Sociopathy Answers

How to finally feel free and not scared of your ex who hurted you deeply?

Hello Evy, firstly, your experience is not uncommon. The likelihood to run into someone who display these type of behavior is greater than one might think. They is roughly  1 out of 25 people in the usa who are psychopatic or sociopathic. There is a great book that you should read called "the sociopath next-door" The Sociopath Next Door https://www.amazon.com/dp/0767915828/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_api_glt_fabc_VPMBJEQE357CVDN4ZHTH It appears that you are traumatized by your experience despite not being with him anymore. Individuals who display psychopathic nature create a lot of pain and discomfort in the lives of the people with whom they interact. Psychopaths and sociopaths lack insight on how they make others feel but also don't care how they impact others.  The difference between psychopaths and sociopaths is that psychopaths are born this way where sociopaths become this way due to their upbringing, life experience and trauma. In the USA, many sociopaths are very successful as they are ruthless - your successful billionaire, politician, movers and shakers tend to display psychopathic or sociopathic traits.  They lack the ability to feel empathetic and to feel emotions. They do feel rage and anger. Every sociopath and psychopath is also a narcissist.  One knows that they have been in the presence of a sociopath because of the following: You felt devalued and invalidated as a result of being in a relationship with one. You were abused psychologically or physically or both. They tend to display superficial charm, have a grandiose nature, lie pathologically and are manipulative. They have a lack of remorse, shallow affect, lack empathy and they fail to accept responsibility for their actions. They also tend to be extraverted in most cases and need to be stimulated. They are parasitic and take advantage of others. They often lack the ability to have long term goals. They also present as impulsive and irresponsible. Not all all psychopaths and sociopaths are criminal though they don't care about the norms and rules establish by society. Think of your common conartist who feels zero remorse for embezzling old people's hard earned savings. Being in a relationship with such individual will be devastating. You will start questioning your own sanity. At first, you will feel like your psychopathic partner understands and loves you but then you will realize that it is only a ploy to get to what they want from you. Why would someone date such an individual? Many people feel that they don't deserve a relationship or that they will not meet someone who truly can love them. When a psychopath comes around, one might feel seen and understood for the very first time. Then their behavior will change overtime and their true nature will come through. Dating a psycho/sociopath will have  a desasfrous efffecf on your psyche. You will start doubting yourself and questioning your own abilities which explains why you are still traumatized now. I recommend talk therapy to help your process the trauma and moving past the abuse. Your experience is not unique and you can heal from it. You might feel that there is something wrong with you for dating him in the first place however it is very hard to spot someone with these traits and figure out that you are dealing with these personality types. There is nothing wrong with you however you will need support in exploring your past relationship and overcoming the impact of the abuse. I wish you well and hope that my answer helps you.    
Answered on 10/21/2021

I think my bf maybe a narc. How can I find out 100% without him finding out? I NEED TO KNOW

Narcissistic traits in individuals can be harmful for all parties involved, including the narcissist.  And truly, covert narcissists tend to be the least likely to realize that their traits are toxic and/or maladaptive.  That all being said, it's not uncommon for a person with toxic traits of narcissism to not realize they are narcissists and to accept and to be conscious of their toxic traits, let alone change them if they don't have the insight that they are there.   I have worked in a lot of capacities where narcissism is involved.  This includes working with individuals that are still in a relationship with a narcissist, individuals that have left an individual with narcisissistic traits and even narcissists themselves.  It some capacities, it would not have been safe to let the person with traits of NPD to know that they are a narcissist, especially if they do not see a need for treatment or change, unfortunately.  In other situations, narcisisstic individuals that I have worked with have come to gain the insight into their own behaviors and have worked hard to heal those traits by looking deeply at where they come from.   Many clinicians - especially clinicians that are very data driven in their treatment methods - would say that the only true way for us to be able to diagnose a personality disorder is to use a personality inventory much like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (or the MMPI) and by matching up their symptoms with the criteria for the diagnosis in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the manual that mental health professionals use to determine what diagnosis best fits our client's needs.  With that being said, a clinician would be able to most accurately diagnose someone through a series of face to face interviews with the person in question.  Personally speaking, I prefer to have a treatment history of 6 months or so with an individual before making a diagnosis of a personality disorder. This is because this gives me time to see multi-faceted qualities of their personality under differing circumstances in their life.     Even if you will not be able to know for sure if your partner has NPD without getting him to commit to a diagnostic session and ongoing therapy, I wonder if you are asking this question because you are concerned about the way that your boyfriend is treating you or others in your life.  If something feels toxic, it may be toxic.  Often times, narcissists do things that they hope will cause insecurity in their partners to make it hard for them to know who or what the problem is.  This is one way that they maintain a power differential and are enabled to continue to possess the toxic traits that they think are helping them to feel better, less out of control and secure. Feeling unsure is what the narcissist often wants and keeps you from abandoning them.  You are allowed to trust yourself in knowing what is best for you.  You are also deserving of existing without those doubts looming over your head.  If the relationship doesn't feel like it is serving you, building you up or makes you feel confused and insecure, that is enough reason to reevaluate the relationship. 
(MS, LCMHC)
Answered on 10/21/2021