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Letters Home: Letter to a Sociopath

Editor’s Note: Here’s another essay by the Front Porch Talker. For background about her experience, read her initial post, called “My life with a sociopath.”

By The Front Porch Talker

From “Letters Home,” my series of unsent letters to fictional people about fictional topics—for real.

Dear DOC #….,

Well, I bet you never thought that I would find you, but here we are sitting across an imaginary bolted-down table in the visiting room of your new home. Do they still call it prison, or do you prefer the term penitentiary? I like the sound of Correctional Institution. It has an optimistic tone to it: a college for “change” or “correction,” as though either option were ever possible with you.

If memory serves me, I am correct in assuming that you are always correct. Not just about some things. You are correct about everything; ergo, I believe you when you tell me that you are the best and brightest in your cell block when you and the gals watch “Jeopardy.”

Still, The Women’s Correctional Institution has a certain dignified ring to it. You presently reside in a Women’s Correctional Institution. Like a fancy Culinary Institute (but, no knives!), maybe, or a “Fashion Nail Institute,” where, as you always reminded me, you received your education of higher-learning, along with your criminal cohorts (is that the word?).

Don’t be shy: it’s a Ph.D. in life, with a minor in “Sociology.” Well, “social issues,” anyway. It sure beats my twenty years as an underpaid and underappreciated College Professor in Creative Writing. Go ahead: just say it—your criminal skills are creative too.

You put it to the test when you and the gang stole my identity, forged my retirement away, committed bank AND mail frauds, and let’s not forget my house, car, RV, three or four laptops, and all the rest of my life you stole from me! Did I forget to mention the assaults? All of that, under the radar of the police, the F.B.I. and all the other law enforcement agencies.

Now I call that creative! Tell me: How did you manage to get away with it all? You’ve enticed me to this fancy-schmancy Correctional visiting room for a reason, right? I’ll buy you a Tab if you just explain the fine art of “check-washing” that you learned under the tutelage of sister-in-law, Di. Her short stay in the pen taught her well. It runs in her family, too—being a criminal sociopath, I mean.

That and the fact that she was an “informer” on her fellow crime associates over there in Tacoma. That explains a lot: the degree in Fashion-nails, the fake illnesses, the MRSA too—that was brilliant! All that time, she was stealing from me as an act of revenge for reporting her to the Unemployment Department when my checks first began “magically disappearing.” She must be proud!

I must admit: you had me fooled for years. All that time, you told me it was Di and her tacky family doing all these things. But really it was you! I’d love to know how you and Di managed to handle that “unfortunate death” of one of your drug cohorts. I guess, according to you and Di anyway, (and who am I to doubt you?), the guy just died in your bed after an overdose. It was ruled an accident!

Positives: I am alive. I’ll think of more later, I’m sure.

Forgive me: I am dwelling on the past again. I know the drill: focus on the POSITIVE THINGS IN LIFE. Nobody likes a Kill-joy, or the joy-of-the-kill. Whatever. How did you and Di cover everything up so well that the police never investigated that “suspicious death?”

Please—and I mean this sincerely—get me Kojak on the phone! He needs to hear this one! Better yet: you were right—sociopaths, like yourself and Di—test like Midwest housewives. Nobody ever turns you in—well, until I finally did. Your family—your mother, in particular who happens to work for the Department of HUMAN services, didn’t turn you in. Well, now I know why: The way you work people is inhuman, so that doesn’t fit under the State’s definition of HUMAN. She just changed her phone number when I asked where you were. Very professional!

Positive: I AM HUMAN. There, I’ve said it now. By that I mean that I have a conscience. Sure, it’s like that old heavy luggage (baby-blue) they had in the seventies. It carries a lot of messy feelings, but at least they are my feelings, and my luggage, of course!

Sociopaths such as yourself must marvel at how easy it is to pretend in this world. To you, “empathy” and “compassion” are just words people invented to get over having their lives stolen from them. It’s my problem—not yours. Life, I mean. And all the crazy contradictions and messy feelings that that entails.

It’s all so tricky, these days, hanging on one word: GUILTY. I know you hate that word nearly as much as you hate all those “feeling” words that the rest of the world has to live with: empathy, compassion, regret. I do live with that, on a daily basis.

I can say this: you have to live with yourself too, on a daily basis.

Well, and there’s the fact that everybody else has already crossed you off and made you invisible. How even your own kids, and probably your grandkid too, see right through you. If they pretend to love you—well that’s about as good as it gets for you. How all the men and women you used and abused in the past would not give you the time-of-day now, or ever. How all the stories you told me about how your family abused you are just lies—part of a bigger scheme to manipulate others’ feelings to get what you want.

I know, it’s my own fault. My friends tell me that too. I should have known—or at least guessed, that you were a manipulative, scheming sociopath that stole everything, including my trust. Imagine my shock when I realized that the rest of the world really was right about you—that you are bad news! It’s my loss and your gain because I was foolish enough to have given you a chance. I believed in you.

Positives, please: At least I tried to be a good person.

Wherever you go, and whatever you do, there will always be a shadow following you. That is Limbo. It is a place where hopeless souls go for an eternity, destined to repeat the same things over and over again, never seeing the meaning or love. Never understanding that raping an identity is still rape. You have officially used up all of your “compassion” stamps.

Positive: I am not you.

To you, I was just one more person or thing to be taken. And you did take everything. You are correct in that regard. But here’s the thing I have to tell you before I leave here for good: You are the reason why people don’t take chances on others. They know that it takes a huge leap-of-faith, and all the machinations of trust that can be squeezed from a heart, to reach out and take a chance on somebody, anybody, in this world—not just you.

You are the excuse people use for not caring when they see somebody crying and hopeless and despairing.

You are the reason some people die without a friend or loved one in the world. You are the reason why—when we see you standing there on the Freeway Ramp with a sign asking for food or money—we just drive away, leaving you in the exhaust. You are the hitchhiker in this world, and the world—well, the ones who pity you, or worse—see you as some anonymous face in the rear-view mirror that they could not be bothered with.

Now, if I saw you standing homeless by the freeway I would hit the accelerator and never look back at you. Funny, how that one word, “sociopath,” changes everything. I have certainly “changed” and been “corrected” myself over the past ten years that I have known you.

Because of you—and the damage you have done to humanity, people will have yet another excuse to hate others for whatever terrible reason you have left in them. They’ll point to you and say: “That’s why I hate so-and-so!” They will justify their hatred with you as their reason.

There is always a tiny ray of truth that is you, which will cover the lies, which are really you. The lies you tell spread like wildfires across the desert that is your soul. It will be harder to find any living thing and hold it preciously to their hearts. Rather, we will all scamper away from you and the chaos you spread.

And all the despair you have caused in the wake of a tidal wave—that too will drown all the sorrows that could have been hope. And the hope that we view in the distance of any life—that too will now be blurred in the lens because of the trust you have betrayed, again and again.

When there was no cause to doubt the sincerity of a stranger who approaches in the dark, there will be that breath of hesitation, and then refusal, and then walking away as thoughts of you shroud their memories in doubt.

All the greed and selfishness in the world too—already sanctioned for reasons of its own survival—you will touch that too, reminding us all again—as if we needed reminding—that in some time capsule found in some future moment there is evidence of where greed and selfishness really took hold. It was you that they saw there too.

In every way, whether you see it or not—whether you respect it or not—whether you feel love or not—everything will be subtracted from that, because of you. The world will always be a little darker, if only on a quantum level, but still dark.

Thank God there is so much light that, when everything is balanced and unbalanced—and then follows the cycle back to balanced—nothing will be forgotten. But, thank God there is so much light.

I will never innocently believe in somebody again. But, that’s a good thing, I guess. Like the fact that you are sitting here in the Women’s Correctional Institution and I am walking out the door now. I will never look back. Closing all hope with the door now behind me.

Positive: Moving on now. No regrets.


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19 Comments on "Letters Home: Letter to a Sociopath"

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Bp, I love your wisdom, and the great gift you gave that little girl. It kind of reminds me of the prayer of St. Francis. Where there is darkness, let me sow light….

Dear Bullet proof,

Your logic to the young girl, and the comfort and the wisdom was very profound! AND SO RIGHT ON.

When There is war/strife/civil war among a group of people they say it takes 5 generations OF PEACE to forget it among the people because it takes that long for the “family stories” and the family angers of “us” vs “them” or “the good=us” vs.
The bad=them” to die out. THEY did X to us so we did Y to them, but that was justified because they did X to us FIRST, and the other side teaches that “they did Y to us and we did ZZ to them, but that was justified, because they did Y to us so we had to hit back harder with ZZ”

And Hate is perpuated from generation to generation, and the “sins of the fathers is visited upon the children for five generations”

When I was growing up in the rural south though it was just after WWII, most of the stories I heard were about the CIVIL war fought 80 years before, but it was “current” in my mind from the stories I was told and families still didn’t like each other because of who was on which side. Now another 50 years along, those stories are dying off and only a few of us older people even remember the stories at all, and even if we tell them, the War between the states in 1861 is “history” now, not “family stories” any more, it doesn’t boil the blood or promote feelings of revenge among neighbors.

I look at the Palestine vs Isarel situation and with all of the fighting and who hit who first, and the hate and feelings for revenge—-how on earth can there ever be peace or trust between those two peoples?

Hairellen,Erin Brock,Chinagirl, Kim Frederick,Ox Drover….

Soaking up the feedback. I value feedback from my role models.. EB…at last..thank you for saying something I can feel proud of!!!! love you all so much….have to tell ya 9/11 is coming up and I’m finding it hard to listen to the muslim point of view…there is Koran burnings as we speak…this war seems to be taking off again…so sad…so pointless!!! wtf

Dear BP,

From the first time one of our ancestors picked up a rock and threw it at another of our ancestors there have been wars—guess as long as there are rocks or their substitutes there will always be wars, just like there will always be psychopaths to stab people in the back or be greedy!

I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as someone is shooting at me I will shoot back, but if they quit shooting so will I and I will NOT go run them out of town. NO revenge.

We just live by the RULE of law, not the hatred of men.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Bulletproof – if you are out there somewhere i want you to witness me howling at the moon. have just spent the night in spathland, downloading stuff for the DA…i am angry and crazed. want to swear and incite violence….i am going to go do a purification meditation…that bitch, that lying evil twisted bitch…

BP, what you did was wonderful. I’m with you in not knowing what to call what we have to do to make this thing better. I’d been calling it love too, but that’s hard to work with when you compare it to the love we all understand. Is it forgiveness? Kind of. Not forgiveness of what they do in their offhand way, but more like total and radical acceptance that it is part of what happens here, and it’s happened to *us* and if we can learn any lesson that’s contained in it then life can be immeasurably better than it was before. For me anyway, it’s been baptism by fire. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my life and I never imagined I’d be saying that a little while ago. Because of my childhood I’d lived with terrible self-loathing that he mirrored for me with his contempt, but once I saw how I felt about myself (through my interactions with him) I could change it. Thanks again to Kathleen for her lessons. Until I could feel the solution for myself I borrowed her wisdom and strength, as I have from Oxy and EB and the regular posters.

“Somewhere along the path a light is offered”. It’s perfect BP. Once you can see that light it slowly gets better, until you know that the person who brought you here doesn’t matter any more. He/she was just a catalyst for bringing you to yourself.

I love T S Eliot. When I learned to do what is says in this part of the poem — to wait without expectation, accept how I felt all the time (be with my emotions) and sit it out, it started to get better:

I said to my soul,
be still,
and wait without hope
for hope
would be hope for the wrong thing;
wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.

Dear one_step, this poem is for you today. You’ve been through far more than me.

I came back to add something. I discovered through this whole process that I really was NOT healthy either, because of childhood abuse. It took two unhealthy people in our case to make this thing happen. Still having to keep humble here or I won’t continue to get better. I’ve had to look at my own actions, as much as his, to get to the bottom of this. Only speaking for myself here.

One step- yes I’m out here and I hear you…what you must be uncovering and witnessing….howling at the moon is a good move, even better with support and resources that can stand with you against her twisted lies…it’s great you can swear and howl and head straight to the nearest purification meditation!! with you all the way!! TOWANDA!!!

Verity

So good to hear you again!! missed you when you vanished…I feel like vanishing too because I think that I’m too focused on this P…but I realised I have made friends and connections here that I really value along the way!!! and you are one of those I value….thank you so much for the beautiful post that had helped me so much…

He WAS a catalyst!!!! and yes I am constantly looking to myself and how ‘unhealthy’ I have been, still am..and the only way I can come back here and continue to post is to say…I am a work in progress, I get it wrong…I can even hurt people when I don’t want to…… but f*ck it what can I do ??? I need to keep going and keep talking here anyway…Verity thanks for helping me back this time…it means alot…xx I love your honesty, keeping humble (I totally get that now, but I know I’ll probably blow it again…)xx

Bulletproof, Did I miss something? How did you “blow it”?
I noticed that I hadn’t seen much of you in the last week or so, and really missed you! I really like your perspective, and am glad you are here. Please stay here with us for a while longer. We need you.

Hey, we’re all human. Thank God. We have feelings, opinions, ideas, wants, needs, etc.etc.etc. Every body is capable of hurting somebody else, stepping on their toes, or whatever…but we live and learn.

I didn’t see any of this> I am just inferring from your post.

Kim….no it’s fine, what I meant by blowing it just means saying what I feel and standing on someones toes…I guess it’s inevitable and I went off in a bit of a strop saying to myself that’s it you can’t say anything without offending someone and it’s not healthy to be so focused on psychopaths anyway..and okay maybe that’s true…but it shouldn’t mean the end of expressing myself here!!….so … I missed YOU too!!

Thank you for missing me, you have no idea what it meant to me!!! and Verity, and one step…I was crying…wtf??

I’m just here, and I love you guys and I’ll express myself when I feel something but for now just happy to be posting this….you guys are really special and I am proud to be missed by you. ..it’s like a virtual cuddle. thanks xx we are all human, that is a comfort !!!

kim you continue to inspire, and just thanks….never thought I could get attached to a blog on line!!!

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