrr

Dana

Ox
I have been appreciating all our notes since I started reading this forum 6 months ago.
I am now separated. The only couple we were still friends with invited me for the football game.
I asked if I can bring my new guy.
Ummmm no they said. no. We don’t know him they said.
wow
I am done with them.
As you say – note useful in my life.
Thanks.

Ox Drover

Dana,

Well, it is obvious that they are not comfortable with YOU moving on with your life. I do suggest strongly though that you be careful in committing to a new relationship only 6 months out from the old one. Sometimes we try to get the “new” to fill in for what we lacked in the old one, and what we lacked in the old one can’t really be found in a new relationship, it must be found within ourselves.

Just a word of caution. I am glad you are separated. Keep on reading and learning, that is the key! Glad you are posting too! (((hugs)))

Joanie123

I was thinking about writing a book about my marriage to the spath I was in when I was a young girl. I would do it if I were widowed in my old age.
My ex spath was also a very dangerous “psycho”. Not garden variety.
More like a serial killer. I would use a pen name and change my identity
though like someone in the federal witness protection program.
There’s some things I could never talk about on Lovefraud.
It would probably be up there on the best seller list. LOL!!!
Often times I think why not make money from the suffering I endured as well as educate the public.

Hi Donna and Mary. As Donna knows I have written a book too and I agree with @20years and many others on here that the first thing that struck me was that they were a troll. When I first got my book on amazon all were good reviews then suddenly I had two very scathing reviews on there. I also had one from a reviewer who had an old version which was full of typos on and put it up even though she knew full well that the version on there not full of errors. Whats interesting is the trolls who write this horrible reviews normally only have 1 review on their profile. A genuine reviewer will have reviewed at least a couple of books on there and have a mixture of different star rated reviews. If they are not trolling amazon they are trolling us via email. Recently I had an email from someone who was quite nasty and turned out he was sending the same emails to a fellow author George Simon. The thing is a genuine reviewer will give constructive feedback and not be as defensive at this guy is when someone else supports another authors work. Hence his comments “blah blah blah” Hes clearly trying to get a reaction.

I have this theory that the only people that will read books like this are either going to be

1. Victims

2. Psychology students

3. Those individuals interested in the human mind and what makes people tick

4. Those individuals with the personality disorder themselves who may want to try and change which of course they cannot

5. Those insidious psychopathic individuals who in their search to find more “tools” may hope to learn a few more tricks to abuse people

The thing is victim stories don’t contain tools on how to get back at these guys they raise awareness and educate people something sociopaths and like do not want.

I think the latter are the types who are most likely to put scathing reviews on there because the last thing they want is their kind being exposed.

Remember too that sociopaths know all of our weakness often better than we do and will do anything to try and trigger us. Most of us will already still have some lingering feelings of shame over what happened to us so what better way that you hurt you than read a book where you have exposed exactly how it made you feel and then use that as a weapon in their review to make you upset. In essence they got exactly what they wanted a reaction.

Ignore it and dont play into it.

Hi guys – and thanks Donna for posting this. It is strange for me to ask for help from my friends – being the kind of person who tends to be cheerful most of the time and keep any negative stuff to myself. So asking for help is actually an emotional step forward for me – and I really appreciate the moral support I have received!

When I was writing my book people kept asking me whether I was going to write it under my own name. It stunned me because the question itself betrayed an attitude that I want to change – that I should somehow be ashamed of standing up to say that this happened to me.

I am not ashamed of what happened, I got caught by an extremely adept sociopath. It was not my fault, though had I been educated and informed (like we are all trying to educate and inform others now) I might have made different choices. I fell for the trap because I did not know that sociopaths existed – like we all did. That is not ‘stupid’, ‘gullible’ or ‘needy’. The worst I would say is that I was niaive and uninformed of what people are capable of.

All our books are written to help others – firstly to know about sociopaths, but also just importantly for other victims to know they are not alone. If I hid my identity then I would be admitting that there was something to be ashamed of. That in itself would defeat the purpose. That is why I wrote it under my own name. It is why I don’t mind most of the negative comments when people judge and say I might be ‘stupid’ or ‘gullible’. It was the word ‘shameful’ that really got to me.

Yes they are ignorant and so I should not take the words to heart, but also aren’t we trying to educate people and so stand up to tell them that the word ‘shameful’ is simply not acceptable?

20years

I wanted to comment back here about my decision to keep my friendship/association with my childhood friend. I’ve known her for about 45 years. A lifetime. She was my best friend for years. She is like a sister, with the shared history, the ups and the downs. It has been a relationship that at times has been very supportive, and at other times not. I have truly considered jettisoning her from my life at times, but whenever I reflect upon this, I realize that I have benefited greatly from knowing her. And there have been times when she has turned to me, when she is going through rough times. It is maybe not benefiting in ways you might, from someone who is “perfectly nice always” — but in some other ways, because we have each watched each other grow up, get married, have kids, have bad stuff happen, and I also think she has done the best she can (don’t we all?). I see her like family, not someone awful that I’d go NC with — but someone who is here to learn, same as me, and perhaps her lessons are the same as mine, or perhaps different. She has NOT led a charmed life… but she does, apparently, see things differently from how I see them. Time reveals that. It is interesting to me… I am much more optimistic, as it turns out, than she is. I mean, I don’t get discouraged for the long term and always assume that the lessons will continue to unfold, and that in itself is a blessing, though I never know what form they might take.

She has a different outlook, more pessimistic, more rooted in trying to discover who or what is to blame. I am at a point in my life where I feel compassion for her, but I am not taking it personally any more. Because I know it is not true. And I can see how I have changed, and whereas I used to be more like her in terms of looking for where the blame lies… I really don’t do that so much anymore. (still a work in progress, but progress has been dramatic!)

I might not be expressing this clearly; I guess I mean, I have learned great life lessons through my marriage to my spath ex-husband and trying to co-parent (haha) with him, for the past 20 years, these are lessons which have changed me into who I am today, and I like who I am!

I cannot say what lessons my friend is here to learn, but I do learn a lot from conversations I have with her. The contrast of her viewpoint with mine reinforces to me how much I have changed. I do not try to change her. But she is my friend, I care about her and love her.

Victorian12

One is not able to understand how someone falls pray to a sociopath until one has been a victim of a sociopath. I understand why this must be difficult because one needs to be in the throes of rapture to be able to understand why someone can fall for the tricks and gimmicks of a spath. Let me explain this a bit better. Say, you avoid some kind of foods because you think they’re harmful to your body, for example cakes which are loaded of sugar, butter and so on, which you stay away from by principle being a healthy-conscious person. Would you eat the cake when you are incarcerated and hungry as a woolf and there was no other choice, or would you go into a lengthy monologue about the cons of eating that kind of food and stay hungry. This is what happens to a woman in search for love and happiness and wanting to share her life with a man, would she stop and reflect on the pros and cons of falling in love with a man or would she just plunge into it and want to believe all the things he says to her? Please don’t make judgments of what’s unknown to you and have respect for other people’s perspectives on their experiences. After all, you cannot really know what something is about until you have been there.

Thank you Donna for sharing your experience with the world. I, for my part, will get you known around my circles.

Take care, I know what it’s like and as the wise Greek Cato said, the real victor is the one who has been vanquished.

Maria

skylar

20 years,
I think it’s nice that you still love your friend. I’ve considered NC with my sister but she is the “good” sister and she is just in denial. She isn’t evil or toxic, she isn’t mean to me, she just doesn’t get it.

We can’t expect everyone to “mirror” our values exactly (then they would be spaths!) I like that you respect the path she is on and I’m grateful for the way you expressed it. It helps ground me with my relationship with my sister.

Hopefully both your friend and my sister will one day understand evil the way you and I do, but hopefully it won’t be because of such painful lessons as ours. (unlikely).

skylar

Mary,
when it comes to trolls and spath, what they hate most is being ignored. They come for our emotional reactions. They want to see what you value, so they will run a few tests to see which words will trigger you.

The shame the troll is trying to slime you with is his own. This is the evidence that he is a spath. He doesn’t want to feel shame so he projects it onto you.

His argument is that rape victims and sexual abuse victims don’t have to feel ashamed but you do, is ridiculous. Sex abuse victims are groomed, as were you. Your rape was done slowly over time.

This is why I’m considering writing my own story, because my spath killed men too. He killed wealthy men whom he befriended and arranged accidents on, so a spath troll can’t say it’s because they were “needy”. Although, as I mentioned above, the troll on the forum did negate the details of these murders and tried to confuse the issue regarding some legalities about experimental aircraft.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that, yes, we should make sure people understand the issue around shame and who should be feeling it. Shame is CENTRAL to any issue where a victim is being groomed. But as far as addressing the troll, don’t do it. You will just go away feeling slimed. It’s what they do.

20years

Skylar, I appreciate what you said. Also, earlier, when you spoke of boundaries. I think that is one of the things that I get out of my continued friendship with this childhood friend. (I have a few other childhood friends, too — I am very lucky!).

Forty-five or so years is a long time to know someone. I see how we both have changed, how we both have responded to our different life experiences. It’s interesting to me. But one thing that has been particularly helpful has been the opportunity to practice boundary setting with people like my friend, who are not evil spaths — just maybe don’t quite get it, as you said.

It used to be, I would not say anything when she would bring up how I was just experiencing the fruit of “choices” I had made along the way (BAD choices, or STUPID choices, in other words — it is a judgmental thing to say). Now, I tell her that I see it differently, and that I can understand how she might view it that way.

In some ironic twists of fate, as luck would have it, some terrible things have happened to her recently, which can either be viewed in terms of (BAD) choices she made, but they can also be viewed as “stuff” happens, or she made the best decision she could at the time, or whatever. I’m responding to her as supportively as I can, to just allow her to work through these personal crises and see where they take her. About all I do is point out that I have been going through my own journey all this time, though that may not be apparent to her or others… I have come to believe that life often brings these unpleasant twists of fate — and while we all have some “choices” here and there, as we all know, we cannot control other people nor circumstances.

About all we can control is how we choose to think about them.

That outlook has helped me greatly, and I am able to appreciate the lessons that others can teach me — including my friend and my spath ex-husband.

I also know I can never know what really goes on inside another’s marriage or relationship. Really, only the two people involved know what happened. I mean, I still sometimes get sucked into thinking about such things, but more and more nowadays, I try to simply hold thoughts of good will in mind, and keep reminding myself that I might THINK that I know, but I don’t really know.

Same as how others don’t get it about me. I don’t want to be arrogant and think that I know more than they do, about what’s “really going on” in their marriage, or other life experiences.

Sorry, this is more rambling from me. The thought also occurs to me that of course I’m not nullifying any of the validating that goes on, on this site. We have all been through a certain kind of experience, in different flavors, and that has brought or is bringing us to a different perspective. At least, we (many of us) have drastically changed our perspective, and I think even just that exercise or act of having a huge hole blown in our frame of reference, then having to start from scratch, from the rubble or ashes or whatever, to rebuild/construct a new frame of reference that makes sense… that experience is something we all share.

I have been watching my friend go through some of this… I feel fortunate I went through it a bit younger, but at any age I think it’s hard. Very hard. It blows you apart, you become disoriented, then you either stay stuck or you pick yourself up and say, “OK, I guess this is what happened. Whoa. I’m still here, apparently. Now what?”

Good points all. Insightful thread.

Extrapolating on the ” she is daft-should have known” principal, imagine if we applied that to the larger societal picture. The regulators “should have known” that the banks were defrauding homeowners, voters “should have known” that the inspiring politician with the eloquent voice for change was just another corporate whore, people with illnesses “should have known” the drug their doctor prescribed is just an untested cash cow for the drug companies, investors s”should have known” their mutual fund was a ponzi scheme and regulators corrupt and so on.

If truly, these people think we should have known evil and prevented it or removed ourselves or prosecuted them, as they would certainly have done, then we would live in a much more perfect world, would we not. Cause they would take care of business?

Several long time friends also feel I “should have known” what I was involved with. These same people invited my ex and I to all their events with close friends, travelled with us, and tried to take both sides after our split. They lent him money and were made victims. Once the cat was out of the bag as to how evil he was, I am the one who should have known. Regardless of a mothers natural instinct to keep her family together, or a wife’s best intentions of “standing by her man”.

It comes down to hubris and arrogance. Like other posters mentioned, to admit one might be fooled as well creates an awareness of vulnerability. Yet how can these others be so sure they would not be a victim, if they cannot imagine it possible?

As for the long term friendship thread, I too had a “best friend” that went back decades, who was a difficult person, but I believed a loyal friend and an intelligent, trustworthy person.

Only after unmasking the spath could I see her for what she was. A meddler who enjoyed being the third wheel, ex lover within my marriage. ( and others). The clue that finally tipped me off?

She had come to comfort me ( uninvited) when I first tried to extricate myself from my marriage. I was a mess. She stayed for a week, which was far too long in my state. One day I came home from grocery shopping with three African violets to cheer myslef up- despite being broke- they cost $5.00. She just made a sour face and said “well they don’t last”.

I knew she had had the same flowers on her window sill for over a decade. At that moment I knew she was NOT my friend. This was a spectator sport for her and she enjoyed it.

I have never looked back. Once you have recognized the red flags in one, it is easier to see them in others, and easier to walk away without rationalizing a”friends” behavior.

Ox Drover

Anitasee,

I finished up a 30 year “best friend” relationship that had been very important in my life…she was as close to a sister as I will ever have…but I realized that in the past there had been “things” that she did that hurt me that I ignored because I didn’t want to set boundaries. I finally did set a boundary a few years ago and she was respectful of it until a year ago january.

I also realized she is in an abusive marriage of 45+ years, and he just retired from a traveling job and is “home” now….and it ain’t pretty. She is depressed, and ashamed, dancing as hard as she can to keep others from knowing the pain she is in….but she is not going to change, doesn’t want to address what is going on, so is striking at anything or anyone near her. I can no longer allow that. I do cherish the good times we had in the past, but I don’t need the drama she is involved in now, I can’t fix it, and I can’t tolerate it either.

freedomfare

Unless you have met a psychopath and discovered the hard way that he is a psychopath, you can never understand the psychopathic personality. This is the reason that there are people out there who would be mean to the victims of psychopaths. A psychopath is a new type of creature, he is like an alien from outer space. Normal people can never understand a pychopath unless they have encountered one and discovered him to be a psychopath. Normal people judge others on the bases of what they know but they do not know what is a psychopath (anyone who claims to “know” what a psychopath is without having encountered and discovered one does not really know what he/she is talking about). When people hear the stories of the victims of psychopaths, they do not really know the reality of that experience. Yes, there are sympathetic people out there but they sympathize with the victims because they are nice and full of human feelings. I doubt if these sympathetic souls know the meaning of the word psychopath. This is why people who are harsh on the victims are not only ignorant like the majority of others but also they are insensitive (you do not need to know about psychopaths to be caring to those who are suffering. You need only to be a real human.)
I knew about psychopaths the hard way. My sister is married to one and I struggled for a long time to understand her strange behavor when it comes to her husband’s lies. At the beginning, I dealt with my sister as I would deal with any normal person. I tried to show her the lies that her husband tells. And despite the fact that deep in her heart she knew that I was telling her the truth, she choose to believe her husband and she still does! Most of the people around her are totally unaware that he is a psychopath and they try to get along with his behavor for fear that my sister may get angery (they know that she kicked me out of her house long time ago becasue I told her husband what I think of him!). As you would expect, I am not on a good term with her because I was naive enough to think that I could make her understand what he is doing to her and us.
I tried this exposure strategy when I was not aware of the psychopathic personality. Her husband lies and I naively thought that I could easily expose his lies. Little did I know at that time that “Women Who Love Psychopaths” would rather believe their lies than the truth! How stupid I was. That attempt caused me my relationship with my sister. For 10 years, I did not talk to her but even then I still was not aware of the psychopathic personality. After these 10 years, my sister contacted me and I again I tried to expose her husband’s lies! As expected, my sister decided to side with her husband again. At that moment, I noticed that my sister is closer to being mad. What do you call someone who insists in believing a lie when everything around that person is against this believe? My sister is totally insane when it comes to her husband’s lies. He is untouchable!
It took me two years of study and reading to understand the psychopathic personality and make sense (if I can use the word sense here) of my sister’s strange behavor. Even while writing this, I know I cannot convey the extant of her total detachment with reality when it comes to her husband. Her husband claims to have two Master’s degree one in law the other an MBA from Harvard! He has not been working for the last twenty years! She works to feed him and defends all of his lies! The latest excuse she has for his not working is that he is over qualified! My sister is smart. She has a Master’s degree and works very hard. Her husband had brainwashed her to the point that she prefers his lies to reality. If you tell anyone, who does not know about psychopaths, my sister’s story he/she would say my sister is stupid and I admit that she seems to be stupid and it is very difficult for me to defend her. But if those around her are either connaivying with her husband for fear he would destroy their relationship with her or trying very hard to justify his behavor as weird but normal, how could my sister know better?
I wrote this because I understand why some people who read the stories of the victims of psychopaths think that these vicitmis are deserving of what happens to them because they refused to see the truth. Unless you have encountered and discovered a psychopath, you do not know really know what a psychopath is.

Ox Drover

Freedomfare,

When someone you love is trapped in a relationship with a psychopath and isn’t listening to what is real, are in total denial, it is painful to the max. Been there and am still there.

They are too afraid to face the raw naked truth because it is quite scary. We have to decide if the relationship with them is worth the association we have to have with the P that abuses them.

You can lead a horse to water….but you can’t make him drink.

I hope for your sister’s sake she breaks free, but I doubt she will, but who knows. Just be there for here if she does. She will surely need someone educated about Ps. Knowledge is power.

Again, welcome to LF.

There are a lot of good points made here. I’d just like to throw in that the man who said Mary deserved what she got might be a sociopath himself. Maybe not, but that just sounds like the ultimate spath line.

My ex used to always side with the character in films that was the OBVIOUS evil sociopath. At the time, it just seemed so weird, and we’d get into arguments about it. He’d be furious with me for not agreeing with him. He always would end up with the same crap line: if they take it, then they deserve it.

Example: We watched a movie in which the lead character, a woman, moved into a new apartment. The landlord had an immediate crush on her. He pursued her relentlessly, she eventually agreed to a date, they started to get intimate, and then she sensed that something just wasn’t right. She stopped the intimacy and backed off. Well, movie-spath started sneaking into her apartment late at night, drugging her in her sleep, and raping her while she was drugged.

This sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Guess what spath said? That BITCH was asking for it, because she led him on like that. SHE was actually the BAD GUY in his mind for “playing” with his emotions like that. We argued about this at nausea and I dug deep into his analysis. He really, truly believed that the woman was the perpetrator of injustice and that the rapist was completely in the right with his behavior. It sounds impossible, but to him, the woman was the evil character of the film. He even responded to her with as much disgust as I had for the sociopath!!!

So, to that guy who said Mary was asking for it, I call SOCIOPATH on him. I also call GASLIGHTING on his statement. He’s making her doubt herself. That son of a b**ch actually got her to doubt herself without ever having even corresponded to her directly.

The people who think we are stupid…well…they are just sitting ducks to experience the same thing one day. There is no shame in what we went through. Shame is when you hurt someone, not when you yourself are hurt by someone else. This is pretty black and white.

20years

Go, Panther!!! Yeah!!!

Freedomfare, I really appreciate this posting. I guess I’ve been on all sides of this over the years — the wide-eyed, trusting and naive girl… the blind, devoted and loving wife and mother… the depressed and sick, confused wife (looking for truth in all the wrong places: “something must be wrong with ME!”)… the thunderbolt of lightning-struck, deer-in-headlights wife (OMG… he is not who I thought he was… maybe it’s not ME after all!)… the weak, bewildered victim (separated) wife in need of LOTS of nurturing and understanding support, but not finding it anywhere… the awakened and angry ex-wife… the betrayed and hurt ex-wife… the devoted and protective mother, focusing on children… the still-misguided, wanting to get along and co-parent respectfully ex-wife… the sudden dawning after much delay, spath-awareness ex-wife and the burning fury and relief that comes with knowing (the power of knowing/you can’t un-know something, once known)… the loneliness when no one gets it… I’m stronger and stronger all the time. As a fiercely protective mother, you do not want to meet me in a dark alley. 🙂

And woe to any spath who ever THINKS of putting one over on me, ever again. He/she will get the cold, gray rock treatment.

But yeah, it is so hard to watch loved ones who are being victimized and haven’t awakened yet, if they ever will… or see themselves as trapped, staying, getting sick, depressed, ashamed…

Back_from_the_edge

panther: here, here!!!!
I know exactly where you are coming from…

P-paths always excuse their behaviors as the ‘victim’ DESERVING IT somehow. If you allow them to do it to you, in their minds, you deserve whatever you get. Exactly. I have heard it and seen it for a long time. There is no amount of love, caring, friendship, nor concern and/or understanding that is going to change the p-path, not one iota. I am sorry to say this but it is the truth.

You can spend years, like I have, trying to care for someone and try leading them out of that ‘darkness’ but if someone just doesn’t see it that way, you can talk and care until you are BLUE IN THE FACE and they will sit there and smile at you with that smirk, knowing that they have gotten to you and loving every moment of it. And, it doesn’t stop just at words…manipulations…

In my case, I SAW the ::DANGER:: flags waving all over the place. I knew my life was in danger and that I had to get this person away from me. Whether it was an ‘inherent’ evilness, and threats of violence, themselves that I ‘ascertained’ and ‘felt’ by being around this person, or not, I had to get away from “IT” and I had to get “IT” away from me and there had to be no misunderstanding and/or no ‘threat’ from me about it. IT HAD TO BE MEANT or I truly believe, had I not stopped the ‘up close and personal’ relationship with this person, that I would have ended up seriously hurt and/or dead.

Yes, they are dark souls who subscribe to everything that is the opposite of what we are. They enjoy it and are entertained when they see us suffer and relish in the fact that they were able to help that along. Why? Because they can and because they secretly HATE US and find it amusing they can spin and work people. That is their whole life force.

Right, what might SOUND like a ‘no brainer’ really isn’t….
it is very complex and involved. And had I not stopped the personal, live and up close, kind of relationship with “IT”, I could see happening to me, what he so ‘charmingly’ joked about to me, one time:

“I could slip into town and leave you in a dead, bloody pool of mess and high tail it out of town long before anyone would know. And I could do all this while at the same time f****** you so remember that.”

REMEMBER THIS: 9 cops cars, two patrolmen per car, street blocked off and him with his hands over his head. HE REMEMBERS IT and I sure hope he does. One thing about p-paths, they don’t like little boxes with no windows and they don’t like being locked up where they can’t have their daily dose of mayhem and sex. So it is a safe bet to say that THIS “IT” won’t be coming around my door anymore.

Yes, panther: people who have NOT had this in their lives do not understand us and the standpoint we come from, being victimized by these ruthless people. THEY WILL ONCE THEY have been bitten!

There IS NO SHAME in what we went through at all.
The SHAME is upon THEM, not us.
AND THAT “IS” BLACK & WHITE.

Thanks again, panther, for the validations.
Happy day to you…you are bending my mind.

Dupey

Back_from_the_edge

The thing is: their behavior is so unpredictable, one moment they could be sitting there, smiling, telling you how much they love you and the next, they are trying to strangle you or maim you somehow. THAT is how thin that line is for them.

When you place yourself in a vulnerable position with them, ALWAYS be leary of yourself and your surroundings. Usually, as I have seen, with a p-path, you have more than ONE personality disorder coinciding with the other. Put that together with a p-path who is not undergoing any treatment of any sort, nor being ‘contained’ somehow, in some way, and you have a virtual “time bomb” sitting next to you on the sofa.

You have to pay attention to ALL the ::red flags:: to see it and sometimes then you can’t see it. They are very skilled and charming and excellent at achieving their agenda.

I will NEVER allow this “THING” to be around me, physically, in any way whatsoever, ever again. I have gained a new perspective on this and it is serving me VERY WELL.

What I am trying to say here is: YOU may think you are alright being around someone like this but you aren’t. They are very unpredictable, even after you may have known them for years…they are QUITE capable of keeping a facade going on for years and years, as long as YOU are their willing player.

They live for the mayhem and the attention.
Cut that attention off and they run like the scared children they are. They replace their self confidence with violent bravado when pushed.

darwinsmom

Donna and Mary,

I agree with the others about the probably reason behind those troll reviewers.

The question raised on how else one could write it, and the title of the book giving away that it’s a story about a con made me think a bit on it…

An alternative way to write a spath story (for those who still intend to) is as a romantic tale, of Jane Austen romantic level… One where the reader identifies with the person falling in love and where the reader is being conned into hoping… only then to have it crash, not just on the victim, but the reader. That would be half of the story, and the other half would go back to the beginning, reealing the ugly truth of it all. It would then need an ambiguous title. The second part might even be written from the perspective of the spath him or herself. A third part would then be the coming together of both perspectives, back to the victim who realizes the truth. I think though that works best if it’s a novel, rather than a biographic tale.

Duped, you said he said: “I could slip into town and leave you in a dead, bloody pool of mess and high tail it out of town long before anyone would know. And I could do all this while at the same time f****** you so remember that.”

Your spath is apparently related to my spath. The s**t that comes out of their mouths. Who SAYS something like that?

He tells you to “remember that” like he is god. Oh my oh my. I swear if ever I hear a story of a woman just snapping and offing one of these guys, I would truly understand. I would. It’s a miracle, I think, that I never snapped and obliterated him myself. Feeling like a trapped person in a fun house with a torturer hanging on my every breath was enough to incite deadly instincts to FIGHT BACK in order to GET OUT due to absolute terror. I mean, talk about FIGHT OR FLIGHT response. It got to a point where I felt completely TRAPPED in TURKEY which is not a country a woman wants to be stuck in. He even had me afraid of the US Embassy. Knowing that “flight” was a scant option, the option of FIGHT was always pressing under my skin. Every time I looked at him, his bloodthirsty eyes peering through me with a righteous laughter gleaming in them, every notion in my body was quivering to attack him and not stop until I could flee right over the top of his body to escape. Rationally, I knew that I had to exhaust every other possible means of escape, but the torture makes everything seem so desperately urgent….because it IS, especially when you have yourself trapped by a spath that routinely informs you that he will kill you one day when you are not expecting it.

Try staying calm, cool, collected and diplomatic under those conditions.

So I really wouldn’t be at all shocked if one of these guys just turned up killed by his supply one day.

skylar

Panther,
How did you escape?
I can’t remember if you posted that or not. I’d love to hear the details. It sounds like a scary situation.

darwinsmom, speaking of spath perspective writing, the first spath I was involved with did write himself a book that he thinks will make him a legend. I read the damn thing.

You soooo don’t want to know what goes on in their viewpoint.

It was written in first person.

The whole time he is being intimate with this woman (here is just one example) he is thinking about how he should turn her into a toilet seat because she has such white skin. He says that he won’t ask “the vagina” if he can pee on her, because the “stupid bitch” will make a fuss about it, therefore he will just pee on her and watch her “drama queen” reaction as she panics all over the house. He later says that this “size zero whore” can be controlled by simply giving her “the eyes that Collin Farrel gives” and then all is forgiven. He says he just has to hug her in that way that means “I will never let you go” and then the “idiotic cunt” will forget any of it ever happened.

This was just one little excerpt. As a matter of fact, that would make a frightening as all hell book. If we got the readers to fall in love with the guy, then reversed perspectives to show THIS inner world. No one would believe that people like that even exist, except for people who had already been conned by them.

darwinsmom

Panther,

I actually tried to write one day of two perspectives once: introduced the female character (with lots of autobiographical stuff in it) simply noticing the man…and then the rest of the chapter jumped from the woman to him going home and fixing himself some food and thinking nasty stuff about his cousin kid. After writing that I realized this was too personal and close for me to even want to spend my time and energy in a spath’s head that way. LOL.

It doesn’t have to be from his perspective though… but a cold outside observer could work as well… kinda the experience of a race of flashbacks that surface with triggers.

I had to read a book once at HS called “The Dark Room of Damocles”. It was about a man who tells his tale of being in the resistance during WWII in The Netherlands (he’s a photograph). But when the war is over he’s picked up as a collaborator, a traitor, based on an id description and picture of a famous traitor (whom he never met, but heard about earlier). He desperately tries to prove he’s a resistance man, having resistance uniforms dug up, etc… but all the evidence either cannot be found or disintegrates before his eyes (decomposition), and he is hung at the end. The problem is that you cannot find any evidence as a reader yourself… everything is written in 1st person. The character might be schizophrenic. The author always refused to reveal the truth according to him.

Anyway, a spath story could be told n a similar way, but from the victim’s pov. A lot of the red flags need to be downplayed, and some bits and pieces of the puzzle held back. While that seems chronologically wrong, it is actually how the psyche works. Only once we realize we’re abused do the painful events burried deep in our memory return to us with triggered flashbacks. The story would have to follow teh chronology of the victim’s psyche, but not actual order of events.

Still brainstorming on this… hmmm… could write the hopeful, in love, downplaying part with an ugly reveal and escape… and then trigger flashback from end to start again, like the onion being peeled away, starting with the last troublesome period, but slowly revealing the red flags that were there from day 1

Back_from_the_edge

panther:

DID MY EX P-PATH WRITE THAT?
SOUNDS JUST LIKE “IT”…
THAT is exactly how he talks about people…

So, I always wonder what he says behind MY back;
judging by the amount of gypsies intruding in my life, the past 10 years, because of this IDIOT BOX, I would say he has talked about me a lot and judging by what I hear him say about others…

SOUNDS JUST LIKE HIM PANTHER.
IT IS THAT mentality…

Hi Sky,

How did I escape? Oh my god, it was horrible. I first tried to break up with him multiple times, but he kept stalking me and threatening to call the Embassy and tell them I was suicidal. I was terrified. It occurred to me that he escalated all methods of control when he felt I was slipping away, so I had to make him feel like I wasn’t slipping away. This meant….big time spathback, although I didn’t have a name for it then. Oddly, there was some weird part of me that didn’t completely understand yet. I thought maybe if I got out of the country, he would have time to think about his ways, and he’d change. So, there was this part of me that hoped he’d change one day so that I could be with my “soulmate.”

But fear had taken over towards the end there. I absolutely had to get out, even if my conscious awareness didn’t fully understand what was going on. I had so much cog.dis, because I was on the one hand thinking that somehow it might get better if we just get some distance, but on the other hand, I was receiving death threats regularly.

I had absolutely no money. He’d overdrawn my bank account into -2000 lira (about 1500 USD) and maxed my credit cards out completely. I didn’t have even enough for a plane ticket.

I started scrapping money to buy a plane ticket, which was hard, because he was managing my finances, even though he didn’t have a job. I got HIM a job, which kept him busy and helped bring in money that he could spend, which would help keep him from spending all of mine (first thing he bought with his paycheck was a fake Rolex. The rest he gambled on football games). He still spent a lot of my money, but I was able to scrape away. He knew I was planning to go to Germany, which I couldn’t hide. He was around me 24/7 when he wasn’t at work, he threatened to sue me if I went to the police (his crazy friend was a lawyer), and he monitored all my internet usage. He of course protested, took my bank cards and spent money from them, etc. Basically I had to lay it on thick and start telling him that when I get to Germany and get settled, then I will apply for a “fiance visa” to help him get there too. This appealed to him, because he had always wanted to get out of Turkey. He always claimed to hate Turkey and he considered himself a part of a superior master race, so living with the Germans, in his warped view, was a dream. I behaved like a sociopath in those last few days. I made elaborate promises that we’d be together in Germany one day, researched and showed him immigration laws under which I could help him move to Germany, but only after I had already established myself, etc. I was very, very lovey-dovey so that his alarms wouldn’t go off–I’d already seen too many times what happened when he thought I was getting out of his hands.

So I started planning with him. He told me constantly that he thought if I went to Germany, he would never see me again. I had to tell him daily that this wouldn’t happen. He knew that in order for me to leave, I needed my ducks in a row. I was preparing my cat to get a cat passport (they’re real!) My official papers were being stored at his aunt’s house, because I lost my job when I had a nervous breakdown and didn’t turn up for work for a few days (I was in a state of dissociation the whole time). Losing my job meant losing the school housing (he really loved this), so we were homeless and I had to store some thing at his aunt’s house. He went to stay with friends. I no longer had friends, because I hadn’t spoken to anyone in so long and they all thought I was an idiot for being with this guy. So I found a place to rent apart from him, but we still saw each other everyday and he usually came to my place and slept in the tiny bed with me. He said all the time that he thought it was great that I lost my job and we got to have this adventure together.

It was so surreal, because I remember a part of me wishing that these “plans” were dreams I’d actually experience with him at some time, but another part of me knowing that I had “no choice” but to make plans with him, because if I didn’t, I would never get the hell out of that country.

When I finally got a plane ticket, my cat went missing. He insisted that I had to stay and look for the cat. He also made up what I now know was a story about his aunt being out of town, so I couldn’t get any of my documents which I absolutely had to have in order to get a work permit in Germany. When I told him I was leaving anyways, he actually didn’t get violent, like one might suspect. He was always careful to keep things as manipulative as possible without going into violence (though he did strangle me once and tear my throat and he slapped me a few times) Not to mention, he was only losing a supply source, not someone he actually cared about. I thought he’d get violent, so I just kept up the “It’ll be so great when we have a life together in Germany! Start studying German!”

To this day, he has my cat and my ATM and credit card for a bank in Turkey. I don’t really care, because I will never enter that country again. I convinced him to send me my documents by telling him that I couldn’t get my work visa without them and I desperately needed it so that I could then apply for his fiance visa and get him over to Germany. At that point, I still didn’t completely “get it.”

As this was happening, I did the IP address look-up of all the emails I’d received over the years from various people I’d never met. They all traced back to him. That’s when I started to realize how bad things had always been. I asked him for a little space to think things over after learning that everything he’d told me was a lie, and that’s when he sent me the email that I posted in here when I wasn’t sure if I was dealing with a spath.

Jeez, that was a long post! Just to edit, I don’t know if he actually has my cat. My cat went missing after I got my plane ticket, 3 days before I was supposed to go.

I don’t know at all what happened, yet I know exactly what happened.

skylar

Panther
thanks for writing your story. It sounds like you could write a psychological thriller! Your instincts were protecting you, you knew you had no choice. As for the cat, well that was planned. I don’t think he is alive anymore. I’m so very sorry about that. I’m glad you made it though.

Ox Drover

Panther, well he may not have your cat, but i would bet the farm the cat going missing was his doing. I’m sorry about your cat. The ARSEHOLE…he thought he could use that to control you. I’m glad you didn’t bite though. ((((hugs)))

darwinsmom

Thank you for that post, Panther…

I’m glad you managed to escape. I’m really sorry about having lost your cat. I know how much a pet means to us, and my stomach just churns at the idea alone of hurting a pet, heck even an accident.

I also hope you got to have some contact and advice with people about your work situation in Germany soon .

Ox Drover

One of the things I am glad about is that I am COMPULSIVE about keeping a few bucks back for a safety net, no matter how “safe” I feel in a relationship….when I got divorced I had no safety net at all…..I was a stay at home mom, and at that tiime even credit was in the husband’s name (he was the employed one) and so I was literally left living in my truck under a camper shell with my 2 boys, a cat and my inlaws had my kid’s dog.

I survived. I managed by working and going to college (both full time) to get my degree and get back on my feet, but I have cautioned any woman I met or man either, to keep back a few dollars for a “rainy day fund” that no matter what they don’t dip into unless it is for a “heart lung machine”—an escape fund, a safety net.

I guess that is why I was so triggered by my son C spending all his “safety net” money for a computer to play video games with, and then lying to me about it. Who spends on TOYS when they don’t have enough money left to fix a flat tire if they get one? Someone who is responsible? No!!!!!

If I had not had a few bucks tucked back for a safety net, what would have happened to me when I had to flee my home? I’m not rich…what I own is nice and it is paid for but I have a limited income so I cut the “toy” and “fun” expenses to the bone in order to keep the “safety net” funds intact so if I have to run again, or hire another attorney to fight Patrick getting out, the funds will be there.

Even if it is only $1 or 2 a week that you save in your safety net fund, forgo the pack of smokes or the latte and put that money aside for “hard times” –it may come in handy and it is amazing just how much you can stash away when you save a buck here and a buck there. Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Winding up like Panther did in a foreign country without any money or friends, or even a place to live is pretty frightening….even in this country homeless is pretty scary.

Sky, Ox, Darwinsmom,

After writing that, I realized how long it was! Thanks for reading. I usually don’t bother telling the story, because it makes no sense without the details, and there are so many complicated details.

Sky, a thriller…I am half tempted to write it. I don’t know if my Luc is still alive. I still dream of him at least once per week. I was really attached to that cat, which is why he was the perfect bait.

Ox, you’re absolutely right. I remember when he was in face-off mode, brutally berating me….

I just dug up an OLD document I had made tracking what he said during those times. These are exact quotes about how he framed the cat situation:

“Our child went missing and his mom left in the middle of it all because she couldn’t take the environment she was living in. Tap out to responsibility. Charlize Theron’s character in The Road is a perfect example. You made your choice, and you have to live up to it. Fucking deal, cause you were a jerk. You are one, [Panther], you are a quitter, you give promises you can’t keep, and you don’t have what it takes to fight for a loved one. You are the most selfish creature I’ve ever met. Seriously, you do go defcon when I utter some shit that blurs the picture you cage in that beautiful mind of yours.

I have hurt myself for being over selfless before in my life, many times for that matter. I am just not made for this century. I will not abandon you, hurt you, judge you.

I wanted you to clearly know that I’m glad you left.

You made your choice.”

It goes on like this…but you get the tone. Hell no, Oxy, I didn’t bite. This was the email after I got to Germany, but when I was there, I had to hear this with his vampire tongue and piercing eyes. Ugh!

I miss my Luc so much, but I know that I lost the cat, and he was lost whether I stayed or left at that point. I was afraid that it was my life or the cat’s life. And I love that cat so much.

I don’t doubt even for half a second that he is responsible for the cat going missing. He “helped” me look for the cat. They….are….so….damn….sick.

I’m free. I’m free. I’m free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

😀

Thanks for all your support in here. Darwinsmom, I just fixed up my CV and have about 6 jobs in ESL to apply to in the next few days! I’m all over it! Tomorrow, since I only have a 2-hour workday, I will have time to sort some things out with the current situation.

Ox, you are absolutely right about savings. I had about 5K saved up when I met the spath. I had -5000K within 3 months of meeting him, and I never could balance that debt. I fled the country with what cash I could get into my wallet, literally. If I had a normally paid job right now, I’d already have savings.

Before knowing him, I had always been financially independent and had a savings account. I worked my way through university, with a full-time job, part-time studies. I was never late on a payment for anything and was utterly responsible with my finances.

I was blindsided by this guy. I went from stable and secure to negatives in a whirlwind.

freedomfare

Thank you, Ox Drover. This is exactly what I am doing right now. Watching from far away but ready to come in if needed. BTW, as soon as I show up in their lives, her husband starts abusing her emotionally as a way of telling her to get rid of me! Although she cannot kick me out of the house when I visit (I am very careful this time, not to give her an “excuse” to fulfill his wishes!) I know that he is abusing her because I can sense her emotional distraught. This is why I do not visit her anymore or even call her. But this time, I had managed to keep my relationship with her intact so I can show up in her house anytime I want to, knowing that the tragedy is not over yet. My guess is that as soon as she stops working, he will ditch her for a younger woman and have her sign off everything to him if she does not lose her mind before that.
Recently, I have managed to get my nephew (he is 25) to see him as the psychopath that he is. My nephew stayed with my sister (she is being his aunt) but the psychopath managed to almost break the guy down! Knowing that he would be doing this, I showed up, and gave my nephew all the secrets that I learned about psychopaths. My nephew managed to pull himself together and left the house after finding a job. But that was quite an experience for my nephew as he could not make sense of anything that was happening to him! I knew that my sister’s husband wanted not only to get rid of her nephew but also to cause a rift between him and his aunt so I instructed my nephew not to respond to all of the provocations of this psychopath. Although the psychopath managed to get my sister to kick her nephew out of the house despite the fact that my nephew never gave her an excuse to do so, the psychopath failed in causing a rift between my nephew and his aunt. As you are well aware, psychopaths isolate their victims so they only see the world through their eyes only.
My nephew saw clearly that his aunt was not acting rationally but only after I explained to him that it was only because her husband is a psychopath and had to introduce him to a new type of people that he never imagined could exist! That was not easy as my nephew could not believe me at first and thought any rational person should be able to figure this out and his aunt should be able to question her husband acts such as when her husband hid his mails, destroyed them, or even open them and give them to him opened a few weeks after their arrival! After extensive work with my nephew, I had finally managed to convince him that with psychopaths, your only option is to run!!

freedomfare

Thank you, 20years,
Psychopaths are a difficult subject to deal with because, as I said earlier, if you do not experience them first hand and manage to survive their harm, you can never believe their power. This is why some people do not sympathize with the victims of psychopaths thinking that it is easy to figure them out. I myself, sometimes, think my sister deserves what is happening to her when I see how unwilling she is to see the truth! If I know this much about psychopaths and still feel this sometimes toward my sister, what do you expect from those who never discovered a psychopath?

20years

So many years have passed for me… I am not as much of a crusader as I once was. You know, wanting to grab someone and shake them awake: “don’t you get it!!!!??!!!”

But that doesn’t mean I don’t care.

I think my understanding of boundaries is continuing to evolve.

The process of raising three children has contributed to this, for me. I have thought about my role as their mother, and I guess I’ve always thought… the younger they are, the more I will work hard to be extremely involved in “shaping” them (which I now see as misguided, but that’s what I was thinking when they were little). But as they are all approaching college age, I guess I figured they need to be able to navigate the world on their own, without me. So I always wanted to prepare them.

And also, they spend time alone with their spath dad, and I can’t be there to protect them anymore from him and his crazymaking ways and lack of supervising them. So, early on I decided to do whatever I could to teach them personal safety (around electricity, around open water, out in public places, etc.). Because I knew he would not do these normal parental things.

At this point… I’m a lot more able to allow people to just be themselves, live their own lives, not get into debates with them over whether or not *I* think they are living their lives the way *I* think they should. Because they aren’t living my life, either. I’m not living theirs.

This is a more freeing and peaceful perspective, that I have now. Still a work in progress, but basically I just remind myself, “whose life is it?”

Also… with my 20 years of unpleasant spath experience, enough time has elapsed that I am now able to look back at a lot of it and see that I have learned Great Lessons from it, and honestly I am thankful for the experience. Not that it was fun. But I think this difficult life (which is not as difficult as many people’s lives, comparatively) has taught me a lot about self, others, spirit, compassion, etc. All good things.

And I am not sure I would be as happy and peaceful as I am now, had I not gone through all of that.

That is just to say… I think people are on whatever path they are on, and sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is to just be our shining selves around them and help them when they ask us to. But otherwise, just kind of be present without meddling.

Gotta run to work, look forward to reading above posts tonite. But in the meantime I would like to recommend, ” Vital Lies, Simple Truths” by Daniel Goleman. It explores in detail the process of denial and how and why our brains are wired to see what we want to see and bury the rest. Very eye opening, well researched and an interesting read. Helps us understand our own and others insistence on seeing things to fit our comfort zone, rather than as they are. Cheers, LF’ers

beatrix

Funny really I have accepted the community losing, friend losing experience of not being believed, but then the man whose adoration showed me my ex husband was a spath turned out to be NPD. Took me 20 years to spot the first one and four years to spot the second, you’d think I must be a slow learner if you didn’t know I have a PhD in Psychology!! Nice, empathic, genuine people in love assume their lover is the same, they know their own faults and drawbacks and give the forgiveness and understanding they would like for themselves. The just world assumption of the unexperienced is one of our hardest battles to win in this war.

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