The American "Psycho" Dream - Don't fall for it!

The American "Psycho" Dream - Don't fall for it!

If the sociopath were your son or daughter, would you be proud?

One of the internal conversations I had with myself prior to escaping the boy was about being proud…of the sociopath.

At the time, I didn’t know the term sociopath (outside of mainstream media and serial killers) nor did I know how a person could be classified as one.

All I knew were that his behaviors and treatments of myself and others did not add up to a person I was proud of being associated.

I would ask myself:

“Paula, if he were your son, would you be proud of him?”

I quickly answered “No!” to this.

But because I hate to be hasty, I jotted down a list of why I might be proud of him if I were his mother:

1. He has a house.
2. He has a car.
3. He has a business.

Then I asked myself if he cares for those things:

1. His house isn’t falling down. He’s adding to it to make it bigger.
2. His car is spotless and always clean.
3. His business seems to run itself. (Or is it the illegal laborers he’s got working for him that do that?)

I immediately thought, “How nice. He’s got things. He refers to this as having the American Dream, yet aren’t “things” only half of the Dream?

So, I continued my internal dialog and list:

4. He’s got friends. Well, he’s got a single friend who happens to have a wife and two amazing young boys. But that counts for something, right? Not exactly. His friend was cheating on his wife and needed to confide in someone he could trust not to tell, someone with experience cheating and succeeding. I’ll call this friend his fellow snake-in-the-grass companion.

5. He’s not close to his brother. Paula, that’s being too kind. He thinks his brother is a fat pig raising his niece to be a fat pig, too. He makes fun of his Brother’s girlfriend and thinks she’s pathetic for wasting her time with him. I kind of thought she was wasting her time, too, but for different reasons. But we can’t pick our family, right? So, who am I to judge this relationship, I thought to myself.

6. He never hugs or kisses or tells his mother he loves her. Granted, he built a detached garage with a mother-in-law suite for her and his father. But wait! They pay him rent.

7. I couldn’t remember a single kind act he performed for anyone. Not a single one. All I could see was him being smug with strangers. He was rude to waiters and waitresses. Cocky with people in passing. He honestly did not care if people saw him as a snob. He liked being considered a snob. Why? I guess he thinks being snobbish is equivalent to being someone who deserves respect. Twisted!!

Mid-way through this list, I quickly saw that he wasn’t looking like much of a catch.

But, again, I hate to judge anyone this way. It seems so unfair and unnatural to create such a list and then base my decision to stay or go from it.

Really? It’s the best thing I did for myself!

I was putting pieces of his character together. I would eventually use this list and compare it to the many lists of narcissistic and sociopathic traits and behaviors I would stumble upon online and in books and journals in the months following my exit from the relationship.

Yes, I was focused more on him than on me at the time. I get that. But don’t we have to consider our environment and its impact on us, physically and emotionally, in order to change our environment in hopes of getting better and finding ourselves again?

I wanted and needed to be absolutely sure that I made the right decision to discard this man and that returning would never cross my mind.

I learned through AA that one of the best paths to recovery from alcohol was to discard anyone in your life who hindered you from maintaining your sobriety.

“Who is unsupportive of me and who could potentially talk me into picking up a drink again in the future? Not necessarily bad people. Just people who don’t respect my choice to not drink.”

I looked at my mental health and well-being this way, too, and the boy hindered me from changing and growing in every area of my life.

I was not proud of the sociopath. I was not proud of myself for being associated with the sociopath.

Similarly to how I was not proud of my alcoholism or of myself under the influence of alcohol, I was not proud of my addiction to the sociopath or how I behaved under his influence.

Even after leaving, it took time and many, many struggles to rid my life, my mind and my thoughts of the sociopath’s influence. Very similar to what drug addicts experience going through detox. But mine was a mental detox, not a physical detox.

His cruel words and accusations echoed in my memory:

“Was I a whore? Was I really heartless and unworthy? Was I a piece of garbage?”

It was easier to quit drinking than it was to quit the behavior associated with the sociopath. Probably because I was under the false assumption that the sociopath and his accusations deserved to be treated with respect and consideration as if they were coming from a non-pathological human with no ill intentions.

And that was my biggest blind spot. I thought his intentions were good and meant to help me not harm me.

But there are no good intentions born from a sociopath. Their intentions are selfish-based intentions meant to destroy everyone else’s confidence so the sociopath has evidence that the rest of us are garbage just like him.

Don’t feed the monster’s pride by thinking his behavior is in the least bit respectable or tasteful. His behavior is despicable and tasteless and will insidiously take you over if you ignore your gut.

Namaste! Have a great weekend! ~Paula

abuse, Addiction, Alcohol, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Forgiveness, Friends, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. My ex-sociopath’s mother has a master’s degree in special ed and is the longtime principal of a school for delinquent boys. She defends her 45-year old son’s actions to the point of blaming all the women in his life for his misdeeds, despite the fact that she’s witnessed many instances of his abuse–verbal AND physical–towards them (including to me). She knows he always has many women strung along and cheats repeatedly behind his wife’s or girlfriends’ backs, yet blames the women who love him for being “overly jealous”. And she knows he’s a pathological liar but insists he does it to protect himself from all the horrible women around him.

    This woman’s husband (the ex-sociopath’s father) cheated on her and she divorced him 20 years ago as a result and, since that time, no one is allowed to say his name in her presence, including her own children. Yet she defends her son’s constant cheating.

    This woman has 4 other normal children, who are happily married, successful, and/or well-adjusted, but she treats the sociopath as her favorite, babying him.

    For a long time I discounted my doubts about him because of his mother–who is considered a pillar of society in our community. I assumed the problem was with me.

    And I long ago stopped blaming him for what he did to me–he’s evil and can’t help himself. But his mother isn’t evil (she is in fact extremely religious and pious) and I am having a difficult time letting go of my bitterness towards her.



    • I think she’s in denial. As mothers, we think we need to take all the credit and all the blame for our children’s successes and failures. She can’t help it either. She’s been brainwashed into thinking she’s responsible because he was exposed to a cheating father. It’s her fault, in her mind, that he’s the way he is. Of course he’s going to be her favorite because he seems to be the one who was most negatively affected by her choices in life. She’s making up for it, or so she thinks, by supporting him as opposed to abandoning him or openly chastising him. I’m sorry you are struggling with this, Ellen.


    • Ellen,
      My ex’s mother thought the sun rose and set on him. She also was a very Christian woman and he manipulated her horribly. He always encouraged a relationship between her and I because he knew she would influence me. I stopped talking to her for a few years when he started being physically abusive. Because it was the same with her, she had a million excuses for his behaviour and usually it was the woman’s fault.

      He and I split and got back together when he informed me he had been given 6 months to live. His mother and I started communicating again and she was instrumental in him pulling off the terminally ill sham and hiding the fact that he was engaged to another
      woman. She was actually talking to both of us. I believed because she was so religious she would never lie. I lost everything, most lost my life and she was his accomplice. I was devastated by her betrayal.


    • Sorry, hit post too soon. Anyway, I understand your resentment. I have a 29 yr old son and I have called him on things his whole life and made sure he always treated women with respect and honesty. I know he is not perfect, I am well aware of his flaws and will tell him if he is out of line and I like to tthink that if he was lying to women and abusing them I would like the womsn’s side. At the very least not be an active accomplice to his evil ways.
      I met his mother only once after we got back together the last time, we drove out to visit her. I felt the tension in the air and she couldn’t look me in the eye. It wasn’t until after we split for good that I discovered all the deception; no wonder she couldn’t look me in the eye.

      I havwn’t spoken to her since I found out the truth and I have a hard time accepting what she did but I really think he has her so firmly taangled in his web of deceit and manipulation that there is no hope for her. I think she suffers alot of guilt over it but feels her loyalties must lie with her son.

      She is in her 80’s and just can’t face the truth, its like any of us who have been involved with these people; its so hard to admit they are that evil and capable of the horrendous things they do. I think if she admitted to herself or anyone else it would kill her. I feel sorry for her to a degree but there is still a part of me that can not totally forgive her deception that almost cost me my life.


  2. Well said! 👏🎉! I refer to it as “The (insert name) Show”! We which would probably have incredibly high ratings because people all condone sad, manipulative, violent, sadistic behavior. Not made for tv. Enablers. Just like alcoholism, it’s the elephant in the room – no one discusses it, yet they skirt around it, whisper about it, but continue the cycle. It my life mission to stop it with my children. You really affirm I am doing the right thing and to not give in after I made a decision, NO is my favorite word! Thank you!


  3. You make an excellent point about assessing ourselves in light of who we are or how we behave around others. When I began to realize that I didn’t like how I felt around the N, never mind how he made me feel, in general (I used to actually feel rage to the point where I would heave large objects at his head, because that was the only way to get his attention for my point of view), then I knew it was time to get away from him. His sociopathy no longer mattered, my sanity did. Once I got him out of my life, I was like another person; my old, happy self.


    • Haha! I threw a chair at him…once. I was labeled by him, from that point on, as an abuser and violent and someone in need of help managing their anger. Now I realize it was my patience, not my anger, that had been tested. Why put up with this type of shit if we don’t have to? Why allow someone and their drama test our patience to the point of wanting them to just effing vanish? I have found my old self again and am now transforming her into something better and fresh. I’m sure you are, too. It’s amazing how little I understood about freedom and peace until leaving the sociopath in the dust. 🙂


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