Recently, I was reading the newspaper and came across Annie's Mailbox. A reader had questioned about a family member possibly being a Sociopath. I found the article fascinating, since I was under the belief that my recent ex is a Narcissist. I decided to do some research to determine which he may be.
Hopefully this will help others when dealing with a person with similar characteristics.
From Annie's Mailbox - according to material from the National Institutes of Health:
Sociopathology, also known as antisocial personality disorder, is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting or violating the rights of others. Genetic factors and environmental factors, such as child abuse, are believed to contribute to the development of this condition. People with an antisocial or alcoholic parent are at increased risk. Fire-setting and cruelty to animals during childhood are linked to the development of antisocial personality.
Symptoms include: being able to act witty and charming; being good at flattery and manipulating other people's emotions; breaking the law repeatedly; disregarding the safety of self and others; having problems with substance abuse; lying, stealing and fighting often; not showing guilt or remorse; often being angry or arrogant.
I wish I had seen through the game this man was playing before I wasted a year and a half of my life, and thousands of dollars, on the relationship. Thankfully I had been in two controlling marriages and had finally grown to recognize trouble when I saw it.
This man played the perfect partner until he made it clear that my children were not welcome in his world. He wanted me to either send my children to live with their father or have my adult son raise his siblings while I moved across the country to the run-down shack this man lives in behind his mother's run-down home in the middle of a plot of land so covered in household garbage and used appliances that the lawn cannot be seen. He would allow some of my children one short visit a year but I was not allowed to visit them. I should have expected this when he told me that he was in a 30 year relationship with the mother of his adult children. He said he never lived with them, frequently lived with other women (getting one pregnant) and had numerous affairs; while threatening her if she didn't remain faithful to him. His adult daughter even said he had threatened her mother with a gun when she didn't do as he told her. But, he had reassured me that he had "grown up". And I listened at first, despite his recent arrest concerning physical attacks on his brother.
Throughout our 18-month relationship he insisted I talk to him on the phone from the early hours of the morning until I fell asleep with Skype on, so he could watch me sleep and reassure himself that no one was in bed with me. He never wanted to visit New York State. Insisting he hated cities and snow, despite my constantly telling him that I lived outside a hamlet of 228 people and we had fairly mild winters, compared to Northern parts of the state.
Then his controlling jealousy came out. I was seeing that his East LA gang roots were showing and that I had a certain role that he demanded I play. I was to be submissive and adoring toward him. I was never to speak to other men and I was to do as I was told. Coming from farm country of Northern NY, I couldn't just give in anymore. As he became more irate over my simply "talking" to friends on my FB wall, I began to stand up for myself. He became more vicious in his words. And I broke up with him.
Unfortunately, he has yet to accept our breakup. I broke up with him in November of 2012. To this day he continues to switch between sending me creepily adoring messages and emails (wherever he can find to sneak past my blocking him) to profanity, or sexual innuendo-laced messages and emails. He says he will come visit my family and makes uncomfortable suggestions about his visit. No matter how many times I tell him I no longer want to see him, he is convinced that I am a willing participant in his sick game and am merely playing hard to get.
On rare occasions I have responded to his more pleasant exchanges by asking for the items I left behind. Every single time his response has been to call me a "B*&$%". When I have told him to stop cursing me he says he is not cursing, but that I am being mean to him. He denies ever yelling at me, ever calling me names. He says calling me a "B*&$%" is a compliment and doesn't understand why it doesn't make me happy. He has even threatened to report me for being mean because I won't back down to him; while he repeatedly tells me how "perfect I am.
A little background: He likes to keep things that belonged to women he has been with - as souvenirs. During my visits I bought items for my home and for my children. I didn't have room in my suitcase and left him money to mail the items, after I packed most of them for shipping. I have paid for each package to be shipped two more times since - to no avail. He pleads being broke but says he goes here and there and eats out often. He has not held down a job in 15 years and lives off his mom's social security.
Facebook is very important to him and he craves "likes" and "comments". When he didn't receive enough wishes on his birthday, He told everyone he was having a "massive stroke". The next day he called an ambulance when he got enough attention from "friends". Two days later he came out of the hospital and drove himself to lunch. He says he doesn't take medicine; drives all over (despite, once again, having his driver's licence revoked); drinks a bottle of Bourbon - or two Heinekens - a day; smokes a pack of cigarettes a day; and smokes pot daily (he is in Oregon - everyone smokes pot there). He plays on Facebook and computer games (on the computer that I bought) and continues all normal behaviour. But yet he continues to insist he is recovering from a "massive stroke". My Dad had a major stroke. He sure as heck wasn't driving himself all over or playing video games or Facebook before getting help. He pretty much just laid there and drooled for weeks while undergoing intensive therapy. My refusal to coddle this man's "illness" has enraged him. He has befriended my estranged sister, and vindictive ex-husbands (plus the crazy wife of one). When I expressed my belief of his mental state, he declared that I am the Sociopath for not going along with his will. (He loves to throw new words I teach him around.)
He believes he is never wrong; has never done anything wrong. Even after admitting gang fights where people died. Even after admitting having used more drugs than I knew existed. Even when admitting to me to his raping many women after drugging them. Even after admitting going AWOL when drafted during the Vietnam War in lieu of prison. Even after a rap sheet a mile long for assault, and drug sales arrests. Even after cheating on the mother of his children for decades. Even after fathering a child he refuses to acknowledge, who wants him to know his grandson. Even after lying to me about his own personality to win me over, and then treating me as a non-human. Even after everything he has called me. He still believes he didn't do anything wrong. It was all me.
It wasn't. I have spent my entire life trying to be a good person. Trusting those who didn't deserve trust. Believing those who couldn't be believed by anyone else. Always forgiving.
Am I certain that he is a Sociopath and not a Narcissist? Not completely. I only took college psychology classes. I don't have a degree. But he seems to fit the former, more than the latter.
I will continue to forgive. But I will no longer allow people like this man into my life. There is no room for them in the Love with which I surround my family. He will have to seek out another victim. I will no longer give him a reaction - he isn't worth it.