“Raped” by a Female Sociopath

Twenty three years ago when I was 19, I met a female sociopath, but I had no idea she was a sociopath.

It was the summer following my freshman year in college. I had just started dating a local boy who I had met on campus in the spring. I liked him. He was from the same rural, Appalachian area where I was raised. We enjoyed the outdoors, music, books, movies, hiking, biking…you name it, we had it in common.

About a week or two into the “official” start of the romance, he received a call from a girl he had known since high school. She told him she was pregnant, said the unborn child was his, and asked for money because she wanted an abortion.

My gut sank.

He explained that they went to high school together, had never dated, but had been friends for years. He said she had recently ended a tempestuous relationship with an older guy and that he had gotten together with her several weeks prior to talk about her break up, and one thing led to another.

I wasn’t jealous or offended. I mostly felt sorry for her. It seems this older guy had really hurt her and she was devastated. She and my now boyfriend made an unfortunate mistake in judgment and choices had to be made. Besides, up until a few days before receiving the news of her pregnancy, there was not a commitment between him and me.

I supported his decision to give her money for the abortion, but it gave me pause. I thought a lot about what that decision meant. But because I was so young at the time with my own recent history of dating shit to get sorted, I did not spend an extensive amount of energy contemplating her situation nor did I judge her. I actually suggested we all get together sometime in the near future.

A few days after her scheduled abortion, my boyfriend confided that he did not believe that the baby was his, but that he agreed to help her because no one else was stepping in to support her. I was a bit astonished that he would have suggested she lied. I didn’t want to believe someone would be that manipulative and deceitful.

Then I met her.

Wow, I thought to myself, what in the hell was my boyfriend thinking?! She was a total snob, not athletic, not healthy looking, and all she did was talk about everyone! She seemed uncomfortable around me, like she feared I was going to bite her or something. I’d ask her questions about herself, and she’d just stare off behind me. And when I tried to talk to her about me, she’d stare off behind me. I was confused. Couldn’t figure out this girl. Didn’t she realize that I didn’t care that she had had a fling with my boyfriend before he was my boyfriend and that I was genuinely interested in being her friend?

During the few years I dated this boy, we had many “adventures” with this girl.

>> She seduced our friends who happened to be a married couple (yes, she fucked them both); she preferred the male; the marriage ended; she was hot and intense with our friend in the beginning; she got cold and distant; they broke up.

>> We introduced her to a single male friend of ours; they were hot and intense in the beginning; they moved in together; there were lots of intense fights; she got cold and distant; they broke up.

>> My boyfriend and I moved in with her. She was hot and cold. I couldn’t stand being in what seemed like her lair, her nest. My relationship with my boyfriend experienced serious road blocks and obstacles. My boyfriend and I broke up but remained friends.

And remaining friends was easy. We lived in a small, mountain, college town. He worked at the book store, my favorite place to go, and she remained in the same apartment, her nest above the chocolate shop.

I’d see her occasionally walking or at a local bar. I’d make frequent attempts to communicate with her. She always seemed to be trying really hard to be seductive with me. We’d be sitting at the bar having a beer, and she’d lean in really close, touch my cheek with her hair, rub her thighs close to mine. Her tits seemed to like resting close to my arms.

I was unmoved. I was not interested or attracted to her. Why would she think I was? Because I was friends with women who had been “intimate” with her? Could that be why she thought I was another easy seduction?

After her overt advances failed, she resorted to dismissing my sexuality. She’d make comments about me having no shape, having no breasts, and having no sex appeal. She commented on my clothes and the way I wore my hair or didn’t wear my hair. How I didn’t smell like a woman that men would find attractive.

I listened to her mostly unaffected, but I boiled inside whenever I saw her, because as much as she thought she was sexy and attractive, all I saw was a demon. All I saw was a sad and lonely woman who needed to minimize me to feel better about herself. At the time, I didn’t know about sociopaths or personality disorders. I just knew that I was in the presence of something that was not good. Nothing about her was good to me.

About 6 months after my breakup with my boyfriend, we got together one afternoon and he asked about getting back together. I was thrilled! I loved this guy. He was one of the best people I had ever met in my life up to that point.

I said, “Yes, I’d like to be together again.”

He seemed pleased with my answer but then a look of shame came over him. He said, “Before we go any further, I must confess something to you, Paula. Remember the weekend you went away for your sister’s wedding while we were living with Ruby?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Well, Ruby and I were together,” he confessed.

My heart sank.

“Together? What do you mean?,” I asked knowing full well what he meant.

He shared all of the details and how it happened and where specifically in the apartment it happened.

I wanted to run and throw up. I wanted to understand why he did it and why she did it. Why did they betray me?

He talked; I listened. I cried; he cried. He held me; I held him.

I was finding it hard to forgive him. I decided to confront her and compare stories. So I called her that night and arranged to meet her in her “nest” the next day.

What a mistake. Why did I even bother.

When I asked her if it was true, she matter-of-factly nodded and shrugged. She sat in her sofa with this air of superiority over me, like I shouldn’t have been surprised that my boyfriend would seek satisfaction from a “real” womanly woman outside our relationship.

Not once did she say, “I’m sorry, Paula. I know it was wrong.”

Not once! Not even a spark of regret did I detect.

Instead, she seemed to find joy in my sorrow. She seemed to be gleeful that I had experienced this ugly betrayal.

I left her apartment, her lair, feeling dirty and disgusted. Within 6 months, the relationship with my boyfriend ended again. It could never be healed from the many fissures and cracks created as a result of the influence of the sociopath who slithered in and destroyed the innocence of young love.

Today, the sociopath remains in the same apartment. She continues to nest. She continues to exist. But unlike 20 years ago when her youth disguised the ugliness within, she looks as unattractive as her dark heart and soul, burning just beneath the surface.


(I might receive some serious shit from folks who personally know me for sharing this story, but I really don’t care anymore. It’s time it was told.)

The internal film of my life


My life frequently passes chronologically through my internal lens like a film, a movie trailer. It seems to start and end the same each time it plays. But the middle always surprises me by what my subconscious chooses to remember and draw to the surface at a specific time of day or during a particular season.

Today, my film is playing out like this:

>> I see myself chasing after lightning bugs as a child with my sister.

>> I see my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Newlon, who encouraged me to speak in front of people despite the embarrassing way my “R”s came out sounding like “W”s.

>> I see the town librarian who never smiled and always seemed annoyed that my sister and I would come in on really hot summer days and sit for hours and read Highlights magazines just to cool off.

>> I see myself at sleepovers with my friends Missy and Lissa and their annoying little brothers.

>> I see myself sitting through my high school graduation next to Doug who finally spoke his first words to me after being in the same classes for 4 years.

>> I see myself as a freshman in the dorms and running barefoot in the puddles behind Cumberland Hall with Kristy who loved thunderstorms.

>> I see myself visiting DC for the first time alone to be with my friend Susan and meeting her Korean ballerina roommate who had no shame in telling me that her secret Korean spice was MSG.

>> I see all the interesting patrons I met waiting tables in college.

>> I see my friends and parties and celebrations and vacations and the ocean and the mountains.

>> I see my wedding day and the day I learned I was pregnant.

>> I see myself meeting my son for the first time.

>> I see last night and how my son is growing into a boy who makes me proud.

>> I see the sociopath and how accepting one man’s self-pity nearly destroyed my vision of all the beauty my life has provided.

>> I see the power I had once given that ugly grain of sand.

>> I see how that ugly grain of sand will forever spread his self-pity, and I accept that there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.

So I go back to thinking about planning my next party with the people I love and who love me.

I think about being here, now and being completely confident in my next decision to grow and learn and to open my life to more opportunities to meet even more wonderful people I will one day be seeing in future versions of my life’s internal film.


(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/401172279277101461/)

For the anonymous and obscure reader who contacted me and left no email address


I like answering all of my mail. Sometimes people contact me and leave no return address.

Today someone contacted me and left no return email. He asked about first loves. I hope he sees this post and feels more secure and less guilty about continuing to love his first love.

Despite this blog’s seemingly negative outlook about relationships and love, I very much believe in love and have loved and been loved throughout my life.

I, for one, find it especially difficult detaching myself from those I once loved and who loved me in return.

(The sociopath is the exception. Like most of what I believe spiritually, the caveat is always “with the exception of sociopaths.”)

This lifetime is a short one. We meet a mere handful of people. The ones who fill my spirit with kindness, affection and bliss live inside of my heart even if they live many miles away or if we have somehow lost touch.

Here’s to true love and best friends!


Recognizing the Tainted Love of the Sociopath

My son has this silly question he likes to ask me:

“Who do you love more, Mommy? Daddy or me?”

I think it’s a really unfair question, and I tell him so…sort of:

“How could you ask such a question? I love you both as much as I can possibly love the two most important people in my life.”

But because he’s only 8 and still thinks the world revolves around him, he presses:

“Ah, come on. You love me more, don’t you?”

I try to affirm him:

“I love you more every day.”

He just smiles, throws me his frustrated glance and gives up trying to get me to say something that he knows I won’t say.

Is it even possible for us to love one person that we love more than we love another person that we love? Are there degrees to love?

I don’t believe there are degrees to love. I think love is just…love!

Love is the greatest and most powerful feeling we feel and sociopaths bastardize that feeling by tricking us into thinking they are capable of love and attachment.

>> People who are capable of love and attachment don’t use love as a tool to control, shame or blame another. EVER! <<

In intimate relationships, sociopaths often say: "If you really loved me, you would/wouldn't do X, Y or Z."

Language like this is intended to manipulate, control and play on an empathic person's natural inclination to feel empathy.

When we hear such nonsense, we don't recognize it as nonsense. Instead, we react fearfully. We fear we haven't shown or proven our love enough. We generally say things like:

"But I do love you. I'm so sorry for making you feel like that. I promise not to do X, Y or Z ever again. I had no idea how it was going to affect you. I'm so, so sorry."

Wow. You just validated the sociopath. You just proved to him that you don't love him enough. Do you see how you set yourself up to be raged upon again? And how easy it was for the sociopath to control you and what you do moving forward?

And the sociopath will NEVER forget the conversation. The sociopath will always remember that you admitted to not loving him. Yes. That's about all the sociopath got out of your response: you don't love him
And you won't do those things again that proved you don't love him.

And those few things are just the beginning of the laundry list of reasons the sociopath will collect to prove you don't love him.

Your entire relationship becomes a test of proving you love the sociopath! Do you see how twisted that is? Do you see why your head got all foggy and confused?

You understand love. You opened your heart to love and let it in. Then you were accused of NOT loving the sociopath who demanded, day in and day out, that you must PROVE to him that you love him.

(Love isn't an emotion that needs to be proven. It's about as preposterous as proving you're angry in the midst of being angry. Anyone can see you're angry. The same way people you love instinctively see that you love them.)

Not so when you "love" a sociopath. Each day you find out you did something else that proves you don't love him, and each day you promise never to do that thing again. Soon you are swimming in a pile of "don'ts" too fearful to take any type of action thinking whatever you do will be added to that don't-do list. (That walking-on-egg-shells feeling. Remember it?) Thanks to the sociopath, you lose sight of the simplicity of love and loving someone.

You long for that simplicity. You long for what you know love to be:

Love is a feeling that leads to actions and those actions are patience, kindness, forgiveness, understanding and trust.

There are no exceptions.

Love feeds those actions, and we are drawn to demonstrate those actions. That's why we put up with what we put up with for so long. We were so damn patient and kind and forgiving that it nearly killed our spirit.

During that slow death, we forgot that love is not a one-way street. As much as we give, we should naturally receive. Naturally. In some form. Indirectly or directly. No one who loves us would have the audacity to say we're loving them inadequately or that the way we love them is wrong.

Believe that!! See that!!! There is no right way to love someone. We just do. We feel and then we act on our love. If someone doubts our love, then they don't love us. Period.

It's really that simple.

I love my son so much and I love my husband and I love my sisters, brothers and my parents. None of them…not a single one of them…has ever accused me of loving them less and loving another more. My family knows what love is.

Sociopaths do not. Why? Outside of intellectualizing what it means to be without a conscience, I wish I had a definitive answer. But it's not for me to discover, change, fix or pity.

Some might say that I'm being selfish and narcissistic and that I'm being a hypocrite:

"Don't you care? How can you claim to be a loving person, but be willing to leave a fellow human being stranded on the side of the road just because he doesn't know what love is?"

How? Because I love myself more, that's how.

(And stop with the shaming dramatics!! No sociopath is going to die from starvation just because I choose to walk away from him.)


(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/448178600388760507/)

Part 1: A Victim of Childhood Abuse Becomes My Abuser


Yesterday was my 42nd birthday. (That’s me above celebrating my 8th birthday with three of my sisters.) This morning, I decided to start sharing, in parts, my personal deconstruction process which has helped me in my healing and recovery from trauma and abuse.

Although my book and blog specifically detail my recent life history and abuse, the bigger story of my abuse started many years ago long before I met the sociopath. I’m hoping by sharing the bigger story of me, of Paula, others can come to terms with their past as I have and accept themselves, warts and all, in order to move forward with more awareness of our capabilities and our limitations.

How did I fall victim to sociopathic abuse? Why was my self-esteem and confidence diminished despite all of the seemingly good things I had going for me? Why was I delusional and depressed? Why did I choose alcohol to drown my fears and need to forget? Why is it important to remember in order to finally let go?

My wish in writing and sharing my deeper story is to shed light on possible answers to these questions, for me and for you.

Part 1: A Victim of Childhood Abuse Becomes My Abuser

Never in a million daydreams would I have imagined being a victim. Being a victim of trauma never even crossed my mind growing up.

As a child and young woman raised in the Appalachians of western Maryland, I was surrounded by economic extremes. I attended kindergarten sandwiched between friends who didn’t know what a home-cooked meal looked like and friends who rode to school in luxury cars and wore fur coats at recess.

I didn’t allow myself to think too much about how unfair life seemed for Timmy or how much I wished I were Cassandra. I was generally happy and content being me.

I loved my parents; I loved my sisters; I loved my aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. I grew up feeling loved and respected by the people who mattered most in my life. And I was determined to make them proud of me and never regret loving me.

I had older sisters I looked up to and a younger sister I protected. I yelled at boys who teased her and defended her against mean girls who took her meekness for weakness.

The funny thing is, unfortunately, when it came time to defend myself against a giant, I failed.

I was 18. A high school senior on my way to college in the fall. He was also 18. Already graduated but not in college. He was working at a local pizza parlor and trying to break into semi-professional lacrosse. A year before I met him, he had been a member of the Maryland High School Class 1A State Football Championship team. I thought that was impressive. He was passionate about sports and had dreams and potential. At 18, that was good enough for me. I called him my boyfriend for 6 months.

The abuse started in subtle ways (at least they seemed subtle to me then; today I would see them as glaring red flags). There was a poke here on the arm and another on my forehead. The pokes would come unannounced as I was talking or expressing an opinion, an opinion he didn’t like.

One day, the pokes were replaced by full-shoulder grabs, like he was trying to contain me and constrain me from speaking more about whatever it was I was trying to say. I was initially shocked and confused.

I remember saying, “Why are you grabbing me? No one grabs me and touches me like that! My father never even grabbed and touched me like that. What makes you think you can?”

Instead of him standing back and recognizing what he had done and that it was wrong, this 18-year-old boy began to cry. Sob. Stories of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father came rushing to the surface, spilling out of him. They seemed to never end.

Being locked in a closet for hours and sometimes days. Witnessing his father beat his mother until she bled. Witnessing his brother being terrorized. Being beaten senselessly with a belt or a bat or a pot or a pan…whatever his father had handy.

I cringed. My emotions oscillated from anger to shear disillusionment as I listened attentively to his accounts. I didn’t know how to soothe him other than to hug him and tell him that I was sorry that he went through what he went through.

I tried the best any ignorant 18-year-old woman could try. One would think he would welcome my attempts to soothe him by hugging me back or with a “Thank you” or a “I’m glad I can talk to someone about this.” No. My attempts were not met with humility. Rather, they were met with contempt and with anger and violence:

“You think you’re so special and smart and good. You’re nothing! You don’t know how easy you’ve had it. You have no idea what I have been through. Don’t pretend to understand!”

And the pushing and the shoving commenced, which, over a short period of time, eventually led to smothering, kicking, attempting to break bones, and threatening me with a loaded gun.

Why? For what purpose? How did hurting me, beating me up and shaming me help take away his pain and suffering? An eye for an eye?

Again, I felt shock mixed with fear and pity. I wasn’t recognizing that this person was taking out his hurt and pain on me. I kept thinking I could help him and make some sort of difference in his life. Model love and care. I wasn’t seeing that this victim of childhood abuse was now becoming the perpetrator of violence against me, an innocent young girl who desperately wanted to understand him and to see him free from his pain.

Instead of telling my mother or even my younger sister, I kept his secrets inside while shameful secrets of my own were forming. I made the mistake, 24 years ago, of trying to make sense of the senseless. Little did I know, my attempts were in vain and would chip away at my self-love and self-worth and lead to my own self-destruction.

To be continued…

Shifting gears and getting down to more awareness business


Thanks to many factors and revelations over the course of several years, my life has come full circle, and it’s heading into another orbit as I write.

I feel stronger and more confident today than I’ve ever felt in my life.

I’m no longer the frustrated and fearful person who lacks the confidence to speak up when I initially feel the urge to speak up:

1. If I don’t want to do something, I’ll let you know now. I won’t wait until I’m in the middle of doing it and break down angry and upset for having been “forced” to participate.

2. If I don’t appreciate how someone is speaking/addressing me, I’ll let them know, mid-sentence if necessary.

3. If I sense someone is not being truthful, I’ll ask for clarification on the spot, in the moment.

4. If I like you, I’ll tell you.

5. If I don’t like you, I’ll tell you but only because I don’t want you wasting your time thinking I like you.

6. If you tell me you like me, I’ll let you know how thankful and grateful it makes me feel.

7. If you tell me you don’t like me, I’ll respect your reason and try to learn from any mistake I made that led you to your opinion of me.

Some will recognize this list as an example of how I plan to use and maintain my boundaries. I’d agree.

However, boundaries mean nothing if there isn’t a solid foundation of self-acceptance. My foundation, I must admit, is still wobbly. It’s not as earthquake-proof as I’d like it to be.

I feel like the boundaries I have built are quite vulnerable considering I struggle sometimes accepting who I am and where I’ve been.

This blog and the support I get from it have definitely contributed to a more stable foundation, but I can’t rely on this blog alone to reach a higher level of self-acceptance.

Fortunately, I have devised a plan (sounds good on paper!) that might help me reach the level of self-acceptance that my beloved family and friends deserve for me to have.

The first part of my plan is to say “Good-bye” to JUST writing about sociopaths. I started this blog before I ever believed in sociopaths (hehe!), but I admit my experience with a sociopath definitely propelled the popularity of this space.

(I doubt the growth of my blog traffic had much to do with my grasp of grammar or my writing style as much as it had to do with the morbid curiosity surrounding the subject matter of Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Narcissists…oh my!)

It’s the simple truth: The sociopath writing I publish gets more people to my blog and allows me to interact with more people than if, instead, I wrote a blog with a focus on…yoga!

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you will remember that I tried transforming the focus and attempted to transition away from writing about sociopaths a few months ago. Fulfilling this desire (and letting go) has proven to be one of my greatest challenges, regardless of all the yoga I’ve done.

“Just let it go, Paula. You can do this,” I keep telling myself.

How do I let go of something that has brought me so much cathartic healing? That has introduced me to a world of knowledge I never knew needed to be known or passed along? That has provided me with more love and friendships than I ever dreamed would be a possibility?

Plus, I am human, and I like the attention. I like the interaction. I like the validation.

But I also recognize that trying to increase my blog hits each month, to help everyone who comments and to respond timely and accurately to everyone who contacts me privately was causing me some stress, anxiety and took away from my ability to help myself and continue to grow and succeed.

I was stupidly putting too much pressure on myself to be more than I am capable of being.

What am I capable of?

I can write, and I am willing to share. I write blog posts about my experience with someone I believe is pathological, highly narcissistic and sociopathic. I write about how I’ve fallen flat and how I found the faith and courage to continue despite accepting the ugliness of my past. I can also write on many more interesting topics, too.

What am I not capable of?

I can’t be responsible for guiding everyone in the right direction who asks for my help. I wish I could, but I am not a counselor. I can’t help everyone with just words who privately contacts me. I don’t have a magic pill or solution.

Because I have learned healthy boundaries, I recognized how I was allowing my blog to control and dictate my sense of worth and accomplishment. So I took a healthy break the last few months from writing as prolifically as I had been writing. I took that time to map out some goals and determine how I’d like to challenge myself in the coming months and years.

I don’t want to let anyone down by pulling away from my original subject matter, but I’m antsy to go to new places and explore new possibilities, in my writing, my life and my relationships.

>> I want to write more for my Washington Times Communities column on relationships, yoga and health, all from a mindful perspective. I’ve been more fearful to put myself out there, up to this point, on such a public forum as opposed to my personal blog space. It’s safe here. It’s not there.

>> I want to dedicate more time to my anatomy and yoga studies, so I can be fully confident and ready to teach the students who could benefit from my experience at the time I earn my 200-hour yoga teacher training certification later this year. I want to teach yoga to trauma patients and volunteer to teach yoga in community corrections and shelters.

>> I want to dedicate more time to editing all of the personal abuse stories submitted to me last year, so the second book I publish is one we can all be proud to pass on to our family and friends and strangers in need.

>> I want to highlight more success stories on my blog. I think this community reads enough about struggles; we deserve some feel-good pieces with more focus on aftermath success.

>> I want to organize a conference (no matter how small or cramped) that will bring us all together in a room, so we can give each other real hugs and not just virtual ones! (((Hugs)))

All of these things require time, organization and dedication. I believe 2014 is going to be a time of further assessment.

But I also sense 2014 will be the year the global foundation surrounding the importance of narcissist and sociopath awareness becomes more solid, making all of us better positioned, emotionally and mentally, to stand proud and spread awareness about emotional abuse wider than just our blogs, Twitter feeds or Facebook pages.

Regardless of what I write and share on my blog moving forward, whatever it is it’s most certainly related to how I continue to mindfully heal and grow.

My life is consumed and driven by the desire to never stop growing.

And I’m not just talking about healing and growing from the toxic relationship in which I found myself with the sociopath. I’m also referring to healing and growing from years of not thinking I was good enough.

I want to share all of the good stuff I learn with you in hopes you’ll continue sharing your successes and periodic struggles with this community.

I’ve been too fearful to be me in the past. Thanks to this community (which is continuously growing!) I am ready to spread my wings and take a few risks. What do I have to lose?!? What do any of us have to lose!?!?


(Image source: http://blogs.worldbank.org/psd/shifting-gears-capitalism-and-the-logic-of-competitive-industries)

I’ve been quiet, because I’ve been partying!

Sort of…

My baby sister Rachael and her boyfriend Mark are preparing to have their first baby, a little girl, in the coming weeks on Rachael’s 40th birthday!

Growing up and only being 13 months apart in age, Rachael and I were often mistaken for twins. My mother dressed us similarly and even our hair was the same length and style until about puberty. Needless to say, we were close in every way sisters can be close. Below are our grade school pictures from 1979: me on the left in 2nd grade and Rachael on the right in 1st grade.

Paula and Rachael

This past weekend, my mother Mary Kay and Mark’s mother Linda threw an amazing baby shower. There were forty (40) guests including a table full of men excited about the arrival of my niece. Who says men can’t enjoy a baby shower, too? Pfft!

I’ve listed some of the highlights and features of the party included in the collage of pictures below:

  • Home-made and hand-painted cookies by the paternal great-grandmother (Beautiful AND Delicious!)
  • Cupcake tower by my sister Caroline (Yummy!)
  • Deviled eggs, crab dip, assorted salads and sandwiches by Mary Kay and Linda (Too much food!)
  • Diaper Tower by Aunt Jill (So creative!)
  • A Blessing Board by all guests (Some of the blessings and wishes brought tears to my eyes.)
  • Games, games, and more games! (I won nothing!)
  • Gifts, gifts, and more gifts! (I was the designated scribe and just sat there the entire time she opened gifts writing down each and every item so she has a record and also so she can send out “Thank You” cards and thank the correct people for the right gifts. Hehe!)

Rachael and Mark's  Shower Collage

I’ve also included a couple group images of my dad with his six (6) daughters and my mom with her four (4) daughters, her granddaughter, a one of her grandsons. These group shots aren’t easy to coordinate but are definitely worth it. Thanks to the photographer, my sister’s future sister-in-law Leslee, for being so patient with us.

Mom and Dad Group Shots from ShowerNamaste!

“Would you still like me…even if I wasn’t a girl?”*

I tried reading the Twilight series of books a couple of years ago. The love story seemed trite and unconvincing to me. I put the first book of the tetralogy down with only 30 pages left to read. I couldn’t bare to be witness to Bella getting lured into, what seemed to me, a false romantic entanglement.

Would you still like me... even if I wasn't a girl?

Would you still like me... even if I wasn't a girl?

It’s not that I don’t think vampires deserve someone to love them. (Antonio Banderas deserves all the love he gets in Interview with a Vampire.) I just wasn’t buying why Bella would fall in love with such a selfish and egotistical douche bag like Edward. After all, his supposed love for her is filled with all kinds of stipulations and expectations: If you do this, this, and this, I will love you. Seems pretty one-sided to me. Any normal teenage girl with Bella’s intelligence would have simply said adieu and moved on to find love with a more deserving partner. End of the series.

Last evening on Netflix, I stumbled upon a more convincing and highly romantic vampire love story: Let Me In (2010), based on the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in), directed by Tomas Alfredson, and the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist: Owen, a bullied 12-year-old boy, develops a friendship with Abby, a female vampire child also 12.

Upon first meeting, Abby makes it clear to Owen that the two of them can not be friends and walks off leaving Owen to defensively respond, “Who said I wanted to be your friend any how?” The story builds, secrets are revealed, and Abby and Owen fall deeply in love despite their mortal/immortal differences. In the end, they are both willing to sacrifice parts of themselves to protect the other forever.  To me, that’s true love, unconditional love, and I cried during various scenes like I haven’t cried since watching Pan’s Labyrinth (another film I’d like to write a post about soon).

When was the last time you sacrificed something of yourself for love?

* Quote from the 2010 film Let Me In

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