Is in the middle of destroying the relationship he has with his younger HS sister from his verbal abuse, lying, and reckless behavior.
He has been accepted to 2 colleges but his grades are almost down to failing from a kid once known as a genieus on computers. He says he doesn't care about anything including his grades, he has never admitted to lying in his life, even though he's caught red handed almost on a daily basis.
We have taken his car away for the third time, after he has been caught speeding through our neighborhood by numerious parents and he never admits that he's done anything wrong. It's eating my wife and I alive as we are literally watching our son destroy himself, with MANY parallells to someone that is substance addicted, but without the substance. He
's throwing his entire future away, and when ever we try to make him aware of what he's doing, he either physically runs out the door of our house or goes to his "friend's" house to get away overnight.
There isn't a THING that we discuss with him about being a responsible adult in the eyes of the law, that he takes seriously including trying to return used goods to Walmart after buying them new, time after time. Even after being caught by an employee, his response is "Oh well, after all it's there fault when they take the stuff back because they didn't look those times"
We're trying out of desperation a psychiatrist next week. Please if anyone can help with any advise or pose any additional questions that we can add to I'd appreciate it!
Last edited by jerseywolf; 01-26-2010 at 04:09 PM.
Hello Jerseywolf, and welcome to the Healthboards...
I wish I did not know all that I do, about living with a sociopath in the family. I grew up with a sister that was just recently diagnosed as a sociopath, although the tendencies typically begin in adolescence, and progress through out adult life. The typical eventuality is often incarceration, or institutionalization, but only after leaving a devastating path though everyone's life they meet.
My sister is now 53 years old, and she has completely ruined my parents life. They are in their mid-eighties, and she haunts them everyday. I have had to cut all ties with her, even though she lives just blocks away.
I suggest a book to you...called "The sociopath next door" available at any bookstore. To deal with a sociopath, you must understand the incomprehensible...the total lack of what makes us human...empathy for others.
Do some poking around, and you will read one thing to remember-RUN far away, FAST! Sociopaths have no conscious, and are cunning, ruthless scam artists who never quit, especially if they have a good target, like a mother. My mother has lost years of her life with the endless lies, the trickery, the embezzlement.
I can imagine you think I am some lunatic with a grudge, but I'm far from it. I have spent my life protecting my mother from my sister's wrath. Don't wait 50 years, like we did...Learn all you can, get help to make decisions from pro's
I wish you well, and there are others here who have dealt with sociopaths, they will surely chime in, and share their stories with you...you are not alone!
First....hi Writeleft...sorry I haven't been around. Long story. How are you?
Hi Jerseywolf. I take it you have diagnosed your son as a sociopath. Your psychiatrist may or may not agree. It's a diagnosis that cannot be made until he is at least 18 as the problems of adolescence can mask as sociopathy. Besides, it's now called Antisocial Personality Disorder.
From raising my own kids and watching so many fall by the wayside, I can tell you it sounds a whole lot like a drug problem. Are you sure he doesn't have one? I hope it is drugs...that can be stopped and reversed. A personality disorder is life long.
See the psychiatrist and do what they tell you to do. The sooner this gets worked on the better. I know. I was the 16 year old put in the hospital for anti-social behavior.
Now I'm 58, been married for 35 years, have 2 normal adult children with good jobs and very responsible, and 1 is married and gave me the world's most beautiful granddaughter.
jenny, I knew you were going through real tough times, and I have thought about you...sent you a few PM's...good to see you.
Jenny is right... The very first step is a proper diagnosis, and that usually does not happen until the true behaviors are very well documented over quite some time. An accidental label can be debilitating to your child, and create barriers that later are impossible to cross.
I would be ready to pick any diagnosis apart, before placing it on your child. Only worse would be to ignore the symptoms. Being a mother is all encompassing, so while you keep those mother bear instincts close...let the detective in you keep your child closer.
Thank you for your replys. I came across the following article describing the traits of a person who has antisocial personality disorder. It says that if there are 3 matches the to be aware of the disorder. I can with all honesty say that he matches all of them except the trait to get into fist fights. As I mentioned, I'm putting A LOT of faith and hope in his session next week. It's breaking our hearts
Antisocial personality disorder is specifically a pervasive pattern of disregarding and violating the rights of others. This pattern must include at least three of the following specific signs and symptoms:
* Lack of conforming to laws, as evidenced by repeatedly committing crimes
* Repeated deceitfulness in relationships with others, such as lying, using false names, or conning others for profit or pleasure
* Failure to think or plan ahead (impulsivity)
* Tendency to irritability, anger, and aggression, as shown by repeatedly assaulting others or getting into frequent physical fights
* Disregard for personal safety or the safety of others
* Persistent lack of taking responsibility, such as failing to establish a pattern of good work habits or keeping financial obligations
* A lack of feeling guilty about wrong-doing
That sums it up pretty well...especially the lack of guilt, and that's what really hurts. When you mix the ability to be an effective liar, and have no shame of guilt..it is the most heartbreaking thing a parent (and siblings) can go through, because they will use you first, and as much as you let them, for as long as you let them. It goes against all of our natural instincts, and we often want to believe them, want to help them, want them to be happy, sending us into a never ending cycle of pain, disappointment and eventually anger.
I am so happy you are going in next week. You are doing the right thing, both to protect yourself, and your son. I only wish our family had the information and understanding 40 years ago...so I am so thankful that you are seeking help, and that I can share any help to you, as you go through the process.
I am a regular Healthboards contributor, and this is one of my fields of interest and experience. I have been totally disabled by 4 strokes at 43, and I have found the Healthboards to be something I can do to help others. I have re-learned to type here, which is a blessing because my speech is much more difficult to understand....sounds like jibberish!
I will be glad to keep in touch, and offer you any support I can...
It doesn't look good. The doctor gave the manipulator 50 min and my wife 10 when they went. Diagnosed depression and social anxiety disorder. When she MADE the time go longer by tellung 4 things that my son had forgotten to tell her, stealing, no guilt, no responsibilty, etc... the doctor looked shocked at what she was saying and my son gave her a verbal assault on the way home. She prescribed prozak and a vitamin. I told my wife that I believe he"s one step closer to the door. By the way what he said to my wife was that he"d crash his car into a wall, since we took it away from him after his 3rd accident all of which weren"t his fault, and told her why not start drinking. It's not going to work out...
Oh, that is terrible....I'm so sorry. When my mother finally sought help, it was without my sister...just for the exact reason you state. In fact, to this day my sister does not accept the diagnosis, even though she is clearly a sociopath. She would not acknowledge in herself, that which is so obvious to our family, and to the psychologist.
Oh, and they are so damn mean! Mean to the bone, without any regard for others, usually making the family suffer tremendously, while they just plunder along...without a minutes regret.
Have you considered seeking someone who specializes in sociopathy? I don't know what resources you have, or what area in the country you are in, but I would not give up. It can often be difficult to get a proper diagnosis on the first try, unfortunately. Try reading that book, "The sociopath next door". It really is an eye opener.
Please keep in touch, I understand what you are going through. Be well, Janet
You know, I am really glad I had come across this site. I myself believe down to the core of my heart that I have a step daughter that has all the makings of a sociopath. It was a challenge for me at first to target her behavior as it was easier to blame it on teenage rebellion. I really fell for this child as she made it so easy in the beginning to take her into my heart as my own, but I quickly found out she knew that is what I wanted. At the time of this writing she is 19. When I first met her she was 15 and moved in with us from her dads care in another state some distance away from us thank goodness... I quickly noticed odd behavior but did my best to advise her and teach how good behavior will be rewarded. It all backfired. Every bit of it. She soon would try to align her mother against me and her other family members against me saying awful things. And because there was no easy way to verify things people began to believe the lies, but never reached out to confirm. I think down deep they new differently as there are some that reveal some of her patterns of lies, but not enough. Basically, it was making me angry beyond belief. I was so hurt. Soon, she was trying to get my own family members aligned against me and that did it for me. Her mom my wife new the amount of pain it was causing me to the point where I didn't want to be apart of it anymore. I didn't want my wife to choose between me and her daughter and told her I thought it best to let me go. She didn't want to, but I knew it was hard for her. Her daughter did everything in her power to disable her mother by using guilt of all kinds. Finally, by the time she turned 18 and was caught with lie after lie after lie we had enough. She was given the opportunity to own up to her lies or out the door you go. Well, she played hard ball and so did we and out the door she went. I was very proud of my wife for finding the power inside to do it. We did hope that after some time she would get a grip on things and want to make things better. But, no... She moved in with a friend and manipulated that family quickly playing the victim and spreading her lies there too. I tried to warn the family but they were just taken in. Well, it didn't take long and she was given the boot. We never got the full story there as I feel the family felt shame in believing her, but such the story goes with a sociopath. She then landed at the doorstep of my wife's prior husbands family and that didn't last long either. After that she found a new boyfriend and landed at his family's house. It worked long enough there to get her out of high school. At least she got a degree even though she got away with murder there time after time. The school wrote her a pass for having such a sad pathetic life and I feel just wanted her out of their hair as a whole. Problem here is no accountability. These people (sociopaths) are so hard to call out without dealing with their wrath. I can't stand that. I'm not perfect, but do my best to be a descent person and do good by others. Anyway, she has now currently moved back to the state where her father lives along with my wife's family. She had moved in with my wife's mother. These people (sociopaths) do not stay in any one spot for long. She has moved so many times within family and friends circles we have lost count. We never really had an idea of what was all being said about us with her boyfriends family as they never reached out to us. We believed the child worked it that way. To be fair, we were just glad she was out and did hope for the best. We were not completely sure why she was moving back with family and her moving in with my wife's mother presented some problems. My wife's mother has health problems of her own putting her in a vulnerable state to her granddaughters ways. Unfortunately it did cause us to abstain from the family as the choices they were making for her fell right into the child's lap getting everything she wanted and being rewarded with a car etc. as she played the victim. It was just too much drama and we knew we just had to let them figure it all out. IT will take time... Things have come to light, but the denial cloud is too thick and until people stop making excuses for her behavior all the problems will continue. What has just come to light is that the girls boyfriend had come to our door just this past week with the kids stuff. They had just broke up which opened the door for us to exchange information about all that had happened and an opportunity for us to clear the air. It felt really good. We talked to the boyfriends mom and she was floored by the kids treatment in the end as she turned on her so quickly after being called out on certain behaviors. She owed her so much money and had lied about a great deal of things that even her mother my wife was just so disturbed by. So, to say the least we have for the first time some true confirmation of the child's devious ways and that can help down the road as I video taped the whole conversation as possible protection for us down the road. In the end, I don't think there is anything that can be done for the child. I have a good idea she knows something is wrong with her as what I have found out that sociopaths have an abnormality in their brains that didn't allow for the full development of the center of the brain that deals with conscious. Sad, but not much anyone can really do about it. I hope others out there can relate. I know I said allot here, but honestly it's just a mere speck to everything in between. So, I feel for the pure hell what people are going through like the gentleman that wrote before me with his 18 year old. He is an adult now. If it is needed to get that boy out than don't let your remorse of such a decision get in the way of your better judgment. Make people aware of your situation that you trust of what has to happen. It's that protection mode you are now in that has to govern your thoughts and actions. It's the chess game you are forced to play now to be very wise in all our moves and what you say, do and don't do. I feel for your pains, but grow strength from knowing you are not alone.
Last edited by nicholas15; 02-13-2010 at 11:36 AM.
Thank you very much for all your replies. He has been on Prozac for about 10 days, and is acting better. I say "acting" because I'm cautious that it probably is an act, as I've stated that unless his behavior improves, ie. at least graduates HS in June, driving more responsibly, and stop lying, then he should find another place to live. He's following certain rules like curfew times, a lot less attitude and arguing, and on the surface wants to enroll in on line college, but having lost my mother to substance abuse, I'm hardened on optimisim and just waiting for the train wreck. Thank you again...
Well,I don't know if Prozac will be the solution, but if nothing else a step that may help buy time. I do hope this will allow focus needed to get him out of school. I think it best to remain realistic about your situation. We too had tried some things with our child and like yours did put up an act and we knew it, but took advantage of it while it lasted. Sir, I really hope things work out for you and your family. You are just a couple steps behind us, but the only thing at this time that helps us is to take back our lives. Easier said than done and you can't help but wonder in the back of your mind what is going on, but we continue to keep things in check to the best of our ability's and not make it the focus of our lives. Otherwise, they will just continue to punish you as they know you continue to open the door for them each and every time to do so.
Last edited by nicholas15; 02-16-2010 at 06:34 AM.
My sister's sociopathic behavior started in her teens as well. My parents were willing to make accommodations for her behavior for all these years because she was adopted, and used that against them. Then it was her sexuality. Then it was her health issues. Then it was her jumping from one religion to another...she's on her 5th or 6th now. Then she started committing elder abuse, fraud, impersonating law enforcement, FBI, bounty hunter, CIA, you name it. According to her, she carries bullets in her hip from Irac, she's DEA, an Indian medicine woman, dog breeder, college graduate, doctor, church elder, blah blah blah.
In truth, she is none of those...It is the truth that is missing from her soul. She jumps on people like a flea to a dog...rides them around and sucks their blood, until they shake her off, then another one comes along. I find her to be despicable, and have nothing to do with her, even though she lives just blocks away from me. Without the lies, she would be nothing but a bag of bones. She is a lie...a lie with skin. She is 53 years old. Our family has been at this for 40 years.
I hate to say this, but they only get worse. I am so sorry. You are not alone, although I know it feels that way.
I think you hit the nail on the head. It is shameful as so many do so much to be helpful with people to appear to have such a meaningless disability. It is the most unrewarding position to be in as there is no achievement or redeeming value for the sacrifices made for sociopaths who take advantage of people who do so much for them. I think even knowing they are being taken advantage of by the sociopath. The word "selfish" is just taken to a new level...
Last edited by nicholas15; 02-17-2010 at 12:57 PM.
Thank you again for your thoughts. I had forgotten how good it feels to cry. You think it's something that you only did as a kid, but as you get caught up in the emotions of things, the tears just come out.