Is it fair to avoid people with sadistic sociopathic tendencies?
I consciously avoid people with severe sadistic personality disorders
I have had a few particularly unpleasant experiences with people with severe empathy deficiencies. From being stalked, threatened, manipulated and blackmailed, I have grown up to be a very cautious and guarded woman in relation to who I work, study and live with. In a world where we are told to be open-minded towards personality disorders, is it fair that I choose not to associate with those who are diagnosed sociopaths?
Ultimately, my safety is my priority. As a woman, men becoming obsessive, abusive and violent is part of a perpetual threat. As you grow up, you are taught to look out for signs that a man is dangerous. Does he enjoy your pain? Is he manipulative? Does he try and separate you from your friends? Does he play with your feelings? Does he make you feel afraid? All of these things send alarm bells for most women.
I met my first sadistic sociopath (although he wasn’t diagnosed as such at that point) when I was thirteen. He was at school with me and would take immense pleasure and curiousity by inflicting humiliation on girls in the class by making extreme sexual remarks about them to evoke intense anxiety, embarassment and emotional fear. This would be done in front of the class, the common room, even teachers.
He would watch them squirm, blush, or move away, and perfect the method for the most effect. “Your clit is wet, isn’t it Maddie? I can always tell!” became “How do you do your pubic hair? I bet you have a bush. Fat girls always do!” eventually evolving into pulling up a girls skirt or touching their ass, knowing that they were too humiliated to shout out what was happening to them.
You’d do what he wanted. If he wanted to touch you, he touched you. If he wanted you to listen to his sexual fantasies, you’d listen quietly. If he wanted to see you naked, he saw you naked. His typical tactic was to manipulate a girl into sending him a nude picture, then threaten to show everyone unless you submitted to his demands. I lived in absolute terror. I used to vomit with anxiety in the girl’s bathrooms whenever he slowly got his phone out of his pocket and smiled at me in class. He told me he’d killed a girl once when I insinuated that I wasn’t going to sext him. Being a fourteen year old, I believed him. He was incredibly cold. Callous. Manipulative.
This wasn’t about sex. It was about the response it got him, the control, the emotional power. He was able to manipulate me into being too broken to even cry out when he molested me in front of a teacher. He did it to lots of girls. Later on, he would be involved in several incidences of filming young girls performing oral sex on him, and contacting underage teenagers online. I was relieved to be free of him when I finished school. Other women won’t be so lucky. I’ve often wondered how many women have been broken by him. Are being broken by him.
But it wasn’t the last time I would encounter a sadistic sociopath.
Years later, I would develop a pretty big following online. Nothing amazing, just a few thousand followers, but among them, a few men would become very obsessive over me. Endless messages, demands for attention, threats of being suicidal…nothing that most women online get. But one sociopath would create a hold over me that I would become increasingly paranoid over. He’d message me with creepy messages, telling me he knew where I studied, saying he’d seen me walking home, telling me that if I replied, he’d leave me alone. I thought he was just trying to scare me, because they were very general descriptions, but then it got worse.
He’d start telling me his sexual fantasies without ever having spoken to me, which were often rape or violence oriented, and then telling me he’d dreamt about kidnapping me. His moods would swing dramatically from telling me he loved me and wanted to buy me flowers, to telling me he thought my blood would look beautiful. He repeatedly asked me to help him get rid of his fantasies but meeting up with him. He’d tell me that I’d look pretty if I was dead because my hair was so dark. He told me he wouldn’t kill a fat woman because she would look ugly dead. I eventually made the mistake of responding, saying that he needed to get psychological help and that I didn’t want him to contact me. He responded by telling me that he was going to kill himself if I didn’t call him. I didn’t call. I didn’t want to give him my number. He then told me that he was a diagnosed sociopath and wouldn’t care about going to prison as long as he ‘punished me’ for ‘my sins’ (allegedly I wanted him to die by not calling).
I blocked him.
He then got hold of me on another account saying that I couldn’t escape him.
I blocked him again.
He found my work email and sent me a picture of himself in central London saying ‘coming for you’.
I blocked him, and went through every account, email and profile and blocked all external messages. I was terrified for weeks. I slept with the light on. I locked the front door, my window and my bedroom door. I kept a kitchen knife under the bed. What had I done to deserve this? Nothing. I was living in fear because of a man who had become obsessive.
So I won’t knowingly associate with people with severe personality disorders.
It’s nothing to do with the fact that I ‘hate’ people with mental illnesses, or that I don’t understand that you don’t choose to have a lack of empathy or compassion for people. You don’t decide to become a sadist, I get that. I’m sure that there are sociopaths who are very good people. I’ll never be cruel or malicious towards someone with a diagnosis: I simply do not want to go through any of the above again. In the same way I wouldn’t want to be in a dark alley with a strange man, I don’t want to take the risk of having a sadistic sociopath in close quarters to my life.
My safety is my priority. I refuse to live in fear.