Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to Know if I'm Dating A Sociopath or Psychopath

Are you asking yourself this? Are you wondering if you are dating a sociopath, or psychopath? They are nearly the same disorder. Experts can't even agree which behaviors to classify as sociopath, and which to classify as psychopath. So, starting here for the rest of this post, I'll simply refer to them as sociopaths.

Many people think of sociopath as criminal sociopath. They think of Ted Bundy, and other serial killers for example. But the truth is, most sociopath are walking around completely  unrecognizable. Think of the saying "You never know what goes on behind closed doors" applies to a sociopath. This makes me think of the current case of Ariel Castro. The man who kidnapped three young girls over a period of 3 or 4 years. He held the girls captive as his own personal sex slaves.They suffered unimaginable abuse. Yet, the neighbors generally like Castro. He had friends. He had coworkers. He had family members. They all thought he was a "nice guy." Castro played guitar, drove a school bus and helped friends with projects around their house. He had Thanksgiving dinner with his family. All the while nobody suspected him of harboring 3 young girls as his own personal sexual toys.

I firmly believe Castro is a sociopath. This means he has no conscience. He has no ability to feel empathy or compassion for another human being other than himself. He is unable to bond. Unable to love. Unable to feel the types of joy we "normal" people feel. He has no sense of himself outside of his victims. His victims are his oxygen. He feels he is dying without them. Not all sociopath are criminal, or go the the lengths that Castro did. They are all individual and each one chooses his/her own "ammo" which they present to the world as who they want you to think they are. Most people believe this facade. This is because sociopaths have had a lifetime to perfect the person they've created for you to think they are.

This is why you need to be very discerning with the people you allow into your life. Look at peoples actions. Words are easy, easy, easy!!! Sociopaths are masters at reading you and knowing what you want to hear. They'll tell you everything you've dreamed you ever wanted. They'll come through with as much as they think they need to keep you. As time progresses the kindness, gifts, thoughtfulness, and attributes that he/she has wooed you with will be dissipate. Slowly, but surely. Overtime it'll take less and less to "keep you." Then before you know it, you realize the person you are with is a total stranger and you wonder if you've ever known them at all. In reality, no you did not know them. You knew the person they chose to create for you.

Remember sociopaths are charming. Castro was a bass player in a local popular rock band. He was someone others liked. Yet, in reality he is someone who was housing 3 sex slaves in chains at home and starving and beating them on a regular basis. I often think of the wolf in sheeps clothing. He is pretty on the outside. Sweet. Disarming. Yet what is inside the wool is much more of a predator than a sweet little lamb that you see on the outside. The wolf in Little Red Riding Hood comes to mind as well. He tells Little Red Riding Hood what he knows she wants to hear because he knows this is the only way to get what he wants from her. You can protect yourself from the wolves in your neighborhood by remembering they are school bus drivers, teachers, doctors, musicians, politicians, CEOs. They come in all walks of life and don't wear a scarlett "S" across their forehead. You don't need to be paranoid and distrustful. But, what you DO need to do is be sure those in your life earn the right to be in your life. Make them earn your trust and respect. Don't be satisfied with words, or promises. Be satisfied with actions and deeds. Ask lots of question and get to know who you are with. Get to know them in a variety of settings and experience. Don't make up a story in your head for what you believe this person is. Read the story that unfolds before your very eyes with your own eyes and mind wide open.

Recognizing a Psychopath or Sociopath

Man Holds 3 Women Hostage as Sex Slaves

Monday, July 22, 2013

But What About Me?

I've been away from this blog for a while. I keep taking breaks and then I'll get so many messages from readers who've been helped by the information from my blog that I can't ignore it any longer. The experience is far behind me. Although what I have learned about myself and others will remain with me for a lifetime. After ready several messages from readers who are in some way struggling with a relationship with a disordered person, just getting out of one, trying to make sense of a relationship with one from the past and how to rebuild one's life, but mostly trying to find themselves again. I decided it was time to write about US. The "normal" ones. I do realize this is a very relative term. What is "NORMAL" anyway? Hell if I know!!!

But, I do know the most important thing to remember. The most important detail to take away with you after being in a relationship or to give you strength to end the relationship you are in, is to remember IT IS about YOU!!!  It IS about YOU! Repeat that a couple of times, "It is about me.....It is about me..It is about me!!"

That may seem contrary because for so long you've likely been consumed with what is wrong with this person I"m in a relationship with? This just doesn't seem "normal." The things this person is doing. The things this person saying. The things this person is putting you through. You are right. It isn't normal. This person you are in a relationship with is NOT normal the the relationship is most definitely out of the ordinary and NOT healthy for it. It's what brought you here to this blog. The question you need to be asking yourself is.."What about me?"  "Why am I willing to put up with this?" "Why am I willing to accept such nonsense, craziness, insanity....?"  When you begin asking yourself these types of question you are on your way to recovery and creating a life w/out this person in your life.

So, what is your answer? Why have you been willing to put up with the disrespect? The lies? The manipulation? The abuse? The craziness? What is it about your past and about your sense of yourself that has allowed you to accept this type of "normal" for yourself? When you begin to find the answer to that question you are on your way to freedom.

A person with a strong sense of themselves, does not allow others to treat them badly. Dr Phil often say "We teach people how to treat us." That is very very true. I do completely appreciate that many times we have had the wool pulled over our eyes. This person likely came across as someone totally and completely different from who you've now learned this person truly is. At some point you may have felt blindsided when your beloved's behavior suddenly seemed out of the ordinary. Odd. Unexplainable. Yet, the dynamics of any relationship is defined in the first 3 weeks of the relationship beginning. Likely there were things that occurred that you overlooked. Maybe you did question at the time, but talked yourself out of questioning this persons actions because you wanted to believe he/she was the person you wished they were. The truth is your disordered love  had to "feel you out." You were being tested and didn't realize it at the time. Your beloved needed to know you were someone that could be manipulated, disrespected, lied to, and abused. However, the initial test was minuscule compared to what you've experienced now that you are deep in the trenches of the relationship. That is because your sociopath has been conditioning you incrementally to accept intolerable behavior. This disordered person has gradually been desensitizing to craziness.

In the beginning it may have been something simple such as forgetting a wallet on a date and seeing how willingly you paid and how easily you forgave. Then it may have grown to needing to borrow $10.00 for something seemingly insignificant. There may have been another time when your date flirted with a waitress directly under your nose to watch your reaction. You on the other hand likely scoffed all these little things off as simple life occurrences and felt silly for even questioning the your dates motives.  This is because of your kind good hearted nature. You are someone who believes everyone is inherently good and that everyone has a conscience. Well, in fact everyone is not inherently good. Some people are downright evil. 1 in 25 have no conscience at all. Yet, they assimilate into society as normal caring humans. This brings me back to the "what about me question?" Yes, what about you? Were you simply too trusting in the beginning?

Perhaps your lesson is to learn to be more discerning? These relationship are also very codependent. So, you may be someone who ties a great deal of your self worth in how others see you. A dream candidate for a sociopath. Because they will lift you up and make you a goddess, an angel. Then they will devalue you and make you out to be the antitheses of goodness. If this is the case perhaps your lesson is find your self worth independent of others. For me, my lesson was, I learned was in my desire to be needed. I wanted to be the savior for those in need. I felt a desire to help the helpless. I gained my self worth from how well I was able to help others. This was my sociopaths glory!! Soon as I discovered my weakness and begin to build my self esteem independent of another person I was on the road to recovery.

So, take a good look at you! As yourself "What about me?" Why have I allowed this into my life? Why have I chosen to maintain it in my life? Why am I unable to break free? Every time your thoughts wander to "What the hell is wrong w/him/her?" "Why is he/she acting like this!" Turn that around to ask yourself "why am I acting this way?" Why am I treating myself like this behavior toward me is acceptable? Why am I letting him/her manipulate me?  Keeping questioning and finding answers about who YOU are. Stop worrying about what is wrong with your abuser. Start thinking about what is wrong with the choices you are making to keep this person in your life. Then begin to take care of yourself the way you would if you were your best friend. Become your best friend and take stock of who is good for you and who is not. Become the one who is good for you. Protect yourself. Grow. Be strong. You have a very bright future ahead. Who cares about you know who. They can go fly a kite and you will let the wind carry you away into a different direction!

Best of luck to you!!