This interpersonal "drama" is why I found this email from an aspie reader particularly interesting, both for the parallels (particularly a proneness to callous manipulation and self-deception) and the differences (whatever the relevant psychologist thinks they may be):
When I was 7 I was diagnosed with aspergers syndrome.So there you have it: tell a girl you're a sociopath and get broken up with, tell a girl you're an aspie and maybe get some pity sex.
Until recently I had not realised that I was as cruel of a person as I see I am now in retrospect.
Whilst growing up I would physically attack my brother until he started to bleed, and when he did my only thoughts were for myself that I might get caught.
I manipulated people and lied to get more money from my mother (my parents divorced when I was age 6). I am no longer violent, But I am extremely emotionally manipulative and I still lie regularly without realising it.
After breaking up with my (now ex) girlfriend, she made me realise these things about myself. When I was with her, despite feeling that I should love her, I treated her with spite and coldness. When she would ask me to proofread her writing I would tell her I found the style boring and that I was astounded she received good marks for something so poorly constructed. I was contemptuously jealous of her ability to write so well. I would treat her like an unintelligent child when we debated and when she cried herself to sleep telling me of how her father never showed her any affection and was utterly self obsessed, I did not react. I saw such a time as merely an opportunity to become closer to her, gain more of her trust. I do not feel remorse for these actions although I do miss her affection and wish I had not been so cruel if only so she'd still be with me.
I told her that I suspected I was a sociopath and could not love her. I thought my honesty would be welcomed and she could help me become a better person. She left instead.
This was kinda crushing, not that I did love her, but because I was dependant on her to support me emotionally. I thrive on being loved, but as I am such an obliviously callous person (which I only realised recently) people find it difficult to love me. I also tend to discard people when they outlive their usefulness.
I was doing research on the subject to confirm my suspicion when I came across your blog. It seems as though my situation is congruent with the diagnosis, so I went to see a psychologist to find out if I could get help. I explained my childhood diagnosis and the psych seemed absolutely sure that I am not a sociopath and that I in fact do have aspergers syndrome.
She explained what Aspergers syndrome entails and how it fits my queries just as well as sociopathy, even slightly better.
I then came across a post on your blog about the difference in perception between "aspies" and sociopaths ("soc's"[SO-shez]). It occurred to me that even though I am perceived as a harmless, socially awkward, 'genius', I am just as bad if not worse than people who's correct diagnosis would label them as 'serial killers' or 'child molesters' what have you.
This is really just plain wrong. I would like to talk further with you and help in anyway I can with this issue of inequality of public perception. Having read so much it is clear to me that aspergers and sociopathy are similar disorders and poisonous associations in wider society will just continue to perpetuate themselves with books such as "the sociopath next door", and "the snakes in suits." It sickens me that you would be treated as a monster when I am treated with respect for essentially very similar neurological disorders.