redflagforest600_775 Ilustrations by Laura Lee

redflagforest600_775 Ilustrations by Laura Lee(This post was inspired by Dr. Malkin’s latest article on Huffington Post: 5 Early Warning Signs You’re With a Narcissist)

The 5 Early Warning Signs You’re With a Narcissist/Sociopath

  • Projected Feelings of Insecurity
  • Emotion-phobia
  • A Fragmented Family Story
  • Idol Worship
  • A High Need for Control

I appreciate Dr. Malkin’s thoroughness and insight in providing his list, but I wonder what he means by early? How many of the five behaviors did you miss as red flags of your narcissistic sociopath partner? How early did you start realizing that these behaviors were indicative of evil and pathology?

I can check, double check, triple check (you get the idea) each of them as behaviors I observed early in the relationship, but at the time, I glossed over them as being nothing more than signs that the sociopath lived a sad and pathetic life before me.

Why did I gloss over them in such a way like so many others who came before and after me?

Well, unfortunately, because the love-bombing phase/idolization phase coincided with my first peak at these behaviors, I did not recognize them as warnings. I simply viewed these “signs” as nothing more than simple flaws in the sociopath’s makeup. These flawed behaviors made me pity the sociopath and empathize with his position and misfortune. My interpretation of the behaviors as flaws allowed the sociopath to be humanized in my eyes, exactly what he intended.

(No wonder we didn’t jump ship when we first experienced them! We’re a bunch of suckers who wanted to help the losers escape their past and live a better life. Pfft! We know better now, huh?)

It wasn’t until about 8 months to a year into the toxic relationship (when the sociopath began his devaluing, blame and shame phase) that I looked back and shook my head at myself for being so blind. The five signs finally became the warnings that propelled me into sadness and depression but later lifted me out of the darkness and back to my sanity.

You see, even if we had this list in front of us when the relationship began, none of us would have been able to see them as warnings. None of us would have given up on the sociopath and abandoned the relationship so quickly. It’s not our nature to dismiss people due to a few flaws.

We still would have tried to understand why the sociopath was so negative and harsh and rage full and controlling. We still would have sacrificed our own souls to fix his.

Looking back at how we interpreted and reacted to these behaviors of the sociopath will help us finally understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with us. It’s the nature of good people to nurture and help others.

On the other side of the toxic and pathological relationship, we now realize that some people don’t deserve our help, especially those who demand and insist we give up our lives to feed theirs.

Below are my reflections on how I interpreted these early behaviors, not as red flags to run fast in the opposite direction, but as green lights to help nurture the sociopath and infuse his life with love and light.

1) Projected Feelings of Insecurity

The sociopath in my story never attended college, not even a community college course. Nada. Nothing. He blames his mother for his lack of formal education. Somehow it was her fault that he never motivated his own lazy brain to find a passion and interest and learn about it.

To me, education means many things. I know and admire many autodidacts who are some of the brightest people I have ever met. But I have also worked alongside those with PhDs who are just as impressive. Having a diploma or certificate to hang and display does not equal intelligence, in my opinion.

However, I love school. Always have. Meeting people and sharing ideas in a classroom or on a message board has a certain appeal for me. Just before beginning the relationship with the sociopath, I earned a master’s degree in communication and adult education. I am very proud of myself, but I am not one to go around announcing my credentials (unlike I just did) so I never thought to mention my degrees to the sociopath when the relationship first began.

He didn’t learn that I had a master’s degree until a few months into the relationship. He overheard me talking to someone at a backyard BBQ about my experience writing my thesis.

The sociopath’s eyeballs nearly flew out of their sockets! He immediately interjected himself into our conversation. It seemed he was impressed, but then he made certain to tell us that he believed formal education was over-rated and that his real-world experiences were just as valuable.

Hmmm? I thought to myself, “Of course, our real-world experiences are very valuable. I have many of those, too. Is he that insecure that he needs to point this out to me?”

I didn’t know how to respond, other than, “Yes, I know many people who don’t have a college education who are probably some of the smartest people I know.”

(FYI – I do not and never have included the sociopath among those brilliant, non-degree holding folks I highly revere.)

Maybe he recognized that he had an empty skill set even with his real-world experiences and just wanted to dismiss my accomplishments in an under-handed way to make me feel insecure, too.

Oh, well. It didn’t work. I know I’ve got skills. Real-world skills and academicly-honed skills. I love my skills, and I love my student loan payments about as much as I love school! Hehe!

2) Emotion-phobia

The sociopath got very nervous around me if I cried, like he was uncomfortable and had never seen a woman cry before. I cried because I missed my son. I always missed my son. The sociopath didn’t understand why I missed my son.

He would say things like, “It’s only two days without him. Can’t you just be happy being here with me? Don’t you love me?”

(See how it always goes back to them? Because I loved and missed my son, I somehow didn’t love or respect him. I didn’t provide him with enough narcissistic supply, I guess.)

So, I tried talking to him about love and mothers. Unfortunately, he had a shitty mother as a model, but she was his model. I respected the model. But I did not agree with the model.

The only emotion he did show, however, was his rage and a few tears over the thought of losing his Shih-Tzu. He didn’t fear losing his dog because he’s an animal lover or humanitarian. Oh, no! He feared losing that dog because that dog was the one and only living thing he could control and use to control others. He couldn’t bear being stripped of his most valuable tool.

(And if he ever has children, they will serve him just as the Shih-Tzu has served him.)

3) A Fragmented Family Story

I have a colorful and memorable childhood. It definitely wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies, but I loved my childhood.

The sociopath claimed to love his childhood, too.

Based on the fragments of a life the sociopath shared with me, I tried piecing together the sociopath’s childhood in the early pages of my book. The history he shared with me was not seamless, not even close. Nothing he explained ever added up using any logic I could understand.

(Maybe because he was never told the truth about why they moved around so much? Could be.)

But, in the words of the sociopath, his childhood was one of privilege and freedom.

Nope! I didn’t believe it! Why? Because I did’t see it. There were no pictures documenting this “fairytale” life he claimed to have lived – Oh, those pictures are in our other house, he’d claim. And there were no shared family stories about this once idyllic life. Not once did he and his brother or parents share a story from childhood. (You know.. the ones where everyone who remembers starts laughing and feeling nostalgic.) None!

And if his childhood had been happy with his family, his adulthood would have been indicative of that happiness, too. It wasn’t. He never hugged his parents or brother and never told them he loved them. They didn’t bother telling him he was loved, either. So sad. Not evolved as he liked to claim. Just sad.

I always pitied him. I felt his family was filled with dysfunction because a family is only as dysfunctional as the secrets they keep. And his family has many, many hidden secrets.

The brief and vague glimpses the sociopath shared with me were all a pack of lies told by a sad and injured boy who desperately wished to have lived a happy childhood. I refused to give him mine or my son’s.

4) Idol Worship

It’s one thing to admire another person. It’s a whole different thing to idolize someone, especially people you have never met before. Again, another source of pity for the sociopath that blinded me to his innate evil.

Not only did he worship me in the beginning and then tear me down once he realized I wasn’t the perfect image he had conjured, he idolized dead rockstars, too.

(And because they’re dead, they can’t tell you the truth behind their masks, either. Read my book for more on that part of his sickness. It’s a doozy of a story! Hehe!)

5) A High Need for Control

When I see someone who desperately wants to control every part of their life from the way laundry is to be done to the way a person should love them, I am saddened for that person. How sad to feel so insecure and out-of-control that you demand respect and order from others for no other reason than the fact you want to be a raving dictator.

I don’t think this one needs any explanation. Control is the middle name of all sociopaths!

In closing, I just want to repeat: these behaviors made us feel sorry for these fools. These behaviors tricked us into giving a shit about a person who doesn’t deserve our love, respect and care.

If I felt that these warning signs could liberate and open the eyes of his current girlfriend, I’d send them to her today. But they won’t. Because, like the rest of us, she must live the shit in order to believe in the shit. And the shit is evil. She’ll see it soon enough.

Namaste! ~ Paula

(image source: Pinterest via cuded.com.)

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Join the conversation! 27 Comments

  1. I do trust all the ideas you have offered to your post.
    They’re really convincing and can definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for novices.
    May you please lengthen them a bit from next time?

    Thank you for the post.

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  2. OH MY, it’s been 7 years for me, seven years of a living hell and I was so in love and so understanding that it blinded me from what my partner actually was.
    I had made notes on my calendar throughout the years every time something happened, and only until now have I understood what I was going through. It’s a very sad situation when you realize you have wasted years of your life and have shed so many tears & depression over a person who basically just uses you & manipulates your heart, your mind and your life – for nothing but the fact that they have no conscience and they truly do have a psychological problem they cannot fix. Sadly they do not realize how much they hurt others, and that part alone is the scariest thought because they will continue their lives doing this to other pour souls who cross their path.

    I’ve been through it all:

    – lies about his home life, stated he was ‘separated’ only a year later did I find out he was married still living with his wife
    – lied about his job which was non-existant
    – flirted with friends/strangers alike to the point of starting orgies
    – problems with strangers, as he is very blunt and does not care what he says to people
    – problems with police officers, throwing water bottles, hot dogs, whatever he has in his hands after the bar and starts trouble
    – always centre of attention, the joker, the one who goes on stage and entertains everyone
    – very high sex drive / attractive man
    – promiscuous nature, finding out months sometimes a year later of girls he met online/bar which he had one night stands with or a relationship with
    – loving, kind towards me but within a week or two always dealt with verbal abuse over one issue or other which he caused
    – blamed me for problems which arised due to his own actions
    – never met his close friends or buddies or family members to see his other life (he always kept his personal life separate, there was always one reason or another of why it wasn’t possible over the years)
    – puts people against you, alienates you from your family and friends until all you have is him
    – drinking problem, alcohol which made him grab women in bars (breasts, bottom etc) in front of me caught when I wasn’t looking or when he thought i wasn’t around, and there were many times it was done in front of my face & I was told it was just ‘fun’ and drunkeness that made him do it
    – as much as i have a good heart, am shy, very attractive as a woman, it did not matter to him to lie in my face and have no empathy that he was hurting me with other women
    – there were times i had proof of his lies and I wouldn’t let him know what I knew & I watched him casually tell me otherwise like it was second nature, it hurt to see this knowing the truth
    – always stated he was in love with me and wanted to marry me, but constantly cheated and lied nonetheless out of just pure thrill, I believe they unknowingly get some type of high from this to others, the lying & cheating is exciting
    – very intelligent, yet uses this to their advantage to manipulate others

    My last day was two weeks ago, I waited on him all day for a ‘weekend’ he supposedly wanted to spend with me..
    Friday night excuse was he forgot about a friends husband’s birthday party (i wasn’t able to go as i live an hour away) I later found out he was at a bbq party with friends and women he had associations with.
    Saturday comes along, I received many excuses in the morning as to why I was unable to join him at an ‘antique show’ due to him going early at 8am with family, he ended up not going at all as I later found out he as at this party from the night before and was still enjoying the festivities the next day and was lying to me all along.
    I spend the day cleaning my home, changing my sheets, buying groceries for our weekend, buying his favorite wine.. he finally showed up at 7:30pm, said he was tired and wanted to stay in, he wanted to sit in the car when I sat in to let me know of his day while we were parked, I stated I did not want to sit in a hot car to listen to him tell me about his day, I suggested we could go to a book store if he was tired, sit and have a coffee and he can tell me of his day and then we can go home and hang in if he was tired.
    I was stuck most of my day indoors, waiting on him and doing things for us in preparation, it wasn’t too much to ask to step out.
    Mind you at this time I had already known where he spend Friday night and most of Saturday and I was sad, and because I loved him so much I didn’t bring it up not to upset him.
    Well, as we are driving within 10min he gets angry because he wants to tell me about his day (his lies, not the truth).. I had expressed to him only that I would have liked to join him at the antique show Saturday morning ( I had asked the night prior but he said he was tired and wanted to go to bed) in the morning he just ignored what I said & left without me.. keep in mind you I said this calmly, lovingly and politely, as I do not like seeing his anger. Well within 10min into our ride, after me stating only that I would have liked to join him and wished he would have planned it with me – HE BLOWS UP, starts to get upset hitting & banging at the steering wheel yelling and screaming at me of how much stress he has coming from all angles (as he lives with his parents and has a daughter from previous marriage that only lasted 2yrs) as he is doing this acting like a psychotic maniac, he utters ‘im turning around and going home, i had enough of this sh#t’ WOW

    For the first time, I snapped, I don’t know what happened, with his yelling and telling me he was going home after the day I had I immediately opened the car door as he was driving along the lakeshore, I wanted to get out.

    I have never done that before or acted that way the mere shock of what he had done and how he was treating me in my face, knowing full well he is lying to me, was something I will never forget.

    He was in the center lane and he pulled over within a minute and watched me get out. Now, I know he is lying as I received photo proof of where he was and with whom, he knows he is lying but doesn’t realize I know, and yet he still treated me that way? UNBELIEVABLE

    It took me a little over a half hour to get home walking. Not once did he try to stop me from getting out of the car, he didnt come looking for me, but he did text me in capital letters how I could have caused an accident (we were barely going 20km at the time), and how I could have ruined his career (which he does not have, he is still going to college, his 3rd attempt, failing some courses already) but this is how narcissistic sociopaths are.. this is what they do, this is how they treat you and it was not the first time.

    Sadly this happened once before after waiting on him most of the day, preparing for his arrival, he never showed up & cancelled on me using the excuse that I didn’t want to drive half way and meet him..

    I never responded to any of his texts after he made me walk home in the cold that night, I felt worthless, I realized I had been fooled for 6 years.I was numb on my walk home in disbelief that this has been my life

    He has sent me angry emails and texts since this happened, it’s been 2 weeks – I have not responded to any (as he enjoys the blame game and arguing to the point where he wont make you sleep for a week just from you trying to wrap your brain around all the harsh words and put downs he throws at you).

    I always forgave him, for many many things he has done to me, in front of me and behind my back..

    I guess it took for me to watch him lie to me for days knowing the truth, and it crushed me and devastated me to watch him do this to my face and not have a care in the world of how he was deceiving me and lying to me. It took this last time for me to actually realize the relationship was all a lie – I was faithful and loving and in it wholeheartedly, he wasn’t.

    As hard as it is, and has been, I have not contacted him, I have changed my number and I am having a difficult time because throughout the years he has alienated me from my family and my friends. I am alone more than ever, but I had to do this, my life, my self esteem, my self worth is all gone.

    Sadly, the peace and solace I feel not reading or hearing his harsh words towards me, degrading me & not listening to the constant lies & stories, not being manipulated any longer, and not spending nights and weekends worrying or stressing over issues he brings into my life – has been the first feeling of peace I have felt in a long time.

    It’s a daily struggle trying to forget, trying not to call or text, because I was in love, this was what I believed to be my soulmate, my life. But it was nothing but a lie, I was just one of many, for no other reason but the fact that he cannot control his sociopathic nature.

    I don’t know what the future will hold for me, I don’t know if I will fully recover, I don’t know if I will ever heal from this, but I am going to try – it’s all I have left to save myself from this.

    For those of you who have experienced a relationship with a narcissistic sociopath

    Good Luck to you all & God Bless you all

    Like

    • Debra, Thank you for taking the time to share your story and experience with us. Too bad the narcissistic sociopath doesn’t come right out and say, “I’m cheating and flirting with everyone and anyone because I don’t really love you. I just like stringing you along. It’s a fun game for me and I like being able to see how easy it is to control you and your emotions.” Do you mind if I share your comment as a post on this blog? I won’t use your name. You posted this three times. You seem to want to share. I can help you with that. 🙂

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  3. Hmmm…these were not necessarily the top five for me. although I do agree with 2, 3, and 5. Looking back, I see so, so, so many…just like on the picture headlining this post! Here are four more:

    ANGER…in my case, an unexpected explosion when I didn’t get ready in time and we had to postpone dinner for after the theatre…he went crazy…like lunatic crazy…over the change in plans…later claimed it was low blood sugar…but the relationship was never the same after that.

    USING VULNERABILITIES AS WEAPONS…After hearing a painful memory from my youth where a family member wouldn’t talk to me for long periods of time when they were angry at me…he began using this tactic as a weapon (starting the very next day!) to control, abuse, and get his own way.

    COMPETITION….Competing with me over every little thing…from trying to acquire more degrees, to speeding like crazy to get home first so he could “win” and arrive before me, to refusing to celebrate (or even acknowledge) my raises and promotions because I out-earned him.

    DENIGRATING..Not only one-on-one, but joining up with people who bad-mouthed me in front of him and agreeing that I did, in fact, possess these supposed poor qualities (protect his wife? huh! why?).

    I don’t see myself as a co-dependent by any means, but I wince now at the memories; I’m having a hard time re-conciling how a smart, strong, educated woman allowed this to go on for so long.

    Like

    • Oh, Maryann, I can tick these off, too. He was incredibly competitive and took advantage of vulnerabilities I shared in confidence. The rage came later when I started speaking up against the way he treated others. Mind you, I don’t consider myself co-dependent in any way either. In other relationships, I felt comfortable enough expressing what I felt was the other’s need to talk and discuss their issues in order to get beyond them. I felt comfortable talking about my own issues, too. But with the sociopath, the only person with issues was me. He was perfect and unaffected. But he wasn’t perfect and unaffected. Something made him that rigid, I thought, and in trying to get him to see that is what kept me there and what drove me to look like the crazy one in the end. I actually drove myself mad trying to get him to see that he had lots of flaws just like the rest of us. How stupid of me…

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  4. Paula, your absolutely right, “playing to our vulnerabilities”. What a horrid thing, as a person, you are on a few dates or have lunch with a new girlfriend, being your self (because that’s the only way I know how to be) sharing life experiences, hopes, etc, never knowing your becoming this next person potental victim. When I meet “new people” (men or women), I barely tell them anything about myself. I always want to know about them first, I publicly tell things about myself I wouldn’t care if everyone knew about me (I don’t lie, I learned at the age of 4, I am not good at it, lol) How sad to be so mistrusting. I severely hate this new “quality” I have acquired over the last several years, apparently mentally I must feel it’s out of nessecity or survival? I don’t know? While I have made new friends, it takes a while for me to feel like I can trust anyone, especially since JA manipulated several of our friends (who had been mine, prior to marriage), into believing his “truth scope” I have to laugh, he is no longer “friends” with any of them, they lost their usefulness, onto a new set! I believe “Playing To Our Vulnerbilities” is so damaging to how you feel about yourself, because what your vulnerabilities are gets used against you and beats you down. Unfortunately, there are too many people who do need red flags on them, I see them all time, I steer clear. Or maybe I just draw these mo fo’s like a bug lite!! Everyone has a talent this must be mine, and I am not nice either, I am mean about it too, really! My daughter says – do the creepy, gross men just like you? I said yes it’s my curse for not listening to grandpa and marrying daddy. She laughed. Thank you!!

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    • Haha! I am a horrible liar, too. I wouldn’t even TRY to outsmart a lie detector because it would be so obvious. May as well just fess up when I do something wrong. 🙂

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  5. My Ex hated “loser” movies as he called them….speaks volumes doesn’t it!

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    • Hehe! He obviously related too much to the “loser” in the stories. My ex loved the 1998 movie “Great Expectations.” I thought it was quite ironic and very telling, too.The most memorable scene for me is when Estella (Paltrow) tells Finn (Hawk) in a taxi cab about people not changing. I think the real psychopath in the film was Estella and Finn was the victim of her and her grandmother (Ms. Dinsmoor). My ex desperately wanted to be Finn–an artist and lover. But he failed to see that he was Estella, a sad and pathetic woman who would walk out of anyone’s life as long as it suited her needs and then blame everyone else if called out on her behavior.

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  6. HI Paula, I have been traveling, so missed when you first posted this post. I love how direct these “flag” descriptions are. Yet, I agree with you- even if I had been given this list, I don’t know if I would have taken it as seriously as I should have upon beginning some relationships. I think seeing the words makes me realize how much the fantasy our society creates around relationships plays to our vulnerabilities in missing some of these signs.

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    • Yes! It’s that fantasy that many of us think is real. We think we can swoop in and be the Princess Charming to his injured prince Charming persona (and vice versa for the men who have experienced female sociopaths). I love a good love story, but there is a reason why most are JUST fictional stories and not biographies or reality TV shows. 🙂

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  7. OMG! This is so my ex-husband!

    1. He finished his degree before me so I wasn’t a threat, but he rubbed it in my face that it took longer for me to complete my degree. I later went and got my Master’s and now pursuing my Ph.D. That’s when the shit really hit the fan. He kept telling me that I was selfish for pursuing my Ph.D. He wanted to get his Ph.D but decided to join the military cuz he didn’t get a full scholarship. However, I told him while we were still together that I’ll get my Ph.D and become the breadwinner, he could get out the military and go back to school. He didn’t like that idea one bit! And instead found a girlfriend who he thinks he can control. I think she’s a narc too fooling him. Using the info she learned about me and doing the opposite. It’s only a matter of time before he gets a taste of his own medicine.

    2. My ex got nervous whenever I cried of the death of my cousin. My cousin was murdered in a hate crime and it happened in 1992. We were very close. He was my best friend. It was rare that I cried, but from time to time the sadness of his loss would come up. One time, my ex was watching a tv show that pretty much played out how my cousin was killed. Even the boy who was killed on the show looked like my cousin. So I broke down. My ex basically told me that it’s been so long I shouldn’t be crying anymore, and that something was wrong with me and that I need to get some mental help! What I really needed was mental help for being with his narc ass!

    3. I had a happy childhood and remember a lot! However, my ex tried acting like we had similar backgrounds. He did admit that his dad was abusive towards his mother but they broke up when he was little and he doesn’t remember it. And he remembers his dad abusing his step-mom when he went to visit. I think he used that to make me feel sorry for him and to make me wanna help him and make excuses for him, which I did, but I found it funny that whenever I ask him about happy childhood moments, he doesn’t remember anything. He blames it on his concussions and smoke weed when he was younger. But when I ask I can see he was thinking about it as if he remembered something, but really skid by wanna talk about it.

    4. In the beginning, my ex called me his queen. He would stare at me as if I was the most beautiful woman in the world. He would surprise me with flowers and poetry. Every now and then his dark side came out and I wouldn’t take his calls, but he would do anything to get me back. One time, after he called me a groupie slut for telling him I met a rap artist from his favorite group just to impress him…I didn’t sleep with the guy…he called me a groupie. So I hung up the phone. And he kept calling and calling and leaving messages saying he was wrong. I still didn’t answer so he drove an hour to get to my place, hopped over my gate, and knocked on my door. When I opened it, he fell to his knees and said he was sorry. In thinking OMG he really loves me. Yeah freaking right! It was just an intro into what was to come!

    5. My ex was very controlling. He criticized how I loaded the dishwasher, and how I put the toilet paper on backwards. He really didn’t want me to have friends and whenever I was frustrated with him, he didn’t want me to go to anybody to vent and get a perspective. He wanted full control over me. When I fell out with a few friends I trusted cuz they were gossiping about me, he was happy about it cuz he could say told you so. He even rubbed it in that people just don’t like me. But I had to remind him that I still had friends and most of them came to our dinner party whereas his friends did not. Then I go to talk to a therapist and he wanted to know the details of our conversation. He also blamed me for his cheating cuz I wouldn’t go to the gym like he wanted me to.

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    • So many parallels with so many of us out here. Thank you for sharing! And it’s always the cheating and accusations and calling us whores that speak to their fear of abandonment and insecurities.

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  8. I like the flags – reminds me of the ones parents attach to their kids bikes, so drivers can see them. Too bad we can’t put them on people as a warning. Yes, I know its not nice, just a unfiltered thought of the day. My ex lured me with love, I believed he was to love me forever, I had the love story women dream of having. Too bad he could only pull it off for 3 1/2 years, max I don’t remember exact. (Good actor, huh) Then “The Boogie Man” arrived. His showed his true self, which is nothing short of a horror movie. 13 + years, we still battle (child custody), it’s hideous. I feel I am now better equipped and educated to fight the monster inside him, and not with emotion or anger, but with logic, strength and patience. The only reason I choose to fight back is to protect my children from his verbal, mental abuse and manipulation. The cycle stops here. 🙏 Thank you for my vent – this week has been horrid, and I am sure it’s going to get worse!!

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    • You’re more than welcome to vent any time. You’re helping so many people who visit this page. Sticking a flag on them would be a fun thing to do, but many would still be curious and want to see for themselves exactly what the rest of us know about evil. There will always be those among us who think the pathological person just hasn’t met the right person to treat them and care for them as they need to be treated. There will always be those among us who think they can somehow “save” these fools from themselves. 🙂

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  9. So true….. my exe’s ex contacted me, told me that being with him was the worst experience of her life. Said he had got her thousands into debt, she lost her home…. did I doubt her – Yes!

    Why? Because I didn’t want it to be true. I didn’t want to believe it – he told me she was a psycho anyway…. it’s true sometimes you do have to live the shit to believe the shit – his ex housemate contacted me, and then his ex before that, yet i still made excuses and this time would be different lol… no chance.

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    • If I had been warned by one of his exes, I would have ignored her and called her desperate and hurt. I would have felt sorry for her. I mean, my family warned me after a few months and I ignored them. I just thought, “They don’t know him the way I know him.” Hehe! What a stupid thing to think! I never knew him because he was just acting and pretending to like and love everything I liked and loved…until he realized that I didn’t need him to like and love me the way he wanted me to need him to like and love me. Love to him was about possession, not admiration. 🙂

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    • My mum said ‘well I hope i am wrong, but it sounds to me like he is telling everyone all that they want to hear’ he would bombard my facebook wall with declarations of ‘love’….. even forced me to ask him to marry him as it was a leap year – oh but get the ring I will pay for it when I get paid on Friday – oh but Friday the money wasn’t there. He skipped town the next morning after stealing from my bank, and the knock came at the door for the engagement ring being delivered!! You couldn’t make it up…. It as DURING this time that his ex emailed me…. and I still struggled to understand and to listen. I always tell people, if you don’t get it yet you have more to learn, but you will. as nobody stays in confusion forever.

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    • It’s that nasty cognitive dissonance playing with each of us. But, fortunately, as you mention, it doesn’t last.

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  10. Paula, we can see the signs and be aware and then there are the idiots/enabler/co-dependent person that tries to fix them. UGH

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    • HAHA I hit send to quickly … That attempt to fix them person is me…

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    • It’s me, too!! Hehe! But not anymore. If a person is an asshole by the time they reach 25, they’ll more than likely remain that way, especially if a PD is the culprit. I guess it’s part of setting boundaries, huh? And believing our personal happiness should be put ahead of the happiness of those who wish to steal ours. 🙂

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    • I so agree. Sticking to the boundaries is the hard part.. They can rush in before you even know what hit ya’.My son had a way of doing crazy making and before I knew it bam I was sucked in again.

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  11. Paula, the first ………say 6 to 8 months I didn’t see any of those red flags. Looking back I can see the red flags disguised as something else.
    My ex didn’t seem insecure at all, he exuded confidence without being braggart ( mind you the first time we talked I had mentioned a pompous ass lawyer I had talked to so maybe he toned it down) he seemed almost embarrassed or reluctant to tell me his credentials. Mind you years later I discovered all his diplomas were fake.
    Emotion phobia- I had never met more in touch with his feelings and able to show emotion. If I was upset he would hold me, he cried the first time he said I love you, he was loving with his family and by all appearances they loved him.

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    • It’s frightening how good some of them (like JC) are with keeping them hidden, even subtly for so long. Maybe as they age and are more experienced, they are better at role playing for longer?

      My ex sociopath was a painting contractor. He would do initial estimates on the weekends mostly. One afternoon while driving to a potential client’s home, he asks me, “Should I park my car far enough away so he can’t see my car? Wouldn’t he see my car and think I’m conning/high-balling him with my estimate?”

      The sociopath drove a seven-year-old Mercedes at the time, which he had just purchased used. I though only a moron would think his car was new especially where we live in the DC area. I just gave him the hairy eyeball like I always did when he attempted to be something he wasn’t, and that was often.

      I have no idea why I let these things slide so much. Even after writing this I don’t get it. 🙂

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  12. I remember my sociopath needing a bio as he wanted to introduce me to some people as his new manager. In my bio I included that I had a Masters in Religious Studies. He told me to take it out as it didn’t matter since it did not pertain to magic or music? Serioulsy, this is one of my acomplishments that I am proud of and he did not think it was important? At the time I did not know that he had not even graduated High School. Go figure……

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    • Wow, Ivonne! Completing a degree, whatever the degree is in, speaks to a person’s ability to finish what they started and to follow through with responsibilities. Obviously he didn’t see the value in that since he is so irresponsible and disloyal to a fault. 🙂

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