How to Not Suck a Sociopath's Thumb

What grown man crawls into bed with his seven year-old daughter and forces her to suck his thumb? Or maybe the more important question is, why? We are talking end-games you do not see, end-games that the perpetrator can explain away, has marshaled forces (before you did; that's deliberate) to prove that you are wrong; to prove he is the one under siege, who draws pleasure from watching you try to fight your way out of the situation he's created. This is the terrible talent of the sociopath: to ruin other people's lives while making it appear that he is the victim.

If you see some guy dripping blood from his fangs when you hear "sociopath," think again; they can be charming people. But they are rarely successful; they cannot be because the only talent they consistently apply is in the undoing of others. They often end badly, broke, in jail, on drugs. They are your sister, your father, your boss. I have made something of a cottage industry writing about these so-called "charming" sociopaths, and whereas I have not always recognized them when they came across my path - you will not either - I recognize them now. I recognize the lies, the tricks, the wheedling, the excuses. It has come to the point where I will sit in a room with one, listening to the narrative he is spinning (NB: the stories will be overly complicated and/or will not make sense) and know the only reason he gets away with what he does is because he's ensnared others; he has groomed them, in other words, to suck his thumb.

Note that I do not know Allen and have no opinion on whether he is sociopathic, only that the modus operandi that calls him a great man; that pushes other allegations aside, is in line with what how sociopath operates, on a much smaller level.

My dearest friend Deborah Reed alerted me yesterday to Ronan Farrow's piece. She noted how most in the media had fallen down, had not asked the hard questions. That's true and will always be true. Journalists will have reasons not to uncover the truth, whether it's sales/hits or personal cowardice or institutional aversion to the work it will take to undo the image decades in the making. I assured Deborah there are journalists who have the courage, and that I try to be one of them.

Let me tell you what happens when you challenge the sociopath: people will tell you you are wrong; that you're the problem; that you don't understand; that the sociopath needs special care. You will feel, professionally and personally, as though you've been strapped onto a speeding toboggan and you need to dig and dig your feet into the snow to stop that toboggan before it flies off the cliff, the cliff being further lives ruined, further fortunes lost, the cliff being the story untold, again and again and again.

Let's tell the stories.