Sociopaths rarely go forward with their lives with reliable, sustainable momentum; at best, they may zig-zag for a while with the good (and bad) luck of a gambler; or go sidways for a while, “seeming” to hold it together.
But eventually, the sociopath tends to go backwards. He is much like the person on a high-speed treadmill who, no mattter how hard he or she walks or runs, finds himself, sooner or later, drifting off the end of the machine.
His disordered lack of empathy, detachment from others, detachment from an emotional connection to the world that keeps the rest of us on fairly solid ground, giving us at least a chance to hit solid ground, and hit it running—the sociopath is missing this connection, and thus makes no consistent, sturdy contact with solid ground; his traction, ultimately, is tenuous and illusory.
The sociopath may “look” like he’s making progress (especially if progress is defined as his profiting, in some fashion, from his disrespect or abuse of others’ trust and vulnerability); in the end, however, his progress will be as superficial and unreliable as he is—finally, certainly in the vast majority of cases, he just makes messes of his own and others’ lives.
For this reason I don’t regard sociopaths—even so-called really sharp, predatory sociopaths—as generally very “smart” individuals. Most of them, as I’ve written elsewhere, and stress here again, are just “mess makers.”
Many end up in jail, and those who don’t, when they aren’t sowing havoc, are usually courting disaster and, at some point or other, almost always finding it.
Even the smoothest, most effectively calculating sociopaths, even allowing for those who are never apprehended–even these sociopaths lack the capacities that make for a life worth counting: the capacity, for instance, to love; give from the heart; sacrifice for others; and be counted-on in “crunch time” (which is to say, during times of real personal inconvenience).
The sociopathic individual doesn’t genuinely relish these experiences, although he may, as we know, mimic them superficially (and sometimes convincingly); but he doesn’t derive the pleasure to be experienced from a genuine investment in them.
His view of the world is not unlike the immature child’s who, on halloween night, approaching a bowl of candy left on a stoop, where the code of integrity is implicit (take one or two candy bars), instead grabs a fistful of candy, stuffing his pillow case with it.
The child then feels a bit giddy over his caper, heedless that, in the process of enriching himself, he has selfishly deprived other children of candy and, at the same time, violated the homeowner who risked trusting in his basic sense of fairness and respect.
It’s possible that this child on halloween may make his “grab” in a more impulsive, less calculating, fashion; or, he may have plotted his “grab,” and then executed it from house to house, even before putting his “costume” on at home, prior to hitting the streets.
In either case, take his mentality and now watch it never evolve, even as the boy grows into a man, and there you have it—an adult who thinks, and acts, like a sociopath”¦that is, a sociopath.
The forms of corruption and violation his personality can later express are many, but the underlying mentality is the sociopath’s. And it dooms him, in the end, to a troubled, troubling and unfulfilled life.
(This article is copyrighted (c) 2011 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of male gender pronouns is strictly for convenience’s sake and not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the behaviors discussed.)
They are totally predictable, totally boring and UNoriginal. Incapable of original ANYthing. All is a copy of what they have seen others act or do. Yes, very much like a super spoiled 5 yr old, tearing thru other peoples lives and using them as a means to an end. And yes, there end is pretty predictable, just like them.
I have posted before and been through numerous court hearings when the spath had to pay what he owes for CM I was enforcing through bailiffs, garnishing etc, he took me to court to vary and lost and owes Â£60k. Had to write a cheque out to me in court ..thick he is ..but even the spath has surpassed my expectations.
After 5 years of no contact with either of his children, not even a birthday card, I was a little surprised when I got an email on Thursday wishing me and his children a happy Easter and he ‘needs to talk to his daughter’. The spath went on ‘I am glad that they have been at boarding school to give them stability’. He has done everything he could by not paying his 50% share of school fees or CM for 2 years to have them kicked out!!
The spath continued, I paid CM this month early (how kind of it) to stop you making fabricated claims to court …no I have a court order, and I enforced with bailiffs!! Then the spath drivels on about himself ..like anyone cares!!
After 5 years of never seeing either child he wants contact with my 18 year old daughter ‘to discuss her needs’!
Well when we all stopped laughing …when does a spath stop? He actually thinks in his deluded head that my daughter wants any contact with him, she was in tears when her school threatened to not let her back. What don’t these spaths get he has not paid a penny in 2 years!!
Talk about going backward, do they honestly think they can just wipe all the hurt away?? It is so sick my family are appalled, but we know what it is the OW/current wife has clearly kicked him out.
I will never understand their complete lack of anything, let alone empathy ..sick, sick, sick! Neither of my children want to have any contact with this to**er again. Back to the sweetie jar, and well I will just pick up where I left off, no one will notice!!
My response (no contact for 5 years so I don’t care), ‘if you contact us ever again we will go the police, go away and stay away, your email is harassment and of no interest’. I got one back of course ‘you have alienated my children, blah blah, (everything is my fault of course), I am living in a flat, (my fault, again) blah, blah blah’. I just resent the same email back!!
Do they ever just get it, no one cares about them, certainly not family courts, why can’t they just feck off??? I know about the control thing, all the traits but after 5 years, what does it expect ..a party ‘daddy is back’, he has had me arrested 14 times even for my own car, and my son he tried to have arrested when he was 11, now 16. There clearly is a switch, memory eraser ..absolutely amazing and they are of course as told by the spath ‘he is within his rights’! Even though my daughter is 18, he called her ‘nearly an actual adult’, 3 times, what is nearly an actual adult???
This does of course coincide with my daughter taking her A levels to get into Oxford and my son doing his GSCEs ..so jealousy is the main part, methinks. Can’t have my children doing well ..that’s not the plan, everyone has to be as miserable as I am!!
Rant over ..apologies to all!!
wisergirl, well summed up.
Of course they think they can just step back in and that you will throw them a “daddy’s home” party and everything will be lovely. LOL ROTFLMAO
Steve, you are absolutely right….even if they get filthy rich (my P sperm donor did finally, making the Forbes 400 a few years before the BILLIONAIRES took over) but all his money never bought him a single FRIEND….and the ONLY person at his funeral that was not some kind of business acquaintence was his youngest son who is I think much like him and idolized P sperm donor. Seven wives and beat every one of them, cheated on them, 4 kids, 3 who were NC with him, and as far as I know, never one friend…just victims and pre-victims….but the main thing was he never got it that money didn’t buy class, couth, respectability, or admiration.
He wanted others to envy him, so continually postured on how smart he was (even said in print in one interview that he was THE smartest man in the world and he believed it) and thought that kind of thing would make people admire and envy him.
But since he looked down on everyone else in the world as “weak” and “worthless” their admiration (even if they had admired him) would have been tainted as coming from someone who was worthless….so it was a “catch 22”—no way for him to ever be satisfied or content.
A life time without one friend….that’s pretty sad. Everyone that tried to love him, he turned into a victim. What a hollow life.
movingon – probably don’t have to tell you this, but be careful, he’s planning something.
and that magic eraser? it doesn’t exist, because really, he “didn’t really do anything to you to begin with” did he? they ARE bonkers. there is no getting our heads around their actions, because we are using OUR brains and they are not the same as THEIRS.
be careful….he’s phishing for something.
and congratulations for 5 years well spent without the ***ker.
Thank you for this article. I enjoy your writings.
I have held faith in this for the past 5 years. I KNOW that his end will be ugly, and the road getting to his end will be wrought with unhappiness and continued cons.
This is not fulfillment, hence happiness will never be.
We….on the other hand, can turn the pain around and live out life to the fullest.
Wisegirl/Steve and Oxy,
They do copy everything people do. My spath had a problem paying any tax whatsoever, he owed Â£144k as discovered in the divorce when I stopped doing anything for him, he went mad!! Anyway I was warned by barrister best thing get him married to someone else, and quickly.
So a dear friend of mine, who he was manipulating for info told him I was engaged (untrue) but he got engaged to a woman off friends reunited dot com. Then things were not progressing so he was told I had got remarried, he was married within a month.
Phew, no her majesties revenue and customs (IRS in US) after me any more, her problem!! The spath was most upset in court when he found out I was not actually remarried, engaged or even living with anyone! As the judge pointed out to spath, ‘most people get married for love, not to get back at their ex partners’, the spath stated ‘she has acted fraudulently’! They are an unbelievable, weird deviant of the human species!
Nothing surprises me any more ..lovely weather in the UK this Easter and more to come, hope everything is dandy where you are!
Hi Onejoy, I know, my family are worried. If as we suspect the ‘current wife’ as he calls her (how respectful) has kicked him out, and all the other tales of woe and pity, he’ll be back!!
My father put up CCTV outside my house as I live in the middle of nowhere (well UK size, middle of nowhere), farms around, some near neighbours.
I have no doubt he is ‘up to something’, my son goes back to school tomorrow, (so he misses kate and william ..he is gutted ..not!), my daughter another week before she goes back to her boarding school, she is what the spath thinks is the chink in the armour. My lovely Clara though is not weak, she knows what he is and if anything despises him more than any of us.
Thank you for your concern, I am ever watchful, how he found out my work email account I don’t know but he is now blocked, on every email account, mobile phone any of us possess. One more contact and I will report him, only takes 2 in the UK to be arrested for harassment and I know where he works!
Thank you again!
Great article (as usual)
And nothing is grieving my heart more right now than watching my son act out what looks to be his future in spathdom. Each incident of acting out, is worse than the last. It’s removing all doubt.
What a hell of a thought.
CONGRATULATIONS ON OUT SMARTING HIM!!!!! That was a STROKE OF GENIUS to get him to get married right away! LOL Yea!!!!! for the good guys!!!! S-paths 0–Good guys a BIG ONE!!!!!
My non-P sons both TOTALLY GET IT about my P son, and also about my enabling-punishing egg donor, and if anything they both resent her more than I do.
I informed son C by e mail that she had inquired about him when she lured me into sending someone to pick up the portrait drawing of my husband, and he sent her off an e mail telling her that I had told him that She INQUIRED ABOUT IF HE WAS STILL LIVING WITH ME back here on the farm, and telling her in NO uncertain terms that WHERE HE LIVED WAS NONE OF HER BUSINESS and that as long as she was sending money and support to the man who sent someone to try to kill his mother and him, that he wanted nothing to do with her because she was putting our lives at greater risk. He sent me a copy of the e mail and he even addressed her as “Mrs. Donor” rather than “grandma”—-I commented that his e mail sounded “rather harsh, don’t you think?” He replied, “it isn’t as harsh as I feel.”
They never give up once they feel like they “own” us or have some kind of right to control us, or seeking for revenge if we don’t allow them to control us. Some how they feel entitled to control or punish.