Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a young woman whom we’ll call “Adriana.” The name in the story below has been changed.
This is a story about two girls who were on the same sports team in high school. Both showed lots of potential and both won lots of achievement awards … Both went on to do athletics in college. One was a sociopath … the other was shy and introverted.
I was the introvert. Other people saw my success, but I just enjoyed athletics and was not seriously competitive… I was excellent because I enjoyed it. As strange as that sounds. I moved a lot as a kid… This last high school was the one I went to the longest: three years. Little did I know, but this was to be the worst three years of my life. People always said when I was young that I was very sweet but seemed sad … I look back on it now and see I was a perfect target. I was funny, charming, but reserved. I modeled in New York in the summers. Lots of people at the school liked me, but I was too shy to be social … and I also knew always … for some inexplicable reason to stay away from Katie and her friends.
It was strange because I saw this person every day for hours at practice, but I knew I should never even hope to be her friend. Of course there was always a hierarchy of girls at every school I went to, but Katie and her friends in particular were very scary. The more I got to know Katie, the more I was aware that she was somehow better than I was. I was somehow less than her. It was strange. But I ignored it. The day at practice when she learned I modeled in New York during the summers she got up and left practice and did not return even the next day. No one else thought anything of this … And I didn’t want to either, but it bothered me … I ignored it. After all I didn’t want to think she was somehow jealous of a person like me … I thought it was wrong to assume such things about people … When she came back she started making little comments about me. For example that I was “weird” or that I “had to wear a lot of makeup.”
She requested to play the position I played on the team and didn’t do as well as I did, but said it was easy. The little things she did really wore me down, but I ignored it. In truth, I was a loner and a bit strange. I saw some truth in everything she said. And that would be my downfall. I wanted to believe the things she said, because I am a person who likes to listen.
There were other stresses in my life when I was young … One day I just snapped. There were some girls talking about how Katie was the best on the team and how she was such a nice person. I told them, “No, she’s horrible like really *(&^^ horrible.” And it got back to her. She used this to pretend she was the victim to my jealousy and how I always wanted to be like her. People at school, namely the boys she flirted with, bullied me at her request. She even got her friends to say things to me she wanted them to, which is disturbing.
I had always been wary of her, but other people really do like her. She was the president of my class for example.
This is a description on how she treats most people:
Katie knows what she has to offer. And she knows how to market herself to the masses. She is obsessively religious. In fact, people joke about how religious she is. She is always talking about Jesus and the Bible. She prays where people can see her pray and as often as she possibly can. She acts sickly sweet to most people. She talks about being positive all the time. She smiles all the time. She works hard and is talented but does the minimum requirements to reach goals. She uses the fact that she “works hard” and “is talented” to gain respect from people … She uses everything she knows she has.
This is how she treats her targets:
1. At first she waits till you are alone to say the meanest things to you in the nicest ways. If you say to another person that you dislike her, you’ve got to be careful because she has “followers” (often people who support her because she is “religious”).
2. She waits until you do something she can use to destroy you. It could be anything. A bad joke for example.
3. After she has found something to make you look bad she will use tactics 1 and 2 to break you down, and attack you with a small group of friends.
4. When she has hurt you enough to make you try to either apologize for perceived “wrongdoing” or confront her about how she is treating you, she’ll turn what you say around and make it sound like you hate her and have a problem with her. At this point she tells specific people who honestly are not very intelligent or brave that you’re being mean to her … She has groups who she manipulates because they are loyal to her, etc. … The harassment is bad, but she makes you see the ugliness in normal people … And that is worse.
5. This can turn into isolation and repeated harassment of the target … A few of the people who she got to harass me actually apologized to me a year after we all graduated from high school … But I’ve found when you’re dealing with a sociopath you can’t expect things from people because they are being deceived.
6. She is a self-preservationist. Everything she does to hurt someone is done in a way that will keep her removed from the “situation;” she won’t ever acknowledge that she even has a problem with you. The problem is completely yours. And the people who are harassing you. She (apparently) has nothing to do with it … When in reality … She is completely responsible for all of the pain the target experiences. In fact if you are in a group with her and her friends and they are being cruel to you, she will not say anything, in fact, she may even leave to make you think, she doesn’t really want this to be happening. But she does, she is completely responsible. She knows exactly what she is doing.
A person may think that I do not quality to write on this topic because I was young … or this treatment is not stressful to a person … but being harassed by two to three groups of people because of the encouragement by one person … no matter what age … is horrible.
This is how I’ve healed myself:
To be honest I still relapse into disgust over this person’s beyond hypocritical nature. And it is really depressing how witnessing the reality of this person’s complete lack of ethics has hurt me so deeply. I was not romantically involved a sociopath, so I felt nothing towards her other than a deep wish we could have been teammates … or even friends. So I think my story can help people who have tried to share their love with sociopaths, because I wished this person could have been my teammate, my friend … for a very long time …
I see what could have been. But it is all a lie. Because the charm this person exudes to other people, never to me, is superficial. There is nothing the people she “loves” can really get from her, unless they are benefitting her in some way. Which could be called a kind of attachment. But honestly, only certain people are interested in that kind of relationship.
I have blocked this person from all means of communicating with me and forgiven myself for attempts to “reconcile” with them. I have accepted that anytime I try to fix “the situation” with Katie, it will only end with pain and disappointment on my end. I have accepted that people all over the world will think of her as a kind, attractive, charming, sweet Christian. When in reality she is only attractive … manipulative, lying, and completely self-serving.
It’s beyond hard, I find, even to this day, to accept how hypocritical she is to get what she wants. Because she is a complete hypocrite. I think that the reason why she talks to profusely about being a Christian is to hide her real intentions. She acts so charming to hide her insatiable desire to obtain material wealth. Which she will surely find.
I am not her only target; she doesn’t have many but a handful of people are aware of her nature. These people tend to think she is very intelligent for being able to manipulate people like she does. I got tired of hearing this, so I tried for a while to act as she does. It is not intelligence. It is just strange behavior.
She is made very differently than others. She is a person who is intelligent, but she is not brilliant, or even remarkably intelligent. I was able to anticipate whatever she was doing before she did it; I just didn’t act on my intuition. Fiercely believing all people are good and some are just temporarily mislead, I was only vulnerable to her because of my accepting personality type.
So I have learned to screen absolutely anyone who tries to insult me. (because if you do not allow people to hurt you they can’t). It’s an art to diffuse people with personality types opposite of your own. But it’s just a skill. One that I think all victims of sociopaths are aware they need.
I’m proud that I need the skill to deal with sociopathic types … Because manipulation is not natural to me … I seek truth and love always … I seek for every place around me to be filled with happiness and true synergy … Which is something she can never deliver!
I have found a new pride and fearlessness in loving myself for who I am, because I have met someone who, without reservation, chases after monetary gain and fame. I have realized, albeit painfully, I have the natural desire to construct, to support, to understand and promote people … while she only has the desire to get what she wants. And because in my heart I want to love and care for the people around me … I have found a sense of peace that is rare, that people like Katie will never know or understand. Because they do not seek to share their existence with the world. They try to build a palace out of lies and manipulation. People will always admire them. But I know how they really are. And there is something rare and almost divine about that.
I saw Katie the other day at a prestigious art show. She was wearing a lace mini dress off the runway and four-inch heels, talking to a bunch of business men … holding a glass of wine coyly in her hand. I was wearing a nice black dress and the Ann Taylor stilettos I’ve had for five years … I was with an artist … I walked past her and she did not see me … then I turned around, stood, waved, and smiled at her … She looked stunned, like I was a ghost … I just turned and walked away.