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A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight

by M.E. Thomas

Pub Date: May 14th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-307-95664-4
Publisher: Crown

The biting memoir of a “successful" sociopath, from the pseudonymous Thomas.

The author is a lawyer, a teacher and a sociopath—she abjures “psycho” as a little too much—a full-blown example of anti-social personality behavior, with “a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others”—not in a legally criminal way but certainly capable of inflicting damage. Her self-portrait is not likable, but readers will admire her drawing attention to all the sociopaths out there. “We are legion and diverse,” she writes. “At least one of them looks like me. Does one of them look like you?” Thomas treats her life as a case history, reaching for cognizance while pulsing with a frankness that roves between raw self-evaluation—which might be disarming if she had more emotional capacity—and an undiluted meanness toward those she would ruin, the many “gloomy, mediocre nothings populating a go-nowhere rat race.” She scours her past to see where her sociopathy was nurtured and genetics to see where it might have found a foothold through nature. She invites us into her courtroom, classroom and bedroom to witness how her behavior has stunted her work life and made her love life difficult. She explains her view of risks and consequences, “but my mind is almost always at peace no matter what I do.” Much here is chilling, but there are also cracks that make you ache for her: “Sometimes I can’t see people’s disgust for me because I’m so single-mindedly inclined to see adoration.”

A work of advocacy for greater awareness of sociopathy’s reach and conduct.