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By September 24, 2014 7 Comments Read More →

Blame the victim, again

Spath TalesEditor’s Note: This SPATH tale was submitted by the Lovefraud reader who goes by the name “Sisyphus Unchained.”

He was handsome; he was charming; he had an incredible zest for life.  But more importantly he was manipulative, deceitful and dangerous.

In 2007 I met a man with whom I thought I shared interests: educational/community development projects in Southern Africa. He portrayed himself as the founder of a South African-based charitable project focused on the needs of orphaned/disadvantaged youths in the townships of Johannesburg (which much later, once I investigated further, all turned out to be non-existent).

Over the course of the next four years he skillfully interspersed his requests for funding his “charitable” works with requests for assistance with personal expenses (medical, household, family emergencies, business opportunities, and more).

All told, I was “persuaded” to “help” him to the tune of over $150,000 (and that is exactly how he framed his requests: “Please help me.” “I am a poor, black man struggling to make it in America.” “Helping me will make you feel good about yourself.”

As is typical with so many sociopaths, he used a combination of psychological, emotional, physical and financial abuse to control me, to “gaslight” me into believing that he was the only person who truly cared about me.

And while there were times when I suspected, or even knew, that he was manipulating me, I felt powerless to extricate myself from the situation, for to do so meant I had to come face-to-face with the fact that I had been conned.

No sooner would I confront him about his insensitivity, his callousness, his insatiable need for money and sex, than he would ratchet up his charm and (feigned) attentiveness and I would find myself swept back into the vortex.

Most frightening is that when I became aware of other women on whom he was perpetrating the same fraud. I tried to warn them only to be rebuffed, labeled as crazy, ostracized, and even prosecuted as his “stalker” when I made public the information I had gathered about his activities (yes, the authorities went after me for exposing this man’s outrageous behavior).

My attempts to interest law enforcement in the illicit activities of this man were met with skepticism if not outright hostility: the “you got what you deserved” analysis, the “you could have said no” or “why didn’t you leave” assessment, the “you’re just looking for excuses” catchall.

Over the past week I have heard the very same simplistic narrative applied to the Ray Rice scandal — “it’s not about what HE did, it’s about what SHE did not do.”

Blame the victim, again.

In an effort to come to terms with the chaos this man inflicted on my life I sought mental health counseling.  My therapist confirmed what I already had figured out:  I was one of the unlucky ones whose life intersected with that of a sociopath.

Just hearing those words, “It’s not you, it’s him” made it a bit easier to still the voices in my head, to begin to let go of the guilt and the shame that my “foolishness” had engendered.

And while I still bear the scars of those dark days and occasionally experience flashbacks, I’ve taken back my life and am trying to use what I learned to help others.

 



7 Comments on "Blame the victim, again"

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  1. Sisyphys Unchained – I was actually able to get the FBI to investigate my ex – but then the U.S. Attorney “declined to prosecute.” Then they sent me a letter explaining my “misunderstandings” of the prosecutor’s role. I was furious.



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    • aintgonnatakeitnomore says:

      the discretion allowed some key govt officials is maddening. homeschoolers have dealt with this for decades. it’s hard to get relief from a deaf govt.
      im sure u’ve moved beyond this now emotionally, but it would be nice to smooth the path u’ve pioneered, wouldn’t it?



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    • sykntyrd says:

      Donna:
      I’m actually surprised the FBI stepped in and not the least bit surprised the US Atty refused to press charges. To no avail, I spent five LONG years trying to acquire assistance from state and federal law enforcement agencies and our alleged “Just Us” system. Coincidentally, every individual I contacted (ad infinitum), and who subsequently refused to assist me, also took an oath to uphold our Consitution and our laws. I have one option remaining. I intend to file a Writ of Superintending Control with the Michigan Supreme Court requesting the Court reveiw the ridiculous ruling of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, JTC, wherein the JTC asserted the Commission “lacked jurisdiction” to investigate my factual allegations of blatant aand ongoing judicial misconduct by a Michigan State Circuit Court judge (which I backed up with offical court transcripts and videos). When I contacted the JTC’s investigating attorney, he informed me the terms “lacks Jurisdiction” and “no misconduct” were synonymous. I called a second time to re-question the attorney. Before the admin assistant tranferred me to his phone, she informed me the letter I received from the JTC asserting the Commission “lacked jurisdiction” to investigate the judge was no longer in my file. Shocking, I know. LMAO. Nothing will change in this country until our nation’s law enforcement and justice systems acknowledge that tagets/victims of anti-social individuals suffer major life-altering consequences. Based on my experience with our nation’s law enforcement and justice systems, I believe Robert Hare’s assertion is fact – – many individuals holding positions of power and authority also suffer from serious personality disorders. LEGAL/EMOTIONAL ABUSE = POWER OVER AND CONTROL = DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! In my case, the abuse was court-sanctioned and court-enabled. Our legislators need to enact a Civil Gideon law to provide free legal counsel to indigent victims of pyscho/sociopaths. Most victims know from experience that when the abuse is allegedly “over”, they are penniless and unable to retain effective representation of counsel. This has to change! Victims, write to your US Congressmen and women and tell them your stories. If for no other reason, we will jam their offices with lengthy stories of legalized abuse.



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  2. Escapefor1 says:

    In my experience, the FBI and state AG will get involved if the psychopath perpetrates a business or financial fraud, rather than domestic abuse even if financial abuse; and the amount lost is very high. So most individual cases of loss, even from a business or con, is much too small. From what I saw, damages have to be in the many millions and affect many people. The good news is that in those cases sometimes racketeering charges are brought in addition to the fraud.



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  3. WildFree says:

    the “blame the victim” mentality is so discouraging. i knew to expect it, but it doesn’t make it any easier to take. i’ve gotten very reticent to talk about my experiences with anyone without personal experience with DV/abuses because they really don’t “get” the emotional trap. i “tone” my story to blame his financial abuses as the reason why i didn’t leave. they are definitely a big part of why i didn’t leave, but they don’t explain why i went back–twice. i’ve had people look me in the eye and say “you must have liked it” with contempt. and the truth is, before this happened to me, i thought the same way–maybe not “you must have liked it” but i didn’t understand why anyone would ever let anyone abuse them, as an adult. boy, was i schooled and how so. i still have to deal with a lot of my own anger, both at him and at myself. but i remember those first traumatized moments and knowing what i should do, what i needed to do, and being unable to make myself act on the knowledge. and the intense shame and humiliation of having been abused. honestly if it weren’t for the DV hotline i probably never would have told anyone, and god knows what would have become of me. figuring out he really was a psychopath, not just some misunderstood traumatized individual, was a real eye-opener.

    i say all this because we all need support. it helped me so much to know i wasn’t alone, to understand the mechanisms of narcisstic abuse as well as physical abuse, to understand what i was dealing with was not human. to hear so many stories that were so similar to mine it was uncanny. that the tactics used were the same. we all need to know we didn’t stay because we had low self-worth, or because we are crazy, or because we deserved it. we didn’t let ourselves be exploited because we were stupid, or weak, and certainly not because we wanted it. our brains were literally hacked by the most pernicious, sadistic, unrecognizable alien intentions. our whole biochemical system, our neurotransmitters, our neural networks, our emotional vulnerabilities were hijacked, conditioned, robbed. and it can happen to ANYONE who isn’t a robot.

    anyway. the failure of law to recognize these patterns is incredibly frustrating. the economic damage he did to me is harder to recover from, materially, than the physical damage, although maybe not the emotional damage. and i have no recourse, legally. i can’t really call my creditors and say please understand, i was being held hostage physically and financially. in the end this was literally true, but it all started with the brain-hack.



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  4. aintgonnatakeitnomore says:

    he owes me thousands and thousands besides child support. worth every cent to have him gone. try to remember that as you possibly live in poverty, trying to pay off the debt. my credit will never recover and i will prob never repay all the money.
    Worth It.



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