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What’s Wrong with Me?

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I feel nothing but cry for no reason. It’s like a pain that I want to stop my symptoms match with sociopath but I don’t want that to be true. My mom deserves to have a daughter who can love but I can’t feel nothing. I want to feel love, and other emotions but I can’t. I lie, and I’m aware of my manipulation skills I try not to hurt people that’s not what I want but I can’t feel. My step would scam others and use me to make money I thought that was normal but I know it wasn’t he often talked about killing my mom when I was a little girl he convinced me that I wanted her dead but the thought brings tears now that at one point I agreed with him he was my step dad but only dad I had. He mentioned killing before or how he tormented animals. One day he killed a bat first by cutting the wings while placing the bat in a ant hill the bat screamed. I just watched I could have stopped him but no I did nothing. He would make me steal and of course i would he was my dad well step dad but I don’t want to be like him. I’m worried I’m becoming him I often lie to get what I want I feel bad but try not to think about anything. He’s no longer around thankfully but I think I ruined my parents marriage I helped my mom escape she wasn’t happy neither was I after leaving I felt excited but the rush soon died so did my mom’s. Honestly I live in a fantasy that and when I think about the past it really is my fault I’m kinda a emotionless monster who still breathes. I don’t care about myself or nobody I try to help my mom, and other family members but it’s hard because I don’t know what to say or do I can’t fix things. My mom and me were not close till I found out she was leaving him. She’s got her trauma to so I know she can’t expresse love. My grandmother wasn’t there for her so I understand she’s trying but I never wanted her money as a child I wanted her to say I’m proud of you but she never did even after dropping out and graduated I had to ask her to say congratulations it seems she doesn’t care but it’s fair because I can’t say i love her i want to but i can’t. I just want to be normal. Does this mean I’m a sociopath? Be honest I don’t want others to get hurt by emotionless state of mind.

There’s a difference between being a “sociopath” and having difficulty expressing your feelings. You have feelings but they are not easily accessible. If you didn’t feel anything, then you wouldn’t cry. Even if you don’t know what it is, there is an explanation for the crying. The difficulty you seem to be having is identifying the reason for the crying.

Nothing you have written would necessarily suggest that you are a sociopath. It should also be mentioned that sociopath is no longer the correct term. What you likely mean by sociopath is psychopath. People commonly used sociopath but they may not realize that the actual term, the correct term, is psychopath.

Psychopaths don’t care about other people. It wouldn’t bother them if they hurt others. They wouldn’t be worried about all of the things you seem to be worried about. As you stated, “I don’t want others to get hurt by my emotionless state of mind.” Psychopaths wouldn’t care about that. If they hurt someone else, it wouldn’t matter to them at all. That thought wouldn’t even cross their minds.

It seems that you were raised in a family that did not express much love or any love. Your mother never told you that she was proud of you. Perhaps she can’t express love. In essence, you don’t know if she loved you because she never told you and she never showed you that she did.

Your stepfather, emotionally, wasn’t much help either. In fact, he seemed worse than your mother in that he was engaging in criminal and immoral behavior. He spoke about wanting to kill your mother and he tortured animals. He convinced you that your mother should be killed. This would be a difficult environment for any child to grow up in. What you experienced wasn’t the norm and it wasn’t good for your psychological growth and development.

Perhaps your reaction to this very difficult situation was to numb yourself emotionally. That is a common reaction to unpleasant feelings, thoughts and situations. As you mentioned, you feel nothing but you cry for reasons that you don’t understand. The fact that you are crying indicates that you do feel something but lack clarity about what it is. If you didn’t feel something, then you wouldn’t be crying.

What may be happening is that you are or have been disassociating. Disassociation is a process in which one is mentally disconnected from their thoughts, feelings, memories, and surroundings. Sometimes, this happens consciously but more often it happens unconsciously, as a way to psychologically protect oneself from difficult or unpleasant experiences. It’s a way of coping with negative or traumatic experiences. Many people who disassociate aren’t even aware of it, especially if it’s been happening for many years. It’s common among people with trauma histories and/or posttraumatic stress disorder.

Just as people need food and water and safety to survive, they also need to feel love and to feel that they matter. Without these things, they will suffer. Love and belonging are needs, necessities. It is immensely important that an individual feel loved and unconditionally so. It’s a basic human necessity. You didn’t grow up in an environment in which you felt loved. In all likelihood, you’re feeling the aftereffects of not feeling loved.

I would highly recommend counseling. It is an effective solution to this problem. You grew up believing that certain things were normal and later learned that they were not. Now, as an adult, you are faced with having to reconnect with your emotions and that’s not easy to do on your own. Contact a therapist to begin the process of learning how to heal from your experiences. With the help of a good therapist, especially one who is knowledgeable about trauma, you should have success. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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