Sociopaths and aggressive emails

The Lovefraud reader “Flicka” copied us on the following email thread. The exchange is a good example of how sociopaths use every opportunity to assert control, divide and conquer family members, and engage in character assassination.

By way of background, Flicka was married to a sociopath. Unfortunately, all of her five children inherited their father’s disorder and also became sociopaths. Flicka’s children are now adults, and she is estranged from all of them. So now, when she should be doting on her grandchildren, she barely sees them.

One son, whom we’ll call “Bill,” was married to a Vietnamese woman, whom we’ll call “Lang.” They have a daughter, whom we’ll call “Sally.”

Three years ago, when Bill left Lang, he also left his wife with no furniture. Lang, her mother, and Sally, then 4 years old, had no choice but to sleep on bare floors. When Flicka found out, she gave Lang all of her furniture. Needless to say, Bill was infuriated.

So here’s the email exchange from earlier this year:

From: Flicka
To: Lang
Mary Poppins

I happened to see on TV tonight a
preview of the Mary Poppins musical show coming on 
Feb. 3rd (I think) and it looks fabulous. It made
 me think of Sally and how badly I would like her to see and 
experience that wonderful show with all its singing, dancing 
and beautiful costumes. I would love to treat her and you to 
that experience but maybe she’s a little too young. 
Perhaps you could mention it to Bill in case he would be
 willing to take 


From: Lang
To: Bill
Subject: Events

Will you take her to this
 show? Vietnamese Tet will be on Feb
 9th. As usual, we do cooking and worship for ancestors. I
 want Sally here a day earlier and return that day to you by 
pick her up on saturday the week after.


From: Bill
To: Lang
Subject: RE: Events

I doubt it. Those things are
 stupidly expensive.  I was going to take her to Disney 
on ice but the tickets were over 100 
each. I don’t see a problem with
 Tet but remind me closer to the date I can’t commit to it
 this early.


From: Lang
To: Bill
Subject: RE: Events

Feb 3rd is sunday and that 
sunday night belongs to your week. As she wanted to treat me
 and Sally, so i’ll take her if you want. But if you want
 to take her there, i’ll ask her if she would like to
 transfer that ticket to you. Just let me know as soon as 
you can for ticket arrangement. I’ll inform you a week 
ahead of time about Tet. Thanks Lang


From: Bill
To: Lang
Subject: RE:

You know how I feel about Mom 
being around Sally.  If you want to take her and ONLY to 
the theater then I am ok with that. But no before or after
 time at Mom’s house. She is too negative to be an 
influence on Sally in a positive way. 


From: Lang
To: Bill
Subject: Mary Poppins

And you told me you never 
forbid Sally to see your Mom? Read your email again. What
 more evidence do I need to prove?


From: Bill
To: Lang
Subject: RE: Mary Poppins

Yes I don’t like her being 
around her but obviously I can’t and wouldn’t forbid 
her. That was on incident 2 years ago. Get real. If you just
 want to take my Mother side and fight with me then we both
 know how this is going to end.  Why would you follow my
 mother’s path and end up angry, sad, alone with no friend s
at all?


From: Lang
To: Bill
Subject: RE: Mary Poppins

Anything more obvious than that? LOL


Negative communication

What could be more fun and wholesome for a little girl than a trip to see Mary Poppins? But Bill is negative from start to finish.

First, he says the tickets are too expensive — ignoring the fact that Flicka offered to pay.

Then he says he doesn’t want Sally to be around his mother.

Then he claims that he’s not forbidding Sally to see his mother, but alludes to the terrible things that will happen if Lang decides to let Sally visit Grandma against his wishes. Bill manages to threaten his ex-wife and smear his mother all in one sentence

Emotional No Contact

So if you are subject to a sociopath’s negative communications, what can you do about it? In reality, nothing.

You can’t change the sociopath. You can only change you and your responses.

When No Contact is not an option — as when you are trying to co-parent with a sociopath — the next best thing is Emotional No Contact. You train yourself not to react emotionally to the sociopath’s aggression. And make no mistake, Bill’s communication style is aggression.


How do you do this? You accept that sociopaths are what they are.

Acceptance does not mean that you condone a sociopath’s behavior, treatment of you, irresponsibility or cruelty. I am also not suggesting that you stay in an abusive situation. If you are being abused in any way, you must get out.

But if you still have to deal with the sociopath after you have escaped, it helps to accept that a sociopath is what he or she is, and that the individual’s behavior will never change.

A lot of the internal angst and tension that you feel is the result of wanting the sociopath to be different. When you give up wanting him or her to change, you have more energy and strength to deal with the day-to-day curve balls the sociopath throws at you.

Your objective is to get to the point that when you receive communications like those above, you just roll your eyes. You ignore all the taunting, and respond only to actionable information:

It’s okay for Sally to see Mary Poppins.


55 Comments on "Sociopaths and aggressive emails"

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  1. flicka says:

    Good idea except I’m NC with the whole bunch the past 5 years and much happier to have finally come to grips with what I was dealing with all those years. Now it crops up in the grandchildren, to my dismay; but that’s not my problem anymore…thank goodness.

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