There’s a difference between being a “sociopath” and having difficulty expressing your feelings. You have feelings but they are not easily accessible. If you didn’t feel anything, then you wouldn’t cry. Even if you don’t know what it is, there is an explanation for the crying. The difficulty you seem to be having is identifying the reason for the crying.
Nothing you have written would necessarily suggest that you are a sociopath. It should also be mentioned that sociopath is no longer the correct term. What you likely mean by sociopath is psychopath. People commonly used sociopath but they may not realize that the actual term, the correct term, is psychopath.
Psychopaths don’t care about other people. It wouldn’t bother them if they hurt others. They wouldn’t be worried about all of the things you seem to be worried about. As you stated, “I don’t want others to get hurt by my emotionless state of mind.” Psychopaths wouldn’t care about that. If they hurt someone else, it wouldn’t matter to them at all. That thought wouldn’t even cross their minds.
It seems that you were raised in a family that did not express much love or any love. Your mother never told you that she was proud of you. Perhaps she can’t express love. In essence, you don’t know if she loved you because she never told you and she never showed you that she did.
Your stepfather, emotionally, wasn’t much help either. In fact, he seemed worse than your mother in that he was engaging in criminal and immoral behavior. He spoke about wanting to kill your mother and he tortured animals. He convinced you that your mother should be killed. This would be a difficult environment for any child to grow up in. What you experienced wasn’t the norm and it wasn’t good for your psychological growth and development.
Perhaps your reaction to this very difficult situation was to numb yourself emotionally. That is a common reaction to unpleasant feelings, thoughts and situations. As you mentioned, you feel nothing but you cry for reasons that you don’t understand. The fact that you are crying indicates that you do feel something but lack clarity about what it is. If you didn’t feel something, then you wouldn’t be crying.
What may be happening is that you are or have been disassociating. Disassociation is a process in which one is mentally disconnected from their thoughts, feelings, memories, and surroundings. Sometimes, this happens consciously but more often it happens unconsciously, as a way to psychologically protect oneself from difficult or unpleasant experiences. It’s a way of coping with negative or traumatic experiences. Many people who disassociate aren’t even aware of it, especially if it’s been happening for many years. It’s common among people with trauma histories and/or posttraumatic stress disorder.
Just as people need food and water and safety to survive, they also need to feel love and to feel that they matter. Without these things, they will suffer. Love and belonging are needs, necessities. It is immensely important that an individual feel loved and unconditionally so. It’s a basic human necessity. You didn’t grow up in an environment in which you felt loved. In all likelihood, you’re feeling the aftereffects of not feeling loved.
I would highly recommend counseling. It is an effective solution to this problem. You grew up believing that certain things were normal and later learned that they were not. Now, as an adult, you are faced with having to reconnect with your emotions and that’s not easy to do on your own. Contact a therapist to begin the process of learning how to heal from your experiences. With the help of a good therapist, especially one who is knowledgeable about trauma, you should have success. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle