What do psychopaths know about themselves?

Do psychopaths know what they are?  Do they know that they are different from the rest of us?  I believe the answer to both of these questions may be yes.  As neuropsychiatry makes progress, science offers various thoughts and opinions on the matter.  But while medicine is working hard to unlock the mind’s secrets, we may be able to draw valuable discussion from our own experiences.

Since psychopaths are not a particularly introspective group, I am not suggesting that they possess great insight regarding their pathology.  However, I believe they do have some level of awareness.  They may realize that they do not experience appropriate emotions and that they live their lives and view their worlds with the emotional mute buttons on.

“I figured it out…I know what you are”          

When I realized that I had been touched by psychopathy, it took me quite some time to digest all that revelation brought with it.  I knew I was not dealing with “normal,” but what was I dealing with?

Behaviors and solutions that would typically work under normal circumstances set us back when dealing with this population.  Adjusting to the concept takes time.  While I was still learning, I was still saying too much and also allowing the manipulations to bother me.  I was in the process of trying to make sense of the nonsense and working to rectify issues that could never be solved.  I tried, but trial and error prevailed and sometimes, I got it wrong.  With my understanding too fresh  to accurately process what was occurring, I allowed myself to become frustrated and exhausted from the underhanded tactics.  On one occasion, when I could no longer take it, I emphatically blurted, “I figured it out…I know what you are.”

I am not sure what I expected might occur when I announced that “I knew,” but I was completely unprepared for what came next.  The individual had been walking away from me, but then stopped dead in his tracks.  He stood still with his back toward me for a moment.  Then, turned and advanced toward me.  His eyes met mine and I was on the receiving end of a deliberate, piercing stare.  The eyes that could double as daggers were poised to intimidate.  Glaring and angry, he replied, “I know you did.  I know you know.”

What?  The investigator in me wanted to continue the conversation very badly.  I wanted to know what he knew about himself.  I considered the possibility that he may not have heard me correctly.  How did he know what I meant?  But he did know.  Chills quickly replaced my curiosity.  I turned away and left.  If he knew what he was, all the wrongs, all the evil were, without question, intentional.  Pain, suffering, abuse, unhappiness, and shear destruction had been purposely inflicted with full awareness and for or with some degree pleasure.

Interestingly, I never said the word.  Sociopath, psychopath, narcissist never crossed my lips.  Shortly after this encounter, this individual ramped up the attacks and staunchly advertised his “normality,” while threatening and belittling me.  Suddenly, I was “disturbed” and a “PhD,” in an attempt to discredit me and my assertions.

Previously, he merely blamed me for his actions, claiming that the behaviors were the consequences for my “insanity.”  But this was different.  I uncovered something he never thought I would.  First hand, I witnessed the “I’ll get you before you get me” mentality  – the smear campaign.  Sticks and stones…for now I was armed with understanding.

Gray or color?

What must it be like not to feel genuine emotions or to feel them so completely differently than non-psychopaths?  What must it be like to view the surroundings so differently than others?  How must it be to know life in black and white, when we see color?

They may have great disdain for us as a result of the warmth in our souls, something they will never know or feel.  They want revenge for our existence and throw temper tantrums mirroring those of toddlers if they do not succeed in their destructive and controlling efforts.  But even when they do get their ways, they are often insatiable, looking for more.  As a result, they can be dangerous to us.

When they claim to feel hurt, pain or other normal emotions we experience, their words may merely mask ulterior motives.  They are able to behave ruthlessly without second thoughts, often hiding their agendas behind righteous causes.  But the anger, jealousy, and rage that they direct toward us shows through as raw and primal.  Knowing they know makes the behaviors easier to understand, but no more acceptable.

They are envious of our genuine connections and abilities to love, even if they laugh at us in their next breaths for being “weak” enough to feel.  How would they be able to hold such contempt for us, if they had no awareness of our differences?  It must be horrible living half alive.  Wait…we already know.  It was how we lived before we understood.  The beauty is that we can recover.




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The last sociopath I was involved with outright told me he was a sociopath, as a weird non-sequitur, long before I had discovered enough of his behaviors to know he was telling me the truth (about this part of himself, at least). At the time, I brushed it off, and he and I were alone, so there were no witnesses – so of course, he could deny this if he chose to if I’d opted to out him. I believe that he is proud of what he is, and that he feels he is smart enough to get away with anything he wants to.

I’m not so sure the one before him was quite as self-aware, but he was proud of what he could get away with (the things he was willing to expose to the light of day because they were still on the right side of the law). I no longer feel ashamed to say I’m thankful he died of a drug overdose, several months after I went no contact.

In a very, very strange way I can say I was very lucky. My ex let me in into his mindset. He answered sometimes very truthfully his thoughts. I was lucky in the way that it lead me here, lead me to see his true colours and lead me to get away from him. He even warned me him self in the beginning as the post above, but he never said it straight out. His words: When I’m done with you, you’ll think of me as one really big mistake. I’ll wear you completely out of energy.

I can say that they do plan a head how they are gonna get what they want, they do enjoy mindfucks, they do live in a fantasy world where they are kings and the fantastic superstars of every ones life. They have some buttons others can walk on and if they do, they surely will do anything to hurt them back twice as hard, they do only enjoy money, power and sex – love they don’t know what is. They know they are egocentric and they do get sexually arousal of your resistance…. I can give you many more examples, but then it would be a very long post.

My ex told me he knew him self very good (and he did, he was very smart, but plays stupid infront of other people so he won’t have to do something or take responsibility) and the one thing that scared the shit out of me was when he said: I know I have limitations and boundaries on certain actions, but if I let my self step over them, I know there’s no way back. Then I’ll continue without any limitations what so ever. When he said this, I got really scared of what he might be capable of doing and he once said that if we were to break up, he would make sure I’d see that side of him. He said he’d pray for my sake that I’d never see it.

My personal belief is that they know all about them selves just as we now know all about them.

My ex pulled me in and was attractive to me partly because of the talk about spirituality and self-improvement. There were books by Wayne Dyer and other such authors around her house. I also ‘made her whole’ and ‘validated’ her. There were also her suggestive messages that were still on my phone and computer – that she was later denying.
It took a while but I then began to recognize how she was projecting a lot of unacceptable behaviour and attitudes onto me. Ultimately, I saw the pattern – as it had been played out in her previous relationships was being played out with me. Eventually she openly admitted that what she wanted out of life was power, money and sex – which happened when I believe shge realized the jig – the ‘game’ – was up. By then I was spiritually and emotionally and psychologically bludgeoned.

My situation has me second-guessing myself in every way. I am sure my husband’s exwife is a sociopath. However, now that we have finally gotten custody of their 3 children, I am concerned that the 9 year old boy is emotionally stunted like his mom. He has formed a sexualized attachment to me. When he doesn’t get the attention he is craving, he behaves horribly for me and his father. His attachment is so unnerving that he stares at me all the time, and throws tantrums when I give attention to one of the other children. He doesn’t want to go anywhere unless I’m going too. When we try to reason with him, it seems as though nothing gets through to him. He continues to do the same behaviors, it seems, just to wear me out. When I lose my cool with him, he gets a little smirk on his face, like he’s got me right where he wants me. I even made the mistake of telling him he’s wearing me out. He knows he’s different from the other kids. He doesn’t want to be like them. He wants to focus all his attention on me. He wants to act badly around me. He thinks I want him to be around me all the time, when in fact, I’m dying for a break from the uncomfortableness. He is in therapy, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. We are also taking him to a chiropractor that specializes in natural-type adjustments (no bone-crunching). I know his mother sexually molested him when he was younger, so I believe he has a normal mother-son love mixed up with an abnormal romantic relationship. It’s so hard to tell if I’m dealing with an up-and-coming sociopath, or just a mixed up kid. But I do know it’s intolerable right now.

WOW- what insight !!

I remember going to my Ex-N with a book I had read and the author’s phone number in hand for counseling.

He looked at me blankly – but took the book. I had highlighted a great deal that pertained to him.

He read the book – but rejected the possibility of being an N.

While he acknowledged that many traits applied to him – he insisted he had it all under control.

However, I think he was self -aware – to whatever extent they can be.

Over the years , he said such things like :

You don’t know what it’s like to be me inside

You have no idea what I am capable of

Every time I get close to you you pull away – projection

He is gone 4 years and we are divorced 7 months but he continues to torture me in any way he can.

Very interesting article. I’m ashamed to say that I got weak and broke no contact. Prince charming posted to me on a site (not Facebook, as I’ve blocked him. When I saw what he wrote I was upset. He wanted to talk. I fell right into it and texted him to please stop posting and delete all past declarations of “love”. The postings on this site chronicled the love bombing phase of the relationship. He knew he would get to me if he posted, and im sorry to say worked.

In the conversation he asked me what was wrong with him. I thought to myself, “I know what you are”, but didn’t respond. When I think back on things he said about himself, he was telling me all along what he is, but I didn’t know about sociopathy. When he told me that he broke up with his girlfriend and when he’s done, he’s done….it’s all up here….as he points to his head. His cackling laugh when talked about duping his exs or “stealing me away from my husband still plays in my head.

In the phone conversation, he apologized. Do sociopaths apologize? He misses me. He wants to talk in person. He had had two breskups since ours. He is so unhappy. He cried! Do they cry?

As he spoke, i thought oh boy there it is One by one I checked off the signs: pity play, check; stalking, check; pattern of relationship cycles, check; manipulation and half truths, check. I know what he is and he may know that I know. Getting beyond this is so difficult and puzzling to me. I know I’ve come a long way, but I’m not there yet!

Do they know? I think some do and some don’t…just as “we” as a group have more or less insight into what we are., how we think, and how functional (or dysfunctional) we are I think they have levels of understanding of themselves as well.

Dr. Baron-Cohen’s assertions and research showing that people as a whole have a varying level of empathy from the total autistic who has ZERO empathy to the person with Asperger’s who has a bit more empathy, to the person who has way too much empathy.

From observing him, I think my son Patrick, a full-blown violent psychopath, knows what he is doing, what he is planning, but thinks others are also like him “out too get what they want at any price” or that they are too stupid, too worthless to be anything except prey to stronger people (like himself.) From what he said to my son adopted D, I think he views D as “just like me” and out to get whatever he can.

Patrick can quote the Bible from Genesis to Revelation word for word, he can quote great philosophers, but his APPLICATION of those moral principles shows that he doesn’t know how to apply them in a way that would be considered “normal.” Just as Robert Hare said..”they know the words but not the music’

In a letter my son Patrick wrote to my then Daughter-in-law, (his brother’s wife) who was at that time having an affair with the Trojan Horse Psychopath is a great example of this.

I don’t have the letter she wrote to Patrick, only his reply to it, but in that reply he was addressing her affair with the TH-P and said “lighting one candle from another doesn’t diminish the light of the first.” It was his way of telling her that her affair with the TH-P didn’t diminish the relationship of her and her husband, and he went on to talk about how all of “us” (meaning him, the TH-P, the DIL, and my son C (her husband) should all keep on working on the project together (getting rid of me) and then he ended the letter to her by saying “You need to WORK ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH C (her husband)” DUH? It is OK for her to have a relationship with another man, but she and the other man and her husband should be WHAT? one big happy family?

Because Patrick has never loved anyone, he doesn’t realize that it is not “healthy” or “normal” for a woman (or a man) to be having deviant sex with one man, and be “happily married” to another one. Patrick has NO concept of “love” though he can philosophize all day about “love” and quote great poets about love.

He killed a young woman, then took her jewelry and purse back to her roommate….he didn’t “get it” that the fact that he had killed the girl would be more upsetting to the roommate, more so than the loss of the girl’s “stuff.”

I know it sounds like Patrick is some kind of “nut job” or “crazy,” but he isn’t, he just has NO concept of empathy, or how others think. He thinks everyone else thinks like he does, and would behave like he does if they had the chance.

I think my P-sperm donor had little psychological self awareness, as well, just was “mean as a snake” and capable of great rage and murderous violence if he was thwarted in his plans.

I’ve known a couple of other people I think were high in P-traits or were even full blown psychopaths, who realized they were different than others, but they were in my opinion, not quite sure what it was that “we” had but they wanted to find it and get some for themselves.

Many of us (people who have been intimately involved with psychopaths) have noted that many of them are “addicted to sex” and seek to have many many different partners.

My theory on this is that SOME Psychopaths seem to know that “we” get something out of sex that they don’t—(the bonding hormones released by sexual intercourse give to “normal” people something that they don’t get,)— and I think they know we get “something” from it that they don’t, and they would LIKE to have that something, but not knowing what it is, they think each new partner might be “the ONE” to give it to them.

Bottom line, I think that since psychopaths are like the rest of us in that they have varying levels of empathy (or lack of it) that some have an awareness of their own condition, and some don’t.

That being said, though, I think that OUR awareness of their condition is important for US. We need to realize that there is no changing them against their wills (or changing anyone against their wills for that matter) and that we must disengage from them to the extent possible. The best possible being, of course NO CONTACT.

Snowwhite:Yes yes yes they do! BUT THEY NEVER MEAN IT and the tears are FAKE! He is crying for him self, the loss of money, sex, power, attention what ever it was you gave him! DO NOT FALL FOR IT!

Stay NC, keep reading here! The more you understand the easier it gets, blame shifting occurs, and step by step, aha moment after aha moment, you will let more and more of him go. You’ll regain your self and your power. You will take back your life.

Hang in there!


I am so sorry that you have such a troubled child in your home, and I can definitely imagine the problems you are experiencing with dealing with this child.

You say that he is in Therapy but it doesn’t seem to be helping. It is rare for children this young to be this disturbed, THANK GOD, but at the same time, if you are unfortunate enough to have one of them in your family, it can be life shattering for the entire family.

I strongly suggest that this child might benefit (or your family benefit) for him to have some INPATIENT therapy as soon as possible.

It sounds to me that this child has received the “double whammy,” both the DNA and the environment, in which a child becomes very problematic.

Whatever happens with THIS child, though, you MUST take care of yourself AND the other two children and protect yourself and them from the trauma and drama that this child represents in your home. God bless and help you and their father. ((hugs)))


Thanks for your support Lately I need reality checks.

We all do from time to time;)


It’s been 7 months….why can’t I get “it” out of my head! When my counselor talked about predation, I really had know concept of a human predator. I just can’t wrap my head around it when I think of predation, I think about animals. The other day I watched an eagle dive bomb for a fish….I thought to myself, that is predation. But for a person to be so laser focused on his wants is beyond what my brain can make sense of. That is exactly what he did to me… Focused all his energies on getting what he wanted from me. Only once he got it, the rules changed and he asked for more and more……that is until he spotted his next target….now is bored with her…an is looking to recycle


I understand the cognitive dissonance you are experiencing, when trying to understand another human being that is diametrically opposed to your own way of functioning in the world.

It helps to stop analysing them using OUR measurements of being human (self awareness, kindness, ability to learn from mistakes, feelings for others well-being, the ability to create deep and lasting bonds with others- and to WANT to create those bonds, etc….).

These folks DO NOT operate from these life urges and abilities. They are lacking the ‘life stuff’ that allows them to. So, in their worlds survival rules. And they will do anything to survive.

Sure, they are all a bit different (in that way they are ‘like’ us). Some are smarter, some not. Some are short and fat and ugly….you get the idea. But underlying some very uncontrollable and basic differences they are the SAME.

They manipulate, lie, cheat, steal, coerce, abuse, and harm. Bottom line, no matter HOW they do it, they harm.

Some cry, some don’t. Some yell. Some are quiet and sly as church mice. Some wear hippie clothes and teach people how to sweat their worries away, but will sleep with your wife. Some wear suits and give financial advice and steal people’s inhertances.

Think of them as cakes with different frosting. Then remember that under that different frosting is poop. ALL of them are poop cake.



One other thing…my understanding is that one reason we keep thinking and working through the details of ‘them’ is BECAUSE of the dissonance we experience. Look up cog. diss. It is very helpful to understand what it is, and how it will eventually dissipate.

Ox, You mention Dr. Baron-Cohen’s assertions and research showing that people as a whole have a varying level of empathy from the total autistic who has ZERO empathy to the person with Asperger’s who has a bit more empathy, to the person who has way too much empathy.

I know this is getting away from the main topic of this article, however, if no one minds, I would be most appreciative to acquire more information/insignt from you, or others who may have knowledge about the differences with regard to Asperger’s and Psychopathy. I mean, here is the thing. I do swim therapy with kids and adults that are autistic. Some have Asperger’s Syndrome, and personally, I can see the differences, however, I have yet to find any literature that lists the exact diferences and similarities with regard to Aspies and P’s.

The P that came into my life, announces to his victims, early on in the relationship that he has Asperger’s. Of course, after the fact, I do know why he does this, however, in the first threee months of the aftermath, I was struggling deeply with whether or not he was in fact an Aspie, or if he indeed was a P. And I supose he could be both, but I doubt he has Asperger’s. I let all of this go a long time ago, however, I am now just curious. Maybe it is solely the “empathy” factor? Can I obtain the information that would help me shut the door on this, from this book that you refer to? If you have any info that could help shed light on it, for me, that would be fabulous.

This article is most poignant. Thank you, Linda for writing and sharing it!


Thanks for the analogy and the laugh! I needed a good laugh. I have learned about cog dis and obviously have not come to terms with it yet.
All his exes have moved on and never looked back. Perhaps it is because of the long idealization phase I experienced with him and the short D and d
D of only two weeks?????

Slimone, I LOVE your cake/frosting/poop analogy of a P. It’s perfect…and they ARE all poop cake.

Maybe you are in denial still? The road to accept is a long and hard road, just as letting go. This is what they do, they creep in under your skin so they can distance control you forever, still feed on your energies, knowing you’ll always be there when they need you. At the same time they feel important, they now you’ll never forget them. That’s how meaningful they are to you. It is all in their ego, it is not about you. Sometimes it is best to not try to understand and turn inward, focusing on your own mechanisms and childhood wounds.

Preditation means your ex saw your weaknesses and used them to “eat” you, to use you, only to get what he wanted. He was a lion who studied a herd of gazelles, found the weakest, but also the strongest link, planned how he was going to pray upon it and struck when the moment was right. But a lion don’t want to hunt something that will turn over dead just by looking at it, they like the fight. It makes it fun when there’s resistance. The harder the pray he can put down, the more proud he feels over him self. He saw something in you he admired, wished he had and tried to take that away from you. He felt small next to you and how could he become greater? By making you small. look:

Feeling: I feel weak. Coping: I dominate you. Result: I feel strong and powerful.
Feeling: I feel hurt. Coping: I hurt you. Result:I feel better
Feeling: I feel inadequate. Coping: I tell you how useless you are. Result: I feel better than you.

Control. Projections. Feeling of power. He can’t live without this, ever. He got to do this to every one so HE can feel powerful. He deliberately looked for your flaws so he could break you down in order to feel good about him self. He feels good when he has, money (doesn’t matter if it’s your money), power (the king of the hill), sex (doesn’t matter how he gets it), attention etc etc etc. You had something he didn’t, that was what he wanted. Point is: He knew what he was doing and he planned it all along!

I think some of the others have better answers than me, because I’m going in a match here (means I’m feeling the same as you). I still sometimes struggle to “get it” but the more I realise, the more aha moments I have, the more I can shift the blame he placed upon me, the easier it gets to get it. You get that it was his projections of HIS ego and you see your own pattern that made it possible. I recommend alot of reading. The more you understand the better. Read the gaslight effect, why is it always about you, women who loves too much, How to spot a dangerous man before you get involved workbook, Stalking the soul, the betrayal bond, the unspoken voice, the ptsd workbook, toxic parents, The seducer, the lovefraud books, The gift of betrayal, trust after trauma, getting past your past to mention a few.

Keep reading here, because on Lovefraud you’ll get the answers you need. Believe you me.

Hang in there, ok?

LOL! poopcake! That’s one I’ve never heard before, but it’s spot on!

They can have both, aspergers and psychopathy.

Both types lack empathy, the difference is the mask. A spath will hide his lack of empathy, an Aspie, not so much — unless he’s also a spath. Then he will try to hide it but not succeed very well.

With Asperger’s, there are other “quirks” as well. Some are very picky about specific textures, tastes, noises etc…

With Asperger’s they are generally known as quirky in some way. Often times they get very focused on something to the exclusion of all else, a hobby, a collection, or a game.

I think they also have a tendency to organize things excessively.

If the person says the are Aspie but doesn’t show these quirks, then it could be just a mask. A couple years ago I was reading on another forum where there was discussion about using Asperger’s as a mask.

Your article reminded me of when I said to my spath-bro, “I figured out what’s wrong with you.” Well, I was wrong. I had just finished reading a book about narcissism and I was going to tell him he was a narcissist. I had not yet learned about or figured out that he is a psychopath.

He didn’t let me finish. He interrupted, “You don’t know. I know what I have.” Then he walked out. But it wasn’t over.

That night, he woke me from my sleep by screaming his head off. When I went to see what was going on, he attacked me. Then he called the police and reported that I had attacked him. I was arrested on a DV.

This was when I had run to my parents’ home hiding from the ex-spath. Little did I realize that the house was filled with spaths. My parents did nothing and he still lives there in their basement at age 48.

You have to be careful when you out them to their face. Some of them worry that you will tell others and they will lose their main supply.

Thanks Skylar, and now I have heard of several other survivors who have had the perp use Autism/Asperger’s as reason for P behaviors that are detected. Ugh. Such menaces… We go around in circles in our heads. Waste our time, in attempting to straighten out our thoughts that had once been nothing but clear. Oh, well. Life goes on. Lessons we’ve learned, hopefully engrained forever…. Thank you for the knowledge you’ve shared…

I outed both to their faces… In a wave of shock and disbelief. A clusterfuck of confusing messages in my brain, from the realization of the dupe. I completely F’d myself over, by doing this, as this I believe, is what ignites and fules their ruthless, incessant smear campaigns….


Thank you so much. It’s hard to read the truth. You nailed it. Are you a counselor???

Yes I’ve read many of those books. Each time I read one, it helps but then I’m done and looking for another one….an endless cycle….hoping to find the answer in one of them that will put it all to rest.


In thinking about Slimone’s comment, I just googled and found this. Makes so much sence. One of the things that the Bastard came back with was, “Well at least I was Consistent”. I told him “Yes, consistently inconsistent”. He studies all of the varying aspects of what he knows himself to be, and how to get away with the disgusting ways in which he operates in life. Such a dispicable creep… Yikes, I think I feel a bit of residual anger surfacing.


No I am not a counselor at all! I am in the same situation as you and I am spending all my time, money and energy on getting better. I’m fine for a while, then I go back to the cycle. Today I’m good thanx to theese peeps in here:) I had a very uplifting blame shifting day yesterday where I for the first time in 1,5 year felt joyful. I felt hope and I was proud of my self for walking away from him when he came back. I felt happy about the relationship being over. I felt happy for the first time that he was out of my life. I do have a long road ahead, but if I can give something back to others in the mean time, it’s worth it. Just paying it forward:)

“Yes, consistently inconsistent”

Lol, good one shane;)

Sunflower you are very knowledgable and inspirational. Thank you for your help today. Today I don’t feel strong or capable of giving any words of wisdom. tomorrow is another day.

I am happy to hear you are staying strong:) Thanks again

We give them too much focus.
Focus that belongs to US.
Focus that is sucking away OUR LIVES
and MOMENTS and that is something
they don’t deserve nor have they at
all earned it. It is up to US to shut
off the ‘valve’ of continuing abuse.

We fool ourselves into thinking we can ‘fix’
them and ‘love’ them OUT of their illness.
That will NEVER HAPPEN. If you love them,
they will suck your soul out through your
nose, if you LET THEM and do it with NO
conscious or remorse. LAUGHING as they
walk away.

You simply MUST meet ‘fire with fire’.
I do not mean in any physical sense.
Not even legalese can prevent the barrage
of the disordered person.

Instead of controlling THEM, we must re learn how to
control OURSELVES. Not in a harsh nor bad way but
dealing with the realities even though they are sometimes
not so pretty to look at.

Acceptance of the truth we see sitting in front of us.
No matter how ugly it is.

That does not mean LIVING it.
Least not in my book.

Cheer up snowhite…
each day is a gift.


Wow, I just found this by clicking on link within article, regarding disipation of Dissonance; One thing that almost immediately occurs when we experience dissonance is a mental state of mild confusion and interruption, “What? What? What was that? I don’t get it. Wait a minute.” We try to figure what we missed. Interestingly, we also begin to feel somewhat jangly and upset, almost like we are nervous or anxious. Finally, the physiology of our bodies changes when we experience dissonance. Our heart rates elevate, blood pressure goes up, and our hands get sweaty.

Maybe this is what produces all of the health problems people eventually have to contend with, after spath experience. My hormones, adrenals, etc. went haywire. Went from having low to VERY high blood pressure. Hair fell out in clumps. Looked 30 years older. Unbelievable this information. Amazing.

The mind-body connection in the truest sense.

Sunflower, So very happy for you and your new-found happiness, and your glimmers of hope and joyfulness!! What a profound experience! Keep up the work that you are doing that has created these positive occurances for you! I wish you many many more of those experiences!


Yes. The cog diss leads to the PTSD. It becomes a cycle. But it will break. I don’t think, though I am by far no expert, we can force the process.

The websites understand how the cog diss resoves more than I do. For me I did alot of assessment with regards to my ‘beliefs’ about myself, human beings in general, and what was true and what were lies I told myself.

I also did alot of checking in with safe people when I was triggered, and got a reality check from them about what was going on. This way I didn’t project my trauma into my immediate surrounding as much.


Snow white. when my wife finally let it sink in( i think) is when she spoke with his estranged sister. she described for her how he had molested his own neices, and how she had undergone a year of therapy to try to get over things like trusting her own brother with her girls. and not seeing. she said, “fifty people cant be wrong.” the reverse is also true. wheres his train of lifelong believers? my wifes spath had not one real friend. (save for mommy and a few other family members with their heads buried in the sand.) i hope the best for you!

stay nc for one year and see how you feel.



Thank you. I was doing so well or thought I was. At least I closed one more door in having him deleting the posts and written record of our past. I did lose control of myself in falling for his manipulation. Today is a new beginning of NC for me.

Thank you Shane 🙂


thank you for your kind words. Don’t be so hard on your self, allow your self for a period of time to feel this way and work thru the emotions. The more you stress over not getting past it, the more stuck you become. It’s a normal reaction, it is okay to feel sad. Make one goal a day, something specific you need to address.

Tomorrow maybe you can write down all your sorrows on a piece of paper, all the things you need to say and then burn it. The next day a nature walk, find one beautiful tree and study its beauty, write some uplifting words on your bathroom mirror with lipstick to remind you what you need to be reminded of (like: I deserve better than a man who is incapable of love and cheats on me. I am strong and I love my self MORE) the day after that put make up on and dress nice-look in the mirror and see how beautiful eyes you got, treat your self with a good meal and a good movie, the day after that address something else. One step at the time.

Remember you are not alone in this, we are right here, standing tall together.

Thanks to all the members of Lovefraud, for all their strenght, good advice and wisdom.
Thank you Donna for making this website and writing books, as well as reading and giving (quick) response to my letter when I needed it the most.

When you are in despair there are always angels who comes forward to help you when you least expect it.


I screwed up….6.5 months NC….starting all over again but from a stronger position:))

shane: after almost ten years of constant stalking by a very violent psychopath, and after having survived THAT along with a heart attack
that almost took my life, in the midst; my hair went completely gray; yes…and I could add more to that list.

The past almost 13 years of involvement with this ‘being’
has STOLEN and RAPED and SHAVED probably a good 20
years off of my life.

It’s from an adrenalin overload.
Directly attributed to the ppath that has been infecting my life.
Adrenalin overloads affect our brains the same as other long
standing use of any chemical and/or repeated abuse…
and consistently being subjected to and exposed to that
adrenalin overload. It’s not just the only ‘chemical reaction’ either.

I never realized there was SUCH a mind/body connection either
until I have experienced it for myself.

That is exactly right.

Amazing; isn’t it?

Sometimes it can be reversed, naturally and normally, other times
with the use of medications. Sometimes not at all. I am currently in the medication phase.

I have been a ‘case study’ along the way, here and there, to help
educate and make people aware of what has happened to me.

I hear people, all the time, say: “I am so ashamed that I fell for this. I am so embarrassed I fell for a con who really cared nothing about me.”

I know how difficult it is to stand up and face that much less
admit it. I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who
see their demons and resolve them. From the heart and soul respect.
But, I say: There is no shame upon US for ever loving and caring.
The shame lays and rests with those who don’t consider it a shame
in the first place.

This is MUCH MORE than just an emotional experience…
It is a physical one as well, because of the toll it takes on the body.

There is so much more to learn, shane.
The ugly part is, they know what they are doing.
I am convinced of this….

That makes it all the more diabolical.
When you realize that YES: they know what they do.
I would think that is ‘intent’ in itself.



Dr. Baron-Cohen is a researcher on autism. He showed that while an autistic may have zero empathy, they don’t try to hurt you, and he labels it Zero+, but with a psychopath they may have little to no empathy, but he labels it Zero NEGATIVE because they will use it to try to hurt you, or enjoy hurting you, where the autistic person isn’t out to “get you”

It is not impossible for a person to have Aspergers AND PSychopathy, they are not mutually exclusive. Aspergers is simply a point on a continuum of levels of empathy.

We all also have the ability to control how much empathy we feel. For example if you had 100% empathy you would never be able to drive by a homeless person without getting out and giving them your wallet and your car keys. So though you may feel some empathy driving by that person you keep on driving.

Empathy is a learned thing as well as an innate emotional response. There is some proof that even infants have some “inborn” empathetic responses at a very early age. Even Chimps show some signs of empathy and other animals do as well.

I suggest that you get and read some of Baron-Cohen’s books, they are very very INTERESTING and have changed and enlarged the way I think about empathy—the amount of it, and the control over it.

A relative of my adopted son D is somewhat Aspergers I think, but her BF is REALLY aspergers, and he can’t keep a job because of it, but he is very smart and makes a living as a poker player. I made the mistake of riding in a car he was driving (just him and me) to an after graduation party for his GF’s sister…and he was SUCH A BAD DRIVER that I was scared shiatless…he almost got us run over by a bus and several other near miss fatal accidents…and when we got to the party he immediately started telling others that I was such a back seat driver I made him so nervous…ya da ya da…out right lies.

So while he didn’t have a great deal of empathy for me, he definitely was willing to lie to cover up his driving. I notice too that when they go anywhere together his GF drives, not him. LOL

Actually, to quote the father of the GF “they are a fit” LOL She is unable to sustain viable relationships, though she is also smart and has advanced degrees, she is only able to work as a stocker at a Wal Mart. This is her first real “boy friend” though she is 34.

The Aspie BF told me his life story and it is pathetic, mentally ill mother, and dysfunctional family, raised by Grandmother, several other sibs farmed out to various relatives…and the sad part is that he’s smart enough that maybe with some early therapy and social support he might have made it much better in this world.

Learning about EMPATHY though helps us to understand both the psychopath better and understand ourselves better and how and why our own empathy was twisted to allow them to continue to abuse us for an extended period of time. Baron-Cohen’s research is GREAT!

This is MY 6th time at NC.
The last one was 9 months long.
But the stalking continued.
I broke it a few times along the way,
much to my dismay (hey, that rhymed)…
So far, today make five months since any
sign of life from me, although “IT” has very
much continued NOT taking NO for an answer….

I am hoping to break a record this time.
It’s not ME not leaving it alone, either.

Can you say: STALKING, boys and girls?
Hang in there you guys – remember who you are
and your value and your worth and you will make
it. You have to believe in yourself. Set boundaries.
MEAN them.


Dupey, you are so spot on. The adrenalin- all of it. I am so sorry to hear about your illness. I hope you become better soon.


I have said your exact words to my counselor… It may have been a fraud but in my mind I truly loved him. I am not ashamed of that. There are many things I regret, but truly and deeply loving someone is t one if the. At least I am capable of love. That’s what sets us apart from them.

Thank you very much Oxy, Slimone, Sunflower, Back-from-the-Edge for the explanations, additional validation (Not that I am at all happy that you have experienced the negative affects that spath left to you, to have to contend with) and the very entertaining (I hope that’s ok) description of your experience riding in car with driver with Asperger’s, Ox. I appreciate you giving me the clarity that you have, and I am absolutely going to read the Baron-Cohen books.

Ox Drover, I did read an article here, somewhere, where in you speak of Temple Grandin (I believe it was you, at least) and it fascinated me to the point that I did much research on her, and what is interesting is that I see some of her ways, preferences, needs, in myself to a degree. Anyway, that’s beside the point. Many thanks! ~Shane

Snowhite, what you truly loved was the clever illusion that he constructed. I loved the person that I thought that had been married to for over a decade – then, I learned the truth about what he really was and what he had really been doing. The two personalities aren’t even remotely similar, but the behaviors (had I been more vigilant and edumakated) were there – subtle, but still there.

Each day takes me further and further from that illusion and closer and closer to truth.

Brightest blessings


I value your words of wisdom and am sorry for what you endured. the damage done to me was of.a shorter duration…it makes me feel so foolish to be struggling when it could have been so much worse. Reading all of your stories helps me to see your strength. If you could come out of it a better person, I can too. Every contribution on this site gives me something I can use to heal. While I’ll never be the same person, I have hope to be my happy go lucky self soon. Point taken….dies mantle the illusion!


Temple is “diagnosed” as a “high functioning” Autistic—I am not sure exactly about the differences between that “diagnosis” and Asperger’s. I think that those problems are like psychopathy and are on a continuum of symptoms, i.e. a “syndrome” but not all exactly alike.

Because I raised cattle and ahve always been fascinated with the herd mentality of the bovine, when I moved back here and got back into the cattle business (actually, selling “grass fed beef”) I read about Temple’s research on handling cattle and ended up buying one of the circular handling chutes that she designed. WORKED GREAT!

I have also spent countless hours just observing the cattle and the interactions of the herd. Because I kept the heifers in my own herd to increase the production instead of buying outside cows, I started seeing generational behaviors with sisters and mothers and grandmothers interacting together. Also watched the dominance and submissive activities in the herd. Then I started training calves to work (oxen, is not a special breed but means “working cattle”) Then I learned still more about cattle that I didn’t know previously.

Studying animals we see things that they do…but there are also some analogies to our own behaviors…dominance, submission, etc. and that go along with how we have allowed someone else to dominate us even though we have an intellect that should tell us that what we are doing is “counter productive to a good life.”

After the chaos died down some, i started reading lots of research on psychpaths and on empathy, on chemical and physical changes in the brain brought on by trauma.

Cattle have a “set” herd dominance pattern, and once it is set up, unless there is a death of an animal or a removal from the herd, no one challenges the status quo.

I once saw a dominance fight between 3 cows that lasted about 3 days until the winner was decided. The top cow had broken a leg and that left an opening in the dominance chain, and these 3 cows fought until they decided..then it was all quiet.

I also saw early on, before that last mentioned event, something that was interesting. I had bought some sisters that came together, and I also had one cow that was a very dominant cow and she was an “outsider” and she bossed them around badly, hooked them with her horns just for the hell of it.. finally, after a while of this three of the sisters said “ENOUGH” and they all three took her on. I thought they would kill her (my herd has long horns) and it was hot weather. After they whipped the tar out of her, she never again actually rejoined the herd,, but would stay on the outside of the herd, very alone and lonely and whipped looking. The only “friend” she had in the herd was her calf each year and you would see her grooming that calf and playing with it differently than a mother who had other friends. When her calf left the herd (if it was sold) she was again very droopy. My husband felt so sorry for her that he wanted to buy a “friend cow” for her…but it wouldn’t have worked.

This cow was an abusive cow of her earlier power, but the cattle decided ENOUGH so I was glad to see that. Also, though I kept her in my herd and usually culled out kickers, etc. all but one of her calves were “kickers”– I still have her last daughter who is a sweetheart, but the rest of her offspring went to the butcher.

What I called “high headedness” in cattle is very inheritable and other traits are. By the time I got out of the business and kept only enough cows to supply my family with meat, I had culled out the trouble makers and ones that were hard to handle and my entire herd was very gentle.

I have also “culled out” the trouble makers in my life as well. My “herd” is smaller but there are no fights, no manipulations, no drama rama and there is love, cooperation, compassion, mutual aid and just plain PEACE.

Shane, I hope you don’t mind me adding my two cents about Asperger’s and empathy.

Dr. Baron-Cohen determines whether a person has empathy according to whether they have both components of empathy. 1) They must recognize the emotions (the cues) emanating from another person, and 2) They must have an appropriate emotional response to that other person’s emotions.

Aspie’s tend to have a deficit in the first component. They tend to not recognize the cues from the other person unless they are overt clues or they know that other person well and are in-tune with them.

However, they do have the second component, which psychopaths lack. Aspies do have an appropriate and genuine emotional response to the other person’s emotions once they have recognized the cues from that person. If they see someone who is sad, they may not realize they are sad unless they know that person well or there are overt cues. If they see the other person crying (an overt cue) about something, for instance, then they do feel genuinely sad for them in the same way most people feel sad for the co-worker. They have empathy for them. The psychopath doesn’t feel empathy for the co-worker like the Aspie does.

People with Asperger’s are unfortunately lumped together with psychopaths, because they don’t meet the diagnostic criteria (meaning having both components) of empathy. However, they do have a genuine empathetic response to other people’s emotions and they do feel those emotions like most of us do.

Christine, I regard asperger and psychopathy as the opposites:

Someone with asperger cannot or has great difficulty reading body language, but they have normal emotions themselves and once they are told how they made someone else feel they will make an emotional empathic association, with genuine guilt and remorse if they were the cause of hurting someone.

A psychopath can read body language without any problem, but only having shallow emotions themselves cannot emotionally empathize with someone else’s feeling: irregardless of whether they recognize the body cues or are told how they hurt someone.

Sadly enough the result is often that because aspergers are inept at responding to body language (and tone of voice, etc), people often think they are cold and lack emotions. While this is not true. Meanwhile, because psychopaths can read body language well and are able to act an appropriate response people think they have as rich an emotional and empathic inner life as we do. This instinctive conclusion is not true either.

Ox. You would enjoy seeing the herd of Watusi Cattle that is a few miles from me, I pass them everyday and have watched them for years.. They are the most beautiful longhorn cattle I have ever seen. Their ancestry can be traced back 6000 years from africa, they are known as the cattle of the King’s. Picture’s of them have been found on pictographs in egyptian pyramids. The owner of the heard treat’s them all like pet’s, they follow him single file when he is walking down his loong drive way. He probably has about 75, I have often thot about takin pictures of them and sending them to you but I am sure your familiar with the breed.

snowwhite, you ‘truly loved’ an illusion, not him. I think it might help to separate the illusion you loved from the real him. Your feelings were real, but the object of those feelings wasn’t. It’s like a child who loves an imaginary friend really.

Thanks Darwin. I know what I know now but yet I periodically have doubts. This healing stuff is so frustrating and mind boggling. I look forward to the day when it all comes together for me.

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