How to recognize and recover from the sociopaths – narcissists in your life › Forums › Lovefraud Community Forum – General › Introducing Myself/On BPD and The Definition of Love
September 24, 2017 at 10:07 am #42325
Hi everyone. Nothing about this will make sense unless you know a few things about me. I’m 21 years old. My father is a psychopath, my brother is a narcissist, and my mother is neurotypical (normal).
Me? Well…I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a kid, and suspected of Schizotypal Personality Disorder after an unfortunate incident I might go into later (I just joined and I’m not sure how judgmental or accepting people here are). But my father got me out of being actually diagnosed with that last one by teaching me how to tell the psychiatrist what he wanted to hear, and how to say it believably.
So…if nobody’s going to kick me off of the site for not being strictly neurotypical, I’ll continue. 🙂 And if you are not familiar with what those conditions entail and don’t have the time to find the Wikipedia pages, I’ll just tell you right now that neither is an exploitative personality disorder. I’m really very nice, I promise! 🙂
I probably have a pretty unique perception of these things, having dealt with the consequences of my father and brother’s disorders AND having what most people consider “issues” myself. A lot of the reason why I’m here is to process and work through things relating to my father and brother and my childhood.
But this post is not about that. Before I joined, I read some of the articles on this site. A few things troubled me.
One is the classifying of people with Borderline Personality Disorder as in the same boat as someone diagnosed with narcissism or psychopathy. I admit, my knowledge on the subject is limited because I don’t actually know anybody with BPD personally. But from what I’ve read people with BPD actually have more intense emotions than most people (not less as with narcs/psychopaths), an insecure and unstable self image (not an ego the size of a skyscraper), and can and do feel guilt and remorse. That’s not to say what many do to others is not destructive, but I don’t think it’s right to demonize all of (though like with every sect of humanity, there are doubtlessly some really bad ones) these people. (I don’t particularly think it’s right or useful to demonize anyone, but that’s another topic for another post.)
The other thing that bothered me did so for a much more personal reason. It said:
“According to Dr. Leedom, people with the ability to love do ALL of the following in relationships:
Feel and enjoy affection toward special people.
Show empathy toward those they love.
Want to take care of those they love.
At times sacrifice their own desires in order to care for others.”
Uh…I do either 2/4 or 3/4, depending on if “feel and enjoy affection” means physical affection or not. Physical affection makes my skin crawl. It’s an exercise in frustration and self-control to even hug someone. And if empathy is defined thusly: “an empathetic person actually feels another person’s pain,”…then I don’t have it. I can understand that someone’s in pain and imagine it if it is explained to me or it has been before, but it’s an intellectual thing, not emotional.
I’ve always considered myself able to love. So I’m not sure if the problem is with this too-narrow definition of what love is or with me, or both.
So thank you for reading, and I look forward to hearing what anybody has to say.
- This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by junebug.
September 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm #42352
When you grow up with narcissists and sociopaths (voice of experience here), you develop PTSD. PTSD can mimic BPD because many of the symptoms are the same. I was diagnosed with BPD some 30 years or so ago, and I believed it. I certainly had all the symptoms. However, I have always considered myself as able to give and receive love albeit with many issues. Many of the borderline issues I suffered with I was able to manage and even to heal, to where I can live a relatively authentic and meaningful life – at least as I experience it. I don’t know what it’s like to be other than what I am. I am also in my late 50’s now, so I’ve had a lifetime to face down some of these demons. In my later years, I had therapists tell me they didn’t think I was borderline, but that I had a bad case of PTSD. Nowadays it really doesn’t matter to me what the label is. Labels can be self-limiting if you get too focused on your pathology, as I did for so many years. I do my best to love and accept myself and all my limitations, even if they don’t look like others’ limitations. I don’t label myself anymore. I meditate often on letting more love into my life. And I’ve had to go through a lot of pain to get to where I can do that. I seek to know myself and to accept myself now, to enjoy life, and to live a life with meaning.
The world is always out there waiting to tell you you’re selfish if you don’t show love in the way others do, or if you make a choice to take care of yourself over someone who needs you. It takes a lifetime to learn not to take on what the world – and the western mental health system – tells us we should be. Love as much as you can and then forgive and accept yourself for wherever you are.
It is my understanding of the schizoid personality that there is a disconnect between head/mind and body. In my younger years, I experienced some of this. I dissociated a lot and still do sometimes though it’s getting less. For this personality tendency, there are some types of meditation that can help ground a person in their body and help them feel their emotions. My journey to healing started on such a 10-day meditation retreat.
I don’t know much about Asperger’s though I’ve known a few friends who are somewhere on the autism spectrum. I do not experience them as uncaring. Their minds seem to be wired a little more creatively, and they sometimes lack the ability to process social cues. But amazing people.
I’m not sure if any of this is helpful to you or answers any of your questions, but this is where my mind went reading your post. 🙂
September 25, 2017 at 7:03 am #42356
Well, I don’t have BPD, but I still think the author of that article was being rather harsh on people who do. 🙂
Ugh, this is my fault. I should have explained more specifically, but I was trying to keep my post to a reasonable length. Schizoid and schizotypal PD are two distinct disorders, though they’re both in the same “cluster” and have similar names.
Schizotypal PD (courtesy of Wikipedia):
“People with this disorder feel extreme discomfort with maintaining close relationships with people, mainly because they think that their peers harbor negative thoughts towards them, so they avoid forming them. Peculiar speech mannerisms and odd modes of dress are also symptoms of this disorder. Those with STPD may react oddly in conversations, not respond or talk to themselves.
They frequently interpret situations as being strange or having unusual meaning for them; paranormal and superstitious beliefs are common. Such people frequently seek medical attention for anxiety or depression instead of their personality disorder. Schizotypal personality disorder occurs in approximately 3% of the general population and is more common in males.”
“A disorder characterized by eccentric behavior and anomalies of thinking and affect which resemble those seen in schizophrenia, though no definite and characteristic schizophrenic anomalies have occurred at any stage. There is no dominant or typical disturbance, but any of the following may be present:
Inappropriate or constricted affect (the individual appears cold and aloof);
Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric or peculiar;
Poor rapport with others and a tendency to withdraw socially;
Odd beliefs or magical thinking, influencing behavior and inconsistent with subcultural norms;
Suspiciousness or paranoid ideas;
Obsessive ruminations without inner resistance
Unusual perceptual experiences including somatosensory (bodily) or other illusions, depersonalization or derealization;
Vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, over-elaborate or stereotyped thinking, manifested by odd speech or in other ways, without gross incoherence;
Occasional transient quasi-psychotic episodes with intense illusions, auditory or other hallucinations and delusion-like ideas, usually occurring without external provocation.”
It has a lot in common with Asperger’s Syndrome, but you can’t have both at the same time. But that’s where it gets muddy in my case because in the psychiatrist’s office that was supposed to be testing me for Schizotypal PD I said and acted the way my father told me to to get out of there, and basically lied through my teeth. (And would do so again. Knowing for self awareness and curiosity’s sake would have been interesting, but nobody is medicating ME.)
“It takes a lifetime to learn not to take on what the world – and the western mental health system – tells us we should be.”
That was beautiful-like the kind of epic quote that should be on a person’s grave. And I agree with the sentiment. Wikipedia pages and lists of symptoms make EVERYTHING remotely related to a disorder sound like the worst thing in the world, but…for instance, “Obsessive ruminations without inner resistance.” If one wasn’t trying to put everything in the worst light possible, that would be called “creative thinker who is willing to think outside the box (and sometimes overthinks things)” And it’s mind-boggling to me that anyone would resist their own thoughts or ideas. Anyone who TELLS people to resist them (with the obvious exception if those thoughts are about hurting others)-well, that genuinely makes me angry.
And whether you have a high-functioning case of BPD or not, you seem like a really nice person who deserves happiness on your own terms (as opposed to society’s). 🙂 That was a WAY more open and accepting response than I expected. So thank you.
And next time, I shall post more about my father and brother.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by junebug.
September 25, 2017 at 9:46 am #42359
Junebug – Welcome to Lovefraud. We’ve had readers before who said they were on the Asperger’s spectrum and had to deal with psychopaths. It was really interesting, because they were able to identify the predators very quickly. In fact, one person said she could smell them.
I will echo Stargazer in that growing up with disordered parents and family members affects you. Quite honestly, most therapists do not understand the effects, especially if there is no physical abuse or crime involved. They don’t get the depth of the effects on a child and young adult. So I wouldn’t be surprised if you have been misdiagnosed.
About your concern – antisocial, narcissistic, borderline and histrionic personality disorders are grouped together as “Cluster B” personality disorders. They are considered “externalizing” disorders. this means that when people have the disorders, they tend to take it out on the people around them, rather than on themselves.
Borderline personality disorder is absolutely different from antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders in origin. In women, it is often associated with sexual abuse. In men, it is associated with being shamed, especially by the father. People with this disorder also tend to have high levels of anxiety, which narcissists and antisocials typically do not have.
So why do we talk about borderlines along with narcissists and antisocials? Because people with all three disorders tend to be exploiters. The cause of the exploitation is different, but the result to other people is the same — deception, manipulation and abuse.
The problem with terminology in the mental health field is that there is no official term for people who have personality disorders that makes them exploiters. This becomes very difficult from a communications perspective if you need three paragraphs just to explain who you’re talking about. So Lovefraud is using the word “sociopath,” which is no longer a clinical diagnosis, as a collective, categorical term for people who have these exploitative disorders.
I hope this answers your question.
September 25, 2017 at 11:42 am #42362
Junebug, thanks for clarifying the difference between schizoid personality and schizotypal disorder. I had not heard this second one, even though I studied psychology for many years. Your explanation was very clear, and I appreciate your sharing the details. I do believe it’s difficult to know what is an actual disorder, what is PTSD. Your symptoms can also be the result of growing up with disordered parents and the protective defense mechanisms you developed. For instance, I, too, learned to lie to protect myself from an abusive stepfather. But I really don’t know, just as I don’t really know if I was/am a true borderline.
In retrospect, I think the label did me a great disservice. If it could have been couched in a more positive or hopeful way, it would have been more helpful. As trust is an issue for borderlines, a therapist wouldn’t have necessarily helped me. Perhaps I was not true BPD. I don’t recall if I ever had the intention to exploit anyone as a goal, but I’m sure I was manipulative and controlling in my relationships. When I started becoming aware of these tendencies, the revelation was quite painful. And it was difficult to let go of the control and face the underlying causes – my deep insecurities.
I really like what you said: “If one wasn’t trying to put everything in the worst light possible, that would be called “creative thinker who is willing to think outside the box (and sometimes overthinks things)” And it’s mind-boggling to me that anyone would resist their own thoughts or ideas.” There is a woman (can’t think of her name) who spoke on CO public radio a few months ago about a new way of thinking about mental illness – that each condition – borderline, OCD, etc. – gives the person unique gifts. I will try to find the article and post it as time permits. She feels we can get too focused on the pathology and it tends to stigmatize us, which is not helpful. I totally agree with her. Those of us who are non-exploitive can obsess over the labels and how we are disordered. I don’t think that is very helpful or necessary except insomuch as it can increase our awareness of ourselves. We really need an overhaul in the mental health system. In many cases, the symptoms of trauma survivors are a sane response to an insane situation. And we need only retrain our minds that we are no longer in that insane situation.
I am warmed by your kind comments. I hope you will find acceptance, camaraderie, and helpful information here to further you on your own path. 🙂
September 25, 2017 at 7:32 pm #42364
That’s interesting…when I was very young, my dad always did give me a weird, unsettling vibe, even when he was being nice. It dissipated when my father noticed and put extra effort into not seeming scary and gaining my trust.
And thanks for clarifying the terminology used here.
I guess neither of us will ever really know for sure if we’re disordered. This dang bio-psycho-social stuff muddles everything.
Though it wasn’t the lies that got me. Nobody knows when I’m lying…alright, except my dad, but unless it’s to him he doesn’t care. I landed in the psychiatrist’s office for telling the truth about my motivations for doing what I did. Never tell any truth that’s outside the norm unless you’re safe and/or anonymous (preferably both).
And yeah, trust is an issue for me too. I don’t trust anyone I know in person enough to talk about this stuff. Online anonymity is wonderful, isn’t it?
About BPD…well, I’ve read multiple times that it’s not un-treatable (at least not anymore). Not that they became neurotypical, but and that Borderlines have learned to live in a way that’s not harmful to others and themselves.
Also, that must’ve been difficult dealing with the stigma. It seems like half the world thinks people with BPD are sympathetic people that need help, and the other half is convinced they’re basically evil. The times people thought I was a bad person because of the way I am were awful, and I can’t imagine going through that all the time.
Going off on a probably pretty controversial tangent here, but…I’m not sure how useful it is to just dismiss even narcissists/psychopaths as just evil and beyond help or change. Some of why I think the way I do probably has to do with the ones in my life being my family, who are rather more difficult for one to demonize than an ex-romantic partner. And then there’s being diagnosed with something myself. I’m not at all sure if those experiences make me more biased or more open.
But…there is no real treatment available for those personality disorders. And yet, I’ve seen my father sort of reign his impulsive urges over the years because he recognized they caused him more problems then they solved. He’s still definitely…well, himself, but he’s definitely come a long way from his drug and alcohol abusing college days when a girl accused him of date rape (which he barely managed to get out of). And from the early days of my life-which involved him abandoning infant me at a restaurant (he came back) and killing my pet chickens to get back at me for getting them without his permission (after a year and half with them to better allow me to get attached before he took them away) for starters. He’s mostly controlled the worst of himself now.
And I just can’t help but think that if we as a society stopped writing people off that maybe something more could be done.
-Controversial Tangent Over (Yeah yeah, probably much to your relief :))-
BTW, though I’ve never met a real person with BPD, I have read about this character who is a textbook case of it. Sonya was very much a character I love and hate and am fascinated by all at the same time. 🙂
Oh, and upload that link if/when you think of it. That sounds really interesting! 🙂
And that last sentence…aww, thank you! You’re so sweet. I hope you find all of those things too, Stargazer. 🙂
- This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by junebug.
September 25, 2017 at 11:46 pm #42366
Junebug, I was about to practice my guitar and get ready for work, but I found your post so interesting. I wanted to take the time to respond before I get busy with my work week.
No, I will never really know if I was/am disordered. However, I stopped splitting hairs about it many years ago. If you met me, you would never know I ever had this diagnosis. I’m happy, relatable, and pretty stable these days. I look closely at my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and I’ve learned to be very honest with myself but not self-critical. Looking at the darkest parts of my personality helped me to accept them and even transform them. It’s an ongoing process – I think this is true for anyone who is on a path of healing/recovery/spiritual growth. I use those words interchangeably, because in my world, you cannot have one without the others. I’m also creative, deeply emotional, and highly compassionate. One of the reasons I come here is to give back what was given to me so many years ago here. I truly enjoy being a part of others’ journeys to wellness. If recall some of my struggles in the early days of recovery. I was pretty much a mess. I was a textbook borderline. I never mentioned the diagnosis with many people, but I still felt stigmatized by it. It ate away at me that all the textbooks said it would take years and years to heal. I wanted to feel better instantly. Turns out it did take years and years, but along the way I found out that I’m a pretty cool person – not in spite of it, but because of it.
I understand what you mean about online anonymity. It wasn’t around in my day when I was going through so much depression. A site like this would have helped tremendously. While I can’t say I’m still mistrustful, I am usually reserved around people in person until I get to know them well. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But I’m friendly and outgoing, but very careful about whom I spend my time with.
I actually agree with you that there is always hope for any condition. I was very interested in psychology and studied it up to the graduate level. In my studies, I ran across a book called Bioenergetics by Alexander Lowen. I still have the book. It’s an interesting study of the various disorders (including sociopathy) from an energetic perspective – where they are blocked physically and what exercises would release the blocks. That book gave me a different perspective on the healing process. Though I do believe sociopathy is “potentially” treatable, I have never met nor heard of a sociopath who had the slightest desire to change or who ever changed. So there’s that. I do think some of them mellow out later in life. Also, sociopathic types can fall on a spectrum, with some having a tiny ability to introspect and therefore change.
I save the most personal comments for last. I think the things your father did are very heinous. The story about the chickens made my guts churn. I’m so sorry you had to live with this. My stepfather was pretty sociopathic, too, so I can somewhat relate to your stories of your father. Fortunately, he didn’t come into my life till I was 7 or 8, so I wasn’t as traumatized by him as I could have been. Given your experiences, it would make a lot of sense that you learned to lie to protect yourself and probably found other coping mechanisms. I do think some sociopaths can mellow out in their later years. My stepfather definitely did.
If you are interested in reading about BPD, a good book is The Buddha and the Borderline. I loved her story, though mine was a little different. I discovered meditation earlier in my life rather than later, and it probably saved me from a life of self-destruction.
I appreciate reading about you and your story, Junebug. Thank you so much for sharing.
September 26, 2017 at 7:47 pm #42376
“it did take years and years, but along the way I found out that I’m a pretty cool person – not in spite of it, but because of it.”
That’s an amazing thing to discover. It must have made all the work toward that worth it. And my gosh, you’re so wonderfully quotable! 🙂
Also, I’m curious…do you actually experience emotions that most people don’t or are they just much greater in intensity? I’m sorry if that’s an unanswerable question, since you obviously can’t REALLY know what anyone feels but you. But if you do know the answer, I’m interested in hearing it.
And I’m sorry if it’s rude or too personal to ask. It’s just that, having had my own emotions called weaker than other people’s, I kind of wondered what it’s like at the other end of the spectrum.
“Though I do believe sociopathy is “potentially” treatable, I have never met nor heard of a sociopath who had the slightest desire to change or who ever changed.”
You’ve never heard of James Fallon? The neuroscientist who realized he was psychopathic himself while looking at the brains of serial killers?
And online, there is Zhawq. Diagnosed twice if I recall, and his youth was riddled with the classic sociopathic crime/lying/manipulating/conning women etc., the lowlights of which were murders and rapes…before he basically decided that lifestyle wasn’t for him. Like all psychopaths, he can’t feel remorse, so his decision to change was based on a combination of pure boredom and a feeling that there was more to life. But over the years he’s kept his blog he’s kind of developed his own moral code, though it’s somewhat different than mainstream society’s.
Of course, given online anonymity, that’s all dependent on whether one will take Zhawq’s word for it.
…I know this because at a point during my extremely informal research on the condition, I wanted to hear about psychopathy from a psychopath themselves. I know most normal people don’t CARE why people hurt them are the way they are, and actually think that me caring is some kind of obstacle to healing. I think that if they are entitled to spew hatred and vitriol about the person who hurt them, I too am entitled to do as I please. (But do I try to force THEM to be like ME? NO. Even though they’ll never give me the same courtesy.) Additionally, I think their attitude is rather narrow-minded. The alternative is thinking of people and things in black/white terms, and that’s not really my style.
And knowledge does actually help me recover from things. I would’ve never been able to forgive the girls who bullied me in middle school if I didn’t find out the ringleader was beaten by her parents at home. Once I knew that, I couldn’t hate her anymore. And knowing she was probably only repeating what her parents said to HER really helped me not believe what she said was true.
My father changes too, or at least mellows. Nowadays he’s also much more focused on his main goal in life. Alright, the majority of people would probably still disapprove if they knew him like I do…but the majority of people have never approved of me, and I’ve never approved of them.
“I think the things your father did are very heinous. The story about the chickens made my guts churn. I’m so sorry you had to live with this.”
It’s okay. He’s better than that now-if it happened now he wouldn’t do that. Now he’s decided to talk to my brother (who he is currently most displeased with) BEFORE he does anything drastic. Though he’s stated he’s not optimistic that someone “like my brother” and “at that age” will listen to talking. (I really seriously suspect that my father is one of the ones who knows what he is.)
And even before the real mellowing, my dad also used his…ahem, persuasive skills to convince me not to commit suicide while he was in prison.
He’s a paradox like that.
“Also, sociopathic types can fall on a spectrum, with some having a tiny ability to introspect and therefore change.”
My dad’s weird like that. He’ll change a behavior without ever admitting that it was his fault he needed to do so-in fact often insisting that the problem was somebody else’s fault, and he only needs to change to compensate for their incompetence.
Or he’ll simply never mention the incident and act like it never happened, yet never repeat it. Such is the case with the beheading of my chickens. It will be a cold, cold day in hell before he apologizes to me about that…but not doing anything like it again is enough for me. (Well, he would apologize if I threatened to never speak to him again, but that would just be a case of him saying whatever he had to to avoid me leaving. Which does mean he cares in his way, but…that wouldn’t be the kind of apology I would want.)
I’m glad your stepfather mellowed too. Do you talk to him now? My dad and I are actually close despite the past. I don’t have to pretend to be anything I’m not with him. He doesn’t mind my oddities at all. And I can tell him stuff and never worry about HIM passing moral judgment…I don’t even think he CAN do that (though I’ve seen him fake it with people whom not doing it would bother/be noticed as strange). 🙂
September 26, 2017 at 9:13 pm #42377
I have heard of James Fallon, but not the other guy. I do believe that sociopaths can change but their motives might not be the same as an empath’s motives, namely, to avoid harming others. A sociopath can learn how to behave within the acceptable social parameters if they have something to gain by it. But it’s not the same as having a moral compass or caring about others. Again, I also believe there is a spectrum and all people are different. If is not for any of us to judge your relationship with your father. I suspect that no matter what your father is or was, you will always love him. If it turns out you are repressing any anger toward him, I suspect it will come out some day when the time is right. There is a writer on this site – Travis Vining – who writes about his sociopathic father who is in prison. I enjoy his readings very much. He is one who’s taught me that people are complex.
My stepfather died about 27 years ago, to answer your question. We were actually close before he died. Our relationship, like yours with your own father, was very complex. I still miss him, and I still dream about him.
To answer your question about my emotions, no, it is not too personal. I appreciate the question because it gives me an opportunity to be precise in my communication. The exact emotional trait that is characteristic of a borderline is that they are very sensitive to abandonment, probably hundreds of times more than the average person. An example is that if a borderline is in a therapy session, and the therapist looks at her watch, the borderline may get up and walk out of the room. They will feel enraged but may be too overwhelmed to deal with it. It is really the rage toward the narcissistic parent who abandoned us in the first place. Once the rage comes out, there is grief. This can get triggered over and over until the person is able to process enough of the rage and grief to where they can find peace. This has happened for me over the years, but those early years were brutal, and I never thought I’d get better! I still get triggered by people I get close to, and by little things, too, but I have the awareness to know I’m being triggered, so I don’t dump my rage or hurt onto the other person. An example is if I call a friend a few times and she is busy or doesn’t call me back that week. When I get triggered, I usually just try to feel it and release it. But because I also disassociate, it can take a while to process strong feelings. But now I know when I’m triggered, and I know when I dissociate. I don’t believe normal people have this intensity of pain inside of them, and I don’t believe they dissociate. This is a unique outcome of being raised by narcissistic parents. For a young borderline who is in intense pain, they may not be able to handle the intensity of the pain. They go into crisis if they get close to someone, and do self destructive (and other-destructive) things. The key to my recovery has been to get the rage and grief out without destroying myself or anyone else in the process. I’ve had a few boyfriends who were strong enough to let me work some of it out with them. And some boyfriends who probably think I’m the devil. I don’t know if the abandonment pain will ever be completely gone, but it is much more manageable and doesn’t overwhelm my life. I’m capable of caring about others. I know when I’m triggered, and I know when I’m dissociating. I do believe that awareness is what brings us into a higher state of consciousness and is the key to recovery. I also laugh a lot and experience a lot of joy. But the feelings are never very far from the surface. I hope that answers your questions!
September 26, 2017 at 9:18 pm #42378
I wanted to add that the more layers of repressed feeling I go through, the more loving and caring I become. I find myself looking for ways to give back to my various communities. I teach English as a Second Language, I teach salsa classes for no charge to my community, I offer support to my closer friends, and I come here to help where I can, because this is one of my communities, too. I don’t think I had the capacity to do these things when I was younger, though I’ve always known I was meant to be some sort of healer.
September 27, 2017 at 7:03 pm #42399
“I do believe that sociopaths can change but their motives might not be the same as an empath’s motives, namely, to avoid harming others. A sociopath can learn how to behave within the acceptable social parameters if they have something to gain by it. But it’s not the same as having a moral compass or caring about others.”
And the difference between having something to gain and caring is where it gets really REALLY messy and muddled with my father. Despite actually hating kids, my father wanted to raise a high-functioning child “like him.” That was his goal in becoming a parent; to teach a child like that how to be high-functioning right from the start, WITHOUT the years of destructive impulsivity. When my father decided for certain that I was not that child, that was when my parents started trying for my brother.
It’s so strange seeing my father mentor my brother. Just imagine someone telling their own child that if ever people he’s hanging out with want to rape a drunk girl, no matter how funny he might find it, to call the cops.
After realizing that I was not like him, my father developed a new vision for my personality. He’s somewhat grudgingly accepted me having my moral code (though that is probably different from most people’s in some ways)…it’s the unshakeable confidence and rational and unemotional viewpoint (near-completely unemotional…despite apparently being less so than normal people already, it’s still too much in his eyes) he wishes to impart. And break the last shred of my trust in humanity. To be my best self in his view, all of it must be done, just like for my brother to be HIS best self he needs to avoid openly displaying his arrogance/contempt of everyone so often and resist all destructive urges.
My brother and I turning out as planned is a major (if not THE major) goal in his life. His social experiment.
So it’s rather difficult to tell how much of his behavior toward us is based on emotional affection as most people experience it and how much is based on his ego and desire to reach a goal of his which he can’t achieve without us. He cares in the sense that he’ll protect and help us and isn’t intentionally out to harm us, but I’m not sure how much of it is emotional.
But…look, psychopaths don’t really have the mushy stuff to give. And it would be ridiculous to hate or resent him for not doing something he’s neurologically incapable of.
“There is a writer on this site – Travis Vining – who writes about his sociopathic father who is in prison.”
I started looking at his writing. It WAS interesting…though I personally could never trust or be friends with someone who could turn in their own father, especially knowing they could/would get the death penalty. I guess his loyalty is to his ideals and not to individual people.
His perspective was still an interesting one to read about though. 🙂 Thanks for telling me. And I’ll definitely read the rest of his entries.
I’m sorry about your stepfather. And don’t worry, I’m not going to start spewing garbage about addiction or trauma bonds. You have the right to love and miss whoever you choose and not have to justify that to anyone.
…Aaand you probably see why I will near-definitely never be allowed to write my own blog posts on this site. 😀 (Which is too bad because I love to write.) My opinions aren’t quiiite in line with the official position of this website.
Wow, that was fascinating to read about how you experience the world. 🙂 I can even sort-of relate. My reaction to things like the therapist looking at her watch or the friend not calling back for a week wouldn’t be much of an emotional one (like I wouldn’t get angry or sad), but my paranoia about people secretly disliking me would definitely surface.
I would begin to suspect that the therapist was bored by me and thought I was self-absorbed and pretentious. Which would make me MUCH less inclined to open up. If I was having a bad day, I might actually ask the therapist “Am I boring you?” But usually my thoughts remain safely in my head and unspoken.
I certainly wouldn’t say anything to the friend. I wouldn’t want to seem annoying and, of course, paranoid. But all that week, on and off, would be thoughts about that friend secretly disliking me the whole time we were (oh…I mean ARE) friends. Provoke that kind of reaction enough times and I won’t trust the person with literally anything beyond the surface level because I’ll think them a phony and a fake friend and a liar…albeit a phony and liar that I’ll have lunch or catch a movie with, mostly to get people off my back about having in-person friends.
And that’s great that you’re so happy and doing so well now. Bask, bask, in the joyful rewards of all your hard work on yourself! 🙂
- This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by junebug.
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