Sunday, August 30, 2009

Raising a sociopath child (part 1)

Although I support sociopathy as an alternative lifestyle, I understand how important it is for kids to be perceived of as being normal, or at least not leave a paper trail of abnormality that will follow them into their adult life (e.g. messed-up children of the most recently discovered abductee turned sex-slave).

Parents and school officials have become ultra sensitive to (read: intolerant of) abnormal behavior in children. That's not going to change in the near future. The key for parents is not to handicap their children even more by buying into the normalcy hype. A parent asks:
I was surfing around your log and I like it so far. I have a history of sociopathy in the family and now have a child whom I am wondering about. I do not like the general feel of searching this on the net cause all I am coming up with "Hopeless" "dead end" "stay away!" That is not how I roll. ;) I was wondering if you have any resources or thoughts on how to approach this in a more positive manner? (I dont even know where to start - I have been in contact with a school official about the issue)

I would love it if you and I could exchange an email or 2! I am feeling very alone right now.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sociopaths and gypsies

Speak up for either, and expect to get booed:
A Russian trio performing Gypsy music with Madonna on her worldwide "Sticky and Sweet" tour says it regrets the pop star was booed during her Bucharest concert for criticizing widespread discrimination against Gypsies.

Thousands of people applauded the trio's performance with Madonna in Bucharest on Wednesday night. But minutes later they booed Madonna when she said discrimination should end against East Europe's Gypsies, also known as Roma.

In Bucharest on Friday, the Kolpakov Trio said it believes it is the only time the tour has been booed, but declined to say if Madonna had commented about Gypsies at other concerts.

Band member Vadim Kolpakov said "Madonna was surprised" by the booing.

Two members of the band are Roma, while the third is a Russian Jew.
Ed note: I've always thought that Madonna was a sociopath: she picks up accents, charming, constantly reinventing herself. It's no surprise to me that she would support the gypsy cause and be totally oblivious as to why normal people might think she's crazy for doing so.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Found out

M.E.: Oh, P thinks I'm crazy, like he knows what's up. He mentioned "serial killer." You're not concerned? I'm sort of concerned. Ha ha.

Friend: A little concerned, but what can you do

M.E.: So funny, because I have been completely normal around him. It's really very perceptive of him. He said, "When i first met you, I thought that you were really directionless. Now I realize it is the opposite, you plan everything. You're like a serial killer." I said, "P, how would you even know anything about me?" He said, "I have you 70% figured out. I learn more from what you don't say than what you do say. When you talk i just hear 'bla bla bla.' I feel like anything you say is more misdirection than anything else. Instead I choose to focus on your body language and other tells."

Friend: Your general demeanor does suggest subterfuge

: Ha, how?

Friend: in lots of ways

M.E.: Oh, he has always been creeped out by my super calm.

Friend: You tell people about a lot of your scheming. Your calculations that other people (i) never tell other people, (ii) never tell themselves, even, or (iii) never make

M.E.: Ha ha. So you're not surprised. Even given who I am, very few people have accused me. Most are surprised if I tell them.

Friend: Not surprised. A little surprised that he is the kind of person who would tell you that that is what he thought of you.

M.E.: He says he is a great judge of character and he is right. How right, he may never know.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sociopath voices

I always like to present the views of other sociopaths when i can. Here is what one reader calls his declaration of independence:
"We are the uniquely gifted"

"Sociopath" is a misleading word: it implies a disorder, something wrong and unnatural with the person, and this couldn't be further from the truth. We, the people you refer to as sociopaths, have nothing wrong with us. We are instead, the uniquely gifted. Our gifts have been mischaracterized and maligned and it’s time someone set the record straight.

What the experts call superficial charm, I call having a natural ability to win friends and influence people. What experts call manipulative and conning, I call an affinity for persuasion based upon an innate ability to pinpoint others personality strengths and weaknesses. What the experts decry as a lack of compassion, I call pragmatism and clarity. What experts call a “problem with authority”, I call embracing personal power and celebrating the independent spirit. What experts call “delusions of grandeur”, I call self confidence and optimism. What experts call “shallow emotional affect,” I call freedom from the tyranny of irrational emotions. And finally, while the experts say that guiltlessness is a disorder (because it is the lack of guilt that separates the sociopath, psychopath and Machiavellian from the general population), I say it is the enhanced ability to do the things that build civilizations and keep societies going, the very things that the guilt afflicted shy away from. It is no coincidence that our lack of guilt so often comes with abnormally high intelligence and charisma.

We are born to lead and many of our traits support this conclusion. We are born knowing this and the rest of you know it when you see us. It is these very traits that make us necessary for the survival and success of the human species, especially since the dawn of civilization. It’s why you elect us, follow us, and often give your very lives by our command. Though we are found disproportionally in prisons we are found with even greater frequency in your governments, your corporations, your military. Who else but someone devoid of conscience could order thousands of soldiers to die, regardless of how noble the cause? Who can fire hundreds of workers to save a company from bankruptcy and then sleep peacefully that night? Who can so elegantly tell the lies that must be told, to protect the very people to whom the lies are told? It takes one of us to make those calls, the calls that the rest of humanity cannot make.

And yet a distressing number of us become the very thing you fear us all to be; criminals and abusers. This creates a cycle of ignorance, as all the "sociopaths" identified by the news are killers or wife-beaters, and so we identify this collection of gifts as evil, as pathological, and thus those of us in our proper roles feel the need to disguise ourselves for fear of being labeled evil. A similar cycle of ignorance has kept homosexuals oppressed for decades; homosexuality has been associated with child molesters and perverts, drug use and disease, and it was called "evil" for this.

We are not evil; you simply do not recognize the “good” ones as the same phenomena. Google "sociopath" and all you find are ways to recover from contact with a sociopath, information advising you to run from relationships with sociopaths, and misinformation that will claim that "sociopaths cannot feel love" or that we "cannot think of others as human beings" or that we are "parasitic".

It is very distressing to discover, for a child who has always known that he was different, that he is a monster... that he is doomed to live a loveless life and become a criminal, that he will never be able to hold a job or raise a family. Indeed, one must wonder how often do one of us accepts the mischaracterization of our abilities and instincts as things to be repressed and rejected due to ignorance? How often do the young among our frequently demonized minority discover what he is, buys into the paranoid misinformation and simply does what he is expected to do, withholding from society the very qualities it needs and secretly wants to maintain itself and imprisoning himself in a state of confusion and needless pain as a result?

What is the so called sociopath? A sociopath is one of your potential leaders, labeled by the fearful and unreasoning masses as something sick and evil. "Sociopath" is a negative label which only serves to further alienate people who simply need to be allowed to embrace their gifts. Getting rid of this misleading term should be the first step towards fully understanding who we are and the role we play in this world. We are not the embodiment of a pathology. On the contrary; we are instead the uniquely gifted.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Masks and madness (part 2)


As I once told another reader:
I can get very very immersed in my masks, to the point of losing control. Sociopaths are very flexible, yes, but even we have limits. I like to think of it as a rubberband, stretch and flexibility, but if you stretch it too far, it snaps. I actually had a recent experience with this. A close friend's father was dying of a very long and painful illness. I had a lot of respect and admiration for this particular friend and this friend had been very understanding of me and my condition -- an "uber-empath" and one of the few people i have trusted with my identity. I wanted to repay the favor. One of my biggest consolations from being a sociopath is that I can handle certain things that no one else can, which I think can be very useful to people in need. For instance, this friend is eccentric, has a unique life vision, is brilliantly smart, but firmly idealistic in what were often untenable ways. Still, I respected this way of living a human life to the point that I wanted to enable it if I could. Always in the friendship I was understanding, completely tolerant, always agreeable, respectful, and charming in a way tailor-fit to my friend's needs. After the father got sick, I delved even more into my friend's reality, and became even more "tailor-fit," probably what you would consider mask-wearing. A huge portion of my existence was wrapped up in this, too big.

After a while I sensed weakness in my mental capacity. I felt like I was losing touch with reality, that I was going crazy, and it freaked me out. I had pushed the limits too far. I had had such confidence in my abilities to retain control, to keep perspective, to remain consistent, to continue using my special sociopath skills to be that perfect friend and support. I "snapped." I had little to no control. I had emotional hallucinations, to the point where I wasn't sure what was real anymore. I had lost track of who I was. My behavior was inconsistent, even erratic. I became fixated on random things, random people, imbuing them with meanings that they did not have. I had lost all objectivity. Finally after months of us both trying to piece things back together (to my friend's loyal credit), I just gave up and severed ties. I knew I was past the point of no return, there was no going back to the way things were.

So that's what I think of when you ask me how carried away do I allow myself to get in my masks. Always with any close relationship you will get pretty carried away, depending on the person and what that person means to you, what role they have in your life, their importance. Those are going to be the most elaborate "masks." I don't know if I have a good internal quality control check on how elaborate I will allow myself to get with them, though. I seem to have a pretty bad track record with restricting myself that way, actually. Some of my close friends and family absolutely love me (I have many more people who think that I am their favorite friend than vice versa). Others I ultimately fail, sometimes in very destructive ways.
But back to your original question. If someone asks me to be more "supportive," from my perspective that could possibly include everything.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Masks and madness (part 1)

A reader asks me: "When an empath asks you to be 'supportive,' what does that mean to you? As far as what behaviors or actions does that include from your perspective?" My response:
Ah, it could mean so many things really. If someone I was dating was asking me to be supportive, I would assume what that person really meant was that they were not feeling fulfilled somehow, i.e. I was not filling a need for them. The thing is, when I am in a relationship with someone, I am constantly devoting energy to fulfilling their needs. Have you seen the film Watchmen? Do you know the sex scene with Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre where he has multiplied himself to please her, but also to take care of some other business? That's sort of how it is. On the one hand I feel like I have a greater ability to please whoever I am with because of my flexible sense of self makes it easy for me to be the perfect lover for a variety of people. On the other hand, there is something somewhat artificial and slightly creepy about it, I imagine.

But my point is this: from the beloved's perspective, all their needs should basically be getting met. If they have a problem with the fundamentals of the situation, i.e. they in some ways are uncomfortable with the fact that you don't think the same way they do, or don't have the same sorts of emotions or interactions with people that they do, then that is it for the relationship. That is a deal breaker. If that is not the problem, then there is always something else that I can do, or some new approach I can try that could fix things.

But when my beloved says that I need to be more "supportive," that doesn't necessarily mean anything to me other than I am failing in some way to meet their needs. It's like a baby's cry. Who knows what it is about, frequently even the baby doesn't know why they are upset. The only solution, essentially, is for you to go through the list of most likely ailments until you come up with a cure. Is it because the child is hungry? Tired? Has an upset stomach? All those could also apply to your beloved. Or maybe the beloved feels stifled, or smothered, or isn't getting enough respect, or feels like s/he always gives and never gets in return, is never listened to, feelings like worry or hopelessness are quickly listened to only to immediately provide a solution (sometimes empaths don't like that, they think it is dismissive of their feelings -- they would rather you empathize with them about the problem than have it solved). You go through the list of things most likely to be causing the problem, maybe take the "supportive" suggestion as a cue to review other recent events and try to pinpoint what exactly has caused the empath to ask you specifically to be more supportive. Why did they choose that particular word? Maybe they are jealous, maybe they feel insecure about their own decisions, maybe they want you to suspend your own rationality and worldview and adapt theirs. It's possible, it is all possible, but changing my world viewpoint is one thing, when it comes to denying objective realities, that is harder. It requires Herculean strength for me to be irrational. I can do it, but it's like holding my breath. Which is funny, because it usually just involves holding my tongue.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Potholes in the brain

What a quaint way to describe a sociopath's brain. Apparently that is all researches can come up with when they are trying to interpret the results of a study about brains scans on known criminal sociopaths:
Psychopaths who kill and rape have faulty connections between the part of the brain dealing with emotions and that which handles impulses and decision-making, scientists have found.

In a study of psychopaths who had committed murder, manslaughter, multiple rape, strangulation and false imprisonment, the British scientists found that roads linking the two crucial brain areas had "potholes", while those of non-psychopaths were in good shape.

The study opens up the possibility of developing treatments for dangerous psychopaths in the future, said Dr. Michael Craig of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, and may have profound implications for doctors, researchers and the criminal justice system.

"These were particular serious offenders with psychopathy and without any other mental illnesses," he told Reuters in an interview.

"Essentially what we found is that the connections in the psychopaths were not as good as the connections in the non-psychopaths. I would describe them as roads between the two areas -- and we found that in the psychopaths, the roads had potholes and weren't very well maintained."

The scientists cautioned against suggestions the study could lead to screening of potential psychopathic criminals before they are able to commit crimes, saying their findings had not established how, when or why the brain links were damaged.

"The most exciting question when do the potholes come -- are people born with them, do they develop early in life, or are they a consequence of something else?"
Dr. Craig, who conducted the study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry with colleagues Declan Murphy and Dr Marco Catani, stressed that the numbers in the brain scan study were small, with only nine psychopaths analysed and compared with nine non-psychopaths.

"Trying to get people of this particular type to take part in a study, and also then deal with all the security you need to get them into a brain scanner, is not an easy feat," he said.

The study used new brain imaging technology to further analyse psychopaths' brains after previous studies found that the amygdala part of the brain, which processes emotions, and orbitofrontal cortex, which handles impulses and decisions, are structurally and functionally different in psychopaths.

"Up until recently the technology hasn't been available to look at the connections between those two brain areas in any meaningful way," Dr. Craig said.

But a new technique, called diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI), allowed the researchers to look at the white matter tract linking the two key brain areas.

As well as finding clear structural deficits in the tract in psychopathic brains, they also found the degree of abnormality was significantly linked to the degree of psychopathy.

"As for the moral significance for society, and how society wants to deal with these things, that is a little premature," said Dr. Craig. "This is a small study and the important thing it raises is that more research needs to be done."
But seriously, just because the sociopath's brain obviously works differently than the empath's does not mean that one has "potholes" and the other is the Autobahn. Where are the studies showing the deficiencies of the empath's brain compared to the sociopath's? I guess they don't want to do those studies because "trying to get [empaths] of this particular type to take part in a study . . . is not an easy feat."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sociopaths in the news

Greg Sodini, the "Alleged Pittsburgh-Area Health Club Killer" had a blog that is interesting. My favorite part:
"Many of the young girls here look so beautiful as to not be human, very edible."
Sounds like a man after my own heart. If I've felt like eating one person, I've felt like eating at least a hundred.

Proof that it is genetic:
Mum - The Central Boss. [address] Don't piss her off or she will be mad and vindictive for years. She actually thinks she's normal. Very dominant. Her way and only her way with no flexibility toward everyone in the household. A power and control thing. People outside the immediate family like her. Why are people vicious with their closest ones? She is the Boss above all other Bosses.

Michael Sodini - A Boss, my brother (Mike Sodini) [address] - Always the big bully, twice the size of most others. When he bullied or harassed someone, it was the other person who "deserved it". It was always about him. Way to self absorbed, too. Still is. Used to like to embarrass guys in front of their girlfriends. Lots of other ----. Kind of guy you actually loved to hate. The biggest, most self-centered jagoff I know. He took those bullying "skills" into the business world and is doing good financially. He is a big wheel only in his mind. Most people can see thru all his manipulation. He calls only when he wants something.
But all in all, this guy's lack of success with the ladies makes me suspect asperger's rather than sociopathy. Or just crazy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Suffering sociopaths?

People always ask me for good links to info on sociopaths. I always tell them no, there really is a dearth of good info about sociopaths written with any objectivity. For instance, the New Yorker had a terrible article about sociopaths last November, "Suffering Souls." I suffered, all right. I suffered reading through that didactic nonsense.

However, a reader recently commented about an article that I thought was unusually accurate, particularly from the medical community (no surprise that the author seems to be Dutch -- sounds like he is speaking a little too much from personal experience): "The Hidden Suffering of the Psychopath." Speaking like only someone who is intimately acquainted with the subject matter could:
Psychopaths can suffer emotional pain for a variety of reasons. Like anyone else, psychopaths have a deep wish to be loved and cared for. This desire remains frequently unfulfilled, however, as it is obviously not easy for another person to get close to someone with such repellent personality characteristics. Psychopaths are at least periodically aware of the effects of their behavior on others and can be genuinely saddened by their inability to control it. The lives of most psychopaths are devoid of a stable social network or warm, close bonds.

The life histories of psychopaths are often characterized by a chaotic family life, lack of parental attention and guidance, parental substance abuse and antisocial behavior, poor relationships, divorce, and adverse neighborhoods (Martens, 2000). They may feel that they are prisoners of their own etiological determination and believe that they had, in comparison with normal people, fewer opportunities or advantages in life.

Despite their outward arrogance, inside psychopaths feel inferior to others and know they are stigmatized by their own behavior. Although some psychopaths are superficially adapted to their environment and are even popular, they feel they must carefully hide their true nature because it will not be accepted by others. This leaves psychopaths with a difficult choice: adapt and participate in an empty, unreal life, or do not adapt and live a lonely life isolated from the social community. They see the love and friendship others share and feel dejected knowing they will never take part in it.

Psychopaths are known for needing excessive stimulation, but most foolhardy adventures only end in disillusionment due to conflicts with others and unrealistic expectations. Furthermore, many psychopaths are disheartened by their inability to control their sensation-seeking and are repeatedly confronted with their weaknesses. Although they may attempt to change, low fear response and associated inability to learn from experiences lead to repeated negative, frustrating and depressing confrontations, including trouble with the justice system.

As psychopaths age they are not able to continue their energy-consuming lifestyle and become burned-out and depressed, while they look back on their restless life full of interpersonal discontentment. Their health deteriorates as the effects of their recklessness accumulate.
I know this will be unpopular with some of my "lifestyler" sociopath readers, but hey, it's at least 60% accurate. Even with these so-called "sorrows" of a sociopath, though, I wouldn't necessarily trade my life for an empath's. Rather this post is more a message to all you crazy kids out there: sociopathy isn't always everything it's cracked up to be. Stay empathetic and stay in school.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sociopaths in the news

I was never a cat lover, either.
When police asked Weinman what tools would be needed to commit the cat killings, he responded, "I don't know, but I'm sure they are very well hidden," the documents state. When asked how the cats could have been captured, he responded, "They have to be either tranquilized or poisoned."

But Weinman's lawyer said none of the evidence directly connects his client to the crimes.

"It's really important to note that there's not one single witness in there that says Tyler Weinman touched a cat," said the attorney, David Macey.

Prosecutor Elijah Levitt said the affidavit "speaks for itself."

In one interview with police, the teenager reportedly became excited when he described a "tearing sound" when skin is ripped from a cat's body during dissections, according to the documents. But a high school teacher told investigators that no such noise occurs when cats that are dissected in a classroom setting because of the way the bodies are prepared.

After consulting with staff doctors in the Miami-Dade Police Department's psychological services section, detectives concluded that Weinman fit the profile of a sociopath.

Macey called it "junk science," and said it will be proven false.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aspies in the news

Aspies are like the prom king of personality disorders. That's right, you heard me aspies. I called you personality disordered. Money quote of how much people love aspies, discussing the film Adam:
"Mr. Mayer, 54, grew up on the Upper West Side and was interested in developmental psychology before being drawn into theater and film. He says the inspiration for “Adam” came when he heard a radio interview about Asperger’s while driving in California and became so “emotionally involved” that he had to pull off the road."
Imagine if people wrote this sort of stuff about sociopathy:
“Adam is about life, not his disability,” said Jonathan Kaufman, the founder of the Manhattan-based consulting agency DisabilityWorks Inc., who worked as a technical adviser on the film. “It uses his Asperger’s as the lens that colors his life, not the central focal point. It’s about relationships, love, family. The illness is not separate from the person.”
Yeah, I think it is tragic that they have no empathy, are completely focused on one thing (themselves), and are a leech on society's resources. Who else does that sound like? Can we be your prom queen, aspies? We're meant for each other.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ten lepers

I tell people to keep in touch with me when I "help" them "answer" their "questions," and sometimes people do a little, but it never continues even a month after. I'm curious: do any of you still read the site? For those of you wondering if you, your roommate, or your lover is a sociopath, did you ever reach a conclusion? Particularly the empaths in love with sociopaths, did any of my advice really help? Any of my tactics really work? Are you happily involved in a loving relationship with a sociopath now? Or happily finally over him because at last you came to some understanding?

Answer here if you don't mind, with a link to your question if it was posted.

My prediction, though, is that no one will respond, and I haven't decided yet what that says about the efficacy of my advice (or the staying power of empaths reading a blog about sociopaths with any sort of regularity).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sociopath tip of the day

It's hard to fake real emotions, particularly when the expected emotional response is complex or is unusual enough that you haven't had much experience witnessing it, much less practicing it well enough to be considered genuine. Better to instead come up with a lie about why you aren't having the expected emotional response. For instance, I had a close family member die. I didn't feel like making a big deal out of it but I also had to be out of town for a while, so I had to let some people know about it. Some were surprised that I didn't seem that upset. Luckily I had a readymade excuse: "It was expected. S/he had actually survived longer than we thought, so we are just grateful for the time that we did have with him/her." Voila. Death suddenly becomes something that you could legitimately take in stride.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Conversation with a friend

Friend: I sort of want to spend a week in Milan or something. The city is supposed to be really frenetic though

M.E.: Maybe you should go more in the countryside?

Friend: Yeah, although it might get boring in the country by myself. In the city, there is always something to do. And also, I feel less in danger because more people around. I dunno if you have watched the Italian news, but like, it is a little like Austria -- creepy women kept as slaves in basements in rural villages.

M.E.: That happened one time!

Friend: Not one time. It happened a lot of times!

M.E.: Ah, a few times, and suddenly Austrians are perverts.

Friend: I dunno about so suddenly...

M.E.: Ha you're right. Austrians are nasty.

Friend: Okay, the fact that this has happened more than once is not shocking to you?

M.E.: Okay yes, it's shocking. In fact, they should outlaw basements in Austria.

Friend: Well if they are not responsible enough to have basements without making prisoner families then no, they should not have basements.

M.E.: Interesting how it is always within the family too.

Friend: Yuck
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