I’ve never thought of myself as a predator because I’ve never raped or killed anyone. But looking back, I wonder if the internal understanding of my outsider status combined with the instinctive sense that I had to carefully observe other people in order to both survive and thrive is how the human predator thinks. I’ve always known that I wasn’t one of them, them being most of humanity. This wasn’t a choice; it was a realization. I didn’t know terms like "sociopath" or "psychopath." But I did know that since I wasn’t an “insider,” I had to figure out what to say and how to behave in ways that would guarantee a place among them as their leader. In other words, as a child I knew I had to wear a mask, one that would grant me power. Again, as a child, I could not articulate any of this and did not have the psychological sophistication to comprehend what I was. I just knew this is how the world worked, and how I had to work within it.
If you’re new to this blog and you’re wondering if you are a sociopath or have sociopathic tendencies, ask yourself if this story describes your experience. That’s not to say that thinking or behaving this way as a child and a teenager proves beyond any doubt that you are a sociopath. It could, however, serve as a starting place for further investigation and a validation of how you experienced your childhood.
If you were always on the outside looking in, separated from the other kids and maybe even from your family by a wall of emotions that they seemed to feel effortlessly while you did not; if you could instinctively get a sense of how power flowed between various cliques, between the students and the staff and within your family; if belonging never meant anything to you yet you found you could easily enter and then manipulate any group at will; then maybe, just maybe, you were a tiny wolf in lamb’s wool, a young sociopath without knowing it.