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Will you participate in research about psychopaths in the workplace?

Do you suspect that someone you work with is a psychopath? Do they act superficially charming, lack remorse, lie to you, cheat, or attempt to manipulate you? Read more to find out about our study. ย 

Dear Members of the Lovefraud Blog,

My name is Janelle and I am a Master’s student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. I’m currently working on my Master’s thesis in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Adelle Forth. The topic of my research is psychopathy in the workplace and the effects this has on victims.

Psychopathy in the workplace is a relatively new area of study in psychology. Most of the research to date focuses on the psychopathic individuals while neglecting to take into account the voices of survivors. I want to investigate how psychopaths establish relationships in the work environment and the behaviours they exhibit that lead you to believe they are psychopathic or that have victimized you. I also want to know what effects and impacts the relationship has had on your job and your life outside of work.

If you believe that someone you work with possesses psychopathic traits and you would like to share your experience by participating in the study, please click here. This link also contains more information on the study. Please note you must be 18 years of age or older to participate and the study is only available in English. Any questions, comments, or feedback about this research project or its content, are welcome at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Janelle

UPDATE

The survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated.



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74 Comments on "Will you participate in research about psychopaths in the workplace?"

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We currently have a situation at work that I suspect is caused by a spath, still being in the analyzing phase (myself), questioning if the person that I think committed the crime (it never occurred to me that she could be a spath, until now) is an actual spath (or just a drug user). These people are everywhere, no kidding, creating mini-dramas. In the past, I’ve worked with them, one in particular would lie about herself (making up stories about her health), was sexually promiscuous (while married), and was suspected of stealing in the workplace (we’re certain about this). She was eventually fired due to her family drama overriding into the workplace.

I had a client whose contact person I felt was very dishonest.

I had strong suspicions that this guy was making a lot of money on the side at the expense of the company and getting kickbacks from somewhere.

He didn’t want me poking around examining things.

He made things very difficult for me. Never answered inquiries. Set me up. Lied to me and about me.

He had the top guy totally snowed.

I brought the matter up as nicely as I could to top management, couching it in “he’s young, maybe didn’t learn the latest and greatest way,” but got an answer back that they had total faith in him.

The top manager was an extremely nice, trusting person. I still have the letter that I sent to him about this guy.

There was nothing that I could do about it. The young guy was the coldest, most calculating person I’ve ever met in a work environment. I didn’t trust him as far as I could throw him with one hand tied behind my back.

This happened about 8 years ago.

Would you be interested in something like that?

I will. I was ruined by a sociopath in 2003 and since then my work life has been a disaster. It hit me right out of the blue and the damage was done.

working.with.psychopath

@G1S – yes, this type of experience is what we are hoping people will share with us by participating in the study.

We want to know how working with a person with psychopathic traits affected your job satisfaction, how you were able to cope with the situation, if you received support from others, and what behaviours the psychopath exhibited that made you realize something was unusual about them (warning signs or red flags). If you click on the study link an informed consent form explains in more detail the nature of the study and the tasks to be completed by participants (answering close- and open-ended questions, filling out questionnaires, etc). You can also reach me at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you for your interest and feel free to pass the study link to others that you may know who had similar experiences. The more voices we get, the better. The study results can help inform HR decision-making during the hiring process and will contribute to the growing field of corporate psychopathy research. Not to mention you could help others protect themselves by sharing what behaviours you spotted as red flags.

Janelle

OK, Janelle,

I will be in touch.

And as a plus for you, this company was located in St. Catherine’s.

He (the young guy) showed me the house where that married couple raped, tortured, and murdered the girls. I forget their names, but she conned her way out of a heavy prison sentence claiming to be victim. Her sister was one of the ones they murdered.

I gave her one about a nursing supervisor who ended up causing the entire nursing staff except one to leave, and the hospital administrator got fired, the director of nurses got fired, the psychopath got fired, and the hospital ended up closed and sold. How is that for destroying a company? The senior nursing staff all knew she was a satanic spawn (we didn’t know about psychopaths in those days) but we couldn’t get the DON or adm to see it until it was too late….but shiat happens. I’ve seen CLONES of this woman in several places I have worked since then. Seen the havoc they wreck and the pain and misery they cause. Just like psychopaths anywhere. You do your job, just want to be left alone to do your job, but noooooo we have to have this drama rama! PUKE!

I will participate – this is great that there is interest in our voices !

For LF folks I will share that in 2002, my work department merged with another work department and we inherited a lady who in hindsight was a sociopath. She was glib and anxious to please and matched everyone’s interests. She worked with me until I noticed that she was turning in reports without any attached required data charts. I asked about it and she “just forgot” and sent them right over. A few months later, we had our usual yearly audit and the data charts did not match up. She was asked to provide the protocols and that’s when the lying and drama started. She claimed that other people had worked on these charts. When those people were asked, they “never heard of it.” The she “fell apart” and claimed that I just wanted to prevent her from being promoted. She faked all the data – the reports had to be rewritten and she was assigned to someone else who “would be a better mentor to her.” At no time was she disciplined.

The 2nd “mentor” quickly tossed her out and as he was older and higher up in the work department, he was not criticized. The 3rd “mentor” had the same experience I did with the same drama and accusations of our trying to prevent her promotion. Faking data again. Then she was reassigned as an admin person, but her salary remained at the higher level and she is currently having problems in that position.

My red flags about her: 1) during the drama with me, I took leave to attend my mother’s funeral with the spath making a complaint that I “refused to attend work group meetings,” 2) even now on occasion she will send people to my office looking for her (yep that’s weird), 3) during a process to upgrade some equipment, she was asked to send the packet forward and took everone’s name off the packet except hers (making it look like she was in charge), 4) she sent out several letters with only her name on it, 5) we have overheard her in meetings with out of town personel claim to be a “senior level” executive.

How does she continue to work there ?? Parties – she is always giving parties and a lot of people “like” her and attend. She is always socializing and knows exactly what people will resonate to. She compartmentalizes those who have “wronged” her and ostracizes us while charming all others. The way we survivors handle it is to see that those she schmoozes are either higher up (to manipulate a promotion or being restored to her former position) or people who don’t have anything that she wants right now (and all these casual friendships make her look good).

I’m so grateful for LF – knowledge is power and allows me to stay strong and cope really, really well these days.

OpalRose,

That was very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Does it have to be a boss or co-worker that you are currently working with in order to be able to participate? Or, can you participate if you’ve worked with or under a sociopath at any time during your career? I’m no longer working at all but have most definitely worked in situation where my boss was undoubtedly a sociopath. Perhaps even more than once – for most of my 25+ year career I worked as an executive assistant to company owners, Presidents, CEO’s and Directors of companies – most of whom have regularly demonstrated at least some (most a great deal) of sociopathic traits. I’ve got plenty to contribute!!

working.with.psychopath

@Deb- yes, please share your experience and participate in the study even if you no longer work with the psychopath.

Thank you!
Janelle

Janelle,
a guy who reads my blog sends me interesting links.
This one is CLASSIC and completely documented through the courts because it’s been prosecuted and the spath is in prison.
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/419/petty-tyrant

I didn’t listen to it, I read the transcript. It’s so outrageous that it actually triggered me to read what this guy did, at his workplace, for so many years and how he got away with it.

You might be able to investigate it further through records or the people involved. If you do, I’d be interested in anything more you find out.

Warning: be prepared to be slimed when you read it.

I couldn’t figure out how to read the transcript. My connection is too slow to listen to it.

Thanks Sky, you know here is a quote “was surrounded above and below by people who looked the other way.” THE FENCE SITTERS who don’t take action to STOP the bad guys.

Whether it is folks that don’t stop the Nazis, or the ones who see “the hangman” and don’t try to act until they are the last man in the town that hasn’t been hanged.

All it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing. How often is that the case. ๐Ÿ™

I participated describing a sociopath who was my boss until I left the position 7 years ago. However, apparently the sociopath wasn’t done with me — several years ago when I interviewed for the position I currently hold, the sociopath gave me a very good reference — then proceeded to sing the praises of another former colleague who she was sleeping with. The former colleague got the job. My current boss knew within months she had been sold a bill of goods by the sociopath and hired me. The lover was history within a year.

Today I learned something about the whole situation that truly makes me wonder about the sociopathic traits of my current boss. Apparently when my current boss decided to extend the offer to the sociopath’s lover, a colleague of mine, who specializes in employment law, pointed out that (a) the lover hadn’t applied for the position; and (b) the position was already listed as “closed” on the federal website, so all my current boss’ actions were in violation of federal law. Her response? I have ways I can get this past HR. Sociopath #2?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

matt, wow, what was in it for her?

Matt,

Did you read the article about the guy in NY that Sky posted the link to?

Your boss who is supposed to be HONEST and do things RIGHT and she breaks the law herself. Well, makes me have more confidence in the “law” and those who take an oath to uphold it.

NOT!!!!!!

I did note some things about the guy though.
1) He was the son of a man who died in prison.
2) he was on his 3rd wife at the time of his arrest
3) he seemed to enjoy humiliating his employees
4) he was big time into control
5) he operated on threats, revenge and violence
6) he was very narcissistic
7) he was paranoid
8) he openly broke rules and controlled the union and his bosses and HR
9) he hired and fired at will

Oxy, this guy did things in a lot of ways the same as my spath did. First, suck up to the people in power, find the crooked ones and pander to them.

Then sabotage anyone who doesn’t play your game. The part about running the electric bill up so that it made one guy seem incompetent, then taking over his job and lowering the bill by freezing the employees was just the type of thing my spath would’ve done.

From what I can tell, this guy didn’t kill anyone. but maybe he did. I’m sure he’d have liked to.

Oxy,

I agree that the fence sitters are a problem and if EVERYONE could come together and put the spaths on an ice floe, that would certainly help.

But I’m wondering, could it not be in some way that the fence sitters are doing a sort of self protective gray rock? I mean, see, hear and speak no evil — stay off the spath’s radar and he might not target you.

My daughter is going through a quandary right now. She is in an advanced academic program at her school. This program is smaller than the regular academic program, and it is headed by (to me) a very narcissistic man. I have had run-ins with this guy, and my spathdar is trained on him. I don’t know where he is on the continuum, but there are distinct red flags.

The game he plays is the spath game of, “I win, and you lose.” I say that he is narcissistic because he has no empathy, and he is self-aggrandizing. He also manipulates information to manipulate people. He withholds information, then blames you for not knowing it. He claims to send emails which you do not receive, then it is your fault for not knowing. He flagrantly disregards boundaries… my daughter has sent him a few emails (this is how it is done these days — kids email their teachers with questions) which he then responds to in very condescending, blaming, and also extreme put-downs… while he cc’s the world (both parents, her guidance counselor, other teachers…) which feels like an incredible violation to her (duh!) because she considered her email to him to be private — and the cc to everyone included her initial, private email.

Most recent problem was he manipulated information and she was unaware of a deadline which she had difficulty meeting, and she requested an extension and promised to do the necessary work. Her request was respectful and also a bit clumsy due to her age and inexperience, but it was clear that it was sincere. His response (to the world) was berating her for her idiocy and lack of caring about deadlines, and how dare she be such a bad child as to request this of him, and certainly there will be no extension of the deadline, and therefore she will fail out of the program and not receive her completion certificate.

he has the power to make these decisions and to not make exceptions. However, it is his methods that make me so angry.

I have worked so hard to guide my kids to be self-advocates and not have Mommy meddle in their schooling. I want them to deal directly with their teachers and adults at the school. This is their training ground for the future. And I wish so much that the adults at the school were NORMAL and would also encourage the self-advocacy and recognize her sincerity (most of the other kids who couldn’t meet the deadlines because of this guy’s screwy lack of clear communication just FORGED THE DOCUMENTS — my kid was HONEST and now she is being punished — she is spath-bait, for sure). — I wish the adults would respond with compassion, even if they have to turn down her request.

She is now being taught unfortunately that LYING would have been a better plan — she could have forged the documents, just like most of her classmates. she was tryign to be ethical, and instead that caught the eye of this probable spath, who said in effect, “aha! I see you have stepped into the ring to play my game of I WIN — AND YOU LOSE…”

20years, I think that people sit the fence for a couple of reasons. The main reason is simply denial. The next most powerful reason/excuse is fear – they fear that the spath has power and control over their lives, and they often do. I don’t think that it’s really a self-imposed “grey rock” reaction so much as wilfull denial and fear.

There is a board member for the facility where I work that is 100% sociopath. He was hired for the position without a lot of qualification or experience, but he was able to charm other Board members well in advance of applying for it. Once he got the position, he began an overt campaign of Divide-And-Conquer among the staff. He is emotionally and verbally abusive to the non-tenured people and OFTEN reminds them that they do not have tenure as a veiled threat.

One day, he met with my Director in her office to discuss a multi-million dollar project that had been proposed. They were supposed to have lunch, but they remained in her office for nearly 2 hours. I overheard him talking about another person that he had been targeting and I actually heard him say that he enjoyed “pushing her buttons” because he could. In the midst of this conversation, I knocked on the Director’s door and HE answered, “YES?” I didn’t even acknowledge him but told my Director that I was just getting something that I needed out of her office. I was looking directly AT her and he said, “Yeah, that’s fine.” He was, essentially, giving ME permission to enter my Director’s office and then dismissed me as if I were a gnat.

My Director does not have tenure and she is in constant fear of losing her position, and always HAS been. This man threatens people, tells them straight-up lies about policies, procedures, and projects, and he screams (literally) at non-tenured people when they’ve made an error or have somehow displeased him. Everyone is afraid of him, now, and he is categorically despised, though these people feel utterly powerless.

Workplace sociopathy is just as damaging as interpersonal sociopathy can be. Sometimes, it can be even more horrible because people’s lives depend upon their employment.

The quick and unempathetic response to this type of situation is always, “Well, get a job somewhere else, then.” It’s NOT always that easy, and in this current economic climate, people are grateful to have a fast-food position, much less a long-term gig with benefits.

Truthspeak,

I completely agree with everything you said. And I know this is a thread about workplace bullying/sociopaths in the workplace.

I’m seeing total parallels with the institutional bullying/sociopathy that is going on at my child’s school… no, she does not have the power to “change schools.” Unless we were to pull her out and put her in private school. But as you said about the economy and it not being all that simple to “change jobs,” it is not very simple to change schools.

The kids fear this man. He kisses up to the adults who probably don’t see what he does as a mask. He let his mask off very early in my first meeting him, and I think this is because I made one of those requests for a waiver of one requirement for my kid to be in the program (this was not an unreasonable request and I made it respectfully). He literally screamed at me and did the “you had this information — you knew” when in fact he had NEVER sent me any emails whatsoever (or they had not been received).

In any case… I ended up going over his head because sometimes parents just gotta advocate for their kids and in fact, I knew people in higher places (don’t like to use that, but I will if necessary). some battles are worth fighting. I prevailed. I’m sure he resents that. But his discourtesy to me and my kids is completely uncalled for.

His screaming at my child yesterday was very upsetting to her — totally uncalled for. He will deny it, and adults will believe him because they only see his professional side.

I do not like my child being subjected to this. On the other hand, it presents an opportunity for spath education. Sad — very, very sad.

The other point had loosely to do with bystanders/fence sitters AND whether or not it is sometimes OK for a target to LIE in order to protect their interests.

I do not condone lying, I’m one of those honest people who never shoplifted as a child, doesn’t steal pens from work, etc. And you know… the older I get… the more I think, sometimes being ethical and honest means you LOSE these battles with the spaths.

And is that OK?

I mean, with my husband… yes, I did end up resorting to lying, and it hurt me deep inside, because I felt guilty that I “stooped to” that, or lowered myself to his level, or whatever. I know it was self protective, but … ethically, is it better to pretend and mislead (lie to) a spath in order to protect your interests? Or to be always honest (I don’t mean necessarily volunteering information that you could keep to yourself, but if asked directly, must one always tell the truth, even though it can AND WILL be used against you by a spath?)

I think they target the honest ones.

Here’s the very, very dishonest thing I did when I was married. Now, I know it is a ridiculous thing, but I want to share: my husband was so controlling with the money (and there was more than plenty) that he would not release approximately $350 for me to buy a plane ticket to go to my beloved cousin’s wedding. I ended up not going, because I had no access to the money. I can never get that experience back (can’t go back in time to have a re-do). But I got so burning mad, and felt so helpless, that I got myself a PO box, I got myself a secret bank account, and I “pretended” that I’d hired a maid to clean the house twice a month (my husband complained about my poor housekeeping skills and wanted to hire a maid). I hired “myself” and twice a month I busted my butt for 4 hours (neglecting our baby) cleaning top to bottom, and paid myself a fair wage.

I amassed about $400, enough for a plane ticket.

My intention was only to have enough funds that should this type of situation ever come up again, a friend or relative having a wedding out of town — that I could have the money to go.

Was that elaborate lie that I did — a very, very bad thing?

I do feel bad for the deception — especially how elaborate it was.

And I also feel that I was pushed to act unethically.

That is kind of how I feel about my daughter, and I wonder what lessons she is learning from her interactions with this program director. To protect her interests — would be better for her to lie.

But lying is what spaths do — and so… it seems a tainted or dirty way to act.

I’m sure lots of folks feel driven to behaving unethically, as a form of self-protection. But where does it then end?

20years….when I was in the “thick of things” with BOTH exspaths, I would have to “lie” to get necessities.

I don’t believe that getting a PO Box, setting up an individual account, and hiring yourself to save money made you a “bad person,” by any stretch of the imagination! Not at ALL….no sir, no ma’am! I wish that I had developed something similar in BOTH marriages! WOW…..what a GREAT way to save up for a separation/divorce/exit!!!

I agree that spaths target “honest” people because they target those things that they do not have, themselves, and never will have: honesty, integrity, truthfulness, loyalty, empathy, sincerity, etc……they DO gravitate towards the things that they will never have. And, if they can, they destroy that which they cannot ever have.

I believe, for myself, that my sociopathic entanglements caused me to take “unethical” steps and make choices that are against our principals because, for the most part, we have been backed into a corner. Financially, emotionally, physically, sexually, and spiritually, we have been backed into that corner and, fight or flight, we do whatever we must to survive for the next hour.

I don’t believe that it is tainted, dirty, or necessarily makes us “bad” people. What WOULD make it tainted, dirty, or bad would be if we were making choices and decisions that were strictly at the expense of another person for our own gain. Hiding comingled money because we are not “allowed” access to joint accounts is not dirty – it’s survival. We know that we’ll be punished if we make any noise about the issue – we’ve been punished before for far, far less. So….what’s the alternative?

Sheeeeyit, the first exspath coerced me into filing a false insurance claim. If I didn’t go along with his scheme, he promised that he would not “allow” me to get groceries and pay the utilities. From past experiences, I knew that he would follow through with his threats and make them good. Should I have done it? Nope…. Did I know that I had options at that time? Nope….

Two words: Stockholm Syndrome

Forgive yourself, 20years! You did what you had to do at that time with the tools that you had available. NONE of us are perfect, so I’m not casting a single pebble in your direction!

HUGS and agape!

20 years he may be narcissistic but ALL psychopaths are narcistic, and with him being manipulative I would say he tends toward the P end more than “Just” an N.

In nazi Germany only about 10% of the people were actually Nazis, but the rest “went along to get along” and look what happened, WWII and 6 million people killed/tortured.

You know all that it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. sure, I realize that “whistle blowers” sometimes suffer for doing so…look what they did to Jesus Christ for blowing the whistle on the evil guys at the top of the civil and religious world in which he lived.

We all have to make choices in life…right or wrong. Self serving or standing up for what we believe is right. sometimes the “fight” is worth it, sometimes it isn’t. sometimes we win, sometimes we end up crucified.

ps you know, thinking back about my “summer of chaos” if my son c had stood with me I think we would have won the round, but because he chose to NOT do what he knew was right…to stand idly by while my egg donor, his brother and his wife and her boy friend tried to drive me from my home and/or to kill me.

When his wife and her BF were arrested for trying to kill him, he told me in what I felt was a “sincere” apology “Mom, you were a prophet”—but looking back I can see that he not only didn’t stand up for me, he didn’t even WARN me what was going on. He had done the same thing in the past when he knew his brother was stealing, when he knew his brother was stealing my car at night to haul his loot…and you know, I “forgave” him, but also RESTORED trust to him….which was not a wise thing to do on my part. A couple of years ago when i caught him lying to me, really over what was an “unimportant” thing, I realized (finally) that I COULD NOT TRUST HIM. that his repentance was not long lasting if it even had been genuine. (He’s such a poor liar I think it was probably genuine at the time, but he just has no loyalty)

My son D put everything he/we had on the line to stick with me, he even stayed awake (unknown to me) every night from dark until daylight for almost a month guarding me while I slept before I finally realized that we had to “disappear” in order to be safe.

So who should I trust? Who did the right thing? the honorable thing? D was “invited” to join forces with my enemies but he refused and it could have, and still might, cost him his life, because as long as Patrick is still alive, in prison or out, he is a danger to both of us.

Oxy,
your son C said, “you were a prophet.” WTF?
He called you a prophet for figuring out what he already knew? The only thing he didn’t know was that they were going to kill HIM.

To call you a prophet is to say that only a miracle could have revealed that evil people do evil. hmm…

If your son D had stood with them, he might have been killed too. It didn’t help C any to side with them, did it? I guess you’d have to be a prophet to see that. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Indeed, we do what we need to in order to survive. During WWI, WWII, and Korean Wars, there were organized pockets of “resistence” that formed to thwart the invading evil. Most of the human beings who were involved in those organizations were adamantly opposed to the invaders and made incredible sacrifices and took unbelievable risks (some, to their own end) to fight for what was being taken away from them. Of course, there HAD to have been spaths/ppaths involved, but the majority of those folks had to engage in risky and seriously “unethical” actions in their fight.

There you go. You either fight with the tools that are available, or you lie down and die (or, suffer WORSE than death). Which choice is worse?

Oxy, these are deep questions you pose.

If it is “someone’s life” vs. someone’s job or someone’s academic position (grades, diploma, etc.) — does that make a difference?

In the see, hear, speak no evil — folks, that is deliberately choosing not to see, hear and speak (warn, expose). It is their very own hands covering up their eyes, ears and mouth. I was not taught to interpret it this way, however… what I was taught was that “we must not” speak evil things (cruel words or lies), and we should “turn our eyes away from” evil (don’t watch porn or stand around and watch people fighting as though it were sport — walk away) and “do not listen to gossip or evil things — avoid that/do not participate — associate only with kind people.” It was taught to me more as a “lead us not into temptation” thing — do not associate with evil.

But now I see it differently — it is about the bystanders who choose to pretend that what they just saw or heard, was not harmful. And they choose not to expose or warn. And their pretense is also a lie/evil.

But I’m really wrestling over the lying, which is what spaths are ALL about, and how one way of abusing a target is to destroy their personal sense of integrity by putting them in these backed-into-a-corner “impossible” positions, or closing off their options so that they feel they have no choice but to act against their sense of personal integrity. It is another kind of poisoning.

My spath used this against me…. and continues to. He was physically abusive to me, repeatedly, over the years we were married. One time — ONE TIME — I (actually calculatingly) HIT HIM BACK. Not all that hard — but a shove to get his attention and hopefully make him stop. I had been thinking and thinking and thinking… “am I allowed to fight back?” because I was a non-violent person and I had been taught to defend myself with “words.” And that is what I’d been trying to do, and it wasn’t working. I had tried all sorts of things: pleading, reasoning, stern, “stop it!” and “that is uncalled for” and “that hurts me — please stop” and I had tried crying, I had tried cowering on the floor (hoping he would see how afraid I was — and I was afraid — it was not me pretending), holding up hands to “ward off his blows,” allowing myself to show my shock and confusion and pain in facial expressions and body language… and all kinds of resistance which I thought was “acceptable and allowed.”

But the hitting back — nope, that is not anything I’d ever been taught I was allowed to do. It was “wrong.” But one day, I felt I’d tried everything except THAT, so I thought, “well, maybe… next time…. maybe I will allow myself to strike him back IF he strikes me first.”

So I did.

And I immediately felt so AWFUL and DIRTY and my belief about myself as a nonviolent person shattered (oh my gosh, what ELSE am I capable of???).

And he was surprised and shocked, and said, “you HIT me! don’t you EVER do that AGAIN!!!” with such a look of rage and sneering contempt, and then he hit me. And I didn’t hit him back. I allowed myself instead fall to the floor, shaking and in a submissive position. That usually worked. (I’m not sayign I was faking — just that I could see that my hitting him did NOT work, and what had worked in the past, namely, becoming submissive and weak — might work this time). And he stopped. He loooked at me with such contempt and derision at my weakness, and said some very nasty things about how I reminded him of his mother, and he left me there.

So. Hitting back did not work. And it made me feel bad about myself inside.

To this day, he will say to various CPS investigators and therapists, “we both did it. We had a physically violent relationship. She hit me, too.”

It makes me angry, because that statement is true. And I am not a dishonest person. I have to say…. yes, it is true. I did hit him. Once.

So that is another way that spaths abuse us. They “get us to” act against our personal integrity. It is another sort of shame/blame projection onto us.

20years……stop it, right now. You did not concoct an elaborate scheme to damage someone for your own pleasure or entertainment. It’s NOT the same thing cut from the same sociopathic cloth. It simply isn’t.

They try to destroy what they will NEVER have – wether it’s financial independence, honesty, truthfulness, etc…..

Have you been truthful and honest about the things that you had to do in order to survive? Yes, you have. The spath, on the other hand, will NEVER, ever, ever, ever admit to having ever, ever, ever done anything that might even be questionable.

20years – you are NOT a “bad person” nor did you “lie.” You did what you could with the tools that you had at that time.

Now….have a cup of coffee and a piece of buttercream chocolate.

HUGS to you, dear one

Oh, Truthspeak, I should have been more careful how I put all that!

I know NOW that I did not. I did not “get” spaths during my marriage (which ended 13 years ago) or for several years afterwards. But for about a year now, I have pretty much “gotten” it.

I don’t beat myself up any longer for what I did to survive. But I’m telling these stories partly because I think when we share with each other, it is validating… maybe someone else is going through something similar or has done, and my sharing helps them. Partly, too, is the witnessing aspect. I think the mosaic or tapestry of our collective voices is very important — we need to speak, we need to be heard, we need witnesses to our experience. My experiences AT THE TIME were solitary. My suffering was SOLITARY. I dealt with it over the years in various ways, but it never quite got healed UNTIL I learned about spaths.

But I do think that there are so many ways they abuse us, and messing with our sense of personal integrity is a big one.

And I will definitely go have a buttercream chocolate now — yummm!!! Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

20 years, YES, they do provoke us to the point that we violate our own integrity…but, you know there are ways to look at what we “do” (or don’t do)

“Hitting” him in that case was not (like truthy said) an elaborate scheme to damage him for your own pleasure….so I don’t think what you did was “wrong” but an attempt to survive. Though he may not have been hitting you at the EXACT moment that you “hit” him….I think it was still SELF DEFENSE.

My egg donor kept up this “honor thy father and mother” and “forgive” or you will go to hell and burn forever….of course in HER definition “forgive” meant to RESTORE TRUST (if you ever had any for that person) even though they had shown no remorse.

“Honor” meant that you had to put up with whatever cr4p that your egg donor dished out.

Well, you know, “turn the other cheek” doesn’t mean to be a door mat…it simply means to not start fights and the Bible also says AS MUCH AS IN YOUR POWER live peacefully with all men. IN YOUR POWER…sometimes it is NOT in your power to live peacefully with someone. A psychopath is not going to let anyone live “peacefully” as long as they draw breath.

So give yourself a break or I’ll have to get the cyber skillet out and boink you a good one! LOL (Hugs)))

OxD…the “self defense” point is extremely true. By the time I sorted out what I had been married to, I was broke, mostly unemployed, very sick (physically), and I lashed out in a violent rage, myself. I had been backed into a virtual corner and, perhaps, it was the only way that my subconscious knew to force an end to a fraud.

20years….you put it the way that it needed to be put out there. And, Oxy’s right – we are forced/coerced into compromising our integrity and beliefs because of the spaths’ machinations. That WE can (and, DO) stand accountable and speak truthfully about our experiences is a blessing and relief. Spaths will never, under threat of death, speak truthfully about anything, including the barometric pressure.

The “spaths’ machinations” is a very good way of putting it — and a very horrible thing.

Their manipulations have power over us, they pull strings on us as though we were marionettes… they rob us of our personal power to CHOOSE with complete freedom and safety, the straight and narrow path that we are taught is the “right path.”

It is like raping someone and then blaming them for the rape. (How many unfortunate rape victims have a sexual response/orgasm during the rape which is not an abnormal physiological thing, but feel confused and distressed about that? It just adds to the complicated feelings of violation that need to be processed.)

I mean, I do fully support the premise that people choose to behave however we end up behaving. And as it is our choice in how to behave, we are responsible for the choices we make, and for our behavior. It is a moment-by-moment choice, and we can choose to act with integrity or to do evil (either by deliberately preying on others or by ignoring and therefore enabling evildoers). That presumes we are in a position of some power, where we can see more than one option.

It is this awareness of our power to choose, that correlates to our responsibility for our actions; if we are acting in ignorance, it doesn’t mean we are not responsible, but it is a far different thing if we deliberately choose to do harm, when we “know better.” If we don’t see any options but one, then how can we choose an alternative?

When we are psychologically worn down by repeated physical, psychological, sexual, emotional abuse… that is torture, pure and simple, and it is much harder to keep one’s wits, to think clearly, to make ethical choices in how to respond to the abuse.

This is tough to admit, especially for someone who lived a fairly normal and ethical life for some years (30, in my case). to be a strong person, then slowly eroded to a weak one.

But on the outside, we may look perfectly normal. So other people may not grasp at all, how damaged we are on the inside. they say, “you have choices.” I say, not really, not so much. Not under these circumstances.

Truthspeak, you are absolutely correct that spaths are way different — they lie even when the truth would do just as well. Spath victims lie only when absolutely pushed beyond their limit of control, and then wrestle with the shame and guilt of their “choice.” Because we “know better” even if we are not, at the time, able to find the strength or awareness or support to find or choose another option.

But that’s the whole point you see? They want to turn us into them. The money they take, the cheating etc… all that is just frosting on the cake. The meat and potatoes are the SLIME.

They want us to lose trust, feel envy, become paranoid, lose our innocence and feel shame. So, it is important NOT to do that. I think we need to fight back but keep your perspective about WHY you are doing what you do. Don’t let it be a response to their machinations. Make it your own choice about YOUR VALUES.

In the book, The Happiness Trap Russ Harris says to define your values first and foremost. Write them out. Then make sure that each and every thing you do is IN LINE WITH THOSE VALUES. That won’t lead to ecstasy, but it will lead to a deep happiness in your life, and that life won’t be blown off course easily.

Skylar, I couldn’t agree with you more.

It really is slime.

It is also an illusion.

Like in a mirror. You know, the mirror they use to reel us in, in the first place. Then turn it back around, till all we see reflected about ourselves is ugliness. But that is not us. That is them. What they want us to see. And they trick us into buying into it.

The healing comes when we turn away from that projection of theirs, either look through it to the truth and it dissolves, or dare to look deep within ourselves to see the beauty and purity still intact.

I know that the sliming IS an illusion but it feels oh, so real. Don’t believe it!!! Easy to say, tough to do.

SLIME….oh yes….they want us to turn like them because they can’t be us. They are envious of us and our insights and strengths and that is part of the reason they treat us like they do.

Defining our values and holding onto those are the most important thing we can do in our lives. We know who we are. This behavior is unacceptable and the heart should not weigh in…I truly believe that if I had followed my heart, I would be deader than a door nail, right now. I had to wake up and shake off the ‘spell’ and realize that if I didn’t get it away from me and keep it away from me, one of us would have ended up dead and it sure wasn’t going to be me!

The whole relationship and experience was nothing but an illusion. Yes, sliming IS real. I am still washing it off and I don’t think it completely comes off. I think it has to ‘wear off’.

Dupey

Newsflash! I heard yesterday my spath got promoted at work…big promotion! I am so upset about this, but of course there is nothing I can do. Corporate America absolutely rewards sociopathic behavior. They know what he is and instead of him getting reprimanded, he got promoted. So very sad today ๐Ÿ™

Also, I forgot to tell everyone…I stopped going to therapy. I sent an email to my therapist last week telling him I wasn’t coming back, thanking him for his time, but just that it was not helping me. All he could say is “I understand.” That was it…nothing more. Made me feel even worse, but I am over it.

Louise: He needs a big promotion, alright…

๐Ÿ™‚

Dupey

Louise,
I know that it doesn’t seem like it now but here will come a time when you will not feel so emotionally affected by what happens in his life. (good or bad)

I have a suggestion and maybe this will work for you and maybe it won’t. But maybe worth a try.
Think of it as kind of a “free” therapy experiment to replace therapy.

As Truthspeak says “feelings are NOT facts.” Go out and buy yourself a nice journal. Each day get yourself a cup of tea or whatever sooths you. Dim the lights & curl up in a favorite chair. The idea is to set the mood so that you will look forward to this “therapy” session.
Day one, write in your journal your feelings about this relationship. On this day it is “all about” how you FEEL.
Day two write down NOTHING but FACTS about this relationship. Each day flip back and forth…One day feelings, one day facts. Stick to the program don’t write about feelings on “fact” day. Try to do this for at least two or three months.

Sometimes writting things down is not only cathartic but it also gives us the ability to see some of our personal growth when we re-read what we wrote at a later date. I am thinking maybe that you are feeling stuck.

Writting down the facts might also at some point give you the ability to see that when you look at the FACTS only, he was a bad man. The rest was and is an illusion.
Writting can be pretty powerful. Progress not perfection. ((hugs))

Dear Witty, wonderful! Thank you (((Hugs)))

Expression of the soul is important. We just have to tell someone and feel validated. Each of us has our own story to tell and to share. All of them equally upsetting and mind boggling. It is up to each of us to choose what we do with our situations. Nobody can make that decision for us. But we must be honest with ourselves and the proofs we have before us. However ugly and distasteful they might be. Honesty with ourselves is first and foremost in defeating the monster that lives within us trying to move past this.

It is important that we recognize our achievements in our healing. Whenever I notice I have made a little more progress than the previous day, I try to ‘reward’ myself somehow. I have been trying to teach myself to be kind to myself and not allow others to destroy my own personal space in this life.

Those of you who have been reading me since I came to Love Fraud can tell the difference in me since I first started posting. Life isn’t a game anymore. It’s not something to be played; people aren’t meant to be manipulated. We know the right values and we know the difference between a good character and a flawed one. We do know the difference. We have to become not so starry eyed and shocked that we can’t see the forest for the trees.

It’s harsh and stark and shocking but we have to make peace with the truths. About us and about them, at the same time. It’s a daunting process, going through all those memories and as the truth starts to sink in, the grieving process takes over. Those are the ‘dark days’ where you question yourself and everything you thought you believed in.

When you are done reflecting and sorting through the lies from the truths, you are sitting there, looking at yourself. We started this journey at OURSELVES and it takes us right back to OURSELVES. The stronger self; the more aware self; the one who was purged in the fire and now is empowered never to return to that ‘dark spot’ ever again.

So, be good to yourselves, now and then. Release yourself from the prisons of your hell and smell the roses. Sometimes what we choose to have around us can make or break us. If we choose sorrow, all the time, we will live in sorrow. If we choose to be dynamic and strong and keep on walking our path, we inspire ourselves. We can’t change them, but we can change ourselves.

Happy Birthday to me…Happy Birthday to me….Happy Birthday Dear Dupey….you are finally free!!!!!!!! YAY!!! [email protected]@@~~~

Witty, journaling actually saved my life, I think. And, the physical act of using a pen against paper actually connected me TO my words on a physical level.

Dupey, validation is so necessary. We’ve been invalidated and dismissed SO many times by the spath….. I found strong validation with my counseling therapist whom I believe I was “fated” to find. Any other professional would have sat there, nodded their head, scribbled in their notebook, and asked, “Well, how do you FEEL about that?”

Louise, good for you! If we’re getting nowhere, we can change counselors. One ineffective therapist does not “speak” for the whole lot. The way that I found my counselor was by calling my local domestic violence hotline and asking for someone who was familiar with abuse and PSTD.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, INDEED, DUPEY!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Truthspeak,
I think it has saved me time or two as wll….And it really is a simple thing that we can do for ourselves but the results can be powerful.

Dear Dupey,

Many happy returns to you. Loved your post. Hope you’re well love

Regards and blessings

((((strongawoman)))) So nice to see you my little flower…
I think of you and send thoughts and prayers your way all the time. I hope things are going well with you too.

Remember you are loved and cared about, Dear….

Always ~ Your friend on the left coast of America,

Dupey
xxoo

Truthspeak: Thanks for your wishes and your post. I hope you are doing alright.

We are all making it through this somehow….we are.
Each day we are only getting stronger now…

Take care My Friend…Be well…Thrive and flourish…

Dupey

witsend:

Thank you so much for that! I am going to try it. I already have a journal that someone gave me for Christmas. Especially since I am not going to therapy anymore, I really hope this will help me. It sounds like a great way to heal…facts vs. feelings. He is a bad man ๐Ÿ™

Dupey

Thank you for your kind message. How sweet of you. Likewise my friend.

I’m doing good. Had a few spathy experiences lately but am back in the saddle…….as Oxy would say.

Muchas love to you too from a very cold Yorkshire. Brrr xx

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