Sorry guys its door
[This message edited by 2oldforthis at 6:01 PM, January 12th (Thursday)]
Love kills slowly.
You can read about that debacle here:
On one hand, good for me that I'm still able to trust? On the other hand, oh bad choice to put it there.
Thanks to that book, I will not be picking up the phone, ever again, when he decides it's time to call me back and say sorry, be it next week or next year or next decade.
PART 16-- "You are Such a Good Mother"
It's actually called anti-social personality disorder, and I do think that he's on the continuum. This book is part of the reason that I know I can't take him back should he ever try to reconcile.
It's scary to think there are so many people out there without a conscience.
Are you reading it because you suspect you have a sociopath in your life?
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
My husband before my WS was a sociopath. He was diagnosed a long time ago so the psychologist said he had sociopathic tendencies but yes, now they call it antisocial personality disorder.
It is unfixable. Personality disorders are deeply ingrained and not like mental illnesses that can be cured.
But the problem I am having is that I have known for many years that my mother has something wrong with her. In the last few years I had decided that she was probably narcissistic. In the book she refers to the pity party as pretty much a good way to know if you are dealing with a sociopath. Well that is my mother totally. Always pity, pity me. It has me wondering if she may be also. She doesn't have some of the other traits like the risk taking, gambling, sexual. I was hoping to see if someone else could give me more info and how to separate the two.
It helped me realize that he was not going to change, and there was no "cure" for him, and there was nothing I could have done differently.
It also helped me to realize that he does not have the same normal human emotions that normal people have. He is missing things that other people feel, and that he was able to mimic human emotions that he had seen other people emit at the right time. It was like he was playing a part, acting, in order to keep the facade going.
He went undetected for this long because sociopaths blend well into society. Picture Scott Peterson!
It helped me realize that he was not going to change, and there was no "cure" for him, and there was nothing I could have done differently.
This helped me let go of Harry, too. I had always felt that he'd been through so much, been damaged by the traumas of his childhood, and that he had a good heart inside what was otherwise not always socially acceptable behavior. I was patient with him and understanding of his hot buttons, because I believed in him deep inside.
I was so shocked when he turned his anger on me. My crime was liking him too much, enjoying myself too much, and disagreeing with him when he started yelling at me calling me psycho. When he got me drunk, picked a fight, and stalked off leaving me alone in the street in a dangerous situation, I was stunned. The next morning he looked at me with cold, dead eyes, denying the validity of any friendship between us either now, or when we were BFFs 20 years ago. And this is right in the face of him telling me last May when we reconnected, that he'd mourned my marriage to XWH for YEARS--and him calling for long talks on the phone for hours per week ever since.
It was so disorienting because none of it made sense.
And this book helped me see that the next time he calls and tells me he's changed, and how sorry he is, no good can come from me FEELING SORRY for him (the pity thing, right there!)--and guilty for myself (engineered by him I see now) that I was born into a stable secure family and that he has challenges I can never imagine.
[This message edited by marzipan at 11:13 AM, January 13th (Friday)]
This quote from the book was particularly alarming:
"Put more succinctly, there are more sociopaths among us than people who suffer from the much-publicized disorder of anorexia, four times as many sociopaths as schizophrenics, and one hundred times as many sociopaths as people diagnosed with a known scourge such as colon cancer."
And another pertinent quote:
"It is not that this group fails to grasp the difference between good and bad, it is that the distinction fails to limit their behavior."
It's a great read. Creepy though when you start spotting it in people in your life.
If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it's because it's fertilized with bullshit.
The best protection a woman can have is courage.~Elizabeth Cady Stanton
It is frightening to see that there are those who simply have no sense of anything or anyone but them.
Since it may be genetic, I've got my DD in heavy duty counseling to confirm that she doesn't have tendencies.
If I went to Hogwarts, my Patronus would be my Big Sister - GWADW
I did have one sociopath in my life, not romantically thank God, and he was not a really evil or mean sort. Just blank, like a shark, doing damage but never seeming to do it out of hot malice. Before people really talked about someone being "a sociopath" we all knew there was something missing from this man, but we couldn't put our finger on it. We used to say he lacked "emotion" but that wasn't quite right.
Nowadays with the internet and books like this that have so much detailed information, it's so clear that he's a sociopath that I often think of him and wonder if the people in his new life peg him for one right away. And of course he has a new life because he trashed the one in the US so badly he fled.
He also had three children, one of whom was absolutely chilling. And I last saw her when she was 7 years old. I have never felt a truly evil vibe from a small child before or since then, and I felt guilty about it but could not shake it. It has always made me wonder if sociopathy could be inherited.
I am pretty sure I encounters at least 3 sociopaths in recent years. No empathy, but excellent cover. I remember a conversation with the one guy ( all were men) in which it chilled me his lack of empathy. it was so creepy. But no one heard it except me. Everyone loved him, though. Every time he saw me, dirty look. because I knew what he was.
I've passed the book around and recommended it ever since. I've read Hare's work on psychopathy (the old name for sociopathy), but he dealt with criminals. Stout's book gave a much broader context for sociopathy within the general population. It's frightening to think that people we may never suspect are totally without a conscience and may be sabotaging our lives.
The only issue I had with the book is it could encourage readers to label others as sociopaths based on their personal experience. What may look like conscienceless behavior when you are on the receiving end of it and don't have access to the person's thought process or the full context of their lives may have other explanations. That's not meant to say the previous posters' former spouses aren't sociopaths. I'm referring to times when a person makes judgments based on a single incident or short period of time in a single setting.
"When you can tell the story and it doesn't bring up any pain, you know it is healed." - Iyanla Vanzant, Broken Pieces
I was hoping to see if someone else could give me more info and how to separate the two.
The reason it is hard to differentiate is because there are so many traits that overlap. And when you go thru the checklist of traits, a sociopath does not have to have ALL of those traits. So a sociopath may have 80% of the sociopathic traits but also may have 70% of the NPD traits. They are talking about working out a spectrum to say that "This person is high on the antisocial personality disorder traits of recklessness and endangering others, but lower on the trait of anger." etc....
Sociopaths and narcissists are both entirely self-centered, both willing to risk damaging and hurting others to get what they want, and also good at manipulating others. Both seem to lack empathy for others or a conscience. I do believe risk taking is a more sociopathic trait, although a narcissist CAN be a risk-taker.
So it is confusing, however, all you really need to know is that your person has most of those traits which makes them a toxic person and one you should stay away from.
I also found it interesting that ALL sociopaths HAVE NPD, but not all NPD ARE sociopaths.
Do you know where I can get some up to date info on these personality disorders?
There are ten basic personality disorders (as of right now, but this is an ever-changing field with more knowledge and insight coming every day....).
This website can give you a list of the ten basic PD's....
If you pick out a personality disorder you want to know more about, your best bet is to go to your local library and read info on it, and also google it here and read several different sites. You will then get a compilation of different thoughts on the subject but most of the time most of the information coincides so you can figure it is fairly accurate.
My nephew isn't quite the guy next door---he is pretty obviously a sociopath; he's been noticeably different his whole life, but it became really evident at puberty.
My father is one of the quieter ones, but no one ever would have called him normal, if they knew him. He didn't fool employers and though I was an adult before I realized how disordered he is, I knew he was "off." The really malignant nature showed up when my mother needed a guardian, despite his own incipient dementia (on top of the PD); he was easily able to convince a guardian ad litem and judge that she was safe with him. (He went on to refuse her appropriate medical/rehab care, refused to modify their house to meet her disability needs, and withheld her medication. He then failed to call 911 when she had the fully-expected stroke as a result---he called me 36 hours later and asked me to stop by. When I said, "Dad, she's having a stroke!" he said, "Yes, I thought so." She survived several more months, and I was able to place her in inpatient hospice to remain safe from him-----but only because her doctors went waaaaaaaaay out on a limb and illegally allowed me to act as her health care proxy; together we cooked up a story that placated my father. He'd wanted her dead, anyway; not around was next-best---though it didn't get her money to him and sociopath nephew quite quickly enough. Though less than a mile from their house, he visited her only once during the months she was hospitalized----to try to get her to sign legal documents she was incompetent to sign. Apparently, he managed to find a sociopath lawyer, one who'd managed, in one of the most corrupt states where attorney sanction is RARE, to be sanctioned for exploiting the elderly. (He's now exploiting my father---and no, we have not been successful in stopping this OR stopping sociopath felon nephew, who's 35, does not work, and convinces now-demented sociopath father to fully support him and his wife. But that exploitation is kind of karmic.) Incidentally, my sisters and I placed numerous calls to the police about the danger to our mother. The only result (in this affluent community where we did not live) was for the cops to call my father to say, "Your crazy daughters are calling again. Things all right?"
I re-read the book after d-day, when my husband was diagnosed with a mixed personality disorder with strong antisocial traits. Five years ago, I would have told you he couldn't possibly have been more different than my father. But after d-day, his icy and sometimes downright cruel treatment of me made it pretty darn clear. There had been many red flags along the way---but he is generally affable and likeable, which makes it a lot harder to say, "This guy is a freaking sociopath." But he doesn't connect with people except in brief, brief flickers. And in retrospect, he never has. By the time he handed me the report of his PD testing results, I already knew what I was going to see.
To the poster who made the distinction, calling it antisocial personality disorder, there is a school of thought that distinguishes between antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy) and psychopathy. They were once believed to be the same thing, and now it is believed they may share traits, but are on different ends of a spectrum. The sociopath may have some limited capacity for fleeting connection/empathy, while the psychopath does not--and therefore is NOT likely to be "The Sociopath Next Door." (I will be interested to see whether/how the next DSM treats this distinction; personality disorders are, from what I understand, being overhauled in the next version.)
By this definition, my nephew is a psychopath. My father, I believe, shifted from sociopath, with age and practice, to psychopathy, given his late-life treatment of my mother.
And my husband is the nice Sociopath Next Door, with a few other kinks. (It's really common to have traits of more than one PD.) He is most comfortable with really superficial, non-intimate relationships, he possesses strong sociopathic traits as well---they come out when people get too close and threaten to see him for who he really is. But he IS the nice guy next door who people think is "the nicest guy!" Employers challenge this definition; he's never kept a job more than a handful of years. But he had me fooled for over 30 years. He convinced me the red flags waving all around were pretty decorations.)
There are many very successful narcissists and sociopaths; think of many CEOs, politicians, military generals, and so on. They do vital jobs in which a lack of connection to other humans really can be a benefit on some important level. (And no--I really am NOT saying these disorders are present in most successful people in these roles---just that you can find really amazing people with really amazing accomplishments with these disorders.)
My inlaws add to the sociopaths/narcissists surrounding me, and I've had a narcissist boss---which was VERY hard to deal with.
If you have someone personality-disordered in your life, outofthefog.net is an interesting site; it's for people with personality-disordered loved ones, and provides a lot of info, as well as has message boards with seasoned members who can help people who are just learning to deal with a diagnosis or want to make changes in how they interact with the PD person in their lives.
[This message edited by solus sto at 7:13 AM, January 23rd (Monday)]
When he got home, she would not get him the meds he needed because they cost too much. She did not have her home adapted at all for his disabilities. The poor man finally died last month, at least now he has found some peace.
She is a horrid horrid person, she doesn't even try to be friendly; however, one thing I have noticed with some of these sociopaths (and wondering if anyone else has had the same experience) is that this lady and my bff's neighbor (also sociopath) always felt free to walk in the doors of their neighbors without waiting for their knocks to be answered. They would knock and then just open up the door and come on in!
My sociopathic exhusband managed to find a sociopathic lawyer, and we happened to get a sociopathic judge, so court was an awful experience which perpetuated my PTSD. They drug me in front of that psycho judge 23 times in the space of 4 years. It took me a few years to figure out what was going on and who she was, at first, neither me nor my lawyers (I tried 3 different ones) could understand what was happening in court.
You can't win with these people, because while we are going about our lives and trying to build connections to others and live our lives, they are all about winning and revenge and will spend thousands in order to win a $100 judgment. It makes no sense to the rest of us but that is because their brain is seriously different (there have been studies and x-rays done).
Unfortunately with such a large number of them running about, everyone is going to have some contact with one at some point. Hopefully for you it will just be in passing....