Children of sociopaths are twice cursed

Many have declared that the lack of a conscience is the defect that defines sociopathy. Therefore, understanding how the conscience forms will lead us to better understand this disorder. Researchers currently discuss two basic pathways to conscience formation. The first and most common path to conscience is through guilt. Conscience through guilt develops from fear of punishment. Children who are genetically at risk for sociopathy are often fearless and so have little or no guilt, as discussed last week.

The second path to conscience

The second path to conscience is through empathy. A fearless child can have a conscience if he develops empathy. Conscience through empathy is called the “second pathway” or “alternative pathway” by researchers because empathy provides a conscience to fearless, relatively guiltless, people. Most humans have a two part conscience and experience both guilt and empathy.

Just what is empathy?

Empathy is our understanding of the feelings of others, AND a compulsion to treat others kindly based on this understanding. A compulsion is a strong urge— something a person feels he has to do. The compulsion to treat others kindly happens in part because an empathetic person actually feels another’s feelings as if they were his own. Thus the adage, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” describes a neural reflex.

If you have spent time with a sociopath, you can probably attest to the fact that although sociopaths have some understanding of other’s feelings, they lack the compulsion to treat others kindly. Brain imaging studies reveal that the parts of the brain responsible for empathy are smaller and poorly developed in sociopaths. Thus, sociopaths have failed to develop BOTH guilt and empathy. As a child, the sociopath did not travel down either path toward a conscience.

Fearless at-risk children can develop a conscience through empathy

To develop a conscience through empathy, at risk children need large amounts of nurturing attention. An especially close, loving relationship with at least one caregiver is required for empathy to develop. Because at-risk children are also impulsive and very difficult to be with, it is hard to provide them with the nurturing attention they need. Parents who succeed with at risk kids do so because they strike a balance between training impulse control and paying loving positive attention. An excessive focus on “discipline” prevents a parent from providing enough of the nurturing attention needed for empathy to develop.

At risk children are twice cursed twice!

Children of sociopaths are therefore twice cursed. They are at risk to fail to develop both guilt and empathy, one double curse. They are twice cursed again when the same genes that put them at risk, also give them unfit parents. Sociopaths are not capable of providing the nurturing attention at-risk children require. They also model aggressive behavior. In an at-risk child, unchecked aggressive impulses further squelch the development of empathy.

Are you the only healthy parent of an at-risk child?

If you are the only healthy parent of an-risk child, you have the challenge of dealing with your child’s genetics while minimizing the harmful environmental influences caused by the sociopathic parent. The legal system has failed to protect many at-risk kids from the harm done by parents who are sociopaths. This is especially tragic when there is a relatively healthy parent who is willing and able to provide the love and nurturance the at-risk child needs. The legal system should formally recognize that a child does not need both of his parents if one is a sociopath.

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I didn’t realize either what I was dealing with…..all along….
Knew he was selfish, committed to drugs, mean, a punisher…..I didn’t notice the control……becuase I was always strong and opininated and was adament I could not be controlled…..BUT HE DID……through various avenues….

I too was ‘saved’ by finding this knowledge of Cluster B’s.
When I read the symptoms…..I was freaked out by it….it was like the dr’s had been following him around.
I was ready hear it……
You’ll be okay myboys…’ll be okay…..keep believing in yourself!!!


EB – thanks for your words earlier. x

taking a bit of a break today – from siphoning of the spath poison in me. it is amazing to know i can do it.

x one step


thanks my boys 😉



You are the best!! I spoke with mortgage company and the fax is on the way now. The TRO does indeed say that he is not in any way to prohibit me exclusive use of the home while the divorce is pending and this includes not paying the mortgage! So I called them, they noted it, are awaiting the fax and I have more time:) I also supplied his new address and phone. Hopefully he will be forced to modify the mortgage to something I can afford, it I decide to stay.

He has sent progressively ugly emails today, spelling out that he is rebuilding his life and bought a computer, phone and getting a new car (proof he has income for the judge!) and that he will not pay the mortgage so I will be kicked out of the house…guess not!

Eb, just wanted to let you know that I tried to email the Xmas Pics to you, but your address bounced back. Also, Donna was cross with me for giving my email address and she removed it.I thought it was OK if we were introduced by Donna.Not sure where to go from here.Im GLAD that I exchanged my email and street addresses with NewLily, as it enabled us to correspond before her op and subsequent death and Im also glad I mailed her the bead necklace and scarf, which gave her some pleasure, God knows she had little enough love in her life, except the loving messages from her friends on LF. If you ask Donna if you can email ne again and give me your postal address I can mail the pics to you. Much Love, Gem.XX

Ox Drover

Dear Gem,

Donna does not, for SAFETY reasons, want us to post our personal e mails on the BLOG. She is absolutely right in that as well, remember that there are trolls who come here from time to time.

My e mail addy that I have had for years, unfortunately leads back to my home address and web page for my farm, so I have to be very particular how it gets out there.

I am glad that you corresponded with Lily, and I know it meant so much to her, but please be careful, the wonderful SAFETY that we feel here at LF can become a danger if we are not careful! Love Oxy

OK, Oxy, darling, point taken!
How are you going by the way? Im a bit like you, good some days, and other days Im overwhelmed by sadness anda sense of “what was it all for,” raising two lovely little girls to have them turn into spaths!
But most days Im doing OK, and trying to move on with my life. Sometimes it seems that everyone I know, practically is either a spath,a bully, a control freak or a useror parasite,,and Ive had to cut a lot of people out of my life, I even had to give up the volunteer job which I enjoyed, as the woman who runs it is a control freak, a bully, and her mood swings were not doing me any good at all.So, back to the drawing board. I have MUCh to be thankful to God for, my loving husband, our lovely Iranian “kids”., {who are coming to lunch next Sunday,– great!!As you said and its so true, when you “draw a line in the sand” and insist on certain behaviours, you have to be prepared for the relationship,{or relationshit!} not to survive, if the spath wont play ball. I havent had any contact with d since the beginning of June last year, and I havent seen her since Dec. 8th, 08.Im still reeling from the shock of finding out she embezzled,{stole<} A$62,000, and was "forgiven" A$50,000 of this amount! It explains to me now why she lost a top job witha top Nature mag, she had her own office, surrounded by bushland, her own secretary, she was the editor, and worked on her kids mag at the same timeWhen the nature Mag was taken over by new management, they ran an audit, and discovered she'd put the $62,000 thru their accounts, and then siphoned it off into her own bank balance..Now she is largely unemployed, flat sitting fo r a girlfriend, doing articles for various publications. she tells people she isa Journalist, which she is NOT. she has no paper qualifications of any kind. The years my ex and I hoped shed be at Uni, were spent in a squat with her feral, hippy mates.Like your son, she seemed to crave the company of her social and intellectual inferiors, who looked up to her, and stroked her ego.She will be 46 in a few months , and I wonder where shell end up when shes run out of suckers to con.Im looking forward to another trip to bonny Scotland in may, where I still have a few old and dear friends.
Take care, Much Love, Gem.XX
Temps have been AWFUL, up to 40 deg.C, and 100% humidity, but today is much cooler, thank God. Weve hada lot of tropical type rain too.


No worries…don’t know why it bounced? It’s a valid address…..
There needs to be anonimity for our own safety….remember the web is world wide…..and like oxy said….ya just never know who is lurking….

I know s #2 was hacking into systems through email…..just an example of how dangerous these dipshits can be…
He even hacked into the courts computer…..pretty ballsy!

So…..think smart and protect yourself darlen!

Have a wonderful weekend with your cherished Iranian friends Mama!!!


EB, Thank you darling for those kind words! Yea your right, we need to be careful of these trolls. Im feeling a lot more positive these days, but I swing a bit from sad to happy to energetic to tired out, I guess its normal, after all these spaths were in our lives fora long time, its like withdrawal from toxic drugs, I suppose! Its still the hardest thing Ive EVEr had to do in my life, to go total NC with my adult spath daughters. {well, only one really as the younger one, the control freak, hasnt allowed me to see her or her kids in 17 years.} Now the boots on the other foot , as I dont wish to see the little bitch again, I cant stand her. She is snobby, haughty, bossy, money hungry, controlling,cruel,and everyone dances to her tune, NOT ME anymore!!She will be 44 on the 25th of this Month, I plan to buy some flowers for ME, not for her, she doesnt deserve any!! Much Love to you and everyone I love, Oxy, hens, witty, one step,ALL of you ROCK!!! {{HUGS!!}}} Gem.XXXX


GO GEM!!!!!!


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