Enabling a sociopath is unpatriotic

Sociopaths/psychopaths commit a disproportionate amount of both violent and non-violent crime in all Western countries. Today is July 4th or American Independence Day, so I am going to take this opportunity to ask that friends and family members of sociopaths stop enabling them.

According to Webster’s Online Dictionary the word enable means:
1 a: to provide with the means or opportunity
b: to make possible, practical, or easy
c: to cause to operate

In her book A Dance With the Devil, (which I highly recommend) Barbara Bentley gives many poignant examples of enabling as she describes how her psychopathic husband accomplished his antisocial goals.

The most shocking of many examples is found on page 271 where she describes how her former husband was paroled after serving only 22 months in jail for trying to murder her:

“”¦a former Two Star business associate who worked as a civilian contractor for the Navy, had vouched for John and gave him a place to stay, along with backing John’s plan to start a plant import business.”

On page 350 Barbara explains that this former business associate also introduced John to his next victim. John moved in on that victim quickly, moving in with her within two weeks of the introduction. He conned at least $65,000 from that woman and also beat her.

This story also goes to show that one “favor” done for a sociopath/psychopath turns into many and culminates in the victimization of innocent people.

The truth is that unless friends and family members completely dissociate from the sociopath they will be called upon to provide with the means or opportunity, to make possible, practical, or easy and to cause to operate.

Here are some other examples of enabling that have come to my attention over the years:

1. Lying for the sociopath in and out of court.
2. Not speaking up when the sociopath tells untrue stories or a bold faced lie to another person in front of the friend/family member.
3. Going with the sociopath to meetings with a parole officer so that the sociopath “looks good.”
4. Helping the sociopath gain custody or unsupervised visitation with children he/she had victimized leading to further victimization of the children.
5. Giving the sociopath money so that he/she seems well off as he/she courts victims.
6. Inviting the sociopath and victims to family gatherings so victims think sociopath is a contributing member of a loving family.
7. Telling victims half truths about the sociopath, eg. Discussing only his/her “good qualities.”
8. Providing the sociopath with transportation to a place where he/she then committed a crime.
9. Sending flowers to sociopath’s next victim on behalf of the sociopath, even when that family member knew the sociopath had a prior trail of at least 4 other victims and is a sex offender.
10. Spying on other people for the sociopath and reporting on their whereabouts and activities.
11. Calling people on behalf of the sociopath.

Many of the specific acts of enabling listed above were done by people who I believe just did not fully comprehend what the sociopath was up to. Tragically these acts of enabling that led to people being harmed were done by enablers who were trying to be kind or polite.

I offer the following guidelines for the friends and family members of sociopaths or suspected sociopaths.

If you know someone has been in jail more than once and/ or has been convicted of more than one felony get away from that person immediately and certainly NEVER help him or her. Criminal recidivism and versatility are two very important signs of psychopathy. Criminal versatility means participating in different kinds of crimes.

If a former spouse claims someone you know is a sociopath, do not dismiss the allegations. During the course of a divorce many nasty things are said but, the usual divorce does not contain that allegation. So instead of giving a potential sociopath the benefit of the doubt, take in all the facts and believe the former spouse until the allegation is proven false. Certainly, in such cases, do not help the alleged sociopath. Do not take such a big risk; a sin of omission is not as bad as a sin committed.

If a member of your family has had many relationships, partnerships or marriages where he or she has lied or has been otherwise unfaithful to the partnership, do not invite that individual to any family gatherings. Certainly do not introduce the probable sociopath to any potential partners, either romantic or business. Do not allow the potential sociopath to use your family gatherings or introductions as a venue for his/her operation.

Now you may be wondering why friends and family who are not sociopaths themselves do all the enabling I have described above. Motives vary, but people have a very hard time giving up on the sociopath and admitting his/her true nature. They are trying to be polite and also at times trying to pawn the sociopath off on someone else. As they do the pawning they don’t acknowledge to themselves that the sociopath is really a predator/parasite, they just consider him/her a nuisance.

Please comment on what I have written here by sharing your own examples of enabling by friends and family members. Try to keep comments focused on that topic so people reading this can see more examples. If you have been an enabler, confess it by telling your story in a way that does not identify you but that gets it off your chest. Then, vow today to do the right thing for your country (society) and never enable again.

Get your copy of A Dance with the Devil!

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53 Comments on "Enabling a sociopath is unpatriotic"

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pride38… I am worried about you, I have been thinking about you a lot. You asked for our help and I know everyone here will support you. Please write again, it will help you sort everything out.


I relate to the falling for the charm, how quickly he moved in on you using his good looks…a very powerful seduction….do not blame yourself for that, you being a normal human being were so impressed by the illusion he ACTED OUT it would take extraordinary wisdom to not go for it….My ex P had the predatory stare thing going on, which I interpreted as “smouldering good looks” He would stare at me lovingly, but in hindesight it had all the warmth of a shark surveying his dinner…you were Devoured by AN ACT, AN ILLUSION and its the illusion of him you grieve for now…not the person…there is no person….the only person there was you

pride38: I hope you are reading LF today and will post something just to let us know how you are doing!!!

That’s some great advice for people who don’t know much about personality disorders Dr Leedom – you’ve given clear behavioural indicators and quantified them – that is useful. I particularly like what you said about not dismissing the label of sociopath out of hand until proven false. Familial and relational ties can definitely make all of us do things to help sociopaths that we wouldn’t normally do. let’s not forget either their incredible ability to emotionally blackmail by invoking fear, obligation and guilt. We tend to give those close to us extra chances with their behaviour, but should be very very careful. I know I certainly will be in the future.

Have to say when the sociopath is a psychiatrit well versed in personality disorders, then educates her enablers (my family) about anti-social PD (that she has assigned to me); the script is set in concrete. This is unbelievably hard.

The enablers are speaking classic enabler dialogue. They are labelling or identifing perceptive observations within myself (or elder sister, a fellow target), again and again, but not actually figuring it out. They are actually close to the truth, but they don’t get it. Over the decades my brothers have noticed certain behaviour (in me), but couldnt identify WHYYYY I behaved certain ways. So they were always a breath away from saying what I was screaming at them in my body language.

Another way to describe what my brothers are doing:

There’s a red box on the table; I ask the enablers (my brothers) “What’s that on the table”. They answer “It’s a red”.

They are simply unable to identify the box; they can only SEE the red. The box is the vital thing about the object, they only see/say the colour, what they see (our physical behaviour) on the outside. Because they have been chosen as enablers they seem to be carefully chosen ones – certain gender/very healthy, clearly not abused people.

They use the target’s ally to be a pawn (doing the nasty), as they know the pawn is likely to act out of ‘concern’ for the sociopath’s target (their friend). After the nasty has been committed, the pawn quickly realises what’s happened and they too end up targets as the first target naturally falls out with their best friend (the pawn) who was manipulated to betray. So the sociopth has two trophies – the caring pawn (they despise) and their original target.

Attempting to defend myself I am threatened with libel and slander from the sociopath and then my sister (she learns and echoes everything the socipath says – so I hear the same dialogue twice!)

The brother who said he’d have me locked away if I wrote another letter (defending myself, explaining what happened) is the same person I drew a picture to after the sexual abuse. He is the only person who would have seen that picture. For his eyes only. I mourned the ‘death’ of my brother at that point. He’s gone. He enables. ibeliev he’s married to a sociopath. He was in shock after the marriage. “I’ve been conned into this marriage” were his words. He’s now become his spouse and a bully. He and his wife are very supportive of my S sister. To see one brother I love turn into an enemy is the legacy of the sociopath.

I couldnt invite him to my wedding. I wanted him to be the man who gives me away (should my father be gone). He’s 14 years my senior. I could never have any of my family at my wedding. I wouldnt allow them to meet any man in my life. Or my children. Any feedback will go to S sister.

Well, this is on my mind.

What makes one victim safe puts another at risk. This cycle is horrible.

I look at the PO who told the legal wife not to marry the P because he did bad things to women and then how she let him go into the world knowing full well what he would do. Sorry, there isn’t any way not to know. He’d taken off on her before.

I don’t blame her. What else can you do but tell them to GET OUT OF MY LIFE!

But then, here I sit, the next victim. Wondering where the chain of events started. Did it start with a system that won’t disclose info about these people because they are so bound to protect the criminal’s rights they can’t or does it start with the last woman who threw them out?

And if a woman is responsible, but the DA’s won’t prosecute bigamy and judges won’t give PTO’s, then what can you do? Go into hiding, NC and hope they find another victim instead of coming back?

The hell any victim is left in justifies the expulsion but there is something not honorable about sending them out in the world again. Its going to happen and there isn’t anything I can do about it except run and hide and hope that he never finds me.

The whole cycle is disturbing.

Dear Silvermoon,

YOur questions are my questions. And I think a lot of other victim’s questions too.

You are right….even if they are sent to prison for some period of time, they ARE let out unless they are a serial killer. Some times, even then. Murder doesn’t seem to be much of a “crime” today or a reason to keep someone locked up forever.

Go read my article about the books on how to hide, how to protect yourself, then buy the books—read them and learn.

Yep, the criminals seem to have more “rights” than the victims do. Sorry, that’s just the way things ARE and we can’t as much as we would like to accomplish instant and complete change in the system. We can only work on slowly changing the system, but we can’t put ourselves at RISK in the meantime. I’m not going to become a martyr.

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