as you know from my own post to which you kindly responded, I have myself lived in a relationship with a psychopath for 3 years. In addition to this, I was raised by a diagnosed borderline/narcissistic mother without a father, which probably made me gracitate towards "disturbed" persons/partners as an adult. At least that's what theory seems to say. In the past, with both these people, I have also taken the position, as you seem to do, that by me just loving that person enough will somehow make him better, if not cure him of his evil deeds. After I have failed so dramatically in this, with so much emotional and some financial damage done to me, I have researched psychopathy for almost a year. Without wanting to brag, I believe I have read most sources that are available on- and offline, from Hare to Cleckley to Vaknin, I have read hundreds of threads on different blogs and self-help forums. And I have been in professional psychotherapy for almost a year now after breaking down under the pressure of that past relationship. It all boils down to one bitter truth that you will have to accept one day (or not, but then you are facing possibly dire consequences). You cannot help him. End of story. Nothing you do will change him. Never. Whatever you do, he will remain a manipulative, abusive, remorseless and unempathetic person, and he will never become "better" because of your selflessness. I can only advise you to abandon him from your life, get back on track to a stable self and direct your energies at yoru own growth. And since you have this urge to help those that cannot be helped, it seems you have some own inner discovery and healing to do - make this the goalposts in your life. I have started to accept that there is only one prescription that you can take, and it's free and over the counter: The no-contact rule. This is particularly hard in the beginning, and I have relapsed many times, but there is hope: I can tell you that it does get better with times, and you will get over this person, and he will start to fade from your conscience and with that, you become more and more a free person again. Good luck and all the best to you !
Thank you for the input that I have received thus far. I have left out many details for purposes of time limitations, but the gist of my problem seems presented.
All responses are noted, and I particularly appreciate the harsher ones as they are similar to what my young sociopath would say to me. At this point, he is seeking to distance himself, probably as an attempt to not hurt me further, but hey, I am naive enough to believe that story right?
No one has told me how to communicate on his level for once. Because honestly I see that the time is coming when he will leave and pursue other pastures. I am not as naive as some think however, just unfortunately I have some dependency on this guy for things that he has provided to me before (even exchange sorts of things). I am seeking to protect myself legally, and I have things over him right now. His threats are harmless.
I find it interesting that there was a comment on how I care for those that can't be fixed. Very interesting and true. I am also someone that rarely has felt love from another so his apparent coolness and limited affection are quite comfortable to me. We are complementary.
Again, I appreciate all comments. It is not often that others can comprehend what I am experiencing. I thank everyone for their comments.
"Communicate on his level".... Hmm. "Communicate on his level".... What do you mean by that? Are you asking how you can get across that it's in his best interests to stick around? Or how to get across... anything? Well, let me think.... Hm. I suppose you could try the blunt honesty approach. The idea, of course, is to use only as much of the truth as you need to.
For example, you could tell him how you perceive him (an unhappy person that would like things to be different but doesn't know how to get to different) how you feel about him (you love him like your own son, you want to assist him in getting what he needs, you think he's bright, technically gifted), how you think he feels about you (he doesn't love, but he does have attachment towards you). That sort of thing. Be sure to put in enough negativity that you don't come over all gooshy, but not so much that you make him mad.
That should make him see you as an honest, caring person who's worth the trouble of behaving himself for. At the very least, it'll give him enough information to play you better (I mean he'll be able to make you feel more comfortable) if he wants to. You say he asked you to be his "other" mother? Then he'll probably find you worth the trouble.
I hope that helped a little bit, while you're waiting for Catalyst. Hey, Catalyst! Where are you? Get in here!
Thank you Dragontongue.
You would be surprised how much I appreciate your input. I don't believe that every self labeled sociopath is bad news (or even labeled ones perhaps).
I have asked my "sociopath" to see this forum, one day he might. He is often known as the Penguin or some form of the word. Currently tonight, he sleeps in my house, with his girlfriend, and all is friendly for another couple of days, till it gets ugly again as it seems to often. Afterall, he remains convinced that I persuaded his girlfriend to press assault on a female charges when he inadvertently hurt her. I do believe that he just lost it temporarily and is not intrinsically a mean or dangerous person, just needing mood stabilizers. (and I guess a record to wise up).
His uncle was apparently just like him and it took till he was almost 40 to wise up. I am hoping setting a good example will help given his parents can't or won't. That includes tough love and distance if necessary.
I will wait for The Catalyst if he sees fit to show:-). He is similar to my adopted son from his writings.
Thank you again.
Alright, fine... ...what do you want?
I remain perplexed as to whether my efforts are futile and therefore just an academic exercise on my part or if there is some true benefit to caring about someone that may not truly care about me other than attachment. Maybe this is about protecting myself from further damage or attachment. Either way, please give your thoughts, as I find this site helpful not because it is a doctor's view, but more so because it is precisely the kind of person that I deal with on a daily basis.
I guess if I could ask one question, based on all that I have read on this forum....it would be, how much do friends matter to you? Do they at all? And if so, how do you remain friends with someone that turns on you with suspicions?
If you had a friend like me, one that has been there during the harder times of your life, would you have some loyalty, or is it more of a take it and leave it situation?
Would you feel comfortable using and/or abusing a person who has considered you a friend?
And lastly, how would I remain friends with someone that is so obviously difficult at times?
I assure you that I am not playing a game.
It is possible that you relate to the person that I know so well, who labels himself as a sociopath but has been known to manipulate quite well, emotionally abuse if the opportunity arises, yet still thrives on having his girlfriend and a best friend ...and will on occasion threaten suicide or become brutally mean if he doesn't get his needs met.
Either way, I welcome your thoughts...because honestly I am at wit's end.
Here is a chance to make a difference if one can in fact be made. I have listened to Hexi, and the others. Your perspective was the one that I in fact wanted the most.
BTW...I have not had a little forum. So I do not know to what you refer. Is there more than one of me too, and I am not aware?
This is a concerned "mom" and friend of a challenging teenager who is trying to make a difference.
Why do you? This is something that is curious about nurturers. Who did you fail in your life to the point that you must take care of every stray? I'm not speaking as an authority on anyone nor do i really care what you do with him, i'm just respoding with my own thoughts on the matter so salt is adviceable.
You know...you really are making me think here. Why do I?
Since I was a child I always cared for wounded ducks or animals. Then as a teenager I moved on to caring for the outcasts of certain groups (not everyone just one on occasion who touched me in some way). Later as an adult, I started caring for unwanted groups- I was one of the first who wanted to care for AIDS patients and it was the prompter to get me interested in going to nursing school.
After nursing school, I became particularly fond of phychological issues. I friended a man that has some sort of schizo personality (no I still do not know which one, or if in fact there were more than one problem) but at the time, when we first were becoming friends, I found that I had a special understanding for someone that can't relate to others as well. This goes for introverts too. I just can sit and listen to people patiently, even if they hate talking. And I seem to understand or at least obtain a level of comfort that they can't find with others.
I also don't seem to judge others as harshly at the general public. It may seem that way, because I do use a label on occasion, but this is just because the mind needs categories to aid in understanding and remembering. I like people who are different and I think that I have an appreciation for differences and eccentricities. It is a spark of excitement in my life. I forget who posts on this forum that some of the people who post are bored and need excitement in their lives. Maybe I am like that...but I tend to think that it is a mutual gain. I like them, they like me.
But is that why I continue taking on strays? I can't say.
As for this one kid, well he reached out for me. And unlike all the thousands of people who I meet in my career, (of various ages and professions) I have found this one to be particularly valuable to me. We connected. He gave me someone that I feel comfortable opening up too. And interestingly enough, I am considered extroverted. But I am private.
So maybe this one person, who probably is partially or fully sociopathic, meets this one needs that is important to me. Or maybe his ability to find my one need or weakness gives him that power over me.
I can't say.
As for WHO did I fail? Could it be that maybe someone failed me????
I have no mother to speak of. I have no close family. I have a son (biological) that is dear to me, but he is in college and rather independent of me and always has been since his teens. And I have no husband (not that the ones that I took on weren't broken in some respect).
Maybe...I failed myself.
Or maybe, this is where I am suppose to be...wandering around, matching my mind to strange birds....?
Alright first off, you don't know whether that boy is a sociopath and you don't know if anyone here is a sociopath either. You shouldn't draw such idiotic conclusions out of the air. No matter how much that boy insists he's a sociopath, no matter how much these people insist they are sociopaths. And even if that boy was a sociopath, nobody here could understand him better than you can. Actually, I take it back. You're so clueless that it wouldn't be surprising if they could understand him better.
It's like you're living in a completely different reality where you can't get over your ridiculous fascination with sociopathy. It's time to wake up, woman, or get the hell out of the forum. While you're at it, get some help. You need it.
I don't even know why I'm even writing this, I know it'll just ring to empty ears. It's like telling an autistic kid not to put his hand in boiling water a 100 times, and only once he's put his hand in boiling water does he realize what the other guy was saying. So good luck with it, idiot, and I hope you burn badly.
Ps. Catalyst, if you don't want to play his game, then why are you even responding? That is a contradiction. Also, yes there are two "toby's", the other one being someone who is trying to soil my name. You should just quit replying altogether, that guy is here for attention.
Funny that this whole thing started when I wounded WhiteWolf's ego.
You are right. Thanks. And this forum is all that it proposes.
Do I have a facination w/sociopathy? Can you be sure of that? Or do I have a facination with the person that in fact has lived with me for the past 1.5 years and challenged me in ways that I have found difficult to cope with.
I thought at first that I just would back down to your replies, as I have done on the many occasions that I have had this young man in my life do similar things. But no I will not.
It is quite possible that I have issues, it is possible that I am autistic and need burned. Quote from my adopted son, " are you xxxxxxx stupid or autistic?". The fact is that I have been burned. And I did opt to try to understand this kid one last time, because unlike his parents and others in his life, I have chosen NOT to walk away and actually SEEK to do the right thing whatever that may be.
Now some of the replies on this thread have given me good reason to proceed with caution. And perhaps I do know that I tread on dangerous ground, but I was under the impression that the purpose of this forum was to gain knowledge and discuss psychological and philosophical issues as they become relevant.
Are you Toby saying that I have no right to proceed in knowing and sharing with a person that probably has significant issues that may or may not be sociopathic in nature. It is not an obsession w/the disorder as much as seeking to understand the beast that I share my life with.
A young man with issues with lying, trust, disliking people in general, treating people like dispensible objects, and abusive behaviors obviously has some issues to deal with not including the law. I can't begin to change these things. But, as a parent, which it seems to me you are not, there is a certain love and extension of caring that I extend. I find it much easier to turn my head and let him end up in prison or lets say physically abuse his girlfriend, like his parents obviously let him do. I choose not too.
As for my issues, well obviously I must have some. I do not deny that. But I do choose to reveal and discuss any topics that present themselves in this forum. Including your insults.
I do not ask that you be kind or accomodating, just that you consider engaging me in meaningful discussion as others have. Resorting to putting down others, rather than using insight (which I believe that you may possess to some degree if you choose this forum to communicate), is not my favorite way to communicate.
I agree that I can not confirm any diagnosis of any individual. I do not try. I asked for assistance. And honestly that is what I have obtained to date.
So thank you for your input, again. It reminds me that there are those that aren't nuturers. And honestly I don't consider that side of myself a bad thing. Afterall, one day you will find yourself in the hospital sick for some reason...and I am not so sure that you would like someone like yourself taking care of you while you are ill.
I am not so bad. It takes all types. And I appreciate your directness.
I believe that you are out of your depth in this situation. Let me tell you a story:
The scorpion said to the frog, "I want to cross the river, but I cannot swim. Please let me ride on your back while you swim to the other side."
"No way," said the frog. "If I let you get that close to me, you will sting me."
"That would be crazy," said the scorpion. "If I were to sting you while we were crossing, we would both drown."
The frog considered this argument, concluded that it made sense, and agreed to carry the scorpion across on his back. Halfway across the river, the scorpion unleashed his stinger upon the frog, and the frog began dying. "How could you do this," he cried. "Now we are both dead, and you promised you wouldn't."
"Well," replied the scorpion. "That's just my nature."
Hexi has given you some useful information, but you seem ill-disposed towards making any use of it. You would rather, it seems, go on talking about this matter as if any words could change the facts of the strange household you are hosting. You seem determined to do almost anything but make use of Hexi's honest and accurate reply to your questions. You seem to imagine that more words will somehow show you a way to deal with this boy in a "positive" way, and so help him across the river.
What you are calling "love" (what a slippery word that is), means nothing at all to a scorpion except that "love" provides a powerful lever he or she can use to manipulate and control. Such "love" is only a joke to someone who doesn't feel it, doesn't need it, and doesn't want it.
It is only a question of time until you learn this first-hand, but during that time a lot of damage can be done. A word to the wise is sufficient.
Dr. Robert and Hexi and others
I do not underestimate the value of Hexi. I just got on a tangent on my own issues. I play with fire. I have been burned, and I know the extent of the potential damage.
I will not ignor any of the wisdom I have received, I just remained open to hearing everyone, because I do value input. While I was visiting this site, I also enjoyed getting to know everyone in what little way that i could.
I like this site, and enjoy everyone's comments and thoughts. I have been told that I can be misunderstood. Perhaps I am now.
Thank you all for your thoughts. This thread is over. And my adopted son will be out of my immediate life at some point. Afterall, my resources are limited and he knows that.
I hope you don't mind if i follow this forum, frankly I have enjoyed it.
Welcome to the forum. Enjoy it.