Looking back I would have to say my journey as a victim really began at the ripe age of five. Fortunately, I was not abused by a parent, uncle, brother or even a neighbor. My family was quite “normal” except my father was absent. You see, my father passed away when I was just ten months old, leaving my mother to raise my siblings and me alone.
My mother was a very strong, proud woman who raised us to love others and to forgive many times. There was no competition only love and collaboration. We would sit around singing, reading, and of course, occasionally engaging in typical sibling disagreements.
I can remember reading and re-reading The Giving Tree throughout my childhood. I loved this book; the tree was so loving and had the values that my mother had instilled in us. However, this is where I believe the seed of the needs of others were more important than my own needs, was planted and deeply rooted. The tree gave so much of herself she ended up a stump.
I pinpoint reading this book at such a young age as the culprit in setting me on a course of self-sacrifice and definite lack of boundaries. I just wanted to make people happy, much like the tree. I didn’t latch on to things; things weren’t important to me. Much of my joy came from seeing others happy; I was happy when others were happy.
I began to notice that the types of individuals who were attracted to me, wanted my support, encouragement, and adoration, but had no real interest in me, my self-growth, financial advancement, career achievement or just me period. It seemed no matter how much I supported these individuals with their never-ending needs, my needs were overlooked or just simply ignored. I do want to stress not everyone in my life was taking from me. In fact, one of my friends noticed the misbehavior in the many individuals that were in my life and did send a fair warning. And I had even sensed something was amiss, but leaning on my roots and early programing, I would forgive them many times and often even make up excuses for their misbehavior.
Being the proactive individual that I am, throughout the years I sought the advice of many mental health professionals to help me discover what I might be doing to attract these individuals. Their advice was always the same, I needed stronger boundaries. In other words, the problem was with me.
Years later, I stumbled upon a book on sociopathy, disclosing that there are people among us who have no conscience and who prey on people like me. Why wasn’t I told about these predators by my therapists? Conscienceless people take pleasure in and are experts at breaking boundaries and causing harm. This raised my eyebrows on a few occasions.
I am not a licensed therapist, have never attended any schools or hold any degrees on the topic of personality disorders, however, I did suffer from Doormatitis most of my life and my therapy sessions were based on dealing with individuals with the traits of sociopathy. I find it baffling that I was never informed of this. It is of my opinion that it should be mandatory that all loving, giving, gentle, forgiving people should be armed with this knowledge.
So, being the information junkie that I am, I sought out to learn all I could on the subject of conscienceless people. Oh, did this turn out to be a can of worms. I found it challenging to obtain a clear explanation as to the differences between a sociopath and a psychopath as mental health professionals seemed to contradict one another. The more research I did, the more confused I became.
While I was able to get an understanding of the differences between sociopaths and psychopaths, these definitions didn’t quite fit the mold of the typical possible conscienceless people I was attracting. Not all of the people in my life were committing illegal crimes, raping or murdering others. I noticed most were doing subtle things such as taking credit for my work, secretly competing with me, discrediting me behind closed doors, etc. – traits that are generally overlooked and summed up as bad behavior. I label these individuals at Type 1 Sociopaths. Type 1 sociopaths are camouflaged among us who, much like sociopaths and psychopaths, usually possess great charm, talent, intelligence, prestige, sense of humor, sex appeal, and/or physical attractiveness. They will use these gifts to hook into a person’s heart and psyche in order to do what brings them great pleasure: confuse, use, sabotage, compete with, inconvenience, passively abuse and cause chaos to their victims. They are undercover sociopaths who rarely do anything illegal, immoral yes, but illegal no. They are everywhere and can be your cheating spouse, gossiping and divisive friend, mean boss, belittling teacher, and even your spiritual leader who uses religion as a weapon.
Once I discovered the traits of conscienceless people, I was able to recognize the traits immediately when revealed to me, and therefore, able to protect myself from becoming their victim. I never label anyone as being conscienceless. However; anyone revealing traits of a conscienceless individual is enough for me to be cautious and stay away.
This new finding was so groundbreaking that I was inspired to write the book Type 1 Sociopath to share this information with compassionate people who love deeply, in layman’s terms, without confusion, but instead simplicity. “What is the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath? Who cares! Learn the traits and save your life!” I wrote this quote, because understanding the differences does not prevent you from becoming their victim. However, having the ability to identify their traits immediately when revealed to you, can.