I think I just got out of a relationship with a sociopath. I am seeking verification and an explanation of why he treated me the way that he did. I want closure and I'm hoping that someone here can help me out.
I met "Dylan" a few years ago when I was married at a work thing- we were both in Chicago for an event. He lived in Georgia, I lived in D.C.. Dylan and I hit it off as friends, but since I was married, I kept my distance.
Anyway, at the end of our day together in Chicago- we literally hung out ONE day, I told him I would drive him to a bar, have a drink and leave. I did just that, telling him that I would not give him a ride back to his hotel- it was an hour away. This is significant because years later he told me that I was the only one who would have said "no" to him for that ride. THAT is what stuck out to him about me.
So he facebook friended me and commented on my pics etc for two years. About a year ago he messaged me and asked me if I was still married. He later told me that on May 18, 2010 ( he was very specific on the date and time) he noticed that I had taken pics of my husband down and just had a "feeling" that I would be available.
Fast forward a year of him asking me to visit,etc and me turning him down. In May 2011, he was on a cross country road trip with a guy and asked if we could meet in Vegas- after the divorce I moved to Phoenix so Vegas was close. I turned him down and told him if he really wanted to see me he could take a bus. Surprisingly- he did it! He ditched his friend in Vegas and "burned that bridge" because the guy left a hotel door open and his pants and belt buckle got stolen. It's a wierd story that doesn't add up, but anyway it led to him visiting me in Phoenix. I think he picked a fight with his friend just so he had an excuse to meet me.
Anyway, when he got to Phoenix we did not click, but I told him he could stay for a bit, we'd have fun. So anyway, I told him how much I missed cuddliing my ex and all of the sudden he becomes everything I miss about the ex and more. No red flags=red flags, I've decided.
Since he's still at my place a week later I take him to a barbecue I committed to go to. It was at a guy's house I had been dating- this guy was amazing-rich hedge fund manager, educated, gentlemanly, hot- the whole package. But I was kind of bored. Dylan was enchanted by this guy, Luke, and mentioned him for months afterward. Luke's interest prompted Dylan to pursue me.
Again, Dylan and I would click and then nothing. Finally he started attacking me about something I did, and I let him have it. I told him he was full of shit and a pseudointellectual and that I wasnt having it. Everytime I called him on his bullshit, we connected.
Anyway, he arrived at my apt. in Phoenix and we spent 24/7 together having fun. My lease was up in August so he helped me move. We decided to travel together and find jobs on cruise ships- he had dropped out of school in March (last semester all A's then flunks out?) and I was looking for full-time work.
Our road trip to Florida took us to my parents' home (he for some reason really wanted to meet my family- who rejected him outright), he was so upset that my family was cold to him that he left suddenly, the day before my birthday. I was kind of pissed but he said "birthdays aren't a big deal". Yeah, right.
Anyway after breaking up and getting back together a few times by phone, I decide to go to Atlanta to visit him. When I get there we have fun,(we are moving him out of his college apt to his parents'), but we get into a fight one day and he tells me to leave his Apartment, pushing me out. Abandoning me in Atlanta.
I end up meeting some cool people and partying with them a few days. Then Dylan and I are in touch again, I know it sounds pathetic, but I had no direction after my divorce and my family and I were fighting and he was the only constant in my life. I had nowhere to live and he is inviting me to his parents' and I agree to go there.
We get back together. Again. He is always telling me to leave and when I say ok, I'm out of here, he wants me to come back. Push, pull. Leave, don't leave. Anyway, his family is really nice to me. Though his relationship with his mother is almost more of a thing you'd have with a lover. It's obsessive and wierd.
So he is drinking incessantly and being beligerent. His stepdad a successful doctor tells him to get help for his drinking or he'll kick him out.
His mom- who I became close with- found us a free home to stay at in Miami while we looked for jobs together- so we are house sitting and I am getting calls and he is not.
What sets him off is that his family cuts him off to $100 a week. After that he HAD to get back to Atlanta and made my life miserable until he got his way. Anyway, his mom kept pushing me to keep him sober and in Miami because she didn't want him in Atlanta. I was caught in the middle.
So things got wierd, really wierd. He always joked about killing me and I laughed, but everything we did or saw related to a new way he would dispose of my body. I still think it was dark humor.
But what freaked me out was when we had gone to the store and were fighting, he wrestled my keys away (he doesnt have a car or license because of all of his DUI's) and took my car. He started threatening me -that he'd drive the car into a wall- at that point I called his mom - just dialed her so that she could listen and would know that his shit-talking about me (which I found out later he did the whole time- trashed me-his girlfriend- to anyone who would listen>)
Anyway, he knew I exposed his "crazy" and he was out for blood. We ended up fighting and he physically pushed me, smacked me and tried to choke me saying I was crazy enough that I would think it was romantic if he killed me.
We fought and I locked myself in the bedroom.During the night I could hear him trying keys to get in. The next day I packed up my car and when he asked where I was going I said "Orlando" and left. This time he didn't try to stop me. No contact. He had told me a million times before to leave, but this time I think he meant it.
I ended up picking up my stuff at his parents'' in Atlanta. I forgot to mention that I got a job in LA so I had to leave Miami anyway. So his mom asks me to stay over. We bond again, but all she's interested in is trashing her son. I mean really trashing him. She loves him, she hates him, she loves him.,etc. He wont call her back so she calls me. It's a bizarre triangle. She tells me that he left me for another woman, but also thinks he's a closet gay- very possible.
I get to LA and start work, but the mom is still in touch every time she fights with her son. Anyway at the end of the relationship there was a question of whether I was pregnant. I would not tell him yes or no. I ended up blowing him off when he asked -no response on email phone or text. He sends me an official letter in legalese telling me that I don't take care of my body and accusing me of this and that and that if I have a kid in months he will seek paternity test and he will be in his life.
I wrote back a joking statement, and finally I said I'd talk to him so he'd leave me alone. He calls andn I just tell him "I'm not pregnant with your child", other than that "my health is not your concern". He sends another nasty email and has his new "girlfriend" try to friend me on fb.
Anyway, at this point I text him to tell him I have a bunch of his stuff, I list it and say I will send the list verbatim. He asks for a water bottle. As a gesture of goodwill, I send that too. All of it with a note that says "Good luck".
So his mom says he called every day for two weeks about that pkg and wouldnt tell her why. When he finally gets the box he tears into it and is disappointed. She can't figure it out. All of the stuff is there, nothing missing, nothing extra.
Anyway, she says he obsessively talks about me and how crazy I am and that she is not allowed to call me,etc. I know I am a pawn in their wierd game. We have been broken up for two months now. I once tried to offer an olive branch with the water bottle- saying I wanted to be okay and he said friendship with me isnt worth the effort because I am so crazy. Keep in mind, he is the only one who's called me that. Vulnerable with low self esteem, a bit OCD-yes, but that's how he defines me.
So his mom calls a few days ago to let me know that she disowned him for getting wasted and pissing one of her beds (again) and he threatened to kill her the next day with one of his guns. She says she's scared but I think they both love the drama. As he's leaving he asks her if he can buy the jacket she got him for christmas so that he could have it. Cold.
List of things that scare me:
Fascination with death and (joking) death threats
physical violence (slapping)
burning cockroaches with a blow torch so that they "suffer"
solving our rat problem in Florida by catching the rats and finding different ways to kill them because "they deserve it"
Sending a dead rat to a guy that screwed him over on Ebay.
Beating the family dogs.
Bio father abandoned family and mother had to raise kids in poverty, both him and sister molested at 7
What blows my mind is that he is able to hide his crazy and blame it on others. He once told me that he knew he was really fucked up and that he was good at hiding his crazy and that I was too emotional and looked "crazy". Anyway, just obsessed with that stuff.
I have never been in anything like that before. I get that regardless he has some major damage. I get that I am damaged too to be involved in the situaiton. Now that I'm out it seems like a fairy tale romance (and it was) turned to horror movie. When I describe what I've been through, it's like fiction.
Anyway, I needed to get this off of my chest. I'm curious as to what his deal is psychologically. And yes I know I have my own issues. I'm working on them. My take is that I bored him and or was too much work. I know we're done, I need to kind of understand what happened to heal.
I'm not a sociopath, but they sure do know how to find me and date me. 5 years running now with a brilliant one.
What happened is that you got in the wake of a sociopath and they did their standard operating procedure of using you and draining you empty. They get bored, so they do something atrocious that sends you off running. Then, they come back for more when they sense they are loosing control over a possession.
What you need to do, is kick the addiction to the endorphins and to the adrenaline rush you get from being around these people. The whole pleasure/pain roller coaster is highly addictive - gives you a chemical cocktail that you come to need, for better or for worse.
Once you kick this addiction, you will no longer waste your time wondering about him and milling over the lost past you had with him. At least not with the obsessive frequency that is sending you to these message boards.
As much as I dislike this fact: "it is what it is". Not much more to it. Sorry.
Be strong. Don't let him back in. I wish I could take my own advise.
He seems the same brand as your friendly neighborhood socios, but that is just at first glance as I didn't bother to read most of that story, mostly just the end paragraphs. (In the end, those are the only ones that matter when identifying our kind anyway; how it ends.)
Help? No. You have to help yourself by choosing to stay away from him then sticking to it. It is a socio's job to do anything and everything in their power to get you back. It is your job to show the same level of commitment in staying away from them. It is a game of cat and mouse that never ends until the mouse realizes they need to relocate to a different, cat free, house.
My father said he knew I was a bit off ever since he took me to see Jaws as a kid, and I rooted for the shark.
In reply to this post by Fed Up
Thank you for your replies. I think I'm trying to make sense of something that will never register with me. I guess wondering if he's a socio, psychopath, borderline or narcissist doesn't matter. None of those types could ever truly care about me.
But what does it say about someone who get sucked in and believes the good parts were real? I was going through a lot when I was with him, but since the breakup I've gotten a great job, new town,etc. My life is good so why am I hung up on the fairy tale? Thanks again for your kindness and support. I didn't expect that here and I'm very grateful.
P.S. I know this shouldn't matter at all, but do you think his mother is one of those too? She seems to love the drama and use people as much as he does. Does this kind of thing run in families? It's just a curiousity. Finally, do all sociopaths abuse animals and people and joke about killing their friends? It's just bizarre.
Thanks again for your help!
Personally, I believe you have described most of the criteria necessary for a borderline personality disorder. However, he obviously has repetitive aggressive behaviour. Perhaps his loathing phases have manifested themselves into violence? Or perhaps he just has antisocial personality disorder tendencies.
If I had time, I would properly research for you. But I don't. Just a limited opinion.
Good luck in your diagnosis.
It does sound like he is one of your "friendly neighbourhood socio's" (love it!), that doesnt appear to distress you as it might others, which is good. Your distress seems to arise from what this might say about you and how the good times werent real. It really doesnt matter what it says about you, and the good times were real - at that moment, at that time, for both of you. He got what he wanted/needed, as did you. Dont beat yourself up trying to find additional 'faults' in yourself. That is part of his 'wants' after all. I agree with fed up, it is what it is. You need to choose whether to stay on the roller coaster or get off. (You are still very much on it btw). I know there is part of you that enjoys the thrill and excitement of rollercoasters, but I think this one may just de-rail, so if I was in your shoes I'd be getting off. I wish you well Alice.
@ OYK I am currently 'watching' my cat from a safe distance, he cant be 100% sure whether I've found a new home or whether Im watching. From 'watching' him he is correctly assuming(knowing) Im watching him and he lets me know this in ways which only makes me want him more, God damn him! I being a hfe can hide for a long time, but how long might he be willing to put up with the uncertainty of not really knowing? He absolutely does not want me gone, from what I can 'see'. Damn Narc took him off me, and I refuse to 'compete' with a shrill air headed peacock!
I certainly can't relate to your severe a situation (mine was just a work/personal close friendship - no bad parts really, she just sort of 'walked away' when she was done). I've just had to try to understand and rationalize that it was never real in the first place, only one sided, like trying to have a relationship with a mirage, you can't because it was never there. Good luck.
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In reply to this post by Interested Empath
@Interested "how long might he be willing to put up with the uncertainty of not really knowing?"
Socio interest lasts anywhere from two minutes (for quick victories) to the rest of their natural born life. How long we pursue our victims after they leave is dependent on a few key things; how useful you were, how much fun it is chasing you, how 'on' their roller coaster you still are. And a million and one little things (like with anything else a sociopath does).
Personally I have let all of my old pets go accept for my asset turned (metaphorically) lifeless ball of flesh. I come back and try to find new ways to torment her and/or get her to come back from time to time (mostly when I am bored) and will continue to do so as long as we both shall live.
To write off all the good times you shared as "socio puppetry" is just plain dumb. Socios (usually) produce some of the most positive and negative experiences in empaths lives. To mark of such happy times because the socio didn't process it in the same way, or because the socio was only playing a game, is to essentially erase otherwise joyous memories of your past. Why do that? To get over the socio? To "toughen up" to future socios? That's just not reasonable. Life is full of priceless moments, why does it matter whether or not it was staged? My advice is to accept what they are then decide what to do from there. In either case, treasure the good memories you had with them. They are no less special, and define who you are today no less, than memories made with someone who felt them the same way you did.
My father said he knew I was a bit off ever since he took me to see Jaws as a kid, and I rooted for the shark.
I agree that "when it was good, it was really good. when it was bad it was awful." Strangely enough, he always seemed to be more on the roller coaster than I was. I know this will make me sound really naive, but our 6 months 24/7- we did everything together, just us no one else- was some of the best and worst moments of our lives.It just wasn't sustainable.
I have a hard time believing it wasn't real. When I'd leave him for a few days, his mom would call me because he wouldn't get out of bed. His family says he has "the depression". Right before I met him, he had flunked out of college after getting straight A's and started drinking nonstop. This is what makes me question the sociopath diagnosis. Could he just be an alcoholic or is that part of the deal? How do drugs and alcohol factor in? He says he drinks because people are stupid and they bore him- now that sounds socio.
What I'm wondering is if the two of us (both addicts) were addicted to each other and the alcohol is what drives him. Maybe he's just your friendly neighborhood alcoholic. Anyway, I think I was a good chase because he had his eye on me for a few years and I was unattainable. During our time dating I was always flirting with other guys and my ex was always in the picture. Went straight back to the ex he was always jealous of the day after the breakup and I made sure he knew it.
The reason I am having a hard time letting go is that I was just as addicted to the head games. Playing with him was awesome because he saw through my bullshit- most guys are putty, but this one was a challenge. I kind of miss thinking up new ways to send him on his rollercoaster. We are both reactive, manipulative and prone to addiction. But my last move put us at a stalemate.2B
@OYK Thanks for that, Im in for one hell of a time!
O.Y.K. I hear what you are saying, and maybe sometime I'll get there. It's not that easy when somene you thought was a really close friend walks right past you while turning thier smile and charisma on for everyone around you. I had a good 6 months of wondering 'what did I do?' before I got some things figured out about her.
Many socios attempt to isolate their victim from everyone. The socio I dated and myself simultaneously done anything and everything we possibly could to keep the other with us, and away from anyone else. Almost all of our 6 month run was 24/7 contact of one form or another. We literally had to make a convincing argument for why we had to leave, every time we left. And that didn't change when I "decided to get a cell phone" (i.e. told her about it) so that we could text while we were away from each other. (Apparently constant face time/email/instant messenger contact wasn't enough, we had to be around each other even when we weren't around each other at all.) Desiring you around all the time fits into the "control freak" symptom, not a love of you.
As for getting "depressed" when you aren't around? That can also feigned. I always enjoy appearing sad/bothered/upset in the presence of a mutual contact (i.e. his mother who has your number). A socio can only convince someone who is on to them that they are sincere for so long before the victim becomes aware they are just feeding you a line, however, when someone who isn't a socio (assuming here) says the socio is devastated, you are more likely to believe it (obviously).
First rule of empathy; don't underestimate the determination or prowess of a sociopath.
Drug use is entirely dependent on the socio. Some are recreational, some are addicts, some just aren't into it at all. The only real difference on the socio end is we are far more likely to try it (no fear/shame) and more likely to get addicted if we enjoy it enough (constant need for stimulation). But whether or not we do it, or like it when we do it, isn't much different than how it is for empaths otherwise. We also tend to have highly addictive personalities, meaning anything we like we are likely to like too much (same with our victims).
@Alice I had an empath like you once. She is highly manipulative (HFS level or better) and prone to addictions, although she tends to feel more than simply react. She has severe mood swings too, so it let me off the hook for my random explosions (we jokingly suggest that we both PMS continually). We played mind games long before we dated, in fact just getting her to actually stay with me was a chore at first (she would say "okay, let's be together" then immediately (minutes later) say "never mind, I can't do it." I was a very notorious "player" amongst our group of friends (having dated most of them by this point..) so I chalked it up to empath fear of being hurt.
However, we quickly saw that we had another thing in common aside our random episodes; we both very much love fucking with people's heads. She is in it for the kicks, like you are, and she is a very able woman. She gets what she needs on her own and solely relies on manipulation to get "goodies" or the satisfaction of having someone wrapped around her finger. She is one of two people who has actually managed to best me, and still remains with a slight edge on me (the later was completely destroyed upon my noticing the very crafty leadersheep technique she was using on me).
We still play cat and mouse here and there, her wiggling her tail at me in hopes I will snap at it, and me pretending not to be interested so she is forced to inch closer and closer until being in pouncing range. It's quite entertaining, but has long sense lost the "depth" of the mind games. We both know there is nothing between us now, we just can't help but play with each other from time to time because we are such good competition for each other.
I say all this for a reason, of course. I would like to ask you a couple questions.
First, I discovered how she gets around being affected by what I say some years back. She picked it up from when we used to spend a lot of time online together (school years, plenty of computer time). She does this by skimming through everything she reads from me or other manipulative sorts. I first noticed it when she was missing little critical "reactors" from what I was saying. She would respond to the body of the response but not the, much larger priority, topic inside the message. She later got good at applying this logic to voice interactions as well (thus ending my upper hand). It is the same concept for both, listen just well enough to get the jest of what is being said, but not enough that you actually process it. Is this similar to how you keep a level head during the mind games?
Sociopath simply process everything without connection, so this varies quite considerably from our way.
Like you, she enjoys manipulating people but find her socio (me) to be worthy competition so she was hooked despite the crappy situation. (I dated multiple of her friends behind her back and she still came back.) Is it more because the challenge is interesting ,or because you are wanting to hone your skills? Or, is it more like mine, a constant mixture of both?
My father said he knew I was a bit off ever since he took me to see Jaws as a kid, and I rooted for the shark.
You are dead on about my relationship. 24/7 togetherness. We challenged each other, got each other's jokes, were able to sleep together (we are both cuddlers and former insomniacs). We just "fit" together physically in a way that no one else had "fit" with me. That and sexual chemistry. I don't think we could have faked those two things.
Dylan and I had a no limits policy on sex. It was kind of my sexual awakening. My past includes serial monogamy and not losing my virginity till my mid 20's. I didn't wait for religious reasons, I did it because I saw how attached and pathetic my friends got after they slept with men. And the men treated them terribly. My boyfriends treated me like gold, and since I was a virgin none of them pressured me for sex. After a few years, I'd get tired of my "good guy" and chase after a "bad boy" only to admonish the "badboy" for not spoiling me like the "good guys" and go back to a "good guy" only to get bored again. It was a cycle. I was in 2-3 year relationships always dumping one for the other. Not knowing how to reconcile the two types. I eventually got married to the third guy I had actual sex with. Once we got engaged though, I lost the attraction to him and it never came back. We ended up divorcing. It was ugly.
I was lonely and just trying to get my life together when Dylan and I connected. I hadn't had sex in about a year- my husband- and was still somewhat innocent sexually. Dylan had a hold on me. We would try to outdo each other when it came to kink, though there were a few things I wouldn't do with him or anyone.
The theme became dominant-submissive. I had never had that before and it was incredibly erotic. In terms of S and M I think that I am probably a "switch", but I don't know enough about it. Dylan was my only experience. He took it to the level of choking me during sex, and then sometimes slapping me. It was so wild, and wrong that I went with it.
The problem came when he started slapping me. hard. when he got mad at me. Then choking me out of anger. The line between eroticism and abuse was blurred. That's when things got bad. The night before I finally left him physically, it was out of control violent. The next day he acts injured like I did something to him. Anyway, I knew it was over, not another one of those push-pull things he would do with me. He just seemed "different".
Anyway, since I left we have had no communication. There was that whole pregnancy email thing- my "translator" thread if you want to read it, and when I told him there was no baby he wanted nothing to do with me. I sent him his stuff. He apparently called his mom every day about it until he got it and was disappointed to see only the stuff that he left, a water bottle he asked for (my peace offering) and a letter saying "good luck". His mom was adamant that he expected something else. I still wonder...
Anyway, I texted him and asked "since I've moved on and I'm sure you have too, I hope that we can be good with each other". His response "nope". I asked "why" and he said "because when we talk things get bizarre and its not worth the effort on my end to keep your friendship". I asked "why" again to which he responds "leave me alone". Keep in mind I had not called him ONCE in the past two months, or responded to his emails. I merely had a short text convo with him. At that point I texted " you won't hear from me again". I meant it.
It is hard for me to accept that someone who was so "in love" with me could just shut it off like that. What is inconsistent about him is that he will keep texting to tell me to stop texting. If I'm over someone I just ignore them.
This leaves me with a bigger question about myself- is this a one time deal with a socio or is it who I've become? And then the deeper question- am I one too? I'm fairly sure I'm an empath. I can't watch a sad movie without crying. If someone else has tears in their eyes, I get them too.
I think Narc is possible- but I'm not that much of an oblivious idiot. I don't think... Borderline doesn't fit because I wouldn't beg a guy to stay. I get off on being cold, not needy. Yet, this relationship made me so emotional. I would feel sorry for him a lot, then angry, then confused. The second I walked away from it, I felt free again.
When I am single, I am emotionally stable, motivated and relatively boring. But a few guys have put me on one of those rollercoasters- Dylan being the biggest one.
I went through a very long marriage drama-free during the time we were together. Nothing notable. Then this.
So is it PTSD? Bipolar (I don't fit that because my energy levels are constant and I react to events not chemical changes. I'm also never depressed. Anxious, OCD, ADD yes, all of those, but sadness is not one of my regular emotions.)
My background- I am considered pretty, I used to work in the modeling industry. I'm smart and good at academic pursuits, but I get bored and keep looking for something new, different, an adventure. I trade on looks because I know I can. I have been accused of "using" people and then being mean to them. I don't agree with that assessment though.
I miss Dylan, and I am getting that he doesn't miss me. I get less attached every day. It's progress. So who do you think is the socio here? Him? Me? Both of us?
Who's playing who? I feel like he toyed with me, but I was far from innocent. It's still a mindfuck though. Will I ever hear from him? I know that answer- yes, when he needs something. Is he really annoyed at any contact with me or does he want me to do what your ex did and come closer until he reacts.
Does this change your original assessment? Thanks for your responses, by the way. I'm very interested in human behavior. This board is an enlightening place. How's the chase for your " prized pet" going?
No limits sex policy? Yes, we had that too. That included when we were with other people. We made the vow when we were single that we would always have the right to sex with each other no matter what. She of course changed her mind about that when she got with other guys but a little thing like that didn't ever deter me. While opening people up to (and altering) their sexual desires is socio nature, the part about you two fitting together physically seems pretty hard to fake. Although, I took it as a literally "fitting" together, as in when you two are close your bodies fit comfortably with one another, otherwise it can most certainly be faked.
Mmm.. DS. My socio and I took rough sex to a very interesting level. We often drew blood; from hitting each other and with the aid of sharp things, etc. Constantly had to replace shredded clothes, cover up bruises, limp around a day or two at a time, etc. That was even before the abuse. Like with you two, and I suppose with any socio relationship, the limitations of violence in the bedroom began to broaden and be used as a form of control. At first, it was only during "angry sex" with each other, which was already even more rough than our norm (we only had "normal" sex twice that I recall). Then it became "foreplay" when we were fighting, then just actually brawling and having sex during or after. At some point it finally just became "abuse" and we accepted it for what it was.
If both people can handle it, abusive relationships are very healthy imo. We found being able to just unleash on the other one to get the anger with them out of our system was a lot better for the relationship than spending hours to a day arguing and still getting nothing resolved. Although, eventually we didn't work out because I crossed lines I shouldn't have and she lost the pleasure of pain (it being replaced by fear). Once we had to start pulling out punches we compensated for it verbally, and then it got out of hand.
This may or may not help you, but socios do have a very, very, very limited capacity for love. Well socio-love. It is much stronger than empath love and changes him all the way down to the surface of his core (if only temporarily) and for that period of time, as long as it lasts, the socio experiencing it will believe it is love, even knowing they cannot truly love, which is why we here have deemed it socio-love. Socio-love is the socio equivalent to an empath experiencing true love (which, you probably haven't experienced, but likely think you have, being empath).
We also have a "puppy love" or obsessive love. Obsessive love is all consuming for the socio experiencing it and the one receiving it. This 'love' is far more common amongst socios: socio-love being experienced by very few of us (although, in theory, possible for most of us). It is essentially what we "feel" when we allow ourselves to feel. We mold ourselves in the image of our puppy love and, within reason, give them a priority only just below our own.
I started with "this may or may not help you," and surely right now you are wondering how it would. I said the above information so that I could explain this part better for you. Socios are able to play with their own emotions just as they play with others. We can, for example, turn any feeling into rage then neutralize it (essentially "burning it out"). An outsider can notice this is happening because their "fits of rage" doesn't appear to end, until they finally just lose all interest. That is often a sign that we have pulled the plug on our connection in preparation of, or because of, departing from the one we are affected by (as we don't normally walk away from a willing victim if they still provide benefit to us).
I can honestly say I have experienced socio-love (once) and obsessive love quite a few times. Before realizing what I was, I was very adamant about finding true love. When I realized what I was I very much found this quest to be both ironic and frustrating. I later got with the girl I developed socio-love for ("big one" thread). When I think about it, it reminds me of that saying "love will find you when you quit searching for it." I had completely thrown out the concept of love before she came back into my life (prior to this last time we dated), then I realized I actually put her first in most scenarios. Very odd for someone who has spent their entire life not even aware other people existed, at least not to the extent that my hurting them was worth considering. (I realize now that I didn't need to say much of this to make my coming point.)
When we broke up I was distressed beyond reason, my "demon" got out of it's cage and went ape shit on everything and everyone, even beginning to take shots at my socio-love, which previously would've been unheard of. So I pulled the plug. Just off like that, then nothing. Literally nothing, even for a sociopath nothing, complete void. So it is possible that your socio had puppy love for you and simply realized he was losing you and pulled the plug. This is usually noticeable if you know what to look for; rage followed by disconnectedness, or sudden and extreme absence of "feelings" toward you. The general socio relationship isn't an instant "perfect" to "hell" scenario. It usually slowly falls apart as the socio becomes less willing to keep the mirror up, or believes he is in control and can afford to let up, or simply lets it drop here and there but recovers. Does any of that sound like him?
If you are effected enough by a socio that you feel the need to come here, you have become socio bait. This likely wont be your last brush with a socio, so my advice is you start toughening up even more (emotionally, mentally, possibly physically too) for your next encounter. I've noticed from plenty of experience dating socio bait (victims of previous socios) that the second time is even more blindsiding to them than the first. The second one, no matter how strongly they vow to never let it happen again, seems to slip in right below the radar. My theory for this is because of how socio relationships start. You cant see the end from the beginning, and you cant see the beginning from the end. The end changes your perception of the beginning leaving you unaware of what to look for. You instead look for the bad traits, which socios hide, and get sucked back in by the first socio that doesn't immediately reveal himself to you. After the second one, however, you are aware of how it started (having made your mind prepared from the first one) and the smarter ones become a much better judge.
You do not strike me as a socio, so I recommend you study up on sociopathy a bit more. Focus on the "positive traits" of sociopaths, that is what you have to look out for; artificial charm (vague compliments), inconsistency (changes story/opinions readily), physical/verbal aggression (toward others), lying (especially about beliefs; socios dont have many beliefs (blank canvas) and thus make it up as they go). There are others, but that is enough to get you started.
The inconsistency can be caught simply by "having" two different opinions about the same thing, and looking for the socio to mimic both opinions. Lying can be caught in countless ways; body language, the belief check suggestion, pauses or sudden speed changes in speech, etc. Artificial charm is pretty easy for most empaths to pick up on, especially after a socio. If you think about the compliments you are receiving then you can generally tell if it seems sincere. Do they say "you are beautiful" or do they say "you look really beautiful today/you look great in that outfit"? The former is vague and can be told to anyone at any time, the rest requires thought (you have to be wearing something appealing/be having a "good hair day" or "bad hair day" for it to make sense.) Examples of artificial charm; I used to tell every girl these things, "you are sexy/sweet/funny/cute/smart" (despite validation). Most empaths just want to be accepted, so they take all the compliments they get without question. After being scarred, you have to put up your walls and turn on your bullshit detector.
Low functioning socios are more aggressive so catching a LFS in physical/verbal aggression toward others is easy. Just ask around, they probably say something along the lines of "yeah, he gets in a light of fights" or "he has a short temper." Don't directly ask though, solicit all information you get about and from a socio. You don't want it getting back to him that you are snooping. Just bring up a fight you've been in before (or lie) to the socio, or hint to his friends/family that you are attracted to "tough guys". Either will likely inspire boasting about his exploits and give you the red flag you need.
I will answer the many questions in the last paragraphs in a second message to separate it from this bulk of information that, once again, has come out far longer than I intended.
In reply to this post by ALICE B
I am still (slowly) expanding my understanding of different disorders and don't know much about the ones outside the ASPD spectrum, as that is where I started. Although, here are some questions that might help me or someone else here make a better assessment.
How do you feel about others? How do you see others (before and after the dylan encounter)?
Explain your typical mood? How does it differ from your extremes?
How do you process incoming information? i.e feel (contemplate emotionally), process (contemplate without emotion), react (no contemplation).
Why do you believe something is (may be) wrong with you? What do you do/feel/think that differs from how you believe the world does/feels/thinks?
How highly do you think of yourself (in regards to other people) ?
Do you have "black-and-white thinking"? Meaning, do you frequently think that there can only be two alternatives/conclusions to a situation?
How well do you handle stress? (Dylan aside.)
How are your relationships with others? (You said people say you use them, why do they say this?)
How do you feel when something bad happens to you? (i.e. victimized, deserving, indifferent, open to the possibility that you may be at fault)
How do you view yourself as a person? ("good/neutral/bad" person, loyal/disloyal, easy/normal/prude)
Is (non-violent/kinkless) sex pleasurable for you? Does the desire for sex change by spells of months/years rather than days/hours? (i.e. you want sex BAD for one cycle, then are repulsed by it the next)
I will try to make an assessment once you have answered those. Right now I would access that you are (were) a typical high functioning attractive woman. The self-serving nature could simply be explained by you being given things because of your looks, thus you feel empowered and superior and don't worry about others. Many attractive people have sociopathic tendencies while still very much being "normal." Same with many intelligent people for much of the same reasons. Boredom is every ones disorder.
Dylan misses you if he is still contacting you, no matter what he is contacting you to say. If he is a (LF) socio, then he might have the default human assumption that everyone thinks the same way as he does, and is thus trying to 'brush you off' in order to get you to want him back (want what you cant have). I suggest LF instead of HF here, among other reasons, because a HFS is well aware that everyone's brain is hardwired differently. If we didn't know that, we would "manipulate" rather than "rewire" (as our LF counterparts can only induce short-term manipulation). Both long term and short term manipulation can, however, be (partially) undone by simply getting away. The whole reason we keep our victims under out thumb is to keep them in the state we so desire. Most that run, actually run, not "run" but come back/linger, gain momentum as they go because the farther away they get, the more like them self they become. In any case, he appears to be the socio here. Although, if you were the socio, your story would place him as the socio anyway.
You clearly answered "whose playing who" in a previous post. You both are playing each other, you both love the head games. And again, he is baiting you. Likely his coldness is attempting to inspire your return or to get some reaction out of you that he can work with (anger works nicely, so does sadness).
The chase is still in it's infancy, or, perhaps, is at it's end. Due to everyone's suggestions and recently acquired information, I am believing that I should make my move now. I am simply waiting to hear responses to my most recent post and then a chance to talk to her again.
Wow! Thanks. You always amaze me with your insight. In particular the "shutting off" of the feelings. I think in month four he said to me mid-sex, "I think I'll go to india to get one of those reversible vasectomies because I don't want kids". I always add a"with you" suffix to statements like that one.
And then there was the time (during sex again) that he told me that he "wasn't in love with me anymore and didn't want a future with me/changed his mind from "lets get married tomorrow" to that. Though his words changed, his behaviors didn't. I never let him off the hook for that statement of not being in love with me. It was the basis for fights, my argument and if I flirted with other guys that's why, at least thats what I told him. But he kept telling me how much he loved me (in a romantic way) but never said "in love" again. No matter what he did or said, I could never forget those words. Do you think it was a game to fuck with my head? Or was he just indicicive, loves me one minute, not the next.
His words said one thing, but his doing everything to make our relationship work, was something else. It confused me and I always thought that move was a mindfuck because it was well before he started "shutting down"
It was so strange- we would break up and get back together frequently, but the last week we were together he was absolutely certain he had to go back to his hometown and make/get money (for alcohol or possibly to meet some guy friend in New Orleans (his mom told me she thought htat was his plan))
Anyway, our final week, the fights were bad, but when I'd actually leave him, he'd freak out. The days before the final fight he started watching "The Sheild" on his computer on the couch. He watched it with headphones 24/7. Three season's worth in a few days. He never watches TV. He just ignored me completely and when I'd try to talk to him he'd put on his headphones. When he gave in and talked to me we would be back to normal and having fun. So he stared telling me not to talk to him because he didn't want to "like me again". It was wierd and made no sense. He seemed conflicted and I couldn't really get a good read. He told me that he "HAD to end it" but then decided we needed to stay together. I always thought it was the addictionm but who knows now,
All of this came down/changed within a three day period. He was also talking to his bio dad-the one who abandoned him, did awful things to him as a kid, but now the bio dad wanted a relationship. He was in a hurry to get back to the bio dad and is still staying with him, staying sober there, while visiting his mom and getting wasted (being bad). It's Jeckyl and Hyde, I hear.
Anyway, not sure what happened but that behavior really made me wonder. After I left him, I guess he had a total breakdown, but did not call me at all. He always did in times past. Thanks for your help here. I like that I can get this out and that there are people here who can help me understand. It is such a long, bizarre story though.
I really hope I don't get a version two of this guy. I could barely handle a lfs...
I seem to be noticing a direct link between sex and socio slip ups. Another socio here said that he dropped his mirror completely once during sex, and she saw him for what he really was and ran. You seem to be saying the same. Perhaps the moment gets the best of them and they simply cannot contain their nature. I figure he probably was never "in love" (socio-love) with you, and his telling you what he did during sex was likely the truth. Saying anything in a romantic way does not mean sincerity, not for sociopath, we say everything in exactly the tone and context that we desire the listener to take it. (Note: We've discussed socio use of the "lovey voice" in a previous thread, though I don't recall which.)
Another alternative to it being a sex-induced slip up is that it was in fact a mind game, only done solely for the purpose of watching you squirm and make you uncomfortable during sex (which socio seem unanimously aroused by). I doubt the long term effect was planned, but it could be. If he were HF I would say that was likely the primary reason, if it wasn't entirely accidental.
He comes off as rather into you (puppy love) so I would imagine that is what it was. He tried hard despite knowing he wasn't truly in love with you because you appealed to him and he was obsessed. Love-hate relationships (the symbol of socio relationships) is very addictive for both socio and victim. We normally don't accept this addiction (as socio), believing they are the only one addicted. Accepting that we also desire them is when it advances to puppy love and we start getting "attached." Although true attachment might as well be impossible for a sociopath since we can kill it if necessary without much effort.
Strangely, unlike puppy love, I found that pulling the master cord to completely shut off emotional registry didn't actually kill my socio-love for my prize. When I "rebooted" a couple months later, I was back to factory setting (default socio feeling) and all connection to everyone never came back. I still have no level of connection to even those whom I used to be very fond of, or any desire at all to do the "full extent of my reach" with previously released pets now. Although, with time, the socio-love feelings began to manifest them self in some very interesting and confusing ways. None of the "feelings" can I explain, or express, but they were not the feelings I once had. They were, well, best described as frustration and perhaps emptiness.
Those feelings have since manifest them self as fear, dread, contemplation, depression, uncertainty, confusion, longing, attachment and more. I have to imagine that these are roughly the feelings experienced by my empath as well, only an empath must surely feel all these things more deeply and the feelings being more "real." I say all these "feelings" I have experienced, but they do not effect my mental state (as emotions do). I just feel them crawling beneath the skin, as if that dead part of my brain (which socio lack) is tingling but the signals being sent through it are not being processed by the rest of the brain so it doesn't actually affect me despite it's presence.
I am curious as to whether or not the feelings of socio-love would have returned if I hadn't "rebooted," that is, if it would have forced its way back inside even if I had my emotion receptors turned off still. Since I desire her back, and very much need what little I can feel in order to treat her properly (and thus keep my prize), I cannot test this by pulling the master plug and leaving it unplugged. I will have to find another socio experiencing socio love and force them to test it (or, perhaps, with their consent). Perhaps socio-love, the counterpart of empath's true love, is actually how socio brains process true love. You cannot stop loving someone you experience true love with, no matter how horrible they are to you and no matter how long you have away from them to heal, true love is called true love because it is eternal and is an infinite "truth."
Side note: I am a firm believer that love conquers all, although that is perhaps a bias call as I believe I can conquer all using their love against them.
The Jekyll and Hyde thing reminds me of my relationship with my parents. My mother I am the ideal son for, my father knows my darkness and I party with him frequently. Growing up this was especially useful as I needed an outlet, and couldn't have one if both parents saw me in the same light.
As for HFS vs LFS, LFS are a bit worse actually. LFS cause more damage in a shorter period of time (due to deficiencies in long-term processing and an understanding of why their manipulation works and how) than their HS counterparts. HFS tend to be much better at re-wiring your brain to make you want to stay with them as opposed to just making you feel unable to leave. Because of this, we are kinder to our victims in whole, but that two depends on the level of sociopathy they have. Some are so heavily affected they might as well be psychopaths (no emotional awareness), while others are only effected so much that it become noticeable upon close study. I have a fairly low case of sociopathy, I meet all the requirements to a tee, but I do keep some bit of "normalcy" to me. This is perhaps why I am even able to experience socio-love. Strange, if that is the case, for I gleefully destroy the people closest to me in all other cases.
If you get with a HFS that is fond of you, and you are good to him, then you will find yourself in relationship heaven. Most of my exs are still very fond of me, for example, despite how horribly I treated them (emotionally), and all my exploits of them and their friends. My socio is one of the very few exceptions, seeing as she is so ruled by fear of me that she now loses all life in her eyes and color in her cheeks from just hearing my name. (Which I very much enjoy, despite equally loving the "glow" her eyes once had.) In conclusion, hope for a HFS with a fairly mild case of sociopathy. If you have become drawn to socio, then that would be your "ideal type" now. It is essentially the socio equivalent of the perfect (empath) guy, as what they lack in commitment and love, they make up for with incredible sex and drug-like attachment. It's a pretty fair trade off if you ask me.
You keep amazing me with this stuff. I finally have a translator of sorts! Anyway, the sex thing is interesting to me. The eye contact I know is a predatory thing, but for whatever reason this eye contact during sex thing, the intensity made me feel closer than I ever have to anyone. I think you might be right about the making me angry during sex because it turns him on thing. He told me he would do things to his "whores" because they weren't real people, just toys. Stuff like pour a beer on their head during a one night stand just to make them suffer. He definitely had a madonna/whore thing going on.
And his "madonnas" aka girlfriends there have only been two. One was a long distance thing for a year and a half that took place six years ago and he still talks about her 24/7 and then me for 6 months. Ok- I know this is more than you care to hear, but he says though he's had sex with a lot of "whores" he can't come during sex- even if he goes for a few hours!- and me and the ex are the only ones who he can do that with. Does it make sense that he can come with the madonnas but never with the whores? What is up with the obsession with exes? Six years is an eternity.
Another interesting thing about this one is that he would tell me that he loved me at least 20 or more times during sex. Do you think it was because he wanted to believe it? Also- the pupil dilation, you can't fake that, how do you get around it in sex, day to day activities? Just wondering.
Physically, we fit and had the same sleep needs. He's the first guy who hasn't annoyed the hell out of me during an overnnight because we move in the same way. For whatever reason that's always been important to me. The sexual fit was perfect too. Those things- the ones that couldn't be manufactured- meant a lot to both of us.
So this inconsistency between words and actions is becoming very clear to me that it's what he did, and what confused me so much. I mean I'm told from his family that he talks about me all of the time, but it's all very negative. Once I read old facebook messages of his to his friends, just to hear him trash me, but every time I left he couldn't let me go. Continuing to return to someone you say terrible things about makes you look bad. That behavior, I don't get.
His level of functioning is still up in the air- like a classic narc he projects and has a "grandiosity gap". His life plans involve moving to another country and making money in gold mining through investing, though he has no funds to invest! He really thinks he's smarter than everyone, and he's really not. He is the best "reader of people" and predictor of their actions. He could read me like a book- every faked emotion, every lie, he always knew. He could predict my reactions with almost absolute certainty and me, him (which means his masks were pretty damn good).
My gift is reading most people through body language. I can spot a lie witih 99% accuracy, this amused the heck out of my ex who would lie or try to decieve and I would catch him every single time- though now I see this game as perfecting his masks. Toward the end I stopped looking for the lies, because I don't think I would have liked what I found.
I'm still somewhat convinced he's a borderline, but the hot-cold, love-hate thing. That was new and maybe the best case for him being a socio.
Anyway, this is sort of unrelated, but it hs been weighing on me heavily. The stealing thing- in some ways he appears to be very moral- cares about the environment, rallies against big government, is pioneering some school lunch program. Looking broadly at him he is a compassionate hippie-type, so it doesn't work with what he "stands for" to steal.
But...I think he may have stolen from me at times and this is why:
-His favorite jacket- he says he and three friends came up with an elaborate way to steal this coat from a store at the mall when he was 15. They then went to the applebees next to the store and celebrated it.
-He takes money out of his mom's purse or moves some out of one of her accouns when he needs it. Small amounts, but he says it's "taking" and not stealing because she is aware. This reminds me of when he says slapping a woman is not hitting a woman because of the "open hand". Semantics.
- I cannot prove that he ever took anything from me, there are just times when I suspected...Once I noticed some adderall missing and it had to be him or my roommate. I told him that I only get 30 a month so he needs to help me replace them. I never accused him, I just told him I needed them and drove him to pick up his and it worked out.
-The biggest thing was when we were traveling together. I got into an argument with him and I threw some expensive earrings I had into the corner. I carried with me- during our trip a little box of jewelry with sentimental and monetary value. We were moving during this time so we had a lot of stuff with us. Anyway, when I started to sober up at a nearby restaurant, he gave me pieces of jewelry Id taken off at the hotel-but the earrings - the only real valuable items (but there is no way he could have known which pieces were expensive and which wer e not)- were missing. He said they "fell outof his pocket" and we looked for them to no avail
I put him on a plane and was to visit him a week later. I noticed that I was missing a significant amount of pieces, but I guess I could have put them in another bag. Anything that I expressed sentimental value for or what was very expensive was stilll there.
When we met up again, I had boughtand was wearing an identical set of earrings to the ones missing and instead of saying "hey you found them" (he had suggested they might be in my purse or car) he says " looks like you bought a new set of those earrings". I told him they were identical so why would he assume they were new. He just said they were "shinier" or something lame.
So fast forward to his parents' house where he was looking for an old safe (from before we met) he was describing the contents and he said women's jewelry and I said why would you have that? He said he won stuff in poker over the years. Yet, he would never play texas hold em with me.
I am wondering if I'm being paranoid, or if he had collected pieces from before my time.
Finally, I am pretty sure he has a spare set of my car keys- they were missing- and one day he had gotten something out of my car, saying i left it unlocked. and when i went back to lock the car with the remote, it beeped before I hit the remote. I swear he took my spare keys- for whatever reason!
This sounds so bizarre, but why would he take keys to my car, etc? This may just be me being forgetful, but I am curious if this might be a socio thing.
It isn't strange, no. Although I'm not entirely sure why it is that way. I have never came with a one-night stand either. I once received oral sex from a girl all night (literally) and didn't cum. Hell, I barely got hard. The issue for me is that it was too simple. There was no foreplay, no "convincing." I just put her hand on my dick and started rubbing, and we were in the back in under a minute. Even if I had tried "exerting dominance" to get in the mood I probably wouldn't have. Sex gained without effort is boring much like a mouse that was caught without a chase. That is pretty much it, just boredom. Sex with "madonnas" would be different to him because there was work involved, manipulation done, and he has the ongoing freedom of further opening up and exploiting the madonnas (as opposed to one-night stands.) There are probably little reasons too that differ from mine, but the fore-mentioned reasons are likely a big part of his case.
The "obsession" we appear to have for exs is goal-oriented. We want to make our girlfriends squirm, and pining over exs does just that to (nearly?) anyone. No one wants to hear about how "in love with" or how much more fun an ex was than them self. For example, I always praised a girl who later became unanimously known (amongst girlfriends) as "whatsherface." I would frequently obsessively talk about her with them, about dating her in the past, about still longing for her at times, about all the many exploits we done together (and to each others relationships), etc. I would, if asked, tell them straight out that she is far better than them in my eyes, and truthfully answer if they asked for me to compare them self to her. Sure, I was still pining over her, being one of my most enjoyable 'relationships', but the main reason I told them all these things was to belittle them and make them uncomfortable. The secondary reason was my enjoying talking about her.
If he also degrades you during sex (the same encounters he says he loves you) then he is doing it to produce the roller coaster effect during sex. Other factors from him wanting you to enjoy the sex more, or him trying to induce the release of dopamine, which is linked to feeling love, in him self. I "convince" myself I love someone when I need to create the illusion that I do, or any other time it is necessary.
Pupil dilation? You mean from light? (Senses awkward socio ignorance moment.)
Rage is the replacement of most empath emotions for a sociopath. Wanting to be with someone you can't have produces, frustration/loneliness/sadness in an empath? It produces rage and resentment in a socio. It's just how we "emote."
Legality and morality aren't relevant to a socios actions. We are very hypocritical, even more than empaths, and being "firmly against" something doesn't mean we wont carelessly do it if it provides a means to an end. It is the same thing as us killing someone we love too much to let go; it was "justified" therefore it is okay. Expect his actions to be different than his "morals."
Socio seek approval for their actions, so we don't generally steal amounts of conscience from someone we are close to; those amounts the person cannot comfortably lose (rent/food money). Semantics is used quite heavily for socio reasoning. I often make sure girls give me permission to do things that would upset them to find out I was doing, just so that I can honestly say "you gave me permission so I thought it was okay."
I agree it seems like he stole the earrings. I hate accidentally letting tells like that slip, although I am generally well prepared in remembering "what happened" instead of what happened, so this doesn't happen to me except on rare occasion. I love Texas Hold'em and play every time I get the chance. Although that was irrelevant.
Stealing and making a copy of your keys is a pretty socio thing to do, although making a house key is far more common, I would imagine. Nothing worse than being locked out of a recoiling victim's home. The car key was probably done so that he could use the car when he wanted (without permission), or because he just thought it would be entertaining, or because he also copied your house key and figured "might as well" make a car key copy also. Hard to say because motives for little things like that can be anything.
I would believe he collects jewelry from victims. It is common behavior to keep something of theirs for remembrance, so if he isn't selling the jewelry it probably has a story behind it. I don't personally collect anything from mine, but it is very common behavior. I just hate material things.
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