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anyone here dealt with a psycopath/sociopath and what to tall about it?

(73 Posts)
secretgardens Wed 08-Mar-17 20:15:04

Not really sure what I'm looking for from this other than validation and encouraging words from anyone who's been through similar. How do you get over it? The realisation that the whole person was a sick compulsive liar with a completely fabricated character?
The anger? The self blame and anger at yourself for missing all the signs?
Someone please tell me this gets better.

mumslife Wed 08-Mar-17 20:38:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumslife Wed 08-Mar-17 20:39:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sallysadlyseescertainty Wed 08-Mar-17 20:41:07

OP, are you speaking of a partner/ex partner or a ex-friend?

alabasterangel Wed 08-Mar-17 20:42:44

Yes sigh - very long story. Was married to a diagnosed sociopath (by the end, anyway). It started as borderline personality disorder and got increasingly more involved.

I got over it by worrying I'd never get over it then quickly realising that normal relationships are nothing like that. When I met my now DH it was so absolutely 'OK' that it all just fell in to place. Relationships with that sort of person is so bloody exhausting, but please keep reminding yourself it's not you.

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Wed 08-Mar-17 20:47:49

I didn't miss any signs. They were all there, and I went ahead regardless. I was warned about him, several times, and refused to listen. Took a good couple of years to get rid, police involvement and a restraining order. A few years on, and do not feel a damn thing. He was the one with the problem, not me. Once you get to that stage, ur on the right road

ChristinaParsons Wed 08-Mar-17 21:10:20

My exs daughter
Broke us up in the end
Such a shame our relationship was perfect but for one thing
Would never ask someone to walk away from their child even when they are an adult

secretgardens Wed 08-Mar-17 21:11:52

Ex partner. I think I might have ptsd too.
I can't talk about it without feeling confused now, I want to say that it started as the perfect relationship, he was so romantic and attentive, always knew exactly what to say. But it moved way too fast which I know realise was him grooming me and love bombing me. So not perfect. I was also warned. That's why I'm angry with myself.
I hope your daughter will be ok mums, I was gonna say all the usual shit people say like at least she wasn't with him long and she's still young but I don't think those things matter, it still takes a long time to get over. Not sure I ever will be the same again.

HermioneJeanGranger Wed 08-Mar-17 21:13:28

My ex was certainly a compulsive liar. Not sure about sociopath although he definitely had plenty of the traits. Nothing diagnosed, though.

Pretended his kids were someone else's.
Lied about his marriage and the fact he was still married.
Pretended one kid didn't exist - never included her when talking about his children.

So far as I know, he's back with the mother of his middle two, despite pretending they were someone else's for three years hmm I feel sorry for her and for his kids.

secretgardens Wed 08-Mar-17 21:17:27

He's not diagnosed but with the pattern of behaviour over many years that I know about it seems highly likely he is one.
They don't tend to go looking to be diagnosed as they don't think anything is wrong with them and quite enjoy the lifestyle.

Lovemusic33 Wed 08-Mar-17 21:33:06

OP, I could have written your post. I finished with ex dp just before Christmas, like with you, things moved very fast, he was playing a game and I was too stupid to see it. He was a prolific liar, and looking back now I can see how rubbish his lies were but again I was stupid. He actually believed the lies he told even though they were so stupid, he still lies no, he denies cheating despite me seeing the evedence with my own eyes on his phone.

I should have realised, he had no close friends ( I can now see why ) and came from an abusive background.

I am still angry but it's getting easier.

secretgardens Wed 08-Mar-17 21:47:08

I'm sorry for you love, it's awful, I feel like my whole perspective on life and the human race has changed, I don't feel safe as a person in this world where I now know monsters walk among us, looking like normal people.
I'm not sure if he believes his own lies, but I now estimate about 90% of everything he ever said was a lie of some sort.
Also has no friends. Also cheated. I don't think they can help themselves on that front.

EveryoneLovesDogs Wed 08-Mar-17 22:27:01

My sons dad I think. We used to meet up for sex he forgot to tell me he was married. When I fell pregnant he accused me of sleeping round and questioned if he was the dad. He then threatened me and used to sit outside my flat for hours to try to scare me into getting a termination. He told me he would make mine and my baby's life hell. I moved away and haven't heard from him in 5.5 years.

DenimChicken Wed 08-Mar-17 23:22:56

There's a lot more to having a personality disorder than lying and treating people like shit.

Plenty of people are just shits unfortunately.

secretgardens Wed 08-Mar-17 23:43:32

Like other things that have been mentioned on this thread. Charm, love bombing, boundary pushing, a persistent distructive pattern of behaviour over time, compulsive, habitual lying, having no friends because they wear out their welcome, people lose their usefulness to a disordered person. Child abandonment. Serial cheating.
Plenty of people are just shits, but these people are more than that.
There are lots of them. Between 1 and 4% of the population are sociopaths.

DenimChicken Wed 08-Mar-17 23:55:35

Sociopath isn't a diagnosis. The nearest to 'psychopath' in DSM criteria is antisocial/dissocial PD which is far more than what you've described.

It's an online thing now to 'diagnose' people that have hurt us with serious MH diagnoses. It doesn't mean it's valid or helpful.

He sounds awful though so I sympathise.

secretgardens Thu 09-Mar-17 00:00:59

Sociopath is another word for someone with anti social personality disorder.
More like what? What is it you think a person has to be more of to be disordered?
You are invalidating me.
It is helpful as relationships with these people are not relationships at all they are cons from beginning to end. So you don't just get over it like you do with a shit. Believe me I've had a couple of that type too. This is completely different.

DenimChicken Thu 09-Mar-17 00:18:05

DSM criteria for antisocial criteria is specific and people have to meet the general criteria for personality disorder before they would even approach that diagnosis.

And you are not a Psychiatrist. The online pop-psychology now makes everyone think that a highly skilled area like Psychiatry is reduced to anyone that has the ability to use Google and tick some boxes from their perspective. PDs are serious MH conditions that are diagnosed after extensive assessment.

And no-one can be objective when it's someone they have been in a relationship with; particularly if it's been a bad one. There will always be bias. Thats one of the reasons why we don't let HCPs assess or treat family members/friends. There will never be objectivity and you will unconciously filter in information that 'fits' an online diagnosis and reject information that doesn't.

The 'is my ex a psychopath/narcissist' online world has got out of control and is making lots of money. It bears little resemblance to how many of these people would actually be given a clinical diagnosis if assessed.

You don't have to try to pathologise everyone to be able to assess how damaging their behaviour has been to you and try to process it.

That's not invalidating you - you have been damaged by someone and that is awful but it doesn't mean they have a PD or that you are able to judge that they have.

secretgardens Thu 09-Mar-17 00:29:33

Are you a psychiatrist? You seem pretty sure he's not disordered? Plenty of people are so why not this guy? I'm not going on just this relationship but everything I know about more than 10 years of his life. Just because you say so doesn't mean he hasn't got a disorder or that you can judge someone you know nothing about.
I've read the dsm5 criteria. It's a spectrum disorder, you dont have to be murdering people with axes to be a psycopath.
Maybe it makes you feel better, safer to think there are not thousands of people out there that are like this. I used to have that luxury too.
These people don't go looking to be diagnosed.

secretgardens Thu 09-Mar-17 00:36:26

The point of the thread was for validation and to get some clue how to 'try to process it." Maybe you have some ideas about that?
Rather than 'this person I've never met and don't know is definatly not a sociopath'
That is invalidating.

DenimChicken Thu 09-Mar-17 06:54:11

I'm not saying he definitely isn't, I'm saying you are not able to make that assessment. It's a 'thing' now online that people (usually women) are encouraged to attempt to attribute severe MH problems to people that have treated them badly. You only have to see how many pages of Google that come up or how many threads come up on MN. It's the latest online diagnosis du jour.

The thing about PDs are that the symptoms are commonly seen in the majority of the population, it is the extreme to which it occurs in someone with PD and the persistentance and pervasiveness that leads to a diagnosis. So you can look at a set of criteria and think it all applies but that doesn't mean it does or that that person would be diagnosed with a PD because Psychiatry is far more than a list of boxes to be ticked and diagnosing PDs is much more complex than that. And you cannot be objective when it's someone you have a relationship with/have had a relationship with.

If we're talking about someone with a diagnosable anti-social PD then the best way to process it is to think that it's a mental disorder which that person has no more control over than if they had any other mental disorder. That's not to say they don't have any control over their behaviour but that can also be said for pretty much any non-psychotic mental health problem. It's what drives that behaviour that causes the problems and it is that that they have no control over.

It's likely that someone with antisocial PD has experienced some kind of early trauma and that's what shaped their development and their world view. The online 'sociopath movement' gives the impression that these people skip through life damaging other people and walking away unscathed when the majority of time it's not true.

Anti-social PD is pervasive. It will affect every single aspect of their life. Every relationship, every job, every encounter with the world. It's often associated with high levels of stress, often as a result of their behaviour yes, but the constant levels of anxiety and anger (often linked or one misinterpreted for the other) can be debilitating. You're very likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system and spend time in prison (usually for repeated lower level offences) and very likely to have substance misuse issues and all this contributes to poorer employment opportunities, homelessness etc. You're more likely to die early.

You won't sustain relationships (if you do, it's usually one where you're an abuser) and you go through life not able to understand why everything goes wrong for you because you don't see it's you that causes it. You might go through life with a sense of paranoia, victimhood and injustice and that perpetuates your problems because you'll over-react to minor incidents.

That's the reality of life for most people with an antisocial PD. Yes there might be a few who got to the top of big business but it's far more likely they'll be leading a shit life.

So you need to see it as something that is part of them and nothing to do with you. No-one other than a therapist could help or make it better. No matter what you did, it would never be enough. No-one will be. And they'll try again and again and never really experience true happiness or contentment.

You could tie yourself up in knots trying to analyse their behaviour and it's better to from the start to understand that you never will. You'll never understand why they are destructive to themselves and other people. And while you're reading books or articles on the Internet trying to understand, I guarantee they're not. They're just getting on with the rest of their lives while you expend a huge amount of emotional energy.

Don't go around in fear, there are far, far more typical people than people with PDs. You will now be in a position where you'll recognise red flags, know what they are and what you need to do.

secretgardens Thu 09-Mar-17 09:48:34

Of course I can't properly diagnose him. But I can read around a subject enough to make an educated guess. This didn't happen a week ago it was over a year ago and it's still affecting my life every day. So I didn't need to waste more emotional energy reading your essay, I know all that, I've read it all before. That wasn't the point of the tread.
I know it's pervasive and persistent, like I said I'm talking about a pattern of bevaviour over more than 10 years.
I know it affects all relationships including with his kids.
It affects every job too, usually gets the sack for putting his hands in the till.
I'm not trying to understand him. I couldn't give less of a fuck what he does or doesn't do now so long as he's not doing it near me.
I understand him as much as I need to, I understand it's likely he has a personality disorder and if not Is a highly fucked up dangerous person that I hope never to lay eyes on again.
What I don't understand is how to get over 3 years of my life being a lie. That the person I loved doesn't actually exist. How to feel safe again.

WavingNotDrowning Thu 09-Mar-17 15:45:07

it gets better. how long has it been for you?

I was with someone similar - can't be sure he's a pyschopath/sociopath etc, but my psychotherapist thinks so (of course based on my side of things).

But it gets easier. Of course it's upsetting knowing it was all a lie and all fakery, but you know you're better off. and you can grow/learn from it all.

Don't blame yourself - you weren't to blame.

WavingNotDrowning Thu 09-Mar-17 15:45:58

Oh a year.

Can you get some psychotherapy - not just a counsellor but a heavy duty psychotherapist?

DenimChicken Thu 09-Mar-17 16:25:04

Would it help to reframe it and look at it as ^your' life wasn't a lie but his? You were honest, you had integrity and were being you. You were living truthfully and doing it 'right'.

In what way do you not feel safe? Physically? Emotionally? That you can't trust your own perception and judgement? Just the idea that there are lots of people like that and it may happen to you again?

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