Sociopaths will manipulate anyone. Let me repeat that. Sociopaths will manipulate absolutely anyone, including mom, dad, brothers, sisters—anyone. One way that this happens is the sociopath gets his or her family—knowingly or not—to participate in the victimization of the target.
Lovefraud received an e-mail from Rod in Nebraska. Rod’s daughter had been targeted by a sociopath. In his e-mail, he wrote the following:
One thing that I do believe should be approached about a sociopath is his ability not only to control his victim, but also his family. The sociopath works his family to the extent that he manipulates his immediate family into believing that none of his problems in life are his fault and consequently the blame falls on the one he wooed into a relationship. In this manner he deliberately cons his family into enabling him in his behavior. Oh, poor guy, the world is against him, he has a seizure disorder and has the gout. Thus concluding my opinion that he controls his universe and his family’s.
There are parents who continually bail out their sociopathic children—even as grown adults. There are family members who continually acquiesce to the sociopath’s demands, maybe just to maintain the peace.
Sometimes the families are just as clueless as everyone else. They don’t understand the sociopath’s behavior, but they feel family members are obligated take care of each other. They believe the sociopath when he or she blames the victim for whatever is going wrong.
Other times, the family members are sociopathic themselves—the risk of developing this personality disorder is genetic. So they see absolutely nothing wrong with predatory behavior.
So to escape, the victim must often stand up to not only the sociopath—which is difficult enough—but the sociopath’s entire family as well.