Author Archives: Antonella Gambotto-Burke

Monsters, Inc. (p4)


One sociopath I know tried to pin the end of his third marriage on his latest target, blaming her for the divorce and for his poor relationship with his emotionally disordered daughters. “I left my family for you! I woulda died for you!” he bleated, trying to make her feel accountable. The reality? He felt nothing but contempt for Wife 3.0 (he regularly posted savage details of her stupidity and their pathologically abusive sex life to entertain other men); he left her because he was bored. They had been having problems and seeing therapists for years.

A suggestible woman of low intelligence, Wife 3.0 didn’t mind his abuses too much as she enjoyed the lifestyle he provided; in this respect, they were a perfect match. Their relationship was characterised by high sexual sensation-seeking, inertia, indulgence and lack of intimacy.

The problem? Throughout the marriage, he’d had secret affairs, online and off, masturbatory and emotional, with other women, paid for cam girls and was addicted to extreme pornography: this was the “love” he tried to make Target 4.0 believe she had tainted. The reality was that he was a master game player who had a history of and reputation for abusive behaviour towards women.

I’ve had similar experiences with sociopaths – in particular, of their overtly – and covertly – controlling tactics. One made me laugh so much – laughter, like alcohol, is a disinhibiting agent – that I found it difficult to believe the pathology I could not help observing in his behaviour. Once I consciously recognised his cruelty, I inwardly stepped back, as if from a reptile. As John Fowles wrote, “He’s not human; he’s an empty space disguised as a human.”


Blame shifting, digression, charm, duplicity, humour: sociopaths only stop when they realise that you have seen them for what they are, because there’s nowhere left for them to go. It’s done. They have no option but to move on to a new target because you know too much about them.


The sociopath:

- Deflects attention from what they have done
- Gains sympathy, care and compassion
- Has your full attention
- Makes you feel ‘responsible’ for them
- Becomes the victim – and forces you to now become the carer
- Has a ‘get out of responsibility’ card

- from

A Relationship with a Sociopath


Every sociopath I have ever known, either consciously or subconsciously hates their mother. Sociopaths who consciously hate their mother may acknowledge the depth of their hatred publicly or only to a select few, but male sociopaths who subconsciously hate their mothers can put on a great performance of cloying sentiment in public, taking their hatred and contempt out privately on women through sadistic cat and mouse games or through abusive sexual practices and extreme pornography, in which women are abused for the disordered pleasure of viewers.

Substances, too, will often bring out the hidden aggression in sociopaths, which is why some of them avoid drugs and alcohol; as disinhibiting agents, substances reveal the perversions and disordered emotions that sociopaths normally keep on a tight leash.

The critical factor in any relationship with a sociopath is power play: they must win and to win, the relationship must be perceived as a terrain of opposites rather than two people working with and for each other in harmony. To the sociopath, the partner is the opposition, never the beloved; they are a target to be seduced and played, because the goal of the exercise is victory to feed the sociopath’s bottomless appetite for narcissism. And if they cannot win, they want to destroy.

More information here:

“We’ve seen how psychopaths use women’s capacity to love and their tenacity – their high emotional investment in the relationship – to keep them on the hook. They lure them with strategic withdrawals and empty promises to improve, which are belied by consistent, though often hidden, abuse. They dangle whatever women want most in life before their eyes – true love, fidelity, commitment, a happy life together, returning to the romantic and exciting honeymoon phase of the relationship – only to make demands that erode their partners’ dignity and self-respect …

- Claudia Moscovici, Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction


From Sam Vaknin, an expert on narcissism and psychopathy:

“The sociopathic narcissist is never whole without an adoring, submissive, available, self-denigrating partner. His very sense of superiority, indeed his False Self, depends on it. His sadistic Superego switches its attentions from the sociopathic narcissist (in whom it often provokes suicidal ideation) to the partner, thus finally obtaining an alternative source of sadistic satisfaction.

It is through self-denial that the partner survives. She denies her wishes, hopes, dreams, aspirations, sexual, psychological and material needs, and much else besides. She perceives her needs as threatening because they might engender the wrath of the sociopath …

The sociopathic narcissist recreates for the partner the sort of emotional ambience that led to his own formation in the first place: capriciousness, fickleness, arbitrariness, emotional (and physical or sexual) abandonment. The world becomes uncertain and frightening and the partner has only one thing to cling to: the sociopathic narcissist.”


Dr Seth Meyers writes:

“By definition, the psychopath doesn’t have successful relationships. Actually, the truth is more about capacity than quality. With the psychopath, there is an absence of emotional connection and true empathetic feeling. The psychopath simply isn’t capable of trusting and depending on another individual. To sit with them and assess them as I have in forensic settings, it’s as if you’re talking with someone who’s part ice. Though they engage in sex (and other trappings of relationships), their experience of sex is vastly different from their non-psychopathic peers.

“First, let’s quickly review the most disturbing traits of the psychopath: According to the Antisocial Personality Questionnaire (Blackburn & Fawcett, 1999), primary psychopathy is characterized by hostility, extraversion, self-confidence, impulsivity, aggression, and mild-to-moderate anxiety. Though the psychopath may commit illegal crimes, a psychopath can go through life wreaking harm on others and yet never commit an actual crime. The traits of the psychopath are deeply troubling when applied to sex and relationships.

“Sex is never a mutually emotional experience with a psychopath.

“Conventional wisdom suggests that sex should be an emotional and intimate experience. Think of any popular ballad on the radio, and you know what I mean — songs about idealistic, perfect love in which both partners love and trust, and make love until dawn because their emotional connection is so strong. Simply put, a psychopath would be the last person in the world to have that kind of lasting, sustainable connection. Psychopaths are chiefly oriented around getting their most important needs met, regardless of the expense to others.

“Because psychopaths don’t have mutually dependent and respectful romantic relationships, they can’t have a healthy sex life, either. The psychopath is often a pro at seducing and getting someone into bed, but the process is more a calculated game than an organic emotional — and then sexual — experience. So what turns on the psychopath?

The psychopath is sexually motivated by power — everything is a means to an end. If having a sexual relationship with a woman means that she will then trust him more or give him more money, he will perform the sexual task with Herculean bravado …

Like much of their behavior, psychopaths have mastered the art of performance. They perform in areas of their lives most people wouldn’t even imagine — saying ‘I’m sorry’ with the right sensitive tone, having seen an actor do it really well in a movie; professing love as if the world were to end the next day, reminiscent of lyrics from a popular song; and always dressing the part wherever they may be, understanding that image and first impressions can lure others into their lair. When it comes to sex, psychopaths perform, too.

“The psychopath who seeks to drain the bank account of a vulnerable but wealthy individual will have as much sex — or provide the best sex possible — if it helps him or her achieve that goal. Similarly, another psychopath who has sexual urges seeks a willing partner on whom to force himself and have sex as rough as necessary to discharge the dysregulated, hostile energy.

The psychopath frequently engages in promiscuous sexual behavior or has many short-term marital relationships, both items on Robert Hare’s seminal Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (1991). Ali and Chamorro-Premuzic (2010), for example, found that primary psychopathy was positively associated with promiscuity (e.g., psychopathy meant more promiscuity) and negatively associated with commitment (e.g., psychopathy meant less commitment).

Psychopaths don’t engage in promiscuous sex because they love sex so much; it’s more about boosting their ego when they feel rejected, obtaining power, or defending against the boredom psychopaths often feel. Plus, sex — especially with a stranger —allows the psychopath to get incredibly quick access to another person at their most sexually intimate and vulnerable. Because psychopaths constantly have their eye on a goal, getting someone in a vulnerable position allows them to take more advantage of them. If someone is lonely, they may be more susceptible to the sexual advances of a psychopath—even if their instinct tells them something about this new person seems off or, as is sometimes the case, they seem too good to be true.

“Bars and restaurants with active happy hours are especially popular spots for psychopaths to sexually pursue individuals. With the wheels greased with alcohol, men and women alike are more willing to fall prey to the psychopath’s highly calculated strategies to ensnare. The psychopath in this setting can be spotted by picking up on the following signals: excessive, forced flattery; looking for pity or sympathy; creating a sense that the two share a deep, almost destined connection right from the start; and asking extremely personal questions too soon in service of the need to ascertain the target’s emotional weaknesses. Finding victims when they’re lonely, depressed, or emotionally lost …

“In essence, the psychopath’s emotional needs are all about serving their own grandiose self-image, and not at all about mutuality or reciprocity. Most important, the psychopath will never truly honor the victim’s feelings, especially when it comes to asking the psychopath to take accountability for their deceitful and conscience-less ways.”

Read more here.


1. Sociopaths cheat

“Sociopaths are promiscuous – it’s one of the traits of the disorder. They start young and engage frequently. What they really want in their sex lives is variety, including a variety of partners. No matter how they may proclaim that they’ve changed, that you’re the person they’ve been waiting for forever and they’ll never need to look at another partner well, sociopaths also lie a lot, and that’s one of their biggest lies. If you want a monogamous relationship, you will never get it with a sociopath.


2. Sociopaths will push your boundaries

“Sociopaths want excitement, stimulation and variety. They also get bored easily. So once your novelty as a new partner has worn off, they’ll want to shake up their love life, perhaps by engaging in practices that you find uncomfortable. They’ll make suggestions, and if you resist, they’ll lay on the guilt trip – ‘if you really loved me, you would do it.’ They’ll chip away at your protests, until one day you may find yourself doing things that you once thought were degrading.

3. Sociopaths use sex to manipulate you

“Sociopaths target you because you have something that they want, and it may not be sex. Perhaps you have money, a nice home, social or business connections. Sociopaths know that if they can hook you sexually, you are easier to manipulate. So they take you to bed, and then press for what they really want. This is especially dangerous if you are married to someone else, work for the same organization or hold a prominent position all of which would make you susceptible to blackmail.

4. You’ll catch a sexually transmitted disease

“Sociopaths are promiscuous. They are also reckless. And they want their stimulation. Taken together, this means they often don’t want to use protection. In a survey of Lovefraud readers, 20 percent said acquired an STD from the sociopath. In some cases, the sociopaths knew they were HIV positive, but continued to have unprotected sex, intentionally infecting multiple partners.

5. Sociopaths may lie about sexual orientation

“Some sociopaths are straight, some are gay, and some are neither straight nor gay – they’ll have sex with anyone. In the Lovefraud survey, 18.5 percent of respondents said their sociopathic partners lied about their sexual orientation. Why? It’s not necessarily because they are gay and still in the closet. More likely, they’re looking for variety, or you have something that they want, and they are using sex as a tool to manipulate you.

- Donna Andersen,

Monsters, Inc. (p3)

Patrick Bateman_American_Psycho

I have known a number of sociopaths, both male and female – some in romantic contexts, others social or familial. In my experience, they all considered themselves to be intellectually superior – sleek predators, Patrick Batemanesque narcissists, dark duplicitous manipulators – when the reality was that they were – to borrow a wonderful phrase – as thick as shit.

Only two were intellectually remarkable and even then, their emotional poverty and spiritual emptiness amounted to stupidity. Why? Because despite their machinations, their exploitation, their sometimes remarkable bank balances – generally obtained through fraud of some description – and their sometimes astonishingly plausible performances of being human (pretending to care, pretending to love), at the end of the day, all they experienced was rage and emptiness and envy. They target empaths because they hunger for a love they cannot feel.

This is because the sociopath’s life is empty of love. All they understand is how to feign love (platonic, familial, romantic), going through the motions like parrots – they can mimic the sound, but the meaning is lost to them. I remember one saying that the two things women want in relationships are to be made to come and to be made to laugh, and that was it. He literally had no understanding of tenderness, loyalty, respect, protection or caring; his most intense sexual excitement was in the abuse, mockery and diminishment of sexual partners.

Paedophiles and child sex abusers are all, by definition, also sociopathic.

Sociopaths do not understand that truth is the axis of love, having, for the most part, been parented by people who were themselves incapable of love. Parental abandonment through various means is a common theme, resulting in both trauma and an inability to trust. They “act out” this trauma by exploiting the vulnerable as they themselves were exploited when vulnerable, experiencing characteristic glee when they succeed in fleecing others, whether sexually, financially or emotionally. Through such fleecing, they externalise the pain and humiliation they have themselves buried, thereby unburdening themselves by “passing it on”.

The problem? Such feelings cannot be “passed on”, which is why the sociopath must repeatedly hurt, repeatedly damage, repeatedly humiliate, trapped in a hamster wheel of sadism, unwilling – or unable – to access their original anguish in order to process it. Instead, they hurt others – in some cases, fatally – to relieve the pressure of their own unexpressed rage and pain.

Below, further information on the targets sociopaths most love.

“According to the author of The Psychopathic Mind (Meloy), when needing to manipulate a female, the psychopath often targets women who are what is often called the ‘dumb blonde’ type, the kind of woman who exudes naivete, often unconscious of her own sexuality, vapid innocence, often not too bright – their personalities usually border on the Pollyanna-ish, and they always see a silver lining in every cloud. Not that there is anything essentially wrong with innocence or optimism, but when dealing with a psychopath, that can prove a bad combination. Psychopaths seem to be attracted to this type of woman in particular. She is nurturing and all-giving, while he is closed-off and retentive.


“They have ‘an uncanny ability to spot and use nurturant women – that is, those who have a powerful need to help or mother others.’ [Hare, 149].


“As Hare recounts, a particular ‘nurturance-seeking missile’ who had a local reputation for attracting a steady stream of female visitors seemed to have this talent. He was ‘not particularly good-looking or very interesting to talk to. But he had a certain cherubic quality that some women, staff included, seemed to find attractive. One woman commented that she ‘always had an urge to cuddle him.’ Another said that ‘he needs mothering.” [Hare, 149].


“Psychopaths also like to ‘attach’ to women of higher social status, a woman who represents what he would like to be. Then when he is through with her, he can destroy her and ‘kill two birds with one stone.’

“However, regardless of what personality type they go after, everyone is still a target.

“Like the narcissist, the psychopath has an arrogant, disdainful, and patronizing attitude; however, let me make this clear: often in the initial stages of charming someone new, the true character is kept hidden, naturally. That is why, when a woman warns another woman about a psychopathic man, his newest victim will not be able to believe the bad stories about him. ‘But he’s so charming, so kind, so nice …’ and so forth will be her reply.

“Yes. Exactly. He is playing a game with you, too.


“Psychopaths have a grandiose self-structure which demands ‘a scornful and detached devaluation of others’ [Gacon et al 1992], in order to ward off envy toward the good perceived in people. They react towards perceived or existing attachment capacities with ambivalence and often aggression.


“According to Meloy, most of them transfer the attachment to ‘hard objects’ such as weapons, knives, [magical practices] etc. The grandiose self is represented onto the weapon or object and is a projection of themselves. This of course is more in depth study of the psychopath. Not all psychopaths have a gun collection or a favourite knife or sword, but a great deal of them do tend to be fond of weapons and such symbols of aggression and dominance. I’m not sure if this is true in all cases, but one psychopath I knew loved swords. He was obsessed with them and loved weapons of all kinds.”

- Read more here.


Monsters, Inc.

Profile of the Sociopath

Glibness and Superficial Charm

Manipulation and Cunning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”

Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Incapacity for Love

Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

Read more here

Girl Power / The Mirror (UK)

I’ve had two of the biggest (sentimental) thrills of my professional life within a week: the most recent is appearing here with activist & 2014 Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Virginia Woolf, Maya Angelou, Emmeline Pankhurst and JK Rowling as one of the most inspiring international activists for women’s rights.

Bethesda nearly had a cardiac arrest over the fact that my quote is mentioned alongside Taylor Swift’s – wild shrieking could be heard as she danced around the house.

#girlpower #loveistruth #equalrights #womensrights #loveisrespect #respect