When all the world’s a stage: personas and psychopathy

By Linda Hartoonian Almas, M.S. Ed

To psychopaths, life is often like a series of stage plays.  They are like the play actors and they tend to keep themselves very busy, working in a variety of different productions.  When they exhaust the audience pool in one venue, they move to the next.  It is important to note that they may work many productions at the same time, as well.

Unlike other actors, psychopaths do not worry about being type-cast.  They may play evil villains on one stage and sweet, loving, misunderstood victims on the next.  However, we must realize that they are just acting.

In the theatres of life, psychopaths may showcase a variety of personas.

What is a persona?

A persona is like a mask.  It is a role that actors play.  In psychology, it is the appearance people display, or the expression of personality that individuals present to those around them.  Psychopaths’ personas may change significantly depending on where they are and who they are with.  How they present themselves to us depends upon how they wish to be perceived.  They may portray themselves very differently to each of us, depending on our utility.  However, ultimately, they reveal themselves.

How do they reveal themselves?

Psychopaths frequently pretend to be what they are not.  If they were honest about their true intentions and personalities, who would have anything to do with them, at least initially?  They must manage how we view them by manipulating our experiences and interactions.   They do this through the use of varied personas.

Their actual personalities do not change.  They simply alter how they behave in order to portray the image they wish to create; they act.  For example, if they front loving personas, they may tell us how much they care about or love us.

They may express concern with their words because they know what they are supposed to say.  For a time, they may even be able to “deliver” on their words and act in manners which support their words.  To some degree, they may even believe that they feel some form of “love.”  What they experience, and what it means to them is far different than non-disordered individuals, however.  As a result, they never get it quite right, leaving serious gaps between their behaviors and appropriate behaviors.  Their words and their actions also fail to remain consistent.  Why?

The answer is that they tend to only know the basics.  They are ill equipped.  Asking for much more would be like asking a pre-med student to perform surgery or a private pilot to fly the space shuttle.  Often, they watch and learn what to do or say from non-psychopaths around them.  They may even “rehearse”  their parts, literally, especially regarding affective displays.  What comes naturally to us, simply does not to them.

However, before long, they begin “missing their cues.”  They are unable to sustain the feigned expressions of love, caring, or concern because they don’t really feel them as non-psychopaths do or understand how truly concerned and connected individuals behave.  They can only perform the behaviors they know from observation or very basic understandings of societal norms.  Nothing is genuine.  As a result, they leave out numerous, important details.

Additionally, they occasionally allow their real personalities show through.  Although we are confused when this happens, unsure of why they are behaving “oddly,” over time, we begin to see these episodes as disturbing.  These points, coupled with the fact that their charades can be labor intensive, especially as they begin to grow bored or lose interest, ultimately, lead to their reveals.  When we begin to see their true personalities, we see that the display was nothing more than a facade.  Nothing was real about them.  It was just one of their personas.

Don’t we all “change” to look good?

To a degree, controlled presentation is not exclusive to psychopathy.  However, the extent is.  The motivations and methods  are also different.  There is a difference between employing polishing touches or putting our best faces forward and concealing our personalities with lies.

Imagine you are on a job interview.  Unless you are specifically asked to address your weaknesses, you probably don’t.  Under the circumstances, you want to show that you are worthy of the position.  As most of us would do, you manage or control what you allow others to see.  However, other than enlisting the services of a few polishing touches, who you are remains the same.

Continuing the scenario, when you leave the job interview, you meet a friend for lunch.  Although you may be more relaxed and comfortable, your behaviors are similar and your friend sees the same person the interviewer saw earlier.  That “you” is also the same one your family will see later in the day.  The package and the contents remain the same, even as the surroundings differ.

Our persona, or our presentation to the outside world, is fairly constant.  Although we may adjust our behaviors or make minor alterations for the certain circumstances, we don’t change.  Each person we interact with sees our actual personality.  Thus, the difference.

How do they fool us?

Simply put, they are often not who they appear to be, but are skilled at making us believe otherwise.  They are able to “become” what they think we want them to be, morphing into the “person” we are looking for.

How did they know what we wanted?  We told them!  As we shared what we were looking for in the “perfect” mates, colleagues, or friends, or discussing character traits that are important to us, they were taking notes, so to speak.  We had no idea that we were teaching them how to dupe us.  Directly, or indirectly, we let them know what we wanted or did not want in our relationships.  We taught them how to perform in their efforts to take from us and harm us.

We cannot fault ourselves for this.  With no experience, we could not have known that our honest sharing would be misused.

They may maintain their personas for weeks, months, or even years.  They continue for whatever period of time they choose to keep us “on the hook.”  However, there are cues along the way that something is amiss.

So many personas, so little time…

Sometimes, they act in too many plays, playing too many roles at once.  This can cause an “overload,” of sorts.  They may actually forget what role they are playing or who we are to them.  Since little of what they portray to anyone is real, it can be hard for them to keep things straight.  They have to search.   It is as if they literally have to inventory their mental record keeping systems, searching for the correct file to pull. 

As a result, they occasionally slip up and experience difficulty “getting into character.”  Have you ever caught anyone in a momentary “lapse of persona,” where he or she did not remember who to be?  The psychopaths have to try to recall the correct persona to use, but can’t.

I have witnessed this occurrence on a few occasions.  However, there is one instance, in particular, that replays in my mind.  The incident was so bizarre that I stopped what I was saying and asked this individual if he knew who he was speaking to.  He indicated that he did.

I was incredibly confused by the tone and content of the conversation.  Both were inappropriate, given the circumstances.  Once queried, there was a significant pause in the conversation, while this person  “found” who he needed to be.  At that point, the “personality” switch was instant.  I witnessed two completely different personas.  He knew who he was speaking to all along, it just took him a moment to remember who I was to him.

Like an actor rushing off stage for a quick change, two very different “people,” or personas within the blink of an eye.

What happens next?

This is usually not obvious to us at first.  In fact, most people have trouble recognizing what is occurring.  Those closer to these individuals, who have greater access to observations for extended periods of time, are mainly the ones who come to see and recognize this.  Other, less involved relationships, tend to terminate prior to the reveals or remain very superficial.

This is very often why when the neighbors or co-workers of killers or domestic abusers are interviewed, many indicate that the perpetrators were “such nice guys.”  The reality is that the “nice guy” personas were the ones they knew.

However, when psychopaths or those with such features wear masks, those masks eventually crack.  It is then that we meet people we never knew.  We are left looking at the same physical beings we thought we were close to, but in reality, those people, or their personas, I should say, are gone.  It takes time to comprehend that the people and the personalities we thought we were close to never really existed.

Eventually, we realize the truth.  We need time to mourn this loss, as we would any other.  It’s necessary to take it.  With the understanding being half the battle, we can recover and mover forward from there.


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Thank you Linda…..he would mess up a lot and I would know it, but would brush it under the rug remaining to feel uncomfortable and confused.(he had many victims that he was acting for simultaneously) .Reading post on LF help bring order and understanding to the mess that was created by the “P”. It also helps me to forgive myself for my part, like minimizing the obvious…
I’m off to start my day now…I plan to use today for all the good that comes out of it!!


Clearly and succinctly expressed, very helpful. That another informed voice speaks this truth helps to dispell my self doubts concerning whether I perceive accurately what she was about. Post relationship of course. It does help somewhat that I consciously observed the slips and inconsistencies – and stopped explaining them away. What an erie feeling, when a much harder edged, void of good feeling true person would make an unexpected appearance. I’m not easily put off but at those moments I couldn’t shake the idea “… Something evil this way comes.”

Linda – this is fabulous. Thank you so much for your clear explanation of the masks they wear, and how the masks slip.


Its very interesting to read about the ‘letting slip & forgetting who to be’ part – my P made some shocking ‘reveals’ very early on in our relationship – observing them left me completely chilled -yet, because he was still in the super – nice ‘reeling me in’ stage, they weren’t directed at me, but at others (taxi drivers, waitresses, eventually, my four year old daughter) I took them to be evidence that he didn’t suffer fools gladly, tiredness, stress,bad day at work; anything to explain why ‘the other half of my soul’ could act so coldly and callously towards others. Later on in the relationship, when I was fully trapped and terrorised, I always wondered why I had continued with him when these episodes so clearly happened early on, when I had seen the nice guy persona drop and the true nature of the man revealed. I think it was because he didn’t forget to ‘perform’ for me, which further emphasised the ‘you’ve won a prize’ feeling I was being fed by him. Obviously I was the priority audience, and he was putting so much effort into convincing me that he hadn’t enough energy or concentration left to cater to the minor audience – ie everyone else.

Hindsight is now a wonderful thing and actually being able to identify, name and learn about all these different aspects of the whole hideous ordeal, thanks to Lovefraud, is the best thing that has happened to me in 15 years. This is the first time i’ve posted, although I’ve been reading the blog now for 6 weeks. In that 6 weeks I’ve found the confidence to want to share, ask and discuss, so thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. I’m now able to name the beast and the experience, I’ve even managed to use the P word in conversation with a trusted friend, and i no longer feel like a leper among all my friends with ‘normal’ relationships and breakups. Finding Lovefraud has coincided with a period of intense threat from the ex-p, which would normally have turned me into an anxious mess, but reading others similar stories and advice made those couple of weeks bearable (just!). Thank You Donna and everyone.

Ox Drover

Great ARticle, Linda, and I think it is the crux and the totality of what psychopaths are in this life….

I just finished reading a book about one of the very few Amish serial killers, a young man named Eli Stutzman who eventually killed his wife, his son, a lover and several others was very good at presenting the different “personas” both inside and outside the Amish and the “English” worlds…the straight and the gay communities…to his friends and neighbors….but only because the various people he presented his “personas” to didn’t know each other. If any of them had “coordinated” their knowledge, Eli’s personas would have come crashing down.

I also notice that many professional actors seem to have high psychopathic traits in their private lives….coincidence?

Ox Drover

Welcome to LoveFraud Simpleton, but I don’t think yo uare such a simpleton, I think your response showed great wisdom. Glad you found your way here. Many of us have found LF to be the salvation of our lives and our sanity. Again, welcome.


This is a really good article — thank you so much for writing it.

One part really resonated with me — and that is the part about the FACT that the masks are so good that they do effectively fool the intimate partner. I mean… in cases where there are children of sociopathic parents, those kids didn’t choose to be born into those families. In cases where it is workplace bullying by sociopaths, not that that isn’t awful (not minimizing it), but there is more freedom to leave, and I think the dynamic is different.

I’m having trouble expressing this… just zeroing in on the part about how in intimate partner relationships in particular (possibly friendships, too), the masks are firmly ON or the reveals so subtle that those of us who are hooked really do not catch on.

This has been one of the hardest parts… how could I have married him in the first place? People look at me like I was an incredible idiot. Well duh, I married someone else! And that person went away. After I was married, after I was pregnant.

So no — we are NOT stupid idiots. We just had the misfortune to give our hearts to a very good actor who pretended to be the love of our lives. Who does that?!? Now that I am aware of sociopaths, I know that they exist. But I didn’t, before.

I like your explanation, too, of the sudden “switching.” It really was weird how he could put on such a display of emotion, then instantly shut it off. I didn’t know how anyone could do that! When I get upset, it takes me awhile to let the hormones run through my body. I cannot shut it off instantly.

Also, the bizarre “rehearsing” different affects in front of the mirror… I cannot tell you how many times I caught him doing this… I never knew this was a spath thing until this article!

And — wait, there’s more — the mask slippage to be horridly abusive to waiters and yelling at other drivers of cars while driving — YES!!!! Then switching it off and being only loving and sweet to me. That is a reveal I should have listened to. I regret that I did not.


Articles like this are chilling to me because they so accurately describe my experience with the x-spath, not only explaining his odd and inappropriate behaviors but how he morphed himself into the person I was looking for by taking cues from what I told him about myself and what I was looking for in a partner.

Regarding how others perceived him, I think there were several levels. Co-workers and causal acquaintances find him charming, based upon my own observations and Facebook comments.

One close friend of his, whom I met, clearly has a “crush” on him but probably does not know about or is in denial about the real person. The x-spath certainly cultivates this “relationship” but I cannot understand why anyone would stay in an unrequited relationship for such a long time, as they know each other going on 10 years.

Another friend of his whom I met was his flat mate. This person probably “knows” the x-spath the best. One reason I say this is that their web presences track each other — every site the x-spath was active on, so was his flat mate. Given that the flat mate describes himself as a “hedonist,” he probably knows this side of the x-spath the best. When we met, this friend certainly seemed to goad the x-spath a bit (about his age, for example) and to this day I have the impression that this guy was on to the x-spath’s “game.”


It saddens me to think of how I settled for less than the crumbs on the floor that he would occasionally throw to me. I would think that I was not smart enough to be seeing things correctly..that whenever I challenged the slips, he had an answer even if still farfetched, I knew he would show me how I was wrong or how there is another perspective that is probably the correct one. I would see him go from extreme raging cruelty to immediately reassuring me of his love for me in a calm manner and stating that he accepted me as the flawed individual that I was and he was ok with it because he loved me…..This all saddens me and I have remorse for this loss of time and damage I allowed myself to undergo.
I find on LF, words that articulate what I could not, such as the wearing of a mask…I find great comfort knowing that nobody really knows what the unveiling or slipping of the mask is unless you have experienced it..Skylar said this to me yesterday and it put one of my fragments back to the work on regaining the whole me…


Wow, this is a really good post. This is what I just didn’t comprehend. Why did the words and emotions and actions not match?

Why did he say he loved me and not act like it?

I loved him and saw no reciprocity. I asked and asked, where is the truth? Do you love me or do you not? I never got an answer.

He couldn’t see the incongruity.

I saw it and couldn’t comprehend it. I cried! I denied!

Crazy making stuff.

I saw that he lied to other people about other stuff (he said he lived here when he really lived THERE…..or that he had THIS when he really had THAT…….) but I thought they were minor lies.

I didn’t realize that *HE* was a lie. A complete lie.
It was all fake.

This is the essense of a sociopath.




“I saw that he lied to other people about other stuff (he said he lived here when he really lived THERE”..or that he had THIS when he really had THAT—.) but I thought they were minor lies.

I didn’t realize that *HE* was a lie. A complete lie.
It was all fake.”

Every detail on my x-spath’s most active web profile (that I know of, he probably has others) is a lie except for his zodiac sign. If not for that, I would not have realized it was him.



It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

I’ve been no contact > a month now (keep trying, failing, getting up and trying again)……but each day is a gift. Yes, it hurts like hell (why? I have no idea why). And each day brings additional clarity about the confusion ( He said he loved me, but he f*cked other women).

It can only make sense when you look at him under the lense of the assumption that he’s a sociopath.


That we are all here, still talking about it, day after day, it says something, doesn’t it?



I don’t know how it is on this site that we came upon the language of a “tell” – that is, when the spath clearly gave us a clue as to their authentic selves…..

But I heard the word “tell” today on a documentary about history in Israel.

the sisterhood

Thank you for this article, Linda. You are a wonderfully articulate writer. You capture the essence of a sociopath so well.

It’s funny how I have been struggling with splitting hairs about my ex to figure out if he is indeed a spath. Well your article puts it all to rest for me. Thank You.

…and Oxy, I noticed the same thing about professional actors as well. Funny Thing!



“It can only make sense when you look at him under the lense of the assumption that he’s a sociopath.”

Absolutely, as there is no need for him to lie, other than to avoid discovery, which is a plausible reason.

“That we are all here, still talking about it, day after day, it says something, doesn’t it?”

Part of the experience dealing with one is that the unique nature of a sociopath is very hooking. Even after healing, there is some “haunting.” Especially when you see an article like this.

TBH, I am still waffling on “playing” the x-spath anonymously online, just to left him know that at least one person has him figured out, right down to the HIV he hides.

I think I may have introduced that word “Tell”. Not sure where I got it but the origins are certainly “telling”. lol!

The mounds certainly are symbolic of a hidden secret.


Skylar, a “tell” is a physical reaction that one person exhibits during a poker game. When a person exhibits a specific and repetitive habit if they are bluffing or holding a stacked hand.

Just thought I’d drop that in there…… 🙂


i have read that psycho paths can lead double lives. my ex did this and also seemed to switch from mr jeckyll to dr hyde. i realized later, he would use his anger and crazy behavior to manipulate, scare me into doing something; that he wasn’t just destructive and out of control, but it was very intentional. is there a difference between how these personas use their different “acts” or personalities and parallel lives from the way someone who is diagnosed with “multiple personalities” operates?

Ox Drover

BBE, “waffling” about how you should play him on line…shows me that you are still not in that nirvana of indifference. You still CARE….even if it is hate, it is caring. “showing” him is not going to be productive to him, and it will be, I can guarantee you, NOT GOOD FOR YOU. Take my word for it, my friend.

Ox Drover

JS, welcome to Love Fraud…sorry that you have a reason to be here but glad that you found your way to this healing community.

People with “multiple personalities” are called a different name.

Psychopaths are masters of the “fake” or “acting” and pretend to think or feel one way when in fact they are just faking.

There are hundreds of articles here for you to read and learn about psychopaths. The mroe we know the better we can heal. Knowledge is power so take back your power. Again, welcome.


Ox Drover: Thanks so much for the welcome! I’m so relieved to have found you all. I’ve never posted to a site before so I was a bit nervous.

Simpleton was the name I gave myself when I found out I had been lied to for 13 years – it summed up how I was feeling at the time – that it was all my fault, how could I not have seen it, been so stupid and pathetic. Two years later, and SO much wiser, now its kinda my badge of courage.

Alivetoday: ” This all saddens me and I have remorse for this loss of time and damage I allowed myself to undergo.”

You sum this feeling up so well – I resent having lost 13 years of my life to the ex, although I’ve got over most of the anger, but still, the sadness lingers for the person that I used to be, and will never be again.

BBE : ‘Part of the experience dealing with one is that the unique nature of a sociopath is very hooking. Even after healing, there is some “haunting.”

Yes! Will it always be this way? I would love to go one day without revisiting it. In spite of trying to eliminate every last little bit of physical evidence of his existence from my environment, I can’t do the same thing to my mind.


I really liked your reply to BBE. I still feel like I want to get revenge or just eff with her. My husband said the same thing to me that you just said to BBE.

I take no action with regard to her unless I talk about it first. This helps me to NOT take action. It seems like an awful cycle, but I have not contacted her/ratted her out etc. Oh, but some days I’d just love to. NC, NC, NC!

You make good sense, Oxy. Thanks.


Simpleton, I too would love to go one day without revisiting it…it doesnt matter if I am busy or not, the thoughts come and then the feelings and if I dont stop the feelings, they can snowball into depression…I am understanding that I have to stop the thoughts or relate another feeling to the thought….I also seem to have a continued gutted vacant feeling that seems like a physical addiction of some kind…the feeling itself seems like I am addicted to it..not the destruction of what the “P” did but the physcial feeling that he created within me.
Sometimes I wonder if it is because I begin to get bored with the daily “healthy” routines of life and I miss the chaotic feeling that somehow gave me a charge whether it was a positive or negative..Is this the reason that I revisit it? ….I am hoping that by sharing here, that it is a part of healing process and that this is an avenue for my personal healing and growth.

Ox Drover

Ana, there are days that I too want to slap the dog shiat out of a few of the Ps i’ve had to deal with, but you know it is back to that story of the two wolves that live inside of us, the good one and the bad one, and which one is the one that wins, the one we FEED. It is difficult sometimes not to feed the bad wolf but we have to work at it.

Like Alivetoday said, we sometimes I think become bored with the healthy routines and we want some excitement! I’m bored right now with the healthy CAST on my foot! LOL I want some excitement instead of crutches!


Ox Drover, :)….hang in there with the crutches..ur funny:)


Hahaha! Cast on the foot! I bet you want some excitement. I don’t want her kind of excitement; where she abuses and uses and I lose. Nah, not for me.

She moved within a mile of my house and I drive by her house every day on my way to work. I cannot help but look to see when she is home (mostly sitting on ass) and when she is not home. Spathy works at a tanning salon which, by the way offers massage. UGH

I have a lot of support from husband (thank God)But mostly I come here for support. Yes, that revenge wolf will have to go hungry…oh well.

Ox Drover

Yea, Ana, it’s been a carpy couple of weeks, now the cat has ring worm! so got to decontaminate the house cat/dog and when we find the kittens and they get big enough we have to decontaminate the outside cats as well. Life is ALWAYS “interesting” here on the farm!

I don’t have to drive by the egg donor’s house, there is a back way out of the farm and though when I leave my drive I COULD see her house if I looked off that direction, I keep my head turned and I’m at least a half mile away so most of the time I don’t even think about her when I drive out.

I contacted my parole attorney and he says we have to ahve our stuff in by May 2013 as the parole comes up sometime between August and December 2013 so I have to get cracking and it always triggers me, but I’m going to try to keep my head about me as I gather stuff to send.

I limped out to the yard for a while and looked at and enjoyed the blooming flowers and checked on the baby flowers in pots and watered them.

Saturday Cinco de Mayo is the son d’s B’day and we are going to Little Rock to celebrate with his “evil twin” brother (a friend who has the same birthday and year) and some other folks at a Mexican place. We will not be able to celebrate too much as we have no designated driver (I can’t drive with the cast on my foot) but we will still be able to cut up and act silly I am sure! One year they gave me a tamborine without any drum head OR any jingles (just a circle of wood) because my rhythm is so poor! LOL The mother of the other guy and I got up and danced in the aisles though and then other people started to do the same it was really a hoot! I was stone cold sober too so that made it even funnier! It’s time for me to have some fun! Bio family came down last weekend and visited with him and gave him a great present! An eagle scout commemorative Henry rifle which he had really wanted for quite a while.

So I’m gonna quit my whining and enjoy the weekend!


Hi Oxy,
Glad you are planning a good time with your son! Sounds like a party.

Yes, I was on crutches for two years in high school. I know how you feel.

Glad you will celebrate may 5. LOL

Hey, what about those white kittens???? Are you going to mail me one or what???? Oh, boy I’d love a white cat in the mail.

Ya, I do a drive by every day. lol

Keep your chin up ; )

stop mailing cats!!
that’s just too funny, I keep picturing a white kitty in a mailbox.
I read this book
about a cat in a library book drop.
It’s adorable. He’s a spath survivor.


Awwww, Dewey…so cute.

do you have a cat? You should, they make life so much better.


Great article Linda, what is sad is that you echoed some of what I told my ex Spath girlfriend a week ago. I told her that I was in love with the facade that she put up for the first 4-5 months of our relationship, but the last 8 months I have seen more and more of what I believe to be her true personality.

This is my first post here on LF, so I want to say and hello and thank you to everyone at this site. I did not realize until just three days ago that my ex is a sociopath. We were arguing in instant messanger about the break up and the fact that she could justify anything and actually believe her justification rather than just apologizing for lying…at which point I told her that only a pathological liar could do such a thing (little did I know!) and that she needed serious help.

So the problem I would like to address and really need advice about is this. My ex is pregnant! Since I dumped her, she claims to be moving over 300 miles away, back to where she came from, and she will give the child her last name, take me for child support, and get social security for the child (I am legally blind and on disability).

After perusing this site and many others in the last few days on the subject of sociopaths, I know exactly how this child will be treated unfortunately. Being disabled with little money, and her family has wealth, there is no way I am getting custody, at least not for many, many years, till the child can actually make the decision.

With the knowledge I have garnered from reading about the crap that male Spaths have pulled in regards to custody, I know that I could play the game and probably make my ex’s life miserable when it comes to visitation. But I feel sure that only my child would suffer from me doing this.

Is that best thing I can do for myself and the welfare of my child…to have no contact with either of them? If I were to do this, I would know that no abuse or pain that came to my daughter would be because me. Not to mention the genetics issue and my daughter being predisposed to a mental illness due to her mother.

I really don’t know what the RIGHT thing to do is. My daughter’s well being is my primary concern. I have been deceived, but I am resilient, I will survive this. Should I willingly inflict a Spath mother’s abuse upon my daughter just so that I can be part of her life? Please advise.

kim frederick

Skylar, I read the Dewey book too. As I recall his name was Dewey Readmore Books. 🙂

kim frederick

Smart, are you absolutely sure she is pregnant? Absolutely sure the baby is yours? If yes, I would advise you to stay in your chil’s life. Having one sane and loving parent as a buffer can absolutely save an at risk child!!! It might be a roller coaster ride through hell for you, but you say it’s your daughter’s well-being you’re concerned about. Absolutely, stay involved.

First thing, find out if anything is true. They lie. You will need a paternity test done.
Second, learn everything you can about how they think. and Learn to gray rock.

Third, don’t make it known that you care. She will use that against you.

I hope it turns out it’s not your child. That would be the best thing.

Oh yes Dewey Readmore Books. My cat Dillon looks exactly like him. Only Bigger.



Yes I am sure she is pregnant, or was 5 weeks ago at Dr. appt and ultrasound. I am 90% sure she is mine, I would say 100, but with all my trust gone now, I am leaving room here.

I totally understand what you are saying, but isn’t the mother going to take it out on our daughter if I fight to be in her life? What happens when she starts getting older and asking about me? I feel certain that she would be abused even more so for me being part of her life. In essence my ex would take out her anger at me, on our daughter. Is this what my daughter needs to have happen in order to know that there is some sanity in the world? Wouldn’t I actually be making it far worse for her?

I am not trying to make excuses here in order to save myself. Now that I know what force I am up against, I know how to fight it, but won’t my daughter be the one that pays the price for it?



I agree that a paternity test is required, she is due late August. So I do have time to do my research and prepare. I have not spoken to her in three days now, and will only talk to her about Dr. appts and such in the future. I hope that the child is not mine as well, but with the way she started acting after the day she found out she was pregnant…I am pretty sure it’s mine and she got exactly what she wanted. A way to get paid to do nothing, she hasn’t worked a day since we got together a year ago, so I now know exactly what her plan was. I am just too late to do anything about it!

What a catch-22 we are in when in a relationship with a sociopath. It seems like no matter what I do it will be wrong.



I had a cat for 18 years. She was a gorgeous Himalayan. She died in August 2005 and I haven’t replaced her…I have been catless for almost seven years now! I really should think about getting one, but with me traveling more now that I am not working, I don’t want to leave one alone. And my poor baby…I worked so much when I had her, she was alone all the time and she hated it!


js says:

“i have read that psycho paths can lead double lives. my ex did this and also seemed to switch from mr jeckyll to dr hyde. i realized later, he would use his anger and crazy behavior to manipulate, scare me into doing something; that he wasn’t just destructive and out of control, but it was very intentional. is there a difference between how these personas use their different “acts” or personalities and parallel lives from the way someone who is diagnosed with “multiple personalities” operates?”


As OX stated, the “double lives” and “Jekyll/Hyde” behavior shown by sociopaths is not the same as a multiple personality disorder and comes as a result of sociopaths wearing “masks” to both hide the real person when targeting victims.

The Jekyll/Hyde switch is simply a mask slip, revealing the real person. Alcohol often facilitates the slip.

Dual lives are not a psychiatric state; rather, a carefully constructed situation. My x-spath is nearly classic in this way. His mask is the nice “next door” type guy, the kind you would take home to meet mom. In reality, he is a international sexual predator with a porn addiction facilitated by his job as a flight attendant. I have very strong evidence he is HIV+, something else he masks.

His mask in person is so good that I somehow believed that a gay man, in the most notorious profession for a gay man other than escorting, was actually reserved and sorted, to use his own words.



With the playing thing, it is more about what I see as a last opportunity to at least somehow let him know somebody has him figured out. Thus, my thoughts really are more in line about closing that one thing I never did, telling him I know all about him.

That I have had this opportunity since January and have not acted on it perhaps says something about the real importance…

Ox Drover

Dear SYD,

Welcome to LF…sorry things are not going really well for you now.

How far along is your X girl friend? I’m with Sky, get a DNA test, a legal one not just an over the counter one.

Also, read the article written by Skylar on “Gray Rock” *(or maybe it is GrEy Rock, can’t remember which) because you do need to pretend at least to this witch that you do not care about the kid.

If you are poor and on SS disability, about all she is going to get out of you money wise is from SS.

As far as no contact with your daughter so that there is no relationship built with the child being the best thing or not, I cannot say and only you can decide.

If her mother is high in psychopathic traits, lying, etc. the kid’s life will be hell you can count on that. You being in her life from a distance may not be helpful. It will be used against you though. You can count on that.

Ox Drover

BBE, I stand by what I said before. The “Closure” we get has to come from WITHIN not from doing some kind of “contact” mumbo jumbo, or “showing them” or anything else it has to be NO CONTACT is our closure.

As long as you are still trying to figure out some way to “show him” anything, then you are still emotionally involved with him. That’s the thing, the basic concept that YOU have to grasp about “closure” with these folks.

Look at what Dupey has done, going back and going back and going back for “one last contact” and how it has hurt her.

While your relationship with this guy was only a very short termed one, none-the-less some how he managed to get a very DEEP hook into your psyche. I’m not sure particularly why but only you can answer that maybe because you were so sick at the time. In any case, the hook is still there me thinks because of the “need” you have to “show him”—communicating with him is still CONTACT.



Thank you for responding, I was really hoping that you would, since I have a ton of respect for you after reading many of your posts here.

She is due late August, and I will definitely be getting a paternity test done. You are right that she will not get a whole lot from me since I have very little, but I do believe that she will be moving on to bigger targets.

I am going to start working on getting into therapy, because I am so emotionally numb right now. It seems like all I can feel right now is embarrassed for falling for her con, and angry now that I have figured out what she was really up to. I really need to figure out why I enjoyed the “love bombing” so much, and would allow myself to be manipulated by this type of personality.

I know that the child will suffer emotional abuse from her mother whether I see her or not, I just don’t know how much worse it will be from me trying to stay in her life…

I have a lot of respect for you because of all the Spaths and Ppaths you have had to deal with in your life and yet seem to have come out emotionally healthy on the other side. How have you healed and not internalized all the abuse?

I will look for the article on Grey Rock, although I have seen enough posts to understand it partially right now. My ex is furious with me right now because I have refused to go to her ObGyn appts with her since the breakup. She says that it shows I don’t care about our daughter…I say that these appts are about her and to comfort her in the pregnancy. She already knows how much I love children and care about my daughter’s welfare, so I am not to sure how it will come off if I go grey rock on the subject. Perhaps I should just tell her “I will wait for the paternity test to care”?

Thanks again, and thanks for the welcome.


I was driving today and I was thinking about this article when I began to remember how he use to tell me he told me things when in fact he never told me…it could have been just a simple statement or comment regarding his opinion or something that happened to him…He did this sooooo many times that I realized that he was definitely speaking to other women…It would begin lots of arguments “no, you never told me that” and he would reply “yes I did, you luney bitch, your memory sucks” …this was over a 3 year period…i knew what was going on but told myself he must just be “networking” and that is why he is getting confused who he told what to….the fact of the matter was, he was networking his hobby of hoarding women…I knew this…i ignored it, denied it…I feel so much stronger today not to be a sucker!! I dont have anything left to lose anyway, he took it all…


Alive today,

No he didn’t take it all…….he may “hoard women” as you so aptly put it, but he isn’t going to add you to his collection is he? They …..spaths… Like to have their little brood of people that they can use. Mine had men and women. Oh and his own children. The level to which they stoop is lowest of the low


Thank you Strongawoman….


I read Skylar’s article about going gray rock and I totally agree. It’s odd but the minute that I figured out that she is a Spath, I stopped communicating with her. I would give her one or two word responses, and that has been all she has gotten from me since I figured out that I was dealing with a soul less beast. It was almost as if it was intuitive to stop giving her any fodder for her lies and deception.

I must say that after reading a lot more here today, I am getting more determined to fight it out for my child’s safety. I am still not sure that this is the right thing to do, but at least I feel like I have more of a fighting chance after the stories I have read. I know I need to wait until the baby is born and have a solid paternity test before jumping in with both feet, but I am feeling a little more empowered now.

Thank you everyone for posting on this site, I don’t know how victims of this kind of abuse got through it before LF existed. After reading many articles, I am now realizing that this is my second relationship with a Spath in the last 6 years. I have to seriously question why in the world am I attracted to the “Love Bombing” that these monsters do so darn well? Both times I have been the target, they chose me, but thinking about it…most all of my relationships have started with the woman letting me know that she was interested. I am not even sure how to change this since I was brought up to be respectful to women and not be pushy when attracted to someone.



Last night I chatted with a Nica acquaintance of mine who worked hard in the hostel where I stayed with the spath while visiting him. This man and his brother made sure I was well and safe, and gave me a feeling they were my back-up against my spath’s tricks.

Anyway the elder of the two brothers is divorced and has a daughter with his ex. One of his primary reasons to work was to provide for his daughter. He now works and lives in Costa Rica (better pay), but doesn’t see his daughter as often anymore, and told me how his ex makes dramarama for him all the time. I gave him some advice – pretend not to care so much about your daughter and mention how it would be an inconvenience to your plans if she were to visit this and this time. If his ex is spathic (and by his account of wanting to inconvenience him whenever she can she probably is), she’ll let his daughter visit more and for longer times 😉

Ox Drover


You rfell for the love bombing because you are HUMAN. DUH???? iT FEELS GOOD WHEN PEOPLE TELL US HOW WONDERFUL WE ARE. AND HOW SEXY….

So don’t beat yourself up over that one.

If you are on SSD (correct me if I am wrong) you won’t have to directly pay out of your disability is my understanding but Social Security will give her a paymen in addition to yours. She will not have medical insurance but you should have medicare and possibly medicaid in addition.

Your X will use the child as a club to hurt you with. If she moves away with an infant it will be difficult for you to bond with her. I suggest you go toDr. Leedom’s web site parenting the at risk child. There’s a link here on LoveFraud. Dr. Leedom’s book :”Just like his father” is another must fo ryou.

Good luck.

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