Archive for January, 2007

Learning to be in relationship after an encounter with a Sociopath

It’s been almost four years since the sociopath was forcefully extricated from my life by the police. Four years to heal, learn, grow and to rebuild. I’ve been feeling pretty strong, centered, together. And yet, no matter how much I heal or grow, I still shy away from an aspect of being human that drives the creative spirit to express itself through books and poetry, songs and movies, paintings and sculptures and all kinds of other art forms; ‘a loving relationship’. In fact, I have pretty well convinced myself that I was content to spend the rest of my life ‘a single’. I mean, really, my life is full. Two daughters living at home while going to college, my career, my writing, a busy social life filled with friends with whom I love to share time. This is a good life. Anyway, I’m fifty-three, I’ve had my share of relationships gone bad. Who needs to risk another one? Who needs a man?

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

Judge orders woman arrested for blog exposing ex-husband’s military fraud

Lovefraud has written extensively about Phil Haberman and the efforts of his ex-wife to expose his military fraud and crimes. Last week, his ex-wife was charged with contempt of court by a Florida judge for refusing to take down her blog. A warrant was issued for her arrest.

Haberman had previously accused his ex-wife, of California, of domestic violence and cyberstalking because of her blog. On September 7, 2006, Judge Robert B. Bennett Jr., of the 12th Judicial Circuit for Sarasota County, Florida, ordered her to “remove or cause to be removed all blogs, e-mails or other web-based communications” about Haberman. The woman, believing her First Amendment rights were violated, has not complied with the order.

Haberman was first profiled in the media by the Dallas Observer on September 1, 2005. An article entitled, G.I. Jerk–Haberman claims he fought with Special Forces in Iraq, but he’s about as real as Rambo, cast doubt on Haberman’s story of military accomplishments and Iraq war injuries.

“How did he really feel?” and “What did he want from me?”

“How did he really feel?” and “What did he want from me?” are two questions that often haunt victims of sociopaths. The reason we are haunted by these questions varies but often stems from the habit of over-focusing on the sociopath instead of ourselves. That being said, victims also have a healthy ‘need to know’ that can help with recovery and healing.

I struggled with these questions in my own healing. I remain baffled by my observations of enjoyment of affection on the part of sociopaths. Early on, I told my own therapist that I had come to the conclusion that sociopaths exploit those close to them to the point of death, then, cry at the funeral. At the moment the tears are shed, I believe they do represent a grief of sorts. The feelings of loss experienced by sociopaths are however, short lived. Victims also have to beware because, although sociopaths are said to be incapable of feelings for those in their lives, they do become obsessed with them. Psychologists have not yet explained this obsession. If they don’t attach, why are they obsessed? Those who have read my other entries know that I believe that sociopaths do attach. It is what they do with attachments that is disordered.

Futility: trying to save a sociopath

Dorothy Hooks is a Christian woman who tries to live by the Bible. When she met Cedric Youngblood, she saw a man who never had a chance. His family life as a child had been abusive. He had been in and out of jail. Dorothy saw someone who just needed to get out of the ghetto and learn the meaning of love and family.

In Dorothy, Cedric saw a giving, caring woman who wants to do the right thing and help people.In other words, Cedric saw a target.

Last week, the Cedric Youngblood story was posted on Lovefraud.com. Dorothy courageously talks about her marriage to the man who she now realizes is a sociopath. But for more than three years, Dorothy focused on Cedric’s potential, hoping he would change his abusive behavior.

Again and again, Dorothy gave Cedric another chance. She kept forgiving his cheating and his violence. She knew he could change.

Why do we say sociopaths are like animals?

“He’s an animal!” is a statement commonly made regarding sociopaths. To those like me who love animals, this comparison is a bit distasteful. However, this week we will see that this statement may indeed be true.

Previously, I introduced the idea of the Inner Triangle. The Inner Triangle is a way to understand the hows and whys of sociopathy, and to predict how a sociopath will behave in a given situation. The Inner Triangle consists of our Ability to Love, Impulse Control, and Moral Reasoning. I have already described Ability to Love and Impulse Control, and the relationship these have to the disorder. This week we will discuss the Moral Reasoning of sociopaths.

Animals do not possess moral reasoning

Although animals can love and use impulse control, they do not reason morally.

The six steps of healing from a psychopath

There is no straight line to healing after an encounter with a psychopath. No clearly defined path that says, step here, go there. For most of us, there are no tools in our lifeboats that will aid us in the process of letting go so that we can move on to live and laugh and love again.

Healing from such an encounter takes energy. It requires a personal commitment to doing what it takes to clear your mind, body and spirit of his or her lies. Healing takes time.

When I first got my life back after the psychopath was arrested I looked at the devastation around me and cried. How could a once vibrant, successful, loving woman have fallen so far from her path? How could she have lost her grace and dignity by loving such a man? I didn’t want to believe that woman was me. I didn’t want to believe my life had crumbled to such disarray. But to heal, I had to accept what was and let go of my disbelief that it couldn’t be true. It was true. I had loved a man who lied. I had fallen into his web and let go of all that I had held true.

When authorities do nothing about sociopaths—disaster

Last summer, former Army Pfc. Steven D. Green was charged in the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, and the murder of her mother, father and 5-year-old sister.

The incident took place on March 12, 2006. According to CNN.com, Green and four other soldiers were “drinking whiskey, playing cards and hitting golf balls when Green brought up the idea of going to a house near the checkpoint where they were stationed to rape the girl.”

Green was described as “persistent.” The other four soldiers went along with the plan.

They all changed into dark clothing and covered their faces. With one soldier posted to guard the door, the other four went in. While one or two of the other soldiers raped the teenager—their testimonies differed—the parents and the young girl were herded into a bedroom where Green shot them. He then came out, raped the teenager and shot her. Green poured kerosene on the girl’s bullet-ridden body. She was set on fire, although it is unclear who did it.

“Would somebody please tell me why he did this!”

“Would somebody please tell me why he did this?” is one of the most common questions victims of sociopaths have. Three weeks ago I introduced the idea that the Inner Triangle can help each of us understand the individual sociopath that infected our lives. The Inner Triangle is formed by three qualities that develop in concert during childhood. These three qualities are Ability to Love, Impulse Control and Moral Reasoning. Last week I discussed the concept of Ability to Love. Lack of Ability to Love defines those with sociopathy. No less important however, is the lack of Impulse Control, also universally found in people with this disorder.

What is Impulse Control?

I’m sure many of you noticed that sociopaths have a lot of energy. Their minds come up with many plans and ideas. This energy would be a good thing if the sociopath could direct it toward positive goals. Sadly, however, the abundant energy sociopaths have leads them to pursue goals that damage others. The reason is poor impulse control. Sociopaths are unable to control the many impulses that come from their basic drives and emotions.

Sociopaths and their smear campaigns

Lovefraud received the following letter from a woman who was married to a sociopath for 16 years.

I was a stay-at-home mom until my son entered kindergarten, then I got a job. This was the end of any peace I would have for 10 years. The worst possible thing happened to my husband—the woman he could make fun of for being stupid or having no goals (whatever he would say to hurt my self-esteem) became a huge success. In fact, I made three times as much as Mr. Wonderful. The abuse escalated. He was so obsessed with destroying me that even on a business trip where I was getting an award for being the top sales rep in my company, he was pulling my boss aside and insinuating I was committing fraud and that was why I was #1.

Love not lovefraud

Within the last 6 months, I received word that my ex-husband (still in prison after having destroyed my life) pledges undying love for me. One of the most disturbing after-affects of a relationship with a sociopath is confusion about love. As part of my own healing, I resolved to study the scientific literature to understand what is known of the nature of love. I will summarize my findings here but also please visit Ability to Love.

Attachment is what causes us to stick together

Although there are many other species that live solitary lives, humans are social creatures. That means we stick together. Scientists have called this tendency to stick together “attachment.” Attachment is part of love. It is that part of love that makes us feel compelled to be with those we love.