By | March 17, 2011 45 Comments

The Sociopath as “The Missing Link?”

Is it possible that the sociopath is, in a sense, the missing link? Who is he? He is human but, in another sense, not quite human. Much like the Neandarthals, who were humans but not quite homo sapiens, and whom you’d have had a hard time differentiating from homo sapiens in a crowd, the sociopath may mix in seamlessly with the more fully developed human race.

Meaning, like the Neandarthal race of humans, he isn’t noticeably different, at least not by appearances, from his fellow homo sapiens. And yet he is different”¦he is missing something.

There is something primitive and underdeveloped in him. This is a very crude analogy, admittedly. Neandarthals weren’t more sociopath than their fully human counterparts, at least so far as I know.

And sociopaths are fullfledged homo-sapiens; we must give them that. And yet they hearken back, developmentally, to something more primitive, which isn’t to say, either, that the proto-human species were necessarily more sociopathic than ours.

At the same time, I don’t believe evolution would look kindly on a “species” of sociopaths. Not that evolution will look kindly, in the end, on the human race, which may destroy itself eventually, with or without the contributions of its minority sociopathic population.

But a species of sociopaths, by itself, would destroy itself, sabotage itself, in probably less time than many of the proto-human species died out. A species of sociopathic homo sapiens just would not last for tens of thousands, or millions of years.

It would be a cut-throat species and in its particular limitations—its particular interpersonal psychopathology—it would fail to adapt (at this stage of modern civilization) to the demands required of a long-existing species.

This would be an exploitative, impulsive, greedy, unempathic species; an “emotionally unintelligent,” “emotionally blind,” “emotionally uninsightful” species”¦all characteristics which surely would seal its shorter-term doom?

The sociopath is not a contributor, a builder; or what he builds he will destroy eventually, in any case. The sociopath is a “now” creature; not a patient investor.

If he’s a problem-solver, he’s trying to solve the problem of how to benefit, how to aggrandize, himself; he is not trying to solve problems that advance others, that invest in causes that don’t directly benefit himself.

The sociopath just isn’t a cooperative, collaborative member of society. He is a “solo” operator, out for himself. This is true whether he’s a more calculating, or more impulsive, type of sociopath. His aims, regardless, are fundamentally self-serving and gratification-driven.

His comforts, his satiation, carry (for him) so much importance, so much primacy, that even if they must come at others’ expense, this is just how it is. That’s the way the cookie crumples.

“To get what I want, what I need, which is preeminent, may come at your cost and, if that’s the case, well, that’s just too bad. That’s life.”

For the sociopath, his gain can come at your cost, and this is okay with him. He just isn’t troubled, like a nonsociopathic is troubled, to gain from your pain. It is his peculiar equanimity, in response to the distress he knows he’s caused you (and sees you in), that speaks to the essence of his sociopathy.

And so one might wonder, is the sociopath, in a metaphorical sense, a kind of missing link? Or maybe, just missing?

(This article is copyrighted © 2011 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of male gender pronouns is not to suggest that females are not capable of the behaviors and attitudes discussed.)

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Ox Drover

Steve, I have pondered this very question myself….from an evolutionary standpoint there MUST BE some advantage for this sub-type of humans to have stayed around. They are pretty good at spreading their seed far and wide and leaving it to be reared by someone else. They are aggressive and in a situation of scarce resources, they are going to aggressively take more than their share of the food, water, etc. and leave others to starve or freeze while they skip merrily off into the sunset with the goodies—be they gold, food, or whatever they want.

Sociopaths seem also to have been pretty good in climbing over the backs of their “friends” and “peers” to become the rulers and dictators and war lords of the world since history began. They have murdered their fathers and brothers for the thrones, poisoned their wives and husbands, and drowned their own children. They have rigged elections and set up Ponzi schemes, they have stolen and embezzled and lived lavishly while the masses starved.

They have committed genocide, fratricide, abuse and murder. They have endorsed slavery and serfdom, piracy and rebellions, religious persecution and witch hunts.

Psychopaths are ALIVE AND WELL among us today—only a few of the Bernie Madoff’s are “outed” much less convicted I think, and Libya is a perfect example of a power-mad psychopath in the leadership role…Somalia is another example of a whole group of psychopaths trying to survive by preying on others as bandits and pirates.

So, actually, Steve, I think in the past the genetic component that makes a psychopath able to BE brutal to his fellow humans has allowed those genetics to continue to today, and in parts of the world , those genetics and behavioral brutality help them to survive today…..whether it is in Somalia or Wall Street, it does give some survival advantage to the ones who have it over those who have a conscience and altruistic attitudes.


People who believe in creationism and not evolution have a very hard time believing that God would create someone who doesn’t have a concience. That is part of the problem with Christians like me is that we have a hard time believing that there are people who actually do not care. I have always tried to “reason” with them.

However, here is a scripture that I think is very appropriate. I was going to use a modern translation but I think in this case the modern translations make the perp less bad or imply that we all are like this. NOT true. The one thing I did notice though is that the NKJV used the word gullible instead of silly. I think I am one of them…..the gullible women that is.

2 Timothy 3 KJV

1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

10But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

11Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Ox Drover

Dear True-to-self,

I don’t believe that they have NO CHOICE—they had/have a choice about how they behave and what they do….I think at some point in their lives they have a choice to go left or right…to take the path of the sheep or the path of the goats—to go toward the light or go toward the darkness. Now maybe there is a point that they have gone so FAR toward the darkness, the evil that they can’t see the light any more, or maybe they just enjoy the darkness enough that they don’t want the light…but if they have a brain that isn’t “retarded” enough that they don’t know right from wrong—they have a CHOICE. Now maybe they eventually come to that point that they have a “reprobate” mind, like Satan did, or like Judas Iscariot did.

I don’t think that Judas HAD to betray Jesus, I think Judas had FREE WILL and he freely chose to do it. Did he truly repent afterward? I’m not sure what his FEELINGS were when he took the money back to the Temple, or why he killed himself. Was it like a psychopath who does the ultimate revenge by killing themselves, or was it because he couldn’t/wouldn’t face how evil he had acted? Whatever it was, he chose to hang himself. I think that God and Jesus fore-knew he would do it, but I think he had a choice.

I have often thought the scriipture you quoted here is a description of psychopaths and the way they behave…there are several descriptions in the Bible of psychopaths. Jezebel is one example, and Ahab is another one, I think King Saul was another one, Absalom is a great example of a Narcissistic psychopath. Many many examples, including the Pharisees as a group and as individuals.

History itself is full of Ns and Ps, even current history and politics. The News is full of stories of serial killer psychopaths and politically elected psychopaths and Bernie Madoff’s who are financial psychopaths and criminals. There are EVIL people in the world and have been since Cain killed his brother. Remember how Cain wasn’t worried about what he had done, but about the TERRIBLE PUNISHMENT God had given him to WANDER the face of the earth—pouring on the PITY PLEA to God, so God put the “mark of Cain” on him so that no one would harm him.

I think everyone who is of an age or IQ to know the differences between right and wrong has a choice in how we behave. We can choose Good or Evil.



Timely article once again.

“His comforts, his satiation, carry (for him) so much importance, so much primacy, that even if they must come at others’ expense, this is just how it is. That’s the way the cookie crumples.”

My son had been planning opening day , March 6 , to go and dirt bike ride at an official track since October. It was all he talked about. He even counted the weekends to be sure I would give up my weekend to his father.

His father never put the day on his calendar, supposedly mistakingly thought March 6 was a Saturday and made other plans for the Sunday, March 6.

Three days before March 6 , he told my son he could not take him because he promised Ms. Skank he would go watch HER DAUGHTER’S cheerleading competition. HE TOLD HIM THIS ON THE PHONE BEFORE SCHOOL. My son was so distraught when I picked him up that afternoon he was beside himself.

I got on the phone , can’t even write the names I called the SOB – but I ranted and raved until he swore he would change HIS OTHER PLANS and NOT disappoint my son. I wasn’t supposed to know his excuse so I had to steer my conversation carefully.

All the “How could you ‘s ?” didn’t mean a thing – he just DID NOT get what the impact of his words were on my son.

Bottom line , I threatened him that if he DID NOT take my son on March 6 from 10 to 6 to the track as planned he better call his lawyer because I would NOT allow my son to be hurt like this and I would get him before a judge ASAP . And he wouldn’t see my son again till then and until he could explain how he could crush my child like this.

So disconnected – I just can’t believe it. To see him hurt my son like this – it’s worse than anything he’s done to me.

Maybe he’s not human afterall. Dear God …….how do I teach my son to get through times like this with no scars ?



Very well said.

We can choose good or evil. I do not believe that Judas was sorry. He felt bad or guilty, but not remorse. Peter, on the other hand, after denying Christ felt true remorse.

My own autistic daughter was quite violent when she was younger. Because of poor impulse control and lack of communication skills she would bite, pull hair, tip over furniture. I thought I needed an exorcist (kidding actually) but knew that there were many other children that behaved the same way.

High functioning autistic people can behave a lot like spaths though as they do not seem to have a the ability for abstract thinking. Fortunately my daughter always has had a soft heart. After biting me, she immediate “signed” I’m sorry. She knew she just couldn’t control herself.

In reading a book written by Temple Grandin’s mother there is a footnote that says that Jeffrey Daumer may have been autistic. Remember the Virgiania Tech shooter. I saw autism in him. There is a fine line between the person’s genetics and behavior, but I don’t believe that even spaths are an entirely different species……unless they are alians, LOL… don’t really believe that. I do believe that there are truly evil people in the world. I have learned the hard way.



New Life,

My first husband was the same way. My daughter is 40 now, and her father had absolutely no trouble forgetting that she even existed after she was old enough that he didn’t have to send child support any more. He lives in a different state than I do. He has not seen his daughter since she turned 12.

My second H was her step father who helped raise her. I was married to him for 25 years. When he walked out and the divorce was finally final, he has not seen her either.

You did the right thing in demanding that he change his plans. It is so hard to see our children hurt by these jerks. I can’t understand it. I don’t think we ever will be able to.

So sorry for what you are going through also.


Ox Drover

Dear NewLife,

You take him to the track yourself….sure, it hurts….but I honestly think that the more we protect our children from the real behavior of the psychopaths the more difficult it is for them to defend themselves from the real ones.

Let me give you an example.

A kid has a pet puppy, and it dies, and the parents rush to the store to buy a NEW PUPPY THE NEXT DAY to keep the kid from being sad….I think that over protection (and in the case of the puppy) the child does NOT GET THE OPPORTUNITY to learn how to handle disappointment and grief…so what happens when daddy gets killed in a car wreck, the kid has never had grief to deal with (I know that is hyperbole but it is to make a point.) We learn to deal with grief by grieving, and we learn to deal with people who disappoint us and let us down by being disappointed and let down….

I understand why you did what you did with your x making him change his plans, but you might want to think too about letting your son learn to deal with DADDY-O’s lack of caring…he’s going to have to find out about it sooner or later. It is a FRACKING SHAME that your kid has to learn this by being hurt, but it is also LIFE 101. (((hugs))) and God bless you and your son, you both deserve better than this carp!


OX and Newlift08:

Soooo true! I particularly like the ‘story’ of the puppy, Ox. I have a story ABOUT a puppy who my ex’s son began to call ‘my’ puppy and ‘our’ puppy.

I have known this child since he JUST turned 7. He’s now 11 and a VERY sweet kid. Strangely empathetic, caring and considerate for someone his age and always has been. Well, during the times when my ex would ‘bolt’ on me, there was always this OTHER person in the background…HIS SON.

I dont know what he told his son each time he left, however, what I do know is Ive often wondered if his son FEELS like a ping pong ball too with ‘maybe’ being over her, then ‘maybe’ being at his grandmas (where the loser ex lives…at mommys). Having a couple months here, then all the sudden not seeing me for a few months.

Well, I got the dog for Christmas! His son FELL IN LOVE with her…he is so NOT responsible, but with this dog, he seemed to take pride in ‘caring’ for her. I dont know if his dad told him it was ‘ok’ to ‘consider’ this HIS house because he was moving in, however, his son CLEARLY began referring to my house as ‘home’ and ‘my bedroom’ and ‘my bed’ and ‘my puppy’. He even told me multiple times “I have much more fun at your house than I do at my moms. You and my dad are more fun.”

So, here we are…another 9 months of every-other-weekends are my house. The place his son began to refer to as ‘home’. With the puppy he began to refer to as ‘my dog’.

And this was NEVER even thought about when the jackass left…again.

Ox Drover

Dear R-babe,

They do NOT make good or responsible parents either! LOL As you are finding out, and this poor kid is saddled with a “dad” that can’t be a father to him. I hope to heck his mother is a better mom than his dad is a parent….doesn’t sound like she is mother of the year either though. I’m sorry for this kid…and I know you are too, but that is just MORE COLLATERAL DAMAGE that these jerks do.

Jerkface had the kid in just as irresponsible a manner as he got the dog—for someone else to take care of.



Funny your observation about ‘having the kid…” He actually did just ‘have the kid’ with his babies momma! They met as she was bartending, screwed, and voila! A son was born…which he did NOT tell anyone about–NOT EVEN HIS PARENTS–until the child came over for THE FIRST TIME as an infant…

SURPRISE!!! Mom and dad? You have your FIRST grandbaby! Luckily for the child, he is male. Read below…

Ahhhh…and then there is his SECOND child! Another baby born out of wedlock after a night of passion. Except…this baby and her ‘father’ have never met-nor will they ever. According to my ex, this child was unplanned as he and THIS babys momma were a fling too. Babys momma though had just broken up with her boyfriend. Once she found out she was pregnant with the child, she went BACK TO the boyfriend…and never let my ex see his daugher.

This, though isnt a big deal, you see. In his mind, HIS (unclaimed) daughter has a person she calls ‘dad’. It would only ‘hurt’ her to know him. HELL YEAH IT WOULD!!! So, he pays childsupport to a child he has never seen and a sibling to the child he ‘claims’.

And then there’s MY dog…’our’ dog. The pseudo-child between he and I in which a ‘commitment’ was formed. I can only imagine he has taken ownership of his SON because he is just that…A SON, A MINI-ME.

You know, I can imagine what his baby mommas must have thought/felt after his impregnating them and LEAVING!!! I too have a ‘responsibility’ that I did not ask for. I too have to adjust MY life to take care of something that is alive and breathing. I too have been ‘given’ something with NO consideration as to how it may impact ME…because its not impacting HIM, so why should it matter?

He’s, again, a jackass.

Ox Drover

R-babe, just be glad there doesn’t have to be a court fight over custody of the dog or dog-support payments and you CAN re-home the dog if you want to and can’t reasonably take care of it. Options you don’t really have with a kid. LOL And, you can crate train it and not be arrested! Plus, you don’t have to send it to college! LOL ROTFLMAO Not sure why I’ve got my tickle box turned up side down, I guess just cause I had a great day! LOL


True…oh so true! Hey, Im reading the online book Malignant Self Love…

Wholly shit!!! Whollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly shit!




I think there is something going on with spaths, at least with mine personally, in the spiritual realm. Aussiegirl suggested on the other thread that they might be demons. I wouldn’t rule it out!

Mine said several really disturbing things: “I have a dark side you can’t imagine,” and “You have no idea of the dark **** that goes on inside my head,” and “It’s too late for me,” implying during our conversation that he had made a Deal With The Devil sometime before he met us and there was no turning back.

I of course always tried to REASON with him, saying (stupid) things like, “There is good in everybody,” and “Don’t be so hard on yourself- you are acting better all the time (whether he was or not),” trying to encourage him to live right. As always, I thought he simply didn’t UNDERSTAND good vs. evil, and I wasted hours and days and years trying to explain why “good” is the better choice, and help him understand. I think he did fully understand, but just CHOSE the bad way.

I don’t know if it was a true deal with the devil, but I
think he must have made some kind of choice early on, and then his conscience at that point became “seared,” or made numb and non-working, like when you sear (burn) your flesh and it has no feeling anymore. There is a Bible verse that refers to people whose “consciences have been seared as with a hot iron,” I Timothy 4:2. It almost makes more sense, at least in his case, that he made a choice rather than being born without a conscience at all. I don’t have this figured out – I am wondering aloud here…

In fact I will say, occasionally, I did see a glimmer of conscience, a hesitation at least, just before he did something terrible. Unfortunately I think with “practice” at his evil deeds, he is losing that, and has less trouble being spathy the older he gets. (He is only 20.)

This is by far the saddest aspect of the situation; I do really think at one time he could have CHOSEN to live right. Goodness knows I begged him to choose right, and I held on so long. Sigh.


I agree with the idea of the post above. Of course, we all could remember times when our ex sorta ‘referred’ to the element of choice yet this went unackknowledged by most.

A relatively recent conversation I had with him regarding purchasing the BIKE rather than paying the BILLS went around this question…”Do you KNOW how to make ‘good’ choices? Do you KNOW the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’? I was being serious as a heartattack, hoping on some level his STUPIDITY could be attributed to him just needing to LEARN a skill.

Nope…I was let down. His response was “of course I KNOW how to make good choices and whats right or wrong. I just dont care.”

I remember conversations he and I had when we began to date where he PREACHED about ‘every single decision we all make in every single moment is a CHOICE. No one can say they didnt have options.”

He also went on to say (and this creeps me out now) “every single day I have to FIGHT to keep ‘good’ (his name) in the forefront.” I got the sense that he LITERALLY had a devil and an angel on his shoulders and it was sooooo HARD to listen to the angel…like in Malignant Self-Love’s introduction “…most people stirve for goals and feel good when they approach them. They move towards something positive. I move in the sam direction but my movement is away from something negative. Thats why I never stop, am never content, no matter what I achieve. That negative seems to follow me around like a shadlw…”

His mom, (who never spoke to me face to face about him-always through emails…interesting, eh?) had made comments as well regarding not ‘knowing if he even really KNOWS who he is. He fights these demons inside him and has made so much progress.”

Yup…I teeter between feeling completely satisfied over ‘figuring’ this out and feeling completely sick to my stomache that it even happened.


Exactly, exactly, exactly. I totally relate to you on this topic R-babe. My spath was not my ex, but a young man we were trying to help.

The angel on one shoulder, devil on the other… I noticed that a lot. He told me almost exactly what yours said, “Of course I know right from wrong! (He was offended that I said that, I was insulting his intelligence) I JUST DON’T CARE!”

I was bewildered that someone could actually not care about that… after all, many times he was only hurting himself by the way he acted (drugs, breaking promises). He seemed so “dense” not to understand that Right/Good is the BETTER way, for him and everyone else.

This is where I became trapped: He also said something very similar to yours, “I am trying so hard to be good… You don’t know how hard it is for me to deal with ME.” Along the lines of “Every single day I have to fight to keep the good me in the forefront.” So I thought maybe if I was ultra-supportive, giving him plenty of my time and attention, explaining right from wrong over and over, patiently and loyally, he would be able to eventually overcome his struggles.

I felt so sorry for him, trying so hard to be good, trying to fight against his bad impulses. I wanted to help him and make a difference in his life.

But it sure didn’t work out that way! He is as awful as ever, and I am used up like a rag. I am still sorting out how much of his “internal struggle” was real, and how much was pure manipulation to keep me giving him attention.

Ox Drover

Dear Just dreaming,

If you think ANY of his “struggle” was real, you ARE “JUST DREAMING” LOL—it is all a manipulation!!! EVERY LAST BIT OF IT…they do NOT care what is “right” or “wrong”—they want what they want when they want it and hang whoever it hurts!



I don’t remember where I put my last post! Just shows how stressed I am!

Well I could use some more guidance.

As I posted previously, this was my reply:

I have read all of your emails. Initially, I thought that to look for a day care at this time would be an act of futility. Until you have permanent employment it would be difficult to arrange without knowing whether Jr. needs to be in full or part time care, and what locations are most convenient.

I forwarded Day Care your letter because I have had a very good rapport with her and I believe she deserves to be aware of your concerns. I do not necessarily agree with you. However, we must now look for daycare. Day Care, in turn, has given you the vehicle to make your accusations formal.

In the meantime, Jr. will be at this Daycare through March. As per the court order, Jr. will be in daycare on Tuesday and Thursday. You are day care Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I will be looking for another daycare in which to enroll Jr..
As far as your concerns regarding Jr.; I too have noticed Jr. becoming increasingly aggressive over the past few months.
In addition to yelling at me, throwing his cup at me, or kicking me when I place him in time out, Jr. has exhibited some unusual behaviors, which are of great concern to me.

From what I know of child psychology, these are signs of stress and anxiety that Jr. is unable to process or communicate.

At this point, in the interest of Jr.’s emotional/psychological health, I think you will agree that we need to seek the help of a Child Psychologist to resolve his stress and prevent any long term effects on his emotional development.


(*His attorney argued that his MTW 6:30-3:30 parenting time be referred to as Day Care instead, so he could have it as ADDITIONAL to his current parenting time)

To which, of course (no matter how brief and factual I try to keep my e-mails) I get:

Let me reiterate myself. WE are Jr.’s parents and this Day Care is not. Nor any daycare for that matter. And frankly, the situation at hand should have been discussed between you and I before informing Day Care of our thoughts. Plain and simple. There was no excuse for what you did. Of all people, I am more than capable of voicing my concerns to any individual who comes into contact with Jr. Day Care was going to be addressed immediately after discussing my concerns with you. Obviously, there was a failure to properly communicate on your part.
The failure to effectively communicate with one another regarding Jr. is a major issue between us. And this has the potential to significantly hamper our ability to successfully co-parent him. You mention he is under ’stress and anxiety.’ Well the lack of communication alone places unnecessary stress and anxiety on Jr. Although he is very young, he is well aware that his mother and father do not communicate with one another. It is very unfortunate that Jr. has to witness this. I have asked you from the beginning to try and put your unconstructive feelings towards me aside so as to avoid negatively affecting Jr. Once again, our priority is to not be selfish. But rather to put him first at all times. Having to include the courts in the middle of this debacle is one of the worst things we could possibly do to Jr.. The judge even stated to us that as his parents we as a unit are the ones who know what is best for him. So it is best to work these things out together and co-parent. I have tried numerous times to reach out to you about various issues, concerns, and problems, yet you have proven through your actions and words that you would rather avoid them than to address them. You hear me but are never listening, which is unfortunate for everyone involved. It is not Jr.’s fault we did not work out, or that we could not stay together. However, it is our fault that we cannot work together as two adults to provide him the best possible environment within which to exist. Each of us is equally important and loved by him. That is why he should be able to see us both equally. It is not just about me being affected by that, but it affects Jr. How would you feel if you were told you cannot see your father? When I tell him he has to go to day care for 2 days, he often replies “No.” That he “does not want to go to day care” and that he “wants to stay home with daddy”. There is obviously a reason he feels this way. I remember in the beginning he was excited to go see his friends but now it is completely different. When I go into wake Jr. up, he pleads and cries for me to keep him home; he keeps saying he wants to stay with me. That breaks my heart to hear and see him do that. That should be telling you something right there. But yet you are doing everything to keep Jr. out of my care. You feel that in the summer it is ok for Jr. to not need day care and be in your care 24/7, but not be in my care 24/7 while you are at work? That makes absolutely no sense. The only reason the court order states Jr. is to attend day care 2 days a week, is because of you. You would rather put him in a day care than to be with his parents. Yes socializing is fabulous, but he has 12+ years of socialization ahead of him. But according to you socialization is only best when you are in school working, when you are out for the summer; the concept of socialization is magically thrown out of the window. With that, I am asking you stop referring to me as just his day care. (*His attorney argued that his MTW 6:30-3:30 parenting time be referred to as Day Care instead, so he could have it as ADDITIONAL to his current parenting time) Ignorance and denial will get you nowhere. You need to think before you speak. Jr. should not hear any such nonsense. When he is in my care or yours, he should only be hearing positive thoughts about the opposite party, and he should be seeing positive actions. Alienating him from his father will do no good. This is Jr’s life we are talking about. The more you try to keep Jr from me the more he is going to act out and turn against you.
We should be communicating via phone and in person at exchanges rather than in a journal or through e-mail where our words can be taken out of context. It is especially awful when I drop off Jr to you and he is talking to you when he is getting into the car and you do not respond to him at all. You sit there and look at him. (for a whole 20 seconds) How is that good for his ’stress and anxiety’? It even states in the court order that we are allowed to greet him, but yet you do not? It is apparent that you want to direct any ill feelings towards me; however that is being misdirected towards Jr. if you think about it. Whether or not something is in the court order, we are both able to modify the order and change it as we feel necessary as long as we both agree. I think it is long overdue for us to show him he does not have to stress over us not communicating. This would truly make a difference. And since we will be in each other’s life at least till Jr. is of age, I believe we need to work on our relationship as co-parents rather than start sending him to see a psychologist right off the bat. Yes you are an art teacher. A teacher is not a psychologist by any means. Just because you work with kids, it does not mean you are in any position to diagnose Jr. as needing psychological help. Especially at such a young age. Therefore, until you have achieved a Ph.D. or Psy.D, please refrain from insinuating you know more about a child’s psyche than I do. The only profession I see relevant here is being full-time parents. It would be hypocritical to send our child to a psychologist before we even attempt to work together at home in his current environment. That is all that matters, and that is what we have to do for Jr.

According to the American Psychological Association website (links below) (…blah b;ah blah, medical jargon cut and pasted from websites, which he cannot even comprehend.)

At this very moment, we can proceed by searching for day cares. Please note that WE need to find a new day care for us to enroll Jr. in, not just you. According to the agreement we both have to consult with each other and agree in writing on Jr.’s day care before he is enrolled. My current job status should not hinder this search in any way. By simply telling day care facilities up front that we would not know for sure whether I will be working full time or part time, there should not be an issue. A lot of places have both available, and/or at least he can go to part time until a full time one opens. Regarding location, Jr. should be close to the both of us in order to create easy access to him at all times. That being said, the {} area is the most central location for us both. The {} area would be even better. It would be on the way and close for you to drop off and pick up Jr. on your way to and from your work. Also, it would be close to my house, if I got a job near my home, and if I got a job in Albany it would be on my way to and from work.
Thank you,



I have prepared this so far:


We have both reported increased aggressiveness in Jr. I am greatly concerned about his psychological well-being, and want to be proactive. I want him to get professional help.

May I also suggest you and I see a co-parenting counselor, to help resolve the co-parenting issues you cite.

As far as day care; I am fine with the list you provided me at the August 12 court conference. If you would prefer, let me know which ones with current vacancies sound good to you and we can arrange a time for us both to go see the facilities.



FAD (FightAnotherDay) My suggestion
Document Document Document BUT refrain from provoking b/c it only makes you look bad, esp when you need to establish credibility. Important b/c you need to show it’s not a heSaid/sheSaid battle. State FACTS, not accusations. Write as if a hostile legal system was looking at your documents. Provoking him looks petty, even though you are justified to be angry (ie “Daycare has given you a vehicle to make your accusations formal.”).

Don’t let him bully you. Call him on it when he is naughty. (i.e. “Writing with an autocratic tone is intimidating to me. if you are unable to communicate with a standard of reasonable decency towards another human being, then you will force me to find a third party for our correspondence.” )

This does two things, it uses society rules to enforce his behaviors and stops his free fall bullying and by introducing at least the possibility of third party witness to his bullying, but will only work if YOU are not provoking and are being reasonable. Spaths HATE third parties knowing them with mask off unless they are in the murder realm, in which case your situation is life and death and you should be taking your baby and running for your life.



Wow! Very informative. I was not even aware that I was provoking him. I see now I was, I just think if his concerns are valid he should and would have called the authorities, as he DID threaten to and has with a previous day care and I.

Was I provoking him otherwise?

I am SOOO angry that I have to watch what I say when he can “talk” to me like that and accuse me of saying things I have never said, and that he would have no way of knowing either way!!!

What about the latest reply? Is that OK?
How should I change it?



Nothing to do with anything here, but this may make you smile.
Im reading at the moment,
“Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers,”
by Karyl McBride.
{I am one of them.}
She tells the true story of her little girl, then aged 5, posing with her little cousin in front of the Mirror.
Girl cousin says,”We ARe so pretty arent we?”
5 year old says,
“Yea, we are, but Mom says its whats INSIDE thats important.
You know, like guts, veins, blood, and stuff.!”
Obviously too young to grasp the concept of the mind, emotions, etc!.
Mama gemXX


Accusations that are conclusions are always seen by authorities as provoking. To take back control of a conversation from this kind of bullying, don’t respond to each provocation he makes, but rather make a general statement. My husband was a dominating bully. By saying HE FORCES my response, if he wants to keep things private he has to behave. By showing him he “wins” by behaving, he will do so compulsively b/c “Winning” is more important than doing what’s best for himself. (They do a LOT of self sabotage.)
I’ve used “The tone of your writing is inappropriate and as it serves only to intimidate, it is also unproductive. If you are unable to control such behavior, you will force me to find a legally appointed third party to monitor our contact”.

I’m not telling you what to say. I am saying, think about what outcome you want. Sometimes I’ve had to shut up b/c it was counterproductive to what I needed to happen. Do not battle to WIN, position to gain. Let THEM think they are winning while you ‘settle’ for getting what you wanted (but don’t reveal what you want b/c then they see that as a loss to them and will battle you.)

(For instance, my husband “won” the battle for our debt free house. In that negotiation, I received $80,000 usd and copies of all the bank statements for all the years we were married (which by law I was entitled to but he was good at “losing” documents) and all the bank statements for the years we have been separated and all the statements from the years we sold our product to a vendor. He didn’t even think b/c he was so focused on screwing me out of the house I built with my own two hands… the financial statements proved his embezzlement from our joint business and I was able to attach a lien against the house forcing a sale and received a judgment and settlement for MORE than the value of the house.

Ox Drover


I think a little bit different on this than Katy Did, as far as his autocratic tone, SURE HE DID THAT, but I would IGNORE IT because challenging it is 1) not going to do any good he won’t get it and 2) BY ignoring it YOU COME OFF LOOKING MORE SANE AND LESS OF A JERK THAN HE DOES. Just my OPINION….

I think your response was PERFECT!

Thanks, Gem, that was cute!!!!


I see your point and agree that tone isn’t what matters… but my point was to provide an example where she uses his compulsive need to control and “win” ….and by giving him the choice to “force” her to something he doesn’t want, he curbs his bullying himself. She wins either way and he FEELS like he won.


Hope I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, but you got a controlling bully who needs to win. That kind of guy will take your kid and run with him b/c he’s a pawn, a possession (or. God Forbid, will do worse). What do you have in place to protect against that?


Hmmm. His girlfriend; “money bags”, and…
I denied a passport as well as enrolled Jr. in the passport protection program (I forget what it’s really called).

Yeah I am trying to make him think I don’t care if he picks the day care…sometimes it’s lose lose with him though. If I let him, he doesn’t find anyone in two weeks and gets to have our son 5 days a week!

Ox Drover

Which I think is the purpose of this whole thing anyway….I would keep on pushing for the psychologist– and since Jerkface thinks that YOU are not the one cooperating, maybe YOU (hee hee) can learn a thing or two from the psychologist….I’d agree with him that the TWO of you (combined) are NOT cooperating, of course I think there is 99.9% NON cooperation on HIS point and 0.1 % on yours, but just agree that the TOTAL cooperation is not ideal. And it isn’t. Then the two of you agree to go to a psychologist together and/or separately….and then that ought to help. God bless you sugar! I know this is a stress and a half! (((hugs)))

Provocative article once again Dr. Steve,thank you.

We know that there is a genetic component to socio behavior, and that they are missing the empathy gene (figuratively)- and that their brains are hard wired in a different way from what they disparignly call “empaths”. So are they a different breed- ? Probably worth a closer look.

I would dearly love to see a comprehensive study on the ratio of socio behavior in positions of power vs. the rest of society. As much as we talk of them being ultimately failures, I believe there is a prevelance of them in high places and with positions and lifestyles that we tend to glorify as “success”.

Over time- this glorification leads to a celebration of the behavior, and a blind eye to the lies and injustice that has served to get them to the levels of power they hold.

As trends forcaster Geralde Celente (Trends Research Institute) said recently, “the world is run by sociopaths”. Perhaps as a genetic survival tool they really do have an edge over the shorter term, because as history has demonstrated, most of the tyrants and dictators, war mongers and thieves eventually come to a bad end.

But in the meantime, they are exploiting humanity, and cooking the books, rewriting the laws, to keep themselves fat, safe and happy.

What I am getting at is that we “empaths” collectively, are behaving like the abused spouse- fearing, forgiving, accomodating and excusing our abuser, occasionally changing one for the other, but submissive to an abusive class of “elites” none the less. Adding insult to injury, we give them attention and social status- we help them “put on a good face”, we go along with the lies.

In my case, it took a long journey into looking at this bigger picture, in depth, and through activism etc, until I realized I was sleeping with the enemy at home. Even then, it had to jump out and bite me before I came to grips with my own reality.

On a more hopeful note, in the last several years, I have seen more and more serious analysis of our condition refer to “socios” being in power, and the need for a higher conciousness and awareness on our part. It is perhaps a great turning point if we become more vigilant.

Peace, A


It’s just eating me up.

Should I be worried about the slander?

I am certainly not guilty of any of the things he is accusing me of.

And another thing. I called a few day cares and they informed me that the step mother called (Our divorce isn’t even final!) and set up a date for THEM to see the day care!

Additionally I am the PRIMARY guardian. They are going to want to be PRIMARILY in touch with me. Yes, we have joint legal, but he just can’t get it through his head that I am the primary caregiver and there should be ONE person who does most of the managing…the person who calls daycare when he will not be in, the person day care will call when he is sick…

What do you think, and what do I say or do?

My attorney must be busy because she hasn’t gotten back to me.

Ox Drover

Dear FAD,

He is accomplishing and she is accomplishing just what they are setting out to do—make you as miserable as possible, and guess what? IT IS WORKING!!!!

As far as “slander”—you know darned well that they are talking trash about you, and so all you can do is to GET OVER IT! You are not going to stop him from being the creepy jerk face that he is. When are you going to get that through your thick head, MaryJo? 🙂

You are right, but YOU being right doesn’t mean that he is going to stop being an arsehole!!!

You have two choices as I see it FAD, you can spend the next 15 1/2 years being continually upset over every darned hair cut he gives the kid and every asshole thing he says or you can put wax in your ears and let the sheet roll off your back like water off a duck. HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE. SHE IS WITH HIM BECAUSE HE HAS HER FOOLED. HE HAS HER FOOLED BY LYING TO HER. He is a DRAMA [email protected] ****DRAMA****QUEEN**** delux version, 24 karat gold plated DRAMA QUEEN.

HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE, I HAVE TO GET USED TO THAT IDEA. Now write that sentence 5000 times and turn it in before you go to sleep tonight! HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE!

You know I love you darling! but I ain’t gonna sugar coat it, you can scream and rant but he isn’t gonna get any better no matter what you do! or don’t do. You are between a rock and a hard place, the devil and the deep blue sea. The ONLY thing you have control over is how you react to his sheet! Like I said about the hair cut, it ain’t no tattoo, so as long as it doesn’t do PERMANENT AND LASTING DAMAGE TO THE KID YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO ADJUST TO IT…THE MORE YOU FIGHT HIM, THE WORSE HE IS GOING TO GET AND THE WORSE YOU WILL FEEL. (((hugs))) and my prayers for you!!!!


Just in case this helps, a social worker friend of mine suggested asking for a Parenting Capacity Assessment and agreeing to one yourself.

I don’t have children with my ex-spath, but I have friends who are dealing with their ex-spath and trying to parent. It really seems to me that sole custody for the healthy parent is the way to go, but I also understand what people are saying about letting your children learn. And certainly, there isn’t just one solution for all situations.

Wow. Such difficult situations and decisions. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you and your children. This is really tough stuff. Blessings.

Ox Drover


Unfortunately the “family court systeM” and the social system has this pre-set idea that “contact” with even a “less than ideal” parent is better than no contact, and even when the parent has threatened to kill the child UNSUPERVISED VISITATION is allowed (see the Dr. Amy Castillo thread here on LF) where the parent was allowed access and then FOLLOWED THROUGH ON THEIR THREATS TO KILL THE CHILDREN—OOPS! Oh, well, even though that happened, we still can’t “deprive” the parents of their RIGHTS to be with their children! OOPS! Parents should have no rights! CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE RIGHTS TO BE SAFE and with a parent who is nurturing and loving. But, that’s not the way it is—in some ways children are still considered the “property” of the parents.

The thinking seems to be that “just because a father/mother is a drug addict/bank robber/rapist/criminal doesn’t mean they aren’t a loving parent????? WTF? And if a parent is ONLY EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE and doesn’t break bones or give the kid a black eye then they are OK? again, WTF?

When do the RIGHTS of children to have nurturing and loving parents get upheld?


Well, if psychopaths are the missing link, I sure don’t miss the link I used to have with him.

These individuals, psychopath/sociopaths, act more like a personification of the devil. No society made up entirely of individuals lacking a conscious would last and as they become more dominant in the power structure of our society the need to do something about them increases.

The question of whether or not they are ‘human’ is interesting and a case could be made they are not because they are not invested in the social network which defines humanity in the cultural sense. By their nature, they are predators, viewing normal humanity as unconsumed prey. Our DNA determines our species. What determines our belonging in a cultural sense should be seriously reconsidered.

The deficit in the brains of the Psy/Socs costs to much in terms of impact on the integrity of the whole to be tolerated.


I have to deal with Jim out smarting me. I am no match for his wits. He has practiced ‘out smarting’ people since a child, and he learned it well from his criminal minded family.

I have to duck my head and make the best of it. Don’t tread on his path, even when he is treading on my path, I better step to the side.

It sounds like I am being a victim. But not really, cause Jim will get caught in his spider web. He relies on his victims for money. He will burn ALL his bridges…


My understanding is that researchers are zeroing in on a serotonin transport gene variant to explain psychopath/ sociopath behavior. The broader implication being that they represent an unbridled survivor instinct.

While intellectually interesting, it does nothing for my limbic-system desire to stalk my none-too-soon-to-be ex-wife and her equally psychopathic lover and torture them to death on a spit. No spath can out-do the blind fury of someone with nothing left to lose…

Ox Drover

Dear Shocknawe,

I understand your anger, rage and thirst for revenge…the “wrath” that is left when the anger starts to rot our spirit…..

Unfortunately, when anger turned to wrath (vengeful hot anger) sets up inside our spirits and our souls it tends to be like poison to us, but doesn’t harm the intended target.

Feeding and housing that wrath seems to be like us drinking poison and expecting someone else to die—the old cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Anger is a natural response to injury and there is nothing at all emotionally or spiritually “wrong’ with getting angry when you either see or experience injustice….even Jesus said “be ye angry and sin not” and even He became angry several times when he saw injustice by the hypocrites.

Jesus also said “let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Which means that He obviously expected that we might experience some WRATH—some really intense anger, but He advised not letting it sit over night and FESTER into something nasty. WHY would He give us this advice?

I think the answer is that because hanging on to wrath for a long time is DAMAGING TO US. I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said (maybe it was Thomas Jefferson??) “Sin is not bad for you because it is labeled ‘sin”– but is labeled sin BECAUSE it is bad for you.”

There was a time I was so pithed and angry and wrathful at some of the psychopaths that I literally lay awake nights trying to figure out how I could kill them and get away with it. I remember lying there on my bed seething in the anger and wrath and malice and the thirst for bloody revenge—oh, how I HATED them. Finally it dawned on me one day, that my spirit was becoming just as evil as theirs was. I was becoming hateful and ugly inside, not peaceful and kind. I realized I didn’t want to be that way and I HAD A CHOICE. I made the choice. I changed my attitude, I quit feeding the ugly spirit of wrath within my soul and it starved to death, leaving peace, contentment and joy.

Let the psychopaths go—we don’t have to hurt them, they will destroy themselves in time. In the meantime we may live in peace and quiet and harmony and happiness. They will never find that…it is hidden under the anger and wrath and they will never sweep away the anger and wrath in order to find the treasure hidden under there.


Ox Drover,

Nicely said. Fortunately, we’re not ruled by our limbic systems, but the occasional fantasies sure feel good at 3AM…

Ox Drover

Dear Shocknawe,

Yea, sometimes I feel like that limbic system rules though! It has to be kept in check from time to time. LOL

I’ve just finished a couple of books on extreme circumstances in which people have found themselves—Nazi prison camps, Japanese prison camps, life boat situations….and it is amazing to me what some of these situations do to the human spirits! One would want to believe that WE would be among those that kept their ethics, that kept their humanity, and didn’t become animalistic, “dog eat dog” psychopathic-like predators, and yet, we know that the most horrible and painful circumstances can make, it seems any way, almost any of us turn to clawing at our fellow man for the food, water or air we need to survive….to us actually taking it away by force from someone else and knowing they will die if we do so.

I’ve always been fascinated by this kind of story I think, wondering just what I would do in that sort of situation. How would I behave in the arena facing the lions? How would I behave in the life boat? I thank God every day that I haven’t had to face those lions or that starvation…but at the same time I know that there are times I have failed to live up to my own moral compass in situations that are less difficult to “resist” I think.

It is easy to hate someone who has hurt you…who continues to try to hurt you, to use you…abuse you and malign you…but we still have a choice how we will REACT even though we have NO control over how they act. Finding a balance between the anger that motivates us to protect ourselves and the wrath that promotes our own emotional implosion is sometimes a high wire act I think.


Dear Ox Drover,

I know what you mean. I knew a gentleman years ago who’d been captured and placed in a POW camp in Europe during WWII. His back was broken by a rifle butt wielded by a camp guard and his fellow prisoners stuffed him under the floor boards (with no morphine for the pain, by the way) because if the Germans found out they’d execute him. He remained crammed tight under the floor for six months, being fed scraps from the others, until the camp was finally liberated by the Allies.

After the war he came home and worked for a government contractor in the aeronautics industry, with German engineers and scientists who’d been “expatriated” by the U.S. government to guide it’s jet engine development program. He was known as a happy person, friendly to everyone he met. He was once asked if he didn’t feel bitter working alongside Germans and he replied, “That was war. I knew that for me to be fully healed from my injury I would have to move on or I would never get out from under that floor.”

I’ve often tried to fathom how he not only survived such a harrowing experience, but went on to live a life of compassion and equanimity, though he lived the remainder of his life in constant pain.

Ox Drover

Dear Shocknawe,

I started turning around myself from the anger/wrath after reading Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book ‘Man’s search for Meaning” which he wrote after being in the concentration camps. I worked with some people who had the tattoos on their arms, I never talked to them about their time in the camps, but I knew that was what those tattoos were about. I guess I was 19 or 20 at the time, and I started reading about WWII at that time. I also heard some stories from other survivors from Europe who were children in WWII, Italy etc. and it made a big impression on me.

I have also read the stories of many people who were in the Japanese camps, and my egg donor knew a man who was on the death march in the Phillipines and I guess I am fascinated by it all. I want to be like Dr. Frankl rather than to let bad experiences ruin my life or to wallow in my self pity or anger for what I cannot control or undo. There are times I have been so angry it literally made me ill…and that isn’t a way to live.

One other thing that finally helped me to “recover” from the overpowering anger/rage thirst for revenge was the story in the old Testament of Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. He forgave them years before he ran into them again when they went to Egypt to buy grain during the famine…but he did NOT trust them until he had tested them severely to find out what kind of men they had become since he had last seen them.

Realizing that I did not have to TRUST the people who had hurt me even though I got the bitterness out of my heart toward them, helped me to recover. I don’t have to let these people or what they did to me get into a position to hurt me again. I don’t have to TRUST them just because I forgive them. (get the bitterness out of my heart) Plus, NOT all Germans were “evil Nazis” and so “branding” a whole group of people with the same stamp is not right or fair or reasonable either.

I’m glad your friend was able to make the transition.


its been a year since i broke free of my sociopath who i think i still love……..maybe im the crazy one? couldnt even grocery shop today because thats one of the million things that remind me of him. yes i have allot of good days and i know im better off but im having a day that the memories are vivid. i think its pms really. i have a great support system(the people he once alienated me from) but im alone today and im being haunted by the ghosts of a life he promised me…he who never really existed. all lies………will i ever recover?

Ox Drover


Yes, you will **WILL**recover. Knowledge is power, so learn and reclaim your power! There are so many people here who are living proof that you WILL get better, you will not only recover, but IMPROVE! God bless…and welcome to LF!


>>By their nature, they are predators, viewing normal humanity as unconsumed prey.

Imagine this as a great experiment in a big spherical petrie dish. There are bacteria in the dish. Four percent of the bacteria find 88 percent of the bacteria delicious. They have to conserve their energy so they know how to pick the least energetic delicous bacteria that don’t see it coming.

The hungry bacteria just have some different DNA. They did not ask for it, and in the end all the bacteria die at some point.

If the hungry bacteria were not given anyway to know that it was wrong to indescriminantly eat the delicious bacteria, they cannot be held responsible. I reiterate, the hungry bacteria were given great hunger and no mechanism to truly understand that they shouldn’t eat the delicious bacterial at will.

The delicious bacteria are unfairly at a disadvantage that they seem to live like there is no bacteria capable of sashaying up and gobbling.

Not really good and evil. It’s just a science experiment.

>>The deficit in the brains of the Psy/Socs costs to much in terms of impact on the integrity of the whole to be tolerated.

It is a science experiment.

(apologies to Themelinda)

By the way, I am delicious, but with a bit of a bitter taste;-)

Sweet and sour?


jeannie812, you said, “It sounds like I am being a victim. But not really, cause Jim will get caught in his spider web.”

As a victim who often gets anxious “playing dead” and pretending he doesn’t bother me, I have to ask,
Has jim ever been caught in his web before?


Here is a video clip from Dr. Drew. Has anyone read the book? I hope all of America is not caught up in the mirror effect!!!!! What he describes in the clip sounds very much like ONE component of the psychopath/sociopath.

It is funny…envy was never a feeling that has been mine. In fact I never quite understood it. I was so busy counting my blessings, which are many, but simple…..but the greatest pleasures in life ARE simple

But for the short time I was in the p/s web, I began to feel envy, I got caught up in his sick way of looking at things. It is an awful feeling!!! Glad I’m out of that web now!

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