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Archive for November, 2007

Is there any constructive, legal action to take against sociopaths?

Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader:

My psychologist referred me to this web site. It’s terrific save one section: How can running away from these people be the only solution? Granted, it’s a stop-gap solution to protect yourself from future abuses; however, it’s not a solution for full/final resolution.

Allowing [them] to perpetuate their endeavors and perpetrate them on others only permits proliferation. Please tell me that there is some constructive, legal way to be proactive and preventative in a more communal fashion. I have visions of: 20 years from now they rule the world. It won’t be survival of the fittest. It will have become survival of the sickest.

To have to swallow this reality would be a further devastating blow to my slowly recovering resiliency.

Be wild at heart after the sociopath is gone

Finding what we lost after coming out from the turmoil of a relationship with a sociopath can be daunting. Healing from these encounters takes time. Yet, we have a tendency to believe we should be able to get over it, be done, and finished with the hurting within a pre-determined schedule carefully marked on the calendar page. As if healing from an emotional rape has a timeline and can be accomplished by following the direct line from A to Z.

There is no alphabet encoded path to healing from these encounters. No step by step process that states do this and in 23 days you will be healed.

I used to hate the word, ‘organic’. As in, the process is organic. Since getting free from his abuse, I’ve learned to love it. Healing from abuse, any kind of abuse, is an organic process. It begins within me. It moves within me. It changes within me so that outside I can live the life I’ve always dreamed. The life I deserve.

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

Psychopaths and sociopaths teach us about the importance of love bonds

I’ve been reviewing scientific studies for my next book on sociopathy and have found some fascinating research. A technology called fMRI enables scientists to monitor brain activity when people feel different emotions or do various tasks. A recent study has demonstrated that people high in trait sociopathy (psychopathy in the paper), experience no pleasure when cooperating with someone else, and no guilt at pursuing selfish goals at another’s expense. Furthermore, when a sociopath gets over on someone his pleasure center lights up with activity. I know, we already knew this, but it is nice that scientists have correlated sociopathic behavior with specific brain areas.

Love in the aftermath of a sociopathic encounter

Life continually delivers up opportunities to grow, to learn, to shift my perceptions, to experience new things, to embrace new ideas, to let go and let change happen. Since the sociopath has been gone from my life, the lessons I’ve embraced are ones that support me. They’re lessons that enrich my life with love and laughter.

I’ve been dating C.C. for four months now. Known him for three years. I know who he is. I know his values. His beliefs. I know he is true. And still, sometimes, I feel the fear of the past haunting me.

Recently, I stayed late at the office trying to clear up a project I need to have finished by the end of the month.

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

Most cheaters are amateurs; sociopaths are professionals

Lovefraud recently received a very nice e-mail from the editor of HowToDoThings.com, complimenting the information provided by Lovefraud. She suggested that an article from her website might be of interest to Lovefraud readers. It is called How To Recognize the Signs of Cheating Men.

I checked out the article. Now, I mean absolutely no disrespect to HowToDoThings.com, but the article describes cheating by mere amateurs, not sociopaths.

Signs of a cheating man

According to the article, all of the following should raise a woman’s suspicions that her guy might be cheating:

1. He improves his personal appearance.
2. He finds fault with you.
3. Your sex life changes.
4. He uses a new phone or other new technologies.
5. Your intuition tells you something is wrong.
6. His routine changes, or he has new interests.
7. His work or financial habits change.
8. You find evidence of another woman.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I met another sociopath on MillionaireMatch.com

Editor’s note: Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader.

I went on a date last night with a man I met on MillionaireMatch.com.

Looked great on paper. His photograph was so-so and I didn’t expect much.

We met at a restaurant and when he walked in I thought to myself, “Oh that’s not him; he’s too good looking.” Well it turned out to be him. We introduced, started talking and he teased me, and asked if I was buying dinner. That was my first red flag. Why would a proclaimed millionaire ask me to pay? I thought perhaps he was screening out gold diggers. We never left the bar nor had dinner, although he paid for an appetizer and drink.

Veterans Day wake-up call: Sociopaths as military impostors

Every Sunday my local newspaper, the Press of Atlantic City, prints the names of servicemen and women who died the previous week in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every Sunday, I make myself read the names. It’s the least I can do to honor their sacrifice. Today, Veterans Day, the newspaper printed a story about a local young man, a private, killed in Baghdad six months ago. I’m afraid I couldn’t read the story—it was too upsetting.

Veterans Day was always important to my ex-husband, James Montgomery. He wanted to show his patriotism and commemorate the comrades he lost in Vietnam as a member of the Australian military. In fact, when we met, 25 years after Vietnam, Montgomery claimed he was still affiliated with Special Forces. Military service was an important part of his persona.

This is an important part my upcoming book, Cracked Open, about life with a sociopath. An excerpt follows.

Sociopaths and Psychopaths: Have you no shame?

Shame, along with guilt, embarrassment and pride, is a moral emotion. Shame is the emotion we experience when we discover a defect in ourselves. The expression of shame is a submissive response. It is an acknowledgment to others of the defect and the decline in our status that results from the defect. This submissive response shows to others our attempts to conform, improve ourselves, apologize, and make amends.

Early experts in psychopathy documented that the absence of shame is part of the disorder. According to Dr. Cleckley, author of The Mask of Sanity, psychopaths are incapable of feeling shame. Because they do not feel shame, they blame everyone else for their problems. “The psychopath apparently cannot accept substantial blame for the various misfortunes which befall him and which he brings down upon others,” Cleckley says. “Whether judged in the light of his conduct, of his attitude, or of material elicited in psychiatric examination, he [the psychopath] shows almost no sense of shame.“

BOOK REVIEW: How to Spot a Dangerous Man

Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader:

I have been involved with a man for the past seven years. We don’t live together but he has stayed at my home on and off. Anything rotten in a relationship I have had to deal with–lies, cheating, humiliation, emotional abuse and financial, not that he took money from me but sponged off a single mother. This man makes good money and has never made a commitment to anyone, lots of broken promises and excuses. He has a problem with breaking the connection with me, always trying to get back in and regain his supply. I believe this man is a psychopath/narcissist. I have reverted to just trying to remain friends but I don’t think for him this is possible. He always tries to get back in. My married ex was also a psychopath and I was involved with another man, he was also a psychopath. How can we change this–always attracting the same?

My sister is a sociopath

This is a true story told to me by one of my University students. Marisol describes life with her sister, a sociopath:

My stepfather sexually molested me when I was eight. My sister who was nine, was also molested; I know because I saw him go to her. We never talked about what happened. When she was 20, I asked her and she denied it then admitted it happened to her when I said I saw him. My father was shot and killed when we were very young. He used drugs and had a bad temper, so someone shot him. My sister was always wild when we were growing up. We fought a lot and there wasn’t much affection in my family.