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Archive for April, 2010

Loving ourselves—one piece at a time

By Ox Drover

One of the things we hear frequently on LoveFraud and in self help books we might read is to “love yourself.” This sounds like great advice, but the thing is no one ever tells me exactly how to do this.

Some suggestions for increasing my “self love” and “self esteem” given in various books and articles are to use “positive affirmations” such as “I am wonderful,” or some other positive self talk that I should repeat over and over inside my head until I eventually start to believe it.

Even though I might say these phrases over and over, no matter how positive and “self affirming” they may sounds, somehow I never seem to truly believe them. After saying them over and over inside my head somehow there’s a little voice that repeats “Yeah, RIGHT!” in a scoffing tone.

Sociopaths As Discarders

In my last LoveFraud article I discussed strategies for vetting your new partner for “personality skeletons” lurking in the “apparent” history.

I’d like to focus, here, more specifically (and in more depth) on individuals with a pattern of discarding the people in their lives.

Sociopaths and other seriously disturbed narcissistic personality types will have this history—that is, a history (past and recent) that’s almost certainly littered with friends, family, and anyone who was once useful, whom they’ve cast off ostensibly for one or another reason.

As best as possible we want to glean this history, if it’s applicable and somehow accessible. In such cases, we want to ensure that blinding defenses such as denial, avoidance, idealization and incuriosity (among others) don’t compromise our observational powers.

More than that, we want to be sharply astute to evidence suggestive of such a history.

TARGETED TEENS AND 20s: I met him on Facebook, was used for sex and dumped the next day

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received this e-mail from a reader whom we’ll call “Lara.”

About three months ago, I met a 34-year-old German banker from Munich online (he added me on Facebook), after being very hesitant to speak to him, I gave into his persistence and we started a whirlwind romance over the phone for two months. He asked me to meet him in Paris and I did a few weeks ago, only to be dumped the day after we had sex together. I have been asking myself for answers but it was only recently that my friend brought to my attention that Y (German banker) exhibited the key traits of a sociopath.

Respite for adopted Russian children and their parents

Many Russian children adopted by Americans suffer from the legacy of fetal alcohol syndrome, institutionalization, poverty and socially corrosive survival skills. A ranch in Montana gives them—and their parents—a break.

Read Russian adoptees get a respite on the range, on NYTimes.com.

Link submitted by a Lovefraud reader.

Dangers of online dating

1. Worldwide, there are 1.8 billion Internet users. It is reasonable to assume that, as in the general population, 1% to 4% of them are sociopaths. That means there between 14 million and 72 million sociopaths online—all trolling for victims.

2. Sociopaths target lonely people. If you’re looking for a relationship online, you are advertising the fact that you’re lonely. You are setting yourself up to be exploited.

3. When filling out an online dating profile, you provide information about yourself and what you are looking for. Sociopaths take the information and pretend to be the person of your dreams. They use the information that you posted to seduce you.

4. Sociopaths typically register on multiple dating sites simultaneously. They keep baiting the hook until someone bites.

5. The Internet is anonymous. It is impossible to know for sure with whom you are corresponding. Some people post gorgeous photos in their profiles, which are actually photos of models stolen from elsewhere on the Internet.

Psychopathic parents and the disappearance of baby Gabriel Johnson

By Ox Drover

In the last few years the national media have picked up several stories of psychopaths using their children as weapons to inflict severe emotional damage to the nurturing parent. In the “Clark Rockefeller” case, the man posing as a member of the Rockefeller family kidnapped his daughter from a supervised visitation and held her hostage for several days before he was found.

Another case featured here in a Lovefraud article was about Dr. Amy Castillo’s three children being murdered by her husband to inflict punishment on her after she had warned the judge that her ex-husband had made this very threat. In spite of this, the judge let the psychopath have unsupervised visitation with these children and the he carried out the threat.

Baby Gabriel

In December of 2009, I saw on Fox News the story of baby Gabriel Johnson, reported missing by his father, Logan McQueary, after the mother, Elizabeth Johnson, had fled with the baby.

New Jersey to allow Amber alerts in custody cases

New Jersey, like all states, has an Amber Alert system to seek the public’s assistance in finding abducted children. The state’s rules discouraged law enforcement from issuing Amber Alerts in domestic custody cases. But that was before a man kidnapped his three-month-old daughter last February and allegedly threw her off a bridge.

Read State to allow Amber Alerts in custody cases following incdent of Galloway Township man who allegedly threw baby from bridge on PressofAtlanticCity.com.

The importance of teaching empathy to children

Neuroscientists, psychologists and educators believe that bullying in schools and other kinds of violence can be reduced by encouraging empathy at an early age.

Read How not to raise a bully: The early roots of empathy on Time.com.

Link submitted by a reader via the Lovefraud Facebook fan page.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: He was snatched from me, even though he wasn’t real

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader who we’ll call “Janine.”

It started back in Dec. 08, I was on an online dating site and came across a profile, his picture was nice, my type, dark hair, nice face, normal handsome looking. Brief description, saying his likes dislikes etc, so I messaged him.

From there is went to msn chat and then we exchanged numbers, when he rang me he said sorry if you don’t like my voice, I had an operation when I was younger and it has changed it. Didn’t think anything of it.

Idealism and sociopaths

Last year, Slate published an article called My mother married her prison pen pal. A synopsis of the story is this: After 22 years of marriage, the author’s parents divorced. One day her mother receives a collect phone call from Joe, who was incarcerated. He dialed her phone number at random; thinking it was someone she knew who had the same name, the woman accepted the call. The prisoner asked the woman to write to him. She thought it was a good mentorship opportunity, so she did. Eventually, the woman married the guy.

Please pause now and read the story:

My mother married her prison pen pal

By Anna Balkrishna

The biggest myth

Mom knew that Joe was in jail—she started writing to him because she wanted to be a “positive influence” in his life. She fell for one of the biggest myths that our culture propagates: There’s good in everyone.