Wendy S. Weber

Why Do I Feel So Guilty? How Sociopaths Shame Us Into Submission

If I had to pick the most powerful tool in a sociopath’s arsenal, it would be shame.   I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions during my life with sociopathic parents:  sadness, anger, confusion, jealousy (from observing “healthy” families), fear, loneliness, compassion, forgiveness.  During the healing process, it is very normal to have waves of these emotions come and go.  But for me, the one emotion that hasn’t come and gone, the one that has blanketed my entire life history, is shame.

Why shame?  I didn’t ask to be abused as a child.    As an adult, I certainly had the choice to sever ties with my parents, but I didn’t because I thought a good daughter wouldn’t do that.   If I hang in there long enough, they will see I’m a good daughter and they will love me.

Traumatic Bonding: When You Love Your Abuser

Last Memorial Day weekend, as I was picking out flowers for my mom and dad’s graves, my dad kept coming to my mind:  What flowers would he like?……..Red was always his favorite color, I’ll get some red flowers……I should put a little American flag with his flowers, he would like that…….

There were a lot of scary, unsettling times in my life with my parents, but one thing that stayed pretty consistent was the soft spot I had for my dad.  It sounds odd, because I was terrified of him.

Letting your guard down was never an option.  The smallest thing would trigger a violent rampage.  Yet, I’ve always had an inexplicable fondness for my dad.  There were many times during my childhood when I defended him.

Reality is:  he was not only a conscienceless sociopath, he was also a child molester.  I know this.  I should say my brain knows this, because it never quite reached my heart.

The “Functional Female Sociopath”…..Good For Society?

According to various opinions, not all sociopaths are created equal. There are the “non-functional” sociopaths (i.e., serial killers) and “functional” sociopaths (i.e., successful sociopaths).  The functional female sociopath uses her lack of empathy to annihilate those pesky male counterparts (or, frankly, anyone who gets in the way), paving the way for woman-kind.

Yay them!  Right?   I mean, why can’t functional female sociopaths be on the same playing field as functional male sociopaths?  Well, they can be.  And they are.  The last time I checked, evil is still evil.  You can put a dress suit and lipstick on it, or you can put starched collars and neckties on it, sociopathy is still a blemish on humanity regardless of how you dress it up.

What I’m referring to is the piece Donna posted last Monday (May 19, 2014).   HuffPost Live featured a live chat discussing Digg.com’s article “The Female Sociopath“, featuring the article’s author Merve Emre, Donna, Dean Haycock (author of Murderous Minds), and a diagnosed female sociopath.

Faith After A Life With Sociopaths

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

When you’ve been entangled with sociopaths for a long period of time, few (if any) facets of your life are left untouched.   Becoming a person of faith has shown me how deeply my upbringing  has permeated my adult life.

My sociopathic parents controlled my every move – dictating when I could bathe, eat, or sleep, what I could read, who I could be friends with (if any), what music I could listen to, what I could watch on TV.  Depending on how volatile their mood was, I’d have to ask permission to speak.

In her book Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman states “The damage to the survivor’s faith and sense of community is particularly severe when the traumatic events themselves involve betrayal of important relationships.”  (page 55).   For children of sociopaths, this couldn’t be more true.  Our parents set the stage for how we view authority figures throughout the rest of our lives.

Tell Me About Yourself!

This request always left me at a loss for words.  It made me really uncomfortable.  Most of the time I would just state basic facts:  the city I grew up in, where I went to school, what my profession is.   I wasn’t trying to be unfriendly…….I honestly had no idea how to answer this.  I only recently realized why this was so difficult for me.

When you are raised by psychopaths, or in a relationship with a psychopath, the lines between their life and yours get blurred.  They swallow you up like a sinkhole.  Your desires, feelings, goals and interests no longer matter.  If the psychopath likes something, you’d better find a way to like it too.  If they think something is ridiculous, you’d better feel the same way.  Individuality is not tolerated by psychopaths, because that would mean releasing control over you.  Sadly, psychopaths simply see other people as vessels to get whatever they want, kind of like using a car to get from Point A to Point B.   Then, one of two things happens:  either they accomplish what they want and toss you out like yesterday’s trash, or there never is a “Point B” because the psychopath is fixated on controlling your every move.  In my case, my parents were the latter.

Beyond The Grave – Haunted By A Sociopathic Parent

After being physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by sociopathic parents, I often wondered when the trauma would stop.

Would it get better as they aged?

Or would I be relentlessly tormented until they passed away?

The answer:  neither.  After their passing, their legacy continued to haunt me.

My father was the violent, malevolent sociopath.  Yet, my mother caused by far more pain.  You see, my mother was a master of deceit.   If you offended her (or worse, threatened to expose her), she would effortlessly spin webs of lies around you.  Incite her anger, and suddenly you are Alice in Wonderland – sucked into her rabbit hole where nothing is at it seems, wondering what just happened to you.

Sadly, many people experienced her wrath.  I used to get phone calls from some of her targets who feared losing their jobs because of her lies.  “What did we do wrong?”, they would ask me.

Craigslist: Avoiding Scams and Crooks

In 2013, a Pittsburgh man bilked 194 people out of $53,000 by advertising fake concert tickets on Craigslist.

In 2012, a Las Vegas Craigslist seller was nearly robbed of his luxury RV when he was contacted by a  buyer wanting to pay in full using Paypal.  It sounded good, until she said she was in a hurry and needed the RV ASAP.  Luckily the man hesitated, narrowly missing becoming the woman’s next victim.

In January 2014, a Georgia man sold his Ipad on Craigslist, only to find out the cash he received was counterfeit.  During January alone, he became the 3rd victim of Craiglist scams in the city of Augusta.

Craigslist, for the most part, is a convenient and inexpensive way to sell goods and services.  But this convenience comes with a cost.  As a buyer, how do you know if you are being set up by a con-artist?  As a seller, how do you know if your buyer is legitimate, or has sinister intentions?

Q & A With Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz


Park Dietz, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D

This week I had the privilege of tapping into the vast knowledge of Dr. Park Dietz, one of the world’s foremost authorities on criminal behavior. He has consulted and testified for the prosecution in many high-profile criminal cases such as Jeffrey Dahmer, John Hinckley, Jr., the O.J. Simpson civil suit, Andrea Yates, the Unabomber, the Menendez brothers, Jared Lee Loughner, and Susan Smith. Dr. Dietz was also brought on as a consultant after the Columbine shooting to investigate the motivation behind the attack.

He received his degree in psychology at Cornell University and completed his residency in psychiatry at John Hopkins University. In 1978, Dr. Dietz became Harvard University’s youngest assistant professor. Today he owns two companies: Park Dietz and Associates and Threat Assessment Group, Inc. (T.A.G.), which specializes in detecting and managing threatening behavior in schools and corporations.

Beware The Female Sociopath

Twenty years ago, a newspaper unknowingly helped conceal a sociopath’s secrets by painting the woman as a loving maternal figure. In an interview granted by the publication, she described her “heartbreak” over lack of adequate benefits for her mentally handicapped son. Attached to the article is a photo of the frail looking woman, packing a lunch for him as he looks on in the background. Frustrated with the state’s deficient programs, she is quoted as having “cried many, many tears” because there were such limited opportunities for her son. Little did the interviewer know it was all a ruse to cover the truth: this same mother mentally, verbally and physically abused her son, gaslighted him, neglected him, attempted to drug him, and used his social security benefits to help fund trips to the bar. And she never cried “many, many tears.” I know this because……they were my mother and my brother. And because she often used the “many, many tears” line to manipulate others.

When The Boogeyman Is Real – Seeing Sociopaths Through A Child’s Eyes

You are home alone. In bed. In the dark. Suddenly there is a loud thud. It came from inside the house. What was that? You are trying to fall asleep, but your nerves won’t let you. Laying on your back staring at the ceiling, you clutch the blanket around your neck. You are careful not to move. What if there is someone – or something – in the house? Did you lock the doors? Are you sure? You strain your ears to listen. The little hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Goosebumps cover your arms. Your heart is pounding. You hold your breath. You are so frightened that tears well up in your eyes, but you don’t dare cry. Audibly crying might attract the attention of……it.