I would really appreciate your help.
I met my ex-partner for the first time as a 9 year old girl. It was a 'one off' encounter in a parkland as part of a school activity. He asked for my name during a brief conversation and followed me everywhere for the rest of the day.
Five years later I met him again. He walked into the gymnasium for dancing lessons at the school and immediately our eyes met. Within seconds he was by my side repeating my name and walking away, leaving an air of mystery behind him. A few days later he got in touch with me at home via telephone and introduced himself as the young boy I had met once, all those years ago. He told me that after our brief encounter he had returned interstate to live with his father and yet all that time had told friends and acquaintances he had a girlfriend in Melbourne of my name.
'X' was charming, exciting to be around, impulsive and always successful with the ladies. He pursued me and yet I would not have a relationship with him because there was always something in the pit of my stomach that told me not to trust him; he was just a little bit too charming for me to feel safe. We became best friends. He always put me first no matter who it was that he was having a relationship with. We would sit up for hours as he was a 'story-teller' and I was in awe of every tall tale that he span. My mum thought he was wonderful, "a lot more mature than the other children our age'. When we were 16 he had my initials tatooed on his arm as he said "we won't part until our dying day". We were privileged in our up bringing (private schools) and this was unspeakable behaviour in our social circle. I was the only girl who ever said 'no' to X and I know that it drove him insane and increased his desire to be with me.
X's father was incredibly abusive. A highly intelligent, charming and dangerous man; a serial adulterer and Brigadeer in the army. X sought his approval always, he still does. The physical abuse was shocking when X was a child; I remember when his father dragged him across a rocky cliff face, threatened to throw him over the edge and beat him over the head with a bottle until he nearly bled to death. During family holidays he was not allowed to sleep inside the house and was made to sleep in a tent outside. It was awful. He talked about it often and I listened in disbelief; he always defended his father.
X was highly intelligent (two years ahead of himself at school). At the age of 10 he was arrested on the school oval for involvement in 'counterfeit bank notes'. At only 6 years old I am told that he lied about his age to get himself into a 'gifted' children's program the year before he was legally able to participate. By 17 he was a heroin addict and landed himself in jail in NSW for attempted armed robbery. He wrote letters to apologise to my family for attempting to rob our house before he went to jail. A friend told me that he had broken into my car and urinated all over the dashboard, he stole my private photos in the glovebox, egged my house and generally stalked me prior to his incarceration. I didn't know whether to believe it was him and pretended I thought it was not but in my heart I felt that it was. When I found out he was on drugs I had given him one chance to obtain my help and when he faltered I walked away and left him in tears. I felt that he was angry with me for leaving him and desparate to regain my favour.
I visited him in jail twice in 3.5 years after we sent numerous letters to each other. He was assessed by a Psychiatrist who completed a report suggesting NPD with pschopathic traits. His personality was described as "seductive". I read it and felt offended for him; so naieve I was that it angered me someone could say this about my very dearest friend. Unfortunately it only brought us closer together (somehow these things seem so much easier to overlook when you have known someone all your life). Somehow all of the water under our bridge only served to make the relationship more compelling.
So when he returned to Melbourne at 22 years old we commenced a relationship; we seemed destined to be together, we were so passionately in love. Five years later the relationship ended. X had been pursuing countless women over the internet for sex (he had even got another girl pregnant and was plotting to harm her in the hope she would lose the baby). He had informed his brother he needed "something different" and therefore was playing the field but apparently all the while he maintained that I was the girl he wanted to marry; I was different in some way. X seemed to have a hatred of women deep inside his mind that he tried hard to conceal to most. I was always the exception. He put me up on a pedastool in conversation with all. He never raised a fist to me in anger but would become consumed with selfish bouts of depression at times e.g., if he was asked to wash the dishes.
My stomach was always in knots while we were together. There was never any solid evidence of infidelity but somehow the stories didn't always seem to add up. If I questioned him he made me feel inferior; there was a complex explanation for EVERYTHING, nothing seemed simple anymore.
I finally ended the relationship when I found out that he had bought an 18 year old girl back to Melbourne with him after a trip to Canberra to see his father. He had planned to return her two weeks later with me being "none the wiser". I intercepted the plan by accident, caught him in the act and walked away; we lived together at the time - he flaunted with disaster constantly. After I left, he pursued me and it broke my heart. After 5 years of the anxiety and strange gut feelings I had very little self esteem. I had become preoccupied with him and completely disassociated from myself.
I have been separated from him for 3 years and am happily settled with a wonderful man. It has been 12 months since I have heard from X and it took a long time to get rid of his advances but I remained strong. I hung up the phone on him, gave him the silent treatment and moved on with my life (it was hard because as X had known all along my strongest quality was loyalty, but I had to keep my dignity). My family were relieved, I started to look and feel like myself again.
We had looked at the PCL-R together on one occassion during our relationship and he agreed that his behaviours and compulsions indicated he had a number of psychopathic traits. He admitted that he was psychologically disturbed but being so high functioning never committed to seeking help and always fell back into patterns of grandiosity and compulsive lies.
X's pattern over the years of our friendship and relationship was to always get in touch with me 'out of the blue'. At times months or even a year passed by and then all of a sudden I would hear from him and he would be bounding back into my life. I was always his priority and he lavished me with his attention.
I have a number of questions for you Dr Vaknin
1) Do you think X was grooming me from a very early age as NS? If so, how would he have known and why me?
2) Given it is 12 months since I have heard from him and I am now married etc do you think he will leave me alone?
3) Do you think that my leaving is likely to evoke anger/hatred in him and if he is going to act out against me is there any way of knowing how long he will leave it before he acts out? I know I fear this as I have had nightmares of the sort from time to time.
4) I know of his new partner; a lovely girl (looks just like me). Do you think I have a responsibility to warn her about his behaviours (she has been giving him a lot money) and her parents live very close to mine? I am afraid of the consequences of acting to protect her but I feel guilt because I know what a mess he made of my life and the lives of my family; I can't stand the thought of another innocent girl becoming a victim. What do you think?
5) Is it possible that he is in fact a psychopath rather than an N?