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Answers to questions about sociopaths

I recently heard from yet another Lovefraud reader who realizes that she’s been in a relationship with a sociopath. She’s in the phase of trying to wrap her brain around about what these people are, and sent me the following email:

What happens to these people?  These sociopaths?  How do they end up in life?  Do they just go from victim to victim?  Have any of them ever realized the affliction of which they suffer?  Do they ever realize they are not capable of love?  If they are not capable of love, they will never be happy, right?  So…you could present “Red Flags of Love Fraud” to a sociopath and they would not see themselves in it, correct?  Do they ever see the error of their ways?  There is a rather cryptic site called Narcissism Cured, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.

I’m thinking they die alone and unhappy.  They don’t have the capacity to find true happiness if they don’t have the capacity to love.  Chemically, what goes on in their brains?  Is research being done?  Does it run in families?

Many readers, I’m sure, have the same questions, so I’ll address them one at a time.

What happens to these people? These sociopaths?  How do they end up in life? 

Many sociopaths eventually crash and burn. But it can take a long time—decades—during which they create havoc for just about everyone in their lives.

There is evidence that sociopaths die younger than people who are not disordered, due to their reckless lifestyle. Even some so-called “successful psychopaths”—those who ply their exploitative trade in the business world—may eventually face a comeuppance. Think Bernie Madoff.

Unfortunately, the sociopath you encountered may never pay directly for what he did to you. You may eventually hear that his life fell apart, that he’s burned all his bridges and is in trouble and alone, and you may feel like he got what he deserved.

But don’t wait for it. You need to find your own way of getting past what happened, so that you can move on.

Do they just go from victim to victim? 

Yes. Sociopaths live their lives by exploiting people. They view every social interaction as a feeding opportunity.

Have any of them ever realized the affliction of which they suffer? 

Yes, some of them realize that they are sociopaths. I have heard from people who tell me they’ve been diagnosed with the disorder. Some of them seem to be perturbed—they’re probably the ones who are fairly low on the sociopathic scale.

Others view themselves as superior beings. They don’t view sociopathy as an affliction. Rather, they see it as a competitive advantage.

Do they ever realize they are not capable of love? 

Some of them know they are missing something. But having never experienced love, they don’t quite know what it is. It’s like asking someone who is colorblind to describe red or green. They have no frame of reference.

If they are not capable of love, they will never be happy, right? 

Sociopaths are motivated by three things: power, control and sex. So when they feel like they have power and control, or when they successfully pursue sex, they would probably describe themselves as happy.

So…you could present “Red Flags of Love Fraud” to a sociopath and they would not see themselves in it, correct? 

They may very well recognize their behavior. But they probably won’t see anything wrong with it.

Do they ever see the error of their ways? 

Sociopaths feel totally entitled to do whatever they want to get whatever they want. So if you hear words like, “I’m sorry,” “I know I’ve treated you badly,” or “It’s all my fault,” well, they are not expressing genuine remorse. They’re worming their way back into your life so they can exploit you again.

There is a rather cryptic site called Narcissism Cured, but that doesn’t seem to be possible. 

All sociopaths are narcissists, although not all narcissists are sociopaths. The difference appears to be in the degree of malevolence. Narcissists are so focused on themselves that they don’t notice when they hurt people. Sociopaths often hurt people intentionally.

Once a sociopath is an adult, there is no proven cure. I think the same thing applies to narcissists.

It may be possible for someone with a personality disorder to learn to control the expression of his or her disorder. But keeping a lid on bad behavior doesn’t mean the disorder is cured.

I’m thinking they die alone and unhappy. They don’t have the capacity to find true happiness if they don’t have the capacity to love. 

Perhaps. They may also live by the motto, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

Chemically, what goes on in their brains?  Is research being done? 

There are chemical and structural differences in the brains of psychopaths (the term used by most academic researchers). There are also differences in the ways that parts of psychopaths’ brains communicate with each other.

Research is ongoing. Maybe the scientists will eventually find a way to change the brain to correct the disorder. But will a psychopath submit to treatment? If they don’t believe there is anything wrong with them, why should they?

Does it run in families? 

Psychopathy is highly genetic. This means people may be born with a predisposition for the disorder. Whether the disorder actually develops has much to do with environmental factors, especially the parenting that the individual receives.

If a person is born with the genes for psychopathy, if often means that one of the parents is disordered. Unfortunately, psychopaths make terrible parents, so conditions are usually ripe for their children to also become disordered. In fact, some psychopaths intentionally try to turn their children into little Mini-Mes.

That’s why it’s so important to understand the Red Flags of Love Fraud. Becoming romantically involved with these individuals always has the potential of leading to children—children who may also become disordered.


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creampuff

OMG…all that is so bizarre….!! Just wondering if any of you nurses out there know about drug abuse and abscesses on the body…my bio Spath daughter has been an RN herself for 13 years..well, she has been a drug abuser for years as well…last year she and her idiot husband took off (running from the law I’m sure) and headed 1600 miles away..her oldest son went out there for Christmas to visit and called me when he got back..he said she was put in the hospital for what she was claiming was MRSA but we think it’s related to her drug abuse..he said she has about 15 huge deep holes in her legs and her hands are swollen up like footballs. He has since come back home, but said they put her in the hospital. Since we have no idea WHAT hospital or where…(she got really bad while they were traveling) Do you think the hospital will “connect the dots”?? I’ve been NC with her for over a year, but she does have 3 little daughters and it is so scary….I’m always on alert to get a call that she has died…do any of you all live with that horrible sense of dread all the time? How do you just enjoy simple things like a movie or shopping when you always have this fear in the back of your mind? Everything in the past any of us have tried has failed miserably..she was in re hab at one point, but it did nothing…she has been fired from almost every nursing job she has had and she still finds a new one…to think of someone like this working as a nurse is so scary….Just reaching out !!!

Louise

creampuff:

Sounds maybe like cellulitis? I hate to say this, but that makes me very afraid for her to be a nurse. I would not want her taking care of me! I hope that doesn’t make you feel bad, but it’s scary that she is responsible for people’s lives when she is working if she is under the influence of drugs. 🙁

Ox Drover

Creampuff,

Depends on WHAT drugs she is using, and if maybe she also has HIV or other health problems as well. It very well could be MRSA, about 30% of all community acquired skin infections now are MRSA so it is out of the hospital and into the community….on shopping carts, bus seats, plane seats, etc. When I go to Wal Mart, Ii always wipe down the handle of the shopping carts and am very careful to keep my hands off my face after leaving home.

I am assuming they have the little kids with them….

As for WORRYING that is YOUR mind at workk and YOU can control that. I used to worry continually that Patrick would be beaten, stabbed, killed, raped etc in prison and I imagine that many of those things have actually happened but I don’t know the details, and now I do NOT worry…because there is A) nothing I can do and B) nothing I can do and C) nothing I can do.

The Bible tells us that we can not change a thing by WORRYING. So what you must do is when you catch yourself “worrying” or thinking “what if..this…or that…” SAY STOP, Creampuff…there is nothing you can do. You may have to chant this like a mantra but you can stop yourself doing this worrying and rumination, it will take work and practice but you can do it. (((hugs)))) Helps me to pray as well.

Darwinsmom,
yeah, that’s what makes spaths predictable. They do the same things over and over.

creampuff

Thanks everyone! I will do the things you mentioned…I have been a worrier all my life..just my nature I think. I do know there is NOTHING I can do..I was thinking the same thing Oxy..that she may have HIV if she’s been using this long…her whole family did have MRSA several years ago..they said she must have brought it home on her scrubs..but I’m surprised the hospitals would allow someone to work as a nurse if they had ever been diagnosed with MRSA. I guess she is good at hiding it. I actually woke up this morning thinking of all the hours of my life I have spent ruminating about these 2 Spaths in my life….all the time I’ve spent reading books, talking about it..trying to figure them out…etc…I wish I could just slam on the brakes of all that and just get on with MY LIFE….you all have helped so much though…I loved the gray rock article and the living in the present exercise…Happy New Year to you all !!!

Ox Drover

Creampuff, Yea, it is hard to relearn how to think, and to quit ruminating about things we can not do anything about. Worrying.

There is one thing that I WORRY about and that is finances….I got it from my folks as a kid I think…and my folks got it from their parents who lived through the depression.

My husband and I joked about it. I would say “save save for tomorrow we may starve, and he would say Spend, spend, for tomorrow we may die.”

There have been one or two times in my adult life when Ii was ABSOLUTELY BROKE…down to the last CENT. After my divorce I was living in the back of my pick up truck with 2 kids and a cat…in a camper shell over the back of the truck. Parked in state parks camp grounds. Did that an entire summer.

Another time I was down to $1.67 in cash left to live on for nearly a month and I “invested” it in a nickle ante poker game and turned it into about $50.

I’ve always been a “save for a rainy day” kind of person and when I see more going out than is coming in I “panic”—that was why I tried to teach my kids to SAVE some of their money for “emergencies” and to have a fund in case of need. I know so many people who COULD save some money but they spend every dime on TOYS and when they have a blow out on a tire on their car they can’t purchase a new one. Or they buy a big house they can’t afford and if they lose their job for a few months they can’t pay the mortgage. I’m not talking about people who are doing the best they can and are broke, but people who WASTE money when they could save some and then if ANYthing happens to stop the flow of income, they are in DEEP trouble.

When my son C lived here with me, the “rules” were that he had to give me 1/3 of his take home for room and board, and SAVE 1/3 for EMERGENCIES like his truck dying, or him losing his job or whatever…breaking a leg and can’t work…EMERGENCIES.

Well he did that for about a year and a half…actually I had allowed him (at my suggestion) to live here rent free and not even look for a job for six months to recover from the trauma we had all been through when his x wife and her lover had tried to kill him. Then he went to work, and like clock work, paid me the 1/3 for R&B and saved 1/3 and after a year had quite a nice EMERGENCY fund built up, his truck was nearly paid for—but then he blew it and SPENT HIS EMERGENCY FUND on a FANCY COMPUTER for on line video games. DAMN! Plus, he lied to me. So I told him he had to leave…and he did…but now he was BROKE….had a fancy computer but BROKE and without a “home” or family support. Had some friends who took him in to couch surf for a while, but the whole thing was totally unnecessary…and poor judgment.

Most of his friends are that irresponsible about money though. Their credit is shot…they buy toys and have no savings…and live from pay check to pay check, not because they don’t have a job, but because they don’t make RESPONSIBLE decisions about spending.

I guess I have enough of that “depression era mentality” inherited from my grandparents that I am a compulsive saver. I have toys, don’t get me wrong, I don’t live like a monk, but at the same time, I shop wisely and spend wisely and don’t buy things I can’t afford, but though I am not down to the last $1.67 yet, I still WORRY at times about more going out than is coming in right now, so have to stop myself and say….YOU ARE DOING ALL YOU CAN TO FIX THIS SITUATION AND WORRYING ISN’T GOING TO HELP. Just the same way I have to try to STOP WORRYING about Patrick getting out of prison, I AM DOING ALL I CAN TO FIX THAT SITUATIONS AND WORRYING ISN’T GOING TO HELP.

Truthspeak

Creampuff, OxD is spot-on – the anxiety is something that I’m familiar with and it can get WAY out of control for me. I’ve played a lot of “What If?” games with myself over the past 15 months, and I STILL do but not to the degree that I did. It takes time and practice to recognize and acknowledge that there are some things over which I have no control. I cannot control a Judge’s decision. I cannot control what the exspath chooses to do. I cannot control the weather. I can ONLY control my own actions, choices, and decisions. Doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to “like” that fact, or “embrace” it. It’s just a plain fact.

I’ve had MRSA twice and was one of the first few cases in my area to be recognized as MRSA. What the spath is presenting doesn’t sound like MRSA, at all, but a physical collapse from some sort of substance abuse. I’m no medical professional, but it doesn’t matter WHAT she has – that’s something over which there is no control, as well.

Brightest and most encouraging blessings

kim frederick

Creampuff, I think that crystal meth users often get absesses and boils on their faces and bodies. They often pick at them, and end up with bad infections, also scarring.
You can learn more about this by googling crystal meth and boils.
Best wishes, to you.

Ox Drover

Creampuff,

No telling really what the medical problems are, and it really doesn’t matter…none of us have any control over that woman…or her kids or anything else…though I know you are concerned CONCERNED about the kids. Maybe if you know where she is call child protective services in that county/city and talk to them and maybe they can investigate…at this point in time, what have you got to lose by doing THAT? If she is a major drug user, maybe they will do something…maybe not, but you will have done ALL you can do.

bluemosaic

Reading and educating myself about what I chose to love so openly and freely. If I am to not do this again, I intend to have clear understanding of the traits so I recognize them before I open my life and heart up in future. I think my spath knew what he was…a brilliant mind, one thing I loved about him. He also did many “tells”….little statements that turned out to be like foreshadowing of what he would do to me in the end. It was not something I saw at the time, but those little “tells” come back to me in blips now, as the trauma he left me in unfolds.
I also visited the 180rule.com site and this was a very big eye opener. Learning to see with my eyes, my instincts and my mind…I will not go forth blindly.
Next spath I encounter will get GRAY ROCK from get go.

Bluemosaic

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