The Mask of a Psychopath

Posted by: Anonymous

The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/13/02 09:02 AM

I have been wondering for quite awhile about the "masks" that only a Psychopath can wear.

Cracks may soon begin to appear in the mask they wear, but once you are trapped in their web of deceit and control, it will be difficult to escape financially and emtionally unscathered.
Pg. 211 - Without Concience

Do the eyes also change when the mask cracks or slips off?

How do you describe the "cracks" that became visible and at what stage did you see the Psychopath unmasked? Did the cracks become more frequent prior to the unmasking?

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/13/02 12:34 PM

Posted: 8-13


"Cracks may soon begin to appear in the mask they wear, but once you are trapped in their web of deceit and control, it will be difficult to escape financially and emtionally unscathed."

The cracks began to appear almost immediately, a few months into our relationship, as soon as he was sure of me. But I was 20 years old. I didn't have enough life experience to be able to smell danger. My life had already been marked so much pain that I did not react in normal (self-protective) ways to it. You always hear that life is full of pain, and when a person has been abused as a child, she doesn't know how much is abnormal and unacceptable. I knew that all people had problems, that no one had perfect mental health.

A child abuse victim is a perfect mate for a psychopath because she has been trained to tolerance of extreme pain, and trained to take responsibility for the abuser's abuse. I would wager an hypothesis that a child of a borderline (which my mother was) often marries a psychopath. A borderline looks a mess, is clearly an abuser. She rants and screams, verbally abuses, and is not extremely clever with the blaming and shaming that pins her responsbility on her victim. In other words, a borderline doesn't wear a mask. To the victim raised by a borderline, the psychopath appears to be riding a white horse, and is a glowing presence of virtue and kindness up on that horse. He appears as the exact opposite of the borderline parent, which is exactly what she is looking for. She is exactly what he is looking for, too: an interanlly hemorrhaging victim.

So, I didn't know what to make of the cracks. But, mind you, a successful psychopath is so clever and looks so wonderful that NO ONE knows what to make of the cracks. I had been close to my pastor for many years. He had counseled me privately, for years, had helped me to survive my childhood, and had marveled over my strength, repeatedly, saying he couldn't imagine a child surviving what I had (he was my mother's pastor, too). He was counseling me through the p's courtship of me. He married us. When, finally he met the man to counsel us for marriage, he told me, later, that p was much more mature than the image I had presented of him. He was utterly bowled over by p.

In one of the first months of my marriage, I went to my pastor, and tearfully told him that p had had sex with a woman in our bed while I was sleeping in it. My pastor was into psychology; he had run workshops in the church based on "I'm Okay; You're Okay". He did not know what to make of what p had done. He asked me to examine myself for anything I might have done or said that had threatened his manhood. And I continued to look inside myself for years and years for the answer to p's unbelievable behavior. This was a man who loved and respected me, but he was so impressed with p, he could not imagine the fault was his.

No one can, to this day.

The first time p's mask came totally off was 10 years into the marriage. We were in financial hell, and had been for several years, at that point, no money for rent, food, shoes for the children. P was losing our only asset, a tractor and some equipment that he used in his landscaping business. It was about to be repossessed, and finding a buyer was, of course, my job. Which was ridiculous. P had grown up on a farm, and had connections with farners and equip dealers all over several counties, and he was a man. We were also being threatened with a lawsuit if he did not return some money to a customer he had taken for a ride. (Talking to the enraged customer was also my job.) There was equity in the equip, and we needed to find a buyer ASAP. I was a full-time student, worked part-time, had 2 small children, and was ill, but all problems were ALWAYS all mine to solve.

I was close to a nervous breakdown, or past maybe. Every evening, I asked p if he had talked to anyone about the equip, and every evening, he said no. Finally, one evening, I fell apart, sobbing and begging him to solve the problem, sell the equip. I showed him how badly my hands were shaking, how I couldn't take the stress.

That night, after the kids were in bed, he threatened to kill himself, running down the stairs. I was running after him. He went into his office room, and when he came out, he had a knife in one hand, a rope in the other. He was NOT the man I knew. He was Satan. All the images you have seen, rendered by artists, of Satan...that was who I faced. His entire physiognomy was transformed. His forehead was arched so high, it rose up off his scalp, the upward points above his eyebrows formed into 2 horns. His eyes were black depthless hell. He held me against a wall with a knife to my throat the entire night, spewing vile hatred into my face. It was all about sex. How I would NOT control his sex, he would f#ck anybody he wanted to [censored], and he kept screaming that he was going to f6ck my second best friend. (He actually tried to have sex with my first best friend a few days later.) He would take the knife away and slash the air around me like he was slicing me up. He released me at daybreak. I fell to the floor. I had lost 10 pounds in one night.

We were in therapy, at this time. I never told about this. But shortly after this, p acted out profound depression, and the therapist "pulled out of him" that I was threatening suicide. It was a complete lie, but she believed it, and because I had told her that p was doing that, previously, she believed me to be a liar, and treated me like filth after that, nearly destroying me. P "saved me" during the weeks of nearly losing my mind.

This wasn't a lightbulb moment because I was so far down that I couldn't have seen a thousand lightbulbs blinking above my head. The thing outsiders don't understand is what happenes to the victim, that she becomes so drained and compromised, on every level, that she is not functioning anymore. She is just trying to survive, minimally. In the midst of hell, she is blamed for everything. She no longer has the ability to sort out the truth.

By the way, my third best friend called that morning before I had pulled myself together, and I told her what had happened. Her response? "Well, I would want to hear J's side of this before I respond." J was her friend, too. I hung up on her. But her words affected me just the same.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/13/02 02:18 PM

There is another clarification I would like to add to my post above. After what happened in the basement, I was filled with a kind of horror and shame that is difficult to describe. Throughout that night of terror, the psychopath was driving the lie into my soul that what was happening was all my doing, that I had driven him to ravening mad insanity with my incessant badgering and abuse of him. The hours-long tirade was punctuated with "Youuuuuuuuuuuuu...will this to me....youuuuuuuuu...will be stopped!.....youuuuuu..." He crucified me, over and over, with his lying accusations, spitting them into my face, and acting out stabbing me dead with them. Hours and hours of this.

I can still feel the force of those accusations, dripping with hatred, piercing my soul, and the shame, oh, the shame with which my soul received them! It does not matter that a scene like this is irrational. A human being has only so much strength with which to cling to rationality. When a person is worn down to nothing, she can no longer deflect irrational blows to her self. It is important that I convey this. People who stand outside of the victim's experience stand and judge. They do not understand that the victim accepts increasing abuse because she can no longer make sense of her world. Her inner world becomes a chaotic swirl of disasters brewing everywhere, imminent danger, and the driving accusation relentlessly aimed at her that she is causing it all.

The scene I described was the first of many just like it. My shame grew exponentially with each one. The psychopath was simultaneously acting out, in the home, that every last thing I said was abusive. The children were picking up on this. If I asked J to do something, his response would be, "you mean I have to drop what I am doing and do THIS RIGHT THIS MINUTE!" Of course, when I asked my children to do anything, I got exactly the same response. My children viewed me, increasingly, as the psychopath viewed me. With everyone in my family speaking to me as if I were a witch, how could I not feel that I WAS one? Shame was every second of everyday. Every time I opened my mouth, more shame was driven into me by the round of sarcastic responses. Then, when the psychopath went on a rampage, I was shamed to the point of feeling like a teeming pile of maggots. There was nothing lower than me. From this perspective, I attempted to raise adolescent children. You can well imagine the success of that.

Although, praise God, my children are now fairly well-adjusted. No thanks to me.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/14/02 06:51 PM

From Molly:

Another way to look at this is that the good mask is simply what society requires of the p. He looks good, or does good, because it is required of him. Is this to say that behind the mask is a seething demon, ready to do evil? I don't think this is necessarily the case. I think the p can go for long periods of time, doing only good. I think the p can keep his mask on for a lifetime for certain people or groups. When the mask is good, is he good?

What if the evil acts and intentions of the p is also a mask? You know, like the double mask that symbolizes theatre, tragedy/comedy. The p is clearly acting with intent and not passion (unless you consider cold blooded anger passion) in his evil persona.

Could good and evil be just two sides of the same coin for the p? Two sides of power?

How can you really be good or evil when you are basically so cold blooded? The choice then becomes one of situational expediency rather than one of the heart.

What, then, would be behind the double mask of the p? Could it be a lost child, someone too young to have even developed conscience, trying to survive in an adult world which makes no sense to him? Without love, what could make sense? friendship? children? marriage? job?

What if the p is stuck in some emotional age, where everything has to be sucked into self, where everything is a matter of life and death, where love has no meaning, only power? Without power, how can you guarantee your needs will be met? Without power, how can you guarantee that you won't be abandoned to die, at age 4,3, 2, 1, whatever age the p is stuck, in a gutter in the street?

Thus, the sadistic component (power) is as much a part of the good mask as it is of the evil mask.

Or, maybe I'm just finally cracking up lol.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/15/02 11:32 AM

From Molly,

Survivor and all,

It's an interesting way to look at it. In the case of the trip to Hawaii, (in a theoretical sense), for instance, the p is actually wearing the double mask. To the girlfriend, he is a romantic hero, whisking her off to paradise, paying all expenses, most likely acting like the man of her dreams. To the wife, he is the rotter, spending the marital assets on his bimbo: half that money belongs to the wife, thus he is not even spending his own money, leaving wife and baby to struggle and suffer. Could we assume that this double mask is not lost on the p and one that he finds deeply satisfying? Isn't it just an extreme continuation of what he has done all along? He is conning both parties, one with a good mask, one with a bad.

What does he get out of this? Why does he behave like this? Why is this a necessary component of his life? Why does he need to split himself into the good and bad? What is behind the double mask? What causes this odd mental construct? These are all questions.

On a more practical level, if one is aware of this, I think it can be helpful for those of us who have to deal with the guy over divorce issues and children. For instance, I have stated that a good child psychologist strikes fear into the heart of the p. The psychologist threatens to reveal the evil mask, and a p who is noticeably attacking his own children looks very evil. The p, in wanting to present a good mask to the psychologist and control that perception, will have to treat his children well, at least on the surface of things. This doesn't completely solve the problem, obviously, but it does ameliorate it. It makes it easier for the children. Of course, this is just one thing, and the whole problem is very complicated. A particular p might revel in looking bad to his wife/exwife, so if she accuses him of being bad, he might find it deeply satisfying. On the other hand, he might turn this against her and work hard at making her look bad. It is a situation to be constantly managed. But, having a heads up on what is really going on does help in the management of it, at least for me. I've never looked at it so objectively before, but I have behaved in my method of dealing with it as though this is true, just instinctively, and it has helped. Of course, I am also quite a ways into this whole process, years (sigh).

(just my opinion, nothing else).
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/19/02 07:00 AM

I have had some thoughts about the whole concept of the psychopath's mask(s) floating around in my mind. What this whole subject brings up for me I can only comment on from my own experience and observations. Since I've lived with psychopaths in my life I'm sure that I have a much different slant on this than those who have had a more nurturing upbringing and a loving marriage and family life in adulthood.

From observing the psychopaths I was enmeshed with I see that the mask (I think of it as the false good self that is put on for the outside world and to hide the true real ugliness) is very painful and difficult to keep on for very long. With the people that the psychopath only shows this "good" face to there can only be a limited interval of time where he/she can maintain. For example, the exhusband psychopath would put on a nice guy persona for the people that he was manipulating and then come home and be completely worn out, stressed, agitated and have to withdraw or lash out around me and the children. I see now that to him this was part of our use and role for his needs. He could keep up the nice guy persona as long as it didn't exceed his level of endurance to maintain. Then he would have to retreat to his "lair", lash out and abuse his targets, then feel refreshed to go out with the good guy mask once again plastered on to con and manipulate for his wants and needs.

It took me awhile to put this together and for so long no one would believe it if I tried to explain. Its been and continues to be a process to understand. But I find from talking to and observing more people that its very common for family abuse to be tolerated. That there is some kind of belief that its ok and the role of the family to allow this kind of treatment. Some kind of family system thing.

This is kind of a ramble here. I'm still processing.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/19/02 07:09 AM

PS to my above post.....It comes to mind that I think of the good mask as a perfomance. When the show is over and the curtain comes down the psychopath goes to his "dressing room" (his home) and takes off the makeup.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/19/02 07:45 AM

Hi Cherie,

Yes, I believe you and allow me to explain here from my limited experience:

As I have related, in the beginning, this p that I THOUGHT I knew, was Mr. Wonderful---wined, dined and complimented. As time passed, the wining, dining and compliments decreased. His mask was starting to wear off and I just had this icky feeling in my stomach. I attributed this to that he could be having problems at home and his anticipation of leaving. Oh sure!

Within time, it seemed to me that he had to drink, like an anxiety reliever. The one time he really didn't drink and he seemed to be withdraw and edgy. Then, his mask started to have cracks or the make-up wearing off, as I noticed he couldn't seem to be around me for an extended period of time. There was excuses, "I have to do this or that."

He would make comments about his wife, which I did not think was anything out of the ordinary, just instances that happen during the course of a relationship. Then, I really thought, maybe he is the a__ to live with and his wife is not crazy.

I really can see him being Mr. Nice Guy at work or in public and then being very stubborn with his wife because I noticed if I made one comment that he did not like, he would seem to be pouty and blame me. I would think, here I treated him very well and I made a remark, "What is the matter?" and he would get upset and treat it like a "woman thing."

He should receive the Academy Award, as his "performance" is excellent. I don't know if he has fully fooled his wife, but he fooled me and I bet he is fooling other women at once. He just loves to have adulation from an audience with his Mr. Nice Guy mask on. Beenthere
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/19/02 08:33 AM

Yes, Cherie and Beenthere, I believe it is strain for them to keep the mask in place. In the last four years with my husband, one of two things happened when he came home from work. If I spoke to him about anything, within one minute, he would be in full, raving lunatic mode, knife out, threatening to kill me, kill himself, all of it my fault, of course, this was what I had driven him to, with the horrible abuse I had heaped on him, which might have been asking him if he knew where the hose couplings were. The only other possible scenario was him hooking immediately into either tv or computer solitaire for about 2 hours, very, very intensively, then he ate, then fell asleep. He did not speak to me. I was not allowed to speak to him. I think it is absolutely true that he had completely worn out the ability to keep the mask on at home, ever.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/21/02 07:16 AM

Hi Kris,

I appreciate you telling of your horrendous experience about what you went through when the mask came off. I can only imagine how terrible it was for you and wonder if anyone believed you about his two-facedness (mask). During my brief time with this particular p, I did not experience such a blantant display of rage, just little slips of the mask that left we wondering, "What?"

For instance, we were supposed to meet at a designated time and place. I arrived about 20 minutes or so earlier than the designated time, however, he was there. He did not turn around right away, even though I knew he saw me. When he did turn around, I noticed that he did not smile and seemed to be somewhat angry and said, "You are early." He did not seem particularly happy that I was there at that time. One would have thought that he would be happy to have those few extra minutes with me. Instead, there was no beaming smile, just an overwhelming need on his part to get another drink.

After reflecting and reading your posts, I realize that he probably needed that extra time alone to be able to put his mask on with the help of a few drinks.

The mask again also slipped when an off-the-wall comment was made that he chose to ignore his wife and that he did not talk much to her when he was at home. I didn't say anything, but wondered why. Now Kris, I know why. Your below post made it perfectly clear. I think it was he totally worn out his ability to keep the mask on for his wife. He related a similiar story to yours, but it was about how she tried to budget. I thought it was just a common sense way to do things. He made her out to be the scrapegoat and how dare her as he was the breadwinner. I believed that he didn't stay for extended time periods with me due to honest reasons. Now I believe it was also because he would not be able to control his simmering rage which was beneath his mask and did not want exposed. Beenthere

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/21/02 03:46 PM

Hi beenthere,

Not I even believed what had happened. When things happen to a person that are so out of the realm of normal, there is a sense of disbelief surrounding those things. I don't know how to explain. The mind rejects severely traumatic experiences. I think this is a protective mechanism. The mind deals with it in layers, little pieces at a time. And when the event was perpetrated by someone you love, that slows the process down. The mind works harder at denial. I dealt with that event, in dribs and drabs, through the years, but it got very little attention, because, from that time on, those events happened regularly.

This is why a severely abused person gets stuck. The mind can really only deal with so much trauma. When it starts coming at you left and right, something breaks, shuts down, there are inadequate resources to cope, and you become dissociated, in some ways, from reality. You become dissociated from your inner self, and this enables the psychopath abuser to control your perceptions of reality, even more effectively. It's horrid, vile, so evil.

When that event occurred, I happened to get a phone call before I had gone numb. It was a friend, mutual friend of him and I. I blurted out what happened, and she said something like, well she would want to hear his side of it. My God. Like someone who holds a knife to your throat an entire night has a side of it. I hung up on her, called my best friend. She did believe me, because she knew my heart, though she, like me, could never figure out what to make of it. J was such a white knight, in his mask.

We were in counseling at that time. I never told the therapists (2 women about this) but J made up a lie about me, shortly after this, sabotaged me, in the therapy, and the 2 women turned on me like sharks. I realize now he did it to prevent them believing my story if I told it, which I did not intend to. He's utterly evil.

I feel so sorry for your psychopath's wife. They take normal stuff like attempting to pay bills, and make it into being a controlling ogre. They make her life impossible, and then define all her attempts to do the impossible as abusive to him. Yes, she is his scapegaot. Believe me, she's earning her keep. Though sadly, I also know her life is not worth living.

You get absolutely nothing in a relationship with a psychopath. The only reason my marriage lasted so long was that J trained me from day one to accept absolutely nothing and rarely even see him. He did this by consistently painting me as devouring and needy, and in the way of his business and success. The real problem was he couldn't maintain his mask for extended periods. He needed all his time to smoke dope, prowl around window peeping and molest teenagers. You are the lucky one, beenthere. You got away.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 06:02 AM

Hi Kris,

Thank you for your reply and I am sorry it has taken me a few days to get back to replying, as I have been thinking and organizing my thoughts. Just in my relatively brief experience, I can understand what happened to you because I also went through the denial. Even when all the lightbulbs were going off in my face and his lame excuses, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. Here he is still projecting the image of a concerned medical staff member with his "crazy and sick" wife until she gets better and he is out there on feeding his sex craved need: He once told me that he did not have any money left to go out. A few days later, I did some creative investigating and found out that he had subscribed for membership on an adult porn site. If I was to tell him what I knew, I would have been faulted for finding out and not trusting him.
So in that instance, he was manipulating me.

Yes, Kris, I can empathize at what you been through and the distorted perception of reality and making you out as the scapegoat. If not for the forum, I would have thought that I was nuts. A majority of the postings on this forum reaffirms what I have experienced and the mask of the psychopath.

Yes, I feel sorry for his wife too. I think she was trying do him a favor by putting his wants in front of hers and he seemed to bite her head off for it because he was felt he was entitled to buying what he wants. That was a brief slip of the mask on his part. There has been too many times when I have wanted to call his wife and tell her--Wake up! I do not know if she would believe me or what would happen to me.

I don't feel like the lucky one, Kris. I did not get away unscathed. I feel like I haved been scammed and used. My sense of trust has been shattered. There has not been any closure with him, just denial.
I could go back with him in a heartbeat if I would be oblivious to what he was doing behind my back.
Right now I am bitter for him getting away with it and I pray to God, what goes around, comes around. I know in my heart, that that is not the way to be; yet that is what I am feeling right now.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 10:40 AM


I related strongly to this:

"I think she was trying do him a favor by putting his wants in front of hers and he seemed to bite her head off for it..."

This touches on one of the traits of a psychopath I found most confounding. Even the sacrifices you make them for them, they quickly turn into abuses that you are heaping on them. They have no ability to recognize love, not even the most selfless, profound, devoted sacrifice...a psychopath would see Mother Theresa as a devouring, selfish, manipluative shark, if he was involved with her. I think I suffered more from this dynamic than the physical abuse because it was an assault to my core being, my heart, the place where I acted out of love. To have that place continuously reinterpreted by the psychopath, and reflected back to you, as evil, is devastating, utterly heart breaking. This hasn't been talked about I don't think. I have been doing an edit of my book, and just did a chapter in which, possibly, the most hurtful example of the psychopath doing this to me, was written. I want to present a sketch of it:

For 3 years in the eighties, I provided elderly care to a very old man who was extremely difficult. At a certain point, the psychopath was not making money, and that coincided with this old man offering me a piece of land from his farm, on which to build a house, and also the offer of my family moving in with him.

I was a full-time student a good private college, full financial aid, one year left to graduate, getting Honors in my classes. I moved my family (2 kids)into the old man's ramshackle house, to take the pressure off of Psychopath, and to put in payback hours for the land.

That old man turned out to be a psychopath. All his old cronies came by and confirmed this after I moved in. He screamed at me, night and day, called me a tramp, screamed at my kids, wouldn't let them use the bathroom, would not let me sleep at all, at night. We had no money to get out. We were there 5 months, until my financial aid got us out. I lost my health during that time, and so did both of the children. One of them is not well to this day. I lost my education because I got so sick, I couldn't do the work. I got so sick, my relationships with my kids were never as close because I didn't have energy for them. Even after I left the old man, I continued to work 3 night shifts (no sleep 3 nights a week while ill and still a full-time student) to get that land for my family. I tolerated horrible abuse from him 2 more years.

We got the land just in time because we couldn't pay rent and had to move to it and live in tents. I was desperately ill and never stopped working. We couldn't get a loan on just the land, needed a basement, so I picked up a shovel and dug one. I had pneumonia by this time, and didn't stop working. We got a building loan, enough to build a 500-square foot house. We all lived in the shell while we built it. We were under pressure to get the house built ASAP to get the loan installments. We had to live on the laon installments, buy food, as well as build the house. This put pressure on us to do more of the work ourselves.

One day when my husband came home drunk from the county fair, I tried to point out to him that we needed to pull together (I'd been working all day with pneumonia). His response:

"We wouldn't have financial pressure if wasn't for YOUR lifestyle?"

I said, "What lifestyle?"

He gestured around at the beautiful forested land I had killed myself for, sacrificed everything for, and said, "All this." With a curled sneering face. His sweep of the hand included a battered 12-year old rusted Chevette, and a 500-sq. ft. shell of an unfinished house, for 4 people. the only thing lush about my lifestyle, the land, had not cost one red cent. It had cost pieces of me. We'd had the land maybe 8 months. Already, Psychopath had transformed my years of sacrifice into an abuse of him by me.

the psychopath's view is so irrational, that when you live within it, you become irrational yourself. You can't believe what you're hearing. It never makes any sense. So you just feel confused all the time, figuring it does make sense, but there is something wrong with you because you can't understand it, and besides, he is so mad at you, for some reason. That time, however, his view was SO outrageous, I couldn't not see it. I never forgot it. The crap that psychopaths say about their spouses is crap, total crap because their heads are full of crap. There is nothing a psychopath's spouse could ever do that he would not make into an abuse of him.

I wouldn't call his wife, if I were you. It may send her into a spin which will only make her hell more hellish, while her rationalization processes may keep her hooked and in denial, anyway.

beenthere, you have been scammed and used, but it could have been so much worse. YOU could be the wife. Your life could be like the one I describe that was mine for 30 years. Sure, you could go back to him if you could find a way to be oblivious. Finding a way to be oblivious could become your full-time job, your life's work. But trust me, beenthere, you don't want the job.

He will definitely meet consequences some day, somewhere, perhaps not in this world. What a psychopath does is the most greivous sin against God. He works against all things that are of God, truth, love, peace, harmony. He will meet the consequences of his deeds, I am certain.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 11:33 AM

Dear kris,

Oh boy....what a gem you wrote:

"a psychopath would see Mother Theresa as a devouring, selfish, manipluative shark, if he was involved with her."

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!.

You wrote:
"I think I suffered more from this dynamic than the physical abuse because it was an assault to my core being, my heart, the place where I acted out of love. To have that place continuously reinterpreted by the psychopath, and reflected back to you, as evil, is devastating, utterly heart breaking. This hasn't been talked about I don't think."

I agree kris, that this hasn't been talked about or addressed. This very sneaky, twisted, oh so difficult to convey thing about what psychopaths do to anyone who opens their heart to them. The ones most vulnerable; their family members. Insidious, hidden cruelty. What a realisation to come to.

This was my experience as well. My exhusband showed a wellspring of destructive actions that are not punishable by the human system of justice, the legal system. Soul murder is not punishable by law.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 11:35 AM

"....The crap that psychopaths say about their spouses is crap, total crap because their heads are full of crap. There is nothing a psychopath's spouse could ever do that he would not make into an abuse of him....


Kris, what you lived through was CRAP! I am sorry to know your life was so bad. You are right a p. will answer for all they do one day....the important thing is that we are all here and have chosen a p.-less life, or at least looking in a different direction.

When a p. screws up your frame of reference it's like you are moving around in a bowl of Jello that didn't firm up. Nothing makes sense because of all the lies, the games, the deceptions, the betrayls, and the wielding of their power over you mixed in with the 'crumbs' (someone made that reference in a post a few weeks ago) of I love yous, I'll do anything, you're the best thing that ever happened to me's...."

They lie and twist it and lie some more and watch you running after reality, questioning, stumbling and feeling so bewildered it becomes your regular state of being.

when you leave a p, coming back to reality you also feel a sting of the 'snap'. It's a shock to look back at where you've been.

I'm glad you made it out.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 11:38 AM


"Soul murder is not punishable by law, yet."

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 11:58 AM

Cherie, I love how we here on the forum seem to resonate, on each other's wavelengths.

"My exhusband showed a wellspring of destructive actions that are not punishable by the human system of justice, the legal system. Soul murder is not punishable by law."

I articulated, in my head, in the am, while working on my book, an almost identical statement:

"There are some things worse than murder. And they are not against the law."

They are against God's law, though. God's law is simply LOVE. The psychopath's entire orientation is an opposition to God's law.
Posted by: neverthesame

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 12:08 PM

Yes, yes yes Cooper. I was fully immersed in the jello. Drowning in it. There is no way anyone else could possibly understand this dynamic unless they had experienced this first hand. It is so very difficult to explain to anyone.

Therein lies a problem that I have been thinking about for days. There are not many places survivors of Psychopaths can go for support and/or sharing (thank you for this site Dianne). Most professionals in the Mental Health field have little or no training in Psychopathy. Who can have even an inkling of what it is like or how to help? I have been thinking about the ones that don't survive intact. I am sure there are many many victims, suffering alone. Many never recover. Instead they live their lives depressed, scared, shattered, and isolated, and may die early deaths from illnesses borne from the stress of the Psychopathic relationship. My 81 year old mother is one of them. She was married to my Psychopathic father for almost 50 years. She has never recovered, never lived again. She sits, reads, and dissociates. She did this even when I was a child. The pain was simply too much for her to bear.

I am going somewhere with this thought. I am just not sure where yet. I wonder if Dr. Hare has any additional thoughts on this. I welcome feedback from all of you.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 12:09 PM


"When a p. screws up your frame of reference it's like you are moving around in a bowl of Jello that didn't firm up. Nothing makes sense because of all the lies, the games, the deceptions, the betrayls, and the wielding of their power over you mixed in with the 'crumbs' (someone made that reference in a post a few weeks ago) of I love yous, I'll do anything, you're the best thing that ever happened to me's...."

Oh yeah.

Let me take your metaphor a little further and say that it's like being a bowl of jello which is the entire universe. It's so hard to find your way out of it because every direction you turn, more jello. You see everything through jello. Jello is your whole world.

Getting out the jello is an incredible blessing, coming back to a reality which makes sense. We are just plain blessed to be out.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 12:20 PM

neverthesame, I've been thinking about the ones who don't recover, too. I want so much for this topic to be talked about, in open forums, TV, radio, Internet. There have to be millions of victims living out desperate, soulless lives due to psychopathic abuse. It's wrenching.

I have read, in some Hare interviews that he plans to write a book addressing the victims. I wish he would talk to US. I've been trying to reach him for 6 months, and have given up. He is always on the road, lecturing. Maybe his path and ours will cross, yet. I truly hope for this.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath *DELETED* - 08/26/02 01:50 PM

Post deleted by Dianne_E
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 02:50 PM

Cooper, Well, I'm glad it's not just me that doesn't get a response. I've called, written, e-mailed, numerous times. I guess when thousands of people are doing that, you just can't respond. But I have a very good reason for wanting to make contact, and I still hope it will happen.

I really like what you say about your ideas for developing the work you would like to do...character development...yes, fostering that would help in dealing with the psychopath problem.

I have read books by celebrities who were clearly married to psychopaths, at some point in their lives, but they did not ever know it, don't know it still.

But it shouldn't have to be a celebrity to bring awareness. It's what I want to do with my life. It's what you want to do with yours. We may not be famous, but we have so much to offer. And there are so many people who need what we have to offer.

I hope we both find our way. I believe we will. I really believe God smiles upon our aspirations.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 04:52 PM

Deleted, off topic
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 06:21 PM

Cooper, I must say that I do not want to see the stigma removed from being a psychopath. Talking about it, yes, being one, no. I hope the horror that people feel when confronting that word and concept always remains. Because it is horror. It is horror in the profoundest sense.

I would like to see the subject become everyday in the sense that is discussed so much it is generally understood by the majority. But, from my point of view, there is always a danger when subjects that should be handled with care are discussed alot, too. They sometimes lose their power, in the hearts of minds of the public. Sex is a good example. I don't know your age. I am 50. When I was a child, you would not turn on the TV, and hear a mother saying to her 14-year-old son, "Uh, sweetie, your fly is down." Followed by a laugh track. Although this opennness replaced alot of fear and hypocrisy, it is not respectful. It doesn't give the proper weight to something weighty. It trivializes something profound.

I don't want to see psychopathy trivialized, and that sometimes happens when a subject becomes commonplace. Nevertheless, it is important that psychopathy become more widely understood.

I looked at Dr. Hare's lecture schedule, on his site, and got the impression that he only lectrues to groups of professionals. I do know from reading his interviews that he worries about spreading misconception, sensationalism, that sort of thing. I think he holds back from speaking to general audiences, feeling prudence is best. I have gotten the impression he would like to open up the subject more, but realizes the dangers of doing so. And then, he's basically to busy to do anymore, anyway.

My psychopath also prefers teenagers. I found the sites on his computer, too. He had affairs that I knew about with teenagers, early on, in his late 20's, but it didn't hit me then, what this was. Then I had some clues over the years that I ignored. It's just so husband, the father of my way. Then, a few years ago, I caught him with a teenager. He was 53. God. It's so horrible. And it's only one aspect of the nightmare.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 08:22 PM


You are absolutely right. Once something that is important does come to the attention of the general public, familiarity can build complacency and make it seem less dangerous. Public support isn't perfect by any means but if you look at drunk driving or AIDs awareness campaigns, nothing is fool proof. Yet there still may be some who are paying attention. I just think resources should be available for those who are looking. I don't believe an APB type bulletin intended to start a witch hunt. So I appreciate the opportunity to clarify what I meant.

Mental illnesses affect almost one if four American families and possibly more. Depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorders are more widely talked about today than ever before. However, the general public still is unaware of many of the distinctions and differences between them. Prevalence and removing the stigma associated with them will help That's a good thing.

As we know psychopaths get mixed up in that in the minds of many folks. They are mostly thought of as the Hannibal's, the Ted Bundy's, of the Charles Manson of the world. That of course we know is not a fact. The public is unaware which makes us vulnerable. I believe what would help is just education and awareness of even 'naming'what is what.

Children have health and safety education in school, adults that are concerned with health and safety find what they need through directed study or their own special interests. Other than just physical safety, I believe that there should be resources available for those that are impacted by individuals with mental illness and/or personality or pathological disorders to help educate and provide resources so people can look after their pschological well being, if at all possible. The numbers are increasing, not decreasing, and we love, live, work, shop, drive, walk, play, and do all kinds of things with these people. On any given day you'll be likely to interact with someone who may have a destructive impact on you if you aren't prepared or don't understand.

I know what a fine balance it is.We need to care about each other, and we need to look after ourselves too without being too cynical or hard hearted. But unless we practice balancing, how will we get better? If you think about the statistics in Hare's books, he is right. Anyone can be their target. Thousands of people are at risk each day. I'd just be interested to hear a first hand account. I'm sure it would be very powerful. I admire the work he has done to ensure the integrity of the assessment and testing tools he developed. And I agree with his understandated approach. It would be a privilege to attend a lecture, what a learnign experience. For now I'll keep buying books.

Thanks for always taking the time for such insightful remarks. I do mean it, your on the money every time.

Amazing is all I can say.

Hope it's been a good day.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 10:09 PM


Sometimes your posts hit me so close to where I lived I have to come back and read them again, it's so hard to keep my focus the first time.

My p. was 53 when I last talked to him and 52 when I saw him. He was with teenagers, 20 year olds, 30 year olds, 40 year olds, 50 year olds and even older than that, (he liked the security).

Why would a teenage girl want to do that? Why can't kids be kids? I don't have any, but why? Why, I know why? For the same reason his old lawyer girlfriend and I stayed with him. We didn't think we deserved better at the time. We thought it was us. My p. liked me better when I left him and 'she' moved into my old house. I was 'taboo' then. We had a great times when things were good, I really don't know anyone who had as much fun as when we had those few minutes of fun we shared. Overall if the p ever was cured and looked back, his life with me, was beyond what most people ever dream of. Me included. Sometimes when it's late I still get melancholy. I can't wait for the day that I don't.

Night all.

PS I'm actually very good at spelling, I've just been typing to fast (at least for me).
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 10:10 PM

ok what are we going to do about talking more about your b. plans? Got any ideas?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/26/02 10:17 PM


My P. wore a mask with moving lips. Earlier today in another post I mentioned he spoke in code. Reflecting back I know now when he said certain words, or phrases or reacted in a certain way, or maybe checked in for 'her' opinion (I used to deliberately test this-my own private lab work) I knew he was 'revealing' his p stuff to me. He almost wanted to talk to me about it, because I was so capable about keeping things moving, his deception was the only thing that he could better than I could. He hated me. And he was toying with me, thinking that I didn't know, but I did, and actually I think he knew it too, which is why he hated me all the more. It wasn't because of the way I looked, what I did or didnt' do. It was because I 'was'. He hated that. He needed me for money at first, when that ended he hated the fact he needed me so he hated me more for it, if that makes sense. His mask was pretending to need me, when it wasn't me at all.

Danger Boys don't ever miss you all they miss is your stuff.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/27/02 09:13 PM

Cooper, I was baffled, too, why teenage girls would be attracted to a balding, gray-haired old guy with a soft stomach. But I saw it happen. My last 2 years with Psychopath, we lived where he worked, and there were teenage girl interns all the time there.

I am 5 years younger than Psychopath and everyone ALWAYS thought I was daughter, and still do, if we go anywhere together. He does not look good for his age.

But Psychopath, on his good, days, was very intriguing-looking and ruggedly handsome. Big green eyes half hidden in the shadows of his hat. He had a way of squinting that made him look deep and intense and aloof. An oh my god, could he rain diamonds on a girl with his charm. I always loved the way he walked, sort of like a cowboy. It used to make me weak in the knees just walking him walk.

And then, ya know, he was the big cheese. I think sometimes insecure little girls are carried away by power.

Too bad there are bad men anxious to exploit them.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/28/02 11:51 AM

Hi Kris,

As always I very much appreciate your response with your insightful opinions and experience. Thank you.

I would like to clarify further what I wrote. When I remarked, "seemed to bite her head off for it" He did not overtly raise his voice in anger. I detected irritation in his tone of voice, not letting the mask slip completely and I felt from that tone, he probably did get upset with her.
Whether he stewed silently in anger with her or ranted at her, I do not know. However, I could not logically understand why he was irked because I think she was trying to budget and put his wants in front of hers.

As you wrote, I don't think they can interpret sacrifice and just mainly believe they are entitled and understand about that place reinterpreted by a psychopath, as it happened it me. When your ex remarked about your "Lifestyle," I got the same treatment when I bought something for him and saved up for 3 weeks. He gladly took it and then almost in the same breathe, "Don't you have some extra bucks. I am broke and remember you said you would get this." He didn't have a clue! Oh sure, he was broke and I later discovered that his extra few bucks went to a membership to a porn site.

Irrational! You got that right, Kris. I beaten my brain (as you termed confusion) trying to figure out his motives and it all boils down to:
HIS WANTS. I do believe they will do whatever it takes to get what they want with the appearance of being the good guy.

I do believe you are right, Kris, about calling his wife.
I am not tied to him in the way she is through marriage, house and assets and I do believe she is trying all she can to make her marriage work, as I tried to believe all his lies, through rationalization. Even though when confronted, I do believe they just become silent, deny or project at the accuser. Nevertheless, her health is in danger due to him being a sneaky sex-craved sleaze.

No, I don't want the job of being oblivious. I was there for a short time and I was beginning to think I was too critical or nuts--if that makes sense.

If he meets his consequences, I hope in this lifetime, he does not harm any more unsuspecting women who truly do not deserve his abuse. Beenthere

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 08/29/02 09:05 AM

beenthere, "I would like to clarify further what I wrote. When I remarked, "seemed to bite her head off for it" He did not overtly raise his voice in anger."

I think I read this in an even more subtle way than you meant it. I always read things according to my experience of a psychopath. Mine was so subtle, in his manipulation, you would not even have sensed he was angry. You would have sensed he was trying to say something positive about me, but that beneath his generous, good-hearted, positive attitude, lay the depression of a man who was, in reality, controlled and browbeaten by his wife.

J was a master of deception. He was able to convey to others the impression of both his conscious and unconscious selves, conscious = thinks well, speaks well, of his wife, due to a kind, generous nature, unconscious = depressed, due to sublimation of his feelings over his wife's control and abuse of him. J's language when pulling this manipulation, was peppered with "Freudian slips", and overstatements, i.e., "Kris is a good person. I really believe that." Combined with body language which conveyed the opposite of what he was saying. When making the above statement, he would then deop his head and shoulders and look away.

J's act was very enticing because people got to feel insightful around him, got to feel they knew him better than he knew himself. They also got sucked into fulfilling his intention for them. They worked at getting him to see he had rights, his feelings mattered, he shouldn't be so hard on himself, maybe his wife wasn't such a great person after all, maybe he should stand up for himself. He got them to dislike me, and feel sorry for him.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 09/03/02 11:21 AM

Hi kris,

I understand what you are trying to say and the subtle way in which the p controlled. Likewise, this one also got me to believe that his wife accounted for his every cent and he, too, in your words, "controlled and browbeaten by his wife."

I don't think there is just two masks though, "the public and private" one. I think there is a mask to fit every encounter with a person accordingly. I think he was a certain way with his wife, different behavior with his parents, another personality with me, at work persona and studying others personality and tailoring his mask to fit the occasion.

I have tried for my own curiosity and I may never will figure out why he had this need to drink when he was with me. I had once thought it was to control anxiety. Do you think that the drinking brings out another personality? Just a thought. Beenthere
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 09/05/02 03:20 PM

09/05/02 02:09 PM

Dr Jekyl - Mr. Hyde

Hello Everyone;
I have been thinking alot lately about the P I knew and his ability to quickly change roles from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde. He was usually very pleasant, charming and all around nice. BUT, he could become extremely angry especially when confronted about his lies, cons, or manipulations. The strange thing is-he could just as quickly become a pleasant, nice, charming person once again. It was such a quick change, as if someone just flipped a switch. I was just curious if any of you had experienced this with the P that you knew.

**moved here since this thread is discussing this topic, Di
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 09/05/02 05:24 PM

Hi I think the way they can change moods so quickly and easily is one of the scarriest parts about them. The guy I was/is/want to be(?) with can change in seconds! The one thing that seems to really get him going though is to make him mad (which is pretty hard not to do because you never know what little thing you say might tweak him) Any time I question him or try to second guess - look out! If I ever try to argue my point (even if it's proven to be true or inconsequential) it's like his whole demeanor changes and he goes crazy. But then something else will happen and presto chango! He's all happy and acts like nothing ever happened. So does any one know WHY this happens? It seems like I've read other posts along these lines and the Jekyll/Hyde thing was pretty apparent too. Any ideas on the whys of this?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 10/13/04 07:53 AM

I came to this board for help about my sister who murdered her husband.
The one I know w/o any reservation to be a fullblown psychopath is my daughter's father. And I hate to go back and remember. And his trademark is his bloody violence.
But the day the mask cracked was 2 or 3 months into dating him and it was not anger. We went to some shops. We bought a crystal he wanted to hang in his car. We drove to my house. We sat in his car. He got a piece of thread or something and hung the crystal and looked at it and he disappeared.
I will never forget the faraway look in his eyes.
It sent shivers up my spine.
I broke up with him.
He cried and begged for weeks and thus began a decade and a half of hell b/c he wore me down, I went back, I fell in love.
Posted by: Nan

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 10/13/04 08:47 AM

Hi Outsider,

It's interesting that you say, 'the mask fell but it was not anger'.

The P I knew also did a "disappearing" act. We were sitting in his car and he asked me about my religious beliefs. I mentioned my interest in exploring different aspects of different religions and he went....His voice changed. He spoke as if he was drugged. A wild stream of words against religions. His face looked totally different. His eyes looked weird, wild and non-seeing - as if he was watching a strange movie on the inside of his eyelids. It lasted about five minutes. I just sat there. I did not dare interupt him. Suddenly he came to and I could see that he was now 'awake' and normal...yeah well! He behaved as if it was all pretty ordinary.

Later he became verbally abusive, aggressive and threatening. He never remembered his outburst and when I tried to discuss them, he claimed I had instigated each one. He was NEVER his fault. It was ALWAYS my fault.

It took me a long time before I figuered out what was going on and even then I did not believe it at first. Now I know!

P's leave you feeling like a crazy Alice in upside down Wonderland. P's are masters at making you fall in love with them. And once you do, you are fair game. Anything goes!

I made myself so impossible that he chose to leave, which was the object of this particular exercise. I instinctly knew that he would never let me go, so I HAD to make him leave.

I have not had any contact for many, many months and I have not seen him for two and half years. If he came to my door, I would not even let him in the hallway. Luckily, I was never married to him and there was no children - I am 57.

How old is your daughter and what have you told her about her father?

It's so hard to think about the P that was in your life and in that respect you are the same as most everyone here.

But like you, we post and try to help other victims by telling our own story or parts thereof.

Take care,

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 10/13/04 02:44 PM

Hi nan,
You are so smart to have made him want to leave you. Outsmarting them is part of surviving them. He wrecked my world for so many years and I didn't know what was up and what was down and yes EVERYTHING was my fault and someone elses fault. I tried to commit suicide 3x b/c of this jerk and sort of lost my identity in the long process of coming clean of him. He committed a heinous bloody crime that was so horrible I had to raise my daughter knowing it b/c to have discovered it at any age with any support group no matter how good would have been too much for her to bear.'
He was out of prison for a while and we tried to reunite as a family (stupid me and the P's famous tricks) and inside of three months he did about 2 years to 4 years worth of damage to our life.
My daughter can't stand him. He fought with her like another little kid and demanded respect as a father (he's never suppported us) and was incarcerated all her life. He is back in jail for violating, is on a hate binge blaming the world, he is still transfixed on me. But he has abandonment issues big time and I don't think he'd ever kill me or her and I am over him so the fear of him has pretty much subsided.
It's been a horrible road.
Now this nightmare with my sister and the fact she killed her husband--three months has almost gone by--I miss him so much as a brother--it makes me sick that he is dead.
And I read the threads for a while today. Someone nailed it about my house--my mother...she must be "borderline" (w/ bp flair too...I think, no I know) and I am her punching bag all my life and she has no clue it's devastated me.
I want to walk away from it all and forget it, be strong, forget it. Be normal, trust people, get a life.
But something essential and vital gets cracked at the axis--the very base of your being and it appears it just cannot be fixed.
Posted by: MoreCautiousNow

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/27/05 11:18 AM

Hi Di. I'm new here and just discovered your post. Your question is one that I've gone over and over again in my experience with the psychopath. I wish I had the whole 18 months on tape and could review it. Memory is "fuzzy". I read "Without Conscience" several times.

I think that psychopaths give clues all the time to their true selves from the very beginning. I also believe that this involves part of the "thrill" they get. The P I was involved with was very intelligent and very socialized. Lying is an art with them. Technically, they don't lie; they DECEIVE. They will give you pieces to the puzzle, knowing that you won't be able to recognize it.

Funny you mention "eyes changing". In my hindsight recollections that was something that stood out. I mentioned in another post that my P, in our final confrontation, got a "glazed over" look in his eyes and his stare was past me, thru me, way beyond to who knows where. It was very, very odd and very scary -- not exactly in a threatening way, but frightening in a way where the average person recognizes it as "not a normal response, something rather bizzare". It was not a wistful look, or a pensive look, it was strange. The best way I can describe it, it seemed as tho he was in some kind of "disconnect" mode. I can only guess at what triggered it. However, I "fuzzily" recall seeing it several times before. One time I registered it was right after I met his mother (who he seemed to be somewhat fearful of in an odd way) and he was telling me what his mother said to him about me. I have tried to put this together from memory as to what triggered his "trance-like" stare, but I can't quite put all the pieces together. The best I can come up with is that some sort of deceit was going on clashing with truth. ??? The first time I registered the stare was when I accused him of lying and he tried to say he hadn't. Technically, he hadn't lied, but he had deliberately and knowingly been deceitful I informed him. ???? The final time I saw it the conversation revolved around emotions/feelings. I had challenged him by asking how he felt. Somehow, (sheer luck) I pushed all the right buttons in just the right order and got a "REAL" response. The P could not tell me how he felt because he has no real emotion. For that particular P, I think that the element of surprise and the series of events caused the "disconnect" that occurred. It was as if I had caused the robot to shut down. It's only temporary, but I got a glimpse of it.

It's impossible for anyone to continue elaborate charades (lies) without eventual detection. You see the cracks because you will sense something "wrong" you get a "red flag" that your memory stores away. More and more flags start popping up and ultimately you are forced to examine them more closely.

Everything is just "wonderful" in the beginning, but as you sort of settle into things and the rose-colored glasses come off, you will begin to notice oddities. One that comes mind for me is an incident with a rather large insect that I came across in my home while he was there. I was petified. He very calmly walked over and picked the thing up in his bare hand. I demanded the the critter be killed as I could see he intended to toss it outdoors. He then proceed to squish the critter, again barehanded then tossed it in the garbage. Now, I've witnessed other men, my brother included, who were willing to come to my rescue over some critter, but these other men were obviously reviled over the critters, but not as frightened as I was. What I mean is, they would oust or kill the critter, but they obviously didn't want to touch it. The lack of fear of a critter is not the mark of a psychopath in and of itself, but the low fear response IS. At the time, I was just amazed that he wasn't fearful of the insect so much so that he would touch it with his bare hand AND kill it. Most other guys would have at least gotten a paper towel or something. My point is that certain events will seem odd or "unusual" and the longer you continue with the p, more and more you will "see" the cracks. They won't exactly register at the time, but when you start to add them up, alarm bells will be going off. So, yes, the cracks do become more frequent (apparent) prior to the unmasking.

I hope this gives some insight.

Posted by: significantother

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/28/05 12:56 PM

The masking. It was later, we were sitting in a crowded room with lots of noise. I am usually very bothered by this, but being with him made me feel unusually comfortable, always. He was talking, I felt that we were the only two people in the room. Then bam, he was looking at me and I him, but there was nothing. I gave a smirk with a hmm and he asked me what? with a look on his face like it was the end of days for him. I mentioned how his eyes appeared to change to black and asked what was burdening his mind so? We were both set to leave to different places for different reasons. He was hesitant, and appearingly annoyed with this fact. (I now believe his reason was possibly having a family to return to, at least one anyway). He stated something simple that he wanted. I said ok.
Honestly, I realize these are the things that attracted me to him. All my life I have always been attracted to the 'bit off' or obscure. I find that I feel out of place in the arms of 'normal' as society sees it. I'm a bit of a fool I suppose. I made a horrid mistake. I trusted the wrong sort of character. In many ways I cannot even blame him. It was he that told me what he was. Early on even, after trying to spare me even. This is where things don't fit. Why? Why did he tell me? Why didn't I run? Why didn't I pay more attention? I made it very easy for him. He treated me with respect, too much, with passionate loving, too much, all an act? I want to vomit when I think about it now. That is, after reality gets a grasp on my fantasizing however. I spent little actual time with this man. He damaged me, emotionally and physically, with intent, with deceipt, all lies. I should feel fortunate that events fell the way they did. I would be married to him now. I would have relocated and likely become something lesser than me. And instinct tells me that I would be replacing another. Intuitively I feel that somewhere there are several women who no not this side of this man. Maybe they do and they don't care. I care. It is bothering me greatly. Because of his lies, it's nearly impossible to tell. I find that I have envy for this lack of emotion. It is a burden which is pinning me down. If I had one wish, it would be used up on something I should like to have never known.
Well, this is me and part of my story. I have read many of yours and wonder how it is that people have to suffer so? I admire your strength. I choose not to burden the people I consider friends with this. My one attempt was not what I envisioned. Thank you for listening.
Posted by: significantother

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/28/05 01:18 PM

--More Cautious Now--

Thinking about the bug thing. I think it was his way of showing you how he can control things. Not only that but how it should prove worthy to you. "Look at me, I will kill for you" kind of thing. He made a show of it as to seemingly make it 'special'. Call it programming or brainwashing, but amazing how it works for them. I remember being in a secluded area outdoors with him and there was a very odd and loud noise. I do not frighten easily but of course it startled me. His eyes never left mine as he was unphased. He held me tightly and "assured" me that I would never be in any danger with him. Made me acknowlege it as if we were in a movie. I thought it strange afterwards that he had no natural 'startle' reaction. Actually made me think that he staged it, which he could not. I do believe most of his behavior stems from low arousal levels, it would explain most everything. No, it explains everything...
Posted by: sylvie25

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/28/05 02:00 PM


I too feel lucky that I didn't marry the P I went out with. He tried cajoling, manipulating, and all sorts of pressure tactics but I held my ground. I increasingly felt that to walk down the aisle to him would be like a lamb going to the slaughter - not exactly an uplifting visual to have of one's wedding day but I'm thankful for it.

Yes, I too feel nauseous when I think about the "loving" and I can't look at red roses without wincing. I'll welcome a bunch of dandelions over red roses anymore, as long as it's the right person holding them.

I remember seeing a TV movie about a P boyfriend - it was unbelievable. Red roses, pathological lying, grandiose stories (all false of course), sudden flashes of temper, extreme possessiveness, lots of "loving", the guy was a freak. It should be shown to students at every middle school and high school - hopefully there'd be no mistaking the red flags after that.

I'm glad you got away.

Posted by: significantother

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/28/05 03:33 PM

Hi Sylvie,
It is refreshing finally speaking with someone who understands. Thank you. I do feel like a newbie in a club however. I want to know all your stories now, as I know it is redundant to have to repeat. I do hope that won't be a detourant when conversing. Part of what is difficult for me is the fact that I never saw the dark side of this individual. It was because of a trip that caused seperation, that I was able to rationally analyze the situation. If I know nothing else of myself, I know this, I would never put up with abuse, verbal, emotional nor physical. Maybe he sensed this. I believe he was telling me facts about himself, only mixing it up like a salad so to speak. The stories of 'a friend of his', or 'his brother', or 'this guy he knew'. They were all him. His way of being honest because he knew I didn't get it. Why would I? I was too busy focusing on how I was feeling. But the things I knew of truth were reason enough. Not a couple red flags mind you, scores of s.o.s distress flares going off. It is however, through this ordeal that I am seeeing a pattern. A well traveled road. Maybe you have felt this also. I now know that I have never allowed myself a 'normal' relationship. Not capable. Never even wanted it. Sad but true. Maybe it is that I fit best with the types that I seem to seek out. Something is definately off. I guess I am easy to mirror now aren't I? ;-)
Posted by: MoreCautiousNow

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/28/05 06:14 PM


I really want to "talk" to you but I have to make a long distance phone call. I relate to a few things you've said. I will write more to you tomorrow, but for now, I wanted to share with you something someone once said to me. It's funny, but when you think about it, it's true.

"The only place I've ever seen 'normal' is on a washing machine."

Posted by: significantother

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/28/05 08:00 PM

LOL yes tis true. Frankly I despise normal. Normal is boring. Things that are normal do not hold my interest, especially dates. Guess I need to find some appreciation in normalcy. No emoticons? I'm going through withdrawal ;-)
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/28/05 08:48 PM

Hi, fyi, you can make emoticons

Go to: FAQ and select: Can I use html in my posts?

Hope this helps,
Posted by: JustAMan

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/28/05 11:40 PM

In reply to:

I do feel like a newbie in a club however. I want to know all your stories now, as I know it is redundant to have to repeat.

Most users post their stories quite soon after their arrival at the forum. If you want to investigate the 'story' of a user who is responding to you, click their underlined name to the left of one of their posts. This takes you to their profile page. Then click the link to "Show all User's Posts" Start at the bottom of their list of posts (NB might be more than one page, if the 'Next >' link is active, use it) and work your way up.
Posted by: MoreCautiousNow

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/29/05 07:10 AM

Hey SO,

Personally, I have resisted "normal" all my life. In some ways I feel that it did set me up for the psychopath. NOW, from that experience, I am better able to deal with any future "intrusions" from a psycopath. REMEMBER: Keep the positive in the forefront. You have the experience, you paid a dear price for it! Those of us who do not buy into the "cultural brainwashing" need to understand that we also have to accept a certain amount of responsibility for those choices we make. Therefore, we need to exercise a little more caution. We will make mistakes sometimes, but hopefully we will learn from those mistakes. Then, move on. Of course, "recovering" from the encounter with the psychopath takes a little time. But don't get into the mindset of "blaming" yourself (choice of lifestyle) for making a mistake. Obviously, many of us here got duped by a psychopath.

Posted by: MoreCautiousNow

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/29/05 08:26 AM

The Mask thing. My spin on this is that P's do not wear "maskS", they wear only one mask. (Mask of Sanity). In actuality, they are hiding behind this mask. They MIRROR our emotional selves. They just can't do it ALL the time.

A really good piece of advice I got (and unwittingly used, and it does work) from a psychologist is that when you know you are dealing with a P, DO NOT SHOW any emotion. P's are REALLY REALLY good at picking up on body language, more so than we are. This is a process that enables them to mirror you and/or start pushing your emotional buttons. They then take you on this merry-go-round of that realm of emotions and begin to spin off into the "distorted" reality where they can further manupulate you with lies. The best analogy I can give here is the child's game of placing your hands together palm to palm and standing in front of another and tell them to watch your hands as you move them up and down vertically together for a few strokes, then pull your hands apart. The "victim's" eyes get "jarred" for a moment. This is what the P is doing.

It's not so much that the P has no emotion/feelings, he/she does on a very immature level and it's all about him/her. It's that he/she HAS NO CONSCIENCE. Therefore they will lie, cheat, steal, whatever to achieve their goal. It could be something trivial or something major.

The more socialized and/or intelligent the P, the higher the stakes become. They are capable of "playing" on a higher level for bigger gain and they KNOW that.

My P was VERY intelligent and VERY socialized. He was gainfully employed (to my knowledge). He never physically abused me. I think he learned enough about me to know that if that ever happened I would be gone in short time, no questions asked. Also, he was intelligent enough to realize this could get him "attention" he didn't want. I've learned that he keeps a very low profile, is quite promiscuous and seems to have money from God only knows where.

The things that repel us, such as pedophilia, does not repel them because EMOTIONALLY they have NO CONSCIENCE. However, many of them learn that openly displaying this behavior could get them unwanted attention and/or restricted movement in society (prison) and they definately don't want that.

Our morals make no sense to them because it involves emotions and emotional maturity and responsibility. Keep in mind, P's many times don't think anything is wrong with them. Yes, our emotions sometimes do get in the way of things, but that's what having a conscience is all about. It's really what enables us to love and care about others!!

The "red flags" we get that our brains do process on some sort of unconscious level, eventually become loud warning bells. Our "self-preservation" goes into action by recognizing that all those scattered flags in our brain that are being ignored has now reached a threatening level. Those loud warning bells are telling you, "RUN, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!"

For me, that final flag going down was simultaneous with the bells going off. Inside my head, over the trying to make sense of what was happening, the bells were like this deafing warning. I listened. I got up and left as quickly as I could. I wasn't looking over my shoulder. My brain was screaming, "this guy is whacked, don't bother trying to figure it out NOW, just RUN! Get away from this person!"

My "looking back" now, from a safe distance, is to learn how NOT to get in that situation again.

C'mon in, the water's fine.

Posted by: significantother

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/29/05 12:06 PM

You wonder where their worth comes from? Fraudulance. Scams. Credit. Aliases. Phoney Bologna. This man told me the night I met him that he had 5 homes. uh huh. 5 homes means 5 sources. Somewhere there are 5 women supporting this jack. How many children? Last time I checked bigamy was still illegal, so chances are he may be married to one, and possibly has been married to all. I hate to say it, and please don't hate me, but I guarantee that one of them knows and does not care. Probably takes a settlement check each month, takes care of his expenses and children for him and allows him to do as he wishes. He is from another country too and claimed to have residence there, so who knows how far the trail trace. He has a ride for every occassion. He has a mask for every one as well. Persuasive charmer. I have read your experience and in some ways it seems too close to home. I can only assume truth in my situation. It is necessary for me to have it. I am unwilling and incapable of moving past this until I have answers. For many reasons, I feel I must stop the cycle. I have reason to believe this individual is dangerous in many ways. He had me believing he was overseas when he was hours from my home. He carried a gun w/silencer. He told me he was "fixed" and "clean", had never done drugs, and had never been married nor had children. Lies. He confided, very early that he was a sociopath, incapable of having certain feelings, and would be doing me great disservice to allow me to feel those things for him. Said he loved me...on some level. I say he mixed truths up like a salad, maybe he was trying to confide. This is the first problem I am having getting over. Why did he tell me this? I have read nowhere that a sociopath puts himself on the hook. He asked me if I knew what it meant, I said yah like a psychopath...thinking it was all 'military involvement'. Killed for his country. Killed people that were evil. Like there's some type of respect & pity I should have for him? WTF? He said it was for his 'job'. That he had hurt alot of women because of his 'job'. I was snowed thinking this was the outcome of the state of affairs in the government. Silly me. Thinking I could help him. Honestly, I didn't even care that he loved me. I just wanted him to love something. When I'd first met him (in a bar)I found him quite interesting. Was not attracted physically to him. But it was evident that he was a risk taker. Made himself seem very worldly and secretly powerful. He contacted me a week later. He claimed to have 5 homes. uh huh. Took me a while but 5 homes means 5 places to feed, right? He spoke of tenure. Freedom of finance if you will. His hope for tenure is probably having 10 solid sources. He can hop from State to State, from girl to girl and keep the finances going in a circle to make it all work. I am bitter of course.
Didn't make sense in his profession. Tenure? Financial stability...duh. Would be real easy getting everything you want in life when you have 5 bank accounts to work with no? He carried several cell phones. Never answered them when they rang. Only one had an incoming number. The others were outgoing only. When he left town, this is how he called me. Untracable. Never gave me straight answers. When I confronted him about where his actual home was, you know, the one where you keep your clothing, sleep, receive mail from? he replied, home is where I'm at. He obviously thought me quite naive, which I was. Like you, I do not give love so freely. Only once actually. It is a love that will last forever. It is no longer physical but we have a respect and friendship. I now know that he is borderline. That is the second reason why I cannot move past. How can I trust anything to be real. It has taken me this long and yet I am still paranoid that this is not the right place to discuss. But in 5 seconds I'm pressing continue and not looking back...ha ha!
Posted by: MoreCautiousNow

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/29/05 01:44 PM

Hey SO,

Whew. You've been through it, I'll give you that. However, you sound like an intelligent and reasonable person. How can you trust anyone?? Start by trusting yourself first. OK, you (like all the rest of us here) made a "bad" choice. No one is perfect. Yeah, I know, after all those lies (wow, can they ever come up with them - geez, I tell a white lie and I look guilty) you get to the point that your own mother could tell you it was raining outside and you have to get up and check for yourself.

Yah gotta get the "balance" back, gurl. Part of this means facing the fact that sometimes there is no answer. You can make yourself silly trying to reason something that has no reason.

Yeah, my P used a cellphone in a very similar manner. I figure cellphones were probably the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread for psychopaths. I also operate on the premise that much of what my p told me probably bears scant resembalance to the truth. For all I know he has several "lives" going in several cities. Maybe he's married to 100 women for all I know. That matters little now, just a curiosity to ponder about P's. You know why they do it. They are parasites.

Yes, worthless and dangerous. Ugh!! But there are decent folk out there. Not EVERYONE is a psychopath. You're suffering from not trusting your judgment right now. That too shall pass.

A psychopath/sociopath doesn't really put himself on the "hook". Think back to when he said whatever. At the time, it would have been impossible for you to put it all together. It was either used as a ploy to induce you to trust him, or a part of the "thrill" for him to stick the truth under your nose and you not see it or maybe both. I think my P also did it because they can ALWAYS throw it back at you by claiming they NEVER lied to you!! (But I do recall reading this, sorry just can't remember where.)

Yep, my P also hinted at "covert" military/government service, etc. You name it, he did it at some time or other. Definately a red flag, but then you think maybe he justs needs to feel important, but you do wonder about all the exaggeration and then you rationalize that it's really not all that important. Do you feel the quicksand??

We could get REAL technical here and start trying to define REAL. The truth of the matter is that is not what we're really trying to define or accomplish.


I recognize your need for answers, but what you are (bottomline) doing is searching for reasons that will assist you in avoiding the same situation again. If you understand why he did X, then you will know how to handle it the next time.

Yeah, my P had another waiting in the wings. Another victim. Right about now, things should be headed south for her. I don't feel sorry for her. She's a little con artist in her own right. Ho-Hum.

It's OK to be angry and upset. No one wants to have their feelings bludgeoned, and their heart trampled and their trust abused. But, you'll get past this one too.

You will get past it. Just think if you don't. You'll be missing out, you'll let the P win. But the P doesn't really care one way or the other in that sense. With the P, when you're out of sight, you're out of his mind. He's not even thinking about you. He's busy cultivating his next "meal ticket."


Here, this forum, is where we EXPOSE the psychopath for what he/she really is! The more people that know/understand, the fewer resources he/she will have!!

Posted by: sylvie25

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 04/29/05 01:57 PM

I'm curious - has anyone run into the problem of righteous lawyers who react like its an affront to their sensibilities for instance when you say that a signature was very likely forged, or there were financial improprieties at a particular company (with the intent of supporting that assertion obviously). It's as if they can't conceive that those kinds of things happen, never mind that they do (have they watched the news in the last 4 years?!!). I must say, psychopaths have it made all the way, small wonder that they do those kinds of things. The chances of them getting caught much less punished are slim to none.

I asked if anyone has encountered this kind of thing but I presume people have.
Posted by: sylvie25

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 05/01/05 02:08 PM

Hi SO,

You're very welcome. That's what I found when I joined the forum last year as well, that it was a relief to be among people who got it. Prior to that, it felt as if I was speaking in tongues, because for the most part, people simply can't relate. I mean just the term "sociopath" seems so dramatic. With all the talk about domestic abuse etc. in the media you would think the term sociopath would come up more often, because surely some of those men are exactly that. But it just doesn't. Even during the Peterson trial, it was mentioned, but only a few times. I was disappointed about that. In fact I was tempted to call the Larry King Show a number of times just to get that going. That was a perfect opportunity to educate people, that even an outwardly charming, seemingly "perfect", all-American kind of guy could be a veneer for such evil.

You mentioned seeing a pattern/a well travelled road. If by that you're mean several relationships like that, no I can't say the same. The guys I dated before that were terrific, well bred guys who truly liked women. That's the difference they LIKED women. As opposing to Ps who need to use and abuse women, but certainly don't like them. Actually they usually loathe them (mommie issues!).

If a picture tells a thousand words, some of the photographs of him are sooo telling! The antisocial glare is just striking - I guess those are the times the mask slipped.

Take care,

Posted by: significantother

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 05/03/05 12:44 PM

Hi sylvie,
Well I work with lawyers occassionally and most come across as pompous and arrogant if that is what you are meaning. Are you tangled in a court pursuit with a psycho? I do not envy you if so. I have been to other forums and this is the only one that gave me an easy feeling. There are a couple, and I don't mean to belittle, but they focus more on 'woe'. I like the intelligent discussions here. This has been a busy week for me, which is good, and another coming as well, but just wanted to pop in and say hello, thanks again, and keep the faith.
~ So
Posted by: sylvie25

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 05/04/05 03:49 PM

Hi there SO,

YVW. Yeah, lawyers come in all stripes, that's for sure - just think people who aren't psychopaths or familiar with their tactics get bamboozled easily. Not really tangled as such right now, just making enquiries because of outstanding compensation owed by company where psycho ex-boss worked. Well I'm saying "worked" but believe he's still consulting for them so he'll probably make things difficult. We'll have to see. I feel for people who have to go up against psychos for divorces, custody of kids, etc. I mean this isn't fun, but that must be a nightmare.

Yes, there's a lot of interesting discussion/debate here. Sometimes woe as well (from myself included) - I guess it's a given in a forum about psychopaths.

Thanks for your encouraging note.


Posted by: Adrienne

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 05/07/05 01:43 AM

I am so lucky to have gotten out without this... children and abuse and... well. Then to have everyone turn on YOU. How maddening. You are an inspiration
Posted by: Diane1969

Re: The Mask of a Psycho - 12/31/05 07:27 AM

I've been wanting to share my own experiences of this for a while, since it is the one thing that I find the most horrifying about being involved with a P. When that final mask slips and you see standing before you someone that looks, feels, and acts like the very definition of evil, you really feel like you have slipped out of reality and are standing on the lip of hell.

Below is part of my journal that I just recently wrote trying to make sense of all of this.

So, what would scare you? What would make your breath catch, your eyes go wide in shock, you whole body tremble in the instant NOW of the locomotive hurling toward you that you recognize in that instant as unstoppable danger? Would it surprise you to find out that what scared me the most in my entire adult life was my heart’s desire unmasked in a hideous moment of stark truth?

My boyfriend was planning a trip to Boston where he was scheduled to give a talk on self improvement, or the upliftment of the spirit, or quantum psychology, or some other new age, pseudo-psychology topic. He had done this, traveling across the US several times a year at the invitations of people he had met at functions similar to the one at which he was scheduled to speak, for as long as I had known him. I had known him by this time for a little over seven years.

He was always a bit of an enigma to me, a mixture of vulnerability and need for love and yet totally independent and untouchable. I mostly kept a light touch with our relationship during those early years. He was charming, a sensitive type, not terribly attractive physically, but with boyish high spirits, and a tendency to want to enjoy the good things in life. He always gave me the impression of extreme fragility, as though if I blew too hard his way he would shatter into a million dust particles and blow away on the wind of my breath. I cherished him like a flower made of spun glass and treated him as gently. I never tried to analyze or judge him in any way during these early years, and this was so unlike me. I instinctively knew that with this person those activities were futile.

We had been dating on and off for those first seven years, and they were years of disappointment for me and years of painful awareness that he was not the type of person who could ever give anything of substance to me. And yet, I wanted him, the ultimate unattainable bit of candy so high out of my reach.

There were times when he just disappeared without a word, without a whisper, and I never knew during those times if he would reappear at some point in the future or not, and I was left hanging and forgotten like a garment that was once loved and is now out of fashion and so is left to the dust and to the spiders in the back of the closet.

There were times when the memories of cutting my self to shreds on the edges of his needs were so vivid that I could not date him when he returned to lift me back into the light of his dazzling smile.

But on this day, in November, 2002, all of that was behind us. This was the start of a real relationship with him, the first. We had been dating again for two months, and my heart was soaring. I was so in love with him, and all I wanted to do was devote my life to his care and well-being, this precious man.

He was very ill with the flu that day, running a fever and in bed all day, and I was worried. He had to cancel his trip; he was too ill to go on it. We lived in different cities and as I spoke to him on the phone I commiserated with him and I felt so much compassion for him. I asked him if he would let me make home-made chicken soup and bring it to him, and he said that would be nice. So I did this, made chicken soup from scratch, boiling the meat from a whole chicken with garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and the secret ingredient, turnips sliced so thin they dissolved in the soup. It is not a small task to do this, making chicken soup from scratch, and it took several hours. When it was done and still boiling hot, I put it in a large container and wrapped it in towels to keep it hot, and I drove the 47 miles to his house to bring it to him. It was raining and foggy that night and the traffic was thick.

He met me at the door in his robe and he looked awful. I was carrying the hot container and he followed me into the kitchen. As I busied myself finding a place to put the container on the counter, I told him it was still hot and asked him if I could go ahead and serve him some. I said, “This will make you feel so much better.”

He didn’t answer. I turned and he was standing by the sink, leaning on it, and I reached up to feel his forehead to see if he was still feverish.

And then it happened, the thing that still haunts me three years later. He jerked violently away from my reaching hand. It came over him in a split second, less than a blink of an eye. The outer edges of his mouth turned downward and his upper lip rose in a snarl with his lips still closed. His normally hazel eyes turned hard and completely black and his features rearranged into an aspect that made him look dead and possessed of a malevolent force, as though all the warmth in the world had fled before it, leaving only wastelands of destruction and the hunger to kill and devour, to tear me where I stood. Toxic, poisonous hatred flowed from him in waves; the desire to hurt me, to utterly destroy me was evident in every single bit of him. He had become a thing that with its very gaze stripped all joy and goodness from the world and made everything nothing.

I went into shock and froze for a moment that stretched out before me and I knew in that moment that I was about to die a horrible death. Then I turned and fled, shutting down all of my emotions, shutting off everything except my instinct for danger and my need to escape. He followed me to the front door, leaning over me and holding the door closed, and said in a calm and controlled voice, “Do you have to leave so soon?”

I made quiet excuses for my need to leave, keeping my arms and hands at my sides and my head down, and refusing to look at him again, not daring to risk anything, any small movement that might trigger him into carrying out the threat he had showed me under the bright halogen lights in the kitchen. I tried my best to become small and insignificant and disappear. He let me go.

What on earth is this? I had nightmares about it. What had I done to trigger this in him? I didn’t know.

This had not been the first time I had seen this on him, this possession by cold rage, nor would it be the last. It was not the first, nor the last time that I would suddenly and inexplicably find myself fearing for my life in his presence. But this was the first time I saw it in bright light and the first time I saw it come over him, and I could not mistake it for anything else.

Other times this had come over him, I had not been looking until the split second it disappeared, or it had happened in places that were darkened, like in his bedroom, or in the hot tub, or in the car driving at night. And these episodes were always fleeting, and so these other times it was easier to mistrust my instincts, to blow them off as just my wild imagination, or to recast them as something other than what they were.

This time I could not lie to myself about what I saw or what I experienced standing there before his gaze in that kitchen.

These episodes were always accompanied by either stony silence, or by the most hateful words that were so out of place for the circumstances. But they were always in response to me doing something for him out of the goodness of my heart.

My reactions to each of these episodes have been the same, to shut down and try to escape if I could, or to become small and disappear if there was no way to flee.

Over the last three years when I have questioned him about this and other episodes that have happened he has consistently made up conflicting reasons, stories, or denied that they happened at all.

Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: The Mask of a Psycho - 12/31/05 03:22 PM

Hi Diane, thank you for sharing this portion of your "relationship". I have always been interested in the eyes when the mask drops since I have heard it from most victims. I wonder if the more socialized Psychopath's are the more likey he/she can catch themselves in this evil state and get it "under control".

Without conducting any kind of personality profile, it seems as though you are a perfect example of how a successful person can end up in the trap of a Psychopath. I think and have read Dr. Hare on the subject that really nice people are more likely to get involved. I guess that is the good news (that you are a truly nice person) based on the situation you have described here.

I have also heard many times from victims who say that they had instincts something wasn't right but pushed them out of mind.

I wonder if all Psychopaths get this look of evil in their eyes when the mask drops?

Posted by: Diane1969

Re: The Mask of a Psycho - 12/31/05 05:54 PM

Thank you, Dianne. I've wondered if that is the case too, that they all exhibit this cold rage at some point or another.

I have talked with another woman who was involved with him in the past. She never saw this side of him. The mask never slipped to that extent with her. But then again, he was pursuing her and she wanted very little to do with him, since she knew his family and how very messed up they all were.

Another interesting thing about this that makes me pause is that my ex-P was very harsh, controlling, and abusive to my children, to the point that I couldn't allow him to have dinner with us or to allow him to spend the night. This other woman had a son, and my ex-P doted on this child and never even once treated this child the way he treated mine.

I think had she ever really fallen in love with him that at that point this child would have suffered the same abuse, and I'm sure she would have then also seen this lizard-like countenance on him. It was only in the last three years, while we were together in this closer relationship that his abusiveness became so apparent. Before then, he hid it very well.

Posted by: Diane1969

Re: The Mask of a Psycho - 01/01/06 07:42 AM


you wrote:

"I have also heard many times from victims who say that they had instincts something wasn't right but pushed them out of mind."

This is very interesting... during the early years of dating this man there were warning signs, many of them. If I'd heeded even one of them, I would have run far and fast from this man. I used to have a kind of on-going argument in my journals putting all the warning signs and bad stuff on one side of the argument and all the illusions of relationship on the other.

The truth is that the illusion is so good, so supportive, so nurturing, so charming and sweet, that it is very hard to let it go for the awful reality that the warning flags give you. And these things were so diametrically opposed and so very bad, it is also very hard to let go of what you fell in love with. So, there is some partnering in crime, if you will, because you choose which "reality" to accept.

And then there is all the emotional and verbal abuse that happens in the relationship that wears you down and makes it harder to get away. They are so good with the carrot and stick routine. They really do choose you at a low point in your life when your esteem is at its lowest, and they spin you around and fill your head with dreams and then they withhold those dreams and blame you for it because of whatever esteem issues you had when you met (mine was a spectacularly failed abusive relationship and a history of extreme child abuse).

My biggest challenge (and it took me 11 years to do it) was to put all these things, the illusions and the truths together into one whole objective picture that made any kind of sense and that looked only at him and his behaviors, not my emotional stuff. And what enabled me to do that, in the end, was giving up any and all belief that I had any responsibility for his behavior.

Finally everything did make sense, and the only "truth" that could come out of that process was that I was dealing with a psychopath.

But even now I find myself ocassionally falling into the trap of believing that maybe he was trying... until I remember that the things I was thinking about happened while he was simultaneously dating me and pursuing marriage with another woman at the same time and how good he was at hiding that from me, and how good he was at being a completely different person with me than he was with her.

These guys are chameleons.

Oh, but I did learn a very valuable lesson from dealing with this guy for so long. You can't have a good relationship with anyone based on lies and secrecy. If someone is hiding something from you it will never get better. And the more stuff that is hidden the worse the abusiveness of the relationship. This is all foundational stuff.

Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: The Mask of a Psycho - 01/01/06 08:39 AM

Hi Diane,

I think there is always a part of us as caring people to not think the worst of someone even when it is staring us in the face.

My observation is that in the early courtship days a Psychopath extracts a great deal of information in general and discovers soft spots to then use those very elements to create a victim, all the while claiming they are the victim. Sometimes when things are really bad we cling to the good times and turn a blind eye to the rest.

How do these Psychopaths (many of then not even decent looking or have a decent living) trap their victims? I suspect it is because the Psychopath portrays themself as a victim, lousy childhood (my personal opinion is I would have to see a video of the P's childhood before believing it). My guess is the more "socialized" Psychopaths are able to hold the mask on longer and better than let's say someone in the prison system.

I think it also comes down to the "spell" that Psychopaths seem to cast over their victim to make them do things they would not in any other situation agree to or go along with?

Posted by: Diane1969

Re: The Mask of a Psycho - 01/01/06 09:02 AM

Oh, yes, Dianne! I even used to complain to my ex-P about the illusions he cast and that there was never any substance to him. But it is a very strong glamour they cast over our eyes.

And yet, I remember one time sitting across from him at dinner in a restaurant and the glamour all of a sudden slipped, and I sat there wondering what on earth I was doing with this person who had nothing at all to offer me, and wasn't even attractive. I really felt nauseated, resentful, angry at myself and at him, and wanting to be anywhere in the world but where I was. All I can think is that at that moment he was relaxed and not vesting anything in any masks and I "saw" him for what he was - and it wasn't much.


Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: The Mask of a Psycho - 01/01/06 10:40 AM

Could it be that the eyes don't match the rest of the facial expression so it would be quite easy to focus in on the smile and miss the unmasking which seems to become obvious in the eyes?

Doesn't it seem as though the eyes are the key to know that a Psychopath is unmasking?

Posted by: Diane1969

Re: The Mask of a Psycho - 01/01/06 04:32 PM

No. There was a period of time where his eyes seemed almost clear. This was more of an all over behavior thing. Usually every bit of his mannerisms were totally controlled, like he had gone to finishing school or something. It tended to make him a little fakey, but socially skilled, not unrefined.

A little snapshot. The way he usually was around food was always very careful, almost prissy. Even when grabbing a late night snack of cookies and milk in front of the tv, he always seemed so very upper class, I guess is the only way to put it, like a little lady with her tea.

That day he was hunched over his food, almost wrapped around it, eating fast, stuffing food in his mouth, chewing with his mouth open, making sort of grunting noises, and smacking his lips loudly. He was like a totally different person. In this instance all his self control slipped, like he forgot I was there. We were in a back booth that day, so none of the other patrons could see him either.

I don't know if this is true in all cases or not, but to me it seemed almost like nothing was ever internalized for him, not even his learned mannerisms. Everything was an illusion with him, every single thing.

Posted by: Diane1969

That Look!!! - 01/06/06 12:05 AM

Does anybody else see the similarity of a P's cold rage face to the photos in the following link? Seeing these pictures really freaked me out because I have never been able to adequately describe this look.... but here it is captured for anyone to see.... at least this is what my ex-P looked like during those times.

Posted by: sylvie25

Re: That Look!!! - 01/06/06 04:56 PM

Some time back I had mentioned a TV movie that featured a psychopathic boyfriend - at the time I couldn't remember what is was called. Apparently it's "Mother may I sleep with Danger" starring Tori Spelling and Ivan Sergei. It's a dumb name and while not the greatest movie, I think it's worth watching for anyone who thinks their partner may be a P. His behaviour and tactics were so similiar to my ex I found it pretty amazing. Think they should show it in every high school. I believe it shows on cable quite often.

Another one is "Fear" starring ummm...Marky Mark (what's his full name?? hmmmmm.....don't remember). Haven't seen this one but may be worth it. Heard he did a good job of acting.

Also, Cape Fear (De Niro) and the Talented Mr. Ripley (Matt Damon, Jude Law) are other examples that posters have mentioned.

Posted by: sylvie25

Re: That Look!!! - 01/06/06 05:02 PM

The first time my former boss smiled at me I was startled because he had the most machiavellian look I had ever seen so I can relate to what you mean. It was unbelievable - don't think his teeth helped either. But the dog's even worse.....surely even a mother couldn't love a dog like that.

Can't say my ex ever looked like that though, just sort of a stony cold (and antisocial) glare in some pictures.
Posted by: geteven

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 01/21/06 04:33 AM

do p's get diagnosed and do they use drugs to deal with the mask. i once experienced a p in the workplace that would play tennis with our "former" CEO and loss every week. after the CEO was asked to step down, partly because of p, p beat him very badly in tennis in every game afterward. when he wants something from this guy now and they play tennis, he losses... when he succeeds he wins the game.
Posted by: kludgette

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 12/06/06 06:01 PM

My Psychopath's mask was off at least 4 times a week...from the time I was 3 months pregnant. The eyes...they look right through you. They looked right through our daughter. He wasn't there. It was really unnerving, really cold, really creepy. Then looking at him...he was gone. Expressionleess, glassy eyed. Even our dog saw it.

When he came home from work on an "off" day, the dog would immediately hide behind me and shake. He usually hit the dog within minutes on these days unless she hid. Sometimes I had to swivel my chair to keep her out of reach. On a good day, the dog greated him. If I wasn't paying attention...the dog warned me. Our poor daughter never learned by the age of 3. She would always try to great him. She was yelled at each of these days. She took her chances on the one or 2 times a week she'd get a hug or a smile and tried everyday. It broke my heart.

One thing I learned...never show fear. Fear enraged twitch or backwards step and he was on me. He'd threaten me and tower over with a red face, clenched fists and his veins popping out screaming "WHY ARE YOU F*ING SCARED OF ME!!! WHAT THE F* IS YOUR PROBLEM!!!" I could never look at him during those times. I finally puffed up my 5'3" frame stepped forward and told the 6 foot 200 pound man to hit me. Get it over with. I looked "through" him...not at him...and said HIT ME!!! I'M SICK OF WAITING ON IT! I can't really recommend it...but it worked. He didn't hit me and I never stood back and took that abuse again.

He had me cowaring for 2-3 month periods in 5 yrs. I think the only reason he didn't look for a better "punching bag" (verbally/emotionally) was because I made 2x's the amount of money he did. I also stopped reacting to him. If he told a plain flat out lie about anyone...even me, I would say "huh...that's interesting". When my daughter was 3...he had gotten worse...which is when I got out - long story.

Boy he loves money. Can't love a human...can't cry for the pain of a human...even his daughter, but tell him he can only take $40 to the bar or show him a movie in which an actor "died" in war...he'll bawl like a baby. It's the strangest thing.
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 12/06/06 06:44 PM

Hi kludgette, thanks for sharing, I assume he is out of your life?

Interesting he would bawl like a baby over a movie, do you think it was because he was "socialized" and knew to have that reaction?

I have never been in a relationship with a Psychopath but I have seen two unmask, chilling and I am not a person that scares easily. The one was in my house (he was a friend of a friend and I had no idea what his deal was). I just knew something was wrong so when I asked him to leave that stare was chilling and frightened me, my instincts told me to just stay calm and get him out. I had three dogs and was across the room at my computer and my dogs who were normally the nicest dogs on earth gathered around me and started growling. My dogs never growled at anyone, but they sure did with this guy.

I ran into another one recently on a quiet street. I thought I saw him kick his dog but wasn't sure so I slowed down and came very close to him since there wasn't a sidewalk on the side he was on. I locked eyes and thought I was going to have a heart attack. I proceeded to go very slow not knowing what to do but knew for sure he was a Psychopath. Normally I would have hopped out of the car to help the dog but I was so afraid I couldn't and the houses on the street were really set back so it made me think it might be dangerous. I kept him in my sight via my rear view mirror, he looked both ways and must have forgotten I was behind him and began hitting the dog. When I called in to Animal Control to report him I didn't mention the eyes at first (I have this theory that if we aren't careful it is easy to be perceived as the one who is crazy), well the Officer asked for his description etc. etc. At the very end I mentioned his eyes, well the Officer then told me that he had given the guy a ticket the week before and he saw the same eyes. I am sure the Officer got "the look" because he probably was perceived by this Psychopath as being not as important as he thought he was (turns out he was a retired very successful business man here in town). Needless to say I take a different route, those eyes left an impression to this day I can still picture it.

It gives me some idea of what you are describing, my impression was I was looking into the eyes of the devil.


Even though you made more money how can you be sure he wasn't cheating on the side, that seems to their practice.

Psychopath.S. I hope I am not repeating myself but when the mask subject comes up my creep meter goes on.
Posted by: kludgette

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 12/06/06 07:28 PM

His friends were my friends (and relatives). They knew dang well not to lie to me...I did ask...and I know they were truthful. He did flirt a lot...he got a little touchy feely with other women (sometimes in front of me). Yes I am out, for 11 months now. I read somewhere with some phsycotic disorder or variation that they can "show" feelings to/for humans beyond reach - celebrities, politicians etc. He cried when Dale Jr. (race car driver) and the Pope died. I don't remember the exact description, or when this can apply - but I did find it noted somewhere(maybe under Narcisitic personality disorder - closely related to pshycotic) - bawling over money was more meant as an expression of the tempertantrum he would throw.

He wasn't very well socialized once the mask slipped the first time with me it was pretty well over. I had heard some odd comments along the lines of how different he was now that he was with me prior to the mask coming off...I didn't get it - now I do. I had to start limiting exposure to family and freinds so he wouldn't do/say something stupid (calling a rape scene "My (his) idea of foreplay!" in front of my mom and sister). He was worse in front of his embarressed me horribly. He rarely showed the rage around friends/family...more of the immature, lying, world "owes" me side...then at home, it was mostly rage, lying, grandious, cold, world owes me, etc etc.

I'm just worried about our daughter now. What's going to happen. How well adjusted can/will she be. Can the courts help. Keep in mind...mine isn't that socialized and isn't that bright. I knew he wasn't smart when I met him, but he was sweet and didn't matter to me.
Posted by: denfox

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 12/06/06 09:21 PM

I have a couple of thoughts:

I've seen that vacuous stare.

Also, the psychopath, while an intuitive observer of others (they need to be, in order to manipulate), they sometimes seem totally oblivious of their own signals. They may have inappropriate gestures in social situations, or they may be speaking to one person, but maintaining eye contact with another. My psychopath boss tends to stare at me when speaking to others.

I think that cruelty to animals may be more predominate in the male psychopath than the female psychopath - though, I'm not certain.

A possible explanation for the apparent display of empathy (tears) at the movie, may be that the psychopath identifies with the character in the movie and the tears are for themself more than the movie character.

Fear - and this is an unsubstantiated theory on my part - fear, may enrage the psychopath because inside the psychopath is a great deal of fear and insecurity. They probably learned at a very young age that agression means winning and they use it unabashedly.

Money represents control a main objective of the psychopath. Again, here is another unsubtantiated theory on my part: the psychopath probably has the least control of themselves, a complete inability to control themselves, then spurs them to seek to control others, whom they blame for their own problems. Seeing themselves as less than masters of their own destiny, and always seeing blame in others causes them to attempt to control those around them in an effort to achieve an inner peace that is totally lacking in themselves. If they can control those whom they blame for their own inadequacies, then all would be perfect in their world.

Just some ideas I have. I'd be interested in how others think about my ideas. Perhaps, your experiences or your studies can help feel in the gaps as I am still learning.

Ancaro imparo [I am still learning] - Michelangelo
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/01/13 09:10 AM

I can't believe I found this web site. I am currently out of my home because I found out my husband of 30 years had put drugs in my food/drink. He became unmasked to me when I was given a dose of arsenic and became ill. He led me to the couch and began rubbing my feet and face and saying in an odd voice, " I'm not going anywhere".
He acted as if he was in a dream state. Since that night I have seem many sides of him that were hidden to me.

I don't remember much more about that night ( I did not know at the time it was arsenic)I do know that the symptoms mimicked over active thyroid disease which is what I attributed it to. If he had insisted on taking me to the hospital I would not have suspected that something was terribly wrong.

I know know that he has been seeing/using a nurse for some time and am sure now that I am out of the house and healthy that I have been dosed with who knows what. My GP tested me for everything and found the arsenic at higher than normal levels in my urine. I have been to every doctor imaginable and found that my intestinal track, from my throat to my anus was highly inflammed.

I also found a white powder in his medicine case that I now believe is coumidin. I sent a sample to a lab, but all they could say was that it was a compound. I had thought that it was meth or coke due to his increasingly odd behavior.

I feel that there might be someone he is obcessed with who triggers his actions. He receives regular restricted calls from who I believe is a man. Is this man blackmailing him? Before I was poisoned, I confronted my husband about being gay/infidelity. He acts as if I am crazy and has stated as much- when I returned to the area after running away, I confronted him (after contacting the state police and telling my family). He threw himself on the floor and screamed over and over that he didn't do it, that he would kill who ever harmed me...Blah blah blah.

That reminded me of when we were in a local store and a stranger got nastly with me over moving a cart- his reaction to that man was extreme and was a red flag to me that something was wrong. Over the next few weeks, I realized that the nicer he was to me, the sicker I became.

My husband is quite high profile in our community and in his job. I now believe that I have been a beard for him all these years. It was my staying home and raising 2 kids, and putting off my own career that allowed him to become prominent in his field and gain power and wealth. I'm not talling huge amounts of money, but probably over half million. That is what I thought was the motivator money- but now I am seeing that there is so much more to this. What I once thought was a simple affair with his secretary has turned into a nightmare.

People think that I am crazy to leave this man who outwardly appeared to adore me. I hired 2 PIs who revealed a little more to me, but now that I know he is a psychopath, I see that he is a master at hiding his actions. The lies and web of people that he uses for his own benefit is amazing. Everyone loves him. He is still contacting me wanting to work out our issues. Even after I confronted him. Did I mention that we did everything together and we were best friends? I don't know how he had the time and energy for this lifestyle. He has "hinted" that when he was away at conferences the indiscretions occurred. I hate the little hints about what he has done; is it because he wants to get caught or is it that he thinks I am too dumb to figure out his secrets?

I had filed for divorce and am interviewing a few attorneys now that I have more knowledge about his mental illness. ( I will probably be in for a real fight)

Posted by: trudy

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/01/13 11:44 PM

Hello 1962,

I wanted to make a quick note regarding attorneys. I know of people who have had to fight a hard divorce battle and this was one of the suggested tactics. It does depend on how much you can spend.

What was recommended is that one arrange consultations with several of the best lawyers in your area. Particularly ones you think he would like to hire. You are not obligated to tell the attorneys about each other but in consulting them, offering your story and paying them for their time they are prevented from representing your husband. I know this sounds extreme but it does put a wrench in his ability to hire the best.

Of course you should do what you are most comfortable with. I just know that a psychopath with any means is a major source of trouble when you are trying to get them to do something they do not want to do.

I am so sorry for all of the horrible stuff you are having to go through. I wish you strength, health and victory.
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/02/13 12:10 PM

Thanks for the advice Trudy. That is an interesting angle- I have learned that I can't begin to know what he is up to. What I do know is that he is probably gay and wants to continue to be "married". I am pretty sure he has been with both men and women at this point. He is 56 and I would be curious to know if he will mellow as he gets older. I do see having to deal with him quite a bit as we have children, relatives, finances, ect together. Does anyone know if they "improve" with age?
Posted by: Dianne E.

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/02/13 01:13 PM

Hi, great advice Tudy!!

Hi 1962

Does anyone know if they "improve" with age?

From what members have posted over the years, my personal conclusion is that they do improve, not in the way I think you are asking. They seem to improve their skills and are more evil.

That is just my opinion.

Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/02/13 06:28 PM

Diane, that's disconcerting to hear, especially since we wil soon be grandparents. I was hoping that this mental illness would diminish with age and ability. He is 56 but has diabeties and does not take good care of himself.(maybe that's another reason why he's seeing the nurse!) He claims to be seeing a psychologist since I filed for divorce, but of course I suspect that it is for show in the event we go to court.

I am seeing a counselor next week who specializes in clinical psychopathy. I hope that he will be able to give me greater insight into what I have to deal with.
Posted by: trudy

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/03/13 02:11 AM

Hello again 1962,

I wish I could tell you that the problems diminish and psychopathy abates as they age but as far as I can tell this is not the case. My ex Psychopath is now 68, sadly his age just affords that many more years to have honed and adapted his deception and manipulation skills. He has the hot headed aggression of a man half his age, very high intellectual abilities and the emotional capacity of a toddler.

I have read in several places that their narcissism increases with age. From my experience I believe this is true.

I cannot tell you what to do but if I was in your position I would think like a lawyer and a detective, gather EVERYTHING possible. I would take or photocopy all phone records, credit card records, view, take images or copy any incriminating texts, computer downloads, uploads etc...

I wish I had known not to even mention personality disorder, mental illness or anything to him until my ducks were in a row. I wish I had played dumb just long enough to give myself the time to collect data and prove what he was up to. I wish I had recorded conversations, some of which were so insane even I couldn't believe them. I wish I had been more careful with my confidences, many people just cannot understand and will not believe it. This can undermine your efforts at getting what you need and also, getting through this time.

Be well
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/04/13 06:03 AM

Thank you Trudy. I actually made a statement to the state police (unknown to him). I have a victim's advocate who helped me do this. I have also told several family members (who hid me from him for months as I didn't know who was helping him poison me- again I think that he has several people he strings along).

I also hired a PI who found a few things (this my husband knows about). I have phone records also. Since I did all of the household billing, I have no questions about that aspect.

right now he knows he is being monitored and is like a choirboy. I have confronted him about his affairs and his not being at work when he was supposed to be.

Now when I have contact with him, he isn't sure how to act as I am not falling for his old lines. He goes between "normal" to little boy cutsey and then angry/moody. I too have been taping our conversations, but he is more guarded now. We did have some real interesting ones right before he poisoned me though, he said when I died he was going to put my ashes in a dildo (hence my suspicions that he may be gay- along with his gawking at men while on vacation).

I'm wondering if I am still in danger if I agree to just a legal separation instead of a full fledged divorce as this would allow me to keep my health insurance. He seems to really need the "married" title as has offered me more assets if I go this route- my other concern is that he could kill me and then get those assets if we were techinically married. I am researching having all assets put into a trust in which he would get nothing in that event.

A year ago I would have never believed that I would go through all of this, we spent 30 years happy and best friends.
Posted by: trudy

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/06/13 03:00 AM

Hi 1962,

You sound so steady and resilient, I am amazed by your composure. It is horrible to think of what might have been. Thankfully you were able to get help in time. When I read that he was rubbing your feet and had that odd look/demeanor it made me wonder if you had ever noticed this look or way about him before? You were married for so long, has hindsight allowed you to put more pieces together?

Part of why I ask is that my ex Psychopath is a widower, he was married for 36 yrs.(or so). We talked openly about his wife,on one occasion he twice very casually tossed out the subject of Munchausen by proxy. He looked so odd when he said this (Psychopath weirdness) but I was naive then and read nothing into his comments. He was checking to see if I knew what it was, and he talked a little about it. When I look back I recall that strangeness in his face and the way he was speaking about it. He did not cause her illness but he found enjoyment in the novelty and extreme drama which he created surrounding her cancer.

He basked in the attention showered on him as he was heralded the adoring,heroic, wonderful, loving husband. He had total control over her while she was so ill. He was cheating on her during this time with a very unfortunate looking, married, older woman (who cleaned their teeth!!)what filth!

I wonder if your husband has a touch Munchausen by proxy going on as well? I am amazed that he talked people into assisting him with any part of his plan. Has he taken out any life insurance policies on you recently or made changes to any existing policies?

What I think of when it comes to motivation to poison you (aside from munchausen, longshot) is possibly the desire for ending the marriage without losing standing in the community or money. My ex Psychopath referred to his wife as a very effective business/social tool (said during dinner one eve., again, my ignorance allowed me to twist this into something sounding more sane) He had an ENORMOUS funeral and memorial for her. He told me once that he had "Given her a BIG SEND OFF" and wanted to leave it that way for a while! What I am getting at is this: He calculated that she is almost as useful to him now as she was when she was alive.

He pretends to grieve, gets the desired attention and permanently aligns himself with his effective business/social tool. He "sees" kind of desperate women on the sly and gets to maintain his high profile, good standing in the community. I keep quiet about this because his public persona and his "good name" are of supreme importance to him. I prefer to remain with the living.

Good idea to think of the trust or some arrangement that protects you. I would not trust this person, ever. Is he buying time? I told my ex that I kept a journal about everything and that my primary attorney has a copy.

Your situation is frightening, I cannot even believe he said he wanted to make your ashes into a dildo!!! That required some forethought, certainly not a spontaneous idea. What did he propose to do with said dildo? You might be on to something with the gay theory, ogling men is not a habit that straight men engage in.

I have a sense of what you are talking about when you mention being married for 30 yrs. I knew my ex Psychopath for 23 yrs, and never once in that time was there a hint that he was a Psychopath. In fact until everything came down there was no person alive who had been better to me in my life. He was the person I respected above all others, everything one could ask for in a friend, we never once had a cross word and he was never improper. Only in our relationship did I start to wonder what was going on, though I assigned that to grief.

When I witnessed my ex Psychopath lose his mask I was in shock and the entire world seemed to lose meaning. The foundation of my life sort of crumbled and I was in suspended disbelief. It took a very long time for my mind to accept the truth and for me to rebuild. My prayer is that you may be spared the falling apart,that you will be whole and healthy and stronger than ever.

I know you are busy so please do not feel the need to reply because I wrote to you, just know that you are in my prayers.
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/07/13 09:08 AM

Thank you for your words- I am steady and composed right now because I have to be- when I think too much about it I start to have anxiety attacks.

I believe the first time I experienced his unmasking was probably a few weeks before the poisoning when he tried to get me to refinance our house- he wanted to take an additional 10,000 out (enough for a hitman?) He came home depressed (yet I could see he was “acting” ) saying that he thought he might lose his job. Of course I thought it might be possible because I had seen his behavior slowly erode the more I pressured him about his infidelity. Fortunately, I had begun closing out accounts and put money in a separate savings for my escape- every woman should have her own money.

The Munchausen by proxy has been mentioned to me by my sister who is a psychologist- I seemed to get sicker just when I began going to college- had bladder cancer (arsenic induced?), then some type of neurological problem drs thought it was autoimmune now think it could also have been arsenic. Have the same symptoms now, even worse. But now that they know to look for arsenic , drs no longer believe it was/ is autoimmune.

I think the whole rubbing of the feet is because he was/is involved with a nurse ( I think her name is Dawn / he slipped and called me D… one day) I think that she may be involved and may have taken an insurance policy out on me. I worked quite far from home at one point so it was possible that she could have come to the house and met with an insurance agent. Apparently divorcing is the only way to end him as a beneficiary.

I think originally he may have poisoned me to keep me dependent on him (he is still trying to manipulate me by offering more money if I just get legally separated rather than divorced- the title married seems very important to him)

I also recall the strangeness in his face and his movements, he seemed very quiet and moved almost weightlessly. (he is 6’2” and 250 pounds)
He has several masks (persona) that I have seen since then, he seems to be struggling with how to approach me.

I think you are spot on about trying to kill me without losing his married title and without losing his standing AND money. My Psychopath also has said that he underestimated my ability to take care of the finances. I was also the intelligent woman who he took to state functions.
He told everyone he was going to have a huge party for my 50th birthday, which just about coincided with my poisoning (how ironic- a funeral)

My husband also pretended to be devastated and told all he could that he had no clue as to why I would leave him. He began telling people that I went crazy and/or left to live with a younger man I met though work.

Right now I am working with a clinical psychologist who specializes in psychopaths- he told me after the first hour that my husband will try to kill me again. Yes, I think he is buying time to come up with a new plan. I have told my husband that I have a Private Investigator and he will never know when he is being followed.

Did your psychopath drop little hints all the time? Mine has done more and more of it- letting me know that what I believe is dead on; I am not gay, you don’t think I had an affair with my secretary?, I stopped at the gas station for coffee every day (where I believe the person he was arranging to have me hurt lives across from) the list goes on and on.

Trudy, I do feel a little better knowing that you too did not know your husband was a psychopath. What was it exactly that made you realize it?

I too felt disbelief when my husband became unmasked. Right now I am the one living out of the family home, living on unemployment and watching my every move. The counselor I met with told me not to trust him for one second, but I also have two children who interact with him daily – they know that their father has tried to poison me- but they do not know that he is psychopath. Did you have children with your psychopath?

“When I witnessed my ex Psychopath lose his mask I was in shock and the entire world seemed to lose meaning. The foundation of my life sort of crumbled and I was in suspended disbelief.”

Yes, that applies to me also- I’m not sure that I have actually accepted it and embraced the truth even yet. I see the benefit of no contact as he can surely suck me in- I still want to believe that none of this is true- I have to remind myself daily. A horrible way to live.

Your words and reflections give me strength, I appreciate your sharing with me what you experienced- it really helps and is part of my daily reminder. Going online and reading/rereading what people have gone through helps me understand what I have survived so far.

Thank you for your prayers.
Posted by: Smokey

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/07/13 01:03 PM

Originally Posted By: 1962
He has "hinted" that when he was away at conferences the indiscretions occurred. I hate the little hints about what he has done; is it because he wants to get caught or is it that he thinks I am too dumb to figure out his secrets?

I think they do it as it amuses them, shows them how clever they are, to taunt us and as part of their game.

If you figure it out, they win by that knowledge hurting you, if you fail to figure it out they win by "proving" to themselves how much smarter they are than you.

In my experience part of the power play of Psychopaths is that they like to feel they have power, and information is power, especially if the other person doesn't also have that knowledge, so they will hoard information like gold, but occasionally reveal a taunting glimpse of it to you, while they gloat over their ownership of it.
Posted by: Smokey

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/07/13 01:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Dianne E.
Hi, great advice Tudy!!

Hi 1962

Does anyone know if they "improve" with age?

From what members have posted over the years, my personal conclusion is that they do improve, not in the way I think you are asking. They seem to improve their skills and are more evil.

That is just my opinion.


Following the recent death of one of my parents I have very unfortunately been forced into renewed contact with my Psychopathic sister, whom I had managed to avoid with no contact for decades.

My remaining parent and some of my siblings are still totally taken in by her.

She is without doubt very much worse now even than she was all those decades ago.

I think partly because no one thwarts her, or recognises her for what she is in the circles she moves in these days, always with her phoney mask in place to them. Thus she is even more furious when she does encounter any unaccustomed opposition, or comes up against anyone who isn't taken in by her false masks.

She has accused me of all the vile and vicious things she in fact did herself all those years ago, thus turning herself, in her version, from the vicious aggressor, to the innocent, abused victim! She did exhibit cruelty to animals, but of course also denies that, claiming "accidents".

In fact a direct reversal of the roles as they actually were, and the opposite way round to how events actually happened.

She still tries to "charm" or bully (depending on whether or not they are taken in by her) everyone into doing things as she wants, sometimes just as a powerplay, with no regard for anyone else's feelings, needs or wants, unless she is pretending concern in order to cultivate an image.
Posted by: breakingfree

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/07/13 08:44 PM

OMG....It is so painful to read your posts. So similar to my experiences. Reminding me of things I have forgotten.

The eyes. Glassed over and empty, dead. I had never seen anything like that before. Evil.
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/08/13 06:12 AM


I think that you are right. I remember saying to him that I should put spyware on his phone and the next day he breezed through the kitchen and slapped me on the butt as if to say " gotcha honey" - he had just downloaded spyware protection onto his phone!

Just the other day he texted me and asked if the drs could figure out what was wrong with me. I have neuropathy (nerve damage). I know I was exposed to arsenic at the very least and possibly meth.

He has hinted to me about people and places who are in his little web. I have a journal of names, phone numbers, and addresses of places he goes. My fear is that he will try to kill me again, just waiting until he has his next plot complete. I pay close attention to his comings and goings since filing divorce papers.
Posted by: trudy

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/09/13 11:19 PM

Hi 1962,

You are on the right path with the "dropping clues" theory. My ex did this in a variety of ways, throw away comments, muttering aloud, subtle behavior changes, subjects he would bring up that did not seem to relate to anything, outright warnings etc... Things that sort of come from left field or do not fit into the flow or tone of the moment.

I agree with your psychologist. The history of your declining health and everything else reveals a pattern (currently interrupted) but we can likely predict (based on his pathology) what direction your husband's future actions will take if given the opportunity.

Your doctor is right that you can never trust the Psychopath. What is in it for him to have you as separated and not divorced? (To my ex Psychopath PERCEPTION WAS EVERYTHING)

The stigma of a public separation seems inconsistent with his desired public appearance. If he prefers maintaining the public image of being a married man then why would he offer separation? I would always ask myself what is in it for him? Is he hoping his last efforts will eventually take their toll and he can collect ins. money? Can you remove him from all ins. as beneficiary? Remove his motivation for benefiting from anything happening to you?

The driving force in his suggestions to you will be in service to his agenda, to get something he wants. If he has already told people you ran off with a man then his willingness to publicly admit "not divorced just a separation" will make him look like a cuckold to those he told. How could that be good for him?

Question re. your health and all the rest- WHAT IS THE INNOCENT EXPLANATION OF THE STORY? There appears not to be one. Plus there are too many things which require explaining and nothing adds up.

After I knew about my ex Psychopath I was never alone with him again. We met one on one to discuss things but only in restaurants. That was a waste of time, he was just leering at me (something he had NEVER done in 23 yrs)and we never again managed to have what one might call a productive conversation, it was always circular and crazy. I made it clear to him that in the event of an "accident" or if anything "unusual" or "untimely" was to happen to me that there was written and video recorded documentation of every detail of my story.

The Psychopath is always the victim and lies to support this premise. Your husband sounds like the sort of Psychopath to whom appearances mean very much. Like mine, he will save face and portray you as the one who wronged him. In these lies about you will be some kernels of truth about what he has been up to. For instance the "younger man" you supposedly ran off with is very likely a "younger woman" that he is actually involved with. On many occasions my ex accused me of doing exactly what he had done.

What is the story with his job and pretending to fear losing it? Was he just trying to instill fear in you to motivate you to pursue the refinancing of the house? If so what new situation requires a large sum of cash? Is the other woman making demands? Does he gamble? Just sort of thinking as I write. Seriously, why the sudden need for money? Too bad you cannot "take the computer in for repair" then duplicate the hard drive to have a copy of the history.

What do you know about the network of people he is manipulating? These people might be good to look into, they might not be as cagey as the Psychopath and not as on guard in their daily habits as he is. What could possibly be in it for them? What is their motivation for involvement? People usually take on large personal risks for love or money.

It usually comes down to money. My ex has culled a fan club of a few people (people whom he can dominate) . It's all about the money and vying for closeness to him (money).

Your ex is in a NEW situation since you left, he is not sure what you will do, he probably has grown accustomed to being able to manipulate you and is working to regain his power over you. This is probably why he is not sure which persona to use, he is trying to figure out which one will work to get you to comply, to bring you back in line.

I am sorry you have to be in this group, dealing with such disturbing, horrible weirdness. It would be bad enough from a complete stranger but when it is your husband of all those years, well...mind blowing to say the least. Especially when the mask was so firmly in place for so long. Then the situation feels like it does not belong, like it is a movie or a dream and has no place in your waking world.

Does he expect you to live with him? I completely understand about the health insurance, especially with your health as compromised as it is. I wish you had listening devices in strategic areas to hear what he is saying when he thinks he is safe to talk. If I could I would track my ex Psychopaths cars to know if he is in my area. I try not to think about it but sometimes kind of a sense at times that the Psychopath is around.

When it comes to the question of what it was that made me realize that my ex is a Psychopath I can say I had no idea. What I thought at first was that as a widower he had behavior consistent with grief. Anything out of the ordinary was thrown into that pile. I do know that when it comes to NORMALIZING behaviors of the Psychopath, WE DO IT FOR THEM. Particularly when the Psychopath is a loved one we create the excuses for them in our own normal minds. When they are acting strangely our minds go out of the way to find some plausible explanation. Alcohol, stress, whatever.... It was only through hindsight that I figured it out. I had to look up the psychology of his behavior and it led to personality disorder and from there I read (devoured) everything I could on the subject. At first I thought it was just NPD but that would be a NO. I would actually be the only person who could have pinpointed what is wrong with him, figured out by what I would only call divine intervention. His children, extended family, employees etc... have no idea. They think he is a spoiled SOB. For some Psychopaths only the mate/partner in their lives will figure it all out and then only if they have reason and the ability to seek answers. He is actually as psychopathic as it gets. There is much more that I cannot say.

I refrain from all the details because they are so specific. Many of the things I found out about him came after we were apart. Even the way the separation happened was in line with his pathology. Just combing through our history and all the things that never seemed to make sense...they all made sense after I learned all I could about psychopaths.

Be well
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/10/13 04:20 PM

About the "dropping clues" my ex does it so blatantly (in my eyes) that whenever I hear something that doesn’t jive, I note it. Once I reflect on it I can usually figure out what he is referring to. He has yet to slip up about the nurse though, that must be a secret that he is closely guarding.

I got to thinking about fear- I felt that he must fear something. My ex often had a dream that he would whine through- a quite scary thing to listen to /experience. As time went on the dream seemed to happen less, but still he sounded frightened. Perhaps an incident as a child?
I think you are right that the perception of being married is most important to him. When I told him that I wouldn’t feel safe around him unless we were divorced, he said to himself “ common law marriage”.

(The stigma of a public separation seems inconsistent with his desired public appearance. If he prefers maintaining the public image of being a married man then why would he offer separation? )
I have been worried about insurance money . I am working on having a trust drawn up that would cover all of my assets, but I don’t know how this might impact life insurance. My insurance agent said after a divorce in NY “he” could not be the beneficiary, but what’s to stop him from naming “her” as beneficiary?

“Question re. your health and all the rest- WHAT IS THE INNOCENT EXPLANATION OF THE STORY? There appears not to be one. Plus there are too many things which require explaining and nothing adds up.-
He totally ignores most of my comments about my health. Did ask once if the doctors found out why I was anxious and depressed (I figure it was drugs he got from nurse)Also asked if the doctors knew what had caused my intestinal problems (duh…arsenic)

Yes, I too will not be alone with Psychopath- I am in early stage of discovery so I had mentioned that we might reconcile. Bad move. We have met in restaurants. And yes, also was a waste of time. Even my youngest son, said to me. Mom somethings are bigger than a 30 year marriage, how do you get past poisoning?

Interesting thought about the "younger man" I supposedly ran off. I think my psychopath got his secretary of 12 years a new job in Albany, NY. She is a younger woman and I have heard him say her name in his sleep. I accused him of having an affair with her and when I was in the office, neither could look me in the eye. Later he asked if I still thought he was having an affair with her and I said I didn’t until you just asked me for the third time.

I think the story about the job was gaslighting. He told me he was suicidal and then when he went to speak with the therapist I arranged for him he denied he said it at all. I was afraid that the money would be used to pay someone to off me basically. I did tell the kids that if anything happened to me, regardless of where he was that their father had been behind it.

This is going to sound strange, but a local pastor was let go of his job a few years back for having an affair with a congregant. The wife, a nurse, took him back. The nurse I believe is my husband’s lover. I truly believe that they have an agreement to kill off each others spouses. I even gave information to the police about this. They suggested that I hire a PI to interview her (like she’s gonna admit to all of this). The whole time frame of his odd behaviors, moving his healthcare to another town, and her husbands infidelity matches.

I’m sure that he promised her that he would marry her when both were available- but if he was just legally separated he could not do that as he was still technically married to me.

I think Trudy, that it will take me forever to get over this. I have to remind myself daily that my entire life with this person was a total lie. I do have two wonderful children and thankfully I have a support group to help me, but he is in our family home and he has an excellent job. I stayed home with the kids and took care of everything-everything for 31 years. I would say that would also be a motivation to have me back, I am good with managing and planning things. He has no clue about budgeting/finances. I did it all.

For ha, has I asked him to write a list of the expectations that he had if we were to reconcile. He expects and wants me to be his best friend and lover, take care of him if he is sick (another motivation- he was really sick with the flu this year). He does not like to be alone and needs constant contact and reassurance from people (narcissistic) He thinks we can go back to what we had before. I told him it would be a long time. Thought previously that he might mellow, but from what I read on this site that won’t happen.

Thank you Trudy for your thoughts and for sharing with me (us) what you went through. I have support at home from dr and attorney, but my heart and my soul are being healed here.
Posted by: galetre

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/12/13 02:25 PM

Don't do it! If you have managed to get clear of a man who tried to poison you, you need to keep reminding yourself of that. No reconciliation is going to be worth it. He is probably enjoying the chase and excitement of trying to snare you back into his den again. Psychopaths live for the hunt. Mine is never happier than when he has hurt me in some way and is trying to convince me to "like" him again. You said you have been married for 31 years. Are your children grown up and out of the home? If so, that is one less worry for you. If you have family and friend support, you should take legal action and stay with someone safe while all this is going on.
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/12/13 04:12 PM


I know you are right. What keeps me wanting to go home? My cats are there, a lot of my stuff too. I am staying with my mother and I have no where to put things right now. I feel like a homeless person, yet we own two houses. (one is a vacation house 3 hours away) If I could afford to get a little place of my own, I think I would be a little happier- but I also need to be concerned for my safety. My therapist said that he will try to kill me again, just won't be poisoning this time (keeps me on my toes I will say)

coincidently, I saw an aggressive attorney today. I am entitled to 10 years of alimony which will help, I guess I am better off financially than many.

Does any one know about the psychopath needing to stay in the marital home? My psychopath refuses to leave ( I fled 4 months ago and have asked him to leave for the same length of time so I can pack my things and regroup my thoughts) Refuses. Of course we lived there for 27 years- maybe it's part of his "persona" , he always said that I was his rock/support and that he loved coming home to me.

thanks for your thoughts, I get stronger each time I visit this site.
Posted by: galetre

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/13/13 10:08 AM

Not sure about marital rights/psychopath wanting to stay in the home. But I must say, you are so lucky to have your Mother's support. I have no one. Love your Mom! If he is still trying to kill you, you should not be living on your own, anyway. Is there no way you can move your cats to your Mother's home? I know I would miss mine, too. They love you no matter what.

That's terrific news about the attorney and the alimony. Will you have to face "him" in court? That can be difficult. About 20 years ago we had a split for a while and I had to take him to court for harassing phone calls. He stood up and told every lie he could think of to try to defame my character and make me upset in the courtroom. None of it had anything to do with why we were there. I managed to keep my composure and won the case, but the lies were so painful and still are. Twelve years later I forgave him for all of it and took him back. Dumbest thing I ever did. Good luck with the divorce. Be strong!
Posted by: Smokey

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/13/13 12:40 PM

Originally Posted By: 1962

Does any one know about the psychopath needing to stay in the marital home? My psychopath refuses to leave ( I fled 4 months ago and have asked him to leave for the same length of time so I can pack my things and regroup my thoughts) Refuses. Of course we lived there for 27 years- maybe it's part of his "persona" , he always said that I was his rock/support and that he loved coming home to me.

thanks for your thoughts, I get stronger each time I visit this site.

I would also hate to be parted from my pets, and my stuff as so much of it has emotional significance.

My Psychopath sister certainly seems to see her (very fancy) house as an extension of the persona she wishes to project. However as so much is also about control (aside from projecting their image) with Psychopaths that I think they also wish to deprive you of it, and to hold on to it just because they see it as theirs, and to prove they can. so pretty much a win-win allround, for them, to hang on to it.

I hope your case goes well and you can be free, and safe with your cats and your belongings.
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/13/13 05:04 PM

I am working with a female attorney who really gets it. She has a team of people who do collaborative law and they are looking to work out an agreement with my "narcissistic" psychopath. Basically, they are trying to not trigger any further violence ( if that is possible, I don't know)
Posted by: 1962

Re: The Mask of a Psychopath - 02/13/13 05:40 PM

Saw my attorney today and she is thinking of trying collaborative law. Make him feel that he is part of the solution rather than having something done to him- does anyone have any experience with this and if so did it help or not?