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By February 7, 2015 36 Comments Read More →

The Cost of a Sociopath

I’ve been writing my next book and decided to share a piece of it. Here it is:

All my life, I’ve been surrounded by facts and figures about how many years you lose if you do certain things. Like smoke cigarettes. Or do drugs. Or drink too much alcohol. People like to threaten and motivate each other with scary statistics that encompass not only dangerous behaviors but also self-neglect. Like failing to exercise. Or skipping stress-reduction techniques.

“For every year you smoke, you take a year off your life.”

Something like that.

But I don’t think anyone knows how many years you lose to a psychopath. Not even counting the years you spend going crazy before you finally figure out what you’re dealing with; not counting the years you spend in fear for your life or for your children’s safety or whether you’ll get to see them the next day. Not counting the years you spend together, sharing a home and meals and a bed, snuggled up next to someone who could easily do you in and after a few years doesn’t hesitate to let you know that indeed, you might be done in.

Even if you don’t count all those years lost to the darkness, even if you just count the years spent trying to get away, trying to heal, there’s still got to be an enormous total impact on your body, soul, and psyche—a monumental cost to your essential being that cannot be repaid or restored even though you got out and in some way or other moved on. There’s got to be a wearing down and a wearing out that brings you to a stop years before you otherwise might have been finished with this world.

There’s a toll you have to pay when you link your life to a psychopath’s, and that toll is paid with your life.

But no one can tell you how much.

 

This post can also be found on hgbeverly.com.



36 Comments on "The Cost of a Sociopath"

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  1. truth7 says:

    This is a thoughtful excerpt of the book, bringing awareness of the destruction and the cost to many lives by even one sociopath. I personally appreciate this validation. The path of my spath father included evil behaviors, gas lighting, manipulation, criminal activities and turning extended family members against his own children, etc. The cruel behaviors of sociopaths have long term consequences for their victims, especially their children. Many of the spath’s crimes go undetected for decades because the spath is so charming and cunning. This serves as another feather in the cap for the spath; it is thrilling for the spath to again get away with their evil deeds.

    As the daughter of a spath father, I paid emotional long term costs with panic attacks/anxiety, nightmares and memories of homelessness, threats and growing up in poverty. And the narcissistic spath father came to visit me in his sports cars to show off and laugh at our financial ruin. He knew my immigrant mother had no education, no car, no job and no family support. I think the heartlessness of my biological father is what hurt the most. These are all forms of trauma.

    Being the child of a spath is also a bit more complex than a spath who is a lover, boyfriend or spouse. Children typically adore and love their parents. They share the DNA of a spath parent and the spath parent took part in their creation. I really had to do much soul searching on this fact in order to be at peace and have no contact. It is necessary for my well-being, and for my life!



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  2. Canuck says:

    Truth 7 thank you.

    My father also got pleasure from keeping me down while he was a respected businessman and uncle. He shamed me, through my being kept dirt poor, not to connect with my very successful in life cousins so that I never knew the lies he had spread about me. That is until his fineral.

    At the funeral my relatives kept commenting with surprise how well I looked as if they expected to see a toothless wonder. Was told they recognized me, after decades, because I looked so much like my deceased father. But what they had to say about me, that I was so normal in manner and speech, was hurtful. They were shocked that I am not a crazy corner prostitute type.

    When you have been put down in others minds they do not have a filter for how they speak within your hearing range. One needs to be respected for that filter to be in place. After my father meddled in my relationships any respect toward me would be gone. Abuse by proxy.

    It was after the funeral that the sudden change of behaviour toward me, with my father becoming aquainted with those folks -that timeline fell into place.

    The only job I was able to hold on to was driving a taxi because as a self employed taxi driver, there was no boss for father to go to. He would go to landlords, bosses, schools, friends, friend’s parents and even my doctor acting like a concerned father spreading lies that would damage my relationships beyond repair. He also lied to me about what the people had supposedly said about me. He could read people very well and knew which buttons to push. That man was good, very good at manipulation and deceit.

    He murdered two of my pets within a twelve year span. I did escape him only to be stalked and seduced again into believing he had changed. Over and over again. He was good, very convincing and on top of that he had the parent title going for him. Used that to go to aquaintances and claim he was dying of cancer and I the terrible child would not see him. To think a parent could wish one harm was unheard of back then. Even here some people who claim to have been under the clutches of a psychopath think of the same thing happening to a child as ‘childhood issues’.

    They break our wings and enjoy watching us struggle to get off the ground all the while making us believe they have the best intentions for us. Us, brainwashed into beleiving we are the inherently defective thus in need of being fixed by our concerned parent. We do not trust ourselves or our perceptions thus continue entertaining the sadist even more.

    More than anything there needs to be exposure about parents who are sadists, the selfish cowards who hide behind the guise of being concerned parents. Nothing more cowardly than choosing your own offspring to play with because society would never suspect such evil.

    The rumours can not be undone, those who never knew my father treat me with respect while being in contact with relatives is being treated like a wild ignorant amongst the elite. I fought hard not to look like or be what father was pushing me toward but still those who knew him can not see me but rather are looking through lie tinted glasses.

    Seeing the strong physical likeness every time one looks in the mirror, of the person one’s moral soul has nothing in common with, can really mess with one’s head.



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    • janmeghan says:

      Wow, similar scenario here only I married into it. I got to see it first hand, feel the lies going on around me, confused, new to the situation, yet still manipulated to think it was me. Well I am game to make this a cause that gets spoken about and heard. All too often society and movies make individuals think all will be okay in the end and that it’s our only father/mother. Children of this abuse need to know it is okay to tell someone and walk away. It needs to be spoken about! We need to make this public knowledge and create awareness!



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  3. truth7 says:

    Canuck … Thank you, what you shared truly resonates with me. I am glad I reached out to this forum of healing. I feel validated because no one could understand what it’s like to be the biological child of a spath parent.

    Four things that you highlighted are so valuable for me too: 1.) Spath parents have keen insight into the hearts of their own children, therefore they know how to “keep us down.” 2.) Spath parents can be cruel to animals and treat their own children like an animal. I have a recurring death nightmare because at 10 years old, my father threatened to shoot me between the eyes. He used to also shoot groundhogs in his yard so I believed he could shoot me too. His sadistic threat broke my spirit. I became very introverted, fearing all adults. 3.) Spath parents brag to family members when they offer material gifts. This narcissistic action is part of my spath father’s cunning portrayal that he has changed. His large family knew he wanted nothing to do with raising me; knew he beat my mother unconscious in front of me; knew of child molestation charges against him, which was kept a secret for decades; knew he was a bigamist, also kept a secret for decades; and the list goes on… Yet, his charm convinces my extended family that he changed, and they offer him blind loyalty. 4.). Spath parents look like some of their children. Your point is so insightful! As a daughter who believes in kindness, respect for others, and being a servant in the world with good morals, the fact is that when I look in the mirror
    I see my father! I happen to be the one child that has his dark brown eyes, and even his legs ! These biological physical characteristics are unchangeable! I will always share these genetic markers with my spath father. Unfortunately, they are reminders.

    I agree that exposing the spath parent’s evil is our obligation not only to ourselves, but also to help others be aware of their pathological and sometimes, criminal behaviors. I believe if I do not break the cycle…more people, such as innocent grandchildren, can be damaged. I feel it is my responsibility. I also studied very hard in school to become a counselor. Courses on sociopathy weren’t taught. I learned when my eyes were unveiled about my own spath father. Now, with my awareness, i am better able to help others.



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    • destructiondonetoall says:

      We just posted our story of our sociopathic son. It wasn’t until he started abusing our grandchildren did we draw the line in the sand. But we are out of money from years of being donned into helping him. The court also was so manipulated. I fear for our grandchildren everyday. We tried our best with what little we had left. I hope someday our granddaughter who is the oldest will run from him and find us and we will be able to protect her. You are right about the materialistic gifts they give. They love to put on a show for others. Very cunning. They don’t hold on to friends for long though. Unless they continue to buy them off. As parents to one it is hard for friends and family to imagine what they do to you. Sometimes I don’t think they realize this really exposes them. One woman told me after she saw how he treated us she realized if he could do that to his own parents he could do it to anyone. Despite her observation she went on to marry him and is still putting up with the abuse. They have a tremendous hold over people.



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    • janmeghan says:

      I am game to make this a cause that gets spoken about and heard. I had a similar scenario here only I married into it. I saw it first hand, feel the lies going on around me, confused, new to the situation, yet still manipulated to think it was me. All too often society and movies make individuals think all will be okay in the end and that it’s our only father/mother. Children of this abuse need to know it is okay to tell someone and walk away. It needs to be spoken about! We need to make this public knowledge and create awareness! Please someone join me in this fight and let’s do something!



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  4. Canuck says:

    Yes truth7. Hear you loud and clear. No one understands unless they have lived it. And ditto for me, it is validating to know that there are others who are like myself and get it.

    Interesting you mention being extremely introverted. Also your studies. Only one percent of the population is INFJ. I believe we have high sensitivity, intuition and BS radar. Hidden meanings have been par for the course daily. We have a huge intolerance for injustice and small talk is difficult.

    Even though we are emotionally traumatized we do have other similarities that are not all bad. As a youth my reality escape was science fiction and poetry. Yes I did try drugs as a runaway but never was a hooker, never stuck a needle in my arm (father’s lies) or been infected with HIV. After the death of my father I started veering in the same direction you took. Have been a WRAP and Pathways to Recovery workshop facilitator, Speaker, Community Advocate and got funding for/started a weekly Recovery Rocks group in our community, which is going strong.

    Believe people who are child abuse survivors show a great love for animals and the underdog, their healing may start there?



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  5. truth7 says:

    You are spot on again Canuck! I gravitated toward animals very early and enjoyed writing poetry and short stories. Despite those dark moments of our lives with sometimes haunting memories, our spath fathers cannot dim our inner light! We will continue to help others in the world!



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    • Canuck says:

      You may be interested in the following truth7. The question period, at the end, is also well worth watching.

      Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Neuman are Canadian doctors who seem to not be in agreement, according to my observation.

      Dr. Hare says the bully psychopath can not be cured while Dr. Neuman states that it is not easy but it is simple, bring their tears back. Being the recipient of parent bullying I tend to side with Dr. Hare, there may not be any tears to bring back, no heart to soften.

      Here is a Dr. Neuman’s explaination….
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7mznfMI1T4



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  6. Debra says:

    I have just filed for divorce (2nd time with this husband) knowing full well my husband is a sociopath, and that I have tried and tried after 8 years to make my marriage work. I get no benefit from the marriage on any level. He wears me down with his lies, anger and manipulation. Although I am about to turn 60, over the last 5 years I have felt my health deteriorate due to the constant turmoil in my life. Only a select couple of friends fully understand what I am dealing with as I had to show them pictures of his destruction of my personal items and the texts and phone calls when I am out and he doesn’t know with whom I am visiting.

    Since I am representing myself in the divorce (this is my second marriage and with my current marriage I filed for divorce in 2011 when things spiraled out of control and he was cheating) I simply cannot afford the thousands of dollars to pay an attorney again. So, of course the legal system and all it’s documentation is stressful and exhausting. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will cooperate; if not, I do have an “ace up my sleeve” that could ruin him.

    I find myself having to operate on a level that is completely distasteful to me: namely lying, covering up what I am doing, secrecy all to get my divorce and get away from this man. (If only I had the support system and funding to pull a “Katie Holmes!”

    I am hopeful once this is over, I can focus on improving my mental and physical health! Thank you for all of your articles and input on this sight! It helps to KNOW I am not alone in my dealings with this narcissistic sociopathic man!



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    • saneandfree says:

      Seems like going against a spath solo in the court system is a recipe for disaster. I had a legal team against my x-spath who was acting pro se. He ran and is still running them and the entire court system around in circles. And, like Ted Bundy they LOVE it. Chaos bakes their bread.

      To hope that he will cooperate is wishful thinking at best, maybe denial. It just won’t happen. They cannot cooperate. They have to win and they have to destroy. And they have no scruples about it.



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      • destructiondonetoall says:

        They love chaos. Our son named his first dog chaos…how telling! To them it is all a game and they must win. They are master manipulators and can and do win. Their poor victims are devastated. Our story I just submitted. Perhaps having a forensic psychologist the Judge likes will help. I wish last time our lawyers had suggested that but even if you get a short win your life will be hell. run and stay away!



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  7. terrorfromans-path says:

    In ten years, I have spent over $300,000 in legal and other expenses related to things he has done to me and the children. You would think, by now, many years after the divorce this nonsense would stop. Nope. As I continue to say — He is the gift that keeps giving.

    For those of you who think when these guys meet a new woman and remarry, they will stop bothering you, the answer is probably not. They don’t want you, but they want to control you. It’s like obsessive ex syndrome. Not like — it is. They derive pleasure from it. They love causing the hell.



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  8. destructiondonetoall says:

    My husband and I only recently finally accepted our adult son is a sociopath. This is despite the various diagnosis and obvious signs along the way. We have lost almost all of our money and he is still trying to wreak havoc with our lives. The Cost of a Sociopath is such a great title. No one knows more than one who has raised one. As a parent you feel that unconditional love from birth. Our son didn’t really display harmful behavior until middle school. We knew he was different but rationalized it away. Middle school he began drugs,being sexually promiscuous , stealing, skipping school and just about everything you can think of. I remember a teenage girl who lived behind us in an upscale neighborhood once stopping me and saying to me “I feel uncomfortable saying this to you but your son is not Normal”. I said don’t you think a lot of this is just rebellious teen years. She said no! He is way off the charts! Our son was very good looking and charming to many so I thought she must be wrong but I never forgot her comment. We moved his freshman year and OMG what a nightmare. He continued doing drugs, stealing and all the other behaviors mentioned above but beame increasingly violent with us and began to sell drugs.we sought therapists,considered military schools and went to the authorities for help. The first year was the worst then we got an exchange student who lived with us for the remainder of high school. He controlled his behavior to us because he now had an observer. He still managed to get arrested a few times,was still sexually promiscuous and still stole from us. His violence towards us was much more controlled. I filled out college applications for him and none near our house. I secretly knew I needed him to leave us alone. Freshman year he became president of his dorm and I thought maybe he was now on the right track….oh was I wrong…all the behaviors plus some came back.we were still the loving doting parents…always there for him. The end of his sophomore year he was living off campus when he was arrested for 2 sexual assaults, kicked out of school and sent home to live with us until trial. After 2 years of costly legal wrangling he was convicted and sent to prison for 5 years. Before he went though he got engaged to a woman and she was 7 months pregnant when he was convicted. As the loving parents still in denial of who he was we visited him for those 5 years every weekend, fought for his custody rights to his daughter ( our granddaughter)… Fast forward after spending over 500k on him he got out of prison became a successful business man with contacts at the highest level. One of his favorite books was 48 laws of power. I think he then used this as his rule book. After he was out a short time his daughters mom was in a car accident and died. He got sole custody which her parents fought vigorously and lost any visitation rights. He married a woman who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and had another child. We moved nearby initially to help raise his daughter and then to save his daughter from the abuse she was getting from both of them. Just recently and I think it was our final wake up call we filed for a protection from abuse from the court that was initially granted giving us temporary custody. He fled the country incurred a felony on the way out. He considered it a game. He could have moved at any time since he had full custody of his daughter but he had to take her violently in front of us and his wife. He initially texted her and asked for a divorce. This was the final straw in many abusive times including throwing me up against a wall and pretending to rape me. I hid all those things from most people. I went to counseling but left out some of the facts. But this last event was the end. I realized his children were only pawns in his game. He came back and faced the Judge and beguiled her into believing we were just overbearing grandparents. You can ask yourself but what about the wife who also was granted a protection from abuse ( and oh did she have some abuse to talk about). Well he got stable enough to realize he needed his wife back in the game to discredit us and to also get his son. So he promised her money and they are now reconciling. Anyone who has been down this path knows it will not last but we are out our last few coins to lawyers trying to save our granddaughter from a life in hell. Now he is trying to sue us. He wants blood from a stone. My husband and I wish we had woken up earlier and drawn the line in the sand. He has left a path of victims including ourselves. We may not have been able to stop him from victimizing but we certainly enabled him. I hope and pray we stay away from him. We have to accept we may not see our grandchildren again but we our out of money and strength to fight this anymore. We have only maybe if we our lucky 10 good years to live. Had we known our only child would have brought us this much pain…I would have dropped him off at college and moved and left no forwarding address. I know that sounds callous to some but those that have lived our nightmare would agree. ( for every one incident of abuse I mentioned here I have hundreds of examples of more) why did we stay so long…maybe love of your child but also his manipulative ways were so good we would get sucked right back in. Hope and pray for us we do stay away this time! He will still hunt us down I fear because we did tell the Judge he was a sociopath. He threw his pen at that. Sociopaths do not like to be discovered!



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    • Jan7 says:

      destructiondonetoall, wow you & your husband have been through hell not just once but continuously for years. Hugs to you. No one wants to believe that there are pure evil people in this world not even their own family. I think how you handled your sons situation is how most loving parents would. But I commend you for finally seeing the truth and saving yourselves by going no contact with him.

      I would highly recommend that if/when you go to court again get a court mandated mental evaluation on your son (asap) this will help to save your grandchildren. See the site Onemomsbattle. com & her facebook page (open a fake email then a facebook page to chat freely). Onemomsbattle has to do with court cases there are many grandparents is your same position. Ask on Onemomsbattle facebook as to how to go about getting a mental evaluation. Also ask questions on what is the best approach for your situation. I know that many posters have gotten their children their own county ordered attorney to represent them in court against their sociopath parent this maybe a good approach for you, not sure who pays the bill for a court ordered attorney maybe the state?

      HIs wife is also a victim of his abuses and of his manipulation. This is something you will have to open your eyes to…she maybe showing BPD but in fact it could be that she is being mind controlled and brain washed so deeply by your son it to appear she is BPD. In the book Woman who love psychopaths by Sandra brown she states in her study that abused woman were continually misdiagnosed with BPD when in fact they actually had PTSD and once removed from the abuser & with counseling they showed no signs of BPD. I highly recommend you & your husband read Woman who love psychopaths. Not saying this is the case for your situation but just letting you know that anyone that walks into your son’s path of destruction is enduring the same abuse that you and your husband dealt with if not more.

      Wishing you all the best.



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  9. Canuck says:

    Oh yes, let us talk -the cost of a sociopath.

    My father has been dead over 7 years but is still reaching from the grave.

    March 1st I take possession of a beautiful 1 bedroom apartment 180 meters from High Park in Toronto, no sharing ~ all mine. This is a move made from subsidized housing where the postal code is associated with poverty.

    So this morning I go online to do all the necessary steps to change my address on my driver’s license, my OHIP card etc. because I need to get permit street parking by March 1st.

    In the 19 seventies I was a runaway and when of age I married my husband in Seattle. When my father found me living with my husband in Seattle he flew out and convinced my husband’s family that the best future for us would be back in Canada in one of my father’s houses, which he promised to make ours as a wedding gift. My husband had a promising career ahead of him upon graduation from the University of Washington. My father was still able to convince the unsuspecting family to have their son follow him blindly

    Back in Canada the sociopath father meddled in our relationship to the point of… well my husband died young. The wedding present became a very small rent free apartment and my father had the key to come and go. So many disappointments for the unsuspecting.

    At that time I was filling out the health form for my OHIP card and it was done at my father’s kitchen table. There really is something to say about how we are most vulnerable when traumatized by other events. I was on auto pilot and would have written anything on that form. Father insisted that I use my middle name as the first name and drop the first letter from my first name because he said it is too unusual a name otherwise. And I was using my maiden name, my father’s, of course. With Health Canada I am not registered with the same name as on my birth certificate and drivers license, which I acquired shortly after.

    In ontario a driver’s license and health insurance card are joined as in one cannot change the address on either one of them separately, they must be done at the same time. Impossible, when the names do not match, to change either address. Prior to computers this would not have happened.

    Contacted the ministry of health and tried to explain to the person on the other end of the phone how my father in the 19 seventies influenced the illegal change of my name on my health insurance card. She started arguing with me that it was a legal name change. I could not make her understand that it was done on father’s table. What made matters even worse is that my father actually did do a legal name change, he changed everybody’s last name when I was four and a half years old so it was a most frustrating conversation.

    Imagine not being able to change the address of your health card or your drivers license and perhaps being charged with fraud because of something that happened 40 years ago. No way shall I get street parking so there goes the car too.

    The irony of all this is that I was born mere blocks from my new residence and when speaking to the ministry of health am suspected of being an illegal.

    Would like to add that I have had the old red and white original OHIP card all these years, which does not get recycled until one loses it. Because of father’s whim the first name became an initial and the last letter was dropped off the first name in the government offices while the middle name (have always hated middle name) is fully spelled out. So when my scripts would get filled from a doctor’s office I would have to explain this all the time. That the first name is the initial. Years of explaination because people only see the fully spelled out second name. Sometimes sociopaths make you look like the sociopath by forcing your actions to become as such.



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