Editor’s note: The following story was submitted by a reader who we’ll call Mandy. Mandy is 15 years old and dated a sociopathic guy, who was two years older, for over a year. Notice how similar the sociopath’s behaviors are to what many of us adults experienced—an indication that this manipulative behavior is instinctual in sociopaths.
A person cannot be diagnosed a sociopath until the age of 18, but can start showing symptoms at a young age. He was 15 and I was only 13. We lived in two separate towns. We met on the computer off of an Internet website called Facebook and then started talking all the time on phone.
I was a perfect victim. I had no self-esteem when I was younger because of verbal abuse I had faced from classmates. I felt alone and just wanted to have a boyfriend by my side. We were constantly flirting on the phone, but I didn’t want this to be a cyber relationship. He seemed charming and sweet. Every time time I would ask him to hang out he would tell me that there was no one to drive him. His sister couldn’t and his mother would leave him home all day by himself and how alone he felt. So I had asked him, “What about your dad?” He said, “I never met my dad before.” It’s like he would make me feel guilty for asking him.
He started to say “I love you”
Weeks were going by, but the more time that passed, the more we were acting like a couple. He even started to say, “I love you.” I couldn’t handle this relationship because we never have even met! So when I finally decided to tell him we should end this, he told me he would kill himself and that he had written a suicide note. I couldn’t let go after he told me this. Promising me that he would he see me soon.
A few weeks later he started mentioning ex-girlfriend who he said he dated for three years. When I asked to speak to her, he gave me her screen name. I just wanted to speak to her to see if everything he told me added up. I ended up finding the ex-girlfriend on Facebook, which is when I found out from her that he was lying. He lied about never meeting his dad, and they didn’t date for three years, only two months, and that he made up a fake screen name. Also telling me he wanted her back. When the three of us were on the phone confronting him he said that he picked me over her and that he would never lie to me again.
$85 taxi ride
About a month later, with still not seeing each other, he told me to call his mother so we can see each other. When I had asked her she told me, “I don’t mean to be a bitch of a mother, but right now is not a good time. He needs to get his priorities straight.” From her finding out that we were talking, she quickly put a end to it by telling him to stop. But a couple of months later we started talking again. Sitting home sick on March 10th, he wanted me to come to his school to see him. I took a taxi, which cost me $85 for the whole trip with only my money. He was very nice, sweet, and funny and even introduced me to his friends. We finally met after four months, but I had to make the effort.
I started to notice that he was never going out with friends, and every time I would go out he would be mad because I wasn’t giving him attention. When I had asked him why he doesn’t really go out, he would tell me that because he used to be a bad kid his mom doesn’t allow him out very often because she cant trust him yet. Telling me that he changed and is trying to gain all of her trust back.
Yelling at me
So on a Friday night when I was going out, he had called me screaming to never call his number again. Telling me that I sent pictures to his friends. He kept yelling at me and screaming, how could I do such a thing? I kept telling him that I love him and that I didn’t do anything. As he heard me cry for hours to him; he wouldn’t stop yelling at me and told me to forget about him. I called back and said, “You know what? I know I didn’t do anything; just forget about it.” He said, “I love you I want to be with you,” like nothing even happened. I knew the story was all made up though. I didn’t want to let him go because I felt like he was the first real guy who actually liked me.
The next few weeks were fine, but now it was over five months, it started to come down to if this could actually work. The only way I can do this was if I received his mother’s approval of me. We started to argue about the whole thing because he wasn’t sure if he was going to go through with it. He said, “You would get a boyfriend and then leave me. You wouldn’t be able to say I love you anymore. Once you have a boyfriend, you would eventually stop calling me.”
Basically from here to September, the new school year, all we were doing was deciding to be friends, to being friends with benefits to trying to be together. Just a repeating pattern from month to month. Until one night when I returned from babysitting he had asked me, how were the kids? Asking me if I ever thought about doing anything sexual with them. He tried to get me to share stories of sexual things I have done with the children. I thought he was joking, and tried to brush it off. Then he started to ask me to have sexual contact with family members and then my dog. I would ask him, “Why do you try to talk about these things?” His answer was, “I do this because I know you like it.” I found this disgusting and weird. This continued for months and he wouldn’t stop.
In January he came to my house; he actually made half of the effort this time with paying and getting in a taxi for me. We had to sneak to do this though. He wanted me to have sex with him, but I had told him no. He forced himself on top of me holding me down trying to get me to have it, but I kept screaming to stop and he finally let go. And you would think I wouldn’t want to be with him, but I was in denial because I didn’t want to be alone and believed that he loved me.
He had a new girlfriend
A month later I wrote a letter to his mother that I am a good person and telling her that I want to be with her son. She turned me down and basically two weeks later he had a new girlfriend and told me he just wants to be friends with me. We will never be together and all we were doing was fighting. Along the way, though, he made up lies after lies and manipulated me into believing that we could be together. He promised me for over a year that once he will be able to drive he could see me, but that never happened. He made promises to me that never happened.
It took me three long months to get myself out of depression about the question, did this really happen? I found myself crying every day and needed to go to a social worker in school. My dad knew some of the story, because along the way I told him bits and pieces. My dad warned me though. I got hurt.
Traits of a sociopath
He has all the traits of a sociopath, which my social worker thought too.
Glibness and Superficial Charm, Manipulative and Conning, Pathological Lying, Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt, Shallow Emotions. When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion, it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
Callousness/Lack of Empathy. Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them. Promiscuous Sexual Behavior, Infidelity, Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts
He showed all of that along the way. This went on for over a year. Now he has stopped talking me for good, but I still feel like he will come back. His new victim, or would you say girlfriend, is a new girl who was new to his town who just had moved on. Perfect target.
I had to sum the story up, but it was really more to that. There were a lot of tears and me crying over him for a year and a lot of fighting. I took a lot of verbal abuse from him. My life revolved around him, with me blowing off homework and studying to talk to him. Me trying to make the effort to be with him. I loved him and I put my everything into him because I convinced myself that he loved me.
It’s been seven months since he stopped talking to me, but I still think about him everyday. I am traumatized by him, and still have a broken heart. I did spend a lot of my money on him, but did it cause I believed the lies he told me, but he just used me to get to what he wanted. He wanted me to go along with his sick fantasies. He never cared about me, and never will.