This is Holly's case study and 5 questions:
I would like to tell my story, and get some feedback. All of the posts on this site have similar stories about the behavior of their people in their lives. Mine too has these traits. My instinct tells me he is a psychopath. I do want him to get help. I read a linked site where they do suffer, and want the closeness that normal people feel. Even his ex wife, whom I talk to frequently (now that I just found out about her) thinks he is a sweet person, but when she thinks back to all the things he has done, he had her snowed.
Let me explain.
My (ex) boyfriend has has been working a job for the past 2 years, on tugboats. I thought he was finally feeling good about himself, and has a job where he can be successful. He was most recently working a schedule of 28 days on and 28 off. I have been in this (deepening) financial hole since I first met him 2 ½ years ago. OK let me now flash back to the beginning, then I’ll come back.
I met him in July 2007, when I was visiting Key West for work/vacation with some friends. It had been mostly work, but on Sat. after my one friend left, I headed to Schooners Wharf for a beer. Larry was sitting there next to where I sat down. (He was living and working there.) He started a little conversation with me. He seemed almost speechless, (even told me later he normally doesn’t have a problem speaking to people, but didn’t know how to talk to me, said I was beautiful - I was feeling pretty good about myself then and I believed it, I had had people say things like that before). Well after a couple of beers, he asked if I wanted to go for a ride on his scooter. Brought me to a condo that his company had painted to show me. I thought that was kind of weird, as he held my hand. I thought that was weird too. We had only talked casually. Then asked if I wanted to go to his boat. I said sure, it was a beautiful day, and I would be gone tomorrow, wouldn’t have to see him again. On the dinghy ride, at some point, I looked into his eyes (which are blue) and saw something really dark inside. I even asked him, sort of jokingly “ you’re not going to kill me or anything like that are you?” That became the joke of the day. But I wasn’t really kidding. I just knew it was in the middle of the day and with boats and people all around, that nothing would happen. And again, I would be gone tomorrow and never have to see him again.
Well I went swimming. I was feeling pretty uninhibited. Then met my other friends for drinks later. Went over to their house, where I was staying and I did ask him to stay there. Nothing did happen. I guess after spending that much time, and drinks together, I felt like he was taking care of me, felt like he really cared about me. He even said “ Never thought I would fall head over heels for an insurance salesman. Another weird thing though looking back, he asked in the beginning if I wanted to go for a drink later. I said ok. He showed up later after going somewhere to change and came back with only $8. I again, thought weird and not cool, but tomorrow I would be gone. We had breakfast the next morning (I paid ) and I headed back home. I was hungover. He called as I was driving. I didn’t want to answer. My instincts told me not to, and I didn’t want to see this person again, but for some reason I did. Guess I thought it was harmless enough. ( He lived there, and me hundreds of miles away, nothing would come of it I thought) I wish I never had answered the phone now. He just said he wanted to make sure I was ok. Then called a little later. Then kept the conversations going, and texts, and then it felt kind of romantic. He would text things like “ do you believe in love at first sight?” I honestly think he wanted love. He said he was a hopeless romantic.
Well came down one weekend, and thought I would surprise him. He knew I was coming, because of how often we had been communicating, and while on the ferry boat there is no phone signal. I thought no harm, and I still live hundreds of miles away. He took the same boat to visit me one time. Then a few weeks later he wanted to sail his boat up to visit. I did not like this idea, as I thought it will take him at least 24 hours each way, and how is he going to get back to his job and work down there. Then he started saying he wanted to move anyways. I didn’t want him even living in the same town. I didn’t want the responsibility and didn’t think we really ever belonged together. Never had that feeling ever that I wanted a relationship.
So get this. He comes up on his boat anyways, had trouble, he says with a crab trap, had to pay a diver, and spent all his money. So after a couple of days of no wind, he limped in with no money (again).
We put the boat at the mooring field, and go back in the morning to go to it, and it was GONE. He said he was making $500/week payments on it, and he thought the parents of the guy he was buying from lived here. He SAID he gave $500 to his ex to make the last payment, and she didn’t. We drove around and found the boat in a boatyard, hauled out. So here he is with no money, no place to live and no job. What was I supposed to do? He eventually got in contact with the parents of the guy, and they supposedly presented him with his clothes, and a $6,000 bill for boat repair, saying they were even. I wanted him to call the police, because he supposedly had a bill of sale that gave them no right to repossess. (That never did appear- said it was in a safe deposit box in KW, and the key was in the boat of his ex, all lies, I have come to conclude) Well since I didn’t want him living with me, I thought I would help him buy a boat to live on. He looked on the internet, and found this one, that I fell in love with too. We did have that in common. I always wanted a boat, figured if he didn’t pay me back I would have it. Well the first place we had it docked said no livaboards, it was ok, the boat became what we had in common. Since I used credit cards to purchase it on ebay, and the cards started to increase the interest rate, I never knew how to write up a purchase agreement. He would often ask me but I never did that. So this boat became our project.
Well some time later, after having a couple odd jobs painting, etc. my friend actually got him a job at his restaurant, which he eventually screwed up and got fired. He finally tried to get a job on tugboats, and had to fly somewhere for interviews, and physicals, and training, etc. Of course I footed the bill for all that. I needed his income. Meanwhile my credit card debt is consuming me, and he is not really contributing, and I am trying to help him so he can get on his feet and help me out. When he was out of town one time for one of those things, I accidentally saw his email on the computer. I was able to see im conversations between him and what he referred to as his “poker friend” Debbie. I also knew of Sonya the ex in Key West. I knew where she worked so I called her, and met with her when I was down there for work while L was out of town. Whoa. The messages were about his boat and how he would bring it up to Miss. To charter it. She was trying to get him to move back there. Obviously not a “poker friend” but an ex. I asked Sonya about this other person, and come to find out Sonya thought that he and I were just friends. He had gone down there a few times to look for work, and said was staying with “friends” . He did stay with her. So we busted him. He came back and proved to me that Sonya was a liar, and maybe a little crazy. Debbie in Miss, or Al, not sure, was crazy for sure. I ended up talking to her too. She told me she had warrants out for his arrest in 3 states, and that he stole $15,000 from her in gambling winnings and took the rent a car back at Las Vegas and never got on the plane. She, I think is crazy. There are no warrants (I checked) And she even admitted that she let him put the winnings on his SSN. They, according to her were engaged at one time. Not according to him.
So for quite a while after that he had to let me have his passwords to his email. He got on the phone with Sonya and was yelling at her that they were broken up.
So I began to learn to trust him again. As time goes by, and he is doing well in his job, I started to think he was feeling better about himself, and backed off. I didn’t question everything anymore. I was giving him a chance. My friends grew to really like him, even the guy friends who were suspicious in the beginning. If there was anything everyone knew about him, it was that he loved me.
Oh let me go back again. In the beginning he told me he had been married once but was divorced, no children. He said he was from Marathon. Then when he was looking for his high school info, he was calling Mich. I checked everything. I had searched for any bit of information I could find. I knew he was lying about a lot of things, so pressed him. One night he broke down. Cried his eyes out as he told me this fantastic story about motorcycle gangs, and drug busts, and turning on his leader, who happened to be his wifes father. This story was so fantastic, and bizarre, and he was so emotional , and paranoid acting at times, that I believed him. I believed him right up until I found out the truth recently. (Even though I am thinking to myself that whole time, I don’t want to be with this guy) I felt I needed his income. (He had cried his eyes out before, and wouldn’t tell me why) I now believe it’s because of how he left his wife and kids. He said some storey about the military. (He was in the gulf war) So I felt sorry for him. I wanted to help. He even told me way in the beginning when I asked what that darkness in his eyes was that it was PTSD. I asked. Was it PTSD? And he said hit the nail on the head. So I always thought it was something to do with that. I still wonder if this could be why he is the way he is.
OK, so in the past 9 months or so, we had gotten along really well. He had become like my best friend. He had become more confident, and calmer (he used to get that road rage thing, but not lately – he even was arrested for punching out a window at a Wendys last year) I thought things were going really well, and was looking forward to spending the holidays together this past Dec. He had only been off a couple of days, then Monday the 8th, when I got home from work, he and everything was gone. He was going to my bank to deposit what would be a couple of paychecks into my account. There was nothing but a note. “ I am going to get you out of debt. I am sorry, I hope some day you can forgive me. I love you now and always” I had talked to him on the phone all day, even an hour before I got home. No money. I desperately needed it too. I don’t make steady income, and I reminded him everyday that I can’t make it without him. I was devastated. I went through his things, and found out that he never did open and account with Chase like he told me. He would actually go to the trouble of going there, and using the ATM to get money. I found where he , in April had all of his paycheck go into a prepaid debit card. I found where he had gone to CVS and bought prepaid credit cards for hundreds, and said he had no money. There were always problems with the paychecks. I used to do payroll, and kept saying how can they be that screwed up. I think he would purposely not request his ato days, so he would have double checks when he could get it but not me. He had been lying about paying the dock rent for 9 months to the tune of $3000. I saw the latest invoice and was livid. I demanded he fax the receipts to me, but somehow email, or fax or whatever was down. That was right before he got off that last time. He pretended even to go to the boat and work on it all the time. He never went there since Aug. I came to find out I owed $3000 dock rent and the boat was completely trashed, and neglected. I was devastated. How could anyone do this to me? He went somewhere. I don’t know where.
There was also a time last April. He was home, but was to go back to work while I was at at meeting in Daytona. I called one night and he wouldn’t answer. Then he did answer accidentally and didn’t know it. I heard the conversation on the phone for like an hour. I was screaming in the phone. He didn’t hear me. I heard another person, I will assume a guy, saying things like “Do you consider yourself gay? No answer. Things like “that’s why I use craigslist” Then finally I heard L say “I think I knew from an early age” I finally looked up his phone records, cause they were in my name, and called the number that he called earlier at like 1am. Then he finally called me back. Said he was sleeping, and I don’t know what you heard. The next morning, my friend was supposed to take him to the airport, but he said his friend would instead, claimed he wanted to borrow his car. Well 1) Brock already had a car, and 2) He never called him that whole weekend. Claims he took him all the way to the airport, then flight was cancelled, then had to call him back come get him. Even after I tell him he never called that number once, he just doesn’t say anything.
He did finally admit he was from Mich. He had been trying to connect with his family on Facebook. I know he had sent messages to a brother. I saw him crying as he was doing it. So I thought there was compassion there somewhere. He kind of stopped the FB thing several months back. So after he left, I contacted his brother, and found his mother through him. His mother did call me back. I was shocked as hell to find out that L had left his blind wife and 2 kids 5 years ago. Just walked out to go to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving, and never came back. No one knew if he was even still alive. She told me she had legally adopted his kids. His mother lives in Tenn. And heard he was living in Houston, probably because he flies there sometimes to catch the boat, so she ran ads in the paper to adopt the kids. I speak with his wife, who is blind. She is a very nice woman. Poor thing. He left her in a hotel room, with no money, had lost his job. She ended up in a shelter, and brought the kids to his mother’s because she couldn’t take care of them. DCF got involved.
I had some contact (email) starting about 3 weeks after he left. Then there was a paycheck mailed to my house of his. I wanted to cash it. I asked him how I could and he said just deposit it. I won’t forge, so I said no. He could come and sign it. He said I probably didn’t want to see him, but I knew it would be him that wouldn’t want to see me. He agreed, and I met with him. He was very emotional. I was impressed that he had feelings (or so he made it seemed) He was staying at a hotel. I helped him look at getting a place to live. He has moved in there. He has tried to contact his family, his wife, to get divorced, and has emailed a letter to his mother, whos husband just died of cancer. He went once to a counselor, that I know of. I know he did because I saw the homework. He told me that a person contacted him a while back and tried to tell him she had his child. I don’t believe it.
I have befriended him. I think I am his only friend. He never really had any. I want him to get better if it is all possible. I am not sure that he is a psychopath, because I have seen his emotions. He even had to lie about what he was upset about. He says he loves me and I know he wants to get back together, and I can’t say that will ever happen. I get the feeling he is going through the motions of pretending to try and get better just to get me back. I am freaked out. He is still lying to me about the smallest things, but when I confront him he doesn’t even respond. Doesn’t know what I am talking about. I wanted to go to therapy with him yesterday. Supposedly he had an appt. He didn’t want me to go . Said he didn’t have a chance to explain everything yet. First he said Wed. at 10. So I drove by at almost 11 to see if his car was there. It was not. When I asked what he did, he said he went to therapy. I said I didn’t see your car. 10:00 right? He then said no, 11:00. I didn’t tell him it was 11:00 when I drove by. Today on the phone I said I was there at 11 and he wasn’t there then either. He hung up on me.
I am torn. I know that ppl with these disorders can feel lonely and depressed, he often said he was living in hell. His note said “Do you know what it is like waking in hell everyday? I do”
1 If it is Borderline Personality Disorder that he has, is it possible that the sexual abuse he experienced would cause this disorder?
2 Or do you think it was something he was born with?
3 Is this something that can be treated?
4 Is there any real harm in communicating with him? Being that he knows we won't be together.
5 I was reading a link from this forum site, that says they are depressed and lonely and feel that they want closeness. It said that these things could have some treatments. I worry about him doing this to many more people. Can he be baker acted if he is still married, and his wife helps? She will.
Reagrding your first three questions:
Only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from a Personality Disorder and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews.
These may be of help - click on the links:
Pathological narcissism (and psychopathy) is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or early adolescence. The source of the abuse or trauma is immaterial - the perpetrators could be parents, teachers, other adults, or peers. Pampering, smothering, spoiling, and "engulfing" the child are also forms of abuse - see these:
http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/nar ... lance.html
http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc. ... doc/id/419
Narcissistic and psychopathic parents and their children - click on the links:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4727
Healing and Curing Narcissism
Links to Therapist Directories, Psychological Tests, NPD Resources, Support Groups for narcissists and their victims, and Tutorials:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5458
Support groups for victims of narcissists and psychopaths (and one or two groups for narcissists)
http://dmoz.org/Health/Mental_Health/Di ... rt_Groups/
Reagrding your fourth question: harm to whom and in which way? Please clarify.
Regarding your fifth question, read these:
Narcissists and Emotions
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5248
Narcissists and Mood Disorders
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5067
Approach-Avoidance Repetition Complex and Fear of Intimacy
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5000
The Narcissist or Psychopath Hates your Independence and Personal Autonomy
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4959
In other words: narcissists and psychopaths suffer from mood swings and negative emotions, but react badly to intimacy. They regards it as as threat:
Narcissists and Personality disordered Mates, Spouses, and Partners
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5013
Take care there!