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By | March 15, 2015 34 Comments

Why am I a magnet for sociopaths?

I received the following email from a woman, whom we’ll call “Adriana,” who had been in touch several years ago about the psychopath in her life. Her experience was so outrageous that I wrote it up as one of the True Lovefraud Stories.

As you’ll see from her email, after that destructive involvement, she met three more psychopaths.

Her question is, “Why?” Read her story:

Adriana’s story

After dealing with that psychopath I didn’t date anybody for 3 years, the trauma was so hard on my trust I just couldn’t bring myself to date anybody. Finally after 3 years of healing I dated a person from my workplace; I’m a teacher. It lasted only 4 months with multiple cheating on me with other staff members and parents of students. Ghetto behavior I know ”¦ Also I was diagnosed with cancer during our period of dating and once I went into the hospital for surgery he stopped all communication. That’s it, no inquiry of my health, no contact, nothing. Okay he’s a sociopath, I figured him out and let it go, no contact.

During my year of treatment and healing I met another man at the phone store, he pursued me aggressively, calling, texting, asking for dates. Finally I agreed to date him, it was a wonderful interaction, thoughtful dates, roses, chocolate strawberries every time we met, etc. 2 months into it I received an email from another woman who described her dating him identical to mine, she said, “He’s a lunatic, he will stare you in the eyes and stab you in the back, he is a sociopath.” Her words not nine. I confronted him and he disappeared. Okay, another sociopath.

Soon after that I went to my high school reunion, 25 years. I reconnected with old friends, via FB. Another guy I dated in high school contacted me. It had been 27 years since we last saw each other, our dating was sweet and innocent, I always thought of him fondly. It turned out he lives less than 2 hours away. We started talking everyday on the phone for 2-3 hours, old feelings were stirred up in addition to new mature feelings for him, it was mutual.

I told him about my cancer, he told me about his ex wife (another old classmate I knew too), we got back together exclusively, everything was wonderful. He’d spend days in my city, I’d spend days in his city.

One day I asked him who a person was on his FB page, he flipped out on me, stated yelling and screaming, pacing the apt, sobbing I had to leave. It was like a complete 180 in his behavior. He stole things from my apt and my extra apt key. I tried to figure out what the hell was going on? Because I asked who a person was in a photo?

For weeks I tried making up with him and get my apt key back, finally I had to show up at his place unexpectedly to get my key. During this back and forth interaction he said he was bipolar but he didn’t act like he had mood swings, until that awful day. For weeks he’s been calling me horrible names, telling me he’s going to teach me I can’t disrespect him etc.

Finally I told him that he’s not bipolar he’s a sociopath, we had discussions earlier about psychopaths because his ex wife is believed to be one too. But I think he told me he was biploar to gain sympathy or pity, I really think he’s a sociopath. I’ve let him go, he’s an old friend I loved and trusted 27 years ago and for a wonderful few months we he played the part of “our 2nd chance, a blessing.” We picked up where we left off but I was blindsided with his malice and psycho behaviors.

My question for you, Donna, is why am I a magnet for sociopaths or psychopaths? After the first one I recognized all the signs. I put up boundaries with these last few men and they all turned out to be a sociopath or full blown psychopath?

Over the last 4 years I’ve done endless research on psychopaths, sociopaths, etc. I just do not understand how I could attract 4 sociopaths in a row, I am so sad, disappointed, angry, raging, how could this happen?

I’d love some insight, also I don’t mind if you post these unsettling set of stories. My friends are so perplexed that I’ve attracted 4 sociopaths/psychopaths in a row, 1 who is an old boyfriend who turned out to be the most damaging since I’m still healing from cancer.

Why did this happen?

Actually, it’s easy to answer your question, although changing your experience will take time and dedication.

You keep attracting sociopaths because you have more emotional healing to do.

Understanding the warning signs of a sociopath intellectually is one thing. Recovering emotionally from the damage they inflict upon us is another process entirely.

You are still carrying the pain, betrayal, disappointment, anger and frustration of the experiences with the sociopaths in your body. I would bet that these emotions even contributed to your cancer.

In fact, the painful emotions probably go back further than the first sociopath, because some experience, emotional pain or vulnerability had to be in place to attract the initial sociopath.

To fully heal, you need to find a way to release the energy of those emotions and pain from your body.

Tara Brach’s approach

How exactly do you do that? I’ve tried to explain the process a few times here on Lovefraud, but maybe my explanations aren’t detailed enough. So I’d like to suggest that you and other members of Lovefraud read the following web articles by Tara Brach.

Tara Brach has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is also a meditation teacher. She combines both approaches as she helps clients.

In the first article, Tara describes how a client who suffered sexual abuse as a child was able to find a path to recovery. Some Lovefraud readers may identify with the client’s experience.

The power of Radical Acceptance: Healing trauma through the integration of Buddhist meditation and psychotherapy, on TaraBrach.com. 

In the second article, Tara describes how so many of us grow up believing there is something wrong with us, and how to change that belief.

Working with our stories: An interview with Tara Brach, on TaraBrach.com.

I think Tara’s approach can be really healing. I can say that my own healing experience was similar to the approach that Tara suggests. I explain it in detail in my first book, Love Fraud.

Tara Brach is the author of a book called Radical Acceptance. I haven’t read it yet, but I want to soon.

 

Posted in: Donna Andersen

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Oncebitten

Hello
I have to comment on this article/story as the same thing has happened to me. In my opinion, I just think that anyone who has a heart and is human, can be subject to at any time, meeting a sociopath. It’s almost impossible to know in the beginning.
Number 2. The fact that we have been wounded, makes us even more subseptible to meeting another. Our vulnerabilites are our weakness’ and it’s very difficult because as humans, it’s a catch 22 as we need other humans to heal us, yet, we also become very weary of whom we meet. It’s almost like a desperation in a sense that we are giving off to some. And sociopaths can smell like a shark. I’ve became so numb to other humans, mostly male, because of the torture that I’ve gone through. I don’t trust and this has made me completely introverted and alone. Honestly, it sucks that I live this way, but I literally have break downs whenever someone becomes too close to me. I cannot be touched, and I cannot love. I’ve been sicken with anxiety and paranoia so bad that I cannot function nor work. And the worst part is no-one understands and is getting tired of me not wanting to move on. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I don’t know how. I’ve lost my entire family recently and am all alone. I’ve gone to therapists, but it’s either too much money, nor they do not help or understand. If anyone out there has any helpful advice I’d really appreciate it. I am desperate myself to be with someone, but I am so messed up with being able to trust, that I may also be pushing away the good. Unfortunatley after dealing with a sociopath, or even two, the world becomes a very scary place…for me anyway. I don’t see things the way I used to and this is an absolutely horrible way to live. Thanks for article, I found it hit home for me as well. I totally get it, and you’re not alone. We definitely need to heal, but for me, I thought I did…and I got bit again.

Escapefor1

Oncebitten and Adriana,

Oncebitten, do not worry because I think that many/most of us feel the same way, and for far longer than we expected. I know I felt exactly as you do, and sometimes still do when I get overwhelmed. But maybe it will help you to know that it does get better, hard as that is to believe now.

For me, it was helpful, complimentary, encouraging friends that gradually drew me out. Then, an old boyfriend, with whom I reconnected (though I definitely worried about my past blind spot to sociopaths and looked very, very hard at whether he was one before trusting him — similar to Adriana’s experience — luckily in my case, he turned out to be a good person). I also was a co-parent who became a single parent with sole custody, so I was forced to engage with others and get out of the house, like it or not. That kept me connected with others when I might have preferred to withdraw completely and live like a hermit.

It takes a lot of repeated exposure to learn to re-engage ourselves with others, feel comfortable doing so, and develop confidence it will not be used against us. It takes a long while to trust again, though I imagine we will never be as trusting as we once were.

For me, I always assumed people were generally good unless they proved otherwise. But now I know they aren’t always, that there are evil people in the world who just want to harm others for fun. My worldview is shaken, as was my power to judge people well. It takes work in understanding both healthy and sociopathic people to restore your faith in being able to determine who is good and who does not have your best interests at heart — for whatever reason, including sociopathy.

As far as how to avoid sociopaths and why they keep appearing, I do have some thoughts on that, perhaps not fully organized yet, but here goes:

We absolutely need to learn what sociopaths look like — what attitudes, what behaviors, what giveaway daily habits — they have, to learn to stay away from them. As Donna says, this can be done on an intellectual level. Reading on this site and on others concerning sociopaths or their victims gives you repeated stories. After a while, parallels emerge and you learn what to look for. I found it super-helpful to read as many books on narcissists and pscychopaths as I could get my hands on. Some have lists of warning signs, such as Donna’s book on red flags of Lovefraud, and Sandra Brown’s book on loving a psychopath and her book(s) on dangerous men. I have learned enough now that I know I am better at detecting sociopaths, perhaps not perfectly, but much better. When the reading gets too repetitive, you are getting to understanding.

There has been research proving that psychopaths are better than others at instantly picking who will make a good victim. They do it through body language, and then by what people say. Then, they test their potential victim in small, subtle ways to see whether they are gullible, needy, and vulnerable. They listen to you to mold themselves after what you want. So, learn better, stronger looking body language and do not give your wants and needs away to or trust people you have not known for a long time (perhaps years) under a variety of conditions. Build your knowledge of them, and do not trust until you have seen what they are made of. Do not make yourself dependent on them, interdependent on them, and do not support them.

But some, like a former friend or boyfriend, that you have known for a long time in the past can get past this step. Don’t skip it. I realized when learning why I did not notice that for almost 25 years I was married to a sociopath, that I had in fact known and interacted with several narcissists and psychopaths personally and professionally who had initially fooled me. In fact, I was drawn to them more strongly than usual. I had a huge “blind spot”. As I only recently taught myself to look out for these sorts, I do not give anyone I knew before that time a free pass. They all have to re-qualify in a sense.

Donna mentions that we also have to learn how to detect them on an emotional level, I would say almost a visceral level. Why do we find them so appealing? Why are we drawn to them? What do we provide that they find so appealing?

I had to examine why I was so strongly attracted to sociopaths, and why I found them so interesting and compelling. Part of that is what they do to make themselves just what we want. But part of it is what we seek out. For me, I seek intensity. I like someone very into what they are doing, generally very intent, and very into me. Unfortunately, sociopaths, especially narcissists and psychopaths, are very intense. Not all intense people are sociopaths, though. I was lucky to find someone who was very intense and also genuinely caring.

Before that, though, I did meet and date someone pretty intense, who made it very clear he liked me. He was a lot of things I look for in a man, and he was clearly interested in me and appreciative of me. He is successful and his life seemed to be going well, in general. After a few weeks, though, I began to suspect he might be somewhat sociopathic, though not nearly as badly as my ex was. I felt he was sort of halfway, with many redeeming features. Turned out after learning much more and he disclosed more that it happened that he had been tested for psychopathy using the Hare PCL-R checklist. On it, he scored as a mild psychopath on the spectrum, not that far above normal, and below the level where a lot of dysfunction is typically seen. But still, at some level, a psychopath. By this time, though, I had begun to strongly suspect this. I was wondering if I was looking too hard for that, and so seeing it where it was not there. Turned out I was right, and bolstered my faith in recognizing sociopaths. I have also recognized a couple of people who are borderline, one who was diagnosed.

Back to my old boyfriend, with whom I reconnected. I spent months looking for positive signs that he was a sociopath, and did not see them. I also looked hard for attitudes, and even more behavior since action speaks louder than words, that would be things sociopaths would never do. I saw things he did that sociopaths would not do, like sacrifice himself for the good of others, or apologize, or actually change after discussions about problems. After a long while, I began to trust that he was a genuinely good person and began to trust in him. After almost two years, I feel very sure that he is not any kind of sociopath, though a super small sliver of me realizes that he is very smart and could possibly fool me, but I realize that is most likely my past and paranoia talking, not real. However, sociopathy is not the only serious problem that can affect a person or a relationship, so I have learned to not only look out for sociopaths, but for any type of serious problem.

Again, the answer to all these possible problems is time. Time to get to know the person in a variety of contexts with a variety of people through good and bad times, through ups and downs in the relationship. In addition to the usual questions about a relationship and the usual things you look for, there are some questions and their answers that may indicate when there are problems, including sociopathy or abuse. How does he handle his problems? How does he handle yours? How do you argue and do you resolve things? How does he show he cares? Is any of that giving away too much of yourself? Do you feel he genuinely gives of himself to you? And so many more questions about how real both your love and caring are, and how you both deal with life separately and together. By waiting to see all this, I believe we can have more confidence in our relationships. Waiting long enough, we will see what obstacles or insights emerge, and how much our love holds — critically before we commit in an more irrevocable way, whatever that means to the individuals involved.

By doing all this, we will also not be so appealing to them. We will not be so giving so early. We will not give away ourselves for their benefit. We may not even amuse them enough in the ways that they want. So, to some extent, they will leave. This is what happened in the case of my seeing the somewhat psychopathic man I mentioned (before I saw my boyfriend). I did not satisfy his more psychopathic type interests, and so ultimately I did not keep his interest. He moved on, and I let him, somewhat relieved I did not have to worry about a psychopath in my life, or decide how acceptable it was to let him in even just for fun, as psychopaths can also be very amusing. It was a mutual decision, and I was happy with it.

I think avoiding attracting more and more sociopaths then involves not looking or acting like a victim (not to blame the victim, but the psychopaths themselves say this is one piece), learning to intellectually recognize their pattern in order to avoid them, learning why we are emotionally drawn to them and either changing those patterns or learning to find those attractions in non-sociopaths, and learning the relationship patience to be more sure of people before committing.

Just my thoughts and what has seemed to work for me. I have been able to meet friends and date, even when I thought I had no interest and might never have an interest, and I found someone wonderful with whom I have a significant relationship. He is not a sociopath. Take heart because it can happen.

emotionallyraped

So well written. That helped me. Thank you.

Adriana

Oncebitten and Escapefor1 and Donna:

Thank you for your comments, the last 5 years has been an education in sociopathy. After the first extreme psychopath Donna referenced, I researched socio/psychopaths extensively, I spoke with many professionals including law enforcement, read books, the internet, etc. Initially, it took me a very long time to wrap my head around the existence. People deliberately lied, stole, manipulated other people? Why? That was a hard concept to understand. Once I learned all I could about sociopaths, I could pick out a sociopath without question. Family and friends couldn’t understand my sudden ability to identify a sociopath and their traits. I realized people who I thought were my friends were not, they were sociopaths it just took me some time to figure them out. I slowly backed away from them, cut them out of my life very quietly, some noticed, some did not. The ones who did notice responded in subtle ways, sent an evil anonymous email or tried to manipulate me or my job, I maintain no contact.

What I find so disturbing is that these 3 sociopaths (romantically) all came after me in different settings, one was a colleague, I saw him everyday professionally, the second sold me a phone, then immediately pursued me, I actually put him off for two weeks so could run a background check on him, the third was such a surprise, an old high school sweetheart who happens to live close to me after 27 years. I looked for the signs, I put up boundaries. The third sociopath bothers me the most, we grew up together, we dated in the past, we know all the same people and I just came off cancer treatment, I find it so unbelievable that my old friend betrayed me in such a manner.

So my struggle is, do I have to change who I am to avoid sociopaths? Should I face the world being suspicious of everyone, my answer is yes and no. I’m not going to change who I am because 4% of the population are searching for victims, however, I will be more aggressive in my position if I will allow them into my life.

soconfused

I am currently in a marriage that I know hasn’t been right. We have been together for almost 7 years and I knew there was something not normal. It took me this long to really start reading on liars and when I read the definition of a sociopath, I looked for his picture. I am just beginning to learn about this so I was wanting to know if anyone could help me know if I am making the right decision. This is also my first time on here so I am not certain if I just post my story her??

Jan7

If you believe your husband is a sociopath…RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!! If you are not sure share your story here and/or call the National Domestic violence center 800-799-SAFE (USA) or google your county to get the number.

Open up to your friends & family asap about what is going on and ask them to look at Lovefraud so they fully understand.

Go to your local abuse center asap and ask them for help too!!

Get an EXIT PLAN together if you are still living with him. You can find out about Exit Plan by Googling “domestic abuse exit plan”, look at the National Domestic abuse website, google “dr phil domestic abuse exit plan” and googling Domestic abuse exit plan you tube.

Get a restraining order with the help of your local abuse center do not weaver on this what so ever.

KEEP REACHING OUT FOR HELP HON, YOU ARE NOT ALONE ANYMORE…WE HEAR YOU!!

soconfused

Thank you so much, it feels exciting that there is someone to talk to. I am going to share my story and see what everyone thinks that has actually gone though this.

Jan7

Soconfused…for me finding this site & others just made me feel like I was not alone that their were others who understood exactly what I went through.

If you are still living with your abuser please make sure that you clear your history from your computer so he does not see that you are leaving him. It’s best if you have not left to use a friends computer or family members.

Please remember the most dangerous time for a woman in a abusive relationship is when she leaves her abuser or is planning on leaving. This is why an Exit Plan out of your relationship is so vitally important.

I forgot to let you know to do a search on the top of LF and on the net about “sociopath smear campaign” this is another reason why you want to tell your family & friends what is going on because he will spread lies to cover his tracks and he also wants to isolate you from your support network so that you will go back to him and he also wants to shift the blame to you. They are very crazy and will make your life a living hell 1000 times worse when you leave them.

biggestdummyofall

You are not crazy. You are not at fault. TRUST your intuition. That voice inside you telling you to run is your instinct to survive and it will not lead you to the wrong conclusion. Make a plan to leave and prepare for whatever you will need but if a situation comes where you feel in danger LEAVE IMMEDIATELY as there is help out here and close to wherever you may be. IT DOES NOT GET BETTER with an SPATH , it gets much worse especially once they realize you are on to them. Please let us know how you are doing and what help or resources you might need. We have BEEN THERE. We UNDERSTAND.

dorothy2

“You keep attracting sociopaths because you have more emotional healing to do.”

I really doubt this statement is a) true b) able to be proven. It is a belief and it is a subtle form of blaming the victim in my opinion.

gypsies

I am surprised to admit that I agree strongly with this statement. pop psychology always thinks we have something to repair in ourselves so we will always have something “wrong” with us. I agree though that we also store some harms within us. We may always carry our experience in some less than desirable way. Does this mean we are always going to be subject to new psychopaths? yes. BECAUSE THEY ARE OUT THERE. They act quickly on what they want to… and that’s anything and anyone.

That the writer of this article has been able to identify and leave so many potential tragedies is a testament to her strength. I hope she knows that above all and before she asks the question, “what is wrong with me?”

Let me offer a new opinion on why we are so susceptible. Many of us are empathic. we are a corollary 10% of the population. Not everyone has a high level of reading others emotions or body language as some of us do.

Many of us have spoken about “feeling” conversations with our ppath. After looking into my own feelings when the mask dropped after a 20 year marriage, I found that I was feeling feelings that appeared to not belong to me. It was almost like a foreign invasion of rage, envy, competition . . .uh oh…. things that a ppath might feel.

Oddly, when I dealt with those feelings by simply acknowledging they weren’t mine and that they needed to go away… they simply left. really weird. SO I looked further. I visited with a world renown ppath doctor and he lead me to studies on something called projective identification. ppaths are profoundly good at this and can confuse the most seasoned clinician. Specialized ppath clinicians are trained to deflect against it because it is so hard to get beyond.

Im not saying that Ppaths have some wild psychic superhuman power. We all actually did this as babies. We grew beyond the practice and they didnt.

What I have found is that WE have a very special ability to feel along with others in a way that many do not. For us it is important to embrace our ability to do that and to understand how when and where to use it. Primarily, it is OUR ability to read them from a distance and cross the street before they notice us. We simply have to learn to respect our own limbic system signals, honor them, and act BEFORE we are discovered. Let me translate that: we need to know ourselves well and honor what we feel in a way that society didnt prepare us for. Our feeling need to come first for OUR purpose.

This takes me back to blaming the victim. Women are trained to facilitate others needs, desires, and feelings before our own. Empaths are extra good at this. We don’t see ourselves as the primary authority. We also have a biological need to “submit” on some level. Don’t mistake this as giving your self away. Its not that, its only a consequence of being the receiver, the sacred vessel, so to speak. We have to give up to receive.

Add to this the cultural environment that is increasingly failing to deal with moral issues and protection of women. (I dare say we have lost about all of the progress women have made in the last 100 years.) It seems almost instant response to blame the victim. One might also note that the prison track frequently refers to “criminals” as those that have been disenfranchised through former victim blaming behaviors and lack of appropriate resolution of bullying, crimes, harms, and hurts, when actually they are the victims of someone else’s bad behavior that was left unchecked. Look at the field of restorative justice to see what I mean.

Forgive me for saying this but, an experience with a ppath is a wake up call and a blessing in the devils disguise. It signals you to individuate- to mature. It is time to embrace YOU as the sole authority among the world. You will have to do this as a thinking feeling human being AND as an animal. Start moving into your body in a profound and loving way. Take responsibility for your words and actions, live with intent, let your integrity flourish. (and I add: scream like donald southerland did when discovering a human being at the end of invasion of the body snatchers. Only you do it when you see a ppath. lol.) The bottomline here is YOU have to take control of your life in a profoundly different way. And learn to save your feeling for others for only those you chose to give that to, someone that truly deserves your compassion. Many do not and they will hang around sucking energy like vampires needing your light.

and one last thing. Stop others when you see the victim blaming and help repair the harm… the world is in sore need of teachers. Empaths can alter the environment like no one else.

When you can embody all of this, YOU have won against the Ppath. The world can restore balance, and the community you seek can flourish. You are strong, you have always known how Dorothy, just click those shoes together.

biggestdummyofall

WE ARE MAGNETS FOR SOCIOPATHS. They LOOK for us. They stalk us like we are their prey because WE ARE. The only thing that surprises me anymore about them is HOW MANY there are. Once you know the traits to look out for and how to look out for the red flags that used to be invisible, it’s amazing how you learn to put up barriers to keep them away. Spaths spend their whole lives learning how to find the most vulnerable, and those of us that have that “V” trait have to learn how to wipe it off our foreheads! It’s kind of a shame that we have to force ourselves be mistrustful of people. It’s a shame we have to force ourselves to alter our true nature that is to trust and love openly. A lot of things we have had to change are a shame because of SPaths, but we HAVE to in order to survive and be able to find a “Normal” relationship. I question if I even can ever have that normality in my life. I have found that I just can’t erase that “V” off my forehead no matter how hard I try. It’s as if they can SMELL it on me or something. I can totally ignore them. I can run away from them and try my best to dissuade them and it does no good. THEY KNOW. That is why I choose to live my life alone now. Either every other man in my city is an Spath or there is something in the water that makes a greater percentage of men turn into them here. I live in Las Vegas NV and it seems as if ALL men here are Spaths ! I don’t know but to be honest I just give up. God help us all.

gypsies

hahaha. in my lengthy response to dorothy, I realize I am reinforcing the idea that we need to heal. just not in the past like therapists do, but now and into our futures. Everyone tells us that we are victims. I invite you to remove the victim mask and empower yourself. YOU are a good being with lots to offer. You simply have to stop looking outside yourself for affirmation. it’s INSIDE YOU NOW.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

I have the opposite question…why do I repel normal guys?
When I figure out a guy is nice and I’m interested, he’s not lol
EVERY time it happens — for the last yr. Still bringing the disordered men in like moths tho (which I quickly say byebye to). Why do normal men quickly want zero to do with me? I’m not clingy or weird. All I can figure is I won’t kiss them in a date or 2. Not interested in casual anything and I need to know someone before I know if I like them enough to kiss them lol
But I know it’s more than that as a worthwhile man won’t want to be all kissyface with me either superquick.
ARGH

curls

aintgonnastakeitnomore

How do you know those normal guys are normal? Maybe you’re repelling creeps that you don’t know are creeps yet. Being apparently in order, doesn’t always mean emotionally sane.

Not kissing right away, won’t stop a quality guy. It may make sense at the door to say you are interested, so he doesn’t get the idea you aren’t. …but at no time feel pressured for a kiss when it’s not time for you yet. You’ll get a lot less 3rd dates without a kiss, but only with the guys that weren’t very serious to begin with. The serious ones will wait — or point blank ask if you are interested.

On if someone is nice, I look at their talk about their exs, their families, and other people. If they tell a difficult tale, but have never done quality work around it — they aren’t ready for a relationship. If they have everything ship shape, but have something negative to say about someone they shouldn’t — they aren’t ready for a relationship. I once met a woman who told me she liked her son in law more than her daughter. She was a nice, successful, pleasant person who you wouldn’t think for a second was defective. However, that little tiny passing comment that she’s probably explain away somehow — creeped me out to the core.

It’s possible you have some healing to do, and there’s something about you that knows you aren’t really ready for something right now. It’s possible you haven’t met the right person yet. It’s possible you’re over estimating the ones you are meeting. It’s possible that being direct and asking if someone is interested in getting together again, is all it takes. I wish I had a better answer. Hope these thoughts help lead to the ones that do answer your question…

gypsies

the flower blooms, then the bees come.
domestic violence advocates suggest that one should know someone more than a year BEFORE thinking about engaging. That may seem like a long timeline, but it may be the time that saves your life and ultimately your investment.
spend time working on your own life. with intent, find those things that are meaningful to you that make you happy. Find a purpose to simply be nothing else but you.
when you have done that and THAT IS your focus . . . not finding another man investment so you become someone, YOU will attract something that sociopaths truly fear, A real thinking person, not just another superficial gadfly.
My husband used to note “he/she just wants a friend.” we all fall for narcissistic praise. We all love to be the center of attention in some way. WE have to give this friendship to ourselves first. In doing so, we have no need for the false friendship of a sociopath. We recognize our complete self. Then other complete beings will see us and want to know us.

Oncebitten

Just wanted to say “thank you” to Escapefor1 for a really helpful response. It is very interesting that some of the things you mentioned I actually do practice; watching their actions, their words, etc…

I also believe that they’re different levels of maybe not only sociopaths, but different catagories or levels of evil. In other words, it’s crazy the more that I’ve learned to watch other’s behaviors, I’ve learned to see that a lot of people around me are out for themselves, or have an agenda.

Or it could be me being paranoid, but honestly I have facts unfortunately that back me up. It’s made me become very wary of whom I allow into my life. They’re might not be so many socopaths as they’re just selfish human beings. But it’s interesting that while learning about personality disorders, I’ve came across learning about various other disorders as well.

But on the bright end of the tunnel, I’ve also learned that they’re an amazing amount of wonderful people as well and just like all of us, they all have faults, too. I am not one to judge by any means, but I would never use or hurt anyone purposely. I just have a hard time understanding how people can be so cold or evil. It’s just not in my make-up. For this, I realize a lot of us victims may have this in common? For me, it’s time to really stop opening up so much…and become much more aware of who I share my life with.

Life is a learning process and I am learning every day. Thanks again Escapefor1 and Adriana, I wish you all the best and everyone else on here who is going through a difficult time as well.

jeannie812

I used to think I am a magnet for them. But, remember it’s a Dog eat Dog world. It’s a numbers game. The predators look far and wide to find people to mooch off. Yes, they will target the people who look sad, and down and out, with drooped shoulders and drooped head. OR, perhaps the opposite could be the person who shouts I Got A Raise!

I found that I had ignored the red flags.

The guy who has nothing to show, yet brags of some wealth. This is obvious, yet we ignore it when it’s in our face. Or, he is never on my side. I speak of someone who cut me off in traffic today, and he sides against me–saying he plays Devil’s Advocate. Or he rolls his eyes when I speak. If he lavishes on you, and then he says YOUR TURN (which means he set his con in place and you will pay his way from here on.)

There are many ways and words in which the con is played. It is in part that we are damaged, so we are played, but more so that cons play everyone.

I have slipped and realized I was conned again, I just back out and run. I am not obligated to explain why. I just disappear.

I too have become a recluse, because my damage has changed me. People leave me be, because I don’t fit their social circle. Yep, the damage of this major abuse changes people in a crippling way.

Stargazer

This is going to be a very long post but I think very relevant for anyone who has the patience to read it. I would love to hear your responses!

I think “blaming the victim” and assuming responsibility for our lives are two different things and not to be confused with one another. Healing our unresolved pain does not mean we are screwed up or are that we are not absolutely fabulous beautiful souls. It just means that when we are able to change on the inside by releasing the pain we don’t know is inside of us, we can change what is on the outside, too. It is one thing to say that our beautiful qualities tend to attract sociopaths. I think people who radiate a lot of love and light attract ALL kinds, including sociopaths. It’s when we are attracted to THEM over and over, when we invite them into our lives to set up house, that there is something that probably needs to be healed. It’s the hook, the thing that draws us to the disordered. People who don’t have that “hook” might attract the same people, but they will not choose to get involved with them.

What is that “hook”? That thing that keeps us re-creating these unhealthy relationships? It has been called an addiction. But what does that mean? I have had addictions to emotionally unavailable men, to sugar, and even to shopping. I have battled all of them most of my life. What happens when you explore the addiction but don’t give into it? In other words, what happens when you are attracted to a particular man even though you see red flags, and you DON’T GIVE IN to the attraction? For me, it is a gnawing in my stomach and mental obsession. It gets worse and worse until I feel I must have that man (or piece of chocolate or whatever it is – I’m also a recovering clothing addict). I feel like I cannot live without whatever it is I’m craving. As the feeling gets stronger and stronger, it actually becomes fascinating, even though a little scary, because I have never experienced it before. I usually just give in and feed the addiction. But what if I just observe the discomfort? When it gets to a certain point, it starts to shift. There is usually a strong emotion such as anger or grief, or even fear. I have found that if I treat the feeling like a new baby I am birthing, I can just experience it, and it will eventually clear out of my body. Sometimes it’s just a dark, heavy energy – the energy of a sociopath that still lives in my system. Sometimes there is a strong feeling or awareness/understanding that comes with the healing. As it passes, I just feel lighter and like I want to just dance or play. Usually, whatever I was addicted to suddenly loses luster. For me, this is what energetic clearing is. During my first 10-day meditation retreat, I was doing this process for 3 days when I experienced the pain of a very bad beating I’d received when I was 10. I felt intense burning in my butt and all this rage, as it released out of my body. It felt like a bolt of electricity as it went out through my arms and legs. It only happened because I was willing to sit very still for several hours and explore the pain I was having in my rear from sitting so long. If I had not been on retreat, I would have just gotten up and shifted my position. Then I would have never gotten that healing. Any time we have the opportunity have a healing like that, it is a blessing! Healing doesn’t imply there is anything wrong with us. Rather, it’s an exploration of who we are – of all the things that are inside of us. I was not the least bit aware I was carrying that beating energetically in my body. And yet it had been there for 13 years, affecting my daily life and decisions.

I don’t think it’s the number of years spent between relationships that creates healing. I think it’s the openness to doing this type of energetic work that speeds it up – the willingness to break our addictions. Feeling the pain of addiction and how it controls us. This is how we take control over the addiction, instead of letting it control us. Believing things just happen to us by accident is disempowering, in my opinion. I believe there is some sort of divine or karmic order to the way things happen in our lives, and that it has to do with what we draw to us in order to heal. Sadly, we don’t get healing with a sociopath in our lives. We get chaos and destruction. The healing can come afterward when we start opening up to the “why” of our addictions and our repetitive choices. Looking at what fuels these things. When we do this on a regular basis and it becomes part of how we experience our lives, I call this “waking up.” We can go through lives awake or unconscious. It depends on where we put our awareness and how we regard our experiences.

There’s a second part that I forgot to mention that other people are also touching on. That is, when you start clearing the bound up energy out of your body, it’s very important to fill that space with love and beauty. I always ask the universe to bring more love into my life. When that happens, people who have been negative and draining my energy will suddenly stop calling. It’s almost magical the way it happens. And I will have “chance” meetings with more positive people. I put “chance” in quotes because I don’t believe there are any coincidences really. Sometimes if I just bring more love and beauty into my life first, I will have a spontaneous healing.

The way this has all translated into my relationships with men is that I am more present and in the moment. If a man asks me to dinner and I feel I would enjoy going, I enjoy it as just a dinner. I don’t start longing and craving him like I used to do. I don’t make it into anything else. I don’t worry whether he will expect something in return. I just enjoy the dinner. It’s such a relief. I actually sit and chew the food slowly and truly enjoy it and let the man know how much I enjoy it. I don’t talk about my exes or his exes. I just eat, laugh, and enjoy. I have the self-control to take my time to get to know a man. Even if he is not disordered, if our energies seem very uncomplementary, I will not pursue a relationship, even if he’s very nice to me. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy and appreciate the dinner date. For the first time in my life (I’m 54), there is NO man I’m longing for. It’s so freeing!!! I’m so used to being in my work meetings and daydreaming about some guy. With this addiction gone, I’m actually just very present in the meetings, and they have become more interesting. It’s a little disconcerting because I’m so use to the longing and pining for someone who is unavailable. I’m so accustomed to living in a fantasy world. It’s hard to give it up sometimes.

All of this clearing work is designed not to “fix” us but to bring us into the present moment where we can experience life as it really is, where we can truly exercise free will choice in all we do without unconscious unresolved issues sabotaging us. Free will choice in itself can be terrifying, but that is the topic of another rant. 🙂

Love to all,

Star

Adriana

Thank you for ALL your comments, I’m glad to hear all the responses. I agree with these statements, it’s amazing how many sociopaths are walking around in our everyday lives and how I avoided them for most of my life, then suddenly I’m a sociopath magnet. I’m educated, I have a masters degree however, I have a lot of street smarts, my male friends often say that I’m intimidating to men, I’m independent with a solid career and I definitely do not flaunt my success (that’s just not smart, ironic). They say “you’re educated, independent, no baggage (i.e. ex husband or children) you have high standards for yourself and for the person you date, how do you attract these psychos?”

I’ve lived most of the suggestions, some speak of working on themselves, investigating others, taking time to get to KNOW somebody, I get that 100% and I still DO all of those things. I can run a background check on someone, meet their family and friends, spend hours together but if that person LIES to me about EVERY aspect of their life, there is NOTHING I can do about that. Nothing. One example is my old high school sweetheart I wholeheartedly trusted, I know his parent, I know his friends and he told me so many lies, I questioned him on every single one as they arose. The last straw was when my lawyer sent me a divorce record that showed said man ‘reconciled’ with his “ex” wife (what he called her) 3 months prior to reconnecting with me. I sent him the link of the court record and he STILL denied it. Are you kidding me?!? I’m showing him the court record and he still denies it! That’s when he turned into a monster.

Brigitte Knowles

very informative and helpful. Thank you. I will pursue this avenue for healing.

After all the comments and feedback I’ve received from the totally misogynist segment of the world, I have come to believe that the reason people are besieged by psychopaths is simply because there are so many of them.

I hate to be the harbinger of gloom and doom, but the concept of sex and romance has morphed into a valueless pit. And it is very important for people to know that the likelihood that the person you’ll meet will be an empathetic, caring human being has shrunk to an all time low.

Yes, it is very important to heal from the abuse of a psychopath, but we should not heap blame and shame on ourselves if it happens again. It’s just that there are so many of them out there. And they’re good at what they do.

Please do not take the word of anyone you are romantically interested in at face value. Investigate, research, and check ID BEFORE you engage in intimacy with that person. Meet their family. Get to know their friends. Take all relationships SLOWLY! Instant attraction can mask insincere intent. It’s a new day in dating…. and a new paradigm.

Sorry to be such a wet blanket!

Joyce

Remembertoforget

So sad but true! UGGH.

AnnettePK

The trend you speak of seems to be true, in my perception and experience.

still reeling

Oh Adriana. I am so very, very sorry about your cancer and the socios in your life. I agree with what Donna has said, don’t have time to read comments right now, so sorry if this is repetitive.
I do think that you are not healed yet and so are extra vulnerable to socios. As well, the old story of childhood trauma probably plays a part here too. Doesn’t have to be abuse at its worst. People are genetically pre-disposed to react in different ways and intensities to the same experiences. Those of us who attract socios and other undesirables are probably more sensitive to negatives that occurred when we were young. To pinpoint is helpful for some. For others, just knowing that you’ve been struggling to heal all your life is enough. Knowing that you are a vulnerable, soft-hearted person is enough. Some folks are born tough, they don’t react or take things to heart or as personally as others. Different people, different reactions.

You and I and others who find ourselves in situations with people who are “wrong” for us are probably in the vulnerable category. Not weak or overly-sensitive, just vulnerable. This attracts socios like a vampire to fresh blood. Lots of similarities there. They sense it like a tiger senses a fresh kill. You know how that goes. With you or I, they can learn more and more about how to pretend to be human. As well, they get side benefits, physical, mental, emotional, financial.

You do need to heal and find your strength and your peace within yourself. I know of Tara Brach and her “group of disciples” and they are amazing and can help you. Donna has given you some good reference sites. The key is to stick with it even if you don’t want to or feel like you’re doing a good job of it. Hang in there.

I wish you good health, full and lasting recovery from cancer and the peace and self-love and esteem necessary to protect you from anymore predators of any type. Thank you for sharing your story. I did not see the first one but it sounds horrendous from Donna’s short description. Please be good to yourself. You deserve it.
Much luck and love to you. All good things ahead.

AnnettePK

Adriana,

You are doing a great job recognizing spaths and ending your interactions with them.

This article contains a list of pointers to help avoid dating another spath:
http://ladywithatruck.com/2015/01/08/these-8-dating-rules-will-protect-you-from-a-narcissistpsychopath/

curls

A thought — a psychopath breaks down our warning signals and stops us from even noticing, then from trusting them.

So pre-psychopath – with all these men there were little signals that would have turned you off without even realizing it. A knot in the stomach at some story or action – before even the first date.

Now when the signal comes, it’s not as distinctly new and different than you’ve experienced before. …or a little voice in your head left over from the first creep, says “but that’s not a big deal.”

Or maybe you are still angry at the first one, and want some part of yourself back from him — so when that signal comes, part of you takes a chance on it, in hopes of getting back that piece or getting the right to be angry again. (A very good therapist can help sort out something like that.)

You didn’t get taken in by these psychopaths so you are doing fine.

There are a lot of nutty troubled people. Not all are psychopaths — or there are degrees of psychopath. So there’s a certain amount we’ll all meet.

I’m not sure past the first one, they were all psychopaths — rather than the usual array of truly creepy unstable people in the world. Lying and cheating isn’t always a psychopath. That can also be a normal, everyday intense creep.

Hope you start feeling better about all this.
C

Stargazer

I do think sociopaths come with warning signs. In most of the stories I’ve read here over the years, including my own, there were glaring red flags, which we all chose to ignore. Perhaps we didn’t know what a sociopath was before but we do now. I do think it’s possible to sniff them out before getting too involved. In spite of the large numbers of disordered people, I do think if we clear our own energy field and continue on our own path of healing, we will be able to recognize them. It may not even be by their behaviors but maybe just how we feel when we are around them. Even with all the disordered people out there, I feel it is possible to attract decent people into our lives. At very least, doing the healing work will make us less needy. That alone will make us less vulnerable to sociopathic flattery and attention. I would say if anyone keeps attracting one sociopath after another and getting involved with them, it’s probably more than just the luck of the draw. Seems like it would be a good idea that when you feel attracted to the next guy, just hang back and do not get involved. See what feelings are stirred up and just be with those feelings instead of acting on them. Lonely I know, but better lonely and alone than destroyed by another sociopath. If you explore those feelings, you may get to the root of the attraction.

An example of a red flag is a salsa friend of mine got involved with a guy on the salsa scene. When I met them, they were “in love” and living together, at his urging. Then one day, he up and dumped her for another dance partner. He brought the new partner home and had sex with her while my friend was in the kitchen cooking. The aftermath of that is still very traumatic for my friend as you can imagine, though she’s moved out and broken off contact (he still calls her and tries to be friendly). When I talked to her I found out that he’d been married three times and left them all due to boredom. He was also sleeping with multiple women every week prior to meeting my friend. Also, he would always try to bring other people into their sex lives – he was bisexual and had a huge sexual appetite. These are all huge red flags to me. But she tolerated it all because she had been in a loveless marriage for 25 years and felt she didn’t have many choices. That was her area of vulnerability. My friend just turned 60. The sociopath she lived with is 65.

saneandfree

Wow, they just never quit!!! One would assume that seniors might be immune from this stuff…but, apparently not…

Stargazer

I want to add that I think it’s very empowering to start believing you can heal from this and start recognizing sociopaths before you get involved. To say that it’s just hopeless because there are so many and it’s just the luck of the draw……..not only is depressing but also disempowering. How could we ever trust anyone or get involved with anyone again? I think if we begin to heal ourselves, we will be able to trust our intuition about people. Granted, it may be true that there are a lot of sociopaths in society. But there are also a lot of decent people. Do you want to see the glass as half empty or half full? We need to believe that we can recover and make better choices.

I have very emotionally healthy friends who at some point in their lives dated sociopaths. But they got out at the first sign of trouble. We didn’t. There’s a reason why we didn’t. There was a hook – that unconscious pattern we don’t know we have. That is something that is totally within our power to change. To me, that’s not blaming the victim – it’s taking charge of our own lives, saying “I have the power to change this.” Because we do.

surprised

I just want to say something about “getting their energy out of you/your life”. I’m sure it’s not wise to advocate revenge. However, I have personally found that if it is safe for you to do so, pushing their energy out of your system by screaming at them in public – even spaths want to look like nice guys – exactly what they’ve done to you – FACTS – is quite helpful for getting the shrapnel that they’ve left you with out of your system. Just give it back to them. I also had an experience with my final contact, which was a phone call that I made. I just sat on the phone crying my eyes out, saying very little, making him listen to it. At the same time, my body was sort of puffing up, especially round my chest and stomach (heart and solar plexus chakras – i think this is where he’d lodged his main energetic anchors to feed off me)and then I felt big pushes as if I’d pushed his energy cords out of my body – I had no conscious intention to do this, it was just what happened, sometimes your intuition really does know what to do. I believe that he felt it, as he was making his weird, pathetic whining sounds. I think he felt the faucet close off. Then I made him say to me, “I’m sorry that I hurt you, but I’ve found someone else and I don’t want to see you anymore.” This was the closure that I NEEDED. As you can imagine, it was impossible for him to say sorry, or admit that he’d hurt me, with any sincerity. But he got the words out, and the last phrase was uttered with conviction and contempt. I feel like the girl who cried wolf, but I just know I won’t see him again as the feelings of disgust are really starting to kick in. Energetically we have to get these fruitcakes out of our systems.

Brigitte Knowles

Read Donna Brown book Women who love Psychopaths. We are women who don’t give up, work hard, like to fix things and people, compassionate and determined to win. So we give credibility to those men who have none. We believe in them and it gives them the fuel they need to believe in themselves based on our acceptance. As well, they suck our credibility into their persona and become what we are, male version. They mimic and mock us by pretending they are everything we like and want, want and like the same things as us and then we are twin souls and will live forever together in love, baloney. Then you find out this is their enterprise, their game and they do this with every woman they [email protected]!! So realize they play you because you are the Stradivarius to their banjo. The real question is why are we not attracting the right men? Are there any out there?

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