New Kid on the Block

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by thumper2, May 5, 2011.

  1. thumper2

    thumper2 New Member

    Hello, I'm totally new to all this. How do I find out what the acronyms mean?? (i.e., difficult child)

    I'm a mother of a 40+ y/o son who may be a sociopath, was reading up on it and it pretty much identifies him to a "T". No communication from my son in quite awhile...was just wondering if anyone else out there is a parent of a sociopath. When did u realize that might be your child's problem, and did they get tested?? Its been heartbreaking not to have any communication (about 2 years) with him...but my husband and I are retired and trying to enjoy our golden years in peace. No more violently angry phone calls, no more of us feeling guilty, no more enabling the drug habit he has/had (not sure if he's still on the drugs or not). Anyway, if anyone has a similar situation, I'd love to hear from you. Thank you.
  2. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Hover your mouse over the acronym in question. difficult child is "gift from God", a semi-tongue-in-cheek reference to the person who is the source of the problem.
    You've come to the right place. Glad you are finding some peace.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome, Thumper. I don't have much experience with sociopaths, but I'm well acquainted with other personality disorders (borderline, narcisisstic, and dependent) in my children and other family members. It's very difficult when it gets to the point where you have to cut someone out of your life, but sometimes it's necessary.

    I'm glad you've gotten some peace these past two years.
  4. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Thumper, my nephew (the difficult child in my life--why I surf this site) is undoubtedly a sociopath, or perhaps even an outright psychopath, since he seems to have been this way--i.e., very selfish, willful, amoral, unable to accept or absorb correction or punishment, rule-breaking, dishonest, thieving, etc etc--ever since early childhood. And he was very difficult in infancy--was "balky" during breast-feeding, always distracted and difficult to feed, slept fitfully, etc. In other words, almost all of the early signs of psychopathy, or the congenital inclination toward it.

    I didn't figure it out--always thought that he was just spoiled rotten (which he was) or, after he was 11 or so, a "bad seed"--until I read Hervey Cleckely's book The Mask of Sanity last spring and connected the dots. The absence of conscience, the complete amorality, the bottomless selfishness, the gross immaturity, the parasitic way of life, ceaseless inclination toward drugs and partying, the violent rages and tantrums, inability to learn from experience, refusal to accept responsibility, refusal to form or follow a life plan, the deep well of insecurity at the core of it all, etc etc--it's all there. Once I figured it out, I found it kind of luridly fascinating to observe--I know that that's impossible for a parent, but I wasn't his parent (thank God)--at the same time that it was very tedious and exasperating and all of that. I'll say this: he is the worst, most unlikable person I have ever know, by a long shot. And I've been around the block a few times. I can't imagine what it must be like to have one for a child--it was pretty hideous having him for a nephew.

    Thumper, I've observed a sociopath from childhood through adolescence (he's now 19), but you've seen what I assume will be his future: the years from 20 to 40. What was it like? What can I expect in my nephew's life? I keep reading about the supposed diminishment or even extinction effect of pschopathy/sociopathy in middle age, but I also read that that might be a myth, or only applicable to low-grade sociopaths, not the so-called "primary" psychopath. So I'm very curious to hear your account.

    I'll conclude with this: I can't imagine a worse experience than raising a sociopath. I've given it a lot of thought--I have 4 kids of my own, all PCs--and I think I'd rather have a child with a terminal illness than a sociopath. The suffering of the parents is simply enormous, and it appears to be relentless and never-ending unless the parents can achieve real detachment. My sister can't do it--she lives in a fortress of denial, and my nephew simply preys upon her, financially and emotionally. And he's only 19--she can expect another half-century of this if her health holds out.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board Thumper :D

    Katie doesn't have an offical diagnosis as a sociopath........but many, of not most, of her behaviors sure line up with it. Her husband is most definitely a sociopath, no doubt about it.

    We had no communication with katie for about 6 yrs. I'm still wondering if in some ways that was really such a bad thing. As now it's sort of all up in my face again. And at 31 yr of age, I'm not seeing any real changes. Yet having a child estranged from the family is difficult at best. Even though I refocused on my other kids and went on with life..........the nagging worry never really left, I just shoved it off into the recesses of my mind because there was nothing I could do about it.

    First real tangible red flag? She was 6 yrs old and pushed easy child's walker down a flight of steps.......with easy child in it. (she was 10 months old) No remorse. Was no accident. She's done similar things to her own kids. I could go on but my post would turn into a book. Katie refuses any help at all as far as mental health is concerned. As for her husband? Everyone else has the problem, he's perfectly perfect. ugh bleh

    You've landed in a great place. Sorry I didn't respond youngest daughter just got married, so sort of caught up in a whirlwind right now. lol

  6. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    Welcome! We all have difficult situations here and can understand in a way most others cannot. Having an adult difficult child is an experience you can't understand unless you've been there. People tell you to "talk to them," "get them counseling," "just make them straighten up," "if that was my kid..." They have no idea how agonizing the situation is because there is little you can really do as the parent of an adult with problems. Is my daughter a sociopath? I don't know, but she has lots of problems with no interest in working on improving her life. She basically wants interaction with people only if it benefits her. She's a master manipulator, and yes I had her in all kinds of counseling/therapy/you name it while she was growing up. When I am out of contact with her it is easier because the chaos is not up in my face all the time. But I still worry. Whether or not your son is a sociopath what you need to try to remember is not to take his stuff personally. I know, it sounds crazy because that is your son. But trust me, these kids treat everyone the same way- family, friends, strangers- everyone is a "mark" to be used for their benefit. So it's not about you being a "bad" parent or even about you being his parent at all. He doesn't really see his actions as affecting you, especially if he is a sociopath, in which case he is literally incapable of having any kind of empathy for anyone else. It's basically like dealing with a lizard in a human suit. They just have that piece of their brain missing and there's no treatment. I try my very hardest to make all my dealings with Kat very business-like, otherwise things get out of hand quickly because these kids know how to push your buttons and ramp up your emotions. I am much better at hangng up, walking away, whatever when things start getting emotionally charged. I have learned lots of self-preservation tricks and when I start slipping I jump on here for reinforcements! These boards have never failed to provide me with objective advice or just a place to vent!
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi and welcome!!

    sorry you had to find us, yet glad that you did. its' a great place with alot of supportive and insightful parents.....

    yes the abbreviations etc. can be challenging in the beginning i still wonder what certain ones mean lol
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Welcome to the board.

    My thoughts on you having lived with a sociopath and now not having any contact with one are that it is freeing, and scary as hell at the same time. They are people who are without conscious, regret, yet they can be charming to a degree so deep you would thing that it is you who has the problem and regret even thinking badly of them to begin with. After having had so many years of being in the same house with a child like yours I would highly recommend contacting a therapist and having a few sessions to get some of the cobwebs as it were out of your head.

    Living with one, raising one, marrying one, being around one for a long period of time can cause anxiety, feelings of guilt, remorse, intense sadness, and a bevy of emotions that people sometimes feel disappear when the person leaves. Not necessarily so. I'm not sure of your reasons for wanting to know years later what any one elses experiences were like. In a word? Hell. The fallout they leave in their wake is devastation, for years to come. The havoc they wreak is indescribably insane, and the victims they damage are damaged for life without treatment. (in my humble opinion).

    If you have had no contact with your son? I feel for your heart as a Mother. I know that must be hard, because as a Mother and as someone who survived a sociopath/psychopath relationship and watched his family disintegrate? I know the heartache. I can tell you that if he truly is a socio/psychopath - there isn't a cure for him at 40, he's damaged, and the best he could hope for is to get into instense psycho therapy or sadly prison where he would be incarcerated and out of the public for the rest of his life so he couldn't do harm to anyone. As far as wondering was he born or created? I've heard both can occur - and as the Mom of someone who was destined to be genitically predisposed to having more than a good chance of becoming anti-social and evolving into a psychopath? We worked tirelessly at changing his behavior patterns and feel we were successful. At 20 he has a conscious, and is remorseful to a point, and has regrets and emotions. Things psychopaths are not capable of in the least.

    If there is a specific question you have or ask I'll try to answer as best I can based on what I know, but my thoughts are that since you have survived? I would seek therapy so that what years you DO have left you don't fill with a single shred of doubt, remorse, regret or blame. I would find a therapist that deals specifically with the criminally insane or behaviors of that nature as a regular therapist wouldn't have insight into the everyday deviant minds of mas murderers, natural born killers, psychopaths and sociopaths. They are a unique breed, not your garden variety topic for general therapists, and you really should seek someone that is older and more specialized to help you. Even if you only go for a few sessions and ask very few questions - you'll get excellent answers specicied about your son and your why, whats, whos. Because no two have the same reasons for what they do, or why they do it. Backgrounds, childhoods, brain mapping, tragedies, triggers - it's so hard to say what caused your son to be like he is....trying to compare is apples and oranges.

    Hope this helps.