How To Spot A Sociopath.

You all know the story, AJ and I dated, then were friends, and now he has done something horrible and I have cut off all ties with him.  I am using this blog to detail the things that should have been a red flag since the day we met, and hopefully someone else will read it and get out sooner than I did.  I think one of the most important things to point out is that if AJ said to me “I’ll never lie again”, I would go back to him (as a friend) in a minute.  I want him to be my friend, I want him to be in my life, I miss him terribly and I know all of that is wrong.  He was never MY friend, but I was a great friend to him.  But my heart hurts and I miss him.  But I also know every time he says “I’ll never lie again”, he is lying.

First and foremost, AJ’s parents read my blog to keep tabs on me.  They think everything that has happened is my fault and that I am “weird” and basically a really bad influence.  I hope they read this one, because in AJ’s 27 years of life, I am the only one who has noticed that he isn’t quite right.  If this opens their eyes and helps them get him an intervention and proper psychological help, that would be great.  But, as you’ll see below, his dad contributed to his crimes more than anyone else, so I really doubt anything good will come of this.

I never dated.  I was 29 and had no interest in dating at all.  For some reason, AJ took a liking to me.  He was 19.  His way to approach me was “Wanna make out?”, which no, I did not, because I didn’t like that sort of thing.  But he was funny and he was charming and he sort of grew on me.  I explained to him that I don’t date, that if this is what we are going to do there have to be very specific limits and he has to go very slowly.

The first limit I set was a curfew.  He could com over, but he had to leave by 9pm because I still needed “me time”.  He never once left at that time.  He would spend up to two hours arguing and telling me why he should stay, wearing me down.  One time a family friend died very unexpectedly, and I asked him to leave.  He did not even address the fact that someone had died, he asked why he should be punished when it wasn’t his fault, why he had to leave, he wanted to stay.  Again, two hours – all while I had just learned that someone had died.  Never once did he ask if I was ok, what he could do for me, nothing.

That was the first sign – the obsession and not taking no for an answer.  If someone does not agree to do what is in your best interest, or if they insist that you are wrong about your best interest, RUN.

In order to do the “dating activities” that I won’t go into detail about, I had to drink a lot.  I was still that uncomfortable doing anything.  He was ok with that.  A caring person might have said “if it’s that bad, let’s just be friends until you are ok with it”, but AJ was completely fine with the fact that I had to be inebriated in order to do anything.

Sign number two – compromising your health/judgement is ok, as long as they get what they want.  They do not experience actual love, only steps to get what they want.  If they have to manipulate or fake actions of love, they will.

I loved AJ.  I still do, and probably always will.  I feel very protective of him, and he is the only source of comfort that I have in my life.  NOT because I don’t have plenty of friends and family, I have a huge circle of support.  But he is the only person who provides the comfort I want.

Sign number three – no matter what bad they do, a sociopath is charming, convincing, able to lie about anything, and will be able to convince anyone of anything.  AJ has me convinced that he is my only comfort and the only person who can take care of me properly.

The first time AJ cheated on me it was with a 15 year old.  This girl was the niece of a friend of mine.  Here is an example of how I can’t help but defend AJ – the girl was a slut, she really was.  She lost her virginity at age 13 and at the time she took up with AJ, she was dating an 18 year old as well.  The family is completely white trash, saw their opportunity (AJ’s family has money), and went for it.  BUT – that does not dismiss the fact that AJ was 22 and knew exactly what he was doing.  HIs mom had just died.  The odd thing was, he never cried.  I was there with him when she actually passed away, and I cried.  AJ did not – he went through the sounds and motions of crying, but there were no tears and he was able to turn it on and off.  That was sign number 3.5.  NO EMOTIONS.

I knew the INSTANT he started cheating on me.  He may be a liar, but he is not a GOOD liar.  He went out on a date with the 15 year old, but had plans with me at 1pm.  I was at his house at 1pm.  He texted me and said he was running a little late, and I should wait for him.  At 7pm, his dad came home and found me asleep.  I told him I was waiting for AJ and that he was out on a date with a 15 year old and I didn’t know how to stop him from going down that very, very wrong path.  His dad said that it’s AJ’s business, not mine, and I should leave now.

Sign number four – a close family member KNOWS and does not do anything to prevent what is going to happen.  In this case, it’s because AJ was so spoiled, his dad thought he could do no wrong.  AJ dropped out of school in 5th grade and his parents let him.  He was “home schooled”.  That meant his parents did all the work for him and AJ had a very regular schedule of porn and masturbation.  I suppose this could be sign number five as well, obsession and “collections”.  AJ collected porn from the age of 12.  His parents had no idea.  What they thought he was doing in his bedroom so much instead of actually reading books or learning math, I don’t know.  AJ went through high school without ever having read a typical reading list book, or learning anything beyond addition and subtraction.

The entire summer that AJ was cheating on me, I was very vocal about it.  He lied, and made up the most insane stories, thinking I would believe them.  He went to the 15 year old’s house every single day to have sex, and told me “I was just driving around”.  He mysteriously disappeared off the “find friends” app, saying “I was in a location with no service”.  I told him what he was doing was illegal, he told me he wasn’t doing anything.  He was cruel.  He’d invite me out to a movie with the 15 year old and her aunt (my “alleged” friend who was in on the whole thing), telling me we’d be seeing “Up”, my favorite movie ever.  We’d get to the theater and he’d say “We’re actually seeing this other movie, your choice is to see Up by yourself or wait in the car”.  I saw Up by myself.  This whole time AJ was ANGRY at me.  This began the cycle of abuse.  He would not just do things like tricking me or leaving me out of things, he would yell at me for being “parental” (someone had to, as his parent wasn’t doing it himself), or yell at me for not being “sexy” enough, or criticizing the way I dress, etc.  One time he came home from his time with the 15 year old, and I once again said “I know what you’re doing”.  He forcibly threw me on the bed, my head hanging off the side of the bed and banging against the wall, me crying the whole time – did his thing, and then got up and left me there, and went downstairs to text the 15 year old.  I had bruises.

I don’t know what sign we are on, but that was a really big one.

He broke up with me in August, saying he just didn’t love me anymore and wanted me to go away.  A week later he called me and asked me to come over.  He said that he DID love me, he was out of his mind, he is so sorry, it wasn’t him, he misses me, he needs me, he loves me.  I screamed.  A lot.  I screamed and I threw his things and I screamed for his dad to come upstairs and help me.  When his dad came up, AJ had me in a headlock and I was hysterical.  I told his dad that AJ had been sleeping with a 15 year old, and in my hysteria, I yelled at his dad, too.  I yelled that I told him and he didn’t do anything about it, and then I left.  But I loved AJ.  I couldn’t get the hurt look on his face out of my head.  I couldn’t get the sound of him saying he really did love me and he missed me – it was all stuck in my head.  Within an hour, I was back at his house.  His dad told me this was all my fault, that I was “playing games” and didn’t take life seriously.  Mind you, I had a full time management job, and AJ had never had a job in his life.  I was the one who was cheated on, but somehow, it was my fault.  I was a fully functioning, responsible, innocent, and very, extremely, over the top moral adult. And then he told me that I will never tell anyone about any of this.

I didn’t need to tell anyone.  Because the White Trash Family knew EXACTLY what they were doing, the aunt, who had been helping the 15 year old get together with AJ the whole time, told the father who called the police.  The father, who was stupid, believed he could just say to the police “Hey, I don’t want anything to happen, but I felt I should tell you about this”.  You can’t do that.  If you tell the police something, it’s not your choice whether or not they act on it.  So AJ was arrested.  The White Trash Family agreed to write letters to the judge saying “Hey, we know our daughter is a whore, this is just one of many guy’s she’s done this with”….and here is where it is not clear what happened.  They did write those letters.  But they had several meetings with AJ’s dad and it is assumed that they basically blackmailed him and made him pay.  AJ was SUCH a believable con artist, my own parents wrote letters to the judge saying what a wonderful person AJ was and how he was clearly taken advantage of, etc.  My dad is not big on that sort of thing, so *I* wrote his letter and had him sign it.  I was back in AJ’s thralls, full force.

During the trial, AJ’s dad asked to meet with me.  He told me I was never allowed to see AJ again and I was banned from ever going in his house, because of my part in all of this.  My part?  Not sure what that meant.  AJ’s “punishment” was a several thousand dollar professional camera.  This fed right into AJ’s obsession and “collecting”.  WHILE HE WAS ON TRIAL, he had a “photoshoot” with a high school girl.  Collecting photos became his new thing.  The girl was wearing short shorts, he gave her a cigar to smoke and photographed her on a swing set.  He claims the girl was 18 – but when you are on trial for inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor, you do not have a photoshoot with a high school girl.

I drove AJ to his sex offender meetings, I listened while he raged about how awful it was, and I agreed how awful it was when his sentence was “Don’t drink for four years” – no jail time, nothing.  Don’t drink for four years.  I agreed that was horrible, and how could they do that to him?

The next time AJ cheated on me, I knew it immediately as well.  He was forced to get a part time job as part of his “sentence”, so he worked a few hours a week at a clothes store.  From day one, he couldn’t stop talking about his boss.  I knew it was coming, and it did.  He said he’d be at my house when his shift was over at 8pm, he’d show up at 10:30pm and yell at and berate me for questioning why it took 2.5 hours to get to my house when the store was 1 mile away.  One day he told me to come over, and I did.  I found him on the phone, though he didn’t know I was there yet.  The voice on the other end was clearly a female, and he was giggling and flirting.  I said something to him about it, and he said it was his friend “Mike”.  He didn’t have any friends.  I knew he didn’t have a friend named Mike.  And I knew that Mike would not sound like a woman.  His boss was married with three children.  I considered this yet another very slippery slope, and so I told his dad, thinking “This time he’ll believe me and intervene, he wouldn’t let AJ do something this stupid again”.  His dad told me to mind my own business, and he doesn’t share his phone calls with his employees, so why should AJ share his phone calls with me?  After I left, AJ told his dad, yeah, I’m totally doing my boss and she has three kids and a husband.  His dad still let him, and blamed me.

AJ’s photo collection grew.  He had hidden files on his computer of one of my friends – she didn’t know it, and he didn’t take them, he just collected them from online.  He had photo collections of each of his “subjects”.

The third time AJ cheated on me was the worst, because he said to me “I want to be with you forever, you are my person. But I want to have sex with other people.  You will wait for me while I do this, you will not date anyone else, and eventually I’ll come back”.  And stupidly, I waited.  He dated a girl and had sex with her, he took her picture, he bought her things.  He told me in detail how sexy she was compared to me, and how laughable I was compared to her.

But I waited for him, and the girl dumped him, and he came back to find me waiting like nothing ever happened.  He was very mean after that.  Even though he did horrible things, he SEEMED loving and nice, but now he was just mean.  He took me out for my “birthday dinner” and mid dinner he got a call from a girl he was hoping to sleep with, and he left.  He left me with a half eaten dinner and the bill.  Another time we were in the ER waiting room, I was extremely sick with pneumonia, bronchitis and all sorts of other awful things, and he turned to me and said “You know, I just really want to have sex with other people again, you understand, right?” and he left me alone in the waiting room.

When he was with the “You wait while I date this girl, and then I’ll come back” girl, I became depressed.  It wasn’t actually depressed – I felt worthless.  I felt stupid for being pulled into all this, I felt ashamed for always believing him, I felt ugly and “unsexy”, and I felt like something must have happened to me.  I had always been VERY confident – possibly overly confident – in every aspect of life.  I loved who I was, I loved my quirks.  But I suddenly did not feel any of that.  He had made me feel worthless.  Now we all know my brain is a little different, so hear me out – I planned to kill myself.  My logic was that my personality had in some way expired, and I changed, and I did not like the person I had become.  It did not occur to me that this change could be reversed or that it wasn’t my fault.  But I loved who I was before, and I did not love who I was at this time.  To me, it was very logical.  I was done being me, so it was time to go.  It wasn’t emotional at all, there was no “I can’t take this” or “I’m so depressed”, it was just the logical next step to me.  So I planned it.  I had a week long trip to NYC planned, and I would just take a bunch of Tylenol PM, and right when I started feeling sleepy, I’d inject myself with a ton of insulin.  Diabetics ALWAYS have a fool proof way to die.  There is nothing anyone could do if I injected myself with 200 units of insulin.  And the Tylenol PM would make it so I didn’t feel anything relating to the lack of blood sugar.

I told AJ about my plan, and asked if he’d take care of Sabrina, because she was my biggest concern (Sabrina my cat).  I could not leave her without knowing she had a loving home.  He told me that I was really bringing him down, and could I please not involve him in that kind of talk because he was really happy with his new girlfriend and didn’t want to be brought down by me.  So I thought, ok, then.  My parents will take care of Sabrina.  Then AJ told his dad I was threatening to kill myself, and he posted online to his “knife collecting community” that I was planning on killing myself, and rather than any single person saying “Hmmm”, they all said I was crazy and he should get away from me.  He didn’t tell them what HE did to make me feel  like that.  And he never defended me from their judgement.  And yet, while he exposed my secrets, I never told his.

I went to NYC and realized immediately that AJ was an asshole and I immediately was in my element and went back to the strong, amazing person that I was.  I thought it was crazy that I even considered ending my life, because my personality was not going to stay like that once I was away from AJ.  So that was a very short lived, but very true, desire to kill myself.  I think deep down I still knew I was way too awesome to do that.  My view of suicide in general is that if people feel like they are done on this earth, they should be allowed to do what they want – they just should have the courtesy to let people say goodbye.  So I guess I had sort of a casual attitude about it, anyway.

AJ and I made one last attempt at dating, believe it or not.  Then in November of 2012, he said “I feel weird”.  I said “I know what that means, you want to sleep with other people.  We’re breaking up, and this is the last time.  We can be friends, but you have to be nice to me and you can’t date any of my friends.  You also can’t lie to me anymore”.  He agreed.

Within 24 hours he was obsessed with one of my friends.  He found excuses to go to her house (where she lived with her husband), he had secret pictures of her.  He and I had tickets to go see Muse in concert, and also The Blue Man Group.  He told my friend “No one will take these tickets, do you want to go?”  I only found out I was uninvited when my friend, not knowing anything about the fact that I was supposed to be there, posted from the concerts.  I was supposed to go with them to see our mutual photographer friend to get new headshots for them.  The night before they were going to go, my friend and I were going to go to karaoke.  I felt bad for AJ because he had no friends and was sitting at home alone on a Saturday night. I invited him.  He came.  He spent the whole night attached to my friend with his back to me, and told me “Oh yeah, I don’t really want you to come tomorrow”.  I cried. I sat there crying, and he got angry with me and turned his back to me.  My friend had no idea what to do.  She had told me how uncomfortable AJ made her, and I told him.  He didn’t stop.  They had an acting project they were working on and she just wanted to finish it and never see him again.

We had both known this friend for the same amount of time.  AJ never showed any interested in her….until I said “Please don’t date any of my friends”.  Then it was instant.

There were other situations throughout all these years.  He invited me to a baseball game with some friends (i.e. a girl he wanted to sleep with and her boyfriend), put me in the seat on the end and literally turned his back on me so it appeared as if I was there by myself.  If I tried to talk to anyone, he glared at me, and later yelled at me.

He would invite me out to dinner and spend the entire time texting other people, and get angry at me if I said anything.

I told his dad, in one last effort, that AJ was going after my married friend and it was making her really creeped out and I couldn’t get him to stop, and he then told AJ that I was weird and he didn’t want me to contact him in anyway.

AJ and I managed to be friends until he found another girl to date.  Then he went back to the usual cruelty to me.  Recently, he has been acting secretive and drinking a lot.  I asked him straight out several times, “Do you have a secret life” and “What are you hiding”? and he lied and said nothing was going on, he was just really tired from work and he slept a lot.  He borrowed nearly $500 from me in the span of one month.  It turns out he was using it to pay for a ton of alcohol for him and his “friend” that I found a photo album of (his collection).  It’s a woman from work who he apparently has been drinking and sleeping with for the past few months.  They have wine glasses with their names etched in them.  I don’t care about any of that, what I care about is that I made him promise not to lie to me several times, and he agreed.  He’s allowed to date or sleep with whomever he wants, I really don’t care.  I just don’t want him to lie to me.  He borrowed money from me to buy alcohol for him and this lady from work.  He lied to me about having a secret life.  He has alcohol bottles stashed around his house.

So that is how it ended.  And I hope to God his dad reads this and says “Wow, my son needs help” instead of “Wow, I’m going to find a way to sue Darcy because she exposed all of these secrets”.  I hope he FINALLY sees that AJ is damaging his own life and many others, most pointedly mine.  I have no doubt that AJ is a Sociopath to the letter.  He also lies to his own therapist and to his dad.  I am literally the only one who knows the true extent of what he is and what he has done.  For a long time, I kept those secrets to protect him, but I think I have only done more damage by keeping the secrets than I did good for AJ, because he has only gotten worse, not better.

If you think you recognize any of this in someone in your life, this might help:


3 thoughts on “How To Spot A Sociopath.

  1. I forgot three important things – when he was about 14 he was obsessed with his neighbor and pursued her until she moved; when he was 17-19 he was obsessed with a 40 year old woman in the knife collecting community and his dad let him buy a “joke” engagement ring….for $300. It was very real to AJ. And then when he was 19, for an “art project” his dad paid for a nude model so AJ could sit on her lap while she was topless and recreate the Pieta, but instead of Jesus, it was AJ and instead of Mary, it was a topless model with size DDD boobs. Those were pretty…weird and indicative of a not so normal sexual life.

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