From time to time, Lovefraud receives email from people who identify themselves as sociopaths. Here’s one that came in recently:
I have read your website, and i am not impressed. You give the impression that all sociopaths are murderers and haters, incapable of loving, and should be thrown away as a tragedy to the human race. You do not mention the difference between a high-functioning sociopath and a low-functioning sociopath. I happen to be a high-functioning sociopath, and your website is all lies and misguided information, and whats worse, you gain money out of creating a stigma of us, and abusing the victims of certain relationships, which although do happen, aren’t generally what high functioning sociopaths are about. Who’s the one with no conscience? I would say you.
I have no emotion, i use logic to understand what is happening. I mimic emotions of others because i know that it is important to my survival that i display emotion or otherwise people become scared. Is that really so bad? Yes, perhaps i play mind games with people because i grow so bored, but that doesn’t really harm them does it? People get over it. I don’t go out murdering puppies and kittens, and laugh like a comic villain. I may have mistreated some animals, but never with the intent of doing so. I may have hurt some people, but they get over it. I’m the one who has to pay for their hurt, they threaten my survival when they retaliate. I flirt with people a lot, but so do a lot of people, not just sociopaths. I do have some emotion, even if it is limited. I can pretend to have an emotion to convince myself. I act simply to feel.
You ’empaths’ only have emotions so that you are scared of us, when all we are are bored, and confused harmless cheeky rascals. And to point out, adult sociopaths usually stop being sociopaths after the age of 30, so its not ‘incurable’ as soon as they become an adult. You try living in a world that is black and white, where any emotion has to be forced, and you have to copy others expression, and you’re always so very bored, because i am, so bored. You can’t blame us for needing some excitement, to survive we must have a way out of our boredom. You know nothing about what you say. We have a soul, we just can’t access it as easily as everyone else.
Born with the genes
The person who wrote this letter, I was able to determine, is an attractive young woman. I’ll ignore her mischaracterizations of Lovefraud—we are obviously well aware that sociopaths are not all murderers, because most of us were involved with sociopaths who didn’t kill anyone. Beyond that, her letter provides a good insight into the reality of sociopaths, with all their rationalizations and excuses.
Even so, I do feel sorry for them.
Sociopathy is highly genetic, and no sociopaths asked to be born they way they are. No sociopaths asked for manipulative parents or uncaring home environments that pushed them further along the path towards disorder. That’s the hand they were dealt, and it’s truly sad.
Even sadder is the fact that they don’t know it’s sad. It’s like someone born blind, who doesn’t comprehend vision. Or someone born deaf, who can’t understand what music may be. They were born with a limited or nonexistent ability to love, and whatever love they did have was probably snuffed out by their own disordered parents. Instead, they have an overactive appetite for power and control.
Like this young woman, sociopaths are aware that they are different. But most of them don’t care. In fact, they take pride in their ability to exercise power, and look down on the rest of us. We are merely marks to be exploited.
Lessen the disorder
This young woman also said that people stop being sociopaths at the age of 30. There is no scientific evidence that sociopathy can be cured. The best we can usually hope for is that sociopaths will decide to comply with the mores of society, if only because it’s in their own self-interest. They do have the power to decide that following the rules is more convenient and causes them less aggravation than violating them.
Can sociopaths actually lessen their disorder? Dr. Liane Leedom is hopeful, although she recognizes that it is extremely difficult. The fact is that many brain characteristics and functions contribute to sociopathy, and the human brain is not static. Beliefs and behaviors can cause chemical and structural changes in the brain. So if sociopaths were really committed to changing their ideas, and engaged in activities that fostered empathy, their brain structures could change. An individual willing to attempt this would probably have a lesser degree of disorder to begin with, so maybe he or she would already have seeds of caring buried within, seeds that could grow into a degree of empathy.
I was struck by the last sentence of the letter:
We have a soul, we just can’t access it as easily as everyone else.
I actually think that the young woman is right about this. The souls of sociopaths are buried under so much negativity—anger, hatred, aggression, coldness, envy and the desire for power—that the souls can’t be felt.
I don’t think those of us who have been damaged by sociopaths should attempt to help them. Our first duty is to ourselves, to our own health and recovery. But I believe that we’re all connected, and maybe in whatever communication we may have with a higher power, we can pray for them. It might take a long time, but maybe it will do some good.
Even if we don’t see any improvement in particular individuals, praying will help ourselves. Bitterness only prolongs our own misery and harms our own health. Perhaps offering prayers, from a safe distance, will make a difference all the way around.