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Why we need to talk about our experiences with sociopaths

Most of us at Lovefraud are here because we’ve been conned, duped, deceived and betrayed by a sociopath.

Once we finally figure out what we are dealing with, many of us do not tell other people what really happened. After all, it’s embarrassing to admit that no, we didn’t see it coming, and yes, we fell for the scam. And if we do venture to describe the sociopath’s true behavior, we may be met by disbelief. “What? That charming person couldn’t possibly have done that. You must have misinterpreted.”

We quickly learn that people do not understand what we are talking about. Either they don’t believe us, or ostracize us. So we stop talking. We try to hide what happened, even from ourselves.

Our silence on being betrayed by sociopaths has two effects:

  1. Our pain is bottled up within us, impeding our own recovery
  2. The world does not learn just how many social predators are living in our midst

Talking about it

After my appearance on ABC 20/20 Friday, I received an email from a Lovefraud reader who wrote:

I watched the show last night and somehow it unleashed several hidden emotions and feelings which I tried to bury regarding my situation. My healing has begun slowly month by month and I am now learning how not to be so hard on myself and be more cautious with my future relationships…

This reader experienced a release because someone else who was targeted told her story.

Katherine Underwood suffered tremendously at the hands of Budimir Drakulic, who took more than $410,000 from her. I know for a fact that it was very difficult for Katherine to do the TV show. Anyone who watched could see that she became emotional on several occasions.

Still, Katherine did it. And sharing her story likely helped thousands of other people.

When we talk about our experience, when we stand up and say, “yes, this happened to me,” it helps other people who have been targeted realize that they are not alone. This can go a long way towards recovery.

Our own healing

Talking about our experience also helps our own healing. When we share what happened, we are no longer carrying the burden of our pain all by ourselves.

A big reason why it’s often so difficult to recover from the devastation of the sociopath is that we feel so isolated, like no one really understands what we experienced.

Unfortunately, often our perception on this is correct. People do not understand what happened. That’s why a community like Lovefraud is so important everyone who reads and posts here does understand.

To know that someone truly empathizes with us is extremely validating. Especially when a sociopath has been calling us “crazy” and “mentally unbalanced,” validation can be truly helpful to our recovery.

Breaking the silence

When we discover that we’ve been duped by a sociopath, among the multitude of unpleasant emotions we feel are shame and embarrassment. Talking about what happened increases our shame and embarrassment, so we don’t do it.

Our silence, unfortunately, benefits the particular sociopath we were involved with, along with all the other sociopaths who prowl the planet. Because we don’t talk, society doesn’t know they exist, and they continue to get away with their manipulation and deceit.

Yes, sociopaths are in our midst. Sometimes they look scary, but usually they don’t they seem to be just like the rest of us, at least at first. They’re attentive and charming. They appear to be our best friend, or a pillar of the community.

Even a guy named Budimir Drakulic, the man who conned Katherine Underwood, was able to pass himself off as trustworthy.

Back in 1994, when Katherine met Drakulic, there was even less awareness of sociopaths than there is now. Today, if nothing else, all of us at Lovefraud at least know that they exist.

Spreading the word

Let’s spread the word.

Talking about sociopaths can accomplish three things:

  1. Helping someone else recognize that they’re involved with a predator
  2. Helping our own recovery by sharing the burden of our experience
  3. Warning the rest of the world about the predators who live among us

We should educate ourselves about this personality disorder, and when the opportunity arises, talk about it. It may not always be safe to talk about our personal situation. But we can share general information. We can send someone a link to Lovefraud.

Knowledge is power. The first step in protecting ourselves from sociopaths is knowing that they exist.

 


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166 Comments on "Why we need to talk about our experiences with sociopaths"

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I am still new to all of this, so not sure I can offer much in the way of suggestions, TDS79, because I am grappling with some of the same issues.

My divorce was final the beginning of June and I have been working diligently to move on with my life. I’ve been trying to rekindle friendships I let drop off, re-connecting with family, and generally putting my life back together again. Then last night I got a call from a colleague that knows both myself and my ex and a flood of emotions bubble to the surface. This person had just heard that my ex and I had split up and was flabbergasted. He couldn’t believe we had split up. He has known me for about 10 years, but my ex for about 25 years. It’s awkward to talk to somebody like that because you don’t know if they are friend? Are they a foe? Are they just being nosy? Do they truly care? And trying to sort out all of the emotions associated with somebody who only saw a certain side of my ex.

As a result, I slept very little last night. I have tried to keep my circle very tight of whom I will share the intimate details, but with some people, just not really sure how to respond. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Platinum, that’s how I’m feeling….friend or foe?? I feel like I can’t trust anyone anymore. And why can’t people just SEE what they are really like?!! All of my friends are shocked too. It’s so frustrating. Although, in their defense, we didn’t see clearly either and were in relationships with these men! I’m starting to think no contact with mutual friends is the best route. It’s so hard….I went to high school with my spath and have been friends with some of these people for over 20 years…..but I know I need to do what’s best for me. I just want to tell friends and shake them and make them understand!! I’m worried of all the hurt he’s sure to cause without people even being aware….

I wish I knew how to handle all of this….but it’s comforting to know I’m not alone with my doubts and frustrations.

TDS79, my sentiments exactly! Suddenly I see ulterior motives, agendas, double entrendes, behind every corner! For me, my ex and I have worked in the same industry our entire careers, so we know many, many of the same people. I’m hoping that as time passes, I won’t be suspicious of so many, but will learn to keep my BS radar up!

I have to agree with you that no contact (at least for now) with many of these colleagues is the best course for me, because after talking to the mutual friend last night, I feel like it set me back a bit…..maybe when I don’t feel so fragile and the wounds aren’t so deep, and by then I hope I truly won’t care what anybody thinks!

Thank you for sharing, it helps to know I’m not alone 🙂

Platinum, I can’t imagine working in the same industry! I’ve actually been counting my blessings he has nothing to do with my work. I can imagine you’re paranoid. No contact and BS radar seems like a good plan. This has to be hurting you so much, at least I can get away at work. Although, I’m a teacher so now I have a long summer…and way too much down time.

Speaking of paranoid. In my last conversation with my ex he said I was “paranoid” and it’s all my fault, of course. I’ve only gone almost 3 days with no contact and at this moment I desperately want to contact him and ask questions that I know I won’t get the answers to….are you still struggling with this, too? Why do I want to contact someone who was so horrible to me??!! This is eating away at me. I’m shaking even thinking about contacting him. This is so horrible…my interaction with our mutual friend definitely didn’t help matters this morning. I just want to process and move on!!

OMG, I just posted on the facebook page. I am just in shock right now at finding this site. A friend suggested my ex was a classic sociopath. Holy crap, he was absolutely right.

I’m actually 37 weeks pregnant with this jerk’s baby. And the twist in all of this? Our baby boy has been diagnosed with a fatal condition. This means that he will only survive outside of my womb for a short period of time.

I asked my ex to help pay for the cremation costs for our son. His reponse? Nothing.

I had a strong suspicion he cheated on me. No matter how many times I confronted him, he remained silent. Then he kind of admitted it. The final confirmation came when he posted their picture together on facebook. I was totally devastated that night I found out.

My story has more to it regarding my pregnancy, but suffice to say that the bottom line is, I’m reeling from preparing for my baby boy’s death, and the total and complete abandonment and disregard from this sick, sick man.

It helps to know that I’m NOT crazy!!!! He would always make everything my fault. He never, even to this day, takes any form of personal responsibility. To add insult to injury, he started to make the claim that our son wasn’t his baby. Oh my God. It’s been a total nightmare beyond my imagination. Like that quote says, “My life is stranger than fiction. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.”

Trying to find support has been horrible. Right now I’m living abroad in Mexico because of extenuating circumstances around my pregnancy. Not only have I lost family and friends over my choice to carry my baby to term, but have also lost the respect of friends that I’ve known for years for having stayed with this man.

I have a pretty clear sense that the bigger picture/lesson for me here is my lack of self-love and self-respect. I met this man at a really low point in my life, when I was extremely vulnerable and very much alone and isolated. I regret ever falling for him, his tactics, and then thinking that perhaps by giving him another chance things would change. Tsk, tsk…foolish woman I have been.

At this point, I have to find a way to move forward through both of these losses. I’m so glad there’s a forum for people who have had their lives disrupted by these sick people.

Miraculouslight,

I love your screen name. It’s so encouraging.

I’m so sorry about your son. I can’t imagine how you feel. I admire what a strong momma you are in that you decided to carry him to term and love him regardless, How lucky is that little fellow? To be able to hear your heartbeat and feel your love while he’s nestled inside you. You are a very special mom.

I’m glad you found the LF family. Donna has provided so much educational material for those of us who deal with personality disordered people. It does sound like you may be dealing with a sociopathic type person. Reading will help you see things more clearly. And all the members here will give you great advice and will really push you to make wise decisions for yourself. This is a very empathetic loving community of survivors.

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to deal with what’s ahead for you in the next few weeks, before you really dive into the issues with your partner. Unless your life is in danger, then you should be very, very careful. If there is no threat, then you may find it better to muster all your energy for your sons birth. You will need it. Maybe if you keep your mind focused just on the baby, you can savor the moments you have together peacefully. Enjoy him. I’m sure you will want to cherish every moment.

Of course, we would love to hear anything you would like to talk about. Whatever it is. Anytime.

. I’m sure you must be overwhelmed right now. I’ve already started praying for you and your baby boy. Have you picked a name?

Miraculouslight
I agree with hopingtoheal, what an inspiring name.

When I read your post I cried inside for you. I am so sorry and wish I could take your pain away. Bless you my sweetheart!
We here on lovefraud (wiping tears so I can see what I’m writing) have all struggled at the hands of our sociopaths, your struggle makes mine look like a walk in the park.
I really don’t know what I could possibly say to make it easier for you. I cannot begin to imagine nor feel the pain you are going through nor the strength you’ve had to muster to face the days, weeks and months ahead… I’d shut down my heart to my spath months ago so I’ve only got a little fear for my life to deal with – I can run if need be but after having lost a baby that only lived several hours then sister I’m feeling your pain.
Yes your partner sounds like a sociopath but that can wait. The thing I regret from the birth of my angel was that I didn’t spend enough time with her – some things were out of my control, that combined with the drugs they’d given me and my complete lack of knowledge as I was very young…if I could spend those hours just holding her, loving her and knowing her, id swap everything I have for it. So hold, love, nurture and know your little man because the big one is the scum of the Earth and doesn’t deserve your attention.
Brightest of blessings to you ♥

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