I’m a Virginia native.  Third generation to graduate from the University of Virginia.  I try to be a solid friend and sorority sister.  I met my boyfriend Ethan at Homecoming.  We’ve been dating six months. I’ve tried to be sweet and attentive and pamper him every way I know how. In that time, we’ve gone to dinner and I’ve made him dinners. We’ve become intimate and it has been great.  We’ve spent nights over and weeks at home together.  I’ve given him some small thoughtful gifts — a Kindle, a humidor, sneakers. But he’s never given me not one gift. Ever.  No gifts, not a single card, no flowers.  We’ve never gone away for the weekend together.  We do argue and he won’t apologize ever.  He just explains his position and experience of the conflict issue and then acts like it’s over. He goes to weddings without me.  Now he’s gone to Rome over Thanksgiving weekend and excused it saying all he did was save money by sleeping over at his ex-girlfriend’s home and going sightseeing “by himself.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. Ethan wasn’t secretive about his special jaunt across the pond — no, he’s been quite upfront. I believe he’s asked for his freedom so I’ve given it to him.  Of course, he downplays all this.  Acts like and talks like any problem is all mine in my head.  Of course, he has put his hand on my neck to shake me and make sure I’m listening as he trivializes this catalog of offenses I’ve “imagined in my head.” Really, Ethan? Really, buddy?

-Jimena L.

My fiance Michael is a bit of an egomaniac but I love him.  He’s really busy as a real estate broker.  It is not easy to be involved with him since he forgot my birthday and still feels it’s okay to attend formal balls without me but with “platonic” girlfriends from college. Michael wants to waste hours of my time hanging out and calling me to talk about himself.  He wants to go out by himself, to the opera without me, to business dinners without me. He says “No big deal.” But I think he wants all the goodies of having a girlfriend but without delivering on any but the minimum of the responsibilities.  Clearly I’m just part of his rotation.  His attitude is why am I wanting anything more than what little he’s willing to give.  He discounts my concerns that he is being disloyal and disrespectful.  His “why are you bugging me” attitude is a big reason I can’t see a future for us anymore. I just wanted to find someone to love me. And who I could love. And trust. But this is all I got.  If Michael’s love was weed, it wouldn’t be enough to get high on.

-Maggie R.


Wow.  Just wow.  The things we accept are mostly things we’ll regret.  And there are a couple of big red flags just a-flapping in the wind with Jimena’s and Maggie’s relationship dynamics.

Reduction words are tip-offs that try to minimize unethical behavior: “Almost never” “sort of” “barely” “no big deal” “not more than” “only a little” “all I did was” “kind of” “but” “once” “just” “merely.”

But why minimize?  Some guys do it because you’re upset and they don’t think you should be.  Some guys wanna do the deed and skip out on the blame. Techniques range. Denying that he intended to hurt you by cheating is big. Claiming “it just happened” as if the action came from the sky and the mists above.

Minimizing lets you know dude believes he’s more important than you. Like when he insists a teasing, hurtful remark was only a joke.  And then adds he rarely jokes like that when he often does.

The most crazy-making minimizing technique comes down to manipulation.  You didn’t hear what you heard.  You couldn’t have seen him do it because it never happened. Therefore he neither has to acknowledge what you imagined nor deal with the hurtful impact of his actions.


You are a grown-up and you don’t require anybody’s help to think any more than you need help to breathe.  By minimizing his transgressions, the person in your life is warning you and telling you he has an abusive nature.

Insults, belittling comments, ignoring you, or acting sulky or angry when you initiate a discussion — these behaviors have no place in a healthy, loving relationship.
And if he does not view you as an equal because he’s older or sees himself as smarter or socially superior, you need to give him his walking papers. It’s not gonna get better.



My name is Emilia I’ve been working as the Executive Assistant for the President of the American Quilt Museum for four years.  I know everything and everybody. My boss — he always praises me for working hard.  He says the Museum couldn’t run nearly so smoothly without my diligent, consistent efforts. I’m not bragging but one time the Board of Directors sent me a note with a bouquet of pink roses.  It said the Board members consider me “a treasure, part of the institutional wealth of the Museum.”  This is my dream job.  But six months ago, I got a new boss Matilda Campbell.  The wife of a wealthy donor who got a patronage job as my middle manager.  Matilda does nothing every day except put on an outfit, go in her office around 11am and turn everything on, call her friends and family  then she goes to lunch, comes back and leaves by 4pm.  She “manages” to give me all her work since I was doing it before she arrived anyway.  After three months, Matilda gave me a horrible performance review.  I changed nothing about how I work.  And she warns me that if I don’t improve, “there will need to be change to staffing.”  So I have three kinds I am raising as a single Mom — I can’t afford to lose my job.  I go to lunch with one of my Board Members Todd Sorenstein. When he asks how things are going, I give him the lowdown. He swears me to secrecy but he tells me I’m being railroaded out of there.  Everyone knows Matilda doesn’t want to work — she’s a do-nothing political hire.  He says she doesn’t like how well-liked I am so is cooking up bad performance reviews to put her boot on my a**.  After 4 years? I ask Todd, how much time I have left.  He says, “Matilda’s going to fire you after lunch on Friday.”

-Emilia C.

I am Larry Tsang and I got a bad problem.  I got out of UConn in three years and landed my first job for a children’s television Division President Anna Rogers.  You know, the one who invented “Platypus Dance Team,” “Lions Story Time” and “Ring Around the Rainbow.” I know Hollywood types can be a little crazy and I figured I’d do my time and earn my bump up. But four years and no bump — no better job, no better salary, nothing.  When I suggest shows I could go work on or next-level jobs I could take, Anna jokes, “But who would take care of me then?  I couldn’t find anyone better than my Larry.”  And she’s always hugging me which I can’t stand. But the final straw has come in the form of Anna’s beloved dachshund Twinkle.  Anna flies often and likes to take Twinkle with her.  The woman makes millions but insists that I magically get a free seat for Twinkle in first class. I don’t know what regulations changed but nowadays this free seat is impossible.  I just told Anna and she just told me I’m fired.  No recommendation, no bump, no job, no gratitude. Now I know what her ex-husbands felt like – a used tissue, a disposable razor, an emptied packet of low-sodium soy sauce. Done.  Just like that.  Now what?

-Larry T.


Anyone who works has to deal with some amount of hierarchy.  And, for managers, it’s a delicate balance to firmly tell your direct reports what to do while remaining respectful and kind. It’s one thing to be the boss and quite a different thing to intend to hide behind the title of boss to demean, exploit and harm with impunity.  Firing someone unfairly is a war cry — it is declaring you and your employee as enemies.  It happens so often because bosses plain ol’ get away with it.

But know this: it is a soul-clawing catastrophe to have to answer to a Psychopath Boss. Today’s miserable job market has made jobs scarce and worth holding onto despite harrowing abuse in the workplace.  The most outrageous part is that while you’re finding out about your Psychopath Boss for the first time, their behavior has been like this for a long time.  You are not their first victim.  You’re not discovering fire, the wheel or America. Rest assured that their peers, managers, ex-employees and Human Resources know about it but continue to turn a blind eye.  

Why does your Psychopath Boss hate you and hurt you? Unfortunately, miserable people will not be satisfied until you are as miserable as they are.  Take heart in also knowing that haters don’t really hate you — they hate themselves because you’re a reflection of that they wish to be.  Workplace bullying is the result. Refer to

Since empathy, moral decency and human kindness play no role in any Psychopath’s decision-making process, it’s no surprise that your Psychopath Boss relishes her ability to use, con, deceive, manipulate, betray and ultimately destroy their employees. That’s what psychopaths do. They feed like ticks & tapeworms upon our lives. They live for the sick thrill of damaging happy, younger, attractive, productive and caring people.  You’ll want to vomit your guts up when you stare into their crazy eyes & phony mask of concern as they twist the knife of insult and betrayal into your heart.

But also know, you are far from alone.  Roughly 4% of the populace are psychopaths.  A fraction of those are criminal — violent robbers, rapers and serial killers.  Many of them are able to operate within the law so statistically speaking, there are decent chances that you have a psychopath in your family, school, social circle or work.  And if your Psychopath Boss  who makes work unbearable for her employees is the only one you encounter, count yourself lucky.

But when wrongful termination happens at the hands of a Psychopath Boss, you have three choices: you can let it define your career, you can let it destroy you or you can let it strenghthen your resolve to succeed.


For now, you need to defend yourself emotionally and psychologically from this Psychopath Boss who is undermining your wellbeing and work reputation.

  • 1. Learn all you can about Psychopaths.

A basic knowledge of psychopathy can save you years of heartache at the hands of a boss you can never please, who never stops lying and cheating  you and who keeps you dangling on the hook. It can give you the strength to move on from a job where your boss keeps everyone in terror by constantly promising the world but only giving you her a** to kiss.

  • 2.  Gather information.

You will discover you are neither imagining things nor alone.  You may even find comrades. You may luck up and uncover information potentially damaging to your manager (cocaine addiction, exploiting illegal domestic workers, cheating on her husband, etc.)  This could be helpful in negotiating a proper exit from the work relationship.

  • 3.  Develop rapport with those who understand your Boss is a Psychopath.

At the very least, you’ll need a job reference from someone who doesn’t hate you to pieces.

  • 4.  Try to get help from Human Resources.

Meh – you can try.  But honestly, don’t be surprised if that department is a useless dead end that only brands you as a troublemaker.  Especially if you litigate.  There is no justice in their bland, corporate hallways.  Their job is to get people out the door and save the company money.  They don’t wanna know and they don’t wanna get involved.  So spare your breath and effort.

Please read this juicy article about how HR investigations exonerate bully bosses:

  • 5. Get away from your Psychopathic Boss as soon as you safely can.

Move on.  Trust me — it’s not going to get better.  This Psychopath Boss is a disaster on two legs.  And she will try to strip you of your dignity and mobility until she succeeds.



I am a sophomore at Queens College and I have a s***-ton of exams next week.  But right now I am just sobbing as I write this. To blow off steam before hunkering down to study, I went to a house party hosted by the Hodges twins — a great, trusty pair of guys I grew up with in the neighborhood.  My boyfriend Noah couldn’t make the party.  When Noah acted like I shouldn’t go without him, I just ignored him.  He’d be happy if I just stayed in the house, got drunk with him every night and played Call of Duty XP. He has no social life outside me and classes when he even bothers to go.  Well, a couple of strange jock guys at Hodges party were doing shots of Jager and getting grabby.  At one point, two of them picked me up bodily and tried to carry me into a bedroom.  The Hodges twins two-pieced each wanna-be rapist and threw them out.   I was glad it turned out okay and got a ride home.  When I called Noah and told him about it, he had no sympathy: “You went to that party dressed all sexy after dark. You were drinking, weren’t you? You were asking for it!” First of all, I wasn’t even drinking.  I don’t heart Noah any more.

-Monica B.

I met Earl on a call when I was an EMT working the nightshift on a rainy Monday.  He had called an ambulance at the local Murray Hill frat boy BBQ spot when drunken brawling got bloody after the Indianapolis Colts lost without their star Quarterback.  Things between Earl and I escalated pretty quickly from dating to exclusive to love to eloping and three babies. Our twin boys Devin and Derek and then our baby girl Dana completed our happy new family.  Then his Mama came to live with us after her mastectomy and while her chemo was ongoing which is what families do for each other. Or so I thought. My husband Earl left me last year 2 months before our 3 year anniversary, and we stayed apart for 5 months. The whole time I was with his kids and his Mama alone, and he constantly claimed he didn’t want to be married anymore. Even before we separated he had been trawling the ‘Net for barely-legal porn, lurking in chatrooms with young girls, and even talking with some girls on his disposable cell phone after I went to bed. Now’s he’s confessed he got a Ecuadorean high schooler pregnant out in Bushwick. And now just as suddenly he’s also talking reconciliation. And he’s asking if she can come live with us to raise their baby.  I’m like, what?! I been talking to my Mom, his Mom and his sisters about it and they are unanimous in their criticism: “It’s your fault for marrying that down-low man who cheats. You should have known.”

-Shari P.


It comes as a shock when our loved ones not only don’t care when we are hurt but also blame us.  It’s interesting that the victim is the responsible party — not the criminal creep who assaulted her.
Sometimes, coming from women, the blame is coming from their own unresolved feelings and guilt about some things they went through or did.  But even that insight isn’t helpful to us in our state of need.
It’s worthwhile also to consider whether this blame-game is sexism.  Like racism, sexism is presumed to be out of fashion and assumed not to exist.  But it ‘s not so long ago that women in the United States couldn’t vote, inherit or own property or work outside the home. And I think that the vestiges of sexism are still very much alive today.  And women ourselves are just as capable of being sexist as men.
But journey with me into the Sexist Animus, or mind, if you will: according to this “Men First” doctrine, women are supposed to be subservient and less worthy than men.  Men are supposed to exclusively enjoy power and control exclusively while women can’t even have autonomy or the right to choose most significant aspects of their life circumstances like making a living, whether to have children or whether to have sex.  Furthermore, sexist men have to be right all the time which means women always have to be wrong.
To a sexist man, women are sexually available always because might makes right and “no” means nothing coming from a woman. So given sexism and lawlesslness, let’s face it: all a woman has to do to ask to be sexually assaulted is have a pulse.
Another important way to decipher this blaming of the victim involves “masking.”  The perpetrator of sexual assault or cheating didn’t jump out the closet wearing black and twisting his moustache like a cartoon villain.   No, they play the nice guy role ’til you’re in a vulnerable position.  Then they trick you and do wrong. Anybody can dupe another person if they put their mind to it. Lying, acting, pretending and running game are the only requirements.
We enter relationships and social encounters with trust.  That trust makes hurting us really easy — as easy to do as it’s wrong.

Good masking is just good disguising of the self.  It’s a social skill even our best and closest loved ones can perpetrate.

You’ll say, “But I thought you cared about me.”  They’ll blink and reply, “Oh, well.  Guess you were wrong.”


Part of the cold, harshness of adult life is the lack of sympathy from other people. It’s especially hard to take when you have undergone trauma.  But you have to weather it and keep on keeping on.

Thankfully there are writings by other survivors of sexual assault and infidelity.  And support groups at colleges, churches, therapy offices and beyond.

Like with this blog, seeking out community of thought to talk, share and disagree is often the best therapy for understanding and moving past your pain.  The Feminist community has been tremendous for helping to bring these issues and discussion of them into the light through women’s story circles.

I urge you as a woman to find out more about supporting women undergoing this type of crisis even if it hasn’t personally touched you yet.



This gallery contains 2 photos.

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION Gerald is such a catch.  Tall, athletic, successful as a TV host/ party promoter and close to his family.  He was very passionate with me at first but now … I don’t know if it’s work stress … Continue reading