Given that a propensity for emotional problems runs in my family, I think my genetic predisposition to sociopathy was triggered largely because I never learned to trust. In particular, my parents’ erratic emotional lives taught me that I couldn’t depend on anyone to protect me. Rather than looking to other people for stability, I learned to depend on myself. Because interaction with other people is inevitable, I inevitably learned manipulation, particularly how to direct and misdirect people’s attention to achieve my desired outcomes. For instance, my experience taught me that it was useless to appeal to people’s love or sense of duty, so I appealed to other, more salient emotions like fear or people’s own desperate desire to be loved. I viewed everyone as objects, pieces in my chess game. I had no awareness of their own internal worlds and no understanding of their emotional palette because their bright hues were so different from my own drab shades of gray. Perhaps because I never thought of people as being distinct individuals with their own senses of self and manifest destiny, I never learned to think of myself that way either. I had no definite sense of self to adhere to or otherwise be invested in. Largely without structure, my life became an endless series of reactions to contingencies, impulsive decision making driving me from one day to the next. Unlike people without my genetic predisposition who might have come out of these experiences desperately searching for love to fill the void, I felt largely indifferent.
Confessions of a Sociopath
M. E. Thomas 2013
Cribb Comment: I believe this passage is extremely relevant to understanding the “nurturing” factor of behavioral development regardless of whether the subjected person happens to be a sociopath or not. An unstable and highly erratic emotional parental dynamic fucks kids up. It destroys the “stability” associated with primary beliefs (essential for future stability throughout life), often obliterates “the sense of self or identity,” and promotes ambivalence and fear towards any approach towards or focus upon “structure.” The last sentence appears to be the most relevant regarding the specific difference between a true sociopath and another who might be raised under such circumstances. A pure sociopath does not feel a need for any love to fill such a void. A non-sociopath or almost-sociopath, will often seek out “love,” but the “love” they tend to seek is not a true love. It is only a delusional addiction involved in an intricate behavioral maneuver to over-dominate and create false/imaginary/rewritten referents out of a real person to satiate for insecurity and the fear of future abandonment.