Editor’s note: The following story was submitted by a reader who we’ll call “Lia.”
For years I felt like my life was thrown in a blender and chopped up in little pieces and those pieces included my heart, my career, my health, my sanity, my friends and my family.
My first encounter with the sociopath was at NYU medical center’s ER, while my 3-year-old son was being looked at for a bump in the head. This young intern doctor took a lot of interest in me and in my son’s well being. After recently having ended my marriage, it felt good that a guy would become so enraptured by me. At the time I was legally separated from my husband, although my ex-husband and I remained friends and even lived together for a while. I never told the sociopath that I was separated from my husband because I was not looking for a relationship.
We dated on and off for many months. He was charming, fun and always excited to be with me. The sociopath grew on me although he was quite immature. He would come up with elaborate lies to hide his true whereabouts. It felt strange because I never asked him where he was and I did not show much interest in seeing him. I was very busy with my business. I travelled extensively for work and did not have a lot of time for dating in the first place. Nevertheless, he pursued and pursued me. The letters, the elaborate poems, music, emails and the never ending outpouring of romantic calls and gestures. In the end I finally gave in and my son and I, we moved in with the sociopath.
A few months later I became pregnant and that is when all the signals appeared. At first he wanted me to get an abortion. He spoke about all this medical mumbo-jumbo and birth defects, etc. I ran to my doctor and got all sorts of tests and they could find nothing wrong with my pregnancy. For no apparent reason he would become enraged, easily angry and verbally abusive. I could not figure out what was wrong. He would bring me “drinks” from the hospital claiming these would be good for the baby. I started bleeding in my first trimester and I ran to get checked out. Doctors said nothing was wrong. One day he looked in the fridge and asked me how come I was not drinking the “lemonades” he was bringing me, I told him I was not in the mood but that I would be drinking them again. As soon as he left I threw them out. My pregnancy stabilized but he continued with his temper fits.
Shortly thereafter I found out the guy was married and was living a double life. He lived with us four nights a week and the other three nights he was, “on-call.” So he claimed. I had no reason to doubt him until one day when I decided to drive to his hospital and found him walking into the home where he “used” to live and was sitting on his desk and I could see his face from his window clearly to the widow of my car. I was pregnant with his daughter. I drove home and cried.
The next day he came home I threw him out. He called over and over again. Came over again pleaded, begged and cried. He asked me to give him a little time to end things with his wife. He said he never loved her and that she pushed him into this marriage. He said that he could not be aroused with her and that it was as if he was living with his sister. So sick, I thought, but just to get him to leave peacefully and for the sake of the baby inside my womb I told him fine, but that he needed to stay away until his situation was resolved.
He left and a month later my baby was born. I had a beautiful baby girl, healthy and strong. Three months later I filed for custody of my daughter and for child support. He never showed up for the custody hearing but he did show up for the child support hearing. Begging me to withdraw the child support petition and for another chance with him. He came armed with a phony separation agreement and he had forged his wife’s signature. He even put his wife on speakerphone to prove that she knew about the baby, about me, etc. Shameful but he had no shame, no guilt, and no conscience.
List of lies
November 2004. He came over to see his daughter and said he would tell me everything. He cried and confessed, supposedly, to all his lies:
- That he was married but was working on getting a divorce
- That he was never a “male model” (I used to wonder about him modeling with all those stretch marks and spare tire around his waist)
- That he was never a “pilot for the Israeli air force,” he would wear his pilot costume often
- That he was never on “missions to the Middle East with the Mossad,” that he often bragged about
- That when we met he was engaged
- That his first wedding anniversary was on the weekend we were together in Paris
- That his aunt did not die the weekend he went on vacation with his wife
- That he did not go to a family wedding on another family trip with his wife
- That he did not fly to Italy to buy me my favorite perfume, that he found it online
- That he did not fly a plane to Vermont to spend time with me in a resort, he drove there
- That he never got a Purple Heart and other medals he claimed he received while on “military duty in the Middle East,” he got the medals online
- That he was not on medical conferences but was doing other things
- He claimed that he was a fat boy growing up and lacked confidence (an excuse, not all people who loose weight become sociopaths)
- He said his mother left him with his grandmother for months when he was a baby because his mother needed to go to school (this could have had an effect and he could have failed to attach and could have affected his inability to develop a conscience which could have led to his antisocial personality disorder)
The list goes on…
It was February 2005 and he was in a geriatric rotation when I became sick with a rare type of pneumonia. It was difficult to diagnose because it is not contracted easily and never by someone my age. I was told by a pulmonologist that only the elderly get this type of pneumonia. Because of complications from the pneumonia I was told I needed surgery in my right lung.
I left New York and went to a hospital near my parents in New Jersey. I had a bad feeling about this and when I was hospitalized I told my dad that I did not want the sociopath there. The sociopath had threatened me in the past and since he had tried to get me to have an abortion, what could stop him from showing up at this hospital to hurt me or do something worse?
Somehow he got past security, showed his “medical badge” and came in my room. My father told him to leave and alerted the hospital security that there was a restraining order in effect and he needs to stay away from me. He was warned if he showed up he would be arrested. He stayed away but continued to call me and explain how much he cared and how worried he was about me, never once did he ask to see his daughter.
Moved in again
Even after all of the above and his manipulative and convincing ways I, again, gave in and we moved in together to a house that was provided by the hospital he worked in. I signed papers to prove we had children, etc. He continued very angry, insecure about my ex-husband for no reason and hostile towards me and my son. He acted ambivalent towards his daughter.
He was very jealous and would have temper fits over things we had no control over such as my son mentioning that his father, my ex-husband, bought a Porsche, things like that would set him off. I told him I would move out if he continued on his yelling rampages. I was not raised that way and I did not want to raise my kids around an angry and verbally abusive man. He was so insecure, demanding, controlling and manipulative. I called the police a few times because he would become so enraged over miniscule things, he broke picture frames, furniture, etc. and I was afraid.
He said he would go to counseling and anger management so I agreed to stay. Not much changed, he did seem to have changed in the sense that he was home every night but other than that he was still a con man. He seemed to love adventure and risk-taking, he would go skydiving, and often bragged about hacking into people’s computers, stealing software and movies online, etc.
He was very stingy with money, would not buy diapers or milk for his daughter (until the day my father made a comment and even then bought the wrong size). Always claimed to be broke. School loans, blah, blah, blah he always had an excuse. He made me pay the rent, I bought him clothes, I paid for our trips, vacations, dinners, he conned me into fixing the house, I paid thousands in home repairs, he conned me into paying for his washing machine, dryer, air conditioners, printers, computer equipment and much more. He took advantage of me in many ways but the day he laid his hands on my son, became physically abusive with me and with the baby that was the last straw.
Planning my escape
It was February 2006, I got a restraining order and started planning my escape. I knew that if I did not take drastic measures he would reel me back into his web of lies, deception, fraud and abuse. It did not take long for him to come crawling, crying, begging for a so called “last chance.” Enough had been done and I was convinced in both heart and mind that I needed to take my kids away from this sociopath and to a safe place. In the meantime, I had to keep him calm so not to instigate him.
Previously, while on one of his rage attacks he had threatened to “kill me and make it look like an accident,” his exact words. To keep things calm I did as told and tried not to cross him. I still had to play the role of “loving partner,” but the love was gone. I was on pure overdrive to protect my two babies even if I had to sleep with him to make him think everything was ok I did it while I continued to follow my escape plan.
Escape Plan, May 2006 to Sept 2006:
- Wait until my son’s school was is done for the summer so not to disrupt his education
- Sign him up to a far away summer camp where I can take the baby with me and the three of us can get away
- After camp move in with my parents in for the summer, my parents disliked him since the very first day they met him and he knew he would not be welcomed there
- Take the rest of the summer to find a new job or re-start my company, save money and find a new apartment close to my son’s school
- Find a new school in a new city for my son
- Find a day-care for my daughter near my son’s school
- Leave him for good
Implementing the plan
In May 2006, I signed my son to a violin camp in Pennsylvania, far enough to get away from him but close enough to my parents’ house. I told him this would be a great opportunity for my son and I asked him to please come and visit us. Again, I had to act and pretend everything was fine so that he would not resist us leaving him and to him it was just for two weeks.
School ended in mid-June and violin camp started in the last week in June. I made reservations at a small hotel only 10 min from camp where I would spend the next two weeks with my kids. He said he would come and visit us that first weekend so I asked my parents to come and stay over, this would prevent him from staying over. It worked out perfectly. My parents hated to see him but they knew I did not want to be alone with him. He came and saw that everything was like I said and he left.
While my son was at camp, I spent time with my daughter in the pool and while she napped I was on my computer searching for jobs, apartments, schools and daycares. While on one of my trips to the local mall, at Barnes and Noble I met a guy that was attractive, tall and fit. Not your typical tall, dark and handsome, this one was sweet and kind we struck a casual conversation and he gave me his number. Something struck me at that moment and I knew and felt that my life had been changed. I did not give him my number but I called him (blocked my number) that night, we talked for hours and I found out he had a bad divorce years ago. With what I was going through we ended up having so much in common. I have to credit this new “friend” for giving me the boost of confidence I needed to get past all that was coming.
My son’s camp ended and we drove straight to my parents’ house. The sociopath and I got into an argument over the phone and I told him that I was not coming back and that it was best if we just stayed friends. I told him that the kids had enough of the verbal abuse and it was not a good environment for my kids.
He came over and talked to my father, again, crying and pleading with him to talk to me and that he wanted me to come “home.” My dad told him it was best for us to be apart and my father even told him that he was welcomed to come and see his daughter anytime he wanted to. The sociopath agreed and left crying.
I refused to answer his calls and ignored his emails. So he started calling my dad and all of a sudden started to show interest in his daughter. My dad said he only used his daughter as an excuse to see me. Every time he told my dad he was coming to see the baby, my son and I would take off. We went to the mall, to the movies, to the park, anywhere just to get away.
My dad heard the same words every time. “Is she here?” “Can I talk to her?” and my dad would tell him I was out. “When is she coming back?” the sociopath would ask and my father would tell him to please leave me alone. He tried to get to my son and my father told him clearly that he was not his son and that he wanted him to stay away from his grandson. He would spend only minutes with his daughter and she would cry and become irritated around him, so he would leave.
The sociopath continued to pursue me, harder and longer with more calls, more pleas, more emails, gifts, and flowers. He said he wanted to marry me, he even said he wanted us to go to couples’ therapy so that I could help him be a better person. It was getting to the end of the summer and I needed to go back to pack up the house to move out, so I agreed to go to couples’ therapy with him. In August 2006 we started seeing a therapist in NYC. It helped to calm him down a bit.
At the end of the summer I told my parents that I was going back but not for long, I would go to check on the house, my belongings, the schools and to get ready to move out. They warned me that once back in his domain that he would not let me leave. We had two really good weeks without any yelling, he played a sweet, attentive, charming man and I did not realize that this is exactly how he conned me in the first place. He continued with his manipulative ways that I had grown accustomed to, the lies, fake out pouring of love. I fell for it again, temporarily. I cried and cried and then it hit me again, I need to go now before things get worse, I need to stick to the plan.
He had a scheduled trip to some medical conference, “sure” like I believe that one. I went into his office and found out about more lies he had not confessed to. I found that he was surfing the web for pornography, gore sites and chicks with dicks…awful. I ran to get tested for any STD’s he may have possible passed on to me but luckily I was clear. The same day I signed a lease to my new apartment and two days after he came back from his trip I asked my dad to come and help me with the move, he knew I did not want to be alone with the sociopath.
It was October 2, 2006 the sociopath tried to bribe the movers into telling him the address of where we were going, I had given them a fake address just in case. When I unpacked everything I noticed a lot of my things were missing. A blender that I received as a wedding gift was gone, my leather jacket was gone, a very expensive cashmere and fox fur trimmed cardigan was gone, my expensive rack of spices was gone, my daughter’s stroller, my daughter’s dresser was gone, music and…the list goes on. Also, he left notes inside books and perfume bottles for me to read. He stole from me and from his own daughter. Am I surprised? No … this is so expected. Classic sociopath.
Lies and more lies
I received more calls, more pleas, he called my cousins, my friends, my ex-husband, my parents, he called my ex-boyfriend and said he wanted to help me, that I was the one in trouble and that only he could “help” me. He concocted more lies to try and get information about me. He concocted lies about my past, lies about my childhood about things that never happened and began to spin stories around.
I told everyone the truth and that he was an abusive sociopath and that I finally left him and this was his revenge. No one paid him any attention so he continued to call me and in one call he would cry and said he would end his life if I did not come back to him and the next call he would insult me in ways I have never heard before. I saved his messages so that the truth is safe and those who need to know will know about his horrific lies. He would say I am sorry I lied, I am sorry for all the things I said and all the things I did to you and the kids and in the next call he would call me a cancer in his life and good riddance. Sick, what a sick puppy! He said he was not angry because I dumped him but he was angry because he screwed a life he loved. The truth is he is angry because he got dumped!!
I am glad I did not marry him but having him as a boyfriend and father of my daughter was terrible enough. I will always be the one that got away and he will live with that for the rest of his life. It was not easy to get away. In order to get the calls and emails to stop I had to get a restraining order and later on, after he stalked us and showed up at my son’s school, we got a full stay away order. He was arrested twice for threatening me and for showing up at my doorstep. We moved out of that apartment and I had to switch my son to a new school.
Always a sociopath
His wrath is not over. Since there is an order of protection in effect, through the courts he requested visitations of his daughter and after three years in court ordered parenting classes and supervised visits he now sees her on the average once a month. We have no contact with him, we communicate via court assigned email solely regarding the visits, other than that he is to have no contact whatsoever with my son, my daughter, and me.
Although, she is a bright and happy child being raised in a loving home I keep close guard on her because she is only 5 years old and exposing her to a sociopath even for one day a month can have bad effects on her development and well being. She is 5 and in trauma counseling because of what she experiences during visits with her father. From what I’ve heard the sociopath is now married with a 2 month-old baby and he has a girlfriend on the side (…more victims) and I’ve heard that his home life is full of yelling and insults. Nothing will ever change him, once a sociopath always a sociopath. Beware of the signs!!!
Ladies don’t be discouraged not all men are sociopaths, but some of them are, beware of the signs and move on. Keep in mind that you will never change him and even psychologists will confirm that there is no cure for this mental disease. Find Mr. Right, he is out there. I did and I am happily married to a beautiful man, both inside and out. My kids adore him and call him daddy! I got my life back and I thank God everyday for the beautiful life I have again after the horrific time I had with a sociopath.