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Brenda Heist — 53 Comments

  1. Joyce, I found this story to be very, very sad, on every level.

    That someone (anyone) would feel that simply disappearing is an alternative and actually follow through with that feeling is unnerving to me, personally. IMHO, a person who could follow through with this and leave behind people who loved them and depended upon them causes me to believe that they weren’t truthful or honest from the beginning. This action is (again, IMHO) tantamount to committing suicide – it alleviates the individual from all responsibility or moral obligations to sort out whatever their issues or situations are, and leave behind a wake of damage to those that loved and cared about them.

    Sure, I often entertained the idea of heading off into forest and never coming back, but it was a fleeting notion that passed. I had obligations to others (as well as myself) to sort things out and pull myself together. I knew that leaving people without a word, explanation, or discussion would cause tremendous damage and I couldn’t have borne that type of burden along with whatever else I was facing that caused me to even entertain that idea.

    If I were one of Heist’s children, I don’t believe that I would have any interest in knowing anything about her, other than the “Why?” Even that question is often met with silence or the most dreadful response, “Because.” Some things simply are what they are, and some people simply do what they do without rhyme, reason, or explanation.

    Ugh…..what a terrible story. And, she doesn’t even look similar to the person that she was a decade ago. Heist’s physical appearance suggests extreme addiction to SOMEthing, and extreme personal neglect.

    What a mess….

    • Actually, Something is wrong with he IMO. Her eyes are VERY wide set. It’s a sign of something but I’m not sure what? Even her younger picture. It’s the first thing I noticed.

      • Dotty, she is sort of odd looking actually but lots of “odd looking” folks are not the kind of people she is. I think the problem is behind her eyes (i.e. in her mind)

  2. Yea, Truthy, I’ve had the “run away into the sunset” fantasy myself a time or two, but that’s not what responsible adults do. Whatever our problems, responsible adults stay and face them, whether it is a divorce (and we’ve both been there with divorces-from-hades) financial ruin (been there too!) kids with colic, jobs we hate…I can think of lots of things I would have loved to have run away from. The problem is though, when you run away, you go with yourself. What you leave behind, however, is pain of the hottest kind.

    When my friend’s brother left, since he was such a “good guy” and so “responsible” and his wife denied that there was any problems in the marriage, the whole state turned out to search for him. No telling how many man hours of professionals and volunteers were wasted hunting for someone who did not want to be found. We can still only surmise why he left his good job, financial security, two lovely children. WHY? If it was another woman why not just pony up and go home and say “Dear wife, I don’t love you any more and I’ve found this great chick at the nudie bar and I want to start life over with her”? Well, of course there would be people who would think poorly of him for doing that, but if he took off, deserting his wife and kiddies, then he wouldn’t have to be around hear the displeasure from his parents, kids, wife, siblings and the community. What a coward’s way out.

    The man I knew when I was a teenager, looking back, I have no doubt he was a full fledged psychopath, shallow emotions, glib and charming, easily able to do things without any worry about what it did to others, and eventually he engaged in illegal activities and ended up in prison in England, but of course none of it was HIS fault.

    This woman’s story that she was distraught that her application was turned down for housing assistance drove her to the breaking point doesn’t hold water with me, I think it is a way to use a flimsy excuse for whatever the REAL reason was and she doesn’t quite get it that other folks won’t buy that as a valid “reason” for what she did.

    Her leaving, according to one of the articles I read, said that her husband was not able to keep their house and became almost destitute trying to support the children emotionally and financially. Was she worrying about how her kids were doing? I doubt it Was she worried how her husband was being treated by the police when she disappeared? I also doubt that.

    Through the years did she ever once call back or send a letter without a return address and say “I’m not dead, quit searching for me, I left voluntarily?” Nope. She let her mother and children and ex-husband think she was lying dead in a ditch somewhere, killed by who knows who.

    When, after 11 years, the police showed up at the door, her daughter said they expected to be told her remains had been found, instead they got the shock of their lives, mommy wasn’t dead after all, she had just abandoned them.

    Brenda’s mother and siblings are apparently willing to take her back into the family, house and feed her, welcome her home. Well, if Brenda had been my daughter, I’m afraid I would not have been so glad to have her home.

    In thinking about the story in the Bible of the prodigal son, the father welcomed his son home, threw a party for him, but that son was very repentant, and also, he had not “disappeared” voluntarily, he had asked for his “share” of the father’s estate (the younger son’s share) and gone off and spent it foolishly on “wine women and song” so to speak, and when he got hungry, he determined to go ask his father for a JOB and tell his father how foolish he had been.

    The father was overjoyed that the son came home and had seen the “light” and repented of how foolish he had been…but when the elder brother was kind of miffed that he had stayed around as a dutiful son and worked and hadn’t so much as gotten a small party much less had the “fatted calf” killed for him, the father said to him “isn’t everything I own yours?” So I think that it is likely that the prodigal son who had already spent his share of his father’s estate got a party (daddy was glad he wasn’t dead and had come home wiser) and a JOB, but didn’t get another share of the estate. Which would have been consistent with the customs of that time and place.

    This woman returned home, but I don’t see any sign that she repented of what she did, I don’t see her giving interviews telling her kids how sorry she is for what she did to them, instead I see her turning herself into the police because she is homeless and tired of that and wants to go live with her own mother so SHE can be taken care of by someone else.

    Her taking off didn’t result apparently in what she wanted, though, one woman told how she had worked as a live in housekeeper for her for about 10 months, so she didn’t have it all that bad, and some of her stories don’t jibe either with what others are saying about her, others that knew her in her fake identities. She is not taking responsibility for what she did, not accepting responsibility for the pain she caused, the unnecessary thousands of hours of police work, etc.

    Personally, I think she should be prosecuted for the problems she caused the police, the huge amount of public funds she caused to be spent searching for her. It probably won’t happen, but I think it should. I think it is a theft of public resources. Your tax dollars and mine.

    She is an offender against all that we as a society hold dear, and responsible adults don’t do this kind of “crime” to their children, and surely not if they love those children. This woman and what she did set my teeth on edge. I pray that her children and the others she left behind can come to resolution about what this woman did and that they keep her out of their lives. As to “why” she did it, she is going to lie to them with one excuse or another, so why bother asking her?

    To me she is

  3. Selfish, self centered, it’s all about her (aka them). What’s in this world for her, who she can use and throw away like tissue paper (sneeze), caring less about anyone else while she keeps giving LIP service to any/all willing to listen. At least this woman is still in the sociopath category because we just witnessed Jodie Arias convert over to the psychopath title for taking a life and putting the blame on her prey (cough victim).

  4. Wini, most people use psychopath and sociopath as the “same thing” and the psychological community continues to fight over the title for the disorder. With the newest revision of the DSM-V coming out this month I think, the word “psychopath” will be incorporated into the name. Unfortunately the media has made people think that all psychopaths are serial killers, and sociopaths are made that way by poor up bringing.

    I agree that JOdi fits the definition all around of psychopath AND she is a killer. Not all killers are psychopaths, and not all psychopaths are killers. As Martha Stout said there is a “sociopath next door” and s/he may be a doctor, lawyer or truck driver. They just skirt under the major criminal laws, like Brenda, and don’t kill anyone or rob any banks, just make people’s lives miserable, especially those married to or related to them. A sad state of affairs.

    • Joyce, it depends on the definition of kill. Kill the flesh or kill the spirit of those they target? As a survivor of antisocial personalities destroying my life as I knew it, I realized my bosses, their cronies and my ex did everything to destroy (kill) my spirit to leave me as roadkill. It wasn’t the death of my physical body, but, it most definitely was them focusing on destroying or killing my spirit. As I already mentioned, I survived this most horrific experience by burying my head into the bible every waking hour which helped me survive their daily destruction of my career. Without my realization, my fiance was smiling to my face, acting so kind and (too) loyal, while he destroyed and took everything that wasn’t nailed down, from me while I was forced to focus on the systematic destruction of my career by my bosses and their cronies at work. Yes, roadkill is what I became. That’s when I said “Jesus, you promised if we couldn’t handle a hardship to ask YOU to handle it for us”. That’s what I did. I gave this over to the Lord. Mind you, I didn’t ask Him for a lobotomy, so I remember every detail of what they did. I just don’t feel the pain any more of what they did. To get my smile back and sense of humor was everything to me.

      • Wini, I also kept my face in the Bible during my months in hiding from the man my son sent to kill me…I started reading it with NEW EYES, and the deeper meanings, like the story of Joseph, and the story of King David hiding from King Saul….and also the story of how David enabled his psychopathic son Absolom….and I started to see so much deeper meaning in those stories. Examples for me to follow.

        Those stories, even to an unbeliever, hold so much good information, to show us how to deal with psychopaths.

        David also sinned greatly and horribly, but HE REPENTED…and that is the difference between a psychopath and a non-psychopath.

        Too many of the offenders in prison “find Jesus” in prison, but as soon as they get out, it goes out the same ears that it went in. It was all a scam to appear “good” in the sight of the Parole board. My son Patrick is a perfect example of that.

        • Joyce, I’m glad we remembered to lean on Jesus’ truth when trying times are upon us. Reading His truth did wonders for me, first, taking my mind off the evil they did to me daily (the stress they dolled out was beyond horrific) when I was in His miraculous words of healing to my soul, 2nd arming me better with His truth to stand up to my enemies. Three though infinity is beyond measure of His Love and Grace towards all of us.

  5. It sounds to me like she had a mental breakdown because of the divorce. Maybe her ex made her feel afraid and dependent. I don’t consider her a spath because she wasn’t trying to get anything better, than what she had, she wasn’t trying to WIN. Instead, she went to live under a bridge. That indicates to me that she was filled with shame and wanted to hide. She FELT the shame she reacted to it.

    I think she was also very immature, and selfish but it’s hard to say because sometimes the spath comes out looking like the good guy. I know my spath told everyone that I was drugged, drunk and suicidal while he was planning to kill me. Then he told me I had lost my “beautiful mind”. LOL. That’s alluding to the schizophrenic nobel prize winner for game theory, who had a movie made about his life, called, “A beautiful mind”. So now I’m schizophrenic too. LOL! It’s unbelievable where he gets this stuff.

    • Skylar, no offense, but, mental breakdown is impossible for them. That’s just the act they put on for everyone because she knew she had to play the victim role. If you look behind her mask, she killed her boyfriend because she wanted to make him pay for wanting to move on and date other women. It’s all about her. What Travis could do for her. When he wasn’t willing to go on with the relationship with her (his decision) she made him pay with his very life. She is in control, not him (or anyone) and she proved it with the overkill.

      Look how she presented herself in court. In total control and was focused like the predator that she is … no matter if the situation of being in court out of her hands, she was maintaining control to the bitter end, even to the point of giving a news conference after the guilty verdict was handed down to her in a court of law. Total control is what they are all about. Feeling people gratefully allow their attorneys to handle a court case for them because collapse is what we are experiencing.

      • Wini,

        I did not comment on Jodie, the murderer.

        My comment was about Brenda, the runaway mother.

        Though I agree that she, BRENDA, is disordered, I also expressed that she does seem like she had a break down because her life got worse when she left to go live under a bridge.

        • skylar, the verdict for what this woman is and if her story has any validity, is still out. Remember when we went through our horror stories, we didn’t have the words to express all that happened to us. It was a long process. It took years before we pieced it together, for what we endured. For anyone to play the entire victim card so quickly, is suspect. At least that’s how I look at life now.

  6. Like I typed, I had many, many moments when disappearing seemed a better alternative than facing the truths and facts of many situations. I had plenty of meltdowns during this second divorce from a sociopath, and was tempted to just cash in what chips I had left and exit. But……these were fleeting ideas and temptations, and they quickly passed. There were obligations that I had to myself, and to my son. It would have been (IMHO) a very, very selfish decision for me to follow through with any disappearing act.

    I don’t believe that the “truths” of Heist’s disappearance and reappearance will ever really be known. It just reflects how stupidly selfish people can be.

    AS A STRICT ASIDE and completely off-topic, I was waiting with my son at his counseling intake, yesterday. While we were waiting for his counselor to come out and introduce herself, another “family” was waiting for their counselor, as well. This was a group of 3 women and an infant. The matriarch was probably 40 and the young women were between 14-15. The baby was probably 8 months old and in a carrier. ALL of these women began telling the receptionist about the 15-y/o mother’s “anger problem,” in detail. They began what amounted to an impromptu “Jerry Springer” episode and they actually got up and approached the receptionist’s desk to discuss the specifics of the family dynamics. There were accusations of people being selfish, rageful, and “mean” and some of this discussion centered around why nobody would GIVE this 15-y/o girl a cell phone. The receptionist asked the girl, “Well, who paid for your tattoo?” The mother piped up and took credit for paying for a very bad tattoo on her 15-year-old daughter and the receptionist responded, “Think about how many cell phone bills that tattoo could have paid for, instead.” I sat there in utter disbelief at where these people’s priorities were.

    Once the matriarch and teenaged mother went back for their session, the younger sister remained behind to care for this baby. The baby was lethargic and unresponsive and didn’t interact with his aunt, on any level. It was another eye-opening moment for me that our society is simply going right down the proverbial tubes. None of these people seemed to have a CLUE about what was appropriate discussion in front of absolute strangers, and priorities that centered around themselves.

    Incidentally, the only person that took the baby out of the carrier and interacted with it in over 1 1/2 hours was the young aunt.


    • Sky,
      I appreciate that this woman may have had a “mental break down” during her divorce, I sure as heck had a “mental break down” when I had to flee my home when Patrick’s buddy was looking for a chance to kill me…and I sure as heck had a mental break down when my first husband left me and the kids, literally homeless, living in the back of my pick up truck under a metal shell, not even a “camper” for three months…but I didn’t desert my kids. THAT thought never crossed my mind.

      Yes, she had a traumatic divorce experience but thousands, probably tens of thousands if not 100s of thousands of women world wide are deserted or divorced by their husbands each year and a tiny TINY few desert their children.

      I’ve read most if not all of the articles on this woman on the internet before I posted the article and in all the interviews she gave there wasn’t one in which she said “I’m sorry for what I did to my kids” and her only “reason” for coming forward now was she was “tired of running” or “tired of being homeless” or “in poor health” and according to most of the friends she had while she was on the run, she denied she had kids, gave a pitiful story (pity ploy) about how her husband was dead–boo hoo poor her.

      I’m glad that someone has some sympathy for this woman, Sky, and you are so kind hearted I should have known it by you. LOL (((hugs)))) But I’m not going to give this lady a pass for what she did for ELEVEN YEARS….sure, she had a hard life out there by her decision, but she totally shirked her RESPONSIBILITIES to her children. Plus, I’m not sure I believe her story about the people coming along in the park, many of the varied stories she told, along with name changes and identity changes show me that she was not mentally unstable, but had enough with it to continue to cover her tracks for years. I think the ONLY reason she came forward and turned herself in was she decided she wanted a roof provided for HER, she wanted comfort provided for HER by her mother. She deserts her own kids but wants her own mother to take her in???? Nah, I’m not buying that story. True, she may not be a psychopath, but she is not any kind of a MOTHER. if she’d taken off and stayed gone 6 months or a year I might have given her more sympathy or even if she’d made a phone call, but not with 11 years gone and not with the reason she came home. She may not be a psychopath but she sure ain’t much of a mother.

      • Joyce,
        LOL! you’re right, I’m always a sucker for a spath’s pity ploy. It’s a knee jerk reaction. But I didn’t say I was giving her a pass, I just said I felt sorry for her.

        The truth about why she came back after 11 years, might just be because her kids are now grown up and she doesn’t have to be responsible for them.

        She is most definitely a selfish and heartless person to have abandoned her kids and left them thinking the very worst about what might have happened.

        • Yea, me too skylar, I am a knee jerk responder to the pity ploy, just like with Charity Lee, I fell for her Mother Theresa pity ploy, but I no longer see her that way either. I dug a bit deeper and found some very dysfunctional things, denial at the best light, and could be worse. It seems as if she is playing the “pity me game” professionally. I don’t doubt that she was devastated by the death of her daughter, but to cling to this thought that “love cures all” where psychopaths are concerned is denial at its best I think.

          This woman, when she wanted to be cared for by HER MAMA, where did she go, to the cops for a free ride home and the pity ploy about the hard life she has led. Well, she led that hard life by CHOICE and in doing so, she hurt her kids, and the rest of her family deeply. That her mother is welcoming her back with open arms after what she has done is beyond me. I might have at one point, but not any more. I am slowly getting to where I do not feel sorry for the poor bank robbers, they made a CHOICE not a “mistake” and unless in the few rare events where one of them really repents and changes their lives, most go on to at best, lead dysfunctional lives, further traumatizing their families.

          And, I also realize that many of the families of these offenders are locked into the script of “enabling” these offenders. I was also locked into that script, but I broke out, THANK YOU JESUS!

          If you are crying because your thumb hurts, please quit hitting it with the hammer and maybe I might have some sympathy for you. LOL

          • Heist “disappeared” because she wanted to. For those of us who have experienced divorce from a spath, we’re all-too-familiar with the carnages that go along with that choice. BUT, we managed to survive and determined to recover from our experiences regardless of how difficult, challenging, painful, and scary it was for us.

            As far as I’m concerned, enabling is the same as avoidance. Enabling is an attempt to pretend that everything is just dandy when it’s clearly NOT. I had the option of “enabling” my son, his bio-father, both exspaths, the female-ex-con, and numerous others and I tried this approach a couple of times: if I simply IGNORE bad behaviors, then the toxic person might not be as bad as they seem. When it came down to brass tacks, they WERE as bad a all that and no amount of “love” or compassion for their Life’s Stories allowed for continued bad behaviors. So, to continue enabling only meant that I was avoiding the truths and actually encouraging the toxic individuals to continue harming others.

      • Joyce, I’m on the same thought process as you regarding no concern about her children or her ex-husband for that matter. It’s about their favorite subject, “Me, myself, and I”‘

      • Joyce,

        I remember the first time I started seeing a therapist, I was a wreck. During one of our sessions, I asked the therapist what a nervous breakdown was. After explaining it to me, I said to him, “Oh, I think I’ve had a few of those” (in my lifetime).

    • Truthspeak, as a feeling person who reach your almost breaking point, if you took off for x amount of years, you wouldn’t come back looking like death warmed over. She, not being in touch with her emotions is spiritually dead and looked like death. Big difference of a real, feeling, in touch with emotions people reaching their breaking point and the antisocial personality, doing what they do best. Disappearing.

      • Wini, Heist looks like a parody of a human being. It’s visibly obvious that she is in extremely dire health and, perhaps, this is what compelled her to ooze out of whatever shadows that she’s been living in for the past 11 years. She does, indeed, look like death on a cracker.

  7. TRuthy, the baby probably was “propped up” in that carrier and handled and interacted with very little, and this leads to the lethargy a was first noticed in England in WWII where infants were placed in group homes for safety from bombs and “well cared for” fed changed etc but only given a bare minimum of touching and little coochy coo face to face time and they started becoming lethargic and eventually many died, from lack of tender touch and interaction. I have only seen one case of this and it was a 15 yr old mother who did not know how to hold and coo to her baby.

    It sounds like 15 yr old mom didn’t fall far from the tree where her own parenting came from…yes, people’s values don’t always make sense to me. A tattoo on a 15 yr old????? demanding a cell phone????

    I stopped by this shack yesterday to a yard sale. I know the people and they are good people, very poor but want to work and they are having a garage sale to try to raise money to live and keep their old vehicle alive. They weren’t there but her son was, he was a nice looking young man but had arms full of tats and several front teeth missing. He and my son D were talking about something and the subject of cell phones came up and the young man started to tell about this $350 cell phone he had gotten that he hadn’t had very long before he accidentally broke it. I told him, “you know what kind of cell phone I have?” of course he didn’t so I told him, it costs $14 at wal mart and I just put my sim chip in it and when it dies I’ll get another and place the sim chip in it. It doesn’t take photos or get on the internet, but it makes PHONE CALLS and if I break it I don’t cry. But then I was raised that you buy food, clothing, and save some for a rainy day etc. before you buy toys.

    • Joyce, I was simply appalled by what I was witnessing and early went “Dr. Phil” on those women. Tattoos are not cheap and these three women were openly discussing their issues, the public assistance that they were each receiving, the tattoos, and cell phones. I wouldn’t have the cheek to get a tattoo when I have so many other financial obligations to sort out, much less talk about this in front of people that I have never met and don’t know from Adam & Eve!

      • Oh, I agree….a friend of mine, her son is homeless (moved back in with her) tatt’d all over the place, teeth missing and he was complaining about breaking the $350 cell phone he had just gotten. WHAT?????

        I did the documentary show the guy was doing on psychopaths, so I haven’t exactly been on Dr. Phil, which, BTW is ENTERTAINMENT not therapy.

        Anyway, I got tired of hiding behind the shame of my son, and so I am willing to talk about it, to hopefullly help and support others who have offenders in their families. Your son is not in jail, his offenses have not put him behind bars, but that doesn’t mean he is not an “offender” he may or may not be a psychopath, but he is OFFENSIVE to good behavior, good morals and good sense. That alone is enough for me to avoid someone, regardless of how much DNA we share.

  8. Truth,
    “impromptu Jerry Springer episode” !!!
    LOL! I like that description.

    Sometimes you meet these types of people and everything becomes clear as to WHY our society is going to cartoon hell in a hand basket.

    Right after I found out what a spath was, I met a woman who was telling me about her daughter. I think she said she was 5 years old. The woman was going on and on about how she was entering her child into beauty contests and the tiara’s and expensive dresses. I was feigning interest, trying to be polite, and I asked her daughter’s name.
    She answered, “Envy”.

    My brain fell out. WTF? who would name their kid ENVY!!??

    Well, as it turned out, the woman had actually gone to jail for not paying some tickets and she explained to me that she had spent the money on the beauty contest entrance fee.

    Lots of Jerry Springer potential there.

    • Sky….just…………..wow.

      There was a family that produced a daughter that named this poor offspring, “Teflon Velveeta,” and I swear that this is true.

      And, I have a particular disdain for mothers who enter their young daughters into beauty contests – it is totally objectifying of those impressionable children and that superficiality is formed and solidified, right there. Eugh…..

      • i had a cat once named “Tiger Velcro”—long story how she got the name but it applied, she earned it. LOL

        Yea, I am with you truthy about the beauty contests, I can see putting your dog in a show, but not your CHILD. If the dog loses he doesn’t know it, but if your child loses they know and they feel like a loser, if they win, they get the idea that “beauty” is fancy dresses and make up. Isn’t there enough of that in our country/world today?

  9. This story rings a bell for me. My kids’ dad went “missing, ” basically going on the lamb to avoid being arrested. D. was gone for about five months, contacting us via letters, being chatty, acting like he was on some adventure, all of them containing lies. During the time he was gone, we all experienced h_ll on earth. What sociopaths do is destroy. I have never known anyone who is more destructive than D. Today, if D. went “missing,” I wouldn’t care, being glad to have him out of our lives. Sociopaths give us non-stop drama.

    • Bluejay, you know what your x did to you and your kids is worse than just vanishing. I think you have made remarkable progress in your healing and you have learned that there are offenders like D that cannot ever be trusted. Whatever they want, like him wanting you to call the complaining witness whose vehicle he “borrowed” (stole) and to try to get her to drop the charges. That is so typical, trying to get you hooked into doing something illegal, putting you at risk for his benefit.

      There isn’t any way to deal with them except as close to NO contact as you can come. Sometimes if you share children with them, minor children anyway, that may be impossible to be totally NC but then is when you use the “gray rock” method that Skylar uses, just be emotionally bland, no anger, no joy, no emotions for them to feed on.

      Keep your head high, you are not the one who should feel the shame, but we know they do not feel shame for what they do, it is always some one else’s fault.

      • Bluejay, shame-core is a terrible issue to face and manage. But, what it comes down to is that we are not responsible for the happiness, sadness, emotional/physical well-being, or fulfillment of any other human being outside of ourselves. That means that we are not OBLIGATED to carry the weight of the choices of anyone else upon our shoulders. I’m dealing with my own shame-core, and it’s a lengthy and tedious endeavor.

        You’re doing GREAT!!! Gray Rock rules and spaths drool…..

      • Joyce and Bluejay, I was lucky in the fact that my ex fled the state (with over $10,000 dollars worth of my possessions and the remainder of my money), contacted me a few times, to find my answer was no, dropped out of my life knowing that this mouse for his cat game was no longer useful for him.

        • Wini,

          Sociopaths do look for supply. When D. was in jail, he wrote letters galore. They were really kind of creepy. In one of them, D. told me that he wanted to get back together with me, sell my house, pay off his debts, then he would sit back, and get his priorities straight. Mind you, he’s middle-aged, so you’d think that his priorities were already set. I never answered any of his letters. I was totally No Contact.

          • Bluejay, your response was the correct one….if you had fallen for that, HIS debts and consequences would have been paid out of YOUR pocket and then you would have been left homeless etc.

            We must not fall for any “carrots” they hold out to us, because any carrots are for THEIR supper not yours.

          • Joyce,

            It dawned on me a few weeks ago (I have thoughts that pass through my mind) that if I had a nickel left to my name, he’d have no problem taking that too. He’s a taker. If he gives, he wants something in return.

  10. Truthspeak,

    Yes, they don’t feel shame for anything that they do. D. wrote letters in jail (to his friends, acquaintances, etc.) asking people for money, to fund his legal expenses. That was also embarrassing. When I confronted him about this (months after he got out of jail), he didn’t see anything wrong with what he did, as he was just asking people for help. He is an embarrassment. It is hard not to feel embarrassed, being self-conscious when I go out in public, not wanting to talk about D.

    • Bluejay, I can so relate to the “shame” feeling because that was standard operating procedure in my family, to use shame, mostly it was SHAMEFUL if the COMMUNITY found out about some bad deed or something someone did.

      I look back and see that it wasn’t so much what someone did that was the problem but the shame of the community finding out. I can trace this “tradition” back to the Scots Irish Presbyterian way of thinking of my family. When I started studying about my ethnic and cultural back ground I was reading a book one day about the Scots Irish (which is where my mother’s family hales from) and low and behold when it was describing various social customs and ways of acting…the light went off in my head. THAT’S MY FAMILY….including the alcoholic aspect.

      TA DA!!!! Social customs dating back who knows how far. In the area where I grew up, there was a University of Arkansas professor did research in the language of the “hill billies” and before television and radio changed our language, there were words used here that had not been used widely since Elizabeth—the one in the 1500s, not the one now!!! One small example is “Hit” instead of I-T for it. I can remember in grade school some of the kids being corrected for saying and writing Hit

      Now it all started to make sense, the family “traditions” and “myths” passed down generation to generation by a group of people who were very clanish, drank to excess as a group, and many of whom were high risk takers, and they tended to use violence to settle disputes. Not that they were all worthless drunks, but there was that element among the better attributes.

      So some of our attitudes are passed down and “in-bred” into us, and shame is one of those things.

      Bluejay, there are several books on “shame” listed on 180, go over there and look at them and maybe order them. You can usually get used books off amazon or B&N very cheap . I know personally about the “shame” issue, I lied for nearly 20 years about patrick’s whereabouts because I did not want people to know I had a son in prison for murder…my excuse was “when he came home, no one would have to know and he would be treated better by the community.” BALDERDASH!!!!

      It was MY SHAME about him I was covering up. I’m still working on the shame core, but actually I think making progress….when I tell someone about my son I no longer FEEL judged, even if that person secretly does judge me, I don’t feel it or care what their thoughts about it are. I know what he is and it “ain’t my fault” it is HIS.

  11. truthy, you said up above where I can’t “reply” directly to it

    QUOTE: As far as I’m concerned, enabling is the same as avoidance. Enabling is an attempt to pretend that everything is just dandy when it’s clearly NOT. I had the option of “enabling” my son, his bio-father, both exspaths, the female-ex-con, and numerous others and I tried this approach a couple of times: if I simply IGNORE bad behaviors, then the toxic person might not be as bad as they seem. When it came down to brass tacks, they WERE as bad a all that and no amount of “love” or compassion for their Life’s Stories allowed for continued bad behaviors. So, to continue enabling only meant that I was avoiding the truths and actually encouraging the toxic individuals to continue harming others.

    I so totally agree with you on that. Trying to ignore it bad behavior doesn’t make it stop. I too engaged in enabling and ignoring, trying to pretend “we’re a nice normal family” to the world.

    • Joyce, I have always been “hyper” loyal – meaning that I would attach myself to someone for the long haul. I didn’t understand this behavior until this second divorce from a spath, and I clearly understand it now.

      My “shame-core” has been so ingrained into my personal beliefs that I honestly (and, TRULY) believed that I was responsible for the happiness and well-being of others. I know how and when this began, and I’m working on the trauma in counseling. But, what that “shame-core” produced in me was a flawed belief that loving someone, unconditionally, and putting forth my precious energies to “help them” achieve their true potentials would result in THEIR approval of ME. If I loved them enough, encouraged them enough, and supported them enough, then THAT effort would be witness to my concern for them (as human beings) and that effort would be REWARDED with a committed relationship, whether it was romantic or platonic.

      What I term as “toxic loyalty” was based upon flawed beliefs and expectations. This also holds true with “family ties.” If someone is “family,” then they will behave like loving family members – even when there are conflicts, the family will stick together because of the familial bond. Well, this is another very flawed belief that I had to alter. Just because people share DNA does not, under any circumstances, mean that they are of “like kind.” I know many, many families that could be considered “normal” and healthy with the ONE exception that keeps getting bailed out of his/her drama/trauma that their own deliberate actions create. EVERYONE looks the other way and suggests that the person “means well,” but they just keep making “mistakes.”

      A “mistake” is something that results in a poor decision or choice – we all make them and we’re ALLOWED to make mistakes, every day. The point of making mistakes is that we learn from them so that we don’t repeat them. When people make a DELIBERATE decision that they know is going to cause harm to another life (human or otherwise), then this is NOT a “mistake.” It is a deliberate, conscious choice and, regardless of shared DNA, should not be tolerated on ANY level.

      There was once a time when human beings lived in smaller tribal communities. Whether they were fixed or nomadic, these smaller units were self-governing (right or wrongly) and tribal members who acted-out and threatened the safety and well-being of their fellow tribesmen and women were dealt with swiftly and harshly. Excuses were not tolerated. And, NO…..these decisions to oust or shun a tribal member were NOT easy or pleasant – they were the LAST RESORT in dealing with another member whose actions, choices, and decisions were ENDANGERING everyone else.

      Today, we have “experts” who insist that offenders “need their family support” and lay a heavy burden of shame and guilt on the NON-offending family members to support the disordered instead of offering them a choice that doesn’t include shame or guilt: put up with it and suffer; surrender the offender to the consequences of their actions and recover.

      Surrendering my eldest son to the consequences of his own actions doesn’t mean that I hate him or that I do not “love” him. I “love” the person that he COULD have been, but that person does not (and, never will) exist because he is disordered and continues making the choices that he does.

      FALSE HOPE is that belief that everything is going to pan out with some miracle. “Miracles” do happen, but not with the disordered. Nobody makes the choice to develop a cancerous tumor that threatens their life. But, aggressive treatment and strong positive systems of beliefs can result in a “miracle” of recovery. Spaths/ppaths/and the disordered certainly don’t choose to BE disordered, but they are – their actions are definite choices of behavior to manipulate, cajole, wheedle, and damage other people to get whatever it is that they want whether it’s sex, money, control, power, real estate, etc…..it is a DELIBERATE choice to inflict these damages, and I’m so weary of the conga-line of excuses.

      End of rant. LOL

      • WOW truthy, I am sitting here nodding my head TOXIC LOYALTY, that’s the name of your next article so get out your fingers and go to work gal!

        I had “toxic HOPE” but yes, I ALSO had toxic LOYALTY. I never thought of it that way but you really gave me an Ah Ha moment there girl!!! I started to call my “hope” MALIGNANT HOPE as it was like a cancer, and cancers are “normal cells” that have gone rogue, and hope like that has sure gone rogue.

        I think the toxic hope, and the toxic loyalty go together. Having both puts you at a decided disadvantage, because you can’t let go. THANKS TRUTHY, you have sure given me food for thought.

  12. Sign me up for the toxic loyalty medication, because that’s one I certainly had. My spath even said, “I’ll say one thing you are and that’s loyal.” Just out of the blue, he said that and I just thought, “Well of course. that’s how we all should be.” But I said nothing.

    • Yea, Sky, I was just like a dog, kick me beat me, don’t feed me, but I’ll come running when you need to be protected, I’d give my life to protect you no matter how you abused me.

      Funny thing, when I worked in the public health clinic, I got the clinic to allow me to do free exams on the DV shelter gals and their kids.
      They came in with broken bones, black eyes, split lips, –kids mostly ear aches etc. and I FELT SUPERIOR TO THESE WOMEN because I “WOULD NEVER LET A MAN HIT ME AND THEN GO BACK”-

      NOW I realize I was not in the least “superior” to them, true I would not have allowed my husband to hit me and take him back, but you know….I was allowing my son to abuse me, lie to me, take my money, my love and my time. So in effect I was like the story Jesus told about the Pharisee and the publican in the temple praying, The publican stood and looked up to God and said “Thank you God that I am not a sinner line that man” but the publican threw himself down on the floor on his face, and begged “God have and on a sinner like me” and of course the arrogant Pharisee was much WORSE than that publican that the Jews looked down on as swine. Well, I was WORSE than these women, even if they went back, which many did, but I SHOULD HAVE HAD BETTER SENSE THAN THAT. Heck, I am a trained mental health professional! Yet, I was like the people Jesus said “have eyes and see not, have ears and hear not.” I had to turn my life around, I couldn’t turn anyone else’s life around, only mine, so I asked God to forgive my arrogance, and I have tried to help as many people as I can with support when they are dealing with offenders, both criminal and non criminal.

      I don’t have all the answers, heck I don’t even know all the Questions, but you know, Sky, I do know that I am not going to have this “toxic loyalty” or “toxic hope” because I know I can’t change others. I wish I could, but I don’t have that power. I also don’t have the arrogance that I did before thinking that I could change Patrick’s attitudes and behavior. My son, as much as I loved him, is a psychopath. He chose to do the things he did. Yes, DNA that I passed to him, and his dad passed to him, that DNA was hard to resist, but DNA is NOT destiny, he had choices. He made bad choices, not mistakes. He knew what he was doing was wrong but he did not care. He would show me and the world that no one could control HIM. LOL Yea, like he hasn’t spent more than half his entire life in prison?

  13. What I don’t get is why anyone would choose to be homeless, especially for eleven years. That’s too long of time. She could have established herself in a career (granted, it would have taken time to get herself better situated), but, for whatever reason, being homeless, I guess, was more appealing to Brenda Heist.

  14. Blue, I don’t think she was “homeless” for all those years, part of the time she lived with some man, I think 7 years and a while as a live in housekeeper….I’m not sure WHY she chose to run away, but I don’t fully accept her “the hippes in the park” as true.

    She did END UP homeless though, and when she got tired of that she sought to get HER mother to give her a home and take care of her, when SHE had abandoned her own children.

    That’s the thing, Blue, she abandoned her own kids, threw a pity party when she returned wanting her mommy to take care of her…so I actually think she is about like your ex husband, just doesn’t want responsibility. She also stole someone else’s identity and other “small” crimes (no major felonies I presume).

  15. Blue, In response to your post above about him taking the last nickle out of your hand and the last piece of bread out of your kids’ mouths, you are right…in a heart beat he would do it. It is all about THEM. This type of offender (your x) is so selfish and self centered that they do not care what their behavior does to their “loved ones”—if they loved anyone, which frankly by their behavior, I would say they are incapable of loving, which means responsibilities like feeding your kids, paying your house payment, working and taking care of what you need to do. NOPE, he didn’t want to do that, he wanted you to sell the roof over your kids’ heads and PAY HIS DEBTS. LOL then he would “get himself together” ?????

    Yea, like he has done now? Nah, you are smart to stay no contact with him, in jail or out, they are TAKERS not givers.

    • Blue Jay,
      spaths aren’t happy until we are left so distraught that we commit suicide. That’s the ultimate high for them.

      They will even sabotage themselves, just to see the look on your face and the hoops you’ll jump through to save them. That’s the whole point for them, they want you to PROVE over and over again that you care about them. Meanwhile they PROVE over and over again that they don’t care one whit about you.

      It’s a horrific little game they play with no way to win except to wish them well and walk away. That last part — wishing them well — is important because it’s what differentiates us from them.

      • Sky, I agree with the desire that spaths seek total destruction of their targets. And, even then, they aren’t what could be defined as “happy.” They NEVER experience true “happiness.” What they likely feel is GLEE – like a toddler that has managed to swipe the last piece of candy. It’s not an inner feeling, just a reaction to orchestrated tragedy. They perceive the collapse of another human’s life to be a major accomplishment.

        No Contact. This is the most powerful tool for any individual in recovery from a spath. The only “reason” to have any contact with a spath is if it is a Court Order. Even then, working the “Gray Rock” technique helps to keep the emotion out of the interactions. Spaths are like remora fish – they attach themselves to a host (target) and ride as long as there is something for them to consume – like our values and strengths, our emotions, our money, etc. And, they always want to keep tabs on former targets in the event that the target happens to recover and rebuild what the spath chose to take from their “host.”

        I believe that spaths intend to murder their targets – figuratively, OR literally. Either it’s an outright attempt to end our lives by direct and deliberate action, or it’s murder-by-proxy so that their targets have sunk so deeply into despair, depression, fear, and anxiety that the target either attempts suicide, or they wish themselves dead.

        How many survivors of spaths are diagnosed with chronic medical issues? There have been many studies of this over the years, and it’s mind-blowing that so many survivors in recovery are also properly diagnosed with any number of auto-immune disorders.

        So, yeah……No Contact is the most vital step to severing that lethal tie that binds us to them.

  16. I don’t know how to start a new article on the Jodi Arias case regarding the hung jury.

    Here’s what God said,

    Matthew 19:18

    When Jesus was asked how one could find everlasting life, Jesus answered: “THOU SHALT DO NO MURDER…”

    God Bless Travis Alexander’s family and friends during this time of sorrow.

  17. Wini, Jodi Arias will go to prison for the rest of her life in any case, and that is at least justice, as much as we can get on this earth. I too grieve for the family of her victim, and her trial was totally nonsensical to go on for so long. She got what she wanted and that was to be in the spotlight. She got attention and was so arrogant she actually thought she would get off with her lies and ever-changing stories. She reminds me of a female version of my son Patrick.

  18. NEWS UPDATE: from the Huffington post

    The Pensacola News Journal reports ( ) that Brenda Heist, who’s known in the Santa Rosa County court system as Kelsie Smith, was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail. http://on.pnj.com/11eQTdg

    She pleaded no contest to failing to check in with authorities in the Tampa area after leaving the Pensacola area following her April release from jail. She’d been on probation for using someone else’s identification during a traffic stop.

    Well, glad to see she got some jail time, sounds like she wasn’t all that law abiding when she was on the run, to say nothing of the MORAL laws she violated in abandoning her kids and husband without a word.


    While the cases of abandonment with the person who abandoned their family showing up again in a decade or more is fairly rare, it does happen. I recently read about a woman who abandoned her family, and resurfaced 50 years later when her daughter tried to find out what happened ot her mother. the mother had made a new life and had a new family.

    Just as Brenda Heist resurfaced after 13 years, another recent story of a man who resurfaced after 16 years of abandonment of his family. Now he is creating more problems for the family. And like Brenda’s mother, his mother welcomed him back, but his ex wife and children haven’t done so.


    I personally know of one man who abandoned his wife and children…he went to work for my biological father…later got involved in transporting drugs from South America and went to prison, and then decided too reconnect with his children whom he had hurt terribly, especially his son who was 10 or so when he left without even a goodbye.

    Another case I know the family, but not the man, who “disappeared” almost without a trace. He too has been declared dead so his wife and children can get on with their lives, but I suspect strongly that he is not dead but has gone on to a “new life” somewhere else, either with another woman, or who knows, another man, and could not stand to face his own family or his wife and children with his decision to leave his wife and children behind.

    People who abandon their families, who just “disappear,” cause untold harm to them. The “not knowing what happened” causes anxiety beyond belief. While these people may think that just leaving is a “WAY OUT’ for them, it is as cowardly as it gets…in my opinion. The reappearance after so many years only opens those wounds again. Why do they leave? and why do they come back? Both offenses to their families are horrific.

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