Why victims/survivors have a better understanding of sociopathic behaviour than most psychologists

I had spent a lot time in professional working environments working with statutory homeless. This included many diagnosed psychopaths/sociopaths. I had worked alongside mental health teams, had trained for and worked with victims of domestic violence. I completed a course at University in Counselling and another course in life coaching.

Yet, none of these experiences, had given me the depth of knowledge that I had of understanding sociopathic behaviour more than being personally involved with more than one.  It is a depth of understanding that was not available to me in a working or educational capacity.

I spent the last year in support forums for victims. This led me to understand the patterns of behaviour, how they were universal, and how stories were almost identical. For a long time in the relationship I was under the mask of illusion, I didn’t want it to be true – but pain forced me to seek the truth, in a way that I wouldn’t have in a working capacity.

I had been thinking in recent times that perhaps I should return to university and obtain a qualification specifically for what I write. Reading the course outline material for many universities, I couldn’t find anything that would offer the depth of knowledge that I wanted on paper.

It was from this, from spending the last year talking to victims/survivors, that I realised that those who have been involved in relationships with the disordered, likely have a better understanding than those who have not.

Why victims/survivors have a better understanding than those with theoretical understanding

1. Sociopaths/Psychopaths are compulsive/pathological liars and very charming

You would know yourself from being in the relationship just how persuasive your partner was. How they could very easily switch on the mask of sanity and convince you that it was ‘you’. The sociopath in the therapy setting, is no different. I know personally of a few members of staff (female) – who worked in service of probation/prison officers/therapists, either directly or through word of mouth, whose careers were ruined by being taken in by a sociopath/psychopath who lured in their worker. At the time as that has never happened to me I wondered how that could happen? After all, we all have professional boundaries with clients. (I should add that I didn’t meet my partner(s) in this way!!) Sociopaths are very good at grooming their victim and luring them in.

2. Sociopaths are very good at playing victim and acting the ‘good guy’

You as the victim, would see the sociopath all of the time, not just for a limited amount of time, that is pre-arranged. You likely saw the mask slip many times. The sociopath no matter how good he/she is, will have a relapse into ‘usual’ crazy behaviour, they cannot keep the mask of sanity going for too long a period. Usually, this is when you try to assert your independence or get out of the relationship and then you will see the narcissistic rage occur, the sociopath will become overbearing or controlling. The psychologist/therapist/worker will often not see this behaviour. They might hear reports of this from other people. But will rarely witness this. If they do, the sociopath is very good at glossing over, apologising and making it out that everything was just a mistake, they are very sorry. If you haven’t experienced this repeated behaviour over and over, you could be (and you the victim probably were many times) lured into yet again the illusion of deception.

3. Sociopaths are very good at mirroring

The sociopath in a psycho-therapeutic setting will also mirror the worker. I have been on the receiving end of this. Workers from other agencies tell me a particular client was a pathological liar. Yet the client managed to convince me that it was all a mistake. He came across as such a ‘nice guy’. Even I had thought perhaps the other person had it wrong. Perhaps he was misjudged, he was a nice guy, just very misunderstood and had had a very rough time in life. I made excuses for the behaviour. I lost count of the amount of times that we had undertaken a risk assessment for someone whose referral form said ‘psychopath or sociopath’. Yes we had expected someone very different to the person who was in front of us. Because sociopaths are very good at ‘mirroring’ they are able to seem ‘just like you’ and this includes to the person that they are working with. Due to this   –

4.  Sociopaths appear very normal

I had never worked with one who matched what I had expected, when I saw the outline and diagnosis on the referral papers. I had a lot of anticipated judgement, which was never proven in reality.   Looking back I realise that it was because a sociopath uses various techniques to appear very normal. In fact compared to other issues that I worked with, the sociopath often seemed the most normal of everyone. The sociopath portrays the mask of sanity, being very ‘normal and moralistic’ very well.

5. Sociopaths are very manipulative and deceptive and enjoy creating the mask of illusion

Back to dupers delight and the joy of conning. The sociopath enjoys playing the game, and they do this with a worker too. Just as they do in the relationship, they are able to do this even more so in a therapeutic setting as

  • Time is limited
  • The worker doesn’t know the sociopath well enough to know see the repeated pattern of behaviour – the worker sees only what the sociopath chooses for them to see, which is often false and a mask of illusion
  • The sociopath will play the game with the worker – but as time is limited it is more probable that this game will go undetected
  • There are no emotions involved

Victims see the real deal

Victims are able to see what is really going on. After the honeymoon period when you were groomed and lured into the relationship with false empty promises – after the assessment and seduction stage, the gaming begins. The victim is left in a constant state of anxiety. When people are anxious they are hyper alert and aware and therefore will pick up everything (as they are on guard for being hurt again).

Victims can see the real deal, because they ‘feel’ the real deal. When the sociopath does an action in the therapeutic setting, it is unlikely (although it could) but it is unlikely to cause the worker pain. They are not emotionally involved. They simply move onto the next person. The victim however, being emotionally involved holds onto the pattern of behaviour. Will analyse it in their mind to try to understand it. The victim feels pain.

At first, when not understanding what is happening or who their partner really is. The victim is confused. This is reinforced by the sociopath who will use the victims lack of knowledge of their behaviour to manipulate and blame the victim. Once the victim has knowledge and understanding, the truth is seen very clearly.

As the victim spends a lot of time with the sociopath. They are able to see lots of patterns of behaviour which are often repeated but wouldn’t be shown in the relationship with the worker.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced this? Do you think that somebody in the workplace would have a better understanding than a victim? Or do you think that professionals know best? Why do you think this? I would be interested in your views.


150 thoughts on “Why victims/survivors have a better understanding of sociopathic behaviour than most psychologists”

  1. I think you are spot on.

    In most psychological cases, the professional may very well have a better scope of understanding of the theoretical behaviors and how to manage them.

    With psychopaths/sociopaths, therapy in general is likely a waste of time, for all of the above mentioned reasons. Also, the sociopath would have to actually acknowledge to some level that they “messed up” and “agree to therapy”, which is probably pretty rare. Although, I am sure there are a hand full of them that do show up to therapy with their significant other as a means to appease and still keep their head in the game.

    But, for all intents and purposes, a few sessions a week is not enough time to truly understand the scope of behavior and destruction that can be experienced with interactions with them. And trying to lure in a social worker? Not at all surprising.

    I think, in this case, unfortunately the victim knows best. Maybe I am biased though. I did try to talk to two different counselors about my experience with him, as a sociopath, and was told that it sounded like he had “sociopathic behaviors” but maybe wasnt a sociopath. Which, truthfully, I guess it doesnt matter. It’s all still very messed up, very hurtful and doesnt matter what label it falls under. However, It became how clearly disconnected she was from my experience making a flippant remark like that, as I am trying to piece my life back together from it being turned up side down. In her defense, she just didnt know. She didnt understand. And not because of a lack of my willingness to share, but more so for a lack of being able to truly express everything I had gone through in this, and expect anyone else on the outside who has had a functioning relationship to “get it”.

    In short, it’s as if she heard me, acknowledged that it may be true, and didnt know what to do with it. More or less just chalked it up to a DSM-V diagnosis and ignored the sheer destruction, manipulation, and deceit that i experienced because of it.

    1. I think that there are lots of things in life that you cannot possibly understand unless you have been there. A few off of the top of my head would be

      – Stillbirth
      – Particular mental health (as a sufferer)
      – Being a parent (esp of teenagers)
      – Being an orphan
      – Having a life threatening illness

      Etc etc etc (I was going to go off on a tangent writing a long list then) 🙂

    2. So true GL,

      People can sympathize but, not empathize.
      Like most experiences it’s different if you have lived it 😦

      Fortunately we have found each other & that helps enormously 🙂
      It’s a tough road but, we are not alone here 🙂

      Love 🙂
      PR xoxo

      1. Phoenix…I cannot agree with you more strongly on your point of us finding each other and that this has helped us enormously. I have learned so much through this blog and received the answers I needed to heal and move on that I know I could not have gotten anywhere else. People who have never dealt with a sociopath just don’t understand and that goes for therapists as well. Yes, they may have a better knowledge on how to deal with certain aspects of their behavior, but I fully believe they don’t know the depth of a sociopaths way of thinking and the havoc they can cause emotionally, financially, socially, and in just trying to keep yourself safe because they never fully give up on a previous victim. Have an awesome day!!

      2. Thank you Kimmi 🙂

        You have a great life 🙂

        There is a lot of power in knowledge & a lot of very incite-full, powerful people now blogging right here right now so, watch your back Soc’s the AWARENESS is coming 🙂

        Keep the Faith Kimmi, together we stand 🙂

        Love & Light 🙂

        PR xoxox

      3. Hi PR, Positiva Girl
        your msgs are very inspiring & uplifting, food for thought. Yes its a tough road, at least we all have each other, this wonderful Forum.
        thanks PR & Positiva Girl & everyone else, you’re an inspiration, teacher, mentor to me & my healing. I”m 1mth no contact so far. Thanku god, universe.
        Love & Light 🙂 xx

      4. Well done you for 1 month dragonfly. It does fly (no pun intended) I remember that first time it was June 2011. It was so hard at the time. Hurt so much. But this person hurt me so much. Only when I stopped no contact did I start to heal the broken pieces. He still continued to text periodically. I never responded. Not once. I would think of my quit smoking mantra. Not one puff of the addiction ever. Never let him back In to play psychological games. Well done for one month, don’t forget to reward yourself 🙂 I think last I heard from him was some random text at the end of 2012. Keep going but keep remembering to reward yourself.

    3. My ex narc came to therapy with me so i wouldn’t break up with him.he suspected my counselor would persuade me to break up with him. Its been 5 wks no contact, i initiated break up. I tried to talk about it to him but he then cut me off. Now i wont break no contact again. he was on best behaviour, normal during the counselling, he didnt show his dark or narc side. But she said she heard the relationship wasnt good, from me in earlier sessions. Love & light to u all.

  2. Love this one, after being put through a Sociopath experience, I bet I could teach a licensed therapist a thing or two.

  3. Hi Positivagirl,

    Excellent post as usual & I had been commenting previously on the seemingly overwhelming amount of victims that have some connection i.e. psychologists etc…that fall foul of the Sociopath.

    It seems they often target those who study human behavior to gain further insights into our humanness or as a challenge to conquer someone who studies it.
    I am not in the field of Psychology but, have always been very astute with people but, my Soc is now with the OW who is a leader in this field & lectures worldwide on Human Behavior.
    It’s like big game hunting on their part as who better to learn how to understand peoples motivation than people that teach it etc…

    i also agree that as victims we have better knowledge as we have the experience & who better to understand an addict than another addict! That’s why AA gives you a sponsor etc…that’s why I think your forum is so fantastic because we victims can now share, support & council but, most all relate first hand.

    Imagine a world without Soc’s/Narc’s etc…the clinicians waiting rooms would be empty….

    Thanks once again & keep up the quest for greater awareness & understanding because, even if your a victim it gives us somewhere to go to further aid our survival 🙂

    PR xoxo

    1. Wow he is with someone like that? But then, I remember when I met my ex I said to him, that I worked with people, and it was my field of work to analyse human behaviour not that much got past me. That I hated liars. He must have seen it as a personal challenge 🙂 Truthfully though I did write down what was happening and I was very spot on. Now looking back I was witnessing right from the start all of the hallmark traits of sociopathic behaviour even when things were seemingly in the beginning going good.

      Great comment and lots to think about too. Seriously I want to find a university course, as I would like to do a PHD there is a lot of research I want to do. I can write here all that I want but likely it wouldn’t be taken seriously and I would need scientific data to back up what I say…. so I have to find a way to do that. I also want to do some research into the correlation between PTSD and Psychopathy. That really interests me. I think people who are interested in human behaviour often stay with it for longer than they should, simply because the behaviour fascinates them, trying to work it out – after all they do that for a living.

      1. I often wonder just how many Narc’s/Soc’s are the real culprits behind so many mental illnesses that they would actually trigger in others.
        I know of quite a few people who have had psychotic episodes due to workmates/spouses etc…undermining & lying etc…
        When they tell someone it gets ignored or they appear paranoid, until they break & then they end up on anti depressants or worse & the Nar’s/Soc just look Innocent & go about their business undetected!
        I think these Soc’s are worse than a medical disease & they create a lot of DIS-EASE for ever!

      2. Yay you! To me you already have a phd. When I read what you write it’s as if you wrote it just for me. I’m greatful for finding you 4 weeks ago while scouring the internet looking for an answer and help. I come on your site and feel as if an old friend just hugged me and said you’re going to be ok. I can’t say thank you enough.

      3. Seriously you could do a PHD & make this your research project that could qualify for funding or publishing in a research journal etc…go girl
        You have pretty much written most of it anyway 🙂 & have plenty of volunteers here :0

    2. Totally sounds like the ultimate duper’s delight, being able to conquer and stay with an “expert” on him… until bored with the triumph, likely.

      1. Yes time will indeed tell but, I still cannot understand a person knowingly staying with a Soc especially one that cheated on her for their entire relationship?
        I was with him 10 years & the Ow for 3 1/2 of my 10 😦
        I met the OW & she had been playing detective, even hiring a cab to follow him & then ultimately intercept an email from me to him etc…& she found others.
        This exposure was enough to make me run & not her?
        Still I am grateful to her & feel sorry for her that she will have to walk the road of Soc hell until???
        They pick us off like sitting ducks until another one waddles by & the rest is history Quack,Quack 🙂

        Mine even had a trophy cabinet of Royal Dalton lady figurines that he cherished?
        I think it is representative of his victims?
        Lots of pretty ladies in a glass case 😦

        PR xoxo

  4. There is NO WAY a professional would know best unless they have experienced this themselves. NO WAY.
    With that said thank you again for all your work and for helping me understand what’s been happening to me for almost 2 years. I’m still caught in the game and as of yesterday he began the silent treatment because I caught him in a lie he couldn’t deny because I saw it first hand. Not another woman but just as bad (he said he was homeless again and was just standing outside a building, I asked if he was waiting for someone and he said I wish.a minute later a mutual friend picked him up and he put his bags in the car and the left.for whatever reason he said another friend picked him up and then a huge story that became a giant web he couldn’t explain and POOF! Silence, cell phone off. The day before he assured me that he doesn’t need to lie to me) ugh. A professional cannot understand the cycle or the mirroring or the deflecting and hours spent defending a lie while ignoring the original problem. Or the confusion we are left with and need for a conclusion. There is no way. Sorry I babbled. And again thank you. I’m still working on the no contact and remind myself to stay strong, it’s not easy but your site reminds me that I’m not alone on my journey to recovery.

    1. ugh that silent treatment 😦 but the best thing is at least they do all act exactly the same. So everyone who reads and posts here, understands it very well. We all understand it because we have FELT it. I think – honestly sometimes you need to feel something to truly understand it.

      1. I support you Pos, 110%, go for it, you post on here any how. Love these posts. So informative. I say go for it, now that would be a beautiful thing!!! 🙂

    2. And also, in response to your comment Absorption – how he will do a vanishing trick, which will hurt you and cause you pain – but when he shows back up (which you know he will) – you will be expected not to ask questions or go on about it – or off he will go again. The silent treatment makes you think that you are in the wrong — aragh.

      1. Yep the silent treatment is just more gaming…mine would disappear endlessly but, always had some lame excuse etc…as the years rolled by I stopped asking or looking which made him do it less frequently as he wasn’t getting a response. Weird how I never really thought of this til after but, if you ignore them they can’t figure it out so, they up the game & start the attention again…argh the cycle is endless…I am so grateful the OW broke the spell for me…wish she’d done it sooner 😦

        Still she enlightened me to a world & we will all be better positioned to help others I think especially with technology….they use it so,can we to spread the awareness 🙂
        We also meet the greatest people, fellow survivors, albeit under the strangest of circumstances but, what a network of good we can create 🙂

        Love to you all, we have survived & thank god for US 🙂

        PR xoxo

      2. Yup. That’s exactly what happened. He was gone for 3 weeks came back 4 days or so. I couldn’t let it go. I kept asking questions he didn’t want to answer. He mirrored me and gave me what I needed to hear. He gave me his phone to look through it, (I could never do that, he knows that. Maybe I should have but I’m glad I didn’t) he went on and on about not needing to lie to me, I’m his only friend, I’ve done more for him than anyone in his life. All those words are what Ive said to him. I just realized that right this second. It kinda made me laugh just now, I don’t know why I didn’t see it two days ago. Well, all I can do is keep trying and no better time than now to establish the no contact thing and keep reminding myself that it’s done. I can’t keep trying to re write it with an ending, it will never happen, all I’m doing is making it longer than it al ready is. It’s sick that i feel so hurt and feel the loss of a person who has been so damaging to me mentally and emotionally. I should be relieved but I don’t. A professional could never understand the complexity of the aftermath that doesn’t ever seem to end. I wouldn’t wish the experience on my enemies (if I had any).

  5. I have been involved with (I am embarrassed to say) 2 sociopaths. The latest is currently undergoing therapy. I was not sure if this is part of his game, however initially I was surprised and somewhat delighted that he decided to under go therapy. I saw a glimmer of hope for our relationship. My son who is a mental health professional burst my bubble though. He explained that therapy does not work with these individuals. He explained that if he is indeed a sociopath or, if he in fact has another personality disorder that is closely related, there is no cure, he explained that its their born personality, nothing can change it. He did say that therapy goes along way in relation to sharpening their manipulative skills as they see the therapist as a game. They get quite a thrill out of conning the professional. Their self confidence is given a lift and have frequently learnt new tactics through therapy. This often makes them so much worse. Now that I think about it rationally I can see how my sons reaction and comments make sense. After all these individuals are master manipulators and liars. They cant help it. t]They are not going to go to a therapists saying I have done this wrong and that wrong and hurt this person and that person and destroyed my family etc etc. They will always be the victim, always.

  6. First off, I cannot thank you enough for your writings. I was married to a sociopath for 26 years and never even knew the term until it all ended one night when in a fit of rage he choked one of our three children and was arrested. The “silent treatment” began after that, along with a trail of lawyers, court dates, etc….I experienced the confusion and since it has only been a year since his final fit of rage, I still feel confused but thanks to your writings, I am educating myself and have learned so much…even though somedays I don’t want to believe it. Thank you for your insight.

  7. To know the real sociopath, you definitely have to live with or spend alot of time with on a daily basis to see, and experience all the signs, a therapist might pick up a sign here and there, if his mask should slip, but never know the sociopath like we do……..I can so relate to everything you are saying…….I had to laugh about him giving the phone over, just happened to me recently, didn’t even have to ask……the emotional and mental abuse from having a relationship with a sociopath is devastating, the feelings we have to deal with, insecurity, deceit, abandonment, etc When the the confusion became overwhelming, I started writing all the episodes down, to reevaluate, “what is going on here,” all the lies, all the games, and there were all the signs of a “sociopath”. I am so glad I found this site, and already have read many books on the subject of “Sociopath”…I have gained so much knowledge, and because of gaining answers, there is no more confusion! I have lost all respect for this person, and unfortunately for him, he will always be this way, there is no cure, no medication, no help for him. He will never know what real love is, he’ll never have feelings of remorse, guilt, shame, etc. He just has to mimic others, like he has been doing, to blend in, and seem normal.

    1. Jeanie…knowledge is power and the more you gain, the stronger you get and the easier it becomes to move on without him. Revel in the fact that he will never know love, at least until you are past the point in being angry with him. I know that piece of knowledge helped me, to know that I was normal and that I would survive to live and love again and all he would ever have was an illusion.

  8. I have asked myself a lot of times “how I let all this happen to me?” I’m a lawyer and I have worked for the last 23 years with both sides of the spectrum the victim and the perpetrator. I tought I had knowledge, but all I had was theory. I didn’t understood how a victim continue the cycle one time and another time, my lack of understanding maybe made me victimized them again. Now I know, maybe I’ll never will have an answer to my question, but I I know that my experience have give me an insight experience that I hope gave me more sensibility to this widespread situation

    1. I do this question to me every night when I go to bed “how I let all this happen to me?”, but I have more questions too “why he did it to me?”, “why he ignores my suffer like he never did nothing”, “how could someone lay and sleep withou feel guilty?” and the worse question I make to me every day and nigth “why still have love in my heart and I still crying missing “his love”?”

      3 months and half and I still crying every day…..

      1. Luluts,
        You are mourning a part of you that you felt have died with him, “the innocence” I called it, the ability to trust, to believe that every human being is good. Remember, you have the capacity to love, and to be loved, stop asking yourself “why he does that? ” And start answering the question “how I can make a difference on my life? What I had learned about this?” You only have control over you. Use this experience as an opportunity to know you.
        Best of luck!

      2. Hi Luluts
        I have just come out of an engagement with a sociopath. It has been traumatic to say the least. One thing I have learnt, though, is that the grieving isn’t just for him….it’s for the dream. The illusion. They know EXACTLY how to lure you in with promises, manipulate and behave like the absolutely perfect partner. I pinned my hopes and future on that. I have had to accept that future was a lie. A fabrication. It was never real…because THEY were never real. It is such a hard pill to swallow but once you accept that, it is easier to move on…
        It was NEVER REAL.
        I have dodged a bullet. Thank god I never married him.

      3. Yes I wrote a post about grieving the person you thought (they portrayed) to you. That bit is hard…. as you struggle with a lot of emotions. How can you grieve someone who isn’t real? BUt that is the way that it is. In some ways though it does make the healing and recovery a lot easier.

    2. Hi NMI 🙂

      Don’t feel bad as the Soc picked you because they pick the only the best 🙂

      Yes, they glean all of your information but, it is your information & you worked hard for it! They are too lazy & dumb to learn it themselves so, they take it from us 😦

      So you see they are thieves of hearts & smarts & you should be (A) Proud that you have survived. (B) You have achieved your goals through sheer hard work & determination & (C)
      You are obviously fabulous,wonderful,caring,compassionate,worthy,trusting, lovable need I say more….Otherwise the worthless,uncaring, dispassionate,un-trusting, soulless Soc would not have found you so appealing.

      Without you he was & is nothing just a big fake who, takes,takes,takes….nothing is real except You!

      You are a truly exceptional person…believe in yourself & take back your POWER 🙂

      Love & Light always,

      PR xoxox

      P.S. I did a degree for my Soc so he could hold his Commander ranking!!!
      Still who’s really the smart one?
      It’s me for doing something for the man I loved because, that’s what drove me not an agenda….& I know what I truly am capable of 🙂 not a bad thing but, next time I will do it for myself 😉

  9. You have such depth and perception into this subject area. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments above. Without having a true personal “experience” the entire analysis is speculative in nature and comes down to whether you can trust the human brain. Can you really trust what someone is saying? We take it as truth, but is it? What is needed to validate a patient in a clinical setting that what they portray is true and not fabricated?
    After my SP relationship ended (of course on a sour note) and all was revealed and only because of you and another blogger (for which I am very grateful for) along with many books I chose to obtain and read… opened my eyes to the vocabulary associated with this mental dysfunction. Who would believe that there are people that truly lack conscience? I’ve always believed it was a choice. Once your eyes open to the OMG what did I get involved with the gaslighting and mirroring become evident and you say crap it’s true. HOWEVER, think about the many friends and family who lacked any understanding of the isolated abuse that was dealt your way. There was no sympathy but moreover why are you acting like this, he’s nothing, get over it. Truthfully, there is no understanding of the abuse a survivor is dealt with. You could have even offered the proof and research, but still it didn’t matter. The abuse is not self evident. In a case like this with a clinician, you have a setting that is limited (this is what the SP shines, it’s their stage to show how sane they are and make you look crazy). They are charming as can be and even with the knowledge that the counselor may have often can get suckered in just like the rest of us which validates the reply above… how many normal people are pushed to psychiatric distress due to the SP. In all, a very frustrating experience. No one understands the depths of abuse involved with being with an SP UNLESS you have been there. I could turn blue in the face to try to demonstrate the difference between say your typical cheating spouse and the SP behavior. There is no understanding. Clinicians study and research but without being emotionally attached to the behaviors, without witness to it, it is doubtful that they can even know the true feeling and devastation or that it even exists at all depending on just how charming the SP is. Even reading some comments from people who reply, I often wonder if all their encounters are with true SPs or just liars, users and cheaters. Most of the symptoms need to be present. ANYONE who’s been involved with a true SP will see it as clear as day once you know what you’re dealing with.

    As far as the clinical setting, I believe most clinicians may be fooled by the SP or may not know what to believe. In general, most people who see a SP for a limited time think they are the best catch around. Lively and outgoing, always helping others, having high moral standards (so they say… NOT TRUE), they can so easily get over on the counselor, it’s their job to make their current source of supply look crazy.

  10. Wow, this was a great read, we the victims know the spath better than any psycologist ever could, all of their degrees couldnt compare with hands on experiences.. You can say she educationally smart, and the victim is street smart about the spath. This Dr. doesnt have a clue as to what awaits, and the devastation these people behold. Im not Bewildered for nothing.. Good luck Doc, ur gonna need it. Peace and love.

    1. Hi Bewildered,

      Yes the Dr is going to need luck & I feel sorry for the future victims of our Soc’s & the past ones 😦
      They really do hurt so,so many & the ripple effect if phenomenal 😦
      Really,really nasty pieces of work!

      Love & Light,

      PR xoxox

      1. Hello Phoenix, Yes I agree, they ruin lives and act as if nothing has happened, no conscience. I do feel so sorry for their next victims, but they shall overcome, we know exactly what thy are going to go through, what lies before them, but I feel we all just need to recover. I backslide, its great for now, but I will know and feel when it starting to crumble. Till it does I will enjoy my fix. Peace an love Phoenix!!! 🙂

      2. Hi Bewildered,

        I am sending you lots of love & light to help your healing 🙂
        If & when you backslide, we will be holding you up always 🙂

        PR xoxo

      3. Be Happy Bewildered & take good care of yourself, you deserve it 🙂

        Love & Light,

        PR xoxo

  11. Positive Girl…I totally understand why you want to go for a PhD, but you have already done so much for so many people, that if you never received a degree, it wouldn’t change a thing for us. We’ve all been there and can verify everything you have said. You have helped us to make sense of it and put our lives back together. Phoenix was right in what she said about this blog being a research project for you and I know I would gladly help you out in any way I could to help you get ahead.

    There is something I wanted to ask you about: do you think it is normal to be fearful of the spath coming back? I have moved 90 miles away from where he is now (with his gf) and I never put in a change of address with the post office and I am very careful who I give my address to and also have not updated it on facebook. Yet, I am terrified he will one day find me and try to start playing games again. He lied his butt off to get a protection order against me and I agreed to it only to get my stuff back because I knew he was broke and I was afraid he would start selling it. It was for a year and won’t expire until Jan 28, 2014 and he has tried several times to have me arrested under false allegations. Even though I have been away from him since Jan 4, he still has control until next Jan and believe me, I can’t wait for that day to get here, because then he will have lost all control. In the meantime, I have moved in with my boyfriend who is very much normal (in June) and my ex has tried to break into my facebook a few times, had unblocked me and my daughter from gf facebook page, has tried to call even though I have his number blocked and someone from his area recently tried to find me on another social network (mylife) and I know no one from that part of the state so I can only assume it was him. Why does he continue to do this stuff?

    There is no doubt in my mind that the victim knows a spath much better than a psychologist, only because we have first hand experience with them and can see all that they do, as you said above, a spath only shows a therapist what he wants them to see and that is never the true image. You asked once before about weird behaviors of our spaths and I didn’t have time to write that day but mine had a few: even though he said he was going to take a shower, he never did, it was always a bath and he never shared a bathroom with me, only with his kids even though we had 2 full bathrooms in the house. In the summer he had bo because he didn’t use deodorant. When he walked his hands would always be curled slightly, not into a fist, but not straight like we would either. My first spath (I had 2 back to back) would brag about all the so-called connections he had and would threaten to call the police over anything he would get upset about (he was a former police officer) and he would also brag about the amount of friends he had but whenever he threw a party, hardly anybody showed up and he also made appearances at places just to be seen. He was the agressive/obnoxious type of spath and my therapist told me he was a spath, I had no idea until you that there were two different types and that’s why my last ex was able to get to me…he came off very charming and humble. Thank you so much for all you are doing!!

    Hope you have an amazing day!!

    1. Hi Kimmi, I experienced the same. Two very different types. So when I was looking for someone opposite and that was exactly what I got. I too dated back to back. (as I wasn’t healed before dating again).

      What you ask is why does he do this (continue to make contact). First and foremost = remember that two things are important to them

      Being in control

      Right now he is neither (with you) winning or being in control. In fact if you have moved in with another man (likely he would suspect this) as they have radar sensors that are spookily accurate – this is likley why he is hacking your information (or attempting to) they HATE not to know what is going on in your life.

      Remember what they do in the beginning in the assessment stage? He knows everything about you. Right now he doesn’t. He might be fine that you are taking care of your shared child – but would need to know what you are doing, what you are up to in case this information is needed at a later date.

      The sociopath feels very insecure – a bit lost when they are not in possession of knowing EVERYTHING – how can they manipulate and control when they do not know everything? Also his source of supply might not be working out to be as good as what he had with you. So he might be trying to find information about you, so that he could manipulate you and lure you back.

      I hope you have an amazing day too!! 🙂

    2. Hey Kimmi you may have something there?

      Maybe the s’path hasn’t evolved up the evolutionary scale & acts more like Neanderthal man or whichever one was the predator/survival at all costs one….lots of females etc…territorial….maybe that’s why the Soc has to rely on street smarts more than intellect?

      Mine used to curl his hands & has ducks disease (really short legs LOL) & walked like a gorilla….I used to call him my Silverback 🙂
      He was very muscular & taught even though he had a huge gut & was always waiting to pounce?

      The more I read & share the funnier he gets, this is a good thing (ha!)

      PR x

      1. It’s good that we can laugh about it now!! While on the one hand, I am sorry any of us had to go through this, at the same time, I am grateful for the lessons learned and I just hope I can use my experience to help someone else so they don’t have to go through this or if they have, to help them heal. Have an amazing day Phoenix…you deserve it!!!!!

  12. In my case, he was very dedicated and showed very worried about me, about my health, my life, he was always around and helping with everything in my life.
    He was very seductive and could make me to speak things that I never told anyone. I was a submissive to him and he was my Master.

    He was very affectionate, the days I spent with him were more than perfect. He kissed me and made ​​me carress every minute, he treated me like I was the best woman in the world. And he had another at same time…

    And even after I returned to Brazil things were great, and we made many plans for new encounters and for the future, even if he already with another girl. He lied, lied and lied. Even I suspicious, he swore he would never do anything like that to me because he had character and and that above all he would not make anyone suffer.

    Our last conversation was about next meeting (november). 10 minutes later I found him with another. After it is discovered he just ignored me and never told me why did this evil to me. He simply remained silent, as if I did not exist.

    I do not know if is a characteristic, when they are discovered and they know they will be not forgiven, they simply ignore.

    Some things I noticed, and analyzed after discovering who he was:

    1) He had no real friends and not share their problems or for fun, he spends his life or at work or in front of a computer. I wondered if he had no one to talk to his problems and he said he had no friends and only spoke a few times with his brother, but not on the problems and his life. Once I asked if anyone knew about me, he said not to have friends to tell that kind of thing.

    2) He did not speak of his mother. I always wondered and he just kept saying she was fine. But I knew she lived in another city and he was never visits there, or had he had spoken to her. I thought it odd because someone moves away from his mother?

    3) He is a distant father and I wondered why he did not participated in the lives of children and he said it was a long story and he became very sad when he spoke of the matter and I never knew why.

    4) He was methodical schedules. Even I had to sleep time and time I could stay awake on the computer.

    5) He was addicted to some medicine for pain, now I can not remember the name. And I always heard him messing or playing with the box.

    6) He was shy in real life, but very polite to everyone.

    I was betrayed, deceived, he said so many lies, that today I do not know what was true and what was not. And I guess I’ll never know. That makes me suffer a lot.

    And now, he is manipulating someone to insult and denigrate my image. He becomes a victim. He is very smart and knows how to handle situations and information.

    But I really challenged him and sometimes I want to do more to harm him. But I’m trying to recover and forget this love …. but it is very difficult …

    (sorry my english)

    1. Excellent Luluts, your english is perfect as are you 🙂

      Mine used to like me to call him master in intimate moments & like you I had the Charismatic High Functioning Sociopath 😦 none of them are nice but, at least mine didn’t rob me like some I heard about here 😦

      Keep reading & learning, we are all here to help & support you as we know what it’s really like 😦

      Stay strong bella, It’s not you it’s him, you have everything that is good that’s why you attracted him…he wants to be You!
      They are illusionists & really don’t exist, just pretense & smoke & mirrors….the real one behind the mask would not be accepted by anyone, hence the show!

      Be Brave,Strong & remember you are not alone 😉

      Love & Light.

      PR xoxo

  13. I am a counselor and worked for many years with people with personality disorders and I ended up married to a sociopath and didn’t realize it until it was way too late. I don’t think any of my training prepared me for this relationship, I had know idea what was happening to me. I didn’t even realize that his bad behavior was verbal and emotional abuse until I started the proceedings for the divorce. I also thought about taking more classes to gain a better understanding of what he did to me but there didn’t really seem to be a lot of information written by the professionals. I did find lots of books, articles and forums about socio/psychopaths which has helped me understand that havoc that he wreaked in my life. We saw 3 therapists for marriage counseling and no one really identifed what the problem was and by the end, it was always my fault. My current therapist was the only one to identify that this was verbal and emotional abuse but no one else understood it. Even in the DSM, it doesn’t really identify anything more than a standard personality disorder but this a personality disorder times infinity. I think when new counselors are being trained they should have more information about verbal and emotional abuse, I thought it was only cursing or name calling but it involves so much more. I wish I had this information earlier, it could have saved me a lot of hurt, anger and money.

    1. Thank you prettynpnk and welcome to the site. I do wonder just how many victims are people who work in the field.I know that I have had a lot of commenter’s who have worked in mental health, as social workers, and a few who are psychologists too. It is very different when there are emotions involved and when it is at close quarters too. I think also in a work situation especially the longer that you have been in it, you become complacent. There is no story that you haven’t heard a thousand times no matter how horrific that story is. You become immune and it does actually become normal. I have so many thoughts on this topic ….

    2. Ditto Prettynpnk,
      The mind gaming,hypnotic repetition is mind blowing & you don’t even realise it until as you said, are processing what has happened.
      Mine was 10 years of protracted brainwashing,gaming & blaming etc…
      It would be great if there was an awareness which I believe we are actually going to be part of 🙂
      As I said here & Pos agrees that a lot of articulate, professional people are being duped but, also in positions to write & blog etc…so this information is growing at a fast rate 🙂
      Together we are supporting,helping & learning so something good will come from this.
      Remember the Soc’s seem to target the most useful people to them to understand how they can best operate but, the targets are starting to align so, this is not to their advantage but,it is ours 🙂

      Be Happy 🙂

      PR xoxo

  14. I totally agree with you that victims have a better understanding of the psycopaths behavior. I was married to one for 11 years and in trying to relate my experience to others is futile, they just don’t get it. At one time I also had a drinking problem and sought help from therapists who had degrees, just book learning, there again is a major difference than going to AA, they have been there & done that, something you do not find in book learning. I am a born again Christian & those who are not born again, just don’t get it either. So, from my life experiences unless you have been there you just won’t get it. Try as you may, unless you have walked in my shoes you can’t grasp what I have experienced.

    1. Absolutely Evie…. I think there are so many situations in life where this is true.

      I can honestly say that I worked with homeless for (altogether) 27 years … including time out to do my degree. Every single day I used the word ‘vulnerable’ you know i had no clue what that word meant until I suffered a full term stillbirth – and my brain became frozen in shock with severe PTSD…. then I knew for the first time in my life what it meant. I THOUGHT i knew what it meant – truthfully I didn’t have a clue.

  15. I have posted my own personal story here re living with a sociopath for 13 miserable years, and for it I have been lambasted and felt most unwelcomed (by PR in particular – definitely does she speak with a forked tongue), hence this is the last time I make comment on a site that is as poisoned as the folk it talks about as well.

    1. You again! Gosh Tim give it up (sigh)
      Tim is the site stalker Sociopath so beware people, he’s back 😦

      Love & Light, oh sorry you don’t get that do you, well hate & dark then 🙂

  16. positivagirl,

    Do you have the time to pursue a PhD? A thesis has to be original work, and you’ve already done the work. You really have mastered this topic. I know I always consider myself to now have an honorary PhD in psychopaths…

    And whether you have the time to get a PhD or not, is it possible for you to teach a course about psychopaths to your colleagues and others in your field? You have so much to offer.


    1. Thank you Mindy – ironically yes I do have the time. I had to give up work in October. So, I have too much time on my hands sometimes. I just don’t want to go back through the undergraduate process as it takes so long. Will have a think about it.

  17. a victim would understand more than a professional, a professional can only tell u the medical reasons and behind the scenes a victim will know first hand the triggers the effects and the after mass toll on the severity of the abuse from there abuser. a victim would have a whole contrast of the behaviour a professional as it says can only see what the abuser will allow so much so they will not have a definite understanding than those who have had unlimited interaction with such a person.

    1. I am also 21 years old and a victim from the young age of 14 til I was 19, I wanted to become a psychologist to help other victims I have yet to recover from my own abuse. I am also diagnosed with aspergez which will remain to stand in my way but I will not stand back and let them slippery abusers sneak past and carry on ruining lives for there own gratification and enjoyment. I do believe they enjoy the control they hold

      1. Hi Kiri, i also have asperger & my friends said my ex narc, prob played on it. He did say i had my probs, which may have made rship more challenging. but he was controllg nasty verbally when he couldnt be in control of me. He got rid of 2 of my friends as they wernt christians & he thought they’d be a bad influence on me, my innocence etc. When he was nasty he was nasty, name calling eg gamer, player etc. Those names were what he was himself! he said i had no discernment. he wanted to be in control, said he was being just protective out of love for me. His love was tied up in ownership, control. yes i believe they would enjoy the control, hold over us. I’ve had no contact for nearly 1 mth now. 4th or 5th brk up. It has to be over for good now.

  18. I think it work by identification to each others experience and also the awareness brought too. Much in the way a recovering alcoholic helps another to live in the solution. I have experience of both domestic violence and I’m recovering addict I’m also doing counselling. 12 steps helps rebuild you internally but the meetings is about sharing experience and solution I think the same would help with victims of D.V and other spiritual healing processes as well nothing beats personal experience when in the helping relationship !!!

    1. Michelle,
      I agree 🙂 whilst you can’t help everyone, the sharing of first hand experience does definitely help & I am more likely to listen & actually hear from a person that has been there done that!
      Like surgeons etc…you feel more comfortable knowing your being operated on by someone
      with the most experience….experience is the best teacher & the best teacher is the one with the experience!

      Love & Light to you in your recovery 🙂
      PR xoxo

  19. In couples therapy he managed to say very little. Our therapist was in my mind very sympathetic to him, at one point calling me a micromanager. I had become the bad guy yet he had recently finally admitted to a multi-month affair with a neighbor while i was watching the kids in the evenings. If I was so controlling this would seem less possible to happen. I believed she was quite charmed by him. Nothing was accomplished and I am at the point of cutting chords. He still throws carrots suggesting the reconciliation of our 18 yr. relationship. The comments make me mostly feel ill as he does whatever he is going to do and I know this. Lying is second nature. We are separated.

    1. Hey Jo,

      I went to a therapist with my ex ADHD not the Soc & the therapist took his side???
      When we left my ex said that we would not be going back to her as she had bullied me etc…he saw it as much as me & we were both incredulous. My ex realised he was the problem which at the time made us reconcile.
      My marriage ended abruptly after 19 years & then I rebounded straight into the arms of my Soc!!!
      My advice is to really do your internal work on yourself etc…heal, find your peace, find your passion. You are strong so, the more you work on yourself the better you will cope.
      Then your decisions will be from your heart & your best interest.

      Stay strong, you deserve better & you are worthy 🙂

      Love & light to you 🙂

      PR xoxo

  20. Thank you for validating what I have slowly come to realize , nothing can be taken at face value. believe nothing. this is a dead end relationship.

  21. What bothers me is when I clearly see someone’s a sociopath and they fool other people and even bring them into a conflict with me. They always try to involve other people, even total strangers, using gossip.

    1. It is really stressful how they can make even the most simple of things into an absolute nightmare. Sociopaths can turn your world upside down and inside out. Worse involve other people in the drama too 😦

  22. I keep reading the comments and this article over and over.. And I see a pattern from my ex boyfriend and former husband. The silent treatment, the making me feel like I am the most horrible person in the world, the physical and mental abuse.. And I just worry that it will never end! I’m currently the victim in a domestic violence case from my former husband, and sadly I fear that the day he (or his family) retaliates is coming.

    He always seemed so perfect in front of the psychiatrist, but as soon as he left the office it’s like he could just take off the perfection mask and return to his usual evil demeanor. His mother is even worse! I’ve been followed home, told relentlessly that I caused everything to happen, and she just continues to enable him no matter how many times he goes to jail or prison.

    I am not perfect; I have flaws just as much as everyone else. I just want to move on with my life, but it seems like until this trial is over (and probably after) that I’ll be watching over my shoulder everyday. I worry about him harming my family or my boyfriend because he feels that he gets out of every situation with no consequences. I also feel like he would hurt them first just to torture me.

    It’s crazy how reading this makes me realize that the people I dated in my past fit these descriptions. Overall it saddens me that I allowed people like that into my life.

    1. Hi and welcome to the site. Have you also looked at Narcissistic personality disorder. As often sociopaths are (to your face) most of the time – very very charming and charismatic. They have a duality of personality. I am sorry to read that you have been through so much. I hope that you have managed to find a safe space for you and your family.

      1. To be honest, he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, so I didn’t really think about it much until I read this article. I’ve tried to stop allowing him to take up space in my mind, but at the same time, reading articles like this kind of explain why he did some of the things he did.

      2. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what he is…. it is how he made you feel. It is about how you can recover and get away. Whatever his diagnosis, he made you feel bad about you.

  23. gosh, this is a hot topic for me. I have a lot to say about how councelling dosnt work in my particular case, as the person tells amasing wild stories that elicit great compassion from others and “explain” his bizaar behaviours and violence, like he has a right to be angry. like who wouldn’t? Then I find this dynamic troubling in that it REINFORCES the story’, and the story’ is a big problem.I speak openly about this. I relate entirely to this article. For 3 years I visited different levels of councelors doctors phsychologists asking for help with SKILLS to deal with this persons behaviors when they are happening. All I ever got was the safety plan speech and the self care speech.Both valid. Its been since discovering these kind of resources online such as here, and being away from the situation for 10 months, that this has a label and pattern, and its going on all around us and its very bad behaviour, and one has to be so strong and savvy and assisted to unravel and unhook and get ones life back on track.Very good article, thank you. I just know that unless someone has been thru this, they have no idea and I cant expect them to iunderstand, but the brothers and sisters who have been thru this, well, here we find understanding!

  24. Your right, victims/survivors have a much better understanding. I’ve dealt with a Sociopath for over 4yrs now. He is the father of my 3yr old son. I understand completely. I recently decided to get involved in a new relationship with someone that I’ve known for about 5 years and thought I knew what kind of person he is. Turns out I’ve found Sociopath #2. If it wasn’t for my previous experience with a Sociopath, I wouldn’t have been able to pick-up on #2’s behavior so quickly. It’s so sad dealing with this all over again 😦 but at least I know much sooner and won’t waste another 4yrs of my life and my children’s lives. If anyone has any suggestions on how to help heal my children from both of these, monsters. I would be very grateful. My daughter is 7 and my son is 3. My daughter has been deeply affected by #1 and now by #2(to a much smaller degree) like I said I’ve known #2 for several years, it just wasn’t on an intimate level so I thought it would be safe to have him around my children. (i’ve known his parents and sister for 7yrs) He’s the 1st man I’ve been in a relationship with in almost 5yrs with the exception of #1. So, it’s very hard on my daughter. If anyone can give suggestions I would be so grateful. God Bless

    1. I could only suggest to keep things as stable as you can. To not make promises that you cannot keep (even if unintentionally) – also make goals with your children things for them to focus on. Things that you can celebrate their acheivements. Do you think that they have been so affected that they require professional help in terms of family counselling? When children have experienced things that rock their world and leave them feeling insecure – the thing that they need the most is stability and security – to know that you love them and that you will be there for them. Focus on you and your children and your beautiful life that you can create. And well done you for spotting the signs with the second one…. it happens a lot people meeting another after the first – especially if you are not healed and recovered.

      1. Thank you for advice and kind words. I actually have had my daughter in counseling for a year now, because of her behavior. The therapist refuses to address this issue, so I’ve decided it’s time to find a new therapist.
        This site is helping me to see that I’m not “crazy” as I sometimes have felt and your knowledgeable reassurance is an affirmation that I’m doing the right things. Trying to be stable and focused has always been a priority for me. I may not see the light at the end of the tunnel right now, but I have faith that it’s there.
        Thank You, Again

  25. Hi, your website is really very helpful, its such a comfort. I just stopped a close friendship with a woman who turned out to be a psychopath. In the beginning she showered me with attention, just as you described, then the manipulating and then the silent treatment. She is a wealthy woman, German nobility but her family where all nutcases. She has 2 children of 18 and 16 who hate her ( her own words). Her ex husband is a narcissist ( her words). She is a trained psychologist! But lives alone and this was strange to me.
    She is a very intelligent and erudite woman and I could share so much with her intellectually, and this was why I liked her so much. She had a big mouth and very judgmental but also her views were surprising and original. I still miss that. But then the dark side came, the manipulation, the projections, twisting of truths, because I did not do what she wanted. Then the silent treatment. This was enough for me, I did not wanted to move on in this crazyness. It was clear there was something very wrong with her. She was always promising things with her money, I did not care about her money, she could not use it against me and this made her furious( she even told me this). Anyhow, I am hurt and dissapointed, in life and that there are so many people out there with this darkness.

  26. Yes, I was groomed. At the beginning I couldn’t believe how wonderful our relationship was. He was quick to say I love you. After I was his (yes I was an object to be owned & controlled) then he pulled away/had a minor episode. Then he would woo me back. The cycle continued….the ups were higher,the downs were lower. All the while I was made to feel it was ALWAYS me that was the problem. Until he worked himself into such a rage that his behaviour was out of control. He blamed me for all the things he was doing to me…cheating, lying, being negative, emotionally detached, etc. That is how I KNEW the level of hatred he had for me. I gave him a million chances of which “he didn’t have the energy for.”

    1. They say I love you a million times. Rarely does it mean that they love you – they are checking what your reaction is. How you respond and whether you are in love with them 😦 – this way you are easiest to control.

      1. So true. My sociopath loved me at 5 but by 645 he hates me and I should kill myself (not recently, past experience withh him).

        Proud to say nNO CoNTACT since 12pm Monday. The next day (tuesday)He text me at 338 am and I have not responded! YAY!! Keeping busy painting the kitchen.!!!
        Stay strong everyone!!!

  27. Wow! excellent article. I truly believed that if I had tried to explain the pattern to a psychiatrist, my ex would have convinced him on the next visit that I was stark staring crazy and locked me up. People may well ask the question about why you stayed in that relationship, but when I was young there was no where to go and no support to confirm that there really was a very clever pattern of behaviour. Small children locked you into something you could not get out of without them and no way would you take that risk. After years of terror you had to figure out for yourself how you managed to find yourself so powerless in such a situation, how the power game was played, and how to finally take your power back. Now i could write a book on terrorism, power, possession and multiple personalities.

    1. Maybe you should Veronique 🙂 I think that this is part of what creates the sense of isolation. How can you tell someone? Apart from anything else there is the shame, and their behaviour is so clever – it can leave you feeling confused. Drained. Depleted. Unless you have been there it is impossible to understand. If you have been there – you will never forget it.

  28. You are absolutely right. In my battle to keep my sociopathic ex from having 50% custody of our 2 children (he is already grooming our 3 year old son to be just like him…for narc supply of course) I have encountered more than one “professional” with an advanced degree who was completely taken in by him and ended up making recomendations against me on the basis that they felt I was emotionally unstable ( it’s hard to watch someone lie bold-faced and see that the person who is determining your children’s future is totally buying it without tearing up) And that I must be lying because he is “really trying to be a good father” and that I’m supposedly not acting in their best interest if I want to deprive them of that “good father” (who by the way used to feed our infant son hot sauce because he thought it was funny to watch him scream in pain) they also failed to report that, even though they are legally required to report child abuse, because he “just didn’t know better, but he does now”. Wish I could get them to understand what you and I understand so that I could protect my children. Thanks for this blog btw

  29. Some of what you have said reminds me of the case of Ted Bundy who was supposedly a very good volunteer at a suicide hotline. It would seem that he did such a thing to become mastered at the art of deception and manipulation, or at least, mastered at the art of seeming to care and seeming sincere. As far as I know, there are no formal psychopath education programs, except for those created by government organizations conducting “black ops” or similar things, or perhaps by terrorist organizations and hate groups.

  30. Was married to my Sociopathic ex for 28 years without a clue. He was a Narc and loved discussing himself. He had issues with his mother and sought many therapists who he would continue seeing if they were lured by his charming wit, or would drop if they started to see through the mask. When his mother died, he left me days later (“I need some alone time”). I hired a private detective at the urging of a friend and this opened a Pandora’s box of horror. He was having an affair with his mother’s nurse and had been cheating on me forever with many others..always home at 5:30 ! He was actually shocked that I filed for divorce. You don’t ever recover but you move on. Nothing was real in those 28 years. I found a therapist who understood and enlightened me about Narc/Soc behavior and she helped me understand it was never about me. Family, friends, all of us were taken in by this two faced sicko. My part in it all, was my willingness to put up with his often moody and whacko behavior. I was “too nice” and did not put myself first. Stand by your man-Screw that!
    Older and wiser.

    1. Yay Diane 🙂

      You are an inspiration to us all 🙂
      My Soc was married 25 years prior to me & still hasn’t divorced her 😦
      I met him ten years ago after she finally had enough & he is still controlling her thru their adult children!
      His mid 20’s son lives with his mother (wife) & destroys all hope of anyone else coming on the scene 😦
      I wish she could read your post 😦
      Still you are fantastic, well done for surviving what must have been unbelievably heartbreaking ;(

      Stay Strong & be happy, you deserve all the good life can offer 🙂

      PR xoxox

  31. OMG! OMG! OMG! Words fail me. May be it’s a divine intervention, I was reading random things on the web when I looked up what/ who a sociopath is. I fell for this guy really quickly, he said all the right things, knew what I wanted to hear, and no one had ever said the loving things he said to me. He said all the things that I wanted to hear deep down and I considered myself fortunate that here I had finally found that man who viewed relationships and love the same way as I did. I thought I was wiser and smarter having had a few scum bags as boyfriends in the past but this guy totally fooled me. He is a classic case of all that has been written about sociopaths right from how they flatter you to not delivering on his promises to his snake-like eyes. When I met him for the first time I just could not articulate what was “off” with his eyes but something was and I pride myself on keeping my antennae alert and don’t stick around to find out what’s wrong if my gut tells me to get out of some place. And despite all the warning bells I accepted this guy!

    Broke off all communication when I found out he had lied about everything right from where he worked to where he lived. He is married and has kids and told me that his wife had died and that was just the beginning of all his lies. I was so shocked that someone could feign all of this that I wrote him off as an ace liar. But that was about it. It has been 3 months since and only now I have come across all this material on sociopaths/ psychopaths and how they behave. He exhibited all of the tell-tale signs right from ownership to calling me his bitch. I have come across all of this information only yesterday and have been reading up about sociopaths for the last couple of hours and words fail me, I am stunned.

    Are we so low on self-esteem, confidence, self-worth, and so on that it is easy for these men to prey on people like us? I am still reeling with all this information overload that I was merely a game for his bored mind. I would like to understand what is it about me that drew him to me in the first place? I surely don’t want to invite another sociopath. He has me messed up in a short duration, had it gone on any longer or had it gone to the “fear” phase I may have just killed myself. I am amazed and really impressed at how strong people are on this forum, those who have suffered for years on end.

    1. Hi Riah, welcome to the site!! 🙂 It is stunning when the truth starts to come out and you realise that everything was a lie. The first thing is ‘disbelief’ and then there is the fog of confusion. You remember the sociopaths mask and how they played the nice guy. Then there is the self blame – how could you let this happen to you? Then the more you read, and understand you realise that this is not you. Sociopaths are attracted to nice people…. So it is a reflection how nice you are. I hope that one day you meet someone who truly deserves you!! 🙂

      1. Thank you for your response Positivagirl. I was hoping I would hear from you. But why is it that I find it hard to accept that Sociopaths like nice people? In my head all that’s churning is that my naivete, gullibility, vulnerability, and insecurities are what drew him to me? I was merely a pawn! Given the profile of sociopaths then I guess everyone else but them are nice in this world so are we all victims-in-waiting for them?

        And, how do we not become paranoid into thinking that everyone is a sociopath? Still retain faith in humanity so as to speak. I am still reeling with shock, and the “shudder down my spine” is yet to abate.

        People such as yourself, Diane, Phoenixrising and all others are amazing. You have done a fantastic job with this site! Seriously, I needed this platform – education, awareness, support, and to know there are others and their stories. Now that I have found out he is a sociopath, I want to rat him out to his wife. What’s unbelievable is that she is a member of the medical community, and I am so surprised that she has not picked up the signs. It just seems so wrong for her to continue living with him under the same roof.

        Can sociopaths be cured? Jeez, to think that they are amidst us and ruining us or plotting to ruin us not feeling pain, remorse, and no retribution whatsoever just feels so wrong. Find it hard to accept.

      2. It’s one thing to try to fix a sociopath and hope they will change but too often innocent children are drawn into it and their lives are damaged. A real sociopath doesn’t change. They my act fake for a while but the behavior will come back when they feel relaxed again

  32. Oh another crazy thought occurred to me. What if sociopaths are members or are reading our stories on this forum – are we making them wiser by discussing their tell-tale signs? Just to think that they might release version 2.0 of their behaviors, undetectable for the duration of time they choose is good enough to keep me up at night! Since they are already intelligent and highly intuitive, I’d hate it for them to now become wise and close the existing loop holes in their behavior!

    1. Nice girls are more gullible because they want to fix everything. If they come from a violent background they find it difficult to set boundaries. Just tell them they are selfish and they will give you anything. (I have come to the conclusion that cynicism is a form of self protection.)

    2. Riah, unfortunately love is blind or we are when we are ” in love”. Must be all that adrenaline. I wanted to warn other women about my ex and actually posted him on Don’tdatehimgirl.com I was shocked to see all the posts from women who were victims of similar men. At the time there was little being written about Narcissists or Sociopaths as mates unless they were murderers. It’s a great thing that we have the internet so we can share our experience as that was the most difficult thing for me..the loneliness of thinking I was the only one. Who can believe such evil exists unless we have gone through it. I think my lawyer and some friends thought I had to be exaggerating as the truth was so bizarre. Reading everything I could find about the subject actually helped me through. There are many good posts on Pinterest now under Sociopaths/Narcissists that are helpful. Keep strong!

  33. This is so true, this website is amazing, I can’t thank you enough, I’m following the ‘stages of recovery’ as you laid out in another of your brilliant posts, to a tee, and am currently in the ‘sociopath detective stage!’
    I’m aware that means my focus is still on him, but in a slightly more ‘healthy’ way as I see things for what they really are, and its fascinating, you’re right, I can’t stop reading about it, almost obsessively( but not quite!)…I also know that I’m heading in the right direction and soon the focus will be on me for the final stage of recovery as I’ve been through all the others.
    It’s true what you say, I am so absorbed in understanding and finding out information, it really does help the healing process, and the wonderful, insightful, eloquent professional way in which you present it here is invaluable.
    What an amazing woman you are dedicating your time and energy to this resource in order to help others.I have learned so much I almost feel as if I should have gained some kind of qualification in the working of these people’s minds!lol!!….actually… I have…the knowledge, wisdom and experience to never become involved with one again, hopefully 🙂 thanks again positivagirl 😉

  34. The hurt comes and goes making it very hard for me to enjoy things I once cherished. Each day gets better, but I feel guilt and experience PTSD where trivial things remind me of the sociopath.
    In the summer of 2011 I took a job in AZ, partially for the steady pay and partially because my marriage was faltering due to finances and my wife longing for her family who treated her, me, and my preschool daughter unfairly relative to my wife’s other siblings. Regarding my family, my parents and I kept everything at the surface and were hesitant about having any deep conversations with me. As for my brother, he got involved with a woman who virtually caused him to have no contact with me. Therefore, I felt alone and helpless, but at the same time, I meditated daily to keep my mind and body strong.
    . Upon arriving in AZ for my teaching job, I met my colleagues and they were from all different areas. However, unlike me, there families were with them. There were occasions when I felt the need to turn back because of the feelings of loneliness.
    . One colleague, who was new to the job like me, was 8 years older than me, divorced, and had an adult daughter with special needs, not severe. She invited me over because she knew I was alone, invited me to her church, and we conversed quite well. In fact, I wanted her friendship, and there were times in the beginning where she was hot and cold. Her periods of cold behavior instantly turned me off and by the end of 2011, I did not see any need to hang out with her. She was 52 and I was 44, and I was firmly loyal to my family and did not care one way or another if I ever was friends with her. Winter break for two weeks came and I still was reluctant to return to the AZ job. Money was needed and it was essential that I continued.
    . When I got back the female colleague was friendlier and went out her way more to get together away from work. We went to Phoenix, visited each other, and her church more frequently. Myself, her, and her daughter, hung out as friends and had fun times together. Her daughter who was 23 looked up to me and loved the fact I was giving and accepted her for who she was. In fact, we called ourselves the 3 musketeers. Also, both of them knew I worked summers as a medical aide in a group home serving people with special needs.
    . At the same time, my wife and I were arguing over the phone and falling out of love with each other. When I flew back, I viewed her internet search history, and there were multiple web sites about divorce.
    . My colleague got to know me better during the first half of 2012, through late night talks, drinking, and marijuana usage. Marijuana was something I have not had since 1994. We got to know each other well, or she got to know me better each week. She even made similar comparisons with her broken marriage to mine. We talked alot but everything was platonic.
    . The first time I got high with her, I felt great in the beginning, but I started having delusions and her appearances would change like a chameleon, then a satanic image grew out of her back and I lost it, prayed to god, hoping I got control of my senses. Then I collapsed into a deep sleep. She got upset with me, because I spoiled her euphoric feelings and did not talk to me the following day.
    . By Feb she was on the verge of getting fired and she wanted my companionship on a regular basis, in fact I told her to get fired so she can file for unemployment. She was on the verge of getting up and leaving, but I told her to get fired.
    . She got fired and wanted me to move in to a spare room in her house, because of the lease and she had nowhere to go. I helped her with rent and tutored her to take a California teacher test. She got benefits from Washington were she came from and I found out she was hoarding money while I was paying half her rent and most of her food costs. I brainwashed myself to help her with anything and everything, including her daughter.
    . School ended and I went back to my family, but I missed her the whole summer and the good times and talks we had. She gave me the cold shoulder and the majority of contact I had with them was through her daughter. She told me she loved me and resented my departure. In fact, she was able to get more than what I should have paid for June 2012. During our talks she always blamed her husband for the divorce and her financial ruin and she told me she had 5 million at one time and her husband burned right through it and neglected her disabled daughter.
    . When I returned to work in July without my family, she was already in California starting a second masters program in sped teaching. She told me her ex was moving in because he was living with her mom and the house in Washington was bank owned. Later on I found out that she had multiple charges of adult neglect pending and drug charges.
    . Her ex moved in had a stroke 2 weeks later and we had plans to all meet up labor day 2012. In fact, I told her I could wait a month because I felt she needed time to care for him and time to regroup. However she told me to come right away and we visited him and I saw the severity of the stroke. All seemed normal in the hospital, the grieving etc. We then got home after touring Monterey and she started crying about how he told her she needed plastic surgery was scamming her etc. In fact, she wanted him to die and loved me all along. She told me her ex was a charade and was going to be kicked out for the way he was treating her. Stupid me buys it, but is shocked by her revelations, although possibly untrue.
    . Eventually we got closer and my marriage was getting worse and she was fully aware of it. We kept an Long distance relationship and it became more physical. We would meet in So cal and she convinced me to confess our bond to my wife. She told me my wife does not love me and treats me horribly, but stupid me is paying for everything because I was brainwashed. In fact there were moments when I could not believe what I was doing.
    . I told my wife and she forgave me after a while, but I was unable to cut the chord with the other woman. My wifes dad bought her a house in a place out in the middle of nowhere where he could keep us all under surveillance. My wife knew that place was not for me and would be counterproductive in our reconciling.
    . Meanwhile the other woman was clenching her fists for a divorce and told me to grow some balls and stop being manipulated. She told me you will never be happy with her now that she does not trust you and she and her were meant to be. All the while she cared less about the effects on my daughter, when I brought that up. She kept insisting that you will always be her daddy no matter what.
    . My wife found out I was still contacting her when her Skype picture showed up on my computer at the middle of nowhere house and kicked me out. I left willingly and was heading west, but I got cold feet. A huge hailstorm hit and my parents called telling me to stay with them in Florida.
    . My dad thought I cut off contact with her too, but I told him I was under a spell and severely messed up. When my wife kicked me out I called the other woman because I felt I had nothing to lose at that point. But when the hailstorm happened the signal cut out and I felt this extreme amount of anger towards her as though she precipitated my impending divorce.
    . I turned off my phone and said to myself, I am going to be alone. Later on I found out she called 30 times and her senile mom called 5 times all worried about me. She called a good friend of mine, who did not know her, but got pissed at me for giving his number to her. I called her after she called my friend and she acted all upset and was wondering why I left her hanging. I told her I don’t care about anyone except my daughter I lost.
    . On the way to Florida, I kept contact with her, allowing myself to get brainwashed, but somehow finding a false sense of solace in our interactions through Skype and phone. In fact, I still felt I was going to live in California after seeing my folks in Florida.
    . She was kind of disappointed that I chose to visit my parents over her and while I was in Florida, I was able to think clearer and realize what this woman was after.
    . Her mood swings grew more volatile, she was emailing me jobs so I could get an apartment or house for her with my good credit on the beach out of the ghetto where she lives. She even told me I would move anywhere for you, and she would quit her program owing a substantial amount of money. She asked if she quit, would I cosign a loan for her. She even was going to decline a job offer because it would cause her to have less free time for me, that was too much for me to handle.
    . My dad told me to cut it off asap or this cancer will ruin you. I admit, I was happily married for over a decade and never came in contact with a situation like that, making me vulnerable and naive. My dad convinced me, but she started to reveal aspects of herself that would lead me into further manipulation until I was no longer useful like her ex. However, I felt that if I went west I would be a caretaker who would eventually commit suicide.
    My wife, daughter, and I are back together and we are happy, but I suffer PTSD and feelings of regret. The biggest mistake I made was taking an out of state job without my family.
    . BTW that lady only contacted me twice after I severed it, one was because she missed our friendship and the other to wish me a happy birthday. Both were gateways for me to contact her, but I did not. She is a user, she takes money from the state while drugging up her daughter, she drank heavily, acted in ways to mirror me, she had few friends and family, and she always said she was depressed and had suicidal ideations

    1. BTW, from 2009 to when I left for the out of state job, my wife and I had a very empty marriage and through the divorce card around especially when her parents treated me horribly because I would not be a farm laborer and revolve my whole life around them. I got pissed because my wife lauded them and never told them how much it hurt that they treated me bad. Yeah I was a jerk for infidelity, mostly emotional, which is where the guilt resides, but I made friends with the wrong person who was out to complete a divorce and gain from it. However, my wife and I will eventually grow stronger from that horrible experience. In sum that woman completed the info gathering about me, mirrored me, and said she’s a nice person, and was in the later stages of manipulating me. Many would say I am a grown man and could have averted that situation, but 1200 miles of separation for 2 years made a faltering marriage worse. Never again, as a family we go together whatever path we take. Even though I am a guy, kind of emo, I truly commiserate with what you females have gone through. There were times I thought I was the sociopath, because of the life I led and because that older woman put me in extreme state of anxiety. I wake up sometimes in a cold sweat from the trauma. Luckily she is not a stalker, but I really feel bad for her special needs daughter who she treats as a side dish and gloats about the extra income she gets from her. Sorry for venting, because I am far from perfect and am regrouping, but I truly feel sorry for those of you that became very involved with a sociopath only to be left for dead. Just remember people like that will repeat that behavior and will more than likely be alone in their old age. Peace out.

      1. After doing research on the subject of sociopathy, my former sociopathic friend told me that song Mirror by Justin Timberlake reminded her of me, and that was back in February. Freaky because sociopaths try to mirror their victims.
        . It all makes sense, because behind my back, or to a lesser extent in person, her favorite music was hip hop nation on xm radio and eminem was her all time favorite. However, she became an instant radiohead, phish, grateful dead, tool, wolfmother, etc fan to impress me.
        . She also put fat people and poor people down, even when her only friend was fat and she was struggling and willing and able to take money from people (stupid me, back in the day).
        . She also never smoked any more when she became friendly with me and started working out to emulate me. She was thin and thought she was the hottest thing alive pretending to put on a 25 year old persona. Pictures in her house were all from the early 80s when she was that age.
        . God help her daughter, because she is so emaciated (the daughter) and thinks she’s fat. But there were also times when the sociopath would feed off her daughter to get what she wanted. She tried it with me. If she neglects her daughter more APS may come after in California where she lives. Any guy or girl would be fair game for this woman who gets too close to her. She is also never wrong and cried like an actress. Sometimes she would never cry, or cry, and then 5 minutes later be happy.

      2. Hi SDPMode 🙂
        Thanks for your kindness & I am truly happy to read that the Soc led you back to your wife & a greater appreciation for you both of each other, really uplifting & a great outcome.
        I hope you live a full happy life from here on with your family. We all have moments of weakness so, don’t beat yourself up. Just learn to forgive yourself & love your wife with your whole heart & love yourself too 🙂
        Love & light 🙂
        PR xoxo

  35. Wow, so dead on! I know this about dating, but this also applies to family as well. I always told my therapist these sociopaths/narcissus always put a good image for what they want other people to see. I told her you have not even been around my parents nor met them yet you’re making statements about how they did a good deed to me and my siblings and tell me everything that happen to us was traumatic – which is it? It can’t be both.

    I told her people like you will always kiss their butts because they use so much charm that is powerful as if they are some kind of God. I told my therapist try being around them enough to make you go crazy then let me know how you feel. I told her this is why I am very knowledgeable about this because of reading it and also having the backed up experience to know what I am talking about.

    1. Thing about therapists – they are in a job. They go in at 9am leave at 5pm. And that is their job. Yes you can be compassionate about your work. But realistically it is just a job. Unless you have been there really you can never understand. No amount of experience can train you, neither can text books. Sometimes life is the greatest teacher.

      1. Thank you so much! I told her experience outweighs the books, but books are nice to read to gain education/knowledge about the subject. This site, she would dismiss it as “another perception” because she feels I take these things into heart too much.

        I told her that’s fine, I don’t think you’ve went through what I am still going through, but the information speaks to me not you or anybody else – she didn’t like that too much. This woman is a mother and I told her don’t you tell your children that experience counts more than a textbook?

        She asked me what does reading all of this will do anything for you? What will it change? I should have told her then if I have to burn my readings then you would have to burn yours because like you said, it isn’t helping me nor will it help you and I can see her going off on it.

        I told her I am the one with the experience not you. So, I don’t bring up any books/blogs about the subjects we are talking about because it will just be “another perception.” My therapist said even if I told you what my childhood was like, how is that going to help you? I said at least I want to be on the same page with someone and I can’t stand being on the opposite of the person meaning those who have never experienced this abusive cycle always tell me ‘oh they meant well,’ ‘oh, they seem like lovely people,’ etc when these people don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.

        She told me I get it that your situation is/was traumatic, but if you get it, then you wouldn’t be championing the idea that my parents did us a “good deed,” when she heard the entire story of my parents never wanting to be parents and felt we were just a burden in their way.

        Feels like having a dictator for a therapist because I won’t agree to most of the things she feels and told her I will not agree to something that isn’t true.

      2. There are therapists and psychologists who read here. I know that one person commented that her therapist suggested this site!…Also sociopaths do read and comment here too. How does it help? It helps because the sociopath can leave you feeling isolated – and feeling that you are crazy. Reading here and everyone elses stories is useful as it makes you understand that it really isn’t you… how you felt was real. What happened was real. And even if nobody else can understand what you have been through – we can!! 🙂

      3. Also, I read in a book called Mean Mothers, the author said how in therapy, the therapist always see one side of the picture and not the other side thus making it hard for the client to be understood and heard. I always tell my therapist everything has two sides to it, you are hearing my side but don’t expect my parents to tell the truth because they won’t and they will just lie to you all the way anyway like they’ve been doing all of their lives.

        Of course, I told her both sides of the story. I should be congratulated for the stuff I read and I got some congrats from other people. My therapist said there are people who didn’t go through this and I said not that hard to try to put your feet in someone else’s shoes and think how would you feel/react in that situation. I told her we all need to be aware of the dangers that these types of people can play, use, and to hurt us whether we have been through it or not it’s called discernment and wisdom.

        She said I shouldn’t speak about these things because I don’t have a degree in mental health and told her not need to know because I got experience on my side. If I need a degree to distinguish bs from fantasy, then we are in a lot of trouble in this society! I told my boyfriend on the weekend in July that what’s a degree, high school diploma, certifications/licenses, etc? They are just pieces of paper, words on a paper, not your entire life experience!

        I told him having any of those certainly doesn’t guarantee you to having the best life, best hubby/wife/boyfriend/girlfriends/friends, best jobs, etc.I was so fired up in July I didn’t have a chance to tell my therapist that and I can see her shutting up real quick. I told her don’t underestimate me I know more than you think and seen more than you have ever seen. You think if your ex friend stole your old boyfriend away was mean, that is nothing compared to what my parents have done to us yet you’re a parent and you should be outraged by it. She had nothing to say to that! lol

      4. I think that even if you have been through it – people can still feel differently. Dependent on background, personal experience, expectations. Two people could go through the same thing – yet process it completely differently. I learned spending a lifetime working with people that whilst there will always be a ‘median’ average answer – there is no real answer as everyone is different. As are their perceptions different.

  36. My ex narc also put people down on tv, said they were fat ugly or blonde etc, said he wouldnt kiss them, yet he was a born again christian! He was very judgemental.didnt like jehovas witness, buddhist, new age,mormons, catholics. I wasnt allowed to be friends with any other faiths. He would give me ultimatums, them or him. He got rid of 2 of my friends who were not christians.They were not allowed to stay over or visit in my house, owned by me! Said he was protecting me. he thought i could help him give up smoking he smoked every 15-20 mins, he couldnt or wouldnt give up anyway.

  37. I am completely tuned into him, even with no contact for more than a year now, I can almost always anticipate his next move, I learned to do this for survival, I had to constantly be on alert for even the slightest changes in his behavior in order to anticipate DANGER, so yes I know him better then the psychologist, better then the Judge, I know him as well as I know myself!

    1. Hi Jill thanks for your comment. I wanted to ask, do you have PTSD? As I know that people with PTSD are hyper vigalent (on guard anticipating what happens next). If you don’t khttp://www.healthyplace.com/psychological-tests/ptsd-test/now

      1. Ah, I have a radar for it!!!! I can always tell if someone has PTSD just by what they write. Are you in treatment for it? I found EMDR to be really useful. Hardcore to go through though.

      2. I have had some treatment for it, not enough, I only tried a few sessions of EMDR, I didn’t like it but I am thinking of trying again with a different therapist, I am at a point where I desperately want to move on with my life, I am tired of being stuck in the muck…

      3. Hi Jill 🙂

        Welcome to our special place 🙂
        Pos recommended Gestalt Therapy for me & whilst grueling it has helped me get unstuck big time 🙂
        I had PTSD but, am feeling more centered with only the occasional lapse so, time & therapy does help but, you must walk your talk & really work hard on what the therapy is unlocking.
        At first I found it confronting & it put me back in stuff that I needed to deal with, I am a work in progress but, changed for the better forever 🙂

        Love & Light 🙂
        PR xoxo

      4. It still makes me smile that you did do the gestalt and that you are finding it beneficial PR…. that is really good to hear. (I would have felt bad if you had done it and it wasn’t beneficial) There are so many different types of therapists and therapies…. its good that you found this good. 🙂

      5. Hi Pos 🙂

        I always take advice when it comes from a loving healing person so, yes I am much better thanks to you 🙂
        I am working hard on all the positives, as that is the only way through all of this & it’s finally leaving me. I can think of it but, it doesn’t pervade my every thought & perhaps my past coping strategies of moving forward with gusto has stood me in good steed 🙂
        Even though I have endured a lifetime of dysfunction, I have always somehow managed to survive which, I think is inherent in a lot of us here…love & light…& feathers & butterflies today & always…Desiderata 😉

      6. I think you have done amazingly well in such a short space of time. considering you were in it for 10 years did you say? That is quite incredible speed of recovery. Think about it if a normal relationship ended after that time it would take a fair bit of time to recover. You seem to have all of the right tools in the healing recovery box to make a swift recovery. But also I expect you are a healer yourself – and left alone without being interfered with are probably able to heal yourself…. 🙂

      7. Awww thank-you Pos 🙂
        Yes I am able to heal myself & others & I am truly blessed by an amazing support group of friends that shine light on me all the time 😉
        I cannot pick a decent man to save myself but, I make up for it tenfold in friends & family so, I count my blessings not once but twice 🙂
        I am extremely lucky to have found you guys here as well & I really do care what happens to you all 🙂

        Love & continued light 🙂
        PR xoxo

  38. I like the observation:

    “Victims can see the real deal, because they ‘feel’ the real deal. When the sociopath does an action in the therapeutic setting, it is unlikely (although it could) but it is unlikely to cause the worker pain. They are not emotionally involved. They simply move onto the next person. The victim however, being emotionally involved holds onto the pattern of behaviour. Will analyse it in their mind to try to understand it. The victim feels pain.”

    – a LOT of pain – its called coming the innocent and I ran into it in the workplace BIG TIME. The only consolation is that I discovered the sociopath involved has a wide reputation in my industry – a bit of a laughing stock actually. The only reason the company tolerated him was that they swallowed his self proclaimed guru abilities.

    Moving on from my pain to the real question. I tend to see psychology through the reality tunnel of whichever book I’m reading at the time & its Wolinsky’s Quantum Consciousness at the moment. Interesting book and echos some of what Dante discovered in the 14 century in that the way out of Hell is to move towards its centre. Using Wolinsky’s dimension of dissociation/merging with overwhelming feelings, which category does the sociopath (as identified here) fit into? What is the dynamic within his belief system that allows or causes the flip in behaviour?

    The concept of the false self (ego) / authentic self (void, unnameable etc) seems to offer an explanation to me as it requires energy to sustain the false self which isn’t sustainable. Rather than dropping into agape, ego less relationship (fearing intimacy), hideous rebellious behaviour seems to replace it. Trite as it seems it seems to indicate an unsafe mother with the child never learning how to cope with overwhelming emotions. Good mummy bad mummy to quote Stewie.

    Not that this is an excuse, as a victim, kill the game by leaving is still probably the best option but do try to become self aware of your internal mechanisms that make you vulnerable to sociopaths. There are hooks to be uncovered within – a latent neediness.

    1. Intelligent thought Paul and one that I agree with. I would say that i agree with the neediness. I don’t think it is always like that. Sometimes they can put up a good mask and the woman can become pregnant and is then stuck. Other times what is within the person is temporary like a previous trauma or grief. This of course, does bring with it a neediness that wouldn’t otherwise be there. This happened to me. Stuck in trauma, I had moved from grief but the trauma was still there. The charismatic sociopath mirrored me and pulled me out. Achieving more than Emdr therapy did. As I grew stronger I could see with clarity. From a psychological point of view they are fascinating. It became more fascinating as I became stronger. I don’t think it would have happened in terms of the deception had I not been so traumatised at the time. My brain was literally frozen in shock. The narcissist kept me there. The charismatic sociopath by effectively mirroring pulled me out. There is a lot of correlation in terms of patterns of the brain with ptsd and sociopathy. Not the manipulation and deceit, but other things. Lack of empathy, lack of emotional connection, triggers and rages. Focus on self. I do wonder how much is related to past unresolved childhood trauma that triggers. I certainly noticed a lot of regression and regressive behaviour.

      1. Its a good point about being stuck as the self help industry tends to discount the good evolutionary reasons why we bond so tightly to our reproductive partners, its not so simple as redecision therapy would have us believe. There are also often economic reasons for maintaing the status quo. All these are at the bottom layer of Maslow’s pyramid, so often forgotten, so important. I think all one can really do is be compassionate to yourself as much as you can and allow the healing to occur naturally.
        I tend to look in on sociopathic relationships with a certain curiosity (as you seem able to do now) because all my deep relationships have lacked the true double bind nature that I sense that the traumatised individuals here have suffered (there’s been latent hostility but only simple not compound). However what I do notice in my own mind is a pattern of flip-flopping that must also be an attenuated characteristic of sociopaths because I can’t imagine for a minute that they would set out deliberately to be this way. Inwardly they must be living some sort of private hell except that they lack the self awareness to be able to realise this. In Wolinsky’s terms they must be very dissociated as individuals. Its only by connecting with your own vunerability can you connect with everyone else’s. The schism within must be enormous. I wonder how one (as a therapist) would deal with this. (You can probably tell what I’m considering doing next). The level of denial almost total.


      2. Interesting, demonstrates how little experience I have, I find it hard to relate to someone who can think, feel & behave like that. Mind you I find a lot of what goes on around me hard to fathom but people do seem to regard it as normal and regard me as the odd one (just reading about Katy Perry & I feel like posting there as well)

        However there is a deeper pathology going on which it would be nihillistic not to try to understand.

      3. I agree psychopaths know exactly what they are doing, actions are choices, they claim they cannot help themselves, but they are very clever in carrying out the actions they choose to run with. To me they are just blow up models of monsters, programmed to do evil, and you are right they don’t give a hoot, because there is nothing inside but stale air.

  39. What is ever so strange, and this is the part I don’t get, is that sleeping with a woman you don’t love is simply a comfortable place to masterbate and it really is a very hollow experence. The real buzz comes from being totally and unconditionally accepted by that person – it the acceptance which is craved. If the sociopath is feeding on his victims, what is the food? How can one be callous like that? They must have a really distorted view of reality.

    1. The food is source of supply. Which could be anything, money, sex, roof over head, social connections… Anything really. So they mirror the victim and fake love to get what they want. They do not see it as taking as the victim willingly ‘helps’ the person that he/she is in love with. But if course the victim thinks that they are in a mutual ‘in love’ relationship.
      They don’t realise it’s all a pack of lies designed to deliberately deceive and take what they want

      So for the sociopath it is what they want. Source of supply.

      1. There is an element of that within us all; in some respects maximising benefit & minimising cost is why the human brain has evolved as it has. Only if one/you have been on the path of a true seeker and allowed the process of psychological death and spiritual rebirth to happen and entered into the dimension of ego-less awareness will you be truly free of any of this.

  40. Totally agree!! having a relationship with a mentally disordered person gives you a whole new insight into people! You suddenly can see them coming a mile away! I saw it written once that suriviving a relationship with a narcissist/abuser, you earn a PHd in psychology with a minor in evil. I really think that’s true!

    1. Kellie, you totally cracked me up! So true. The remnants of oneself post this experience and picking oneself up is such a solitary, dark, and depressing journey. Humor helps!

      PhD in Psych and Minor in Evil – ROFL!

  41. Dr. George Simon TOTALLY ‘gets’ these people. He’s a psychologist, his books “In Sheep’s Clothing” and ” Character Disorders” are spot on. Huge eye openers! And he carefully explains why most mental health professionals don’t ‘get’ what’s going on with sociopaths and narcissists.

  42. It’s true that most mental health professionals or religious leaders also, for that matter, don’t get it. They operate under the assumption that all human conflict and suffering is the result of misunderstanding. The solution to all problems is to just be able to understand the other person’s point of view. Just a week ago or so, the assistant pastor of my church was telling a heartwarming story of how he had reached out to his mother who he didn’t get along with and reestablished a relationship. A common theme on the holidays. I think of my family, and I could easily reestablish a relationship, they would be willing. The problem is that it would be an abusive relationship. How many times have well meaning people said you should just reach out and pour your heart out to the person? The problem is that sociopaths don’t respond to love. Knowing what’s in someone’s heart only gives the sociopath more weapons to hurt the person further. They look upon love with contempt and see it as a weakness. The problem is that sociopaths understand your point of view and motivations perfectly well, maybe even better than you do. It does not inspire empathy in them. They just see it as information to help themselves control you better. Psychology needs to admit that deep down we do not all just want to be loved. We should not tell our feelings to bad people. It won’t help the relationship. The psychologist needs to teach the victims how to defend themselves, not how to reach out.

  43. They have many ways to gain full control even when you grow to hate them. It is all about total control. Fear, manipulation, projection, in fact sheer terror. Children are the greatest weapon. They are always one step ahead. (Please Delete ist statement.

  44. victim of a “professional” sociopath

    I think probably a victim will know best! It’s making me sick to my insides thinking of that scum bag! I dealt with one as a patient. I know usually it’s in romantic relationships that people experience that. A predator will hurt anyone that they feel they can get away with hurting. I agree they are very deceptive and can even fool people like their boss and other professionals around them! I think by the time you want to get out of there the sociopath has gotten the upper hand. It’s a shame these guys are not wiped off the streets the way they wipe off criminals! I would love to talk to you about this.

      1. I was his patient in a dental clinic. I would love to talk to you in person if you are a real person and do that?

        Sent from Windows Mail

  45. This is why I think it’s so important the the interdisciplinary field of ponerology be elevated in stature and inform the mental health profession and its education system – as well as many other fields like law, activism, etc. The lack of understanding of everything ponerology teaches us even by most psychologists, counselors and therapists is like a blatantly missing puzzle piece in our society. And I’m not sure if that puzzle piece is missing by accident or by design.

    1. Do you know, I had to look up the word ‘ponerology’ as I had never heard of it before.

      I do wonder if it is by design? I think that when I started there was little out there on the internet. There was some, but not a lot, you had to search hard, today it is rather different.

      But still, people find it unbelievable. From writing this site, I would continue to research, and sadly see the evils of the world. But, trying to convince people of this, is far more difficult, than writing to other victims who have experienced it.

      People prefer to believe the lie I think. There is much evil in this world. I will check out your site.

      1. If you’re not familiar with ponerology, I think you’ll be very interested in some of the people and information you can find under the rubric of that term.

        I started my site to document just what you said – the recent explosion of interest in this topic, including even in more established and mainstream science and media. The information is starting to surface more and more. But at the same time, it fails to get solidly internalized by much of the population. It’s a strange dynamic that I think reflects the very key position this material holds in our culture. I think establishing this knowledge more solidly will be revolutionary.

        There are layers upon layers of defense mechanisms that come into play to prevent this knowledge from being fully adopted. In the coming years we’ll see which wins out – truth or denial.

        Definitely check out my site and social media. If you ever want to talk, you can get in touch with me.

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