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LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: My ex-wife, the sociopath (Part 3)

Editor’s note: The following story was sent to Lovefraud by a man whom we’ll call “Anthony.” He believes his ex-wife is a sociopath. This is part 3 of 4. The story refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

Read: Part 1Part 2

The Incompetent Therapist

After several years of scratching my head and trying to deal with my wife’s odd behavior, and trying to deal with an obvious dysfunctional relationship with her highly manipulative teenage daughter, I finally sought the help of a therapist. At this point in the “relationship,” I had put many of the pieces together. I still did not know about sociopaths\psychopaths, or how these people behave and what tools they use to manipulate and control others, but I knew that the things that I experienced in my “relationship” were seriously dysfunctional. I still did not know the depth of deception, but I knew that something was very wrong, and had been since the very beginning of this “relationship.”

My official motivation for seeking this therapist was to get help with the family dynamics relating to my wife’s 19 year old daughter, who still lived at home. This was the official reason, but I also was looking for help with trying to resolve the relationship, and to make sense of what I had been experiencing. I knew that I was not crazy, yet I was made to feel like I was. I knew what I saw in my wife’s behavior, and I knew how dysfunctional it was, in spite of the complete denial on her part. In short, I had all of the pieces of the puzzle there in front of me, and needed someone who was knowledgeable to help me make sense of it all. I was a mess from the emotional and mental abuse that I had endured over the past 3 years, but did not realize that fact at the time.

I found a therapist close to my wife’s office, and the first thing that I asked the therapist was how long she was practicing. I was relieved to learn that she had been practicing for over 15 years. She seemed to understand my frustration with my situation at home, but most of what I shared was concerning the way that I felt in the house because of my wife’s relationship with her daughter, and how her daughter’s level of maturity and inability to function as an adult (she was almost 19) was causing problems for me and my ”relationship” with her mother.

During our first few sessions with this therapist, I explained the very odd behavior of my wife. I still did not know about personality disorders, and how they manifest in the disordered’s behavior, but I explained perfectly the situations that should have signaled red flags to a therapist that was trained and familiar with the weird behaviors of the disordered. I explained what I now know was projection, projective identification, and covert abuse through mind games, “duping delight, and gaslighting.

To this day, I cannot understand how any therapist who has studied and has experience, could not have seen the light of what was happening to me, but this one did not. I have read that this is unfortunately not uncommon today in the counseling world. This therapist met with my wife after seeing me for a few times, and then saw us together for 5 or 6 times afterward. I am not sure what my wife told her when she saw her without me, but this therapist ended up thinking that I was the problem, and completely missed what was really happening in our relationship. Never, not once, did she even suggest that I might be dealing with a disordered individual. After spending the past year and a half studying this problem, I just cannot believe that “professionals” could be so clueless, but sadly, my story with this is not uncommon. Many others, even people like Dr. Robert Hare (the pioneer of the study of psychopathy, and the creator of the Psychopathy Checklist) have been taken in by these people. It’s just incredible to me, but considering how skilled they are, coupled with how foreign “they” are to normal human beings, it’s not too hard to believe. This is why I am convinced that the only way to fight against this problem is to increase awareness, making “them” not quite as foreign as they otherwise would be. I know there were signs that I saw early on, but just did not recognize them, and every story that I have read says the exact same thing. How many stories might have changed had we known about this disorder, and how it manifests in their behavior and relations?

I initially explained in detail the strange behavior that I saw with my wife. I did not understand it as I do today, and I knew basically nothing of sociopaths or psychopaths, but I explained to this therapist the interactions with my wife when I knew that she was accusing me, completely without any merit, of things that I totally suspected her of actually doing and thinking. I had come to question these things, to myself, because of behavior that I observed over long periods of time. In other words, there was merit to my thoughts, good reasons to doubt and question, yet the very things that I had begun to question in her, she was accusing me of doing, and completely without reason. This was one of the most bizarre things that I experienced with this sick woman.

These interactions happened on several occasions that I can remember. Probably 4 or 5 different times, and about different things. These instances were very puzzling to me, and I brought them to the therapist’s attention, because of this. I did not know what they actually were, but any therapist with a level of competence should have been able to recognize what was happening, or at least what may have been happening. This one did not at all. She seemed only interested in scheduling the next billable hour.

In addition to the projections, I must have shown signs of emotional distress from the trauma of this “relationship,” and the mental and emotional abuse that I endured. I am sure that I was, at this point, so emotionally beat up, that I must have showed serious signs of distress. I know now that this is a normal response to emotional abuse, or any abuse, for that matter, but I did not even understand that I had been abused at the time. I knew something was very wrong, but that was all I understood. My emotional state should have been a clue to the trauma, and taken together with what I had clearly explained to the therapist about the bizarre behavior of my wife, she should have clued into the fact that I may be dealing with a highly deceitful, manipulative, and abusive person. I showed all of the signs, and there was plenty of information to indicate what was happening to me, but this therapist completely missed it. I do not know exactly what she thought, but she obviously thought that the problem was not my wife or her behavior.

The end result was that I left this therapist’s office feeling even worse about my situation, and feeling even more confused and hopeless than before. She discounted everything that I told her was happening to me, and everything that I suspected my wife of doing. I know that this image that my wife projected was very different than who she really was, but I got absolutely no help from this trained and experienced therapist, who should have been able to spot at least some of what was happening. This woman was supposed to help me, yet all she did was further my frustration and deepen the hurt out of her own incompetence.

Light Shined on the Darkness

It was about the time when I started seeking counseling that I had reached a point where I could no longer exist in my “relationship” with my head in the sand. I had been noting all of the red flags that indicated that my wife was not what she portrayed. These went all the way back to the first week or so in our relationship, and were really all over the place. I had started carefully paying attention to her whereabouts, watching her call logs, watching her internet usage, her facebook usage, and any other area that I could to rationalize what I was sensing in the “relationship” and to resolve the cognitive dissonance. There was something very wrong beneath the surface, and I felt this from the very beginning. I remember noting the first red flag, when she did not take that phone call on Saturday evening from her “friend” Chris from work. I remember letting it go, wanting it to be just me and some insecurity that I may have had, but telling myself that, if it is something like what I felt it was, the truth will come out. The sad thing is that I continued in the relationship with this in the back of my mind, and always watching for more red flags. I continued to give my heart and soul to this woman, even as more and more red flags piled up. I gave, and gave, and gave. I loved her deeply, and continually rationalized away what I saw and felt.

Anyway, about the time that I began to seek counseling, I had reached a point where I knew that what I had sensed all along was either actually happening, or I was out of my mind. I felt in my gut that she was cheating, there were signs all over the place that this was happening, but this just did not fit what she put out there as her image. She was very careful at crafting an image that did not fit what I felt was happening. This created the cognitive dissonance that I dealt with for the entire 3 years that I was with this woman.

I had watched her carefully, and there was no time for her to be cheating with anybody. She did not go out with friends, take trips, stay away from the house for any time worth speaking of. I even tracked her via GPS. She went where she was supposed to go, and came home when she was supposed to come home. Still, through all of this watching, the signs did not go away that she was cheating. There were relational signs, physical signs, and there were just too many things that did not quite add up. On the surface, things appeared to be what they were supposed to be, but I had reached the point where I knew that things were not as they seemed. I learned that she lied to me about other things in the past, I caught her on several occasions hiding other things from me, and lying about other issues around the house, and I saw the strange behavior that she often exhibited, so I had finally reached the point where I was willing to go to whatever length I needed to resolve this.

The only two options left were” 1: I was crazy, and completely out of touch with reality. Or 2: My wife was cheating with someone at work, and only at work. The latter still did not make sense to me, but I had eliminated all other possibilities. I had to learn the truth. I knew I was completely sane, but still, I kept seeing the woman that I thought she was, and the woman that she worked so hard to convince me that she was. It was a strange place to be, but I knew at this point that my entire life with the “perfect” woman, and who I thought I would grow old loving, was probably not true at all.

Confrontation: The Fog Intensifies

Once I finally reached the point where I eliminated all other possibilities, I obtained crystal clear, irrefutable proof that my wife was having sex during the workday, and right under the other workers’ noses. Because of all of the signs over our entire “relationship,” I knew what I would find. As hard as it was to discover that what my gut was telling me all this time was actually true, I was not too shocked when I did indeed find it, yet I still did not realize what I was dealing with in her. I was still seeing her as someone basically like me: a normal human being, capable of genuine love, and basically good. I thought that this would be the point where we could finally have the relationship that we were supposed to have. I guess I was an emotional wreck, and anyone in that place may have made the same mistakes, but I decided to confront her. I just could not take it any longer, and Valentine’s day was the next day. The thought of her celebrating with him at work made me want to puke. She had come home from work with new jewelry on occasions in the past, and I just could not stand another holiday like we were, especially the love holiday. I am ashamed to admit it, but I honestly thought that she would own it, because I knew what was happening, when it was happening, and that it had been happening likely since we first met. I thought that, since I was offering mercy, forgiveness, and the willingness to rebuild a relationship free of this deception and deceit, that she surely would accept and be so very glad that she was married to such a wonderful man. I could rescue her and show her what real love is.

If I didn’t have the word “idiot” tattooed on my forehead before this point in my “relationship,” I surely earned it that night.

I will never forget what I saw in her when I confronted her. She denied completely what was happening, and she played stupid for a few seconds when I gave the married piece of shit’s name that she was doing this with, then said, “I just met him last month when he took over our group as supervisor.” She was completely caught off guard, and I’m sure she was blown away that I actually knew, considering how well they hid it for so long. It was happening right under the other employees’ noses, and they thought if they can get away with that, how would a wife or a husband ever find out?

As I pressed her insisting that this was not a hunch, but rather that I KNEW it was happening (which was absolutely true), her eyes changed, and her face changed. The closest thing that I could use to describe it was the way people change in movies about exorcism. Her eyes became large and deep black, and her mouth was a little twisted. I took me back for a second. I recognized it as demonic and evil, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I was stunned that I saw this from this woman that I had loved and doted on for the past three years. It was incredible what she looked like, and I could see the evil all over her. It was like she was a totally different person, and she said some very nasty things. This was something that I absolutely did not expect, and it really caught me off guard. Her entire persona changed that night, and after she calmed down from that night, she still seemed like a completely different person. It was like she flipped a switch, and she completely changed the way that she talked to me, and the things that she said.

I kept every email that she ever sent to me, both before, and after this event. Not only did her communication change through the things that she said to me, but her sentence structure changed, and the words that she used changed as well. It was like she was a completely different person. There was never any resemblance of the woman that I thought I knew for the past 3 years. She was never to be seen again. She was not real. The real woman was the one that I met that night when I confronted her with the ugly truth. This was completely baffling to me, until I learned what I was actually dealing with.

When I confronted her, I thought she would react in a completely different way. I was still looking at my mess as if I were dealing with someone like me: a normal, loving person. Although I had solid proof, she still denied it, and what’s more is that she called me crazy, evil, and did everything that she could to smear my name and discredit me to our neighbors in an attempt to explain what had happened.

Again, I knew nothing about what I was really dealing with, so this just crushed me. I was near suicide, and completely devastated that this was happening. Unless you go through this, you cannot imaging the depth of pain at the end of one of these “relationships.” You realize that EVERYTHING that you genuinely bonded with and cared about was a joke and a game to the other person. It meant absolutely nothing to them. I meant nothing to her at all. This is more painful than anything, and completely devastating. It drives many people over the edge. It is much greater than a normal breakup, but rather the end of an incredibly dysfunctional relationship built on and around abuse, and the victim’s unknown addiction to the abuser.

For the abused, it is just about the end of the whole world, and a pain that is indescribable. I lost over 10 pounds in 2 weeks. I was destroyed. For the disordered abuser, it is merely a mild inconvenience of having to move, and having to protect their façade through another smear campaign. They do not have the ability to bond to anyone, so they feel absolutely no loss. They feel no attachment to other people, and they can only fake their way through their “relationships.” It’s all a game to them. My entire life with this woman was completely false. Nothing was real at all.

I met with her a few weeks after the confrontation and her leaving, and I expressed to her how much of a wreck I was because of this. My pants literally fell off of me while buttoned up. When I showed her this, she retorted with something like, “me too.” I looked at her, and she had not dropped a single pound that I could see. Her little belly was just as it had always been. I remember thinking, “This woman really is a lunatic,…a true nut case!”

 Part 4 – Trying to make sense of the insanity



16 Comments on "LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: My ex-wife, the sociopath (Part 3)"

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  1. ShockedBeyondWords says:

    OMG Anthony – what a story. It is so scary – and so familiar.



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    • Anthony says:

      SBW,

      One of the most helpful things early on in my ordeal, was to come across some of the many stories that were nearly identical to my own. Before this, I had no idea that what I experienced in this was not really all that uncommon. To know that there are others who not only believe what has happened to us, they actually understand what this feels like, and what this does to us on the inside, was a very good thing to discover, especially while in that place of complete confusion and despair. This site was one of the most helpful in that respect, and I am so very grateful for all of the effort that Donna and so many others have put into it!

      Take care, and my God bless and protect you!

      “Anthony”



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  2. Hopeforjoy says:

    Anthony,

    I’m so sorry for what you went through. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope that it helps you in the healing process.

    You’re story is sadly familiar and I totally get it when you say that other people don’t get your pain. I don’t know why it’s so deep, but it is more so than even the loss of a loved one.

    I got chills when you described your ex wife and her change in her face and eyes. I have seen this too and it scared the crap out of me. My ex also had a different smell, kind of sour, like something rotten. I could never get used to it. Cats attacked him too.

    Don’t kick yourself about being duped, we all were. There was some narcissism in me too, thinking I could actually change or “help” him. Like the power of my love and compassion could make a difference. I use my experience to help me grow and I know now that I can’t help or change anyone, they have to want to change themselves.

    I wish you all the best in life. Love yourself deeply and treat yourself with compassion. You sought to understand the incomprehensible. She is a beast and will ALWAYS be one.



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    • Anthony says:

      HopeForJoy,

      Thank you. Writing my story, and sharing it was so very helpful in my healing! I am actually well over 2 years out. Back then, I read stories of people who were years out, and healed, whole, and in a much better place than they had ever been before their brush with these monsters. I just could not understand how this could ever be in my life. I wondered how I could ever trust again, who would ever want to be with someone who was as destroyed as I was, or who could even understand what had happened to me?

      I will add another chapter to my story at some point, as I think it stands as a beautiful testimony to the gifts that can actually come out of such a horrible experience. I could never see it back there in that place, but can clearly see it today, and it is amazing!

      Yes, I definitely believe that there is a spiritual component to these people and this problem. I saw it clearly that night in her. There is no doubt about it.

      Thank you again for your comments. May God bless and protect you!

      “Anthony”



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  3. mich0101 says:

    Anthony, so right on about the pain we are suffering. This breakup was by far harder for me then my divorce and I thought that was tough. I struggle every day with my pain. nobody gets it.



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    • Anthony says:

      Mitch0101,

      I am so sorry to read that you are struggling with pain now, and that you are frustrated because you think that nobody understands. I learned after months of banging my head against the wall, that those who have not experienced this kind of thing, will never really get it, and many will never believe the whole story, either. It is too strange to those who have never been there. I know that there are many of us out there who DO understand, and who DO believe that there are normal looking people out there who do behave this way. I hope you will seek out those places where these people are, because they will be the ones to help you, validate your experiences, be a sounding board for you, provide you with encouragement and understanding, and to ultimately help you heal. It is a process, and it will take time, but I can tell you that it does happen in time. Just be patient, and look forward always!

      My God bless and protect you, Mich0101!

      “Anthony”



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  4. bluejay says:

    Anthony,

    I’m sorry about the trauma that you endured (due to being married to one of these disordered creatures). As a Christian, what you saw in your wife’s demeanor doesn’t surprise me – I personally think that they act in demonic, evil ways, being influenced (and/or controlled) by forces outside themselves. Take care of yourself. You have learned about these creatures, that they exist. All of us are now wiser due to our experiences, awful as our experiences may have been. May God be with you, His peace filling you up.



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  5. blossom4th says:

    Anthony,
    I share your sorrow.We only want what we deserve;to be happy.Instead,we end up being blindsided,injured emotionally and mentally to the point where we feel we’re loosing contact with reality!

    My marriage was a sham,too.It took me 23 yrs to figure that out! I REALLY feel like an idiot! I am an honorable person and thought that if I showed ENOUGH compassion,understanding and empathy,he would be able to change into the kind of husband I so desperately needed.That was BEFORE I was educated about sociopaths.Now I realize all that I can do is heal myself.



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    • Anthony says:

      Blossom4th,

      I’m so sorry that you were in that marriage for 23 years! Many people have pointed out to me the blessing that I only wasted 3 years with her. Had she been willing to continue the game, I very well could still be with her (being used and abused) today. How sad that would be?

      Take all of the wonderful traits you mentioned, and never waste them again on a black hole disguised as one of us! 🙂

      Take care, and may God bless you!

      “Anthony”



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  6. raggedy ann says:

    Hopeforjoy, thank you for writing this:

    ‘Don’t kick yourself about being duped, we all were. There was some narcissism in me too, thinking I could actually change or “help” him. Like the power of my love and compassion could make a difference.’

    The thing is, I’m starting to think that a lot of the people here really are better equipped than average to absorb the punishment and sacrifices involved in sheltering or nurturing or forgiving a broken being. The big con is in the idea that the being will end up any more than maybe 50% fixed and that the 5 is usually closer to zero. That’s why I so admire Donna’s work reaching out to young kids.

    Anthony, I am so sorry you’ve been put through all of this. Separately from any sexual morality or adultery issues, this woman completely transgressed in the basic ethical area of *information* and other people’s right to make personal decisions based on the most information available. I doubt very much that you would have gone ahead with wedding plans if your fiancee had explained to you that she was sleeping with someone at her job. She’s a creep!!!
    And clearly a cold operator, and so weak that she can’t conduct her life on civilized, adult terms. Why did she need to do this??? I hope you are able to at least derive some happiness from the fact of not having to be near her anymore.



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    • Anthony says:

      Thank you Raggedy Ann. There was a point when I thought I couldn’t make it without her. This was when I was still clueless, and still very much under her spell; However, there was a shift at some point in my recovery and healing, and when I finally had to see her again, after several years, my reaction was completely different than I has thought it would be! I am so thankful to not be near her, and I clearly see her for what she really is. Anyone who behaves like these people do, is a pathetic excuse for a human being, and someone to really feel sorry for. They are completely empty inside! No love. No joy. No compassion. How I would hate to be that way!

      Yes, these people are creeps, and they do not even have the strength to admit what they’ve done (in many if not most cases). It’s pathetic, in my book.

      Thank you again, and take care!

      “Anthony”



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  7. anothervictim says:

    Anthony, I’m so sorry for what you have been through and I will pray for you. I too have seen the evil in a sociopath’s eyes when their mask slips or comes off. It shocked and frightened me. Hang in there!



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    • Anthony says:

      Thank you! Actually, I wrote my story almost 2 years ago. I need to add a bit more to it, to encourage others that healing and wholeness does come through these experiences.

      I am much wiser than I have ever been. I am much stronger than I have ever been. I understand myself like never before. I have been able to comfort and help many others who have been unfortunate enough to tangle with the disordered. And through the very pain and brokenness of this experience, I have found a truly wonderful woman, who totally gets it and who fully understands,…because she went through the exact same thing!

      Thanks again, and may God bless and protect you always!

      “Anthony”



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  8. Redwald says:

    If we went to college for an engineering degree, we would certainly expect to learn all about the perils of engineering design flaws, and all the defects that can develop, causing machines to malfunction, or buildings and bridges to fall down. And if we trained as auto mechanics, it would be all about things that go wrong with vehicles, how to diagnose them, how to fix them.

    Likewise, if we majored in computer science, we would expect to learn plenty along the way about “bugs” in programs and how to track them down.

    Above all, if we went to medical school, we would expect to be taught all about the diseases and disorders that can afflict the human body and cause it to malfunction, how to diagnose these abnormalities and anomalies—and to treat them, as far as they’re treatable (which is not always).

    So why is it that if we get a degree in psychology instead—which only differs in being about a different mechanism—the human mind as compared with the human body (and they’re not unrelated by any means!)—we’re taught next to nothing about these defects and disorders that cause the mind to malfunction?

    Yet amazingly, that’s still true to this day. Our daughter chose to major in psychology for her bachelor’s. I’m sure she learned plenty about “normal” psychology, about what makes ordinary people tick in all the glorious variations that make us human. But when it came to abnormal psychology, there was next to nothing. It wasn’t until she took one particular postgraduate course that personality disorders were dealt with in any detail. And that was just one course. As if “personality disorders” were just one of many little things that can “go wrong” in the human mind or human relations in general—the way anything from “hair loss” to “flat feet” can go wrong in the human body—but they’re not very significant compared with everything else. Instead of being the huge problem they really are.

    It would have been more reassuring if we discovered that people who go on to actually practice psychotherapy on the public in one form or another are required to learn about personality disorders and be capable of diagnosing them. However, that’s not remotely true either. The deplorable fact is that large numbers of the so-called “therapists” and “counselors” out there wouldn’t know a personality disorder if we served it up to them on a plate with parsley round it! They really are that ill-informed. Anthony, your experience with so-called “therapy,” as appalling as it was, is far from unusual. On the contrary, it’s only too common!

    A great many people with chronically abusive partners—whom they hadn’t properly recognized as “chronically abusive”—report going into joint counseling with such a partner, only to be told (in effect) by the therapist that the problems in the relationship are “their own fault.” This can be downright disastrous. Being typically the kind of people who are too prone to blame themselves in the first place, and having been already victimized and beaten down by verbal and other abuse from their abusive partner, they are then revictimized all over again by the therapist, who instead of alleviating the problem has only compounded it by making the damage worse!

    It would be nice to think that therapists who, however unwittingly, are guilty of causing such damage could be sued for malpractice the way a physician could be if his incompetent “treatment” of a disorder made the condition worse instead of better. Regrettably we’re many years away from seeing any such thing come to pass.

    Granted, we must recognize that personality disordered people can be very effective at pulling the wool over people’s eyes. That’s true of psychopaths above all, because they’re so practiced at creating false impressions. But other personality disordered people, however distorted their view of reality, actually believe in their own distortions and are consequently able to convince other people of them too. (I imagine that could also be true of psychopaths when they project.) So it’s only fair to admit that a therapist could find it difficult at times to figure out who’s really doing what.

    But that’s still no excuse for the fact that so many “therapists” are practicing in the field with little knowledge and no formal training at all in recognizing personality disorders. Psychopaths may form only one percent of the population, but some estimate they could be as many as four percent, and in any case they’re bound to form a correspondingly larger percentage of those who end up—or whose family members end up—in therapy for “problems” of one kind or another. And that’s just the psychopaths; other surveys have indicated that as many as fifteen percent of people may have a personality disorder of some kind (though not always as malignant as the Cluster B group).

    What if these therapists and counselors were physicians instead? What would we say about a GP who could only diagnose easily curable diseases, but could never recognize—didn’t even suspect—when a patient had cancer? What if he sent them all on their way with a few pills, saying “Oh, you’re just run down, you’ve got a nasty cough, a tummy upset, a bad migraine, a wart on your nose,” or whatever their symptoms were, and never had a clue about the true gravity of their disorder? We’d say that was outrageous, and the man was a charlatan, utterly incompetent to practice medicine and a danger to the public! The counseling profession really ought to get its members properly educated about personality disorders and how to spot them.



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  9. kmillercats says:

    The spath I was with is supposedly having a problem with his 13 year old son. Actually, his x is having a problem with the son. They have had some family counseling sessions including the spath. I don’t think the x realizes the x is a spath. I’m sure the counselors don’t know either. He is very charming and like every other spath, seems like the rest of us. I suggested the spath inform the counselors about his “abnormality”. He ignored me like he always does. Of course he doesn’t think he is a spath. I don’t know if the son is a spath or his sister is and causing him all kinds of grief. I wasn’t around them. I’d like to be a fly on the wall.



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