When it comes to selecting victims or targets, psychopaths do not discriminate.  They are opportunistic.  Whatever delectable fruit crosses their path is ripe for the picking.  I do not even believe that psychopaths have a genuine sexual orientation, and are happy to shift from straight to gay to straight again, as suits their purposes.  That being said, I do believe that individual psychopaths will have a tendency to go for either low-hanging fruit (the vulnerable) and others will target the coconut, hard to crack open, hard to reach at the top of the tree.

In my case, I was über-vulnerable.  Vision impairment, transgendered, no family, history of abuse.  Even though I was disabled, and had very little, I believe my wife mistakenly believed in the myth of “wealthy Americans.”  Vulnerable + “wealthy” = irresistible target.

This really isn’t about my wife, but about how astounded I was to realize just how many, many times I’d been victimized because of my vulnerability by psychopaths.  My knowledge of psychopathy was a gradually increasing arc, culminating with what I’d endured at the hands of my wife.  Now — thankfully — I’m step-by-step relinquishing the victim mentality, learning to set boundaries, and finding that I have more inner strength and power than I ever imagined.  This is one reason I so appreciated the graphic my friend, L, sent me:


In my post Are Online Friendships / Relationships Safe?, I briefly mentioned Vikki.  I thought I might write a little more about that piece of my story.  It stands out because Vikki was the first person I’d met who was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

From PsychCentral, two of the cardinal traits of someone with NPD are:

  • Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

Exploitation, lying, lack of empathy, and lack of conscience are the common characteristics of people who might be called psychopaths or sociopaths or … pick your favorite label.  (But please don’t forget that psychopaths are masters at displaying faux-empathy.)

So, I met Vikki on Internet Relay Chat after Donna and I had broken up, but were still living together for financial and logistical reasons.  My handle on IRC was “Spykie.”  I was known by that nickname for years, and have it tattooed on my arm.  Vikki’s handle was “Lilith.”  Mythology has not been an area of interest of mine.  Had it been, I would have had my first clue.  The first photo in this article is a depiction of Lilith.

From the Wikipedia entry, “Lilith (Hebrew: לילית‎; lilit, or lilith) is a Hebrew name for a figure in Jewish mythology, developed earliest in the Babylonian Talmud, who is generally thought to be in part derived from a class of female demons Līlīṯu in Mesopotamian texts of Assyria and Babylonia.”

Vikki quickly gave me her “sob story.”  Psychopaths always seem to try to hook you by getting you to feel sorry for them.  There were some startling parallels to the “sob story” I would later get from my wife.  Vikki was going through a bitter divorce from her second husband.  Ironically, both men were Turkish-Muslim, and were painted as abusive.  A fierce custody battle was going on for her two daughters, and Vikki was “terrified” that her second husband, Çemil, would kidnap her daughters and take them to Turkey.  Well, last I knew the man is now, 20 years after the fact, still living in the same home he had back then in a Maryland suburb, but perhaps by now he has retired from the gas station he owned?  Also, at age 40, Vikki had decided that she was a lesbian.

In the previous post, I explained how it came to be that I moved in with Vikki — living with Donna had become untenable for both of us.  This unexpected new romance with Vikki appeared out of nowhere.  It seemed like a practical solution for both of our situations for me to move in with her.  The romance had already gotten pretty heavy, and so Vikki drove her van from Maryland to Pittsburgh to collect me and my personal belongings.  We were no sooner on I-70, Vikki holding my hand atop her thigh, when she said, “This is not a relationship, you know.”  WTF??

Yah, you picked a fine time to “tell” me, Lilith!!!

I suppose it would have just been another bruise along the way, to realize that Vikki’s true purpose was to acquire an unpaid babysitter, maid, and secretary.  Except, her actions didn’t match her words.  She continued to seduce me in every way possible.  Sleeping with me, kissing me, teasing me, and on and on…  I thought she was just confused. 

I hardly know where to begin.  There’s a side bit that can’t go unmentioned, though.  Pardon the pun, but Vikki was seminal in helping me consciously realize that I needed to transition from female to male.  You see, Vikki exuded masculine energy.  When she wore dresses, to me, she looked like she was in drag.  I started to notice this subtly, and still conceiving of myself as a lesbian, I was dumbfounded. 

Vikki was gorgeous, at least to me.  She was of Portuguese descent with coal black hair and brown eyes that looked like unclouded coffee.  She looked a bit like Eric Estrada from the old CHiPs TV series, except slightly craggier and more masculine:

Eric Estrada

One day, I was with Vikki shopping at the grocery store,  I wandered off down the aisles and then couldn’t find her.  I walked up and down the store, peering at each aisle, looking for her.  Finally, at the far end of one aisle, I saw a man with his back turned.  You have to remember that I have limited eyesight.  In situations like these, I try to remember the color of clothes the person I’m with is wearing in case we get separated.  And I noted that the man on the far end of the aisle had on clothes the exact same color as what Vikki had been wearing.  But he had broad shoulders and narrow hips, and was standing with his feet far apart, and I thought, “Naw….”  Not finding her elsewhere, I moved for a closer look.  When I was within my vision’s range — bing! bing! bing! — it was Vikki.  

It was either Vikki’s birthday or Valentine’s Day, and I’d gotten her a nice card.  She looked at me with those clear brown mesmerizing eyes and said, “If I were a man, would you marry me?”  Oh, yes, in a heartbeat, thought I, the lesbian.  But meanwhile, remembering, “This is not a relationship, you know.”

Vikki’s father was a neurosurgeon.  Vikki had gotten a master’s degree in linguistics in Germany.  She was an instructor at a local university.  She had a certain facade of normalcy.  But at the same time, she was very disorganized and chaotic.  Vikki was doing some home improvement projects.  It was not unusual for her to head to the university with paint smeared on her skin and clothes.  I tried to help her in this regard.  One day as she was preparing to leave for a lecture she had to give at the university, I helped her pick out a crisp white shirt and she put on some nice slacks.  As we were standing in the back doorway saying goodbye, I noticed that her collar was upturned.  I reached up to straighten it for her, and she bent down and softly kissed me on the lips.  One of our most tender moments.  But not a relationship?

In the evenings, we would sit together, and Vikki would spend hours writing emails.  My job was to sit quietly and not question what she was doing.  Various details and unsavory circumstances began to surface.  Vikki had had a former student who was Korean.  He had lived with her, and then had had to return to Korea.  He was absolutely convinced that they were going to be married.  I would sit and listen — she didn’t care what I heard — to Vikki talking to him.  And she would even give me his side of the conversation.  The first one I remember, Vikki told me that this fellow had bought a house in Korea for the two of them, and was waiting on her to come to be with him.  She said nothing to dissuade him, but led him to believe that this was the plan.  But when she didn’t materialize in Korea, the poor guy frantically called Vikki and begged her to go to the American embassy and clear the way for him to return to the US — she did nothing.

More unsavory, Vikki had another Korean friend who was her “f*ck buddy.”  When she got a notion, she’d call him, and he’d be over in 2 seconds flat.  Now her house was arranged such that she had a sitting room which could be openly seen from the upstairs balcony.  My room (or “our” room on the nights she slept with me, which was most nights) was in the finished attic.  Her daughters’ bedrooms were on the second floor, as was the main bathroom.  So when she called this other Korean bloke over for a romp, they’d carry on in the sitting room — right where either of her young daughters could come out needing the restroom or looking for her, and see her flagrantly in the act!  Myself, I hid in the attic, crying and confused.

Worse yet, Vikki made plans to attend a conference in her professional field in another state.  The conference just happened to be held at the same university where she’d gotten her undergraduate degree.  So part of the time she was working on her mysterious emails, she was corresponding with a professor she’d had there.  The man was near retirement, had been married some 30 years, and had grown children. 

Vikki came back from the conference telling me how she’d sat on the old professor’s lap, and how he still “had it in him.”  He wanted to leave his wife, and marry her.  By now I was finally getting the clues.  Of course, Vikki had no intention of marrying the man.  She was just after a little of his money, and toying with him.  As he pressed her, Vikki came up with excuses, and as with Paula, the emergency trip to the hospital was her best excuse. 

One day, I was at home alone when the telephone rang.  It was the old professor.  I listened to the haggard concern in his voice.  “Vikki told me she was in the hospital for an emergency.  I’m worried sick.  I’ve tried every way to reach her, but can get no response.”  I’d had it; I’d seen enough.  I said something to the effect of, “Look, Vikki is not in the hospital.  Vikki is not going to marry you.  She’s already got one guy in Korea who thinks she’s going to marry him.  She’s got another guy who comes around to have sex with her.  And she’s got me here living with her.”  I don’t recall what he said, but I think that saved his marriage, and it put an end to Vikki toying with his life.  It also put me on the outs, gratefully

All this (and more) transpired in about 6 short months’ time.  I was given the gift of thinking more deeply and consciously about my need to transition from female to male.  Though I didn’t understand what had happened and how I’d arrived in such a loathsome position, I’d had my first taste of being victimized by a true psychopath.  I cried, I hurt, I was suicidal for a while, but I made it through.  I went on with my life.  The last I heard of Vikki, she’d married and managed to stay married for several years, but then had had an affair with someone where she worked.  Carrying on the same old patterns…


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Dog Dharma is written by a human who loves dogs and who believes dogs have attained enlightenment. The human behind Dog Dharma came from humble origins, has faced many trials, enjoyed many adventures, and taken a path less traveled. He claims no special privilege or expertise, and remains humble. Dog Dharma‘s author has learned a few things along the way, and has much yet to learn. He has been told by many people that he has a talent for writing, and aspires to write a book, but is a little too lazy and disorganized, so his blog will suffice for now. He opens a window into his life in the hope that some of his words may be of comfort, some may be a beacon or warning, and perhaps he will connect with like-minded souls. Everything shared comes from a place of openness and honesty, but with no claim that he possesses the Truth. People and places mentioned should be taken as pseudonyms. In many cases, details may be an amalgamation of actual events disguised to protect the “innocent.” Nothing written is to be taken as actual fact, but as the author of Dharma Dog‘s limited understanding. From the mouths of the Beatles: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make
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11 Responses to Lilith

  1. chemire says:

    Psychopaths do have sexual orientation. I have encountered straight and gay varieties. I have, however, also encountered the “will do anything if it serves my purposes” type. And even in non-psychopaths sexuality is not absolute. Most ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ people have had experiences of the opposite ‘type’. So you’re not entirely wrong – there are nuts like that. But some of them are more firmly straight or gay. (We knew a gay one once who was decidedly anti-female in fact. Just another of his many unacceptable traits.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • DogDharma says:

      Ah, chemire! Yes, perhaps I did state it a little too firmly. That’s because the three most severe psychopaths I personally experienced all professed to be straight, and quite suddenly decided that they were lesbian around the age of ~40. This isn’t uncommon for non-psychopathic women coming of age when being gay could still quite easily get one murdered at worse. They try to abide by the stringent norms of society, and even after marriage and children, finally conclude that they cannot. But in the case of the psychopaths I encountered, it seemed like they just found a delightful new pool of victims they hadn’t thought of before, and opportunistically dived in.

      Sexual orientation is its own fairly complex topic. You are quite right that non-psychopathic people who strongly identify as gay have still had the odd “straight” experience, and vice versa. Even I can admit to that one. And then there are the people who genuinely fall toward the middle of the spectrum and identify as bisexual. Even though I’d considered myself near the far end of the “gay” spectrum, with the odd couple of heterosexual encounters, part of what staggered me in the episode with Vikki was my attraction to her “maleness.” Which was very confusing.

      And to throw in another complicating factor, when one transitions from female to male, and starts testosterone, it’s basically like going through puberty again. Very odd, and an eye-opener, to feel like a teenage guy. When I went through it myself, I finally understood why teenage boys do some of the crazy things they do. One of the things often noted and discussed within the FTM community is how this affects one’s sexual orientation. All of a sudden, anything and everything starts to look enticing, or as I used to say, “Even lamposts…” Some FTMs, after they’ve been on testosterone for a while, level out. Curiously, some of retain or original sexual orientation (i.e., if we were attracted to women before, we remain attracted to women). And some of us go in the reverse (i.e., if we were originally attracted to men, we find that we are now primarily attracted to women). It seems, from my observation, that most FTMs retain their original sexual orientation once the initial effects of testosterone level off. But they moved toward the middle of the gay-straight spectrum. For me, a relationship with a guy is not unthinkable, but unlikely. He’d have to be nurturing and emotive.

      I still think for psychopaths who do seem to have a set sexual orientation, many are so opportunistic that they would hesitate to feign the opposite for the sake of a good target. A few wouldn’t — the ones who’ve been strongly indoctrinated one way or the other or who want to maintain a certain mask.

      But I thank you for pointing out that my statement was a little more black-and-white than I intended.


      • chemire says:

        Indeed! I need to reply to your email but it’s been a busy couple of days. Will tomorrow most likely.

        You’re likely right about the opportunism. Still, psychopaths don’t know they’re psychopaths (usually anyhow). Identity and self-image are important to many of them. So they may firmly cling to the ‘I’m straight’ or ‘I’m gay’ thing because they feel it’s important to their self-image.

        I never got around to mentioning this but I actually identified as FTM for a while. I was on T for… two years I think? Then lost coverage for it and have never been able to get it back. The second puberty thing is definitely something you have to experience to understand. At this point, lacking hormonal input of any sort for almost a decade, what gender identity I had has sort of become neutral. I don’t feel like anything gendered anymore for the most part. Sometimes that seems good, sometimes bad.

        FWIW, my androgynous looks and ways are part of my partner’s attraction to me. So you’re not alone in that. He’s a biomale, but still. (He is also nurturing and emotive, if not always skillful at the latter due to a childhood history of physical and emotional abuse. But he’s learning. There are decent men in the world!)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. chemire says:

    Also, the ‘wealthy Americans’ thing is true, but only relative to most of the world, NOT as compared to Europeans or other ‘First World’ countries.


  3. chemire says:

    It’s not that you were making a blanket statement – I just find it sort of interesting how that belief that non-Americans have is so true and yet so untrue at the same time. Even the poorest of us DO have a better standard of living than much of the world’s population… and yet compared to certain wealthy European countries… well, you know what I mean. x.x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. chemire says:

    People tend to read me that way, especially online. I just naturally have the traits that Western society defines as “masculine” I guess. XD

    People come in all varieties. Someday someone will come along who will be right. I certainly wasn’t expecting to end up with a basically straight biomale, but that’s what happened. We’re coming up on seven years now. I know what you mean about trust though. It’s a major theme for us too (all those psychopaths I mentioned before being part of the reason, but not all of it, sadly.) It takes a very long time sometimes.

    I’ve been pursuing getting T again recently but it can be a pain finding a doctor willing to prescribe it. I found a document with my old dosage on it though, so I’m gonna try again, since before I couldn’t remember what the dose was, which was part of the problem – none of the doctors here feel like they know enough about transition medicine to try prescribing it. I’m hoping if I go back and say, look, here’s the dose I had before, I KNOW this worked for me, that maybe one of them will be willing to try it.

    At this point in my life I’m not sure I care to transition fully – I’ve had enough surgery on my lower area already for totally unrelated reasons, which I posted about recently on All This Bleeding if you want to read about it. I do sort of want to have “the fatsacks” reduced or removed though, if only for the health benefits, for my back! My health issues and my gender identity issues have this weird way of coiling or spiraling in parallel waves, connected yet unrelated.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. DogDharma says:

    I’ll tell you more about this in an email. 🙂 I was “fortunate” that I worked enough years to qualify for disability on my own record. And “doubly fortunate” that one qualifies for a slightly higher rate due to legal blindness. I am still not meeting my monthly expenses. In past years, I tried to get help with energy assistance, and found that my monthly benefit was something like $30 over the limit to qualify. Just this year, I applied, and found that, at long last, I was **** 10 cents **** under the cut-off, so I’m hoping for some relief come winter.


    • chemire says:

      Aren’t those little limits charming? For a while, until Obamacare kicked in, I had to spend $50 a month on this crappy insurance which did NOTHING WHATSOEVER for me, simply to bring up my medical expenses by $50 so my eligibility for Medicare wouldn’t end, thus costing me all of my ACTUAL health care. It’s like we’re allergic to giving a shit in this country. I tell you what, if I’m ever rich, you’ll see me spraying money like a goddamn fire hydrant, paying all my taxes et cetera.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. DogDharma says:

    Re: healthcare, you are singing to the choir, chemire!!! Even with Medicare, the deductibles, monthly premiums, co-pays, medications not in the formulary, and Big Pharma finding ways to re-patent old drugs, etc, it’s a losing battle. Even with relatively good coverage, I can’t afford many important medications, like oh say, some which would prevent me from losing further eyesight. *grumble*

    Virtually everything is covered by NHS in the UK, but it isn’t perfect. Waiting lists are long, and because of that, people with serious conditions can fall in the cracks. Still, it’s good to know one can get basic care without having to decide whether to buy food or use limited money on, say, pneumonia.


  7. Pingback: The Post I Never Thought I’d Write | Dog Dharma's Blog

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