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Archive for June, 2012

If you’ve read ‘Red Flags of Love Fraud,’ please post a review

My goal with my new book, Red Flags of Love Fraud — 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath, is to teach people how to spot the warning signs that they’re involved with a sociopath, so that they can get out of the relationship before too much damage is done. I hope to use my experience, and the experiences that so many of you have shared, to spread the word that sociopaths are out there, they are destructive, and by knowing the Red Flags of Love Fraud, they can be avoided.

Will you help?

If you know people who should read the book, tell them about it. And, if you’ve already read the book, please post a review. I’ve listed instructions for how to do it on several websites below, and all of them let you post under an anonymous name if you need to protect your identity.

Sadistic woman charged with abusing 6 children and their father

Maria Gonzales Esquivel, of the Seattle, Washington area, was arrested last year and charged with physically abusing her housemate and his six children over a period of years. The state’s Department of Social and Health Services received 17 complaints from the children’s counselors, teachers and others close to them, yet did nothing. Now, attorneys are suing.

Read Lawsuit: Kids left in ‘house of horrors’ for years despite complaints to state, on SeattlePI.com.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.

Our pasts matter: looking back, moving forward

By:  Linda Hartoonian Almas, M.S. Ed

Recently, I’ve spent a fair amount of time reflecting on my life, especially my childhood.  I’ve also spent some time writing about these reflections.  I can’t say exactly what caused me to embark on this mental “roots” journey, but I can say that I identified some remarkable realities, along the way.  These realizations helped me understand my vulnerabilities.

This, in turn, brought clarity regarding what may have made me so attractive to an individual with psychopathic features.  It helped me understand what it was about my past that encouraged me to allow a large portion of my adult life to be swallowed whole by disorder and dysfunction.  It matters less what form it took or what type of relationship occurred.  What matters more is the growth we can achieve from viewing our lives in retrospect.

Why now?    

Documentary exposes rape in the military

A new documentary sheds light on the military’s biggest cover-up—the rampant sexual assault of both female and male service members. One frightening statistic: Women who’ve been sexually abused in military service have a higher incidence of PTSD than men who’ve been in combat.

Read Ending military rape: The crusade of “The Invisible War,” on Salon.com.

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

Does the sociopath treat the next wife better?

Lovefraud recently received the following email from a reader:

I always knew there was something wrong with my ex-husband, and friends and family did as well. There were lies, gambling, cheating, drug use, rehab 3 times, head games. He would drive erratically with our son and I in the car (even when our son was very little). He would speed up if there was a cat or other animal in the road. I would always completely freak out so he never ran one over when I was in the car, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did when I wasn’t. (I could tell his counselor in rehab #3 knew there was more to his problems than just drug addiction.) He was clean for a long time and that’s when I realized it wasn’t the drugs. He has always been able to get his way and talk people into things.  I always made excuses and actually made myself believe he would grow out of it as he got older.  But I did not pinpoint what “it” was until discovering Lovefraud.

Shifting The Blame

Well, I’m delighted to report that my son completed all his exams last week – and is confident that he did well. Recognizing his ability to respond to the challenge, he did everything within his power to make the most of the situation, staying calm and able to think as clearly as possible in a highly pressured situation. So, regardless of what happens next (the results are published in a couple of weeks) the fact remains that he’s done his very best, and it’s over.

Which is why, this week, I decided to expand on the subject of blame and responsibility. There’s a huge difference between thinking in those two opposing terms. There’s also, of course, a huge difference when people choose to use those kinds of behaviour – with a sociopath of course, the blame is always placed on another person. There is always some reason why the job fell through, why their last relationship was so difficult, why they need to borrow money or whatever else may have happened to justify their murky past. And when it all blows up, of course, well who is to blame? Their trusting, loving partner of course… us, and all those like us!

An elderly couple scammed, and refuse to believe they were scammed

“He was always very nice,” Miriam Parker, age 84, said of the man who scammed her and her husband out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s an unbelievable story of how the elderly are defrauded, and how they refuse to believe they are being defrauded, which sets them up for losing even more.

Read Elder fraud: One couple’s losses and hard lessons, on News.Yahoo.com.

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

Sandusky and church verdicts put institutions on notice

On Friday, June 22, 2012, the verdicts were announced in two important child molestation trials that had been going on simultaneously in Pennsylvania:

Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach of Penn State University, was convicted of 45 of the 48 child molestation charges against him. And, Monsignor William J. Lynn was found guilty of essentially contributing to a cover-up of sexual predators among Catholic priests in the archdiocese of Philadelphia. The priests had been molesting children for years. Lynn was the first high-ranking church official to be prosecuted for failing to protect children.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported on both of these cases extensively. You can read more about them here:

Complete coverage: Scandal at Penn State

Complete coverage: Clergy abuse case

We are valuable, and the psychopath can’t take that value

By Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

One of my cousins, a lovely lady in her early 80s, who still has every marble she ever had and a heart as big as a wash tub, sent me the following story in an e mail. I had heard the story years ago, but hadn’t read it in a long time, but today when I read it, I thought about how the psychopathic experience makes this a very valuable analogy.

A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He … proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, “Who still wants it …?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do … this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Can you help a woman who is trying to hold on?

Editor’s note: I received this email a few days ago from a Lovefraud reader, whom we’ll call “Larissa.” At first I declined to publish it, because Larissa is raw with pain, to the point of seriously considering suicide, and I was afraid that it would trigger other readers. She said she was going to a hospital for help, if she could find someone to watch her dogs.

Well, she found a dog-sitter. She went to the hospital. The hospital sent her home, telling her to see a psychiatrist.

This woman is in need of support. She needs to be heard. She needs to be understood. Therefore, I am publishing her letter. If you are raw with pain yourself, it is probably best that you don’t read it. But if you are healed enough and strong enough to offer support, please provide some kind words to Larissa.