Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Love Fraud: the book!

I got stuck watching the movie "Must Love Dogs" at a family function. It was fascinating, if for no other reason than to experience how a certain segment of the world experiences life. Or maybe not, maybe it's just a ridiculous older white woman fantasy about trying to find a "good man" in a world full of crazies, e.g. a philanderer and someone who dispenses with small talk on the first date. The film features Diane Lane saying things like "I slept with a man who isn't my husband, I guess that makes me promiscuous." Weeks later, I'm still wondering -- is this reality or fantasy? Maybe 50-something women really experience the world this way. But it is a Hollywood movie and knowing what I know of the world, I question its accuracy.

In a similar vein, Love Fraud founder Donna Andersen has written a 640-page book religiously chronically her marriage with someone whom she has diagnosed as a sociopath. I've been told that she's being featured on the premiere episode of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" on Investigation Discovery, a sister network of the Discovery Channel.
Premiering on Aug 25 at 10 pm ET, Who the Bleep is a series that features first-person tales of people who were married to scandalous spouses who turned out to be bank robbers, international spies, bigamists and more.
You can watch the trailer here.

Why do I say similar vein? Like the movie "Must Love Dogs," I just can't quite figure out whether your typical Love Fraud reader is delusional, principled, obsessed, wronged, out of touch, or on top of things. I think the position that Love Fraud people take on what happened to them can best be summed up by this passage:

This helps in part shed light on why people on the outside of some exploitative and abusive relationships generally blame the real victims, or express impatience by suggesting victims should just leave a bad relationship right away or should at least have known what someone else was doing behind their back.

But who can truly fathom the tangled webs sociopaths weave when they set out to deceive? Had the women Montgomery victimized known the truth about him before they got involved, surely they would have been in a better position to make different choices, more informed decisions. But they didn't know. They may have suspected something wrong, but short of doing full-fledged investigations, they generally had no direct access to proof when they needed it.

Okay. It's not an entirely far-fetched sounding version of events, but it is just so far outside of my own reality that I have a hard time seeing things their way. I'd much rather see people taking control/responsibility over what happened to them, like this:
Just as Andersen describes from her own personal growth journey, each of us can explore beliefs that potentially set us up for manipulation by others, whether due to feeling unloved or other unresolved issues from childhood. We can change our thinking and behaviors to focus more on our own well-being rather than expect to be rescued by a relationship or base hopes and dreams on fairy tales. We can learn to identify red flag behaviors in people who are toxic. We can change the way we react to others' attempts to guilt and shame us. We can learn to avoid being sucked into the drama that sociopaths are adept at creating.
I think at their best, support groups like Love Fraud should be trying to accomplish this real, lasting self-empowerment and healing. Instead, I wonder what percentage of these people get better. Do most actually "explore beliefs" that led them to what happened? Do they then apply what they learned through those explorations to fashion a better life for themselves? I would like to see some statistics on Love Fraud recidivism.

70 comments:

  1. I think at their best, support groups like Love Fraud should be trying to accomplish this real, lasting self-empowerment and healing.

    Agreed.

    Do most actually "explore beliefs" that led them to what happened?

    I’m guessing no. They are too busy blaming their evil ex’s for global warming, Hurricane Katrina and the inexplicable popularity of Jersey Shore.

    Do they then apply what they learned through those explorations to fashion a better life for themselves?

    See above reply.

    it is just so far outside of my own reality that I have a hard time seeing things their way.

    Exactly. Outside of being annoying, it’s also baffling. Like genuinely, I’m baffled. As always, I get the theory. They’ve been crushed, they’ve been disillusioned, their “soul mates” weren’t who they thought they were, blah, blah, blah. But the rest though, the obsessing, the moralizing, the woe-be-gone mindset, the “my ex is a sociopath and I have to talk about what he did forever and ever amen” attitude… I don’t get any of that. My theory is that beyond the initial disappointment, the support group/recovery thing they do after is a function of their self pity and their inchoate desire to build a new identity around their horrific heart break. They are “survivors” now. Typing that last sentence made me chuckle. It’s so cute, isn’t it?

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    1. I don't think it's cute. I don't know if you are showing sarcasm toward survivors of abuse or women in general. I assume you are not in an abusive relationship. It seems this issue is a hot button for you. I have known a couple of men and a few women have been abused; physically, emotionally, and spiritually by their partners. Until you have experienced it for yourself, you don't know; you can't.

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  3. Not necessarily. Living with a sociopath (whose self-aggrandizing nature needs to be natured by controlling his/her target through shaming, humiliating, isolating and abusing) leaves their targets in a disarrayed emotional state with low, if not non-existent, self-esteem. The transformation of a person before the toxic relationship and after could be stunning. To regain one’s previous self back, he/she needs firstly to identify the problem (through reading other people's similar experiences), break the isolation barrier set by a sociopath (through getting a sense of community, definitely sympathy and friendship, however virtual), and be able to get her/his story out without “repercussion” (as the fear of being punished or shamed is the strongest to break). Being able to share one’s life with others openly is, in the minds of the abused, a victory (especially over one’s fear) and revenge (especially considering that sociopath dread being exposed).

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  6. This is where we disagree. By saying that “one should … accept responsibility for whatever role they played in tandem with the sociopath,” the assumption is made that a target somehow was responsible. It is a false premise. Sociopaths choose their targets carefully. It is much easier to manipulate people with high moral standards (by imposing shame), or kind and compassionate (by playing a victim), intelligent, but not overly smart (to impose superiority). Surely you can blame victims for their naiveté, but should their virtue be of question in the first place? None of the recounted qualities is a fault in itself, and the only lesson that people who inadvertently become targets of sociopaths need to learn is to identify a sociopath and run away from such a person as fast and as far as they can, which is not an easy task. Reading other people’s similar recounts on support forums does just that, i.e. provides enough information to identify a sociopath and enough tips on how to break the bond. Rarely do people who once were targets of sociopaths, identified them and broke away from them find themselves in relationships with other sociopaths again. Sociopathic behavior is patterned, and once identified, is easily recognizable and predictable. The support groups serve this purpose quite well.

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  8. Oh, stuff it, Anon. Lovefrauders will attribute every flaw in their lives to their "sociopath" ex. The truth of the matter is that they're weak. I don't choose victims. I choose people, and they make victims of themselves.

    If everyone took Lovefraud advice at face value, they'd be running away from everyone. If the pattern is so easily discernible, why are they incapable of differentiating between sociopaths and run-of-the-mill douchebags?

    What these "victims" need is not some electronic shoulder to cry on, and they certainly don't need an echo chamber reinforcing their victim status.

    I may be the monster, but at least I don't spend everyday contributing to the culture of fear.

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  9. I agree with most of what is being said here. LoveFraud can be a good place to tell your story, get tons of support, and to hash out some devastating feelings. There are definite stages someone goes through after dealing with feeling victimized.

    My beef with sites like LoveFraud, however, is that they seem to keep people stuck in this stage of the healing process.

    I also agree with the statement that at some point you will need to accept responsibility for your role in being victimized. But only for your own part. We are all victims of life in a way. None of asked to be here. And some of us wouldn't have asked for the parents we got. However, if your parents were toxic, this will not necessarily register on the radar later in life when you choose your own partners.

    Instead, it ends up feeling familiar. So you learn from it & learn to spot the red flags from that point onward. If not, then you really can't consider yourself a victim.

    I completely support survivors. People who choose to empower themselves. People who have every right to claim victim, and yet rise above it & inspire those they touch. People like Viktor Frankl or Immaculee Ilibagiza.

    I also am curious to know how many people go on to change their lives and truly empower themselves. It is truly difficult to look at yourself realistically and consider how you may have contributed to your own pain. Even braver to move on and be happy, not making others responsible for your state of being.

    The best revenge, as it is said, is a life well lived.

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  10. Aerianne, you continue to look at this phenomenon as a relationship, which is a mistake. A union between a sociopath and his target is not a relationship. It cannot be a relationship for one very simple reason: sociopaths are not capable of “relating” to others in any applicable form. It is rarely people’s fault when they get caught in the sociopath’s web. In fact, these people generally represent the best of the human race as defined by the societal traditional norms (kind, compassionate, honest, hard working, loving, caring or another words, as was defined by PostModernSociopath above, “week”.) They are simply victims in the same sense as you would apply the word “victim” to a rape victim or a mug victim. Unless you are ready to justify a perpetrator by blaming his victim for being mugged on the fact that a victim's wallet/purse was too pretty or that he/she was giving the wrong kind of energy, you can’t blame a target of a sociopath for being just a good person, which is, in fact, his/her only fault. It has nothing to do with taking personal responsibility in or contributing energy to a relationship as it would apply to a normal couple. In fact, people who participate on such forums generally have already taken personal responsibility by breaking away from a “perpetrator. This is the only kind of relationship that is possible with a sociopath: a non-relationship. There is as much cure, energy, or reason in such relationships as it is in a relationship between an abductor and an “abductee.”

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  12. I have to agree with Aerianne.

    Almost without exception, every person who has been in a relationship with a sociopath will tell you that in retrospect they saw the red flags. Something didn't feel right, or their intuition was telling them something.

    If you've ever read the book "Blink" this makes perfect sense. The lesson here, then, is to learn to honor our instincts & those "funny" feelings we get when something is just not quite right.

    Trust me, though. Those of us who have encountered these people saw the red flags. Rarely is it some sort of blind sighted crash.

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  13. And no. Victims of sociopaths are not the same as victims of rape. Rape victims are physically held against their will.

    Just no...for so many different reason...

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  16. Aerianne, absolutely agree with you. For me, the most empowering phase of my personal development was when I let go of being a victim & acknowledged my own responsibility, my own actions. Talk about a hard pill to swallow. But that is true empowerment. I cannot control anyone else.

    But I can control me.

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  17. “If the pattern is so easily discernible, why are they incapable of differentiating between sociopaths and run-of-the-mill douchebags?” - PostmodernSociopath

    Because these are people who never met real sociopaths and mistaken some less fortunate trends (enforced, more often than not, by drug abuse and alcohol) of their “run-of-the-mill douchebags” for those similar ones of sociopaths. People who met real sociopaths and identified them as such, can easily identify behavioral patterns of their sociopathic partners in the future. In fact, aside from the intellectual capacity, the strength of responses, and some minor habitual variations due to the environmental conditions in which a sociopath was raised, sociopaths can well be of the same seed. That’s how similar their reaction is to different stimulators.
    “What these "victims" need is not some electronic shoulder to cry on, and they certainly don't need an echo chamber reinforcing their victim status.” - PostmodernSociopath

    What these “victims” need is to regain being “people,” and their road back indeed starts with a “shoulder to cry on and a chamber reinforcing their victim status. “ The fact of the matter is that sociopaths’ targets don’t consider themselves “victims” while under the influence of their “masters.” They often develop a Stockholm Syndrome. They tend to believe their abusers that it is all their fault, that it is them who did something wrong, provoked, brought it on themselves. It is extremely important for such people to come out and realize that the fact that they were continuously abused had nothing to do with them, and that they were indeed victimized. From this realization comes confidence, regaining self-esteem, and ability to look forward.

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  20. Anon:

    "They often develop a Stockholm Syndrome. They tend to believe their abusers that it is all their fault, that it is them who did something wrong, provoked, brought it on themselves."

    Okay, I do agree with this. However, there are phases. Yes, they are victims - absolutely. But if you stay stuck in this mentality, you are actually setting yourself up to become victimized again.

    Of course you cannot go from a devastating relationship to full blown empowerment overnight. Realize how you were victimized, take ownership of that. Once stronger, then begin the process of understanding what you did to make yourself vulnerable to this kind of abuse.

    I'm sorry, but sociopaths are not some sort of superhumans. If something is too good to be true, or doesn't seem right...then chances are it's not right. Sociopaths tend to be charming, but manipulative. They are NOT undetectable to others.

    If you focus on being a victim, you will continue to be a victim.

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  21. "If you focus on being a victim, you will continue to be a victim."

    My point, exactly.

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  22. Aerianne, Stocholm Syndrom is a medical term that is used outside of the “hostage situations” quite often, specifically in describing emotional “bonding” with abusers, such as Abused Children, Battered/Abused Women, Cult Members and Controlling/Intimidating Relationships.

    By saying that you “see choosing to interact in a relationship or union with a sociopath…,” you are assuming that a person who entered such a relationship was fully informed/aware of the abuse he/she was going to be submitted to. If this were true, then this is a different category of people, Aerianne. These are masochists who don’t need group supports, and in such, the case could be made that it is indeed a relationship made in heaven or hell.

    In reality, sociopaths are intelligent, charming creatures, who are extremely personable and capable of fooling his victims into relationships easily. They can be prince charmings of the 21st century, ideal matches, honest and honorable, perfect mates. Manipulation and deceit are the most treasured and mastered qualities of sociopaths, and unless you had a previous experience with such a person, you can be fooled easily. Their true character is generally not exposed right away either, and becomes more revealing over time depending on how submissive and dependent their victims become. The purpose of a sociopath is indeed to make his/her victim feel trapped so that they would never leave. It is not by any means a willing union. Many victims who finally realize their unfortunate situation and whose situation becomes unbearable enough so that they finally build up strength to leave are almost always threatened by their sociopathic partners with taking away their children, being physically harmed or financially stripped naked. (At the same time, they play victimhood themselves, calling for compassion, threatening to commit suicide and writing love notes, doing everything to stop their target from leaving them). To even assume that a person who continues staying with a sociopath who threatens to take their children away is in any way in a willing union or a relationship is unimaginable. This “union” was made originally under the false pretenses. It has nothing to do with “in sickness and health…” vows.

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  23. I haven't looked at lovefraud yet. I doubt I will because I don't want to get into a pattern of love sick websites. This one is enough for me and has helped me.

    This is a hot topic.

    The thing I realized about victimization is that it leaves me in the mode of it's not my fault and I didn't deserve that and to blame him will do nothing for me. For me, if I do that then I stand no chance of recovering and learning about myself in a way that will enhance my life. I didn't deserve it but I did put myself second and that's on me. I'm older than a lot of you people and I should have known better. Even though I’m pretty smart nothing could have prepared me for that except a strong sense of bullshit and a good amount of self worth. If he went after my girlfriend, she would have laughed in his face after the first date.

    What he did wrong is on him and of course he feels he did nothing wrong and he's fine...he's miserable really but that has nothing to do with the absence of me.

    A word about rape. Rape is a horrible thing to experience. I have never been through that so I don’t know how or why it’s used as a description here. I guess it maybe something like it but if we ask someone who has gone through that to relate to our situations they would laugh at us. He took things from me I had very little of in the first place…self worth for example. The most he took from me is money. I still may get that back..maybe.

    I'm not so angry at him these days. I miss the facade he put on though. It's funny cause now when I look at his picture on facebook..he's so ugly...and I'm way too pretty for him.

    Grace

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  24. "If you focus on being a victim, you will continue to be a victim."

    Who said anything otherwise? I'll reiterate: What these “victims” need is to regain being “people,” and their road back indeed starts with a “shoulder to cry on and a chamber reinforcing their victim status. “ ...so that they can finally move forward.

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  25. You keep misquoting me, and it's quite annoying.

    I said echo chamber. Not chamber. And you keep using that to suggest that they need to reinforce their victim status, but anyone with an ounce of personal fortitude will tell you that it's quite the opposite. If they want to be free, them must make themselves free.

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    1. I completely agree with your last sentence PostmodernSociopath. 'If they want to be free, they must make themselves free.' That's what I did. You mention in your comment regarding personal fortitude and I do get where you are coming from. Sometimes people get so enmeshed and lost in their relationships they don't know where they end and the other begins. I believe that people in abusive relationships tend to minimize, make excuses for, and blame themselves. I had just enough intestinal fortitude (personal) and a strong survival instinct. I admit that I was naive, gullible, kind, etc. I was weak, and that part of myself I hope I never see again.

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  27. Grace, my congratulations, but I can assure you that there are people who lost much more in their relationship with sociopaths and for whom the “rapist” comparison is not offensive. Let me defend this position. The comparison is valid indeed. The primary goal of a sociopath is control; the primary goal of a rapist is control. If the rape victim is physically held, the victim of a sociopath is psychologically as dependent. Not always rape victims are physically held either. The rape victims can be given a choice of being either more severely harmed (physical punishment or perhaps being fired from work, etc.) or submissive. The sociopath’s target can be given a choice of being more severely harmed (taken away children, “priviliges,” etc.) or submissive. In fact, one of the trends of a sociopath is insisting and sometimes tricking his partner on having unprotected sex against his partner’s objections, which in many people’s book is indeed one step away from having sex without content, that is, rape.

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  29. Aerianne, yes, I claim that the purpose of a sociopath is full control by making a person feel trapped so that they never leave. Control is as important as winning. In fact, winning means maintaining control. However, I don’t see it as a disagreement with your conclusion that “if a sociopath is not being fed, they will leave for greener pastures”. I also claim that the only way of not “feeding” a sociopath is stopping any communication with him and leaving him. Even then, if he moves elsewhere, as you said, he will still attempt to keep his control over his targets indefinitely, however little it is. It can be expressed by sending flowers, for example, or birthday cards in 10 years after the target leaves him/her even though he has never done it during the relationship; he may even attempt to become “friends” with a person he abused. Unfortunately, this advice may not be feasible for families with children where child custody is involved.

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  30. Anon, I think there is entirely too much credit given to the sociopath and too much focus on understanding yourself as a victim as means to recovering. Sure, it's a phase, but shouldn't it be a very transitory one?

    Viktor Frankl, who was a Jewish Holocoust survivor was a victim in every sense of the word. Much more so than any victim of a sociopath. As he was being starved, forced to endure hard labor, walk in freezing snow, had the knowledge his family was being killed off...he still CHOSE no to be a victim. It is this mentality - this perspective that offers empowerment. NOT focusing on how powerful the sociopath is, nor how victimized you may feel.

    Read his book. It is truly inspiring. "Man's Search for Meaning." All I am saying is that we could learn a little from a man who has survived much worse and who never considered himself a victim.

    "The last of human freedoms - the ability to chose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances." Viktor E. Frankl

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    1. A truly amazing book. Inspiring, tragic and enlightening. He was indeed, 'worthy of his suffering.'

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  31. PostmodernSociopath, “echo chamber,” of course, not just chamber. It changes everything surely. Let’s make it clear ones again. I am suggesting that a sociopath’s target who was harassed and abused for a period of time, who lost self-confidence, self-esteem and an ability to see the distinction between being rightfully punished and wrongfully abused needs to realize that it was not her/his fault, that he/she has done nothing to deserve such a treatment, that he/she was indeed abused, and that he/she didn’t bring it on herself/himself but was simply a victim of a vicious person. It has nothing to do with feeling self-pity for the rest of this person’s life, but it is the first step on the way to healing, in going back to self-realization, regaining self-confidence and moving forward with clear conscious. Please do not misconstrue my statements as to suggest that I am for indefinite self-pity.

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  32. Strident Voice for the Hapless Victim of Evil Sociopaths Everywhere(Anonymous #3,745,276):

    Try this paraphrase of your comments on for size -

    I am suggesting that a sociopath’s target, who allowed themselves to be harassed and abused for a period of time, who gave up self-confidence, self-esteem and an ability to see the distinction between being rightfully punished and wrongfully abused needs to realize that it was her/his fault, that he/she deserved such a treatment the moment they believed someone else was responsible for their happiness and wellbeing, that he/she made him/herself a available to be abused and that he/she brought it on herself/himself and therefore was by no means simply a passive victim of a vicious person.

    How does that grab ya love?

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  33. Liz, I read Viktor Frankl’s book. It is an incredible testimony of human spirit, evil and goodness and survival in general. It is also, if you remember, a testimony of how “unacceptable” becomes first tolerable and then acceptable over time. Do you remember when he describes his horror and shame looking at naked dead bodies being shoveled away when he first arrived to the concentration camp? Do you remember later when he described how the only place he felt safe and alone was among these dead bodies and that he felt nothing when looking at them, no compassion, no fear, no horror?
    In fact, we can make a parallel between a victim living with a sociopath who just a while ago couldn’t comprehend that such a treatment of her/him was possible or acceptable and now not only experiences such a treatment every day, but considers it her fault.
    However, I’m really not confident that the comparison of Frankl’s experience and our case is valid. Has Frankl ever thought that being in the concentration camp was somehow his fault? I doubt it. It is however, quite common with sociopath’s victims.
    I don’t disagree with anyone on this board saying that victimhood should not be a permanent state of mind, but it is extremely important as a first phase on the road of healing to get rid of false guilt and admitting to yourself and to the world that you were abused, and that you were indeed a victim. Without this step, you can’t move forward, you can’t break away from your abuser and you can’t start a new life.

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  34. I see, you seem to give your kind little credit here, love.
    I have to sign off. Good bye everyone.

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  35. You have a valid statement Anon. I don't want to compare my experience to someone else's. I too have had to go into therapy for this experience. My point is that it's much more productive to just work with myself and why I made the choice to get involved with him in the first place. I already know why he chose me. Even though he put on a masterful facade there was something in him that was very apparent and I was attracted to it. Very sick on my part. Wouldn’t you agree that some of us, for various reasons, seek out trouble? Now remember I’m not talking about rape

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  36. above from Grace

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  37. Wouldn’t you agree that some of us, for various reasons, seek out trouble?

    YES. I love trouble.

    The truth of the matter is that they're weak. I don't choose victims. I choose people, and they make victims of themselves.

    I'm getting tired of this "they're weak" argument. It's glib and self-aggrandizing when you don't back that statement up. Define "weak" and you likely get different answers from different people. Sociopaths think emotions are weak, empaths think being an emotionless criminal drug addict is weak (not that all socios are, just making a point). Because for many it's a defense mechanism formed in childhood. "What's more weak than that," someone might say. "Can't even handle your own emotions?"

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  38. Strident One said, "I see, you seem to give your kind little credit here, love."

    ;-)

    It's not about credit. It's most certainly not about my kind, whoever they are. I really do want to hear your answer to my last question. How did my rephrase grab ya? What did you think and more importantly, what did you feel?

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  40. Anon:

    Yes, agreeing with you that understanding being abused is not the victim's fault. An important step & understanding how you were victimized.

    Perhaps Frankl likely did not think he was at fault. Neither did I, being raped at knife point at 18 years old. So, yes, in that sense this step was easier for me to process than it was when I was victimized by my socio ex.

    But unlike healing from an actual rape, my relationship issues led me down a path of figuring out where I was contributing to my own pain. Hashing out what belonged to me & what belonged to the sociopath was a vital step in empowering myself.

    For example...as you eloquently described circumstances that you once would find intolerable, you now accept. Once I accept abhorrent behavior (such as openly cheating, withdrawing more funds from my savings, etc.)...and then come to perceive that this is normal & that I am somehow causing this misfortune on myself - is an error in my own judgment. Once I can truly accept responsibility for it, understand why it happened, why I needed to deceive myself, then I can make the choice to not accept the unacceptable ever again.

    This, in my experience, has been the crucial turning point in empowerment and self confidence.

    Had I not made this step, I really think I would have left myself vulnerable to making the same mistakes again.

    From reading your comments, I may be mistakingly assuming that you are saying that victims of socio's have zero responsibility for their involvement and actions & that they are pure victims. Case closed.

    I think this is a dangerous perspective to take. I am simply suggesting that from victim, we move toward accountability, and finally empowerment toward health.

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  41. ^^^Bravo BizyLady! Very well put.

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  42. I agree that there needs to be accountability on the part of the "victim". Are we really victims of a socio or victim to our own stupidity and naiveties? When I first got involved with my socio-ex every fibre of my body was screaming at me to get away but I didn't listen. Why? Because I wanted to live in a world of bullshit fantasy where he was my prince charming. As previous posters have said, if something is to good to be true it likely is. I recognized this on an intellectual level but by that point he had his claws to firmly entrenched in me and I found it almost impossible to break away from him on an emotional level. It got to the point where it was like a drug and I had to wean myself slowly off of him to avoid serious "withdrawal". I didn't control my emotions (he did fuck with them though)and my power was up for the taking. Unfortunately, now I'm bent on destruction and am trying to curb my own impulses of ruin.

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  43. Sorry, my former comment was addressed to the Anonymous posting @ 4:42, who read Viktor Frankl's book.

    As for Anon at 6:21 above...I feel for you, I really do. I've learned that my own fantasies were my most destructive force. It was what my socio used against me. I don't live in my fantasies anymore. I actually wrote down all my hopes and dreams and fantasies of having a wonderful husband, a family, the beautiful home and green backyard with the swingsets, etc....and folded it up & burned it. It was my ceremonial way of saying goodbye to the dreams that tugged at my heart. A memorial that I buried. It lived a long and prosperous life of twenty-something years, much to my own detriment.

    Now I live in reality. Single mother to a beautiful little girl, whose father is my socio-ex. Instead of dwelling on my former fantasies, I focus on the here and now. The things that I am grateful for. It broke my heart to let the dreams go, but it would have killed me to hold on to them.

    I wish you an eventual peaceful reality, my friend.

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  45. Anon 6:21

    Were we with the same guy? I know how you feel.

    He left the relationship cold turkey. One day in love the next gone. Today I realize that was the best thing for me though.

    Grace

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  46. I used to read that blog as I had been put through the mill by some sociopath female and after a while I came to the conclusion that a lot of the Lovefraud regulars are just men haters or do not want to get over it. They were the Sociopath Victim badge like medal.

    I got over my sociopath ex when I stopped looking at these recovery groups and when out and fucked a load of women. I am at the stage now where I do not think about her anymore. What's done is done. I want nothing to do with her and that's the end of it. Moved on etc. That's like heresey on Lovefraud.

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    1. Men-haters; meh. It's real hard to not categorize a whole gender by my own experiences. My choices, bad ones. I don't hate men, I'm scared of them. I was not able to have a healthy relationship because I was not healthy. Yes, there are women who abuse their mates and it's ugly and damaging to the mate. I don't need to go fuck a load of men to get over my sociopath ex. That would just invite more derogatory name calling. I realized how nice it is to be able to breathe normally, have a gut that doesn't feel like shards of glass are inside, and the freedom to come and go as I please. That was all it took to get over my ex, with whom we did not have a relationship in the first place. I overcame and am not a victim.

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  47. Anonymous, you've been having me laugh so hard I almost shat myself. Arienne and bizy are smarter than I thought. However, anon, you are as sharp as a tennis ball. How far down the road did he take you, I wonder. Stockholm Syndrome? Rape? Did he destroy you inside so much that you compare your trauma to people who have endured such things? In your mind you place yourself with such victims, but in reality you are nothing compared to them. At least they fought getting fucked while you just opened your legs. You're no victim. You're just a fool.

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  48. Ukan Beasociopath. For sure!! That's cold UK. But I see the point your making anyway.

    Grace.

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  49. ^Grace, nobody says this kind of stuff better than Ukan! He takes it to a whole other, and often hilarious, level.

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  50. Sadly, most people enjoy perpetuating their own bitterness and resentment instead of moving on and enjoying their lives.

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  51. After I was left by a sociopath, I found the LoveFraud website and others like it.
    But then I found this one. Guess which one helped me more?
    LoveFraud allowed to me drown in my sorrows, complain, and rip on my ex for all the ways he'd "destroyed" me and talk about him as though he was not a human.
    But this site has taught me more. Instead of playing on my emotions and heartbreak (which are never guaranteed to leave) I was reminded that he still lives and has a brain. He's still a person, just making different mistakes. We aren't right to be together-- I can't love him the way he needs-- but LoveFraud never taught me that. I finally got an insight into his mind and thought processes.
    Just some thoughts :-)

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  52. That's why I don't want to go on there because I don't need to be in self pity...that's what I would experience. I respect other people's avenues of help though.

    Grace

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  53. I have not been on that website in particular, but a lot of other websites really helped me
    1. to learn that there is such a thing as sociopathy and to learn that what I experienced was normal. I was not going crazy, the world has not suddenly changed, just the person I was with ran by totally different rules and mechanisms than me.
    and
    2. to get the emotional support i needed to recover.
    I can say I was really crushed by him just because I totally ignorantly went upon trying to follow all relationship advice about honesty, conversation, no game etc. After I could finally break away I needed all the help and support I could get - I am an extremely outgoing and extroverted person and for me it is a MUST to share my problems in order to overcome them and make sense out of them.

    So God bless the internet, all the websites of sociopaths, of victims of sociopaths and the websites/books etc about sociopaths.

    Sociopaths are very dangerous for empaths and neurotypical people ONLY if you dont know there is such a phenomena and you dont know what to expect.
    I can tell you from the very beginning I sensed that this person will bring something bad to me, that there is something not normal about him, but all my logic and reason and my friends told me otherwise.
    So yes, an empath can always sense a socio! there is something always off, the only reaction that is genuine in a socio is when u hurt him. But if the empath is not at all aware that there is such a phenomenon as a sociopath she might not listen at all to her intuition and grasp the extent to which his mechanisms are different than hers.


    Furthermore, these websites provide extremely valuable insight on how to DEAL with sociopaths - to avoid them, to set boundaries, to not show emotions, to not indulge them and play their game.


    If there was not Internet I would probably be extremely lost and confused right now to what had happened and why and probably in pain. Instead I am quite calm, well instructed and back to normal. So, yes, these websites are extremely useful, dont bash on them. We all have to learn to live together and acquire skills of coping with each other and they help that.

    Sociopaths always take on too much responsibility- they think it should only depend on them to make things work with empaths. This is good when you want to have a preditor relationship, but when you want to have a long lasting relationship, this is counter productive. If both sides adapt, it would be much easier, even though, of course, for the socio it is much easier to adapt.

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  54. I disagree that sites like Love Fraud don't help victims move on. And don't for one second try to tell me they are NOT victims.
    They offer tests that victims can take to identify WHY they were taregted. Being a "nice" person who wants to believe the best in everyone is NOT a flaw we can pick apart, but it IS one that sociapaths look for. Once that innocence is removed the victims "gets" it and rarely is taken in again. Trust me once a victim "gets" it they are on the look out.
    Perhaps sociapaths should look for each other to "hook up" with and then you will be on equal ground.

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  55. What, this test?

    Once that innocence is removed the victims "gets" it and rarely is taken in again. Trust me once a victim "gets" it they are on the look out.

    You lost my attention at "trust me". If we're going to use unverifiable anecdotal evidence, I can provide just as many counterexamples as you can provide examples.

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  56. Too bad because you missed the "once the victim gets it they are on the lookout" part.
    Not all do, and that is what the sociapath preys on and why they so often return to old victims when they have nothing "new" to work on.
    They "test" the waters of old victims like a fisherman checks old fishing holes.

    And that is not anecdotal- that is reality.

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  57. That's all I was looking for... a full representation of the "victim" population. You made it sound as if they all go on red alert, and that's simply not true. Well corrected.

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  58. i like anons comment "Living with a sociopath (whose self-aggrandizing nature needs to be natured by controlling his/her target through shaming, humiliating, isolating and abusing) leaves their targets in a disarrayed emotional state with low, if not non-existent, self-esteem".

    i think we can all say we have been in a bad relationship at one time or another, but a bad relationship with a bad sociopath is like being made of lego and the sociopath makes sure the model is completely smashed before moving on.

    i guess most people strive to understand when a relationship goes bad, understanding can be a key factor in moving on. after my experience, i relaise now there can be no understanding, there is nothing to understand - that realisation is helpful.

    most personality traits are expressed in degrees and im guessing that some sociopaths are worse than others. one end of the scale being an apathy towards others, the other end being a clinical observation of others emotions and a twisted approach to experimentation with those emotions for ones own amusement.

    can anyone explain this ritualistic dissection of others psyches? is it amusing? this i dont understand... once the sociopath is bored, dont they simply just move on? what would trigger an all out campaign to destroy another, would that not be contrary to a sociopaths true nature? just curious.

    i find this website totally facinating =)

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  59. oh and to the first poster daniel birdick...

    i know what you mean about websites dedicated to exploring the "pain" of betrayal (love fraud etc). i dont believe this is helpful either. but there does have to be some way for the victim (i hate that word too!)to reconcile the events that led them to the emotional ruin.

    i am an HSP (i really hate labels btw lol), we represent about 25% of the population, im not sure about sociopaths. im guessing that we all come under a spectrum of normal to a degree. both traits have their pros and cons. but one thing that will never sit well with me, whatever your personality type. treating others with contempt and outright lack of respect, is not ok. people will get upset, and will react - that is a fact. and its not a very cute thing to have to sellotape yourself back together because some dickwad without a conscience decided to rip you to pieces because they were bored....

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  60. catydid said, oh and to the first poster daniel birdick...but there does have to be some way for the victim (i hate that word too!)to reconcile the events that led them to the emotional ruin.

    Agreed. It’s called therapy. Or journaling. Or just reverse engineering what happened to see their part in it, own their part in it, and vow never to repeat the same mistakes.

    but one thing that will never sit well with me, whatever your personality type. treating others with contempt and outright lack of respect, is not ok.

    I hear ya sister!~ And it just doesn’t matter what you or I like or don’t like. Reality is what it is. People, of all stripes, are what they are and they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do, with or without our permission. People can either accept, learn and even profit from this state of affairs or they can make a fetish of their faux victimhood the way the fraud broads do over at LF. (Or if they’re really enterprising, they can turn their victim story into a cottage industry the way Donna Andersen has.)

    We all have a choice in how we respond to the vicissitudes of life, no matter what we tell ourselves.

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  62. daniel...in my story, understanding the personality type of the man i have been dealing with, has played a huge part in my letting go. I realised that we are different, diametrically opposed in all aspects of our approach to personal relationships. If we can take a step back from that (which I now have), and stop demonising eachother for who we intrinsicaly are the archetypal roles we have assumed will no longer apply (aggressor/victim, black/white, good/bad, wolf/sheep).

    Compartmentalisiation. Have you heard of this term? A lot of people refer to it as denial (simplistic). New research has shown that it can be quite useful to deal with emotional trauma. Instead of recycling our psycho dramas, which means that we never move on from the model we have created for ourselves, i.e. "the poor victim whom has been destroyed by the evil person". I gave up on therapy a long time ago. It was a great way to obtain an emotional tool-kit for life, but after that, the constant re-hashing over painful life stories proved more damaging than anything else - I got stuck. Somethings we may never understand, that is life.

    Being an highly intellectual person as well as an HSP (highly sensitive person) has been an interesting journey for me. I can be quite clinical about emotional stuff when I want. If I am truly honest my "projection" onto others regarding my emotions, could be construed as game playing in its own right. Not being able to accept anothers modus operendai in opposition to my own and wanting others to "understand me", or "see what I mean", shows a form of self-centeredness that is not exclusive to socios.

    After reading this website - some of it is quite chilling btw. I am begining to see that I have some sociopathic traits, which is in direct opposition with my sensitive nature. I am facinated to have this new insight steeped in logic, which gives me freedom from emotional turnmoil which i can only explain as a feeling of which one has no cotrol over - which is why you see so many wallowing broken hearts on love fraud etc - they literally cant stop it, it manifests in such a physical way and no matter how hard they try, they cant rationalise themselves out of it. I guess I am lucky to have a cool logic as well as a bleeding heart. This site has changed my whole perception on humans in general.

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  65. Even after finding out i was a sociopath, a few girls were even more interested in making me happy i guess its what i get for a job well done.

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