Emotional Blindness and the Sociopath

I’m trying to recover from the sociopaths who were in my life.  Without going into the details, I wanted to share something I am learning.

I am learning how to see through lies and escape the confusion and chaos of sociopathic people.  I’ve unfortunately been friends with a few and it took me a long time to realize the pattern I’d gotten set up for.

The reason is that childhood abuse creates something called an “emotional blindness” in us.  I found this concept from Lovefraud.com:


“[Alice] Miller focuses on childhood—on how corporal punishment (spanking/whipping) and humiliation—cause a type of blindness in adulthood that can lead to being manipulated and UNABLE TO SEE THROUGH LIES.

  1. Traditional methods of upbringing, which have included corporal punishment, lead a child to DENY suffering and humiliation. (Can anyone related to having a high pain threshold? Where did I get that bruise or cut—I don’t remember getting it? Ever feel humiliated at being spanked, paddled or whipped as a child? Ever experience a parent being insensitive to suffering?)
  2. This denial, although essential if the child is to SURVIVE, will later cause emotional blindness.
  3. Emotional blindness produces “barriers in the mind” erected to guard against dangers. This means that early denied traumas become encoded in the brain, and even though they no longer pose a threat, they continue to have a subtle, destructive impact. (The memory of how to respond to such crappy behavior from our parents and authority figures is still there.)
  4. Barriers in the mind keep us from learning new information, putting it to good use, and shedding old, outdated behaviors.
  5. Our bodies retain a complete memory of the humiliations we suffered, driving us to inflict unconsciously on the next generation what we endured in childhood, unless we become aware of the cause of our behavior, which is embedded in the history of our own childhoods.”

I’ve been in abusive relationships with my family and tolerated abusiveness in my friendships.  I might share in time, but I’m incredibly embarrassed and ashamed at what I allowed into my life.


About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in naivete, PTSD, Trauma, trauma recovery. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Emotional Blindness and the Sociopath

  1. ksbeth says:

    you are very brave and it was not your fault

  2. Casey says:


    That’s kind of you to say, but some of it is my fault. I take responsibility for my choices.

    The difficult thing now is to recover the feelings of safety. I heard this: You can be safe but not feel safe. You can feel safe but not be safe. I couldn’t tell the difference. I thought I used to know the people I could trust. And the people I trusted, long-time friends, just started changing. Well, I’m not so sure they changed, or I simply just started seeing them without blinders on. Either way, the people I thought were trustworthy, weren’t.

    I tended to rescue other people, when the person that needed helping the most was me. And I didn’t. I went along with things because I didn’t have any alarm bells ringing loud when I should have. I saw the red flags and didn’t act on them. I know that now.

    Part of it was that I always had a hard time making friends, and had already lost a lot of them after I quit my job or they moved away, and I took whatever I could get and didn’t complain when my boundaries got crossed…because I didn’t know where they were.

    I spent a long time doubting my ability to know who was safe and who was not. Some of the knots of anxiety have relaxed, but I still am working on regaining my sense of trust – not in other people, but in me. I need to trust my own ability to make healthy friends and keep the unhealthy ones away.

    I know how people SHOULD leave me feeling (uplifted, supported, cheered up, enjoyed) and how some people left me feeling (confused, upset, shamed, used).

    The hard part of my spiritual journey is that while I am growing in compassion for my experiences, and even those who brought me harm, I had to build walls for a while and keep a LOT of people out, just to keep out harm. Being around other people was anxiety-inducing. It’s getting better, though.

    I am slowly regaining a sense of security.

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