D.

I don't "get" the sociopath part. No I don't agree with that. Abuse of me started before my 4th birthday and went on for about 8 months. It consisted of sexual abuse by other small boys (but a few years older) before a movie camera. Under those conditions a boy will dissociate. He will acquire dissociative disorder. One he learns to dissociate he can do that whenever needed the rest of his life. This would certainly apply to a boy 5 years old also.

So I have had DID or dissociative identity disorder. The guy you mention probably also has DID. The book I mention above (by Stien) talks about the effects of repetitive abuse on a young child. They (we) tend to become withdrawn or reclusive. They (we) have to learn to trust people. Usually a small child like that will naturally trust people but it gets extinguished and has to be reignited. Stien recommends that a small boy needs some "shepherding" into a social relationship. When they discover they can trust some people they will start to open up. Having a little animal (dog or cat) also helps them learn trust.

I have read a book called Dibs In Search Of Self. It's a brilliant book. The boy Dibs is about 5 and he's taken in for therapy. The book describes how he first gains trust in the therapist and then he's able to start trusting other people. At first he is very reclusive and he won't communicate with others. Gradually he becomes very communicative. It turns out that he's quite intelligent and quite communicative. He just needed to relate to a therapist who could then allow his personality to bloom. I was very much like Dibs after the abuse I experienced at 4. My mother took my sister to the school so she could start. I was in there with them but I was hovering fearfully against the registrar's desk. The principle said to my mother: "Who is this little fellow?" My mom replied that I was too young for school...but I wasn't. They took me in but I was a social blockhead. I wouldn't play with the other children and I hid under a table. That's how Dibs was. So what turned me around? We later went to live with a loving grandmother and grandfather. That was all I needed. I have some pictures of myself here in MS, where you can actually see me before and after this period of time.

So how does this apply to an adult? I think it's the same thing as to the small child. They have to learn to trust maybe just one person. Then they can branch out to trust others. I think also that an adult needs to learn a new role for themself in life. This is called reinventing myself, but it's not really inventing, it's discovering who they are. There is so precious little love in our world and a lot of people can be very pushy and it doesn't help people like me or your man friend. They need a real gentle hand.

If they (we) have learned dissociative disorder, then they have more trouble learning who they really are, and then they can learn that they don't have to dissociate to make friends.
They have trouble putting on the little happy face that makes others want to be with them. They have trouble projecting a warm and loving personality to a potential new acquaintance.

Puffer