In August Lovefraud posted a story called One woman’s experience of romantic manipulation. The information was submitted by “Survivor,” who had been targeted by someone whom she believes is a sociopath, and lists her observations of behaviors that, in hindsight, indicated how she was being manipulated.
Survivor wrote to Lovefraud recently—the guy was back. Survivor had finally taken a step to be social again, joining a singles group. The guy found out and joined as well. I told her that No Contact is the best policy, and she might want to drop out of the group.
To confront—or not
What happened next illustrates three things:
1. The amount of psychological damage that sociopaths inflict
2. The difficulty victims have in recovering from the damage
3. The cluelessness of people who have not experienced the devastation of a sociopath
Here is Survivor’s letter:
I wanted to let you now how right you are about the no contact policy. I wrote you last week about the sociopath joining a singles group that I had also joined a few weeks before him.
His finding me there and joining that group fully aware that I was also a member terrified me. I didn’t want to be terrified and felt “owned” by my fear. I wanted to be able to confront my fear and well that has turned out to be a rather bad idea. I share this with you because you and another woman seem to be the only people who understand. My therapist doesn’t even seem to get it. I’ve been even “scolded” by friends and told to get over it and let it go and stop letting him have power over me. The healing process is slow and just when I thought I was ready to venture back out into the world at large and be ready to meet new people he is there again. I don’t live in a small town, but a large metropolitan area and the coincidences are strange.
Last week I sent an email to the singles group coordinator . . . a woman in her early 40s explaining that I was probably going to drop her group because he had joined and I couldn’t be anywhere that he was and didn’t like the idea of him being able to see which events I had RSVPd for. I even gave her some examples of his behavior, told her I feared him and that he had been stalking me periodically for months. The coordinator said she didn’t want me to drop out and that she would think of a solution and check into him. Yesterday, I got an email from her. She apparently contacted him and shared the situation with him and came up with a resolution whereby we could “share” her singles group with me having precedence of opting to join different activities and RSVP Yes or No within a week after they were posted. He agreed to this . . .OF COURSE because it was another “win” for him.
I can’t tell you how upset I was that my good intentions to warn this woman went this way or that she really didn’t understand that I AM AFRAID and the examples I gave her of his behavior didn’t seem to make any difference. Of course, she was probably charmed by him. He signed up for an event occurring two weeks from now and she was encouraging me to attend this event stating that the other members “would keep me safe.” She proposed that this shared arrangement of her activities continue to the end of December and was hoping that he and I could work things out by then, but if not, she’d ask him to resign the membership of the group.
I kept thinking that I needed to confront my fear and by doing that I would get over it. My not so brilliant idea motivated by my fear was to email him and ask him to meet me and I would have a friend there with me and just tell him that I did not want any further contact and if he started joining other clubs I was involved in, I would consider that further stalking. He responded quickly to my email, but said he was busy and wanted further clarification about “what happened” in August the last time we were in touch. I responded that I was not going to participate in the singles group and was not going to discuss anything else. No reply from him, but once again . . . in hindsight I most likely didn’t do the right thing. I should have just followed your suggestion and ignored the whole situation.
I guess you could say that this email serves to show that dealing with a sociopath is going to be far, far different than anything you’ve ever experienced. The rules for social contact do not apply here. I guess I had to be kicked upside the head again to keep learning the lessons.
Thank you, Survivor, for being willing to share your story.