I have very recently (within a month) ended a relationship with a woman who I now believe may be a sociopath. Only yesterday did I begin "online research" of the matter. I came across a list of traits and every single one of them I can attribute to her. While it was at best a jaw-dropping moment it now has me feeling an overwhelming desire to help her more than ever.
It saddens me a great deal that here and in other articles I've read the only 'remedy' dispersed is to leave the sociopath alone. They're already alone - very alone in life. And for some time in my own personal life I've felt that as difficult as life is for all - the most difficult thing (in my opinion) is dealing with this life ... alone.
I don't want to leave her alone. I feel compelled to do something. Anything. I just don't want to do "nothing" about this.
Reading other people's stories has helped me realize that this problem is not mine nor about me. Having said that, I want to share some of my story so that others who may or may not be able to relate may find some common threads in my story and theirs.
A little about me.
I have had my share of close relationships in the past (long-term, dating, friendships, familial etc.) in which I've learned a lot about myself and others and am relatively open to new and different personalities. I was raised in a strict (yet loving and stable) Christian family. In that life we spent a lot of time studying the bible and learning how to apply bible principles in our lives. I think that (and I say this humbly) as a result of that training I stand out to people as being remarkably understanding and caring. I hear this from people often - that "I care too much - have too much heart".
And now, a little background on her.
As I got to know Maria and a little about her life growing up - I saw a distinct difference. She was raised in the inner-city by both parents - but family life seems to be strained (at best). She was raped, at a young age, and became pregnant. She's told me that she was beaten by a boyfriend while pregnant, beaten badly. She later had an abortion. I believe this happened before she was even 18 years old. I don't know a lot of details about the rape and do not know if she ever sought therapy or was encouraged to or not. Though, I don't think she has.
She was evasive about her sexual past which leads me to believe that she was rather promiscuous from a very early age. I've learned through her that she doesn't really have many (or any) close friends here or anywhere. She has her sorority sisters - but they're sort of "bound" by sisterhood right? The few "friends" that she's made here aren't of any quality or substance. They often use her and I don't think she sees it - because I think she's just happy to have "friends" around.
She over-talks me a lot. Reasoning with her was nearly impossible especially in writing (i.e. e-mail, text messages, online conversations). She was extremely defensive, very quickly became offended by many things I said (though said with no ill-intent), constantly accused me of "talking down to her". Her language was very abrasive, very hostile at times, extremely vulgar (in my opinion). This pattern continued until eventually she was saying some of the most hurtful things anyone has ever said to me. My initial thoughts were that I wouldn't put up with such things and I ended the relationship. Then she started threatening me and I ultimately obtained a restraining order against her.
Now looking back at it all I feel that they were truly idle threats. I see her as this person who missed an emotional growth that many of us experienced. She has difficulty (and says so) expressing herself effectively which leads her to intense frustration and in turn to her acting out. However, I do feel that she realizes something is 'wrong' or 'different' about her. She has mentioned and expressed sadness about not having anyone close in her life.
My heart breaks for her to think that all of the ugliness that she exudes may in fact be as a result of being violated at such a young age and left to deal with it all by herself, an ill-equipped teenager.
If everyone leaves people who suffer with these traits alone (through no fault of their own) - where will they end up? If everyone walks away from someone who feels worthless and desperate and frustrated - aren't they the ones who develop more intense feelings of rage and abandonment.
Is there really nothing I can do?
I am sorry for your pain, but yes, there is *really* nothing you can do. Except save yourself.
"I don't want to leave her alone. I feel compelled to do something. Anything. I just don't want to do "nothing" about this."
Then you being in pain is inevitable. If you think you deserve a modicum of happiness in this life, then do "nothing." Walk away. Now. And get on with your life.