From a reader:
I graduated last week with a Masters in Counseling. I'm getting ready for my "post-corporate" career.
After doing nothing but reading and studying for national exams the last three months, I didn't think that I would ever want to read another book related to psychology again. However, I read a review of your book in the New York Post (below) and had to get this book.
What I enjoyed about your book was your honesty. All good autobiographies show the darkness as well as the light (Steve Jobs autobiography is a great example). Thank you for being so candid. Your book was also incredibly well written and well researched. I could not put it down.
You also gave me insight into a disturbing situation that I experienced at work about 20 years ago. It always confused me, but now I fully know what happened - I was dealing with a sociopath!
Thank you for providing me this insight.
Just a few comments as I am about to move into the mental health field as well as some personal observations of your book. But first, from an Empath's point of view, here is what I cannot stand about sociopaths.
I hate that you play games when we empaths are not playing games! (I acknowledge that all people play games).
Look I'm an empathic person, but I can be as competitive any anybody. But once the game is over, it's over! I want a real relationship, not games.
For sociopaths it never stops. And that's the problem, you think you are so F_____! smart, but the truth is sociopaths are cowards. You pick on people who are not even fighting with you. Deception has its place, in war, the board room and the court room but it's death in relationships.
And the really perverse part is, you think that you are exerting your "power" and winning. But in truth you were destroying the person who wanted to show you trust which is the very thing that you need most. In the end you have a Pyrrhic victory, you won the battle, but lost the war in obtaining a true relationship.
Just my personal 2 cents (I know you don't care). Now I want to tell you what I found most interesting about your book (which you probably do care about).
I believe the most profound statement that you made was on pg. 153 in your book:
"I believe that a lot of the sociopath's traits such as charm, manipulation, lying, promiscuity, chameleonism, mask wearing and lack of empathy are largely attributable to a very weak sense of self. I believe that all personality disorders share a distorted or abnormal sense of self".
You nailed it! During my internship it was very clear that whether I was dealing with Narcissists, Borderlines, and other personality disorders that all of these people had no true sense of self.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Hamlet - Act 1, scene 3
Secondly, I find it very interesting that on pg. 65 where you said, "my father's emotional and moral hypocrisy taught me not to trust emotions or anything else that couldn't be backed up with hard, indisputable fact." The majority of my client's struggle with trust issues - divorce, sexual abuse, illness, etc. So often the underlying theme in our sessions is, "I want to trust, but I'm so afraid, Help me!".
Lastly, In Chapter 7 of your book you describe identifying yourself with the Tin Woodman in the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. "But as heartless as I am, I have wanted love, to feel connection, to feel like I belong to the world like anyone else. No one, it seems, can escape loneliness."
You quoted John Bowlby in your book. Of all the theorists that I studies in school, I was most impacted by his work. Yes, human beings can be untrustworthy, unkind, undependable and candidly, a pain in the ass! But they are worth it. In the end connection, love, kindness, goodness and gentleness is what makes life worth living.
My hope for you is that this "Tin Woman" finds her heart.
I also realize that you must be going through a difficult time right now as it appears that your identity has been outed and that you may expect some "unintended consequences" from publishing this book.
Hang in there. The best thing for you is that people know that you are a sociopath.
Your mask is your defense, but it's also your problem.
Someone can only have a relationship with you if you are honest about who you are. Your mask of secrecy is a hindrance and not a help in your life.
Best wishes and God's blessings to you in your journey.