VICTIM TRAITS

Updated: 2011 Aug 31

BEFORE: TRAITS of a Potential TARGET

Below are the traits most commonly attributed to a sociopath’s target. Every person is inherently different, and that includes each target and the traits that are most pronounced in the individual. An individual would definitely not need any of these traits to be preyed upon.

This is not an attempt to diagnose anyone.

  • Shyness
  • Difficulty communicating
  • A lack of self confidence
  • Wanting to please
  • A belief that if you love enough the person will change
  • A belief that if you love enough the relationship will succeed
  • Difficulty establishing and maintaining boundaries
  • Not being able to say no
  • Being easily influenced by others
  • Wanting to be rescued from your life situation
  • Wanting to rescue others from their distress
  • Being over nurturing particularly when not asked
  • Feelings of shame and self doubt
  • Low self-esteem
  • A lack of memories about childhood or periods of adulthood
  • A lack of motivation from within and being motivated by others

AFTER: SYMPTOMS of a Relentlessly Abused VICTIM

This is a very accurate list of symptoms experienced by someone who has had their psyche brutally victimized by a sociopath. With that said, this list is not all-inclusive, nor is it intended to be part of any diagnostic function, whatsoever. These symptoms can also be triggered by many other conditions or events.

The source of this data is from ongoing research, but the majority of the data is derived and confirmed from personal experience … the key word being “majority”  There are some symptoms listed here that I have not experienced at all, though they have been mentioned enough for me to accept them as potentially common.

If you, or someone you know, has experienced even a few of these symptoms, seek professional help. Keep in mind, though, that not all “help” is equal. If the professional you choose does not seem to relate to your needs as you would expect or desire, keep looking.

  • Emotional paralysis
  • PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions (indirect homicide)
  • Loss of interest in life
  • Loss of energy
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression or Severe Depression
  • Numbing of feelings
  • Disinterest in having a relationship
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Increased anxiety from being alone
  • Increased anxiety from being in crowds
  • Mood swings

Source: sociopathicstyle.com [confirmed by personal experience (50+ years)]

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137 Responses to “VICTIM TRAITS”

  1. Cherie J Says:

    Hello,

    I just have a short comment.

    I have all of the symptoms you listed and I was married for 28 years to a diagnosed Sociopath, Egocentric, and Pathological liar.

    I don’t know how I ever survived. I want to say that the list is accurate. I had a good self esteem but he ruined me to everyone and I wonder why there is not a site to list names of sociopaths for people to go to because there should be a place where these peoples names are published for others to be protected from them.

    It is a serious and overwhelming disorder that should be taken ver seriously. Once you have left them and had all you can take they just move on. Re write their life, destroy yours and find a new victim. Horrible Cycle that needs to be online for people so they don’t fall prey to these animals.

  2. Larry Says:

    Welcome Cherie,

    I have most of the victim traits as well as the victimized traits. I believe they are capable of indirect homicide. I’ve thought of ending my own life many times. I was not only married to a sociopath (who was also bipolar, borderline schizophrenic, psychotic, and more), but all three of my siblings, and my late-dad, are all sociopaths.

    Unfortunately, all three of my children have inherited the bad gene. For reasons unknown, I was the skipped generation, but I still carried it. I believe the estimates of 5-10% of the population are very low.

    They are so cunning and malicious, it would not surprise me if half the population carries it in some way. Just read my story about the sociopath married to the clueless psychiatrist. She completely controls him.

    Best of luck to you, and thanks for sharing.

    Larry

  3. Cherie J Says:

    Hello Larry and thank you,

    Your situation sounds so identical to mine as to the family members.

    Your term of Indirect Homicide is so true that it actually took my breath away when I read it.

    I feel it still today as if he was legally allowed to take my life and the life of my one and only son that does not have the bad gene. My mom has it but mostly I married into it. I have never been the same since knowing him and my life with him was horrific to say the least. People honestly don’t understand.

    Your site is so very real and very interesting and I am going to keep reading on it. Your story helps others like myself understand that we are not alone. My life was and even now still is the most awful life I could have ever wished for yet I don’t remember half of it. The manipulation, steeling, lying and everything else bad in the world is attached to these people. My ex in my case and my father and sister and brother-in-law and now my son. How did you ever survive it with the ability to go forward. I have a bad back now due to the hits and throws that happened during his drunk nights. Yet I am expected to just jump up and start all over as if none of it ever happened.

    There is truly now help out there. I thought about taking my life but my youngest son has only me. He is sooooo confused as to it all and has no where to go with his feelings and just wants to block it all out. I know he needs to join a group but he is actually embarrassed by it all which does not help him to understand that it is a real disorder and not just a bad dad and brother and grandfather etc…..He just say’s he has a crazy family and cannot relate to anyone because of it.

    He has a huge heart and is nothing like the others. He was, like yourself, spared. My mom is actually NPD mostly but I do think she, too, is a sociopath but my family won’t admit to it. My brother and sister (blood) act differently and seem to feed my mom and I won’t do it because I married the sociopath and they did not. I had a double dose. I see it clearer. Well, I have written a book here but it’s so hard to explain and I enjoy the depth of just the little that I did read last night. I will follow the site and please write back at any time. I will follow your story. It helps so much to know that I am not crazy and this is real. It has been 28 years of hell and prior to that a very awful childhood with my mom.

    Now what? That is what I ask myself so often. I don’t date ~ Because Nobody Understands. I put on the act the best that I can that I am looking and that I will have a normal life all for my son. I know it won’t happen. I am just to sick from all of it.

    You take care and write to me please as I will look forward to hearing anything that will make me realize that I’m not alone.

    Are NPD’d people always Sociopaths? I think my ex is a Psychopath but did not stay in counseling long enough.
    He just blew through one million dollars and now he is broke and so he wants me off his back and my son because he thinks it is our fault. I live on 29 thousand alimony but my late-dad got him his job. He made a ton of money and it’s gone. He is living across the street and just bought a six carrot diamond for his soon to be new wife. She does not believe he is a sociopath. Nobody believes me. I feel sometimes like I am the crazy one. We moved 55 times and that is part of what has just worn me out too.

    He went bankrupt and I lost my car and home and now he is a millionaire that just lost it all again. I am afraid that he might actually hurt me to get rid of me. He tried to poison me when we where married. Oh it is such a long story and he got away with it all and I look like the crazy one and I am not crazy at all.

    well…bye for now…I will be visiting your site often.
    Thank you for the warm welcome.

    Cherie

  4. Larry Says:

    Those are very kind words, Cherie.

    I hope you do not mind I added it to the thread. I believe your words will benefit others. Psychopaths and sociopath are pretty often used interchangeable now. Therapeutically, they are no longer used as diagnoses, but they describe a category of personality disorders, which includes NPD, if I’m not mistaken.

    Sociopaths can surely kill in many ways. I believe one can die from a broken heart, and that would be due to how the body reacts to such depressive misery. But suicide is probably the number one reason of indirect homicide. And I believe that what’s behind the suicides of so many of our teens.

    What I really find unbelievable is how our nation’s school administrators, primarily those in middle school or junior high, cover-up bully problems and allow the bully to enter society.

    My son was a victim of bullies in middle school. When my son was being tormented, the school tried to place the blame on him — blame the victim, let the bullies go.

    He always rated in the top 1% in national testing in science and math, and the top 10% in everything else (50% being average). When he was in 6th grade, he was invited by one of our state universities to attend the Saturday Classes for the Gifted.

    He now attends that university. When I took him out of the middle school to have him finish the school year with a family member in another state, the school administrators knew exactly why I was taking him out of the school — bullying. I had often complained that they had an unchecked bully problem, yet I’d get blank stares.

    But when I went to sign the paperwork for his transfer, they had already filled in the field for “Reason for Leaving” — the reason, or course, was the school’s bully problem, but they wrote in “moving out of state.”

    Why? It looks really bad if schools have bully problems. In my home state, there exist three levels to the state bully law, yet they seem to be ignored.

        1st Offense: One-day in-school suspension
        2nd Offense: One-week off-campus suspension
        3rd Offense: Expulsion

    Expulsion means that they are transferred to the district remedial school. So I did a little homework. I wanted to find out how many kids had been sent to the remedial school for bullying from our entire district.

    There were at least two kids that harassed my son who qualified for Expulsion. The district remedial school had exactly zero kids there for bullying. None. Cover-up? Just feeding our society with young sociopaths? The kids there were for smoking on campus, cutting class, and other stupid reasons to separate them from other kids. Not even one for harassment.

    I raised my son and daughter (from ages 4 & 2) solo. It was my passion. I never said a negative thing about their mom, as I knew they’d find out. I had offers from other parents to trade kids. I was so damn proud of my experience and success.

    But I didn’t see it coming. About the time they both began to enter young adulthood, they began showing signs of personality disorders. Once again, it tore my heart out seeing what was happening, and not a thing I could do.

    My son is much more aware of my concern and involvement, than his sister. He knows all about this site. I have not seen his sister in four years because a sociopath (her mom) can manipulate our legal system. Commit perjury, multiple times, and walk away.

    Our legal system is truly broken. I do think there’s hope for my son, though it will be an uphill battle.

    I just hope I can survive long enough.

    Hang in there, and thanks again.
    Larry

  5. TK Says:

    I was in a business relationship with a sociopath/narcissistic psychopath. I only have mild cases of two of the victim traits – which is why no one, not even friends who have psych training, could understand what was going on with the corrosive relationship.

    The way he sucked me into his web was:

    (a) by leveraging my empathy to get myself on his side. He told stories of how no one understood or listened to him. How his previous bosses never cared for his ideas. How his parents put him in therapy as a child. Notice how he used the warning signs in his favour? He knew they were warning signs. This heightened my desire to make sure he is given a fair go and is heard. And also opened myself up to his abusive manipulations.

    (b) by abusing my self-awareness. He would know exactly what to say to trigger my self-awareness and over time turned that into self-doubt and self-abuse. It was insidious and evil. This subversion of my core traits led directly to severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

    I have since reclaimed my empathy and self awareness as great strengths once more. But the process took years and was extremely difficult. The business was my dream and life. He just threw it away a few months after I left. And since then I have found it hard to get my career back on track.

  6. Carla Says:

    I was aware of what I was walking into from the beginning. He struggled with his lack of “feeling” and part of my role in his life was as teacher. Since he “wanted” to love, I believe he was a completely created sociopath.

    Being abused since 4 years old he had never learned how to love. His childhood was all about self preservation. He took care of “Jim.” and really tried not to damage others- and when he did he punished himself by feeding the notion planted by his parents that he was bad.

    For years he sought therapy and medication for PTSD, trying to make peace with himself. The idea of his being a sociopath came from him-and it troubled him.

    Since many sociopaths aren’t all Ted Bundys’ I knew it was a matter of degree. He would have long periods of “feeling windows” where he was loving and thoughtful, generous and kind-but the minute he was hurt he slammed the window shut-turning inward. It always happened when he was around his family, they were his trigger. Just before his suicide he had heavy contact with them, and was again in turmoil.

    I learned long ago about boundries, and I really don’t feel victimized because I was very aware of who he was, and what he was capable of. I believe it was my inner strenght that attracted him to me. I became the calm in the middle of his storm.

    If I was someone else- he could have completely destroyed my life. But I wouldn’t let him because I understood that “being bitten by an abused dog once-means it might bite you in the future.”

    I loved him very much, and don’t regret our time together.

    I’m just sorry he couldn’t find peace in life.

  7. Larry Says:

    Carla,

    The far majority of sociopaths are walking among us, often considered stalwarts of their communities; one reason they can be so dangerous. Luckily, very few ever reach the level of Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer. In the studies done within the Canadian Penal System, about 20% of the inmate population were psychopaths, but they were responsible for about 80% of all the heinous crimes committed.

    I was raised in a very abusive environment from my earliest memories – this included my dad and older siblings. I have no memories whatsoever of my dad ever telling me he loved me, or even hugging me. I do have more than my fair share of memories being spanked and hit, something my siblings never experienced. I was also unique in being told I was “good for nothing,” “stupid,” and that I would “never amount to anything.”

    These abuses do not guarantee a troubled individual, nor can they create a sociopath. There is no such thing as a “normal” individual, as we are all just wired differently. Given that, each person will respond differently when raised in such an environment.

    I’m sorry he could not find peace, but I certainly hope you can move on to your own.

    Thank you for your candor.

  8. Margo Says:

    How can I get others to believe me? Sociopath boyfriend and I live (not together) in a small community. His harrassing ways have escalated and I have taken this issue to management. I know the sociopath is good at fooling others yet how do I convince others that I am telling the truth and that he is dangerous? (Several of my girlfriends have dated someone like this so they believe me).

  9. Carla Says:

    Convincing others can prove difficult- especially if he has them all conned into believing he is a great guy. If you feel afraid for your safety contact police and tell them what you can do to protect yourself-they will have you speak to a domestic abuse officer. Sometimes just having a call “on the record” can protect you from future harm he may cause you.

    You must have something on file-even a complaint if he is harrassing you. Don’t feel ashamed because you live in a small town “where every body knows your business.” I was astounded by local support in my small town (pop.1000) after my partner committed suicide.

    People will surprise you. Get support from your friends and don’t worry about others who may not understand. You MUST and I say must at least have some public record prior to things escalating. This is your pre-defense in case he decides to set you up as being abusive to him.

    This is a common way for a vindictive sociopath to ruin your life. He threatens you-and he calls police saying you are abusive to him. The police will believe the one calling. Don’t fall for that trap!

    Take care

  10. Rocky Says:

    hey larry

    i just wanted to say this list is entirely accurate. I have been raised by a sociopath father since grade 6 until grade 11 and he has always been around the family but only during those years where I was raised by a single parent (dad) did I experience these symptoms. The thing is, I never even had the slightest clue this was happening to me, my entire childhood wasted to my sociopath father.

    I was the shyest nicest guy ever but with no self esteem. I had my back bent, and head kept down low, but I was very observing and a very good listener (good nurturer) and helped people with their problems. I only realize this now (I am 19 and have lived 2 years out of my dads presence) and I realize I have almost no memories of my childhood or teenage years at all.

    It seems its all a blur, and recently I thought that I was a sociopath because its hard for me to feel emotions a lot of the time due to what I went through. But I realize that may be emotional paralysis or a numbing of emotions because during those years, I cried at least twice a week to cry myself to sleep for many years and so now I am getting used to exploring my inner self and my emotions.

  11. Catherine Says:

    I’m finding that it’s the accomplices my sociopath has surrounded himself with that are still gnawing at me, almost relentlessly so…will they eventually stop? Other than ignoring them what can I do?

    They will not listen to reason. They firmly believe that he’s a good man and see me as the evil one. Please help with any advise. Thank you.

  12. Larry Says:

    Catherine,

    It’s impossible to provide a definitive answer, as your sociopath’s disciples have been brainwashed. The likelihood of changing their perceptions is probably nil.

    The best thing for you is to be proactive. Clear these people from your life. I know that can be very difficult since they may be family, friends, or co-workers. But whatever it takes, distance yourself. All my efforts to change the minds of my sociopaths’ disciples ended in failure and even threats.

    I gave up in changing anyone’s mind, and just have been doing my best in moving forward. I wish you the best.

  13. Brandi Says:

    I want to thank you for this website.

    I have been looking for ways to deal with the emotional fallout left by my halfsister and her mother. I have been reading the comments and articles and it is sad and conforting to know I m not alone.

    One of the comments pointed out it must be you, because you know so many. I wanted to say this is true, but not in the way the person who posted it meant. When you realize what you’re dealing with, when you see a sociopath for what they really are it changes you and the perceptions you have of the world. I have read hundreds of books and articles and with all that I have learned, I can look back on people I’ve known and say with some certainty that they were probably sociopaths.

    Trying to erase the damage my kid sister has done is almost impossible. I saw someone say get over it, let it go. I have to say that letting it go is how she got away with it for 30 years without any repercussion. People let it go and forget about it and she is on to the next victim to feed off of. I know, I am guilty of “moving past it and letting go of it.” I have stopped doing that. I have started helping the people she hurt.

    I have started apologizing to the people I didn’t believe. I tried to help her mother and that was just another kick in the teeth. I have stopped contact and interaction with my sister and anyone in her world. My life has become so peaceful. Yes I have had run ins with my sister’s I guess disciples. I am wary of repercussions, but the more people I talk to, the more information I share with others, the better protected I am.

    If my comment seems angry, I do apologize. I am not so angry as determined. Thank you again for this website. I have been compiling links and documents to give to the people she has hurt. I hope that in ten years when I am 50 I will have helped as many people as you have, and healed myself in the process.

    I hope I didn’t post this twice. My kiddo’s kitten thinks my laptop keyboard is a bed.

    Thanks
    Bran

  14. Larry Says:

    Hi Brandi,

    I’m glad you have found my history to be helpful in understanding your own history.

    There is comfort in discovering you are not alone, since those who target you are determined to make you feel that way.

    That comment about knowing so many psychopaths (aka, sociopaths) must make me, or whoever makes such a statement, a psychopath themselves is a completely baseless comment, as well as an absurd level of logic. That would be similar to saying someone who knows many diabetics in their family must be a diabetic themselves.

    You’re correct, though, in how intuitive one becomes when they face the true evil of a psychopath, and how they learn to recognized similar characteristics in others they know, or have known.

    I don’t believe it’s possible to fully erase the damage that a psychopath can unleash. They are truly skilled at manipulating others, and have made it a critical aspect of their character. They need others to push their own agenda. It only shocks me how easily others can be suckered, including the legal system.

    And lastly, I sense no anger in your comment at all. I’m not even sure where you think you spewed anger. Your comment comes across, at least to me, as calm, intelligent, and insightful, if not painful. I wish you the very best on your journey.

    Thank you.

  15. Lucy Says:

    I have none of the pre-victim traits, and yet it happened to me. Obviously this list was helpful to many of your readers, but it just convinces me that there’s no really reliable way to predict who is going to be victimized by a sociopath.

  16. Cj Says:

    Lucy,

    I had none of the pre-signs of victimization either. I did have an over controlling narcissistic mother but I was still very strong both physically and mentally.

    I cannot imagine how one person and their disciples can take a healthy , kind, strong individual and turn them into a grain of dirt. In my case my physical health went on a downward spiral and I panicked. I knew I needed to be able to work. Being dependent on an ex husband of 28 years diagnosed to be a sociopath makes every day hell if you let yourself even think of what they are doing to you finacially.

    Mine wants me destroyed completely and without my health I have no money to fight him. What a truly sad reality. Blessings to all.

    Cj

  17. Larry Says:

    Anyone can be sucked into the fantasy life of a sociopath. I know it because I was, and I’ve seen other, otherwise-intelligent individuals get completely suckered. Some are true masters of manipulation. A collective “we” put one in the White House for eight years.

    The list above should really be identified as a list of traits that psychopaths prey on. They will find someone’s weak point, and begin with it.

    You bring up a good point. No one should read that information as a list of required traits. That would give a false sense of security if it were interpreted as such. Anyone is a potential target, and anyone can end up a being the victim of a sociopath.

  18. Carla Says:

    It is difficult to admit you have a trait that may attract a sociopath- it’s hard to fathom that “just being you” might have something to do with the nightmare you find yourself living in.

    I was far too trusting, and innocent to the notion that another person would “purposely” try to harm me. Especially someone you love.

    For a long time I found excuses for his behavior towards me, and tried to weather the storm by being calm and understanding (he had PTSD) but the abuse would branch out in other forms that I was not prepared for. Verbal insults, sulking, sabotaging others against me, and destroying the things I loved became more than I was prepared to deal with.

    I snapped out of it quick and realised that if I was going to be with this man, I had to protect myself. I separated much of myself and refused to be manipulated.

    I started looking at him as being a broken human being, cutting financial, and emotional ties that enabled him to control me. He was forced to stand on his own, and be responsible for his own behavior because I refused to become his victim. This shocked him into a more reasonable approach to me. He knew I had changed and understood that in order to continue with me- he needed to reign in his behavior.

    I took away his power, and he saw for the first time (I believe) that manipulating others only hurt him in the long run. I do believe he had grown tired of himself and came to some understanding that he was the cause of all his woes.

    Sadly, he ended his life just before he could use this understanding to continue on a new path.

  19. Nikole Says:

    I have just found your website for the first time, and feel like sharing some of my story because I do not know where to turn for help.

    I have been victimized by multiple sociopaths (mainly in romantic relationships, but also in friendships) for most of my life (from 12 years old to now, age 32). I understand why I am a target (based on the traits they look for), and in hindsight I can see what red flags were there and that I should have avoided these people sooner. However, that doesn’t change the past or make the pain of what occurred any less. And it still leaves me wondering how I could allow it to happen so many times.

    Most recently, I was conned by a seemingly nice young man whom I met in a very small online community (about 40 people) who were optimistic and spiritually-minded. He approached me, and was very sweet and always spreading messages of joy and peace and love. We communicated online everyday (sometimes 2 or 3 hours on Skype) for 3 months. He lives in Europe, and I live in the US. He wanted very much to meet me, and invited me over to see him (all on his dime, because he knew I did not have the finances). Believing that this was “the one” that I could have a lasting loving relationship with, I stupidly went to meet him.

    At first, everything was fabulous; seemed like a dream come true. Then, I found out he was still in communication with 2 other women with whom he’d had relationships (one of which he had gone to Russia to meet just last year, and had MARRIED her and left her there!). Things went downhill from there. He began to display new behaviors (being not just disrespectful of me and my personal boundaries, but passive/aggressive, and saying hurtful things). Eventually, he became violent with me one night, literally kicking me and throwing me out, then abandoning me. I was in a foreign country where I did not speak the language and had no money. Luckily there were some kind people who helped me for a couple of days until I was able to get a flight home.

    Now that I have arrived home, I have found out that I am pregnant with his child. He knows that I am pregnant, and refused to assist financially in any way. He has informed me that he has forgiven himself for what he did, and he is moving on with his life. (All of this after several emails from him, alternating between threatening to hurt himself, saying that he really loves me, and telling me I am a bad person).

    This is the second time that I have totally fallen for a sociopath to this degree (my first child, who is now 12, is also the product of a relationship with a sociopath. Thankfully that child is a very kind and loving person).

    I had worked very hard for a long time to resurrect my self-esteem after several traumatic relationships, was in school to train for a career (which I have now left for reasons unrelated to the relationship), and was finally feeling good about myself when he came along. Now I feel lower than ever. I do not really have a strong support system of family or friends, I am not financially self-sufficient, and trying to deal with this depression and responsibilities on my own.

    I am so heartbroken, and I feel really stupid and ashamed for letting this happen to me. I am also very sad that I attract this kind of person, and that it seems I will never find anyone who is worthy of trust and capable of love.

    If anyone out there knows of resources that could help me to get back on track, I would greatly appreciate it. I feel really desperate, and like no one understands or cares. I just want to pull myself together and function, and become able to care for my children.

    Thank you for reading.

  20. Melina Says:

    The 1st time i heard the term sociopath was today, or should i say yesterday, since i am on line for more than 12 hours reading more about sociopaths and their behaviour…

    I had 3 of them being very close to me in highschool, and one after the other destroyed parts of my social life at the time or just disappeared leaving me with unanswered questions.

    Once,at age 15, the majority of my friends stopped talking to me for 2 weeks while we were constantly meeting in school and rehearsals, because of my sociopath’s friend crazy stories and lies about me.

    The strange thing with their stories is that you never really realise what they said, i guess they just feel what would hurt every single person and expand on that topic with lies and fake accusations.

    3 years ago the same thing happened to me at age 27, when a colleague convinced all our common friends that i was a dangerous person and got everybody to even throw away all the presents i had ever got for them.

    The first time i was faced with such a story it really pushed me to my limits to find my own self-respect no matter what.

    But i must admit it has been so hard to deal with it again.

    And then, at age 27, i finally had to realise that there are people willing to pretend every facet of their lives just to reach their targets.

    She still holds the “consciousness” of some of her followers…in her eyes they see someone who is self-confident, while i always kept a safe distance cause i could feel a person with no clear emotional responses.

    I guess i have most of the traits of a possible victim but i am pretty sure most of the victims have something that really pisses the sociopaths off: we can see through them, easier than other people who are their followers and ofcourse feed them (and believe that they will have some favours in return for their faithfulness).

    While this happened i was indeed recovering from a romantic relationship with a sociopath that took hold of my life and emotions for about a year pushing me to change everything in my life or ”lose” him. I was courageous enough to break up with him but even then he kept coming back promising love and good times and then dissapearing with other women.

    Since then it is very difficult for me to trust in relationships…

    I have been having difficult people coming and going in my life while i try to realise that i am not the one to heal their pain.
    Now i have a new relationship and i am afraid he may be a sociopath cause he has a lot of the characteristics and he is so devoted in pleasing me.

    Also hightened sexuality is such a key-trait. A way to control others , to encourage them to need you.

    I would like to note down that i recently read a book that helped me see more clearly the energy give and take that takes place in our every day encounters and relationships.

    It is from Sandra Ingerman, Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self (Harper San Francisco 1991)

    Finally, i think i can admit after many years of suffering that my mother resembles a lot the personality of a sociopath or narcissist, although i have no idea how a specialised phycologist would categorise her (if she didnt give him/her the victim persona).

    Working more and more on the inside to come to terms with all these strange experiences i saw clearly how she pretends all of her emotions and always drugs everybody’s energy and attention, or if they deny that, she strives to control them by any means, in subtlety.

    I am really sad she does that to my father, my sister and me.

    All of us try to find our freedom and it is not always easy, especially if as a child there was no emotional bonding, but only fights and problems and expectations every day.

    The thing is that i have all of the symptoms of a relentlessly abused victim and for the last 2 years it is more and more hard to function in society terms.

    I guess i need help, or i just need to go away from my family and create my world over again..

    I am very much convinced it is more of the 1-4% of the population.

    It is just that people are willing to be followers and usually they dont all of them suffer from this behaviour, in contrast some of them admire these persons.

    I am pretty sure almost everybody has been abused be such personalities and i guess we need to do this:
    stop giving them our emotional energy which they so much seek, cause they are numbed themselves.
    If we dont do that we will all live in a society of zombies and vampires which is already promoted on TV and by the music scene and industry.

    Awareness is the ultimate gift out of these experiences.

    Good luck to everyone who is looking for some help in this website and thank you for your stories Larry.

    May we eventually find our way to clear boundaries and unconditional self-love.

  21. Gina Says:

    This man—my x husband and father of my two kids is the sickest cruelest person I have ever known. I need resources for rebuilding myself and my adult kids lives. I live in Denver, Colorado. Please can anyone help me?

    I have read two books and the website of THE MASK OF SANITY. I just need support groups, therapists etc. to help me move on. I am an educated professional who thought I was losing my mind. These people need to be stopped.

  22. Kendra Says:

    I was attacked because I was successful… And good looking.

  23. Larry Says:

    Carla,

    I think it’s the ones you love who have the greatest advantage of using manipulation and deception. For your ex, PSTD could have been at the core for much of it, IMHO. Based on what you say, maybe his real problem was the PTSD and not psychopathy. I believe it’s not uncommon with severe PTSD to resort to suicide, but psychopaths generally think they are superior beings, and would likely counter-attack.

  24. Larry Says:

    Nikole,

    You’ve been through hell and back. I had a psychologist tell me candidly once, “You just don’t know how to pick out women.”

    And he was right. It’s a complete crap shoot. It’s almost like one wants to demand a psychological evaluation at the very start of dating someone.

    As I’ve said throughout my writings, based on my research (primarily my own family) the psychopathy “gene” is that dominent “bad gene.” It’s all genetic, passing from one generation to the next. It does not manifest itself in someone until the mid-teens to early-20s. I don’t mean to add more concern for you, but, most likely it wouldn’t show up in a 12 year old.

    You have every reason to stop the pregnancy before it’s too late. That’s my humble opinion. This child would not be born out of love, and would likely inherit the gene.

    As far as additional help goes, if you cannot afford a psychologist and psychiatrist (you need both), most every county has mental health services that you could afford, as it could even be free based on your income. Contact your county services for more information as to where you are. Time, for you, is of the essence.

    Good luck!

  25. Larry Says:

    Melina,

    First, allow me to say “you’re welcome” but also thank you for sharing parts of your life. I relate very closely to what you wrote.

    I was the family outcast growing up, being both verbally and physically abused by my dad and oldest sister. When I was 30, I met a woman who fell for me and treated me like no one else ever had. That’s because I was so used to being beat down that I never expected to come face-to-face with a true master’s persona.

    I went from bad to worse, but it wasn’t until I realized what was affecting my ex that I recognized the same disorder in my dad and siblings.

    As I’ve said here and elsewhere, I truly believe it’s closer to 20% of the population. It gets to a point where it’s not too difficult to pick them out. Love interests make it more difficult.

    I’ve had to write off my siblings (my dad has passed). I don’t think of myself as having siblings … I’m alone, and that works just fine for me. I also live in another part of the country than the rest of them, so distance plays a good factor. We must look out for ourselves first and foremost, as no one else will do that like we can. I wish you the best!

  26. Larry Says:

    Gina,

    Contact your county’s social services for starters. Most counties have mental health services (outpatient) with both psychiatrist and psychologists on staff … seeing the both is the best treatment for you.

    Good luck!

  27. Melina Says:

    Dear Larry,

    Are you happy?

    Does your decision to break away from the family change the way you behave in other relationships as well?

  28. Larry Says:

    Melina,

    It wasn’t an over night process, but I am relatively happy again. The memories never go away completely, though … it seems more like a bad dream than reality.

    I’m not in a relationship now, and for quite some time, I didn’t think I ever would be again. But that has changed … if it happens, I’ll walk slowly.

    My relationship with others in general is great. All this negative experience has given me strength and increased my own self-esteem. It takes time, commitment, and likely years, but slow improvement is better than staying in the same place.

  29. Mary Says:

    The humiliation and shame that I felt having to tell my family who I have been living with for the last five years just killed me. How do you explain to those who love you that you did not see the evil that you were living with?

    I am empty, drained of hope for ever trusting anyone again. I just posted a very short version of my encounter with a sociopath.

    I believe that the sociopath, (RB) that found me was actually looking for the right type to fulfill he needs at the time. I believe that he is a predator. It has taken me months to even understand that NOTHING that I thought was true about RB was actually the truth. I know nothing about him except that he is a pathological liar and a manipulator with no ability to empathize.

    People around me want me to get angry… I feel so betrayed, so used, so flat, that it hard to explain the complete emptyness that I feel.

  30. Carla Says:

    I too am like Larry, in that I walk slowly in regards to new relationships. I accept that I am alone now, and may be for the rest of my life.

    Sometimes it makes me so sad to think the love I have to give to a man will be wasted. I can love so deeply and be a wonderful partner to another, yet, this experience has shattered me, and damaged my trust and faith in love.

    To love someone with unconditional love is quite a feat because it takes away all preconceived ideas of what love is.

    I know what love is because I had that with my husband Paul who died at 44. He was kind and caring, and loved me unconditionally.

    He taught me how to love broken people, and part of who I was when I was with Jim, came from Paul.

    I miss them both.

  31. cin Says:

    I discovered this site after having come from a relationship I had with a man for a few months. Initially I thought he was the perfect man…showered me with affection, told me all the things I wanted to hear…before i knew it i was in the clamps of this man, believing him that my family and friends didnt know what they were talking about.

    I fell in love with him quickly and then one day, i realized that in order for me to chat with someone i had to hide it from him…it happened so gradually that i was giving up myself, my strength, my soul to this man…the once sweet man turned into a screaming, raging person I didnt know existed…it was as if he had this invisible hold on me and i didnt know why i allowed it…but i did…i ended up finding a lot of the truth from his (who i thought was his ex) but was actually seeing him the entire time.

    He had lied about everything and I was devistated. I realized the man I fell in love with never existed…He occupied the same body….had the same voice….but he never really existed…I find myself still drawn to him but im gradually getting better…..i have so many feelings of betrayal and cry a lot but im getting stronger…what i try to remember is that he doesnt know what hes doing…he believes people are there to use.

    From what ive read its a disease that makes him void of any emotions – love, empathy, sorrow and many more…when i looked up the word sociopath, i read many articles about them and their victims…i refuse to be called his victim..maybe i did initially but no more…i still love him…but the “him” that he portrayed…the virtual man and that’s one of the hard parts…i cant even hate him…i wish i could…it would be easy to let go of the love i have if i did…this note im writing doesnt even convey the hurt im feeling or what ive been thru and am still trying to make sense of it..I know i will be okay eventually.

    i wonder if i will be the same person i once was…only time will tell…

  32. Larry Says:

    @ cin …

    It’s very tough to give up the fantasy, but you must see him for what he really is … evil. Their public personas are nothing like their real personalities. He will never change. It was all a ruse.

    The best thing you can do is find a therapist who specializes in psychopathy. When you find someone, take the first few sessions to analyze the analyst. Make sure it’s a good match. He they make you feel as if you are part of the problem, find another therapist. They’re all created differently.

  33. cin Says:

    I would like to share the poem I just wrote.

    Letting Go
    Today I’m letting go – Something I thought a mere week ago
    Couldn’t be possible
    But I’m taking back my heart
    That you took under false pretenses

    Today I’m letting go of all the broken promises
    They were hollow and never meant to be shared

    Today I’m letting go of the man I gave my heart to
    The one that only now exists in my memory
    Never did it rest in your heart

    Today I’m letting go because the stack of broken
    Promises is higher than the love I have for you

    Today I’m letting go because I’ve discovered that
    You did not rob me of my identity
    Because I own it again
    It was not yours to have
    It belonged to me

    Today I’m letting you go and I thank God
    I didn’t lose what I had so carelessly put aside
    My family – and I will promise to devote as
    Much time and energy into repairing it
    As I did pushing it away

    Today, I’m letting go of the guilt I carry
    For the pain I caused the most important
    Person in my life – Sherry
    It took my misguided choice to
    Show me that what I was so desperately
    Looking for was always there

    Today I’m letting go of what I thought was going
    To be our future and I’m taking my life back
    I lost sight of what was important
    The passion I was searching for
    Was in her eyes and not that of a stranger

    Today I’m letting go of the last five months
    And despite your struggle to manipulate me
    I’ve come away even stronger than before
    And because of that – I thank you.

    I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and even though it hasn’t been very long since I came back home, I want to let anyone know that’s reading this that you can overcome this. You have it within you to fight back and take control of your life. I certainly didn’t think it was possible so soon. I doubted that it would happen at all. I feared that it wouldn’t happen.

    But I had the support and love from the one person I hurt the most and that is priceless. Find comfort in sites such as this that allows a forum to express yourself and talk with people that understand and care. Reach out to family and friends – alot of your strength may come from them. And most of all, you have that inner strength to come back even better and stronger than you ever thought possible. And if you haven’t yet been able to do so, it’s time you let go today and take back what is rightfully yours. Thank you so much. Cindy

  34. Gina Says:

    Hi

    There would have been a time when I would completely believe that a Sociopath was a victim of genetics. I DO NOT BELIEVE this any longer. TRUST ME … this is EVIL. We the victims are not, we are GOOD… or we would never know the difference between the two. These people are monstors. God gave me miracles to show me what the REAL problem is. … My story continues to blow my mind every day. I am an educated woman who was happy to be a Mother … but I knew pretty early on in a 24 year marraige that SOMETHING wan’t right with this man. Because my kids and I all had serious illnesses off and on throughout the years, I let myself stay in the marriage to this FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL IVY LEAGUE GRADUATE to survive until a time I was strong enough to leave.

    We three are physically healthy and happy today. … If you have a hard time believing a Sociopath is EVIL. Consider this, I cannot prove this, but try to have faith in the unseen. … Three days before 9-11, I dreamed parts of the event. … Mostly smoke, papers blowing and victims running in the streets. … then ruins. I woke up abruptly having a very weird feeling about the dream. It took me a few days after 9-11 to realize what my dream was about. … While praying, I had a vision about my x husband… then many other bizarre experiences.

    I will share them at another time. PLEASE … PRAY about these people who have tried to destroy you. See what God brings to you. I am a Christian. Jesus put me back together. Remember he was nailed to a cross— and loved man enough to ask God to forgive the evil ones killing him! He LOVES YOU and will RENEW your strength. … THose of you with children or blood relatives whom you believe are Sociopaths, ask GOD to help deliver the Evil … Even the nonrelatives whom you loved. Remember, it is up to the individual to choose Good or Evil. God revealed that my X was a permanent EVIL. … You can believe me or not, but I AM FREE now from the TORMENT that this man caused. I would love to talk. God bless you all. REMEMBER, YOU ARE LOVED!!! Gina

  35. Gina Says:

    How many of you have had your sociopath look you in the eyes with a look that seemed-not of this world? Your skin crawls and one victim expressed it— “as a look that he would eat/consume me as a wild animal does his prey if he could.” Also described as –”the creepiest eyes I have ever seen.” Humans are disposable to the sociopath. Relatives are no different. He would have let our son die if I hadn’t rescued my son. Just curious about the evil preditory experiences of any readers. ???

  36. Jen Says:

    I believe I have had experiences with two sociopaths.

    One was a 2 year relationship with a parasitic type. He lived with me for over a year without paying rent except partially for one month. He was a control freak even though he would go out til all hours or all night. Afterward, I could not believe what I had put up with. I have never been the type to put up with this type of behavior. I thought I was in love & I thought I could somehow get back the guy he was at the beginning. I did feel quite victimized & foolish after this experience.

    On the other hand, I picked myself back up & recognized that it was not about me. He was smooth & slowly sucked me in. I also realized he was NEVER the guy he was at the beginning & that was fake to start with. It’s not that I did something to mess it up. It’s not that he stopped feeling love for me. None of that was ever really there for him in the first place. He was a big con. I do ultimately believe I went through that experience for a reason & move forward positively.

    For those of you who feel like victims, please don’t allow your experience to ruin any more of your life. Live & learn. (I know that makes it sound more simplistic than it is… it’s your life though & you can or have taken back control of it now.) It wasn’t a negative reflection of you. It was a “flaw” in someone else.

    My second experience is with my brother’s wife. It only recently occurred to me that she fits this profile to a T… In fact, without this as the explanation, very little she has said or done to me makes any sense at all. She is constantly attacking me & claiming to be offended or hurt by things that she has either misunderstood or weren’t even about her at all… when I have attempted to explain the real meaning or explain that she is taking something personally when it’s only my opinion or it’s not about her at all, it only caused the situation to spiral out of control… she took more offense & got to the point where she refused to invite me to anything involving their kids until I apologized.

    I have NEVER said anything intentionally cruel, although I do honestly express my opinion with as much tact as I possibly can. She has been intentionally cruel & malicious (although I don’t typically let the opinions of others bother me & this is no different). I mainly wanted her to stop being so angry at me all the time so I could be around my brother without so much tension. She blamed me for the tension because if I would do everything her way, she would have no reason to be mad (short version).

    For some reason, my brother backs her up in this, even though everyone else assures me I don’t need to change anything… except they say little to her or my brother about it for fear of being cut out & not seeing their grandchildren themselves. I am incredibly forgiving, understanding & compassionate so I did manage to find a way to sincerely apologize that the situation had caused her pain. She was quite ungracious about it & even clearly stated that she had done nothing “wrong” (which by her meaning of the word is far from true), although I was included in the next family event they hosted.

    Personally, I don’t need an apology or remorse in order to forgive someone, so that didn’t matter much to me. Not long after though (less than a month), she managed to go back to her old ways & find some complaint to blow up. She lied to my Dad to attempt to damage our relationship, which I have no concern over because he sees her true colors (although I don’t think to the extent I do). I didn’t engage with her this time though & it’s a very powerful way to deal with someone like this.

    By NOT responding at all, it takes all their power away. Now I have decided to disengage from any relationship with her at all. Of course, I will never trust her (I haven’t for at least a few years now). I will still be there for my brother. However, she & her words & her actions will never harm me again… she is vapor to me.

    No matter what has happened, you can be in charge of your life now. You didn’t do anything wrong, no matter what the sociopath has said. Don’t let them convince you. Please don’t be a victim anymore.

  37. Gillian Says:

    I’ve been targeted by sociopaths through work.

    The first I worked for as a contractor, then an employee. He was superficially charming gregarious in public and well liked by peers, but verbally abusive to volunteers and employees. It started after awhile. He’d go off into abusive rants out of nowhere. He spent his work hours moderating forums instead of working. Later I found out he kicked people of forums he didn’t like, later he kicked me off. He is now on many industry boards and panels. It was all about control and power. While I worked with him he talked badly and as a victim of many people in the organization and other stakeholders. It was as if everyone was out to get him and I became suspicious of these people.

    He created problems between people I was to encounter by biasing me and them with historical problems. He told me about former employees that had attempted to sue him but hadn’t succeeded. He gave me inadequate resources expected me to achieve the unachievable in my role and threw me under the bus with his superiors. I never undermined him or talked badly, but when I tried to get a replacement for my role so I could move on, he wrote the girl an abusive letter about me which she passed on to me. I was shocked and warned her not to take the job.

    He became increasingly verbally abusive. I resigned and took up a project independently that I had attracted to the organisation as a contractor and was running solo. He had forbidden me to work on the project and this was the primary factor for leaving. He then wrote tailored letters discrediting me and questioning my competence to a huge pool of stakeholders that I had bought to the centre. This had a huge influence on the success of the project and the resultant chaos of people dropping out and crisis management made his words seem plausible. He created every problem. What a psycho!

    He literally destroyed my reputation and Burgeoning career. I should have sued him for defamation. I was too shocked and unsure of myself. I moved cities instead and started again.

    5 years later and Im reeling from another psychopath in business. This one is the CEO of a non profit corporation. I worked for this organization for 2 years as a contractor on some very successful projects but they kept cutting my budgets and exploiting me to “extract as much value” (quote) as possible from me. In the end I was working 16 hour days 7 days a week doing loads of work that wasn’t in my contract that they had failed to do on time.

    If I didn’t do it my work would not be ready on time and I would be in breach of contract. I had begun to ask for additional payment for my additional work. Then they began to actively interfere in my work so that i would not be able to complete my work. In the end I suggested I would
    challenge their breach of contract legally if they did not allow me to complete my work and focus on their own tasks and I refused to cut the budget below what I agreed to work with.

    I asked to end the relationship after the project completed. They said they would take over the project (it was 11 days out from completion) and then sent a letter from their lawyer accusing me of not completing duties (all bogus) demanding I did not contact any stakeholders and directing that they owned all my contractors that I had independently bought to the project. This project had a huge amount of stakeholders all of which I had dealt with regularly and the ripples of this caused a number of these stakeholders to cancel projects lined up with me.

    Psychopath CEO. The stupid part is the CEO wanted to keep their actions secret, which I haven’t. He expected me to sign I document agreeing to be taken off the project. I have so much evidence to show I went above and beyond and the projects were undeniably successful. It was as if
    he thought he had gotten everything he could out of me and could just steam roll over without any backlash. I could have destroyed the project but cared about the contractors being paid, but I was not silent. I think psycho CEOs in non profit orgs aren’t particularly smart psychos. I was more useful to them appeased than destroyed to their interests and as a non profit being a bully is not a good look.

    I am positive the CEO is a psycho due to his pleasure in squeezing people and the exploitative attitude I encountered among the org culture and the things I overheard. He also told me that he was home alone while his family was away on holidays… it just made sense. The other psycho that has tormented me is the most insidious. He was my flatmate for 3 years. I would have moved but had a home office and could not afford to (mainly due to psychos damaging my business).

    I didn’t realize he was a sociopath for most of that time. I just thought he was socially awkward and not very perceptive. I felt sorry for him and tried to socialize with him for that reason. He sat all his leisure time on the computer doing??? He was a lazy sociopath and all his efforts went into reducing his “chores”. to begin with he tried to trick me into doing his chores, then when I decided just to do my own he started washing his dish, cup and pots once a week ( no rinsing, the same stuff reused).

    His room and everything he touched was putrid. After a year or so my boyfriend told me I was losing my social skills because I was communicating too much with my flatmate. My flatmate had dropped any facial expression and looked at me deadpan (too lazy to mimic at home). You know the empty stare and the angry stare if you’ve been around a sociopath who isn’t hiding. He never hid his lack of empathy or inability to put himself in anyone elses shoes. He told me stories of horrible things he did at work to people and seemed to think that was how everyone is. Was he unaware he was a socio?

    He told me how he observed intimidating behaviour and copied it and put it into practice – eg glaring at people on trains, shaving his head so people found him scary. Communicating with a deadpan sociopath is very confusing. The trouble started when i distanced myself from him. He was very very angry. He was always angry at everything anyway (chores, things not his way in the house) and talked to himself out loud. At one stage he would wake up every morning pacing muttering “fucking bitch fucking bitch” down the corridor till he went to work.

    Then came the knives. He left 2 strategically placed knives on counter edges as if there was someone hunting him. I asked him to stop and he denied it. Then one day I caught him in the corridor practicing stabbing with 2 knives. He was drinking lots of alcohol every evening and I became scared of him, then one day he menaced me when I suggested he could’t see things from another persons perspective. He was so scary! He would not leave my room.

    I put locks on my door after this and started to look for other places to live, but his weirdness touched others too. He would freak out girls who worked with me in the house with his piercing stare. He would come into my office and just stand there saying nothing staring angrily. Men didn’t see it but women found him very creepy. He would stand outside my door breathing loudly. It was such a very scary time. He believed in revenge for the strange things he perceived as slights. This was anything he believed effected his dominance. This could be moving a shoe, or any tiny petty thing.

    While he lived here i lived in his house tip toeing on eggshells. On weekends in the end, i hid in my locked room being quiet hoping he would focus his massive anger elsewhere. My theory is he wanted power but he just really is too lazy and not that socially bright to achieve it. He really could’t understand other people well and my theory is that because he was unable to understand what motivates others he would try and hurt me in ways that would hurt him.

    He lived on his computer. He loved little petty revenges and the little things he didn’t hide, but one of his favorites was breaking hard drives. Every hard drive I had lasted less than 3 months. Once my laptop Hardrive went and my laptop was actually twisted from being dropped. When I got an iPad he asked to read the manual to see how hard you would have to drop it to kill the drive…He had no idea of what was normal thought
    processes!

    In the end I think he was exposed at work, he’d talked about being called a bully and had a couple of sudden leave periods. He finally moved! I knew there would be some little revenge plan, and sure enough he took off earlier than he’d said leaving no forwarding address no bill money and his uncleaned, encrusted rooms ewwwwww! But he was gone! At least he didn’t kill me!

    Later I found out that all the neighbors far and wide and even the real-estate either thought he was a scary serial killer type or at least mentally ill. He did lots of really odd things in public, either bullying or socially weird. I feel much better now he is gone, but am told I’ve got some domestic violence victim symptoms. I think though with being targeted by socios through work and in my home I’m very mistrustful and like to keep my distance from people.

    The first thing happened in 2006, but the flatmate esculated 18 months ago and the recent work socio was 6 months ago. I have panic attacks and generalized anxiety disorder, not just because of this but also because these things have effected my work and finances. The panic attacks happen in situations where I feel like I have absolutely no control and I feel bullied or targeted by some relentless force. It’s either breathing then dizziness or irritability and sometimes uncontrollable tears.

    I was really low just before my flatmate left and could not imagine life being better. I sincerely thought he might kill me and hiding quietly in my room was pretty awful. No one I confided in believed he was that dangerous. I felt crazy. It was reassuring when I discovered that neighbours could see he was a nut. When he left I was overjoyed though I thought he might come back and kill me
    for a few weeks afterwards.

    I’m aware I’m damaged. I handled it well until the last 6 months. I don’t know how long it will take to recover, but I feel it’s the mistrust of my own judgement and people and being open to being targeted that’s the biggest issue. Can they smell me? I’m very empathetic and a pleaser. I’m also a workhorse and have a lot of ideas and creativity to exploit. I try and collaborate and share, so that’s helpful for psychos.

    How do I stay me and protect myself. How do I stay clear of psychos now that I’ve got my eyes open?

    Also why is no one campaigning to take the taboo out of of sociopathy? If they are in the feel good non profit sector, I assure you they are at every level causing havoc and destroying good people. They’ve really cramped my style!

  38. Larry Says:

    @ Cin …

    Thank you for sharing your special poem. Your words are filled with strength. I hope all continues to improve for you.

  39. Larry Says:

    @ Gina …

    You obviously have a very strong belief that your faith has had an extraordinary affect on your situation. I’m happy for you. It’s important to find what helps you to remove yourself from the evil influences any way you can.

    You do make a somewhat confusing statement, though, that “it is up to the individual to choose good or evil.” But you immediately follow that with “God revealed that my X was a permanent Evil.” How can the two sentences both be true?

    In summary, I read it to mean that you’re saying that your ex chose a life of evil before he was born.

    Mental illness has probably been around since the beginning of man. Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), as well as NPD, OCD, APD, etc., are all in the category of mental illnesses (i.e., diseases). There is no such thing as a “normal person” since everyone is “wired” differently, some having more crossed wires than others.

    I look at all this very logically. Based on what you are saying, it would appear that we all choose our wiring before birth. And not just regarding ASPD, but one would have to extend this theory to all diseases, implying, for example, that someone with diabetes chose to be a diabetic. Candidly, I personally believe that that’s logically ludicrous.

    Studies have proven that those afflicted with ASPD have physical brain abnormalities that are present at birth … choice?  I don’t see that a clinically-diagnosed psychopath chose their destiny. ASPD, like diabetes, is strongly genetic (hereditary) and not contagious.

    Just being a really bad person does not automatically make an individual a psychopath, either. IMHO, praying for a psychopath to get better would produce about the same results as praying for a Type 1 diabetic to get better.

    I am not expecting to change your views, nor am I attempting to offend. I will not get into my spirituality, as I’m just replying to your comment with candor, based in science fact.

  40. Larry Says:

    @ Jen …

    I believe that many will relate to your 2 year relationship, I being one of them. There always seems to be that feeling that things are not right just now, but they will be again. And they can be, if the psychopath sees a good reason to use that manipulation. It can be very skillfully played out to keep that carrot just within reach.

    Your big problem is obviously with your sister-in-law — family doesn’t go away like a partner can. I would have to blame this on your brother for forgetting his first family, you as his sister. He should meet with you privately and be open-minded to listen. Easier said than done, I know.

    He’s somewhat in the same place you were, that is having a partner that’s a psychopath. It’s he you need to get through to, and not his wife. If you can’t do that, then you’re doing about the only thing left — disengage. Your brother may be so brainwashed with lies, and you may not be able to get through to him any time soon, if ever. I know what that feels like.

    Write them off and get your life back. You are #1.

  41. david Says:

    I know now why my Sociopath chose me. First, I believe I was in the wrong place at the right time. I was eazly to manuipulate. I never had any one in my life who really was out to hert me. And that cost me a career and ten years of my life. I am still looking for desent employment and it has been about three years.

    At the end, I just got up and left the whole area. I lost every one around me. They believe I was a Sociopath and meny other things he was, but in fact he made it look that way. I was really mest up for about a year for what I went through. And the whole ten years still get to me every day. For about a year, I could not do a thing, the depresion was that bad. My Sociopath was a friend and co-worker. His career went on and I lost mine.

  42. Sean Says:

    What a thought provoking thread this is and truly helpful for thoseof us working to rebuild our lives after exposure to a sociopath.

    I display in spades every sign of being a perfect sociopathic victim and despite realising this some five years ago have just spent two years in yet another relationship with an “it”.

    My two relationships with sociopaths ended in the very same way…they rather than I basically spun out of control as after two years they couldn’t rationally explain their behaviours which became increasingly bizarre. In the end they just lied and manipulated so blatantly that even a diagnosed pathological accomodator like myself couldn’t believe them.

    At the age of 47 I hope I have had my last relationship with one of these alien beings.

    Whilst I have a long way to go I do offer these heartfelt tips to anyone who is going through this mightmare.

    1. Trust your intincts……..they will scream at you that something is not right but your need for love or a relationship can often override what is a natural and healthy inner voice that screams run away. If you find yourself having to construct an ever more elaborate internal justification for accepting unusual behaviour in a partner….STOP thinking and trust your feelings.

    2. Talk to other about new relationships….paticularly good and long term friends and close family members….this is not disloyalty it is comon sense and it is what friends and family are for. They do not have a vested interest in controlling you and can see things from outside the intense romantic whirlwind that the sociopath creates.

    3. Heed their advice even if at the time it is painful.

    4. Be totally honest and open with your partner (even a sociopath) about your concerns and others viewpoints. If they are not a sociopath they will understand….if they are they will disengage and you will be saved.

    5. Be true to yourself…do not allow the sociopath to become your moral arbiter or spirit guide…..falling into codependency is a massive risk in any relationship but with a sociopath it is complete capitulation.

    6. Pity the sociopath as you would a person with an infectious terminal illness…….you cannot cure them and you risk your own life by exposure to them.

    7. Concentrate your energy on being you and caring for those you are truly responsible for not those who constantly tell you they need you.

    8. When something a sociopath says doesn’t ad up don’t take a half answer or let is rest….assert and trust your perceptions….keep asking until it makes sense to you or the truth is revealed (the sociopath will not tell you the truth but trust me you will be able to see it).

    9. Do not be afraid of the sociopath you are a better stronger person than they are…that is why they want to feed off you.

    10. When the mask has fallen walk away find positive things and projects that do not conflict or confuse you…..it can hurt but better to live as a whole person in an imperfect and challenging world than lose your soul trying to maintain a warped dream.

    11. Be true to yourself.

  43. Danna Says:

    Yes, interesting thread. Great list, Sean.

    Victim traits 5 and 6:
    A belief that if you love enough the person will change.
    A belief that if you love enough the relationship will succeed.

    We are all socialized, from a very early age to believe this.

    No-brainer, easy to understand, case in point: What happens to the Grinch at the end? His heart grows and bursts the wooden box inside his chest, and he changes, because the Whos still sing the praises of Christmas, even without the material things the Grinch stole. (Btw, the Grinch also displays the socio/psychopathic smile/grimace – they all have it, especially as they age.) We are all socialized early by Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) these days, much more than by any other works, including the Bible (Geisel echoed the love messages in the Bible in a secular, non-scary way.)

    John Lennon and a myriad of philosophers and poets throughout the ages encouraged the same – love conquers all.

    Those of us who’ve been within a thread of being completely destroyed by our socio/psychopaths know extremely well (hindsight knowledge) that our unconditional and ever-hopeful love did nothing to change them. In fact, they banked on our outpourings, and utilized them to suck us dry.

    So, the things that work with normals, simply do not work with socio/psychopaths.

    So, should we, as a culture, eliminate encouraging love?

    No.

    But learning the markers and manipulation methods, and then taking early red flags very, very seriously, is important in order to avoid them, and avoid wasting one’s life enmeshed with them. The key is, as soon as they let a bit of their masks drop, then withdraw your love, especially if they have family of origin dysfunction and/or childhood traumas, for which they’ve never completed therapy.

    This site is a great one in spreading awareness.

    Being born into a family of them is unavoidable, unfortunately.

    And this, Larry, is where God can come in. We can still choose the path of recovery, as hard as it is, while we’re here on earth (especially when there’s so much ignorance and invalidation, and enabling of the socio/psychopaths around us…so much injustice – the true heartbreak – we grieve that there’s so little justice), because there actually will be justice in the very end.

    Last background note: I grew up in an atheist family of medical doctors. (Btw, these atheists walk a much more Christian walk than most proclaimed Christians I know – the Christian church is a favorite hiding place of socio/psychopaths.) I now know, with 100% certainty, that God exists.

    In other words, yes, my believe could be viewed as a need to hang onto “justice will prevail” in order to keep standing, but based on my real-life events that are inexplicable, except when viewed from a supernatural lens, I can give the hope to others that God is real and will handle the separation at the gates. (We all see the light after death, we all go before Him, but then, we are accountable for our lives. Some will go through the gates, and some will not.)

    In the mean time, here on earth, this site is helping others in a very real way.

    The new research on brain plasticity also gives hope. (MIT physics / neuroscience prof, Sebastian Seung’s new book, “Connectomes,” is the latest among many that show “We are more than our genes.”)

    Lastly, I believe we should all be contacting local legislators, and lobbying to change especially family law courts, whose judges are completely clueless about the socio/psychopaths they enable. When the children of divorce observe their destructive parent not being held accountable, then it sets them up to think, “Why should I bother being good? It wins to be bad.”

    This must change, or it truly will be a sociopath eat sociopath world for our grandchildren and the generations to come.

  44. Kathy Says:

    This is for GINA in Denver.
    Gina, I am in the same place, and in the same boat.
    Feel free to let me know you’re still out there and meanwhile hang on, those kids of ours were worth even this miserable nightmare that went along with them.

  45. Gina Says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Yes, I am here! … I am doing GREAT, in fact! … My post that you read was awhile back. … I am rebuilding my life. You are right. Our kids are the GOLD that came out of the nightmare. I have two grown kids, who both have good consciences and BIG HEARTS. … I know they are still somewhat confused, but have come a long way. … I also believe that GOD delivers the innocent out of these lives, at His time… and helps us to rebuild and find PEACE. … Not sure if they will let us share personal email addresses and cell numbers on this site, but I would love to talk more in depth with you? … THANK YOU SO MUCH for the message :) … I am so glad that you too know that our kids made it worth it! Hope to talk again.

    God bless,

    Gina

  46. Kathy Says:

    Dear Gina,
    I only wish I was on the “repair” side of this equation and am inspired to learn you are doing so much better!!
    Here’s my story:
    I was married in 1983 to a guy who “rescued” me after I lost a baby and a fellow. You know the story: seemed like the dream come true. Had two beautiful children, both daughters, now both college graduates. BUT….
    In 2001, quit his long-time job at a public school district and decided to retire. He was 45, our youngest child was only 13, and by the time he finally got up and got another job it was 2005 and we were bankrupt. It was like a war: he didn’t just “not get” another job, he REFUSED TO WORK until we bled out … in retaliation for not being asked back by the school district (in his warped mind, this was somehow not his fault).
    Fast forward to 2010 and the man inherits from his father. At this point, we’ve been married well over 25 years, right? A woman appears in the picture, she works with him and they’ve purportedly been accused of having an affair (he tells our daughter he got into trouble about this, not me). He tells me he “doesn’t feel the same about (me) and the kids.” He abandons me and the kids. He wants to keep the money.
    We were sold.
    Once he used us to convince his father he was worthy of inheriting and could “live the same as his father had lived,” there wasn’t anymore need for us, so … well, you know.
    I tell the kids it’s alcoholism. They have to know better. Every day is a torment, feeling my own pain and feeling theirs too.
    Whew! thanks for letting me tell you, I feel better. :-)
    Good to meet you, Gina, and bless you right back!

  47. Jeffy Says:

    Same here… totally fucked and screwed and nothing I can do about it. Lied to, manipulated, sabotaged, slandered, isolated and driven to near suicide… but hey there is no help out there… gonna give suicide a new look…succeed!

  48. Larry Says:

    Jeffy,

    The help is in odd places, like here. I have not even found a psychologist or psychiatrist who wants to believe me, let alone talk about it. If they don’t believe me, what do they believe? I’d love to read their notes about me.

    Read. Read all you can here, including the comments. You’ll discover it’s not you, and many other people here share the same anguish. You’ll learn what others do to move forward. We all feel the same pain. First thing to do is get as far away from the person as you can.

    But knowledge is power. Keep reading.

  49. Laura Says:

    Larry,

    I can’t thank you enough for this website… it has done the one thing I have not been able to find anywhere else before – it has helped me feel like I am not alone in what I’ve gone through.

    I haven’t met anyone else who has gone through what my daughter and I have in person but, I have read more awful stories than mine and at the end of the day, I am glad it is not worse – at least not at this time.

    I am very close to finalizing a long divorce from a sociopath. When we got married though, I thought I had found the perfect man for me and my daughter would have a wonderful step father. I was very successful, I was a confident woman who didn’t need anyone, I had a job that made more than my soon to be ex and I married for true love…. things just seemed… perfect…. except Hurricane Rita hit that day… Looking back it was probably an omen. :-D

    My family and friends were thrilled for me since my childhood experiences had left me less than willing to commit to marriage to anyone. He went above and beyond to change my mind with his constant affections, attention, romantic trips, saying all the right things, etc. He charmed as many of the people I knew that he could with favors, or just through engaging conversations and making himself available in their times of need. He came across like a truly affable man, altruist too, with nothing but undying love for his wife and step daughter…. which was all an act.

    The gory details during the marriage are still hard for me to even comprehend and I could write a book just based on the divorce narrative I’ve had to submit that doesn’t even cover the half of it. I eventually left him and took my daughter with me after about 5 years of marriage with $225 to my name since by then I was unable to maintain my good paying job through the ordeal. He had convinced me to move over an hour away from the job I had all with a bunch of empty promises – I guess it wasn’t long before he figured out that being married interfered with his ability to take off doing who knows what because other than making sure I was financially tied to him so that it was difficult to leave he seemed to have no interest in being a family at all, just looking like one to the rest of the world. There’s lots of stories, none of which really are the main point or what his real desires were with the marriage. The light bulb that he was emotionally abusing me finally came on last year and I wanted to leave before the abuse escalated to my daughter – The lies, manipulations, women, men, lack of remorse, odd relationships, and odd behaviors he thought were normal still didn’t make sense – everyone is able to love, that’s what separates us from the apes – at least that’s what I believed at the time. I was left wondering who I married, the person I had thought I married didn’t seem to really be there and I had no idea who the man was that I did marry.

    The therapist that I saw after I left helped explain to me more than the marriage counselor we saw together almost the entire marriage ever did. For whatever reason, the marriage counselor saw no need to explain why or encourage me to leave when we had to keep coming there to resolve issue after issue of drama that the ex brought into our lives. I am thankful for going though, without those sessions there may not have been a light bulb, and I may have stayed longer. The sessions with my therapist alone may not have made as much sense as quickly either and I might still be wondering if there was something I could do or say to help him see that he hurts the people he claims he loves. When I left I still wanted to help him. I felt sorry for him… which is exactly what he wanted.

    About 2 weeks after we left and I had severed contact – the other shoe dropped when I found out I didn’t get my daughter away from him in time. Once she felt safe I guess the fear of him hurting me or her wasn’t as threatening without him. After she did it made a lot more sense that she had nightmares he would come and take us during the night to murder us. She shared just a snippet of what he’d done to her that resulted in a full CPS investigation and ultimately he was found level 1 for sexual abuse to my daughter. He had abused her in every way imaginable when I wasn’t there, all the while pretending to be a loving step father to me and a stand up guy to everyone else. She’d been keeping it secret for almost as long as we were married, she was afraid he would hurt me if she told I found out later. It was such a confusing time – working out the love that I had felt for so many years and wishing that same person a horrible painful death for what he’d done to my child…. very confusing.

    I’ve worked it out now, in a very logical way I guess. I had to learn about the disorder in order to cope, in order to understand. I’ve read the sociopath next door, my therapist recommended it to me, and after I found out more information I knew why he targeted me – He wanted my daughter. The rest was just a bonus – Until I was involved with him I was successful, more successful than he was and I was reduced to working a part time job for very little money when I left (that has changed now since I moved back home). I was confident and sure of myself, knew who I was and had lots of friends – I became unsure of myself, my self esteem plummeted and I severed all ties with every single of his disciples that thinks he is a decent person. Even one that was a friend of mine long before we met who had involved herself with one of his disciples I want nothing to do with.

    I also have a very limited pool of people I trust who try to understand what we’ve been through, I don’t go out of my way to seek out acceptance because my experience has taught me that most people can’t handle the truth that monsters like him exist in the world. They don’t get it. His disciples not only perpetrate his lies of being innocent but also that I am insane. I tried to warn some people, people with children that were close to him in particular because he is such a horrendous predator. I had one of his disciples actually tell me “I have seen his heart and I don’t believe any of it”. It hurt at the time of course but now, I just feel like its not my job to warn people. I’ve become numb to it, and all I really care about is protecting myself and my daughter. The police know what he’s done, still no charges, and he is out there walking free to victimize other kids but I’ve done all I can. I’ve lost faith in the justice system all the way around from criminal to civil because a sociopath will lie to anyone – so now I just look out for us since no one else is.

    I know now that being a single mother makes me a target of the kind of sociopaths with the most evil of desires and I have lost trust in myself to be smart enough to see who they are. I do not want to be a survivor of a sociopath again. The dating scene is zilch for me, and that is partly because despite the protective orders I know he still spies on me through trying to hack into my accounts and who knows what else. He hides his jealousy for the most part but I have seen glimpses of it that he would explain away. With the divorce almost over he still refers to me like I’m a possession of his when I am not. So, I am fearful of anyone whom I may become involved with being targeted too. I won’t let that kind of jealous behavior rule my life but, the safety of others is something I must weigh because of how ruthless I have seen him be. I have a lot of baggage that most men wouldn’t understand anyway and I am focused on helping my daughter heal and healing in the process too, which is my main concern.

    My daughter and I also have every single sign of being victimized by a sociopath.

    Thank you Larry for making this website.

  50. Larry Says:

    Laura,

    You’re welcome. I’m glad the site has offered you some insights. Thank you for opening up and telling your story.

    It sounds like a cliché, but I certainly feel your many pains. Trust in people is a really difficult one to recover. I doubt if I will ever fall heads-over-heals for anyone I meet.

    I believe you will not get much action from the police. If she is over 14, she can sign documents through an attorney or DEFACs (Department of Family and Children Services) who are constantly committed to protecting children. If your attorney works together with DEFACs, and they file a complaint in court, the police will definitely respond (amazing what a court order will do).

    They can block him from ever contacting her or getting near her, i.e. a restraining order. If he does either, he’ll go to jail. You do not need to use the same divorce attorney unless you really think he’s great, but there are some attorneys who work primarily for the safety of children. DEFACs definitely does. You can also show in the court papers that you did file a complaint with the cops in the past.

    I hope that helps a little.

  51. Carlee Says:

    Thank you for this site. I stumbled upon it by serendipity or accident. I’ve just been trying to make sense of what happened to my life and yet a part of me knows that there is no answer as to the why. I have all the traits of “the victim after” and thought I had the victim before traits worked out before I was re-victimized.

    I was the “survivor” of a family of severe dysfunction. Sociopathy, addiction, abuse – whatever the label, the story was not a happy one. I had to divorce them all after trying to fix them for so many years and that clearly wasn’t working. I thought when I met my ex-husband that it was love. It was ony a feeling of familiarity. I was blind to the red flags until I had two little ones. He was self medicating (narcotics) He was/is most likely depressive/sociopathic/addict -never ofically diagnosed.

    Not wanting to have the children grow up as I did, and having what I thought was strength, intelligence and the confidence of an education and that I was “doing the right thing and could do it right”, I raised them on my own for 17 years with no emotional, physical or financial help from anyone. Maybe I was just being arrogant in my own ability. My whole life, I gave them everything I never had and everything I could. All my time, attention, devotion, and everything that I could afford to build their self esteem so they wouldn’t suffer or be at a disadvantage as I was, or had been. From little league, to skiiing, golf, sailing, private school, travels around the world, I gave them everything I could.

    My son began to show signs in adolescence; I thought he was being a rebellious teen. I thought when he wanted at 17 to go and live with his father that he needed to finally see for himself and he would then be alright. He’s barely spoken to me now for 6 years, unless you count the ocassions where he berated me with his anger and outrage. He was a happy, funny, gifted child at 5 and then dropped out of high school. I kept him drug free for 17 years as we were living abroad and he is now a drug addict and a carnie. A miracle happened 5 months ago and he came to me for help. I got him to a therapist, started biological diet and supplement support until he could get a menta health diagnosis; but then the pathological lying and behaviour surfaced and he quickly disappeared again. I have no idea where he is or if he is.

    I was fine with my daughter. We were best friends and she saw the pain I suffered with my son. I tried to be happy for her, tried not to lean on her and tried to get on with my so called life. I was so numb because of him, I accepted a job in Iraq. Probably the only one who ever went into the country with PTSD. I’ve been unemployed now since my job ended with the troop withdrawl. I’m too numb to even care that I’m numb. My daughter was tired of everything supposedly being about her brother and told me to quit wallowing and get therapy. She now has blanked me out for over a month and now I think maybe she too is sick. Or is it me? Not a day goes by I don’t wish it could just be over. I don’t know what I did wrong, what I missed, what I could have done differently.

    Reading this has helped to think that maybe we are just hard-wired differently and there’s nothing about nurture that changes that. I just don’t understand why when I’ve never done the lying, cheating, stealing, doings drugs, alcohol or being cruel to anyone that I’m alone.

  52. Larry Says:

    Carlee,

    Your story sounds all to familiar to me personally. I raised my kids solo from the ages of 2 and 4. We were very close in their grade school years, and they virtually couldn’t do a thing wrong. Then the changes began in their mid-teens. My daughter is not part of my life whatsoever, as I have not even seen her for almost 7 years. My son is a bit different, though I believe he struggles. He does stay in touch with me.

    You cannot blame yourself. There’s nothing you could have done to prevent it. Upbringing can neither create a psychopath nor prevent one. You need to focus on you and work on leaving the past behind.

  53. Brigid Says:

    I grew up, an only child with a father who was obviously psychopathic confused lightly by psychotic episodes when he would beat me round the head for any imagined reason. Once it was because I apparently rolled my eyes at him. Well I did roll my eyes at him but only after he’d smacked the back of my head (clever that no marks) so hard I had little control over them! I am now 42 and have come to the conclusion that my mother who was not as physically abusive but who seemed to get off on my pain and humiliation is possibly an equal if not slightly cleverer psychopath.

    My life has ben ruined as I hasve absolutely no concept of what a sense of self let alone esteem feels like and for various reasons I cannot get her out of my life. I cannot even begin to describe the hate I feel for her. I know I should feel sympathy for someone so emotionally disabled I know I should be thankful she gave me life but quite frankly a lot of the time I wish she hadn’t. She had a son I only found out about recently she gave him up for adoption I believe and hope he had a lucky escape.

  54. kim Says:

    Brigid, you do not need to feel grateful to a mother who did not have empathy for you when you were a child. When they had you it was their responsibility to keep you safe – not hurt you. I like this quote from Kahlil Gibran:

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    Once you’re grown and you can see your parents’ interest was in damaging your well-being, you can take care of yourself and let go of them since they cause you harm.

  55. anonymous Says:

    Im 17 and it’s shocked me how accurate these symtoms are I belive I may suffer to all most of these I live with just my dad who is im sure an un-diagnosed socipath for sure. He’s wrecked my life many times over already and ive ended up homeless serveral times due to his… well frank lack of care for me. He beat and hurt my mum all the time in the past and has been in prison for many violent offences. I feel like his slave I have to do everything he orders instantly or moods change very quickly even other something as simple as getting him a drink yet when i ask him of something its suddenly the end of the world. I just dont know what to do really :S cant apply for my own house till im 18 so…. any advice anyone? i.e how to deal with this total cunt of a father? “sorry about any spelling mistakes im not too smart :P”

  56. anonymous Says:

    thinking further on advice I may or may not get. I had to cross half the country and leave beind all friends and family to live with this guy again. I left last time because he was just getting too violent. Being up here I have no one to talk to about this other then a stealthy attempt at advice on the web T.T a real FML I guess xP

  57. Susan Says:

    Yes I can relate to that list. I also have most of the personality traits that would mark me out as a potential victim of a psychopath.

    I have been the victim of female psychopath. She didn’t know me, but as she works in my local store, she has seen me shopping in there, a place I know longer use.

    She turned half the neighbourhood against me with terrible lies and I was gangstalked by complete strangers.

    I still suffer from depression, a lack of trust in other people, wanting to stay indoors, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and have no social life. I dream of finding a place where I can be all alone, just with the animals I love.

    I have survived though. I still have a sense of humour, and can laugh at little things. I find – apart from avoiding the psychopath – prayer and meditation a great help in relaxing me.

  58. Larry Says:

    @Susan

    Your fourth paragraph could have easily have been said by me, including my two dogs.

    Self-hypnosis can help, too.

    You sound like you are on the right track, even though the track can be long. Hang in there.

  59. Danna Says:

    @ 17 year old “anonymous”:

    It’s simply not true that you’re not that smart. You may not be able to do calculus at this point in time, but your post displays normal capacity to analyze.

    My advice: Spend most of your time at school in the library studying. Oprah, during the time she was getting raped by her cousins in MS, would lock herself in a closet and read, as her safe haven. Don’t worry that you have no friends right now (if that’s the case – it may not be). Know that you have a purpose and a mission: To get out of your slave existence via your education. The other kids are still kids, and will not be able to empathize. You, unfortunately, have had to grow up very fast. Don’t hold it against those kids. This is about you, not them.

    My other advice: When at home, have an audio tape going at all times, if that’s at all possible. That way, you can take it to the police, if necessary. I know it’s almost impossible, especially at your young age, to not react to the poison this man feeds you (figuratively, not literally), but each day, when you wake up, commit to not reacting. If you mess up (you’re human, not a robot), forgive yourself, and re-commit.

    Is there any way you can find a social worker to help you?

    Is there any way you could find a youth church group? There are some Christian church groups that actually serve the marginalized and disenfranchised. (But many don’t – I know a circular problem.) If you are able to join one, utilize their friendship and companionship. Don’t hold back.

    Here’s the hardest thing: Expectations. We expect all people to embrace certain good principles and character traits, that we’re taught are good and worthy from pre-school on, but unfortunately, many, even those in leadership positions, do not. When it comes down to their really displaying and enacting the level of kindness and help we’re taught is good to display to young people like yourself, they have a hard time mustering it up.

    This means, you’re just going to have to do for yourself. What do you have control over? How hard you work in school.

    This, you can tap into: Go to the school administration and explain you need support in staying on track with your school work. If you’re behind, (understandably, due to your circumstances), explain you want to make a big change in your life, and need that help to break it down into doable components. I can’t imagine a school not helping a student who wants to make a huge change for him or herself.

    There is much, much hope, as long as you take this seriously, with your young and supple brain. An MIT physicist and neuroscientist, Sebastian Seung, has a relatively new book out: Connectomes. These are the new neuropathways that form in the brain due to willful acts. Seung’s mantra is “We are more than our genes!” Simplistically, we can change our brains. Dr. Daniel Amen, psychiatrist and neurophysiologist, says the same.

    The younger you work on this, with your young brain, the better off you will be in the long run.

    It will take hard, hard work. And, you will have to work for a while, before you reap much discernible payoff. makes sense: When you plant a seed in the ground, do you see a fully grown tree bearing fruit overnight? No. It takes time and nurturing that seed.

    You were not born into a family that could nurture anything. You will have to do it for yourself.

    Don’t self medicate with drugs, alcohol, or sex. Those chemicals in drugs and alcohol serve to stop your brain’s healthy development (the brain does not stop developing until age 25, they now know), and will stop you from being able to study in school to better yourself. Sex will similarly distract you, and set you up for heartbreak. The oxytocin that’s released when having sex bonds you to your sex partner, and creates actual physiological ruts in your brain, that take time (and anguish) to unravel later.

    You don’t want anything to get in the way of your mission: To get out of your situation and your slavery, via your education.

    I’m so sorry. (I’m actually tearing up now, so sad for you, and all the children so deprived of normal love and nurturing.)

    But again, there is hope….but you have to do it yourself…and part of “for yourself” is reaching out to your school, maybe a church, and maybe a social worker.

    Bless you, dear child. I pray you can turn this around sooner (with your young brain), not later.

  60. anonymous Says:

    Thank you. Your obviously a wise person Danna but you see.. I do know.. I really do know that the only way out of my vicious family circle is be successful however… I seriously lack any motivation. It just sounds like an excuse but it really frightens me that I’ve realised I cant motivate myself to do anything I’ve had social workers in the past at school and out to try and motivate me and I understand their words… Im just clueless .. they give you all these silly tips like get dressed in the morning open your windows yadda yadda but thats not my problem I just cant maintain things for very long.

    For your advise on a Church. My previous education was at a Catholic school and all they did was let me down so. “Their way to treat me was exile me”
    In my experiance of social workers utter useless with no power to do anything what so ever. Just a pair of ears that protends to care. “It’s their pay-roll” what passion comes from a pay-roll and not just free will. Infact my experiance with social is probably worse then you thought acouple years back my father attacked me and forced me to leave. I had to sell most my belongings to get a train ticket across the country to see the majority of my family but my mother is seriously mentaly ill and I got rejected. So I went straight to a major child services building and spoke directly to the head whom done litterly nothing and shunned me away after which I was homeless for awhile getting bounced around by social services and the city council “housing”. -MOTIVATION- Number 14 on the list and being painfuly honest I think I have most on the list which is why I posted.

  61. anonymous Says:

    idc, maybe Im a hypercondriac. feels strange posting this as ive never spoke about these things before in my life just shut down very deep in. :)

  62. Larry Says:

    @anonymous

    You may not have a serious “lack of motivation” but what it may be is “emotional paralysis,” from everything you’ve been through.

  63. anonymous Says:

    I could just look this up of course but maybe a more understanding mind could elaborate. Explain symptoms or a positive relitivly quite way to erm… self remedy? :> Ive always been a person to question my mental state. however wherever I go I make friends and generally a popular person its one of the only things i truly value so I must be normal right? :S and I feel compelled to say thank you for taking an interest in what i have to say. :)! i

  64. Larry Says:

    @ anonymous

    The first thing to accept is there is no “normal.” No one is normal. Everyone is different because everyones’ brains are wired slightly differently … that’s why people are individually unique.

    We use the word “persona” on a regular basis in talking about psychopaths. But in reality, we all have them but we all don’t use them to be evil and manipulative.

    Think of how you act differently with a family member and a clerk at the grocery store … we’re probably more polite with the clerk. Just know that you are you and that’s okay. Make the best of it.

  65. Mary Says:

    I have been dealing with sociopaths in my family since I was born. My mother has done some horrible things and still continues to this day wreaking havoc in various family members lives who do not understand what she is doing.(She is hated by many family members). My dad was a loving and caring person but died of a stroke(and a broken heart) after horrible fights that she started. It was very scary and my brother and I would hide and pray we could go back to sleep but we were often awakened by her screaming at my dad and rants and raves in the middle of the night when we were very young. She remarried and did the same thing over again with another man who met the same fate as my dad.(She is an amazing actress)

    She would tell my aunt (who was wonderful to me), how rotten I was and my aunt eventually screamed at her and told me what she was saying.. My other aunt related similar incidents and problems they had with her.

    I thought that I had met the man of my dreamsAfter I graduated), who did all these wonderful things for me which after(and even before) we were married, he turned into a monster….physically,emotionally psychologically abusive. I took it for 20 years as I really didnt want to get a divorce with 2 young children. I eventually did get that divorce but could not recognize a good man when he came along and briefly met more sociopaths. I totally stopped dating(I had also been in therapy for awhile). My mother continued her friendship with my sociopathic ex(and even to this day), she just loves him.

    My children (daughter and son) are grown now and went through a lot. My daughter seemed more unstable, when she was younger, my son was always grounded until he reached his older years 18 and gradually began to turn into the same person as my ex. He married a shy girl after knowing her 3 months. And the whole cycle has begun again and she is pregnant now. My son in law kicked him(my son) out of his house a few weeks ago for abusive behaviour toward his wife(my daughter) and now we have not heard from him or his wife.He will now use the baby as a pawn and we will not be allowed to ,
    have contact

    He only goes to her parents place and is naming the baby after her parents and he cancelled the shower they were supposed to have and refused all gifts. We had to take them back. Her family thinks he is very well spoken and a wonderful person and that we are all crazy.

    This young girl will go through hell as she firmly stands behind him no matter what,
    He wont allow her to go to sleep until he goes to bed and she is so pregnant so she sleeps on the couch until he says it is time to sleep or she sleeps in the chair in the family room as he is not to be disturbed.

    It is so sick. I feel so sorry for her and there seems nothing I can do

    When my son was younger (before 18), we were very close and went everywhere together and he had asthma and usually just the two of us in the hospital.He helped around the house and he was not anything like he is today. Just the total opposite,

    I cant imagine what this poor newborn will have to endure. He makes good money but will not get a 2 bedroom apt as he is so cheap. Baby will have to sleep in an unconditioned living room.(they have AC bedroom). She has not had an ultrasound(believes it is dangerous) and doesnt want a doctor(only midwife) and having the child at home. And I feel so very helpless.

    There should be mandatory psychological tests that people have to take before getting married. There are so many sociopaths, I believe that the number is higher than 4%. Many or the majority just go undiagnosed. I am sure it is around 20% from all I have heard and read.

    It is a real and growing problem and nothing is being done about it.Many people in places of power and control are sociopaths as this is what they crave more than ever so they are not going to legislate a test prior to getting married. I am not saying that all people in power are afflicted with sociopathy but there are quite a few. How many politicians get elected to actually help something that is worthwhile? Very few. Most just want the power and control it brings.(sad to say)

    As long as this stays the same,nothing will change. I think recognizing these people in society has to be one of the first steps and if they are not easily recognized, the madness will continue
    There have to be psychological tests put in place to change the present system. It is just too dangerous NOT to have this. These people are allowed to cause havoc with millions of peoples lives and it doesnt have to be that way.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    This is a wonderful site. I felt very alone before but I can see I am certainly not alone. I wish we could all have a big meeting somewhere to hear more stories first hand from people

    There is so much more help needed though, and more counselling and therapy. I am gradually getting better and more able to recognize these people now and slowly starting once again to look for a partner in life very carefully.

    One thing I would say to anyone looking for a partner and is prone to meeting sociopaths……….if something looks too good to be true,it probably is

    Good luck to all!

  66. Enlightened Says:

    Firstly Greetings Love and Blessings To All Righteous Ones. I have only just found this site and I wish I had found it 20yrs ago, however everything in its right time. It is so comforting to read and share all contributors stories I can identify with bits from everyone. I also agree that the percentage a GREAT deal higher.

    They are everywhere and the worst thing is a lot of do gooders re unwilling to ‘acknowledge the truth’ supporters family members and friends beleive these evil manipulators. I have come to the conclusion that some of the supporters, yes even close family members, give energy behind our backs, to these weak cowards, because they have deep seated issues (back to childhood) and they secretly envy/resent/jealousy/and would even like to be like us) we have done nothing to deserve all this other than just being us!

    I also beleive because of how these manipulators operate (not adverse to turning on the waterworks-oh woe is me-frequently) we may never know the evil lies/deception etc. they are telling others. In my case I’ ve experienced quite a few- I cant say and hope I dont attract these parasites (they are parastic to society-gleaning of the state, conning, fraud etc)but my demons are my family! My childs father – sussed him in the early days and luckily being a gemini would not commit (did not know the trait then but thank you for it-you saved my sanity!) but the daughter sometimes I would joke and say to the 1 or 2 family/friends (that starting to see the real people these charlatans are.) that satan is hiding from her.

    She’s that bad ( I would look back and anaylis the dad, as I was young and truly beleived he wasnt stable but to know now that he and she have these tendencies I was being too kind -they are selfish physcos-no kind words. These people do not exercise kinds in what they do and they are not ill/chemical/hormonal imbalances/bad childhood/drug/alcohol etc. they are plain just evil selfish cowards.

    In their scheming they know how to trick with love, emotion, caring pandering to what they think/know we need to hear and also how most good people behave in society with morals. They know just what is right and wrong,, otherwise they wouldnt hide/lie to make sure they are not caught. When confronted they always deny or make excuses, they are the victim etc. You always get the feeling even though they are confronted and caught out their aggrogance and sense of entitlement charges their ego.

    After all I imagine they dont care at that point as they have already got their spoils and they know they have already bad talked you or are creating the scenario to win everyone on their side. I have so much to tell everyone. The heartbreak is that even though I dont fit the victim traits as i am very strong independent, intuitive, intellinget and usually can sus thing squite easy I got caught lots of times cos its family and you always want to beleive/trust/love them and at the back of your mind you know intuition is telling mmm… something dont sound right.

    I always had premenitions/feelings/insights/bad feelings/dreams/strange coincidences when these physcos were planning but because I was still very spiritually unware/immature at the time I didnt know what was going on or how to handle these insights. Plus as a lot of you fellow survivors have said no one else beleives you or see things the way you do and you keep it to yourself and hope things change. I feel these demons dont change and instead of change in maturity they strive to get more clever and they learn more tricks.

    in my case its worse than teenage years and they are parents. Pray for the children in these cases. Im going to share one of the worst examples in my case. The demon that I have as an only child had told most of the family/friends/community that she had been raped AND her mother did nothing about it! Well that was a knife to the heart because i only was told about this 10/11 yrs after alleged incident. It was a very delicate situation to tell any mum. I beleive concerned and caring family members only told me because they started to see through the lies after realising that they were being manipulated.

    We know its not true as there had be ample suppoort to report this bring the perpertrator to task but it was all lies as she still visit interacted and borrowed his car! Ive just learnt that 10 yrs on she has started liasing with this man and meeting up behind her husbands back. The story was concocted by an evil selfish tennager who was carrying on with her friends husband rebelling against parent and wanted to seen as the victim, Since this she had many SEVERAL accusations of rape/assualt/etc none reported and still continued to be closesly associated with all the accused. This her MO and victim stance-always extreme.

    Its all to score points. Do these people not realise how these actions can destroy people. Many innocent poeple i beleive cd be behind bars if it had gone further. Our family is destroyed anyway, one of the accused was a family members partner! Theres so much to say I always said i could write a book film tv series on the little bit of experience I have been throught with these people.

    I sincerely thank God and all of you as finding this site and others had been such a source of comfort. It let me know that even though know there are others much worse of than ourselves, the kind of crime (as they should be tried for it) they commit family damage etc and trying to destroy our good names and reputation and worse of all rejecting our precious love when we have being tring to do the best and right thing. EVIL. but I firmly beleive on the day of redemption they will get just deserts. I use to say to my child I(i cant even bring myself to call her name or refer to her a a dau……she doesnt deserve the title) that on judgement day i dont want to be standing next to her as her flames are going to be sky high and i dont want to be scorched by hers as i will have my own to contend with. ha ha.

    im so glad that I have a good sense of humour and wit (it has stood me in good stead through the battle!) Ive got so much more but they all pale in signifigance to all your stories. Oh 1 last thing, this evil person put her grandmother in an early grave and knows it! Currently ive been told shes getting some karma as shes always talking about her grandmother because she knows what she did! I apologise for the long rant, its therapeutic though. bit boring aplogies again.

    Love to everyone and stand strong. GOOD WILL win over evil. I beleive that a strong global change is in effect due to rare cosmic changes and we might experience some healing cosmically but we still have to be careful as some leopards never change their spots. I keep telling my family im getting a lie detector (i really would like one as i have to be so suspicious all the time- not a good way to be) Please excuse bad spelling grammer etc. I love this site and all the stories and am going to be locked on as much as poss. OUT THESE PSYCOTICS NOW!!!

  67. Larry Says:

    Enlightened,

    I wanted to clarify that “psychotics” and “psychopaths” are two completely different mental disorders.

    Your story is typical of how psychopaths live their lives. Their evil spreads from one generation to the next, and I don’t believe that “good will” will win them over. I wish I could agree with you on that. Once a psychopath, always a psychopath … they are born with the bad gene. They will carry their lies to the grave, but their disciples will carry on the lies for the next generation.

    I believe it is worse when the psychopath is a family member, as their lies go out to those closest to us.

  68. Janet Says:

    This list is definitely accurate.

    I am not in contact with the sociopath, but am struggling nevertheless. I am suffering from PTSD following the ordeal. I NEED to know how to pull myself out of this slump.

    It kills me that he’s moved on so quickly too. I know its just another victim and its so sick for me to be thinking like that because I really should consider myself lucky things turned out how they did.

    Please help me. I am desperate to stop feeling like this!! :’(

  69. C Says:

    My ex room mate was a COMPLETE SOCIOPATH. I always knew something was off about her but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. She is 21 years old, in college, very pretty, athletic, intelligent, and very charming.

    I was living 30 minutes away from my work and she had the perfect apartment for me to move in with her. Little did I know I was already under the influence of a sociopath. She used all of my resources, furniture, food, money, my car and electronics. When I started to realize that I was being used it was too late. After the weirdest night of my life with this woman I knew that I would have to be looking for a place.. quickly.

    My ex room mate randomly accuses me of stealing $50 dollars from her room and accused me of drugging her drink. Her friends come over and I explain that she’s acting APE SHIT and go to bed thinking maybe she was having an off night. I wake up and there she is standing in the kitchen after I wake up.. I walk out the door and can feel her staring a hole through me. This is the beginning of the nightmare.

    While I was sleeping she took the house keys of off of my keychain. I get a text one hour into my shift that says “You can come by to collect your things.”.. I’m all like your behavior is ILLEGAL. I drive home after work and realize my keys are missing.. there’s no way for me to get inside and what’s worse is that we living in a “Low income apartment complex” so we saved some $$ by not putting me on the lease (BIG MISTAKE!). The sociopath had me right where she wanted me.. cut off from resources and unable to get my own things.

    This is where my story is different than most other people’s. I REFUSED to allow a psychopath to turn me into a victim.. I don’t care how much wit, superficial charm and evil they have in them. I told myself that this was a test from God and that by the grace of God I was going to best the sociopath.

    I initially lost my cool and almost kicked the door in (I stopped myself), went to the leasing office and explained my situation and they could have cared less. So I turned to google and researched tenant laws and month to month leases. I found out that I could get a locksmith to let me in if I absolutely had to. I gave myself 24 hours to enter the apartment. I had my whole life in there.. probably $5,000 worth of stuff.. and to a college student that’s a lot. She had my life and was toying with me.. at first she said I was never allowed in the house after drugging her then she would try to setup a time.. I had enough of her immediately.

    I didn’t know who this person was or where she came from it was like she was possessed but then I realized this is who she is.. a monster. This psycho was literally trying to steal my life and thought that I wouldn’t do anything about it.. well 12 hours later.. four police officers.. one GREAT FRIEND (BRAD!) and a locksmith and I were in my old apartment having a screaming match with this sociopath.

    I was gone for 12 hours from the premises and you wouldn’t have known I lived there.. she turned my room into her office and had a guy already living there. I got in the apartment and lost my mind.. I told her that I didn’t trust her.. what she did was illegal and not to come near me.. I saw her for what she really was and it was revolting. I couldn’t believe that somebody that I laughed with and hung out with was a raging lunatic.

    What I’m saying here is that sociopaths don’t have all the power.. they have no power and no real love and it’s sad.. but don’t be the willing victim of these people and dont’ think that there’s nothing you can do. They want to make you feel that way. You may not be able to play there cold un-feeling game but if you are the victim of sociopath you have weapons you’ve never realized. God was my biggest salvation.. I took immediate action and continually asked God for guidance and support and took his direction. Determination and willpower were my other allies.

    I was an almost victim of a sociopath but I refused to be… the best thing you can do is cease all forms of communication, there’s nothing healthy that can grow from a relationship with somebody that doesn’t “feel”. Don’t fight fire with fire… just stay two steps ahead even if they’ve blindsided you and never lose faith in God. I didn’t and I got all of my stuff out of my old apartment and for a karma bonus she was evicted for illegally subletting the apartment :).

    You can’t help a sociopath.. give it God.

  70. Larry Says:

    @Janet

    Most all victims experience PTSD, depression, or even severe depression, after learning what they’ve been dealing with.

    I highly suggest that you see a psychiatrist, as they can help with your negative feelings with the right medications. I also suggest that you begin seeing a psychologist or therapist for counseling (talk therapy).

    The county in which you live may have a facility, or you may contact a private office, ideally where you can get both talk therapy and your meds in one place. That allows your therapist and psychiatrist to work together to help you move forward and leave the past behind.

    Realizing the lost trust and deception can have very serious consequences on a victim. I know that through my own experiences, as do most others who comment on this site. The most important action you can take right now is getting help for you. If your county of residence has a facility (as mine does) you can get the services for low cost to free, depending on your situation.

    I’m being very candid by saying there’s no quick fix from being victimized. Take one day at a time, but please do accept that outside help is very important for your well-being right now. It’s not something you should hold in and try to deal with it yourself.

  71. Larry Says:

    @C

    You are spot-on when you say you cannot help a sociopath. Some may pretend they’re getting better, but it’s all part of their public persona. It’s a ruse, and just more manipulation.

    It sounds as if you identified her and got the upper hand. Just for safety, though, watch your back — she my still be a menace to you.

  72. Kathy Says:

    Dear Janet,

    Please do not let your experience with that creep destroy your life. You have so many wonderful years ahead!!

    There is one really big advantage to being old(er) — I am 60 now — and that is the thing called Perspective, the result of many years’ observations that you eventually will also be able to recount at moments like these.

    Over time, we watch relationships like yours with Whatshisname, and they never work out with the next woman any better than they did with us. Yes, it is “diminishing” to be minimalized by being “replaced” in a brief period of time, but this is only because they can’t leave without hitching a ride on the next host(ess). Eventually another will come along, then they’ll hop off, and (believe it or not – but it is 100% true, wait and see) someday you will thank your lucky stars you got away.

    REALLY you will.

    Now….take a deep breath, take a hot bath, look up a good therapist in the phone book, and cut yourself some slack. You didn’t do anything wrong. There wasn’t anything you missed. You read the whole book, saw the whole show, and still the ending made no sense and hurt like hell.

    Let the next poor lady figure it out. She’s in for the same book, the same show — and the same (huh?!) ending. YOU on the other hand, get to read, and write, a better story. Enjoy it!
    XOX

  73. Becca Says:

    My psychopath husband (soon to be ex) has manipulated and immersed himself in my family. These people have tried to get information out of me and I don’t say a negative thing about anyone esp. the psycho. Everytime I comment on somthing about the psycho I lose another associate ! perculiar.

    So any way, “birds of a feather flock together” I knew that side of the family wasn’t quite right and of course, they must have the gene. Why else would they embrace and believe this idiot spineless coward, I do have my little child, my mother and my brother, the community is 50/50 as my husband is assassinating my character. Just felt the need to write after reading “Enlightened” Oh yeah, I spilled my guts out to my “Best Friend” and talk for like 3 1/2 hours about what I am dealing with and what is going on, i thought I had her understanding and no !

    She tells me about how she is having anxiety issues and I am like WHAT ? I care, but seriously, the girl could never walk in my shoes, I guess it is something that you will never know or understand until you have been cursed with a sociopath in your life. (Best Friend since elementary school but we are older and have drifted, but I reached out to her in this time of trouble) Not going down that path.

  74. Janet Says:

    @Larry,

    Thank you for your response and suggestions. I have looked into getting further counselling, am a huge believer in the benefits of psychology to change our thought patterns and have been changing my mindset to try and convince myself that I really am better off.

    I do not feel he deserves to live, let alone be ‘happy’ and move on like nothing’s happened with some other poor girl, feeding her the same lies he fed me.

    As you can probably tell, the bitterness is still eating me up. None of it makes any sense. My understanding is, many victims of sociopathy end up being shocked and asking themselves “what just happened?! One minute he said he loves me, the next minute he’s gone”… This is where I find myself.

    @ Kathy

    Thank you so much for your response. I do hope you’re right in that I’ll be able to look back and be glad he’s done what he’s done. I am trying my best to lead a normal life and follow my dreams of which I was working on before he came along. I am still bitter and hope that he never finds real happiness for what he’s done.

  75. Laura Says:

    @Janet,

    I just wanted to say that I understand your feelings and I am proud of you for having the courage to face a reality not many have the stomach for. I hope you are proud of yourself too.

    I have felt exactly the same as you many times. Justice never seems to come and hopelessness has set in more than once to the point of not wanting to go on. I just wanted to tell you that there is hope, and you are able to do a little justice of your own by not having anything to do with him. Zero, and try not to concern yourself with what he does, I know that can be very hard. Coping for me came from dissociating myself and understanding what is wrong with him, and then I was able to start fixing me all with the help of my counselor and some anti-depressants. Not having anything to do with him is truly the only hurt that he’ll feel because in their mind they are better and everyone else is less than they are.

    I can tell you from experience that finding out what he’s up to now is not good for you and will bring pain. Its human nature to watch a good drama so don’t let friends bring drama into your life that you don’t need to manage right now…. you’ve had plenty. Set some boundaries starting with not allowing new information come your way about him. A true friend will understand that this is your time to heal, a toxic friend will enjoy sharing information just to see a reaction out of you and worse yet, could possibly be a disciple… and I too have experienced that as well. I can assure you setting boundaries you didn’t have with your friends before is not an easy task. For your own sake, it needs to be done, the information chain needs to stop in addition to a good a therapist and maybe some EMDR would help ease your mind when it can’t stop thinking horrible things and feeling guilty. Take time to relax and not bear the world’s problems on your shoulders.

    I can tell you that being thankful everyday that my situation was not worse and I am alive writing this has helped me feel better too, I hope you get to that point. There are many out there who have experienced worse and are still here, fighting the good fight as it were.

    The benefit to your experience is that its like a huge rebirth into a world where the knowledge that love does not exist in every human is an asset to you if you let it become one. Saving other people from themselves is an impossible task that no one should feel the need to live up to the responsibility of it. We are all predisposed to believing that love separates us from the animals so it is quite a shock to find out that’s not true, a loss of innocence in and of itself but, its better to know it than continue being hurt by those who don’t care and in denial.

    One person cannot save the world from itself. If you think about it, how would you react to a former flame warning you about your ex? You’d probably have felt sorry for him…. attached yourself more to him too and felt the need to help him….both of which is what he wants to gain control over you emotionally. As much as I understand your need to warn people, and have made the mistake of doing it, you will bring more pain to yourself and only aid his sick game.

    The real justice is not that he’ll never have an opportunity to victimize another, that’s impossible because there is a sucker born every minute or better yet, he might find someone just like him…. he is incapable of feeling pain for what he’s done but he is also incapable of real connections with people…. he is his own worst enemy and you don’t have to do anything to make that horrid existence happen, he’s doing it to himself. He has nothing real at all with anyone, its a deceitful lie, his whole life. You are capable of having a real life, feeling love for others and a bit of altruism is also a great way to heal…. help those who need it.

    Please don’t shut the world out entirely and deny yourself connections with other people who are worthy of it because of him…. Don’t let him win the sick game he plays. If I know one thing for sure, I know that sick monster is not worth your life.

    Much love to you

  76. Becca Says:

    Laura,
    I will copy your recent post and read it often. I just read it and it made me feel good and stronger again. I unfortunately have to have some type of communication with my child’s father, and I have to remain vigilant on protecting my child. This web site has provided me with several options to protect my child and I am going to pursue them, I will continue to fight the good fight because I have to, knowing I have to fight SMART each time by picking and choosing only the important ones (fights)!

  77. Larry Says:

    @Laura,

    Thank you for your very uplifting comment.

  78. Janet Says:

    Thank you so much for your post, Laura. You have enabled me to see my situation in a more positive light.

    I have been no contact with him for over 3 months now and that has worked quite well. I have blocked him from all social media outlets too which has truly been the best thing! I don’t want to know what he’s up to- because what good is that?

    I am extraordinarily lucky that we do not share any mutual friends at all so I do not have that problem. I have removed all his friends from social media too. My friends have been supportive the best way they can, but I do not believe any of them can fully comprehend the emotional damage and destruction a narcissistic sociopath can cause.

    Being thankful is helping me a lot too. I am free now, never to be controlled by him again. Over the past week, I have admittedly felt a lot more peace about the situation and have realised how lucky I am I got out when I did. I would have been stuck otherwise. Your message has encouraged me to fight on and not let him win or ruin what is left of my life. I am not sure how I will ever be able to love or trust again- but I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it down the track.

    I particularly like your point about warning other females about his predatory, ingenuine ways. You’re right. Thinking about it, it would make me want to try and help him, would make me feel sorry for him and would possibly even make me more attracted! (What an awful thought!)

    When I am feeling more positive, like today, I really do feel that some other poor sucker can have a go. And if they can change him (which is probably unlikely), then good for them. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone else though!

    Your last paragraph resonated with me the most, and I’ve actually stuck that somewhere where I can read it every day and remind myself of what I have been fortunate enough to escape from. Thank you for your help, you have put me in a more positive frame of mind and I’ve been feeling much better over the past few days.

    I need to ask you Laura, do you have a blog about your experiences with a sociopath?? You seem very insightful about the topic!

    Thanks again.
    Janet

  79. Amanda Says:

    Actually I had a sociopath in my life for years but once I told her to leave me alone I felt like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders. My life improved by leaps and bounds and I have never felt better. She on the other hand, didn’t like being called out on her sociopathy so she tried attacking me, my family and friends, I told them to just leave it alone since I knew the only thing that would result would be that she would prove herself a sociopath to everyone else. So I merely sat back and laughed as she made a giant fool of herself, ahh life is good.

  80. Artist Says:

    From:
    “Observations of an Artist”
    Copyright 09-08-2012, Artist
    All Rights Reserved

    Regarding Sociopaths and Narcissistic Personality Disorder…
    People seem mystified about the lack of any feeling or remorse shown by either of the above, as they harm others emotionally, mentally and or physically, but I have found from experience with my mother and my brother, that it is quite a simple process, to lose the concience we are all born with.
    First I want to point out that DENIAL IS LYING.
    We all know what lying is, but we may forget that denial is also lying, as did I, so I was fooled by my brother, after understanding my mother.
    Here is the process:
    A person, let us call that person, “P”, at whatever age, finds themselves in an inferior position.
    “P” decides to try telling a lie, let us say to person “A”.
    “P” gets some gratification for the lie, like building more power into his relationship with “A”. Now “P” has a tiny tiny taste of power.
    “P” feels that inferior position again, for example, person “A” may be going back to his other friends, so  ”P” remembers to try the successful method he tried before; another lie. (Now we have 2 lies.) The second lie gives “P” more gratification.
    At the point of approximately 2-3 lies to “A”, “P” still has a conscience, and is able to make a choice, whether to begin to tell the Truth, or continue to lie.
    “P” chooses to lie again. (Lie 3.) Now “P” is on a slippery slope with regard to lying.
    “P” chooses to lie again. (Lie 4.)
    Now “P” is getting to the point of needing to manipulate, for example because person “A” comes to visit with person “B”, who just so happens to be the one “P” has been lying about to “A”, and because one has to lie to manipulate, “P” has to lie to “B” in front of “A”, for example, to distract “A” from the lies “P” told “A” about “B”.
    Now “P” has told at least 4-5 lies. 
    It has been my observation that at approximately 5 lies, “P” is starting to forget who he is, but just subtley, and also therefore, beginning to lose his own conscience.
    My observations can be more easily seen by others, if they just watch what happens when person “C” enters the equation, in the case where “P” lied to “A” and or “B” about “C”. Now “P” must lie to three people and has definitely Got to Manipulate each of them so they do not find out “P” has been in fact lying to all of them.
    So let us say that “P” has told 5 lies to “A”, and another 5 lies to “B” and another 5 lies to “C”. “P” is now surely got too much to keep track of to remember who he is, and has truly lost his conscience. At this beginning stage of having completely lost his conscience, “P” might possibly begin to own up to the Truth, but not usually the case. 
    Let us be reminded, that the Human Brain can only remember so much at one time. “P” has a tremendous burden of lies and manipulation by manipulating 3 people, but by 5, “P” has surpassed the capacity of the Human Brain remembering what now could be 5 lies to each of 5 people, which does not bother “P” to do at all as he has no conscience, but his Human Brain is putting a limit on his ability to keep track.
    Ok, let us put all 5, “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” and “E” together in the same room as “P”. What is “P” going to do now? How is “P” going to juggle all the manipulations of one against another and maybe three against two and four against one? Here is the answer. “P” is going to have to make a smokescreen or simply kill off one of the ones he could not figure out how to work into his equation anymore, due to the limits of his Human Brain, and Without a Care in the world, because “P” has No Conscience, and at this stage, is Not Getting it Back, because “P” cannot remember who he is, so it would be Impossible for him to have a conscience. “P” can now lie freely, and is adept at manipulation and coverup. “P” may go on to damage his entire family unit emotionally, or actually kill and kill again without a whim.
    It has been my experience that: 
    “P” NEVER COMES BACK TO WHO THEY WERE WHEN THEY WERE BORN. 
    “P” ALWAYS SUBTLEY AVOIDS EYE CONTACT or tries to manipulate others with their eyes.
    Four methods of avoiding eye contact:
    1) A glazed over look
    2) The shifting eyes, as if they have a tremor.
    3) The eyes so wide open that one can see white all the way around them as if they are extremely surprised, But, they Never Blink.
    4) General avoidance of eye contact by Looking Away Too Much, or Looking at the Center Between someone’s Eyes, rather at one or both eyes, or Constant Squinting which is easiest to acheive by Smiling and gives them the appearance that the sun is shining brightly into their eyes.
    Of course, the above behaviors can be seen in anyone from time to time, but people with a conscience will not usually also be manipulating.
    It is no wonder that Serial Killers are often described as highly intelligent, and my guess is that they could keep track of more lies.
    So to sum up my Observations, and I am Not a Psychiatrist nor a Physician, just an Artist…
    Sociopaths and Narcissitics with the Personality Disorders, and NOT BORN, THEY ARE CREATED BY THE INDIVIDUAL BY LYING.
    THEY LOSE THEIR OWN CONSCIENCE BY LYING.
    THEY CAN HARM ANYONE AND EVERYONE BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CONCIENCE.
    AND, MOST UNFORTUNATELY, THEY NEVER GET IT BACK, THEY CANNOT GET IT BACK BECAUSE THEY CANNOT REMEMBER WHO THEY ARE.
    Copyright 2012, Artist
    All Rights Reserved

    Kind Regards,
    Artist

  81. Larry Says:

    Artist,

    Interesting theory for my first run through of it.

    “Sociopaths and Narcissitics with the Personality Disorders, and NOT BORN …”

    There is documented proof, though (which includes that from Dr Hare), that it is a brain abnormality which is present at birth.

  82. Artist Says:

    Re: Larry’s comment about a brain abnormality from birth…

    I am aware that someone has documented proof of a brain “abnormality” from birth. That is extremely unbelievable. How on Earth could anyone test a fetus or baby for Sociopathic and or NPD and then follow that baby to adulthood and find them later killing people for example?

    Anyway, i am not, as i said, a physician nor a psychiatrist etc., but i am stating what i have observed many times.

    And even so, maybe a few Sociopaths have this “abnormality”, but there are certainly many more who became  Sociopaths and gave themselves NPD and Erased their own conscience by forgetting who they are, in the process of trying to keep track of the plethora of lies. Lying is the root. It is simple. It is irrefutable.

    I believe there will be many many more Sociopaths and NPD people with No Conscience fairly soon as they are trained to lie to keep their jobs, but that is a tangent i am not going to elaborate on, because it probably sounds far fetched. 

    However if you keep your eyes open and catch someone in a lie, i recommend keeping count of how many lies that person tells, before you find them manipulating you or someone else.
     
    Then keep watch and see what happens when they tell more people, more lies and you will see that they are damaging other people with their lies. 

    If you can continue to observe the liar over time, you will see that they are losing their conscience the more they lie. Eventually you will see the birth of a Sociopath and or NPD, i  have observed it first hand myself. 

    Thank you for your comment, Larry.

    Kind Regards,
    Artist

  83. Susan Says:

    The list above of potential victim traits appears to describe my personality type. However, some of those personalitly traits have pretty much changed since I became a target. Traits like ‘being easily influenced by others’ or ‘wanting to please’ among others, have diminished to some extent. Self confidence remains low though, and is probably one of my worst traits.

    I suspect a little more work on myself might render me less vulnerable to attack but it doesn’t get rid of it entirely.

    Re: Artist.

    I think in some cases psychopathy can certainly be caused by brain or genetic abnormalities, but I don’t think that answers all the questions for me. Psychopathy and its effect on others seems to go well beyond the boundaries of a simple brain abnormality.

    If you believe in mind over matter, then maybe it is possible that our thoughts, intentions and above all our Will, can alter our brains and personalities to some degree, rather than our brains always being in control of our behaviour.

    I think it can work both ways. We are programmed genetically and by our brains to some extent, but we can also program our brains as well. Environment and upbringing can also have a bearing on behaviour, perhaps even more so than brain function or genetics in some cases.

  84. Artist Says:

    Hi Larry: This is my third post.

    I have a few categories piled into it.

    More on the “born with gene”.

    I believe the gene could well be in everyone, but those who choose to lie repeatedly like i have described in my observations, actually activate the gene, so we all assume they are the only ones born with it.

    There are vast thousands of “floating” genes recently brought to the public eye, that were thought to be “extra” or “useless”. Perhaps the Sociopath gene is one of those looking “useless” but the liar activates the gene, much like a virus, mutating it.

    (I did study a lot of pre-med at a major university, graduating on the dean’s list, not bragging but only to show that i am not completely unfamiliar with genetics, embryology, bichemistry, physiology, microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistries, human anatomy and other subjects, so i am not completely guessing. I am no doctor or geneticist, but i am sure of what i know.)

    It does not matter to me if anyone believes or accepts my observations, and hopefully my statements will inspire new thinking and study, but i just want people to have another tool, to protect them from these persistant, excessive liars who lose their own conscience we are all born with, by their lies.

    Please feel free to reread my original post.

    I do not believe that the “sociopath gene” is why these people act the way they do to begin with. I believe the gene could be there but is more easily detected after the excessive lying. To me, blaming a gene, is another big excuse for their behavior. People are born with cancer predisposing genes and never get cancer, as an example.

    Again, i say, it starts with the temptation and follow through to lie. I am quite certain of this as occurring in the manner i stated in my first post.

    (Just an aside to those of us who suffered from these people: If a person is mentally ill, from what i understand, they cannot “shut off” their bad behavior; they cannot “stop on a dime” and “flip it around” the very second another person enters the room, for example. But these Sociopaths and NPD’s ARE ABLE TO both. This is a terrible torture to the victim, because the victim can be getting mentally tortured, and even witnessing convincing strange behaviors by the “perpetrator”, only to find, when another person enters the room, the “perpetrator” “Switches the Story Like a Magic Act”, making the person who entered the room think the “perpetrator” is actually the “victim”. Now the “victim” looks really bad to the person “entering the room, or passerby”. It is horribly reality changing for the actual victim.

    If the actual “perpetrator” were excused by being tagged “mentally ill”, the preceeding phenomena could not occur, from what i have observed and studied over many years. What actually happened was, what i call “Master Manipulation”. I ask anyone; What is required behavior to Manipulate? 

    The answer is “Conscious Lying”. It is clear, it is simple, it is the ROOT, it is irrefuteble.

    The perpetrator is not in my opinion and with my 62 years of experience, study, therapy, and observation, mentally ill; they are purposefully, intentionally lying. Soon they will blow up and either strike out or cry or some other diversionary tactic to further convince the passerby, of their innocence, and to top it off, convince the “passerby” that their victim caused them the pain they actually inflicted on the victim. It is no wonder these people may have fairly high IQ’s, because they can keep track of more lies than the best of us.

    I think one can be alerted to the possiblilty that they have met a SOCIOPATH OR NPD, by paying attention to how we feel inside, intuition, maybe a tiny little thing does not compute. We all know inside, the difference between Truth and lies. When i was two years old or less, i remember thinking, when my mother made many of her statements, “That sounds funny” or “that doesn’t sound right”, even though i was so young. Much later i found out she was lying. So i implore you all to pay attention to your intuitions. 

    (To me intuition is actually a subconcious form of observation that our complex eyes, ears and brains pick up, but it can be too subtle to emerge as a clear visual, auditory or thought cue. We do not give our human brains enough credit.) 

    Another alert, causing my radar to go up is sometimes easier sometimes harder to detect, depending upon the sick skills of the liar, is watching for things that “don’t seem right” about their eyes. I do not mean, for example, wall eyes, or other optical deformities, but the 4 cues i wrote about in my first post. 

    In many cases this is very difficult, especially the smiley face one. Squinty smiley face. Over use of sunglasses on the squinty smileyface “perpetrator”. If you could look carefully into the eyes of the “squinty smileyface” deceiver, and this is tricky because there are so many people with genuine smileyfaces, you would find, that you can never catch their pupils. The pupils will shift away, or the perpetrator will change the subject or get angry, or they will blow another type of  smokescreen-anything to distract you.

    Thank you for your time,
    Artist

  85. Artist Says:

    Author: Susan
    I think in a way, i am making similar statements to yours.
    Artist

  86. Kathy Says:

    To the extent the suggestion has been made that the lying itself gives rise to personality changes and aberrations in other behaviors, I totally agree.

  87. Gina Says:

    Artist’s account is BRILLIANT! … Never give these monsters a genetic excuse. There is GOOD and EVIL. Bottom line. …. We are SPIRITUAL BEINGS inside human bodies. …. The devil is called: THE FATHER OF LIES. ….. (the Bible doesn’t mince words here) hmmmm …. ?…. Friends, The mystery is settled about Sociopaths. They just listen to their FATHER …. ( yes, there was a time I would have argued the genetic stance.) …. until God let me have my face rubbed in the truth, and my mind was blown by the look He gave me, behind the curtain….. …. it wasn’t pretty …. Be strong everyone, GOOD ALWAYS WINS in the END! … Love is the greatest force. The Lord is on YOUR SIDE.

  88. Susan Says:

    Re Gina.

    There is so much that I agree with there in what you have to say. It is why I said that the genetic factor does not answer all of my questions.
    I happen to think there might be a genetic factor which may pre-dispose some people to evil behaviour, but that is most definitely not the whole story.

    I argued that the scope of the psychopath’s influence over others cannot be explained by mere brain abnormality alone. There is something else I have not been able to explain which goes beyond just genetics, based upon my own experiences.

    I too have had this thing rubbed in my face. I can truly say that I have seen evil face-to-face and it disturbs me deeply.

    These ‘people,’ they KNOW what they are doing. There is no doubt about that, and what is more, they enjoy what they are doing as well. They know they are evil and for some reason they need to show this side to their victims.

    Jesus had some very important things to say about the reality of evil, and whether a person believes in the Bible or not, or whether or not one is Christian, it does not alter the truth about what Jesus said. Peace and many blessings.

  89. Artist Says:

    Gina,
    Susan,
    Kathy, :-)
    Artist

  90. Kathy Says:

    In my husband’s case, the “need to show his evil side” seemed to take hold with the realization that he wasn’t perfect. It was as though he decided to be as rotten as he possibly could be, break all his own (false) moral codes and my real ones, seemingly in order to distinguish himself at failure — having failed at his notion of success, in other words.

    I can’t talk to him for more than five minutes without being lied to. It’s a game. He wins when he lies, and I lose something precious. The lies are often transparent and gratuitous, and that’s when he really scores.

    I didn’t used to believe in the concept of “evil.” I’ve changed!

  91. Gina Says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Were we married to the same man???….. (ha ha).

    Unfortunately, I can probably “one up” your story, unless you have alot more to tell. … My X, “Ivy-League dream man” refused to answer repeated emergency phone calls to help with our Epileptic son who was suicidal due to medication problems.

    Then, he (the X) stole my cell phone to erase all the texts I sent him pleading for help. …. He couldn’t bear the extended family and friends to KNOW what he really is. … . To make a long story short, I made a judge drop her jaw, and tear up as she listened to the story of how Mr. Wonderful ignored and rejected pleas to help his 20-year-old son who adored him. ….( my son is OK by the way).

    I only wish that was his worst act. … All the fake outer mask he used to manipulate could never work forever. Thank God! … Beware you may see him in the political arena someday. I hope I will be allowed to share his full name on this site if that ever happens. My disbelief in Evil has been over quite a while Kathy.

    Best of luck and God bless!

  92. Artist Says:

    Hi Gina and Kathy:

    I really feel your comments from 09/11/12-09/13/12 very much fit exactly what I described in my several comments.

    As to a LIST of these sociopaths, all you need to do is keep your eyes wide open to LIES. It all starts with LIES. Remember DENIAL IS ALSO LYING. I posted a few ways to spot a liar by their eyes not too long ago and again, of course there are people who might actually have physical imperfections with their eyes in the particular manners I described, but I highly recommend you put your Radar Up if you meet someone for the first time with these EYE traits.

    Another hugely important and the entire key to Identifying Sociopaths and persons with NPD, is again, LYING. They find themselves in an inferior position, and try lying to elavate themselves. First lie, maybe we all do it, and sometimes feel a little boost, at someone elses expense in some way or form. HOW WILL YOU KNOW? SOMETHING WILL JUST BE NOT ADDING UP RIGHT.

    However it is tricky because you may have met someone who has lead a life very different from yours, so what they say may sound far fetched. But again, RADAR UP, and KEEP YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN, so to speak. Second lie to the same person, not too good. Third lie to the same person, getting bad. Fourth lie to the same person, slippery slope towards becoming a Manipulator. Fifth lie, to the same person, FULL BLOWN MANIPULATOR.

    How can you tell? YOU WILL GET A TINY SENSATION OF FEELING SMALL. YOU WILL FEEL GUILTY, or RUG PULLED OUT FROM UNDER YOU, or THAT WHATEVER YOU SAY TO THEM TO UNDERSTAND YOU, THEY WILL BASICALLY REPLY “THAT’S NOT IT, or that YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. THEY ARE MANIPULATING YOU INTO THE INFERIOR POSITION! Go with your intuition and gut. Time now to gently remove yourself from the relationship. You basically want to slip out of it, and distance yourself which is the best way to avoid getting further manipulated.

    REMEMBER, YOU CANNOT CHANGE THEM BY THE FIFTH LIE, so don’t try because by now they have ERASED A GOOD PORTION OF THEIR OWN CONCIENCE BECAUSE THEY HAVE LIED ENOUGH TO BEGIN FORGETTING WHO THEY ARE. (FORGET THE GENE THING. Genetic Scientists are always trying to put pattents on genes, for guess what, money.)

    NOW THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT…NEVER ALLOW YOURSELF TO GET SUCKED BACK IN EITHER ON THE PREMIS THAT THEY WANT TO HELP YOU, NOR ON THE PREMIS THAT YOU HURT THEM! NEVER! I am sure there are many other ways manipulators can think up, but those are the main two.

    Sorry if I seem particularly overbearing in this post, but these people are insidious and start at any age. Since the human brain can usually only remember about seven things at one time, yet Sociopaths and NPD’S keep track of muliple lies to multiple people, it is no wonder that they are usually quite intelliget, so I am providing and pounding my observations into you all, as a armour against the suffering they inflict on others.

    Artist

  93. Candle Says:

    Hi Larry…

    You might have insight into this….

    Would you have any ideas why my sociopath Ex-H treated me like I was his enemy throughout our short marriage?

    From day 1 in our marriage – he treated me like I was his enemy.

    He was treating his disciples better than the one he claimed to love.

    Thanks,

  94. Larry Says:

    Hi Candle,

    I can only offer my personal opinion. You said it began on day one: that’s because he got what he wanted, and he owned you. He didn’t need to use his charming personality for you anymore.

    I have a lady friend who I dated nine years ago for about six months. We’ve stayed in touch ever since. About three years ago she thought she met prince charming, an engineer with a very nice income. He was very affectionate and loving up until they got married.

    That all changed. He’s very narcissistic, insults her in front of other people, and the affection and romance disappeared soon thereafter. Why do people do these things? I believe it’s just what they’ve known all their adult lives. She’s just a trophy to him now. That will most assuredly change soon.

  95. Surviving Says:

    I was married to a sociopath and I wonder if I will ever be the same again. When I met him he was perfect we had everything in common got along great it seemed like a perfect match. I found out after the fact he was watching me for a few months learning about me what I liked and didn’t like to use it to gain my trust. He was perfect in manipulating me and everyone else.

    Once he married me within four weeks it all fell apart. He became controlling, emotionally, verbally, and later physically violent. he alienated me from everyone and would prevent me from contacting anyone. He made me change my cell number many times, took control over my emails, even locked me out of a new computer.

    I was doing great I thought before I met him and there is nothing but a path of destruction he left and walked away looking wonderful and moved on.
    The emotional abuse was painful and he knew it because we would talk so intimately before we were married, and he knew my strengths and weaknesses to later use it against me.

    He knew I was raped at 18 and how it traumatized me, and on 3 occasions he raped me. The last time was right before the marriage ended he knew I was done and wanted a divorce. I was really sick had no strength and he kept trying I kept saying no leave me alone. He forced himself on me while I cried and tried to push him off, I couldn’t he was triple in weight to me and strong.

    After I couldn’t move he got up got something to eat and acted like nothing happened. I got up and sat in the tub with the shower running on me until the water was so cold my skin went numb. I sat in shock until he walked and and said hurry up your watching a movie with me. I was traumatized, embarrassed and hurt emotionally so very bad by that.

    I would wake up to him choking and hitting me and later he would say it never happened.

    He manipulated doctors to give him drugs he abused and mixed them with illegal drugs and alcohol.

    In the end he told everyone else that I abused him, I was on drugs (so far from the truth) told everyone I was mentally sick and crazy. He destroyed me emotionally, mentally, financially, and slandered my character so bad I couldn’t even get a job.

    I sent him to jail for assault and after he got out he vowed he was going to get even one way or another because I sent him to jail. He claimed I made it all up, well the judge saw the pictures of what he did to me and convicted him.

    He said he would do what ever it took to get me sent to jail so I would know how it felt and he spent a year and half trying by filing false charges against me.

    He filed stalking charges against me by using the email accounts he took over and went to court and played victim and is good at playing different roles.

    He lied about his past and only a few things had an ounce of truth in them. He lied about everything and anything to get attention.

    When he though I was done with him he would start acting really nice and go to the doctor to get help and treat me so good, all manipulation and it worked at first but in the end I told him it would not work anymore, and things went from bad to worse.

    I am the only one who ever stood up to him sent him to jail and said I was done he did not like that and I payed for it. I ended up losing my friends, family, and ended up homeless.

    I couldn’t get a place to live because of the pending criminal charges that all eventually got dismissed and now getting expunged. He is cold and the only time I saw emotion was if it had to do with him and something that affected him. He could care less if he hurt others and could care less if he hurt me.

    I learned how cold he was when he was out of control on drugs and drinking and had me up for three days acting out of control. I passed out and when I came to he was walking over me drinking like I was a carpet and did not care if I was dead or alive. I just laid there in shock.

    He has harassed me and his friends harassed me to the point I packed up and went into hiding. He will never give up and in any shape or form he can get even with me he will until he feels satisfaction. He will do anything to achieve this something no one understands.

    I can not sleep at night, I have PTSD, anxiety, I trust no one, I am looking over my shoulder ever second of every day.

    I have no understanding or comprehension how someone I treated so well, loved so much, and claimed the same could hurt me so much and do such horrific things and walk away like he never knew me.

    He scams the government and everyone else and they know it but always fail to pursue it. He always manipulates his way out of everything and never has to be accountable. The only time he ever had to stand accountable for his actions was when I pressed charges for assaulting me, and I payed and am still paying for it.

    I go to therapy and want to talk or work through the stuff he did to me and how he hurt me and I am told to move on let it go.

    I try but it haunts me and every night I wake up with anxiety and fear.

    Financially I have to deal with the mess he left me and walked away from. The loss of friends and family who blame me haunts me everyday.

    I am mad, angry, hurt, scared, confused at what he did and I have to pay for it.

    I want to move on but how?

  96. Christine Says:

    Hi Larry, I am in need of advice.

    I grew up with a narcissistic mother who rewarded my sociopath brother for abusing and tormenting me. I left home, hoping to leave it all behind, and have fallen in with one sociopath or narcissist after another since then. I only realized what I was dealing with in 2007.

    I was mobbed in my workplace, overseas, because I stopped complying with the sociopathic demands of the workplace’s chief/director. It became a living hell and nearly ruined my health. I found another job back in the States, and thought I could finally have a new start. I knew no one in the new state, but within the first 5 months of being there, a husband and wife (married to each other) in my department made it clear that I was their target. They are, in terms of their personalities and their dynamics, replicas of my brother and mother.

    I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve been at this job 4 years, because I need the money and don’t know what else I can do. My health is in serious shape, although I am showing signs of regaining strength because I’ve stopped ‘feeding’ the s-paths what they’re after (knowledge is a kind of power).

    At the same time, they’ve made sure that I’m isolated and surrounded by people who see me as a problem. Even my students (I’m in education) are turning on me. It’s time to leave this job, just like I left a mobbing situation where I was last, and I am so scared that it’s all I’m ever going to find. Everywhere I go, it’s the same thing. I moved across the country and around the world to get away from this hell, and it’s with me wherever I go. I mean wherever – 5 different states, 4 different countries, and every time, I end up with the spaths.

    I have no family to turn to, because my mother made sure everyone sees me as the ‘bad seed’. I’ve ruined my friendships because I kept investing in the narcs and spaths until I figured out what they were.

    I am scared, and work hard to stay strong and protect myself from them every day, but I feel like I’m caught in a trap that I can never escape. Even if I leave this job (and soon I’ll have no choice about it), my history keeps repeating itself. I don’t know how to get to a safe place long enough to recover and get my energy back, so that I stand a chance of getting a better job.

    What I’m saying is that I’m convinced there’s some kind of ‘energetic pull’ between me and the s-paths. I have all the traits of the ‘target’, although I work to counterbalance them every second of every day. My vulnerability is just a fact, and they smell that vulnerability like it’s their next meal.

    Any thoughts? Thank you.

  97. Christine Says:

    P.S. on the subject of genetic influence

    I have 4 brothers, 2 of them were ‘damaged’ since birth. One’s a sociopath (my earliest memories include him throwing a telephone at my head while I was in the crib. . . telephones in those days were heavy, and him successfully conning my parents pretty much every day since he could talk – he’s now in his 40s, and conning lots of other people). My other brother was born a narcissist.

    I think it goes back to our grandparents (at least), and that it can skip people or generations in the family. Both of my brothers who show signs of sociopathy and narcissism are blond with blue eyes, while my three other siblings and I all have brown hair and brown eyes, and don’t have the traits.

    I’m not saying there’s always a genetic component, but there seem to be genetic correlations in my family, and the anti-social traits presented since early early childhood (the 2 blond brothers also have other shared physical characteristics, but they’re slightly less obvious than hair and eye color).

    I could also say, in my experience, that when people give themselves to ‘the lie’ or the ‘dark side’ (whatever you want to call it), they can become spaths and narcs. I mean, for some people, sociopathy develops from feeding their own darkness, rather than their being eclipsed by it from the start.

  98. Sharon Says:

    Hi, I am a 56 year old woman. Last week I had to put my 76 year old mother into a hospital psyche ward because of her bizarre behavior. Mom has always had bizarre behavior my entire life but I have always explained it away or overlooked it and lately I just chalked it up to dementia. I now am 100% convinced that she is a sociopath and until last week I never knew there was a name for her behavior.

    ###################

    As a small child she used firecrackers to explode cats rear ends. She also would drown them in water and smile while she did it. Later she had her siblings (younger) watch.

    As a caretaker to her younger siblings(oldest of 7) she would mentally abuse them and enjoy their reactions of horror.

    As caretaker of her younger siblings, she told her youngest sister that she was dying. Mom to this day laughs about her sister willing all her possessions to her siblings since she was dying.

    Mom also would tell this sister that since she was so ugly she should take a chicken wing and go eat it behind the door and that would make her come out pretty. Mom laughs about this story to this day. She my dad of sexually touching my older sister (age 3) when he only had her sitting on his lap (dad said he never touched us girls for any reason after that). When I was a young child she told me horrific stories of penises being cut off and sewn into boys mouths etc. etc. And seemed to enjoy my reaction.

    When I was 5 she left me in a barn with her stepfather who she KNEW was a molester. She took everyone else in the house to the grocery down the road. When he tried to molest me (he had tried many times before) I went crazy screaming and running around the garage with him chasing me till he finally put me in the car and drove me to the grocery and dumped me. Her only reaction when she saw me crying and walking up to her from out of nowhere was to say “what the hell is wrong with you?”

    When I was 9 I sawed into a golf ball and got sprayed with water in the face and I thought I was going to be blind and she laughed and told me it was acid and I WAS going to be blind.

    When I was 11 I accidentally pulled a knee wart off and thought I was going to die and she laughed and told me that I WAS going to die. My sisters and I would watch her shoplift anything and everything when we were children. She was quite good at it. When I was 14 I was with her at a department store when she was taken by the security guards into the store office. She somehow escaped prosecution and I never knew how. She threatened me not to tell dad.

    I was 14ish when my sister told mom that I had a crush on an actor named Christopher George on TV. Mom called me a slut in front of my sisters and they all happily called me that for weeks. In my young adulthood (25)she told me that my father has always had a “sick sexual obsession” with me and warned me to stay away from him. (they divorced when I was 19) She is jealous of my relationship with my dad.

    On my wedding night (1979) she called me and told me she never wanted to speak to me again because she overheard me in the bathroom at the church talking to my dads new wife saying bad things about her.(I wasn’t in the bathroom all evening)

    She has always lied about EVERYONE behind their backs and smiles with pleasure when she tells these lies.

    She is always on the “outs” with one or two of her 3 daughters. My last turn was in 97 when she didn’t speak to me for 5 years. Currently she hasn’t spoken to the other 2 since 2005. The 2 sisters haven’t spoken to me either since mom created such a mess and I sided with mom because I felt “sorry” for her once again.

    She keeps constant turmoil between 3 daughters even when all 3 are on good terms with her. She talks to one.. then goes to the others and twists the conversation with lies and distortions to get one mad at the other. She was always the center of attention this way and “claimed” she wished her girls could get along when she was the one causing the problem.

    I have never felt that my mother “loved” me in the way other mothers seem to. Hers is a hollow sort of love that she has to force and act out. I don’t ever remember a hug from her.

    She loves to make fun of people she sees in public and never misses the opportunity to point out others faults and laugh. (I grew up thinking that everyone did this so I now have a lifelong fear of public places and an unreal fear of public humiliation). Mom didn’t speak to her mother (mom was her mother’s favorite) for the last 7 years of her life because her mother sided with moms stepfather on a trivial issue.

    She had no relationship with her siblings or her mother for many many years until I fixed it for her and got them to come around but she constantly says things and does things to push them away and hurt them. I always have to try to patch things for her and explain away her behavior.

    She has never had a close friend or even family member. Everyone is always at her arm’s length and she CLAIMS to love certain people to death but says bad things and lies about them behind their back

    She raised her oldest daughter to act identical to her behavior. Mom even used my older sister to torment my younger sister and me when we were teenagers. They were quite the evil pair while we were growing up. Eight years ago my older sister turned on her for a trivial matter and hasn’t spoken to her for 8 years. (identical to what mom did to her mother) There was no argument or fight they just stopped speaking. Mom has done NOTHING to correct this and says horrible things about her 2 daughters that aren’t currently worshiping her.

    She turns every conversation into a depressing topic about herself and her ailments or about her mistreatment from family members. She claims she loves others “unconditionally” but her “love” is only given out if someone worships and praises her and strokes her ego. This game must be kept up or she will turn on you and back stab you and tell anything she knows about you that is bad and add additional lies to the badness.

    Thinks she is an expert on every subject and has to lecture everyone about their lack of knowledge about things she knows all about.
    I could go on and on but you get the picture. Currently, I am the only daughter she has left that will speak to her. After what I heard come out of her mouth at me last Friday I want to be DONE with her but I don’t know how. She was out of her head last Friday more so than normal. What came out of her mouth was “UNFILTERED AGNES” I really found out what’s in her crazy head. (by the way, Kohl’s is currently bugging all her phones and listening to all her conversations and has her in lock down)

    She refused to go to the ER last Friday so I tricked her into going and they put her in the psyche ward. After I got her in the car, she turned around and said ‘I told you we would do this my way or no way and you are finding out it will always be MY WAY”. When my step dad and I went to visit her the next day (Saturday night) for the 1 hour visitation, we were told she didn’t want to see us because we had put her in there and she just wanted to die. AT THAT VERY MOMENT I was officially DONE with her. Something changed in me and I saw her as mentally ill and damaging to me. Two days ago 1/7/12 they released her (I didn’t go) and when I called and asked what her diagnosis, was the nurse said “severe depression due to post traumatic stress syndrome”……..really?……….she went in there and created another pity party for Agnes and said NOTHING about all the devastation she constantly creates. I now realize that there is no cure for her and I must distance myself from her but I am hoping that someone can help me through this.

    Give me some advice on how to back myself out because I know that she will now try to slander me to other friends and family members since I am no longer sympathetic to her pathetic life. No one else sees her behavior as mental they think she is just charming and has led such a hard, hard life. Do I let her know I am on to her or do I just silently back away? She lives about 20 minutes from me but unfortunately I bought her a cell phone a couple of years ago and then taught her how to text. (Bad move).

    My mother hasn’t been officially diagnosed as a sociopath, this is my diagnosis. She would NEVER admit that she has a problem and will not seek treatment. And at the age of 76 what good would it do. Why bother. I am aware that a sociopath cannot be cured or treated.

    My hope is that I can learn how to avoid her without setting her off and peacefully ride this out until her death. That sounds cruel but that’s how I feel. I know that after her death I will have guilt and remorse and only remember the good and feel sorry for her pitiful life. But right now I need to get through the next few years of having to deal with her.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  99. Emma Says:

    Hi Larry,

    Wonderful website. Knowledge can be a powerful tool in helping to deal with a sociopath. Also sharing our feelings and our vulnerability can be therapeutic after being exposed to a sociopath.

    I have a family member by marriage who is a sociopath. He is very charming and has most of his family believing his lies. He has a long history of being a bully and is at present financially taking advantage of 3 of his family while being unemployed and occupying himself on his computer 6-12 hours a day. They think he is hard working and generous because he says so. His actions speak otherwise.

    I don’t really want to talk about this relative but I do want to talk about what has helped me be prepared and how I “manage” my sociopath step relative. My mother has a highly regarded degree in Psychology and was a practicing psychologist for more than 20 years. She is now retired but both of us have always thought something was “off” with this step relative and naturally avoided him. About 5 years ago my mother found out some very nasty stuff about him which most of his family doesn’t know, and the puzzle starting coming together in her head that he is a sociopath.

    I am not an expert but from what my mother has told me and from my own personal studies, anyone who thinks they have a sociopath in their life should find and take Dr. Hare’s test for psychopaths/sociopaths. The sociopath does not take the test, someone who is familiar with the sociopath’s actions takes the test. A sociopath lies on psychiatric tests if it is to their advantage to do so and the best way to diagnose the condition is for an expert to research the sociopath’s actions. Often a family member and/or victim is the best expert on a sociopath’s actions.

    My mother’s technique in dealing with a sociopath:

    1) Avoid them! Avoid them! AVOID THEM!!!

    If for whatever reason you cannot avoid them:

    2) Offer nothing. Be boring. Smile and nod your head. Be very pleasant but offer nothing. Sociopaths get bored easily and you must make them think that you are not worth their attention. Do not feed them. No money. No emotions. No friendship. No details. Be pleasant.

    I hope some of this advice might help someone. If you are being victimized by a sociopath try to document everything. There are only so many lies they can tell before their house of cards fall down with hard evidence.

  100. Larry Says:

    Hello Emma,

    Thank you for the kind words and for sharing your insight. I think your mother’s two-step technique is right on the mark. It covers everything, yet it’s so compact. Such simple words of wisdom.

    Again, thank you.

  101. Larry Says:

    Christine,

    Sorry about the delay in getting back to you. I’m pretty-much behind on everything.

    A fellow commenter wrote a valuable comment which I think may help you, as well as anyone with a sociopath problem. You can find it here.

    I’m a little on the fence about the genetic disposition since I’ve traced it to four generations on my paternal side, and my own children. Their mother had a psychological evaluation, and it frightened me when I read it. So it runs in her family and mine. My kids were doomed. I don’t know why I wasn’t as my siblings display a good many of the traits, enough for me to consider them sociopathic, as was my dad and his mother.

    I don’t know what to tell you other than to increase your knowledge about them so you can control future situations. You probably feel like this is a country of liars, but the majority are not, but those who are have become very skilled at it. You’ve moved a lot, but all I can say is try it one more time and memorize Emma’s technique.

    You must become able to identify a socioapth before they begin to target you. And with some research, and using Dr. Hare’s PCL-R list (Hare Psychopathy Checklist) to help weed out those who will cause you harm.

  102. Larry Says:

    Sharon,

    Sorry about the delay in getting back to you.

    Your mom sounds psychotic, as well as a very deviant psychopath. The first time I began to read your story, I had to stop when I got to what she did to cats. I’m an animal lover, and it truly stunned me.

    You need to move ahead in life as if your mom is already gone. You still seem concerned about her, and that is what she wants. She still holds some control over you. You must let go and move on. You will not regret it, as what your primary task now is you recovering from her torment. If I were you, I would seek therapy from a professional. They will help you let go. Life is too short to permit someone to ruin it for you.

  103. to thine own self be true Says:

    I guess you could say I am ‘in withdrawal’ from a damaging sociopathic relationship with my sister whom I have loved so dearly for all my life… until her ‘mask’ slipped during a very rocky family turmoil, which only occurred recently. But I have cut off ties with her. Wish I had found this site sooner because so much what everyone writes is true. The sociopath is a very proficient manipulator. I would like to add a bit of advice myself. Like Larry and others have said, best to just part ways with the sociopath. They will feed off of your kindness like a vampire & spit you out and damage your reputation, etc. if they do not get their way. But this is very important, you really should (as others have suggested too) in my words, ‘bow out gracefully ‘ from the bad relationship. Gracefully being the key word. Do it with the least amount of fanfare and drama. Just like I said, ‘bow out gracefully’… the less they realize you are distancing yourself (which will become apparent eventually) the less YOU will suffer.

    Another point I found on another website how to deal with them (which I wish I found this out sooner too, so I am giving some of you an advantage… I hope) Here is what I found: that is that the person living life as a sociopath, is far more afraid of YOU then you could ever be of him. (because you might or can reveal, discover his true self, which is the really his empty self) But, tread softly because once they know you can see right through them, they will turn on you.

    That is when you will really be hurt. But here is another insight, you (your heart and conscience) are not detectable by any of the 5 senses of the body.

    Sociopaths do not have an inner compass (or it is/was suppressed) like most normal people do. They rely on others for feedback and ‘how to act normal’. They do this by observation of others. Observation only.

    Facial expressions and actions, ie: crying when a loved one dies. They see others cry, so they know that is ‘how they should feel’. This should also tell you how easy the sociopath is to manipulate in reverse.

    The following actually happened to me several years ago….

    My sister and I talking during a very emotional moment in both of our lives, talking. Not yelling at each other, not arguing. Talking. She basically asked me a question, which at the time, was ‘very inappropriate’. I did not respond, because I was basically surprised that she had even asked it. I noticed her looking at me a way she never looked at me before. I even remember thinking to myself at that time… ‘she is looking at me trying to figure out what I am thinking’. It was a strange look, like I said, I had never seen it before. At the time, I actually felt sorry for her, because in a way, it was pitiful. I think I sensed her desperation. Read on about the desperation I sensed.

    Here is what she was doing:

    In a live play interaction where you are not letting what YOU are really thinking be visible at all through your body, you can literally watch one desperately “scan” your face, your eyes, your body language; you can watch him scan through his “experience” of you and other people trying to come up with a GUESS as to what is going on; you can watch him feedback to you “right words” that he has heard you say and watch ‘him carefully checking’ to see if it gets the right reaction.
    They are that dependant on exterior things.

    So, when you are dealing with one, if you throw on “x” expression, and begin emanating (feeling) “X” emotion, (while neither is not what you really think or feel) they will fall like a ton of bricks for it.

    EVERY TIME.

    Because they can not look at YOU (what you are really feeling).

    —Please do not interpret this to mean you should provoke or antagonize the sociopath. Quite the contrary is true with sociopaths. Do not stir the pot !!

    I took that from another site, my interpretation, is not to give any clues as to how you really feel. Picture the Mona Lisa. Or you have heard the expression ‘poker face’. Do not reveal your true self to them either. (but don’t become a liar) You are the one with the heart, the conscience, the moral compass.

    Which is why I chose ‘to thine own self be true’ for my name. I followed my heart. Get away from the sociopath/s, because they will only drag you down, and suck the life out of you like a vampire, & when they are done with you…. well you know.

    Lastly, strange as it may sound, I still love my (estranged from) sociopath, tormenter. I know she is mentally ill, but there is nothing I can do for her. I have many (not all) traits of the -victim- described at the beginning of this post. Especially this trait: A belief that if you love enough the person will change. If anyone out there thinks that might help, you are wrong. In my case, I think I actually made them worse, by being supportive to them in ways I now regret. I had to separate for my own survival.

    Lastly, like others wrote too, I feel I am at a more peaceful time in my life since avoiding this person as much as possible.

  104. True Colors Says:

    to thine own self be true, I agree. I wish I found this site sooner too.

    A sociopath in the family has had repeated explosive episodes interspersed with periods of extreme niceness. Her ‘mask’ also came off and she became completely unhinged over a misunderstanding with an immediate family member. She shared her anger and tried to get disciples with other members of our extended family.

    The sociopath will observe you to find a weak spot and use calculated compliments to win your favor. If you choose to help the sociopath, there is no end in sight because of their unrealistic goals.

    Any compliments or gifts will be used as ammunition against you. For example, “Sister Kathy opening her home to her bullied nephew.” Then Kathy turning the family on the “bad ungrateful father.”

    Like to thine own self be true stated, if you can gracefully distance yourself from the sociopath in the family, it’s healthy for both of you. They won’t loose sleep over the loss of your relationship. You were a means to achieve their goal.

    You won’t lose sleep either, because there will be less unnecessary drama.

    The sociopath is not an object, but a person with a mental illness. They need help, but for your sake, from someone else.

  105. Larry Says:

    True Colors,

    You certainly read through my situation well. Thankfully, my son and I have moved way beyond her and are doing relatively well. I say relatively because since he didn’t go along with her, he’s been banished from the family just as I have. He’s now studying at a university and would like to eventually get a doctorate. Smart and level-headed young man.

    I’m glad you found this site, too. A sociopath in one’s life is bad enough, but in the same family is much more personal. Too bad the rest of my family is so shallow. It’s their loss.

    Thanks for visiting.

  106. Larry Says:

    Right after I added my comment just above, I scrolled to the top of the page, re-read all the traits, then read the first comment. Then the second. Then the third.

    Even though I read each comment when it was submitted, I didn’t stop reading them until I read them all again, this time in context.

    Thank you all. What a powerful, enlightening thread.

  107. Jill Says:

    I am so happy to have found this site.

    I fell victim to a man in a corporate media position when I volunteered for the company. Within a few hours of briefly speaking with me, he had located my e-mail address and communicated with me. (He was then 52; I was then 26). Over the years, the communication continued under the “guise” of a business friendship.

    There were suggestions about May-December romances; I laughed them off, never dreaming he was serious. When lingerie was shipped to my home, I threw a fit and blocked the guy. I, not knowing any better, turned him into his boss for messages of perversion typed while he was at work.

    After his boss spoke with him, he began stalking me, researching me, etc., despite being told to leave me alone. When HR at the company was brought onto the scene for the harassment, coerciveness, etc. I had experienced, he was able to convince everyone in the office — including those that had initially lobbied to help me — that I was crazy.

    I am blacklisted; he got a promotion and has harassed me through mutual friends (telling them that “he loves working for the company because there are so few managers he could get away with murder).

    Totally toxic situation and environment. But, after a year in therapy, I am beginning to find strength again. I know this was not my fault.

  108. Susan Says:

    I have many of the victim personality traits described above, and some of the traits associated with the aftermath as well.

    My husband has – at long last – believed what I say, but he still thinks what happened to me is just ‘down to human nature,’ as he puts it.

    We have yet to move away, which may solve the problem. Then I might be able to get some freedom back. But being the kind of person I am (trusting, a little naive), how I can I be sure it won’t happen again?

    Psychopaths are predators, they can home in on a potential target like bees to a honeypot.

    My only hope of a ‘normal’ life is to move and then to move again if necessary.

    It’s the disciples of this beast – they are the main problem. Psychopaths are not fully human, they display anything but the normal traits of human nature.

    I will move a long way away in due course, that is my long-term goal, but at the moment it’s not practical. All I can do is try to keep to myself as much as possible. Sounds sad I know, but minimizing contact with other local people is the best option at present. It does seem to work at least.

  109. Larry Says:

    @ Jill

    Talk therapy with a knowledgeable, compassionate therapist can likely help immensely … I say likely since I’ve never found one that wants to talk about it. A good psychiatrist can help, too, with the right meds for you. Depression is common. Antidepressants and a great therapist should be able to do you wonders.

  110. Larry Says:

    @Susan

    I think most of us can candidly say that we have many of the traits, before and after. In general they are good traits but the ones that evil people take advantage of.

    You are correct that it is up to you to get these predators out of your life, and that often means move. Move far enough, make new friends, and pick up life where you left off, only stronger and wiser. The pain does slowly go away.

  111. Becca Says:

    What a shame to have my time occupied combating such a NUT!

  112. Blacksheep Says:

    On the up side …

    I found this info and it give me peace, a peace I want to share!

    Healthy narcissism is mature, it’s a balanced love of oneself coupled with a stable sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Healthy narcissism implies knowledge of one’s boundaries and a proportionate and realistic appraisal of one’s achievements and traits.

    Pathological narcissism is wrongly described as too much healthy narcissism (or too much self-esteem). These are two absolutely unrelated phenomena which, regrettably, came to bear the same title. Confusing pathological narcissism with self- esteem betrays a fundamental ignorance of both.

    Pathological narcissism involves an impaired, dysfunctional, immature (True) Self coupled with a compensatory fiction (the False Self). The sick narcissist’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem derive entirely from audience feedback. The narcissist has no self-esteem or self-worth of his own (no such ego functions). In the absence of observers, the narcissist shrivels to non-existence and feels dead. Hence the narcissist’s preying habits in his constant pursuit of Narcissistic Supply. Pathological narcissism is an addictive behavior.

    Still, dysfunctions are reactions to abnormal environments and situations (e.g., abuse, trauma, smothering, etc.).

    Paradoxically, his dysfunction allows the narcissist to function. It compensates for lacks and deficiencies by exaggerating tendencies and traits. It is like the tactile sense of a blind person. In short: pathological narcissism is a result of over-sensitivity, the repression of overwhelming memories and experiences, and the suppression of inordinately strong negative feelings (e.g., hurt, envy, anger, or humiliation).

    That the narcissist functions at all – is because of his pathology and thanks to it. The alternative is complete decompensation and disintegration.

    In time, the narcissist learns how to leverage his pathology, how to use it to his advantage, how to deploy it in order to maximize benefits and utilities – in other words, how to transform his curse into a blessing.

    Narcissists are obsessed by delusions of fantastic grandeur and superiority. As a result they are very competitive. They are strongly compelled – where others are merely motivated. They are driven, relentless, tireless, and ruthless. They often make it to the top. But even when they do not – they strive and fight and learn and climb and create and think and devise and design and conspire. Faced with a challenge – they are likely to do better than non-narcissists.

    Yet, we often find that narcissists abandon their efforts in mid-stream, give up, vanish, lose interest, devalue former pursuits, fail, or slump. Why is that?

    Narcissists are prone to self-defeating and self-destructive behaviors.

    The Self-Punishing, Guilt-Purging Behaviors

    These are intended to inflict punishment on the narcissist and thus instantly relieve him of his overwhelming anxiety.

    This is very reminiscent of a compulsive-ritualistic behavior. The narcissist feels guilty. It could be an “ancient” guilt, a “sexual” guilt (Freud), or a “social” guilt. In early life, the narcissist internalized and introjected the voices of meaningful and authoritative others – parents, role models, peers – that consistently and convincingly judged him to be no good, blameworthy, deserving of punishment or retaliation, or corrupt.

    This article appears in the book, “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited”

    The narcissist’s life is thus transformed into an on-going trial. The constancy of this trial, the never adjourning tribunal is the punishment. It is a Kafkaesque “trial”: meaningless, undecipherable, never-ending, leading to no verdict, subject to mysterious and fluid laws and presided over by capricious judges.

    Such a narcissist masochistically frustrates his deepest desires and drives, obstructs his own efforts, alienates his friends and sponsors, provokes figures in authority to punish, demote, or ignore him, actively seeks and solicits disappointment, failure, or mistreatment and relishes them, incites anger or rejection, bypasses or rejects opportunities, or engages in excessive self-sacrifice.

    In their book “Personality Disorders in Modern Life”, Theodore Millon and Roger Davis, describe the diagnosis of “Masochistic or Self-Defeating Personality Disorder”, found in the appendix of the DSM III-R but excluded from the DSM IV. While the narcissist is rarely a full-fledged masochist, many a narcissist exhibit some of the traits of this personality disorder.

    The Extracting Behaviors

    People with Personality Disorders (PDs) are very afraid of real, mature, intimacy. Intimacy is formed not only within a couple, but also in a workplace, in a neighborhood, with friends, while collaborating on a project. Intimacy is another word for emotional involvement, which is the result of interactions in constant and predictable (safe) propinquity.

    PDs interpret intimacy as counter-dependence, emotional strangulation, the snuffing of freedom, a kind of death in installments. They are terrorized by it. To avoid it, their self-destructive and self-defeating acts are intended to dismantle the very foundation of a successful relationship, a career, a project, or a friendship. Narcissists feel elated and relieved after they unshackle these “chains”. They feel they broke a siege, that they are liberated, free at last.

    We are all, to some degree, inertial, afraid of new situations, new opportunities, new challenges, new circumstances and new demands. Being healthy, being successful, getting married, becoming a mother, or someone’s boss – often entail abrupt breaks with the past. Some self-defeating behaviors are intended to preserve the past, to restore it, to protect it from the winds of change, to self-deceptively skirt promising opportunities while seeming to embrace them.

    Moreover, to the narcissist, a challenge, or even a guaranteed eventual triumph, are meaningless in the absence of onlookers. The narcissist needs an audience to applaud, affirm, recoil, approve, admire, adore, fear, or even detest him. He craves the attention and depends on the Narcissistic Supply only others can provide. The narcissist derives sustenance only from the outside – his emotional innards are hollow and moribund.

    The narcissist’s enhanced performance is predicated on the existence of a challenge (real or imaginary) and of an audience. Baumeister usefully re-affirmed this linkage, known to theoreticians since Freud.

    The Narcissist as a Failure and a Loser

    Three traits conspire to render the narcissist a failure and a loser: his sense of entitlement, his haughtiness and innate conviction of his own superiority, and his aversion (hatred) to routine.

    The narcissist’s sense of entitlement encourages his indolence. He firmly believes that he should be spoon-fed and that accomplishments and honors should be handed to him on a silver platter, without any commensurate effort on his part. His mere existence justifies such exceptional treatment. Many narcissists are under-qualified and lack skills because they can’t be bothered with the minutia of obtaining an academic degree, professional training, or exams.

    The narcissist’s arrogance and belief that he is superior to others, whom he typically holds in contempt – in other words: the narcissist’s grandiose fantasies – hamper his ability to function in society. The cumulative outcomes of this social dysfunction gradually transform him into a recluse and an outcast. He is shunned by colleagues, employers, neighbors, erstwhile friends, and, finally, even by long-suffering family members who tire of his tirades and rants.

    Unable to work in a team, to compromise, to give credit where due, and to strive towards long-term goals, the narcissist – skilled and gifted as he may be – finds himself unemployed and unemployable, his bad reputation preceding him.

    Even when offered a job or a business opportunity, the narcissist recoils, bolts, and obstructs each and every stage of the negotiations or the transaction.

    But this passive-aggressive (negativistic and masochistic) conduct has nothing to do with the narcissist’s aforementioned indolence. The narcissist is not afraid of some forms of hard work. He invests inordinate amounts of energy, forethought, planning, zest, and sweat in securing narcissistic supply, for instance.

    The narcissist’s sabotage of new employment or business prospects is owing to his abhorrence of routine. Narcissists feel trapped, shackled, and enslaved by the quotidian, by the repetitive tasks that are inevitably involved in fulfilling one’s assignments. They hate the methodical, step-by-step, long-term, approach. Possessed of magical thinking, they’d rather wait for miracles to happen. Jobs, business deals, and teamwork require perseverance and tolerance of boredom which the narcissist sorely lacks.

    Life forces most narcissists into the hard slog of a steady job (or succession of jobs). Such “unfortunate” narcissists, coerced into a framework they resent, are likely to act out and erupt in a series of self-destructive and self-defeating acts (see above).

    But there are other narcissists, the “luckier” ones, those who can afford not to work. They laze about, indulge themselves in a variety of idle and trivial pursuits, seek entertainment and thrills wherever and whenever they can, and while their lives away, at once content and bitter: content with their lifestyle and the minimum demands it imposes on them and bitter because they haven’t achieved more, they haven’t reached the pinnacle or their profession, they haven’t become as rich or famous or powerful as they deserve to be.

    I can not believe how completey they have described my sibling!

  113. Larry Says:

    I can’t read your post just yet as I’m trying to finish a job. But I should share that my sociopathic brother left me a voice mail on my new phone number, which I only told my aunt.

    My aunt was the only family member who would speak with me. Last summer, I spent a few days in a hospital for a physical ailment. My aunt called every day, then she said she wanted to tell my brother that I was in the hospital.

    I told her I couldn’t tell her what to do, but I highly suggested she keep him out of it. She told him anyway, he called my most evil sister, who than called my aunt. The next time I spoke with my aunt she told me she spoke with my sister, sounded very cold and told me she couldn’t speak with me any more.

    I tried again a few weeks later, and she hung up on me.

    This past holiday season and my subsequent birthday, I received no cards from my aunt, the first time in my life. My aunt didd tell me when we were speaking that my evil sister told her to take me out of her will. She said she wouldn’t then, but I don’t know about now.

    Within the past month, I sent her a heart-felt letter trying to convince her that she has been totally lied to, but I received no response.

    The VM message from my brother stated he got my new phone number from my aunt, who said she’d keep it confidential. My brother called to ask me for my address. I replied with an email to him and said, “I’ve had the same address for over the past 20 years. Why do you ask?”

    He never replied. They never quite leave you alone.

  114. Susan Says:

    Larry: So sorry to hear your aunt has been taken in. I never quite understand how they (sociopaths) manage to do it. It’s one thing to lie to someone about somebody else, another thing to take someone’s mind and attitude over completely.
    It is something most of us couldn’t do, even if we did lie about someone.
    It’s still a mystery to me, and I have seen this happen with people who I thought were, or could, be friends, aquaintances etc.
    Just HOW do they actually do it? That;s my question.

  115. Larry Says:

    Thank you Susan. My aunt is in her 80s, and just thinks the world of my sister. Hence, she would never question her. Our society is *filled* with very shallow people — they want to be part of a group.

  116. Susan Says:

    Hello Larry, despite what happened, I hope you could enjoy the Easter. Yep you are certainly right, people want to be part of a group. It’s all about group mentality and group conformity.
    Did you ever see that film, the second part of the Omen trilogy, ‘Damien?’ Most people probably have seen it at some time.
    If ever there was a near accurate portrayal of a psychopath and his followers, that film surely makes the grade.

  117. Anne Says:

    Hi Larry, I read your post of Apr 1 and I understand what you are going through. I can see that the remaining fragments of family for you, are being eroded by the influences of evil. It just boggles my mind how these people (sociopaths/narcissists…whatever they are) can control others.

    Some of my very own family has repudiated me also, based on nothing more than lies and meddling gossip. I know the feeling. It is very difficult to deal with (lies, gossip) and the sociopath knows how difficult it is. It is hard to disprove a negative (the lies) and even harder when someone will not even speak with you. Divide and conquer. (like others have mentioned)

    Larry, no doubt in my mind that your Aunt innocently shared the letter with one of your siblings. Or was coerced into doing so. I think they also indoctrinated your Aunt so much to believe that you are a liar and that any communication from you would most likely be more lies. Also, that your Aunt should inform them (brother & sister) of any communication from you. Sounds familiar, very much like what Kathy did with your Mom. Except that your Mom did not succumb to the ‘persuasive’ actions. I did read your post from Jan 2012 ‘The Kidnapping of a Parent’ – there was some very insidious and malicious persuasion going on there.

    I call these kind of people tyrants. They are so controlling & power hungry it is just disgusting. These people are so hollow inside they need a ‘following’ to support them. To fill the empty void within themselves. They do prey on the kind hearted. When they succeed (through misrepresentaion) in gaining support from your aquantainces, they feel they have somehow defeated you which builds their low self esteem.

    I wrote about my sociopathic tormenter in February (see: to thine own self be true). Like many tormentors, they can be family. Something I didn’t mention before, it is a small thing, but I think it shows the ‘making of a sociopath in its early stage’. I would like to point out, I remember when I was a teenager my sibling literally ‘stealing my friends’ from me. She literally would weasel her way into the friendship I had, she would want to be friends with my friends. When I was a teenager, I didn’t think much of this, I just remember it ‘not feeling right’. Now I know why it just ‘didn’t feel right’. She was honing & testing her sociopathic ‘divide & conquer’ skills very early on.

    I have read some of Blacksheep’s postings as well and I can identify with so much of what she writes too. I must quote something she wrote too, because I could have easily have written it ‘word for word’ myself: “My problem for years was that I was pure of heart and gave a damn and thought that because my siblings and I were raised by the same parents in the same house that they were also pure of heart and gave a damn too. Oh how sorry and wrong I’ve been every since that day I uncovered the forgery.”

    I never uncovered a forgery in my family, but there was so much ‘sociopathic’ behaivor around me, it was a ‘mega dose of reality’ when it all hit me like a ton of bricks. I still cry about it.

    Wish I would have kept such good records as Blacksheep did, as I was so naive about my siblings. But for me it is too late for record keeping and for others going through these types of family problems right now, please start record keeping. Also, if possible when you are visiting a parent – try to have someone go with you to visit them. You might need another person to corroborate what you say your parents wishes are or were, or how they feel about a sibling. Even if their is a legally bound, written will or trust. The sociopath will figure out a way to deny that is exactly what your parents wishes are. One way or another and whatever it takes is the sociopath’s motto. They will stop at nothing to get what they want. Nothing.

    Susan writes, “I wonder how do they do it?” My answer for Susan: It is easy for them, it truly is the essence of the word: heartless. They don’t have a heart. Visualize an empty black box residing inside thier chest. So much I am finding here are exactly how my tormenter operated, I want to reiterate what others have written…

    From Larry’s page: “Audio: A sociopath & disciple make their plans” an excerpt Larry wrote under “how character assassination spreads” he writes “Julie has to keep her credibility, so she has to stick to her lies … she continued it to the present.” Same experience with my T ~ she will live her lie/s until her last breath. (T is short for Tormenter)
    He also writes under: “The sociopath will not lose” – “A sociopath’s goal is to protect their public persona, protect their real personality from being exposed, and nothing will get in their way.” Same experience with my T. I wonder if Larry’s T and my T went to the same school; U of S (University of Sociopaths)

  118. Larry Says:

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for sharing so much. As for my aunt, she is very simple-minded (80+ years), and it probably did not take much scheming on my sister’s part to completely turn her against me.

    My aunt has never missed sending me a holiday card or a birthday card, until this past holiday and my recent birthday. Whatever she was made to believe had to be very sinister and horrible. I wrote a compassionate letter to her, offering to prove my innocence on anything she was told, but she did not reply. Instead she gave my brother my private phone number that I asked her not to share.

    He called and left a voicemail asking me what my address is. I wrote an email back and said, “I live in the same place I have for the past 20+ years. Why do you ask?” He didn’t reply. I wouldn’t have responded to him but he is the executor of my deceased parents’ Trust.

    Blacksheep has written some very profound comments. She has gone through the very worst of it. I would bet that many people here have felt emotional pain and anxiety that most people could never understand. I know I can’t describe the pain I’ve felt to others, so I don’t try anymore. I’m luckily on the opposite side of the country that my first family, but I believe my sister, Kathy, and ex-wife, Julie, still stay in touch.

    My son has it almost as bad as I do. My first family has banished him similar to me, but his sisters do communicate with him. His mom has tried to but my son will have nothing to do with her. I don’t ask what my daughters say about me anymore, since the last time I asked my son, a few years back, he replied, “Dad, you don’t want to know.” He knows all to well the pain I go through.

  119. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for the before & after list, Larry. Whilst it’s not a given that all or any of those traits apply, it’s still a fascinatingly applicable list in my case.

    Before marrying my sociopath, I was an independent, strong, confident, successful, smart, outgoing, funny, organised, slim, pretty & a take-no-shit-go-getter. I lived a big life, I had many friends, close family ties and knew what I wanted out of life.

    But I also had a strong desire to please others. This is the key thing that tripped me up (there were a few others on the victim trait list also, but pleasing others was key to my situation).

    Then I married him. In less than 4 yrs I was reduced to a constantly crying, depressed, suicidal, dependent, unemployed, overweight woman with no idea which was was up. My confidence was gone, my career was gone, he isolated me & I had no family, no friends, no support. I had nothing.

    There were hundreds of last straws, but taking away whatever shred of pride & dignity I had left by sadistically extracting his pound of flesh on me in the bedroom in ways that make me feel sick to this day were the most humiliating last straws. I felt worthless. Used – like an experimental dolly. And he’d just get up & walk away or go to sleep like nothing had happened.

    He tried to undo me at every turn in his own special brand of pathological deviance. He messed with my once highly organised mind, lied to me, fabricated situations, he Gaslit me at every opportunity, accused me of doing things I’d never done, moved things around so I couldn’t find them, called me names, made me cry, humiliated me in front of others, swore at me & belittled for little or no reason.

    He made me believe if I loved him enough, everything would work out. He had me emotionally running in circles every waking minute trying to predict the unpredictable. His emotional and sexual violence knew no bounds. Neither did his ability to deny it all b/c of course, he denied doing anything to me.

    And yet – to his two friends (yes, he only had two) he was the bees knees. They believed him to be the best, most awesome guy on earth. After I left him, I am quite sure they (and his family) fell for whatever other lies he told them about me.

    To this day, I don’t understand why he wanted to dismember me (and by association – my life) in every possible way. I really don’t get it. I’ve read that it’s all about power, control and what a sociopath can get out of a person to further their own ambitions, satisfy their own needs, enhance their own profile, & etc. But that just doesn’t seem ‘meaningful’ enough to me.

    Clues can probably be found in his own upbringing. He was beaten by his single mother as a child & also beaten by his dad when he’d go to visit him. Oddly, he worshipped his dad, even tho his father treated him badly.

    How strange to worship a father who says to his only son, “There are only 3 types of women in the world. They’re either sluts, crazy or bitches.”

    Perhaps my ex sociopathic husband just hated women. A lot.

    And maybe, b/c I was married to him, he hated me most of all?

    I really don’t know. I probably never will.

  120. Johanna Says:

    One thing I must also mention because it might help others who are living with a sociopath is that every time I retaliated, confronted him, fought back or questioned his know-it-all authority – my ex called me crazy.

    After drilling it in to my mind, then he’d tell his work colleagues, his family & his two friends that I was crazy. Mentally unstable. That I was violent. That he feared for his life in my presence. It was beyond absurd.

    This in addition to the fact he was also accusing me of spying on him, stealing from him, cheating on him and lying to him. To put this in perspective, he was also convinced that the Russians and the Chinese were trying to use his laptop as a spam spybot slave so that might give others an idea of the kind of wild things he was talking about.

    At one point, I was seeing a shrink in a bid to try to work out why my life was unravelling at lightning speed b/c I sure as hell couldn’t work it out. But, the ex used my visits to the shrink as ‘proof’ of my craziness. Sigh.

    Eventually I realised the only way he’d stop telling me (and everyone else – including the police and a mens’ shelter) that I was nuts & violent was if I stopped fighting back. So I did. I sucked it up & became a prescription medicated zombie.

    I tried to be invisible or at least as small as possible. I withdrew & tried to ensure neither of us were in the same room at the same time. When he slept at night, I stayed awake all night reading & watching movies. When he got up in the mornings, I’d go to bed. If he was home during the day, I went out & stayed out. I avoided him like the plague. If he was coming & going from the house, I hid from him in my office & found 1,000 things to do that kept me from interacting with him.

    He frightened me with his ability to twist everything I said around so I talked to him only when it was absolutely necessary. I wrote those conversations down to ensure I knew exactly what he said and what I said. I did this so I could refer to it later b/c he habitually denied he’d said those things or he switched his answer around so that it was the polar opposite of what he’d said earlier.

    But being invisible and writing down what he said (and what I said, incidentally) didn’t work either. I foolishly thought I was depriving the fire of fuel in the hope that the fire (his behaviour) would stop. But it didn’t.

    He’d have random outbursts & fits of temper. He’d suddenly buy a new car or a boat without telling me (we didn’t have any money b/c we’d both lost our jobs). Then he’d hide all the bills. It was almost as tho he was taking up the space that I’d left in my trying to be small…and he was filling that space with more & more outrageously weird behaviour with each passing day.

    It was not long after the acquisition of the boat that I fled the country to get away from him.

    I’ve written this in an attempt to try to show others that there is no way you can fight a sociopath. If you do, they will use your words & actions against you.

    There is no way you can ‘be small’ or invisible around a sociopath. They will also use that against you in whatever way they can.

    My advice is do not try either. Do not feed the fire (their behaviour) with oxygen b/c it will burn bigger & fiercer than you thought possible. Conversely, do not try to starve the fire of oxygen b/c the fire will create its own oxygen on which to feed. It will create its own crises & madness.

    You cannot extinguish the fire.
    The fire will never burn out.

    The only way you can survive the fire is by leaving it and seeking shelter elsewhere.

  121. Susan Says:

    Re; Anne and Larry,
    It always helps me to come back and read your posts, because despite everything, the pain never completely vanishes.
    I still ask these same old questions, knowing that I will probably be asking them on the last day of my life:
    How do they (sociopaths) manage to get people to completely believe their lies?
    How can people be almost completely taken over or ‘hypnotised’ by these creatures?
    It’s scary because if I was to try doing the same thing, I would probably be laughed out of the door.
    The pain from loss of family members is immense. I am so sorry to hear of it.
    However,I have certain beliefs of my own. I believe in the power of evil and that it can use certain people very easily for whatever reason.
    I don’t want to bring God into the picture but I believe there is a Higher Power of ultimate good, and all things will be brought to their resolution in the end.
    Psychopaths may only be ‘portals’ for evil; they do not have souls or hearts, just as Anne said. They may have no ultimate purpose other than their brief lives here on Earth! After that, nothing!

  122. Artist Says:

    Something weird sounding I recently realized, at least it makes complete sense to me…
    Odd as it may sound;
    Not only do
    liars know the Truth,
    or there could be no lie,
    Liars actually HAVE to pay attention to the Truth ALL THE TIME; (almost more than Truthful people who just live the Truth as best they can.)
    If liars did not constantly pay attention to the Truth, there could be no way to lie, as THE LIE IS ANYTHING BUT THE TRUTH, so liars know exactly what they are doing! They will eventually lose their conscience, however, because of the limitations of the human brain to remember more than five plus or minus two things at one time, so they forget who they are so to speak. This is also why they manipulate. I think the manipulation a are like “memory sticks”, to help the liars remember and sort out their lies, to “get around the limitations of the human brain’s capacity to remember”. I think liars often incorporate “worker bee liars”, again to help them remember their lies. The “memory sticks” are the manipulations, which are PATTERNS. Patterns are easier to remember than free form, creative, growing Truth that others just live in a world with. These patterns somehow end up the same non creative patterns, although sometimes amazingly complex, but non-creative, i.e. DESTRUCTIVE PATTERNS and BECAUSE THEY ARE PATTERNS THIS IS WHY PEOPLE OFTEN SAY THINGS LIKE, “are we married to the same man; my husband did the same exact thing to me”.

    Part 2.
    Let’s not even talk about Gaslighting, which my mother did to me from the time I could remember. Combine Gaslighting with a bad case of NPD, and you can either kill a person, or make them stronger and wanting to STAND UP FOR TRUTH. I am trying to be Strong and help people realize that when they see Thea negative patterns if behavior, they may want to remove themselves from the relationship and never get tricked into going back. My mother was a master at both so I got tricked for a good 59 years, blaming myself for her cruelty. I hope no one else will have to go through something anywhere near similar.
    So I might sound nuts, but when you go back and think about that “special” person’s behavior, some of what I have written might help one get away, before they become too damaged.
    All the very best to you all.
    Artist

  123. Christine Says:

    After 42 years of trying to figure out what the hell drew me into one horrific relationship and situation after another with Narcs and Sociopaths, I was mostly there. And then today, I started reading a book called ‘The Scapegoat Complex’ and it is THE BEST THING I EVER DID. It not only shows you how you got set up by rotten parent(s), but how to really see the abusers for what they are and stop feeling guilty, etc. when we aren’t. I had read a lot on this subject before, but this book knocks it out of the park. I’m about to head into the section on how to recover, and just want to say that this is the thing I’ve read that has really helped me to get over my need to own their darkness, and to stop absorbing guilt, etc. I struggled with this for so long, even though I KNEW I wasn’t the bad guy. The author is Sylvia Brinton Perea, and if you know you still feel the way you were conditioned to feel and can’t stop even though you get that it’s messed up, I hope this book will help you as much as it helped me. Only good wishes to all of us, heaven and hell both know that we deserve it after what we’ve been through.

  124. Susan Says:

    Re; Artist.
    Interesting what you said there, but I found some of it a little difficult to understand.
    I do know that these people – ‘People of the Lie,’ as someone else has called them – know exactly what they are doing. The ringleader/s are not ignorant or stupid but actually very clever.
    That is what makes them so evil and so utterly dangerous.
    I was in the car with my hubby the other day – we were on our way home and just turned up our road.
    One of the local shop workers was walking down the road, and she looked right at me in the passenger seat, as if she straight away knew the car that I was sitting in.
    It was a very sly, un-trusting look. I realised that nothing will ever, ever change. These people will never change, never be any different with me. I am not welcome in their ‘community’ and that’s the end of it.
    My husband is battling an illness at the moment. One day when he is feeling better, I will take up the subject of moving away again.
    It is the only solution. I cannot walk around freely any more without looking over my shoulder; I cannot go shopping locally anymore; I cannot socialize locally or work locally. It is absolutely ridiculous. The lies have been spread to a lot of people. I need to get my life back.
    Well I have got it back in a sense, that I now do most things outside my locality, but I have to travel.
    This place I am in is no longer home. The neighbourhood has been decimated by this psycho (whoever they are). Getting away from them is the only solution.

  125. Artist Says:

    Re: Susan, post #124
    I live in a bitty little town for the first time in my life. Somehow i got blacklisted i think, but then again, maybe God is protecting me from them. Lots of times i pray that i will be invisible to these evil elements. Now, after about 1 and half yrs i started meeting some more local better people somehow. It turns out they also stay away from those ones who were giving me trouble, but for their own similar to mine reasons. I too shop 35 mi away.
    About those creepy people… I think they are probably liars and can tell that we “see right through them”. It must make them feel uncomfortable, even frightened. There are so many many big time liars all over the place now. Businesses usually train salespeople and customer service people to lie, so there will be more and more liars.
    I also look over my shoulder all the time but that is actually smart. I was being followed once on a kind of empty street on my way to a fabric wholesaler, and i looked over my shoulder and saw him about 100′ away at a certain pace, so i turned again when it seemed like the right amount of time, AND HE JUMPED A MILE! Most of these creeps are looking for someone with their guard down. I hope the creeps around you all go away and good people come to you.
    Oh, there was the funniest blog about “Nar Dar” how to tell if someone has NPD. They have a radar dish…so funny.
    Anyway, if you want to reread my previous post, it might make more sense a after reading a time or two because i am a visual person so when i try to explain something, i am thinking in pictures but having to use words to explain it. If i ever recover from what i have gone through, i want to teach people not to lie in my paintings. They will look at the paintings an say “that is garbage”, but a subliminal message will go in their mind which might make them think twice about lying.
    To me, the problems of NPD, and Gas lighters, Sociopaths etc., is lying. I don’t care what any PHD says, the key to these problems is so tiny and simple, it is lying. It all starts with lying. Excessive lying is bad for everyone. Lying is how these people lose their conscience, i am sure. Everyone is born with a conscience, we know Truth from lies, otherwise there could be no lie. I don’t know how else to word it.
    I wish everyone all the best.
    Artist

  126. FinallyAwake Says:

    To the victims of sociopaths (count me as one): Read as much as you can. Educate yourself. Learn to identify sociopaths. Though normal people don’t like to admit it (we want to believe in goodness), sociopaths are everywhere. They are your political leaders, your corporate leaders, your financial leaders, your family, your friends, your teachers, your coworkers, your neighbors and your children.

    Successful sociopaths are not easily identifiable and are far more prevalent than unsuccessful sociopaths. Both the successful and unsuccessful sociopaths are like magnets to the uninformed and naïve. They seem so great at first. They suck you in and then destroy you physically, emotionally, financially, legally and spiritually. When there’s little left to take, they flush you like used toilet tissue.

    Our society regards the seemingly positive aspects of sociopaths highly, which is how they’ve moved into positions of power and trust in large numbers.

  127. Larry Says:

    FinallyAwake,

    All so true.

  128. Christine Says:

    A note to Finally Awake – Exactly, exactly my conclusions. They are everywhere, and the ‘uninitiated’ can’t absorb that truth – it’s too ugly for most to see. They entrench themselves in positions of power and prestige and they bleed goodness dry wherever they go, can call that goodness their own. They steal light that belongs to others. To talk about them openly is to put yourself in danger from the idealists whose minds cant handle the reality and from the sociopaths themselves.

  129. Artist Says:

    “Downsides, Upsides;
    Going Back for Love, Because of my Original Nature”
    A Poorly Written Story
    By Artist
    Copyright May 4, 2013
    All Rights Reserved

    A description by an Artist who grew up under the terrible influence of a severely NPD mother and brother who Gas lighted me the first 62.75 years of my life.
    Two footnotes: Yes, S. V., and others, the word “I” is in here a lot, but maybe one could try to understand that “I”, Artist, am trying to use a thousand words to describe pictures rather than pictures to describe a thousand words, because of my disabilities “I” brought about myself due to My Original Nature, “MON” for short.
    Additionally, the only reason this is copyrighted is so that no one will misconstrue it a a universal set of facts or suggestions of how anyone else should behave, or to depress anyone.

    “Downsides, Upsides;
    Going Back for Love, Because of My Original Nature”

    “My Original Nature”, “MON” for short, has proven both good and bad for me. Oddly it has made my life extremely difficult yet has somehow kept me alive way too long now, much to the dismay of quite a few people, I am sure.

    A Down Side to “MON” is that I kept “Going Back For Love”, “GBFL” for short. Not just to get love, but to give love. I really wanted both.
    Just this morning, I saw how “GBFL” is also an Up Side. The mechanism worked as follows:
    enumerable circumstances in my life, and not having the tiniest clue how to deal with them, has, evolved into huge feelings of loss, guilt, disorientation, confusion, heavy grief, PTSD, anger, depression, despair and withdrawal. Obviously all Down Sides.

    A Up Side of having been subjected to severe NPD and Gas Lighting all my life, is that I have developed, with unconscious practice, a strong habit of continually going back to the person performing the abuse and apologizing, asking for forgiveness. “GBFL”, used to be a Down Side, because it allowed the pattern of abuse to continue.

    That “GBFL”, behavior is now permanently ingrained in my mind and cannot be destroyed. Like a marathon runner keeps running races. One foot in front of the other. Now that I am bashed down to a pulp, I would like to give up and every time anyone displays behavior even remotely resembling what my family did to me, I was to run away, or lash out at them to get them out of my severely limited personal space, but I realize my reasons are to avoid further pain and may be nipping things too close to the bud. Sometimes that has the effect of making me like my NPD, Gas Lighting family, out of my own fear. Out of habit, however, up pops my “GBFL”.

    Now here is the Up Side of repeated negative patterns of behavior being used as hopefully positive behavior, added to a Search for Clarity and Truth; “GBFL” has become a permanent fixture of my personality, from years of practice but for other reasons. Now the “GBFL” can be used to reassess the situation, figure out if it was me or them, and if it really was me, I can apologize. I would rather mistakenly apologize even if it was them, because I do not want to hurt people. I do NOT want to become an NPD and/or Gas Lighter.

    Now I have been able to see that I can go back to “MON”, without suffering the loss of my own soul, even though it hurts badly to “GBFL” for me and don’t expect love anymore, I can “GBFL” for them and find a way to forgive them and love them, even the “them” that “they disappeared”, because they may not even know what they are doing. I can see now that I need to keep a good distance from them, but I hopefully will not conform to their behavior, no matter how lonely I may be.

    I would rather have “MON”, and continue living my life in solitude, every holiday, birthday etc., alone, alone, alone, than to lose my own self.

    All this has been very difficult to express.
    Thank you all.
    Wishing you all well.
    Artist

  130. FinallyAwake Says:

    Larry –It’s heartening to read your posts and the posts of all that have contributed to this fine thread. There is no way to effectively articulate the deep pain that results from being victimized by a sociopath. You have to live through it to fully empathize. Nevertheless, I’m stunned by the strength and resilience of those that post here. Thanks to your words and the words of others found on this page, I find the gift of strength to move forward.

    I hope everyone here overcomes their pain and comes out far better and stronger as a result.

  131. FinallyAwake Says:

    Christine – I believe you are correct. Self-delusion is a powerful force. I know this because I have deluded myself one too many times. Always wanting to believe in the basic good of others…too often at my own expense. To face reality sometimes requires incredible hardship. I do not expect those that haven’t’ been through what I’ve been through to understand me. Most of the time, I’m glad they don’t. In places like this, we can share our experiences and gain strength. It is through our shared experiences that we are all here. Thank you for your posts.

  132. Kailey Says:

    Larry,

    What turns socio-paths off?

    When do they leave? or move on to their next victim?

    What is the quickest way for any victim to – Accept or Admit that unfortunately Socio-path has entered their lives? Many of us spent years or months in denial, making excuses, ignoring, hoping and wishing away RED flags.

    Thank you for your invaluable insights.

    You have contributed priceless/amazing tips for people IN NEED.

  133. Phil Says:

    http://youtu.be/JQ3lvN4tQmY

    This is such a wonderful song.This song holds freedom, healing from pain and a peace that so many are searching for. It’s difficult to set down or surrender self, as sociopathy instills fear. There is One we can go to, there is One we can surrender to.

    “Seek and ye shall find” “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion” (a liar trying to seem scary)”, walketh about, seeking whom he may DEVOUR” “Ye” (to sociopaths) “are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” BUT “greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world”!

    Does the Holy Bible (thousands of years old texts… that still survive) deal with sociopathy?
    YES!!!

    A good start:

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Father-of-All-Lies/

  134. M Says:

    Hello,

    I am grateful for your webpages and to read the comments too.

    I’m a man in my early forties. I’ve experienced a sociopathic father and the dysfunctionality of the resulting family dynamics for my whole life.

    From a very young age, I felt things were wrong; different from what i saw of other friend’s families.

    My father was physically and psychologically abusive for many years. My mother controlled to become a lifelong servant.

    I recognise all the observed traits that are listed, both for the victim and the abuser.

    I am a humane, friendly person. I had aptitude for quite a few things that could have got me a happy life. But I haven’t yet escaped the man or his continuing legacy, due to economic trap etc.

    So I am at this age an I’m a non-entity. No career, no home, no relationship, no real social network. And tired of this situation.

    In the past I suffered PTSD and anxiety problems. I am ok in crowds and happy alone also. I like people and care for the wellbeing of the world: kids, animals, plants, old folk, down & outs and so on.

    I just needed to post some words here – thankyou.

    I’ve lived away and had independence at times, in the past, but now, since the 2008 economic slump, I ended up staying with my parents – who are quite elderly, with health problems – and i’ve become stuck in a trap. Finances and self-autonomy eradicated to a point of having nowhere to go at the moment, yet having to endure moodswings and occasional threats of immediate homelessness. It’s a miserable existence and I’m very drained.

  135. C Says:

    Dear M.,

    I understand something about where you’re coming from, and I’m sorry you’ve had this in your life.
    I’m the same age as you, and was raised by my mother and older brother who are both psychopaths. My dad was a narcissist, who meant well most of the time, but was a complete disaster as a father.

    I’ve found myself feeling trapped in ways similar to you, although I have had to make it on my own b/c I went no-contact with my family 15 years ago. Anyway, here’s the thing. Their darkness lives inside our minds/souls, and convinces us that we are trapped, that we are meant to serve them, and do what they want. Our spirit belongs to God and with God. If you can find a way to live in your spirit, God is there, and can work in your life. Anyway, this is what I believe. I believe that when we live inside the fears and traps they created for us (mentally, emotionally, physically), we lose contact with what can help us.

    I know it’s no easy thing to live outside the fears and very real entrapment, but the more you can at least bring your mind to that place, and your heart, the more free you can become of the traps. Opportunities for some measure of liberation in the real world, I think, will come that way, though there’s no way to know how fast or what they’ll be like.

    This is just my going theory/belief/faith. Whatever you believe, I hope you can find your way to freedom and healthy security. I’m working to find the same things for myself, but I find that our society is essentially sociopathic in its structure. We’re set up to serve dominant systems, personalities, institutions, whatever, at our expense to their benefit.

    If you can find a way to make money while operating in the interstices of dominant systems, it might help you carve a path out of hell for yourself. Just don’t let anyone around you know what you’re doing if you figure out how to do it. One thought: Internet. There’s money to be made out there. Another thought is that everyone was born with a gift. There has to be a way for you to use yours, whatever it is, and you can let that guide you.

    I hope things get better for you soon. Also, if you’re at all into yoga or things like that, you might be able to live on an ashram, doing volunteer work/karmic service in exchange for low/no-cost living, until you get back on your feet. Yoga has helped me work some of the bad energies/memories/injuries out of my system.

    You probably already know this, but if you find ways to increase your strength and independence, do it quietly so that the predators don’t see it. If they see you gaining independence, that’s when they hit you hardest with whatever whammy they have at their disposal. Get strong secretly. Pool your resources secretly. You will get free and strong again.

  136. Artist Says:

    Dear M:
    I thought i was reading about myself when i read your recent post, but even though we are all a bit different by nature, we can see a pattern of how Sociopaths pick their targets, manipulate the target and others who may observe the trickery so the other does not realize the True story.
    I think sociopaths are very afraid of people who are
    Truthful,
    Creative,
    Kind,
    Love life and nature,
    Enjoy Using the Brains God Gave Us,
    Have inner Strength (even though we don’t realize it. Inner strength to realize the S is not being Truthful…)
    Inner Truth,
    Want to use our abilities and minds for good,
    Maybe we are also Above Average intelligence and multitalented, but we may be a bit naive because who would believe there would be people out to destroy us just for being ourselves etc.

    The S is Scared of us.
    He is scared because we keep seeing the Truth.
    The S is scared of us because we are Stronger than him because Truth is Stronger than lies.
    Look how many lies it takes to cover up one Truth!
    The S must be constantly on edge because
    Every lie is actually Two lies. The Story the liar tells and the denial (lie) that the Truth is there. The S has to keep one eye on the Truth at all times, in order to be able to lie, so he is NOT mentally ill. It is intentional.

    The human brain can only remember Five ± Two things at one time (in general).
    Once the liar has told 3 lies (that is 6 things) he is beginning to exceed his brain’s capacity to remember.
    By 5 lies he has 10 things to remember; hence manipulation comes in, which is an aid to remember lies.
    (Yes this is a simplistic description in order to fit into the blog space.)

    So back to why we get drained and lose our joie de vivre, for M and others,
    i just realized yesterday that for me it is Primarily Due to Us Getting PTSD.
    I describe PTSD (and really most depression), AS A MASSIVE BRAIN OVERLOAD.
    Some people do not realize We can get PTSD from having a parent with NPD, who is Gaslighting us all our lives, and or a Sociopath parent, which are all somewhat interchangeable and or connected behaviors.

    PTSD is like a bomb with respect to its complexity and it can blow up making us just feel like wanting to die because of the massive brain overload.

    Since most therapists don’t understand PTSD in mid May I started to treat myself for PTSD which is working quite well.
    I am learning to dismantle that bomb by breaking it up into pieces to destroy the brain overload and to be able to examine the pieces separately to know that I am not insane or horrible.
    I wrote a list of 25 to 30 triggers.
    I categorized my triggers by headings such as NPD behaviors, gaslighting, rushing me, lying to me, changing my reality etc.
    When I feel that sense of being made small or that uncomfortable twinge when you know somebody is saying something that is not quite right,
    I start counting off on my left hand for example;
    NPD is my little finger
    gaslighting is my fourth finger
    rushing me is my third finger
    lying to me is my second finger etc.
    By having to look at my left hand it, takes my mind off the trigger, buys me some time and allows my brain to think for itself to sort out what is going on in the situation.

    On my right hand is my list of positive things:
    little finger; this won’t last this long this time,
    fourth finger; I will get through this,
    third finger; I am not crazy,
    second finger; it is them not me etc.
    in other words I BUILT MYSELF A CUSTOMIZED LADDER.
    It has only been two months since I have done this and clarity is coming in as to why today I have no desire to do my artwork that I trained all my life to do, I have to force myself to want to stay alive, I have no joy of living, I live completely alone with no living relatives on and on. (And no I did not kill all my relatives, he he.)

    This morning, as usual, I was a little afraid to get up because I thought I was going togo into another depression, but I noticed a tiny good feeling! I haven’t felt good for I don’t know how many years and I’m 63! (I am leaving out so much information about dangerous things that have happened to me in my life which by the Grace of God didn’t kill me, which were because of my family and compounded the PTSD.)

    So now I plan to go easy on myself, not get excited that I feel good for a few minutes, continue with counting these things off on my two hands.
    Thank God I have two hand’s and they’re right in front of me and I can see them quite easily and being half Greek I use my hands a lot to express myself.

    When I first started experimenting with this method which I call MY CUSTOMIZED LADDER
    TO KEEP ME AWAY FROM THAT BLACK SUCKING WHIRLPOOL CALLED PTSD, I was in a Walmart trying to return something. The man told me that the items were not on my receipt. (I only go into town every 30 days so I knew this could not be True so I felt like I was being Gaslighted I felt like he had NPD, I felt insane wondering “did I make another trip to town and didn’t even know it” etc.
    I looked at my hands and mentally counted the things off on my left hand to clarify and dismantle my brain overload. I kept my head down without looking at him and told him to get me somebody else. When I got somebody else she saw the items on my receipt and loudly so he could hear me, I stated to the bad man; “the items are right here on the receipt YOU MORON.” (I do not suggest you call anyone names like i did, but i was actually standing up for myself for the first time!)

    Next time I was going to Home Depot which is usually a wonderful experience for me there are many wonderful sales reps that know me there and have seen me crying in public because of my problems with my background and severe physical pain. There was a new nasty salesman there who was telling me that I did not have a receipt for a purchase I had made over the phone to the store and so
    I could not have the item. (I had called twice before leaving home to make sure it would be ready.) I felt that black whirlpool moving closer to me so I stuck my hands right in his face (I can do that because I’m half Greek! Yeah!) I put my right finger on my left little finger and I said PTSD then fourth finger; NPD, third finger; Gaslighting. I didn’t even know what I was ticking off but I knew they were the triggers on my left hand. As I was pointing them out I realized which trigger he was activating based on his comments to me. I then with my first finger on my left hand pointing to the little finger on my right hand stuck in his face again; this is not going to last very long, I am going to get over this, you are not going to bother me, you are not going to trigger my PTSD and cause me to go into a major depression.
    By then one of the managers who knew me well came up behind me chuckling because as it turned out everybody was having problems with this man when I thought it was just me. I turned back to the salesman but he had disappeared!

    It is a process but it is working.
    I tried to help the VA by phone, but a man in charge told me that I would never get over PTSD and that the triggers would never stop!!!! I told him I was just trying to give him information to help lessen the effects of PTSD. The man was very mean and rude so i said; “hey wait a minute, normally somebody like you would be triggering my PTSD so I think you have NPD and you need to read two books; Malignant Self Love by Sam Vaknin and Children of the Self Absorbed by Nina Brown.” Then I hung up on him (someone there had previously hung up on me) and I felt a little uncomfortable after the phone call but I didn’t going into a major 10 day depression unable to climb out of that black Whirlpool because I had built my own customized ladder to get myself out of that whirlpool!

    I do not recommend anyone act like me because i am unique like we all are. I am somewhat of a fighter. (That is how i got away from two bus drivers in mexico who abducted me, in less than 24 hours and a multitude of other awful things), but
    I truly hope that some portions of this very long post will help some of you, so that you don’t have to go through such long hell as I have because by now I’m 63.
    I am alive, however. Much to the dismay of many mean people.

    Things to watch for with sociopaths:
    when you just feel something’s not right feeling
    small feeling
    like someone chopped your legs off
    like they pulled the rug out from under you
    feeling like someone is rushing you…
    With these people you want to remove yourself from their environment quietly so they don’t attack you further; very much like what C said and what you will find Nina Brown saying in her book as well.

    Remember you are all
    Kinder
    Smarter
    Stronger and
    More Creative than these bad people.
    They seem to Mistake Kindness for Weakness But we are very strong even though we don’t realize it:
    That makes them angry
    Truth makes them angry
    Many things make them angry; naturally because they are exceeding the capacity of their human brain to remember more than 5+ or -2 things at one time, have to keep one eye on the Truth at all times in order to lie, and they are filling themselves with thick blackness they are trying to pass over to us.

    What a lot of work we make for these bad people; i feel sorry for them. God forgive them for me please and God is helping me to Forgive Them, now that they are gone. This way their blackness does not find a home in me.

    Artist

  137. Larry Says:

    @Mr. M

    Your story sounds very similar to mine except I was able to stay away.

    Most counties have departments (such as the Department of Family and Children Services) that have many ways to help you out of your situation. You just need to be persistent since most of the departments are overloaded.

    Google “DFACS” along with your zip code and you’ll have a good list to begin with. Temporary housing is available, food stamps, job assistance, and many other services. It may feel as if you’re starting over, but get over that. You are just starting a new chapter in your life.

    Stick with it; you can do it.

Your insights are appreciated ...

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