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Archive for July, 2007

LETTERS TO LOVEFAUD: How do you fight against this type of person?

Many people write to Lovefraud seeking advice for the situations they find themselves in due to a sociopath. I do my best to help, but sometimes the sociopath has created so much trauma that I feel like my suggestions are inadequate.

Reproduced below is an e-mail exchange between a woman who faces a nearly impossible situation—we’ll call her Theresa—and myself. If you have any suggestions that may help her, please post them in a comment.

Theresa’s first letter

When I met my husband he was divorced (three times) and had joint custody of his biological son and stepdaughter. At the time it appeared as though he was this loving and caring dad, and he was so convincing that I was the one person that made his custody case a slam dunk for him and he won custody of his biological son and stepdaughter. Now looking back, I see that was all a ploy, he was just doing that because I had a passion for the children’s well being. I’m afraid the things he was telling me about his ex-wife back then were all lies and I feel terrible.

Prenatal smoking increases the risk of sociopathy

The prevention of sociopathy is something we all should be concerned about. Last week, we had an excellent discussion about sociopathy and lying. We all agree lying is the cardinal symptom of sociopathy, thanks to all those who posted comments. Your comments truly help those who are new to the site. Lying is part of the poor impulse control that sociopaths have. Poor impulse control or impulsivity and lying are recognized as central to sociopathy by every expert and diagnostic method. To prevent sociopathy we must start by preventing impulsivity. Unfortunately the brain structures responsible for impulse control are very sensitive to damage, especially early in life; although, damage to the frontal lobes can produce sociopathy at any age.

3 steps to leave a sociopath and start healing

It’s easy to fall asleep at the wheel on the road of life. To lose consciousness under the seeming weight of sorrows, trials and tribulations pounding you into the dirt. To forget to open your eyes to the wonders passing by. Everyday living has a numbing effect on reality. However, if you’re in relationship with someone who resembles the label of a sociopath, psychopath, narcissistic personality disordered or any other disorderly letter of the alphabet, it’s even easier to forget who you are and where you’re going. Staying awake drifts from your mind as you are drained by the numbing effect of his abuse. The deeper your drift, the further waking up races from possibility.

Fred Brito claims he’s “The Benevolent Con”

Last month Dr. Liane Leedom wrote an article called Fred Brito: A con artist profiled by Dateline. Dr. Leedom’s observations about the Dateline story were:

  • Fred fooled many people who should have known better
  • Fred fits the profile of a sociopath
  • Fred projects positive energy that is nearly euphoric
  • Fred has an enormous sense of entitlement
  • Fred sought the company of high-status individuals
  • Fred doesn’t appear to have a love life

Dr. Leedom’s comments about Fred strike me as being fairly mild. They aren’t the type of comments that a man who agreed to be interviewed by a national investigative television show, or someone who is running for state senator in New Mexico, should get worked up over.

But Fred didn’t like the Lovefraud story. He complained that in publishing it, Lovefraud did not talk to him and resorted to gossip.

The cardinal sign of sociopathy: Every sociopath ______!

Lovefraud receives many letters from people who want a sign. Readers ask, “How do I know whether or not someone is a sociopath?” There is one behavior that every sociopath engages in to extreme excess. If I were only allowed one criteria for the diagnosis I would choose this behavior. If someone does not do this thing to extreme excess he/she is certainly not a sociopath. Those of you who have been involved with a sociopath know too well what this one thing is. It is lying.

I enjoy reading old religious texts because I believe there is truly nothing new under the sun. It is comforting to get reassurance of that fact. I mentioned some time ago that female sociopaths are described in the Bible. The cardinal symptom of sociopathy is described best in the Babylonian Talmud! One source I found dated this document to the 6th century.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Psychopathic boss —pure malignant evil

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by a reader to Lovefraud. It is published with the permission of the author.

I was foolish enough to work as a commission salesperson for a psychopath business owner.

One difficult lesson I learned was that once a psychopath has your pay watch out! Especially for commission sales. Since they just might just want to keep your money for themselves. Or milk out the deal. Then show you who’s boss.

This particular psychopath hooked me by holding onto my pay. Claiming cash-flow problems. Then he said I had to keep working for him. Or else he would keep my back-pay for himself. Then finally… he paid me and said he was reformed. Didn’t really believe him. But was grateful anyway. Since I needed the money.

Book review: Win Your Child Custody War

Lovefraud receives many e-mails and phone calls from parents who are in child custody disputes with sociopathic ex-partners. If this is you, you are desperate for help and advice.

Personally, I think these are the most tragic cases involving sociopaths. Sociopaths are incapable of loving anyone, including their children. Children, therefore, are pawns in their game, and the game is to torture you. In the worst cases, the game is also to turn your child into a Mini Me, a budding sociopath.

To make matters worse, sociopaths are capable of putting on such convincing appearances—smoothly blending partial truth with lies and accusations—that judges frequently believe them. Sociopaths also manage to find attorneys like themselves, who know every way to manipulate the legal system to create havoc for you. In short, family court battles with a sociopath are a nightmare.

A book to help you

Lessons from New Orleans: How to come back after disaster strikes

In 1991, I sat at the Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana with my five month old daughter in a stroller. I had every reason to be happy and optimistic. I was there to present the results of my research at a scientific meeting. I was about to finish residency training and move to Connecticut for a fellowship at Yale. That trip I also visited the zoo and fell in love with the city. I promised myself I would bring my daughter back when she was old enough to really appreciate the culture and history.

On our trip to the zoo, I noticed a display that described what would happen to the city in the event of a major hurricane. I don’t know if it is still there. I remember thinking that nothing could bring down this glorious city and I wondered why they had that display near the zoo. At the age of 29, I had yet to experience disaster, natural or personal. I didn’t realize how vulnerable we all really are.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: This is not love, but poison

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by a reader to Lovefraud. It is published with the permission of the author.

After dating Charles for a year (“the four seasons” a term he used often in our relationship and his simultaneous relationship with Sue, it was the marker of when we would marry), I got the answer I was looking for…I had added “Family Locator Service” to my cell phone, placed my extra phone is his car and waited until 4 a.m. to have the nerve to do the fatal search…there it was…in black and white…my worst fears are true … He was living with another woman. Her name is Sue, widow and mother of two children almost the same age as my own. Another family in the making less than 10 miles from my house. I am “the other woman”…

Gambling with a sociopath

Over the last 30 years, the United States has seen an explosion of legalized gambling. Slot machines, blackjack tables and lotteries are a growth industry. Casinos are flourishing not far from me; I could be there every day if I wanted to. But I don’t go. I’m not a gambler.

Still, I know how gamblers feel because I was with a sociopath.

It didn’t take long for ex-husband, James Montgomery, to start taking money from me. He called his first suggestion that I give him $5,000 an “investment opportunity.” Subsequent requests were described as “building our future together.” Then I shouldn’t worry about putting expenses on my credit cards because he would “pay everything off when the projects were funded.” Before long, my bank accounts were empty and my credit cards were full.

Thinking like a gambler