"Siblings of narcissists, psychopaths or sociopaths: what's your experience?" –– This was today's burning question from Redditor xValkyx, who opened up one hell of a can of worms.
We may have a specific image of what a psychopath is ingrained in our minds––you can thank films like American Psycho and scores of other horror flicks for that––but the truth is they're significantly more complicated than that.
"When I was 10..."
When I was 10, my mom put a lock on my door because my brother started threatening to kill me and my mom in the night. When I was 14, he fixated on my mom and threatened to burn down our house, shoot my whole family, and steal all the valuables and drive away. That same year, (he was 17), he took our car and ran away from home for two weeks. We ended up calling the police on him. When he came home, the police decided that it would be best if he lived somewhere else so he did. As we were cleaning out his room we found hundreds of knives, a hand gun, lighter fluid, gasoline and lighters.
"I was playing with a suitcase..."
I was playing with a suitcase while watching TV. I was small enough to fit myself in it. My brother, nearly four and a half years older than me, saw what I was doing and asked to zip me up in it. After already having learned to never trust him, I asked Mom to watch us to make sure he didn't do anything stupid.
He zipped me up inside the suitcase and started carrying it in a shuffle-step.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
I heard the sliding door to the enclosed patio open, Mom started screaming and I could hear her slapping my brother repeatedly. The suitcase fell over onto its side with me still in it.
I managed to pry open the zippers from the inside and got myself out of the suitcase as quickly as possible. Mom was screaming "Why?!
I was two feet away from being dumped inside a suitcase into the family hot tub.
He laughed and said that I would have floated, what's the big deal?
So, yeah, that's what it was like growing up with a sociopath.
My daughter was hit by a drunk driver when she was 12 and nearly died. She was in a coma for two weeks and I was there all day every day, except to go home to shower and change. My sister decided that when I was at the hospital was the perfect time for her and her druggie girlfriend to jimmy the sliding door off the track, break in and steal everything she could find--jewelry, my camera, and yes, my daughter's piggy bank.
She stole the piggy bank from a comatose kid.
"My sister has never been diagnosed..."
My sister has never been diagnosed with narcissism or a personality disorder other than OCD, but when we were younger she often enjoyed telling people before I met them that I had a "difficult relationship with the truth" so that they wouldn't want to be around me. I had the reputation of a liar and no friends for most of my preteen years, and she was popular in our homeschool group until she left and got into highschool. After she left, I still didn't have friends, but neither did she, and she blamed me for it during her frequent temper tantrums. She would throw things, scream, cry, and threaten me with kitchen knives on a pretty regular basis. All of a sudden, the year that I turned 17 and she turned 21, the tantrums stopped and she got engaged. He moved in with us, the tantrums started again, and for once I wasn't the target. The worst fight they had happened when she caught him looking at a photo of a bikini model, which she considered cheating. She hit him full force with an open palm, and when our mum saw, she threatened to kick her out if she hit him again. They got married, moved out, and divorced within a year of him enlisting in the army.
Brother believes the world is his oyster and that friends and family and loved ones are his to control and exploit.
He told a girl they are dating and she should buy him a car and take him out for dinner.
Brother has also tried to burn down our childhood home thrice because mom didn't give him the things he wanted, we were poor and he knew that but he honestly believes that he gets what he wants because that's how it should be.
He also tried to sell my car, he still hounds me for the money he should have gotten if he sold it.
"When she threw a cup of hot tea..."
When she threw a cup of hot tea at my face because I refused to show her something on the computer. Or the time when she yelled at me for over an hour because I was really sick and had thrown up all over the bathroom sink. The same bathroom she had just cleaned.
I stopped speaking with her over 7 years ago.
"It's interesting really."
It's interesting really. My mom died recently. When I called my sister to come down the day before she died she said "I thought she was going to die today. I'm not disappointed, but I can't keep missing work."
The next day I called her to come to the hospital again as the doctor and I made the decision to take her off the ventilator. On the phone she said "Well, can we pull out the tube as soon as I get there because I have plans tonight."
She also proceeded to ask me for rent money that day, as I also live with her.
The things they say, and don't realize how messed up it is is really baffling.
"She called the cops..."
She called the cops and CPS, repeatedly accusing our step dad of child abuse. It usually lined up with her having rules and punishments. She didn't like that my parents did research on how to raise a psychopath that doesn't become a murderer, they suddenly knew all her tricks and tactics. I sometimes think about how sad it must be to be physically incapable of feeling human emotions, but it clearly would only hold her back.
"Lived an entire lifetime..."
Lived an entire lifetime not being aware that it isn't normal to run to your bedroom and hide when dad gets home. That it isn't normal to be scared of your parents reactions to, well, anything.
Becoming a mom and having little kids that I just looked at and knew.. I could never beat them up for picking a flower, or shame them for not knowing how to hang a shelf, or throw grubs at them if they come outside, or throw potato salad at them if they say they don't want any... yeah. It wasn't normal and only just now am I realizing all of that.
"I haven't spoken..."
I haven't spoken to my brother in 3-4 years. Last time I did he went after my wife and that was the last straw for me. Since then, my parents have cut him off, he lost his job, and his life has spiraled. Not sure what he is up to now but my quality of life has improved with him not in it.
"You feel your life..."
You feel your life isn't your own. Every thing will revolve around them. Constantly causing drama and trouble. Sister who would steal from you. Never ending drama. Tried to steal my boyfriend repeatedly. Actually broke into one sisters house and robbed her. Can't tell the truth ever. Disowned her about ten years ago after her awful treatment of terminally ill mother. Peace since then.
"She criticized what I wore..."
Growing up, she had total control of my life. She criticized what I wore, listened to, ate, everything. If I was different I was weird, if I liked what she liked then I was copying her. She tried to scare me multiple times with guns and knives, claiming she never would actually hurt me but she would hold up a samurai sword to my throat and tell me if I moved I died. Eventually she had at kid when she was 19 and I was 16, and for a year she was a good mother and then decided she didn't want to be a mom anymore. I've seen her ruin countless people's lives, spanning from just stringing them along to drowning their bank accounts to contributing to them being put in jail for domestic abuse(she's still waiting for trial on her charge). I despise her and she is not family to me. I had so many issues growing up that only stemmed from things she did to me and I don't want to see my niece grow up like that. My parents are doing a wonderful job of raising her but she doesn't understand why mommy isn't there and it breaks my heart.
"Brother was doted on..."
Brother was doted on as a child because he was gifted at basketball. Literally had no consequences growing up and could do whatever he wanted. Treated me and our parents like absolute crap and they still doted on him, while I would get the belt for the most benign and asinine stuff. My brother's life is absolute crap right now, he has no sense of self-worth and just gets hand outs from my parents. He is in his late thirties and my parents are giving him money for rent and food. He wants everyone to feel sorry for him and expects everything to be handed to him. He can't do anything on his own and guilt trips and manipulates my parents into doing whatever it is he needs doing for him or just giving him extra funds. He has no incentive to change and is content playing video games all day while my parents just enable his lifestyle. At holidays he just talks down to me and tries to make me feel bad about how 'difficult' his life is. I couldn't care less about him and have no desire to talk to him until he makes some serious changes in his lifestyle and life choices.
My sister has dialed down her act a bit, after we have all spent a few years out of our raging NPD asshole father's house. I mostly remember a MASSIVE sense of entitlement that simply made no logical sense and would require a great deal of cognitive dissonance to explain. Like, she would never loan me things (CDs, exc), but had no problem walking straight into my room, in front of my face, to take a bottle of body lotion to use on herself. She seemed to have no remorse for what her behavior did to others, so long as she got what she wanted out of the deal. Sometimes, she would just do and say mean and spiteful things for no reason.
I talk to her from time to time. While is less of a self-involved sociopath, she still is insufferably self-righteous.
"I'm not even..."
I'm not even totally sure of my older brothers diagnosis but several years ago I found out through his journal that he had an elaborate plan to murder me and had apparently attempted to before, but couldn't go through with it. His reasoning was mostly because I was mean to him as a child, but really he was the one cruel to me?? The part that really fucks me up is that both my parents knew about his wish to kill me and never said anything to me, let us sleep under the same roof. They always coddled and treated him differently than me. He is severely mentally ill, likely a psychopath, has been in a mental hospital now for several years. I cut contact with my parents as soon as I moved out.
My sibling is not a sociopath or psychopath, but is narcissistic with extreme anger issues. He would intentionally start arguments, slightest response from me would be his excuse to go mental. Worst was once when he choked me after I tried to defend myself, only stopped because I threatened to call the cops. Later my dad sided with him saying I shouldn't have made my brother angry, and that if I did call the cops, they'd laugh at me and would do nothing. That's idiotic, obviously. Bare in mind my brother was 6'1 and athletic, while I was a skinny 5'4 teenager that was 5 years younger. I'm now an adult and in the military, and don't plan on talking to either of them much after I leave.
Needless to say if he ever tries something like that again, he'll be lucky if he isn't hospitalized. Count on it.
"My narcissistic brother..."
My narcissistic brother is almost 10 years older than I, so I don't remember a lot of the things he did. I know the stories, though. He left home at 16. We did have a relationship as adults, but I cut it off realizing that he hadn't changed. He's stolen from my family members, is a pathological liar, and a con man to say the least... we call him "Con Man Don". He has even lied to his children about having cancer. He is a piece of work. He has never ever acknowledged anything he's done, in fact he acts like none of it ever happened. As of now, we do not talk. I am close to his children. I get joy out of family events my brother actually attends because I make him super uncomfortable.
My sister is way too into herself. She has no real friends but she has like 60 thousand Instagram followers... she literally just spends her money on new clothes and the newest iPhone to take selfies. And when I say she has no real friends I really mean it: she never leaves the house, never had a job, dropped out of high school... but she thinks she's the greatest thing God graced this planet with. I don't really talk to her because anytime I try she's just taking pictures of herself with different outfits. It's really annoying, I don't know why my parents condone/finance this lifestyle.
She gets it from my mom, she's kind of the same way.
"It was always easier to just do what she wanted..."
It's exhausting just thinking about it. I don't want to go into everything about my narcissistic sister right now but I'll say this.
She used to have a "nickname" for me. It was "Slave": she thought it was so funny. Had people think it was just a joke. It was not. She treated me like a slave and I was so deep in the FOG that I didn't know I could fight back. It was always easier to just do what she wanted because the abuse was too much to deal with. I suppressed my feelings to the point where I thought that smiling ment I was happy. I felt empty. I wasn't allowed to frown. Anything less than a smile meant that I was ruining everyone else's day. I was only allowed to smile. So my mom didn't notice I wasn't happy because I acted like I was. I tried to end myself at 16 and my sister turned it into a joke. She still laughs about it.
Happy ending to this is that I'm married and don't take her crap anymore. I wont let anyone treat me like that again. I know what happiness feels like and I know what I'm worth. Still working through the FOG though.