Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from “Starmom.”
Many people have had opinions, but no one’s been able to address the origin: Something caused my daughter to change, virtually overnight — what could the guy have done to her?
Ten years ago, I made a mistake. Relatively new to an area where I didn’t know anyone very well, I accepted “a ride home” from someone I didn’t know. Refusing to take me home, and keeping me out, I was forcibly kept awake for what came to be at least two and a half days and nights straight — after which my mind blacked out from exhaustion and I don’t know what happened.
During this period of time, I informed this guy (47 years old) that I “have no interest in dating anyone, and do not want a relationship.” His reply: “No, you’re just not ready— but we’re in one now!” As to me this guy was a total stranger, I assumed if I were to get home that would be the end of it, that I’d never have to see him again. It wasn’t til months later he admitted he’d been stalking me for nearly a year- watching, observing, following, and researching me; so I brushed it off when he said ‘the Bible says’ women cannot be the heads of their households — that any guy can simply walk in and take over. He made another remark that really bothered me: “The only way I can get kids is to marry somebody who already has them.”
Although I’d told him I was not interested, he approached my 16-year-old daughter and asked her “What kind of stepfather do you think I’d make?” He then began showing up at my door when she was at work, saying he’d been telling her all kinds of crazy untrue things. I told her “When some middle-ager starts buddying up to teenagers, it’s never for a good reason.” Evidently hearing about this, he showed up again and sneered “Your daughter does not trust you anymore.”
As soon as she met him, she changed. She went from a girl who was super-intelligent, stunningly beautiful, social, and close to both members of her family, to being hostile, angry, suspicious, aggressive, and immediately assumed the position that anyone who disliked this guy was the enemy. Her entire personality, attitudes, behaviors, etc., changed so quickly and radically that a neighbor noticed it and when she started a new school term the principal and social worker called me in saying they didn’t even recognize her as the girl who had left for a brief summer vacation only a couple of months earlier.
The good relationship I’d had with her ceased to exist entirely. I later learned there were often instances where I as her sole parent should have been, but he had shown up in my place. In other words, he was attempting to claim my role in my family.
His initial threat was if I were to take legal action against him, she’d vanish into some other state and I’d never see her again. Considering her strange behavior, I believed this was true. Onto this threat he added the threat that if I caused any trouble for him he’d have her accuse me of child abuse. An additional threat: “One of your kids will end up dead.”
His scam: claiming I was mentally unbalanced, and thus unable to be parent to my own child. The way he presented this scam: claiming we were ‘in a relationship,’ but that I was ‘so messed up from my past’ that I ‘couldn’t make a full commitment to him.’ But while my daughter has never known how he got into our lives in the first place, it seems almost impossible that she believes there’s anything wrong with my mind. I mean by that point she’d lived with me for sixteen years! So the question remains: what could he have done or said that caused her to doubt and mistrust me, along with all those other changes? It doesn’t seem possible that simply approaching her at work and telling her lies to scare her could have caused this.
Until last year, I saw her occasionally, always on a very surface, non-controversial level. It has only become worse — I haven’t even seen her since last June; and her brother (my son) said she cut off contact with him around the same time. From the beginning, anyone who disapproved of the guy was excluded from her life, but now she’s gotten rid of her family too. The gifts I bought for her for last Christmas and her birthday earlier this year are still sitting here.
Donna Andersen comments
This guy is acting like a cult leader. Cult leaders are sociopaths on steroids.
I exchanged several emails with Starmom. The more she told me about the behavior of this man, and of her daughter, the more it was apparent that he had employed mind control to take over the girl’s personality.
As Steve Hassan says in his book, Combatting Cult Mind Control, it is possible for a skilled cult leader to gain control of a target’s mind very, very quickly, and that’s exactly what this guy did.
Ten years have passed, and Starmom’s daughter, now a young woman, is still under his control. It is very, very sad.