Written By a Guest Writer: Anonymous
I grew up in several different foster homes; most of them were bad. At an early age, so not to get punished, I had to learn what to say and how to say it. I was forced to learn how to read people – to know what they wanted and what they expected. I was a child, no more than 10 years old; I had to learn these things in order to survive. I was beaten if I did or said the wrong things. And sometimes it was enough that if they thought I did something wrong, and if I said I didn’t do it, I was accused of lying and was beaten. This is a very effective way to teach a child how to manipulate other people. And this is what I learned to do throughout my childhood: to lie and to manipulate people so that I was liked. If I was liked, I was praised. If I wasn’t liked, I was beaten. What choice did I have?
The thing about learning how to manipulate people at an early age is that it becomes who you are, what is within you, and your core-way of being; and you can’t separate yourself from your core because your core is You. And you just can’t stop being You.
My life came down to bargaining; everything was a bargain. Getting bad grades in school? Then talk to the teacher; make him see things my way: “If I do this and that, will you raise my grade? What does it takes for you to give me a B rather than a C?” Later on you find yourself doing the same towards your employer: “Sure, I might not have the right education for this job, but I promise, I’ll be excellent and I’ll make you happy. Give me a chance and I’ll prove you wrong.”
This goes on and on and as I grew older, my game of transmutation and transformation grew and expanded within me and into my personal relationships: If I change a little of this and a little of that, then maybe she’ll stay with me. If you don’t like me the way I am, I’m willing to change…just tell me what it is you want, and I’ll be happy to oblige.
This in itself is human rootlessness; a void of foundation. I don’t even know who or what I am. I am a river of personalities and the people I meet are the rocks that my personality swims around.
By now this Game is who and what I am and I have no idea how to live my life without it. I have no idea what an authentic life even is. I don’t know how to tell the truth. I only tell the “truth” as I think you want to hear it. I lie in order to protect my own ignorance and my own worthlessness. And you believe me and why wouldn’t you?
Everyone believes in me and they vouch for me: What a great person I am! But if you were to ask any one of these people what they really know about me, they would have nothing concrete to say: “Oh, he’s such a great guy!” They have nothing solid to go on. They don’t know. They only know my superficial appearance, my shallow gestures, and what others have told them – not even reflecting, not even realizing that they themselves are one of “these others.”
Everything everyone thinks they know about me comes from a game of Chinese whispers. A rumor started by no one, yet, everyone. The more wide-spread the rumors, the grander my achievements are and the greater I become. Yet, I’ve done nothing great and I am nothing great.
Eventually, when it reaches the point where I can’t possibly live up to what people think about me, it all comes falling down on me. This is when my mask erodes away and slips off. With a lot of practice, I learned when it’s time to move on. And by leaving before it all comes crashing down on me, everyone is left with great memories of me. This results in my having excellent references for my next adventure. But in doing this, I leave everyone that I know behind and I’m alone … again. I start over in this never-ending game of deception and illusion.
I haven’t thought much about this until recently. I’ve met women who raised me to the sky; for what reasons I don’t know. “You are so kind, you are so wise!” and “You should write a book, you could inspire so many people!” But I haven’t really done anything to warrant this kind of praise. All they’ve seen is the person I need to be and want to be but can’t be. The scared little child who will be anyone I’m required to be just so that I’m not beaten.
Is this all that I am? A child still trying to find a way around the people who will hurt me if I say or do the wrong things?
Am I a people-pleaser, out of fear, because that’s what I was taught to be?
Or, am I simply
the sociopath you all fear?
Submitted to and Edited by Lynna, Author of “My Sociopath.” If you would like to be a guest writer on “My Sociopath,” send your writing to MySociopath@gmail.com.
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