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I think my son is a sociopath

(58 Posts)
AltheaVestrit Mon 28-Apr-14 19:37:33

Where to start?

Last Friday I had fetched my 18mo grandchild. When I got home with him my dad and son were already in my house. We had a cup of tea and got ready to take the dog out. Because I suspected money had gone missing from my bag I keep it by me when at home. With the kerfuffle of DGC, cups of tea and getting the dog ready I had left my bag in the kitchen.

Before I left to fetch DGC I had put in £40 (2 x £20). When I checked the contents as we were about to set off on our walk there was only £20 in it. I knew the money had been taken in the last 10 minutes, so it could only have been my son who had taken it. I confronted him and when I asked where my £20 was he said "it's in my pocket. Sorry mom, sorry". I took it back off him, told him to get out, and that I should be calling the police. I didn't.

My son's situation is dire ATM. His partner (the mother of his child) asked him to leave the family home about a month ago. Son was made redundant in February, and from what I can gather they were arguing a lot and he was generally unsupportive as a partner and father. He's supposed to be starting a new job in May, and we hoped that once he was supporting the family financially again, they could sort their problems out and hopefully get back together as a family again.

He was welcome to stay with us as long as he followed the house rules - basically keep yourself clean and tidy and tidy up after yourself. He declined and has been staying at my dad's house around the corner. Family are coming to visit dad this week and he asked son to move out for a few days. Dad assumed he'd be coming to me. Well, after the thieving incident that wasn't going to happen. Son sent me an email saying "Hi mom, ok to stay with you a few days? Love you." I replied that it wasn't ok.

So, I don't know where he is staying atm. I'm worried about him, but he doesn't seem to acknowledge that his stealing is a problem. I suspected he's been helping himself for ages, but i doubted myself. I even confronted him a couple of times over the last 6 months or so when I thought I should have had more cash in my bag than I had, but he denied taking it and left me feeling very confused.

In fact, this incident has brought things to a head for me.

He's lied a lot in the past. It's mostly been stuff that he knows I want to hear, but there've been a few incidents where his lying has got him into trouble. We have extricated him from trouble with the police, where if he'd told us the truth in the first instance we could have advised him how to sort it out easily. But his continued vehement denials he was any way involved lead to him going to court with a solicitor. And when we had irrefutable proof that he was involved, he continued to deny it until I pointed out that the people we'd spoken to about the incident must also be lying. You could see the ratchets in his brain clanking away until he realised all his lying options weren't going to get him out of trouble and he finally admitted his involvement.

There's other things he's said and done which made me wonder how on earth his brain works. He's rubbish with money. He wants instant gratification. With his redundancy money he bought himself a PS4 when he was advised to wait until his new job started before treating himself. He's made a mess of paying the rent on the house my DH and I bought for him and his partner to ensure our DGC had a roof over his head.

We've bailed him out so many times and each time we thought well, he must have learned from this. But no.

Over the weekend I read the thread in Chat about sociopaths and I think he ticks a lot of the boxes. It appears there's no cure for someone who has no empathy, no conscience and doesn't believe they are or have a problem at all.

So, where do I go from here?

AKeyFox Thu 01-May-14 21:53:39

Althea there's quite a few things I could say, but I wonder at the root of this whether you really dislike his biological father and see rather too much of him in DS.

Did XH lie much ?

MorningTimes Thu 01-May-14 22:03:29

What did your son need the money for? Have you asked? Could it be heroin? Maybe he is stealing because he is an addict, not because he is a sociopath.

Also, although you don't know the specifics about his relationship & you aren't close to your DIL, you seem happy to blame him & to think that he was an unsupportive partner. Why? You say he reminds you of his father. Is that why you are assuming that he was an unsupportive partner?

I can't help feeling some sympathy for your DS. He has been made redundant, his partner has asked him to leave, his mother only sees the worst in him, he doesn't know his father, he needs to steal money for some reason...

It is all very well for you to care about your DIL but your priority should be your own child. He sounds like he needs help. You don't actually know why they spilt up. You might not think you are 'taking sides' but reading your post, it sounds like you are.

horsetowater Thu 01-May-14 22:05:37

If you want to know where to go from here I think it would help if you try to rebuild your bond with your son.

If you keep focusing on all the bad things he's done and try to label him as a sociopath it won't help either of you. He's young, he's learning. Have hope and stop taking it personally.

MorningTimes Thu 01-May-14 22:07:11

Also, does your DIL work? Why is the onus on your son to support the family financially? You hoped that she she would take him back once he was able to do this. It doesn't sound like she has been supportive about his redundancy, which, presumably, wasn't his fault.

Seaofyou Fri 02-May-14 00:15:06

servere attactment problems can nurture sociopathy! Did you have depression when your ds was young OP?

curiousuze Fri 02-May-14 07:12:12

Wow people really seem desperate to find a reason that this is all the OP's fault.

OP I have no advice, but agree with people who've said that at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if he's a sociopath or not. What matters is how you deal with what he does to you. Good luck.

Nomama Fri 02-May-14 08:58:41

Not really blame, curious, her son is the author of his own ills. But Althea's posts indicate that she has been trying to make sure his life in a good one.... probably at the expense of her own.

At the age he is now she needs to feel fine that she can step back, she won't be an awful mum/grandmum, she does deserve to have a life that is hers and not one that revolves around fixing his.

I think we have strayed into the territory our American cousins call tough love - blech smile

horsetowater Fri 02-May-14 11:57:54

Nobody's blaming anyone here, Althea has asked for help and advice and the only way to provide that is to look for the reasons this might be happening.

Labelling her own son like this is telling - but not sure of what. It might not be because she's a neglectful mother, it might just be because she's realised she needs to push him a way and this is the only way she can do it - put him in a box as it were. She might even be doing this to reduce her own pain of losing someone who is so obviously key in her life - like taking an anaesthetic before you chop your arm off - her son is part of her and it will be painful to allow him to move on.

Understandable behaviour, nobody to blame but there are opportunities for this to be a positive as well - however she's sabotaging it by trying to find a label. She needs tough love, but labelling him like this is not loving and this is why people are questioning PND issues.

I was kicked out at 21 and it was the best thing my parents did.

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