Lovefraud received a letter from a woman who we’ll call Valerie. She met her husband, whom we’ll call Dylan, at age 18, and has been with him for seven years. She thought they were happy together in their wonderful home with their family of pets.
Suddenly Dylan started acting erratically. He said he didn’t want to be with Valerie any more. He picked fights. She asked Dylan to leave, but made it clear that she was willing to do whatever was necessary to help him. So he left, and wouldn’t tell her where he was. Eventually, Valerie’s intuition told her to check her husband’s Facebook page, where she found Dylan’s love letters to another woman.
Then Valerie found how Dylan described himself on another website. Here’s what he wrote:
My name is Dylan and I believe in Chaos, destruction and murder. I will contradict myself but I don’t think that should make me a hypocrite. I hone my strengths and hide my weaknesses because only the strong will survive. I lie, cheat and steal. But only if it’s the most intelligent plan of action; & only the stupid get caught. I’m fighting a personal rebellion I can’t justify. I’m losing my mind, my friends and my morals with each passing day, but each day I pass leads me closer to finding myself. I would rather live my life in surrender to temptation than to deny my natural instincts. I never hurt those who do not hurt me first, I don’t believe in physical confrontation but as in eastern philosophy I am trained to engage in it, if for nothing more than the practice of strengthening the bond between mind and body.
I know who I am, but not where I am, or why I am here. I find Art to be the only voice of reason in a place otherwise inhabited by counter-production. I promote sex, but lack emotion, I hate addicts but I believe in drugs, I make music but I destroy everything else. I bore easily but I am doomed to repeat myself.
My name is Dylan and this is only the beginning.
Whoa! Did this guy just write the sociopath manifesto?
I don’t know if Dylan is truly describing himself—apparently he’s got some kind of hardcore band and perhaps he wrote the above statement for its shock value. Still, is it possible to even come up with these ideas if he didn’t experience the state of mind that they imply?
The truly scary thing about sociopaths is that they are fundamentally different from the rest of us. They do not want what we want. They do not value what we value.
Normal human beings want affection, cooperation and achievement. We want to care about others and contribute to life. Sociopaths want power, control and sex, and they’ll destroy anyone and anything to get what they want.
But sociopaths look like us and appear to act like us. That’s why they are so hard to identify. It’s also why people who have not experienced their manipulation up close and personal find it so difficult to believe us. The uninitiated—those lucky souls who have not been devastated by a sociopath—have yet to learn that there are people in the world for whom proclamations of love, truth and promises are nothing but tactics in a power game.
This is the bottom line: Dealing with a sociopath changes everything. Normal human courtesies do not apply. Social protocols do not apply. Rules do not apply. Contracts do not apply. Laws do not apply.
If we find that we are interacting with a sociopath, the best thing we can do is get the person out of our lives. When that is not possible, we need to be on mental red alert at all times and understand that anything the person says may be a lie. We need to know that for the sociopath, we are not a friend, or a lover, or a relative, or a co-worker. For a sociopath, all we are is a target.
Lovefraud first published this story on June 1, 2009.