Yesterday was a tough day at Lovefraud.
First thing in the morning, I got a call from a woman I’d spoken to before. She was hysterical.
From what she’d told me previously, it sounded like she was dealing with three sociopaths—her husband, her oldest son, and a guy she had an affair with. Initially, her husband had condoned the affair. Then he left her. Then he returned. Then he smeared her with her family and friends. The oldest son was violent.
“You have to get out,” I advised.
“I don’t have any money,” she whined. “My husband hid the checkbook.”
“Is your name on the account?” I asked.
“Then go to the bank, withdraw money and leave.”
Then she started telling me that she begged her husband to make her son stop disrespecting her.
“Your husband is not going to do that,” I said. “He’s a sociopath. You have to get out.”
Then she told me that she and her husband had an appointment with her counselor on Sunday.
“What are you doing that for?” I asked. “It’s just another opportunity for him to manipulate you. Don’t do it.”
“I’ll kill myself”
The woman did not heed my advice. She did not leave. She went to the counseling appointment with her husband. My guess is that the counselor has been co-opted by the husband, as often happens when a sociopath calmly expresses concerns about his or her partner’s “problems.”
So the woman did not sleep at all Sunday night. First thing Monday morning, she’s on the phone with me. Hysterical.
“You have to get out,” I repeated.
“Why should I have to leave when he’s the one abusing me?” she asked.
Then she started begging me for help. She wanted her situation investigated. She wanted justice.
I’m not an investigator. I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a therapist. I’m on the other side of the country. All I could offer were suggestions. Which I’d already done.
So then she started talking about killing herself. Or arranging for someone else to kill her. Repeatedly.
Luckily, call waiting clicked—someone else was on the phone for her. After hanging up, I sought advice from some colleagues. They advised me not to take any chances.
So I called the woman’s counselor—she’d given me the phone number—and left a message that she was suicidal. Then I called the authorities.
An hour later the woman called back. She’d heard from her counselor that I said she was suicidal. She’d heard that law enforcement was coming.
“I’m not suicidal,” she screamed at me.
“You told me you were going to kill yourself,” I replied.
“I’m not suicidal,” she repeated. Then she hung up.
A few hours later, after the shock subsided, I vomited.
The problem was, I knew this incident played right into the hands of the husband, who was claiming that the woman was bi-polar.
I could imagine the scene. She’d get carted off to the hospital, screaming in protest, while he calmly explained to the doctors about her “problems.”
The record would show her receiving psychiatric care for her suicidal threats—another step toward her destruction.
Get out now
I don’t know if everything this woman told me was true. I do know that what she told me was possible.
Some sociopaths are so cunning, so manipulative and so vicious, that it’s possible the husband was orchestrating a grand scheme for this woman to take her own life. Dr. Leedom calls it “murder by suicide.”
But you can’t fight a sociopath by allowing yourself to slip into hysteria.
You can’t save yourself by demanding that somebody “do something” about another person’s abuse or injustice.
If you’re in an abusive situation, you must get out as soon as you become cognizant of it. The longer you stay, the weaker you’ll become, until you end up without the internal resources to cope at all.
If you’re reading this blog, and you’re in an abusive relationship, get out. Now.
In the end, you must save yourself. Other people can only offer suggestions.