Sociopathic Behavior Was Trained Into Me

Editor’s note: The following article was written by the Lovefraud reader acetiger01.

Reverting back to the child self

I kiss my boyfriend’s forehead lovingly as I pin him down before he has to go to work today. Lovingly being the way I look at him, touch him, the tone in my voice, as my grip is tight on his arms and my full weight on his chest to ensure that I speak to his subconscious as the dominant (even though he could easily out power me if given the chance). I smile sweetly and look up at him with big innocent brown eyes, a look I was taught from a young age could change someone’s perception of me entirely as I deliver harsh or distasteful information. I advise him to manipulate his co-workers, in his body language, in his tone, all relevant parts to moving up in a career by any standard of course. But then I advise him, pretending to be tongue in cheek, to use his boss’ history of courting and being rejected by me to secretly assert dominance over him. He replies “That’s fucked up”. To that I agree and laugh, saying, “I’m only kidding. That was my father talking through me. It’s fucked up to use people like that…”. He continues to laugh and say I’m cute, unaware of the half truth I just planted in his mind for later, appealing to his primal self for when the time comes, which I know it will, as I have known and studied his boss for years and know how to operate him. I catch myself slip back into my old ways of survival and go home to remember my values. I want this life to be a real experience, not a manufactured one. Stop it.

Reading behavior and modifying your own inner energy was one of the first lessons my sociopath father had taught me. The second was, that everything and everyone was at your disposal to move like pawns to get what you want. The third was, I was his favorite and he loved me more than anyone in our family, because we were the tigers and they were the dogs… Everyone has their place and their dependant, unstable emotional lives were tools to be used to get certain results.

When I was a child, I was extremely shy, crippling shy. Imagine, Lara from “The Glass Menagerie” without the attention and support from every other player in her life because she was ostracized and kept locked away like a trophy. There wasn’t an “if only” complex. There wasn’t a, “we all are good hearted people finding our way and making mistakes” complex. It was, where the still air in a room felt like it was carving into my skin or the sharp tap of a fingernail made the room feel like it was tremoring. It was to the point where if a stranger looked me in the eye, the energy of their existence being real made me burst into tears. Don’t even account for people with low, bass-like voices, exploding my head with the vibrations of their timbre. I was a child with sensory sensitivity and this intrigued my father, its innocence easily malleable to take under his wing as his property and apprentice. It was, his isolation of me from everyone else to make sure I don’t get ideas in my head. He ensured that I was his and his alone to continue his legacy… and I loved it as much as I feared it.

What he didn’t take into account with this legacy of ours, was my extremely sensitive emotional life. This infuriated him as much as it pleased him. He learned to teach me how to manipulate my own emotions to persuade others, including my mother and little brother being our first experiments, to control them, to detach from them. To meditate and completely change my inner energy and speak to the subconscious energy of them, planting things for later in their heads, and seeing my plans play out perfectly. I was six years old. He taught me to rank, study and understand others as cases, rather than people. However, what he couldn’t teach me was how to not care about how they felt from what I did to them, how to detach from my guilt of mechanically altering their experience, empathizing with what they were going through because of my actions, how to not drop the act and hold my baby brother as he was crying, crying with him from the guilt of hurting his feelings and abusing the power I was given over him. He couldn’t teach me to relish in the idea of my brother smiling at me with big gaps in his teeth, thanking me for loving him and respecting me when I didn’t do anything to deserve it. He didn’t teach me how to not feel this deep sinking in my stomach, knowing I created this and if it wasn’t for me, it may never have happened.

My father was harshest with me, strict and consistent, like training a dog with a shock collar. I quickly caught on to what was expected of me and feared my own emotions and thoughts. He had me living in panic that one breathe between one word between one eye movement between one twitch meant something completely different than I intended, constantly doubting myself and questioning myself. Did I really mean that? Did I really want that? Terrible things. Horrible thoughts and intentions that I did not “know” I had. He had me check myself for fear of being punished.

His punishments developed into never bringing harm to me personally, no matter how much I wish I could’ve martyred myself, but harm to others, capitalizing on my innate empathy and my emotional sensitivity. Sometimes it was my brother, or my mother, them being unknowing of why they were being harmed, me watching like a coward in the shadows blaming myself and knowing what that other end of his belt felt like. Knowing what being left out to die in the snow felt like. Knowing what going days without food felt like. Sometimes it was the cats, the dogs… only I was his favorite, so I knew at the last minute he would let me back in. I was different because he loved me. A guilt I can never shake seeing how the gentle innocence and loving essence of my baby brother has faded over the years knowing he was left out to die.

Love was a word loaded with connotations far different than how I yearned for it to be and far different than I’ve learned for it to be, now. He loved me how one might love their favorite pair of slippers. You’ll wear them until there are holes and tears, and you might even patch them up and wash them to keep them around longer, and you might even be really sad and sentimental about all the experiences you had together… as you’re throwing them out to buy a new pair. At the end of the day, they are just slippers. He loved my mom and was extremely sad when they split up, because… who was going to do the laundry? Who was going to hold him and praise him and comfort him when his plans failed? Now he had to find another “wife”? Because a single man has different connotations to society than a married man and he would now have to act differently, although that never stopped him from cheating on her constantly anyway. The biggest reason he was emotional about their split was because he was losing property he had dedicated 15 years of his life to, which at the time was 50% of his life. A property he loved and poured his soul into. A property that was his ideal picture of what a home should be. A property that he could use to enhance his appearance and social standing. A property that loved him and would never leave him. A property that would never give up on him and would do his bidding unconditionally. And even more important than that, the pride of everyone knowing he lost her. The pride of knowing someone else can own her now. The only time I saw my father cry was when he was telling us he was leaving, a few single tears and the words, “I love you” finally being uttered after 12 years of an assumption and a hope, confirming my existence because, it was true. My father did love me.

He quickly learned that a divorced man could play a victim to gain empathy and understanding from soft women, similar to my mother, who learned to hate her vicariously and fell into the same trap we all did, swearing they were different. Swearing they were his favorite. Swearing he loved them also.

His love was conditional. His love was absent. And for a long time, majority of my life, so was mine.

I was blessed as much as cursed with being sensitive, not only to my environment physically, but to others emotionally. Throwing tantrums well into my teens, having panic attacks, accusing and condemning others for what I “thought” they were doing. My emotions being so overwhelming and crippling that I knew the struggle between my sociopathic behavior vs. what felt “right” by my emotions… was wrong. There was obviously something not synching up correctly if I felt so terrible all of the time from what I was doing and how I was experiencing my life. If I couldn’t actually manipulate my emotions how he said I should be able to, there was something wrong with me and who I was supposed to be.

It took a long time to make the decision to WANT to be loved for who I was, and WANT people to hate me for who I was, not because I forced them to, but because that was reality and that was their truthful experience. I didn’t want to live behind smoke and mirrors anymore, I didn’t want to control others to maintain and create an ideal of happiness. I wanted true happiness or true dread. I wanted true love and true hate. I never wanted to manipulate out of fear of losing someone. I never wanted to convince someone of an experience that wasn’t truly happening. And I wanted my lessons in this life to be real. I wanted to make real mistakes. I wanted to really fall on my back and I wanted to really triumph over my hardships.

Most importantly, I wanted to live my life, for me.

After years of intensive inpatient and outpatient therapy, trying to figure out where the disconnect was, after numerous suicidal attempts that clearly were not fated, one day… I woke up. I woke up from a nightmare I never knew I was having. That nobody let me in on. I woke up realizing where it was. I woke up being angry at my father and my mother for not teaching me what life was. For keeping my eyes yards ahead of me instead of one foot in front of me. For not teaching me to walk but expecting me to run. For throwing me into an ocean and saying “swim”, trusting God to teach me as they walked away but not teaching me how to trust God. I woke up and realized, I have to live my life for me, independent of what anyone else could and would do to me, independent of what I wanted them to do to me. I had to learn how to walk after two decades of pretending to know how to run.

The irony of my fathers third lesson, that emotions make you dependent on others, was that by fearing and controlling them, by investing all of your energy to maintain this game, was what actually made you dependent on others, on this facade of an existence. Of how they played into your plans and affected your reality. You were a slave to a lucid dream that you refused to wake up from because of the fear and weakness of being smaller than you think yourself to be. It forces you to avoid ever looking at yourself in the mirror, constantly looking at others and studying others and thinking about others as an indirect way of thinking about yourself. Avoiding those moments where the air is heavy and the silence is loud as you sit with yourself, not thinking about your next move, or worrying about your plan playing out, not panicking about the past circumstance and what that means moving forward, but to be at peace in this moment in this life and open to whatever may come, however it may come. To release yourself of the dependence and iron grip of controlling it because of the instability of your own self. To find stability in the acceptance of things bigger than you, of this beautiful life with beautiful people in it and to feel every single beautiful emotion rather than run from them. From your past. When you felt weak. When you felt helpless. When you poor, innocent creature, snapped.

I live my life, independently now, open and welcoming to every feeling and situation inflicted upon me by a life that is bigger than me because my purpose is to live a real life and make real mistakes and learn real lessons and find real love and experience real loss. My values are to worship and find beauty in every other person’s experience in this life as they ARE real and, as scary as it is to realize the world does not actually revolve around me or is at my disposal, I am not the cowardly girl hiding in the shadows anymore.

I embrace pain. I embrace life. All of it. I embrace when people don’t like me. I embrace when people fall in love with me. When I do. I embrace knowing that all of this, was not of my own doing. I stumble over my words. I allow my body language to flop around and I might accidently mislead people and I might accidently give off the wrong intention and I might accidently hurt people, but so long as I learn and love and grow and feel… I will be happy.

I live to be the best person I can possibly be and leave our legacy on the world as someone who led by example, who gave others the freedom to make their own choices, to give them the confidence to feel their emotions and live life as it was intended. Innocent, loving, and emotional. We are real. You are real. And I forgive you, dad. And I do and always will truly love you.

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3 Comments on "Sociopathic Behavior Was Trained Into Me"

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acetiger01 – thank you very much for sharing your experience. Your perspective is enlightening.

I feel my daughter may be struggling with the same issues. What kind of help did you get & how did you realise that you needed it?

Thanks in advance xx

This is probably the closest I’m going to get to understanding how sociopaths think. Thanks you

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