Book Review

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Hiding in Plain Sight Book Review

 

Confessions of a Sociopath

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight is one of those books I thought was intensely interesting, educational, icky, insightful and mind numbingly boring at times, all wrapped up in the same package. M. E. Thomas, a diagnosed sociopath living a fairly successful life "under the radar", wrote a memoir about her life and shares with her readers what goes on in a sociopath's head, career and social life.

Besides sharing her personal story, Thomas also educates her readers about sociopathy in general. She talks about how the only thing a child sociopath regrets about wrong-doing is getting caught and how some of a sociopath's "risk taking behavior stems from a low fear response or lack of natural anxiety in potentially dangerous, traumatic, or stressful situations". Reading her book, I felt like I was really gaining some insight into a sociopath's mind, but at the same time I was intensely distrustful of everything she shared. What part of her story is true? What part of it is just another manipulation at which she is so adept at?  By the middle of the book my patience with her remorseless personality was at an end and I was more than glad just hurry up and finish reading. And yet, at the same time, the entire book was fascinating.

I've already read the book The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, which postulates that sociopaths are much more common than you think. One in twenty-five people (4%) may have this often undetected mental disorder. Non-criminal sociopaths are often extremely charming and charismatic and manage to live successful lives while leaving a trail of people they've stepped on to accomplish their success or simply toyed with for their own twisted reasons. Thomas shares how she has managed to go about her life undetected. It's chilling.

Throughout the book you can almost feel her reaching through the pages trying to manipulate you as a reader. She works hard at putting forth a case that her kind of person is beneficial to society. Her pretty mask slips at times though and you can see the damaged person underneath.  While she works hard to claim she really isn't so bad, how she is loved by her students, how she teaches Sunday School, blah blah blah blah ,and every other narcissistic, grandiose, egocentric claim she shares, all the good girl persona just can't hold up to with all the conniving, seduction and manipulation she employed along the way.  As a  Christian, I felt her reflections about God were very interesting. She basically sees him like herself. A couple quotes from the book:

"There is a story in Kings where God has forty-two children dismembered by she-bears for insulting the prophet Elisha. It was not much of a stretch to believe that that God was my father."

"People can still choose: either to submit to my control or face whatever consequences there may be. Maybe God thinks this way too. Maybe this is why he sometimes kills children to make a point."

If you'd like to know more about what makes a sociopath tick and are trying to better understand this mental disorder, Confessions of a Sociopath is an interesting and worthwhile read. I recommend you first read The Sociopath Next Door and then follow it up with Confessions. Thomas shows just how true the first book is and really opened my eyes to the inner workings of someone very different from myself.

Warning: This book is NOT for children due to s*xual content and things like the absolute lack of remorse coupled with how the author shares candidly how she uses people, etc.

*I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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