Everyone always wants to know how to deal with sociopaths, even sociopaths themselves. But for many sociopaths, the most difficult sociopaths they will ever have to "deal" with are themselves. Says a reader:
I'd like to communicate with you, I haven't seen much on the internet from the view of a sociopath. Do you try to act normal? I don't know what I am, and I won't try to label myself. I don't want to be normal, but I need to learn to act normal. I want to keep myself out of jail, the mental hospital, that kind of thing that I've experienced too much. I haven't done anything wrong, but that's what people see in me so it doesn't matter what I do. I just want to live my life freely, unimprisoned. I don't feel how I should, but I want to learn to act that way so that I can keep my independence. Please let me know if you have any experience in this area. Thanks.There were a lot of points in this comment as well as a follow up comment from the same author that I will address in a later post. The thing that struck me initially about this comment, however, was its similarity to another (long) comment I had seen on another site regarding hospitalization, et al:
I was diagnosed with ASPD in 1992, by a psychologist who gave me a "very poor" prognosis, automatically, due to the diagnosis. It took me over a decade to find a therapist who would actually treat me! Most took one look at my records and dumped me on the spot, because of the stigma attached to such a definition. "Doesn't ASK for help"???? HAH!!! How would they KNOW??? I was asking for help, for certain, but no one was listening. One of them actually said "You don't need a therapist, you need an EXORCIST!" Another threatened to call the cops, and I hadn't done anything! Still another called me "scary and dangerous" and instructed security to bar me from re-entering the building. Later she told a social worker that my EYES had scared her "half to death". Right, like I was giving her the "evil eye" or something. Give me a break. So much of it is just because of words: a label. I had a brief inpatient visit this Spring, partly because of this very same issue. I started shouting sarcastically in the middle of a psych-eval interview, "So, you all agree?!! Oh, WOW, watch OUT!!! I'm a PSYCHOPATH!!! I'm going to destroy the WHOLE WORLD!!!" at the top of my lungs. Not the best idea. I didn't exactly get my true point across. And I discovered that some shrinks just don't have a sense of irony at all; so, of course, I ended up getting committed. And during my stay, another patient, obviously of superior CONSCIENCE, tried to beat me with her Bible, to "get the devil out" of me! The nurses automatically accused me of lying about everything, no matter what the issue, and they kept yelling at me because they were constantly suspicious that I was "up to something". And of course, they just HAD to put me in a room alone; fine by me, if somewhat insulting. Did they think I was going to EAT a roommate?? Or maybe just LOOK at them -- because I started getting that business again from some of the patients and even staff, about giving them the so-called "evil eye" -- whatever. What do they see in my eyes??!! It's too much. Just everything. I'm sick of being treated like a female version of "Jason" or "Freddie"! People look at my psych records and get all these weird ideas, and they expect a cinematic show. Oh, and if I cry or show the slightest bit of pain, no way does anyone believe it's real; I'm automatically attacked for trying to put one over on someone with my "dramatic performance". So. I'm giving psychotherapy one last shot, with a therapist who can look me in the eye without suddenly turning into a panicky wreck. I guess that makes her special. That and the fact she sees me as just another human being, not a freak or "monster" or vessel of "pure evil," as I've been called. But now I finally believe that I'm not "sub-human". I've had extensive neurological testing, and I've been told by several specialists that parts of my nervous system are messed up. I sustained substantial trauma to the head as a child. Meanwhile, as I'm struggling through all that, plus (and especially) the emotional and cognitive aspects of my illness, it seems to me that the rest of the world is having a party to which I am always uninvited. I feel that way because they share things I will never know. Ever, as long as I live, no matter how much progress I do manage to make. Accepting that is very hard. Up until very recently, my hatred for the world was formidable. BUT one thing is vital to remember: IT WAS NEVER MY CHOICE to be as I am. People need to be aware that mental illness is first and foremost a PHYSICAL thing. No one CHOOSES to develop any form of it. The human brain is still a largely unfathomed territory. Less blame and judgment, more science and intervention, would go a long way toward preventing or at least much better management of disastrous illnesses such as mine. Hollywood shouldn't dictate all that people know about such things. Well, anyway. I just thought it was a good idea to offer another person's point of view. And, YES, I am a person, not an "it". Despite numerous protests to the contrary. So many people have called me "evil" -- if I believed it all, I'd end up committing suicide. Although the damage that was done to me so long ago, and what I was born with, cannot ever change, a lot can. I have already changed enough to be able to do something like writing here! Now all I want is to move as far beyond my staggering limitations as I possibly can do. I want a life. I live in self-imposed exile, isolated and reclusive. And yet, when someone tells me I'm "hopeless," it only makes me more adamant about breaking free of the mental cage in which I've spent my whole life -- so far. Statistically speaking, my expected lifespan might fall twenty years short of the general average. But I intend to defy that, too. I'm in great pain now, psychologically, because I'm facing things that are quite horrifying to remember, and it is necessary. But in spite of that, I am starting to conceive of having something worth living for...and THAT is brand new for me. One thing I never forget: "When you're going through hell, KEEP GOING!"The primary lesson to be learned from this comment, I think, is never disclose to anyone that you are a sociopath, and for sure don't yell about it in the middle of a crowded room. For the high-functioning sociopaths among us, I think it is hard to even want to care about those of us who end up in prisons and hospitals. We want to believe that it is their fault--that they give the rest of us a bad name. But sometimes I really do wonder whether we disown them out of fear because we don't want to acknowledge that there could be a prison term and/or hospital cell in the future for every one of us.