From a reader:
I'm about 99% sure my dear friend is a sociopath. He's the most charming, funny, and well-loved person in our community. Yet, he has zero work ethic and is basically a leech entirely when it comes to work. Nothing wrong is ever his fault. He lied countless times to me when he pursued a relationship, and never seemed genuinely sorry (regardless of the many "I'm Sorry's" and "I understand's.") And he has this weird thing with eye contact. He also has lots of tricks I've picked up on, so I know he's very attentive to me when we're "on-again" and likes to protect himself. He knows how to get to me, using humor, my dreams, and sympathy play. I just wanted to write about how loving a sociopath happens, regardless of knowing so clearly what went wrong (many people don't understand -- I get that) and about why I wanted him back.
I forget it's bad because I'm having so much fun. He's funny, sweet even. He brings up old jokes, memories, and conversations that almost make me forget why I hated him so much in the first place. Somewhere in my mind I know he's not safe, or solid as a foundation, but I feel at home with him anyway. I can see the tricks he's reusing and I can say out loud the things he did to me, the terrible games he played with me. But between my head and my heart there is literally a break in the connection, because I love him.
I also want to point out that going back to him went something like this; it's easier to join forces and be friends than to be on the opposing side. Though we didn't actually fight (verbally or physically) ever really, because he only admitted he lied once, we were in a war. He made himself known, but we weren't speaking. He was everywhere I needed to be, and eventually even crept into my dreams and haunted me in my sleep. It was impossible to go without him. So, regardless of the hours of counseling and catharsis conversations with friends, he's back.
I have a strange compassion and love for him and sociopaths in general, I think. I don't know why they "tick" and work as they do, but they're just different than me. They're still sane, yes, but something inside drives their actions to be so different. They are like little power monsters at times, but they need love too...or so it feels. Is the beating I get worth it? So far, I guess it has been (though, not to outsiders).
Still, he's my friend, and I believe that he needs love even if he can't feel it quite the same. That's weird, I know. Ha, this is going to sound stupid, but I was thinking about that while I was petting my cat today. She was purring because she liked it, but another way of her getting more petting was clawing at me. So I had to only pet her from a certain angle, so I could still show her I loved her, but not get scratched. Cheesy analogy? Completely. But I think it kind of makes sense for a lot of us that love sociopaths.