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Archive for 2007

Married man sleeps with 13 women in a week

Three different Lovefraud readers sent in a link to a story on the Today Show website. In a letter to Dr. Gail Schultz, a psychiatrist and Today Show contributor, a 41-year-old married man claimed that he will hit his all-time record for sleeping around—13 women in a week.

The guy says his wife is intelligent, beautiful, and they have a great sex life. Still, he looks at every woman who walks by and watches porn. He meets women online, sleeps with them on the first date, and then dumps them.

In her reply, Dr. Schultz’s first words are: “I think you are a sex addict and a sociopath.”

Here’s the story: Married man: ‘I slept with 13 women this week.’

Media says the “S” word

Wishing you healing and joy in 2008

Another year is coming to an end. A new year will soon begin.

For some of us, 2007 was a year of awakening. Something happened, something clicked, which made us realize that we needed to take a stand for ourselves. A person who waltzed into our lives with promises of unending happiness was a pathological liar. He or she was driving a spike into our hearts, oblivious to the pain it caused. Perhaps even delighting in the pain.

For others of us, 2007 was another step on our journey toward healing. Maybe we learned that all we could do was accept that the sociopath will never change. Maybe we processed and released some of our emotional trauma. Maybe we realized, via Lovefraud, that we are not alone. Maybe we finally began to believe that we can recover.

Healing the wounds

Posted in: Donna Andersen

What does the psychopath ‘do’ with this diagnosis?

LoveFraud reader buzzibee raises some important issues in a recent comment.

How does a tested and proven psychopath usually respond to being told “You have a mental disorder. You are characteristically a psychopath”?

Are [they] so arrogant to dispute a medical diagnosis that they have a mental disorder? Do they display any desire to learn more about the disorder and at any point admit to it?

In order to be diagnosed as a psychopath, a person needs a score of 30 out of a possible 40 on the Psychotherapy Checklist-Revised test (PCL-R). This is a very time-consuming test which only trained personnel can administer, so by and large only prisoners and research subjects are likely to have it.

Psychopaths don’t see themselves as having a problem and so wouldn’t present themselves for testing anyway. Unless they thought they might benefit from the diagnosis in some way. So that’s point number one: psychopaths are unlikely to receive the diagnosis unless they are incarcerated, and probably not even then.

Brain researcher puts his finger on the nature of psychopathy

The journal Nature has an article on neurological research being done in the Netherlands on psychopaths’ empathy or lack thereof. The researcher, Christian Keysers, is primarily interested in the neurology of empathy and so wants to compare regular folks with two groups characterised by problems with empathy: autistics and psychopaths.

Do psychopaths cut off the emotional component of empathy when mirroring the other person’s emotions begins, or fail to mirror the emotions of others completely? When identifying with the victim or the perpetrator, which areas of the brain are activated in those who are normally vs abnormally empathic? The article can be downloaded here.

What interests me are the the images which have been chosen to display to the subjects in order to measure their responses. Pictures of neutral, angry, fearful, etc. faces have been rejected by the reseracher on the grounds that only particular areas of the brain are activated by viewing faces.

The gift of fear: After the sociopath is gone.

When I first got my life back after the sociopath was arrested, I was terrified of becoming angry. Anger to me was my father raging. Anger was the sociopath standing before me with fist raised, eyes blazing, teeth bared. Anger never stopped. Anger was forever. And so, I feared my anger.

I had to learn that anger does end — when I let it out — safely and with feeling.

One hot sunny day a couple of months after his arrest, a girlfriend, who had also come out of an abusive relationship, and I took 4 dozen eggs to the top of a cliff and threw them with all our might onto the rocks below. Before we hurled them we sat and drew pictures and words onto each egg — pictures and words I had always been too afraid to speak. I drew caricatures of the sociopath. I drew pictures of what I’d like to do to him (like drowning in a vat of hot oil, or being squished by a huge road paving machine) I wrote swear words, exclamation marks and red thunder bolts and anything else that depicted to me what he was and what he’d done to me. And then, screaming and yelling and crying, I hurled those eggs off the cliff and watched them smash below.

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: My journal entry about susceptibility to the sociopath

Editor’s note: A Lovefraud reader sent the following entry from her journal. “About 2 1/2 months since the sociopath revealed himself for what he was, I’m now assessing how I made myself so vulnerable in the first place,” she wrote. “Shockingly I realize I likely still am… still am as vulnerable… until I do my next needed self-work: truly healing my relationship with myself. Deeply.” The following piece represents a step in her healing.

I was thinking about whether I’d ever be able to reclaim my memories, once sweet, once preciously loving, of the past two years… ever since the sociopath revealed himself for the liar and deceiver that he is via his cruel departure.

I am grateful for his departure, don’t get me wrong. But I am still in the midst of my ongoing process to try to make Meaning and sense. (I have kind of surrendered to the hopelessness of “making sense” of it all. But I will ever strive to find, make, imagine Meaning!!)

“Nothing says I love you like a Glock”

I was going about the morning as usual, working on my next book, with CNN on in the background, when I heard what has to be the sociopathic quote of the year, “Nothing says I love you like a Glock.” I have not shared much about my own experience with a sociopath, but one of the things I am most ashamed of is that I did not react more strongly to my former husband’s preoccupation with guns. He did not personally own any gun, but he talked about them a great deal, and he was very persistent about the idea that I should learn how to shoot. He also wanted me to own a hand gun. I did take the NRA gun safety course and I learned how to shoot. I have to say, target practice was fun and I was good at it. I had and still have, an aversion to guns, and so never applied for permission to own one of my own. I felt like a fuddy-dud though, after all our Constitution does give us the right to arm bears, or is it bare arms? I don’t know…

Meet the new Lovefraud author: Stephen Appel, Ph.D.

Psychopaths are not necessarily great liars. That’s the premise of a series of articles Dr. Stephen Appel, the newest Lovefraud Blog author, has recently posted on his website, The Top Two Inches.

“The Top Two Inches,” in case you’re wondering (as I was), refers to the head, but means the mind, brain and thinking. Dr. Steve’s website is devoted to contemplating “the mysterious workings of the mind.”

In Myth: Psychopaths are great liars, Dr. Steve agrees that psychopaths are pathological liars. “They are pathological, they are chronic tellers of untruths, and this dishonesty is tied up with their pathology,” he writes.

But according to Dr. Steve, research shows the speech of a psychopath is not particularly convincing. So how do they manage to be so deceptive? It’s everything else that they do—their arrogance, grandiosity, sob stories and intimidation—that mislead listeners into believing them. It’s not the words; it’s the show.

Posted in: Dr. Steve

A common verbal ploy of the psychopath

This is my first post on the LoveFraud blog. It’s a great pleasure to be part of this most worthwhile effort to teach people to recognise and avoid sociopaths. (Or psychopaths, as I prefer.)

Over at my blog – the top two inches – I have been thinking and writing about something that psychopaths invariably do to deflect things away from themselves and onto others.

Perhaps you’ve encountered it: the psychopath does something wrong, but the moment attention is drawn to this he (usually it’s he) magically causes you to feel bad.

Here are a few examples:
1. The wifebeater says: “Why are you making me do this!?”
Consequently she may think: “It’s true, I shouldn’t do X [usually something insignificant] because it makes him upset.” Do you see? Suddenly she’s the baddie.

Should I warn the sociopath’s next victim?

As many of us have painfully learned, before sociopaths dump one victim, they usually have already targeted another. In the following letter, a Lovefraud reader asked what she should do about the new victim:

I am finally away from the sociopath, although he still continues to contact me from time to time demanding money. He has a new target—as always, a financially secure woman, vulnerable and he has “given her a shoulder to cry on.” Her father just died, her mother has cancer and she stands to inherit some valuable land and she is already “hooked” thinking that he is “so caring” and “has been there for her and she for him.” He has told her I left him took all his money, etc.—the same story I got 10 years ago.