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Archive for March, 2009

Lovefraud extra: It is time for Amy’s law

May, 2008 I brought to your attention the tragic case of Dr. Amy Castillo, a pediatrician who lost her court fight to protect her children from their psychopathic father. Unfortunately, I have to inform you that another two children have been lost and another mother named Amy is left asking how we let her down. Yes I said we let her down. The judge who allowed the children’s father, Michael Connolly to have unsupervised visitation was representing all of us.

We have to put our heads together and figure out how to change the system. Children need and deserve protection from sociopaths. Mothers and fathers like Amy made a mistake in marriage and love, that shouldn’t mean the children conceived should pay the ultimate price!

Identifying sociopathic behavior is easy; giving advice is hard

Just about every day, Lovefraud receives e-mail from readers who are looking for answers about confusing, contradictory and abusive behavior exhibited by people in their lives. The new readers don’t understand what they are dealing with; they just tell, either in a few paragraphs or lengthy compositions, their stories. The e-mails describe some or many of the following behaviors:

  • Pathological lying
  • Pity plays
  • Shallow emotions
  • Devalue and discard
  • Cheating or promiscuity
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • Controlling demands
  • Financial irresponsibility
  • Manipulation of children
  • Broken promises
  • Claims of “you made me do it”
  • Pleas of “I’ll never do it again”

The readers ask, “Am I involved with a sociopath?”

For those of us who now know what sociopathic behavior looks like, it is apparent that the answer is yes—or that at least the readers are describing sociopathic traits.

After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 7-Letting Go

Letting go is the point at which our recovery turns around from darkness to light. In previous articles, we have discussed all the stages of magical thinking, how we progressively become more and more willing to accept reality.

In a trauma or extended trauma, like a relationship with a sociopath, there is a lot of difficult reality to accept. Here is a recap of our healing stages or strategies:

• Denial – the most “unreal” stage, where we say it is not important, where we are at war with our own feelings
• Bargaining – we admit it hurts, but we still think it is in our power to change it
• Anger – we blame the external cause, we recover our feelings of personal power over our lives, but we continue to maintain the idea that there is something we or anyone else can do about it.

Sex differences in antisocial behavior (part 3)

Antisocial behavior is behavior that harms others or infringes on their rights. Sociopaths are antisocial in that this behavior has become a lifestyle for them. Although some might say that this lifestyle is “learned” volumes of research show that genes determine who learns this lifestyle. Furthermore, the learning begins in childhood and adolescence. In the last few weeks we have been discussing some of the findings of researchers who followed over 1000 people born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972. This week we will see how they answered the following questions:

1. Are men more violent than women?
2. Is antisocial behavior stable in individuals over time?
3. Is the degree of stability the same for males and females?
4. What is the age of onset of delinquency and conduct disorder in males and females?

Are men more violent than women?

E…Evil Woman

Remember the Electric Light Orchestra? I couldn’t resist. But I really want to say something about an e…evil woman. Actually, not really. I just wanted an excuse to say e..evil woman. Okay, I’ve said it, again. Now I’ve got it out of my system. I’ll stop with that.

But I do want to talk about evil. Evil’s such a dicey word. Evil? What is evil? What really makes someone evil? Do evil people exist?

That is, can someone even be evil: Are people evil, or just their behaviors?

I remember a friend of mine, a close friend, years ago, once called me an “evil m*therf*cker,” and I laughed. Did I laugh because I’m evil, thereby validating his accusation? Or did I laugh because I was secure enough to know I’m not?

UK journalist writes about her experience with a con man

A few weeks ago a Swiss man, Helg Sgarbi, pleaded guilty to swindling Germany’s richest woman, BMW heiress Susanne Klatten, out of $9 million. The story was all over the news around the world.

The incident prompted a British journalist, Rachel Royce, to write about her own experience with a con man. Royce writes for the Daily Mail in the UK. One of our Lovefraud readers forwarded a link. Read the story at:

You don’t have to be a BMW heiress to fall for a charming conman—just desperate and lonely, like me

For many of us at Lovefraud, the story is so familiar.

The good news is that the story is being told. Many of us know the humiliation of being conned. And many people before us also knew the humiliation, but were too embarrassed to speak about it. As more of us tell our stories, general awareness of human predators is being raised, whether we call them sociopaths, psychopaths or simply conmen.

When relatives suspect child abuse

A woman contacted Lovefraud seeking advice in dealing with an extremely disturbing situation. This woman, we’ll call her Rosalyn, suspects her sister-in-law of child abuse.

Rosalyn has been caring for the child regularly ever since she was small, and the girl is now starting school. The little girl if fine in Rosalyn’s care, but when it’s time for her go home, when Rosalyn says, “Mommy’s coming to get you,” the child starts crying and carrying on.

Several times Rosalyn has noticed that the child had bruises. “How did your hurt yourself?” she asked. The girl said she didn’t remember. Other incidents also have Rosalyn concerned about her young niece’s wellbeing.

Rosalyn sees behavior in her sister-in-law that makes her think the woman is a sociopath. It’s not a conclusion she came to lightly. “It took me about a year to figure it out,” Rosalyn said. “I’m pretty sure that’s what the problem is.”

After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 6-Getting Over Not Being Angry

This article continues our discussion of anger as a stage of healing after a trauma or an extended trauma, such a relationship with a sociopath.

I have a friend who has been angry for all the years I have known her. She talks about being insulted or scapegoated at work, despite taking responsibilities well beyond her job title for the welfare of the company. She has been instrumental in eliminating several people who managed her. More people were hired and she is still talking about how she is mistreated.

I have another friend who calls me to talk about how his boss doesn’t appreciate him. He details how he has been swindled out of bonuses, how there is never a word of praise, despite the fact that his personal efforts have been responsible for major changes in the company.

Sex differences in antisocial behavior (part 2) intimate partner violence

Last week I introduced the Dunedin study a 30+ year look at the lives, behaviors and personalities of a group of New Zealanders born in 1972. We learned that a small percentage of males and females in the study population were responsible for a high percentage of the antisocial acts reported by the group. Next week, I will discuss the personalities and early histories of this group of people.

This week I want to tell you about the one exception to the observation that men were more antisocial than women. In the realm of intimate partner violence, women were as antisocial as men. Furthermore, a general tendency to be antisocial was found in both men and women who were violent toward their partners.

The results of the study support the contention that sociopathy leads to intimate partner violence.

Why I don’t ask “why” anymore

By AlohaTraveler

“Why?”

Why is a hard question to deal with when recovering from a sociopath or pathological partner, and yet, when we distill our questions down to their purest form, “why” is all we want to know.

Why did he ____________________ ?

Why couldn’t he _________________?

Why does he think _______________?

Why can’t he stop _______________?

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

There is no answer that will satisfy you because you are looking for a reason in the wrong place. Chances are, you are looking for a link between you and what you did and him and what he did. There’s nothing.

Let us pause for a moment and repeat that to ourselves…

There’s nothing.