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Archive for March, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Evil Eyes—A daughter’s memoir

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been writing for Lovefraud as regularly over the last year. The reason is I have been working to get a research program off the ground. Objective scientific research on psychopathy and the family will inform a better understanding of the disorder and educate professionals about the needs of victims and family members. In a very exciting and lucky turn of events, an expert in “mixed methods” research has an office down the hall from mine at the University of Bridgeport, and l have recently learned a great deal about how to conduct this kind of research.

I have long appreciated that the usual mathematical approach to psychological research does not seem to illuminate the disorder psychopathy and its effects on the family. I am not the first to suggest this as a researcher. Kirkman used methods termed “qualitative” to study the impact of partner psychopathy on women. Researchers using qualitative methods can gain an appreciation for the actual experiences of victims. In mixed methods research, qualitative approaches and traditional quantitative approaches are combined to get the big picture of a phenomenon—exactly what we need here.

Knowledge is power

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

If you are not willing to learn,
No one can help you.
If you are determined to learn,
No one can stop you.

A friend shared that saying with me today in an email and it made me think about what we say here at Lovefraud when we encourage a new poster to read and learn about psychopaths, to arm themselves with knowledge: “Knowledge is power.”

Knowledge is a powerful tool in our lives. If we have no education, we are powerless, as we see in people who have dropped out of school illiterate. We encourage our children to do the best they can in school, to go on to higher education, so that they are better prepared in life, have more power to determine their life course.

Senseless murder of a Vermont teacher

I just read the story about Melissa Jenkins, a popular teacher in Vermont, who went to help her neighbors, only to be brutally murdered as soon as she got out of her car.

I am sick to my stomach. Not only because of the stupid, horrific crime, but because I believe the victim suspected something was wrong.

The story in the Burlington Free Press begins:

ST. JOHNSBURY — When Melissa Jenkins answered the phone Sunday night, the couple who used to plow her driveway said they were stranded half a mile from her home. Their car had broken down on the remote country road, they said, and they needed her help.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Mother as sociopath

Editor’s note: The following email was sent by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “OpalRose.”

I’m not a good writer, but I’ve learned so much the past 3 years from Love Fraud that I decided to write about my “Long Night’s Journey into Day” about emerging from childhood with a sociopathic mother.

My first experience of something amiss that stuck with me was probably pre-school when she had a full-blown temper tantrum that I brought her too many envelopes. She had asked for “a few envelopes” and I had brought 7 – she even counted them out and screamed that I should know that “a few” means 3. So much for my ability to read minds. She insisted that “if we really loved her, she wouldn’t have to ask for anything, we should just know.” She was always writing letters and letters and letters and could not keep enough envelopes in stock.

They Just Can’t Understand – Why It’s So Hard To Explain The Truth To Others

This week’s post is based on recent experiences and inspired by this comment posted on a previous article –  “the eyes see only what the mind knows” (thank you ‘woundlicker’). It’s the on-going subject about how on earth we can open other peoples’ eyes about the psychopaths who live and breathe among us. My recent experiences have highlighted, yet again, how tricky it is for people to get their head around this kind of information – let alone accept that they have been duped!

I often think back to the early days after I discovered the truth about my ex, and how puzzling I found it when people just didn’t seem to believe me when I told them what had happened. No matter how many reams of black and white evidence I had to support my claims, no matter how many times I repeated the story, and no matter how many ways I explained how a psychopath works (based on what I learned after the event) they would still ask questions that left me open-mouthed and speechless. “But surely he must be feeling absolutely terrible, and he must be missing you so much now – do you think there might be a chance you will get back together?”

Sociopaths and double lives

Recently, a reporter was inquiring about people who live double lives. Why do they do it? Can they maintain double lives for a long time? What are the dangers?

Like most of us at Lovefraud, I have some experience with this. My ex-husband, James Montgomery, cheated with at least six different women during our 2.5-year marriage. He had a child with one of the women. Ten days after I left him, he married the mother of the child, which was the second time he committed bigamy. And of course, he took a quarter-million dollars from me—spending much of the money entertaining these other women.

Not everyone who lives a double life is a sociopath. Some people, like spies and undercover cops, are doing their jobs. But for all those people who don’t have a legitimate reason for creating an alternate existence—why do they do it?

Exploitation

Lawsuit alleges ‘prosperity gospel’ televangelists engaged in fraud

The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), founded by Paul Crouch Sr. and his wife, Jan, has been  hit with a lawsuit alleging millions of dollars in fraud. The suit claims that TBN bought mansions, a luxury jet, and even a $100,000 motor home for Jan Crouch’s dogs. It was filed by Brittany Koper, Crouch’s granddaughter, who says she was fired for blowing the whistle. Read:

Suit alleges financial fraud at TBN ministry, on LATimes.com.

Lawsuits bring scrutiny to Trinity Broadcasting, on ABCNews.go.com.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.

Conflicting reports about Jerry Sandusky

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that after the first alleged abuse case involving Jerry Sandusky of Penn State, two psychologists came to different conclusions.

Read Sandusky showed “pedophile pattern” in ’98, psychologist report says, but another conflicts, on Philly.com.

George Hartwig: Justice finally served?

It has been almost exactly 9 years since my life as I knew it ended with the arrest of my ex-husband. I can say I am a “survivor,” but my life will never be what it would have been had this not happened. In the wake of Barry Lichtenthal, many people have been permanently damaged. Perhaps the best marker of a sociopath is the number of broken and wounded who fall on the paths of their lives. But I am lucky, as are the rest of those who survive life shared with a sociopath free of bodily damage.

I have come to understand that the bodily damage that sociopaths inflict is both direct and indirect. George Hartwig’s story gives us an example of both. It also causes us to pause and think about the issues of justice and recovery.

Don’t quit in the middle of the lesson

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

Someone posted one of those “signs” on my Facebook page today that everyone forwards and shares, which I call “one-sentence wisdom or humor” but this one struck me as suburb wisdom.

The past is where you learned the lesson.

The future is where you apply it.

Don’t quit in the middle.

We have all had the misfortune to learn our lessons the “hard way” in associating with a psychopath (or two), but actually I think “misfortune” may be the wrong word, because learning things “the hard way” means that we will not forget those lessons. “The burned hand never forgets the fire” is another way to say it. Maybe we have actually been fortunate to escape from the psychopath when we are still able to escape, and when our “burns” were not fatal. We read in the newspapers, on the Internet, and see on television the faces of women (and men) who did not escape with their lives from associating with a psychopath.