A reader asks:
I would be very interested in knowing how a sociopath deals with illness and old age. I am an RN and have cared for many a sociopath in my day (without knowing it). As I mentioned in previous emails my father is sociopathic. He is now in his 80's and a very miserable person to be around. He hates the fact that he is growing feeble, like we all will/do but his behavior is not the norm.
There seems to be no way to interact with him that does not turn out be a disaster. If I show my empathy and caring, he finds something to put a wedge between us. For example, the last time, I tried to talk to him about his physical health he threw in my face my teenage years and how I was not there for him during a difficult time. He let me know that he gave up on me at that time and that he had no use for me. If I ignore his ailments, he gets angry because no one understands or cares. It obvious that he feels quite less than everyone else and he makes little effort now to communicate with others with the exception of his wife who has devoted her life to him. I have not seen my father in almost 4 years.
I am wondering what is the best way to deal with an ailing sociopath. When sociopaths are faced with life-threatening illness and require hospitalization, do they look for empathy from others? Do the games stop even then or do they continue to manipulate people with a feeling of enjoyment? How does a sociopath think, feel and behave in times of such extreme vulnerability such as a terminal or life threatening illness along with the perils of aging?