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Introducing a new Lovefraud feature: Spath Tales

Spath TalesEven after all these years — Lovefraud launched in 2005 — the stories I hear about the atrocious behavior of sociopaths still shock me.

The brazen deception. The cruelty. The unthinkable evil.

Unfortunately, most of the world doesn’t know that these predators live among us.  One of Lovefraud’s missions is to alert people about these exploiters and what they are capable of doing. And the best way to do that is by sharing the experiences of those who have tangled with them.

To gather these stories, I created the Lovefraud Media Survey. Any reader who is willing to tell his or her story to the media is welcome to complete the survey. I have connected some of these readers with reporters and TV producers.

But Lovefraud has now gathered many more stories — more than 1,000 of them. So now, some will be posted right here on Lovefraud in a new feature called “Spath Tales — My Experience with a Sociopath.” Look for the first story tomorrow.

If you’d like to share your story, please fill out the Lovefraud Media Survey.

 

 

 



22 Comments on "Introducing a new Lovefraud feature: Spath Tales"

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  1. Me2 says:

    Bravo Donna! In some ways I wish I still had the energy to tell my story in hopes it would benefit others. And yet, in another way, I am glad I no longer feel the need. it means I have moved beyond the sting of bitter betrayal, and the shame and feelings of failure associated with my experience. These things no longer define me.

    Somehow I knew NC was the only way even before I’ld heard of it. It was the only way to live without gas lighting running every moment of my life. I had finally realized this person would never stop lying or trying to control me, would snuff me if they thought they could get away with it. I had to make him believe I no longer wanted him or any part of him in my life even though I loved him dearly despite the things I chose to endure over the years. Then, I woke up one morning realizing those were my true feelings…I wanted him OUT of my life, mind, heart, and soul.

    NC is very difficult when you have children or are in the middle of custody battles or even divorce. But, I found a way that was equivalent to “talk to the hand.” I simply responded to everything with “Don’t call, text or e-mail me. Talk to my attorney.” I said it twice under each category. The third time he contacted me by e-mail I pressed the trash symbol without even reading it. I knew it would just be another rant. If I saw his number on my phone, I did not answer. If it went to voice mail I deleted it without listening. And if it showed as a text, I also deleted those without reading. My attorney went so far as to send him a letter advising him of court action if he continued to harass me. It was meant to scare him off. It worked. He tried to use my NC stance against me in court. No judge would entertain him. They simply said, “I’m sure she has a reason.”

    Survival was my biggest motivator over curiosity. Once I had a way to communicate directly with my son (who he successfully kept from me for a number of years) we made all visitation arrangements between ourselves. He simply told his father one day he was going to see me every other weekend once he had his license. I set up a savings account for him to direct transfer him any necessary expenses like gas and food. He never abused it. He only asked for money when he truly needed something or to come see me. So it gave me the freedom to give him an extra $5 or $10 once in a while, never more. I never wanted to be used as someone’s wallet ever again. It taught him to earn his own money right away. He struggled, but never complained. He learned to work for the things he wanted.

    The best thing that came out of loosing everything I had worked for over the period of 28 years is a terrific relationship with my son and the right to breath every day without fear. The Spath moved a long quickly once I didn’t give him any strokes.

    All the keeping my son from me games the Spath played, lies told about my character, things I never did nor ever would do blew up in the Spath’s face the day my son caught him red handed in a pack of lies he said I was guilty of.

    Things have a way of coming full circle when we least expect it. I had hoped someday my son would come to know the truth, just that it not be by my doing. I knew that would back fire. Well, it finally happened. It couldn’t have happened more perfectly.

    The best phone call I ever received was my son phoning to tell me he caught him red-handed in a pack of lies he had been putting on me all these years. He knew he was lying, but could never catch him. He was breathless, almost hyperventilating (Could I relate!!) . I spent the next hour talking him through his shock, listened to him pack his car and drive to a safe location he would call home for the following six months until another opportunity presented itself. The call was great because now my son was free too. I no longer had to wonder what his father might try to pull on him next.

    My son put his biological father in the ‘rear view’ out of self preservation. Today I encourage him to work through the anger to set himself completely free. Forgive himself and his father for a better tomorrow…”don’t let the anger run your life as it will cheat you from all you deserve to experience, especially love.”

    It’s great to know there is life after Love Fraud(!) and in LoveFraud.com. Thank you for all you have done over the past nine years to build this resource and educate others. I was very fortunate to stumble upon it in 2006 while trying to get divorced from the Spath. It took six years as he ran me and the court in circles with no documents and no-shows…but, I finally have a divorce decree.

    At first divorce felt like a failure until I realized staying in the marriage would have been a greater failure…it could have cost me my life and left my son without a mother. It takes a lot of courage and strength to be the one to depart. What I learned… There is no failure in leaving when your life is on the line. Just DO IT.



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  2. Me2 – what a great story! I am so glad that you and your son are away from him. Good for you for staying strong and doing what needed to be done. And I am glad that Lovefraud has helped you.



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  3. Stargazer says:

    Could also be called “Tales from the Dark Side” if that were not already the name of a TV show from a long time ago. lol

    I am no longer triggered by memories of the spath and don’t feel the need to tell the stories. But if you think it would help anyone (at least for the comic relief), I would be glad to recount some of them. A few stories are quite hilarious in retrospect – especially some of the outrageous lies that ended up incriminating him in the end. And if you have not heard the snakehook-to-the-crotch story, it’s always good for a laugh. Is this going into a book?



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    • AnnettePK says:

      Snakehook to the crotch?? I’d love to hear that one.



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      • Stargazer says:

        Since you asked, Annette….I hope you enjoy this story. I enjoy telling it. 🙂

        I met my spath in 2008 from a website for people who have redtail boa constrictors (I have two). So we were both snake people. He lived about an hour and a half away on a military base and drove up to see me several times over a period of a few months. During that time, he led me to believe he was in the process of getting a divorce that week (he was supposedly separated) and getting a medical discharge from the army. He claimed he had severe headaches due to a trauma during his service in Iraq. He was the nicest, sweetest guy you’d ever want to meet. A kind gentlemanly military guy – 10 years younger than me – who just happened to also like snakes. It was a dream come true.

        As the months went on, his lies unraveled. He had no plans to get a divorce and was living with his wife on base. He was faking an entire disability to get the medical discharge. With me he told me he had headaches. With the army, he told them he couldn’t walk or drive, had little feeling from the waist down, and he even faked a limp and facial tics!! (Long story how I found out). Anyway, when I found out the depth of the deception,I ended the romance immediately and stopped talking to him. I did this even before I found LF and knew what a spath was. But I did see him one last time, and that’s where the snakehook-to-the-crotch story comes in.

        About a month after the discard/break-up or whatever it wasn (he basically disappeared but acted like I was the one who broke up – you know how the gaslighting goes….), I went to a reptile show with a guy friend who was like a brother to me. I brought the friend for moral support because I had a feeling the spath would be there. Sure enough he was. The guy who claimed he couldn’t walk and had no feeling from the waist down was carrying his young daughter around on his shoulders! (Good thing I had a digital camera on me – it helped so much in the army’s fraud case against him, but that’s another story) 🙂

        Anyway, he stalked me during the show. He followed me to whatever booth I was at and just got up really really close, like he was trying to smell me. He never spoke to me, and I never acknowledged him. My friend and I would just walk away and go to another booth. Meantime, I had purchased a snake hook at the show and I was carrying it around. But I kept inadvertently hitting people with it, so I gave it to my friend to carry for me.

        Eventually, we ended up at this one display where I was asking a lot of questions, engrossed in the snake enclosures. My friend watched as the spath walked right up behind me. He was very tall and towered over me, smelling my hair. I was completely unaware because I was engrossed in a conversation with the proprietor of the booth. As you recall, my friend had my snake hook and he decided to put it to good use. He jabbed the spath in the crotch with the snake hook (unbeknownst to me!). The spath took a step back but then came right back. So my friend jabbed him again. Only this time the hook got caught on the zipper of the spath’s pants. lol With that, the spath put both his hands up and backed up about 3 feet. After that, he was nowhere to be seen. We think he left the show.

        My friend told me what happened over lunch. I was laughing so hard I spit out my milkshake (I will never forget that). We had all these jokes about “hooking a player” or “player getting ‘exposed'” (I used “player” because remember at the time I didn’t really know what a spath was). Every time I told one of my friends the story, I would just start laughing hysterically. The image of the spath getting jabbed in the crotch with a snake hook and almost having his pants unzipped was enough to make me pee myself with laughter (sorry for the visual there….lol). Story still cracks me up, but you’d probably have to have been there.



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  4. Stargazer says:

    I’m bumping this because I want to make sure Annette reads the story. 🙂



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  5. CatHas9Lives says:

    Thoughts, opinions, support and/or kicks upside the head appreciated regarding the situation described below, sorry no snakes involved, but ?SP did mesmerize my pet lizard, well okay later on she bit him!!

    I was separated several years ago and got divorced. It was a challenging time, but matters are now settled with civility.

    As I was attending to my legal separation, a “friend” of mine approached me for an FWB/NSA arrangement, which was exactly what I needed at the time. I was living apart from my ex and awaiting my decree of divorce. For some 6 months it was wonderful, in spite of the fact neither of us had any cash, it was great sex, and fine friendship, lots of learning, healing and laughter. It cheered me up immeasurably!!

    Mr. FWB turned into Mr. FWB/SA when he asked me for sexual exclusivity which I honoured, but I know for a fact – because he told me – that he ended up having other partners. One even turned up when I was visiting him, which was more humorous than aggravating. But then Mr. FWB began falsely accusing me of a range of impossible indiscretions, some with people I’d never even heard of!!

    Mr. FWB is stunningly gorgeous, magnificent in bed, smart, talented, funny, with a range of addictions, and an even more interesting range of resume options (think Brad Pitt crossed with the Wolf of Wall Street).

    Mr. FWB was, at the time, down on his luck. Some weird things started happening, like he lied to people saying I wasn’t his FWB but that he was just my professional client. And I think he had his friends follow me in their cars. Plus he wanted to know my mother’s maiden name – maybe for purposes of credit card fraud? And he started rambling on about what would I do if someone videotaped us being intimate. Only thing is, he never actually to my knowledge did any extortion against me, and he was never physically violent.

    Then Mr. FWB started putting me down, and became what I consider verbally abusive (nasty names, insulting my working class background, etc.), and controlling (telling me not to wear makeup, not to get a tattoo, not to dye my hair, etc.), and endlessly questioning me… He said jealousy is normal for a guy and if a guy isn’t jealous, he doesn’t think much of the woman.

    I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t always handle it diplomatically, for example I didn’t show up for his birthday and left him stranded, started yelling back at him when he’d rant, and on the advice of a therapist, finally broke up with him as FWB was also breaking up with me.

    There was still some vestige of a friendship with Mr. F… until he started saying nasty things… allegedly in response to me thinking he was avoiding me… when I had to have an emergency cancer biopsy…so I called him a few … pleasant names… and told him “don’t ever darken my life again”, and Mr. exFWB has been gone for quite some time now, 6 months at least.

    My problem? I’m finding it hard to date again because if a man is pushy or aggressive, I am automatically repulsed. Mr. exFWB meanwhile has gotten happy, healthy, and moved on in fine form. So it goes!!

    Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Was it just that I was a nutty as he was at the time since he and I were both down on our luck? Did I inadvertently dodge a nasty bullet due to my own undiplomatic behaviour?

    Sincerely,
    Grumpy Cat is my Hero
    Cat



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    • Cat – What you are describing is classic sociopathic / coercive controller behavior. You are very lucky to have escaped him! And I think your choice words were totally justified.

      About subsequent pushy and aggressive men – do you really want men who act that way? Maybe it’s your intuition telling you to stay



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      • CatHas9Lives says:

        Thanks so much for the support!!

        I had felt so guilty and ashamed for calling FWB a “Paranoid Player A*Hole” after he cheated with 6 another women then accused me of … wait for it… giving a nonexistent man a BJ on a brief elevator ride back from the condo gym…. and something BS about BJs in limos… Limos?!!!

        I was raised that I must ALWAYS accept responsibility for the bad behaviour of ALL OTHERS and I must ALWAYS accept responsibility for and consider evil ALL ACTIONS of my own. I must always be kind and supportive of ALL others. ALL others were considered higher than me. Even my best friends and my (now ex) therapist blamed me for FWBs behaviour.

        If any human person of value treated me badly, I was raised that their bad treatment was only because I’m ugly, worthless, and subhuman, failed to behave with perfect service, and thus failed to adequately serve the risen, pure ones (ALL others who live or die and are deemed human) with perfect grace and perfect mirroring of ALL the emotions and desires of ALL others. (I grew up as a servant in foster homes and convent shelters, a ward of the state, street kid, hideous, disgusting, subhuman nerd-scum below life and unworthy of life, etc.)

        But I only called exFWB a “Paranoid Player A*Hole” because no “Snake Hook” was available at the time.. exFWB/PPA said to me “I’ve never been an A*Hole” but he didn’t deny being a player….or being paranoid, he got out of that by accusing me of being paranoid…

        Yes he ran screaming into the (very dark and stormy) night…after I called him on his BS!! Yes he preys on vulnerable damaged women like me, he finds them in 12-step.

        Plus he kept ranting “I will be totally faithful to you blah blah blah” … Why was my FWB/NSA ranting on about fidelity?!! it didn’t make any sense, esp. given his own indiscretions and his ideas about monogamy as only relating to avoiding STDs…?!!

        No, I don’t want’ pushy, aggressive men, I want a sexy, nice guy (which FWB was until he showed his true SP colours)… ! I believe I deserve to live and not ALL others are perfect purity risen above me.

        What tipped me off to likely SP/FWB/ex, well, whenever I shouted back at his abuse, he’d begin a speech that went like this “I FWB AM NOT A SOCIOPATH…” (I hadn’t called him a sociopath… so why was he shouting that he’s not a sociopath)?!! Just where did that come from? Not from me, so where?!! He also had endless contempt for his exes, every single one of whom was younger, better looking, and from a better background that mine)!! So I was just a temporary distraction for this man… but what tipped me off to his possible SP nature is that he was willing to disrespect these women who came “from better”!!

        CatHas9Lives
        (8…7….6…5….4…3…2..and perhaps the last is the best!!)



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          • CatHas9Lives says:

            Donna,

            Thanks so much!! You saw the good in my ranting!!

            I am (if not great then) better, through being able to be ordinary. For being able now to allow myself to be a regular sort trudging the road to happy destiny. For learning to accept that I walk an average person’s path; to know that I am good enough, and never was any better or worse than anyone else!!

            Even the sociopaths can choose to follow the law and not act like *sshats!! We cannot choose what we come from, and our latitude to choose what we are is constrained to some extent by genetics.

            But I believe through free will, with God’s grace, that we have some choice in what we DO with our lives thereafter!!

            Hugs to all here on LoveFraud,
            🙂 Cat

    • AnnettePK says:

      He may have moved on, but I doubt he has gotten healthy and happy. If he were healthy, he likely would have made amends to you for lying, controlling, cheating, and abusing/bullying you.



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      • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

        Good Point AnnettePK
        I believe in redemption. None of us are without mistakes. But there is a huge difference between words and amends. For those who think that their abuser is sorry, that he wants to show he’s different…. someone who is truly remorseful doesn’t ask permission to demonstrate his redemption, he amends his ways and lets his victim recover, and after some time has passed, he asks forgiveness and NOTHING MORE.

        Too many times we think the jerks have “moved on” and become the kind of person to someone else that we hoped they would be towards us. But… if they were honorable at all, they would FIRST made amends with us. That they haven’t is proof that they haven’t changed and we are well rid of them.

        Yeah, AnnettePK, I’m wordy. (no wonder I have a bankers box of journals!) ha! It’s my weakness, that I think myself inscrutable and I make up for it with long winded explanations. I admire you are wise, concise, and to the point!



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        • CatHas9Lives says:

          Hello NotWhatHeSaidofMe,
          You’re right, none of us are without mistakes. I am trying to notice if a person makes an effort to change after making amends, or if they make excuses then do the same thing again. Yes, I wonder if some day FBWex (or my exH) will be or appear to be the kind of person I had hoped for, and show it only in their relationship with someone else. Although I have little left, I have very rarely had a man interested in me physically or as a person, only for emotional and financial security, which is only honourable sy all, if they are honest in their intentions at the beginning!!
          Such is life!!
          Cat



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      • CatHas9Lives says:

        Hello AnnettePK and the Wonderful People here on Lovefraud 🙂

        Well, FWBex has certainly moved on (in my opinion, he already had a number of options lined up while still with me)… FWBex looks healthy and happy (according to other friends and… yep… gotta love Facebook, land of truth, NOT, lol)… But I must admit I wondered if some of the healthy and happy stuff is an act because I know from experience that deep change takes years and willingness!!

        FWBex would try to make amends to me, but he would then turn things around and say “but YOU, bad oversensitive girly cat, OVERREACTED”. Actually, after he pulled that manipulation on me, I never slept with him again!!

        What was strange is that after lots of fighting, he’d then make a simple, decent amends like is described in recovery. Weird… like underneath all the SP stuff is a regular guy. Of course, not the guy for me because I need a non-bully. I often wondered if his SP stuff was basically to do with how he was raised and to do with his addictions. Well, who knows!!

        Thank you again because reading Lovefraud (site and book) and watching the tutorial videos, and reading your replies, is what is keeping me from breaking NC!!!



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  6. Viewpoint says:

    Reread your account and you have your answer if you didn’t know already. Yes, you dodged a bullet. No, you weren’t nutty: You had, at least, a nice 6 months and then things transpired to step on your toes, “Ouch!” Nothing wrong with that.
    There’s no such thing as a diplomatic “Ouch!”. And I take it that he ran away after that. You wanted him to go away and kudos to your instincts.
    So,he’s happy. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was that you weren’t happy. If the question you really have is “How could I have better managed my unhappiness so as to remain in the relationshp?”, you know the answer to that, also.



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  7. CatHas9Lives says:

    Well, “How could I have better managed my unhappiness”… er… I wish I could have left sooner and on better terms!!! The man was (allegedly) once my friend! If I’d left sooner, the damage would have been less for me (and allegedly for him). But once he started to break me down, I was (sadly) on old familiar ground, and stopped sleeping with him but couldn’t yet walk away from the following fight”

    “Cat, you’re Scum”
    “No I’m not!!”

    I’ve been told maturity also involves walking away from a pointless fight… a maturity I don’t yet have. But may I come to have maturity and hope, none of us is scum, not even me!!



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    • AnnettePK says:

      He really was never your friend. Friends don’t do what he did.



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      • CatHas9Lives says:

        You know, I kept juggling in my mind, if in fact the lack of true friendship in the first place was the deeper issue!!

        I actually never expected nor asked for exclusivity – FWBex asked for then broke exclusivity – I wanted an FWB because it was too soon after my divorce to have a serious relationship. But it broke my heart that someone I thought was my friend disrespected me so much!! Maybe a true friend would have given me more time to heal from my divorce?!! 🙁

        I am in a group for recovering codependents which is helping me understand why from my side I stay in bad situations too long, and hopefully this will be part of me developing better relationship in the future!



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  8. kittylover says:

    cathas9lives…
    thanks for your honesty.

    I know for me… I stay too long simply b/c the pain of abandonment it overpoweringly painful for me. Primal sickening. deep… I am adopted and I think it may stem from some of that…

    so Id rather stay with some guy who accues me of nonsense… and calls me a rude bitch cuz I wont walk with him on the sidewalk after he verbally abused me and held me against a wall b/c I was at my office til 5:30 and not my usual five.
    Id rather put up with that…
    just to have his arm around me at night….

    God I am sick.
    and sad.

    I keep waking up in a panick that he is gone. I am covered in sweat…. and in such disbelief that the man who said just last week that he wanted to go to the courthouse.. that I was the love of his lfe…
    he is gone!!!!!
    oh my god… he just texted me help.



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  9. CatHas9Lives says:

    Hello kittylover…

    Yes, speaking as a recovering codependent, I know the pain of abandonment is extreme!! I feel it throughout my whole body, like a cruel fire.

    The foster care system, leaves one able in a way to put a wall up, but behind the wall is the pain. I think you may be right about the impact of a adoption!

    I’ll give you the advice I struggled hard to follow (and sometimes couldn’t follow)… can you hold off on replying to the text, and instead correspond on the site here, call a friend, pray/meditate, whatever helps you heal and stay strong?

    Hugs,
    CatH9L



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