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Archive for November, 2009

I, Psychopath: Watch the documentary online

Three years ago, on November 30, 2006, I received an e-mail from Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

Perhaps you’ve seen Vaknin’s name on the Internet. He wrote and self-published a book called Malignant Self-Love—Narcissism Revisited. He promotes the book heavily online, so if you Google “narcissism,” his website on narcissistic personality disorder comes up on the first page of search results.

Here’s what Vaknin said in his e-mail:

You haven’t responded to my last two e-mails to you. Have I done anything to offend you?

(puzzled)

Take care.

Sam Vaknin

Now, I didn’t remember seeing any e-mails from Sam Vaknin. So I wrote:

Sam,

What emails? I haven’t received anything.

Donna

His reply:

Dear Donna,

I much appreciate your response, thank you.

My e-mail messages to you are probably relegated by your e-mail program to your spam or trash folders.

After the sociopath is gone: Your best life yet!

There was a time when all I felt grateful for was the absence of his voice, for just an hour or two from the phone.

There was a time when what I was most grateful for was knowing he was somewhere else, somewhere where I wasn’t.

There was a time when I was grateful not to think of him, for just a moment, or an hour, maybe even, if I was really strong, for half a day.

There was a time.

And now, the times have changed. The times have shifted, the sands have fallen differently, ever changing, in the hour glass of the passing of the time when he was all I thought of, all I saw, all I believed I would ever live with in my life.

The times they have changed.

Thanksgiving—count your blessings

By Ox Drover

I’m sure we have all heard the old saying, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” This “old saying” is true, though I think it is made up to inspire some guilt in us for complaining about the small things we lack and make us aware that we are fortunate to have the many blessings that we do have, which many others are not fortunate enough to have.

Another one I remember is, “Eat your vegetables; there are children starving in China.” I always wondered why I couldn’t just send the hated vegetables there instead of eating them. It would solve two problems: I wouldn’t have to eat them, and the kids in China would be grateful for them. My son D has turned this phrase around to joke, “Drink your beer, there are sober children in China.”

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Hyper vigilance and PTSD

Editor’s Note: Lovefraud received this story from the member who writes as “Duped.”

In hindsight, I remember questioning the little green things on the dinosaur nuggets he prepared for dinner. I was surprised he’d made the effort, in response to much nagging about not pitching in. It was late and I’d just returned from teaching an evening class. An overload to pay the bills since he quit his job. We had been arguing a lot, or rather me complaining; him not working, cleaning, taking care of the kids or pets and not making so much of an effort as to prepare a meal or help me. I had been working my full-time job teaching, overloaded for extra pay, consulting work for a publisher to generate more income, plus trying to finish my graduate degree in time to make tenure. All this and two children, one his and only a year old. And he never lifted a finger.

BOOK REVIEW: Perfect Prey

Lovefraud first heard from Liz Cole, author of Perfect Prey—Surviving a Cyber Shark’s Romantic Fraud, back in 2007, shortly after she realized that the guy she met on the Internet was a sociopath.

The guy called himself John Hill, although that wasn’t his real name. Liz wrote:

In my case, John presented himself as:
an Irish born gentleman,
well groomed,
graduate degreed,
retired from the Royal Marines where he performed his tour of duty in the Falkland Islands,
a dutiful and tireless single parent to one daughter, aged 25 completing Medical School in Dublin,
an accomplished chef and restaurateur,
an accomplished sailor,
multi-lingual,
affectionate,
old-school about etiquette,
strong work ethic and,
a family background rich in details complete with family tartan (Montgomery Clan), brogues, Prince Albert jacket etc.

Hill’s presentation, Liz learned, was highly exaggerated. In fact, as often happens with sociopaths, it was a mountain of lies.

Healthy Giving

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

By Ox Drover

Thirty years ago I met a special lady, she was my next-door neighbor’s sister-in-law. She had grown up in Italy during WWII. Her father was a “slave” to the government and worked for them. In exchange, he was given at least a limited amount of food. He loved his children and gave all the food to his children. As a consequence of giving all the food he had to his children, he became very weak and unable to work at full capacity. His masters informed him that if he continued to give the majority of the food to his children that when he became unable to work, all food would be stopped, and not only he, but his children as well, would starve.

When nurture becomes nature

There comes a time when nurture becomes nature.

This is the time when nurture and nature become inextricable, inseparable.

I suspect nobody knows precisely when this point arrives in the development of a given individual, but the immediate ramification is this: When you are involved specifically with a sociopath, or any exploitative personality, it is imperative that you stop asking how this person became who he is?

Sure, he likely endured—and was shaped by—some form of neglect or abuse growing up, and if this wasn’t obvious in the history, it was still likely there.

But here’s the point: it doesn’t matter. Not one bit.

Instead, you must relinquish your empathy, compassion and curiosity—in short, every emotion that supports your obsession to understand the genesis and evolution of your exploiter’s pathology—and confront the reality that you are dealing with (as I propose) a case of nurture becoming nature, about which there’s not a damned thing, at this point, to be done.

Your voice. It counts.

When I was with the man whose lies no longer hurt me, I believed he held my freedom in his hands. I believed I could only be free with his love. With his words. His voice feeding me the lies I called the truth. The lies I believed were truth and was too afraid to uncover with my questions, with my doubt, with my fear he was telling lies.

Freed of him, I know the truth. I am free when I watch my words. When I listen to my voice. When I hear my thoughts and acknowledge my presence in my life – without measuring my journey against someone else’s belief they hold my freedom in their hands.

It took me awhile to get here. Here to this place where I know my value is found in everything I do and say. In every step I take to claim my birthright to be my most incredible self.

Judge Judy hears case about rape and the abuse of the legal system

A Lovefraud reader sent a link to a Judge Judy program on YouTube.

Judge Judy, Get Unshocked

In this case, the plaintiff, Paul Baker, has filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife, Casey Bell. Baker says that Bell falsely accused him of rape, which caused him to spend time in jail, lose his job as a firefighter, and spend $30,000 on legal fees.

Bell says that Baker did, in fact rape her. She tearfully proceeded to tell Judge Judy how it happened, and as her story unfolded, Judge Judy became more and more incredulous.

Although Bell did most of the talking, Baker had a surprise witness—Bell’s former husband. She pulled a similar stunt with him.

In the end, Judge Judy did not believe the woman’s story and found for the plaintiff.

If you want to see someone attempting to manipulate the legal system, while not even having the facts right, watch this show.

Recovering from a sociopath: acceptance and focusing on now

Lovefraud has heard from a woman who we’ll call “Sally.” Sally is dealing with a sociopathic man who threatened to kill her, sabotage her daughter’s career and injure other family members. She says law enforcement either doesn’t believe her or doesn’t care.

Sally has been in touch with another of the sociopath’s victims, and they’ve helped each other through the nightmare. Still, people in regular support groups don’t believe them, and friends and family members have backed away. A lawyer and a therapist have backed away.

Sally recently sent Lovefraud the following e-mail:

You just can’t imagine this, because I can’t either. The person that was me is gone … and no one has taken her place.

I know who I was with all my faults and history … I was comfortable there. I guess this is a journey … but to where I don’t know. There is no light.