Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a reader whom we’ll call “Esther.”
I have experienced so many disturbing relationships since I left my psychopath former husband. I thought relationships could not be any more dysfunctional than my marriage. What I am now discovering is that I am a magnet to these predators.
This site and many others have helped me to understand how I doubt my fear response, second guess my feelings and am actually delusional when I project onto others the psychological work that I have done to clear my ego defensiveness, blame, shame and guilt. I want to believe that others will work with me, be kind and Christian. I have found this to be a delusional state. Others want an easy target to blame, shame, guilt, and use. I feel like a negative Nelly when I write this phrase.
I choose not to date, I am still afraid of getting into a relationship and being betrayed again. I have had experiences where others have criticized me, lied and manipulated. People will listen to my experiences of financial abuse and legal abuse and then label me as strange. They may state, “She must have brought this upon herself.” I have begun to ignore these typical blame the victim attitudes. I understand that the truth is difficult to accept and delusion and blame are much easier defense attitudes.
One strange relationship happened when I was asked by a woman to be her friend. She claimed she wanted to assist me. What I didn’t realize is that she was a lesbian and she was grooming me. She groomed the same way an abusive man would groom. She set me up in situations so that I would have drama and chaos. She was very clever and used other people. She would make statements to me that I would “cross over.” I assured her that I would not. She attempted to be a rescuer, my goddess in shinning armor.
I began to understand what was happening and I terminated the friendship. I did it in a very positive manner. She began to crucify me, spreading rumors, etc. Breaking free of dysfunctional relationships is never easy. It has to be quick, unexpected and fast; otherwise they will create more drama. If you break the relationship, you are breaking the supply and the rage will ensue. Be prepared!
Guest ignores boundaries
Just this weekend, I allowed a young male to stay in my home. He was visiting the state for a seminar. He does not make a lot of money. He was in a legal group and he claimed he wanted to meet me. After a day, I experienced a relapse of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I thought I might have been triggered by an external event. A few days later, he was not leaving. He began to do his laundry without my permission. He began to sleep in late, only getting up when I went for a walk. I began to feel that he was ready to move in. I had set boundaries for him before he came. He began to ignore the boundaries.
There was no intimacy between us and he even began to talk to strangers about where we lived. I discovered that he had come early to the state to see another woman before a seminar. She had brought over another man and went out on a date with this man, while he stayed and babysat her children. He left this woman’s home and this is why he wanted to visit me. (She may have done this to get rid of him.) This man would follow me around from room to room. He would look over my shoulder at my emails. When I fell asleep I would wake up and catch him on my computer. I began to not turn on my computer. I now understand that my Post Traumatic Stress reaction was to him. My body was telling me what my mind was denying. I was once told that my PTSD was a gift, my body would no longer allow my mind to deny danger. This is true; if I attempt to ignore a dysfunctional situation, my body reacts. I do not react when I am cognizant of the danger and take steps to protect myself.
Luckily I have a good support network and I was able to get coaching and was told that I needed to get him out that day. He began to do the power plays, I caught him sneaking, engaging in activities that I had asked him not to in my home when I fell asleep early in the evening. I prayed that God would assist me to get him out. After a drama that he created, I came home and found him sleeping in his car waiting for me. I was able to tell him that he needed to pack his bags and leave. He asked, “Can I ask you what I did wrong?” Typical of a disordered person, he was defiant and defensive. I stopped my explanations. I knew that if I told him any more, he would only use the knowledge to adjust the behavior in an attempt to manipulate another woman.
His premise for coming was that he wanted to meet me and help with projects that I had in my home. I felt sorry for him, listening to stories of how he struggles. He did not help with the projects, ate a tremendous amount of food, broke many items, did not assist with cooking nor cleaning. He studied how he could move his way in. Thank God for the friendships that I have been able to create that are healthy, they guided me to get him out. Thank God for the honesty of others on this site, so that I am able to come out of the delusional state that I am supposed to be a good and kind person. My kindness is my pearl and I cannot cast these pearls before swine (predators).
Predators usually have a three-person supply. One person they have been in a relationship for quite some time, perhaps the marriage. Another person has been in the relationship for a medium amount of time, the last person is the new person they are grooming. I could see this pattern in this young man. I was probably the middle relationship. Had I been open to a sexual encounter, his grooming would have been easier. My new rule since recovery from a sociopath: Never have a sexual relationship with anyone until you are positive of their motives in the relationship. I have learned to watch the behaviors, ignoring the words.
This young gigolo predator needs another female. He is looking for another wounded female. He will claim that people no longer want relationships. What he doesn’t understand is that a relationship with him is deceptive, abusive and all about him. He is a vampire, sucking everything out of the host. Beware of the gigolo bearing gifts of how s/he wants only to help.