Dear Dr Robert,
I have been arrested and convicted for stalking a women for nine months - until my arrest. After the no contact order was in place and while awaiting trial I continued to contact this woman for several months - I was more careful and found ways around getting caught. Now after serving some time, I still want to cause her pain and suffering and miss the enjoyment I found in making her terrified. I feel I am suffering and I want her to suffer as well.
My original reason for stalking her was because we had an intimate ( not sexual, even though I wanted that) relationship - spoke every day for three years and talked about very intimate details of our lives. She decided she didn't want to be friends any longer because I was "abusive." I had become extremely possessive and jealous and preoccupied with her. At first I was distraught and devastated and afraid because she left me,but it turned into a rage and I wanted revenge.
I still want to harass her and cause her pain. I have a girlfriend and am controlling of her, but the obsessiveness is missing with this relationship. I feel detached from most people and have little empathy or remorse for my actions - they are usually self-serving. My therapist (LCSW) seems to think it is because I am afriad to be vulnerable and feel sadness that leads me to these behaviors. I feel like I am two different people - a Jekyll and Hyde - with one person who tries to do the right thing by being caring and compassionate, but those actions are lead by no connected feelings of attachment. I feel dead most of the time. I killed animals and abused them often as a child and I set people up to abuse others while I stood back and watched with amusement. Sometimes i feel bad for a certain few people, but mostly is in reaction to my own state of mind at the time - if I'm feeling good, I'm a little less mean spirited.
Do you think I am a psychopath?
I didn't even read past the first half of the first paragraph and i assure you, you are not.
The honest reply should be "I do not have a clue." You are being helped, aren't you? Haven't you discussed all of this with your therapist as openly as you have here? If you haven't, you should.
I will give my opinion but, as always, it is the opinion of a layman.
I tend to agree with the first reply simply because you seem to be consciously aware of what you do and, in some sense, you feel regret about it. You don't feel psychological pain per se, from what you say, but it troubles you consciously if you have gone as far as to write this.
Psychopaths have absolutely no remorse or guilt. Moreover, despite being posessive with all the women you "love", you only want to hurt that particular woman who did cause you grief. It may not be as explicit as in many cases, but that sounds a very basic and tipically human reaction. You crave vengeance.
A psycopath would enjoy causing pain to everyone and you do not: you do not feel empathic about anyone, or nearly anyone, but you only wish to harm specific peopl. It is true you have taken pleasure from the suffering of other creatures and people, and that is a bad sign, but there are other things that can trigger that. You said yourself that sometimes you feel less "mean. If you feel you are mean, then you don't feel comfortable with what that implies. I don't know if a true psycopath would think in such a way. Besides: do you really spend your free time finding ways to cause harm to other persons and enacting them? Do you usually do that, at this point of your life, to almost everyone you know or meet?
I don't know if psycopathy can take that form, but if it can it is atypical because I can find no reference to it in my sources.
You are divided, you may even enter a dissociative state, but that should be discussed with a good psychiatrist. Open up to someone who can truly help you by evaluating you thoroughly.
There is no doubt in my mind that you have serious issues: who knows, you could be a psychopath, a sociopath or something else. The point is, if your current therapist is being purely analytical instead of directive and only gives you generic answers filled with maybe, you must rethink your strategy or find yourself another therapist.
-- What am I doing here? --
I am currently doing research on several topics for a few books and articles I am writing. I would like to make a positive contribution to fora (plural of "forum") about such topics in order to get constructive views on those matters for a better perspective on them. This is why I came here. I will not indulge myself in flamming and will not respond directly to any clearly non-constructive replies.
I have read some of Dr. Robert's responses to certain questions and I find them lacking and biased. Still, I truly wish to know what people who come here, and even Dr. Robert himself, think about my points of view for three reasons. First: I know I can, very easily, be wrong and I should keep an eye out for other opinions. Second: all points of view are important to have perspective on any matter, specially the ones one doesn't agree with. Third: wisdom can come from very strange places and one should not underestimate anyone as far as knowledge and wisdom are concerned.
Please, give me honest and constructive replies: I will return in kind.
"The slumber of reason creates monsters." - Goya
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I have been evaluated by many different therapists and psychiatrists and the diagnoses are conflicting. I have been diagnosed with: PTSD, Borderline, narcissism, antisocial PD, psychopathy and sociopathy I am trying to find a diagnosis that fits, since I am not comfortable with not knowing, I have been searching for answers and opinions.
I do have a lot of insight and have been in therapy for many years and have done a lot of reading. I can talk about myself to people and they are amazed at my own awareness as well as of other's behavior. I love to focus on my inner life to the point of being very self-absorbed, but I don't really wish to change my behaviors.
I do not usually hurt others but am constantly berating them and irritable and have a short fuse when dealing with them. The woman I was stalking is a psychologist and she told the court that I had antisocial personality disorder. I was attracted to her because she spent an enormous amount of time analyzing me which I loved the attention and the feeling of being "special." She told me that she had never helped anyone with the same ability to look within and admit to those defects - most people were not capable of seeing their own reflections in the mirror. I tried harder to impress her, so I analyzed myself in order to get her approval, but I made no effort to do the actual changes in order to get better, nor did I have the desire to.
Dr Robert mentioned that he could not diagnose me through email, but noted that I displayed psychopathic behaviors.
I am confused and am looking for other's insight and knowledge.
There is such a thing in medicine as atypical cases and complex diagnosis with multiple disorders.
If you have such a complex inner life, perhaps your problem is not that simple to understand. There are very fine borders between some mental disorders, just like there is a very thin line separating sanity from insanity.
You are satisfied with your behaviour: that is a two way road into and out of a balanced life. You may feel ok with it, but you clearly show you do not like the consequences your behaviour has. How will that equate into your life now?
What most therapists try to do is to help their patients learn how to live with themselves: how can you live a happy and productive life when you are satisfied with your actions but not their consequences?
For example, you just said you tried to impress the psychologist that is the object of your obssession: why would a psycopath or a sociopath need to impress anyone to see his feelings returned? Would such a person care whether or not he is loved or refrain from causing misery to others? Did you have any desire to physically or psychologically attack that woman before she turned against you?
Let's see it another way. If you have no problem with what your are doing, why ask these questions? Is it purely out of curiosity? Are you so completely detached from your own emotional life that the reasons behind your behaviour are just an interesting challenge that you are desperately trying to solve? Do you truly feel pleasure out of other people's pain or do you react purely instinctively with anger when people approach you? Do you even bother to persecute someone that as not provoked you in any way just to cause them suffering? Why do you bother thanking someone for their help or being polite on the internet? Is it just because you want to keep people focused on your problem? If it is so, and you are willing to play a positive role in a discussion to get the attention you crave, why won't you do it in the physical world and pretend to be nice just so people will get closer to you?
Did you have any wish to hurt me just by knowing I exist, after my first post? Do you want to hurt me now that I have defended a position that may contradict your desires?
There is no such thing as a good self-diagnose of mental disorders...
I have tried to ponder what you should do to find some peace and, at the same time, I avidly searched for a way to convince you to try to change your way of life. The first is meant to make you feel better, the second is meant to make those around you less miserable than you make them now. I believe the two of them are related.
There are some answers to some of the previous questions that would make my reasoning void. Some of them would imply that your are completely disassociated from your own emotions, others would show that you truly take pleasure in causing misery around you. Some choices you make now and the way you will answer this post may reflect your inner feelings. Who knows?
Just remember that you have four windows into your own mind, each showing a different image of it: one through which both you and others can see, one that only you can see through, one that only allows others to know what lies behind it and one that cannot be pierced by the sight of anyone at all...
I am too tired to find an appropriate aphorism to end this post: keep searching, talk to others and meditate by yourself about this and you will eventually find what you seek...
I thanked you for taking the time to respond to my posts in an attempt to get you to give me feedback and answers, so thanks again.
To answers some of your questions after giving them some thought, I do find it difficult coming up with concrete answers - being a double gemini doesn't help. I can be very charming and use humor to get people to like me because it boosts my self-esteem momentarily and that makes me feel good - I like the positive feedback from others and bask in their compliments. I try to get people closer to me by being nice, but if they don't give me compliments and positive feedback, then I cut them loose. I like to talk about myself most of the time and when others share things about themselves, I'm mostly bored and detached. I usually only like to observe the unspoken language in others and draw my own conclusions because I think what most people say is bullshit anyway. i believe they think like I do and are either telling lies or are unaware of their true motives.
You're right, I am not happy with the consequences of my behavior - I want to continue to stalk this person, but do not want to go to prison for five years this time. I do try to change my behaviors and abide by the rules, but become bored with the monotony of it all. I do sometimes feel better when I help someone else - that is what AA teaches and have been there too. There is a part of me who wants to be a better person, but the deceitful side usually wins out. I become weary of trying to suppress it.
I didn't want to hurt the psychologist before she ended the relationship, but I was growing angrier with her because she was not giving me what I wanted and I would double my attempts to get her to love me and get my way with her. I didn't want her to have anybody in her life but me and was jealous most of the time. If anything positive was happening in her life, I'd tell her I was happy for her, but I secretly wanted her to fail. I did want feelings of love and approval from her and her opinion of me mattered more than most - if that means I couldn't be a socio/psycopath, then here is my answer. i am very curious about my diagnoses and they have been quite a challenge for me to try to figure out. I think I am very detached emotionally and maybe I continue to seek answers in order to remain detached. Most people say I have a look of emotional detachment.
Who knows... maybe I just have really low self-esteem (but hide it well in front of others) and if I am able to improve that by doing the "right" thing, I will be a happier person and treat others accordingly.